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Rugby Africa Targets Women’s Rugby in all Unions – Women’s Rugby Advisory Committee Chair Paulina Lanco.
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Paulina Lanco, president of the Women’s Rugby Advisory Committee

The president of the Women’s Rugby Advisory Committee Paulina Lanco has said she sees a bright future ahead for Women’s Rugby on the African continent as efforts have been redoubled to advance the women’s game to about 40 per cent registered players being women by 2025.

“I hope for a genderless sport, one with equal opportunity, equal exposure, equal pay and based on merit,” Madam Paulina Lanco told Pan African Visions. 

In an exclusive interview, the President who is also a Rugby Africa Exco member detailed the strides made in the advancement of women’s rugby on the continent, the challenges and the future of the game in the next ten years.

According to Paulina Lanco, there is also a lack of pathway development and elite competition at the U20 level. “This is currently a priority agenda in which we are lobbying accordingly with the hope of launching a pilot in 2022,” she said.

Pan African Visions: Could we start this interview by getting an introduction to the Women’s Rugby Advisory Committee (WRAC) that you lead?

Paulina Lanco: In line with our strategic plan at Rugby Africa (RA) and in noting that women’s rugby is a growing and performance-driven sport, and one that aims to attract investments and empower women at all levels and in all structures of the game, women’s rugby represents a key strategic area of growth for RA. In line with this commitment, WRAC was approved by Rugby Africa (RA) EXCO in August 2020 & I was duly nominated as its founding President.

Our mandate is to take lead in the development of Gender Inclusion and Women’s Rugby in the region. To do so I have a 7-member committee & in line with our women strategic plan, we have four (4) subcommittees i.e., Communication & PR, Competition & Finance, Player Welfare & Participation and last but not least, Leadership Training & Conferences.

Pan African Visions: In what shape is women’ rugby in the African continent today, and what kind of changes have taken place since you took over leadership of the committee?

Paulina Lanco: Due to the ongoing pandemic, several scheduled activities and tournaments were and have been greatly interfered with in the last year. Despite this, however, WRAC continues to lead from the front and one of the most notable changes has been the streamlining of our Women’s Rugby leadership (with the formation of WRAC), strengthening the management through the appointment of a Women’s Rugby Manager & introducing an enhanced Women’s competition program.

We also saw the launch of the Africa Women’s Rugby Network, the launch of the regional Unstoppables Campaign in partnership with World Rugby & the eventual appointment of 12 Women’s Rugby ambassadors across Africa. Last but not least, virtual training & speaking engagements were launched for both technical teams and women in rugby and we are soon looking to launch the first-ever Virtual Training Management Program for women in rugby management.

Women’s Rugby Advisory Committee Chair Paulina Lanco presents the winner’s trophy to Madagascar Captain during the RAC tournament held in Kenya

Pan African Visions: Can we get some more statistics or figures on the growth or state of women’s rugby, and in which parts of the continent have you seen progress?

Paulina Lanco: Growth has been steady and about data provided by World Rugby, in 2012 we stood at 47,600; 2018 at 261, 300 & the latest data as of October 2020 stood at 386,000+. Our strategic ambition is to have 40% of registered players being women by 2025. We currently stand at 27.2%.

Unfortunately, the October 2020 statistics do not provide a breakdown in order of countries however if the 2018 data is anything to go by, it would appear that the leading African Nations are South Africa with 200,00+ players followed by Kenya, Madagascar & Tunisia. Additionally, and excitingly so, we have seen the emergence of Women’s Rugby in countries like Ghana & Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa and we’re looking to see more nations in that region rise!

Pan African Visions: What are some of the big challenges facing your leadership and women’s rugby across the continent?

Paulina Lanco: Funding remains a major challenge with the Men’s game still receiving a bigger percentage of available funding. In this regard, we’re working to strengthen our women’s product to attract more funding. Lack of enough competition and exposure. We are working towards improved, better and more diverse competitions if we are to compete strongly on the world stage.

There is also a lack of pathway development and elite competition at the U20 level. This is currently a priority agenda in which we are lobbying accordingly with the hope of launching a pilot in 2022.

Also, the lack of strong domestic women leagues at the member union level. We’re in constant discussion with the unions & are looking to support where effort is evident and as we can.

Pan African Visions: May we know the steps being taken to ensure that the game is supported primarily for women?

Paulina Lanco: The most notable commitment & support in this time of the global pandemic has been the big communication and marketing effort largely through the Unstoppable campaign in which 75% of all content posted on Rugby Africa’s networks during the first semester of 2021 relates to women’s rugby. The primary objective and aim are to be Visible, Viable & Unstoppable! The objective of the campaign is about changing perceptions, creating an appeal, telling inspiring stories & encouraging more girls and women to join and stay in rugby.

Additionally, a women-specific grant was availed to respective RA member unions in support of Return to Play among other activities.

Pan African Visions: Who are some of the big names in corporate and individual actors that are supporting you in the development and growth of women’s rugby in Africa?

Paulina Lanco: Société Générale is an official sponsor of women’s rugby. Corporates are interested to support the growth of the women’s game and that’s why we are trying to create attractive products like a new 15 a side competition, more sevens tournaments in regions, and a U20 girls’ competition. World Rugby is pushing and supporting us in this mission and we have great support from the RA President Khaled Babbou and members of EXCO.

Pan African Visions: What are some of the major competitions for women’s rugby in Africa today?

Paulina Lanco: Africa Women’s Sevens tournament is the top continental tournament to qualify African Representatives for Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and the 7s Rugby World Cup. The next 7s Rugby World Cup is happening in Cape Town, South Africa in September 2022.

Women’s 15s: World Rugby recently announced the launch of a yearly W15 global competition divided into three tiers. This is fantastic news as it creates an aspiration for teams and an incentive for unions to invest more into their women’s rugby program. Rugby Africa will build an adequate qualification competition for this event starting in 2022. Right now, and for the first time in Africa, we organized through the recently concluded Rugby Africa Cup (RAC) tournaments, a series of test matches across the continent to feature as many women’s teams as possible and evaluate their levels.

We started in Ouagadougou where Burkina Faso and Cameroon played two matches and Cameroon emerged stronger. We continued in Nairobi with two matches between Kenya and Madagascar, in Kampala with two matches between Uganda and Zimbabwe and had scheduled one in Tunisia with a three-team tournament between Tunisia, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal however due to Covid-19 the last one was disrupted.

This means a total of 6 matches, which is unprecedented in Women’s 15s continental rugby. We were positively impressed by the enthusiastic response from Unions when we launched this initiative and their commitment to get ready and compete despite the difficult times we are in with the pandemic.

Paulina Lanco with a few players from Zimbabwe 15s team taken at the conclusion of the RAC tournament hosted in Zimbabwe

Pan African Visions: We understand there is the #AfricaAsOne campaign coming up, could you shed some light on this for us?

Paulina Lanco: This campaign is to embody the strength in our diversity and our ability to communicate through sports despite the language barrier; It showcases our ability when we are down to reach back, give a hand and rise together as one when the moment calls for it and importantly it is a call for unification, a moment to stand As Africa, As One for we are stronger together!

Pan African Visions: South Africa will participate in the next women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2022 and Kenya’s women are due to compete in rugby sevens at this summer’s scheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics, how significant are these developments to you?

Paulina Lanco: They are great faith builders and milestones for us and I commend both the unions and players concerned. Indeed, they prove that our strategy is on the right path. This is more so noting that we aim to have at least 4 African teams in the top 30 worldwide, 2 teams competing in the Women’s Rugby World Cup and in the World Series. 

Pan African Visions: Let us focus a bit on my home country, Cameroon, the country was suspended from Rugby and was eventually brought back, how will you rate the country’s participation so far?

Paulina Lanco: It’s good to acknowledge that Cameroon was only reinstated as a full World Rugby member in November 2020 i.e., last year. As such and noting the strong performance by the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon Women’s 15 A Side team at the RAC in June duly hosted by Burkina Faso, I truly commend their President, Marc Essono for that great outcome and would urge that he builds upon it even as he looks to support their male counterparts who unfortunately fell at the hands of the host.

Pan African Visions: What do you advise Cameroon to do to attract more females and males to the game looking at the limited following Rugby has within the country?

Paulina Lanco: Cameroon has great athletic potential and there’s a noted existing and growing passion for Rugby. We also continue to see great media exposure and coverage more so on social media platforms. As such and with the known dedication of their President who is himself a rugby man and with the assured support of Rugby Africa, I believe that Cameroon with further exposure & a vibrant domestic league, will in days to come be a rugby powerhouse in Africa. Of course, you too can help (as you are now) by giving them continued exposure and more so a platform to be seen and heard.

Pan African Visions: Lastly, how do you see the development of Women’s rugby on the African continent in the next 10 years?

Paulina Lanco: I hope for a genderless sport, one with equal opportunity, equal exposure, equal pay and based on merit.  

Additionally, our aim and ambition as Rugby Africa is to see women’s rugby well established in all our unions, to see each man & boys competition matched with a woman and girls’ competition. To have more teams and more competitive teams qualify to play in international events such as World Series and Women 15s global competition. We believe we can bridge the gap between Africa and the rest of the world with women’s rugby, as the athletic and youth potential on our continent is unparalleled.

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Kenya’s wait for medals in the Tokyo Olympic games ends
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

World champion Hellen Obiri won a silver medal after emerging second in women’s 5000m

On Monday, August 2, 2021, Lackluster Kenya bagged two medals in the ongoing Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

World champion Hellen Obiri won a silver medal after emerging second in women’s 5000m, and she clocked 14:38:36. The gold medal went to the winner Dutch Sifan Hassan who clocked 14:36:79.

Elsewhere, Benjamin Kigen bagged a bronze medal after finishing third in the men’s 3000m steeplechase. Kigen, the African champion, finished behind the winner Soufiane El Bakkali of Morroco and second-placed Lamecha Girma of Ethiopia.

El Bakkali clocked 8:08:90, Girma 8:10:38 and Kigen 8:10:45.

The Moroccan ended Kenya’s dominance in the race, which has lasted for 36 years. The last time Kenya lost in 3000m steeplechase was in 1984.

However, the country’s quest for the gold medal at the global event continues as Ferguson Rotich and Emmanuel Korir head to 800m men’s finals on Wednesday, August 4, 2021.

The two emerged first and second place in the 800m semi-final held on Sunday, August 1.

Kenya is currently in position 62 with two medals.

China leads the log with 62 medals, 29 gold, 17 silver, and bronze, followed by the US with a total of 64,  gold 22, silver 25, and bronze 17.  The host Japan close the third-best bracket with 33 medals, 17 of them being gold, silver 16, and bronze 10.

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Relief as Emirates Airline introduces easy payment options for Kenyan travelers.
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

On Monday, August 2, Emirates Airlines announced the introduction of convenient payment methods for Kenyan travellers to offer them a better real-time user experience on the airline’s website and app when planning their travel.

In a statement, the airline said customers can now purchase their flight tickets using local debit, and credit cards, mobile money or through mobile banking and have their ticket issued within minutes.

According to Emirates Kenya Manager Christophe Leloup, the new options provide greater convenience for customers by switching from cash to online bank transfers from 12 local banks or three mobile wallet providers.

He said despite the currency, location, bank, or card; travellers will find a payment solution that suits them when booking.

“We have worked very hard to provide them with a secure and frictionless experience through more local banking partners, mobile money providers and a host of other options to facilitate payments,” said Leloup.

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Police gun down two suspects in carjacking ordeal in Nairobi.
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Police on Sunday night shot dead two thugs in a botched carjacking in Nairobi’s Kilimani areas.

 Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), in a statement on Monday, said the duo, armed with a Russian-made pistol and two other handguns,  subdued a taxi driver and his client at Kilimani’s Chania Avenue, before robbing them of their mobile phones and taking over their Toyota Vitz.

DCI detectives who responded to a distress call by the victims blocked the robbers as they attempted to escape. They were ordered to surrender, but they started shooting at the officers as they tried to flee on foot.

The police officers responded with quick shots, killing the robbers.

Four mobile phones, including the two stolen from the victims, were recovered alongside three guns with six unspent rounds.

The incident comes amid a surge in robbery and mugging cases in Nairobi Central Business District and its environs.

DCI boss George Kinoti had appealed to public members to report mugging cases to the police instead of sharing such cases on social media.

Kinoti said sharing mugging cases on social media is good for sensitization but encouraged public members to file formal complaints to help the police and the prosecution build water-tight cases against perpetrators once arrests are made.

“Many are scenarios when suspected muggers go scot-free even after they have been arrested along various Streets and Walks within the CBD, as the few who report at the station fail to pursue their cases or never turn up for hearings,” said the DCI boss.

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Mozambique: Terrorists attacks could spread to other provinces, warns ex- guerilla.
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

The arrival of regional troops from neighbouring countries to fight terrorism in Cabo Delgado province could cause the insurgency to spread, a former guerrilla commander has warned.

