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Africa Investment Forum 2019: Masai Ujiri urges African leaders to invest in sports, commissions two new “players”
November 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

We need to invest in sports; African talent is like gold and diamonds – Masai Ujiri
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, November 18, 2019/ — Masai Ujiri, President of the Toronto Raptors, made his second appearance at the Africa Investment Forum, renewing his call for African governments to invest in sports.

Ujiri, the only President of National Basketball Association (NBA) of African origin in franchise history, has worked hard over the past year to scout talent and raise awareness about the success and growth of sports on the continent.

“We should be supporting teams here in Africa, that should be our vision. Sports is the next big thing in Africa,” Ujiri said, calling on investors to pay “close attention.” With all the talent in sports, there is no way it should be ignored, he said, reeling off a list of players from Africa on the Raptors team.

The sports ecosystem should be the biggest thing on our continent and has the potential to create jobs and improve livelihoods. African players are in top leagues worldwide and a former footballer is even president of an African state, Ujiri stated.

Ujiri, joined Ashish Thakkar, CEO and founder of Mara phones, and Tokunboh Ishmael, co-founder of Aliethiea IDF for a panel session dubbed “Promises made, Promises kept.”

Ishmael and Thakkar were on stage to share their testimonies, while Ujiri urged investors to look at sports and showed off the NBA championship trophy which at the 2018 Forum he had promised to secure.

Ujiri said President Paul Kagame of Rwanda had heeded his call and was providing support and a “push” for sports.  In one year only, Kagame had built an incredible arena in the capital Kigali.

“We need to invest in sports, it should be the greatest ecosystem in the planet,” Ujiri said.

Responding to a question about how to get more women involved and whether women stood to benefit, Ujiri answered that putting women in leadership roles only made sense.

When he took over the Toronto Raptors in 2013 as executive vice president and general manager, there were no women at all, except for one secretary.

“And it really offended me…Women run our homes, they are incredible but when it comes to the workplace, we don’t want to give them that power to show their abilities, ‘Ujiri said.

“Now I have hired 15 women with my organization, and I think it’s important, they give us success. They make us make better decisions,” Ujiri said.

As a parting surprise, Ujiri announced that he had scouted two new players for the Raptors. Welcoming President Kagame and African Development Bank ( Akinwumi Adesina to the stage, he handed them red team gear with their names emblazoned on the back along with the number 19.

“They are going to be playing for the Raptors, I’m taking them back to Toronto with me,” Ujiri announced.

In earlier remarks, Ujiri thanked Kagame and Adesina for their support.

“We should be supporting teams in Africa…The talent in Africa is incredible, it’s like gold and diamond…we have to represent and believe in it.”

The Africa Investment Forum is a marketplace for project developers, investors, borrowers, lenders, policy makers and public- and private-sector investors to encourage investment in Africa. The 2019 edition, which ran from 11-13 November, closed Wednesday in Johannesburg, South Africa.
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$1 Million Awarded to African Entrepreneurs in Grand Finale of the Jack Ma Foundation Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative
November 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

The aim of the prize is to support and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs who are building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future
ACCRA, Ghana, November 17, 2019/ — Last night the Jack Ma Foundation hosted its first annual Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) (https://www.Netpreneur.Africa/) grand finale awarding $1 million in prize money to 10 entrepreneurs from across Africa.

The ANPI is a flagship initiative of the Jack Ma Foundation, created by Jack Ma after his first trip to Africa in 2017. The aim of the prize is to support and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs who are building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future. In its inaugural year, nearly 10,000 entrepreneurs from 50 countries across the continent applied. The Jack Ma Foundation has committed to running the competition for 10 years.

The finale event, called “Africa’s Business Heroes,” was held in Accra, Ghana, where the top 10 finalists pitched their businesses directly to four prestigious judges including Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba Group and the Jack Ma Foundation; Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet Group; Ibukun Awosika, Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria and Founder/CEO of The Chair Centre Group; and Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba.

The specifics of the prize pool division is listed below. Each finalist is receiving a share of $1 million.

