Ghana: MPs Have Made Progress on Rejection of $28m Car Loan Facility – Ablakwa
July 15, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Maxwell Nkansah
The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has revealed that he and some of his colleague lawmakers from across the political divide have made progress in getting parliament to reject the $28million car loan facility for the legislators.
He stated that he and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP, Patrick Boamah cosponsored a private member’s motion which the Speaker admitted for urgent debate this week.
Further stated that he is glad they made major progress today in their efforts to have Parliament reject the US$28million MPs’ car loan facility. “Really elated that my colleague NPP MP, Patrick Boamah and I cosponsored a private member’s motion which the Rt. Hon. Speaker admitted for urgent debate this week,”.
Mr Boamah who is the Vice-Chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee has said that if he has his way, he will tell the legislators to reject the facility. According to him, if he has his way he will tell the colleague MPs to reject that facility for the simple reason that all the other arms of government vehicles are procured for them without having to go through this process where the media is always on the back of MP s for contracting a loan.
Ghana’s Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has submitted to parliament for approval a loan agreement of $28 million pending consideration by the Finance Committee. This is for the purchase of 275 vehicles for members of the 8th Parliament.
This move has divided opinions among members of the Ghanaian public on whether or not this is a good decision in the midst of the severe economic hardship Ghanaians are saddled with. But another lawmaker with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Yusif Sulemana who is representing the people of Bole, expressed concerns about the backlash lawmakers are receiving regarding this loan facility.
He said “In some cases when MPs are living office the vehicles are even auctioned to them. That comes with a huge cost but the people are not aware of this and so the general public is not even looking at this. According to him all they hear is that MPs are taking loan to buy vehicles. This is a loan we are taking and the loan will be paid back. By four years is ended I should have paid back the loan. So I don’t see where the problem is. I don’t blame them because we have refused to engage them and to explain to them exactly what is happening.”
Ghana:Leading Multimedia House Files Petition Against MP Ken Agyapong Over Threats to Journalist.
July 15, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Maxwell Nkansah
One of the giant media houses in Ghana, Multimedia Group has filed a formal complaint with the Ashanti Regional Police Command of the Ghana Police Service and copied notable personalities including the King of Asante, the Chief of Staff and Speaker of Parliament over the recent threats issued against its staff, Erastus Asare Donkor, by a person than Kennedy Ohene Agyapong.
The threats are said to have been issued by Member of Parliament for Assin Central Constituency on his Net 2 Television on Friday, July 9. According to the petition dated July 13, 2021, Mr Agyapong, who is also the Chairman of Parliament’s Defence and Interior Committee, called for serious beatings of Erastus Asare Donkor a journalist.
He is quoted as saying if he was to be the President of Ghana, he would have ensured that the Ashanti Region correspondent of Multimedia Group is beaten mercilessly.
Sometime in the recent past, Honourable Agyapong issued similar threats against Ahemd Hussein-Suale, who at the time had undertaken some journalistic works; Ahmed Hussein-Suale was later horribly killed.
Due to the circumstances, the media house lawyers file a formal complaint of threat by Honourable Agyapong against the life of Erastus Asare Donkor and request that the complaint is investigated and Erastus Asare Donkor given the required protection.
All this is in connection to Mr Asare Donkor’s reportage on the Ejura unrests on Tuesday, June 29 and his appearance on the three-member ministerial committee which was ordered by the President to find the perpetrators behind the murder.
The petition also copied New York-based Human Rights Watch and Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in Washington DC.
Kenya to receive 20000 euros from World Safari Rally winner Sebastian Ogier.
July 14, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
The seven-times World Rally Champion Sebastian Ogiek has donated € 20000 to assist the needy access education and support wildlife conservancy in Kenya.
In a post on his Facebook account on Tuesday evening, the Frenchman said half of the amount would be channeled to the Nakuru Children’s Project. The other half will go to the Olpejeta Conservancy.
Nakuru Children’s Project is a UK-based charity that helps children achieve their dreams through education, whereas the Olpejeta Conservancy
works to conserve wildlife, provide a sanctuary for great apes, and generate income through wildlife tourism for re-investment in conservation and community development.
The donations come just a few weeks after Ogiek emerged Safari Rally Kenya champion. The race was held in the East African nation after nineteen years.
“A few weeks ago, we were celebrating our 4th win of the season at the World Rally Championship in Naivasha, with incredible support from locals in the most amazing nature. It was my first time in Africa and I was overwhelmed by the beauty of Kenya, the warm-hearted people and its incredible wildlife.This wonderful country has got a place in my heart,” wrote Ogiek.
“I will support the Nakuru Children’s Project with 10,000 Euros and another 10,000 Euros to conserve wildlife at the Olpejeta Conservancy,” he further stated.
Cameroon – New FECAFOOT Texts Adopted after Dispute.
July 14, 2021 | 0 Comments
-82 delegates voted in favour of the adoption of the texts while 11 voted against with 2 null votes.
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The extraordinary General Assembly of Cameroon’s Football governing body FECAFOOT finally took place this Tuesday, July 13after a dispute had ensued about the eligibility of the delegates to take part.
The adoption of the new statutes and texts for the structure paves the way forward for the election process to begin at the Departmental, Regional levels before the election at the National level will take place later this year. The texts were voted in conformity with the 2012 Statutes at FECAFOOT.
A total of 82 delegates voted in favour of the adoption of the texts while 11 delegates voted against its adoption. There were 2 null votes.
Cameroon’s Minister of Sports Professor Narcisse Mouelle Kombi had earlier suspended the holding of the General Assembly. In a letter addressed to FECAFOOT on July 8, Minister Narcisse Mouelle Kombi noted that the football governing body had disregarded the verdict of the Court of Arbitration for Sports taken on January 15, 2021, and that of the Chamber of Conciliation and Arbitration of Sports at the Cameroon National Olympic and Sporting Committee.
FECAFOOT on its part stated that on January 16, 2021, correspondence from FIFA through the Court of Arbitration for Sports recognized the acting executives and noted that their term of office will be terminated when new members have been voted into the Cameroon Football Federation.
As presented in the response by FECAFOOT, the 2009 mandate ended in 2013 according to points 181, 182, 187, 198 and 221 of the decision of the Court of Arbitration of January 15, 2021.
The present bureau led by its interim President Seidou Mbombo Njoya has been duly recognized by CAF and FIFA who backed the bureau and called for the General Assembly to be held as programmed. The African and World football governing bodies even went further to designate two delegates of their own to ensure that the process went on smoothly.
The decisions from CAF and FIFA seemed to be have been the last straw as the government officials who were against the General Assembly conceded and gave the go-ahead.
Additional changes on the 2012 Statutes and Texts
The new texts that take into account the electoral code, code of ethics and financial status of the football governing body has witnessed a slight change from the 2012 statutes and text. Some three vital changes were adopted to give Cameroon’s football that professional touch it has been longing for.
The delegates agreed on the dissolution of the Professional Football League and the creation of a new league in view. This is one of the stumbling blocks that have created problems in Cameroon. The issues of management led to “fighting” between the Professional led by General Pierre Semengue and FECAFOOT. This resulted in the former being suspended and it is the issue that has dragged on till now.
Another additional change in the text is the reduction of the number of participating delegates from 90 to 60. From now each region will be represented by six delegates and not nine; while Six and not five club presidents will represent League One and Two from now on.
“The General Assembly held in a constructive and positive atmosphere, the delegates were curious and helped in the revision and adoption of the new texts that will in the future open doors to elections at FECAFOOT and generally, the growth of local football, and the upcoming 2021 AFCON”, FECAFOOT interim President Seidou Mbombo Njoya said.
The extraordinary General Assembly saw the presence of the Honorary President of CAF, Issa Hayatou, President of the Cameroon Olympic Committee, Hamad Kalkaba Malboum, two renowned football actors, Owona Pascal and Onana Vincent were all special guests.
Will the adoption bring things to normalcy? That is the million-dollar question that sports lovers in the country are asking. One will think that the adoption of the new texts governing FECAFOOT will calm the nerves of those who are against the present interim bureau at FECAFOOT.
A Touch of Israeli Technology For Development In Rural Areas With Innovation Africa.
July 14, 2021 | 0 Comments
–-Q & A with Innovation Africa CEO Sivan Ya’ari
By Ajong Mbapndah L
For the past 13 years, Innovation Africa has been working across the African continent providing rural communities with access to clean water and solar power using Israeli technology. To date, Innovation Africa has completed over 500 solar and water projects and aims to complete an additional 2,000 projects over the coming 5 years. Innovation Africa CEO Sivan Ya’ari sheds light on the work and vision of the non -profit organization in a Q & A with PAV.
What is Innovation Africa, for how long has it been in existence and what was the vision or logic behind its creation?
Sivan Ya’ari: Innovation Africa Is a non-profit organisation that brings Israeli solar, water and agricultural technologies to rural African villages. Access to solar energy can transform a community and since its establishment in 2008, Innovation Africa has brought light to schools and medical centers and provided access to clean water to nearly 3 million people across 10 African countries.
In what parts of Africa does Innovation Africa has operations in and how is the choice of countries made?
Sivan Ya’ari: Innovation Africa has projects across 10 African countries: South Africa, eSwatini, Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Cameroon, DRC, Senegal and Ethiopia. Tanzania was where the first Innovation Africa project was completed and from there, my team and I progressed village by village, identifying communities without access to energy and/or clean water. Innovation Africa has expanded to new countries, based on the needs of the populations and where the organization can establish local teams of engineers, field officers and managers.
May we know the kind of reception Innovation Africa has received across the continent and may we have specific examples of projects that have been carried out across the continent?
Sivan Ya’ari: Innovation Africa has been warmly welcomed in the countries where we operate. We establish relationships with relevant ministers, ambassadors, regional commissioners, and other such representatives to help identify communities in critical need of our assistance and those which are not currently supported by the local governments. In schools and health centers, Innovation: Africa provides solar energy to provide light to the classrooms, clinics, and staff homes as well as to power laptops, projectors, solar vaccine refrigerators and other essential medical devices. Children are now able to study at night, have access to quality education and succeed academically. With access to light, doctors and nurses are able to provide improved medical treatment, deliver babies and perform operations safely at night. Access to clean water transforms a village and we see the community thrive, with improved health, elimination of waterborne diseases, improved food security, and establish income-generating opportunities. To date, Innovation Africa has completed over 500 solar and water projects and aims to complete an additional 2,000 projects over the coming 5 years.
Could you tell us what impact projects of Innovation Africa have hard on the lives of people in countries you have operations in?
Sivan Ya’ari: Without access to energy and water, there is no access to quality education, safe medical treatment and, most critically, clean water. At Innovation Africa, throughout the 500 villages we have worked in, we have seen the impact that access to light and water has on communities and individual. In schools, solar energy Increases the level of education students receive as they can study under the light and learn on laptops for the first time. In health centers, doctors are able to operate safely at night and use medical equipment including solar refrigerators to securely store vaccines and medicines. Most importantly, in villages, access to clean water transforms communities by improving their health and hygiene. Children no longer need to search for water, enabling them to return to school. Access to clean water creates food security, empowers women, and develops economic independence. In turn, this is helping to break the cycle of poverty and reduces inequalities.
You are of Israeli descent; may we know what triggered your interest in Africa?
Sivan Ya’ari: The first time I visited Africa; I was only 20 years old. I was working in a factory for Jordache Jeans in Madagascar, and this was the first time I saw real poverty. I grew up poor, but the poverty I witness there was on a different level. While in Madagascar, I had the chance to spend time with women and children from a nearby village. One night, they took me to a medical center. Here, I saw women waiting to give birth in complete darkness. Doctors could not treat their patients. The only light was a candle and a small kerosene lamp. I then understood that without energy, medical centers can’t store vaccines and medications, people can’t access the water that exists just meters beneath their feet, and without water, people cannot drink, they cannot grow food, children are unable to attend school as they spend their days searching for water. By simply harnessing the energy of the sun, we can make a real and immediate change.
What impact has the COVID -19 had on the activities of Innovation Africa?
Sivan Ya’ari: In light of COVID-19, we understood now, more than ever, the need and urgency to power medical centers and provide clean water to as many communities as possible. After all, how can we ask communities to clean their hands without access to clean water? Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Innovation: Africa continued its work and secured essential worker permits for our local employees to ensure that we are able to continue with our projects and help combat the spread of the virus. In 2020 alone, Innovation Africa doubled its impact and completed 206 projects, impacting the lives of over 1 million people.
