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Yale Leadership Forum Amplifies Influence of Next Generation of African Women Leaders
January 31, 2020 | 0 Comments

NEW HAVEN, USA, January 31, 2020,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Yale University, in partnership with Fundación Mujeres por África and Banco Santander, convened the Women’s Leadership Forum in Lagos, Nigeria, on January 17. The Lagos forum was the third of the partnership’s events held in Africa since the program began in 2015. It brought together women leaders from across the continent to foster relationships between one generation of African women and the next, and to serve as a catalyst for open dialogue. It was the culminating event of a three-day visit to Lagos by Yale President Peter Salovey.

As a flagship program of the Yale Africa Initiative, the forum is part of a broader leadership development program for senior African women government officials. Additional components of the leadership program have included participation by women from African countries in events hosted on Yale’s campus. Previous forums held in Africa were convened in Accra in 2018, and Addis Ababa in 2019.

In Lagos, opening addresses were delivered by Peter Salovey, the 23rd President of Yale University, and Maria Teresa Fernandez De La Vega, president of the Spanish Council of State and president of Fundación Mujeres por África (Women for Africa Foundation).

In his remarks, President Salovey said, “Building a network of senior African women leaders is essential to promoting sound governance and economic opportunity across the continent and around the globe for generations to come. This program has not only enhanced the knowledge and skills of current women trailblazers but has also bolstered the pipeline for emerging leaders. They are advancing the prospects of their nations, their continent, and our world.”

During the forum, two panel discussions took place, one exploring personal journeys to leadership roles, and the other focused on women defining and creating the leadership they need to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Advocating for gender equality, during her opening address, Ms. Fernandez De La Vega said, “The road to equality is the road to the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The session on the “Role of Women in Achieving SDGs” was moderated by Emma Sky, director of Yale’s Maurice R. Greenberg World Fellows Program and a senior fellow of the Yale Jackson Institute. In her remarks introducing the panel discussion, Ms. Sky emphasized the need to create spaces for women in leadership.

“Women are the hope of Africa. And it is women who are key to ensuring that Africa develops to its potential and to enabling human flourishing. This leadership forum convenes a group of highly accomplished women leaders from across Africa, who are making a difference, who serve as role models for other women, and who are committed to mentoring a new generation of women leaders to participate in addressing the challenges facing the continent,” she said.

During the discussion, which included the voices of strong African women leaders with a track record of significant contribution towards achievement of the SDGs, panelists and participants focused on the importance of empowering women in rural and capital areas, and the need to ensure that no woman is left behind.

Both panels featured program alumni: Obiageli Ezekwesili, former Minister of Solid Minerals and Education (Nigeria); Ramatoulaye Diallo, Minister of Culture (Mali); Adejoke O-Adefulire; Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs (Nigeria); Remi Sonaiya, independent researcher and consultant and professor at Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria); and Nana Oye Lithur, human rights lawyer and former Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection (Ghana).

The “Journey to Leadership” discussion, which featured personal testimonials from the panelists, was moderated by Olabosipo Sawyerr-Bassey, a graduate of the Yale School of Management (Class of 2007) from Nigeria, and Stephanie Busari, the bureau head of CNN Nigeria. A common thread from the stories shared pointed to the importance of African women in shaping the destinies of their countries.

The forum concluded with remarks from Ms. Obiageli Ezekwesili, Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow, presidential candidate of Nigeria’s 2019 election, and former vice president for the World Bank’s Africa Region. She urged participants to make conscious efforts towards connecting SDGs to everyday life so that people in communities can take ownership and demand accountability from the government on their efforts towards achieving these goals and improving their futures.

ABOUT YALE UNIVERSITY
Since its founding in 1701, Yale has been dedicated to expanding and sharing knowledge, inspiring innovation, and preserving cultural and scientific information for future generations.

Yale’s reach is both local and international. From its New Haven, Connecticut campus the University engages with people and institutions across the globe to deliver on its commitment to provide transformative educational opportunities for students and foster innovative discoveries that improve the world today and for future generations.
You can find Yale on social media via: TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

*Source African Media Agency

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Zimbabwean entrepreneur invents open-sourced technology to improve access to education in Africa
January 31, 2020 | 0 Comments

‘Trees of Knowledge’ will convert trees and rural landmarks into educational wifi hubs in Africa

African children from Maasai tribe during classes under the acacia tree in remote village, Kenya, East Africa. Maasai tribe inhabiting southern Kenya and northern Tanzania, and they are related to the Samburu.

