Open Letter To AU On The Way Forward For Monetary Policies in Africa
November 22, 2018 | 0 Comments
To: African Union and African Leaders.
We have launched an important, but crucial call to African Union and African Leaders for the creation of African currency base vis-à-vis the Central Bank of Africa as a gigantic transformation of our global economy that guarantees elevated level of competitive free market enterprising economy.
An African currency base, well mapped out, will compete with British pounds, US dollars, French francs, Chinese yen, all of which are top rated the most powerful international currencies of today. Any realization of the Central bank of Africa could mean the highest and intensely valuable financial institution to oversee all existing monetary institutions in Africa, and will be charged with responsibilities ranging from currency design, and currency mint for all nations within the continent of Africa, intra-continental (country to country)financial activities, inter-continental International financial transactions, as well as, function as a network hub for monitor, regulations and foreign exchange and policy recommendations.
More importantly, the central bank of Africa is envisaged to function from generation to generations, and oversee data and assets planning management and infrastructural support recommendations to African Union. When, and if debated and approved, will be created to remain passive in functional operational responsibilities discovery phase period of 2-4 years, after which, it moves into active implementation status.
We call on an open dialogue, consultation with more developed nations for proper Institutional structural design, especially, friendly nations in the West, Europe, far East, as well as Asia for broad base contributory ideas. A critical step in rendering African economy stronger, more manageable and competitive in emerging global economic transformational order.
Washington DC 20013
*Martin Atayo is an Executive in Chief of Multipurpose Global Application Technologies Corporation with headquarters based in Washington DC. He is a research scholar of Leadership, and inventor of applied science new study field, consciousness universality, or universities consciousness. He is the first to have advised African nations to adopt, encourage, support and promote private sector small business enterprising through government guaranteed low interest loans to small business enterprises. He is an adviser to governments.He can be reached via email MartinAtayo@mpgatechnology.com.
Kenya:Heated debate over two thirds gender rule gains momentum as Parliament’s dissolution looms
November 22, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Divergent opinions and persuasion have clouded two gender rule debate among leaders as the Parliament in the last ditch to implement the law eight years since the inauguration of 2010 Constitution.
The two thirds gender rule states that the National Assembly and Senate should not have more than two thirds of members of the same gender.
“Not more than two thirds of members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender,” reads Article 81 (b) of the Constitution.
The Bill had failed more than ones in both houses due to lack of quorum amid Court’s warnings that the failure to legislate it would see the Parliament dissolve. In May 2016, the bid to enact the law failed as only 194 legislators were present; 178 supported it and opposed by 16.
In November same year, there was a similar quorum hitch at the National Assembly as well as at the Senate in 2017 after the House failed to get 45 members to support it.
In 2015, the Kenya National Human Rights, Center for Human Rights Education and Awareness and Community Advocacy and Awareness Trust sued the National Assembly and Senate for failing to honor Supreme Court’s directive in 2012 to pass the law by August 2017, 2015.
“We are of the majority opinion that legislative measures for giving effect to the one-third-to two-thirds gender principle, under Article 81 (b) of the Constitution and in relation to the National Assembly and Senate, should be taken by August 27, 2015,” said a bench of Supreme Court judges back in 2012, two years after the promulgation of new constitution. The Attorney-General’s office had sorted following uncertainty surround the implementation of the law.
Top country leadership led by President Kenyatta has appealed to members of both Houses to support the bill to fulfill the requirements of the constitution urging women to come out and fight for positions.
“Do not wait for nominations, wake up and compete with men because Kenya is yours, you are populous and I want to help you settle leadership positions before the end of my tenure. You have been born leaders but men have been inflicting fears in you,” the President said.
The deputy President William Ruto also urged the Parliamentarians to pass the two thirds gender rule saying the Bill will bring to an end the gender imbalance in management of State affairs.
“You have a moment to make history by passing the bill so as to eliminate marginalization of women in our country. We should not stand in the way of development of our daughters, wives and mothers. We should give them the opportunity to be great citizens of our country by passing the bill,” reiterated Ruto.
On his part, the opposition Chief Raila Odinga implored leaders to support the Bill saying it will spearhead the country towards realizing equality as well as freedom from discrimination for women.
However, trouble looms as several legislators are expected to vote against the Bill which was once tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 by Majority Leader Aden Duale.
Some have publicly oppose it on the ground that it will cost Kenyans heavily, bloat the house and others have argued that the Bill does not provide formula for picking women to attain the threshold.
“I ask my fellow colleagues to reject this bill. It does not give an opportunity for the rural woman to choose who will represent them in Parliament. It instead grants political parties’ leadership powers to bring their girlfriends through nominations,” argued Kimilili legislator Didmus Barasa.
What does it take to be a great entrepreneur? Here’s how to get there!
November 22, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Anthea Taylor*
Africa needs entrepreneurs and people who are going to be innovators and job creators!
In Africa’s economic environment there are risks and uncertainties, but quick decisions and gut feelings are what get entrepreneurs to turn those risks into rewards and the uncertainties into opportunities.
So, what does it take to be an entrepreneur? We will never be able to know exactly what the secret to success is, however, here are a few things that any potential business owner should have or work towards having.