What are some other challenges that Innovation Africa has faced in the course of its mission?
Sivan Ya’ari: Naturally, my team and I have learnt a lot and faced manage challenges over the years. At the beginning, one challenge we faced was that after installing solar energy at a school, the community refused to use it, as they believed in the practices of witchcraft and feared that this system would be detrimental to them. From this we learnt how crucial it is to engage with a community, to truly understand the cultural needs and practices.
Yet, as opposed to challenges that we have faced, Innovation: Africa focuses on the lessons we have learnt. It is important to always be innovative and open to new technologies that are always developing. The lesson to take away, is to never stop growing. We must work in a fast-paced environment and be creative problem solvers. For example, thanks to our Chief Engineer, Meir Yaacoby, we have developed the “Energy Box” which has the capacity to light an entire school and medical center from one streamlined system. We use lithium-ion batteries and special LED light bulbs that are made in Israel and can last 50,000 hours. This creates sustainability and efficiency while being cost effective. We are now beginning to install all our solar projects with this new technology we developed in-house. We have to constantly innovate.
May we know the nature of relations between Innovation Africa and governments in countries that you operate, how helpful have governments been in helping Innovation Africa carry out its mission?
Sivan Ya’ari: Whilst we are a non-governmental organization, in all the countries we operate, Innovation: Africa has established strong and positive relationships within the governments. On a local level, our local Innovation Africa teams meet regularly with the district and regional ministers to discuss government plans and share the projects that Innovation: Africa is carrying out so as not to duplicate our efforts and provide energy and/or clean water to communities which the government already plans to assist. On a regional level, Innovation Africa works closely with the country’s ambassadors to help establish positive relations and share the work we are doing across our countries of operation.
Could you shed some light on your upcoming tour to Africa, why the tour at this point and what countries do you plan to visit?
Sivan Ya’ari: I am currently in Tanzania for a field visit and a donor trip and plan to visit Zambia, Malawi, and Cameroon over the coming months.
What next after the tour and the rest of the year, any big announcements, or projects in gestation that you would like to make public through Pan African Visions?
Sivan Ya’ari: In 2021, Innovation: Africa is working hard to complete over 200 solar and water projects and we have set the ambitious goal of bringing clean water and light to an additional 2,000 villages over the next 5 years, impacting the lives of 10 million people.
U.S.-Africa Energy Forum Kicks off with First Virtual Session, Previews Opportunities for Future U.S.-Africa Cooperation.
July 14, 2021 | 0 Comments
On Monday, the first virtual session of the U.S.-Africa Energy Forum 2021 explored investment success stories on the continent, along with bankable opportunities for future collaboration.
United States of America, July 12, 2021/ — In a bid to drive U.S. investment in the African energy sector, the U.S.-Africa Energy Forum (USAEF) 2021 kicked off on Monday with a virtual session – organized by Energy Capital & Power (EnergyCapitalPower.com) – featuring petroleum ministers from Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea along with leading energy and finance industry leaders.
Under the theme, The U.S.-Africa Energy Partnership: Successes and New Horizons, the first of two virtual sessions identified key factors behind investment success stories on the continent, as well as leading opportunities for future cooperation, centering on the clean energy value chain and full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Opening remarks were given by H.E. Bruno Jean Richard Itoua, Minister of Hydrocarbons of Republic of the Congo – a veteran of the oil and gas industry and one of the founding members of the National Petroleum Company of Congo – and NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (AEC).
“Cooperation between America and Africa will be a key factor for the global future,” said H.E. Minister Itoua. “In energy, Africa is not the problem. Africa is the solution. This becomes even more true when you talk about the transition. We have substantial quantities of oil, but more importantly, we have substantial quantities of gas – which is the first part of the energy transition – as well as one of the most important potentials for renewables.”
“We can no longer accept that more than 650 million on the African continent go without electricity every day, when there is an abundance of gas and petroleum resources that can be used,” said Ayuk. “At the AEC, we are committed to free-market policies, limited government and finding ways to integrate new projects into our continent. We welcome American ingenuity that has been the driving force behind the U.S. energy revolution to date.”
Panelists included H.E. Gabriel Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea; Alexa Burr, Vice President for Standards & Services, American Petroleum Institute (API); Akinwole Omoboriowo II, Chairman and CEO, Genesis Energy Group; Posso Ganame, Chairman, Texas-West Africa Chamber of Commerce; and Miguel Peñaloza, Business Development / Project Finance, U.S. Export-Import (EXIM) Bank.
For Equatorial Guinea, the U.S. represents the single largest foreign investor in the country and has played a critical role in its hydrocarbon development, as well as more recent domestic gas monetization drive, since the entry of ExxonMobil in 1994 and subsequent discovery of the prolific Zafiro field. According to a poll by ECP, 54% of respondents believe that the Gulf of Guinea remains sub-Saharan Africa’s most promising exploration hotspot.
“American companies like ExxonMobil, Hess Corporation and United Meridian were the ones that made Equatorial Guinea what it is today. If we have energy, infrastructure and local capacity, it has been thanks to U.S. companies,” said H.E. Minister Lima. “Another critical element is the way that they have transferred technology and know-how. For example, the Zafiro field is 90%-operated by Equatoguineans. It hasn’t just been investment, but rather investment in human resources and involvement across upstream, midstream and downstream sectors. Finally, Equatorial Guinea has the highest per capita investment in infrastructure. U.S. companies and institutions advised us to invest in our base infrastructure, so if the oil ends, we can still continue with services.”
In addition to hydrocarbon exploration, panelists highlighted key integrated foreign investment and export opportunities along the clean energy value chain, as well as implementation of the AfCFTA, which aims to accelerate intra-African trade and boost Africa’s trading position within the global market.
“We see a rebound taking place as global energy demand returns to pre-pandemic levels,” said Burr. “Gas and LNG have a particularly important role to play, as the industry intends to expand its use of lower carbon hydrocarbon development and deliver affordable, clean energy while reducing our environmental footprint. This will have an impact on investments and portfolios. At API, we have recently come out with a climate action framework, demonstrating our commitment to investing in lower-carbon technologies. Through our partnerships, we hope to bring that to Africa and commercialize promising new industries that are leading the way.”
“Tariffs for intra-African trade will be eliminated, which is a huge opportunity for U.S. companies to access all African nations and grow their businesses across the continent,” said Posso. “This will save costs. Instead of spending money on tariffs, companies will use that money to expand their business. This is a great opportunity for U.S. businesses to invest in Africa.”
The panelists also highlighted that developing and maintaining financial access to African markets was key to expanding Africa’s energy sector. According to a poll by ECP, 70% of respondents believe that blended financing is best suited to meeting Africa’s energy and infrastructure investment gap.
“With the U.S as a key partner to 54 African countries, there are various initiatives on which U.S. government entities and companies can endeavor to focus. One relates to blended concessionary financing, which has the capacity to enable projects that may not be commercially viable without support,” said Omoboriowo. “We need to get more American companies that are hands on with their investments. For example, companies in the U.S. produce solar batteries and panels. I’m sure we can find free trade areas on the continent where we can localize the factories. My sense is that there are practical, realistic initiatives that the U.S. can collaborate with identified countries.”
For its part, the U.S. EXIM Bank has a congressional mandate to support trade and investment to sub-Saharan Africa and has supported over $12.5 billion in investments in the region to date, with the largest being the five-billion-dollar direct loan to support the export of U.S. goods and services to the Mozambique LNG development.
“As a government agency, we are demand-driven and a tool for U.S. exporters as they develop new technologies, products and services. We support them in being able to get their products sold to Africa,” said Peñaloza. “Power Africa, Prosper Africa under the previous administration, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, the U.S. Development Finance Corporation, the U.S. EXIM Bank – from a governmental perspective, we all try to collaborate and work together.”
USAEF 2021 seeks to introduce American companies to African opportunities, promote greater investment in African nations’ energy value chains, and advance an agenda of sustainable, long-term investment in African energy (including petroleum, clean energy, power infrastructure and mineral resources) and other sectors by U.S. organizations. An in-person networking event will be held in Washington D.C. on July 12, 2021, leading up to the main summit and gala dinner in Houston, Texas on October 4-5, 2021.
*Source Energy Capital & Power
Three Entrepreneurs in Botswana, Zambia, and Malawi Beat over 1,000 Applicants to Win Prestigious SEED Award
July 14, 2021 | 0 Comments
|Winners of the SEED Awards will be awarded matching grants of between EUR 10,000 – 15,000|
A Botswanan company which trains farmers to use bees to stop elephants destroying their farms, a Zambian business which promotes sustainable bee-farming, and a Malawian start-up which turns leftovers into cooking gas have won the SEED Awards for Climate Adaptation (SEED Awards) . SEED was founded as part of a global partnership between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
In Botswana, local entrepreneur Mavis Nduchwa founded Kalahari Honey to restore the balance between humans, wildlife, and the environment. The company gives farmers beehives and trains them to create a live fence of bees around their farms to deter local elephant populations. Not only does this reduce conflict between humans and wildlife, it gives farmers an added income as they can sell their bee products back to Kalahari Honey, which markets to customers globally. It also increases pollination through the propagation of bee colonies and the introduction of more indigenous, drought-resistant plant species reverses the ongoing desertification. The company currently works with 500 rural farmers, but under SEED’s expert provision it aims to work with an additional 1,500 farmers over the next year and expand the capacity of its processing factory.
In Zambia, entrepreneur Harry Malichi set up Wuchi Wami to train farmers in sustainable beekeeping. The company packages, brands, markets and distributes local raw and organic honey from its registered cooperative made up of 2,500 farmers. It uses modern beehives made from easy-to-plant pine, rather than the local miombo trees, which are destroyed in traditional beehive production. This type of beekeeping is less labour-intensive, enabling women, youths and orphans to farm honey. Deforestation is further reduced by providing an alternative income source for women and men engaged in charcoal burning. Under SEED’s guidance, the enterprise plans to increase the number of smallholder farmers in its cooperative to 10,000 in the coming year.
EcoGen, founded by Clement Kandodo in Malawi in 2019, provides advanced biowaste bins and biodigesters for households to recycle their leftover food and agricultural waste, turning it into biogas for cooking and organic fertiliser. The provision of renewable cooking gas, especially to rural customers relying on wood fuel, takes the pressure off local forest resources. Organic fertiliser increases yields and incomes of smallholder farmers, enhancing their climate resilience. SEED will help EcoGen scale its services to provide 4,000 households and institutions with access to renewable biogas energy by 2023.
Yves Wantens, General Representative of the Government of Flanders in the United States commented:“When it comes to the impacts of climate change, countries like Malawi, Zambia and Botswana are on the front line. They are the ones who will feel the effects of a rise in global temperature most acutely. That is why we are so proud to support the SEED Awards, which recognise and scale the impact of eco-inclusive enterprises across these local communities. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, MSMEs are at the forefront of enabling green recovery and delivering on SDGs, for the good of the wider community and the planet.” The Government of Flanders is the primary sponsor of the SEED Climate Adaptation Awards.
The SEED Awards ceremony, taking place today at the UN’s High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), will also see SEED present its ‘Green Recovery Snapshot’ findings, which calls on governments, donors, and financial providers to increase targeted support for MSMEs as they stimulate economic growth in a post-COVID world. MSMEs are responsible for creating seven out of ten jobs across emerging markets, and green and social MSMEs deliver environmental and social impact through their activities, products, and services, making them essential actors in achieving a green recovery.
Winners of the SEED Awards will be awarded matching grants of between EUR 10,000 – 15,000 and will receive tailored one-to-one advisory services for up to a year to scale their operations, as part of the renowned SEED Accelerator programme. In line with the principle of ‘awarding the best and moving the rest’, 39 runners-up will also be supported through the SEED Catalyser programme, to refine their business models and optimise their impacts while advancing their investment readiness.
SEED’s Director of Operations, Rainer Agster, added: “The calibre of SEED Award entries this year was outstanding, and we extend our congratulations to all nine winners and 39 runners-up. We hope the enterprises identified and promoted by the SEED Awards will be a source of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs across emerging economies. Through the SEED Awards, we will support 48 enterprises in 2021, and through our other programmes, several hundreds more. For each of those, however, there are thousands more eco-inclusive enterprises furthering SDGs which can be amplified with the right support. Therefore, we strongly encourage policy makers and financial actors to take a closer look at these eco-inclusive businesses and start or scale support programmes for them.”
