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AFDB: Obasanjo Rallies Former African Leaders In Support of Akinwumi Adesina
May 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

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Adesina has placed the AFDB in a strategic position to fast track Africa’s development, says Obasanjo

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo is rallying African leaders maintain support for African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina following whistle blower allegations and calls from partners like the USA for more scrutiny.

In a letter to former African leaders Obasanjo credits Adesina for taking the AFDB to unprecedented heights. Making the case to trust in Adesina’s leadership, Obasanjo says in 2020, he led the Bank to achieve a historic general capital increase, raising the capital of the Bank from $93 billion to $208 billion, an increase of $155 billion, the highest in the history of the Bank since its establishment in 1964.

Obasanjo goes further to highlight a series of other commendable achievements of Adesina that have placed the Bank in a strategic position to fast track Africa’s development.

“Despite these achievements and impressive leadership for the Bank and passion for Africa’s faster-paced development, and his clear endorsement by all of African countries for re-election for his second term, there are some attempts, led by some non-regional member countries of the Bank to frustrate his re-election,” Obasanjo says in the letter.

“We should speak against the introduction of alien practices being recommended by some parties given that such recommendation falls outside the laid down procedure, laws, rules and regulations of the Bank. It is also critical that we emphasize the need for the ADB to remain an Africa-focused development Bank rather than one which serves interests outside Africa,” Obasanjo said, while inviting former leaders to collectively issue a press statement to support the laid down procedures embarked upon to evaluate the allegations against the President of the Bank .

Full Letter Below

Your Excellencies,
I hope that you are keeping well in the midst of the current COVID 19 pandemic that we are all going through in Africa and all over the world. I am writing to you in respect of developments at the African Development Bank.

As you may be aware the President of the Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has performed very well in this position over the past five years. He has taken the Bank to great heights. In 2020, he led the Bank to achieve a historic general capital increase, raising the capital of the Bank from $93 billion to $208 billion, an increase of $155 billion, the highest in the history of the Bank since its establishment in 1964.

I have been made to understand that the Bank also successfully raised funds from donor countries of over $7 billion for the African Development Fund 15th replenishment for low-income countries, an increase of 35%. Under his leadership the Bank launched the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) to mobilize massive flows of capital to Africa.

The inaugural launch of the AIF held in Johannesburg, South Africa, secured 38.7 Billion of investment interests within less than 72 hours. The AIF event held in 2019 went even further and secured $40.1 Billion of investment interest in less than 72 hours. Africa has never seen these kinds of financial and investment interests.


The Bank has been effectively positioned as an effective global institution, ranked 4th globally in terms of transparency among 45 multilateral and bilateral institutions by Publish What You Fund, an outfit that consists of 19 developed economies. Dr. Adesina led the Bank to successfully launch at the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France, the Affirmative Finance Action for Women (AFAWA) to mobilize $3 Billion for women businesses and entrepreneurs in Africa, with strong support and resources from G7 leaders and nations.


The Bank has also substantially aligned its financing and operations to help accelerate Agenda 2063 and the High 5 agenda of the Bank (Light Up and Power Africa; Feed Africa; Industrialize Africa; Integrate Africa; and Improve the Quality of Life of the People of Africa) are achieving good results. Over the past four years, it is estimated that18 million people were provided with access to electricity, through “Light Up and Power Africa”: 141 million people gained access to improved agricultural technologies for food security, through “Feed Africa”; 13 million people benefited from access to finance from private sector investment projects, through “Industrialize Africa”; 101 million people benefitted from access to better transport through “integrate Africa”; 60 million people benefit from improved access to water and sanitation under “Improved quality of life for the people of Africa. In summary: in less than five years under Dr. Adesina’s leadership, the Bank’s investments have benefitted and impacted a total of 333 million Africans.


You will agree with me that these achievements are commendable and the Bank has been placed in a strategic position to fast track Africa’s development.

Finally, under Dr. Adesina’s leadership of the Bank, it has continued to maintain its Triple A (AAA) rating by all global rating agencies over the past five years.
As Africa faces COVID-19, Dr. Adesina again took bold measures to ensure the Bank can respond proactively to support African countries and got its Board of Directors to approve a $10 Billion crisis response facility to support African countries. In addition, the Bank successfully launched a $3 billion “Fight COVID-19” social impact bond on the international capital market, secured at 0.75% interest rate. The social bond is the largest US dollar denominated bond ever in world history. The bond is now listed on the London Stock Exchange where it has been oversubscribed at $4.6 billion.


Given these great achievements, Dr. Adesina was unanimously endorsed for re-election for a second term as President of the Bank by all Heads of State and Governments of the ECOWAS region. At the Africa Union
Summit in February of 2020, all 55 African countries endorsed him for reelection for his second term, as the sole candidate as President of the African Development Bank.


Despite these achievements and impressive leadership for the Bank and passion for Africa’s faster-paced development, and his clear endorsement by all of African countries for re-election for his second term, there are some attempts, led by some non-regional member countries of the Bank to frustrate his re-election. At issue are some allegations made by some whistleblowers that alleged that Dr. Adesina violated Code of Ethics as President. Dr. Adesina strongly denied the allegations as fabrications and misinformation to disparage and discredit him. The laid down due process at the Bank, the Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors, Chaired by the Executive Director from Japan and with members who represent shareholder member countries evaluated the allegations over a period of 3 months.

