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What does the future hold for Africa in 2018?
January 4, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Prince Kurupati*

As the year begins, we all hope that our beautiful continent, Africa, continues to rise in all facets of development. Africa possesses all the necessary ingredients for sustainable development i.e. natural resources endowment and a skilled and technology savvy labour force. However, the major challenge that has curtailed African development pertains to a toxic environment that inhibits sustainable development, innovation and entrepreneurship.

The toxic environment is largely a creation of non-peaceful and sometimes violent transitions of power. With this background in mind, we have drafted a detailed overview of the countries that are going to conduct electoral processes in 2018 so we all can keep an eye as the events unfold in these countries and gauge if Africa is progressing or regressing in terms of democratic transitions of power.

Cameroon 2018 Presidential Election

In October, Cameroonians are going to the polls to choose their new leader. To date, only two opposition candidates, Akere Muna and John Fru Ndi have submitted their names to compete against incumbent Paul Biya who has been in power since 1982. However, it’s only a matter of time before other candidates submit their names for selection come October. Muna is a lawyer by profession and a strong anti-corruption activist who has served as Vice President of the internationally acclaimed organisation, Transparency International. The political field in Cameroon is at best level now, but if opposition parties unite as has been muted in various circles, then the tilt might just be in the opposition’s favour come October. All Africa wants is a peaceful election that recognises the wishes and aspirations of the masses. Hope Cameroon does not fail Africa.

Egypt 2018 Presidential Election

The events of the Egyptian revolution are still fresh in our minds though seven years have since lapsed. Egypt is gearing up for its second presidential election after the revolution and many think the elections will usher in a new wave of change. The incumbent, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi a former military commander took over power 4 years ago after ousting the then President, Mohamed Mursi. Sisi’s presidency has however been marked by numerous protests due to some dictatorial tendencies such as banning the independent media and restricting the conducting of opinion polls. Only one candidate has thus far declared interest to compete against the incumbent that is Khaled Ali. Ali has since said if discrepancies appear in terms of how the elections are conducted, he will boycott leaving Sisi to go in a one-man race. Africa, however, hopes it does not come to this.

Mali 2018 Presidential Election

The troubled West African nation of Mali hasn’t had many difficulties when it comes to conducting credible elections. The same is expected this year when the nation goes to an election. The incumbent, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is currently in his first term and is seeking a second term in office. Keita will face Kalifa Sanogo if no other candidates throw their names into the hat before election day.

Sierra Leone 2018 Presidential Election

Sierra Leone will hold its presidential elections on 7 March. Four candidates will be on the ballot paper. These are former United Nations top official, Kandeh Yumkella (National Grand Coalition), former Vice President, Samuel Sam Sumana (Coalition for Change), former military junta leader retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, and current foreign minister, Samura Kamara (All People’s Congress, the ruling party). The incumbent Ernest Bai Koroma is ineligible for re-election after serving his two terms. After contentious elections in its first years after independence, Sierra Leone now relatively holds peaceful elections.

South Sudan 2018 Presidential Election

South Sudan is pushing for elections this year though the conditions are unfavourable for the process. The country is currently at war meaning voter registration will be hampered by insecurity, the government itself says it does not have the adequate resources to conduct elections and the main opposition party leader, Dr. Riek Machar is in exile in South Africa meaning he cannot campaign or hold rallies. The incumbent, Salva Kiir came to power via a negotiated Peace Agreement in 2015 that created a Transitional Government of National Unity with a lifespan of 30 months. The 30 months window closes in February this year meaning the country has to hold elections. Despite the negative factors, President Kiir is pushing for elections in a bid to legitimise his stay in power beyond February 2018. The hope around Africa is that this will not lead to an escalation of the already warlike environment in the country.

Zimbabwe 2018 Presidential Election

There were some dramatic events in Zimbabwe over the past two months that eventually led to the resignation of long-time President, Robert Mugabe who had been in power since 1980. Mugabe’s resignation meant that the newly appointed (by the party of outgoing President, ZANU (PF)) President, Emmerson Mnangagwa will finish off Mugabe’s term. At the end of the term, on or before September 2018, Zimbabwe will go to the polls to elect a new leader. Before the rise of Mnangagwa to the top post, both the ruling party and the main opposition were embroiled in destructive political divisions and fights but basing on the new dispensation, it looks as if ZANU (PF) has regrouped and is now a unified force while the opposition is still showing signs of fissures. Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised a free, fair and credible election thus Africa hopes he will stay true to his word.

Democratic Republic of Congo challenges

2018 is not supposed to be an election year in the DRC but with the way things are going, an election seems to be the only feasible lasting solution. The incumbent, Joseph Kabila was supposed to step down in November 2016 when his term ended but did not and he failed to call for an election at that time. However, reports say the presidential election may be held simultaneously with the legislative, regional and local elections scheduled for December 23rd this year. Several protests in the capital, Kinshasa some violent are now a common feature. Africa’s hope is that the elections are held at the said date and done in a peaceful manner.

South Africa (Two centres of power)

One of Africa’s biggest economic giant, South Africa is currently embroiled in legal challenges aimed at removing the incumbent, Jacob Zuma from power. Zuma’s term runs until 2019 when the country is scheduled to conduct its elections. However, there is a high probability that Zuma may not last until 2019 largely as a result of the emergence of Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC’s President. Ramaphosa was elected ANC President in December 2017. Since Ramaphosa came into power, ANC bigwigs have been calling on Zuma to resign or be impeached. The Parliament failed to impeach Zuma last year after countrywide protests about Zuma’s corrupt tendencies. However, the odds are now stacked heavily against Zuma, as both his party and the opposition want him out of office. Regardless of the circumstances that will eventually lead to Zuma’s ouster whether impeachment or via elections, Africa hopes that South Africa will remain unscathed and will continue to raise the African flag high.

 

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Why Africa’s young people are the real winners at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards
January 4, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Benedict Peters*

Almost nowhere on earth is football followed as passionately as in Africa. It is loved by Africans from all walks of life across the continent. This week, I am giving the opening address at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards in Accra, Ghana. This has afforded me a good opportunity to reflect on Africa’s relationship with football and how it can help deliver a brighter future for our young people.

I believe we need only look to the Liberian presidential election for a fine example of the transformative power of football. Against the odds, football legend and opposition candidate, George Weah was victorious and today, is President-elect of Liberia, one of Africa’s most popular countries. Weah’s perseverance in the face of an initial unsuccessful attempt is a testament to the endurance football teaches.

Before he was a Presidential candidate, of course, Mr. Weah was an outstanding footballer whose career spanned great clubs like Paris Saint Germain, Marseille, Monaco and even English Premiership giants like Chelsea and Manchester City.

A striker of fearsome reputation, Weah has been described as the greatest footballer to emerge from Africa, confirmed in 1995 when he won both FIFA Footballer of the Year and the highly valued Ballon d’Or. Over a three year period, in 1989, 1995 and 1996, he claimed the top prize of African Footballer of the year, crowning that in 1996 with the African Footballer of the Century award.

The power of a footballer entering frontline politics cannot be overstated, for two reasons. First, it shows that politics is accessible to all, to the ambitious individual who dares envisage a way he or she can contribute to their country’s future. Second, it makes politics interesting and relevant to young people. If our continent is ever to reach its full potential, then it is our young people who are going to deliver it.

Africa’s youth are already shaping today and redefining tomorrow with their creativity, passion and innovation. I believe that the greatest gift that our generation can give them is to continue to provide platforms for aspiration, recognition and inspiration. But the idea of ‘opportunity’ or of ‘potential’ can be an abstract enough concept to adults never mind the younger generation, many of whom have been overlooked by the decisions of governments not to allow funds raised from investment to trickle down into stronger education systems, apprenticeships and advancement.

In football, the notion of opportunity is far from abstract. Football has always been a unifying factor and a great tool for promoting integration and development. But more than that, it is a global currency, a language spoken in the United Kingdom as much as in Brazil, China and Nigeria. And in football we see, most tangibly, the bold young role models and ambassadors of Africa who are inspiring others and have set the pace in their pursuit of excellence.

Of course, we must be careful not to set false expectations. Football is affected by the same attrition rate that applies to other sports in that very many are called but few ultimately make the dizzy heights that many dream of.  President Barack Obama pointed out that youth in the United States may have good role models for economic empowerment and entrepreneurship in the music industry, but that it was unlikely that each child would grow up ‘to be the next Lil Wayne’, so children must also work hard in school. The same can be said of football: not all of our children will grow up to be the next George Weah, Abedi Pele,  Dider Drogba or Jay Jay Okocha, but these role models still offer young people a concrete example of the hard work that goes into the pursuit of excellence.

The example of football goes far beyond the 22 men or women who stand on the pitch for 90 minutes each week. I know this because I have seen the extraordinary depth of support services that go into creating the finished product of a football match, and the transformative role they play when properly looked after.

Benedict Peters

Benedict Peters

Over the last year, Aiteo has been supporting sports development in Nigeria, leading a partnership agreement with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to provide financial Support to the technical team of Nigeria’s national team for the next five years. In the months since, Nigeria has won more games than they have lost and has qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Aiteo has also made significant contributions towards developing the local football by underwriting the costs associated with organising the Federation Cup, Nigeria’s equivalent of the English FA Cup, helping smaller teams grow and improve on the national stage.

With coaching roles, training roles, marketing, advertising, commercial partnerships and merchandising roles all part of the infrastructure of a newly-global Nigerian football team, no child need only grow up to be the next Alex Iwobi if they are to benefit from the transformative power of football. If a footballer can become the head of a nation, they why not a football coach, a medic or a marketing executive?

So, when I stand on the stage this week to open the CAF Awards, the winners will be very clear to me before the awards have even been handed out: the true winners will be every young person who sees that event; sees that the eyes of the world are on Africa and that a future for each one of them exists in which they can go beyond their school, their hobbies, their parents, and truly embrace their potential. Because the way we conceive the future sculpts the present.

*Benedict Peters is Executive vice president of the Aiteo Group

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Clinigen extends agreement with Eisai to supply Halaven®, Fycompa® and Lenvima® into 10 African countries
January 4, 2018 | 0 Comments
All three medicines will be submitted for registration in Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, subject to local regulatory approval
BURTON-ON-TRENT, United Kingdom, January 3, 2018/ — Clinigen Group plc (AIM: CLIN, ‘Clinigen’) (www.ClinigenGroup.com), the global pharmaceutical and services company, has extended its exclusive agreement with Eisai Europe Ltd. (www.Eisai.com) to obtain the marketing authorisation and subsequently launch Halaven® (eribulin), Fycompa® (perampanel) and Lenvima® (lenvatinib) into 10 African countries.

The new agreement follows the successful launch of Halaven and Fycompa in South Africa in February and July 2017 respectively. All three medicines will be submitted for registration in Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, subject to local regulatory approval.

Eribulin is currently licensed in South Africa only for the treatment of women with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer who have received at least two chemotherapeutic regimens for their disease. These would usually include an anthracycline and taxane, unless not suitable. In 2012, breast cancer was the leading cancer among the female population in the majority of countries in Africa and is responsible for one in four diagnosed cancers and one in five cancer deaths in women worldwide.

Perampanel is currently licensed in South Africa only for the adjunctive treatment of partial-onset seizures, with or without secondarily generalised seizures in patients with epilepsy aged 12 years and older. Across Africa, the prevalence of epilepsy varies between 2.2 to 58 cases per 1000 people, with an average prevalence of 15.8 per 1000. The World Health Organisation estimates that in Africa, epilepsy directly affects 10 million people.

Lenvatinib is not currently registered in any of the 10 countries. In Europe, lenvatinib is licensed for the treatment of adult patients with progressive, locally advanced or metastatic, differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC), refractory to radioactive iodine. DTC is the most common form of thyroid cancer. Overall annual incidence globally is about 1/10,000, and the incidence appears to be increasing.

Healthcare professionals can obtain details about any of the medicines mentioned above by emailing Info@EquityPharma.co.za

Benjamin Miny, Managing Director, South Africa, Clinigen, said:

“This agreement builds on the strong partnership we have with Eisai in providing access to medicines.”

“We are able to leverage our extensive distribution network in the region and local expertise to enable access to these important medicines, helping to address the unmet medical needs of patients and their families across southern Africa.”Clinigen Group plc (AIM: CLIN) (www.ClinigenGroup.com) is a global pharmaceutical and services company with a unique combination of businesses focused on providing ethical access to medicines. Its mission is to deliver the right medicine to the right patient at the right time through three areas of global medicine supply; clinical trial, unlicensed and licensed medicines. Clinigen acquired Quantum Pharma in November 2017.

For more information, please visit www.ClinigenGroup.com

Fycompa® (perampanel)
Perampanel is a first-in-class, non-competitive AMPA (alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid) glutamate receptor antagonist on post-synaptic neurons. AMPA receptors, widely present in almost all excitatory neurons, transmit signals stimulated by the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate within the brain, and are believed to play a role in central nervous system diseases characterised by excess neuroexcitatory signalling, including epilepsy[6].

Halaven® (eribulin) 
Eribulin is the first in the halichondrin class of microtubule dynamics inhibitors with a novel mechanism of action. Structurally eribulin is a simplified and synthetically produced version of halichondrin B, a natural product isolated from the marine sponge Halichondria okadai. Eribulin is believed to work by inhibiting the growth phase of microtubule dynamics which prevents cell division.

