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2018 World Cup: Fifa hands out punishments to several African nations
October 4, 2017 | 0 Comments

Fifa has handed out punishments to eight African nations for various offences committed during September’s 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Gabon fielded an ineligible player – Merlin Tandjigora, who should have been suspended – in the 3-0 home defeat by Ivory Coast on 2 September.

The Panthers effectively escape with a fine as the main sanction for the error is to forfeit the match 3-0.

Several teams suffered similar sanctions in 2014 World Cup qualifying.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation has been fined just over US$30,000 and issued with a warning after fans invaded the pitch when they beat Cameroon 4-0 on 1 September.

DR Congo were also given a warning and also handed a major fine, forced to pay Fifa around US$20,000, for incidents during their match against Tunisia on 5 September.

Fifa ruled that there had been “improper conduct among spectators – throwing objects [bottles] and letting off incendiary devices” at the match, which ended 2-2, in Kinshasa.

The Congolese federation was also sanctioned for failing to fly national flags at the stadium and for not displaying a mandatory “central advertising board”.

There was a US$15,000 fine and a warning for Mali after their home match against Morocco also suffered from “improper conduct among spectators – throwing objects [bottles and chairs]”.

Elsewhere, Zambia must pay US$7,000 after their fans threw objects when they played Algeria in Lusaka.

Morocco’s punishment of US$3,000 and a warning was given after spectators whistled during the national anthem ahead of their match against Mali in Rabat.

Both Burkina Faso and Senegal were issued warnings for delayed kick-offs in their matches against each other on 2 and 5 September respectively.

And South Africa’s Erick Mulomowandau Mathoho had his suspension for a straight red card against Cape Verde increased from one match to two and also fined US$5,000.

He was dismissed in Praia for kicking out at an opponent after the ball had already gone into touch and missed the return match a few days later through suspension.

The increased ban means Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter had to drop him from his squad to face visiting Burkina Faso on Saturday.

He has been replaced by Cape Town City captain Robyn Johannes, who has earned his first call-up since 2008.

*BBC

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Rx Healthcare Fund Announces Anchor Investors
October 3, 2017 | 0 Comments
The Fund aims to address growing demand for high-quality healthcare services across North African and Sub-Saharan jurisdictions, through investments in high growth potential entities in three key sectors: specialized hospitals, medical diagnostics, and pharmaceuticals
former Egyptian Minister of Health Dr. Hatem El Gabaly

former Egyptian Minister of Health Dr. Hatem El Gabaly

CAIRO, Egypt, October 2, 2017/ — Rx Healthcare Fund (“Rx” or the “Fund”) (www.RxHealthManagement.com), an Africa-focused healthcare private equity fund currently under establishment, today announced that GE Healthcare (www.GEhealthcare.com), a leading global provider of transformational medical technologies and services, is set to become an anchor limited partner in Rx. Following an earlier commitment to Rx by the African Development Bank, the proposed minority investment by GE is subject to completion of fundraising.

Rx, which is led by former Egyptian Minister of Health Dr. Hatem El Gabaly, is a private equity fund managed by a newly setup fund manager in partnership with EFG Hermes, the leading financial services corporation in the Middle East and North Africa. The Fund aims to address growing demand for high-quality healthcare services across North African and Sub-Saharan jurisdictions, through investments in high growth potential entities in three key sectors: specialized hospitals, medical diagnostics, and pharmaceuticals.

“Access to long term development funding is the cornerstone of sustainable healthcare development in Africa”, said Farid Fezoua, President & CEO of GE Healthcare Africa. “As Africa’s banks and financial services industry sharpen their focus on the continent’s expanding health sector, nurturing homegrown strategic funding and financing solutions combined with operators’ and technology domain expertise has the potential to provide a significant boost for local private sector healthcare providers, SMEs and entrepreneurs as well as public-private partnerships.”

“We’re delighted to have completed our lineup of potential anchor limited partners with GE Healthcare, an unrivaled industry specialist with a footprint in more than 100 countries across the world, and African Development Bank, the continent’s leading development finance institution,” said Dr. El Gabaly. “Importantly, GE Healthcare’s added value to Rx goes far beyond its financial investment: We view GE Healthcare and AfDB as strategic partners who would bring deep industry and geography specific knowledge in many of our target markets. We believe our Fund will offer a unique value proposition to the potential investors, in which it will be supported by veteran healthcare professionals, seasoned private equity professionals, and experienced investors.”

“Africa’s healthcare sector is unique in that it offers both the potential for superior risk-adjusted returns as well as the opportunity to invest responsibly in a critical sector that will have measurable impact on the wider economy,” El Gabaly noted.

With the IMF projecting the continent’s GDP growing at 6% (2013-2017) and a population of over one billion that includes an emerging middle class that has grown 60%+ to reach c.313 million over the last 10 years, Africa has a strong macro-economic outlook that could create a significant role for private healthcare providers.
Within Africa, Rx will focus its strategy to invest in opportunities across Kenya, Nigeria and Ethiopia in sub-Saharan Africa as well as in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco in North Africa.

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world.  GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter – great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions, GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients.

Rx Healthcare Fund, is a private equity fund (Under Establishment) that will capitalize on the rapidly growing demand for affordable, high-quality healthcare services across the African continent. The Fund aims to build an integrated portfolio of strategic healthcare assets across the North African countries of Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco with a potential for expansion and replication in the vastly underserved Sub-Saharan healthcare markets particularly Kenya, Nigeria and Ethiopia.

The Fund deploys a rigorous value creation strategy centered around the development of pan-African healthcare platforms along three distinct verticals covering diagnostics & therapeutic services, hospitals (general and specialized), and pharmaceuticals or other complimentary subsectors of healthcare across the continent.

