Across the developed world, longstanding advocates of free trade are in retreat. America has withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and stepped back from the World Trade Organisation. Meanwhile, a crisis is brewing at the heart of the European single market.
Recognition has grown that the inequalities generated by trade are not being sufficiently addressed. And this has fuelled an anti-trade populism.
Noting these tumultuous trends, international institutions from the OECD to the International Monetary Fund and G20 have sought to reaffirm the benefits of trade and argued against protectionism.
A quiet revolution
Set against this uproar, an African trade revolution is also quietly afoot. The innovation is the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). A boldly ambitious endeavour, the CFTA seeks to combine the economies of 55 African states under a pan-African free trade area comprising 1.2 billion people in a market with a combined GDP of $2.19 trillion.
Announced in 2012 by the African Union (AU) heads of state and government, the CFTA is the first flagship initiative of the AU’s Agenda 2063. It will reduce tariffs between African countries, introduce mechanisms to address the often more substantial non-tariff barriers, liberalise service sectors, and facilitate cross-border trade. This will also help rationalise the overlapping free trade areas that already exist within Africa.
The CFTA negotiations are complex. The 55 participating countries span a diversity of economic and geographic configurations. 15 are landlocked, while 6 are Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The biggest (Nigeria) has a GDP of $568 billion, while the smallest (Sao Tome & Principe) a GDP of just $337 million.
Many outside observers have been quick to cast pessimism upon the project. This is not just because of the challenging world trade environment and complexity of negotiations, but Africa’s history of trade negotiations.
In particular, the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the European Union and African regional economic communities have proved an infamous failure. Despite 14 years of negotiations, only one EPA – that with Southern Africa – has been concluded.
With expectations low, the rapid progress in the CFTA negotiations is therefore all the more remarkable. The first negotiating forum was launched in February 2016. Since then, five more negotiating rounds have been concluded.
The most recent, held in Niger, determined modalities for trade in goods and services. It also pronounced a level of ambition to liberalise 90% of tariff lines – substantially more than aspired to in the EPAs – and establish a review mechanism to gradually lift this further.
The remainder of 2017 will see technical working group meetings and two more negotiating rounds to refine market access offers and the legal text of the agreement. The intention is to finish negotiations by the end of this year.
One African chief negotiator commenting at the last negotiating round remarked that he had “never seen negotiations move so rapidly”.
Boosting intra-African trade
These impressive achievements are being realised by political commitment at the highest level and a pan-African resolve to cooperate and compromise. Pan-Africanist forefathers like Kwame Nkrumah would be proud.
Success also derives from a shared belief in the project. Studies by the UN Economic Commission for Africa and UNCTAD identify the potential for the CFTA to boost intra-African trade. This would help diversify Africa’s exports away from a dependence on commodities that is little changed since colonial times.
Source: CEPI-BACI Trade Dataset, three year average (2012-14).
Intra-African trade is substantially more diversified than Africa’s trade with the outside world. It comprises a greater share of value-added and industrial products such as textiles, cement, soap, pharmaceuticals, and even automobiles from South Africa as well as primary and processed food items. Services such as banking, telecoms, energy and transport are also being traded across borders. The CFTA forms part of an African strategy for industrialising through trade.
It could also help piece together Africa’s small fragmented markets to realise economies of scale necessary for industrial investment and growth. Niger’s President Issoufou Mahamadou, the African Union Champion for the CFTA, recently lamented looking upon a map of Africa as a “broken mirror”. The CFTA can help to fix this.
Making it a win-win
The CFTA, however, is no panacea. It must be accompanied by investments in infrastructure, energy and trade facilitation.
This is critical if sufficient jobs are to be created for Africa’s youth. 60% of Africa’s population is 24 or below and about to enter the workforce. Yet a shortage of opportunities contributes to high youth unemployment, poverty rates approaching 70%, and pressures to migrate.
It is also important not to overlook the origins of populist sentiment against free trade elsewhere in the world. Trade produces both winners and losers. The problem is that while gains can compensate losses in theory, that is not happening in practice.
Recognition of this has fuelled rethinking of trade policy across the world. For instance, the Canada-European Union trade agreement (CETA) was reworked following the election of the Trudeau administration to better reflect a new “progressive trade policy”.
The CFTA must likewise be crafted as a win-win agreement that leaves no one behind. Here, the UN Economic Commission for Africa has undertaken a human rights impact assessment of the initiative and advocated for a number of supporting measures.
This includes strategies to protect small-holder farmers and help them integrate into regional agricultural value chains. It calls for improving border controls to help informal cross-border traders, many of whom are women and major players in intra-African trade.
It also demands an approach that benefits Africa’s diversity of countries, including those which are small, island economies, landlocked or fragile states. One way to achieve this is by supporting initiatives for regional value chains and connectivity that have proven successful in Africa’s regional economic communities.
Light at the end of the tunnel
Light shines at the end of the tunnel for the CFTA, but obstacles remain. Implementation is a key but persistent challenge on the continent. To quote Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former Chairperson of the AU Commission, “I don’t think Africa is short of policies. We have to implement. That is where the problem is”.
The commitment and belief shown in the CFTA by African leaders must be seen through for the benefits of the CFTA to be realised.
The reward would appear to be worth it. Africa’s consumer market is the fastest growing in the world. In just over 30 years from now, by 2050, it will comprise a population larger than that of India and China combined. This is the right time to seize the opportunities generated by such a large market.
*African Arguments.David Luke is Coordinator of the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
Mastercard Foundation Scholars to receive seed funding and mentorship to lead impactful projects in their communities
Intersect for the Mastercard Foundation. The 2017 Resolution Social Venture Challenge winners will receive a fellowship that includes seed funding, mentorship and access to a network of young global changemakers to pursue impactful projects in their communities.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, July 19, 2017 – Ten teams of 21 budding African social entrepreneurs have been selected as winners of the Resolution Social Venture Challenge at the Baobab Summit in Johannesburg. Winning teams earn a fellowship that includes seed funding, mentorship and access to a network of young global changemakers to pursue impactful projects in their communities. A collaboration between the Mastercard Foundation and The Resolution Project, the Resolution Social Venture Challenge provides a pathway to action for socially responsible young leaders who want to create change that matters in their communities.
“Giving back to your community is an important part of the Scholars Program, yet few young leaders have the opportunity to make an impact at a young age,” explains Ashley Collier, Manager of the Scholars Community. “The Social Venture Challenge equips these young leaders with the tools, resources, mentorship and capital they need to ensure that their venture is successful, and to maximize their impact.”
Winners of the 2017 Social Venture Challenge say that:
“Winning the Challenge is an important milestone that will allow me to address problems faced by tea farmers in my community,” explains John Wanjiku, a Mastercard Foundation Scholar at the University of Pretoria. “With my project Ukulima Halisi, I hope to improve the tea collection process, both reducing the costs associated with spoiled tea leaves, and cutting down on the time Kenyan farmers spend waiting for tea collection. By shortening this process, Ukulima Halisi will provide farmers with additional time to engage in other economic activities that could increase their income, as well as preventing illnesses that occur when farmers spend long hours waiting for tea collection.”
“Winning the Social Venture Challenge will help us achieve our goals, communicating to our community in Baringo County, the huge potential in honey production,” says Sylvia Mwangi, a Mastercard Foundation Scholar from the University of Toronto. “With the mentorship offered to winners of the Challenge, we will design capacity-building workshops in bee-keeping that will change how women spend their days, and we will develop sales channels that will reduce the exploitation by middlemen.”
In 2016, the Mastercard Foundation first partnered with The Resolution Project, offering 16 Scholars on five competing teams the opportunity to pursue their aspirations and increase their appetite for leadership and impact. Winning projects address a wide range of challenges Scholars observed first-hand in their communities, including food security, access to sanitation, and young women’s access to reproductive health education.
Impact evaluation data reported by The Resolution Project shows that, while type and reach of impact varies, an average of 3,200 community members benefit per fellowship awarded. With over 350 Resolution Fellows active in 65 countries, more than 1.2 million people worldwide have been positively impacted by their work. They are driving progress in their communities, making each Resolution Fellow a change agent and a force for good.
“We are fortunate to have such an outstanding partner in the Mastercard Foundation,” says George M. Tsiatis, CEO & Co-Founder of The Resolution Project. “The Foundation saw the work that we were doing and the ideas that their Scholars had-it was a perfect match, and we are thrilled to be expanding our efforts together to give these young leaders a platform from which to launch lifetimes of impact!”
The 2017 cohort of Social Venture Challenge winners include projects based in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ghana Uganda, Rwanda, and the United States:
* AgriMatters – Clive Matsika – Arizona State University
With his AgriMatters initiative, Clive will partner with local fertilizer companies in Zimbabwe, harnessing nanotechnology to manufacture Greenfert, a rich, environmentally friendly fertilizer that can be sold to farmers at a reduced cost.
* Baringo Asali – Sylvia Mwangi – University of Toronto
By working closely with marginalized communities in Baringo, Kenya, Sylvia aims to increase local revenue generated from honey production. Through partnerships with local and international apiaries, Sylvia will roll out training in advanced beekeeping techniques and local community skills training.
* Dash for Girls – Frances Aanyu, Agatha Akello and Lisa Anenocan – Makerere University
Frances, Agatha and Lisa are working to empower the girl child in Karamoja, Uganda, by providing access to correct and accurate information about the dangers of teenage pregnancy so as to help them make informed decisions.
* ECO Sanitation Services – Kwabena Adu-Darkwa, Abraham Addy and Justice Nyamadi – Ashesi University College
Kwabena, Abraham and Justice are working together to tackle the problem of the 2.4 billion people world-wide who lack access to safe toilets. Eco Sanitation Services (ECOSaS) provides environmentally friendly and affordable micro-flush toilets to low-income earners, supporting them with a flexible payment system.
* Prawji-Mama Food Bank – Pauline Nalumansi and Ephrance Kalungi – Arizona State University
With Prawji-Mama Food Bank, Pauline and Ephrance are working to develop a sustainable food bank system supported by youth entrepreneurship and technology to overcome hunger in rural communities.
* Rwanda Youth Initiative for Agricultural Transformation – Annet Mukamurenzi, Gerard Ndayishimiye and Yvette Abizeyimana – EARTH University
By working with vulnerable farming communities across Rwanda, Annet, Gerard and Yvette are committed to improving food security. They will equip smallholder farmers with modern farming skills, strategies and technologies to grow sustainable food security solutions and protect the environment.
* Sparky Thermal Dehydrator – Kayiza Isma and Nsubuga Thomas – Makerere University
To address post-harvest losses, a leading cause of food insecurity in Uganda, Kayiza and Nsubuga will introduce the Sparky thermal dehydrator. Sparky, which operates using bio-fuels as a source of energy, is a low-cost, efficient device that dries farm produce 10 times faster than the conventional sun drying methods.
* Strong Women, Strong Love – Ritah Arishaba and Alpha Ngwenya – Arizona State University
From Uganda to America, Ritah and Alpha are providing health education and feminine hygiene products to homeless and economically disadvantaged women. In Uganda, the pair will be teaching young women and girls to make their own sanitary products.
* Ukulima Halisi – John Wanjiku – University of Pretoria
Most tea farmers in Kangema, Kenya, spend a lot of time waiting for their tea leaves to be collected. But, John believes, if farmers had access to tea leaves collection schedules, farmers would have more time to devote to other farming activities and improve their incomes.
* ZAZI Growers’ Network – Thabu Mugala, Tanyaradzwa Chinyukwi and Martinho Tembo – EARTH University
Thabu, Tanyaradzwa and Martinho are committed to empowering and connecting women farmers in rural Zimuto, Zimbabwe. ZAZI Growers’ Network will provide women farmers with technical agricultural training and mentorship to help them improve their crop yields and enhance the community’s development.
The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Africa. As one of the largest private foundations, its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by Mastercard when the Foundation was created in 2006.The Resolution Project is a unique pathway to action for aspiring young social entrepreneurs. Founded in 2007, Resolution identifies young leaders through Social Venture Challenges and empowers them to make a positive impact today through Resolution Fellowships. Resolution Fellows receive dynamic, hands-on support to implement their ventures and to develop as socially responsible leaders. With over 350 Resolution Fellows on all 6 inhabited continents, working in diverse, high-impact fields such as education, healthcare, human rights, water resources, and sustainability, Resolution is building a generation of leaders with a lifelong commitment to social responsibility. To date, Resolution Fellows have impacted over 1.2 million people with their work. The Resolution Project, Inc. is a 501(c) 3) nonprofit organization.
WASHINGTON – July 20, 2017 – The Initiative for Global Development (IGD) is pleased to announce the official launch of “Making Farming Cool!”, a new podcast series that aims to inspire and inform African young people to pursue careers and entrepreneurship in the agricultural value chain through vibrant African music and compelling interviews.
