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Ethiopia on the verge of scraping Visas for all African Nationals
May 30, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Prince Kurupati

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

News reports coming out of Ethiopia suggest that the country may soon be issuing visa on arrival for all African nationals who wish to travel to this east African country replacing the conventional visas i.e. visas issued before one lands in a foreign country.

According to several news outlets including Inside Travel, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed while speaking to the media after his meeting with the Rwandan leader in Addis Ababa said that Ethiopia is planning on following in Rwanda’s footsteps by scrapping conventional visas and replacing them with visa on arrival.

The fact that Prime Minister Ahmed said this development will be implemented “very soon” suggests that it’s imminent before Africans can travel to Ethiopia without going through the hassles of applying for a visa before their travels.

Prime Minister Ahmed said these remarks soon after his first meeting with the visiting Rwandan leader, Paul Kagame. Paul Kagame is on a 3-day official visit in Ethiopia.

While announcing Ethiopia’s plans to scrap visas for all African nationals, Prime Minister Ahmed refused to go into detail on how his government is going to implement this proposal but made it clear that all the citizens of all the 54 African countries will be eligible to visit Ethiopia using the visa on arrival system.

Other areas that the two leaders discussed and made a commitment to strengthen on include air services and defence.

The move if finalised will help push forward the Ethiopian brand and will make it much easier for other African companies and business people to connect with businesses in Ethiopia while at the same time it will help in promoting intra-African tourism.

The move is in line with the African Union’s Vision 2063 which stipulates that African countries need to “implement mechanisms allowing for the issuing of visas on arrival for citizens of Member States, with the possibility of a 30-day stay.” Rwanda is already issuing visas on arrival to all African nationals while Namibia has also taken the same path.

Currently, anyone planning on travelling to Ethiopia will have to obtain a visa before travelling at any of Ethiopia’s diplomatic missions with the exception of those who live in visa exempt countries.

As of now, only the citizens of Djibouti and Kenya do not require visas when travelling to Ethiopia. Citizens of Djibouti can spend a maximum of 3 months in Ethiopia without a visa while citizens of Kenya can spend a maximum of one year in Kenya without a visa. If the stipulated (3 months or one year period) elapses, the citizens do have the opportunity to approach the Ethiopian authorities if they want to extend their stay or they can return to their mother countries.

There is a visa waiver for anyone who holds a diplomatic or service passport with the exception of citizens from Pakistan, Somalia and Eritrea. This waiver lasts for three months.

Travellers in transit regardless of nationality can pass through Ethiopia without a visa by air if they depart within 12 hours or remain within the permitted transit area.

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Priscilla Mutembwa joins USAFCG as Vice President, Cybersecurity Policy and Development
May 30, 2018 | 0 Comments
Priscilla Mutembwa

Priscilla Mutembwa

Ambassador Omar Arouna, Managing Partner of US-Africa Cybersecurity Group, has appointed Priscilla Mutembwa as Vice President,   Cybersecurity Policy and Development.

Further to the appointment, Ambassador Arouna commented: “I’m delighted that Priscilla Mutembwa is joining the Group. Over the past years she has done an outstanding job in various capacity on the African continent. Her work as a member of the ITU Focus Group on Digital Financial Services for Financial Inclusion and her keen interest in the security issues surrounding mobile money in Africa will be essential to our growth.”

Priscilla Mutembwa holds a Master of Business Administration from University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg. She is currently enrolled in a Master in Cybersecurity, Management and Policy from University of Maryland University College. Before joining US-Africa Cybersecurity Group, she has held various management and financial roles at Unicef, British American Tobacco, Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group and Cargill. In 2006 she was appointed CEO at Cargill in Zimbabwe for seven years. Priscilla Mutembwa was named the 2011 CIMA Businesswoman of the Year.

In 2015 she joined the Corporate Council on Africa as Director ICT. She was responsible for the development and implementation of the ICT program of the association and was a member of the ITU Focus Group on Digital Financial Services for Financial Inclusion and developed interest in the security issues surrounding mobile money in Africa. She currently is a Commissioner on the Judicial Services Commission of Zimbabwe.

Her career has spanned 33 years, across 3 continents and now seeking to develop and implement cybersecurity policies and procedures in Africa.

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Rwanda defends $39 million sponsorship deal with Arsenal
May 29, 2018 | 0 Comments

Kagame receiving an Arsenal jersey from Tony Adams (L) once Arsenal captain as Airtel MD, Teddy Bhullar, looks on

Kagame receiving an Arsenal jersey from Tony Adams (L) once Arsenal captain as Airtel MD, Teddy Bhullar, looks on

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — Rwanda’s government on Tuesday defended its $39 million sponsorship deal with the Arsenal football club as some aid donors and rights activists raised an outcry.

“Visit Rwanda” will be emblazoned on the left sleeve of players in Arsenal’s first, under-23 and women’s teams.

President Paul Kagame is an Arsenal supporter. The deal was not approved by Rwandan lawmakers.

Deputy Foreign Minister Olivier Nduhungirehe told The Associated Press that the money for the sponsorship deal came from tourism, which is the small East African country’s top foreign exchange earner.

“Donors’ aid is specific and well accounted for in Rwanda,” Nduhungirehe said in response to criticism from British lawmakers in UK media.

 

Rwanda remains one of the poorest countries in the world and continues to recover from the 1994 genocide that killed more than 800,000 people. Over a third of its population lives in poverty.

Local political analyst Robert Mugabe called the Arsenal deal elitist, saying many Rwandans did not know how it will benefit them. “Many people in Rwanda are kept in the dark and don’t know the actual money invested. Rwandans are learning this through foreign media,” Mugabe said.

The country’s goal is to double tourism receipts from $404 million by 2024, the Rwanda Development Board said in a statement.

The board’s CEO said anyone who criticizes the Arsenal deal because Rwanda is an aid recipient either wishes the country to remain poor or doesn’t understand the key role marketing plays.

