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World Bank faced with shortage of financial resources
September 4, 2015 | 0 Comments

The World Bank asked for the support of members of the African Caucus to raise funds to replenish the International Development Association (IDA) [caption id="attachment_20420" align="alignleft" width="300"]World Bank (WB) Vice-President for Development Finance, Joachim] Von Amsberg World Bank (WB) Vice-President for Development Finance, Joachim] Von Amsberg[/caption] The World Bank (WB) Vice-President for Development Finance [Joachim] Von Amsberg asked for the support of members of the African Caucus to raise funds to replenish the International Development Association (IDA). In order to finance development in an intelligent fashion, the WB needs to mobilise some US$135 thousand million in Official Development Assistance (ODA). This amount will attract and leverage new public and private investments. “We have a large portfolio, a series of projects in preparation that will drive private investment. These are projects for which there is great demand and we are seeking to mobilise possible resources. There is the Ebola problem, floods in Malawi and the earthquake in Nepal as well, which is why the response budget for three years was already exhausted in the first year,” explained the World Bank VP in his presentation on the topic “Funding Options for ODA.” The record ODA replenishment of US$52.1 thousand million aims to maximize impact on development by leveraging public and private resources, in addition to knowledge, with solid results and efficiency at a low cost. The demand for regional projects in Africa remains large, and most resources are committed to regional infrastructure projects. “The strong replenishment of ODA and financial innovations are crucial to fulfilling the agenda for transformation in Africa,” he concluded. The current Chairman of the African Group of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors affiliated with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank is the Angolan Minister of Finance; its first Vice-Chair is the Minister of Finance of Benin and the second Vice-Chair is the Minister of Finance of Benin (sic). The position of the organisation’s Secretary is held by the Egyptian Minister of Finance. *Ministry of Finance of Angola/APO]]>

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11th AFRICAN GAMES – BRAZZAVILLE, REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 04-19 September, 2015
August 27, 2015 | 0 Comments

newsletter-special-brazzaville-2015-englishThe 11th Edition of the African Games is scheduled to take place on 4th to 19th September, 2015, in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. This edition will mark the 50th Anniversary of the African Games, since the 1st edition in 1965 that was also hosted by the Republic of Congo. Approximately 7000 athletes from 50 African countries will converge back to the birth place of the African Games in Brazzaville to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the African Union in the spirit of Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance.

This edition is also a milestone for the AU as it is the first one under the auspices of the African Union as the owner of the Games, following the dissolution of the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (SCSA) as well as the integration of the functions of the SCSA into the AU. The integrated functions of the SCSA include the ownership, coordination and organization of the African Games.

The opening ceremony will take place on 4th September, 2015, and will be presided over by H.E. Denis Sassou Nguesso, President of the Republic of Congo, and attended by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, H.E. Dr Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, Commissioner for Social Affairs and H.E. Martial de Paul Ikounga, Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology. The African Games will be preceded by the Bureau Meeting of the Specialized Technical Committees on Youth, Culture and Sport and a Sub-Committee of the STC Ministers of Sport on 3th September, 2015.

During the games, the AU will rally the continent around the spirit of Pan-Africanism through its key message i.e. “I am African, I am the African Union” and through its 50 year Agenda 2063 development framework. Agenda 2063″ is an approach to how the continent should effectively learn from the lessons of the past, build on the progress now underway and strategically exploit all possible opportunities available in the immediate and medium term, so as to ensure positive socioeconomic transformation within the next 50 years. The agenda will assist the continent achieve its vision, i.e. an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena.

“Because of the power of sport, we see this event as an important milestone on the road to achieving the objectives of our continental vision and action plan, which Africa has christened Agenda 2063: the Africa We Want”, said AU Commission Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

SOURCE African Union Commission (AUC)

