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Strengthening Africa’s fragmented data landscape is key to meeting development targets, says new African Governance Report by Mo Ibrahim Foundation
October 15, 2019 | 0 Comments
Mo Ibrahim

African governments and partners need to step up efforts to close ‘data gaps’ in SDGs tracking and ensure Agenda 2063 can be monitored and measured

Dakar and London, 15 October 2019 – The African Governance Report, published today by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, draws on data from the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) and shares new insights on progress towards the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063 and the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It points to where policy efforts can be focussed to tackle current governance challenges, and highlights the urgency of addressing the ‘data gap’ in Africa to ensure progress can be assessed and shortfalls addressed.

This is a critical time as Africa prepares to enter the last decade of the 2030 SDG Agenda and is halfway through the First Ten-Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063.

Overall Governance scores in the IIAG, the most comprehensive dataset on African governance, point to a strong correlation with performance in the Africa SDG Index, underscoring the importance of good governance to sustainable development in Africa.

Reviewing the themes with the highest overlaps between both Agendas and the IIAG – Access to and Quality of Education, Health and NutritionWomen and Youth InclusionProsperity and Economic Opportunity, and Security, Justice and Strong Institutions – the report highlights priority areas to address.

Quality of education needs to be addressed, aligning education with market needs can also be advanced if governments and partners take a closer look at prioritising active engagement with the private sector, to assess the requirements of the job market.

In health, special attention should be paid to the availability, quality, affordability and capacity of health services, while also tackling food security.

For prosperity and economic opportunity, the report notes that governments and partners should look at diversifying economies, accelerating progress in infrastructure – specifically physical transport, electricity and ICT –increasing investment in the rural sector, and strengthening regional integration, to make efficient progress.

Important correlations between IIAG measures are outlined to help create a more conducive environment for achieving development targets. For example, access to electricity shows a strong correlation to performance in both health and education.

Crucially, a concerning picture of data challenges emerge across the continent. Almost half of the targets for Agenda 2063 are not directly quantifiable and so far, fewer than 20% have an indicator to measure progress. On average fewer than 40% of the indicators for the SDGs have sufficient data to track progress accurately on the continent. The report highlights that over half of the data source types on SDG indicators on Africa are estimation, modelling or global monitoring. In particular, only one third of data sources on SDG indicators on Africa are from direct country sources. The ability to monitor progress towards development targets in Africa is compromised.

Since the adoption of both Agendas, coverage and frequency of publicly available data for key data categories in Africa have declined. Critically, one of the areas that has seen, on average, large deterioration is population and vital statistics. Further, only eight African countries have a birth registration system that covers 90% or more of the population over the last ten years (2009-2018), and only three have a death registration system that covers 90% or more of the population. The paucity of such vital data is in striking contrast with population growth – Africa is expected to be home to 1.68 billion people by 2030.

Without accurate and complete vital statistics, it is impossible to implement effective solutions to any development challenge and to deliver for citizens. Since 2008, little average improvement in statistical capacity has been made, according to IIAG data. This issue is compounded by low levels of independence of national statistics offices.

The report calls for Sound Data for Governance in order to ensure inclusive development: the ‘missing SDG’.

Mo Ibrahim, Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, said: “We welcome continued efforts to improve governance, which is crucial to achieving the SDGs and Agenda 2063 goals. However, we are deeply worried by the inability to accurately monitor progress against these targets on the continent. Data is an essential foundation for effective policymaking and resource mobilisation. Without data, we drive blind – policies are misdirected and progress on the road to development is stunted. We must all act urgently to close the ‘data gap’, if indeed we aim to leave no one behind.”

Access the 2019 African Governance Report directly: mif.media/gr-2019

  • The Mo Ibrahim Foundation was established in 2006 with a focus on the critical importance of leadership and governance in Africa, by providing tools to assess and support progress in leadership and governance.
  • The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) provides an annual assessment of the quality of governance in African countries and is the most comprehensive collection of data on African governance.
  • With ten years of data to draw from, the IIAG is uniquely positioned to measure trends in governance, providing in-depth analysis on how the quality of governance has changed over the past five years (2013-2017) within the context of the last decade (2008-2017), and what has or could be key to Africa’s transformation.
  • The Mo Ibrahim Foundation releases a new Index dataset with updated scores, ranks and trends every two years, while publishing an annual IIAG African Governance Report, focussed on African governance trends and challenges.
  • The next dataset update will be released in October 2020.
  • In every iteration, MIF – assisted by the IIAG’s Advisory Council – looks at improving the structure, components and methodology of the IIAG. Due to this revision, MIF recalculates all scores in the Index for each iteration.
  • The IIAG contains analysis across 102 indicators from 35 independent African and global data institutions to cover all 54 African counties in the areas of Safety & Rule of LawParticipation & Human RightsSustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development.
  • The Africa SDG Index is produced by the SDG Center for Africa and Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The Index ranks countries on a scale from 0 (the worst score) to 100 (the best score). Tunisia’s score of 66.01, the highest score in Africa, suggesting that the country is 66% of the way towards achieving the SDG. The Index provides an overall performance score and a score for each of the 17 SDGs.
  • The Data Portal is a user-friendly interface that offers a bespoke analysis of governance ranks, scores and trends for each country. Users can create shareable charts and graphics from the data.
  • Access the IIAG Data Portal directly: http://iiag.online/

*Source Mo Ibrahim Foundation

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Mozambique’s Gas Projects Enter Implementation Phase
October 14, 2019 | 0 Comments

With a second FID in just 2 years, Mozambique has officially positioned itself as a key player in the global gas and LNG market for years to come. The latest FID on the US$20 billion Mozambique LNG project, makes it the largest sanction ever in sub-Saharan Africa oil and gas. Described by His Excellency President Nyusi as “one of the most important and transformational projects in the country’s history”, Mozambique LNG is set to be a game-changer for this East African nation of 31 million people. 

