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Ethiopia and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to help families adapt to climate shocks in new multi-million dollar project
November 19, 2019 | 0 Comments
The project also aims to improve nutrition by providing education on food handling and food preservation
ROME, Italy, November 19, 2019/ — Half a million of Ethiopia’s most vulnerable families are set to benefit from a new US$451 million project to increase their resilience to climate shocks in the country’s poorest regions.

For more than two decades, climate change has placed a major stress on the Ethiopian economy and on people’s livelihoods. Most of the population of lowland areas are dependent on rain-fed agriculture and pastoralism, and are therefore highly vulnerable to droughts, desertification and floods.

A financing agreement for the Lowlands Livelihood Resilience Project was signed today by Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) (www.IFAD.org), and Zenebu Tadesse Woldetsadik, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome.

The funding includes a $90 million loan from IFAD and $350 million in co-financing from the International Development Association (80 per cent loan and 20 per cent grant) and $11million from the beneficiaries themselves.

The project, primarily designed to help achieve Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 2 (eradicating poverty and hunger) will install small-scale irrigation technology to reduce dependence on erratic rains. It will also help smallholder farmers to invest in research systems for faster adaptation to climate change.

Project activities will also strengthen rangeland and natural resources management, and improve the delivery of basic social services so that rural communities can withstand droughts and other climate shocks, and reduce asset losses. It will also help mitigate conflicts over scarce resources in fragile pastoral and agro-pastoral ecosystems.

“This new project will develop an innovative value chain approach to leverage private investment, productivity and win-win commercial linkages between local businesses,” said Ulaç Demirag, Country Director for Ethiopia. “The approach will enable project clients to sustain and improve their livelihoods after completion of the project.”

The project also aims to improve nutrition by providing education on food handling and food preservation, and the production of more nutritious and diverse crops with access to bio-fortified seeds and technical assistance, including on post-harvest handling.

Women (50 per cent of participants) and young people will especially benefit from project activities that will cover the pastoral and agro-pastoral areas in the Afar, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambela, Oromia, Somali and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ regions.

Since 1980, IFAD has invested $755.5 million in 19 rural development programmes and projects worth $ 1.8 billion in Ethiopia. These have directly benefited around 11.5 million rural households.
IFAD (www.IFAD.org) invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided US$21.5 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 491 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a United Nations specialized agency based in Rome – the United Nations’ food and agriculture hub.  

More about IFAD: www.IFAD.org.
SOURCE
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
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Africa Investment Forum 2019 – Promises made, promises kept: Champions share why investments benefit women
November 18, 2019 | 0 Comments
We are looking at the value chain of businesses and asking how do we support women across the value chain…from the factory floor all the way to the boardroom? – Tokunboh Ishmael
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, November 18, 2019/ — 60% of Mara phones’ 400-450 employees are women: This is why our quality is better than anyone else’s – Ashsish Thakkar; We are looking at the value chain of businesses and asking how do we support women across the value chain…from the factory floor all the way to the boardroom? – Tokunboh Ishmael

Challenged a few years ago at an investment forum about the number of women-owned businesses she invested in, Tokunboh Ishmael, co-founder of Aliethiea IDF, faced the realization that after 15 years of private equity investing in businesses in Europe, Asia and North America, the answer was: none.

It was a turning point for the former investment banker, although her partner and co-founder, South African Polo Leteka, had been doing exactly that for years.

“We realised  that we were meeting  many women entrepreneurs who were running formidable businesses…Africa is full of lots of female micro entrepreneurs, but they were not receiving any finance,” Ishmael told a packed plenary session at the Africa Investment forum which closed Wednesday 13 November, in the South African capital Johannesburg.

Ishmael was speaking as part of a panel session dubbed “Promises made, Promises kept,” which included Ashish Thakkar, CEO and founder of Mara phones, and Masai Ujiri, President of the Toronto Raptors. Ishmael and Thakkar were on stage to share their testimonies. Ujiri, made a second appearance at the Africa Investment Forum to show off the National Basketball Association (NBA) championship trophy which he had promised to secure during the 2018 Forum, while urging investors to look at sports.