Hermínio Morais, who led guerrillas for opposition party Renamo when it was at war with the government, said: “I remember that when the Zimbabwean forces came to support the Mozambican government in fighting Renamo, the revolutionaries began to spread out and split into groups that were then fed by the massive recruitment of young people; this could happen with terrorism in Cabo Delgado”.

The insurgency could spread to the adjacent provinces of Niassa and Nampula, he warned, adding that the regional force needed to have a joint command, to prevent atrocities and looting.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) force has begun arriving in Mozambique, where troops from South Africa and 296 from Botswana are already in place, while a contingent from Zimbabwe is on standby and ready to travel to Cabo Delgado.

Last week Angola’s parliament agreed to send 20 soldiers as military advisers to help fight terrorism in Cabo Delgado province, as part of the SADC’s military force.

The officers will start a three-month mission on 6 August, but will not be involved in combat.

The Angola mission comprises 11 officers to advise the FDS and 9 air force crew members for an Ilyushin-76 transport plane, which will be be included as part of the mission. The initial cost of sending the troops would be $675,000, Francisco Pereira Furtado, Angola’s head of the president’s security office, said.

The total budget for the SADC mission is $12.9m, of which Angola will contribute just over $1m.

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TotalEnergies Exploration & Production President Arnaud Breuillac Commits to African Energy Week in Cape Town, Drives African Exploration Narrative.
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

As a confirmed speaker and participant at African Energy Week in Cape Town, Arnaud Breuillac will promote African exploration and production, leading a constructive discussion on the role of oil and gas in Africa’s energy future.

Arnaud Breuillac, President – Exploration & Production, TotalEnergies, has confirmed his attendance and participation at African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 taking place in Cape Town on the 9th-12th of November. Representing one of the seven supermajor oil companies worldwide, and one of Africa’s most active oil and gas explorers and producers, Breuillac’s participation at AEW 2021 is significant and speaks to the caliber of the event as Africa’s premier energy conference. By networking and participating in AEW 2021’s comprehensive event program, Breuillac will promote the role of oil and gas in Africa’s energy future, showcase some of TotalEnergies greatest achievements, and emphasize the value of an Africa-centric energy transition in which natural gas plays a major role.

Active in more than 130 countries worldwide and with an extensive footprint across the African continent, TotalEnergies is one of Africa’s top oil explorers and producers – producing more than 900,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2019. TotalEnergies remains committed to exploring Africa with several large-scale E&P projects, and Breuillac’s participation at AEW 2021 will only enhance the company’s objectives in this area. Notably, the French oil major’s production in sub-Saharan Africa predominantly focuses on Angola, Nigeria, the Congo and Gabon – the Gulf of Guinea makes up 25% of the company’s production. With existing exploration stakes in the Gulf of Guinea, the company has redirected its attention to exploration within West Africa – through stakes in Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea and Côte d’ivoire – as well in Southern Africa with stakes in Namibia and South Africa. If early seismic data is to be believed, compared to Angola there is equal, if not even more, promise in new discoveries offshore Namibia. Currently, all eyes are on Total’s possibly play-opening Venus 1- prospect, which may turn out to be the largest discovery in Africa in a decade. An ultra-deepwater well in the Orange Basin, which straddles the border with South Africa, Venus-1 is thought to have at least 2 billion barrels of oil in place. If Venus-1 is successful, it’s like to attract even more attention to the area. Fortunately, the Namibian government’s oil-friendly policies make it easy for foreign companies to do business there. The fiscal regime is positive, and the state-owned oil company, the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR), is a cooperative partner. It also helps that Namibia is politically stable and has some of the best-developed infrastructure on the continent, including a modern electricity distribution grid. Like its neighbors to the west, South Africa has been the site of considerable excitement over frontier discoveries, including Total’s Brulpadda, which opened up the Outeniqua basin in 2019. Brulpadda is considered a world-class oil and gas play that holds as much as 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent of gas and condensate light oil.

In line with AEW 2021’s oil and gas agenda, Breuillac’s participation will enhance a discussion on African E&P, showcasing the company’s achievements and future objectives.

Meanwhile, in addition to being one of Africa’s biggest oil explorers, TotalEnergies has turned a focus to natural gas, recognizing the role of the resource as an intermediary in the energy transition and capitalizing on the vast opportunities present in African markets. Notably, some of TotalEnergies most significant natural gas projects in Africa include the $20 billion Mozambique Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) project; the $4 billion Nigeria LNG Train 7 project; and the $12 billion integrated LNG project in Soyo, Angola. By emphasizing the value of these projects, and initiating a discussion on the role of natural gas in Africa, Breuillac will drive the discussion on the role of natural gas.

“Breuillac’s participation at AEW 2021 in Cape Town emphasizes that oil and gas continue to have a significant role to play in Africa’s energy future. We are proud to host representatives from one of the world’s supermajors, and are excited for the valuable input and dialogue that Breuillac will present at AEW 2021. The African Energy Chamber (AEC) is a strong advocate for both oil and natural gas, and by providing a platform whereby a discussion on the integration, rather than elimination, of oil and gas can be presented, AEW 2021 aims to drive investment and associated economic growth across Africa,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.

Despite being a strong advocate for oil and gas, TotalEnergies has placed sustainable performance, environmental safeguarding, and Corporate Social Responsibility at the heart of its operations. With an ambition to become a world leader in the energy transition, and the uptake of renewable energy developments comprising a significant part of the company’s portfolio, TotalEnergies intends to manage its operations with the aim of working in a sustainable, active and positive manner in all host countries. By incorporating clean energy into its portfolio, and redirecting a focus on renewable energy opportunities in Africa, TotalEnergies aims to address the two-fold challenge prevalent in Africa today: satisfying the energy needs of an ever-growing world population while reducing global warming.

In realizing the company’s ambitious target of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050, TotalEnergies has executed a series of initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at its operations while ensuring development and associated economic benefits in host countries are not at risk. By improving energy efficiency, eliminating routine flaring, electrifying its processes and reducing methane emissions, TotalEnergies is not abandoning oil and gas for renewables, but is focusing on an integrated approach to energy.

By promoting the utilization of oil – ensuring operations are environmentally friendly and efficient – as well as the role of natural gas in providing a cleaner and more reliable energy source in the long-term, TotalEnergies emphasizes an adapted energy transition vital for Africa’s economic growth. Breuillac’s participation at AEW 2021 will only further promote Africa’s energy transition by emphasizing the role that oil and gas continues to play in Africa’s energy future.

For more information about Africa’s premier energy event, visit www.aew2021.com or energychamber.org and/or email Amina Williams at amina.williams@energychamber.org

For registration-related inquiries, please contact registration@aew2021.com  

For sales-related inquiries, please contact sales@aew2021.com 

For media-related inquiries, please contact media@aew2021.com 

For speaker-related inquiries, please contact speakers@aew2021.com

*African Energy Week

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Free Markets and an Enabling Environment: Ghana’s Petroleum Commission to Demonstrate How Pragmatic Regulation Drives Investment at African Energy Week in Cape Town.
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments
Petroleum Commission CEO Egbert Faibille

Petroleum Commission CEO Egbert Faibille will drive a strong narrative on the value of market-driven policies and progressive regulation in attracting investment, increasing private sector participation, and accelerating economic growth. 

Egbert Faibille, CEO of the Petroleum Commission of Ghana, has confirmed his attendance and participation at African Energy Week (AEW) 2021, taking place in Cape Town on the 9th-12th of November. Confirmed to deliver a keynote address at the event, Faibille will attend AEW 2021 with a delegation of industry leaders and executives from Ghana, including Hon. Minister Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempher and representatives from the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC). Representing one of Africa’s most promising natural gas sectors, and the agency responsible for Ghana’s upstream oil and gas sector, Faibille will drive a discussion on Africa’s gas miracle, pushing a strong narrative on the role of effective regulation and upstream oil and gas activities in driving continent wide energy sector and economic growth. 

As CEO of the Petroleum Commission, the Ghanaian state agency responsible for the regulation, management and coordination of all upstream oil and gas activities, Faibille plays a fundamental role in expanding the country’s oil and gas industry. Despite having only been established in 2011, in response to the discovery of significant commercial hydrocarbon deposits, the Petroleum Commission has accelerated energy sector growth, and positioned the country as an attractive investment destination through productive, industry focused regulation. Under the auspices of the Minister of Energy, and built against a backdrop of reformed market-driven policies, the Commission has positioned Ghana as a highly competitive destination for upstream investment, leading to the rapid increase in oil and gas exploration and development. 

Notably, one of the Commissions primary achievements has been the creation and implementation of one of the most transparent, modern, and industry-focused regulatory frameworks in Africa, leading to an influx of private sector participation and international investment. Having restructured its energy sector from the ground up, enforcing legislature that prioritizes women inclusivity, local content, and the increasing ease of doing business for all stakeholders, Ghana has positioned itself as the go-to market for investment. What’s more, the Commission has created an impressive benchmark for other African nations seeking investment and the increase in domestic exploration and production. Ghana is a prime example of how regulation can drive energy sector success and AEW 2021 aims to emphasize this. 

Accordingly, both the Ministry and the Commission have kick-started Ghana’s energy sector, driving new exploration and associated oil and natural gas developments. Some of the most noteworthy oil and gas achievements in the country include the billion-dollar discovery made by local company Springfield E&P Ltd. in the West Cape Three Points Block 2 area; the 150,000 barrels per day Jubilee oil field; the 3.4 million-ton Tema Liquified Natural Gas terminal; the 1,000MW Sankofa gas-to-power project; and the West African Gas Pipeline project. By ensuring an investor friendly business climate, Ghana now boasts the participation of some of the world’s most significant oil majors. Notable actors include Aker Energy, Camal Energy, Sahara Group, and Swiss African Petroleum with major oil and gas operators including Tullow, Kosmos Energy, Eni, ExxonMobil, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Hess Ghana Limited, Springfield E&P, and GNPC. By focusing on creating an enabling environment for investors, the Commission has driven progress in the sector. 

“Ghana represents one of Africa’s most successful new markets with world-class projects establishing the country as a regional oil, gas, and power hub. The Commission has done an exceptional job in establishing an enabling environment, pushing through market-driven policies and progressive legislature that has accelerated growth and interest in the oil and gas sector. By participating at AEW 2021 in Cape Town, Ghana will showcase the value and role of regulation, driving a strong narrative that emphasizes reform and transformation. We look forward to hearing Faibille’s insights and aim to further promote Ghana’s energy sector at AEW 2021,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. 

For more information about Africa’s premier energy event, visit www.aew2021.com or energychamber.org and/or email Amina Williams at amina.williams@energychamber.org  

For registration-related inquiries, please contact registration@aew2021.com    

For sales-related inquiries, please contact sales@aew2021.com   

For media-related inquiries, please contact media@aew2021.com   

For speaker-related inquiries, please contact speakers@aew2021.com

*African Energy Chamber

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Cameroon:Women Want Greater Role in the Peace Process.
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Women peace activists and others say women should be considered in the peace process

Speaking with one voice and with their eyes firmly fixed on the objective of peace, women from across the country have enjoined all key stakeholders to the conflicts to undertake concrete and immediate actions to end the ongoing hostilities while making women part of the peace process.

The women made the call after the conclusion of the first National Women’s Convention for Peace that took place on July 29, 30 and 31 at the Palais des Congres in Yaounde.

The National Women’s Convention for Peace in Cameroon is the first initiative of its kind: a gathering of over 1,000 women (women peace activists, displaced women and girls, victims of war-related violence and others) from all 10 regions of Cameroon, including all 58 divisions and all 360 sub-Divisions – to pledge their knowledge and experience to the peace process, claim their place to contribute meaningfully to ending the security crises and make an unequivocal call for peace now.

The three days session saw presentations on conflict sexual abuse, psychosocial support and trauma healing; the process of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration; the need to Create trauma healing centres in all regions.

According to the women, there should be “equal and permanent involvement of Women peace mediators and negotiators in peace processes at all levels, while enforcing their protection at all times, according to the four pillars of the UN Resolution 1325.”

Women have affirmed their total commitment to work for the return and consolidation of peace

“Women have the credibility, trust and influence earned from years of work at the community level. They are capable of picking up the pieces during the crisis, and use it as leverage during peace-building processes when official responses seem inadequate or slow,” Yvonne Muma, president of the Cameroon Women’s Peace Movement, CAWOPEM.

“Women recognise the importance of linking the discussions at the negotiation table to the communities (Grassroots) so that people who are most affected are consulted and informed.”

The role of women in their strides in preaching peace and bringing about solutions to crisis is well documented. However, women are most at times relegated to the background or are not even consulted in the peace process.