According to Wood Mac, from the early 2030s state revenue from Mozambique LNG alone will reach US$3 billion per annum, single-handedly doubling today’s revenue as calculated by the IMF and World Bank.

And this is not the only mega-LNG project on the drawing board. ExxonMobil’s Rovuma LNG project, which envisages a 15 million tpa two-train facility taking gas from its offshore area 4 block, is also lined up to take FID. Meanwhile, Italy’s ENI is already moving ahead with its 3.4 million tpa floating LNG facility, which will draw on 5 TCF of gas in waters more than 2,000 metres deep with first gas due in mid-2022.

“With strong LNG demand growth out of Asia, now is Mozambique’s time,” said Jon Lawrence, an analyst with Wood Mackenzie’s sub-Saharan Africa upstream team, as news broke of the Anadarko FID.

With FIDs signed, the projects are now moving from the planning into the implementation phase. Hundreds of contracts are expected to be tendered for the construction, infrastructure and services needed to build and develop the megaprojects.

More recently, on October 8th, Mozambique Rovuma Venture (MRV) Area 4 operator decided to move ahead with the midstream and upstream project activities of over US $500 million as initial investments. These investments include activities such as the construction of the pioneer camp, the development of resettlement activities, the construction of the airstrip and access roads, as well as the start of detailed LNG facility engineering project.

It makes this the ideal time to participate at the 6th Mozambique Gas Summit & Exhibition, in partnership with ENH, taking place on 13-14 November in Maputo. The event is the official platform to hear from key decision-makers in this fast-emerging LNG hotspot, including key Government figures, policy-makers and all the major project stakeholders who will be in attendance. This edition is taking place at a time of exciting change including; the construction of FLNG, the progress in drilling activities in Cabo Delgado and Angoche, and the infrastructure development in Pemba Logistics Base. The event is organised in partnership with ENH, with support from MIREME, INP and industry stakeholders ExxonMobil, Total Mozambique LNG, TechnipFMC, FNB, Sasol, Baker Hughes, Standard Bank and G4S.

More information at: https://www.mozambique-gas-summit.com/

About ENH:

The National Hydrocarbon Company represents the state in oil operations. It is a business group with competence to participate in all petroleum operations and in the respective phases of the exploration, exploration, production, refining, transportation, storage and marketing activities of hydrocarbons and their derivatives, including LNG and GTL inside and outside the country. Established in 1981, headquartered in Maputo and branches in Pemba and Vilankulo, ENH has adjusted its business structure to the needs of industry and the national and international market. ENH’s activities, as an integrated group, also take place through partnerships that it has established in the last years, in particular, that have allowed the main activity, Upstream, with actions focused on Oil and Gas research, development and production, achieve the goals of increasing discovery probabilities in the research phase and optimizing resource recovery in the production phase.

At the downstream level, ENH develops activities in the hydrocarbon value chain with the aim of diversifying and enhancing the gas use in Mozambique.

About CWC:

Headquartered in London, CWC Group has an impressive 22 years’ track record in delivering conferences, exhibitions and professional training globally that focus on oil, gas and infrastructure. With established relationships with over 60 of the world’s governments and national oil companies (NOCs), CWC has produced over 600 events and more than 400 training courses in the last two decades. CWC Group won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – International Trade twice, recognising its continued contribution to international trade. This is one of the most coveted awards in the UK industry and it’s awarded by H.M. the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister, assisted by an Advisory Committee.

More information here: https://www.thecwcgroup.com/

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Mixed Reactions Trail Sack Of AU Ambassador to The USA
October 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

The decision to remove Ambassador Arikana has divided opinions.

By Ajong Mbapndah L

A few months shy of a third year in office, Ambassador Arikana Chihombori-Quao was notified by the African Union Chairman Moussa Faki that her stint had come to an end.

“In line with the terms and conditions of service covering your appointment as permanent Representative of the AU to the USA, I have decided to terminate your appointment with effect from 1st Nov 2019,” read the letter from Chairman Faki to Ambassador Arikana.

Sent from the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa on 7 October, the letter expresses appreciation to Ambassador Arikana for her constant commitment to African causes, and the great contribution she has made to the continental organization.

In the letter, Chairman Faki expresses confidence that Ambassador Arikana will continue to render services to Mother Africa in future endeavors.

While the decision from Chairman Faki may appear as a routine change considering that others have previously served before Ambassador Arikana, tongues are wagging in Washington,DC , and the decision has not gone down well with some of her partisans.

So furious are her partisans that the unprecedented move of creating on an online petition on Change.Org. Initiated by Prof. Apollos Nwauwa who  signed as Secretary of the African Diaspora Union, the petition is calling on the African Union to reinstate Ambassador Arikana.

“Dr. Chihombori-Quao has spoken globally to sensitize and empower all peoples of African Descent to come together and build the “Africa We Want” as adopted in African Union Agenda 2063,” the petition read.

