UNOWAS welcomes the launch of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission of The Gambia (TRRC)
October 19, 2018 | 0 Comments
The Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission of The Gambia (TRRC) which was established through a consultative process, will play an important role in addressing the difficult period of The Gambia history
DAKAR, Senegal, October 18, 2018/ — The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohamed Ibn Chambas, welcomes the launch on 15th October 2018 of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission of The Gambia (TRRC).
The Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission of The Gambia (TRRC) which was established through a consultative process, will play an important role in addressing the difficult period of The Gambia history, reconciling and moving into a peaceful future.
“Today’s launch builds a platform for this country to replace a culture of impunity with a culture of accountability which is vital in any democratic process. A milestone has been reached in the history of The Gambia,” said Ibn Chambas during the launch ceremony in Banjul.
The Commission is expected to create the enabling environment for all Gambians, regardless of their political, religious and ethnic affiliations to tell their story relating to the period during which they were subjected to gross human rights violations. It is a mechanism that should promote healing, social cohesion and tolerance which ultimately will enhance peace and stability in this country.
“The Commission must ensure that the truth be known; that the truth be complete; and that the truth be officially proclaimed and publicly exposed,” declared the Special Representative, urging the Government of The Gambia, in line with its consultative approach and commitment towards national reconciliation, to ensure that the independence of appointed Commissioners and staff assigned to the Commission is not compromised.
“I am sure that the Commission’s influence and work will also contribute to political tolerance and constructive engagement between the main political actors involved in the process of building the foundations of New Gambia,” M. Ibn Chambas concluded.
The United Nations within the framework of the sustaining peace agenda will continue to avail assistance to The Gambia with a view to supporting nationally led efforts that would entrench democratic values, improve governance, especially of the security sector and enhance transitional justice and human rights.
Kennie-O Cold Chain Logistics from Nigeria Crowned Champion of Africa’s First Scaling Up Nutrition Pitch Competition
October 19, 2018 | 0 Comments
|Kennie-O Cold Chain Logistics was established in 2014 to provide reliable cold chain solutions for Nigeria’s food industry, thereby reducing post-harvest losses|
NAIROBI, Kenya, October 18, 2018/ — A Nigerian business is celebrating after winning a competition involving some of the continent’s most exciting enterprises working to improve access to nutritious foods. Kennie-O Cold Chain Logistics from Kwarah State was crowned champion of the first Africa edition of the Scaling Up Nutrition Pitch Competition held at the Nutrition Africa Investor Forum (GainHealth.org/knowledge-centre/event/nutrition-africa-investor-forum) in Nairobi, Kenya.
Kennie-O Cold Chain Logistics was established in 2014 to provide reliable cold chain solutions for Nigeria’s food industry, thereby reducing post-harvest losses.
Collecting the award, owner Ope Olanrewaju said, “Winning the pitch competition is so exciting! I am delighted to see recognition for companies working to reduce post-harvest losses. This experience has been wonderful, the training has added value to my business.”
Organised by the Scaling Up Nutrition Business Network (SBN), the Pitch Competition is an initiative of GAIN (Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition ), a Swiss Foundation, and the UN World Food Program (WFP), plus local partners.
The competition showcased investment opportunities presented by SMEs working to improve access to nutritious food. Out of more than 450 outstanding entries, 21 SMEs were shortlisted from national pitch competitions in Nigeria, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zambia.
Concurrent to this pitch competition was a ‘Nutrition Deal Room’ for larger investment opportunities facilitated by Africa Business Magazine with Asoko Insights. Fokko Wientjes, Vice President, Nutrition in Emerging Markets of Royal DSM, a purpose-led, global science-based company active in nutrition who participated in the initiative reported: “With 130 deal room discussions involving 20 investors and more than 20 companies, we can call this first ever Nutrition Africa Impact Forum a success!” All of the companies featured in both the Pitch Competition and in the Nutrition Dealroom comprise a part of GAIN’s pipeline of companies improving access to nutritious food. GAIN will be following up on these exciting investment opportunities as part of its New Nutritious Foods Financing Programme.