Produced by Afropop Worldwide, a Peabody award-winning radio program and online magazine dedicated to music from Africa and the African diaspora, Cameroonian-born veteran broadcaster Georges Collinet will host the podcast series. The podcast series is a component of the Africa Investment Rising (AIR) campaign, IGD’s dynamic communications and advocacy effort.
Agriculture is the engine driving in many African economies. While job opportunities exist in the agricultural value chain, young people are largely not entering the agriculture sector.
An estimated 25 million young people are expected enter the job market each year in Africa by 2025. To absorb the new entrants in the labor force, more than 10 million new jobs per year will have to be created in rural areas in the next two decades, according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).
“We’re thrilled to launch the ‘Making Farming Cool!’ podcast series,” said Mima S. Nedelcovych, IGD President. “The podcast series has a youthful vibe and will feature compelling interviews with private sector leaders and experts working in agriculture to draw attention to the tremendous business opportunities for growth and innovation in the agriculture sector.”
In the first episode, host Georges Collinet will take listeners on a captivating journey through South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province to meet Siehle Zealous Sibisi, a 28-year-old who manages his family’s successful sugarcane farm, TBS Holdings, which produces 30,000 tons of sugar a year. TBS Holdings is a supplier of IGD Frontier Leader Illovo Sugar Group. Listeners will also hear about how the family business is a successful model of South Africa’s post-apartheid land restitution program.
IGD Frontier Leaders listened to a preview of the a podcast episode featuring Dr. Abdu Mukhtar, Group Chief Strategy Officer of Dangote Industries Limitedduring a May 5 evening reception at the Frontier 100 Forum in Durban, South Africa.
The podcast series will be distributed through IGD’s media partners and initially broadcast in three target media markets: Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. The series will also be distributed in the U.S. through Afropop Worldwide.
The director of UNDP Africa visting the factory started by a RWANDAN ENTREPRENEUR partcipant in Youth CONNECT
Ahead of a high level pan -African youth summit, some Rwandan young entrepreneurs said they have been empowered by Youth connect, local youth empowerment program that will be scaled across Africa amid increasing youth unemployment on the continent.
Rwanda’s Youth connect initiative was launched in recent years to deal with youth development issues including unemployment, skills gap ,access to finance, while promoting entrepreneurship and leadership .
Mr. Cephas Nshimiyumuremyi, a young entrepreneur from northern Rwanda told the media on Monday the youth platform gave him exposure, opportunity to learn and network with thousands of youth participants and leaders from private and public sectors in the multifaceted program.
“Youth connect is a big program especially for aspiring young entrepreneurs,” in my view, it means exposure and opportunity to market your business project,” said Nshimiyumuremyi
According to the young entrepreneur the program is also empowering, as beneficiaries participate in entrepreneurship boot camps where the promising ones are awarded.
Nshimiyumuremyi was the top winner in 2013 and received Rwf 3,000,000 million (USD 3,500), currently he owns a factory that makes body lotions and soaps from medicinal plants.
About 4,000 youth participated in previous editions of the youth program.
Following the achievements of Rwanda, some African countries want to replicate the best practices from the youth initiative.
Tomorrow the inaugural Youth Connect Africa summits officially kick off in Kigali, under the theme ‘From Potential to Success’.
The event hosted by Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame is expected to bring together 2500 delegates including heads of state, executives from multinational companies that operate in Africa, civil society organizations, and successful entrepreneurs among others.
Speaking to the press, Mr . Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, the Director of UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa; who visited some young entrepreneurs from Rwanda on Monday ; revealed when he travels across Africa ,many young Africans ask him about Rwanda’s youth connect .
According to UNDP, Liberia, Congo Brazaville and Lesotho have already launched the program, while Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Uganda have expressed interest in the youth development model.
“My expectation is that after we finish the conference, we will create a great movement of young African people,” Mr. Abdoulaye noted
“Youth connect Rwanda where movement started will connect all (African) youth so that they can exchange views,”
According to UNDP, on average young people make up more than 50 percent of the population of most African countries.
Mr THEODORE NZABONIMPA YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR IN HOSPITALITY SECTOR HE WAS TALKING ABOUT HIS BUSINESS AND EXPERIENCE IN YOUTH CONNECT PLATFORM
Despite the big number of young population, observers say there are still many who are desperate as they are not supported to become change agents or entrepreneurs.
The director of UNDP Regional Bureau of Africa further urged African policymakers to give the youth space and trust.
“By giving them space, I mean many things: for instance invest in education” he explained” when you look at our budget is very low “
According to Abdoulaye, on average investment in Africa’s education sector is between 16 to 18 percent of national budgets, adding it should be increased to 25 or 40 percent.
The summit organizers say the pan African youth development initiative targets to create 10 million jobs by 2020 in sustainable job environments in emerging industries, 25 million opportunities through training & enrolment in workplaces.
Official figures show Africa has the youngest population in the world: 226 million aged between 15 & 24 and it is projected to increase by 42 percent by 2030 and 50 by 2055.
Theodore Nzabonimpa, another young Rwandan who ventured into hospitality, told the media he wanted” to inspire other youth especially university and college graduate graduates to create their own jobs as the labor market is limited.
“Empowering youth and give them the tools is what they want, creativity is theirs,” said the leader of UNDP Africa
As part of Kigali Summit, Youth Connect Africa Hub and Youth Connect Africa Empowerment Fund will be launched.
President John Magufuli with World Bank president Jim Kim. Credit: Sarah Farhat/World Bank.
Ever since his election in 2015, Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has been a subject of public fascination. At first, his war on graft promised to cleanse the state of corruption, while his patriotic thrift inspired the hashtag
But as this campaign of tumbua majipu (“lance the boils”) was becoming old news, Magufuli became associated with another d-word. To “development” was added “dictatorship”. Public rallies were banned, radio stations shut down, and newspapers publicly threatened. It became apparent that Tanzania was taking a sharp authoritarian turn.
Now, Magufuli’s image is shape-shifting once again. Over a matter of days earlier this month, the president turned Tanzania’s mining policy on its head. A regime of low taxes, free enterprise and light-touch regulation ended at the stroke of a pen. Magufuli assumed a new identity: the president that took on the multinationals.
Confronting the miners
The changes began in earnest on 3 March, when Magufuli imposed a ban on exporting unprocessed mineral ores. Containers holding copper-gold concentrates began to gather in the port of Dar es Salaam. On 29 March, Magufuli appointed a committee to chemically examine the contents of the containers, which belonged to Acacia Mining, a subsidiary of Barrick Gold.
That committee claimed that the containers held more than 14 times the quantity of gold Acacia had reported. They concluded that the company had been trying to swindle the government, and had probably been doing so for years. A series of estimates were circulated about how much Tanzania might have lost over the years.
Acacia Mining flatly denies the allegations and insists the Tanzanian government routinely samples containers at the mine site. Others suggest that customs checks are lax and trust the Office of the President more than a foreign company. Either way, the government’s alleged proof of Acacia’s underreporting has been used as a pretext for action.
Earlier this month, the National Assembly passed three bills which effectively overhaul Tanzania’s mining policy regime. The royalty rate on gold is raised from 4% to 6%. The government is entitled to a 16% share of mining companies stock without compensation, and empowered to purchase a further 34%. The regulation banning the exportation of concentrates and unprocessed minerals now has the permanence of an act of law , and 1% clearing fee is to be levied on mineral exports.
A break with the past
Magufuli’s austerity and intolerance for corruption were popularly interpreted as a departure from the clientelism and expanding government spending popularly associated with Jakaya Kikwete, his immediate predecessor. But if the first act of Magufuli’s presidency represented a break from Kikwete, the next signifies a break with former presidents Ali Hassan Mwinyi and Benjamin Mkapa.
It was Mwinyi who presided over the liberalisation of the economy and privatisations of the early 1990s. And it was Mkapa and the World Bank that drew up the 1998 Mining Act, which established the policy framework that governed Tanzania until two weeks ago.
That law not only introduced a gold royalty rate of 3% and a smooth license application process. It also created the most controversial aspect of Tanzania’s mining policy: development agreements. These contracts, negotiated between mining companies and the government, were almost never made public. They typically included reduced royalty rates, tax exemptions, and legal assurances that mines would be safe from government interference and seizure.
Magafuli’s new legislation explicitly write development agreements out of Tanzanian law. This move not only tears up contracts with mining companies, but also tears up the consensus on mining policy within the ruling party. Speaking at a public rally two week ago, Magufuli complained: “We privatised even strategic institutions like the railways corporation. It’s like we decided to leave each and everything to investors, which was wrong.”
The passage of these recent acts will not close the issue. Tanzania wants foreign investment just as mining companies want the favour of government. Magufuli compromises when he needs to. He settled a dispute with Dangote in 2016, and it is likely that he will amend recent changes to mining if he needs to. But until recently, mining companies seemed determined to slow down reforms at every turn. The president’s legislative spree makes clear that the government is not to be trifled with. His actions are as much pre-negotiation tactics as they are about unilaterally creating a new mining regime.
Below the surface, Magufuli’s changes are also about party politics. The president’s approval ratings stood at 71% this June, down from 96% a year ago, though part of the difference may be down to survey question wording and methodology. These ratings might still seem sky high, but a combination of social desirability bias and civic duty make Tanzanians almost always answer in the affirmative to questions about presidential approval. By Tanzanian standards, 71% is poor. In fact, it is the worst rate any Tanzanian president has ever received.
The public trusts the ruling CCM over the opposition on almost every area of government. But for a decade, natural resource governance has been a rare issue on which the opposition is strong and on the right side of opinion. In 2007, opposition party Chadema launched a public opinion and party-building exercise called Operation Sangara. Sangara (meaning “Nile perch”) was used as symbol both for CCM’s “big fish” preying on ordinary Tanzanians, and for the nation’s natural wealth that CCM was colluding with foreign business to plunder. Chadema took this message to the regions that encircle Lake Victoria, which are also home to Tanzanian’s largest gold mines. In the 2010 elections, they made gains across the Lake Zone.
Typically, the more that CCM has tried to play catch-up on mining policy, the happier the opposition has been. For example, when Kikwete established the Bomani Commission to recommend changes to mining policy and extracted concessions from the mining companies, the opposition jeered. They denounced the compromises, cheap talk and close relationships between CCM and business. They are still pressing the issue particularly hard against Kikwete, who presided over several of the first licenses for Tanzania’s largest mines while Minister for Water and Energy from 1990 to 1994.
Magufuli’s foray into mining policy differs from those of his predecessors. While Mkapa and Kikwete favoured incentives and negotiation, Magufuli favours action and theatrics. It was no accident that Magufuli declared that “the world is currently fighting an economic war”. He is putting clear water between himself and the mining companies, and stealing the opposition’s clothes in the process. If anyone still doubted that parties compete over issue ownership in Tanzania, they should think again.
By picking a fight with multinational companies, Magufuli is intentionally stirring popular memories of Tanzania’s first president, Julius Nyerere. In Tanzania, political morality is understood in terms of finding one’s way back to Nyerere. By espousing the language of sovereignty and economic war, Magufuli is tapping into political memories of liberation struggle and revolution. While Magufuli is marking a break from his predecessors, he is still invoking a romanticised idea of the past.
The events of two weeks ago amount to a radical overhaul of Tanzanian mining policy, but also a masterclass in political manoeuvring. This is not to cast aspersions about the sincerity of Magufuli’s intentions to reform the mining sector, but to illustrate that those reforms serves several purposes at once.
Magufuli’s critics often accuse him of impulsiveness. In May this year, The Economist wrote that “he has a worrying tendency not to think things through”. But whatever one thinks of the merits of pressing the mining companies hard, all signs suggest that Magufuli is in fact thinking hard, and not only about the economic but the political too.
*Source African Arguments.Dan Paget is a PhD student at the University of Oxford, focusing on contemporary Tanzanian politics. You can follow him on Twitter at @pandaget and see more of his work on danpaget.com.
(Marrakech July 15, 2017.)- BELIEVE IN AFRICA (BIA), will be hosting is second Believe in Africa Day conference on Monday September 11 – 12, 2017, at the Four Seasons Hotel, in Marrakech, Morocco
Believe in Africa has chosen Morocco, the picturesque “Western Kingdom – a place the sun sets,” for this year’s “Woman and Agriculture” conference. Hosting this conference in the Africa continent closer to home will bring together a cross-fertilization of ideas and home grown solutions from more than 500 delegates representing the diverse face of leading Africans in politics, business, regional/international experts in financing, technology and innovation, climate change and access to markets, including the voices of members of non-governmental organizations and institutions. By bringing people together, BIA 2017 will be the place where the pivotal role African women play, and contribute, in agriculture and sustainable development will be discussed and honoured.
