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21 Next Generation African Leaders Announced as Winners of the Resolution Social Venture Challenge
July 20, 2017 | 0 Comments
Mastercard Foundation Scholars to receive seed funding and mentorship to lead impactful projects in their communities
Intersect for the Mastercard Foundation. The 2017 Resolution Social Venture Challenge winners will receive a fellowship that includes seed funding, mentorship and access to a network of young global changemakers to pursue impactful projects in their communities.

Intersect for the Mastercard Foundation. The 2017 Resolution Social Venture Challenge winners will receive a fellowship that includes seed funding, mentorship and access to a network of young global changemakers to pursue impactful projects in their communities.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, July 19, 2017 – Ten teams of 21 budding African social entrepreneurs have been selected as winners of the Resolution Social Venture Challenge at the Baobab Summit in Johannesburg. Winning teams earn a fellowship that includes seed funding, mentorship and access to a network of young global changemakers to pursue impactful projects in their communities. A collaboration between the Mastercard Foundation and The Resolution Project, the Resolution Social Venture Challenge provides a pathway to action for socially responsible young leaders who want to create change that matters in their communities.

“Giving back to your community is an important part of the Scholars Program, yet few young leaders have the opportunity to make an impact at a young age,” explains Ashley Collier, Manager of the Scholars Community. “The Social Venture Challenge equips these young leaders with the tools, resources, mentorship and capital they need to ensure that their venture is successful, and to maximize their impact.”

Winners of the 2017 Social Venture Challenge say that:

“Winning the Challenge is an important milestone that will allow me to address problems faced by tea farmers in my community,” explains John Wanjiku, a Mastercard Foundation Scholar at the University of Pretoria. “With my project Ukulima Halisi, I hope to improve the tea collection process, both reducing the costs associated with spoiled tea leaves, and cutting down on the time Kenyan farmers spend waiting for tea collection. By shortening this process, Ukulima Halisi will provide farmers with additional time to engage in other economic activities that could increase their income, as well as preventing illnesses that occur when farmers spend long hours waiting for tea collection.”

“Winning the Social Venture Challenge will help us achieve our goals, communicating to our community in Baringo County, the huge potential in honey production,” says Sylvia Mwangi, a Mastercard Foundation Scholar from the University of Toronto. “With the mentorship offered to winners of the Challenge, we will design capacity-building workshops in bee-keeping that will change how women spend their days, and we will develop sales channels that will reduce the exploitation by middlemen.”

In 2016, the Mastercard Foundation first partnered with The Resolution Project, offering 16 Scholars on five competing teams the opportunity to pursue their aspirations and increase their appetite for leadership and impact. Winning projects address a wide range of challenges Scholars observed first-hand in their communities, including food security, access to sanitation, and young women’s access to reproductive health education.

Impact evaluation data reported by The Resolution Project shows that, while type and reach of impact varies, an average of 3,200 community members benefit per fellowship awarded. With over 350 Resolution Fellows active in 65 countries, more than 1.2 million people worldwide have been positively impacted by their work. They are driving progress in their communities, making each Resolution Fellow a change agent and a force for good.

“We are fortunate to have such an outstanding partner in the Mastercard Foundation,” says George M. Tsiatis, CEO & Co-Founder of The Resolution Project. “The Foundation saw the work that we were doing and the ideas that their Scholars had-it was a perfect match, and we are thrilled to be expanding our efforts together to give these young leaders a platform from which to launch lifetimes of impact!”

The 2017 cohort of Social Venture Challenge winners include projects based in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ghana Uganda, Rwanda, and the United States:

AgriMatters – Clive Matsika – Arizona State University
With his AgriMatters initiative, Clive will partner with local fertilizer companies in Zimbabwe, harnessing nanotechnology to manufacture Greenfert, a rich, environmentally friendly fertilizer that can be sold to farmers at a reduced cost.

Baringo Asali – Sylvia Mwangi – University of Toronto
By working closely with marginalized communities in Baringo, Kenya, Sylvia aims to increase local revenue generated from honey production. Through partnerships with local and international apiaries, Sylvia will roll out training in advanced beekeeping techniques and local community skills training.

Dash for Girls – Frances Aanyu, Agatha Akello and Lisa Anenocan – Makerere University
Frances, Agatha and Lisa are working to empower the girl child in Karamoja, Uganda, by providing access to correct and accurate information about the dangers of teenage pregnancy so as to help them make informed decisions.

ECO Sanitation Services – Kwabena Adu-Darkwa, Abraham Addy and Justice Nyamadi – Ashesi University College
Kwabena, Abraham and Justice are working together to tackle the problem of the 2.4 billion people world-wide who lack access to safe toilets. Eco Sanitation Services (ECOSaS) provides environmentally friendly and affordable micro-flush toilets to low-income earners, supporting them with a flexible payment system.

Prawji-Mama Food Bank – Pauline Nalumansi and Ephrance Kalungi – Arizona State University
With Prawji-Mama Food Bank, Pauline and Ephrance are working to develop a sustainable food bank system supported by youth entrepreneurship and technology to overcome hunger in rural communities.

Rwanda Youth Initiative for Agricultural Transformation – Annet Mukamurenzi, Gerard Ndayishimiye and Yvette Abizeyimana – EARTH University
By working with vulnerable farming communities across Rwanda, Annet, Gerard and Yvette are committed to improving food security. They will equip smallholder farmers with modern farming skills, strategies and technologies to grow sustainable food security solutions and protect the environment.

Sparky Thermal Dehydrator – Kayiza Isma and Nsubuga Thomas – Makerere University
To address post-harvest losses, a leading cause of food insecurity in Uganda, Kayiza and Nsubuga will introduce the Sparky thermal dehydrator. Sparky, which operates using bio-fuels as a source of energy, is a low-cost, efficient device that dries farm produce 10 times faster than the conventional sun drying methods.

