New report on the status of renewable energy in Africa shows that more ambition can help towards a just recovery from COVID-19
July 10, 2020 | 0 Comments
Johannesburg, South Africa – A new report released today shows that Africa is slowly planning a renewable energy powered future. Climate justice activist organisations 350Africa.org and WoMin African Alliance commissioned the research for Renewable Energy in Africa: An opportunity in a time of crisis before the COVID-19 health pandemic swept across the globe, to map out Africa’s ambition towards dealing with the continent’s other crisis – its energy crisis. COVID-19 is exacerbating existing developmental issues like access to energy, bringing to attention the need to develop renewable energy as part of a just recovery from the pandemic.
With the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 impacting lives and livelihoods, governments are searching for solutions. While some countries have made commitments to increasing their energy coming from renewable sources, there is abundant potential for more to be done. This will not only support decentralised, homegrown development, but will also assist communities across the continent to counter the impacts of the virus and future shocks. Importantly, for renewable energy to be a success in Africa, the rights and collective decisions of local communities have to be taken into consideration.
The report shows that by 2030 renewable energy installations are projected to go up to over 77GW. This is a massive increase from the less than 15GW currently operating. However, by 2030 coal will still have a 43% share of installed energy capacity in Africa. The uptake of renewable energy technologies in the form of geothermal, solar, ocean wave, wind and small hydro, thus falls far short of that of fossil fuels, including diesel and fossil gas installations. In the context of the global climate, ecological and health crises, more ambitious plans are needed from African governments to leapfrog dirty energy and secure people’s access to clean energy.
The report, which maps renewable energy projects across ten African countries (Botswana, DRC, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda), shows that where issues have been encountered with renewable energy, they are largely due to the implementation of the projects. The hugely detrimental impacts of the operation of fossil fuel plants to people and the environment are absent. However, the problems in implementation of large renewable energy projects can mirror those of fossil fuel projects. The report therefore highlights the importance of community participation and consent in the planning of the project, agreement on community benefits including having access and right to the energy produced and the opportunity and ability of the community to own all or part of the project.
On the sidelines of the launch, Landry Ninteretse, the Regional Team Lead for 350Africa.org said:
“Renewable energy is already well suited to Africa. Many people live out of reach of centralised grids, however in a continent rich in wind, hydro and solar resources, they should be easily deployed to meet the needs of these unserved and underserved populations.”
Trusha Reddy, Head of WoMin’s Energy and Climate Justice Programme added:
“Where renewable energy projects are sited and constructed, it should be done in a way that reduces negative impacts. In constructing renewable energy, we need to be sensitive to the ecological and community impacts – particularly those of women, and to ensure the benefits are shared equitably. We also need to be wary of blindly following an industrial model of renewable energy development which involves massive destructive mining of minerals for components. Different models should be explored.”
Globally, there has been a significant push to move to renewable energy, as it has the potential of not only transforming the lives of millions but is kinder to the planet. However, in order for renewable energy to be truly transformative it needs to reach the energy and economically poor; the move to 100% clean energy should avoid the old models of energy generation that have denied people access to energy and have resulted in land grabs, environmental destruction, pollution and above all the fueling of climate change.
Sierra Leone : Rainbow Initiative Calls On Government To Invest In Forensic Lab To Increase Convictions On Sexual Assault Cases
July 9, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
Deputy Executive Director of Rainbow Initiative in Sierra Leone , Gibril Kargbo has called on the government and its development partners to invest in forensic lab in order to increase conviction on sexual assault cases in the country.
Gibril Kargbo made the statement today during the People’s Alliance for Reproductive Health Advocacy (PARHA) Press briefing on the need towards law reform for the protection and promotion of sexual Reproductive Health and Rights in Sierra Leone at the Civil Service Training College , on Tower Hill in Freetown.
“However, we want to encourage government to increase its support to the institutions that are in the middle of the fight against SGBV’s in Sierra Leone , specifically we want to encourage government and its development partners to invest in the forensic lab that can provide stronger evidence to support conviction,’’ he said.
He added that there has been an increasing effort of both past and present government in the empowerment women and girls in the country stating that this is evident in the enactment of couple of laws like the child Rights Act 2007, the sexual Offences Act 2012 among others.
“Today we stand with our friends and colleagues to explore and fight a common enemy that is slowly destroying our country. Rape is not only a health problem for women and girls , it has psychological effect on them. In 2019, we recorded 3,701 sexual assault cases with 598 pregnancies, 4 HIV positives , and 255 successful prosecution. Between January and May 2020, Rainbow Initiatives have recorded a total of 1,272 sexual assault cases in just five districts with a total of 217 pregnancies and 932 STI that can be directly related ,’’Kargbo lamented.
Kargbo revealed that in May this year , they treated a three-month old baby stating that as he is speaking they are also treating , a 9-year-old baby in their clinic after a brutal rape.
“We have started reporting cases of boys that are been rape. Ladies and gentlemen its high time we set up a forensic lab so as to increase conviction and expose perpetrators . Let us all step up our efforts to support the survivors and re- integrate them into our communities,’’ the Rainbow deputy boss said.
The Rainbow deputy Director called on everyone to break the silence an speak out and report cases thus called on religious leaders to join them in the fight by including prevention and awareness raising messages in their sermons in churches and mosques.
“Please let me say that women and girls are at the centre to the country’s development and they deserved to be protected from all forms of violence . Rainbow Initiatives therefore remains committed to this fight,’’ the Rainbow deputy director emphasized.
Speaking on the Legal challenges of Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights , including justice for survivor of sexual assault in Sierra Leone, President of Legal Access through Women Yearning for Equality Rights and social justice (LAWYERS ), Lawyer Fatmata Sorie said Sierra Leone is a signatory to many international treaties and conventions notably the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) including the Maputo protocols thus the need for the country to uphold its obligation in making sexual and Reproductive Health a rights in Sierra Leone.
“Despite its obligations under international law, as a country , we have failed to put the structures in place to domesticate the Maputo Protocol and other treaties. Regardless of our signing of these treaties , we currently maintained very , very , restrictive and I will also add punitive measures as well as laws that is limiting every women’s right to choose on sexual and Reproductive Health ,’’she revealed.
She added that, over the years efforts have been made to change the status quo thus referencing in 2015 , that there was a mere miss of achieving law reform of sexual reproductive rights in the country with the safe Abortion Bill.