Focus on more than an idea
Although a business has to be based on an innovative idea, the execution is what counts for a successful entrepreneur.
Having a great idea that solves a problem and has a market is an ideal position to be in. You will be poised for success. In order to actually become successful, however, you will need to be able to execute the idea and stick with it for the long term.
Entrepreneurs are not only thinkers, they are doers. And getting things done is more difficult than people think. How an idea looks in practice is usually a lot different to how it looks in your head.
Businesses are marathons not sprints. You will need to be able to fulfil your ideas as well as you come up with them. And, if anything goes wrong, you need to be able to get past your failures and carry on.
Have the courage to leap
While a love of learning and the desire to work will be an important part of propelling you to success, having the courage to leave what you know and leap into the unknown is vital if you are going to be a successful entrepreneur.
You need to be able to leave the security of your current job or the prospect of a stable income. This is something that you can only do if you are passionate about what it is that you’re doing and that you are confident in your abilities.
Hand in hand with this is having boundless energy because starting and running a business is going to take long hours and a lot of effort.
Look for meaning and purpose in what you do
For entrepreneurs this meaning is found in being your own boss, running a business and driving it forward. You will need to have a strong inner drive to get out and make things happen. Be persistent and make your own luck.
While you will need to be prepared to work hard, you will also need to find a way of striking a work/life balance. Running your own business can become all-consuming. You will need to keep a check on yourself and the amount of time you are putting into your business.
Having good daily processes and focusing on your time management will be the way that you learn to keep a healthy work / life balance.
Find good employees
Starting or running a business is about more than just you. If you are passionate about creating jobs or helping people grow in your business, you will have a greater drive to succeed.
Being a boss is not an easy role. You’ll need to be able to deal with people as well as being able to drive a business. Finding the right team will make both of these tasks easier.
Creating the best environment for your employees will also be the most efficient way to build a stable business. A low employee turnover keeps the skills and experience within your business and only adding to your success.
Staff that want to stay and develop as your company grows is an invaluable asset.
Choose the best route to business ownership
Africa can be a risky place to start a business because of the lack of infrastructure and the fact that a lot of these markets are very new.
There is a different path for an entrepreneur to take though, and that is to buy a business that already has a proven track record.
Although this will take the same kind of focus, effort and energy as starting a business, it does allow you to invest this energy into a tried and tested idea.
You will still need to be passionate about what you do and have the courage to make the leap and head out on your own. What you will also have, though, is the chance to learn the lessons from someone else rather than making the mistakes yourself.
*By Anthea Taylor, Assistant Editor at Dynamis and writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including BusinessesForSale.com, FranchiseSales.com and PropertySales.com as well as other industry publications.
Minister orders termination of all contracts with US based Oil Service Company Subsea 7 for refusal to comply with Local Content laws and regulations
November 22, 2018 | 0 Comments
|Encourage by proactive steps taken by Schlumbeger and Technip FMC to comply with local content regulations|
JUBA, South Sudan, November 21, 2018/ — At the South Sudan Oil and Power Conference in Juba, the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons announced the decision to mandate all petroleum operators including but not limited to Noble Energy, Exxon Mobil, Kosmos Energy, Trident, Marathon Oil Corporation and other operators to cancel all contracts with US based oil service company Subsea 7, due to noncompliance of Equatorial Guinea’s local content regulations.
“As Minister, I have an obligation to ensure the laws of the country governing the hydrocarbon sector are complied with.” said H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons. “Companies operating in the oil sector have an obligation to work within the confines of our very flexible and pragmatic local content regulations that are market driven and ensure that both investors and our citizen benefit. I commend the leadership of Schlumberger and Technip FMC in taking proactive steps to engage with the oil companies and government to ensure local content concerns are resolved.”
The Ministry will continue to work with Oil companies operating in Equatorial Guinea to unwind contracts and find new suppliers for companies that have refused to comply with local content regulations.
A compliance review of the entire sector is ongoing led by the Director of National Content and outside legal advisors of the Ministry. The notice will be expanded to all service companies who are non-compliant as the review continues. Similar measures will be taken.
Under the National Content Regulation of 2014, all agreements must have local content clauses and provisions for capacity building, with preference given to local or regional companies in the award of service contracts. Local shareholders must be part of every contract as prescribed by law. The operators have an obligation to ensure compliance of their subcontractors.
Upsurge in attacks on journalists in Africa: A call for concerted action
November 22, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
The African Media Initiative (AMI) says that the media fraternity across the continent has learned with great concern the growing curtailment of media freedom in many African countries, including Cameroon, Sudan, Egypt and Tanzania.
In the last four weeks, eight journalists – Joseph Olinga, Michel BiemTong, Gustave Flaubert Kengne, Michel Kalabassou, Mimi Mefo, Josiane Kouagheu, Akumbom McCarthy, and Mathias Mouende have been intimidated, arrested, or tried before military courts across the country over allegations of ‘propagating false information’ or ‘undermining the safety of the State’ under the antiterror law.
