Japan and African Development Bank announce $3.5 billion in support of Africa’s private sector development
August 30, 2019 | 0 Comments
Electricity, transport, and health identified as key priorities
Yokohama, Japan, 30 August 2019 – Japan and the African Development Bank on Friday announced a joint target of $3.5 billion under the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance for Africa initiative (EPSA4), during the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7).
Both Japan and the Bank have set a target of $1.75 billion each, from 2020-2022, to enhance the fourth phase of EPSA to spur private-sector-led sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa.
“Building on the successful achievements so far, Japan and the Bank have decided to upgrade EPSA in both quality and quantity to meet financial needs for infrastructure development as well as for the private sector development in Africa,” Japan’s State Minister of Finance,” Mr. Keisuke Suzuki said at the EPSA4 launch ceremony held in Yokohama and attended by government officials and a high-level delegation from the Bank as well as representations of the business community.
“We will cooperate by integrating our funds, expertise, and experiences, and I wish the win-win relationship between Japan and Africa will deepen further,” Mr. Suzuki noted.
Electricity, transportation, and health will be key priorities under EPSA4. Projects and programs for the 3 key priorities will be formulated and implemented in line with the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment and G20 Shared Understanding on the Importance of UHC Financing in Developing Countries. African countries will also be provided with support to improve and create conducive business environments to attract private investments.
“Today marks another day to celebrate the strong and impactful partnership between Japan and the African Development Bank. The African Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are long-term partners for promoting the development of Africa. EPSA helps to deliver much needed support to the private sector,” Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development, said during his address.
During EPSA1 (2005-2011), Japan set the target of providing $ 1 billion in loans and $ 2 billion under the second phase (2012-2016). The ongoing EPSA3 (2017-2019), Japan and the African Development Bank are cooperating closely to provide the targeted joint amount of $ 3 billion.
As of today, the Bank and JICA under ACFA have co-financed 25 projects to improve key transportation and electricity transmission networks. These include the Construction of Three Intersections in Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire and Power Sector Reform Program in Angola.
Under EPSA 4, JICA and the African Development Bank will provide co-financing of $3.5 billion. This is a significant increase over EPSA-3, which was executed at $3 billion – a 17% increase.
“Increase is what we need to meet the needs of Africa. Increase is what we need to raise the level of our ambitions for Africa. Increase is what we need to build upon the solid foundations of co-financing over the last 13 years, and deliver even greater and more impactful development results in the years ahead. Now, let us arise with renewed vigor. Let us deliver even greater impacts for African countries through EPSA 4,” Dr. Adesina concluded.
EPSA has three components:
- The Accelerated Co-Financing Facility for Africa (ACFA): a sovereign co-financing arrangement between the African Development Bank and JICA, under which JICA lends on concessional terms to borrowers under this scheme.
- The Non-Sovereign Loan (NSL): a line of credit from JICA to the Bank on concessional terms to help fund private sector operations. Collaboration between JICA’s Private Sector Investment Finance (PSIF) scheme and AfDB’s Non-Sovereign Loan will be promoted.
- The Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA): a Multi-Donor Trust Fund for technical assistance and capacity building for the Bank’s public and private sector clients. The Government of Japan is the major contributor to the Fund, managed by the Bank.
TICAD7: Invest in Africa’s food markets to win the war on hunger and boost nutrition – African Development Bank
August 30, 2019 | 0 Comments
“There is a business case for governments to invest in grey matter – Jennifer Blanke
Yokohama, Japan 30 August 2019 – By investing in Africa’s food markets, governments can win the fight against stunting and improve nutrition across the continent. And with support from institutions like the African Development Bank, the results would be a win-win situation for all.
“What a huge potential the food markets represent. “Feed Africa,” which is one of the Bank’s High 5 priorities, has nutrition at its core,” Bank Vice President for Agriculture, Human, and Social Development, Jennifer Blanke said Thursday at a panel discussion on day two of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development.
The session, organised by the Global Panel on Agriculture & Food Systems for Nutrition (GPAN) & the African Leaders for Nutrition (ALN), was titled Ending Malnutrition in Africa: Towards Nutrition for Growth 2020 & Beyond.
A senior management team from the Bank led by its President Akinwumi Adesina is attending this year’s TICAD in the Japanese city of Yokohama, under the theme: Advancing Africa’s development through technology, innovation and people. The conference is focused on Africa’s economic transformation and the business environment through partnerships and increased cooperation with Japan.
Despite holding 60 percent of the world’s arable land, African countries import nearly $50 billion net of food annually. Yet the population bulge and a rising middle class represent a massive opportunity in terms of agribusiness and the consumer market.
