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Is Africa on Donald Trump’s radar?
November 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

By Alastair Leithead*

President elect Trump with President Obama at a press appearance after post election meeting

President elect Trump with President Obama at a press appearance after post election meeting

Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election means an uncertain future for Africa.

His rival Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by a landslide – at least among those in Barack Obama’s ancestral village in western Kenya.

The mock poll in Kogelo gave Mr Trump just a quarter of the votes in a place he might not have heard of, were it not for his accusations that it was the outgoing president’s birthplace.

“The people of Kogelo are very much annoyed,” said one resident.

“Being a woman of great substance and Donald Trump being a reality show personality… Clinton should have won,” said one another.

But they would say that – President-elect Trump won’t get anything like the reception President Obama received last year when he came to Kenya.

He had strong connections here – his father was Kenyan – and he launched his Power Africa project, which aims to double the number of people with electricity across the continent.

Comedians stage a mock election in the village of Kogelo, the home town of Sarah Obama, step-grandmother of President Barack Obama, in western Kenya, Tuesday 8 November 2016Image copyrightAP
Image captionMrs Clinton won the mock election in Mr Obama’s ancestral village

President George W Bush brought the continent the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) – which provided millions of people with the drugs to help them fight HIV.

The US spends billions in Africa through aid and investment, but there is uncertainty over what Mr Trump will do, or even how much he knows about the continent.

“Trump has said very little about Africa – I don’t think he knows much about Africa,” said Jakkie Cilliers, chairman of the Institute of Security Studies (ISS), a think tank in South Africa.

“It is just not on his radar – it seems like he will be an insular president focused on US interests – in some sense, isolationist.”

He questioned what it might mean for Pepfar or the African Growth and Opportunities Act (known as Agoa – a hugely valuable American free trade deal with African countries), and efforts to tackle malaria.

“The fact he doesn’t know that much is perhaps our best protection,” said Mr Cilliers, only half joking.

Trump’s bulging in-box

The other key pillar of America’s involvement in Africa is security.

The US military footprint has slowly and secretly been spreading across the continent in reaction to radical Islamist militants.

American trainers and Chadian soldiers next to a military plane
Image captionThe US military trains soldiers in Africa as part of its anti-terror tactics

There are drone bases and special forces troops watching, and acting against so-called Islamic State and al-Qaeda linked groups across the continent.

The key things that need to be in the new President Trump’s Africa in-box include:

How America manages its approach to Africa could have a major impact on stability across the continent.

“Obama has done the US proud with his strategic approach,” said Mr Cilliers.

The ISS put out what he called a “tongue-in-cheek” article a day before the vote, asking what would a Trump presidency would mean for Africa.

“About a third of American foreign aid is directed at health programmes, and much of that at Africa,” ISS researcher Zachary Donnenfeld wrote.

“This means that any reduction in American foreign aid will have far-reaching effects on health outcomes on the continent.

“If Donald Trump were elected and implemented the foreign policy he campaigned on, he could become the single most-effective recruiting tool for terrorist organisations across the globe,” he added.

But with a shift from aid to investment, isn’t a businessman a good man to have at the helm?

Kenyan tech entrepreneur Mark Kamalu is not convinced.

“We have investments in US dollars and the first direct impact is the markets tank and that’s a worry from a business perspective,” he said.

“The rhetoric we have heard, the hard-line stance, the America first nationalism, the volatile and lose language makes everyone who is not white and American wonder where they stand.”

Some will welcome his conservative values on homosexuality and abortion, but there is a lot of uncertainty over what President Trump will mean to Africa.

Elected with little by way of policy, the continent will have to wait and see how much of what he said on the campaign trail will translate into action.

*BBC

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Expect Broader Engagement with Africa in Clinton Administration-Policy Experts
October 31, 2016 | 0 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

fb_img_1477849664895Restive Africans are getting assurances that it will not be business as usual with the continent, should democratic candidate Hillary Clinton succeed President Barack Obama as the next U.S President.

At a recent meeting organized by the Africa Coalition for Hillary at The Elliott School of International Studies at George Washington University in Washington, DC, Senior policy advisers indicated that as President, Hillary Clinton will build and expand on successes and programs initiated by the Obama Administration while seeking to expand areas of cooperation.

Amb. Michelle Gavin, former U.S. Ambassador to Botswana and Representative to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), Former Special Assistant to President Obama and Former Senior Director for Africa at the NSC who  advises HFA on African Affairs; Nicole Wilett–Jensen, former NSC Director for African Affairs and who advises HFA on African Affairs; Witney Schneidman, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs; Amb. Robin Sanders, CEO, FEEEDS, Former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria and Congo; Amb. Omar Arouna, Former Ambassador of Benin to the U.S., Co-Chair of the African Coalition for Hillary and Ms. Semhar Araia, a diaspora women White House Champion and CEO, Semai Consulting, engaged the audience of some 100 people in a spirited exchange on the stakes for Africa in the upcoming elections and why the African Diaspora must throw its weight behind Clinton.

“This event serves as a platform to inform and educate the diaspora on Sec. Clinton’s record on Africa, propose new policies and encourage Africans to get out the vote,” said Angelle Kwemo, a Cameroonian born policy advocate, CEO of Believe in Africa, and Co-Chair of Executive Women for Hillary (DMV) and founder of the African Coalition for Hillary.

