Africa’s 2021 solar awards entries now open .
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
The African Solar Industry Association (AFSIA) Solar Awards entries for 2021 have opened for submission, according to a statement by the organizers.
According to AFSIA, the awards are the industry’s leading awards ceremony.
It is also reported that the event is held to honor the excellence of all professionals of the African solar industry for their activities and contribution to the sector.
“It is a testament to the competence, ingenuity, and vision of its participants recognizing and celebrating their undisputable accomplishments,” the organizers said.
“The AFSIA Solar Awards will once again recognize excellence in innovation, professionalism, industry best practices and HSE standards. This ceremony aims at celebrating the brightest and the best that the African solar industry has to offer. But it will also underline the incredible growth and development currently experienced by the solar industry in Africa.” said Ines Dushime, Manager of the AFSIA Solar Awards.
AFSIA and EnergyNet, the organizer of the Africa Energy Forum, are have also announced their collaboration once again for the 2nd edition of the AFSIA Awards.
AEF is the marquis event of the African energy industry and has been uniting top public and private sector decision-makers in one location for more than 20 years.
This year, AEF will take place in London from November 15th until 17th.
“AFSIA is thrilled to be part of this prestigious event and to reveal the laureates during the hybrid live and online ceremony on the 16th of November,” the organizers said.
It is areported that applications to the AFSIA Solar Awards will be assessed by some of the best experts of the African solar industry. They will review every application independently and will nominate the outstanding ones in each category.
This year the jury is composed of Demi Edosomwan from TotalEnergies Ventures, Catherine Mukobo from ACERD, Tony Tiyou from Renewables in Africa, Wale Shonibare from AfDB, Ujunwa Ojemeni from the Ministry of Energy & Natural Resources – Lagos State Government, Salma Okonkwo from UBI Group and Wikus Kruger from the Power Futures Lab at the University of Cape Town.
“As a major player in the solar industry, this is your unique opportunity to shine and be recognized as a true leader in the industry covering all areas from small solar home systems to grid-connected large-scale systems,” the organizers said.
Past winners of the 2020 AFSIA Solar Awards are CrossBoundary Energy, Sterling & Wilson Solar, Africa GreenTec, d.light, Munyax Eco, ANKA Madagascar, Pawame, Solar Box Gabon, Synergy Consulting, Eversheds-Sutherland, Suntrace, African Development Bank, Olaedo Osoka, Phaesun, African Minigrids.
AFSIA is now accepting nominations for the 2nd edition of the Awards for the following 16 categories. Participants in this competition must submit projects completed in the last 12 months,Utility Scale Solar Project of the Year,C&I Solar Project of the Year,Mini-grid Solar Project of the Year,SHS Solar Project of the Year,Residential Solar Project of the Year,African Solar Company of the Year,African solar entrepreneur/SME of the year,Financial Advisor / Consultant of the Year,Legal Advisor / Consultant of the Year,Technical Consultant of the Year,DFI of the Year,Woman in solar of the Year,Solar Innovation of the Year,Solar Picture of the Year,Solar Video of the Year and the Life-time achievement award.
Application is free of charge and open to all. Details may be found at http://afsiasolar.com/afsia-solar-awards/process/
EARTHDAY.ORG Releases All-New Africa Climate Ambassador Toolkit
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
Washington, D.C. — EARTHDAY.ORG, the global organizer of Earth Day, today released the Africa Climate Ambassador Toolkit in partnership with a cohort of Sub-Saharan, youth-led organizations including Liberian Youth for Climate Actions, Environment Savers Zambia, The Ianna Mallayka Foundation, Kichini Gardeners, and Renew Our Earth Inc. The interactive toolkit enables teachers, government officials, members of civil society, and parents to educate youth on the local impacts of climate change and inspire the next generation of environmental activism.
The free online guide includes a variety of interactive exercises, lesson ideas, and more that teach youth how they can engage in climate restoration in their communities. This resource breaks down the causes and impacts of climate change in Africa as well as the necessary actions for mitigation. From tree planting to waste management to climate literacy, a handful of young climate activists share their stories and best practices on a variety of climate topics.
“Youths have not fully understood climate change as a crisis because they have not understood the urgency of the issue. Therefore, informally and formally educating citizens about the science, solutions and how citizens can participate is key to achieving the Paris Climate Agreement,” said Ezekial Nyanfor, Founder of Liberian Youth for Climate Actions and Creator of the toolkit. “Education is crucial to promote climate action because it helps people understand and address the impact of the climate crisis and empowers people with the knowledge skills, values, and attitudes needed to become an agent of change.”
“This toolkit is incredibly important because it is created by sub-Saharan youth for sub-Saharan youth. There is a huge need for material written in an African context to address the lacking presence of climate education amongst youth and the larger general population. We are hoping that this toolkit will be the first in a series of educational materials aimed to share stories, spread knowledge, and inspire others through best practices to make real change in their communities,” said Matthew Lefler, EARTHDAY.ORG-Africa Manager.
Download the Climate Civics Toolkit here: https://bit.ly/3y7Z815
Ezekiel Nyanfor, Liberian Youth for Climate Actions
Enock Mwewa, Environment Savers Zambia
Ianna Mallayka, The Ianna Mallayka Foundation
Irene Nagudi, Kichini Gardeners
Dr. Ugoji Adanma Eze, Renew Our Earth Inc.
Yundeh Alfreda Butler, Liberian Youth for Climate Actions
Kadiatu A. Sheriff, Liberian Youth for Climate Actions
EARTHDAY.ORG’s mission is to diversify, educate, and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Growing out of the first Earth Day (1970), EARTHDAY.ORG is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 150,000 partners in nearly 192 countries to build environmental democracy. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.
COP26 President Meets Kenyan President, highlights need for Developed Nations to honor climate finance pledges.
July 28, 2021 | 0 Comments
Africa–On Tuesday, COP26 President Alok Sharma held talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in London, ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in November. The two presidents discussed the upcoming climate conference and the need for developed nations to honor their pledges towards climate finance to developing countries, in Africa and beyond. Developed countries had pledged to mobilize $100 billion a year in climate financing to developing countries, by 2020.
The climate finance pledges include resources to support developing countries in building resilience to climate impacts, protecting ecosystems, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and aligning their development pathways to net-zero carbon futures.
Charity Migwi, 350Africa.org Regional Campaigner said:
“Progress on delivering the climate financing promised to developing countries has been slow. Developing countries in Africa and elsewhere continue to suffer from the disproportionate effects of climate change. Climate impacts such as drought and flooding currently being experienced in parts of Africa are a testament to the devastating effects of climate change. This support is required to fund adaptation measures to protect communities and habitats, investment in renewable energy and phasing out of dirty energy. Africa cannot address climate change without the developing nations honoring their commitments regarding climate action.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta also witnessed the signing of an agreement for Kenya to join the Adaptation Action Coalition (AAC). The coalition, which was formed in January 2021 is aimed at supporting action to adapt and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. The two presidents also attended a session showcasing climate mitigation and adaptation technologies developed by African scientists.
COP26 is the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference that will take place in Glasgow, UK in November 2021. The conference will bring together 190 world leaders to hold deliberations geared towards reaching an agreement on how to tackle climate change.
The Paris Agreement which was adopted by 196 parties at COP21 in Paris in 2015, affirms that developed countries should take the lead in providing financial assistance to countries that are less endowed and more vulnerable, while encouraging voluntary contributions by other parties.
Ghana:We’ve Never Seen Computer Mouse – Bece Candidates Frustrated
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Maxwell Nkansah
With a few weeks to the commencement of the 2021 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), final year pupils of the Ata Ne Ata Basic School in the Shama District of the Western Region say the odds are stuck against them.
The BECE candidates of the school are raising serious academic and infrastructural concerns which they strongly believe may cause them to perform poorly in the final exam.
The thought of writing subjects they have little knowledge about sends constant shivers down their spines. Some major concerns raised by the distressed students are the lack of computers at an empty room labeled as ‘ICT Lab’, lack of textbooks, and a library.
Sadly, most of the students have never seen even a computer mouse before. The students said they had not even seen a computer before.
However, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is one of the subjects they will be assessed in during BECE to be conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC).
There are no story books for us to read so we can’t speak good English. We don’t have computer lab. We have never touched any part of a computer before. We only see them on paper, most at times too our teachers use their mobile phones to teach us, but we’ll be writing ICT. Isn’t this unfair?” a final year student who spoke (in Akan) on behalf of her colleagues lamented.
The headmaster himself doesn’t have an office. According to him they are not happy about this. If they are able to touch and feel a computer, they we’ll be happy and encouraged to study hard.
Taking a keen look at their classrooms, they don’t have electricity, fixed doors and windows so anytime it’s about to rain, they have to run back home to avoid getting wet.
The uncemented floors make the rooms slippery any time it rains and it is sad to dress neatly to school in the morning and come back home with dirty clothes due to the dust. They were asking answers into why government has abandoned them? They asked the question if they we not part of Ghana?