Strong Women, Strong Love – Ritah Arishaba and Alpha Ngwenya – Arizona State University
From Uganda to America, Ritah and Alpha are providing health education and feminine hygiene products to homeless and economically disadvantaged women. In Uganda, the pair will be teaching young women and girls to make their own sanitary products.

Ukulima Halisi – John Wanjiku – University of Pretoria
Most tea farmers in Kangema, Kenya, spend a lot of time waiting for their tea leaves to be collected. But, John believes, if farmers had access to tea leaves collection schedules, farmers would have more time to devote to other farming activities and improve their incomes.

ZAZI Growers’ Network – Thabu Mugala, Tanyaradzwa Chinyukwi and Martinho Tembo – EARTH University
Thabu, Tanyaradzwa and Martinho are committed to empowering and connecting women farmers in rural Zimuto, Zimbabwe. ZAZI Growers’ Network will provide women farmers with technical agricultural training and mentorship to help them improve their crop yields and enhance the community’s development.

The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Africa. As one of the largest private foundations, its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by Mastercard when the Foundation was created in 2006.The Resolution Project is a unique pathway to action for aspiring young social entrepreneurs. Founded in 2007, Resolution identifies young leaders through Social Venture Challenges and empowers them to make a positive impact today through Resolution Fellowships. Resolution Fellows receive dynamic, hands-on support to implement their ventures and to develop as socially responsible leaders. With over 350 Resolution Fellows on all 6 inhabited continents, working in diverse, high-impact fields such as education, healthcare, human rights, water resources, and sustainability, Resolution is building a generation of leaders with a lifelong commitment to social responsibility. To date, Resolution Fellows have impacted over 1.2 million people with their work. The Resolution Project, Inc. is a 501(c) 3) nonprofit organization.
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IGD Launches Inaugural “Making Farming Cool!” Podcast Series
July 20, 2017 | 0 Comments
WASHINGTON – July 20, 2017 – The Initiative for Global Development (IGD) is pleased to announce the official launch of “Making Farming Cool!”, a new podcast series that aims to inspire and inform African young people to pursue careers and entrepreneurship in the agricultural value chain through vibrant African music and compelling interviews.

Produced by Afropop Worldwide, a Peabody award-winning radio program and online magazine dedicated to music from Africa and the African diaspora, Cameroonian-born veteran broadcaster Georges Collinet will host the podcast series. The podcast series is a component of the Africa Investment Rising (AIR) campaign, IGD’s dynamic communications and advocacy effort.

Agriculture is the engine driving in many African economies. While job opportunities exist in the agricultural value chain, young people are largely not entering the agriculture sector.

An estimated 25 million young people are expected enter the job market each year in Africa by 2025. To absorb the new entrants in the labor force, more than 10 million new jobs per year will have to be created in rural areas in the next two decades, according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

“We’re thrilled to launch the ‘Making Farming Cool!’ podcast series,” said Mima S. Nedelcovych, IGD President. “The podcast series has a youthful vibe and will feature compelling interviews with private sector leaders and experts working in agriculture to draw attention to the tremendous business opportunities for growth and innovation in the agriculture sector.”

In the first episode, host Georges Collinet will take listeners on a captivating journey through South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province to meet Siehle Zealous Sibisi, a 28-year-old who manages his family’s successful sugarcane farm, TBS Holdings, which produces 30,000 tons of sugar a year. TBS Holdings is a supplier of IGD Frontier Leader Illovo Sugar Group. Listeners will also hear about how the family business is a successful model of South Africa’s post-apartheid land restitution program.

IGD Frontier Leaders listened to a preview of the a podcast episode featuring Dr. Abdu Mukhtar, Group Chief Strategy Officer of Dangote Industries Limitedduring a May 5 evening reception at the Frontier 100 Forum in Durban, South Africa.

The podcast series will roll out new episodes of “Making Farming Cool!” on the Afropop Worldwide website at http://www.afropop.org/37720/making-farming-cool/. New episodes will be released in September and October.

The podcast series will be distributed through IGD’s media partners and initially broadcast in three target media markets: Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. The series will also be distributed in the U.S. through Afropop Worldwide.

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Marrakech to host The World Premier high-level dialogue of leaders on Women, Agriculture and Sustainable Development September 11- 12, 2017 at the Four Seasons Hotel, Marrakech, Morocco
July 17, 2017 | 0 Comments

(Marrakech July 15, 2017.)- BELIEVE IN AFRICA (BIA), will be hosting is second Believe in Africa Day conference on Monday September 11 – 12, 2017, at the Four Seasons Hotel, in Marrakech, Morocco

Believe in Africa has chosen Morocco, the picturesque “Western Kingdom – a place the sun sets,” for this year’s “Woman and Agriculture” conference.  Hosting this conference in the Africa continent closer to home will bring together a cross-fertilization of ideas and home grown solutions from more than 500 delegates representing the diverse face of leading Africans in politics, business, regional/international experts in financing, technology and innovation, climate change and access to markets, including the voices of members of non-governmental organizations and institutions. By bringing people together, BIA 2017 will be the place where the pivotal role African women play, and contribute, in agriculture and sustainable development will be discussed and honoured.

 

Our choice of Morocco is not fortuitous. With the efforts deployed by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, King of Morocco with his clear vision and leadership in advancing African economic integration and enhancing the collaboration between, and within, African countries, was the inspiration behind our decision to choose Morocco for this year’s conference, for the first time in the African continent, “said Mrs. Angelle KWEMO, president of the association and president of the Congress.  She added that “Women and Agriculture” wishes to create a platform to empower women.

