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Prosper Africa – Initiative to Boost Trade and Investment Between the U.S. and Africa
July 2, 2019 | 0 Comments

ABUJA, Nigeria, July 2, 2019 ,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The new Prosper Africa initiative reflects the U.S. government’s belief that open and transparent economies should determine the future of African countries.  On his recent trip to Sudan, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and South Africa, U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Tibor Nagy stressed that the US wants to be Africa’s trade and investment partner.

He explained that the initiative will focus on synchronizing the efforts of U.S. government agencies to facilitate more deals between U.S. and African businesses and to address trade and investment barriers.

“The US recognizes that Africa is a vibrant economy and critical trade partner, with six of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world and more than 1-billion consumers. The continent is already playing a pivotal role in the global economy, with consumer purchasing power reaching $1.6 trillion in 2017,” Assistant Secretary Nagy stated.

Emphasizing that Prosper Africa is not a new development, but a strategic investment, Mr. Nagy said, the initiative will greatly benefit countries that support private sector ambition and innovation.

“Meanwhile, producers in African countries can see a US consumer market of more than 300-million people with a purchasing power of $13-trillion – the largest in the world,” Mr. Nagy said.

This initiative will also expand mutually beneficial trade and investment, increase the self-reliance of African economies, grow the middle class in African countries and improve business climates across the continent.  Prosper Africa will also actively support African companies’ efforts to trade and partner with US companies and invest in the US’s vast market.

The initiative will focus on three primary activities:

First, it will modernize and synchronize US government capabilities and efforts by providing a “one-stop shop” capability for two-way trade and investment with the African continent.

Second, it will facilitate transactions by coordinating US government agencies to help facilitate, expedite and mitigate the risk of transactions between American and African firms and investors.

And third, it will focus US agencies’ support to African partner governments, helping them identify and address policy, regulatory, capacity and logistical barriers to private sector trade and investment with the goal of fostering business climates that are mutually beneficial for the US and Africa.

You can read more details on Prosper Africa initiative.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of the U.S. Mission in Nigeria.

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“The staff at the clinic are very friendly. I am an old client so they all know me very well”
July 2, 2019 | 0 Comments

WINDHOEK, Namibia, July 2, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Sometimes it is best to go where everyone does not know your name, but where you feel welcome just the same. It is that way for many sex workers and men who have sex with men (MSM) in Namibia, who bear the brunt of criticism, repulsion and stigmatism in almost all aspects of their daily lives.

As a result, these men and women shy away from accessing essential health services, such as HIV testing/treatment, prophylaxis (PrEP), condoms, lubricants and contraceptives.

According to the first ever integrated bio-behavioral surveillance study (IBBSS) 2014, among MSM in Namibia, HIV prevalence among MSM was estimated to be 10.2 per cent in Keetmanshoop, 7.1 per cent in Oshakati, 10.1 per cent in Swakopmund/Walvis Bay, and 20.9 per cent in Windhoek the capital city.

The estimated HIV prevalence estimated among MSM in Oshakati and Swakopmund/Walvis Bay approximated that of the general population of adult males in the surrounding Oshana and Erongo regions, as measured by the Namibia Demographic and Health Survey, 2013.

HIV prevalence among MSM in Keetmanshoop was slightly lower than that of the general population of adult males in Karas Region, while HIV prevalence among MSM in Windhoek was nearly twice as high as HIV prevalence among adult males of the general population in Khomas Region.

Non-judgemental care

In 2018, the Namibia Planned Parenthood Association (NAPPA) with support from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Namibia convened several advocacy meetings with key partners aimed at establishing a drop in centre at the Out Right Namibia offices.

Out Right Namibia is a Namibian organisation working with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community aimed at advancing the rights, interests and expectations of the LGBTI community in Namibia. 

Both the drop in centre and NAPPA Okuryangava clinic had flexible working hours to allow key population to access sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and HIV services at their convenient times, it also involved opening the clinic on Saturdays to allow key population to access services without fear of stigma and discrimination. 

All service providers and staff at the drop in centre and clinic were trained and sensitised on the importance of quality, non-judgemental service provision to key population. The staff at Outright Namibia were also mobilised to build awareness and information about the services being provided at the drop in centre and clinic.

Pleasant experience

“I have had a very pleasant experience visiting NAPPA. As a sex worker, it is important that I feel comfortable and go to clinics where I’m free of judgement. NAPPA has opened their doors for me and I feel at home. There are no complications here as the services are free and I prefer this clinic over local hospitals,” said sex worker, Martha Keto (not her real name).

Keto, 30, has been a sex worker for almost 12 years and has been receiving PrEP treatment at the clinic since October 2017. ”I come regularly for my tests and for PrEP treatment which keeps me protected from contracting HIV. The testing I receive here not only keeps me updated on my HIV or STI status, but it keeps up with my overall health. I am informed about a lot of health information including my liver and the nurses are even able to tell if my alcohol consumption is too high,” she said.

“The staff at the clinic are very friendly. I am an old client so they all know me very well. I would recommend NAPPA services to my colleagues who are also workers. Their doors are always open for us, even during weekends we are able to come in if needed.  There is a large number of sex workers in Namibia and I hope the services provided by NAPPA could be exposed so that more sex workers will be informed of the free services that are offered here,” she said.

Keto’s sentiments are shared by Cinton Nati and Gideon Markus, (not their real names) who are both homosexual males receiving services at the NAPPA clinic.

“If it had not been for the friendly staff at the NAPPA clinic and their constant support and encouragement, I would have not visited the clinic as recommended by the nurse,” said Nati. He said this made it easy for him to develop a personal relationship with the clinic’s staff because they were very encouraging and as a result, he was able to see major improvements not only in his health but also his confidence.

Prior to visiting NAPPA, Nati experienced emotional and mental difficulties associated with being newly diagnosed with HIV. As a result, he would often miss his appointments as he found it difficult to accept the reality of being newly diagnosed with HIV.

“Since the very first time my partner and I went to the NAPPA clinics, both at Out Right Namibia and at Okuryangava, we have been treated very well and the staff have gone out of their way to make us feel safe. I have had counselling sessions to make sure that I am doing alright and also checkups to make sure the medication is not having any side effects on my body and that I remain healthy. The staff at the clinics have also regularly checked that we understand how to look after ourselves and that we practice sound sexual health guidelines,” said Markus.

“Each time we visited the clinic at Okuryangava, Sister Fungai Bhera (Senior Registered Nurse) would first make time to chat to us about how we have been.  This might sound like a small thing to others, but to me, it means the world as I know she cares about us and that I am taken care of and in safe hands,” said Van Den Berg.

He alluded: “LGBTI community in Namibia has never had proper support from our country’s leaders and as a result, there is still a lot of LGBTI people that get discriminated against and live in fear of their communities as we do not enjoy the same legal rights. Hence we live very secretive lives, sometimes even double lives. I think it is these secret lives that make it easy for LGBTI people in Namibia to land in situations where they are highly vulnerable to getting infected with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.”

More KPs accessing services

In 2018, a total of 523 KPs were reached with sexual and reproductive health services at the two sites. This included 233 sex workers, 188 men who have sex with men 70 truck drivers and 32 women who have sex with women.  A total of ten outreach events were held targeting KPs at various hotspots in Windhoek.

The comprehensive service package provided at the two sites included: HIV testing and counselling, those who tested positive were immediately enrolled for treatment; PrEP services, those who tested negative were also counselled and informed about PrEP services and those who agreed were enrolled on PrEP; family planning services including condoms; sexually transmitted infections (STIs) screening and treatment; and information education related to SRH, HIV and gender-based violence.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of UNAIDS.

