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Drogba scores big tourism win for Côte d’Ivoire
February 25, 2020 | 0 Comments
Forum de l’Investissement Hotelier Africain (FIHA) conference will discuss how to spend it

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, February 25, 2020/ — International soccer star Didier Drogba has helped his birthplace, Côte d’Ivoire, strike gold by helping to collect MOUs for a total of $15 billion in commitments to back tourism projects in the west African country.

The breakthrough comes ahead of the UNWTO Forum for Africa, which will take place in Abidjan next week (February 20-22) and the influential Forum de l’Investissement Hotelier Africain (FIHA), which takes place in Abidjan next month (March 23 – 25). FIHA is known for its ability to link up the new investors with developers, consultants, contractors, hoteliers and political leaders.

The former Chelsea striker – and now UN world tourism ambassador – was part of a successful global push to promote the rising success and attractiveness of Côte d’Ivoire’s tourist economy. The country boasts a GDP growth rate of about 8% in 2019 and, as a destination, it’s in third place in Sub-Saharan Africa, with 2 million international visitors, behind South Africa and Zimbabwe, ahead of Uganda, Botswana, Kenya or Mauritius (according to UNWTO 2018 data).

Matthew Weihs, Managing Director, Bench Events, which organises FIHA, said: “This is an extraordinary and impressive effort by Côte d’Ivoire; and it makes this year’s Forum particularly interesting because the funding commitments are in place and the task now is to make projects happen.” Last year’s successful FIHA in Marrakech attracted 300 delegates from 28 countries.

Under the banner, Sublime Côte d’Ivoire, Didier Drogba was a key player in a team of top Ivorian business and political leaders, as well as showbusiness figures, who took a roadshow to Dubai and Hamburg. They returned with more than 15 billion dollars of funding commitments for a variety of tourism projects, from hotels, to resorts and coastline development. All the backers have been invited to attend FIHA.

Philippe Doizelet, Managing Partner of Horwath HTL, the world’s largest and most experienced hospitality consultants, has been guiding Côte d’Ivoire’s efforts. He said: “It’s a blank page that the industry can write on in the most exciting way. Much has to be built – hotels alongside cultural centres and conference facilities, among other things. The amazing coastline offers great ‘bleisure’ (a mix of business and leisure) opportunities. Beyond Abidjan; Boulay island, Bassam and Jacqueville are currently the most promising locations.” He sees the greatest potential in ‘mixed-use’ projects, combining leisure, office and retail units with hospitality, in particular, branded 2-star & 3-star hotels and extended stay apartments.

Leading the country’s ambition to make tourism one of the main pillars of the economy, is Tourism Minister Siandou Fofana. Described by Philippe Doizelet as “visionary and deeply committed. He works hard to bring people together and attracts the best experts.”

Bench Events, Managing Director, Matthew Weihs concluded: “FIHA and its affiliated event, the Africa Hotel Investment Forum, are central to driving investments in regional hotel and mixed-use projects. The events connect key international and regional stakeholders, private and institutional investors to the hotel developers and operators that are fuelling the growth of the hotel industry across the continent. The projects that are promoted and funded at FIHA drive investments in tourism, stimulate economic growth in regional markets, create jobs and encourage much needed infrastructure.”

About Horwath HTL:
Horwath HTL (  is the world’s largest and most experienced hospitality consulting brand, with 45 offices around the globe. Founded in in New York in 1915, it has been providing impartial, specialist advice to its clients for over 100 years and is recognised as the market leader in all areas of hotel, tourism and leisure consulting. As the founders and original authors of the Uniform System of Accounts, the industry standard for hospitality accounting, Horwath HTL wrote the book on how the industry measures financial performance in hotels.

About the Forum de l’Investissement Hôtelier Africain (FIHA):
FIHA ( is the premier hotel investment conference in Francophone Africa, attracting many prominent international hotel owners, investors, financiers, management companies and their advisers. It takes place at the Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire on March 23-25. It is organised by Bench Events which has an established record of delivering high-level networking and thought leadership conferences for hospitality investment and aviation in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. ‘Creating an impact’ is the core focus of Bench Events, as the company enables growth by facilitating deal opportunities.

Sponsors of FIHA are: Host Partner: Accor; Gold Sponsors: Amandla Capital, Insignia, Marriott and STR; Silver Sponsors: Louvre Hotels Group, Mangalis Hotel Group, SB Architects and STM Electromech; Bronze Sponsors: Magespro, IT Hospitality, JLL and work4stars; Roundtable Sponsor: In Extenso; Research Partner: Horwath HTL; Exhibitors: Agora and Oger International.

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African Union Executive Council endorses African Development Bank President Adesina for second term
February 25, 2020 | 0 Comments
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina

The Executive Council of the African Union has supported Dr. Akinwumi Adesina’s candidacy for a second term as President of the African Development Bank. 

The decision was taken during the thirty-sixth Ordinary Session of the AU Executive Council, held during the AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 6-7 February 2020.

Adesina was elected to his first term as President by the Bank’s Board of Governors at its Annual Meetings in Abidjan on 28 May 2015. He is the eighth President of the African Development Bank Group and the first Nigerian in the post.

During his first term, the Bank’s shareholders approved a landmark $115 billion capital increase in late October. The increase in the capital base, from $93 billion to $208 billion, signaled strong support from the Board of Governors in the continent’s foremost financial institution.

Adesina is a renowned development economist who has held a number of high-profile international positions, including with the Rockefeller Foundation, and as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development from 2011 to 2015.

The African Union Executive Council comprises 55 ministers of foreign affairs representing the member states of the African Union.

In December 2019, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also endorsed Adesina for a second term as Bank chief. The election will again take place at the Bank’s Annual Meetings in May in Abidjan.

