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Al-Sumait Prize Board of Trustees announced joint winners for the US$1million prestigious award in the 2019 cycle in the field of food security in recognition of their exemplary work in agriculture development in the African continent
November 25, 2019 | 0 Comments
Al Sumait Board of Trustees & Staff Nov Meeting

KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait, November 25, 2019/ — Following consideration of the jury and selection committees’ reports, the Board of Trustees of the Al Sumait Prize for African Development has decided to jointly award the Million Dollar 2019 Prize in the field of food security to:

Professor Daniel Gustafson (FAO)
Professor Daniel Gustafson (FAO)

The Africa Rice Center (Based in Cote d’ivoire)

for its important role in enhancing food security in Africa, including the production of new rice varieties vitamin A enriched-rice with high yielding and climate-resilient and leading of pan-African rice research organization committed to improving livelihoods in Africa through strong science and effective partnerships devoted to improving the rice economy in Africa and is part of a global research partnership for a food-secure future. Through their applied research and education programs, the Center is building the next generation of professionals in rice and food research in Africa.

Pan Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) (Nairobi)

for serving a dynamic network of scientists and practitioners specializing in improving the productivity, processing, and the value chain of beans throughout AfricaThe Alliance works along the continuum of innovative research to effective adoption and sustainable management of small farmers enterprises. PABRA has increased the integration of the important legume component in farming systems, which is important to improve soil fertility, enhance nutritional quality, and serve as a resilient driver in dryland and drought prone environments.

Professor Stefania Giannini (UNESCO)
Professor Stefania Giannini (UNESCO)

An initiative of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah, the Amir of the State of Kuwait, which provides the annual million dollar, the Prize honors the late Dr Abdulrahman Al Sumait, a Kuwaiti doctor who dedicated his life to addressing the health challenges confronting Africa.

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Global Gender Summit 2019: African leaders take on the responsibility to urgently close the gender gap
November 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

‘There is no template to follow…we (women) can deliver but we can deliver differently” – President Sahle-Work Zewde, President of Ethiopia

‘We are making sure that narrowing this gender gap is everyone’s responsibility,’ President Paul Kagame of Rwanda

“This discrimination is political, economic and social; it is politically incorrect, unjustifiable socially.’ – Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat

‘ A smarter world must invest in women and girls. Let’s be smart and let’s be wise. Women are the best investment any society can make,’ Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, African Development Bank Group

The 2019 Global Gender Summit, the first to be held on the continent, kicked off on Monday with a strong call to surge ahead on gender issues and move from commitment to action.

Africa’s only female President, Sahle-Work Zewde  of Ethiopia, said Ethiopia’s parliament is one of the only two on the continent with over 50% gender parity in seats, and women currently hold key ministerial roles in defense and national security for the first time. Despite her own country’s huge advances, however, the work has just started, she said.

Zewde was speaking during the opening plenary of the Global Gender Summit, a biennial event organized by the multilateral development banks (MDBs), bringing together leaders from government, development institutions, private sector, civil society, and academia.

The Summit is taking place in Kigali Rwanda from 25th to November 27th.

“There is good momentum for women and African women, but the work has just started…‘There is no template to follow…we (women) can deliver, but we can deliver differently,” President Zewde said.

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, who officially opened the Summit, described gender equality as “real commonsense.”  Rwanda leads the word in gender representation in parliament with 61% of its parliamentarians being women — the highest in the world. In addition, half of all ministerial positions are held by women, just like in Ethiopia.

“We got it from the beginning that there is a lot of work to do…made investments to ensure that women are at the center of development. We are making sure that narrowing this gender gap is everyone’s responsibility,’ President Kagame said.

Echoing their sentiments, Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat said the African Union’s Agenda 2063 was deliberate about gender parity.

“What we are telling our heads of states is to take the bull by the horns…This discrimination is political, economic, and social; it is politically incorrect, unjustifiable socially…not to take (gender) into account is a real waste.”

In Africa, 70% of women are excluded financially. The continent has a $42 billion financing gap between men and women. And women, who are the majority of farmers, face a financing gap of close to $16 billion.

“The challenges are not just about gender. They are about under-representation and lack of empowerment of women,” African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina said.

