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South Sudan: Kiir acknowledges issues raised in national dialogue
November 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

President Kiir
President Kiir

Juba – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has acknowledged that the issues raised in the national dialogue process are a representation of the views of the majority of the population in the country, but should not replace the revitalized peace deal.

The national dialogue conference, which brought over 500 delegates across the country, commenced in Juba on November 3rd, under the theme: “Come let’s dialogue, come let’s heal our nation.”

However, most of the national dialogue recommendations are a repetition of R-ARCISS provisions especially security and economic sector reforms which president Kiir is dragging feet to implement, including restoring the 32 states which were created in 2015 with the aim of devolving power to local communities.

The SPLM-IO and other parties had opposed the plan for 32 states in South Sudan and forced the government to implement the current model of 10 states earlier this year.

Other key recommendations they endorsed include compensation for those whose homes and properties were destroyed during the war.

In his closing remarks on Tuesday, the president Kiir pledged to implement the resolutions passed by the delegates.

“There is no doubt that the outcome of the national dialogue conference represents the views of the broad cross-section of our society,” said president Kiir. “This means there is no question about the legitimacy of this process.”

“Therefore, We should not attempt to replace the revitalized peace agreement with the consensus reached at the national dialogue, but rather use the national dialogue as a guide to enrich the forthcoming permanent Constitution – making process that the revitalized peace agreement mandates,”  said Kiir.

The national dialogue has also backed a mixed federal system of governance, calling for full political, administrative, and financial powers to the states in a bid to restrict federal interference.

“The revitalized peace agreement is not just an integral part of our constitution; it is, in essence, our fundamental law. All other processes, including the national dialogue, must ultimately be reconciled with it,” said Kiir.

Kiir pointed out that issues of governance, land, and resource allocation – as raised in the conference – require the full attention of the leadership of the country.

“My dear President Salva Kiir Mayardit, you have bankrolled this national dialogue materially for four years,” said Angelo Beda, co – chair of national dialogue Committee in his closing remarks, “even if the resolutions are controversial, please implement them.

President also said that some of the resolutions generated from the national dialogue process will be including in the permanent constitution.

Kiir noted that other views will be harmonized with the current peace agreement.

“We need to remind ourselves that what has been produced in this process must be harmonized by the permanent constitutional making process, which is provided for in the revitalized peace agreement,” he added.

President Salva Kiir initiated the national dialogue in December last year to unite and reconcile the people after years of a brutal conflict since December 2013 that has killed nearly 400, 000 people and uprooted four million people from their homes, before devestasted the country’s economy.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in Opposition (SPLM-IO), the main opposition group led by Riek Machar, was not part of the dialogue, arguing that the 2018 revitalized peace agreement offers its own conflict resolution mechanisms.

But the observers are skeptical about this national dialogue, saying it is important for Kiir’s administration to speed up the implementation of the R – ARCISS, as a super document of governance currently in South Sudan. Argued that it’s timely and full implementation is a sure way of moving the nation forward. 

“I believe, the National Dialogue will not be a waste of time and also the country’s scarce resources,” said Sebit Garang, resident of Juba.

But president Kiir says only homegrown solutions can bring about lasting peace in his restive country, adding that rather than external solutions and foreign interference, plans drawn up at the national dialogue can prove crucial to end conflict and restore peace and stability.

“First, we need to assess our tendency to readily accept external models that ignore our history. We have been falsely assured that what has worked for others will work for us,” Kiir said at the end of the national dialogue, which was launched in December 2016. “Secondly, we also need to examine our attitudes towards our laws and institutions since 2005.”

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Dr. Rasha Kelej joins other global icons like Naomi Campbell and Fatma Samoura on APO Group’s African Women in Media Award Judging panel
November 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation is part of the prestigious APO Group African Women in Media Award 2020 100-member jury, that also includes other global icons such as Naomi Campbell, a famous model, actress, businesswoman and Fatma Samoura  Secretary-General of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) (FIFA.com) and other luminaries like Nitin Gajria, Sub-Saharan Africa Director of Google, Vanessa M. Moungar, Director, Gender, Women and Civil Society of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and Rose Thuo, Head of Communications and Marketing, Africa of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The jury panel includes senior leadership position holders from every major sector and industry on the African continent, including Rotary International to Gavi; Microsoft to Google; Twitter to Coca-Cola; and Harley-Davidson to LEGO.

