Call Us Now: (240) 429 2177

country

Zimbabwe’s FBC Reinsurance to commence operations in Mauritius
August 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

John Mushayavanhu

John Mushayavanhu

Zimbabwe’s FBC Reinsurance Limited is almost ready to commence operations in Mauritius in a bid to diversify the earnings source of its reinsurance portfolio, according to John Mushayavanhu, FBC Holdings Limited CEO.

According to Mushayavanhu, the company has submitted the required documentation seeking regulatory approval from the relevant authorities in the respective jurisdiction.Mushayavanhu said in the last Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company to present end of May 2018 results that the bank was hoping to commence reinsurance business in Mauritius in the third quarter of 2018.

In his 2018 analyst briefing to present interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2018, Mushayavanhu said that the company held a meeting last week with Mauritian authorities on the licensing issue and was confident that in a week’s time or a bit more, the company would be in a position to commence their reinsurance business in Mauritius .

In his previous presentation at the last AGM, Mushayavanhu indicated that should Zimbabwe’s economy open up, they were optimistic that there will be a better contribution coming from FBC Reinsurance Limited.

He also highlighted that the company had strategic partnerships with top rated specialist markets which cover risks arising from cyber risks, political unrest and terrorism.

According to the FBC Holdings Limited annual report for 2017, FBC Reinsurance recorded a gross premium income of US$20,6 million which is 30% higher than the US$15,8 million underwritten in 2016, as investment in Life and Health Reinsurance business lines gradually begins to pay off.

1+
Read More
Microsoft launches ‘Kaizala Pro’ in South Africa
August 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

A mobile app for large, secure group communications and work management

22 August 2018, Microsoft’s latest mobile offering, Kaizala Pro, is now commercially available in South Africa. Microsoft Kaizala is a mobile app that improves the way businesses communicate and collaborate. It’s designed for large group communication, workflow management, reporting and analytics, and is integrated with Office 365.

Nick Keene, Modern Workplace Business Group Lead at Microsoft, says the app addresses several challenges faced by many businesses across the region who manage field staff remotely.

“Mobile technology is enabling businesses to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution and digitally transform their operations. Microsoft Kaizala is ideal for organisations that need to communicate with large numbers of workers to enhance business agility, collaboration, and organisational productivity,” he says.

Kaizala also provides actionable information through analytics and reports, while complying with industry security best practices.

Impact of Kaizala on businesses

Unlike other chat-based apps in the market, Kaizala extends beyond a mere communication function. Because many workers in the region often don’t have an email address, Kaizala only requires a mobile number to sign a user up. The app is also optimised to work on any network – including slow 2G networks.

Some of its other unique features include the ability to:

  1. Communicate with and manage an unlimited number of users. This includes employees, front-line workers, customers, suppliers and citizens. Organisations can create flat, hierarchical or discoverable public groups in minutes, from contact lists, directories or ad hoc sharing. For users in remote areas, the app is optimised to work on slow 2G networks and users don’t need an email address to sign up, only a mobile number.
  2. Broadcast and collect information in a structured way through action cards. This includes sharing announcements; photos, videos or documents; hosting polls or surveys; assigning tasks; providing training content; marking attendance; and tracking workforces using location tracking.
  3. Gather rich insights from data with built-in analytics. Organisations can view results in real-time, organise large amounts of information with an aggregated view of user responses and get reports at each level of the organisation.

What is included in Microsoft Kaizala Pro?

Microsoft Kaizala Pro has premium features that include user and group management; system integration and automation using Microsoft Kaizala APIs; advanced reporting and analytics; the ability to publish custom actions and to create public groups, an organisational profile and directory, and support.

Security is paramount 

With Kaizala, customer’s messages, photos, video files, audio files, documents, polls, surveys, and other data is protected by encryption in-transit and at-rest. Managers can decide who has access to company data. All Kaizala data is stored in Microsoft Azure datacentres, which adhere to industry standard security and compliance certifications.

“This means only you and the people with whom you are communicating can see what you have sent them,” says Keene. “Microsoft Kaizala is currently Tier-A compliant and our engineers do not have access to any customer data.”

Using Microsoft Kaizala, organisations can connect with their employees and the extended value chain. The product offers a simple and familiar chat interface but goes beyond this to make everyone more productive.

More than just a chat app – how companies are already using Kaizala

Kenyan-based solar energy company, M-KOPA Solar, now has more than half a million customers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. M-KOPA Solar couldn’t have achieved this growth without providing the underlying communication and payment technology that people can access easily by phone. M-KOPA uses the Microsoft Kaizala app to connect its sales team and provide essential resources to rural communities.

The company has grown from 5,000 customers in its first year to more than 600,000 as of January 2018—more than 120 times the original customer base. The app that helping fuel M-KOPA’s growth is Microsoft Kaizala.

Another company taking advantage of the benefits provided by Microsoft Kaizala is Well Told Story, which is using the app as a research tool, putting it into the hands of their network of young people to run surveys and interviews for them. This empowers the youth with jobs and income, while also giving Well Told Story the rich insights to fuel their youth media business.