“Why did we miss this opportunity ? this was a result of the massive opposition which appeared from all sects predominantly the religious sector. There was insufficient engagement of the relevance of the bill . The name of the bill itself was a problem . I will not want to proffer those things today but that I will tell you there is obligation on the state to pass that bill,’’ Lawyer Sorie said , adding that with the alarming rate of SGBV’s and sexual Assault cases in the country there is need for a safe motherhood bill.
Executive Director CARL, Ibrahim Tommy , speaking on the PARHA /CARL -SL Amplify Change grant said the one of key things as part of the project is make sure that they advocate for the backward and outdated laws like the 1861 Offences Against the Persons’ Act that criminalises abortion and sexual reproductive rights for women and girls in the country.
“We believe that in this day and age ,that it shouldn’t be the case , so , this grant will make sure that, it will create a safe and secure space for women and girls in the country to have rights on their sexual reproductive health as there are many players in the coalition including Marie Stopes Sierra Leone,’’ he said
He said the coalition has a nation- wide membership of over 50 CSO’s inclusive of grassroots advocacy groups , professional bodies, Faith based Organisation , Trade unions , and Individuals in the country.
Malawi farmers record huge harvest from genetically modified cotton
July 8, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Suzgo Chitete
After years of research and scientific approvals, the Malawi government in November last year released genetically modified cotton seeds for commercial cultivation.
The farmers who planted Bt cotton for the first time in the last growing season took a gamble to depart from tradition.
France Thole, a cotton farmer in Chikwawa, Southern Malawi, was among the few farmers who were part of the field trials of the new cotton varieties, which have performed wonders elsewhere.
Through the trials, farmers had a feel of the new technology and were convinced this could be the way to go. But it was a real gamble, according to Thole.
“There was lot of negativity from community members when we told them we wanted to try Bt cotton. In as much as we were convinced that the new cotton variety was better than the traditional seeds, we were still not sure if we would be successful,” says Thole, 60, who has been growing cotton for almost half his age.
“I can tell you the quality of the new variety is impressive; one plant gives you up to 150 bolls when the local variety would give 40-50 bolls. The cotton is thick and good looking.”
Bt cotton seed has been genetically engineered to make the crop resistant to bollworm. Scientists say this resistance significantly reduces the cost of production as one does not need pesticides now and again.
“If you follow instructions properly you gain more with this new variety. You can produce up to 3,000 bags per hectare while the old variety would you give you 1,000 -1,500 and yet it is also labour intensive because it requires frequent spraying of pesticides,” says Allan Tchalison, another farmer in the Lowershire zone.
Apart from his modern, fully electrified house, some herds of cattle, chickens and goats, Tchalison sponsors his grandchildren’s education. His son’s daughter is in second year pursuing an engineering course at University of Malawi’s Polytechnic. Others are in secondary schools.
Tchalison vouches for Bt cotton as the best so far, but pleads for improved extension work. He says at this stage farmers need close supervision because of their unfamiliarity with the new technology, which he believes is a game changer if well handled.
Another cotton farmer, Mwayi Joseph Chirwa, a primary school teacher in Salima, Central of Malawi, 120 kilometres from the Capital Lilongwe, attests to the scientific claim that Bt cotton significantly reduces the cost of production and has high yield. She estimates that from her piece of land she has been able to harvest double the usual yield.
“I followed instructions throughout, based on leaflets that I was given and also the advice from the extension workers but I could have missed a step or two…because it is new. I think if one follows the guidelines to the letter they can get more than double,” said Chirwa.
Malawi is among new entrants in a growing list of countries that have commercialised cotton in Africa which include South Africa, Ethiopia and Sudan are other examples. Kenya is yet to get its first harvest and so is Nigeria though they have commercialized the crop too. According to the Seed Trade Association of Malawi, 20,000 Malawian farmers planted the Bt cotton seed last season which just ended last month.
Cotton is one of the strategic crops in the national export strategy and if well managed, the genetically modified variety can significantly improve production, which has dropped at an alarming rate due to lack of investment.
With an allocation of K1.6 billion (USD2.2 million) in the 2011/12 financial year, Malawi was able to produce a record 100,000 metric tonnes that year. Over the years, this figure has drastically dropped; the Cotton Council of Malawi estimates that on average the country is now producing about 15,000 MT per year, which rakes in K10 billion (USD13.5 million) against a ginning capacity of 600,000 metric tonnes. With the adoption of the new technology in Malawi, it is estimated that the country will soon produce nearly 40,000 MT.
According the Chairman of STAM, Mr John Lungu, stakeholders are now putting their heads together to ensure that market for the bumper harvest is secured to ensure that farmers benefit wholly from their sweat.
“We hope government may consider to subsidise the seeds just to boost cotton farming in Malawi. With this new variety which has shown that it has higher yield, we expect more farmers to come on board and adopt it. So my appeal to government is to liaise with the seed making company to make the seeds available at an affordable price,” pleaded Rodgers Manjawira another farmer from Salima.
The African Institute of Corporate Citizenship (AICC), an NGO which has been pushing for an improved cotton in Malawi, equally thinks one way of helping farmers is to have the seeds for Bt cotton subsidized and also strengthen extension work so that farmers have up to date information on Bt cotton.
AICC Chief Executive Officer, Felix Lombe, said: “We need to improve cotton production because it is a strategic crop for exports. The economy stands to benefit from cotton which has a ready market locally and internationally.”
Agriculture: Glimmer Of Hope As Scientists Battle Lethal Potato Nematodes
July 8, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Christine Ochogo
Every season, Margaret Kenzi, a potato farmer in Kenya’s Rift Valley, tirelessly works in her potato farm with hopes of a bumper harvest.
To her dismay, her efforts of three years have hardly yielded as she does not use certified potato seeds. She attributes this sorry state to the high cost of certified seeds, which has driven her to using regenerated seeds every planting season that are prone to attacks by pests and diseases.
“I depend on recycled seeds because certified seeds cost Sh3,000 (U$30) per bag of 50kg which I cannot afford due to the hard economy. And after harvesting we are forced to sell our produce at a throwaway price to middlemen and brokers who invade our farms with ready cash. A 50kg bag of potatoes goes for between Sh1,500 (U$15) and Sh2,000 (U$20) while a 2kg package sells at Sh100 (U$1),” decries Kenzi.
