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Open call for Nominations: Growth Stage Impact Venture for the SDGs
May 26, 2020 | 0 Comments

UNDP teams up with EPFL, Orange and SAP to pick top 12 entrepreneurs to change the landscape of health, energy and waste management in developing countries.

Geneva, 26 May 2020 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Orange and SAP launch the second edition of the Growth Stage Impact Ventures (GSIV) for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiative; aimed at identifying and showcasing mature impact ventures in emerging countries with the catalytic potential to drive both large impact and yield sustainable profit.

The top 12 nominated entrepreneurs will be invited to pitch their products and solutions at the SDG Finance Geneva Summit, scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2021 during the Building Bridges Week and will get support to access strategic partners to scale up their venture.

The 2020 the Call for Nominations only accepts Post Series A impact ventures providing products and services which reduce inequalities (with particular attention to gender inequalities) by providing solutions that empower people at the bottom of the pyramid to access to quality health, affordable and clean energy, and by reducing and recovering waste. Only ventures with headquarters, primary workforce and service provision or product market in developing countries can be eligible for the selection. 

“We are delighted to support UNDP in its focus  on impact ventures that address the SDGs. Contrary to the multitude of awards and competitions targeting early stage start-ups, companies invited to GSIV have the potential to bring about rapid and positive change at scale, targeting in particular the bottom of the pyramid,” said Julia Binder, Project Leader of EPFL Tech4Impact.

UNDP calls for third parties (accelerators, impact funds, family offices, international organizations, etc.) to nominate from their own pipelines, up to 3 entrepreneurs which meet the eligibility criteria. Self nomination is not be accepted. The call will remain open till July 15th.

“The GSIV is a fantastic vehicle to identify top entrepreneurs with solid business models and impact track records from across the developing world. Finalists demonstrate the business case for the SDGs, even in the most difficult contexts and in sectors that are traditionally publicly funded. In a post Covid19 world in which investments decrease, supporting innovative entrepreneurs from developing countries is a priority”, noted Sarah Bel, Manager of UNDP SDG Finance Geneva Summit.

A first screening of nominees will be carried out by EPFL  to shortlist  the top 20 enterprises. Finalists will then be reviewed by technical experts, investors and UN officials to select the top 12 finalists, who will attend the SDG Finance Geneva Summit, in 2021.

In 2019, 76 third-parties submitted 119 proposals from 40 developing countries. Eighty-five percent of the nominated ventures had raised at least half a million dollars at the time of nomination, and closed their Series A. All 12 finalists were mid-sized, with an average of up to 50 employees, annual revenue of over US$3 million, and with a cumulative impact on more than 15 million lives through their products and services. Full profiles are available here.

“As a corporate venture capital investor, it has been very exciting to be part of this selection process that puts the spotlight on active ventures which deliver social and environmental impact across their countries. The quality of the applications in 2019 is a great sign of hope with regard to this new generation of entrepreneurs”, added Gregoire de Padirac, Investment Manager, Orange Digital Ventures.

Each venture will be invited to attend a a preparatory workshop and to participate in the SDG Finance Geneva Summit, where they will have the opportunity to pitch to potential partners including investors, large corporates and international organizations.

The GSIV selection takes place within the framework of the SDG Finance Geneva Summit. The broader objective of the summit is to promote SDG aligned investments, showcasing emerging market examples of businesses that do well by doing good. By bringing together the unique ecosystem of development professionals, investors, development finance institutions, academia and entrepreneurs, UNDP aims to catalyze a shift of capital from mainstream finance to impact investing with a focus on addressing the SDGs.

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.

 EPFL is one of Europe’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan science and technology institutions, located in Lausanne on the shores of Lake Geneva. Tech4Impact is EPFL’s sustainable impact initiative and the key instrument for enhancing the University’s social and environmental impact in research, innovation and entrepreneurship.

SAP is the world’s largest provider of  enterprise application software, serving more than 437,000 customers in more than 180 countries. SAP’s purpose it to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. With courage, perseverance, and breakthrough technology, SAP customers are tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges.

The SAP Next-Gen program is a purpose driven innovation university and community for the SAP ecosystem enabling companies, partners and universities to connect and innovate with purpose linked to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of 41 billion euros in 2018 and 149,000 employees worldwide at 31 March 2019, including 90,000 employees in France. The Group has a total customer base of 264 million customers worldwide at 31 March 2019, including 204 million mobile customers and 20 million fixed broadband customers. The Group is present in 27 countries. Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies, under the brand Orange Business Services. In March 2015, the Group presented its new strategic plan “Essentials2020” which places customer experience at the heart of its strategy with the aim of allowing them to benefit fully from the digital universe and the power of its new generation networks.

For additional information, please contact:

Ms Laura Eboa Songue, Communication Consultant, Email:
Ms. Sarah Bel, Communications Specialist, Email:

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Uhuru -Raila Handshake May Have Changed Kenyan Politics For Generations To Come-Political Commentator Samuel Omwenga
May 26, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

Former Lawyer, seasoned Political Commentator, and Digital TV Host says the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga has changed dynamics in Kenyan politics

The impact of the memorable 9 March 2018 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta, and his opposition challenger Raila Odinga may changed Kenyan politics for generations to come, says Samuel Omwenga. In an interview to discuss recent developments in Kenya, the former Lawyer, seasoned Political Commentator, and Digital TV Host says something definitely changed and things have been turned upside down in the country for the better.

“More than 2 years later, the handshake is holding and this has not only stabilized the political situation in Kenya, it has the potential of reaching the handshake’s ultimate goal, and that is, removing catalysts for electoral misconduct and disputes, destruction of property, violence and deaths that follow each general circle,” says Mr Omwenga.

Talking about Deputy President Ruto, Mr Omwenga says corruption charges against him are real though the extent may not be fully known yet. Mr Omwenga dissects the complex political equations, and opines that with the impending implementation of BBI, Kenya may  be on the way to finally enjoying the fruits of independence that have eluded the country for decades..

We hear accusations of corruption labelled against Ruto and his associates, are the corruption charges real or just giving a dog a bad name to hang it?

The corruption charges are real, though the extent of the corruption is hard to tell simply because those accused of corruption often find ways to camouflage the corruption or altogether make evidence disappear. For example, the government has reopened a corruption case against the DP going back to 2001 where all these charges started. In that case, Ruto and two co-defendants were charged with fraudulently obtaining Sh272 million from a state corporation by selling it public land.

The case dragged on in the court system for years and was ultimately dismissed for “lack of evidence” The government has now reopened this case as it is believed the dismissal of the case itself was the product of corrupt influence. Ruto’s name has also been linked or mentioned in connection with a number of mega corruption cases and his efforts to downplay those cases has led to conclusions there must be a reason and that can only be it is true he is involved or at least the beneficiary of the proceeds.  

If the corruption charges against Ruto and associates are real, what does it say about the judgement of President Kenyatta, I mean, he picked Ruto as running mate twice , is he not at fault for making a choice of Deputy that he now regrets?

I think the best way to answer this is to say everyone in government has been involved in corruption of one kind or another. There are no saints in government or in politics, except rare unknown players. If they are household name politicians or people in government, you can rest assured they have been involved in some corruption either directly or the indirect beneficiaries of corruption.

So, starting from that perspective, one cannot say this says anything about the judgment of President Uhuru Kenyatta in having Ruto as his running mate in 2013 and 2017. However, it should be noted that what makes Ruto the exception, is because he has amassed so much wealth in the years since becoming DP that can only be possible if one was engaged in the mega corruption he is accused of being engaged in. There is just no other way to explain the wealth.