“As we roll out Microsoft Kaizala in South Africa, we hope to connect the complete value chain, including the unconnected parts of organisations. Microsoft’s vision for Kaizala, is to empower every organisation and community to achieve more through purposeful chat,” Keene concludes.

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.

0
Read More
Countries that are better at converting wealth into well-being posted stronger economic growth since financial crash
August 22, 2018 | 0 Comments

African countries have shown improvements in key indicators over the past decade, particularly Morocco, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Kenya

South Africa, August 7th , 2018— Data collected over the last decade highlights a clear increase in global well-being post the financial crash, particularly in Africa, where many countries showed strong improvements in Infrastructure and Economic Stability.

Since 2012 The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has used proprietary  Sustainable Economic Development Assessment (SEDA), a comprehensive diagnostic tool, to produce a score that measures the relative well-being of countries and also relative scores for ten dimensions. The 2018 report, Striking a Balance Between Well-Being and Growth: The 2018 Sustainable Economic Development Assessment, reveals that countries which lead in generating well-being for their citizens tended to post faster economic growth over the past decade.

Whilst African countries on the whole have maintained their overall wellbeing rankings, many have made positive strides towards improvement. 26 out of 40 countries (65%) have enhanced their ability to transform wealth into wellbeing and nearly a quarter (9 of 40) are now above the world average ability to do so.

However, despite the encouraging rise, African countries still have much room for improvement as they display lower than average well-being levels, in particular in Sub-Saharan nations.

This is in large part to much lower than average income levels and so comes as no surprise, however there are several factors which should be focused on to help improve wealth to well-being conversion for citizens. The research identified that countries which saw the most progress over this period were particularly successful in improving education, infrastructure and overall governance.

“In Africa, as well as globally, we see that the same three dimensions pop up as differentiators for countries that have made the most progress,” said Joao Hrotko, a BCG Partner and report coauthor. “It is also interesting to note that despite infrastructure having improved in most countries in Africa, the dimension still stood out as a differentiator between most improved and least improved African nations.”

The research also found that digital technology has a positive and significant association with a country’s ability to convert wealth into well-being at low and middle usage levels. Robust digital infrastructure supports employment by allowing faster matches in the job market, improves education by expanding the access of students to new material or instruction and strengthens governance by involving citizens more directly in decision making and reducing the inequality in access to information.

“The positive relation between technology readiness and wellbeing underlines the importance for developing countries to put the widespread adoption of digital technology among the items at the top of policy agenda, either through investing in digital infrastructure and promoting technology usage, or by creating the conditions for the private sector to invest,” added Hrotko.

The last decade has shown that governments who stick to strategies and policies focused on well-being can deliver material impact to the population. African nations that have done so include Morocco, which has improved 5 places, Ethiopia (8 places), Rwanda (7 places), and the Republic of Congo (6 places), which have all improved more than 5 places, and Kenya, which improved 4 places.

“BCG has been a strong advocate of the need for countries to focus policies and development strategies on improving well-being, however there remains a belief that policies aimed at improving well-being may lead to weaker GDP growth,” said Enrique Rueda-Sabater, a Senior Advisor at BCG. “Our analysis finds this tradeoff can be avoided and, in fact, an approach that balances both well-being and growth is advisable under normal circumstances as well as during times of crisis. In such periods, countries must resist the temptation to pursue policies that come at the expense of well-being.”

Most improved African nations

Ethiopia rank increase: +8

SEDA Score 2009 vs 2018: 23.8 – 32.9

Rwanda rank increase: +7

SEDA Score 2009 vs 2018: 32.0 – 38.0

Republic of Congo rank increase: +6

SEDA Score 2009 vs 2018: 28.5 – 32.7

Morocco rank increase: +5

SEDA Score 2009 vs 2018: 41.4 – 45.8

Kenya rank increase: +4

SEDA Score 2009 vs 2018: 31.4 – 35.4

SEDA is a fact-based analysis that assesses well-being based on ten dimensions, including health, education, and infrastructure. SEDA scores 152 countries on a relative basis in terms of their current well-being and the change in their well-being over time. It also measures how effectively countries are able to convert the wealth they have into well-being, regardless of their income level. A copy of the report can be downloaded here.

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with more than 90 offices in 50 countries. For more information, please visit bcg.com.

0
Read More
New Study: In Sub-Saharan African Countries with Unreliable Power, Outages Cost Companies As Much as 31% in Sales
August 22, 2018 | 0 Comments

-More than 25% of businesses surveyed in some of Africa’s biggest economies cited losing double-digit sales due to power outages

Washington – In Sub-Saharan African countries with unreliable power, outages cost some companies as much as 31 percent in sales, according to a new study released today by the Center for Global Development.

Researchers from the Center for Global Development (CGD) examined data from more than 3,000 firms in 37 African countries in an effort to examine how businesses across Sub-Saharan Africa respond to frequent power outages, and what it means for their businesses’ bottom lines and growth prospects.