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Louis Berger-led consortium selected to implement social services improvement initiative in Angola
June 19, 2015 | 0 Comments

louis-bergerA Louis Berger-led consortium  has been awarded a 9 million euro ($10.1 million USD) technical assistance contract to the Angolan Ministry of Social Assistance and Reintegration (MINARS) to help implement a large social services improvement initiative ─ the Support Project to the Angolan Government to Define and Implement an Effective Social And Solidarity Protection Policy (APROSOC). This European Union financed contract aims to bolster the delivery of social services at a national level by strengthening MINARS’s institutional capacity. “This contract’s main goal is to assist the Angolan Government in deepening its social assistance and reintegration policies targeted at the country’s most vulnerable populations since post-war reconstruction ended,” said Daphnée Benayoun, Louis Berger’s director of institutional development. “We are honored to have been selected as a key partner in the MINARS’s institutional capacity building efforts.” As part of the contract, the consortium will provide technical assistance and knowledge transfer to MINARS civil servants and staff working at the central, regional and local levels as well as to other relevant institutional stakeholders. Consortium experts will train staff and stakeholders in modern methodologies used to improve the analysis, preparation and implementation of social policy. In addition, MINARS will receive upgraded project management and enhanced internal and external communications systems that enable better monitoring and faster, more efficient decision making. The consortium also will provide MINARS with new protocols and platforms to bolster its national and international inter-institutional exchange programs, which will result in better coordinated joint positions at international forums and will improve information dissemination targeting public stakeholders. Louis Berger has more than 50 years of experience in Africa and over 20 years of experience working in Angola, where the firm has implemented nearly 20 projects covering a broad range of professional services in the economic and institutional development, transportation and water sectors. Louis Berger  is a $1 billion global professional services corporation that helps infrastructure and development clients solve their most complex challenges. We are a trusted partner to national, state and local government agencies; multilateral institutions; and commercial industry clients worldwide. By focusing on client needs to deliver quality, safe, financially-successful projects with integrity, we are committed to deliver on our promise to provide Solutions for a better world. Louis Berger operates on every habitable continent. We have a long-standing presence in more than 50 nations, represented by the multidisciplinary expertise of 6,000 engineers, economists, scientists, managers and planners. *APO]]>

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Dynamic US-Africa Partnership Lauded at African Day Celebrations in Washington,DC.
May 29, 2015 | 0 Comments

Rev Jackson and Ambassador Teitelbaum in a group photo with African Ambassadors in Washington,DC. Rev Jackson and Ambassador Teitelbaum in a group photo with African Ambassadors in Washington,DC.[/caption] In celebrations to mark the 2015 African Day  in Washington, DC,  dynamic ties between the USA –Africa hailed by the Ambassador of Egypt Mohamed Tawfik. Speaking as co-Chair of the celebrations organized by the African Ambassador’s group, the Egyptian Envoy cited the last US-Africa’s Leaders’ Summit and the support that Africa continues to receive from the US in multiple forms. “The celebration is about Africa’s success”, said Ambassador Tawfik as he enumerated a litany of positive developments taking place in the continent. Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in the world he said, with life expectancy ticking up, and more children in school than at any other time. The continent is increasingly taking charge of its own security challenges and Egypt will be hosting a historic summit soon geared towards the creation of a broader Pan African free trade zone ,said Tawfik. In addition to Women serving as Presidents, and in parliament, Tawfik also cited the example of AU Chair Dlamini Zuma to highlight the progress made by women in the continent. Ambassador Donald Teitelbaum, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State at the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs delivered the keynote speech in which he highlighted the important role women have always played in the history of Africa. [caption id="attachment_18381" align="alignright" width="586"]Rev Jackson poses with members of the Ivorian dance troupe that animated the celebration Rev Jackson poses with members of the Ivorian dance troupe that animated the celebration[/caption] Celebrated under the theme “Women Empowerment & Development towards Achieving Africa Agenda 2063”, Ambassador Teitelbaum saluted the strides that have been made by the African Union and African countries. Africa’s biggest resource is its people Ambassador Teitelbaum and no country can get ahead if half of its population is left behind. Africa represents a growing a growing market and just this year alone, there have been some 316 million new cell phone subscribers reported ,Teitelbaum said. Programs like the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, PEPFAR, have been helpful in alleviating the health plight of women and children, said. Ambassador Mathilde Mukantabana of Rwanda who heads the African Ambassadors Group in Washington, DC, also spoke on the importance of placing women at the center of development. With Maureen Umeh of Fox TV as MC, the celebration had as special Guest the Rev Jesse Jackson ,Founder and President of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.  Other guests from the African American Community included Melvin Foote from the Constituency for Africa, and Denise Rolark Barnes, Publisher of the Washington Informer. Sponsored by Chevron, Coca Cola, and Exxon Mobile, guests were treated to an art exhibition and entertainment performance of folk dances from Egypt, Rwanda and Ivory Coast.      ]]>