These two initiatives took place during the high-level Nutrition Africa Investor Forum attended by over 200 business leaders, policy makers and prominent development campaigners focused on unlocking the business potential of small and medium enterprises working to improve the nutritional quality of the food system across Africa. In addition to looking at private investments in nutrition, the forum called for effective leadership to drive collective action to improve nutrition. The former president of Tanzania H.E. Jakaya Kikwete urged the influential gathering to do everything within their power to tackle malnutrition in order to deliver on national and international obligations and targets to end extreme poverty by 2030. Speaking at the closing ceremony, Saul Morris, Director of Programmes at GAIN, said: “There are concrete things that we can do to scale up access to nutritious food in Africa and there are fantastic people and small and medium enterprises doing them!”
Winner: August Secrets, Nigeria
Winner: Healthy Maisha, Tanzania
Winner: Kulamawe Poultry Industries, Kenya
Winner: Miruku Agro Industria, Mozambique
Winner: Kennie-O Cold Chain Logistics, Nigeria
Africa is ‘on the rise’, says UN chief Guterres, urging collaboration for better future
October 18, 2018 | 0 Comments
Africa is “on the move and on the rise” with communities coming together to resolve their problems and offer mutual support, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted on Wednesday
GENEVA, Switzerland, October 18, 2018/ —
He urged everyone with a stake in Africa’s success to seize the new opportunities and work together with people on the continent for the common good.
Briefing on the theme of the dialogue and expected outcomes, Bience Gawanas, the UN Special Adviser on Africa, said that the Dialogue “bears testimony of the desire to engage with the UN to realize a prosperous and peaceful Africa.”
He highlighted the importance of women and young people in peace and development efforts in Africa and called for political support at the highest level to ensure their meaning participation.
New EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe presents credentials
October 18, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
The European Union in Zimbabwe has a new Ambassador, Mr Timo Olkkonen who presented his
credentials to H.E. President Emmerson Mnangagwa this morning at State House.
Speaking after the occasion, Ambassador Olkkonen said: “I am honoured and excited to
start my tour of duty as the European Union’s Head of Delegation to the Republic of Zimbabwe
today. Zimbabwe stands at a crucial juncture and I am looking forward for the country to take back
its rightful place in the region, in Africa and in the world. The EU has provided significant support to
Zimbabwe since independence and will continue to do so as we develop our political, economic and
trade relations. The EU stands ready to assist and accompany Zimbabwe as the country moves
forward to implement much needed political and economic reforms.”
Ambassador Olkkonen is no stranger to this region. From 2014 to 2018, he served as
Ambassador of Finland to Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi, based in Lusaka; and from 2001 to 2005
he held the position of Second Secretary at the Finnish Embassy in Kenya.
After an initial engagement with the Ministry of Education in Finland, he joined the Finnish
Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1999 and has represented the country at multilateral organisations
and the European Union, mostly working on development policy matters.
Ambassador Olkkonen is in Zimbabwe with his wife and three children. He holds a Master
of Arts in General History from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, and boasts an impressive
repertoire of languages beyond Finnish, he speaks English, Swedish, German, French, Hungarian
and basic Kiswahili.
Kenya:Uhuru, Raila to reap from famous handshake with peace award
October 18, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga are expected to be honored with peace award following a truce between them after August 2017 bungled elections which almost plunged the country into severe chaos.
The award known as ‘RailaUhuru African Peace Accord’ will be presented to the two on October 18, during the Black History summit in the British Parliament, United Kingdom.
The Summit whose theme is ‘How to generate the political will and public will: influencing change in a complex democracy’, is an annual event where the achievements and roles of African Americans in US are celebrated.
The event will be aiming at narrow and broad concepts of political will act, public will power to react and leadership actions in critical political decision making in governance.
