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African Development Bank President Adesina named a champion of Africa’s Great Green Wall climate-adaptation initiative
January 12, 2021 | 0 Comments
In the role of champion, Adesina will lead the mobilisation of political and economic support for the initiative
PARIS, France, January 12, 2021/ — African Development Bank President Akinwumi A. Adesina has been announced as a champion of Africa’s Great Green Wall (GGW) initiative.

The appointment was made at a forum held in the margins of the One Planet Summit 20201 to mobilise support for the ambitious project to plant an 8,000 km swathe of trees and other vegetation across the Sahara and Sahel regions of Africa. The green wall will act as a barrier against desertification and aims to create over 10 million green jobs in the region.

“I would also like to welcome the commitment of Dr. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, who has agreed to take on the role of resource mobilization champion and help raise, by 2030, all the necessary funds for the realization of the Great Green Wall,” French President Emmanuel Macron told participants.

In the role of champion, Adesina will lead the mobilisation of political and economic support for the initiative.

“The Great Green Wall Initiative is the first step on the way to nature-based solutions as well as solutions based on the vitality of African eco-solutions,” said Macron. “France is very committed to this region from the standpoint of security and sustainability. We need to beef up the initiative for all the 11 countries.”

During the forum, Adesina announced that the Bank would mobilize up to $6.5 billion over the next 5 years for the Great Green Wall Initiative, joining multilateral development institutions, governments and development partners that have pledged over $14 billion. The World Bank, for instance, pledged over $5 billion in funding to advance land restoration and degradation issues and to address challenges around Lake Chad.

Adesina praised the initiative. “The Great Green Wall is part of Africa’s environmental defense system — a shield against the onslaughts of desertification and degradation,” he said. “The future of the Sahel region of Africa depends on the Great Green Wall. Without the Great Green Wall, in the face of climate change and desertification, the Sahel may disappear.”

The Bank will extend resources through a range of mechanisms, partnerships and operations, and draw on internal and external sources of funding, including the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), among others.

Adesina noted that ongoing Bank initiatives such as Desert to Power, a programme to build the largest solar zone in the world in the Sahel, will enhance and complement the Great Green Wall. “This will provide electricity for 250 million people and help to protect the Great Green Wall. If there is no access to energy, the Great Green Wall will be no more than trees waiting to be turned into charcoal.” The Bank has committed to mobilize $25 billion for climate finance by 2025.

The One Planet Summit 2021 is hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. The Summit, held annually, brings together political leaders, private sector decision makers, foundations, NGOs and citizens to identify and accelerate funding for climate, biodiversity and ocean solutions and mobilize all stakeholders in public life and the economic world in collaborative efforts.

Other Great Green Wall Champions include musicians Baaba Maal and Ricky Kej and environmental activist Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim.
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Kenyan referees chosen for CHAN tournament
January 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Dr. Peter Waweru, a lecturer at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology will officiate as a central  referee
Dr. Peter Waweru, a lecturer at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology will officiate as a central referee

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has included two Kenyans in the list of 39 referees who will preside over the African Nation’s Championship (CHAN).

The two are Dr. Peter Waweru, a lecturer at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology as a central referee, and Gilbert Cheruiyot as an assistant referee.

 Dr. Waweru will have another opportunity to show his prowess at the continental level after doing the same at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. So far, he has officiated 12 continental matches, including Confederation Cup, CAF Champions League, and group stage afcon matches.

CHAN is a showpiece created for players plying their trade in the domestic leagues.  This year’s tournament is set to kick off on January 16 and run to February 7, 2021, in Cameroon.

The host will start their campaign against Zimbabwe before taking Mali and Burkina Faso on January 20 and 24, respectively.

DR Congo, the tournament’s most successful team, were seeded in Group B together with Congo Brazaville, Libya, and Niger. DRC have won the cup two times.

The defending champions Morocco are in Group B, and they will compete against Togo, Rwanda, and Uganda.

In Group D, Zambia will face Namibia, Guinea, and Tanzania.

CHAN was scheduled to take place in 2020 but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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UK bans travel from 11 African countries, including Mozambique
January 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge dos Santos

The United Kingdom will ban passengers from Mozambique and 10 other African countries from entering the country, the British government announced last week, extending the measure that it applied to South Africa on 24 December to curb a new strain of covid-19 identified in that country.

The restriction went into effect on 9 January, and will stay for at least two weeks, the British Department for Transport said, also affecting people who have been in Angola, Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the Seychelles or Mauritius in the past 10 days.

British and Irish citizens and foreigners resident in the United Kingdom will be able to enter the country, but will have to isolate for 10 days. The new, more virulent strain of covid-19 from South Africa is already present in the UK, and is similar to the new strain first detected in the British county of Kent.

Meanwhile, more than 130 people in Mozambique were hospitalised with covid-19 in just eight days and 2,000 new cases were recorded in that time, which is a record, according to data from the health authorities. There were also 15 deaths in the period.

The increase in cases was related to the Christmas celebrations and the end of the year when people relaxed, the national director for medical assistance, Ussene Issa, said.

Added to this is the arrival of Mozambicans working in neighbouring South Africa, the country with the highest incidence of covid-19 in Africa, where a new variant of the virus has appeared. Issa warned that this meant that efforts to reduce the number of deaths and protect Mozambique’s health system could be overturned. Mozambique has already sent samples to South Africa and the United Kingdom for verification of new coronavirus variants.

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Malawi: Consternation As COVID 19 Kills Two Ministers
January 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

By James Mwala

Belekanyama was serving as the Minister of Local government
Belekanyama was serving as the Minister of Local government

Malawi has lost two serving cabinet ministers due to Covid19 in less than 24 hours.

Sidik Mia’s and Lingston Belekanyama’s death come as the Southern African nation, has bloated cases in the recent week, with fewer recoveries and more deaths.

Mia served as Transport Minister and Vice President for the Malawi Congress Party.

Belekanyama was serving as the Minister of Local government.

Just last week, another popular broadcaster, Maria Chidzanja Nkhoma also died amid growing infections.

This week, everyday has seen a record cases subsequently, raising fears about the pandemic in the country.

Mia served as Transport Minister and Vice President for the Malawi Congress Party
Mia served as Transport Minister and Vice President for the Malawi Congress Party

Infections rose from the less than a hundred to now 2,744 active cases with deaths standing at 235.

Since the first cases in March 2020, there have been slightly lower than 10 thousand cases.

The latest figures come at a time when returnees from South Africa fled a quarantine camp in protests against a delay in one of their meals.

The whereabouts of most of them are not yet known.

Last week, President Lazarus Chakwera also addressed the nation in a speech he was blamed himself for relaxing on Covid19 measures during the festivities.

Among other things, Chakwera was seen hosting pop star Madonna without wearing a face mask just as was the case when he controversially visited former President Peter Mutharika at his lakeshore home, Mangochi.

Although, government enforced new restrictive measures, life appears to be normal with people running businesses as it were. Schools are currently open and government insists they will not be sealed as the ministry of education is closely monitoring the situation.

President Chakwera has directed a three day national mourning period.
President Chakwera has directed a three day national mourning period.

Last year, former minister Cornelius Mwalwanda also succumbed to Covid19.

The latest situations have since sparked debate on the effectiveness of measures that regimes have been enforcing recently.

President Chakwera has directed a three day national mourning period. 

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EIB to support for high-impact investment in 11 Sahel countries under Great Green Wall initiative
January 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

  • President Hoyer reaffirms EIB commitment to Sahel and climate vulnerable regions in Africa as part of Team Europe
  • EIB to strengthen financial and technical support for sustainable agriculture, clean energy, water, infrastructure and microfinance to create jobs and resilience
  • Biodiversity investment in Africa to benefit from pioneering EIB Sustainable Awareness Bonds
EIB President Werner Hoyer
EIB President Werner Hoyer

The European Investment Bank today announced that it aims to provide new financial and technical support to back sustainable agriculture, clean energy, water, infrastructure and private sector financing in 11 Sahel countries most vulnerable to a changing climate by 2025.

The EIB financing and technical support will enhance the impact of the Great Green Wall initiative to improve biodiversity in the Sahel and better tackle climate and environmental challenges facing the region. Targeted high-impact investment will enable more inclusive economic growth and strengthen resilience in the region to foster peace and stability.

EIB President Werner Hoyer outlined the expected strengthened engagement to back high-impact investment essential to create jobs, improve economic opportunities and increase access to clean energy and water during the One Planet Summit for Biodiversity hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris earlier today.

“Communities across the Sahel are threatened by climate change, increasingly frequent droughts and floods, and unreliable and limited access to energy, water and food. The European Investment Bank, as part of Team Europe and member of the Sahel Alliance, recognises the need to scale up investment that tackles these challenges, delivers sustainable development and improves stability in the region. The EU Bank is pleased to join African and international partners in ensuring that the Great Green Wall biodiversity initiative improves lives and opportunities across the Sahel. Looking ahead, the EIB expects to back transformational public and private sector investment in 11 Sahel states most vulnerable to climate change as part of our commitment to accelerate high-impact investment across Africa. This will complement our broader strategic engagement across Africa and 58 year track record of backing transformational investment on the continent.“ said Werner Hoyer, European Investment Bank President.

President Hoyer addressed the One Planet Summit for Biodiversity alongside the Prince of Wales, President of the African Union Commission and heads of the French Development Agency, African Development Bank, UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

Working with African partners to unlock high-impact investment across the Sahel

During his address to the One Planet Summit for Biodiversity President Hoyer highlighted the impact of recent EIB support for water investment in Mali and Niger, clean energy across West Africa and private sector support with local microfinance and banking partners.

The EIB is currently supporting projects to address land degradation and enhance access to finance by rural communities and small holders in Mali and Ethiopia, and to redress and prevent soil erosion in Nigeria, all initiatives that provide a model for successful biodiversity investment elsewhere in Africa.

EIB harnessing global capital markets to support biodiversity investment

Future EIB investment for sustainable agriculture and environmental projects across Africa will benefit from the EIB being the first international financial institution to issue bonds to support biodiversity investment.

This week the EIB, the world’s largest supranational bond issuer and pioneering of green bonds, will include biodiversity in the eligibility of the established EIB Sustainable Awareness Bonds.

Supporting the Great Green Wall initiative to improve lives and opportunities in the Sahel

The Great Green Wall initiative aims to restore Africa’s degraded landscapes and transform the lives of people living in the Sahel. The 11 countries  selected as intervention zoned for the Great Green Wall are Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan

The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and owned directly by the 27 European Union member states.  

Background information

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union and is owned by the EU Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals both in Europe and beyond. The European Investment Bank is active in around 160 countries and is the world’s largest multilateral lender for climate action projects.

The EIB Group has recently adopted its Climate Bank Roadmap to deliver on its ambitious agenda to support €1 trillion of climate action and environmental sustainability investments in the decade to 2030 and to deliver more than 50% of EIB finance for climate action and environmental sustainability by 2025. As part of the Roadmap, all new EIB Group operations will also be aligned with the goals and principles of the Paris Agreement from the start of 2021.

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Cameroon: CHRDA Condemns Killing of 8 Civilian in Mautu, Calls for Investigation
January 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Security forces patrolling Muyuka, a town in the South West Region of Cameroon, as they try to rid the area of separatist fighters
Security forces patrolling Muyuka, a town in the South West Region of Cameroon, as they try to rid the area of separatist fighters

The Centre for Human Rights and democracy in Africa, one of the leading human rights organizations in Cameroon has condemned the recent killings of 8 civilians including a mother and grandson in Mautu, a small community in the restive South West Region.

While extending its condolences to the bereaved families, CHRDA notes that the recent attacks on the civilian population in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon has become rampant in the first 10 days of 2021.

“On Sunday 10 January 2021, CHRDA received with dismay, reports about the killing of at least eight civilians in Maotu village. Alleged members of the State Defence and Security forces reportedly invaded Mautu village in the Muyuka Subdivision, South West region and committed the act,” a communiqué from CHRDA stated.

Images circulated online showed a gory scene with dead bodies lying on the ground, and a mother shot on the leg and supporting her grandson.

Sources revealed that there was a military invasion in the village that kept everyone running for safety. “So many people were killed including a grandmother and her grandchild, we do not know what that old woman and the innocent child did to deserve death” an eyewitness recounted to CHRDA.

“The persons killed included women and children, who are classified under the group of vulnerable persons. Young and unarmed boys were also killed. This attack brings back to the minds of Cameroonians the Ngarbuh and Kumba Massacres, which occurred in 2020,” the communiqué read in part.

