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Speak up Africa’s second gala convenes the Director General of the World Health Organization, African heads of state and first ladies, foundation partners and business community leaders to celebrate great strides made in African maternal and child health
September 22, 2017 | 0 Comments
His Excellency, President Kikwete, 4th President of Tanzania featured with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus Director General, World Health Organisation and Dr. Mwele Malecela, Dr. Mwele Malecela is a Director in the Office of the Africa Regional Director, World Health Organization

His Excellency, President Kikwete, 4th President of Tanzania featured with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus Director General, World Health Organisation and Dr. Mwele Malecela, Dr. Mwele Malecela is a Director in the Office of the Africa Regional Director, World Health Organization

NEW YORK, the United States of America, September 20, 2017, -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Monday night, Speak Up Africa hosted its second annual Gala with over 300 African Heads of State, First Ladies, world health experts, leaders from the non-profit and foundation sector, and the business community to celebrate the tremendous strides already made in terms of child and maternal health on the continent.

Headlining the meeting was the recently elected Director General of the World Health organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of Ethiopia. Also attending were: His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, representatives of His Excellency Alpha Condé, President of Guinea, and of His Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the Africa Union Commission, the First Lady of Malawi, H.E. Gertrude Maseko and Her Excellency Mrs. Toyin Saraki, CEO of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa.

The group turned its attention to the importance of mobilizing African leadership around the next set of healthcare goals for the continent – Universal Health Access, the eradication of Neglected Tropical Diseases, the use of midwifery as a means to lower infant mortality and maternal deaths, and the need to make vaccinations more available to families throughout the continent.

In talking about the power of mothers as advocates for their children, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recalled a recent trip to Yemen where he saw mothers fighting for care for the starving children, even while ignoring the fact that these mothers were themselves starving. Dr. Tedros reiterated his signature call for Universal Health Coverage globally – in conflict areas – and in the United States.

Kate Campana, the CEO of SUA remarked, “African leaders are paving the way for new progress in the fight for maternal and child health.  The world has come so far in reducing preventable child death, but we still have a long way to go in preventing maternal mortality.  It is an honor and a privilege for Speak Up Africa to be called on as the high level advocacy and communications partner of choice for institutions such as WHO, CIFF, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Jakaya Kikwete Foundation. This responsibility is something we take on with focused commitment and sincerity.”

 

His Excellency Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, 4th President of Tanzania and Founder of The Kikwete Foundation commends Speak Up Africa for being drivers of change and the ultimate partner for effective advocacy and communications

Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, the Former President of Tanzania, and a leader in the movement to improve healthcare on the continent, has joined forces with Speak Up Africa. His remarks on Monday night showed his continued resolve to work towards a healthier and more health-educated population, “No woman should die bringing another life into this world.  It is not fair.  It is not right.  Pregnancy is not a disease.  And women should not be dying.  A child’s birthday should be a day of celebration, not mourning.”

Accepting the Speak Up Africa political leadership award on behalf of Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Abba Kalondo,  Spokesperson in the Chairperson’s office, African Union Commission, apologized for Mr. Faki’s absence as he presided over a global security meeting with UN leaders.  She repeated Mr. Faki’s oft-cited link between global security and health security world wide.

Other attendees at the Gala included:

*    First Lady of Malawi, H.E. Gertrude Maseko
*    Mark Suzman, Chief Strategy Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
*    Dr. Mwele Malecela – Director of the Office of the Regional Director at AFRO, representing Dr. Moeti
*    Dr. John Simon, Chairman of the Global Fund
*    Dr. Mary Ann Etiebet, Merck for Mothers
*    Ms.Theo Sawa African Women’s Development Fund
*    Mr. Carl Manlan, Ecobank Foundation
*    UNICEF Ambassador to Ethiopia
o    Abelone Melesse

SUA is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to inciting behavioral, political and societal reforms concerning African healthcare. Through strategic advocacy, national and Pan Africa media campaigns, SUA ignites a chain reaction of information, empowerment and mobilization around the most important health issues affecting the continent. Much of its work is conducted through high-profile media campaigns with African cultural rock-stars – artists, athletes, entertainers, and political and faith leaders.

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USAID ADMINISTRATOR GREEN ANNOUNCES PMI LAUNCH AND EXPANSION IN WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICA
September 22, 2017 | 0 Comments
Administrator Mark Green visits a Feed the Future-supported abattoir in Ethiopia/Somali region.Photo credit USAID

Administrator Mark Green visits a Feed the Future-supported abattoir in Ethiopia/Somali region.Photo credit USAID

The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative is Expanding. New countries: Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, and Sierra Leone, and expanding existing program in Burkina Faso.

