“We Support Your Vision” – World Bank VEEP Tells President Akufo-Addo
April 5, 2017 | 0 Comments
The World Bank’s Vice President for Africa, Mr. Makhtar Diop, on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, paid a courtesy call on the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to extend the support of the Bank towards helping to address the numerous challenges confronting the Ghanaian economy.
At the meeting, which was attended by the Vice President of the Republic, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia; Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei Opare; and Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta; Mr. Makhtar Diop noted the World Bank was concerned about “one of the engines in the sub-region” and was, thus, determined to help Ghana emerge out of her current situation.
Applauding the decision of President Akufo-Addo to stimulate private sector activity to be the instrument of growth for the Ghanaian economy, he explained that this decision was prudent, considering Ghana’s high levels of indebtedness and the lack of fiscal space.
According to him, “the financing needs that the economy must have to sustain the growth that is envisaged for Ghana cannot be attained through public financing, due to the high level of indebtedness that you inherited. So we need to help create all the conditions for the private sector to lead this process.”
He, therefore, pledged the support of the World Bank – experience, technical and monetary – to helping the government of Ghana succeed.
Makhtar Diop added that the World Bank is also amenable to helping Ghana to process its cocoa, and depart from being a mere exporter of cocoa beans, akin to the support given to Cote d’Ivoire, which has received a $120 million facility to boost value-addition for its cocoa industry.
“Your vision is very clear, and we are supporting it. We have discussed with your team the options from which we can help you address the difficult situations you are facing today. You can count on our full support to be with you and to work with you towards a lasting solution,” he added.
Makhtar Diop congratulated President Akufo-Addo and Ghana “on being an example in Africa on how democracy and political transitions can be held successfully.”
On his part, President Akufo-Addo thanked Makhtar Diop for the gesture of his visit, and acknowledged the role he was playing in the global financial organization, adding that “you have gained the confidence of your peers and the admiration of the continent.”
The President was thankful for the commitment of the World Bank towards the realization of his vision of a private sector-driven economy, explaining that despite the promise of Ghana’s economy being derailed in recent years, largely as a result of the mismanagement of the economy, he was confident of the return of the country onto the path of progress and prosperity.
Describing Ghana as “a country of immense potential”, with “a people who are capable of working hard to produce a prosperous Ghana”, President Akufo-Addo noted that his government is determined to create a conducive climate to stimulate private enterprise growth in the country.
The ‘Asempa Budget’, which has been passed by Parliament, he explained, contains policy initiatives that will create the needed fiscal space for government to implement its programmes, as well as spur on the development of the private sector.
“It is only when we grow the economy that we will create jobs and prosperity for the people,” he added.
The President also reiterated his commitment to protecting the public purse and dealing with corruption through the “office of Special Prosecutor, which will be a creature independent of the Executive. It will have the mandate to deal with issues of corruption and allegations of corruption against public office holders.”
Ghana: Come, Serve and Go – Mahama to African Leaders
April 3, 2017 | 0 Comments
By Alex Ohene*
He said given the current development needs of Africa, leaders who can act with a sense of urgency are supposed to be at the helm of affairs.
Ghana’s former president made these remarks at the 2017 Africa Development Conference held at the Harvard University, USA on Saturday, April 1.
The two-day event, which began on Friday, is under the auspices of the Harvard African Student Organisations.
Former President Mahama talked about the toll climate change is having on the continent but indicated, more importantly, that the leaders must be up and doing.
“We need leadership that can forge ahead with a greater sense of urgency because Africa is a continent in a hurry.”
He advocated a principle for leadership on the continent.
“You come, you serve, you go. That is what democracy is and should be the principle for Ghana and Africa’s leaders.”
He pointed out that the youth appear to be more fired up to take over from the current crop of leaders.
“I have no doubt that we have the kind of human material to take over from my generation,”explaining: “Our young people want to see visible improvements. All of us must be committed to making sure our continent progresses.”
He added: “We need to have confidence that the next generations can come in and do even better than we have done”.
He advocated intra-Africa trade as the starting point for turning economies of the continent around.
“I have been a strong advocate for the removal of customs barriers across the continent. We must work at it.”
Fifa propose nine African World Cup spots
April 1, 2017 | 0 Comments
Fifa is proposing that Africa gets nine automatic places when the World Cup expands to 48 teams in 2026.
That would be an increase from the tally of five places that the continent currently holds.
A tenth African country will take part in a six-nation play-off tournament to decide the last two spots.
Football’s world governing body has revealed its plans for how all 48 places will be allocated, with 16 Europeans teams set to qualify.
“The Bureau of the Fifa Council, comprised of the Fifa President and the president of each of the six confederations, agreed on (the) proposed allocation,” said a Fifa statement.
The recommendations will be voted on by the Fifa Council at its next meeting on 9 May.
Fifa members voted in January to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams, starting with the 2026 edition.
- Asia: 8 direct slots – increased from 4.5 (currently 46 members)
- Africa: 9 direct slots – increased from 5 (currently 54 members)
- North and central America: 6 direct slots – increased from 3.5 (currently 34 members)
- South America: 6 direct slots – increased from 4.5 (currently 10 members)
- Oceania: 1 direct slot – increased from 0.5 (currently 11 members)
- Europe: 16 direct slots – increased from 13 (currently 55 members)
- Final two places in 2026 decided by six-team play-offs
NB: Currently teams from Asia, north and central America, South America and Oceania play-off for two places hence .5 spots above.
South Africa: Search Continues for Missing Unicef Director Last Seen On Table Mountain
April 1, 2017 | 0 Comments
It is still not yet clear what has happened to Unicef director Charlotte Nana Yaa Nikoi, who was last seen walking on Table Mountain on Human Rights Day.
Despite an extensive ground and aerial search, she has not been seen since March 21, and it is suspected she may have left the mountain.
On Wednesday, Wilderness Search and Rescue spokesperson Johan Marais said volunteers worked with Skymed aerial rescue services and scoured the mountain, but there was no sign of her.
WSAR went to the spot her and husband took their last photographs on the mountain, but found nothing, Marais said.
A missing persons’ case was opened with police, and the search has continued, but still with no sign of Nikoi, originally from Ghana.
“We are 95% sure that she is not in the area we went to search for her. Which means she came off the mountain and was either taken away, or went away from that area,” Marais said.
Her husband has worked previously as a World Food Programme representative in SA, according to archives. According to his Facebook page, he is currently in Rome.
Congratulations flooded in for the couple after her post, and Nikoi appeared to have stayed up past 00:00, responding to them.
She gave the thumbs up to the messages throughout the early hours of Tuesday, March 21.
At 10:52, she posted in reply to a friend who said she and her husband are role models.
Her last Facebook “like” appears to be at 11:12 on Human Rights Day. After that she went silent, although messages kept streaming in.
According to Independent Online, Nikoi and her husband had planned to visit Robben Island, but abandoned the idea when they could not get tickets.
Instead, they took a taxi to Platteklip Gorge for a walk.
One of Nikoi’s last Facebook posts was to mark her and husband Chris’s 22nd anniversary month and her plans to visit more of the Cape.
“Over 22+ years ago this month, a much younger me nervously uttered those 2 small words ‘I do’,” read a message, geo-located in Stellenbosch, and posted the day before she disappeared.
Accompanying Nikoi’s post was a photograph of her husband.
“I recall you squeezed my hands as if to say ‘Don’t worry. Everything’s going to be alright’. You were right of course (as your t-shirt in this photo also says!). I very much still ‘do’ today, and what an exciting journey we’ve had together since then…We’ve been blessed Chris Nikoi. Happy anniversary month!'” her post said.
Her husband went ahead after she said she would be walking too slowly. It was when she failed to arrive at a rendezvous point later that the alarm was raised.
Police have asked that anybody with information on her whereabouts contact Sergeant Isaacs on 021 461 8067 or 072 560 2624.
At the time of her disappearance, Nikoi was wearing light-blue shorts, a cream, black and brown cardigan, a sleeveless black top, brown sneakers, and oval-shaped glasses.
AfDB Calls for a “Revolution” in Providing Energy Access Solutions
March 31, 2017 | 0 Comments
The African Development Bank (AfDB) brought together more than 180 stakeholders across the off-grid energy sector on Tuesday, March 28, in the context of “Energy Week” at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan to discuss interventions to support the scale-up of energy access investments. The overarching objective was to unleash an “Off-Grid Energy Revolution”, to provide up to 75 million households and businesses not covered by the power grid with modern, clean and affordable electricity using decentralized solar technologies.
During the plenary session of the Off-Grid Revolution consultation workshop, opening remarks were given by Bank President Akinwumi Adesina; the Minister of Oil, Energy and Energy Development of Côte d’Ivoire, Thierry Tanoh; and the Minister of Energy of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Henry Macauley.
President Adesina said, “Africa’s energy potential is as enormous as its electricity deficit. We must move quickly to unlock this energy potential. We must be smart, efficient, sustainable and quick in our actions.” The Off-Grid Revolution stakeholder consultation comes under the framework of the New Deal on Energy for Africa, which aims to provide universal energy access to all Africans by 2025.
“Although we can employ mix of approaches, off-grid solutions must be at the core of our approach to achieve the ambitious electricity access targets that we have set,” Adesina added.
The future of off-grid energy solutions is bright. Amadou Hott, the AfDB Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth, noted that millions of Africans have recently been connected to electricity by start-ups, driven by plummeting costs of solar photovoltaic (PV) and batteries, innovations in mobile payments and wireless communications technologies. “These businesses are increasing energy access across Africa faster, more cheaply, and more widely than conventional grid extension,” said Hott.
In break-out sessions, participants discussed the issues related to access to financing, risk mitigation, enabling environment and appropriate business models to scale up the energy access in Africa. Overall, stakeholders reiterated the need for a stronger political will by governments, ensure long-term integrated planning of off-grid and on-grid, and to develop the local ecosystem including manufacturing, skills development. Stakeholders also agreed on the need for more patient capital and local currency financing, hedging tools to mitigate foreign exchange risks, and to improve the credit scoring data.
The meeting was attended by leading and emerging businesses, country-representatives, civil society, industry bodies, local financial institutions, key development partners, technology providers, impact investors and AfDB staff.
About the Off-Grid Revolution
The AfDB – under its New Deal for Energy for Africa (NDEA) Strategy – has set an aspirational target of “off-grid” electricity access target of reaching 75 million connections by end of 2025. This can only be achieved through an unprecedented collaboration across a wide spectrum of committed partners. Against this backdrop, the Bank convened the “Off-Grid Revolution” workshop to define towards a suite of interventions to support the scale-up of “off grid” investment. The event is part of the Energy Week, a series of events, including high-level discussions and partnerships focusing on lighting up and powering Africa, and unlocking Africa’s huge energy potential co-organised and hosted by the AfDB. Energy Week runs from Monday, March 27 to Friday, March 31, 2017 in Abidjan.
About the AfDB’s Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth Complex
The Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth Sector Complex (PEVP), was created to fulfill the objectives of “Light Up and Power Africa” – principally achieving universal access to electricity by 2025. The Complex will accomplish this by building Africa’s energy systems while ensuring green growth. The entire development ecosystem for operational effectiveness, scale, socio- economic, and environmental impact will be taken into account. The New Deal on Energy for Africa, together with the inter-connected flagship programs is a top initiative of PEVP.
Africa Finance Corporation Delivers Strong Financial and Operational Growth in 2016
March 30, 2017 | 0 Comments
Media Agency (AMA)/- Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), a leading pan-African multilateral development finance institution and project developer, today announces its 2016 fiscal year results.
Robust financial performance
* US$115.3 million in Total Comprehensive Income, up 64% year-on-year
* US$109.4 million in Net Profit, up 51% year-on-year
* US$3.4 billion in Total Assets, up 13% year-on-year
* US1.4 billion in Total Equity, up 6% year-on-year
* US$192.8 million in Interest Income, up 21% year-on-year
* US$21.9 million in Fees, Commissions and other Income, up 121% year-on-year
Continued strong operational performance
* Key milestones achieved:
“2016 has been a successful year for AFC, reflected by our income and profit growth and our balance sheet strength. Operationally, we’ve had a great year too, with investments including Gabon’s Special Economic Zone, paving the way for greater economic diversification in the country. We’ve also strengthened our relationships with development finance institutions and the private sector – for example by launching a Joint Venture with Harith – merging power assets to create a pioneering African Power Platform Vehicle.
“AFC aims to be a US$5 billion Corporation by 2019 and despite a challenging economic environment, we are confident that we have built the firm foundations necessary to continue delivering positive socio-economic change across Africa. Ahead of our 10 year anniversary in May, we look forward to the next chapter in AFC’s growth story.”
AFC’s mission is to address Africa’s pressing infrastructure needs and build the foundations for robust economic development across the continent, while seeking a competitive return on investment for its shareholders. The Corporation has invested approximately US$4 billion in projects across 28 African countries and in its core sectors including power, telecommunications, transport and logistics, natural resources and heavy industries.
AFC is a dynamic, international investment grade multilateral finance institution whose mission it is to help bridge Africa’s significant infrastructure gap whilst delivering competitive financial returns, robust economic growth and positive social impact.
Established in 2007 to be the catalyst for private sector infrastructure investment across Africa, AFC is now one of the highest investment grade rated multilateral financial institutions in Africa with an A3/P2 (Stable outlook) rating from Moody’s Investors Service. A successful borrowing programme has raised more than US$3.5 billion for AFC’s activities, including the Corporation’s debut US$750 million Eurobond issue which was over 6 times oversubscribed. In terms of impact, AFC has invested approximately US$ 4 billion in projects across 28 African countries to date.
