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.|
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.
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.
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
Investing in Africa Forum: Africa Leapfrogging Through Innovation
September 29, 2017 | 0 Comments
An interview with Olusegun Obasanjo: Up close and a little too personal
September 29, 2017 | 0 Comments
Nigeria’s former president on Buhari, Biafra and bloody idiots.
BY JAMES WAN*
As the lift in his luxury London hotel rushes upwards to the 11th floor, Olusegun Obasanjo squeezes my arm warmly as he recounts his busy schedule of late. His aide and two PR people nod approvingly as he talks of his jet-setting across Africa, his upcoming appointment with the Archbishop of Canterbury, and his trip to New York straight after.
With a new book to promote, the former Nigerian president from 1999 to 2007 has been busy. So too has the PR firm behind the book, offering him up for interviews far and wide.
Obasanjo can certainly handle it. Aged 80, he may look like a cuddly grandfather. But he still has plenty of fuel in his tank and fire in his belly, as I am to find out later this morning.
As we enter his hotel suite, an American news channel is blaring on the television. He instructs his aide to turn it down but not off. “I won’t know how to turn it on”, he says. His assistant shows him the big red button on the remote before pressing it. The screen goes black. “Now how will I turn it back on?” the former president asks, a touch irritated. The aide quietly reassures him that he’ll personally see to it as soon as the interview is over.
Obasanjo’s new book, Making Africa Work, describes itself as “a guide to improving Africa’s capacity for economic growth and job creation”. Co-written with Greg Mills, Jeffrey Herbst and Dickie Davis, it provides a detailed overview of various political and economic challenges facing the continent. It warns of a growing youth bulge, and provides dozens of recommendations on how to encourage the private sector, diversify the economy and deliver forward-thinking leadership.
As we sit down across the small table in his plush hotel room, I start by asking Obasanjo how well his own president, Muhummadu Buhari, has been faring on these fronts since coming to office in 2015. One thing the two men have in common is the extent to which they polarise opinion, though Obasanjo here is unrelentingly equivocal.
“Buhari has made some announcements. He has tried to keep on going in the area of agribusiness, but not enough,” he says, slowly and cautiously. “It is not yet enough to prepare the ground for uninhibited growth of the economy, which we need”.
“Not enough” seems a sparse and generous reading of an administration that has presided over Nigeria’s first recession in 25 years, rising youth unemployment, and endless policy deadlocks. But even when pushed on specifics, Obasanjo picks his words carefully as he repeats familiar combinations of faint praise and sympathetic criticism of the man he backed for office.
“Is Buhari doing enough about it?” he asks at one point of youth unemployment. “I don’t believe he is. Can he do enough about it? Of course he can.”
Obasanjo’s vague and uncommitted answers contrast with the book he just co-wrote, which packs a handful of statistics into virtually every paragraph and offers dozens of recommendations. But the former president does eventually hone in on one specific: Nigeria’s frustrated young people.
The median age of Nigeria’s population is under 18, and the youth demographic continues to swell. There aren’t enough jobs for them, and if Obasanjo were back in office, his priority would be education. “Youth empowerment, skill acquisition and youth employment – education must be able to do that,” he insists. “If you do that, the ticking bomb of possible youth explosion out of restiveness and anger will subside.”
Obasanjo attributes young people’s frustrations to many of Nigeria’s problems today, including the ongoing agitation in the south-east. Over the past couple years, the region has witnessed widespread protests, violence and military intervention as calls for some states to secede as the independent nation of Biafra have grown in volume.
The former president maintains that secession is not the solution, and says that the government’s military interventions – through which hundreds have reportedly been killed – have “made things worse”. But he accepts that young activists have real grievances.
“All youth in Nigeria have legitimate reasons to feel frustrated and angry,” he offers. “The protesters don’t even know what the struggle is all about, but if it gives them false hope, why not hang onto it?”
What would be his solution to the escalating crisis over calls for secession?