Aliethiea IDF – a private equity fund focusing on women, was able to raise tens of millions of dollars in boardrooms conducted during the 2018 Africa Investment Forum

“We had about 10 percent of funds raised. This week we are closing on over 70% of funds raised to reach our target of a $100 million,” Ishmael declared to thunderous applause. The Bank provided anchoring seed fund of $12.5 million to the fund.

The panelists agreed that increasing up support for women across the different economic sectors in which they participate is crucial.

“We are seeking out those women to build scalable businesses…from the factory floor all the way to the boardroom” Ishmael said.

Thakkar, who also sought out investors at the 2018 Forum, said he made a promise to build two Mara phone factories in Africa.

Thakkar’s Mara phones – quality, mobile phones “made in Africa, by Africans,” opened its first factory in October 2019 in Rwanda and a second later in the same month in Durban, South Africa, in keeping with his promise. 60% of his 400-450 employees are women – the highest gender ratio in the world, of any mobile phone manufacturer.

The interest the phones have received is directly tied to their quality, which Thakkar believes is connected to the input of women.

“This is why our quality is better than anybody else’s.  We have state-of the art facilities…it’s not just assembly, this is making the motherboards, putting over 1,000 pieces together,” he said.

Responding to a question about how to get more women involved and whether women stood to benefit, Ujiri answered that putting women in leadership roles only made sense.

When he took over the Toronto Raptors in 2013, there were no women at all, except for one secretary.

“And it really offended me…Women run our homes, they are incredible but when it comes to the workplace, we don’t want to give them that power to show their abilities, ’Ujiri said.

*AFDB
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Springfield Oil Discovery is Historic for Local Content in Africa
November 18, 2019 | 0 Comments
As much as 1.2bn barrels of oil could be held within the deposit, with up to 35% recoverable according to Springfield
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, November 18, 2019/ — The soon-to-be-announced deep water oil discovery offshore Ghana by independent Springfield Group is historic for Ghana and Africa’s local content. Not only does it mark the first deep water oil discovery made by an African oil company, but it could also be a bigger find than Ghana’s Jubilee Field, which remains the biggest oilfield in the country.

While figures are still temporary and several additional assessments need to be conducted, the discovery is the result of the drilling of two wells over the past 40 days, which both struck oil. As much as 1.2bn barrels of oil could be held within the deposit, with up to 35% recoverable according to Springfield. Equally important, commercially viable quantities of gas were also discovered.

“What a year for Africa’s exploration!” declared Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org/) and CEO at the Centurion Law Group. “Springfield and its CEO Kevin Okyere represent the African spirit of defying unsurmountable odds and sticking to it when everyone counts you out,” he added. “Africa is a burning exploration frontier where the most significant oil & gas discoveries are being made not only by international explorers, but by our own companies. The Ghana discovery is the result of efforts made by African entrepreneurs, in a country where first discoveries were made only 12 years ago. More importantly, it was made within a block that was relinquished by US explorer Kosmos Energy, known to be a front-runner in making massive discoveries across Africa and opening up new frontiers. It speaks volumes to the value that local content development can create when African companies and entrepreneurs are given an opportunity to contribute to their industry.”

In only a decade, Ghana went from not producing oil to becoming sub-Saharan Africa’s fourth-biggest oil producer, with current production averaging about 195,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd). The country has been spearheading transformations within the continent’s energy sector, providing the right market-driven policies and environment for African companies to acquire world-class assets from international counterparts, such as Springfield’s acquisition of Kosmos Energy block, or Chrome Resources and Rockefield’s acquisition of the West Keta block operatorship from Hess Corp after its exit in 2014.

Since the discovery of the Jubilee oilfield by Kosmos Energy in 2007, Ghana has managed to bring three offshore projects on stream, resolve its maritime border dispute with Cote d’Ivoire and position itself as a key hydrocarbons province in the Gulf of Guinea. Oil is now being produced from Kosmos Energy’s Jubilee field, Tullow Oil’s Twenneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme fields and ENI’s Offshore Cape Three Points Integrated oil and gas development project. Production is expected to reach 250,000 bopd next year, and most optimistic expectations put output at half a million barrels a day by 2025.

