Zimbabwe hosts international trade fair for floriculture and horticulture as it seeks to reposition sectors
October 10, 2018 | 0 Comments
horticulture industry has opened today in Harare, Zimbabwe running
until 11 October, 2018 as the country aims to reposition the ailing
sector to boost much needed foreign exchange.
According to Dick van Raamsdonk, General Manager of HPP
International Exhibitions group based in Holland, the first edition of
the newly established international trade fair hortiflor was
especially created for the horticulture industry of Zimbabwe.
He said that hortiflor is a platform where growers, suppliers,
traders, investors and buyers of fresh produce and fresh flowers can
“This is a platform where Zimbabwean horticulture can meet with the
world of horticulture,” Raamsdonk said.
He also said that the three day trade event in its first edition has
attracted exhibitors from 10 countries and visitors from an expected
15 to 20 countries.
“With a total of almost 60 companies that represent growers and
suppliers from the fresh flower and fresh produce sectors, it can be
called an excellent beginning of much more to come in the near future.
Since Zimbabwe has already proven to be one of Africa’s top exporters
of horticulture products in the past, it is not a new road that has to
be taken, but much more continuing on an existing road, basically in a
pretty good shape, just waiting for a good maintenance. This together
with the message of a new government of Zimbabwe, that the country is
open for business, makes it very interesting opportunity that offers
great chances to both Zimbabwean and international companies,”
Gorden Makoni, Chairman of the Export Flower Growers Association of
Zimbabwe (EFGAZ) said that the premier trade show, the first of its
kind in over 18 years in Zimbabwe brings together farmers, growers,
breeders, investors and buyers with one purpose of increasing
horticulture export in Zimbabwe.
Makoni said that the flower industry is going through remarkable
growth buoyed by the four rising stars, Colombia, Kenya, Ecuador and
“The US market is on the upswing, Russia market is declining but the
Netherlands remains the fulcrum of the global flower trade,” Makoni
He added that to think that in the late 90s to early 2000,
Zimbabwe was only second to Kenya and third in the world in flower
production reads like a fairy tale.
“The exhibition by HPP exhibition reminds us that we have work to
do, that is to take back our spot snatched by Ethiopia,” Makoni said.
He also added that Zimbabwe had some of the best climate for cut
flower production and horticulture.
“We need to seize on this comparative advantage against our erstwhile
and it does put us in a good steady,” he added.
Makoni also called on the government to lead by ensuring that the
industry is well funded the way mining is funded, land issue is
stabilized and can be used as collateral as some farmers are failing
to use land as collateral to increase production.
He also added that value chain linkages are needed to make sure
that growth in one has the domino effect on all up and downstream
industries including marketing, freight forwarding, finance, input
suppliers, agro-chemicals, greenhouses, packaging, irrigation, cold
rooms and refrigerated trucks.
Agribank Acting CEO, Mr Francis Macheka said that his bank was
ready to create competitive facilities such as capital to support
financing for horticulture and floriculture in Zimbabwe.
He said that his bank was geared to drive exports growth and has
made progress in sectors such as tobacco farming.
He said that the bank was pleased that some farmers in Zimbabwe had
already started to launch or relaunch projects in horticulture and
floriculture and the bank was ready to offer much needed capital
Arsenal FC and WorldRemit name Hamisi Mohamed from Kenya as the winner of the “Future Stars” youth coaching programme
October 10, 2018 | 0 Comments
The winner of an international vote, Hamisi will travel to London to train with Arsenal Soccer Schools, courtesy of WorldRemit
PARIS, France, October 9, 2018/ — Arsenal FC (www.Arsenal.com) and its official online money transfer partner, WorldRemit (https://www.WorldRemit.com/), today announced that Hamisi Mohamed from Nairobi has won the public vote determining the winner of their Future Stars programme. Competing against five other youth football coaches from across Africa, Hamisi secured over 35% of the votes on https://FutureStars.WorldRemit.com to win the chance to train with coaches from Arsenal Soccer Schools. Hamisi will now prepare to travel to London to attend a customized training programme to support him in building a legacy of positive social impact through football in Kenya.
Hamisi Mohamed, known locally as Coach Kaka, is one of the founders of Young Talents Soccer Academy, a mixed academy in Embul Bul, Ngong. The academy aims to help children to succeed both on and off the pitch. “We use the power of football to address social issues, to teach them life skills. We want them to learn to respect themselves, to know the effects of drug abuse, the effects of violence and crime,” says Hamisi.