Today, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green announced that the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), led by USAID and implemented together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will launch new country programs in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, and Sierra Leone, and expand its existing program in Burkina Faso.
With the addition of five new focus countries in West and Central Africa, PMI will have programs in 24 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria remains a significant public health problem.  This is in addition to PMI’s two bilateral programs and targeted support in the Greater Mekong Subregion in Asia, aimed at combating antimalarial drug resistance.PMI’s country expansion will benefit almost 90 million additional people at risk of malaria. The U.S. Government will now contribute to ensuring the availability of effective malaria prevention and control interventions to approximately 332 million people at risk across the west-to-central African corridor from Senegal to Cameroon.  While launching and expanding PMI, the U.S. Government remains committed to partnering with existing PMI focus countries to accelerate progress in malaria control and continue the momentum towards elimination.
Together with partner countries, under national malaria control program leadership, and in collaboration with malaria stakeholders, PMI scales up a comprehensive, integrated package of life-saving interventions in communities.  This includes both prevention (insecticide-treated mosquito nets, intermittent preventive treatment of pregnant women, seasonal malaria chemoprevention, and indoor residual spraying) and treatment interventions (malaria diagnosis and treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapies).  PMI support builds overall country capacity and strengthens health systems while improving malaria prevention and treatment services.  PMI support includes strengthening supply chain logistics, malaria case surveillance, and monitoring and evaluation of impact.
More than 480 million people at risk of malaria have benefitted from PMI programs.  In Fiscal Year 2016, PMI protected over 16 million people by spraying homes, distributed more than 42 million long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets, and provided 57 million treatments of life-saving drugs and 63 million rapid diagnostic tests.
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SYMBION AND HIGHLAND GROUP HOLDINGS LTD. SIGN $100M EQUITY INVESTMENT AGREEMENT FOR RWANDA METHANE GAS PROJECTS
September 21, 2017 | 0 Comments
Following the signing between Symbion Energy and Highland Group Holdings Ltd. (HGHL) of an agreement that sees HGHL co-invest $100 million towards the implementation of a $370 million, 106 megawatts of methane gas generated power on Rwanda’s Lake Kivu. L- R: USAID’s Acting Assistant Administrator for Africa Cheryl L. Anderson; Lord Irvine Laidlaw, Chairman at HGHL; Chief Executive Officer, Hon. Clare Akamanzi, Rwanda Development Board and a Member of President Kagame’s cabinet; Alexis Kabuto, CEO, Symbion Lake Kivu; Paul Hinks, CEO, Symbion; Albert Jochems, Laidlaw Capital Management.

Following the signing between Symbion Energy and Highland Group Holdings Ltd. (HGHL) of an agreement that sees HGHL co-invest $100 million towards the implementation of a $370 million, 106 megawatts of methane gas generated power on Rwanda’s Lake Kivu. L- R: USAID’s Acting Assistant Administrator for Africa Cheryl L. Anderson; Lord Irvine Laidlaw, Chairman at HGHL; Chief Executive Officer, Hon. Clare Akamanzi, Rwanda Development Board and a Member of President Kagame’s cabinet; Alexis Kabuto, CEO, Symbion Lake Kivu; Paul Hinks, CEO, Symbion; Albert Jochems, Laidlaw Capital Management.

NEW YORK, USA – SEPTEMBER 21, 2017 –  Symbion Energy and Highland Group Holdings Ltd. (HGHL) today signed an agreement that sees HGHL co-invest $100 million towards the implementation of a $370 million, 106 megawatts of methane gas generated power on Rwanda’s Lake Kivu, it was announced today by Paul Hinks, CEO, Symbion.

Lake Kivu contains an estimated 55 billion cubic meters of naturally occurring methane gas.  The total power generation potential of the resource has been conservatively estimated at more than 500 MW over a 40-year period. Only 25 Megawatts is produced today.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in New York City Hinks said, “We are very excited about our new partnership with HGHL, they are injecting $100 million of cash equity into the Rwanda projects of Symbion Energy.  The work will begin in earnest in November 2017 and this funding means we can fast track at least 22MW of power within 18 months.  Roughly 8 to 10 MW of that can be available by mid 2018 from the existing plant we acquired in 2016 which is known as KP1. It will be rehabilitated and expanded.”

Lord Irvine Laidlaw, Chairman at HGHL and Alexis Kabuto, CEO, Symbion Lake Kivu shake hands following the signing between Symbion Energy and Highland Group Holdings Ltd. (HGHL) of an agreement that sees HGHL co-invest $100 million towards the implementation of a $370 million, 106 megawatts of methane gas generated power on Rwanda’s Lake Kivu.

Lord Irvine Laidlaw, Chairman at HGHL and Alexis Kabuto, CEO, Symbion Lake Kivu shake hands following the signing between Symbion Energy and Highland Group Holdings Ltd. (HGHL) of an agreement that sees HGHL co-invest $100 million towards the implementation of a $370 million, 106 megawatts of methane gas generated power on Rwanda’s Lake Kivu.

Hinks continued, “Rwanda is one of the very few countries in Africa that properly plans ahead of time and they understand that substantial power capacity is necessary to attract investors to create economic growth and deliver electricity to its population. The demand for power in Rwanda is suppressed by the lack of surplus capacity and these two projects will facilitate continued growth. As far as Sub-Saharan Africa is concerned, Rwanda ranks highest in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index and our experience there is a complete endorsement of that.  HGHL’s confidence in the country and in Symbion is evidenced by their willingness to make Rwanda their first large-scale investment in Africa.”