Cameroon has seen, over the years, an accelerated shrinking of the democratic space where both journalists and citizens are having to compose with a difficult environment.
In Egypt, a law enacted last month has been widely criticised as tantamount to extortion of media houses as it requires hefty registration amounts for licenses with websites being forced to pay more than $30,000 to register and up to five times that amount for non-compliance. The law is viewed as an attempt by the government to silence the remaining independent media.
On 29 October, the Press Court in Khartoum sentenced Zine El Abeen Al-A’jab, a former editor of Al Mustagila newspaper to one and a half months in prison, or a fine of 5,000 pounds ($104) over “dissemination of false information” among other charges.
Overall, according to Amnesty International, at least 15 journalists have been arrested and detained between January and October 2018 by the government’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISS). In addition, the entire print run of 10 newspapers was confiscated on at least 27 occasions. Al Jareeda, one of the last independent newspapers, has been confiscated at least 13 times this year.
On 7 November, South African journalist Angela Quintal, Africa programme coordinator for press freedom group the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and her Kenyan colleague Muthoki Mumo were arrested from their hotel in Dar-es-Salaam and detained by authorities for 24 hours.
Rights groups and media advocates have recently expressed concerns about the freedom of expression in the country since election three years ago of Tanzania’s President, John Magufuli, whose regime has cracked down on independent media and close down critical newspapers.
Earlier in 2018, the government approved a new law regulating online content that gives them the right to revoke the permit if a website publishes content “that leads to public disorder” and “threatens national security”, according to media report.
It should be recalled that freedom of the press and right of people to information are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa.
Governments in Africa have a duty to refrain from undue interference with the right to media freedom and must promote and protect citizens’ rights of access to information.
In view of the above, African Media Initiative (AMI)
- Reiterates that intimidation of journalists, harassment, arbitrary detentions, closures, internet cuts, media closure, censorship, and trials of journalists before military courts over crimes allegedly committed while discharging their duties contravene international treaties and covenants protecting the freedom of the press and the public’s right of access to information
● Calls on African governments to create a conducive environment for a free exercise of the media profession
● Demands the immediate release of journalists arrested
The African Media Initiative (AMI) is a pan-African organization that seeks to strengthen the continent’s private and independent media sector from an owner and operator perspective to promote democratic governance, social development and economic growth. It does so through a set of strategic activities aimed at transforming the media and communications landscape on the continent. AMI’s overall goal is to promote the development of pluralistic media as a necessary and critical ingredient of democratic governance, as well as economic and human development in Africa.
“Transition Hours”: President Jonathan writes back
November 21, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Reuben Abati*
“There was no bitterness in him after he left power. He did not look back. He did not look down. Instead he looked up and after looking up, he looked forward and went on pressing ahead. That forward movement has resulted in this work of statecraft and statesmanship of which I am privileged to write the foreword. Though there are many themes in this book, My Transition Hours, the theme that most excites me is the one on youth and the next generation” – John Dramani Mahama, President, Republic of Ghana, 2012 -2017.
Those are some of the words with which former Ghanaian President John Mahama introduces the long-awaited and much-anticipated book by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. President Mahama is President Jonathan’s close friend. In a way they both share a similar destiny. Their bosses died and they both went on to become President. They also both won election as President and later lost their re-election bids. But they are perhaps more united by the shared affinities between Nigeria and Ghana. President Mahama is eminently well-qualified to write the even-handed, thoughtful foreword to President Jonathan’s first book, out of office.
Jonathan is Nigeria’s first President from the South South, first Ph.D holder in Nigeria to become President, first Nigerian President to rise through the ranks from the position of Deputy Governor to Acting Governor, Governor, first Gubernatorial candidate nominee to become Vice President, Acting President and eventually President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. No other Nigerian, dead or alive, has gone through such trajectory, or rite of passage. President Jonathan was Acting President 2010-2011, following the death of his principal, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, in circumstances that threw the country into a quandary and raised issues about Nigeria’s geo-politics and the matters of ethnicity and geography, indeed more importantly the right of minorities to also “rule” Nigeria, and if and when they are allowed to do so, whether or not they will be treated fairly.
I have enjoyed the privilege of reading President Jonathan’s first memoir out of office, which will be publicly presented today in the nation’s capital, Abuja, and I can report that it is a book about how Nigeria and vested interests treated him badly. He is the villain in the book: badly treated by entrenched interest groups, treacherous party members, a propaganda and hate-driven opposition and a badly constructed political ecosystem. The book is titled “My Transition Hours.”
In 2011, after much ethnic uproar and conscientious objection by progressive forces, Jonathan won Nigeria’s Presidential elections and remained Nigeria’s President till 2015. He lost the 2015 Presidential election, according to the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) but despite his prompt concession to General Muhammadu Buhari, the candidate of the opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, Jonathan has suffered badly under his successor’s watch. He has been maligned, persecuted, harassed, intimidated, humiliated and insulted. His wife has been abused, maligned, criminally tagged and many of his associates have been labelled crooks and thieves. In 2015, in the lead up to the general elections. Jonathan announced that his “ambition was not worth the blood of any Nigerian.” He signed a document to respect the outcome of the process. He kept his word. His successors have rewarded him with odium and abuse. They have done their best to discredit and destroy him.