Reflecting the shared values of the two companies, the Future Stars programme was set up by WorldRemit together with Arsenal to acknowledge and reward the valuable contribution of youth coaches to their local communities. Through the programme, 25 shortlisted coaches have already been granted Arsenal replica shirts for their entire youth squad in recognition of their work.
Andrew Stewart, Managing Director Middle East & Africa at WorldRemit said:
“Our business is all about helping our customers’ financial support for their community to go further. The work of all the coaches in the Future Stars programme has reinforced our belief in the immense potential of sport to inspire positive change and encouraged us to explore further opportunities to support the communities we serve through sport. We hope that this programme will encourage others to follow their example and that this will be only the beginning of a much longer story.”
Back in 1985, in response to social unrest on London estates, Arsenal became one of the first clubs in the UK to set up a dedicated community team in 1985. The Young Talents academy emerged from similar origins: Hamisi founded the club over 10 years ago to bring young members of his community together following the post-election violence in Kenya.
As Arsenal’s community has grown, so has the impact of Arsenal in the Community’s work and the team now deliver sport, social and education programmes to over 5,000 individuals each week.
Simon McManus of Arsenal Soccer Schools said:
“Arsenal itself is an example of how the social impact of football can grow from a small local community to an international programme. It is inspiring to us to see how coaches across Africa are using the power of football to support and educate children at the grassroots level and I think there is a lot we can also learn from them.
“Both WorldRemit and Arsenal have grown from humble beginnings to become global businesses, credited with transforming our respective sectors. Now we hope that together we can help Hamisi to play a similarly transformational role in Kenya – perhaps even internationally.”
WorldRemit (https://www.WorldRemit.com/) is changing the way people send money.
It’s easy – just open the app or visit the website – no more agents, no more queues, no more time wasted
• Transfers to most countries are instant – send money like an instant message
• Send money anytime with award-winning customer service team available to help 24/7
• 85,000 5-star reviews for our app
• More ways to receive (mobile money, bank transfer, cash pickup, and mobile airtime top-up)
• Available in over 50 countries and more than 145+ destinations
• Backed by Accel Partners and TCV – investors in Facebook, Spotify, Netflix and Slack
WorldRemit’s global headquarters are in London, UK with offices in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Singapore, the Philippines, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
About Arsenal Football Club:
Arsenal (www.Arsenal.com) is one of the leading clubs in world football with a strong heritage of success, progressive thinking and financial stability.
The club was founded in 1886 in Woolwich, south London, before moving to Highbury in north London in 1913. We moved to Emirates Stadium in 2006.
Arsenal has an impressive roll of honour: English League Champions 13 times, FA Cup winners a record 13 times, League Cup winners twice and European Cup Winners’ Cup (1994) and European Fairs Cup (1970) winners once. In addition, Arsenal Women are the most successful English club in women’s football. They celebrated their 30th season last year.
The Arsenal Foundation uses the power of football and the Arsenal name to inspire and support young people in north London and across the globe. The Arsenal Foundation raises funds each year and works with a number of key partners including Save The Children, Islington Giving, Willow and the Gunners’ Fund. Locally, Arsenal in the Community has delivered programmes to drive positive social outcomes for more than 30 years.
For further information please visit www.Arsenal.com
About Arsenal Soccer Schools:
Arsenal Soccer Schools encourage children to be active whilst learning to play football; with the emphasis placed on passing, movement, creativity and technical development through teamwork.
Gemfields launches ‘Every Piece Unique’ global campaign to highlight responsibly sourced Zambian emeralds
October 10, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
Gemfields, the world’s leading supplier of responsibly sourced
coloured gemstones, has launched a global advertising campaign to
raise awareness of responsible sourcing in the coloured gemstone
industry and promote Zambian emeralds from its Kagem mine in
Gemfields believes that coloured gemstones should be mined and marketed by championing three key values – transparency, integrity and legitimacy – and seeks to challenge itself and the sector by setting new benchmarks for responsible sourcing. The campaign was designed to bring these core values and Gemfields’ associated initiatives to life, highlighting the breadth of activities involved in responsibly supplying coloured gemstones to global markets.
“We wanted to bring to life the many stories behind responsibly sourcing precious gemstones in Africa as there is far more to our business than industry-leading mining and geology”, explains Emily Dungey, Group Marketing and Communications Director. “The characters in the campaign allow us to build awareness of the many life-changing
community projects we carry out, our pioneering quest for greater transparency across the industry and the support we provide for vital conservation work protecting Africa’s biodiversity. The campaign is a snapshot of who we are: it’s fun, unexpected and non-conformist, but also gives an insight into some of the ways in which Gemfields strives
to leave a positive and lasting impact.”
