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African Development Bank Shareholders approve landmark $115 billion capital increase, signalling strong support
November 6, 2019 | 0 Comments

  • Bank’s capital base more than doubles. Jumps from $93 billion to $208 billion
  • Largest capital increase in the Bank’s history signals a united front by shareholders

At an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting today in Abidjan, Governors of the African Development Bank, representing shareholders from 80 countries, approved a landmark $115 billion increase in capital for the continent’s foremost financial institution.

The capital increase, the largest in the history of the African Development Bank since its establishment in 1964, is a remarkable show of confidence by shareholders.

With the approved increase, the capital of the Bank will more than double from $93 billion to $208 billion. This solidifies the Bank’s leadership on development financing for the continent.

The boost in capital ensures that the Bank will continue to maintain a sterling AAA rating, all stable, from the top rating agencies.

The African Development Bank launched discussions on the request for a general capital increase two years ago, to help fast track the delivery of its High 5 development strategies, the sustainable development goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the President of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara said: “the integration of the continent’s priorities into the High 5s indicates that the African Development Bank group is a strategic partner for African governments.”

In the past four years, the Bank’s High 5 priorities have delivered impressive results on the ground, including helping to connect 16 million people to electricity, 70 million people provided with agricultural technologies to boost food security; 9 million people given access to finance through private sector investee companies; 55 million people provided improved access to transport services; and 31 million people with access to water and sanitation.

According to African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina,  “We have achieved a lot, yet there is still a long way to go. Our responsibility is to very quickly help improve the quality of life for the people of Africa. This general capital increase represents a very strong commitment of all our shareholders to see better quality projects that will significantly have an impact on the lives of the people in Africa –  in cities, in rural communities, and for millions of youth and women.”

With the new general capital increase, the Bank plans to do more, with the following expected results: 105 million people to have access to new or improved electricity connections; 244 million people to benefit from improvements in agriculture; 15 million people to benefit from investee projects; 252 million people to benefit from improved access to transport; and 128 million people to benefit from improved access to water and sanitation.

Adesina noted that “the Bank will continue its leadership role on infrastructure development, strengthening regional integration, helping to realize the ambitions of the African Continental Free Trade Area, supporting fragile states to build resilience, ensuring sustainable debt management, addressing climate change and boosting private sector investments. We will do a lot more. This is a historic moment.”

He added: “I applaud the shareholders for their strong confidence in the Bank and for boosting support for Africa’s development”.

President Adesina, Bank senior vice-president Charles Boamah and vice president for Finance and Bank Chief Finance Officer Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala, will be available for interviews and further comment about the increase.

*AFDB

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Africa can be world’s next economic hub if supported with right policies – Singapore’s Senior Minister tells lecture audience
November 6, 2019 | 0 Comments

Africa must spread its economic openness by strongly showcasing specialisation along the production value chain and invest more boldly in social foundations

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, November 6, 2019/ — With the right policies and linkages, Africa can become an indispensable global economic hub, Singapore’s Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam noted Tuesday, commending the continent’s diverse economic potential.

Delivering this year’s Kofi A. Annan Eminent Speakers’ Lecture series at the African Development Bank headquarters in Abidjan, Shanmugaratnam outlined five strategies which must underpin the continent’s transformation drive and efforts to build inclusive growth.

Africa must spread its economic openness by strongly showcasing specialisation along the production value chain and invest more boldly in social foundations. The continent must also maximise policy coherence and effectiveness, think in the long-term and maximise the benefits of global financial system, Shanmugaratnam told diplomats, students, government representatives and senior Bank officials gathered in the Babacar Ndiaye auditorium.

The lecture, the third in a new series organised by the African Development Institute, had the theme: “Inclusive Growth: Learning from Experience, Partnering for the Future – How Africa and Asia can work together for broad-based prosperity.” He was accompanied by senior government officials from Singapore.

“There are challenges, but there are also opportunities. There is much more to be done,” said Shanmugaratnam who is also Singapore’s Coordinating Minister for Social Policies.

In order to build economic resilience and create job opportunities for their bulging youth population, there must be stronger connectivity and economic interaction among developing regions, especially between Africa and Asia which share demographic similarities.

He noted that there is a significant interest by Singapore businesses in Africa which needs to be scaled up. “We need to take practical steps to spur this collaboration with more bilateral investment treaties that provide some assurance to investors.”

Singapore is the eighth largest foreign investor in Africa. It invested around $90 billion in the continent in 2018.

“We are in an unusual time globally – a time of unusual challenge where some of the basic beliefs of how the world prospect together are being challenged. But it’s also a time of immense opportunities… in the international economy, in international finance and in international cooperation,” the minister stated.

It is projected that in the next decade, Africa will have the largest working age population in the world, larger than China and India with about 1.1 billion people of working age population of between 15 and 64 years.

Shanmugaratnam said African leaders must prepare to take advantage of the strong bulging workforce, coupled with the high mobile technology penetration to drive innovation for growth.

