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Kenya’s HydroIQ wins “Startup of the year Africa 2018”
February 13, 2018 | 0 Comments
This year, more than 600 startups from 52 different countries took part, more than 12 000 online votes were gathered, and 41 million people reached on social media
CASABLANCA, Morocco, February 12, 2018/ — Startup.Info (https://Startup.info) has announced the winners of the “Startup of the Year 2018 competition” following an awards ceremony which took place in Casablanca at the end of last month.

Following the success of the first edition of “Startup of the year Africa”, the collaborative startup magazine Startup.Info has reiterated its commitment to supporting African innovation. With the support of major international groups such as OCP, ENGIE, QWANT, FINANCE INNOVATION, PwC, Labs-NS-Avocats, Holmarcom Group, Royal Air Maroc, as well as 70 media and ecosystem partners, Startup.Info launched the 2nd edition of the contest “Startup of the year Africa”.

This year, more than 600 startups from 52 different countries took part, more than 12 000 online votes were gathered, and 41 million people reached on social media.

The jury of experts of the competition « Startup of the year Africa 2018 » on January 24, 2018 to choose the winners of the following awards:

Startup of the Year Africa 2018: HydroIQ (Kenya) (https://Startup.info/hydroiq)

Founded by Brian Bosire & Victor Shikoli, HydroIQ is a virtual Water Network Operator. It brings intelligence in water distribution by preventing leakages on the network and automatic (mobile) billing a payment.

QWANT PUBLIC CHOICE Award: Ecodome (Maroc) (https://Startup.info/fr/ecodomemaroc)

Founded by Youness Ouazri, Ecodome Maroc produces ecotouristic housing made of natural soil in the form of domes.

OCP – AGRITECH Special Prize: GRACE AGRICOLE DE COTE D’IVOIRE (Côte d’Ivoire) (https://Startup.info/fr/graci)

Founded by Brou Kouame Yves Laurent, GRACI is a startup aiming at the development of rice production in Ivory Coast. It proposes a program of production, certification and distribution of Improved Certified Seeds of rice.

ENGIE Special Prize STARTUP OF THE YEAR Award : Peachwater Consulting (Nigeria) (https://Startup.info/powerstove)

Founded by Okey Ibekwe Esse, Peachwater Consulting designs, manufactures and markets Powerstove clean cookstove that is smokeless and generates electricity with 70% less biomass fuel than competitors.

FINANCE INNOVATION – FINTECH DESTINATION AFRICA & 

ROYAL AIR MAROC – AFRICA DIASPORA Award : Semoa (France) (https://Startup.info/fr/semoa

Founded by Edem ADJAMAGBO, SEMOA proposes a solution to the development of e-commerce in Africa by installing payment terminals throughout the continent.

Holmarcom Group Special Prize: THEA (France)

Founded by Dr. Eloi MONKAM, THEA is a medical mobile app that connects patients to doctors for a first diagnosis.

PwC – JURY CHOICE AWARD: Priyo (South Africa) (https://Startup.info/priyo)

Founded by Palesa Mahlatji, PRIYO has developed a portable solar digital smart computer lab to train youth from underprivileged, under-resourced schools and communities in rural and peri-urban areas on how to use the computer. Priyo trains them in IT: End user computing, ICT, Digital Marketing and E-Learning and links job seekers to online employment opportunities.

COMMUNITY MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Project Alpha (Madagascar) (https://Startup.info/fr/projectalpha)

Founded by Muriel RANDRIAMASIMANANA, Project Alpha is an event agency. Its principal activity is based on video games and e-sport phenomena.

JURY and EXPERTS « STARTUP OF THE YEAR AFRICA 2018 »

The finalists of the competition have been selected by a jury of experts, DGs of big international groups and successful startuppers:

  • Selma Bennis, OCP Entrepreneurship Network, Head of Partnership and Finance
  • Amine Homman, Regional director, ENGIE North Africa
  • Eric Leandri, Chairman, QWANT
  • Stéphane Quéré, Director, ENGIE
  • Joëlle Durieux, Executive Director, FINANCE INNOVATION
  • Kossi Adzo, Founder, Startup.Info
  • Bernard Gainnier, Chairman, PwC France and Francophone Africa
  • Fortuné Ahoulouma, Lawyer at Paris bar, PhD, LABS-NS AVOCATS
  • Noël Albertus, Executive Director, PwC Advisory Maghreb and Francophone Africa
  • Kosi Vuti, Executive Director, Midrange Consulting
  • Bruno Pennel, CIO, Bernis Investissement
  • Cécile Saint Jean, Director, PwC France
  • Zouhair Mouhib, Royal Air Maroc, Innovation & Digital partnerships manager
  • Mohamed Laraqui, Holmarcom Group, Project Manager
  • Cyril Armange, Directeur des Partenariats, FINANCE INNOVATION

The Awards Ceremony has been broadcast live (videos & live tweets) during its entire duration. You can have an overview on Facebook and Twitter pages with the hashtag #StartupAfro

The winners will receive the following awards:

Jury Prizes « Startup of the Year Africa 2018 »:

The following rewards will correspond to different kinds of prizes:

The Jury Award « Startup of the Year Africa 2018 »:

  • Main prize: African startup of the year :  10,000€ in Cash and a 10,000€ Visibility Pack (Startup.info website background with 100,000+ views, mention in press campaign, banner in emailing), integration into our partners’ business network.
  • PwC – Jury-s choice award:  Visibility Pack with 50,000 views and integration into our partners’ business network.

Special Partner Awards:

In addition to the jury and the public awards, our partners will grant special awards accompanied with a Startup.Info communication pack :

  • OCP – AGRITECH Special PRIZE: 10000€ visibility Pack offered by Startup.info, visibility in OCP internal network, integration into entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem of OCP Entrepreneurship Network
  • engie – SPECIAL PRIZE : 10,000€ Visibility Pack offered by Startup.info, visibility in ENGIE internal network, integration into entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem of ENGIE
  • FINANCE INNOVATION Fintech destination Africa Award : 10,000€ Visibility Pack offered by Startup.info, a year membership of FINANCE INNOVATION international cluster, integration into FINANCE INNOVATION Business Network
  • Startup.Info Africa diaspora startup of the year : 10,000€ Visibility Pack offered by Startup.info, integration into our partners’ business network.

Public choice awards:

  • QWANT Public choice award : (N1 of public voting top 100) : 2,000€ in cash offered by Qwant, 10000€ Visibility Pack offered by Startup.info, Branding of Qwant’s homepage
  • N 2 to 5 of public voting top 100 : visibility pack with 20,000 views  and integration into our partners’ business network.
  • Started in 2011 by Kossi ADZO  (https://goo.gl/MTFkhW) (Software engineer, Ex Nokia), Startup.Info (https://Startup.info) has become the first collaborative magazine dedicated to the promotion of startups.
    Startup.Info aims at :
    • Making startups known to the innovative startup ecosystem, journalists, investors and early adopters
    • Allowing major groups meet startups necessary for their transformation, via application calls, competitions and tailor made events

    Startup.Info is also a database of 12 000 startups, 3000 of which are available in free access. 100 new startups shared every month, 90 000 subscribed users and more than 100 000 unique visitors per month. Our competition and application calls have already attracted 12000+ startups candidates from 58 countries and more than 150 000 public votes.

  • OCP (www.OCPgroup.ma) is proud to play an important role in feeding a growing global population, by providing essential elements for soil fertility and plants growth.
    With almost a century of experience, OCP Group is a leader in the phosphate rock and derivate markets. OCP provides a wide range of well-adapted fertilizer products to enhance soil, increase agricultural yields, and help feeding the planet in a sustainable and affordable way.
    Headquartered in Morocco, OCP works in a close partnership with more than 160 customers over 5 continents.
    For more information visit: www.OCPgroup.ma

    About ENGIE Group
    ENGIE (www.ENGIE-africa.com) is committed to taking on the major challenges of the energy revolution, towards a world more decarbonised, decentralised and digitalised. The Group aims to become the leader of this new energy world by focusing on three key activities for the future: low carbon generation in particular from natural gas and renewable energy, energy infrastructure and efficient solutions adapted to all its customers (individuals, businesses, territories, etc.). Innovation, digital solutions and customer satisfaction are the guiding principles of ENGIE’s development. ENGIE is active in around 70 countries, employs 150,000 people worldwide and achieved revenues of €66.6 billion in 2016.
    For over 50 years, ENGIE has been active in many African countries through its energy engineering business, its natural gas purchase agreements with Algeria, Egypt and Nigeria and more recently as an independent power producer in South Africa and Morocco with a total capacity of 3,000 MW either in operation or under construction. By 2025, ENGIE aims to become a reference partner in about ten African countries for power plants, energy services to businesses and decentralized solutions for off-grid customers – communities, companies and households.
    For more information, visit www.ENGIE-africa.com

    About QWANT
    QWANT (www.QWANT.com) is the European search engine that respects the privacy of its users. It enables web users to quickly access information and find the content they wish (web pages, news, videos, photos, products, music…) in a pleasant and intuitive user interface, without collecting any personal data when they search. Thus, Qwant guarantees to the user the right to search without being tracked. It delivers non-biased results, not modified according to a commercial profile. With Qwant Junior, it offers a secure and educational search engine for kids.
    Based in France, with subsidiaries in Germany and Italy, Qwant was launched in 2013 by individual entrepreneurs who own the majority of the capital and manage the company. The search engine is also supported by strategic stakeholders, Axel Springer and the Groupe Caisse des Dépôts, as well as by the European Investment Bank.
    For more information visit: www.QWANT.com

    About FINANCE INNOVATION
    Founded in 2007 with the support of public authorities, FINANCE INNOVATION (https://Finance-Innovation.org) aims to accelerate the French position in the global financial services sector by directly supporting the next era technology led financial services innovators from start-ups to institutions.
    FINANCE INNOVATION is the unique cluster for innovation in the French financial sector, has directed concrete actions to accelerate the creation and development of innovative projects devoted to economic, societal and environmental challenges in the service of growth and employment.
    With over 500 members (our members are primarily innovative SMEs, bank and insurance corporation but also major universities, research labs, public authorities), through its programmes and events, ongoing policy and research and promotion FINANCE INNOVATION seeks to address the key barriers and opportunities in the financial ecosystem :
    • Champion France as the principal European hub for FinTech
    • Advocate for a democratic and inclusive financial services industry
    • Support SMEs of the territory in their search for capital and funding
    • Attracting greater investment
    • Promoting Innovation in financial services

    For more information visit: https://Finance-Innovation.org

    About PwC France and Francophone Africa
    PwC (www.PwC.fr) is developing its advisory, audit and accounting services in France and Francophone Africa by leveraging an industry-specific approach.  More than 223,000 people in 157 countries belonging to the PwC international network share their ideas, expertise and innovative views to deliver high-quality service to clients and partner companies.
    Implanted in Africa for nearly 40 years, PwC is located in 34 countries including 23 Francophone countries that gather more than 1,000 people. Being committed in the development of the continent, PwC provides services throughout Africa to private companies, financial institutions, governments and public institutions.
    By working every day to advise clients and support them in their success, PwC actively contributes to the development of the French economy. Through its studies and expert analyses, PwC is also committed to preparing for the economies of the future and developing new technological applications. Lastly, by providing solutions for risk management, PwC creates trust among stakeholders and helps maintain a secure environment at the heart of the economy.
    “PwC” refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity.
    For more information, visit www.PwC.fr

    About LABS-NS Avocats
    LABS-NS AVOCATS (http://LABS-NS.com) is a Parisian Business Law Firm focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Social Business and Innovation issues.
    Involved in a digital, social, economic and environmental transformation, LABS-NS AVOCATS provides Legal support to innovating actors as Telecommunication Operators, Incubators/Accelerators, Startups (Fintech, EdTech…) in Africa and in Europe.
    For more information, visit http://Labs-NS.com

    About Holmarcom Group
    Holmarcom (www.Holmarcom.ma) is a Moroccan private group with a privileged role among the major players of Moroccan economy. It operates in several core businesses: Finance, Agro-Industry, Distribution & Logistics and Real Estate.
    Driven by an ambitious business project and human resources mobilized around a common vision, the Group consolidated its leadership by pursuing a policy of innovation and an entrepreneurial growth strategy in the wake of the national economic dynamic. Proud of its roots and its history, Holmarcom continues its investment policy in key strategic sectors for the sustainable growth of Morocco and the African continent, with certain daring, unwavering ambition and thoroughness in execution, combining sound growth and long-term profitability objectives.
    For more information, visit  www.Holmarcom.ma.

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Abuja Selected to Host Afreximbank’s 2018 Annual Meetings and 25th Anniversary
February 9, 2018 | 0 Comments
Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance of Nigeria, (left) and Dr. George Elombi, Afreximbank Executive Vice President, exchanging views during the meeting in Abuja.

Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance of Nigeria, (left) and Dr. George Elombi, Afreximbank Executive Vice President, exchanging views during the meeting in Abuja.

Cairo, 09 February 2018: – Nigeria has emerged the host country for the 2018 African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) Annual Meetings (AAM2018) and 25th Anniversary celebrations scheduled to take place from 9 to 14 July, the Bank announced today in Cairo.

Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance of Nigeria, conveyed the country’s readiness to host the event in a recent letter to the Bank in which she stated that the Government and people of Nigeria felt highly honoured at being considered to host the meetings and anniversary.