“Despite our intimate knowledge of what obtains, the legitimacy we have as members of the society, the responsibilities we voluntarily take on and the solutions we provide, we are often sidelined to the lowest level of multi-track processes.” She added.

“We are women. We are strong. We have passion. We want to inspire people to recognize humanity. We want people to have the right to live on peace and harmony despise anonymous, politics, race and gender,” Rosa Emilia Salamanca,

Director of Corporación de Investigación y Acción Social y Económia (CIASE), a Colombian peacebuilding organisation with a particular focus on women’s rights and strengthening public policy said.

On her part, the Minister of Women and the Family, Marie Abena Ondoa told the women: “We have received the call for peace and responded by we are ready, just as the light makes the darkness disappear, only peace can make war disappear.”

The National Women’s Convention for Peace in Cameroon sent a strong collective signal that Cameroonian women are longing for peace

She added: “Wherever women’s voices rise in unison the world pays attention. The declaration moved from a paper in our hands to a pledge in our hearts. The women’s convention has not come to an end, it is the start of the beginning.”

In their five points recommendations, the women called for the “immediate end to hostilities, and thus give meaning to African Union’s campaign to ‘Silence the Guns in Africa to achieve a conflict-free Africa, prevent genocide, make peace a reality for all and rid the continent of wars, violent conflicts, human rights violations, and humanitarian disasters.”

They further recommended that stakeholders should pursue a continued and inclusive dialogue that addresses core issues around Peace, Solidarity and shared Humanity in Cameroon; Create additional and reinforce the existing centres for psychosocial support and trauma-healing, and render the existing DDR centres functional and responsive to the existing conflicts.

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At ICT University’s 6th Graduation Ex-Nigerian President Dr Olusegun Obasanjo prescribes Humility, Deftness in Smelling Opportunities
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Dignitaries pose for a pic after the 6th graduation exercise of the ICT University

Former Nigerian President Dr Olusegun Obasanjo has encouraged the 6th graduating batch of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) University Cameroon to be humble and to grab every opportunity that comes their way.

Chief Dr Olusegun Mathew Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo, GCFR, was speaking during the 6th Commencement and graduation ceremony of the ICT University Cameroon that took place Saturday, July 31, 2021, at the Yaounde Conference Centre.

The graduation ceremony was attended by the Minister of State, Minister of Higher Education Prof Fame Ndongo, Prof Nalova Lyonga, Minister of Secondary Education, Professor Jean Emmanuel Pondi, several government Ministers, Ambassadors and the students, some of whom followed online.

In his keynote address titled “The Hidden Processor for Success Beyond ICT Knowledge and Skills” the former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, told the graduating students that “humility comes with the lack of arrogance; it comes with wisdom. You need humility towards one another.”

Dr Obasanjo went on to encourage the graduating students to take advantage of the opportunities that will come their way. To him, the students must be curious to know and mentally prepared. “You have to be deft in smelling opportunities. It will not come easy but you need to continue searching. I hope to come back and hear that some 50% of the graduating students are gainfully employed or are employing others.”

“You need to remain focus and determined. The ride may be tough but commitment will keep you in it. Whatever you do, you need to put your all into it and not a half-hearted something. Take responsibility and it will be well with you,” Dr Olusegun Obasanjo added.

Prof Victor Mbarika, President of the ICT University Board of Trustees bestows a medal on a graduate

“Always remember that Cameroon, your communities and the world needs you; you have been prepared for it and delivery is important.”

Dr Olusegun Obasanjo went on to commend Dr Victor Mbarika for his investment in the education of the students. He said: “You are investing in the graduating students and all the other students that are in this institution. You are investing in their development, you are investing in their today for their family, you are investing in the today of this country and its progress and development.” President Olusegun Obasanjo told Prof Victor Mbarika.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony, Professor Victor Mbarika, President of the Board of Trustees went on to appreciate the enormous support he has gotten from both the Cameroonian and Nigerian governments.

“Nigerians have been very good to us; they have donated to ICT University 100 hectares of land, three-storey buildings in the state of Kaduna,” Professor Victor Mbarika said. “I want to thank the Nigerian government for their support to ICT University and we are about to launch a campus there within the next one year.”

Professor Victor Mbarika added: “I am a product of free education… Thank you Cameroon government for your free education. I believe in public education and that is why we are committed that all my former institutions will receive a multimedia computer lab on behalf of the George Mbarika Foundation. Every school I went to in Cameroon will receive a multimedia lab.”

Prof. Jacques Fame Ndongo, Minister of State, Minister of Higher Education commended the former Nigerian President on the historic peace accord that was struck between the two countries bringing an end to the Bakassi crisis.

Describing the University as the citadel of education, Prof Fame Ndongo said the graduates are now ambassadors of the Cameroonian higher education system and ambassadors of the Cameroon ICT University in Africa and the world.

“There is every indication that you have received a fine education and are now the new gladiators, catalyst and galvanizers of the transformation of your country, Africa and the world.  As you take the journey into the professional world, make your presence felt, make your light shine, make your teachers proud and above all make your country and continent proud.”

The event saw some personalities being given a special award for contribution to peace in Africa and also made a distinguished visiting Professor of the ICT University, something that the distinguished peace advocate takes great pride in it.

“Excellence was the pillar of the training and rewarding excellence was envisaged. They have achieved a high level of performance with at least a 3.5 GPA. They are outstanding and deserved recognition,” Professor Beban Sammy Chumbow, pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the ICT University Cameroon said in respect to the special awards.

Over 300 students from across the African continent received their Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in a ceremony that also involves the award of doctorate degrees to some fifteen students.

“My decision to join clubs and other associations at the ICT University helped me developed a broader community as I met new friends with similar interests. Activities on campus helped me build confidence while developing important leadership and teamwork skills. The ICT University offered me more than a degree. The clubs and activities provided me endless ways to broaden my horizons,” Agbor Austine Abang, Banking and Finance said.

Dr Olusegun Obsanjo (r) receives a special award from the ICT University from Prof Fame Ndongo, Minister of State, Minister of Higher Education

The most remarkable experience I have had with The ICT University is Research. It has been great to be in a university with a huge space for academic research on contemporary business and environmental issues. Research is highly encouraged and supported through research facilities and expert researchers in the field of business,”Maimo Jovanny, IMBA, BMS Department said.

Other special awards were equally awarded such as to Reverend Jimi Titus who was given the endowed professionalship of the ICT University, Professor Robert Stephen (endowed award of professionalship), and Professor Muhammadou Kah (endowered professorship of the ICT University), amongst others.

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Be leaders of today not tomorrow-Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo tasks African Youth
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

H.E Olusegun Obasanjo served two terms as Nigeria’s president from 1976 to 79 and again from 1999 to 2007

Former Nigerian president H.E Olusegun Obasanjo who served two terms as president from 1976 to 79 and again from 1999 to 2007 has encouraged youths to be actively involved in leadership today and not go by the popular saying that “they are the leaders of tomorrow.”

President Olusegun Obasanjo was speaking to Cameroon calling over the national broadcaster to CRTV as he continues his private stay in the county that first saw him as guest speaker for the 6th graduation ceremony of the ICT University last Saturday, July 30.

President Obasanjo went on to recount his stay in Cameroon during the British/French rule and also why peace is very important. Upon his military training out of the country, the former Nigeria President had his first operation in Bamenda, Cameroon. Since then, he has been in and out of Cameroon on several occasions.

“I remember we came through Mamfe and to go up Bamenda you can only go on Monday and come down on Tuesday… The road was narrow then and it is a different case today. Again, there was a tea plantation there and the pace of life was gentle,” Dr Olusegun Obasanjo said when responding to the question of how life was when he first came to Bamenda.

Head of the AU election observation mission, H.E. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, observes the close of polls in Ethiopia

“I was at the border one morning with my troops and some people were passing from the British side to go to the French side of Cameroon and we said they could not go. They asked why can’t go and we said it was the border but they said it is not a border to them because the next village is part of their village.”

“That was my first practical experience of the artificiality of our borders; they do not mean anything to the local people.”

According to the former president, part of the problem with Africa when it comes to conflict or crisis is mismanagement or poor management of diversity. Diversity to him is nature and nature is diversity. “Why should we not understand that diversity is natural and should be managed and treated for what it is,”? He asked.

“I have said when people get frustrated for one thing or the other it could be real or perceived injustice, perception must not be treated with levity because to some people perception is taken as reality. When people feel frustrated either by real or perceived injustice do not just leave it unattended to; do something about it.”

“We did not do that to win a Nobel Peace Prize. We did it because it was necessary for us and our people. If any people see what I have done to influence humanity for good as something that can be rewarded, all well and good but that should not be the purpose for me to do good for my peace,” the former President said as he responded to a question on why he, Koffi Annan and H.E Paul Biya have not been awarded the Noble Peace Prize in recognition for their efforts on bringing the Bakassi Peninsular crisis to an end.

Dr Obasanjo is an ardent lover of agriculture, something many do not see a need to invest in. He jokingly says you can take him out of the village but you cannot take the village out of him. “I feel comfortable, I feel natural and belonging to where I come from when I am in the village. If we are going to get it right in Africa we have to go there (in the village and the soil).”

Dr Olusegun Obsanjo (r) receives a special award from the ICT University from Prof Fame Ndongo, Minister of State, Minister of Higher Education

He added: “Education has always been my passion… What is your life worth if you cannot impact other people for good or in their own life; that is what I do. Even when I was president, I did morning devotion every day and I teach Sunday school in my church.”

The former president then went on to encourage the young people not to take the usual advice that they are the leaders of tomorrow because to him “if you wait for tomorrow, you will not have it because those who are there today are going to make sure that they destroy the tomorrow before you get there.”

Leadership is today; you be part of it today and do not let anybody destroy your tomorrow. I became head of state at 39 at 42 I had finished my term and then went on to become of a farmer…”

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Sierra Leone: UBA opens new branch at Adonkia
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

The United Bank for Africa in Sierra Leone (UBA – SL ) on Thursday 29th June, opened its new branch in the Adonkia community, West of Freetown as part of the Bank’s strive  and expansion to reach in every part of the country. 

Speaking during the official opening of the Adonkia branch of the bank, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of UBA in the country, Usman Isiaka, said, the bank started operations in the country since July 2008 stating that today the bank can boast of having seven (7) full branches and 4 cash points making a total of 11 service points across Freetown, Bo, and Makeni where he said their customers can conduct their transactions.

“Today, we are here to open our 12th Service point, a full fledge Branch in this beautiful Adonkia environment, a strategic location linking Western Urban and Rural Districts. Moving to Adonkia is a deliberate strategic decision to lead in the execution of the Central Bank’s financial inclusion drive in taking banking to the door steps of the Sierra Leonean public ,’’ he said, adding that the Adonkia branch aims to cater for corporate , the retail unbanked and under –banked customers within and beyond the Adonkia community.

Mr. Usman Isiaka said that the bank will be bringing to the Adonkia community area the new UBA customer experience (CX) Initiative launched earlier this year across UBA Group which focuses on ensuring that we do more than is expected and delight their customers at every point of interactions adding that right from the security staff at the entrance and within the bank’s premises, to the customer service officers among others.

“In this regard, the new UBA Adonkia branch will be providing to the delight of all the banking populace in this community and beyond the following services as obtainable in all other branches of UBA to create a new customer a new experience. Account opening for corporate , small and Medium Enterprise and Individuals , remittance services as Africash, Western Union, Money Gram, Ria, and BnB etc.,’’ the CEO UBA in Sierra Leone added.

Deputy Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL), Sheikh Alhaji Yayah Sesay in his statement congratulated the board and management of UBA Sierra Leone Limited for their laudable effort in taking banking services to the door steps of the people of Adonkia, Goderich and its environs.

“This Adonkia branch is truly modern and beautiful which is a manifestation of the United Bank for Africa’s continued investment in Sierra Leone and the desire to serve its esteemed customers in a conducive and modern environment,‘’ he said.

He said that as one the top listed banks in the world, the UBA enjoys an excellent customer base, a diversified business structure and strong innovation capabilities and market competitiveness adding that the bank has continued to play a leading role in the banking sector in the country’s economy for over a decade.

‘’In these uncertain economic times, several of the developed economies are challenged, to bring about growth and job creation while addressing several fundamental weaknesses in their economies and financial systems. This step by UBA is a significant step in the right direction of addressing these underlying issues. Sierra Leone warmly welcomes the continued participation of Nigerian financial institutions in the domestic financial sector,’’ Sheikh Alhaji Yayah Sesay, the BSL deputy Bank Governor added.

Member of Parliament constituency 110, Madam Khadija Davies, on her part thanked the bank for bringing the Bank’s branch in her community and constituency adding that her community has been lagging behind in terms of development and financial services for a very long time thus appreciating the bank as it will boost development in her community.