This is the largest and most influential panel of judges ever assembled for an African media award, and it reflects the importance of recognizing gender equality in business and the media. Dr. Rasha  Kelej emphasize “ I strongly believe in the critical role that media plays to break the silence and be the voice of the voiceless. Therefore , I focused on building African media capacity through our training , scholarships and media recognition awards throughout the year  , we have celebrated more  than 150 winners from African media persons and provided training to more than 1200 journalists in 18 African countries. This program will continue and progress in the next 10 years in partnership with African First Ladies and ministries of communication and information across Africa. Of course Empowering youth and women in media is in the spirit  of this program and all our other programs. It is in Merck Foundation’s  DNA. “

Dr. Rasha Kelej, who is one of the 100 Most Influential African of 2019 and 2020 has developed many impactful programs which focused on building both healthcare and media capacity and improving access to health in Africa. One of the most important programs she created is the  Merck Foundation signature campaign “More Than a Mother” and its innovative initiatives which aims to break infertility stigma empower childless and infertile women through access to information, health, change of mind set and economic empowerment. She also developed Others programs  with the aim to empower African media talents through several media recognition awards and providing training and master classes to awards media winners to better raise awareness about health and sensitive issues such as coronavirus , infertility stigma and girls education .

Dr. Rasha Kelej feels delighted to be on this  panel with high-powered juries .

The juries panel  will select  the winning journalist, who will be announced at the 6th Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum’s (AWIEF) Virtual Conference and Awards, hosted from 2-3 December 2020, with the theme ‘Reimagining Business & Rebuilding Better.’

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Mombouli Lauds Astute Leadership of Adesina at AfDB
November 17, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Ben Bangoura

Ambassador Mombouli credits Dr Adesina with excellent leadership that has put the AfDB at the forefront of development and progress in Africa. Photo credit Ben Bangoura AlloAfrica News

The Dean of the African diplomatic corps in the USA  Serge Mombouli  has credited the sound leadership of Dr Akinwumi Adesina following the affirmation  of the African Development Bank’s AAA credit rating by Moody’s Investor Service

According to Ambassador Mombouli, Moody’s Investor Service’s affirmation of the African Development Bank’s AAA credit rating with a stable outlook is the confirmation that the continent financial institution is doing a good job. 

He cited several economic development efforts by the AfDB across Africa including critical infrastructure, power and energy, financial services, and agriculture projects that benefit ordinary people. Ambassador Mombouli also saluted the spirited efforts with which Dr Adesina has marshalled the AfDB to produce a robust response for the continent to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The credit profile of African Development Bank (AfDB) is supported by the bank’s robust capital buffers and superior risk management, which mitigate risks,” Moody’s Investor Service said in an annual credit analysis dated 27 October 2020. 

Moody’s added: “An ample liquidity buffer and unfettered access to international capital markets also support its ability to meet its debt-service obligations. Moreover, the bank has a long track record of being the premier development institution in Africa and benefits from shareholders’ ability and willingness to support its development objectives, exemplified by the significant contributions of highly rated non-regional member countries.”

The ‘AAA’ rating from Moody’s follows earlier affirmations of the ‘AAA’ rating of the Bank, with a stable outlook, by the other leading rating agencies, namely Fitch Ratings, Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings, and Japan Credit Rating Agency.

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Kenya ranked 14 in Africa on governance performance
November 17, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

President Uhuru Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenya is in position 14 out of 54 in Africa on governance performance according to 2020 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG).

The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) is a tool that measures and monitors governance performance in African countries.

It assessed governance performance in 54 African countries over the last 10-year period that is 2010 to 2019.

The report singled out Kenya as the most improved in gender equality and infrastructure.

“Compared to ten years ago, access to political power and representation for Africa’s women has increased, and the pace of this improvement has nearly doubled between 2015 and 2019. Women’s access to basic public services has also increased both in the ten-year and five-year period and at a faster pace between 2015 and 2019,” said the report.

“Over the ten-year period, 50 countries have improved their score, the most of any category. For 22 of them, the rate of improvement has increased since 2015, again more than in any other category.”

Mauritius maintained the top position for the 10th consecutive year with a score of 77.2, followed by Cape Verde (73.1). Seychelles (72.3), Tunisia (70.4) and Botswana (66.9) were ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively. On the other hand, Somalia remains bottom for the 10th consecutive year with a score of 19.2.