“Let the elders handle it or ignore it until it loses momentum,” he counsels. “There are elders in any community who are still respected…After all, they’re their fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers, and can still be used effectively.”
Empowering old people may seem a counterintuitive approach to resolving a problem he ascribes to young people’s sense of disempowerment, but it is perhaps fitting advice from a man trying to carve out his own role as an elder statesman.
I ask Obasanjo whether devolution of powers could also help assuage the regional disillusionment. The idea of “true federalism” and “restructuring” has recently escalated into one of Nigeria’s main hot button political issues, with politicians, commentators and the media all debating the topic at length.
But at this, the former president sits up and fixes me with a stare from across the table.
“I don’t believe in true federalism. What is true federalism?”, he asks. The man whose tendency in office was always to centralise rather than decentralise power is suddenly bristling. He interrupts with more questions as I respond.
“Why are they not accountable? What powers do they not have?”, he interjects. “They have power,” he insists, poking his finger, claiming that in all but a few sectors, states can do whatever they want.
“In fact, state governors are more powerful than the president. That’s the truth,” he says. “If anybody tells you they want devolution or true federalism, he doesn’t know what he is talking about.” With an audible huff, he leans back.
A broad range of current and former lawmakers, civil society groups, and millions of Nigerians would beg to differ. So too would the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which Obasanjo backed in 2015, at least in its manifesto, which pledged to “amend our constitution with a view to devolving powers”.
But a frustrated Obasanjo doubles down. “The fact anybody talks about it doesn’t mean it’s right.”
In Nigeria, Obasanjo’s eight years in office remain highly controversial.
On the one hand, those who see him as a saviour can certainly point to some impressive successes. Coming to power in 1999, he inherited a country that was fragile, coup-prone, indebted and corrupt.
In response, he defanged and professionalised the army. His government tamed rampant inflation, earned debt relief, and built up considerable foreign exchange reserves. And he established the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), a body that went on to prosecute various high-profile figures – something many Nigerians never thought could happen – and recover billions of dollars in the process.
Obasanjo’s supporters argue that, unlike his predecessors, he left the country in better shape than he found it. That’s no mean feat.
But on the other hand, Obasanjo’s critics have no shortage of ammunition either.
They point out that his macroeconomic successes depended on high oil prices and did little to improve the lives of the vast majority of Nigerians. They complain that Obasanjo imposed a handpicked successor – the relatively inexperienced Umaru Musa Yar’Adua who died three years into his first term – on the country in chaotic elections in order to maintain his influence.
Obasanjo’s critics also say that the EFCC ended up being a politically-wielded weapon and that, if anything, systems of corruption ossified under his watch. The House of Representatives recently labelled Obasanjo the “grandfather of corruption”, while the EFCC’s former chair is reported to have said corruption under Obasanjo was worse than under his notoriously self-enriching military predecessor.
Ten years after he stepped down, Obasanjo still divides opinion. Many Nigerians – both those who love and hate him – wish he would retire gracefully on his farm. But that doesn’t seem to be on the cards in the foreseeable future. The 80-year-old continues to pull strings and enjoys significant influence within Nigeria’s complex political web.
As Nigeria approaches the 2019 elections, for example, the question of who Obasanjo will back has been subject to much speculation. Buhari has been ill for much of his time in office and wannabe successors, of which there is no shortage, have been positioning themselves carefully.
Obasanjo is tight-lipped on his front. “I don’t cross a bridge until I get to it,” he states.
One thing that seems clear, however, is that he won’t be supporting his former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar. The two fell out in dramatic fashion in 2007. This month, there have been growing suggestions that Abubakar is lining up to run in 2019. Two days before I spoke to Obasanjo, the former VP had issued a challenge, calling on anyone with evidence of his corruption to come forwards now.
When I ask whether he will respond to this challenge, Obasanjo is unmoved. “Read my book”, he says, blinking at me. Is Abubakar corrupt? Is he fit for presidential office? Would you support him?
“Read my book”, he repeats in answer to each follow-up, unafraid to let his silence fill the room.