CHRDA has called on the state authorities to investigate this heinous act and let justice be served for the victims. “We also call on all combatants to fully respect International Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.”

For the past four years, separatist fighters have been battling government forces in the North West and South West regions. The former is looking to establish an independent state of “Ambazonia”. The conflict started in 2016 with lawyers and teachers and degenerated into a full-blown war in 2016.

Thousands of people have been killed, maimed, kidnapped and others forced to flee their homes for shelter in neighbouring Nigeria and other parts of the country. Both government and separatist fighters have been accused of extrajudicial killings of civilians.

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Dr Christopher Fomunyoh on Cameroon Anglophone Crisis: “We Have Increasingly Lost Our Humanity”
January 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

-We have to revise what we have done for the last four years knowing that what we have done before has not yet worked.

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Dr Christopher Fomunyoh- the military solution cannot solve the present Anglophone crisis

Dr Christopher Fomunyoh, Senior Associate and Regional Director for Central Africa Programs at NDI has lamented the ongoing Anglophone crisis as says Cameroonians in the last four years are increasingly losing their humanity and that today killing women and children, unarmed civilians, kids just for going to school have become the fabrics of the society.

The expert on democratization in Africa was talking to Babila Jonathan of Equinox this Monday, January 11 as he looked at the ongoing crisis in the North West and South West Regions, the killings, what can be done to solve the crisis and bring normalcy to the regions.  

For the past four years, separatist fighters have been battling government forces in the North West and South West regions. The former is looking to establish an independent state of “Ambazonia”. The conflict started in 2016 with lawyers and teachers and degenerated into a full-blown war in 2016.

Thousands of people have been killed, maimed, kidnapped and others forced to flee their homes for shelter in neighbouring Nigeria and other parts of the country. Both government and separatist fighters have been accused of extrajudicial killings of civilians.

The manager of the Lobe Estate (PAMOL) plantations was recently killed as the crisis in the North West and South West Regions continue to escalate. A principal in Tinto, Manyu Division was assassinated and another shot in the leg. Workers working in plantations have had their fingers chopped off and recently the massacre in Mautu.

“The list is getting longer by the day and it is extremely painful to see the level of violence that is now taking root amongst our people and the violence that seem to be accompanied by impunity and a sense of indifference to human suffering and the destruction that is in place. It is so painful and there comes a time when we have to say enough is enough and we have to bring this violence to an end,” Dr Christopher Fomunyoh who has organized and advised international election missions to Benin, CAR, Cameroon, Liberia, and Ghana said. 

According to Dr Christopher Fomunyoh, who recently designed and helped launch the Africa Statesmen Initiative (ASI), a military solution cannot solve the crisis in the country’s North West and South West Regions.

“In 2017 I warned that if you take a military solution to the political problem you are not going to tackle the problem and collectively we as a society are going to lose our humanity. It is so painful that in the last four years we have increasingly lost that humanity and that today killing women and children, unarmed civilians, kids just for going to school have become the fabrics of the society,” He said.

“We have to sit back and revise the approach we have taken for this crisis that what we have tried in the past four years has not worked. We have to understand that this issue can only be resolved through dialogue, mediation, negotiations so we can bring the sufferings to an end. Violence only bequeaths violence and right now I am concerned about not just this conflict but the next one. What people have gone through, close to 70,000 refugees in Nigeria and other countries that people are not going to forget and forgive easily the suffering that they are going through.”

Many observers, however, say the root cause of the ongoing crisis has yet to be fully addressed and that is why the violence persists. This can only be solved if the root cause of the crisis is addressed through a meaningful dialogue by both parties.

“I have said so myself. Until we get down to the root causes of the conflict we are not going to solve it. We have to have the courage and address the grievances and until we do that the rest is just sugar-coating, speeches about a sense of normalcy that is not there. This is unacceptable and we need to address that,” Dr Christopher Fomunyoh said.

On the issue of President Biya’s End of Year address, Dr Christopher says “The things we have seen in the last 10 days are a reminder that whatever message was delivered on the eve of New Year is probably not resonating with the population or the people who have control of the arms. It is about time we stop talking and making speeches and time we sit around a table and settle our differences. Cameroonians are tired of listening to speeches all the time.”

With the call for an end to the violence coming from within and from international bodies, the Regional Director says inviting the leaders of these groups and sitting down in a room using a neutral platform with help from mediators may just be the key to bringing an end to the crisis.

Dr Christopher Fomunyoh, Regional Director for Central Africa Programs at NDI

“If the government comes on the table with representatives of these armed groups and that both delegations come out with a joint communiqué saying from henceforth no gun shall be fired in the North West or South West Regions, that kind of joint approach is likely to pay dividend than what we have seen thus far,” Dr Christopher Fomunyoh, a former adjunct professor of African politics and government at Georgetown University said. 

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Pray for Nature:Young Kenyan Artists Release New Music Video To Stop Deforestation
January 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

NEW YORK, NY, January 11, 2021: Kenya’s rising rap stars, Anderson Mwakazi (aka Harshkid Luckystah) and fellow artists Benard Kaisa (aka Benkaizah) and Simon Mwanjala (aka Popsodah) released ‘Pray for Nature,’ a new music video with an urgent message for the world about the Climate Crisis and the critical need to stop forest destruction.

Deforestation is the second largest contributor to the Climate Crisis. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change – warns that deforestation intensifies the effects of climate change, such as water scarcity, drought and food shortages. Billions of people will be adversely affected and especially those living in rural parts of the world who depend on farming to feed their families.

Anderson Mwakazi lives in the Kasigau Corridor, a severe drought region in SE Kenya, located between Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks – a vital wildlife corridor. Anderson’s family and neighbors are subsistence farmers. He knows first-hand how burning and cutting trees to clear land for farming and for charcoal production has a direct negative impact on the rain and farming conditions. Thus, his new song and music video seeks to inspire environmental activism.

“My generation is increasingly anxious about the climate crisis- we don’t know if our lives will be cut short or if current harsh conditions will get even worse. It is overwhelming and causing young people serious depression. Climate scientists have been warning our leaders since before I was born but unfortunately for us, they have not acted. I wrote this song as a wakeup call for young people to stand up and demand that corporate and political leaders take immediate action to do what’s right for the children of the world before it’s really too late,” said Anderson Mwakazi.

The Kasigau Corridor is also home to Wildlife Works, a leading conservation business focused on protecting forests, wildlife and sustainable development for local forest communities. The company with its 350 local employees and with the cooperation of 120k community members, protect the entire 200k hectare corridor.

Wildlife Works far reaching community engagement activities include youth education on environmental issues held at local schools, many of which have been built or refurbished by Wildlife Works and where thousands of children have and continue to receive scholarships covering their school fees. Anderson first learned about climate change and the importance of protecting trees from the community outreach leaders at Wildlife Works.

“Deforestation causes a direct threat to our survival in rural Kenya but it’s not only a local problem, we all share the atmosphere that doesn’t care where emissions from burning forests come from so this is also a serious problem for everyone in the world. I hope our song Pray for Nature will help people remember to have more respect for nature” said Anderson Mwakazi

Wildlife Works and its business development partner Everland sponsored Anderson to write and record “Pray for Nature.”

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Kenya:Chief Justice David Maraga retires aged 70
January 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Justice Maraga
Justice Maraga

Kenyan Chief Justice David Kenani Maraga has officially retired.

Mr. Maraga, the 15th Chief Justice (CJ) in the country, announced his official retirement on Monday, January 11, 2021, during the official retirement ceremony held in the Supreme Court in Nairobi.

Article 167 (2) of the Kenyan constitution allows Chief Justice to remain in power for a period not exceeding ten years or after attaining the retirement age of 70 years, whichever comes first.

He assumed office in October 2016 as Dr. Willy Mutunga’s successor, and his exit means the deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu will be the new CJ in an acting capacity until a substantive one is appointed.

In his final remarks, Maraga started by thanking God for the opportunity to serve and for guiding him during his four-year tenure.

He also expressed his gratitude to his family, friends, and entire Kenyans for the unwavering support they accorded him.

“A special Thank You goes to my dear wife and our children, as well as my extended family. Through your prayers and support, you have been to me what Harun was to Moses. I don’t take that for granted. I sincerely thank you. I also want to thank you, the people of Kenya, for your unwavering confidence in and support for me. Your solidarity in moments of great adversity and peril, and your steadfast defence in moments of trials and tribulations, only strengthened my resolve and enabled me to serve you,” said Maraga.

The outgoing CJ asked Kenyans not to tire of supporting judges to ensure the rule of law is upheld in the East African country.

He also urged judges to do what is right and follow the constitution to the latter.

“Today, I leave behind me a strong Judiciary, a professional and enthusiastic corps of Judges and Judicial Officers as well as staff who are deeply committed to the administration of justice, and an increasingly enlightened public whose confidence in and demand for our services grows by the day,” he continued.

In her inaugural speech, Mwilu lauded Maraga for his selfless and exemplary leadership.

She noted her former boss had left behind a great legacy characterized by judicial independence, protecting and entrenching the rule of law.

“Yours has been a life of service characterized by hard work, honesty and integrity, fidelity to the rule of law and the constitution and most importantly obedience and faith in God. When any reflection on the development on our constitutional democracy is undertaken, your name shall be written large,” noted Justice.

Maraga entered into the book of history in 2017 after he nullified presidential results citing irregularities.

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Fisherman’s Diary Puts Cameroon Film Industry on Global Map With Oscars Representation
January 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Cameroonian Movie The Fisherman's Diary picks up from where it left in 2020
Cameroonian Movie The Fisherman’s Diary picks up from where it left in 2020

Picking up from where it left behind in 2020, Cameroonian movie The Fisherman’s Diary is going full steam ahead in 2021. The movie fronted by Kang Quintus and Faith Fidel and Directed by Enah Johnscott has been accepted to represent Cameroon at the 93rd edition of the Oscars.

“The movie becomes the 1st ever Cameroon film to achieve this milestone. Thank you to the Cameroon Oscars committee and CFI,” Kang Quintus posted.

“It is a statement that the Cameroonian film industry is doing a lot of work. We have stepped up the game a little bit and it is quite a humble experience that the Fisherman’s Diary is the first-ever Cameroonian film to be accepted into the Oscars to represent Cameroon,” Kang Quintus told Pan African Visions in a telephone interview. 

“I am very humble and it tells us that whatever we are doing here we are doing the right thing and a lot of work is to be done. I can tell you that this is the beginning of many great films as we are heading to August and we are open to partway for that to be possible.”

With the Fisherman’s Diary already making headways, Kang Quintus is already envisaging the production of a new movie before the year ends. “The Fisherman’s Diary is the beginning of many films to come from Kang Quintus Films,” Kang Quintus said.

“As soon as we are done with the marketing and distribution of this film we are getting to preproduction for the next film and all of that is in the pipeline. We have to put all energy behind the Fisherman’s Diary right now because it has to get all the attention it deserves.”

“There are many awards that we have submitted this film to and as soon as the good news comes in we are going to make it public,” Kang Quintus, the Best actor of the 2020 Golden Movie Awards said. 

Last year the Fisherman’s Diary was one of the major success stories for the Cameroonian movie industry picking up awards in the country and beyond. At the Golden Movie Awards in Ghana and the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) in Nigeria, the Film snapped up 10 awards, adding to awards in Instanbul, Cameroon, and a host of other countries.

The movie fronted by Kang Quintus and Faith Fidel has won big at the Golden Movie Awards in Ghana and the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) in Nigeria.
The movie fronted by Kang Quintus and Faith Fidel has won big at the Golden Movie Awards in Ghana and the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) in Nigeria.

An insight into The Fisherman’s Diary

The movie directed by Enah Johnscott and produced by Kang Quintus is a storey of a 12-year-old Ekah (Faith Fidel) who got inspired by Malala Yousalzai, the youngest noble prize winner.

She is determined to go to school in a village of fishermen where it is considered as taboo. He drives to break this adage gets her embroiled with her father Solomon (Kang Quintus) experience with girl child education, critiqsite reported.

The film features other actors such as Ramses Nouah, Onyama Laura, Neba Godwill, Mayohchu and Daphne Njie.

The film has won best film in India and New York, picking up Best director, best film, best soundtrack and best production nominations at the prestigious PAMA in Paris, France.

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South Sudan: JEDCO to cut off power supply in Juba capital
January 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Juba – The Juba Electricity Distribution Company has announced plans to cut off power supply starting Tuesday in South Sudan’s capital city of Juba’s capital of the East African’s youngest nation.

The city is going back to darkness as the management of the company (JEDCO) announces total blackout, says the power halt will start Tuesday until further notice.

