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No Governance or Constitutional crisis at the African Development Bank Group-Board Chair Nialé Kaba
May 28, 2020 | 0 Comments
There is no governance or constitutional crisis at the African Development Bank Group, says Nialé Kaba

Chair of the Bureau of the Board of the African Development Bank Nialé Kaba has thrown cold water on insinuations and media reports of a tense atmosphere at the Bank.

“There is no governance or constitutional crisis at the African Development Bank Group. It is indeed false that the President of the Bank Group has been or is being asked to step down from his position,” Kaba says in a statement shared with Pan African Visions.

Seeking  to clear the air with some media reports on the recusal of AFDB Chairman Akinwumi Adesina, Board Chair Kaba says no decision has been taken.

“Everyone must allow the Bureau to do its work and allow due process to reign and all the Governors will be carried along in resolving the issue,” Nialé Kaba concludes .

Full Letter below

Communication Regarding the Whistleblowers’ Complaint Against the President of the Bank

The Bureau of the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank met on Tuesday, 26 May to consider the matter arising from a whistleblowers’ complaint against the President of the Bank, which was dealt with by the Ethics Committee of Board of Directors of the Bank and for which I received letters from some shareholders expressing various views.

Following the meeting, my attention has been drawn to several publications in the national and international press regarding the content of the deliberations of the said meeting, and I am compelled to make clarifications in order to avoid any misunderstanding.

The Bureau, which I chair, wishes to reassure the public that it is seized with the matter and that it is treating it with the utmost seriousness that it deserves. Further, the Bureau informs the public that it has not taken any decision as falsely conveyed in some publications.

I must emphasise that there is no governance or constitutional crisis at the African Development Bank Group. It is indeed false that the President of the Bank Group has been or is being asked to step down from his position.Everyone must allow the Bureau to do its work and allow due process to reign.

All the Governors will be carried along in resolving the issue.Chair of the Bureau of the Board

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Menstrual Hygiene Day: Taboos and traditions a hindrance to menstrual hygiene management in Ghana.
May 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Ahedor Jessica

Ethnic groups in Ghana, like many other African countries, have diverse opinions and thoughts about menstruation. While the natural phenomenon is seen as unclean in some clans’ others also believe that menstrual blood can be used to invoke supernatural forces or bad omen.

In a typical traditional home in Ghana, women and adolescent girls have to leave their homes to sleep in relative house during their menses.  Girls raised in Muslim homes have to stay away from attending the five daily prayers while menstruating. Some Christian sects’ bar women from entering their chapels when they are menstruating.

United Nations Children’s Fund, UNIEF 2016 research on menstrual hygiene management in Ghana, stated that traditions and taboos surrounding menstruation have proven to be one of the major challenges the sector players are fraught with. Especially in homes where traditional religions are based on animist beliefs and tribal Gods, girls are not allowed to cook for the family when they are menstruating. In extreme cases, menstruating females are even forbidden from touching household wares such as buckets, cutlery or plates and bowls.

This situation does not differ from what Faith Adzorke who lives with the parents at Amaoaman, in the Ga West Municipality of Greater Accra Region has to endure every month.  The 20-year-old couldn’t explain why she has to always move to her maternal side whenever she is about to start her menses. “Ever since I started menstruating at age 11, I have been shuffling between my grand mum’s place and that of my parent’s. My father believes I am unclean when it is ‘that time of the month’. I have to move to my maternal home and only return after my menses”. 

Traditionalist, Osofo Yaw believes there is a spiritual connotation to mensuration and can even been traced to the bible. To him the phenomenon has the potency of neutralizing any form of charm meant to serve as a protection for an individual or a household. Sometimes, materials used in ensuring menstrual hygiene once soaked with blood if not properly disposed of can be use as charms against the women and for ritual purposes, he explained.

But a consultant, physician specialist Koma Jehu-Appiah asserts there is the need to distinguish between culture, religion and natural phenomenon that are a part of womanhood. He believes some people gets intoxicated with culture and religion as a result, it impairs education regarding issues that affects human health. “Menstruation is physiological feature that distinguishes women from men”. Cultural and religious restrictions remained the norm of African most societies contributing to the myth around the subject matter but the only way to breakthrough is education; he added.

Ellen Gyekye, the Head of school Health and Education program (SHEP) at the Ghana Education Service called for continuous support for capacity development of SHEP structures at the school level by promoting and collaborating effectively to imbibe in the younger generation menstrual hygiene habits. She added that community sensitization is key to the success of eliminating stereotypes about the natural happening.

Touching on UNICEF’s recommendation report on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) to the government, she maintained MHM be made part of the everyday conversation between teachers and adolescent girls. She is optimistic the new curriculum will rob- in the various policy recommendations made by the sector players on equitable school health policies that favor MHM.

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Gambia:Deejay Limbo Unveils new song ‘Tobal’
May 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay 

Deejay Limbo, Austria based Gambian multiple Award winning  artiste has released a new song called “TOBAL”

Recorded at LMG Studios by Dj Sap and is available in all digital platforms includes ITunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer ,Tik Tok and Amazon.

TOBAL is a wollof word that simply means Ball Juggling. The Song talks about how some ladies are selective about what their partners gets for them. Tobal is a beautiful song that connects Afrobeats to Wollof melodies.

Below you can listen or download the via the link..
https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=jGUE7yd0u6A

About: DeeJay Limbo

Deejay Limbo is a dancehall/ reggae artist and songwriter. Born in a small town, Latrikunda-German in a West African country called the Gambia. He has since relocated to Austria where he has been on the music scene since 2011 and has made a name for himself.

Limbo has collaborated with many dancehall/ reggae artists’ such as Jamaican born Jah Vinci and Ghana’s very own Stone Bwoy, and Gambia’s finest Reggae star Rebellion D RECALLER. Limbo once had the opportunity to be signed to G-Note Records, a record label in the United Kingdom, but due to circumstances things didn’t play out the way he envisioned, but he still did not give up.

He had the opportunity to work with some great producers like Hakim from Sunland Music and a former member of ‘The Boys’ group, Jugglerz Records producing hits like ´Smilling Coast´ and Stefario Brown producing hits like ´Mi Gyals Dem Badd and Overdose.