Lenvima® (lenvatinib)
Lenvatinib, discovered and developed by Eisai, is an oral multikinase inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1–3, fibroblast growth factor receptor 1–4, platelet-derived growth factor receptor–alpha, and RET and KIT proto-oncogenes[7, 8].

About Eisai Co., Ltd.
Eisai Co., Ltd. (www.Eisai.com) is a leading global research and development-based pharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan. We define our corporate mission as “giving first thought to patients and their families and to increasing the benefits health care provides,” which we call our human health care (hhc) philosophy. With over 10,000 employees working across our global network of R&D facilities, manufacturing sites and marketing subsidiaries, we strive to realise our hhc philosophy by delivering innovative products in multiple therapeutic areas with high unmet medical needs, including Oncology and Neurology.
As a global pharmaceutical company, our mission extends to patients around the world through our investment and participation in partnership-based initiatives to improve access to medicines in developing and emerging countries

 

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Drug Education is key to lowering the drug overdose epidemic
January 4, 2018 | 0 Comments

Washington, DC – The deadly synthetic opioid, carfentanil, used to treat elephants, has now been reported to be connected to drug overdoses in Loudoun County, VA.   More than 1,100 people in Virginia have died from opioid-related overdoses in 2016.  Similarly Prince George’s and Baltimore Counties in Maryland have seen skyrocketing increases in opioid-related deaths in the first part of 2017.   In Washington, DC, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has been monitoring deaths involving heroin, morphine and fentanyl for several years and saw a 102% increase in fatal overdoses due to opioid use from 2014 to 2016.

The news is filled with tragic stories.

In response to these opioid overdose epidemics in the greater Washington, DC area, the Foundation for a Drug-Free World announced the launch of its 2018 drug education initiative to fight the rising opioid, heroin and synthetics drug overdose epidemic. The campaign will start with a year-long series of seminars to educate not only those not yet on drugs but those who are working in the drug education field. The role of prevention is key to helping with the drug epidemic. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy stated that, “The simplest and most cost-effective way to lower the human and societal costs of drug abuse is to prevent it in the first place.”

Knowing that drug education is a huge challenge but is vital to the greater DC area, Drug-Free World has been joining efforts and hands with other government agencies and non-profit organizations continuing its goal of many years to help saturate the city with drug education materials to bring about a better understanding of the harmful effects of drugs.

Currently, the legal status of marijuana is not clear to everyone in the District.  It has been “decriminalized” and is only legally used in certain areas.  The effects of marijuana especially marijuana “edibles” – brownies, cookies, sprinkled popcorn – as well as the effects of lacing synthetic opioids and heroin with fentanyl and deadly carfentanil need to be known. Authorities are reminding citizens never to approach or touch suspected narcotics as in many cases the substances can be inhaled and even trace amounts on the skin can have extremely adverse reactions.   Parents must be educated and take responsibility.  Youth must be educated.

Drug-Free World is working with government agencies, the police, school personnel, school resource officers and many non-profits making available their educational material including booklets in English and Spanish on 13 different drugs, public service announcements, DVD documentaries on the 13 drugs and an educator’s kit complete with a guide on using the materials.  The plan is to help others to use the materials themselves in a way most appropriate for the population being addressed.

Rev. Susan Taylor, Faith Liaison for the program called The Truth About Drugs, stated, “It is up to the community, working shoulder to shoulder with government, to bring about an increase in awareness of the dangers of not only street drugs but prescription drugs as well. Our opioid/heroin problem continues; synthetics in many forms are still used and the truth about marijuana and its actual legal standing are still not well known.  We hope to be able to share the educational materials with as many youth and adults as possible so each can make their own informed choice.  If everyone knew the harmful effects, the statistics would be going down.  We have much more work to do.”

Drug-Free World is offering all of its educational materials for free. More information can be found at www.drugfreeworlddc.org.  The Foundation for a Drug-Free World is an international organization with materials in 17 languages and is supported by Churches of Scientology internationally.

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Rwanda to host the 20th edition of the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA)
December 29, 2017 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

ICASA 2017 took place in Ivory Coast

ICASA 2017 took place in Ivory Coast

Rwanda is set to host the 20th edition of International Conference on
AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) according to the organisers.

The Society for AIDS in Africa was established in Kinshasa in October
1990 during the 5th International Conference on AIDS and Associated
Cancers in Africa, a precursor to the International Conference on AIDS
and STIs in Africa (ICASA).
It is reported that the formation of the Society for AIDS in Africa,
was facilitated by the (W.H.O) to encourage the African continent to
host international conferences on HIV/AIDS, a disease whose scourge
has hardest hit the continent.
It is reported that the move
encourages and empowers Africans to directly address and respond to the
challenges posed by the HIV and AIDS pandemic on the continent.

The Society envisions an HIV free Africa with capacity to confront all
related consequences and diseases. The Society enables a positive
environment for research on HIV and related diseases. The Society for
AIDS in AFRICA (SAA) is governed by an Executive Council drawn from
South, North, East, West and Central Africa. SAA collaborates with
AFRICASO, SAFAIDS, SWAA, NAP+, and Network of Youth in Africa and enjoy
the support of the UN- System, as well as various International
organizations, including the International AIDS Society (IAS)

Since its inception, SAA has successfully organized 19 International
Conferences on HIV /AIDS and STIs in 14 Africa countries.
The 2017 International Conference on AIDS STIs was held in Abidjan –
Cote d’Ivoire, under the theme “Africa: Ending AIDS – Delivering
differently”. Over 6000 delegates from Africa and other regions of the
world convened in Cote d’Ivoire.

On 6th December, 2017, in Abidjan, during ICASA 2017 the Sofitel Hotel
Ivoire, the Minister of Health of Rwanda in the presence of ICASA 2017
President and the ICASA Director and other Executive Board Members, won the bid
to host the 20th International Conference on AIDS and STIs which was
conferred to Rwanda. Rwanda’s selection was a result of a rigorous
evaluation of 3 countries to host ICASA 2019.

With the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Minister of
Health and SAA with the strong support of the Rwandan Government, Dr.
Ihab Ahmed, SAA President, officially declared Rwanda as the next host
country of the 20th edition of ICASA, ICASA 2019.

“We are conscious of the momentous task ahead as the host country prepare
for ICASA. We are optimistic that the Government of Rwanda with the good
people of this country through ICASA 2019, will further motivate all
African countries Governments, the International community to devote
more attention, and commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS and other
health related issues in Africa with the aims to end AIDS by 2030,”
the Rwanda health minister said.

It is added that they were appealing to all to closely follow the
unveiling program
of ICASA 2019 and to lend support to Rwanda, so that ICASA 2019
reflects lessons learnt that will further the new direction of the SDG
strategies to move Africa towards stronger Health systems, and the
elimination of HIV, TB and Malaria.

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Kenya to host 14th edition of African dairy conference and exhibition
December 29, 2017 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

ESADA

ESADA

The Eastern and Southern Africa Dairy Association (ESADA) will host the 14th edition of the African Dairy Conference and Exhibition (14th AfDa), the leading African Dairy Conference and Expo, on 20 to 24 August 2018 in
Nairobi, Kenya, according to the ESADA secretariat.

According to the secretariat, for more than a decade now, the African dairy conference and exhibition is the only dairy event in Africa that prides itself in bringing the latest trends and developments in the dairy sector,
giving delegates a deeper understanding of what is happening in the African dairy industry and the world at large.

The event will feature conference sessions tailored to explore strategies for the future of a sustainable dairy industry, policy reforms, domestic dairy initiatives, just to mention a few. Also an exhibition with over 100 exhibitors from over 30 countries is expected to be held.This is expected to feature exhibitors involved directly or indirectly in the dairy sector, displaying new technologies and products.Other activities will include dairy Awards and private workshops and seminars for the dairy sector.

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Yaya Toure reverses Ivory Coast retirement
December 27, 2017 | 0 Comments

Yaya Toure has reversed his decision to retire from international duty and made himself available for selection by Ivory Coast.

The Manchester City midfielder stepped away from national team duties in September 2016 after winning 113 caps in 14 years.

However, the 34-year-old wants to play for his country again and to help the younger players who are breaking into the set-up.

Writing on Twitter, he said: “I love my country and am available for national team selection. I want to help the next generation and use my experience to make all Ivorians proud!!”

View image on Twitter

I love my country and am available for national team selection. I want to help the next generation and use my experience to make all Ivorians proud!!

Earlier on Saturday, agent Dimitry Seluk said Toure was eager to win another trophy with Ivory Coast, having lifted the Africa Cup of Nations two years ago.

“Yaya has decided to return to Ivory Coast national team. He wants to win another trophy with the Elephants of Ivory Coast,” he tweeted.

Yaya @YayaToure has decided to return to Ivory Coast national team. He wants to win another trophy with the Elephants of Ivory Coast.

Toure’s decision comes despite his lack of playing time for Premier League leaders City this season.

He has managed only three substitute appearances in the top flight since signing a new one-year contract at the Etihad Stadium in June.

Ivory Coast failed to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Russia after losing to Morocco last month.

*Yahoo/Sporting News

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A review of Africa’s successes in 2017
December 26, 2017 | 0 Comments

By Prince Kurupati*

In a few days’ time, we are going to wave goodbye entering a new 2018. As we already know, there is much 2018 will offer to Africa, we may not know what exactly (with the exception of future tellers of course!) will happen but major changes will occur. What we know however is what 2017 had much to offer to Africa. 2017 offered both the good and the bad. For the sake of inspiring positivity especially in this festive period, we are going to share with you the good that Africa had in store for us this year.

Ghana (January)

New Ghanaian president, Nana Akufo-Addo set the precedence that later spread to many African countries by opening up the Ghanaian border for all Africans. Akufo-Addo announced the news that Africans no longer need Visas to visit Ghana in the same year Ghana celebrated 60 year after independence. During the course of the year, many African countries followed suit by removing Visas for Africans including Kenya and Namibia while many have promised to so in the near future.

Gambia (January)

ECOWAS stretched its muscles in Gambia as it ordered the incumbent Yahya Jammeh to vacate office after his defeat in the elections. Due to ECOWAS pressure, Jammeh finally decided to leave office paving the way for Adama Barrow to become Gambia’s new President.

Gabon (January- February)

Sport as it has over the years continued in lifting and strengthening the African spirit and pride as Gabon successfully hosted the 31st edition of the Africa Cup of Nations. 24 countries across Africa participated in the tournament that ended with Cameroon lifting the trophy.

Kenya (May)

In May, Kenya launched the $3.2 billion Nairobi-Mombasa railway line. Once complete, it will become one of Africa’s biggest and most innovative railway lines on par with some of the developed countries’ railway systems. The beauty of the Nairobi-Mombasa railway line is that it is a wholly Kenyan affair.

South Africa successfully hosts the World Economic Forum for Africa.

South Africa (September)

The first African museum to exclusively exhibit art from artists from Africa (local and from the diaspora) opens its doors for the first time in Cape Town, South Africa. The museum, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) also becomes Africa’s largest contemporary art museum.

Egypt (October)

For the first time since their 1990 appearance, Egypt makes their way back to the World Cup to be hosted by Russia in 2018.

Zimbabwe (November)

Long-time Zimbabwean leader, Robert Mugabe submits his resignation to Parliament paving way for Emmerson Mnangagwa to become the country’s second leader since independence in 1980. Mugabe effectively served 37 years as Zimbabwe’s leader starting as Prime Minister in 1980 until 1987 when he became the country’s President.

South Africa (November)

South African model, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters is crowned Miss Universe at a beautiful ceremony held at Planet-Hollywood Casino Resort in Las Vegas, USA. By doing so, she becomes just the second South African to win the title since Margaret Gardiner in 1978.

Liberia (December)

For the first time since 1944, there is going to be a peaceful democratic transition of power in Liberia. The two leading candidates will go to a run off on Boxing Day. The environment in Liberia is calm a day before elections something Liberians have not experienced since 1944.

Zimbabwe (December)

The new leadership in Zimbabwe takes corrective measures to turn around the much maligned Land Reform Program as evicted white farmer, Rob Smart returns to his farm.

*Have more successes to share from your part of Africa ? contact www.panafricanvisions.com via email pav@panafricanvisions.com

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The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) sign First-ever Line of Financing agreement
December 25, 2017 | 0 Comments
The USD 100-million line of financing facility will be utilized by Afreximbank to provide Shariah-compliant financing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in its member countries in Africa
Afreximbank Executive Vice President Mr. Amr Kamel President (left) and Mr Khaled Al-Aboodi (right), CEO, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector in handshake during the signing ceremony in Jeddah

Afreximbank Executive Vice President Mr. Amr Kamel President (left) and Mr Khaled Al-Aboodi (right), CEO, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector in handshake during the signing ceremony in Jeddah

JEDDAH, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, December 24, 2017/ — The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private sector (ICD) (www.ICD-ps.org) and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) (www.Afreximbank.com) signed a Line of financing agreement for a USD 100-million facility.

The USD 100-million line of financing facility will be utilized by Afreximbank to provide Shariah-compliant financing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in its member countries in Africa. Afreximbank has a solid pipeline of projects in the industrial, communication, technology, healthcare, construction and agricultural sectors that would be financed by the ICD Line of financing.