AFC’s investment approach combines specialist industry expertise with a focus on financial and technical advisory, project structuring, project development and risk capital tailored to addressing Africa’s unique infrastructure development needs in the core sectors of power, natural resources, heavy industry, transport, and telecommunications.
Kenyans abroad are the biggest senders of mobile to mobile remittances
March 29, 2017 | 0 Comments
As M-PESA turns 10, data shows 93% of WorldRemit’s money transfers to Kenya go to mobile money accounts.
To mark the 10th anniversary of ground-breaking mobile money service M-PESA, WorldRemit has released new data showing that the Kenyan diaspora is the biggest sender of digital remittances to mobile accounts.
Transfers to mobile money accounts make up 93% of WorldRemit transactions to Kenya now – showing that Kenyans continue to be early adopters of innovative technology, even when abroad.
Mobile money has played a key role in the growth of WorldRemit’s Kenyan customer base, attracted by the low price, speed and convenience of sending instant remittances from the app or website directly to a mobile phone in Kenya.
- In January 2017, WorldRemit customers transferred more than $140m (at annualised rate) to Kenya, making WorldRemit one of the largest remittance companies serving the Kenyan diaspora.
- Top remittance-sending countries are the UK, Australia, US, Germany, Canada and Nordic countries.
- Around three million Kenyans live abroad, with large communities in North America, Europe and Australia.
- Remittances play an important role in Kenya’s economy – inward remittances reached a record value of just under $161m in November 2016, according to the Central Bank of Kenya, making it one of the nation’s top earners.
- WorldRemit is now connected to over a fifth of all mobile money accounts – 112 million of 500 million mobile money accounts around the world.
- 74% of all international remittances to mobile money accounts coming from money transfer operators are sent via WorldRemit.
The company has pioneered mobile to mobile remittances, sending to 32 mobile money services in 24 countries – more than any other money transfer service.
Globally, WorldRemit customers send more than 580,000 transfers every month to over 140 destinations. WorldRemit makes sending money as easy as sending an instant message.
Ismail Ahmed, Founder and CEO at WorldRemit, comments: “Kenya is famed for leading Africa’s digital transformation, and today it’s Kenyans abroad who are at the forefront of digitising international money transfers. Most of our Kenyan customers use our mobile app, demonstrating the strong demand for convenience when sending to friends and family.
“With half a billion registered accounts worldwide, mobile money continues to transform lives by allowing people to access financial services for the first time. WorldRemit customers now send more than 65,000 transfers to the country every month from the WorldRemit app and website with over 90% going to M-PESA”.
Science-Loving Teens From Ghana And D.C. Geek Out Together
March 25, 2017 | 0 Comments
By SASHA INGBER*
It was a meeting of nerds and sharks.
The self-described “biotech nerds” and “robotic nerds” were seven high school students from Washington, D.C. The eight teens who call themselves “sharks” and flew in from Ghana. “The shark is a big fish so it means you’re big. Knowledgeable,” explains Stephanie Obbo of Ghana, an aspiring medical doctor.
Together, the 15 high schoolers formed a team for the first World Smarts STEM Challenge. That’s a science competition run by IREX, a global development nonprofit that strives to promote student enthusiasm for science, tech, engineering and math (aka STEM). Each of the 17 teams had teenagers in the D.C. area partnering with Ghanaians to identify and solve a real-world problem. NPR’s Goats and Soda followed “Team McKwiny” — a name that blends D.C.’s McKinley Technology High School and Winneba Senior High School in Ghana.
They had collaborated since September over the internet. The Americans kicked around the idea of minimizing carbon emissions. The Ghanaians wanted to tackle water pollution. They finally agreed to design and build a water purifier.
What If You Held An African Summit And No Africans Could Come?
March 25, 2017 | 0 Comments
By JASON BEAUBIEN*
The African Global Economic and Development Summit took place at the University of Southern California from March 16th to 18th.
None of the approximately 60 invited guests from Africa were able to attend.
The problem was that none of the African delegates were able to get U.S. visas.
Humphrey Mutaasa from the mayor’s office in Kampala, Uganda, had organized a delegation of 11 business leaders from Uganda to attend the African Global Economic and Development Summit at the University of Southern California.
He says it was a very high level group of leaders from private businesses, the Ugandan ministry of trade, chambers of commerce and the Kampala mayor’s office.
“The delegation that was coming from Uganda to that summit was very, very disappointed,” he says.
The conference was first held in 2013 and seeks to strengthen business ties between U.S. investors and African companies, says summit chairwoman Mary Flowers.
Visa problems have been an issue before, she says. In the past, she says roughly 40 percent of African invitees are unable to get the papers they need to attend, mainly due to a combination of red tape and bureaucracy.
It’s hard to find out exactly why.
Delegations were invited from 12 countries across the continent. None of them were from the three African nations (Libya, Somalia and Sudan) covered by President Trump’s executive order temporarily banning travel from 6 majority Muslim countries.
Flowers speculates new vetting procedures put in place by the Trump administration are discriminating against travelers from Africa.
“Obviously because this has never happened before,” she says of the inability of anyone to come.
The White House has called for “enhanced screening and vetting of applications for visas” worldwide as part of stepped up efforts to keep out terrorists.
A State Department official on background tells NPR that they can’t comment on any individual visa applications but says all applications are screened on a case-by-case basis. And the eligibility requirements for getting a visa haven’t changed.
Some of the African delegates to the summit say their visa applications were denied because they didn’t show a compelling reason why they would return home after the event. Others say bureaucratic hurdles were so big that they were not able to submit a visa application in the first place.
Humphrey Mutaasa in Kampala says the online application is complicated. You can’t even see how long the process will take until after you’ve paid a $160 application fee at a local bank. Then you have to wait a day to get a confirmation code to book an interview at the U.S. embassy.
“Then when you’ve finished that and you have the codes from the bank … there are the challenges of internet connectivity,” he says. “When you get online then the calendar [from the Embassy] will tell you the whole of February, there are no appointments, You can only secure an appointment after the 15th of March.”
Which meant he wouldn’t have a ruling on his visa until after the three day conference had concluded.
The end result of this year’s visa outcome, says Flowers, is going to be fewer connections between American business and the continent.
“I don’t know whether there’s some secret message going to the U.S. embassies in these African countries but it’s ridiculous,” she says. “The [visa] process was already somewhat discriminatory against the African nations in the past. We don’t know what the story is now but I do hope that America remains open to the world.”
Africa: Graça Machel – Africa Will Not Move Till Women Are in Charge
March 24, 2017 | 0 Comments
On Friday March 17, 2017, Ms Graça Machel, who is the founder of the Graça Machel Trust, launched in Dar es Salaam, a new initiative called Women Advancing Africa (WAA).
As a former first lady, and the wife of South Africa’s iconic leader Nelson Mandela, she has taken a leading role the economic liberation of women. The Citizen News Editor Esther Karin Mngodo met with Ms Machel to discuss the vision of one of Africa’s most revered women:
How did WAA begin?
We have recognisable women leaders in the political arena, and other sectoral meetings, such as health, telecoms, etc. But there is a void when it comes to a platform for women in the economic sphere. As a Trust, our focus has been on the economy.
We do focus on education and women’s rights. But when it comes to women’s rights, our focus is on the economy. We believe that is where progress has been low, and there is no clarity among women themselves on where they want to be in five or ten years.
So, we decided to launch this initiative we call Women Advancing Africa to recognise, celebrate, to value what we have achieved. To build connections, synergies, to encourage one another and to feel that this time is ours in a pan-african movement.
WAA isn’t the first to advocate for women’s financial inclusion. What makes it different from what is already there?
I must say there are some national and sub-regional initiatives. But we do not know of a pan-African space in which women come together and talk, strategise and plan together. And this is what we thought to begin to do every two years.
Women Advancing Africa is a platform for women in different sectors be in business, entrepreneurship, science, communications, to come together and say, where are we today and where do we want to be. We don’t believe in progress made by stand-alones. We believe that progress can be made at a national level when we bring together women associations existing to work together. Networking is always our option, whether you are in construction, mining, any field. You are not going to be able to move alone in your field.
There are things, which are common to all of us, regardless of which field we are. So, we base our work on national networks, but we believe also, barriers in Tanzania are also barriers in Zambia, Uganda, Mozambique. So, why should we struggle alone?
Any one of our countries have common issues with other countries on the continent, which have to be addressed as a movement. We must hold hands and share knowledge and expertise. That is what we offer through WAA. It is a space to walk hand-in-hand, a place to transmit the energy of creativity and innovation which exists in Nigeria and Ghana to influence women in Uganda and Rwanda.
The energy of innovation and creativity which can be experienced in DRC to influence women in Malawi. That is how our pan-african movement will make us strong, united and unstoppable.
We claim our right to sit where decisions are made. We claim our right to shape policies, to shape plans and strategies. We claim our rights to access resources in a variety of forms – information, skills, financial, removal of legal obstacles. We want to be shoulder-to-shoulder with our partners, to change women are regarded and treated. There are very good policies. Yet in practice, women are not regarded as equal.
We are going to assert in this second struggle, that equality is not a favour. We know it is not going to be given to us, but we are going to conquer it. For us to do that, we need this space to learn from one another, to empower women, to fight this together, to set priorities on a common agenda. If we are fragmented, working at many things at the same time, we are not going to move or make progress.
In what ways would women be able to benefit from WAA?
WAA is a platform for women to discover where they can sell their products – how we can increase intra-Africa trade. It is important to trade with China, and the US, and the UK, but to transform this continent, we have to learn how to trade with other people – men and women – inside the continent. This is how you understand the market in Togo, where you have never heard of. And what kind of products you should sell in Niger. Talk to them and build a sisterhood. That is why we chose these pillars carefully, particularly for African markets. We have the ability to make it.
We would like to suggest that different leaders in business networks in this country, to take this as yours. You are the voice of other women. Do not be afraid to showcase what you have achieved. Tell the stories and allow people to speak on their own behalf. That is a principle to being free. And when you speak on your own behalf, you are also saying ‘we’ collectively agree. This is an opportunity for Tanzania to take the lead in this second liberation in Africa.
As a young girl, did you ever see yourself taking the role of a mother in Africa, leading a movement and uniting women across borders in the continent? How did you get here?
When we are much younger, we tend to look at the environment which we are. We seek for opportunities for us to grow and in the realities which you are propelled to be in a certain platform. That platform, opens to you eyes and ears to understand much broader issues than what you understood when you were much younger.
I never thought when I was in my primary or secondary education that I could be a special representative for the UN Secretary General. Once I did my work as Minister of Education, and fortunately, we developed some strategies which became reference for the global community to say, this is how we have to deal with children in situations of conflict, then they asked me to leave the team which was global under the UN. It was just an opportunity that was opened to me along the implementation of programs which I believed in and felt very strongly about. And then you grow in the process.
Coming to what I am doing now, I have been involved in promoting girls education. I am one of the founders of FAWE (Forum for African Women Educationalists). I participated on that. But also, I have been part of emancipation of women for political positions. In that process, I realised that there is something missing and that is the economic liberation of women in Africa.
While there are many others who are going to be part of the political struggle for women, like now we are looking at who is going to be the next female president when Ellen Johnson Sirleaf steps down, other people are working on that. I felt like no one is driving a pan african initiative in the economic area.
As a girl, I never saw myself as First Lady, I must say that. Even in my early years, I grew as Minister of Education and not as First Lady. Much later, even when I married Madiba, I had embraced my causes with women’s rights, I continued to do that. It wasn’t because I was Madiba’s wife.
I must say, one of the reasons we had this empathy and our identity came to meet each other is because we were concerned with the same issues. We discovered that the issues I was concerned with were the same as his. So we gave hand-to-hand with each other to continue to work together. But in my case, it was not the position of First Lady which has defined me to be in the platforms which I now am. And as you know, I lost my first husband and that was when I did my work with the United Nations. Now that Madiba is no longer there, I continue to do my work. I think it is the case of choosing the causes you embrace.
We chose Tanzania because Tanzania is the cradle of political liberation. I am one of those who lived in that period of political liberation. All of us, we owe to Tanzania. We have learnt from Tanzania, lessons which have instilled our dreams and vision of what it means to empower people. We got in Tanzania, all kinds of support you can think of. In every village, everyone knew about Frelimo, ANC, Zanu and all of us.
We were supported by ordinary people in this nation. And the liberty of this country gave us what they could not even have for themselves. But they mobilised themselves to support the liberation movement. If we are free today, we have to bow to Tanzania today. We cannot thank you enough. But because words are short, we will say it a million times – thank you, thank you, thank you.
But because we believe that now we are in the second kind of liberation, which is the economic liberation, we thought we should come here to Tanzania for inspiration. We are here to connect with our history, our past, so we are grounded on how to go about with this second phase in which we as women, we are determined to take the centre stage. Not to be marginal. Women are confident. Women are determined in this economic liberation struggle. Yes, we are going to take that centre stage.
I have a strong emotional attachment here. I always have felt that Tanzania has given to continent. This country gave us the best. And it was not rich in those days. Tanzania did not have much of resources. But it was the heart and the minds of Tanzanian people who gave us the strength to propel us to be free. It is our obligation to say, we recognise and value you.