In this book, “My Transition Hours”, President Jonathan fights back. His public persona is that he is a meek, gentle personality who lacks the guts to fight. Indeed, after the 2015 elections, everyone deserted him. The Aso Rock Villa became ghost town. Nobody picked our calls again. Giants in the corporate sector who used to beg for access to President Jonathan were reportedly now on the Buhari side. Only the Attorney General of the Federation, the security chiefs and a few others came around. The President was left with just his main body, that is – his innermost circle of aides.
We felt hurt by the fact that many of the persons who benefitted from President Jonathan had jumped ship and were now sucking up to the other side. We saw some of the people who called President Jonathan their brother and friend, on the Buhari side less than 24 hours after the election was decided. They were laughing and grinning! It was a painful moment for us. That was the real “Transition Hours” and that was when President Jonathan started threatening that he will write a book on his “Transition Hours”. He chose the title of the book at that very point. He wanted to tell his own story. I am intrigued that he has refused to change the title, but I recall how tough those transition moments were for us. On our return trip to Otuoke, we were treated shabbily by the newcomers. We had to struggle to be recognized. We were treated like regular passengers! The people who took over from President Jonathan were determined to humiliate him. It got much worse later.
In this book, President Jonathan tries to fight back and set the records straight. I am glad he is doing this. I once went to him and asked that we should put a team together to protect his legacy. His response was that “God will fight for us, after God it is government, these people will crush us because they don’t know God, but let us rely on God.” Some people, who thought we should help our boss, ignored this advice tried to put a team together. They ended up in underground cells, and got labelled as thieves! Others fled into exile. It is good to see President Jonathan himself, more than three years later, speaking up. The man that comes through in these pages is the real Jonathan. and that is perhaps the big point: a Jonathan that is confident, strong, clear-headed and assertive, who does not take nonsense and who is very clear in his mind about leadership options. If he had won a second term, Nigerians would have seen a different Jonathan. He worked hard to hold the country together and to prevent mischief from over-running the country. He makes his case in this book as he addresses some of the strong issues that came up during his tenure.
It is not standard practice for a President to justify himself and his tenure. It is also not standard practice for a President to be discredited by his successor. President Jonathan has every reason to write this book. He has chosen the right moment to go public: his successor’s most vulnerable moment. What he does majorly is to tell Nigerians that most of the things said about him were fake news. He insists that he did not abuse power as Nigeria’s President. He argues that every negative thing that has been said about him is an attempt to give him a bad name in order to hang him. He argues that “real strength is power under control”. He adds: “This book is not my biography, as that will come later. This book reveals how I used power as shield in the service to our nation and God.” Jonathan’s argument is that power should never be abused.
The book is defensive and reactive on the vexed issues of fuel subsidy, Boko Haram, “stealing is not corruption,” governance and so on. President Jonathan takes on the major criticisms of his administration. He doesn’t quite provide hard facts but he talks back. The key issues that the book addresses are noteworthy. This is a book that every Nigerian should pay attention to. In this book, a former President of Nigeria is saying that he was badly treated and he became a villain, because he came from a minority part of the country. He states that “people (are) working against our interest”. In this book, a former President of the country tells us that the idea of “one Nigeria” does not exist because we are a divided country. My boss insists: that “there is no patriotism in Nigerian politics”.
He refuses to pull punches. Nobody is spared. In Chapter 3 titled “Politics and Patriotism: The Fuel Subsidy Dilemma”, he argues that “politics in Nigeria and some other African nations is conducted like primitive war”. His major reference is the battle over fuel subsidy in 2012. He argues that the protests over the fuel subsidy proposals were “politically motivated.” Donald Duke should read this chapter. There are some references to him here. Chapter Four is titled “The Chibok School Girls Affair.” The Governor of Borno state needs to read this chapter. He is accused of seizing an “opportunity to politicize an unfortunate incident”. The APC also allegedly indulged in “psychological programming”, making President Jonathan look like a “villain”. President Jonathan rejects the labels. He pointedly accuses the Barack Obama administration in the United States of working against his administration and he provides evidence to back his claims. He accuses President Obama thus: “For some strange reason, the Obama administration had tactically penciled Nigeria and my administration down for failure”.
Hadiza Bala Usman, now in charge of Nigerian Ports Authority, should also read Chapter Four of this book. President Jonathan is convinced that the Chibok girls matter is an act of grand conspiracy, because whereas he took every necessary step, the Governor of Borno State had a different agenda. In Chapter Five, he deals with the question of stealing and corruption. He provides an explanation on that particular matter. The irony is that many of the initiatives now being adopted by the Buhari administration– Treasury Single Account, IPPIS and the BVN were all Jonathan’s initiatives. Jonathan discloses that his government did better on the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index. Chapter Six is focused on “Power Struggle in Nigeria”. Here, President Jonathan talks about he “strayed into power” and the attack of he majorities on the minorities. In Chapter 7, he offers an account of his “Presidential election campaign”.