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February 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

February 24, 2020-(London | Berlin | Washington D.C)–The Coalition today announces the Co-Chairs of various Working Groups to guide deliberations during the critically important international conference on the escalating armed conflict in the Southern Cameroons scheduled for March 19-21, 2020 in Washington D.C. These individuals are renowned Southern Cameroonian professionals with recognized expertise in their respective fields. The seven (7) Working Group Co-Chairs include:
Working Group on Mediation and Negotiations

Margaret H. Kilo, Ph.D.

Margaret H. Kilo

Dr. Margaret Kilo is Former Resident Representative to Liberia/Sierra Leone at the African Development Bank. Between 2006 and 2008 she moved to the field as the Bank’s Resident Representative in Sierra Leone and was later appointed to head the Fragile States Unit which oversaw stabilization efforts for 16 fragile and post-conflict African countries. In August 2011, she was transferred from the Temporary Relocation Agency (TRA) of the African Development Bank in Tunis, Tunisia to Monrovia, Liberia. 

Dr. Kilo holds an MA in Sociology of Education from the London University Institute of Education, and a PhD in International Development Education from Stanford University School of Education. She was an educator and a researcher for many years prior to joining the international development community. 

Hyacinth Nwana, Ph.D, MBA

Prof Hyacinth Nwana

Dr. Hyacinth Sama Nwana is a Partner Consultant, Trusted Advisor and Opinion Leader in Telecommunications, Media and Technology (TMT). As a Senior Executive Board member, ex-Regulator and multiple award winning technologist and thought leader, he advises business corporations such as Microsoft, Facebook, MTN, USAID, DSA, Venture Capital firms, Governments and Regulators in TMT. He is also a Senior Adviser on TMT to KPMG.

Dr. Hyacinth holds a Ph.D. and MBA (London) and an MA (Cambridge). In 2014, he published what is considered an authoritative book on Telecommunications, Media and Technology (TMT) for Developing Economies.

Working Group on Judiciary and Constitutional Affairs
Rt. Hon Justice Ayah Paul Abine

Justice Ayah Paul Abine
Justice Ayah Paul Abine

Justice Ayah Paul Abine is the former Advocate General of the Cameroon Supreme Court. Prior to his confirmation Justice Ayah Abine was a Member of Parliament for Akwaya constituency in Manyu Division of the South West Region of Cameroon. He was the founder and president of the Popular Action Party (PAP).

In 2017 Justice Ayah was abducted and detained by the Cameroon security services. He was kept in detention for many months but never being officially charged of a crime. His arrest was part of a crackdown by the government of Cameroon as the Anglophone conflict escalated. Justice Ayah is a well-respected Anglophone voice with an impeccable understanding of common and civil law as practiced in Cameroon.

Professor John Mukum Mbaku

John Mukum Mbaku
John Mukum Mbaku

John Mukum Mbaku is a Brady Presidential Distinguished professor of economics and John S. Hinckley Fellow at Weber State University, Utah. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and an attorney and counselor at law, licensed to practice in the Supreme Court of the State of Utah and the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah.

He received his PhD in economics from the University of Georgia and his JD in law as well as a graduate certificate in natural resources and environmental law from the S. J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. He is a resource person for several think-tanks, including the Kenya-based African Economic Research Consortium (AERC).

Working Group on Economic Reconstruction

Vivian A. Atud, Ph.D.,

Vivian Atud

Dr. Vivian Atud is an economist and the Managing Director of Sunburst Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa. She was previously consultant with Nova Capital Global Markets. 

She holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Witwatersrand. She is a regular contributor on CNBC Africa, ETV, SAFM, SABC news, Classic FM, and other media houses in South Africa on economic and business issues as well as on women economic empowerment.

Nfor Susungi, Ph.D.,

Nfor Susungi
Nfor Susungi

Dr. Nfor Susungi is Director General of Capital Finance d’Atlantique, an investment holding firm based in Abidjan – Cote D’Ivoire. Previously, the Resident Director, London European Office of the African Development Bank for over 18 years, Dr. Susungi has tremendous experience in diverse sectors, such as banking, finance, oil, gas and telecoms.

He obtained an MBA in Finance from the University of Houston and a visiting research fellowship at Oxford University (UK).

Working Group on Peacebuilding and Public Security

Professor Joyce Ashuntantang, Ph.D.

Joyce Ashuntantang

Dr. Joyce Ashuntantang is an associate professor of English at the University of Hartford, City University of New York (CUNY). Joyce teaches many of the department’s classes, including Literature Across Cultures, African American Literature and Survey of Minority Writers. Her research interests include: African Literature and film, Oral African Literature, African American Literature and African Textual/Bibliographic Studies.

She obtained her Ph.D. in English from the City University of New York, an M.A. in English (Hunter College), a Masters in Librarianship (University College of Wales, Aberystwyth) and a B.A. in Modern English Studies (University of Yaounde, Cameroon). 

David Otto Endeley, MSc

David Otto
David Otto

David Otto is the CT Director of Global Risk International (GRI) Ltd and founder of the P/CVE Programme – Step In Step Out (SISO) Glocal. David’s Work focuses on consultation for the design, implementation, and evaluation of short, medium- and long-term AT/CT and Organised Crime programs for governments, NGOs and private organisations within a framework objective of prevent, manage and resolve. A specialised expertise on the dynamics between the West, Middle East and Africa in relation to CT vulnerabilities, political Instability, insurgencies and Organised Crime solutions.

Working Group on Education and Vocational Training

Patience Fielding, PhD

Patience Fielding

Dr. Patience Fielding is a Senior Educationist with over 20 years’ experience supporting teaching, learning, curriculum design, teacher training, and human capacity development in the United States, South East Asia, South America, Eastern Europe, and Africa. 