“The more Rwanda earns from tourism, the more we can invest in our people. That’s the connection,” the CEO, Claire Akamanzi, said on Twitter.

One Rwandan Arsenal fan, Olivier Muhizi, said people who criticize the deal don’t understand.

 

“Many Asian and Western countries do this routinely, marketing their brands to develop. Rwanda does not deserve criticism; it has done nothing wrong,” Muhizi said.

*AP

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Burundi ‘insulted’ by French gift of donkeys to village
May 29, 2018 | 0 Comments

Bujumbura officials quarantined the animals suspecting a subliminal message behind the gift.

Gabby Bugaga, spokesman for the Senate president, tweeted that the French were 'taking us for donkeys' [Getty]

Gabby Bugaga, spokesman for the Senate president, tweeted that the French were ‘taking us for donkeys’ [Getty]

Burundi has ordered the quarantine of 10 donkeys donated to a village in the East African country by France, sparking a debate if there was a subliminal message behind the gift.

The donkeys, bought in neighbouring Tanzania, were given to residents of a village in Gitega province as part of a project by a local NGO to help women and children transport agricultural products, water or wood.

However, a presidential adviser described the project as “an insult to the nation”.

Gabby Bugaga, spokesman for the Senate president, also wrote on Twitter the French were “taking us for donkeys”.

“Be honest, is the donkey a symbol of a quality or a flaw,” he wrote.

Donkeys are not indigenous to Burundi.

On Sunday, Agriculture Minister Deo Guide Rurema asked a local administrator to “facilitate the immediate withdrawal of all donkeys that have been distributed … without respecting the technical procedure of the distribution of exotic animals”.

Last Thursday, the day the project was inaugurated, French Ambassador Laurent Delahousse praised “the introduction of the Land Cruiser of the animal kingdom to Burundi”.

After the controversy, Delahousse said to his knowledge “all procedures were respected”.

A European diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP news agency Burundi was hitting back at France over a statement it made criticising a referendumearlier this month. The vote reformed the constitution allowing President Pierre Nkurunziza to seek another two terms in office so he can potentially remain in power until 2034.

The diplomat said a similar project involving donkeys in Ruyigi province, financed by Belgium, had not been met with any problems.

Burundi was plunged into crisis in 2015 when Nkurunziza sought a third term in office, sparking protests and violence that killed at least 1,200 people and displaced 400,000 others.

The International Criminal Court has said it is investigating alleged state-sponsored crimes against humanity in the country.

In 2017, Burundi became the first nation to leave The Hague-based court.

 *Al Jazeera
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‘Spiderman’ of Paris: folk hero fresh off migrant trail
May 29, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Myriam LEMETAYER & Laurence BENHAMOU*
22-year old Mamoudou Gassama won global acclaim for rescuing a boy dangling from a balcony in France

22-year old Mamoudou Gassama won global acclaim for rescuing a boy dangling from a balcony in France

Paris (AFP) – Mamoudou Gassama, the young Malian hailed as a hero in France for scaling a multi-storey building to rescue a child hanging from a balcony, is no stranger to danger.

The 22-year-old “Spiderman”, who was honoured by President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace and offered French citizenship, braved the Sahara desert, Libyan gangs and the Mediterranean Sea during his long odyssey to Europe.

In 2013, the shy youth from the southwestern Malian town of Yaguine hit the migrant trail which claims thousands of lives each year.

“I had no means to live and no-one to help me”, Gassama, who followed an older brother to France, explained to Macron.

He travelled through Burkina Faso and Niger north to Libya, the main launching pad for clandestine crossings to Europe.

He spent a year working in Libya, where armed gangs prey on migrants, routinely kidnapping them for ransom and even sometimes enslaving them.

“I suffered a lot,” he said. “We were caught and beaten but I did not lose hope.”

A year later, he sailed to Italy in one of the packed migrant boats that regularly sink. “It was terrible. There were a lot of people,” he told France’s BFM news channel.

From there he continued on last year to France, where he joined relatives in the eastern Paris suburb of Montreuil, nicknamed “Little Bamako” after its large Malian population.

His home, which he shares with relatives, is a cramped 15-square-metre room in a migrant workers’ hostel, with a mattress on the floor for a bed.

Gassama, who did not seek asylum in France, making him an economic migrant at risk of deportation, has been doing odd jobs in construction.

But his life changed dramatically Saturday, when he came to the rescue of a four-year-old boy who was spotted dangling from a balcony on the fourth-floor of a building in northern Paris.

“I did not think twice,” Gassama, who happened to be walking by, told Macron, adding “I went straight up.”

– An example for millions –

The video of him pulling himself up from balcony to balcony with supreme ease has been viewed millions of times on social media, propelling him to stardom.

On Monday morning he was ferried to the Elysee Palace for an audience with the president, who listened smiling to his account of the rescue and presented him with a medal for his bravery.

“I’m pleased because it’s the first time I’ve received a trophy like that,” Gassama said afterwards.

“We proud of him,” his older brother Birama, 54, told AFP, describing his sibling, a keen footballer, as someone who “likes to help others”.

French President Emmanuel Macron meets 22-year-old Mamoudou Gassama, the real life Spiderman.

French President Emmanuel Macron meets 22-year-old Mamoudou Gassama, the real life Spiderman.

Not only will Gassama receive a French passport, Macron offered the plucky youth with preternatural agility a job with the fire service.

“You have become an example because millions of people have seen you. It is only right that the nation be grateful,” Macron told him.

In a statement the fire department said Gassama embodied the values of the service, adding: “We are ready to welcome him on board!”