With a current footprint spanning Eight countries in the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan & United States of America, EFG Hermes started in Egypt and has grown over 30 years of success to become a leading financial services corporation with access to emerging and frontier markets. Drawing on our proven track-record & a team of more than 2900 talented employees, we provide a wide spectrum of financial services that include investment banking, asset management, securities brokerage, research and private equity to the entire region.
Combining our strengths and expertise in the region, we offer our clients best-in-class products and services that are tailored to their needs to maximize their investment goals in a rapidly changing environment.

EFG Hermes’ private equity arm is one of the Arab world’s leading private-equity groups with a special focus on investing in infrastructure (particularly renewable energy), healthcare and consumer products. With more than 25 years of experience in investing across a broad industrial footprint, the firm is a leader in infrastructure private equity.

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African Presidents and CEOs Discuss the Future of U.S.-Africa Business at UNGA
October 3, 2017 | 0 Comments
CCA's Florie Liser with Rwandan President Paul Kagame

CCA’s Florie Liser with Rwandan President Paul Kagame

Washington, DCOctober 2, 2017: Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) hosted key meetings on the future of U.S.-Africa business in New York featuring leaders such as Rwandan President Paul Kagame and African Billionaire Mr. Aliko Dangote during the United Nations General Assembly meetings from September 18-22, 2017.

 
CCA hosted five events during UNGA week focused on U.S.-Africa business relations, African economic reforms, healthcare priorities on the continent and investment in several featured African nations. “We engaged in very important conversations this week with business and government leaders on the forefront of some of the continent’s greatest success stories,” said CCA President and CEO, Ms. Florizelle Liser. “CEOs of major CCA member companies had the opportunity to discuss with African government and business leaders on both the challenges and opportunities for enhanced U.S.-Africa business partnerships and increased investment into Africa’s rapidly changing economic landscape.”
 
CCA’s flagship event during UNGA, the Presidential Dialogue on the Future of U.S.-African Business Relations featured H.E. President Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and Mr. Aliko Dangote, CEO of the Dangote Group. The discussion – hosted at Shearman and Sterling LLP’s New York Office and moderated by Ms. Rosa Whitaker, CEO of The Whitaker Group – discussed the business environment in Africa and potential ways to forge U.S.-Africa business relations and partnerships that contribute to increased and move diversified U.S.-Africa trade and investment.
 
Mr. Dangote expressed hope that oil prices continue to remain low to force African economies to diversify. “Agriculture, agriculture, agriculture. Africa will become the food basket of the world,” said Mr. Dangote. He also credited growth in countries like Rwanda to a commitment to good governance. President Kagame highlighted some of the misconceptions many investors still have about Africa. “People have developed a misconception that corruption is the way of life in Africa. This is far from the truth,” he said.
 
On Wednesday, September 20 CCA hosted its Forum on Advancing Health Priorities in Africa and its Africa Finance Forum: Reforming the African Economy. The Health Forum centered around partnerships on non-communicable diseases in Africa, an area of rising concern for international health experts, African governments, and other partners. Much of the discussion centered around the enabling environment for successful public/private partnerships in the African health sector. The Finance Forum, a follow up to CCA’s earlier discussion during the World Bank Spring meetings, focused on critical reforms in African economies that are needed to effectively address bottle-necks to investors and businesses.
 
Finally, CCA held special by-invitation CEO investor roundtables with heads of state and other senior officials of Nigeria, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea. On behalf of H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Geoffrey Onyeama, was joined by four other ministers in a discussion with CEOs of major companies on the prospects for U.S.-Nigeria trade and investment. At events featuring H.E. Ali Bongo Ondimba and H.E. President Obiang, Presidents of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea respectively, CEOs and senior business officials discussed not only prospects in the oil and gas sectors, but the growing opportunities in diverse sectors across those two countries.
The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) is the leading U.S. business association focused solely on connecting U.S. and African business interests. CCA serves as a neutral, trusted intermediary connecting its member firms with the essential government and business leaders they need to do business and succeed in Africa
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The Pan African University Institute for Water and Energy Sciences including Climate Change (PAUWES) Celebrates its Second Graduating Cohort of 47 Students from Across Africa
September 30, 2017 | 0 Comments
This year’s graduating students will join the next generation of African engineers and policymakers committed to addressing the issues critical to Africa’s sustainable development.
The newly graduated PAUWES Class of 2017 celebrates outside the University of Tlemcen Auditorium

The newly graduated PAUWES Class of 2017 celebrates outside the University of Tlemcen Auditorium

TLEMCEN, Algeria, September 28, 2017/ — The Pan African University Institute for Water and Energy Sciences including Climate Change (PAUWES) (http://PAUWES.univ-tlemcen.dz) celebrated the second graduating class of its both tracks of its two Master programmes earlier today. 47 students from across the African continent have received their diplomas during a ceremony at the University of Tlemcen.

The graduating students and their guests were welcomed and addressed by official representatives of the Algerian government and dignitaries from across Africa and Europe, including Her Excellency Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor, the new African Union Commissioner for Human Resources , Science and Technology, Benyaiche Ali, the Governor of the Tlemcen Wilaya, and His Excellency Michael Zenner, the German Ambassador to Algeria.

This year’s graduating students will join the next generation of African engineers and policymakers committed to addressing the issues critical to Africa’s sustainable development. They have not only successfully completed their coursework requirements, but have conducted practice-oriented research for their master theses based on a multitude of case studies that address the water, energy, and climate-related challenges Africa faces.

The new African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, Her Excellency Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor delivers an uplifting address to the graduates

The new African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, Her Excellency Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor delivers an uplifting address to the graduates

In order to gain a transcontinental perspective of those same challenges, our students have also completed international internships in the private and public sectors at renowned research institutions cross Africa and beyond. Besides focusing on their studies, the students of the Class of 2017—with the support of PAUWES—launched the first student-lead clubs, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Club and the Community of Practice (CoP), which have contributed to the overall sense of community and leadership that our institute strives to promote.

What is more, this cohort of graduating students represents and fulfills one of the key objectives of the Pan African University (PAU) and PAUWES—which is to foster an African learning environment of the most qualified and motivated scholars while revitalizing and nurturing the quality of African higher education. Not only are an array African Union member states and eleven female students represented in the Class of 2017, but this diverse cohort of students have had the opportunity to study alongside an international faculty of over 100 professors and researchers from across Africa and the world.