“A smarter world must invest in women and girls. Let’s be smart, and let’s be wise. Women are the best investment any society can make,’ he added.

The African Development Bank is doing its part to transform the financing landscape for women with the launch of the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA). AFAWA aims to mobilize $3 billion of new lending by banks and financial institutions for women in Africa. G7 leaders approved a package totaling $251 million in support of AFAWA during the summit in August.

Welcoming the conference participants, Rwanda’s Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Soline Nyirahabimana, said the Kigali Conference center was set to glow orange in honor of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. The 16 days kick off on November 25th, each year, which marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and runs until December 10th.

The 2019 Global Gender Summit is attended by the first ladies of Rwanda and Kenya as well as representatives of the heads of state of Gabon, Mali, Senegal, Chad and the King of Morocco. Also in attendance are ministers of genders from Niger, Somalia, Senegal, South Sudan, Tunisia, and Libya.

The Summit runs from 25th to 27th of November under the theme: ‘Unpacking constraints to gender equality.’

‘The African Development Bank believes in women. Women are bankable,” Adesina said.

*AFDB

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Zeinab Badawi uncovers stories from across the continent in new series of History of Africa.
November 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

History of Africa returns for a highly anticipated second series, taking BBC World News presenter Zeinab Badawi on a prolific journey across the continent to uncover its rich and complex past.

Elucidating key moments of African history, the series takes its cue from the pioneering General History of Africa, an ambitious UNESCO-endorsed project to deliver a history of the continent as told by African experts themselves.

On her journey across Africa, Sudan-born Zeinab will bring BBC World News viewers unparalleled insights into the colourful history of the places and peoples she visits. From the staggering wealth and grandeur of 7th century West African kingdoms, to the struggles for independence experienced by many African nations in the twentieth century, the new series strips away outmoded stereotypes and tells the continent’s history with the African perspective at its core.

Zeinab Badawi said: “For too long Africa’s history has been maligned, misrepresented and misunderstood, but with these eleven new episodes we hope audiences across the world can enjoy an in-depth exploration of African history, as told by Africans. In the first series of History of Africa, we went all the way back to the origins of human kind and concluded with the early spread of Islam throughout Africa. The second series will continue the journey, right up to the modern day.”

In the first episode of the new series, Zeinab visits rarely-seen historic sites in Mali and Mauritania where she hears from Africans about how trans-Saharan trade led to the rich kingdoms of West Africa. She then visits the fabled city of Timbuktu under armed guard, before heading to Nigeria for episode two, with rare access to the King of the Benin Kingdom.

Mary Wilkinson, Head of Content at BBC World News, said: “The first series of History of Africa proved compelling viewing for audiences in both Africa and across the globe. We’ve seen a growth in appetite for this kind of content – informative, educational and entertaining storytelling, told by authentic voices. This is something the BBC is world-renowned for, and we’re excited our audiences can continue the journey of the continent’s past with a second series of History of Africa.”

History of Africa will air at 01.10 and 15.10 GMT on Saturdays and 09.10 and 20.10 GMT on Sundays on BBC World News for eight weeks from 28th September 2019, and then four weeks from 29th February.

*BBC

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Sierra Leone: former President Bai Koroma to lead AU elections Observation Mission to Namibia
November 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

File Picture:Former President Ernest Bai KoromaErnest Bai Koroma
File Picture:Former President Ernest Bai KoromaErnest Bai Koroma

Sierra Leone’s former President Ernest Bai Koroma has been requested by the African Union Commission, His Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat  to lead the African Union Elections Observation Mission (AUEOM) for the Republic of Namibia’s 27th November 2019 General Elections, a press statement from the Office of the former President  on Saturday has said.

According to the press statement, extending of the invitation to former President Koroma , Mr. Mahamat said the decision for President Koroma to lead the Mission was based on his “vast experience and commitment to promoting democracy and peace in the continent.’’

“This AUEOM comprises 40 observers whose objective are to (a)provide an accurate and impartial reporting or assessment of the quality of 2019 General Elections in the Republic of Namibia, including the degree to which the conduct of the elections meets regional, continental and international standards for democratic elections; (b) offer recommendations for improvement of future elections based on the findings; and (c) demonstrate AU’s solidarity and support Namibia’s election and democratization process to ensure that the conduct of democratic, credible and peaceful elections contributes to the consolidation of democratic governance, peace and stability in the country,’’ the release said.