He goes further to describe what happened during the 2015 presidential election and how he personally took the decision to save Nigeria from a descent into imminent chaos. Too many persons have tried to write the story of that significant moment in Nigerian history. I am glad that President Jonathan has now given his own account to correct the many lies that may have been told. He records the responses from the international community. It is a rich and detailed account. In this book, ,President Jonathan puts on the table his credentials as an internationals statesman and the goodwill he enjoyed among his peers before and after the election of 2015.
To be fair to him, making Nigeria look good in the international community was one of his major achievements. But President Barack Obama of the United States did not help him, and he refers to this more than once in this book. In Chapter Ten, President Jonathan talks about what he and his team did with the 2014 National Political Conference and his personal commitment to the peace and stability of Nigeria. Needless to remind us that the Buhari administration upon assuming office threw away the report of that conference. In Chapters 11 to 13, President Jonathan takes on other interesting subjects including the youth bulge, private sector reform and the African Renaissance.
This must be a book close to his heart. He uses it to settle scores and to explain the main issues of his era as President. I consider this a must read for all Nigerians and students of the Nigerian process. President Jonathan offers a personal portrait of his own politics, career and achievements. I may have read the book through the prism of a man who was his staff and who was involved, but I can tell that this is a honest and forthright reportage of what transpired. President Jonathan gave to Nigeria his very best. He was conscious of his humble beginnings and he wanted to make a statement. He was a poor man’s son who made it to the highest level in Nigeria. He was an embodiment of the Nigerian dream.
But Nigerian politics is vicious and dirty. You will find a sense of that in this book. He projects himself as a “victim”, but he probably does not tell the full story, which is okay. It means he can tell more stories. There are persons who will read this book and throw tantrums, but may such persons, like Nasir el-Rufai and the Governor of Borno state and all the deceitful associates who fooled the President during the 2015 elections, for reasons of religion and ethnicity, be reminded that this is all told a very kind book. President Jonathan playing the statesman has refused to tell it all. He has held back much more than he has given away. Some of us who were part of his “Main Body” may have now been unwittingly empowered to tell more stories.
I know that my boss is excited by this book. He wants to be remembered for the right reasons and not for the fake news that his opponents reported about his Presidency. President Goodluck Jonathan was President at a unique moment in Nigerian history. His emergence and experience both mark a special moment in Nigerian history. I urge you to read this book, his first one, on what he encountered as Nigeria’s President, before, during and after. Despite the travails of his post-office experience, Goodluck Jonathan, his legacy and value, will survive beyond his “transition hours”. He will, beyond everything else, find a good place in Nigerian history.
*Culled from reubenabati.com
2018 AWCON: Indomitable Lionesses Qualify for semifinals
November 21, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono (Buea-Cameroon)
The encounter which is the second for the lionesses who are in pool A took place at the Accra Sports Stadium with Cameroon beating Algeria 3 goals to zero. Cameroon’s goals were scored by Aboudi Onguene, Gael Enganamout and Nchout Ajara.
During a press conference ahead of that encounter, the Head Coach of the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon Joseph Brian Ndoko said his team were eager to play beautiful football when they clash with Algeria. He said his team wants to put up a performance worthy of their status as continental giants- something they managed to do emphatically.
In the other group game, host Ghana who saw off Algeria in the first leg were held to a one all draw by Mali.
The win for the lionesses gives them a total of six points and assured of a place in this year’s semifinals while Algeria’s lost has seen them eliminated from the competition. Cameroon will play its last group stage game on November 23 against Ghana while Algeria faces Mali.
Holders Nigeria who lost their opening encounter needs a win tomorrow to keep their hopes of qualifying from the group and keep their dreams alive of retaining their trophy which they won in Cameroon in 2016.
Nigeria lost to South Africa 1-0 while Zambia emphatically beat Equatorial Guinea 5-0. Nigeria will face Zambia tomorrow will Equatorial Guinea do battle with South Africa in group B.
Cameroon will be hoping that 2018 is their year to finally get their hands on that coveted trophy which they have never won-coming close in 2016.
During the 2016 edition of the AWCON, Cameroon finished as vice champions losing to Nigeria in the female. Cameroon has never won the competition since it was instituted back in 1991. Cameroon has been runners up 4 times, that is in 1991, 2004, 2014 and in 2016 when they hosted.
Resume work on Mondays then I’ll uplift the ban-Buea Mayor tells Bike Riders
November 21, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono (Buea-Cameroon)
The Mayor of Buea, Patrick Ekema Esunge, has told bike riders in his municipality that for him to effectively lift the ban on their activities; they must promise to resume work on Mondays, a day which is regarded as “ghost town” in the South West Region.
Speaking at the Buea Council Chambers, Mayor Ekema Patrick said resuming work on Monday is the only precondition for the lifting of the municipal embargo on bikers and their activities which has been on for more than a month now.
However, the Municipal authority’s precondition has been termed “a suicide mission” by bikers, considering the significance of ghost towns in the two Anglophone Regions.
Since the Anglophone Crisis took an ugly twist, all Mondays were decreed as ghost town days. On such days, everybody is expected to be indoors with all activities in the two Regions grounded.