In a public statement released on Sunday, the electricity distributor claims that the South Sudan government has “not been able to provide the foreign currency required to make long-overdue payments for the bulk energy” they get from Ezra Construction and Development Group.

Ezra Group of companies built a first electricity power and is operating the 100 Megawatts Power Plant in Juba.This was a first electricity power built in Juba since the country gained her independence from Sudan in July 2011.
The government of South Sudan is expected to take over the power plant in the future according to the agreement.

The Juba City Power Distribution System was constructed with the support of the African Development Bank which provided $38 million.
While launching the power plant a year ago, President Salva Kiir said South Sudan shall be connected to a 400 KV line interconnecting Karuma in Uganda and Juba by 2023. Kiir further said the country will also develop its hydropower resources –mainly in Fulla in Nimule.

“Juba Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (JEDCO) regrets to inform all its customers that it has been forced to halt electricity supplies starting the morning of Tuesday, January 12, 2021, until further notice,” the statement said.

Despite that, JEDCO says it is working with stakeholders to resolve the problem to resume normal services.The electricity distribution company has so far connected 9,990 households, 3,550 businesses, and 200 governmental institutions to the grid.The company says it will resume supplying electricity once the issue of foreign currency has been resolved.

The Juba government is yet to respond to this matter, but the observers also call on the government to release some foreign currency to the company so that the city wouldn’t go back total darkness.

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Understanding the psychological madness of successive mandates
January 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Kadar Abdi Ibrahim*

It is necessary to identify, along the way, the reasons inherent in the self, which, if not combated, largely explain the psychological madness of successive terms of office, attachment and longevity to power. All boiling down to one and the same question: what will be done tomorrow?

  1. Anxiety derived from inaction: the anxiety of boredom These dictators all have a leitmotif in common. That of only existing for one activity: to exercise only power. Leaving the “armchair” creates a relaxation in them which is a prelude to inaction, leading to an anxiety that makes them feel like they are of absolutely no use. Scientifically called “the anxiety of boredom” by psychiatrists, it is generally manifested by feelings of helplessness, inanity, maladjustment, despair, which, taken to the extreme, turns into an anxiety of dead. They are bored and therefore vegetate far from power, from the decision-making sphere and above all from the tumultuous life they led among the big boys.
  • Fear of the end : fear of death The idea of postponing each time their departure to the next term, is reminiscent of these dictators, this fear that every human being has of the End, the supreme being death, physical law, inflexible, imposed on the man and which happens most often when we do not expect it. Few are the people who, aware of this appalling programmed fatality of the human being, agree to resign themselves. On the contrary. “The fear of death is not natural” said Jean Jacques Rousseau. In fact, one could not find a better parallel between the fear of death, the ultimate, and this frenzy of the fear of leaving the armchair which absorbs them and loses them to infatuation. And besides, do we not always learn of their death, a few months after the end of their reign? If we are to believe that they themselves have a presentiment that the end of their reign inevitably corresponds to that of their life. It is therefore, in their depressing logic, a vicious cycle: they leave power, become inactive, stop living, and finally die slowly.
  • Fear of disgrace: the scissor effect This fear stems particularly from the “chisel effect” theory: on the one hand, the blade of the opposition and on the other, the edge of the Western powers. Indeed, the faults committed during their reign generate a strong feeling of hostility between those in power at the height of their reign, stinking of glory, abusing the spittoon, which no rule stops and criminalized opponents, ensnared for crimes of opinions, tortured in jails and any political manifestation of which is bloodily suppressed. Not surprisingly, then, a bitter, mistrustful relationship has developed between dictators and opponents. It is certain that no longer enjoying immunity without their positions as president “for life”, dictators believe that opponents, clogged with the emery, once they come to power, will in turn inflict snub to them. The fear of these tyrants, which has become a chronic wound that gnaws at them, is not to fall under the ax of the rule of “each in turn” led by an immature opposition, with the blade in hand, freshly installed in power. activating in a very beautiful way to bring them down in flames. Without forgetting, of course, the cutting edge of the Western countries, their allies of yesterday, who saw them as indispensable ramparts against communism or against Islamism, for whom, today, they are becoming embarrassing and are forced to hang out in multiple political and financial trials. So let us no longer be surprised, among these dictators, that this obsession with constantly having the knife under the throat, this fixed idea of being stuck in machinations and cabals, this nightmarish fear of falling into disgrace without few people are moved by it, pushing them to stay indefinitely at the post.
  • Nostalgia for the past: the end of the “traveling bank account” The vacancy causes the loss of privileges of former Heads of State. It is known, money is the fuel of dictatorships which buy in the strongest sense of the word the political elite! A gap then widens between their past as President-predators, confusing the State coffers with his own, justifying the expression of Bernard Kouchner’s “traveling bank account”, bathed in a flood of full power, which makes them dizzy, in which they seem more haughty, leading a senator’s train without concealing the pleasure they take, and their future, which, for its part, is anchored more in the experience of ordinary people and whose success lies behind .

 A radical change of status whose awareness refers to nostalgia for the past, a sensation taking place in three (3) stages. First of all, by a refusal. Refusal to accept that what was will be no more. In other words, nothing will be the same for them. The refusal, giving way, then, to a dissatisfaction with their situation far from suiting them. And finally, when it is impossible to make the slightest change, discontent ends in resignation which plunges them into deep dismay.

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Cameroon: Civilians reportedly killed by Security Forces in Mautu
January 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Security forces patrolling Muyuka, a town in the South West Region of Cameroon, as they try to rid the area of separatist fighters
Security forces patrolling Muyuka, a town in the South West Region of Cameroon, as they try to rid the area of separatist fighters

Civilians including a child are reported to have been killed by elements of Cameroon’s security forces this Sunday, January 10, in Mautu, a small community in the restive South West Region of the country.

The exact number of those killed cannot be ascertained by Pan African Visions but media reports put those killed in the range of nine, including a child.

Videos circulating online and seen by Pan African Visions shows a gruesome scene with civilians including children lying dead on the ground, with blood oozing out. In one of the disturbing videos, a woman who was shot on the leg could be seen supporting a child with blood coming out of his fingers, indicating that he too had been shot.

It is still unclear as to what caused the latest attack by Cameroon’s security forces. The Minister of Communication and government spokesman Rene Emmanuel Sadi has yet to confirm or deny that the attack was carried out by its forces. In the past, the government has denied such allegations which turned out to be true, like the case of the Ngarbuh massacre.

There has been mass condemnation on various social media platforms with many recalling the incident in Ngarbuh that saw women and children killed by Cameroon’s security forces. Others have called on the international community to intervene in the crisis ensuing in the country’s North West and South West Regions. 

For the past four years, separatist fighters have been battling government forces in the North West and South West regions. The former is looking to establish an independent state of “Ambazonia”. The conflict started in 2016 with lawyers and teachers and degenerated into a full-blown war in 2016.

Thousands of people have been killed, maimed, kidnapped and others forced to flee their homes for shelter in neighbouring Nigeria and other parts of the country. Both government and separatist fighters have been accused of extrajudicial killings of civilians.

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Kenya prisoners protest over colleague’s death.
January 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Operations at Manyani Maximum Prison in Kenya’s coast on Friday, January 8, 2021, came to a standstill after prisoners at the facility staged demonstrations protesting their colleague’s death.

The deceased, identified as Stephen Mwangi Kabanzu, is alleged to have breathed his last after a short illness.

The irate inmates accused the facility of negligence, claiming their pleas to wardens to take Stephen to hospital fell into deaf ears.

However, Manyani Maximum Prison Commander in charge, Bison Madegwa, dismissed the claims that the inmate died within the facility, saying he passed on in the hospital.

“I want to say this, the prisoner did not die in prison…he died at Moi Referral Hospital in Voi after he was taken in ill…he did not die at Manyani, those are just but rumours,” he reiterated.

Manyani Maximum Prison has been in the limelight over the mistreatment of prisoners allegations. On December 14, 2020, two inmates at the facility protested against what they termed as torture by the officers. The duo climbed on the top of the institution’s rooftop, reportedly weeping, asking for help from passersby.

The institution denied the allegations insisting they were trying to incite others.

“They just came in the other day after they were transferred from another facility. The matter is being addressed by the officers in charge,” said  Madegwa.

In May 2017, three prisoners who were serving sentences at the facility sued the state over alleged inhuman treatment.

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Kenya:Injured Gor Mahia to face Napsa Stars in Caf Confederation Cup
January 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Kenyan Premier League giant Gor Mahia has been drawn to face Zambian side Napsa Stars in the Caf Confederation Cup group stage play-offs.

The Kenyan champions will host their opponents on February 14, with the return league scheduled to be on February 21 in Lusaka, Zambia, according to the draw of the competition carried out by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) on Friday.

 The winner between Gor and Napsa Stars will qualify for the group stage of the competition.

Gor is set to face former players Shaban Odhoji, Timothy Otieno, and another Kenyan, Andrew Tololwa, who ply their trade at the Zambian Side.

The Green Army was bundled out of the Caf Champions League by CR Belouizdad of Algeria on 8-1 aggregate. Napsa reached the play-offs stage on away goal rule following a 1-1 aggregate score against Mozambique’s UD Songo.

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Housing demolitions by Harare City Council not the solution: says watchdog group
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

A local watchdog group the Harare Residents’ Trust(HRT) has denounced the ongoing demolition of houses by Harare City Council especially in  Budiriro high density suburb saying it is not a solution.

 The trust says that a humanitarian crisis is developing and requires a purely humane response.

 It is reported that on 3 December 2020, the City of Harare, with the help of the police, and armed with demolition orders, demolished 143 houses, leaving an estimated 715 people homeless.

  The trust said that although it  does not support building on illegal land, it opines that demolishing houses is and will never be the solution.

  It is reported that the government, together with the local authority should look at the bigger picture and tackle the root problem of housing shortages.

   “The repeat illegal allocations and demolitions of people’s homes will be with us for a long time to come if local authorities do not address housing delivery and service land. Ultimately, the human rights of the citizens will continue to be violated while the corrupt keep getting away without being punished,” HRT said.

  The trust added that several factors are leading to the never-ending illegal land sales.

 It said that one of the main reasons is citizens’ desperation to acquire housing stands.

 It is also reported that there is a huge housing backlog, which is fuelling desperation among the citizenry and exposing them to land barons and corrupt officials in local authorities and central government.

  “This desperation clouds them and in the end, they do not verify whether the land they will be receiving is legal or not. A few who are aware of the illegalities surrounding the land sales also go into desperation and they receive assurance from political figures that their houses will be regularized,” the trust said.

 It added that it is  insensitive to lay the blame on the vulnerable citizens to the extent of demolishing their houses at a time rains have started falling.The corruption is worse in land allocations as estate agents, land barons, council management, town planners, councillors, and central government officials are using the desperation of home seekers to manipulate systems and make more money for themselves in the process,” they said.

 It is reported that for example, Tembwe Housing Cooperative secured land in Budiriro in 2010 through the council officials, and obtained certificate of incorporation as a housing cooperative.

  They were  allocated land to their members.

 It is however, reported that  in 2014, an identified council Town Planner Priscilla Charumbira allegedly demanded that they pay US$45 000 in order to have their housing stands regularised.

  It is added that council allegedly wrote their names down, and assured the stand owners that their stands would be regularised.

 It is however added , things changed after they refused to pay the US$45 000.

 Charumbira is reported to have  allegedly initiated through identified proxies to establish Events Housing Cooperative and offered it the same land as Tembwe Housing Cooperative.

  Events Housing Cooperative is however reported  not have separate land.

It is reported that the impact of the  conflicted situation is that Tembwe Housing Cooperative members had their houses demolished on a court order issued against Events Housing Cooperative, which however did not have houses on the disputed land.

 The trust said that it urged the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and responsible authorities to fully investigate how the situation obtained.

  It is added that demolition of houses belonging to residents in Budiriro will have severe social, economic and psychological impacts to the victims.

  It is also added a majority of the victims come from very poor socio-economic backgrounds and their social capital is very low.

  It is added that a majority of the houses were built using pension funds, savings and other investments saved over a long time.

  “Demolishing people’s houses without a critical consideration of their position on the sustainable livelihoods scale will make it more difficult for the victims to escape from poverty,” the trust said.

 It is added that following a Human Rights Based Approach, the state is obligated to protect, promote and safeguard the human rights of all its citizens, including those living with disabilities, the sick, children and senior citizens.