*AFP

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A Focus on Trade As Washington Fetes AU At 55
May 29, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

 

Ambassador Sullivan representing the State Department joins African Ambassadors for a group picture .Pic credit Ben Bangoura, AlloAfrica

Ambassador Sullivan representing the State Department joins African Ambassadors for a group picture .Pic credit Ben Bangoura, AlloAfrica

The creation and the implementation of the continental free trade zone represents a significant milestone for Africa as the continent seeks more control over its economic fortunes, says Donald Kaberuka, former President of the African development Bank.

Speaking at the African day celebration in Washington, DC recently, Kaberuka said trade was one of the sure paths to economic transformation, and development across the continent. While acknowledging that there will be challenges in full implementation, Dr Kaberuka opined that with the collective security, political development, and the myriad of other benefits that it brings, the African Continental Free Trade Zone will be a game changer for Africa. Dr Kaberuka expressed the confidence that even skeptical countries who have not signed the agreement will eventually sign up to it.

Dr Kaberuka lauded the efforts of the African Union to fund itself, and the formation of the African volunteer corps as additional signs of things shaking up in the continent. That Africa was able to deploy its own Doctors and Nurses during the last Ebola outbreak speaks volumes, Dr Kaberuka went on in striking an optimistic note on the future of the continent.

The U.S has a history of bi-partisan support for Africa said Ambassador Stephanie Sullivan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs at the State Department. Ambassador Sullivan lauded bonds of cooperation between the USA, and Africa in counter terrorism, trade, and investment. The U.S welcomes the Trade Agreements in Africa Sullivan said, while urging African countries to sustain investment in its youth and do more in the fight against corruption.

It remains the commitment of Mayor Bowser to make Washington, DC a home away from home to Africans said Mamadou Samba, the Director of the Mayor’s Office on African Affairs. In addition to sharing resources and opportunities with the African immigrant community, Samba cited the African heritage month, and the Mandela day to support the recognition that Washington has for the contribution of Africa to its growth.

With Ambassador Etoundi Essomba of Cameroon  and Central Africa’s Charge d’Affaires  Lydie Flore Magba as co –chairs, a number of African Embassies use the event their culture and investment opportunities through exhibition booths.   Animation was done by the Daansa troop from Burundi, the Monikan troop from Cameroon, and Comedian Anna Mwalago from Kenya.

Dr Donald Kaberuka second from left, believes with Trade Africa will get it right

Dr Donald Kaberuka second from left, believes with Trade Africa will get it right

Africa day 2018 marked the 55th anniversary of the founding of the Organization of African Unity which gave way to the African Union. The event was celebrated under the theme “Continental Free Trade Area: Creating One African Market”. Permanent Representative of the African Union to the USA Arikana Chihombori Quao delivered a message from the AU Chair Moussa Faki. Sponsors included Chevron, Noble Energy, Kosmos Energy, Ethiopian Airlines and Sahouri.

On Wednesday, March 21, 44 African countries signed the Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) in Kigali, Rwanda, during the 10th extraordinary session of the African Union summit, concluding 3 years of continent-wide negotiations, bringing together 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of more than $2 trillion.

While a number of countries including power house Nigeria have not signed the Agreement, most of the Ambassadors and Africans who attended the event believe that the CFTA could accelerate the integration and development process of the continent.

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Ecobank named Africa’s Best & Most Innovative Retail Bank
May 29, 2018 | 0 Comments
The ever improving feature set of the truly revolutionary Ecobank Mobile App, which has now been downloaded by more than 5 million people, took the prize for Innovation in Banking
 LOME, Togo, May 28, 2018/ — Ecobank (www.Ecobank.com) has won two major awards at the African Banker’s prestigious ceremony held at the Paradise Hotel in Busan, South Korea. The bank was named Best Retail Bank in Africa after impressing judges with the strides it has made to leverage digital financial services and an enhanced service model, to be the retail bank of choice.

The ever improving feature set of the truly revolutionary Ecobank Mobile App, which has now been downloaded by more than 5 million people, took the prize for Innovation in Banking, thanks to the way it has redefined borderless and inclusive banking, along with several other transformative innovations designed to deliver financial services to all.

Commenting on the double award win, Omar Ben Yedder, Publisher of African Banker said: “Ecobank has had a game changing year in so many ways and their approach to embracing technology and putting it at the centre of their growth strategy has obviously paid dividends.”

Ade Ayeyemi, Group CEO of Ecobank said: “It gives all of us at Ecobank great pride to be recognised as not only the Best Retail Bank in Africa, but also the Most Innovative. This is further proof that we are on the right track in our quest to be the bank of choice for middle Africa. We will continue to ensure that we are at the forefront of harnessing state-of-the-art technology to provide our customers with accessible and affordable banking services.”

Ecobank is committed to providing the range of financial products and services that meet the day-to-day banking, transactional and investment needs of all Africans. Ecobank enjoyed a 40% increase in customer numbers during 2017 and the bank aims to serve 100 million customers by the end of 2020.

The Ecobank Mobile App aims to deliver real convenience to customers and with its removal of barriers to entry, at affordable price points, is an integral part of Ecobank’s strategy. It is the first unified banking application across 33 countries and enables customers to do their banking activities where and when they want, 24/7 and 365 days a year, conveniently on their mobile phones. It allows transactions in 18 different currencies and in four languages (English, French, Portuguese and Spanish).

The app includes the multi-featured digital payment solution, Ecobank Pay, which enables customers of any bank to pay for goods or services. It unifies all of Ecobank’s digital payment offerings for internet payments, paying bills and airtime top-ups by mobile.

Patrick Akinwuntan, Group Executive, Consumer Banking said: “Ecobank represents more possibilities for every African. Our Ecobank Mobile App, Xpress Account, Ecobank Pay, Xpress Points and Rapidtransfer are fast becoming top-of- mind consumer banking brands that represent convenience, affordability and instant fulfillment to our customers across Africa and in the diaspora.”