I am Mwalimu’s child. Mwalimu is my mentor. We never sat down to say he is mentoring me. But I followed him very carefully. I listened to him hundreds of times when he was addressing people. I observed how he carried himself as leader of this country and leader of the continent and leader of the globe, actually. I think he is one of the best examples which I have come across to my life. He is an inspiration to me.
It happens that we also had a family relationship which strengthened that. So, Tanzania as our cradle for liberation movement. Mara is Mwalimu and Mama Maria’s region. They are my family. If I have to make a contribution, knowing that there is a challenge there when it comes to children’s righs, why not start there?
Why focus on women in economic liberation at this time?
We believe that this is not a women’s issue. This is a national, sub regional, continental agreement. Why should we begin focusing on women, it is because we need to overcome those traditional sentiments of being timid, not being bold enough. But also we need to have our message clear.
We need to organise ourselves so that when we sit at the table with leaders, our partners, we say exactly what are the issues today and where we want to be tomorrow. And for that, we need to be strong amongst ourselves.
But we also need this opportunity for all those who are concerned with equity and equality and social justice. As I said, it is not a “women’s issue”. It is a development issue. It is a social justice issue.
We are going to be here, bringing women in our network. It is not by chance that we have had women speak about their work during the launch. We want to showcase our network. We want to show that women are working, they are already making progress. But we want a variety of women in a variety of sectors who are the best examples of the progress women have made. You see a diversity in African women in Dar es Salaam, young and old like me.
This will be the learning space in which we can in future, shape together and shape better how we want to present ourselves in Africa, how we want to change Africa but also how we want African women to present themselves to the world.
Together, we are in charge in putting African women at the centre stage in Africa and globally. We have already become lessons in fact, on how African women have become better than other women in the world. But we need to put this very clearly. What is it we think we can offer, inspire other women in the world.
We are absolutely sure that this nation, this continent will not advance unless women are at the driving seat. We are going to advance our continent while we are advancing ourselves. And we are going to make our continent more prosperous while we are changing ourselves. And we contribute this way.
That is why the pillars for this forum is financial inclusion, access to markets and social change. Many times, when we discuss the economy, we dwell in numbers, in shillings. We need to go beyond that, to know these are only tools to achieve social justice.
So must begin to address the transformation of equality, which will result to the transformation of women themselves. For we will have conscious citizens. We chose financial inclusion because anyone interested in business will know that access to capital is a challenge. We felt that these pillars are cross cutting.
Africa-Israel Summit: Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu to attend the Africa-Israel Summit in Lomé, Togo
March 24, 2017 | 1 Comments
|The Africa-Israel Summit is jointly organized by the Togolese and Israeli diplomatic service as well as Africa-Israel Connect|
|TEL AVIV, Israel, March 21, 2017/ — The international news network i24News and the executive committee of the Africa-Israel Summit have signed a partnership agreement, making i24News the official media partner for the summit which will take place in Lomé, Togo, from October 23-27, 2017.
i24news, a channel broadcasted from Tel Aviv, will offer exclusive coverage of the event through its three channels (French, English, Arabic) in partnership with its Washington, Paris and New York offices.
The network will ensure the media promotion of the Africa-Israel Summit in the months leading up to the event and will be the official media partner with exclusive access to the summit.
i24News aims to strike deep and long-term roots in the African continent and expand its coverage beyond the countries where it is already present. Franck Melloul, CEO of the i24 news channel declared: “I am very honored and excited to launch our media partnership between our network and the Africa-Israel Summit. I am convinced that it is a great initiative to promote cooperation between Africa and Israel and that promoting the media coverage of the event is an excellent opportunity for i24. In addition, I believe that the Summit will serve as an ideal framework for our network to strike deep roots in Africa and further i24news’ status as a global news network”.
The Africa-Israel Summit, an event jointly organized by the Togolese and Israeli diplomatic service as well as Africa-Israel Connect, will be held in October 2017 in Lomé, Togo and will host the senior leadership from both Africa and the State of Israel including PM Netanyahu and African heads of state for exclusive talks and discussions focused on political and business matters. Bruno Finel, CEO of the Africa-Israel Connect firm stated: “The Africa-Israel Summit is a unique opportunity to fulfill the formidable potential of heightened cooperation between Jerusalem and the African continent. Moreover, Lomé is an ideal venue to hold the Summit. Indeed, the city regularly hosts high-profile conferences and President Faure Gnassingbe is a historic and faithful friend of the Jewish state. In addition, the President’s proven commitment to proactive and dynamic diplomacy is an invaluable asset to the success of the Summit”.
The theme of the Summit is ‘Innovation for a shared prosperity’.
i24 news, a subsidiary of the Altice Group (SFR, Portugal Telecom, Suddenlink, Cablevision, L’Express, BFM, Liberation, HOT) was launched in July 2013 and employs a staff of 150 people.
Moroccan Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water & Environment to join discussions at the Africa Energy Forum in Copenhagen
March 24, 2017 | 0 Comments
|Mr. Abderrahim EL HAFIDI, Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment of the Kingdom of Morocco, is the latest to confirm attendance at the Africa Energy Forum in Copenhagen from 7-9 June 2017|
|LONDON, United Kingdom, March 21, 2017/ — At the Powering Africa: Summit which took place in Washington DC from 9-10 March, Morocco’s ONEE presented their Gas to Power Programme and MASEN discussed their sustainable energy programme under the leadership of Mustapha Bakkoury, President and Chief Executive Officer. Both organisations are clearly focused on a broader role within Africa carrying with them the potential of building physical energy links between the continent and Europe. The support of the Ministry at the Africa Energy Forum (AEF) this year underlines the commitment from the Kingdom of Morocco to explore energy partnerships with Europe and hasten the pace of foreign direct investment in Morocco.
AEF is set to bring 2,000 participants to Copenhagen this June for the annual gathering for government ministers, heads of utilities, project developers and global investors driving forward the development of Africa’s energy projects.
Other recent confirmations include H.E. Dr. Eng. Seleshi Bekele, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, Ethiopia, Ulla Tørnæs, Minister for Development Cooperation, Government of Denmark, Teresa Ribeiro, Secretary of State for Development, Government of Portugal, Hisham Sallam, Second Secretary – responsible for Economics and Energy, Government of Egypt, Mateus Magala, Chairman of the Board of Directors, EDM, William Amuna, Chief Executive Officer, GRIDCo, Ghana and Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, Chief Executive Officer of Volta River Authority in Ghana.
A new Platinum agenda stream will bring together senior level government officials with some of the world’s biggest investors in discussions on how to accelerate projects, whilst specific country sessions will explore the unique investment climates and priority projects for countries such as Nigeria, South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mozambique, Morocco, Ethiopia, and Kenya.
Organisers of the Forum EnergyNet will host a city boat cruise along the canals of Copenhagen and pre-Forum golf championship day to build additional networking opportunities into this annual business Forum.
Internet Society announces first ever Africa Regional Internet and Development Dialogue
March 24, 2017 | 0 Comments
The event aims at gathering various organizations working on Internet and development across the region to identify synergies and create opportunities for coordination and collaboration.
KIGALI, Rwanda, March 22, 2017/ — The Internet Society today announced that it will hold the first ever Africa Regional Internet and Development Dialogue from 8-9 May 2017 in Kigali, Rwanda, in partnership with UNESCO and Republic of Rwanda Ministry of Youth and ICT .
The two-day meeting will bring together experts including government and inter-governmental organization officials, business and educational leaders from throughout the continent to discuss how Africa can use the Internet to advance education, innovation and job creation.
The event aims at gathering various organizations working on Internet and development across the region to identify synergies and create opportunities for coordination and collaboration.
“One of the key topics of discussion will be what needs to be done for Africa to benefit from the transformational opportunities of the Internet for the benefit of the African economy and education,” explains Dawit Bekele, Regional Bureau Director for Africa at the Internet Society. “While there are many challenges, we know it can be done. Countries such as Kenya and Rwanda have created policy environments that enable innovation and they are now seeing the benefits of the Internet economy. Universities throughout the continent are also using e-learning opportunities to increase their reach as well as to give flexibility for their students.”
“Africa is on an unstoppable move toward digital transformation. However, the room for increasing speed and impact is limitless,” says Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Rwanda’s Minister for Youth and ICT. “This can only be achieved if we are able to harness effectively the power of partnerships. We therefore welcome and are pleased to co-host this dialogue which is a great platform for advanced partnerships ahead of the transform Africa Summit that Rwanda will host from May 10 to 12, 2017.”
The Africa Regional Internet Development Dialogue is an opportunity for key stakeholders to:
- discuss not only the challenges, but also the achievements in building the Internet economy and education in Africa;
- review the successes and setbacks of various initiatives throughout the region and share lessons-learned;
- identify the next steps different stakeholders need to take to build the Internet economy and improve education in Africa.
“I am honored to participate in this very meaningful event. UNESCO is committed to working with all stakeholders to harness ICTs in a way that serves the interests of learners and the larger teaching/learning community,” said Indrajit Banerjee, Director, Knowledge Societies Division, Communications and Information Sector, UNESCO.
This conference is part of a global series of Internet development conferences organized by the Internet Society with the aim of furthering the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that aim at tackling the world’s main development challenges by 2030. Regional Internet Development Dialogues were held last year in Asia Pacific, hosted by UNESCAP, and in Latin America & Caribbean in partnership with Inter-America Development Bank and hosted by the Government of Argentina.
Founded by Internet pioneers, the Internet Society (ISOC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet. Working through a global community of chapters and members, the Internet Society collaborates with a broad range of groups to promote the technologies that keep the Internet safe and secure, and advocate for policies that enable universal access. The Internet Society is also the organizational home of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
The mission of the Ministry of youth and ICT is to address national priorities for economic growth and poverty reduction through the development and coordination of national policies and programs related to youth empowerment as well as Information & Communication Technology policies and programs.
For more information on the conference, please visit: www.InternetSociety.org/ridd/africa/2017.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Internet Society (ISOC).
GE Oil & Gas expands global footprint with new Sub Saharan Africa facility to support customer operations
March 24, 2017 | 0 Comments
The company committed to deliver more than 45,000 training hours for Ghanaian personnel over the next five years, as it seeks to build a world-class team locally
TAKORADI, Ghana, March 22, 2017/ —
- Takoradi service facility underlines GE’s commitment to bring global expertise and build local capabilities in Africa.
- Investment to include training of Ghanaian workforce and partnerships with educational institutions.
- New facility will directly support Eni’s Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) project and will be the primary service centre for deep-water offshore projects in Ghana.
GE Oil & Gas opened a new facility in Takoradi Port, Ghana today, expanding its global footprint and supporting local investment. The company committed to deliver more than 45,000 training hours for Ghanaian personnel over the next five years, as it seeks to build a world-class team locally.
The facility, which will be the primary service center for deep-water offshore projects in Ghana, has a 1,600 square meters indoor test area with capability for testing three subsea trees (XTs) simultaneously, and 4,000 square meters of indoor and outdoor storage. This new infrastructure is already playing a critical role in supporting the installation for Eni’s Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) project – for which GE Oil & Gas is supplying subsea and turbomachinery equipment – and will support the local community by helping to provide direct employment opportunities. It will also provide welcome support for the local supply chain, and for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Lorenzo Simonelli, president & CEO of GE Oil & Gas, attended the opening ceremony today with customers, suppliers and local Government representatives. “The opening of the GE Takoradi facility demonstrates our commitment to developing local partnerships and capacity building to deliver effective and efficient solutions for our customers,” said Simonelli. “Localization supports growth in the communities in which we work, while increasing our productivity. As a global company, GE is uniquely-placed to have a well-rounded economic impact on the regions where we operate. We are committed to partnering with Ghana to help support building critical skills and developing infrastructure for the country’s future growth.”
Along with committing to delivering a comprehensive training program for the local workforce, GE Oil & Gas has recruited more than 30 Ghanaian staff to work at the new facility, including two fully-trained field service engineers who are now working offshore to support the installation phase for the OCTP project.
GE Oil & Gas partnered with Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and Ashesi University College in a two-phased approach to local capacity building, including education and skills development, and a small to medium enterprise (SME) development program. The partnership is helping to develop the next and future generations of the oil and gas workforce, providing them with practical learning opportunities and access to technical expertise, locally.
Ado Oseragbaje, president and CEO Sub-Saharan Africa, GE Oil & Gas, said: “Ghana has decades of development potential and we are excited to provide support to a project that will act as an important energy source for the country for many years with minimal environmental impact, while also driving the development of local infrastructure and capacity-building. We have the strength and scope to be able to stay close to our customers, work where they work, and invest in the training and facilities required to reduce complexity, provide faster turnaround of equipment deliveries, support our partners and build a solid talent pipeline in-country.”
The U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, Ambassador Robert Jackson, was present at the inauguration and commended GE for making such a sizable investment and setting a great example for American companies in the region. “GE is known for its leadership in technology and innovation,” said Ambassador Jackson. “Here in Ghana, GE has partnered with our USAID-funded Supply Chain Development project to build the capacity of local Small and Medium businesses. That’s not only a commitment to Ghana, it’s a commitment to transitioning from donor funding toward private sector-led growth.”
GE was awarded an $850 million order for the supply of equipment to the OCTP block in 2015. This order incorporates both GE Oil & Gas turbomachinery and subsea elements and GE Power Conversion electric motors, an example of the ‘GE Store’ at work – drawing technologies and expertise from across the company.