According to the release , during this Mission, President Koroma will therefore hold consultations with the various stakeholders including government officials, members of the electoral commission, political parties, civil societies, media, members of the diplomatic corps and other international observer groups.

Ernest Bai Koroma is the immediate past President of Sierra Leone who ruled the small West African nation from 2007- 2018 after finishing his second term in office.

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Cameroon:Entrepreneurs urged to be innovative in their Businesses At SBEC Training
November 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

participants, trainers and Foretia team at the end of the small business and entrepreneurship training in Douala
participants, trainers and Foretia team at the end of the small business and entrepreneurship training in Douala

Douala, Cameroon. Small and Medium Size Enterprises, SMEs have been encouraged to carryout innovation, and do business in a hasty manner instead of practicing businesses follow the old model which was practiced decades ago. To one of the speakers, financial institutions want entrepreneurs who innovate and work in the present, and not past.

The call was during the last edition of a series of six training organized by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center (SBEC) of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation in Douala, November 23, 2019. SBEC has been able to train some six hundred entrepreneurs in Douala and Yaounde, with three of the training organized in Douala, and the other three in Yaounde.

Speaking on the Business Management Ekuh Edmond, CEO The Gate Way, a Certified Entrepreneur and Small Business Management Trainer said entrepreneurs need to create value in their business as it is only a business when a value is being created which can be solving a problem, or making life easy or better for individuals. “Entrepreneurs should look long-term perspective. Are you in a business for one day or a year? Create value that has long-term perspective,” He said

Ekuh Edmond further called on the entrepreneurs to create a business canvas as opposed to a business model for their business. The reason according to him, is that business plan is time-consuming as not all of them have the money to do it or have the right time to do it. “Once your test is and have feedback from the population, you can then proceed to do a business model.”

Ndikombui Nigel Mingoh, Founder/CEO of Goodwill Consulting LTD, a consultant of taxes advisory services edified participants on tax requirements, registration, and declaration procedures, which is one of the daunting tasks faced by entrepreneurs. “Entrepreneurs do not even know the process of creating their business, declare, or even know that they can be exonerating from paying taxes. They just have that idea that tax declaration is a very thing. Most do not know the documents that are required to even start the business,” Ndikombui Nigel said.

Access to finance is a key factor to the growth of SMEs but notwithstanding, because of the difficulties faced by financial institutions in obtaining information on the borrowers-solvency, lack of reliable financial statement of SMEs, absence of guarantee or inadequate collateral and lack of detailed business plan, they (financial institutions) become reluctant to award loans to these SMEs.

Tatoh Kenneth Ndi, a seasoned Finance Manager, however says the challenge is not so much at the level of financial institution. To him, there is a missing link between financial institutions in relation to the performances of SMEs. “I think with the enlightenment of what the financial institutions want from SMEs, the improvement of the collaboration between the financial institution and the SMEs will be evident. Being formal structures, financial institutions expect SMEs to be more formal than the informal model they are applying now.”

He added that they should learn to acquire information like what they just did during this training, so, they should learn to acquire information to acquaint themselves to be able to meet the expectation of financial institutions. “One of the things that SMEs should do is for them to learn to be sincere towards their financial partners because this sincerity will be the bedrock for them to collaborate better and for trust to have been build which is a very important tool when it comes to business,” He said.

Tatoh Kenneth Ndi, a seasoned Finance Manager speaking to entrepreneurs at the SBEC training in Douala
Tatoh Kenneth Ndi, a seasoned Finance Manager speaking to entrepreneurs at the SBEC training in Douala

To the Manager of SBEC, “The objectives of the training were to train about six hundred entrepreneurs in Small business management and entrepreneurship skills with more emphasis on female entrepreneurs and I can assure you that these objectives have been met. We are very happy that women have been participating in the training because we want to build the capacity of the female entrepreneurs as they have been lacking behind, especially in Cameroon.”

“After this training we are going to organize a forum on December 12, 2019 in Yaounde where stakeholders will discuss how to incubate and build the entrepreneurs in Cameroon for a sustainable growth,” He added

The Small Business Training under the theme, “Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Skills” falls within the framework of the prime purpose of the Small Business and Entrepreneur Centre (SBEC) — to spur economic growth in Cameroon through the provision of tools to establish, expand and sustain private sector business in partnership with the Canadian Fund for Local Initiative project in Cameroon. 