Angelle Kwemo

Angelle Kwemo

 Morocco is one of the most economically dynamic African countries. Geographically, and strategically located, Morocco is a bridge to Europe and the U.S. for Africa and a leader for South-South trade. It is certain that during this Congress we will learn a lot from the Moroccan experience in developing and expanding its agriculture sector. With the strong support of our conference partner, the OCP Group, world leader in phosphates and derivatives production, this conference will bring visibility to women who work daily in fields across Africa, concludes Mrs. Kwemo.

Another partner is the United Nations Women organization and BEYA Capital, a pioneer Casablanca-based climate investment and advisory firm that joined several global partners to organize the innovative Global Climate Finance Action Summit 2016 (GCFA 2016) during COP22. GCFA Summit made history by convening high-level international public and private sector leaders to discuss scaling actionable solutions to unlock climate finance flows towards developing countries, with a particular focus on Africa. Mustapha MOKASS, Founder & CEO of BEYA Capital stated “Women are the backbone of Africa food security and Climate change mitigation. Empowering them equals empowering the world”. He added “we are proud to join Believe in Africa in this historical event to showcasing concrete financial solutions to African women entrepreneurs’ projects to Climate Change Adaptation as a prelude to the upcoming gathering of GCFA Investors Platform on September 18/19 during NY Climate Week and during upcoming COP23 in Bonn (Germany).”

To drive our stimulating BIA 2017 agenda, we welcome our strategic partners, Washington Media Group, Reseau des Femmes Artisanes du Maroc (RESFAM), Africa 24 TV, Forbes Africa, AllAfrica.com, Horizon Africa, Inside Consulting and others will soon be joining us in moving our agenda forward.

Believe in Africa (www.believeinafrica.org) is an African diaspora-led initiative founded by former U.S. congressional staffers and African leaders in the U.S. to empower Women and young Africans, to harness the power of the African Diaspora, educate policy makers and the public about African economic growth and highlight the continent’s gradual rise in the global community.

 

 

 

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Africa: Tribute to Babacar Ndiaye – Titan of Africa
July 15, 2017 | 0 Comments

Photo: Africa Economy Builders Babacar Ndiaye (right) presenting the Africa Economy Builders Award to Ambassador Harold E. Doley, Jr. in Abidjan in April.

Photo: Africa Economy Builders
Babacar Ndiaye (right) presenting the Africa Economy Builders Award to Ambassador Harold E. Doley, Jr. in Abidjan in April.

New Orleans — The Greek mythological Titan of Forethought, Prometheus, dared to disobey Zeus’ wishes by sharing fire and heat with humanity. His punishment was to be shackled to the Caucasus Mountains (The derivation of Caucasian comes from the people of the Caucasus Mountains.).

This humane act for humankind led to eternal condemnation. Each day, the eagles ate Prometheus’s organs, but because he was a Titan (i.e. god), the organs grew back. Prometheus endured this daily fate until Hercules broke his chains.

Babacar Ndiaye, who passed away in Dakar yesterday, lived the life of Prometheus. He did what he knew was right and paid the price many times over.

Many people that he helped throughout his life hurt him and hurt him dearly. I personally saw him reconcile with each one of those people, even though just one of those blows could have been mortal.

Babacar was a religious man who knew the Koran as well as the Old and New Testaments and understood that we are all One. He recognized that Ishmael, Abraham’s first son, was the forbearer of Islam. He knew the Old Testament teachings that Noah son Ham’s descendants are Black, cursed to always be the servant of servants (slaves). In the New Testament, Babacar liked to point out that two men carried the cross to Calvary, Jesus and Simon of Cyrene, a black man.

God and history created Babacar, who was a compilation of Prometheus, Ishmael, Ham and Simon of Cyrene.

Bababcar is recognized for his decade (1985-1995) as president of the African Development Bank (AfDB). What is lesser known is that he orchestrated the quadrupling of the capital of that Bank and that he secured the first AAA rating for an African institution or sovereign country. He also was instrumental in creating Shelter Afrique, the African Export-Import Bank and the African Business Roundtable.

One little known anecdote is that – when the superpowers agreed in 1991 that the next Secretary General of the United Nations should be an African – Babacar Ndiaye was next in line for the position, had Boutros Boutros-Ghali not prevailed following a stalemate in the voting. Another unknown gem is that Babacar was asked by Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi to deliver his wish to Washington to reconcile with the United States.

Perhaps most important was Babacar’s behind-the-scenes contribution to ending apartheid. In 1985, the year Babacar became AfDB President, Hughlyn Fierce, senior executive vice president of Chase Bank in New York, won approval for the Bank to refuse to renew the debt of South Africa. This decision immediately put the white government in default, forcing the closure of the foreign currency exchange window and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Less than 60 days later, President P.W. Botha gave his Rubicon speech in Durban and spoke of the ‘new’ South Africa. Within a matter of weeks, Nelson Mandela was moved from prison to a halfway house, and the lengthy negotiations that led to the country’s first non-racial elections in 1994 were underway.

Babacar quietly supported Chase Bank in extraordinary ways, and It was the cooperation of these two men of color – Fierce and Ndiaye – which helped to bring about this remarkable change.

Throughout his career, Babacar handled tens of billions of dollars. Yet he did not die a wealthy man in monetary terms.  What he accomplished was to do his job extraordinarily well.

Now that his earthly chains have been broken, we need not cry for Babacar. We should, however, mourn the fact that Africa has lost a great titan to whom we all are indebted..

*Allafrica.Ambassador Harold E. Doley, Jr. (Ret.) was the first U.S. Executive Director to the African Development Bank and Fund.