“We live in a democracy – that obviously and unfortunately can produce candidates with divisive views-, and we need to play our part. At the end of the day, if Africans are not at the table, we will surely be on the menu,” Angelle Kwemo said in weighing the stakes for Africa.

14729289_584763751731064_6199042307301853208_nDiscussions were anchored around the results of a survey carried out by Believe in Africa, a diaspora organization Kwemo launched in 2014 to promote African solutions to African problems, on African priorities for the next U.S. Administration. The survey ranked democracy, trade and development, job creation, youth and women empowerment as the top areas Africans will love to see more engagement in.

Summing up some of the successes registered by the Obama Administration, Amb Michelle Gavin who planned the first White House African diaspora meeting, and Wilett–Jensen cited the Commerce Department Doing Business in Africa (DBIA), the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI),the African Women Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) ,Feed the Future, Power Africa and other successful initiatives that the next administration could build on.

Participants agreed on the need for the next U.S Administration to work with African leaders in building structures that will facilitate orderly transfer of power through credible electoral processes which will see the emergence of leaders with a healthy dose of legitimacy. In doing so, the U.S must avoid a one-policy-fit -all solution , Ambassador Omar Arouna cautioned. Arouna opined that engagement of the U.S. with Africa on promoting peace and democracy could be more effective with a country specific approach that takes into consideration existing realities.

On combatting corruption, African countries will need to do their part by building strong institutions and strengthening the rule of law said Witney Schneidman. Amb Sanders indicated that Hillary’s campaign was aware of the need to include the African Diaspora and small and medium size to participate in future high profile forums like the US-Africa leaders’ Summit.

14516487_584763571731082_7202102399667156912_nSteve Lande, from Manchester Trade went a step further by calling for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Corporate Council on Africa to have African diaspora and SME initiatives. The Panel agreed that the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) regime started by Bill Clinton needs to be uplifted while individual African beneficiary countries need to define their own AGOA strategy to effectively take advantage of the program.

Lande noted that the AGOA policy should enable beneficiary countries to leverage their agricultural potentials and be able to export agricultural products in the U.S. market.  AGOA at this point mainly supports the U.S, textile industry. Lande noted that a new initiative needs to be launched to accelerate African regional integration, currently undermined by European Union Economic Partnership Agreements. He also expounded on the role of manufacturing in the growth of African economy, urging the incoming administration of Secretary Clinton to enhance AGOA to include an investment fund that would extend capital investments to small and medium enterprises, a critical barrier to full realization of the good intentions embedded in the initiative.

fb_img_1477849623712Africans attending the meeting expressed their appreciation to the African Coalition For Hillary for offering a platform to facilitate dialogue with Africans. Agnes Nabasirye, a diaspora member from Uganda, recognized the role of the coalition in bringing Africans in the diaspora together, on African issues. She mentioned that there was an expressed interest among Africans present to proactively seek input from African minds and leaders to add the voice of the diaspora to  formulating US policy on Africa .

In closing remarks, Angelle Kwemo invited the community to exercise their right and be responsible citizens. “We cannot stay on side line and expect the new administration to respond to our need”. “Hillary Clinton record shows that she is with Africa. We need to help her get elected, help her shape a new Africa policy and hold her accountable,” Kwemo said.

fb_img_1477849518005The African Coalition For Hillary (AC4H) is a coalition of leaders of African descent, policy experts, professionals, youth and civil society organizations supporting Hillary Clinton in her mission of becoming the first woman President of the United States. Initiated by Angelle Kwemo, it has as co-chairs Amb. Omar Arouna, Witney Schneidman, Dorinda White, Marilyn Sephocle, Steve Lande, Sarian Bouma and Philomena Desmond.

 

 

 

 

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Reporting Africa conference to explore how African media portrays continent
October 12, 2016 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

 

Eric Chinje

Eric Chinje

The African Media Initiative (AMI) will on 10 to 11 November 2016 host the Reporting Africa conference 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya in a bid to explore how  African media covers the continent beyond national borders.

According to Eric Chinje, AMI CEO, the conference will also explore how international media portrays the continent.

The conference will also focus on findings of a research that AMI has carried out on coverage of issues affecting the African continent.

Chinje said that his organisation has made plans for the forthcoming discussion to be graced by some of the top editors from all the 54 African countries.

This is also expected to facilitate wide ranging debate and deliberations on issues related to media coverage of the continent.

This is also expected to chart a new way forward for media organisations in Africa to play a more positive role in the continent’s development agenda.

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Senegal: Meet the ‘Darkest’ and Beautiful Senegalese Model
October 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

diop2Some people believe that black is beauty while fair colour only attracts. Could you say that to this young Senegalese, Khoudia Diop who happens to be a model with an extremely dark skin that can be likened to that of Charcoal?

Diop has received a lot of attention including write-ups in Bossip and African Celebs because of her stunning features and outstanding dark skin.