The Ethic Committee of the Board of Directors, after examination of each of the 16 allegations of the whistleblowers had dismissed each and all of the allegations as baseless and without any substantiation. The Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Bank following review of the Ethics Committee report exonerating Dr. Adesina concurred with the conclusions and exonerated Dr. Adesina of all the allegations. The Ethics Committee and the Chairman of the Board of Governors had performed their duties as laid down in the Rules and regulations of the Bank.


Unfortunately, the US Government, through the US Treasury Secretary, has written a public letter (that was also distributed to the Press globally) to disagree with the conclusions of the Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors and the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Bank. Instead of accepting the exoneration of the President of the Bank, they called for an “independent investigation”.

This is outside of the rules, laws, procedures and governance systems of the Bank. The US Treasury Secretary disparaged the Bank and ridiculed the entire governance system of the Bank, which has been in place since 1964. This is unprecedented in the annals of the African Development Bank Group. If we do not rise up and defend the African Development Bank, this might mean the end of the African Development Bank, as its governance will be hijacked away from Africa.


I therefore propose that we all collectively issue a press statement to support the laid down procedures embarked upon to evaluate the allegations against the President of the Bank and to recommend that the Board of Governors as well as the Ethics Committee of the Bank should firmly stand by their process and its outcome. We should speak against the introduction of alien practices being recommended by some parties given that such recommendation falls outside the laid down procedure, laws, rules and regulations of the Bank. It is also critical that we emphasize the need for the ADB to remain an Africa-focused development Bank rather than one which serves interests outside Africa.

cc:
H.E Boni Yayi
H.E Festus Mogae
H.E Hailemariam Desalegn
H.E John Kufour H.E Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
H.E Joyce Banda
H.E Joaquim Chissano
H.E Tandja Mamadou
H.E Thabo Mbeki
H.E Kgalema Motlanthe
H.E Benjamin Mkapa
H.E Jakaya Kikwete
H.E Mohamed Marzouki (Former President of Benin)
(Former President of Botswana)
(Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia)
(Former President of Ghana)
(Former President of Liberia)
(Former President of Malawi)
(Former President of Mozambique)
(Former President ofNiger)
(Former President of South Africa)
(Former President of South Africa)
(Former President of Tanzania)
(Former President of Tanzania)
(Former President of Tunisia)

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Pan Africa Government Affairs Xchange established by ETHICORE
May 28, 2020 | 0 Comments
ETHICORE Founder and CEO and Africa GX President, Abdul Waheed Patel
ETHICORE Founder and CEO and Africa GX President, Abdul Waheed Patel

Leading African Government Affairs firm, ETHICORE is proud to announce the formation of Africa Government Affairs Xchange (Africa GX: www.africagx.com). This coincides with Africa Month and Africa Day (25 May 2020), commemorating the founding of the Organisation of African Unity 57 years ago in 1963.

Africa GX is the only multi-country African government affairs alliance of its kind, specialising in public policy, legislative, regulatory, government relations and public affairs for clientele in Africa. Founded and exclusively convened by ETHICORE, Africa GX aims to be the largest strategic alliance of owner-managed African government affairs firms and expert advisors operating according to high ethical standards.

According to ETHICORE Founder and CEO and Africa GX President, Abdul Waheed Patel:
“We are proud to establish Africa GX as a unique milestone, further positioning ETHICORE and our elite partners, as providers of high-quality government affairs services and strategic counsel to African and international clients. Over the past decade we have cultivated enduring bilateral strategic partnerships with reputable firms and professional advisors of high pedigree and integrity, in various African countries. Africa GX consolidates this and advances ETHICORE’s strategy to be the leading Pan-African government affairs firm, transcending borders in collaboration with our partners.”

On inception, Africa GX weaves a presence across 27 African countries in Sub-Saharan, Francophone, Anglophone, Lusophone and North Africa. This includes:
1. Benin
2. Burkina Faso
3. Botswana
4. Cameroon
5. Central African Republic
6. Côte d’Ivoire
7. Chad
8. Democratic Republic of the Congo
9. Ethiopia
10. Egypt
11. Gabon
12. Ghana
13. Guinea
14. Guinea Bissau
15. Kenya
16. Mali
17. Mauritania
18. Morocco
19. Niger
20. Nigeria
21. Rwanda
22. Senegal
23. South Africa
24. Tanzania
25. Togo
26. Zambia
27. Zimbabwe

According to Patel: “Professional government affairs consulting and advisory services in Africa is nascent. Africa GX differentiates ETHICORE and our partners, creating a competitive advantage for our clients that is unrivalled in Africa. As a bespoke continental alliance, we provide local expertise to service clients across the African continent, appropriately tailored and sensitive to each country. It embodies our collective contribution to pragmatically advance the aspiration for greater African integration and unity.”

Today more than ever, specialised African government affairs expertise is imperative to advancing the tenets of participatory democracy and Africa’s democratic dividend. Africa GX upholds responsible and constructive government relations, public policy and regulatory advocacy, which is evidence based and contributes to impactful decision-making by African governments, Parliaments and regulators.

African countries and economies are seized with immense opportunities and challenges in pursuit of national development plans, advancing the African Union’s Agenda 2063, deepening economic integration by implementing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and coordinating COVID-19 response measures.

Africa GX will be expanding its footprint into all 55 African Union members states by growing the alliance through new memberships, partnership and affiliations.