“Our choice of Morocco is not fortuitous. With the efforts deployed by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, King of Morocco with his clear vision and leadership in advancing African economic integration and enhancing the collaboration between, and within, African countries, was the inspiration behind our decision to choose Morocco for this year’s conference, for the first time in the African continent, “said Mrs. Angelle KWEMO, president of the association and president of the Congress. She added that “Women and Agriculture” wishes to create a platform to empower women.
“Morocco is one of the most economically dynamic African countries. Geographically, and strategically located, Morocco is a bridge to Europe and the U.S. for Africa and a leader for South-South trade. It is certain that during this Congress we will learn a lot from the Moroccan experience in developing and expanding its agriculture sector. With the strong support of our conference partner, the OCP Group,world leader in phosphates and derivatives production, this conference will bring visibility to women who work daily in fields across Africa, concludes Mrs. Kwemo.
Another partner is the United Nations Women organization and BEYA Capital, a pioneer Casablanca-based climate investment and advisory firm that joined several global partners to organize the innovative Global Climate Finance Action Summit 2016 (GCFA 2016) during COP22. GCFA Summit made history by convening high-level international public and private sector leaders to discuss scaling actionable solutions to unlock climate finance flows towards developing countries, with a particular focus on Africa. Mustapha MOKASS, Founder & CEO of BEYA Capital stated “Women are the backbone of Africa food security and Climate change mitigation. Empowering them equals empowering the world”. He added “we are proud to join Believe in Africa in this historical event to showcasing concrete financial solutions to African women entrepreneurs’ projects to Climate Change Adaptation as a prelude to the upcoming gathering of GCFA Investors Platform on September 18/19 during NY Climate Week and during upcoming COP23 in Bonn (Germany).”
To drive our stimulating BIA 2017 agenda, we welcome our strategic partners, Washington Media Group, Reseau des Femmes Artisanes du Maroc (RESFAM), Africa 24 TV,Forbes Africa,AllAfrica.com, Horizon Africa, Inside Consulting … and others will soon be joining us in moving our agenda forward.
Believe in Africa (www.believeinafrica.org) is an African diaspora-led initiative founded by former U.S. congressional staffers and African leaders in the U.S. to empower Women and young Africans, to harness the power of the African Diaspora, educate policy makers and the public about African economic growth and highlight the continent’s gradual rise in the global community.
Election campaigns kicked off across the country yesterday with the three candidates in this year’s presidential race addressing different rallies to woo voters.
Incumbent President Paul Kagame of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) launched his campaign in the Southern Province’s district of Ruhango, before addressing another rally in Nyanza.
The Democratic Green Party candidate, Frank Habineza, was in Muganza Sector, Rusizi District, while Philippe Mpayimana, an independent, addressed rallies in Nyamata and Gashora sectors in Bugesera District.
On Kagame’s way, thousands of supporters lined the streets from the city centre to the busy commercial centre of Nyabugogo, hoping tocatch a glimpse of their favourite candidate.
The mood turned celebratory and cheers and ululations filled the streets as his convoy snaked through the streets to make his way to the area where he was born some 59 years ago.
“It was a busy morning on the streets but it all of a sudden changed. Normally, Fridays here are too busy but it feels like a Sunday,” he said.
RPF flags and other campaign materials and party colours dominated many public spaces including all the major roundabouts around Kigali.
Also, several cars with RPF stickers could be seen.
Away from the city centre, it was slightly colourful day on the streets of Remera.
At the Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) junction, three large pots colorfully branded with RPF-Inkotanyi colors are connected by the party’s flag, forming a triangle in the middle of the road creating a much needed roundabout.
In a phone interview with Saturday Times, Habineza cheerfully said that his first day had been a success.
“It was a huge success. The turnout was good and we expect it to be even better tomorrow [today]. The Sector, District and Police authorities were all present and even when some people tried to discourage our supporters from coming for the rally, they stepped in and intervened. Overall, everything went well,” he said.
Today, Habineza heads to Nyamasheke District, Kagame goes to Nyaruguru and Gisagara, while Mpayimana will be campaigning in Muhanga and Nyanza districts.
The Executive Secretary of the National Electoral Commission, Charles Munyaneza, told Saturday Times that generally reports from the field from NEC representatives were positive.
“Residents showed up and, overall, the process was peaceful. Of course, at the beginning there are some small negligible hiccups like time keeping and we are hoping that tomorrow [today] and other days that follow will be much better,” he said.
In a Tweet, the Ministry of Local Government said yesterday’s presidential campaigns kicked off across the country smoothly.
“We wish Rwandans peaceful campaigns and smooth preparations for elections. All the rallies today were peaceful,” It said.
Theos Badege, the Police Spokesman, also said it was a perfect day in terms of security.
“Whether it was at the campaign venue or road safety, everything went well especially because of the cooperation between different stakeholders such as local authorities.
“People complied with our call. We encourage them to keep the tranquil and to respect the law and to make sure that vehicles are not overloaded, have insurance, and maintain the required speed on the roads.”- Marie-Jose Mukarwego
Photo: Africa Economy Builders Babacar Ndiaye (right) presenting the Africa Economy Builders Award to Ambassador Harold E. Doley, Jr. in Abidjan in April.
New Orleans — The Greek mythological Titan of Forethought, Prometheus, dared to disobey Zeus’ wishes by sharing fire and heat with humanity. His punishment was to be shackled to the Caucasus Mountains (The derivation of Caucasian comes from the people of the Caucasus Mountains.).
This humane act for humankind led to eternal condemnation. Each day, the eagles ate Prometheus’s organs, but because he was a Titan (i.e. god), the organs grew back. Prometheus endured this daily fate until Hercules broke his chains.
Babacar Ndiaye, who passed away in Dakar yesterday, lived the life of Prometheus. He did what he knew was right and paid the price many times over.
Many people that he helped throughout his life hurt him and hurt him dearly. I personally saw him reconcile with each one of those people, even though just one of those blows could have been mortal.
Babacar was a religious man who knew the Koran as well as the Old and New Testaments and understood that we are all One. He recognized that Ishmael, Abraham’s first son, was the forbearer of Islam. He knew the Old Testament teachings that Noah son Ham’s descendants are Black, cursed to always be the servant of servants (slaves). In the New Testament, Babacar liked to point out that two men carried the cross to Calvary, Jesus and Simon of Cyrene, a black man.
God and history created Babacar, who was a compilation of Prometheus, Ishmael, Ham and Simon of Cyrene.
One little known anecdote is that – when the superpowers agreed in 1991 that the next Secretary General of the United Nations should be an African – Babacar Ndiaye was next in line for the position, had Boutros Boutros-Ghali not prevailed following a stalemate in the voting. Another unknown gem is that Babacar was asked by Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi to deliver his wish to Washington to reconcile with the United States.
Perhaps most important was Babacar’s behind-the-scenes contribution to ending apartheid. In 1985, the year Babacar became AfDB President, Hughlyn Fierce, senior executive vice president of Chase Bank in New York, won approval for the Bank to refuse to renew the debt of South Africa. This decision immediately put the white government in default, forcing the closure of the foreign currency exchange window and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Less than 60 days later, President P.W. Botha gave his Rubicon speech in Durban and spoke of the ‘new’ South Africa. Within a matter of weeks, Nelson Mandela was moved from prison to a halfway house, and the lengthy negotiations that led to the country’s first non-racial elections in 1994 were underway.
Babacar quietly supported Chase Bank in extraordinary ways, and It was the cooperation of these two men of color – Fierce and Ndiaye – which helped to bring about this remarkable change.
Throughout his career, Babacar handled tens of billions of dollars. Yet he did not die a wealthy man in monetary terms. What he accomplished was to do his job extraordinarily well.
Now that his earthly chains have been broken, we need not cry for Babacar. We should, however, mourn the fact that Africa has lost a great titan to whom we all are indebted..
*Allafrica.Ambassador Harold E. Doley, Jr. (Ret.) was the first U.S. Executive Director to the African Development Bank and Fund.
Former president Thabo Mbeki has resurrected the ghosts of the ANC’s elective conference in Polokwane, saying lies were used to oust him.
Thabo Mbeki – former president of South Africa
Mbeki was speaking during a more than two-hour interview with Gauteng-based radio station Power FM on Thursday night. He said the “habit of telling lies” had crept into the party at the 2007 conference.
“A lot of what happened at that conference was based on lies. Lies were told to Juju [Julius Malema] by people. He had no reason to disbelieve it and, quite correctly, he acted on the lies. And then he discovers much later that he was lied to,” Mbeki said, to the amusement of the audience.
Malema was one of those who led Jacob Zuma’s presidential campaign, alongside former Cosatu president Zwelinzima Vavi and SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande.
Both Malema and Vavi have since apologised for their campaign, while Nzimande has said he felt betrayed by Zuma.
Mbeki was running for a third term as ANC president in 2007, but faced a bruising defeat to his then deputy, Zuma.
Mbeki had fired Zuma in 2006, after he was implicated during the fraud and corruption trial of his financial advisor, Schabir Shaik.
Malema, who was in the audience, backed Mbeki and said they had been “misled”.
‘Zuma was corrupt’
He told the audience gathered in Sandton that they had been told two lies: that Mbeki wanted to amend the Constitution to remain president of the country forever, and that he was concocting charges against Zuma.
“And thank God, we lived to see it for ourselves that no one was concocting charges. Zuma was corrupt. He still got new accusations in the absence of those concocting charges against him,” Malema said.
Zuma, at the time, faced 783 charges, stemming from the 1999 arms deal. The DA has been waging an eight-year battle to have the charges reinstated after then-National Prosecuting Authority boss Mokotedi Mpshe dropped the charges against Zuma.
Mbeki said the watershed conference had refused to discuss his political report that detailed the problems which were plaguing the ANC today.
He said the same problems were now contained in secretary general Gwede Mantashe’s diagnostic report delivered at the party’s policy conference last week.
Mantashe’s report talked about state capture by the Gupta family, factionalism and gatekeeping. Mbeki said that Mantashe had, however, failed to address the use of “lies to achieve particular objectives”.
Mbeki said he had warned in his 2007 political report that the ANC risked losing support.
“I say that in 2012, we going to celebrate centenary of ANC. We must be careful that we are not the only people who celebrate that centenary, and the rest of country stays away because of our misbehaviour.
“They didn’t want to discuss it because a lot of what happened at that conference was based on lies,” Mbeki said at the time.
Cape Town — Comedian Dave Chappelle had the opportunity to chat with hip-hop rapper Kendrick Lamar for Interview Magazine.
Their conversation finds them touching on the few things they have in common, including their love of hip-hop, and being black and famous. They also bonded over the experience of visiting Africa, with Lamar specifically pointing to his visit to South Africa as his “I made it” moment.
The rapper talks about how going to South Africa was an illuminating experience;
“I went to South Africa – Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg – and those were definitely the ‘I’ve arrived’ shows,” Lamar said. “Outside of the money, the success, the accolades… This is a place that we, in urban communities, never dream of. We never dream of Africa. Like, ‘Damn, this is the motherland.’ You feel it as soon as you touch down. That moment changed my whole perspective on how to convey my art.’
The award-winning singer performed in South Africa in 2014. He pointed that the visit had a huge influence on his career.
Kendrick Lamar has received a number of accolades over the course of his career, including seven Grammy Awards. The rapper appeared for the first time on the Time 100 list of most influential people in 2016. His latest album, Damn, was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Lamar kicked off his DAMN tour on July 12, but he is not touring any African countries – yet.
Photo: The Citizen A child under mosquito net to prevent malaria.
The minister of Health and Social Welfare Saffie Lowe Ceesay has stated that The Gambia is poised to become the fourth country to eliminate malaria within its boarder, adding that more resources and collaboration is required to reach these monumental achievements.
The minister of Health made these remarks at the Sheraton Hotel on behalf of President Adama Barrow at the celebration of the Progress Towards Eliminating Malaria in The Gambia.
She added that support from the private and institutional donors is critical to win this battle against malaria in The Gambia and West Africa as a whole, saying that malaria has historically being one of the leading causes of mortality among children under-5 in The Gambia.
“It is therefore critical that we continue to pay more attention by making services closer to the communities, promote and mobilize communities to utilise the services and also adopt behaviours and practises that prevent infection such as; consistent sleeping under insecticides nets. “My government will continue to create the enabling environment and facilities for Gambia free of malaria scope,” she added.
Minister Ceesay stated that in 2007, The Gambia has the highest record of ITN used by children under-5 and pregnant women in the whole of Africa. Studies conducted by MRC and NMCP revealed that there is a general decline in malaria incidence in the country by 50%. Admissions due to malaria at the hospitals and health facilities, dropped by 74% and deaths attributed to malaria have dropped by 90%, thus malaria parasite prevalence dropped from 4.0% in 2011 to 0.2% in 2014, according to the Malaria Indicator Survey.