  “However, these demotions demonstrate that the state has abandoned its constitutional obligations and is therefore failing to offer security to its vulnerable citizens. Household economies are going to be shattered after the demolitions, and this will put pressure on the already depressed society due to the fluid state of the economy. Stress levels among the affected citizens are going to shoot up, severely damaging the psychological and mental wellbeing of victims,” the trust added.

 It added that demolitions are evidence of the chaotic housing delivery system in the council.

  The trust recommended that the council regularise all the houses not built on wetlands, make the house owners pay the price for not following the law in acquiring their houses, postpone all demolitions until the end of the rainy season, bring to account all known corrupt land dealers, councillors, council managers, land barons, estate agents, central government officials and politicians for their transgressions.

 The City of Harare has been urged to have an electronic housing waiting list to enable transparent land allocations for housing developments.

 They said that only the council should be responsible for selling council land and the land must be serviced.

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SW Regional League: Major Upsets Recorded On Matchday One
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

H.O Academy
H.O Academy

The much anticipated South West regional League finally took off across stadia in the Region with major upsets recorded along the way. Victoria United, LIFCA, UBFC, Little Foot all recorded defeats.

24 goals were scored on matchday one with 7 home wins. 2 games did not take place due to licenses issues.

With the Regional League in recess to resume only after the Africa Nations Championship, CHAN which concludes on February 7, 2021, Pan Africa Visions looks at the state of affairs of the League after the first day of play and examines the chances of the big guns succeeding after faltering on the first day.

Victoria United Faltered at the Start

Victoria United aka “OPOPO” went in this year for a new coach in the person of Njoku Barnabas to help them get that much-needed ticket to Elite 2 Football. The start, however, is not what he would have hoped for as his side were beaten 1-0 by Option Sport.

The team’s ambition despite the loss on the first day is to first reach the mini interpool and then secure a space at the national interpool. “…That is what I am here”. “If I am here I think I have something to offer. I am here because I have my ambitions. With the players and administration I have at hand I believe we are up to the task. Like any ambitious club in the region, the goal is to qualify this club first to the mini interpool and from there we will take it forward,” Coach Barnabas said.

The next game for Victoria United is almost a must-win affair. They cannot afford to drop points if they are to achieve their ambitions. Victoria United will face Best Stars on Matchday 2. Best Stars was on standby during day one. They too will hope not to drop points against Victoria United and a draw will suit them well.

EEMSA Tiko
EEMSA Tiko

Prisons Show Master class against Cinyodev FA

Prisons Social Club of Buea aka “Home Boys” showed class and superiority against a lacklustre Cinyodev FA side that fielded a young squad against an experienced side. Prisons dismantled Cinyodev FA by 6 goals to 0 with a brace each from Mborong Collins, Elonge Moki Junior and substitute Ekema Samuel Etonge.

Cinyodev FA was without Ntui Brandon, a main-stay at the defence for Cinyodev FA last football season who signed with YOSA this year, as was another player of Cinyodev.

“This is a championship and every goal counts on the last day of the competition. So when you have the opportunity to make a goal you have to take it and it also builds confidence with the attackers. Last year we had the problem of our attackers not scoring so if they have the opportunity to score they have to take it to get that confidence,” Coach Enang Severine of Prisons FC told Pan African Visions.

In the other Pool A game, H.O Academy had an easy ride over Mt Cameroon FC. The former defeated the latter by 3 goals to 0, with a brace from Alexi Lalas giving his side all three points.

Ajax FC too Good for Little Foot FC

Ajax FC Likomba showed cutting edge finishing against Little Foot FC. The boys of Coach Patrice who had a series of training exercises dispatched Little Foot Fc by 4 goals to zero.

“Last football season Ajax did something that no one would have imagined. In the overall classification Ajax was second and at the beginning of the championship last year no one would have imagined that Ajax would hold Tiko United, EEMSA. This year the expectation is much higher than last year,” Coach Tueche Patrice said.

The club has succeeded in getting some new faces to flesh up the squad. Attacker Mbigla Oscar has been brought in. So too are Chenco and Benton in the defence line. “The boys are ready than last year, and I am sure that this year Ajax will be different,” Coach Patrice Tueche added.

A sneak peek at Matchday Two

Matchday two in Pool A promises to be firework with a battle for first place. Prisons FC who leads Pool A by goal difference faces H.O Academy – a side that the former defeated last football season by 1 goal to 0.

LIFCA will be hoping to be on red hot form when they next take to the pitch. The team has high hopes of reaching the Elite 2 football championship this year after bringing in Coach Augustine Choupo. LIFCA will face Pool C leaders NQSA. Everything rest on this game for LIFCA.

In Pool F, Ajax FC will hope to continue their good start of the championship. The team dispatched Little Foot on day one of the championships. Coach Patrice Tueche was very pleased after the opening day victory and will hope the good fortunes will be with them.

EEMSA on their part will also hope they can continue their winning run. The team that won Tiko United in the opening day of the championship faces Little Foot FC, a side that was hammered by Ajax FC.

Prisons FC Buea
Prisons FC Buea

Complete Matchday Two fixtures

Pol A: Cinyodev FA versus Mount Cameroon FC and Prisons against H.O Academy.

Pool B: Continetal FA versus University of Buea FC, Buea United FC versus Dynamic FC. Catholic University Soccer Academy is on standby.

In Pool C: ISOHSA to face Njalla Quan Sports Academy (NQSA), FUSSA against LIFCA

Pool D: Best Stars will face Victoria United, while Option Sports will be on standby

In Pool E: Kumba Lakers awaits NEMFA, while Bau Manibok to battle with Future Dream. Nkamanyi Football Initiative will be on standby.

Pool F: Treviso who was on standby on matchday one will face league leaders Ajax FC Likomba. Little Foot FC battles EEMSA, while Tiko United is on standby. 

The goal of the teams in the South West Region is to get a ticket to play Elite Two football next football season. The Region is blessed with state-of-the-art infrastructure but yet no team in the Elite 1 or 2 Football Championships. The hope from football stakeholders in the Region is that this year will be that year as since the like of Buea United, Tiko United, no team from the South West Region has been into the Elite tier of Football in the Region.

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Cameroon: 2020/2021 NW Regional League Begins February 9
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

North West Regional League to begin after the CHAN
North West Regional League to begin after the CHAN

2020/2021 North West Regional football Championship is set to begin February 9, 2021, after the conclusion of the Africa Nations Championship, CHAN. This was one of many decisions taking during the FECAFOOT North West Assembly meeting this December 23, 2020.

According to reports the 2020/21 football season will be played with 22 teams instead of 21 as was the case last season. There will be four pools with five teams and another two pools with 6 teams. The top 2 teams from both pools will qualify for the mini-interpools.

The launch of the North West Regional football championship will follow that of the South West, East, West, and Centre Regional championship which were launched earlier. For the South West Regional championship, it is on recess to resume only after the Africa Nations Championship, a decision taking by club president during the FECAFOOT General Assembly for the South West Region.

The Secretary-General of the NW Regional League of FECAFOOT Ndi Tsembom Elvis has said that FECAFOOT NW has set up a team to manage “Futsal” in the region. To him, work is in progress to ensure that there is a Futsal tournament in the region.

“1st national President for Futsal is currently in the region to work hand in hand with the NW SG for the realisation of this,” SG Ndi Tsembom said, as reported by Martial Gnoukapasir. “New Futsal fields have been constructed already in the NW to facilitate the upcoming specialised tournament.”

In his presentation of the balance sheet of last football season that was cancelled like other regional leagues across the country, Ndi Tsembom highlighted that the absence of funds was an issue for the proper management of football in the region.

 He equally congratulated PWD Bamenda for being crowned champions of the Elite one football championship. PWD won the championship last year, a feat they had never reached since their creation some 58 years ago.

“The greatest problem we face away from covid-19 is the football pitch. Now that am Mayor I will do my best to see something is done about that,” Mbigha Felix, President FECAFOOT NW said.

Other resolutions taking during the NW FRCAFOOT Assembly:

-On instructions from Mbombo Njoya, no club duly affiliated last season will do so this season.

– Affiliation is free as the bureau is obliged to give same licenses teams paid for last year.

– Female football league will be inter-regional with NW clubs playing alongside those of the west region. 5 teams are to represent the region with their licenses.

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Cameroon: Fri Asanga Appointed Interim CEO of D&L Foretia Foundation
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Fri Asanga, D&L Foretia Foundation's new Interim CEO speaks at the Emerging Leaders Programme in Cameroon's Capital Yaounde
Fri Asanga, D&L Foretia Foundation’s new Interim CEO speaks at the Emerging Leaders Programme in Cameroon’s Capital Yaounde

The Board of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation has appointed Madam Fri Asanga, current Chief Operating Officer, to lead the organization as Interim Chief Executive Officer as of 1st March 2021. Dr William Arrey who has been in that position will step down from 1st March 2021.

This information is contained in a document sent to Pan African Visions and authored by Denis Foretia, Co-chair of the D&L Foretia Foundation. “Since joining the Foundation, Mme Asanga has helped further standardize our operations and significantly improve execution efficiency,” Denis Foretia said.

Dr Arrey who has worked tirelessly to see that the mission of the Foundation is taking to higher heights steps down to dedicate more time to policy research. “While Dr Arrey is stepping down he is not leaving the Foundation. He will continue to further the Foundation’s vision as a Senior Fellow at the Nkafu Policy Institute and as an Advisor to the Board. We are extremely grateful for his leadership,” Dr Denis Foretia, Co-chair of the D&L Foretia Foundation said.

Over the past three months, Dr William Arrey has been working with the Board to ensure a smooth transition.

To Dr Denis, during Dr William Arrey’s tenure, he oversaw the Foundation’s success in building critical national and international partnerships, growing Nkafu Policy Institute’s impact in Africa, and developing exceptional talent across all Foundation departments.

According to the Co-chair, the Board will launch a national search for the next CEO shortly and Dr Odette Kibu has been charged to assist the Board in that process and the goal is to have the next CEO by July 2021. “We are incredibly honoured to have had the foresight and leadership of Dr Arrey and are very pleased to have Mme. Asanga leads the Foundation during this process,” Dr Denis Foretia, Executive Chairman of the Nkafu Policy Institute said.

Who is the Incoming CEO, Fri Asanga?

Before joining the Foundation, she was the Coordinator for FinScope and MAP Cameroon where she oversaw the activities of the financial scoping consumer survey in Cameroon on behalf of UNCDF and FinMark Trust.

She has deep expertise in the microfinance sector haven spent more than 15 years working on financial inclusion for the most vulnerable groups in society. Before her work with FinScope and MAP Cameroon, she served as Advisor with the UNCDF Microlead project where she helped established the computerization of networks of CVECA as well as the piloting of branchless banking at some microfinance institutions. She also has broad experience in risk management, micro-insurance schemes, training in financial literacy as well as social accountability.

With her role as Chief Operating Officer Fri Asanga was responsible for the overall operational efficiency with the supervision of grant management processes and human resources.

She holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the United States International University-Africa in Nairobi, Kenya and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Lagos in Nigeria.

Dr. William Hermann Arrey, outgoing CEO of D&L Foretia Foundation
Dr. William Hermann Arrey, outgoing CEO of D&L Foretia Foundation

About the D&L Foretia Foundation

The Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation work to catalyze Africa’s economic transformation through social entrepreneurship, science and technology, innovation, public health and progressive policies that create economic opportunities for all.

The foundation works in partnership with local government, policymakers, private enterprises, civil society organizations as well as development partners to expand the resources available to entrepreneurs, farmers, and small business owners to improve individual livelihoods.

The areas of work include sustainable development, science and technology, health, leadership, education, entrepreneurship, economic and public policy.

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Angolan Legal Reform Shows How Africa Can Use Oil and Gas as a Springboard Towards Job Creation
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

But Only if It Looks Beyond the Obvious Options 

By NJ Ayuk*

President Lourenço

Africa’s oil and gas resources have the potential to accomplish so much good for the continent’s people.


For decades, many of Africa’s oil- and gas-producing states followed a predictable pattern. They treated their oil and gas primarily as raw materials that could be sold abroad for a quick profit, rather than as a means of supporting efforts to make more lasting changes in the economy of the nation as a whole.

This pattern has had unfortunate consequences. It discouraged investment in local capacity, and it fostered the development of arrangements under which most residents of the producing states could not see how the large amounts of money earned from oil and gas exports were improving their lives. In other words, it allowed most hydrocarbon revenues to flow back to the home offices of international oil companies (IOCs) or to go to national oil companies (NOCs) that transferred funds to local governments — and, in many cases, to individual government officials, along with their friends and family members.