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African business leaders to focus on scientific progress in partnership with the World Bank
May 20, 2015 | 0 Comments

The Africa Business Champions for Science is a new group of influential figures from industry with a passion for science, technology and innovation on the continent First meeting of the ‘Africa Business Champions for Science’ held last month •          Joint initiative of the World Bank and the Planet Earth Institute •          High level meeting of African Heads of State and the African Business Champions is now being planned [caption id="attachment_18252" align="alignleft" width="500"]Dr Álvaro Sobrinho announces the Africa Business Champions for Science in Dakar, Senegal, on the invitation of His Excellency President Macky Sall Dr Álvaro Sobrinho announces the Africa Business Champions for Science in Dakar, Senegal, on the invitation of His Excellency President Macky Sall[/caption] Dr Álvaro Sobrinho, the prominent African businessman and Chairman of the Planet Earth Institute NGO , led the first meeting of the ‘Africa Business Champions for Science’ last month in London. The Africa Business Champions for Science is a new group of influential figures from industry with a passion for science, technology and innovation on the continent. Alongside Dr Álvaro Sobrinho of Angola, Lionel Zinsou of Benin (CEO and Chairman of PAI Partners) and Justin Chinyanta of Zambia (CEO and Chairman of Loita Capital Partners), have both been appointed members. The Africa Business Champions for Science group was formally outlined in a Call to Action at the ‘Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET)’ Regional Forum in 2014, in Dakar, Senegal. The World Bank is facilitating the PASET initiative, which seeks to help meet Africa’s skills needs in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (ASET) fields for the socio-economic transformation of Africa. PASET serves as the platform for public-private partnerships; engaging in related advocacy, analytical and technical streams of work; and supporting African governments to mobilize funding to support country and regional level ASET initiatives. The Africa Business Champions for Science group will work alongside African governments, the PASET Steering Committee (comprising of three African Ministers from the Education sector – Ethiopia, Rwanda and Senegal and the World Bank); and a high-level Consultative Advisory Group (comprising of scientists and academics). A high level meeting of African Heads of State and the African Business Champions is now being planned, at which further members and commitments will be announced. Mr Makhtar Diop, Vice-President for Africa of the World Bank. planet-earth“The African continent has experienced very strong growth over the past decade and it has been noted that this growth has really repositioned the African continent and changed the perception of the African continent. However while doing so, we have not had the transformation we would like to have; we have not had a structural transformation of African economies. To address this we need a combined effort of all sectors, and the role of industry is absolutely crucial. This new group of prominent African entrepreneurs and business figures can play an important role in putting the continent back on a path of sustainable growth, of inclusive growth, and a path toward transformation of the structure of our economies.” Dr Álvaro Sobrinho, Chairman, Planet Earth Institute “For too long business and scientific communities have operated in isolation in Africa. As we seek to move from economies based on resource to those based on knowledge, this disconnect has to be addressed head on. I’m delighted to be working with a group of inspirational business figures and in tandem with international and national organisations at the heart of this debate, to play our part in making sure Africa’s scientific progress delivers for the whole continent. And I call to others interested in the initiative to work with us” The Planet Earth Institute (PEI) is an international NGO and charity working for the ‘scientific independence of Africa’: •          Dr Álvaro Sobrinho is an Angolan banker, investor and philanthropist: •          In 2014, the World Bank and the Planet Earth Institute (PEI) signed an agreement to co-ordinate a new group of ‘Africa Business Champions for Science’ at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC *APO]]>

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Angola to end petrol subsidies as oil drop bites
May 7, 2015 | 0 Comments