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Outstanding Young Hero From Cote d’Ivoire, Meganne Lorraine Ceday Boho, Receives Award In Memory Of Princess Diana
July 1, 2019 | 0 Comments

Young person from Côte d’Ivoire is honoured with The Diana Award for going above and beyond in their daily life to create and sustain positive change.

ABIDJAN, Cote d’Ivoire, July 1, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- MEGANNE LORRAINE CEDAY BOHO from Côte d’Ivoire has been recognised with the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts – The Diana Award. This year The Diana Award celebrates its 20th anniversary year.

Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Award is given out by the charity of the same name and has the support of both her sons, The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex.

Meganne Lorraine Ceday Boho

Meganne Lorraine Ceday Boho

Passionate about putting gender equality at the heart of economic development, Meganne started providing free coaching to people applying for fellowships. With her association SEPHIS, she set up “The SEPHIS National Tour for Women Empowerment”. In the last two years, they have raised more than $30,000, and trained more than 1,800 young women. She is dedicated to providing young women with the opportunities to further their career, for example, she gave free French classes to English speaking participants at a fellowship gathering 100 young people from West Africa. Through her position of Account Manager at African Media Agency (AMA), she has been able to work on big events like the Africa CEO Forum, The Next Einstein Forum and Africa 2018 Forum.

Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award, said: “We congratulate all our new International Diana Award Holders who are changemakers for their generation. We know by receiving this honour they will inspire more young people to get involved in their communities and begin their own journey as active citizens. For over twenty years, The Diana Award has valued and invested in young people encouraging them to continue to make positive change in their communities and lives of others.”

Commenting on Meganne’s award, Sefora Kodjo Kouassi, President of SEPHIS added “I am very proud of Meganne who constantly impresses us with her positive impact on the Association. This distinction is a testimony that Meganne is a truly inspiring model for her generation”.

“This Award is the recognition of Meganne’s dedicated work to women’s empowerment. We hope she will continue to inspire many young women in Africa to create a better future for generations to come”, commented Eloïne Barry, CEO of Africa Media Agency.

WHAT IS THE NOMINATION PROCESS?
Award Holders have been put forward by adults who know the young people in a professional capacity and recognised their efforts as a positive contribution to society. Through a rigorous nomination process, these nominators had to demonstrate the nominee’s impact in five key areas: Vision, Social Impact, Inspiring Others, Youth Leadership, and Service Journey.

There are 13 Diana Award Judging Panels representing each UK region or nation and a further two panels representing countries outside of the UK. Each panel consist of four judges; Two Diana Award Holders, an education or youth work professional, and a business or government representative. The panels have an important main purpose: to determine which nominations from each UK region/nation will receive The Diana Award.

Nominations are judged using the Criteria Guide and Scoring Guide which have been created to measure quality of youth social action.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA).

About The Diana Award
The Diana Award develops and inspires positive change in the lives of young people through three key programmes which include; a mentoring programme for young people at risk, a youth-led anti-bullying ambassadors campaign and a prestigious award which publicly recognises young people – The Diana Award.

Social media : Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

For interviews or further information please contact
Emma Pelling
07958 558172
emma@pellingpr.co.uk
www.diana-award.org.uk 

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DRC: Withdraw armed forces from Fungurume mines to avert bloodshed
July 1, 2019 | 0 Comments

GENEVA, Switzerland, July 1, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Following reports that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) army has deployed hundreds of soldiers to forcibly remove an estimated 10,000 artisanal miners from the Tenke Fungurume mines in Lualaba Province to the south of the country from 2 July, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, Sarah Jackson said:

Given the long history of excessive use of force by the Congolese army and its lack of appropriate training in managing public order, the DRC government must immediately withdraw its armed forces from the mines to avert unlawful killings. These artisanal miners are merely try to eke out a living and sending in the army against them would be completely irresponsible.”

Background on cobalt mining in DRC

Lualaba province is part of the former Katanga province in southern DRC and is the country’s most significant copper and cobalt mining area. The government estimates that 20% of the cobalt currently exported from the DRC comes from Katanga’s artisanal miners.

There are about 110,000 regular artisanal miners in the Katanga region, rising to about 150,000 on a seasonal basis. In the absence of authorised artisanal mining areas, many artisanal miners illegally enter private concessions.

Tenke Fungurume Mining Complex in DRC hosts one of the largest, highest-grade producing copper and cobalt mines in the world and is owned by China Molybdenum Co., Ltd., which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Amnesty International.

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BRAND AFRICA 100: AFRICA’S BEST BRANDS 2018/19 – UGANDA’S BEST BRANDS
June 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

* MUKWANO IS THE MOST ADMIRED MADE IN UGANDA BRAND
* CENTENARY BANK IS THE MOST ADMIRED FINANCIAL SERVICES BRAND MADE IN UGANDA
* NBS IS THE MOST ADMIRED MEDIA BRAND MADE IN UGANDA
* NTV IS THE MOST ADMIRED AFRICAN MEDIA BRAND IN UGANDA
* COCA COLA IS THE OVERALL MOST ADMIRED BRAND IN UGANDA
* NIKE IS THE MOST ADMIRED BRAND IN EAST AFRICA AND RETAINS ITS POSITION AS OVERALL MOST ADMIRED BRAND IN AFRICA
* NON AFRICAN BRANDS DOMINATE AFRICA AT 86% OF TOP 100 BRANDS IN AFRICA

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KAMPALA, Uganda, June 28, 2019 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Brand Africa in partnership with Brand Leadership, Geopoll and Kantar and Publics Africa today announced the results of the Most Admired Brands in Uganda. The list, the 7th annual Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands, is based on the comprehensive pan-Africa survey of the most admired brands among African consumers. In the Uganda and regional results, which are dominated by non-African brands, Coca Cola was recognized as the overall Most Admired Brand in Uganda. Mukwano leads as the Most Admired Brand Made in Uganda.

In recognizing the catalytic impact of media and financial services in Africa, Brand Africa has a separate prompted question in the survey to highlight the Most Admired Financial Services Brands and Most Admired Media Brands in Africa.
In the media sub-survey, where the pan-African list is dominated by Europe (40%), North America (20%) and Asia (20%) by global media brands with extensive pan-African reach, UK’s BBC, South Africa’s DSTV, USA’s CNN, Qatar’s Al Jazeera and France’s RFI lead the list of most admired media in Africa. In Uganda, NBS was recognised as the Most Admired Media Brand Made in Uganda with NTV recognised as the Most Admired African Media Brand in Uganda.

Where the pan-African media category albeit dominated by global brands, remains fragmented with numerous local and regional brands in all markets, the financial services category is relatively consolidated and African – with 64% of the Top 25 financial services brands, led by Togo’s Ecobank (#1), South Africa’s FNB (#2) and ABSA (#3) among the Top 10, are all made in Africa and pan-African. Uganda’s Centenary Bank was recognised as the Most Admired Financial Services Brand Made in Uganda. Safaricom’s Mpesa (#13), retained its pole position among mobile money brands with Orange Money (#18), MTN Mobile Money (#19) and Tigo (#23), underscores the impact of not only Mpesa as the catalyst, but mobile as a key enabler for financial access.