The African Energy Chamber calls on the government of Ghana to incentivize the full development of the block. We believe such development will create jobs for Ghanaians, and opportunities for Ghanaian companies and entrepreneurs to service one of West Africa’s largest upcoming offshore development. Such a discovery has the potential to spur considerable economic growth for Ghana, already the world’s fastest-growing economy this year. 
*Africa Energy Chamber
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Sierra Leone : East End Polytechnic Registrar appeals to gov’t to grant them University status
November 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

Registrar John Juana speaking at the social Good Summit in Kenema
Registrar John Juana speaking at the social Good Summit in Kenema

The Registrar Eastern Polytechnic in Kenema, Eastern Sierra Leone ,  John Juana has appealed to the government to grant them a university status.

John Juana made this statement on Friday whilst speaking on behalf of the Principal of the polytechnic at  the National Youth Innovations awards ceremony organised by UNDP and partners at Eastern Polytechnic, Kenema Town , Eastern Region.

‘’ I was just trying to catalogue the views of the people of the East and by extension the entire country . You will realise that issue of Eastern Polytechnic  for having a university in the East is not new it is the clarion call  that the people have been making for the past 15 years and so it is becoming so glaring that even as we speak,  we still do not have the university status . The East is going without a university.  And so, I used the opportunity whilst welcoming the entourage from the  Youths Commission, the UNDP  and all stakeholders present to see how we can all work together to ensure we have a university in the East,’’ he said.

He added that  the Eastern Polytechnic is the only higher institution of learning in the East stating that they are one of the leading technical institutions in the country.

‘’we have been doing a lot and we have done a lot. In terms of infrastructure we have what it takes. We have one the biggest libraries , very stuff library , we have the man power capacity . All what we need is to see how we can build on that one. Our argument is that , it could be nice we start with what we have and build on it than starting a new university . if you say you want  to construct a new university , build up  you don’t even know how long it will take. In the first place we all know now that the economic status of the government everybody is saying there is no money . why can’t we give the university to an institution that has a semblance of that, it could be a technical university  ,’’ Juana lamented.

The Eastern Polytech Registrar said they are losing  a lot of youths from Kenema through migration to the western area of Freetown adding that majority of those youths do not come back and  therefore settle in Freetown.

When asked about the government view of them having a university status he replied that ‘’ The government is not averse to it , we know they are very positive about it , the Ministry of Education has done so much in fact the reason why they are now reviewing the Universities Act perhaps to take care some one those calls that are part of the Universities Act to correct a lot of things.

Mr. Juana went on to say they implore them, as it is a process even though it has taken too long adding that they are calling on the government to grant them a university status as the discussions are very evident on different radio stations in the district thus stating that the people of Kenema themselves wanted their only higher education becoming a university.

“we have the polytechnic character that we will want to maintain so that it become distinct that we also infuse not only the skills of you going to the classroom to learn but we are taking practical’s on board. We are giving internship programme, we are also ensuring that there is time allocated for practical purposes. Apart from that, we are infusing into all our programmes , entrepreneurship skills training so that even if you are going to train as a carpenter we make sure you get the technique of establishing your business and creating employment for people,’’

The Polytechnic administrator ended by calling on government to capacitate them as an institution as they are the only higher institution of learning in the Eastern Region of the country.

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Cameroon: Economic Experts Examine Best Path to Attain 2035 Emergence
November 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Participants, guests, Foretia team pose for a photo after the conclusion of the third Nkafu debate in Yaounde

(Yaounde, Cameroon) A public debate organized by the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation within the framework of its Nkafu policy institute program brought together various economic experts to debate over what the best economic paradigm is, for the government of Cameroon to adopt, in order to safely land at the shores of vision 2035 emergence. The theme for the debate was “should Cameroon become a totally Free-Market Society?” that’s continuous government intervention or free market reforms.

To understand the benefits and challenges of free market economies, same as for governments intervention, renown economists and researchers like Dr Louis-Marie Kakdue of the Nkafu policy institute, and Mr Christian Amouo of Mougano Investment, argued for the motion while Dr Ariel Ngnitedem of University of Yaoundé 1 and Dr Jean-Faustin Kaffo of the Ministry of Economy and Planning stood against.