“Not everyone is embracing her bold but honest discourses for effecting change for the betterment of Africa.  On October 7th, 2019, Ambassador Quao was relieved of her position as the “Permanent Ambassador” in a unilateral decision made by the African Union Commission Chairman without any hearing or explanation, and yet presented as representing the opinions of all 55 countries.”

The petition goes further to ask a series of questions surrounding her ouster. “why was she dismissed, or better, who benefits from her removal? Were African heads of states and governments consulted? Who called the shot? Or is Africa, and peoples of African descent, still facing the debilitating effects of modern colonialism or neocolonialism?”

Though no reason was given for the removal of Arikana nor were reasons always given for the departure of some of her predecessors, some of her supporters believe that it may not be unrelated to her hyper activism ,and blunt critique of the colonial legacy that still holds Africa hostage.

Making allusion to a widely circulated video in which she lashed out at the Berlin conference, and fingered the French for its monetary policies that have continued colonization of Africa in a different form, supporters of Arikana believe that AU Chair Moussa Faki may have been pressured by outside forces to terminate her appointment.They point to the fact that the video which was previously posted on the AU website was inexplicably pulled down within three weeks despite the excitement it generated.

Arikana who has not issued a formal statement, was viewed by some Washington players as blurring the line between activism and diplomacy. You are either one or the other, said a source.  While he lauded Ambassador Arikana for bringing more vibrancy to the AU Mission in Washington,DC, the source said the activist part of Ambassador was bound to ruffle feathers,in Washington and beyond,  and her departure was bound to come sooner or later. Still, the source said he will not like to read so much meaning into the decision to relieve Ambassador Arikana of her duties. Ambassadors come and go, and there is no reason for her to be an exception he went on.Citing the letter from Faki and the dynamism of Ambassador Arikana, the source said there definitely will be plenty of opportunities out there for her to be of high profile service to Africa especially in capacities where diplomatic niceties will not be a burden to her.

“I do not know how the letter that was supposed to be meant for Ambassador Arikana went viral,” said another source from the African -American Community in Washington, DC. She had great passion for Africa and we hope her replacement builds on her successes, he said.

On the profile of the ideal replacement, he said, Chairman Faki could appoint another female Ambassador, someone equally dynamic, with a better understanding of how Africa and Washington work. Washington has its dynamics, and the AU will be better served with the appointment of someone who has a through mastery of these dynamics ,he said.

Meanwhile as of press time, the petition on Change.Org had garnered some 2000 signatures.

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Centurion Moderates Discussion on Africa’s Downstream Sector at Africa Oil & Power
October 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
Zion Adeoye
The discussion centered on ways to make energy access more reliable and affordable for Africans and how to better balance supply and demand for key commodities
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, October 12, 2019/ — Centurion Law (http://www.CenturionLG.com) animated and moderated an industry discussion on Africa’s downstream sector and the continent’s shifting trade routes at the Africa Oil & Power Conference in Cape Town today. Led by Senior Associate Zion Adeoye, the discussion centered on ways to make energy access more reliable and affordable for Africans and how to better balance supply and demand for key commodities such as oil, natural gas and petroleum products.

The conversation was joined by leading African energy executives such as Mohsin Seedat, interim CEO at iGas, Eghosa Oriaikni Mabhena, Head of Africa at Puma Energy, Muzi W. Mkhize, Regulator Member for Petroleum Pipelines at the South African National Energy Regulator, SAR Managing Director Serigne Mboup, and Igho Charles Sanomi, CEO at the Taleveras Group.

Reminding the audience that Africa’s downstream sector is marked by outdated refineries and lack of refining capacities, Zion Adeoye led the participants to provide a detailed assessment of the continent’s current supply and demand scenario. “The market reach is diversifying,” declared Mohin Seedat. “Oil & gas is becoming more accessible and the retail segment is also evolving.”

Most African oil nations are either revamping and expanding their existing refineries, or building and planning new ones. Such additional capacity will be transforming current industry dynamics, and the panel highlighted the opportunities that will be coming in terms of rebalancing fiscal deficits for big importers of petroleum products, and of further diversifying into petrochemicals and value added products. “Maintaining the balancing of demand and supply for traders is key to shifting Africa’s trade routes,” said Eghosa Oriaikhi Mabhena.

Concluding the discussion, the panelists were all in agreement that a downstream master plan for the whole of Africa is urgently needed to ensure that infrastructure efforts are not inefficiently duplicated, especially on a regional basis. 
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37-year-old Cameroonian dies in US immigration custody
October 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Refugees and migrants wait at the El Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, hoping to enter the US [Walker Dawson/Al Jazeera]

A Cameroonian immigrant identified by news reports as Nebane Abienwi who was en route to the United States to experience the American dream has died while in custody of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE.

His death at an immigration facility in San Diego, California, has sparked outrage pushing a coalition of black immigration rights organizations to demand an explanation into the circumstances leading to his demise.

  The Cameroon American Council, CAC, on Monday, held a vigil to mourn Abienwi, who was seeking asylum in the U.S. after fleeing from his Cameroon.

According to Face2Face Africa, he died October 1, after being treated for a brain hemorrhage at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center.

ICE said Abienwi had been in detention at the Otay Mesa Detention Center.