Minister Ceesay added that access to laboratory for malaria has also increased through expansion of high quality and consistent availability of laboratory services in the health centres and hospitals.
She added that despite successes, there are still challenges facing the Gambia’s ability to eliminate malaria. Malaria transmission is still ongoing, more in the eastern than in the western part of The Gambia.
For her part, the United State ambassador to The Gambia Patricia Alsup said the U.S. government is committed to supporting the ideals of the New Gambian administration. “We are convinced that in a country like The Gambia, with a government like President Barrow’s, and with the right tools and strategies, malaria can be eliminated,” she said.
Ambassador Alsup added that the war against malaria has been waged for many years now. During the past decade, three major initiatives were launched to help control malaria, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in 2002, the World Bank Malaria Booster Programme in 2004, and the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) in 2005.
According to her, malaria prevention and control is a major U.S. foreign assistance objective which fully aligns with the U.S. Government’s vision of ending preventable child and maternal deaths and ending extreme poverty. The U.S. Government has taken extraordinary steps to curb the spread of this preventable and curable disease, including partnerships with host country governments, the Global Fund, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank Booster Programme for Malaria Control, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and many others.
She revealed that the United States is the world’s largest donor to malaria control and elimination programmes, contributing over 50 percent of all donor funding. This funding, she said, is channelled through both international organisations such as the Global Fund, and local organisations involved in anti-malaria efforts.
Photo: allafrica.com President Edgar Lungu and opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema (file photo).
It seems like Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu is seeking to consolidate his power.
Just last week, he seized on the fact that an arsonist had torched the capital Lusaka’s main market, to declare a state of threatened emergency. The declaration, among other things, allows police to ban public meetings and impose travel restrictions, actions that suppress dissent.
The parliament voted to approve these emergency powers. But in June, the parliament suspended 48 members of parliament from the opposition United Party for National Development for a month without pay for refusing to attend an address by Lungu. These members had no chance to vote on the emergency powers.
That month, opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema – who narrowly lost both the 2015 by-election and 2016 presidential election to Lungu – was arrested and charged with treason. Treason is a non-bailable offense in Zambia, carrying a minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum of a death sentence. The official police statement alleges that Hichilema showed “unreasonable, reckless and criminal” behavior toward the president and caused “unnecessary anarchy.” Yet the charges relate to a traffic violation, at best, as Hichilema’s motorcade failed to ease passage for the presidential motorcade. There was no altercation or collision and no injuries were reported.
The Non-Governmental Organisation Coordinating Council condemned Hichilema’s arrest on “trumped-up charges,” calling it “a recipe to heighten tension in an already volatile economic and political environment.” Harsher criticism came from the traditionally coy Conference of Catholic Bishops and other church leaders, who stated that under Lungu, “Zambia eminently qualifies to be branded a dictatorship.”
Around that time, we were part of a Human Rights Watch team that visited Zambia. Many of the people we met worried about the dark clouds of political intolerance. They feared it could threaten the country’s multi-party politics, introduced in 1991 after nearly three decades of dictatorship, and its legacy of peaceful elections and transitions of power.
Because the government is considering leaving the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Lungu called for popular consultations to decide if the country should make this move. An overwhelming 93.3 percent of people who participated in the consultations said they supported remaining with the ICC. We were there to see that the government officially reported and committed to abiding by the consultation results. We were heartened to see how much the people of Zambia cared about justice.
Lungu should keep in mind that stripping people of their rights will not solve Zambia’s problems. It will only make them worse.
Tebily produced his first brand of Cognac in 2013, five years after quitting football
Footballers have long relied on the terraces for inspiration but when Olivier Tebily does so these days, he is looking at rows of vines – not fans.
While many footballers’ post-playing plans involve staying in the game, the former Ivory Coast international has eschewed that to quietly focus on his second passion.
Footballers and alcohol have long gone together, often badly, but the former Birmingham City defender is unique in actually creating the product.
What’s more, the treble winner with Celtic is doing so in Cognac, home to some of France’s – and the world’s – most celebrated vineyards.
For similar to champagne, only the brandy made in the region can bear the prestigious name Cognac.
As for whether the 41-year-old is just another footballer flashing his cash on a pet project, consider this – he bought his first vineyard in his late teens.
“When I signed my first professional contract, I bought two hectares,” Tebily told the BBC, standing amidst his vines in the south-western French village of Salles-d’Angles.
“I said to myself: ‘If I get an injury and football stops, I will have something to carry on with.'”
Tebily scored few goals during his career but managed two with Celtic, with whom he won a Scottish treble in 2001
“I did that because I used to work on this land to get a little bit of pocket money to go on holiday – to the seaside with my friends – before turning professional.”
“It’s really difficult to become a professional so I bought this straight away to insure myself.”
It was 1993 when Tebily signed for second-tier French side Niort, an hour’s drive from Poitiers, the south-western city on the edge of the Cognac region where his parents relocated from Abidjan when he was a toddler.
It was the start of a journey that took him, following brief spells with Chateauroux and Sheffield United, to the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations, a Scottish treble in 2001 and a four-year Premier League adventure with Birmingham.
After suffering a bad injury just weeks after joining Canada’s Toronto FC, Tebily cut short a four-and-a-half-year contract to return to the vineyards.
There was however a fundamental problem.
Land in Cognac is both expensive and seldom available – and Tebily didn’t have enough of it.
He ran two local restaurants while waiting for a solution, which was laced with tragedy when it came six years later.
Tebily owns 22 hectares after retiring farmer Jean-Michel Lepine chose to sell his business to the Ivorian, a friend of his late son
After his neighbour’s only son died, the retiring Cognac farmer had to decide who to sell his business to last year.
“His son was my friend and we had the same name – it’s maybe because of that that he chose me,” says Tebily.
“Around here, all the winemakers are the same,” explains the now-retired Jean-Michel Lepine.
“Because I liked football and because Olivier was not unpleasant to me and helped me in tough times – because I’ve had tough times – I said why not a black man to take over my property? Why not a footballer?
“I never changed my mind, even though many people tried to stop me.”
Tebily is learning how to distil – a key element in creating Cognac since traditional methods require a double-distillation in copper stills
Following the deal, the first African maker of Cognac – who says he was initially treated like “a Martian” – was the proud owner of 22 hectares in a prime location.
He also took control of a distillery and although he has yet to master this crucial element of the Cognac process, he is learning from Jean-Michel, now his mentor.
When we meet, Tebily is in his vineyard – wearing a Birmingham City fleece as he goes about his daily business, secateurs in hand, carefully tending to his grapes.
Such sensitivity may seem incongruous for those who remember the burly defender’s on-field reputation.
He once finished a match despite rupturing knee ligaments in the first half while he famously thundered into one challenge with an opponent despite having lost a boot seconds earlier.
“The local people were really, really surprised by an African footballer trying to do what they are doing,” says Tebily, who played for Ivory Coast between 1999-2004.
“But I work Monday to Sunday and people are really surprised – they didn’t think I would do this work because it’s really hard.
“But I don’t do this to impress people. I love this work and want to go as far as I can,” he adds, proclaiming a love of the outdoors.
Like many Cognac farmers, Tebily sells most of his produce – around 90% – to the region’s bigger companies but he keeps the rest for his own eponymous range.
He first produced a bottle in 2013 – smooth upon taste – and although he sells it to local restaurants, he ultimately wants to trade only with Africa.
“That’s my dream,” he says. “I am already selling to some restaurants in Africa, in Ivory Coast. It’s not as much as I want but I’m still happy because it’s the beginning and it’s working.”
After that, and much in the tradition of many of the Cognac farmers, he hopes to hand his business down to his children when he takes a second retirement.
Until then, this gentle giant is revelling in being the only African maker of the world’s most famous brandy.
JAMIE MCDONALD Image caption Tebily played over 80 matches for Birmingham City, many of them in the top-flight
“It makes me feel really, really happy and that’s why I am fighting to do my business correctly. I try because I am passionate. I love this like I loved football.”
While the United States is scaling back its international positions amid a significant reduction in State Department’s budget that will affect international aid, another superpower, China, is working to substantially increase its international engagement.
For years China has been spending enormous sums of money buying political influence, including in Africa. But China is now revving up its military engine, looking to step up where opportunities allow it amid an uncertain commitment from the West.
One of China’s top geographical priorities is Africa. This is because Beijing sees an opening, as Africa is being neglected by both Europe and the United States. For the West, the continent is always analyzed through the lenses of illegal migration, terrorism, and the extraction industry. The continent is largely seen first as a source of problems, and rarely an opportunity. China too has been focusing on natural resource acquisition, but it has also committed investments and manpower to build infrastructure and export its technical capabilities to its African partners. As these investments expand, Beijing is now seeking to protect the billions it already committed in the continent by flexing its military muscles.
The Chinese military has been on overdrive these past days. In the Mediterranean, on the northern tip of the African continent, the Chinese navy is conducted live-firing drills this week. It committed a destroyer, a frigate and a support ship in drills that took place on July 10. The group is headed next to Russia, where it will join its Russian counterpart in St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad to perform joint exercises.
This week also, China is inaugurating its military base in the strategically located Djibouti, a country transformed into an open military fortress for many foreign forces, include those of France, Italy, Japan, the Unite States, and soon Turkey and Saudi Arabia. China argues that its Djibouti presence will be for peacekeeping and humanitarian aid in Africa, but rivalry with the US and the protection of Chinese assets and investments in East Africa, and elsewhere in the continent are critical drivers to China’s military focus there. This week, several navy ships left the port city of Zhanjiang in China’s southern Guangdong province, headed to the small port of Obock, in the of the Gulf of Tadjoura, Djibouti. The port is linked to the Gulf of Aden, allowing it easy reach to the troubled Middle East.
China’s presence in Africa is pretty ubiquitous, and that includes the Southern Africa region too. Also this week, the Chinese military made a symbolic gesture to Mozambique when it pledged $18 million to build new Mozambican Armed Forces barracks in Maputo. The gesture is symbolic indeed, but there are major implications on the long run in the aftermath of the high-profile visit of Chang Wanquan, the Chinese Defense Minister to Maputo. During the visit, the two parties highlighted China’s commitment to training Mozambican soldiers, but they are also planning a Chinese involvement in military infrastructure and logistics.
This Chinese charm offensive in Mozambique is taking place as the Southern African country has witnessed a reduction of aid from Western donors amid a major financial scandal that has rocked Mozambique. But it is also happening as Mozambique prepares to produce a significant amount of gas from the northern Rovuma basin, off the coast of Cabo Delgado. Although symbolic for now, the Chinese investment in Mozambique is likely to accelerate in the near future, and that would include a growing military presence to protect such investments.
China’s interest in Africa is no secret. It begun years ago and in 2015, its leadership renewed their commitment to Africa with pledged investment of $60 billion going forward. China’s footprint can be found in many places across the continent, making it the continent’s biggest economic partner, surpassing by far the colonial powers, who have been neglecting the continent. The Chinese presence can be found in sectors like highways and railways, ports and housing. It is also in engineering and energy, in places like Djibouti, Ethiopia, Angola, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia and of course North Africa. The Chinese engagement is now expanding into the military world, and that could create the next area of conflict in the world, post-Daesh.
*The North Africa Journal
America singer Usher Raymond is in the country visiting the Serengeti National Park.
Mr Raymond posted some pictures with his family on his Twitter handle.
Photo: Usher/Twitter Usher in Tanzania.
He described the moment as ‘amazing, so happy to experience this beauty with my family,” he wrote.
Following the reports of Usher Raymond’s visit in Tanzania went viral on social networks, other world celebrities like, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid player, David Beckham, a former Liverpool player Mamadou Sakho, Everton player Morgan Schneiderlin, to mention few, touring the country’s tourist’s sites this year.
Photo: Usher/Twitter Usher in Tanzania.
Tanzanian tourist sites like Serengeti national park and Mount Kilimanjaro are the leading most eye-catching tourist sites where majority of the world celebrities have recently toured.
The two front runners, President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Raila Odinga (right). Credit: State House of Kenya/World Economic Forum.
Kenya’s general election will be contested by a large number of hopefuls, but in reality it’s a two-horse race between Raila Odinga of the National Super Alliance and President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Party.
Unsurprisingly in a country in which the executive continues to wield a dominant influence, coverage of the campaign has focused on the personalities and records of Odinga and Kenyatta.
What does their candidacy tell us about Kenyan politics in 2017?
The first and most obvious lesson from the election campaign is that dynastic politics is alive and wellKenya. Despite all of the contestation, efforts and plotting of rival leaders hoping to push their own ambitions, 2017 will be fought between a Kenyatta and an Odinga, just like the elections of 2013 and the Little General Election of 1966.