“There is a business case for governments to invest in grey matter, or brainpower, and this requires much more nutritious diets” Blanke said.
With most people in Africa getting their food from local markets, business opportunities for healthy foods abound everywhere in the food system and potential investors were urged to engage and explore.
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in particular play a predominant role in the food supply chains in Africa, but their growth has been slow. “The biggest constraint to their scaling up is lack of access to finance,” Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) said.
Other side events such as a session on Investing in Human Capital Development and one on Rural Transformation and Sustainable Agriculture in the Digital Age, jointly organized by the Bank and the World Food Programme, spoke to policy makers about the importance of the private sector and an enabling environment in fighting malnutrition.
Women and Girls need to be at the table
On Wednesday, a discussion on empowering women and girls highlighted how that directly benefits Africa’s development agenda.
Technology, access to finance, education and digital technology can help women leapfrog over many hurdles.
“It is essential that women are empowered to become a vehicle for transforming society,”
Ms Toshiko Abe, of Japan’s ministry of finance said.
Blanke said women in agriculture were an overlooked stakeholder group. In many parts of Africa most farmers are women.
The Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa initiative known as AFAWA, seeks to support women entrepreneurs in Africa. Through AFAWA the African Development Bank aims to raise at least $300 million for a guarantee facility that will spur lending of ten times at much (around $3 billion) to African women entrepreneurs.
“We can leverage more for women,” Blanke said
Elumelu Challenges Japan – “Partner with us in Empowering African Entrepreneurs”
August 30, 2019 | 0 Comments
Mr. Elumelu’s statement captured his vision of a relationship between Japan and Africa, which prioritises economic and shared prosperity
TOKYO, Japan, August 30, 2019/ — Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator Praises Tony Elumelu’s Private-Sector Led Approach to African Development; President of South Africa, H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa: “If you want really good returns, as Tony Elumelu said, come to Africa”; Elumelu Champions Job Creation in Africa at Breakfast Meeting with President of Rwanda and UNICEF Executive Director.
In an impassioned keynote speech, delivered before global leaders, at the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama, Japan, African investor and philanthropist Tony O. Elumelu CON, challenged the Government of Japan to invest 5% of its $50billion commitment to Africa, in empowering African entrepreneurs.
“At TICAD 2016 in Kenya, Japan pledged $30billion for Africa. This year you have generously increased this to $50 billion. If we invested just 5% in Africa’s new generation of entrepreneurs, following my Foundation’s robust, proven model of getting capital directly to those best placed to catalyse growth and create real impact, we could touch 500,000 lives, across the 54 African countries, broadening markets, facilitating job creation, improving income per capita, and laying the key foundation for political and economic stability”, said Mr. Elumelu.
Mr. Elumelu’s statement captured his vision of a relationship between Japan and Africa, which prioritises economic and shared prosperity. He outlined the three key pillars of a bold and transformative structure: investment in infrastructure, partnership with the African private sector, and investment in Africa’s youth.
He urged Japan to learn from the example of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (https://www.TonyElumeluFoundation.org/), which champions empowering African entrepreneurs, as the most sustainable means of accelerating the development of Africa. The Tony Elumelu Foundation, in just five years has assisted over 7,500 African entrepreneurs across every African country, with seed capital, capacity building, mentorship and networking opportunities through its $100 million Entrepreneurship Programme.
Elumelu’s advice carried the weight of his track record of business success, founding Africa’s global bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), which has grown its presence to 20 African countries, as well as in the United Kingdom, France, and the USA; and Heirs Holdings, Africa’s private investment company which actively invests in key sectors of Africa’s economy and controls millions of dollars in its investment portfolio. Together, they employ over 30,000 people and transform the communities they operate in.
“Africa is one of the world’s viable destinations for investment. Our huge population, of nearly 1.3 billion people, creates one of the most attractive markets anywhere in the world. The world is paying close attention to Africa, but is Japan at the centre of this conversation or is it on the sidelines?” he queried.
Mr. Elumelu’s philosophy has become increasingly popular on the African continent, where he is acknowledged as the pioneer of a private-sector-led approach to accelerating development. He repeated the message at the Generation Unlimited breakfast meeting with H.E. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, with its focus on job creation in Africa, where he emphasised the role the African youth plays in this narrative.
President of South Africa and Co-Chair, TICAD, H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa corroborated Mr. Elumelu’s stance. He said: “If you want really good returns, as Mr. Tony Elumelu said, come to Africa. Africa presents risk-adjusted returns and is a market in which investments are flowing at a hundred billion dollars – that is the new profile of Africa that is being presented to the world.”
Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator praised Tony Elumelu’s Private-Sector led approach to development in Africa. He said: “I want to refer to my dear friend and colleague Tony Elumelu because he alluded to the vital role that business can also play in investing in the future of the youth. These are the kinds of partnerships that will drive business and development agenda to very different heights in the future”.
Speaking on the potential of the African continent, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe of Japan said: “In Africa, some countries have joined top nations in the ranking on the ease of doing business. The scale of the market continues to expand. We can envision a day when the entire continent of Africa becomes an enormous economic zone.”
Organised by the Japanese Government, TICAD is a three-yearly forum for advancing Africa’s development through people, technology, and innovation, bringing together government, business leaders, companies and other stakeholders. The event hosted Presidents and private sector leaders including Prime Minister Shinzō Abe of Japan; H.E. Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria; H.E. Mr. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, President of Egypt and Chair of the African Union (AU); H.E. Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa; and H.E. Mr. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and a host of other African Presidents.
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Secretary General Barkindo Writes Inspiring Foreword On African Energy Book By Nj Ayuk
August 29, 2019 | 0 Comments
OPEC is the subject of Chapter 3 in Ayuk’s book, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy, which will be published this October
|JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, August 29, 2019/ — As OPEC intensifies its engagement with Africa, Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo said there’s no better time for the analysis of OPEC membership benefits put forth in the newest book by leading African energy attorney, NJ Ayuk.
“It is most fitting at this time that Mr. Ayuk describes how important it is for Africa’s producing nations to be part of the discussion on global strategies that will affect their fortunes,” Barkindo, who wrote the book’s foreword, said. “In today’s oil and gas industry, coalitions are essential and Mr. Ayuk proves that point by discussing the advantages that our newest members from Africa have gained by joining OPEC.”
OPEC is the subject of Chapter 3 in Ayuk’s book, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy, which will be published this October.
Half of OPEC’s 14 members are on the African continent. Libya joined in the 1962, followed by Algeria in 1969. Nigeria came on board in 1971; and Angola followed in 2007. More recently, the organization welcomed Gabon, which rejoined in 2016, and Equatorial Guinea and Republic of Congo, which became members in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
With 130 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves, Africa is a frontier filled with promise, Barkindo said—and Ayuk does a masterful job of showing how both OPEC and the continent benefit from increased African participation in the organization.
“Mr. Ayuk’s book shows how the oil and gas industry can unleash economic development and prosperity across the continent but cautions that producing nations will achieve more in collaboration than individually,” said Barkindo. Adding that, “In particular, he explains how the Declaration of Cooperation has helped stabilize the market, providing economic opportunities that were previously unavailable.”
Above all, in his chapter about OPEC, called A Place at the Table: Africa and OPEC, Ayuk presents a balanced investigation of how OPEC needs Africa, and vice versa. He doesn’t gloss over the fact that the Middle East’s once prolific energy basins are declining—making the prospect of big discoveries in Africa one way for OPEC to wrest control over more of the world’s oil supply. At the same time, he points out the benefits that African nations can accrue as OPEC members, including access to information, financial aid, and the chance to have a voice in setting global policy.
Further, the OPEC chapter discusses the possible impact of NOPEC – the pending American legislation that seeks to protect domestic interests from what it perceives as price manipulation.
“There is no stone left unturned in Mr. Ayuk’s analysis of Africa and OPEC,” Barkindo said.
NJ Ayuk is founder and CEO of Pan-African corporate law conglomerate, Centurion Law Group; Founder and Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber; and co-author of Big Barrels: African Oil and Gas and the Quest for Prosperity (2017).
He is recognized as one of the foremost figures in African business today.
Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals is now available for pre-order on Amazon. CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY NOW! [https://amzn.to/2NxkNLP]
Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7): Japan, South Africa and the African Development Bank unveil priorities to accelerate Africa’s technology transformation journey
August 29, 2019 | 0 Comments
“Let’s be visionary. Let’s be bold. Let’s support concrete initiatives to boost science, technology, and innovation in Africa,”- Akinwumi Adesina
|YOKOHAMA, Japan, August 29, 2019/ — Science, technology and innovation as well as human resource development are critical in Africa, a continent, which has the biggest potential on earth, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at the Science and Technology in Society (STS) forum held in Yokohama, on Wednesday, as part of TICAD 7.
The Science and Technology in Society forum (STS forum) is one of the largest and most influential nonprofit organizations established in 2004 by Mr. Koji Omi, a former Japanese Minister of Finance. The Forum aims at strengthening cooperation between Japan and Africa in science, technology, and innovation.