Founded in 2009, ETHICORE Political Lobbying is a decade young pioneering African Government Affairs firm headquartered in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa. ETHICORE specialises in providing professional government affairs consulting and advisory services, helping companies and organisations to interpret, navigate, constructively engage with and positively contribute to public policy, legislative, regulatory, governmental and parliamentary decision-making. The firm has a track record of supporting more than 107 clients across 15 different industry sectors in multiple African countries. Africa GX is a wholly owned subsidiary of ETHICORE.

*Source AMA/ETHICORE

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Almac Group Supports Two COVID-19 Clinical Studies in Sub-Saharan Africa
May 28, 2020 | 0 Comments
Dr. Robert Dunlop, Managing Director and President, Almac Clinical Services

Grant awarded from the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, an Initiative by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome and Mastercard

Almac Group, the global contract development and manufacturing organisation, has received a $288,000 grant to support a clinical study in Sub-Saharan Africa in efforts to find a treatment for Coronavirus. This was awarded from the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, an initiative by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome and Mastercard.

Almac Clinical Services is providing a full range of clinical trial solutions from protocol through to patient delivery, whilst Almac Sciences is providing analytical support, direct from its global headquarters in Craigavon, Northern Ireland. In an effort to expedite the drug development process, Almac Clinical Services has received the active drug and is providing over encapsulation services, manufacturing a placebo match, packaging and labelling the supplies to support this blinded clinical trial. Almac Sciences is conducting rigorous analytical and stability testing for the investigational drug.

Dr. Robert Dunlop, Managing Director and President, Almac Clinical Services commented. “This virus is threatening peoples’ lives and livelihoods and nowhere worse than in the poorer regions of the world. Almac’s global capabilities and expertise enables us to play our part and support efforts to find a vaccine and/or treatment for Coronavirus. We are delighted to be awarded this grant from the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator and to be supporting these clinical studies in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Almac Clinical Services will ship all supplies to the clinical site with onward management of logistics and distribution of quality drug for delivery safely to patients. This Covid-19 study is being led by an African Principal Investigator. In addition, Almac is supporting a second open label clinical study through the distribution of commercial packs to a pharmacy in South Africa. Due to its comprehensive range of innovative and flexible services, Almac was approached to support these urgent clinical studies by R&D Supply Chain Advisors, Brizzey LLC.

The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator is an initiative launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome and Mastercard, with funding from an array of public and philanthropic donors to speed up the response to the COVID-19 pandemic by funding the identification, assessment, development and scale up of treatments.

*

A unique culture delivering exceptional solutions

The Almac Group is an established contract development and manufacturing organisation providing an extensive range of integrated services across the drug development lifecycle to the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors globally. Its innovative services range from R&D, biomarker discovery development and commercialisation, API manufacture, analytical services, formulation development, clinical trial supply, IRT (IVRS/IWRS) through to commercial-scale manufacture.

The international company is a privately owned organisation which has grown organically over the past five decades now employing over 5,600 highly skilled personnel across 18 facilities including Europe, the US and Asia.

*Source Almac Group,

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No Governance or Constitutional crisis at the African Development Bank Group-Board Chair Nialé Kaba
May 28, 2020 | 0 Comments
There is no governance or constitutional crisis at the African Development Bank Group, says Nialé Kaba

Chair of the Bureau of the Board of the African Development Bank Nialé Kaba has thrown cold water on insinuations and media reports of a tense atmosphere at the Bank.

“There is no governance or constitutional crisis at the African Development Bank Group. It is indeed false that the President of the Bank Group has been or is being asked to step down from his position,” Kaba says in a statement shared with Pan African Visions.

Seeking  to clear the air with some media reports on the recusal of AFDB Chairman Akinwumi Adesina, Board Chair Kaba says no decision has been taken.

“Everyone must allow the Bureau to do its work and allow due process to reign and all the Governors will be carried along in resolving the issue,” Nialé Kaba concludes .

Full Letter below

Communication Regarding the Whistleblowers’ Complaint Against the President of the Bank

The Bureau of the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank met on Tuesday, 26 May to consider the matter arising from a whistleblowers’ complaint against the President of the Bank, which was dealt with by the Ethics Committee of Board of Directors of the Bank and for which I received letters from some shareholders expressing various views.

Following the meeting, my attention has been drawn to several publications in the national and international press regarding the content of the deliberations of the said meeting, and I am compelled to make clarifications in order to avoid any misunderstanding.

The Bureau, which I chair, wishes to reassure the public that it is seized with the matter and that it is treating it with the utmost seriousness that it deserves. Further, the Bureau informs the public that it has not taken any decision as falsely conveyed in some publications.

I must emphasise that there is no governance or constitutional crisis at the African Development Bank Group. It is indeed false that the President of the Bank Group has been or is being asked to step down from his position.Everyone must allow the Bureau to do its work and allow due process to reign.

All the Governors will be carried along in resolving the issue.Chair of the Bureau of the Board

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Menstrual Hygiene Day: Taboos and traditions a hindrance to menstrual hygiene management in Ghana.
May 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Ahedor Jessica

Ethnic groups in Ghana, like many other African countries, have diverse opinions and thoughts about menstruation. While the natural phenomenon is seen as unclean in some clans’ others also believe that menstrual blood can be used to invoke supernatural forces or bad omen.

In a typical traditional home in Ghana, women and adolescent girls have to leave their homes to sleep in relative house during their menses.  Girls raised in Muslim homes have to stay away from attending the five daily prayers while menstruating. Some Christian sects’ bar women from entering their chapels when they are menstruating.