The campaign film is set in a contemporary art gallery, closing for the night, when the sculptures come to life through movement and dance. Each character moves with unique style, unveiling their distinctive role in the Gemfields ecosphere. The six sculptures were designed and brought to life for Gemfields by MPC Creative using
motion capture, VFX and CGI animation.
The first character, a faceted female form, half emerald and half ruby, embodies the gemstones that underpin Gemfields’ drive for Transparency, the founding principle of the business. Gemfields’ extractive operations, combined with its proprietary grading and auction systems, are all designed to bring a reliable supply of
responsibly sourced gemstones to market with an unprecedented level of transparency.
Gemfields has partnered with Switzerland’s Gübelin Gem Lab in launching a breakthrough technology entitled ‘Provenance Proof’, empowering traceability back to the mine of origin and providing consumers and Gemfields’ Authorised Auction Partners with certainty that their gemstones started their journey with Gemfields.
As Transparency dances through the gallery, her arm brushes a second character – a petite paper sculpture featuring hand-writing and emeralds. The scroll-like figure personifies Gemfields’ Education programmes. Gemfields supports life-changing initiatives for the communities near its mines in three key spheres: Health, Livelihoods and Education.
It has constructed four schools in Mozambique and established three in Zambia, as well as providing university
scholarships in the fields of mining and geology. In total, more than 2,500 pupils are now attending these schools and classes for adults have been added to allow parents to keep up with the next generation.
Transparency and Education awaken a valiant rhino sculpture carved from wood, half-dipped in recycled green gold and replete with emerald eyes. An iconic African symbol of Conservation, the rhino was chosen to reflect Gemfields’ work with conservation partners to protect Africa’s wildlife and biodiversity, including the Niassa Carnivore
Project and Quirimbas National Park in Mozambique and the Zambian Carnivore Programme spanning several Zambian reserves.
The three characters run together through the gallery until they reach a dominating, vibrant, abstract painting featuring human forms dramatically poised around a Fabergé egg. The central figure emerges
from the painting to join the energetic trio. He represents Gemfields’ community initiatives to improve the Health care and wellbeing of those living around its mines. Before Gemfields introduced formalised mining operations, these remote communities had little or no access to healthcare. Cholera, malaria, HIV and dysentery were commonplace. Now, two mobile health clinics in Mozambique serve six remote villages of around 10,000 people. In Zambia, a further 10,000 people benefit from a significantly upgraded health centre and maternity ward. The
presence of a Fabergé egg reflects Fabergé’s role as a vital component of Gemfields’ ‘mine and market’ vision.
Wholly-owned by Gemfields Group, Fabergé is famed for its ingenious use of coloured gemstones, innovative techniques and workmasters-of-distinction to create highly coveted jewellery befitting Gemfields’ most prized emeralds and rubies.
The dance energetically builds as the characters surround a large-scale hanging installation. Comprising bright blue feathers and sparkling rubies, its colouring is inspired by the lilac-breasted roller, a native African bird. This character signifies Livelihoods, the third of Gemfields’ local initiatives and is a nod to the chicken farms created to empower local women. Gemfields set up the farms with local women, teaching them how to manage these autonomously and then transferring the projects as independent, fully functioning businesses providing self-sufficiency for the women. Gemfields strives to leave a positive, lasting legacy in the communities it touches that will
long outlive its presence and support ongoing economic sustainability, including in agricultural projects. Gemfields has created two farming associations in Zambia and nine farming associations (two of them run by women) in Mozambique. Training in agricultural techniques such as crop rotation, pest control and conservation farming has increased yields by up to 200%, advancing quality of life from sustainable
livelihoods in the local area.
The characters dance to the base of a flowering Baobab tree, the ‘tree of life’. This iconic African motif embodies Sustainability, Gemfields’ approach to communities near its mining operations. By its very nature, mining impacts the environment, but Gemfields seeks to minimise this where possible. Gemfields does not use chemical
substances that are hazardous to health or pollute. Before mining commences, seeds are collected from indigenous plants and trees to create a seed-bank and the rich top soil is stored for re-deployment. Gemfields re-fills and re-plants as part of an ongoing integrated mining process, reducing impact to the site and maintaining biodiversity. The film’s ‘tree of life’ is inspired by a real-life Baobab tree which sits directly within the mineralised ruby mining
area in Mozambique. Gemfields has mined around it, leaving the magnificent tree standing on an island, pending rehabilitation of the surrounding area.
The film concludes with an explosion of Baobab flowers, the exuberant characters poised in their original gallery positions and two gently floating flowers – with hearts of ruby and emerald – the only evidence of the magical activities. Similarly, Gemfields’ mine sites will return substantially to their original state, leaving in place the
wider positive effects of improved community healthcare, education, sustainable livelihoods and conservation efforts.