She celebrates her amazing skin as she named herself “Melanin Goddess”

Melanin is a pigment that gives human skin, hair, and eyes their color. Dark-skinned people have more melanin in their skin than light-skinned people have. It is generated by cells called melanocytes

*Allafrica/Ghana Star

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Africa Cup of Nations seeds named
September 28, 2016 | 0 Comments
Ivory Coast defeated four-time champions Ghana after a penalty shootout in Equatorial Guinea last year to win the Africa Cup of Nations tournament a second time (AFP Photo/Khaled Desouki)

Ivory Coast defeated four-time champions Ghana after a penalty shootout in Equatorial Guinea last year to win the Africa Cup of Nations tournament a second time (AFP Photo/Khaled Desouki)

Johannesburg (AFP) – Title-holders Ivory Coast, hosts Gabon and former champions Algeria and Ghana were named Tuesday as the top seeds for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

Ivory Coast defeated four-time champions Ghana after a penalty shootout in Equatorial Guinea last year to win the African football showpiece a second time.

Algeria conquered Africa when they hosted the biennial competition in 1990 while the quarter-finals is the furthest Gabon have progressed.

Gabon, co-hosts of the 2012 Cup of Nations with Equatorial Guinea, stage the 2017 finals from January 14 to February 5 in Libreville, Franceville, Port Gentil and Oyem.

Libreville, capital of the small, oil-rich central African state, hosts the October 19 draw that will split the 16 contenders into four groups with winners and runners-up securing quarter-finals places.

While three former champions, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia, are notable absentees, the third seeds for Gabon illustrate the strength of the line-up.

Record seven-time champions Egypt, Cameroon and Morocco have lifted the trophy and Senegal lost on penalties in the 2002 final.

All four countries are potential 2017 champions, as are second seeds Tunisia, Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The lowest seeds include first-time qualifiers Guinea-Bissau, shock winners of a qualifying group that included Congo Brazzaville, Kenya and Zambia.

Seeds

Pot 1: Gabon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria

Pot 2: Tunisia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo

Pot 3: Cameroon, Senegal, Morocco, Egypt

Pot 4: Togo, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Guinea Bissau

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NEPAD Regional Integration and Trade Department to host key stakeholders’ coordination meeting on Abidjan-Lagos and other West African Corridors
September 23, 2016 | 0 Comments

corridor_bko_abj_421378491Abidjan, Côte dIvoire, September 21, 2016 – NEPAD Regional Integration and Trade Department has convened a two-day meeting on September 27-28, at the African Development Bank (AfDB) headquarters in Abidjan, with development partners, the NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency (NPCA), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), government officials and representatives of customs and revenue authorities to discuss a more coordinated approach to the management of West African corridors.

The two-day event, jointly organized by the AfDB, ECOWAS, the Accelerating Trade in West Africa (ATWA) project, and the NPCA, seeks to bring together all stakeholders, financiers and technicians to help streamline views, review the latest corridor performance metrics and foster synergies and create a platform for better co-ordination and efficiency in West African Corridor development and management.

“This critical meeting is in line with the Bank’s commitment to promote efficient transport corridors in West Africa and support Africa’s regional integration agenda for inclusive economic growth. At the end of the meeting, we hope to be better equipped to improve the conditions of shippers, transporters and traders in West Africa when they engage in cross-border trade,” said Moono Mupotola, Director of the AfDB’s NEPAD Regional Integration and Trade Department.

The meeting will be structured around two key initiatives that aim at promoting dialogue between different stakeholders involved in the projects. The first day will be dedicated to the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor development led by the AfDB, the ECOWAS Commission and the NPCA, while discussions on the Day 2 will focus on the three corridors covered by the Accelerating Trade in West Africa (ATWA) project, namely Abidjan-Ouagadougou, Tema-Ouagadougou and Lomé-Ouagadougou.

The Abidjan-Lagos Corridor, a flagship project of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), is the busiest corridor in West Africa. The six-lane, 1,028-kilometre highway will connect Abidjan, Accra, Lomé, Cotonou and Lagos, while serving landlocked countries and ports in the region. The corridor is one of the main economic drivers of West Africa with over 75% of economic activities in the ECOWAS region and a total population of 35 million inhabitants.

Experts agree that support to regional trade and integration in West Africa is substantial but fragmented. The meeting is therefore timely to ensure that the approach to the development of corridors is coherent and inclusive of all key players.

Accelerating Trade in West Africa (ATWA) is an initiative funded by the Danish and Dutch Ministries of Foreign Affairs aiming to establish a durable, multi-donor vehicle dedicated to advancing regional integration, expanding trade and lowering costs along key trade routes in West Africa.

ATWA takes inspiration from East Africa, where eight development partners have pooled their support and established a single non-profit organisation working across the East African Community (EAC) to further its integration agenda. The organisation, TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), is a technical partner of the ATWA Project.

The ATWA Project Team will present analysis detailing the performance of selected West African corridors for formal and informal traders, and seek input from participants as to what activities and programmes could be elaborated to improve the situation.

Given the veritable platform that it promises to be, the AfDB intends to take lead and continually play host to this coordination process in order to streamlining efforts and activities among development partners and other stakeholders in the region.

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Africa has a secret weapon in its diaspora-Abou Dieng CEO Global Green International Holdings
September 19, 2016 | 2 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

Abou Dieng CEO and President of Global Green International Holdings LLC believes that Africa is the next destination

Abou Dieng CEO and President of Global Green International Holdings LLC believes that Africa is the next destination

With its buying power combined with expertise and knowledge, the Diaspora is Africa’s could be Africa’s secret weapon says Abou Dieng, Director of EMONECO, a publicly traded financial company on the US-Stock. Dieng, originally from Senegal would rather be referred to as African because to him, the boundaries are artificial and Africans are one people.