Africans already know that focusing on oil exports doesn’t yield the best results. They already know that it ignores the need for long-term investment and fosters corruption.

But corruption isn’t the only issue. Africans also know that the old pattern of focusing on commodity exports doesn’t do enough to put their economies on track for long-term growth and keep them there.

They know, in other words, that the old habits don’t create jobs.

At least, maybe they don’t create large numbers of jobs. Or maybe they don’t create the kind of jobs that last long enough or have enough impact to lead to real change.

And why should it be that way? Africa’s oil and gas resources have the potential to accomplish so much good for the continent’s people – and that includes creating training and job opportunities across multiple sectors, which is one of the keys to sustainable economic growth. This can be accomplished by strategically harnessing oil and gas to monetize value chains and diversify economies. And to do that, we need to create an environment that enables new businesses to launch and thrive.

As the Chamber’s 2021 Africa Energy Outlook says, “Using the stimulus afforded by the natural resources to stimulate jobs in other economic sectors with higher labor intensity is where a significant amount of jobs can be created.”

So it’s time to broaden our view of Africa’s oil and gas resources. Instead of treating them only as a revenue source, we must approach them as a path towards a very important goal: empowering Africans to improve their own lives.

Local Content for Local Jobs

Africans understand the necessity of breaking free of old patterns, and they’ve tried to address the challenge with policy changes. In Angola’s case, they have sought to thwart old oil habits of the past by embarking on a fundamental reform of how the sector works. This entailed taking away regulatory powers for the sector from the national oil company Sonangol and giving those to the newly created National Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANPG). The restructuring of the sector, that resulted in the creation of the ANPG and the reorientation of Sonangol, is arguably one of the greatest achievements of H.E. Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, Angola’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum who was brought in to reform the sector. This enabled Sonangol to embark on its own restructuring, at the core of which is the sale of non-core assets and a withdrawal of what Sonangol is expected to do; be a competent partner to foreign operators, and cost efficiently run its own operations. These changes, though very recent, have already stated bearing fruits. The newly created agency, under the chairmanship of a recognized industry expert Paulino Jeronimo, has moved swiftly, to usher in the implementation of new local content guidelines. They have also refocused their efforts on making new acreage in Angola attractive for investment, in an effort to stop the expected decline in output, mid to long-term.

In more general terms, though, they’ve also introduced policy initiatives that aim to create jobs. In Angola, the government recently rolled out a new legal regime for local content requirements after two years of concertation with the various stakeholders.

President João Lourenço, who introduced the new rules last month, has made the job-creation angle clear. He has described Presidential Decree 271/20 as a way to promote Angolan commercial entities’ participation in the development of the oil and gas sector. He has said he hopes the new measure will encourage IOCs to obtain goods and services (including raw materials) from local providers and to replace foreign experts with local workers.

Presidential Decree 271/20 also stresses the Angolan government’s desire to strengthen “national entrepreneurship.” It states that foreign technical assistance and management contracts must include provisions for the establishment of detailed training and professional development programs and the transfer of expertise and technology.

Training Across Sectors

This all sounds like a good idea — and a plan for concrete action as well. Presidential Decree 271/20 doesn’t just talk about increasing local content; it also replaces all the previous local content measures approved between 2003 and 2009. It offers a more detailed description of the factors that qualify an entity as an Angolan company and outlines the procedures that will allow the government to keep an up-to-date list of the parties that are pre-qualified to bid for contracts with IOCs

But does it really go far enough?

In some ways, it does. And by that, I mean that I’m glad to see that the decree talks about the need to make sure that Angolan workers have access to detailed, effective, and sophisticated training programs— and about the need to include provisions for such training in foreign management and technical assistance contracts.

In other ways, though, I’d like President Lourenço and his government to go further. I’d like them to think about exactly what kind of training might serve Angolans best. For example, what if they decided to prioritize training in information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) skills? Might they find that workers who learn how to operate the control systems used to maximize the efficiency of, say, gas pipelines also turn out to have the skills needed to operate similar equipment in manufacturing plants? And might such workers turn out to have something even more useful, such as the skills needed to set up and promote a new tech hub that could serve as another new source of jobs?

A More Expansive View of Oil and Gas

I also think there’s room for Angola to take a more expansive view of oil and gas. That is, I think the government ought to look further down the value chain so that its new policies don’t emphasize conventional upstream, midstream, and downstream operations (and the ways that Angolan companies can support them) while overlooking other opportunities. Oil and gas aren’t just raw materials to be exported. They can also serve as feedstock for the production of petrochemicals, fertilizers, and other value-added goods. They can be used to power energy-intensive industrial facilities such as manufacturing complexes. They can also fuel power plants that increase domestic electricity supplies to such an extent that life gets better for residential and business customers alike.

In turn, all of these new enterprises will have to hire people. They will need construction workers to build their physical plants, skilled and unskilled workers to keep their facilities running, IT and OT experts to operate and maintain the digital systems that help maximize efficiency, contractors to provide services such as food and transportation, and so on. In short, they will create jobs — and in so doing, they will show that oil and gas amount to something more than exportable raw materials.

Furthermore, if Angola can pull this feat off — if it can use its new policies to lay a foundation for job creation that both includes and transcends oil and gas — it will be in a position to show other countries in Africa how to do the same thing. It will be able to set an example capable of inspiring Africans who want to see the old patterns of hydrocarbon development broken.

Global impact and market stability

Finally, it is important to acknowledge the role that Angola and its current Minister of Mineral Resources, Petroleum and Gas, Diamantino Pedro Azevedo is playing as president of the conference of ministers of OPEC. Without market stability and a realistic price environment for crude globally, all potential benefits from the industry in Angola will be short-lived. OPEC Plus’s January 5th 2021 agreement to allow some of its members to cautiously increase production in February and March in a coordinated manner, is also due to Diamantino’s tact and experience. It is even more encouraging for the global oil markets, that Saudi Arabia is backing the current OPEC Plus deal with additional cuts of its own. This is good for Angola’s oil sector and Angolan jobs.

*SOURCE African Energy Chamber.NJ Ayuk is Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, CEO of Centurion Law Group, and the author of several books about the oil and gas industry in Africa, including Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals.
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Turkish Ambassador set up a spying network in Mozambique – report
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Nordic Monitor

In this 2012 photo, Turkish ambassador Aylin Taşhan is seen next to the US-indicted Turkish Minister Zafer Çağlayan who still remains at large after he was charged by US federal prosecutors on multiple charges

In a breach of the international conventions, Turkish diplomats in the southern African nation of Mozambique spied on critics of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a secret Turkish Foreign Ministry document obtained by Nordic Monitor has revealed.

According to the communiqué, then-Turkish Ambassador to Mozambique Aylin Taşhan, the first ambassador of Turkey in the country, dispatched a cable to headquarters in Ankara that included information collected unlawfully by employees of the Turkish Embassy. The intelligence cable included the names and identities of critics of President Erdoğan as well as institutions and organizations set up by these people.

The people who were spied on are believed to be affiliated with the Gülen movement, a group that is critical of the Turkish government for a number of things, from rampant corruption in the administration to Erdogan’s aiding and abetting of armed jihadist groups in other countries.

The document, dated September 16, 2016, listed the names of 32 individuals as well Willow International School, Ltd., which runs one of the best performing schools in Mozambique. Several firms run by Turks such as DECO Construction Limitada, Turkmall Limitada, Isparta Construction Limitada, Ilhas da Paz and others were also profiled in the intelligence document.

Following a similar pattern seen in other diplomatic missions Turkey maintains in foreign countries, the Turkish Embassy in Maputo shared the list of persons living in the country so that their passports could be canceled by the Turkish Interior Ministry with no administrative or judicial investigation.

The cancellation of passports serves multiple purposes for Erdoğan in his quest to persecute his critics: It limits their free movement, especially to safer countries; prevents applications for extending permits or visas for legal stays; and paves the way for deportations and renditions.

Secret Turkish Foreign Ministry document that reveals extensive spying activities in Mozambique:

According to Article 23 of the Turkish Constitution, freedom of movement can be restricted by law for the purpose of investigation and prosecution of an offense and for the prevention of offenses. Moreover, a Turkish citizen’s freedom to leave the country may be restricted only by the decision of a judge based on a criminal investigation or prosecution. It demonstrates the arbitrary rule in Turkey, which is run by a one-man regime without respect for due process and in blatant violation of fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution.

The classified document reveals how widespread the spying network of Islamist President Erdoğan is and confirms the use of Turkish embassies for intelligence gathering and profiling of his critics and their organizations.

These documents containing information collected by the embassies are later used in criminal indictments of critics and their families on dubious charges of terrorism.

In December 2016 Ambassador Taşhan was assigned as general director of the foreign ministry’s intelligence section, the Directorate General for Research and Security Affairs (Araştırma ve Güvenlik İşleri Genel Müdürü). In her new capacity she continued to run large-scale spying activities using Turkish embassies and consulates around the world to gather intelligence. She was succeeded by Ambassador Zeynep Kızıltan. Earlier in December 2020, Taşhan was appointed ambassador to Slovenia.

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Ambassador Aylin Taşhan

A judicial document previously obtained by Nordic Monitor had confirmed her predecessors in Ljubljana had already engaged in a similar spying campaign.  Turkish educators, academics and representatives of NGOs who had been listed by Turkish diplomats in Ljubljana were later indicted on dubious terrorism charges by a Turkish prosecutor. Those documents exposed clandestine spying activities in Slovenian territory that targeted critics as part of President Erdoğan’s long arm.

The document, pulled from a restricted case file, revealed the extent of spying activity by the Turkish Embassy that targeted critics and organizations in Slovenia. The people and organizations that were spied on by the embassy are believed to be affiliated with a civic group led by Fethullah Gülen, a US-based Muslim cleric who has become a vocal critic of Erdoğan for pervasive corruption in the government and the Turkish regime’s clandestine support for armed jihadist groups including the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaeda.

The Turkish president turned against the Gülen movement after major corruption investigations in December 2013 that incriminated Erdoğan, his family members and his business and political associates. A month later, in January 2014, an exposé of illegal arms shipments by Turkish intelligence to jihadists in Syria in 2014 created further troubles for the Erdoğan government for covertly fueling a civil war in the neighboring country.

The order to spy on Gülen-affiliated people and organizations came in early 2014, and volunteers of the movement were targeted with criminal prosecutions on fabricated charges of terrorism. In July 2016 Erdoğan staged a false flag coup to set up the opposition, including the movement, for mass persecution, pushed the army to invade northern Syria and declared himself the imperial president of the new Turkey.

As a part of Turkey’s global witch-hunt, Turkish diplomats systematically spied on critics of the president, collected information on Turks living abroad and transmitted it to headquarters while enjoying the privileges and immunities described in international conventions. In some countries, Erdoğan’s envoys coordinated the local elements of intelligence operations carried out by the Turkish intelligence agency (MİT) on foreign soil to abduct Turkish nationals.

Moreover, Nordic Monitor revealed how MİT infiltrated refugee camps in Greece in order to spy on opponents who were forced to flee to Greece to escape an unprecedented crackdown in neighboring Turkey.

It is clear that Turkish diplomatic missions violate the domestic laws of receiving states and the principles of international law by conducting unlawful information-gathering campaigns and sweeping intelligence operations.

Turkish embassy building in Maputo, Mozambique.
Turkish embassy building in Maputo, Mozambique.

The immunities and privileges of diplomats and consular staff are governed by international conventions. However, diplomats enjoying the privileges and immunities described in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations are under a duty to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving state and to avoid interfering in its internal affairs as detailed in Article 41. Similarly, the consular staff is granted limited privileges and immunities by the Vienna Convention on Consular Affairs, but the host state authorities can start investigations and prosecute any of the personnel if they perpetrate crimes inside or outside the consulate premises, according to Article 43 of the convention.

Turkish diplomatic missions continue systematic spying on Turkish government critics on foreign soil as confirmed by Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in February 2020. Çavuşoğlu said Turkish diplomats assigned to embassies and consulates have officially been instructed by the government to conduct such activities abroad. “If you look at the definition of a diplomat, it is clear. … Intelligence gathering is the duty of diplomats,” Çavuşoğlu told Turkish journalists on February 16, 2020, following the Munich Security Conference, adding, “Intelligence gathering and information collection are a fact.”

In his interview with The Globe and Mail, Turkish Ambassador to Canada Kerim Uras also admitted to spying on 15 Turkish-Canadians. “Any embassy would focus on the threats targeting their countries. That’s what every Embassy does,” he told The Globe and Mail.