LONDON, United Kingdom, January 31, 2020/ — Zimbabwean AI expert William Sachiti, CEO of UK-based start-up Academy of Robotics (www.AcademyofRobotics.co.uk) has today published an open-source technology known as ‘Trees of Knowledge’ to improve access to education through smartphones in Africa. This free-to-develop technology enables a tree or rural landmark to broadcast a wifi connection providing access to a pre-loaded package of educational content. The wifi connection and content comes from a micro-computer moulded into the landmark to protect it from theft or damage.

A community-driven, secure and cost-free solution
Anyone within a roughly 100m radius can then access the content on any mobile device free of charge. Users can also charge their phone by plugging it into the accompanying solar-powered battery charging station. The micro-computers will run on the power equivalent of a small rechargeable battery and can run for years without maintenance. All the user needs is a wifi-enabled device such as a phone, tablet, laptop or computer. There is no need for the phone to be connected to a carrier or any network provider, removing the issue of expensive data charges.

The technology uses a basic computer like the Raspberry Pi computers which have been used in refugee camps in Lebanon by UNICEF as part of its Raspberry Pi for Learning initiative (https://uni.cf/2OcP0zc).

A global crisis in education
Globally there are 258 million children out of school and UNESCO’s (https://bit.ly/2S17bci) new report Education Progress (https://bit.ly/2tew0Jn) highlights that the problem is particularly acute in Sub-Saharan Africa where the population of primary-school aged children has doubled since 1990 and 1 in 5 children of primary school age are out of school. However, this is also a region witnessing rapid growth in smartphone adoption. Already more than 23% of people in Sub-Saharan Africa have access to a smartphone  –  a number which the GSMA estimates (https://bit.ly/2Oeyoaa) will rise to 39% in the next five years.

AI expert and serial entrepreneur, William Sachiti, who was educated in Zimbabwe before moving to the UK where he started his first technology company at 19 years old highlights the challenges:

“One of the challenges in providing education through smartphones is that, while many people have access to a basic smartphone of some description, in many areas 3G coverage is still patchy. The data costs are high for most people and in rural areas keeping the phones charged is a problem when there is limited or no electricity. Trees of Knowledge aims to address all these challenges.”

Sachiti adds:
“Every day millions of children walk for hours to get to school in the hope – often a vain hope – that they will find a teacher present at their school. In other cases, children are unable to attend school because they need to take care of the family’s cattle or support their families in other ways.

There is an urgent need to improve access to education for these children. For many children their classes are taught gathered under the shade of a large tree, so ‘Trees of Knowledge’ seemed a natural technical extension of this existing system.”

Last week, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay noted, “Rethinking tomorrow’s education must be done collectively,”

Sachiti believes that Africa’s burgeoning tech ecosystem can play a vital role in this collective effort commenting:

“While many programmes already exist to fix this problem, it is still not enough. With the growth of the developer community in Africa, I believe we have the opportunity to simply release the technology and let local communities build it themselves. If this technology reaches one or two more children, then I feel it would be a success.”

The pre-loaded educational content is likely to be largely video-based and would be free to access by anyone at any time. Whilst the system can work with existing educational content packages, ultimately Sachiti hopes that content can also come from local educators.

About William Sachiti 
Founder and CEO of Academy of Robotics (www.AcademyofRobotics.co.uk) William Sachiti is a serial entrepreneur and inventor. At 35 he has already set up and successfully exited 3 companies and is now regarded as a leading expert on AI and autonomous navigation with regular appearances on TV and at industry and government panel discussions. His latest venture, Academy of Robotics has developed Europe’s first autonomous delivery vehicle for the road, Kar-go.

Growing up in Zimbabwe, William moved to the UK in the early 2000s. By 19 he had set up his first company 123-Registration to help businesses develop an online presence. He went on to set up and exit a further two businesses including Clever Bins, a solar-powered advertising solution, which he initially pitched on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den programme and MyCityVenue, which was acquired by Secret Escapes . 

Recognising the potential of AI, William enrolled at Aberystwyth University in Wales, UK, home of the team that developed the intelligent vision system for the autonomous Mars rover. Whilst studying at Aberystwyth, William was credited with creating the world’s first artificially intelligent robot librarian and devised several patents on driverless vehicle technology including a drone delivery system, SkyHighway. After nearly two years at Aberystwyth University and then finishing off his training with NVIDIA’s Deep Learning Institute, William built a team of engineers and scientists to found the Academy of Robotics.