Though it is quite late to come to their rescue, the aggrieved students have appealed to the government, non-governmental organizations and philanthropists to have mercy on their school and donate some reading materials and laptops to save their juniors from failing in the future.
“I know that in some schools in [the urban areas] plenty computers are there which are not being used, but we are unfortunate to have none. So please I beg can you give us some?” a student appealed.
Former School Management Committee Chairman Lordson Alan K Akili poured out his frustration about the poor state of facilities in the school, including the headmaster’s office and staff common room.
There is no headmaster’s office and a staff common room, forcing teachers to find solace under trees on the compound.
He further stated that when it is about to rain, they move the tables and chairs to the uncompleted classrooms and at times close down and leave for the children to go home.
Mr. Akili also joined the students to make a passionate appeal to the government and well-meaning individuals or groups to come to their aid and donate some computers, text and story books, and furniture to improve teaching and learning in the school.
Banks in Somalia to boost financial inclusion for women and youth.
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments
Nairobi, Kenya – The AECFis pleased to announce that it has signed partnership agreements with IBS Bank and MicroDahab MFI, to promote women, youth, and agricultural producer groups in Somalia under the aegis of the Finance for Inclusive Growth in Somalia (FIG – Somalia) program funded by the European Union.
Victoria Sabula, CEO of the AECF said,
“The AECF is pleased to have the IBS Bank and MicroDahab MFI as part of our transformational program in Somalia. We believe that this program will reduce challenges that non-bankable populations in Somalia face when they need capital support for their businesses. We also hope that this new access to banking services will provide financial freedom for women and youth in Somalia.”
The Finance for Inclusive Growth in Somalia (FIG-Somalia) program aims to connect women- and youth-owned businesses and producers to financial institutions allowing them to access financing and technical support. It is envisaged that the FIG-Somalia program will reach nearly 8,000 beneficiaries and will create up to 4800 decent jobs; 40% of the program targeted beneficiaries are expected to be women entrepreneurs.
FIG-Somalia is a pilot programme component under the European Union’s Inclusive Local and Economic Development (ILED) programme, whose objective is to contribute to stability in Somalia by extending state authority and services, promoting local reconciliation and peacebuilding, creating inclusive economic opportunities and protecting the most vulnerable.
The objective of FIG Somalia is to revitalize and expand the local economy with a focus on livelihood enhancement, job creation and broad-based inclusive growth for Somali women, youth and producer groups.
The project is part of EU’s “Inclusive Local and Economic Development programme” (ILED). The European Union (EU) and its Member States are supporting stabilisation, inclusive economic growth and protection for the most vulnerable in Somalia through the ILED programme (ILED, EUR 98.2 million). Among ILED’s key objectives is an inclusive and sustainable economic growth based on a sound appreciation of challenges and potentials in Somalia.
About The AECF
The AECF is an African development funder that supports innovative commercial businesses in the agribusiness, renewable energy and adaptation to climate change technology sectors with the aim of reducing rural poverty, promoting resilient communities and creating jobs through private sector development.
The AECF provides patient capital to highly innovative, early-stage and growing enterprises that are hidden gems, poised for greatness, but that struggle to access funding from traditional sources of finance.
Launched in 2008, the AECF has mobilized over US$ 356 million, leveraged more than US$ 749 million in matching capital, improved the lives of more than 27.7 million people, created and sustained 24,733 direct jobs. Up to the present, we have supported 339 impact focused Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in 26 countries across sub-Saharan Africa across 40 value chains aligned to our focal sectors in agribusiness and renewable energy.
About the IBS Bank
IBS Bank is Somalia’s premier regional commercial and Investment bank with its headquarters in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia. The bank currently has ten (10) branches operating in key towns across Somalia.
IBS was incorporated in July 2013 and licensed by the Central Bank of Somalia (CBS).
IBS is the first Somali bank that has introduced full banking products & services to cater for private, public, national & international clients and the first to have started the usage of the SWIFT Code and IBAN which are recognized worldwide. The bank strictly observes international best financial standards and practices in its operations.
The Bank has received the best bank of the year award at Somalia Annual Business Award for two consecutive years. The Bank’s strategy of being a People’s bank with technology geared towards creating financial value to customers has yielded dramatic results with increasing market share realized from new demand for banking services. As a result, the Bank has doubled its business in all forms year on year in the last three years.
About Microdahab MFI
MicroDahab Company (Microdahab MFI) is the leading microfinance institution (MFI) in Somalia, with branches all over Somalia and Somaliland regions from Borama to Kismayo.
It was founded to enhance the growth of small, medium micro-enterprises (SMMEs) and create employment opportunities for the youth, women & productive sector. It is Dahabshiil Group’s way of giving back to the communities, taking them from vulnerability to sustainability to growth. MicroDahab MFI has 22 branches and 5 satellite branches.
A Call For Direct Investment In The People Of Africa.
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Prof Martin M. Niboh*
In a June 6, 2018, article in the Washington Post titled, “The future is African — and the United States is not prepared,” Salih Booker and Ari Rickman of the Center for International Policy state the following,
“Beginning in 2035, the number of young people reaching working age in Africa will exceed that of the rest of the world combined and will continue every year for the rest of the century. By 2050, one in every four humans will be African. At the end of the century, nearly 40 percent of the world’s population will be African. Yet, instead of preparing to build a relationship that can grow with the continent, based upon diplomatic cooperation, the United States is doubling down on more than a decade of reliance on its military as the primary vehicle of engaging with Africa. The consequences, as one might expect, are overwhelmingly negative.”
The USA risks losing Africa, not just from negligence but also from a toxic relationship. It is like the lover who ignores you, and when they reconnect, they do so in unhealthy ways. While the USA has relied on its military as the foundation of U.S. relations with a complex and rising Africa, China, Europe, and the rest of the world have seen the folly of such reliance on the military. China is investing in Africa in ways the USA is not. The Pentagon may be able to provide weapons, training, and vehicles to African militaries. Still, such military emphasis cannot offer Africa’s needs in free enterprise, trade deals, infrastructure projects, advice on agriculture, good governance, transparent political parties, and social movements to promote democracy and human rights.
Dr. Dambisa Moyo, in her book Dead Aid, has stated that “In the fractured world of Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan, Africa’s fragile and impoverished states are a natural haven for global terrorists. Porous borders, weak law enforcement and security institutions, plentiful and portable natural resources, disaffected populations, and conflict zones make perfect breeding grounds for all sorts of global terrorists.”
The consensus is that political stability, sustainable physical health, economic prosperity, and social cohesion are not words that describe the Africa of today. But the adverse effects of Africa’s challenges will not be contained within the continent. Indeed, the persistently high number of people in poverty, the underdevelopment of infrastructure, ongoing conflicts, and continuing problems with democratic governance are already combining to force many Africans to flee their homelands. Thousands of Africans have died in the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea in our lifetime as they flee Africa to seek freedom and prosperity in other countries. But that does not have to be the case for the Africa of tomorrow.
Africa’s development impasse demands a new level of consciousness, a greater degree of innovation, a generous dose of honesty about what it will take to build a prosperous Africa. At the very least, Africa needs an indigenous, grassroots, financially self-sufficient Pan-African movement of humanitarian entrepreneurs whose calling is to continually expand unconditional love, liberty, and free enterprise in Africa. Africa also needs a global community of Friends of Africa to encourage its indigenous grassroots movements to better Africa.
In the face of dictatorial and often ruthless governments in Africa, this indigenous, grassroots, Pan-African movement needs the courage of the unknown Chinese man who stood against Chinese tanks in Tiananmen Square in June 1989. Therefore, Africa indigenous movement needs encouragement from a community of friends of Africa across the world. Otherwise, the indigenous movement won’t survive.
It is in the role of a “Friend of Africa” that the American government can encourage trade deals, infrastructure projects, advice on agriculture, good governance, and also inspire the American people to promote free enterprise, transparent social movements that humanitarianism, liberty, democracy, and human rights. No real friend of Africa should send foreign soldiers to Africa. After all, one of the lessons of America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is that it is cheaper to build nations with entrepreneurs and civic movements than with soldiers and military forces.
It is in the interest of the USA, Europe, and the rest of the developed world to encourage the building of a united and prosperous Africa. But the history of Africa’s relations with the rest of the world reveals a strong desire to exploit Africa. Even the good-intentioned presence of thousands of business people, humanitarians, engineers, and other technicians, in Africa has been primarily exploitative in its effects.
The participation of foreigners and foreign governments in Africa should provide material, human, and financial resources to Africa’s indigenous grassroots movements working for a united and prosperous Africa. This change will require a shift in mindset in our foreign friends. They are comfortable with their friends in African government institutions, Western nongovernmental organizations, and financial institutions but less comfortable with indigenous Africa leaders who are not a part of existing institutions. It is no secret that current institutions have failed Africans. It is time for direct investment in the people of Africa who are working to improve institutions and build new institutions that serve the people of Africa.