According to Black History Director Godson Azuz, the award will be issued annually to any African leader who promotes peace, values democracy and has a high level of political maturity and tolerance. He divulged that the awardees will go through strict criteria and vetting such as political tolerance, people-oriented leadership, political morality and political accountability to receive the prestigious prize.
Azuz lauded the two leaders for political sportsmanship and adherence to the principle of political tolerance to unite Kenyans who were in dire need of cohesion after elections period which held the country hostage.
“It is a great privilege to identify with their latest leadership style which infers immense political maturity,” reads Azu’s statement.
In a rare show of unity in March 9, President Kenyatta and Odinga put aside their political hard stance for the sake of the country following two presidential elections which almost crumbled the eastern African country.
The Opposition Chief Raila Odinga noted an end to ethnic division and promised to work with his new bosom to bridge the existing gap.
“We refuse to allow our diversity to kill our nation. We have travelled so far. We cannot make it to our destination without bridging the gap,” he said.
On his part, President Kenyatta assured Kenyans of a new political beginning. He noted their move will ensure no individual is left behind or left out.
“All we want is a common understanding that Kenya is greater than any individual. Leaders must come together to discuss their differences and what ails the country,” reiterated the President.
Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) aiming to become Africa’s premier think tank, Vera Songwe tells African Ambassadors
October 18, 2018 | 0 Comments
Speaking at a retreat of African permanent representatives based in Addis Ababa, Ms. Songwe said most African countries were facing similar issues in an ever-more challenging global context
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 18, 2018/ — The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is working hard to ensure it becomes a premier think tank that Africa can rely on to address some of its social, economic and environmental challenges, Executive Secretary Vera Songwe said, Wednesday.
Speaking at a retreat of African permanent representatives based in Addis Ababa, Ms. Songwe said most African countries were facing similar issues in an ever-more challenging global context.
ECA, working with member States through engagement and practical application of quality research and evidence generated through the organization’s work, can offer solutions to accelerate the achievement of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda.
“ECA should be your door to the best policy advice. And if we don’t have the knowledge in-house we have the capacity to bring the best of the world to you,” she told the Ambassadors. “We want to be your partners in building a prosperous Africa.”
In addition, the Executive Secretary briefed the Ambassadors on the new strategic directions of the ECA, which are;
As part of the proposed reform agenda, the Executive Secretary plans to create a private sector division, focusing on the business environment with respect to energy, infrastructure services, financial sector and capital market development. In addition, the issues of poverty and inequality, as well as governance, will receive added attention in dedicated sections.
Ms. Songwe said the retreat was an opportunity for the ECA’s senior team to listen to the permanent representatives, build a stronger relationship between Addis and the member states and ensure that country and continental priorities were aligned and consistent with those of the African Union. “This retreat is the first of its kind, but we hope to build on it to ensure ECA delivers value to its member states and the AU,” she said.
For his part, the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Kwesi Quartey welcomed the meeting and said, “the conversation on how to collaborate is useful and helpful, and attention needs to be given to the origin of African states. Collaboration is a process that requires enlightening discussions on capacity building, investment and application of science and technology, education for every boy and girl, among others. It is great to know that we are on this process together,” he added.
Ms. Songwe said that with African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), there was momentum on the continent ‘that says that we as a continent are breaking borders and we need to work together’. She also briefed the Ambassadors on a number of issues, including the recent annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank that focused on financing for development.
Ambassador Woinshet Tadesse of Ethiopia, serving as Chair of the retreat and a member of the Bureau, delivered opening remarks.
“I am glad to take the role of the Chair and I would like to express my appreciation to the Executive Secretary and her team for organising the retreat. This is a good opportunity to know each other and build a shared understanding of the development dynamics in Africa and ECA’s response to Africa’s challenges. It also provides an opportunity to reach an agreed modality of engagements and work towards an intergovernmental structure that is effective,” she said.