Researchers put it that only maize is grown in more countries than potato, with Africa producing about seven percent of global potato output, mainly in Egypt and South Africa. The crop is popular and valuable for both food security and income generation, competing well with maize in the subtropical climates at higher altitudes.
Under these conditions, year-round production can be possible, often with at least two seasons per annum. In recent years, however, yields have shown notable declining trends, mainly attributed to major disease outbreaks, inappropriate cropping practices by farmers, substandard seed quality and lack of organised market infrastructure for produce.
Emerging markets for processed potatoes (such as chips, crisps, starch) have increasingly focused attention on the crop, with rising demand from the fast food industry and processing for added economic value. Processed potatoes, however, also demand high levels of quality, which can be difficult to sustain in the face of high pest and disease pressures.
In Kenya, according to Farming Success with Potatoes in Kenya, a publication by the International Centre of Potato (CIP), potato is the second most important staple food crop after maize and is valued at nearly $500 million (Sh50 billion) annually.
About 800,000 Kenyans directly benefit from potato production, while across the whole value chain about 2.5 million people receive income from potato. However, in Kenya, yields have declined and currently average 9-10 tonnes per hectare, much below the potential of 20–40 t/ha, and this is reflected across the region.
As if Mother Nature is adding insult to injury, farmers like Ms Kenzi’s woes are not helped by the emergence of new pests and diseases, such as the recently detected potato cyst nematodes (PCNs), Globodera rostochiensis and G. pallida, a key threat to potato production in eastern Africa, according to an article published recently in the Frontiers in Plant Science journal by International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe); International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA); North Carolina State University, USA; and Kenyatta University, Kenya.
The occurrence of PCN presents a key threat to potato production in Kenya, as well as to the entire East Africa region where potato features prominently as a food security or income generation crop for millions of smallholder farmers. The good news, states the study in its conclusion, is that it may be possible to manage the nematodes by inducing ‘suicidal hatching’ of the pests using naturally occurring chemicals in crop roots.
Nematodes are tiny microscopic worms, with some soil dwelling species infecting and adversely affecting most, if not all, cultivated crops. Potato cyst nematodes (PCNs) are invasive nematode pests that were first reported in Kenya in 2015, and have since been confirmed from other countries in eastern Africa.
Studies by icipe and partners have shown that these nematodes cause up to 80 per cent yield loss in potatoes.
“The management of the nematodes under study is particularly challenging due to the pest’s ability to survive in the soil as tiny protective cysts. These cysts can contain up to 600 eggs, but are able to remain dormant in the absence of a host plant for up to 20 years. Once they infest a field, it is impossible to eradicate. Therefore, a possible effective approach is to avoid the build-up and spread of the pest,” says Prof Baldwyn Torto, Head of Behavioural and Chemical Ecology Unit at icipe.
In over 100 countries, this has been achieved by strict quarantine regulations because they are globally considered as the most important pests threatening potato production but are all too often overlooked in less developed countries.
The recent studies by icipe and partners aimed to manage their spread by exploring several known facts about potato cyst nematodes. First, is the fact that potato cyst nematodes eggs hatch only in the presence of suitable host plants such as potato, tomato and African nightshade, which scientists refer to as the Solanaceae family.
Once hatched, the infective juvenile nematodes that emerge from the cyst seek host crop roots to invade and feed upon. The developing female nematodes swell and eventually become a new cyst full of eggs. These eggs hatch only once triggered by chemical signals produced by roots of the host plant. The aim of the research was to identify these signals, and whether they can be exploited to induce hatch of the potato cyst nematodes juveniles in the absence of host crops and thus lead to their eventual death; or rather the ‘suicidal hatch’ of the nematodes.
“We noted that most juvenile PCN that hatched in response to some chemical signals, known as steroidal glycoalkaloids (SGAs) and steroidal alkaloids (SAs), remained encysted. In other words, they did not leave the cyst to invade crop roots but remained encapsulated in the cyst,” noted a Kenyan scientist, Juliet Ochola, who was involved in the research as part of her MSc studies, based at icipe and registered at Kenyatta University.
Prof Danny Coyne, soil health scientist at IITA, explains that the SGAs and SAs could be used in synthetic forms to stimulate suicidal hatch of PCN in infested fields before farmers plant potatoes.
Alternatively, plants that produce the chemicals but are not usually infected by PCN could be incorporated in a crop rotation system to stimulate PCN hatch, thereby reducing populations of the pest.
“Blends of the compounds obtained from crude material of such plants may be used to treat potato fields as organic soil amendments. This approach would be environmentally attractive and better than using nematicides, which can be hazardous, and due to their dependence on single compounds, are prone to pest resistance,” says Prof Coyne.
The study presents the results of a countrywide survey undertaken to determine the distribution of PCN and the potential damage it is causing in the major potato growing regions of Kenya.
Additionally, the study team examined farmers’ potato production practices and how these will need to be taken into consideration for the implementation of future pest management strategies.
It is hoped that the information provided in the study will serve as a wakeup call that should further help policy makers and regional stakeholders to make informed decisions related to PCN containment and mitigation.
Africa Energy Forum (aef) hosts digital networking platform for energy community
July 8, 2020 | 0 Comments
Following the postponement of aef to October 2020, organisers hosted the digital content and networking platform ‘aef2.0’ for Africa’s energy community over the previous dates of the Forum, between 30th June – 3rd July.
Under the theme ‘Investment & Impact: Out of Response and Into Recovery,’ aef2.0 examined the effect of Covid-19 on Africa’s energy sector, responses happening across the value chain and predictions for the long-term impact on investment and project development.
Over 2000 attendees joined a series of digital panel discussions and debates featuring key stakeholders such as Power Africa, Aggreko, IFC, The African Development Bank, IEA, Siemens, Wärtsilä, Nedbank, Actis, Absa, DFC, SEforAll, and more.
4,559 messages were exchanged on the platform which allowed participants to schedule private one-to-one video meeting meetings throughout the week, with 562 meetings requested.