The second is that ethnicity only gets you so far. In 2013, Odinga outperformed rival presidential candidate Musalia Mudavadi within his own Luhya community. This was possible because while Odinga was seen to be a credible opposition leader, Mudavadi’s dalliance with Kenyatta – with whom he formed an extremely short-lived alliance – raised concerns that he was a State House puppet. Kenyatta’s recent rehabilitation as the dominant leader among the Kikuyu community following his electoral humiliation in 2002 also demonstrates this point well.
So who are the two leading contenders?
Odinga, the opposition stalwart
Raila Odinga is the son of Oginga Odinga, a prominent independence leader and Kenya’s first vice president who never realised his dream of occupying State House. Like his father, Raila has campaigned tirelessly against considerable odds, and has so far been unsuccessful. He narrowly lost elections in 2007 – when many believe he was rigged out – and in 2013.
Odinga’s great ability is in being able to mobilise well beyond his own Luo community and sustain his political party, the Orange Democratic Movement, for a decade. Given that most Kenyan parties collapse within a few years, this is some achievement.
The breadth of Odinga’s support base is also impressive. In 2013, he performed well among Luhya voters in Western Kenya, Kamba voters in Eastern Kenya, and also on the Coast.
Odinga’s capacity to garner support across ethnic lines has two sources. On the one hand, he receives some votes “second hand” as a result of the efforts of his allies from other regions and ethnic groups to direct rally their communities to his cause. On the other, he’s built a strong reputation for representing historically economically and politically marginalised communities. Indeed, while he has never secured the presidency, he has contributed to political reform. Most notably, Odinga played an important role in bringing about constitutional reform in 2010 that introduced devolution and hence a degree of self-government for the groups in his coalition.
Kenyatta, born to power
Uhuru was born into power as the son of the country’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, and secured the presidency in the 2013 general election having previously failed to do so in 2002.
Kenyatta’s supporters like to say that he was born in State House, and hence born to power, although this is not actually true. But it is true that he has spent his life close to the machinery of government, and his family’s political influence and wealth give him a clear advantage in the elections. His gift is to be able to look and sound presidential when he has an important speech to make, despite his playboy lifestyle.
Although it’s tempting to see Kenyatta’s rise to power as inevitable, this is not the case. In 2002, he failed to mobilise support among his own community because he had been selected by the outgoing Kalenjin President Daniel arap Moi to be his successor. He was widely seen to be a proxy for Moi’s interests. At that point, his political career appeared to be over.
It was not until Kenyatta developed a reputation for defending Kikuyu interests by allegedly funding and organising militias in the violence that engulfed the 2007 elections that he emerged as the dominant figure within Central Province. It is for this alleged role that he faced charges (that were subsequently dropped) of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court. This, and his electoral alliance with his co-accused – the influential Kalenjin leader William Ruto – were critical factors in his victory in 2013.
The 2017 race
During the 2017 campaign, Kenyatta and Odinga have been a study in contrasts.
While Odinga stresses his intention to shake things up, Kenyatta presents himself as a safe pair of hands who will protect the status quo.
While Odinga plays up his image as the representative of the excluded, promising to deepen devolution and invest in poorer areas, Kenyatta emphasises building a national infrastructure and maintaining economic growth, arguing that the gains of the rich will trickle down to benefit all Kenyans in time.
These images are further entrenched by the criticisms that each leader makes of the other. The ruling Jubilee caricatures Odinga as an unprincipled thug who cannot be trusted with the fine art of government. The opposition National Super Alliance claims that Kenyatta is out of touch and only interested in serving the interests of the wealthy within his own community.
Some complain that these differences are more rhetorical than real, but one thing is clear: Kenyans have a real choice to make at the ballot box.
The greater resources available to Kenyatta, along with the more professional team around him, mean that the opposition faces an uphill battle. Moreover, government interference with the media – which is regularly intimidated – means that while election reportage is vibrant, some of the stories that would most hurt the government don’t make it onto the front pages.
It’s therefore not surprising that Kenyatta enjoys a small but significant lead in the polls. A series of surveys conducted by different companies using different samples have put him on around 48% of the vote, with Odinga on around 43%. These polls suggest that about 8% of Kenyans remain undecided. This suggests that Odinga can still win, but to do so he will have to capture the vast majority of “floating voters” in the last month of campaigning.
If undecided voters divide equally between the two main candidates, Kenyatta looks set to end up on around 52% – surpassing the 50%+1 threshold for a first round win – with Odinga on 47%.
Given this, the record of no sitting Kenyan president ever having lost an election may survive for a while yet, despite the momentum behind the opposition. Although the country has made real democratic strides with its new constitution, the advantages of incumbency remain formidable.
*Source African Afrguments.Nic Cheeseman is a Professor of Democracy at the University of Birmingham.
President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) and his Jubilee coalition face a strong challenge from the NASA alliance, led by Raila Odinga. Credit: AMISOM/Ilyas Ahmed.
Devolution has demystified local power and emboldened voters to assert themselves, leading to shocks all the way up the political pyramid.
Kenya’s 2017 elections are set to be the country’s most interesting yet. The political landscape has shifted, and whatever else these elections turn out to be – violent, peaceful, confusing − they are going to a different kettle of fish to previous polls.
The most obvious reason for this is devolution. After the 2010 constitution was passed, Kenya restructured its political and legislative units, breaking 8 massive provinces into 47 counties made up of various wards. The national legislature was broken into two branches, establishing the roles of senator and governor. And the position of women’s representatives was created in each county to help achieve the new constitution’s gender quotas.
These changes also affected how elections work. In 2007, Kenyans voted at three levels: for a councillor, a member of parliament (MP), and a president. On 8 August 2017, the electorate will vote at six: a member of the county assembly (MCA), a women’s representative, an MP, a senator, a governor, and a president.
This was also the case in 2013, but since then, it has become much clearer how the different levels of government operate in relation to one another. This means that some positions have become far more attractive and therefore competitive. And this increased contestation at the local level has undermined some of the typical tropes of Kenyan politics such as tribalism and regionalism. Things have changed.
Kenya’s political pyramid
One can think of Kenya’s system of political operatives as operating in a pyramid formation. At the bottom are local elders. One step up are county assembly members, followed by members of parliament, senators, and county governors. Above them are the ethnic kingpins. These are powerful individuals that come together to at the highest level to form national political alliances or coalitions that then contest the elections. In the case of 2017, we have President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto on one side as the incumbents, with Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and others on the opposing side.
Typically, the role of local elders at the bottom rung has been to marshal voters to back the right kingpin at the top. Much of campaign spending goes towards cementing this local loyalty. Although politicians themselves sometimes hand out cash at rallies, the really important network has been low-level leaders giving out goodies in less intense environments. It’s the chief calling a village meeting and distributing bags of maize flour, or the women’s group leader dishing out t-shirts at the chama meeting.
In prior elections, knowing which way local leaders were leaning gave a good indication of how the overall vote in a specific region would go. For politicians, spending enough money on these low-level actors could usually guarantee a positive return at the ballot box.
Dismantling the pyramid
Not anymore it seems. Devolution has made local politics much more intimately connected with voters’ day-to-day lives. Power has become demystified, and this has inspired more people to challenge local leadership when it has been deemed to fail. A record 14,525 candidates are running for office in 2017, and low-level chiefs and elders can no longer guarantee voters’ support for a particular party through the traditional means.
In 2013, it was enough for a candidate who wanted to be elected to buy a nomination certificate from their party and then hand out money at a rally, safe in the knowledge that their “person on the ground” would distribute campaign goodies to people to secure their votes. But with a more discerning electorate who, through devolution, more closely see how local power works, or doesn’t, these tactics are no longer as effective.
This can also be seen in the way Kenyan voters have been rejecting the notion of “six-piece voting”. This was a strategy employed by national politicians in 2013 whereby they encouraged supporters to vote for the same party across all six levels of government. This was most beneficial to those candidates in the middle levels of the pyramid. Rather than establishing independent political identities, candidates for MCAs, MPs and senators could just provide money downwards to foster low-level loyalty for the party, while trading off the popularity of the national-level politicians above them.
When Odinga and Kenyatta have proposed six-piece voting in 2017, however, they have been heckled and booed at their own rallies. People don’t want to just vote blindly for the same party in all the boxes; they want more say in what happens at the various levels.
We saw these new dynamics play out in the party primaries this April. Despite significant attempts at mobilisation, voters rejected incumbent MCAs, MPs and even governors who they believe have failed to deliver. Several key allies of national politicians failed to win their party’s nomination.
Many of these figures are now running instead as independents, meaning that many ethnic groups have two or more powerful figures contesting key constituencies. This divides these ethnic kingdoms and presents a dilemma for political parties. On one hand, they need to appease loyalists by putting the force of the party behind each of their candidates; on the other, they need to court voters that support those popular independents that have left the party.
To date, leaders have responded to this conundrum by inviting some independent hopefuls to participate in party events, but this has led to public, and sometimes violent, clashes between supporters of the different candidates.
A new politics?
In 2017, voters are not just rejecting six-piece voting and exercising their judgements over local candidates beyond party loyalty. They are also being vocal and visible about it.
This is the first time in recent memory that we’re seeing national political figures appear uncertain before their own supporters during their own rallies. The sight of Kenyatta, a sitting president, being heckled – not once, but fairly consistently during the election period − is novel. That people at a Odinga rally would shout anything that wasn’t a synonym for ndio baba (“yes father”) is unprecedented.
Of course, more things have changed in Kenyan politics since 2013 than those examined here. But these changes, amongst others, have thrown a significant measure of unpredictability into the landscape. Political punditry in Kenya has always been fixated on the ethnic question, but this time around, it’s not going to be that simple. Ethnic loyalty is still important, but it is no longer absolute. Voters have changed, politicians are adapting, and everything is getting a lot more…interesting.
Nairobi — Kenya has been ranked the third most innovative country in sub-Saharan Africa.
The United Nations’ Global Innovation Index 2017 places Kenya third after South Africa and Mauritius.
Photo: Daily Monitor An overview of the Central Business of Nairobi City.
The index which is in its 10th edition surveys some 130 economies using dozens of metrics, from patent filings to education spending providing decision makers a high-level look at the innovative activity that increasingly drives economic and social growth.
According to the report, sub-Saharan Africa draws its highest scores in institutions and market sophistication.
“Since 2012, sub-Saharan Africa has counted more “innovation achiever” countries than any other region. Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique, Uganda, Malawi, Madagascar and Senegal stand out for being innovation achievers this year, and several times in the previous years,” the survey indicates.
Globally, Switzerland leads the ranking for the seventh consecutive year, followed by Sweden, the Netherlands, the USA and the UK.
Kenya is ranked number 80 globally, outperforming her development- level peers.
China is the exception at 22, in 2016; China became the first-ever middle-income economy in the top 25.
Israel continues to cement its status as a leader of global innovation according to the index.
For the seventh consecutive year, Israel topped the innovation index’s category for northern Africa and western Asia.
The Jewish state ranked 17th overall in the report’s group of high-income countries, improving its standing by four places from 2016.
The Global Innovation Index 2017 is co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO, a specialized agency of the United Nations).
“Efforts to bridge the innovation divide have to start with helping emerging economies understand their innovation strengths and weaknesses and create appropriate policies and metrics,” said Soumitra Dutta, Dean, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University.
The theme of the GII 2017, “Innovation Feeding the World,” looks at innovation carried out in agriculture and food systems.
Over the next decades, the agriculture and food sector will face an enormous rise in global demand and increased competition for limited natural resources.
In addition, it will need to adapt to and help mitigate climate change.
Innovation is key to sustaining the productivity growth required to meet this rising demand and to helping enhance the networks that integrate the sustainable food production, processing, distribution, consumption, and waste management known as food systems.
“We are already witnessing the rapid, worldwide emergence of ‘digital agriculture,’ which includes drones, satellite-based sensors, and field robotics,” said Bruno Lanvin, INSEAD Executive Director for Global Indices.
Photo: VOA News Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaking at a press conference in Geneva launching his candidacy to head the World Health Organization (WHO).
On May 25, 1963, Africans gathered in Addis Ababa to create the Organisation of African Unity, the precursor to today’s African Union. It stood tall in the minds of Africans who decided to unite for a common cause. It demonstrated our ability to set aside differences in order to make the world a better place.
Now, on 1 July 2017, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of Ethiopia will stand at the helm of the the World Health Organisation with the ambition to reform, transform and make global health and agile partner of economic transformation for the world.
Dr. Tedros’ historical election marks a turning point in Africa’s ability to speak with one voice. Fourteen years ago, in 2003, Africa put forward four candidates for the same position. In disunity, we failed. But just like Washington, Brussels and New York, we turned Addis Ababa into the centre of African political and economic decision-making. The emergence of Dr. Tedros and his victory a WHO are telling tales of an Africa that is taking centre stage strategically by building consensus in Addis Ababa.