The top three finalists were:Temie Giwa-Tubosun, founder and CEO, LifeBank  ( ( Nigeria) – First Place, winning $250,000Dr. Omar Sakr, founder and CEO, Nawah-Scientific ( (Egypt) – Second Place, winning $150,000Christelle Kwizera, founder, Water Access Rwanda ( (Rwanda) – Third Place, winning $100,000
“It was an incredible honor to be named Africa’s Business Hero. I was truly inspired by my fellow winners at today’s Netpreneur Summit. The Africa Netpreneur Prize will give me the resources to grow LifeBank and expand our presence in Nigeria and throughout the rest of Africa. I look forward to continuing my journey to solve problems and make a significant impact on the future of Africa,” said Temie Giwa-Tubosun, Founder and CEO of LifeBank.

The remaining finalists, who each received $65,000, are listed below:Waleed Abd El Rahman, CEO, Mumm ( (Egypt)Ayodeji Arikawe, co-founder, Thrive Agric ( Johnson, founder and CEO, J-Palm  ( (Liberia)Kevine Kagirimpundu, co-founder and CEO, UZURI K&Y  ( (Rwanda)Dr. Tosan J. Mogbeyiteren, founder, Black Swan ( (Nigeria)Chibuzo Opara, co-founder, DrugStoc ( (Nigeria)Moulaye Taboure, co-founder and CEO, Afrikrea (  (Cote D’Ivoire)
“The finalists who competed in ‘Africa’s Business Heroes’ should be an inspiration for Africa and for the world. Each of these entrepreneurs looked at big challenges facing their communities, and saw them as opportunities,” said Jack Ma, Founder of the Alibaba Group and Jack Ma Foundation. “It is my strong belief that entrepreneur heroes, like these finalists, will change the world – creating companies that drive inclusive growth and opportunity for the continent. Everyone is a winner tonight.”

“This competition demonstrates the overwhelming entrepreneurial talent that exists across Africa. I’m very excited about the future of industry and entrepreneurship for this continent,” said Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet Group. “The top 10 truly show the limitless potential of African business.”

“What really struck me about the finalists was that they each addressed specific African problems with a specific African solution in a fresh way, leveraging technology that wasn’t available previously,” said Ibukun Awosika, Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria and Founder/CEO of The Chair Centre Group. “If this is an indication of the future of entrepreneurship on the continent, then Africa’s future looks bright.”

“Africa’s Business Heroes” will be televised in a two-hour special throughout Africa. The journeys of the finalists as well as their pitches and business insights from the judges will all be included in this exciting television event.

You can watch “Africa’s Business Heroes” on the following dates and channels:December 13, 2019 – ROK 3 on DSTVDecember 14, 2019 – NOVELA and Sports Focus on StarTimes
Check your local listings for specific channel and airing times.

The initiative will host a pitch competition where 10 finalists from across the continent will compete for $1 million in total prize money every year through 2028. All entrepreneurs across Africa, are encouraged to apply. Entries for next year’s prize will open in the first half of 2020.

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Sierra Leone: We have enough Inventors in Sierra Leone, we need to develop them
November 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

Says UNDP Resident Representative

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

United Nations Resident Representative in Sierra Leone, Dr. Samuel Does speaking at the Social Good Summit Award 2019.

The United Nations Resident Representative in Sierra Leone, Dr. Samuel Doe, has said that there are enough inventors in the country thus the need to develop and celebrate them.

Dr. Samuel Doe made this statement on Friday 15th November, whilst delivering a statement at the Social Good Summit: National Youth Innovation Award 2019 with the theme ‘combating climate change: we only have one planet let’s rally to save it’ at the Tejan Kabba Hall Eastend Polytechnic, in Kenema Town, Eastern Region.

“That’s why we have the UNDP Accelerator lab in the UNDP it has enough resources, it has some of the most talented young people who are managing it. They will be coming to your village, they will be coming to your communities to see what you are producing to take that; give it some resources so that you now become an entrepreneur or an inventor. we have enough inventors in Sierra Leone, we need to develop them, or we need to celebrate them,’’ he said.