If the USA and the rest of the West who claim to promote democracy invest in the people of Africa at the grassroots and if they do so in ways that encourage the practice of free enterprise, humanitarianism, and liberty in Africa, then no one ever has to send thousands of soldiers to fight terrorists or tyrannies in Africa.
An African proverb says the best time to plant a tree would have been twenty years ago, and the second-best time is now. Similarly, the best time to build a united, free, safe, peaceful, powerful, and prosperous Africa would have been more than sixty years ago, and the second-best time is now.
*Prof Martin M.Niboh is a Former nuclear physicist, former Professor of Physics and Mathematics ,and a Contemplative Humanitarian Entrepreneur & Activist, He is Founder & President, of Igniting Africa an indigenous community development grassroots movement. He can be reached at email@example.com
Rhino Poaching Worsens in Africa
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments
… gory images of crudely de-horned carcasses littered in most parts of the continent continue – a threat to biodiversity.
By Peter Kayula
Poaching has risen sharply in the recent years across Africa, fueled by rising demand in Asia for ivory and rhino horns, coveted as traditional medicine and a status symbol and acquisition and adaptation of advanced technologies in the fight against poachers is not yielding the desired results.
The international community, prominent leaders, the civil society and experts involved in the fight against rhino poaching have also continued to raise their views on the likely consequences of a situation where more than 35, 000 elements are killed across Africa annually for their tusks amid concerns that African governments are not doing enough to stem the crisis.
The heavy rains that fall, especially across Southern Africa from November to March annually, provide cover for many poaching syndicates that take advantage of full-moon nights to invade game areas as they navigate the clogged waterways.
On another hand, a demand for meat from wild terrestrial or semi-terrestrial animals, termed “bush meat”, a significant source of animal protein and a crucial component of food security and livelihoods in rural areas in many African countries, has also heightened.
In the Congo Basin, many communities derive tangible benefits from bush meat as a major source of livelihood and an estimated consumption across the basin range between one million tonnes and five million tonnes with annual harvest rates estimation ranging from 23 to 897 kg/km. This dimension is arguably far worse in the Gabon and the Equatorial Guinea.
A practical experience in Cameroun’s capital Yaounde is alarming as an inventory done in 1995-96 of the four main markets estimated sales between 840 and 1,080 tonnes of bush meat per year, while estimate consumption in Bangui, the Central African Republic (CAR) capital, is 9,500 tonnes per year.
The trade in ivory starts mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo, through the Central African Republic and South Sudan, using Ugandan as a transit point, this prompted Ugandan president Yoweri to call for a probe into the theft of ivory worth more than $1million in November 2014. He ordered an investigation into a reported possible collusion between the country’s wildlife agency and foreigners in the trafficking of ivory, according to updates from the news agency, AFP published in a local newspaper in June 2017.
Successful experience of the acquisition and adaptation of advanced technologies are limited to some countries. While it is hoped that they would change the landscape in the fight against rhino poachers, the incapacity of most countries in Africa to develop better biodiversity policies has in fact, prevented them from taking advantage of this privileged access to technology.
Uganda secured funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNPD) to procure surveillance drones that it has been a central focus will man parts of its protected areas, which are not routinely patrolled by rangers, and camera traps that will help identify poachers and intruders at porous entrances to game parks. the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has announced, according to AFP.
The country started training a team of 28 digital forensic experts in April, eight of them from the UWA, to track online, illicit trade of wildlife and suspect communications. Sadly, enough, a 2020 report on illicit financial flows in Africa revealed that Uganda loses between $7 billion and $23 billion per year because of illegal wildlife trade. Tourism is Uganda’s biggest foreign exchange earner at about $1.6 billion annually, according to AFP.
Poaching incidents around the country went up in March last year when the country went into a total lockdown over Covid-19 although authorities are yet to tell the extent of the loss but say the incidents have since drastically reduced.
In comparison to Uganda, up to 2014, Botswana was globally considered a “safe haven” for wildlife but unfortunately rhino poaching in the country is getting far worse, according to a local journalist Oscar Nkala.
The government of President Mokgweetsi Masisi–in power since 2018–acknowledges the seriousness of the crisis explaining that at the rate at which the black rhino population is depleting, the country ‘s iconic species would be out by the end of the year.
“At the rate at which the black rhino population is depleting, I’m afraid our iconic species will be out by the end of 2021. There is a serious problem with poaching in this country and this must be stopped,” said President Masisi, as quoted by Lifegate, a sustainable development outfit.
According to Oscar Nkala, by 2015, Botswana had imported over 100 rhinos from Zimbabwe and South Africa, mostly to Mombo, a high security sanctuary in the Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta. The facility, owned by Rhino Conservation Botswana (RCB), was chosen for its difficult terrain that can only be accessed by horse, boat or helicopter.
In a study entitled “Poaching as a security threat for Botswana and the region” published by the United States Naval Post Graduate School in September 2018, researcher, Kopano Baruti, attributed Botswana’s high vulnerability to poaching to weak law enforcement, long and porous borders and the existence of ungoverned spaces in its own territory neighbouring countries.
In Zambia, a parliament Conservation Causes praised the Government’s commitment towards wildlife conservation. The Zambian parliament Conservation Causes (ZPCC) vice-chairperson Anthony Kasandwe said the Government’s decision to launch blueprints on wildlife demonstrated its willingness to conserve the country’s wildlife, local newspaper reported.
The Times of Zambia article of April 22 2019, revealed that the country’s Tourism and Arts Minister Charles Banda launched the 2018 National Parks and Wildlife Policy, the 2019-2023 Strategic Rhino Conservation and Management Plan and the 2019-2023 National Conservation Action Plan for Cheetah and African Wild Dog for Zambia.
“I must admit on behalf of the Parliamentary Conservation Caucus that the political will from the Government is immeasurable in Connection with conservation,” Mr Kasendwe, a former Bangweulu Member of Parliament (MP) said.
He explained that protection of wild life depended on effective stakeholder collaboration, stressing that the objectives of the wildlife conservation and management initiatives would only be achieved through sustained engagements, the paper reported.
It is clear that the fight against rhino poaching in Africa may create losers and winners within individual countries, regions and between regions. Thus, tensions over the gory images of crudely de-horned carcasses should be expected to increase. Constructive responses should be responsibly planned-for in accordance with current national and regional objectives.
Kenya Airways partners with TDE Tourism to boost tourism.
July 21, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Kenya Airways has collaborated with American company TDE Tourism to increase the number of tourists in Kenya.
Frontier Marketing has facilitated the partnership, Kenya’s marketing firm to increase the number of visitors on direct flights from New York to Nairobi.
TDE Tourism is run by US-based former Hollywood actress and Broadway theatre veteran Lady Toussaint Duchess popularly known as Lady T.
“Following a year of unprecedented uncertainty, we continue to join arms to catalyse a generation of opportunities and establish a path to a more sustainable business with our customers at the heart of driving our purpose. As you fly with us, I hope you see and feel the commitment we have placed to serve our customers better and meet their rising expectations at every point of their journey, whenever and wherever they travel with us.” Kenya Airways Chief Commercial and Customer Officer Julius Thairu stated.
According to the Managing Director of Frontier Marketing and partner in TDE, Mr. Joseph Kimotho, the partnership was directly inspired by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s clarion call last year during Madaraka Day celebrations for entrepreneurs to reimagine existing business models in the post-COVID economy to spur economic growth and deepen Kenya’s integration in the global economy.
The campaign christened ‘Journey to Africa with Lady T’ targets African American Society, many of whom trace their origin from Africa.
Last week’s report released by the Tourism Research Institute shows that tourist arrivals in Kenya between January and June 2021 reached 305635.
The US emerged top source Market for the East African nation, followed by Tanzania, Uganda, China, UK, India, and Rwanda.
Some visitors came to visit families and friends, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, holidays, transit, education, medical purposes, religious purposes, and sports.
Huawei, Kenya partners to enhance ICT development in training institutes
July 21, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd and Kenya’s Ministry of Education have signed a partnership deal to improve the ICT infrastructure within Vocational and Technical Training institutions.
The deal was signed by Dr. Margaret Mwakima, Principal Secretary State Department for Vocational Technical Training, and Fiona Pan, Deputy CEO, Huawei.
The new partnership will also offer support in administering ICT skills surveys to understand better the state and level of ICT skills and better address them.
It also aims to offer job or internship opportunities through the Huawei ICT Academy program and strengthen the competency-based curriculum at the Vocational and Technical Training institutions.
“Ministry has taken note of Huawei initiatives to develop the ICT and digital talent of the youth in the country and beyond. It is for this reason that the ministry will sign a partnership to expand Huawei ICT Academies in our TVET institutions,” said the Principal Secretary, Dr. Margaret Mwakima.
The agreement will see the institutions from across the country partner to enhance capacity building among their 150 trainers and offer industry-level training to more than 1000 students to better prepare them to work in the ICT industry and other related areas.