Dr Kakdeu argued that a free economy will increase the level of competition amongst producers which enables resources to be orientated where they are most efficiently utilized, and as a result, gives consumers the latitude of wider choices to select from. Dr Ngnitedem rather believes that, “sometimes markets do fail, especially when the demand are not met and when equity problem sets in, thus needing governments intervention.”

 “Being a poor country, Governments intervention is still needed to make sure there’s inclusive development. In a developing country, the best economic indicator should not be the GDP growth rate but rather the human development index…. and in order to achieve a better human development index, our developing counties should allow governments intervention,” he added.

“In 1988, Cameroon had 188 state own enterprises and by 2018 only 28 were left but 14 out of the 28 that still exist, have failed to be more productive and always needing governments subvention to survive. Camairco, Camtel and Simri fall under this category” Dr Kakdue reiterated.

According to Dr Kaffo, an open or free market will be suicidal for local industries that cannot effectively compete with foreign companies or producers.

The debate, comes within the context of Cameroon facing major structural challenges and negative blows including an alarming poverty level, the state being the largest employer and recent currency crisis as well as the high insecurity in the crisis regions of Far North (Boko haram threads), and the Southwest and Northwest (secessionist war)

UB Health Science Student wins First Prize of National Essay Writing Competition (topic; free market: gateway to an Upper Middle Economy in Cameroon)

Motika Lucia, 24, student in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, ferried home the cash prize of 200.000 FRS cfa after emerging as winner of the 2019 national essay competition with an average of 16.62/20. This, ahead of Clinton Tumenta from Yaoundé with a score of 15.62/20 and Maxwell Fombutu, Agro-economics student in the Bamenda University of Science and Technology scoring 15.25/20.

Mr Ulrich D’pola of the Nkafu policy institute explained that, the essay competition was launched between July to August inviting young Cameroonians below the age of 25, to address the issue of economic development, what model to follow between economic aids or economic freedom? He also noted that the competition torched 5 regions of the country with majority being female candidates (F=56.25% Vs M=43.75%) showing that young female in Cameroon are really concerned by the economic situation of the country.

Winners of 2019 National Essay Competition
Winners of 2019 National Essay Competition

While expressing her joy, Lucia said the award motivates her to take up other challenges out of the medical fields and to invest more of her time in writing.

This Nkafu debates series n.3 brought together economists, government officials, entrepreneurs, academics and researchers, students amongst others to converge on Mansel Hotel, Yaounde. Meanwhile, the STEM awards of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation was announced for November 30, 2019.

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Gambia: President Barrow Calls for support on Banjul rehabilitation project
November 14, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

President Adama Barrow has called on all Gambians irrespective of political or regional affiliations to join him in full support of the Banjul rehabilitation project, stating that Banjul, our capital city, is the pride of the country.

‘’Banjul is our City, our Capital City. We have nowhere that is more important than Banjul as far as we are concern’, the President said after an impressive inspection of ongoing rehabilitation works in Banjul.

Considering the strategic and symbolic importance of the City, the President said it behooves all citizens to unite in support of its development: ‘’Everybody, whether you are Banjulian or somewhere else. Whether you are in the opposition or the government, let us work together in the interest of this country. It is only through unity that we can progress. It is only through unity that we can develop this country’’.

The President, who is proud of his personal affinity to Banjul having lived there for about 17 years, added that the capital needs to be completely overhauled, explaining that it was the reason the government decided that ‘’we cannot be doing the roads in a piecemeal, the way they were doing it’’.

Although the project is being pre-financed by a Gambian-owned company – Gai Enterprise, President Barrow revealed that The Gambia government begins repaying the loan from the 2020 budget.

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Toilets in schools matter – how African Development Bank is making a difference
November 13, 2019 | 0 Comments
handover of vip latrines at St Pauls primary school in Mzimba

At 14, Mercy Kamanga dropped out of school at Standard eight in St Paul’s Primary School in Mzimba, Malawi, due to a lack of suitable sanitation facilities.