fuel (1)Angola will end petrol subsidies and increase the price of other fuels, the finance ministry said, after last year’s plunge in global oil prices hammered the finances of Africa’s second largest crude exporter. In February, Angola slashed spending in its 2015 budget, widened its fiscal deficit projections and said it would sharply increase borrowing. Angola imports most of its fuel due to insufficient refining capacity and it spent around 4 percent of its 2013 budget on fuel subsidies, according to Control Risks. “Gasoline now joins the free price system, ending the burden on the state of the cost of subsidies,” a ministry statement seen by Reuters on Thursday said, adding that the changes come into effect on September 30. “The ongoing effort to adopt realistic prices will help strengthen social programmes and reduce inequality, since subsidies benefit the most favoured groups and encourage fuel smuggling to neighbouring countries.” Angola has been gradually increasing fuel prices in recent months and has saved 110 billion kwanza ($1 billion) from reduced subsidies since October last year, the statement said. The price of diesel will increase by 25 percent to 75 kwanza per litre, although the state still subsidises 21 percent of the cost, the finance ministry statement said. State-oil company Sonangol will now determine the price of petrol, the finance ministry said. Angola increased the price of gasoline last September by 25 percent to 75 kwanza per litre. The International Monetary Fund, which entered a $1.4 billion loan deal with Angola in 2009, has urged the southern African country to reduce fuel subsidies to free spending for infrastructure and encourage the building of refineries. Fuel price increases have prompted widespread protests in other African countries, including Mozambique and Nigeria. Angola, which has well-funded security services, has not suffered from serious unrest after previous fuel price rises. *Source The Africareport]]>

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The cities of Accra in Ghana, Kinondoni in Tanzania and Praia in Cape Verde win the inaugural José Eduardo dos Santos African Mayor Awards
May 4, 2015 | 0 Comments

United Cities and Local Governments-Africa (UCLG-A) announces the winners of the first ever “African Mayor Awards” in Luanda, Angola

[caption id="attachment_17866" align="alignleft" width="300"]José Ulisses Correia e Silva, Mayor of Praia and President, Union of Lusophone Capital Cities (UCCLA), Cape Verde; Sarah Kyessi, representing Kinondini, Tanzania and Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, Mayor of Accra, Ghana José Ulisses Correia e Silva, Mayor of Praia and President, Union of Lusophone Capital Cities (UCCLA), Cape Verde; Sarah Kyessi, representing Kinondini, Tanzania and Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, Mayor of Accra, Ghana[/caption]
LUANDA, Angola, 1 May 2015 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/-The winners of the inaugural 2015 “José Eduardo dos Santos African Mayor Awards” have been announced in Luanda, Angola. These awards acknowledge the leadership and contribution made by Mayors of large, medium and small cities and celebrate achievements and excellence in urban development in Africa. The winning cities will receive prize money totalling $350,000 for specific initiatives. US$50,000 will go to the city of Praia in Cape Verde (small city), $100,000 will go to Kinondoni in Tanzania (medium city) and Accra in Ghana (large city) will receive $200,000. The formal presentation ceremony and a Gala dinner was hosted by Angola’s Minister of State and Chief of Civil House in the office of the President, Hon Edeltrudes Maurício Fernandes Gaspar da Costa and attended by over 350 guests comprising government officials, city leaders, African mayors, investors and business leaders. The Awards took place in conjunction with the 2nd Africa Urban Infrastructure Investment Forum held from 29-30 March 2015 in Luanda, Angola. Speaking at the ceremony, the Awards organiser and Publisher of African Business magazine, Omar Ben Yedder, said that the African Mayor Awards recognise, celebrate and reward City leaders or Governors who are helping transform Africa’s growing metropolises. “The winning cities tonight are being led by individuals who are showing essential leadership qualities as they help build cities that work. And we will need more exemplary leadership, good governance and innovative thinking, whilst paying close attention to our culture and way of living when dreaming of the cities of tomorrow. Our leaders need to be close to the people, and our winners tonight are demonstrating these qualities.” The winners were selected by a judging panel comprising of Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, General-Secretary of United Cities and Local Governments-Africa (UCLG-A),Tokunbo Omisore, Chairman of the African Union of Architects, Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director for UN-Habitat, Vitor Leonel Miguel, Chairman of the Angolan Architects Union and Gaetan Siew, Chair, Construction Industry Sector of Mauritius. Also speaking at the awards UCLG-A Secretary General, Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi Mbassi said: “The José Eduardo dos Santos African Mayor Awards aim to raise the profile of Africa’s Mayors by honouring those who have made an outstanding contribution to their communities and developed a vision for urban living, working and travelling across Africa. Each year, outstanding African Mayors and municipal professionals from a large metropolis (1,000,000 residents or more), intermediate city (less than a 1,000,000 and more than 200,000 residents) and small cities (up to 200,000 residents) have the opportunity to win the prestigious Awards, which, this year are being supported by the Government of Angola, the UN-Habitat, the IC Publications Group and my own organisation, the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG-A). Mr Elong Mbassi added: “We hope that these awards will encourage other Mayors to think long and hard about what sort of cities they want, to engage with their communities and to contribute to developing sustainable urban cities in Africa”. In this inaugural year, the organisers commission a renowned Angolan artist to design a unique and inspirational trophy to capture the past, present and future of African cities. The piece represents courage and conviction as well as the urban challenges that African Mayors face in the future. About the African Mayor Awards United Cities and Local Governments-Africa (UCLG-A) launch first ever “African Mayor Awards” in Luanda to celebrate the achievements and excellence in the development of African cities. The African Mayor Awards programme recognises, celebrates and rewards City leaders who display exemplary qualities in leadership and vision, innovative thinking, management capabilities and integrity, social awareness, foster economic growth and development, ability to provide security and to protect the environment as well as the will and ability to foster good relations between communities from different cultural and social backgrounds. For further information please visit http://africanmayorawards.com. About Angola Angola began the slow but steady path to reform and rehabilitation when civil war came to an end in 2002. The Republic of Angola demonstrates the ability of African states to emerge from conflict and offer a secure and stable environment for reconstruction and development. *AMA]]>