Cameroon: The Fomunyoh Foundation Women Empowerment Centre Reopens
July 21, 2021 | 0 Comments
–The centre was closed down in 2018 but now operational with three vocational skills like Hairdressing, tailoring and catering
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The Fomunyoh Foundation Women Empowerment Centre (TFF/WEC) which was suspended for some years due to the spiral of violence in the Anglophone Regions has been reopened with training envisaged in the weeks ahead.
The centre was opened and went operational in 2017 after the General Assembly in Bamenda where the outcome was for the creation of a women empowerment centre in both Bamenda and Kumba.
“The two centres had to run simultaneously and were charged to take care of internally displaced persons,” Metuge Evelyne Epole, Director – The Fomunyoh Foundation Women Empowerment Centre, SWR (Kumba) told Pan African Visions during the distribution of some food and non-food items to some internally displaced persons in Kumba on Tuesday, July 20.
“With the crisis, the Centre had to host several displaced persons from the villages and the interiors who had fled violence. The worst part is that when the people came to town they had nothing to do.”
She added: “The centre had over fifty young girls and widows upon going operational. They were trained in hairdressing and tailoring. We carried this project right up to 2018 when the crisis went to an apex where we had to close down temporarily.”
With the situation in the Region improving, officials at the Centre feel like there are still some displaced persons who could benefit from this project and that is why the Kumba Centre was re-launched.
Some additional skills have been added to the training programme like catering, according to the Director. She said: “We hope that by the time you have gone through the training you can earn a living for yourself because where you were before you must have been earning something,” Evelyne Epole added.
“Giving them these vocational training is a lifetime experience which they will always need it. The training will be important not just for themselves but for the family as a whole. We are going to give low-interest loans to a few so they can start their own business; we will help others to have employment connections.”
She went further to encouraged the displaced persons to come and get the training at the centre which is very vital for them. She said the training as before is free and all they need to do is to come to the office and show their willingness to learn any of the trades that are on offer.
The Director said: “You people should be the ones to come to the training centre and not for us to look for you. We will give you training so that after a couple of months you can earn your own money. We believe that if women are empowered, society will be a better place.”
Climate activists laud move to remove Salonga National Park from List of World Heritage in Danger.
July 20, 2021 | 0 Comments
Africa–On Monday, UNESCO announced that The Salonga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The World Heritage Committee cited improvements in the state of conservation of the park, as the reason for the decision.
This new development is a big win for environmentalists and conservationists in DRC and around the world, who have worked tirelessly to stop oil exploration in Salonga National Park. However, more needs to be done to protect ecologically-diverse protected areas such as Virunga National Park that still faces the challenge of oil exploration.
Christian Hounkannou, 350Africa.org Regional Organizer said:
“We are happy to learn of the move to remove the Salonga National park from the list of World Heritage in Danger. We hope this move will go a long way in ensuring the conservation of these protected and fragile ecosystems. We must however note that yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Virunga National Park, is under threat due to the issuance of licences of oil exploration in the park. We appeal to the DRC government to cancel all oil exploration licenses in Virunga National Park in order to save Africa’s oldest national park.”
Justin Mutabesha, based in Goma and working with AJVDC said:
“As local activists living in the area, we welcome this decision and call for an immediate halt to the process for granting oil exploration licences in Virunga Park, which is still in danger with consequences on the lives and rights of the people. We want our government to respect the laws of the Republic and international conventions on protecting the environment, promoting and protecting human rights. The government should prioritise investments in renewable energy to promote the sustainable development of local economies within protected areas.”
According to the World Heritage Committee, the DRC national authorities have clarified that the oil concessions overlapping with the Salonga National Park property are now null and void and that these blocs will be excluded from future auctioning. It also observed an improvement in the management of the park, notably with regard to the strengthening of anti-poaching measures.
The Salonga National Park, which is Africa’s largest tropical rainforest reserve, was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1984. The park plays a fundamental role in climate regulation and the sequestration of carbon. The park is also home to numerous endemic endangered species such as the pygmy chimpanzee (or bonobo), the forest elephant, the African slender-snouted crocodile and the Congo peacock. Salonga had been inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1999, due to pressures such as poaching, deforestation and poor management. In addition, the government of DRC later on issued oil drilling licences that encroached on the protected area, posing a threat to the wildlife-rich site.
Activists recently launched the Fossil Free Virunga short film highlighting the threat of oil exploration activities in the Virunga National Park. They also launched a petition to call for a halt to the issuance of oil exploration licences in such sensitive ecosystems.
Ghana-Denmark in Collaboration To Strengthen Maritime Governance
July 19, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Maxwell Nkansah
The National Security Co-ordinator, Major General Francis Adu Amanfoh, has said Ghana’s prospect in developing a robust and sustainable blue economy is dependent on security of her maritime domain.
Opening the National Integrated Maritime Strategy Implementation workshop in Koforidua, Major General Adu Amonfoh emphasized the need to build a blue print for maritime governance.
”Lack of proper co-ordination within the maritime space over the years had contributed to challenges that confront the Gulf of Guinea States especially Ghana,” he said.
Major General Adu Amanfoh said “the objectives of the National Implementation Maritime Strategy, (NIMS), of ensuring the safety and security of the maritime domain and develop a blue economy and protect the marine and coastal environment are critical to maritime governance
Ghana initiated steps to address challenges and harness the benefits along the 540 kilometres coastline, thereby developing the NIMS with relevant stakeholders, government agencies to secure our oceans.
The NIMS was developed through inter-agencies lead by the National Working Group under the auspices of the Security Governance Initiative office of the National Security Secretariat and support from Civil society and research organization including CEMLAWS and Centre for strategy studies, CSDS, and Gulf of Guinea.
The Global Maritime Crime Project Manager, Anais Rois urged stakeholders to help strengthen the legal framework to ensure efficiency delivery in the industry.
The workshop was funded by the Denmark government and UNODC, united nation office on drugs and crime.
Angola’s Onshore Bid Round Attracts Global Interest with Multiple Bids.
July 16, 2021 | 0 Comments
Angola’s oil and gas regulator, the National Oil, Gas and Biofuel’s Agency (ANPG) achieved an important milestone earlier this week, when it opened bids for its 2020 onshore licensing round.
All 9 onshore blocks received bids totalling over USD 1 billion in investment opportunities
Angola’s oil and gas regulator, the National Oil, Gas and Biofuel’s Agency (ANPG) achieved an important milestone earlier this week, when it opened bids for its 2020 onshore licensing round. All of the nine oil and gas onshore blocks in the Lower Congo and Kwanza basins received bids from a variety of oil and gas operators, a rare result in an increasingly competitive and investment-shy global environment. Forty-five proposals from fifteen different companies were submitted to the national petroleum agency, totaling a proposed investment sum of over USD 1 billion for Angola’s oil and gas sector.
This initial bid round result demonstrates Angola´s potential to continually attract interest from investors into its oil and gas sector. The ANPG, backed by promising data about its onshore acreage, is seeking to replicate past success borne by Angola’s prolific offshore fields. The onshore sedimentary basins on offer, – namely, the Lower Congo and Kwanza – have long been home to world-class hydrocarbon discoveries. Naturally, the expectation is that Angola’s prolific offshore basins hold petroleum systems with corresponding onshore counterparts; indeed, early onshore exploration activities in Angola have led to the discovery of approximately 13 commercial-sized oil fields and one natural gas field, with reserves ranging in size between 5 and 40 million barrels of oil. Significant upside potential remains by tapping into deeper targets in both the rift and transitional phase reservoirs. The ability to unlock onshore acreage via advanced seismic and drilling technologies is what the ANPG expects will be the outcome of onshore exploration activity.
“From the initial data at our disposal, we believe strongly in the potential of the 9 blocks on offer. We look forward to finding the right partners for exploring them at the end of this process. It is our fervent hope that these blocks will play an important role in increasing Angola’s oil output in the future,” said Ms. Natacha Massano, Executive Director and board member at the petroleum Agency in charge of negotiations. The agency’s efforts in streamlining bidding requirements and cutting entry barriers by eliminating the one-million-dollar entry fee for companies wanting to bid, can be partially credited for the large turn-out.
Now, all proposals will be scrutinized by ANPG’s technical teams. Final official results are expected to be announced on August 25th, 2021.
“These promising early results are a good indication that the reforms made earlier to improve the operating environment in the Angolan oil and gas sector are bearing fruit” said Verner Ayukegba, Senior Vice President of the African Energy Chamber. “The ANPG has only been around for just under three years, and yet, they have been able to organize a bid round during a challenging pandemic. This is a testament of the commitment of the agency under the leadership of experienced oil veteran HE Paulino Jeronimo to stem the tide of declining production in Angola”, Mr. Ayukegba continued.
The proposals also included considerable commitments to the development of social and community projects, and the implementation of environmental protection measures to the tune of over several millions of dollars proposed commitments. These commitments are in reflection of the importance placed by the Agency to promote socially responsible and environmentally friendly exploration in Angola.