United Nations Children’s Fund, UNIEF 2016 research on menstrual hygiene management in Ghana, stated that traditions and taboos surrounding menstruation have proven to be one of the major challenges the sector players are fraught with. Especially in homes where traditional religions are based on animist beliefs and tribal Gods, girls are not allowed to cook for the family when they are menstruating. In extreme cases, menstruating females are even forbidden from touching household wares such as buckets, cutlery or plates and bowls.

This situation does not differ from what Faith Adzorke who lives with the parents at Amaoaman, in the Ga West Municipality of Greater Accra Region has to endure every month.  The 20-year-old couldn’t explain why she has to always move to her maternal side whenever she is about to start her menses. “Ever since I started menstruating at age 11, I have been shuffling between my grand mum’s place and that of my parent’s. My father believes I am unclean when it is ‘that time of the month’. I have to move to my maternal home and only return after my menses”. 

Traditionalist, Osofo Yaw believes there is a spiritual connotation to mensuration and can even been traced to the bible. To him the phenomenon has the potency of neutralizing any form of charm meant to serve as a protection for an individual or a household. Sometimes, materials used in ensuring menstrual hygiene once soaked with blood if not properly disposed of can be use as charms against the women and for ritual purposes, he explained.

But a consultant, physician specialist Koma Jehu-Appiah asserts there is the need to distinguish between culture, religion and natural phenomenon that are a part of womanhood. He believes some people gets intoxicated with culture and religion as a result, it impairs education regarding issues that affects human health. “Menstruation is physiological feature that distinguishes women from men”. Cultural and religious restrictions remained the norm of African most societies contributing to the myth around the subject matter but the only way to breakthrough is education; he added.

Ellen Gyekye, the Head of school Health and Education program (SHEP) at the Ghana Education Service called for continuous support for capacity development of SHEP structures at the school level by promoting and collaborating effectively to imbibe in the younger generation menstrual hygiene habits. She added that community sensitization is key to the success of eliminating stereotypes about the natural happening.

Touching on UNICEF’s recommendation report on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) to the government, she maintained MHM be made part of the everyday conversation between teachers and adolescent girls. She is optimistic the new curriculum will rob- in the various policy recommendations made by the sector players on equitable school health policies that favor MHM.

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Gambia:Deejay Limbo Unveils new song ‘Tobal’
May 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay 

Deejay Limbo, Austria based Gambian multiple Award winning  artiste has released a new song called “TOBAL”

Recorded at LMG Studios by Dj Sap and is available in all digital platforms includes ITunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer ,Tik Tok and Amazon.

TOBAL is a wollof word that simply means Ball Juggling. The Song talks about how some ladies are selective about what their partners gets for them. Tobal is a beautiful song that connects Afrobeats to Wollof melodies.

Below you can listen or download the via the link..
https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=jGUE7yd0u6A

About: DeeJay Limbo

Deejay Limbo is a dancehall/ reggae artist and songwriter. Born in a small town, Latrikunda-German in a West African country called the Gambia. He has since relocated to Austria where he has been on the music scene since 2011 and has made a name for himself.

Limbo has collaborated with many dancehall/ reggae artists’ such as Jamaican born Jah Vinci and Ghana’s very own Stone Bwoy, and Gambia’s finest Reggae star Rebellion D RECALLER. Limbo once had the opportunity to be signed to G-Note Records, a record label in the United Kingdom, but due to circumstances things didn’t play out the way he envisioned, but he still did not give up.

He had the opportunity to work with some great producers like Hakim from Sunland Music and a former member of ‘The Boys’ group, Jugglerz Records producing hits like ´Smilling Coast´ and Stefario Brown producing hits like ´Mi Gyals Dem Badd and Overdose.

In July 2019, Deejay Limbo Dropped his Biggest Song so Far “Dohi Bandi”, The Song Happened to be the Most Viral internationally by a Gambian Artiste in 2019.

The Video to Song Was Aired on the Prestigious TRACE TV in the AFRIKORA Playlist making him among the First Gambian Artistes to Appear on that Platform. The Video was in the Top 30 Videos for weeks.

Dohi Bandi created the Avenue for Deejay Limbo to embark on his very first European tour and selling out venues in the cities of Stuttgart and Bologna.

In November 2019, he released he Debut EP called “Le Début” which was launched in a grand sold out event at Club Spielplatz in his City of Residence Linz.

Deejay Limbo Made it to the OPEN MIC FESTIVAL’S 2019. Open Mic Festival is the Gambia’s Leading and Biggest Event.

He thereafter won the Wa Sa Halat music awards Gambia  Foreign Based Artist Of The Year Award for 2019


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Zimbabwe:Solar energy producers enticed to feed power to national grid
May 28, 2020 | 0 Comments
A hospital electrician ensures maintenance of the solar panels at the Nkayi District Hospital, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. UNDP/Slingshot
A hospital electrician ensures maintenance of the solar panels at the Nkayi District Hospital, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. UNDP/Slingshot

  By Wallace Mawire 

   

Solar energy producers in Zimbabwe are set to participate in a net metering programme introduced by the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) which will result in the feeding of solar energy power to the country’s national grid.     

According to the ZETDC public relations department, the net metering programme is a scheme in which any existing customer producing solar energy on their premises can feed excess power back into the ZETDC network through a grid-tied invetor and a smart meter,which measures both power consumed by the customer and power supplied to the grid.         