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AfDB Board approves US $123.77 million for Angola Urban Water Project
April 5, 2015 | 0 Comments

south-african-farm-300x150The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 approved a US $123.77-million loan to the Republic of Angola to finance the country’s Institutional and Sustainability Support to Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Service Delivery Project. The project aims to improve water sector governance, strengthen institutional capacity and efficiency in the water and sanitation sector institutions at central and provincial level, and improve access to sustainable water supply and sanitation services. The project’s main outcomes include (i) the establishment and effective functioning of seven Provincial Water Supply and Sanitation Utilities, which are autonomous; (ii) enhanced capacity for service provision at the central and provincial levels; and (iii) expanded access to water supply and sanitation. The project is planned to be implemented over a 60-month period at a cost of US $154.71 million of total budget. It is located in seven provinces namely: Cabinda, Cunene, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Namibe, Bengo, and Cuanza Sul. Access stands at 54% for water supply and 60% for sanitation nationally as at 2012. The majority (85% or six out of the seven provinces) has coverage below the national average (ranging from 7% to 56%). The Project will directly benefit 922,000 people and ultimately the 2.3-million urban population of the seven provinces through improved management and service delivery. It will increase access to water supply for an additional 338,000 people in peri-urban areas of the provincial capitals and an additional 75,000 people who would have access to safe wastewater infrastructure. Angola has been investing heavily in infrastructure following three decades of conflict and has made progress in many areas including water supply and sanitation services. However, the investment in physical infrastructure has not been matched with adequate emphasis in the institutional and capacity domains. Lack of capacity and appropriate institutional mechanisms has negatively impacted the sustainability of existing investment. Service delivery is erratic and inefficient and highly subsidized with no cost recovery mechanisms in place. As a result of inefficient service delivery, the poor and vulnerable are the most affected in the peri-urban areas. Recognizing these needs, the government through its National Strategic Program for Water (2013-2017) and the Energy and Water Action Plan (2013-2017) in putting emphasis on the improvement of sector governance (establishing a water regulator and asset management entity) and professionalizing service delivery (establishing corporatized and autonomous utilities) along with critical investment to further expand access to services. The Bank’s intervention will leverage investments made by the government and other partners. Its holistic approach combining investment with developing capacity and strengthening institutions would enhance sustainability. The synergetic value addition for reforms and capacity building through the recently approved Bank’s Power Sector Reform Support Program is significantly high and would promote the momentum for change. *AFDB]]>

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Residents: Boko Haram readies for battle in NE Nigeria
March 6, 2015 | 0 Comments

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  [caption id="attachment_16896" align="alignleft" width="300"]Chadian troops previously stationed by the Sudanese border make a stop on their way to lake Chad near Baga Sola Friday March 6, 2015. Large contingents of Chadian troops were seen heading to the region bordering Nigeria, where residents and an intelligence officer said Boko Haram fighters are massing at their headquarters in the northeast Nigerian town of Gwoza in preparation for a showdown with multinational forces. (AP Photo / Jerome Delay) Chadian troops previously stationed by the Sudanese border make a stop on their way to lake Chad near Baga Sola Friday March 6, 2015. Large contingents of Chadian troops were seen heading to the region bordering Nigeria, where residents and an intelligence officer said Boko Haram fighters are massing at their headquarters in the northeast Nigerian town of Gwoza in preparation for a showdown with multinational forces. (AP Photo / Jerome Delay)[/caption]

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Boko Haram fighters are massing at their headquarters in the northeast Nigerian town of Gwoza in preparation for a showdown with multinational forces, residents and an intelligence officer said.