In July 2019, Deejay Limbo Dropped his Biggest Song so Far “Dohi Bandi”, The Song Happened to be the Most Viral internationally by a Gambian Artiste in 2019.

The Video to Song Was Aired on the Prestigious TRACE TV in the AFRIKORA Playlist making him among the First Gambian Artistes to Appear on that Platform. The Video was in the Top 30 Videos for weeks.

Dohi Bandi created the Avenue for Deejay Limbo to embark on his very first European tour and selling out venues in the cities of Stuttgart and Bologna.

In November 2019, he released he Debut EP called “Le Début” which was launched in a grand sold out event at Club Spielplatz in his City of Residence Linz.

Deejay Limbo Made it to the OPEN MIC FESTIVAL’S 2019. Open Mic Festival is the Gambia’s Leading and Biggest Event.

He thereafter won the Wa Sa Halat music awards Gambia  Foreign Based Artist Of The Year Award for 2019


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Zimbabwe:Solar energy producers enticed to feed power to national grid
May 28, 2020 | 0 Comments
A hospital electrician ensures maintenance of the solar panels at the Nkayi District Hospital, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. UNDP/Slingshot
A hospital electrician ensures maintenance of the solar panels at the Nkayi District Hospital, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. UNDP/Slingshot

  By Wallace Mawire 

   

Solar energy producers in Zimbabwe are set to participate in a net metering programme introduced by the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) which will result in the feeding of solar energy power to the country’s national grid.     

According to the ZETDC public relations department, the net metering programme is a scheme in which any existing customer producing solar energy on their premises can feed excess power back into the ZETDC network through a grid-tied invetor and a smart meter,which measures both power consumed by the customer and power supplied to the grid.         

  It is reported that only electrical power units and not money shall be credited to the customer account. This is expected to benefit the customer by keeping their bills low as it reduces the total units billed at the end of the month. According to the ZETDC,net metering is beneficial to the utility and the nation at large through the saving of foreign currency, as there will be less power imports.                 

 The use of solar energy in Zimbabwe is being intensified at a time when the country has suffered periods of chronic electricity shortages in recent years. This has led to an increasing number of Zimbabweans to install small solar systems.  Also businesses in the country are embarking on measures which include diversifying energy supply to reduce heavy reliance on grid power energy supply. These include improving energy efficiency and switching to alternatives such as solar for pumping and heating water.                                   

It is also reported that to reduce the amounts of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere, there is need for major restructuring of both industrialised and developing societies.This will entail shifting towards alternative energy sources such as solar energy. Zimbabwe’s warm,dry climate offers tremendous potential to exploit solar power for electricity generation and heating water in urban and rural households. It is also added that since the energy sector is the most responsible for emissions, Zimbabwe needs to find ways to generate power more cleanly and efficiently and adopt renewable energy solutions such as solar,wind and biogas energy.

 Tawanda Muzamwese, Business Council for Sustainable Development Zimbabwe (BCSDZ) Director applauded the initiative by ZETDC saying the development is in the right direction.  “Net metering will ensure that there is an incentive for people to invest in renewable energy. This will ultimately drive an upsurge in the uptake of renewable energy technologies,” Muzamwese said. BCSDZ promotes sustainable development initiatives within business and industry in Zimbabwe.

           

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Afreximbank to establish southern Africa regional office and trade centre in Zimbabwe
May 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire     

President Mnangagwa and Afreximbank President, Dr Oramah

   

The African Export lmport Bank (AFREXIMBANK) is to establish its Southern Africa regional office and a trade centre in Harare, Zimbabwe.  According to the bank in a statement, the complex will be established on a 12000 square metre plot of land in Newlands,Harare.       

    It is reported that the 20 000 sqm proposed iconic mixed- use business complex is expected to provide an integrated one-stop-shop for trade facilitation and trade finance.It is also expected to offer a range of facilities, which include,corporate office space,conference and exhibition centre,innovation and incubation hub,knowledge centre,including hotel and retail facilities.             

The bank has already invited expressions of interest to qualified contractors for the initiative.

 Afreximbank is a pan-African multilateral financial institution headquartered in Cairo,Egypt established to provide financing solutions and advisory services for the expansion, diversification, promotion and development of intra and extra-African trade.

     

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Dangote, MTN emerge most admired African brands
May 27, 2020 | 0 Comments
The 2020 survey was conducted between February and April 2020 and yielded over 15,000 brand mentions and over 2,000 unique brands.

For the third time in a row, Dangote Group has emerged as the most admired African brand, of African continent origin, by consumers, paired with the telecommunication giant, MTN in a survey of 100 Africa best brands announced in a novel global virtual event that incorporated the market openings of Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria.

GT Bank returns to the top spot in financial services and the United Kingdom’s BBC retains its media category ranking as the most admired media brand in separate category sub-surveys of the most admired financial services and media brands in Africa. African brands only occupy 13 of the 100 entries, seven less from last year.

Established 10 years ago, to coincide with the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the world’s biggest single sporting event, the Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands survey and rankings have established themselves as the most authoritative survey, analysis, and metric of brands in Africa.

African brands only occupied 13 of the 100 entries, 7 less from last year’s. Founder and Chairman of Brand Africa and Brand Leadership, Thebe Ikalafeng during an online interactive session via Zoom said: “African brands have an important role in helping to build the image, competitiveness and transforming the continent’s promise into a real change. It’s concerning that in the 10 years since the triumphant FIFA World Cup in South Africa which globally highlighted the promise and capability of Africa, and despite the vibrant entrepreneurial environment, Africa is not creating more competitive brands to meet the needs of its growing consumer market.” Global Client Development Manager, GeoPoll, Caitlin van Niekerk said: “The reach and accessibility of mobile across the continent enabled us to survey respondents across a representative sample of countries quickly and effectively, giving us vital and timely results at a critical time. Kantar has been the insight lead for Brand Africa since inception in 2010.”

