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

CCA’s Florie Liser with Rwandan President Paul Kagame

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

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

Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women and
former South African Deputy President

By Wallace Mawire

Sonke Gender Justice (Sonke), in partnership with MenEngage
Africa, MenEngage Global, Men for Gender Equality, FEMNET, Mosaic,
Soul City, We Will Speak Out and UN Women, will host the second Five
Days of Violence Prevention Conference at the Turbine Hall, in
Newtown, Johannesburg, 2 to 6 October 2017. The first conference was
held in Sweden in 2014.

Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women and
former South African Deputy President will deliver the keynote address
– Violence Prevention: Global and Regional Trends in Africa – on
Monday, 02nd October, during the Opening Plenary.

In the evening, Mlambo Ngcuka will give the inaugural Annual Sonke
Lecture, which will take place during the conference’s opening gala
dinner at the Mapungubwe Hotel in Newtown, Johannesburg.

The Five Days of Violence Prevention Conference will bring together
researchers, activists, policy makers, donors and programmers from
civil society organisations, UN agencies, government ministries,
faith-based organisations academic institutions and multi-lateral
organisations from around the world to discuss emerging issues in the
violence field and strengthen the development of prevention strategies
that can be adapted to different regional and national contexts. The
conference aims to strengthen the accountability aspect of violence
prevention at all levels.

Conference focus areas will include, the Socio-political economy of
violence – What is violence?, GBV in context and the continuum of
violence, lived experiences of violence: What do the research and
lived experiences tell us?, what works in preventing GBV?, another
Type of Evidence Is Possible: Expanding Our Understanding of Evidence
of Impact in GBV Prevention, partners in development – Bringing Back
Gender Justice and Human Rights In Our Strategic Response To Violence,
global, regional and national experiences of making governments and
international institutions accountable for GBV prevention and
response.

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Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe to celebrate customer services
September 30, 2017 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Dr Joram Gumbo

Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Dr Joram Gumbo

The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe will join the rest of the world in
celebrating the customer services week on 2 to 6 October
2017.Accoridng to Nunurai Ndawana,a CAAZ official , this year’s
celebrations will be held under the theme ” Building Trust”.

According to Ndawana, various activities have been lined up for the
week long celebrations which include Harare International Airport
road clean-up on 2
October 2017, Kentucky Prison Donations 4 October 2017, St Maslin
Children’s Home Donations 4 October 2017customer services week
Celebrations on 6 October 2017.

The main celebrations will be held at the Harare International Airport
Domestic Terminal were the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural
Development Dr. Jorum Gumbo is scheduled to the Guest of Honour.

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The Pan African University Institute for Water and Energy Sciences including Climate Change (PAUWES) Celebrates its Second Graduating Cohort of 47 Students from Across Africa
September 30, 2017 | 0 Comments
This year’s graduating students will join the next generation of African engineers and policymakers committed to addressing the issues critical to Africa’s sustainable development.
The newly graduated PAUWES Class of 2017 celebrates outside the University of Tlemcen Auditorium

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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New AGCO agribusiness qualification set to develop skills, leadership and strategic expertise to drive African agricultural prosperity
September 30, 2017 | 0 Comments
The AAP is open to students throughout Africa and is a direct response to the need to bring young talent into the agribusiness sector in Africa
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the partners of the new AGCO Agribusiness Program on 25 September. Pictured from left to right: Simon Mwangi, CEO/Founder The Bridge Africa Group Ltd, Kenya; AGCO’s Nuradin Osman; Dr George Njenga, Dean, Strathmore Business School and Dr Andy Wilcox, Head of Crop & Environment Science, Harper Adams University, UK

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the partners of the new AGCO Agribusiness Program on 25 September. Pictured from left to right: Simon Mwangi, CEO/Founder The Bridge Africa Group Ltd, Kenya; AGCO’s Nuradin Osman; Dr George Njenga, Dean, Strathmore Business School and Dr Andy Wilcox, Head of Crop & Environment Science, Harper Adams University, UK

LUSAKA, Zambia, September 29, 2017/ — AGCO, Your Agriculture Company (NYSE:AGCO) (www.AGCOcorp.com), a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, is a lead partner in a brand-new training program being established to develop the talent to fill vital junior management roles in African agriculture and the supply chain – currently a major gap in the continent’s skills’ resource.