  It is reported that only electrical power units and not money shall be credited to the customer account. This is expected to benefit the customer by keeping their bills low as it reduces the total units billed at the end of the month. According to the ZETDC,net metering is beneficial to the utility and the nation at large through the saving of foreign currency, as there will be less power imports.                 

 The use of solar energy in Zimbabwe is being intensified at a time when the country has suffered periods of chronic electricity shortages in recent years. This has led to an increasing number of Zimbabweans to install small solar systems.  Also businesses in the country are embarking on measures which include diversifying energy supply to reduce heavy reliance on grid power energy supply. These include improving energy efficiency and switching to alternatives such as solar for pumping and heating water.                                   

It is also reported that to reduce the amounts of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere, there is need for major restructuring of both industrialised and developing societies.This will entail shifting towards alternative energy sources such as solar energy. Zimbabwe’s warm,dry climate offers tremendous potential to exploit solar power for electricity generation and heating water in urban and rural households. It is also added that since the energy sector is the most responsible for emissions, Zimbabwe needs to find ways to generate power more cleanly and efficiently and adopt renewable energy solutions such as solar,wind and biogas energy.

 Tawanda Muzamwese, Business Council for Sustainable Development Zimbabwe (BCSDZ) Director applauded the initiative by ZETDC saying the development is in the right direction.  “Net metering will ensure that there is an incentive for people to invest in renewable energy. This will ultimately drive an upsurge in the uptake of renewable energy technologies,” Muzamwese said. BCSDZ promotes sustainable development initiatives within business and industry in Zimbabwe.

           

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Afreximbank to establish southern Africa regional office and trade centre in Zimbabwe
May 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire     

President Mnangagwa and Afreximbank President, Dr Oramah

   

The African Export lmport Bank (AFREXIMBANK) is to establish its Southern Africa regional office and a trade centre in Harare, Zimbabwe.  According to the bank in a statement, the complex will be established on a 12000 square metre plot of land in Newlands,Harare.       

    It is reported that the 20 000 sqm proposed iconic mixed- use business complex is expected to provide an integrated one-stop-shop for trade facilitation and trade finance.It is also expected to offer a range of facilities, which include,corporate office space,conference and exhibition centre,innovation and incubation hub,knowledge centre,including hotel and retail facilities.             

The bank has already invited expressions of interest to qualified contractors for the initiative.

 Afreximbank is a pan-African multilateral financial institution headquartered in Cairo,Egypt established to provide financing solutions and advisory services for the expansion, diversification, promotion and development of intra and extra-African trade.

     

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Dangote, MTN emerge most admired African brands
May 27, 2020 | 0 Comments
The 2020 survey was conducted between February and April 2020 and yielded over 15,000 brand mentions and over 2,000 unique brands.

For the third time in a row, Dangote Group has emerged as the most admired African brand, of African continent origin, by consumers, paired with the telecommunication giant, MTN in a survey of 100 Africa best brands announced in a novel global virtual event that incorporated the market openings of Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria.

GT Bank returns to the top spot in financial services and the United Kingdom’s BBC retains its media category ranking as the most admired media brand in separate category sub-surveys of the most admired financial services and media brands in Africa. African brands only occupy 13 of the 100 entries, seven less from last year.

Established 10 years ago, to coincide with the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the world’s biggest single sporting event, the Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands survey and rankings have established themselves as the most authoritative survey, analysis, and metric of brands in Africa.

African brands only occupied 13 of the 100 entries, 7 less from last year’s. Founder and Chairman of Brand Africa and Brand Leadership, Thebe Ikalafeng during an online interactive session via Zoom said: “African brands have an important role in helping to build the image, competitiveness and transforming the continent’s promise into a real change. It’s concerning that in the 10 years since the triumphant FIFA World Cup in South Africa which globally highlighted the promise and capability of Africa, and despite the vibrant entrepreneurial environment, Africa is not creating more competitive brands to meet the needs of its growing consumer market.” Global Client Development Manager, GeoPoll, Caitlin van Niekerk said: “The reach and accessibility of mobile across the continent enabled us to survey respondents across a representative sample of countries quickly and effectively, giving us vital and timely results at a critical time. Kantar has been the insight lead for Brand Africa since inception in 2010.”

It is a consumer-led survey which seeks to establish brand preferences across Africa. The survey is conducted among a representative sample of respondents 18 years and older, in 27 countries which collectively represent 50 per cent of the continent, covering all economic regions and accounting for an estimated 80 per cent of the population and the GDP of Africa. The 2020 survey was conducted between February and April 2020 and yielded over 15,000 brand mentions and over 2,000 unique brands

Out of the top 100 brands in 2010/11, only half still appear in this year’s list due to mergers, acquisitions and the obsolescence of many brands. The most prominent changes are in the technology category with the demise Blackberry (#32 in 2010/11), the consolidation of Vodafone (#54 in 2010/11 and now #13 in 2020) which acquired Vodacom in 2008 and re-branded in 2011, Etisalat (#40 in 2010/11) re-branding to 9 Mobile in 2017 and Motorola (#39) being acquired by Lenovo in 2014. A Chinese brand, Tecno, has raced up the ranking from #33 to #5 in the rankings – a dominant performance for one of China’s premier global brands that are not even sold in China

In his reaction, Group Chief Corporate Communication Officer of the Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina said the management was not unexpected of the ranking because  the company has a long standing reputation for quality, relevance compliance and social stewardship. “Our mission and vision engage and inspire us to by extension connects us to with both our internal and external stakeholders.  