In a statement wherein they describing the death of Abienwi as “devastating”, the black immigrant rights organization condemned the use of detention centers to “imprison our people.” It also demanded more information on the circumstances which led to his death.

“We demand to know the circumstances under which Nebane lost his life. Black immigrants, in particular, report horrific experiences of anti-Blackness, abuse, and harassment while in detention,” the organization said in a statement on October 3.

ICE says it is “firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is undertaking a comprehensive agency-wide review of this incident, as it does in all such cases.”

In a news release, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency which oversees immigration-related issues particularly in the Southern borders no said Abienwi did not have “proper entry documents” when he crossed through the port of entry.

The coalition, insisting he should not have been detained in the first place.

“No one should be locked up for seeking safety and wanting a better life,” the alliance said. “Black immigrants, in particular, report horrific experiences of anti-blackness, abuse, and harassment while in detention,” the group also said.

Death toll of immigrants in ICE custody continues to make headlines raising questions as to possible detention situation in the facilities. 

The number of Cameroonians applying for asylum to the U.S. increased from about 600 in 2012 to more than 1,300 in 2016, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees per latest data.

Since 2016 with the escalation of civil unrest in its English-speaking regions that has claimed the lives of hundreds, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees estimates that more than 30.000 Cameroonians have fled their home.

Most of them are said to be in neighboring Nigeria. Hundreds have made the painstaking journey via the Amazon forest in an attempt to cross over to the US through Mexico.

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Senegal University wins fourth International architectural prizes
October 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

view of the building (photo: IDOM)

A University in Senegal Bambey townhood has risen to fame after a makeover and sustainable extension of its infrastructure. 

The Alioune Diop University in Bambey, Senegal, established since 2007 has in recent years been ripping international awards and recognition after its transformation in 2012.

Established at the heart of the Sahara Desert which does not shy from blessing its inhabitants with immense radiation of the sun rising temperatures above 45°C, the 2012 works at the campus whose design is conceived as a tree is nothing short of an architectural marvel. 

The architecture 

Designed by IDOM, the new block at the University of Bambey features a double roof and a double skin that provide shelter and coolness without any energy consumption guaranteeing students with two basic assets in the desert-region; Shadow and water. 

The extension was built as a large tree to provide shelter, coolness, and comfort for students, without any energy consumption.

With a large roof and a second skin of blocks with triangular perforations, the direct radiation of the sun rays is avoided, allowing air circulation instead. The double roof and the double skin generate voids of one and three meters respectively. 

The heat is concentrated on the external facade and disperses from the roof, favored by the inclination of the latter. To further refresh the air and avoid the presence of malaria-bearing mosquitoes, citronella has been planted in the interstitial spaces. The constant flow of air reduces the temperature by 10-15°C compared to the external one – usually 40-45°C.

Regional and International awards

Impossible for such work of art to unnoticed, the Alioune Diop University has since the opening of its new extension made international headlines while bagging coveted awards the world over.

Recently it was awarded the highest honors at the “Aga KHAN” architecture award ceremony in Kazan, Russia. The prestigious architecture award given once every three years is awarded to projects that set new standards of excellence in architecture, planning practices, historic preservation, and landscape architecture.

Due to its self-sufficient infrastructure, the teaching and research department of the Senegal-based University emerged as one of the 5 Laureates of 2019 for setting new standards of excellence in architecture making it entitled to the cash prize of one million US dollars shared between the laureates.

In July of 2018, the extension project was selected out of hundreds of structures worldwide as winner at the Spanish Architecture and Urbanism Biennale prompting the architecture critic Anatxu Zabalbeascoa to commented that; “although it is true that many of the prizewinning buildings share an aesthetic based on the scarcity of means, the fashion of the povera would generate distrust if it were not so entirely sustainable and cost-effective. Drawing on, it indicates that tradition can be associated with technology both in the humblest projects and those signed off by large firms, such as IDOM, in its award-winning extension of the Alioune Diop University in Diourbel.” 

Barely three months later the University was again acknowledged as Best Regenerative Impact Building at the LEAF Awards, in Frankfurt, Germany. With the jury stating that the award was well merited “due to its exceptional contribution in terms of community impact, the sustainability in its construction and how waste was managed…with an elegant architecture rarely seen when using local materials.”

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African Development Bank partners with Senegal to host 2021 World Water Forum
October 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
The forum will take place in the Senegalese capital 22 – 27 March 2021, on the theme of ‘Water Security for Peace and Development’
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, October 11, 2019/ — A Senegalese government delegation, led by the country’s Minister of Water and Sanitation, His Excellency Serigne Mbaye Thiam, briefed the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) on Senegal’s preparations to host the World Water Forum (https://bit.ly/35mwCLg) in Dakar in March 2021.

Minister Thiam met with the Bank’s Vice President for Agriculture, Human, and Social Development, Jennifer Blanke, and her senior management team on 8 October to discuss the Bank’s participation in the event’s organization and delivery.

“The forum is a great opportunity for the Bank to showcase and advance its water and sanitation agenda, and we commend the government of Senegal for the preparatory work they have done so far,” said Vice President Blanke.

The forum will take place in the Senegalese capital 22 – 27 March 2021, on the theme of ‘Water Security for Peace and Development’.

Minister Thiam thanked the Bank for its contributions, including its sponsorship of women and youth delegates to the forum preparation meeting in June 2019. “Our government is counting on the African Development Bank to help mobilize the enormous resources that will be needed to make this first sub-Saharan-hosted World Water Forum a great success,” he said.