‘Every Piece Unique’ highlights how each gemstone is distinctive,possessing its own personality and character, much like original pieces of art. The film continues the narrative of Gemfields’ ‘A Story in Every Gemstone’ campaign, building a greater understanding of the vigour behind responsibly sourcing emeralds and rubies from their
origins in Zambia and Mozambique.
The campaign was created by adam&eveDDB with production carried out by Gutenberg Global and media planning and buying carried out by Havas LuxHub Media. The Moving Picture Company (MPC) in collaboration with
FutureDeluxe produced and directed the campaign film, with characters brought to life by MPC Creative, using VFX and CGI animation. Gemfields’ Every Piece Unique campaign launched globally on 1 October 2018.
Member states endorse Economic Commission for Africa’s strategic plan for statistical development in Africa
October 10, 2018 | 0 Comments
Synopses of two other reports on ‘Population and Housing Censuses’ and ‘Civil Registration and Vital Statistics’ were also presented
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 4, 2018/ — “Transforming Africa through credible data and statistics is something we take very seriously,” said Oliver Chinganya, Director of the African Centre for Statistics (ACS) at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
He made the statement while presenting ACS’ proposed strategic framework for the 2018-2019 biennium at the 6th meeting of the Statistical Commission for Africa (STATCOM) in Addis Ababa.
Mr. Chingaya reminded STATCOM delegates that ACS is structured to “improve the production, dissemination and use of quality data & statistics within the framework of Agenda 2030 and the African Union’s 2063 Agenda in order to support economic and social development in Africa.”
He noted that the Centre is embarked on strategic work areas, including the production of handbooks and guidelines; implementation of field projects; training; advocacy campaigns to address institutional issues and the design of national strategies on statistics; dissemination of information and best practices; provision of technical assistance; and resource mobilization.
The ECA director also stated that “particular emphasis will be placed on developing manuals for producing harmonized statistics and supporting the statistical working groups dealing with issues related to the harmonization of price statistics.”
The session, which was devoted to ‘ECA’s New Strategic Areas and Statistical Programme,’ was also an opportunity for representatives of African national statistics offices to be presented with synopses of five statutory reports and recommendations for their endorsement.
In his presentation of the “Progress Report on the Implementation of the 2008 System of National Accounts in Africa,” Xiaoning Gong, Chief of Statistics at the ACS, said; “in the past two years, considerable effort and progress have been made by countries in the areas of the compilation, application and dissemination of national accounts.”
He implored STATCOM to evaluate the importance of environmental accounts with regard to sustainability, natural resource management, and environmental policy, and urge member states to prioritize environmental-economic accounts.
Fatouma Sissoko, an ACS Statistician who presented a report on the integrated regional indicator framework for Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063, told participants that; “the Regional Indicator for SDGs and Agenda 2063 resulted to a list of 124 indicators with 63 core indicators from the first 10-year implementation plan (2014–2023) Agenda 2063 and 61 complementary indicators from the global list of indicators for the SDGs.”
A presentation on ‘Statistical Capacity Development in Africa’ was also made by ACS’ Chief of Statistical Development, Tinfissi Joseph Ilboudo, who pointed out that in order to implement Africa’s development agenda and the SDGs, statistics training centers must ensure that staff are equipped with the required statistical knowledge. He added, “legislation on statistics must also be aligned with the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics and the African Charter on Statistics.”
Synopses of two other reports on ‘Population and Housing Censuses’ and ‘Civil Registration and Vital Statistics’ were also presented by Ayenika Godheart Mbiydzenyuy, ECA Statistician, who urged STATCOM to review and endorse the conclusions and recommendations of the reports.
Mr. Chinganya told the group that ACS focuses “on areas where we have a comparative advantage and can add value.”
Under the leadership of the new STATCOM chairperson, Albina Chuwa from Tanzania, the delegates reviewed, discussed, and endorsed the proposed framework.
London: Dangote urges deepening of African economy through free trade
October 10, 2018 | 0 Comments
Senegal selected as host country for the 4th Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in 2022
October 9, 2018 | 0 Comments
First Olympic event in history to be organised on the African continent
LAUSANNE, Switzerland, October 8, 2018/ — Today, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) nominated Senegal as the host country for the 4th Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in 2022. It will be the first Olympic event in history to take place on the African continent.
One of the highlights of the YOG will be the leading rugby sevens teams competing against each other. Rugby sevens made its debut at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing and was one of 32 sports at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.