The two events will be held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja and will feature a series of seminars exploring various aspects of trade and economic development and looking at the transformation of African economies through trade. There will also be the meeting of the Afreximbank Advisory Group on Trade Finance and Export Development in Africa.

Other activities include an investment forum hosted by the Nigerian Government, a trade exhibition, and formal celebratory activities marking the Bank’s 25th Anniversary. The events will conclude with the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of the Bank.

To kick off preparations for AAM2018 and the anniversary celebrations, an Afreximbank delegation led by Dr. George Elombi, Executive Vice President (Governance, Corporate and Legal Services), traveled to Abuja from 31 January to 3 February for meetings with the Minister and her team and to inspect the facilities to be used.

During the meeting with the Minister, she reiterated Nigeria’s readiness to provide all the necessary support to ensure the success of AAM2018 and the anniversary celebrations.

Earlier, Dr. Elombi noted that holding AAM2018 and the anniversary celebrations in Nigeria was like a homecoming for Afreximbank, given that the first Annual General Meeting of the Bank had been held in the country and that Nigeria played a significant role in the establishment of the Bank.

He also pointed out that the Nigeria accounted for a significant portion of the Bank’s business, with critical financing support extended to many Nigerian corporates and entities.

Several serving and former African Presidents and heads of state, as well as many high-profile political and business leaders, are expected to attend the events where they will be joined by the shareholders of the Bank and other stakeholders.

The full AAM2018 and 25th anniversary event programme will be released in due course. In the meantime, details about the registration and participation procedures, can be found by clicking on the link below:

http://www.afreximbank-am.com/

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ATIGS 2018 Will Connect Global Investors To The African Market In A Unique Way- Bako Ambianda, Snr Dir of GAA Exhibitions & Conferences
February 9, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

On June 24 the 2018 Africa Trade and Investment Global Summit (ATIGS), will kick off in Washington D.C.Bringing together new and established partners from around the world to increase business ties, and partnerships,the summit will highlight and showcase trade and investment opportunities and development solutions across Africa and enable companies from around the world to scale or establish operations in Africa and beyond. Since the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit, there have been few summits of this magnitude in Washington DC , and  to learn more about the scope, and objectives of the event, Pan African Visons spoke to a leading member of the organizing team Bako Ambianda, Senior Director of GAA Exhibitions & Conferences 

ATIGS 2018 will welcome delegates from over 40 African countries says Bako Ambianda

ATIGS 2018 will welcome delegates from over 40 African countries says Bako Ambianda

 Could you tell us more ATIGS?

 The Africa Trade & Investment Global Summit (ATIGS) is a unique high-level conference and exhibition, prestigious, biennial business platform designed specifically to promote and facilitate international trade between Americas, Asia, Caribbean, EU, UAE, with Africa; to facilitate foreign direct investment in Africa; and to provide a platform for businesses to expand into new markets. ATIGS is where companies around the world looking to expand or establish their business operations in Africa come to gain strategic knowledge about local investment opportunities, and connect with competent authorities, and businesses from Africa.

Who will attend ATIGS 2018?

The ATIGS 2018 edition scheduled on June 24 to 26, 2018 will gather key economic players from more than 70 countries, including government delegations, African buyers, high-profile African leaders, project developers, and international investors. The event has a well-structured format for facilitating direct peer engagement, for more advanced deal-making, co-investments, strategic partnerships, and business networking.

What is the theme of ATIGS 2018?

ATIGS 2018’s theme is “Driving Trade, Unleashing Investment, and Enhancing Economic Development: the Gateway to African Markets. ATIGS 2018 will provide access to African markets as a one-stop shop, and connect global Investors to Africa market.

 What are the sectors of focus for ATIGS 2018? 

ATIGS program will cover 16 economic sectors particularly manufacturing, agribusiness, power, construction, infrastructure, transportation, IT, tourism, telecoms, healthcare, fintech, textile, and natural resources sectors.

 Which African countries will delegates be coming from?

We anticipate to welcome delegates from over 40 African countries. We currently have confirmed delegates from 32 countries including South Africa, Algeria, Nigeria, Angola, Morocco, Cameroon, Kenya, Namibia, Ghana, Ethiopia, Gambia, and Uganda among others.

Which Western countries will delegates be coming from?

We already have registered delegates from UK, Spain, UAE, Turkey, Brazil, France, Switzerland, and Canada, among others. It must be noted that ATIGS is an Africa-global business event, so we anticipate delegates from more than 70 countries, and we currently have ATIGS country representatives in over 75 countries working on mobilizing delegates from their respective countries.

Who are some key speakers confirmed to grace the Summit?

We currently have 124 confirmed high-level speakers from more than 65 countries, which include  key speakers like Dr. Munir Ahmad Ch, President of Aspire World Investments LLC from United Arab Emirates, Hon Senator Ike Ekwerenmadu, Deputy Senate President of Nigeria, Hon Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, Ghana Minister of Transport, Walid Loukil, Deputy Managing Director of Loukil Group from Tunisia, Xoliswa Daku, Founder & CEO of Daku Group of Companies from South Africa, Asma ALAOU, CEO of Africa Key Partners from Morocco, Belarmino Van-Dúnem, Chairman of Angola’s Investment and Exports Promotion Agency from Angola , Meir Moalem, CEO & Managing Director of Sky and Space Global  from United Kingdom,  Dr. Richmond Annan, President of iRichie Group Inc from Texas, and Andrew Herscowitz, USAID Power Africa Coordinator, among others.

ATIGS 2018 will provide access to African markets as a one-stop shop, and connect global Investors to Africa market ssys Bako Ambianda

ATIGS 2018 will provide access to African markets as a one-stop shop, and connect global Investors to Africa market ssys Bako Ambianda

How is ATIGS different from other summits focused on Africa?

Unlike most talk-shop conferences focused on Africa, ATIGS moves beyond that, and focuses on bringing together investment promotion agencies (IPAs), trade promotional organizations (TPOs), and international development organizations (IDOs) all under one roof to showcase investment opportunities to global investors, and enhance trade engagements between Americas, Asia, Caribbean, EU, UAE, with Africa in an ultimate business platform ideal for conducting G2B, G2G and B2B meetings.

We currently have 58 confirmed trade, investment and development organizations (TIDO’s) which include, Angola’s Investment and Exports Promotion Agency; Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Entreprises Du Cameroun; Ghana Investment Promotion Centre; Gambia Ports Authority; Guyana Office For Investment; Lesotho National Development Corporation; Lagos State Employment Trust Fund;  Namibia Ministry of Industrialization; Trade and SME Development; Nigeria National Economic Council; Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency, among others.  Also, ATIGS is a conference and exhibition.

 Tell us about the exhibition segment of the event?

You know, the exhibition is my favorable part of ATIGS. It will be divided into two sections. The exhibition hall 1 will showcase trade and investment opportunities in Africa by trade and investment agencies, and exhibition hall 2 will be dedicated for companies to showcase their products and services. Some highlights include Agriculture Pavilion, and Real Estate Pavilion. We currently have confirmed exhibitors from Spain, Brazil, Australia, UAE, Kenya, Kenya, and U.S.

 Why Is ATIGS held in June 2018?

ATIGS is held under the umbrella of World Business Week on Africa, and strategically positioned between the 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit (highest-profile event FDI event in USA), and the 27th World Gas Conference (world’s largest global natural gas event). It is estimated that Over 18,000 business leaders, media, and global investors will be in Washington D.C for different business and investment events all happening from June 20 to June 29, 2018.Therefore delegates that will make it to ATIGS 2018 (June 24-26,2018) can easily use one stone to hit three birds in terms of networking, deal-making, strategic partnerships, meetings, and more.

 (Other Flagship Africa-focused small events to be held within the same week include: Arica-China Economic Forum, UAE-Africa Business Forum, US-Africa Manufacturing Forum, EU-Africa International Business Congress, LAC-Africa Business Forum, Africa FDI Shark Tank, Electrify Africa Forum, Africa Smart Cities Forum, Africa Construction and Infrastructure Forum, Africa Consumer Technology Forum, among others.)

 Who are the key partners in the event?

We are delighted to organized ATIGS 2018 in partnership with Trustrade Consulting Group, Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Africa Global Chamber of Commerce, Franchise Africa, The Varanda Network, Ignite Trade Africa, Footprint to Africa Limited, and World Trade Center Antananarivo, among others.

We are also honored to have the endorsement of International Trade Centre for ATIGS 2018. The Council is helping us to invite / arrange external speakers, representatives of government agencies and the media, create and design some important topics to be discus at ATIGS 2018, and will promote the event in the Council newsletter, social media channels and on the Council’s website.

Given the big ambitions ATIGS 2018, how long will the event last?

ATIGS 2018 is a three-day event with unique activities, top rated speakers and high-level participation. The formats are designed to give delegates more opportunities for questions, debate, and peer to peer interaction, but still with the same high-quality content delegates will come expecting from ATIGS 2018. We will have Roundtables, Investors’ Zone, ATIGS Awards Dinner, Meet the FDI Experts, Bilateral Meetings, and Signing Ceremony, among others.

 Why host an African event in USA?

The vision of ATIGS is built on the model of rotating the location of the summit every two years through a bidding process and organizing country specific ATIGS in between. So, the upcoming ATIGS events include: ATIGS 2018 – Washington D.C, ATIGS 2020 – Dubai; ATIGS 2022 – Beijing; ATIGS 2024 – Brussels, ATIGS 2026 – Addis Ababa; and, ATIGS 2028 – South America. As the host country for Africa Trade and Investment Global Summit 2018, The United States of America serves as a model for ATIGS 2018 for several reasons including its high number of embassies in Washington, D.C and the high Access to capital, as the ​United States hosts the most developed, liquid, flexible, and efficient financial markets in the world. Washington D.C also host over 40 African embassies making it easy for companies all round the world to engage with Africa during ATIGS 2018.

 Tell us about some delegations coming to the Summit?

We currently have over 18 confirmed delegation groups from all around the world including Gabon, Algeria, Hong Kong, China, Ghana, Angola, Kenya, Japan, Zambia, Cote d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Guinea, Congo DRC, Nigeria, Singapore, Togo, South Africa, and Ghana, among others. The numbers will increase soon as the event is still developing.

What are you most excited about ATGS 2018 and Beyond?

Good question. I am excited about our portfolio of investment sourcing and trade facilitation initiatives that will connect African businesses to world-class investors and strategic partners, which will help get more African projects off the ground. We are building a pipeline between investors and top scalable, profitable opportunities across Africa that enhance economic development. Some of our innovative programs includes Africa FDI Shark Tank, Bankable Projects Showcase, ATIGS Business Matchmaking, Africa Worldwide Alliance Partnerships (AfriWAPA), Africa FDI Academy, ATIGS Deal Marketplace, and other programs set to lunch, ATIGS CEO Network, and Cities Network on Trade and Investment, among others.

 How do you see Africa in the context of its strategic position in the world?

We all know that Africa is the world’s next major economic success story and has tremendous opportunities. Africa is the second most attractive investment destination in the world and trade flows have expanded by 15 percent per year since 2006, with $2.6 trillion Africa’s collective GDP by 2020, $1.4 trillion Africa’s consumer spending by 2020, and 122 million people will be added to workforce by 2020.

I see Africa position in the world as the forecast that foreign direct investments and international trade will continue to increase rapidly. As Africa’s reputation for a viable location for investment increases, so does its significance in trade.

With interest in the continent growing exponentially, some of today’s newest business players are originating from non-traditional regions such as South America, Eastern Europe, the Gulf, and Africa itself. While well-established and new partners from Europe, North America, and Asia continue to be valued, it is interesting to note that the private sector’s scope of attention is increasingly widening to include, especially among newcomers, consumer-market industries including food, IT, tourism, finance and retail.

Where can people learn more, or register for ATIGS 2018

There is a comprehensive website www.atigs2018.com which contains everything to know about ATIGS 2018 and registration can be done directly on the website.

 What other Information will you like to share about ATIGS 2018

 ATIGS 2018 is shaping up to be an exceptional show with unique activities, multitude of strategic business opportunities, top rated speakers, and high-level participation. I urge you to visit ATIGS 2018 official websitewww.atigs2018.com, for all latest developments.

 Thank you so much for talking to Pan African Visions

The pleasure is mine, and thanks for the great work you do in promoting events like this, and covering Africa in a more positive way.

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The AFRICA CEO FORUM sets out its program for transforming the African private sector
February 9, 2018 | 0 Comments
  •  The major annual gathering for the African private sector takes place on 26 and 27 March in Abidjan
 
  • More than 1,200 decision-makers from more than 60 countries are expected to debate the theme of “African Champions: Powering Competitiveness”
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, 8 February 2018, -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The AFRICA CEO FORUM will hold its 6th edition on 26 and 27 March 2018 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. More than 1,200 key figures and decision-makers from industry, finance and politics will converge from 60 countries to attend the world’s largest gathering of the African private sector.

With its chosen theme, “African Champions: Powering Competitiveness”, the AFRICA CEO FORUM 2018 aims to enable its participants to formulate action plans for the transformation of the continent’s large companies. The African private sector has developed strongly over the past two decades, most recently showing its capacity to resist a period of economic slowdown. But the number and size of leading companies remains small when measured against other emerging regions. While economic recovery takes shape, the unprecedented technological disruption that is occuring all over the world can be a tool for African champions to grow ever faster, to increase their competitivity, and to challenge their counterparts at a global level. Despite the risks they pose to industry in terms of job creation, these digital revolutions also enable acceleration on a new scale in several fields: financial inclusion, logistics, access to health and education, agricultural competitivity and innovation among them.