Incorporated in Lomé, Togo in 1988, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’) (www.Ecobank.com) is the parent company of the leading independent pan-African banking group, Ecobank. It currently has a presence in 36 African countries, namely: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Democratic Republic), Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Group employs 15,930 people in 40 different countries in over 940 branches and offices. Ecobank is a full-service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organisations, medium, small and micro businesses and individuals. Additional information on Ecobank can be found at www.Ecobank.com.

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Brand Africa 100: DANGOTE and MTN are The Most Admired African Brands.
May 29, 2018 | 0 Comments

NIKE is The Most Admired Brand in Africa.   

Highlights – Most Admired Brands in Africa:

  • Over 15,500 brand mentions and 2,200 individual brands in the survey
  • Nike rises one spot to the #1 most admired brand in Africa.
  • African brands up one spot to take 17% (17/100) (+1) share of the Top 100 brands in Africa.
  • Europe leads the table with 40/100 (-2). North America with 24/100 (- 2) and Asia with 19/100 (+2)
  • Ralph Lauren (+48), Versace (+41) and Reebok (+43) made the most gains.
  • Ford (-39),), Etisalat (-31) and Sprite (-38) lost the most ground.
  • Zimbabwe’s Econet (#40) made most spectacular entry into the Top 100.
  • Technology and Electronic brands (29%), consumer (non-cyclical) (19%), apparel (15%), automobile (8%), food (7%) and sports & fitness (5%) categories are the top categories.
  • Non-African brands are #1 in 17/23 countries, led by Samsung (8/23), Nike (6/23), Coke (2/23) and Gucci (1/23).
  • African brands are #1 in 6/23 countries, led by MTN (2/23), Econet (1/23), Trade Kings (1/23) and Azam (1/23).
  • Highlights – Most Admired African Brands:
  • Dangote is the #1 most admired African brand recalled when consumers are prompted about the continent of origin.
  • MTN retains position as the #1 Most Admired African brand spontaneously recalled irrespective of country of origin.
  • West Africa (9) with Nigerian brands (4) leads the table, Southern Africa (7) leads with South African brands (5), East Africa (5) leads with Kenya (3) and North Africa (1) leads with Morocco (1) among brands recalled when prompted on continent of origin.
  • Southern Africa (9) leads with South Africa (5), West Africa (9) leads with Nigeria (4), and East Africa (5) leads with Kenya (3) and North Africa (1) with Morocco (1) among brands recalled when prompted on continent of origin.
    • West Africa (6) with Nigeria (6) leads the table, Southern Africa (6) leads with South Africa (4) and East Africa (5) leads with Kenya (3) among brands recalled spontaneously.
    JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, May 25th, 2018,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Brand Africa in association with the JSE, today announced the Top 100 best brands in Africa on their 6th annual Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands at the JSE in Johannesburg.
    Thebe Ikalafeng Founder and Chairman of Brand Africa with representatives of Dangote (Most Admired African Brand), Nike (most Admired Brand in Africa), MTN (most Admired African Brand)

    Thebe Ikalafeng Founder and Chairman of Brand Africa with representatives of Dangote (Most Admired African Brand), Nike (most Admired Brand in Africa), MTN (most Admired African Brand)

    The US sports and fitness brand, Nike, is the overall #1 brand in Africa spontaneously recalled by consumers. South African tele-communications brand MTN is the #1 African brand spontaneously recalled irrespective of continent of origin, while Nigerian industrial brand Dangote is the #1 African recalled when consumers are prompted about the continent (Africa) of origin.