By his “book”, Obasanjo is not referring to the carefully-researched and co-written Making Africa Work, but his autobiography My Watch. Published in 2015, it comes in three volumes, extends to 1,578 pages full of copy-and-pasted speeches and reports, and is the size of a small watermelon.
Obasanjo refuses to speak further about Abubakar as we sit in his hotel room, but the former president is not usually known for holding his tongue. He is certainly not afraid to pick fights and condemn his opponents is public. However, the reverse is also true: many Nigerians continue to demand that he be held accountable for his time in office too.
As one might expect of a man who has published 2.2kg worth of autobiography – not including previous memoirs My Command and Not My Will – Obasanjo is highly sensitive when questions over his legacy are raised.
“Come off it. I had the largest poultry farm before I became president, the largest in Africa. The fact I have N20,000 in my account does not mean I’m not wealthy,” he snaps, referring to questions over how he came to be a multi-millionaire despite having just a few dollars when he entered office. “Do you understand that?”
When talking about abstract policy, Obasanjo tried to stay in ponderous elder statesman mode, but the moment his own reputation is under scrutiny, he switches to street-fighter mode. He turns to attack and starts pre-emptively answering questions I haven’t even asked.
What’s your response to people who say that while you were in off-. “My response is that while I was in office, all sorts of accusations were made!”
When your successor came into office, he-. “My successor was ignorant! Totally ignorant.”
I raise the ongoing problem of electricity supply in Nigeria, and lessons learnt from his efforts in office, but he interrupts before I can finish again. “That is absolute nonsense. There was a report from the House of Representatives that proved that wrong… So what the hell are you talking about?”
I’m no longer sure. But what he is now talking about are ongoing allegations that much of the $16 billion spent on electricity under his watch was lost through corruption. Incidentally, contrary to his claim, the report he says “totally absolved” him in fact recommended he be investigated and be “called to account for the recklessness in the power sector during his time”.
It’s around this time that the PR person, who has been sitting dutifully in the corner, proposes that now might be an apposite time to wrap up. The former president and I agree, but he is not quite done.
As I try to explain that many Nigerians still want to know about his time in office, he accuses of me having been sent to interview him by Abubakar and of being a “bloody idiot”. I feel like I’m getting a taste of why the octogenarian is still feared in Nigeria today.
I collect my things and thank the ex-president for his time. My notes remind me to ask for a photo, but as he scowls at the floor, I think better of it. An uninformed and “disrespectful” youth, I have already displeased the elder. Now is the time for me know my place, bow out and be quiet.
*Culled from African Arguments.James Wan is the editor of African Arguments. Follow him on twitter at @jamesjwan.
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.
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 Bank, African Export-Import Bank, Africa investor as Collaborating Partners; Covington as Platinum Sponsor; Ex-Im Global Partners as Gold Sponsor; and Clin d’Oeil Magazine as Silver Sponsor.
MEDIA CONTACT: Shanta Bryant Gyan, Initiative for Global Development * email, firstname.lastname@example.org * phone, 202-412-4603
Paolo Carli Appointed as the Head of MEA at Merck
September 27, 2017 | 0 Comments
|Paolo Carli has decades of business and pharmaceutical experience demonstrating a proven track record of continuous success under his leadership|
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, September 25, 2017/ — Merck (www.MerckGroup.com), one of the leading science and technology companies announced the appointment of Paolo Carli as Head of Middle East, Africa & Turkey (MEA) region for its healthcare business. In his new role, Paolo will be responsible for leading the commercial operations for Merck across MEA.
Commenting on his appointment Paolo Carli said “Merck prepares to celebrate its 350th year in the pharmaceutical business in 2018. Being a strategic region for Merck, we are committed to excel innovation and create value for patients across this region. I am delighted to lead the MEA team. Our innovative treatment options and sustainable commitment for patients will move us to the next level.”