“The 2022 Youth Olympic Games in Senegal represents a fantastic opportunity to showcase rugby sevens in Africa. Rugby is the fastest growing sport on the continent. In 2002, only six African nations played rugby. Now there are 38! Out of 105 countries playing rugby competitively in the world, one third are African countries,” stated Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, founder and CEO of APO Group, and the main official sponsor of the World Rugby African Association, Rugby Africa.
The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, recently declared “It is time for Africa – the home of many successful and prominent Olympic athletes. Africa is a continent of youth. That is why we want to take the Youth Olympic Games 2022 to Africa and to Senegal. They have offered a project based on a strong vision for youth and sport. There are many opportunities, and we will endeavour to deliver together, as part of a strong partnership, a visionary, responsible and inspiring Youth Games”.
Senegal’s application was based on three sites: the capital, Dakar; the new city of Diamniadio; and the seaside resort of Saly. Senegal’s project is tied to the country’s general development strategy, notably the national government’s “Emerging Senegal’’ plan, which envisions major economic and infrastructure improvements.
“According to the United Nations, Africa will have nearly 4.5 billion inhabitants by 2100, representing 40% of the world’s population. Several years ago, multinational companies realised that Africa could no longer be ignored. It is now up to international sports federations to focus on Africa. The competition between the sports will be fierce and first to come will certainly be the first served; a key factor being a significant increase in the number of participants and their income from sponsorship and television broadcasting rights”, added Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard.
The 2022 Summer Youth Olympic Games will be the fourth edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games and the seventh edition of the Youth Olympic Games.
Why is it so hard for Africans to visit other African countries?
October 8, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Larry Madowo*
Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote has said he needs 38 visas to travel within the continent on his Nigerian passport. Many European nationals, meanwhile, waltz into most Africans countries visa-free.
African nations were supposed to scrap visa requirements for all African citizens by 2018.
It was a key part of the African Union (AU) “vision and roadmap for the next 50 years” that was adopted by all members states in 2013.
But to date, the Seychelles is the only nation where visa-free travel is open to all Africans – as well as to citizens of every nation – as it always has been.
A recent AU report found that Africans can travel without a visa to just 22% of other African countries.
It is a sensitive topic, provoking xenophobic attitudes in some of Africa’s wealthier nations despite policymakers from Cape to Cairo insisting that the free movement of people is key for economic transformation.
Pan-African Tourism Spirit Unites USA And UK- African People To Worship Their Heritage..
October 7, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Nevson Mpofu
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority [ZTA] is opening Tourism Sector’s wide path for Economic Recovery and Heritage worship of those Africans in the diaspora. The Tourism Sector is the most functional among Agriculture, Mining and Manufacturing Industry. It has over the years been the pinnacle in stepping up the Zimbabwe Economy in terms of its Gross Domestic Product, Growth per Capita, National Growth and Development. In its continued effort it has invited Afro-Americans and Africans based in UK to tour their original roots in Africa.
Under the Leadership of Karikoga Kaseke the Chief Executive of ZTA, the Sector continues to move swiftly in focus of our tradition and culture linked to Tourism for Economic Sustainable Development. Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has gone through success stories. It’s planning, Leading, Organizing and controlling has fortified the Gross Domestic and National Product to better levels of Economic Stability over the recent years despite hardships created by the former Government years back.
It is an African motivational aura to pronounce the connotative meaning of Tourism Development in the country .In its marathon Mission, vision and goal endeavor, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority hook- lured 35 Member Delegation of African American origins and some from United Kingdom to visit the country. This is a positive move to show that Zimbabwe is open for Business.
The main objective of the visit is to showcase the need to re-visit Pan- Africa History, Tradition and culture in a Modernized and dynamic World. Secondly, it is time and séance to get back to the roots of Ancestor- ship. In addition, ZTA Chief Executive Officer says the country is now open for Business unlike how it used to be in the past.
‘’Zimbabwe is now open for Business more than how it used to be. The country is ready to take anyone aboard without favor. We need to embrace the spirit of togetherness, oneness and solidarity to make ourselves how we are. There is no time for our Visitors to feel in-secured. We are in a New Zimbabwe.
‘’Investors in every sector must feel free to visit and have a base-line survey. After their escapades, they are free to come back into the country and do Business peacefully and freely in this Democratic country.
‘’Our visitors shall be in the country for 2 weeks to witness the prevailing peace we have. Zimbabwe is the most recognized peaceful country under new Leadership that is working hard to build better, sustainable Economy for the betterment of all people.