Of the 2021 SEED Awards cohort, 69 per cent of enterprise leaders are 18-35 years-old and 52 per cent are female-led enterprises. Since their inception in 2005, the SEED Awards have awarded 311 enterprises in 40 countries and have facilitated the disbursement of over EUR 1 million in grants. Each individual SEED enterprise has saved an average of 7,300 tonnes of CO2, generated more than 9,399 kWh of renewable energy, and created 28.4 jobs, out of which 32 per cent are offered to people at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP).
About the SEED Awards:
The SEED Awards for Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Development (SEED Awards) identify and promote eco-inclusive enterprises in emerging and developing economies, giving them the opportunity to scale their businesses through grants, strategy advice, access to investors, and global profiling. The SEED Low Carbon Awards 2021 in Ghana, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Thailand, and Uganda are sponsored by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The SEED Climate Adaptation Awards 2021 in Malawi, Zambia, Botswana are sponsored by the Government of Flanders.
SEED is a global partnership for action on sustainable development and the green economy.
Founded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, SEED believes entrepreneurship is key in driving sustainable development.
SEED’s enterprise support programmes in Asia and Africa support small and growing enterprises with business and capacity-building support. Its ecosystem programmes focus on policy, financing and collaboration instruments that multiply the social, environmental and economic impacts of entrepreneurship.
Sierra Leone: Alpha Bedoh Conteh Set For First Professional Contract.
July 14, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Lamarana Barrie
Alpha Bedor Conteh from Central Parade Football Club who went to Israel last month with three other players on a month trial at top tier club Hapoel Tel Aviv is at the verge of signing his first professional contract.
Sigismond Nicol the spokesman of Central Parade football club on a phone conversation with this reporter confirmed that the player excelled at his trials and the team has agreed on personal terms with the player.
He further indicated that that the Israeli team Hapoel Tel Aviv and Central Parade have agreed on the transfer fee but reserved details for later.
More to follow.
Brazil Africa Forum 2021 opens registrations .
July 13, 2021 | 0 Comments
Fortaleza, Brazil, July 13th – Registrations are now open for Brazil Africa Forum 2021. The event will be held virtually on November 23rd and 24th with the theme “Natural Resources: environmental protection and sustainable development”.
Consolidated as the main space for debate between Brazilian and African leaders and fostering dialogue with actors from third regions, Brazil Africa Forum repeats this year the successful 2020 virtual format, when it remotely brought together more than 60 speakers, reaching an audience of more than 1,200 registered participants.
“The pandemic forced us to make a significant adaptation to the forum’s dynamics, all to ensure that urgent debates could be held. In 2020, our focus was to identify the main challenges brought by the crisis and propose solutions. Now we will continue analyzing the effects of the pandemic, but focusing on the necessary actions so that we can stop the impacts on the exploitation of natural resources”, says the President of the Brazil Africa Institute, João Bosco Monte.
Natural resources, severely affected by the pandemic, are at risk of irreversible disruption if there are no concrete actions to stop exploration, invest in recovery and prevent future crises.
The international scientific community has solid evidence that there is a direct link between the destruction of nature and outbreaks of COVID-19. Rural areas face increasing pressure, deforestation is on the rise in many vital regions, and there are reports of illegal mining and poaching emerging in the daily news.
BAF 2021 agenda will be divided into four axes, each addressing central themes for the natural resources agenda: land, water, forests and action.
Each axis will bring together the main stakeholders to discuss courses of action, public-private partnerships and solutions that can bring results for Brazil and African countries when dealing with their own challenges, as well as those shared globally.
Confirmed speakers so far include Agnès Kalibata – Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the 2021 Food Systems Summit; Gilbert Houngbo – President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); Otaviano Canuto – Former Vice President and Executive Director at the World Bank; Patrick Dlamini – Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and Jennifer Blanke – Non-Executive Director at African Risk Capacity Insurance Company Ltd.
The event will show once again that even connected only virtually, it is possible to strengthen dialogues, create opportunities, encourage investments and contribute to overcoming this unprecedented crisis.
Info and registrations: https://forumbrazilafrica.com/
BAF 2020 teaser
Sierra Leone: Babadi Kamara In Guinea To Build Bonds.
July 13, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Lamrana Barri
The chairman of Bo Rangers football club Babadi Kamara and the team manager Abdul Karim Bangura are in Guinea for discussions with the President of the Guinea football Association on how the two Mano River Union nations can forge a strong cordial relationship on football.
Kamara is also trying to create a technical relationship between Bo Rangers and Houroya A.C, a team that just won a ninth consecutive title in Guinea’s top flight football.
Babadi Kamara paid a visit to Antonio Souare Academy which is located just out side Conakry. Souare thanked Kamara for the visit and also promised that his club is always ready to form a strong Relationship with Bo Rangers football club
Sierra Leone : Head coach Victoria Conteh calls 40 homemade players for training.
July 13, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Lamrana Barrie
Ahead of the FIFA U-20 female world cup Qualifiers the head coach Victoria Conteh call 40 female homebased players for training which is schedule to start on 19 July 2021.
This is a two legged match According to the press release earlier today by the sierra Leone Football Association, the U-20 team will team will travel to Guinea for the first leg which is stated for September 25,26 and 27.
And sierra Leone will host their counterpart Guinea on October 8,9 and 10 according to the press release from SLFA.
It’s not yet confirmed if sierra Leone will host Guinea here in Freetown as the National stadium is in poor condition.
Sierra Leone records 394 Covid 19 cases in two weeks of July.
July 13, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
In just two weeks since the start of July , Sierra Leone has recorded a total of 394 Covid-19 cases in its territory one of the highest ever cases recorded in a short while in a month, after the West African nation confirm the delta variant in its samples of Covid -19 confirmed cases in the country.
The country has recorded a total of 6, 046 cases of total confirmed cases , 112 deaths , and a total of 541 total in quarantine and a total of 16, 268 discharged from quarantine.
In June, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) and the National Covid-19 Response Centre (NaCOVERC) in Sierra Leone, confirmed that the nation was going through its third wave thus advising citizens to follow Covid- 19 protocols like the frequent washing of hands, wearing face mask and to follow social distancing rules among others.
“Be careful fellow #SierraLeoneans! The Delta strain of the #coronavirus is on the rampage. Get vaccinated. Wear a face mask PROPERLY. Avoid avoidable gatherings – especially those for pleasure. Pleasure doesn’t thrive in dire COVID conditions,’’ Public Health National Emergency Operations Centre, said in a statement.
The British West African nation is not only battling with covid-19 but also facing an incessant challenge over the spread of fake news and the many myths shared on its various social media platforms on the virus thus making people not trusting what their health authorities are telling them about the existence of Covid -19 in the country and other parts of the world.
“The Spread of Misinformation Helps Fuel the Spread of Coronavirus. Let’s Stop Both! ,’’ Public Health National Emergency Operations Centre, Sierra Leone added.
There has been vaccination apathy in the country with only 15, 170 fully vaccinated totaling 0.2% out of a population of over 7 million despite the massive sensitization and publicity by the country’s health ministry urging citizens to go out for vaccination , assuring it of its safety on citizens.
“Vaccination has been one of the key strategies in many countries. Many diseases have ended with vaccination” – said Dr. Amara Jambai, Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation.
Despite the announcement by NaCOVERC and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation about the country experiencing the delta variant, many citizens are reluctant to take their covid-19 vaccines, neither wearing face mask nor doing social distancing rules daily.
Ghana’s Economy Entering New Phase Of Its Macroeconomic Developments – Bank Of Ghana.
July 13, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Maxwell Nkansah
The First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari, has said the mix of policies implemented by the central bank have helped to moderate the impact of the pandemic on the economy and contributed significantly to a faster pace of economic recovery than anticipated.
He said Ghana managed to record a measured positive growth in 2020 unlike many others that slipped into negative growth rates. Amidst the pandemic and surge in inflation, he said, the central bank has successfully steered inflation back into the target band, a process that was significantly helped by the extraordinary stability in the foreign exchange market in an election year while foreign exchange reserves level is at a record high. Speaking at the Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA) financial literacy training workshop on Friday July 9, Dr Opoku-Afari said “Ghana’s economy is entering a new phase of its macroeconomic developments with low inflation and well-anchored expectations.
He stated that in the outlook, the signs of recovery are encouraging and would require careful monitoring and, where necessary, continuous comprehensive macroeconomic policies including defining a feasible fiscal adjustment path in the medium term to ensure fiscal and debt sustainability to anchor macroeconomic stability.
Dr Opoku-Afari said “A key issue going forward relates to the timing of withdrawal of policy support. This would need to be carefully done so as not to jeopardize the recovery process and the Bank will continue to monitor development and take appropriate decision. A careful balancing act between unwinding the policy support and would be needed by policy makers to ensure that stability in a post-pandemic environment is guaranteed.”
He added that an important lesson from the pandemic is that it has quickened the drive towards a cash-lite economy and this is likely to shape monetary policies going forward. The widespread use of mobile money was given an added boost when the Ghana Interbank Payments and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) introduced the national Quick Response (QR) Code payment solution last year to simplify merchant payments and reduce the use of cash. The QR Code has since been made available to banks and payment service providers, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises to enhance business transactions.
Leveraging on financial innovations, the Bank of Ghana has also initiated processes for a pilot central bank digital currency to further move the economy towards a cash-lite environment. In conclusion, as regulators, they believe that under the current inflation targeting regime, transparency is crucial in fostering credibility of the central bank’s policies. Going forward, as financial journalists, perhaps more than any time in the past, you will be expected to play a key role in disseminating their policies to support the recovery process; and, how well this is done will tend to engender confidence in the financial markets and propagation of monetary policy impulses.
Go Into Politics If You Want To Go Broke – Opposition Party (NDC) Youth Organizer.
July 13, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Maxawell Nkansah
The National Youth Organizer for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), George Opare Addo has said, Members of Parliament (MPs) sacrifice serving the nation and leave the political scene worse off, so it can only be right if they are treated well while in government.
Pablo, as he is affectionately called, said looking at former appointees is a good case study of the suffering that former politicians go through a few years after exiting government. It looks like former appointees, when people leave government and you see them after sometime, you will begin to appreciate that it is not as rosy as we make it to seem and the reality is that it is difficult. It is not rosy.
He stated that, you will meet some of former Members of Parliament and when they tell you they were former MPs, you don’t want to believe it because of the harsh conditions they live in. The National Youth Organizer said the situation is even worse for those who entered politics and assumed front roles such as DCE, MCE and ministerial appointments.
According to him, immediately you assume a front role in politics, especially an MP, a District Chief Executive or a Minister, the pressure that comes with it is overwhelming. Our culture settings are such that everybody begins to depend on you. George Opare Addo said the politicians are to blame because the way they carry themselves when they assume office, the way they communicate, the way they talk, they create the impression that it is all good but in reality, it is really tough..
He said things are extremely tough now; some carry so much debt that they have to use their ex-gratia to clear their debt. “I know people take their ex-gratia and use it all in settling debt. Further said, he has colleagues who went into government well off and left government worse off. George Opare proposed ways of solving this issue, Pablo suggested “a national conversation to be established to know how they are going to deal with their public officials and the kind of pressure they put on politicians.
Broke Mnangagwa Govt Fails To Finance Mozambique War – Report
July 13, 2021 | 0 Comments
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration is struggling to mobilise sufficient resources to contribute to the Southern Africa Development Committee Standing Force (SADC SF), which is supposed to start military operations to quell an insurgency in Mozambique Thursday.
Senior military and official sources told NewZimbabwe.com that presently, Zimbabwe can only afford to contribute soldiers and classic guns.
SADC last month resolved to deploy troops to combat Islamic insurgents who have over the past four years launched deadly raids in Mozambique’s oil and gas-rich Northern province of Cabo Delgado, killing at least 2 000 people and displacing nearly one million.
Zimbabwe is expected to volunteer troops for a strong 3 000-fighter regional force.
But with the country, in the middle of a debilitating economic crisis, now worsened by Covid-19, sources said Treasury had indicated there was no money to fund such an expensive operation as it would empty the already depleted coffers.
NewZimbabwe.com also understands that reservations have been expressed in military circles about the shortage of adequate and suitable weaponry necessary in fighting asymmetric warfare.
Asymmetric warfare is one in which a conventional state army fights against an internal or external non-state actor, often terrorists and or insurgents.