Providing the business climate continues to improve and investment to strengthen, this large-scale evolution will also result in a new generation of dynamic African companies.

Through twenty sessions organized by sector and region, case studies by top CEOs, success stories, strategic workshops, and themed task forces (on female leadership and young CEOs), the 2018 edition of the AFRICA CEO FORUM sets out to open the perspective on a new era for the private sector, and to make the next ten years of growth a decade of entrepreneurial transformation in Africa.

Among the key speakers to lead the debate:

Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire; Philippe Le Houérou, CEO of the International Finance Corporation; Jim Ovia, Founder and CEO of Zenith Bank; Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization; Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever; Claudio Descalzi, CEO of ENI; Naguib Sawiris, Executive President of OTMT; Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank; Kuseni Dlamini, Chairman of Massmart; Mohamed El Kettani, CEO of Attijariwafa Bank; Diego Aponte, CEO of MSC; Geoffrey Qhena, CEO of IDC; Zouhaïr Bennani, CEO of Label’Vie; Janine Kacou Diagou, Managing Director of the NSIA Group; Yolanda Cuba, CEO of Vodafone Ghana; Junior Ngulube, CEO of Sanlam; Issad Rebrab, Chairman of the Board of Cévital; Abderrahmane Benhamadi, CEO of Condor; Alassane Doumbia, CEO of SIFCA; Bruno Mettling, Deputy CEO in charge of Africa and the Middle East, Orange; Patrick Akorli, CEO of Ghana Oil Company; Austin Avuru, CEO of Seplat Petroleum; Joshua Oigara, CEO of Kenya Commercial Bank Group; Vuyani Jarana, CEO of South African Airways; Oluwatoyin Sanni, CEO of United Capital; and Tonye Cole, CEO of Sahara Group.

About the AFRICA CEO FORUM
The AFRICA CEO FORUM is organized by Jeune Afrique Media Group, the publisher of Jeune Afrique and The Africa Report, and by rainbow unlimited, a Swiss company specialized in event organization and economic promotion. With the success of its 2017 edition, which welcomed almost 1,200 business leaders from Africa and the world, the AFRICA CEO FORUM has established itself as the main international event for the African private sector to discuss the continent’s development in a highly professional environment ideal for business networking. The 2018 edition is co-hosted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC, part of the World Bank Group).

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Macron set to visit Nigeria in July
February 7, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Olayinka Ajayi
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) greets Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari upon his arrival at the Elysee palace on December 12, 2017 in Paris, for a lunch as part of the One Planet Summit. / AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) greets Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari upon his arrival at the Elysee palace on December 12, 2017 in Paris, for a lunch as part of the One Planet Summit. / AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT

All is set for France President, Emmanuel Macron to visit Nigeria in July and will  seek to address the joint session of the National Assembly,

Speaking in Abuja, Ambassador of France to Nigeria Mr. Denys Gauer, in a courtesy visit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon Yakubu Dogara, at the National Assembly, Gauer stated that President Macron has shown deep interest in the future and development of Nigeria.
He revealed that Mr. Macron had worked in the French embassy in Abuja early in his career for six months some years ago and that whereas relations between the two countries in the last few years have centred on security, the France President  hopes to use the visit to further deepen relations with Nigeria especially in areas such as youths development, culture and creativity.
Responding, Speaker Yakubu Dogara said that members of House of Representatives and indeed the National Assembly will want to listen to the French President whom he described as “a man of our generation”.
He has brought a lot of youthful zest, dynamism charisma and appeal to French politics and we will want to yield the floor to him.
The Speaker further commended the French government for assisting Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists and pledged to give expeditious passage to all bilateral agreements that will be signed between Nigeria and France during Macron’s visit.
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Cash or custody: Israel kicks off deportation of African migrants
February 6, 2018 | 0 Comments

Out of 6,800 requests reviewed so far, Israel has granted refugee status to 11 migrants. It has at least 8,000 more requests to process.

Israeli authorities have said Israeli officials will keep in touch with migrants accepted in a third country to oversee their progress. Rwanda has said it will only accept migrants who have left Israel of their own free will.

Nonetheless, the U.N.’s refugee agency has urged Israel to reconsider, saying migrants who have relocated to sub-Saharan Africa in the past few years were unsafe and ended up on the perilous migrant trail to Europe, some suffering abuse, torture and even perishing on the way.

Rights groups in Israel say the government is simply ridding itself of people it should be recognizing as refugees in Israel and that there was no real guarantee for their safety.

A fence Israel has built over the past few years along its border with Egypt has all but stopped African migrants from entering the country illegally. Beginning in the previous decade, when the border was porous, a total of 64,000 Africans made it to Israel though thousands have since left.

Emmanuel Asfaha from Eritrea crossed into Israel in 2011 with his wife and baby son. His second child was born in Israel.

A narrow grocery store stockroom stacked with bags of flour leads to their two-room apartment in Tel Aviv, a poster of Jesus hanging on the cracked walls above his son’s bed. Asfaha is concerned Israel will eventually deport families too.

“I am worried about the situation,” he said while cooking Shiro, a traditional stew. “Tomorrow it will be for me also.”

A few kilometers away, in a hip, upscale part of Tel Aviv, Ben Yefet, a 39-year-old stockbroker, said he had signed up with Miklat Israel to house two or three migrants in his two-room apartment.

“As Israelis and Jews we are obligated. We have a moral compass, we just have to do it,” he said.

*Source Reuters

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Will the Stability Doctrine in Africa destabilise the world?
February 6, 2018 | 0 Comments

Amidst rising discontent, foreign governments are increasingly asserting the importance of “stability”. But for whom? To what end? For how long?

BY NANJALA NYABOLA*

Credit: Rwanda Government.

Credit: Rwanda Government.

In 2017, the world watched as Kenya endured one of the most complicated election cycles ever. In the hotly-contested initial August vote, the incumbent won. As expected, the opposition contested the result in court. Many saw merit in the complaints, but were nonetheless shocked when the Supreme Court ordered a re-run. Unhappy with the hurried process that ensued, and fuelled in part by an opposition boycott, however, voters largely avoided the repeat poll in October, which registered a paltry turnout of less than 40%.

The Kenya case throws up an interesting contradiction of modern foreign policy. Western diplomats have long preached the gospel of good governance in the developing world. But as these uncertain events unfolded last year – with the police killing 78 civilians and the electoral commission itself admitting it had made a shambles of the second vote – Western ambassadors kept urging Kenyans to recognise the importance of one particular idea.

That idea was not “rule of law”, “democracy” or “free, fair and credible” elections. It was “stability”.

More than 15 million voters refused to participate in the Kenyan election re-run. The process was widely seen as illegitimate and has likely sowed seeds of dissatisfaction that could undercut the ability of the ruling party to govern for the next five years. But despite this, diplomats continue to parrot the cardinal importance of “stability”.

This was not the first or last time this word echoed around the continent in 2017. From Togo to Egypt, and from Chad to Gabon – all of which have seen popular protests come up against state power – the emphasis on stability has taken precedence over, say, political engagement. As Cameroon’s government gunned down protesters, arrested activists en masse, and shut down the Internet in Anglophone regions, for example, international actors urged a return to stability. As simmering discontent in Ethiopia led to online blackouts, heavy force and a state of emergency, Western diplomats supported the government in restoring the same.

It has even become the strategy taken in relation to Eritrea, nominally a pariah state, but now a lynchpin in Europe’s immigration policy. When it comes to Western engagement with Africa, stability is the mot du jour.

The Stability Doctrine

In the name of this “Stability Doctrine”, foreign governments tip the political balance in favour of existing power and the state. They bolster the short-term status quo, even if that means disregarding visible discontent and overlooking state abuses. They pick power over protesters, and privilege the interests of others over those of the citizens in the countries at hand.

One of the main reasonings behind this approach is inseparable from the global march of neoliberalism. Foreign extraction from Africa is not new, but steady social and political conditions are a particular priority for today’s predominant form of exploitation. Corporations hungry for endless growth – more so than states looking to manage a balance of power – need predictable politics to operate.

Unlike some periods of history, the focus today is also notably short-termist. During the Cold War, African nations were seen as potential allies in long-term, ideological world-building projects. But today’s Stability Doctrine is focused only on the next few years. It has no interest in building institutions, embedding good governance, or understanding the underlying causes of threatened instability. It has little concern for the implications of its actions in the future – because by that time, it will be someone else’s problem.

Two things have changed in the last ten years that have led to this particular brand of the Stability Doctrine. Firstly, the rise of China, Turkey and other non-Western countries has threatened the West’s long-standing economic domination in Africa. This has given African elites – amongst the key beneficiaries of “stability” – more leverage and led Western policymakers, afraid of losing their patronage networks, to weaken their good governance agenda.

At the same time, the 2007/8 global economic collapse has made opportunities to extract from Africa all the more important. African markets, labour and natural resources have never been more integral to resolving urgent economic challenges in other parts of the world.

Delay, defer, deny

What’s wrong with stability uber alles? First and foremost, it puts a risky mortgage on the future of Africa. It is an alliance between outsiders and African elites whose mantra is eat now and delay, defer or deny the consequences.

The Stability Doctrine treats Africa as a place to make as much money as quickly as possible, not a place where people live, love and exist. It ensures African countries continue to play a position in the periphery of global politics, providing raw materials, markets, and an acquiescent labour force for multinational corporations.

The focus on stability treats the tremendous effort and risk that African activists and politicians take to shift the political discourse as secondary to the interests of foreign governments. It sees widespread demands for greater justice, democracy and accountability as less important than holding things steady – at least at the levels important for foreign business.

The reality, however, is that while outsiders are tipping the scales in favour of wealth and the status quo in the corridors of power, African countries are growing increasingly inhospitable for many of their citizens, particularly the youth. In 2017, thousands died attempting to cross the Mediterranean, while the African Union estimates that another 200,000 are currently zig-zagging across the Sahara chasing after the same dream.

They leave partly because of the collateral damage of “stability” or profiteering over all else. They leave because there is no land to work – much of it sold off or unusable thanks to the ravages of climate change. They leave because their educations are worthless as privatisation has eaten away at public universities. They leave because their leaders spend more on weapons to maintain power than they do on healthcare. They leave because police officers show up at their doorstep and summarily arrest, detain or kill anyone who dares to hold a political opinion that threatens the country’s “stability”.

Stability for whom? For how long?

In 2018, things in many countries in Africa are probably going to get worse before they get better. Millions of young people will come of age in countries that have little room for them.

In Kenya, the authority of the executive elected under suspect conditions will probably be tested more than ever. In Cameroon and Ethiopia, protests will likely continue and may escalate. Meanwhile, in Gabon, the two Congos, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and beyond, disillusionment will continue to swell even while African and Western elites hold fast on the promise, and profit, of short-term stability.

The point is not that instability is the answer. Rather, it is that when confronted with the Stability Doctrine, we must ask “stability for whom?”, “stability to what end?” and “stability for how long?”.

The Stability Doctrine as it is shuts African citizens out of their politics, lest they rock the boat, and leaves them abandoned. That may pave the way for predictable market conditions that benefit international corporations and African elites today and maybe even tomorrow. But what of everyone else? And what of the day after?

The Stability Doctrine is an imposter usurping a vacuum left by the slow erosion of ideological (versus commercialised) Pan Africanism. In 2018 and beyond, it’s important to re-assert that Africa is not just an idea or a market that must remain open for business at all costs. Enough Stability Doctrine – it’s time for a foreign policy ideology that asserts the dignity and personhood of African people over all else.

*Source African Arguments.Nanjala Nyabola is a Kenyan writer, humanitarian advocate and political analyst, currently based in Nairobi, Kenya. Follow her on twitter at @Nanjala1

 

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U.S. ROADSHOW TOUR TO SPUR ACTION ON INCREASING U.S. INVESTMENT IN AFRICA
February 6, 2018 | 0 Comments

TOUR AIMS TO FOSTER GREATER BUSINESS CONNECTIONS BETWEEN AFRICAN AND U.S. BUSINESSES AND INVESTORS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 17, 2018 – The Initiative for Global Development (IGD) will embark on a four-city roadshow tour from April 18-28, 2018, across the United States aimed at re-shaping perceptions on doing business in Africa by highlighting investment opportunities and forging stronger connections between U.S. and African business leaders in key growth sectors.

The U.S. roadshow tour, “Africa Investment Rising: Building Momentum for Investing in Africa’s Economic Prosperity”, is a multi-city series of site visits, panel discussions, and speed networking among investors and business leaders to spur greater U.S. investment in Africa.

African and global CEOs and senior executives from sector-leading companies and investors in the U.S. and African countries are invited to participate in the U.S. roadshow. IGD is a U.S.-based network of African and global business leaders who are committed to sustainable development and inclusive growth through business investment.

Launching the U.S. roadshow in Washington, D.C on April 18, the roadshow tour will travel to New York City to highlight banking, financing, insurance and investment; Des Moines, IA for agriculture and agro-industry; and Houston, TX for oil and gas, energy, natural resources and infrastructure.

With some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, the African continent is increasingly becoming an attractive investment destination for emerging markets investors. Yet, estimates show that only 0.3% of the average portfolio in the U.S. is invested in Africa.