She said that her constituency is made up of about 60 to 70 % business people and therefore congratulated the bank and its boards for bringing such a development in her community whilst lobbying the bank to provide loans to businesses in her constituency./

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Tanzanian President Suluhu in Rwanda For two day visit.
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

President Suluhu will be in Rwanda for her first visit as Tanzanian President

From Monday, August 2, 2021, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan will be in Rwanda for a two-day State Visit, the first of its kind since she assumed office in March this year.

Upon arriving in Rwandan capital Kigali, she will begin with a tête-à-tête with President Paul Kagame, which will be  followed by bilateral talks. 

The Heads of State will then address members of the press and witness the signing of several bilateral agreements.

Agreements to be signed have not been disclosed before but it is believed that construction of Isaka –Kigali railway will be on agenda.

Other expected agreements are in business sector. Tanzania is Rwanda’s  big economic partner as Dar es Salaam port is a route  to more than 60 percent of goods coming from or going to Rwanda.

In March 2021, goods worth $ 33,75 million entered Rwanda from Tanzania, according to National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda.

On evening of  her first day, President Samia Suluhu will be hosted by President Kagame for a State Banquet at the Kigali Convention Centre.

On her final day of the visit, President Suluhu together with President Kagame will visit several companies in various sectors including the Special Economic Zone which is home to 120 companies with activities ranging from manufacturing, agro-processing and education among others.

To date, the SEZ has generated 800 million USD in exports and created 13,000 jobs.

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Former U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke to Enhance U.S.-Africa Relations at African Energy Week in Cape Town.
August 1, 2021 | 0 Comments

Leading a delegation of American businesses, independent producers, and financiers to African Energy Week in Cape Town, Ryan Zinke will drive inter-continental partnerships and investment into emerging African markets. 

The African Energy Chamber (AEC) is proud to announce that Ryan Zinke, former U.S. Secretary of Interior under former-President Donald Trump, has confirmed his attendance and participation at African Energy Week (AEW) 2021, taking place in Cape Town on the 9th-12th of November 2021. Zinke will lead a delegation of American businesses, independent producers, and financiers to Cape Town, capitalizing on the expanding prospects present in emerging African markets, and introducing a wide network of stakeholders to African natural resource opportunities.  

In his previous position, Zinke was responsible for all oil and gas licenses in the U.S., and was committed to natural resource expansion through the opening up of federal lands for oil, natural gas and mineral exploration and extraction. Zinke has maintained a strong position for the increased exploitation of fossil fuels. As he announced in the Interior Department’s 2018-2022 strategic plan, “our mandate is multiple-use of public lands, and multiple-use also includes the development of natural resources as we seek to leverage American energy for American strength.” A strong advocate for using oil and gas development as a catalyst for wider economic growth, Zinke will drive a discussion on how Africa can fully utilize its significant resource base – driven by productive U.S.-Africa partnerships – to initiate long-term socio-economic growth. 

Meanwhile, Zinke continues to drive a discussion on the role of natural gas as a cleaner-burning fossil fuel. Unopposed to fossil fuel extraction, and yet acknowledging the carbon consequences, Zinke is advocating for the increased development of natural gas, explicating the value of the resource in addressing rising energy demand worldwide. In line with AEW 2021’s agenda regarding the role of natural gas in the energy transition, Zinke is expected to initiate a constructive dialogue on natural gas management, monetization and development, whilst introducing American financiers to African projects. 

“Secretary Ryan Zinke coming to Cape Town is HUGE. He played an important role alongside President Donald J. Trump, in ensuring that the US becomes the world’s largest producer of Oil and natural gas. He cut a lot of red tape and reduce bureaucracy, created an enabling environment for American businesses to thrive in the energy sector. African leaders, businesses and our energy industry will have a good opportunity in Cape Town to interact firsthand with Secretary Zinke and benefit from his network that could help us in our goal to Make Energy Poverty History.” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman, the AEC.  

Under the Trump administration, Zinke was a strong advocate for the ‘American first energy plan’ – an economic, strategic, and foreign policy goal that aimed to exploit the American landscape and establish American energy dominance. In addition to developing U.S. domestic resources, Zinke is committed to promoting energy sector collaboration and continues to be focused on establishing long-term partnerships with various oil and gas stakeholders. Notably, while in office, Zinke emphasized the value of forming partnerships between the Interior department and Oil Corporations, promoting growth through integration. Accordingly, Zinke has also recognized the value of international partnerships, and leading a delegation of stakeholders from the U.S. to Cape Town, is eager to establish investment deals and sustainable partnership agreements between U.S. companies and African markets. 

“American businesses, independent producers, and financiers are coming to African Energy Week in Cape Town, and we thank Secretary Zinke for his resolve in supporting Africa fight energy poverty and for being a voice for why energy matters to Africa. Africa stands to significantly benefit from U.S. partnerships, investment and Secretary Zinke’s delegation will drive deal-making, investment, and collaboration across Africa. By promoting the role of oil and gas in not only Africa’s energy future, but the entire globes, Zinke recognizes these resources value in fast tracking economic growth and driving industrialization worldwide,” Concluded Ayuk.

To take advantage of the valuable networking opportunities present at AEW 2021 in Cape Town, and to directly engage with U.S. energy companies, stakeholders, and financiers, register now at www.aew2021.com or contact amina.williams@energychamber.org

For registration-related inquiries, please contact registration@aew2021.com   

For sales-related inquiries, please contact sales@aew2021.com  

For media-related inquiries, please contact media@aew2021.com  

For speaker-related inquiries, please contact speakers@aew2021.com

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Ethiopian Airlines strongly refutes all the recent baseless and unfounded allegations by some individuals regarding the airlines’ involvement in transporting war armament.
August 1, 2021 | 0 Comments
Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam

We would like to underline that Ethiopian Airlines has not transported any weapons to any parts of Ethiopia and has never been requested to perform such services.

Ethiopian Airlines is a Pan-African Global Commercial Airline connecting Africa with the rest of the world and providing much-needed inter Africa connectivity. As one of the oldest Pan African Airline, it has been serving the continent for the last 75 years serving as an engine to the socio-economic development of Africans. As a result, the airline has developed a very strong brand not only in Africa but also in the rest of the world. During the unprecedented global pandemic crisis, Ethiopian airlines has done well by doing good. It has helped save lives both by transporting PPE and the vaccines for which it has received recognition and appreciation by various countries and heads of governments.

We reiterate that Ethiopian Airlines has never carried any war armament either in its international or domestic network.

Some irresponsible and reckless individuals have used social media to tarnish the high reputation of the airline and defame its brand. They used various Photoshopped and unrelated pictures to defame our airline which is the golden pride of Ethiopia, Africa and the entire black humanity on earth.

We would like to inform our esteemed customers, partners, stakeholders and the general public that the false and factually incorrect allegations are misleading and reckless defamations.

*Source Ethiopian Airlines

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Kenya sprinter fails drug test at Tokyo Olympics.
August 1, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Kenyan sprinter Mark Otieno

After testing positive for a banned substance in an out-of-competition test at the ongoing Tokyo Olympic Games, Kenyan sprinter Mark Otieno has been suspended.

The new development came as a massive blow to the 100m sprinter who was set to participate in the preliminaries later on Saturday afternoon.

Otieno’s samples were taken on July 28 (Wednesday) and went into the lab the following day. He told the testing agency that he had taken diclophenac, food supplements, and a cramps blocker, denying any knowledge of the violation, and requested a re-analysis of his B sample.

“We have received communication from the International Testing Agency regarding on our sprinters who has had an adverse analytical finding on his Urine sample he provided on July 28. For now he remains provisionally suspended from participating in his event,” said Team Kenya Chief de Mission Waithaka Kioni.

Kenya is yet to win any medal in the ongoing games, which entered day nine today.

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A Great Economic Opportunity To Enhance The Development Of A Gas Economy Africa-Sunny Oputa On SSA Oil & Gas 2021
August 1, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

SSA Oil & Gas 2021 is a great economic opportunity to enhance the development of a gas economy to trigger economic buoyancy, says Sunny Oputa

Now in its 15th year, the Sub-Saharan Africa Oil and Gas Conference will take place in Houston, Texas, USA from the 12th to the 13th of August 2021. Sunny Oputa , CEO/and Director of Energy and Corporate Africa says the event is a great opportunity to enhance the development of a gas economy to serve as a catalyst for development in Africa.

For the 2021 Conference, the theme is The future of upstream, advancing digitalization, and gas development options, can you shed some light on this?

Sunny Oputa:  Recently, the global mantra and call is decarbonization and enhancing digitization and usage of clean energy. These are impacting the industry in Africa. Africa producing nations require fossil fuel space to catchup with western nations. The application of technology and digitization to optimize processes and reduce cost is very essential for proper growth in the sector. Also, Africa has abundant gas resources. The demand for natural gas, LNG and domestic utilization is increase. This is a great economic opportunity to enhance the development of gas economy to trigger economic buoyancy.

May we know some highlights of the 2021 summit and some of the high-profile participants that you will be expecting?

Sunny Oputa:  There will be ministerial keynotes, industry keynotes, national exploration and production updates, panel sessions and networking receptions. Some of the high profile participants include but not limited to:  His Excellency Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Nigeria, H.E. Hon. Fafa Sanyang, Minister of Petroleum & Energy, The Gambia, Mr. Clay Neff – President, Chevron, Middle East, Africa & South America, Mallam Mele Kyari – Group Managing Director, NNPC, Saifuah-Mai Gray – President , National Oil Company, Liberia,  James Yamoah – Ag. CTO, GNPC, Ghana, NJ Ayuk – Chairman, African Energy Chamber, Foday Mansary – Director General, Directorate of Petroleum Resources, Sierra Leone, Famorou Kourouma – Managing Director, Societe Petrole, Guinea, Conakry, Yusuf Usman – COO (Gas & Power, NNPC, Cany Jobe – E & P Director, GNPC, Gambia and many other.

Considering it is an African themed event, may we know the kind of representation or participation you are expecting from the continent?

Sunny Oputa:  Delegates are coming from various nations in the region. There are participants coming from USA, Europe and Asian countries. It’s going to be great!

The conference will be taking place in the context of COVID 19, what safety measures are been considered?

Sunny Oputa:   Yes, the conference will be taking place within this critical time of global pandemic as the world is trying to rise up from the pangs of COVID-19 amid the few new surprises. We cannot shut down the global economy completely, and we have to create avenues beyond virtual interaction for the industry players to meet – share knowledge and network for business optimization and growth. Therefore, we are mindful of the situation and have set up pertinent safety protocols. Masks will be provided for attendees, we are using the hotel ball room which is spacious enough and airy, sitting arrangement will be the classroom format and it will be 2 people per desk in ensuring social distancing. The hotel has disinfectants in all strategic places. We will also give attendees hand sanitizers, temperatures of attendees will be checked at the registration desk before going inside, microphones will be wiped intermittently. We have it ready and I assure our attendees that their health, safety and security are of high priority.

We cannot shut down the global economy completely, and we have to create avenues beyond virtual interaction for the industry players to meet – share knowledge and network for business optimization and growth. says Sunny Oputa

What is your overall perception of the oil and gas sector in Africa today, how good or bad is it faring?

Sunny Oputa:  Africa is a work in progress. The future of oil/gas industry in the region is great and promising. Africa is an investor’s haven and has great potentials. Despite the global call for decarbonization, Africa is strategically embracing it. Fossil fuel is still relevant to the global economy and will not fade off in the next 20 years.

How can the sector balance its activities with growing concerns from environmental activists?

Sunny Oputa:  Geopolitics affecting the oil and gas industry is humongous. We all agree in climate change and the need to protect the environment. African countries are not big-time pollutants like most western nations. Environmental activists are doing good works. However, Africa is strategically balancing the economy of its nations and gradually embracing the global energy transition. I say it again, Africa will go along but it should be given the space to do it methodically in a way that it doesn’t distort most of its fragile economies.

You live in Texas, a State considered by many as the oil or energy capital of the USA, what are some of the lessons in the functioning of the oil and gas industry out there that Africa could learn from?

Sunny Oputa: Yes, Texas is an energy state and Houston is the energy capital of the world. The energy industry is very functional and progressive. Refineries alone in Houston out numbers the refineries in the entire Africa. The industry is proactive. We need to continue to enhance development of human capital and leadership. That’s the essence of conferences such as ours.

For those who interested in attending the conference after this interview, what do they need to do?

Sunny Oputa:  For inquiries, they may reach us at energycorporateafrica@gmail.com or online at www.energycorporateafrica.com to seek for registration and participation. Thank you immensely for having me.

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Government lifts lockdown in Kigali, eight other districts
July 31, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

The cabinet meeting on Friday lifted the lockdown that was imposed by the government in the capital city of Kigali and either other districts for the last 15 days.

Those districts are Gasabo, Kicukiro, Nyarugenge, Gicumbi, Musanze, Rubavu, Burera, Kamonyii, Rutsiro, Rwamagana and Nyagatare.