She holds a Ph.D. in Education with a focus on International Development from the University of California at Berkeley, a master’s in educational technology from San Jose State University California, and a Bachelors in English and French from the University of Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Dean Maurice Odine, PhD

Maurice Odine

Dr. Odine is a Professor and Dean of the School of Communications at Texas Southern University in Houston. Previously, an Assistant Dean at Gulf University for Science and Technology (Kuwait), Professor Odine is an experienced mass communications scholar.

He obtained his Ph.D. in Mass Communication / Media Studies from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; an M.A. in Radio – Television (Ball State University) and a B.A. in Mass Communication / Media Studies (State University of New York College of Geneseo). 

Working Group on Governance

Professor Lilian Lem Atanga, PhD.,

Lilian Lem Atanga
Lilian Lem Atanga

Professor Lilian Atanga Lem is the Chair of the Department of Linguistics and African Languages at the University of Bamenda, Cameroon. She is a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the University of Florida and has worked extensively in promoting local governance and women empowerment. 

She holds a PhD in Linguistics from Lancaster University, UK and her broad research interests include gender and language, political and media discourse using a critical discourse studies approach. 

Senior Barrister Emmanuel Ashu

Senior Barrister Emmanuel Ashu
Senior Barrister Emmanuel Ashu

Senior Barrister Ashu is the President of the REFORM Party in Cameroon and member of the Cameroon Bar Association. He is well known for his strong advocacy for a prompt resolution to the escalating armed conflict and is a passionate defender of human rights. Barrister Ashu obtained his A-Levels from the Bilingual Grammer School in Molyko – Buea, a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Yaounde in 1982. He is a co-founder of the Social Democratic Front party and the Southen Cameroons National Council (SCNC). 

Working Group on Healthcare and Humanitarian Relief

Sally Mboumien

Sally Mboumien

Mrs. Sally Mboumien is the President of the Southwest Northwest Women Taskforce for Peace. Sally Mboumien is a secondary school teacher, peace activist, community development worker and women’s rights advocate. Sally together with other frontline leaders have led women from both regions in lamentation campaigns calling for a ceasefire and an end to hostilities, inclusive and sincere dialogue, back to school campaign as well as different advocacy campaigns targeting different stakeholders to engage in a peaceful resolution of the conflict. 

She has received training in National Dialogue and Peace Mediation in the University of Basel, Switzerland. She also participated in the US Department of State flagship program International Visitor’s Leadership Program IVLP on Women Promoting Peace and Security in Africa in 2019

Fausta Ditah, MD

Fausta Ditah

Dr. Ditah is the President of the Southern Cameroons Medical Society (SCMS) and a gastroenterologist at The Jackson Clinic, in Tennessee USA. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and a member of the American Gastroenterology Association. He studied at the University of Michigan Medical School and completed his residency at University of Michigan Hospitals. His undergraduate education was from the University of Buea (Cameroon) and the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.  To register as a delegate for this important conference kindly click here

To support the conference, click here

The Working Group Vice Chairs and Rapporteurs will be published subsequently

About the Coalition for Dialogue and Negotiations
The Coalition for Dialogue and Negotiations (CDN) is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) with the specific goal of facilitating dialogue and negotiations towards ending the war in Southern Cameroons. CDN is made of professionals from all works of life and over 20 partner organizations worldwide advocating for an end to the war. CDN members work with its partners to strengthen international involvement in resolving the conflict and building durable peace in the conflict affected territories.
Contact: Kindly send all inquiries to Rick Ferreira, Executive Director at

*Source Coalition for Dialogue and Negotiations
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Cameroon: Market Competition is a sector that needs Regularization — panelists say at Nkafu Debate
February 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Panelists noted that Cameroon has to come up with strategies to develop its economy
Panelists noted that Cameroon has to come up with strategies to develop its economy

Panelists at the last edition of the Nkafu debate have said that Market competition is good for Cameroon’s economy as it encourages innovation and creativity. The panelists for and against were arguing on the motion, “Is Market Competition Good for Cameroon’s Industrialization”?

The event organized by the Nkafu Policy Institute of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation in partnership with Atlas Network sought to compare the views of different Cameroonian experts on the best way to spur industrialization in Cameroon. The Nkafu debates are non-politicized debates which are based on evidence, facts, and statistics.

Main areas of concern included Industrialization, Structural Transformation, Market Competition, Economic Development, International Trade, and Economic Emergence Public Policies.

Dr. Louis Marie Kakdeu, Economist and Policy Fellow at the Nkafu Policy Institute said that market competition is a sector that needs to be regularized by the state to avoid any unfair competition, as he argues for the fact that Market competition is good for Cameroon’s industrialization.

Competition is a major pillar of free-market systems. Competition policy is about applying rules to make sure businesses and companies compete fairly with each other. It encourages efficiency, creates a wider choice for consumers and helps reduce prices and improve quality.

To Chanceline Boutchouang, Economits, Consultant and Researcher said: “Cameroon has to come up with strategies to develop its economy. We have to initiate intelligent protectionism, and organize the economy’s industrialization by sector. The economy should only be opened if strict rules are set,” Boutchouang says in his argument for.

Panelists and participants debating on whether Market Competition is good for Cameroons Industralization

According to liberals, competition is inevitable and good for countries. They believe an important advantage of competition is innovation. Indeed, innovation spurs the invention of new and better products, or it helps to create lower-cost manufacturing processes. As a result, it drives economic growth, creates more employment opportunities and increases standards of living. Another advantage of competition is that of economies of scale and technology transfers. Companies can increase their global presence by operating in more and more overseas markets.

Contrary to the above arguments, protectionists believe competition is not good for an economy. Mr. Rene Mezene, Entrepreneur and CEO at Proxy Services in his argument against said it is not the time for Cameroon to open its market economy because of the reality of the local context. To him, “We do not have the technical capacity to open our market frontiers to competitors.”