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South Africa: Lies Were Used to Oust Me – Mbeki
July 15, 2017 | 0 Comments

Former president Thabo Mbeki has resurrected the ghosts of the ANC’s elective conference in Polokwane, saying lies were used to oust him.

Thabo Mbeki - former president of South Africa

Thabo Mbeki – former president of South Africa

Mbeki was speaking during a more than two-hour interview with Gauteng-based radio station Power FM on Thursday night. He said the “habit of telling lies” had crept into the party at the 2007 conference.

“A lot of what happened at that conference was based on lies. Lies were told to Juju [Julius Malema] by people. He had no reason to disbelieve it and, quite correctly, he acted on the lies. And then he discovers much later that he was lied to,” Mbeki said, to the amusement of the audience.

Malema was one of those who led Jacob Zuma’s presidential campaign, alongside former Cosatu president Zwelinzima Vavi and SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande.

Both Malema and Vavi have since apologised for their campaign, while Nzimande has said he felt betrayed by Zuma.

Mbeki was running for a third term as ANC president in 2007, but faced a bruising defeat to his then deputy, Zuma.

Mbeki had fired Zuma in 2006, after he was implicated during the fraud and corruption trial of his financial advisor, Schabir Shaik.

Malema, who was in the audience, backed Mbeki and said they had been “misled”.

‘Zuma was corrupt’

 He told the audience gathered in Sandton that they had been told two lies: that Mbeki wanted to amend the Constitution to remain president of the country forever, and that he was concocting charges against Zuma.
 “And thank God, we lived to see it for ourselves that no one was concocting charges. Zuma was corrupt. He still got new accusations in the absence of those concocting charges against him,” Malema said.

Zuma, at the time, faced 783 charges, stemming from the 1999 arms deal. The DA has been waging an eight-year battle to have the charges reinstated after then-National Prosecuting Authority boss Mokotedi Mpshe dropped the charges against Zuma.

Mbeki said the watershed conference had refused to discuss his political report that detailed the problems which were plaguing the ANC today.

He said the same problems were now contained in secretary general Gwede Mantashe’s diagnostic report delivered at the party’s policy conference last week.

Mantashe’s report talked about state capture by the Gupta family, factionalism and gatekeeping. Mbeki said that Mantashe had, however, failed to address the use of “lies to achieve particular objectives”.

Mbeki said he had warned in his 2007 political report that the ANC risked losing support.

“I say that in 2012, we going to celebrate centenary of ANC. We must be careful that we are not the only people who celebrate that centenary, and the rest of country stays away because of our misbehaviour.

“They didn’t want to discuss it because a lot of what happened at that conference was based on lies,” Mbeki said at the time.

*Source Allafrica/ News24

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Gambia Poised to Become 4th Country to Eliminate Malaria
July 15, 2017 | 0 Comments

Photo: The Citizen A child under mosquito net to prevent malaria.

Photo: The Citizen
A child under mosquito net to prevent malaria.

The minister of Health and Social Welfare Saffie Lowe Ceesay has stated that The Gambia is poised to become the fourth country to eliminate malaria within its boarder, adding that more resources and collaboration is required to reach these monumental achievements.

The  minister of Health made these remarks at the Sheraton Hotel on behalf of President Adama Barrow at the celebration of the Progress Towards Eliminating Malaria in The Gambia.

She added that support from the private and institutional donors is critical to win this battle against malaria in The Gambia and West Africa as a whole, saying that malaria has historically being one of the leading causes of mortality among children under-5 in The Gambia.

“It is therefore critical that we continue to pay more attention by making services closer to the communities, promote and mobilize communities to utilise the services and also adopt behaviours and practises that prevent infection such as; consistent sleeping under insecticides nets. “My government will continue to create the enabling environment and facilities for Gambia free of malaria scope,” she added.

Minister Ceesay stated that in 2007, The Gambia has the highest record of ITN used by children under-5 and pregnant women in the whole of Africa. Studies conducted by MRC and NMCP revealed that there is a general decline in malaria incidence in the country by 50%. Admissions due to malaria at the hospitals and health facilities, dropped by 74% and deaths attributed to malaria have dropped by 90%, thus malaria parasite prevalence dropped from 4.0% in 2011 to 0.2% in 2014, according to the Malaria Indicator Survey.

 Minister Ceesay added that access to laboratory for malaria has also increased through expansion of high quality and consistent availability of laboratory services in the health centres and hospitals.
 She added that despite successes, there are still challenges facing the Gambia’s ability to eliminate malaria. Malaria transmission is still ongoing, more in the eastern than in the western part of The Gambia.

For her part, the United State ambassador to The Gambia Patricia Alsup said the U.S. government is committed to supporting the ideals of the New Gambian administration. “We are convinced that in a country like The Gambia, with a government like President Barrow’s, and with the right tools and strategies, malaria can be eliminated,” she said.

Ambassador Alsup added that the war against malaria has been waged for many years now. During the past decade, three major initiatives were launched to help control malaria, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in 2002, the World Bank Malaria Booster Programme in 2004, and the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) in 2005.

According to her, malaria prevention and control is a major U.S. foreign assistance objective which fully aligns with the U.S. Government’s vision of ending preventable child and maternal deaths and ending extreme poverty. The U.S. Government has taken extraordinary steps to curb the spread of this preventable and curable disease, including partnerships with host country governments, the Global Fund, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank Booster Programme for Malaria Control, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and many others.

She revealed that the United States is the world’s largest donor to malaria control and elimination programmes, contributing over 50 percent of all donor funding. This funding, she said, is channelled through both international organisations such as the Global Fund, and local organisations involved in anti-malaria efforts.