SOURCE
Academy of Robotics


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Facebook brings Amber Alerts to South Africa in a first for the continent
January 31, 2020 | 0 Comments
This follows the announcement of a partnership between Facebook and The South African Police Service (SAPS) to use the Facebook platform and community to help find missing children
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, January 31, 2020/ — South Africa has become the first country in Africa to join to the Facebook Amber Alerts programme. This follows the announcement of a partnership between Facebook (facebook.com) and The South African Police Service (SAPS) to use the Facebook platform and community to help find missing children.

The system enables the South African Police Service to seek assistance from the public when it is suspected that a child has been abducted and there is reason to believe there is an immediate and serious risk to the health or welfare of the child.

Through Facebook’s Newsfeed, the Amber Alert enables people to instantly share important information about the missing child and suspected abductor, such as a photo, hair colour and clothing with their friends, family and Facebook groups.

By working with law enforcement in helping to share the right information with the right people, Facebook aims to help reunite missing children with their families as soon as possible.

Commenting on the launch, Emily Vacher, Facebook’s Director of Trust and Safety, said: “Amber Alerts is available in more than 20 countries worldwide, with more to follow. We are excited to partner with the South African Police Service to make Amber Alerts available in an African country for the first time.

“Africa is an important and growing market for us, and we are investing in our community across the continent. This partnership is a signal of our commitment to bringing the latest Facebook features to Africa, building communities, and giving people access to digital tools that improve their lives.”

How Amber Alerts work in South Africa

The decision to declare an Amber Alert is made by the law enforcement when investigating suspected abduction case. Once the law enforcement has been notified about an abducted child, they must first determine if the case meets their Amber Alert criteria, which includes:The abduction is of a child age 18 or younger;There is a reasonable belief that the child has been abductedThe South African Police Service believes the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily harm.There is enough descriptive information about the victim and suspected abduction for law enforcement to issue an Amber Alert to assist in recovering the childA senior member of the law enforcement will assess whether these criteria have been met before authorising the Amber Alert. The police service will then notify Facebook’s Global Security Operations Centre, which operates 24/7, that a verified Amber Alert is active. Facebook will then quickly send the alert to the News Feeds of people located in targeted search areas within the specific country.
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Mozambique: Oil and Gas Chamber installed to boost the industry
January 31, 2020 | 0 Comments

A group of entrepreneurs announced on Thursday the establishment of Mozambican Oil and Gas Chamber, a non-profit organization that aims to promote the Oil and Gas industry, upstream and downstream in the national market, as well as all aspects inherent to the growth of the industry and its efficient operation.

The organisation will be chaired by Florival Mucave, an influential Mozambican businessman with experience in the industry. He was head of mineral resources and hydrocarbons at the Mozambican private business association, the CTA, where he played a key role in the elaboration of the local content law that requires oil and gas companies to use Mozambican suppliers.

The Constituent Assembly of the organisation was concluded on Wednesday in a meeting that took place in Pemba City, gas-rich Cabo Delgado province.

Mucave told Pan African Visions that the Chamber will foster relations between members and their counterparts, national or foreign public or private institutions, and develop a platform of companies providing goods and services, with basic information about the company and details of its products and services.

It will also “create an oil and gas sector specialist knowledge centre, focused on training, knowledge transfer and technology,” said Mucave adding that it will also “identify and publicise existing credit lines for national companies in the oil and gas sector.

One of the barriers to the contracting of national companies in projects related to natural gas has to do with the lack of certification in matters of quality and in some cases of professionalism.

However, the Mozambican Oil and Gas Chamber will also support national companies, providers of goods and services within the oil and gas industry, to obtain the ISO necessary verification, Mucave said.

The statutes of the organisation seen by Pan African Visions indicates that an unlimited number of regularly constituted commercial entrepreneurs with tax and social security status and other private law institutions may be members of the Chamber.

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With its Gas Mega Hub, Equatorial Guinea wants to deliver on expectations of Successful African Cross-Border Gas Cooperation
January 31, 2020 | 0 Comments
Gas is a key priority for Equatorial Guinea and its neighbors

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, January 30, 2020/ — Equatorial Guinea is positioning itself as a hub for gas in the Gulf of Guinea and hopes to deliver where others have failed: developing the first successful cross-border gas venture on the continent.