Supported by PAUWES, the University of Tlemcen and our key thematic partner—Germany, we are confident that students of the Class of 2017 are well positioned to become leaders in public administration, policy-making, research, technology, private enterprise, and civil society. The PAUWES 2017 Class Booklet (http://apo.af/c2fCtF) showcases this year’s graduates and we are very pleased to invite future employers to meet them.

We will proudly welcome our most diverse cohort ever this coming fall as 70 students from 31 African countries will join the PAUWES family as the incoming Class of 2019.
List of Graduates
Yunus ALOKORE Uganda Samuel Olatunde BABALOLA Nigeria Gemma ITUZE Rwanda Irene NANTONGO Uganda Gnamien Constant KOUAKOU Cote d’Ivoire Mahmoud Sayed HEFNEY DIAB Egypt Rolex MUCEKA Uganda Mohamed Lamine BACHIR Mali Erasmus MUH Cameroon Solomon Gebremariam Fissaha Ethiopia Colette ABIMANA Rwanda Hillary KIPRONO Kenya Tonny KUKEERA Uganda Wilson Ofori SARKODIE Ghana Ogechi Vivian NWADIARU Nigeria Salif SOW Senegal Amal Nasser Fahiem ABD ELAZIZ Egypt Amon Kevin Kirathe GACHURI Kenya Andrew MUGUMYA Uganda Jean d’Amour MWONGEREZA Rwanda Cleus BAMUTURA Uganda Michel RWEMA Rwanda Eric Otieno AKUMU Kenya Rehema Maria KHIMULU Kenya Martin LYAMBAI Zambia Brian Omondi ODUOR Kenya Anthere BIZIMANA Rwanda Endalkachew Yeshewas Muche Ethiopia George KIMBOWA Uganda Johnstone Isiah MAINYA Kenya Gninwokan Eden Josias KONE Côte d’Ivoire Jean Marie Pascal KWISANGA Rwanda Mthokozisi MOYO Zimbabwe John Ng’ang’a GATHAGU Kenya Naima HAMDAOUI Algeria Ousmanou NJOYA Cameroon Jemal MOHAMMED HASSEN Ethiopia Mulugeta Ferede MELESE Ethiopia Workinesh Takele TESSEMA Ethiopia Josiane ABONIYO Rwanda Kouadio Pierre Stephane BOFFOUE Côte d’Ivoire Cuthbert TAGUTA Zimbabwe Diana UMULISA Rwanda Eva Muthoni Kimonye Kenya Herman KWOBA Kenya Mukaya MUHAMMUDU Uganda Yassien Kassie Mohammed Ethiopia

PAU (https://PAU-au.net) addresses five thematic areas: Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation; Life and Earth Sciences (including Health and Agriculture), Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences; Water and Energy Sciences including Climate Change (PAUWES); and Space Sciences. The thematic areas are assigned to five flagship institutes hosted by existing universities of excellence across Africa’s five geographic regions. For more information: https://PAU-au.net

As an integral part of the Pan African University,  the Institute for Water and Energy Sciences (including Climate Change) (PAUWES) (http://PAUWES.univ-tlemcen.dz) in Tlemcen, Algeria, contributes to advancing higher education and applied research in the fields of water, energy and climate change – a key contribution to sustainable development in Africa. PAUWES, which is supported by the German government, currently offers four master programmes in the fields of water and energy, covering both engineering and policy

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Investing in Africa Forum: Africa Leapfrogging Through Innovation
September 29, 2017 | 0 Comments
DAKAR, September 27, 2017-The third Investing in Africa Forum (IAF) saw the launch of a thought-provoking report on propelling the economy, called

Leapfrogging Through Innovation. Prepared by the World Bank and China Development Bank, the report discusses opportunities to scale-up innovation in various economic sectors in Africa. The annual Forum took place in Dakar this year, where it was hosted by the Government of Senegal, Chinese Ministry of Finance, China Development Bank, and the World Bank Group.

“We couldn’t have found a better topic for a continent aspiring for emergence. On the path to emergence, we must give ourselves the means to positively and sustainably transform our production system. This will inevitably require innovation, and a new mindset that translates into a real willingness to break with established ideas, practices, and habits. It can no longer be ‘business as usual’, as our Anglophone friends say,” said Macky Sall, President of Senegal.

 The IAF is an annual platform for aimed at increasing China’s investments in Africa, and other multilateral cooperation. This year it focused on a new generation of investment opportunities driven by innovation and the adoption of technologies critical for unlocking Africa’s potential for accelerated, inclusive economic growth.

“The Investing in Africa Forum is an important multilateral platform to strengthen cooperation and spark innovation across the African continent,” said Shaolin Yang, Managing Director and Chief Administrative Officer of the World Bank Group“African leaders recognize the power of embracing new and disruptive technologies. We look forward to working on ways that move words to action by further leveraging finance, global knowledge, and partnerships through supporting dialogues among governments, investors, and civil society. Through the Forum we are igniting change for long-term sustainable impact across the developing world.”

 Several Memorandums of Understanding were signed at the Forum, covering projects in energy, agriculture, and education.

“We have committed to mutually beneficial, win-win cooperation to promote the sharing of development experience, investments and trade,” said Yaobin Shi, Vice Minister of Finance of the People’s Republic of China. “I hope that, through this Forum, China and African countries will coordinate development strategies and find new opportunities for cooperation. We must learn from each other, explore new development paths, integrate our competitive advantages and resources, and develop new financing models to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”

 The Forum also saw the debut of the Investing in Africa Think Tank Alliance, a global platform for knowledge sharing and partnerships in Africa, China, and elsewhere.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is already working with investments from China to finance development projects through the Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program. This program has financed to date 57 projects across 27 countries, and has notably invested $465 million in Sub-Saharan African countries (Ghana, Kenya, Guinea, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Gabon, Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo).