‘’Our esteemed visitors shall start kick the African spirit of the love of their roots by visiting the Victoria Falls , Great Zimbabwe and some of the great monuments and Tourist Attraction areas in the country . This is the beginning of African History made in Zimbabwe to cherish Historical Pan-African values.
Standing on behalf of the Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Priscillah Mupfumira who did not attend the occasion , Douglas Runyowa said the country has the light way forward with the New Government which is ready to transform the Economy .
‘’Zimbabwe is ready to listen, take aboard and abide to International Protocols just like any other country. A New Zimbabwe means New Changes in terms of what we need to take ahead of us. A new Zimbabwe is already functioning well. We are ready to take every corner of the World as we move forward to a Middle Income Country by 2030 ‘’.
‘’Tourism is one of the main sectors of the Economy. We there –fore need to support it. Let us show the spirit of building New Zimbabwe. A new Zimbabwe looks ahead of us. We move forward with the spirit of peace building and economic solidarity and Empowerment of those who are in need of it‘’,
The visiting Social ARCHTECT Ayo Kihathi with that vivacity to see the New Africa as well in floating bounce said Africa is now its time to re-visit its Traditional and cultural roots . The Pan African serenated woman from America said It is time for Afro-Americans to visit their roots and know where they came.
‘’ The Visit to Zimbabwe has made me revive my roots as an individual. Just imagine 400 years under repression in Slavery. We experienced the pain of Feudalism, Imperialism and colonialism. This is not just a joke. We need to look sideways and find for ourselves where we need to go, what we need to do and the way forward.
‘’This is time for Africa to go back to its roots, revive its culture and Tradition and to visit its original vestiges from where their Ancestors were born, bred and buried. We are the remaining sons and daughters of this Land who need to see a New World of African History and its future light ahead.
‘’Africa is our home for -ever. Together, we build a new Africa living under Liberalism, freedom and Independence of mind. This is another time and opportunity to come up with a new Africa. A New Africa that opens way for us to know where we came as nations’’, said the spirited African vivacious man.
The visiting delegates shall look at issues affecting YOUNG PEOPLE. The discussion is that there is need to remind the young people about our roots, where we came from and what went wrong and the new way forward. Shalo Campbell a visitor who took it with the same spirit to raise the African fire kept burning said young people are the Leaders tomorrow. She reiterated that young people need peace in the peace of mind to grow and develop their continent.
‘’Young people have got lost. We need to embrace our Heritage, Culture, Tradition and Religious values of total respect, unity, peace and social solidarity. Africa has lost its salt and light. If a country has lost its taste, saltiness and savory, its future as well is doomed as we move along as a country.
‘’Africa needs to revive itself as a continent .We need decolonize our- selves. This is only possible through Peace and Unity. However .I feel pity that Africa is still lagging behind. Worse still we are submerging fast into deep waters.’’
Apart from raising Tourism in Zimbabwe, the most important concept is to build a New Africa. Delegates also voiced that there is need for all children of those Afro-Americans and various similar ethnical groups to visit their soil and seed their love on the African soil
Released Ethiopian Bloggers expose digital media control tactics
October 7, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Jean-Pierre Afadhali
Released Ethiopian bloggers have expressed cautious optimism on recent political reforms started by the new Prime Minister Dr Abi Ahmed, saying some behaviors of previous regime are still lingering in the East African country.
Speaking at the just concluded forum on Internet Freedom in Africa, for the first time the young bloggers shared their experience on the control of digital media, surveillance and censorship in Ethiopia with a pan-African and international audience.
African bloggers, journalists, activists, legal experts, researchers and governments gathered in the West African city to discuss freedom of expression online amid increasing rights violation in the digital space.
The group of bloggers also known as ‘Zone 9’ talked with emotion their surveillance experience, arrests, interrogation and imprisonment in what they called torture centres in Ethiopia.
‘Zone 9’ launched their blog in 2012, after two years of activities Ethiopian government arrested the bloggers.
“After three months of interrogation they trumped charges against us,” said Mr. Zelalem Kibret, co-founder of “Zone 9” platform in an interview.
They were charging us with crime against the constitution and crime of terrorism,” Mr Kibret explained.
According to the blogger, the real accusations were working with international rights organizations to terrorize the public.
Before the new political reforms several Human rights organizations documented crack down cases against opposition and lack of media freedom in Ethiopia which led to the forced exile of many journalists, activists and opposition politicians.
It was not unexpected because there were thousands of Ethiopians by the time who were jailed as per anti-terrorism law, Kibret, further noted.
“So we expected that it was coming,”
In recent months thousands of opposition and media websites were unblocked as part of political reforms that were largely welcomed in the country and abroad.