The point of view was supported by Dr Lamine Himbe, Civil Administrator and Researcher at MINDMIT, in his stance against market competition being good for Cameroon’s industrialization. According to him: “Competition becomes complex in International market because it is difficult to input measures to protect weaker countries.”

According to protectionists, small companies do not have all the extra benefits or capital to expand and outsource like large companies. In addition, protectionists argue that competition decreases market share and shrinks customer base, especially if demand for products or services is limited from the start.

In 2019, the government of Cameroon has drafted the National Strategy for Development 2020-2030. This strategy lays more emphasis on industrialization and the structural transformation of the economy. Indeed, the secondary sector is only 15.6% of companies while the tertiary sector represents 84.2% of companies according to the second General Census of Companies (2016). Also, small businesses dominate the economic fabric in Cameroon as they represent 98.5% of the total of companies.

The main areas of concern at the Nkafu Debate included Industrialization, Structural Transformation, Market Competition, Economic Development, International Trade.
The main areas of concern at the Nkafu Debate included Industrialization, Structural Transformation, Market Competition, Economic Development, International Trade.

However, Cameroon faces major structural challenges and negative shocks including an alarming poverty level, government remaining the largest employer, the worsening security situation in the North West and South West Regions, the conflict with Boko Haram in the North Region, and the recent currency crisis as a result of excessive imports. In addition, small businesses in Cameroon face major obstacles that prevent them from growing. These obstacles include high tax rates, financial exclusion, and corruption.

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Carbon launches USSD service to enhance access to finance
February 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

Lagos, Nigeria, 24 February 2020 – Carbon, the Pan-African digital financial services company, has introduced a USSD service to its platform, making it even easier for individuals that have little or no access to smartphones or the internet, to access the financial services they need such as instant loans and easy-to-use payments.

This new service will allow existing Carbon customers to access instant loans and other payment solutions via USSD without requiring internet data. Prior to the launch of the USSD channel, Carbon’s financial services were only available to smartphone users via its Android and iOS apps.

Carbon is also launching simplified transaction processes for the new USSD functionality, that are faster and easier to use. Using the USSD code *1303#, customers (on MTN and 9Mobile) will now be able to quickly transact, encouraging more financial inclusion and making access to financial services possible in the absence of internet connectivity. 

Despite being practically forgotten in many parts of the world, USSD continues to provide an effective and efficient channel for delivering much-needed financial services across Africa. Mobile phone penetration continues to rise on the continent1, providing a platform for much-needed fintech innovation, but the high cost of internet data2 and the prevalence of feature phones3 means many are still excluded from the benefits of mainstream financial services. 

The new USSD channel will deepen Carbon’s market reach, allowing it to deliver innovative financial services to a wider range of consumers and giving them easier, quicker access to the funds and services they require to fulfil their needs.

According to Chijioke Dozie, CEO and co-founder of Carbon, “One of the biggest selling points of USSD is that it works with or without the internet, which is reassuring in the African context where internet data is expensive and inconsistent. As fintech continues to develop across Africa, and ingrains itself into people’s everyday lives, it is important to invest and innovate across the ecosystem, ensuring that individuals are not excluded from the benefits of financial inclusion.”

Carbon’s new USSD channel will also enable airtime recharge and funds transfer for existing customers. Bill payments, loans and onboarding of new customers via USSD will be added to the platform very soon.

Carbon, a product of OneFi, is Nigeria’s leading digital financial services platform that empowers individuals and businesses with access to credit, simple payments solutions, high-yield investment opportunities and easy-to-use tools for personal financial management. We are a global company of over 90 employees with operations in Nigeria, England and Kenya

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The International Energy Agency (IEA) appoints first Africa Programme Manager to expand engagement on energy issues across the continent
February 25, 2020 | 0 Comments
Maximilian Jarrett
Maximilian Jarrett
IEA seeks to expand its analysis and partnerships with African countries, as the continent’s role in global energy affairs expands

PARIS, France, February 24, 2020/ — The International Energy Agency (IEA) ( hired Maximilian Jarrett as its first Africa Programme Manager to help expand the Agency’s reach and coordinate its work as it deepens its engagement across the continent.

Mr Jarrett brings 30 years of experience in the fields of international economic affairs, media production and strategic communications. He most recently served as the Director-in-Charge of the Geneva-based Africa Progress Panel, which was chaired by the late Kofi Annan, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former UN Secretary General.

The IEA has long focused on Africa’s energy sector, including work on the continent’s energy access issues since 2002. This work has since expanded significantly and will continue to do so in the coming years. Last year, Dr Kandeh Yumkella, a former United Nations Under-Secretary-General, became ( an advisor to the IEA on Africa and energy access issues.

In October, the IEA published Africa Energy Outlook 2019 ( its most comprehensive and in-depth work to date about the continent, with a particular emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa. The special report, part of the IEA’s flagship World Energy Outlook, highlighted Africa’s increasing role in global energy affairs and included detailed energy profiles of 11 countries that represent three-quarters of the region’s gross domestic product and energy demand, including Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and Ghana.

The IEA is also strengthening its relationships with African energy decision-makers ( South Africa and Morocco are part of the IEA family as Association countries. In May 2019, the IEA and the African Union Commission co-hosted their first joint ministerial summit at which the two organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding to guide future collaboration. A second ministerial forum will be held in 2020, with South Africa offering to host the event in line with its 2020 presidency of the African Union.

Prior to his role with the Africa Progress Panel, Mr Jarrett spent over a decade working with the United Nations in Africa. He had started his career in 1990 as a programme presenter and senior producer with the BBC World Service. He worked on Focus on Africa and Network Africa, the BBC’s daily current affairs programmes for its audience in Africa.