“The digital economy has high potential to unleash economic growth, jobs, and social inclusion,” said Nena Stoiljkovic, IFC Vice President for Blended Finance and Partnerships“The digitization of economies requires the right regulatory framework, significant private sector investment in broadband infrastructure, and financing and advisory solutions to unlock investments perceived as higher risk.”

 More than 400 participants attended the Forum, which was also well-attended by Chinese and African companies seeking to expand partnerships for new investments.

Established in 2015 through a China Development Bank initiative, the first two Forums were held in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and in Guangzhou (China). During these Forums, participants advocated stronger partnerships to address the acceleration of manufacturing and industrialization, expanding agriculture and agribusiness, and improving infrastructure, regional connectivity and logistics for trade.

 

The next Investing in Africa Forum (IAF 2018) will be held in Hunan, China.

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Top U.S. Development Agency Chief to Deliver Remarks on Engaging the Private Sector in Africa’s Development
September 29, 2017 | 0 Comments
  • USAID Administrator Mark Green will be a speaker for the Fireside Chat.  A Congressional Roundtable will focus on shaping U.S.-Africa trade and economic policy. 

  • African Development Bank and African Export-Import Bank (Afeximbank) will serve as Collaborating Partners for the IGD Fall Forum.

  • Forum to host the Africa investor (Ai) Development Finance-Institutional Investor Roundtable.

Mark Green, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, will deliver remarks at the Initiative for Global Development’s Fall Frontier 100 Forum

Mark Green, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, will deliver remarks at the Initiative for Global Development’s Fall Frontier 100 Forum

WASHINGTON D.C. – September 28, 2017 – Mark Green, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, will deliver remarks at the Initiative for Global Development’s Fall Frontier 100 Forum, to be held on Oct. 11 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

Administrator Green is the former President and CEO of the Initiative for Global Development (IGD).

African and global business leaders will gather on Oct. 11-12 for the invitation-only biannual gathering to drive action and scalable solutions on spurring investment opportunities to grow African companies and forge stronger business relationships between investors and African private sector leaders.

Administrator Green will speak in a Fireside Chat on how USAID can deepen its engagement with the private sector on the African continent and bolster investment opportunities for sustainable development and inclusive growth.

The Fireside Chat will be followed by a congressional roundtable on shaping U.S.-Africa trade and economic policy to improve Africa’s investment environment.

Sworn in as the Administrator in August 2017, he previously served as president of the International Republican Institute and was the senior director at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. From 2007 to 2009, Green was the U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania and had served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Wisconsin’s 8th District.

“We’re thrilled to welcome back Administrator Green to IGD’s Frontier Leader Network, where he will find old as well as new friends,” said Mima S. Nedelcovych, IGD President & CEO.

“Mark is serving as USAID Administrator during a time of tremendous growth and economic potential in Africa and as the former IGD President he knows firsthand about the dynamisms of African companies and the continent’s thriving markets. We’ll hear more about how Africa’s private sector can play a greater role in fueling sustainable development,” said Nedelcovych.

The opening day will conclude with an evening reception, sponsored by the African Development Bank, and will highlight a congressional delegation visit to West Africa.

The Fall Forum will also roll out a grassroots campaign on increasing U.S. investment in Africa, which is part of IGD’s Africa Investment Rising campaign, a dynamic multimedia effort aimed at changing the narrative on doing business in Africa.

Registration is open for the forum, which will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and Trade Center on Oct. 11 and Covington law offices on Oct. 12 in Washington.

Forum sponsors include the African Development BankAfrican Export-Import BankAfrica investor as Collaborating Partners; Covington as Platinum Sponsor; Ex-Im Global Partners as Gold Sponsor; and Clin d’Oeil Magazine as Silver Sponsor.

Media partners are Africa InvestorAfrica.comAfrica Trade magazineAfrican Business CentralAfropop WorldwideAllAfrica.comAsoko InsightFace2Face AfricaPan-African Visions, and VoxAfrica.

MEDIA CONTACT: Shanta Bryant Gyan, Initiative for Global Development * email, sbryant@igdleaders.org  * phone, 202-412-4603

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Paolo Carli Appointed as the Head of MEA at Merck
September 27, 2017 | 0 Comments
Paolo Carli has decades of business and pharmaceutical experience demonstrating a proven track record of continuous success under his leadership
Paolo Carli, Head of Middle East, Africa and Turkey region, Merck

Paolo Carli, Head of Middle East, Africa and Turkey region, Merck

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, September 25, 2017/ — Merck (www.MerckGroup.com), one of the leading science and technology companies announced the appointment of Paolo Carli as Head of Middle East, Africa & Turkey (MEA) region for its healthcare business. In his new role, Paolo will be responsible for leading the commercial operations for Merck across MEA.

Commenting on his appointment Paolo Carli said “Merck prepares to celebrate its 350th year in the pharmaceutical business in 2018. Being a strategic region for Merck, we are committed to excel innovation and create value for patients across this region. I am delighted to lead the MEA team. Our innovative treatment options and sustainable commitment for patients will move us to the next level.”

Paolo Carli has decades of business and pharmaceutical experience demonstrating a proven track record of continuous success under his leadership. His expertise and industry knowledge will be critical in MEA as Merck builds on strategic innovation to elevate the healthcare standards, improve patient programs and prepares launches of new products.

Paolo Carli joined Merck in 2008, as the member of the Mergers & Acquisitions team in Darmstadt, Germany. In that role, he actively participated in the execution of key transactions for the Merck Group. He successfully led Middle East and Egypt in the last 5 years and now expands his responsibilities to Turkey and Africa.

Prior to joining Merck, Carli worked with Deutsche Bank, both in Italy and in Germany, where he successfully contributed to the regional expansion of the retail franchise in Europe and in several emerging markets such as India, China, Turkey, and Vietnam.

Paolo Carli holds a degree in Economics from the University of Turin and an Executive MBA from Ashridge Business School in the UK. Paolo is settled in Dubai, UAE with his wife and two children.