Turkish Ambassador to Uganda Kerem Alp spoke to the state-run Anadolu news agency in March and confirmed that Turkish diplomats collect information on the business activities of Erdoğan critics living abroad and profile their companies as if they were part of a terrorist organization. Alp also revealed how the embassy was gathering information on the medical staff, educators and humanitarian volunteers working for Ugandan institutions. “There were some FETO followers who had sought to hide in Uganda and were working in schools or hospitals. … They have been disguising themselves as humanitarian workers,” he told the news agency. FETO is a derogatory term coined by the Turkish government to refer to the movement.

The crackdown on Erdoğan critics throughout the country intensified in the aftermath of the corruption scandal of December 2013 that incriminated Erdoğan, his family members and his business and political associates. Immediately after the corruption investigation, Erdoğan accused the police officers, judges and prosecutors involved in the case of mounting a coup against his government and claimed they were linked to the Gülen movement, which he branded a “parallel state.”

*Nordic Monitor

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Newly acquired airbus to boost Uganda Airlines’ post-covid-19 recovery plan
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Uganda Airlines, the country’s  flag-carrier, has taken delivery of its first A330neo, the latest version of the most popular widebody airliner. It is the first Airbus aircraft delivered to Uganda Airlines, which was established in 2019, it has been reported. 

 It is added that in line with the company’s strategy to keep offering its customers unbeatable economics, increased operational efficiency and superior passenger comfort, the A330-800 is the latest addition to Airbus’ commercial aircraft product line.

   Thanks to its tailored, mid-sized capacity and its excellent range versatility, the A330neo is considered the ideal aircraft to operate as part of the post-COVID-19 recovery.

 It is added that the A330neo will enable the new airline to launch its long-range operations with non-stop intercontinental flights to the Middle East, Europe and Asia. 

Featuring Airbus’ Airspace cabin, passengers can enjoy a unique experience and explore its full comfort with 20 full-flat, business-class beds, 28 premium-economy seats and 210 economy-class seats, totaling 258 seats.

The A330neo is a true new-generation aircraft, building on the features of the popular A330 and using technology developed for the A350. Powered by the latest Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines and featuring a new wing with increased span and A350-inspired Sharklets, the A330neo provides an unprecedented level of efficiency. The aircraft burns 25% less fuel per seat than previous generation competitors. The A330neo cabin offers a unique passenger experience with more personal space and the latest generation in-flight entertainment system and connectivity.

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The Most Powerful Resource We All Need Right Now: The Supernatural Power of God
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

Denver, CO, January 6, 2021 — Imagine what it would be like to pray for miracles and see them happen right in front of your eyes! When he was just 15 years old, Dr. Andrew Nkoyoyo prayed for a blind man, and before hundreds of witnesses, God gave the man his sight. Is Dr. Nkoyoyo one of the chosen few born with a unique spiritual gift, or is the ability to access and walk in God’s supernatural power something all believers can cultivate?

In Catch and Release God’s Supernatural, author Dr. Andrew Nkoyoyo shows readers how to operate in the power of God despite their spiritual maturity or call, even if they’re a new believer with no prior experience in God’s supernatural. Nkoyoyo believes that we are in a crucial time, and that God is raising up those who desire to go to the next level.

“We choose to be chosen,” Nkoyoyo said during a recent interview with Dr. Francis Myles . “It’s not happening by accident. God is giving us opportunities, and He’s waiting on our response.”

In Catch and Release God’s Supernatural, Nkoyoyo says he will:

  • Show you how the power of God will make a shift in your life so that you can be victorious and transform the lives of others
  • Reveal the simple yet powerful kingdom keys, secrets and methods needed to release God’s supernatural
  • Guide you step by step on how to apply each kingdom key in your life so that you can access heaven and unleash the miracle worker in you
  • Interweave powerful supernatural testimonies and stories he experienced both personally and in ministry to demonstrate each key

Even before you finish the book, Nkoyoyo says your confidence in God’s ability to use you will increase as you become more spiritually equipped to apply these keys to each situation you encounter. You’ll soon find yourself operating in God’s miracles, healing and power, changing people’s lives for Jesus, and catching and releasing the supernatural power of God!

Author Dr. Andrew Nkoyoyo is the founder and president of Kingdom Impact Ministry. He is a revivalist, international speaker, host of the Kingdom Come TV program, apostolic/prophetic minister, author, and missionary from Uganda, East Africa, to the United States. Additionally, Nkoyoyo is a member of Harvest International Ministry, an apostolic network.

His Kingdom Come broadcast program and streaming media reaches people in more than 195 countries every day. He has shared miracle healing and revival stories on Sid Roth’s TV program It’s Supernatural. He has also shared the platform with speakers and Christian recording artists such as The Newsboys, For King and Country, Nick Vujicic, Jaci Velasquez, Sidewalk Prophets, Kutless, The Afters, Uncle Reese and many more.  

Nkoyoyo is also the author of Working the Works of God, a book expounding on the keys to supernatural ministry. He focuses on inspiring the body of Christ and communities toward a great spiritual revival and awakening that has the power to transform society.  With an obvious passion to impact lives with the message of Christ through God’s power, miracles, healing, signs, wonders and prophetic ministry, he equips Christians to catch and release God’s supernatural love and power daily. He and his wife, Mona, have four beautiful children and make their home in Montrose, Colorado.

For more information, please visit www.kingdomimpactministry.org, or connect with the author on Facebook: @kingdomimpactministry; Instagram: kingdomimpacttv; and Twitter: @kingdomimpacttv.

Catch and Release God’s Supernatural: Keys to Operating in God’sMiracles, Healing, and Power

Publisher: Spirit Life Publishing

Release Date: December 1, 2020

ASIN: B08K9FXQ7Y (eBook)                

Available from www.kingdomimpactministry.org/supernaturalGod and Amazon.com

*Courtesy of Ascot Media Group

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AfCFTA/African E-Commerce trading platform activated
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

The African Continental Free Trade Area and African E-Commerce trading has been activated starting with  Ethiopian Airlines-DHL and the African Electronic Trade Group partnering  to transport historical parcels in the African Continental Free Trade Area.

  It is reported that the partnership is meant to invoke the start of trading of the African Continental Free Trade Area market and the operations of the African E-Commerce Platform in the continent.

 It has also been reported that the first batch of the goods has arrived at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport on 1 January 2021 at a ceremony graced by high-level officials from the public and private sectors including the  African Union (AU), DHL and Ethiopian Airlines Group.

 Working in collaboration with African Union Commission and the African business community with a vision to enhance intra-and inter-African trade, the African Electronic Trade Group transports fragile trophies to various African countries as African Continental Free Trade Area commences.

  It is added that the smooth and reliable connection between the source and the final destination is possible because of the partnership between Ethiopian Airlines and the African Electronic Trade Group.

 The partnership joins the pre-existing continental partnership between Ethiopian Airlines and DHL that has strengthened the multimodal logistics systems established by Ethiopian at its hub in Addis Ababa.

  Commissioner General of the Eswatini Revenue Authority remarked, “Tremendous opportunities exist digitally enabled cross border trade through the implementation of ASYCUDA World, Customs to Customs Data Exchange, Coordinated Border Management, Single Windows and other similar mechanisms pursued under the Regional Economic Communities, which need to be the norm rather than the exception in Africa. The African Continental Free Trade Area brings momentum behind our commitment for enhanced ease of doing business that we are addressing in partnership with the business community, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade and all members of the National Trade Facilitation Committee”.

  It is reported that so far, the fragile goods have passed through Eswatini, South Africa and Ethiopia, countries that have signed and ratified the AfCFTA Agreement.

  Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO Ethiopian airlines said, “The link between an integrated African marketplace, free movement of persons and the single air market in Africa cannot be underestimated as it serves as a catalyst for unlocking immense opportunities in Africa for the benefit of Africans and all stakeholders. I would like to commend the African Union leaders for their strategic focus on the legal instruments that will make it easier for Africans to travel across the continent peacefully and do business with each other. I believe that the partnership with The African Electronic Trade Group and DHL is crucial, as Ethiopian is a key player in African cargo and passenger transportation. While fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to work to boost intra African trade to pave the way for a brighter future.”

  The African Electronic Trade Group Southern Africa office is the origin of the cargo comprising of small fragile trophies destined to several African countries.

  The items are handmade by artisans in the Kingdom of Eswatini from recycled glass and converted into items of beauty.

  It is added that this is to mark the start of trading of the African Continental Free Trade Area and the operation of the African E-Commerce Platform named “Sokokuu (www.sokokuu.africa)’’ which means big market, central market and unity in Kiswahili.

  It is reported that the items produced in Eswatini and transported to various destinations across the continent symbolize that Africa is ready to exchange goods originating in the marketplace from the first day of trading.

  “A robust ecosystem to serve SMEs, especially women and youth, better is under construction with fresh impetus from digital technologies and enabling policies being put in place by the African Union Member States,” Chairperson of the African Business Council, Dr. Amany Asfour remarked.

  A joint statement issued by the partners stated, “This is the beginning of an exciting journey between a consortium of proud and trusted African and global brands namely  AeTrade Group, Ethiopian Airlines and DHL.”

  They said that standing together they welcomed  the start of trading of the African Continental Free Trade Area with its 1.3 bililon people and an estimated GDP of 3.4 trillion.

It is also added that All African countries are encouraged to sign and ratify the agreement, because universal signature and ratification of the relevant instruments is essential for seamless and hassle free trade and industrial development in Africa.

 “We wish to thank the African leaders for bringing this fruitful decision. The AfCFTA serves as an inspiration to the business community which propels us to make a start now, providing payment and logistics services and trade information via Sokokuu.Africa” said the CEO and Chairman of the AeTrade Group, Mr. Mulualem Syoum.

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South Sudan: President Kiir’s Officials Clash Over Lifespan of Transition Period
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Salva Kiir, President of South Sudan, with First  Vice President Riek Machar and other members of the Transitional Government of National Unity/Photo: Nektarios Markogiannis/UNMISS
Salva Kiir, President of South Sudan, with First Vice President Riek Machar and other members of the Transitional Government of National Unity/Photo: Nektarios Markogiannis/UNMISS

Juba – South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir’s officials publicly disagreed on the government’s position regarding the life span of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNoU), aimed at ending the bloodshed in  East Africa’s youngest nation.

South Sudan Presidential Spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny told Eyeradio, local – based radio that warring parties to the revitalized peace agreement had agreed to extend the Transitional Period up to 2023 to allow full implementation of critical tasks.

According to president Kiir’s press secretary the parties cannot accomplish the tasks ahead of them within the 36 months, adding that the decision was not taken by the Presidency but all parties reached “consensus and agreed that the end of the transition will be 2023 because the end of the 2022 and beginning of 2023, that is where the election will be run to achieve peace.”

“It is not the Presidency that has decided but it is the implementation matrix given that they have lost some months in the Pre-Transitional Period. “All of them [parties] by consensus has agreed that the end of the transition will be 2023 because the end of the 2022 and beginning of 2023, that is where the election will be run to achieve peace,” Ateny told Eye Radio, this week.

Ateny added that Peace is not easy and peace is not an overnight event.

“Peace is a process and even the implementation is a process so people should not expect it as a free lunch. It has time in order for it to happen and become mature,” Ateny said.

However, Parties to the revitalized peace agreement have distanced themselves on the plan to extend the transitional period.

And president Kiir’s media aide statement was vehemently denied by the country’s information Minister Michael Makuei.

In reaction, Transitional government’s Spokesperson Makuei said there was “nothing as such”, distancing government from his counterparts decision.

“I said no, check your sources, nothing as such,” said Makuei, quoted by Eye Radio.

According to the implementation matrix of the peace deal, signed in September 2018, many provisions should have been implemented by now. These include the reconstitution of the transitional national legislature, the reunification of forces, the full establishment of state governments and the constitutional making process, and the economic sector reforms.

In May 2019, the pre-transitional period was extended by six months, after the main opposition leader – Dr. Riek Machar – requested for more time to implement key parts of the security arrangements.

At the end of the six months, they again extended the pre-transitional period by 100 days.

It ended in February 2020 when President Salva Kiir appointed opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar and other vice presidents—beginning the three-year Transitional Period.

But nearly one year after the presidency and the cabinet were formed, the Transition Government of National Unity is yet to be fully established.

The implementation of peace accord has been stalled as the signatories have failed to adhere to the deadlines set in the peace agreement and have backtracked on aspects of its political, security and economic provisions, according to the UN experts.

The unified army is not yet deployed as their graduation has been postponed several times.