It is a consumer-led survey which seeks to establish brand preferences across Africa. The survey is conducted among a representative sample of respondents 18 years and older, in 27 countries which collectively represent 50 per cent of the continent, covering all economic regions and accounting for an estimated 80 per cent of the population and the GDP of Africa. The 2020 survey was conducted between February and April 2020 and yielded over 15,000 brand mentions and over 2,000 unique brands

Out of the top 100 brands in 2010/11, only half still appear in this year’s list due to mergers, acquisitions and the obsolescence of many brands. The most prominent changes are in the technology category with the demise Blackberry (#32 in 2010/11), the consolidation of Vodafone (#54 in 2010/11 and now #13 in 2020) which acquired Vodacom in 2008 and re-branded in 2011, Etisalat (#40 in 2010/11) re-branding to 9 Mobile in 2017 and Motorola (#39) being acquired by Lenovo in 2014. A Chinese brand, Tecno, has raced up the ranking from #33 to #5 in the rankings – a dominant performance for one of China’s premier global brands that are not even sold in China

In his reaction, Group Chief Corporate Communication Officer of the Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina said the management was not unexpected of the ranking because  the company has a long standing reputation for quality, relevance compliance and social stewardship. “Our mission and vision engage and inspire us to by extension connects us to with both our internal and external stakeholders.  

“We fervently believe that only Africans can develop Africa, and this gives us stronger sense of relevance  in all the countries where we have our operations. We are touching lives by providing their basic needs and empowering Africans more than ever before creating jobs reducing capital flight, helping government conserve foreign exchange drain by supporting different industrial infrastructural projects of African government.”

Mr. Chiejina stated further that Dangote Cement has been producing high quality and affordable cement, reducing poverty, engaging in unprecedented philanthropy and above all respecting the laws of the land where we operate. “All these are our credo and we do not compromise it, it is our way. And the ranking is just an acknowledgement of all these by our stakeholders, We keep our brand promise and stay authentic.” he concluded
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Founders of Kobo360 Selected as Endeavor Entrepreneurs
May 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

Fast-growing logistics platform joins the leading global entrepreneur support organisation

Obi Ozor & Ife Oyedele II - Kobo360 Co-founders
Obi Ozor & Ife Oyedele II – Kobo360 Co-founders

Endeavor has welcomed two new entrepreneurs into its global network. Obi Ozor and Ife Oyedele II, co-founders of Kobo360, were selected as Endeavor Entrepreneurs on May 21, 2020. Kobo360 is a digital logistics platform that uses big data and agile technology to reduce friction and improve efficiency in the African logistics ecosystem.

Endeavor is a mission-oriented organisation that is leading the global movement for high-impact entrepreneurship. By helping entrepreneurs behind some of the world’s most exciting scale-up companies accelerate their companies’ growth, and by contributing to building strong entrepreneurship ecosystems in underserved markets like Nigeria, Endeavor is driving economic growth through entrepreneurship. Earlier this year, Endeavor also welcomed Daystar Power (a renewable energy company based in Nigeria and Ghana) and Migo (a financial technology platform operating in Nigeria and Brazil) into its network. 

Logistics in Nigeria continues to be a challenge. For many businesses, finding the proper truck operators for cargo is difficult and inefficient as they spend days negotiating with brokers, searching for trusted truck drivers, and pursuing updates on delivery. Kobo360 is solving this challenge for businesses by using its digital platform to match cargo-owners with truck owners, while providing real-time updates throughout the entire delivery process. The company also offers value-added services such as trip-financing, discounts on diesel, and insurance.

“We’re excited to welcome Kobo360 into Endeavor’s network which includes some of the world’s most exciting scale-up entrepreneurs and most experienced mentors and investors. Fixing Africa’s supply chain is clearly important for commerce on the continent, and Kobo360’s rapid growth over the past 3 years is evidence that the company’s valuable services are in critical demand. Obi and Ife are inspiring founders and their relentless focus on scaling Kobo360 serves as an inspiration to high-impact entrepreneurs everywhere”, said Eloho Gihan-Mbelu, the Managing Director & CEO of Endeavor in Nigeria.

Since launching in 2017, Kobo360 has surpassed several milestones, including a $30 million Series A in August 2019. “It’s an honour to be joining this global network of high-impact entrepreneurs and to have Endeavor recognise our efforts to transform Africa’s logistics sector using technology. As entrepreneurs, we wanted to turn African problems into African opportunities. Focusing on logistics, Ife and I started Kobo360 to not only fix the inefficiencies that exist, but to build opportunities for the businesses we serve and most importantly, the hundreds of thousands of truck drivers across Africa. This is a fundamental milestone in Kobo360’s journey; our Global Logistics Operating System [GLOS] will revolutionize supply chain across emerging markets and with Endeavor’s support, we’re able to make invaluable global connections that could be leveraged for our expansion and growth”, said Obi Ozor, Co-founder & CEO of Kobo360.

Obi Ozor and Ife Oyedele II were successfully selected as part of a cohort of 10 entrepreneurs from five markets. With the recent addition of Kobo360, Endeavor Nigeria now supports 16 entrepreneurs who lead 10 scale-up stage companies in Nigeria, spanning fintech, renewable energy, entertainment, logistics and retail. 

Established in 1997, Endeavor is a mission-driven, global organization leading the high-impact entrepreneurship movement. Endeavor was founded on the belief that job creation, innovation, and overall prosperity flourish where there is robust support for high-impact entrepreneurs. To date, Endeavor has screened more than 60,000 entrepreneurs and selected more than 2,000 founders leading over 1,200 scale-up companies. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created over 3 million jobs, generate more than $20 billion in revenue each year, and inspire future generations to innovate, take risks, and build strong entrepreneurship ecosystems in underserved markets. Headquartered in New York City, Endeavor currently operates in nearly 40 growth markets throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America.

