Scientists: ‘Partnering with farmers crucial for saving degraded lands’
September 3, 2019 | 0 Comments
Highlighting successful farmer-led initiatives scientists demonstrate the importance of the ‘Research in Development’ approach for the global land restoration effort
New Delhi, 2 September: If degraded lands have to be saved embedding research within farmer-focused development initiatives is essential, echoed scientists on the sidelines of the 14th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification here on Monday. They cited successful land restoration initiatives in Africa and India to make the point.
“To stop land degradation and reverse it to be able to achieve the SDGs, especially combatting desertification and restoring degraded lands (SDG 15.3), a synergy is required between scientists, farming communities and their institutions that are the land users and managers. Research can help restoration initiatives to scale-up globally but only if farmers, their livelihoods and communities are at the heart of such initiatives,” said Prof Anthony Whitbread, Director for the Innovation Systems for the Drylands research program at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), during the session ‘Applying the Research in Development Approach to Scale Land Restoration and Achieve the LDN targets’. The event was organized by ICRISAT and World Agroforestry (ICRAF).
The SDG 15.3, as envisioned by the UN, reads – By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world.
This target, which drives land restoration initiatives that were presented at the session, bridges with the UNCCD through the scientific conceptual framework of Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN).
“Restoring degraded lands for food security is critically important in sub-Saharan Africa given the extent of degradation and socio-economic conditions in the region. With climate change only exacerbating degradation, collaboration between institutions of science, development actors, governments and farmers is a pressing need,” said
Dr Leigh Winoweicki, a Soil Systems Scientist at the World Agroforestry (ICRAF). Dr Winoweicki’s work that was presented at the session had resulted in creation of ‘Communities of Practice’ in Africa. These communities are platforms for stakeholders with common goals to share lessons learnt and create knowledge for an enabling environment to accelerate impact on the ground.
In India, development and management of watersheds have helped reclaim degraded lands. The Parasai-Sindh watershed in India’s Uttar Pradesh state, developed by ICRISAT and partners from Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), has been held up as a model for increasing land productivity by the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI Aayog).
“Integrated watershed development involving agroforestry helps to control erosion and enable farmers to achieve food and economic security. It is important in the context of increasing dependence of Indian agriculture on groundwater,” said Dr Kaushal Garg, a Natural Resources Management Scientist at ICRISAT. Dr Garg presented the Parasai-Sindh watershed which helped increase area under cultivation, crop and milk yields and triple farm household incomes in Jhansi. The government of Uttar Pradesh is attempting to double farmers’ income in seven districts of the state’s Bundelkhand region with ICAR and ICRISAT’s assistance.
In Ethiopia’s Amhara region, ICRISAT’s work in managing landscapes illustrates the benefits of integrated watershed management in restoring degraded lands. Innovations, mainly in the development of physical and biological barriers, have helped control extreme events upstream and runoffs downstream, thereby creating opportunities for farming. Dr Tilahun Amede, ICRISAT’s Country Representative for Ethiopia, demonstrated the benefits of research contributing to adoptable innovations.
“Following construction of structures to control runoff and creation of areas where sediment can be deposited, new avenues for farming and unique farming systems came into being. These systems were trialed at scale with local and normally nomadic communities. For the first time, these communities were producing food crops and fodder. A long-standing problem was not only managed but taken advantage of,” Dr Amede said.
The session also saw Bora Masumbuko, Senior Program Officer, Drylands, IUCN; Ms Aureile Lhumeau, Professional Officer of the UNCCD’s Global Mechanism Team; Ms Marie-Aude Even, Senior Regional Technical Specialist, IFAD, and Dr Susan Chomba, an ICRAF scientist managing the Regreening Africa initiative, a megaproject that aims to restore 1 million ha, discuss approaches to scale land restoration in a panel discussion. The panel deliberated donor priority for land restoration, land management strategies in the backdrop of the LDN framework, the role of policy and governance in land regeneration and role of nations in a region’s land restoration agenda.