State and local government structures are yet to be established. One of the ten-state governors is still not appointed.

Only late last year, a parties reached compromise on a prolonged stalemate on formation of states governments and reconstitution of the National Legislative Assembly, much needed to support the agreement and enact legislation that enables and assists the transitional processes and reforms ahead of the proposed national elections.

The peace deal mandates the unity government to hold elections sixty days before the end of the Transitional Period in 2022 to establish a democratically elected government. However, major components in the unity governments are far from over.

The observers urge the parties to the peace deal to respect the deadline, arguing that only elections will restore peace and stability that will lead to entire reform in the country.

South Sudan erupted into civil war after two year of her independence from Sudan in 2011, the five – year conflict lead to an estimated 400,000 deaths and uprooted four million people from their homes, before devastating the country’s economy, one of the worst refugee crises in East Africa since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Once implemented, the deal will help to restore permanent and sustainable peace, security, and stability in the restive country.

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Siemens Gamesa seals its first wind farm project in Ethiopia, expanding its leadership in Africa
January 6, 2021 | 0 Comments
The 100 MW wind farm will help power over 400,000 Ethiopian households.

ADAMA, Ethiopia, January 4, 2021/ — The company will deliver 29 SG 3.4-132 wind turbines to state-owned utility Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) for the Assela project; the 100 MW wind farm will help power over 400,000 Ethiopian households; the wind farm is set to be commissioned by Spring 2023, and will save more than 260,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
Siemens Gamesa (www.SiemensGamesa.com) has signed its first wind power project in Ethiopia with state-owned electricity company Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), strengthening its leadership in Africa as the country begins to expand its green energy capacity to meet ambitious renewable targets.

The 100 MW Assela wind farm will be located between the towns of Adama and Assela, approximately 150 km south of the capital, Addis Ababa, and will contribute to clean and affordable power for the country’s electricity grid.

The country has set an ambitious target to supply 100% of its domestic energy demand through renewable energy by 2030. According to the African Development Bank, Ethiopia has abundant resources, particularly wind with a potential 10 GW of installation capacity and having installed 324 MW at present.  

“Siemens Gamesa is intent on expanding its leadership across Africa, and in turn help a growing transition to green energy across the continent. So, we are extremely pleased to begin work in Ethiopia and look forward to collaborating with both EEP and the country to continue to promote their drive to install more renewables and meet transformational energy targets,” said Roberto Sabalza, CEO for Onshore Southern Europe and Africa at Siemens Gamesa.  

According to a Wood Mackenzie forecast, around 2 GW of wind power would be installed in Ethiopia by 2029.

The wind farm will be made up of 29 SG 3.4-132 wind turbines and is expected to be commissioned by the start of 2023. The project will generate about 300,000 MWh per year. Siemens Gamesa will provide full engineering, procurement, and turnkey construction.

The Assela wind project will be financed by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs via Danida Business Finance (DBF) adding to a loan agreement signed between the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC) and Danske Bank A/S.

Ethiopia has many renewable resources covering wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass, and the country aspires to be a power hub and the battery for the Horn of Africa. The country’s National Electrification Program, launched in 2017, outlines a plan to reach universal access by 2025 with the help of off-grid solutions for 35% of the population.

Siemens Gamesa is among the global leaders in the wind power industry, with a strong presence in all facets of the renewable energy business: offshore, onshore, and services. With more than 107 GW installed worldwide; Siemens Gamesa is an ideal partner for Ethiopia at this critical juncture in the East African nation’s accelerating energy journey.

About Siemens Gamesa in Africa:
Siemens Gamesa has been pioneering wind energy projects in Africa for 21 years.

Installations total 4 GW in countries such as Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, Kenya, Mauritania, Mauritius Islands, Tunisia and Algeria representing 60% of all wind power on the continent.

Siemens Gamesa is driving Africa’s energy transition to deliver cleaner, more reliable, more affordable energy for millions of African people and support long term sustainability and economic growth. It has the broadest product portfolio in the industry with leading technology and innovation, the scale and global reach to provide proximity to customers, and high standards of health, safety and environmental protection.
*SOURCE Siemens Gamesa
 
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Universal Music Group announces Strategic Leadership Appointments within Africa
January 6, 2021 | 0 Comments
Sipho Dlamini
Sipho Dlamini

Sipho Dlamini promoted to CEO, Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa; Elouise Kelly appointed COO, Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa; Chinedu Okeke named MD, Universal Music Nigeria.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, January 4, 2021/ — Universal Music Group (UMG) , the world leader in music entertainment, today strengthened its position as the leading music company in Africa by announcing a strategic expansion of its Sub-Saharan Africa leadership team. These appointments underscore UMG’s ongoing commitment to support and grow Africa’s domestic music ecosystems, while also creating new opportunities for African talent to reach new audiences globally.

UMG’s holistic approach to expanding operations across the continent, opening new divisions in Nigeria, as well as becoming the first major music company to establish divisions in Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Cameroon and Morocco to complement UMG’s longstanding operations in South Africa. This presence will continue to grow throughout 2021 and beyond, as UMG continues to further extend the company’s ability to support domestic artists across Africa and globally.

To help lead this expansion, Sipho Dlamini has been promoted to CEO, Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, effective immediately. Dlamini will continue to oversee all of UMG’s operations within English-speaking Africa. Since joining UMG in 2016, he has been instrumental in solidifying and growing UMG’s African infrastructure, increasing the visibility of African music around the world and delivering unprecedented artist success in South Africa. During this time, UMG has also led the industry with new initiatives across live music, brand partnerships and the adoption of licensed and legal streaming platforms within Africa.

Sipho is a member of UMG’s Task Force for Meaningful Change (TFMC), which was created last year as a driving force for inclusion and social justice within the global music industry and serves as chair for the TFMC’s Global Committee. In 2019, Dlamini was named in Billboard’s International Music Power list, the first African-based executive to make their list.

In his new role, Dlamini will continue to work closely with Adam Granite, UMG’s EVP, Market Development, to identify further opportunities for artists signed to Universal Music Africa to reach new audiences around the world, utilizing UMG’s unrivalled global network of industry-leading businesses spanning more than 60 countries worldwide.

Within South Africa, Dlamini has been joined by hugely experienced senior executive Elouise Kelly, who has been appointed Chief Operating Officer, Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. She will be based in Johannesburg and will report to Dlamini. Kelly Joins UMG from global advertising and media agency Ogilvy, where she held the position of Managing Director, South Africa. With a proven and award-winning background in branding, marketing, communication and commercial business strategy, she will play an integral role in the further expansion of Universal Music Africa and its operations and label divisions. Prior to working at Ogilvy, Kelly held senior positions at SABC, Top TV, Viacom International Media Networks and M-Net.

In addition, Chinedu Okeke has been named Managing Director, Universal Music Nigeria and will lead the development and expansion of UMG’s existing operations within Nigeria, and further English-speaking markets in West Africa. He will be based in Lagos, Nigeria and will report to Dlamini. Okeke joins UMG having established himself over the last decade, as a successful business and live-music entrepreneur. He is the founder of Eclipse Live – A Live entertainment company focused on bringing live affordable entertainment to the youth of Africa and Eclipse Brand Agency, working with major clients, artists and commercial partners. He is also the founder and Executive Producer of Nigeria’s legendary Gidi Culture Festival, and a founding Trustee of Echo Music & Arts Foundation, and previously held positions at The Wicklow Group, Canvest Group & AP Moeller Maersk.

Announcing the changes, Adam Granite said, “I am thrilled to announce these strategic appointments, as we look to further develop our domestic infrastructure and label rosters within Africa. Most integral to achieving our long-term ambitions, is to build a strong leadership team on the ground, with deep foundations in each country to help grow a dynamic ecosystem for all to benefit in the future.

Chinedu Okeke
Chinedu Okeke



“Over the past few years, Sipho has shown great leadership, commitment and vision for music in Africa, helping UMG to introduce new talent to audiences around the world and identify opportunities to lead the industry in licensing and supporting new platforms to reach African music fans. Elouise and Chin both bring welcome new skills, proven entrepreneurship and important leadership experience that will only serve to bolster UMG’s position as the market-leader across Africa.”

Sipho Dlamini said, “There has never been a more exciting time for African music around the world, as it continues to influence and inspire culture and creativity, whilst reaching a wider audience globally each day through streaming. I am delighted to welcome both Elouise and Chin to the UMG family, their unique skills and experiences will only help to further establish UMG as a bedrock within the African music community, that will continue to put the interests and opportunities for artists first and help elevate African talent to new levels of success at home and abroad.”

As part of UMG’s strategy, the company is helping African talent reach new audiences internationally. In 2018, UMG became the first major label to licence its catalog to Boomplay, Africa’s largest local streaming platform. Last year, UMG released several acclaimed albums by African artists globally, including:

  • Celia from Nigerian Afrobeats star Tiwa Savage (released in partnership with Motown Records U.S.) and South African rapper Nasty C’s – Zulu Man With Some Power (in partnership with Def Jam Recordings in the U.S., Island Records U.K. and other Universal labels around the world);
  • Midnight Train from Kenya’s Sauti Sol; and
  • Old Romance, the debut album release from Nigerian singer/producer Tekno, who is signed to Universal Music Nigeria in partnership with Island Records in the U.K. and U.S.

UMG also agreed a strategic partnership between Nigeria’s Aristokrat Records and Universal Music France and launched Def Jam Africa as a standalone label on the continent, with resources across five countries, dedicated to discovering the best in African hip-hop, Afrobeats and Trap music.

Under the new leadership structure, each territory will continue to focus on domestic A&R and talent development with a unique suite of services available to local talent including marketing, promotion, bespoke brand partnerships, recording facilities and live music promotion and booking through UMG’s ULive Africa division. In Africa, UMG has led the industry, working hand in hand with both domestic and international platforms and Telco’s to help bring the best in global music to music fans across Africa.

UMG remains committed to helping bolster the wider local ecosystem, with continued focus on building a fair and prosperous market for all through better understanding and management of copyright and royalty distribution, and through the development of strong partnerships with platforms throughout the region which will be integral to introducing African music to a wider audience in years to come.

All three will work closely with French-speaking operations in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Cameroon and markets within the continent, which operate under the leadership of Franck Kacou, Directeur General, Universal Music Africa. UMG is also working closely in partnership with parent company Vivendi, and several of Vivendi’s divisions, including CanalOlympia, Olympia Production, Vivendi and Canal+ to support and develop the live music industry throughout Africa.

Elouise Kelly
Elouise Kelly



Tekno’s Old Romance, Tiwa Savage’s Celia, Sauti Soul’s Midnight Train and Nasty C’s Zulu Man With Some Power’ are all available now.

About Universal Music Group:
Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries. Featuring the most comprehensive catalog of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. Universal Music Group is a Vivendi company. 

*SOURCE Universal Music Group (UMG)


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What happens to the African Energy Industry if Western Lenders cut off Loans for Fossil Fuel Projects?
January 6, 2021 | 0 Comments

A little more than a year ago, in November 2019, the European Investment Bank (EIB) declared its intention to phase out funding for fossil fuels

By NJ Ayuk*

NJ Ayuk is Executive Chairman of the , African Energy Chamber
NJ Ayuk is Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber

A little more than a year ago, in November 2019, the European Investment Bank (EIB) declared its intention to phase out funding for fossil fuels. Specifically, it said that it would no longer grant loans for projects involving crude oil, natural gas, and coal as of January 1, 2022 (with a scant few exceptions for gas projects that meet rigorous environmental criteria).

In making this announcement, the EIB made history. It became the first major multi-lateral financial institution to make a public commitment to abandon fossil fuels in the name of combatting climate change.

Its pledge did not go unnoticed. In October 2020, Antonio Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations (UN), called on the world’s publicly funded development banks to follow suit. Less than a month later, all 450 of these institutions — including, incidentally, the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) — agreed to bring their lending policies into line with the Paris climate accord.

The agreement did not include a categorical ban on fossil fuel loans, since some of the lenders involved, such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), were unwilling to make this commitment. However, a group of European lenders did exactly that — and they were hardly alone in doing so.

You see, public development banks aren’t the only institutions to have made climate commitments. Since the beginning of 2020, a number of major private lenders — including but not limited to giants such as Barclays, HSBC, and Morgan Stanley — have rolled out plans to reach net-zero in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. Others — such as Blackrock, a major asset management firm — have pledged to make more money available for renewable energy projects. And just a few weeks ago, South Africa’s Standard Bank Group joined the chorus, saying it would no longer fund fossil fuel projects unless the sponsors could demonstrate compliance with strict environmental standards.