At a separate briefing for the Bank’s water development and sanitation department as well as other Bank staff, the executive secretary of the forum’s organizing committee Abdoulaye Sene offered a detailed presentation of event preparations and took questions about the forum known as the “world’s largest event on water.”

“The Bank, as a leader in supporting water sector development in Africa, will play an important role in supporting delivery of the forum,” said Wambui Gichuri, director of the Bank’s water development and sanitation department.

Sene told the Bank officials that Dakar is expecting more than 20,000 participants from more than 170 countries. “Awarding the hosting of this forum to Senegal is a testament to the urgency of the water issue for Africa and to the country’s commitment to the water agenda,” he said.

The executive secretary said the forum will be “a focused, inclusive, integrated, open-ended multi-stakeholder process, interacting and synergizing with international events,” Sene also said that the ‘Dakar 2021’ forum would address the present and future global issues for man and nature, serving as a catalyst and accelerator of universal access to water and sanitation, as well as for the Sustainable Development Goals for Senegal, Africa and the world.

The theme of the forum aligns with the Bank’s ten-year strategy for 2013-2022 (https://bit.ly/2fDF5V6), which confirms the importance of water security for Africa’s quality social and economic development. The strategy states that investments in integrated water development and management are central to sustainable water, food and energy security for green and inclusive growth.
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It Is Time to Create Aggressive Market-Driven Policies That Spur Economic Growth
October 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
The African Energy Chamber insisted on the need for fair regulations that are supportive of local industries whole encouraging international investments
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, October 10, 2019/ — The African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org/) advocated for better regulatory frameworks, local content development, women empowerment and cross-border cooperation at the grand opening of Africa Oil & Power in Cape Town this week.

Attended by hundreds of senior government officials and energy executives from across Africa and the world, the Africa Oil & Power Conference & Exhibition is seeking solutions to make energy work better for Africans and investors. It was opened by leading industry figures such as H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, H.E. Mouhamadou Makhtar Cissé, Minister of Petroleum and Energies of Senegal, and Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber and CEO of the Centurion Law Group.

Delivering the opening remarks, African Energy Chamber Executive Chairman Nj Ayuk addressed key issues facing the industry’s future, reminding the continent that it needs and must do better to provide energy and jobs to all Africans. “We are here at AOP not only to highlight success stories but also to have an honest conversation with each other on what needs to be done for our industry, and follow a roadmap to successful implementation on core issues such as regulations and local content policies, the empowerment of women, infrastructure development, cross-border cooperation and fiscal frameworks,” declared Nj Ayuk.

On the issue of regulations and the creation of a better enabling environment for investors and businesses, the African Energy Chamber insisted on the need for fair regulations that are supportive of local industries whole encouraging international investments. “Look to Ghana,” said Nj Ayuk. “The country has built an oil and gas regulatory framework from scratch and built a reputation for transparency and regulatory certainty. Its projects are getting off the drawing board and Ghana is already a serious African producer. Regulations have to be progressive, so what matters is to implement regulations that set the ground for the development of a sustainable, local content-oriented and jobs-creating industry.”

“On local content, look to Nigeria,” he added. “It has used its oil and gas as a jumping off point for overall economic development and building up domestic capacities from the ground up while providing the right opportunities for the establishment and growth of strong local companies across the value chain.”


At the core of the African Energy Chamber’s message was also a call to women empowerment across Africa’s energy industry. From creating strong educational and training programmes to implementing progressive policies in the workplace, the Chamber has advocated for better policies that provide women equal opportunities in the workplace and across the industry.  “On woman empowerment, look to South Africa, which boasts some of the strongest leaders in Africa’s oil and gas sector,” declared Nj Ayuk. “Diversity will change our industry for the best and needs to be a priority.”

The African Energy Chamber closed its opening remarks on the issues of infrastructure development and cross-border cooperation. In many cases, a lack of infrastructure is severely holding back economic and social development, including a lack of roads, pipelines, ports and airports is stopping exploration and production in its tracks; and delaying the progress of otherwise economically viable progress. Meanwhile, cross-border cooperation is the key to unlocking the potential of the continent. “On cross-border cooperation, look to Senegal and Mauritania,” said Nj Ayuk. “They both have already shown Africa that putting its differences aside and working towards co-developing projects is beneficial for African economies and their people. The GTA project is a landmark project in that regard, and one that will profoundly impact the socio-economic development in both countries. The major step to encourage future such collaboration and projects is to simply keep the dialogue open and engage more.”
*Africa Energy Chamber
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Funmi Iyanda’s adaptation of ‘Walking with Shadows’ premieres at the BFI London Film Festival
October 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
Cast and Crew with Folake Abdulrazaq

Veteran journalist and talk show host, Funmi Iyanda yesterday brought ‘Walking with Shadows’, a novel by Jude Dibia, to the big screen, with the movie enjoying a 2-day showing at the British Film Institute (BFI) London Film Festival.

Speaking on the premiere, Iyanda said, “It is an honour to premiere this movie at one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. We are definitely thrilled by the opportunity to share this thought-provoking story with the international community and hope they are inspired by it as much as we are”.