The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics (ICRISAT) is a not-for-profit international agriculture research organization. ICRISAT works across sub-Saharan Africa and Asia with a wide array of partners. The semi-arid tropics or drylands cover 6.5 million square kilometers of land in 55 countries, home to over 2 billion people of which 644 million are the poorest of the poor. ICRISAT innovations help the dryland poor move from poverty to prosperity by harnessing markets while managing risks – a strategy called Inclusive Market-Oriented Development (lMOD). ICRISAT is headquartered in Hyderabad, India, with two regional hubs and six country offices in sub-Saharan Africa. www.icrisat.org.
About World Agroforestry (ICRAF)
World Agroforestry (ICRAF) is a center of science and development excellence that harnesses the benefits of trees for people and the environment. Leveraging the world’s largest repository of agroforestry science and information, we develop knowledge practices, from farmers’ fields to the global sphere, to ensure food security and environmental sustainability. ICRAF is the only institution that does globally significant agroforestry research in and for all of the developing tropics. Knowledge produced by ICRAF enables governments, development agencies and farmers to utilize the power of trees to make farming and livelihoods more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable at scales. www.worldagroforestry.org
ICRISAT and ICRAF are members of the CGIAR Consortium. CGIAR is a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by 15 research centers who are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations. www.cgiar.org
Time to Make Energy Work for Africa
September 2, 2019 | 0 Comments
It is past time that Africa’s natural resources benefited Africans
By Prince Arthur Eze*
It is long past time that we made energy work for Africa. It is past time that Africa’s natural resources benefited Africans; that every African had access to electricity; and that the wealth created by oil and gas would lead to the sustainable development of African economies.
Certainly, much needs to be done to make these dreams a reality, and the continent’s top leaders in the energy industry will gather in Cape Town on October 9-11 in Africa Oil & Power 2019 (http://www.AOP2019.com) to drive the conversation forward and #MakeEnergyWork.
Thankfully, success stories and opportunities abound.
The incredible story of Senegal, for example, stands as a roadmap on creating a transparent government; building the needed infrastructure to support future development; creating an attractive regulatory framework to bring in much-needed FID and new investment; and for using the oil and gas sector to spur new growth. The country, led by H.E. Macky Sall, the President of the Republic of Senegal, has seen tremendous growth in the last decade, consistently ranking in the top ten fastest-growing economies in the world. Government reforms, led by Sall, have improved Senegal’s image both domestically and abroad, encouraging a string of new investment in oil and gas, electricity, roads, fisheries and tourism.
The outlook for the country’s oil and gas sector, led by Sall, is bullish, with two of the world’s most-watched projects — SNE oilfield and the Great Tortue/Ahmeyim gas project — moving forward. Both are expected to start producing export revenues in the early 2020s.
H.E. Sall, winner of the prestigious “Africa Oil Man of the Year” award during the 2019 Africa Oil & Power conference, has certainly provided Africans with a strong example of leadership and cooperation. We are honored to recognize and support H.E. Sall’s achievements and continued efforts at Africa Oil & Power (https://AfricaOilandPower.com/).
At Atlas-Oranto, we are proud to be leading pioneers in the sustainable development of Africa’s energy sector, ensuring growth in countries like South Sudan, where we are honored to operate Block B3; in Equatorial Guinea where we operate Block I and in Nigeria, where we operate OML109. In total, Atlas-Oranto is active in 11 countries in Africa and we are committed to working with the governments and communities of these countries to ensure our operations meet the highest standards of energy development. In Equatorial Guinea, for example, we are currently investing $350 million into the country’s gas monetization and backfill project.
At Atlas-Oranto — Africa’s largest privately-held, Africa-focused exploration and production group — we have faith in Africans, and we invest heavily in frontier markets so that the continent as a whole can continue to grow. We know first-hand what it takes to get new investments off the ground and how to grow small-to-medium enterprises. It takes boots on the ground, as well as understanding and coordination with our brothers and sisters around the world.