Young bloggers narrated crackdown online with their colleagues who were allegedly monitored by security agents, including a blogger whose website was blocked 17 times despite changing domain names.
“We were forces to censor ourselves,” said one of bloggers who was on a panel during Internet Freedom Forum.
Social media played a key role in their publications. Bloggers said Facebook was also their main channel to reach their audience in Ethiopia and diaspora.
While young Ethiopians knew the risk of challenging government with a different narrative, they said that they were surprised by the extent of government reaction.
One of the bloggers revealed their phones were tapped over a year, their movements were also monitored.
There was not limit to the stories they posted. From sports, politics, economics to social issues.
“Most of the time we published opinions on political issues and very critical on government,” said the blogger, writer who is also a legal practitioner.
“I personally, I am a lawyer most of my blogs are on legality, constitutionalism, everything related with the law as well as politics”.
“Most of the time we focused on very difficult political topics that government does not want to be published,” said the blogger
Interned penetration in Ethiopia is very low in comparison to its East African neighbors.
According to data from International Telecommunications Union (ITU), in 2016 Internet penetration was at 15 percent.
Bloggers said their audience was diverse including those living in Ethiopia and diaspora.
“We got trust from most of people because we were genuine,” We did not hide anything”. Noted the Ethiopian writer
“There are a lot of people who hide themselves behind anonymity,”
Mr Charles Onyango Obbo, a publisher based in Nairobi, Kenya and veteran journalist described the rising power of Internet and Social media on governance and political change as “digitalcracy”.
Social media tax also dominated the conversation; some saying it hinders freedom of expression online and access to Internet.
Uganda has imposed the tax which led the loss of revenue of MTN, one of major telecom operators in the East African country.
Zambia introduced tax on Internet Voice Calls, while Benin suspended the tax reportedly due to public pressure and critics from Human rights organizations.
According to Dr Wairagala Wakabi, executive director of Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), other African countries will likely introduce Social Media tax in future.
Cameroon, Gabon, Togo and a host of other African countries have been cited for shut down internet connectivity within the last two years mainly for political reasons.
Olumide Babalola, a Nigerian lawyer was quoted as saying: “Internet shut down will continue with impunity unless we rise up to denounce this ill in the strongest possible terms,”
“We must also find ways to circumvent the incessant censorship by governments on cyberspace” stated Dr. Wakabi.
Some activists and internet freedom advocates said most governments use security as an excuse to shut down Internet.
“Governments will always use ‘national security’ as an excuse to shut down the internet and repress freedom of expression ”, Sulemana Braimah, executive director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) told attendees at the opening of the two-day event in Accra, Ghana last week.
Twice as many African presidents made it to China’s Africa summit than to the UN general assembly
October 5, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Abdi Latif Dahir*
As the current chairperson of the African Union, Rwandan president Paul Kagame was among the first five leaders to address the just-concluded 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Kagame extolled the “deepening” partnership between Africa and the global body, noting, “the dividend of a more focused and functional Africa benefits everyone.”
But even as he emphasized this mutual cooperation, it was hard not to notice the absence of major African leaders at the world’s biggest political summit. A Quartz analysis of the African principals who spoke at the general debate using the country list published by the UN shows fewer African presidents attended the general assembly in New York than were at the third summit of the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation that took place in Beijing two weeks earlier in September. The index of leaders who attended FOCAC was gathered from the forum’s official English website. By Quartz’s count 51 African leaders were in Beijing compared with 27 in New York.
And it’s not just about the presidents: at least 24 African states sent lower-ranking officials to the UN than they did to FOCAC.
The UN list included nations from all regions of the continent, both small and large. Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed, Africa’s youngest leader, skipped the session even though he was expected to be one of the prominent speakers. Presidents from Somalia to Gabon, Uganda, and Senegal all missed UNGA, sending prime ministers and foreign secretaries instead. These African heads joined other global leaders who snubbed the assembly of nations including China’s Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and German chancellor Angela Merkel. (The exception to the rule was eSwatini, the only African state with diplomatic relations with Taiwan which didn’t attend the shindig in Beijing.)
Observers say the disparities in attendance between UNGA and FOCAC point to the shifting dynamics and priorities of the African continent. It also illustrates the limitations facing the UN, whose lofty declarations and bold rhetoric has faced growing criticism in recent years. The 193-member state body has also struggled to make its work more substantive globally, as the threats to multilateralism grow and it stares down funding cuts from the United States under the Trump administration, one of its major contributors.