Dieng, who is also CEO and President of Global Green International Holdings LLC, Executive Director and Ambassador for Africa of Global Treasury Supreme Trust believes that more needs to be done to extend banking services to the broader African population especially in rural areas.

A member of Arizona’s Who’s Who Top 100 Executives, Mr. Dieng has been invited to the White House to discuss the new Immigration Bill, S-744 and works extensively with The US State Department’s African Desk, and has more than 20 years of experience in Finance and International market development.
Strongly attached to his roots, Mr Dieng was closely linked with the organization of the World Pan-African Congress in Atlanta GA in 2003, the International Summit of Descendants of African Kings and Queens in Atlanta, GA, the First ECOWAS US-Africa Textile Tradeshow in Indiana and many other Africa themed events.

His current projects revolve around opportunities for hundreds of millions of Africans with no access to formal banking images, and rebranding Africa, a media project to showcase the unseen side and unheard side of Africa to the world.

 Mr Dieng you are President and CEO of Global Green International Holdings, may we know about your company and what services it offers?

Well first of, I would like to thank you for your time and the great work you are doing in keeping us informed for almost a decade with the PanAfricanVisions News website.

My company Global Green International is a Holding Group is comprised of many companies 100% geared towards the development of the African Continent. I started building this company as a consulting company in 1995, then got into mining, agriculture, and started doing acquisition of other technology companies in 2002. We acquired a Housing System Technology that can produce 150 homes a month using concrete and cement. In 2010, in partnership with Katec Group, we started developing an educational system based on tablets and a proprietary closed circuit telecommunication system. In 2014 we partnered with Phoenix Renewable Technologies to introduce Waste to Energy to Africa. Today we are also involved in Media with our Rebranding Africa Project with East West Communication, Digital Banking with Emoneco, Mining and Petroleum. Over the years, we have developed great relationships with more than 600 banks around the world, and we work with the World Bank, IMF, Millennium Challenge Corporation, United Nations, African Union. We have office presence in 10 countries including US, Switzerland and Africa, we have done business in 29 African countries and have interest in 45.

 You are of Senegalese descent and apparently very proud of your African heritage, what did it take for Mr Dieng to get to where he is,we ask the question because there are struggling African immigrants who could learn from your success.

Well, anyone who is successful today will tell you that Success is the end result of Hard work, struggles and sacrifices. I have been there.

In october 1990, I remember having a conversation with someone in the NYC subway and he asked me what country I was from? I said Senegal. He asked where is Senegal? I said West Africa. Is Senegal poor or rich he asked? I said poor. Do you have land he asked? I said Yes. Do you have rain or running water for agriculture? I said Yes. How about Natural Resources, do you have any? I said Yes. Do you have access to the coast for fishing he asked? I said yes. Then he looked at me straight in the eyes and said to me: “My friend it is your fault if you are poor!” I remember this conversation as if it was yesterday, and my world was turned upside down, It seemed like I was just given a knock out punch, and for days I tried to figure out something. For someone who love Africa like me, I took it personal to change that and I started putting together a game plan and  “blue print” for the development of Africa. I made a decision to dedicate the rest of my life for the development of Africa. I wanted to be part of the actors of the development and a role model. I dropped everything I was doing and went to school. I started putting together a blue print and a plan to follow. After school I traveled extensively to Africa. I divided the continent in five regions (West, North, East, Central and South), and I divided every region in Industries (Housing, Energy, Finance, Agriculture, Mining, Healthcare….). Then I started putting together a quiet underground network of major players in those industries in those regions. This way I was aware of the problems in every part of the continent.

I went back to the US to start a company and surrounded myself with other companies that could offer solutions to African problems, and I never looked back.

 So what you see today is the result of hard work, sacrifices, struggles, failures and starting overs, discipline and dedication. So to all my struggling African peers, my advice is to have a plan and follow it with dedication and discipline… You will be succesful.

We understand you did some mentorship for the Washington Mandela Fellowship also known as Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI Fellows) this year, can you share your experience with us and what impressions the YALI Fellows left on you?

Abou Dieng with Dana Hyde, CEO of MCC

Abou Dieng with Dana Hyde, CEO of MCC

I have known about this program now for a couple of years and I do have many Fellows who I am mentoring in my network. This Year I was invited by Arizona State University to teach a Leadership Class to the Fellows in Phoenix and it was a great experience to share my activities and meet 50 young leaders from different African countries. Everyone of these leaders reminded me of myself when I started my journey. It also gives me hope that what Global Green is building now will be duplicated in many countries, and these Fellows will continue the journey to develop Africa.

Overall, what do you think that particular program, we mean the YALI program could do in changing the fortunes of Africa?

When President Obama started this Initiative, it is designed to empower Young Africans to be more involved in building their communities and give them the leadership training they need to become good leaders. However, after the training is done and the certificates are framed, what each and every Fellow does is what will eventually determine the success of this program. The program by itself is just an initiative. It’s like you buy your kid a brand new car with all the latest techonologies, and they decide to park it on the driveway. Unless your kid decides to put the car on the road and put the metal to the ground, you will not know what impact it will have. Each Fellow needs to understand that they are the hope of their community and when they get back home from the training, they are the light of that community and they need to apply the 3i process: Inspire, Influence and Impact the community. And collectively we can be the light in many parts of Africa.