In a comparison of the most admired brands in Uganda versus East Africa region, while Nike is the leading brand in East Africa, Coke is the leading brand in Uganda. Eighty percent of the brands, all non-African – Coca Cola, Samsung, Airtel, Apple,Pepsi and Techno – are common between Uganda and the region.

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In a category analysis, Mukwano (Consumer Non-Cyclical), NBS (Media), Nile Breweries (Alcoholic Beverages), Centenary Bank (Financial Services) and Movit (Personal Care) are the leading Made in Uganda brands in a list that’s 42% African (Kenya) and 58% non-African.
Established in 2011, the Brand Africa rankings, developed by pan-African branding and reputation advisory firm, Brand Leadership Group supported by GeoPoll the world’s leading mobile surveying platform, and strategic analysis and insights by Kantar, the world’s leading data, insights and consulting company. The rankings are based on a comprehensive survey among a representative sample of respondents 18 years and older, conducted in 25 countries which collectively account for 80% of Africa’s population and 75% of the continent’s GDP.

In the main overall Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands list announced in May at the JSE in South Africa, while the top 100 is relatively stable, African brands faltered to an all-time low of 14% share of the Top 100 most admired brands in Africa. Over the past three years Africa’s share of the most admired brands has declined from a high of 25% in 2013/14 to lows of 16% in 2015/16, 16% in 2016/17 and 17% in 2017/18 respectively. In the Top 100, the US sports and fitness mega brand, Nike retained the overall #1 brand in Africa spontaneously recalled by consumers. The most admired African brands spontaneously recalled by Africans were South Africa’s leading pan-African telecoms brand, MTN, followed by Ethiopia’s Anbessa and Nigeria’s, Dangote. Where consumers were prompted to recall an African brand, Nigeria’s Dangote, was the most admired African brand, with South Africa’s MTN and Ethiopia’s Anbessa rounding out the Top 3.

In a geographical spread that covers brands from 25 countries in Africa, North America, Europe and Asian brands lead the list with 41%, 28%, and 17% respectively rounding up the continental spread of brands Africans admire.

“One of the biggest challenges facing Africa is transforming its vibrant entrepreneurial energy and environment to create competitive brands that meet the needs of its growing consumer market, says Thebe Ikalafeng, Founder and Chairman of Brand Africa and Brand Leadership. “More importantly, as is evident with Mukwano, Nile Breweries, and Movit, the leading made in Uganda brands, the next biggest challenge is retaining the ownership of these brands and ultimately the profits in Africa. These rankings are an important metric of and challenge for creating home-grown competitive African brands that will transform the African promise and change its narrative and image as a competitive continent.”
GeoPoll used their sophisticated mobile survey platform and its proprietary access to a database of over 250 million respondents in emerging markets around the globe to identify the most admired brands in Africa among a representative sample of African consumers.

“The scope of the Brand Africa study across such a diverse sample and geographic spread would be impossible to achieve using traditional research methodologies,” says Nicholas Becker, GeoPoll CEO. “Using GeoPoll’s mobile-based research platform and large panel of respondents, we were able to quickly gather more than 15,000 brand mentions from 25 countries in Africa, providing brands with valuable data that will inform their growth. GeoPoll was pleased to partner with Brand Africa once again to gather this vital research across Africa.”

Kantar analyzed the resultant 15 500+ brand mentions and 2 200+ individual brands and created a weighted scoring to produce the Top 100 brands.

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“The key to success for building sustainable brands, irrespective of origins or domicile, is to establish an emotional connection, creating intimacy and being more present in consumers everyday lives. This survey, a complex analysis of diverse data and countries to arrive at a representative ranking, is an important metric of the brands that play that are doing a better job and playing a vital role in Africa,” says Karin Du Chenne, Kantar, Chief Growth Officer Africa Middle East.

The Brand Africa 100 results are published in the June edition of the African Business Magazine now on sale globally and also available online to subscribers at www.africanbusinessmag.com and www.brandafrica. The results are distributed across Africa by African Media Agency (AMA) and media relations is handled by BWC I Burson Cohn & Wolfe is Brand Africa 100 globally.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Brand Africa 100.

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MEDIA ENQUIRIES
Joseph Kanyamunyu
Publics Africa
Cell +256757600100
Tel +256392001709
joseph.kasamunyu@publicsafrica.com

Charmaine Lodewyk
GM: PR and Events
Brand Leadership
(o) +27 11 463 5091
(m) +27 71 490 6559
charmaine@brandleadership.com
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BRAND AFRICA CONTACTS
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Brand Africa
www.brandafrica.org
Thebe Ikalafeng
Chairman, Brand Africa and Brand Leadership Group
+27 82 447 9130
Thebe@Brand.Africa

GeoPoll
www.geopoll.com
Roxana Elliott
Director of Marketing, GeoPoll
roxana@geopoll.com

Patricia Githua
VP Commercial Sales, Africa
+254 724 847198
patricia@geopoll.com

Kantar
www.kantar.com
Karin Du Chenne
Chief Growth Officer Africa Middle East
m +27 83 6314870
(o). +27 11 202 7000
e Karin.duchenne@kantar.com

African Business
www.icpublications.com
Omar Ben Yedder
Group Publisher and Managing Director
+44 774 704 6670
o.benyedder@icpublications.com

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BRAND AFRICA

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Brand Africa is an intergenerational movement to inspire a great Africa through promoting a positive image of Africa, celebrating its diversity and driving its competitiveness. It is a brand-led movement which recognizes that in the 21st century, brands are an asset and a vector of image, reputation and competitiveness of nations. Brand Africa seeks to inspire a brand-led African renaissance.

Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands is a Brand Africa initiative to survey, rank and recognize the best brands in Africa.

Brand Africa is an independent Non-Profit Organisation registered in the Republic of South Africa (NPC 2013/146300/08) and a signatory to the Independent Code of Governance for Non-Profit Organisations in Africa (www.governance.org.za).
www.brand.africa

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BA 100 PARTNERS

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Brand Leadership

Brand Leadership is a pan-African branding and integrated marketing communications partner for decision-makers and brand builders interested in and/or invested in Africa. Established in 2002, Brand Leadership has over the years delivered brand-led solutions that respond to African conditions, needs and ambitions for brands in diverse industries and markets in the private and public sector brands in Africa across www.brandleadership.com

GeoPoll

GeoPoll is a leader in providing fast, high quality market research from areas that are difficult to access using traditional methods. Working with clients including global brands, media houses, and international development groups, GeoPoll facilitates projects that measure ROI of TV advertisements, demonstrate demand for new products, and assess food security around the world. GeoPoll combines a robust mobile surveying platform that has the ability to conduct research via multiple modes with a database of over 250 million respondents in emerging markets around the globe. Strengths lie in GeoPoll’s ability to target extremely specific populations, deploy surveys in multiple countries, and provide expert guidance on how to collect accurate, reliable data through the mobile phone. www.geopoll.com

Kantar
Kantar is the world’s leading data, insights and consulting company. We understand more about how people think, feel, shop, share, vote and view than anyone else. Combining our expertise in human understanding with advanced technologies, Kantar’s 30,000 people help the world’s leading organisations succeed and grow. www.kantar.com

BCW
BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe), one of the world’s largest full-service global communications agencies, is in the business of moving people on behalf of clients. Founded by the merger of Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe, BCW delivers digitally and data-driven creative content and integrated communications programs grounded in earned media and scaled across all channels for clients in the B2B, consumer, corporate, crisis management, CSR, healthcare, public affairs and technology sectors.