In his welcoming remarks, Bank Group President Akinwumi Adesina noted that Africa could learn a lot from Singapore. He described Mr Shanmugaratnam as someone with expansive knowledge who was chosen because of his inspiring works in the Asian nation.

Adesina said the Eminent Lecture series was dedicated to Kofi Annan, a former Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) in recognition of his contributions to humanity. Annan launched the UN millennium development goals.

“As we continue our efforts to do more, we want to learn from the impressive achievements of Singapore, and no one is better placed to discuss this and all of the things around Asia and Africa with us than Tharman Shanmugaratnam,” he said.

The African Development Bank launched the Eminent Speakers Lecture series in 2006 to provide a platform for a robust exchange of ideas to meet the challenges of African development.

Since then, the series has featured world-class speakers, politicians, top academics, businesspeople and civil society representatives, who have spoken on a diverse range of topics and issues, including economics, finance, regional integration, human development, the environment, and philosophy.

*AFDB

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Uganda and Equatorial Guinea pave the way for Africa’s oil future
November 6, 2019 | 0 Comments
Tullow's Lake Albert development. Photo credit Energy Voice
Tullow’s Lake Albert development. Photo credit Energy Voice

With the Lake Albert oil beginning to flow, Uganda has set its sights on further resources
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, November 6, 2019/ — Africa Oil Week (www.Africa-OilWeek.com) got off to a high profile start with a prestigious Ministerial and VIP Symposium on the 28th floor of First National Bank’s corporate headquarters in Cape Town’s Waterfront district. Over 200 senior executives from IOC and NOCs along with ministerial delegations from leading African nations joined to look for solutions to Africa’s energy challenges.

Amongst the traditional African oil giants were several countries that have been rapidly growing their oil and gas credentials in the form of Uganda and Equatorial Guinea.

Uganda joins the exporters club

The prospects for the hydrocarbon sector in Uganda are looking bright – Uganda will soon export its first crude oil from its Lake Albert oil discovery to the international market, making it one of the countries to have joined the oil exporting countries after the government came to an agreement with Tanzania that enables it to transport its crude oil through the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), a 1,445-kilometre pipeline from Hoima, Uganda, to the port of Tanga in Tanzania is the proposed route.

“It is exciting times for Uganda, we are now preparing for production,” Hon Irene-Margaret Muloni, minister of energy and mineral development, Uganda, says. “It has taken us some time, but we are there. The exploration discovered six billion barrels and we have plans to recover about 1.4 billion of these. And now the issue is to get that out of the ground. We’ve already agreed with Tullow, Total and CNOOC the way forward to commercialise that oil.

“We need two big destinations. One is access to the international markets through the pipeline to add value and ensure security of supply within the East Africa region. Also, we are importers of petroleum products now, so we have a refinery under development.” That refinery is planned for Kabaale in Western Uganda’s Hoima district, along the eastern shore of Lake Albert, close to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Once the refinery is completed, expected to be in 2022, it will produce kerosene, gasoline, diesel, heavy fuel oils for Uganda and other local markets. In addition to the refinery an airport, hospital and a 100-megawatt thermal power plant are being constructed.

“For these two big projects the pipeline is more advanced with the FEED signed and an intergovernmental agreement with Tanzania. We are now negotiating the host government agreements between us and setting up the private companies that are going to own and operate the pipeline. For the refinery we’ve already approved the configuration of the refinery that will handle 60,000 barrels per day. Those two projects are ongoing and as a country we are preparing the infrastructure.”

With the Lake Albert oil beginning to flow, Uganda has set its sights on further resources and in May announced a second licensing round for additional oil exploration in five blocks in western Uganda that will be announced before the end of 2019. “It is all about attracting companies to come and join us in the exploration. We have only licenced about 15% of the resources but the appetite is there because the parameters are world class. The success rate when you drill is hovering around 85%, meaning every time you drill a hole there is a good chance of success.”

More from Equatorial Guinea

Later this month Equatorial Guinea will announce the winning bids for its 27 oil and gas licences. The bidding round is reported to have attracted a high level of interest, especially among Chinese oil and gas companies following a roadshow in Beijing.

“We have many companies who have expressed an interest,” Hon Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of mines, industry & energy, Equatorial Guinea says. We have pre-selected some of these because we see the most serious companies, but the important thing is that the key blocks have already attracted interest.”

Equatorial Guinea is already home to several majors including ExxonMobil. Kosmos, Marathon and Noble and hopes to attract several more in this latest round.  “We are doing well, and we are delivering great revenue,” Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima adds. “But the issue here is what we are going to do in the future. Two of the fields are mature fields and we need to decide about them going forward. That revenue has allowed us to carry out investment in our infrastructure, but we are still keen on bringing in more companies.”


This year has been the Year of Energy 2019 in Equatorial Guinea, that saw several high-level investment conferences and roadshows in Malabo and internationally, and they are following that up next year with the Year of Investment 2020. “It has been very successful,” the minister explains. “A lot of people have heard more about what to do and we have been able to promote more content. We have also been able to prepare ourselves for the next year, 2020, which is going to be the investment year. We are looking to build refineries which will be the next stage of our development.”