As the first African American President of the United States, what legacy do you think Mr Obama will leave for Africa, did anything change for Africa in his Presidency?

During his Presidency , President Obama has visited more countries in Africa than any other American President before him. He also started different programs like the US-Africa summit, the Lighting Africa Project, the Washington-Mandela Fellowship… These are all great programs that can contribute to better business relationships between the US and Africa. However, The meaningfull changes that will help develop Africa, will be initiated in Africa, by Africans. So our Presidents in Africa need to be Leaders and Visionaries at the same time, even if it may feel uncomfortable at times.

In a recent interview with AfricanNews, you expressed concerns on the population of Africa that does not have access to Banking, what suggestions is Mr Dieng bringing to the table to improve the situation?

A big part of the African population don’t have access to Banking, yet the economy in africa is projected to reach $29 Trillion by 2030. Banks usually have very complicated process just to open an account. So Emoneco, one of the companies I am involved with as Member of the Board of Director has created a solution that combine the latest technologies in Finance, Banking and Telecom to offer a real time payment solution and can use your cell phone number as your bank account with a triple layer of security and a backup bank card. People like retirees will get their pension payments on their cell phone, Government workers, military, can get pay on their cell phone, students can receive their educational grants on their cell phone. Specialists in this sector have done an indepth eveluation of our system and concluded that we are 7 to 10 years ahead of everyone in this industry. This solution will help millions of Africans to have access to banking in the next 18 to 24 month, governments will save money and increase revenues and GDPs will increase as well.

You are also working on the a concept to rebrand Africa, why is this important and what plans do you have to make these concepts realities?

With Thione Niang at the White House,the diaspora could be Africa's secret weapon says Abou Dieng

With Thione Niang at the White House,the diaspora could be Africa’s secret weapon says Abou Dieng

To this day most investors don’t want to go to Africa and this is the direct result of the negative image the media is showing about Africa. So we decided to change that by starting a Rebranding Africa project. We picked the country that was the poorest country for decades and decided to rebrand it. My friend and partner Thomas who is the CEO of East West Communication travelled to Equatorial Guinea and put together a video showcasing all positive realisations of the government. During my Leadership conference at Arizona State University, I asked the question if anyone was interested to go to Equatorial Guinea, no one wanted to go, I asked the same question 10 minutes later after I played the video, and everyone wanted to go. That’s the reaction we want to create. This rebranding program has many phases. We want to show the best image of every country starting from the Embassy by creating a high quality investment magazine, a dvd investment portfolio, a tourist program, a new website and 3 to 4 investment trips to the country. We will work hand and hand with the governments to bring our expertise and help them create an Emerging Economic Plan for their country. The highlight of the plan is that we are able to guaranty investments to the country that follow our program. You can view this video for Equator Guinea at  www.EGVistas.com

On and how and what the diaspora can do to contribute to a more meaningful way to change the fortunes of Africa, any recommendations you have in mind?

The Diaspora constitute the secret weapon of Africa for two reasons:

  • The buying power; For example the Senegalese Diaspora sent back to Senegal in 2015 more than $800 million to family and friends. We are working with major financial institutions to setup an Investment fund fully funded by the Diaspora, and we can use that to finance major projects in  
  • Expertise and knowledge: the majority of people in the Diaspora went to school and have some sort of qualification or experience that can benefit the country of origine. This will eventually be the source of new entreprenorship, job creation….

If there is a way to bring all the Diaspora into a Federated African Diaspora we can have access to funding for our own project.

 To those who look around the continent and see the bad infrastructure, the galloping unemployment, the electoral violence with the recent example of Gabon, the corruption and more, how does Abou Dieng sustain the case that Africa has potential and is indeed the continent of the future?

We all know that Africa has billions of tons of natural resources that are still not exploited, and we have many more natural resources that are not even discovered yet. If you take a nation like the Republic of Guinea, this nation alone has enough natural resources that can develop the entire continent. I can say the same thing for other nations like Liberia, Sierra Leone, both Congos, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Angola, Botswana, South Africa, and the list goes on. So the potential from the exploitation of the natural resources alone is very exciting.

Other factors that will make a big difference are the potential in Education, Agriculture and Manufacturing. Africa is at the same level where India was 25 years ago in terms of wanting to increase the education level of the population. Africa is at the same level where China was in the 1980s with the Agriculture needs and investment. Africa is also at the same level where Turkey and Mexico were 15 years ago in terms of Manufacturing increasing investments. So if you combine those 3 levels of readiness, you can conclude that Africa is heading to the same path that led India to its boom because of Education, Africa is heading to the same path that led China to its boom in Agriculture and Industrization , and Africa is heading to the same path that led Mexico and Turkey to their boom in Manufacturing. This is exciting.

With Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona

With Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona

But the most exciting factor yet for Africa is its young population. As Walt Disney once said “Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children”. More than 60% of Africans are between the ages of 15 and 24 years old. The number of young Africans is going to continue to get bigger year after year till 2050. The Middle Class is growing and the urbanisation rate is at 37% just like China and bigger than India. This is why I  can say that Africa will be where Turkey and Mexico are today in the next 10 years and where China is today in the next 20 years. Demographie is destiny.

Finally, we can also mentione that we have better quality of Leaderships now, and they are putting the right reforms for economic growth. The debt level is low 10 t0 30% to GDP in most African countries compare to 130% to GDP in China, more than 200% to GDP in US, UK and Spain.