Paolo Carli has decades of business and pharmaceutical experience demonstrating a proven track record of continuous success under his leadership. His expertise and industry knowledge will be critical in MEA as Merck builds on strategic innovation to elevate the healthcare standards, improve patient programs and prepares launches of new products.
Paolo Carli joined Merck in 2008, as the member of the Mergers & Acquisitions team in Darmstadt, Germany. In that role, he actively participated in the execution of key transactions for the Merck Group. He successfully led Middle East and Egypt in the last 5 years and now expands his responsibilities to Turkey and Africa.
Prior to joining Merck, Carli worked with Deutsche Bank, both in Italy and in Germany, where he successfully contributed to the regional expansion of the retail franchise in Europe and in several emerging markets such as India, China, Turkey, and Vietnam.
Paolo Carli holds a degree in Economics from the University of Turin and an Executive MBA from Ashridge Business School in the UK. Paolo is settled in Dubai, UAE with his wife and two children.
Merck (www.MerckGroup.com) is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2016, Merck generated sales of € 15.0 billion in 66 countries.
Founded in 1668, Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany holds the global rights to the “Merck” name and brand except in the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.
When we partner together, we move Kenya forward-Sthe Shabangu,Samsung Africa
September 27, 2017 | 0 Comments
While Kenya is well-positioned to become one of the continent’s most prominent success stories, greater commitment from the private sector is needed to help address challenges like education, unemployment and global warming, says Sthe Shabangu, Lead: Public Relations, Public Affairs and Corporate Citizenship, Samsung Africa Office.
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.
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
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.
Senegal and France to host Global Partnership for Education Financing Conference
September 22, 2017 | 0 Comments
|The announcement of the co-hosting was made by Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal and Emmanuel Macron of France at a high-level event on education financing held at the United Nations|
NEW YORK, United States of America, September 20, 2017/ — The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is delighted that the governments of Senegal and France will co-host its financing conference, which will take place on February 8, 2018 in Dakar, Senegal.
The announcement of the co-hosting was made by Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal and Emmanuel Macron of France at a high-level event on education financing held at the United Nations, which was attended by Secretary General António Guterres, several heads of state and leaders on global education.
“The Global Partnership for Education has made substantial investments in education helping to get 72 million more children into primary school since 2002, including in Senegal,” President Macky Sall said. “We are honored to host the next GPE Financing Conference in Dakar and look forward to continuing our close partnership with GPE.”
This is the first time a donor and developing country co-host a GPE financing conference, symbolizing the spirit of true partnership, which is the essence of GPE.
President Macron of France stressed that one of his top priorities is to invest in education. “I call on the international community to join us in February 2018 in Dakar for the Global Partnership for Education Financing Conference, which France will co-host with Senegal,” Macron said.
“The financing conference of the Global Partnership for Education is an opportunity for a much needed step change, allowing donors and developing countries to show their financial commitment to education,” said Julia Gillard, GPE Board Chair. “Senegal and France jointly hosting the GPE financing conference demonstrates the determination of both governments to help GPE expand its support for strong and sustainable education systems in developing countries.”
The event in Dakar will bring together donor and developing country governments, the private sector, philanthropic foundations, civil society and international organizations to announce commitments to support education in developing countries.
“This is an exciting and pivotal moment for GPE and for global education,” said Alice Albright, GPE Chief Executive Officer. “This financing conference will put GPE on track to become a US$2 billion-a-year operation by 2020 . At that level, GPE can have a far greater impact on providing better quality education to the world’s children.”
GPE’s financing conference seeks to raise US$3.1 billion for 2018 through 2020 to support the education of 870 million children in 89 developing countries that are home to 78% of the world’s out-of-school population.
Currently, 264 million children and youth around the world are not in school and six out of ten children and youth, a total of 617 million, are in school but not learning at the level they need to break the bonds of poverty, poor health and social disadvantage. Though the share of overseas development aid to education has declined over the last six years, leaders around the world are now recognizing the urgency of turning that trend around.
France has been a donor to GPE since 2005. With GPE support since 2006, Senegal has shown great progress raising its investment in education as a share of domestic spending to 24 percent.