Merck (www.MerckGroup.com) is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2016, Merck generated sales of € 15.0 billion in 66 countries.

Founded in 1668, Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany holds the global rights to the “Merck” name and brand except in the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.

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Solarplaza and GOGLA Build the Leading Conference Brand for Solar Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa
September 25, 2017 | 0 Comments
The 2nd edition of Unlocking Solar Capital Africa will take place in Abidjan come October
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, September 25, 2017/ — Solarplaza (www.Solarplaza.com) and GOGLA (www.GOGLA.org) are proud to announce the second edition of Unlocking Solar Capital (USC) Africa (Africa.UnLockingSolarCapital.com). After hosting last year’s inaugural edition in Nairobi, Kenya, we’ll be organizing its follow-up in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

The high-level 2-day conference centered around unlocking capital for new solar project development in Africa provides an original and exclusive international platform and will take place on the 25-26th of October, 2017. In preparation for the event, Solarplaza analyst Marco Dorothal speaks with 3 of the event’s main driving forces – Lydia van Os and Adriaan van Loon of Solarplaza and Eveline Jansen of GOGLA discussing the challenges and opportunities for African solar development in the region.

The story of ‘Unlocking Solar Capital’ did not start in Abidjan. Why did you choose to hold the first edition in Nairobi and what were the main lessons learnt?

Eveline: “The unique design of the USC Africa conference characterizes how partnerships and collaboration can strengthen the solar sector: The Nairobi edition was the first investor conference to bring the off-grid industry together with on-grid and mini-grid segments of the solar sector. While the needs and demands of the three sectors are diverse, it is vital to maintain open channels of communication in order to effectively advocate for beneficial policy environments and work together towards the shared goal of increased electricity access. The success of this first edition was a testimony of catering to a new demand for a more holistic approach – and clear indication that there is a need to keep that momentum going.”

Adriaan: “Nairobi was chosen to host the first edition of Unlocking Solar Capital because it is the business capital of East Africa. As Eveline mentioned, a truly unique factor was the unique involved mix of on and off-grid players. The fact that a lot of industry players are already established in Nairobi enabled us to grow the conference bigger than we ever imagined. However, as a conference that aims to cover the whole continent, we learned that the best way to have both a strong international and continental presence is to move to other regions as well to be able to reach a larger and more diverse audience and address different markets.”

Lydia: “Currently, we see an extremely promising growth of the solar industry on the African continent. To increase our impact we want to be close to the developments and aim to take our international network to the local sources where opportunities arise. We have a holistic vision regarding the joint potential of on and off-grid energy, as we think both are crucial to work towards fully electrifying African countries. To accomplish this vision we have chosen to organize the conference in Africa, for Africa.”

Now, moving on to Abidjan, what are the differences between the locations and how are you buildingon the success of the previous edition?

Eveline: “Moving the second edition to West Africa is not only essential for a truly holistic approach to the Sub-Saharan Africa market, but also a recognition of the rapidly developing solar market in the region.”

Lydia: “This year the event is going to take place in Abidjan as we want to expand upon the success of last year, while at the same time involving more of the francophone community and investors. Hosting the event in different markets allows us to not only bring the conference platform and our relations to exciting new regions, but also allows us to leverage the knowledge and experience of our previous editions by sharing them with regional partners and attendees.”

 

How did you reflect new regional developments in your program?

Lydia: “Our program focuses on opportunities for both established as well as upcoming market players. With the Solar Incubator, which is co-organized with Phanes Group PV, smaller players in the African solar market are challenged to pitch their projects with the chance of winning mentorship and co-development facilities. At the same time, we will host sessions that focus on utility-scale projects. For instance, we have a panel in which we’ll discuss the bankability of solar projects, which is a recurring challenge, featuring leading regional experts from Standard Bank, Scatec Solar, the EU commission and Africa50.”

Adriaan: “Compared to our previous event, we did see a need for more collaborations between development financial institutions (DFIs) and the private sector in order to spearhead the growth of the solar sector in the more challenging countries. Furthermore, the advancements in mini-grid technology will be represented in our ‘Generations’ track, focusing on bigger mini-grid projects, as well as in our ‘Connections’ track, which focuses purely on micro-grid developments.”

How do you see the future unfolding for the African region; what are the most important things that need to be achieved in order to succeed and how will you hope that USC Africa can contribute to this?

Eveline: “There is a clear need for greater communication and understanding between the different stakeholders in the solar sector, as well as recognizing the patterns and shared challenges in the hugely diverse individual markets. Unlocking Solar Capital Africa accelerates this process by providing opportunities for focused interaction between these stakeholders.”

Adriaan: “We aim to contribute by providing people with a platform to share best practices and meet the stakeholders that you need to further your business. With the conference platform, we seek to solve Africa’s solar energy funding gap by connecting financiers and developers, and having key market players share their practical experiences. Furthermore, the floor will be given to innovative startups to pitch their business models and secure financing.”

Lydia: “There is a lot of dedication among solar industry players to bring electricity to the 600 million Africans that currently do not have access to modern energy solutions. This dedication is easy to understand from both a market perspective, which is obviously very large, as from the conviction that everyone should have access to electricity and that we shouldn’t burden the environment through the use of fossil fuels, while great alternatives are readily available at a competitive price point. We want Unlocking Solar Capital Africa to be the driving platform for Africa’s solar revolution moving forward.”

Learn more about the challenges and solutions to financing of solar projects in Africa at Unlocking Solar Capital Africa, the African region’s largest and foremost conference on unlocking capital for new solar development. The 2-day conference will be held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on the 25-26th of October, 2017 and will be aimed at bringing together hundreds of solar stakeholder, such representative from solar developers, development banks, investment funds, EPCs, IPPs and others. For more information on Unlocking Solar Capital Africa, please visit Africa.UnLockingSolarCapital.com.