What options are there for President Kenyatta, does the Law permit him to fire his Deputy in case the relations continue to get frail and Mr Ruto refuses to resign or step down?

Unlike under the old constitution where the president picked his deputy and had the power to fire him at will, the new constitution promulgated in 2010 makes removal of deputy president extremely difficult. For one, the president cannot just fire the DP. The only way a deputy president can be removed from office besides resignation or death, is either by establishing mental incapacity or by impeachment, both of which require legislative action. More significantly, a motion to impeach must be supported by two-thirds majority in the National Assembly and the impeachment charges must be upheld by two-thirds majority in the Senate upon hearings or trial.

It was previously believed these votes were just not there, given inroads Ruto had made in Central Kenya with many MPs there supporting him, but this is now in doubt as Uhuru has been able to easily purge Ruto’s loyalists from their Jubilee party, leading many to believe this belief Ruto had the numbers was a farce propagated by Ruto and his supporters.

Besides accusations and going after what some see as associates of Deputy President Ruto, what palpable results has Kenya seen in the fight against corruption?

The fight against corruption in Kenya has become a cliché. To be sure, there has always been corruption in Kenya since independence, with each successive government announcing various efforts to “fight corruption” only for the corruption to get even worse with each successive government. Kenya, like many other countries in Africa and elsewhere, is breeding ground for “state capture,” which is defined by Catrina Godinho and Lauren Hermanus as “. . . a political-economic project whereby public and private actors collude in establishing clandestine networks that cluster around state institutions in order to accumulate unchecked power, subverting the constitutional state and social contract by operating outside of the realm of public accountability.”

In other words, private individuals and their cohorts in high places in government collude to form a cartel that controls mostly procurement in a manner such that they line their pockets with large sums of money in ways no one outside that cartel would know or even do anything about even if they know. This is the system President Uhuru has been trying to dismantle to no success thus far, and many believe Ruto has been the beneficiary at least until he fell out of Uhuru’s favor.

There have been echoes that opposition leader Raila Odinga is open to joining the government, if this were to happen, what impact will it have on the political dynamics in Kenya?

Raila is effectively in government since his famous handshake with Uhuru back in 2018. Although his primary focus has been spearheading efforts to turn Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) into law, he has no doubt been one of the key advisers of the president at least in as far as handling Ruto and those opposed to BBI goes.

More recently, there has been talk of formalizing his role in government in forming a government of national unity (GNU) but this is now less likely because it would require Raila and ODM being fused into Jubilee, which is an undesirable prospect for many political and practical reasons. As a result, what is likely to happen, is Raila continuing to act as co-president without the title but helping Uhuru accomplish his legacy objectives, some of which overlap with Raila’s own political and party interests. Presently, one of these is making sure Ruto’s power is sufficiently clipped as to not to be an obstacle to BBI implementation or having Uhuru succeeded by someone other than Ruto.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga have been moving in sync since the famous handshake. The playbook could help leaders in other African countries to diffuse political tensions, says Samuel Omwenga. Photo credit REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/
President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga have been moving in sync since the famous handshake. The playbook could help leaders in other African countries to diffuse political tensions, says Samuel Omwenga. Photo credit REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/

Do you share the view from many other observers that something definitely changed in Kenyan politics following that memorable handshake 9 March 2018 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr. Raila Odinga, and in follow up to that what lessons do you think African leaders both in power and in the opposition can learn from the détente between these two fierce rivals?

Yes, something certainly changed in Kenyan politics following the memorable handshake of 9 March 2018 between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga. Nobody saw that coming even among the closest advisers and insiders of these two men. That is how secretive and monumental the pact was because the men knew the handshake will turn things in the country upside down though for the better as it has.

More than 2 years later, the handshake is holding and this has not only stabilized the political situation in Kenya, it has the potential of reaching the handshake’s ultimate goal, and that is, removing catalysts for electoral misconduct and disputes, destruction of property, violence and deaths that follow each general circle. As things stand now looking ahead, implementation of BBI, which is the byproduct of the handshake is well under way and poised to happen and, when it does, Kenyans can go into the next election circle more confident the elections will be credible and without the disputes, destruction of property, violence and death that would otherwise be lurking to yet again rear their ugly heads.

For this reason, I would say, yes, African leaders both in power and in the opposition should borrow the playbook and apply the same in their respective countries. A key element to note here is, even as this handshake remains intact and BBI is likely to be implemented, what is happening is those in the system are not simply giving up control; rather, they are allowing more inclusivity in the government and that is key because one of the reasons those in power never want to give it up is because they do not wish to give up control. In this setting, they retain control, but power is shared more widely than before. That may be hard to understand but the short of it is, it is better to have that than nothing or status quo.

Mr Kenyatta is approaching the sunset of his second and last term of office as President, how has he fared so far, where has Kenya seen progress and failure under his leadership?

If you ask most Kenyans the question how has Uhuru fared thus far, you will find a surprising answer as those who supported and voted for him twice, will tell you Uhuru has been a total failure and they will throw in a few epithets and insults to make the point while those who did not vote for him and even hated him, now find him acceptable and say he is doing a good job.

The explanation is simple: the handshake and the reason being Raila. It is not possible to go into details here but the short of it is when Uhuru and Ruto joined forces to face Raila in the 2013 elections, they took advantage of dislike and even hatred of Raila in Mt. Kenya region, which is Uhuru’s backyard and demonized him there and a good part of Rift Valley, which is Ruto’s backyard with the promise they elect the duo, power will remain in the two communities for at least another 20 years, with mutual benefit.

It was not the winning formula as neither Uhuru nor Raila had the requisite 50%1 majority vote in the 2013 elections, but putting together the two strange bedfellows and their respective communities gave the system enough votes and cover to rig in Uhuru in the first round of the elections—though I should hasten to add I and others long ago conceded Raila would have likely lost in the second round, had there been a run-off between him and Uhuru as should have been had the constitution been followed, but the system chose to rig Uhuru in therefore doing away with the required runoff.

This, then, became the basis for the two men (Uhuru and Ruto) to have the pact they had to keep the presidency in their respective communities for at least 20 years or “kumi kumi” as they baptized the illegal power grab, meaning 10 years for Uhuru, followed by 10 years by Ruto.

The handshake tossed that agreement out of the window, or shred it to pieces and thus the flip in Uhuru support from those diehards who bought into the kumi kumi nonsense now hating him and calling him names, while those in the opposition and, specifically, supporters of Raila see the handshake as paving the way for Raila to be finally sworn as president.

Objectively, I would say the country’s economy under Uhuru has been nothing but mediocre at best if the comparison is to previous years when the economy was worse but on the political front, the handshake is making it possible for Uhuru to reshape his legacy such that by the time he is done with his two terms, things would have picked up enough to lift his performance to acceptable levels on both fronts, namely, economically and politically.

The wild card here is COVID-19 and the aftermath but, with the handshake in place and Raila being positioned to be a key player in the post-COVID-19 economic recovery, things will be far much better than they would be were the handshake not in place.

Mr Raila Odinga has been unsuccessful in previous attempts to seek the top job in Kenya, how are things shaping out for him, could 2022 finally be his year?