The government had placed the districts after they were identified as hotspots of COVID-19 catalysed by the Delta variant that was confirmed early this month.

The lockdown will be removed from August 1, 2021, according to the communique issued by the Prime Minister’s office.

Inter-district movement shall also resume except in fifty sectors that are under a localized lockdown.

 “Movements will be prohibited between 6PM to 4AM as business close at 5PM and all social gatherings are prohibited,” reads the statement in part.

The new measures also say that public transport and private businesses will operate at 50% capacity while private and public offices operate at 15% capacity.

Meetings and conferences should not exceed 30% of the venue capacity and attendants should present a negative Covid-19 test, as per the new restrictions.

All bars, gyms, recreational centers and places of worship will remain closed as restaurants and cafes provide take away services only, according to the communique.

For people who attend a wake or vigil, the number has been limited to 10 persons and those who have weddings both religious and civil will not exceed 30 persons and must have a negative Covid-19 test.

International passengers arriving and departing from the Kigali International Airport must present a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure, according to the statement.

Also, domestic and international tourism activities will resume operations with a strict adherence to Covid-19 preventive measures.

 Businesses upbeat

Business operators whose activities were closed to curb the spread of COVID-19 have hailed the government for lifting the lockdown saying they were ready to reopen their businesses.

“It is a good move that the lockdown is lifted, as drivers, we are happy because we are going to resume transport activities, though the number of passengers was limited to 50%, at least we will be operating. Life was hard in the lockdown and we are hoping that things will change,” John Mazimpaka a taxi driver in the city of Kigali said.

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Rwanda gets new spokesperson
July 31, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

The Cabinet Meeting On Friday 30th July 2021 appointed Mrs. Yalande Makolo as Government Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, a new position created for the first time as a standalone in the country.

Makolo will replace Dr. Vincent Biruta who is the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation who doubled as the Government Spokesperson.

Normally the position of government spokesperson was held by the Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Makolo comes from the office of the President where she served in the communication department.

“The Office of the Prime Minister informs the Cabinet Meeting of 30th July 2021 made the following appointment, Mrs. Yalande Makolo, Government Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation,” reads a communique signed by Prime Minister Dr. Edouard Ngirente on Saturday 31st July 2021.

Makolo is a soft-spoken lady and the social media enthusiast which gives her more chance to perform well in the new position she will be serving for the first time.

The same cabinet meeting appointed Mrs. Stephanie Nyombayire, Press Secretary, Office of the President. Nyombayire was also in the communication department and in the protocol department.  

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Mid-Year Budget Spells Doom For Ghanaians – MP Ato Forson
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Enya Casiel Ato Forson has described the mid-year budget statement presented to Parliament by Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta as cosmetic.He said the budget is empty and has no hope for Ghanaians.

The member of the Finance Committee in Parliament told journalists after the budget reading on Thursday July 29 that “The mid-year review that was just read is nothing but hopeless.

 According to him, the Ghanaian economy is in a bad way in the sense that he would have thought that the government would have learned something and have taken right decisions but sadly, he said if they you look at the statement that was read to them almost every single  revenue item is under performing.

The government revenue has underperformed within the first six months of the year approximately 2billion Ghana cedi’s. The law marker said “apart from the revenue items’ coming down the budget is nothing but cosmetic, cosmetic in the sense that at the end of the year 2021, they will come back and see every single fiscal target being missed”

Casiel Ato Forson lamented that as he speak the government has not commenced the construction of 111 district hospitals. He stated that in the original they projected 1.4 billion cedi’s for that project. Unfortunately, in the mid-year review the government has reduced for over 700Mmillion. He further said he was expecting that the government will rather increase the allocation for agenda 111 instead of increasing the allocation for good and services.

The Finance Minister Mr Ofori Atta in his presentation in parliament has announced the setting up of a scheme to help the youth set up businesses across the country. To be referred to as ‘Youth Banc’, the scheme will be championed by the Enterprise and Youth Support Fund (EYSF).

Addressing members of Parliament (MPs) on Thursday, July 29 as part of the presentation on the mid-year review of the 2021 budget, Kenneth Ofori-Atta admitted that the issue of employment and jobs for the youth has been a worry to the government.

 In the 2021 budget review the finance minister said, the Enterprise and Youth Support Fund, which aligns with Government’s overall strategy of developing a competitive and viable private sector economy, will Set up a ‘Youth banc’ with the aim of financing youth-led start-up businesses across the country.

He said as part of the initiative, an online investment hub will be established for youth across the country to access information for the purpose of establishing businesses. Under this initiative, it is estimated that over 100,000 jobs will be created for the youth.

Member of Parliament for Old Tafo Ekow Vincent Assafuah has noted that Ghana’s economy is picking up from the shocks of the coronavirus pandemic. Commenting on the mid-year budget statement presented to Parliament by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Thursday July 29, he said focuses on amongst many other things, jobs for the teeming youths of this country.

Mr Ofori Atta told Parliament that for the first time in the history of the fourth republic, the exchange rate did not see a spike after an election year. He explained that cumulatively, from the beginning of the year to date the exchange rate has depreciated by 0.6 per cent against the US dollars and appreciating by 3.6 per cent against the Euro.

He further told the House that he did not come to ask for more money from the House in the mid-year budget. He also said he did not come for more taxes rather; he came to update the House and the country on the performance of the economy during the first half of the year.

A senior lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School Dr Lord Mensah has also said he is satisfied with the statement. He said when you look at the situation on the ground now, The Finance Minister and his team couldn’t have afforded than to maintain the status quo to ensure that we stay within the fiscal appropriation that we called for.

 

 

 

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Ghana:Chief Justice Orders Kasoa Ritual Murder Trial To Be Moved From Ofaakor District Court.
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah has ordered the case involving two teens standing trial for the murder of an 11 year old for ritual purposes, to be transferred from the Ofaakor District Court to the Kaneshie District court, for indictment proceedings to continue.

It follows three months of preliminary hearing of the case. Prosecutor Chief Inspector Ernest Agbo told the Ofaakor District Court, the order from the AG’s office, signed by the Chief Justice was served on the police Thursday morning.

Presiding judge Oheneba Antwi-Boasiako duly transferred the case, after counsel for the accused and juvenile, Samuel Atuah told the court, he has no problem with the order.

Spokesperson for the Mensah Abdallah family, Samed Akalilu says even though their expectation today was to have the case transferred to the High Court for the committal proceedings for proper trial to begin, they hope this translates into expedited trial.

Lawyer for the accused and juvenile, Samuel Atuah says they would have to comply and continue the process at the kaneshie District court.

He says even though no exact date was fixed for the next hearing, he is hopeful they should be back in court in two weeks.

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Ghanaians Must Cherish The Free Press – Former Foreign Minister Hanna Tetteh
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union, Hanna Tetteh

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union, Hanna Tetteh has called on Ghanaians to cherish the free press in the oil-producing West African country.

The former Foreign Affairs Minister under the Mahama administration said in a tweet that news and comments from the many TV, radio and online platforms as well as individuals, reflect how Ghanaians just love to debate everything.

It is unclear the context in which she made this tweet however it comes at the period where there is an ongoing debate on whether or not there is culture of silence in Ghana.

 She said we must cherish our Free Press because it gives us all the news and leaves us to draw our conclusions. According to her Ghanaians are heavily divided on whether or not there is culture of silence in the country. Whereas some believe it exists in different forms, other also think otherwise. A Lecturer at the Political Science Department at the University of Ghana Professor Ransford Gyampo, refuted claims that there is a culture of silence in the country. He said, where he sits as a political scientist and a citizen within the military regime of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) in Ghana, he cannot agree that there is such a culture in the country.

Dr Gyampo stated that the culture of silence as he knew it under the erstwhile military regime, when one makes any critical comments against the government, he or she will be picked up, brutalized, vanish and even murdered but in the current regime he and countless others are still speaking their minds without fear.

Hence, for fear of being picked up, brutalized, vanished and even be murdered for being vocal against the erstwhile PNDC regime, a lot of people adopted the mute approach by not speaking their minds when their freedom and lives were at stake, which induced the culture of silence in the country.

He however said that, since you are being vocal and critical against somebody, it is a natural reaction to be intimidated or heavily responded to by such individuals. That cannot suffice to be classified as a culture of silence in the right sense of the term.

Odododiodio lawmaker, Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye said there is culture of silence in Ghana under the Akufo-Addo administration. In his view, people are unable to express themselves freely without being insulted or attacked. This situation, he said, smacks of the culture of silence comment that was recently made by businessman Sam Jonah.

According him the cultures of silence really exist in Ghana and you don’t need anyone to tell you. Today, you go on radio stations to speak and you are afraid for your life. “Journalists have been beaten and attacked for doing their work. Caleb Kudah of Citi FM was attacked, what has happened to the killers of Ahmed Suale? A Graphic reported was also attacked recently so you don’t need anyone to tell you there is culture of silence in Ghana.”

He added “Today people who used to go to Sam Jonah to seek knowledge are now sitting on radio insulting him because he has said the obvious truth.”

A former AngloGold Ashanti boss, Sam Jonah KBE ignited this debate at a Rotary Club function. Mr. Sam Jonah said “What is baffling is that those who used to have voices on these things seem to have lost their voices. People speak on issues based on who is in power.

He said in their deafening silence suggesting that they are no longer concerned about issues that they complained about not too long ago, particularly when those issues persist.

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NBA Draft 2021: I want to be one of those players from Africa who did something big in the NBA-Jonathan Kuminga
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

Jonathan Kuminga (Democratic Republic of the Congo) – selected 7th by the Golden State Warriors fields questions after the NBA Draft 2021 .I want to be one of those players from Africa who did something big in the NBA, he says.

You’re playing with the Warriors but how will you use your physical capability, your power inside of that Warriors lineup on offense?

JONATHAN KUMINGA: I’m in a great situation. I see myself as giving out a lot on defense and at the end of the day if they need me on offense, it’s just the way they want me to do it, I’m willing to do it and I feel like I’m capable to
do it. I feel like it’s the right fit for me.

Like Jalen Green, you both got better as the draft approached through G League Ignite. How do you see the future for players who take the same route going to the G League? And you also had one teammate in the Ignite. His name is Kai Sotto, he’s from the Philippines. Do you think Kai can be where you are, making an NBA team?

JONATHAN KUMINGA: Kai for sure, he has a chance to be a great player. At the end of the day Kai works hard, he has the size and ability to be an NBA player and drive. And just going to the G League, I feel like that’s the best route to go out there and just work hard every single day.

I know today is only day one of your NBA career, but what legacy do you want to leave behind when your career is all said and done?

JONATHAN KUMINGA: At the end of the day I just want to be remembered as that guy who brought a team to a
championship, who won a championship. At the end of the day I want to be Hall of Fame, so I want to have a great career where everybody going to be talking about I want to model my game to Jonathan at some point.

The Warriors are obviously in a position to really kind of compete for a title next season. How ready do you think you are to kind of step in and play maybe like a supplementary role on a winning team like right now?

JONATHAN KUMINGA: Like I said, I always thank God, I always pray to God and I was lucky to be in this position, and I feel like that’s the type of competition I’m looking forward to. As long as I grow around Steph Curry, Klay ,Draymond Green, I feel like my game is going to go from the bottom to the top in a couple months. As I get along and get used to them people, because they’re going to always push me, they’re always going to put me in the right situation, and I feel like no matter wherever we end up, we’re ready to compete and win a championship.

I’m sure you’re aware a bunch of African players were drafted last season and one of them I think even won the title with the Milwaukee Bucks. So, when you look at that progression and you look at the great African players that have come before you, where do you think your ceiling is and which African player do you think inspires you the most?

JONATHAN KUMINGA: I would say pretty much all of them. Starting from [Dikembe] Mutombo, going to Giannis who just won a championship, you know. I want to be in that category. I want to be one of those players where coming from Africa and one day do something big in the NBA. So basically I’m looking forward to going to Golden State
and help the team and just be that one African kid that’s going to come out there and do everything that I can do to
help a team to win.

During this process and maybe even over the past year since you were based a little bit in Northern California with the Ignite, had you had any conversations with the Warriors with Bob Myers, Steve Kerr throughout this process? Did you have an idea that maybe this could be a possibility, you going and playing for the Warriors?

JONATHAN KUMINGA: No, you know, I didn’t have any idea. Golden State is just a team — it’s a good team and just me being selected at Golden State I feel like it’s the perfect fit for me and I’m really excited to be a part of it. But going through my Ignite career I never get to talk to anybody, but one thing I’m just surprised and really like
looking forward for is like I’m used to the city so it’s basically going back home again.

Did you talk to Bob Myers or Steve Kerr over the past couple of weeks during the pre-draft process?

JONATHAN KUMINGA: I didn’t talk to Steve Kerr, but I talked to like the owner of the team, because they came in town and I had a workout and we had a dinner and stuff and it went well.