“Both France and Senegal are ideally positioned to urge other countries across the globe to increase investments in education,” Ms. Gillard added. “We believe that will make for a successful and productive financing conference and ultimately benefit hundreds of millions of children in some of the poorest countries around the world.”
The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) works with developing countries to ensure that every child receives a quality basic education, prioritizing the poorest, the most vulnerable and those living in countries affected by fragility or conflict. GPE mobilizes financing for education and supports developing countries to build effective education systems founded on evidence-based planning and policies.
Speak up Africa’s second gala convenes the Director General of the World Health Organization, African heads of state and first ladies, foundation partners and business community leaders to celebrate great strides made in African maternal and child health
September 22, 2017 | 0 Comments
NEW YORK, the United States of America, September 20, 2017, -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Monday night, Speak Up Africa hosted its second annual Gala with over 300 African Heads of State, First Ladies, world health experts, leaders from the non-profit and foundation sector, and the business community to celebrate the tremendous strides already made in terms of child and maternal health on the continent.
Headlining the meeting was the recently elected Director General of the World Health organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of Ethiopia. Also attending were: His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, representatives of His Excellency Alpha Condé, President of Guinea, and of His Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the Africa Union Commission, the First Lady of Malawi, H.E. Gertrude Maseko and Her Excellency Mrs. Toyin Saraki, CEO of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa.
The group turned its attention to the importance of mobilizing African leadership around the next set of healthcare goals for the continent – Universal Health Access, the eradication of Neglected Tropical Diseases, the use of midwifery as a means to lower infant mortality and maternal deaths, and the need to make vaccinations more available to families throughout the continent.
In talking about the power of mothers as advocates for their children, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recalled a recent trip to Yemen where he saw mothers fighting for care for the starving children, even while ignoring the fact that these mothers were themselves starving. Dr. Tedros reiterated his signature call for Universal Health Coverage globally – in conflict areas – and in the United States.
His Excellency Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, 4th President of Tanzania and Founder of The Kikwete Foundation commends Speak Up Africa for being drivers of change and the ultimate partner for effective advocacy and communications
Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, the Former President of Tanzania, and a leader in the movement to improve healthcare on the continent, has joined forces with Speak Up Africa. His remarks on Monday night showed his continued resolve to work towards a healthier and more health-educated population, “No woman should die bringing another life into this world. It is not fair. It is not right. Pregnancy is not a disease. And women should not be dying. A child’s birthday should be a day of celebration, not mourning.”
Accepting the Speak Up Africa political leadership award on behalf of Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Abba Kalondo, Spokesperson in the Chairperson’s office, African Union Commission, apologized for Mr. Faki’s absence as he presided over a global security meeting with UN leaders. She repeated Mr. Faki’s oft-cited link between global security and health security world wide.
Other attendees at the Gala included:
* First Lady of Malawi, H.E. Gertrude Maseko
* Mark Suzman, Chief Strategy Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
* Dr. Mwele Malecela – Director of the Office of the Regional Director at AFRO, representing Dr. Moeti
* Dr. John Simon, Chairman of the Global Fund
* Dr. Mary Ann Etiebet, Merck for Mothers
* Ms.Theo Sawa African Women’s Development Fund
* Mr. Carl Manlan, Ecobank Foundation
* UNICEF Ambassador to Ethiopia
o Abelone Melesse
SUA is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to inciting behavioral, political and societal reforms concerning African healthcare. Through strategic advocacy, national and Pan Africa media campaigns, SUA ignites a chain reaction of information, empowerment and mobilization around the most important health issues affecting the continent. Much of its work is conducted through high-profile media campaigns with African cultural rock-stars – artists, athletes, entertainers, and political and faith leaders.
USAID ADMINISTRATOR GREEN ANNOUNCES PMI LAUNCH AND EXPANSION IN WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICA
September 22, 2017 | 0 Comments
The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative is Expanding. New countries: Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, and Sierra Leone, and expanding existing program in Burkina Faso.