The bikers said they cannot hid the Mayor’s pre-condition because most of them will either be killed, their bikes burnt or they may even be kidnapped by gunmen who have been enforcing the ghost towns.
“I can never respect the decision of the Mayor to work on Monday. The Mayor cannot protect me from the rage of the Ambazonia Fighters, who kill without mercy. They will not only burn my bike, but they will kill my entire family. So I think it’s a polite way the Mayor is using to refuse to grant our request. We have been dying of hunger and starvation for months now,” one of the bike riders, told The National Times News.
Another rider said: “If the Mayor is looking for a sacrificial lamb to end ghost town in Buea, it will definitely not be the bike riders. We are minority compared to taxi drivers. The Mayor cannot guarantee our safety because he will not be with us on the field. So I cannot attempt to defy the orders of the Ambas, who are more or less like spirits.
”It should be stressed here that the Mayor of Buea has adopted different strategies to eradicate the ghost town phenomenon, which he said, is killing the economy of his municipality and retarding its development.
The Mayor started by shutting down over 800 shops in his municipality to force business persons not to respect the ghost town phenomenon. He also bought 20 taxis to ply the streets on ghost town days. Despite his determination to end the ghost town plague, the phenomenon is still surging on.
Cameroon:After PSS Nkwen,Gunmen Abduct Students, Teachers from Another School
November 21, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono (Buea-Cameroon)
Suspected separatist agents have staged an attack on Lord’s Bilingual Academy (LBA) Kumba, Meme Division of the South West Region of Cameroon, abducting at least 12 students, the college Principal and a teacher. The exact number of those kidnapped is still unknown as other media outlets in the town put the number close to 20.
The private school is located at Karama street beside Hotel Vianello. It is within the same area as the Global Bilingual College (GLOBICOL) who’s Principal, Adolf Achare, was abducted Wednesday last week. Gunmen entered the Lords Bilingual School at 09:00 local time (08:00 GMT) while lectures were reportedly on going.
It is reported that while the students were forced out of the college, the population of the area attempted rescuing the kids but the suspected separatists fired into the air.
Today’s incident comes exactly one week after similar abductions in the new layout neighborhood of Kumba II Fiango. In that incident, the number of students attacked was minimal.
The SDO for Meme Division, Chamberlain Ntou’ou Ndong, had dispatched the Divisional Officer (DO) of Kumba I, Roger Safou, to the scene for more findings while indicating that efforts are ongoing to free the hostages.
The abduction in Kumba comes almost a fortnight after nearly 80 students were safely returned after being taken from their school in PSS Nkwen in the North West Region of Cameroon.
Cameroon’s North West and South West Regions have been hit by a separatist rebellion since 2016. Armed groups have called on local residents to boycott schools until a referendum on independence is held. Protests against marginalisation by the country’s French-speaking majority have been met with a violent crackdown.
Transparency in Military Spending in Sub-Saharan Africa Higher than Expected, New Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Report
November 20, 2018 | 0 Comments
Between 2012 and 2017, 45 of the 47 states surveyed published at least one official budget document in a timely manner online
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN, November 20, 2018/ — The level of transparency in military spending in sub-Saharan Africa is greater than previously thought, according to a new report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) (www.SIPRI.org). Between 2012 and 2017, 45 of the 47 states surveyed published at least one official budget document in a timely manner online.
Contrary to common belief, countries in sub-Saharan Africa show a high degree of transparency in how they spend money on their military,’ says Dr Nan Tian, Researcher in the SIPRI Arms Transfers and Military Expenditure Programme. ‘Citizens everywhere should know where and how public money is spent. It is encouraging that national reporting in sub-Saharan Africa has improved.’
No transparency in Equatorial Guinea and Eritrea; fall in Botswana
While SIPRI’s study shows that there is generally a high degree of transparency in the military sector in sub-Saharan Africa, Equatorial Guinea and Eritrea have not published any official information on military spending since 2009 and 2003 respectively, and Botswana was one of very few states to show a deterioration in transparency. Recently in Botswana, official budgetary reports have become increasingly difficult to obtain, there is a lack of a national defence policy and almost no government information or dialogue exists on issues such as arms procurement.
‘While these issues are worrying, the main cause for concern is the decreased public engagement on military-related matters,’ says Dr Tian.
Botswana had the third highest percentage increase in military spending between 2014 and 2017. Military spending grew by 60 per cent (or $182 million) in that period as part of several military procurement programmes involving France and Switzerland.
‘This military spending increase has occurred despite the fact that Botswana is located in one of the least conflict-prone areas of Africa and is one of the few states in sub-Saharan Africa to have never been involved in an armed conflict,’ says Dr Tian.
Substantial increase in transparency in the Central African Republic
The Central African Republic (CAR) is one of the stand-out cases with substantial improvements in military sector transparency. There is evidence of improved oversight and accountability in budget reporting, such as implementing an official budget formulation process and publishing budget execution reports both quarterly and biannually. Although improvements are still needed in the areas of accessibility and disaggregation, military sector transparency has increased substantially.
‘The publication of accessible spending information is a major step towards greater transparency and accountability in the military sector,’ says Tian.