In his address, Prime Minister Abe also noted the important role that science and technology played in the history of Japan’s modernization.
In attendance were Mr. Yasutoshi Nishimura, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank Group (http://AfDB.org), Koji Omi, founder and chairman of the STS forum, and Asako Omi, member of Japan’s House of Representatives.
“South Africa endorses the focus on science, technology, and innovation as a priority theme for TICAD 7, given its great potential to accelerate African development through mutually beneficial partnerships with Japan, President Ramaphosa told participants.
“The STS forum has successfully changed global discourse on the role of science in development, we seek the forum’s support in changing the discourse on the role of Africa in science and innovation,” Ramaphosa concluded.
Adesina shared insights on the Bank’s work and support to train and develop the next generation of scientists. Since 2005 the Bank has provided financing of over $2 billion to support education, resulting in educational opportunities for 6 million students.
“We are proud of our investment in supporting the establishment of the Regional Center of Excellence in Kigali in conjunction with the Carnegie Mellon University, which is providing world-class Masters degree training in ICT. I am delighted that all the students that have graduated from the university have 100% employment, including setting up their businesses,” Adesina said in his keynote remarks.
The Bank has supported the establishment of ICT digital parks in Senegal and Cape Verde and is working with the Rockefeller Foundation, Microsoft, Facebook, LinkedIn and Safaricom to establish coding centers in several countries.
Adesina offered some key areas to prioritize in science and technology, including the establishment of regional centers of excellence; the urgent need to increase the share of GDP devoted to science and technology and close the gender gap in higher education.
“Let’s be visionary. Let’s be bold. Let’s support concrete initiatives to boost science, technology, and innovation in Africa,” he concluded.
Ministers for Science and Technology, Ambassadors, executives of international and national Agencies and business in Africa and Japan attended the Forum.
TICAD 7 runs from 28-30 August in Yokohama, Japan.
Africa’s investment potential
August 29, 2019 | 0 Comments
With a population of over a billion people, rapid urbanisation and accelerating economic growth, the African market presents a valuable proposition for Japanese investors. Key to maximising the benefits of this investment, is being able to identify the correct opportunities. Standard Bank has been at the forefront of major developments across Africa. Among the key growth sectors that have been identified is oil and gas.
A string of successful exploration projects over the last decade has seen the number of African countries with proven oil and gas reserves rise to 28, thanks to new discoveries in Ghana, Niger, Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya, Senegal, Mauritania and South Africa. The investment required to bring these countries onstream will add further impetus to Africa’s oil consumption, which at 4 million barrels a day already significantly exceeds the continent’s 2.1 million barrels of daily refinery output. Africa’s oil and gas sector is once again attracting investment from exploration companies and refiners following a prolonged break sparked by a slump in oil prices.
Standard Bank is one of the largest oil and gas lenders in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the last three years we have been engaged in several million-dollar deals in Ghana, Nigeria and Mozambique. We have acted as mandated lead arranger, bookrunner, facility and security agent, and onshore bank for several international players in the industry.
We been involved in Mozambique’s gas sector since the early 2000s. The game-changing nature of Mozambique’s offshore gas opportunities offers major opportunities for investors. Mozambique’s resources are huge, with a 150 Trillion Cubic Feet of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) reserves, equivalent to 24 billion barrels of oil. The process of transforming those resources into individual LNG and Domgas requires an immense amount of investment. Our general assumption is that around USD128 billion needs to be spent between 2017-2025.
The Coral Floating LNG project is currently under construction and is envisaged to produce its first gas in July 2022. Standard Bank was the only African bank at Financial Close. The FID for Area 1 was approved on 18 June and has kickstarted development in Mozambique. With over 5 000 workers on site, Area 1 is responsible for constructing support facilities to be shared with Area 4, such as the Materials Offloading Facility and LNG Marine Terminal, as well a resettlement camp, airstrip and highway amongst other developments.
An independent macroeconomic study of Area 4’s Rovuma liquified natural gas project indicated that it is expected to attract between USD 27 and 32 billion in investment. This will drive Mozambique to become the world’s fourth largest producer of LNG, and add between USD 15 to 18 billion to the country’s GDP. The Final Investment Decision for Area 4 is expected in October this year. Expressed another way, once this is approved, the Afungi Site in Northern Mozambique will become the world’s most expensive piece of real estate, attracting USD 55 billion in investment.
The process of developing LNG plants will automatically provide opportunities for multiple industrial, tertiary as well as service-based companies, some of which may need to establish a local presence to serve these plants.