“We fervently believe that only Africans can develop Africa, and this gives us stronger sense of relevance  in all the countries where we have our operations. We are touching lives by providing their basic needs and empowering Africans more than ever before creating jobs reducing capital flight, helping government conserve foreign exchange drain by supporting different industrial infrastructural projects of African government.”

Mr. Chiejina stated further that Dangote Cement has been producing high quality and affordable cement, reducing poverty, engaging in unprecedented philanthropy and above all respecting the laws of the land where we operate. “All these are our credo and we do not compromise it, it is our way. And the ranking is just an acknowledgement of all these by our stakeholders, We keep our brand promise and stay authentic.” he concluded
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Founders of Kobo360 Selected as Endeavor Entrepreneurs
May 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

Fast-growing logistics platform joins the leading global entrepreneur support organisation

Obi Ozor & Ife Oyedele II - Kobo360 Co-founders
Obi Ozor & Ife Oyedele II – Kobo360 Co-founders

Endeavor has welcomed two new entrepreneurs into its global network. Obi Ozor and Ife Oyedele II, co-founders of Kobo360, were selected as Endeavor Entrepreneurs on May 21, 2020. Kobo360 is a digital logistics platform that uses big data and agile technology to reduce friction and improve efficiency in the African logistics ecosystem.

Endeavor is a mission-oriented organisation that is leading the global movement for high-impact entrepreneurship. By helping entrepreneurs behind some of the world’s most exciting scale-up companies accelerate their companies’ growth, and by contributing to building strong entrepreneurship ecosystems in underserved markets like Nigeria, Endeavor is driving economic growth through entrepreneurship. Earlier this year, Endeavor also welcomed Daystar Power (a renewable energy company based in Nigeria and Ghana) and Migo (a financial technology platform operating in Nigeria and Brazil) into its network. 

Logistics in Nigeria continues to be a challenge. For many businesses, finding the proper truck operators for cargo is difficult and inefficient as they spend days negotiating with brokers, searching for trusted truck drivers, and pursuing updates on delivery. Kobo360 is solving this challenge for businesses by using its digital platform to match cargo-owners with truck owners, while providing real-time updates throughout the entire delivery process. The company also offers value-added services such as trip-financing, discounts on diesel, and insurance.

“We’re excited to welcome Kobo360 into Endeavor’s network which includes some of the world’s most exciting scale-up entrepreneurs and most experienced mentors and investors. Fixing Africa’s supply chain is clearly important for commerce on the continent, and Kobo360’s rapid growth over the past 3 years is evidence that the company’s valuable services are in critical demand. Obi and Ife are inspiring founders and their relentless focus on scaling Kobo360 serves as an inspiration to high-impact entrepreneurs everywhere”, said Eloho Gihan-Mbelu, the Managing Director & CEO of Endeavor in Nigeria.

Since launching in 2017, Kobo360 has surpassed several milestones, including a $30 million Series A in August 2019. “It’s an honour to be joining this global network of high-impact entrepreneurs and to have Endeavor recognise our efforts to transform Africa’s logistics sector using technology. As entrepreneurs, we wanted to turn African problems into African opportunities. Focusing on logistics, Ife and I started Kobo360 to not only fix the inefficiencies that exist, but to build opportunities for the businesses we serve and most importantly, the hundreds of thousands of truck drivers across Africa. This is a fundamental milestone in Kobo360’s journey; our Global Logistics Operating System [GLOS] will revolutionize supply chain across emerging markets and with Endeavor’s support, we’re able to make invaluable global connections that could be leveraged for our expansion and growth”, said Obi Ozor, Co-founder & CEO of Kobo360.

Obi Ozor and Ife Oyedele II were successfully selected as part of a cohort of 10 entrepreneurs from five markets. With the recent addition of Kobo360, Endeavor Nigeria now supports 16 entrepreneurs who lead 10 scale-up stage companies in Nigeria, spanning fintech, renewable energy, entertainment, logistics and retail. 

Established in 1997, Endeavor is a mission-driven, global organization leading the high-impact entrepreneurship movement. Endeavor was founded on the belief that job creation, innovation, and overall prosperity flourish where there is robust support for high-impact entrepreneurs. To date, Endeavor has screened more than 60,000 entrepreneurs and selected more than 2,000 founders leading over 1,200 scale-up companies. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created over 3 million jobs, generate more than $20 billion in revenue each year, and inspire future generations to innovate, take risks, and build strong entrepreneurship ecosystems in underserved markets. Headquartered in New York City, Endeavor currently operates in nearly 40 growth markets throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America.

Endeavor launched its Nigeria office in 2018, to select and support the best founders of companies at

the scale-up stage, who have potential to leverage Endeavor’s global resources, mentors and network to create large-scale wealth and jobs. Endeavor Entrepreneurs are committed to multiplying their impact by reinvesting their time and money to help others in Nigeria’s ecosystem take off. Today, in Nigeria, Endeavor supports 16 Endeavor Entrepreneurs leading 10 companies


Kobo360 is a digital logistics platform that aggregates end-to-end haulage operations to help cargo owners, truck owners and drivers, and cargo recipients to achieve an efficient supply chain framework. Developing an all-in-one logistics ecosystem, Kobo360 leverages data and technology to reduce logistics frictions. Kobo360 enables unprecedented efficiency and cost reduction in the supply chain, providing 360-visibility while delivering products of all sizes safely, on time and in full.