Under the SADC arrangement, member states are supposed to fund and equip their own combatants.
Sources said there have been several meetings over the past three weeks involving all stakeholders where it was repeatedly emphasised that there was no money for the exercise.
“There are basically three things here. First, the Ministry of Finance says there is no money at the moment to finance the operation. Fighters who go there will require allowances which can only be paid by the government and, as we learnt from the DRC experience, this is a very expensive undertaking,” the source said.
“Secondly, reservations came from those in the military that we lack the necessary tools to fight asymmetric warfare like this. Remember terrorists are different from a conventional army that fights openly. They play hide and seek.
“They are mostly embedded in communities and launch coordinated and sporadic raids before retreating quickly. There is a need for us to invest in modern technologies to successfully fight the insurgents such as drones and unmanned aerial vehicles. We need to exploit cyberspace, but we do not have that capability at the moment,” the source added.
A military source said: “Last year, highly skilled members of special forces were sent to Mozambique to do reconnaissance work. Their report suggested that the best way to win this war was to use these technologies to identify and weed out terrorists. Conventional warfare does not necessarily apply.”
Efforts to get a comment from Treasury were fruitless as both Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube and his permanent secretary George Guvamatanga were not available for comment.
Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri’s mobile phone was being answered by one of her aides who said she was attending meetings.
Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said she could not comment as was attending to a family bereavement.
Her deputy, Kindness Paradza referred questions to Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) spokesperson Alphios Makotore, who in turn referred them to SADC.
The SADC national media coordinator, Ivanhoe Matengarufu Gurira said: “I do not know anything. I have not been given information on whether the army is ready or the amount of money being set aside for that.”
Gurira then referred NewZimbabwe.com to presidential spokesperson George Charamba, whose cell phone directed calls to the voice mail.
Mozambique has also been trying to directly engage Zimbabwe for a bilateral arrangement where Harare would deploy troops outside the SADC plan.
However, Mnangagwa has been hesitant to commit to that because of the huge financial bearing it has.
Recent media reports also suggest that Mozambican President Felipe Nyusi was asked by French President Emmanuel Macron to ask Mnangagwa for an army to hire to protect French investments in the Liquified Gas Project in the strife-torn region. Again, Mnangagwa has been hesitant, insisting on the SADC arrangement.
France was offering both financial and technical assistance in the event Zimbabwe agreed to send its troops, the same arrangement they have with Rwanda which last Friday sent 1000 soldiers there.
On Friday, 9 July the Rwandan government announced its deployment of a 1 000-person contingent made up of the army and police force to Mozambique.
“The government of Rwanda, at the request of the government of Mozambique, will start the deployment of a 1 000-person contingent of the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) and the Rwanda National Police (RNP) to Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique, which is currently affected by terrorism and insecurity,” reads its statement.
“The Rwandan contingent will support efforts to restore Mozambican state authority by conducting combat and security operations, as well as stabilisation and security-sector reform (SSR).”
Meanwhile, the deployment of Rwandan troops to Mozambique has rattled the South African government as it was before SADC troops expected Thursday.
“It is regrettable that this dispatch takes place before the deployment of Sadc troops, because whatever the bilateral relations between Rwanda and Mozambique, one would expect Rwanda to go to Mozambique in the context of a mandate given by heads of state in the Sadc region,” South Africa Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said.
The minister said this was a bilateral issue, “a situation over which we have no control”.
Rwanda is not a SADC member.
However, Mozambique President Nyusi confirmed the arrival of Rwandan troops saying it would boost the fight against militants who have devastated some districts of northern province Cabo Delgado, since October 2017.
UNIVERSAL MUSIC AFRICA EXPANDS EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTION PARTNERSHIP WITH LEADING FRENCH RAPPER BOOBA ACROSS AFRICA .
July 13, 2021 | 0 Comments
Deal encompasses distribution of Booba’s acclaimed catalog and future releases throughout the continent for the first time.
–UMA And Booba launch 92i AFRICA Label to support African rap talent with marquee signings Dopeboy Dmg (Senegal) & Didi B (Cote D’ivoire)
Abidjan & Paris, 13 July 2021 – Universal Music Africa (UMA), a division of Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, today announced an exclusive strategic pan-African distribution partnership with leading French rapper and entrepreneur, Booba and his Tallac Records label. The deal will see the acclaimed artists’ entire catalog, spanning 10 albums and almost two decades, available for the first time across the continent and will also include future releases.
The deal also marks the launch of the 92i Africa – a new division of his 92 i brand, in partnership with UMA and Universal Music France (UMF), his long-term distributor and partner in his Tallac Records and 92i brands. The label will focus on signing and developing the best in African rap and hip-hop talent and launches with the marquee signings of DopeBoy DMG (Senegal) and Didi B (Côte d’Ivoire). 92i Africa will also provide a suite of services for its artists including brand and marketing partnerships, live music production and touring services, and will be based out of UMA’s regional headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Booba, a French native of Senegalese descent, is one of French rap’s most successful artists of all time, breaking domestic sales records, whilst achieving numerous Diamond (x 8), Platinum (x 17) and Gold (x 15) certified records in France, selling in-excess of 10 million albums. His live performances have also broken records in France, becoming the first rapper to sell out both Paris’ 20,000 capacity Accor Arena (twice), and the 40,000 capacity La Défense Arena. His latest album ‘Ultra‘, released in March 2021 via Tallac Records/UMF, has already achieved more than 300 million streams worldwide in its first few months since release.
An acclaimed record producer, Booba has discovered, recorded, and released successful artists including: Damso, Shay and Bramsitothrough his labels. With deep links to Africa, Booba will use 92i Africa and his partnership with UMA, as a building platform to help elevate African music talent to new audiences around the world, support and boost the local music ecosystem within French-speaking Africa and help shine a spotlight on the rich music culture and talent from the continent.
Booba is known for being an outstanding businessman and entrepreneur, having launched several successful clothing brands and stores including La Piraterie, Unkut and Disconnected. He also owns his own whiskey brand, D.U.C.
92i Africa launches with the marquee signing of Senegalese rapper, Dopeboy DMG – A skilled and versatile artist who both raps and sings in the Senegalese Wolof dialect, English and French. Dopeboy DMG is a part of one of Senegal’s most influential rap crews Reptyl Music. His debut single as a solo artist, ‘Respect’, will be released on July 23 via 92i Africa/Universal Music Africa, with an EP entitled ‘TMD’ to follow. He is joined on the roster by Ivorian rapper Didi B, already a prominent figure in African hip-hop. A former member of the band Kiff No Beat, known for a decade of French and pan-African hits. Didi’s first single with 92 I Africa, ‘Big Boss’ is out now.
In making the announcement, Franck Kacou, Managing Director, Universal Music Africa said, “Booba has been one of the most important and influential rap artists, inspiring new generations of French and African hip-hop talent for decades. He is an artist and entrepreneur that Africa is so proud of, so it is an honor to help make his deep catalog of groundbreaking music available across the continent for the first time. We are excited to work together with him to make 92i Africa, a home for some of Africa’s most exciting artists, and to help give them a step-forward onto the global stage.”
Olivier Nusse, CEO, Universal Music France said, “Booba is an outstanding artist who has dominated the urban music market in France for over 20 years. He is a mega star, and he is also a great talent scout. We are extremely happy to have him as a very privileged partner for many years. Booba is an incredible reference beyond the French borders and particularly in West Africa. We are very proud and excited that he has decided to share his genius and experience with our teams at Universal Music Africa to make his talent shine brighter than ever on the African continent, and highlight the fantastic creative breeding ground of this region.”
Launched in 2018 with a regional headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire – Universal Music Africa’s scope encompasses 25 French, Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries across the continent, and represents more than 50 artists, including some of the most respected and acclaimed artists from across Africa. Now with additional divisions in Dakar, Senegal and Doula, Cameroon, all under the leadership of UMA’s Managing Director Franck Kacou – UMA operates a wide-ranging suite of services for its recording artists and labels including: music production and publishing, live event production and brand partnerships. In recent years, UMA has launched several frontline labels – Def Jam Africa, the iconic hip-hop brand as a new standalone label on the continent, with resources across five countries, dedicated to discovering the best in African hip-hop, Afrobeats and Trap music. UMA also brought the historic Motown label to Africa with the launch of Motown Gospel Africa.
In March 2021, UMG signed a landmark deal with Boomplay, Africa’s leading domestic streaming service Boomplay to expand its distribution license for the UMG catalog to cover 47 countries within the continent. In Africa, UMG has led the industry, working hand in hand with both domestic and international platforms and Telco’s to help bring the best in global music to music fans across Africa.
UMG remains committed to helping bolster the wider local ecosystem, with continued focus on building a fair and prosperous market for all through better understanding and management of copyright and royalty distribution, and through the development of strong partnerships with platforms throughout the region which will be integral to introducing African music to a wider audience in years to come.
UMA works closely with UMG’s operations in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya & Morocco. UMG has divisions in 7 countries in Africa, with others scheduled to launch in the coming months.
UMG is also working closely in partnership with parent company Vivendi, and several of Vivendi’s divisions, including CanalOlympia, Olympia Production, Vivendi and Canal+ to support and develop the live music industry throughout Africa.
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries. Featuring the most comprehensive catalog of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. Universal Music Group is a Vivendi company.
If You Boycott Africa’s Oil & Gas Sector, Africa Will Boycott You.
July 13, 2021 | 0 Comments
In a move to promote development and end energy poverty by 2030, the African Energy Chamber has announced that it will encourage African countries to boycott companies that boycott African oil and gas.
With the international community pushing for a rapid decrease in carbon emissions due to climate change, there has been a significant decline in foreign investment directed towards the African energy sector. The global climate crisis remains a critical point of discussion and should remain at the top of the agenda with regards to energy development, however, as the international community moves to boycott investments in the African energy sector, African people and African development stand to suffer. The role of oil in Africa’s energy and economic future is apparent, and consequently, should be defended as Western elites move to disrupt African progress.
Despite oil’s potential to lift millions out of poverty and ensure underdeveloped African nations have a chance at economic growth and success, there has been an increasing trend by the international investment community to boycott African energy projects. For many years, many Africans have turned a blind eye to elites in Africa and their western counterparts who have pandered to a radical anti-energy agenda that has not been in the best interest of the African energy sector or African people. With the promise of foreign aid and aid workers, such institutions have insisted on ending oil and gas investments and development, promoting an immediate energy transition which will and continues to prove disastrous for the African continent and its people.
With the end of investment in African oil and gas declared by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, BlackRock, the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and the International Energy Agency, Africa will not be able to alleviate energy poverty. What’s more, organizations such as GreenPeace and Friends of the Earth continue to cause major project disruptions in Africa, directly impacting any opportunity for sectoral and economic growth.
What’s even more unsettling is that for years, there has been an accelerated push by the international community for Africa to create enabling environments for investment and now that this has been established, the West is ending investment. Through the promotion and drive for amended policies, restructured regulatory frameworks and investor attractive initiatives, Africa has made significant progress in increasing ease of doing business across the African oil and gas sector. Notably, with Nigeria’s recently passed Petroleum Industry Bill, Nigeria has spurred investment in its highly prospective energy sector, and countries such as the Republic of Congo, Angola, and Senegal, through transformative regulatory changes, have focused on attracting foreign investment. How is it that, upon the establishment of enabling environments in which the international community demanded, the same organizations have decided to end investment in African oil and gas projects?
No more. Africans are not going to sit back and allow African elites and financial institutions to destroy our energy industry and the opportunities for job creation, enabling the alleviation of energy poverty. We must utilize free markets and the continent’s enabling environments to allow capital to come into the continent and combat climate change in a responsible manner. There is no denying that the energy transition is vital, however, someone has to pay for it. USD $100 billion for all developing countries is essentially a non-starter, especially considering that western nations will be spending approximately $6 trillion to transition annually.
The African energy transition is just that, a transition – a process or period of changing from one state to another. Abruptly ending all investment into the African energy industry will not enable African countries to generate the critical funds needed to transition to renewable energy solutions in the future. Rather, by boycotting fossil fuels, the international community is essentially boycotting any possible development in Africa, alleviating the opportunity for a transition and leaving millions in energy poverty. According to Ayuk, “if the goal is to move Africa towards increased renewable energy usage, a healthy oil and gas industry is a good and cost-effective way to get there.”