The truancy could, however, be practical says Hannah Ryder, the CEO of Beijing-based consultancy firm Development Reimagined (DR). While the general debate takes place every year, the China-Africa forum happens every three, meaning “there is going to be some priority given to something that happens less often.” UNGA also provides African country representatives an opportunity to catch up, network and discuss pressing matters, something, Ryder notes, leaders might have already done in Beijing.
African heads of states and governments might have chosen to stay back given the tense protests and domestic pressures they face at home too. This could be true of Cameroon, Togo, South Sudan, Uganda besides Ethiopia, where premier Abiy chaired a major ruling party meeting this week following deadly ethnic violence in recent months.
The variance in attendance also shows how the relationship with China is absolutely crucial to African leaders—a point Ghanaian president Nana Akufo-Addo emphasized in his speech at the UN. Research from Development Reimagined has indicated that few other continental or country-specific bilateral summits have managed to attract as many African heads of states or pledges as FOCAC. And Chinese leaders reciprocate this goodwill, visiting the continent more often than their European or American counterparts, and announcing pledges to the tune of $60 billion in the next three years.
African countries are also prioritizing their engagements with each other by signing free trade agreements, discussing how to finance their own security, and working to reduce external mediation and interference in regional security affairs.
In these changing times, Ryder says the UN should work to bring African states into the fold and rejuvenate their commitment to pursuing common global goals. This, Ryder adds, will involve addressing the imbalances in the very foundation of the UN system and engaging these emerging states when they don’t need traditional aid or peacekeeping forces. “It’s a big task.”
*Called from Quartz Africa
Africa’s most ambitious companies are winning by going pan-African
October 5, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Abdi Latif Dahir*
Leading companies in sectors as diverse as finance, manufacturing, transportation, retail, and media are expanding their businesses across borders to generate higher returns. In African Development Bank (AfDB)’s first Africa-to-Africa investment report, the multilateral financial institution says a pool of 300 companies are showing more confidence in the continent’s long-term growth, tailoring their business models to regional markets, hiring and training local talent, and building private-public partnerships.
The report specifically notes the example of Ethiopian Airlines, which through a mix of strategic investments, airline acquisitions, and pan-African partnerships has taken off as Africa’s largest airline. Financial institutions like Togo’s Ecobank, South Africa’s Standard Group, and the Kenya Commercial Bank were also lauded for adopting flexible cross-border strategies, promoting diversity in their business portfolio, and pushing governments to embrace regional integration.
AfDB estimates that between 2006 and 2016, intra-African greenfield investments grew from $4 billion to $10 billion. The number of intra-regional mergers and acquisitions also doubled from 238 deals in 2006 to more than 418 in 2016.
Africa is seeing better integrated trade these days, and the volatile global environment is helping to push nations to promote intra-regional investment as one way to shore up against external shocks. This is exemplified in the signing in March of the African Continental Free Trade Area, aimed at uniting a market of 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of $2.5 trillion. Countries are also improving on their pro-business climate: Sub-Saharan Africa was the region with the highest total number of reforms in terms of doing business in 2016/17, according to the World Bank. Companies are also realizing the potential for returns and impact are also here, given rising population numbers, increasing access to technology, and improving visa rules to facilitate free movement.
AfDB, however, says there’s a long way to go before businesses in Africa can have the resources and temerity needed to cross borders. These include access to finance, high tax rates, electricity shortages, besides regulatory challenges. Yet smaller firms can draw on insights from leading multinationals. Key among these lessons is building a strong domestic base first before launching regional or continental operations.
Namibian president wants land expropriated to boost black ownership
October 5, 2018 | 0 Comments
WINDHOEK (Reuters) – Namibia’s president called on Monday for a change to the constitution to allow the government to expropriate land and re-distribute it to the majority black population.
“We need to revisit constitutional provisions which allow for the expropriation of land with just compensation, as opposed to fair compensation, and look at foreign ownership of land, especially absentee land owners,” Geingob said.
“It is in all our interest, particularly the “haves”, to ensure a drastic reduction in inequality, by supporting the redistributive model required to alter our skewed economic structure. We should all be cognizant of the fact that this is ultimately an investment in peace,” he said.
Namibia’s neighbour and regional economic powerhouse South Africa is also in the process of amending land ownership laws – a move that has shaken investor nerves locally and abroad, leading to a controversial tweet by United States President Donald Trump in August criticising the move by Pretoria.
As in South Africa, thousands of black Namibians were driven off their land in the 19th and 20th centuries, banished to barren and often crowded homelands known as Bantustans while being denied official ownership or tenure rights.
In the second quarter Namibia’s GDP contracted for the ninth straight quarter, the longest such streak since at least 2008.Reporting by Nyasha Nyaungwa; Editing by Richard Balmforth