“While there’s a lot of effort put into providing solar panels and generators to African households to power their daily lives, to actually change the economic development equation in Africa we must focus our efforts on the energy infrastructure that can power businesses,” said Vijaya Ramachandran, the study’s lead author and a senior fellow at CGD. “We found that unreliable power can have a major impact on businesses, dampening their growth prospects and undermining job creation opportunities.”

The study found:

  • In some of the continent’s largest economies like Nigeria, Angola, and Ghana, more than 25% of businesses lose double-digit sales due to power outages—with some firms averaging losses of 31%.
  • The largest grouping of firms are just surviving. Thanks to a heavy reliance on generators their sales are mostly unaffected by power outages, but they average just 3% growth.
  • Across the continent, some firms have grown rapidly despite frequent power outages—even in very poor countries.
  • In middle-income countries, especially in Southern Africa, many firms suffer relatively limited power outages and don’t see significant effects on sales.
  • The hardest-hit firms average more than 200 hours without power each month, while even the least-affected firms average more than 10 hours per month.
  • Some individual firms report losing over 70% of their sales.

“Of course, there’s no single story of how African businesses cope with unreliable power, but it’s clear that across the continent, a huge number of firms suffer high costs and lost sales,” said Ramachandran. “Better power infrastructure could enable business growth, create jobs, and produce better economic outcomes for the region.”

You can read the full study at https://www.cgdev.org/publication/how-do-african-firms-respond-unreliable-power-exploring-firm-heterogeneity-using-k-means.

*CGD

0
Read More
Mnangagwa answers burning questions on Mugabe, spy allegations and elections
August 18, 2018 | 0 Comments

 

By  PETA THORNYCRAFT*

Shortly after results of the presidential poll, Peta Thornycroft interviewed Zimbabwean President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa at State House in Harare. Picture: Xinhua/Shaun Jusa

Shortly after results of the presidential poll, Peta Thornycroft interviewed Zimbabwean President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa at State House in Harare. Picture: Xinhua/Shaun Jusa

Shortly after results of the presidential poll, Peta Thornycroft interviewed winning candidate,  Zimbabwean President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa at State House in Harare. The constitutional court will next week hear argument challenging the result by the opposition candidate, Nelson Chamisa.

PT: Who gave the army the order to go into the city on August 1?

EM: I consulted the commissioner-general of police and he indicated to me that in terms of the law, the commissioner of police can contact his counterpart who commands the local unit to give him immediate support while the process is ongoing.

The entire country was in a jovial mood. No-one expected the violence that happened so suddenly. The police were taken by surprise. They were deployed country-wide, covering the election process, so suddenly the small unit (left in Harare) could not control what was happening: In terms of the law, police are allowed to summon assistance to bring order.

 We regret what happened thereafter and since then. This should not happen again. We are instituting a commission of inquiry and to give it more flavour and transparency we are bringing people in from abroad.

I have one name from SA, one from the UK to consider with three names to join us to look at the matter. The inquiry will begin immediately after the inauguration.

PT: You have made such an effort to rebuild the party and now this tragedy after peaceful elections.

EM: Fortunately I am not doing it alone, I am doing it with my team, we all agree that Zimbabwe must change. We must have a different image from the isolationist posture of the past. Zimbabwe must embrace the international community totally and we are doing everything possible for political reform. For us again to relate and to cooperate with the international community and international business.

PT: There is one photograph shown in the media of a soldier shooting and another soldier stepping forward and stopping him on August 1. What are your views on that?

EM: I have not seen that picture.

PT: It’s a shocking picture. Why hasn’t he been arrested?

EM: Orders have been given about all those people who took the law into their own hands, whether it was police or others who take the law into their own hands. I also don’t want to pre-empt the outcomes of the commission I am instituting.

PT: Human rights groups say there are 150 cases of unconstitutional violence since August 1. Do you agree?

EM: Let me assure you, the best thing to do is get the list of 150 cases and pass it onto us. This is fake news and it’s flying left right and centre.

We were told (of these cases) by Philippe van Damme, the EU ambassador here, and we took him to task and said let’s go around all the hospitals in Harare and see if there is any record of people in hospitals. He had to later apologise as this was not true.

PT: Human rights groups have details of those cases.

EM: Be wary of Zimbabwe human rights groups. They have an agenda. They have always been against the government. They have not changed their minds, they have not shifted their mindset to become democratic but that will take time.

We must deal with facts and not any speculation. Whatever you hear try to check and I think the police will be able to assist you in checking.

PT: Human rights people are desperately looking for the Commissioner of Police.

EM: So why would they come to you – the journalists? Let them go to the commissioner, he is in the country, he is in town…before they make such statements, let them verify these issues with the right authorities. That’s what should be done.

PT: MDC Alliance MP Tendai Biti fled the country and went to Zambia. There was a warrant for his arrest.

EM: What I saw on TV, was that statement issued by the police, that they wanted him to come to Harare Central Police station to clarify certain issues. This has been on the radio. If he was really innocent and had not done anything, he should have quickly gone to Harare police station and stated the issues he wanted to clear. Why did he skip the country?

We’ve also had some discussion with some of the observers. We had set up a call centre where they allegedly received calls from people saying they were threatened here and there. We asked for the addresses of those people threatened in order to investigate.