Could you tell us a little bit more about that workout in Miami with the Warriors, what specifically were you able to do for them and what was the interview process like with them that day?

JONATHAN KUMINGA: I would say the day I worked out they came and watched me it went really good. I showed
all the ability that I’m capable of doing, all the little things that I’m capable to bring to the table and help the team to
win. So, I think just from that, that’s where they really picked me. And we went to dinner and it went really good,
they had a great staff, they came out to see me and I enjoyed the time I had with them.

You’re a prospect that has one of the highest ceilings in the draft, potentially out of this world. How do you want to unlock that and make the Warriors right about their draft pick? So what area of your game do you want to attack first and make sure you have that down before you step on a NBA court?

JONATHAN KUMINGA: Pretty much everything. At the end of the day, like I said, I have the most and the highest ceiling in this draft and it’s just my work ethic that I put every day, I’m working on pretty much everything, I don’t
work on one thing. So, basically going to Golden State it’s like I’m already prepared, because I’m not going to be, I’m
not going to be the man of the team, but at the end of the day I’m going to be one of the players on the team that’s
going to help the team to win.

How do you think your training will be affected by playing with Klay, Steph and Draymond? You’re going to have a lot of time to work on your game, you won’t be asked to carry the load at first, so how are you going to attack that for your training behind the scenes where you’re not going to be able to use it in the game right off the bat?

JONATHAN KUMINGA: I just got to bring it out for every time I get in the game. I just got to be the player they need
me to be, listen, learn every single day, work hard and I think everything will go well.

*Interview courtesy of ASAP Sports/APO

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Six players with direct ties to Africa selected At NBA Draft 2021.
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments
Starting from [Dikembe] Mutombo, going to Giannis who just won a championship, you know. I want to be in that category. I want to be one of those players where coming from Africa and one day do something big in the NBA, says Jonathan Kuminga

NBA Draft 2021 presented by State Farm® was held Thursday, July 29 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and reached fans in 215 countries and territories in 25 languages. The Detroit Pistons selected Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham with the first pick in the NBA Draft. This marked the first time in 51 years and third time overall that the Pistons made the top pick.

Eighteen international players from 15 countries were selected: nine in the first round and nine in the second round. Australian Josh Giddey, a graduate of NBA Global Academy in Canberra, Australia, became the first NBA Academy graduate to be drafted into the NBA when he was selected 6th overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

A record 10 former Basketball Without Borders (BWB) campers were drafted, breaking the previous record of eight set in 2019. 

Six players with direct ties to Africa have been selected:

·       Jonathan Kuminga (Democratic Republic of the Congo) – selected 7th by the Golden State Warriors

·       Usman Garuba (Spain/Nigerian parents) – selected 23rd by the Houston Rockets

·       JT Thor (USA/South Sudanese parents) – selected 37th by the Detroit Pistons

·       Ayo Dosunmu (USA/Nigerian parents) – selected 38th by the Chicago Bulls

·       Neemias Queta (Portugal/parents from Guinea-Bissau) – selected 39th by the Sacramento Kings

·       Charles Bassey (Nigeria) – selected 53rd by the Philadelphia 76ers

NBA G League Ignite forward Jonathan Kuminga was selected No. 7 overall by the Golden State Warriors, becoming the highest-drafted player from the Democratic Republic of the Congo since Emmanuel Mudiay was also selected No. 7 overall in 2015. Kuminga was ranked by ESPN as the top high school prospect in the Class of 2021 before reclassifying to the Class of 2020 and joining NBA G League Ignite. He moved to the U.S. from his native Democratic Republic of the Congo to pursue basketball in 2016.

Born to Nigerian parents, forward Usman Garuba of Spain, is already considered one of the best young defenders in Europe as a 19-year-old and is a member of the Spain Men’s National Team in the Tokyo Olympics. Garuba helped Spain win gold medals at the 2019 FIBA U18 European Championship, earning All-Star Five honors, and the 2016 FIBA U16 European Championship, where he was named MVP.

Charles Bassey was named an All-Star at Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Global Camp 2017, which was held in New Orleans as part of NBA All-Star 2017, and MVP of BWB Global 2018, which was held in Los Angeles as part NBA All-Star 2018.

“At the end of the day I just want to be remembered as that guy who brought a team to a championship, who won a championship. At the end of the day I want to be Hall of Fame, so I want to have a great career where everybody going to be talking about I want to model my game to Jonathan at some point,” says Jonathan Kuminga

“Starting from [Dikembe] Mutombo, going to Giannis who just won a championship, you know. I want to be in that category. I want to be one of those players where coming from Africa and one day do something big in the NBA. So basically I’m looking forward to going to Golden State and help the team and just be that one African kid that’s going to come out there and do everything that I can do to help a team to win,” affirms Jonathan whose origins are from the Democratic Republic of Congo

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Tanzania: Samia Leads Top Govt Officials For First Covid-19 Jabs.
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Michael Sikapundwa

President Samia Suluhu Hassan, kick off a massive Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccination drive, held over the weekend at state House.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan sought to trash some negative sentiments against Covid-19 vaccines yesterday when she toldTanzanians that being a mother and a grandmother, there was no way that she could put her own life at risk.

Speaking shortly before she received her first jab of the Janssen Covid-19 vaccine to officially launch the nationwide vaccination
exercise, President Hassan said she was a mother of four a grandmother, wife above all else also President and Commander in Chief snd there was no way that she could put lives of Tanzanians at risk.

The start of vaccination comes four days after Tanzania received its 1,058,400 doses of the Janssen Covid-19 vaccine which was received on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in
Dar es Salaam by Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima, her Foreign Affairs counterpart, Liberata Mulamula and US Ambassador to Tanzania Donald Wright.

It also comes against the backdrop of negative sentiments by some influential individuals, emanating from the country’s prior position on Covid-19 vaccines.

By taking the jab, President Hassan is taking a completely different approach from that of her predecessor, the late John Magufuli who had openly expressed doubt about the safety of masks and vaccines.

In line with the past thinking, a cleric-cum politician, Josephat Gwajima castigated the Covid-19 vaccines in a statement that was widely condemned by people across different walks of life.

Addressing worshipers in Dar es Salaam at his Glory of Christ Tanzania Church on Sunday, Mr Gwajima spoke ‘carelessly’, saying developed countries that spearheaded the initiatives had ulterior motives in the program.

He told his unwary followers that he was dedicating this whole week to teaching against the danger of the Covid-19 vaccinations.

And yesterday, President Hassan reiterated that the vaccines would be administered at one’s own will, noting however that the country will import more vaccines through a special arrangement by the African
Union.

“We have already pressed an order at the AU through our own funding, that was set aside,” she said.

Among those vaccinated yesterday at the State House include President Hassan, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, Chief Justice Ibrahim Juma, Chief Secretary Hussein Kattanda, Foreign Minister Ambassador Libereta Mulamula and Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima.

“I am grateful that through the US government we were able to receive the vaccinations while at the same am also happy with the committee in charge of the pandemic that is working day and night to ensure everything goes well,” she said.

She hailed those that had joined her to launch the vaccination, because they would be able to show Tanzanians that it was safe.
Explaining she said that since Tanzania joined the vaccination programme there have been different views about the decision including those that were against it and those that supported it.

“We will continue to educate the people to make informed decisions, but at the moment the challenge is that the number of vaccinations that we have is small compared to needs” she said.

She noted that the decision to be vaccinated was voluntary and also based on one’s faith citing examples of six shots she received in her childhood days that have made her healthy and alive today.

However she urged the public that despite the vaccinations, they should continue taking precautions because among those vaccinated there are those who are not.

“The pandemic is real and only families that have been affected know
its impact, these families are in Moshi, Arusha, Dar es Salaam and other parts of the country, those not affected will not understand” she said.

She said there were other nations living in Tanzania including the Chinese that had requested to import the vaccinations to enable them travel to their countries without having to be quarantined.

On her part, Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender,
Elderly Children, Dorothy Gwajima said following the delivery of the vaccines, the Ministry has put up a plan for the vaccinations including identifying health centers where people will be vaccinated.

“We have also started creating awareness to enable the public to be vaccinated and reach health immunity as well as understand that the Johnson and Johnson are safe and already given to 8 million people in the US,” he said.

She said that there have been false reports that the Johnson and Johnson vaccinations had been rejected, but the reality is that there had been a few mishaps which were cleared on April 28, this year before the consignment was delivered in the country.

She further assured Tanzanians not to be wary of directives that require all those that have opted to be vaccinated to sign a consent form that makes them responsible for any eventuality on grounds that it was the normal health standard procedure.

“This is an historic event where President Hassan has launched vaccinations against Covid-19,”she said.

On his part, Prime Minister Kassim Majalia said being the chairman of the Covid-19, they were following up all issues related to the pandemic including receiving expert information.

He said Tanzania like the rest of the world was also taking action against the pandemic including preparing to start vaccinating its people.

“The Covid-19 committee will meet on July 30 to discuss a number of issues including how the public has received the vaccines and what needs to be done,” he said.

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Connecting Africa to the global economy is paramount to strengthening international trade.
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

By David Eurin*

David Eurin is CEO Liquid Sea & Group Strategy Officer Liquid Intelligent Technologies

Connecting Africa to the rest of the world and unleashing its workforce potential may just be the key to catapulting international trade and markets to a whole new level. According to 2019 United Nations Demographic data, 60% of the African population is under the age of 25, giving this developing continent the largest population of young people in the world. These innovative young minds are eager for a seat at the global economic table, but how do we get them there?

Africa (as a whole) desperately needs to leapfrog into the digital future and catch up with the rest of the world. The continent is in need of proper broadband infrastructure and connectivity to the global economy. The sooner the better as each country in Africa is developing digital skills (albeit at different rates) to offer the world.

Liquid Intelligent Technologies recognises Africa’s potential and connects it to the global economy. We created 100,000km of fibre routes to transport data across the length and breadth of the continent and provided access to submarine cables.

Through our vision, we built Africa’s largest independent fibre network, and with the East to West fibre connection, our fibre routes are the most direct digital corridors across the southern hemisphere. We have set a new benchmark helping the organisation achieve historic milestones in its journey to create a more connected Africa.

The fibre connectivity infrastructure corridors offer a low latency path to connect Asia, Africa and the US as an alternative to busier routes via the Middle East. Our growth is a direct result of the increasing demand for infrastructure to support broadband internet on the African continent. Now more than ever before, local businesses need reliable and extensive connectivity to ensure effective digital transformation.

With all of this in place, it is now possible for companies to expand their operations in Africa using a reliable and extensive network with access to over 100,000 kilometres of the fibre network. This includes access to Cloud, Cyber Security, IoT networks, and state-of-the-art data centres in Nairobi (Kenya), Johannesburg and Cape Town (South Africa) and Lomé (Togo), with more being built such as in Lagos (Nigeria) – keeping Africa’s data in Africa and meeting all required data regulations.

This infrastructure not only enables new trade-in and out of Africa, but it also brings a variety of new benefits to a continent that has for far too long been in much need of more global investment, infrastructure and support. This cross-border connectivity with high speed and access to public clouds allows the region to grow via digital services such as internet banking, access to international education, and the platform to connect hospitals to central databases. It also helps bring governments online and bolster service delivery efforts.

Despite some challenges along the way, we connected Africa and continue to grow our footprint in the region. The likes of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft are also investing in Africa. But one of the crucial advantages of Liquid’s infrastructure is the ability to offer network redundancy. This essentially means that a network in Nairobi, for example, has three or four different route options. If one goes down, there are still others that can be used as a backup. Multiple routes are important because you can never be reliant on a single route.

The time for African strength and economic power on the global stage is coming. The question is who is going to be the first to take advantage of this as the continent’s infrastructure quickly catches up to global standards. Who will be the first in line to unleash the potential of African youth?

About the author

*CEO Liquid Sea & Group Strategy Officer Liquid Intelligent Technologies. David Eurin joined Liquid Intelligent Technologies in 2013. He is responsible for leading the Group’s strategy in his role as Group Chief Strategy Officer as well as heading the International Wholesale division.Prior to Liquid he was a Partner and Head of Africa at Analysys Mason, a management consultancy specialising in TMT. David has extensive experience in the fixed and mobile telecommunications industry, gained in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa where he advised senior management teams on strategic, regulatory, financial and commercial issues. He has an MBA from the Collège des Ingénieurs (France), an MSc from the University of British Columbia (Canada), as well as an engineering degree from ParisTech (France). David was born in France and now lives in London.

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Arunma Oteh Elected New Chair At The Royal African Society.
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments
Our work will also help strengthen the relationships and partnerships that African countries and the U.K. need, in order to address the important challenges that the world currently faces, says Ms Arunma Oteh

The Royal African Society is delighted to announce the election as its new Chair of Ms Arunma Oteh in succession to journalist and broadcaster Zeinab Badawi, who is stepping down after seven years, at the end of her second term.