The International Energy Agency (, the global energy authority, was founded in 1974 to help its member countries co-ordinate a collective response to major oil supply disruptions. Its mission has evolved and rests today on three main pillars: working to ensure global energy security; expanding energy cooperation and dialogue around the world; and promoting an environmentally sustainable energy future.

* SOURCE International Energy Agency (IEA)
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Ireland moves closer to becoming the 81st member of the African Development Bank Group
February 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

The delegation, led by  Paul Ryan, Director, International Finance Division of Ireland’s Department of Finance, included Patrick Mulhall and Renee Martin of the Department of Finance, and Laura Gibbons from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, 24 February 2020 –  Ireland moved a step closer to becoming a member of the African Development Bank Group after a government delegation on Monday deposited ratification instruments during an official visit to the Bank’s Abidjan headquarters.

The delegation, led by  Paul Ryan, Director, International Finance Division of Ireland’s Department of Finance, included Patrick Mulhall and Renee Martin of the Department of Finance, and Laura Gibbons from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“For us, it marks the final moments of our decision to become a member of the African Development Bank Group. It’s been a long road, but a very successful one. We are excited that we are at the end,” said Ryan after submitting the documents. “Africa has been one of our key targets for development cooperation, so joining the Bank gives us the opportunity to work with the continent and share knowledge in areas such as financial technology services, energy and climate change, among others ,” he said, indicating that Ireland would complete the process very shortly.

Ireland’s application to join the African Development Bank Group was approved during the Annual meetings of the Board of Governors of the Bank Group in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in June 2019. Depositing the Instrument of Ratification of the Agreement Establishing the African Development Fund (ADF) marks an important step in the process, Vice-President for Finance, Bajabulile ‘Swazi’ Tshabalala noted.

“The participation of Ireland will provide many partnership opportunities for Africa’s development, particularly in the Energy, Climate Change and Agri-food sectors. Additionally, Ireland is now a knowledge economy, which we as a Bank, are looking at in terms of future development on the continent, “ Tshabalala added.

The group will spend the next two days in Abidjan to meet with various Bank departments and teams  and to learn more about the Bank’s operations and strategies.

The Bank’s Secretary General, Vincent Nmehielle and General Counsel, Godfred Penn welcomed the representatives and received the Instrument of Ratification, a major administrative step in admitting Ireland as a state participant in the African Development Fund. Director for Resource Mobilization and Partnerships, Désiré Vencatachellum and Victor Oladokun, Director of Communication and External Relations also participated in the meeting.

Ireland’s “Strategy for Africa to 2025” includes a commitment to collaborate with the key financial institution on the continent; as well as to explore new partnerships to support policy development and programme implementation; and deepen engagement in blended finance mechanisms for job creation.

Speaking at the meeting, Nmehielle noted that “Ireland is joining the African Development Bank Group at an opportune time. Its participation in the African Development Fund and membership of the African Development Bank will contribute to Africa’s socio-economic development. This is a welcome and timely addition to our efforts to help accelerate achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and AU Agenda 2063 by African countries.”

The membership process for joining the Bank Group includes signing the Agreements establishing the Fund and Bank, deposit of the instruments of acceptance/approval of the Fund and the Bank agreements, and the payment of the initial subscriptions to the Fund and capital stock of the Bank.

The rules also require that a non-African country be a state participant in the ADF, the concessionary lending arm of the Bank, before becoming a member of the Bank. Ireland will become the 81st member of the Bank Group, once finalized.

*Source AFDB

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BBC News continues to honour Komla Dumor with sixth year of journalism award
February 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

Applications for the BBC World News Komla Dumor Award open until 23.59 GMT on 16 March 2020

Ugandan investigative reporter and news anchor Solomon Serwanjja  won the 2019 BBC World News Komla Dumor Award.
Ugandan investigative reporter and news anchor Solomon Serwanjja won the 2019 BBC World News Komla Dumor Award.

24th February 2020 – Now in its sixth year, the BBC has begun its search for the next BBC World News Komla Dumor Award winner, and journalists across Africa are encouraged to apply.

The award, which aims to uncover some of the continent’s rising stars in journalism, was set up to honour the memory of Komla Dumor, an exceptional Ghanaian broadcaster who died unexpectedly at the age of 41 in 2014. Known for his commitment and ability to tell stories from across Africa, Komla worked tirelessly to bring a more sophisticated African narrative to the world, and the BBC is committed to continuing his legacy by empowering a new generation of journalists from the continent.

Previous winners of the BBC World News Komla Dumor Award are:

  • 2015: Nancy Kacungira who worked as a prime time news presenter for KTN in Kenya
  • 2016: Didi Akinyelure, a Nigerian journalist who started out as an investment banker before becoming a presenter on CNBC Africa
  • 2017: Amina Yuguda, a Nigerian journalist who worked as a presenter for GoTel in Yola, Nigeria
  • 2018: Waihiga Mwaura, a Kenyan journalist who worked as a television presenter for Citizen TV
  • 2019: Solomon Serwanjja, a Ugandan journalist who worked as a presenter for NBS TV

All of the previous winners have used their time at the BBC to hone their journalism skills through training, workshops and mentorship. By working closely with leading talent across BBC News, the winners undertake a final project, culminating in them travelling to Africa to report on a story in a different country to their own which they have researched.

2019 winner, Solomon Serwanjja, said: “Winning this award has meant so much to me, both professionally and personally. To be able to work amongst Komla’s peers, to be able to change the narrative about Africa on a global platform by telling the continent’s stories from a different angle, is a huge honour. I have taken these learnings back to my role in Uganda and hope to continue Komla’s legacy, telling African stories to local, regional and global audiences with both passion and integrity.”

Solomon will take part in a launch event for the 2020 prize in Johannesburg, South Africa. He will host a panel debate programme for Focus on Africa radio on BBC World Service. The debate will look at the future of African power and whether it can fuel its growing economies without accelerating climate change.