The main agenda of the retreat was to discuss ways of improving the working relationship between the permanent representatives and the ECA. As an ice breaker a presentation on the review of the intergovernmental structures launched the discussions with the objective of collecting the feedback of permanent representatives on how the Commission’s intergovernmental structure and processes could be more effective and fit for purpose. Permanent representatives appreciated what they said was great work being done by the ECA but said more could be done to improve communication and collaboration between the Ambassadors, the ECA and the African Union Commission (AUC).
Permanent representatives offered a number of actions with responsibilities on both sides that will contribute to strengthened collaboration and coordination between the ECA and AUC as well as with their permanent missions. They welcomed the opportunities to take an active role in shaping the delivery of the Commission’s mandates and fostering a more accessible ECA that works in tandem with permanent representatives and their respective capitals.
It was agreed that the retreat should be an annual event at the least, allowing ECA and the permanent representatives to improve their engagement, foster better communication with the Africa Groups in New York, Brussels and Geneva particularly, and leverage the role of the permanent representatives in advocating the impact of ECA’s work at UN headquarters and globally.
As a demonstration of ECA’s reach and analytical work, permanent representatives were briefed on a digital identity initiative that ECA is embarking on to ensure every African has a legal identity. The briefing was done by ECA staff and Mr. Sanjay Jain who was the project manager for India’s famed Aadhaar program that helped to register over a billion people.
Ambassador Hope Tumukunde Gasatura of Rwanda and Chair of the African Union Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) thanked the ECA for organising the retreat.
“We are really appreciative and we are happy because it was educative, it was insightful and we have shared our understanding, thoughts and views on what we think the ECA should be doing and we learnt so much, especially how the ECA is working and what it is that we can come to them for. We will continue with the discourse,” she said.
The Rockefeller Foundation and EPIC-Africa launch the first African Civil Society Organization (CSO) Excellence Awards
October 18, 2018 | 0 Comments
|Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are awarded for excellence across eight (8) major elements of organizational capacity|
|DAKAR, Senegal, October 16, 2018/ — The Awards highlight the importance of organizational capacity for civil society organizations to achieve program impact. Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are awarded for excellence across eight (8) major elements of organizational capacity. Applications for the African CSO Excellence Awards are now open
EPIC-Africa , with the support of The Rockefeller Foundation has today launched the call for applications for the first African CSO Excellence Awards . The Awards highlight the importance of organizational capacity to achieve program impact, and showcase civil society organizations who demonstrate excellence across eight key elements of organizational capacity: Strategic Ability and Adaptability, Leadership and Governance, Financial Health and Management, Human Resources and Staff Development, Operations, Communications, Partnerships and Alliances and Monitoring and Evaluation.
The awards are now open to civil society groups across Africa to apply for the opportunity to fundraise on the international GlobalGiving Platform, benefit from a series of capacity building workshops, increase their media visibility and participate in networking opportunities through the African CSO Excellence Awards community.
EPIC-Africa is at the forefront of the charge to strengthen the infrastructure that supports civil society organizations and to deepen philanthropic impact in Africa. Mamadou Biteye, Managing Director of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Africa Office said, “As a major development partner in Africa, it is imperative that we invest in initiatives that highlight the importance of organizational capacity for program impact. We are delighted to support EPIC-Africa in this innovative approach to map the pan-African CSO sector and showcase the highest standards of organizational excellence among CSOs in Africa. These awards will also expand the opportunity for increased partnerships among key organizations on the continent, for greater impact.”
Rose Maruru, co-founder of EPIC-Africa added, “We are pleased to launch these awards to showcase the EPIC work that CSOs are doing all across Africa and make the case for ever more support for organizational capacity. This will allow CSOs to continue to be catalysts for the transformational change that our continent needs.”
Africa has the youngest population in the world. According to the UNDP, by 2055, the continent’s youth population (aged 15-24), is expected to be more than double (http://bit.ly/2OtflLF) the 2015 total of 226 million.