BCW Africa is the pre-eminent African public relations network. Through our network of partners in 52 African countries – 36 of them branded BCW – we offer an unequalled footprint and tailored for Africa approach tested over 25+ years, that combines local agency insight and connectivity with seamless project delivery driven out of our Africa hub office in Johannesburg, South Africa.

BCW is a part of WPP (NYSE: WPP), a creative transformation company. For more information, visit www.bcw-global.com.

African Business
African Business is the best-selling pan-African business magazine with an award-winning team widely respected for its editorial excellence. It provides the all-important tools enabling decision makers to maintain a critical edge in a continent that is changing the world. African Business special reports profile a wide range of sectors and industries including transport, energy, mining, construction, aviation and agriculture. www.africanbusinessmagazine.com

Publics Africa
Publics Africa Communications is Uganda’s leading Public Relations agency with a proven track record of a highly systemised approach to communications and is stress tested and successful for a host of national and global blue-chip clients. We have harnessed an understanding of the varying African Audiences in their African contexts thus enabling us communicate to them with Above, Through and Below the line (ALT,TTL and BTL) strategies that will not only better our clients bottom line but inevitably expound their brand footprint.
Publics Africa Communications is a pan African public relations and integrated communications agency. We specialize in Public Relations, Corporate identity, online reputation management, Social Media, Video production, Community management, internal communications, Reputation management, Media training, Events, Publications, Advertising, Media Relations, Crisis communications, and Stakeholder Engagement. Www.publicsafrica.com/About-Us

PR over Coffee AFRICA
The PR over Coffee is a leading PR community based forum,an information empowering forum created to promote and stimulate the growth of Uganda’s communication industry and our client’s brands through networking, collaboration, matchmaking and innovation in various professional fields using international conferences, publications and web community portals. Www.publicsafrica.com/Pr-Over-Coffee

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Madagascar villagers learn dangers of outdoor defecation
June 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

The discussion with villagers starts early in the morning. Volunteers are invited to draw a map of their village on the ground with chalk. One woman’s sketch shows 17 families – a total of 65 people – living in 11 red clay houses. She explains they share the three latrines that have been there for some time.

NEW YORK, United States of America, June 28, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- “The latrines in the village are not well maintained,” offered another participant, “so many of us go to the outskirts of the village to finish our business.”

The village is Andoharanovelona, 60 kilometers south of Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar – one of the world’s poorest countries – where the UN estimates that some 11.3 million people defecate in the open.

The conversation in the village is led by a team of four sanitation practitioners working with a local non-governmental organization known as Miarintsoa.

Eugène Rasamoelina, the head of Miarintsoa, asks the participants how often the latrines are used and whether three latrines are enough for all 65 residents. At first, they are too shy to respond, mumbling that this is none of their concern. But Mr Rasamoelina persists and they reluctantly acknowledge that, in fact, they rarely use the latrines at all and instead defecate on the ground, a practice known as open defecation.

Careful to ensure the villagers are comfortable continuing the conversation, Mr Rasamoelina takes out a bag of sawdust and asks them to sprinkle its contents on a drawing of the village sketched into the dusty ground to indicate where they defecate. Eucalyptus trees and a pond at the outskirts of the village are soon covered with piles of wood particles, with a few piles placed inside the village, as well.

As they take a long, hard look at the sawdust piles, Eugène Rasamoelina raises the issue of flies and their role in oral-fecal transmission “Flies can transfer fecal material to the food and then to the mouth,” he explains, and a startling revelation comes over the village dwellers. “That’s why I was feeling sick,” said one, “I didn’t realize the danger to our children.”

In the “community triggering” approach employed by Eugène and his team, practitioners serve merely as facilitators. Their role is not to pressure community members to stop open defecation immediately but rather to give them the power to make well-informed decisions and to lead their own initiatives to  transform their villages.

“When we visit villages that practice open defecation, our main message is how human excrement can contaminate or pollute human beings,” he says. 

According to the World Bank, 77 per cent of the Malagasy population, some 24 million people, is estimated to live on less than US$1.90 a day, which places Madagascar among the poorest countries in the world. Open defecation is often related to poverty.

With the support of the Global Sanitation Fund, managed by the UN’s Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), community triggering is being used by 18 implementing partner organizations across Madagascar with the goal of eliminating open defecation.  As of December 2018, more than 17,000 villages have been declared open defecation free and 3.74 million people use improved latrines.

Villagers are recommended to clean up or transform open defecation sites into playgrounds or other public gathering places to stop the contamination and transmission of disease.

Any new latrines need to be fly-proof to prevent excrement being passed between people and animals and all people are encouraged to practice good hygiene by washing their hands after using a latrine.

WSSCC’s Sue Coates, says that stopping open defecation is not a final stop for the communities, but just the beginning of a series of life improvements.

“After working hard to make their own villages free from open defecation,” says Ms Coates, “communities become increasingly resilient and willing to continue sanitation improvements. And they’re better-positioned to tackle other issues such as menstrual hygiene management, health, nutrition and economic growth.”

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of the United Nations.

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Mauritania: Authorities must exercise restraint in policing protests and lift the internet shutdown
June 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

GENEVA, Switzerland, June 28, 2019,-/African Media African (AMA)/- The Mauritanian authorities must ensure respect for the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and exercise restraint when policing the protests planned for later today, amid signs of increasing repression in the country including an internet shutdown and arrests of opposition figures, Amnesty International said today.

“This afternoon’s protest is an important medium for the people of Mauritania to express their opinions about the human rights situation in the country following the presidential election,” said François Patuel, Amnesty International’s West Africa Researcher.

“The authorities must exercise restraint in dealing with the protesters, including ensuring their safety and opening up the internet space so that people can freely express themselves and share information.”

Presidential elections took place in Mauritania on 22 June and the internet was shutdown on the 23 June after the ruling party’s candidate, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, declared he won the election. This constitutes a violation of the right to freedom of expression. It has prevented journalists, human rights defenders and opposition members from freely accessing and exchanging information and should be restored immediately.

In an apparent continuation of the post-election repression, a number of opposition figures have been arrested. These include Samba Thiam, the leader of the Forces progressistes pour le changement (Progressist forces for change); and Cheikhna Mohamed Lemine Cheikh, the campaign manager of the Coalition Sawab/Initiative de resurgence du mouvement abolitionniste (Initiative for the resurgence of the abolitionist movement) in the Ksar neighbourhood in Nouakchott. All of these individuals must be released or charged with a recognizable offence. 

“The authorities are justifying their heavy-handed repression by using tired rhetoric that blames foreign nationals from neighboring countries for the election-related protests. This is toxic and highly problematic in a country that is still battling entrenched racial discrimination,” said François Patuel.

“The Mauritanian authorities should immediately stop manipulating divisive and hateful tropes, and instead commit to respect, protecting, promoting and fulfilling everyone’s human rights, including those of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees.”

Background

Demonstrations by the opposition groups were scheduled to take place this afternoon in Mauritania to contest the results of the 22 June presidential election. However, the authorities banned the protest and several opposition figures called for it to be postponed. Due to the lack of efficient communication owing to the internet blackout, it is likely protests will still be held today.

The Minister of Interior, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and high-ranking officials in the police force have made public statements blaming foreign nationals for the election-related protests.

On the eve of the elections, Amnesty International and 32 local other human rights organizations called on the presidential candidates to commit to protect and promote human rights, including combatting discriminatory practices and protecting the rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Amnesty International.