In response to declining interest in African oil and gas projects, particularly as Western nations continue to interdict African fossil fuel developments, the AEC has declared that it will urge African countries to boycott or refrain from working with international companies that discontinue investments and reject the African oil industry. There is no reason to invest African pension funds or conduct business with financial institutions that refuse to invest with African energy companies because of climate change. Financial institutions that discriminate against Africa’s oil and gas industry in the name of climate change are wrong and desperately need to change both their mindsets and actions.
Look at the facts; Africa is not to blame for any climate issues and should not be made to pay the price for it. As the AEC has stated in the past, demonizing energy companies is not a constructive way forward. Ignoring the role that carbon-based fuels have played in driving human progress distorts the public debate. We cannot expect African nations – which together emitted seven times less CO2 than China last year, and four times less than the US, according to the Global Carbon Atlas – to undermine promising opportunities for economic development by simply aligning with the Western view of how to address carbon emissions. Make no mistake, the energy industry has led the world in emissions reductions.
Making energy poverty history by 2030 should be our most urgent priority. The AEC has taken a principal position in refusing to attend Africa Oil Week in Dubai because we disagree with the London-based narrative that African oil and gas investments must end. By hosting AEW 2021 in Cape Town on the 9th-12th of November 2021, the AEC is committed to the African narrative, African voices, and African energy sector growth.
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Ghana Trades Union Congress – ‘It Is Simply Not Right’ To Pay President’s Spouses.
July 13, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Maxwell Nkansah
Ghana’s Trade Union Congress (TUC) has weighed into the conversation of the recommendation by the Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu committee for spouses of presidents and vice presidents to be given monthly salaries.
The recommendation came after the committee was tasked in 2019 by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to review emoluments of Article 71 office holders.
It has since submitted its report, which has been consequently approved for implementation by Parliament.
But since the disclosure of this was made by Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah in an interview, many, particularly the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), have expressed disgust about the move.
The party’s representatives in Parliament say they are unaware of the purported approval in the last Parliament.
Led by South Dayi Member of Parliament (MP) Rockson Nelson Etse Dafeamekpor, they have filed a writ at the Supreme Court to seek interpretation of the 1992 Constitution on payments of Article 71 office holders.
On Sunday, July 11, the TUC issued a statement to also disagree with the recommendation by the committee on the spouses of presidents and vice presidents.
According to Dr Yaw Baah, Ghanaians appreciate what the first and second ladies are doing to support women’s rights, children’s rights, and other noble initiatives towards social and economic development of our country. But neither the Constitution of Ghana nor the laws of the land assign them any official duties and responsibilities.
He added that the TUC “cannot support the payment of salaries to the spouses of presidents and vice presidents, even if the Committee recommended the payment of such salaries”. In the statement it said that it is simply not right for anyone who has not been officially assigned duties and responsibilities in the public service to receive monthly salaries.
The Committee sought to rationalize or regularize allowances that were being paid already, hence its recommendation to convert such allowances into salaries. The TUC also observed that the committee did not recommend the back payment of the salaries as being speculated. It said per the report payment has since been made.
Salary arrears dated back to January 2017 have since been paid to the wives of President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Bawumia, in accordance with the Committee’s recommendation which was approved by NDC and NPP Members of Parliament.
Ghana: Vice President Bawumia Commended For Paving Way For Thousands Through Online Scholarship.
July 13, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Maxwell Nkansah
The Registrar of the Scholarship Secretariat, Kingsley Agyemang, has commended the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, for his role in the successful implementation of the online scholarship application portal, and the opportunity it has created for the youth.
The online scholarship application portal, a digital initiative by the government to decentralize the scholarship application process and also to make scholarship application accessible to needy students at the local level throughout the country Following the launch last year, 200,000 young people applied through the online platform, and unlike the old system, they did so online from the comfort of their local communities without travelling to Accra.
Speaking at a ceremony in Accra to herald the opening of the portal for the 2021/2022 academic year, Kingsley Agyemang said the online portal is a brainchild of Dr. Bawumia and commended him for ensuring its successful implementation.
Making reference to the high number of people who successfully applied for scholarships through the online platform at the district level after its launch, Kingsley Agyemang stressed that but for the Vice President’s innovative intervention, many of the beneficiaries, would not have been able to apply.
Kingsley Agyemang also announced another programme which Dr. Bawumia is spearheading. That is an initiative to provide internship opportunities to beneficiaries of scholarship at the district level through factories built under One District One Factory.
He said “there is the need to give our graduates internship opportunities and that’s the best way to go. His Excellency the Vice President of the Republic is in full support of this programme. It his initiative and in the course of the year, he will be launching it.”
This year’s online student scholarship application, which will remain open until July 21, is expected to attract even larger numbers than last year, with 55,000 beneficiaries expected. In all, government has allocated GH¢85 million to be distributed to the 55,000 beneficiaries as scholarships for the 2021/2022 academic year.
EU approves training mission to support Mozambique fighting terrorism.
July 13, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Jorge Joaquim
The European Union on Monday formally established a military mission for Mozambique to train and support its armed forces in fighting against Islamic-State linked terrorists in gas-rich Cabo Delgado province.
The Council decision is the EU response to the Mozambican authorities’ request for reinforced EU engagement in the areas of peace and security, according to a statement seen by Pan Afican Visions. The mandate of the mission will initially last two years, it adds.
The mission will provide military training including operational preparation, specialised training on counter-terrorism, and training and education on the protection of civilians and compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights law.
The mission commander will be the Director of the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC), Vice Admiral Hervé Bléjean. Brigadier General Nuno Lemos Pires, a Portuguese national with over 38 years’ experience in command positions including many in international missions, will lead the mission on the ground as force commander.
The security and humanitarian situation in the Cabo Delgado province has been continuously and seriously deteriorating since 2017. An escalation of violence has led to the internal displacement of more than 700 000 people. It is estimated that at least 1.3 million people in Cabo Delgado and the neighbouring provinces of Niassa and Nampula require immediate humanitarian assistance and protection.
African Energy Chamber Endorses Usaef 2021, Urges U.S. Investors to Participate.
July 13, 2021 | 0 Comments
The African Energy Chamber’s (AEC) U.S.-Africa Committee is excited to endorse the U.S.-Africa Energy Forum (USAEF) 2021 (October 4-5; Houston, Texas), the premier platform for connecting U.S. companies and partners to the African energy sector.
- The African Energy Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Committee has endorsed the U.S.-Africa Energy Forum (USAEF) 2021 (October 4-5; Houston, Texas) as the premier platform for strengthening bilateral trade and investment.
- The Committee calls on American investors, financiers and service providers to participate in the two-day event that is set to solidify the U.S. as the partner of choice to African energy projects.
- U.S. majors have already played a significant role in gas monetization on the continent, with the clean-burning fossil fuel able to fulfill African electrification and industrialization objectives.
The African Energy Chamber’s (AEC) U.S.-Africa Committee is excited to endorse the U.S.-Africa Energy Forum (USAEF) 2021 (October 4-5; Houston, Texas), the premier platform for connecting U.S. companies and partners to the African energy sector. In partnership with event organizers Energy Capital & Power, the Committee calls onfinance, venture capital, junior and mid-cap oil firms and service and technology providers to speak, sponsor and participate in the inaugural event.
Appointed in June 2020 as the first committee on the AEC’s Advisory Board, the U.S.-Africa Committee serves tosupport the development of enhanced bilateral energy cooperation, with a view to driving capital, expertise and technology transfers between the two entities. The AEC believes that U.S. companies, investors and project developers are best equipped to partner with African governments and firms, on the back of a new administration and progressive climate commitment.
“The U.S. is acutely aware of the positive growth and transformation that accompanies energy development – the very growth of which the African continent isin pursuit,” says NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. “Under the Biden Administration, the U.S. has leveled up its commitment to allocating funds to various energy initiatives both at home and abroad. We must build on this momentum and strengthen the position of the U.S. as the primary investor and partner to Africa, as the continent undergoes a journey to eradicate energy poverty and boost socioeconomic development.” Added Ayuk
As Africa finds itself at the center of the global energy transition, new opportunities in natural gas, renewables, off-grid power generation and energy storage have emerged on the continent, attracting billions from U.S. oil majors to date.
In Angola, Chevron established the first upstream natural gas partnership in the country – along with BP, Eni, Total and state-owned Sonangol – that represents a two-billion-dollar investment in gas-processing facilities in Soyo. In Equatorial Guinea, U.S. operators including Noble Energy, Marathon Oil and Chevron executed the first phase of the country’s flagship Gas Mega Hub – the $330-million Alen gas monetization project – that targets the creation of an intra-African liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade.
Africa is also rich in strategic minerals needed to fast-track the U.S. along its own energy transition. American firms like Alpha Sierra and its CEO C. Derek Campbell are aggressively playing a key role in targeting new opportunities to develop Africa’s potential with rare earth elements and critical minerals that will be essential in the manufacturing of batteries, magnets, and other components important to the clean energy economy.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, is estimated to contain one million tons of lithium resources and is a global leader in the production of cobalt, copper, tantalum and tin. Such minerals are required to meet growing market demand for green batteries that have the capacity to fuel U.S. clean energy by powering carbon-free grids, electric vehicles and green technologies.
Investment opportunities along the clean energy value chain – along with those in Exploration & Production, natural gas and LNG, power grids and connectivity, energy storage, infrastructure and manufacturing – will be on display at USAEF 2021, as U.S. and African policymakers and finance leadersunite to promote bilateral cooperation and advance an agenda of mutual, inclusive growth.
Regulatory changes around Africa send a clear message that Africa is ready for investment in its energy industry. The Nigerian Petroleum Industry Bill tells Americans that Nigeria now has a clear vision with a sound legal and regulatory framework that would support a coherent, investor-friendly oil and natural gas sector. Congo, Senegal, Gabon, Tanzania, Ghana, Mozambique have set up amazing fiscal incentives for investments into low carbon LNG and power projects.
“As Africa and America push to make energy poverty history, we in Africa must note that being attractive to investors is not enough. The lack of transparency is keeping us from reaching our full potential,” continued Ayuk. “At the African Energy Chamber, we will continue to advocate for and believe that better policymaking would help. Free markets, personal responsibility, less regulation, low taxes, limited government, individual liberties, and economic empowerment will boost African energy markets and economies and put us on our path towards making energy poverty history. We should fight against a new aid and welfare culture that many young Africans are moving towards, and American values of hard work and innovation can help.” Concluded Ayuk
To register for the USAEF 2021 virtual event on 12 July, please visit https://bit.ly/3xiL2JY.
To attend the USAEF 2021 private networking event (Watergate Hotel, Washington D.C.; 12 July), please visit https://bit.ly/3jFn2Nf.
To learn more about U.S.-Africa energy investment opportunities, find out more information regarding sponsorship opportunities at USAEF 2021, or register for the Houston summit, visit www.USAfricaEnergy.com or contact James Chester at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Angola’s oil and gas industry continues to provide huge opportunities for investors, despite energy transition.
July 13, 2021 | 0 Comments
As the world continues to debate what energy transition means and what the implications would be, Angola, like many other major oil producers will have to reaccess their oil and gas industry and its potential to continue being a leading destination for energy investments.
By Verner Ayukegba*
Over the past three decades, Angola has proven to be a tier one destination for major oil and gas producers. It is for that reason, that the country is host to all major International Oil Companies. As the world continues to debate what energy transition means and what the implications would be, Angola, like many other major oil producers will have to reaccess their oil and gas industry and its potential to continue being a leading destination for energy investments. Offshore exploration, especially during the boom years of 2002 to 2008, led to oil production in Angola reaching close to 2 million barrels per day, providing Angola with much needed resources for its post-conflict reconstruction.
In light of the ongoing push towards decarbonization, a commitment by many countries, especially western industrialised nations, International energy companies and organisations towards achieving net zero emissions between 2030 and 2050, many have asked if Angola will keepits place as a choice destination for international energy companies.
In order to answer the above question on Angola’s investment attractiveness postively, the government, under the leadership of HE President João Lourenço initiated the National Development Plan 2018-2022 and the revised Hydrocarbon Exploration Strategy 2020-2025 – authorised by Presidential Decree 282/20. This seeks to intensify, research and geologically evaluate concessions and free areas of sedimentary basins for exploration in Angola.