Just so it is clear, it is not true that Raila has been “unsuccessful” in his previous attempts to seek the top job in the country; rather, on at least 2 tries, he was successful except the system (those in power) denied him the opportunity to be sworn in after flooring his opponents at the ballot. Given that, the right question to ask is, will he (a) be as successful as in the past come 2022 and (b) will the system allow him to be sworn as president if he is. The answer to the first question is even though Raila remains to be a popular opposition figure, now quasi-in government, his level of support is not at the same level as it was back in 2007 when he clearly won the election, and each election circle since where support is strong but less so than all these other years.

For Raila to win at the ballot as he did previously, he has to be the flagbearer for the grand coalition being formed to take care of and ensure Uhuru’s successor. If he is the flagbearer for that coalition, then it’s hard to imagine how he is not successful and, if he is successful, the system will not prevent him from being sworn because the grand coalition being formed has its blessings, which answers the second part of the question.  

Elections in Kenya are often fraught with tensions, what lessons have been learned over the years and what reforms have been put in place to minimize tensions, and prospects of fraud and violence?

As noted above, the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga was specifically to make sure we no longer have circular disputes, destruction of property, violence, and deaths each election circle. The BBI team was tasked with canvassing the country and gathering views to formulate proposals to make this a reality and what they have proposed is what was in the process of being brought up as a referendum to make it law but the process is halted owing to COVID-19.

The key proposal in BBI that will make a big difference in making elections disputes and violence a thing of the past, is restructuring the Executive branch to allow for sharing of power between the president and a prime minister, rather than having all executive power resting in the president’s office. Kenya has had this power structure before; at independence for a brief period and in 2008 as means of avoiding a civil war following the post-election violence that rocked the nation. However, in both cases, the prime minister was not what is envisioned in BBI. The details of what the new structure would be are yet to be hammered out but, it is expected the PM position will be very powerful position with a weaker presidency and this may end this winner take all associated with the current US-style presidential system.   

President Uhuru Kenyatta (centre), Deputy President William Ruto (left) and ODM leader Raila Odinga . Deputy President Ruto may be the big loser in the high stakes political games with corruption charges against him and his associates gaining steam
President Uhuru Kenyatta (centre), Deputy President William Ruto (left) and ODM leader Raila Odinga . Deputy President Ruto may be the big loser in the high stakes political games with corruption charges against him and his associates gaining steam

What is your take on the way the government of Mr Uhuru Kenyatta has handled the coronavirus pandemic?

Uhuru is certainly doing a far much better job in handling the coronavirus pandemic in Kenya than President Donald Trump is doing for America.

More specifically, actions taken by the Kenya government to strengthen the health system and caring for the infected as well as health policy measures such as promotion and encouragement of social distancing, working from home, travel restrictions, the closure of schools, the suspension of public gatherings, and a nightly curfew have all thus far been effective in keeping the spread of the virus at relatively low rates ditto deaths from the pandemic. However, the poor and most vulnerable are bearing the brunt of these policies as the government is not proving enough assistance to enable them to feed themselves and have access to essentials for their daily living. To compound the problem, it is feared money provided by the World Bank and other sources to combat the pandemic has either been stolen or misused, which is a shame but, nothing surprising at all. The CS for Health has been doing a good job and he promises to make sure all the funds are accounted for, which means if there is any monkey business with it, those culpable will be held responsible.  

We end with a last word from you on the future of Kenya, what makes you hopeful, and what are your fears?

Kenya is a beautiful country with an abundance of natural resources, human capital, and great potential to become an emerging economy. Bad governance, disputed elections and tribalism have all combined to become a roadblock to reaching this utopia. However, I am hopeful with the impending implementation of BBI, we can go over this roadblock and finally get to enjoy the fruits of independence that have eluded us all these decades.

My biggest fear is fear of uncertainty from the pandemic for we truly don’t know how this ends, but  we hope and pray for the best.

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May 26, 2020 | 0 Comments

New label group dedicated to supporting the best in African hip-hop talent and culture across the continent

Label launch roster includes some of Africa’s most influential artists and MC’s including: Cassper Nyovest, Nasty C, Larry Gaaga, Boity, Nadia Nakai, Tellaman, Tshego, Ricky Tyler & Vector

SANTA MONICA / JOHANNESBURG / LAGOS, May 26, 2020– Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, today announced the launch of Def Jam Africa, a new label division within the continent dedicated to representing the best hip-hop, Afrobeats and trap talent in Africa. Def Jam Africa will follow the blueprint of the iconic Def Jam Recordings label, which has led and influenced the cutting-edge in hip-hop and urban culture for more than 35 years.

The label will initially be based in Johannesburg, South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria, but will identify and sign artist talent from across the entire continent. It will be supported by dedicated A&R, marketing, creative and digital teams from the UMG teams in both Nigeria and South Africa and will report to Sipho Dlamini, MD, Universal Music Sub-Saharan Africa & South Africa.

The label launches with a flagship roster, that includes some of the most influential, successful and followed African talent including: Boity (South Africa), Cassper Nyovest (South Africa), Larry Gaaga (Nigeria) Nadia Nakai (South Africa), Nasty C (South Africa), Tshego (South Africa), Tellaman (South Africa), Ricky Tyler (South Africa) and Vector (Nigeria).

In making the announcement, Sipho Dlamini said, “Many of us in Africa grew up on music from legendary labels under the UMG umbrella. From Blue Note for jazz fans, to Mercury Records, which was Hugh Masekela’s first US label and Uptown Records, the home of Jodeci and Mary J Blige and many more. For those into hip-hop, no label has such cultural and historic relevance as Def Jam. From Run DMC, to LL Cool J, Disturbing tha Peace, Jay-Z, Big Sean and Kanye West, Def Jam has always been the ultimate destination for hip-hop and urban culture worldwide. It is a historic achievement that we’re now able to bring this iconic label to Africa, to create an authentic and trusted home for those who aspire to be the best in hip-hop, Afrobeats and trap. Together, we will build a new community of artists, that will push the boundaries of hip-hop from Africa, to reach new audiences globally.

Jeff Harleston, interim Chairman & CEO, Def Jam Recordings said, “Def Jam is a globally recognized brand, synonymous with excellence in hip-hop, and we enthusiastically welcome the launch of Def Jam Africa as an opportunity for audiences worldwide to discover the incredibly talented hip-hop artists emerging from across the continent.”

Adam Granite, EVP, Market Development said, “Def Jam has always been a respected mark of hip-hop quality, and the calibre of artists already on the roster, shows that this is a label, truly dedicated to helping the very best rap talent from Africa, reach new audiences on a global level.”

Earlier this year it was announced that South African rapper Nasty C will release his forthcoming album Zulu Man with Some Power in partnership with Def Jam Recordings in the U.S., during Summer, 2020. Other forthcoming releases on Def Jam Africa include singles from: Ricky Tyler, Boity, Nasty C, Tellaman feat. Alpha P, Vector, Cassper Nyovest and Tshego.

About Def Jam Recordings

Founded in 1984, Def Jam Recordings has represented the cutting-edge in hip-hop music for more than 35 years. Def Jam began as a maverick independent label inspired by downtown New York City’s vibrant street culture and the emerging sound of hip-hop, pioneered by iconic stars like LL Cool J, Slick Rick, The Beastie Boys and Public Enemy. Over the following two decades, Def Jam established its dominance with superstar acts like Jay-Z, DMX, Ja Rule, Method Man & Redman, Ludacris, Rihanna, Jeezy, and the inimitable Kanye West. Now in its fourth decade, Def Jam’s music and lifestyle has grown into a global brand – synonymous with creativity, quality and authenticity – encompassing a diverse roster of marquee and emerging stars like West, Justin Bieber, Alessia Cara, Logic, Pusha T, Jadakiss, Vince Staples, Jeremih, Big Sean, YG, 2 Chainz, Dave East, and Jhene Aiko, among others. Today, Def Jam has reaffirmed its passion for and commitment to hip-hop culture, and has expanded its global brand reach to become the most-followed major label on all major social media platforms.