Panel discussions covered key topics such as how best to build resilience in live energy projects, the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) by 2030 and the impact on energy end users such as healthcare and agriculture. Country spotlight sessions also examined the unique impact of the pandemic on energy developments in Ghana, Kenya and Morocco. The event was designed to maintain momentum both in knowledge sharing and business development, as well as to provide deeper clarity on the direction of the sector
DRC Offers the World an Immediate Climate Solution
July 8, 2020 | 0 Comments
Everland launches inaugural webinar, Everland Presents: REDD+, A Force of Nature presenting the pioneering Wildlife Works Mai Ndombe REDD+ Project.
Everland, the exclusive representative of the largest portfolio of high-impact, forest conservation projects across the globe launched its inaugural webinar event REDD+, A Force of Nature, presenting the Wildlife Works Mai Ndombe REDD+ Project in the DRC highlighting the critical importance to protect the Congo Basin Rainforest.
REDD+ is an acronym for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, a climate change mitigation strategy introduced by the United Nations that is an essential part of the Paris Climate Agreement.
The REDD+ mechanism was designed to help stop the destruction of the world’s forests which is contributing massively to the climate crisis. REDD+ allows local landowners in the developing world to monetize their forest and biodiversity assets whether they are governments, communities, ownership groups, or private individuals.
The Congo Basin Rainforest is the second largest intact tropical forest on earth and left standing, offers the world an immediate low-cost climate solution that also protects habitat for threatened wildlife and a way to bring sustainable development benefiting the local the forest community.
Leading sustainability and corporate social responsibility executives, impact investors, policy makers and media from 26 countries were in attendance.
Expert speakers explained how REDD+ offers one of the most effective tools we have right now to combat the climate crisis.
June 30th is significant as it is Independence Day in the DRC which had experienced a long history of colonial oppression and post-colonial exploitation and put the country in a position of dire need of development.
Today, a progressive new coalition government in the DRC is focused on meeting the needs of its people, eager to find ways to address extreme poverty and to preserve the country’s natural resources for the benefit of all.
REDD+ as a market-based mechanism offers the DRC an approach to solve both the needs of its population and the environment.
To address the climate crisis, the DRC has demonstrated longstanding leadership in UN Climate negotiations, representing Africa and advocating for the importance of forest conservation.
Since 2011, Wildlife Works has been working with the DRC government on the country’s national and subnational REDD+ program.
Her Excellency Madame Jeanne Ilunga Zaina, Vice Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development for the Democratic Republic of the Congo discussed the DRCs ambition for a green new future and praised Wildlife Works for its numerous achievements to stop deforestation and bring much needed benefits to the local forest community.
Basabo Boot’Ombala, Chief of Batwa Pygymy Village of Ikita, one of 23 villages in the project area, was interviewed and she spoke about life in Ikita and what the Mai Ndombe REDD+ Project means to the Indigenous Batwa Pygmy community.
Chief Basabo said:
“Here in my village, the forest is our main source of everything. Our livelihood is highly dependent on the forest. That is the reason why we are saving the forest. We can’t survive without the forest. The forest is my and the whole (Ikita) populations survival.”
Other speakers included:
- Armin Sandhoevel, Chief Investment Officer Infrastructure Equity, Allianz
- Mike Korchinsky, Founder and President, Wildlife Works
- Jean-Robert Bwangoy, DRC Country Director, Wildlife Works
- Anna Lehmann, Global Climate Policy Director, Wildlife Works
- Naomi Swickard, Chief Program Officer, Verra
- Filip Agoo, Documentary Impact Photographer, Create The Change
- Josh Tosteson, Chief Operating Officer, Everland
- Moderated by Pamela Brazier, Vice President of Business Development, Europe, Everland
For more information about the speakers and the discussion:
About Mai Ndombe
The Mai Ndombe REDD+ project protects 300k hectares of critical bonobo and forest elephant habitat within the Congo Basin, the world’s second largest intact rainforest which also contains one of the most important wetlands of the planet. This project supports some of the worlds most impoverished and marginalized people in one of the least-developed places on Earth. The Mai Ndombe REDD+ project, developed and managed by Wildlife Works, utilizes carbon finance to address the basic development needs of 180,000 people that previously had little to no access to basic social services.
Wildlife Works is the world’s leading REDD+ program development and management company with an effective approach to applying innovative market-based solutions to the conservation of biodiversity. Over its 24-year history, Wildlife Works established a successful model that uses the emerging marketplace for REDD+ Carbon Offsets to protect threatened forests, wildlife, and communities.
Everland is a specialized marketing company representing the largest portfolio of high-impact, forest conservation projects, across the globe, that are focused on stopping deforestation. The company brings together forest communities and corporations in a common cause to protect some of the world’s most important and vulnerable forests.
Honoris United Universities Welcomes Nile University of Nigeria to its Pan-African Network
July 3, 2020 | 0 Comments
|Expansion into Nigeria marks a major milestone in Honoris’ mission to provide Education for Impact across the continent.|
Honoris United Universities , Africa’s first and largest pan-African network of private higher education institutions, today announced its expansion into West Africa by welcoming Nile University of Nigeria, known for its strong academic credentials and best-in-class faculties, into the network.
Established in 2009, Nile University of Nigeria is a fully accredited university that offers a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the Arts and Social Sciences, Engineering, Law, Management Sciences, Natural and Applied Sciences, and Medical & Health Sciences. Committed to the best development experiences for its students, the university’s campus located in Abuja provides modern learning environments and high-quality facilities, including outstanding sports amenities as well as secure hostel accommodation.
With the largest population and economy in Africa, Nigeria is poised to lead a new generation of African leaders and professionals. As high-quality education in public and private institutions increases in demand, Honoris is partnering with Nile University of Nigeria to support access, quality, and outcomes while extending its world-class African human talent mandates.
With Honoris United Universities, Nile University of Nigeria students will have access to diverse experiences across the entire network, including 21st century physical and digital learning environments using state-of-the-art professional technologies. Additionally, they will benefit from Honoris’ regional and international network of partners, providing opportunities for student and faculty exchanges and research programs. These experiences will support the growth of highly competitive graduates as well as contribute to the development efforts of Nigerian communities throughout the country.
As Honoris United Universities marks its third anniversary, the addition of Nile University of Nigeria to the Honoris network is a major milestone in its pan-African expansion. With a footprint that extends from Casablanca to Cape Town, and from Abuja to Tunis, the Honoris network now consists of 11 institutions in 10 countries and 32 cities, amassing significant expertise in contact, distance and online education. Its institutions are well established authorities within the disciplines of Medical & Health Sciences, Engineering, IT, Business, Law, Architecture, Creative Arts & Design, Media, Political Science and Education.