And it’s not just the banks. Climate considerations are now driving some of the world’s largest oil and gas firms, with multi-national giants such as BP and Royal Dutch/Shell and slightly smaller operators such as Occidental Petroleum, aiming to hit the net-zero mark by 2050. They may also come to drive the U.S. government’s policies, as President Joe Biden has declared climate change one of the first priorities of his administration.

Is This a Tipping Point?

So what next? Should I follow the Bloomberg news agency’s example and talk about 2020 as a tipping point for climate activism? Should I try to extend the story I outlined above into the future and paint this year as the beginning of the end for fossil fuels?

That’s not what I want to do.

That’s not what I want to happen.

Instead, I’ll try to explain why I think the move away from financing fossil fuel projects has the potential to hurt Africa. And I’m going to do it by imagining what might happen if this move continues.

What Happens If Climate Concerns Dominate?

In this scenario, climate concerns come to dictate the lending policies of Western financial institutions. By 2025, all of the world’s publicly funded development banks have joined the EIB in declining to fund fossil fuel projects (even though a select few organizations are still managing to attract small-scale creditors after agreeing to adopt onerous and costly carbon offset arrangements). Private lenders have followed suit, making it known that they will only support renewable energy schemes (and that they prefer to do business with companies and governments that fall in line with their own net-zero pledges).

As far as the leaders of these financial institutions are concerned, they’ve done the right thing. They’ve done their part to uphold the Paris agreement and prevent the disasters caused by climate change. They’ve responded to the concerns of the public (and of their shareholders). And aren’t fossil fuels a risky investment nowadays? After all, demand never quite recovered after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and prices have stayed rather low. Oil and gas are quite out of fashion now, really!

The View from Africa

But the view from Africa is likely to be different.

In Africa, climate considerations and ideological commitments to eliminating GHG emissions may well take a back seat to more urgent questions about how to encourage economic growth and supply basic necessities to the continent’s growing population. In countries with large natural gas reserves such as Mozambique, Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, and many others, politicians, businessmen and everyday people should ask their western counterparts why they should decline to extract a resource that could be used to produce electricity cheaply and reliably for both households and businesses. They should ask why they should forego the opportunity to develop an industry that creates jobs, both directly and indirectly, and promotes trade with neighboring states that also need energy. They should ask why they are being discouraged from using the least polluting of the fossil fuels and pushed towards renewable energy solutions that are less reliable and more expensive per unit of power generated. They should ask why Africa should be punished for western nations GHG emissions. They should ask what happens to energy poverty. They should ask who will pay reparations to Africa if Africans have to abandon their natural resources.

They may also ask why they should make the same sacrifices as Western countries when they don’t have the same advantages as those countries — including, say, the complement of legacy, gas-fired power plants needed to ensure that electricity supplies continue all day and night, without interruption, even at times when the wind isn’t blowing, and the sun isn’t shining.

Africans should also question the need to leave crude oil in the ground – and they should! For many of them, their oil industry and service companies are a major source of income. And while they may be willing to see that source phased out gradually, they’re not likely to assent to plans for killing them off abruptly.

Also, what about independent African exploration and production companies? What about African oilfield service companies and midstream operators? Shouldn’t they have a say in their future too?

Meanwhile, what about all the time and resources that a number of African leaders have invested in creating policies that encourage international oil companies to invest in their countries, from improved fiscal regimes to transparency laws to win-win local content policies? There’s no question that these leaders were interested in oil revenue, but there is so much more to gain from these policies, from much-needed technology transfers to business and growth opportunities for local entrepreneurs. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, African economies need these opportunities more than ever.

Leaving China As the Only Option

Amidst all these questions, there may be a few determined types who seek to push forward with upstream oil and gas development despite the lack of support from Western banks. Heads of state may try to subsidize gas projects (or provide other forms of support) in an attempt to build up domestic capacities and promote self-sufficiency in energy. Entrepreneurs may reach into their own pockets or work to drum up local support, in the hope of using abundant natural resources to turn out products for which there is demand.

Without access to Western capital, such initiatives are more likely to fail — or, at least, to falter. If so, their backers may very well look for support elsewhere. And they may find it in China, which has been very willing to provide financial and technical assistance for fossil fuel projects in Africa.

Personally, I find the prospect of Beijing becoming the main source of outside financing for African oil, gas, and gas-to-power projects to be concerning. I’m not saying this because I think African states ought to shy away from cooperation with China. I’m saying it because I want them to have as many options as possible. I want them to be ready to work with a wide range of partners, rather than fall into a pattern of not having to look further than satisfying China’s requirements.

And this won’t happen if Western lenders cut off funding for African oil and gas projects as a consequence of their commitment to curbing climate change.

Instead, China will come to have more influence than any other party over the African oil and gas sector. China, which has already put a number of African countries in the position of handing over important assets when they find themselves unable to keep up with loan payments. China, which has a less-than-stellar track record on environmental protection, despite being a signatory to the Paris climate accord.

Time to Make a Case for Oil and Gas

As I’ve already said, this is not the outcome I want.

Instead, I think Africa should have the chance to use its own oil and gas to strengthen itself especially with the coming into force of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement.

I also think Africa should have more than one option when it comes to financing petroleum projects.

Most of all, I think Africa should have the chance to make its own choices without undue pressure from Western institutions that don’t face the same challenges. Africans have to become more visible, more vocal and even more hopeful about the future and the energy sector.

As a result, I think African states ought to push back against the idea that it’s time for Western banks to stop all funding for fossil fuels. I think that African oil and gas producers ought to stand up for themselves and make a case for developing their own resources — particularly for using the least-polluting fossil fuels to deliver as much electricity as possible to as many people as possible.

And the time to make that case is now, while financing for oil and gas is still available.

*SOURCE African Energy Chamber.NJ Ayuk is Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber.

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Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa confirmed for Mining Indaba Virtual
January 6, 2021 | 0 Comments
President of South Africa has confirmed to deliver the presidential keynote address at the upcoming Mining Indaba Virtual.


 Investing in African Mining Indaba (Mining Indaba) , part of Hyve Group Plc is honoured to announce that His Excellency, Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa has confirmed to deliver the presidential keynote address at the upcoming Mining Indaba Virtual.

Following last year’s announcements, H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa will be joining the already confirmed president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), His Excellency, Félix Tshisekedi and H.E. Julius Maada Bio, president of Sierra Leone, at Mining Indaba Virtual which will be held next month, 2-3 February 2021.

10 months ago, the World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic, in which South Africa had been praised for its hard lockdowns ensuring the virus was contained. Almost all industries were disrupted and shutdown, including the mining operations within the country, excluding those supplying coal to power generator, Eskom.

As the world starts to recover from the global pandemic, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) remarks on the government’s well-thought-out plan to gradually reopen particular economic sectors, whilst continuing to diminish the Covid-19 virus. The mining industry was one of the first to reopen, as it represents 8% of the country’s GDP and up to 60% of South Africa’s exports. Many of the large mining operators helped combat the virus by developing their own health and safety regimes and working closely with the government to transform facilities to help with control the rise of the Covid-19 rates.

This coupled with the South African National Development Plan (NDP), the industry will help rebuild a capable and developmental state, the booming natural resources sector will be the key driver in the Covid-19 recovery, whilst achieving elimination of poverty and reduction of inequality through significant job creation. As a result, the industry will essentially play a critical role in the economic recovery and prosperity in the global transition.

Mining Indaba Virtual geared towards helping the industry build resilience and regrowth, whilst adopting a new mindset. H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa will take to the online stage to discuss South Africa, the mining economy and the way forward for the country, including opportunities for international investment in gold and PGMS, progress on the country’s response to the global pandemic and ultimately provide an update on South Africa’s power generation and supporting independent generation for mining operators.

Registration for the Mining Indaba Virtual has now opened, the event is free to attend. For more information about the programme, visit the website here 

About Investing in African Mining Indaba:
Investing in African Mining Indaba  is solely dedicated to the successful capitalisation, development and widening perspective of the African mining industry. Bringing together the world’s industry giants to tomorrow’s barrier-breaking disruptors from across the spectrum. It’s the place where multi-million deals are done, and life-long partnerships are discovered.
*SOURCE Investing in African Mining Indaba
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Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis Lacks Leadership; The U.S. Can Help Fill the Void
January 6, 2021 | 0 Comments

The Anglophone crisis has registered among the world’s ‘most neglected,’ according to assessments by the Norwegian Refugee Council

By Jeffrey Smith*

President Biya of Cameroon shakes hands with then Secretary of State John Kerry during the US-African Leaders Forum in 2014
President Biya of Cameroon shakes hands with then Secretary of State John Kerry during the US-African Leaders Forum in 2014
LAGOS, Nigeria, January 5, 2021/ — Over the last several years, since at least 2016, an inconceivably violent conflict has ravaged the Central African nation of Cameroon. The daily barrage of bloody images posted to social media and the accounts of cruelty and likely war crimes  have – at least to date – not been enough to galvanize meaningful or concerted action to resolve what has become known as the Anglophone Crisis. After years of wreckage, there is now a domestic stalemate, a paralyzed status quo that has served to radicalize hardliners on both sides of the conflict.

The roots of the Anglophone crisis date back much farther than 2016, of course. Like many long-simmering issues in the region, hostilities can be traced to the maneuvering of former colonial powers who spliced up African territories with little regard for the dignity or preferences of local populations. This fact, however, does not excuse the failed leadership  that has more recently been the norm – embodied  most profoundly by President Paul Biya, who has been in power since 1982, longer than most Cameroonians have been alive. In October 2018, Biya secured yet another term in office during an electoral exercise that was marred by credible allegations of vote rigging and a clampdown on political adversaries, including opposition leader Maurice Kamto, who had remained under house arrest  until last month.

The Anglophone crisis has registered among the world’s ‘most neglected,’ according to assessments  by the Norwegian Refugee Council. And according to the International Crisis Group, the fighting has killed well over 3,000 people and displaced an additional 600,000 more. In Anglophone regions, an estimated 850,000 children are currently out of school – likely much higher today in light of the covid-19 pandemic – and one in three of the region’s four million people are in need of humanitarian aid. Cameroon, once a reputed host for refugees is now a major exporter of people who are fleeing violence and government persecution. The number of Cameroonians seeking refuge in neighboring Nigeria, for example, has crossed the 300,000 mark . The instability inside Cameroon has thus produced negative ripple effects on an entire region, including disastrous economic and commercial blowback.

These statistics, as staggering as they are, barely do justice to the overall magnitude of a conflict that has exacted a huge toll on the lives of ordinary Cameroonians – mainly women and children – who have literally been caught in the crossfire  between government forces and Anglophone fighters. In the words (bit.ly/3hLsaME) of local journalist Comfort Mussa, “hardly a day goes by without news of deaths, abductions, arson attacks and other forms of violence that have become a reality for people in [Anglophone] regions.”

As 2021 gets underway, however, there is a small glimmer of hope that momentum has built behind a reform agenda. Rather symbolically, on New Year’s Day, the United States Senate passed a resolution  by unanimous bipartisan consent – no small feat in Washington these days – that sent a strong signal to the Biya government and armed groups alike to end the violence and to commit to an inclusive process of international arbitration. The resolution also raised the prospect of punitive sanctions on those individuals responsible for participating in atrocities. (This author has long called  for these actions by the U.S. government, a significant donor to and enduring security partner of the Biya government).

As a longtime partner of human rights defenders and pro-democracy leaders in Cameroon, we at Vanguard Africa heartily welcome  this development in the halls of the U.S. Senate. We will also advocate that the incoming Biden-Harris Administration make this resolution – and the key principles upon which it is premised – a key priority of its US-Africa policy moving forward.

Put simply, it is time for both sides of the Anglophone crisis to come to terms with the fact that there is no military solution. The guns need to be silenced. The chaos can no longer continue. Importantly, there is some recognition , even among the most militant Anglophone leaders, that this is the only feasible way forward. What is needed today is a negotiated settlement that holds human rights violators accountable and paves the way for a new era of leadership that many Cameroonians are demanding.

The violence perpetrated during the Anglophone crisis, and the lack of respect for the sanctity of human life, has taken a massive toll on future generations of Cameroonians. To relieve citizens from this tailspin, both the government and Anglophone leaders need to take a hard look at this freefall and their respective roles in perpetuating it. A genuinely inclusive dialogue must begin, and the U.S. Government – now vitalized by a rare act of bipartisanship – should help to fill Cameroon’s leadership void that has been so readily exploited.

*Jeffrey Smith  is the Founding Director of Vanguard Africa

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