PT: But many people are fearful nowadays… especially when they see people in uniform.

EM: I have not received information from my party or from the general public or from any citizen saying I am fearful. Never, never.

You will see the police walking in uniform. It is legitimate, it’s allowed by the law.  You will see soldiers in their trucks.  They are not on a mission to intimidate.

Our police and our army they are very friendly,  we have defence forces week, where they go around building clinics. building schools to show the army and the public are in good relations.

So this fake news about our people..that they are afraid of the army.

PT: How will Zimbabwe now move along after these terrible turn of events?

EM: We will continue preaching peace, peace, unity, unity, love, love to our people, it is a culture and we want its roots to go deeper and deeper.

The good will always prevail over evil. Yes, we have people who peddle evil, but what is correct will prevail.

PT: Were you surprised at the election results only .8 percent above 50 percent. (To avoid a run off the winner must have 50% +1.)

EM: We have 133 political parties. Of the 133, 54 political parties were participating in the elections and  22 were bidding for the office of president…all 22 were fighting me, and I am so proud that I beat not only the 22 but the entire 54.

And I got 2.4 million votes against 2,1 million….. 22 political parties and I beat them all.

PT: The MDC Alliance has gone to court to challenge your victory. What are your views?

EM: I am not privy to their thinking.

As a government we have not interfered with the process of the ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission), we are staying aloof, we allow the law to take its course. This is my attitude.

And we are already moving the trajectory of growth, so what will happen will be the continuation of the trajectory of growth, we are going to be out there with more focus, more energy, to make sure that in the course of business, Zimbabwe needs to become more competitive, so that we can again catch up with the rest of the developing countries ahead of us.

PT: Will the Mugabe family have some of their many farms taken away?

EM: It’s not a question of voluntary giving up, but about complying with the policy.

I am still receiving evidence of what the (former) first family had. When that process is complete they will select one farm and the rest will be given elsewhere.

We have the land commission, and this is one of the matters they are seized with attending to.

It’s not on the basis of the family, (one family, one farm). It is on the basis of government policy. There are so many others families who have more than one farm. It must all be governed by the size of the farm.

PT: Is there anything you regret in your life?

EM: I don’t think I regret anything. I have no other life I know except politics from when I was 17. I never worked for anyone but the people and the party. I don’t regret I chose that life. At the end of the day, I did what I did for my country.

PT: Will the new truth commission you signed into law, to deal with thousands of murders of opposition supporters from the 80s, get enough money to operate properly?

EM: When they (commission officials) want money, they don’t go to journalists… let them come to me. You must first ask them, did you go to the president?

PT: What do you say about those massacres, known as Gukuruhundi, following independence?

EM: Well, our former President (Mugabe) described it and said it was a ‘moment of madness’.

That’s how he described that event. I have said we can’t live in the past, and that should never again happen in our country. Let us be a family and forge ahead, whatever wrongs we regret and they should never again visit our country. I second the position taken by our former president – a moment of madness.

PT: In Mugabe’s statements to the press before the elections, he said he never trusted you.

EM: I trusted him to the end and it’s only now that I’ve learnt he doesn’t trust me. We shared the deepest issues together.

PT: Mugabe has talked about you and Dan Stannard, the former Rhodesian head of security who later became head of Zimbabwe’s security about some of the activities you got up to. What is your thought on this?

EM: During the era of independence some South Africans and Selous Scouts (Rhodesian soldiers) were going to blow up heads of state and Prince Charles, Indira Gandhi, at Rufaro Stadium.

They brought in some Sam 7 missiles, and the person who alerted us was Dan Stannard. We removed them. Even Claymore Mines were put in Rufaro grounds and this is why Stannard got an award. I think it is his (Mugabe’s) old age, that he has forgotten.

He said I was a Rhodesian spy? Old age is bad if his mind twists that way.

Why would he work with me for 54 years if I was a Rhodesian spy? Rubbish and nonsense this is.

PT: What about the immediate post-independence period of instability in the country.

EM: I should give credit for how we handled matters post-independence. The president, prime minister (Mugabe) back then espoused national reconciliation.

We had some whites who went out to reverse our gains but we were able to outmanoeuvre them and establish peace.

At the time there were a lot of bandits and dissidents killing people in Matabeleland North, the Midlands. I am happy that at the end of the day reconciliation won because it was not an easy task to marry three armies which had different orientations.

PT: What about violence against the MDC post-2000? Many were killed and jailed and none have been prosecuted for those crimes.

EM: You can go back to the police and find out who was not charged. Go to the police and ask what happened to those cases.

Anyone who committed a crime the police would have had a duty to arrest, them.

PT: What about the G40 faction within Zanu PF that has been loyal to Mugabe… what happened to them?

EM: I have never been a member of G40. I don’t know what they are planning or not planning. I hear from security that they continuously tweet. They continuously make statements.

To me. I am looking forward to the future. There is no reason for living in the past. We must all preach peace and unite our people even those who were antagonistic. We are Zimbabweans and come together.

PT: Returning to the shooting in Harare on August 1. Who gave the order to the army because General Valerio Sibanda says he did not give the order?