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Africa pledges to deliver Blue Economy at ABEF 2019
June 27, 2019 | 0 Comments
  • International and Pan-African organizations agree to collaborate on initiatives following successful ABEF2019

TUNIS, Tunisia, June 27th, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The prospect of a fully sustainable Blue Economy for Africa gathered significant momentum following the second Africa Blue Economy Forum (ABEF2019) held in Tunis on 25-26 June.

Fishing, aquaculture, shipping, ports, energy and finance industries all came under the spotlight at ABEF2019, which drew in Government ministers, business leaders, international investors, academics and environmental organisations from across the globe.

 

From left to right - Henry Bonsu, Torsten Thiele, Angelique Pouponneau, James Maton, Marc Naidoo, Dr Frannie Leautier

From left to right – Henry Bonsu, Torsten Thiele, Angelique Pouponneau, James Maton, Marc Naidoo, Dr Frannie Leautier

 

The need for direct action to deliver the environmental, economic and social benefits for Africa, and particularly its coastal nations given 90 per cent of Africa’s trade is conducted by sea, was stressed during the two days of insight. Speakers at ABEF2019 agreed on the urgent need for better cooperation between the ocean stakeholders, better governance and law enforcement. Regional, national and local strategies are required to build a long-term plan and develop partnerships that are beyond short-term projects. Engaging with new technologies and innovative financing mechanisms are also key to shaping a sustainable Blue Economy in Africa. 

 

From left to right - Lazhar Bali, Ezzedine Kacem, Paul Holthus, Leila Ben Hassen

From left to right – Lazhar Bali, Ezzedine Kacem, Paul Holthus, Leila Ben Hassen

 

Leila Ben Hassen, ABEF founder and CEO of Blue Jay Communication, which organised the forum, said: “We can no longer just dip our toe in the water, we must dive in and be decisive in making and delivering change that will serve Africa for many years to come. It is no longer business as usual. Africa must have a sustainable Blue Business plan which will have a positive impact on the environment, on the economy and on society.” 
 
A sustainable Blue Business plan will accelerateAfrica’s transformation, create jobs, sustain livelihoods and empower communities, while offering impactful climate change measures. 
 
This was acknowledged at ABEF2019 across a range of panels with topics that explored how governments and private sectors can collaborate; tackling ocean pollution; innovative funding solutions; enhanced food security and sustainable growth for the fishing industry; sustainable ocean energy; how to engage more women to work in the maritime value chains and the opportunities to embrace the youth generation in the Blue Economy. 
 
Key outcomes from ABEF2019 saw the World Ocean Council, Tunisian Maritime Cluster and SETAP Tunisia signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create a platform to connect, share information, scientific research and technologies between the Mediterranean and the coastal African countries. In addition, WIMA Africa (Women in Maritime Association) launched the Tunisia Chapter with the objective of empowering women and reinforcing collaborations between Tunisian and African women in the maritime industry. 
 
From left to right- HE Samir Taieb, HE Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye, Leila Ben Hassen, HE Mokhtar Hammami

From left to right- HE Samir Taieb, HE Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye, Leila Ben Hassen, HE Mokhtar Hammami

 

The event attracted a significant number of high-level speakers, who can drive change and opinions, including government ministers HE Samir Taieb, Minister of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries, Republic of Tunisia; HE Mokhtar Hammami, Minister of Environment, Republic of Tunisia; HE Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Republic of Ghana and HE Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, Minister of Transport, Republic of Ghana. 
 
Information on ABEF2019 can be found on website. Details of ABEF2020 will be released later this year.
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA)on behalf of Blue Jay Communication.
 
About ABEF: 
The Africa Blue Economy Forum (ABEF) is an annual event organized by Blue Jay Communication. 
 
ABEF is thinking about accelerating Africa’s structural transformation and creating jobs for a young population on the rise. 
 
It provides a unique platform for ocean stakeholders to share insights on how to achieve SDG 14 and to present new investment opportunities in both traditional and emerging ocean industries, while making public-private partnerships and networking easier. 
 
#ABEF2019 
 
About Blue Jay Communication: 
Founded by publishing and media expert Leila Ben Hassen, Blue Jay Communication (BJC) is a global communications, branding, PR and events consultancy specializing in Africa. 
 
BJC’s mission is to enhance its customers’ brands, make connections and develop their business and investment opportunities. By doing so, its ambition is to contribute to job creation while reducing gender and sustainable growth in Africa. 
 
PRESS CONTACT: 
Selma Lakhoua 
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SAP and BMZ join forces to create more jobs in the digital sector in Africa
June 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

BERLIN, GERMANY, June 27, 2019 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- German software company SAP and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) plan to jointly create 450 jobs for highly qualified personnel in the IT sector in ten African countries. The collaboration, which was presented in Berlin today by German Development Minister Gerd Müller and by Michael Kleinemeier, member of the Executive Board of SAP SE and head of SAP Digital Business Services, targets unemployed university graduates. They will undergo a three-month training programme, followed by assistance to help them find jobs in local companies.

The programme will cover Algeria, Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia. These countries have great potential for jobs and growth in the digital sector, but they lack well-trained specialists who can support companies and institutions as they introduce and operate software products. The project addresses this bottleneck. Its first phase will start this year in Egypt, Ethiopia, Morocco, Tunisia and Nigeria. As part of the overall programme, 600 unemployed university graduates will receive training and certification for jobs in the local IT sector, the aim being to place at least three out of four programme graduates into employment. This means that a minimum of 450 new jobs could be created which employers previously could not fill because applicants did not have the necessary skills.

(left to right): German Development Minister Dr. Gerd Müller; Michael Kleinemeier (Member of the Executive Board of SAP SE and Head of SAP Digital Business Services); Marita Mitschein (Senior Vice President Digital Skills EMEA South & Managing Director SAP Training & Development Institute); Ellen Michel (Head of Programme, Development Partnerships - develoPPP for jobs Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH) "Africa's young people need opportunities for the future - and they urgently need jobs that are viable and that help close the digital divide and make headway on development. To that end, we have to seize the great opportunities offered by digital technology. That will only be possible by working together with the private sector. I thus greatly welcome our cooperation with SAP. We need more projects of this type in order to create lasting momentum for Africa's development, especially in the field of technology," said German Development Minister Gerd Müller.

(left to right): German Development Minister Dr. Gerd Müller; Michael Kleinemeier (Member of the Executive Board of SAP SE and Head of SAP Digital Business Services); Marita Mitschein (Senior Vice President Digital Skills EMEA South & Managing Director SAP Training & Development Institute); Ellen Michel (Head of Programme, Development Partnerships – develoPPP for jobs Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH)
“Africa’s young people need opportunities for the future – and they urgently need jobs that are viable and that help close the digital divide and make headway on development. To that end, we have to seize the great opportunities offered by digital technology. That will only be possible by working together with the private sector. I thus greatly welcome our cooperation with SAP. We need more projects of this type in order to create lasting momentum for Africa’s development, especially in the field of technology,” said German Development Minister Gerd Müller.

SAP Executive Board Member Michael Kleinemeier said, “Africa has the youngest population in the world. By 2050, its population will double, reaching more than 2.5 billion. Giving young people digital skills and IT training will create jobs and boost growth in Africa. SAP has been supporting Africa for several years through training and upskilling programmes in the digital sector, for instance the Young Professional Program and Africa Code Week. Our new collaboration with the BMZ provides additional opportunities for Africa’s young people and helps the continent to tap its enormous potential.”