  Unlocking Solar Capital Africa (www.Africa.UnLockingSolarCapital.com) is an event entirely focused on connecting solar project development and finance & investment across the entire African solar sector (On-grid Solar, micro-grids, off-grid lighting and household electrification). Unlocking Solar Capital Africa 2017 will bring together hundreds of representatives from development banks, investment funds, solar developers, IPPs, EPCs & other solar stakeholders to engage in extensive discussions to solve Africa’s solar energy funding gap – and get projects realized. As a professional solar event organizer, Solarplaza has hosted over 90 events in 30 countries around the world, ranging from exploratory trade missions in emerging markets to large-scale conferences with 450+ participants. Unlocking Solar Capital Africa 2017 is Solarplaza’s 8th conference on the African continent, and directly builds on our previous Unlocking Solar Capital Africa (Nairobi, Kenya), Unlocking Solar Capital Latam (Miami, USA), Unlocking Solar Capital Asia (Singapore) and Making Solar Bankable (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) conferences. For more information regarding the program, attendees, and registrations, visit www.Africa.UnLockingSolarCapital.com.

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African Small-Scale Farmers Carve a Giant Message for World Leaders in the Very Soil They Farm
September 25, 2017 | 0 Comments

Rome / New York (PRWEB) September 22, 2017

African farmers from a remote village in northern Zambia have teamed up with the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to send a giant message to world leaders gathering in New York this week – invest more in agriculture if you want to end poverty and hunger by 2030.

And to get their message the attention it deserves, the 16 farmers from Kasama, Zambia carved their case for investment into the very soil they farm, producing a giant “Field Report” with a pie chart, graphs and numbers that explain why long-term, transformative investments in smallholder agriculture are so important.

“The Field Report makes the case for investment in agricultural development in the very land that needs it the most,” said Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD. “We were inspired by the sheer power and potential agriculture holds to reduce poverty and hunger, contribute to vibrant, self-sustaining communities and dramatically increase the food needed to feeding a growing population.”

The message from the farmers of Kasama comes at a critical time. According to an IFAD-supported joint UN report launched last week, global hunger is on the rise again, affecting 815 million people in 2016, or 11 per cent of the world’s population.

At the same time, multiple forms of malnutrition are threatening the health of millions worldwide. Of the world’s hungriest people, 243 million reside in Africa. Throughout the region, food insecurity has been exacerbated by violent conflicts and climate-related shocks. In Kasama, farmers have had to deal with erratic rainfall and depleted soils as a consequence of a changing climate.

“When the drought hit, my crops did not have enough water. I had low yields and a shortage of food. I could not feed my children,” said Augustine Chilumba, 60, a bean and maize farmer who contributed to the project. “Farmers in Africa need more support. We need ploughs, fertilizers and good quality seeds.”

The “Field Report” is part of a wider global public awareness campaign launched by IFAD today aimed at raising awareness about the importance of long-term agricultural development to reduce poverty, build local economies, slow migration and feed the world’s growing population.

The contents of the “Field Report” are best seen in aerial footage produced by IFAD. In one shot, a large pie chart carved into the soil reveals that Africa has 25% of the world’s arable land but only produces 10% of its agricultural output. The continent spends US$35 billion on food imports a year, but if this money was invested in developing smallholder farming and rural infrastructure, Africa could feed itself.

Further along, a bar chart filled with local foliage illustrates the growth of urban populations. Year after year, people are leaving rural areas in Africa. Many are young people hoping for jobs in cities and abroad. By 2030, half of all Africans will live in cities. Investing in rural development can create opportunities for the 12 to 18 million young Africans who enter the job market every year.

A line graph at the base of the field shows the steady upward growth of the world’s population, expected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050. With more than 2 billion more mouths to feed by mid-century, agricultural production will have to double.

Small-scale farmers are the world’s largest group of local food producers. Investments in sustainable and climate-friendly farming methods will support them as they play a fundamental role in feeding their communities.

Finally, the footage reveals a giant “11” that makes the point that in sub-Saharan Africa, growth from agriculture can be 11 times more effective at reducing extreme poverty than growth in any other sector. Greater investments in agriculture is critical to lifting millions of people out of poverty and feeding the 815 million people who are undernourished today.

IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided about US$18.5 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached some 464 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub. For more information visit http://www.ifad.org

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An emotional tribute in memory of former AfDB President Babacar Ndiaye
September 24, 2017 | 0 Comments
Babacar Ndiaye, the Bank Group’s fifth elected President, who served two terms between 1985 and 1995, passed away on July 13, 2017 in Senegal
President Adesina and Babacar Ndiaye's family

President Adesina and Babacar Ndiaye’s family

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, September 23, 2017/ — “Goodbye, Papa, farewell to the ambassador for Africa’s development, rest in peace.” In an intensely emotional tribute, the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) (www.AfDB.org), Adesina Akinwumi, opened a ceremony honouring Babacar Ndiaye at the organisation’s headquarters in Abidjan.

Adesina announced that the AfDB headquarters auditorium will from now on be named Babacar Ndiaye Auditorium.

Babacar Ndiaye, the Bank Group’s fifth elected President, who served two terms between 1985 and 1995, passed away on July 13, 2017 in Senegal.

With Ndiaye’s widow and several children in attendance, as well as former AfDB President Kantinka Dr Kwame D. Fordwor, members of the Senegalese and Ivorian Governments, representatives of the diplomatic corps, and active and retired AfDB staff members. Adesina fondly recalled Babacar Ndiaye’s complete and passionate commitment to the development of Africa.

“He was an AfDB icon, he was a father and mentor to every one of us, and emphatically launched the career of the Bank Group’s current President. He inspired us. In losing him, Africa has lost one of its best sons.”

President Adesina underlined the personal ties between him and his predecessor, recalling that he knew Ndiaye when he worked for the West Africa Rice Development Association (WADRA), which was then based in Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire.

“Babacar Ndiaye was charismatic, and left an indelible mark on our continent. His legacy is vast, because he always saw the big picture. He was quite simply magnificent,” Adesina stated.