The Kobo360 mission is to build the Global Logistics Operating System that will power trade and commerce across Africa and emerging markets. With operations across West and East Africa, Kobo360 is one of the fastest growing tech start-ups out of Africa.

About the Founders

Obi Ozor is the CEO and Co-Founder of Kobo360. With over seven years of logistics and supply chain experience, he manages all key aspects of Kobo360 including operations, controlling investments, compliance risk management and product growth. Obi completed his Biochemistry degree at the University of Michigan before graduating from the Wharton School of Business. After completing his studies, Obi worked at J.P. Morgan as an Investment Banker before becoming the Operations Coordinator at Uber Nigeria. In 2016, he left Uber alongside Ife Oyedele II to launch Kobo360, the digital logistics platform. 

Ife Oyedele II is the Co-Founder & Chief Growth Officer of Kobo360. He has worked in various capacities with several global brands including Mercedes Benz, Financial Services and the CFI Group USA LLC. In 2016, he combined forces with business partner Obi Ozor to launch the asset free logistics startup ‘Kobo360’. He is passionate about incubating and developing innovative IT customer solutions. Oyedele oversees the growth and expansion of the Kobo360 platform across Africa. He was previously the Chief Technology Officer overseeing Technology Innovation & Product Development.   


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Continental Reinsurance Honours Top African Journalists at Virtual Awards Ceremony
May 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

77 business reporters from 15 French and English African countries participated in the 2020 Pan African Re/Insurance Journalism Awards

Leading Pan African Reinsurance firm, Continental Reinsurance Plc, has honoured winners of its 2020 Pan African Re/Insurance Journalism Awards at a virtual awards ceremony following travel restrictions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the fifth edition of these prestigious awards, five winners were picked from 77 entries that were submitted by business reporters from 15 French and English-countries under the four categories: Best re/insurance Print Article, Best re/insurance Online Article, Best re/insurance Broadcast Article and Best re/insurance French Article – print/online/broadcast.

Isaac Khisa (The Independent, Uganda), emerged the winner for the Best re/insurance Print Article [English category]. His story, titled ‘Across Sub-Saharan Africa, tech-enabled micro-insurance is the next big thing”describes how insurance firms can leverage on the growing mobile phone subscription to extend insurance services to the low income earners who are, in most cases, not catered for under the current conventional insurance services.

David Njagi, a freelance journalist from Kenya, bagged the award for the Best re/insurance Online Article [English category] for his feature Voice of resilience: Kenyan radio builds herders’ trust in drought insurance”, which was published in Thomson Reuters. The story focuses on how a community-based radio is helping Northern Kenya understand and learn how to benefit from Islamic weather insurance (Takaful).

The award for the Best re/insurance Broadcast Article [English category] went to Destiny Onyemihia (Voice of Nigeria, Nigeria) for his story, “Sustaining businesses through cyber insurance” that explores how businesses can sustain their operations in the midst of the rising cyber threats and attacks in the country.

Joel Assoko (Jeune Afrique Media Group, France) emerged the winner for the Best re/insurance French Article – print/online/broadcast. In his story, ‘‘La guerre des assureurs aura bien lieu’’ (Original French title of the article that could be translated as ‘Indeed, the War among Insurers will take place’).  Joel explains about a profession which is not well known or understood in Africa, and is usually mentioned only in critical and negative situations. Yet, it is still a vital pillar for African economies, one that can promote balanced growth and ensure a better future. The aim was to allow the general public get more familiar with the crucial changes occurring within the industry.

The Future Talent Award was won by Dominic Omondi (The Standard Group, Kenya) for his inspiring article titled “How doctors are dragging medical insurers to early grave” that addresses the issue of perverse incentives, and how insurance companies in Kenya have sunk into losses as healthcare providers inflate their charges. This award was recommended by the judges to recognise the outstanding entry among the four categories. It replaces the existing pan-African re/insurance Journalist of the Year Award.

In recognition of the winners’ participation and exemplary reporting, Continental Reinsurance will offer a cash prize of USD2000 for Future Talent Award, USD1000 for the category winners and USD500 for the 1st and 2nd runner-up positions. All the winners will benefit from mentorship on re/insurance reporting.

‘‘We hope that these awards inspire you to cover issues related to re/insurance and improve the overall quality of reporting,” noted Dr Femi Oyetunji, Group CEO, Continental Reinsurance during the virtual event.

Dr Oyetunji added: “We will continue to support and build capacity for journalists so they can contribute to the development of the re/insurance industry in Africa,’’ The 15 countries whose journalists participated in the awards were: South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Botswana, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Malawi, Zambia and Namibia (Anglophone). Francophone countries represented were Morocco, Cameroon and Benin.

‘‘Even though we’ve seen the number of entries double over the years, we wish to encourage more female participants to enter for future awards,’’ said Dr. Oyetunji.

All the entries were evaluated by an independent judging panel consisting of international experts in insurance and journalism. Michael Wilson, the Chief Judge commented: “It’s been a particularly strong year for submissions. As chair of the international panel of esteemed judges, I can tell you that choosing the winners wasn’t very easy this time around.’’

Other judges were Nadia Mensah-Acogny (Journalist, Forbes Afrique) – Senegal; Dr. Jared Obuya, Lecturer, Moi University – Kenya; Kenneth Igbomor, Market News Editor (West Africa), CNBC Africa – Nigeria; Gareth Stokes, Founder, Stokes Media Group – South Africa; and Shiamdass Appannah, Insurance Industry Expert – Mauritius. 