Two of the challenges that often curtail investment in Africa are stringent local content rules and a regulatory framework that can be fluid. For Equatorial Guinea the subject of local content is not an issue according to Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima. “We have a limited population so local content have been mainly focused on a specialised sector such as the service industry,” he explains. “In general, I can say that more than 90% of the companies have done a very good job regarding local content that we’re happy with.”

As for the regulatory regime, Equatorial Guinea are going to be working next year on the new law. “We believe that our national companies will work more efficiently if, rather than having regular responsibility from a minister, it will be controlled by a law.”

Equatorial Guinea and Uganda were amongst almost forty ministerial delegations in attendance at the symposium. It was a fertile breeding ground for the movers and shakers of the industry and amidst the presentations, cocktails and networking, new deals and partnerships were being forged that could bear fruition over the coming months.
*Source Africa Oil Week
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Andela Launches Egypt as First Fully Remote Center
November 5, 2019 | 0 Comments

ITIDA signs agreement to support Andela’s hiring of Egyptian software engineers for global projects 

Nov 5th, 2019. Cairo, Egypt. Andela, the global technology company that builds distributed engineering teams with Africa’s top software engineers today officially launched its operations in Egypt. In a ceremony attended by Andela’s Co-founder and CEO, Jeremy Johnson, ITIDA VP, Ahmed El Sobky, and Andela’s Country Director in Egypt, Ms Rama El Safty the company announced that Egypt would be its first fully remote centre. 

Following the ceremony, the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) signed an agreement with Andela that will see them support the company’s efforts to select and invest in at least 200 of the top software engineers in Egypt. Those engineers will get the chance to work with some of the leading technology companies in the world without having to leave Egypt, and in the process represent the Egyptian ICT sector on a global stage. 

The MoU comes in line with Egypt’s ICT strategy that targets increasing the annual export of ICT services, which was valued at USD 3.67 billion in 2018, through attracting investments, and creating more job opportunities for Egyptian youth and Andela’s move into the country plays a crucial role in achieving this.

Speaking on the launch, Jeremy Johnson says, “Andela builds world-class engineering teams, and we are excited to be enhancing our talent pool as we expand into Egypt. We’ve been impressed by the incredible engineering talent we’ve seen so far across the country, and we’re excited to help raise the profile of Egypt’s tech ecosystem on the global stage.”  

Moreover, Engineer Hala El Gohary, ITIDA CEO said: “We are pleased to be working closely with Andela to continue to invest in Africa’s most talented software developers. So, we are happy with the company’s decision to invest in Egypt where it gets access to a rich talent pool and enjoys geographic proximity to international markets that perfectly fits the engineering-as-a-service business and would further boost the company’s growth.” 

Commenting on the agreement, Rama El Safty says, “Egypt’s ICT sector has seen significant growth over the last years, as the government has actively focused on strengthening and accelerating digital transformation. We would like to thank the Minister of Communications and Information Technology and ITIDA for collaborating with us during our move into our first MENA region market.”  

The Engineering-as-a-Service company began exploring operations in the North African country in 2018 and has to-date hired over 80 top engineers from Cairo, Alexandria, Damnhour, Port Saeed and Mansoura. Andela runs on a remote working model, whereby Andela engineers join engineering teams of leading technology companies to help them build products quickly and cost-effectively. 

The move into Egypt comes as Andela looks to strengthen its team of over 1,200 software engineers, located in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and other countries in Africa, who help power the technology teams of more than 200 tech companies around the world including Viacom, BBC, Github, and Coursera. 

Andela Egypt is currently accepting applications for a number of software engineering positions on andela.com/egypt.   

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AFCON 2021 Qualifiers: Cameroon Head coach publishes list of 28 players
November 5, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

The head coach of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon Antonio Conceiçao has made public a list of 28 players that will represent Cameroon in their next outing in the qualifiers for the AFCON 2021.

Cameroon will face Cape Verde on the 13 of November 2019 and face Rwanda on the 17 of November 2019.

The list of players called up includes the usual suspects while Vincent Aboubakar is making his return back to the squad. The player missed Cameroon’s last outing which was a friendly encounter with their Tunisian counterpart due to injury. During that game in Tunisia, both sides ended goalless, in what was the first outing for the new head coach of the Cameroonian national team. 

Equally returning to the squad, though on the waiting list is Buea born Clinton Nji. The player has been having a renaissance in Russia after he signed for Dynamo Moscow. He scored his first goal for Dynamo on 27 October 2019, a late winner in a 1–0 victory over PFC CSKA Moscow.  

The Minister of Sports and Physical Education confirmed Portuguese born coach António Conceição da Silva Oliveira popularly known as Toni Conceição as Heach coach of the Indomitable Lions until the 2021 AFCON tournament. The former Portuguese International right back replaces Clarence Seedorf who was sacked after this year’s AFCON in Egypt.

The Portuguese who is having his first experience as a national team coach and the first in the African continent will be assisted by Ex-Cameroon internationals François Oman Biyik, Jacques Songo’o as goalkeeper coach and team Doctor Professor William Ngatchou.