    The Brand Africa 100 ranking is based on a survey among consumers 18 years and older, conducted in 23 countries across Africa. The countries, representing all African economic regions, collectively account for 75% of the population and the 74% of the GDP of Africa.
    African brands rose slightly to account for 17% of the Top 100 brands in Africa, non-African brands retained their firm position in Africa with 83% share of the Top 100 most admired brands in Africa. Europe leads the table with 40/100 (-2), North America at 24/100 (- 2) and Asia 19/100 (+2). West Africa (6) with only Nigerian brands (6) and Southern Africa (6) with South African brands (5) lead the table, East Africa (5) leads with Kenya (2) among brands recalled spontaneously.
    The Top 100 is dominated by technology and electronic brands (29%), consumer (non-cyclical) (19%), apparel (15%), automobile (8%), food (7%) and sports & fitness (5%) categories are the top categories.
    Overall, the 2017/18 Brand Africa 100 list, which started out with over 15,500 brand mentions covering over 2,200 admired brands, illustrates a very diversified portfolio of categories and brands in Africa. There is an incredible year-on-year consistency, with 60% of the Top 10 brands common among the Top 10 Most Admired African Brands and Most Admired Brands in Africa, led by Nigeria’s Dangote and Glo, South Africa’s MTN and Shoprite, Kenya’s Tusker and Ethiopia’s Anbessa. Out of the 16 African brands in Top 100 in 2016/17, 6 exited and 7 entered the Top 100 in 2017/18.
    The major change on the list is the status of the Safaricom/Mpesa brand. Because Vodacom/Vodafone recently became majority owner of the business, in the 2017/18 tables the Safaricom/Mpesa brand was consolidated into the Vodacom/Vodafone brand. Singled out, the Safaricom/Mpesa brand ranked 27, higher than the Vodacom/Vodafone brand, which is at #31. Collectively, the Vodacom/Vodafone/Safaricom brand is now at #17. But Safaricom/Mpesa remains a highly recalled ‘African’ brand among Financial Services and the Most Admired Brands in Africa. Zimbabwe’s Econet made the most spectacular first time entry into the Top 100 at #40. After a long stay on the list despite its innumerable challenges, BlackBerry finally fell off the list as the brand exited the consumer markets. On the other hand, Etisalat, which dropped 31 spots remains on the list of the Top 100 despite exiting Africa in 2017.
    The highest gains are dominated by apparel and lifestyle sport brands Ralph Lauren (+48), Versace (+41) and a resurgent Reebok (+43). The sports category, led by Nike (#1), remains a strong performer, due to streategic repositioning or expansion in their positioning towards lifestyle and high profile endorsements and partnerships which have freshened and broadened the brands’ appeal, particularly to youthful and young consumers.
    The biggest faller was Ford, dropping 78% from 50 to 89, possibly due to their much publicized safety issues and recall of the Kuga and Focus brands. Sprite also lost some fizz, dropping 38 spots and Etisalat dropped 31 positions.
    In a country-by-country analysis, non-African brands are #1 in 17/23 countries, led by Samsung (8/23), Nike (6/23), Coke (2/23), Gucci (1/23). African brands are #1 in 6/23 countries, led by MTN (2/23), Econet (1/23), Trade Kings (1/23) and Azam (1/23).
    Because of their transformational impact in Africa, Brand Africa also includes a focused prompted media and financial services sub-survey.
    In the media sub-survey, DStv (incorporating GoTV, Multichoice and Supersport) is the lone pan-African media brand within the Top 10 media list. The media list is led by BBC, which has an extensive history and coverage of Africa through its BBC Worldservice radio and specific African programming. The media list is dominated by America (40%), Europe (30%) and Asia (20%). A deeper analysis of the media category shows high levels of fragmentation, with many local and regional players – thus in general only global players with extensive African reach and resources dominate the top of the list.
    In the financial services sector, 60% of the Most Admired Brands are made in Africa. GTB retains its #1 position as the Most Admired Financial Services Brand, and Safaricom Mpesa retains its pole position among mobile money brands. Mobile money brands, Safaricom Mpesa (#9), Airtel Money (#21), PayPal (#24) and Orange Money (#25)’s presence underscore the impact of not only Mpesa as the catalyst, but mobile as a key enabler for financial access. Nigeria (6), South Africa (5) and Kenya (3) lead the finance brand tables in a continent that’s cash rather credit led.
    “African brands have an important role in helping to build the African brand,” says Thebe Ikalafeng, Founder and Chairman of Brand Africa and Brand Leadership. These rankings are an important metric of the progress Africa is making in creating home-grown world-class brands that are changing the narrative on African competiveness, image and reputation and contributing to its socio-economic transformation.”
    Brand Africa 100 was developed by pan-African branding and reputation advisory firm, Brand Leadership Group supported by GeoPoll, the leader in mobile-based market research throughout Africa, and strategic analysis and insights by Kantar TNS, the world’s largest information research firm and Brand Leadership, Africa’s premier brand and reputation consultancy.
    GeoPoll used their sophisticated mobile survey platform to identify the most admired brands in Africa among a representative sample of African consumers in 23 African countries. These countries collectively represent an estimated 75% of Africa’s population across all political and economic regions.
    “GeoPoll’s multi-modal survey platform and panel of respondents across Africa allowed us to quickly reach a large sample of respondents in multiple countries, providing brands with valuable data on their standing in the continent that they can utilize to track brand health over time” said Nick Becker, CEO, GeoPoll.
     “‘Success for brands is about establishing an emotional connection, creating intimacy and being more present in consumers everyday lives. This survey is a critical assessment of the various brands that play that vital role in Africa,” says Karin Du Chenne – CEO, Kantar.
    “The JSE is a platform of African and global companies alike to raise capital and grow their businesses and brands. It is our continuous aim that as an exchange we continue to provide a platform for growth with innovative products to meet the needs of our clients and grow the African continent from strength to strength,” says Zeona Jacobs, Director Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the JSE.
    The Brand Africa 100 results will be published in African Business on sale globally from 25 May 2017 and online to subscribers on www.africanbusinessmag.com and
    TOP 10 MOST-ADMIRED BRANDS IN AFRICA

BRAND AFRICA

Brand Africa is a non-profit intergenerational movement to inspire a great Africa through creating a positive image of Africa, celebrating its diversity and driving its competitiveness.

Brand Africa mobilises African and diaspora decision makers, thought leaders, influencers and future leaders to engage with, shape and drive an African agenda catalytic for creating an enabling environment for driving Africa’s growth, reputation, competitiveness and unity.

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

BA 100 PARTNERS

Brand Leadership

Brand Leadership is a pan-African brand development, activation and measurement firm and a strategic partner for global and African decision-makers and brand builders interested in and/or invested in Africa. Established in 2002, Brand Leadership has over the years delivered brand-led solutions that respond to African conditions, needs and ambitions for over 100 African and non-African brands in Africa across diverse industries and markets in the private and public sectors. www.brandleadership.com

GeoPoll

GeoPoll is a leader in providing fast, high quality market research from areas that are difficult to access using traditional methods. Working with clients including global brands, media houses, and international development groups, GeoPoll facilitates projects that measure ROI of TV advertisements, demonstrate demand for new products, and assess food security around the world.

GeoPoll combines a robust mobile surveying platform that has the ability to conduct research via multiple modes with a database of over 240 million respondents in more than 60 countries. Strengths lie in GeoPoll’s ability to target extremely specific populations, deploy surveys in multiple countries, and provide expert guidance on how to collect accurate, reliable data through the mobile phone. www.geopoll.com

Kantar TNS

Kantar TNS advises clients on specific growth strategies around new market entry, innovation, brand switching and stakeholder management, based on long -established expertise and market -leading solutions. With a presence in over 80 countries, Kantar TNS understands individual human behaviour and attitudes across all cultural, economic and political regions of the world. Kantar TNS is part of the Kantar group, one of the world’s largest insight, information and consultancy groups, with over 25 000 employees across 100 countries encompassing the spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at each and every point of the consumer cycle. www.kantar.com

African Business

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

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Fairtrade moves the 5th agrofood & plastprintpack West Africa from Accra to Abidjan
May 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

-Côte d’Ivoire is becoming the bread basket of West Africa

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, May 23, 2018/ — Market update: Good business prospects for the agrofood, plastics and packaging industries in Côte d’Ivoire and West Africa

According to GTAI Germany Trade & Invest of 16 May 2018, Côte d’Ivoire is becoming the bread basket of West Africa . Agriculture and the food industry, especially in Abidjan, have been very dynamic for years, both in production and processing. Further investments will follow. Both sectors also enjoy a prominent regional position as they also supply the other francophone countries of the region, such as Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, Niger, Togo and Benin.