He further said that the Social Good Summit (SGS) brings together young people to dialogue, to discuss among themselves, to produce a solution or a set of solutions to the different development challenges adding that the assumption behind this, is that there is nowhere in the world where there is a problem, and that problem does not have an answer in that same space.

“Every problem has a solution, and every problem co-exist in that solution. So, there is a solution to solving that problem. So, if there is water problem you’re your community there is a solution in that same community to solve that water problem. If there is problem of energy in your community there is also a solution that same community, we can re -invent our circumstances’ ’Doe said.

The UNDP Rep lamented that through the dialogue , emerging from one another, in line from people who are innovating have helped society’s challenges  which  he said  has been the history of the social good summit throughout the world with the support of UNDP adding that since 2013, when they started the  Summit in Sierra Leone; from 2013-2019 many of the young people who won prices, who invented something through the SGS are today entrepreneurs citing IDT labs, and other companies own by young people that are impacting not only youths in the country but the world at large.

The UNDP rep said there are many young people who have made it in life through the summit adding that the UNDP has expanded the Social Good Summit by establishing the UNDP Accelerator Lab so that they link innovations to private companies to make their ideas bigger and turned them entrepreneurs.

On his part, Commissioner National Youth Commission (NAYCOM) Ngolo Katta thanked the UNDP for its continuous quest to draw out the potentials, talents and creativity of young people in the country.

‘’Today is a red- letter day, a critical moment in the transformation of Sierra Leone’s innovative and technological environment. So, we must all be thankful to His Excellency the President Brig .  Rtd. Julius Maada Bio for his very strong paradigm shift in supporting what we called Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEMS) in Sierra Leone. This is the foundation to building social capital of young people. Let me quickly say to that today I feel elated because of number of young women who have displayed their talents here today,’’ he said.

He added that government have made it a priority in the establishment of the new Ministry of Technical and Higher Education (MTHE) a priority to support girls and young women who get into STEM who will get scholarships to get further studies into the sciences.

Acting Minister of Youth Affairs Lusine Kallon, in his statement, said climate change is a global problem which affects everyone in the society adding that as a Ministry they were aware of the impacts of climate change we are suffering in our society which he said has tendency to affecting our sustainable development Goals.

‘’ I am happy to inform that to register our commitment to fighting climate change, His Excellency Bio has just created a new Ministry; the Ministry of Environment to fight against the issue of climate change in the country. You will agree with me that this decision is timely considering the recent international rankings which place us as 3rd most vulnerable country,’’ he said.

He added that there is no doubt climate change is the global environmental emergency that the wold is currently facing thus the need to take this issue very seriously.

The social Good Summit top winners for this year was Osman Yaah who invented an automatic Irrigation Water Pump System and Monica Jackson who invented an electric Tricycle powered by an inbuilt renewable energy system winning the top prizes of fifteen Million Leones each.

Whilst Benson Kandeh, an inventor of a Hand Pump to access water, and Aminata Amara a 13 years old inventor who invented a plastic bottle light won the second prizes with Seven Million Five Hundred thousand Leones each.

The Social Good Summit is organised by the UNDP in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth Affairs, National Youth Commission, Rokel Commercial Bank and key private sector partners. This year award is the 6th award.

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Sierra Leone : East End Polytechnic Registrar appeals to gov’t to grant them University status
November 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

Registrar John Juana speaking at the social Good Summit in Kenema
Registrar John Juana speaking at the social Good Summit in Kenema

The Registrar Eastern Polytechnic in Kenema, Eastern Sierra Leone ,  John Juana has appealed to the government to grant them a university status.

John Juana made this statement on Friday whilst speaking on behalf of the Principal of the polytechnic at  the National Youth Innovations awards ceremony organised by UNDP and partners at Eastern Polytechnic, Kenema Town , Eastern Region.

‘’ I was just trying to catalogue the views of the people of the East and by extension the entire country . You will realise that issue of Eastern Polytechnic  for having a university in the East is not new it is the clarion call  that the people have been making for the past 15 years and so it is becoming so glaring that even as we speak,  we still do not have the university status . The East is going without a university.  And so, I used the opportunity whilst welcoming the entourage from the  Youths Commission, the UNDP  and all stakeholders present to see how we can all work together to ensure we have a university in the East,’’ he said.