GOALKEEPERS:
– Andre Onana-Ajax Amsterdam-Netherlands

Fabrice Ondoa-KV Ostende-Belgium

– Haschou Kerrido-CK Kamsar-Guinea

DEFENDERS:
– Jean Charles Castelleto-Stade Brestois – France

– Fai Collins Ngoran-Standard-Belgium

– Michael Ngadeu-Gent-Belgium

Ambroise Oyongo-Montpellier-France

– Jerome Onguene-RB Salzburg-Austria

– Dawa Joyskim-Mariupol-Ukraine

MIDFIELDERS:

– Pierre Kunde Malong-Mainz-Germany

– Djoum Arnaud-Al Read-Saudi Arabia

– Bombock Franck-Maritimo-Portugal

– Andre Franck Zambo-Villarreal-Spain

– Olinga Fabrice-Royal Mouscron-Belgium

FORWARDS:

– Toko Karl Ekambi-Villarreal-Spain

– Aboubakar Vincent-FC Porto-Portugal

– Moumie Ngamaleu-Young Boys-Switzerland

– Jean Pierre Nsame-Young Boys-Switzerland

– Didier Lamkel Ze-Antwerp-Belgium

– Ganago Ignatius-OGC Nice-France

– Bassogog Christian-Hernan Jianye-China

– Choupo-Moting-PSG-France

WAITING LIST:

– Moukoudi Harold – St Etienne – France

– Ntcham Olivier – Celtic – Ekosse

– Fuchs Jeando – Maccabi Haifa – Israel

– Njie Clinton – Dynamo Moscow – Russia

– Stephane Bahoken – SCO Angers – France

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African Court begins 55th ordinary session
November 5, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights has today began its 55th Ordinary Session in Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania.

The Judges, among others, will examine over 15 applications and at least nine Judgments are expected to be rendered before the close of the four-week Session on 29 November 2019.

The Session will also discuss the Court’s work plan for 2020 and will be updated on the status of the Court’s permanent premises. The Court currently operates from the premises of the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) in Burka area.

The Session is also expected to review the just ended Fourth African Judicial Dialogue in Kampala, Uganda, under the theme: ‘’Tackling Contemporary Human Rights Issues: The Role of the Judiciary in Africa’’. 

The Judicial Dialogue brought about 300 participants, including Chief Justices and the Presidents of Constitutional Courts of the AU Member States, among others.

The Judges will also review the First International Court Forum on Human Rights which preceded the Judicial Dialogue, also in Kampala. The Forum brought together the Judges of the African Court, the Inter-American Court and the European Court of Human Rights and concluded with the Kampala Declaration.

The 10th Extra-Ordinary Session will be held from 2 to 6 November, also in Zanzibar, and among others, will consider some proposals for amendments to the Rules of Court.

The Judges will pay a courtesy call on the President of Zanzibar H.E Dr Ali Mohamed Shein.

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Zimbabwean Women Gear Up For Dubai 2020
November 5, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

Reverend Dr Abigail Magwenzi Founder and Director of Red Lipstick Revolution
Reverend Dr Abigail Magwenzi Founder and Director of Red Lipstick Revolution

Zimbabwean Women are action packed to take to Dubai next year in March 2020. The unique, great and well-orchestrated summit on women leaders theme will attract thousands of women from around the Globe .They will discuss areas of entrepreneurship skills development.

In an interview earlier on this week in Harare, Reverend Dr Abigail Magwenzi Founder and Director of Red Lipstick Revolution expounded on the need for women to make it happen come 2020 in Dubai. She notes that key issues of discussions they are currently working on centre on imparting more cohesive skills in Business skills training, technical and operational skills, social and life skills training.

‘’As women our goal is to train women so that they become leaders in Business. We want to see a number of women in equality, empowerment, and collective action for development. This sustains livelihoods in all communities where women must be leaders in the Business Sector ranging from Small to Medium Enterprises, home manufacturers of quality food stuffs and also as decision markers.

‘’Women have reached levels of equality but more needs to be done in all sectors of the economy. There is need to get into extreme marginalised women areas. There is need to empower them with all the skills they need. Satisfying women needs and wants starts with us here.

‘’Dubai is close by 2020 to cherish the need to nurture, impart and indoctrinate unique quality skills in women who must lead by example in communities. We are a step ahead for Dubai come 2020. There are mainly those values we want to carry like a flag. These are equality, empowerment, collective action, working together and sustainability.

Contacted for brief comment to buttress Abigail Magwenzi ‘s points  Ambassador Mary Mubi Zimbabwe Commissioner General to Expo 2020 in Dubai said the time for women has come again to make them rise high , climb the ladder and be in the skies .

She likens the Dubai up-coming conference to Beijing Platform for Action of 1995. After that big symposium women climbed higher than ever before guided by International instruments like the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against Women [CEDAW] of 1979.