So when you put together all of these factors that I mentione, Economic growth becomes inevitable.

Thank you Mr. Dieng for your sharing your vision with us. Before we conclude, on a personal note, can you talk about the recent attacks regarding your person and your divorce.

Thank you again for this opportunity to talk about my passion that is Africa.

There is a trend I have been noticing for a while, and now I find myself in it. More and more I see succesful African businesmen brought down by ex wife who are going after them for monetary gains. Unfortunately many of them end up losing everything. Success makes you an easy target.

Regarding my divorce, you are right, there are malicious attacks rescently that are very disturbing. This divorce was filed in Arizona by my ex wife back in 2007 to take over 50% of my networth according to Arizona laws. Unsatisfied with the results, my ex wife filed another law suit in a smaller court to claim that I abandoned her and my 3 kids for 32 months and she requested $2000/ month for child support and $1000/ month for alimony. When this law suit was filled I was in Africa and  my 3 kids were with me in Senegal. Once the suit is filled the court gives you 30 days to respond, and since I was in Senegal and in fact didn’t know anything about the law suit, I didn’t file a response in time and she was given a judgement by default, and overnight I owe her $96,000 plus fees and penalties. This is unfortunate, but this was done since 2010. And my ex wife and I are in good terms since then for the sake of the kids and I am taking care of my kids who I am very closed with.

Recently a powerful group doing business in Africa approached me to join forces with then, but I refused. I cannot join forces with a group that does not have the best interest of Africans in mind. A week before my leadership conference at Arizona State University, the attacks started and this group is spending a lot of money to try to tarnish my image and to discredit me thus the recent attacks. I am glad to say that in 26 years doing business in the US, I always focus on being my best and the fact that they are out trying to attack me, this only confirms to me that I am on the right path and I will continue to fight for the Emergence of Africa.

One last advice to all my fellow Africans: we need all hands on desk to develop Africa, and “the best way to predict the future is to create it”.

GOD BLESS!

 

 

 

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AfDB mobilizes 28.6 billion FCFA for local development in Senegal
September 16, 2016 | 0 Comments

Abidjan, Côte dIvoire, September 15, 2016 – On September 14, 2016 in Abidjan, the Board of Directors of the

Senegal President Macky Sall with AFDB President Adesina

Senegal President Macky Sall with AFDB President Adesina

African Development Bank Group (AfDB) approved a loan of 34.78 million units of account (approximately 28.6 billion FCFA) to the Republic of Senegal to fund Phase 1 of the Support Programme for Reform of Local Development (PARDL-I).

PARDL-I is the first phase of a series of two operations offering programmatic budget support for the financial years 2016 and 2017 with an overall indicative funding envelope of 44.78 million UA (approximately 36.8 billion CFA francs). PARDL-I provides the programme’s multi-year framework and a list of reforms considered to be indicative triggers for the second phase (PARDL-II). PARDL-I is aligned with the Emerging Senegal Plan 2014-2035 and its Priority Action Plan (2014-2018).

PARDL-I, as per the Country Strategy Paper 2016-2020, which has also just been approved by the Board, comes further to previous budget support, but with the particular feature that it provides holistic support for a new generation of reforms. This programme is intended to support the efforts of Senegal to implement the Emerging Senegal Plan (PSE) in order to create a dynamic of sustained endogenous growth with the goal of reducing inequality between urban and rural areas. Thus, the effectiveness of the programme of reforms will contribute to the development of the local economy, to opening up disadvantaged rural areas and to building the ownership and empowerment of rural communities with regard to the construction and maintenance of local socio-economic infrastructure.

This operation was prepared in close collaboration with development partners in general and most particularly with members of the Budget Support Arrangement Framework (ACAB), which all have similar budget support arrangements planned for 2016 and 2017. Members of civil society and actors in the private sector in Senegal were also consulted.

To achieve its goals, PARDL-I is structured around two complementary components. The first is the strengthening of decentralization through improvements to the institutional and regulatory framework of the reform known as the Act III of Decentralization and strengthening the funding mechanisms of decentralization to ensure better management of transferred skills and the sustained development of local communities. The second is the promotion of the development of infrastructure and local entrepreneurship through improving the institutional framework for managing water and electricity infrastructure and local roads to facilitate people’s access to this infrastructure and the facilitation of the emergence of local entrepreneurship for greater local inclusivity.

*AFDB

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Seven things about the Premier League Africans
September 11, 2016 | 0 Comments
Sadio Mane signed for Liverpool for £34m ($45m), becoming Africa's most expensive player

Sadio Mane signed for Liverpool for £34m ($45m), becoming Africa’s most expensive player

The English Premier League has released the official list of 25-player squads for the 2016/17 season. The BBC’s Stanley Kwenda looks at seven things about the African players in the Premier League.

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Nine per cent

There are 47 African players plying their trade in the Premier League this season – that’s an increase of one from last season.

This is around 9% of the total of 500 players.

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Team Senegal

Senegal's captain Cheikhou Kouyate plays for West Ham

Senegal’s captain Cheikhou Kouyate plays for West Ham

Senegal has the largest contingent of players in the league, with eight, followed by Ivory Coast with six and Nigeria five.