“Those of us investing in Africa know about the high returns and lucrative business and investment opportunities on the continent,” said Dr. Mima S. Nedelcovych, President & CEO of the Initiative for Global Development. “Creating favorable global perceptions about the business environment in Africa will go a long way in attracting greater investment in African countries with the right business climate.”

“Now, more than ever, there’s a need to change the narrative about doing business in Africa. The Africa Investment Rising roadshow will travel into the heartland of the U.S. to bring real business opportunities and connect African and American business leaders for networking, business matching and knowledge sharing,” said Nedelcovych.

Each city will begin with an exclusive site visit for African delegates featuring innovations in leading industries, followed by a half-day forum and executive speed networking where U.S. and African private sector leaders and investors can make deals and business agreements to create new markets in both regions. Participants have the option of attending one or all stops on the U.S. roadshow.

The Initiative for Global Development (IGD) is a Washington, DC-based network of African and global business leaders who are committed to advancing sustainable development and inclusive growth in Africa through business investment. IGD brings together CEOs and senior executives from leading African and global companies through our Frontier Leader Network to catalyze greater business investment and impact on the African continent.

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SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS VACATIONS® OFFERS AN AIR-INCLUSIVE “LOVE CAPE TOWN” PACKAGE FROM $1999*
February 5, 2018 | 0 Comments

Fort Lauderdale, FL (February 02, 2018) – Just in time to celebrate Valentine’s Day, South African Airways Vacations® (SAA Vacations®), the leisure division of South African Airways is offering a 5-night air-inclusive experience in the beautiful city of Cape Town. Starting at just $1,999* per person (restrictions apply) travel from New York – JFK between April 01 – May 31, 2018, and August 11-31, 2018 and enjoy the breathtaking views and exhilarating activities in sophisticated Cape Town.

SAA Vacations’® “Love Cape Town” package offers a stay in one of the hottest new hotels in the city center, Tsogo Sun’s Sun Square Cape Town City Bowl. This modern hotel boasts a hip and fresh edgy design, free wi-fi, an onsite restaurant serving complimentary breakfast daily, great service and personalized hospitality. With its convenient central location, travelers can explore the city of Cape Town, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, iconic Table Mountain and Lion’s Head and the trendy neighborhood restaurants and club scene of the “Mother City”.

The “Love Cape Town” package includes a Cape Point bike & hike tour. A fun way to experience the sights and sounds of the picturesque Cape Peninsula exploring the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and enjoying the breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean from the summit at the Cape Point lighthouse. Also included is a Hop on Hop off Red City Tour, the easiest and most convenient way to visit Table Mountain, explore the City Bowl, Camps Bay, and the Atlantic Seaboard for the complete Cape Town adventure.

“The Love Cape Town package provides what active travelers are asking for at an incredibly affordable price.” said Terry von Guilleaume, president of SAA Vacations®. “Experience the breathtaking scenery of Cape Town and the Cape Point Peninsula with an exciting bike & hike activity as well as a hop on hop off bus tour to stretch those legs!

This vacation package is a great introduction to the Mother City.”

“It’s fantastic to have a travel partner in South African Airways, which will make travelling to a worldclass destination more accessible. said Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism. The “Love Cape Town” package has been carefully selected to provide a wonderful introduction to some of the best bucket list attractions and experiences the city has to offer. We look forward to welcoming our visitors and sharing everything with them, from our natural environment to our award-winning restaurants and bars.”

SAA Vacations® “Love Cape Town” Package Includes:
• Round-trip Economy Class air transportation from New York JFK Airport to Cape Town on
South African Airways.
• 5-nights at the NEW Sun Square Cape Town City Bowl, on a bed and breakfast basis
• Full-day Cape Point, Bike and Hike Tour
• Full-day pass on the Hop on Hop off Red City Tour bus
• Airport transfers and meet and greet service by South African Airways Vacations
representative in South Africa

“Love Cape Town” package is available for new reservations made as of February 01, 2018. Travelers can book by calling 1-855-359-7228 or their professional travel consultant. South African Airways Vacations offers air-inclusive vacation options for all budgets, with their African Specialist available to ensure their clients experience the vacation of their dreams. For more vacation packages throughout Africa, please visit www.flysaavacations.com.

 

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Unprecedented worldwide support for the Global Partnership for Education and addressing the global learning crisis
February 3, 2018 | 0 Comments
Significant new financial commitments from donors and developing countries will enable new and improved support for the education of millions of children
Press conference (Photo credit: GPE/Heather Shuker)

Press conference (Photo credit: GPE/Heather Shuker)

DAKAR, Senegal, February 3, 2018/ — Ten current and three former heads of state and more than 60 ministers gathered at the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Financing Conference (www.GlobalPartnership.org), making this the highest-level education financing event of its kind.

The conference, co-hosted by President Macky Sall of the Republic of Senegal and President Emmanuel Macron of the French Republic, marks the first time an education financing conference has been hosted by a G7 leader and the president of a developing country.

More than 1200 participants attended including leaders from UNESCO, UNICEF, the World Bank, civil society, philanthropic foundations and the private sector. Rihanna, GPE’s Global Ambassador supported by Global Citizen, also participated.

The size and nature of the attendance at the conference was a visible demonstration of the strengthened global political will to ensure every child is in school and learning. This heightened momentum will enable the Global Partnership for Education to reach the goal of providing US$2 billion a year by 2020 for education planning and delivery to support children’s learning in developing countries.

Donor countries pledged US$2.3 billion in financing to GPE. This is a substantial increase in funding compared to the US$1.3 billion contributed over the past three years. In addition, several donor countries have indicated their intention to pledge further funds over the course of the financing period.

The biggest source of education financing comes from developing countries themselves. More than 50 developing countries announced they would increase public expenditures for education for the period 2018 to 2020 to a total of US$110 billion, compared to US$80 billion between 2015 and 2017.

GPE encourages developing countries to increase their share of education spending to 20% of their overall budget. Of those governments committing today, over two-thirds will have reached that goal by 2020.

I am energized by the generosity and determination we have seen here today to ensure every child and young person has access to a quality education. After today’s commitments, we are seeing a clear trend to seriously address the global learning crisis” said Julia Gillard, Board Chair of the Global Partnership for Education and former Prime Minister of Australia. “The success of the conference marks a turning point for global political support for education financing and brings a new breadth and depth to our partnership.” 

At the conference, the United Arab Emirates joined GPE, becoming the first Arab donor and pledging US$100 million. Senegal, in addition to pledging to increase its own expenditure on education, became GPE’s first African donor. The Netherlands and Spain renewed their involvement, and China attended for the first time.

The unprecedented support today means that the Global Partnership for Education can continue to focus on the most excluded and vulnerable children and work to extend assistance to up to 89 countries, which are home to 870 million children and 78 percent of the world’s out-of-school children,” said Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer, Global Partnership for Education.

 

 

The Global Partnership for Education’s funding model is a catalyst for education investment, working hand in hand with governments of low-income and lower middle-income countries to strengthen their education systems. The Global Partnership for Education supports governments to develop robust national education plans so that funds can then be channeled into their priority areas with confidence that they will contribute to improved quality of education for all children.

The conference was sponsored by: Ecobank, the Pan African Bank; Fondation Sonatel; and Altissia, and supported by Girls Not Brides; Global Campaign for Education; Global Citizen; Malala Fund; ONE; Plan International; RESULTS; and Women Deliver.

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ARC and UN Partner to Increase Insurance Coverage in Africa
February 2, 2018 | 0 Comments

ADDIS ABABA – The African Risk Capacity (ARC), an agency of the African Union, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have announced a new partnership which will see the two organisations work together to increase insurance coverage against climate risks for African states.

The multilateral deal was announced at the African Union’s Annual Summit in Addis Ababa, and commits ARC and ECA to build the capacity of their 33 common Member States by embedding risk management investments into government planning through policy development. ARC and ECA also will share expertise and commit financial resources to joint analytical work in areas of economic and climate risk research in order to promote risk transfer instruments.

The UN estimates that Africa will see the adaptation costs of climate change rise to $50 billion per year by 2050.

“This partnership marks a bold new phase of heightened collaboration on combatting the effects of climate change in Africa,” said Mohamed Beavogui, Director-General of ARC Agency. “The future of disaster risk management is an increasingly urgent economic issue, and ECA’s unique expertise will complement ARC’s work serving its Member States and building preparedness and resilience on the continent.”

In the four years that ARC has offered insurance coverage to its Member States, it has paid out more than USD $34 million to Member States affected by drought events. These resources have assisted over two million people affected by climate disaster.

“Climate change is one of the biggest threats to Africa’s economic and social development,” said ECA Executive Secretary Vera Songwe. “We believe that efforts like our partnership with ARC will help move the needle, so that African countries can be well-guarded against these threats, and they can thrive.”

ECA is a UN regional commission established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN) in 1958. ECA’s mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development. Made up of 54 Member States, and playing a dual role as a regional arm of the UN and as a key component of the African institutional landscape, ECA is well positioned to make unique contributions to address the Continent’s development challenges.

ECA’s strength derives from its role as the only UN agency mandated to operate at the regional and sub-regional levels to harness resources and bring them to bear on Africa’s priorities. To enhance its impact, ECA places a special focus on collecting up to date and original regional statistics in order to ground its policy research and advocacy on clear objective evidence; promoting policy consensus; providing meaningful capacity development; and providing advisory services in key thematic fields.

ARC consists of ARC Agency and ARC Insurance Company Limited (ARC Ltd). ARC Agency was established in 2012 as a Specialised Agency of the African Union to help Member States improve their capacities to better plan, prepare and respond to weather-related disasters. ARC Ltd is a mutual insurance facility providing risk transfer services to Member States through risk pooling and access to reinsurance markets; it is owned by Member States with active insurance policies as well as KfW Development Bank and the UK Department of International Development (DfiD), as capital contributors.

ARC plays an important role in responding to countries’ needs at times of crisis by providing fast access to funding for pre-agreed-upon, rapid response plans developed in conjunction with governments. ARC’s financing complements other forms of local and international support.

In the few years since ARC began, it has proved to be an effective and vital model – paying out USD $34 million to four countries (Senegal, Niger, Mauritania, and Malawi) affected by drought events. Those resources provided assistance for over two million people and approximately one million cattle.

ARC is using its expertise to help tackle some of the greatest threats faced by the continent, including droughts, outbreaks and epidemics, and tropical cyclones.

For more information, please visit: www.africanriskcapacity.org

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African Reinsurance Corporation joins Africa Finance Corporation
February 2, 2018 | 0 Comments
Andrew Alli, President and CEO of AFC with Corneille Karekezi, Group Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Africa Re

Andrew Alli, President and CEO of AFC with Corneille Karekezi, Group Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Africa Re

LAGOS, Nigeria, 1 February 2018,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- African Reinsurance Corporation (“Africa Re”) announces its membership of Africa Finance Corporation (“AFC”), and becomes the first multi-lateral financial institution to invest in AFC.

Africa Re, owned by 41 African states, approximately 107 insurance/reinsurance companies and non-African strategic investors, is the continent’s premier reinsurance corporation, operating across 41 African countries. Africa Re’s membership of AFC will be officially sealed at a signing ceremony to be held in Lagos, Nigeria, on February 1, 2018.

Africa Re’s membership of AFC advances AFC’s growth strategy for its country membership and greater diversification of its shareholding. In recent months, AFC has grown its country membership in Francophone, East and Southern Africa, with the accession in 2017 of Benin, Kenya and Zambia, respectively. AFC now seeks to consolidate this success by further expanding its shareholder base.

Andrew Alli, President and CEO of AFC commented: “We welcome African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re) as a member and shareholder of AFC. As the first multilateral financial institution to become a member of AFC, this is a key milestone for us, as the Corporation seeks to further diversify its shareholding. We are, therefore, pleased to welcome Africa’s premier reinsurance corporation into membership of AFC and look forward to collaborating with Africa Re to provide innovative solutions to the development and financing of infrastructure assets in Africa.”

Corneille Karekezi, Group Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Africa Re, commented: “As a Corporation with both private and public shareholders, we see many synergies with AFC in the pursuit of African continent development agenda as well as business growth. Indeed, we have long admired AFC, and the transformative impact it has made across many of the geographies in which we operate, whilst delivering competitive returns. We are therefore delighted to become a part of one of Africa’s best success stories.”

AFC, an investment grade multilateral finance institution, was established in 2007 with an equity capital base of US$1 billion, to be the catalyst for private sector-led infrastructure investment across Africa. With a current balance sheet size of approximately US$3.5 billion, AFC is the second highest investment grade rated multilateral financial institution in Africa with an A3/P2 (Stable outlook) rating from Moody’s Investors Service. AFC successfully raised US$750 million in 2015 and US$500 million in 2017; out of its Board-approved US$3 Billion Global Medium Term Note (MTN) Programme. Both Eurobond issues were oversubscribed and attracted investors from Asia, Europe and the USA.
AFC’s investment approach combines specialist industry expertise with a focus on financial and technical advisory, project structuring, project development and risk capital to address Africa’s infrastructure development needs and drive sustainable economic growth. AFC invests in high quality infrastructure assets that provide essential services in the core infrastructure sectors of power, natural resources, heavy industry, transport, and telecommunications. To date, the Corporation has invested approximately US$4 billion in projects within 28 countries across North, East, West and Southern Africa.
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Legal questions raised about Nigeria’s extradition of Cameroonian separatists
February 2, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Daniel Finnan*

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (R) and Cameroonian President Paul Biya pose for a photo in Abuja on 3 May 2016. Photo: Stringer/AFP

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (R) and Cameroonian President Paul Biya pose for a photo in Abuja on 3 May 2016.
Photo: Stringer/AFP

The Nigerian authorities extradited 47 Cameroonian Anglophone separatists this week to face charges in Yaoundé where the government has described them as “terrorists”. Concerns have been raised by lawyers about the legality of such an extradition given the lack of any specific treaty between the two countries and outstanding requests made by the separatists for political asylum.