‘’It is big time event for women to rise and shine. Zimbabwe is already geared to show-case its entrepreneurial talents in all areas of development. We are there-fore to lead by example, teach, train n impart skills in others. We are already far in terms of equality and empowerment. What is left is to reach our goals, vision and mission just close to us’’, says Mary Mubi .

The Global Women Leadership Summit will bring together Global Leaders, professionals, entrepreneurs, business women and women leaders. They will share and explore new areas of research and development and some emerging issues of impact to women. The main aim will be networking and devising innovative strategies that will make a huge difference to women involved in today’s competitive Global business.

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2020 U.S.-Africa Business Summit to be hosted in Morocco
November 5, 2019 | 0 Comments

Her Highness Princess Lalla Joumala, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco at a meeting with CCA President and CEO, Florizelle Liser in Washington, DC
Her Highness Princess Lalla Joumala, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco at a meeting with CCA President and CEO, Florizelle Liser in Washington, DC
Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) will host the next edition of the U.S -Africa Business Summit in June 2020 in Marrakech, Morocco. Building on the momentum of this year’s Summit in Maputo, Mozambique, which focused on advancing a resilient and sustainable U.S.-Africa partnership, CCA will return to the continent next June for the 13th iteration of its flagship conference.

“We are delighted to return to the continent for the 2020 Summit and look forward to partnering with the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco. The 2019 Summit in Maputo, Mozambique was a tremendous success and the caliber of engagement by U.S. and African business and government leaders was outstanding. The partnerships forged, investment opportunities identified, and deals closed are still being cited by attendees, and we intend to expand on these outcomes at the 2020 Summit in Morocco.” said Florizelle Liser, President and CEO, Corporate Council on Africa.

Following a strategic selection process, CCA’s Board of Directors selected the Kingdom of Morocco as the host for the 2020 Summit. Having rejoined the African Union and signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, Morocco has demonstrated its commitment to promoting economic development in Africa, making it an ideal destination for the 2020 Summit and the first time CCA will organize the Summit in North Africa.

Her Highness Princess Lalla Joumala, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United States, urged businesses to take advantage of the unique opportunities that will be presented at the Summit in 2020. “As the gateway to Africa, Morocco is committed to increasing business and investment on the continent and is pleased to partner with the Corporate Council on Africa to host the 2020 U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Marrakech.”

Starting this year, CCA will hold the U.S.-Africa Business Summit annually, with the aim of providing CCA members, investors, and key U.S.-Africa business stakeholders with the opportunity to stay abreast on the latest developments in business and investment across Africa.

Since its inception in 1997, CCA’s Summit has been considered as the essential conference on U.S.-Africa business and investment. With over 1300 attendees, the 2019 Summit witnessed a remarkable level of engagement, including participation by heads of state, vice presidents, and prime ministers from 9 African countries, ministers from more than 25 countries, more than 100 senior U.S. government officials and an exceptional line-up of global business leaders from a variety of sectors.

ABOUT THE U.S.-AFRICA BUSINESS SUMMIT
The U.S.-Africa Business Summit serves as a platform for African and U.S. private sector and government representatives to engage on key sectors including agribusiness, energy, health, infrastructure, trade facilitation, ICT and finance. Summit participants can network with key private sector and government officials, explore new business opportunities, meet potential business partners, and forge new business deals. The Summit also serves as an opportunity to shape and advocate for effective U.S.-Africa trade and investment policies.

Over the last 22 years, CCA has hosted more than 50 U.S. and African Heads of State and over 15,000 participants at its Summits. Visit the U.S.-Africa Business Summit Website Here

ABOUT CORPORATE COUNCIL ON AFRICA (CCA)
Corporate Council on Africa is the leading U.S. business association focused solely on connecting business interests between the United States and Africa. CCA uniquely represents a broad cross section of member companies from small and medium size businesses to multinationals as well as U.S. and African firms. Learn more at www.corporatecouncilonafrica.com
 
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Infinet Wireless negotiates expansion in African market at the Russia-Africa Economic Forum and Summit 2019
November 5, 2019 | 0 Comments

Multiple meetings with heads of state and business leaders were held at the event

Sochi, Russia, 04 November 2019 – Infinet Wireless, a global leader in the design and manufacture of fixed broadband wireless systems, has announced it has made a number of new landmark implementation agreements across the African market, including a project with Camtel, the leading telecom operator in Cameroon, to modernize and expand broadband infrastructure across the country.

At the Russia-Africa Economic Forum and Summit, Infinet CEO Dmitry Okorokov and Technical Support Engineer Ludovic Takam, of Cameroon, held a number of successful meetings with the heads of companies from Egypt, Algeria, Bolivia, Nigeria, South Africa, Congo, Ethiopia and Cameroon.

Following this, Camtel (Cameroon telecommunications), has agreed to create a pilot zone to modernize and expand the existing Camtel telecommunications infrastructure using Infinet equipment. A meeting with the Minister of Information Communication Technology and Courier Services of the Republic of Zimbabwe also resulted in an agreement on the implementation of joint projects.