The country can almost make its own Premier League team. It has a fine balance of wingers, strikers and defenders:

Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham United)

Diafra Sakho (West Ham United)

Pape Souare (Crystal Palace)

Idrissa Gana (Everton)

Oumar Niasse (Everton)

Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City)

Papi Djilobodji (Sunderland)

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No goalkeeper

Strangely, there is no African goalkeeper among the 47 African players in the Premier League. Well, unless you want to count Steve Mandanda, the DR Congo-born Crystal Palace goalkeeper who plays his international football with France.

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Lamine Kone has been widely acclaimed for his performances at Sunderland

Lamine Kone has been widely acclaimed for his performances at Sunderland

Sunderland have the most Africans players with six, after free agent Nigeria’s Victor Anichebe signed two days after the transfer window had closed:

Papy Djilobodji (Senegal)

Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia)

Lamine Kone (Ivory Coast)

Didier Ndong (Gabon)

Steven Pienaar (South Africa)

Victor Anichebe (Nigeria)

Sunderland have a rich African history. It has been home to some of Africa’s greatest footballers such as Cameroon’s Patrick Mboma, Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan and John Mensah, Zimbabwe’s Benjani Mwaruwari and Morocco Talal El Karkouri.

Champions Leicester City have five, while Everton, Watford and West Ham United follow closely with four players each.

Last year Crystal Palace had the highest number of African players, with five, but there are only three playing for the south London club this season.

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Two firsts

Equatorial Guinea and Libya have their first Premier League players this season in the form of Middlesbrough defender Emilio Nsue and Manchester United’s Sadik El Fitouri, respectively.

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None in Burnley

Burnley is the only Premier League club without an African player.

Tendayi Darikwa was born in England but says he would play for Zimbabwe, where his father comes from, if requested. But he has not yet been called up.

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Manchester United's Eric Bailly and team mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Manchester United’s Eric Bailly and team mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Costly defender

Ivory Coast Defender Eric Bailly is one of the highest profile African players to join the Premier League this season. His £30m ($40m) transfer fee ranks him among the most expensive defenders.

*BBC

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The African Development Bank engages with African civil society at Dakar meeting
September 5, 2016 | 0 Comments

BAD-OSC-dakarDakar, Senegal, September 5, 2016 – Three of the five priorities set by the African Development Bank (AfDB) as part of its Ten Year Strategy were at the centre of discussions between representatives of the institution and members of West African civil society.

High-priority issues including access to energy, transforming African agriculture and improving the quality of life for the people of Africa through job creation for youth, in addition to the industrialization and integration of Africa, were the subject of a presentation and lively debates between representatives of West African civil society and the AfDB in Dakar.

Starting Wednesday, the Senegalese capital hosted this three-day regional consultation, the first of its kind, with civil society organisations. The AfDB will host a total of five such consultations between now and the end of 2016 at the level of African regional economic communities on the subject of its agenda for the continent’s transformation.

Eighty people, primarily representing West African civil society and AfDB managers, discussed the five priorities of the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy, known as the High 5s, and how civil society organisations can contribute to their implementation.

Following the presentation of three of the Bank’s High 5 priorities, Maria Mulindi, Advisor to the AfDB President, emphasized throughout the discussion that the Bank’s mission is to reach out to African populations at the base of the pyramid. “The Bank wants to work through you (civil society) to reach the base of the pyramid,” she said Wednesday.

“In Lusaka, the Bank’s leadership started a conversation with you about its priorities in three areas: energy, agriculture and youth employment,” said Mulindi, referring to the AfDB’s Annual Meetings in Zambia in May 2016, during which the Bank held a forum for civil society organisations (CSOs) that began a high-level dialogue with these organisations,

“The AfDB’s President has said that there will be regional consultations. He told us not to shirk our responsibilities,” she said, encouraging civil society to state its viewpoints on these priorities for transforming the African continent between now and 2025.

Several West African civil society leaders made the trip. They “all belong to civil society organisations involved in the three priority areas (energy, agriculture and youth employment)”, which are at the centre of the Dakar regional consultation, according to Zéneb Touré, Principal Civil Society Engagement Officer with the AfDB.

During the discussions following the presentation of these themes, Khady Fall Tall, the president of the Association des femmes de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (AFAO), the West African Women’s Association, expressed her interest in seeing the AfDB screen and identify civil society organisations that can help achieve the five priorities outlined in its ten-year plan.

“We are grateful to the AfDB for trying to work with us (civil society),” she said. “There are many civil societies in Africa. There is the development civil society that works at the base, a society that works on human rights, but it should also be noted that we have a political civil society,” she emphasized. She then asked the Bank to “support the development civil society that works with rural populations to achieve these five priorities.”

Komi Abitor, with the Togolese NGO ETD (Businesses, Land and Development), praised this new step taken by the African Development Bank in working with African civil society for the implementation of its Ten Year Strategy.

“The AfDB has truly changed its intervention strategy and policy. From what we’ve seen, the Bank is now positioning itself as a major inclusive development player for our countries,” Abitor said. “I feel that through these five priorities, the Bank is speaking a language that is close to that of civil society organisations. The AfDB is starting to speak our language,” he added.

He said he is “convinced” that civil society organisations can bring all their expertise to Africa’s premier financial institution. “Our contribution is to be involved in identifying development projects that will address the strategies defined by the Bank, while taking into account the real needs of the people of Africa,” continued Abitor, who asked that “civil society be involved in implementing projects and participating in a constructive dialogue as part of the evaluation of these programmes.”