The joint programme is planned to cover a period of three years. It emerged from the Strategic Partnership “Digital Africa”, a network uniting German development cooperation players and European companies. The BMZ supports the joint endeavour through its develoPPP for jobs programme, which fosters sustainable private sector initiatives in selected countries in Africa as part of the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation.

The programme will be implemented by the SAP Training and Development Institute as part of SAP’s established Young Professional Program, which has already created more than 2,200 jobs for jobseekers with higher education degrees in 22 countries around the world.

For more information, visit www.bmz.de/digitalesafrika (in German), https://www.developpp.de/en/ and www.sap.com/mena/tdi

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of SAP Africa.

For more information, visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews, @SAPAfrica.

About SAP
As the cloud company powered by SAP HANA®, SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP® system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. SAP helps give people and organizations deep business insight and fosters collaboration that helps them stay ahead of their competition. We simplify technology for companies so they can consume our software the way they want – without disruption. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables more than 425,000 business and public customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. For more information, visit www.sap.com.
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To preview and download broadcast-standard stock footage and press photos digitally, please visit www.sap.com/photos. On this platform, you can find high resolution material for your media channels. To view video stories on diverse topics, visit www.sap-tv.com. From this site, you can embed videos into your own Web pages, share video via email links, and subscribe to RSS feeds from SAP TV.
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Eritrea: Government officials and supporters target critics abroad as repression stretches beyond borders
June 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

GENEVA, Switzerland, June 27, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- As Eritrea sits in the foremost human rights body, the UN Human Rights Council, government officials and supporters abroad are harassing and intimidating exiled human rights defenders (HRDs) and activists simply for criticizing the oppressive regime, shows a new Amnesty International briefing out today.

The briefing, Repression without borders found that HRDs are particularly at risk in Kenya, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, where Amnesty International documented attacks by Eritrean government officials and supporters on government critics, including an Eritrean Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Father Mussie Zerai, and former BBC Africa Editor Martin Plaut.

“For many HRDs, fleeing Eritrea has not provided them with much respite from the repression many people die trying to escape. They have to constantly look over their shoulders and watch every word they say, afraid of the long arm of the Eritrean government which evidently extends across borders,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

Supporters of Eritrea’s ruling party and government officials use all manner of tactics to harass and intimidate critics of President Isaias Afwerki’s government and its human rights violations. These tactics include death threats, physical assault and spreading of lies.

The briefing, which examines the period from 2011 to May 2019, also highlights the authorities’ use of the militant youth wing of the ruling party to “fight the country’s enemies” in Europe and the USA.

In April this year, Eritrea’s Minister of Information Yemane Gebre Meskel, the ambassador to Japan, Estifanos Afeworki, and his counterpart in Kenya, Beyene Russom, took to Twitter and harassed, intimidated and disparaged organizers and participants of a conference in London on ‘Building Democracy in Eritrea’. In his tweet, Minister Gebre Meskel dismissed the organizers as “Eritrean quislings”.

“Such Twitter tirades by government officials clearly show the authorities’ intolerance of dissent and criticism by anyone anywhere, even at a time when the country is a member of the UN Human Rights Council,” said Joan Nyanyuki.

Militant party supporters

Supporters of Eritrea’s ruling People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), and notably its youth wing, the Young People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (YPFDJ), are at the forefront of these attacks on Eritrean human rights defenders and activists in Europe.

In deciding a defamation case in Amsterdam, a Dutch court in Feb 2016 ruled as follows:

“…YPFDJ receives instructions from the PFDJ, that the YPFDJ has (support of) the regime of Afwerki as its goal and that members of the YPFDJ are acting as informants for (the embassies of) the regime in Eritrea. The YPFDJ can thus, at this point, be called the extended arm of a dictatorial regime.”

Winta Yemane, born in Italy and eager to connect with her Eritrean roots, joined the youth wing while in high school, and participated in their 2011 annual conference held in Oslo, Norway. When she articulated her wishes for the country’s constitution, human rights and an independent judiciary, she quickly found herself on the wrong side of senior government officials in attendance.

“The officials said that I am a victim of misinformation by the western propaganda and enemies of Eritrea. They also said that my comments do not have weight because I am a minor. Three of the organizers even threatened to throw me out of the conference,” Winta told Amnesty International.

Upon returning home to Milan, she was stalked for a couple of weeks, received threatening phone calls from unknown numbers and was the victim of a smear campaign on social media.

Several other Eritreans living in the diaspora including Daniel Mekonnen, Director of the association of Eritrean lawyers in exile and Father Mussie Zerai, a Catholic priest nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015 for his work with migrants, also said they found themselves on the wrong side of the ruling party’s supporters and endured similar harassment and attacks.

This treatment is, however, not reserved for Eritreans. Former BBC Africa Editor Martin Plaut on 30 November 2018 was lured into a meeting with an Eritrean “source” at the British Library in London and doused with a bucket of liquid for his journalistic work on human rights in the country, and called a “traitor”. Eritrea’s Ambassador to Japan Estifanos Afeworki praised the journalist’s attack on Twitter.

Nairobi: “Subversive, Terrorists”

In Nairobi in 2013, following an initiative to set up and register a diaspora civic organisation – the Eritrean Diaspora for East Africa (EDEA), the Eritrean Embassy revoked the Eritrean passport of Chairman and Co-founder Hussein Osman Said and had him arrested in South Sudan by alleging that he was a terrorist working to sabotage the Eritrean government.

EDEA officials told Amnesty International when they tried to launch the organisation in February 2015, two people who identified themselves as members of Kenya’s National Intelligence Service ordered them not to proceed with the event, alleging that they had intelligence that EDEA had been established to overthrow the Eritrean government.

Such baseless claims against activities planned by Eritreans in Kenya continued in 2017, when the Eritrean Embassy wrote to the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON) claiming some 13 guests invited for an art exhibition were “subversive”. UNON subsequently barred the 13 from entering the UN complex at Gigiri, where the exhibition was taking place.

“Eritrea’s use of its embassies abroad to harass and repress its critics must not be allowed to continue,” said Joan Nyanyuki.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Amnesty International.

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Significant new annual research grant of $150,000 for African environmental research
June 26, 2019 | 0 Comments
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, June 26, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer Research Grant (JWO Grant) is calling on the next generation of environmental researchers and conservation leaders from Africa to apply for an annual $150 000.00 grant.
Applications will open on 5 July 2019 to prospective grant recipients. 
The JWO Grant is set up to honour the late Mrs Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer and to continue her contribution to and passion for Africa, the environment and cutting-edge science.
Jonathan Oppenheimer said: “Jennifer was committed to the preservation of Africa’s natural heritage, and the need for investment into science to enable development. I am delighted to be launching this annual grant in her name and excited about the potential solutions that brilliant, young researchers, from the continent, will bring to this important endeavour.”
The JWO Grant will support an African-led research programme which significantly contributes to the advancement of environmental and allied sciences – specifically to identify and address real-world issues which affect Africa.
It aims to advance recognised environmental priorities across the African continent and the globe such as those in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
The Grant will be awarded annually to support a new three-year research programme. The JWO Grant will officially be launched with the announcement of the first grant winner at the annual 10th Oppenheimer Research Conference (ORC) – themed Advancing conservation consciousness – which will be held later this year between 1-3 October 2019.
Who qualifies?