On this occasion Mr. Khaled Al Aboodi, CEO of ICD, commented: “The proposed financing facility is a token of a good partnership between ICD and Afreximbank, with the purpose of supporting private sector businesses with a Shariah compliant facility structure in our common African member countries”.

“This facility will give a boost to our effort to implement our current strategy which prioritizes intra-African trade; intra –African investments and export manufacturing of the labour intensive type,” said Mr Amr Kamel, Executive Vice President at Afreximbank. “It will also promote our knowledge in Islamic finance and provide us with additional manoeuvring capacity in terms of product offerings to our clients.”

We are delighted that ICD has chosen to partner with us in the pursuit of Africa’s trade development. This collaboration will contribute to, the objective of fostering sustainable economic growth in the member countries of our two institutions, leading to job creations, contribution to export and Islamic finance development, among others,” Mr. Kamel added.

The key economic and financial developmental impact will be, but not limited to; developing private sector, especially SMEs, to help expand the real economic growth based on value creation, and promoting Islamic Finance based on the pipeline of AFREXIMBANK projects. The Line of Finance facility is also expected to have an impact on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in line with ICD’s strategic objectives.

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) (www.ICD-ps.org) is a multilateral organization and a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group. The mandate of ICD is to support economic development and promote the development of the private sector in its member countries through providing financing facilities and/or investments, which are in accordance with the principles of Shari’ah. ICD also provides advice to governments and private organizations to encourage the establishment, expansion and modernization of private enterprises. ICD is rated AA/F1+ by Fitch and Aa3/P1 by Moody’s.

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) (www.Afreximbank.com) is the foremost pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade. The Bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors. Its two basic constitutive documents are the Establishment Agreement, which gives it the status of an international organization, and the Charter, which governs its corporate structure and operations. Since 1994, it has approved more than $51 billion in credit facilities for African businesses, including about $10.3 billion in 2016. Afreximbank had total assets of $11.7 billion as at 31 December 2016 and is rated BBB+ (GCR), Baa1 (Moody’s), and BBB- (Fitch). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo.

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ITFC, Afreximbank join Efforts to Support African Trade with $100 Million and €50 Million Murabaha Partnership Agreements
December 25, 2017 | 0 Comments
On the sidelines of the Afro-Arab Trade Finance Forum
DUBAI, UAE, December 24, 2017/ — The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) (www.Afreximbank.com), a multilateral financial institution established by African governments and institutional investors, have signed a US$100-Million agreement and a EUR 50-Million Murabaha agreement with the aim of facilitating and financing exports amongst African countries and between Africa and the rest of the world.

The agreements were signed by Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, the CEO of ITFC, and Mr. Amr Kamel, Executive Vice President, Business Development & Corporate Banking of Afreximbank, in a ceremony held during the Afro-Arab Trade Finance Forum, which was organized by the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) on 21 December 2017 in Dubai under the Arab Africa Trade Bridges Program.

The facilities are intended to be used to support procurement from suppliers from the member and non-member countries, including local purchase, to promote trade across Africa.

On this occasion, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO ITFC, stated: “This partnership comes as part of ITFC’s commitment to support the development of the African member countries’ exports as an important lever toward the sustainable growth, job creation and poverty reduction.”

He pointed out that this partnership will be utilized to finance African OIC member countries under the “Arab-Africa Trade Bridges” Program, a regional trade promotion program that aims at addressing some of the challenges faced in promoting trade between the two regions and supporting South-South cooperation.

Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO ITFC delivered a keynote speech at the opening session of the Forum, that focused on identifying the prospects and opportunities between the Arab countries and Africa, and the best ways to tackle the challenges that hinder the development of the trade flows in these countries.

Mr. Amr Kamel, Executive Vice President at Afreximbank, in his speech at the ceremony, stated that Afreximbank saw the Murabaha partnership agreement as a stepping stone towards greater collaboration in pursuit of the Bank’s shared vision with ITFC. He said that “ITFC has demonstrated that it stands shoulder to shoulder with the African Export-Import Bank as they collaborate to develop the African Continent and promote inter-African trade.”

“I see great prospect for the unfolding Afreximbank-ITFC partnership,” Mr. Kamel added, “but I am mindful that realizing the tremendous opportunities will require determination and hard work. We are committed to invest our resources in that direction.”

The ceremony was attended and witnessed by other participants in the Afro-Arab Trade Finance Forum.

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation is an autonomous entity within the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. ITFC commenced operations in January 2008 with the purpose of consolidating all the trade finance businesses that used to be handled by various windows within the IsDB Group. The consolidation of IsDB Group’s trade finance activities under a single umbrella enhanced the Corporation’s efficiency in service delivery by enabling rapid responses to customer needs in a market-driven business environment.

As a leader in Shari’ah-compliant trade finance, ITFC deploys its expertise and funds to businesses and governments in its Member Countries. With the vision of being the leading the provider of trade solutions for OIC Member Countries’ needs, the Corporation helps entities in Member Countries gain better access to trade finance and provides them with trade development programmes in order to help them compete successfully in the global market. Operating to world class standards, ITFC promotes IsDB developmental objectives through its two main pillars, Trade Finance and Trade Development, to fulfil its brand promise of ‘Advancing Trade & Improving Lives’.

About Afreximbank:

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) (www.Afreximbank.com) is the foremost pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade. The Bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors. Its two basic constitutive documents are the Establishment Agreement, which gives it the status of an international organization, and the Charter, which governs its corporate structure and operations. Since 1994, it has approved more than $51 billion in credit facilities for African businesses, including about $10.3 billion in 2016. Afreximbank had total assets of $11.7 billion as at 31 December 2016 and is rated BBB+ (GCR), Baa1 (Moody’s), and BBB- (Fitch). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo.

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Paradigm Initiative Releases 2017 Digital Rights in Africa Report
December 23, 2017 | 0 Comments

Paradigm Initiative on December 19 2017 launched its second Digital Rights in Africa Report at the 12thInternet Governance Forum (IGF) in Geneva, Switzerland. The IGF, organized by the United Nations, is a multi-stakeholder annual gathering of international stakeholders on Internet Governance and was a perfect platform to launch the comprehensive report on digital rights issues in Africa.

The 2017 Digital Rights in Africa Report, titled Good for Business: Why Private Sector must work with Citizens, Civil Society for Digital Rights, builds on the 2016 Digital Rights in Africa Report titled, Chocking the Pipe: How Governments hurts Internet Freedom on a Continent that needs more access launched at the 11th Internet Governance Forum in Mexico.

The Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative, ‘Gbenga Sesan, noted that “Paradigm Initiative will continue to use our Digital Rights in Africa Report to record incidents of digital rights abuses, policies and laws which infringe Digital Rights, and monitor the Telecommunications market across the continent to ensure that the human rights online for Africans are respected”

DIGITAL RIGHTS IN AFRICA REPORT 2017-11

The report provides commentary on digital rights violations, policies and other related development in Africa. The report also features in-depth analysis of the state of digital rights in some 21 African countries. The report says inter alia, “across Africa, a shift was also seen in how citizens responded to violations of their digital rights. In addition to direct recourse and appeal to international agencies, African citizens are exploring alternative options. Citizens across the continent have taken recourse to in-country or regional legal action to defend their digital rights.” The report is available here for free downloadbit.ly/DRAReport

The 2017 report launch featured a panel which included Tolu Ogunlesi, Head of Presidential Office for Digital Engagement, The Presidency, Nigeria, Titi Akinsanmi, Government Relations and Public Policy lead at Google; Juliet Maina, Associate in Telecommunications, Media and Technology law at TripleOKLaw Kenya; and ‘Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative.

Tolu Ogunlesi said, “Internet Freedom and Digital Rights are best achieved within a multistakeholder model, and this includes respect for the input and ideas of government. Political office holders cannot be ignored in successful Internet Freedom forums”.

Also speaking at the launch, Titi Akinsanmi reflected that “Regulation will never catch up with Innovation. The cause of development is best served when governments policies and law do not restrict freedom of expression and innovation, rather are skillfully and thoughtfully drafted to stimulate development”.

Julie Maina, Associate in Telecommunications, Media and Technology law added, “Taking a Pan-African view of Internet Freedom and Digital Rights helps us to spot trends and work for the best outcome for all Africans”

If you would like a review copy of the Report, please send your mailing address to sodiq.alabi@pinigeria.org. For more information, contact Sodiq Alabi (Communications Officer) sodiq.alabi@pinigeria.org.

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Amnesty International Appoints Kumi Naidoo As Next Secretary General
December 22, 2017 | 0 Comments
Kumi Naidoo      AFP PHOTO / LEHTIKUVA / Milla Takala *** FINLAND OUT ***        (Photo credit should read MILLA TAKALA/AFP/Getty Images)

Kumi Naidoo AFP PHOTO / LEHTIKUVA / Milla Takala *** FINLAND OUT *** (Photo credit should read MILLA TAKALA/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – Amnesty International has appointed Kumi Naidoo as the next Secretary General of the global human rights movement. From August 2018 Kumi will succeed Salil Shetty, who served two terms as Secretary General from 2010.

“We are delighted to be welcoming Kumi as our new Secretary General. His vision and passion for a just and peaceful world make him an outstanding leader for our global movement, as we strengthen our resolve for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all,” said Mwikali Muthiani, Chair of the Board of Amnesty International.

The Secretary General is the leader and main spokesperson for Amnesty International and the Chief Executive of its International Secretariat. Amnesty International is the largest human rights movement globally, with a global presence including offices in more than 70 countries, 2,600 staff and seven million members, volunteers and supporters worldwide.

Kumi is an activist and civil society leader. His previous leadership roles include Executive Director of Greenpeace International, Chair of the Global Call for Climate Action, Founding Chair of the Global Call to Action against Poverty and Secretary General and CEO of CIVICUS, the World Alliance for Citizen Participation.  He currently chairs three start-up organizations in his home country South Africa: Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity; the Campaign for a Just Energy Future; and the Global Climate Finance Campaign. Naidoo holds a BA in Law and Political Science (University of KwaZulu-Natal) and a DPhil in Politics (University of Oxford).

“I have been an activist and campaigner all my life, so I am excited to be joining the world’s largest people movement for human rights at a time when we need to counter increasing attacks on basic freedoms and on civil society around the globe. This means adapting to a fluid fast-changing global environment with urgency, passion and with courage,” said Naidoo.

“Amnesty International’s campaigns for justice and equality today are more urgent than ever, and I am humbled and honored to be leading the organization in these challenging times.”

“The world is at an exciting moment when people are mobilizing in large numbers to fight against injustice and hold leaders in governments and corporations to account for human rights abuses. I can’t think of anybody better than Kumi Naidoo to build on Amnesty International’s mission to become a truly global people’s movement for human rights,” said Salil Shetty.

“I am delighted to hand over the reins when for the first time in Amnesty’s history, we have both the Secretary General and Board Chair from Africa.”

The Secretary General is appointed by the International Board of Amnesty International for an initial four year term. The appointment followed an extensive global search.

*Amnesty International

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Trump imposes sanctions on Jammeh
December 21, 2017 | 0 Comments
Former President Jammeh is now based in Equatorial Guinea

Former President Jammeh is now based in Equatorial Guinea

The US has sanctioned former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, who is accused of looting at least $50m (£37m) of state funds before leaving office last January.

He only agreed to leave power after losing elections following pressure from West African mediators who sent troops in the country to force his hand.

He is now living in exile in Equatorial Guinea.

A US Treasury statement said that during his 22 years in power he had a “history of engaging in serious human rights abuses and corruption”.

Jammeh created a terror and assassination squad called the Junglers that answered directly to him. Jammeh used the Junglers to threaten, terrorise, interrogate, and kill individuals whom Jammeh assessed to be threats.

During his tenure, Jammeh used a number of corrupt schemes to plunder The Gambia’s state coffers or otherwise siphon off state funds for his personal gain. Ongoing investigations continue to reveal Jammeh’s large-scale theft from state coffers prior to his departure.”

Mr Jammeh is among a host of world figures blacklisted by the President Donald Trump’s administration, including a business associate of Congolese President Joseph Kabila and an aide to South Sudan’s leader Salva Kiir.

Those targeted with links to Africa are:

  • Dan Gertler – an Israeli businessman accused of amassing his fortune through corrupt mining and oil deals in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Gertler has used his close friendship with DR Congo President Joseph Kabila to act as a middleman for mining asset sales… As a result, between 2010 and 2012 alone, the DRC reportedly lost over $1.36bn in revenues from the underpricing of mining assets that were sold to offshore companies linked to Gertler.”

  • Slobodan Tesic – a Balkan arms dealer who violated UN sanctions against arms exports to Liberia.

In order to secure arms contracts with various countries, Tesic would directly or indirectly provide bribes and financial assistance to officials… took potential clients on high-value vacations, paid for their children’s education at Western schools or universities, and used large bribes to secure contracts.”

  • Benjamin Bol Mel – head of a construction firm AMBC, financial adviser and aide to South Sudan’s president and chairman of the country’s chamber of commerce accused of using his political position to make money.

ABMC allegedly received preferential treatment from high-level officials, and the government of South Sudan did not hold a competitive process for selecting ABMC to do roadwork on several roads in Juba and throughout South Sudan. Although this roadwork had been completed only a few years before, the government budgeted tens of millions of dollars more for maintenance of the same roads.”