As part of the launch, BBC News will also visit major South African universities, including North West University in Mafikeng, The University of Cape Town in the Western Cape Province, and both the University of Pretoria and the University of Johannesburg in Gauteng. These visits aim to introduce budding journalists to the work of Komla Dumor and inspire them to strive to one day put themselves forward for this significant award. 

Director of the BBC World Service Group, Jamie Angus, said: “I’m incredibly proud of all the journalists that have come through the BBC World News Komla Dumor Award, as each one continues Komla’s legacy in contextualising African stories for global audiences. Every year, I look forward to welcoming the next winner, to hear their insights from the continent and to share with them the key values of trust and impartiality that are synonymous with the BBC – principles which are vital to global democracy.

Now open for applications, entrants have until 23.59 GMT on 16 March 2020 to submit. The winner will spend three months at the BBC headquarters in New Broadcasting House in London, gaining key skills and experience.

For more information on how to apply, entry criteria, and terms and conditions visit 


The  BBC  attracts  a  weekly  global  audience  of  346  million  people  to  its  international  news  services  including  BBC  World  Service,  BBC  World  News  television  channel  and

BBC World News and, the BBC’s commercially funded international 24-hour English news platforms, are owned and operated by BBC Global News. BBC World News television is available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, and over 465 million households and 3 million hotel rooms. The channel is also available on over 180 cruise ships, 53 airlines, including 13 distributing the channel live inflight. offers up-to-the-minute international news, in-depth analysis and features, including BBC Worklife, BBC Culture, BBC Future, BBC  and BBC Reel, for PCs, tablets and mobile devices to more than 110 million unique browsers each month.

BBC  World  Service  delivers  news  content  around  the  world  in  English  and  41  other  language  services,  on  radio,  TV  and  digital,  reaching  a  weekly  audience  of  269  million.    As  part  of  BBC  World  Service,  BBC  Learning  English  teaches  English  to  global  audiences.    For more information, visit

*Source BBC

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Africa Water crisis: A security issue-Ugandan speaker of parliament.
February 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Ahedor Jessica

Speaker of parliament for the Republic of Uganda, Rt Hon. Speaker Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga has made an urgent call to African countries to treat issues relating Potable drinking water and sanitation and Hygiene WASH in Africa as a security issue. At the opening ceremony of Water Association International Congress and Exhibition (AfWA-ICE2020) ongoing in Kampala Uganda Rt. Hon. Speaker who officially opened the 20th congress for African countries to deliberate on WASH issues bedeviling the continent, bemoaned how water scarcity is causing rape and other forms of social vices in her country. Entreating the AFWA 2020 and the Professional women for water Networks and key partners to come up with workable solutions to address the situation in respective countries. The extent of this WASH issues she said is preventing men from performing their conjugal duties. Since the women have to wake up very early in search for water, preventing men having access to their wives.  

Abderrahim El Hafidi, AfWA’s president, said African countries are faced with immense water and sanitation challenges. And the need to face the challenge and focus on identifying new breakthroughs. Both scientific research and good practices is rife for every country. Calling for a common front to foster interactions with development partners, financing institutions and solution providers towards achieving universal and equitable access to safe drinking water and quality sanitation on the continent.

The biannual congress which is being hosted by Uganda’s National Water and The African Water Association International Congress and Exhibition 2020 (AfWA-ICE2020) aims to provide a platform for African water and sanitation experts to reflect on Africa’s progress in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Clean water and sanitation. Theme: “Breaking new grounds to accelerate access to safe water and sanitation for all in Africa holds from February 24–27, at the Kampala Serena International Conference Center, in Kampala, Uganda–to share ideas and resources; to look for new breakthroughs and innovations; to cooperate between nations, between generations and between disciplines–been more urgent as a continent in addressing WASH and achieving SDG6.

The congress coincides with the celebration of the 40 years anniversary of the African Water Association (AfWA) and the launch of the African Water and Sanitation Academy is a huge platform for solutions for water issues in Africa, he added. According to  El Hafidi the African Water Association (AfWA), known as Union of African Water Suppliers (UAWS), a professional association of establishments, enterprises and utilities operating in the areas of drinking water, sanitation and environment in Africa have come a long way with the subject since its inception in 1980; its membership cuts across over 40 countries on the African continent. About 2,500 participants from over 100 countries are in attendance

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A cup of ‘Filth’ for breakfast in Africa
February 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Ahedor Jessica

It was a typical Monday morning; I recall. While monitoring the media landscape in Ghana to check which stories,were making headlines as I braced for the day’s work. I am not surprised at the usual party politics that dominates the airwaves amidst the looming danger; -the filth engulfing the capital pose to public health. Oh!  Come Saturday is a Sanitation Day!! the presenter exclaimed in a local palace entreating citizens to go out in their numbers to clean their environment. What about it, the party communicator quizzed? Every day is sanitation day, he replied. They brushed it aside while a heated argument about free SHS sets in. Unlike political stories that mostly dominate the airwaves, ‘’A cup of filth for breakfast’’ it is for Razack unawares while he drinks his cup of porridge with other prospective buyers. Probably, the sanitation topic on the radio would have reminded her to be conscious of her environment and the food she sells.

Muniratu Yakubu has sold millet porridge for 3 years, sitting close to garbage at her usual spot at Nima- a densely populated suburb in Accra. -’I am Munira Yakubu I sell millet porridge for close to three years at this very spot. The reason the place is filthy is that the garbage container is full.  But residents keep pouring on until authorities come to pick it up.’’  To the buyers, it was just hunger they want to quench, not knowing it was a cup of filth’’ they are consuming. The phenomenon of selling close to filths is getting too comfortable for some traders as they sell a cup of the filth to every buyer who buys breakfast and pre-prepared foods like smoked fish among others.