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Legislative/Municipal Elections in Cameroon: Women Target 30% Representation in Parliament & Councils
November 23, 2019 | 0 Comments

-Female candidates for the 2020 Legislative and Municipal Elections have said they want a 30% representation at the helm of city councils

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

As the elections slated for 9 February 2020 draw closer, the Non-governmental organization “More Women in Politics” is showing these female candidates how to achieve this goal. During the workshop that’s aimed at equipping women to present competitive candidacies, Dr. Justine Diffo Tchunkam, National Coordinator of More Women in politics says women’s political ambitions must be driven by the 50-50 parity in gender equality in Cameroon by 2030. According to statistics from the NGO, only 27 women are represented at the helm of the county’s 360 councils. To reduce this margin, women say they want more lead roles.

2020 Legislative and Municipal Elections: What women want

Female involvement in the socioeconomic development of a country is increasingly becoming a crucial demand. Women want to be involved in decision-making, management, and governance of the country. Most of them think they can do so by bringing a feminine touch to governance.

One of these women are Manga Salome, a CPDM party candidate from the Nyong and Mfoumou Division. “The woman is the mother of humanity. She is more sensitive to Sociocultural problems than men. Councils need to guarantee the wellbeing of the population, but we have noticed some lapses. That is why, I want to add a maternal touch to the Sociocultural development of our country.”

Etoa Martine, a CPDM candidate and Sub Section President of the Ekie constituency is among the women who want to speed up development. “We want more development. If more women are mayors, MPs and Municipal counselors, life will be better. Women are naturally endowed by God to be better leaders, and we can make the difference.”

But the National Coordinator of More Women in Politics, Dr. Justine Diffo, Tchunkam says the 30% target for female Municipal Counselors in 2020, is only a first step to attain the 50-50 parity in gender equality in Cameroon by 2030.

,The women also say they expect that the national action plan which provides between 25-30% representations of female Candidates on electoral lists will be respected.

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U.S. Commits $430 Million in Insurance to Natural Gas Project in Egypt
November 23, 2019 | 0 Comments

International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) CEO Adam Boehler.Photo credit :OPIC
International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) CEO Adam Boehler.Photo credit :OPIC

CAIRO – Adam Boehler, Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), today announced a commitment to provide $430 million in insurance to advance energy security in Egypt by rehabilitating a natural gas pipeline and transporting natural gas from fields offshore in Israel. The announcement was made at the Investment for Africa Forum during a signing ceremony that included Boehler and U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Jonathan Cohen as well as Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly and Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr.

The insurance will enable Noble Energy Inc. of Houston, Texas to restore the 90-kilometer EMG Pipeline running from the coastal city of Ashkelon, Israel and under the Mediterranean Sea to its destination in Al-Arish, Egypt. It will also support the transport of 3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas over 15 years. The insurance contracts were signed this week after Noble Energy and its partners achieved financial close for the project.

“Strengthening energy security—which bolsters trade, supports investment, and improves quality of life—is critical to ensuring lasting prosperity and stability in Egypt,” said Boehler. “This project will help the country meet growing demand for reliable, low-cost energy in order to fuel sustained economic growth and create opportunities that have a stabilizing impact in Egypt and across the region.”

“Egypt is a strategic partner to the United States. We are excited to support this critical investment in the country by an American company which will not only spur job creation and economic growth but also help provide reliable and affordable energy for the people of Egypt and others throughout the region,” said Cohen.

“Egypt welcomes this massive private sector investment and looks forward to the economic impact it will have for the Egyptian people,” said Nasr.

“The Dolphinus gas sales contracts and the EMG acquisition underpin delivery of natural gas from the Tamar and Leviathan fields in Israel into Egypt and represent a major milestone toward Egypt’s goal of becoming a regional energy hub. Both these transactions and the support from the U.S. Government provide further confidence in the long-term export market and growing cash flow from these premier assets,” said J. Keith Elliott, Noble Energy’s Senior Vice President, Offshore.

Under the terms of the project, the gas will be purchased by Dolphinus Holdings, a gas trading company.