Lord Irvine Laidlaw, Chairman at HGHL, said “This is perhaps the most interesting and exciting project that I have undertaken, inclusive of our recent offshore wind farms in the North Sea, in Germany.” He continued, “We will be producing electricity by utilizing a unique renewable resource, methane from the bottom of Lake Kivu.  Delivering this will be a challenge I look forward to.”  “Even more important, we are generating power for one of the fastest growing countries in Africa, so we’ll be making a major contribution to its continued growth.  As with all my colleagues I am proud to be assisting Rwanda,” said Laidlaw.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board and a Member of President Kagame’s cabinet, Honorable Clare Akamanzi said, “This partnership is a really great example of a co-investment that will fuel our country’s sustainable development and our growth agenda. We are impressed and we are committed to support the investors and the project to attain Rwanda’s full potential in the energy sector.”

During the signing between Symbion Energy and Highland Group Holdings Ltd. (HGHL) of an agreement that sees HGHL co-invest $100 million towards the implementation of a $370 million, 106 megawatts of methane gas generated power on Rwanda’s Lake Kivu. L- R: USAID’s Acting Assistant Administrator for Africa Cheryl L. Anderson; Paul Hinks, CEO Symbion; Lord Irvine Laidlaw, Chairman at HGHL and Chief Executive Officer, Hon. Clare Akamanzi, Rwanda Development Board and a Member of President Kagame’s cabinet.

During the signing between Symbion Energy and Highland Group Holdings Ltd. (HGHL) of an agreement that sees HGHL co-invest $100 million towards the implementation of a $370 million, 106 megawatts of methane gas generated power on Rwanda’s Lake Kivu. L- R: USAID’s Acting Assistant Administrator for Africa Cheryl L. Anderson; Paul Hinks, CEO Symbion; Lord Irvine Laidlaw, Chairman at HGHL and Chief Executive Officer, Hon. Clare Akamanzi, Rwanda Development Board and a Member of President Kagame’s cabinet.

USAID’s Acting Assistant Administrator for Africa Cheryl L. Anderson joined Symbion at the signing, underscoring the continued partnership between Power Africa and Symbion and the importance of American companies in accelerating energy sector investment to bring power to millions of Rwandan households and businesses.

These two power projects will reduce the risk of gases that are trapped in the deep layers of the lake escaping and rising to the surface, endangering the surrounding communities.

Symbion is working closely with the government of Rwanda and its regulatory agencies to ensure that its Lake Kivu projects deliver affordable energy in an efficient and environmentally responsible manner.

Symbion Energy is a developer and investor in Independent Power Projects on the African continent.

Highland Group Holdings Ltd. is one of the investment vehicles owned by Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay. Highland’s total assets are predominantly invested in liquid instruments and renewable energy projects. Highland has successfully invested in and developed the Deutsche Bucht (252MW) and Veja Mate (400MW) offshore wind energy projects in Germany.

 

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CryptoMetalExchange© will usurp the dominant fraudulent paper schemes that are currently perpetrated on COMEX and LBMA
September 21, 2017 | 0 Comments
MetalZoom.Energy aims to disrupt this system by using open source Lynux Hyperledger Fabric blockchain to enable open bid auctions of Cryptocurrency for metal delivery
Marc Ward, Founder of MetalZoom.Energy

Marc Ward, Founder of MetalZoom.Energy

DENVER, United States of America, September 21, 2017/ — MetalZoom.Energy (the “Company”) (www.MetalZoom.energy) advises that it has embarked upon the creation of the world’s first Crypto Metal Exchange. The founder of MetalZoom.Energy Marc Ward tells us “Our Crypto-Metal Exchange will provide a platform for miners to auction physical metal to the global consumer without any interference. The blockchain technology ensures zero corruption and results in untampered supply and demand forces to play out transparently.”

Ward, a Data Scientist who scored a perfect 800 on the quantitative GRE wrote an algorithm that correctly predicted the next move of the Nasdaq 100 futures market 88% of the time, over 4,000 times each trading day.
Ward believes that our markets are rigged by algorithmic dictates causing the price of precious metals to be controlled. “I see it as a closed-loop algorithm that announces the prices continuously throughout the day across all futures markets and humans in brokerage firms reacting to the change in prices”. As it is a closed-loop no one can overwhelm this pricing mechanism.

MetalZoom.Energy aims to disrupt this system by using open source Linux Hyperledger Fabric blockchain to enable open bid auctions of Cryptocurrency for metal delivery. Ward explains that “the futures exchange settles in debt currency instead of metal delivery. We plan to disrupt this by having metal ready for delivery and enabling consumers and investors to bid for that metal delivery with Cryptocurrencies across a transparent yet private blockchain framework”.

There are other facets to MetalZoom.Energy including Crypto Metal Mining which will enable miners to initiate a mine to produce metal. Those who acquire these Metal Delivery contracts will fund the miners directly via smart contracts with Cryptocurrency payouts and expect delivery of the metal extracted by the miners via the MetalZoom delivery services.