Gas is a key priority for Equatorial Guinea and its neighbors. While Cameroon brought on stream Africa’s first Floating LNG project in 2018, Nigeria has declared 2020 the Year of Gas and both countries continue to push for the development of a gas-based economy. On its side, Equatorial Guinea launched Africa’s first offshore gas mega hub last year when it signed Definitive Agreements with Marathon Oil, Noble Energy, Atlas Petroleum, Glencore and Gunvor to process stranded gas from its Alen and Aseng gas fields, and offset production decline at the country’s Alba field.

The project is of strategic importance for Equatorial Guinea because the Alba field had been until now the sole supplier of gas to its Punta Europa complex, which feeds several industries including an LNG train and a methanol production unit, both seeking expansion. But such receiving infrastructure could also be a godsend for Nigeria and Cameroun who both have several stranded gas fields right across Equatorial Guinea’s maritime boundary and in need of off-take infrastructure.

Equatorial Guinea’s vision for gas is simple: it wants to become that gas mega-hub for the sub-region by developing several offshore hubs to monetize neighboring gas reserves and develop downstream gas industries spurring industrial development and economic growth. At home, its industries need gas. EG LNG needs long-term gas supplies for its existing LNG export facility and is considering the development of a second LNG train. Meanwhile, the Atlantic Methanol Production Company has agreed to support the ongoing Year of Investment initiative by expanding its methanol production unit and diversify output into methanol derivatives. As demand for gas grows, Equatorial Guinea’s message to its neighbors is very straightforward: we provide the processing and off-take infrastructure, you provide the feedstock.

While similar projects have been developed in Africa before, they have fallen short of expectations. The West Africa Gas Pipeline for instance is the first regional natural gas transmission system on the continent, yet remains unable to deliver stable gas supplies to Benin, Togo and Ghana.

The gas mega hub Equatorial Guinea is developing in the Gulf of Guinea will have its own challenges. Nigeria does not belong to OHADA and operates under a different legal regime than that of Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon. The three countries also have different petroleum legislations, fiscal regimes and PSC terms. These are all factors that need to be addressed to turn vision into reality.

In a multilateral meeting in Malabo on Wednesday, H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, took a proactive step in creating an Executive Committee tasked with the acceleration of the progress of the gas mega hub. The team is also tasked with ensuring that gas be transported in and outside of the region. The meeting, which gathered Marathon Oil, EG LNG and state-owned entities like GEPetrol and Sonagas, sends a clear signal that a public-private partnership is in the making.

What is left to be seen is if Minister Obiang Lima can put a deal together to bring stranded, associated and even flared Nigerian gas to EG LNG on Bioko Island. The same will be said of the Etinde gas from Cameroon. Nigeria and Cameroon have enough gas, but its viable commercialization lies across the neighboring maritime border with a facility like EG LNG. Similarly, the ability of Nigerian Petroleum Resources Minister H.E Chief Timipre Sylva to make a deal work is key to the realization of Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea’s gas dreams.
*Source Africa Energy Chamber
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The END Fund announces the Deworming Innovation Fund in Zimbabwe on the inaugural World NTD Day
January 31, 2020 | 0 Comments
HARARE, Zimbabwe, January 30, 2020,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- In recognition of the first-ever World NTD Day, the END Fund is bringing together private and public sector stakeholders to imagine a world free from diseases caused by parasitic worms that have held back human progress for millennia.

Today, the END Fund announces its Audacious project – the Deworming Innovation Fund – in four strategic countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe.

In April 2019, The Audacious Project announced its support of the END Fund and seven other organizations. The Audacious Project is a collaborative funding initiative between TED and leading nonprofits that convenes funders and social entrepreneurs in order to scale solutions to the world’s most urgent challenges.By facilitating initial funding for the Deworming Innovation Fund, The Audacious Project has helped to catalyze additional commitments.

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of parasitic and bacterial infectious diseases affecting more than 1.7 billion of the world’s population, with about 40% of this burden concentrated in Africa. Two of the most common NTDs are intestinal worms and schistosomiasis, both of which are parasitic worm infections. Treatments for these diseases, commonly known as deworming, reduce stunted growth in children and improve food and vitamin absorption. Studies have shown that children who are dewormed are 25% more likely to attend school, and adults are able to increase their earnings by 20%. Moreover, deworming also improves labor productivity and long-term economic gains.   