Adwoa Agyeman, co-founder of EPIC-Africa commented that “Africa will be relying heavily on the CSO sector over the next few decades to truly maximize its demographic dividend.” She added that “it will take concerted effort around key areas such as education, healthcare, employability, governance and human rights to reshape the continent. We know that CSOs cannot fully deliver on Africa’s promise to its young people when they have, among others, financing, human resources, and communications challenges to deal with on a daily basis. We are committed therefore to highlighting those who are thriving despite difficult circumstances and to share their approaches so that others can also learn.”
The African CSO Excellence Awards are open until December 31, 2018. Candidates will be shortlisted between January and March 2019 with the final winners announced in April 2019.
EPIC-Africa (www.EPIC-Africa.org) seeks to enhance philanthropic impact by filling critical data and capacity gaps in the philanthropic market infrastructure in Africa. We envisage a vibrant philanthropic ecosystem with diverse, influential, sustainable African civil society groups at the center. EPIC-Africa contributes to this transformative vision by enabling: Greater visibility, increased resources, widespread communication, more diversified and steady funding, transparency, accountability and a resilient ecosystem.
About The Rockefeller Foundation:
For more than 100 years, The Rockefeller Foundation’s (www.RockefellerFoundation.org) mission has been to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Today the Foundation is focused on securing the fundamentals of human well-being—health, food, power, and jobs—to ensure every family experiences dignity and opportunity in our rapidly urbanizing world. Together with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation strives to catalyze and scale transformative innovations, create unlikely partnerships that span sectors, and take risks others cannot—or will not.
European Union Solar Renewable Energy Project Scores A First As Zimbabwe Moves Towards A Go Green Environment…
October 18, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Nevson Mpofu
Zimbabwe in its consented effort to bring Renewable Energy home has been supported by European Union, SNV which is Netherlands Development Corporation and Davani Trust to develop Solar Energy projects. . In a multi-facetted move to disseminate the outstanding Solar Energy Project, Zimbabwe Women Resource Centre and Network and Practical Action conducted a Media Tour to news showcase the work so far done.
The Mashava Sustainable Solar Energy for Communities Project is located in Gwanda Matabeleland South 800 kilometers away from the capital city of Harare, Matabeleland South Province. It consists of 400 panels with each 255 watts .It generates 100 kilowatts of energy which supplies 3 Irrigation Schemes , Mangongoni , Sevasa and Rasta Gorge Irrigation , a clinic , Msendai Business Centre and Mashava .
An Expert in the field of Solar who works for Practical Action, Zibanai Kisimusi said the project is highly targeting 10,000 families around the area . However he said only a minimum number is at the moment utilizing the Energy resource because of the high costs in terms of payment.
‘’The challenge is that people in the areas surrounded are paying money in order for them to get the energy provision. However, it is a blessing to those at the school, clinic and some who can afford despite high costs.
‘’The cost of the renewable energy may sound high , but it’s not really high if we talk it in terms of energy utility for renewable energy support of the Green Energy for all . The high costs may be attributable to high standards of living.
‘’People in the area do farming along the Shashi and Thuli Rivers. This is their livelihood. This is Region 5 five, but they survive because of the Alluvial soils along the rivers . The soil is a bit fertile. They need water for sustainable Agriculture. The community has become livable particularly owing attention to Agricultural activities.’’
Mr Kisimisi said at the moment the community has means of survival because of the effort of these Humanitarian organizations which at first supplied energy for free. He pointed out that there is sustainability and livability in terms of Agriculture and food security because there are a total of 15 water pumps meant for the farming activities to move on well at the Gorge, Mangongoni and Sevasa schemes .
‘’Sustainability at the Centre of every development in terms of Agriculture is there yes because there are a total of 15 pumps , 8 hours supply . The Gorge has 41 farmers, Mangongoni 36 farmers and Sevasa 34 farmers,
‘’Sustainability’’, he reiterates, ‘’makes them be in a livable community. They are relying on both commercial crop farming and subsistence farming. They have better chances to feed the communities around the southern province.