  • Yankuba Badjie – former head of Gambia’s feared National Intelligence Agency (NIA) who is accused of overseeing abuses. He was arrested after Mr Jammeh went into exile.

In April 2016, Badjie oversaw the detention and murder of Solo Sandeng, a member of the political opposition. In February 2017, Badjie was charged along with eight subordinates with Sandeng’s murder. Prior to becoming a member of the NIA’s senior leadership, Badjie led a paramilitary group known as the Junglers to the NIA’s headquarters to beat a prisoner for approximately three hours, leaving the prisoner unconscious and with broken hands. The following day, Badjie and the Junglers returned to beat the prisoner again, leaving him on the verge of death.”

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin explained the new policy, saying the US wanted to take “a strong stand against human rights abuse and corruption globally by shutting these bad actors out of the US financial system.

“Treasury is freezing their assets and publicly denouncing the egregious acts they’ve committed, sending a message that there is a steep price to pay for their misdeeds.”

*Culled from BBC

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South Sudan Government, Rebel Groups Sign Ceasefire
December 21, 2017 | 1 Comments

By Aaron Maasho*

File Picture .South Sudan's President Salva Kiir exchanges signed documents with South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar  following previous peace accords which collapsed spectacularly

File Picture .South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir exchanges signed documents with South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar following previous peace accords which collapsed spectacularly.Their representatives were present at signing today

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – South Sudan’s government and rebel groups signed a ceasefire on Thursday in the latest attempt to end a four-year civil war and allow humanitarian groups access to civilians caught in the fighting.

The ceasefire aims to revive a 2015 peace deal that collapsed last year after heavy fighting broke out in South Sudan’s capital Juba. It was agreed after talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa convened by regional bloc IGAD.

A decision by President Salva Kiir to sack his deputy Riek Machar triggered the war in the world’s youngest country. The war has been fought largely along ethnic lines between forces loyal to Kiir, who is Dinka, and Machar, who is Nuer.

Tens of thousands have died and a third of the population of 12 million have fled their homes. The conflict has since mutated from a two-way fight into one involving multiple parties and this has made it harder to find peace.

Representatives of Kiir and Machar were both present at the signing.

“I do hope in signing this agreement, you will try to put an end to this tragedy …. This is an encouraging first phase,” said Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the African Union Commission.

Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu, also present, said: “There is no longer any excuse for the violations of human rights. All parties are obliged to observe cessation of hostilities agreement.

Diplomats at the talks told Reuters the next phase of the negotiations would now center on thrashing out a revised power-sharing arrangement leading up to a new date for polls.

*Source Reuters

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Nadine Tinen appointed to lead the Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa region for PwC France and Francophone Africa
December 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

Nadine Tinen intends to grow the Firm’s revenue in the region by more than 40% by 2022

Nadine Tinen

Nadine Tinen

NEUILLY-SUR-SEINE, France, December 20, 2017/ — Nadine Tinen has been named Regional Senior Partner of PwC Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa (www.PwC.com), thus also joining the Territory Leadership Team for PwC France & Francophone Africa. Appointed on 1 July 2017, she takes over from Edouard Messou.

Nadine Tinen, 45, is a graduate of the University of Bourgogne (Dijon), where she earned a DESS postgraduate diploma in tax law, a Magistère specialised postgraduate diploma in corporate law, tax and accounting and an international diploma in European tax law (Diplôme International de Droit Fiscal Européen). Specialising in tax, Nadine has become well-known over her 20 years in the field for her expert advice to businesses.

Nadine began her career in 1996 at PwC Cameroon and was admitted as a partner 10 years later. In 2010, she took over the Firm’s Cameroon practice and, in 2014, joined the Leadership Team for PwC Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa as Tax & Legal Leader, responsible for legal and tax advisory services.

Nadine is also a CEMAC-certified tax lawyer (Conseil Fiscal Agréé CEMAC) and a member of the Cameroon Association of Tax Lawyers (Ordre National des Conseils Fiscaux).

“Africa is a continent on the move, with an important role to play in the future of global affairs. In 2050, Africa will represent 12% of global wealth. Demographic, economic and social change is underway on the continent, and it’s happening now. This is why we need to work with the stakeholders in African development – spanning society, local communities and national, pan-African and even international businesses – to help them carry out their projects, from the initial strategy phase right up to completion. We believe that helping these stakeholders grow will allow us to contribute toward the development and promotion of Africa as a whole,” said Nadine Tinen.

With a view to dealing with the three major challenges that have been identified for the next five years – a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) political, economic and social environment, technological developments and the growth of the regional economy, Nadine Tinen has set herself four strategic objectives:

  • To drive PwC’s transformation in Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa in a bid to improve support for clients with their own transformations, which are chiefly digital but may also be cultural. This process will involve introducing new innovative and collaborative tools, solutions, concepts and methodologies.
  • To develop the Firm’s Advisory services for businesses and public authorities in the region, with two ambitions:
    • Working with the governments of the region on their economic diversification programmes and large-scale projects for transforming and enhancing performance and competitivity;
    • Working with businesses, regional champions and start-ups with high growth potential with a view to their becoming the future leaders of the region.
  • To boost PwC’s employer brand in Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa, in two ways:
    • Implementing policies that promote employee well-being and real opportunities for career development;
    • Fostering the development of future talents in the region via the creation of a “PwC Academy”.
  • To develop synergies between PwC offices in Africa as a means of meeting the needs and expectations of both the public and private sector.

PwC reported revenue of nearly €50 million between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017 in the Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa region. By meeting her four strategic objectives, Nadine Tinen intends to grow the Firm’s revenue in the region by more than 40% by 2022.

The investments made to achieve this ambitious growth will focus on human capital, innovation and technology and developing synergies. Accordingly, the total headcount of PwC offices in Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa is set to climb by 20% over the next five years, growing from over 700 employees today to close to 900 in 2022. Further, there are plans to promote 12 partners over the same period, growing the partnership from 28 members to 40 over five years. The transformation has already begun: three new partners were appointed as of 1 July 2017 (see appendix for their biographies).

“In addition to setting ambitious financial and business objectives, I will make diversity the focus of my term as Regional Senior Partner. I will continue to take positive action to support the advancement of women in business and in African society as a whole. At PwC, we believe in rewarding excellence regardless of gender and in encouraging individual career plans that allow our employees to achieve a healthy work/life balance,” added Nadine Tinen. 

Nadine Tinen introduces her new management team

Nadine Tinen has brought together a new management team to take charge of the development of PwC’s business in the Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa region and help achieve the objectives set for the next five years.

The partners on the new management team are:

  • Souleymane Coulibaly Soro, Assurance Leader
  • Laurent Pommera, Tax & Legal Leader
  • Georges-Louis Levard, Advisory Coordination Leader
  • Didier Nguessan, Human Capital Leader

Souleymane Coulibaly Soro, 50, a certified accountant admitted to the Association of Certified Accountants (Ordre des Experts-Comptables) in Côte d’Ivoire, is a graduate of the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce d’Abidjan.

He joined PwC in Côte d’Ivoire in 1991. After being promoted to the partnership in 2008, he was selected to lead the Côte d’Ivoire office in 2013 and joined the PwC Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa Leadership Team the following year as Assurance Leader. His role in Nadine Tinen’s new team will be to develop and adapt the Firm’s audit services to the new challenges faced by the public and private sectors in the Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa region.

Laurent Pommera, 42, is a graduate of the University of Rennes, where he earned a DESS in corporate law combined with a DJCE (specialised diploma for in-house legal counsel) and a master’s degree in French and UK corporate law. He also holds a postgraduate diploma (DEA) in private international law and international business law from the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. He is a qualified French attorney (avocat) and former member of the Paris Bar.

Laurent began his career at PwC Gabon in 1998 before moving back to France in 2003 to join the corporate litigation practice at Paris law firm D’Armagnac Société d’Avocat. At the end of 2007, he returned to Gabon and was promoted to the partnership two years later. He is now joining the PwC Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa Leadership Team as Tax & Legal Leader. His role will be to oversee the implementation of PwC’s Tax & Legal strategy in Francophone Africa, by promoting innovation and the development of human capital and tools, all with a view to achieving client satisfaction in a rapidly changing Africa.

Georges-Louis Levard, 44, holds a Diplom Kaufmann (German diploma in business administration) from ESCP-EAP and is also a graduate of Sciences Po in Paris.

He joined PwC France in 2001 after working within the corporate restructuring department at BHF-Bank in Frankfurt and at KPMG in Paris.

Georges-Louis specialises in financial audit services for the banking sector and, since 2005, has worked in Gabon, Luxembourg and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He was promoted to the partnership in 2011 and is now based in Kinshasa. He joined the PwC Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa Leadership Team in 2015. As Advisory Coordination Leader, his main role will be to promote synergies and the development of advisory services in Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa, in coordination with the France and Francophone Africa Advisory teams.

Didier N’Guessan, 44, a French certified accountant (Expert-Comptable diplômé de l’Etat français), is a graduate of the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce d’Abidjan (ESCA) and holds a certificate in public financial management from Harvard University (John F. Kennedy School of Government). He is a knight of the National Order of Merit in Côte d’Ivoire and a member of the ethics committee of the Association of Certified Accountants (Ordre des Experts comptables) of Côte d’Ivoire.

Didier has 22 years of experience at PwC in France, the Netherlands and Africa, during which time he has led numerous audit and advisory engagements in various business sectors. Admitted as a partner in 2010, he was appointed PwC Assurance Learning & Education Leader for Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa in 2014. As part of the new management team for the region, he will be coordinating human resources and corporate culture, with the goal of delivering on the Firm’s commitment to playing an active role in the development of the African continent by building human capital.

APPENDIX: Biographies of partners promoted as of 1 July 2017 in Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa

Mahi Kane, 39, holds a master’s degree in tax and corporate law from INSEEC Paris. Specialising in tax, he is a certified member of the Senegalese National Association of Experts (Ordre national des experts).

After completing an internship of nearly two years in the tax department of LVMH in Paris and a further six‑month placement in the Paris office of Landwell et Associés (now PwC Société d’Avocats), he joined PwC Sénégal in 2005.

In Dakar, Mahi has worked on numerous engagements for transport and logistics businesses. He has over twelve years of experience in Francophone Africa, during which time he has developed expertise in telecommunications, oil and gas and banking, all of which are growth sectors on the continent.

In his new role as a partner, Mahi aims to boost the development of tax and legal advisory services at PwC Sénégal, with a particular focus on the oil and gas industry.

Fousseni Traore, 51, holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire.

He joined PwC Côte d’Ivoire out of university in 1999, as a junior associate in the tax and legal department in Abidjan. He advises on various fields, spanning tax audit support and due diligence, employment law and customs. Appointed as a director in 2007, he has developed expertise in a range of business sectors, with a focus on services, mining and agrifood.

As a new partner, Fousseni will be responsible for expanding the Firm’s tax and legal advisory services for local SMEs and customs support services in Côte d’Ivoire.

Ghislaine Djapouop, 43, holds an MBA in corporate strategy and finance from INSEAD in Singapore.

She began her career in Cameroon in 1998 as accountant and treasurer for the company Sotrav. Subsequently, she worked for two years as administration and finance manager at Colgate Palmolive and the CTM (Cellule Technique pour l’Amélioration de la Gestion des Finances Publiques – technical unit for improving governance in the public finance sector), after which she left Cameroon to continue her studies, obtaining two MBAs from CESAG and INSEAD respectively. She entered the world of consulting in South Africa in 2005 when she worked as a strategy consultant at Decipher Consulting and later at Gemini Consulting.

In 2008, she joined the Advisory team at PwC Gabon, before moving to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where she was appointed director in 2014. She advises on improving the business environment and public sector reform.

In her role as a new partner, Ghislaine will be responsible for developing PwC’s business in Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa with international lenders, with a focus on large-scale, multi-year structuring projects.

PwC (www.PwC.com) is developing its advisory, audit and accounting engagements in France and French-speaking Africa by leveraging an industry-specific approach.
More than 236,000 people in 158 countries belonging to the PwC international network share their ideas, expertise and innovative views to deliver high-quality service to clients and partner companies. PwC’s French and French-speaking African firms comprise 6,400 people working out of 23 countries. For more information, visit www.PwC.fr
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 French economy.
PwC France launched the #LetsgoFrance movement to showcase all the people, companies and organisations that are working to ensure the success of the French economy.

In 2017, PwC won the Audit Innovation of the Year award for the second consecutive year running. The award recognises its commitment toward leveraging technological innovation to improve the quality of its audit services and the added value provided to its clients.

“PwC” refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity

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Next Einstein Forum announces its Ambassadors, champions of science and technology across Africa
December 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

KIGALI, Rwanda, 20 December 2017 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The Next Einstein Forum (NEF) today announces its second Ambassadors Class, 45 scientists and tech champions across Africa, all under 42 years of age, who are solving Africa’s and the world’s challenges.

An initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the NEF will hold its second global forum for science in Kigali, Rwanda, under the patronage of H.E. President Paul Kagame on 26-28 March 2018.

Central to the NEF’s vision of propelling Africa onto the global scientific stage, the NEF Ambassadors will attend the NEF Global Gathering in Kigali, connect with each other and scientists from across the world. While growing their own careers through mentorship and collaborations offered by a growing network of partners, NEF Ambassadors drive the NEF’s local public engagement activities like the NEF Africa Science Week, and will help craft an exciting and high impact forum.