This tender is only yet another licensing round in line with Presidential Decree 52/19, which foresees yearly bid rounds until 2025. Angola’s regulator, the ANPG, is intent on attracting interest far beyond the traditional players in Angola’s oil and gas sector. Special attention has been given to attract mid-sized explorers to new exploration acreage Angola.
Ghana Emphasizes The Value Of An Enabling Environment And The Role Of Natural Gas At African Energy Week 2021 Pavilion.
July 16, 2021 | 0 Comments
Hosted at African Energy Week 2021, the Ghana pavilion will drive a discussion on the value of Liquified Natural Gas as a power generation solution.
The African Energy Chamber (AEC) is proud to announce that Ghana will be hosting a pavilion at African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 taking place in Cape Town on the 9th-12th of November 2021. Led by Hon. Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Ghana’s Minister of Energy, as well as a delegation of industry leaders including Dr. K. K. Sarpong, CEO of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, the pavilion represents a new exhibition format that emphasizes specific market opportunities and will showcase Ghana’s existing energy developments, upcoming projects, and lucrative investment opportunities. Specifically, Ghana’s pavilion will highlight the value of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) as a power generation solution, providing an in-depth view of the current market and the enabling regulation driving progress and expansion.
As one of Africa’s leading natural gas producers, Ghana has demonstrated how, through gas directed investment and the right policy, the resource can address energy poverty and expand power accessibility on a regional basis. Specifically, Ghana’s recognition of the value of LNG as a cleaner, more accessible, and increasingly secure energy source has led to the development of large-scale LNG facilities, positioning the country as a both a regional power producer and LNG exporter. The Tema LNG Terminal, for example, serves as sub-Saharan Africa’s first LNG power generation facility, and holds the capacity to receive, store, regasify and deliver 3.4 million tons of LNG per year. In conjunction with the Sankofa Gas Project – a 1,000MW gas-to-power project that provides over 1.6 million households with a consistent power supply – the Tema LNG Terminal is positioning Ghana as an African leader and global competitor in natural gas developments and the AEW 2021 pavilion will further emphasize this.
In addition to directing investment in the natural gas sector, Ghana’s pavilion will emphasize the various upstream opportunities prevalent in the country. Notably, the country has made significant progress in advancing exploration and production within the oil sector, in which the presence of global oil majors has only accelerated progress. In addition to ongoing involvement by Italian multinational Eni and deepwater exploration company Kosmos Energy, Ghana’s national oil company has emerged as a competitive participant in the country’s burgeoning oil sector. By showcasing the country’s oil sector achievements thus far, emphasizing the role that the Ghana-based Springfield E&P Ltd. has played in expanding the sector, the pavilion will highlight that Ghana is a force to be reckoned with, and that oil continues to play a valuable role in Africa’s energy future.
Meanwhile, the pavilion will also promote the value of supportive legislature in accelerating energy sector growth and success. With one of the most transparent and productive regulatory frameworks in Africa, Ghana places energy-focused policy at the forefront of development. Consequently, the country has already attracted significant investment, built against a backdrop of transparency, and aims to promote its enabling environment at the AEW 2021 pavilion. At the pavilion, Ghana will emphasize how a market-driven, local content-focused regulatory framework is one of the key determinants to attracting investment, spurring sectoral growth, and ensuring energy developments translate into tangible benefits for local communities.
“Ghana’s pavilion at AEW 2021 will not only provide valuable insight into the country’s competitive natural gas and oil sectors, but will demonstrate how progressive legislature, market-driven policies, and transparent regulatory frameworks only serve to advance the sector. Through an enabling environment, Africa can attract international investment and increase private sector participation across multiple sectors. Ghana’s pavilion will only emphasize this further,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.
AEW 2021 serves as the ideal platform whereby Ghana, among other energy nations, will be able to increase domestic exploration and production, drive investment in new and existing energy developments, and expand regional power sectors. Pavilions such as Ghana’s will showcase the best of what Africa has to offer, emphasizing both market potential and multi-sectoral investment opportunities. Unlike traditional energy conference formats, AEW 2021 focuses on networking and innovative exhibitions to drive foreign investment in Africa, initiating long-term, sustainable energy sector growth in the process.
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Kenya received 305 635 visitors between January and June 2021-07-14
July 16, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
A report shows that 305,635 tourists visited Kenya between January and June 2021, decreasing from 470,971 who visited the country between January and October 2020.
According to the Tourism Research Institute report, the United States of America, Uganda, Tanzania, China and the United Kingdom are the top five market sources.
Kenya’s Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala attributed the drop in arrivals from the United Kingdom to travel restrictions that saw Kenya on the red list.
“We are encouraged by the numbers, although we are not there yet. Because this is only a fifth of the two million visitors, we received in 2019. But we understand this is because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdowns that ensued, which affected the travel trends this year.
“We are still engaging and we hope these travel restrictions will be lifted not only by the UK but across the world. Meanwhile, we are still continuing to observe safe travel protocols,” said Balala.
Out of the 305,635 visitors, 94,241 visited families and friends, 92,828 meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, 87629 holiday, 15,811transit, 8,637 education, 3592 medical purposes, 1722 religious purposes and 1175 for sports.
The arrivals consisted of 209632 men and 96003 women.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Moi International Airport, Mombasa, and Wilson Airport were the major entry points in terms of air transport.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic struck in 2019, the East African country received 1,718,550 visitors.
Kenya to receive 20000 euros from World Safari Rally winner Sebastian Ogier.
July 14, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
The seven-times World Rally Champion Sebastian Ogiek has donated € 20000 to assist the needy access education and support wildlife conservancy in Kenya.
In a post on his Facebook account on Tuesday evening, the Frenchman said half of the amount would be channeled to the Nakuru Children’s Project. The other half will go to the Olpejeta Conservancy.
Nakuru Children’s Project is a UK-based charity that helps children achieve their dreams through education, whereas the Olpejeta Conservancy
works to conserve wildlife, provide a sanctuary for great apes, and generate income through wildlife tourism for re-investment in conservation and community development.
The donations come just a few weeks after Ogiek emerged Safari Rally Kenya champion. The race was held in the East African nation after nineteen years.
“A few weeks ago, we were celebrating our 4th win of the season at the World Rally Championship in Naivasha, with incredible support from locals in the most amazing nature. It was my first time in Africa and I was overwhelmed by the beauty of Kenya, the warm-hearted people and its incredible wildlife.This wonderful country has got a place in my heart,” wrote Ogiek.
“I will support the Nakuru Children’s Project with 10,000 Euros and another 10,000 Euros to conserve wildlife at the Olpejeta Conservancy,” he further stated.
A Touch of Israeli Technology For Development In Rural Areas With Innovation Africa.
July 14, 2021 | 0 Comments
–-Q & A with Innovation Africa CEO Sivan Ya’ari
By Ajong Mbapndah L
For the past 13 years, Innovation Africa has been working across the African continent providing rural communities with access to clean water and solar power using Israeli technology. To date, Innovation Africa has completed over 500 solar and water projects and aims to complete an additional 2,000 projects over the coming 5 years. Innovation Africa CEO Sivan Ya’ari sheds light on the work and vision of the non -profit organization in a Q & A with PAV.
What is Innovation Africa, for how long has it been in existence and what was the vision or logic behind its creation?
Sivan Ya’ari: Innovation Africa Is a non-profit organisation that brings Israeli solar, water and agricultural technologies to rural African villages. Access to solar energy can transform a community and since its establishment in 2008, Innovation Africa has brought light to schools and medical centers and provided access to clean water to nearly 3 million people across 10 African countries.
In what parts of Africa does Innovation Africa has operations in and how is the choice of countries made?
Sivan Ya’ari: Innovation Africa has projects across 10 African countries: South Africa, eSwatini, Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Cameroon, DRC, Senegal and Ethiopia. Tanzania was where the first Innovation Africa project was completed and from there, my team and I progressed village by village, identifying communities without access to energy and/or clean water. Innovation Africa has expanded to new countries, based on the needs of the populations and where the organization can establish local teams of engineers, field officers and managers.
May we know the kind of reception Innovation Africa has received across the continent and may we have specific examples of projects that have been carried out across the continent?
Sivan Ya’ari: Innovation Africa has been warmly welcomed in the countries where we operate. We establish relationships with relevant ministers, ambassadors, regional commissioners, and other such representatives to help identify communities in critical need of our assistance and those which are not currently supported by the local governments. In schools and health centers, Innovation: Africa provides solar energy to provide light to the classrooms, clinics, and staff homes as well as to power laptops, projectors, solar vaccine refrigerators and other essential medical devices. Children are now able to study at night, have access to quality education and succeed academically. With access to light, doctors and nurses are able to provide improved medical treatment, deliver babies and perform operations safely at night. Access to clean water transforms a village and we see the community thrive, with improved health, elimination of waterborne diseases, improved food security, and establish income-generating opportunities. To date, Innovation Africa has completed over 500 solar and water projects and aims to complete an additional 2,000 projects over the coming 5 years.
Could you tell us what impact projects of Innovation Africa have hard on the lives of people in countries you have operations in?