A woman trapped there since Gwoza was seized in July told her daughter that Islamic extremists are urging civilians to leave town to avoid being killed in crossfire in an anticipated major battle.

Hajiya Adama said her mother said the fighters also have released young women being held against their will, including some made pregnant during their captivity.

She said her mother left last week and escaped to the town of Yola, in neighboring Adamawa state.

“She told me that Boko Haram terrorists asked them to leave suddenly, that they were preparing grounds for a major battle,” Adama told The Associated Press. “She said while being helped by other women to leave through Madagali, they saw many Boko Haram terrorists in trucks and some on bikes moving toward Gwoza.”

An intelligence officer said security forces are moving slowly for fear of harming civilians, and especially since Boko Haram is surrounding Gwoza with land mines.

He confirmed forces from Chad are in the area, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to reporters.

Boko Haram in August declared an Islamic caliphate across a swath of northeast Nigeria where it held sway. In recent weeks, Chadian and Nigerian troops have retaken a score of towns. But the militants continue to kill scores in suicide bombings and village attacks.

Retaking Gwoza would be a major coup for Nigeria and for the campaign of President Goodluck Jonathan for re-election at critical March 28 ballots. Critics say the contest is too close to call between Jonathan, a southern Christian, and retired Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, a former military dictator who has vowed to stamp out the 6-year-old insurgency that has killed an estimated 12,000 people and left 1.6 million homeless.

*Source AP/Yahoo
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Angola seeks to use oil to break away from oil
December 15, 2014 | 0 Comments

Plans in the pipeline include developing agriculture and telecoms. Photo©John Warden/Getty Images Plans in the pipeline include developing agriculture and telecoms. Photo©John Warden/Getty Images[/caption] Several speed bumps are up ahead for Angola’s economic chieftains: firstly, the reshaping of the economy to manage the slowing down of the oil industry and the rapid development of the agricultural and services sectors; secondly, the government has to find the finance to keep up the pace of infrastructure and social investment; and lastly, it must tackle vast economic inequalities, which are among the widest in the developing world. A forecast from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in September that Angola’s economic growth will slow to 3.9% this year, compared to 6.8% in 2013, sounded an alarm. The main reason for this is that oil revenue fell 14% between January and May after production cuts caused by unscheduled maintenance and repairs. Some in the oil industry are critical of Francisco de Lemos José Maria, the chief executive of national oil company Sonangol. “He is a finance guy, and so I’m not sure he always understands the technical aspects of the industry,” says a senior Angolan executive who requested anonymity. “Of course he gets technical advice from others, but it’s not clear to what extent he really takes it on board,” he concludes. Elsewhere, finance minister Armando Manuel has won plaudits with his enforcement of greater financial discipline. Spending is keeping closer to the budget, although lower revenue will mean some departments will have to cut spending. After this year’s dip, the IMF forecasts the oil industry will grow by 2.25% per year over the next five years and big investments in areas such as farming and telecoms will reduce Angola’s dependence on oil and create jobs. Those plans will still critically need oil to pay for the wider development: “Growth prospects over the longer term […] should be firmed up during 2015, as ongoing pre-salt prospecting should help to determine the amount of commercially viable oil reserves,” the IMF explained in September. *Source theafricareport]]>

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Angola sovereign fund allocates $1.6bn to Africa projects
December 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