“Two years ago, it was an honor to announce the inaugural Ambassadors Class in Dakar. Today again, I am excited to announce a brilliant NEF Ambassadors Class. The 45 selected Ambassadors, eighteen of whom are women, are helping transform their local community through national campaigns like GirlsInSTEM, through research in renewable energy, food security, fin-tech etc. Beyond just theoretical research, our Ambassadors have developed impressive technologies from their research. We look forward to shining a light on their initiatives and technologies which we believe are solving local and global challenges,” said Mr. Thierry Zomahoun, President and CEO of AIMS and Chairman of the NEF.

NEF Ambassadors are selected using a holistic process that reviews academic achievement, entrepreneurial abilities and recent public engagement efforts, particularly online. Ambassadors also have to demonstrate a passion for raising Africa’s scientific profile and inspiring the next generation of scientific leaders.

“I would like to thank the first Ambassadors Class who ran the first ever NEF Africa Science Week and continue to run impactful campaigns to mentor the next generation of scientists and technologists. Together with this new Ambassadors’ class, they join the newly launched NEF Community of Scientists, an exclusive network that offers members research collaborations, networking and speaking opportunities and career mentorship. In return, members will participate in national and continental policy formulation, cross-cutting research and innovation activities, lead public engagement around science and technology in Africa, and provide mentorship to early-career scientists and students,” said Mr. Zomahoun.

The NEF is currently looking for Ambassadors for the following countries: Angola, Comoros, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinee, Central Africa Republic, Djibouti, Lesotho, South Sudan and Tunisia. Interested applicants can download the application at nef.org/ambassadors. Learn more about the NEF Global Gathering 2018 at gg2018.nef.org

Meet the 2017-2019 NEF Ambassadors:

  •  Meriem Benmardi (Algeria) is a Senior Digital Project Manager at TBWA Worldwide and CEO of BETELA Recruiting, an innovative hiring program. She has over 8 years of experience as a HR specialist and IT project management consultant and has been recognized for her leadership, including being chosen a TechWoman by the US State Department.
  •  Donald Semevo Elian Tchaou (Benin) owns TIC Agro Business Center company, which specializes in the development of communication tools, training of producers and dissemination of good agricultural practices. His company uses exclusively the opportunities offered by the Information and Communication Technologies for a better agricultural extension.
  • Yame Nkgowe (Botswana) is a seasoned service manager with 11 years’ business management experience and a social entrepreneur with 3.5 years bootstrapping two startups from concept to pilot stage. He is currently the founder of Sustainable Cities Africa, a social enterprise focused on ensuring a sustainable African Urban Future through Smart City Strategies.
  • Abdrahamane Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso) holds a Master’s degree in Public Health and is working as a Girl Generation Program Officer in Burkina Faso to end female genital mutilation in Africa. With over 17 years of activism in youth organizations at national, regional and international levels, he is a founding member of the Network of International Youth Organizations in Africa.
  • Paterne Gahungu (Burundi) is an AIMS alumnus, doing a PhD research on stochastic modelling at the African Centre of Excellence for Mathematics and Applications in Benin. Previously, he has worked as volunteer at Centre de Recherche en Didactique des Sciences au Burundi and together with four other students, established a science club that trains students in use of technology, and conduct scientific debates and presentations among themselves.
  • Sara Baptista (Cape Verde) is a PhD candidate in Life Sciences, in the Parasitology field specifically in the Graduate Program Science for Development (PGCD) and is currently working in Instituto de Medicina Molecular- João Lobo Antunes, Lisbon, Portugal at Dr. Maria Mota Lab, which is interested in studying the Biology & Physiology of Malaria. She is working mostly on understanding how the main liver stage protein of the plasmodium parasite, the circumsporozoite protein is processed by the host hepatocyte.
  • Arielle Kitio Tsamo (Cameroon) is a certified mentor and technology enthusiast, currently pursuing her PhD in software engineering for disease surveillance at the University of Yaoundé, Cameroon. Also, she is the founder of CAYSTI, an initiative that works on innovative technologies and methodologies to promote quality education and ensure effective learning.
  • Francis Mbaibo (Chad) won Digital Innovation Award of Reach for Change, and one of the 50 best African startups chosen by the European Union at the EU Africa Forum. As an entrepreneurial technician, he has created a digital startup that introduces young people to digital entrepreneurship.  Today, Francis is working on an agribusiness application, which he hopes to operationalize in 2018.
  • Mandingha Kosso Etoka-Beka (Republic of Congo) research is on malaria in children carrying the sickle cell trait in a laboratory. Currently, she is pursuing a PhD in Molecular Biology and Applied Immunology at Marien Ngouabi University.
  • Raissa Malu (DRC) is a physicist by training, author and editor of “Les Indispensables” textbooks collection. In 2014, Raissa founded with friends a non-profit organization that organizes Science and Technology Week, in Kinshasa DRC. Currently, she is the Head of Technical Support Unit at the Ministry of Primary, Secondary and Professional Education for the Education Project for the Quality and Relevance of Secondary and Higher Education.
  • Ghislain DESSIEH (Ivory Coast) is a consultant in sustainable development and social Innovation, and a lawyer by training. He holds a degree in Business Law from HEC Abidjan and guided by his passion for science and technology, Ghislain is part of Africa 4 Tech’s Young African Innovator Program, which brings together 40 young Africans innovators in the field of technology, health and energy.
  • Dr. Basant Motawi (Egypt) has worked with the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland within the Ageing and Life Course Department. Currently doing a joint PhD in Epidemiology between Ain Shams University in Egypt and University of Maryland in USA. Her research focuses on the hidden health and economic burden of gender based violence, and aspires to advance policies that empower women through her work.
  • Mussie Mengistu Habtom (Eritrea) is doing a masters in special needs education (learning disabilities) Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya. His dream of becoming a teacher, inspired him to join a Teacher Training Institution, and is currently a lecturer and MEd candidate in Kenyatta University, Kenya.
  • Binyam Sisay Mendisu’s (Ethiopia) research interests include the descriptive study of Omotic languages and the study of mother tongue education in Africa. He is currently employed as program officer for teacher education and curriculum development by UNESCO’s International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa.
  • Yannick Ovono (Gabon) is Rabi Institute for Development Studies CEO and Mandela Institute for Development Studies Scholar, passionate about education, leadership, media, politics, and youth development in the continent of Africa. He holds an MSc in journalism from the University of Istanbul, and BA degree in economics from the Istanbul academy of science, with 5 years of work experience in various positions both in the media industry and Academia.
  • David Jeng (Gambia) is the Project Manager for Give1 Project Gambia, whose goal is to create leaders in their communities. The project has implemented 8 tech camps in ICT for girls, leadership and entrepreneurship training, implemented the Akon Lighting Africa pilot project in the Gambia. Currently, he is the Business Support Coordinator at Startup Incubator Gambia, which is the first business incubation hub for startups, having incubated 62 startups and created more than 180 jobs since 2015.
  • Peter Asare-Nuamah’s (Ghana) research interest cuts across disaster management, climate change, education, e-governance and Pan-Africanism. He is a PhD candidate at Pan African University, Cameroon and has served in different leadership capacities. Peter aspires to contribute to academia and society through research and teaching, particularly in the African context.
  • Keita Alpha Kabinet’ s (Guinea) work focuses on the study of the epidemiology of Tropheryma whipplei and the Ebola virus in a global study project in humans and wildlife in Guinea. Currently, Keita is a Postdoctoral Researcher within the UMI233, Translational Research on HIV and Infectious Diseases (TransVIHMI) of the Research Institute for Development (IRD).
  • Dr. Rose M Mutiso (Kenya) is co-founder and CEO of the Mawazo Institute, focusing on African energy sector development. She is a materials engineer by training, with technical experience in the fields of nanotechnology and polymer physics, including nano-electronics and next-generation energy technologies.
  • Michael Sonneyboy Gboneh (Liberia) graduated with a BSc degree in Mathematics, and as well holds an MSc in Mathematical Sciences from the University of Stellenbosch on full scholarship by MasterCard foundation and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS, South Africa). Currently, he is serving the position of Chairperson, Department of Mathematics, University of Liberia where he has dedicated his time to academia and using mathematics to help solve Africa’s many problems, to help young people learn and contribute to the growth of Liberia and Africa in general.
  • Kusai Fteita (Libya) is the founder and mentor of Roboticx4004, the Libyan national robotics team, that represented Libya in FIRST Global Challenge 2017, and co- founder of Google Developers Group Tripoli and Blockchain startup. Recently, he founded Tech Impact, a social enterprise that provides hands-on robotics training for youth.
  • Mireille Harimalala’s (Madagascar) research activities focus on the genetics of plague disease vector flea populations and the study of the country’s flea phylogeny, and leads a team that is working on fleas and its associated diseases. She has completed two years of postdoctoral studies at the Medical Entomology Unit of IPM and currently deepening her research on the same themes, in order to elucidate the phylogeography and dispersal mechanisms of these vector flea populations in relation to the persistence of plague in Madagascar.
  • Chikondi Shaba (Malawi) holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry, with a minor in Statistics and a Master of Science in Analytical Chemistry from University of Botswana. She is a Lecturer and Deputy Head of the Chemistry Department at Chancellor College of the University of Malawi and presently, she is responsible for assessing water chemistry of groundwater on a project “Hidden Crisis”.
  • Souleymane Sogoba (Mali) works as a documentarist at the University of Ségou in Mali, as well, he is the Information Manager of the Scientific and Technical Journal of Mali and Member of the IFLA Information Technologies Section, and Ambassador of the Program IPA of IFLA in Mali, taking part in the construction of the building what he calls “a connected Africa, an informed Africa”.
  •  Abdoulaye Sidiki BA (Mauritania) holds a PhD in Mechanics from the University of Bordeaux as well as a Masters in Engineering in Acoustics and Fluid in the specialty Ultrasonic Non Destructive Control from the University of Paris Diderot. His research work focuses on the design, manufacture, and characterization of a new concept of so-called “intelligent” material called metamaterial.
  •  Lakshana Mohee’s (Mauritius) dream was to become a biomaterials scientist in order to develop innovative and more accessible techniques for improved healthcare around the world. Currently doing a PhD at the University of Cambridge in Biomaterials and Medical Devices, she hopes to start a company in Mauritius to develop such devices.
  • Dr. Lahbib LATRACH (Morocco) is a researcher at the National Center for Studies and Research on Water and Energy, with a PhD in Environment and Water Biotechnology from the University of Cadi Ayyad, and a member of the Laboratory Hydrobiology, Ecotoxicology, Sanitation & Global Change at the Faculty of Sciences Semlalia, Marrakech and the Laboratory of Soil Science and Ecological Engineering Shimane University, Japan.
  • Lars Albino Lemos (Mozambique) is the Lead Trainer of Knowledge Sharing Campaign, a community platform that brings together those who have experience and can share their knowledge and those who are eager to learn, but lack opportunities. He is a developer for Health Information Systems at Global Programs for Research & Learning, Co-Founder of Mukheru Express and CEO of MozDevelopment, a company that provides software development training for the community in learning how to program.
  •  Aibate Hatago Sturmann (Namibia) is currently pursuing her PhD at the University of Namibia, investigating polymer science. She holds a Master’s degree in Science with research interest in Ethno-pharmacology, drug discovery and development focusing on non-communicable diseases.
  • Halimatou Hima Moussa Dioula (Niger) is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, where she is a Cambridge-Africa Trust scholar, doing research in Development Studies. Halimatou uses the concept of “ilimi”, often translated as knowledge or education, to challenge, question and reimagine educational systems in African countries. Her “ilimi Afrika” initiative hopes to create oases of innovation, learning and imagination in public schools across Niger and Africa.
  •  Obidi Ezezika (Nigeria) is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, in the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society at the University of Toronto Scarborough and in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. He has a PhD in Microbiology from University of Georgia and a Master’s degree in Environmental Management from Yale University. Dr Obidi champions a Nutrition Gamification System called “Nutrido” in Abuja, Nigeria.
  •  Bobson Rugambwa (Rwanda) is passionate about affordable and sustainable financial and energy technology solutions for Africa’s most vulnerable. A software engineer, entrepreneur and energy enthusiast, he is co-founder and CEO of MVend Limited, a Fintech company in Rwanda, developing financial inclusion tools for the unbanked.
  •  Paulo Emanuel D’Alva (Sao Tome and Principe) is an Architect and entrepreneur, with a degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from DeVry FANOR. He has extensive experience in Sustainable Architecture, having worked at the U.S. Green Building Council, and is the Deputy Director of DALVAGAUP, the largest Architecture firm in Sao Tome and Principe.
  • Khadidatou Sall (Senegal) is the founder of a vocational education space where culture mingles with STEM to innovate and bring Senegalese community together, to learn, make and create in a program called Science Education Exchange for Sustainable Development (SeeSD). Through SeeSD, she has empowered over 200 children, through hands-on workshops related to biology, physics, chemistry, 3D printing, coding and electronics.
  • Jessica D’unienville (Seychelles) holds Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology, from Curtin University of Technology. She is currently a Principal Research Officer for Knowledge Management and Education at NISTI, where she is carrying out the R&D and Innovation Survey, a first for Seychelles.
  •  Salwa Supckie Campbell (Sierra Leone) has several professional training certificates in mentorship, devoting her time to mentor and inspire young girls interested in STEM disciplines. With over 11 years’ experience in data analytics and quality checks, she has worked with one of the leading big data analytics companies in the world – Quid Inc.
  •  Dr. Sadiyo Siad (Somalia) is a founder and Chancellor at Hano Academy and a multi-specialist; Medical diagnostic, lecturer, consultant, entrepreneur and a philanthropist. Her medical education includes a PhD in Tuberculosis specializing in Immunology and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of TB, University of Leicester.
  •  Keabetswe Tebogo Ncube (South Africa) is doing her research in Genetics at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, and is currently on a research program in Maryland, USA as part of her doctoral studies, working with the United Stated Department of Agriculture, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.
  •  Mohammed Kamal (Sudan) is a researcher, working and lecturing at University of Medical Science and Technology (UMST) as well, he teaches short courses at the National University, in the field of material science, -Sudan. Currently, he is developing a drug charging and transportations system through the use of nanostructured system that aims to enhance CT and MRI imaging process to effectively deliver drugs to enhance cancer treatments.
  •  Sifiso Musa Nkambule (Swaziland) is a Lecturer of Physics at the University of Swaziland, Physics Department, with a first degree in Mathematics and Physics at the University of Swaziland and masters in Physics at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Currently, he is involved in “THE PHYSICS SHOW” project, which aims to reach Schools, colleges and the Swaziland community, through showcasing most exciting things in Physics.
  •  Dr. Lwidiko Edward Mhamilawa (Tanzania) is a Medical Doctor and Co-founder of ProjeKt Inspire that works towards discovering talents in STEM. He nurtures kids of 3-14 years through the Rising STEAM Stars project that provides one on one mentorship, job shadowing and Boot camps.
  • Aglago Dodzi (Togo) is the founder of MobileLabo, a scientific laboratory which specializes in the design and sale of laboratory equipment, products and services. Through his mobile lab, he has enabled kids in rural areas to access lab materials for science learning which has inspired half a million students in Togo to pursue science.
  •  Joanitah N Nalubega (Uganda) is an industrial chemist, with a deep passion for technology, currently working to deploy solutions for the health sector using technology in Uganda.
  •  Stephen Malunga Manchishi (Zambia) lectured Animal Physiology and other related biological sciences in the department of Biological Sciences at the University of Zambia, briefly before embarking on PhD studies in Reproductive Neuroendocrinology at the University of Cambridge in the UK. He and his colleague Co-founded the Juniors & Seniors’ Institute of Natural Sciences- mentorship network, an initiative that bridges the information gap to help upcoming scientists make informed decisions early in life.
  •  Ian Nyasha Mutamiri (Zimbabwe) is an electrical and software engineer who is very passionate about leveraging quality technology for social benefits. His research focuses on mobile language learning solutions for children. For his work, he was awarded two FIRE (AFRINIC) Grants in 2013 and 2016.
  • 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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Caf president Ahmad reiterates Cameroon 2019 warning
December 21, 2017 | 0 Comments
Since Ahmad was voted in as Caf president the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon has expanded from 16 to 24 teams