Indeed, with new investment opportunities on the horizon and a new drive to cooperate across borders, now is the time to spur this sustainable growth in Africa with energy as the catalyst.
At Africa Oil & Power 2019, many of these opportunities will be featured, including the ongoing licensing rounds in Equatorial Guinea and Angola; the launch of the South Sudan licensing round; and more.
For three days, over 1,200 of Africa’s foremost thought leaders, industry experts, private sector executives and government officials will gather together to discuss the incredible role of technology in Africa’s energy sector; the rise of renewables; the incredible upstream opportunities from South Africa to Senegal and the need for cooperation.
Let’s get busy and #MakeEnergyWork.
Former CEO of Efora Energy Limited (formerly SacOil), Dr Thabo Kgogo Agrees with Author: Africa Must Unbundle its Utilities
September 2, 2019 | 0 Comments
According to Kgogo, the answer to Africa’s utility woes can be found in Ayuk’s book, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, September 2, 2019/ — Across Africa, state-run utility companies don’t just fail to provide reliable power to their customers—most of them snatch economic power from the people, with inadequate electricity supply costing GDP growth.
But energy attorney NJ Ayuk has a solution. And his solution has been endorsed by Dr. Thabo Kgogo who has served as interim CEO of a large construction and infrastructure company, Group Five Limited, an independent oil and gas company in South Africa, Efora Energy Limited (formerly SacOil), and Vice President of Operations for PetroSA, South Africa’s national oil company.
According to Kgogo, the answer to Africa’s utility woes can be found in Ayuk’s book, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy.
“In Chapter 18, Lights Out: Reforming African Power Generation Monopolies and Transitioning to the Future, Ayuk advocates for unbundling the vertically integrated utility monoliths, which is not only the logical solution, it has been proven in countries all over the world,” Kgogo said.
That’s not to suggest it is a simple fix. Ayuk knows it will take time and considerable effort and he doesn’t mince his words when it comes to how long the journey may be. Being forthright is one of Ayuk’s key attributes—and it is something Kgogo admires most about him.
“Ayuk calls it like it is,” Kgogo said. “For example, not everyone is willing to assert that Africa will never achieve its full potential if it cannot power its industries, services, or households. He also makes it clear that the state-run utilities are so saddled by debt they can barely recover their operating and capital costs, much less make the kinds of infrastructure investments needed to bring electricity to the continent.
Kgogo is quick to point out though that Ayuk’s chapter isn’t all doom and gloom: “In example after example, he shows how utilities across Africa have successfully unbundled and privatized,” Kgogo said. “The result has been increased generation capacity and given more people access to electricity.”
In Chapter 18, Ayuk returns to one of the book’s continuing themes: how major oil and gas companies can ensure that Africans benefit from their continent’s resource wealth. But here, Kgogo said, he takes the point a step further, suggesting that it is no longer sufficient for E&P companies to limit themselves to fossil fuels.
“Ayuk believes that the majors need to begin thinking of themselves as energy companies, and acting accordingly,” Kgogo said. “That means no longer simply extracting oil and natural gas, but harnessing Africa’s ample wind and solar resources then turning it into energy for the Africans. I couldn’t agree more with his position.”
During his tenure with SacOil, Kgogo called for government policies that would help support a thriving natural gas industry in South Africa as well as a departure from the centralized model of power generation.
NJ Ayuk is founder and CEO of Pan-African corporate law conglomerate, Centurion Law Group; Founder and Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber; and co-author of Big Barrels: African Oil and Gas and the Quest for Prosperity (2017). He is recognized as one of the foremost figures in African business today.
Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy will be published on October 2019.