Presidents of Ghana and Senegal discuss Regional Trade and Investment at the AFRICA CEO FORUM 2017
March 23, 2017 | 0 Comments
The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his Senegalese counterpart President Macky Sall, graced the Africa CEO Forum 2017 with their presence, to discuss how Africa’s sub-regions can work more closely together in a world where demands for economic nationalism and protectionism are on the rise.
Switzerland’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, Johann Schneider-Ammann, gave the welcome address ahead of the panel discussion which marked the end of the 2-day event. Patrick Smith, Editor-in-chief of The Africa Report magazine moderated the special panel highlighting the shared democratic history of both West African countries in recent years.
Speaking on global events that have made headlines recently, President Akufo-Addo stated that too much of Africa’s development has been centered on events outside the continent’s borders and there was a need to focus more on “what is taking place on the continent and inside our countries”. He further expressed his desire to position Ghana beyond aid and charity but rather “dependent on its own resources and thinking”.
President Sall however stressed on the need for Africa to collaborate with international investors as its private sector alone “is not enough to meet the entire investment needs of the continent”. Instead of putting the two against each other, he encouraged cooperation “between Africa’s private sector and foreign private sector investment in Africa”. He also praised the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund for supporting Africa’s development through key trade partnerships.
President Sall also took a strong stance against Africa’s supposed role in Europe’s ongoing migrant crisis. “Africa and Europe have a long history but […] what I cannot accept is the characterisation of African migration”. He made it clear that it was in the continent’s best interest that migration decreased because Africa’s “needs labour to succeed in its emergence”.
Both leaders agreed that a free trade zone across Africa, discussed at the African Union in Addis Ababa, was important and long overdue. According to President Akufo-Addo, “intra-continental trade in Africa is the lowest on the globe” with figures from the World Trade Organisation posting trade among African countries at just 18%, compared to 52% and 69% for Asia and Europe, respectively.
With regard to women’s empowerment in the public sphere, President Sall highlighted the important role women have to play in public policy which should not be limited to an elite group alone, “but also women in rural areas who continue to work in extremely difficult situations”. He added this will “certainly contribute to give women a more prominent role in the continent’s development”.
President Akufo-Addo finished by thanking his Senegalese counterpart saying that “West Africa owes a debt of gratitude to the lucidity of Senegal’s reaction to [Gambia’s former] President Jammeh’s decision to stay,” because for the first time in Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)’s history, all 15 member countries of the regional bloc have democratically elected governments in place.
Challenges of the WHO Must be Turned to Opportunities-Ethiopia’s Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyus
March 23, 2017 | 1 Comments
By Ajong Mbapndah L
Mounting a strong bid to be the next Director General of the World Health Organization, shortcomings must be turned to lessons and new challenges into opportunity, says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyus of Ethiopia.
Currently serving as Minister, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, and backed by the African Union, Dr Tedros says a fresh view is needed to efficiently tackle the global health challenges of today. The upcoming elections present an opportunity for WHO to be led by someone who has lived and worked through some of the most pressing health challenges facing our world today, said Tedros a Former Minister of Health in his country.
Dr Tedros is no stranger to facing challenges. With a Ph.D. in Community Health, and a Master of Science in Immunology of Infectious Diseases, Tedros is a globally recognized expert and author on health issues. With stints as Chair for the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria Board, Chair Roll Back Malaria Partnership Board, Co-Chair, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Board, Dr Tedros is supremely confident of his ability to help the WHO reach its potential and create a healthier world.
A few weeks back, Dr Tedros presented his vision and candidacy to the 34 Member States of the Executive Board of the WHO. In the voting to shortlist candidates, Tedros received the highest number of votes in both rounds. Buoyed with such a strong showing and with growing support and endorsements across the globe, Dr Tedros found time off his hectic schedule to discuss his vision, campaign, and more on the WHO and global health issues. Together we can create a healthier world, and every country has a stake in that vision says Tedros.
DR. TEDROS ADHANOM you are running for the office of Director-General for the World Health Organization (WHO), how are things shaping up with that?
I am honoured by the African Union’s endorsement for my candidacy last year and re-affirmation this year. I am motivated by the enthusiastic encouragement I have received from many other governments and global health leaders around the world. I am humbled by their confidence in me.
Since I launched my campaign over a year ago, I have met with Ministers, Heads of Delegations, and some Heads of States of over 180 of the 194 WHO Member States. These discussions have significantly shaped the priorities that I will pursue if I am elected Director-General. They have enriched my understanding of global health priorities and how these needs manifest themselves differently around the world. I am encouraged by the overwhelming alignment across Member States regarding most of WHO’s priorities, opportunities, and risks. I have also noted some areas of diverse interests and positions.
Several weeks ago, I presented my vision and candidacy to the 34 Member States of the Executive Board of WHO. I was honoured to receive the highest number of votes in both rounds of the short-listing of candidates from six down to three. I am encouraged by this early success and re-energised heading into the final stage of the election.
What is your motivation in seeking the WHO Director-General position and what makes you stand out as the best candidate for the job?
My motivation to become DG boils down to three main themes:
1) My passion for health
2) My belief in the power and potential of WHO; and
3) I have the skills and track record that can help realize WHO’s potential.
My passion for health starts from a personal level, growing up in a poor family in Ethiopia. I saw my own and countless other families in our community suffering because of poor access to health, unsafe drinking water, and food insecurity. My passion is rooted in a refusal to accept that people should live or die because of these things.
I believe in the power of WHO. I have personally seen the impact, WHO can have, as a partner to countries’ health programmes, to support and challenge us so that we can have more impact, on more people’s lives. We must turn WHO’s past shortcomings into lessons, and new challenges into an opportunity to evolve and adapt.
I believe what I have accomplished can help WHO reach its potential and create a healthier world. I have spent 3 decades learning, planning, innovating, building national capacity, coordinating partners, increasing domestic health spending, implementing comprehensive health sector reform, and managing our programs with accountability. I have remained committed and focused, translating reform into results. My vision for the WHO draws on lessons learned throughout my career: the health successes achieved here in Ethiopia, building international partnerships as Foreign Minister, and the intricacies of global health diplomacy and financing that I learned to navigate through international roles. I have chaired the Boards of the major global health institutions, overseeing their strategies and reforms, and helping to rebuild donor confidence.
A fresh view is needed to efficiently tackle today’s global health challenges. The upcoming election presents an opportunity for WHO to be led by someone who has lived and worked through some of the most pressing health challenges facing our world today.
What assessment do you make of the way the WHO has fared in the last few years and its response when the Ebola crisis struck parts of West Africa?
The Ebola crises shocked WHO to its core. However, it also offered an opportunity that
WHO launch serious reforms aimed at improving its ability to respond more rapidly and effectively to public health emergencies. Those reforms must be implemented with a sense of urgency to yield results and rebuild the confidence.
Though there have been challenges, WHO has been working to address them to be better prepared for the global health issues of today and tomorrow.
If elected to serve as DG, a top priority will be strengthening emergency preparedness, particularly in provision of increased support at country level to prevent, detect, and swiftly respond to disease outbreaks. Going back to your question about Ebola, Nigeria and Senegal were able to contain the outbreak rapidly. This was due to better coordination, incident management systems, robust surveillance platforms and community engagement. This is why country capacity is so important. The relay of information from countries to regions and then to the headquarters is very important for an outbreak to not spread globally. But if there is weak capacity and if International Health Regulations are not fully implemented at the country level, then you cannot get the information flow and rapid response needed. That is why we need, as a global community, to work together to build capacity collaboratively – whether it is through South-South partnerships, gaining access to essential vaccines, and committing to fully implement International Health Regulations.
Can you explain the vision you have for the World Health Organisation? What will the WHO under the leadership of Dr. Tedros look like?
If elected, I will focus on five priorities:
My top priority is Universal Health Coverage. All roads lead to Universal Health Coverage, from Sustainable Development Goals to gender equality to emergency preparedness.
My second is to strengthen the capacity of national authorities and local communities to detect, prevent and manage health emergencies, including antimicrobial resistance.
My third is to put women, children, and adolescents at the centre of the global health development agenda, and to position health as a more powerful contributor to the gender equality agenda.
My fourth is to address health effects of climate and environmental change.
Lastly, in order to accomplish these, we will need to create a transformed WHO: one that is strong, effectively managed, adequately resourced, results- focused and responsive.
You can find out more about my vision for WHO at www.DrTedros.com.
May we know the support you have from the AU or the African bloc and in what other parts of the world are you hoping to get the necessary support to boost your chances of victory?
I am honoured to have received the endorsement of the African Union for my candidacy, and I am grateful for the support I have received.
I am campaigning on a vision that together we can create a healthier world, and every country has a stake in that vision. So in this campaign, I want to listen to and speak with people from every nation. To be successful, we all have to do this together, all 194 Member States.
If we are to build a healthier world together, we must recognize the unique challenges that each continent and each country has to face and not shirk or ignore any of them. This is, after all, a global effort.
You were Minister of Health in your native Ethiopia from 2005-2012, what did your leadership achieve for the health sector in Ethiopia?
When I began as Ethiopia’s Minister of Heath, our country faced extraordinary challenges. We took an honest look at the state of our health care system and at what would be required to expand health to reach all our fellow citizens in need.
We made a conscious decision to address the essential building blocks for health system-wide reform – investing in critical health infrastructure, expanding the health workforce, creating new financing mechanisms, improving service delivery, strengthening pharmaceutical supply, integrating information management, and investing in epidemiology/outbreak preparedness.
We worked with communities to identify health challenges and obstacles and, together, came up with workable and culturally acceptable solutions for each unique context.
As a result of working with teams across the country at each level, we were able to expand healthcare to tens of millions more Ethiopians. Through these initiatives, we were able to dramatically expand access to health services and meet ambitious health targets, translating reform into results: reducing child mortality by 67%; reducing maternal mortality by 71%; reducing malaria mortality by 75%;reducing mortality from tuberculosis by 64%; and reducing mortality from HIV by 70%.
If you win the election you will be the first African to head the WHO, what would this mean to you?
It is one thing to tell countries what they should do, but it is an entirely different thing to have lived it and done it oneself, as I have. I have the ability to say that I designed the health reform, implemented it, and saw the results.
As someone who comes from a region hardest hit by many of the world’s biggest health challenges, I would bring WHO a fresh perspective about how much can still be done with limited resources. If elected, that will be recognition by our peers around the world that this type of frontline experience is paramount to successfully addressing health challenges not only here but around the world.
Last May, you were presented with the Award for Perseverance during the Fourth Global Conference of Women Deliver in Copenhagen, Denmark; did you consider this an early endorsement for your bid?
That was a great honor. I would not say it is an endorsement of my candidacy, but I would say it is a recognition of the importance of gender equality to us all. I have long been a champion of empowering women since I have found from experience that inclusiveness and different ways of viewing issues tends to prompt innovative thinking and deliver results.
Leading on gender quality is a core value of mine and among my five leadership priorities for WHO. Investments in girls’ and women’s health and rights are investments in a healthy and more prosperous future. We see over and over again the untapped potential of women, because we disempower them, marginalize them, and undervalue them. When we do this, our societies are poorer today. Likewise, when we neglect the health and development needs of our children, our societies are poorer tomorrow. What a shame to lose both today and tomorrow, by not investing in women and children.
Healthy, empowered girls and women have the potential to build stronger communities, economies, and nations, and ultimately transform entire societies. For example, in Ethiopia, we trained over 38,000 women to be health extension workers, who bring local health services to communities across the country, and we built a Health Development Army, a 3-million strong organized women’s network that communicates directly with families to promote health practices and disease prevention across the country. This led to a major expansion of healthcare access.
I accepted the award on behalf of my colleagues and partners who tirelessly work to improve the lives of the girls and women over the last 30 years, and consider it an acknowledgment that similar efforts need to be replicated on a global scale.
The final elections are in May. What plans do you have to better introduce yourself to the world and reassure skeptics about your abilities to provide leadership for such an important global organization?
In May, all 194 countries that are members of the World Health Organization will each get an equal vote for the next Director-General.
I am speaking to people near and far from all regions of the world. Through these conversations, I am deepening my understanding of the needs and opportunities around the world, as well as demonstrating the successes and the lessons from our experiences in the health sector transformation in Ethiopia and my leadership roles with other international organizations. I am confident and hopeful that I will receive the necessary support to be successful in the final election in May at the World Health Assembly.
The 2017 AFRICA CEO FORUM AWARDS Picks Mohammed Dewji, Group CEO of MeTL, as ‘CEO OF THE YEAR
March 21, 2017 | 0 Comments
World Bank Group Announces Record $57 Billion for Sub-Saharan Africa
March 20, 2017 | 1 Comments
Funds will scale up investments and de-risk private sector participation for accelerated growth and development
BADEN BADEN, Germany, March 19, 2017– Following a meeting with G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim today announced a record $57 billion in financing for Sub-Saharan African countries over the next three fiscal years. Kim then left on a trip to Rwanda and Tanzania to emphasize the Bank Group’s support for the entire region.
The bulk of the financing – $45 billion – will come from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries. The financing for Sub-Saharan Africa also will include an estimated $8 billion in private sector investments from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a private sector arm of the Bank Group, and $4 billion in financing from International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, its non-concessional public sector arm.
In December, development partners agreed to a record $75 billion for IDA, a dramatic increase based on an innovative move to blend donor contributions to IDA with World Bank Group internal resources, and with funds raised through capital markets.