In response to the growing chorus around energy transition, and how this will affect the oil and gas industry in Angola, the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum, headed by HE Diamantino Pedro Azevedo and other major stakeholders in Angola like the National Oil, Gas and Biofuel’s Agency (ANPG) and SONANGOL are all actively exploring ways of adapting their operations to reflect the new normal. Efforts are being made to encourage more efficient operations that will lead to a reduction in the carbon footprint of operators, lead to less waste, and also increase the commercial use of associated gas. The latter, is likely to increase significantly in importance as a major transition fuel over the next 20-30 years.
Natural gas acts as a key intermediary in the energy transition, releasing fewer emissions than coal and petroleum products, while being able to reliably supply energy to enable production at scale and offset the inherent intermittence of energies. renewables. The Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum is currently leading an ambitious effort to monetize gas reserves by attracting investments into downstream infrastructure and gas-fired power generation projects. The establishment of the New Gas Consortium that represents Angola’s first major natural gas partnership, brings together Eni, BP, Chevron, Total and state-owned Sonangol. Through better use of this resource, natural gas will play a pivotal role not only in supporting Angola’s effort to increase access to electricity, but also in accelerating industrialization and the transition to cleaner energy sources. It is the government’s hope, that this is only a first step to many more partnerships and a petrochemical industry. Commercialisation of gas can also lead to the establishment of a petrochemical industry that can produce fertilizer to boost agriculture in Angola and regionally. The government has already signalled that it is ready to grant attractive special concessions to major investors in refining and petrochemicals by granting a Gemcorp-Sonaref led consortium lucrative tax concessions to build the 60,000 barrel per day Cabinda refinery. The call for other investors to follow is loud and clear.
In the upstream space, a licensing round in line with Presidential Decree 52/19, which foresees yearly bid rounds until 2025 is ongoing. Angola’s regulator, the ANPG, is intent on attracting interest far beyond the traditional players in Angola’s oil and gas sector. Special attention has been given to attract mid-sized explorers to Angola’s basins that have proven prolific in recent years and provided returns for companies far beyond industry averages in other locations. Six licenses onshore Kwanza Basin and three licenses onshore Lower Congo Basin are currently on offer for this round.
Specifically, the construction of a US$2 billion gas processing plant in Soyo, led by the NGC, will produce refined gas in liquid form that will be directed for export to foreign markets and to the combined cycle power plant of the Soyo, producing energy for the national grid. Meanwhile, Angola’s LNG plant was the first to develop domestic natural gas resources and is one of the largest single investments in the Angolan oil and gas industry. Unlike most installations that use non-associated gas, this plant uses associated gas as a primary power source, thus contributing more significantly to the elimination of gas flaring, to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and to the promotion of environmental management. Both installations constitute a critical step on Angola’s path towards the sustainable and efficient use of its natural resources.
Angola, like many other African countries and other stakeholders globally, continues to believe, that there is a role for hydrocarbons in the age of energy transition. It is unreasonable, for western based organisations and governments, who have benefited tremendously from hydrocarbons, to demand of Angola and the rest of Africa that they immediately end the exploration and production of Hydrocarbons for the purpose of the word achieving its emission targets. Africa, with 16.72% of the world’s population, is responsible, according to the UN accounts for less than 3% of global carbon dioxide emissions from energy and industrial sources, compared to 15% for the USA, 16% for Europe and 28% for China. Furthermore, global demand for hydrocarbons is likely to be significant for at least another half a century even as it is expected to decline, according to numerous studies. Furthermore, many African countries like Angola depend significantly on revenue from hydrocarbons for the financing of education, healthcare and job creation. It is therefore unreasonable, to demand a speedy end of such a vital industry.
Natural Gas consumption and production in the USA has increased by close to 100% between 1990 and 2020. This has led to significant reductions in emissions in America, as many coal plants got replaced with gas. Gas has been good for America. It is also good for Africa and Angola. We must therefore support Angola in its quest to develop its gas resources, both for export and industrial use.
It is however important to note, that the Angolan government is committed to promoting renewables. As such, increasing amounts of the government’s expenditure towards expanding access to power are being committed to solar projects, in addition to incentivising public private partnerships in the sector. Italian oil company Eni, in partnership with Sonangol, is leading the construction of a 50 MW solar power plant in Namibe province, which is expected to start operations in 2022. Angola offers investors a unique opportunity to introduce capital, technology and best practices to meet the country’s growing energy demand as well as its development goals.
Angola’s vast opportunities in the development of natural gas and other energy sources will be on display during the upcoming Angola Oil & Gas 2021 Conference and Exhibition, September 9-10, in Luanda, developed in partnership with the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum. This unique event encompasses a dynamic campaign to promote the energy sector – led by the continent’s leading energy investment platform Energy Capital & Power, formerly Africa Oil & Power – which includes an investment report and documentary Africa Energy Series : Angola 2021, and a series of international representations designed to place Angola at the center of the attention of investors around the world.
*African Energy Chamber.Verner Ayukegba is Senior Vice President at the African Energy Chamber
Senegal’s African Energy Week 2021 Pavilion Promotes Energy Diversification, The Role Of Natural Gas.
July 13, 2021 | 0 Comments
By hosting an interactive exhibition and pavilion at African Energy Week 2021, Senegal will drive a discussion on the role of natural gas and energy diversification in Africa’s energy future.
Taking place in Cape Town on the 9th-12th of November in a newly adapted and revolutionary conference structure, African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 will comprise a number of high-level pavilions hosted by leading oil and gas countries across Africa. Notably, Senegal’s pavilion, led by a strong delegation of industry leaders from the country, will showcase some of the significant investment and development opportunities the country has to offer. Under the direction of H.E. Aissatou Sophie Gladima, Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Senegal’s pavilion is expected to drive a discussion around the role of natural gas in Africa, energy diversification, and the value of gas-directed investments.
Backed by over 450 billion cubic meters of proven natural gas reserves, Senegal is rapidly establishing itself as a leader in African gas monetization and development with notable projects including the $4.8 billion Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project led by BP and Kosmos Energy. The country has ambitious gas plans and aims to fully exploit reserves, increasing gas exports and reducing heavy fuel imports in the process. Senegal’s pavilion will promote the role of natural gas in Africa, using a platform whereby tangible examples and successful Senegalese project case studies are presented to a wide audience. Rather than simply tell the story of Senegal’s gas sector, the pavilion will enable the country to visually showcase it.
Meanwhile, Senegal aims to increase its electrification rate to 100% by 2025, and plans to use gas to do so. By shifting Karpowership’s use of heavy fuel to Liquified Natural Gas and focusing on the construction of notable gas-to-power projects such as the Cap des Biches combined-cycle gas turbine power plant, Senegal is directing critical investment to cleaner power generation solutions, facilitating an energy transition in the process.
“Senegal is rapidly becoming a trend setter in natural gas developments, emphasizing how supportive policies, private sector participation, and multi-sector integration can fast-track progress. The country’s pavilion at AEW 2021 will not only showcase the range of investment opportunities present in Senegal, but will serve as an example for other countries looking at utilizing natural gas more effectively and efficiently,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman, the AEC.
What’s more, Senegal’s pavilion will showcase a range of investment opportunities prevalent across multiple sectors. In addition to natural gas developments, the pavilion will showcase some of the country’s most impressive renewable energy projects in a bid to drive further progress and development across this high-rewarding sector. Senegal has already made notable progress in advancing its green energy sector through several large-scale renewable projects. The country’s commitment to the Scaling Solar Program, for example – a World Bank Group and International Finance Corporation initiative that seeks to mobilize privately funded grid-connected solar projects in Africa – is driving investment and addressing electricity challenges country wide. Additionally, the proposed Sambangalou dam project, a 128MW hydroelectric power station in Senegal, aims to increase domestic installed capacity and further diversify the country’s power sector. Senegal is fully focused on transitioning to cleaner energy solutions and will showcase the country’s potential at its AEW 2021 pavilion.
What makes Senegal’s pavilion unique, however, and one not-to-be-missed, is that rather than showcase its energy sectors as separate investment opportunities, the pavilion emphasizes how sectoral integration and a multi-sector approach to energy investments is critical in expanding Africa’s energy sector and driving a continent-wide energy transition. Specifically, the pavilion will showcase the value of energy diversification and unification in addressing energy poverty, establishing secure regional electricity supply lines, and accelerating socio-economic growth in 2021 and beyond. Driven by the Emerging Senegal Plan – a policy framework aimed at getting Senegal on the road to development by 2035 -, Senegal is focused on diversifying its energy mix and is seeking investors to help achieve this objective.
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Zanzibar’s new tax and residency investment scheme set to open paradise to the world.
July 12, 2021 | 0 Comments
Government introduces key measures to make the idyllic region attractive to foreign investors seeking to invest in Africa.
The government of Zanzibar, one of Africa’s most prized travel destinations, has announced that a new tax and residency program is now available for foreigners wanting to live and invest in the island.
The game-changing measure comes on the back of significant infrastructure and tourism-friendly initiatives that allowed the idyllic Tanzanian region to weather much of the storm brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
Until now, the Investments Act of 2018 provided procedures and criteria for Strategic Investment Status (SIS) projects with incentives and allowances to real estate developers, however the same was not offered to those wanting to buy property in the country.
The result has been that Zanzibar has not been able to attract any notable real estate development, where countries like Mauritius, Dubai, Oman, Singapore and others have thrived after implementing this strategy.
With the introduction of the new investor programme, announced by the Government on Tuesday, foreign buyers will now be afforded the opportunity to enjoy a number of benefits, thereby luring investment and boosting Zanzibar as well as the broader Tanzania’s economy.
Real estate investors are now able to acquire a residency permit as an investor, meaning the party will be allowed to live in Zanzibar as a non-citizen. They are also not required to live in Zanzibar permanently.
New tax and residency benefits for real estate buyers:
1) No Income tax on worldwide income and wealth
2) Resident permit for VILLA buyer plus Partner and up to four children under 20 years of age
3) First buyer pays only 50% of normal capital gains on sale of unit, at 5% instead of 10%
4) Foreign ownership allowed
5) Registration of ownership to be done by Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority (ZIPA)
6) No VAT on unit rental or sales
7) Income tax is halved only on local income – 15% instead of 30% (applicable to foreigners only)
8) Repatriation of profit is allowed after tax
9) Residence permits are only valid for the duration the buyer owns the property (renewable every two years at $3050 for the main investor and $550 for each dependent)
10) No work permit is given, but may be applied for separately by the employer
11) No minimum stay is required to claim benefits
Business investors wanting to invest in ventures such as restaurants, bars, watersports and retail operations will receive similar benefits as real estate investors through approved “Strategic Investment” projects only.
Here is a list of new tax and residency benefits for business investors:
1) Foreign ownership is allowed
2) No business licence fees for the first three months
3) Company tax: Income tax free for first five years. After the first five years: 50% (Income Tax is 30% so it will only be 15%)
4) Repatriation of profit allowed after tax
5) 100% exemption on withholding tax on interest paid to foreign banks
6) Deduction of depreciation rate of 100% within five years
7) Residence and work permits for investor and employees.
Pennyroyal Ltd is the long-term investor, developer and manager of Blue Amber Zanzibar, and the first real estate project to be awarded SIS by Zanzibar’s government.
Blue Amber is a luxury mixed-use, waterfront, resort development spread across 411 hectares along the Muyuni coastline in the north-eastern part of Zanzibar. It incorporates residential, hotel, tourism, and community and public amenities.
It is the only “Strategic Investment” real estate development on Zanzibar with an untouched natural beach, offering views of pristine Muyuni Beach and Mnemba Island.
Construction of the first villa residences and visitors centre commenced in the first quarter of 2020 and are due for completion within the next 18 to 24 months. Subsequent phases will include the development of further hotel, residential and retail sub-projects around the anchor developments.
Phase 1 of the project is expected to be completed in the next two years.
With the introduction of the new investment programme and its myriad of benefits, the developers are expecting to see great interest among buyers from abroad, especially against a backdrop of Tanzania bucking global travel trends last year.
The country, and Zanzibar in particular, surpassed expected visitor numbers in 2020 despite enormously unfavourable conditions stemming from the pandemic.
Tanzania recorded more than 620 000 foreign tourists in the 2020/21 financial year – almost 200 000 more than was anticipated.
The speedy implementation of Standard Operating Procedures requiring visitors to present medical proof of their Covid-19 status, measures that also applied to stakeholders in the local tourism sector, played a key role in the country’s success.