The increasing demand for food throughout the rather homogenous French-speaking West African market of 110 million inhabitants and the good general economic situation in Côte d’Ivoire continue to offer positive prospects for suppliers of agrofood and plastics, printing and packaging technology.

Reasons enough for fairtrade Messe (www.fairtrade-messe.de) to move the 5th agrofood  & plastprintpack  West Africa from Accra to Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast. The event is due on 20 to 22 November 2018 at the Radisson Blu Hotel Abidjan Airport.

Since 2013, the German trade show specialists fairtrade Messe organize agrofood & plastprintpack West Africa in Accra, Ghana. On the background of favourable economic conditions in Ivory Coast and at the request of exhibitors and associations, the 5th agrofood & plastprintpack West Africa will now for the first time be held in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast.

agrofood   is West Africa’s 5th International Trade Show on Agriculture, Food processing & packaging, Ingredients, Bakery & pastry and Food & Hospitality. plastprintpack   is West Africa’s 5th International Plastics, Printing and Packaging Trade Show.

“In the future, agrofood & plastprintpack West Africa could take place alternately, in the even years in Abidjan, in the odd years in Accra, Ghana”, says Martin März, founder & managing partner at fairtrade. “agrofood West Africa covers the entire value chain – from field to fork with the three dedicated events agro & AgroTech West Africa, food + bev tec West Africa and food + hospitality West Africa. The partner event plastprintpack West Africa covers all relevant industries in the plastics, printing and packaging sector.”

Strong international support

agrofood & plastprintpack 2018 enjoys the support of the following international institutions:

• France – adepta French agrofood association & French Embassy Côte d’Ivoire

• Germany – German Embassy Abidjan

• Italy – Italian Embassy Côte d’Ivoire • Netherlands – Agricultural Counselor for West Africa with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

• Turkey – Ministry of Economy

France, the Netherlands and Turkey have already decided to be present at agrofood & plastprintpack West Africa 2018 with official national pavilions.

agro & AgroTech West Africa 2018: New strategic partnership between fairtrade and DLG

DLG German Agricultural Society enters into strategic partnership with fairtrade   and brings in its agro and trade fair expertise by introducing its AgroTech brand to agro West Africa 2018 and onwards. The focus of the cooperation lies on agricultural technology, animal production, flori- and horticulture and hot-house technology.

Fact finding mission and symposium by VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery

Germany’s VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery   organizes a fact-finding mission to Abidjan in the area of packaging and recycling with 5-10 plastic and rubber machine manufacturers.  Within the framework of plastprintpack West Africa 2018, a symposium will then be held so that German machine manufacturers can present their companies and get an overview of the trade fair and the Ivorian market. In addition, there will also be company visits to local processors.

Market update Ivory Coast and West Africa: Good business prospects for the agrofood, plastics and packaging industries

The French-speaking West Africa is a rather homogenous market of about 110 million inhabitants, which is growing by more than 3 million people every year. With the exception of Guinea, all countries use the franc CFA franc, which is linked to the euro. The currency facilitates not only the overseas export of machinery from Europe and Asia to Abidjan, but also the export of food within the French-speaking countries of West Africa.

According to VDMA, the German Engineering Federation, West Africa imported 187.2 million euros of agricultural equipment .The main markets in West Africa, apart from Nigeria, are Ghana, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Benin, by order of importance.

In the same year, West Africa imported food processing and packaging technology at a value of EUR 557 million  , a plus of 10% compared to 2015. The Top 3 major West African markets and their share, apart from Nigeria, are Ghana (23%), Ivory Coast (21%) and Senegal (20%).

Also the plastprintpack  sector provides great chances for doing business as West Africa imported plastics technology at a value of EUR 143 million in 2016. The major West African market, apart from Nigeria, being Ivory Coast with 34%, followed by Ghana and Senegal.

And West African imports of printing and paper technology amounted to EUR 122 million in 2016. Ivory Coast, apart from Nigeria, ranks first with 33%, followed by Ghana and Guinea.  Last but not least West Africa imported packaging technology at a value of EUR 240 million in 2016. Here again its major market, apart from Nigeria, is Ivory Coast with 30%.

West African food imports increased by 6% to 14.43 billion USD  in 2015 according to WTO whereas West African food exports rose by 9% to 15.99 billion USD.

fairtrade (www.fairtrade-messe.de) was founded by Martin März in 1991. Since long, fairtrade ranks among the leading organisers of professional international trade fairs in emerging markets, especially in North and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Managed by its shareholder and his son Paul März and committed to the values of a family business and the team spirit, fairtrade maintains a powerful network of partnerships throughout the world. fairtrade organizes shows in the sectors Agrofood, Building, CIT Solutions, Energy, Environment, Industry and PlastPrintPack and strives for a high level of customer satisfaction. By means of innovative products and excellent service fairtrade organizes professional platforms for valuable business contacts between exhibitors and visitors. fairtrade is a member of UFI The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry and AAXO The Association of African Exhibition Organisers. Our management is ISO 9001:2015 certified.

 

2A CONSULTING (www.2AConsulting-CI.com) is a communication consulting agency specialized in events, approved by the Higher Advertising Council (CSP).  It is one of the best event agencies in Côte d’Ivoire, given the quality of its work and experience. 2A CONSULTING has expanded its activities by creating 2A Éditions, a structure specialized in publishing and advertising management, which produces ESPRIT, the first Ivorian Mind Style magazine. 2A Consulting is composed of about fifteen young and dynamic people with between 5 and 15 years of experience in communication and marketing in agencies or with advertisers.