Since Ahmad was voted in as Caf president the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon has expanded from 16 to 24 teams

The president of the Confederation of African Football (Caf), Ahmad, has reiterated his warning to Cameroon about their hosting of the Africa Cup of Nations.

In response to a question about Cameroon holding on to the hosting of the tournament in its new expanded 24-team format in 2019 Ahmad wasted few words.

“If the host country is unable to organise it, we will find a country that will organise it,” he said.

“The authorities in the country, up to the head of state, have always confirmed to us that they will be ready.”

Before Caf approved changes to the format and timing of the Nations Cup, Cameroon’s sports minister Ismael Bidoung had been forced to denypreparations were behind schedule.

Cameroon once again insisted it would be ready to host the tournament soon after Caf moved it to June/July and increased it from 16 to 24 teams.

In August Ahmad said: “Cameroon will have to work to convince Caf on its ability to host the event.”

He again clarified that it will be down to an independent company conducting inspections to let Caf know if Cameroon are fit to host the event.

“We will leave it to the host country to work with an independent private firm without any influence from us whatsoever,”

“It is up to them to provide us with the information that will enable us to say that Cameroon will be ready or Cameroon will not be ready. But we won’t negotiate anything.”

Audit firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers was due to conduct an inspection in August but they withdrew at short notice without giving reasons.

An inspection is now due to happen early in 2018.

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“Now is a time for action” affirms Kofi Annan in final Africa Progress Panel report
December 19, 2017 | 0 Comments
The report presents a bold agenda for African progress, to be taken forward by leaders on the continent and abroad to accelerate Africa’s transformation in the coming decades
GENEVA, Switzerland, December 18, 2017/ — By 2050 more than one in four people on our planet will be African. Bold action is needed now to ensure that all of them have a fair chance of leading healthy, prosperous and fulfilling lives, urges the newest and final report from Kofi Annan’s Africa Progress Panel (APP) (www.AfricaProgressPanel.org).

The report, “Making Progress Towards Attaining the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa”, (http://APO.af/xtXMF1draws from the insights cultivated over the APP’s decade of work (2007-2017), outlining the key opportunities and challenges Africa faces as it strives to realize the Sustainable Development Goals, and create long-term equitable and sustainable prosperity.

The APP’s final report is primarily a call to action. It presents a bold agenda for African progress, to be taken forward by leaders on the continent and abroad to accelerate Africa’s transformation in the coming decades.

“After ten very active years, the Africa Progress Panel will be ceasing its activities at the end of 2017. However, we are convinced that the spirit of our work must continue.” said Kofi Annan, Chair of the APP.

According to Mr. Annan, the APP’s work will be taken forward from 2018 by a new entity, provisionally named the Africa Progress Group, which is to be established by Panel member, and former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo. The new entity, with operational headquarters at the Centre for Human Security and Dialogue of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Nigeria, will seek to create a network of robust regional and international partnerships focused on pushing for the implementation of the recommendations the APP has made over the years in its Africa Progress Reports and policy statements.

Three core priorities for action are highlighted in the final Panel report: Mobilize sufficient financial resources fast for Africa’s “green and blue” (agriculture and fisheries sector) revolutions, rapidly boost investment in Africa’s energy and transport infrastructure, and fight against illicit financial activities and the mismanagement of Africa’s resources.

The majority of Africa’s poor continue to live and work in rural areas, predominantly as smallholder farmers, whilst millions depend on the ocean for their protein and livelihoods. The absence of flourishing agricultural and fishing industries risks excluding the majority of Africans from the rising tide of prosperity.

More than 600 million Africans still do not have access to electricity, and the number is set to grow in the coming years. In addition to effectively addressing the climate change challenge, Africa must also proactively rethink the relationship between energy and development, and swiftly leapfrog to a new era of low carbon efficient modern energy systems that provide affordable electricity to all Africans. The Panel also emphasises that a culture of accountability, with zero tolerance for corruption at all levels, supported by transparent institutions, especially with regards to financial activities and tax regimes, will also be fundamental to achieving progressive change and positive transformation on the continent.

Additionally, President Obasanjo stresses the importance of ensuring gender equality as soon as possible. “Africa’s future is in the hands of women. Equal education for girls, at all three education levels, is the critical issue”, he said.

Reaffirming the APP’s recognition of the hard work that lies ahead, the final Africa Progress Panel report concludes thus:

“We have seen Africa transform over the past decade, and our work has left us with an unshakeable hope for its future. We also know, however, that this transformation has required hard work, creativity and courage. This will continue to be vital in the coming years, for much remains to be done” 

The ten-member Africa Progress Panel advocates at the highest levels for equitable and sustainable development in Africa

*Africa Progress Panel

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Greenlight Planet Launches Next-Generation Solar Lamps, Doubling Performance
December 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

Revamped Sun King solar lanterns raise the bar for performance and affordability

NAIROBI, Kenya,18 December 2017,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/-Greenlight Planet Inc., a global leader in solar home energy products across rural Africa and Asia, announced the launch of a new line of solar lanterns today: the Sun King Pro 400, Sun King Pro 300, and the Sun King Pico Plus. The new devices are more powerful replacements of the company’s existing best-selling solar lamps, boasting dramatic increases in brightness and phone-charging capacity, at lower cost, while retaining popular elements like their famously flexible and indestructible design.

Greenlight Planet CEO T. Patrick Walsh says the improvements are a direct response to the evolving priorities of the company’s customer base. “It’s been nearly 10 years since we launched the first Sun King product, and people’s needs have dramatically evolved. Rural consumers today expect brighter light, on par with standard home lighting on the electrical grid. They need more power to charge their increasingly battery-hungry smartphones.” Greenlight meets these requirements with the new line of modernized, high-performance lanterns.

Compared to the company’s previous hit product, the Sun King Pro 2, the new Pro 400and Pro 300 lamps have twice the phone-charging capacity and more than double the brightness. But they are even less expensive, said Mr. Walsh, thanks to improved efficiency and streamlined design. Technical improvements include higher-capacity batteries and larger 5.5-watt solar panels. New, higher-efficiency LEDs can be found in all three of the new models.

The new line of Sun King lanterns continues the brand’s focus on reliability: The products’ electronic circuitry is protected with conformal coating, preventing damage in case of occasional exposure to rain (the same water-resistant protection used in the company’s previous Sun King Pico model). The new Lithium-NMC batteries, adopted from electric-vehicle manufacturers, offer nearly double the energy density of the previous lanterns’ batteries: The company carefully selected the new battery formulation to deliver a six-year lifespan under typical usage scenarios, testing them to over 1000 cycles at 100% depth of discharge.

Specifications of each new model are displayed on the company’s website:

Sun King Pro 400: Shines at 400 lumens (40X the brightness of a kerosene lamp) for 5 hours, or for 100 hours at its lowest brightness setting, after a single day of charging. Suggested to retail at $39.

Sun King Pro 300: Shines at 300 lumens (30X the brightness of a kerosene lamp) for 6.5 hours, or for 100 hours at its lowest brightness setting, after a single day of charging. Suggested to retail at $34.

Sun King Pico Plus: Shines at 50 lumens (5X the brightness of a kerosene lamp), or for 72 hours after a single sunny day of solar charging. Suggested to retail at $8.

Greenlight Planet Inc. is a leading global designer, distributor, and financer of off-grid solar energy products, targeting underserved consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Growing rapidly, the company already offers its innovative and affordable energy products in 62 countries, powering the homes, businesses, and human potential of 28 million people.

Contact Ben Matthew
Global Sales Director

ben@greenlightplanet.com
+91 96190 81188
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The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) Signs a EUR 110.5 Million Agreement with SENELEC to Boost Senegal’s Energy Sector
December 19, 2017 | 0 Comments
The operation will contribute to secure the supply of petroleum products for electricity generation and power plants in the country
Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol (left), CEO, ITFC exchanges documents

Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol (left), CEO, ITFC exchanges documents

JEDDAH, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, December 18, 2017/ — The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) (www.ITFC-IDB.org), member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group (www.IsDB.org), signed a EUR 110.5 Million Murabaha Financing Agreement (CFA Franc 72.5 Billion), in favor of SENELEC (Senegal National Power Company) to enhance the country’s power system efficiency.

The agreement was signed by Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO, ITFC, and Mr. Mouhamadou Makhtar Cissé, CEO, SENELEC.

Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol  said after signing the agreement , “ITFC is pleased to participate in Senegal’s ambitious power agenda to address the country’s energy needs.”

He continued “The operation will contribute to secure the supply of petroleum products for electricity generation and power plants in the country, and therefore support its economic development. Moreover, the financing is expected to help improve people’s living conditions in Senegal.”

From his side, Mr. Mouhamadou Makhtar Cissé said: “It is an important step for Senegal’s power sector. The financing will have a strong impact in providing much needed power to help sustain the country’s economic growth and implement Senegal’s Emerging Plan (“PSE 2035”).” He added that “The agreement shall therefore, contribute to the Government efforts to eliminate electricity shortage.”

The country has benefitted from more than USD 321 million of financing since ITFC’s inception in 2008.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC).

 

About the International Islamic Trade and Finance Corporation (ITFC): 
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (www.ITFC-IDB.org) is an autonomous entity within the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. ITFC commenced operations in January 2008 with the purpose of consolidating all the trade finance businesses that used to be handled by various windows within the IsDB Group. The consolidation of IsDB Group’s trade finance activities under a single umbrella enhanced the Corporation’s efficiency in service delivery by enabling rapid responses to customer needs in a market-driven business environment.

As a leader in Shari’ah-compliant trade finance, ITFC deploys its expertise and funds to businesses and governments in its Member Countries. With the vision of being the leading provider of trade solutions for OIC Member Countries’ needs, the Corporation helps entities in Member Countries gain better access to trade finance and provides them with trade development programmes in order to help them compete successfully in the global market. Operating to world class standards, ITFC promotes IsDB developmental objectives through its two main pillars, Trade Finance and Trade Development, to fulfil its brand promise of ‘Advancing Trade & Improving Lives’.

 

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Interactive network of focal points concerned with AU strategic partnerships established
December 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire
An interactive network of focal points concerned with African Union
(AU) strategic partnerships has been formed to build synergies that
would help galvanise all stakeholders at the continental, regional and
national horizons of the African continent.

The AU Commission and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)
are jointly hosting a three day conference titled: ‘Lets Talk’ to
establish interactive networks between the Partnerships Management and
Coordination Division (PMCD) at African Union Commission (AUC) and the
focal points concerned with AU strategic partnerships and
international cooperation at different levels.The conference is being
held in Harare, Zimbabwe on 18 to 20 December, 2017.