About Universal Music Group

Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries. Featuring the most comprehensive catalog of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. Universal Music Group is a Vivendi company. Find out more at:

Def Jam Africa artists on social media

Cassper Nyovest

Nasty C


Nadia Nakai


Larry Gaaga



Ricky Tyler

*Source UMG

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Cameroon: PWD Bamenda President Pascal Abunde Narrates Escaping Relegation Zone to winning the Elite 1 Football Championship
May 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

In 5 years at the helm of PWD Bamenda, Pascal Abunde has taken the team to the title of Elite 1 Champions
In 5 years at the helm of PWD Bamenda, Pascal Abunde has taken the team to the title of Elite 1 Champions

Five years as President of PWD of Bamenda, Pascal Abunde has taken the football team from the brink of relegation to be crowned champions of the Elite 1 football championship in Cameroon. Pascal Abunde in 2019 was voted the best President in the Cameroon Professional League during the second edition of the Cameroon sports Awards held in the nation’s capital Yaounde.

In an exclusive interview granted PAV Cameroon correspondent on May 25, 2020, the energetic President of PWD Bamenda, Abunde Pascal narrated the teams escape from the relegation zone during the 2018/2019 season to winning the 2019/2020 football season. He has called on the government of Cameroon to provide the necessary financial assistance that will help the team prepare for the CAF Champions League. 

Reporter: PWD barely survived relegation last year, and now the side has won the championship this season, what is your reaction to the side’s performance last year and the side winning the championship this year?

PWD President Pascal Abunde: This scenario is gradually becoming part of our DNA. Worth noting is that we had the same scenario in 2017 that we were almost relegated to the Regional Division 3 championship, and then next year (2018) we had an excellent year as we were promoted to Elite 1 football championship. This is the second of its kind and it is probably proving something, a trend that we are all realizing.

In 28 games played PWD won 13 games, drew 8 and lost 7 games boasting 47 points (1)
In 28 games played PWD won 13 games, drew 8 and lost 7 games boasting 47 points (1)

Reporter: It must have been a challenge to come from a relegation battle and go on to win the championship this season?

PWD President Pascal Abunde: Obviously we knew we were underdogs in this championship; we were not even tipped to be amongst the first 10. We came into this competition with our hidden objective; we knew we could also have our own something to prove in the championship. Coming from that position as an underdog, we gradually moved to the position of an outsider, and later on, came to the top of the championship to the surprise of many people. We thought we could not be champions but from everything we learn especially going through the difficult phase last season there was a lot to be exploited and we knew that there were possible areas we could find our way through. That is the strategy we used, and we are happy to realize that it actually paid off.

Reporter: Can we also say the strategy to maintain the coach (David Pagou), when other teams were sacking their coaches due to poor results, help you as a team?

PWD President Pascal Abunde: There was a change of strategy, change of approach at the beginning of the season, especially learning from the difficult time we had last season. Last season we had a change of coach, but it did not really salvage the situation that much. We thought that we should get a coach that shares the same philosophy as that of management, getting young players who are ready to prove something, contrary to the older or more “experienced” players we had in the past. Putting all the parts to the puzzle together so that we could possibly achieve something great and that is what we did.

Reporter: How has PWD been coping with the security challenges the region has been going through for the past years?

PWD President Pascal Abunde:  It is a huge handicap for teams plying their trade in this part of the country. First of all, the training sessions are not consistent, you have Mondays that are ghost towns, and nothing happens on Mondays. We have lesser times to prepare our team contrary to the other teams based in the other parts of the country.

Secondly, it is not easy to follow a specific programme because of the insecurity we have been witnessing. You might prepare to travel on a Friday, and something happens and you find yourself travelling on a Saturday when you have a game on Sunday; you arrive maybe 12 hours to game time. It actually affects the results that you will have in the game; the proof is the game we had against Bamboutos.

Reporter: What support have you been getting from your fans not just in the North West but across the national triangle with a huge fan base in the South West and Centre Region?

PWD President Pascal Abunde: One thing we have succeeded in doing is to build a strong fan base. I am proud to say that we might have one of the strongest fan bases now in Cameroon, and not only in the country but in the Diaspora. We have organized our fans in several zones, and they are doing an incredible job. We have fans in the South West, Littoral, Centre, North, West, and all over the national territory. All those fans have shown that once people are united for a particular course/objective (genuine objective) they will definitely succeed. The great reason for the success is because of our huge and highly coordinated fan base.

Reporter: PWD will be participating in a continental assignment this year, what are you expecting from the government in terms of support? 

PWD President Pascal Abunde: Participating in the CAF champions league (the second most prestigious cup after the AFCON) is a new thing for us and a huge exploit. We are going to be discovering this competition for the first time. Based on government legislation we have acquired the status of a national team. We expect the government to come in and give us support. Presently, Cameroon has fallen down the pecking order in terms of participation in Africa due to our mediocre performance in the continental championship. We expect the government to give us a very serious push, maybe considering us as a national team, give us the necessary resources we might need to prepare this team so that we can have a good team in place ready to challenge; not only to go and learn but to challenge and also to bring back our position in terms of representation in the continental championships.

 In 2019 Pascal Abunde was voted the best President in the Cameroon Professional League during the second edition of the Cameroon sports Awards
In 2019 Pascal Abunde was voted the best President in the Cameroon Professional League during the second edition of the Cameroon sports Awards

Reporter: let us talk about finance, what are the sources of income your club have?

PWD President Pascal Abunde: Our main source of finance comes from the shareholders who put in financial resources in the holding company that manages and runs the club. Again, we receive some subventions from the football Federation (just like any other team in the country). We receive contributions from our fans that go a long way to finance some of the aspects of the team, not forgetting the sales of gadgets, and gate fees, and other initiatives we put from time to time in order to generate income to run the cup.

Reporter: Going back to your continental exploit next year, with the poor nature of the pitch in Bamenda, where will your team be playing their matches in the CAF Champions League?

PWD President Pascal Abunde: Bamenda would have been the best place to host the games since it is the hometown of PWD. You would imagine PWD taking against TP Mazembe at the Mankon Municipal Stadium. Unfortunately, the stadium is the way it is, works have been suspended there. We are hoping that something can be done. We have other options, Limbe that has been so fair to us (that is where the team was maintained last season and that is where the team won this year’s championship), we equally have Yaounde that has a huge fan base. On a personal note, if Bamenda is out of the picture then Limbe should be the next option. The board has to make the decision taking into consideration so many factors. 

Reporter: Let us talk about the Coronavirus pandemic that has affected sporting activities, how has the club been supporting its players?

PWD President Pascal Abunde: It has been an extremely challenging time for not only PWD but for clubs worldwide as some have been slashing salaries, suspending payments. We as PWD have used a community approach in handling this issue. We discuss with our players on a regular basis. We try to give them some allowances on a monthly basis, not up to what they would have been earning full time but again it is something that can enable them to keep them up and running. It is not easy for clubs, but I hope we get over it as soon as possible.

Reporter: Talking about the assistance that was given to clubs by the Federation, what can you say about it?