EM: I have replied to this. You are so repetitive…

This is typical like Mugabe.

We walked together for 54 years and he didn’t trust me.

No one gave orders …there is this perception and it is disjointed. I explained, the army has a strict command structure, I am the commander-in-chief and matters are handled according to the process.

*Courtesy of IOL

0
Read More
African Development Bank Mourns Passing of former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kofi A. Annan
August 18, 2018 | 0 Comments
He was a staunch advocate of the Bank’s ‘New Deal on Energy for Africa’, a partnership-driven effort which aims to achieve universal access to energy in Africa by 2025
 

AFDB President Adesina with former UN SG Kofi Annan

AFDB President Adesina with former UN SG Kofi Annan

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, August 18, 2018/ — The African Development Bank (www.AFDB.org) has learned with deep sadness the news of the death of Kofi A. Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Noble Peace Prize Laureate, at the age of 80 in Bern, Switzerland.

“With Mr. Kofi Annan’s passing, Africa and the entire world has lost its finest diplomat, champion of world peace and development advocate, leaving a void which will be hard to fill,” President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina said.  “Today, the international community is mourning a man of great humility and righteousness; a formidable architect behind critical peace brokering agreements around the world. His leadership on spearheading the Millennium Development Goals, made poverty eradication an achievable global imperative. He touched the lives of everyone he met with his dignity and quiet resolve. We stand with his dear wife, Nane, family and friends at this time and express our heartfelt condolences”, Adesina added.

For the African Development Bank, Mr. Kofi Annan held a special place on several of the Bank’s initiatives. He was a staunch advocate of the Bank’s ‘New Deal on Energy for Africa’, a partnership-driven effort which aims to achieve universal access to energy in Africa by 2025. He was appointed as the “Champion” of the New Deal on Energy for Africa. In 2016, Mr Annan co-chaired the Special Panel on Accelerating the Implementation of the African Development Bank’s Ten Year Strategy, launched by President Adesina.

He spearheaded several initiatives on Africa, including his chairmanship of the Africa Progress Panel and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

In April 2001, in Abuja, Nigeria, at a summit of African leaders, Mr. Kofi Annan made the first explicit public call for a new funding mechanism, proposing the creation of The Global Fund, to be dedicated to the battle against HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. He made the first contribution to the Global Fund in 2001.

Kofi Annan was Africa’s global icon. He will be greatly missed.

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) (www.AFDB.org) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (ADB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). With country offices in 44 African countries and an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and social progress of all its 54 regional member states in Africa.

0
Read More
Koffi Annan’s death epitomises Africa’s end of Golden Era in global politics, Saraki mentain
August 18, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Olayinka Ajayi

Saraki

Saraki

Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has described the demise of a former Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Koffi Annan, as the end of a golden era in global politics and international relations.

Saraki in a statement, described Annan as a quintessential African diplomat on the global plane and a citizen of the world, who deployed his vast capacities to tackle intractable global challenges ranging from hunger, conflict, epidemic and restoration of peace in war-torn countries.

He noted that many developing nations benefitted immensely from the humanitarian efforts of the late Annan during lifetime as he was able to raise the concerns and challenges confronting hitherto forgotten peoples and nations in the Assembly of world powers.

According to Saraki: “Annan was a quintessential African Diplomat who bestrode the world stage with dignity, finesse, admirable restraint and wisdom. He was a diplomat’s diplomat. He dedicated his immense expertise, experience and energies to resolving some of the world’s most pressing problems and conflicts, including most recently, the Rohingya refugee crisis. He was a citizen of the world.

Annan was an African avatar and God’s messenger of peace to the world. His demise is a huge loss to the international community and to humanity. Africa has indeed lost one of her best. He shall be sorely missed,” Saraki stated.

He commiserated with the wife and children of the deceased, the Government and people of Ghana, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), African Union (AU), the United Nations, international humanitarian organizations and the diplomatic community over the sad and irreparable loss. He prayed God to grant the soul of the deceased mercies and to count him among the righteous ones in His abode.

0
Read More
‘Guiding force for good’: World mourns loss of Kofi Annan
August 18, 2018 | 0 Comments
World leaders have expressed their sadness at the death of former United Nations Secretary General and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kofi Annan (AFP Photo/Fabrice COFFRINI)

World leaders have expressed their sadness at the death of former United Nations Secretary General and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kofi Annan (AFP Photo/Fabrice COFFRINI)

Geneva (AFP) – There was an outpouring of condolences from leaders around the world on Saturday after the death of former United Nations Secretary General and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kofi Annan.

Here are some of the tributes:

– United Nations –

Current UN chief Antonio Guterres voiced deep sadness at the news, describing his predecessor as “a guiding force for good”.

“In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations.

“He rose through the ranks to lead the organisation into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination.

“Like so many, I was proud to call Kofi Annan a good friend and mentor.”

The UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said he was grief-stricken.

“Kofi was humanity’s best example, the epitome, of human decency and grace. In a world now filled with leaders who are anything but that, our loss, the world’s loss becomes even more painful,” he said.