Kenya, Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe are among the most improved countries as per the report.

The foundation gathered 237 variables that measure governance concepts from 40 sources. They were put together to form 79 indicators, which are organised under its key governance dimensions; the 16 sub-categories and four that constituted the overall governance score.

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Jihadists Behead More Than 50 People in Soccer Field Massacre in Mozambique
November 17, 2020 | 0 Comments
Christians worship at a church in Mozambique. The rise of Islamist fundamentalism in the northeast is a particular threat to Christians, who are targeted for their faith.
Christians worship at a church in Mozambique. The rise of Islamist fundamentalism in the northeast is a particular threat to Christians, who are targeted for their faith.

Islamic militants turned a village soccer field in northern Mozambique into an execution ground when they beheaded more than 50 people during three days of savage violence between Friday, November 6, and Sunday, November 8.

Villagers who tried to flee were caught and taken to the field in Muatide village, where they were decapitated and chopped to pieces in a series of ferocious attacks in Muslim-majority Cabo Delgado province.

In one attack, gunmen shouting “Allahu Akbar” stormed into Nanjaba village on November 6, firing weapons and setting homes on fire. Two villagers were beheaded and several women abducted.

Barnabas Aid’s contacts in the area report that anyone who refuses to support the jihadists and embrace their beliefs is attacked, and their property set on fire. Thus Christians who refuse to deny Christ are among the victims. The attacks are among the worst seen in recent years in the brutal campaign by militant Islamists to establish an Islamist caliphate in the oil and gas-rich Cabo Delgado province. Desperate people are flooding in to the Christian mission stations for protection.

In an upsurge of violence in April, Islamic fundamentalists murdered at least 57 people and smashed their way into a church in Cabo Delgado. At least 52 people were massacred in Xitaxi village when they refused to join the Islamic terrorist group.

More than 2,000 people have been killed and about 430,000 left homeless in the region since 2017. The militant Islamist organization Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama, known locally as Al Shabaab (not the Somali-based group), is linked to Islamic State and has effectively gained control of an area of Cabo Delgado.

*From Barnabas Aid contacts and other sources

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350.org responds to ICBC reportedly withdrawing financing from the Lamu Coal Plant
November 17, 2020 | 0 Comments

Global — The Save Lamu campaign has learned that the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has decided not to finance the Lamu Coal Plant anymore, due to cited environmental and social risks associated with the project. Save Lamu has previously submitted various petitions and complaints to ICBC citing extensive environmental destruction and social risks that would be encountered once the project is operational. 

The 1,050MW Lamu coal plant was expected to be the largest coal plant in East Africa and first in Kenya. It was proposed to be built at Kwasasi, Lamu County. According to the project documents, it was expected that ICBC would finance the project at a tune of US $1.2 bn. A reliable source at ICBC has now said the bank will not make this investment. 

In reaction to the announcement, 350.org commented on the following:

“This is a result of ongoing efforts by the Save Lamu coalition. We congratulate ICBC on this important step in the right direction. As a member of the core group of the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), and as a member of the China-UK TCFD pilot group, ICBC must show leadership and stop its new coal financing in other parts of the world. ICBC’s record on coal financing is one of the worst among the largest banks in the world according to the recent ranking by BankTrack and is involved in other controversial projects such as the Sengwa power station in Zimbabwe, Hunutlu power station in Turkey, Bengkulu Coal Power in Indonesia and many more. In all these places ICBC faces fierce opposition from local groups on the same ground as Lamu of environmental and social risks. It’s time for ICBC to assess correctly those risks and stop its financing to these and all other coal projects.” Yossi Cadan, Finance Campaign Manager at 350.org

“ICBC is the latest major partner to pull out of Lamu’s controversial project, after that of AfDB and GE. This is a new victory for the communities and organizations that have been advocating against the development of the dirty energy models on the continent. The construction of a coal plant in Lamu is an unnecessary endeavour, which will extensively damage the fragile environment and with it the livelihoods of thousands of people who depend on fisheries and tourism. We call on ICBC to withdraw from all the coal plants that they are currently part of across the African continent. Local communities across Africa deserve affordable, clean and safe energy. Financiers, energy companies and our respective African governments should accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, investing in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.” Landry Ninteretse, Africa Team Leader at 350.org