He added, “During the campaign for the AfDB presidency, I naturally went to see him in Dakar. He welcomed me warmly. I took the opportunity to tell him about my vision for the High 5s . He agreed right away, and told me, ‘That’s what Africa needs to transform itself.'”

Arriving at the institution in 1965 as part of the first group of African managers, Ndiaye climbed the organisational ladder to become Division Chief, Director, Vice-President for Finance, and then President in 1985. Babacar Ndiaye was the first AfDB President to be re-elected to a second term of office.

Under his leadership, the pan-African financial institution obtained its first Triple-A rating in 1984.

The former President was the force behind the increase in the Bank’s capital in 1987, which jumped from approximately US $6 billion to $23 billion, a 200% increase, after approving the process of opening the Bank’s capital to non-African countries. He was also responsible for bringing the Bank into the international financial market.

“Babacar Ndiaye accomplished tremendous things for the AfDB and for Africa. He always advocated for excellence. He made the AfDB a credible and respected institution internationally,” stated Donald Kaberuka, former AfDB President (2005-2015), in a message read on his behalf by Victor Oladokun, AfDB Director for Communication and External Relations.

Builder of institutions

Beyond his complete commitment to the Bank’s success and providing it with a solid foundation, Babacar Ndiaye helped establish major pan-African institutions, such as the African Import-Export Bank, Afreximbank; Shelter Afrique; and the African Business Roundtable. Representatives of these organizations were specially sent from Cairo, Lagos and Nairobi to attend the tribute ceremony on Thursday.

“Without Babacar Ndiaye, African industry leaders such as Aliko Dangote or Michael Ibru would undoubtedly not be where they are today. Babacar Ndiaye invested his faith and perseverance in Africa’s business community. We will be eternally grateful to him,” said Bamanga Tukur, President of the African Business Roundtable.

Christopher Edordu, founding President of Afreximbank, highlighted Ndiaye’s visionary approach, which allowed him to look beyond the era’s Afro-pessimism and embrace opportunities to finance African businesses.

“It took more than six years to establish Afreximbank. When others abandoned it, Babacar Ndiaye persevered and had patience. He firmly believed in the future of African trade at a time when that belief was not widely shared. Seeing what we have become today, we have to recognize the fact that he was a true visionary,” Edordu explained.

It was not the only time that the AfDB’s fifth elected President was proven right when confronted with naysayers. At a time when housing was not yet central to urban development in Africa, he encouraged the creation of Shelter Afrique, an organisation dedicated to financing affordable housing on the continent.

Tribute to Babacar N'DIAYE, 21 September 2017

Tribute to Babacar N’DIAYE, 21 September 2017

According to Edmond Adikpe, Shelter Afrique’s regional representative, “Babacar Ndiaye knew how to anticipate. He understood early on that Africa must address the problem of housing. At Shelter Afrique, we are eternally thankful to him for everything he did during our creation and evolution.”

The room was filled with emotion as one speaker followed another, with the audience warmly applauding their words of praise for Babacar Ndiaye, who remains the only President in AfDB history to have risen through the ranks of the organisation.

“He was installed as President in 1985 at the Abidjan Congress Centre in the presence of then Ivorian President Félix Houphouët-Boigny, who held the African Development Bank in high esteem,” recalled Paul Morisho Yuma, former AfDB Secretary General, drawing a standing ovation from the audience.

“Senegal is proud of you”

Although he devoted his life to Africa, Babacar Ndiaye never forgot Senegal, his country of origin. According to the Senegalese Budget Minister, Birima Mangara, AfDB Governor for Senegal, who flew in from Dakar to attend this ceremony, Ndiaye contributed significantly to the development of bilateral cooperation between his country and the Bank. “Between 1972 and now, the AfDB has invested close to 1,400 billion CFA francs in Senegal. We owe that to all of you here, but in particular to Babacar Ndiaye.

“Senegal is proud of you as a son. Babacar Ndiaye is not gone; he is still present in the depths of Africa. We hear his breath in an Africa on the move,” added the Senegalese Budget Minister, paraphrasing the poet Birago Diop.

 

In attendance, Ndiaye’s widow, Marlyne Ndiaye, nodded her head in agreement, with tears in her eyes. Arriving in Abidjan in 1965, Babacar Ndiaye developed a special relationship with Côte d’Ivoire, home of the Bank’s headquarters. No fewer than three Ivoirian Ministers were present in the AfDB auditorium this week.

“He was a friend of Côte d’Ivoire. We all miss Babacar Ndiaye. President Alassane Ouattara misses him, having known him well and greatly appreciated him. He was a roving ambassador for African development,” agreed François Albert Amichia, Minister of Sports and Leisure, who led the Ivorian Government delegation.

His memory lives on

Alassane Ndiaye, son of the deceased, spoke on behalf of his family. He first thanked the Bank for taking the initiative to hold the ceremony to honour and pay tribute to his father. “The entire family is proud of and thankful for this ceremony. What you have done today touches us deeply and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” said the Ndiaye family’s spokesman, in a voice filled with emotion.

He urged those present to pursue the trail blazed by his father.

“He wanted the best for Africa. He believed in and loved the idea of a better Africa. Let’s continue to work for a better future for our continent. That would be the best and most unique way to perpetuate his hopes and his memory,” continued Alassane Ndiaye.

“Replacing darkness with light, well-nourished and healthy children, free flow of goods, people and ideas throughout the continent, and restoring hope to the hopeless – these were the ideals to which President Babacar Ndiaye dedicated his life. The work to realize these dreams continues in the High 5s,” declared AfDB Senior Vice-President Charles Boamah at the ceremony’s conclusion.

Last July, a high-level delegation from the Bank, led by Charles Boamah, along with Vice-Presidents Alberic Kacou and Amadou Hott, Acting Vice-President, Finance, Hassatou N’Sele, and Director of Special Projects Sipho Moyo, attended Babacar Ndiaye’s funeral in Dakar.