Endeavor launched its Nigeria office in 2018, to select and support the best founders of companies at

the scale-up stage, who have potential to leverage Endeavor’s global resources, mentors and network to create large-scale wealth and jobs. Endeavor Entrepreneurs are committed to multiplying their impact by reinvesting their time and money to help others in Nigeria’s ecosystem take off. Today, in Nigeria, Endeavor supports 16 Endeavor Entrepreneurs leading 10 companies


Kobo360 is a digital logistics platform that aggregates end-to-end haulage operations to help cargo owners, truck owners and drivers, and cargo recipients to achieve an efficient supply chain framework. Developing an all-in-one logistics ecosystem, Kobo360 leverages data and technology to reduce logistics frictions. Kobo360 enables unprecedented efficiency and cost reduction in the supply chain, providing 360-visibility while delivering products of all sizes safely, on time and in full.

The Kobo360 mission is to build the Global Logistics Operating System that will power trade and commerce across Africa and emerging markets. With operations across West and East Africa, Kobo360 is one of the fastest growing tech start-ups out of Africa.

About the Founders

Obi Ozor is the CEO and Co-Founder of Kobo360. With over seven years of logistics and supply chain experience, he manages all key aspects of Kobo360 including operations, controlling investments, compliance risk management and product growth. Obi completed his Biochemistry degree at the University of Michigan before graduating from the Wharton School of Business. After completing his studies, Obi worked at J.P. Morgan as an Investment Banker before becoming the Operations Coordinator at Uber Nigeria. In 2016, he left Uber alongside Ife Oyedele II to launch Kobo360, the digital logistics platform. 

Ife Oyedele II is the Co-Founder & Chief Growth Officer of Kobo360. He has worked in various capacities with several global brands including Mercedes Benz, Financial Services and the CFI Group USA LLC. In 2016, he combined forces with business partner Obi Ozor to launch the asset free logistics startup ‘Kobo360’. He is passionate about incubating and developing innovative IT customer solutions. Oyedele oversees the growth and expansion of the Kobo360 platform across Africa. He was previously the Chief Technology Officer overseeing Technology Innovation & Product Development.   


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Continental Reinsurance Honours Top African Journalists at Virtual Awards Ceremony
May 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

77 business reporters from 15 French and English African countries participated in the 2020 Pan African Re/Insurance Journalism Awards

Leading Pan African Reinsurance firm, Continental Reinsurance Plc, has honoured winners of its 2020 Pan African Re/Insurance Journalism Awards at a virtual awards ceremony following travel restrictions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the fifth edition of these prestigious awards, five winners were picked from 77 entries that were submitted by business reporters from 15 French and English-countries under the four categories: Best re/insurance Print Article, Best re/insurance Online Article, Best re/insurance Broadcast Article and Best re/insurance French Article – print/online/broadcast.

Isaac Khisa (The Independent, Uganda), emerged the winner for the Best re/insurance Print Article [English category]. His story, titled ‘Across Sub-Saharan Africa, tech-enabled micro-insurance is the next big thing”describes how insurance firms can leverage on the growing mobile phone subscription to extend insurance services to the low income earners who are, in most cases, not catered for under the current conventional insurance services.

David Njagi, a freelance journalist from Kenya, bagged the award for the Best re/insurance Online Article [English category] for his feature Voice of resilience: Kenyan radio builds herders’ trust in drought insurance”, which was published in Thomson Reuters. The story focuses on how a community-based radio is helping Northern Kenya understand and learn how to benefit from Islamic weather insurance (Takaful).

The award for the Best re/insurance Broadcast Article [English category] went to Destiny Onyemihia (Voice of Nigeria, Nigeria) for his story, “Sustaining businesses through cyber insurance” that explores how businesses can sustain their operations in the midst of the rising cyber threats and attacks in the country.

Joel Assoko (Jeune Afrique Media Group, France) emerged the winner for the Best re/insurance French Article – print/online/broadcast. In his story, ‘‘La guerre des assureurs aura bien lieu’’ (Original French title of the article that could be translated as ‘Indeed, the War among Insurers will take place’).  Joel explains about a profession which is not well known or understood in Africa, and is usually mentioned only in critical and negative situations. Yet, it is still a vital pillar for African economies, one that can promote balanced growth and ensure a better future. The aim was to allow the general public get more familiar with the crucial changes occurring within the industry.

The Future Talent Award was won by Dominic Omondi (The Standard Group, Kenya) for his inspiring article titled “How doctors are dragging medical insurers to early grave” that addresses the issue of perverse incentives, and how insurance companies in Kenya have sunk into losses as healthcare providers inflate their charges. This award was recommended by the judges to recognise the outstanding entry among the four categories. It replaces the existing pan-African re/insurance Journalist of the Year Award.

In recognition of the winners’ participation and exemplary reporting, Continental Reinsurance will offer a cash prize of USD2000 for Future Talent Award, USD1000 for the category winners and USD500 for the 1st and 2nd runner-up positions. All the winners will benefit from mentorship on re/insurance reporting.

‘‘We hope that these awards inspire you to cover issues related to re/insurance and improve the overall quality of reporting,” noted Dr Femi Oyetunji, Group CEO, Continental Reinsurance during the virtual event.

Dr Oyetunji added: “We will continue to support and build capacity for journalists so they can contribute to the development of the re/insurance industry in Africa,’’ The 15 countries whose journalists participated in the awards were: South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Botswana, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Malawi, Zambia and Namibia (Anglophone). Francophone countries represented were Morocco, Cameroon and Benin.

‘‘Even though we’ve seen the number of entries double over the years, we wish to encourage more female participants to enter for future awards,’’ said Dr. Oyetunji.

All the entries were evaluated by an independent judging panel consisting of international experts in insurance and journalism. Michael Wilson, the Chief Judge commented: “It’s been a particularly strong year for submissions. As chair of the international panel of esteemed judges, I can tell you that choosing the winners wasn’t very easy this time around.’’

Other judges were Nadia Mensah-Acogny (Journalist, Forbes Afrique) – Senegal; Dr. Jared Obuya, Lecturer, Moi University – Kenya; Kenneth Igbomor, Market News Editor (West Africa), CNBC Africa – Nigeria; Gareth Stokes, Founder, Stokes Media Group – South Africa; and Shiamdass Appannah, Insurance Industry Expert – Mauritius. 

Now in its fifth year, the Pan African Re/Insurance Journalism Awards recognise the outstanding work of re/insurance journalists from across the continent and require participants to demonstrate how their articles have raised awareness and understanding of the re/insurance sector in Africa.