Now in its fifth year, the Pan African Re/Insurance Journalism Awards recognise the outstanding work of re/insurance journalists from across the continent and require participants to demonstrate how their articles have raised awareness and understanding of the re/insurance sector in Africa.

This year’s award ceremony was scheduled to take place during the Continental Re’s 7th CEO Summit in Morocco. The event was however cancelled due to the current COVID-19 pandemic that has seen many countries institute measures to contain the spread of the virus, including imposing tough travel restrictions.

About Continental Reinsurance

Continental Reinsurance is a composite private pan-African reinsurer that has been on the continent for more than 30 years writing business in more than 50 countries across the African continent. Established in 1985, Continental Reinsurance provides support to over 200 insurance companies in Africa with its main offices in Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Tunisia and Botswana.  

About the Pan African Re/Insurance Journalism Awards

Sponsored by Continental Reinsurance, the Pan-African Re/Insurance Journalism Awards recognise the outstanding work of journalists on re/insurance from across the continent. Successful candidates have to demonstrate how their articles have raised awareness and understanding of the re/insurance sector in Africa. Launched in April 2015, the awards are an extension of Continental Reinsurance’s continued commitment to the advancement of excellence in the industry. Link to Awards web page.


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Feet ‘N’ Tricks International, Africa’s Largest Promoter of Freestyle Football unveils Freestyle Africa Unlocked 2020 Championships
May 27, 2020 | 0 Comments
Titi Kone of Cote d’Ivoire wins the Africa Freestyle Football Championships of 2019. Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, Chairman of Feet ‘N’ Tricks International presents the 2019 Champion in September 2019 in Lagos, Nigeria. (Photo Credit: Ibrahim)
Freestyle UNLOCKED Africa 2020 is the fourth installment of the annual football freestyle event

The largest promoter of Freestyle Football in Africa, Feet ‘N’ Tricks International , has unveiled the maiden edition of the Freestyle UNLOCKED Africa 2020 championship which is first of its kind on the continent.

Valentine Ozigbo, the Chairman of Feet ‘N’ Tricks International, in the company’s first vitual press conference held on Zoom on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, revealed that the championship is going to be online and packed with prizes and suprises to “develop and nuture an art, a lifestyle, and a passion for many”.

Freestyle UNLOCKED Africa 2020 is the fourth installment of the annual football freestyle event.

A respected Nigerian business leader and philantropist, Mr. Ozigbo, speaking from Lagos, expressed his passion and commitment to continue to grow freestyle football in Africa. “We will not stop till an African emerges the World Champion, and we host the World Freestyle Football Championships in Nigeria and, who knows, it might even be in my home state of Anambra.”

While noting that the world was going through a difficult time owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Ozigbo explained that his passion for the development of the freestyle genre of football spurred him to find a way past the pandemic in order to continue a tradition which had become his passion. He further stated that while most other sports had shut or scaled down, freestyle football can go on very easily in a non-contact manner to respect the physical distancing rules.

The press conference was attended by over 150 participants including leading publishers, journalists, professional freestylers, and sports enthusiasts from across the continent.

Some of the prominent personalities in attendance were Daniel Woods, a co-founder of the World Freestyle Football Association, Amaju Pinnick, Nigeria’s top football administrator, Lukas Skoda, Operations Manager for WFFA, Odyke Nzewi, a Director of Feet n Tricks, and Dele Momodu, the founder of Ovation Media Group.

Top professional freestylers who joined the event are Titi Kone, who is the reigning African champion, Ayoub Haouas from Tunisia, Ashley Mkhize from South Africa, and Patofs from Madagascar.

Daniel Wood, while speaking at the conference, thanked Ozigbo for seeing beyond the despair and helplessness in the world to hope and opportunities using virtual means.

Wood stated that the global lockdown caused a lull in global sporting activities and applauded Mr. Ozigbo for his tenacity, as Freestyle Unlocked Africa 2020 is the only freestyle competition holding this year asides the World Freestyle Football Championship which is currently ongoing.

He also expressed his enthusiasm for Freestyle Unlocked Africa 2020 as he saw it as an opportunity to showcase the beauty and talents that are untapped in Africa.

Amaju Pinnick, the President of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), delivered a goodwill message in which he echoed the praises and encouragement of Mr. Wood.

The Nigerian football boss wished Feet ‘N’ Tricks the best of luck for Freestyle Unlocked Africa 2020 and pledged support from the country’s football federation.

Mr. Ozigbo broke down the mechanics of the contest indicating that it is designd for inclusiveness and will have male and female competitors win daily prizes while freestyle footballers would compete for the $1000 grand prize. A total of $6,300 will be given out in cash prizes.

Valentine Ozigbo, who is the immediate past President and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Plc, called on well-meaning sponsors and sports-lovers alike to seize this chance to push forward a culture that can rally people and foster unity and oneness.

Freestyle Unlocked Africa 2020 begins on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 and the grand finale holds on Monday, July 20, 2020.
Feet ‘n’ Tricks International Limited is the official host for freestyle football competitions in Africa. The company is strongly committed to growing awareness and participation in the art form that is freestyle football. The company has hosted successful annual championships since 2017. Freestyle Unlocked Africa 2020 will be the 4th edition of the championships. The events are held in partnership with the World Freestyle Football Association, the world body governing the sport.
*SOURCE Feet ‘N’ Tricks International
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