“This is a major win not only for local communities in Lamu but also for the climate movement across the world. We congratulate Save Lamu campaign for withstanding the Lamu coal power plant for years and welcome ICBC’s decision to step back from the project. In the age of climate crisis, financing a fossil fuel project is unacceptable and ICBC’S withdrawal from Lamu coal power plant is a great opportunity for the bank to reassess its coal projects around the world. Just like in Lamu, the people of Adana in Turkey do not want ICBC’s Hunutlu coal power plant project that will threaten local communities, livelihoods and the fragile ecosystem of the region. It’s time for ICBC to stop financing coal and commit to climate-friendly financing enshrined in its own reports.” Efe Baysal, Turkey Campaigner at 350.org

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“Ghost” Mulee says he won’t resign after Kenya lost 2-1 to minnows Comoros.
November 17, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Harambee Stars coach Jacob "Ghost" Mulee
Harambee Stars coach Jacob “Ghost” Mulee

Football enthusiasts have been calling for the resignation of the national soccer team Harambee Stars coach Jacob “Ghost” Mulee following a disappointing 2-1 loss at the hands of lowly-ranked Comoros.

Sunday’s loss means Kenya’s chance of making it to the 2022 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in Cameroon is minimal, with two games remaining. The East African nation is in the third position with three points behind Comoros and Egypt, which have accumulated 8 and 5 points.

Egypt’s win against Togo in Lome today will dim Kenya’s dream of a back to back appearance at the biennial showpiece.

Speaking to the local media after the team jetted back to the country from Moroni, Mulee said he would not resign even if the country fails to make it to the AFCON, noting that he has long term goals with the team.

“I have resigned before so it’s not a problem at all. But I have my own responsibilities and aims and I want to say that the times of resignation ended a long time ago. I will fight for the team and would only leave if I’m sacked,” he said.

The 52-year-old technician attributed the team’s failure to the coronavirus pandemic.

“When we played our first matches against Egypt and Togo, the local league was running. There was fair competition between local players and the foreign based ones. It’s a totally different situation when you have players who have been inactive for nine months,” Mulee added.

He also rued over the absence of striker Michael Olunga who plies his trade with the Japanese side Kashiwa Reysol. Olunga missed the two matches owing to strict Covid-19 restrictions in the Asian country.

“He is a top player who we depend on. You saw we created so many chances in both matches, and we couldn’t convert them into goals. Olunga is the type of a player who will convert even half a chance for you, we missed him,” he lamented.

“In football we say it is not over until it is over. We can still win the two matches and take our tally to nine points. Depending on the Togo versus Egypt result, we still have a chance that we cannot declare it’s gone before we play the matches,” maintained Mulee saying the Afcon dream is far from over.

Stars will host Egypt in March 2021 before traveling to Lome to take on Togo.

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Britain should send 700 crack troops to form ‘elite fighting force’ for Cabo Delgado, says mercenary
November 17, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

Britain should send cash and troops to Mozambique to prevent Islamic militants from establishing a caliphate in southern Africa, according to Simon Mann, who has led effective mercenary campaigns on the continent.

An insurgency in the gas-rich north of the country has been gathering pace for the past three years, with a wave of fresh atrocities reported in recent weeks, including the beheading of 50 civilians, many of them women and children. More than 4,000 fighters linked to Islamic State have overwhelmed Mozambique’s troops and police.

Simon Mann, who was imprisoned in Equatorial Guinea for his part in a coup attempt there, told The Times that he believes that an elite, 3,000-strong Mozambican fighting unit trained by serving or former soldiers, seconded or contracted from Britain and elsewhere — “who would then go into battle with them” — is the best hope. A special division with 700 top-flight trainers could be in the field within three months, he said.

Mann, who co-founded Executive Outcomes, regarded in the 1990s as the world’s most successful mercenary outfit, and who was at one time a general in the Angolan armed forces, bases his proposal on his own experiences of helping to end the civil wars in Angola and Sierra Leone in the 90s. 

The price of doing nothing will end up being much higher in the end, Mr Mann believes. “The UK has a great fund of money available only for aid. We surely have a simple duty to help relieve suffering, when we are able? How better to spend that money than by ending a war? That’s real aid.”

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Terrorism: ZANU-PF says Zimbabwe can’t help Mozambique because of sanctions
November 17, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

A spokesman for Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party has claimed that the country is unable to help Mozambique fight the insurgency in Cabo Delgado province because of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States.