Countries, like Ghana in the sub-Saharan Africa, are struggling with Sanitation issues. Where governments plan to address rural- urban Migration, attitudinal issues coupled with improper waste management remains a challenge. A report published by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the Urban sanitation research initiative reveals Ghana is one of the most urbanized countries in Africa. As a result, infrastructure has not kept pace with cities’ expansion and a high level of its rural-urban migration. According to the report sanitation management has been at the bottom on government priorities in Africa making it difficult for them to achieve the SDGs 6.

 Programs Manager, for African Ministers Council on water AMCOW, Kitchinme Bawa Gotau said although, African countries have taken the step to structure its systems for achieving success in the WASH area across board it is crucial that strategies are fast-tracked to save the continent from endemic diseases in association with lack of WASH facilities. Commending countries who have taken the steps in creating independent ministries to spearhead ‘WASH’ issues, he maintained until sanitation issues are address those steps will be fruitless. ‘’ AMCOW is 18 years. We have had a high impact in the ‘WASH’ sector. Countries have taken the bold steps to create and start independent entities to tackle WASH. But they need to do more to the attainment of a free sanitation continent devoid diseases’’.  Sub-Saharan Africa still struggle with cholera and other public health issues amidst plans, programs to improve ‘WASH’.

However, civil societies Organizations plying the sector believe, a concerted effort it needs a concerted effort to drive home demands and resources for African countries to address its ‘WASH’ issues. As a result, Communications, Advocacy and Policy Opportunities and Outreach for Poop (CAPOOP) a voluntary alliance of organizations committed to achieving access to adequate and fair sanitation and hygiene for all has a common front poised at ending open defecation, pay special attention to girls and women on the continent. The alliance which comprises 16 different Civil Society Groups including Speak up Africa a West African based strategic communications and advocacy organization have selected eight sanitation Media Fellows across the African in Uganda to champion WASH projects in their respective countries.

The selected journalists were Jessica Ahedor (Ghana), Kenneth Kavulu (Uganda), Likpete Kokou Jesdias (Benin Republic), Amani Mounkaila (Niger Republic), Mouniratu Lougue (Burkina Faso), and Abdullahi Tsanni (Nigeria). Others include Nadege Christelle Bowa Tchantchou (Cameroon), and Jenipher Asiimwe (Uganda).

The Fellows from both Anglo and Francophone countries will work on their respective projects aimed at achieving sustainable development goal 6 with a financial and technical support from CAPOOP and speak up Africa alliance pool.

The programs officer for Speak up Africa Aida Kabo is optimistic the alliance will be an impactful one because the players are chatting a common path unlike the individual pockets of works done in the past.  ‘’This is will propel us towards achieving one goal because the pocket of works done over the years were in isolation’’ 

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Zimbabwe Health Strategically Quarantines Cross-Boarders at entry points and China Visitors to Curb spread of Corona-Virus Epidemic..
February 23, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

Team of Zimbabwean Medical Scientists who performed the first Coronavirus test at the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory situated at the Sally Mugabe Central Hospital, which tested negative (Image Credit: Nick Mangawana/Information Ministry)

Zimbabwe has quarantined 3375 people suspected of corona-virus at entry points of the country. Among these 2, 000 of them are students from the Republic of China. The Health exercise called self-quarantine has saved the country from the spread of corona virus. Corona-virus is a zooronautic one, meaning to say it is caused by close interaction with animals.

Giving a statement to the National Assembly in Parliament two days ago , Dr Obediah Moyo Minister of Health and Child Care highlighted that a total of 3375 people at all entry points of the country had been self-quarantined for health safety reasons related to minimising of the spread of corona , preparation and avoidance of the spread at any given time .

‘’Zimbabwe is on the safe side. We do self-quarantine. So far 3375 people were victims, but we have saved them and the nation at large. Out of the figure, 2000 are students from China which means 1375 are not but people crossing boarders in business exercises. Our proposal sent to the Ministry of Finance is a budget of US 5,2 Million  in preparation of the corona-virus .

‘’We have restricted travelling to China owing attention to the lethal virus likely to disturb the whole World. Those travelling to Zimbabwe from China are self-quarantined for 21 days before they travel. One issue that makes us curb and control corona is that we use Anti-Retroviral Therapy [ART] because this is a virus.’’

‘’Our Proposal to the Ministry of Finance is that we need US5 million to fight the scourge. This is a Global emergency which if left un-attended kills people and decreases national Gross Domestic Product , thereby down-sizing the economy ‘’.

Dr Portia Manangazira Director –Epidemiology Department, Ministry of Health Zimbabwe pointed out in divulge of statistics that 2, 004 died in China. She pointed out that Zimbabwe could be a next tough thrown victim if no measures are put in place.

‘’There are 2, 004 people who died in China. Infections reached 75,685 patients.  ICorona has spread to 27 countries of the World. A total of 74,185 infections have been recorded in mainland China .However, Zimbabwe as a country we have done thorough preparations to curb the spread of the virus. We are in- fact on the safe side. As a country let us feel free.’’

China’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe Guo Shaochun said there strategies already working in preparation done by China.

‘’China has come out with holistic strategies related to full medication package to the victims , early detection , Health monitoring mechanisms related to travel restrictions  from China to Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe to China . This is done elsewhere as well because this is a pandemic ‘’, he said.

Viruses are the most difficult to treat as compared to other germs like bacteria, fungi, protozoa and parasite. The virus corona is spread through the air. It is Air-Bourne made in its biological nature. Corona-viruses are large family of viruses that cause not only the common cold but also more serious respiratory illnesses. A novel corona-virus was identified on 7 January in Asia-. The infection is traced to a Wuhan sea-food market that also sold live animals.