‘’Livelihoods rely on this farming in support of this. However we call for more support though this may not completely do away poverty in the country. At list we reduce poverty and extreme hunger. As a country we move forward in success.
Professor Maria Tsvere a Lecturer in Sustainable Livelihoods at Chinhoyi University said it is a blessing to get donor funding done at the advantage of communities. However these people need training and input support in order for them to develop further. She also pointed that there is need for better models which practically must be put at the site,
‘’It is great work done by Donor Agencies. Poverty may be reduced and food security lifted up . Communities need training. Secondly, the need for better models at the site so that this sounds and looks practical.
‘’The kind of models spells out more on what the donor agency shows as an example on the ground pertaining what is being done and how best through practical demonstrations activities are done and what they bring as profit to the community .’’
Giving a conclusion, Mazibisa came back into the discussion cycle. He said at the moment there is no smart –climate Agriculture. This, he said is impossible because of the Irrigation Technologies. He indicated that there is Flooding in terms of the Irrigation systems. Also Non-Governmental Organizations capacitating communities on smart climate, mitigation and adaptation and sustainable Environment are not yet quite active in the area.
The project which started in 2015 is going down in 2019. It stood up at a cost of US 1 million dollars. However there are fears that this may become a failed project is planning, leading, organizing and controlling fails community people in terms of holistic and strategic management.
Zimbabwe’s Deeper Economic Impasse.Is There Need For Government Of National Unity ?
October 18, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Nevson Mpofu
Zimbabwe continues to swim deeper into oblivion owing attention to current economic melt-down. All that used to depreciate is now decomposing to ashes. Following the introduction of 2% tax on all electronic transactions by the Minister of Finance Mthuli Ncube hell broke loose.
Food prices like cooking oil have risen from 3 dollars 50 cents to between 9 and 15 dollars. Fuel increase in price has also contributed. Some food stuffs like bread have high prices because of the short supply of flour. However, wheat is running short.
The crisis has prompted MDC T Leader Nelson Chamisa to be called for a meeting by Zimbabwe Council of Churches. Chamisa said recently that he is ready to meet ZANU PF for the meeting. The meeting, he pointed out is ready to work out on solutions.
‘’The country is under- going a crisis. I am ready to meet ZANU PF. We need to talk about issues faced by the country. As we talk, they are certain new challenges sprouting from the ground. It is important to meet with ZANU PF. This is really a crisis. As a country, let us solve this once and for all.
Chamisa according to most sections of society and church denominations is the central figure of acrimony in the Zimbabwe politics. They invited him for a meeting. Kenneth Mtata , Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches indicated that a crisis talk is the only maneuver in the Zimbabwean politics to solve thorny issues .
‘’Zimbabwe is in crisis. The only solution is to address thorny issues at hand. A dialogue of some sort is the only solution. We need to bring peace of mind to bring unity between the two. How-ever. This must not be a long hill climb.
Giving his few words comment, Dr Francis Danha said it is all about building on a new Zimbabwe. The problem lies with politics of greedy Leadership in the country. We have seen that the country is in squabbles. What then is the ultimate answer to problems we have?
‘’Politics is creating poverty for the country. This is not new. This has been on and on for some time. There can be meetings to come up with solutions but if it bounces, there is always an answer to questions remaining unanswered ‘’, he said .
Several companies have threatened to close. Big Department shops are running their day to day business because of the confidence they have with them. Many small shops in high density suburbs have remained closed for some days. To make it worse, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has separated Foreign Accounts from the Local Real Time Gross Settlements Accounts.
AIMS launches novel masters in machine intelligence, a first in Africa
October 18, 2018 | 0 Comments
KIGALI, Rwanda, 16 October 2018,-/African Media Agency (AMA) /- Today, the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) launched its African Masters in Machine Intelligence (AMMI) at its AIMS Rwanda Campus in partnership with Facebook and Google. AMMI is novel one-year intensive foundational masters that will offer Africa’s talented scientists and innovators world class training in machine intelligence, preparing them to think about new ways to solve local and global challenges.