Slated to run through 2025, the Deworming Innovation Fund aims to accelerate progress towards tackling parasitic worm infections that affect more than 40 million children in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, and Kenya. The END Fund will leverage drug donations from key pharmaceutical companies and coordinate with governments and partners to create robust delivery systems. Over the next five years, people at risk of intestinal worms and schistosomiasis in these four strategic countries will benefit from life-changing deworming treatment. Thus, ensuring that nobody is left behind and that at-risk demographics often overlooked in treatment campaigns, like women of reproductive age and children who are not yet in school, are reached.

“With initial funding raised through The Audacious Project, the END Fund garnered additional support for the Deworming Innovation Fund, which enables us to accelerate progress even faster than we had envisioned,” said CEO Ellen Agler. “This groundbreaking capital allows us to reduce the burden of intestinal worms and schistosomiasis in the four countries, and invest in innovative approaches to treatment, prevention, and sustainability,” said Agler. Since 2012, the END Fund has supported Zimbabwe’s NTD control efforts in partnership with Higherlife Foundation, resulting in the delivery of more than 34 million treatments. Presently, the END Fund is partnering with the Ministry of Health and Child Care and Higherlife Foundation in co-creating a multi-sectoral approach to control and eliminate NTDs. The generous and unwavering level of support to end NTDs over the last six years led to a reduction in the overall combined prevalence rate of intestinal worms to 0.7% and schistosomiasis to 5.1%.

Furthermore, it has also provided an opportunity to scale up proven approaches, trial new innovative approaches, and foster increased levels of community ownership.
Through the Deworming Innovation Fund, the quality of life for millions can be improved because of the significant improvement to mental, physical, and social health. The END Fund is proud to stand with other global change-makers on this World NTD Day to ensure that these diseases get the necessary attention and investment that they deserve.  Anchor funding for this initiative has been committed through a collaboration of Audacious Project partners including The ELMA Foundation, Delta Philanthropies, Sir Christopher Hohn (administered via the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation), Rosamund Zander and Hansjörg Wyss for the Wyss Medical Foundation, and Virgin Unite.
ABOUT the END FUND

The END Fund is the only private philanthropic initiative solely dedicated to ending the five most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), which affect more than 1.7 billion people globally. It efficiently puts private capital to work, advocating for NTD programs that are innovative, integrated, and cost-effective. It facilitates strong partnerships with the private sector and has supported national disease control programs in 30 countries. Since its founding in 2012, with its partners, the END Fund has provided over 740 million donated treatments worth over $1 billion, over 12,900 surgeries for people suffering from the effects of the advanced stages of elephantiasis and trachoma, and trained more than 1.4 million people in NTD control and elimination efforts. 

ABOUT THE AUDACIOUS PROJECT

Launched in April 2018,The Audacious Project is a collaborative funding initiative that’s catalyzing social impact on a grand scale. Housed at TED, the nonprofit devoted to ideas worth spreading, and with support from leading social impact advisor The Bridgespan Group, The Audacious Project convenes funders and social entrepreneurs with the goal of supporting bold solutions to the world’s most urgent challenges.

The Audacious Project’s funding collective is made up of respected organizations and individuals in philanthropy, including the Skoll Foundation, Virgin Unite, The Valhalla Charitable Foundation, ELMA Philanthropies and more. Each year The Audacious Project supports a new cohort. The 2019 recipients are Center for Policing Equity, Educate Girls, Institute for Protein Design, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, The END Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Thorn and Waterford’s UPSTART project

*Courtesy of AMA
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African Economic Outlook 2020: Africa’s economy forecast to grow despite external shocks
January 31, 2020 | 0 Comments

  • For the first time in a decade, investment expenditure rather than consumption accounts for more than half of GDP growth.
  • Report calls for urgent investment in education and infrastructure for good returns in long-term GDP
  • “Youth unemployment must be given top priority. With 12 million graduates entering the labor market each year and only 3 million of them getting jobs, the mountain of youth unemployment is rising annually.” – Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, 30 January 2020 – Africa’s economic growth remained stable in 2019 at 3.4 percent and is on course to pick up to 3.9 percent in 2020 and 4.1 percent in 2021, the African Development Bank’s 2020 African Economic Outlook (AEO) revealed Thursday.

The slower than expected growth is partly due to the moderate expansion of the continent’s “big five” — Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa – whose joint growth was an average rate of 3.1 percent, compared with the average of 4.0 percent for the rest of the continent.