Reporting to the United Nations needs to improve
Unlike Europe and South America, there are currently no regional reporting mechanisms in place in sub-Saharan Africa for exchanging information on military expenditure between states. The UN (www.UN.org) Report on Military Expenditures is the only international reporting system to which states in sub-Saharan Africa have agreed to participate. In the period 2008–17, only five states in sub-Saharan Africa reported at least once, and no reports were submitted during the years 2015–17.
‘It is clear from SIPRI’s study that the lack of UN reporting is not due to a lack of information. Rather, the challenge is to encourage countries to submit data to the UN,’ says Pieter Wezeman, Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Arms Transfers and Military Expenditure Programme.
‘Government transparency at the international level is key to reinforcing trust and encouraging dialogue between countries,’ says Ambassador Jan Eliasson, Chair of the SIPRI Governing Board and former UN Deputy Secretary-General. ‘Therefore, UN member states need to work together on implementing and improving reporting,’ he says.
Africa Loses Billions of Dollars Due to Child Marriage, Says New World Bank Report
November 20, 2018 | 0 Comments
ACCRA, Ghana, November 20, 2018—Child marriage will cost African countries tens of billions of dollars in lost earnings and human capital, says a new World Bank report launched ahead of the African Union Commission’s second African Girls Summit on Ending Child Marriage taking place in Ghana this week.
According to Educating Girls and Ending Child Marriage: A Priority for Africa report, more than three million (or one third of) girls in Sub-Saharan Africa marry before their 18th birthday each year. Today, the region has the highest prevalence of child marriage in the world. Child brides are much more likely to drop out of school and complete fewer years of education than their peers who marry later. They are also more likely to have children at a young age, which affects their health as well as the education and health of their children.
While many African countries have achieved gender parity in primary education, the report notes that girls lag behind boys at the secondary level. In Sub-Saharan Africa, seven out of 10 girls complete primary education, but only four out of 10 complete lower secondary school.
On average, women who have a secondary education are more likely to work and they earn twice as much as those with no education. Estimates for 12 countries—which account for half of the African continent’s population—suggest that through its impact on girls’ education, child marriage is costing these countries $63 billion in lost earnings and human capital wealth.
“Primary education for girls is simply not sufficient. Girls reap the biggest benefits of education when they are able to complete secondary school, but we know that girls very often don’t stay in school if they marry early,” said Quentin Wodon, Lead Economist at the World Bank and principal author of the report.
Child marriage also leads to high fertility rates and population growth, the report notes. If child marriage were ended today, lower population growth would lead to higher standards of living, especially for the poorest.
The report confirms that keeping girls in school is one of the best ways to avoid child marriage. Each year of secondary education reduces the likelihood of marrying as a child before the age of 18 by five percentage points or more.
The report also documents the impact of child marriage and girls’ education on more than three dozen other development outcomes. For example, child marriage leads to higher risk of intimate partner violence, and lower decision-making in the household. Child marriage also affects the well-being of the children of young mothers, including higher risks of mortality and stunting (malnutrition) for children below the age of five.
Educating girls and promoting gender equality is part of a holistic effort at the World Bank, which includes financing and analytical work to keep girls in school, prevent child marriage, improve access to reproductive health services, and strengthen skills and job opportunities for adolescent girls and young women.
* Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Zambia.
In Accra: Kennedy Fosu, (233) 302-214142, firstname.lastname@example.org
In Washington: Patricia da Camara, +1 (202) 473-4019, email@example.com
McKinsey shows Africa is the world’s next big growth market
November 20, 2018 | 0 Comments
There is a trillion-dollar opportunity to industrialize Africa, to meet rising domestic demand and create a bridge-head in global export markets
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, November 20, 2018/ — A new book by McKinsey (https://www.McKinsey.com/) confirms that Africa is poised for economic acceleration, akin to the Asian boom. While other geographies are seeing incremental growth, global companies that get in early and join the African champions shaping the right strategies, can sustain double-digit profit growth over the next few decades.
Download the Inforgraphic: https://bit.ly/2OSTNTP
In Africa’s Business Revolution: How to Succeed in the World’s Next Big Growth Market (Harvard Business Review Press, November 20, 2018) Acha Leke, Mutsa Chironga, and Georges Desvaux detail the research that McKinsey & Company has done and share insights into Africa’s future growth prospects. The conclusions they draw are distilled from 3,000 McKinsey client engagements, in-depth proprietary research and interviews with 40 of Africa’s most prominent business and development leaders. The authors reveal how companies can better understand the African market and seize the opportunities for building profitable, sustainable businesses.
Major trends indicate Africa is poised for explosive growth
Africa has a fast-growing, rapidly urbanizing population with big unmet needs. This means there is a trillion-dollar opportunity to industrialize Africa, to meet rising domestic demand and create a bridge-head in global export markets. In addition, there has been a big push by governments and the private sector to close infrastructure gaps. There is a continued resource abundance in agriculture, mining, and oil and gas, with innovation and investment in these sectors unlocking new production on the continent. The rapid adoption of mobile and digital technologies could leapfrog Africa past many obstacles to growth.