Commenting, CEO of Honoris United Universities, Luis Lopez, said, “As we welcome Nile University of Nigeria to the Honoris family of higher education institutions, we are undertaking an important step forward in our pan-African goal of widening access to quality higher education for young people in the continent. In light of Nigeria’s strategic importance to the development of Africa, we are pleased to be making this investment in the educational system of the country. Moreover, the high standards and the accomplishments of Nile University of Nigeria add significant collaborative intelligence and pedagogical capabilities to our network. I look forward to the contributions Honoris United Universities and Nile University of Nigeria will bring to our communities throughout Nigeria.”
Of note, Nile University of Nigeria’s medical school further strengthens the network’s health sciences vertical and complements the Honoris Medical Simulation Centre in Tunis, which trains more than 3,500 students and upskills health professionals within the wider medical community. Together, these programs highlight Honoris’ focus on professions and skills relevant to the students and to the communities they will impact.
About Honoris United Universities:
Honoris United Universities is the first and largest pan-African private higher education network committed to educating the next generation of African leaders and professionals able to impact regionally in a globalized world. Collaborative intelligence, cultural agility and mobile mind-sets and skills are at the heart of Honoris’ vision of higher education. Honoris United Universities joins the expertise of its member institutions to develop world-class African Human capital that is competitive in today’s fast-paced, demanding and increasingly digitized labour and start-up markets.
Honoris United Universities gathers a community of 45,000 students on 60 campuses, learning centres and via on-line, in 10 countries and 32 cities. The network counts 11 institutions: multidisciplinary universities, specialized schools, technical and vocational institutes, contact, distance and online institutions. Students have an opportunity to experience exclusive partnerships and exchange programs in more than 60 universities across Europe and the United States. Over 280 degrees are offered in Medicine, Health Sciences, Engineering, IT, Business, Law, Architecture, Creative Arts and Design, Media, Political Science and Education.
About Nile University of Nigeria:
Nile University of Nigeria is a private multidisciplinary university that offers undergraduate and postgraduate students a wide portfolio of programs across six faculties – Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Management Sciences, Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences and Faculty of Law.
Nile University of Nigeria was founded in 2009 to provide the country’s fast-growing number of secondary school leavers with a high-quality university education. It is well-known for its academic credentials and best-in-class faculties offering 26 undergraduate programs and 36 postgraduate programs to over 3,500 students. Its 113-hectare campus, based in Abuja, offers state-of-the art learning spaces, outstanding sports facilities (including basketball, tennis, football, volleyball and table tennis) as well as quality, secure hostels, all in a peaceful and safe environment.
Nile University of Nigeria degrees are accredited by Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) and professional authorities such as ICAN, COREN, Council of Legal Education and Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN).
Since inception, Nile University of Nigeria has worked to provide students with the skills and competencies they need to face the challenges of a globalized and digital world. The University has signed MoUs with 25 international universities in Africa, Asia, Europe, United Kingdom and the United States and is a Member of the Association of African Universities and West African Universities. 1,700 alumni demonstrate the high quality of the institution and its academic excellence and discipline.
*SOURCE Honoris United Universities.
International Energy Agency’s Africa Dialogue Needs to be Inclusive for a Workable Africa’s Energy Transition
July 1, 2020 | 0 Comments
|The Chamber reiterates its support to inclusive dialogues that take into account the realities of African economies and of energy poverty.|
The African Energy Chamber takes notes of recent initiatives taken by the International Energy Agency (IEA) to support Africa’s energy transition and salutes the leadership of the IEA in this dialogue. Such conversations notably echo the Chamber’s recent statement on African Lives Matter, questioning the OECD and IEA’s recent call to phase out fossil fuels. While the conversation of Africa’s energy transition continues, the Chamber reiterates its support to inclusive dialogues that take into account the realities of African economies and of energy poverty.
Unfortunately, the Africa Ministerial Roundtable organized this week has sidelined key stakeholders and actors within Africa’s energy sector, preventing its ability to be truly inclusive and impactful on the ground. Africa’s energy transition will not be possible without the inclusion, and participation of, the continent’s petroleum and gas ministries and companies.
The Chamber strongly believes that key institutions like the African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO), led by its Secretary General Dr. Farouk Ibrahim, need to be part of this dialogue, along with representatives of the petroleum ministries of producing countries such as Algeria, Nigeria, Angola, Equatorial, Libya, Congo or Gabon and key National Oil Companies such as Sonatrach, GEPetrol, Gabon Oil, NNPC or Sonangol. The African private sector was not invited while we note the invitation and participation an international oil company. Given the importance of the oil & gas sector for several African economies, the Chamber questions the relevance of an energy debate that would exclude them from the conversation.
“Energy poverty is as real as climate change, and the global debate on Africa’s energy transition tends to forget that hundreds of millions of African have no access to energy and still rely on firewood for cooking. Their needs must be at the center of the energy transition debate, which should not be made at the expense of any particular source of energy,” stated Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber. “This generation of Africans are not tickled by foreign aid and handouts that resulted in poor governance and mismanagement. Jobs, sustainable power and gas that drives development, along strong market-driven economies, are what Africans want. In order to accomplish a true African energy transition, petroleum producing countries, their National Oil Companies, civil society, African entrepreneurs and independent producing companies need to have a seat at the table,” he added.
The African Energy Chamber remains concerned that global conversations on Africa’s energy transition would result in a new foreign aid narrative by which Western stakeholders and investors would blindly push a renewable energy agenda at the expense of proper private sector-led development supporting jobs and entrepreneurship. While the Chamber strongly supports diversified energy mixes and wishes to see cleaner energy developments across Africa, solar and wind projects are still relying on global value chains which restrain their ability to support local content development. As a result, most solar and wind projects in the continent continue to have local content participation of less than 50%. Such issues need to be at the core of the energy transition debate so Africa’s cleaner future does not serve only the interests of big multinational corporations but also translates into private sector development and opportunities in Africa. It is time to put the voices of African businesses at the center of the debate.