The project will advance energy security in Egypt and support the country’s efforts to grow its economy by exporting gas to parts of Europe and other global markets. The pipeline being restored had initially been used to transport natural gas from Egypt to Israel but ceased operations in 2012.

Boehler is attending the Investment for Africa Forum during a trip to Egypt to highlight U.S. commitment to the region, explore private sector investment opportunities, and strengthen relationships with key regional partners in support of mutual development goals.

The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is America’s development bank. DFC partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. Working together with businesses, we invest in projects that create jobs and opportunity in emerging markets, including building critical infrastructure, expanding access to telecommunications, and providing small business financing, notably for women entrepreneurs. DFC helps to advance America’s foreign policy by partnering on projects that create economic stability, protect sovereignty, and ensure transparency. DFC investments adhere to high principles and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights.

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NJ Ayuk: Stop giving us aid, it’s killing us!
November 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

Africa needs long-established support

NJ Ayuk
NJ Ayuk

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, November 21, 2019/ — Looking at Africa and only pushing for aid is not in the interest of the everyday Africans. It is about the egos of the elites and latte intellectuals who believe they have the solutions to why the continent is still poor.

As Africa’s population and economies surge, greater opportunities for development are presented, societies change, and the aspirations of everyday Africans are increasingly requiring urgent attention.

On the other hand, Germany’s energy transition anticipates a vastly more efficient and interconnected energy system in the future, one that I believe, young African technology entrepreneurs can certainly learn from and accelerate the growth of the energy sector.

With technology start-ups with the intention to build sustainable power solutions emerging across the continent particularly in the power sector, Germany can look to this market on how it can invest in Africa while providing energy and  technology solutions and African entrepreneurs can embrace German products in reshaping and restructuring African energy economies.

While the economies of some countries on our continent have grown considerably in recent years, particularly as a result of energy sector developments, economic diversification and sustained foreign investments, there is still no denying that Africa still has a long way to go.

With this comes the question of how will Africa achieve prosperity? The answer – not with monetary aid.

In my book, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals, I examine the topic of foreign aid as a solution to Africa’s problems in great detail because for too long, well-meaning foreign entities have stepped in to provide us aid, and in doing so have inadvertently stepped on our toes. This, considering that donor nations and foreign institutions do not sufficiently understand what we need and how we operate.

Aid is not a solution for Africa.

Africa needs long-established support. We need skills development, key infrastructure, sustainable and enabling environments that drive results and, we need to build vibrant energy economies that will bring long-lasting change that is beneficial to the everyday African woman and man.

Determined to promote cooperation with Africa, increase investment on the continent and help improve standards of living, the 2019 G20 Compact with Africa Summit kicked off in Berlin this week. I believe this initiative led by Chancellor Angela Merkel can work and can be beneficial to both Africa and Germany. However, Germany (and other foreign countries looking at the continent) need to understand that Africa is a true partner for development and in addition to relationship-building with governments, African businesses also need to be engaged. They are also key in driving development.

We have to move beyond aid.

As Africa emerges and takes its place on the global stage, it not only stands to benefit from its relationship with Germany but can contribute to Western Europe’s objectives, as presented by the Compact with Africa Summit.

With the continent having nearly 600 million people without access to electricity, Africa’s challenges seem insurmountable – especially given the amount of opportunities and fast-tracked development access to electricity can unlock. But there is hope. With a number of African nations developing and launching large scale renewable energy projects, countries such as Equatorial Guinea, Senegal and Mozambique championing gas developments and launching world-class projects, the continent is resolute on transforming and diversifying its energy mix, proving that it is a worthy partner, particularly for Germany.

Earlier this year, the Germany Africa Business Forum (GABF) announced its multi-million Euro funding commitment to invest in Germany energy start-ups that focus on Africa. This commitment pledged funds to German start-ups with exposure to African energy projects. The role that such German companies from the private sector can play for Africa is increasingly coming to light. German companies ESC Engineers and Noordtec for instance collaborated with Equatorial Guinea’s Elite Construcciones on the Akonikien project – the region’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage and regasification plant.

Forming part of the government-led LNG2Africa initiative, the project advanced the nation’s efforts to monetize gas resources through the creation of domestic gas-to-power infrastructure, a sector which presents major opportunities for the private sector all across Africa. This is a true example of German’s expertise serving Africa’s best interests.

On Tuesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said she saw the investment in Africa’s growth and development as a “win-win” and encouraged that instead of talking about Africa, “we should do everything we can to cooperate with Africa.”

I agree with this view, the continent has a lot to offer and collaboration is critical for Africa’s future.  We do not need quick fixes, we need capital and technology that are supported by hard work, due diligence and solid execution in order to have an impact. We can only achieve this through recognition and collaboration, not with the same old strategies of proving aid that has not been very useful.

*NJ Ayuk is the CEO of Centurion Law Group and the Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. His experience negotiating oil and gas deals has given him an expert’s grasp of Africa’s energy landscape. He is the author of “Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and doing deals.”

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DFC CEO Adam Boehler to Travel to Egypt
November 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

Visit will promote private sector investment and strengthen regional relationships

International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) CEO Adam Boehler.Photo credit :OPIC
International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) CEO Adam Boehler.Photo credit :OPIC

WASHINGTON – Adam Boehler, Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), will travel to Egypt November 21 – 23 to promote U.S. investment, attend the Investment for Africa Forum, and strengthen regional relationships in pursuit of shared development goals in the region.
“Africa is home to immense untapped opportunity that will yield a more prosperous, stable, and secure future for communities across the continent,” said Boehler. “I look forward to joining regional government officials, business leaders, and investors in Egypt to identify avenues through which we can collaborate to achieve our shared vision for Africa.”
While in Egypt, Boehler will attend the Investment for Africa Forum in Cairo to underscore DFC’s commitment to the continent and will meet with regional business leaders to explore investment opportunities in priority areas such as infrastructure development and women’s economic empowerment. He will also seek to advance key agency initiatives, including Connect Africa2X Africa, and DFC’s new collaboration with the African Development Bank, all of which advance the goals of the Administration’s Prosper Africa effort to increase two-way investment and trade between the U.S. and Africa.
In addition, Boehler will hold meetings with high-ranking government officials to enhance cooperation in support of regional development, economic growth, and stability. DFC currently has more than $1.5 billion invested in Egypt in sectors ranging from infrastructure to financial services and healthcare.
The visit follows recent travel by Boehler to the Indo-Pacific, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa to strengthen relationships with key partners and highlight DFC’s enhanced flexibility to support private sector investment in critical regions.
DFC is a new U.S. Government agency that combines and modernizes the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and USAID’s Development Credit Authority (DCA). With a more than doubled investment cap of $60 billion and new financial tools, DFC is equipped to more effectively mobilize private sector capital to urgent development challenges and advance U.S. foreign policy. The agency continues to work with Congress to fund DFC through the appropriations process in order to exercise its new investment and development tools.

The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is America’s development bank. DFC partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. Working together with businesses, we invest in projects that create jobs and opportunity in emerging markets, including building critical infrastructure, expanding access to telecommunications, and providing small business financing, notably for women entrepreneurs. DFC helps to advance America’s foreign policy by partnering on projects that create economic stability, protect sovereignty, and ensure transparency. DFC investments adhere to high principles and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights.

*Source DFC

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Global Music Stars to storm OpenMic/AfriCourage Festival in Banjul
November 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

 Baaba Maal
Baaba Maal

The OpenMic/AfriCourage festival brings together international and regional music stars to celebrate the power of music and the strength of indigenous culture in Banjul on 27-28 December, 2019 at the independence stadium.

On December 27th, the OpenMic festival reflects the power of hip-hop in the local culture. On December 28th, the AfriCourage project focuses on traditional and contemporary culture, with an international and local line-up and a global streamcast courtesy of the European Broadcast Union. AfriCourage will thus become the first sub-Saharan African festival to be broadcast live to major European media networks.

Smockey
Smockey

The AfriCourage line-up will feature some of the legendary names of music from the region and beyond, including Baaba Maal (Senegal), the Ensemble Modern (Germany), Jali Madi (The Gambia), Journal Rappé (Senegal), Smockey (Burkina Faso), Sambou Suso (The Gambia), Tata Dindin (The Gambia), Wimme & Rinne (Finland) and more. Additionally, in an appearance devised especially for the festival, the Liberation Orchestra of Inverted Traditions will feature selected artists in a spectacular, never-to-be-repeated collaboration, blending the European traditions of visiting artists with local West African grooves.