During a recent visit to the Senegalese capital, President Adesina visited his predecessor’s home to express his sympathy and support his widow and children.

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) (www.AfDB.org) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 37 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states.

*courtesy of AFDB

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Senegalese President Sall Hails Africa50’s Cooperation with Senelec to Develop the Malicounda Power Plant
September 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

CASABLANCA, Morocco, September 21 , -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- At its second annual Shareholders Meeting in Dakar on September 12, Africa50, the infrastructure fund for Africa, signed a development agreement with Senelec, Senegal’s electricity provider, for competitive selection of a strategic sponsor to develop a 120 MW combined cycle thermal power plant at Malicounda. Together, the consortium will secure financing and supervise construction and operation of the plant.

The plant, situated in Mbour department 85 km from Dakar, will initially run on fuel oil, but can be converted to natural gas when this becomes available from recently discovered gas fields. Private sector participation follows the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer model (BOOT). The plant will produce at least 956 GWh a year. The Power Purchase Agreement has a duration of 20 years, with a competitive feed-in tariff rate arrived at through a public tender. The electricity generated will be fed into the network through an existing distribution substation.

The project fits in with Senegal’s strategy to increase energy production while, in the medium term, reducing the cost of electricity for consumers. Moreover, this thermal plant will help satisfy base loads, facilitating the integration of intermittent renewable power into the country’s network.

In his opening address to Africa50 shareholders earlier in the day, Senegalese President Macky Sall cited the project as a symbol of the understanding between Senegal and Africa50. Stating that “Africa is open for business,” he emphasized that “Africa is now a growth region where one can invest securely and with a good return.”

The agreement was signed by Africa50 CEO Alain Ebobissé and Senelec Chairman Mouhamadou Makhtar Cissé. Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, African Development Bank President and Africa50 Chairman, who opened the signing ceremony, cited the very valuable cooperation between the AfDB and Africa50 to meet the continent’s growing energy needs.

Africa50 CEO Alain Ebobisse underlined that the strong support from the Senegalese government, including a solid Power Purchase Agreement, helps assure a reasonable return for investors, making this project viable. “We are grateful for the leadership of President Sall who supported this innovative approach of joint development between Senelec and Afica50. This is a model of cooperation between the public and private sectors which, we are convinced, will permit the efficient development of priority projects everywhere in Africa.”

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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Senegal and France to host Global Partnership for Education Financing Conference
September 22, 2017 | 0 Comments
The announcement of the co-hosting was made by Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal and Emmanuel Macron of France at a high-level event on education financing held at the United Nations
Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal and Emmanuel Macron of France

Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal and Emmanuel Macron of France

NEW YORK, United States of America, September 20, 2017/ — The Global Partnership for Education (GPE)  is delighted that the governments of Senegal and France  will co-host its financing conference, which will take place on February 8, 2018 in Dakar, Senegal.

The announcement  of the co-hosting was made by Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal and Emmanuel Macron of France at a high-level event on education financing  held at the United Nations, which was attended by Secretary General António Guterres, several heads of state and leaders on global education.

“The Global Partnership for Education has made substantial investments in education helping to get 72 million more children into primary school since 2002, including in Senegal,” President Macky Sall said. “We are honored to host the next GPE Financing Conference in Dakar and look forward to continuing our close partnership with GPE.”  

This is the first time a donor and developing country co-host a GPE financing conference, symbolizing the spirit of true partnership, which is the essence of GPE.

President Macron of France stressed that one of his top priorities is to invest in education. “I call on the international community to join us in February 2018 in Dakar for the Global Partnership for Education Financing Conference, which France will co-host with Senegal,” Macron said.

“The financing conference of the Global Partnership for Education is an opportunity for a much needed step change, allowing donors and developing countries to show their financial commitment to education,” said Julia Gillard, GPE Board Chair“Senegal and France jointly hosting the GPE financing conference demonstrates the determination of both governments to help GPE expand its support for strong and sustainable education systems in developing countries.”

The event in Dakar will bring together donor and developing country governments, the private sector, philanthropic foundations, civil society and international organizations to announce commitments to support education in developing countries.

“This is an exciting and pivotal moment for GPE and for global education,” said Alice Albright, GPE Chief Executive Officer“This financing conference will put GPE on track to become a US$2 billion-a-year operation by 2020 . At that level, GPE can have a far greater impact on providing better quality education  to the world’s children.”

 

GPE’s financing conference seeks to raise US$3.1 billion for 2018 through 2020 to support the education of 870 million children in 89 developing countries that are home to 78% of the world’s out-of-school population.

Currently, 264 million children and youth around the world are not in school and six out of ten children and youth, a total of 617 million, are in school but not learning at the level they need to break the bonds of poverty, poor health and social disadvantage. Though the share of overseas development aid to education has declined over the last six years, leaders around the world are now recognizing the urgency of turning that trend around.

France has been a donor to GPE since 2005. With GPE support since 2006, Senegal has shown great progress raising its investment in education as a share of domestic spending to 24 percent.

“Both France and Senegal are ideally positioned to urge other countries across the globe to increase investments in education,” Ms. Gillard added. “We believe that will make for a successful and productive financing conference and ultimately benefit hundreds of millions of children in some of the poorest countries around the world.

Monze Primary School, Zambia, May 2017

Monze Primary School, Zambia, May 2017

Monze Primary School, Zambia, May 2017

Monze Primary School, Zambia, May 2017

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) works with developing countries to ensure that every child receives a quality basic education, prioritizing the poorest, the most vulnerable and those living in countries affected by fragility or conflict. GPE mobilizes financing for education and supports developing countries to build effective education systems founded on evidence-based planning and policies.
GPE’s support has achieved the following results in its partner countries:
• 72 million more children in primary school in 2015 compared with 2002
• 76% of children in GPE partner countries completed primary school in 2015 compared to 63%in 2002.
• 74% primary school completion rate for girls in 2015 compared with 57% in 2002
• 78% of GPE partner countries have maintained their education budget at or above 20% of public expenditure, or increased their education budget in 2015.

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