*Daily Observer/Allafrica

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How a footballer became Africa’s first Cognac maker
July 15, 2017 | 0 Comments

By Piers Edwards*

Tebily produced his first brand of Cognac in 2013, five years after quitting football

Tebily produced his first brand of Cognac in 2013, five years after quitting football

Footballers have long relied on the terraces for inspiration but when Olivier Tebily does so these days, he is looking at rows of vines – not fans.

While many footballers’ post-playing plans involve staying in the game, the former Ivory Coast international has eschewed that to quietly focus on his second passion.

Footballers and alcohol have long gone together, often badly, but the former Birmingham City defender is unique in actually creating the product.

What’s more, the treble winner with Celtic is doing so in Cognac, home to some of France’s – and the world’s – most celebrated vineyards.

For similar to champagne, only the brandy made in the region can bear the prestigious name Cognac.

As for whether the 41-year-old is just another footballer flashing his cash on a pet project, consider this – he bought his first vineyard in his late teens.

“When I signed my first professional contract, I bought two hectares,” Tebily told the BBC, standing amidst his vines in the south-western French village of Salles-d’Angles.

“I said to myself: ‘If I get an injury and football stops, I will have something to carry on with.'”

Tebily scored few goals during his career but managed two with Celtic, with whom he won a Scottish treble in 2001

Tebily scored few goals during his career but managed two with Celtic, with whom he won a Scottish treble in 2001

“I did that because I used to work on this land to get a little bit of pocket money to go on holiday – to the seaside with my friends – before turning professional.”

“It’s really difficult to become a professional so I bought this straight away to insure myself.”

It was 1993 when Tebily signed for second-tier French side Niort, an hour’s drive from Poitiers, the south-western city on the edge of the Cognac region where his parents relocated from Abidjan when he was a toddler.

It was the start of a journey that took him, following brief spells with Chateauroux and Sheffield United, to the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations, a Scottish treble in 2001 and a four-year Premier League adventure with Birmingham.

After suffering a bad injury just weeks after joining Canada’s Toronto FC, Tebily cut short a four-and-a-half-year contract to return to the vineyards.

There was however a fundamental problem.

Land in Cognac is both expensive and seldom available – and Tebily didn’t have enough of it.

He ran two local restaurants while waiting for a solution, which was laced with tragedy when it came six years later.

Tebily owns 22 hectares after retiring farmer Jean-Michel Lepine chose to sell his business to the Ivorian, a friend of his late son

Tebily owns 22 hectares after retiring farmer Jean-Michel Lepine chose to sell his business to the Ivorian, a friend of his late son

After his neighbour’s only son died, the retiring Cognac farmer had to decide who to sell his business to last year.

“His son was my friend and we had the same name – it’s maybe because of that that he chose me,” says Tebily.

“Around here, all the winemakers are the same,” explains the now-retired Jean-Michel Lepine.

“Because I liked football and because Olivier was not unpleasant to me and helped me in tough times – because I’ve had tough times – I said why not a black man to take over my property? Why not a footballer?

“I never changed my mind, even though many people tried to stop me.”

Tebily is learning how to distil - a key element in creating Cognac since traditional methods require a double-distillation in copper stills

Tebily is learning how to distil – a key element in creating Cognac since traditional methods require a double-distillation in copper stills

Following the deal, the first African maker of Cognac – who says he was initially treated like “a Martian” – was the proud owner of 22 hectares in a prime location.

He also took control of a distillery and although he has yet to master this crucial element of the Cognac process, he is learning from Jean-Michel, now his mentor.

When we meet, Tebily is in his vineyard – wearing a Birmingham City fleece as he goes about his daily business, secateurs in hand, carefully tending to his grapes.

Such sensitivity may seem incongruous for those who remember the burly defender’s on-field reputation.

He once finished a match despite rupturing knee ligaments in the first half while he famously thundered into one challenge with an opponent despite having lost a boot seconds earlier.

“The local people were really, really surprised by an African footballer trying to do what they are doing,” says Tebily, who played for Ivory Coast between 1999-2004.

“But I work Monday to Sunday and people are really surprised – they didn’t think I would do this work because it’s really hard.

“But I don’t do this to impress people. I love this work and want to go as far as I can,” he adds, proclaiming a love of the outdoors.

Like many Cognac farmers, Tebily sells most of his produce – around 90% – to the region’s bigger companies but he keeps the rest for his own eponymous range.

He first produced a bottle in 2013 – smooth upon taste – and although he sells it to local restaurants, he ultimately wants to trade only with Africa.

“That’s my dream,” he says. “I am already selling to some restaurants in Africa, in Ivory Coast. It’s not as much as I want but I’m still happy because it’s the beginning and it’s working.”

After that, and much in the tradition of many of the Cognac farmers, he hopes to hand his business down to his children when he takes a second retirement.

Until then, this gentle giant is revelling in being the only African maker of the world’s most famous brandy.

JAMIE MCDONALD Image caption Tebily played over 80 matches for Birmingham City, many of them in the top-flight

JAMIE MCDONALD
Image caption
Tebily played over 80 matches for Birmingham City, many of them in the top-flight

“It makes me feel really, really happy and that’s why I am fighting to do my business correctly. I try because I am passionate. I love this like I loved football.”

*BBC

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China focuses on its military footprint in Africa, setting stage for new rivalry with West
July 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

By Fabio Scala*

While the United States is scaling back its international positions amid a significant reduction in State Department’s budget that will affect international aid, another superpower, China, is working to substantially increase its international engagement.

For years China has been spending enormous sums of money buying political influence, including in Africa. But China is now revving up its military engine, looking to step up where opportunities allow it amid an uncertain commitment from the West.