MetalZoom.Energy is quickly gaining the support of industry leaders with endorsements from the likes of Bill Murphy, Chairman of GATA (Gold Ant-trust Action Committee), Craig Hemke (aka Turd Ferguson of TF Metals Report), Elijah Johnson of www.FinanceandLiberty.com, Cardwell Lynch of the C-Sigma Show, V of Rogue Money Radio, GManIV and SilverDoctors.

Ward is embarking on a tour to Africa where he aims to promote MetalZoom.Energy to the local crypto community and convince miners to offer their metal for auction on the Crypto Metal Exchange. Ward arrives in Johannesburg on 18 October 2017. He will be the keynote speaker at a business breakfast on Thursday 19 October 2017 being held at the Wanderers Golf Club in Sandton, hosted by Mail & Guardian, before moving onto Cape Town where he will be attending several events.

MetalZoom.Energy is the world’s first private energy firm and the first Cryptocurrency with an honor code. MetalZoom.Energy has created the private-partnership Crypto-Metal Exchange. A private platform where producers and end users can engage in trades based upon unfettered real value.
Web: www.MetalZoom.energy

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SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS VACATIONS® INTRODUCES ITS 2018 COLLECTION BROCHURE
September 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

Fort Lauderdale, FL (September 20, 2017) – South African Airways Vacations® (SAA Vacations®) launches its 2018 Collection brochure, featuring an expanded portfolio of affordable air-inclusive vacation packages to a variety of destinations throughout Southern and East Africa. The new 2018 brochure features a curated collection of the most popular value-packed vacation packages along with product information on South African Airways (SAA) and South African Airways Vacations®. Once again, SAA Vacations® is offering a digital version of the Collection brochure to make it easier and more efficient for both travel agents and consumers to explore options and book an African vacation of a lifetime.

For 2018, SAA Vacations® has introduced an array of 15 new hotels and safari lodges, nearly doubling their product offering to some of the most popular destinations throughout Africa. From trendy four and five star hotels in cosmopolitan cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town to luxury safari lodges, where guests can experience the “Big Five” wildlife, the enhancement of the SAA Vacations® portfolio greatly increases travelers’ options of affordable air-inclusive luxury packages to Africa.

“SAA Vacations® offers exciting and varied itineraries to both Southern Africa and East Africa that are fully customizable to cater to both luxury and budget travelers,” said Terry von Guilleaume, president of South African Airways Vacations®. “We are excited to partner with some of Africa’s best hotels and lodges to bring spectacular packages for 2018. And with air-inclusive packages starting at just $1899, travel to Africa is more affordable than ever.”

Highlights of the SAA Vacations® 2018 Collection include exceptional value on some of their most popular air-inclusive packages:

“Captivating Cape Town” This 5-night package is designed for those travelers who want to explore the beautiful city of Cape Town. Starting at $1,899* (restrictions apply) per person and includes five-nights in Cape Town with deluxe accommodations, full day Cape Peninsula tour, half day Cape Wine lands tour with wine tasting , Hop-on-Hop off bus pass and ground transfers.

“Wine and Safari” This vacation package begins with a three-night stay in Cape Town, a full-day tour of the Cape Peninsula and the Cape of Good Hope. Then off to South Africa’s wine region with a two-night stay in the historical town of Stellenbosch and a private Winelands tour. The experience continues with a safari and accommodations at Kapama River Lodge for a three-night stay near the world-famous Kruger National Park to enjoy morning and afternoon game drives to view Africa’s Big Five. The 8-night package starts at $4,399** (restrictions apply) per person.

“Introducing Ghana” Explore Accra with this 5-night package, starting at $2,999* (restrictions apply) per person and includes deluxe accommodations in Accra, Kumasi, and Cape Coast, full day tours, private vehicle transportation and ground transfers.

The South African Airways Vacations® 2018 Collection brochure is available online, click here or below. Travelers are encouraged to contact SAA Vacations’® Africa specialists at 1-855-FLY-SAAV or their professional travel consultant. For more information about our 2018 Collection visit: www.flysaavacations.com.

All advertised air-inclusive packages are commissionable and can be customized for both groups and individuals. Tailor made itineraries are our specialty and our team of Africa Specialists are standing by to assist you in creating a vacation of a lifetime.

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Aliko Dangote at UN General Assembly in New York: “Africa will become the food basket of the world” ; “Five of the twelve million jobs needed in Africa soon must be created in Nigeria”; “We should pray that oil prices remain low”
September 21, 2017 | 0 Comments
Founder and Chief Executive of Dangote Group Aliko Dangote

Founder and Chief Executive of Dangote Group Aliko Dangote

NEW YORK, United States of America, September 20, 2017/ — Nigerian business leader Aliko Dangote told investors “Agriculture, agriculture, agriculture. Africa will become the food basket of the world.”

In a packed room at the headquarters of global law firm Shearman and Sterling LLC  high level business leaders and international diplomats invited by the Corporate Council for Africa to hear Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, and Rwandan president Paul Kagame openly converse on Africa’s opportunities and challenges.