For example, Africans defined a strategy for the Sustainable Development Goals’ negotiation through the Common African Position. We shifted the paradigm and the world took notice that Africa, in the midst of the challenges, has public sector leaders and diplomats that are harnessing data to inform policies.
WHO The new head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Furthermore, the African private sector is partnering in the transformation as it made clear during the Ebola outbreak. Ultimately, Africa is becoming a stronger partner to the world because it has developed an internally agreed framework for the negotiations with the world. It is in this context that I see Dr. Tedros’ victory as an African victory. The seeds of 1963 germinated, but the first real bloom will appear on July 1 when Dr. Tedros formally assumes office at the WHO headquarters.
I feel confident that Dr. Tedros is the right person at the right time to lead the transformation of the WHO. He has experience beyond health leadership and understands that health permeates all levels and areas of governance in Africa and beyond. Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan broke a glass ceiling for Africans in international organizations. But Dr. Tedros is the first African politician to be succeed from outside UN the system. This is a big step forward.
In crafting an African victory, Ethiopia learnt from the challenges of previous African ministers of health. As a former Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Tedros wove his narrative into local, continental and global health diplomacy. Not only did he lead the transformation of community health delivery in Ethiopia, he was instrumental in leading public private partnerships as Chair of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. His victory with 133 votes, beyond his personal achievements is an expression of the changing nature of intra-African political relations. We are making progress and we should acknowledge the work of African public servants in spearheading transformation in Addis Ababa and in 55 African capitals.
Furthermore, given Dr. Tedros’ central role in key negotiations – such as the third international conference on financing for development (FfD) – he has the critical understanding of issues beyond health to draw new human and financial resources to make his mandate (better health for all) successful. He has the leverage to make health a priority in countries where diseases continue to arrest economic development or in places where viral threat create global issues as we saw with Ebola in 2014.
The achilles’ heel in this African victory is African’s ability to provide new resources for WHO under Dr. Tedros to show that we can solve African and global health problems with African resources. With his election, he just reached the beginning of the road, the farthest any African had ever reached, by embracing diversity and taking others along. Dr. Tedros will need cash and competency as member countries contribute less than third of its $2.2 billion budget. Dr. Tedros will require African resources to transform aspirations into tangible achievements so that we fund our unity and strengthen our forefathers’ foundation. Ultimately, it is the moment for Africa’s middle class to step forward and we cannot blink, even when our tax reforms are delayed, limiting our ability to contribute like those in the middle class in the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe.
In 1963, the search for unity prevailed. In 2017 an African backed by an entire continent convinced the world of a victory that appeared, at first, impossible. Dr. Tedros’ success is for the world. He neither went fast nor went alone. Once the dust settles, African’s ability to shift the burden of responsibility from Overseas Development Assistance will be what makes Dr. Tedros’ victory a historic moment.
East Africa Community (EAC) members accounted for a fifth of total Kenyan exports in 2016 according to ICAEW’s (the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) latest report. In Economic Insight: Africa Q2 2017 launched today, the accountancy and finance body says Kenya stands to gain considerably from stronger economic growth of regional partners, as it can take advantage of increased demand from these economies.
NAIROBI, Kenya, 4 July 2017, -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The report, commissioned by ICAEW and produced by partner and forecaster Oxford Economics, provides a snapshot of the region’s economic performance. The report focusses specifically on Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, South Africa and Angola.
According to the report, the African continent accounted for 41% of Kenya’s exports in 2016 while Europe and Asia each accounted for approximately a quarter of total exports. Uganda held the position of Kenya’s largest single export destination accounting for 11% of total exports during 2016.
Agricultural products such as tea and flowers made up the bulk of exports. However, whilst the country has an advantage in terms of value-added compared to regional African peers, this story is not replicated beyond Africa. Receipts from these commodities are largely determined by factors such as global commodity prices and domestic weather conditions (affecting production), and not necessarily the state of world trade.
Michael Armstrong, ICAEW Regional Director, Middle East, Africa and South Asia said: “Kenya stands to benefit from stronger growth in the East Africa region as it is well positioned to take advantage of rising demand for manufactured goods. Furthermore, its location and relatively developed transport infrastructure will allow the country to act as the gateway into the East Africa region.”
The EAC is considered the most progressive trade bloc in Africa. Collaboration on regional infrastructure has reached a level rarely seen on the continent with construction of the $26bn Lamu Port – Southern Sudan – Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor underway. Furthermore, a Single Customs Territory (SCT) system will take effect across the EAC from July 31, facilitating trade between member states by electronically connecting countries’ custom clearance systems. A pilot programme involving certain goods and entry points has generated positive results, and if implemented successfully, the SCT could significantly stimulate trade in the region by reducing the cost of doing business.
However, the bloc is not without its challenges as the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) recently cautioned against the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EAC and the European Union (EU) in its current form, which does not bode well for the EPA’s implementation. Kenya stands to lose the most without the agreement as it is not classified as a least-developed country, it would not receive duty-free and quota-free access under the EU’s Everything-But-Arms initiative.
Non-tariff barriers are another major concern for EAC member states. A monitoring tool identified 19 non-tariff barriers that remain unresolved, ranging from restrictions on Kenyan beef exports to Uganda, to the requirement that companies exporting to Tanzania should register, re-label and retest goods already certified by other partner states.
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(CNN)It was an embarrassing collapse for Kenya’s ruling party.
$12 million Chinese-built Sigiri bridge in Western Kenya collapsed before it was completed. President Uhuru Kenyatta inspected the project two weeks before the collapse.
Just two weeks after an “inspection” by President Uhuru Kenyatta, a $12 million Chinese-built Sigiri bridge in Western Kenya collapsed before it was completed.
Built by the Chinese Overseas Construction and Engineering Company in Busia County, the bridge connects a region that has historically lacked government investment and development. Around a dozen people died on the river after a boat capsized while attempting to cross in 2014.
President Kenyatta’s Jubileee Coalition has made infrastructure development a key pillar of its reelection strategy ahead of the coming presidential election.
On June 14, he made a campaign stop at the Sigiri bridge construction site and spoke to crowds gathered along the river.
He promised the bridge would bring development that the region had been denied for decades.
“There is a big difference between those who will sell to you propaganda and people who will sell to you real agenda for change,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a statement posted on the Presidency website.
The bridge connects a region that has historically lacked government investment and development.
Kenya’s national elections are scheduled for August 8, and President Kenyatta’s main competition is veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga
The Kenyan government has relied heavily on Chinese-built and Chinese-financed projects to achieve the president’s infrastructure campaign promises.
Sigiri bridge will significantly reduce deaths and make it easier for the residents to access markets, schools and hospitals ,President Kenyatta said when installing the bridge in June
Last month, the president launched the Madaraka Express, the country’s largest investment since independence.
The $3.8 billion railway, financed by China’s Eximbank, travels from the port city of Mombasa to Nairobi, and is planned to cross Kenya and connect it to several other east African Countries.
The railway’s high price tag has raised eyebrows: it cost more than double per kilometer than the Chinese-built railway connecting Addis Ababa to Djibouti. Kenya Railways has attributed the extra cost to a more complicated geography.
Odinga blamed the recent accident on the government rushing the Sigiri project for political purposes. He referred to “tenderpreneurs”, government officials that commission projects for financial gain.
“In the past, we have had substandard works done on public projects, usually roads and bridges, which as compromised the lifespan on such projects and denied us value for money,” Odinga said.
The new Ambassador of the African Union to the United States has a distinctive viewpoint for her task.
Dr. Arikana Chihombori Quao has practiced medicine in middle Tennessee for the past 25 years, operating four clinics.
A new generation of African leaders versed in science and finance are changing the image of the continent.
Chihombori, known in Tennessee simply as “The African Queen,” has been part of that transition since the ascension of Nelson Mandela as President of South Africa.
The Zimbabwe native launched the African Diaspora Healthcare Initiative 20 years ago to bring about a vision of world-class medical centers on the continent, fueled by doctors from around the world who make time in Africa an important part of their experience, and train practitioners while there.
She joined us in Los Angeles for the launch of a tourism initiative to spotlight the black experience in Southern California, where 1.5 million African-Americans are among the 50 million yearly visitors to Los Angeles.
However, they rarely learn about the significant role of blacks in the city’s history or the extensive cultural amenities which the 1 million African-American residents have created.
Along with her was Richard Patterson, CEO of Trion Supercars, the first African-American automaker in a century.
The previous week, I had been in lower Manhattan where 25 years ago, the black community of New York City insisted that the bones of 15,000 17th century Africans be properly respected with the African Burial Ground National Monument.
The new Visitor Center is as moving as the new Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History, with a 20 minute film that captures the feelings of the people who worked so hard to build what became the world’s greatest city.
Chihombori understands the mandate of that history as she discusses the “Joseph generation” in the Biblical analogy which was separated in order to save their home in the future. The continent’s leaders have charged her with being the catalyst for invigorating ties between the Sixth Region of the African Union-the Africans who migrated around the world–and its nations.
Changing old stereotypes takes direct personal engagement. On a suggestion from a patient, she visited the auction of Chapman Clearing, a plantation dating back to 1799 and unexpectedly won the property, which had practiced slavery during the 19th century. In an act of grace, she told the Chapmans that they could stay in the property while she decided what to do with the investment.
Later on, Chapman confided with her that it had completely changed the way he thought about black people.
She and her husband, Dr. Nii Saban Quao, then turned the former slave plantation into Africa House, using the 15,000 square foot mansion and the surrounding 30 acres for tourists, events and conferences on the transformation of the African continent.
She also bought a hotel in Durban, South Africa which is also a place for cultural heritage tourism and intellectual engagement.
The graduate of Fisk University and Meharry Medical College is returning the grace that former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher extended during her medical studies. She had almost turned down her acceptance to Meharry because she lacked the funds for medical school, but her husband insisted that she accept.
Although the money didn’t materialize, every year, the financial aid office sent her to meet with Dr. Satcher, then the president of the college, for a long conversation about her goals and African culture. Every year, he would sign papers to allow her to continue her studies. Eventually, she completely repaid all the tuition and fees.
Satcher’s insight channelled the voices of those unknown Africans buried in the African Burial Ground and at Chapman Clearing who endured suffering so that future generations would learn about the proud heritage that they inherit.
Africa’s new spokesperson in the U.S. knows America from the inside out.
Both sides of the Atlantic are certain to benefit.
*The Hill.John William Templeton is co-founder of the 14th annual National Black Business Month and creator of the California African-American Freedom Trail. He leads African Free School summer institutes in Washington, New York, Philadelphia and Miami in July and August.
Bushra al-Fadil has won the 2017 Caine Prize for African Writing, described as Africa’s leading literary award, for his short story entitled “The Story of the Girl Whose Birds Flew Away”, translated by Max Shmookkler, published in The Book of Khartoum – A City in Short Fiction(Comma Press, UK. 2016). The Chair of Judges, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, announced Bushra al-Fadil as the winner of the £10,000 prize at an award dinner this evening (Monday, 3 July) held for the first time in Senate House, London, in partnership with SOAS as part of their centenary celebrations. As a translated story, the prize money will be split – with £7,000 going to Bushra and £3,000 to the translator, Max Shmookler.
“The Story of the Girl Whose Birds Flew Away” vividly describes life in a bustling market through the eyes of the narrator, who becomes entranced by a beautiful woman he sees there one day. After a series of brief encounters, tragedy unexpectedly befalls the woman and her young female companion.
Nii Ayikwei Parkes praised the story, saying, “the winning story is one that explores through metaphor and an altered, inventive mode of perception – including, for the first time in the Caine Prize, illustration – the allure of, and relentless threats to freedom. Rooted in a mix of classical traditions as well as the vernacular contexts of its location, Bushra al-Fadil’s “The Story of the Girl Whose Birds Flew Away”, is at once a very modern exploration of how assaulted from all sides and unsupported by those we would turn to for solace we can became mentally exiled in our own lands, edging in to a fantasy existence where we seek to cling to a sort of freedom until ultimately we slip into physical exile.”
Bushra al-Fadil is a Sudanese writer living in Saudi Arabia. His most recent collection Above a City’s Sky was published in 2012, the same year Bushra won the al-Tayeb Salih Short Story Award. Bushra holds a PhD in Russian language and literature.
Bushra was joined on the 2017 shortlist by:
Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria) for ‘Who Will Greet You At Home’ published in The New Yorker (USA. 2015)
The panel of judges was chaired by Nii Ayikwei Parkes – member of the Caine Prize Council and Director of the Ama Ata Aidoo Centre for Creative Writing at the African University College of Communications in Accra, the first of its kind in West Africa. He is the author of the novel Tail of the Blue Bird (Jonathan Cape, UK. 2009) which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 2010.