 

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Ethiopian Marks African Aviation History with 100th Aircraft in Active Service
May 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

Ethiopian Airlines, the largest Aviation Group in Africa and SKYTRAX certified Four Star Global Airline, is pleased to announce that it will take delivery on 5 June 2018 of its 100th aircraft, a Boeing 787-900, the 1st for an African airline to operate 100 aircraft fleet in the history of the continent, thus maintaining its pioneering aviation technology leadership role and ascertaining its leadership position in all aspects of Aviation Services in the continent.

On the planned delivery of the 100th aircraft, Ethiopian Group CEO, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam said: “It is an immense honor for all of us at Ethiopian to reach the milestone of 100 aircraft. This milestone is a continuation of our historical aviation leadership role in Africa and a testimony of the successful implementation of our fast, profitable and sustainable growth plan, Vision 2025.

Ethiopian was the first to avail jet service in the continent back in 1962, and operated the first African B767 in 1984, the first African B777-200LR in 2010, the first African B787-800 Dreamliner and B777-200 freighter in 2012 and the first African A350 in 2016 and the first African B787-9 aircraft in 2017.

Ethiopian now operates one of the youngest and most modern 100 aircraft, with an average age of less than 5 years. Fleet modernization and expansion is one of the four critical pillars of our Vision 2025 strategic roadmap, in support of our fast expanding network, which has now reached over 110 international destinations covering 5 continents.

Our new and cutting-edge fleet composed of B787s and A350s offer unparalleled on-board comfort to our customers and offer the best possible connections when traveling within Africa and between the continent and the rest of the world.

This 100 fleet milestone, which we have achieved ahead of our Vision 2025 targets, compels us to revise our plans with a view to phase in more aircraft and further expand our network so as to meet the growing travel needs of our continent and support its economic development and integration by facilitating the flow of investment, trade and tourism. We will continue to connect more and more Africans with their fellow citizens of the continent and with their brothers and sisters in the rest of the world to make life better every single day”

Ethiopian operates a mix of state-of-the-art aircraft with an average fleet age of five years. The Airline has 5 more Boeing 787-900 and 16 Airbus A350 airplanes on order, among others. Ethiopian was the first African Airline and second only to Japan to operate the B787 Dreamliner in 2012 and the first carrier in Africa to usher with  the Airbus A350 XWB in 2016.

About Ethiopian

Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopian) is the fastest growing Airline in Africa. In its seventy plus years of operation, Ethiopian has become one of the continent’s leading carriers, unrivaled in efficiency and operational success.

Ethiopian commands the lion’s share of the pan-African passenger and cargo network operating the youngest and most modern fleet to more than 110 international passenger and cargo destinations across five continents. Ethiopian fleet includes ultra-modern and environmentally friendly aircraft such as Airbus A350, Boeing 787-8, Boeing 787-9, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777-200 Freighter, Bombardier Q-400 double cabin with an average fleet age of five years. In fact, Ethiopian is the first airline in Africa to own and operate these aircraft.

Ethiopian is currently implementing a 15-year strategic plan called Vision 2025 that will see it become the leading aviation group in Africa with seven business centers: Ethiopian International Services; Ethiopian Express Services; Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics center; Ethiopian MRO Services; Ethiopian Aviation Academy; ET In-flight Catering; Ethiopian Ground Services, Ethiopian Airports Services  and Ethiopian Skylight Hotel. Ethiopian is a multi-award winning airline registering an average growth of 25% in the past seven years.

 

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Egyptian lawyer files €1 billion lawsuit against Ramos over Salah challenge
May 28, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Dom Farrell
TOPSHOT - Liverpool's Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah (R) falls with Real Madrid's Spanish defender Sergio Ramos leading to Salah being injured during the UEFA Champions League final football match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, on May 26, 2018. Picture  credit GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images

TOPSHOT – Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah (R) falls with Real Madrid’s Spanish defender Sergio Ramos leading to Salah being injured during the UEFA Champions League final football match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, on May 26, 2018. Picture credit GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images

The Liverpool forward’s injury saga has taken a bizarre twist, with a fellow countryman looking to sue the Real Madrid skipper who sidelined him

 An Egyptian lawyer has launched a €1 billion (£873m/$1.2bn) lawsuit against Sergio Ramos after Liverpool and Egypt star Mohamed Salah was injured in a challenge with the Real Madrid captain during Saturday’s Champions League final.
Salah landed heavily on his left shoulder after grappling with Ramos during the Kiev showpiece and ligament damage around the joint placed his World Cup participation in doubt.

The Premier League Golden Boot winner posted on Twitter on Sunday to say he was “confident” he would be able to represent Hector Cuper’s side at Russia 2018 , but that has done nothing to quell the apparent anger of lawyer Bassem Wahba.

In an appearance on Egyptian television channel Sada El-Balad , Wahba announced he had filed a complaint to FIFA and accused Ramos of a deliberate act and inflicting “physical and psychological harm” upon a nation and its most celebrated footballer.

“Ramos intentionally injured Mo Salah and should be punished about his actions,” he claimed. “I’ve filed a lawsuit and a complaint to FIFA.

“I’ll ask for compensation, which could exceed €1 billion, for the physical and psychological harm that Ramos gave Salah and the Egyptian people.”

In the seemingly unlikely event of winning any compensation, Wahba has pledged to donate to the state’s Long Live Egypt Fund.

On Monday, a petition on the Change.org website asking UEFA and FIFA to take action against Ramos for the challenge on Salah passed 300,000 signatories.

During the match, referee Milorad Mazic did not award a foul for the incident.