“I’ve not really found any particular extradition treaty between Nigeria and Cameroon,” Abiola Olagunju, Secretary General, Nigerian Bar Association, told RFI. “The nearest one that we have is the charter for the Lake Chad basin that was signed by the president in 2017.”

Ten of the separatists, including Ayuk Tabe, leader of the self-proclaimed Federal Republic of Ambazonia, were arrested by Nigerian security forces at a hotel in Abuja at the start of January.

Olagunju said specific extradition treaties exist with other countries within the Ecowas regional bloc such as Benin, Togo and Ghana, but not with Cameroon. The Nigerian lawyer spoke in general about the legal relationship between the two countries and not specifically about the case of the separatists.

“The first thing we must note is that the crimes or alleged offence must be extraditable, but not every crime or offence is extraditable in Nigeria,” said Olagunju, by telephone. “Political offences are not extraditable […] like treason, sedition and offences against the government of that state,” he added.

Ayuk Tabe is leading a campaign for the creation of a separate English-speaking entity apart from the Francophone administration in Yaoundé. Tensions in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions have grown over the past year.

The crisis began with protests over perceived marginalisation by the Cameroonian authorities. The government responded with a crackdown including curfews, raids and restrictions on travel. More recently another separatist entity called the Ambazonia Governing Council has launched attacks against Cameroonian security forces.

The Ambazonia Governing Council has been clear in its use of violence, carrying out “defensive actions” and “exercising its right to defend itself”, according to its leader Cho Ayaba. On the other hand, Ayuk Tabe has previously told RFI that he eschews violent action and has only ever called for peaceful protests.

Political asylum?

In addition to questions over the extradition arrangement between Nigeria and Cameroon, some have highlighted that the separatists made a request for political asylum in Nigeria and registered with the UN refugee agency.

“The country director of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees did write to the government explaining the legal status of the refugees under international law,” Femi Falana, a Nigerian human rights lawyer who acted for the separatists, told RFI. “But in defiance of the rule of law the Nigerian government has thrown them out.”

Nigeria is a state party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, which cover the rights of refugees and asylum seekers. Depending on the circumstances of the separatists’ extradition, the Nigerian government may have violated the terms of these agreements.

“What the Nigerian government has done is indefensible,” said lawyer Falana. “The fear is that they are going to be put on trial and probably tried for treason which attracts the death penalty in Cameroon.”

The UN refugee agency in Nigeria and at its headquarters in Geneva were unavailable for a comment about this case despite several requests by RFI.

International law

The Cameroonian authorities hailed the extradition of Ayuk Tabe and his separatist supporters following their arrival in the capital. The government said it underlined the close relationship between the two countries, emphasising that the extradition was perfectly legal.

“Whatever has taken place is within the framework of our laws,” Issa Tchiroma Bakary, the government spokesperson and minister of communications, told RFI. “We are a law abiding nation as well as Nigeria, our brotherly neighbour country.”

“Rest assured that no violation of the law, in one way or another, has ever taken place and will never take place,” Minister Bakary added, refusing to comment specifically on the extradition process.

*Source RFI

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Greenpeace Africa’s Executive Director Wins a Prestigious Human Rights Award
January 31, 2018 | 0 Comments
Njeri has mentored many and her recent advances in the environmental protection crowns her lifelong commitment to human rights promotion and protection
NAIROBI, Kenya, January 30, 2018/ — Greenpeace Africa’s (www.Greenpeace.org/africa) Executive Director, Njeri Kabeberi, has won the 2017 Munir Mazrui ‘Lifetime Achievement Human Rights Defenders Award’ in a ceremony organised by the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (NCHRD-K) at the Royal Netherlands embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. This is one of three categories of Human Rights Defenders (HRD) Awards launched in 2016 to recognise and honour the work of human rights defenders in Kenya.

NCHRD-K is a national organization that promotes the safety and security of human rights defenders in Kenya through advocacy, capacity building and protection. It works in partnership with a Working Group on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, chaired by the Royal Netherlands Embassy.

Announcing the award, Kamau Ngugi, Executive Director of the HRDs coalition in Kenya said:

“Njeri is a selfless Woman Human Rights Defender who has broken chains of patriarchy to lead successful campaigns for justice, good governance and human rights in Kenya and beyond. Njeri has mentored many and her recent advances in the environmental protection crowns her lifelong commitment to human rights promotion and protection that deserves recognition and celebration.”

Upon receiving the award, Njeri Kabeberi said she was humbled and honoured.

“Despite having received a number of International Awards this is the first time I have been recognised in my own country – and since it is said that a ‘prophet is never recognised in their own home’, this then becomes the biggest victory and the sweetest award to date.”

“Human rights defenders’ work is lonely and hardly appreciated but I know that focus, persistence and resilience always cause the desired impact. We earn our freedom when we learn to face fear head on; that is what others call courage” continued Ms. Kabeberi.

Njeri’s activism career spans over three decades; as a young girl in 1982, she quietly began supporting mothers and wives of political prisoners but her human rights work was only thrown into limelight a decade later when she was invited to the late Prof. Wangari Maathai’s house to join the organization of the campaign to release Kenyan political prisoners.

With this long history in human rights activism, Njeri is now leading Greenpeace Africa into a new wave of environmental justice for Africans by Africans. Human rights is inextricably linked to climate change.

“If we won the human rights and governance battle, but lost our planet, we would have lost everything.”

“My current vision is to build an Environmental Movement in Africa so powerful that African citizens begin to take responsibility for their future. This can be achieved by restoring the continent through green pathways and seeking global environmental justice to mitigate climate change impacts” concluded Kabeberi.

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Africa Business and Investment Forum set for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
January 29, 2018 | 0 Comments
CCA President Florizelle Liser

CCA President Florizelle Liser

Washington, DC – January 29, 2018: A high level public- private sector dialogue on ways of supporting and promoting private-sector led growth in Africa will take place on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The African Business and Investment Forum will serve as a platform for African and U.S. private sector executives to share insights with African heads of state, ministers, senior USG officials, representatives of multilateral institutions and other stakeholders.

The one-day Forum will feature roundtable discussions on issues related to trade and diversification, energy, agribusiness, and health. This will ensure that private sector voices and views are heard by leaders and key stakeholders, and that the day-to-day challenges faced by private sector operators in Africa are addressed.

Among the more than 150 expected participants are Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia; President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique; President Paul Kagame of Rwanda; President Alpha Condé of Guinea; President Macky Sall of Senegal; President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda; President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger; President João Lourenço of Angola; and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya; CEOs and senior executives of key U.S and African companies, both multinationals and SMEs will also attend.

In addition to providing a platform for a high-level public-private sector dialogue, the objectives of the Forum are to increase opportunities for business partnerships, secure commitments as well as track the adoption of business-friendly policies, and showcase countries and policies that are contributing to an enabling environment for enhanced African regional and global trade and investment, including with the United States.

The Africa Business and Investment Forum is organized by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). ECA’s Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe, and CCA’s President and CEO, Florizelle Liser, will be representing the two organizing institutions at the event.

CCA, as the premier U.S. business association solely focused on promoting U.S.-Africa trade, investment and business engagement, will bring its 23-year expertise of successfully providing insights, connections and access critical to U.S. and African businesses operating on the continent.

ECA provides a unique platform for intermediation between the public and the private sector policies and programs, offering solutions and support to accelerate sustainable private sector development on the continent.

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ARSENAL CLOSE IN ON £55M AUBAMEYANG SIGNING
January 29, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Chris Wheatley*

 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

The 28-year-old is set to become the Gunners’ record signing just five months after they set that mark to secure Alexandre Lacazette

Arsenal are on the verge of completing the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund after the clubs agreed a £55 million (€63m) fee in principle, Goal understands.

Aubameyang, 28, has been subject of negotiations between the Gunners and Dortmund for several weeks, with Arsenal having refused to meet the Bundesliga side’s €70m asking price.

Goal understands the Gabon international has already agreed personal terms with the north Londoners, with an official announcement to arrive in the coming days.

The striker, who scored 31 league goals last season, was left out of two consecutive games for Dortmund after missing a team meeting, with head coach Peter Stoger accusing the frontman of not being focused.

However, Aubameyang started in Dortmund’s draw with Freiburg on Saturdayamid claims from the Bundesliga side that a transfer would be sanctioned if Arsenal reached “certain parameters”.

“We are ready to agree a transfer under certain parameters, but only if these are fully met,” sporting director Michael Zorc told German TV.

“We have a clear position. Arsenal has made several attempts so far. We have refused them all up to now.”

Aubameyang would join up with former Dortmund team-mate Henrikh Mkhitaryan at Arsenal after the Armenian joined in a swap deal which saw Alexis Sanchez head to Manchester United. The duo combined for 62 goals in all competitions two seasons ago.

This season, Aubameyang has scored 21 goals in 24 matches in all competitions. He has found the net 141 times since joining BVB from Saint-Etienne for €13m in July 2013, and he also has 23 goals in 56 caps for Gabon.

The 28-year-old’s on the verge of joining an Arsenal side that sit sixth in the Premier League table, five points off the pace in the race for the top four.

The Gunners were eliminated in their FA Cup third round meeting with Nottingham Forest earlier this month but have advanced to the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City and will face Swedish side Ostersunds in the Europa League last 32.

As previously reported, West Brom defender Jonny Evans is also a target at the Emirates Stadium, although a hamstring injury sustained at the weekend could see a transfer put on hold until the summer.

Evans is open to a move, but Arsenal may face a late battle, with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City also keen to land the former Manchester United player, depending on his fitness status.

*Source Goal

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Diafra Sakho: Striker leaves West Ham to join French club Rennes
January 29, 2018 | 0 Comments
Diafra Sakho equalled Mick Quinn's Premier League record by scoring in each of his first six league starts

Diafra Sakho equalled Mick Quinn’s Premier League record by scoring in each of his first six league starts

West Ham forward Diafra Sakho has joined French Ligue 1 club Rennes for an undisclosed fee.

The 28-year-old Senegalese, who joined the Hammers from Metz in 2014, scored 24 goals in 71 games for the club.

Sakho’s career at West Ham began well as he equalled a Premier League record by scoring in his first six starts.

However, injuries hampered the rest of his time at the club and he has started only two Premier League matches since the start of the 2016-17 season.

*BBC

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China dismisses ‘absurd’ African Union HQ spying claim
January 29, 2018 | 0 Comments
The Chinese built the African Union headquarters, which opened in 2012

The Chinese built the African Union headquarters, which opened in 2012

China has dismissed reports it bugged the African Union (AU) headquarters as “preposterous”.

Kuang Weilin, the Chinese ambassador to the AU, told reporters in Ethiopia the “absurd” claim in France’s Le Monde was “very difficult to understand”.

He spoke out three days after the newspaper published an article claiming data from the Chinese-built AU building was being copied to Shanghai.

The article said the discovery resulted in all the AU servers being switched.

Le Monde spoke to a number of anonymous sources, who claimed the alleged transfer was taking place late at night [link in French], and was only spotted in January 2017 due to the spike in activity between midnight and 02:00, despite no-one being in the building.

It was suggested the alleged data transfer had been taking place since 2012, when the building, in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, was opened.

Officials also brought in security experts from Algeria to sweep the entire headquarters for potential bugs, the newspaper said, leading to the discovery of microphones in desks.

But Mr Kuang – who hailed the headquarters as a “monument” to his country’s relationship with the continent – said it was entirely untrue.

“I really question its intention,” he told reporters on Monday. “I think it will undermine and send a very negative message to people. I think it is not good for the image of the newspaper itself.

“Certainly, it will create problems for China-Africa relations.”

*BBC

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Can Kagame? The African Union
January 29, 2018 | 0 Comments
Paul Kagame

Paul Kagame

The continental group of 55 countries has long sought to reduce its dependence on the West, with limited success. Will 2018 be different?

This week is Rwandan president Paul Kagame’s first as chairman of the AU’s Assembly, its top decision-making body. He plans to remake the notoriously sclerotic AU in his own image: lean and ruthlessly efficient. But first comes financial self-sufficiency, which means securing big commitments from African peers.

Last year member states funded just 14% of the AU’s budgeted programmes, well below the 75% they committed to in 2015. A 0.2% levy on imports into Africa might more than double revenues, but implementation has been slow; 21 countries have signed up, but only Ghana and Rwanda have enshrined it in law.

Mr Kagame wants tougher sanctions for recalcitrant members. But it will take deft diplomacy to overcome opposition from big economies like South Africa—a skill not all are convinced Mr Kagame possesses.