Sixty percent of the IDA financing is expected to go to Sub-Saharan Africa, home to more than half of the countries eligible for IDA financing. This funding is available for the period known as IDA18, which runs from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2020.
“This represents an unprecedented opportunity to change the development trajectory of the countries in the region,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. “With this commitment, we will work with our clients to substantially expand programs in education, basic health services, clean water and sanitation, agriculture, business climate, infrastructure, and institutional reform.”
The IDA financing for operations in Africa will be critical to addressing roadblocks that prevent the region from reaching its potential. To support countries’ development priorities, scaled-up investments will focus on tackling conflict, fragility, and violence; building resilience to crises including forced displacement, climate change, and pandemics; and reducing gender inequality. Efforts will also promote governance and institution building, as well as jobs and economic transformation.
“This financing will help African countries continue to grow, create opportunities for their citizens, and build resilience to shocks and crises,” Kim said.
While much of the estimated $45 billion in IDA financing will be dedicated to country-specific programs, significant amounts will be available through special “windows” to finance regional initiatives and transformative projects, support refugees and their host communities, and help countries in the aftermath of crises. This will be complemented by a newly established Private Sector Window (PSW)-especially important in Africa, where many sound investments go untapped due to lack of capital and perceived risks. The Private Sector Window will supplement existing instruments of IFC and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) – the Bank Group’s arm that offers political risk insurance and credit enhancement – to spur sound investments through de-risking, blended finance, and local currency lending.
This World Bank Group financing will support transformational projects during the FY18-20 period. IBRD priorities will include health, education, and infrastructure projects such as expanding water distribution and access to power. The priorities for the private sector investment will include infrastructure, financial markets, and agribusiness. IFC also will deepen its engagement in fragile and conflict-affected states and increase climate-related investments.
Expected IDA outcomes include essential health and nutrition services for up to 400 million people, access to improved water sources for up to 45 million, and 5 GW of additional generation capacity for renewable energy.
The scaled-up IDA financing will build on a portfolio of 448 ongoing projects in Africa totaling about $50 billion. Of this, a $1.6 billion financing package is being developed to tackle the impending threat of famine in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and other regions.
Syrians finding refuge in Africa as war at home grinds on
March 20, 2017 | 0 Comments
ACCRA, Ghana – As desperate Syrians flee the devastating war in their country, some are finding refuge in sub-Saharan Africa, including Ghana.
One imam from Aleppo, Abdul Ghani Bandenjki, first visited Ghana in 2006 after being invited to officiate at prayers during the Ramadan holy month. When fighting broke out in Syria five years later, Bandenjki decided to return to this West African nation more than 3,000 miles (4,825 kilometers) away.
Now the 42-year-old tutors Quranic students outside the capital, Accra. What was once a temporary solution for his family has started to look permanent, though adjusting hasn’t been easy.
“We just want the war to end so that one day we can go back to our country,” Bandenjki said in Arabic.
As millions fled Syria, his brothers and sisters left for nearby Turkey and Lebanon. Other family members scattered across Europe. His father, however, refused to leave, and he said his mother died of grief three days after a bomb destroyed their family home.
Bandenjki’s journey with his wife and four children has been the longest. He stays in touch with his surviving relations as best as he can.
As more of his countrymen arrived in Ghana, bewildered, he was asked to become the Syrian refugee community’s liaison with the local government. There are no firm statistics on the number of Syrians here, he said, but he believes the figure is close to 1,000.
And it’s not just Ghana. Fleeing Syrians have found refuge in pockets across sub-Saharan Africa, even as far as South Africa. An estimated 300 are in Somalia’s relatively peaceful breakaway northern territory of Somaliland.
In contrast to the millions living in camps in Syria’s overwhelmed neighbors, the Syrians here find themselves relatively free.
“I think what makes Ghana different is the fact that we have a very generous asylum policy,” said Tetteh Padi, program coordinator for the Ghana Refugee Board. “They are free to move about. They can go out, look for work. I know for a fact that is not the case in other countries. In some countries, refugees are not even allowed to leave the refugee camps.”
Over 130 Syrians so far have been granted refugee status, Padi said, and other requests for asylum are being considered.
Ghana’s government has not provided food or lodging assistance so far but provides help where it can, Padi said. “The state is providing them with security, the state is protecting them. We’re issuing them with documentation, which is very critical.”
This country now feels like a second home for Bandenjki, and he calls Ghana beautiful. But he wishes more could be done to help others fleeing Syria’s devastation. Many refugees are far worse off financially than he is, he said.
The lack of support and work opportunities in Ghana, plus the high cost of living, drives many Syrians to pursue a move to developed countries in North America or Europe.
“Ghana is not really ready to host refugees,” Bandenjki said.
But his 17-year-old son, Mohammed, has adapted quickly to life here and is studying hard at school. He managed to learn English in about five months, the teen said.
Of his family’s fate, Bandenjki said simply: “We are patient until God finds us a solution.”
“We Will Support Your Government To Succeed” – UBA To President Akufo-Addo
March 14, 2017 | 0 Comments
The Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Tony Elumelu, has assured the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, of his bank’s support for the growth and development of the critical sectors of Ghana’s economy, as government seeks to return the nation back onto the path of progress and prosperity.
According to Tonly Elumelu, investor confidence in Ghana is rising, following the pro-business and pro-private approach taking by the government of President Akufo-Addo. This, coupled with policy initiatives announced in the 2017 budget, is making Ghana the investment destination in the region.
“We are very happy about all of this, and we would like to associate ourselves with your government and support you to succeed, both in banking and in other sectors of the economy,” he said.
The UBA Chairman made these known on Monday, March 13, 2017, when he paid a courtesy call on President Akufo-Addo, at the Presidency, to congratulate him on his victory in the December 2016 elections.
With UBA engaged in other ventures such as real estate, hospitality, oil and gas, and the generation of power, and with 30 branches in Ghana, Tony Elumelu noted that the bank is the biggest generator of electricity in Nigeria today. He also recounted how, during the era of the Mahama administration, UBA supported government to the tune of $1.1 billion
On the government’s 1-District-1-Factory policy, the UBA Chair indicated that his bank was prepared to support government in the realization of this vision, as well as help in boosting the country’s revenue generation.
“Africa lacks economic independence, and people like you, Mr. President, can provide the new hope for Africa and we will stand by you. You have in us willing and capable partners who are proud and happy to identify themselves with you,” he added.
On his part, President Akufo-Addo expressed his gratitude for the visit of the UBA Chair, stating that “we are all in admiration of the work you’ve been doing, not just concentrating on Nigeria, but, looking beyond the borders to countries like Ghana and beyond.”
With UBA being the first Nigerian bank to set up in Ghana, during the era of President Kufuor, largely as a result of the positive business atmosphere created in the country, President Akufo-Addo noted that he was keen on recreating a pro-business climate in Ghana to spur on development.
“We came in because the economy of our country had taken a nose dive, and there was the need for a new direction. Our first task is to revive our economy, and put it on the road to growth and expansion. It is only by growing our economy that we can solve the problems of our economy, principally youth unemployment. We want to grow our industry and our agriculture, and have a solid financial system that will support the growth of these two sectors,” he said.
For this reason, President Akufo-Addo noted that “UBA is the kind of partner that we are looking for to assist us in the delivery of our vision and mandate.”
He assured that neither his government nor his appointees are in office to compete with business men, reiterating that “they are in office to facilitate and increase business confidence in Ghana, and, by that way, develop the country rapidly.”
The President continued, “The Ghanaian private sector is the way forward for us. Our first budget has pointed the way we are going to handle the private sector. We have removed the many impediments there are for businesses. We want to signal to the private sector that we mean business. We are counting on UBA to have a good understanding of where we are going, and be in a good position to fund some of these critical developments in industry and agriculture.”
Sounding optimistic about the Ghana’s future, President Akufo-Addo told the UBA Chair that “we want to build a Ghana beyond aid. We are tired of being beneficiaries of handouts and charity. We want to be able to stand on our own two feet and deal with our issues ourselves.”
Africa: New Head of AU Commission
March 14, 2017 | 0 Comments
By Cristina Krippahl*
New African Union Commission chief Moussa Faki Mahamat officially takes up his post on Tuesday. But who is Faki and what does he stand for?
A seasoned diplomat and politician, 56-year-old Moussa Faki Mahamat is no stranger to the challenges presented by the top job he was elected to on January 30. He is seen as the architect of Chad’s nomination to the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member and also of the country’s presidency of the AU in 2016. He headed the AU Commission on Peace and Security at the Nairobi summit in 2013, which was dedicated to the fight against terrorism. Above all, as a former Chadian prime minister and current foreign minister he has had a decisive say in all the military and strategic operations his country was and is engaged in: Libya, Mali, South Sudan and Central African Republic, the Sahel and the Lake Chad region.
His election as chief executive of the AU thus indicates a very likely reorientation of AU policies towards issues of peace and security on the continent, Liesl Louw-Vaudran of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Pretoria told DW: “His country, Chad, is well known for seeing itself as a sort of champion of military intervention.”
His predecessor, South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, was severely criticized for neglecting the pressing issues on the crisis-riven continent, preferring to concentrate on longterm plans of prosperity for Africa, not to mention her own political career at home. Moussa Faki, on the other hand, has already left a mark in the fight against terrorism, most notably as chairman of the council of ministers of the G5Sahel, a military anti-terror alliance made up of Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad, of which Ndjamena is the driving force.
His election to the AU Commission is likely to please both Europe and the United States of America, who support Chad in the fight against Boko Haram and other jihadist groups. Chad is also the headquarters of the French counterterrorism operation in the Sahel, Operation Barkhane.
Democracy not a priority
But not everybody welcomed the news. Doki Warou Mahamat, a Chadian who coordinated the campaign against Faki’s election, told DW: “Moussa Faki is on the payroll of a dictatorship. The Chadians are in a state of mourning. You have to clean up your own act before starting somewhere else.”
Moussa Faki is reputed to be very close to President Deby who was reelected in April 2016 for a fifth consecutive term. The outcome was widely criticized because of serious irregularities. Deby has ruled the country with an iron fist since 1990. Both are members of the Zaghawa ethnic group. Analysts note that Deby succeeded in placing a man he trusted at the helm of the AU on the same day that he handed over the rotating presidency of the organization to Guinea, showing the extent of Chad’s influence in the AU and on the continent.
Reforms in the offing
Nevertheless, Faki’s election was not a foregone conclusion. Internal rifts in the AU were highlighted in July 2016 when no candidate won the necessary two-thirds majority at a previous attempt to elect a chairperson, forcing Dlamini-Zuma to stay on for an extra six months. And early this year it took seven rounds of voting before Faki emerged as the winner ahead of Kenya’s Amina Mohamed, long considered the favorite.
While campaigning, Faki, who studied law in Brazzaville and Paris, said that as head of the AU Commission he would want a continent where “the sound of guns will be drowned out by cultural songs and rumbling factories.” While he promised to put development and security at the top of the agenda during his four-year term, he might also want to go ahead with at least some of the reforms deemed necessary to make the organization more effective. “The AU chairperson should be able to make a stand and authorize the sending of AU troops in crisis situations. At the moment, the Commission is sort of beholden to the decision of the 55 member states. Basically, the Commission’s hands are tied,” expert Liesl Louw-Vaudran said. Being a man accustomed to power and who expects to be obeyed, it is likely that Faki will want to change that.
“Lights, Power, Action”: AfDB’s Adesina and Kofi Annan Urge Governments to Close Africa’s Energy Deficit
March 14, 2017 | 0 Comments
The Chair of the Africa Progress Panel and former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, and the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, have called on African governments and their partners to do everything possible to close the continent’s huge energy gap.
They made the call on Monday, March 13, 2017 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, at the launch of the Africa Progress Panel Report on “Lights, Power, Action: Electrifying Africa,” which calls for the adoption of every available on-grid and off-grid solution to light up and power Africa.
“The electricity deficit in Africa is immense,” said Adesina. “Today, 645 million people do not have access to electricity.
“Yet the continent has abundant supply of solar, hydropower, wind and geothermal potential, as well as significant amounts of natural gas and in some countries coal deposits. Africa has energy potential, yes, but we need to unlock that potential. And we must do so quickly, because Africans are tired of being in the dark.”
Adesina stated that he drew inspiration from the Panel’s previous report in developing the Bank’s High 5 development priorities, which places energy as the top priority, and which has, through the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa, committed to investing US $12 billion on energy in the next five years and leveraging US $45-50 billion from the private sector and other partners. The goal is to connect 130 million households via the grid, 75 million people via off-grid and provide some 130 million households with access to clean cooking energy.
The AfDB President commended the Africa Progress Panel for another very insightful report which, he said, will help Africa think through how to achieve the off-grid electricity revolution, as part of the comprehensive New Deal on Energy for Africa.
Lights, Power, Action notes that more than 620 million Africans without access to electricity cannot wait for grid expansion. While grid-connected megaprojects such as large dams and power pools are essential to scale up national and regional energy generation and transmission, they are slow and expensive. Therefore, governments must also increase investment in off-grid and mini-grid solutions, which are cheaper and quicker to install, the report says.
Of the 315 million people who will gain access to electricity in Africa’s rural areas by 2040, it is estimated that only 30 per cent will be connected to national grids. Most will be powered by off-grid household or mini-grid systems.