 

*Goal

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Life In A War Zone : 30 Days in Ambazonia/Anglophone Cameroon (2)
May 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

-Far-Near War While Anticipating an Attack on the City

By Solomon Ngu*

If one takes seriously the popular narrative surrounding the marginalization and oppression of the Anglophones, the conclusion would be that those who have taken up arms against the government are fighting a war of decolonization – they want to send away the colonizer. This evokes memories of decolonial wars fought around Africa between the 1950s and 1970s. Just how brutal these wars were is a subject that one cannot deal with in detail here but what we all know is that a certain category of people were fighting for their freedom. This war of liberation – according to the Fighters – is no longer about a return to federalism that the country experienced between 1961 and 1972. They want an independent Ambazonia or Southern Cameroons. Government crack-down, particularly soldiers’ unchallenged killings of unarmed Anglophones within the past twenty months, is fuelling the determination of those Ambazonians who want to get their country back. At the center of all this is the Francophonization of everything in Cameroon.

Anyone familiar with Anglophone Cameroon would attest that people in this part of the country talk about loss of freedom all the time. But the reality is that Cameroon is a police state where human rights violation, usually encapsulated by police brutality, has been normalized. Armed resistance against the government by the Amba Fighters has seen authorities devising many methods to further curtail the freedom of citizens. We witness that the government, fearful of what the Fighter could do, imposes curfews, undertake mass arrests, kidnappings, detentions and killings. It does not take long for anyone familiar with daily life in the Anglophone major cities of Limbe, Buea, Bamenda and Kumba to realize a shift in attitude as well as visceral adjustments to the new realities of urban uncertainty. In Buea where I spent most of my time, all the people I met constantly speculated when the war may reach the city. But at the same time, they went about their daily routine, cautiously.

I quickly adjusted to the new realities partly due to my familiarity with bodily discipline. I have been visiting Cameroon yearly for more than a decade and can thus easily tell what a tensional atmosphere is. Going to the countryside, a practice deeply rooted in my visits to Cameroon, was completely out of the question.  All I could hear was that I would be endangering myself and the family if I dared ventured into the village. In a worst case scenario the fear was that it could become difficult for me to get out of the war zone in time to catch my flight back to USA. A point I made in my earlier post and to which I will return frequently is the ravaging war in the villages where the soldiers, out of desperation to eliminate the Amba Fighters, have resorted to burning down villages. These acts of vandalism also take an opportunistic trajectory as when they set up their command post in one or more of the deserted houses and then feed and feast on the food, cattle, chicken and pigs of the fleeing villagers. There have been reports of soldiers setting these occupied houses on flames when they relocate to another part of a village. Videos and photos of vandalized villages continue to circulate on social media.

Amba Fighters’ guerilla strategy whereby they attack the soldiers and then vanish into the bushes has left a frightened urban population. They fear what the soldiers could do to innocent civilians if the Fighters attack individuals and institutions they see as sustaining the Francophonization of this part of the country. Would they burn down entire neighborhoods and markets, destroy people’s livelihood and kill innocent civilians as they do in the villages? How the city dwellers survive in a war situation is the more troubling considering that unlike villagers who are relatively self-sustaining, these urbanites primarily depend on food imported from neighboring farming villages. It should be reiterated that the war has destabilized the vital rural-urban connection that has sustained sociocultural and economic ties between the city dwellers and their village of origin. Within the past hundred years, villages in Anglophone Cameroon have provided sanctuaries for urbanites who return to their land and ancestors when they encounter difficulties in the city.

As far as I could tell, no one took it lightly when it was rumored that the Amba Fighters were present in Buea. What I witnessed in Buea was that government administrators and the police people generally restrain from their well-known wanton lifestyle. Anyone familiar with urban life in Cameroon knows just well how members of the police force in uniform intimidate and bully ordinary citizens at non-office hours. But here is the thing I observed in Buea: police generally do not wear uniforms at non-office hours. In fact, they take off their uniforms before returning home from work. They do not go to the taverns and bars anymore in their uniforms. The words of one police officer I met in Buea summarize this transformed sartorial practice. Referring to a possibility of an attack by Amba Fighters in Buea, he said ‘who no di fear die (who isn’t afraid of death?)’. He took off his police paraphernalia as soon as he finished work so as to conceal his identity.

Police station in Molyko,Buea, partly surrounded by sandbags

Police station in Molyko,Buea, partly surrounded by sandbags

Police stations and checkpoints now have 1.6 meter tall wall of sandbags that are intended to defend the police in an event of an attack. The biggest surprise – when we see god-like figures responding to insecurity – has been that of the governor of the South West Region. Mr Bernard Okalia Bilai presently lives in the Francophone city of Douala from where he commutes daily to work in Buea flanked by security. Recall that this governor not too long ago said Anglophones are ‘dogs’ that would face the full force of the police if they dare protest on the streets. As it stands now, he has realized his own vulnerability and has come to terms with the fact that he no longer has the monopoly to subject citizens to discomfort.

As I began writing this piece about uncertainty in a war zone, I began to think of acts of profound love and pain that some women endured as the fled from the government forces in the villages. I think of this lady who walked for miles at twilight through the forest with her one and a half years old baby. She was seven months pregnant. There was also this lady who abandoned her ailing and helpless mother for hours when news of approaching government soldiers reached her village. Both these women found a way to flee to Buea but were now facing another possibility of fleeing again into the Francophone zone in case war erupted in Buea.

These feelings of impending war in the city point to the fact that there are diminished possibilities to live life as usual but most importantly, it has to do with the question of mortality. Diminished livelihood possibilities and death are catastrophes that have afflicted villagers ever since the military started invading the countryside in October 2017.  And there seem to be no end in sight. As I write, people are still uncovering  the corpses of unarmed civilians killed by a recent military onslaught in villages around Santa, Menka/Pinyin, Oshei, etc

*This is part of the series Life in a War Zone:30 Days in Ambazonia by  Solomon Ngu

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