“Beyond the hard infrastructure, entire new urban centres and the populations that they will house, feed, clothe, educate, entertain and provide with services represent a huge opportunity for a highly diversified industrial and services sector,” says Rob Cleasby, Global Head, Financial Institutions Group, Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking.
Another opportunity is developing in East Africa, whose highly diversified economies are growing northwards of 6% in a highly integrated regional market, that is attracting significant levels of Foreign Direct Investment (“FDI”). The development of the Uganda-Tanzania pipeline has further spurred FDI, with an expected capex spend of US$25 billion over the next 5-7 years. Upstream, midstream and downstream projects are expected to propel the region’s economy from its current US$175 billion to US$400 billion by 2028.
Opportunities are also opening up for private infrastructure investors in public-private partnerships (PPPs). Unlike government-to-government projects which often exclude smaller and local players, PPPs generally focus on commercially viable projects with strong, cash-generative, business cases. These projects are also highly reliant on domestic and other foreign business involvement, support, supply, operation and outsourcing.
“Businesses across nearly all sectors have the opportunity to partner with well-capitalised East African firms needing increasingly advanced technical skills and knowledge to grow,” says Carl Henriksen, Head: Japanese Corporates, Client Coverage at Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking.
As Africa’s largest bank, Standard Bank, is ideally placed to deliver on its purpose of “Africa is our home. We drive her growth.” With a local presence in 20 markets across the continent, and a history spanning over 156 years, we are the ideal partner to assist Japanese clients negotiate the intricacies of doing business in Africa.
About Standard Bank Group
Standard Bank Group is the largest African bank by assets with a unique footprint across 20 African countries. Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, we are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, with share code SBK, and the Namibian Stock Exchange, share code SNB.
Standard Bank has a 156-year history in South Africa and started building a franchise outside southern Africa in the early 1990s.
Our strategic position, which enables us to connect Africa to other select emerging markets as well as pools of capital in developed markets, and our balanced portfolio of businesses, provide significant opportunities for growth.
The group has over 53 000 employees, approximately 1 200 branches and over 9 000 ATMs on the African continent, which enable it to deliver a complete range of services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking and wealth management.
Headline earnings for 2018 were R27.9 billion (about USD2.1 billion) and total assets were R2.1 trillion (about USD148 billion). Standard Bank’s market capitalisation at 31 December 2018 was R289 billion (USD20 billion).
The group’s largest shareholder is the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest bank, with a 20,1% shareholding. In addition, Standard Bank Group and ICBC share a strategic partnership that facilitates trade and deal flow between Africa, China and select emerging markets.
For further information, go to http://www.standardbank.com
Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7): PM Shinzo Abe says Japan will help double Africa’s rice production by 2030
August 29, 2019 | 0 Comments
|“We must end hunger in Africa. Yes, we must! Hunger diminishes our humanity” – Adesina urges|
YOKOHAMA, Japan, August 28, 2019/ — The Sasakawa Association will work with the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), to help double rice production to 50 million tonnes by 2030. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the announcement at the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) symposium held on Wednesday during TICAD7.
“Japanese technology can play a key role in innovation which is key to agriculture,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told delegates.
Discussions at the Symposium focused on Africa’s youth bulge, unemployment rates, agricultural innovations and technologies, solutions and job creation opportunities in the agricultural sector.
“We’ve always believed in the agriculture potential of Africa,” said Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon foundation. “We are paying more attention to income-generating activities. We want to help shift the mindset of small-holder farmers from producing-to-eat to producing-to-sell. We are hopeful that Africa’s youth can take agriculture to a new era, and that they can see a career path in agriculture,” he added.
In a keynote address, African Development Bank Group President, Akinwumi Adesina, called for urgent and concerted efforts to “end hunger”.
“In spite of all the gains made in agriculture. We are not winning the global war against hunger. We must all arise collectively and end global hunger. To do that, we must end hunger in Africa. Hunger diminishes our humanity,” Adesina urged.
According to the FAO’s 2019 State of Food and Security, the number of hungry people globally stands at a disconcerting 821 million. Africa alone accounts for 31% of the global number of hungry people – 251 million people.
Commending the Sasakawa Association’s late founder, Ryochi Sasakawa, for his tireless efforts in tackling hunger, Adesina said: “Passion, dedication and commitment to the development of agriculture and the pursuit of food security in our world has been the hallmark of your work.”
Between 1986 and 2003, Sasakawa Association in Africa, operated in a total of 15 countries including – Ghana, Sudan, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, Mali, Guinea, Zambia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Mozambique.