Chris Vellacott in London* [caption id="attachment_14684" align="alignleft" width="300"]Jose Filomeno dos Santos, chairman of Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA)/ Photo©ScreenShot Jose Filomeno dos Santos, chairman of Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA)/ Photo©ScreenShot[/caption] Oil-rich Angola’s sovereign wealth fund has set aside $1.6 billion to back infrastructure and hotel projects across sub-Saharan Africa, though falling energy prices could slow future flows of new money into its coffers. In an investment update for the three months to September 30, the Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA) said on Wednesday its net value now stands at $4.95 billion, net of running costs taken out of the original $5 billion endowed by the government. The FSDEA said it is investing $1.1 billion in an infrastructure fund that will focus on investments in energy, transport and industrial projects in Angola and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. It has also allocated $500 million to a Hotel Fund for Africa, aiming to address a “significant undersupply” of top-end hotels in the continent. The fund will be able to incur debt up to 50 percent, which could double its total investment capability, the FSDEA said. However, a drop in oil prices this year will likely limit the amount of money Angola is willing to pay into the fund in future. Future endowments will come from the surplus from oil revenues after the state has financed fiscal stability measures. “Obviously the requirements for the funds which are available to be transferred have increased with the reduction of revenues by the state,” fund chairman Jose Filomeno dos Santos told Reuters. Dos Santos said falling oil prices reinforced the importance of the fund, which was launched to manage a proportion of Angola’s oil revenues for the benefit of future generations. By investing in infrastructure such as ports and roads, it can help Angola diversify its economy away from dependence on oil exports, he argued. “We believe, in cases like this, the best outcome is for there to be a sensible decision, to invest in the right things and prevent worse scenarios in the future,” dos Santos said. The fund’s quarterly report shows around 63 percent of the portfolio is currently invested in high-quality bonds while around 12 percent is in equities. A 25 percent allocation to cash is now much reduced since the end of the reporting period because the “great majority” was deployed to the infrastructure and hotel funds, dos Santos said. The funds are run autonomously as private equity style vehicles by Zurich-based Quantum Global Investment Management, dos Santos said, adding he could not disclose individual investments under consideration. *Source theafricareport]]>

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Averda widens its services in Angola, its second operation in Africa
December 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

1611-141210av1Averda , the largest, and one of the fastest growing, waste management companies in the Middle East and Africa, is delivering city cleaning services in Ingombota, a major urban district within Angola’s capital city of Luanda. The five-year contract, awarded recently, sees averda operate in joint venture agreement, under the name Ecoverde. Ingombota covers 10 sq km on the North Eastern coast of the country. It is the political and economic hub of the capital, with more than 160,000 residents. The population almost doubles during the day as it is home to the country’s Parliament, major banks, hotels, the presidential palace, three European embassies, the central bank, three towers and the headquarters of a multinational company. averda cleans 6,000km of streets in the district per month. MohamedAli Hodeib, Chief Operating Officer for the Levant & Africa, averda said: “We are happy to be serving the people of Luanda. The stabilisation phase of the operation, debuted in April, is now complete. averda is fully deployed through Ecoverde, having achieved the initial target of bringing the city streets to the desired level of cleanliness, in par with our international standards. We are proud to be partners in Luanda’s waste management, its economic growth and with the main stakeholders in the city, its residents and visitors. We are looking forward to inspire a change in practices and to raise awareness of sound waste management.” The contract was averda’s inaugural in Angola and its second in the region, having entered the market in Morocco in 2012. averda started with a mobilisation phase in Angola in August 2013 during which experienced teams conducted on the ground surveys to design specific and durable waste solutions. Equipment has been brought in later that year, better and newer vehicles and containers, mechanical bin washers, small vehicles to get into the narrow city streets. In September this year the scope of work widened from waste collection to include sweeping. averda introduced a new efficient and environmentally friendly vehicle for mechanical sweeping and automatic bin washing for the first time in Angola. 1610-141210avaverda employs 350 Angolan personnel including laborers, supervisors and drivers. averda provided its Angolan workforce with safety and environmental awareness training as well as technical training on equipment Averda International  is the largest environmental solutions provider in the MENA region, specializing in integrated resources management. averda is at the forefront of innovation in the regional market, providing sustainable solutions and more than 35 years of experience in the effective management of waste for both private and public sector clients across pedestrian, residential, commercial and industrial areas. averdaaverda’s extensive portfolio of services ranges from street cleaning through to waste collection, treatment, disposal and recycling. The company’s capabilities also include the development of solutions for water, wastewater and solid waste of public, residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, all within a sustainable framework that respects the natural environment. averda also designs and implements full-scale solutions to recover valuable and recyclable resources like paper, metals, and water. With 10,000 employees serving millions of people every day, averda operates in full compliance with international standards for quality control throughout Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Morocco and Jordan.  averda is supported by GrowthGate Capital Corporation since 2008. *APO]]>

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