Ms Oteh is a member of Global Leadership Council at Said Business School at the University of Oxford, and a member of the London Stock Exchange Africa Advisory Group. She was previously Treasurer and Vice President of the World Bank, Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria, and Group Vice President and Treasurer at the African Development Bank.

As Chair, Ms Oteh will be responsible for leading the Council that sets the Society’s strategic direction for the achievement of its mission. She will serve a renewable term of three years.

Ms Oteh said, “This is a tremendous opportunity for me to lead such an eminent Council and contribute to the great work that the Royal African Society has been doing for 120 years. The Society offers so many possibilities to learn about Africa, to influence policy, and to showcase the business & cultural opportunities that Africa offers, and thereby help unleash Africa’s enormous potential.  Our work will also help strengthen the relationships and partnerships that African countries and the U.K. need, in order to address the important challenges that the world currently faces”. 

The Society’s Director, Dr Nick Westcott, added: “We are delighted that Arunma has agreed to take on the role of Chair.  She is a great champion for Africa and will play a key role in connecting the Society with Africans everywhere and in ensuring their voices are heard.  Her extensive experience across business, economic, academic, cultural and political spheres will be invaluable.”

Ms. Arunma Oteh OON is an Academic Scholar at St. Antony’s College and an Executive-in-Residence at Saïd Business School (SBS), University of Oxford.  Her research areas of focus are capital markets, economic development and financial technology. She is also a member of the London Stock Exchange Africa Advisory Group and a member of Global Leadership Council of SBS. She was previously Treasurer of the World Bank, Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission Nigeria, and Group Vice President and Group Treasurer, African Development Bank Group. She started her career in 1985, at Centre Point Investments Limited, Nigeria. Ms. Oteh holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BSc, First Class Honors from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Ms Oteh has also served on several boards and has received several awards notably Nigeria’s Officer of the Order of Niger (OON) National Honour. She was named one of PowerList’s 2020 top 100 people of Black Heritage in the U.K., and one of Africa’s 50 most influential African women by Forbes Africa in March 2020

The Royal African Society is a membership organisation that provides opportunities for people to connect, celebrate and engage critically with Africa today. Through our events, publications and digital channels we share insight, instigate debate and facilitate mutual understanding between the UK and Africa. We amplify African voices and interests in academia, business, politics, the arts and education, both in the UK and globally, reaching a worldwide network of nearly three million people.  The Society is celebrating its 120th Anniversary this year

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Driving Regional Energy Growth in Central Africa: African Energy Week in Cape Town Emphasizes Market-Driven Policies, Local Content Development, and an Enabling Environment
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
Leoncio Amada NZE, African Energy Chamber Executive President for the CEMAC region

Through a series of high-level meetings with industry leaders and international oil companies, Leoncio Amada NZE, African Energy Chamber Executive President for the CEMAC region, is driving a strong narrative on the role of regulation and an enabling environment in accelerating investment in Equatorial Guinea. 

By promoting African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 in Cape Town South Africa as the ideal platform whereby global and African stakeholders can network and collaborate, he is driving an Africa-focused narrative and pushing for a multi-stakeholder approach to attracting investment and establishing a competitive African market both Equatorial Guinea and the wider CEMAC region. 

The CEMAC region – which comprises Cameroon, Chad, the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo – is richly endowed with multiple natural resources, in which a recent oil and gas boom has the potential to accelerate economic growth and alleviate energy poverty throughout the region. Despite comprising one of the richest areas on the continent – with existing production levels at 700,000 barrels of oil per day and 5 million tons of LNG per annum ­– the CEMAC region also remains one of the most challenging business environments in Africa, with red tape and burdensome regulations creating significant barriers to entry. 

Gas from the YoYo/Yolanda field (which straddles the maritime border between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon, operated by Noble Energy on both sides) may also be eventually processed at Punta Europa. In mid-2017, Noble Energy signed an agreement with both governments to develop the fields jointly. Resources for YoYo are estimated at 47 Bcfg and 18 MMbc, whilst resources for Yolanda have been estimated at 27 Bcfg. The delays in approving these deals are not helpful to the citizens of both countries and we urge all players to fast track the process. Whilst the Etinde fields are just 35km away from Punta Europa, we are concerned about the delays in developing this project as well. We hope to see an FID soon and free from regional politics.

The region has been blessed by many companies that exploring for energy like Parenco, New Age, Bowleven, Exxon Mobil, lukoil ,Tower Resources, Chevron, Vaalco, Marathon, Atlas Petroleum, Glencore, Total Energies, BW Offshore, Assala Energy, Royal Gate Energy ENI, Kosmos Energy, Panoro Energy etc. They are creating so many beautiful jobs and must be encouraged. The issues of energy transition are real and we welcome an honest dialogue that starts with making energy poverty history. 

While the concerted effort amongst all of the world’s nations is fundamental to curb the effects of climate change, it is paramount to have a clear understanding of what efforts will be most decisive, and which regions of the world are in a better position and have the biggest responsibility to tackle these issues. Demonizing energy companies is not a constructive way forward, and ignoring the structural role that carbon-based fuels have in today’s society distorts the public debate. Bringing energy companies, governments and civil society groups together to find functional solutions will achieve much more. We in Africa must not be dragged into the western hatred of oil companies. You can’t love jobs and hate those who create jobs. We must support our energy companies to ensure jobs and development for our people. 

As Dr Martin Luther King Jr., stated in his letter from Birmingham Jail “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” We are tied together with these energy companies, and we must never apologize for supporting them and the so many African workers that work in the energy sectors. Africans are the biggest beneficiaries of their investment and their work.

One of the primary challenges hindering investment in the CEMAC region concerns excessive regulations such as the Bank of Central African States’ (BEAC) newly established foreign exchange (forex) policies. By increasing operational costs and reducing the ease of doing business across the region, such regulations reduce the appeal for foreign investors, rendering the region uncompetitive. With the focus on an effective COVID-19 recovery and accelerated energy sector growth requiring significant amounts of foreign capital, disrupting regulations such as the BEAC’s could significantly hamper any progress made by the region in recent years. 

“We at the AEC, continue to believe that the BEAC’s new forex regulations pose a significant threat to domestic economic growth, directly restricting local business participation and disrupting local content development. The work Mr Jude Kearney and Leoncio Amada Nze are doing leading our AEC taskforce is critical” Stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber

“Through adjusted foreign exchange rules, increased tax policies, and restricted capital flow, local businesses will be unable to compete or establish partnerships with international companies, resulting in job losses and associated energy poverty. If the idea of BEAC is to hurt investors, they are not only doing that, but they are also hurting the local companies as well and the bureaucrats of BEAC should not be picking winners and losers. This is against the pro-growth and market driven policies that will ensure economic growth than begging for foreign aid, and we will make it a topic at African Energy Week in Cape Town”. Concluded Ayuk

In response to these challenges, the AEC is focused on a multi-stakeholder approach in eliminating red tape, burdensome regulations, and barriers to investment across Africa. Through meetings with BEAC representatives, Leoncio Amada NZE is advocating for an enabling environment, market-driven policies, and increased local participation in the regions energy sector, promoting AEW 2021 in Cape Town as the best platform to drive this trend. By uniting global and African energy stakeholders and financiers in one comprehensive event program, AEW 2021 will be the best place to discuss how the CEMAC region can create a more inclusive energy sector, attract further investment, and facilitate critical intra-African trade. 

In driving this narrative, Leoncio Amada NZE has conducted productive meetings with industry leaders in Equatorial Guinea, initiating a valuable dialogue on the role of an enabling environment. Notably, meetings with H.E. Bindang Ndong Okiri, Secretary of State of Planning of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, emphasized how the adoption of fiscal policies that attract Foreign Direct Investment can create a competitive energy sector. Additionally, a meeting with representatives from Marathon Oil – an exploration and production company that has been at the core of Equatorial Guinea’s economic transformation – generated an insightful discussion on sustainable oil and gas operations. By emphasizing the need for regulatory reform, in which ease of doing business and investor-friendly policies are a focus, both Leoncio Amada NZE and the AEC are focused on driving investment in Africa. 

What’s more, in a bid to promote AEW 2021 and invite international participation at Africa’s premier energy event, Leoncio Amada NZE met with Jesus Alfonso Osa and representatives from ExxonMobil’s Malabo team to discuss how the oil and gas industry can drive an economic transformation in the CEMAC region. With a firm presence and active participation in Equatorial Guinea for almost three decades, ExxonMobil has been a major contributor to energy sector and GDP growth. In addition to expanding their own operations in the country, ExxonMobil, through the implementation of local content programs, has transformed the local business sector, driving job creation and economic growth. Through events such as AEW 2021 in Cape Town, ExxonMobil can enhance partnerships and promote growth across the CEMAC region.

Finally, Leoncio Amada NZE’s meeting with Mr. Juan Antonio Ndong Ondo, CEO of Sonagas GE – the national gas company of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea –, further advanced the discussion on the role of the local business sector and National Oil Companies (NOC) in driving energy sector growth and success. By focusing on regional expansion as well as the value of local content and business-friendly regulation, both Leoncio Amada NZE and Mr. Ndong Ondo emphasized investment and intra-African partnerships, both of which will be facilitated at AEW 2021 in Cape Town. 

Equatorial Guinea and the wider CEMAC region have significant potential, and AEW 2021 serves to enable the realization of economic growth, increased investment, and local business enhancement by emphasizing the risks pertaining to the BEAC forex regulations. Africa needs energy as well as productive partnerships to accelerate economic growth, all of which are driven by market-driven policies, productive regulation, and multi-stakeholder integration. AEW 2021 presents the most suitable platform to network with stakeholders, drive investment, and promote sector-advancing regulation. 

For more information about Africa’s premier energy event, visit www.aew2021.com or energychamber.org and/or email Amina Williams at amina.williams@energychamber.org  

For registration-related inquiries, please contact registration@aew2021.com     

For sales-related inquiries, please contact sales@aew2021.com   

For media-related inquiries, please contact media@aew2021.com   

For speaker-related inquiries, please contact speakers@aew2021.com

*Source African Energy Chamber

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Oil and Gas Discoveries and Activity in Southwest Africa Set to Open New Basins for Development and Trigger Big Investments in Namibia, Angola and South Africa.
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

By NJ Ayuk*

Last spring, the Maersk Voyager, an ultra-deepwater drillship under contract by French supermajor Total, drilled a wildcat well in the deepest water ever – 3,628 meters (11,903 feet) in Block 48, a massive area with potentially huge oil reserves in the Congo basin offshore Angola.  

The record-setting achievement wasn’t a success just for Maersk and Total. It also represented a victory for Angola and state oil company Sonangol in their search for new oil, part of a campaign to reverse a recent trend of production declines. The high-impact concept well was long anticipated, and it didn’t take long for other global players, including Qatar Petroleum (QP), to buy in. As part of its bid to expand its exploration portfolio, QP acquired a 30% stake in Block 48 in August, its first venture into Angola’s promising deepwater acreage.

If Angola were the only southwestern African nation making oil and gas news, that would still be a pretty good story. But the fact is, Africa’s southwestern coast is home to perhaps the most globally anticipated wildcats of 2020 and 2021 – exploration that continues despite the added challenges of COVID-19, which has constrained operating and capital budgets. As the African Energy Chamber noted in our 2021 outlook, if successful, prospects in Angola, Namibia, and South Africa, could “open new basins for development and trigger big investments towards the latter half of the 2020s.”

That’s headline-making, indeed.

Combined with Block 48, the Venus-1 prospect in Namibia, and South Africa’s Brulpadda and Luiperd, the region holds world-class resource potential. The key is translating that potential into real benefits for all Africans.

Production is Building Momentum in Angola
For nearly 70 years, oil has been a mainstay of the Angolan economy, contributing about 50% of the nation’s gross domestic product and around 89% of exports. The country holds the continent’s second-largest proven oil reserves and is behind only Nigeria in terms of production. (Angola also has Africa’s fourth-largest proven natural gas reserves, although historically it hasn’t produced much commercially.)

In recent years, though, the drop in oil prices scared off foreign investment, putting pressure on Angola’s well-established oil and gas industry as well as its oil-based economy. Despite its vast resources, not only was production on the downturn, there had not been a major new discovery since 2011. Without fresh finds, consultants Rystad Energy, S.A. said, volumes could drop below 1 million barrels per day by 2025, far below capacity and less than half the 2008’s daily output.

That forecast was more than enough to spur Angolan President João Lourenço into action.

Following his election in 2017, he promised Angola an “economic miracle” and immediately began incentivizing participation in the nation’s oil and gas industry as part of his turnaround plan.