This year’s award ceremony was scheduled to take place during the Continental Re’s 7th CEO Summit in Morocco. The event was however cancelled due to the current COVID-19 pandemic that has seen many countries institute measures to contain the spread of the virus, including imposing tough travel restrictions.

About Continental Reinsurance

Continental Reinsurance is a composite private pan-African reinsurer that has been on the continent for more than 30 years writing business in more than 50 countries across the African continent. Established in 1985, Continental Reinsurance provides support to over 200 insurance companies in Africa with its main offices in Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Tunisia and Botswana.  

About the Pan African Re/Insurance Journalism Awards

Sponsored by Continental Reinsurance, the Pan-African Re/Insurance Journalism Awards recognise the outstanding work of journalists on re/insurance from across the continent. Successful candidates have to demonstrate how their articles have raised awareness and understanding of the re/insurance sector in Africa. Launched in April 2015, the awards are an extension of Continental Reinsurance’s continued commitment to the advancement of excellence in the industry. Link to Awards web page.


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Feet ‘N’ Tricks International, Africa’s Largest Promoter of Freestyle Football unveils Freestyle Africa Unlocked 2020 Championships
May 27, 2020 | 0 Comments
Titi Kone of Cote d’Ivoire wins the Africa Freestyle Football Championships of 2019. Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, Chairman of Feet ‘N’ Tricks International presents the 2019 Champion in September 2019 in Lagos, Nigeria. (Photo Credit: Ibrahim)
Freestyle UNLOCKED Africa 2020 is the fourth installment of the annual football freestyle event

The largest promoter of Freestyle Football in Africa, Feet ‘N’ Tricks International , has unveiled the maiden edition of the Freestyle UNLOCKED Africa 2020 championship which is first of its kind on the continent.

Valentine Ozigbo, the Chairman of Feet ‘N’ Tricks International, in the company’s first vitual press conference held on Zoom on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, revealed that the championship is going to be online and packed with prizes and suprises to “develop and nuture an art, a lifestyle, and a passion for many”.

Freestyle UNLOCKED Africa 2020 is the fourth installment of the annual football freestyle event.

A respected Nigerian business leader and philantropist, Mr. Ozigbo, speaking from Lagos, expressed his passion and commitment to continue to grow freestyle football in Africa. “We will not stop till an African emerges the World Champion, and we host the World Freestyle Football Championships in Nigeria and, who knows, it might even be in my home state of Anambra.”

While noting that the world was going through a difficult time owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Ozigbo explained that his passion for the development of the freestyle genre of football spurred him to find a way past the pandemic in order to continue a tradition which had become his passion. He further stated that while most other sports had shut or scaled down, freestyle football can go on very easily in a non-contact manner to respect the physical distancing rules.

The press conference was attended by over 150 participants including leading publishers, journalists, professional freestylers, and sports enthusiasts from across the continent.

Some of the prominent personalities in attendance were Daniel Woods, a co-founder of the World Freestyle Football Association, Amaju Pinnick, Nigeria’s top football administrator, Lukas Skoda, Operations Manager for WFFA, Odyke Nzewi, a Director of Feet n Tricks, and Dele Momodu, the founder of Ovation Media Group.

Top professional freestylers who joined the event are Titi Kone, who is the reigning African champion, Ayoub Haouas from Tunisia, Ashley Mkhize from South Africa, and Patofs from Madagascar.

Daniel Wood, while speaking at the conference, thanked Ozigbo for seeing beyond the despair and helplessness in the world to hope and opportunities using virtual means.

Wood stated that the global lockdown caused a lull in global sporting activities and applauded Mr. Ozigbo for his tenacity, as Freestyle Unlocked Africa 2020 is the only freestyle competition holding this year asides the World Freestyle Football Championship which is currently ongoing.

He also expressed his enthusiasm for Freestyle Unlocked Africa 2020 as he saw it as an opportunity to showcase the beauty and talents that are untapped in Africa.

Amaju Pinnick, the President of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), delivered a goodwill message in which he echoed the praises and encouragement of Mr. Wood.

The Nigerian football boss wished Feet ‘N’ Tricks the best of luck for Freestyle Unlocked Africa 2020 and pledged support from the country’s football federation.

Mr. Ozigbo broke down the mechanics of the contest indicating that it is designd for inclusiveness and will have male and female competitors win daily prizes while freestyle footballers would compete for the $1000 grand prize. A total of $6,300 will be given out in cash prizes.

Valentine Ozigbo, who is the immediate past President and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Plc, called on well-meaning sponsors and sports-lovers alike to seize this chance to push forward a culture that can rally people and foster unity and oneness.

Freestyle Unlocked Africa 2020 begins on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 and the grand finale holds on Monday, July 20, 2020.
Feet ‘n’ Tricks International Limited is the official host for freestyle football competitions in Africa. The company is strongly committed to growing awareness and participation in the art form that is freestyle football. The company has hosted successful annual championships since 2017. Freestyle Unlocked Africa 2020 will be the 4th edition of the championships. The events are held in partnership with the World Freestyle Football Association, the world body governing the sport.
*SOURCE Feet ‘N’ Tricks International
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The African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and Ecobank Group announce the key focus areas of their joint initiative to support Africa’s Micro Small and Medium Enterprises
May 27, 2020 | 0 Comments
Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are critical to the African economy as they account for almost 85% of all private sector employment

AUDA-NEPAD (the African Union Development Agency) and Ecobank Group kick-start their collaboration to strengthen Africa’s response to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). High level representatives from the African Union Commission, regional development banks, development financial institutions, international organisations and commercial banks from the continent came together to focus their efforts on supporting the MSMEs segment and protect the livelihoods of millions of Africans. A virtual workshop facilitated by McKinsey held on May 26, 2020 provided an opportunity to reinforce the commitment of national, regional and continental institutions to work together to support MSMEs following the COVID-19 pandemic.