The effective strategies implemented by the government caught the attention of the World Travel and Tourism Council, which awarded Tanzania a ‘Safe Travels Stamp’ in August – a major feat considering international fears around Covid-19.
From the time the pandemic arrived on African shores, the country’s leaders were proactive in their approach, forging ahead with plans to make Tanzania more attractive to foreign investors.
In January, Zanzibar president Hussein Ali Mwinyi signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of a $230-million port in North Unguja.
Once completed, the project will include berths for containers, liquid bulk goods, natural gas offshore services and infrastructure for the rehabilitation of marine vessels.
On the 30th of May, Terminal 3 at Amani Karume International Airport (AAKIA) opened to improve the quality of services and customer care for visitors to the island.
About Blue Amber Zanzibar:
Blue Amber is a mixed-use, waterfront, resort development spread across 411 hectares along the Muyuni coastline in the north-eastern part of Zanzibar and incorporates residential, hotel, tourism, as well as community facilities and public amenities within its uses.
Blue Amber is being developed by Pennyroyal Ltd and is the first real estate project to be awarded “Strategic Investment” status (SIS) by the government of Zanzibar. SIS provides non-citizens the opportunities to become permanent residents and receive a host of attractive tax benefits if they acquire property within developments with SIS.
The development will be executed in several phases. Phase one involved the site clearing, boundary wall construction, and road infrastructure works. Construction of the first villa residences and visitors centre commenced in the first quarter of 2020 and are due for completion within the next 18 to 24 months.
Subsequent phases will include the development of further hotel, residential and retail sub-projects around the anchor developments. Phase 1 of the project is expected to be completed in the next four years.
Interested buyers can visit www.blueamberzanzibar.com.
AirLink Continues dorminating skies despite South Africa’s level 4 covid-19 restrictions.
July 11, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Nevson Mpofu
AirLink the South African based domestic and regional airline will continue to provide regular scheduled service across its network of more than 35 destinations .This is done to support business , trade and tourism . AirLink has the concern to keep the national economies of the Southern African region functioning . The superb service flight keeps the skies in boom business while South Africa is under covid 19 level 4 restrictions to slow the spread of infections in the country.
The fully fledged operational airline adjusted its scheedule of selected AirLink flights so that its customers comply with the revised curfew with minimum disruption to their travel plans.
“”We fully support Southern African governments effort to flatten the infection curb as safety and wellbeing of our customers , curfew and staff is our priority . However together with our service providers , the airports at which AirLink operates , and our customers , we have demonstrated that by applying stringent local and internationally recommended hygiene and bio-security measures that our flights are safe”” said the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of AirLink Rodgers Foster.
He added that at this time businesses and economies are fragile , it is therefore crucial that AirLink continues to provide convinient and efficient air connectivity .
“”At this time when businesses and economies are fragile , it is crucial that we continue to provide convinient and efficient air connectivity”” , he added
While inter provincial travel for leisure to and from Gaunteng province is prohibited , travel to and from Gaunteng is permitted for businesses and essential purpose travelers transiting through Gaunteng to a final destination outside of that province is also permitted .
ESwathini: Flights to South Africa affected by Unrest.
July 11, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Nevson Mpofu..
Civil Unrest in ESwathini last week forced the domestic and regional airline of South Africa and Southern Africa cancel flights operations between Johannesburg and Sikhuphe’s King Mswati 111 International airport.
ESwathini AirLink and its partner Airlink of South Africa which ooerates as the regional airline cancelled flights from the 1st of july up to the 5th of July the past Monday.
Joseph Dlamini General Manager of ESwathini Airlink said they had to cancel the flight in order for the safety and security of customers and staff. He said after consulting with their partner AirLink , they decided to extend the suspension of operations on the route until Monday the 5th of july.
“”The safety and security of our customers and staff is our primary concern. After consulting with our partner AirLink we decided to extend the suspension of our operations on the route until the 5th of July on Monday “”
. said Joseph Dlamini .
Eswathini airlink and AirLink ticketing agents had been contracting ticket holders to rebook them into flights as soon as it resumed operations on the route .AirLink has announced additional changes to its service on the route .
AirLink is an independent , privately owned airline .It was found in 1992. It services Southern African destinations .It boasts of more than 50 modern jetliners . In 2019 it carried 2 million customers on more than 63,000 flights .Its current network includes more than 35 destinations in African countries .Its flight is regularly updated and reflects effects of covid-19 and associated travel restrictions .
Zimbabwe has culture and tradition of political dialogue to solve its long standing conflicts……. …….Africa has gone the same path
July 11, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Nevson Mpofu
Dialogue to solve political conflicts amid scuffling percussions of hostile ferment , fued and civil unrest and strife looks like is…the way for countries in Africa like Mozambique , South Africa , DRC , Sudan, Ethiopia ,Cameroon and at most Zimbabwe .
Such is the African story always told as African heritage , History and part of the media at infant stage . To a worse and greater undulating extent Zimbabwe goes through the history of civil unrest , political turmoil and economic meltdown caused by politics even up to now .It has gone through repeated dialogues , discussions under the Rhodesian rule .One successful dialogue is the Lancaster House of 1979 in London Britain. This led to Zimbabwe’s end of protracted battle between ZANU , ZAPU Patrotic Fronts versus UDI ,Unilateral Declaration for Independence led by Douglas Ian Smith .
The late liberation father Dr Joshua Nkomo , the late commander of Zimbabwe’s Liberation fighters General Josiah Tongogara who was assassinated on 26 December 1979 while returning home from Mozambique together with the beleagued and deceased Robert Mugabe congregated at the lancaster house to discuss way forward for independence of by then Rhodesia which became known as Zimbabwe in 1980.
The late Zimbabwe liberation icon Josiah Tongogara assured white people led by Ian Smith that guerrillas ,that is liberation fighters would get back to fight in the bush if no clear agreement was made on the table .
“”We are ready to get back into the bush to fight until we are all as Africans independent . We want to win the struggle and get in control of our soil and mineral resources . If you hear that Josiah Tongogara is dead then Zimbabwe
is finally liberated””
At Lancaster house asked what was his feeling about who was fit to rule the country , General Josiah Tongogara pointed and said openely Joshua Nkomo who led ZIPRA forces that is ZAPU PF was fit to rule because of his long history in liberation and famous political role and popularity .
“” I feel it Joshua Nkomo is capable and fit because of his long standing history in liberation struggle way back in the 1960’s.””
Such was the enunciation that heavily riled some ZANU PF comrades like Robert Mugabe , Simon Muzenda , Kumbirai Kangai , Solomon Mujuru and a few of them Emmerson Mnangagwa who is related to the Tongogara family is among a few liberation war heroes who never took hand in Tongogara death . A few days before independence , General Tongogara was pronounced dead in Mozambique on the heavy clouded dark night of 26 december 1979 .
Unity Accord of 1987 , 22 December .
Seven (7) years down the line up to 1987 Robert Mugabe who was the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe and Joshua Nkome rounded tables to discuss wayforward on what was best four the country to attain ever long lasting peace and unity . Since 1980 there were protracted battles , rebellions between ZANU PF and ZAPU PF.
Since then Mugabe had been praying and singing songs of peace , unity , reconcilliation of all Zimbabweans .His style for settlement of any dispute was bent on fighting for peace , unity , oneness and reconcilliation with the white settlers who occupied 80% of Zimbabwean land doing business activities related to farming , mining , manufacturing and more .
“” We won our independence through dialogue with white settlers whom we need to have reconcilliation with . We need to forgive each other and mantain values of peace , unity and reconcilliation.”” Mugabe had the tactical hoodwinking tongue to settle down for peace.
Gukurahundi a protracted struggle , friction and ferment between the two Liberation parties led to the death of in total 20,000 people in the western region of the country in Matebeleland north and south prorovinces .
Robert Mugabe unleashed military and political despotic hostility to remain in power ..
In the first five years of-his power in office Robert Mugabe instructed and was advised to recruit Paramilitary troops through-out the country . These were fastly trained soldiers to strike defeat against ZAPRA forces. The civil war which errupted lasted for about four to five years .
There was much of destruction in terms of infrastructure , human death , kidnappings , human rights abuses and lagged development . Joshua Nkomo upon realisation he had failed to remove Mugabe out of power called for peace negotuation in 1987 . This was successful in the month of December . Robert Mugabe had always liked to sit down and talk to Nkomo over peace settlement . Why it was important and the main reason for unity accord with him.
Mugabe by the end of the decade was brushed in pure black that he was tyrrant , despotic , militantly cruel for his self gain to stay afloat in political power . He was a military and political genius , an incomparable intelligensia who had close ties with the army , police , central intelligence and government security agents who took security of him and his family .
Mugabe was known for unaccountable number of persons who disapeared in the hands of members of the central intelligence operatives , army interferance and barrings and blockings done to Opposition especially MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirayi .
There are two main political parties that were formed by former Minister and ZANU PF heavy political weights who failed to topple Mugabe from 1985 .The first was ZUM , Zimbabwe Unity Movement by Edgar Tekere who resisted Mugabe’s political tactics power greedy and long time stay in power . After he lost election in 1985 he was overtaken by Zimbabwe Union of Democrats led by Margret Dongo a lady ..
These two lost the battle of psycho-military intelligence and political gymnastics to tople Mugabe who had strengthened muscles in military , police and central intelligence . Mugabe would have admired dialogue if any was negotiated . He loved peace for his own protection and the people if he still remained in power . He admired unity for the union of political parties to remain praying him , respect , integrity and dignity accorded on him.
The most bitting time in his political power ..
There is only one party that shaked Mugabe in power in his life time . The political genius was shaken for a fall in 1999 when MDC formed by Morgan Tsvangirayi a trade unionist inspired job stayaways , marches and several uprisings until a referundum was called for in 2002 .
The yes , no referrundum failed to be in favour of ZANU pf hands forcing Mugabe to turn to the Lancaster House of 1979 . The agreement was that blacks would take control of their land resources 20 years after independence on a willing buyer willing seller agreement . Politically inspired Zimbabweans rushed for land invasion forcing out of farms thousands of some 4500 White commercial farmers who were of good quality production on land .
The long struggle , fued, civil -unrest caused by the two led to the unity
accord of September 9 2009 that arose through a thourough discussion between the two political parties . This was Zimbabwe’s last dialogue . Close to a decade after this Robert Mugabe was finally forced to leave power in 2017 by his vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Army ,Police generals.
Africa has had negotiations like in South Africa betwwen Nelson Mandela and Buthelezi of Inkatha from KwaZulu Natal after 27 April 1994 at its independence. Mozambique has gone through a long civil war from 1975 .Samora Machel who was a despotic leader like Mugabe it is said assascinated Eduardo Mondlane to take on leadership by force. Since then Alfonse Matsanga Ndhlakhama leader of Mozambique opposition party has been strongly fighting Frelimo. Some negotiations have settled it down amicably bringing short lasting peace . However , the war rages on in the war torn country of approximately 21 million population. Theree is still need for peace agreements following peace disturbances , conflicts and civil displacements in Cabo Delgabo.
Pathetic to say isn the situation in Sudan until a time the country divided , north and south Sudan . The dusturbing force of frictional wind in the south is cause for peaceful settlement to draw everlasting peace and unity of two leaders in political and leadership unendless wrangle like the one which was between Ethiopia and Eritrea took time to settle .
Africa has gone through peace negotiations in some other countries like Sierra Leone , DRC , Angola , Somalia ,Kenya and Zimbabwe at large . Africa is still yet to solve its feuds and long standing political conflicts and disturbances . Thisis the long hisory of colonial disputes , political internal civil conflicts , unrest and clahes among tribes eyeing resources , land , wealth of minerals and political leadership .
*Nevson Mpofu writes from Harare, Zimbabwe.The views are those of the author.
South Africa in flames Following Zuma’s Arrest
July 11, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Prince Kurupati
Widespread protests have erupted in South Africa following the arrest of the country’s former President Jacob Zuma. The protests which started in Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu Natal have slowly engulfed other parts of the country. Numerous vehicles and trucks have been burnt while major roads blocked.
The protests started in earnest a few hours after it was confirmed that the former South African president had handed himself over to the law enforcement agents. Zuma was given a deadline to hand himself over to the law enforcement agents by the Constitutional Court for contempt of court after he refused to appear before a state commission inquiry.
Jacob Zuma is set to spend the next 15 months behind bars. However, if anything is to go by, Zuma’s 15-month stay in prison will definitely not be smooth sailing for the country’s leader Cyril Ramaphosa together with the ruling party the African National Congress (ANC) as they will have to appease the multitudes of Zuma’s supporters who think he was unfairly targeted and just a political scapegoat.