RedOne pays tribute to Africa with the new hit “WE LOVE AFRICA”
September 2, 2019 | 0 Comments
This new record was chosen to be the official song of the 12th edition of Pan-African Games 2019 in Rabat
Chinese companies commit $1.4 Billion USD investment into Bankable Energy projects in Africa during African Energy Chamber’s Visit
September 2, 2019 | 0 Comments
The African Energy Chamber secured over $1.4bn in intentions to invest in Africa’s bankable projects in mining, oil & gas, power and renewables
BEIJING, China, September 2, 2019/ — The African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org) has just concluded a one-week working visit in Beijing where it met with senior officials from the Chinese government, heads of state-owned energy companies, and executives and entrepreneurs from the private sector.
During meetings with top Chinese energy companies and financial institutions, the African Energy Chamber discussed the signing of win-win agreements and contracts that will make energy work for Africa while providing Chinese investors with attractive and rewarding opportunities in Africa.
As LNG demand is growing by the day in China, Africa stands to play a role. In 2018, China consumed 276.6 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas, an increase of 16.6% over 2017. In meetings, the Chamber discussed with Chinese companies the need to invest in gas exploration and the need to also work on African initiatives like LNG2Africa which are a win-win for both Africa and China.
Throughout its meetings, the African Energy Chamber secured over $1.4bn in intentions to invest in Africa’s bankable projects in mining, oil & gas, power and renewables. “The biggest encouragement for us is that beyond their investment appetite for Africa, Chinese companies are clear about their intention to invest in the promotion of local content and the building of local manufacturing capacities,” added Nj Ayuk. In addition to upstream oil & gas and mining projects, key infrastructure financing opportunities in refinery and storage facilities were also discussed.
In light of strong Chinese interest for Africa, and following demands from its Chinese partners, the Chamber will be hosting the first China-Africa Energy Investment Forum in 2020 in Beijing. Interested parties should already manifest their interest in participating and promoting projects to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cameroon Anglophone Crisis: Bar Council Declares Nationwide Protest
September 1, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
A five-day nationwide strike action to protest the poor treatment of lawyers by Cameroonian state authorities has been called by the Cameroon Bar Council. The call for a general sit-in was made August 31, 2019, following a meeting to evaluate the difficulties faced by lawyers in the practice of their profession.
In a resolution signed by the 13 members of the Cameroon Bar Council, the body frowned at the fact that some of their colleagues were brutally beaten recently by forces of law and order. “In spite of previous complaints made, lawyers are continuously being threatened, arrested and detained in the course of exercising their functions,” the council noted with dismay.
“The Bar Council in protest calls on all lawyers to observe a five-day sit-in strike beginning as from the 16th to the 20th day of September 2019,” the legal body resolved.
The council was also chagrined by the fact that lawyers are constantly being denied access to their clients in detention centres like the dreaded Secretariat of State for Defence (SED), gendarmerie brigades, police stations and prisons. “The rights of accused persons protected by national and international instruments ratified by Cameroon are constantly and consistently being violated by judicial authorities.”
Barrister Eric Mbah, representative of the Cameroon Bar president in the North West Region, speaking to the BBC said, “The judicial system in Cameroon is very sick-from the trial of accused persons in a language they do not understand, the extraction of confessional statements from the accused persons by torture, threats and others. There is a lot o extortion and it is no news that lawyers are rejected in court, threatened and when they go to police stations to check on their clients, they are brutalized, extorted and detained.”
Barrister Amungwa Tanyi Nicodemous has tasted the bad side of the security officers in Cameroon as he was beaten into a coma. He detailed his experience for the BBC stating, “I was returning to my office and I was attacked by two gendarmes. When I started speaking English, the two of them fall on me and they strangled me to a deadly point and I only discovered myself in the hospital, several hours after. When I worked, I was told the population who watched the dirty scene had to call the police to come and disarm one of the gendarmes who had a pistol on him.”
He added, “This is not the first time I am suffering some torture from uniform officers in Cameroon. Sometime I went to judicial police in Yaoundé to access one of my clients and behold a battery of police officers bundle me into the office of the judicial police who joined the others in quarrels and said I will be sent to prison before midday and I challenged them.”