Sivan Ya’ari: Without access to energy and water, there is no access to quality education, safe medical treatment and, most critically, clean water. At Innovation Africa, throughout the 500 villages we have worked in, we have seen the impact that access to light and water has on communities and individual. In schools, solar energy Increases the level of education students receive as they can study under the light and learn on laptops for the first time. In health centers, doctors are able to operate safely at night and use medical equipment including solar refrigerators to securely store vaccines and medicines. Most importantly, in villages, access to clean water transforms communities by improving their health and hygiene. Children no longer need to search for water, enabling them to return to school. Access to clean water creates food security, empowers women, and develops economic independence. In turn, this is helping to break the cycle of poverty and reduces inequalities.
You are of Israeli descent; may we know what triggered your interest in Africa?
Sivan Ya’ari: The first time I visited Africa; I was only 20 years old. I was working in a factory for Jordache Jeans in Madagascar, and this was the first time I saw real poverty. I grew up poor, but the poverty I witness there was on a different level. While in Madagascar, I had the chance to spend time with women and children from a nearby village. One night, they took me to a medical center. Here, I saw women waiting to give birth in complete darkness. Doctors could not treat their patients. The only light was a candle and a small kerosene lamp. I then understood that without energy, medical centers can’t store vaccines and medications, people can’t access the water that exists just meters beneath their feet, and without water, people cannot drink, they cannot grow food, children are unable to attend school as they spend their days searching for water. By simply harnessing the energy of the sun, we can make a real and immediate change.
What impact has the COVID -19 had on the activities of Innovation Africa?
Sivan Ya’ari: In light of COVID-19, we understood now, more than ever, the need and urgency to power medical centers and provide clean water to as many communities as possible. After all, how can we ask communities to clean their hands without access to clean water? Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Innovation: Africa continued its work and secured essential worker permits for our local employees to ensure that we are able to continue with our projects and help combat the spread of the virus. In 2020 alone, Innovation Africa doubled its impact and completed 206 projects, impacting the lives of over 1 million people.
What are some other challenges that Innovation Africa has faced in the course of its mission?
Sivan Ya’ari: Naturally, my team and I have learnt a lot and faced manage challenges over the years. At the beginning, one challenge we faced was that after installing solar energy at a school, the community refused to use it, as they believed in the practices of witchcraft and feared that this system would be detrimental to them. From this we learnt how crucial it is to engage with a community, to truly understand the cultural needs and practices.
Yet, as opposed to challenges that we have faced, Innovation: Africa focuses on the lessons we have learnt. It is important to always be innovative and open to new technologies that are always developing. The lesson to take away, is to never stop growing. We must work in a fast-paced environment and be creative problem solvers. For example, thanks to our Chief Engineer, Meir Yaacoby, we have developed the “Energy Box” which has the capacity to light an entire school and medical center from one streamlined system. We use lithium-ion batteries and special LED light bulbs that are made in Israel and can last 50,000 hours. This creates sustainability and efficiency while being cost effective. We are now beginning to install all our solar projects with this new technology we developed in-house. We have to constantly innovate.
May we know the nature of relations between Innovation Africa and governments in countries that you operate, how helpful have governments been in helping Innovation Africa carry out its mission?
Sivan Ya’ari: Whilst we are a non-governmental organization, in all the countries we operate, Innovation: Africa has established strong and positive relationships within the governments. On a local level, our local Innovation Africa teams meet regularly with the district and regional ministers to discuss government plans and share the projects that Innovation: Africa is carrying out so as not to duplicate our efforts and provide energy and/or clean water to communities which the government already plans to assist. On a regional level, Innovation Africa works closely with the country’s ambassadors to help establish positive relations and share the work we are doing across our countries of operation.
Could you shed some light on your upcoming tour to Africa, why the tour at this point and what countries do you plan to visit?
Sivan Ya’ari: I am currently in Tanzania for a field visit and a donor trip and plan to visit Zambia, Malawi, and Cameroon over the coming months.
What next after the tour and the rest of the year, any big announcements, or projects in gestation that you would like to make public through Pan African Visions?
Sivan Ya’ari: In 2021, Innovation: Africa is working hard to complete over 200 solar and water projects and we have set the ambitious goal of bringing clean water and light to an additional 2,000 villages over the next 5 years, impacting the lives of 10 million people.
Three Entrepreneurs in Botswana, Zambia, and Malawi Beat over 1,000 Applicants to Win Prestigious SEED Award
July 14, 2021 | 0 Comments
|Winners of the SEED Awards will be awarded matching grants of between EUR 10,000 – 15,000|
A Botswanan company which trains farmers to use bees to stop elephants destroying their farms, a Zambian business which promotes sustainable bee-farming, and a Malawian start-up which turns leftovers into cooking gas have won the SEED Awards for Climate Adaptation (SEED Awards) . SEED was founded as part of a global partnership between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
In Botswana, local entrepreneur Mavis Nduchwa founded Kalahari Honey to restore the balance between humans, wildlife, and the environment. The company gives farmers beehives and trains them to create a live fence of bees around their farms to deter local elephant populations. Not only does this reduce conflict between humans and wildlife, it gives farmers an added income as they can sell their bee products back to Kalahari Honey, which markets to customers globally. It also increases pollination through the propagation of bee colonies and the introduction of more indigenous, drought-resistant plant species reverses the ongoing desertification. The company currently works with 500 rural farmers, but under SEED’s expert provision it aims to work with an additional 1,500 farmers over the next year and expand the capacity of its processing factory.
In Zambia, entrepreneur Harry Malichi set up Wuchi Wami to train farmers in sustainable beekeeping. The company packages, brands, markets and distributes local raw and organic honey from its registered cooperative made up of 2,500 farmers. It uses modern beehives made from easy-to-plant pine, rather than the local miombo trees, which are destroyed in traditional beehive production. This type of beekeeping is less labour-intensive, enabling women, youths and orphans to farm honey. Deforestation is further reduced by providing an alternative income source for women and men engaged in charcoal burning. Under SEED’s guidance, the enterprise plans to increase the number of smallholder farmers in its cooperative to 10,000 in the coming year.
EcoGen, founded by Clement Kandodo in Malawi in 2019, provides advanced biowaste bins and biodigesters for households to recycle their leftover food and agricultural waste, turning it into biogas for cooking and organic fertiliser. The provision of renewable cooking gas, especially to rural customers relying on wood fuel, takes the pressure off local forest resources. Organic fertiliser increases yields and incomes of smallholder farmers, enhancing their climate resilience. SEED will help EcoGen scale its services to provide 4,000 households and institutions with access to renewable biogas energy by 2023.
Yves Wantens, General Representative of the Government of Flanders in the United States commented:“When it comes to the impacts of climate change, countries like Malawi, Zambia and Botswana are on the front line. They are the ones who will feel the effects of a rise in global temperature most acutely. That is why we are so proud to support the SEED Awards, which recognise and scale the impact of eco-inclusive enterprises across these local communities. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, MSMEs are at the forefront of enabling green recovery and delivering on SDGs, for the good of the wider community and the planet.” The Government of Flanders is the primary sponsor of the SEED Climate Adaptation Awards.
The SEED Awards ceremony, taking place today at the UN’s High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), will also see SEED present its ‘Green Recovery Snapshot’ findings, which calls on governments, donors, and financial providers to increase targeted support for MSMEs as they stimulate economic growth in a post-COVID world. MSMEs are responsible for creating seven out of ten jobs across emerging markets, and green and social MSMEs deliver environmental and social impact through their activities, products, and services, making them essential actors in achieving a green recovery.
Winners of the SEED Awards will be awarded matching grants of between EUR 10,000 – 15,000 and will receive tailored one-to-one advisory services for up to a year to scale their operations, as part of the renowned SEED Accelerator programme. In line with the principle of ‘awarding the best and moving the rest’, 39 runners-up will also be supported through the SEED Catalyser programme, to refine their business models and optimise their impacts while advancing their investment readiness.
SEED’s Director of Operations, Rainer Agster, added: “The calibre of SEED Award entries this year was outstanding, and we extend our congratulations to all nine winners and 39 runners-up. We hope the enterprises identified and promoted by the SEED Awards will be a source of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs across emerging economies. Through the SEED Awards, we will support 48 enterprises in 2021, and through our other programmes, several hundreds more. For each of those, however, there are thousands more eco-inclusive enterprises furthering SDGs which can be amplified with the right support. Therefore, we strongly encourage policy makers and financial actors to take a closer look at these eco-inclusive businesses and start or scale support programmes for them.”
Of the 2021 SEED Awards cohort, 69 per cent of enterprise leaders are 18-35 years-old and 52 per cent are female-led enterprises. Since their inception in 2005, the SEED Awards have awarded 311 enterprises in 40 countries and have facilitated the disbursement of over EUR 1 million in grants. Each individual SEED enterprise has saved an average of 7,300 tonnes of CO2, generated more than 9,399 kWh of renewable energy, and created 28.4 jobs, out of which 32 per cent are offered to people at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP).