He added that  the Eastern Polytechnic is the only higher institution of learning in the East stating that they are one of the leading technical institutions in the country.

‘’we have been doing a lot and we have done a lot. In terms of infrastructure we have what it takes. We have one the biggest libraries , very stuff library , we have the man power capacity . All what we need is to see how we can build on that one. Our argument is that , it could be nice we start with what we have and build on it than starting a new university . if you say you want  to construct a new university , build up  you don’t even know how long it will take. In the first place we all know now that the economic status of the government everybody is saying there is no money . why can’t we give the university to an institution that has a semblance of that, it could be a technical university  ,’’ Juana lamented.

The Eastern Polytech Registrar said they are losing  a lot of youths from Kenema through migration to the western area of Freetown adding that majority of those youths do not come back and  therefore settle in Freetown.

When asked about the government view of them having a university status he replied that ‘’ The government is not averse to it , we know they are very positive about it , the Ministry of Education has done so much in fact the reason why they are now reviewing the Universities Act perhaps to take care some one those calls that are part of the Universities Act to correct a lot of things.

Mr. Juana went on to say they implore them, as it is a process even though it has taken too long adding that they are calling on the government to grant them a university status as the discussions are very evident on different radio stations in the district thus stating that the people of Kenema themselves wanted their only higher education becoming a university.

“we have the polytechnic character that we will want to maintain so that it become distinct that we also infuse not only the skills of you going to the classroom to learn but we are taking practical’s on board. We are giving internship programme, we are also ensuring that there is time allocated for practical purposes. Apart from that, we are infusing into all our programmes , entrepreneurship skills training so that even if you are going to train as a carpenter we make sure you get the technique of establishing your business and creating employment for people,’’

The Polytechnic administrator ended by calling on government to capacitate them as an institution as they are the only higher institution of learning in the Eastern Region of the country.

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Didier Drogba Chooses Ivory Coast Role Over Chelsea
November 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

Didier Drogba
Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba says he turned down a coaching job at Chelsea because he wanted to work on football development in his home country.

According to Metro, Didier Drogba turned down the opportunity to become part of the coaching team at Stamford Bridge in order to run for the position of president of the Ivory Coast Football Federation.

The 41-year-old Chelsea legend, who retired as a player late last year, has been canvassing support for his bid to take charge of the federation and admitted in a meeting in Abidjan that he opted to go for the job instead of returning to west London.

‘I had an offer to stay at Chelsea where everything would be perfect and conditions are met, but I want to help Ivorian football because I love it!’ said the former Ivory Coast captain.

‘I am a leader, and my vision is bigger than just the simple role of being a coach.

‘A coach has an impact on a club – but I want to have an impact on an entire nation. I want us to re-think football, with a nationwide vision, so we can develop the game here.

‘The Ivory Coast has a glorious footballing past. The funds are in place, together with talent and potential, but they are under-exploited.

‘There are some very competent people in the Ivory Coast who can work with me on this project.’

*Source Chelsea

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Shifting Battlefronts In Africa
November 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

By  Scott Morgan

The current struggle against the Islamic State (IS) is shifting fronts.  No longer will the major campaign take place against the former concentration of power in Syria and Iraq but it will shift to the Sahel.

During a Ministerial Level meeting that took place at the State Department on November 14th, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced to his counterparts that change in strategy would in fact be taking place soon. What would this actually look like is a question that is certain to be bandied around by analysts across the CT spectrum.

If we are to assess what the struggle in the Sahel will look like we should look at the operations in Iraq and Syria for some guidance. We saw a group that took advantage of a vacuum that had a space that needed to be occupied. In the Middle East the voids were provided by a long standing civil war in Syria and poor governance originating from Baghdad. These actions created the situation where IS were able to find willing recruits to join their crusades.

Switching focus to the Sahel we do see several areas where a very similar scenario has been unfolding. One area of concern we should have is this area has had this issue that actually predates the rise of the IS. Weak governments which have porous borders with their neighbors actually provides a context where cross border operations can be conducted with ease by a non-state actor. This is a key fact when the actors are native to the region as well. So should it really be a surprise to learn that some of the routes being used by the terrorists date back to the days of the Mali and Songhai empires?