Lourenço’s lures, including better contract terms that would make foreign investment more profitable, paid off. With reforms such as tax relief and a standalone oil industry regulator in place, Total – which has been operating in Angola for six decades – moved quickly in 2018 to take over Block 48 and was awarded Block 29 in the Namibe basin earlier this year; Italy’s Eni was awarded neighboring Block 28 about the same time. Angola also awarded several offshore blocks to Norway’s Equinor and BP. (There are approximately 50 blocks in the Namibe basin, but whether they will all be put into play remains to be seen.)  Eni and its partners also began production at Agogo-1, pumping a modest 10,000 barrels per day. While that may sound small, it contributes to a much larger sum: Taken together, Rystad said, production from new Angolan projects – that is, those begun just in the last five years – should yield 549,000 barrels per day by 2025.

Fiscal Regime Sets Stage for Success in Namibia
If early seismic data is to be believed, compared to Angola there is equal, if not even more, promise in new discoveries offshore Namibia. Altogether, more than 11 billion barrels in oil reserves have been found off the Namibian coast, and scientists compare Namibia’s geology favorably to the pre-salt fields offshore Brazil, which hold 16 billion barrels of crude reserves. Yet Namibia’s basins are considered underexplored, meaning there’s ample opportunity for foreign and domestic investment. The possibility of high-impact discoveries has attracted the likes of Total, ExxonMobil, QP, and Kosmos Energy, which has had significant wildcat success in Africa over the past dozen years.

Currently, all eyes are on Total’s possibly play-opening Venus 1- prospect, which may turn out to be the largest discovery in Africa in a decade. An ultra-deepwater well in the Orange Basin, which straddles the border with South Africa, Venus-1 is thought to have at least 2 billion barrels of oil in place. If Venus-1 is successful, it’s like to attract even more attention to the area. Fortunately, the Namibian government’s oil-friendly policies make it easy for foreign companies to do business there. The fiscal regime is positive, and the state-owned oil company, the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR), is a cooperative partner. It also helps that Namibia is politically stable and has some of the best-developed infrastructure on the continent, including a modern electricity distribution grid.

We’re Seeing Growing Excitement in South Africa
Like its neighbors to the west, South Africa has been the site of considerable excitement over frontier discoveries, including Total’s Brulpadda, which opened up the Outeniqua basin in 2019. Brulpadda is considered a world-class oil and gas play that holds as much as 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent of gas and condensate light oil.

Brulpadda is considered an antidote to the cascade of ailments South Africa – like many countries with petroleum resources – has experienced in recent years: a drop in oil and gas exploration following a decline in commodity prices. It is likely that PetroSA’s gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant will provide a ready domestic market for Brulpadda, as will the nearby petrochemical and industrial facilities. It is also possible the discovery will help South Africa accelerate the use of gas for electricity.

Total continues to explore other parts of the Outeniqua basin and just last month discovered gas condensate on the Luiperd prospect, where it is a joint venture partner with QP, CNR International, and an African consortium called Main Street. In an announcement, Total said that the Luiperd well was drilled to a total depth of about 3,400 meters and encountered 73 meters of net gas condensate pay, making it even larger than the main reservoir at Brulpadda. Total and its partners have decided to commercialize the Luiperd gas rather than drill another exploration well in the program.

Africans Must Realize the Benefits
There’s no question that these discoveries have made southwestern Africa an exploration hot spot.

Neither is there any doubt that the governments of Angola, Namibia, and South Africa have facilitated and even accelerated the discovery and development processes by making it easy to do business there. (In the case of South Africa, its fiscal terms for oil and gas companies are described as “very generous.”)

What remains uncertain is to what degree each country will continue working to ensure its natural resources, whether newfound or long-established, are used to lift people out of poverty. True, African involvement in joint ventures leads us to assume that the best interests of every citizen are being considered.

But this is a time for the oil and gas companies that are involved in these mega-opportunities to redouble their efforts to support local communities and people. These companies are our guests in Africa, but the price of a welcome to our resource riches can’t be merely contractual, a handshake between governments and businessmen. The more they profit, the more Africans should benefit.

This idea is at the heart of the concept of Shared Value, which has been defined as “a framework for creating economic value while simultaneously addressing societal needs and challenges,” and as the “practice of profit in a way that creates value for society.” Shared Value doesn’t suggest that businesses should act as philanthropies or charities, giving handouts to those who exhibit need. It goes beyond the idea of corporate social responsibility, which is often based on volunteerism and one-off donations. Perhaps most important, Shared Value recognizes that companies can only stay in business if they are making money. As consultants FSG described it, the value companies and the community are sharing is “worth,” that is, economic value on a financial sheet and societal value in the form of progress on social issues.

Shared Value recognizes that companies have a responsibility to take on social challenges through the business itself. It is in their economic interest to do this. In Africa, one way they can do that is by supporting capacity-building. As the Shared Value Initiative noted, despite the substantial economic output of the oil and gas industry, it has “not always translated into societal improvements in host countries and communities… companies are losing billions of dollars a year to community strife,” much of it due to underemployment.

As more companies are attracted to southwestern Africa and these exciting new developments, we can only hope that they will recognize that where opportunity exists for them it should exist for everyone. And they have the power to make it so. 

That would be really big news.

* NJ Ayuk is Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber

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Namibia objects to Israel’s AU observer status .
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Andreas Thomas

President Hage Geingob of Namibia

Windhoek – Namibia, like her neighbour South Africa, has on Thursday expressed its objection to the decision by the African Union (AU) Commission to grant Israel observer status in the continental union.

The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation Executive Director, Penda Naanda said in a statement that the Namibian government is deeply concerned and disappointed that the AU Commission received credentials from the Ambassador of Israel. 

“Granting observer status to an occupying power is contrary to the principles and objectives of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, particularly at a time when the State of Israel is increasing its acts of oppression in total violation of international law and disregard for the human rights of the Palestinian people.  

“It is also contrary to the firm and solid commitment of the Heads of State and Government of the AU to support the Palestinian cause, as evidenced in the various declarations adopted at each Ordinary Session of the Assembly. Namibia believes in the two states as a solution to the issues between the State of Israel and Palestine. 

“Namibia, therefore, disassociates itself from granting observer status to the State of Israel, while the reason for Israel loss of the observer status in 2002 remains unchanged. Namibia maintains that Israel can only re-gain observer status at the AU on condition that it ceases to occupy Palestine, and grants its people the right to self-determination,” Naanda said.

Naanda stressed that Namibia will officially submit its reservation to the Chairperson of the AU Commission, in due course.  

Namibia’s objection came a day after South Africa also objected to a similar decision by the AU Commission. In a statement issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, the South African government described the decision as “unjust and unwarranted.” Pretoria further accused the AU Commission of taking the decision unilaterally without consultations with its members.

“It is therefore incomprehensible that the AU Commission chooses to reward Israel at a time when its oppression of Palestinians has been demonstrably more brutal. The South African government will as the Chairperson of the Commission provide a briefing to all member states on this decision which we hope, will be discussed by the executive council and the assembly of heads of states and government,” read the statement.

The Chairperson of the AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat on July 22, 2021, received credentials from Aleli Admasu, Ambassador of the State of Israel to Ethiopia. 

Mahamat noted in a statement that the conflict between the State of Palestine and Israel has been a cause of great concern for over seventy years with various regional and international actors having participated in the search for peace between the two nations. 

He noted that a lasting solution was required to ensure the co-existence of both nations and to allow their people to live in a state of peace and stability.

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Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity of Alberta, Canada, Hon. Dale Nally Confirms Participation at African Energy Week 2021.
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

A speaker commitment by Hon. Dale Nally will further African Energy Week’s agenda regarding the role of natural gas in the global energy transition. 

African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 is proud to host Hon. Dale Nally, Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity, Alberta, Canada, as a speaker at the four-day interactive conference and networking event on the 9th-12th of November 2021. Representing Canada at Africa’s premier energy event, Hon. Dale Nally will drive a discussion on natural gas and Africa’s energy transition and the value of gas-to-power solutions, emphasizing Africa-Canada relations and the role that Canadian service providers have to play in Africa. 

Having served as the Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity in Alberta since 2019, Hon. Nally has placed natural gas and associated gas-to-power solutions as top of the agenda in Canada’s energy development. Under his leadership, the government has established a more business friendly regulatory environment for natural gas companies in Alberta, fast tracking growth across the sector. Prioritizing the global climate agenda and the utilization of cleaner sources of fuel, Hon. Nally promotes natural gas as the ideal energy solution, not only for Canada, but for the global economy. Accordingly, Hon. Nally will bring a unique set of skills and decades of experience to AEW 2021 in Cape Town, promoting the role of natural gas in facilitating a transition to cleaner fuel sources, while emphasizing the role that energy plays in accelerating socio-economic growth. 

Meanwhile, Hon. Nally is a strong advocate for gas-to-power solutions, maintaining that natural gas offers the best environmental energy alternative compared to traditional coal-fired power plants. As many African countries turn to natural gas as a power generation solution – driven by the continent’s power challenges whereby 620 million lack access to electricity – Hon. Nally offers fundamental solutions and technological models for the transition from coal to natural gas, and will promote such at AEW 2021. Additionally, Hon. Nally will promote the utilization of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) as a cleaner source of fuel. By showcasing Canadian technology and its integration with LNG, Hon. Nally will introduce methods of making clean energy even cleaner, introducing valuable insights into the role of both small- and large-scale LNG in Africa. As Alberta begins to expand LNG development and utilization, Hon. Nally will share strategies for the adoption of LNG in Africa at AEW 2021, promoting development across the continent.   

“AEW 2021 is committed to making energy poverty history by 2030. We are honored to host Hon. Nally as a speaker and eager to hear his viewpoints on the role of natural gas and gas-to-power in accelerating electricity access and alleviating energy poverty. As Africa progresses into an energy transition, AEW 2021 aims to promote the role of natural gas in the transition and Hon. Nally’s participation will only further this agenda, as well as promote the role of Canadian service providers in African markets,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman, the AEC. 

“African states and the Oil and Gas industry can learn a lot from the Province of Alberta, Canada. Alberta, under Hon. Jason Kenney, Hon. Sonya Savage, and Hon. Nally has shown real courage in defending the role the oil and Natural gas industry plays in the economy of Alberta, Canada. They have promoted free market and pro-growth policies and Africans can learn a lot of from their bold policies for the Oil and Gas Industry. Hon Nally and his team have put in place policies that encouraged new drilling and provide relief to mature oil fields. It has improved investor confidence and created jobs for Albertans. Africans will embrace Alberta and its key institutions like the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology that has trained so many Africans working offshore and onshore. These relationships need to be strengthened and prepared for a strong Canada-Africa energy investment,” concluded Ayuk

Canada already has a foothold in Africa with companies such as Reconnaissance Energy Africa (Recon) working with both the Namibian and Botswana governments to drive exploration and production within the Kavango Basin. Recently, in a three-stage drilling campaign in Namibia, Recon has indicated the potential of billions of barrels of oil, further cementing Canada’s footprint in African markets. With the third stage about to be implemented, the world eagerly awaits the results.  Additionally, Canadian-based Africa Energy Corp., an oil and gas company with exploration assets offshore South Africa and Namibia, is actively exploring offshore prospects and advancing upstream activities in Southern Africa. With working interests in Block 2B and Blocks 11B/12B in South Africa, and PEL 37 in Namibia, Africa Energy Corp. is working with major oil companies Total Energies and Tullow to explore African oil and gas opportunities. By participating at AEW 2021, Hon. Nally will further promote the role that Canadian service providers such as Recon and Africa Energy Corp. have to play in emerging African markets. Canada is set to be a key driver of African upstream growth, with Hon. Nally’s participation only enhances this trend. 

Hon. Nally brings with him decades of private sector experience and will, therefore, promote the increased penetration of Canadian service providers and the private sector in African markets, initiating sectoral and economic growth continent wide. By emphasizing the role that companies such as Recon and Africa Energy Corp. play in Africa, as well as the opportunities available for such companies, Hon. Nally is focused on expanding Africa-Canada relations in a bid to reaffirm partnerships, introduce Canadian companies to African opportunities, and drive energy sector development in both Alberta and Africa as a whole. 

Both Hon. Nally and the African Energy Chamber believe in the advantages of natural gas in spurring electricity access, industrialization, and economic growth. Hon. Nally’s position on natural gas is clear: that it is the best resource to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and end energy poverty. By promoting this message at AEW 2021 in Cape Town, Hon. Nally aligns with the African Energy Chamber’s agenda to make energy poverty history by 2030. 

For more information about Africa’s premier energy event, visit www.aew2021.com or energychamber.org and/or email Amina Williams at amina.williams@energychamber.org  

For registration-related inquiries, please contact registration@aew2021.com    

For sales-related inquiries, please contact sales@aew2021.com   

For media-related inquiries, please contact media@aew2021.com   

For speaker-related inquiries, please contact speakers@aew2021.com

*African Energy Chamber

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