One of China’s top geographical priorities is Africa. This is because Beijing sees an opening, as Africa is being neglected by both Europe and the United States. For the West, the continent is always analyzed through the lenses of illegal migration, terrorism, and the extraction industry. The continent is largely seen first as a source of problems, and rarely an opportunity. China too has been focusing on natural resource acquisition, but it has also committed investments and manpower to build infrastructure and export its technical capabilities to its African partners. As these investments expand, Beijing is now seeking to protect the billions it already committed in the continent by flexing its military muscles.

The Chinese military has been on overdrive these past days. In the Mediterranean, on the northern tip of the African continent, the Chinese navy is conducted live-firing drills this week. It committed a destroyer, a frigate and a support ship in drills that took place on July 10. The group is headed next to Russia, where it will join its Russian counterpart in St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad to perform joint exercises.

This week also, China is inaugurating its military base in the strategically located Djibouti, a country transformed into an open military fortress for many foreign forces, include those of France, Italy, Japan, the Unite States, and soon Turkey and Saudi Arabia. China argues that its Djibouti presence will be for peacekeeping and humanitarian aid in Africa, but rivalry with the US and the protection of Chinese assets and investments in East Africa, and elsewhere in the continent are critical drivers to China’s military focus there. This week, several navy ships left the port city of Zhanjiang in China’s southern Guangdong province, headed to the small port of Obock, in the of the Gulf of Tadjoura, Djibouti. The port is linked to the Gulf of Aden, allowing it easy reach to the troubled Middle East.

China’s presence in Africa is pretty ubiquitous, and that includes the Southern Africa region too. Also this week, the Chinese military made a symbolic gesture to Mozambique when it pledged $18 million to build new Mozambican Armed Forces barracks in Maputo. The gesture is symbolic indeed, but there are major implications on the long run in the aftermath of the high-profile visit of Chang Wanquan, the Chinese Defense Minister to Maputo. During the visit, the two parties highlighted China’s commitment to training Mozambican soldiers, but they are also planning a Chinese involvement in military infrastructure and logistics.

This Chinese charm offensive in Mozambique is taking place as the Southern African country has witnessed a reduction of aid from Western donors amid a major financial scandal that has rocked Mozambique. But it is also happening as Mozambique prepares to produce a significant amount of gas from the northern Rovuma basin, off the coast of Cabo Delgado. Although symbolic for now, the Chinese investment in Mozambique is likely to accelerate in the near future, and that would include a growing military presence to protect such investments.

China’s interest in Africa is no secret. It begun years ago and in 2015, its leadership renewed their commitment to Africa with pledged investment of $60 billion going forward. China’s footprint can be found in many places across the continent, making it the continent’s biggest economic partner, surpassing by far the colonial powers, who have been neglecting the continent. The Chinese presence can be found in sectors like highways and railways, ports and housing. It is also in engineering and energy, in places like Djibouti, Ethiopia, Angola, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia and of course North Africa. The Chinese engagement is now expanding into the military world, and that could create the next area of conflict in the world, post-Daesh.
*The North Africa Journal

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Countdown to Next Einstein Forum Global Gathering 2018 Kigali begins
July 12, 2017 | 0 Comments

KIGALI,Rwanda, 10 July 2017 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- On the heels of a successful Africa Science Week, the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) announces the NEF Global Gathering 2018 will be held 26-28 March 2018. An initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the NEF will hold its second global forum for science in Kigali, Rwanda, under the patronage of H.E. President Paul Kagame.

“We’ve started the countdown to the NEF Global Gathering 2018 where more than a thousand of Africa’s and the world’s brightest minds will gather to highlight the contributions of Africa’s scientists and innovators to the global scientific community, discuss good science policy and how to go from policy to implementation and see the impact of global scientific research on daily life. Our aim is to highlight a holistic approach to doing science and technology, one that encourages cutting edge research and development, and incubation and commercialization with a central focus on how science can help achieve sustainable development and reduce poverty and inequality,” said Mr. Thierry Zomahoun, AIMS President and CEO and NEF Chair.

The NEF Global Gathering 2018, in line with the NEF’s Dakar Declaration, will focus on four areas under the central theme of Connecting Science to Humanity: Connectivity, Ubiquity and Mobility; Precision Health; Climate, Energy, Food and Growth; and building Africa’s Scientific Capacity. Participants will hear from Nobel laureates and renowned scientists, early career researchers and budding innovators, policy and civil society leaders, and leaders of industry.

“The government of Rwanda is happy to co-host the NEF Global Gathering 2018 as it falls in line with our commitment to making Rwanda a knowledge based economy and a regional science and innovation hub. We have invested heavily in attracting scientific and technological talent as we build the country’s scientific base and the Next Einstein Forum is part of several initiatives that are helping do just that. We are planning exciting side events that will inspire young students and up and coming researchers,” said Hon. Dr. Papias Malimba Musafiri, Rwanda’s Minister of Education.

NEF Global Gatherings include exciting sessions such as NEF Fellow Spotlight Sessions, live online discussions with special guests, discovery sessions that unpack ground breaking discoveries and the NEF’s signature continental innovation competition.

“We’re excited to be an organization that is focused on building the pipeline of African researchers and innovators. More than 50% of the inaugural NEF Global Gathering 2016 held in Dakar, Senegal, were under the age of 42 and we expect nothing less for this edition. As well, beyond participation, we have committed to having women take up at least 40% of speaker spots. We believe this will enrich our discussions and conclusions,” said Mr. Zomahoun.