Another point that is often overlooked is the rise of Al-Aqaeda in the Maghreb. The group rose to prominence after the controversial 1992 elections in Algeria. Back then it was better known as the GPSC (Salfaist Group for Preaching and Combat). It later played a prominent role in the ouster and demise of Qadaffi in Libya and in the collapse of  the central Government in Mali before the French led intervention known as Operation Barkhane.

Speaking of Libya one has to consider that the offensive by General Haftar and his international partners have to be considered as a factor in the rise in the spread of Jihadist acts in the region. His drive southward at first then west and finally north towards Tripoli has forced some fighters to seek a new place for sanctuary.

Currently where do we stand regarding the Sahel? Despite the French led intervention and a United Nations Peacekeeping Force which has allowed for both a tentative peace deal and several elections in Mail the situation is still in flux. There are still attacks in the Central part of Mali that have the potential to unravel the work that has been accomplished.

Another country that currently fits the profile of a potential front is Burkina Faso. It was earlier in the year when the late IS leader Al-Baghdadi called upon attacks on French and Crusader interests in the region. After the release of his statement for a month a Catholic Church in the northern part of the country was destroyed per week. Mosques have also been targeted as well as well as the extractive Gold Industry.

Niger which has seen its share of attacks by Boko Haram over the years is now the home base to a US facility that will be flying UAVs. With the presence of US Special Forces in Mali as well indicate that the US is concerned with events in the region and will do what it can to support France.

This action is being taken now so that the West doesn’t wake up one day and realize that the Jihadists have taken over parts of Ghana, Togo, Ivory Coast and Benin. These Governments are already warning that IS is already in their countries.

*The Author is President Red Eagle Enterprises, a firm with the dual Mission of Supporting African Business Development, and also Providing Analysis of African Intelligence, and assistance in relations with the United States Government .He sits on the Round tables for the Advocacy Network for Africa, and the International Religious Freedom Caucus in Washington ,DC.

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WiLDAF Commends Akufo Addo for nominating three female justices to Ghana’s High court.
November 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ahedor Jessica

President Akufo  Addo
President Akufo Addo

Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF Ghana) has commended the President of the republic of Ghana Nana Akuffo Addo for replacing the three retiring female Justices due for retirement with another set of female Justices at the Ghana’s high court. A move WiLDAF’s says is worth pointing out but maintained Government must make conscious efforts to have deserving women occupy their positions to build Ghana.

The commendation comes at the back of the president’s nomination of the three, Ladyships Justices Mariama Owusu, Lovelace Johnson and Gertrude Tokornoo onto the highest Court of the land.

Speaking to the Communications and Advocacy Officer for WiLDAF Ghana, Abigail Edem Hunu she called on the justices to use their position to advance access to justice for abused women and girls and the less privileged out there who have lost their voice due to societal pressure.

‘’It is our hope the Justices will use their new position to advance access to justice for women and girls, and when they are approved by Parliament, will continue to serve as positive role models to women and girls across the country’’.

WiLDAF Ghana she added is also using the opportunity to appeal to the government of Ghana to speed up the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into Law. Ghana has committed to Affirmative Action by signing and endorsing the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Beijing Platform for Action, the SDGs and the Commonwealth Plan of Action on Gender Equality which set a minimum target of 30% of women in decision making position by 2015, the African Union (AU) Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa and AU Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality which targets 50% representation of men and women in public and political offices in Member States.

 Unfortunately, in the Ghanaian parliament, female representation is just 13.8%; only 23 women out of 124 ministers are representing just 18.55%; less than 10% women representation in all District Assemblies, this clearly demonstrated that despite the provisions under the constitution and the ratification of various international human rights laws, these laws can only be useful if an Affirmative Action Law is  passed and implemented to create an environment which is gender inclusive and gender responsive.