The stakeholders include Regional Economic Communities (RECs), AU
regional offices, AU organs and specialised agencies, the Economic
Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) and other agencies.
The PMCD of the AUC has a mandate that centres on managing and
coordinating the activities relating to strategic partnerships between
the AU and its global partners.

The activities are aligned to Africa’s development and integration
agenda as pescribed in the AU’s Agenda 2063 and are particularly aimed
at addressing the needs of the African people.

The meeting being convened in Harare is expected to result in the
launch of the African Partnerships Coordination Platform (APCP),
development of the terms of reference for the platform, format for
harmonised views and coordinated plans and interaction with AU
external partners established, challenges and opportunities for
synergy and modalities for building interactions.

According to Dr Levi Madueke, Head of AU Strategic partnerships,
Bureau of the Chairperson, the AU views the engagement of the AU’s
partners as an activity of great strategic importance in the
continent’s plan to achieve integration and development.

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2018 economy: UBS optimistic on good investment For Emerging Markets
December 17, 2017 | 0 Comments
 as Africa’s technological development  materialise

‎By Yinka Ajayi

Optimistic about the year ahead, UBS Wealth Management’s Chief Investment Office (CIO) has forecasts 2018 to be positive as global economic growth continue at the high 3.8% rate witnessed in 2017.

In a statement signed by , Mark Haefele, Global Chief Investment Officer at UBS Wealth Management, stated: ‘Periods of high economic growth often sow the seeds of their demise. But there is little evidence today of an impending recession. Historically, recessions have been caused by one or more of: capacity constraints, oil price shocks, excessively tight monetary policy, contractions in government spending, or financial crises. None look likely to materialize in 2018. In this environment, we remain positive on equities relative to high-grade and government bonds.’

Overall, UBS expects emerging markets to be well prepared to weather gradual monetary tightening globally. In addition, few other regions are better positioned to benefit from growth in the technology sector.

Within Africa, political risks may in some limited cases overshadow investment opportunities. Depending on the outcome of ANC elections later this month, South Africa’s credit rating in particular might deteriorate further after S&P’s downgrade a few days ago, potentially discouraging foreign investment.

In the same vein, Ali Janoudi, Head of Wealth Management Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, France and Benelux International at UBS Wealth Management, added : ‘ African economies supported by demographic trends will  continue to see significant potential and  technological progress. In the case of South Africa, such opportunities seem currently challenged by political risks in the short term.’

Central banks will tighten monetary policy and in some cases raise interest rates in 2018. In certain areas, especially financial services, this will bring opportunities, except in the unlikely event of significant hikes. But amid rising rates, investors will also need to prepare for higher volatility, higher dispersion of returns from individual stocks, and in some cases higher correlations between equities and bonds. Conversely, this may benefit alternative and other active asset managers.

Extreme political scenarios, principally a US-North Korea conflict, remain a low-probability risk for markets. However, politics may have a significant local impact. Investors can either hedge this by diversifying their portfolios globally or by treating it as an opportunity, particularly in the case of longer-term trends such as emerging market infrastructure development.

Likewise, extreme financial outcomes, principally a Chinese debt crisis, are unlikely to materialize in 2018 but worth monitoring. Total bank assets in China are 310% of GDP, nearly three times higher than the emerging market average. However, China’s high growth rate, powerful state, and closed capital account make it less susceptible to debt crises. Our base case is for 6.4% growth versus 6.8% in 2017.

Finally, social, environmental, and technological change continue to present both opportunities and risks. For the stock market, we see the most important long-term tech themes as digital data, automation and robotics, and smart mobility. Investors can also put capital to work in a variety of social and environmental fields across the growing field of sustainable investing, including multilateral development bank bonds and impact investing as well as listed equities.

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The winner of Kuwait’s Al-Sumait Prize for African Development for 2017 in the field of Education received their award at a special ceremony held in Kuwait City
December 16, 2017 | 0 Comments
His Highness Deputy Amir Crown Prince Nawaf Al Ahmed Al Sabah hands over Al-Sumait Prize to Executive Director of FAWE Africa Hendrina Doroba

His Highness Deputy Amir Crown Prince Nawaf Al Ahmed Al Sabah hands over Al-Sumait Prize to Executive Director of FAWE Africa Hendrina Doroba

KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait, December 14, 2017/ — His Highness Deputy Amir Crown Prince Nawaf Al Ahmed Al Sabah awarded the 2017 prize, which comprises of one million dollars, a gold medal and shield at a special ceremony yesterday morning in Kuwait.

The 2017 Al-Sumait Education category award went to the Forum of African Women Educationalists (FAWE) Kenya, for their sustained efforts towards the achievement across the African continent of equity and equality in education through targeted programs. FAWE Africa Executive Director Hendrina Doroba said, “We feel tremendously honoured by this award that will be used to support our efforts in promoting and developing equity and equality in education on the continent, particularly through our centres of excellence and partnerships with governments across Africa.”

 

Initiated in 2013 by His Highness The Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah, the Al-Sumait Prize for African Development is designed to reward innovative and inspiring initiatives and research by individuals and organizations that address the challenges facing the African continent. The award recognizes and honours individuals or institutions that help advance economic and social development, human resources development and infrastructure in Africa.

Dr. Adnan Shihab-Eldin, Director General of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) (www.KFAS.org), which administers Kuwait’s Al-Sumait Prize (www.AlSumaitPrize.org) for African Development, told the audience that FAWE’s inclusive and strategic approach to tackling education inequality in particular between girls and boys education was truly inspiring.

The Al-Sumait Board of Trustees comprises prominent international personalities in the field of development in Africa and world-renowned philanthropists. The Board is chaired by H.E. Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait.

Other trustees include Mr. Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Makhtar Diop, Vice President of the World Bank for Africa, Dr. Kwaku Aning, Former Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and Mr. Abdulatif Al-Hamad, Director General and Chairman of the Board of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development.

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Siemens and Rotan Power sign agreement for power plant project in Ghana
December 16, 2017 | 0 Comments
Total investment volume of more than $500 million
ACCRA, Ghana, December 14, 2017/ —

  • Memorandum of Understanding for combined cycle power plant with a capacity of 660 megawatts
  • Total investment volume of more than $500 million
CEO of Siemens Sub-Saharan Africa, Sabine Dall’Omo emphasized that Siemens is part of social fabric of African countries, as an employer and investor as she was signing the agreement with the chairman of Rotan Energy, Kofi Morna (1)

CEO of Siemens Sub-Saharan Africa, Sabine Dall’Omo emphasized that Siemens is part of social fabric of African countries, as an employer and investor as she was signing the agreement with the chairman of Rotan Energy, Kofi Morna (1)

In order to help Ghana meet its industrialization targets, Siemens (www.Siemens.com) and Rotan Power (www.RotanPower.com) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop and build a combined cycle power plant with a capacity of 660 megawatts (MW) at the Aboadze Power Enclave located in the western region. The MoU was signed today in the presence of Brigitte Zypries, the German Federal Minister of Economics and Energy, the Ghanaian deputy president, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. The plant will be the most efficient and environmentally friendly thermal plants, setting new standards in sub Saharan Africa. It will be built in two phases, with commercial operations date of the first phase scheduled for 2023 with the second phase scheduled for 2025. The German Export Credit Agency and Euler Hermes are set to provide financing for the project, which would be the largest plant in Ghana.

CEO of Siemens Sub-Saharan Africa, Sabine Dall’Omo says: “This project underlines the strategic partnership between Germany and Ghana and underpins the engagement of Siemens as leading global technology company in Africa. Together we will provide electricity to more than five million Ghanaians unlocking the economic potential by using power as a catalyst for socio-economic development.”

Chairman of Rotan Power, Mr. Kofi Morna says: “Rotan is delighted to partner with Siemens in deploying the first F-Class turbine in sub Saharan Africa with the lowest generation cost among thermal power producers in Ghana. Together with Siemens we will power the country and further improve access to electricity for our population. Furthermore the partnership will enable us to leverage skills transfer and training for Ghanaians.”

Siemens is responsible for the entire EPC turnkey scope. In addition Siemens – will provide Operation and Maintenance for 20 years.

Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) (www.Siemens.com) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 165 years. The company is active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of efficient power generation and power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry. The company is also a leading provider of medical imaging equipment – such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging systems – and a leader in laboratory diagnostics as well as clinical IT. In fiscal 2016, which ended on September 30, 2016, Siemens generated revenue of €79.6 billion and net income of €5.6 billion. At the end of September 2016, the company had around 351,000 employees worldwide.

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Togo: The Orabank Group opens a trading room in Lomé
December 16, 2017 | 0 Comments
The Orabank Group wishes to be a key player in the UEMOA money market and to play a leading role in boosting the secondary market for government securities
LOME, Togo, December 15, 2017/ — The Orabank Group (www.Orabank.net), present in 12 countries and in four monetary zones in West and Central Africa, announces the opening of a regional and international trading room in Lomé, Togo. Ever since its formation, the Orabank Group has always had the will and ambition to support its customers (both individuals and businesses), to actively contribute to the financing of the private sector, to optimize the mobilization of local savings and to stimulate growth in African financial markets.

This new trading room provides a concrete answer to each of these four objectives. Indeed, it offers Oragroup a leading position as a financial intermediary that places the bank at the heart of financial exchanges in the countries where it operates, in order to best serve its private and institutional clients, both in Africa and internationally, as well as other regional banks.

In a market previously dominated by players operating from Europe and the United States, Oragroup now offers its clients a competitive and up-to-date offer in Africa, to intervene on the foreign exchange market in the monetary areas where its subsidiaries are established. The Orabank Group wishes to be a key player in the UEMOA money market and to play a leading role in boosting the secondary market for government securities.

The opening of this trading room is also intended to strengthen synergies within the Group, allowing significant economies of scale in foreign exchange hedging transactions between subsidiaries while increasing the share of cash net banking income. This new step is part of the “2016-2018 Strategy – Consolidation and Efficiency” plan, aimed at strengthening the Group’s financial strength.

“This new step illustrates the dynamic of our Group characterized by a strong performance in 2016 and an upward trajectory in 2017, combining profitability, commercial development and innovations, particularly in the deployment of digital solutions. In 2018, Oragroup is set to accentuate its growth along with its values ​​of humanity, commitment, and rigor in order to contribute to the development of the African financial sector as a central engine of our economies. That is our collective will”, says Binta Touré Ndoye, CEO of Oragroup.

Oragroup is present in 12 countries of West and Central Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad, Togo) and in four monetary areas (WAEMU, CEMAC, Guinea Conakry, Mauritania). With 143 bank branches and 1,750 employees, Oragroup offers its 400,000 customers (large companies, both national and international, SMEs and individuals) a wide range of products and banking services based on proximity and efficiency.

Oragroup (www.Orabank.net) believes in financial inclusion through the deployment of innovative solutions and focuses on previously neglected segments of the population. This commitment is reflected in its CSR approach, which is an integral part of its strategy, focused on energy transition and environmental as well as social risk management, to the greater benefit of its employees and the public at large.

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Luambe National Park Now The World’s Most Carbon Neutral
December 16, 2017 | 0 Comments
The announcement comes just 18 months after the Lower Zambezi National Park – also in Zambia – became the world’s first to achieve carbon neutrality from operations
LUSAKA, Zambia, December 15, 2017/ — Luambe National Park in Zambia has achieved a conservation milestone this week as it became the most carbon neutral National Park in the world.

Luambe’s carbon neutral status is a result of the USAID-funded Community Forests Program (CFP) implemented by BioCarbon Partners (BCP) (http://BioCarbonPartners.com), in partnership with the Zambian Government. This world-first level of carbon neutrality means the emissions of all tourism and conservation management activities within with the park are offset, including all international tourist airline travel. Platinum is the highest possible carbon rating available from BCP.

The announcement comes just 18 months after the Lower Zambezi National Park – also in Zambia – became the world’s first to achieve carbon neutrality from operations. This latest announcement from Luambe secures Zambia’s recognition as a global leader in carbon offsetting.

“Luambe National Park’s carbon neutral status sets a great example for other protected areas in Zambia,” said USAID/Zambia Economic Development Office Director Jeremy Boley. “This status shows the world that Zambia takes emissions reduction seriously.”

Luambe Camp (http://Luambe.com) voluntarily funded the carbon neutrality from their own internal revenues, investing in renewable energy sources and purchasing Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) audited forest carbon offsets generated within Zambia. Luambe Camp began operations in June 2017, and are committed to establishing a new bar of environmental stewardship and sustainability. Mario Voss, Director of Luambe Camp, stated that “as a business that operates as a showcase and celebration of Luambe National Park’s unique beauty and biodiversity, it is crucial that we take responsibility for its conservation. We’re passionate environmentalists and it is important to the whole Luambe Camp team that we can offer our guests a truly eco-friendly experience.”

Funds raised from REDD+ offset sales are reinvested into conservation and community development in buffer zone areas to national parks within Zambia. All countries on earth have now signed up to the Paris Climate Agreement, and there are more signals towards innovative carbon conscious milestones and action. With experts agreeing that Africa is likely to be the continent most vulnerable to climate change, the leadership of Zambian tourism businesses and the Zambian Government agrees to operate with carbon neutrality and set a positive example throughout the continent. Director of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), Mr Paul Zyambo, stated that “We are happy to partner with another innovative carbon-conscious achievement in the conservation and tourism sector in Zambia with partners like Luambe Camp and BCP. Luambe forms a part of Zambia’s famous Luangwa Valley and we hope that this showcases how special this area is, and why it is worth a visit.”