Barrister Joseph Fru and his colleagues survived a military shooting with some 6 bullets lodged in their car in Bamenda, North West region. “…Because of the corruption, impunity, they are afraid of us, they do not like us and are afraid of us. We are being treated this way simply because we confront them, we tell the truth and interpret the law the way it is” he said.
The Minister of Justice, Laurent Esso is yet to react to the latest move from the legal counsel. In the previous protest by English speaking lawyers, the Minister of Justice stated that hunger will beat them back to the court.
Cameroon Humanitarian Relief Initiative statement on operations
September 1, 2019 | 0 Comments
As unfortunate actions continue to escalate the ongoing crisis in Southern Cameroons, CHRI counts on your support in order to continue to take actions to alleviate the suffering. On the 31st of July 2019, the Cameroon Humanitarian Relief Initiative, CHRI, successfully carried out its latest outreach to the refugees at Ikom settlement camp, Cross River, Nigeria. We distributed 20 bags of clothing donated by Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, Benin, Nigeria (see photos). The church also raised 1 million naira to support refugee relief. CHRI extends appreciation to Our Lady of Fatima church and the Nigerian community at large for supporting those affected by the crisis.
Starting on August 3, CHRI is hosting a series of webinars with other NGOs engaged directly with internally displaced persons in Cameroon or refugees in Nigeria to discuss ways to collaborate/coordinate to optimize our collective response to the crisis. Action plans arising from these positive discussions will be provided in future updates.
On July 11, 2019, CHRI carried out its 22nd monthly donation of food items to SC detainees at Kondengui Central Prison in Yaounde, Cameroon. Due to protests at the prison and related challenges, we have suspended this important outreach initiative until the appropriate conditions are in place to continue.
On behalf of CHRI, I would like to appreciate and encourage your continued support to the victims of this unfortunate crisis. Since our inception last year, we have raised $77,796.68 and spent $66,197.2 supporting these victims. We are planning our next outreach to the many refugees in Nigeria who are not currently covered by UNHCR. To channel your support through CHRI, I kindly request you to visit our website at chrelief.org/donate to make a donation or mail a check to: CHRI at 4413 Nuttall Road, Fairfax, VA 22032
African court to begin 54th ordinary session
September 1, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights will begin its 54th Ordinary Session on Monday, 2 September 2019, at its Seat in Arusha, Tanzania, according to a spokesperson.
It is reported that the Judges, among others, will examine over 15 applications and at least six Judgments are expected to be rendered before the close of the four-week Session on 27 September 2019.
The Session is also expected to review the preparations for the Fourth African Judicial Dialogue slated for October 30 to 1 November 2019 in Kampala, Uganda, under the theme: ‘’Tackling Contemporary Human Rights Issues: The Role of the Judiciary in Africa’’.
The Judicial Dialogue brings together the Chief Justices and the Presidents of Constitutional Courts of the AU Member States.
The Judges will also discuss the progress on the First International Court Forum on Human Rights to be held from 4 to 5 November in Zanzibar. The Forum will involve the Judges of the African Court, the Inter-American Court and the European Court of Human Rights.
African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI), Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) & Japanese banks pave the way for more Japanese investments into Africa
August 30, 2019 | 0 Comments
|ATI has a current pipeline of over US$1 Bn worth of transactions from Japanese banks|
YOKOHAMA, Japan, August 30, 2019/ — On the side lines of the Tokyo International Conference of Africa’s Development (TICAD7), ATI (http://www.ATI-ACA.org/) signed MoUs with Japan’s three largest banks and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), Japan’s export credit agency; ATI and NEXI announced at TICAD7 the launch of a Japan Desk to be based in ATI’s Nairobi headquarters in order to provide tailored risk-mitigation support to Japanese companies and investors; ATI has a current pipeline of over US$1 Bn worth of transactions from Japanese banks.