As Africa seeks new ways to develop and grow in a post Covid-19 world, let’s remember the words of Nelson Mandela: “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. While poverty persists, there is no true freedom. Do not look the other way; do not hesitate. Recognise that the world is hungry for action, not words. Act with courage and vision.”
*African Energy Chamber
Demand for Educational Ghanaian TV Channel Grows Amid COVID-19
June 30, 2020 | 0 Comments
Free-to-Air educational TV channel becomes a critical resource for senior high school students across West African sub-region.
Accra, 30 June 2020–Joy Learning, the free-to-air (FTA) not-for-profit TV channel dedicated solely to Ghanaian educational content, has proven to be a critical source of learning for senior high school (SHS) pupils across the West African sub-region while schools have been closed to combat the spread of COVID-19.
This is according to Abdulai Awudu, General Manager of Joy Learning, who says the channel can be accessed by TV viewers throughout the sub-region as part of the FTA direct-to-home (DTH) MultiTV platform on SES’s Astra-2F, by using a standard decoder or TV with built-in DTH tuner. “While this channel was originally created to give Ghanaian SHS students access to educational content while they were away from school – as a result of the double-track system – it has recently proven useful to all English-speaking West African countries who follow the West Africa Examination Council curriculum.”
The Joy Learning channel, which was officially launched on 30 December 2019, was part of a corporate social responsibility initiative undertaken by the Multimedia Group (MGL) through its Educare Foundation, in partnership with e-learning platform Wolo TV; service provider K-Net; and SES, the leader in global content connectivity solutions. SES provides the satellite capacity and broadcast services; K-Net provides local backhaul and teleport services; Wolo creates and supplies the educational content; and MGL runs the channel.
“By coming together to offer a free educational channel to SHS students, the partners in this venture have been able to address not only some of the challenges posed by the implementation of the Free SHS Education Policy in Ghana, but also some of the educational challenges brought about by the indefinite closure of schools across the country amid the COVID-19 crisis,” says Theodore Asampong, General Manager of Media Platforms at SES Video.
“The Ghana SHS double track system means that while some kids are in school, others are at home waiting their turn for two months or so,” says Joe Anim from Wolo TV. “The idea behind the Joy Learning channel was to allow those at home to keep up with their studies by broadcasting well-organised and world-class educational content that they could access for free on a daily basis.”
“While the intention was to have a direct positive impact on the lives of millions of young people, thereby contributing to the future development of the country, we are thrilled that our satellite TV platform has enabled access to quality education for young people across the broader sub-region, who are currently unable to attend school as a result of the COVID-19 crisis,” says Asampong.
The Joy Learning channel’s wide reach is driven by SES’s prime orbital position at 28.2 degrees East, which reaches 97% of all satellite TV homes in Ghana. From that orbital slot, SES hosts Multi TV, a FTA (Free-to-Air) platform that provides viewers free access to over 100 TV channels of high quality content, including the Joy Learning channel. while giving broadcasters access to the highest reach in West Africa.
SES has a bold vision to deliver amazing experiences everywhere on earth by distributing the highest quality video content and providing seamless connectivity around the world. As the leader in global content connectivity solutions, SES operates the world’s only multi-orbit constellation of satellites with the unique combination of global coverage and high performance, including the commercially-proven, low-latency Medium Earth Orbit O3b system. By leveraging a vast and intelligent, cloud-enabled network, SES is able to deliver high-quality connectivity solutions anywhere on land, at sea or in the air, and is a trusted partner to the world’s leading telecommunications companies, mobile network operators, governments, connectivity and cloud service providers, broadcasters, video platform operators and content owners. SES’s video network carries over 8,300 channels and has an unparalleled reach of 367 million households, delivering managed media services for both linear and non-linear content. The company is listed on Paris and Luxembourg stock exchanges
Africa has a once in a generation opportunity to ‘recover better’ with sustainable energy
June 30, 2020 | 0 Comments
Sustainable Energy for All sets out clear, practical steps for African countries to recover better from COVID-19 and close energy access gaps.
As countries continue to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic, a new guide by Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) shows how clean energy investment can support countries to ‘Recover Better’, and use this unique moment to reset their economies and close energy access gaps.
According to The Recover Better with Sustainable Energy Guide for African Countries that was released by SEforALL today, countries that commit to an ambitious recover better strategy today can deliver long term economic growth, new jobs, and sustainable energy for all in the long-term.
This is particularly key for Africa after COVID-19 has highlighted the deep regional divide on energy access progress. Africa is a region full of promise and a growing economic powerhouse, yet this progress is stifled without access to sufficient, reliable and affordable energy.
The latest data on Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) – access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030 – shows that progress in Africa is still off track to meet global targets. 565 million people still lack access to electricity, and a further 900 million lack clean cooking solutions. The pandemic risks setting progress even further behind.
By acting on the enabling measures put forward in The Recover Better with Sustainable Energy Guide, countries across Africa will benefit from increased GDP, affordable energy provision, and improved agriculture, gender and health outcomes. This re-set can also spark progress at the speed and scale needed to meet SDG7 and help put the global economy on a trajectory in line with the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.
“COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it. As countries rebuild economies from the impact of the pandemic, they are faced with a unique, once in a generation opportunity to ‘Recover Better’ with sustainable energy”, said Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy. “There has never been a better time to invest in clean, efficient renewable energy. Countries that recover better with sustainable energy will see the pay off in the form of resilient economies, new jobs, and faster energy development. By making this investment, African countries can develop a competitive advantage.”
Speaking on the launch of the guide, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, said: “COVID-19 has presented a unique opportunity to accelerate transition to that clean, affordable, reliable and renewable energy source offered by the sun. Nigeria is committed to the full utilization of this abundant solar energy source. The Federal Government has already removed fossil fuel subsidies and included 5 million solar connections in our post COVID economic sustainability plan – first steps to new jobs and a cleaner, healthier environment. We commend Sustainable Energy for All for producing this practical ‘Recover Better’ guide that will help African governments close the energy access gap and deliver economic growth for the benefit of our people.”
The global economy is increasingly being powered by clean and efficient sources of energy. According to research, dollar for dollar investments in clean energy creates three times the number of jobs compared to fossil fuels. Every 1,000 customers connected to decentralized energy solutions – solar home systems or solar mini grids – supports approximately 25 jobs.