Dr Hassan Sachedina, BCP’s CEO, added, “It is exciting that Zambia now has two of the world’s first carbon neutral parks, which are helping to conserve two of the most important biodiversity strongholds left in Africa. I am really proud to be partnering with these family-owned businesses raising the bar of what eco-tourism to include carbon offsetting.” We hope that this spurs more action globally to address climate change.”

Partner Lodge achieving Platinum Level Carbon Neutrality:

With Luambe National Park being located in a core area of Zambia’s Luangwa Valley, it forms a crucial part of its entire ecosystem. The main objective of Luambe Camp and its operating company Luambe Conservation Ltd. is to primarily conserve the habitat and biodiversity of the National Park by generating profit through sustainable safari tourism. These will be used by Luambe Conservation Ltd. to ensure the future protection of Luambe National

Park and the sustainable development of its surrounding communities.

Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project Implementing Partners:

BioCarbon Partners (BCP) (https://BioCarbonPartners.com) is a Zambian-based social enterprise, which develops and manages long term forest carbon projects in Zambia. The current focus of BCP is on implementing REDD+ projects in the greater Zambezi-Luangwa ecosystem in Zambia. BCP has certified Zambia’s first pilot REDD+ demonstration project known as the ‘Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project’ (LZRP) to CCBA triple gold standards (validation) and VCS verification; the first project in Africa with these certifications. In addition, BCP is proud to partner with USAID/ZAMBIA in the implementation of the Community Forests Program (CFP). This innovative program targets the verification of a minimum of 700,000 additional hectares (ha) across two Provinces in Zambia www.biocarbonpartners.com

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent federal government agency advancing U.S. foreign policy objectives by supporting long-term and equitable economic growth, agriculture and trade, global health, democracy, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance. www.usaid.gov

The Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) is mandated under the Zambian Wildlife Act No. 12 of 1998 to manage and conserve Zambia’s wildlife, its national parks and game management areas; which cover 31 percent of the country’s land mass. DNPW endeavors to integrate the wildlife policy with economic, environmental and social policies to ensure effective contribution to sustainable national development. BCP and DNPW collaborate closely in the implementation of REDD+ activities adjacent to protected areas. www.zambiatourism.com

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Buhari Wants Nigerian Troops Back From Guinea Bissau
December 16, 2017 | 0 Comments

.as Nigeria agrees to host ECOWAS 52nd Ordinary Session

By Olayinka Ajayi

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday told the President of ECOWAS Commission, Marcel A. de Souza that Nigerian troops in Guinea Bissau need to be sent back home.

President Buhari receiving His Excellency Marcel A. de Souza, President of the ECOWAS Commission

President Buhari receiving His Excellency Marcel A. de Souza, President of the ECOWAS Commission

Speaking at the he hosted Marcel A. de Souza at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. The President said he expects a formal report on the situation in Guinea Bissau at the 52nd Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government set to hold on Saturday in Abuja.

His words:“We need our troops back home, and I hope the President of that country will accept a constitutional way to resolve the situation there,” Buhari said.

The ECOWAS Commission boss in response thanked Nigeria for agreeing to host the 52nd Ordinary Session at short notice, adding that the impact of Nigeria was quite strong in the organisation. He said further that Nigeria will make an impact in the ECOWAS region having just come out of recession.

“We are under financial pressure due to terrorist attacks in the sub-region, but Nigeria being out of recession will have an impact on the entire region,” de Souza said.

He noted that Nigeria was the highest contributor of troops to Guinea Bissau, but admitted that “the troops can’t be there endlessly.”

Buhari also said it was gladdening that the organisation demand accountability from its headquarters staff, which made it invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from Nigeria recently to look into its books.

“Thanks for being firm, and for insisting on transparency and accountability at the ECOWAS headquarters,” President Buhari said, adding that Nigeria would continue to fulfil its obligations to the sub-regional body.

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New Reports Highlight Salaries and Gender Gap Across Africa’s Fintech Industry
December 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

To better understand and address human talent gaps that exist in Africa’s Fintech landscape, the Digital Frontiers Institute (DFI) has released two new reports: the 2017 Fintech Talent Africa Leadership and Employee Engagement Report and the 2017 Fintech Talent Africa Compensation Report. The reports, the first of their kind, provide valuable data and insights for business leaders and entrepreneurs to help attract and retain the best people in Africa’s increasingly competitive financial technology industry.

“There is far too little Fintech talent in Africa, and companies in the industry are feeling the pinch,” said Gavin Krugel, CEO of the Digital Frontiers Institute. “This human capacity gap is leading to escalating human capital costs and hiring delays, stalling business progress within the Fintech industry. Through our research insights and work to develop Fintech management, we aim to help digital finance professionals worldwide cultivate the necessary capabilities and capacity to shape and contribute to more efficient, effective and inclusive financial services.”

With funding from Omidyar Network, this comprehensive report draws on data collected through a cross-sectoral survey of more than 400 leaders, managers and professionals across 69 organisations and 10 sub-Saharan African countries. Among the reports’ key findings:

  • Salary Comparisons by Country: countries such as Kenya and Nigeria consistently rank the highest when it comes to remuneration packages for staff across all levels of expertise, while more developed digital economies such as South Africa, with the largest pool of respondents, consistently rank in the middle and lower tiers of compensation packages.
  • Gender Gap: Similar to current trends in technology and finance industries globally, women are underrepresented at Fintech companies across Africa, both in leadership and operational roles. Of the more than 400 professionals who participated in the survey, only 12.5 percent were women, and on average, women made up 39 percent of teams in Fintech.

The reports also explore the reasons behind disparities and provide advice on what can be done to resolve challenges in recruiting and retaining talent. Ultimately, the reports can empower leaders and decision makers in the African Fintech industry to improve capacity planning, talent development, and remuneration and retention practices, maximizing their opportunities in one of the world’s fastest growing industries.

Both reports are free to download and share from the following link: https://digitalfrontiersinstitute.org/the-institute/2017/12/08/explore-africas-fintech-talent-landscape-digital-frontiers-institute/

About Digital Frontiers Institute

Digital Frontiers Institute (DFI) is a capacity building institute focused on digital finance. Our mission is to equip a new generation of FinTech professionals with the knowledge, skills, network & vision required to guide society towards inclusive digital financial solutions. DFI connects more than 1500 industry professionals representing public, private and development sectors in 60 countries through its online community, Switch. The organisation has trained more than 2 000 students in 90 countries.  DFI was founded by David Porteous, Gavin Krugel and Ignacio Mas, current funders include The Omidyar Network, FSD Africa, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and MasterCard Foundation.

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CCA Leads U.S. Delegation to Sudan on Historic Trade Mission
December 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

Washington, DC – December 14, 2017 Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) led an historic trade mission to Khartoum, Sudan on December 3-7, 2017. This first trade mission to Sudan – less than two months after the U.S. government lifted economic sanctions in place for over 20 years – afforded U.S. companies an up close and hands on experience in Sudan to gain a deeper understanding of Sudan’s current investment climate and business opportunities.

CCA President and CEO, Ms. Florizelle Liser and the Director for Investment and Infrastructure, Mr. Biova Kabine, led the trade mission to Sudan. The 21-person delegation of CCA member and other companies represented sectors from infrastructure, oil and gas, mining, health and medical supplies, and financial services.  Participating companies included A&A Consultants, Inc, ACROW Bridge, All American Logistics, Caterpillar, Diamond Fields International, General Electric, Shell, The Boeing Company, Trade and Development Bank, US Best Medical, Varian Medical Systems and Visa. The trade mission was sponsored by Sudatel and Trade and Development Bank (TDB).

“We received a very warm welcome in Sudan, and we came away with the knowledge that the government and people of Sudan are eager and ready to engage with U.S. businesses” said Ms. Liser. “I am grateful to the major sponsors of the trade mission (including Sudatel and the Trade and Development Bank), the Sudanese Government, the U.S. State Department and embassy in Khartoum, and to the participating companies and trade mission delegates, who made this historic trade mission a reality.”

The delegation was welcomed by senior Sudanese government officials, including meetings with Sudan’s Prime Minister, H.E. Bakri Hassan Saleh as well as its Foreign Affairs Minister, H.E. Prof. Ibrahim Ahmed Abdulaziz Ghandour; and also explored investment opportunities and networked with key business leaders in a market that had been closed off to U.S. investors due to the sanctions.

The delegation started its meetings with a briefing by the U.S. Embassy Khartoum’s Country Team as well as one by the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) country representatives which provided companies with an overview of the political and economic environment in Sudan as well as forecasts for Sudan’s economic growth and business prospects. TDB President Admassu Tadesse provided valuable information to the delegates on how TDB can provide financing for projects, serving as a bridge mechanism while commercial banks are still considering when and how to move into the promising Sudanese market.

The trade mission featured a high-level business-to-government forum during which detailed presentations on various Sudanese sectors provided attending U.S. companies with the kinds of in-depth information needed to inform their business decisions. The forum was opened by H.E. Mubarak al Fadil al Mahdi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Investment. The Ministers of Finance and Economic Planning, H.E. Dr. Mohamed Othman Al-Rikabi; Agriculture and Forestry, H.E. Dr. Abdulatif Ahmed Mohamed Al Igeimi; Petroleum and Gas, H.E. Dr. Abdulrahman Osman Abdulrahman; Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity, H.E. Mutz Mousa Abdalla Salim; Transport, Roads and Bridges, H.E. Engineer Makawi Mohamed Awad; Health, H.E. Bahar Idris Abu Garda Abulgasim; Minerals, H.E. Professor Hashim Ali Mohamed Salim; and Environment, Natural Resources and Physical Development, H.E. Dr. Hassan Abdulgadir Hilal were also in attendance. CCA trade mission delegates then had the opportunity to hold one-on-one meetings with some ministers.

The delegation continued the mission with business-to-business meetings with more than fifty company representatives that are members of the Sudanese Businessmen and Employers Federation and the U.S. Sudan Business Council.  In a briefing by the Sudanese Central Bank, the Sudanese Bankers Association, and the Bank of Khartoum, the delegation heard from senior executives about the Sudanese financial services sector and discussed both the challenges and opportunities related to bank financing of business ventures and projects in Sudan.

The delegation also did several site visits including one to Sudatel’s Data Center – one of only two such centers in the region; and another to DAL Group facilities, which highlighted this premier Sudanese multinational’s multiple business lines and allowed the delegates to visit the DAL Milk Factory and its modern dairy farm.

Due to the trade mission, several delegates have identified new business opportunities and potential local partners, collected key market data and made substantial progress on large transactions.

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Ambassador Omar Arouna Appointed To Washington DC’s Mayor’s Commission On African Affairs
December 14, 2017 | 1 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

 

Ambassador Omar Arouna has solid credentials for consistent advocacy for Africa

Ambassador Omar Arouna has solid credentials for consistent advocacy for Africa

Omar Arouna , immediate past Ambassador of  Benin  to the United States ,a 25 year Washington DC resident, and a well-known US Africa policy expert has been named by Mayor Muriel Bowser to the Washington, D.C., Mayor’s Commission on African Affairs.

The newly appointed commissioner, is a Managing Partner of the US-Africa Cybersecurity Group LLC. (https://usafcg.com); a District of Columbia legal liability collaborative organization designed to foster the development and implementation of cybersecurity strategies and initiatives in the public and private sectors in Africa and the Founder and CEO of Global Specialty LLC. (GSL) a District of Columbia leading international business development firm focused on developing business opportunities on the African continent.

Ambassador Arouna serves as Executive Vice President of Goodworks, International, a U.S. multi-national consulting firm founded by former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young. The firm at its height had seven offices in Africa and three U.S. based offices focused on promoting business in Africa and the Caribbean. Clients have included AECOM, Chevron, Delta Airlines, General Electric, Motorola, and Sumitomo Corporation, MGI Management, and Verizon. In addition, he also assisted African governments in improving their relations with U.S. government agencies and, helped governments to reach out to Members of Congress and the White House.

As Ambassador Omar Arouna helped in forging stronger ties between Benin and the USA

As Ambassador Omar Arouna helped in forging stronger ties between Benin and the USA

The Mayor’s commission on Africa Affairs is composed of fifteen (15) members appointed by the Mayor with consent of the Council.   Members of the Commission on African Affairs who have shown dedication to, and knowledge of the African community, are appointed with due consideration for representation from established public, nonprofit and volunteer community organizations concerned with the African community, and members of the public.

 

The functions of the Commission on African Affairs are to:

  • Serve as an advocate for African persons in the District;
  • Review and submit to the Mayor, the Council, and the Office, and make available to the public, an annual report that includes an analysis of the needs of the African community in the District;
  • Bring to the attention of the Mayor and the OAA cases of neglect, abuse and incidents of bias against members of the African community in the administration of District and federal laws;
  • Review and comment on proposed District and federal legislation, regulations, policies, and programs and make policy recommendations on issues affecting the health, safety, and welfare of the African community;

Ambassador Arouna  is expected to be sworn in on Saturday December 16,2017.

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