Following the forum it held with African civil society during the Bank’s last Annual Meeting in Lusaka in May, the African Development Bank will hold five workshops at the regional economic community level around its Ten Year Strategy based on the five priorities.

During these regional workshops, the Bank and the CSOs will work to identify flagship projects from among three priority areas and develop a partnership structure between the two parties for the next ten years.

Dakar is just the first step in this process. Other regional consultations will be held in Tunis on September 14 to 16, in Yaoundé on September 28 to 30, in Johannesburg on November 14 to 16, and in Nairobi on November 30 to December 2, 2016.

 

*Source AFDB.Contact: Zéneb Touré, Principal Civil Society Engagement Officer, z.toure@afdb.org

 

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Uganda to host 2016 forum on internet freedom in Africa
August 30, 2016 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

FIFA-e1466142978819-667x340_cThe Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) will on 27 to 29 September 2016 host the 2016 forum on internet freedom in Africa to explore new issues affecting internet freedom in Africa, according to a recent statement released by the organisation.

According to CIPESA, this year they expect to expand on the number of countries they conduct research in on the state of internet freedom as well as broaden the discussions that form the pillar of the forum.

It is also reported that in 2015, the forum brought together 200 human rights defenders, journalists, government officials, bloggers, developers and representatives from academia, the arts community, law enforcement agencies and communication regulations from 18 countries.

The 2014 forum hosted 85 participants from six countries. Some of the countries which have participated in previous forums include Burundi, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Cameroon, DRC, Ethiopia, Germany, Italy, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, UK,USA and Zambia.

Organisers say that as internet use has risen in Africa, so have the abuses and attacks on internet freedom, including a proliferation of laws, legal and extra-legal affronts, as well as limited judicial oversight over surveillance and interception of communications.

It is also reported that the forum is one of a kind in Africa that is committed to advancing an understanding and upholding of internet freedoms and how they impact media freedom, free expression and privacy for a range of civic actors such as journalists, human rights defenders, sexual minorities, women, political actors and bloggers.

“It is one of very few gatherings that assemble an African audience within the continent to discuss matters related to upholding internet freedom. While similar conferences are held elsewhere like in Asis, America and Europe, it is expensive for Africa-based actors to attend and for some of these events only bits of the agenda are relevant to Africa,” CIPESA said.

The forum is also being held at a time when the conversation on the need to promote internet freedom is crucial and the forum will provide a unique opportunity for deliberations and building a network of African actors to promote internet freedom for a range of civic actors.

CIPESA says that presently there is a minimal collaboration between African tools developers and those on the frontlines defending human rights. It is also expected to bring together African technical experts to explore ways in which they can work together in advancing internet freedom, including on testing tools and user interfaces, on digital security training and secure design.

It is expected to empower developers from the region to appreciate internet freedom tools design and to turn them into advocates of secure tools to protect internet freedom.

Another key feature of the forum is the assembly of discussions that take place and how each of these influences the work onwards of many of the participants at the forum.Topics explored to date include discussions around the growing presence of online violence against women, whose magnitude and manifestation is not clearly known, as most cases in Africa go unreported.

Combating hate speech and violations of freedom of expression including during periods of electioneering, empowering media as infomediaries and advocates of digital rights whilst also recognizing them as a vulnerable group, advocating for increased judicial oversight over surveillance and interception of communications and  bridging the gap between techies.

The need to address gaps, policy and legislative in the right to privacy will be explored including continued capacity building and awareness raising among citizens, media, human rights defenders and activists on the appreciation of digital safety tools and practices.

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Kenya to host 6th African Green Revolution forum
August 27, 2016 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

C-63-780x439African leaders are set to meet in Nairobi, Kenya at the African Green Revolution (AGRF) forum to be held on September 5 to 9 with an ambition of transforming agriculture into an engine for inclusive socio-economic growth and development.

According to a statement released by Waiganjo Njoroge, AGRA, Global Media Lead, the historic gathering will  include hundreds of influential leaders and CEOs and is also expected to award the newly established Africa Food prize.

Njoroge adds that the sixth African Green Revolution forum or AGRF 2016 is Africa’s largest agricultural event.

“This year’s forum arrives at a time when an unprecedented number of leaders in both African and donor countries are signalling that agriculture development is essential to Africa’s long term economic growth,” Njoroge said.

It is also reported that the emergence of agriculture as the sector that will determine Africa’s future is reflected in the theme of the 2016 forum titled: Seize the moment: Africa rising through agricultural transformation.

Organisers say that the forum will feature a strong slate of influential leaders and CEOs from the public and private sector.

They add that a major highlight of the forum will be the inaugural award of the new Africa Food prize which was created to call attention to individuals and institutions that are inspiring and driving agriculture innovations that can be replicated throughout Africa.

Also the landmark annual African Agriculture Status Report, which this year will chronicle agricultural progress on the continent over the last decade and suggest strategies towards accelerated economic growth and development through agricultural transformation will also be launched.

Over 1000 leaders from politics, business and civil society from across Africa and beyond are expected to grace the event.

Some of the key speakers at the forum will include President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo, Strive Masiyiwa, Chair and Founder of Econet Wireless who is also Board Chair of the AGRA, just to mention a few.

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