About the SEED Awards:
The SEED Awards for Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Development (SEED Awards) identify and promote eco-inclusive enterprises in emerging and developing economies, giving them the opportunity to scale their businesses through grants, strategy advice, access to investors, and global profiling. The SEED Low Carbon Awards 2021 in Ghana, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Thailand, and Uganda are sponsored by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The SEED Climate Adaptation Awards 2021 in Malawi, Zambia, Botswana are sponsored by the Government of Flanders.
SEED is a global partnership for action on sustainable development and the green economy.
Founded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, SEED believes entrepreneurship is key in driving sustainable development.
SEED’s enterprise support programmes in Asia and Africa support small and growing enterprises with business and capacity-building support. Its ecosystem programmes focus on policy, financing and collaboration instruments that multiply the social, environmental and economic impacts of entrepreneurship.
Ghana’s Economy Entering New Phase Of Its Macroeconomic Developments – Bank Of Ghana.
July 13, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Maxwell Nkansah
The First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari, has said the mix of policies implemented by the central bank have helped to moderate the impact of the pandemic on the economy and contributed significantly to a faster pace of economic recovery than anticipated.
He said Ghana managed to record a measured positive growth in 2020 unlike many others that slipped into negative growth rates. Amidst the pandemic and surge in inflation, he said, the central bank has successfully steered inflation back into the target band, a process that was significantly helped by the extraordinary stability in the foreign exchange market in an election year while foreign exchange reserves level is at a record high. Speaking at the Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA) financial literacy training workshop on Friday July 9, Dr Opoku-Afari said “Ghana’s economy is entering a new phase of its macroeconomic developments with low inflation and well-anchored expectations.
He stated that in the outlook, the signs of recovery are encouraging and would require careful monitoring and, where necessary, continuous comprehensive macroeconomic policies including defining a feasible fiscal adjustment path in the medium term to ensure fiscal and debt sustainability to anchor macroeconomic stability.
Dr Opoku-Afari said “A key issue going forward relates to the timing of withdrawal of policy support. This would need to be carefully done so as not to jeopardize the recovery process and the Bank will continue to monitor development and take appropriate decision. A careful balancing act between unwinding the policy support and would be needed by policy makers to ensure that stability in a post-pandemic environment is guaranteed.”
He added that an important lesson from the pandemic is that it has quickened the drive towards a cash-lite economy and this is likely to shape monetary policies going forward. The widespread use of mobile money was given an added boost when the Ghana Interbank Payments and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) introduced the national Quick Response (QR) Code payment solution last year to simplify merchant payments and reduce the use of cash. The QR Code has since been made available to banks and payment service providers, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises to enhance business transactions.
Leveraging on financial innovations, the Bank of Ghana has also initiated processes for a pilot central bank digital currency to further move the economy towards a cash-lite environment. In conclusion, as regulators, they believe that under the current inflation targeting regime, transparency is crucial in fostering credibility of the central bank’s policies. Going forward, as financial journalists, perhaps more than any time in the past, you will be expected to play a key role in disseminating their policies to support the recovery process; and, how well this is done will tend to engender confidence in the financial markets and propagation of monetary policy impulses.
Sierra Leone:Sand mining and the destruction of Kialondo beach and the Moa River.
July 7, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Mohamed John Kamara*
The local council in Kenema and the Government of Sierra Leone should take immediate action to stop the ongoing destruction of Kialondo beach and the Moa River for sand. We must preserve our environment for our future and those of our children.
Kialondo beach has been a major hot spot in Kenema for many years, especially during the dry season. The beach is in fact the river bank of the Moa river and offers a spectacular view of the rainforest, it unique rock formation. It has the potential to become a significant tourist attraction, creating jobs for people living in Kenema and Combema village.
However, recent demand for sand for construction in Kenema town has caused sand miners to descend on the river thereby completely changing it landscape. Once a beautiful beach with an amazing view of the Moa river, the bank has now been reduced to piles of sand ready for transport to Kenema.
It is bad for the environment because removal of sand at this volume will have a major impact on the river, it delta and marine ecosystems. It will also make the river bank vulnerable to erosion. The negative effects on the environment are unquestionable. If the situation is not properly addressed it will lead to a complete change of the landscape from a beautiful beach to a complete unused wasteland.
Sand mining on the Moa River is bad for the local economy because it is not in the public interest.
In particular it robs the people residing in Kenema and Combema village of much needed potential income. The only people who are benefiting from this trade are those involved in it. It is very possible that those responsible are not even aware of the impact of their actions on the river, the animals that live in them and the broader landscape.
The benefits of preserving Kialondo beach and its ecosystems far outweigh the immediate benefit of mining and selling off the sand. The people of Kenema and of Sierra Leone deserve beautiful places they can enjoy.
*Mohamed John Kamara is a Master of Economics (MEc) graduate from Northeast Forestry University. He currently lives and works in Australia. He’s passionate about the environment, especially forest and wildlife conservation.
Vacancy: Digital Advertising Manager
July 5, 2021 | 0 Comments
Type of engagement: permanent
Key requirements: affinity with digital marketing and advertising, customer focused, analytical, creative
Location: remote, anywhere on the African continent
Time per week: full time
Application deadline: July 16th, 2021
Want to be part of a successful scale-up in the African tech space?
Tunga is the go-to platform for hiring African software developers. Companies from all over the world use Tunga to hire African software developers to execute software projects, as full-time or part-time members of distributed software teams. Tunga’s mission is to create tech jobs for African youths and has a community of over 500 software programmers.
We were founded in 2015 and have served over 160 clients from all over the world. Tunga’s clients have a diverse profile: SMEs, startups and NGOs all belong to our client base. The main reason why they choose Tunga is that we are driven by empathy, empowerment and joy of work, which translates into a high service level, high quality of work and quite often long-lasting relationships with the client. In other words, we take good care of both our clients AND our developers!
What will be your job?
As a Digital Advertising Manager at Tunga, your main role is to improve and manage the digital advertising infrastructure we use to generate leads online through paid ads. Concretely this means you will be running ad campaigns on Google, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and/or Twitter. You will be responsible for setting up the campaigns, arranging the content, setting campaign parameters, tracking and reporting results, and translate these into improvement for future campaigns.
You will report to the Marketing Manager on the progress of the activities for which you are responsible, in particular of metrics that reflect the efficacy and efficiency of the ad campaigns. You will make sure that you adhere to our way of working and to our Code of Conduct. And in general, you will make sure that both you, your team and ultimately our clients will be happy!
What’s your profile?
Your ambition is to experience working in a real tech scaleup. You are a self-starter and can work independently. You are proactive and good at finding creative and pragmatic solutions. You are analytical and like to use data to evaluate and improve results. You have at least some experience with digital advertising and you are eager to learn more. You are an empathetic person and can place yourself in the situation of other people, in particular potential Tunga clients. You like the energy of working on a societal mission and in an international setting. You rock!
Qualifications and knowledge:
- you do not necessarily have a degree, but can demonstrate at least a bachelor level of thinking and acting;
- you are computer literate and have advanced experience in using all main work applications (e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation, internet browsing);
- you have some experience in running digital ad campaigns;
- you are familiar with and have experience with the basic concepts of marketing and customer acquisition;
- you have excellent knowledge of English, both verbal and written;
- you are African and based in Africa and happy to work remote (unless you’re from Kampala, Uganda or
Lagos, Nigeria in which case you can work from our office)
- you are entrepreneurial, can work independently and you are generally considered a nice person 😉
What do we offer you?
- An inspiring and challenging environment where you work for international clients on a meaningful mission
- A permanent job agreement for initially 6 months, with the option to prolong (a grace period of 2 months)
- An attractive salary, depending on your experience and qualifications
- A relaxed company culture: flexible hours, lots of room for planning your own work, result-oriented
- If you are interested please send your motivation letter and CV asap (but in any case not later than Friday
July 16th, 2020) via this link.
- Suitable candidates are possibly invited before the expiration of the application deadline.
- For more info about our Tunga visit: https://tunga.io
African Leaders Unite to Support an Ambitious International Development Association (IDA20) Replenishment.
July 5, 2021 | 0 Comments
|ABIDJAN, July 5, 2021 – His Excellency President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire and the World Bank Group will host a high-level meeting on July 15, 2021, with African leaders to highlight the importance of an ambitious and robust 20th replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA20). The replenishment will support a resilient recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and help the continent continue its economic transformation.|
As African countries grapple with the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, continued support from the World Bank, particularly from IDA, is critical to help them meet their financing needs, which were already high before the pandemic.
This high-level meeting follows the call from African leaders, during the African economies financing Summit in Paris last May, asking for increased support to build back better and greener from the crisis. The discussions will help identify key priorities for financing in Africa, and champion a strong policy and financing package for an ambitious IDA20 replenishment. Africa is IDA’s biggest beneficiary with 39 countries and has made significant headway in improving development indicators in the six decades partnership with the World Bank.
WHO: African Heads of State are expected to attend from the following countries: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritania, Madagascar, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda;Heads of Regional Institutions and development partnersWorld Bank Group Officials.