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Cameroon: Economic Experts Examine Best Path to Attain 2035 Emergence
November 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Participants, guests, Foretia team pose for a photo after the conclusion of the third Nkafu debate in Yaounde

(Yaounde, Cameroon) A public debate organized by the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation within the framework of its Nkafu policy institute program brought together various economic experts to debate over what the best economic paradigm is, for the government of Cameroon to adopt, in order to safely land at the shores of vision 2035 emergence. The theme for the debate was “should Cameroon become a totally Free-Market Society?” that’s continuous government intervention or free market reforms.

To understand the benefits and challenges of free market economies, same as for governments intervention, renown economists and researchers like Dr Louis-Marie Kakdue of the Nkafu policy institute, and Mr Christian Amouo of Mougano Investment, argued for the motion while Dr Ariel Ngnitedem of University of Yaoundé 1 and Dr Jean-Faustin Kaffo of the Ministry of Economy and Planning stood against.

Dr Kakdeu argued that a free economy will increase the level of competition amongst producers which enables resources to be orientated where they are most efficiently utilized, and as a result, gives consumers the latitude of wider choices to select from. Dr Ngnitedem rather believes that, “sometimes markets do fail, especially when the demand are not met and when equity problem sets in, thus needing governments intervention.”

 “Being a poor country, Governments intervention is still needed to make sure there’s inclusive development. In a developing country, the best economic indicator should not be the GDP growth rate but rather the human development index…. and in order to achieve a better human development index, our developing counties should allow governments intervention,” he added.

“In 1988, Cameroon had 188 state own enterprises and by 2018 only 28 were left but 14 out of the 28 that still exist, have failed to be more productive and always needing governments subvention to survive. Camairco, Camtel and Simri fall under this category” Dr Kakdue reiterated.

According to Dr Kaffo, an open or free market will be suicidal for local industries that cannot effectively compete with foreign companies or producers.

The debate, comes within the context of Cameroon facing major structural challenges and negative blows including an alarming poverty level, the state being the largest employer and recent currency crisis as well as the high insecurity in the crisis regions of Far North (Boko haram threads), and the Southwest and Northwest (secessionist war)

UB Health Science Student wins First Prize of National Essay Writing Competition (topic; free market: gateway to an Upper Middle Economy in Cameroon)

Motika Lucia, 24, student in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, ferried home the cash prize of 200.000 FRS cfa after emerging as winner of the 2019 national essay competition with an average of 16.62/20. This, ahead of Clinton Tumenta from Yaoundé with a score of 15.62/20 and Maxwell Fombutu, Agro-economics student in the Bamenda University of Science and Technology scoring 15.25/20.

Mr Ulrich D’pola of the Nkafu policy institute explained that, the essay competition was launched between July to August inviting young Cameroonians below the age of 25, to address the issue of economic development, what model to follow between economic aids or economic freedom? He also noted that the competition torched 5 regions of the country with majority being female candidates (F=56.25% Vs M=43.75%) showing that young female in Cameroon are really concerned by the economic situation of the country.

Winners of 2019 National Essay Competition
Winners of 2019 National Essay Competition

While expressing her joy, Lucia said the award motivates her to take up other challenges out of the medical fields and to invest more of her time in writing.

This Nkafu debates series n.3 brought together economists, government officials, entrepreneurs, academics and researchers, students amongst others to converge on Mansel Hotel, Yaounde. Meanwhile, the STEM awards of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation was announced for November 30, 2019.

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The Opportunity for Crypto in Africa is Enormous and will Impact Everyone’s Lives
November 14, 2019 | 0 Comments
Marcus Swanepoel - CEO & Founder of Luno
Marcus Swanepoel – CEO & Founder of Luno

Cape Town, 14th November 2019 – Luno’s CEO Marcus Swanepoel, speaking at AfricaCom 2019, has outlined how the implementation and use of cryptocurrencies will be an important part of Africa’s future.  Luno can see that as cryptocurrencies develop over the next ten years, they can become part of everyone’s lives, solving many of the issues currently associated with existing fiat currencies.