Also speaking in support of the guide, Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations, said: “Access to sustainable energy is pivotal to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement. As we work to recover better from the impacts of COVID-19, African countries have the opportunity to drive faster progress on the energy transition with efficient, renewable energy that protects the most vulnerable, delivers sustainable growth and supports climate action.”
Riccardo Puliti, World Bank Global Director for Energy and Extractive Industries and Regional Director for Infrastructure in Africa, said: “Access to energy is crucial for Africa to recover from the ongoing health, economic and social challenges caused by the pandemic. We welcome this new guide from Sustainable Energy for All that outlines ways in which African countries can seize this unique moment, and in return, unleash economic growth with clean, sustainable energy.”
As countries seek to recover better, SEforALL have highlighted key policy measures that governments should adopt to ensure a successful energy transition in this period. This includes:
- Ease of doing business: Governments should create a supportive business environment that ensures investments are driven as fast as possible, including significantly reducing red tape, reducing the number of permits required and time it takes to get permits / waivers (if available) for renewable energy and clean cooking equipment and appliances.
- Set robust policies and empower national institutions to drive development: Governments need to work now to establish or empower institutions such as regulators and rural electrification agencies to ensure the right frameworks are in place to successfully drive the development of renewables, increased electrification and access to clean cooking.
- Eliminate fossil fuel subsidies: With the price of oil the lowest it has been for 18 years; governments must take this opportunity to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. When the price of fossil fuels rises again, governments should refrain from re-introducing the subsidy.
- Move towards cost-reflective tariffs: The natural tendency for countries will be to cut the cost of electricity, but this should be avoided. The reality is that electricity is largely consumed by wealthier residentials or by industrial / commercial clients. Governments should allow cost-reflective tariffs that allow utilities to perform better and increases investments in energy access and clean energy.
Other key elements outlined in The Recover Better with Sustainable Energy Guide for African Countries include: Invest in robust data, declare a moratorium on new coal-fired power, invest in energy efficiency and invest in people so they can take advantage of new clean energy jobs. Read in full here .
SEforALL has developed The Recover Better with Sustainable Energy Guide for African Countries to support African countries as they develop their post COVID-19 recovery plan and stimulus packages. The guide is part of a series which includes guides for countries in the Caribbean region and Southeast Asia region due to be released soon.
Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) empowers leaders to broker partnerships and unlock finance to achieve universal access to sustainable energy, as a contribution to a cleaner, just and prosperous world for all. SEforALL exists to reduce the carbon intensity of energy while making it available to everyone on the planet.
SEforALL is led by Damilola Ogunbiyi , CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy. Ms. Ogunbiyi took office on January 1, 2020.
New Agreements to Expand Access to 20 Lifesaving Cancer Medicines for Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia
June 29, 2020 | 0 Comments
Cancer Access Partnership is expected to result in a 59 percent savings on procured cancer medicines
The American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) today announced agreements with pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, Novartis, and Mylan to expand access to 20 lifesaving cancer treatments in 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Purchasers are expected to save an average of 59 percent for medicines procured through the agreements.
“With the rapidly growing burden of cancer in Africa, it is crucial that we improve and expand access to high-quality, affordable treatment. These agreements build on those announced in 2017 that have already delivered substantial savings and increased treatment availability in several countries, including Nigeria. By targeting the treatment needed for the cancers that cause the most deaths, these new agreements will help us to improve on quality of lives and close the mortality gap for Africans with cancer,” said Professor Isaac Adewole, co-chair, African Cancer Coalition and former Health Minister of Nigeria.
Medications included in the agreements cover recommended regimens for 27 types of cancer and enable complete chemotherapy regimens for the three cancers that cause the most deaths in Africa—breast, cervical, and prostate. These cancers are highly treatable and account for 38 percent of cancers in the countries covered in the agreements. The new agreements include both chemotherapies and endocrine therapies aligned to evidence-based guidelines harmonized for sub-Saharan Africa, and expand access to additional formulations, including those essential for treating childhood cancer.
“With cancer cases increasing at such a rapid rate in sub-Saharan Africa, access to affordable cancer treatment that meets the quality standards set by a stringent regulatory authority is imperative,” said William G. Cance, MD FACS, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, American Cancer Society. “This collaboration has the potential to drastically impact access to care and save countless lives.”
Sub-Saharan Africa’s cancer burden is significant and growing. In 2018, there were an estimated 811,000 new cases of cancer and 534,000 deaths from cancer in the region. Cancer patients in sub-Saharan Africa are twice as likely to die as those in the United States, often due to late diagnosis and lack of access to treatment. Based on population aging alone, annual cancer deaths in sub-Saharan Africa are projected to almost double by 2030. The new agreements reach 23 countries in Africa, covering 74 percent of the annual cancer cases.
The new initiative includes Pfizer, Novartis, and Mylan, and will expand access to the priority medications and formulations in the agreements to additional countries. All of the medications included in the agreements meet the quality standards set by a stringent regulatory authority such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the European Medicines Agency (EMA). These medicines will be available for purchase at newly and independently negotiated prices in the designated countries, and the companies have committed to monitoring the impact of their respective agreements with CHAI.
This new Cancer Access Partnership is an initiative of Allied Against Cancer and an expansion of the Chemotherapy Access Partnership. ACS and CHAI began working together in 2015 to improve care and treatment of cancer in sub-Saharan Africa, working with governments and cancer treatment institutions to address market inefficiencies, improve supply chains, and increase procurement to ensure quality medications were available at affordable prices. This collaboration has shown that access to high-quality cancer treatments can be expanded in a sustainable way.
Dr. Iain Barton, Chief Executive Officer of CHAI stated, “While we have made strides in increasing access to lifesaving cancer treatments in sub-Saharan Africa over the last several years, there is much more work to be done. This collaboration is a significant step in delivering high-quality cancer treatment to more patients, bringing us closer to equitable cancer treatment for all people.”
In 2017, Allied Against Cancer members ACS and CHAI announced agreements with Pfizer and Cipla to expand access to 16 essential cancer treatment medications in six countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The market access agreements secured competitive prices, allowing these governments to realize substantial savings and improve the quality and quantity of treatment available. As a result of the agreements, several African governments and hospitals increased their commitment to procuring necessary cancer medicines by using the cost savings to increase the volumes of medicines procured, setting up innovative systems to supply high-quality cancer medications, and increasing budgets for cancer care and treatment. Countries that accessed products through the agreements saved an average of 56 percent. As a result, patients have new levels of access to quality chemotherapies in nearly all of the countries included in the original agreements. Three new countries were added in November 2019.