Harnessing the potential of new technologies
Adesina expressed confidence in the ability of technology to deliver substantial benefits in agriculture. To accelerate Africa’s agricultural growth, the African Development Bank has launched the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) to deliver new technologies to millions of farmers. ‘TAAT has become a game changer, and is already delivering impressive results, Adesina said.
Working with 30 private seed companies, the TAAT maize compact produced over 27,000 tons of seeds of water efficient maize that was planted by 1.6 million farmers.
Tackling climate change: a top priority
Hiroyuki Takahashi, founder of Pocket Marche, a platform that connects Japanese farmers and producers with consumers, shared insights and lessons learnt from Japan’s experiences, historic cycles of climate disasters and the country’s rebound.
“The power to choose what we eat is the power to stop the climate crisis and bring sustainable happiness to a world with limited resources,” Takahashi said.
It is estimated that Africa will heat up 1.5 times faster than the global average and require $7-15 billion a year for adaptation alone. Limiting the impacts of climate change is expected to become a top priority for Africa.
“Africa has been short changed by climate change. But, it should not be short changed by climate finance,” Adesina said in his concluding remarks.
“Let’s be better asset managers for nature. For while we must eat today, so must future generations coming after us. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that we do not leave empty plates on the table for generations to come,” Adesina concluded.
Five African countries bid to host 2021 ICASA conference
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
Five African countries have submitted bids to the Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA) to host the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) 2021 conference.
The society has revealed that the countries which have submitted their bid for pre-selection to be the host of ICASA 2021 are Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, Uganda and Tunisia.
The pre-selection started from 14 August 2019 ending on 29 August 2019, according to the society.
ICASA is a major bilingual international AIDS conference which takes place in Africa.
This year the 20th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa will take place in Kigali, Rwanda.
It is reported that the conference represents a tremendous opportunity to highlight the diverse nature of the African region’s HIV epidemic and the unique response to it.
It is also added that the conference theme this year “AIDS Free Africa – Innovation, Community, and Political Leadership” engages the whole continent and all stakeholders in the Post-SDG Framework, where sustainability of the response in reaching 90, 90, 90 UNAIDS will not be possible if human rights are not a key priority for a new of leadership in the context of strengthening the application of science-based evidence.
ICASA is a major international AIDS conference which takes place in Africa. Its current biennial hosting alternates between Anglophone and Francophone African countries.
The society says that the convening of the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa represents a tremendous opportunity to highlight the diverse nature of the African region’s HIV epidemic and the unique response to it.
The biennial International AIDS Conference is the premier gathering for professionals working in the field of HIV, as well as leaders, people living with HIV and others committed to ending the epidemic. It is reported to be a tremendous opportunity for researchers from around the world to share the latest scientific advances in the field, learn from one another’s expertise, and develop strategies for advancing all facets of collective efforts to treat and prevent HIV.
The Society for AIDS in Africa was established in Kinshasa in October 1990 during the 5th International Conference on AIDS and Associated Cancers in Africa, a precursor to the International Conference on AIDS
and STIs in Africa (ICASA).
It is reported that the formation of the Society for AIDS in Africa, was facilitated by the (W.H.O) to encourage the African continent to host international conferences on HIV/AIDS, a disease whose scourge has hardest hit the continent.It is reported that the move encourages and empowers Africans to directly address and respond to the challenges posed by the HIV and AIDS pandemic on the continent.
The Society envisions an HIV free Africa with capacity to confront all related consequences and diseases. The Society enables a positive environment for research on HIV and related diseases. The Society for AIDS in AFRICA (SAA) is governed by an Executive Council drawn from South, North, East, West and Central Africa. SAA collaborates with
AFRICASO, SAFAIDS, SWAA, NAP+, and Network of Youth in Africa and enjoy the support of the UN- System, as well as various International organizations, including the International AIDS Society (IAS).
Since its inception, SAA has successfully organized 19 International Conferences on HIV /AIDS and STIs in 14 Africa countries. On 6th December, 2017, in Abidjan, during ICASA 2017 the Sofitel Hotel Ivoire, the Minister of Health of Rwanda in the presence of ICASA 2017 President and the ICASA Director and other Executive Board Members, won the bid to host the 20th International Conference on AIDS and STIs which was conferred to Rwanda. Rwanda’s selection was a result of a rigorous evaluation of 3 countries to host ICASA 2019.
With the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Minister of Health and SAA with the strong support of the Rwandan Government, Dr. Ihab Ahmed, SAA President, officially declared Rwanda as the next host
country of the 20th edition of ICASA, ICASA 2019.