Investors to explore USD 82 million worth of business opportunities at the first Nutrition Investor Forum in Africa
October 18, 2018 | 0 Comments
During the day, USD 82 million worth of investment opportunities were explored by over 60 fast-growing small and medium (SMEs) enterprises
NAIROBI, Kenya, October 17, 2018/ — Leading business leaders, policy makers and prominent development campaigners joined over 200 delegates to launch the first ever Nutrition Africa Investor Forum (https://www.GainHealth.org/knowledge-centre/event/nutrition-africa-investor-forum/) in Nairobi, Kenya. High-level representatives from the World Bank, European Commission, International Finance Corporation, Kenya Commercial Bank, Graça Machel Trust and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation joined the high-level gathering focused on unlocking the business potential of small and medium enterprises working to improve the nutritional quality of the food system across Africa. The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) (www.GainHealth.org), a Swiss Foundation, and Royal DSM –a purpose-led global science-based company in nutrition, health and sustainable living –are co-hosting this drive to generate greater investments to improve nutrition in Africa.
During the day, USD 82 million worth of investment opportunities were explored by over 60 fast-growing small and medium (SMEs) enterprises, who often face challenges accessing affordable finance. While micro businesses have funders but not scale, and large companies find attracting investment easy, it is the missing middle – small and medium growing businesses – that find it difficult to attract investment.The forum met this challenge by hosting a platform for over 60 companies from across Africa to connect with investors.
Opening the Forum, Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania H. E. Jakaya Kikwete, a leading member of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement working to end malnutrition across the world, encouraged greater public, private and third sector collaboration to address this pressing challenge for Africa, commenting: “The nutrition agenda is a key driver of development.” He said. “Dealing effectively with malnutrition and its attendant problems is a cardinal development imperative. Nutrition related problems have a direct bearing to economic growth and development of a nation. If there is no change or improvement in stunting and wasting among children and, anemia among women, and iodine deficiency, a nation is bound to lose a lot in future productivity.” The former president’s homeland has won widespread praise for government policies that have been effectively tackling malnutrition. He also urged Governments to play a critical and overarching role in addressing the nutrition challenges facing nations. “Governments have to develop good agriculture, nutrition and food security policies, as well as take appropriate measures and actions to ensure implementation of those policies,” he added
Malnutrition is a massive problem in Africa, stressed, Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director, GAIN, who was awarded the World Food Prize yesterday. “Businesses have to be part of the solution for malnutrition in Africa,” he said.
“The big problem most businesses face, especially the small and medium-sized ones when it comes to engaging in the market, is that they lack access to finance. GAIN works with businesses to develop their deal flows and their business case and then link them to investors. This is the first real effort within Africa to make it easier for businesses to provide nutritious food by making it more readily available, affordable and accessible.”
As part of this work, the organisation partnered with the UN World Food Programme to hold the first SUN Business Network Pitch Competition on the continent. The finals, held at the forum, saw 21 companies showcasing their work to tackle nutrition following national competitions in Nigeria, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zambia involving 450 businesses.
Highlighting the importance of unlocking investments across the nutrition value chain, Fokko Wientjes, Vice President Nutrition in Emerging Markets said, “With 30-40% stunted children in Africa there is an urgent need to make nutritious foods widely available, affordable but most importantly aspirational in the eyes of the consumer. We, at DSM are investing in aspirational nutrition to deliver safe and nutritious foods for all.”
The forum’s Nutrition Dealroom, which brought investors face-to-face with established fast growing businesses working to improve access to nutritious food, won praise from Mr. Wientjes.“The forum offers investors the chance to obtain a unique overview of selected investment opportunities across the value chain and identify outstanding commercial opportunities.” He added the Pitch Competition would help build a pipeline of quality ‘nutrition investments’ for future years, stimulating the next generation of entrepreneurs in Africa in the field of Nutrition.