The Bank’s flagship publication, published annually since 2003, provides headline numbers on Africa’s economic performance and outlook. The 2020 edition, launched at the Bank’s Abidjan headquarters, was attended by former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, African ministers, diplomats, researchers, and representatives of various international bodies.

Johnson Sirleaf commended the Bank for upholding the confidence of the people of the continent “… because we trust you. As simple as that. Because we trust you to share our vision. We trust you to understand our limitations.”

Referring to Africa’s fastest-growing economies, she said, “There are stars among us…and we want to applaud them. We want to see more, particularly for countries like mine, which have been left behind, so that more can be done to give them the support that they need.”

In 2019, for the first time in a decade, investment expenditure, rather than consumption, accounted for over 50% of GDP growth. This shift can help sustain and potentially accelerate future growth in Africa, increase the continent’s current and future productive base, while improving productivity of the workforce.

Overall, the forecast described the continent’s growth fundamentals as improved, driven by a gradual shift toward investments and net exports, and away from private consumption.

East Africa maintained its lead as the continent’s fastest-growing region, with average growth estimated at 5.0 percent in 2019; North Africa was the second fastest, at 4.1 percent, while West Africa’s growth rose to 3.7 percent in 2019, up from 3.4 percent the year before.

Central Africa grew at 3.2 percent in 2019, up from 2.7 percent in 2018, while Southern Africa’s growth slowed considerably over the same period, from 1.2 percent to 0.7 percent, dragged down by the devastating cyclones Idai and Kenneth.

Urgent call to address Africa’s education, skills mismatch

The 2020 AEO, themed Developing Africa’s workforce for the future, calls for swift action to address human capital development in African countries, where the quantity and quality of human capital is much lower than in other regions of the world. 

The report also noted the urgent need for capacity building and offers several policy recommendations, which include that states invest more in education and infrastructure to reap the highest returns in long-term GDP growth. Developing a demand-driven productive workforce to meet industry needs, is another essential requirement.

“Africa needs to build skills in information and communication technology and in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The Fourth Industrial Revolution will place increasing demands on educational systems that are producing graduates versed in these skills,” the report noted.

To keep the current level of unemployment constant, Africa needs to create 12 million jobs every year, according to the report. With rapid technological change expected to disrupt labour markets further, it is urgent that countries address fundamental bottlenecks to creating human capital, the report said.

“Youth unemployment must be given top priority. With 12 million graduates entering the labour market each year and only 3 million of them getting jobs, the mountain of youth unemployment is rising annually,” said Akinwumi Adesina, African Development Bank President,who unveiled the report.

“Let’s look at the real lives beyond the statistics. Let’s hear their voices, let’s feel their aspirations.”

Although many countries experienced strong growth indicators, relatively few posted significant declines in extreme poverty and inequality, which remain higher than in other regions of the world.

Essentially, inclusive growth — registering faster average consumption for the poor and lower inequality between different population segments — occurred in only 18 of 48 African countries with data.

“As we enter a new decade, the African Development Bank looks to our people. Africa is blessed with resources but its future lies in its people…education is the great equaliser. Only by developing our workforce will we make a dent in poverty, close the income gap between rich and poor, and adopt new technologies to create jobs in knowledge-intensive sectors,” said Hanan Morsy, Director of the Macroeconomic Policy, Forecasting and Research Department at the Bank.

The African Economic Outlook provides compelling up-to-date evidence and analytics to inform and support African decision makers. The publication has built a strong profile as a tool for economic intelligence, policy dialogue and operational effectiveness.

*Source AFDB

Click here to access the full report.

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Malawi: Court delivers presidential case ruling on Monday
January 30, 2020 | 0 Comments

By James Mwala

President Peter Mutharika and the Malawi Electoral Commission  are accused of rigging the last elections.Photo Credit  Lameck Masina, VOA
President Peter Mutharika and the Malawi Electoral Commission are accused of rigging the last elections.Photo Credit Lameck Masina, VOA

All eyes will be on the Constitutional Court in Malawi capital Lilongwe where a five member panel is slated to make the ruling on the presidential election case.

In the case, two top political figures, past Vice President Saulos Chilima and Malawi Congress Party leader Lazarus Chakwera petitioned the court to nullify the results.

They accuse eventual winner Peter Mutharika and the Malawi Electoral Commission of conniving to rig the polls in May 2019.
The petitioners had among other things tendered before court witnesses, whose submissions hovered around the alleged use of erasing fluid tippex, the flaws in the results management system and the alleged existence of bogus election officers.
Court Registrar Agnes Patemba has now confirmed that the ruling will be made on Monday, 3rd February 2020.