The Company signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 25 September to inaugurate this important new agribusiness course, known as the AGCO Agribusiness Program (AAP), with partners Strathmore Business School (SBS) in Kenya, Harper Adams University in the UK and Kenya-based The Bridge Africa which runs programs to prepare graduates for employment.

The demand for agriculture to produce more food from less is driving the pace of change in farming practices. The AAP is open to students throughout Africa and is a direct response to the need to bring young talent into the agribusiness sector in Africa.

“We are extremely proud to have established this comprehensive new agribusiness program,” says Nuradin Osman, AGCO Vice President and General Manager Africa. “As a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural solutions, AGCO is acutely aware of the management skills’ shortage in the African agricultural supply chain sector. Therefore, we have taken the initiative to meet this challenge head-on with a long-term commitment to skills development on the continent.”

New AGCO agribusiness qualification set to develop skills, leadership and strategic expertise to drive African agricultural prosperity

New AGCO agribusiness qualification set to develop skills, leadership and strategic expertise to drive African agricultural prosperity

Scheduled to commence in March 2018, the AAP will deliver an accredited two-year agribusiness program through SBS in Nairobi, Zambia and South Africa for up to 25 students aged 20-30, leading to potential job opportunities within AGCO Africa. Going forward, the aim is to extend the program and offer the course using remote and blended learning techniques.

“This is a strong business-oriented program that will provide training in critical skills and develop leadership and strategic expertise to drive African agricultural prosperity,” Mr Osman explains. “It underlines our approach to ensure Africa is run from Africa. Upon completion of the course, students will have the opportunity to be placed within the AGCO Africa organisation, thus providing excellent job prospects. It’s a win-win situation for all those involved.”
Commenting Dr George Njenga, Dean, Strathmore Business School said: “Through this partnership, we are confident that we have the capacity to meet the needs of the agricultural sector. The program will integrate both theoretical and industrial relevance to address the current trends in the sector.”

AGCO (NYSE: AGCO) (www.AGCOcorp.com) is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural solutions and supports more productive farming through its full line of equipment and related services.  AGCO products are sold through five core brands, Challenger®, Fendt®, GSI®, Massey Ferguson® and Valtra®, supported by Fuse® precision technologies and farm optimization services, and are distributed globally through a combination of approximately 3,000 independent dealers and distributors in more than 140 countries.  Founded in 1990, AGCO is headquartered in Duluth, GA, USA. In 2016, AGCO had net sales of $7.4 billion

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Umodzi Park hosts Malawi’s first International Tourism Expo
September 30, 2017 | 0 Comments
Minister of Industry,Trade and Tourism Henry Mussa (L) inspects some of the pavilions (photo by Mana)

Minister of Industry,Trade and Tourism Henry Mussa (L) inspects some of the pavilions (photo by Mana)

Umodzi Park Hotel, Conventions and Events, located in the bustling capital city of Lilongwe in Malawi, recently hosted the Malawi International Trade Expo at its world-renowned Bingu Wa Mutharika International Convention Centre (BICC). The event, which kicked off on 30 August 2017 and ended on 1 September 2017, was the first of its kind to be held in Malawi and attracted hundreds of local and international tourism stakeholders, including buyers, media, and exhibitors.