MSMEs are critical to the African economy as they account for almost 85% of all private sector employment. Vulnerable jobs are in 5 sectors in Africa, including Trade, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Construction and Hospitality. Some 25 – 160 million jobs in Africa are vulnerable due to the impact of COVID-19. This presents an opportunity to come together to increase capabilities available to MSMEs across the continent. Leaders acknowledged the need to continue ongoing efforts to support MSMEs while leveraging organizational capabilities for medium and long-term support.

Governments have committed in average $20 billion to support MSMEs recovery, however access to existing commitments will likely be limited to registered medium enterprises due to criteria outlined by governments and the reducing appetite of commercial banks to loan to small scale enterprises. The funds allocated for MSMEs are insufficient in most countries, leaving the biggest gaps in micro to small unregistered businesses. Based on this estimated financing gap, only 6 out of 20 countries have made commitments that can cover the MSMEs labour costs, including South Africa, Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Chad and Cape Verde. For this reason, partnerships such as that being co-led by Ecobank Group and AUDA-NEPAD are vital.

AUDA-NEPAD Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki emphasized that success of this initiative will depend on the number of partners and of the quality of the partnerships. He commended all the attendees for their interest and called their respective organizations to join as partners to drive this mission together.

Ade Ayeyemi, Ecobank Group CEO remarked, this initiative is focused on empowering MSMEs and to ease restarting and growing Africa’s economies with the knowledge that a significant number of jobs will be lost and businesses incapacitated. The workshop provided a platform for stakeholders from East, West, Central, North and Southern Africa to identify priority areas and strengthen our collective approach to safeguarding this sector, especially the micro enterprises. We believe that a multilateral approach which includes organisations, private sectors and governments will be beneficial and imperative for a successful implementation of support for Africa’s MSMEs.

About the Platform:
The AUDA-NEPAD and Ecobank Group will work with other African likeminded institutions and businesses to utilize the platform for monitoring and benchmarking, thus allowing members and MSMEs to share their experiences, best practices, national policies, and challenges, and avail resources to support African businesses and economies to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic. This will help prioritise the Agency’s actions in the short, mid and long term towards the Member States and the partners, to (i) mitigate COVID-19 economic impact, and (ii) leverage on lessons learned from the 100,000 SMEs project and other national, regional and continental initiatives to increase African economies’ level of resilience amid the pandemic.

About the AUDA-NEPAD COVID-19 Response Plan of Action:
The AUDA-NEPAD COVID-19 Response Plan of Action is a proactive, efficient and direct response in enhancing continental coverage, and improving access to sustainable and resilient health services while ensuring the protection of Africa’s economic foundations. The set of thematic areas that have been addressed by the plan create an ecosystem for the private sector to contribute to its implementation and to benefit from its added value, by opening new markets based on a win-win approach. The AUDA-NEPAD will be a recipient of financial investments and donations for its COVID-19 Response Plan of Action. The Agency plays the role of broker between various service providers and governments, as well as coordinate the value chain from operations to institutional mechanisms.

About Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’ or ‘The Group’):
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’) is the parent company of the Ecobank Group, the leading independent pan-African banking group. The Ecobank Group employs over 15,000 people and serves about 20 million customers in the consumer, commercial and corporate banking sectors across 33 African countries. The Group has a banking license in France and representative offices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Johannesburg, South Africa; Beijing, China; London, the UK and Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. The Group offers a full suite of banking products, services and solutions including bank and deposit accounts, loans, cash management, advisory, trade, securities, wealth and asset management. ETI is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchanges in Lagos, the Ghana Stock Exchange in Accra, and the Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières in Abidjan.

* SOURCE Ecobank
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I maintain my innocence with regards to trumped up allegations-AFDB President Dr Akinwumi Adesina
May 27, 2020 | 0 Comments
I am confident that fair, transparent and just processes that respect the rules, procedures and governance systems of the Bank, and the rule of law, will ultimately prove that I have not violated the Code of Ethics of this extraordinary institution, says AFDB President Akinwumi Adesina
I am confident that fair, transparent and just processes that respect the rules, procedures and governance systems of the Bank, and the rule of law, will ultimately prove that I have not violated the Code of Ethics of this extraordinary institution, says AFDB President Akinwumi Adesina

Embattled African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina says he is innocent with regard to trumped up allegations that unjustly seek to impugn his honor and integrity, as well as the reputation of the African Development Bank.

In press statement shared with Pan African Visions, Dr Adesina a former Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria says he has been overwhelmed with support from all over the world and has absolute confidence in the integrity of the Bank that he leads and its governance systems, rules and procedures .

” I am confident that fair, transparent and just processes that respect the rules, procedures and governance systems of the Bank, and the rule of law, will ultimately prove that I have not violated the Code of Ethics of this extraordinary institution,” Adesina says in the statement.

Adesina pledged to keep working with all shareholders to ensure that the African Development Bank maintains its hard earned global reputation; and to ensure that its credible and well-functioning institutional and governance systems are reinforced .

Below is the full statement

Press Statement On Recent News Reports And The African Development Bank

In recent weeks and over the last few days especially, I have been overwhelmed by the tremendous support received from around the world. I have absolute confidence in the integrity of the Bank that I lead and its governance systems, rules and procedures.

In spite of unprecedented attempts by some to tarnish my reputation and prejudice the Bank’s governance procedures, I maintain my innocence with regard to trumped up allegations that unjustly seek to impugn my honor and integrity, as well as the reputation of the African Development Bank.

I sincerely appreciate the support of the Bank’s shareholders.

At this time, I remain confident that ultimately and as one collective, the Bank will emerge stronger than before and continue to support Africa’s development drive. I draw great inspiration from my heroes, Nelson Mandela and Kofi Annan, whose lives have shown that through pain we grow. As Martin Luther King Jnr. once said, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. “

I am confident that fair, transparent and just processes that respect the rules, procedures and governance systems of the Bank, and the rule of law, will ultimately prove that I have not violated the Code of Ethics of this extraordinary institution.

I will therefore continue to work with each and everyone of our shareholders to ensure that the African Development Bank maintains its hard earned global reputation; and that our credible and well-functioning institutional and governance systems are reinforced, as we collectively press on to fulfill the mission of our founders to accelerate and transform Africa’s development.