The lead applicant should be an emerging African-born scientist, affiliated to a credible African institution. The proposed research should have a focus on solving African issues. The JWO Grant specifically targets inter- and multi-disciplinary research, concentrating on the natural environment, approached through a direct or supporting field. The fields include, but are not limited to:
Atmospheric sciences, Environmental technology, Archaeology, Environmental toxicology/pollution, Biology Environmental/ecological economics, Botany, Geosciences, Climate change, Hydrology, Conservation, Limnology, Ecology, Natural resource management, Energy, Oceanography, Environmental archaeology, Palaeontology, Environmental chemistry, Soil science, Environmental cultural anthropology/history, Sustainability science, Environmental engineering, Waste management, Environmental health, Water management, Environmental rehabilitation and remediation, Zoology and Environmental social science.
How to apply

The application process consists of two stages: the pre-proposal, which is open to all eligible applicants, and the full-proposal stage, which is by invitation only.
Pre-proposals must include the lead applicant’s details, a brief research concept, a project team overview, a high-level budget, a letter of support from the applicant’s institution and three references. Closing date for pre-proposals is 22 July 2019 at 5pm. Successful applicants will be notified via email.
Full proposals will include detailed technical and budget information. Invitations open 12 August and the full-proposal deadline is 9 September. The successful candidate will officially be awarded the JWO Research Grant at the annual 10th Oppenheimer Research Conference on 1 – 3 October 2019 in Midrand, Johannesburg, and will be required to present an overview of their research programme at the event.
 
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA)on behalf of JWO Grant.
 
 
Please address all media queries to:
Kgomotso Moalusi 
(011) 566 6425
 
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Nairobi Moves Up In Mercer’s 25th Annual Cost Of Living Survey And Joins Other Expensive Cities
June 26, 2019 | 0 Comments
  • Cities in Asia most expensive locations for employees working abroad
  • The world’s least expensive cities are Tunis, Tashkent and Karachi

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 26, 2019-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Mercer, a global consulting leader in advancing health, wealth and careers, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), has released the results of its 2019 Cost of Living survey, ranking cities around the world.

Generally the cost of living in Nairobi, Kenya is moderate compared to other expat destinations. Last year, the Mercer Cost of Living report ranked it as a mid-range expense location (123rd out of 209 cities). However according to this year’s report, Nairobi has gone up from 123 to 97 on the ranking for the most costly cities.

N’Djamena, Chad takes the lead as the highest-ranking city in Africa. Kinshasa, Dem. Rep. of Congo (22) is in second place, rising fifteen places. Libreville, Gabon (24) is the next African city on the list, followed by Lagos, Nigeria (25), which moved up seventeen places. And despite dropping about 20 places, Luanda, Angola (26) still remains in fifth place.

“Each African country has its own unique economy and this is why multinationals need not approach their expatriate packages for Africa with one single strategy. Let’s look at it this way, while a city like N’Djamena in Chad has been listed as the 11th most expensive city in the world, whereas Mali comes in at the 124th position in terms of cost of living,” said Yolanda Sedlmaier, Principal Leader – Africa Mobility at Mercer.

In a rapidly changing world, mobility programs have become a core component of multinational organizations’ global talent strategy. Organizations realize that to thrive they must embrace change, adapt to new technologies, and build emerging skills to attract, motivate, and enhance talent.

“In a skill-focused economy driven by digital disruption and the need for a globally connected workforce, deploying expatriate employees is an increasingly important aspect of a competitive business strategy for global companies,” said Ilya Bonic, President of Mercer’s Career business. “There are numerous personal and organizational advantages for sending employees overseas, including career development, global experience, new skillsets, and re-allocation of resources. By offering fair and competitive compensation packages, organizations can facilitate moves that drive business results.”

Mercer’s 25th annual Cost of Living Survey finds that a number of factors, including currency fluctuations, cost of inflation for goods and services, and volatility in accommodation prices, contribute to the overall cost of expatriate packages for employees on international assignments.

Global ranking
Mercer’s 2019 Cost of Living Survey finds that eight out of the top ten of the world’s most expensive cities for expatriates are Asian cities, resulting from high costs for expatriate consumer goods and a dynamic housing market. Tokyo (2), Singapore (3) and Seoul (4) top the list, while the costliest city in the world for the second consecutive year is Hong Kong (1). Other cities appearing in the top ten are Zurich (5), Shanghai (6), Ashgabat (7), Beijing (8), New York City (9), and Shenzhen (10). The world’s least expensive cities for expatriates are Tunis (209), Tashkent (208), and Karachi (207).

Mercer’s widely recognized survey is one of the world’s most comprehensive, and is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees. New York City is used as the base city for all comparisons, and currency movements are measured against the US dollar. The survey includes over 500 cities throughout the world; this year’s ranking includes 209 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.

Mercer produces individual cost of living and rental accommodation cost reports for each city surveyed. For more information on city rankings, visit https://mobilityexchange.mercer.com/Insights/cost-of-living-rankings.

Notes for Editors
The figures for Mercer’s cost of living and rental accommodation cost comparisons are derived from a survey conducted in March 2019. Exchange rates from that time and Mercer’s international basket of goods and services from its Cost of Living Survey have been used as base measurements.

Governments and major companies use data from this survey to protect the purchasing power of their employees when transferred abroad; rental accommodation costs data is used to assess local expatriate housing allowances. The choice of cities surveyed is based on demand for data.

Mercer Cost of Living Survey – Worldwide Rankings 2019
(Mercer international basket, including rental accommodation costs)

Rank as of March

City

Country/Region

2018

2019

1

1

HONG KONG

Hong Kong (SAR)