“The toilets at our school were very few, small, dilapidated and didn’t have doors; only a piece of cloth covered the entrance. Our male colleagues often rushed to nearby bushes to help themselves. It was not easy for us the girls,” recalled Mercy.

It was a worse situation for girls who were in their menstrual period, and like Mercy, some other adolescent girls also dropped out of school. Others stayed away during their menstrual periods.

“It was a nightmare. After using the toilet, we were supposed to wash our hands and clean ourselves properly, but that was a big challenge. We didn’t have the washing facilities and we ended up being humiliated in class. We just had to go home,” Mercy said.

The headteacher of the school, Mr. Mwandira, confirmed Mercy’s heart-breaking experience. “We didn’t have enough toilets and this affected the learners, especially the girls.”

St Paul’s was not the only school which lacked suitable sanitation facilities. There were many others with similar challenges in Mzimba, resulting in the rampant outbreak of waterborne diseases in the area.

But the situation has now changed for the better, thanks to the intervention of the African Development Bank and its partners. St Paul’s is one of the beneficiaries of 18 newly constructed improved latrines under the $22.85 million Mzimba Integrated Urban Water and Sanitation Project in northern Malawi.

“Our enrolment has increased from around 700 learners to 900 learners with the coming of the improved toilets. It is good to note that around 60% of the learners are girls,” said Mwandira.

Other beneficiaries of the latrines programme were Mzimba LEA, Kaphuta Primary School and the district market. The improved latrines with dual seaters, are equipped with hand washing facilities to improve sanitation in the schools and in the market.

The project was jointly financed by the African Development Bank, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Fund for International Development, and the Malawi Government through the Northern Region Water Board.

It had three components: water infrastructure development, water resource management, and sanitation and hygiene. The sanitation and hygiene component cost $450,000 and entailed the rehabilitation of sludge ponds near the Mzimba District Hospital.

The Director of Infrastructure Development at Northern Region Water Board, Catherine Mbewe-Mwafulirwa said the Board is working in partnership with the communities to ensure that no one is left behind in the provision of potable water and sanitation for all.

The intervention has so far helped to reduce water-related diseases from around 35% to 6%, according to statistics from the Mzimba District Health Office.

For Mercy, who is now 16 and has returned to St Paul’s, there is renewed joy in learning, following the erection of the latrines at the school.

“It’s safer and better now with the improved toilets. You don’t have to worry about issues of hygiene. It’s like you are home,” she says with a smile.

Toilets in schools matter.

*AFDB

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Cameroon:At Nkafu event Entrepreneurs urged to understand their environment, know the needs of their clients
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Participants were trained on three key moduls- Business Management, Tax registration and declaration procedures and Access to finance
Participants were trained on three key moduls- Business Management, Tax registration and declaration procedures and Access to finance

(Yaounde, Cameroon) Entrepreneurs have been encouraged to understand the environment they operate in and to equally know the needs of their clients in order to foster the growth of their business. Shouame Cyrille Researcher, Vice President of SOS Espoir et Émergence was speaking at the Mansel Hotel in Yaounde November 12, 2019 at the Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Skills training organized by the Nkafu Policy Institute.

To him, every entrepreneur is a client because they need the services of others in their work and they should not provide the kind of services that they will not accept from others.

Speaking on the Business Management, He said that, as small business owner, entrepreneurs need to understand the economic situation of their country.

To economic analysts, knowing the economic situation will make it easy for an entrepreneur to survive in a particular business as the purchasing power of customers is very important. Equally, the political instability of a country makes it very difficult for a particular business to operate.

Shouame Cyrille added that entrepreneurs need to understand their finances well, and understand where most of their income goes so as to better plan while educating the various participants on the different opportunities offered by the Ministry of Small and Medium Size Enterprises to small business owners in Cameroon.

In her introductory words, the Program Manager Agathe Djomeghu indicated that the mission of the SBEC is to provide entrepreneurs with organizational skills, and today’s session is part of a long series of six training sessions.

Ngueteu Nganga, Founder of MARON & Associates SARL and Accountant edified participants on tax requirements, registration and declaration procedures, while equally advancing some importance of moving from the informal to a formal sector.

Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Skills training is part of a long series of six training sessions
Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Skills training is part of a long series of six training sessions

Ngueteu Nganga added that “Cameroon is under the OHADA accounting system and practices accrual accounting. Small Businesses should be able to calculate and declare their turnovers themselves”, while adding that “this should not be done by the tax collectors, as explained by Foretia foundation”

According to an accountant, Taxes should not be the reason why entrepreneurs fail. Tax is an end product, it is on entrepreneur’s profit and not capital. Cameroon has one of the best tax systems as it is a declarative system – it is the entrepreneur who declares what he has earned for the month, calculates and pays. But the issue is that people do not even know how to calculate as some cheat the system.  

Access to finance is a key factor to the growth of SMEs but notwithstanding, because of the difficulties faced by financial institutions in obtaining information on the borrowers-solvency, lack of reliable financial statement of SMEs, absence of guarantee or inadequate collateral and lack of detailed business plan, they (financial institutions) become reluctant to award loans to these SMEs.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Small and Medium Size Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts, there are more than 400,000 companies in the informal sector and out of these, 99 per cent are SMEs. In an economy, firms can obtain funds from the stock exchange or indirectly from financial intermediaries like banks, microfinance institutions and other non-financial institutions. A 2009 IMF study indicated that heavy taxes and 15 per cent interest ceiling on loans to SMEs also discourage these institutions from financing the sector.

The Small Business Training under the theme, “Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Skills” falls within the framework of the prime purpose of the Small Business and Entrepreneur Centre (SBEC) – to spur economic growth in Cameroon through the provision of tools to establish, expand and sustain private sector business in partnership with Global Affairs Canada.

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2019 Africa Investment Forum: Achieving an African economy four times bigger with only a 50% increase in energy demand
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

Africa has the potential to expand the continental economy fourfold, with energy demands expanding by only 50 percent, according to a new report. The International Energy Agency (IEA) unveiled its report on the first day of the second African Investment Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Africa Energy Outlook 2019 found that the continent’s future energy prospects look bright, but only if Governments can make the shift to more renewable energy sources. The report says there are three factors that will determine the continent’s future energy consumption – its growing population, the rapid increase in urbanisation and industrialisation.

Kieran McNamara, an analyst at IEA, noted that these will have “profound effects on Africa’s energy mix and how the economy develops.”
The IEA has for the first time conducted detailed modelling of the energy mix for 11 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, namely Angola, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Nigeria and Senegal.

The projected energy mix needed for Africa will be very different from the current one, with countries moving away from biomass and fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy.

About 600-million Africans have no access to electricity, although this has improved since 2013, according to IEA’s analysis. “In order to start to address the problem, we have to realize the scale of the emergency. And that data is extremely important. You have to be able to define the problem before you can actually address it,” said Wale Shonibare, Acting Vice President of Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth.

Africa also needs to radically increase its investment in power generation from the current $30-billion to $120-billion by 2040, if it is to achieve universal access to electricity, according to Tae-Yoon Kim, another analyst at IEA.

If countries on the continent do not change current policies on energy use, Africa will not achieve the African Development Bank’s target of universal electricity by 2030.

But with improved policies, Africa can see the continental economy expand four times with matching energy demand that is only 50 percent greater than the current demand.

Kenya is one country where universal access to electricity could become a reality by 2022, if it continues with its current policy that has brought a large amount of renewables into the energy mix. Ethiopia could follow suit towards the end of the decade.   

The African Development Bank and the IEA, an autonomous agency aiming to improve the world’s energy markets, participated in a high-level side event during the African Investment Forum 2019. Other participants included the European Commission, the African Union Commission and the African Energy Commission.

Discussions were based on the African Development Bank’s “Light Up and Power Africa” strategy, through which the bank hopes to build knowledge of the African energy sector, and assist in achieving universal access to electricity on the continent. Governments, utilities, regulators and investors will hopefully use this knowledge to help them grow energy sectors, while reducing costs. The availability of quality data will improve African countries’ abilities to make informed energy policy decisions and to provide private investors with valuable market analysis.