Both leaders underscored the ongoing movement to diversify African economies. In the case of  Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, Dangote stated “we should pray that oil prices remain low. This helps wean us off the dependency on revenues from petroleum. We must take oil to be the icing on the cake. We already have the cake,” he added.

In addition to agriculture Dangote cited Nigeria’s vast mineral resources and gas as well and the need to manufacture more goods locally for domestic consumption. Both he and President Kagame cited continued need for heavy investments in education and connected the need for young people to be well trained for the jobs of tomorrow.

Dangote predicted that “five of the twelve million jobs needed in Africa soon must be created in Nigeria.”

Dangote’s fortune which stems from cement, sugar, and other household commodities has expanded into fertilizer and other processed high-value goods. “Technology of course helps us a lot and our factories are state of the art with the use of robotics but we shouldn’t be overly tech oriented to create wealth,” he told investors.

Mr. Dangote who is often cited as one of the most inspiring business leaders in the world today and a model for young entrepreneurs offered advice to Americans who tend to rely on outdated news and wrong perceptions of Africa, “Don’t be lazy. Go there and find the real story for yourself. Things have changed.”

 

Dangote noted the Rwanda success story where he has business interests as an example of positive change, good governance and leadership, and where corruption has been cured. He cited a personal experience of offering a $100 US tip for services at the Kigali Airport to staff who refused to take money for work they were paid to do. President Kagame was praised for delivering the environment for growth he promised. “There is nothing African about corruption,” the Rwandan president added.

The session was moderated by Rosa Whitaker, former US Trade Representative and author of the AGOA (African Growth Opportunity Act), whose business consultancy is credited for helping both African governments and US companies develop commerce.

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The Jim Ovia Foundation Pledges $2 Million to the Africa-America Institute to Support Higher Education
September 21, 2017 | 0 Comments
Jim Ovia

Jim Ovia

New York- 21 September, 2017- Mr. Jim Ovia, Founding Chairman of Zenith Bank, announced the establishment of a new scholarship program, The Jim Ovia Foundation Leaders Scholarship Fund, in partnership with the Africa-America Institute (AAI). The two million dollar pledge will finance four-year degree programs for high-achieving African students to attend world-class institutions around the globe. The announcement came during the 33rd Annual AAI Awards Gala.

“The Jim Ovia Foundation Leaders Fund is designed to be a definitive platform that will have an exponential impact in creating a better, brighter future for young Africans. With AAI’s 65-year tenure administering scholarship and deploying development capital for transformative results, we are honored to work together with the Mr. Ovia and his team,” Mr. Kofi Appenteng, CEO and President of the AAI stated.
“I have always been deeply committed to transforming Higher Education in Africa. We need to collectively empower young people and create a network of future leaders and game changers that can propel our continent forward. This fund, and this partnership with AAI are part of my continued dedication,” Mr. Ovia said following the announcement of the new scholarship.
The scholarship program follows a long-standing commitment from the Jim Ovia Foundation in investing in the youth and excellence in education. In partnership with the Africa America Institute, scholarships under the Fund will become available at the beginning of 2018. This marks a seminal moment for AAI with its rich tradition of building leaders in various sectors across the continent, and for Zenith Bank as it continues its global expansion.
Jim Ovia Leaders Scholarship Fund will expand access to education by providing scholarships to young and talented Africans who are under-resourced, from marginalized communities and those who would be the first in their family to attend university. The Fund is an important initiative that will leave a lasting impact on the next generation of Africans.
 Headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, Zenith Bank Plc has over 500 branches and business offices in prime commercial centers in all states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). In March 2007, Zenith Bank was licensed by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) of the United Kingdom to establish Zenith Bank (UK) Ltd. as the UK subsidiary of Zenith Bank Plc.
Founded in 1953, The Africa-America Institute (AAI) is a premier U.S.-based international organization dedicated to strengthening human capacity of Africans and promoting the continent’s development through higher education and skills training, convening activities, program implementation and management. Our primary model is that we identify capacity-building projects and coordinate the programmatic, financial administration and evaluation necessary to deliver high-impact results
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African Women in Agriculture The Marrakech Declaration
September 21, 2017 | 0 Comments
The city of Marrakech hosted on 11 – 12 and 13 September 2017 an important international Congress on the subject “African Women in Agriculture” (AWA).
This unprecedented meeting is organized by the American Association Believe in Africa in collaboration with the PRESMA Agency.
Some 200 participants from 17 African countries and the USA took part in the meeting for three days. Mrs Angelle KWEMO President and Founder of this important initiative, at the opening stated that “in terms of agricultural production in Africa, women do not hold the key but they are the solution to the continent’s food challenge. It is through women that the continent will achieve not only its food self-sufficiency but above all its “food sovereignty”.
Mrs Mbarka Bouaida, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Agriculture in charge of Maritime Fisheries, highlighted the role of women in agriculture in Africa and explained the situation in Morocco.
Mr. Abdelfateh Bjioui, Wali of the Marrakech-Safi region, who gave the participants a warm welcome, congratulated the participants on the choice of Morocco and recalled the ambitious policy of His Majesty King Mohammed VI that God help him develop partnership between countries of the African continent.
Mr. Aziz Mekouar, former Ambassador of Morocco to the USA, explained the importance of the effective involvement of women in the light of the climate change of the planet.
The opening ceremony ended by the keynote address delivered by His Excellency Mr. John Dramani Mahama, former President of Ghana and a great friend of Morocco who recognized that “in Africa, no other sector of the economy has such a large participation of women than of agriculture. “
Work continued over two days and resulted in important resolutions. “All are committed to see the role of African women in agriculture recognized, with the establishment of the” African Prize for the Media in Agriculture and Sustainable Development “to encourage the media to improve the image of African women in agriculture, “says Fawzia TALOUT MEKNASSI, one of the partners of the event.
The words of the end of this agricultural congress was delivered to Mrs. Angelle KWEMO, who said that “it is time for Africa to produce the leadership that will enable the continent not only to achieve food security,  but also enhancing women actions, as pillar of this food security’.
The event was supported by OCP SA. Thus, during the plenary session titled “women central point of the green revolution”, Mrs. Imane Belghiti explained the concrete actions carried out by the OCP in Morocco as in the rest of the African continent.
The Social Development Agency represented by its dynamic Director GeneralM. Yassine HAMZA, shared with the other international agencies its expertise in supporting women’s agricultural cooperatives.
The event was also supported by international bodies such as UNO Women and the US Africa Development Foundation which not only supported rural women’s agricultural associations but also facilitated the participation of many women from the continent including leaders such as Korka Diaw, Korka Rice of Senegal and Mrs. Sirebara Foumata Diallo, President of the Union of Women Cooperatives in Agriculture of Mali. Appointment is therefore given in May 2018, for the second edition of “African Women in Agriculture”. Read the AWA Marrakech Full Declaration
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Activists in Dakar Demand End to Colonial-era Currency
September 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