The Tokyo International Conference of Africa’s Development (TICAD7) concludes today. The event, which has grown into one of the largest Africa-focused international events, provided a platform for billions worth partnerships and transactions to be sealed. Among these newly formed agreements, the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), Japan’s export credit agency, also announced the launch of a Japan Desk, which will be housed by ATI in Nairobi. The two institutions committed to strengthening risk mitigation cover to entice more Japanese companies and investors to enter the African market. The Japan Desk will facilitate this process.
ATI also penned agreements in the form of MoUs with three of Japan’s leading banks –
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and Mizuho Bank. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) signed an earlier MoU with ATI. The agreements signal to the world that Japan views Africa as a strategic investment destination, which will also provide an opportunity for Japanese companies and investors to more effectively capitalize on the current opportunities in the fastest growing continent in the world.
In the last three years, ATI has provided insurance to protect some of Japan’s largest lenders against the risk of sovereign default on transactions that have collectively brought close to US$1Bn to the continent. Some of this financing has helped countries to reprofile short-term, and often pricey local currency debt, into longer-term and more affordable structures. The financing has also supported a wide range of priority sectors and, in the case of two ground-breaking capital markets transactions arranged by Japan’s largest bank, ATI-backed financing has facilitated the crowding-in of a new class of institutional investors to the continent.
With a strong pipeline of transactions valued at over US$1 Bn along with these strengthened partnerships, ATI expects to support many more Japanese exporters and banks in deals across Africa in the coming years.
Mr. John Lentaigne, Acting CEO, African Trade Insurance Agency:
Our participation at TICAD7 has yielded great results. We’re excited about the prospect of providing greater levels of risk mitigation to Japanese companies and financiers, which we see as key to unlocking even more Japanese investments into Africa.
Mr. Atsuo Kuroda, Chairman and CEO, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI):
“Establishing the cooperation framework between NEXI and ATI is one of the most fruitful outcome which we have achieved during TICAD7. We are very pleased to announce that “Japan Desk” will be set up in ATI, a reputable multilateral financial institution which has a great track record to support African projects so that Japanese companies can obtain easy access to the reliable risk mitigation solution provided by ATI. As I promised in the TICAD7 official side-event, NEXI will closely work with ATI to facilitate Japanese businesses in Africa.”
Mr. Christopher Marks, Managing Director, MUFG:
ATI has established itself as a singular force for risk mitigation in Africa, leveraging the authority of its supranational status to make possible highly efficient private-sector financing for strategic development projects across the continent. ATI is an unequalled partner for high order innovation in this space.
Mr. Hiroshi Nagamine, Managing Executive Officer, Head of EMEA, Mizuho Bank, Ltd:
The signing of this MOU is an expression of Mizuho’s strong will and desire to develop further our African business. Our strategy in building our regional footprint is to work closely with undoubted local parties. Counterparties that have excellent reputation, specialist expertise, deep regional know how and experience.
ATI is an absolutely ideal partner given its reputation both as a regional champion and also as an institution at the very forefront of creating sophisticated funding solutions to meet the ever more complex needs of entities doing business in Africa.
Signing this MOU will provide Mizuho better flexibility; by availing ourselves to ATI’s sophisticated funding solutions, we will be better able to support our clients in Africa.
Tetsuro Imaeda, Managing Executive Officer & Head of EMEA Division, SMBC:
Cooperating with local financial institutions in Africa is indispensable for us to expand our Africa business and respond to customer needs.
By signing this MoU between one of our most important partners in Africa, ATI, SMBC will be able to support our client’s business to Africa through a wide range of coverage of ATI in the continent and expects to further strengthen the existing strong relationship.
About The African Trade Insurance Agency:
Nkafu Debates: Experts agree to disagree on whether Cameroon benefits from ACFTA
August 30, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The second edition of the Nkafu debate has been held with experts disagreeing to agree on whether Cameroon will benefit from the recently ratified African Continental Free Trade Area, ACFTA. The Nkafu Debates which took place August 29, 2019, at Mansel Hotel in Yaounde was on the theme, Will Cameroon benefit from the Africa Continental Free Trade Area?