Patrick Chinamasa said that if the country were operating normally and without sanctions, then it would be a “clear case” for intervention, but this was not possible.

“[T]he sanctions have made us not intervene. We are then asking the United States president-elect Joe Biden to remove the sanctions which he co-authored, if he’s intelligent enough”, he told reporters.

Since 2017, the insurgency in Cabo Delgado province has increasingly taken lethal twists, with the extremists getting more brazen with each year. The situation has left 2,000 people dead, and another 400,000 displaced. Many are seeking safety in parts of Cabo Delgado and Nampula and Niassa provinces. Many districts continue to be inaccessible because they are occupied by armed groups or remain at high risk of being attacked.

Venezuela condemns the attacks

The Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, on behalf of the Venezuelan people, condemned the terrorist attacks perpetrated against the civilian population in Mozambique.

“Venezuela strongly condemns this type of action, while sending all its solidarity to the people and the government of President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi,” the Foreign Minister wrote on his official Twitter account.

Over 50 people had been beheaded last week on a football pitch in the village of Muatide, Muidumbe district. Schools, health centers, private houses and government infrastructures have also reportedly been targeted and destroyed.

Amir condoles with Mozambique leader

The Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and the Deputy Amir Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad al-Thani sent on Saturday cable of condolences to Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi on the victims of the armed attack that targeted several villages and a football stadium in northern Mozambique, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.

In his cable, the Amir affirmed Qatar’s firm position rejecting violence and terrorism, regardless of the motives and reasons.

The Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani also sent a similar cable to Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho.

The insurgency in northern Mozambique is often likened to Al-Shabab, the Islamic militant group operating in Somalia. Since 2019, the Mozambican fighters claim allegiance to the terror organization “Islamic State” (ISIS). Experts believe most members come from Tanzania or northern Mozambique.

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Mozambique: Rail link to Malawi to cost $30m
November 17, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

Mozambique will invest $30m in the rehabilitation of the Dona Ana-Vila Nova da Fronteira railroad spur, in the central province of Tete, to re-establish the rail connection with Malawi.

When the work is complete, Malawi hopes to export sugar to Europe, via the port of Beira.

Beira may be the most convenient port for companies in southern Malawi – but for northern and central Malawi, the main route to the sea will certainly remain the railway across northern Mozambique to the deep water port of Nacala.

Augusto Abudo, the managing director of Mozambique’s publicly owned ports and railway company (CFM) central division, said the money will be disbursed by the company and the groundwork for the project, meant to end in September 2021, is underway.

The branch line is 115 kilometres long, of which 44 kilometres are on the Mozambican side between Dona Ana and Vila Nova da Fronteira, and the remaining 71 kilometres on the stretch from Vila Nova da Fronteira to Nsange-Bangula in Malawi.

The next phase, said Abudo, will consist of clearing the bush from the route of the line. Work on this has already begun on the Malawian side.

Malawi uses these corridors to import basic food supplies, fertilizers, fuel, building materials among other commodities, but also to send its exports, such as tobacco, onto the international market.

When operational, the railway will connect Malawi to the central Mozambican port of Beira “When the line is working, cargo to and from Malawi will be ferried along the Sena Rail line to the Port of Beira,” said Abudo. He stressed that the line bring great benefits not only to CFM but also to the country because of the jobs and related businesses it will create.

The decision follows a recent understanding between Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and his Malawian counterpart, Lazarus Chakwera, on facilitating increased use of the Mozambican port and rail systems for Malawian trade.

The Malawians have expressed concern regarding the warehousing capacity for their commodities as well as the delays in the berthing of cargo ships. However, Mozambique’s Transport Minister, Janfar Abdulai, assured the visiting delegation that these concerns have been overcome.

The rail connection between the two countries was interrupted in the 1980s at the height of the war of destabilisation, pitting the government against the apartheid-backed Renamo rebels.

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COVID-19 is a ‘wake-up command’ to address Africa’s challenges – Tony Blair
November 17, 2020 | 0 Comments

The former UK prime minister addressed a virtual audience on the topic Building Back Better in Post COVID-19 Africa: The Role of Technology and Governance, as part of the Kofi A. Annan Lecture Series.