There are opportunities for business in sectors ranging from technology to logistics to make a difference in the nutrition sector. Discussing the use of technology in growing nutrition business, Rachel Kabuyah, Grants and Partnership, Manager, Twiga Foods said, Twiga Foods uses mobile technology to link smallholder farmers with informal retailers – to bring fresh fruit and veg to low-income consumers by making nutritious food affordable and accessible.
The organisation was launched at the UN in 2002 to tackle the human suffering caused by malnutrition. Working with partners, GAIN (https://www.GainHealth.org) aims at making healthier food choices more affordable, more available, and more desirable. Its purpose is to improve nutrition outcomes by improving the consumption of nutritious and safe food for all people, especially the most vulnerable.
About Royal DSM – Bright Science. Brighter Living.™:
Royal DSM is a purpose-led, global science-based company active in nutrition, health and sustainable living. DSM is driving economic prosperity, environmental progress and social advances to create sustainable value for all stakeholders. DSM delivers innovative business solutions for human nutrition, animal nutrition, personal care and aroma, medical devices, green products and applications, and new mobility and connectivity. DSM and its associated companies deliver annual net sales of about €10 billion with approximately 23,000 employees. The company is listed on Euronext Amsterdam.
The SUN Business Network (SBN):
Hosted by GAIN and the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the SBN mobilises business to support the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement. At the heart of the Movement are 60 country governments across Africa, Asia and Latin America, committed to developing a multi-stakeholder approach to ending malnutrition through national action plans – including business. The SBN supports business at a global and national level to act and invest responsibly in improving nutrition with partners from government, civil society, donors and the United Nations.
South Africa:50 000 Jobs sustained through the Workplace Challenge Programme
October 18, 2018 | 0 Comments
Majaja pronounced on this remarkable milestone during the 20-year anniversary celebrations of the Workplace Challenge Programme which took place in Botshabelo, Free State
PRETORIA, South Africa, October 16, 2018/ — The Chief Director of Space affairs at the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), Ms Nomfuneko Majaja says that the Workplace Challenge Programme (WPC) has led to the sustaining of more than 50 000 jobs and creating a further 250 since it was founded. Majaja pronounced on this remarkable milestone during the 20-year anniversary celebrations of the Workplace Challenge Programme which took place in Botshabelo, Free State.
The WPC Programme is a joint initiative of the dti and Productivity South Africa (Productivity SA) that is implemented over a 24-month period with the aim to encouraging and supporting negotiated workplace change to improve productivity and job creation.
Majaja further mentioned that enterprises that had participated in the WPC programme had been collectively funded to the tune of R151 million and had generated more than R1.88 billion in total turnover.
“These figures are a sure sign of progress and we must sustain it and forge partnerships with the WPC programme to support our flagship programmes such as the Black Industrialists Programme, the Industrial Park Revitalisation Programme and the Special Economic Zones Programme. We also see the WPC Programme building a competitive manufacturing sector within the Industrial Policy Action Plan,” she said.
Majaja further outlined that a web-based monitoring and evaluation system has since been launched in order to measure the impact of the WPC on participating companies.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Productivity SA, Mr Mothunye Mothiba appealed to prospective entrepreneurs to generate ideas amongst each other, to test the feasibility of success of these ideas and to pursue those that demonstrate potential of success.
“We must accept that productivity is the most effective tool to maximise production, especially amongst our small and medium enterprises as they are the catalysts for economic growth. By helping our enterprises enroll on the WPC Programme we will be equipping them with the means to reduce poverty, unemployment and inequality,” said Mothiba.
Mothiba also announced on the upcoming national Workplace Challenge programme national awards that will take place on Friday, 19 October 2018.
“The productivity revolution will be embarked on post the awards especially in Botshabelo; where there were fewer economic opportunities for Summer. We will be recognising enterprises that have embraced the WPC and turned their strategies for the better,” he said.