The event was in line with the vision and mission of the Nkafu Policy Institute-a think tank at the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation, which works to catalyze the economic transformation of African countries by focusing on social entrepreneurship, science and technology, health, and the implementation of development policies that will create economic opportunities for all.
To Dr. Fabian Sundjo, the ACFTA is very good and Cameroon will indeed benefit in the long run. He said, “Trade is the best concerning increasing growth which will in turn increase the growth of the country” while adding that the “ACFTA will increase competitiveness. It makes the country to be competitive which brings benefit to the country.”
He added that, “The free trade was important but there are some issues that had as handled, some structures are put in place before going forth to sign the treaty. The issue that was highlighted could be based on the competitiveness of the economy, and the necessity to increase productivity.” “Once you increase productivity with good institutions, and a good structure that will permit the transfer of goods. If some countries are not ready and their productivity is low, it becomes difficult to move forward, and sign the ACFTA.”
Dr. Louis Marie Kakdeu, Economist, Policy Fellow in Economic Affairs, Nkafu Policy Institute said there are two reasons why to him Cameroon will not benefit from the agreement. He stated “the necessity to respect the rules, and principles of free trade. The African zone should respect i9t, if not it is no longer the free trade but something like mercantilism. The second is the necessity to put in place in Cameroon economic reforms before engaging a country into competition. One cannot go to fight when one is not powerful or competitive.”
“We are afraid that in the next two years or so, we will have companies created in Cameroon dying as a result of the agreement. Now it is 80 per cent which is very dangerous. We have to stop it, and we cannot be having problems, and we still go and add other problems every day. Today, we have to open where we are competitive and if we are not competitive we do not open up”, He added.
The over 90 minutes exchange brought together over 80 participants comprising academia, researchers, students, NGOs, CSOs and others.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) was officially launched on July 7, 2019 during the 12th extraordinary summit of the African Union held from July 4 to 8, 2019 in Niamey, Niger. Cameroon ratified ACFTA on July 19, 2019, after it was signed on March 21, 2018, in Kigali, Rwanda, together with other 43 countries.
Observers believe Cameroon ratifying this agreement will strengthen economic growth in the country while others say Cameroon should not open up, but should instead protect its economy.
According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, UNECA, intra-African trade could increase by more than 50 per cent and even double within 10 years after the entry into force of the ACFTA compared to approximately 15 per cent currently. Others say the ACFTA will create a 3.4 trillion dollar economic block and usher in a new development of the continent.
In an increasingly globalized world, only the most competitive countries are likely to gain the largest shares in trade. Cameroon’s economy is presently facing major structural change. In a 2018 reports by the Nkafu Policy Institute, the poverty level is alarming as less than 17.65 per cent of Cameroonian adults earn more than 200,000 FCFA. Some major challenges facing entrepreneurs in Cameroon as outlined by the Nkafu Policy Institute comprise taxation, the cost and access to credit, and the formalities.
Clarion confirm creation of ICE Africa Champions
August 30, 2019 | 0 Comments
Ahead of the second edition of ICE Africa (2-3 October, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg) event organisers Clarion Gaming has launched a new initiative designed to champion key gaming jurisdictions on the continent.
The ICE Africa Champions who will endorse their respective territories and drive co-operation across all of the continent’s regulated gaming economies comprise: Colin Udoh, Nigerian journalist and sports television presenter; Dolan Beuthin, CEO, BestBet; John Kamara, co-founder of the Global Gaming Africa consultancy; Judy Kiragu, Director, GoldenKey Casino; Olafadeke Akeju, Senior Partner, WYS Solicitors; Nassim Randeree; Philippe Vlaemminck, Partner, Pharumlega; and, Yahaya Maikori Partner, Law Allianz.
ICE Africa Brand Ambassador John Kamara, one of the most respected thought leaders across the pan-African industry, has praised the initiative as ‘an important step towards securing gaming’s future throughout the continent’. “As an ICE Africa Champion myself I am already excited at the opportunities that this important and ground breaking initiative will deliver” he explained. “It is humbling to see such high profile pioneers from across the industry who, like myself, will showcase what each region has to offer and provide informed insights on the market.”