“He was a friend to thousands and a leader of millions.”

“There are some human beings who will seem irreplaceable to us, rare human beings. Kofi Annan is high among them. Goodbye my dear friend… goodbye Kofi.”

– Ghana –

President Nana Akufo-Addo declared a week of mourning, saying the national flag will fly at half-mast at home and in the country’s diplomatic missions around the world in honour of “one of our greatest compatriots”.

“He brought considerable renown to our country by this position and through his conduct and comportment in the global arena.

“He was an ardent believer in the capacity of the Ghanaian to chart his or her own course onto the path of progress and prosperity.”

– EU –

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said the “greatest recognition we can give Kofi Annan is to keep his legacy and his spirit alive”.

“He devoted his life to making the world a more peaceful and united place. He fought to end suffering and injustices across the world and helped to rebuild bridges where they had been destroyed.”

– Russia –

President Vladimir Putin said he was “fortunate” to have been in personal contact with Annan while he lead the UN.

“I sincerely admired his wisdom and courage, his ability to make informed decisions even in the most complex, critical situations. His memory will live forever in the hearts of Russians.”

– NATO –

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said “the UN and the world have lost one of their giants”.

“His warmth should never be mistaken for weakness. Annan showed that one can be a great humanitarian and a strong leader at the same time,” Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter.

– Britain –

“A great leader and reformer of the UN, he made a huge contribution to making the world he has left a better place than the one he was born into,” British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Twitter

Former prime minister Tony Blair described him as “good friend”.

“Kofi Annan was a great diplomat, a true statesman and a wonderful colleague who was widely respected and will be greatly missed,” Blair said via his institute’s Twitter page.

– Kenya –

Both key figures in the deadly turmoil that followed Kenya’s 2008 election paid tribute to Annan, who helped mediate an end to the violence.

Former president Mwai Kibaki said Annan “will be remembered for mediating for the return of peace in Kenya”.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga hailed “what became known as ‘the Annan Doctrine’ in which he made it clear that the need to respect sovereignty cannot be used as a shield by governments to brutalise their own citizens and that the international community has a right to intervene”.

– South Africa –

President Cyril Ramaphosa praised Annan as a “great leader and diplomat extraordinaire” who had advanced the African agenda within the UN and had “flown the flag for peace” around the world.

– Zimbabwe –

“A rare breed of diplomat; soft spoken but unshakeably firm,” tweeted Nelson Chamisa, the main opposition leader in Zimbabwe — where Annan visited days before the July election.

“He had great love for world peace & democracy. A believer in Zimbabwe & its people. Go well son of Africa, Champion of the world!”

– France –

“We will never forget his calm and resolute approach, nor the strength of his fighting spirit,” President Emmanuel Macron tweeted.

– The Elders –

The Elders organisation — a group of statesmen co-founded by Annan which speaks out on global issues — hailed him as “a voice of great authority and wisdom in public and private”.

“The world has lost an inspiring figure –- but one whose achievements will never be forgotten, and whose commitment to peace and justice will endure to inspire future generations,” deputy chair Gro Harlem Brundtland said in a statement.

*AFP

0
Read More
African Development Bank and Canada share commitment to women’s empowerment on the continent
August 18, 2018 | 0 Comments
Canada is the fourth largest contributor to the Bank among non-regional members, and the sixth largest donor to the African Development Fund (ADF)
 

Canada’s Minister of International Development, Marie-Claude Bibeau and the President of the African Development Bank Akinwumi Adesina

Canada’s Minister of International Development, Marie-Claude Bibeau and the President of the African Development Bank Akinwumi Adesina

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, August 17, 2018/ — On her first visit to the West African nation of Cote d’Ivoire, Canada’s Minister of International Development, Marie-Claude Bibeau and the President of the African Development Bank Akinwumi Adesina (www.AfDB.org), shared a common vision and commitment to the advancement of women and girls on the continent.

Both officials met at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan, following the Minister’s visit to a Bank-financed rural agriculture project in Abengourou, Côte d’Ivoire earlier in the day. Bibeau, Adesina and other senior management members exchanged views on wide ranging issues including gender empowerment issues, renewable energy, agriculture, and innovative financing mechanisms.

Canada is the fourth largest contributor to the Bank among non-regional members, and the sixth largest donor to the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional arm of the Bank Group.

The advancement of women and girls is a priority area for the Canadian government in keeping with its Feminist International Assistance Policy .

The Minister emphasized the need to involve African women in decision-making processes.

According to Bibeau “If we want to end poverty, women in Africa must be able to develop their full potential,” she said. She also expressed the hope that women would no longer be perceived as “mere beneficiaries” but as “agents of change.”

“This is the approach we are taking in Canada. We are working to ensure that 15% of our department’s budget is allocated to transformative projects for women,” Bibeau said.

The Gender Strategy is a central part of the Bank’s ambitious vision for Africa, based on the reality that gender equality is integral to Africa’s economic and social development. The vision includes creating opportunities for women, disadvantaged and marginalised people and communities so they can fully participate in and benefit from the development of their communities and nations.