*Source The Economist

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Netanyahu scoffs at notion Rwanda unsafe for deported migrants
January 29, 2018 | 0 Comments

PM tells meeting of Likud ministers that the UN is already protecting 180,000 refugees in camps in the African country

By STUART WINER and TOI STAFF*

PM Netanyahu, left, with Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Nairobi, Kenya, November 28, 2017 (Haim Tzach/GPO)

PM Netanyahu, left, with Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Nairobi, Kenya, November 28, 2017 (Haim Tzach/GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told ministers on Sunday that Rwanda is a fitting deportation destination for African asylum seekers as the United Nations is already taking care of nearly two hundred thousand refugees in the African state

At the opening of a meeting of Likud party ministers, Netanyahu addressed Israel’s plans to deport tens of thousands of African migrants to a third country.

The prime minister has praised deals to send migrants to third-party countries in Africa, but has refused to publicly divulge where they are. Media reports have focused on Rwanda and Uganda as the destination countries.

“There are 180,000 refugees sitting there under the protection of the UN, so the claims that it is dangerous are a joke,” Netanyahu said of Rwanda.

Last month, the Knesset approved an amendment to the so-called “Infiltrator’s Law” paving the way for the forced deportations of Eritrean and Sudanese migrants and asylum seekers starting in March, and the indefinite imprisonment of those who refuse to leave “voluntarily.”

There are approximately 38,000 African migrants and asylum seekers in Israel, according to the Interior Ministry. About 72 percent are Eritrean and 20% are Sudanese, and the vast majority arrived between 2006 and 2012. Many live in south Tel Aviv, and some residents and activists blame them for rising crime rates and have lobbied the government for their deportation.

The amendment has gained international attention and is fraught with controversy.

On Saturday a number of severed doll heads doused in red paint were left outside the Tel Aviv office of the Population, Immigration, and Border Authority (PIBA) in what appeared to be a protest move against the deportation plan.

Yossi Edelstein, PIBA’s head of enforcement and foreign affairs administration, complained Sunday that protests against the deportations had gotten out of hand and that opponents’ claims were rife with misleading information.

“What started as a protest became incitement and what happened yesterday in our offices in Tel Aviv is a result of that incitement,” Edelstein told Army Radio. “There are columnists who call for attacking [PIBA] workers. What have we come to? We have crossed every red line you can in protest and we crossed into incitement.”

While refusing to identify the specific countries the migrants will be sent to, he insisted that the destinations are safe and that PIBA operates a careful followup process.

African asylum seekers and human rights activists protest against deportation in front of the Rwandan Embassy in Herzliya, on January 22, 2018. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

African asylum seekers and human rights activists protest against deportation in front of the Rwandan Embassy in Herzliya, on January 22, 2018. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

“In the last two weeks there has been false information published,” he told the radio station, dismissing supposed claims that Israel is sending asylum seekers to their deaths. “The High Court has examined those claims from every angle and found that the countries are safe.”

Rami Gudovich, a social worker dealing with asylum seekers, said that some 100 people who were deported by Israel to South Sudan have died, and that there have been several accounts of rape as well as mistreatment by local authorities.

“We are gambling with peoples’ lives,” Gudovich said, saying that some of the asylum seekers that Israel deported to South Sudan have been killed in the civil war there. Other were arrested by local authorities or are suffering because they no longer have access to the medicines and treatments available in Israel, he said.

Israeli rights activists and Jewish communities in the US have spoken out against the deportation plan.

Last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Netanyahu met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and agreed to a demand that his country would only accept asylum-seekers Israel is looking to deport if the move was made in accordance with international law.

*The Times of Israel

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This is Africa too
January 29, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Enuma Okoro*

Aerial view of Lagos PHOTO: CLUTTONS

Aerial view of Lagos PHOTO: CLUTTONS

A few months ago, at a recent forum on ‘Africa and Media,’ I got into a vibrant discussion with another African writer about the types of stories we choose to tell about the continent. From my understanding of her viewpoint, she was concerned that in trying to “change the narrative” of Africa, people would begin to “whitewash” certain realities in Africa; like poverty, unemployment, hunger, and other destitute factors affecting many Africans across the continent, and which she felt, were the significant issues important to write about and the stories to be shared.

She said that as someone born and raised in Africa, she wasn’t interested in new narratives, what she referred to as “private jet owners” or “fashion stories,” that she felt stemmed from a colonial mentality of Africans’ need to justify themselves by western standards and for western eyes. To be honest, I listened in disbelief. But after having more discussions on this topic I’ve also found that quite a few people hold this opinion that there are certain narratives about Africa that should be prioritized out of a sense of responsibility to the continent’s continued development. However, this suggests to me a limited imagination only allowing room for extremes, and that given a choice between the two – poverty-stricken or successful and rising – people like this writer, feel it is more beneficial to tell the world about Africa’s poor, needy and destitute, than to promote narratives about a rich and diverse Africa. Because, the argument claims, people need to stay aware that Africa and her citizens are still in need of so much for basic survival and development.

Unfortunately, I vehemently disagreed with this line of thought, which led to my heated discussion with the writer. I have no fear of overwrought narratives of a poor and destitute Africa being whitewashed by narratives of a rich, vibrant and pulsating Africa replete with stylish and success-driven citizens and cities. On the contrary I think we need more of those sorts of stories and media portrayals to counter balance what already exists in popular cultural imaginations of the continent. But her comments did make me rethink something, that maybe instead of using the phrase, “change the narrative,” a more suitable term would be “expand the narrative,” because these stories that she and others are invested in telling are in fact true and necessary stories of Africa.

Poverty, hunger, unemployment, disease, lack of basic amenities is the reality for many people, and these stories do need to be told because ongoing awareness, action, development and change are essential for a more equitable continent. But the only problem is that the world is already more than familiar with these narratives. So familiar that many outside of Africa are tempted to think that this is the only true reality of the continent, that need and destitution is the only true story. It is one reason that people can jump on the bandwagon of such an ignorant, racist and disgraceful comment such as that made earlier this month by the 45th President of the United States of America. When few alternate narratives are made available, it only helps to continue to limit people’s imagination about Africa and what it means to be African. If we don’t make the effort to share our own stories and images about the multiple realties of the continent then we’re simply continuing to allow outsiders to shape the larger imagination of what it means to be African and what it means to live in Africa.

Which is why the role of writers, musicians, painters, photographers, filmmakers, essentially what I think of as culture-bearers is so powerful and necessary. It is possible to control our own narratives in a way that can radically shift global perceptions. On a whim, I created an Instagram page called @ThisIsAfricaToo, and posted a few pictures of images that show Africa in ways many people overseas probably are not used to seeing. As I go about my daily life in Nigeria and on my travels throughout the continent I will continue to share these images that show other sides of our cities and countries than people may be used to. They will be images that suggest more than one reality and more than one tried and trite narrative. I invite people to share their own photos of the beautiful and rich Africa they know, and to tag the Instagram handle @ThisIsAfricaToo. It’s a small action but a picture speaks a thousand words. That writer I engaged with earlier would question why we feel the need to shift global perspectives if we ourselves know what is true about ourselves. Well, to put it in a very elementary way, because Africa is not a continent in isolation from the rest of the world and the world needs to know and hear our multiple truths in order to engage us appropriately.

*Source The Guardian Nigeria

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African Heads of State Endorse New Measurement of Progress on Neglected Tropical Diseases Reaffirming Commitment to Health Equity
January 28, 2018 | 0 Comments
For the first time, annual African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) Scorecard for Accountability and Action will reveal progress and gaps across five neglected diseases that affect countries’ poorest and most marginalised communities
Mectizan distribution in the Tshiaba Mbumba village in Western Kasai.

Mectizan distribution in the Tshiaba Mbumba village in Western Kasai.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, January 28, 2018/ — Today, at the 30th African Union Heads of State Summit , the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) added neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) to its annual scorecard on disease progress. The scorecard is personally reviewed by African heads of state every year, putting NTDs alongside malaria and maternal and child health as top health priorities for the continent.

Developed by the World Health Organization in collaboration with Uniting to Combat NTDs , this index reports progress for the 47 NTD-affected countries in sub-Saharan Africa in their strategies to treat and prevent the five most common NTDs: lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminths and trachoma. By adding NTDs to the scorecard, African leaders are making a public commitment to hold themselves accountable for progress on these diseases.

“My government is determined to make sure we can take ‘neglected’ out of these diseases,” said His Excellency, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn. “Improving the health, education and productivity of our poorest citizens by eliminating NTDs can put Africa on the path to prosperity and universal health coverage. I urge my fellow African leaders to build on the progress already made and increase their efforts to tackle NTDs to make them a subject for much concerted effort and action at the African Union.”

A Health Priority for Well Over A Billion

NTDs are a group of diseases that affect the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, often living in the most remote communities. More than 1.5 billion people are at risk for NTDs globally, including more than 620 million in Africa. Whilst NTDs cause hundreds of thousands of deaths each year, their primary impact is on the millions that are left trapped in endless cycles of poverty. They cause blindness, disfigurement, disability, stigma and discrimination. Parents are left unable to work and children unable to go to school.

Fortunately, the five diseases that are being monitored in the ALMA scorecard respond well to cheap, safe medicines, which are donated by pharmaceutical companies and are broadly distributed to treat and prevent the diseases. As a result of a global public-private coalition, more people than ever before are being treated for NTDs, and the number of people at risk of infection globally has dropped by more than 400 million in the last five years.

Good NTD coverage also promotes universal health coverage: NTD programs have trained over a million health workers and brought a variety of services, including family planning tools and vitamins, to people in remote communities otherwise unreached by the health system. This connection is discussed in more length in Uniting to Combat NTDs’ recent progress report, “Reaching a Billion: Ending Neglected Tropical Diseases: A Gateway to Universal Health Coverage,” launched last month.

“When it comes to diseases that affect the very poorest and most marginalised communities, it is up to political leaders to make them a priority,” said Thoko Elphick-Pooley, Director, Uniting to Combat NTDs Support Centre. “Beating NTDs is essential for Africa’s economic development, and we are thrilled that African Heads of State will be reviewing their progress every year and holding themselves accountable for equitable health outcomes.”

Progress in Africa, But More to Do

The scorecard shows the evidence of progress in Africa:

  • In 2016, 40 million more people were reached with preventive treatment for at least one NTD than the year before.
  • More than half of all countries improved their coverage index between 2015 and 2016, with 12 countries having doubled their coverage index.
  • Togo was certified by WHO as eliminating lymphatic filariasis, Malawi has stopped treatment for lymphatic filariasis and is in the process of being validated by WHO, and both Ghana and the Gambia report having eliminated trachoma.

While most data points to progress, the scorecard shows areas of concern. Nearly two-thirds of countries have a NTD coverage index of less than 50%. The percentage of affected countries implementing disease-specific interventions ranges from 92% for trachoma to just 72% for schistosomiasis, suggesting that there is still much more to do.

“Beating NTDs will help lift millions out of poverty, improving the lives of some of the world’s poorest and most marginalised people. There is a huge amount at stake and we know that eradicating these diseases is too big a job for one sector alone,” said Tanya Wood, chair of the NTD NGO Network and CEO of the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations. “With the ALMA initiative driving accountability and action, and new cross-sector partnerships like the Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy  combining expertise, we are getting closer to a world where NTDs are neglected no more.”

African Leadership in Health
Established in 2009, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance is a groundbreaking initiative, established by heads of state themselves and designed to foster collaboration in order to solve a crisis that affects the entire continent. The ALMA Scorecard empowers national leaders to battle Africa’s most devastating diseases by:

  • Providing a forum to review progress and address challenges in meeting the malaria targets.
  • Implementing a monitoring and accountability system through the ALMA Scorecard for Accountability and Action to track results, identify bottlenecks, and facilitate appropriate action.
  • Identifying and sharing lessons learned for effective implementation of national programs.

Because some NTDs are transmitted in the same manner as malaria, and shared community distributions platforms are used for both malaria and NTDs, ALMA has chosen to include NTDs in its scorecard.

“Malaria and NTDs both lay their heaviest burden on the poor, rural and marginalised. They also share solutions, from vector control to community-based treatment,” said Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary, ALMA. “Adding NTDs to our scorecard will help give leaders the information they need to end the cycle of poverty and reach everyone, everywhere with needed health care.”

The addition of the index happens just before the 6th anniversary on 30 January of the London Declaration on NTDs  a multi-sectoral partnership of pharmaceutical companies, donors, endemic countries and non-governmental organizations committed to control, eliminate or eradicate 10 diseases by 2020.

About Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
Neglected tropical diseases affect the poorest, most marginalised and most remote communities in the world. They are a consequence and cause of poverty as they thrive where access to clean water, sanitation and health care is limited. Their impact on individuals and communities can be devastating. Many of them cause severe disfigurement and disabilities. They impact on life expectancy, education and economic opportunities of affected individuals and the communities they live in.

African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA)
The African Leaders Malaria Alliance (http://APO.af/ZupcNu) is a groundbreaking coalition of 49 African Heads of State and Government working across country and regional borders to eliminate malaria by 2030. They leverage collective knowledge and influence to bring about action and accountability to fight the continent’s most devastating diseases.

Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases
Uniting to Combat NTDs (http://UnitingToCombatNTDs.org) is a group of organizations committed to achieving WHO’s 2020 goal to control and eliminate 10 NTDs. By working together, Uniting to Combat NTDs aims to chart a new course toward health and sustainability among the world’s poorest communities. Affiliated organizations have signed the London Declaration on NTDs, which was launched on 30 January 2012.