Through the New Deal on Energy for Africa (NDEA), the Bank has positioned itself to lead Africa’s energy transformation. The NDEA is a partnership-driven effort launched in 2016, which aims to achieve universal access to electricity in Africa by 2025.

The Africa Investment Forum (AIF) brings together project sponsors and investors, borrowers, lenders, policy makers and public and private sector investors, to promote Africa’s investment opportunities.

The Forum runs from 11-13 November in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Fifth “Bloomberg Africa Business Media Innovators” Forum Convenes in Senegal to Discuss How African Media Can Adapt to New Disruptive Forces
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne, Minister of State and Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic of Senegal
Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne, Minister of State and Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic of Senegal

Follows the 2019 expansion of the Bloomberg financial journalism training program to five new markets, including Senegal

November 11, 2019, Dakar, Senegal— Media, technology, business, government and community leaders from across Africa and beyond gather in Dakar, Senegal, today for the fifth annual Bloomberg Africa Business Media Innovators forum (ABMI). Under the theme of ‘Business Strategies for African Media’, the forum will explore some of the most promising approaches to fostering a vibrant, competitive media sector on the continent.

At a time when media companies around the world are facing challenges such as competition utilizing new technologies, the spread of misinformation and, in some countries, decreasing press freedom, ABMI will explore how African media can navigate and adapt to the changing landscape. Co-hosted by Justin B. Smith, CEO, Bloomberg Media Group, and Matthew Winkler, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, Bloomberg News, the forum will also address the contribution media organizations make toward enabling economic growth by providing accurate, data-driven reporting and analysis to citizens, business leaders, investors, and public officials.

“The economy in Senegal is becoming increasingly diversified, so it is important that journalism and the media sector continues to develop accordingly,” said Mr. Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne, Minister of State and Secretary-General of the Presidency of the Republic of Senegal, who opened today’s forum. “I am confident that the conversation taking place at the summit will help us continue to drive this growth forward.”

Speakers at this year’s forum include media owners, senior editors, investors, business leaders, government officials and community leaders from 20 countries across the continent and beyond, including: Mr. Amadou Mahtar Ba, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, AllAfrica Global Media; Mr. James Bennet, Editor, New York Times; Dr. Phillip Clay, Former Chancellor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ms. Kelly Conniff, Executive Editor, TIME; Mr. Sachin Kamdar, CEO, Parse.ly; Dr. Retha Langa, Deputy CEO, Africa Check; Mr. Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and Chairman, APO Group; Ms. Thabile Ngwato, CEO, Newzroom Afrika; and Ms Louise Stuart, Mergers and Acquisitions Executive, Naspers Limited, among others.

Justin B. Smith, CEO, Bloomberg Media Group and Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne, Minister of State and Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic of Senegal
Justin B. Smith, CEO, Bloomberg Media Group and Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne, Minister of State and Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic of Senegal

“Advancements in technology, new competitors, growth of social media, and the increasing use of mobile devices are requiring media organizations across the globe to explore innovative strategies and build new business models,” said Justin B. Smith, CEO, Bloomberg Media Group. “Africa is home to countries with some of the highest expected growth rates in the global media and entertainment industries. I look forward to discussing the future of media with this community gathered at the forum.”

The latest edition of ABMI follows successful gatherings in Zambia, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. The annual event is a component of the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa (BMIA), a pan-African program launched by Michael R. Bloomberg in 2014 to strengthen media capacity, promote innovation in the sector and improve access to high-quality data and information on the continent.

In January 2019, BMIA announced the expansion of its Financial Journalism Training (FJT) program to five new markets: Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Ghana and Zambia. These markets follow Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, where 652 delegates from 13 countries have graduated to date. This unique educational offering supports the advancement of financial journalism and contribute to economic development on the continent. Admittance to this event is on an invitation-only basis. For more information, please visit: http://www.bmia.org/innovators.

Follow the conversation online using #ABMI2019

For more information on BMIA please click here.