Commending Adesina for exemplary leadership, Bibeau acknowledged that “change will not come overnight, but our collective actions will make a significant difference.” The Bank recorded exceptional results for 2017 with approvals of US $8.7 billion and over $7 billion of disbursements, the highest performance since its creation in 1964.

From 2010 to 2017, the Bank’s operations have positively impacted the lives of millions of Africans. 83 million Africans have benefited from improved access to transport, and 49 million have gained access   to clean water and sanitation. Nine million African women have been connected to electricity and the living conditions of 29 million more women have been significantly enhanced as a result of improvements in agriculture.

Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina called for greater mobilization of resources in favor of women.

“We need to change the current system, and introduce a mechanism for rating and classifying financial institutions. Those who put the issue of gender at the center of their concerns should be at the forefront of this ranking,” he said.

According to Adesina, “the Bank plans to raise a US$ 300-million guarantee fund for the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative.”  AFAWA is expected to leverage close to USD$ 3 billion over 10 years to empower female entrepreneurs through capacity building development, access to funding, and policy, legal and regulatory reforms to support enterprises led by women.

The initiative provides significant support for the advancement of Africa’s Gender agenda.  The Bank is helping build women’s market programs in countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Through four commercial banks, at least 200,000 women owned businesses are expected to be impacted through financing, growth in revenues and through coaching and mentoring programs.

Adesina said he hoped Canada would champion the initiative, launched during the Bank’s 2016 Annual Meetings.

The Canadian Minister and the African Development Bank President also discussed closer cooperation between Canada and Africa, and Canada’s participation in the first Africa Investment Forum scheduled for November 2018 in South Africa.

Canada joined the African Development Bank in 1982. The country has supported all the general capital increases of the Bank and all the replenishments of the African Development Fund (ADF). Canada also participates in a number of multi-donor trust funds and other initiatives managed by the Bank.

The African Development Bank Group is one of Canada’s leading partners in supporting sustainable economic growth in Africa. Other Bank Group priority areas of focus include environment and renewable energy, inclusive governance, peace and security.

0
Read More
Hapag-Lloyd invests in growing East African market
August 17, 2018 | 0 Comments

HAMBURG, Germany, August 17, 2018/ —

  • Kenya as a driver of growth in the East Africa region
  • Serving nearly 900 export and import customers
  • Hapag-Lloyd with weekly service to and from Mombasa

Hapag-Lloyd (www.Hapag-Lloyd.com) is continuing to focus on the growing market in East Africa. With annual growth rates of approximately six percent, the region tops the list on the African continent. Kenya, in particular, is developing with significantly rising import and export figures as well as massive investments in public infrastructure.

In April 2018 Hapag-Lloyd launched the East Africa Service (EAS), its first dedicated service to East Africa. The weekly service sails from Jeddah to Mombasa, and from there to Dar es Salaam, in Tanzania, and directly back to Jeddah. After a successful start this service will be expanded in September with a weekly connection to and from Nhava Sheva, Mundra, Khor Fakkan, Jebel Ali, Mombasa and Dar es Salaam. The so called EAS2 will replace the current EAS service and directly link the Arabian Gulf and the West Coast of India with East Africa.

Hapag-Lloyd also offers inland transportation to and from East African hinterland locations of Bujumbura (Burundi), Kigali (Rwanda), Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of Congo), Lusaka (Zambia) and Kampala (Uganda).

“I am delighted that our East Africa Service from and to Kenya is developing so positively. After only four months in operation, we have significantly expanded our business with overall vessel utilization beyond our expectations,” said Dheeraj Bhatia, Managing Director Africa, Middle East and Indian Subcontinent for Hapag-Lloyd AG. “With our upcoming new EAS2 service we will be able to offer even better connections from and to East Africa. All in all we are experiencing growing client demand which demonstrates the economic potential of Kenya.”

The GDP of Kenya has grown significantly in the last two years, rising by an average of approximately six percent. Kenya primarily exports coffee and tea, but also vegetables, fruits and textiles. The main imports are vehicles, spare parts, yarns, machines and electronic goods.

With a fleet of 219 modern container ships and a total transport capacity of 1.6 million TEU, Hapag-Lloyd (www.Hapag-Lloyd.com) is one of the world’s leading liner shipping companies. The Company has around 12,500 employees and over 380 offices in 125 countries. Hapag-Lloyd has a container capacity of 2.3 million TEU – including one of the largest and most modern fleets of reefer containers. A total of 120 liner services worldwide ensure fast and reliable connections between more than 600 ports on all the continents. Hapag-Lloyd is one of the leading operators in the Transatlantic, Middle East, Latin America and Intra-America trades.

 

0
Read More
DRC issues global arrest warrant for opposition leader Katumbi
August 17, 2018 | 0 Comments

The move against the self-exiled politician comes before the presidential election he sought to register for.

 
Katumbi reportedly tried to enter DRC from Zambia earlier this month [Kenny Katombe/Reuters]

Katumbi reportedly tried to enter DRC from Zambia earlier this month [Kenny Katombe/Reuters]

The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has issued an international arrest warrant for opposition leader Moise Katumbi, who has been in self-imposed exile since 2016.