By Sofia Christensen*

FILE - CFA franc banknotes by the Central Bank of West African States are seen in N'djamena, Chad, April 9, 2016.

FILE – CFA franc banknotes by the Central Bank of West African States are seen in N’djamena, Chad, April 9, 2016.

Protesters gathered in several West African capitals Saturday to demand their countries abandon the CFA franc in favor of a common African currency. Passions over the issue have been reignited since Senegal arrested and expelled an activist for burning a CFA bill at a rally last month.

The PanAfrican Emergencies group called for the protest. Senegal recently expelled the movement’s founder, French-Beninese activist Kemi Seba, after he burned a 5,000 CFA note during a rally in Dakar in August.

France created the CFA in the 1940s for its African colonies. The CFA is pegged to the euro and guaranteed by national currency reserves deposited with the French treasury. Senegal is one of 14 countries in West and Central Africa’s two monetary unions still using the CFA.

At Dakar’s bustling Marche Tilene, many traders are interested in the debate, though the arguments remain more emotional than economic.

“It is not an African currency, so we consider it a Nazi currency imposed by our colonizer,” said trader Adama Badiane.

Shop owner Mariama Seydi also favors a new currency.

“I would like Senegal to have its own currency,” she said. “In the same way as we used to talk about the French franc, I would like us to say the Senegalese franc.”

Moudou Gaye, the head of Marche Tilene, agrees.

“We are Africans. We need to get organized and mobilized for a single currency,” Gaye said.

Advocates of the CFA say it has prevented inflation and instability. They point to the experiences of neighbors like Guinea and Nigeria as cautionary tales of going it alone. But critics argue the currency is too strong and stifles economic growth. Regional trade has expanded outside the eurozone to partners like China and the United States.

“When you have a currency fixed to a strong currency like the euro, it is easy to import. But when you want to export, your products cannot compete with other foreign countries,” said Ndongo Samab Sylla, an economist at Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.

Countries using the CFA are free to abandon it, but none of the 14 governments has announced any such intention. And for onlookers at this latest anti-CFA protest, this may be for the best.

“I do not blame them. Everyone has their way of thinking. But we will go nowhere if Senegal creates its own currency and leaves the CFA,” said Ahmadou Bamba Badiane, while watching the protest.

For now, the debate continues. But in the past year, the presidents of Senegal and Ivory Coast have publicly reaffirmed their support for the CFA, making it unlikely it will disappear any time soon.

*VOA

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Ambitious Road map in the works after Marrakech African Women in Agriculture (AWA)” Conference
September 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

African Women in Agriculture

“AWA”

Marrakech September 13, 2017

Radisson Blu Hotel

The Marrakech Declaration

 

Angelle Kwemo of Believe in Africa with the Wali of Marrakech during the Conference

Angelle Kwemo of Believe in Africa with the Wali of Marrakech during the Conference

We, the women attending the ”Believe in Africa – African Women in Agriculture (AWA)” Conference held in Marrakech on 11-13th September 2017 at the Radisson Blu Hotel.