Commenting after his keynote at AfricaCom, Marcus said: “Cryptocurrencies are on a growthpath which can help solve the fundamental problems of the existing monetary system, which in many parts of Africa is not fit for purpose. At the moment we tend to hear about the perceived issues with crypto and although these stories make headlines they also serve to make us forget the problems which have beset the traditional financial systems in Africa.  

“Africans using traditional currencies are often faced with high transaction costs, inflation and currency devaluation, exorbitant interest rates and high levels of fraud. Coupled with all this – accessing the existing system (despite the fact that many have a mobile phone and conduct other elements of their lives online) is still incredibly restrictive” 

This has in turn led to a lack of financial inclusion and huge unbanked deposits, which does not help people or nations and severely hampers economic growth and financial freedom. 

“It will take time for the full benefits of cryptocurrencies to be seen. Cryptocurrencies  have only effectively been in general circulation for five to ten years, so it is still nascent, but like the early adopters of the internet, the long term benefits are very clear. 

Marcus had a clear message for the conference audience which was that cryptocurrencies are alive and well. They are about to enter a very significant and exciting period, and through forward thinking and proactive regulation, countries across Africa can set themselves up for future growth and success.  

Luno is continuing to put its support behind regulators who are embracing cryptocurrencies and who recognise the long term benefits a secure and transparent blockchain system offers, especially for developing markets. As the company expands across Africa,  collaboration with regulators, governments and the broader financial ecosystem will be key. 

Marcus concluded: “Cryptocurrencies will be life changing for many millions of people in Africa.  For the unbanked and those that lose out every time they deal with the existing financial services sector, there lies ahead a better way of moving, storing and exchanging value.  We just have to remember that cryptocurrencies are very new, and will need time to develop to its full potential. Luno is at the forefront of bringing this inevitable change to the world in a responsible way. Markets which are prepared to see the potential and work with the cryptocurrency industry will very quickly move ahead of jurisdictions which refuse to change. We’ve seen this in every sector which technology touches, and the financial technology and cryptocurrency sector will be no different.”

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Gambian Journalists training of trainers on safety Underway
November 14, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Gambian journalists
Gambian journalists

The Gambia Press Union (GPU) on Wednesday, 13th November 2019, kicked off a five-day training of trainers on safety of journalists.

The training for 15 journalists and journalism trainers is part of a three-year project the Union is implementing with funding from the Civil Society Fund of Denmark (CISU).

It is delivered by the training arm of the Union, Media Academy for Journalism and Communications, and facilitated by an international trainer from Denmark.

The capacity building is part of the Union’s effort to enhance the safety of journalists in The Gambia and to strengthen the media to play its ideal role in the country’s fragile democratic development and transitional justice process.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, GPU President Sheriff Bojang Jr said the training was designed to prepare the participants to know safety protocols for journalists.

“This training is part of GPU’s commitment to the welfare and safety of journalists by making sure that journalists are equipped to stay safe in their day-to-day work,” he said.

“The training is not just focused on how to safely cover demonstrations and riots; it goes beyond that. The training includes safety measures to observe even when at home or walking on the street, as a journalist.”

Mr Bojang Jr further pointed out that in other countries; journalists are attacked even in peace times, without any protest, because they have information that somebody somewhere wants to hide doesn’t want the public to know.

Modou S Joof, a lecturer at Media Academy of Journalism and Communication, said: “There is clear capacity gap when it comes safety for journalists because we have seen journalists who were covering demonstration that later turned violent and the reporters became paranoid because they were not prepared for that.”

Therefore, he said, safety should be a priority for every journalist because even the most peaceful demonstration can turn violent and as a journalist, you need to stay safe to be able to do the job well.

The Danish trainer, Lars Mollers, said during the five days training of trainers, they would cover topics such as: how to internalise safety tips and standard operational procedure for dealing with possible threats; how to make contingency plan if anything goes wrong while covering an event; how to make safety plan to mitigate dangers; and how to safely cover demonstrations.

Upon completion, the 15 trained trainers would later train other journalists on safety

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Gambia Music Union Clarifies ‘Peace Project’ by Gambian Musicians
November 14, 2019 | 0 Comments

Strongly advice artistes to distance themselves from politic

By Bakary Ceesay

Gambia Music Exco
Gambia Music Exco

The Music Union of the Gambia has reacted to the ‘Peace Project’ initiative by a group of Gambian musicians, presented to President Adama Barrow assured the full support of the state.