According to the South African police, the protests have provided a conducive environment for criminals to take advantage of as they have been reports of numerous break-ins and looting since the start of the protests. KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Jay Naicker said that the numbers of “criminals or opportunistic individuals trying to enrich themselves during this period” rose significantly.
Since the start of the protests, it’s been reported that several buildings and cars were burnt while NatJOINTS, the national intelligence body said that over 300 people barricaded a major highway in Johannesburg, South Africa – a move which affected the smooth flow of business in Africa’s biggest economic hub.
In one incident, a police officer was shot in Alexandra, a township in Johannesburg while two other officers were also hurt. Over 60 protesters have been arrested while one man is believed to have died during the protests. A statement released by the police starts that “An investigation is under way to determine the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of a 40-year old man who was certified dead at a local clinic”.
Speaking on the protests which have engulfed some parts of the country, President Cyril Ramaphosa called for peace to prevail and for the rule of law to take its course. “The impact of public violence against the road freight industry and damage to freeways that serve as economic arteries will be felt also by the people organizing and committing these crimes,” Ramaphosa said.
Mzwanele Manyi who is the spokesman of the Jacob Zuma Foundation said the protests are a response to an unjust system – “It is the result of a vicious sentence given to a 79-year old man without giving him the right to a fair trial.”
South Africa’s Parliament presiding officers said they were “sympathetic to the personal difficulties confronting former President Jacob Zuma. However, the rule of law and supremacy of the constitution must prevail.”
Zuma’s legal team will have an early day in court on Monday 12 July, 2021 hoping to get the former president’s prison sentence rescinded or reduced.
How global supply chains are sustaining Zambia’s economy.
July 11, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Mohammad bin Hafiz*
While isolation and social distance have become the watchwords of the last year, the situation we find ourselves in has also emphasised the importance of connections and our global supply chains more than ever.
And while passenger movements remain constrained, particularly in markets such as Zambia, the international movement of goods remains a vital lifeline.
During the initial months of the pandemic, there was a huge surge in the demand for air cargo capacity for the transportation of PPE such as facemasks and gloves in addition to medical equipment such as ventilators as well as other pharmaceutical supplies. The other commodities for which the demand remained high included perishables and food items.
More recently, other commodities for industries and manufacturing opened up as manufacturing activity returned We also saw increased volumes of e-commerce shipments as more people shopped online.
Through its cargo flights to more than 135 destinations across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo continues to play an important role globally in the transportation of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, PPE, food and other essential goods as well as maintaining continuity of supply chains for international trade.
Emirates’ cargo-diversified revenue streams beyond traditional passenger-related income have enabled the airline to avoid the worst of the pandemic’s economic impact. For the year to March 31, 2021, Emirates SkyCargo transported 1.9 million tonnes of cargo across our global network.
As one of the world’s largest airlines, serving our customers and the communities where we live and work is part of our DNA. Offering strong supply chain solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic through Emirates SkyCargo has given us an opportunity to provide the support our customers tell us they need during this unprecedented business environment.
Supporting local businesses and industries
With COVID-related border closures rendering many flights challenging, Emirates SkyCargo maintained critical transport links for people and for goods – including essential medical supplies. We continue to ship cargo into and out of Zambia, despite out-bound passenger services being temporarily halted in June.
Zambia’s economy still needs to function; mines still need to operate and farmers still need to export their fresh produce. Jobs and foreign exchange earnings are at stake.
It’s a commitment that we take very seriously as we export fresh fruit and vegetables and bring in mining equipment and components, as well as all the other exports and imports that keep our economy ticking.
Shipment of COVID-19 vaccines and medical supplies
Since the COVID-19 crisis began, Emirates SkyCargo has also been a vital partner in delivering much-needed medicines, medical equipment (including spare parts and repair components), and in keeping global supply chains functioning for the most time-sensitive materials. This has been done through dedicated cargo freighter operations, use of cargo capacity in passenger aircraft, and relief flights to affected areas.
In Zambia, Emirates has worked with relevant Government departments and the World Health Organization in delivering the first batches of COVAX vaccines needed at the most critical time when the country is undergoing a third-wave of COVID-19 infections.
Importance of quality
Emirates and Emirates SkyCargo place the highest level of emphasis on safety and high quality standards in service delivery. This is a key differentiating factor for our customers in addition to our other value propositions such as having a modern all wide-body aircraft fleet, an extensive global network covering six continents as well as state of the art infrastructure in Dubai. We have one of the highest levels of “Delivered as Promised” for cargo in the industry.
Our commitment to quality is also a result of the fact that the cargo that we transport in our aircraft often have a direct impact on the lives of people across the globe. For example, we transport temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals on our aircraft every day. Without strict adherence to quality standards and compliance to EU GDP norms, there is a risk that the quality of the medicine can be compromised which can directly affect the wellbeing of the person waiting to receive it.
Size of transportation
Currently Emirates SkyCargo flies to 136 destinations around the world and transports cargo through about 2000 flights weekly – this is a mix of cargo transported on passenger flights, cargo only flights on passenger aircraft and full freighter flights. For Zambia, Emirates SkyCargo offers cargo capacity on five weekly flights to/ from Lusaka on our Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
Although the COVID-19 crisis has brought a spotlight on air cargo despite the global lockdown, the global pandemic has also highlighted the urgent need for us to accelerate our digital and sustainable transformation, to develop collaborative business models with various stakeholders.
We have seen a hastened global transition to e-commerce in a way that is designed to benefit customers, businesses and industries as a whole. Emirates SkyCargo has positioned itself as a market leader, and took advantage of this market shift; as e-commerce volumes accelerated during the pandemic, freight movement through our Dubai hub was also boosted.
COVID-19 vaccines hub
Emirates SkyCargo has vast expertise in transporting temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals and vaccines across our network. Recognising the scale of the response that would be required to coordinate the logistics of global COVID-19 vaccine distribution, our facilities at Dubai Airport are already supporting cold chain storage and distribution of the vaccine at our GDP certified SkyPharma facility . This is one of the world’s largest dedicated airside hubs for storing and distributing COVID-19 vaccines. The Dubai hub’s advantageous location allows us to fly in vaccines from manufacturing sites globally, store and prepare shipments for regional and global distribution.
Our dedicated COVID-19 vaccine hub has over 4,000 square metres of temperature controlled GDP certified dedicated pharma storage area allowing for large scale storage and distribution of the potential COVID-19 vaccines. Overall, it is estimated that the facility can hold around 10 million vials of vaccine at a 2-8 degrees Celsius temperature range at any one point of time.
Our state-of-the-art infrastructure at Dubai is also complemented by one of the world’s largest fleet of Cool Dollys helping protect temperature sensitive cargo during transit between the aircraft and cargo terminal.
*Mohammad bin Hafiz is Country Manager for Emirates in Zambia.
South Sudan: No Return To War – Kiir Vows In 10th Independence Speech
July 10, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Deng Machol
Juba – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir pledged that he would not return the country to war, in a speech marking 10 troubled years of independence.
‘‘I assure you that I will not return you back to war again,” said president Kiir on Friday. “Let us work altogether to recover the last decade and put our country back to the path of development in this new decade,” he added.
The independence anniversary hasn’t been celebrated in the country as a result of the covid-19 pandemic and Kiir took to a televised public address to assure his country of sustainable peace.
The East Africa’s youngest nation, war – torn South Sudan mired in conflict, economic and political instability and faced with a deteriorating humanitarian crisis.
The world’s newest nation declared independence from Sudan on July 9, 2011 after a decades of civil war, ending the longest conflict in the Africa’s continent.
Just two years later it was plunged into a devastating civil war that claimed almost 400,000 lives and displaced four million people.
President Kiir’s message also comes a day after he warned in an interview with a Kenyan television that he would do anything within his power to ensure that the country does not plunge into the war again.
‘‘There are people who are still bloodthirsty who would like to see people die in South Sudan. I don’t subscribe to that. I think it will not happen,’’ he remarked.
He went on to reassure: ‘‘If South Sudanese accept themselves to stay in peace, in 10 years, South Sudan will be a great country.’’
The observers say despite that, there is no regret nor reverse gear for the independence, whose freedom was accomplished with the precious blood of 2.5 million’s Southerners for over five decades.
Despite a 2018 ceasefire between president Kiir and his rival ex- rebel leader Riek Machar who now serves as a vice president, the country remains in the grip of political instability, economic ruin and a deep hunger crisis.
But president Kiir said calm had returned to many areas of the country save for certain parts that are still in turmoil.
President kiir also says government is implementing a series economic reforms, which have led to the appreciation of the South Sudan Pound SSP against the US dollar.
Kiir said the current “cessation of hostilities is because of a new spirit of dialogue among the parties to the peace agreement which has reduced the huge trust deficit.”
He said the priority of the Transitional Government of National Unity was full implementation of the power-sharing accord, “with focus on security sector and economic reforms” in the oil-rich country.
“These two priority areas will stabilise our country and ensure economic growth through an increase in production leading to socio-economic development,” said Kiir.
He said more oil fields have been opened and a refinery to supply the domestic market and export to neighbouring countries “will soon be fully operational”.
“Pardons 15 Prisoners”
“To mark this an important occasion, I am granting a full pardon to 15 prisoners who were serving jail terms in various prisons across South Sudan,” said Kiir.
Since the conflict broke out in late 2013, unknown numbers of the citizens were reportedly arrested across the country.
President Kiir signalled the National Salvation Front led by Gen. Thomas Cirilo as one of the holdouts still contributing to instability in some pockets of the country, particularly in Equatoria regions.
This coupled with cattle rustling and occasional inter-communal fights have caused insecurity in certain states and must be solved, the president acknowledged.
To achieve total peace, Kiir said there is an ongoing engagement with the SSOMA leaders in Saint Egidio, Rome, peace which he said is promising a good fruits.
Last month, the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, recently wrote to the conveners of the negotiation to postpone the talks to allow room for the preparation of the independence.
President Kiir said that his government has increased salaries of all civil servants by 100 percent, days after the executive arm announced a fiscal budget of over 600 billion South Sudanese Pounds on Wednesday.
“In the 2021-2022 budget, the government has resolved to increase salaries by 100 percent as phase one with immediate effect and fully review late on during the fiscal year when the economy improves,” Kiir told reporters in Juba.
The current salary for civil servants can’t pay for their food, housing, transport, education and other needs.
They often go for nearly 4 to 5 months without salaries.
President Kiir, howeever said that he is aware of the situation and promised to adjust the payment system.
“I am aware that our civil scales are not been paid on time and they have endured irregularly salaries payment for a long time and I am also aware that salary structure has not been reviewed since we reline our currency in 2015,” Kiir said.
President further directed the Ministry of Finance and Petroleum to allocate 5,000 barrels for payment of salaries of government employees.
“I am directing the two ministries of Finance and Economic Planning and Petroleum to dedicate 5,000 barrels of crude oil per day to strengthen the financial standing of the government in order to regularize salaries and operation fund payment,” he said.
“Graduation Of Unify Forces”
President also reiterated the parties’ commitment to the revitalized peace agreement and said a force of 53,000 troops from various parties to the revitalized peace agreement is ready and will be graduated urgently.
“Fifty-three thousand forces from the entire security sector are now ready for graduation. We are committed to graduating them as a matter of urgency for security purposes,” Kiir added.
President Kiir, Dr. Riek Machar and other political leaders have formed a government in Juba implementing a three year deal that is billed to return the country to the path of democracy with elections at the end.
Across the country, citizens and groups including nongovernmental organizations see nothing to be proud of yet.
Agencies say 8.3 million people including women, children and the elderly are facing unprecedented multi-sector humanitarian needs.
Of this, over 7.2 million are facing the worst ever hunger crisis in the country, with some on the brink of famine, Save the Children said in a statement on July 09.
Both the international community and organization warned the situation “will most likely deteriorate in coming months due to ongoing violence, high food prices, climatic shocks, and barriers to humanitarian access, unless urgent national and global action is taken.”
The observers urge president Kiir’s administration to curb communal violence and fast track the implementation of the peace deal, to address some of the root causes of the hunger crisis.
More so, the world’s attention and support are needed now as much as ever to ensure the next ten years of the world’s newest nation do not repeat the tragedy of the past decade.