Alongside Nii on the panel of judges are: Chair of the English Department at Georgetown University, Professor Ricardo Ortiz; Libyan author and human rights campaigner, Ghazi Gheblawi; distinguished African literary scholar, Dr Ranka Primorac; and 2007 Caine Prize winner, Monica Arac de Nyeko.
As in previous years, the winner of the Caine Prize will be given an opportunity to take up residence at Georgetown University at the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice. The winner will also be invited to speak at the Library of Congress. Each shortlisted writer receives £500, and Max Shmookler, translator of Bushra al-Fadil’s shortlisted story (originally written in Arabic) receives £250. The winner is invited to take part in the Open Book Festival in Cape Town, Storymoja in Nairobi and Ake Festival in Abeokuta, Nigeria.
Last year the Caine Prize was won by South African writer Lidudumalingani for his story “Memories We Lost” from Incredible Journey: Stories That Move You (Burnet Media, South Africa. 2015). Lidudumalingani has since gone on to win a Miles Morland Scholarship and is currently writing his debut novel, Let Your Children Name Themselves.
The New Internationalist 2017 anthology, The Goddess of Mtwara and other stories, is now published and it includes all of the shortlisted stories along with 11 other short stories written at the Caine Prize 2017 workshop in Tanzania. You can buy the anthology at https://newint.org/books/fiction/caine-prize-2017/. The anthology is also available from 11 African co-publishers who receive the print ready PDF free of charge.
The Caine Prize, awarded annually for African creative writing, is named after the late Sir Michael Caine, former Chairman of Booker plc and Chairman of the Booker Prize management committee for nearly 25 years.
The Prize is awarded for a short story by an African writer published in English (indicative length 3,000 to 10,000 words). An African writer is taken to mean someone who was born in Africa, or who is a national of an African country, or who has a parent who is African by birth or nationality.
The African winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Wole Soyinka and J M Coetzee, are Patrons of The Caine Prize. Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne is President of the Council, Ben Okri OBE is Vice President, Dr Delia Jarrett-Macauley is the Chair, Adam Freudenheim is the Deputy Chairperson and Dr Lizzy Attree is the Director.
This year 148 short stories from writers representing 22 African countries were received and entered into the 2017 Caine Prize before they were whittled down to the final 5. The judges made their final decision on the winner today.
Previous winners are Sudan’s Leila Aboulela (2000), Nigerian Helon Habila (2001), Kenyan Binyavanga Wainaina (2002), Kenyan Yvonne Owuor (2003), Zimbabwean Brian Chikwava (2004), Nigerian Segun Afolabi (2005), South African Mary Watson (2006), Ugandan Monica Arac de Nyeko (2007), South African Henrietta Rose-Innes (2008), Nigerian EC Osondu (2009), Sierra Leonean Olufemi Terry (2010), Zimbabwean NoViolet Bulawayo (2011), Nigerian Tope Folarin (2013), Kenyan Okwiri Oduor (2014), Zambian Namwali Serpell (2015), and South African Lidudumalingani (2016).
The five shortlisted stories, alongside stories written at Caine Prize workshop held in Tanzania in March 2017, are published annually by New Internationalist (UK), Interlink Publishing (USA), Jacana Media (South Africa), LanternBooks (United States), Kwani? (Kenya), Sub-Saharan Publishers (Ghana), FEMRITE (Uganda), ‘amaBooks (Zimbabwe), Mkuki na Nyota (Tanzania), Redsea Cultural Foundation (Somalia and Somaliland), Gadsen Publishers (Zambia), Huza Press (Rwanda), Books are available from the publishers or from the Africa Book Centre, African Books Collective or Amazon.
The Caine Prize is principally supported by The Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, The Miles Morland Foundation, The Carnegie Corporation, the Booker Prize Foundation, Sigrid Rausing & Eric Abraham, The Wyfold Charitable Trust, the Royal Over-Seas League and John and Judy Niepold. Other funders and partners include, The British Council, Georgetown University (USA), The Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice, The van Agtmael Family Charitable Fund, Rupert and Clare McCammon, Adam and Victoria Freudenheim, Arindam Bhattacherjee, Phillip Ihenacho and other generous donors.
Special thanks also go to the Centre of African Studies and SOAS, University of London, for supporting this year’s award dinner, held for the first time in London.
Popular musician Bobi Wine’s landslide victory was about more than just his fame.
Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu aka Bobi Wine on the campaign trail. Credit: Bobi Wine.
By the close of business last Thursday, Kampala was in an uproar. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu, a 35-year-old Ugandan musician-turned-politician better known as “Bobi Wine”, had won the parliamentary seat for Kyaddondo East. His landslide victory, with around 80% of the vote, brought to an end a dramatic month of intensive campaigning in the small constituency on the outskirts of the city.
The seat fell vacant after a losing candidate in the 2016 elections, the ruling National Resistance Movement’s (NRM) Sitenda Sebalu, filed a suit that successfully overturned the victory of his opponent, Apollo Kantinti of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC). When a by-election was called, Kyagulanyi put his name forwards.
His entry into the race was the game-changer. Bobi Wine’s fame in the entertainment industry, cultivated over the past 15 years, became the focal point of the campaign, overshadowing both his manifesto and those of his opponents.
When the country’s music industry, dominated by Congolese music in the 1990s, started adjusting to indigenous Ugandan music in the early 2000s, Bobi Wine’s voice was among the first to hit the airwaves. The quickly thriving industry propelled him and a few other local musicians to stardom, turning them into millionaires overnight. Over the years, his music took an increasingly political tone as his songs critiqued government excesses and defended the poor, cementing his image as a spokesperson for the discontented urban youth.
The meteoric rise of the “ghetto president”, as he is known among his slum peers, would come to symbolise the possibilities open to Ugandan youth amidst tough economic times and a decadent political system. When he announced his candidature in May, therefore, his victory was virtually guaranteed. His rags-to-riches story and his politically-themed music was bound to appeal to Kampala’s youthful and opposition-leaning electorate.
However, this by-election, which captured national imagination and attracted bigwigs on both sides of the political divide, is more significant than what the media – preoccupied with Bobi Wine’s celebrity status – tends to suggest. The poll speaks volumes about the future of the ruling NRM regime, the quickly changing dynamics of the electorate, as well as the preparedness of the opposition to take over the reins of government.
Chaotic elections are the new normal
The ugly scenes that have lately become central to politics in Uganda were seen again. As in the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections, the Kyaddondo East by-election was full of arrests, violence, claims of vote-rigging, and heavy deployment of security forces.
Bobi Wine himself was arrested just a few days prior to the election, and there were various reports of pre-election clashes. On D-day itself, voting kicked off peacefully by 8am, but tales of rigging, detentions and police violence had started surfacing by noon, and intensified till voting closed in the evening.
That it has become almost impossible to witness a chaos-free election in Uganda is a sad commentary on the state of democracy in the country. It testifies to the NRM’s determination to bypass democratic institutions and processes to survive.
The opposition is still unable to unite
The by-election exposed the high degree of disorganisation within Uganda’s opposition. The contest was widely seen as one between the opposition − represented by the FDC’s Apollo Kantinti and the independent but Democratic Party-leaning Bobi Wine − and the ruling NRM’s Sitenda Sebalu.
But the opposition could not agree to front a single candidate in a constituency where the NRM was widely expected to rig. In fact, some key opposition figures found themselves in an awkward position unable to publicly campaign for either candidate.
If it hadn’t been for Bobi Wine’s overwhelming popularity, the NRM could easily have taken advantage of the divisions within the opposition and, indeed, tried to do so.
This failure of coalition-building – which has antecedents in the failed Inter-Party Cooperation(IPC) of 2001 and the defunct The Democratic Alliance (TDA) of 2016 – may not have been costly in this instance, but could raise its ugly head again in future with potentially disastrous consequences to the opposition.
The youth are a force to be reckoned with
The by-election also sent a positive message − that Ugandan youth are rising up to take their country’s mantle of leadership. Bobi Wine’s voters mainly comprised of urban youth that were born after President Yoweri Museveni first took power in 1986. This demographic has grown up with the discontentment of watching high-profile scandals involving high-profile government officials – the so-called ‘historicals’ that fought in the bush war – and seem to be determined to make a difference in the governance of their country.
In many respects, the rejection of the NRM candidate in the by-election was a protest vote by this younger generation against what they perceive as an older, corrupt and inefficient breed of leaders.
Of course, the Ugandan parliament is not a place that inspires much optimism; the house is over four hundred members strong, with more than three quarters of them belonging to the NRM and only a handful of legislators below the age of forty. The opposition and the youth are thus badly outnumbered, and Bobi Wine’s influence will not prevent the NRM’s agenda from passing on the house floor.
Nevertheless, the people that have catapulted the young musician to the legislature are a constituency to watch. For it is this ragtag, city-based, unemployed youth that will likely to determine the commencement and direction and of a post-Museveni era − whether through the ballot box or not.
*African Arguments.Michael Mutyaba is a Kampala-based writer and researcher on African politics. Email: email@example.com
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe arrives at the African Union headquarters during the opening ceremony of the 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and the Governments, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia July 3, 2017. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri
HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said on Monday he was donating $1 million to the African Union (AU), hoping to set an example for African countries to finance AU programmes and wean it off funding from outside donors.
For years, about 60 percent of AU spending has been financed by donors including the European Union, World Bank and governments of wealthy non-African countries.
Mugabe, who has held power in Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, has said reliance on foreign funds allows big powers to interfere in the work of the AU.
The 93-year-old Mugabe told an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, he had auctioned 300 cattle from his personal herd in May to fulfil a promise made to the continental body two years ago.
“Africa needs to finance its own programmes. Institutions like the AU cannot rely on donor funding as the model is not sustainable,” Mugabe said in comments broadcast on Zimbabwe’s state television.
“This humble gesture on Zimbabwe’s part has no universal application but it demonstrates what is possible when people apply their minds to tasks before them.”
The African Union’s 2017 budget is $782 million, increasing from $416.8 million last year. African leaders in July 2016 agreed in principle to charge a 0.2 percent levy on some exports to help finance AU operations.
Zimbabwe, whose economy was devastated by a drought last year, does not disclose its contributions to the AU. The top five African contributors are Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria and South Africa.
*Reuters.(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by James Macharia and Andrew Roche)
KNAUF Gypsum, which is one of the leading firms in the world in gypsum making, is planning to invest more than 15 million US dollars in Tanzania in the next few years.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam this week, the firm’s Managing Director for East Africa, Zachopoulos Georgios, said that so far they have invested close to 10 million US dollars into their operations and expect to reach 15m US dollars in the next few years.
KNAUF Gypsum started its operation in Tanzania nearly three years ago employing directly more than 150 in which 99 per cent are locals. “KNAUF is operating in more than 200 countries around the world but Tanzania is the first in Sub- Saharan Africa.
We picked Tanzania because of its strategic position in the Great Lakes Region where it has the potential to be door into African hinterland,” he said. He said Tanzania was also an attractive investment destination due to peace and tranquillity and its rapid growing population which will expand the consumer base.
“The country is peaceful and has a huge number of people which is projected to grow even more in the next few years. KNAUF is here to stay for a long time and we expect to be one of the country’s strategic investor very soon,” he said.
According to him most of the raw material is acquired locally and that they mine their own gypsum stone in the South of Tanzania. He said their gypsum products are according to their customer’s taste but said initially, for the East African region, they have earmarked gypsum boards of 9 and 12 mm regular board and 12.5mm for moister resistance and fire resistance system to match the requirements.
According to the MD, they have technology which can replace wood usage in gypsum installation with metal section (metal profile) and the same is produced in Tanzania with the state of art modern facility at Mkuranga of sizes 50mm, 64mm, 75mm and 100mm to construct dry wall to match the customer requirement, furring channel, main channel, GI angle and other accessories for ceiling work.
Other products they are planning for the region are gypsum powder for joint filling and skimming with new improvement Geo Plaster to reach even the low cost housing with an affordable pricing to the user, gypsum Screws with high strength of various sizes 25, 35, 45 and 55mm length and gypsum tape for board to board joint reinforcement.
He said they are also keen in giving back to the community and one of the ways they have done this is though training local construction technicians so they are able to produce the right standards of work required.
“All of them get non accredited certificates that are recognized in most of the countries within construction sector, to ensure competitive advantages for the trainees when they opt overseas employment. The MD urged the government to continue improving the business environment to all investors.
“We are not asking for favours but just a conducive environment which we can operate,” he said, adding that currently they export eight per cent and planning to grow between 20 to 30 per cent in the next few years KNAUF is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of modern insulation materials, dry lining systems, plasters and accessories, thermal insulation composite systems, paints, floor screed, floor systems, and construction equipment and tools.