Leke and Desvaux, both Senior McKinsey Partners and Chironga, an executive at Nedbank, one of South Africa’s largest banking groups, say:
“With over 400 African companies earning annual revenues of US$1 billion or more, we can identify what works. The highly successful businesses are often African companies, but many are entrepreneurial firms with Western, Indian, or Chinese founders. The most consistently profitable businesses demonstrate a higher tolerance for risk, are eager to adapt their products, production and distribution for African consumers, and commit to investing and building their businesses for the long-term.”
African success stories
The book examines several examples of African businesses that have translated opportunities into enduring business value. For instance, it shows how Nigerian conglomerate, Dangote Industries, industrialised to serve regional markets through import substitution and improved margins through vertical integration. South African retail giant, Shoprite, adapted its supply chain and distribution centres for local logistics. SABMiller created products for regional tastes and invested heavily in multiple markets and skills transfer. Technology driven start-up, Kenya’s M-Kopa, is providing mobile money financed off-grid solar energy kits. The authors also study global companies which have succeeded in Africa for decades, like Coca-Cola, GE, and Total.
Four imperatives to achieve long-term sustainable growth
Leke, Chironga and Desvaux believe that building a successful business in Africa requires a long-term approach and four essential practices:
Acha Leke says:
“At the heart of these four imperatives is a commitment to doing well by doing good. We have had the privilege of meeting and working with many remarkable business leaders from around the world. What has struck us time and again is how many of them are driven by a deeper purpose. They look closely at Africa’s high levels of poverty; its gaps in infrastructure, education and healthcare, and its governance problems. But they don’t just see barriers to business – they see human issues they feel responsible for solving. They show us that contributing to the social and economic development of the countries within which their thriving businesses operate creates value for both shareholders and stakeholders.”
Acha Leke is a Senior Partner and Chairman of McKinsey’s Africa office (https://www.McKinsey.com/). He joined McKinsey in 1999 and went on to establish the firm’s Nigeria office in 2010. He has been at the forefront of McKinsey’s expansion across Africa, working in over 20 countries. He holds several leadership roles at McKinsey, including senior partner in charge of global recruiting, council member of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), and leader of the firm’s private equity, public sector, and social sector practices in Africa. Acha co-founded the African Leadership Group, which includes the African Leadership Academy and the African Leadership Network. He has worked to ease travel restrictions in Africa, which has led many countries to drop visa requirements for fellow Africans. He serves on a committee to reform the African Union, chaired by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. Acha has received many awards and recognitions, has authored dozens of articles for publications including Harvard Business Review and the McKinsey Quarterly, and is co-author of MGI’s widely recognized “Lions on the Move” reports on the progress and potential of Africa’s economies.
Mutsa Chironga is divisional executive for consumer banking at Nedbank, one of South Africa’s largest banking groups, where his focus is on growing the customer base and deepening relationships with more than seven million existing customers. Mutsa was previously a Partner in McKinsey’s Johannesburg office. In that role he worked with banks in over a dozen African countries, on topics including strategy, expansion and performance transformation. Mutsa is an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow, one of approximately two hundred young leaders from across Africa. He has published widely. He was the lead author of the McKinsey reports, “Roaring to Life: Growth and Innovation in African Retail Banking” and “Mobile Financial Services in Africa: Winning the Battle for the Customer.” He co-authored MGI’s “Lions on the Move” reports on Africa’s economies and a related article in Harvard Business Review, “Cracking the Next Growth Market: Africa”.
Georges Desvaux is a senior partner at McKinsey & Company, a former managing partner of the firm’s African and Japanese offices, and a member of McKinsey’s shareholders’ council, the firm’s governing body. In his three decades with McKinsey he has been based in Brussels, Paris, Beijing, Tokyo, and Johannesburg. He is now based in Hong Kong, where his focus includes advising Asian companies on their African expansion strategies. Georges has supported retailers, financial institutions, and technology companies on international growth, post-merger integration, marketing, operations, and organizational design. As a leader of McKinsey’s global marketing practice, he has helped build the firm’s consumer insights and analytics capabilities and has coauthored numerous reports and articles on consumer and macroeconomic trends—including the MGI report “Lions on the Move II: Realizing the Potential of Africa’s Economies.” Since 2007 Georges has co-led McKinsey’s Women Matter research initiative on women’s advancement in business. He has co-authored several reports and articles on the topic, including “Women Matter Africa”.
Reactions to Africa’s Business Revolution
“A truly disruptive book, suggesting that today’s ambitious entrepreneurs look not to space or silicon but to the savannah.”
“A powerful and compelling guide that captures practical know-how for doing profitable and socially impactful business in Africa.”
─Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive, Dangote Industries Limited
“This is a must-read for any global business leader looking for opportunities to deliver outsize returns to stakeholders while also meeting Africa’s huge unmet demands for goods and services.”
─Penny Pritzker, Founder and Chairman, PSP Partners; former United States Secretary of Commerce
“The last great emerging market is Africa. For those investors interested in learning why the market offers enormous opportunities over the coming decade, Africa’s Business Revolution is an indispensable guidebook.”
─David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman, The Carlyle Group