PWD President Pascal Abunde: The assistance was a good gesture, highly welcome by PWD as it was the first of its kind. We could not possibly reach out to all the players (PWD used some 31 players last campaign), but again we have an approach where we made sure that everybody feels the impact of the gesture. Officially, 20 players and 5 staff were assisted. We have 35 licences but it is worth noting that not all the 35 players are available (about 28 players are available), so we used another approach as management to make sure that the other players feel an impact of the very important gesture.

PWD Bamenda will play continental matches out of its traditional home turf in Mankon because it does not meet international standards
PWD Bamenda will play continental matches out of its traditional home turf in Mankon because it does not meet international standards

Reporter: What motivates you to take on this huge challenge of managing PWD?

PWD President Pascal Abunde: Well, I have been in office for five years now.  I actually created this new philosophy of PWD in the community when we started this project in 2015. The club barely existed. We played in the fourth division in the regional league; we played the third division and came up the next year to the Elite 2 where we played for two years. From there we came up to the Elite 1 championship where we have been playing, this is our second year that we are at the pinnacle of the championship. It is a dream that I had at the very beginning and I am very happy that in a short time we have grown through the ranks and we are where we are now.

The dream does not stop here, the motivation is still there, and we fill that we can still do more. We have to do everything possible to confirm our position next year. We want to be a household name in Cameroonian football, we want to be there, take part in African competitions on a more regular basis. That is the motivation, that is the dream I have, and I think with the support of the fans, management, players we may achieve a lot in the years to come. 

Reporter: President any last word?

PWD President Pascal Abunde: I want to use this opportunity to thank all the fans of PWD in Cameroon, in the Diaspora, the sympathizers of this club, local authorities where we are based, the management of this club (the board of directors) who have put their trust in me for this project to be fruitful. I thank the players, the staff, everybody who has played a role most especially the press; they have been impeccable for this period of time projecting our darling club to the limelight. I call on everyone to continue in the same spirit, and if we do that the sky is never going to be our limit and this is just the beginning, there are better things, and days to come. 

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COVID-19: Traumatized Cameroonians Stranded in Kuwait Plead to be brought back home
May 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Cameroon government repatriated some 139 of its citizens stranded in Dubai due to the coronavirus pandemic

Cameroonians stranded in Kuwait, a country in western Asia, situated in the Northern edge of Eastern Arabia at the tip of the Persia Gulf, have called on their government to look into their plight and repatriate them back home as the number of coronavirus in Kuwait continues to soar.

A video circulated on Facebook shows the poor living condition in which some Cameroonians living in Kuwait are going through. In the video, though the location of the Cameroonians cannot be ascertained by this reporter, as many as 11 women can be seen in a room (looks like a hospital with beds), with some on the floor.

Since the first case of the Coronavirus pandemic was first announced in Kuwait on 24 February 2020, the country as at May 24 had 21,302 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with the recovery of 6,117 cases and 156 deaths.

The Kuwait government has launched a repatriation exercise according to one of the stranded Cameroonians in Kuwait, speaking in a recorded video on Facebook. They (Cameroonians) have been allowed to go back to their homeland and other countries have repatriated their nationals from Kuwait. This largess that has been offered to the Cameroonians has been in place for the past one month now. “We are tired of waiting,” one of the stranded Cameroonians cried out loud.

The Cameroonians have asked immigration police in Kuwait why they can’t leave the country and what they have been told is that their government (Cameroon) has not given the green light for them to live.

Members of Cameroon, government officials, (President) Paul Biya, why are we still lagging in Kuwait,” the stranded Cameroonians in Kuwait questioned.

“We plead for return as no father will want to leave their children out of the house. Kuwait has granted us repatriation and the Cameroon government should evacuate from Kuwait.”

“We are pleading!!! “Papa Paul Biya we are pleading, help us!! “We di beg you!!! “No, abandon your pikin them!!! “We want to return!!! Many could be heard crying.

Since Cameroon closed its borders to the outside world on March 18, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, two exercises have been organized by the government to bring its citizens residing out of the country back home.

Within the framework to repatriate Cameroonians blocked abroad, on May 9, 139 Cameroonians who were stranded in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates were brought home onboard an Ethiopian airline flight, according to the country’s Ministry of External Relations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led many countries to close their borders to other countries
The COVID-19 pandemic has led many countries to close their borders to other countries

From May 8-11, Cameroonians stranded in various parts of the world such as Toronto, Washington, Paris, Dakar, Tunisia, Libreville were flown back to the country.

Over 1,200 Cameroonians have been repatriated back to the country through negotiations with countries that have exceptional landing rights with 626 Cameroonians earmarked to be repatriated within this current repatriation programme, the country’s national broadcaster reported.

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Burundi :Gen Ndayishimiye is new President
May 25, 2020 | 0 Comments
General Evariste Ndayishimiye of the ruling CNN-FDD party won presidential elections that were held last week (AP Photo/Berthier Mugiraneza)
General Evariste Ndayishimiye of the ruling CNN-FDD party won presidential elections that were held last week (AP Photo/Berthier Mugiraneza)

The Electoral commission in Burundi has ,  announced that General Evariste Ndayishimiye of the ruling CNN-FDD party won presidential elections that were held last week.

Provisional results show that the 52 old Ndayishimiye, will replace Pierre Nkurunziza who has been in power since 2005.

Ndayishimiye emerged first among seven candidates with 68.72% of the votes, followed by a long time opposition figure, Agathon Rwasa of CNL who got 24.19 %.

Results of parliamentary elections, the ruling party CNDD-FDD scooped 72 seats with 68 % of the votes, CNL got 22.43 % while UPRONA came at third place .

Some observers witnessed violence towards opposition members during recent Burundian elections, where hundreds of CNL supporters were jailed and abused.

Born in Gitega province, the same region as President Nkurunziza, Ndayishimiye has been serving as Secretary General of CNDD-FDD since 2016.

Ndayishimiye is an early recruit of CNDD FDD army wing, a party that was founded in 1994, a year after the assassination of President Melchior Ndadaye, the first president of Burundi democratically elected.

He served in various positions in Burundian army , like being appointed as Chief of Military Logistics, Military Assistant to Nkurunziza , Minister of interior among others.

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The African Development Bank: Tolling Bells for Humanity
May 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Cesar A. MBA ABOGO*


COVID-19 is severely testing Africa’s social, economic and political resilience. While it is true that our countries are taking bold actions to slow down and contain the spread of the virus, it is also undeniable that recession looms in our continent. 

The Central African sub region is one of the areas most exposed to an economic recession. We face a double danger. On the one hand, we are fighting COVID19 with a scarcity of financial resources and fragile health systems. On the other hand, we are trying to mitigate the adverse economic effects of this pandemic, and safeguard our economies – especially those extremely dependent on revenues from natural resources.

It is not a secret that the most affected countries in Central Africa are Sao Tomé and Equatorial Guinea. In terms of the impact on the economy, we have been punched by COVID19 like no other country.

COVID19 is an unprecedented challenge. But crisis moments also present opportunities. I frankly believe that COVID-19 could inadvertently spark a better future for Africa.

For that to happen we need Africa’s flagship development institution, the African Development Bank, to be stronger than ever, as it is the primary duty of the institution* to assist Africa at this critical time.

We therefore salute the AfDB’s bold response and its commitment to assist our countries by creating a $10 billion COVID-19 Response Facility to help cushion the economic and social impacts of the pandemic in regional member countries.