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Cameroon Opposition leader, John Fru Ndi says fight remains same as 30 years ago, reiterates stand on federalism and promises “We will come back…”
May 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

SDF Chairman John Fru Ndi says the government should put an end to hostilities in the North West and South West regions and reconvene around a table of true dialogue and reconciliation with the form of state as a plausible solution
SDF Chairman John Fru Ndi says the government should put an end to hostilities in the North West and South West regions and reconvene around a table of true dialogue and reconciliation with the form of state as a plausible solution

Firebrand opposition leader John Fru Ndi credited nationally and at the international level as Cameroon’s father of democracy has in a four-page anniversary message to members and sympathizers of his Social Democratic Front, SDF political party stated that the fight which started some three decades ago, remains the same. 

In his message to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the SDF, the first opposition party in Cameroon, Fru Ndi who doubles as founder and national chairman of the party counted the numerous sacrifices of the party’s founding fathers as they suffered police crackdown, detention and brutality which led to death of many compatriots.

“It has been 30 whole years since we came together bonded by purpose to set our beloved country on a different path. It has been 30 years since we took a firm decision to leave the perceived comforts of the side‐line, nonparticipation and implied complicity with the wrongs of our society, to raise our voices for change and a call for action.”

“It is now 30 years since we started our fight for the very spirit and soul of the country, for the institution of a state of law, for social justice, for equal opportunities and of total restitution of power to the people,” a fight which he points out remains the same and will continue.

Acknowledging that three decades later the social situation remains very preoccupying in Cameroon with poverty, unemployment, lack of basic amenities and now civil unrest threatening the country’s existence, Fru Ndi reiterated his stance on returning the country to a federal system of government.   

Meeting with President Biya, only through the Federal option will each and every Cameroonian be given the unique opportunity to define and design their destiny, says the SDF Chairman
Meeting with President Biya, only through the Federal option will each and every Cameroonian be given the unique opportunity to define and design their destiny, says the SDF Chairman

The vocal politician has twice been kidnapped by separatist fighters in Cameroon’s English-speaking region of North West for his stance on keeping the country united. After his last release, he fled the country but in his anniversary message he promised that this is not the end of the fight.

“In the face of our perceived setbacks we must be reminded that we will come back when people think we should be forgotten; and no matter how far down we may be, we are never too far down to come back”, he said.

He pointed to the fact that Cameroon, purported to be divided by language (English and French) has some 300 local languages which has never been a source of division. “Where then is all the dis‐unity and disarray of the country coming from?” he pondered before adding that.

“We can only point at the centre, to the politics, the administrative set up, the procedures and the laws that govern us. That is what we must change if we are to accomplish our common destiny as a people united in purpose. That only through the Federal option will each and every Cameroonian be given the unique opportunity to define and design their destiny.”

We must build a true democracy where the people decide what is good for them Chairman Fru Ndi said at the launching of the party on May 26 1990, thirty years after the party and Cameroonians are still chasing the same dream

Below is the full message of John Fru Ndi, national chairman of SDF on 30th anniversary of party’s creation

Anniversary Message by National Chairman

Dear Members and sympathisers of the Social Democratic Front,

Fellow Cameroonians,

It has been 30 whole years since we came together bonded by purpose to set our beloved countryon a different path. It has been 30 years since we took a firm decision to leave the perceived comforts of the side‐line, nonparticipation and implied complicity with the wrongs of our society, to raise our voices for change and a call for action.

It is now 30 years since we started our fight for the very spirit and soul of the country, for the institution of a state of law, for social justice, for equal opportunities and of total restitution of power to the people.

Looking back over these years, I want to start by thanking God Almighty, for preserving us to this day. For all that He has done for us through this time; for the amazing highs and very testing lows, and finally, for all the lessons we have learned along the way. All these were to prepare us for the responsibility that has been thrusted on our movement. As it is famously said, to whom much is given, much is expected.

Dear Members and sympathisers, Fellow Cameroonians,

Let us take a trip down memory lane. This same day, 30 years ago, we began our struggle fordemocracy. During the launching speech, we said and I re‐quote “…the essence of our democracy is about local people controlling their day‐to‐day affairs…Because where the people are not free to go about their daily chores without undue molestation, they cannot exhibit their skills and talents… we must build a true democracy where the people decide what is good for them…dictatorship produces the following results in the words of Argentina’s great blind writer Jorge Luis Borges: “…oppression,servility, cruelty and more abominable is the fact that it breeds stupidity.”

Those words which captured the reality of Cameroon at that time, still ring very true in our society today. In the same speech, we never failed to mention that “…make no mistake and do not allow yourself to be misled or misguided by anyone, no matter his station in life. Democracy has never been handed over to a people on a platter of gold!”‐ 6 of our compatriots were later shot dead!

Today, the social situation in Cameroon still remains very preoccupying:

 The war rages on in the North West, South West, Far North and East Regions of the country.

I express my heartfelt condolence to all those who have lost loved ones in these various conflicts;

 The corona pandemic, which is silently decimating our people, has come to add to the list of other pandemics we suffer as a people;

 There is total breakdown in health facilities and inadequate doctors to take care of the health needs of Cameroonians. Scandals are a daily occurrence in our hospitals. And sorrowfully, most of these scandals result in fatalities;

 The level of poverty continues to grow, with less than 1% of the population living in provocative affluence;

 There is still no portable water in a majority of the cities and towns of Cameroon, even during such moments ‐ remember water is the basis of health and life;

 Electricity shortage continues to be chronic;

 The near absence of a good road network in the country continues to be the cause of many fatal road accidents;

 The rate of unemployment and under employment, especially among the youth, continue to provide a ready army of disillusioned people, who can easily be manipulated to engage in unrewarding political actions, which only cause the death of more and more sons and daughters of the country; In fact, we are at the brink of a complete break down and very divided in our thoughts as a people and worst still, how to resolve them.

Over the years, we have made suggestions and contributions on how to shape the future of the country, principally that we must return to a federal form of governance.

Despite the hostile political environment we found ourselves in, even where we were considered enemies in the house for our position and ideals, we have fought hard and contributed tremendously to the building of a progressive image of the country.