2

2

TOKYO

Japan

4

3

SINGAPORE

Singapore

5

4

SEOUL

South Korea

3

5

ZURICH

Switzerland

7

6

SHANGHAI

China

43

7

ASHGABAT

Turkmenistan

9

8

BEIJING

China

13

9

NEW YORK CITY

United States

12

10

SHENZHEN

China

8

11

NDJAMENA

Chad

10

12

BERN

Switzerland

11

13

GENEVA

Switzerland

21

14

VICTORIA

Seychelles

16

15

TEL AVIV

Israel

28

16

SAN FRANCISCO

United States

15

17

GUANGZHOU

China

35

18

LOS ANGELES

United States

23

19

OSAKA

Japan

14

20

COPENHAGEN

Denmark

26

21

DUBAI

United Arab Emirates

37

22

KINSHASA

Dem. Rep. of the Congo

19

23

LONDON

United Kingdom

18

24

LIBREVILLE

Gabon

42

25

LAGOS

Nigeria

6

26

LUANDA

Angola

17

27

MOSCOW

Russia

25

27

NANJING

China

22

29

NOUMEA

New Caledonia

24

30

ABIDJAN

Côte d’Ivoire

31

30

CHENGDU

China

29

32

TIANJIN

China

40

33

ABU DHABI

United Arab Emirates

41

33

NAGOYA

Japan

27

35

TAIPEI

Taiwan

45

35

RIYADH

Saudi Arabia

51

37

CHICAGO

United States

54

38

HONOLULU

United States

19

39

BRAZZAVILLE

Congo

52

40

BANGKOK

Thailand

36

41

QINGDAO

China

56

42

WASHINGTON

United States

32

43

DUBLIN

Ireland

60

44

MIAMI

United States

33

45

MILAN

Italy

38

45

SHENYANG

China

34

47

PARIS

France

66

47

DHAKA

Bangladesh

70

49

BOSTON

United States

29

50

SYDNEY

Australia

39

51

VIENNA

Austria

43

52

YAOUNDE

Cameroon

65

53

BEIRUT

Lebanon

48

54

BANGUI

Central African Republic

46

55

ROME

Italy

79

56

WHITE PLAINS

United States

77

57

MANAMA

Bahrain

50

58

AMSTERDAM

Netherlands

73

59

DJIBOUTI

Djibouti

86

59

HOUSTON

United States

47

61

OSLO

Norway

85

62

DALLAS

United States

63

63

ACCRA

Ghana

90

64

SEATTLE

United States

53

65

HELSINKI

Finland

73

66

DOUALA

Cameroon

55

67

MUMBAI

India

57

67

MUNICH

Germany

95

69

ATLANTA

United States

75

70

MONTEVIDEO

Uruguay

97

70

MORRISTOWN

United States

62

72

DAKAR

Senegal

95

72

SAN JUAN

Puerto Rico

68

74

FRANKFURT

Germany

49

75

ST. PETERSBURG

Russia

94

75

AMMAN

Jordan

67

77

BRUSSELS

Belgium

102

78

MINNEAPOLIS

United States

58

79

MELBOURNE

Australia

69

79

SANTIAGO

Chile

71

81

BERLIN

Germany

64

82

MADRID

Spain

97

83

PORT OF SPAIN

Trinidad & Tobago

71

84

LUXEMBOURG

Luxembourg

99

85

ABUJA

Nigeria

58

86

SAO PAULO

Brazil

61

87

PERTH

Australia

106

88

CONAKRY

Guinea

81

89

AUCKLAND

New Zealand

116

90

DETROIT

United States

79

91

BARCELONA

Spain

82

92

DUSSELDORF

Germany

114

93

PANAMA CITY

Panama

122

94

ST. LOUIS

United States

93

95

LISBON

Portugal

77

96

CANBERRA

Australia

83

97

PRAGUE

Czech Republic

123

97

NAIROBI

Kenya

125

97

PITTSBURGH

United States

88

100

HAMBURG

Germany

117

100

JEDDAH

Saudi Arabia

106

102

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Brunei

84

103

BRISBANE

Australia

117

103

MUSCAT

Oman

117

105

JAKARTA

Indonesia

125

106

CLEVELAND

United States

130

107

PORTLAND

United States

142

108

PHNOM PENH

Cambodia

87

109

ADELAIDE

Australia

138

109

MANILA

Philippines

92

111

RIGA

Latvia

109

112

VANCOUVER

Canada

137

112

HANOI

Vietnam

101

114

WELLINGTON

New Zealand

109

115

TORONTO

Canada

115

115

DOHA

Qatar

91

117

YANGON

Myanmar

103

118

NEW DELHI

India

121

119

KUWAIT CITY

Kuwait

124

120

HO CHI MINH CITY

Vietnam

99

121

RIO DE JANEIRO

Brazil

132

121

LIMA

Peru

105

123

LYON

France

120

124

BAMAKO

Mali

104

125

POINTE A PITRE

Guadeloupe

108

126

STUTTGART

Germany

89

127

STOCKHOLM

Sweden

111

128

COTONOU

Benin

112

128

ATHENS

Greece

128

128

CASABLANCA

Morocco

113

131

BRATISLAVA

Slovakia

141

131

SAN JOSE

Costa Rica

76

133

BUENOS AIRES

Argentina

165

133

HAVANA

Cuba

128

135

BIRMINGHAM

United Kingdom

130

136

GUATEMALA CITY

Guatemala

134

137

ABERDEEN

United Kingdom

161

138

WINSTON SALEM

United States

147

139

MONTREAL

Canada

140

140

TALLINN

Estonia

145

141

KUALA LUMPUR

Malaysia

132

142

LJUBLJANA

Slovenia

138

143

ZAGREB

Croatia

157

144

MEXICO CITY

Mexico

134

145

LOME

Togo

134

145

OUAGADOUGOU

Burkina Faso

148

145

GLASGOW

United Kingdom

156

148

QUITO

Ecuador

143

149

NIAMEY

Niger

173

150

KIEV

Ukraine

145

151

NUREMBERG

Germany

148

152

VILNIUS

Lithuania

154

153

CALGARY

Canada

144

154

CHENNAI

India

163

154

ISTANBUL

Turkey

150

156

LEIPZIG

Germany

164

157

KINGSTON

Jamaica

152

158

BELFAST

United Kingdom

179

159

MAPUTO

Mozambique

165

160

RABAT

Morocco

153

161

LIMASSOL

Cyprus

160

161

OTTAWA

Canada

161

161

PORT LOUIS

Mauritius

151

164

BUDAPEST

Hungary

125

165

PORT AU PRINCE

Haiti

172

166

TIRANA

Albania

174

166

SAN SALVADOR

El Salvador

188

166

CAIRO

Egypt

178

169

SANTO DOMINGO

Dominican Republic

168

170

BOGOTA

Colombia

180

171

DAR ES SALAAM

Tanzania

183

171

ADDIS ABABA

Ethiopia

154

173

WARSAW

Poland

158

174

BRASILIA

Brazil

169

175

KIGALI

Rwanda

176

176

BUCHAREST

Romania

175

177

SOFIA

Bulgaria

186

178

BAKU

Azerbaijan

170

179

BENGALURU

India

170

180

CAPE TOWN

South Africa

181

181

BELGRADE

Serbia

158

182

COLOMBO

Sri Lanka

192

183

KAMPALA

Uganda

195

184

ALGIERS

Algeria

177

185

JOHANNESBURG

South Africa

183

186

ASUNCION

Paraguay

193

187

MONTERREY

Mexico

165

188

HARARE

Zimbabwe

182

189

KOLKATA

India

189

189

GABORONE

Botswana

187

191

ALMATY

Kazakhstan

194

192

NOUAKCHOTT

Mauritania

204

193

BLANTYRE

Malawi

191

194

SARAJEVO

Bosnia and Herzegovina

199

195

LA PAZ

Bolivia

185

196

LUSAKA

Zambia

198

197

YEREVAN

Armenia

202

198

MINSK

Belarus

201

199

TEGUCIGALPA

Honduras

200

200

MANAGUA

Nicaragua

197

201

SKOPJE

Macedonia

203

202

TBILISI

Georgia

190

203

ISLAMABAD

Pakistan

196

204

WINDHOEK

Namibia

206

204

BANJUL

Gambia

207

206

BISHKEK

Kyrgyzstan

205

207

KARACHI

Pakistan

209

208

TASHKENT

Uzbekistan

208

209

TUNIS

Tunisia

Source: Mercer’s 2019 Cost of Living Survey

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Mercer.

About Mercer
Mercer delivers advice and technology-driven solutions that help organizations meet the health, wealth and career needs of a changing workforce. Mercer’s more than 23,000 employees are based in 44 countries and the firm operates in over 130 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies(NYSE: MMC), the leading global professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With 75,000 colleagues and annualized revenue approaching $17 billion, Marsh & McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. Marsh & McLennan Companies is also the parent company of Marsh, which advises individual and commercial clients of all sizes on insurance broking and innovative risk management solutions; Guy Carpenter, which develops advanced risk, reinsurance and capital strategies that help clients grow profitably and pursue emerging opportunities; and Oliver Wyman, which serves as a critical strategic, economic and brand advisor to private sector and governmental clients.For more information, visit www.mercer-africa.com. Follow Mercer on LinkedIn Mercer Africa.

Media Contact
Zwile Nkosi
zwile.nkosi@mercer.com
+27 66 483 8974

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