“Lights, Power, Action” is an in-depth follow up to the influential 2015 Africa Progress Report, “Power, People, Planet: Seizing Africa’s Energy and Climate Opportunities“. It urges governments to put in place the incentives needed to encourage greater investment in off-grid and mini-grid systems, protect consumers, and facilitate demand among disadvantaged groups.
Above all, governments need to foster an environment in which companies can enter energy generation, transmission and distribution markets, climb the value chain, and build the investment partnerships that can drive growth and create jobs.
“Traditional approaches to extending the grid are no longer viable as the main option for African countries,” Annan said. “They will take too long and will not meet the needs of our growing economies and societies. Instead, governments and their partners need to seize the opportunity to re-imagine their energy futures.”
Liberated Africa: Pathways to Self-Transformational Development
March 14, 2017 | 0 Comments
By Ehiedu Iweriebor*
NEW YORK, United States of America, March 13, 2017/ — In the period since independence in the 1950s, Africa has undergone profound social, cultural, economic and political changes. Some inherited and historically rootless colonialist political and social systems have collapsed, been transcended and reconstituted. Different political systems – single party rule, personal rule and military governments have come and gone. New post-independence political and social systems; economic institutions, professional associations and labour unions, various types – traditional and new and varied cultural expressions have all emerged. Creative efforts to foster effective nation-building, develop a sense of belonging and manage diversity productively have also been made. New political systems, different forms of electoral democracy and democratic government; political parties and groups, varied social and intelligentsia organizations, confident youth groups, civil society organizations are also emerging. Disruptive and traumatic political and social crises have occurred. These include civil wars, secessionist wars, famines, elite generated manipulative ethnicity and deadly intergroup conflicts, and recently home grown and imported religious terrorism and their destructive wars, spectacular damaging actions, the creation of refugees and internally displaced peoples and the generation of general feelings of insecurity.
Social development institutions like health and educational facilities that barely existed under colonialism have been built. For example, vast numbers of schools at all levels including universities and other tertiary institutions – conventional and specialized have been established and dot various parts of Africa. They have produced millions of educated Africans as never existed before in African history. New physical infrastructures: roads, railways, water ways and airports have been built. This is a rough profile of profound changes in Africa since the 1950s.
However, given Africa’s size and vast unmet human, social and economic needs there is no question that substantial as what has been built is, the extant physical and social infrastructures are not adequate or abundant enough.
At the same time, it is quite clear that the physical and social landscapes of Africa today are vastly different from what they were 60 years ago such that it is unlikely that people from those times will recognize Africa of today.
Yet it is also true that there are some aspects of African realities that have not changed substantively or for the better during this period because Africa did not regain, recover or assert its ownership and use of its autonomous self-direction capacities in some spheres over the past six decades. These are primarily in the areas of economic sovereignty, development capacitation, self-actuated development and ideological self-direction. This failure is manifested in such conditions as persistent underdevelopment, the pre-eminence of primary commodities production and export in its economic interactions with the world, import dependency, development incapacitation and poverty generation. It is also manifested in Africa’s ideological subordination to external diktat through the acceptance and implementation of the economic management dogmas and prescriptions of the multilateral imperialist agencies – the World Bank, IMF and similar bilateral external agencies. These prescribed non-development dogmas include: privatization, deregulation and African states self-withdrawal from promoting socio-economic development and the simultaneous promotion of the ascendancy of “MARKET FORCES, FOREIGN INVESTORS, FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENTS and FOREIGN TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER ” as the primary and indispensable engines of African economic growth.
The forceful application of these disempowering dogmas through the active complicity of psychologically programmed and ideologically defeated African leaders and elite over the past three decades has yielded or in fact consolidated Africa in its status as under- developed, under-equipped and incapable of development self-propulsion. With African economies arrested in primary commodity export and the mass importation of manufactured goods they are mired in the same exocentric rut and this inevitably results in the export of jobs and import of poverty, therefore recurrent poverty-generation.
This condition and its persistence over this period suggest that IT CANNOT BE RESOLVED WITHIN ITSELF. It has to be transcended by African strategies of psycho-cultural recovery and development capacitation. Psycho-cultural recovery will entail the self-conscious efforts of liberated Africans to peel off the layers of self-deceit, self-delusion, psycho-ideological incapacitation, diminution of African self-worth, self-marginalization of African agency in African development. It would also require the expurgation from African leaderships and elite of their worshipful dependence on outsiders and preference for all things foreign including pre-fabricated solutions that have been introduced into Africa as dogmas of disempowerment and mechanisms of control from the slave trade era to the present. In its various incarnations, African disempowerment was partially procured through various seemingly neutral but ultimately destructive external ideological constructs such as “Christianization”, “Islamization”; European “Civilization” during the colonial era; “Modernization” in the neo-colonial period after independence and its latest expression, as multilateral imperialist “globalism” and dictatorial globalization that ideologically and politically dictates a single, global capitalist and liberal democratic system as the only “approved” economic, political and social and order for all times. This would be composite world of the rich and powerful, and the weak and powerless with Africa at the top.
But all these disempowering political, social, cultural and economic constructs and systems of domination were politically and self-consciously created by organized and mission-driven national and racial elites pursuing the objectives of group ascendancy and global domination. They are not divine constructs imposed on the world. In the same way, liberated Africans can self-consciously choose and work to exit from this state of UNFREEDOM AND INDIGNITY by dismantling and reconstituting the extant world order (as Asians have done) and chose to create and enter the realms of FREEDOM AND SELF-DIRECTION through development capacitation, psychological liberation, cultural recuperation, mental freedom and self-actuated development so as to emerge as powerful participants in the world system as actors not subjects. This is the liberatory imperative.
In order for Africa to assume responsibility for its own transformation and elevation, and be able to undertake self-reliant development and create secure domestic prosperity, it has to create its own specific ideology and strategy of self-development. To do this there are a number of irreducible components that have to be designed and put in place. These are: the recovery and application of African agency in African development, the creation of the liberated African state, establishment of an African development capacitation system, the creation and dissemination of the Affirmative Africa Narrative and African comprehensive military empowerment.
The Centrality of African Agency in African Development
The first requirement of this liberated development strategy and process is the emplacement of African Agency at the centre of African thought and action as the primary psycho-cultural foundation, ideological premise and endogenous propellant for Africa’s self-actuated development. In this context African Agency is the endogenously created psycho-cultural software embedded in societies with which African societies train, organize, motivate, self-activate and direct themselves to accomplish desirable ends individually and collectively. It is the absolute psycho-cultural grounding and ideological ownership of the African project devoid of compromises to any external imperatives. African Agency is grounded on the supremacy of African endocentric thought and motive-forces as the propellants of development as a self-directed imperative.
Without contemporary Africans’ psychological internalization of this understanding and ownership of their development vision and their assumption of complete responsibility for self-actuated development, African societies will remain dependent, underdeveloped and insecure. Therefore the new liberated Africa vision must recognize the absolute necessity of the restoration of African Agency to primacy for any successful African actuated process of transformation. This new perspective is critically important because it has to be realized that one of the major challenges and primary impediment to Africa’s development since independence in the 1960s has been the absence of African Agency in African development as the directive force. This was due to the concerted and largely successful efforts of external multilateral imperialist forces (posing as omniscient advisers) working with psycho-ideologically unprepared and even naive African collaborator-leaders to promote exocentric authority and the corresponding marginalization, diminution and de-activation of African Agency in African development. Consequently, without the unquestioned ascendancy, centrality and directive role of African Agency, African development understood as Africans’ self-equipment for total liberation and radical transformation can never occur.
The Liberated African State
Second, is the imperative of the creation of a new Liberated African State through the rigorous ideological cleansing, psychological re-empowerment and administrative reconstruction of the contemporary politically compromised and disabled neo-colonial African states that are more representative of external forces than national interests.
The decolonization of the colonial African state and the evolution and emergence of the liberated state after independence was disrupted in the 1980s when most African states were captured and disabled by the cancerous ideologies, dogmas and prescriptions of the multilateral imperialist agencies – the World Bank and the IMF and their bilateral supporters in the context of the economic crises of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Embodied in various formulations and policy diktats such as the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), and its unvarying conditionalities: currency devaluation, subsidy removal, trade liberalization and others like deregulation, privatization, poverty reduction; these prescriptions have transformed African states into disabled, compromised, neo-colonial political-administrative contraptions that are responsible to neo-imperialist multilateral institutions and not to Africans. They therefore cannot serve Africa’s interests
This is why it is imperative to create the new Liberated African state. It will be a strong and interventionist developmental state. Its raison d’ etre would be the representation and promotion of national interests. This Liberated African state will be grounded on the affirmation and militant expression of its untrammeled sovereignty; and the absolute non-compromise of national interests to any external agencies, formulations, dogmas and imperatives. It would self-consciously assume and assert uncontested ideological ascendancy. In fact the new liberated state will represent the completion of the decolonization of the African states and the emergence of truly endogenous states. It is only such Liberated African developmental states that can lead to the realization of the African citizens’ expectations for defence and protection, advanced development, material prosperity and freedom from want and colonialist philanthropy, psychological security and empowerment, dignity and equity with all other groups in the world.
The African Development Capacitation System
The third critical requirement is the development and placement of an African Development Capacitation System as the primary motive-force for Africa’s social and economic transformation and creation of advanced societies. This is proposed against the background of the complete failure of the extant neo-colonial economic system inherited and maintained from colonialism. In over five decades of its use and application as the dominant economic management system and growth strategy it has yielded and maintained Africa in a state of development incapacitation, primary commodity exportation, secondary goods importation, dependency, poverty generation, incapacity for self-propulsion, and subjection to the diktat and control of multilateral imperialist agencies – the World Bank and IMF. It is quite clear that the extant exocentric economic system with its development motive forces externally situated is organically defective, un-reformable and inherently incapable of propelling Africa to the highest levels of development.
Therefore in order for Africa to develop and achieve the highest levels of human development it has to own the instruments and systems of self-actuated development. This perspective is partly based on this author’s succinct definition of Development – as a society’s self-equipment with the resources and capacities for its self-reproduction. Consequently, the African Development Capacitation system is the creation and existence within all African societies of the endogenous capacities to conceive, design, construct, manage and operate projects in ALL sectors of the economy. These include the technological, scientific, managerial and operational capabilities for all facets of modern industrial and agricultural production and development self-propulsion.
Practically, the components of the development capacitation system include the domestic possession and ownership of the following capacities: Project Conception and Design capabilities; Technological Production Capacity or Capital Goods Industries comprising : Engineering Industries for the manufacture of all types and levels of machine tools, industrial machinery and equipment, transport equipment, electrical and power equipment; electronic and professional tools and equipment. Intermediate Goods Industries (Metals, Heavy Chemicals, Petrochemicals, Paper, Rubber etc); Civil Engineering Construction Capabilities for large, medium and small scale projects; and Project management and operation and supervision Capabilities.
This endogenous development capacitation system is found in all successful global examples of societal self-development as the prime movers of any society’s self-actuated transformation from conditions of UN-FREEDOM: material underdevelopment, mass poverty, indignity and colonialist philanthropy to new empowered conditions of FREEDOM: expressed as self-created material abundance and prosperity, psycho-cultural confidence and dignified existence. This is practically expressed in mass industrialization, modernized mass agricultural production, mass mineral exploitation and beneficiation primarily for domestic use; mass employment, mass prosperity generation; cultural elevation, self-actuation, self-agency, human dignity and societal power. This is in effect the enthronement of the strategy and process of endocentricity and its ineluctable creation and production of a state of development.
The Affirmative Africa Narrative
The fourth basic requirement is the creation and permanent dissemination of a self-elevating paradigm or narrative to be known as the Affirmative Africa Narrative. Currently there is no global African created narrative that conceives, presents, projects and widely propagates a truthful, complex and elevating narrative of Africa and Africans. In its absence there exists a universal externally fabricated, pervasive and routinely propagated perverse perspective on Africa that I describe as the Pathological Africa Narrative. This narrative which evolved from the era of the European slave trade; was expansively propagated and consolidated during colonialism and has been fine-tuned and expanded since independence to the present to include other foreign propagators like Asians and even Africans. It presents an image and impression; perception and narrative of Africa as a world of deficits, lack, deprivation, absence, danger, disease, inaction, native incapacity, immobility and a basket charity case that is rescueable only by the self-assigned salvationary efforts of Western multilateral imperialist agencies – World Bank and IMF – their dogmas, experts and prescriptions. This Pathological Africa Narrative is not only inaccurate but it is also dangerous and damaging as it represents the software of African self-denigration, servility, surrender and incapacitation.
In order to pursue the vision of liberated Africa it is imperative to create and propagate the Affirmative Africa Narrative. This would be a robust and unapologetic statement of African accomplishments in all areas of human endeavor since independence despite all internal and external obstacles. It would provide the psychological props and grounding among Africans for their self-representation. The Affirmative Africa Narrative is intended to confront, combat, degrade, pulverize, defeat, eliminate and replace the Pathological Africa Narrative that currently pervades external and internal descriptions and representations of Africa and Africans. In its place, the Affirmative Africa Narrative should become the primary perceptual representation and imagistic projection of an energetic and boundless; resurgent and self-directed Africa.
Consequently, for Africans committed to racial upliftment and continental advancement and empowerment embodied in the new liberated Africa vision, the requisite framework of self-representation, self-projection and self-activation is the Affirmative Africa Narrative. This is thus a necessary and indispensable accompaniment and organic adjunct to the determined pursuit of the liberated African vision and mission.