The courts say there will be tight security at the court and only certified people will be allowed to get in the court premises.
Meanwhile, various organizations are urging the citizenry to desist from any forms of violence before, during and after the ruling.

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Ahead of February 9 Twin Elections: Peter Mafany Musonge prescribes Team Spirit, Commitment, Loyalty, and Discipline
January 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Officials at CPDM Party campaign launch in Buea

The Cameroon People’s Democratic Party, CPDM has set campaigns for the February 9, 2020, Municipal and Legislative elections on high gear. The CPDM party is looking to win all 31 councils in the South West Region, maintain their seats with new ones included in the Assembly.

The Regional campaign manager, Peter Mafany Musonge speaking during the Launching ceremony January 25, at the Buea Independence square popularly known as “Bongo square” said the party is heading into the elections with the legitimate determination to maintain the achievements of the New Deal, and to continue the nation-building endeavour for the wellbeing of Cameroonians.

He added that militants of the SWR have nominated 15 would be parliamentarians, and their alternates and 897 would be councillors of substance who are determined to defend the values of peace, unity, justice, tolerance, and living together.

Peter Mafany has equally called on the militants to employ various means of getting people to vote such as using traditional (door-to-door, rallies), and modern media technologies, and equally adequately cover the media landscape.

“Any locally produced election documents intended for public display must comply with the norms set by ELECAM,” he remarked. “… All the candidates should be ready to do battle with their colleagues in the field. We must be involved physically and materially in the electoral campaigns while motivating others in this exercise.”

Talking to the press Peter Mafany Musonge, Regional campaign manager said “… The population should go and vote and chose the right persons who are going to run their local government, and you know we have a special status for the North West and South West. We should participate so we use these institutions for the good of the people.”

Women ask for a level field to be helpful throughout this campaign

The women through their representative called on authorities to initiate a level field so that they too can be helpful throughout the campaign period.

Madam Zoumo nee Enow Marie, WCPDM President for Kupe Manenguba II, added that they plan to galvanize the women so that they can vote for the CPDM list. “We want the beautiful dreams of greater autonomy, liberty, progress, and peace hatched recently in our country to be championed in full by our party, CPDM”. “We the women are willing and ready to walk the road up to victory with you, yet we the ones most affected by the current crisis in our region.”

She went on to call on those in the bushes still in arms to drop their weapons and to give peace a chance. “Change is painful but nothing is as painful as staying stuck on the same spot. Our Region has suffered since this crisis started; no projects, no development, no schools for our children. The new special status giving to us may just be an indication of greater things to follow in the area of development,” She said.

The Government has done a lot for the youths – Jonas Songo, YCPDM

Jonas Songo, YCPDM section President Meme I C, Kumba III Mambanda, noted that the present government has done a lot to care for the youths such as the creation of the Ministry of Youth Affairs, the presence of the National Youth Council, the recent putting in place of the Youth Connect initiative, and others.

Addressing the present crisis in the region, he said the population is being manipulated especially by Cameroonians in the diaspora who do not have the population at heart. “We have been manipulated to carry arms against our government, we have been manipulated to stop our brothers/sister from going to school, and we have been manipulated to kill, destroy our traditional heritage. Enough is enough. Let us all say no to manipulations”.

H equally called on those still in arms to drop their weapons, follow on the examples of us who have dropped their weapons and join DDR centre in Buea, and Bamenda.

Mafany Musonge CPDM’s Regional campaign Manager

The CPDM in the South West Region is well prepared – Professor Elvis Ngole Ngole

“The CPDM in the SWR and the population, in particular, know that the stakes are high. All the six divisional delegations are present and we have been guaranteed by SW Governor that the entire region is secured for us to carry out our electoral campaign.”

“… All the teams are already in place and we know that the South West population is waiting for us,” He added

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Kenya Airways unbowed by pressure to cancel flights to China
January 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Kenya national carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) has announced that it has no intention to suspend its flights to China following an eruption of coronavirus.

Despite the calls from Kenyan Ambassador to China Sarah Serem on the airline to defer its flights for the time being, the airline’s acting chief executive officer Allan Kilavuka on Wednesday said that they are still monitoring the situation and they will take an action if necessary.

“Cancellation of the flights is on the table but we are monitoring and we will take the action as soon as there is eminent danger,” said Mr. Allan.