Symptoms are un-known incubation period


-Difficult Breathing

-Impaired Liver and Kidney Function

-Kidney failure

-Severe Cough


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Mount Cameroon Race of Hope: Godlove Gabsibuin, Tatah Carine Crowned Champions
February 23, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Gabsibuin and Flavious won the CAMTEL Prize for reaching the summit the first in the male and female categories respectively
Gabsibuin and Flavious won the CAMTEL Prize for reaching the summit the first in the male and female categories respectively

North West athletes continue to dominate the Mount Cameroon Race of Hope as Godlove Gabsibuin Bobuin and Tatah Carine, all from the North West Region were crowned champions in the male and female categories respectively.

The 25th anniversary of the race which took place Saturday, February 22, 2020, saw 500 athletes taking part in the race. Prior to the race, there were some 550 athletes who registered for the race but some 50 were disqualified on race day due to health concerns.

Godlove Gabsibuin won the race in 4hrs, 35mins, 50sec ahead of former champion Ndongeh Simplice (4hrs, 37mins, 56sec), and Elvis Nsabinla (4hrs, 42mins, 10sec). It was his fifth victory in the competition becoming the most successful male athlete in race, surpassing the great Tata Thomas who is on four victories. Gabsibuin won in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018, and now 2020.

Speaking to the press, Gabsibuin said: “to win the race is just for you to watch your speed. It is not like you are running 100 km. I am an elder person in the field, and I know how to watch my speed.”

The race this year unfortunately saw the non-participation of defending champion Mbatcha Eric. Eric who is in Finland posted a message saying he would not be participating in the race due to threats on his life and family.

Gabsibuin Godlove runs to collect FCFA 10 millionn as winner of the Mount Cameroon race of Hope, his fifth victory
Gabsibuin Godlove runs to collect FCFA 10 millionn as winner of the Mount Cameroon race of Hope, his fifth victory

Three in a row for Tata Carine

22-year-old Tatah Carine made in three victories in a row in the race after she won it in 2018, 2019, and now 2020. She won the race in 5hrs, 25mins ahead of Kitang Mildred, who came in 5hrs, 27mins, and Wingo Kpuufonla in third position (5hrs, 32mins). In wining, Tatah Carine bagged home the prize money of FCFA 10million.

Tatah Carine is seen by many as a serious contender to challenge the records of Serah Etonge and Ngwaya Yvonne.

She however has a long way to go to be crowned as the best female athlete to ever run the race. One record is in her sight to break — the most consecutive victories in the race. Serah Etonge and Ngwaya Yvonne both sit at four successive victories, with Tatah Carine now on three victories. Should she succeed in winning the race in 2021, she will be tied with the greats and looking to overtake them in consecutive victories.

Serah Etonge’s “Queen of the Mountain” title still stands

For several years now Serah Liengu Etonge’s title has been threatened by Ngwaya Yvonne. The two women are the most successful athletes in the competition, and in the female category — both are on seven victories.

Winners in the female category
Winners in the female category

While Serah Etonge has retired from the race, Ngwaya Yvonne is still going strong, though the past three years has not seen her victorious. Last year, Ngwaya Yvonne finished on the third position but this year, she was placed fourth.

“I am not afraid that my record will be beaten,” Serah Etonge told this reporter when asked about her record being surpassed. “I am not going to compare myself with young children. I am a mother who gave birth to several children, and the others are still very young.”

Since Serah Etonge last won in 2005 in the female category and Tata Thomas (1992, 1996, and 1998) in the male category, no athlete from Buea or the Fako Division has ever been successful in clinching the title. Lyonga Samuel Esombe has come close to breaking that hurdle with a third place finish. This year he could only come in 9th position.

Lyonga Samuel has noted that the attack he suffered last year as he was training for the 2019 edition is still being felt and was the reason for his poor showing this year.

Serah Etonge said she is surprised that no one from this Division has been able to do that. She said: “Discipline is a key to success. You can educate people on the race, tell them what to do to prepare but you cannot run for them or know what is in their mind. We hope that something will be done in that light.”

One of the innovations for this year was the introduction of prize money (FCFA 500,000) for the first athletes in both categories to reach the summit. Godlove Gabsibuin of Cameroon and Flavious Teresa of Kenya both scooped the prize money.

Foreigners making great strides in the Race

Since Mike Short from Great Britain (1984 and 1985), and Rev Stifter Walter from Italy (1976, 1977, and 1978) in the male category and Diamentides Helen from Great Britain (1988), Rueda Fabiola from Argentina (1989), and Smith Sally Gold from Great Britain (1990), no foreign athlete has ever come close to the podium.

The foreign athletes’ hurdle has always been that of descending the mountain. Things look to be coming into place for them as the years go by. The first athlete to reach the summit in the female category was Kwamboka Flavious Teresa from Kenya. Unfortunately for her, descending was an issue as she could only finished fourth.

In the male category Charles Kipkorir Kipsang from Kenya finished on the 6th position. “The race is a grueling one, more difficult than other races in Africa,” Kipkorir Kipsang told this reporter.

“What is an issue for me is the issue of descending the mountain. Hopefully in the next years, we (Kenyans) will be able to do better in the race.” “At the moment I am preparing for the Ottawa Marathon in Canada which will be coming up in May this year,” He added

Tata Carine made it three straight victories in the race after she won it in 2018, 2019 and now 2020
Tata Carine made it three straight victories in the race after she won it in 2018, 2019 and now 2020

Other winners

Veteran category — Men

Muam Emmanuel Kah

Taponfack   Patrice Romuald

Fotso Tagne Emile

Veteran category — Women

Nogha Brigit (2018, 2019 and now 2020)

Nkambi Martina

Junior Men

Saidu Habilar Modih

Yaya Ilyasu

Saidou Moumini

Junior Women

Ndifon Pamela

Ntume Macrita Yinyuy

Lateh Flore

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