The Imperative of African Military Empowerment
A fifth requirement of the liberated Africa vision is the imperative of Africa’s military empowerment through deliberate provisions for continent-wide development of military capabilities. In order to meet the defence needs of a self-conscious people and continent determined to assume responsibility for its own self-advancement, self-protection, self-projection and emergence as a powerful and dynamic participant in global affairs, two range of actions are minimally imperative.
First is the establishment and development of military industries throughout Africa to ensure that virtually all military equipment from the most basic to the most advanced are manufactured (not assembled) in Africa. This is will free Africa from its current pathetic situation of dependency for military wares from the countries which participated in the past in Africa’s conquest and colonization as well as from new armament producers and traders. To be militarily none self-equipped and self-reliant is to reside in a state of UNFREEDOM.
The second aspect of African military empowerment is the revival, re-steaming and realization of the long-standing grand visions from the 1960s for continental defence institutions and systems. The founding nationalist and pan Africanist leaders of the 1960s and 1970s, had canvassed and proposed the development a comprehensive continental military defence system. This is was to be known as the African Military High Command. These pioneer leaders envisaged it as a powerful continental defence force for self-protection, internal security issues, intra-continental intervention, conflict resolution, contributions to continental and global peace keeping and management as needed and as a force of self-projection that announces Africa’s global presence. It would also be responsible for the security of African geo-political and oceanic spaces against foreign powers desirous of containing, controlling and constraining Africa by the establishment of their military cordon around the continent.
The over-all rationale for the prescription of Africa’s military empowerment is due to the historical purblindness and psychological incapacitation of African leaderships and dominant elite since independence. In the light of the rapid conquest, colonization and exploitation of African communities after the Berlin Conference between the 1880s-1900s, self-conscious Africans should never have the luxury of forgetting that Africa was conquered primarily because of Western military superiority in arms and armaments. Thus it would seem minimally patriotic, psychologically imperative, behaviourially logical and eminently sensible that such a people and continent should give premium attention to the establishment of a powerful military capacity for defence and offense as indicated by its historical experiences and new status as sovereign states.
Therefore a fulsome strategy for African military self-equipment and a powerful and expansive African Military High Command should be developed and incorporated as part of the liberated development strategy to equip Africa to defend, protect and project itself and to play a dynamic role in global affairs.
The various elements outlined above constitute a new strategy and process of endocentric development or African Liberated Development and their application would produce Liberated Africa. This Africa would be truly self-made: developmentally transformed, ideologically self-directed, politically stable, technologically advanced, industrially developed, socially prosperous, culturally renascent, psychologically assertive, militarily powerful, a globally ascendant continent with self-restored human dignity, an Africa of which all Africans will be duly proud.
*Ehiedu Iweriebor, Ph.d (Columbia) is a Professor and former Chair of the Department of Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies, Hunter College, City University of New York, USA.
‘Wind of change blowing in African football’
March 14, 2017 | 0 Comments
By Piers Edwards*
“It’s time we introduce a new regime,” says Liberian Football Association president Musa Bility ahead of what has been described as the most important Confederation of African Football elections for almost three decades.
African football goes to the polls on Thursday to choose a new Caf president and for the first time since he came to power in 1988, incumbent Issa Hayatou faces a serious challenge.
Only twice before has the Cameroonian run against another candidate and he swept aside both with ease: Angola’s Armando Machado in 2000 (by 47 votes to 4) and Ismail Bhamjee of Botswana in 2004 (46-6).
Bility, who has long been a thorn in Caf’s side after speaking out on several issues, told BBC Sport. “The reality is that football has come to be more active, more democratic, more involving – and we have to do that.
“We have to follow the path of the rest of the world, as Africa cannot afford to be left behind. I believe that Africa is ready for change. This is the first time in the history of (Hayatou’s) Caf that there is a real and possible challenge to the leadership.”
Under the 70-year-old Haytou’s control, African football has changed immensely.
He has, among several measures, overseen the expansion of the Africa Cup of Nations from eight teams to 16, the increase in the number of Africa’s World Cup representatives (from two to five), remodelling and financially boosting club competitions as well as greatly boosting Caf’s finances.
The 2007 introduction of the African Nations Championship, which is like the Nations Cup but only using footballers who play in their domestic league, has proved very popular while it was also on the Cameroonian’s watch that Africa staged its first World Cup in 2010 (in South Africa).
Despite the myriad achievements, Bility believes time is up for veteran Hayatou and that a new leader should steer African football into the future.
He believes Ahmad, who outlined a desire for improved governance, with a commitment to increased transparency and reinvestment in his manifesto, is the right man.
“He’s presented a programme to all 54 countries – I’ve never seen this before,” added Bility.
“Normally, we go to elections and there are no promises. There is nothing to hold the president against. This time around, we have a guy who is running on something we can hold him to.
“The other candidate (Hayatou) does not care to give a programme. He just goes through election after election, acclamation after acclamation. There is no promise made to us, therefore there are no obligations nor broken promises. This is what we need to change.”
With Hayatou’s critics saying he runs African football with an iron fist while relying on a handful of close advisers, Bility believes Caf will benefit from different personnel and fresh ideas.
“It’s not to say that Hayatou has not done much for Africa – African football has come of age – it’s to say that there is no way that you can keep an individual in authority for over 29 years. There is nothing new expected,” he claimed.
“Ahmad is from a country that is struggling to develop football. He understands the difficulties we go through as presidents.”
The southern African football region Cosafa, which encompasses Madagascar, has said it will vote for Ahmad – which accounts for 14 votes (a tally that might be less given Comoros has offered its vote to Hayatou) – while Nigeria and Djibouti have also publicly backed the Malagasy.
Nigeria’s federation president Amaju Pinnick told BBC Sport he believes there is a need to change the “tiny cabal” that runs Caf, so echoing Ahmad who spoke of the need to reconcile the African football family in his manifesto.
There is also a need to repair relations with Fifa, which frayed after Caf instructed all its members to vote for Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman in the football’s world governing body’s February 2016 elections.
When Gianni Infantino assumed the Fifa presidency instead, Caf was left exposed.
“You can see clearly that Caf and Fifa are not moving in the same direction,” says Bility.
“If President Hayatou wins, there will be rancour and I would foresee a period of uncertainty.”
Despite his desire to see Hayatou replaced, Bility is adamant the Cameroonian should be afforded a befitting send-off.
“We’d like to see President Hayatou retire honourably. We’d like to thank him for everything he has done for African football. We want to respect and make sure his time is recorded in history – with due honour given,” he said.
“But at the same time we want to move forward to a new development and a new generation of leaders. This is not a campaign in which we are going to get involved in mud-slinging and bad-mouthing – we just want change.”
Africa theme park stakeholders to gain from ‘DEAL 2017’: International Expo Consults (IEC)
March 13, 2017 | 0 Comments
|Growing theme parks to reap profits from the amusement exhibition to be held at Dubai World Trade Centre this month|
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, March 12, 2017/ — The African stakeholders of the theme park industry will stand to benefit from the largest show in the amusement industry – DEAL 2017 , as per International Expo Consults, the organisers of the show. With people patronizing theme parks across Africa and the growth of the amusement sector in the region, shows like DEAL can help the stakeholders of the amusement and leisure industry to come under one roof and discover the best kept secrets of the industry.
Tourism in Africa is booming as reports which state that in 2014, 65.3 million international tourists visited the continent – around 200,000 more than in 2013 . The numbers were meagre in 1990’s where the recorded number was 17.4 million. The tourism sector has leaped and boomed in size thanks to the infrastructure projects undertaken by government entities. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Africa’s strong performance in 2014 makes it one of the world’s fastest-growing tourist destinations, second only to Southeast Asia.
Amusement parks in Africa offer more than fun as they induce historical and educational attractions to engage the whole family in unlimited immersive fun. Parks in Africa are known to inculcate fun mixed with learning. Most of the rides include looping rollercoaster rides, bumper cars, and exciting wildlife centered shows to historical attractions which form the base enabling a plethora of entertainment activities for all age groups.
“DEAL 2017 is at the right juncture as it will help African investors to catapult their business to the next area of growth. DEAL has been supporting the industry and its stakeholders, year on year and has grown from strength to strength. This is the only show in the Middle East and Africa region to provide stakeholders with several billion dollar opportunities. International Expo Consults, the organizers of the DEAL show are set to welcome African exhibitors and trade visitors to one of the colossal shows in the amusement vertical in the MENA Region,” said Mr. Sharif Rahman, CEO, IEC.
The Dubai Entertainment Amusement and Leisure (DEAL) show has shaped the region’s entertainment industry for the past two decades and it has brought together great minds and their world class innovations all under one umbrella. DEAL has led the amusement and entertainment space during this period and the testimony to this is the fact that exhibitors at DEAL 2016 have signed multi-million dollar contracts in just 3 days. Foraying into the 23rd edition, DEAL 2017 expects to witness an even larger gathering of key players and visitors in the amusement industry from Middle East, US, Mediterranean, Asian, and especially African countries.
DEAL, since its inception in 1995 has developed into an unparalleled platform that gathers exhibitors, buyers, and professionals from the international amusement and entertainment industry. DEAL is the region’s most anticipated and leading attraction for global and local stakeholders in the amusement and entertainment industries. The show is slated to be held from 27th – 29th March 2017 at Halls 1, 2, 3 & 4 at the iconic Dubai World Trade Centre.
“Developments in the region with regards to entertainment and leisure are seen to be believed and the outcomes are very encouraging. Entertainment and leisure projects within the MENA region have boosted the confidence of the amusement and leisure industry manifold. The growth of theme parks has spurred towards the organising of events such as DEAL within this region and bringing the industry experts and stakeholders together. ‘DEAL 2017’ is definitely set to don the mantle of the entertainment launch pad for amusement operators in this region. Like before we are all arms open to welcome delegates from Africa to our show,” concluded Mr. Sharif.
International Expo-Consults LLC (IEC) is an internationally recognized trade show management company with an impressive track record of over 21 years of operations in the Middle East and Asia Pacific region. The Exhibition arm of the Dubai-based conglomerate, the Falak Holding; IEC is the organizer of key exhibitions including Sign and Graphics Imaging (SGI), and the Dubai Entertainment, Amusement and Leisure show (DEAL). Falak Holding has been an industry pioneer for the last 34 years having diversified business interests including real estate development; retail – sports, fashion, home furnishings; exhibitions, medical diagnostics, trading and many more as part of its portfolio.
Outgoing Top Diplomat Reassures Restive Africans On US Policy
March 10, 2017 | 0 Comments
-Africa is traditionally a bi-partisan issue says Assistant Secretary Linda Thomas Greenfield
By Ajong Mbapndah L
Departing Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield is urging patience for those eager to see signals from the Trump Administration on its African Policy. The Administration is barely a month in Office and needs time Ambassador Greenfield said, in response to questions from restive Africans on what to possibly expect .
Speaking at a public address at the Atlantic Council on the theme “Africa’s Place on the World Stage,” Ambassador Greenfield said Africa has traditionally been a non-partisan issue. The Obama Administration certainly had its own challenges putting in place a policy though there was more optimism because of his African roots. Ambassador Greenfield indicated that it was too early for people to be in panic mood on the fate of U.S African relations as the new Administration is still putting in place its own team. Ambassador Greenfield said she expects relations to remain strong as the US will remain a committed partner to Africa.
Capping a sterling 35-year Foreign Service Career, Ambassador Greenfield used the address to paint a glossy picture of perspectives in Africa. Problems do not define Africa, as the continent is full of best opportunities and talent, she said. Ambassador Greenfield offered insights into issues that defined her stint in office like partnerships with Africa to counter terrorism, economic growth and development, security challenges, and how to provide opportunities for the surging Youth population.
Despite the odds, the Africa has made tremendous progress, Ambassador Greenfield said. My last trip to Gambia for the inauguration of President Adama Barrow felt like a victory lap, she said, describing it as an opportunity to celebrate success and not resolve a crisis.
Ambassador Greenfield cited the USA-Africa leaders submit, the 2015 Presidential elections in Nigeria and the recent peaceful transition in Gambia as some of the best moments of her stint as the USA top Diplomat on Africa, which started in 2013.
Speaking of the 2015 elections in Nigeria, Ambassador Greenfield said no one was sure how things were going to turn out even after Secretary of State John Kerry personally made trips to talk to leading actors. Greenfield who was in Nigeria for the elections said she saw firsthand the resolve of Nigerians to make things work. Former President Goodluck Jonathan conceded gracefully and the trend has picked up in a number of African countries, Ambassador Greenfield said.
On regrets, Ambassador Greenfield cited South Sudan where the promise of hope for Africa’s newest nation turned to a nightmare with a civil that has created a humanitarian crisis.
In the course of her Career, Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield served in Pakistan, Kenya, Gambia, Nigeria and as Ambassador to Liberia. The event at the Atlantic Council was a crowd puller with over a dozen Ambassadors from African countries, State Department Officials, African Policy gurus, civil society actors and Journalist all present to listen to the parting comments of Ambassador Greenfield on Africa, a continent she has a particular fondness for. The event was also attended by three of her predecessors Herman Cohen who served under President Reagan, Jendayi Frazer who served under President George .W.Bush and Johnnie Carson who served in the first Obama term.
Ambassador Greenfield is expected to take up Fellowship at the George Washington University. J.Peter Pham whose name is reportedly in the mix of potential candidates to replace Ambassador Greenfield introduced her at the event.