 Dubbed ‘Takulandirani’, which means ‘welcome’ in Chichewa, the Tourism Expo was established to promote Malawi as a top tourism destination and aims to enhance the country’s visibility among tourism stakeholders on an international scale. The BICC, a world-class conferencing venue at the heart of Malawi which has hosted a variety of international events including The Africa Land Forces Summit in 2017 and the Malawi Investment Trade Forum since 2015, provided the ideal backdrop for this event

 “The BICC is a state-of-the-art conferencing venue and plays a central role in attracting international events, artists, and stakeholders to Malawi, contributing to the growth of the Malawian tourism industry at large,” says Temwa Kanjadza, at Umodzi Park. “Hosting the very first Malawi International Tourism Expo demonstrates the venue’s suitability and readiness to handle events of this magnitude and importance, and we look forward to hosting many more events of this nature in the future.”

 The BICC features a wide range of impressive facilities designed to meet the needs of everyone from business delegates to ministers. The facilities include the Lilongwe Auditorium, which comprises a series of conference rooms that can be combined to comfortably seat up to 1,500 people, or partitioned to cater to smaller groups. There are also three incredible banqueting halls which can each accommodate 200 guests, or 1,000 guests when combined. With over 2,500 parking pays, guests can rest assured that they can arrive at the venue without any parking hassles.

 Along with offering spacious conferencing areas, the BICC also provides VIP lounges and socialising areas, a private lift and private entrances to ensure privacy and security for high-profile guests.

 “From its central location in the heart of the capital city Lilongwe to its world-class business conferencing, accommodation and entertainment facilities, Umodzi Park was built with the intention of promoting excellence in the hospitality and tourism industries, and will continue to set and exceed the benchmark,” says Temwa Kanjadza.

 For more information on Umodzi Park’s magnificent Bingu wa Mutharika International Convention Centre and the property’s many other incredible facilities, visit www.umodzipark.co.mw or find us on Facebook.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

How did you reflect new regional developments in your program?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rome / New York (PRWEB) September 22, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Africa50 is an infrastructure investment platform that contributes to the continent’s growth by developing and investing in bankable projects, catalyzing public sector capital, and mobilizing private sector funding, with differentiated financial returns and impact.

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Access to Climate Finance Conference To Be Hosted For Zimbabwe’s Business Sector
September 22, 2017 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire

The Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSDZ) with support of the French Embassy in Zimbabwe  will on 28 September, 2017  host an access to climate finance conference for the business sector under the theme: Unlocking green funds for mitigation and adaptation.

According to Tawanda Muzamwese, Executive Director of the BCSDZ,   the conference will be held as a mechanism of upscaling and strengthening the ability of Zimbabwe to access climate finance from both international and local sources.

The BCSDZ is a private sector led organisation that was formed 24 years ago whose mandate is to promote the implementation of sustainable development at company level. It is an affiliate of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

 

   According to the BCSDZ, climate change is one of the most significant developmental challenges affecting

society today. Zimbabwe is one of the countries affected by the effects of climate

change. The Paris Agreement has provided a platform for reducing further

progression of anthropogenic causes of climate change.

Zimbabwe has therefore developed a Climate Change Response Strategy and also its Nationally

Determined Contributions (NDCs) as well as a Climate Policy.

 

Financing is therefore needed to facilitate implementation of these frameworks and also to

finance local projects at company, community and national level,” according to Muzamwese.

 

He  adds that in order to mitigate and adapt to climate change there is need for

climate finance.

 

It is reported that climate finance can be drawn from many sources including

international development partners, government, Development Finance

Institutions (DFIs), private sector amongst other sources.

 

According to the BCSDZ, the major question that many stakeholders have had to deal with, pertains to

what  the sources of climate finance are , why  there are few projects funded, how

to maximize on  existing sources and focusing on new existing opportunities.

It is also added that although climate change is a challenge, it is also an opportunity for facilitating

investments through many sources such as renewable energy technologies,

clean technologies and the creation of lending facilities, grants, equity amongst

others.

 

The forthcoming conference is expected to explore the existing sources of climate finance and

strengthen the ability of Zimbabwean stakeholders to access innovative finance

sources.

 

Companies in the process of developing green projects are also reported to be

interested in identifying sources of financing and expected to attend the conference  with the prospect of meeting financial institutions, national

authorities, consultants, project developers, private sector and civil society, just to mention a few.

 

 

 

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