“Since entering into partnership with CHAI and ACS in 2017, we have seen the positive impact that sustainable access to quality, affordable cancer medicines can have on patients in vulnerable communities in Africa,” said Rhulani Nhlaniki, Pfizer Cluster Lead for sub-Saharan Africa and Country Manager, South Africa. “We remain committed to this model that helps to reduce the overwhelming burden on patients and healthcare systems, and we are pleased to be able to expand our chemotherapy offerings under the program to better serve the needs of patients.”
“Novartis is reimagining medicine and access to healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa with the patient at the center of everything we do,” said Racey Muchilwa, Head of Novartis sub-Saharan Africa. “This agreement is an important step to provide lifesaving medicines to more cancer patients across Africa. Having personally seen the growing toll cancer takes on the patients and many affected families in Africa, I am very excited about this collaboration of multiple stakeholders to dramatically improve access to cancer medicines in many countries.”
“Mylan is proud to join CHAI, ACS and this important group of industry stakeholders to help expand access to critical medicines for oncology patients. Mylan has a long-standing commitment to support those impacted by non-communicable diseases, including cancer, which significantly impact low- and middle-income countries. We look forward to continuing to do our part by expanding access to treatment through initiatives like the Cancer Access Partnership and working with all involved in the healthcare system to help serve the community,” said Rakesh Bamzai, President, India and Emerging Markets, Mylan.
The market access agreements are part of a broader effort to improve access to quality cancer care in Africa. In 2019, ACS, CHAI, the African Cancer Coalition, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), and IBM joined to form Allied Against Cancer. This coalition is leveraging the strengths of each organization to connect with and empower the African oncology community to deliver high-quality cancer care and is working to pursue additional market-based collaborations to increase access to cancer medicines in the region.
NCCN, ACS, and CHAI are also working with the African Cancer Coalition, which comprises 110 leading oncologists from 13 African countries, to adapt the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) to create the NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™ for Sub-Saharan Africa. These NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™ for Sub-Saharan Africa outline pragmatic approaches that provide effective treatment options to improve the quality of care in resource-constrained settings and are available free of charge to health care providers on www.nccn.org/harmonized. IBM and ACS also developed ChemoSafe, a suite of training resources for regional healthcare personnel to guide the safe transportation, storage, administration and disposal of hazardous drugs.
The countries included in the agreements are: Botswana, Cameroon, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, in Africa; and Vietnam, India, and Myanmar in Asia. Oncologists, government officials, and nonprofit organizations in many of these countries contributed to these agreements by sharing information and feedback to the CHAI team.
You can learn more about the Chemotherapy Access Partnership and see medicines available by country here: www.alliedagainstcancer.org/access-partnership
About the Team
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 1.5 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives, and leading the fight for a world without cancer. From breakthrough research, to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to treatment, and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the Society is the only organization attacking cancer from every angle. The Society also works in low- and middle-income countries to expand access to high-quality chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and pain relief, as well as getting patients diagnosed and into treatment earlier. For more information go to www.cancer.org. ACS does not endorse any product or service nor any particular brand of cancer drugs. ACS is not a provider of medical services and is not responsible for any drugs, screening, diagnosis, or medical treatment.
The Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI) is a global health organization committed to saving lives and reducing the burden of disease in low-and middle-income countries. We work with our partners to strengthen the capabilities of governments and the private sector to create and sustain high-quality health systems that can succeed without our assistance. Learn more at: clintonhealthaccess.org.
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at www.Pfizer.com. In addition, to learn more, please visit us on www.pfizer.com and follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer and @Pfizer News, LinkedIn, YouTube and like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Pfizer.
Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 109,000 people of more than 145 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at
Mylan is a global pharmaceutical company committed to setting new standards in healthcare. Working together around the world to provide 7 billion people access to high-quality medicine, we innovate to satisfy unmet needs; make reliability and service excellence a habit; do what’s right, not what’s easy; and impact the future through passionate global leadership. We offer a portfolio of more than 7,500 marketed products around the world, including antiretroviral therapies on which approximately 40% of people being treated for HIV/AIDS globally depend. We market our products in more than 165 countries and territories. We are one of the world’s largest producers of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Every member of our approximately 35,000-strong workforce is dedicated to creating better health for a better world, one person at a time. Learn more at Mylan.com. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at investor.mylan.com.
African Development Fund approves COVID-19 Response grants for six Southern African countries and São Tomé & Príncipe
June 27, 2020 | 0 Comments
The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund on Tuesday approved nearly $8.9 million in grant funding to bolster COVID-19-related control measures in six Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. Separately, the Board approved $683,000 in grants to São Tomé & Príncipe, to support the two-island nation’s response to the pandemic and its impacts. The grant funding comes under the Bank’s COVID-19 Response Facility.
The funds will facilitate the procurement of laboratory and medical supplies, including testing kits, personal protective gear and non-invasive ventilators in Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, all SADC nations. The SADC Secretariat is the recipient and the implementing agency of the grant.
The financing will reinforce the SADC ’s capacity to coordinate pandemic response measures, including surveillance and sensitization in the six beneficiary countries.
The SADC countries and São Tomé & Príncipe have inadequate resources and capacity to effectively manage the COVID-19 pandemic, which has put a strain on already fragile health systems in the countries. “As a result, these countries are now struggling to respond effectively to the fast-evolving situation posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Bank noted.
Although the spread of COVID-19 has been slow in Africa, it continuous to steadily spread through the continent, leaving in its wake disruptions and hardship caused by economic lockdowns.
The pandemic is projected to have a substantial economic impact on the SADC member countries. For instance, real GDP in all the SADC countries, except Zimbabwe, is forecast to contract in 2020.
The approved project aligns with two of the Bank’s High Five priority areas: improving the quality of life for the people of Africa and integrating Africa, as well as the SADC Disaster Preparedness and Response Mechanism to fight disasters and pandemics.
The 16-nation SADC region had recorded around 120,000 COVID-19 cases out of a continent-wide total of 325,000 cases as of 24 June 2020. Reported cases in São Tomé and Príncipe stood at about 700, in a population of around 211,000 people.