KNAUF Tanzania is owned by KNAUF Group, a German multinational, familyowned company known for drywall gypsum boards. It operates 150 production facilities and sales organisations in over 60 countries, 26,000 employees worldwide, and sales of 6.27 billion Euro (in 2013)
As president of Botswana for nearly two decades, the humble Masire was responsible for setting the country on a path to prosperity.
Quett Masire was president of Botswana from 1980 to1998.
Quett Masire, president of Botswana from 1980 to 1998, passed away aged 91 on 22 June 2017. He was one of Africa’s greatest leaders. Because he was a low key figure and from a large but sparsely-populated country, he does not appear in the pantheon of great rulers. But he should.
Masire’s time in office was the most difficult for Botswana, not least because it was in the firing line in the wars against apartheid. When it became independent in 1966, Botswana was surrounded by white-ruled countries. To the east was Rhodesia. To the west was South West Africa (now Namibia), administered by South Africa with its ridiculous corridor to the north of Botswana cutting it off from the rest of Africa. South Africa made several attempts to incorporate Botswana into the Union.
I first met President Masire in the early 1980s in a London hotel for an interview. The room was small and ordinary. We both sat on the bed. He was travelling with a small team, just three of four people as I remember. At the time this was not the African presidential style. Many travelled with an entourage that filled a plane. The interview was straightforward. Masire gave short, sharp answers.
I met him again recently in London with his son-in-law Bishop Trevor Mwamba at a lunch to celebrate the publication of his biography. He seemed tired but occasionally his eyes would flash and he would deliver a strong opinion on whatever we were discussing.
When he became president in 1980, Botswana was exceedingly poor with low levels of education and health provision. Much of it was bush. Cows were its livelihood. But Botswana survived its birth and was blessed with what many richer, more developed African countries lacked: good leadership.
The first president, Seretse Khama, was nearly prevented from becoming head of state because he had married a white woman. The British government, afraid of upsetting the white supremacists ruling South Africa, refused to allow the couple to live together. The Tswana chiefs also tried to block the marriage. But in the end the British gave way, Botswana became independent, and the couple were able to live together until Khama died in 1980.
President Masire succeeded him, coming to power the same the year that the war for Zimbabwe was finally won. At the time, the war for South Africa was also hotting up and young black South African guerrillas of the African National Congress (ANC) began to infiltrate South Africa from across the borders of Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
In retaliation, South Africa trained and supplied guerrilla movements in Angola and Mozambique. Botswana found itself on the frontline, but it could not afford to break its links with South Africa. It banned the ANC military wing from operating, but it did not turn back young men who were fleeing South Africa to become ANC fighters. Moreover, when the South African army crossed the border to raid houses they believed to be inhabited by ANC guerrillas, they were opposed by Botswana’s forces.
During the boycott of South African goods and services by foreign companies, several South African or foreign-owned companies located to Botswana. Around the same time, diamonds were discovered. Elsewhere in Africa, diamonds have been a curse, but in Botswana the Masire government made a deal with the South African gold and diamond giant, De Beers. The government got substantial revenue from the diamonds, which was used for health and education. Later, during the AIDS crisis, the country funded its own programme at a huge expense while other African countries relied on international aid.
Under Masire’s cautious but determined style, he gradually forced de Beers to build a sorting house in Gaborone where the diamonds were graded before being sent to De Beers in London. He also demanded that Batswana people were trained in sorting and evaluating diamonds.
Today, Botswana and its 2.5 million population is ruled by Seretse Khama’s son Ian. The country has had one of the fastest growth rates in the world and the revenues are spent on services such as health and education. In survey after survey, Botswana ranks highly in governance, economic growth and human development. Corruption levels are relatively low.
In this transformation, Tswana values have not been lost. Boasting or displays of wealth, for example, are frowned upon and criticism of others is made obliquely, not directly. President Masire’s leadership was crucial to this cautious approach to the future based on strong traditional values.
*Culled from African Arguments.Richard Dowden is the director of RAS. He is the author of Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles.
The son of a Nigerian farm laborer who rose out of poverty to earn graduate degrees in agricultural economics and spent his career improving the availability of seed, fertilizer and financing for African farmers is the winner of this year’s World Food Prize announced Monday.
Akinwumi Adesina, president of African Development Bank, says the future of global food security relies on making farming in Africa a profitable business and developing local food processing that adds value to agricultural products to help move farmers out of poverty.
“I believe that what Africa does with agriculture and how it does it is not only important for Africa but it’s important for how we’re going to feed the world by 2050 because 65 percent of all the uncultivated arable land left in the world is in Africa,” he said. “To help Africa get it right in agriculture is also going to be a key part of securing food for the world.”
World Food Prize President Kenneth Quinn, a former U.S. ambassador to Cambodia, said those goals are one reason the organization’s board chose Adesina this year for the $250,000 prize.
An official announcement for the World Food Prize came in a ceremony Monday at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue hosting the event. Adesina, 57, works in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where the African Development Bank is based. He will receive the prize in a ceremony Oct. 19 at the Iowa Capitol.
“Dr. Adesina knows that our work is not done. The challenge of feeding 9 billion people in just a short time will continue as we address the hunger issue,” Perdue said. “At USDA we keep that in mind as the world population grows and we want to be a huge contributor in providing the food needed to resolve and to supply the global demand for that vital noble resource.”
The World Food Prize was created by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Norman Borlaug in 1986 to recognize scientists and others who have improved the quality and availability of food. The foundation that awards the prize is based in Des Moines, Iowa.
The award recognizes several of Adesina’s accomplishments including:
—Negotiating a partnership between commercial banks and development organizations to provide loans to tens of thousands of farmers and agribusinesses in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana and Mozambique.
— Creating programs to make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production and to help cassava become a major cash crop while serving as Nigeria’s minister of agriculture from 2011 to 2015.
—Helping to end more than 40 years of corruption in the fertilizer and seed sectors in Nigeria by launching an electronic wallet system that directly provides farmers with vouchers redeemable for inputs using mobile phones. The resulting increased farm yields have led to the improvement of food security for 40 million people in rural farm households.
Adesina said it’s vitally important to show young people in rural regions of Africa that farming can be profitable and can improve their lives as a way to stem terrorist recruitment efforts. He said high unemployment among young people, high or extreme poverty, and climate and environmental degradation all contribute to conditions in which terrorists thrive. He said these factors make up “the disaster triangle.”
“Anywhere you find those you find terrorists operating. It never fails,” he said.
Adesina grew up in poverty in a rural area of Nigeria and said his father and grandfather walked fields as laborers. After his father was chosen for a government job, Adesina was able to go to college. He earned agriculture economics degrees — both a master’s and a doctorate — from Purdue University in Indiana.
As a student, he said he saw that classmates were able to attend school when agriculture afforded them the opportunity, but they dropped out when it didn’t. He said from that experience he learned making agriculture profitable so families can provide their children with an education was a key to breaking the cycle of poverty.
He said he often thinks of the hundreds of millions of young, rural African people whose opportunities are limited because of what is happening with agriculture.
“So in a way for me this is not a job,” Adesina said. “This is a mission. And I believe that in getting agriculture to be a business — turning our rural areas from zones of economic misery to zones of economic opportunity — therein lies the future of Africa’s youth, especially those rural youths.”
The International Trademark Association (INTA) CEO, Mr. Etienne Sanz
de Acedo who is visiting Africa and Zimbabwe in particular for the
first time has convened meetings with key stakeholders especially in
the Intellectual Property (IP)rights sector to cement collaboration
and support trademarks and related rights systems with the continent.
According to Susan Mwiti, Documentations and Communications Officer
for the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO)
Acedo’s mission is to understand how to better serve and increase INTA
membership in Africa as well as strengthen ties and cooperation with
ARIPO, government departments, the Judiciary and academic institutions
responsible for or who have a stake in the effective use of trademarks
INTA is the global association of trademark owners and professionals
dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property
in order to protect consumers and to promote fair and effective
commerce. Recently, INTA has been paying more attention to Africa.
INTA CEO, Mr. De Acedo, says his priorities are “to becoming truly
global” and “engaging as many constituencies as possible.”
INTA undertakes advocacy work throughout the world to advance
trademarks and offers educational programs and informational and legal
resources of global interest.
At ARIPO, the CEO met with the agents, attorneys and brand owners
based in Zimbabwe.
Mr. Acedo, accompanied by the ARIPO Director General, Mr. Fernando dos
Santos, is also expected to meet with the Zimbabwean Chief Justice,
Justice Luke Malaba and Vice President, Vice President Emmerson
INTA has seven member organizations in Zimbabwe and in Africa 248
members from 37 countries. Globally, it has more than 7,000
organizations from 190 countries. INTA members collectively contribute
almost $12 trillion to global GDP annually. For comparison, the 2015
annual GDP of the top three markets was $10.9 trillion (China), $16.2
trillion (European Union) and $17.9 trillion (United States).
The Association’s member organizations represent some 30,000 trademark
professionals and include brand owners from major corporations as well
as small- and medium-sized enterprises, law firms and nonprofits.
There are also government agency members as well as individual
professor and student members.
The not-for-profit Association was founded in 1878 by 17 merchants and
manufacturers who saw a need for an organization “to protect and
promote the rights of trademark owners, to secure useful legislation
and to give aid and encouragement to all efforts for the advancement
and observance of trademark rights.”
The African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) is
an Inter-governmental organization (IGO). It was created under the
Lusaka Agreement that was concluded and signed in Lusaka, Zambia on
December 9 1976. Membership of the Organization is open to all
African States members of the United Nations Economic Commission for
Africa (ECA) or the African Union (AU).
Zimbabwe has hosted the International Conference for Research,
Innovation and Development for Africa in Victoria Falls on June 20 to 21, 2017 under the auspices of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO) with a major focus on anti-corruption issues in the engineering and infrastructure sector.
According to Engineer Martin Manuhwa, WFEO Vice President and Chair of the Anti-Corruption committee of the same organization, the conference
has attracted participants from Africa, Europe and the United States,just to mention a few.
A World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO) workshop on Engineering Ethics and the ISO Anti-bribery Management System Standard, ISO 37001 was also hosted. The workshop was run by the WFEO Anti-corruption Committee which is hosted by Zimbabwe.
Manuhwa said that the ISO 37001 specifies a series of requirements which WDEO plans to implement. These include implementing an anti-bribery policy and programme, communicating the policy and programme to relevant personnel and business associates (joint venture partners, sub-contractors, suppliers, consultants, just to mention a few and appointing a compliance manager to oversee programme.
The World Federation of Engineering Organizations is an international,non-governmental organization representing the engineering profession worldwide. Founded in 1968 by a group of regional engineering organizations, under the auspices of the United Nations Educational,Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) in Paris, the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) brings together national engineering organizations from over 90 nations and represents
some 20 million engineers from around the world.
WFEO encourages all its national and international members to
contribute to global efforts to establish a sustainable, equitable and peaceful world by providing an international perspective and enabling mechanisms.
The workshop focused on anti-corruption strategies and models that are applicable to Sub-Saharan African Countries which are important to combat corruption that is generally acknowledged to be a universal problem in the developing and developed worlds.
“Corruption involving bribery, deception and/or dishonesty in order to gain personal or corporate profit was discussed. Professional Engineering Associations should come up with impeccable code of ethics, and rules of conduct for its members in order to combat corruption in the sector,” Manuhwa said.
A pilot study of case studies such as the Zimbabwe and Zambian
Infrastructure Anti-corruption index of corruption practices found in the construction sector was analyzed and grouped in three broad areas of corruption within the public sector, corruption in the interaction between public and private sector (procurement) corruption between public sector and consumers (petty corruption).
A framework and scope for analyzing corruption in construction
projects was developed. This framework was premised on preventing corruption through stakeholder engagement approach and crafting strategies across the whole project life cycle.
The impacts and costs of corruption were also discussed during the workshop.According to Manuhwa, corruption is one of the greatest obstacles to the development of safe and adequate infrastructure.
He said project funds are diverted to corrupt officials, funders,
contractors, consultants, suppliers and agents. He added that the
total loss and impact to corruption is difficult to quantify.
The workshop also addressed indicators of the human, economic and project cost losses in detail. According to WFEO, the harmful effects of corruption are severe on the poor in the developing world like Africa who are in most cases hardest hit by economic decline, are most reliant on the provision of public services, and are least capable of paying the extra costs associated with bribery, fraud, and the misappropriation of economic privileges.
“Consequently, tackling corruption in the construction sector
requires the elaboration of a comprehensive strategy that involves
efforts from all stakeholders, including public sector, private
companies and consumers. Some of the most effective anti-corruption strategies as proposed by stakeholders are to increase political accountability, strengthen civil society participation, create a competitive private sector, improve public sector management as well as put in place institutional restraints on power,” Manuhwa said.