Justice Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba said on Thursday that the warrant by the DRC’s attorney general was issued to several African and European countries.

“He must be arrested where he is found,” he said.

Katumbi tried to enter DRC from Zambia before the August 8 deadline to register as a candidate for December’s presidential election, but he was denied entry.

Mwamba said Katumbi engaged in a “political show” in trying to return.

The wealthy businessman had originally planned to fly from South Africa to Lubumbashi, the capital of Katanga province.

But the city’s mayor said that Katumbi was refused entry, while the public prosecutor’s office said the opposition leader had been charged with “harming the state’s domestic and external security” and would be immediately arrested if he returned.

In a tweet sent out earlier in August after being barred entry, Katumbi said he would “fight” what he called an attempt to “withdraw from Congolese their right to real elections”.

Self-imposed exile

Katumbi had been a leading presidential contender before fleeing DRC in May 2016 as prosecutors announced their intent to try him on charges of hiring mercenaries, which he denied.

Once governor of mineral-rich Katanga province, Katumbi in 2015 broke with his former ally, President Joseph Kabila, and has since been sentenced in absentia to three years in prison for property fraud. He also faces charges of “undermining state security”.

The millionaire politician has denied any wrongdoing.

Kabila, the son of a former president, has repeatedly delayed elections in recent years resulting in massive anti-government protests, which security forces have at times used deadly force to quell.

Last week, Kabila, who has been in power since 2001, announced he would not be running again in the December 28 vote.

Instead, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadari will represent the ruling coalition, recently renamed Common Front for Congo.

Opposition parties are calling on the government to allow Katumbi to return and stand as a candidate.

The opposition presidential hopefuls include Felix Tshisekedi and Jean-Pierre Bemba – a former rebel leader and vice president who was jailed at The Hague before his conviction was overturned.

 *Al Jazeera
0
Read More
Madagascar: President Hery Rajaonarimampianina Announces his Candidacy for a New Term
August 17, 2018 | 0 Comments
The Party proclaimed its full confidence in Hery RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA as its candidate for the 2018 presidential campaign
 

Madagascar: President Hery Rajaonarimampianina Announces his Candidacy for a New Term

Madagascar: President Hery Rajaonarimampianina Announces his Candidacy for a New Term

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, August 17, 2018/ — At the end of a five-year term of remarkable economic performance, recognized by the largest international organizations, among them the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the Hery Vaovao ho an’i Madagasikara – “Vital Force for Madagascar” – Party proclaimed its full confidence in Hery RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA as its candidate for the 2018 presidential campaign.  On Friday, August 17, 2018, in Antananarivo, the present Head of State revealed his intention to seek a second term before a crowd of his party’s supporters.

On that occasion, he recalled the entire range of projects launched within the framework of the Fisandratana 2030 Plan, the vision of which serves as a platform for his presidential program for the fight against the high cost of living, for the modernization of agriculture, for the safety of transportation, for the fight against corruption, for the improvement of public services, for industrialization and the creation of jobs at every level. (www.fisandratana2030.com)

Between now and 2023, there will be more than 2 million new jobs that the development of seven priority sectors will have created, and 5 million before 2030. Agriculture, the maritime economy, natural products, mining, precious stones, industry and tourism will be the keys to accelerated growth.  With the creation of four growth areas designed to connect infrastructure projects with industrial sectors, Madagascar will benefit from all the necessary assets to become a regional economic power in the South African Development Community and the Indian Ocean region.

At the same time, Hery RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA mentioned the progress realized since the beginning of his first term, in particular the exiting of more than 2 million Malagasy citizens from poverty.  Thanks to the effects of training on consumption, the same result will be able to be attained or even surpassed during the next five years.

This objective is at the heart of his commitment to the Malagasy people, which he described as a non-negotiable requirement for the improvement of living conditions.  In his own words: “Leaders must learn to feel the same impatience for change as the people who brought them to power!  But as I already said, I know your impatience and I feel it myself.  I may well accelerate reforms, accelerate achievements, multiply future plans, but I always want to do more.  Like you, I am impatient to be able to move to the next chapter of the construction of the Madagascar of tomorrow.”

Hery RAJAONARIMAMPIANINA then touched on his plans for the construction of a modern economy in Madagascar, but he also took care to speak about the values of the Malagasy people.  Alluding to the always present necessity of having “strong reference points”, he called for a “spiritual rebuilding” of the Malagasy nation, supported by family values, by the vital forces of young people and women, by the respect for the wisdom of the elders, all of which are values that strengthen the individual and allow for individual fulfillment.

As a conclusion of his speech, he mentioned the convictions that motivate him and his belief in a collective purpose to which he has dedicated his action: “I know that I can count on you, on your pride, on your determination, in order to build together the Madagascar of your dreams!  I know that, for you, the vision of this future of prosperity and of development will be all that matters to you the most in the decades to come,” he declared, before announcing his candidacy for president, in order to continue the recovery of the country undertaken since 2014.

The first round of the presidential election is scheduled for November 7, 2018.

0
Read More
1 175 176 177 178 179 285