We are certainly satisfied with the Bank’s performance and the visionary leadership of its President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina.

I would like to commend the credible and exhaustive work of the  Bank’s Board-constituted Ethics Committee’s chaired by the  Honorable Takuji Yano. The Committee’s report referencing sixteen allegations by whistle-blowers against Dr. Adesina and other executives of the Bank, unequivocally stated that “these allegations are not valid and should be rejected”.

With regard to the whistle-blower’s rejection of the conclusions of the Ethics Committee, we express our deep concern about how this not only undermines and affects Dr. Adesina’s credibility but is also contributing to the erosion of the bank’s credibility, especially the strength of its internal institutions.

We believe that this is just the opposite of what humanity needs at this time when we are facing an unprecedented crisis. We therefore echo the call by the Chair of the Board of Governors, Honourable Niale Kaba, for “restoring peace and serenity within the Bank.”

In conclusion, and as a testimony of my support for Dr. Adesina and all the Bank executives who have personally and adversely affected by this situation and unfounded allegations, a few verses penned by John Donne (and popularized by Hemingway) come to mind.

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.”

Today in the African Development Bank, the bells toll not for Dr. Adesina but for Africa … for humanity.

* Cesar A. Mba ABOGO is Minister of Finance, Economy and Planning of Equatorial Guinea

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Covid-19 in Tanzania: Is it time for lenders to be counted?
May 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Sadock Dotto Magai*

Sadock Dotto Magai

The world is in economic lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  No good news is coming out of any media whether mainstream or social media. Never in our lifetime have we witnessed such a magnitude of business and border closures, from developed to developing countries. It is a global problem and therefore, its effects should be measured globally. The coverage of this pandemic by the global and local media clearly indicates the economic problems ahead not only for individuals but also for businesses at large. This calls for a reflection of the effect of this pandemic on the financial sector in Tanzania given the current global and local environment.

A summary of the financial sector in Tanzania shows a composition of thirty commercial banks, six community banks, five microfinance banks and two development finance banks (collectively lenders). The primary function of these lenders is to acquire liabilities through deposits and assets by lending to businesses and individuals. When lending, lenders assume investment risk, but expect returns by way of revenues through various charges, interest rate levies and the repayment of the principal amounts. Banking laws in Tanzania require loans to be adequately secured, although there are unsecured loan portfolios as well. Irrespective of the collateral taken by lenders to secure their loans, these repayments are expected to come from revenues generated from operational businesses. Collateral realization is the last resort.

It is because of their special place in the economy that lenders should actively engage their borrowers (i.e. customers) at a very early stage to protect their assets and the economy as a whole, in an effort to mitigating any foreseeable defaults.

The financial sector is highly regulated, including by the Bank of Tanzania Act, the Banking and Financial Institutions Act, the Foreign Exchange Act, and regulations, directives and circulars made thereunder. It would be naïve to suggest that lenders are not aware of the risk posed by COVID-19, as they are required to have in place management of risk assets policies as part of their modus operandi in line with the banking laws in particular the Banking and Financial Institutions (Management of Risk Assets) Regulations and the Risk Management Guidelines issued by the Bank of Tanzania as the licensing, regulator and supervisor of these institutions. As the regulator of the financial sector, the Bank of Tanzania’s primary concern is to make sure that these lenders operate in a financially sound manner, in that they have adequate credit by way of proper capitalization; good investment policies that among others identify, measure, monitor and manage the risk arising from their businesses aimed at ensuring timely and adequate measures or actions are taken on problematic assets. This is geared towards promoting and maintaining public confidence in the financial and banking sector.

Given that loans are assets, they must be repaid or secured. Repayment is normally expected as already argued to come from business revenues. When there is disruption to businesses, the borrower’s capacity to pay is impacted negatively thus necessarily affecting performance of the lender’s asset, which eventually leads lenders to resort to the unpalatable action of collection by either managing the business (if it is found to have been mismanaged), to generate enough revenue to repay the loan or by resorting to disposal of the security. Loan agreements foresee challenges that may incapacitate a borrower to repay the loans and provide for default clauses. Given this unprecedented pandemic, it is important that commercial lenders be on the alert to manage these possible defaults by borrowers in order to minimize statutory provisioning for losses. For example, it is time for lenders to closely monitor the economic trend affecting their customers to understand the extent of the financial difficulties they are facing right now.

In most loan agreements borrowers are required to submit monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual reports to lenders. The primary purpose of these reports is to inform a lender of the financial status of the borrower, market conditions and other operational issues so that a lender can make a reasonable assessment regarding the ongoing nature of the business. It is also a signal to the lender to assess the solvency or otherwise of the business. COVID-19 has resulted in a world-wide pause to business. There is complete unprecedented lockdown of business both local and international. Borders have been closed, production suspended, travel grounded, hotels and tourism sector completely shut down. The pandemic does not call for legalese thinking such as the possibility of invoking force majeure by borrowers (which has rarely been upheld by courts when it comes to defaults in the banking business or the concept or doctrine of frustration of a contract – which is not the ambit of this brief), but rather a practical and realistic approach to dealing with borrowers, the regulator, creditors and shareholders.

With the loss of business due to COVID-19, borrowers face loan defaults. In our view, lenders should attempt to take a pragmatic approach to the problem, by assisting their customers to survive the pandemic if at all possible. Considerations such as waivers of certain charges, interest rates (both current and penal) and restructuring options to give relief to borrowers should as far as practicable be considered. Lenders should take pains to assess the financial capacity of their borrowers, given the revenues from the businesses and based on the financial capacity of the business, agree on the amount that can be paid. This calls for lenders to approach this in line with the Management of Risk Assets Regulations and their own credit risk management policies. 

It should be borne in mind that during this trying time, it is important for lenders to engage with the regulator (the Bank of Tanzania) with a view to consider either temporarily suspending the statutory provisioning requirements and consultation with the Revenue Authority through the regulator to waive penalties on the anticipated tax revenues from interest charged and other charges if waived. In addition, lenders ought to fear engaging the regulator on the financial stimulus package. In this respect, it is important to engage the regulator as an industry and not as individual lenders by bringing to the regulator’s attention measures taken in other jurisdictions including in the region to ensure the survival of the banking industry. Silence and non-action is detrimental to the economy and the banking business. By actively engaging now with customers and the regulator, the industry can mitigate the risk of heavy provisioning for losses. It is a time for the banking industry to act collectively, borrow a leaf from other jurisdictions and actively suggest solutions to the regulator that will mitigate the anticipated loss of business and build confidence in the industry while reassuring customers that the banking industry is there for them.

*DLA Piper Africa Tanzania Member Firm, IMMA Advocates

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A shift from coal mining is urgently needed to protect the lives of rural communities in Nigeria
May 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

Lagos, Nigeria – A study commissioned by the international movement, has shown that coal mining in Nigeria’s Kogi and Gombe states has led to extensive environmental degradation including the contamination of air, water and soil which continue to negatively affect the health of local communities.

The coal miners fingered in the study are Aliko Dangote’s Dangote Cement, ETA Zuma’s Zuma 828 Coal Limited and Lafarge’s Ashaka Cement. The three companies despite stating lofty “green” and environmental sustainability positions on their websites and investor documents including annual and sustainability reports, continue to practice coal mining in a way that totally disregards the health and livelihoods of local communities and its effects on the global climate crisis.