Nana Otedola, Funmi Iyanda & Aoife (Film Director)

The film spotlights the life of lead character, Ebele Njoko, whose search for acceptance led him to create an alternate personality – one more pleasing and acceptable to society. However, as his secrets come to light, he is faced with the difficult choice to either keeping his family or accept a life of possible loneliness and rejection.

Iyanda explained that the movie is a timely appraisal of pressing societal issues, as it promotes the importance of love and self-acceptance in a cultural and religiously-charged environment.

At the BFI London Film Festival

Directed by Adife O’Kelly, ‘Walking with Shadows’ – which is set to premiere in Nigerian cinemas soon – features a sterling cast of actors including Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi, Wale Ojo, Ozzy Agu, Zainab Balogun, and Funsho Adeolu.

Notable personalities who attended the BFI London Film Festival movie premiere include Nana Otedola, Folake Abdulrazaq, Christopher Schlaefer, and others.

About Walking with Shadows

In Lagos, Nigeria, Ebele Njoko has been running all his life. A search for acceptance and love from his family, has led him to recreate himself as Adrian Njoko, respected father, husband, and brother. Suddenly, Adrian’s past and secrets have caught up with him and his world soon begins to crumble as he frantically tries to control the growing ripple effect of a revelation.

Walking with Shadows is adapted from Jude Dibia’s 2005 book of the same title, which was awarded Sweden’s Natur och Kultur Prize.

Iyanda and Whittmey Aboyeji

*Courtesy of NigeriaPresslog , a media amplification and press release distribution platform connecting forward-looking brands to target audiences. It provides a gateway for brands with the goal of making inroads and establishing presence in the Nigerian media space and beyond.

NigeriaPresslog has worked with and delivered excellent service for local and international partners including Heinrich Boll Stiftung, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Lagos Business School, Response Architects UK and others.

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Academics Urge US Government To Channel More Resources Towards Education And Scientific Research In Africa
October 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Prof. Nkem Khumbah flanked by Ambassador Tibor P. Nagy (Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, US Department of State), Hon. Amro Adly (Deputy Minister of Education, Egypt), and Dr. Menna Demessie, (Vice President, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc) during the session on “Strengthening US-Africa Governments Academic Diplomacy and Research Cooperation Policies”

Professor Nkem Khumbah, Chairman of Africa Development Futures Group, ADFG, has urged the United States government to channel its foreign investment, resources and policies meant to develop Africa into fostering and professionalizing higher education in the continent.

The educationist cum lecturer at the University of Michigan outlined that Africa faces many challenges which can duly be addressed if more attention and resources are invested in its higher education systems, permitting Africans to better carry out scientific research, and finding solutions to their own problems without waiting and hoping on foreign aid.

Prof Nkem Khumbah with Ambassador Tibor P. Nagy ,Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, US Department of State at the AAU launch in Washington,DC

Speaking last week at the launch of the North American office of the Association of African Universities, AAU, in Washington, DC, Prof Nkem Khumbah did applaud US support to Africa but reiterated that it will be more beneficial if redirected into enhancing higher education in the continent, given that “it is the caliber of African universities’ graduates that will produce and manage the knowledge that gives relevance to its other institutions – government, trade, defense, agriculture, health, finance, energy and diplomacy”, that it is by “supporting Africa to vitalize its Higher Education systems that the continent may turn its increasing demographics into a dividend to drive its development agendas and enhance its democracies”.

In his address during the pre-launch season of the regional office, Prof Khumbah, who was sharing the stage with US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tibor Nagy, pointed to the fact that attention is only paid to Africa based on its colonial past and its inefficiencies. Dissecting the continents inability to better bargain for itself due to the small size of its countries as opposed to those in Asia, he maintained that, thanks to the African Union, the continent now has that one voice, to better represent her regional interests.

“The challenge that I see is that resources and policy, have not so much accompanied the level of latent interest in that area…the US is the one singular country in the world that has the deepest roots in Africa and if you look around the continent, Africa is seen in terms of big brother, younger brother and this determines the policies that accompany actions.”

Holding at the premises of the African Union Mission to the United State, attendees included dignitaries from Africa and American Diplomats, academic and professional associations, higher education stakeholders in North America, and from Africa, including a large representation of the African diaspora; Nkem Khumbah said  higher education was one of the major keys to unlocking Africa’s enormous potentials .

Advocating for the harmonization of African educational systems so as to permit the exchange of ideas and research topics, thus facilitating intercontinental exchange of knowledge, Nkem Khumbah used the story of the Koreas’ to better disseminate his idea.

“We often talk about how Korea was receiving aid in the 1950s from Ghana and Cameroon; what turned the stakes around was higher education and scientific manpower, with significant US support through higher education and research cooperation,” he said.

He expressed hope that establishing the North American regional office of the Association of African Universities will strengthen the interface for linking higher education institutions and enterprises in the USA with their African counterparts.

Higher education “can be a powerful, strategic winning area for US foreign policy. While China is building the roads, putting Billions of Dollars on infrastructure and winning the hearts of African heads of states, helping develop its higher education can win the hearts of the entire population,” he said. 

With better cooperation between the US and Africa in higher education expected to shift gear with the establishment of the North American office, speakers and moderators at the launch were all unanimous that the bilateral relation between the two continents will flourish.

Speakers included H.E. Sarah Ayang-Mbi Commissioner, Human Resources, Science and Technology at African Union Commission, who shared information about regional cooperation in African Higher Education and relevant lessons for further collaboration, Ambassador Arikana Chimbori of the AU Mission to the USA, Prof. Orlando Quilambo,  AAU President and Vice Chancellor at the University of Maputo, Mozambique in company of Prof. Rungano Zvobgo, Southern Africa member.