We express our deep gratitude to His Royal Majesty, King Mohammed VI for his strong leadership in advancing the African continent’s economic development and his special attention to women.

We hereby make this declaration:

We thank Madam Mbarka Bouaida, Secrétaire d’Etat au près du Ministre de l’Agriculture Chargé de la Pêche Maritime for her leadership and commitment to women empowerment;

We thank H.E. John Dramani Mahama, Former President of The Republic of Ghana for his encouragement and unwavering support to women empowerment and specifically in the agricultural sector;

We express to the Ministry of Solidarity, Women, Family and Social Development our willingness to strengthen our collaboration;

We thank M. Abdelfateh Bjioui, WALI of Marrakech region – Safi for his hospitality and support;

We thank the leadership of Office Chérifien des phosphates Group (OCP Group) For their support to women empowerment in the agricultural sector;

We thank the Moroccan Agency for Social Development for their support to women specifically for revenues generating activities

We thank UN Women and US Africa Development Foundation for their support women particularly in Burkina Faso, Senegal and Mali;

After two days of deliberations resolved as follows:

 

  • To establish an “Believe in Africa” Chapter in Africa;
  • To create “African Women in Agriculture” initiatives (AWA).
  • To institutionalize the annual “Believe in Africa African Women in Agriculture congress;
  • Urge all stakeholders to:
    • Create The “African Award for Media in Agriculture and Sustainable Development” to encourage media to promote African women in Agriculture image;
    • Establish an “African Traditional Rulers Award” to encourage African traditional rulers to supporting women access to land;
    • Establish an ”International Day of African

Women in Agriculture” with the aim of:

  • Highlighting and increasing visibility of women’s role in agriculture and sustainable development
  • Rebranding the image of women in agriculture;
    • Launch the “One Roof = One Garden” initiative to promote food self sufficiency, to enhance youth and women job creation in urban areas and promote urban agriculture;
    • Find creative ways to raise and mobilize funding to support African women in agriculture’ access to credit, finance services and business development services.
    • Enhance competitiveness for African women in agriculture by guiding on ways to promote value added products, facilitating market access through proper labeling, safety, marketing and branding;
    • Provide guidance to women on ways to improve safety and quality assurance measures with a view to gaining access to global markets;
    • Advocate and search for an organization that will lead and support an African Certification and labeling structure, internationally recognized.
    • Invest in capacity building programs for women along the entire agricultural value chain;
    • Advise women on ways to have access to land ownership.
    • Increase the use of mechanization and appropriate biotechnology for women in agriculture;
    • Support women to access up to date information on agribusiness, technology and international best practices;
    • Extend all agricultural incentives to women in Art and Handicraft.

 

Signed by Angelle Kwemo, Founder and President Believe in Africa

Approved by women attending African Women in Agriculture conference representing different nationalities (Cameroon, Morocco, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Congo, Kenya, Chad, Guinea Bisau, Senegal, Mali, Cape Verde)

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Official launch of NEPAD’s 5% Agenda initiative for infrastructure financing in Africa
September 19, 2017 | 0 Comments
Bridging Africa’s $68bn infrastructure finance gap
 Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, NEPAD Chief Executive Officer

Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, NEPAD Chief Executive Officer

NEW YORK, United States of America, September 18, 2017/ — The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) (www.NEPAD.org) – African Union’s economic development programme gathered international investors and CEO-level business leaders at the NASDAQ Stock Market today, 18th September, for the launch of its 5% Agenda campaign.

The launch took place five years after a January 2012 African Union Summit adopted the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) which sets out 51 cross-border infrastructure programmes and more than 400 actionable projects in four sectors.

According to the World Bank, the continent needs to spend $93 billion annually (44% for energy; 23% for water and sanitation; 20% for transport; 10% for ICTs; and 3% for irrigation) until 2020 to bridge its infrastructure gap, which is currently removing an estimated 2% of GDP growth every year. On the other hand, Africa only managed to close 158 project finance deals with debt totalling $59 billion over the decade 2004-2013, which represents only 5 percent of infrastructure investment needs and 12 percent of the actual financial flows.[1]

The 5% Agenda campaign highlights that only a collaborative public-private approach can efficiently tackle these issues and calls for allocations of institutional investors to African infrastructure to be increased to the declared 5% mark.

Speaking at the launch event in New York, Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, NEPAD Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Infrastructure plays a leading role in supporting growth on the continent. At the same time, it can represent an innovative and attractive asset class for institutional investors with long-term liabilities. By launching the 5% campaign in New York today, we invite investors to take advantage of the wide-ranging opportunities Africa has to offer and to move forward with what can only be a win-win partnership”.

The launch of the campaign gathered high-level international investors and business leaders, including members of the PIDA Continental Business Network (CBN) which is spearheaded by NEPAD and constitutes a CEO-level private sector infrastructure leaders dialogue platform on PIDA.

Tony O. Elumelu, one of Africa’s most prominent entrepreneurs and active participant in the CBN said: “Africa is getting stronger every day with new business opportunities and innovative ideas but what is still crucially missing is project implementation. A coherent and coordinated approach is needed to mobilize institutional investors while limiting their risk exposure. African governments need to work on creating conducive environments to attract these investments which are so vital for the continent’s growth and development.”