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I profoundly Respect The Partnerships And Values We Share-Trump in Goodwill Message To African Union
January 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

-Announces Extended Visit of Secretary Tillerson in March

By Ajong Mbapndah L

President Trump recently  met with with Rwanda's President Paul Kagame during the World Economic Summit in Devos

President Trump recently met with with Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame during the World Economic Summit in Devos

U.S President Donald Trump has expressed respect for the partnerships and values his country shares with Africa.

In a message to the African Union as it meets for its 30th Summit, Trump says the U.S respects the people Africa while expressing his firm commitment to strong and respectful relationships with African States as sovereign nations.

The statement issued on July 25, commends the leadership of current Chairperson Moussa Faki as it works to transform the AU into an effective institution to advance economic prosperity peace and positive outcomes for Africa.

“We are working together to increase free, fair, and reciprocal trade between the United States and African countries, and partnering to improve transportation security and safeguard legal immigration,” the statement reads.

Describing seminal Summit   issues on advancing trade and development, resolving armed conflicts, and combatting corruption as critical for the future of Africa, President Trump said the African Union could count on the support and partnership of the U.S.

President Trump said he looked forward to building on relationships established during a lunch he had with African leaders on the sidelines of the last U.N General Assembly, and the Africa Ministerial Engagements in Washington.

The statement indicates that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to Africa for an extended visit in March while the President looks forward to welcoming African leaders to Washington, DC.

Prior to his return from the World Economic Forum in Devos, Trump met with incoming Chairman of the Assembly, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda . President Trump faced a barrage of criticisms in the wake of remarks attributed to him describing Africa as a shithole. A number of U.S Ambassadors serving in Africa were forced to offer explanations on the statements of the President.

This can be considered as a good start says Ambassador Omar Arouna

This can be considered as a good start says Ambassador Omar Arouna

Describing the statement as a good start, Omar Arouna a former Ambassador of Benin to the USA and Managing Partner of the US-Africa Cyber Security Group thinks that this may be the closest to an apology Africa may get from a leader who is known to double down on his statements. Arouna, who is also a Member of the Washington, DC, Mayor’s Commission on Africa believes that the size, and importance of Africa, make it difficult for the Trump administration to ignore the continent.

 

 

 

 

 

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Africa Prefers Fair Trade to Marshall Plans –Nigerian VP Osinbajo
January 25, 2018 | 0 Comments
Remarks by His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, The Vice President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, at an Interactive Session Titled “Stabilizing the Mediterranean” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, 24 January, 2018
 Prof. Yemi Osinbajo-VP of Nigeria

Prof. Yemi Osinbajo-VP of Nigeria

DAVOS, Switzerland, January 25, 2018/ — Remarks by His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, The Vice President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, at an Interactive Session Titled “Stabilizing The Mediterranean” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, 24 January, 2018:

Q: How realistic is Africa replacing China as the factory of the world, how realistic is that? How do you look at the Marshall plan for Africa, is it something you think is credible?

Vice President: Let me begin with the Africa Rising narrative and all of the possibilities around Africa replacing China as the factory of the world. I think that probably is in the natural cause of things. Even now, we see that as wage costs go up in China, Africa is becoming the obvious choice for some certain industries, so it is clear that will happen and there are quite a few initiatives in that direction already; there are a few countries like Ivory Coast, Nigeria, with the development of Special Economic Zones, with partnerships coming from China.

I think those sorts of arrangements will very quickly absorb labour because obviously, you are looking at growing populations in Africa, the projections as you know are in the next 20 years or so, we are looking at the youth population… probably 70% of Africa’s population would be young people and Africa would probably about be the third largest population.

I think that the critical thing is to see that we cannot deal with this in any quick way, there are no quick fixes to this, we have got to look at this long term, because clearly there’s no way that African economies will ramp off quickly enough to be able to meet all of the expectations, especially all of the projections around population. So this is going to be a long walk and I think that it is important for all of us to see this as such.

The idea of the Marshall Plan is to me, in some sense, bringing old solutions to what really is a dynamic problem. I think that what Africa needs and what a lot of the southern neighbours of the Europeans need are fairer trade policies and a cocktail of policies that centre on job creation in those locations, more investments, but I think more thinking through those ideas and policies that creates more opportunities, partnership between Europe and Africa.

I don’t think that aid has worked through the years. I think that there’s a need for possibly just much more commitment to the whole process. I mean there have been multi-processes, several of them, but I certainly think that if we look at this as a major global problem and when you look around and look at extremism, terrorism and all of the various things that are exported along with illegal migration, it is a global problem and we really does deserve a global solution and the way to look at that is by coming together to reason these things through, but frankly it is not by those Marshal Plans off the shelf, I think it is more nuanced than that.

Q: Do you feel that values of human rights are being compromised in order for Europe to have tactical immediate solutions?

Vice President: I certainly agree that it was a great shock to see actual slave dealings in this century; it was absolutely horrifying to see that. What we are seeing is a degeneration of criminal activities where you find that state capacity is unable to maintain international human rights norms.

One of the crucial things is to encourage repatriation. Nigerian government for example is working with the Libyan government in repatriating everyone who is in the camps. It is a slow process because there are those who claim nationalities because they see a way out of the camps. There is also a great deal of willingness on the part of those who are in the camps to go back because it is entirely voluntary. There is pressure where there is no state capacity or inadequate state capacity to maintain law and order and international human rights norms. The pressure is a bit too much for the Libyan authorities, so what you find is that the criminal gangs and all of these asymmetric type organizations dominate the space and we may not be able to do much without relieving the Libyan authorities of a lot of the illegal migrants in their custody or their country.

Q: With a Yes or No, 5 years from now, are we still going to be seating here having the same discussion?

Vice President: Would you give us a chance to say, “I hope not?” (Laughter). I really suspect yes.

*Courtesy of Laolu Akande,Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity),Office of the Vice President

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Refugee Settlements To Be Transformed Into Digital Communities For Long-Term Economic Growth
January 24, 2018 | 0 Comments

Mastercard and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Power Africa Initiative Announce Powerful New Public-Private Coalition

Davos, Switzerland – January 24, 2018 – Mastercard and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) today announced the launch of a public-private coalition that will bring together technology, solutions and experience from multiple sectors to transform refugee settlements into digitally-connected communities. This commitment delivers on a vision laid out in research conducted last year by Mastercard to better understand the critical needs of the over seven million refugees living in camps or settlements today.

The coalition, led by Mastercard and USAID’s Power Africa initiative, will launch pilot programs during the first half of 2018 to address some of the biggest barriers to development. For example, mobile phone and internet access is as critical to refugees’ safety and security as food, shelter and water. The organizations will work together to introduce internet and mobile connectivity, access to clean, efficient energy, and digital financial tools for communities in Kenya and Uganda, with plans to scale to other refugee-hosting countries around the world.

In addition to Mastercard and Power Africa, organizations participating in the coalition include: AccentureAcumenBRCKDanish Refugee CouncilEnergy Peace PartnersFenix InternationalGSMAThe Innovation VillageLutheran World FederationMercy CorpsMicrosoftMoving Energy InitiativeNetHopeNorwegian Refugee CouncilOff-Grid ElectricPawamePowerGen Renewable EnergySolarKioskTent FoundationUSAID Global Development LabU.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and MigrationVecna Cares Charitable Trusts, and World Vision.

“We’ve spent the past several years testing and learning with our partners to take what we do well as a technology company and apply it to help solve this humanitarian crisis,” said Tara Nathan, Executive Vice President, Public Private Partnerships, Mastercard. “Our payments technology has helped to reduce inefficiencies and expenses, add transparency, empower refugees, and stimulate local markets. Now we’re also acting as a force multiplier by combining our strengths with those of the coalition members to make an even bigger impact.”

Today, approximately 31 percent of the world’s refugees live in refugee camps or settlements. They are men, women and children who have fled from countries ravaged by war, political unrest and natural disasters, in hopes of a better life. But they spend an average of 10 years in exile, most often residing in low-and middle-income countries that are already under significant economic strain.

Uganda and Kenya are among the ten countries with the largest refugee populations. Uganda hosts 1.4 million refugees and is home to Bidi Bidi, currently the largest refugee settlement in the world. Kenya hosts approximately 490,000 refugees in settlements, including Kalobeyei, which was established in 2015 to improve the conditions of refugees and host communities through an economically integrated approach.

Mastercard recently published a recommendation for a new integrated model for refugee camps following a year of extensive research in the Kakuma and Kalobeyei camps in Kenya. The insights from the study helped identify the three key areas on which coalition members will focus:

  • Connectivity – Coalition members will work together to create accessible and resilient connectivity platforms that deliver vital information to refugees and host communities and enable efficient management of settlement operations.
  • Digital tools – Whether providing cash-based assistance or conducting outreach to refugees and host community members, agencies increasingly rely upon technology to effectively address needs. The coalition will work to design and implement an integrated set of identity, payment, and data tools that improve the delivery of essential services.
  • Energy access – Power is not provided in settlements as a service, so refugees often rely upon donated solar lanterns for basic light, and poor quality, expensive diesel generators for small businesses. The coalition members will implement solutions for providing energy access to refugees and host communities in a more efficient and low-cost way.

This coalition complements the UN General Assembly endorsed Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) and the Global Compact on Refugees, which seeks to ease pressure on host countries and enhance refugee self-reliance. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and lead for the CRRF, welcomes innovative private-public approaches to longstanding refugee situations that advance the sustainable development agenda and the CRRF.

The Tent Foundation’s Partnership for Refugees will host the Smart Communities Coalition website, enabling additional companies to join the effort to tailor their services to meet refugee and host community needs, a focus area for Tent. Mastercard joined the Tent Partnership in 2016, and this coalition is an extension of its pledge to explore better ways to integrate refugees in host communities.

Louise James, Managing Director, Accenture Development Partnerships:

“Accenture is proud to be a coalition member and to support the mission of this group. Our main goal is to help refugees have the connectivity they require through access to mobile phones and the internet. Connectivity will expand refugees’ access to critical vocational, health and safety information and services.”

Sherwin Das, Managing Director, Energy Peace Partners:

“Energy Peace Partners is pleased to be part of the Smart Communities Coalition and excited to leverage our Peace Renewable Energy Credit (PREC) instrument to drive new renewable energy investment in some of the world’s most fragile settings.”

Lyndsay Handler, CEO, Fenix International:

“Fenix is committed to providing affordable energy products and inclusive financing to the hundreds of millions of people in Africa living without access to the grid. We are proud to partner with the Smart Communities Coalition to find innovative technology and customer experience solutions to overcome the barriers of delivering clean energy and other life-changing products to this population.”

Lennart Hernander, Program Representative, Lutheran World Federation:

“LWF is proud to work with so many dedicated and professional partners in the ‘Smart Communities Coalition’. LWF has supported refugees in Kakuma for more than 25 years. We were among the first few partners present on the ground when the ‘Lost Boys’ from Sudan started to arrive.  We see the ‘Smart Communities Coalition’ as a major step towards a future-looking and integrated solution for refugees and local communities, which through connectivity and renewable energy will provide new opportunities for all. The Smart Communities Coalition approach empowers communities in a dignified and accountable manner, this is at the very core of LWFs vision and objectives globally.”

Neal Keny-Guyer, CEO, Mercy Corps:

“At Mercy Corps, we have long held the belief that to solve complex problems, we need to work together across sectors – public, private and nonprofit – to bring to bear our collective knowledge to design bold solutions. We’re thrilled to be a founding member of the Smart Communities Coalition and hopeful about the possibility to bring needed technology and other services to refugee settlements.”

Ben Good, Project Director, Moving Energy Initiative and CEO, Energy 4 Impact:

“The Moving Energy Initiative believes that a paradigm shift in the way humanitarian sector “does energy”, including new types of partnership with the private sector, can create major benefits for the environment, for the agencies and for displaced persons.  And, as it is with energy access, so it is with connectivity and the digital economy. We are therefore delighted to be partnering with the Smart Communities Coalition.”

Lauren Woodman, CEO, NetHope:

“Internet connectivity is a lifeline that connects refugees to information, resources, and opportunities. Put simply: Information is aid.”

Neil Turner, Kenya Country Director, Norwegian Refugee Council:

“Offering refugees increasing livelihood opportunities, unleashing their entrepreneurial skills, and creating environmentally friendly, energy efficient ways of doing this, is at the heart of the NRC’s work in Kenya.”

Xavier Helgesen, CEO and Co-Founder, Off-Grid Electric:

“We have long been a proud partner of Power Africa, and are thrilled by the opportunity to use our technology and experience in Africa to serve refugee communities with affordable & reliable power.”

Maurice Parets, CEO, Pawame:

“Pawame is a social enterprise distributing solar home systems in Turkana County, where Kakuma refugee camp is located. We launched our operations in September 2017 and Pawame is committed to creating jobs by distributing its solar home system, empowering the lives of refugees and reducing the carbon footprint. Through our solar home systems, which provide lighting, phone charging and television, we will empower refugees with increased energy access.”

Andreas Spiess, CEO and Co-Founder, SolarKiosk:

“SOLARKIOSK is thrilled to be one of the founding members of the Smart Communities Coalition. We look forward to enabling our solar powered infrastructure, the E-HUBB, to become an integral part of the Coalition’s mission to bring renewable energy and economic generating opportunities to refugee and host communities.  With a network of over 200 E-HUBBs across Africa and Asia, experience with refugee and host communities in the Middle East and over five years of know-how in providing retail products and energy services to underserved markets, SOLARKIOSK can greatly contribute to the transformation led by the Coalition.”