Scores of people drowned off coast of Libya in latest Mediterranean shipwreck
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
A rescue operation, carried by the Libyan Coast Guard and local fisherman, has been underway since this morning and is ongoing
GENEVA, Switzerland, August 28, 2019/ — At least 40 people are estimated to have drowned off the coast of Libya in the latest boat disaster on the Mediterranean. This shocking incident has prompted UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency to renew its urgent call for action to save lives.
Some 60 survivors have been rescued and brought to shore in the coastal town of Al-Khoms, around 100 kilometres east of Tripoli. A rescue operation, carried by the Libyan Coast Guard and local fisherman, has been underway since this morning and is ongoing.
“We must not simply accept these tragedies as inevitable,” said Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean. “Sympathies must now become actions that prevent loss of life at sea, and prevent the loss of hope that motivates people to risk their lives in the first place.”
UNHCR teams are providing the survivors with medical and humanitarian assistance. This latest incident follows just weeks after a shipwreck where some 150 lives are estimated to have been lost in the worst single incident on the Mediterranean this year.
Following today’s tragedy, it is estimated that some 900 people have lost their lives attempting to cross the Mediterranean in 2019.
UNHCR is calling for renewed efforts to reduce the loss of life at sea, including a return of EU State search and rescue vessels. Legal and logistical restrictions on NGO search and rescue operations, both at sea and in the air, should be lifted. Coastal states should facilitate, not impede, efforts by volunteers to reduce deaths at sea.
These measures should go hand in hand with increased evacuation and resettlement places from States to move refugees in Libya out of harm’s way.
This incident comes on the same day UNHCR’s Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, Kelly Clements, visited Libya to assess the country’s rising humanitarian needs. Clements called for increased support to people affected by the ongoing violence, including refugees and migrants, and reiterated UNHCR’s call for an end to the arbitrary detention of people rescued at sea and returned to Libya. Clements pledged UNHCR’s commitment to work with Libyan authorities in setting up alternatives to detention for more than 4,800 refugees and migrants currently being held inside detention centres.
Ayuk Receives Praise for His Chapter on the U.S. and Africa in ‘Billions at Play’
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
|Ayuk has devoted Chapter 17 of Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy to the U.S. and Africa, along with America’s potential to bolster Africa’s journey to a brighter future|
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, August 28, 2019/ — The latest book by leading African energy attorney NJ Ayuk describes the steps he’d like Africans to take to realize the full potential of the continent’s vast petroleum resources. Part of that process, Ayuk writes, should be continued efforts to keep American oil and gas companies in Africa.
Ayuk has devoted Chapter 17 of Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy to the U.S. and Africa, along with America’s potential to bolster Africa’s journey to a brighter future.
“International oil and gas companies are sometimes associated with Africa’s so-called ‘resource curse,’ but in reality, they have a key part to play in helping Africa turn things around,” said H. Daniel Hogan, an industry executive with over 38 years of experience much of it in Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Namibia, Egypt and Ghana.
“They can do that by hiring from the extremely talented African labor market and procuring services from the local sectors and, even more so, by sharing information and technology,” added Hogan, who currently serves as CEO and General Manager of Lukoil International Upstream West, the Russian multinational energy corporation.
“NJ Ayuk is right to call upon African governments to do their share in making Africa appealing to American exploration and production companies.”
Hogan noted that he also appreciates the book’s detailed analysis of the risks and rewards associated with exploration activities in Africa. “I hope American companies will see that Africa still has a lot to offer in terms of economic returns” he said.
NJ Ayuk is founder and CEO of Pan-African corporate law conglomerate, Centurion Law Group (https://CenturionLG.com/); Founder and Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org/); and co-author of Big Barrels: African Oil and Gas and the Quest for Prosperity (2017).
He is recognized as one of the foremost figures in African business today.
Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy will be published by October 2019.
For more information about the book, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @BilliondAtPlay.
“The Kaizen approach is more than a technique…it is an approach to economic development, and it’s been yielding tremendous results” – African Development Bank Vice-president Celestin Monga
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
Yokohama, Japan, 27 August 2019 – Kaizen, the business philosophy which means continuous improvement in Japanese, was at the heart of discussions at a seminar held on Tuesday, and co-organised by JICA and NEPAD on the sidelines of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD7.
The seminar, under the theme: “Africa’s Socio-economic Transformation through innovation,” discussed the role of Kaizen, in improving quality and productivity as well as human resource development on the continent.
Panelists included Assane Mayaki, CEO of AUDA-NEPAD; Bezabih Gebereyes, Commissioner of the Civil Service Commission of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; and JICA Research Institute Director General Toshiyuki Nakamura, of the Industrial Policy and Public Policy Department.