Side events will focus on bringing science to the public through tech events, public lectures and other cultural events. A preliminary program will be available in September 2017. For more information about how to support or exhibit at the NEF Global Gathering 2018 write to partner@nef.org.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Next Einstein Forum

About the Next Einstein Forum
Launched in 2013, the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) is an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The NEF is a platform that connects science, society and policy in Africa and the rest of the world – with the goal to leverage science for human development globally. The NEF believes that Africa’s contributions to the global scientific community are critical for global progress. At the centre of NEF efforts are Africa’s young people, the driving force for Africa’s scientific renaissance. The NEF is a unique youth-driven forum. At our headline biennial scientific events, 50% of participants are 42 or younger. Far from being an ordinary science forum, the NEF Global Gatherings position science at the centre of global development efforts. The next NEF Global Gathering will be held on 26-28 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. In addition, through our Communities of Scientists, we showcase the contributions of Africa’s brilliant youth to Africa’s scientific emergence through its class of NEF Fellows, who are Africa’s top scientists and technologists under the age of 42, and NEF Ambassadors, who are the NEF’s 54 science and technology ambassadors on the ground.The NEF is also working together with partners such as the African Academy of Sciences, Ministers’ of Education, Science and Research across Africa, foundations and other global scientific and private sector companies, to build an African scientific identity. By bringing together key stakeholders, the NEF hopes to drive the discussion from policy to implementation by leveraging buy in and best practice results from Africa and the world. Have a look at our benchmark Dakar Declaration.Finally, the NEF is telling untold stories of scientific research and innovation across the continent through our various platforms. We want to recalibrate what ‘innovation’ means in Africa. We want to make the link between science and technology, even basic sciences, to everyday life. We want the public involved in science and we have recently concluded the first coordinated Africa Science Week – an annual three to five day celebration of science and technology through coordinated science events across the continent. We believe the next Einstein will be African.

The NEF has been endorsed by the African Union Commission, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Governments of Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa, the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and a growing number of private sector and civil society partners from across the world who are passionate about positioning Africa’s scientific community as an influential member in the global scientific community, which will ensure sustainable human development in Africa and other parts of the world.

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Kenya Third Most Innovative Sub-Saharan Africa Country
July 8, 2017 | 0 Comments

Nairobi — Kenya has been ranked the third most innovative country in sub-Saharan Africa.

The United Nations’ Global Innovation Index 2017 places Kenya third after South Africa and Mauritius.

Photo: Daily Monitor An overview of the Central Business of Nairobi City.

Photo: Daily Monitor
An overview of the Central Business of Nairobi City.

The index which is in its 10th edition surveys some 130 economies using dozens of metrics, from patent filings to education spending providing decision makers a high-level look at the innovative activity that increasingly drives economic and social growth.

According to the report, sub-Saharan Africa draws its highest scores in institutions and market sophistication.

“Since 2012, sub-Saharan Africa has counted more “innovation achiever” countries than any other region. Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique, Uganda, Malawi, Madagascar and Senegal stand out for being innovation achievers this year, and several times in the previous years,” the survey indicates.

 Globally, Switzerland leads the ranking for the seventh consecutive year, followed by Sweden, the Netherlands, the USA and the UK.

Kenya is ranked number 80 globally, outperforming her development- level peers.

China is the exception at 22, in 2016; China became the first-ever middle-income economy in the top 25.

Israel continues to cement its status as a leader of global innovation according to the index.

 For the seventh consecutive year, Israel topped the innovation index’s category for northern Africa and western Asia.

The Jewish state ranked 17th overall in the report’s group of high-income countries, improving its standing by four places from 2016.

The Global Innovation Index 2017 is co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO, a specialized agency of the United Nations).

“Efforts to bridge the innovation divide have to start with helping emerging economies understand their innovation strengths and weaknesses and create appropriate policies and metrics,” said Soumitra Dutta, Dean, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University.

The theme of the GII 2017, “Innovation Feeding the World,” looks at innovation carried out in agriculture and food systems.

Over the next decades, the agriculture and food sector will face an enormous rise in global demand and increased competition for limited natural resources.

In addition, it will need to adapt to and help mitigate climate change.

Innovation is key to sustaining the productivity growth required to meet this rising demand and to helping enhance the networks that integrate the sustainable food production, processing, distribution, consumption, and waste management known as food systems.

“We are already witnessing the rapid, worldwide emergence of ‘digital agriculture,’ which includes drones, satellite-based sensors, and field robotics,” said Bruno Lanvin, INSEAD Executive Director for Global Indices.

*Capital FM/Allafrica

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Planet Earth Institute launches the PEI exChange, the first online matching platform for African development
July 8, 2017 | 0 Comments

Based on user-identified criteria, including countries and regions of focus, industries, skills and experience, the PEI exChange provides personalised matches to help users make their ‘Big Ideas for Africa’ happen.

  • The Planet Earth Institute NGO will launch the PEI exChange as part of its #ScienceAfrica UnConference on 20th July
  • The PEI exChange is the first online matching platform for individuals passionate about African development
  • The website is also the world’s only online portal dedicated to projects in Africa

The Planet Earth Institute (PEI) , an international NGO and charity, will launch the ​PEI exchange  during its ​#ScienceAfrica UnConference on 20th July​, 2017 . The PEI exChange  is the first online matching platform for all individuals working and interested in Africa.

While Africa has long been the subject of fascination, there are few specialised websites for the sheer range of professionals working on the continent. The PEI exChange is a new website that aims to connect all people working in and passionate about Africa. Based on user-identified criteria, including countries and regions of focus, industries, skills and experience, the PEI exChange provides personalised matches to help users make their ‘Big Ideas for Africa’ happen. These could include charitable projects, a new technology, a business plan, an academic collaboration or more.

Users will be matched with like-minded people who have the skills, expertise, and experience to support their projects on and for the continent. Once connected, the PEI exChange real-time chat function facilitates collaboration, allowing users to share contacts and expertise, build  networks, and create interest-focused groups.

The PEI exChange also features a ‘Big Ideas Map’, which displays projects, initiatives, businesses, and collaborations happening in and for Africa. Users can post their own projects, follow and support others, and stay up-to-date with challenges and opportunities on the ground.