“Infinet has been represented in the African market for a long time, so we are therefore familiar with the specifics of doing business with our specialized clients: telecom operators and Internet providers,” said Okorokov. “At the forum in Sochi we demonstrated our solutions to a completely new audience, which includes companies from various sectors of the African region’s economy.

“Participation in this event is very important for us, African countries are of particular interest to Infinet because the continent is one of the most promising and fast-growing markets. Key areas for us are security and building a modern telecommunications infrastructure. Infinet is ready to offer its competencies in this area through a range of tried and tested products suitable for the African environment,” Okorokov added.

The large-scale event, which took place on the 23-24 of October 2019 in Sochi, Russia, brought together approximately ten thousand delegates from 54 countries of the African continent, including heads of states, as well as representatives from Russian and international businesses.
Infinet’s booth was attended by crowds of exhibition visitors and presentations were conducted in Russian, English and French.

Infinet will exhibit at Stand C5D at AfricaCom 2019, Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town, South Africa from Tuesday 12 to Thursday 14 November.

Infinet Wireless is in a unique position, being one of the largest privately owned Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) development and manufacturing companies in the world. Since its foundation, Infinet has maintained organic growth through innovation and the ability to deliver complete customer satisfaction throughout. Listening to its customers for more than 26 years, coupled with its innovative approach in research and development, have resulted in a range of advanced fixed wireless connectivity solutions that are a perfect fit for many requirements, making Infinet Wireless the natural choice for global communication corporations and governments, all of whom require uncompromised connectivity.  With over 500,000 deployments from the plains of Siberia to the deserts of the Sahara, Infinet Wireless is active in market segments that deliver Broadband Wireless Access to service providers of all types, government entities, transportation sector (including mobile and nomadic functionality) and Oil & Gas

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African Xenophobia: A Diagnosis
November 5, 2019 | 0 Comments

James N. Kariuki*

South Africa did not invent xenophobia in Africa. On large scale, that dubious tradition was initiated by Nigeria in 1983 when the Giant of Africa expelled two million ‘undocumented immigrants’ mostly from Ghana.

That Afro-phobic expulsion was extra-poignant to the extent that it was official, undertaken in the name of the state. On January 17th1983 President Shehu Shagari’s made a public announcement that all ‘foreigners without proper papers’ had to depart from Nigeria forthwith or face arrests. A quarter of a Century later, Nigerian nationals in faraway South Africa would   complain bitterly of being ‘targeted’ in brutal xenophobic attacks. Had the Nigerian chickens come home to roost?

Nigeria’s Economic Cycles

Nigeria’s xenophobia was prompted by swings between economic success and economic stress. In 1956, the country struck oil. By the 1970s it blossomed to its golden decade, skyrocketed by high worldwide oil prices. Almost suddenly, Nigeria became destination of choice for citizens of its poor neighbors.

Unfortunately for Nigeria its economy faltered in the early 1980s. A combination of declining demand for oil due to a recession in the West, and increased oil production elsewhere, undercut oil prices substantially. Due to the collapsing oil market, the source of Nigeria’s economic bonanza, its rise to economic prosperity halted.

A faltering economy, a sizeable non-Nigerian presence in the country and the approaching 1983 general elections, which were laced with anti-immigrant undertones, converged upon Shagari, pushing him to the infamous executive order of 1983.  In contrast, South Africa’s xenophobia invariably arises ex-officially and from the indigenous masses. 

Remarkably, harsh as it was, the Nigeria’s exodus was largely free of hateful and incriminating xenophobic criminality. Yet, the event caused horrendous suffering. To this day, the bag that the ‘illegal immigrants’ used to haul away their belongings, the ‘Ghana Must Go’, is permanently etched in the mind as an indelible reminder of human tragedies in Africa.

South African Xenophobia

The demise of apartheid was largely derived from the black armed struggle in the quest to make the country ungovernable. But the 1976 Soweto Uprising also inserted its unique input. The unarmed children of Soweto stared at the apartheid monster in the eye with an unequivocal old American-inspired challenge: ‘give me liberty or give me death.’ After that, obliterating the demonic apartheid became an all black people’s obsession. 

Even in prison, Nelson Mandela was the anti-apartheid’s uncontested torch-bearer; its ultimate anti-thesis. Yet there were reticent critics who were convinced that, in negotiating apartheid away, Mandela underestimated the primacy of ‘economic kingdom’, especially regarding land. The diehard among these was his wife, Winnie Mandela, whose views were willingly bequeathed to the political firebrand, Julius Malema and his Economic Freedom Party. In name and inference, Malema’s party was remarkably reminiscent of Oginga Odinga’s famous book, Not Yet Uhuru. 

Mandela is said to have been a widely-read prisoner and was probably captured by Kwame Nkrumah’s famous dictum, “Seek ye the political kingdom first and the rest shall be added unto you.” In negotiating apartheid’s demise he overestimated the primacy of political kingdom at the expense of economic kingdom, allowing the latter to remain safely in white man’s domain. Was Mandela mindset compromised by his inner-most commitment to racial reconciliation and peace for the motherland and honoring Nkrumah’s popular anti-colonial slogan of political primacy?