Landry Ninteretse, the Africa Managing Director said: 

“It is already well known how dirty coal as a source of energy is, so it was particularly surprising that our study revealed that a company as large and respected as Dangote Cement went ahead to undertake coal mining through Dangote Coal without conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which is a mandatory requirement in Nigeria. It is therefore clear that Dangote is mining coal illegally in Kogi State.

We would like to urge the Federal Ministry of Environment of Nigeria to immediately carry out an environmental audit of all the coal mining sites in Nigeria. Furthermore, we would like to urge the Federal Government of Nigeria to immediately investigate and correct the human rights violations in coal mining communities in Nigeria particularly in Maigaga, Itobe, Onupi, Awo Akplokuta, Awo Ojuwo, Awo Ate, Ajobe Afeanyaka and Utala communities.

All mining operations especially those undertaken by multinational companies such as Lafarge and Dangote should adhere to the UN Guiding Principle on Business and Human Rights.”

David Michael Terungwa, the Executive Director of GIFSEP said:

“What has been witnessed in Kogi and Gombe states is that fossil fuel companies and large corporations when in need of natural resources, initiate talks with the local community and consequently enter into agreements whose benefits are heavily skewed against the local people. These companies are benefiting greatly from the goodwill of the local community and are not honoring the agreements entered into. 

There is an urgent need to review the Community Development Agreements signed between the coal mining communities and the companies in this case Ashaka Cement (Lafarge), Dangote and ETA Zuma.”

The Federal Government of Nigeria has made commitments under the Paris Agreement, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) which are reductions in greenhouse gas emissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) where all countries that signed the UNFCCC were asked to publish their commitments to fight climate change. In order to reduce carbon emissions, Nigeria should therefore ensure the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions starting with the phasing out of coal-fired plants.

Nigeria being the largest economy in Africa should be a beacon for other African states by accelerating its national plans that would see a rapid, just transition towards 100% renewable energy for all Nigerians. 


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2020 Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands Highlights
May 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

Today Brand Africa announced the 10th anniversary rankings of Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands, the pre-eminent survey and ranking of the Top 100 most admired brands in Africa. The rankings were announced in a novel global virtual event that incorporated the market openings of Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria. The rankings will be published in the June issue of African Business magazine and can be downloaded here.

American sports and fitness giant, Nike takes the top spot for the third year in a row. MTN and Dangote are the most admired African brands recalled spontaneously and when prompted, respectively. Nigeria’s GT Bank returns to the top spot in financial services and the United Kingdom’s BBC retains its media category ranking as the most admired media brand in separate category sub-surveys of the most admired financial services and media brands in Africa. African brands only occupy 13 of the 100 entries, 7 less from last year.

Established 10 years ago to coincide with the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the world’s biggest single sporting event, the Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands survey and rankings have established themselves as the most authoritative survey, analysis, and metric of brands in Africa.

It is a consumer-led survey which seeks to establish brand preferences across Africa. The survey is conducted among a representative sample of respondents 18 years and older, in 27 countries which collectively represent 50% of the continent, covering all economic regions and accounting for an estimated 80% of the population and the GDP of Africa. The 2020 survey was conducted between February and April 2020 and yielded over 15,000 brand mentions and over 2,000 unique brands.

Out of the top 100 brands in 2010/11, only half still appear in this year’s list due to mergers, acquisitions and the obsolescence of many brands. The most prominent changes are in the technology category with the demise Blackberry (#32 in 2010/11), the consolidation of Vodafone (#54 in 2010/11 and now #13 in 2020) which acquired Vodacom in 2008 and rebranded in 2011, Etisalat (#40 in 2010/11) rebranding to 9 Mobile in 2017 and Motorola (#39) being acquired by Lenovo in 2014. Chinese brand, Tecno, has raced up the ranking from #33 to #5 in the rankings – a dominant performance for one of China’s premier global brands that’s not even sold in China.

Computer/electronics (15%), consumer (non-cyclical) (14%), luxury (10%), auto manufacturers (10%), and apparel (8%) make up the top 5 categories.

In the sub-survey focused on financial services, GTBank re-claimed the #1 spot after falling out of the top 5 in 2019. This year’s rankings included a strong presence of payment service brands PayPal, Western Union and Visa, as digitisation and digital-led economies are expected to accelerate more acutely because of the pandemic.

“It’s concerning that in the 10 years since the triumphant FIFA World Cup in South Africa which globally highlighted the promise and capability of Africa, and despite the vibrant entrepreneurial environment, Africa is not creating more competitive brands to meet the needs of its growing consumer market,” says Thebe Ikalafeng, Founder and Chairman of Brand Africa and Brand Leadership. “African brands have an important role in helping to build the image, competitiveness and transforming the continent’s promise into a real change.”

“The reach and accessibility of mobile across the continent enabled us to survey respondents across a representative sample of countries quickly and effectively, giving us vital and timeous results at a critical time,” said Caitlin van Niekerk, Global Client Development Manager, GeoPoll.

Kantar has been the insight lead for Brand Africa since inception in 2010. Karin Du Chenne, Chief Growth Officer Africa Middle East says, “The complex task of analyzing a vast amount of diverse data, countries and trends over 10 years has given us a deep insight into how brands have changed, adapted and kept in step with the changing African environment and consumer who demands more from their brands.”

The Brand Africa 100 results will be published in the June issue African Business magazine which on sale globally from 2nd May 2020 and is available online to subscribers on

Brand Africa

Brand Africa is an intergenerational movement to inspire a great Africa through promoting a positive image of Africa, celebrating its diversity and driving its competitiveness. It is a brand-led movement which recognizes that in the 21st century, brands are an asset and a vector of image, reputation and competitiveness of nations. Brand Africa seeks to inspire a brand-led African renaissance.
Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands is a Brand Africa initiative to survey, rank and recognize the best brands in Africa.
Brand Africa is an independent Non-Profit Organisation registered in the Republic of South Africa (NPC 2013/146300/08) and a signatory to the Independent Code of Governance for Non-Profit Organisations in Africa (

BA 100 Partners

Brand Leadership
Brand Leadership is a pan-African brand development, integrated marketing communications and activation partner for decision- makers invested in Africa. Established in 2002, Brand Leadership has over the years delivered solutions that respond to African conditions, needs and ambitions for brands in the private and public sectors across Africa

GeoPoll is a leader in providing fast, high quality market research from areas that are difficult to access using traditional methods. Working with clients including global brands, media houses, and international development groups, GeoPoll facilitates projects that measure ROI of TV advertisements, demonstrate demand for new products, and assess food security around the world. GeoPoll combines a robust mobile surveying platform that has the ability to conduct research via multiple modes with a database of over 250 million respondents in emerging markets around the globe. Strengths lie in GeoPoll’ s ability to target extremely specific populations, deploy surveys remotely, and provide expert guidance on how to collect accurate, reliable data through the mobile phone.

Kantar is the world’s leading evidence -based insights and consulting company. We have a complete, unique and rounded understanding of how people think , feel act; globally and locally in over 90 markets. By combining the deep expertise of our people, our data resources and benchmarks, our innovative analytics and technology we help our clients understand people and inspire growth.

BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe), one of the world’s largest full-service global communications agencies, is in the business of moving people on behalf of clients. Founded by the merger of Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe, BCW delivers digitally and data-driven creative content and integrated communications programs grounded in earned media and scaled across all channels for clients in the B2B, consumer, corporate, crisis management, CSR, healthcare, public affairs and technology sectors.