About the Bloomberg Africa Media Initiative (BMIA) Launched by Mike Bloomberg in South Africa in 2014, the Bloomberg Africa Media Initiative (BMIA) is a pan-Africa program designed to accelerate development of a globally competitive media and financial reporting industry as well as promote transparency, accountability and good governance in Africa and beyond. The initiative has four components: It provides cross-disciplinary educational programs to increase the number of highly trained business and financial journalists, as well as supports research to stimulate new media innovations, convene international leaders to promote interactive dialogue and build strong relationships to enhance the quality of financial coverage and the availability of reliable and timely data on the continent.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies Bloomberg Philanthropies works in 480 cities in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $767 million. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.

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COMESA and EAC hold regional consultative workshop ahead of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) and the Conference of Parties (COP25) meetings
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

COMESA Climate Change Advisor Dr Maclay Kanyangarara
COMESA Climate Change Advisor Dr Maclay Kanyangarara. Photo Credit KBC

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)   and East African Community (EAC) secretariats in partnership with the government of Rwanda  conducted  a regional technical consultative workshop in Kigali on 8 to  9 November 2019 as part of preparations for COP25.

  According to COMESA, the secretariats, both beneficiaries of the European Union’s ACP’s Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+), grant agreed to jointly organize a Pre-COP25 technical meeting to come up with position papers for submission to guide Africa in the negotiations during COP25 sessions.

  The Pre-COP regional consultative meeting was  used to develop a regional policy position paper for EAC partner states and COMESA member states.

  The position paper will be submitted to the Africa Group of Negotiators (AGN) to guide negotiations during the 25th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) also known as COP25 sessions set for December 2019 in Madrid, Spain.

  Both the EAC and COMESA have an observer status to the UNFCCC processes and plan to participate in the forthcoming COP25 sessions to showcase the milestones, achievements and lessons learnt from the implementation of their climate change programmes in the region.

“This consultative meeting is important because it will ensure that the interests of African countries are adequately and fairly reflected in the ongoing climate change negotiations,” COMESA Climate Change Advisor Dr Maclay Kanyangarara said.

   The regional consultative meeting brought together negotiators and policy makers including National Climate Change Focal Points for UNFCCC and ministries responsible for EAC affairs and representatives from COMESA countries.

   According to experts, it is important that African countries engage effectively in intergovernmental climate change negotiations, decision-making processes and eventual implementation of the decisions taken.

  The two blocs are cognizant that Regional Economic Communities have a critical role to play in supporting solutions to trans-boundary issues related to a changing climate.

   It is reported that during the meeting in Rwanda, issues of regional importance were identified with a clear road map of how to mainstream them into regional programmes and national implementation processes and opportunities for the Regional Economic Communities to deliver on the Paris Agreement.

   Most of the EAC and COMESA member states are fully engaged in the on-going discussions and negotiations to find a lasting and sustainable solution to the challenge of climate change. They have all ratified the Paris Agreement of 2015 and submitted their ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) given their circumstances.

  The combined list of Member States participating in the negotiations are: Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eswatini, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Seychelles, Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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Senegalese Police Major, Seynabou Diouf is UN Female Police Officer of the Year
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Major Seynabou Diouf, has been awarded the 2019 female police officer of the year for her “exemplary service, which has a direct and positive impact on the community and the Congolese national police.”

She currently leads a task force that helps to prevent and end sexual exploitation and abuse with the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC.

Major Seynabou Diouf of the Senegal National Police was selected as the 2019 United Nations Female Police Officer of the Year after been handpick from a competitive list of 30.

She is set to receive her award during the 14th United Nations Police Week after an outstanding career serving with the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA.

At the national level, her experience spans 33 years with the Senegal National Police which also happens to be the largest contributor of police to UN peace operations and is among the top five contributors of female police officers.

 An inspiration to dozens across Africa, Diouf became the first female police officer in her country to be honored as a ‘Gardien de la Paix’ or ‘Guardian of peace’ an accolade previously reserved for male officers.

Established in 2011, the United Nations Female Police Officer of the Year award seeks to recognize exceptional contributions of female police officers to UN peacekeeping and to promote the empowerment of women.

Previous recipients have been; Ghanaian police officer Phyllis Osei (2018), Assistant Inspector of Police Annah Chota from Zimbabwe (2017) and Police Superintendent Yvette Boni Zombre from Burkina Faso (2016).

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