Ambassador Serem, however, said that Kenya will not remove her citizens from China noting that authorities in the country have stepped up their efforts to contain the menace. He implored Kenyans to be at easy divulging that none of her residents has been infected.

“I prefer the Chinese government to handle the coronavirus since they are in a better position to deal with it. I do not think Kenya is ready to deal with the virus. By bringing Kenyans back, it will only expose the rest to the danger of infection,” said Amb. Serem.

A new coronavirus virus dubbed 2019-nCov has killed 132 people and left over 6000 people infected since its outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The disease was reported to have originated in a Wuhan market among workers who were selling live fish, animals and birds with the first case being reported on December 2019.

According to medical experts the disease is transmitted from animal to animal and likely from animal to human being. The deadly disease has spread to other countries such as Thailand, France, US, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Nepal, Australia and Taiwan. Others countries that have also confirmed cases of coronavirus are the United Arabs Emirates, Cambodia, Germany, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

British Airways has joined the list of airlines that have suspended their flights to the Asian country as the viruses continue to spread. Others are Air Canada (ACDVF), Air Asia (AIABF), Air India and Finland’s Finnair.

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Mozambique suspends Travel visas to China over coronavirus concerns
January 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Jorge dos Santos

The Government of Mozambique has decided to temporarily suspend the issuing of visas visas from the south african country to China and vice versa because of the spread of contagion by the coronavirus.

“This is one of the preventive measures” announced on Tuesday the government spokeswoman, Helena Kida. 

However, she explained that given Mozambique’s geographical location “it seems remote” the scenario of the outbreak reaching the country, but even so, measures must be taken to avoid any situation.

China has raised the death toll from the new coronavirus detected at the end of the year in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province (centre), to 106 dead and over 4,000 infected.

Beijing authorities confirmed the first death in the Chinese capital of a person infected with the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV), a 50-year-old man who was in the city of Wuhan on Jan. 8.

The Wuhan region is under quarantine, a situation that affects 56 million people.

Kida does not confirm the existence of Mozambicans in that province. “So far in relation to Mozambicans who are in China fortunately we have no case reported”.

Some countries, like the United States, Japan, France, Germany and Portugal, are preparing with the Chinese authorities the withdrawal of their citizens from Wuhan.

The World Health Organization, although it has not activated an international health alert, considers the threat “high”.

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Nigeria:KOLLYDEE performs an intimate session at BOGOBIRI HOUSE
January 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

This Saturday at “DON’T DROP THE MIC” (DDTM) the spotlight will be on the charismatic “Kolly Dee” as he performs a few songs and crowd favourites.

KOLADE TOLULOPE ALADE aka KOLLYDEE is a Nigerian singer/songwriter, composer, recording artist, performer and Medical Doctor who came into the spotlight with the release of his unique cover of DRAKE’S HOTLINE BLING in 2015 and hit R&B/POP single “One More Try” in 2016. He has been combining a career in medicine and music and this will be his first headline gig in Nigeria.

The event will be held at “BOGOBIRI HOUSE” located at 9 Maitama Sule St, Off Raymond Njoku St, (off Awolowo rd), Ikoyi, Lagos. When asked what fans should expect from KOLLYDEE, His manager, Toks Asher Young said, “nothing short of an intimate unplugged performance that will leave fans satisfied and at the same wanting for more”. He assured that Kollydee always brings the fire for all his performances and that Saturday won’t be an exception.

The theme of the night is “Almost Famous” so expect the DDTM squad to be on hand to create some epic fame inspired musicals on the spot.

The event is proudly supported by Cool FM, Jameson and The British Council, BOGOBIRI HOTEL, Nigeria Info and Lagos Theatre Festival.

ABOUT DON’T DROP THE MIC

Don’t Drop The Mic (DDTM) is a themed urban variety show where artists create songs off the cuff, freestyle, perform, battle and “improvise” on the spot. Founded by Femi Aribisala (who also doubles as host for the show), Akin Solanke and
Joshua Iyamu.

Each show is given a particular theme which is presented to the audience, and this is used to inspire ideas and suggestions that are then translated into monologues, dialogues, songs and games for educative and entertainment purposes.

The program champions social interaction; its main aim being to provide a platform whereby “improvisation” is viewed as a necessary component for social sensitisation to various issues; and as an instrument for positive change; the dissemination of ideas, thoughts, perspectives and dreams. 

Dont Drop the Mic is more than just an event, it is a philosophy that encourages people to press on and never give up.

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