The PEI exChange will be unveiled during the PEI’s fifth #ScienceAfrica UnConference, which is hosted by the Rt Hon Lord Boateng. Held under the banner of ‘Big Ideas For Africa: Celebrating the Continent’s Science and Technology Pioneers’, the UnConference aims to recognise the individuals and groups creating scientific and technological innovations that not only benefit  the continent, but also the world. Participants come from diverse backgrounds, including business, academia, policy and civil society. The UnConference will also be live streamed and people are encouraged to use the #BigIdeasforAfrica hashtag on Twitter to engage in discussion about science, technology and innovation in Africa.

The Rt Hon Lord Paul Boateng, PEI Chairman and Trustee, commented, “The latest digital technologies are a powerful way of fostering collaboration among the many talented individuals working to further sustainable and inclusive development in Africa. As such, I believe that the PEI exChange will be an invaluable resource and community for people who are passionate about the continent. This online matching platform and project portal has the potential to revolutionise the way people do business and good in Africa.”

The Planet Earth Institute (PEI) is an international NGO and charity working for the scientific independence of Africa. While other emerging regions have invested heavily in science and technology, Africa is falling behind in the race for scientific development. And we want that to change, fast.

All of our work is built around the three pathways we believe will help lead Africa to scientific independence: Higher Education, Technological Innovation and Policy and Advocacy. In other words, we want to support and strengthen higher education institutions, help incubate technologies able to drive scientific advancement and campaign for a science-led development agenda for Africa.

Headquartered in London with a core executive team, the PEI also has a regional office in Luanda, Angola.

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Africa: Crafting an African Victory for the World
July 8, 2017 | 0 Comments

By Carl Manlan*

Photo: VOA News

Photo: VOA News
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaking at a press conference in Geneva launching his candidacy to head the World Health Organization (WHO).

On May 25, 1963,  Africans gathered in Addis Ababa to create the Organisation of African Unity, the precursor to today’s African Union. It stood tall in the minds of Africans who decided to unite for a common cause. It demonstrated our ability to set aside differences in order to make the world a better place.

Now, on 1 July 2017, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of Ethiopia will stand at the helm of the the World Health Organisation with the ambition to reform, transform and make global health and agile partner of economic transformation for the world.

Dr. Tedros’ historical election marks a turning point in Africa’s ability to speak with one voice. Fourteen years ago, in 2003, Africa put forward four candidates for the same position. In disunity, we failed. But just like Washington, Brussels and New York, we turned Addis Ababa into the centre of African political and economic decision-making. The emergence of Dr. Tedros and his victory a WHO are telling tales of an Africa that is taking centre stage strategically by building consensus in Addis Ababa.

For example, Africans defined a strategy for the Sustainable Development Goals’ negotiation through  the Common African Position. We shifted the paradigm and the world took notice that Africa, in the midst of the challenges, has public sector leaders and diplomats that are harnessing data to inform policies.

 WHO

WHO
The new head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Furthermore, the African private sector is partnering in the transformation as it made clear during the Ebola outbreak. Ultimately, Africa is becoming a stronger partner to the world because it has developed an internally agreed framework for the negotiations with the world. It is in this context that I see Dr. Tedros’ victory as an African victory. The seeds of 1963 germinated,  but the first real bloom will appear on July 1 when Dr. Tedros formally assumes office at the WHO headquarters.

I feel confident that Dr. Tedros is the right person at the right time to lead the transformation of the WHO. He has experience beyond health leadership and understands that health permeates all levels and areas of governance in Africa and beyond. Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan broke a glass ceiling  for Africans in international organizations. But Dr. Tedros is the first African politician to be succeed from outside UN the system. This is a big step forward.

 In crafting an African victory, Ethiopia learnt from the challenges of previous African ministers of health. As a former Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Tedros wove his narrative into local, continental and global health diplomacy. Not only did he lead the transformation of community health delivery in Ethiopia, he was instrumental in leading public private partnerships as Chair of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. His victory with 133 votes, beyond his personal achievements is an expression of the changing nature of intra-African political relations. We are making progress and we should acknowledge the work of African public servants in spearheading transformation in Addis Ababa and in 55 African capitals.

Furthermore, given Dr. Tedros’ central role in key negotiations – such as the third international conference on financing for development (FfD) – he has the critical understanding of issues beyond health to draw new human and financial resources to make his mandate (better health for all) successful. He has the leverage to make health a priority in countries where diseases continue to arrest economic development or in places where viral threat create global issues as we saw with Ebola in 2014.

The achilles’ heel in this African victory is African’s ability to provide new resources for WHO under Dr. Tedros to show that we can solve African and global health problems with African resources. With his election, he just reached the beginning of the road, the farthest any African had ever reached, by embracing diversity and taking others along. Dr. Tedros will need cash and competency as member countries contribute less than third of its $2.2 billion budget. Dr. Tedros will require African resources to transform aspirations into tangible achievements so that we fund our unity and strengthen our forefathers’ foundation. Ultimately, it is the moment for Africa’s middle class to step forward and we cannot blink, even when our tax reforms are delayed, limiting our ability to contribute like those in the middle class in the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe.

In 1963, the search for unity prevailed. In 2017 an African backed by an entire continent convinced the world of a victory that appeared, at first, impossible. Dr. Tedros’ success is for the world. He neither went fast nor went alone. Once the dust settles, African’s ability to shift the burden of responsibility from Overseas Development Assistance will be what makes Dr. Tedros’ victory a historic moment.

*Aspen Instutute/Allafrica.Carl Manlan is an economist and Chief Operating Officer of the Ecobank Foundation. He is a 2016 Aspen New Voices Fellow.

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