Dr. Beatrice Khamati Njenga, Head of Education Africa Union Commission-Human Resource Science Technology, chaired the session centered on Strengthening US-Africa Governments Academic Diplomacy and Research Cooperation Policies” which had as panelist Ambassador Tibor P. Nagy (Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, US Department of State), Hon. Amro Adly (Deputy Minister of Education, Egypt), Prof. Nkem Khumbah (Prof. and Steering Committee, STEM-Africa Initiative, University of Michigan) and Dr. Menna Demessie, (Vice President, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc).

Forging “Strategic Partnerships among Key Stakeholders in Academia, Professional Associations & Research Institutions” was the focus of the third session moderated by Niamani Mutima, Executive Director Africa Grantmakers’ Affinity Group. Sharing insights on the topic were, Alma L. Golden (Executive Director, USAID Global Development Lab), Norman Fortenberry (Executive Director, American Society for Engineering Education, ASEE), John Boright (Executive Director, International Activities, US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine), Tag Demment (Vice President, Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, APLU), Prof. Nicholas Nsowah-Nuamah (AAU Vice President for West Africa).

On how to better galvanize the Diaspora comprising some 20,000 African-born Academics, 105,000 African-American academics, 105 HBCUs and a larger community that Africa seeks to involve in its development, panelist presented view points on the topic; Advancing African Diaspora’s Academic Relation in a session chaired by Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, Ghana’s Former Minister of Education .

The panel discussions and sessions were crowned by the official launching of the regional office by H.E. Sarah Ayang-Mbi Commissioner, Human Resources, Science and Technology at African Union Commission) and Prof Orlando Quilambo, AAU President and Vice Chancellor Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique.

With the establishment of the regional office, AAU stakeholders hope to boast continental ties between Africa and North America and to identify key areas of partnership that can drive positive change in Africa through Higher Education, among others.

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African Development Bank and partners launch pilot Cities Diagnostics tool in five cities
October 10, 2019 | 0 Comments
PICU Cities Leadership workshop: Launching the city diagnostics for five cities, 25-26 September 2019, Radisson Hotel, Abidjan Cote d’Ivoire
The tool includes key environmental and urban sustainability indicators as well as disaster risk and vulnerability, and urban footprint growth
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, October 7, 2019/ — “The urban opportunities far outweigh the challenges,” said Prof. Davis G. Mwamfupe, the Mayor of Dodoma, Tanzania, during his message to the Cities Leadership workshop, launching the City Diagnostics for five pilot cities in Africa, held on the 25th and 26th September 2019 in Abidjan.

Five cities were chosen for the pilot phase of the Cities Diagnostics for 2019 -2020: Antananarivo (Madagascar), Bizerte (Tunisia), Conakry (Republic of Guinea), Dodoma (Tanzania) and Libreville (Gabon) and were represented by their respective authorities.

The African Development Bank (AfDB.org), the Urban and Municipal Development Fund (UMDF) and the Korea Africa-Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) organized the workshop to review the cities diagnostic methodologies with city managers and international urban development experts. Amadou Oumarou, Director of the Bank’s Infrastructure and Urban Development Department said, “The new City Diagnostics tool of the Bank will enable city managers and development partners to have a clear understanding of the situation in all the various sub-sectors of the city and allow us to prioritise our work”.

The diagnostic tool includes key environmental and urban sustainability indicators; two baseline studies covering disaster risk and vulnerability, and urban footprint growth. It also includes a public opinion survey covering accessibility and quality of municipal services for water, sanitation, electricity. Drainage, solid waste management, and other measures of quality of life in cities are also included. The tool can measure and assess inclusiveness and resilience parameters, strategies, municipal resource mobilization, investments, and public accounts administration.

The Mayor of Bizerte, Dr. Ben Amara Kamel stressed the challenge of limited municipal budget resources for capital infrastructure and services investments as well the difficulty of recruiting qualified municipal staff to cities, especially given Bizerte’s ambitious projects such as 100% clean energy by 2030. Participants from Conakry and Libreville also mentioned problems of city governance, the low level of municipal tax collection, poor sanitation, and solid waste management.

The five pilot cities exchanged experiences at a panel headed by Ellis Juan, Senior Advisor to the Bank’s UMDF and former head of the Inter-American Development Bank emerging and sustainable cities program (ESC) . Juan highlighted some of the key lessons learned in Latin America which included the following:An integrated approach to city planning and management yields greater impact;Climate change should be integrated into city planning and management;Making cities for the people, or people-oriented cities;Order in the fiscal accounts, increased digitalization of city management and strong governance and transparency make for a credible partner;Efficient management of solid waste, sewerage and drainage systems, and water resources will preserve cities’ environmental assets for future generations while improving quality of life;Integrating mobility into urban planning and investing in quality public transportation services will drive productivity and create citizen-friendly cities;The City Diagnostics program is fully funded by the UMDF, which supports African cities and municipalities to improve their resilience and manage urban growth and development better through planning, governance, and efficient public services as well as improving the quality of life in urban environments in Africa.
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Winners for Africa’s Top Real Estate Developments Announced at The 10th API Summit
October 10, 2019 | 0 Comments
The winning developments, project teams and professionals came from Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, Mozambique, Namibia, Mauritius and Rwanda
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, October 9, 2019/ — Property developers, suppliers and owners were provided an opportunity to showcase their best projects and services from across sub-Saharan Africa at the annual Africa Property Investment (API) (www.APIEvents.com) Awards which were on held on  the  2nd of October 2019, at a gala networking dinner held at the exclusive Alice & Fifth Restaurant. s