He continued: “Gaming is an extremely dynamic sector which is shaped by a combination of advances in technology, changing demographics and, of course, regulation. ICE Africa represents an invaluable opportunity to cooperate and share knowledge and experience to better answer the question of how the various markets will develop and their likely direction of travel in the coming years. The ICE Africa Champions will work alongside the team at Clarion to identify, research and advise on industry topics and data to ensure the most up-to-date information is available to all ICE Africa visitors when the industry convenes in October.”
ICE Africa will feature a two stream conference comprising 60+ expert thought-leaders, regulators, investors and operators from both the pan-African and international gaming industry. The content-rich learning programme has been curated with the objective of driving the socially responsible advancement of gaming across the continent.
For more information on all of the opportunities available at gaming’s only B2B pan-African event and to register, visit: www.iceafrica.za.com
British Ambassador commends Azuri’s next-generation energy in Africa
August 30, 2019 | 0 Comments
Yokohama, Japan, 30 August 2019: The British Ambassador to Japan today threw the spotlight on Azuri Technologies and on next-generation off-grid energy being key to economic development in Africa, during his visit to TICAD7, the long-standing Japanese summit aimed at driving trade and investment to African economies.
Azuri, the pay-as-you-go solar pioneer, last month announced a $26 million capital equity investment led by Marubeni which are among the prominent Japanese corporations at TICAD this year showcasing the latest technology and services supporting one of the fastest-growing populations and economies in the world.
Since launching in 2012, Azuri is one of the leading providers of pay-as-you-go solar power lighting and TV systems, operating in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Nigeria.
Attending the conference, Paul Madden the UK’s Ambassador to Japan commented: “Pioneering collaborations between Japanese and British companies, such as the one between Azuri and Marubeni will further accelerate the availability of digital technology across the whole of Africa and increase the speed of progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goal of universal access to energy.”
The British Embassy recently commissioned research, “Off-grid electricity in Africa”, demonstrating the need for more action and investment in this sector and highlighted the positive work of UK companies such as Azuri.
“Azuri is delighted to represent on the global stage the depth of Britain’s talent and innovation and demonstrate how renewable energy solutions developed by the UK is helping to change the lives and livelihoods of millions currently without access to energy across Africa,” commented Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO of Azuri Technologies.
From home lighting to satellite TV, Azuri-designed solutions deliver world-class performance and life-changing technology at an affordable price for off-grid customers who live away from mains power.
Azuri’s vision is to create a level playing field where all African consumers can access and benefit from the digital economy, wherever they live.
- A recent survey from the global off-grid solar industry association GOGLA shows 58% of East African households with off-grid solar systems undertake more work and enterprise thanks to clean, affordable, electricity. The study also shows households with solar make an average additional $35 per month, more than 50% of monthly GDP per capita.
- Azuri has uniquely combined cutting-edge solar innovation, mobile payment technology and machine-learning technology into a small, affordable systems that enable off-grid families, without access to mains electricity, to generate clean and reliable power for their home.
- Customers have a stand-alone solar system in their house, with a panel, control unit including batteries and consumer devices such as LED lights, rechargeable radio and television. The system is paid for in small increments and once fully paid, the system is owned by the household and all power generated is free of charge to them.
- The Marubeni capital injection in Azuri will help millions across Africa access clean, affordable and reliable energy.
About Azuri Technologies Ltd.
Azuri Technologies is a leading provider of affordable pay-as-you-go solar home systems to off-grid consumers across Africa. Combining the latest solar innovation and mobile payment technology, Azuri delivers reliable, renewable and distributed power to the millions who have no access to modern powered services. Azuri operates in five key territories; Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania and Uganda with East Africa Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya and West Africa Headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria.
For more information, please visit: www.azuri-technologies.com