Whatever the case, Mandela did not foresee that by 2019, the World Bank would rank South Africa as the most unequal society in the world. Yet, other than shallow trappings of power, political kingdom had delivered little for his fellow blacks. Professor Ali Mazrui would later lament that in the 1994 settlement, “…the white man said to the Blacks ‘You can take the crown and we’ll keep the jewels.’” Did Mandela’s economic concession become democratic South Africa’s original sin?

Shattered and battered, victims of xenophobic attacks in South Africa return home in Ngeria.Photo credit CNN
Shattered and battered, victims of xenophobic attacks in South Africa return home in Ngeria.Photo credit CNN

Meeting Basic Needs

Lack of jobs and services for the poor has consistently bedeviled post-apartheid South Africa since xenophobic violence started to erupt in 2008. And, to emphasize the point, these Afro-phobic attacks have invariably erupted in the poor neighborhoods.  

The perpetrators of the attacks are mostly the so-called ‘born frees’, the post-apartheid generation. They are young and willing to earn honest living, but there are no jobs to be had; South Africa’s youth unemployment rate is at 31 percent.  Yet, the impoverished ‘born frees’ see foreign intruders owning running corner stores in their own neighborhoods.

The tormented ‘locals’ resent the non-South Africans owning retail stores in their neighborhoods. They are seen as neither neighbors nor comrades; they are intruders. They are reachable and vulnerable targets in the path of least resistance. Venomous political inciters take advantage of the situation; the non-South Africans are subjected to indiscriminate attacks and looting. What starts off as domestic protests for jobs and service delivery transform into xenophobic attacks. The ensuing mayhems are officially categorized as criminality; but nobody is prosecuted.

Conclusion Against this background, what binds the Nigerian and South African versions of xenophobia?We need not be flag-waving Marxist ideologues to realize that economic determinism plays a critical role in fuelling xenophobia in Africa.  After all, if you toss a few bones to a bunch of hungry dogs, fights are inevitable.

* *James N. Kariuki is a Kenyan Professor of International Relations (Emeritus).  He comments on public issues in various international publications.He runs the blog Global Africa

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Interswitch Expands Presence in Health-Tech Space Through Acquisition Of e-Clat
November 5, 2019 | 0 Comments

Lagos, Nigeria: October 30 2019:

Interswitch Limited, a leading technology-driven company focused on the digitization of payments in Nigeria and other African countries is pleased to announce the acquisition of e-Clat Healthcare Limited, a Nigeria-based health technology company that aims to improve healthcare delivery in Africa. The deal was completed on September 30, 2019, and it involves Interswitch acquiring a 60% stake in e-Clat through the purchase of shares from current shareholders and subscription to new shares issued by the company.


Founded in 2012, e-Clat Healthcare Limited specializes in assisting healthcare service providers in planning, designing and operating their unique practices through the deployment of its bespoke healthcare technology platform, designed specifically for the healthcare environment in Africa. e-Clat’s healthcare technology platform, consists of a core e-Clinic software (including electronic billing, immunization, ante-natal and care pathway functions), as well as a variety of additional specialist modules. Prior to the acquisition, e-Clat’s platform had become a leading Electronic Health Record (EHR) platform used in over 250 public and private healthcare facilities in Nigeria. 


Nigeria’s healthcare system currently lacks adequate funding and a national framework, leading to operational inefficiencies. Interswitch’s strategic investment in healthcare technology aims to address these challenges by modernising the healthcare sector in Nigeria and eventually in Africa through its innovative products and services. The combined product offerings of Interswitch and e-Clat are expected to, amongst other things, enable operators in the healthcare sector develop new capabilities, improve the efficiency of their core operations and facilitate seamless payments.

Due to the growing adoption of Interswitch’s healthcare product offerings by the operators, Interswitch’s healthcare technology platform aims to be one of the top industry platforms in Nigeria, which can be utilised as a major data source by healthcare policy makers for planning and efficiency improvements in the sector.  As a result of this acquisition, the combined healthcare technology solutions are expected to position the Interswitch group as a health-tech solution and payments provider of choice to the healthcare industry going forward.


Commenting on the transaction, Mitchell Elegbe, Founder and Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Interswitch, said:

“We are a technology company that is innovating to deliver value across sectors that are critical to Africa’s social and economic development, our acquisition of e-Clat demonstrates strong progress along this strategy and alignment with our corporate vision.

Healthcare is rapidly evolving towards new, integrated and scalable models of care delivery that put the consumer at the centre. At the core of Interswitch’s expansion into healthcare is our ambition to provide customers with greater access to healthcare across different interaction points beyond hospitals, such as at pharmacies and primary health care facilities, providing much needed services to patients across Nigeria and, in the future, in Africa. It also represents an opportunity to introduce a number of Interswitch’s products, such as our Verve Health cards, as well as our payment collection & disbursement solutions (Quickteller for business), that will drive much needed efficiency in payments for health services across the value chain”.