The initiative is supported by the United Nations Youth Empowerment Project and aims at nothing less than turbo-charging the Gambian cultural economy. Jointly organised by Gambian promoters Black Lynx Entertainment and the Goethe-Institut, the AfriCourage/OpenMic festival will be recorded, filmed and streamcast around the world.

In earlier times, the people of The Gambia would sit at night beneath the baobab tree and exchange news and views. Traditions have changed, but still the need to share information, address problems and find solutions remains. With this in mind, Germany’s Goethe-Institut has developed the AfriCourage project as a model of local and international cooperation and information exchange.

The initiative aims to encourage and enhance integration, participation, cooperation, engagement, tolerance and democracy. The AfriCourage programme is continuous, taking place yearly in a different country and in 2019 the location is The Gambia’s capital Banjul.

In December 2019, as guests of the OpenMicFest, AfriCourage will provide professional training from the worlds of festival presentation, event management, promotion, sound technology and media. AfriCourage is bringing artistic and business acumen to The Gambia to perform and work with local Gambian talent and entrepreneurs.

AfriCourage invites you to participate in an event celebrating the unique culture of the modern Gambia!

The organizers: Goethe Institut Senegal  and Black Lynx Entertainment in The Gambia.

The Goethe-Institut is the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institute, active worldwide. It promotes the study of German abroad and encourage international cultural exchange. The Gambian enterprise Black Lynx Entertainment is into the creation and development of platforms for artistes. They have been involved in entertainment entrepreneurship in The Gambia for more than a decade with a core focus on (1) the creation and development of platforms on radio, TV, live events and (2) the marketing and monetization of Gambian entertainment. Since 2008 they have hosted the annual OpenMicFest.

Partners & Sponsors: AfriCourage becomes reality through a unique collaboration between OpenMicFest and the Goethe-Institut. We are grateful for the contribution and expertise of our partners and sponsors who have made the project possible.

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Coca-Cola CEO, James Quincey in Africa, Defines Region as Company’s Future Growth Driver
November 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

James Quincey, Chairman & CEO The Coca-Cola Company, a Nigeria Bottling Company Sales Representative and Zoran Bogdanovic, Coca-Cola Hellenic CEO during a market visit at Maryland in Lagos
James Quincey, Chairman & CEO The Coca-Cola Company, a Nigeria Bottling Company Sales Representative and Zoran Bogdanovic, Coca-Cola Hellenic CEO during a market visit at Maryland in Lagos

Visiting Nigeria and South Africa, Quincey met with business and political leaders as the company scales up investments and looks forward to continued growth on the continent
LAGOS, Nigeria, November 20, 2019/ — The Global CEO and Chairman of The Coca-Cola Company (https://www.Coca-ColaCompany.com/), James Quincey culminated a tour of Africa last week. Accompanied by his extended leadership team, the visit was a testament of Coca-Cola’s commitment to Africa and its interest in the vast opportunity that the continent presents in driving the beverage company’s overarching growth strategy over the next decade.

Visiting Nigeria and South Africa, Quincey met with business and political leaders as the company scales up investments and looks forward to continued growth on the continent. Key among his engagements was discussions with Africa’s foremost entrepreneur and industrialist Dr Aliko Dangote who stands out as an example of indigenous African investors who are driving growth across the continent.

Other engagements included meetings with top executives from Discovery Group, MTN, Unilever and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and thought leaders such as Tony Elumelu (Chairman of Heirs Holding), Doyin Salami (Chairman of Nigeria’s Economic Advisory Council) and Fred Swaniker from the Africa Leadership Academy. These engagements provided Quincey and his team with critical insights about Africa’s opportunities.

“Having operated in Africa for over 90 years as a local business in every country, we believe Africa is a region that will increasingly influence the growth trajectory of our global businesses in just a few years,” he said. “Together with our bottling partners, we continue to reinforce our stake on the continent by accelerating investments that strengthen and scale our capabilities and expand into new businesses to drive our Total Beverage Company aspiration.”