We have the same problems but what we also have is vastly increased urgency – Blair; Agriculture offers Africa its best opportunity for industrialization…the key is how does Africa raise productivity, develop the integrated technology in rural areas? – Adesina

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the challenges and opportunities of Africa’s development landscape, former British prime minister Tony Blair said on Monday in a lecture organized by the African Development Institute in Abidjan.

“We have the same problems but what we also have is vastly increased urgency…not so much a wake-up call but a wake-up command,” Blair said.

The former UK prime minister addressed a virtual audience on the topic Building Back Better in Post COVID-19 Africa: The Role of Technology and Governance, as part of the Kofi A. Annan Lecture Series. The series, launched by the African Development Bank’s African Development Institute in 2006, has covered a range of African and global development topics, including economics, finance, regional integration, human development and the environment. The lectures have been a forum for eminent persons to share policy insights on development challenges in Africa.

Over 4,500 delegates from across the globe including Government Officials, Governors and Executive Directors of the Bank Group, the Bank’s Senior Management, and leading experts and heads of institutions tuned in to the lecture.

In opening remarks, Rabah Arezki, Chief Economist and Vice President for Economic Governance and Knowledge Management of the Bank described the task ahead as “vast and challenging.”

Blair, in his first ever virtual lecture, outlined three aspects which in his words would make a big difference to Africa: investing in industrialization, accelerating technological innovations, and building capacity for institutions to get things done. “There are components to the Bank’s High 5 priorities. All of those things which define the challenges that Africa has – all of those are now given added urgency by Covid and its impact,” Blair said.

To build back better, West Africa, for instance, could capitalize on its rich source of cotton for garment production and the textile industry. Elsewhere on the continent, Africa was already leading in the digital technology space which can be scaled up.

“Around the world you are seeing governments use technology effectively…I know this is a great ambition of the African Development Bank. This is critical,” Blair said.

Blair highlighted the four Ps of government delivery – prioritization, policy, personnel and performance management. On prioritization, Mr. Blair called on African governments to identify and focus on their comparative advantages, and focus on delivery…focus on key transformative projects and manage expectations,” Mr. Blair said.

“In the end, only Africa can do it, we are partners in Africa’s story…in Africa’s progress,” Blair said.

Blair’s speech was followed by a conversation with Bank Group President Akinwumi Adesina, who said the lecture series brought global and national perspectives to the development issues discussed.

“We need to constantly push the frontiers of dialogue in the public sphere,” Adesina said. “Nothing is more topical today than the challenges posed by Covid-19. The pandemic has upended economic growth,” Adesina noted.

Agreeing with Mr. Blair about the importance of the culture of delivery, Adesina said agriculture offered Africa its best opportunity for industrialization. “The key is: how does Africa raise productivity in agriculture…how does it develop the integrated infrastructure in those rural areas…that will allow the creation of new economic sources of prosperity out of what it has?” Adesina asked.

Although the Bank’s Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) initiative had allowed it to reach millions of farmers with agricultural technology and is boosting yields in wheat, there is still the need to scale up. “We have a lot of pilots…The name of the game is scale,” Adesina said.

Adesina cited other key interventions by the Bank, including a $10 billion COVID-19 Response Facility to provide budget support to African countries and its innovative $3 billion COVID-19 social bond, to save livelihoods.

After leaving office, Blair launched the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, which works to equip leaders to build open, inclusive and prosperous societies in an interconnected global world.

Speaking after the seminar, Prof. Kevin Urama, Senior Director of the ADI said the priorities are well mapped out for Africa to build back better. The African Development Institute (ADI) has been at the forefront of accelerating capacity development, technical assistance and policy dialogue on the continent.

*AFDB

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Rep. Bass Introduces Resolution Urging Halt Of Cameroonian Deportations
November 17, 2020 | 0 Comments
Rep Karen Bass
Rep Karen Bass

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressmember Karen Bass (D-CA), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, along with 52 other Members of Congress, introduced a resolution urging for the halt of deportations to Cameroon.

“The United States must uphold its commitments under international treaties related to refugees and asylum-seekers and halt deportations of Cameroonian citizens,” said Congressmember Bass. “Many of the individuals who were deported last week were allegedly improperly coerced to sign voluntary deportation orders. Upon their arrival in Cameroon, many will be at imminent risk of death. To do this while we are transitioning between administrations is outrageous and unacceptable. I urge my colleagues to support this resolution.”

Read the full resolution here.

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