A key component of the 10th API Summit, Africa’s largest investment and real estate development, the Awards, now in their third year, recognised innovation and outstanding achievement across the entire property industry across 13 categories. The categories covered projects and the leaders shaping the future of Africa’s real estate sector. These categeries covered: Retail, Office, Mixed Use, Green Building, Hotel, Alternative Asset, Architectural Design, Banking, High-end residential, Logistics and best women in Property.

The winning developments, project teams and professionals came from Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, Mozambique, Namibia, Mauritius and Rwanda, and critically provided a moment of peer recognition for completed projects, says the managing Director of API Events’ Kfir Rusin.

The projects were judged on a wide range of criteria including location, infrastructure and transport access, integration into the environment, originality of the concept, technical and architectural quality, services offered, sensitivity to the local community, innovation, sustainability, corporate staff involvement, response to market demands, financial performance, occupancy, and the impact of the project on economic convergence.

Kfir Rusin, Managing Director of API Events: “We congratulate all the winners and finalists as well as their respective project teams. They have set an exceptionally high standard for real estate developments across sub-Saharan Africa and continue to shape the African built environment landscape. API Events is proud to be associated with these companies and wishes to aid in further pushing the boundaries of excellence for African property development.”

The calibre of entries was world class and the panel of judges had a challenging time selecting the winners, nevertheless they managed to hone in on the worthy projects. Here are the winners for each category from the  2019 Africa Property Investment Awards.

The 3rd Annual API Awards WinnersBEST AFFORDABLE HOUSINGKaribu Homes | Nairobi, KenyaBEST ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNTatu City Education Village (Crawford International School) | Nairobi, Kenya
           Project Team Award Winner: Boogertman+Partners ArchitectsBEST COMMERCIAL OFFICE DEVELOPMENTSU Tower | Accra, Ghana          Project Team Awarded Winner: Boogertman+Partners Architects,BEST GREEN BUILDINGMon Tresor Business Gateway – Office Park | Plaine Magnien, Mauritius
           Project team Award Winner: Omnicane LtdBEST HIGH-END RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENTPurple Haze | Nairobi, Kenya​ 
            Project team Award Winner: Dewbury LimitedBEST HOTEL DEVELOPMENTHilton Garden Inn Mbabane| Mbabane, eSwatini
           Project team Award Winner: Paragon ArchitectsTOP AFRICAN REAL ESTATE BANK OF THE YEARNedbank CIBBEST RETAIL DEVELOPMENTEast Park Mall | Lusaka, Zambia
           Project team Award Winner: Graduare Property Development LimitedBEST MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENTAppolonia City| Accra, Ghana​           Project Team Award Winner: RendeavourBEST INDUSTRIAL & LOGISTICS DEVELOPMENTAgility Logistics Parks| Maputo, Mozambique
            Project team Award Winner:  Agility AfricaYOUNG PROPERTY PERSON OF THE YEARNeltah Mosimanegape | Tempest Gold, BotswanaWOMEN IN AFRICAN REAL ESTATEOluwatosin Ajose | Deal HQ Partners, Nigeria BEST PROPERTY TECHNOLOGY AWARDLand Layby, Nigeria

The Africa Property Investment Summit & Expo (API) is Africa’s largest and most premier real estate event. It connects the most influential local and international Africa property stakeholders, driving investment and development into a wide range of real estate and infrastructure projects and developments across the continent.

The awards were created to recognize the following characteristics:

RECOGNISE: To recognize and reward excellence in the real estate and associated sectors.

ENCOURAGE: To encourage innovative real estate solutions within the industry.

ENHANCE: To enhance quality standards.

PROMOTE: To promote confidence in the real estate and property industry.

SAFEGUARD: To safeguard and strengthen interest of stakeholders in the industry.

PROVIDE: To provide a strategic and reputable platform of interaction for the different stakeholders in the industry.

About API Events:
API Events (www.APIEvents.com) deliver Africa’s most renowned events in real estate investment and development. Our events across the continent have become the ultimate meeting places for Africa’s property market to learn, network and most importantly to do deals. The company also hosts the API Awards – these prestigious awards provide a platform for distinguished developers, suppliers and owners in the African real estate industry, to showcase their best projects and services. Other services provided by API Events include training programmes and the recently launched Skyline Magazine. 

About API Events:
The Africa Property Investment Summit & Expo (API) is Africa’s largest and most premier real estate event. It connects the most influential local and international Africa property stakeholders, driving investment and development into a wide range of real estate and infrastructure projects and developments across the continent.

API Events (www.APIEvents.com) deliver Africa’s most renowned events in real estate investment and development. Our events across the continent have become the ultimate meeting places for Africa’s property market to learn, network and most importantly to do deals. The company also hosts the API Awards – these prestigious awards provide a platform for distinguished developers, suppliers and owners in the African real estate industry, to showcase their best projects and services. Other services provided by API Events include training programmes and the recently launched Skyline Magazine. 
SOURCE API Events


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