BCW Africa is a truly African agency with a leading global parent and a 30-year heritage of partnership with clients, staff and its extended team. Johannesburg – based BCW boasts an unparalleled reach across Africa through BCW Africa, our network of affiliates across the continent, and international best practice expertise and a global footprint through BCW globally. Our African network, which covers 50+ African countries, is based on partnerships which span more than two decades with local agencies highly regarded in their markets.

BCW is a part of WPP (NYSE: WPP), a creative transformation company. For more information, visit

African Media Agency
AMA is a multilingual pan-African Communications agency with a deep knowledge and understanding of
the continent. It is recognized as an authoritative source of news for the most influential media houses in every African country.

African Business
African Business is the best-selling pan-African business magazine with an award-winning team widely respected for its editorial excellence. It provides the all-important tools enabling decision makers to maintain a critical edge in a continent that is changing the world. African Business special reports profile a wide range of sectors and industries including transport, energy, mining, construction, aviation and agriculture.


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May 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

While Africa Day (May 25th), the official day of the African Union (AU) marking intercontinental unity, takes place solemnly in 2020 on the backdrop of the continued outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus), a recent study of Africa’s youth has showcased continent-wide resiliency, institutional trust, cohesion and collective ‘Afro-Optimism’ in facing the challenges ahead.

The results of the inaugural ‘African Youth Survey’ , offer hope that through a growing shared identity found within Africa’s young people and their united, unwavering commitment to overcoming the myriad of obstacles confronting the continent, both new and longstanding, the 21st century will assuredly be the African century.

This Pan-African research project was commissioned by the Ichikowitz Family Foundation (IFF) and conducted by PSB Research, in an effort to help develop foundations for a better global understanding of a demographic that is all too often misunderstood. The 2020 African Youth Survey is a comprehensive study of 4,200 men and women aged 18-24 across 14 sub-Saharan nations; Congo-Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Mali, Malawi, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Togo, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Its findings suggest the continent’s next generation, collectively forming the world’s largest marketplace, bear striking similarities in their pan-African outlook and the willpower to independently determine their own futures.

Nearly eight in ten (76%) polled agreed that young people in Africa share a common identity, brought forth by common culture, shared history and the values epitomized by Nelson Mandela. This speaks to a palpable sense of a pan-African identity amongst this emerging generation, with highest support in West Africa (78%), Southern Africa (77%) and East Africa (69%). Ghana and Kenya are the strongest supporters of the notion (92%). On average, African youth feel more optimistic about the future of the continent than their own country’s future, with Rwanda, Ghana and South Africa being the most optimistic about Africa’s future.

Looking at the factors that will shape Africa’s identity in the future, 21% of African youth predict that war and conflict will have the biggest impact, but two thirds list positive developments as having the biggest impact. These include the digital revolution (16%), increased freedoms (15%), rise in prosperity (15%) and increased equality (13%).

Pan-Africanism is tempered when respondents were asked about their own identity, with around half identifying by their own country first, 17% by Africa, 17% by their tribe, 13% by race and only 2% by political party. In addition, 60% of all respondents agreed that their local language is central to their identity.

The Survey also finds great trust in the continent’s supranational organizations such as the African Union (AU). Seven out of ten (72%) surveyed are confident that the African Union “…in its current form will be able to facilitate unity across the African continent”. Of these respondents, confidence in the AU was found to be highest amongst Rwandans (93%) and Ghanaians (90%).

Although each nation upon nation across the continent has imposed individual social distancing and travel restrictions in efforts to curtail the further spread of the coronavirus disease, six out of ten (63%) polled believe that in future, African countries are best suited to find common solutions to pressing socioeconomic challenges.

Such Pan-Africanism can also be found at the community level, where young people in Africa are deeply embedded in their local communities, which many nonetheless describe as ethnically, religiously and economically diverse, according to the Survey’s findings. Three-quarters polled (75%) believed that their country belongs to all who reside in it, including refugees, eschewing tribal and other forms of xenophobia and discrimination. Young Africans are committed to their local communities and see a future for themselves on the continent as 69% prefer to stay in their communities instead of moving elsewhere.

This cohesion and commitment to societal growth correlates to a rising sense of ‘Afro-Optimism’ that was found to be a recurring theme throughout the results of the Study, with six in ten (65%) polled believing the 21st century will be the “African Century”.

Industrialist, philanthropist and Ichikowitz Foundation Chairman, Ivor Ichikowitz, stated that, “On this particular Africa Day, it is extremely important to celebrate our continent’s historic, groundbreaking achievements, our respective struggles for independence and those that fought for them, the work of our institutions such as the African Union in their continued drive for greater societal cohesion and socioeconomic development. Working together, we are capable of conquering monumental challenges, including the COVID-19 outbreak. At this time, we must also consider the needs of our fellow Africans, our neighbors; the many who may feel helpless and isolated, providing any support we can to those on the frontlines of this global pandemic.

“United, we will continue to build a stronger, more prominent Africa on the world stage and I have no doubt, our next generation will be leading that charge. The results of the Survey confirm it.”  

About the Ichikowitz Family Foundation

The Ichikowitz Family Foundation is founded upon the belief that Africa’s potential can be unlocked through education, the respect for human rights, a better understanding of Africa’s dynamic history and the conservation of its rich biodiversity. In terms of environmental programmes, the Ichikowitz Family Foundation works to promote personal, communal, and corporate best practice in matters affecting the environment, including the sustainable utilisation of natural resources, conservation of Africa’s unique biodiversity, especially building capacity and support for anti-poaching operations. Ichikowitz Family Foundation initiates, funds and runs its own projects.

*Source Ichikowitz Family Foundation

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Sierra Leone : CGSL Donates Le10m To the Fight Against COVID -19
May 23, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

CGSL members displaying cheque of ten million Leones as their contribution to government’s COVID-19  fight

One of Sierra Leone’s leading youth organisations , Chozen Generation Sierra Leone (CGSL) has donated ten million Leones to the country’s Covid -19 account at the Bank of Sierra  Leone as their financial support to the government’s fight against the Coronavirus disease.

According to GCSL , apart from the donation, the organization in diverse ways has been engaged in public education – disseminating messages of prevention and control, means to spot fake news and stress management during this period.

GCSL added that the donation is the result of a fundraising event that the organization held in February as well as voluntary contributions from the membership of CGSL, which comprises mostly college students and young professionals stating that  even though the organization is actively involved in public education which is immensely contributing to the fight against COVID -19, the membership, having studied the situation and trends of rising cases of the disease in Sierra Leone, concluded that it should raise some funds to support the government’s effort in tackling the Coronavirus disease and return the country to normalcy.

“This move is about young people stepping forward to help in the fight against the Coronavirus. We can hardly win this fight without the energy and dynamism of young people. This is also a wakeup call to Sierra Leoneans to support the government so that we can swiftly put this disaster behind us. If we must quickly open our country up again for business and get our schools and colleges back to normal, then there is a need for Sierra Leoneans of all ages, ethnicities and political ideologies to support the government in this fight, said CGSL National Coordinator, Joel Abdulai Kallon.

GCSL believed that ,in these tough times, they want to use this gesture as a way of applauding the incredible sacrifices of the frontline fighters and pray for God’s continued guidance and protection adding that they want to encourage them to keep saving lives even as they search for a lasting solution amidst the daily risks involved and the many challenges attached.

 Chozen Generation Sierra Leone is an award-winning youth advocacy and leadership development organization in Sierra Leone that seeks to empower youths nationwide through the provision of relevant training opportunities, mentoring and coaching.

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