Johnson & Johnson Launches New West Africa Regional Operations in Ghana
March 9, 2017 | 0 Comments
ACCRA, GHANA (7 March, 2017) — By expanding its operations, Johnson & Johnson further supports local healthcare providers and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in tackling emerging health priorities in West Africa
Johnson & Johnson today announced the expansion of its operations in Africa with the launch of a new office in Accra, Ghana. The company’s new presence will bring together multiple teams representing Johnson & Johnson consumer, medical device, pharmaceutical and global public health (GPH) organizations to deliver an integrated approach to improving health outcomes in the region.
Johnson & Johnson’s office in Ghana will help coordinate the company’s global public health capabilities and resources to deliver a sustainable, measurable impact against significant public health needs in the region. The team in Ghana will translate the company’s strategy into locally-executable programs that drive health impact in collaboration with local health delivery partners. Business development teams from Johnson & Johnson companies will also collaborate with academic centers and entrepreneurs to explore local innovative healthcare-based initiatives.
“The opening of our new office will play a major role in supporting Johnson & Johnson’s goal of helping to improve the quality of and access to healthcare in West Africa,” said Priscilla Owusu-Sekyere, Country Manager of the Johnson & Johnson office in Accra. “We are building a talented team that will lead the expansion of our product portfolio and continue to address many of the most prominent health issues impacting patients and health care providers here. Specifically, our team will address the health issues that matter most to Ghana by prioritizing new initiatives in mental health; diabetes; maternal, newborn and child health; HIV prevention and oncology.”
The Honourable Kwaku Agyeman Manu, Health Minister in Ghana, participated in the opening ceremony celebrating the company’s commitment to the region. He shared his vision for healthcare in Ghana and welcomed opportunities to collaborate on projects that will help strengthen the country’s healthcare system and attract investment into local health-related programs.
Building on the company’s 86-year history in Africa, Johnson & Johnson will work in Ghana to support efforts to deliver innovative treatments, diagnostic technologies and service delivery models that meet a variety of patient needs. While helping to strengthen national health systems and build research and development capabilities among Ghanaian researchers, the Johnson & Johnson team will focus on disease prevention and the health needs of young people in order to build a sustainable path to well-being for future generations.
“We’ve learned over time that solving last-mile challenges through local empowerment and partnerships offers the greatest potential impact in the fight against public health challenges, and that it can also help fuel the local economy and catalyze infrastructure investments,”
said Alma Scott, Vice President of Global Operations and Partnerships for Johnson & Johnson’s global public health organization. “We plan to collaborate with local governments, NGOs and community-based organizations to uncover novel service delivery models and introduce new programs, treatments and technologies that help address priority health issues impacting the country.”
Johnson & Johnson leads or sponsors several programs already in Ghana that are focused on building professional capacity, strengthening health systems and providing care to neglected or vulnerable patient communities. For example, the company partners with the Medical Surgical Skills Institute and the Management Development Institute to advance health-related training in West Africa for healthcare professionals and government leaders. Examples of other ongoing programs in Ghana supported by Johnson & Johnson include:
- Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) trains health care workers in low-resource settings to intervene when newborns have birth asphyxia, a potentially fatal inability to take the first breath of life.
- IVUmed trains surgeons and surgical nurse practitioners in removal of hydrocele, a fluid-filled enlargement of the sac around the testes resulting from the parasitic disease lymphatic filariasis.
- Operation Smile is the largest volunteer-based children’s medical charity providing free cleft surgeries to heal cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities.
- Breast Care International‘s partnership with Johnson & Johnson implements an oncology training program for registered nurses in Ghana.
- Basic Needs‘ partnership with Johnson & Johnson involves medicine donations for mental health disorders and therapeutic techniques through gardening projects; the current gardening project will benefit over 150 patients and over 100 care givers.
- The SOS Children’s Villages project creates brighter futures for families by preparing orphaned and abandoned children to become self-sufficient and productive adults.
- The Medical and Surgical Skills Institute (MSSI), established by Johnson & Johnson and other partners, has become a center of excellence for advanced health care training in West Africa providing hands-on medical and surgical skills training using modern equipment, facilities and technology; in 2016, more than 3,500 health professionals were trained, benefitting approximately seven million patients across Africa.
- The Management Development Institute (MDI) partnership with Johnson & Johnson aims to equip Ministries of Health and other organizations delivering health care services to underserved populations with the requisite management and leadership capacity to implement their health priorities.
- The Ghana AIDS Commission is supported by Johnson & Johnson in its campaign to ensure that 90 percent of people living with HIV know their HIV status, 90 percent of those diagnosed with HIV receive sustained antiretroviral therapy (ART) and 90 percent of people receiving ART have viral suppression.
- Direct Relief partners with Johnson & Johnson to study long-term health care capacity building opportunities that will help people suffering from mental health challenges in Ghana and serve as a model for other regions.
Currently, 3.6% of GDP in Ghana is devoted to addressing health challenges.[i] In response to the Sustainable Development Goals, Ghana’s government committed to increase funding for health to at least 15% of the national budget.[ii] For example, plans are underway to strengthen free maternal health care and improve child health by ensuring 85% of children are fully immunized.[iii] Johnson & Johnson’s new Ghana office will support this growing dedication to health improvement in the country, particularly the emphasis on prevention of disease and advancing therapies through programs involving health education and vaccine development.
“The continued expansion of our operations in Africa brings to bear Johnson & Johnson’s heritage of innovation, collaboration and grass roots partnership with the goal of sustainable health outcomes,” said Jaak Peeters, Global Head of Johnson & Johnson’s global public health organization. “Our team in Ghana will help researchers and healthcare professionals in the region develop their own lasting environments for long-term disease management.”
About Johnson & Johnson in Africa
Johnson & Johnson’s presence in Africa includes business operations, public health programs and corporate citizenship. The operations expand upon the company’s legacy and presence in Africa, which began in 1930, and build on existing work conducted by the more than 1,500 employees and the three manufacturing sites on the continent. Global public health collaborations focus on partnerships that improve the lives of women and children, prevent disease among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the healthcare workforce. The company’s global public health strategy uses an end-to-end approach, which includes early stage disease-specific research, product development, manufacturing and distribution, and education and training resources through its philanthropic efforts. Through innovation, collaboration and local engagement we are:
- Cultivating Africa’s innovation
- Expanding R&D skills and capacity among African scientists
- Catalyzing healthcare infrastructure investments
- Enhancing collaboration with local health delivery partners
- Boosting education and training resources for healthcare workers
- Empowering African youth to thrive and become drivers of change
- Improving access to medicines.
About Johnson & Johnson
Caring for the world, one person at a time, inspires and unites the people of Johnson & Johnson. We embrace research and science – bringing innovative ideas, products and services to advance the health and well-being of people. Our approximately 126,900 employees at more than 250 Johnson & Johnson operating companies work with partners in health care to touch the lives of over a billion people every day, throughout the world.
Energy Ministers from South Africa, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Democratic Republic of Congo to address investors at the 3rd Powering Africa: Summit
March 8, 2017 | 0 Comments
H.E. Hon.Tina Joemat-Pettersson MP, Minister of Energy, South Africa, H.E. Patrick Sendolo, Minister for Energy, Land and Mines, Liberia, H.E. Hon Irene Muloni, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Uganda, H.E. Hon. Henry Macauley, Minister of Energy, Sierra Leone and H.E. Hon Pierre Anatole Matusila, Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Democratic Republic of Congo are the latest speakers to confirm attendance at the 3rd Powering Africa: Summit, taking place from 9-10 March 2017 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Washington D.C.
U.S. Representative Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee has also confirmed to address delegates at the 2017 Summit. Chairman Royce worked tirelessly to pass the Electrify Africa Act which was successfully signed into law in early 2016. The bill seeks to address the significant electricity shortage in Africa that affects the everyday lives of millions of people. His participation will provide an insight into the act and how it will continue to maintain competitiveness in Africa whilst increasing global security and social stability.
The Summit will take the form of panel discussions and roundtables focusing on sector-specific topics and addressing how bottlenecks can be overcome to drive forward projects. Maintaining US competitiveness in Africa will be a key theme, setting out how commercial partnerships can deliver energy, create jobs, build capacity and spur industrial growth. 26 countries will be represented at the Summit to date, including 16 African countries. A networking reception will take place on the evening of 9th March, and delegates will have the opportunity to arrange meetings with other attendees using an onsite networking app.
This meeting will be co-located with the Growing Economies: Latin America Energy Forum, focusing on investment opportunities in Latin America’s energy & infrastructure sectors.
For more information about this meeting:
Meeting dates: 9-10 March 2017
Venue: Marriott Marquis, Washington, D.C., USA
Contact: Amy Offord – Marketing Manager
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7384 8068
Three Leading Organizations in Africa and The MasterCard Foundation Partner to Improve Livelihoods for 1.1 Million African Smallholder Farmers
March 7, 2017 | 0 Comments
The Foundation has committed a total of US$38.3 million to AgDevCo, ICCO Cooperation, and Root Capital for programs to improve productivity and market access for farmers in 11 African countries.
Facebook Chief Product Officer takes ideas from West Africa home to California
March 7, 2017 | 0 Comments
Cox was in West Africa to find out how the region’s creatives, developers and entrepreneurs are using Facebook and Instagram to bring their passions to life
DAKAR, Senegal, March 7, 2017/ — Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer at Facebook , will be taking feedback and inspiration from the developer and content creator communities back to California following his visits to Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal this week.
Cox was in West Africa to find out how the region’s creatives, developers and entrepreneurs are using Facebook and Instagram to bring their passions to life.
Chris said: “It’s been an inspiring week meeting with some of the top artists, publishers, entrepreneurs, developers, and social media stars across the region. This is a region that creates some of the most interesting cultures in the world – from food, to fashion, to music, to art. They are at the leading edge of using mobile technology to build communities in their cities, countries, and around the region, and in solving local problems with local solutions. We left inspired, and with insights on the real challenges we have to improve our services — from internet connectivity to more regional support and tools.”
Chris started his trip on a high by seeing Femi Kuti live on stage at the New Afrika Shrine in Lagos. Chris, who is an accomplished pianist, was invited to play live on stage with Femi, an experience he will never forget. Chris said:
“It was an honor to play live with one of my musical heroes. The Shrine is one of the great institutions in music history and in the political history of the region. It was also the first time a concert has been live broadcast on Facebook from The Shrine. Femi’s team was inspired by how many folks around the city, the region, and the world wanted to tune in, and we were too. We were surprised by how many Nigerians told us how exciting it was to see a concert from there. We think there’s a great opportunity for Live to give the whole world a window into some of these gems of local culture.”
Whilst he was in Nigeria he spoke at Social Media Week Lagos — the region’s premier new media and social media conference — Cox highlighted Nigeria’s status as a hub for innovation and creativity because of its fast-growing mobile technology sector and its vibrant film and music industries. He focused on how the world is moving to digital video, with formats such as virtual reality, Live video broadcast and 360 video giving people new ways to tell their stories.
Chris then moved to Ghana where he visited the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in Accra, Ghana. Meltwater is the premiere start-up-school and incubator in Ghana, bringing in some of the top aspiring tech entrepreneurs and engineers from around the continent to develop their businesses. During his visit Chris loved meeting the team from Asoriba , an already hugely successful software for church communities — which is extremely important and central in Ghana and Nigeria. He talked with the founders of Asorbia about how technology can be used to strengthen communities.
Later in Ghana he witnessed the force of Ghana’s creative talent in an event at ANO Gallery, which was co-hosted by and ANO Gallery and Bless The Mic. During the event, some of Ghana’s top talent spoke about how they have used technology to tell their stories and grow their audiences.
Top Ghanaian musician M.anifest said, “We have some really compelling stories to share in Ghana, not just with other Ghanaians but with audiences around the world. The remarkable thing about Facebook is that it gives us cutting-edge and exciting new ways to connect with people and to tell our stories ourselves and in our own way.”
Chris’ last stop of the trip was Senegal where he attended a ‘Stories of Senegal’ event, designed to lift the lid on the stories, cultures and talent in Senegal. During the event, top Dakar chef Corinne Erambert of Les Atelier De Corrine gave Chris Cox a crash course in local Senegalese cooking, teaching him how to make local dish ‘couscous rice’. The event was live streamed on Facebook, so that people all over the world could see how to make a local delicacy.
Corinne Erambert of Les Atelier De Corrine said: “I founded my business ‘Les Atelier De Corrine’ three years ago. Since then I have used my blog , Facebook and Instagram to build a community of food lovers who come to my pages to see videos and photos of the new dishes I am trying out. I often give people recipes within my posts so that if people like the look of the food I make, they can try it out at home.”
For the final stop of his visit to West Africa, Chris attended an event with local tech entrepreneurs where he took part in a discussion about building tech products in Francophone Africa. Panelists included some of the region’s most promising developers:
- Omar Cissé, CEO at In Touch – a Senegalese mobile payments and digital services aggregator;
- Jimmy Kumako from Coin Afrique – an online marketplace designed to simplify the exchange of goods and services in French-speaking Africa;
- Malick Ndiyae, Cabinet Minister, Post and Telecommunications, Senegal;
- Seynabou Thiam, from Neylam Services – a creative digital agency based in Dakar, Senegal.
Says Cox: “It was exciting and inspiring to see how technology is giving entrepreneurs and content creators across West Africa new opportunities to reach their audiences. I felt privileged to see how developers, content creators and entrepreneurs are using Facebook and Instagram to help solve local problems or tell local stories.”