Through pressure and persistence, we obtained the first Sovereign National Conference and the admission that our system of administration was not set to deliver the development we all desperately wanted. Our engagement in the politics of the nation, preceded the admission of the country to the Francophonie and the Commonwealth of Nations; organisations who have provided various forms of assistance to the country. We later took part in local elections and won some key cities of the country and some seats in parliament. Even though limited in number and stifled by government control, were able to accomplish the following:

 On the table in local councils, we were able to lay bare how ineffective, limited and cosmetic decentralisation is as a system to ensure the full participation and integration of the local population in their development agenda;

 It is on the floor of parliament, led by formidable men like Joseph Mbah Ndam and Joseph Banadzem (both of blessed memory) and other true social democrats still holding the fort today, that we were able to open the debate on the laws of the land for Cameroonians to be aware of what truly obtained in parliament. We promoted the woman folk and youth, giving them key positions in the bureau of the National Assembly, truly opening up our democracy to every Cameroonian;

 It is not until we mounted the rostrum during ministerial question time, were we able to expose and uncover the infamous Monchipou Seidou Scandal, which subsequently ushered in Operation Sparrow Hawk and the clamping down on corrupt public officials;

 It is not until we introduced the record number of private member bills were we able to mark some progress with the electoral laws of the land.

All these and many more that I cannot enumerate here, are some of the limited actions we could impact on a system that did all to ensure that we failed and tried to pollute public opinion with innuendos that our participation in sovereign institutions was a harbinger of duplexity and complicity with the regime. A political tool they have never stopped using to distract us from the challenges we have at hand.

We demonstrated great strengths and showed great promise, we succeeded where many wrote us off and waited for us to fail. We are far from where we want to be in that fight, but it is a battle we have committed ourselves to win.

Our experience has taught us to always take a seat on the table and make our voices heard. It is not in boycott and abstention that we register the dissenting voice, but in full participation and consistently telling the alternative story and explaining how things can be and should be different, without blinking.

It is our hard work and determination that has exposed the critical weaknesses of our current system. We must therefore in the wake of these new challenges find new strengths. Our country is in dire need of our maturity, our determination, our focus and our experience. The lessons hard learned and the history we have created must be called up if we are to forge the country of the future, where all will be treated equally and as one. We can only succeed in this God ordained mission by staying true to our vision, which is very simple:

“The People must have an equal chance at autonomy and empowerment ‐ for in true democracy lies our development, in true justice our peace and social cohesion and credible elections, our ability to renew our believes in our Fatherland. Our founding fathers found it fundamental to base our core ideals on DEMOCRACY, JUSTICE AND DEVELOPMENT – Power to the People.”

We are proud that we have not only just said these words, but we have demonstrated the truth in it through our “active intervention” policy. This policy made us tour every nook and cranny of the nation 21 times in 30 years. We slept in all the divisions and almost every village of the country, spreading our message and the merits of our struggle to the people. In all our public engagements, meetings and conventions, from Bamenda (1992), Bafoussam (1993), Maroua (1995), Buea (1996), Yaoundé (1999), Bamenda 2001, 2006, 2012 and 2018, we found more things that unite us than separate us. The only problem we noted is the fact that we have not mustered the political will nor provided the best opportunity to celebrate and encourage these unique attributes we share as a people.

At a time where the debate is rife, let us consider some of these issues and reflect carefully on them. We are mysteriously purported to be divided by language, even though besides our colonial heritage of English and French, we have over 300 local languages, which have never been a source of division.

We have over 30 national dishes, which are a delicacy and appreciated across the nation as a strength and not a point of division. That we have danced, sang and celebrated music across the nation, which doesn’t remind us of division, but prides us as a nation. Where then is all the dis‐unity and disarray of the country coming from?

We can only point at the centre, to the politics, the administrative set up, the procedures and the laws that govern us. That is what we must change if we are to accomplish our common destiny as a people united in purpose. That only through the Federal option will each and every Cameroonian be given the unique opportunity to define and design their destiny.

Dear Members and sympathisers of the Social Democratic Front,

Fellow Cameroonians.

Every time we entertain this critical topic, our detractors find a way of either diluting or misrepresenting our position. The Federal form of governance can be achieved through restoration.

Restoration as a process of constitutional change whereby the political system resumes an earlier structure as a result of the failure of the subsequent structure to evolve into a viable vehicle that adequately addresses the pressing needs of that society. While restoration is usually conceived as a return to the old structure, it is, however, the case that the restored structure, more often than not,turns out to be an updated and much improved version of the earlier one. This is what we should strive for as soon as possible.

I therefore call on government to put an end to the hostilities in the North West and South Wes tregions.

To reconvene around a table of true dialogue and reconciliation.

To have the sincerity of tabling the form of the state as a plausible solution no just to the crisis in the North West and South West, but for the country as a whole. I pray that for once, we will do the right thing for our nation.

I end this note by thanking all the Founding Fathers of the SDF. This band of fine gentlemen who developed a mantra that has stood through time. The work we all started, will live forever in the hearts and minds of the people and indeed we shall overcome. May the souls of all our departed heroes and comrades continue to find peace in the bosom of the Lord.

Let me go on to thank and congratulate every one of you, members and sympathisers of the party, for your steadfastness, tremendous sacrifices, some with their lives and others their unflinching support, that we may truly be able to change our country. My hearty congratulations go to you, who despite the ominous odds, understand the discipline of faith and belief in ideals. In your 30 years of commitment and servitude, you have made the distinction between a journey and a destination. You have matured over these years, learning the art of resilience and focus on the goal. In the face of our perceived setbacks we must be reminded that “we will come back when people think we should be forgotten; and no matter how far down we may be, we are never too far down to come back”.

Finally, I want to commend the efforts of all our medical personnel who are sparing no energy to ensure that we all make it through this pandemic. I call on the population therefore to respect all the directives in place, avoid public gatherings, wash your hands regularly and maintain safe social distances.

Long live the Social Democratic Front

Long live our nation Cameroon

Ni John FRU NDI

National Chairman

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