Paul Amendola, Executive Director, VecnaCares:

“VecnaCares is excited to be a member of the coalition. Our goal is to develop and deploy an electronic medical records system and CliniPAK to help close the information gaps between patients, caregivers, and decision-makers. Digital patient-centered data in real-time will impact and improve patient health, clinical treatment, and medical resources for refugees.”

Kevin Jenkins, President and CEO, World Vision International:

“The Smart Communities Coalition represents the positive shift in how private and public partners are working together to address growing humanitarian needs, especially in refugee settings. As part of the Smart Communities Coalition, World Vision will work with our partners to identify technologies and approaches that will expedite the delivery of services to reduce the vulnerabilities of children and build self-reliance for their families, particularly in fragile and conflict contexts.”

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Next Einstein Forum launches survey to measure gender gap in STEM education and research in Africa
January 24, 2018 | 0 Comments
Female NEF fellows

Female NEF fellows

KIGALI, Rwanda, 24 January 2018 -/African Media Agency (AMA) – The Next Einstein Forum (NEF), an initiative of the Africa Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with Robert Bosch Stiftung, today announces the launch of an important survey that hopes to measure the existing gender gap in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) education and research in Africa.

The survey results will be announced through a report released at the NEF Global Gathering 2018 to be held 26-28 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. Further, the results will inform a White Paper to be unpacked during the highly anticipated panel on bridging the gap for women in science and technology to be held on the first day of the NEF Global Gathering 2018.

“The NEF and our AIMS Women in STEM (AIMSWIS) Initiative are committed to promoting scientific excellence and gender equity. We believe the two go hand in hand, improving scientific output and outcomes. We have launched this survey to get a better understanding of what barriers exist and what best practices can be adopted organically to advance gender equity in STEM education and research on our continent,” said Mr. Thierry Zomahoun, President and CEO of AIMS and Chairman of the NEF.

Questions will focus on participants’ academic journey and work experience including the opportunities and barriers faced along the way. The results will be compiled in a report which will provide much needed primary data to inform discussion and recommendations among policy makers, academic institutions, funding partners and civil society.

Central to the NEF’s vision of propelling Africa onto the global scientific stage, the NEF actively works to increase women’s representation in STEM fields in Africa and globally. Leading by example, NEF Fellows and Ambassadors cohorts comprise at least 40% women.

To participate in the survey, click here. The first 100 completed surveys will receive a participation prize.

Launched in 2013, the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) is an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The NEF is a platform that connects science, society and policy in Africa and the rest of the world – with the goal to leverage science for human development globally. The NEF believes that Africa’s contributions to the global scientific community are critical for global progress. At the centre of NEF efforts are Africa’s young people, the driving force for Africa’s scientific renaissance. The NEF is a unique youth-driven forum. At our headline biennial scientific events, 50% of participants are 42 or younger. Far from being an ordinary science forum, the NEF Global Gatherings position science at the centre of global development efforts. The next NEF Global Gathering will be held on 26-28 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. In addition, through our Communities of Scientists, we showcase the contributions of Africa’s brilliant youth to Africa’s scientific emergence through its class of NEF Fellows, who are Africa’s top scientists and technologists under the age of 42, and NEF Ambassadors, who are the NEF’s 54 science and technology ambassadors on the ground.

The NEF is also working together with partners such as the African Academy of Sciences, Ministers’ of Education, Science and Research across Africa, foundations and other global scientific and private sector companies, to build an African scientific identity. By bringing together key stakeholders, the NEF hopes to drive the discussion from policy to implementation by leveraging buy in and best practice results from Africa and the world. Have a look at our benchmark Dakar Declaration.

Finally, the NEF is telling untold stories of scientific research and innovation across the continent through our various platforms. We want to recalibrate what ‘innovation’ means in Africa. We want to make the link between science and technology, even basic sciences, to everyday life. We want the public involved in science and we have recently concluded the first coordinated Africa Science Week – an annual three to five day celebration of science and technology through coordinated science events across the continent. We believe the next Einstein will be African.

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

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African Union Diaspora Headquarters to be established in Accompong Jamaica
January 24, 2018 | 0 Comments
Accompong Minister of Finance, Hon. Timothy E. McPherson Jr., salutes Ambassador Quao as she confirms AU Diaspora Headquarters to be established in Accompong

Accompong Minister of Finance, Hon. Timothy E. McPherson Jr., salutes Ambassador Quao as she confirms AU Diaspora Headquarters to be established in Accompong

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 24 January 2018 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- African Union Permanent Ambassador to the USA, Hon. Dr. Arikana Chihombori Quao, has re-affirmed the decision to establish an African Union Diaspora Headquarters in Accompong Jamaica during the official ceremony to mark the anniversary of the signing of the Peace Treaty between the Accompong Maroons and the British.

The Ambassador applauded the Maroons for maintaining their African cultural heritage and traditions, and described the Maroon state as being a piece of Africa in the heart of the Caribbean.

The Right Hon. Colonel Ferron Williams, Accompong Head of State, welcomed the decision and said “Today we Maroons are vindicated for having fought to defend our African heritage and identity. We are honoured by our ancestors valor and victory against European colonialism.”

AU Ambassador Arikana Chihombori Quao addresses the nation during the 280th Accompong Maroon Festival and announces new AU Diaspora Headquarters to be built in Accompong.

AU Ambassador Arikana Chihombori Quao addresses the nation during the 280th Accompong Maroon Festival and announces new AU Diaspora Headquarters to be built in Accompong.

The new headquarters will be used to consolidate the African Diaspora in a strategic cooperation with the African Union, Governments and key institutions. The African Union officially recognizes the Diaspora as the Sixth Region of the Union, but it is widely accepted that the Diaspora must become organized before it can have a meaningful engagement with the continent.

Accompong’s Minster of Finance, Hon. Timothy McPherson, was instrumental in brokering the agreement which he describes as signaling “a new era of economic cooperation and development between Africa and the Diaspora. This cooperation is what the African family has been waiting for during the last 500 years, now that its here let’s return to building wonders of wonders and achieving things the world is yet to imagine. ”

The Headquarters is expected to begin its operations in February 2018.

 
 

The African Union Representational Mission to the United States of America is the first bilateral diplomatic mission of the African Union. Officially launched on July 11, 2007 in Washington, DC, its mandate is to undertake, develop and maintain constructive and productive institutional relationships between the African Union and the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government, the African Diplomatic Corps, the Africans in the Diaspora, and the Bretton Woods Institutions through.

Sovereign State of Accompong
This state is a nation within the nation of the island of Jamaica. The Maroon settlement of Accompong perched high up in the mountains of St. Elizabeth in western Jamaica was founded in 1739, established after rebel slaves and their descendants fought a protracted war with the British, the runaway Maroon slaves signed a peace treaty with the British to gain semi-sovereignty over the area. Accompong is a little piece of Africa in the heart of the Caribbean.

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African Union Commission to launch highly-anticipated Single African Sky
January 24, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire
The African Union Commission is set to launch the first AU Agenda
2063 Flagship project, the Single African Air Transport Market
(SAATM), in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 28th January 2018 as a historic
event at the African Union Summit, nearly two decades after the
adoption of the 1999 Yamoussoukro Decision.

Speaking ahead of the launch event, Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner
for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission said
“With preparations continuing on schedule, the launch of the Single
African Air Transport Market will spur more opportunities to promote
trade, cross-border investments in the production and service
industries, including tourism resulting in the creation of an
additional 300,000 direct and two million indirect jobs contributing
immensely to the integration and socio-economic growth of the
continent.”

The Commissioner stated that the aviation industry currently
supports 8 million jobs in Africa and hence SAATM was created with the
aim of enhancing connectivity, facilitating trade and tourism,
creating employment, and ensuring that the industry plays a more
prominent role in the global economy and significantly contributing to
the AU’s Agenda 2063.

“The AU Summit will also see the adoption of the regulatory text of
the Yamoussoukro Decision, that is, the competition and consumer
protection regulations that safeguards the efficient operation of the
market,” the Commissioner added.

An exhibition billed “Flying the AU Agenda 2063 for an integrated,
peaceful and prosperous Africa” will be unveiled to mark the launch,
as well as ribbon cutting and the inauguration of the commemorative
plaque.

So far, 23 African countries out of 55 have subscribed to the Single
African Air Transport Market whereas 44 African countries signed the
Yamoussoukro Decision.

“The African Union Commission, under the leadership and personal
commitment of H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, has been playing a key
coordinating role in the establishment of the Single African Air
Transport Market and advocacy to AU Member States, who have not yet
committed to the solemn commitment, to do so,” the Commissioner
intimated.

The African Union Commission (AUC), the African Civil Aviation
Commission (AFCAC), the International Civil Aviation Organization
(ICAO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the
African Airlines Association (AFRAA) are also advising African
countries to open their skies for enhancement of connectivity and
efficiency of air services in the continent.

“As the first of the 12 African Union’s Agenda 2063 flagship projects
to be launched, the implementation of SAATM will pave the way for
other flagship projects as the African Passport and enabling the Free
Movement of People, the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA),”
Commissioner Abou-Zeid stressed.

The Declaration on the establishment of a Single African Air Transport
Market, as a flagship project of the AU Agenda 2063, was adopted by
the African Union (AU) Assembly in January 2015. Immediately
thereafter, eleven (11) AU Member States declared their Solemn
Commitment to establish a Single African Air Transport Market through
full implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision of 1999 that provides
for full liberalization of market access between African States, free
exercise of traffic rights, elimination of restrictions on ownership
and full liberalization of frequencies, fares and capacities.

To date, the number of Member States that have adhered to the Solemn
Commitment has reached twenty-three (23), namely: Benin, Botswana,
Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia,
Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger,
Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Togo and
Zimbabwe.

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Ugandan president: Why I love Trump
January 24, 2018 | 0 Comments

-Uganda’s Museveni: I love Trump for being frank with Africans

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has given a speech declaring his “love” for US President Donald Trump.

Earlier this month, Mr Trump was accused of referring to African nations as “shithole” countries during an immigration meeting.

Mr Trump has denied making the remarks but US senators who attended the meeting say that he did.

The African Union demanded that Mr Trump apologise for his “clearly racist” comments.

“America has got one of the best presidents ever,” Mr Museveni said to laughter during the opening of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) in the Ugandan capital of Kampala.

“I love Trump because he tells Africans frankly. The Africans need to solve their problems, the Africans are weak.”

Mr Museveni’s comments are in opposition to the reaction of many leaders who have condemned Mr Trump’s language.

On Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron told the BBC that he shared Africa’s outrage.

On Monday, people in Haiti, another country that Mr Trump disparaged, protested against the president’s remarks.

Mr Museveni’s defence of the US president came just hours after the US ambassador to Uganda criticised Mr Trump.

“[His words] are obviously quite disturbing and upsetting,” Deborah Malac said.

Mr Trump allegedly used the term “shithole countries” when asking why the US should accept immigrants from Haiti and some countries in Africa.

In 2017, Mr Trump allegedly said that Afghanistan was a terrorist haven; all people from Haiti “have Aids”, and that Nigerians would never “go back to their huts” once allowed into the US, the New York Times reported.

The White House denied Mr Trump made the comments.

*BBC

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Morocco launches 2026 World Cup campaign and logo
January 24, 2018 | 0 Comments
Morocco is up against a joint bid from Canada, Mexico and the United States to host the World Cup

Morocco is up against a joint bid from Canada, Mexico and the United States to host the World Cup

Morocco has launched its campaign to host the 2026 World Cup in Casablanca.

The North African nation, making its fifth bid to host the finals, faces competition from a joint bid proposed by Canada, Mexico and the USA.

“Morocco 2026 will showcase the best of football, at the heart of the world,” bid chairman Moulay Hafid Elalamy said at Tuesday’s launch.

The decision on who will host the event will be made on 13 June, the eve of the 2018 World Cup in Moscow.

“We promise to stage a tournament overflowing with real passion and to celebrate the values of unity and peace,” added Elalamy.

“A World Cup in Morocco will deliver commercial success and leave a long-lasting legacy and if we win the honour of hosting we believe the winners will be football, the young people of our nation, Africa and the world.”

No details were given about the host cities, with the vote to determine the host less than five months away.

The North African nation has failed in four previous World Cup bids – in 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010.

In 2010, the tournament was hosted by South Africa as the continent staged the World Cup for first – and so far only – time in its history.

Morocco is looking to change all that and has appointed Elalamy, a government minister, to lead the bid while former Confederation of African Football Secretary General Hicham El Amrani will be its chief executive.

Former Caf Secretary General Hicham El Amrani (right)
Former Caf Secretary General Hicham El Amrani is the CEO of Morocco’s bid

Fouzi Lekjaa, the head of Morocco’s Football Federation (FRMF), said at Tuesday’s launch: “This is an important moment as we begin to showcase our bid to Morocco, the international community and Fifa’s National Associations.

“We have assembled a committed, experienced team to bring our vision to life.”

Rachid Talbi El Alami, Morocco’s minister of youth and sports, said that the country’s infrastructure is more ready than at any time to host an expanded World Cup, with 48 teams set to play in the 2026 finals.

“Morocco has made rapid progress since 2003 – in sport, infrastructure, hotels, airports, motorways and public transport networks,” said Talbi El Alami.

 *BBC
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