Quincey highlighted a number of positive and encouraging developments across Africa which he described as important foundations for strong economic growth and, if sustained, will fast track the continent’s role as a global growth engine. These include the growing scale of domestic investments by African investors across sectors and the potential of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

Added to these were Africa’s positive consumer demographics, the infrastructure expansion in many countries, and the growing emphasis on building African talent.

“It is clear that Africa is indeed a region that will increasingly influence the growth trajectory of global businesses and we have taken some bold measures to strengthen the Coca-Cola System in Africa for long term growth, enhancing our capacity to continue to win in the continent’s increasingly competitive landscape.”

He outlined the company’s growth plans in Africa, including continuously investing to boost capacity ahead of demand, consolidating the bottling system to build scale and investing in new businesses to accelerate growth and expand its beverage offering. He also cited Coca-Cola’s role in spurring Africa’s economy through the eco-system the company has built and continues to foster investments across multiple sectors on the continent.

Underpinning this, he emphasized that the Company is committed to building a talent engine in Africa, creating shared opportunities to enhance the prosperity of communities across the continent.


“We have an enduring belief that our business is only as sustainable as the communities in which we operate, that means for our business to grow sustainably, our communities must grow also.”

This is the strong motivation for the significant investments the company continues to make across Africa to help build more resilient communities, enabling the economic empowerment of women and youth downstream and upstream of Coca-Cola’s supply chain; providing access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene facilities through its Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN); supporting governments to strengthen health systems through Project Last Mile and the Safe Birth Initiative; and addressing environmental concerns particularly around plastic packaging with its World Without Waste vision.

Said Quincey: “Over the past 90 years together with our bottling partners, we have built pervasive and very strong local businesses, creating shared opportunity in every country on the continent. This has been one of our greatest strengths and we will continue playing a significant role in Africa’s sustainable and inclusive growth”.

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) (https://www.Coca-ColaCompany.com/) is a total beverage company, offering over 500 brands in more than 200 countries and territories. In addition to the company’s Coca-Cola brand, our portfolio includes AdeS, Ayataka, Costa, Dasani, Del Valle, Fanta, Georgia, Gold Peak, Honest, innocent, Minute Maid, Powerade, Simply, smartwater, Sprite, vitaminwater and ZICO. We’re constantly transforming our portfolio, from reducing sugar in our drinks to bringing innovative new products to market. We’re also working to reduce our environmental impact by replenishing water and promoting recycling. With our bottling partners, we employ more than 700,000 people, helping bring economic opportunity to local communities worldwide
*Distributed by APO
James Quincey, Chairman & CEO, The Coca-Cola Company (left) and Aliko Dangote, President, Dangote Group, during their recent engagement in Lagos
James Quincey, Chairman & CEO, The Coca-Cola Company (left) and Aliko Dangote, President, Dangote Group, during their recent engagement in Lagos

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Centurion Senior Associate Zion Adeoye Wins ESQ 40 Under 40 Award
November 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
Zion Adeoye
Zion Adeoye
Zion oversees a growing team of African lawyers working on the most complex energy transactions shaping Africa’s modern energy industry
LAGOS, Nigeria, November 20, 2019/ — Centurion’s Senior Associate Zion Adeoye has been recognized as an ESQ 40 under 40 Lawyer at the Nigerian Rising Stars Award last week. The ESQ 40 under 40 award recognizes distinguished Nigerian lawyers under the age of 40, who will shape the future of the legal profession in Nigeria and on the continent.

Since joining Centurion (https://CenturionLG.com/), Zion has earned himself a strong reputation among its peers and the firm’s leading clients from across the continent. In his role as Senior Associate, Zion oversees a growing team of African lawyers working on the most complex energy transactions shaping Africa’s modern energy industry.

“I am truly honored for this recognition and thank Centurion for providing me with the right environment to grow as a lawyer and as a person,” declared Zion Adeoye. “This is a demonstration of what young Nigerian legal talent can achieve when given the opportunity to work and contribute to the growth of Africa.”

“At Centurion we believe in young African talent and pride ourselves in hiring and training the next generation of African lawyers and energy leaders,” said Nj Ayuk, CEO of Centurion Law Group. “We are delighted that Zion’s work is getting such esteemed recognition, which is only the reflection of how hard he works and the level of dedication he gives to the firm and its clients.”
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