The musicians called on the president Adama Barrow over the weekend at State House to present the project with the hope enlisting the support of the state in promoting national unity, social cohesion, and harmony through the power of music.

Barrow said: “This peace project is very important; there can be no progress in the absence of peace and stability. As President, I and my government will support this project to its success. I have a mandate to the Gambian people and therefore take ownership of this project’’

However, on Tuesday in a press release from the Music Union of the Gambia is aware of the recent visit of a few Gambian Artists to the Office of President. We understand its was arranged and facilitated by President Barrow’s Youths For National Development together with Lamin Cham (DJ Champion Sounds)

The Artistes that were present went there at their own will on contract basis by the above mentioned bodies and had nothing to do with Gambian Artists or Music Union as a whole.

They presented a “Peace Initiative” Project which the Union isn’t against, we believe Maintaining Peace is key and the first step towards developing any nation and Gambia is not an exception to that fact.

What we are against is siding / working / affiliating with any political groups, parties or political related gatherings in the name of Gambian Artist or Musicians.

We believe there are right channels such as our line Ministry Of Youth & Sports or Ministry Of Tourism & Arts/Culture to facilitate such projects together with The Music Union Of The Gambia and National Centre for Art and Culture.

The Union is made up of different Artistes/Musicians with different tribes, backgrounds and political views, What brought us together is the music and we want to keep it that way.

Due to the present situation of the country, The Timing of the meeting and the Body Facilitating the meeting didn’t sit well for a lot of Artistes & the executives of The Music Union. Our believe is in order to strengthen the Music Union as an institution which has an executive with a mandate.

The Music Union Of The Gambia advices artistes to distance themselves from politics and if one wants to take part should do it on its own will and not in the name of Gambia Artists / Musicians / Music Union.

Our Music Industry lacks structure which we have been struggling to put in place and we believe working with the government could make this possible but only if its Channel to the right institutions/ offices.

We want to use this opportunity to inform all artists that the Executive will in a few weeks call on congress. We are equally happy to report that the constitutional Review committee will report on the drafted constitution for adoption and election of yet another executive to run the affairs of The Gambia Musicians Union in the years to Come. In the spirit of Peace and the Development of Gambia we salute you.


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New Senegal Ambassador to Gambia Vows to expand the bilateral ties
November 14, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Amb Sene  with President Barrow
Amb Sene with President Barrow

The new Senegalese ambassador to The Gambia, His Excellency, Bachirou Sene has stressed that his ultimate mission is to further strengthen and expand the bilateral ties between The Gambia and Senegal.

President Adama Barrow on Wednesday received the Letter of Credence of the new Senegalese ambassador to The Gambia, His Excellency, Bachirou Sene at the State House in Banjul. In line with existing diplomatic protocols, Ambassador Sene was received with military pomp and parade, with the honour of inspecting a military Guard of Honour.

   In welcoming the new ambassador to The Gambia, President Barrow congratulated the ambassador on his appointment. He stressed the historic and unique friendly relationship between The Gambia and Senegal, saying ‘‘ the fact that we [referring himself and Ambassador Senel] are speaking Wolof to each other says a lot about the ties we share’’.

The President expressed optimism that the high level of peaceful co-existence between the two countries will continue to advance the development of their respective peoples.

He extended heartfelt gratitude to his colleague brother and friend, President Macky Sall, for his great choice of ambassadors to The Gambia, citing the outgoing Ambassador – Professor Salieu Ndaiye, as a committed and instrumental diplomat to the Senegambian cause.

For his part, the new Ambassador said he was happy to be assigned to The Gambia, vowing that his ultimate mission is to further strengthen and expand the bilateral ties between The Gambia and Senegal. ‘’I am sent here to foster the strong ties between The Gambia and Senegal. We are all happy about the current state of relations between our countries.

The relationship is great and beautiful. I am happy to be assigned here because I consider myself a Senegambian citizen’’.

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