According to a 2016 McKinsey report, institutional investors and banks have $120 trillion in assets that could partially support infrastructure projects.[2]

Now more than ever, Africa needs to tap into this available. As banks face additional regulatory challenges and as governments have limited fiscal space, it is becoming increasingly urgent to unlock additional flows from long-term institutional investors such as insurers, pension funds, and sovereign wealth funds.

For pension and sovereign wealth funds to be able to invest in large-scale infrastructure projects in Africa, a variety of issues need to be addressed to strategically and intentionally facilitate long-term allocations. Chief amongst these matters is the need to reform national and regional regulatory frameworks that guide institutional investment in Africa. Likewise, new capital market products need to be developed that can effectively de-risk credit and hence, allow these African asset owners to allocate finance to African infrastructure as an investable asset class to their portfolio.

All these issues are at the heart of the 5% Agenda roadmap, which is the backbone of NEPAD’s campaign and is foreseen to have the following impact:

  1. Unlocking notable and measurable pools of needed capital to implement regional and domestic infrastructure projects on the continent.
  2. Broadening and deepening the currently very shallow African capital markets, whilst at the same time contributing significantly to regional integration and job creation.
  3. Promoting the development of innovative capital market products that are specific to the continent’s challenges and potential in regards to infrastructure development.
  4. Raising the investment interest of other institutional and non-institutional financiers that so far have been hesitant to include African infrastructure projects as an asset to their investment portfolio based on specific, concrete next steps and project suggestions.
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Africa50 Gains Guinea and Democratic Republic of Congo as Shareholders; Highlights Strategy and Investment Pipeline
September 13, 2017 | 0 Comments
DAKAR, Senegal,12 September 2017, -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Africa50, the pan-African infrastructure investment platform, held its third Shareholder Meeting in Dakar on Tuesday, September 12. President Macky Sall of Senegal welcomed the delegates. African Development Bank Group President and Chairman of the Board of Africa50, Akinwumi Adesina, gave a feature address, and Africa50 CEO Alan Ebobisse provided updates on the Fund’s investment pipeline and strategy. They were joined by finance ministers, senior officials, and ambassadors from the 23 shareholder countries and members of the business community.

In his remarks, President Sall expressed his strong support for Africa50’s mission to catalyse private sector investment, from within and outside Africa, in infrastructure in Africa, since public resources are not sufficient. Outlining Senegal’s success, he stressed that governments must improve the business climate and create an environment conducive to private investment in infrastructure, including the regulatory environment for public private partnerships. Stating that “Africa is open for business”, he stressed that the continent has defined its priorities through initiatives such as PISA, and can use Africa50 as an important new instrument. He said, “I encourage all African countries to join this fund, which is ours, to fill our infrastructure funding gap.”

Africa50 Chairman Adesina, reiterated the need for private investment to close the large infrastructure funding gap in Africa, citing growing investor interest. Looking ahead to 2025 and a projected annual funding gap of $30-40 billion, financing African infrastructure will require a balance between development finance, which can fund and de-risk early stage financing, and long-term institutional investment which can quickly narrow the funding gap. Africa50, he said, was designed by the AfDB to help blend public and private finance, and through its project development division, build up the pipeline of “bankable” projects and facilitate public private partnerships. He commended the Africa50 leadership for ramping up operations, hiring top-notch staff and consultants, and naming a respected Investment Committee. The AfDB, he assured the audience, will continue to work closely with Africa50, especially to increase access to power. Chairman Adesina also officially welcomed two new Africa50 shareholders, Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo. (Note: Since the last Shareholders Meeting in July 2016 Tunisia has also joined.)

Thanking Chairman Adesina and President Sall for their presence and support, Africa50 CEO Alain Ebobisse, stressed the importance of the private sector to fill the infrastructure financing gap. He cited three success factors for Africa50’s mission: the strong support of the AfDB and the shareholders, the competence and experience of Africa50’s staff, and the quality of projects, which focus on being commercially viable while having a strong development impact.

In a video presentation that opened the event, Mr. Ebobisse and senior Africa50 staff further outlined Africa50’s comparative advantage for financing infrastructure in Africa. Specifically:
*    Through its close relationship with shareholders and African governments Africa50 can mitigate country risk through high-level public-sector engagement and by leveraging AfDB’s support.
*    Through its project development activities and ongoing dialogues with shareholder governments Africa50 can generate a strong deal flow to attract infrastructure investors.
*    By upholding international best-practice Environmental, Social, and Governance standards, Africa50 can help assure the long-term viability of projects.
*    And, finally, by building an experienced leadership and investment team with a demonstrated track record of successful deal-making on the continent, Africa50 will inspire confidence and catalyse more private investments in infrastructure.

 
Africa50 is an infrastructure investment platform that contributes to the continent’s growth by developing and investing in bankable projects, catalyzing public sector capital, and mobilizing private sector funding, with differentiated financial returns and impact.
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