“The Kaizen approach is more than a technique…it is an approach to economic development, and it’s been yielding tremendous results,” African Development Bank’s Chief Economist and Vice President, Economic Governance and Knowledge Management, Dr. Celestin Monga, said.
Monga underlined the need for incremental innovation in each African country, but also called for increased support to small and medium sized enterprises as a starting point to scaled up industrialization.
Africa needs to create production lines because “ even with low-skilled labour we can do tremendous things,” he said.
JICA and NEPAD have been promoting incremental innovation through the Africa Kaizen Initiative, launched in 2017.
“Kaizen is about mindset changes. It will be a formidable tool to enhance productivity of SMES…We have rolled out projects and training programs in 10 countries,” Mayaki said in his welcome remarks.
Acknowledging two Africa Kaizen awardees, also in attendance, Makayi told the packed room “They are the exact product of how Kaizen should be implemented.”
Fikreselassie Ambaw, General Manager of MAA Garment Factory in Ethiopia and Ruben Zebedayo Lyanga, head of Atoz Textile Mills (Tanzania), who won the Africa Kaizen Award in 2019, made presentations on how the business approach radically transformed their enterprises and boosted productivity, employee commitment and creativity.
Sharing Kaizen’s contribution and achievements in Ethiopia, Gebreyes explained how Kaizen and the subsequently transformed mindset have led to increased efficiency in spare parts production lines. “In the sugar cane sector, the Kaizen model has led to a 43% hike in productivity,” he noted.
Answering questions on the capabilities needed for entrepreneurs and firms to promote radical, disruptive innovation in Africa, Toshiyuki Nakamura, Director General of Industrial Development and Public Policy Department said: “the common thread between GAFA, (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon), is the implementation of Kaizen. Incremental and radical innovation, are one of the most important messages for the continent.”
Through JICA, the Kaizen approach has expanded its outreach to 25 countries on the continent; touched 18,096 enterprises and 301 public institutions.
The African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina is leading a high-level delegation to TICAD7 which is being held in Yokohama city from 28-30 August.
The Tokyo International Conference on African Development, led by Japan, started in 1993. African heads of states and key business leaders are scheduled to attend from around the world, providing an opportunity to explore investment opportunities. The event, held every 3 years, has been convened alternately in Japan and Africa since 2016. The last TICAD was held in Nairobi, Kenya.
#VisaFreeAfrica Initiative Announces Winners of 55 Voices for Africa Competition
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
All winners will receive cash prizes, a winning certificate and have the opportunity to have their work published on the #VisaFreeAfrica (VFA) website
KIGALI, Rwanda, August 27, 2019/ — With over 185 entries from over 33 countries, Shareefa Youshna Jewan from Mauritius emerged as the winner of the 55 Voices for Africa (55Voices4Africa) writing competition conducted under the #VisaFreeAfrica (VFA) initiative. She is closely followed by Priscilla Takondwa Semphere and Olewuenyi Chioma Catherine as the first and second runners up.
The 55Voices4Africa competition invited youth from across Africa to share their experiences about challenges faced with intra-continent travel. Entries were welcomed in English, French, Portuguese and Arabic.
Out of the 55 countries in Africa, only 11 currently allow all African nationals to travel freely without the need for a visa. Mobility is a big issue in Africa where there are thousands of untold stories of opportunities lost due to visa regulations. This writing competition aimed to put a face to many young Africans who have experienced this with reference to education, tourism, health and work among many sectors they would thrive in.
In her article Shareefa said “In my opinion, all African countries should mimic Seychelles’ visa liberalization policy and provide free access to all other African nations. Increased mobility will follow. Africa’s population is the youngest amongst all the continents and it is of utmost importance that all Africans enjoy access to better educational opportunities and more competitive labor markets. From a realistic perspective, Africa will not transform into a visa free continent for its citizens overnight. As goes the dictum “old habits die hard”. It may take a while for the ugly bureaucratic norms to fade away. Nevertheless, more than ever, the transformation into a visa free Africa demands to be initiated today.”
All winners will receive cash prizes, a winning certificate and have the opportunity to have their work published on the VFA website as well as other prestigious media.
VFA is a global campaign to facilitate mobility in Africa driven by the Kigali Global Shapers in partnership with National Aviation Services (NAS), the fastest growing aviation services provider in the emerging markets. Kigali Global Shapers, a community whose vision is to create a platform that engages with the youth to inspire innovation and change launched the writing competition to build further awareness on the important of achieving a visa free Africa.
To support our petition visit: www.VisaFreeAfrica.com
To read the winning stories visit: http://www.visafreeafrica.com/Home/WritingCompetition