Also remarking on the acquisition, Dr. Wallace Ogufere co-founder/CEO of e-Clat Healthcare Limited stated “The growing adoption of value-based care, combined with the increasing level of usage of patient portals across the industry, has made it critical to take a new approach to patient engagement solution design in Nigeria. We expect to tightly integrate the e-Clat capabilities into the Interswitch platform, adding functionality that would enable providers to reach their entire patient populations by leveraging existing patient contact information”.


This new acquisition by Interswitch represents the latest of several strategic investments executed by the company to enhance Interswitch’s product and service offering and expand its reach into new markets as the payments technology sector in Africa expands rapidly. In 2016, Interswitch acquired the mobile financial services player, VANSO. Interswitch had earlier closed the acquisition of Paynet Group in February 2015 in a deal that resulted in the creation of a combined network of over 100 financial institutions, deepening Interswitch’s footprint in East Africa. Interswitch intends to continue with its expansion strategy whilst refining its offering, creating innovative payments solutions that are tailored to the demands of the African market. The acquisition of e-Clat Healthcare Limited is expected to further enhance Interswitch’s capability to provide comprehensive solutions that involve making payments a seamless part of everyday life across critical social sectors in Africa.

Further information:
Edelman Public Relations
Charles Harrison / Olivia Adebo +44 (0)203 047 2568 Interswitch@edelman.com

Mediacraft Associates
Martha Okpeke
+234 (0) 803 356 3795 isw.mediacraft@mediacraft.ng

Vaerdi Investor Relations

Oluyemisi Lanre-Phillips

+234 909 888 2196

Interswitch Group
Tomi Ogunlesi
Group Marketing & Corporate Communications gmcc@interswitchgroup.com
+234 1 6283888 Ext 1253


Interswitch is a leading technology-driven company focused on the digitisation of payments in Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Interswitch also provides technology integration, advisory services, payment infrastructure and transaction processing across multiple channels to organisations across various sectors, including but not limited to: aviation, government, health, education, banking, retail, telecommunications, fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) and small medium enterprises (SMEs).


Interswitch has demonstrated consistent, strong and profitable growth since the business was founded in 2001 and is currently present in 4 countries across the continent. Since its inception, Interswitch has grown to be a leading player with critical mass in Nigeria and connects all commercial banks in Nigeria, over 100 financial institutions, 180,000 active merchants, six international payment schemes and its domestic payment scheme, Verve, to its payments network (as at March 2019). This strong growth has further accelerated Interswitch’s expansion strategies in Africa. Please visit www.interswitchgroup.com for more information.


eClat healthcare provides a turn-key solution for healthcare delivery. It’s helping to
transform the quality of healthcare by providing modern, essential resource tools to care providers, increasing their efficiency, saving costs, empowering stakeholders and leading to improved patient outcome.

Its flagship product eClinic is used in more than 250 primary care centres in Oyo, Delta and Edo states and general hospitals in Ondo, Kaduna, Kano and Yobe states. It is also used in several private hospitals in Nigeria including Eko Hospital, First Cardiology Consultants and Solid Rock Hospital. Further information about eClat healthcare including a full client list can be found at http://eclathealthcare.com/.


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Zimbabwean wildlife justice organisation to fundraise for animals affected by climate change
November 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

A non-profit environmental law climate and wildlife justice organisation based in Harare and Bulawayo, Advocates4Earth is to embark on a 600km wildlife solidarity march to raise awareness and funds to feed wildlife affected by drought, climate change and human encroachment, especially at Hwange national park in Zimbabwe.

  According to Lenin Tinashe Chisaira, Founder and Director of Advocates4Earth, the march was expected to have commenced on the 4 of November 2019, but was postponed following heat wave threats experienced in Zimbabwe. Also the organisation was in discussion with the police for clearance. He said that the organisation would advise on the new date the march would commence.

 At the time of writing, it is reported that at least 25 people had signed up for the march. The march will commence from Harare to Hwange.

  Advocates4Earth has been campaigning for animal rights and against the capture and trade of live wildlife trade. The organisation uses local and global laws and policies to back their arguments as a reputable legal, evidence and research-based organisation.

  “We have been involved in campaigns concerning the welfare, necessity of trade in live Zimbabwe and African wildlife in the past several months and that is a campaign that is on-going around Africa and the world,” Chisaira said.

  Chisaira said that, as a wildlife and climate justice organisation,Advocates4Earth has noted that Zimbabwe and most of Southern Africa are facing drought, heatwaves, diseases and other problems associated with climate change.

 “Wildlife has not been spared, thereby leading us to place more emphasis in our campaigns for wildlife and environmental justice,” Chisaira.

  According to Chisaira, the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority (ZIMPARKS) reported that at least 55 elephants had died at Hwange national park in the past two months due to drought.

 It has also been added that there are no water bodies at Hwange national park resulting in the deaths of animals. It is also added that coal mining activities at Hwange has driven away some animals. Also human wildlife conflict at Hwange national park has been exarcebated due to climate change as animals and people compete for scarce water resources and food.

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