WHERE: Sofitel Hotel Ivoire, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
WHEN: Thursday, July 15, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. GMT
HIGHLIGHTS OF INTEREST TO THE MEDIA: Media are invited to attend the opening including Heads of State group photo and closing of the event.
RSVP: To get accredited for the event, please RSVP by July 13 to:Issa Bamba at firstname.lastname@example.org or +2250708663734Léon Fossou: email@example.com or +2250707936912
For further information:Cote d’Ivoire Presidency: Issa Bamba, firstname.lastname@example.org or +225 07 08 66 37 34Léon Fossou, email@example.com or +2250707936912World Bank Group: Aby Toure, firstname.lastname@example.org or Enoh Ndri, email@example.com or +225 22 40 04 08
About IDAThe International Development Association (IDA) is one of the largest sources of funding for fighting extreme poverty in the world’s lowest income countries. IDA provides zero- or low-interest loans and grants to countries for projects and programs that boost economic growth, build resilience, and improve the lives of poor people around the world. Since 1960, IDA has provided about $422 billion for investments in 114 countries. As an institution of the World Bank Group, IDA combines global expertise with an exclusive focus on reducing poverty and boosting prosperity in the world’s lowest income countries. Learn more online: IDA.worldbank.org. #IDAworks4Africa
*Source World Bank
Environmental Concerns Must Be Part of Africa’s Development Agenda- Landry Ninteretse, Africa Managing Director 350.0rg
July 5, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Ajong Mbapndah L
The development agenda of Africa should not take place at the expense of environmental concerns, but rather in a way that is truly sustainable, inclusive and puts the interest of ordinary people at the centre, and not those of the multinationals and political elites, says Landry Ninteretse, Africa Managing Director 350.0rg.
Speaking in an interview with PAV Ninteretse says rich countries that have contributed disproportionately to global warming have the responsibility to remedy the situation by not only phasing out all their fossil fuels projects and reducing their emissions, but also to offer technical and financial support to African nations in their efforts to implement effective adaptation and mitigation strategies that allow real sustainable development.
From the recent documentary on the Virunga National Park in the D.R. Congo, to the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) and the Mozambique Liquified Natural Gas , and more, Landry Ninteretse discusses major environmental concerns and challenges facing Africa and opines that it is critical to have sustained pressure from the civil society and campaign organizations for meaningful reforms to take place.
For those who may not be familiar with 350.org, could we start with an introduction and the scope of your operations in Africa?
Landry Ninteretse: 350 Africa.org, part of the global organisation 350.org has been supporting campaigns against fossil fuels on the continent since 2011 and advocating for an inclusive transition to renewable energy & social justice for all. We support in various ways local struggles to confront climate injustices and amplify a narrative on the necessity for climate-smart development that is rooted in justice and equity across Africa.
We use various and tailored tactics to achieve the goals and plans – from regional and global mobilisations to campaigning, from movement building and support to media amplification to ensure the voices and demands of the grassroots communities are raised and heard.
We run and support various campaigns and projects in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, DRC, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Ghana aimed at fighting climate injustices and building low carbon societies and economies.
What prompted you to join 350.org and how relevant are its activities to present day Africa?
Landry Ninteretse : I joined 350.org after a training on climate leadership activism back in September 2009. At that time, I was an environmental activist advocating for sustainable use of natural resources and an accelerated uptake of renewable energy to combat deforestation and energy poverty. At that training, the 40 volunteers from Eastern and Southern Africa were tasked to start popular climate movements back home in the lead up to COP 15 in Copenhagen to demand a fair and ambitious treaty aligned with science and urgency to bring back the levels of carbon dioxide from 390 to 350 ppm.
I saw in 350.org an opportunity for engagement and action offered to people of different backgrounds and experiences to build powerful networks and coalitions for climate justice, be it at the national, regional and global levels.
Our campaigns and projects are so relevant in the current context where Africa is called to address the climate crisis and related disasters while developing low carbon pathways tailored to its unique challenges in terms of economic, energy and social needs of its growing population.
Talking about fossil fuels, may we understand the issues you have and when organisations like yours and others talk of renewable energy, can shed some light on what you are talking about and why this could be ideal for Africa?
Landry Ninteretse : Several scientific and institutional reports, including the latest from the FF treaty have shown that existing coal, oil and gas production puts the world on course to overshoot Paris climate targets. At the same time, the world already has more than enough renewable energy potential to comfortably make the transition away from fossil fuels while also expanding energy access for all.
Renewable energy such as solar, wind, and small hydro produce less, if not zero emissions, and can be implemented without needing connections to the national grid in rural areas where communities badly need the energy.
The shift to renewable energy as an alternative cleaner source of energy is possible for Africa if all countries set it as a priority and come up with rapid and ambitious and clear action plans to make it a reality.
Renewable energy sources of energy abundant on the continent have the potential to unlock great potential in African citizens and their ability to work, deepen livelihood and advance well-being, as well as supporting a home-grown development agenda set on African terms without counting only on polluting fossil fuels whose future is highly uncertain.
How do organizations like you expect Africa to balance its development priorities with the kind of environmental concerns that you have raised?
Landry Ninteretse : As stated above and proved by several scientific reports, Africa – the most vulnerable continent to climate impacts – can achieve real and sustainable development through a sustained uptake of renewables and a just and fair low carbon pathway that gradually phases out fossil fuels. This means prioritizing sources of energy that are clean and innovative and community owned and not necessarily large and centrally controlled energy infrastructures. The development agenda should not take place at the expense of environmental concerns. But rather in a way that is truly sustainable, inclusive and puts the interest of ordinary people at the centre, and not those of the multinationals and political elites.
What is your response to critics who say it is unfair to deprive Africa of prospects of using it for its development when the developed world has used that for its own development?
Landry Ninteretse : That’s correct – though climate change is a global challenge that requires global solutions, not all countries have been having the same responsibility for it. Some countries, especially Western ones, have contributed largely to increased emissions since the 18th century while African’s emissions altogether are less than 5%.
It’s unfair and illogic to request equal efforts from all countries, though everyone has a role to play.
Rich countries that have contributed disproportionately to global warming have a responsibility to remedy the situation by not only phasing out all their fossil fuels projects and drastically reducing their emissions, but also to support technically and financially African nations in their efforts to implement effective adaptation and mitigation strategies that allow real sustainable development.
At the same time, African governments must ensure that their development policies are well aligned with people’s needs, create sustainable opportunities and livelihoods and support a home-grown development agenda based on actual realities and needs.
Let’s use a few concrete examples to understand your concerns beginning with the Virunga National Park, what concerns does 350.org have with that?
Landry Ninteretse: Oil exploration activities within and around Virunga NP threaten the immense and rich diversity of ecosystems, incomparable fauna and flora of the Park on which local communities depend on for their survival.
Oil exploration and extraction pose unacceptable risks to people’s livelihoods, local communities and sensitive ecosystems of Africa’s oldest and most biodiverse park, significantly affecting activities such tourism, farming and fishing.
We understand there is a documentary out to sheds light on the challenges posed by the entry of oil companies into the park after being granted oil concessions by the DRC government, what impact do you think the film could have in making the DRC government and companies have a rethink?
Landry Ninteretse : This documentary is part of our efforts to ensure that grassroots and fossil fuels affected communities’ voices and concerns are raised and heard.
We hope that it will raise awareness of the current threats posed to the Virunga and show the human and ecological violations caused by exploration activities.
This is a new call to the DRC Government and oil companies involved to undertake comprehensive human rights and environmental due diligence and put an end to the licencing process in the Virunga Park. We also call on the government to prevent any foreseeable harm and pursue appropriate remedy for abuses already committed while ensuring that communities rights are fully respected.
You have also been critical of other projects like the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) and the Mozambique Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) which are touted as game changing in terms of development, can you restate your case against these projects?
Landry Ninteretse : The EACOP project is socially catastrophic, economically unviable & ecologically disastrous. A few examples:
-Around 13,000 families are affected by land access and use restrictions by Total and its partners.
-Such restrictions on rural and farmers communities have dire effects on their livelihoods, and consequently, on their right to food, education and health.
-The pipeline poses significant risks to critical water sources, wetlands and several rivers in both countries.
-Approximately 460 km of the pipeline will be within the freshwater basin of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, which directly supports the livelihoods of more than 40 million people in the region.
-The nearly 1,445 kilometer pipeline would run through numerous important habitats and nature reserves – home to a number of iconic and endangered animals, such as lions, elands, lesser kudu, buffalo, impalas, hippos, giraffes, roan antelopes, sitatungas, sables, zebras, aardvarks, and the red colobus monkey.
-Contrary to what has been announced, EACOP is expected to create only 200 or 300 permanent jobs. How many of these jobs are going to benefit locals?
-Huge debt risks for Uganda and Tanzania
In Mozambique, the country is among the 10 poorest countries in the world. Half of the population lives under the poverty line and the country is currently facing a new wave of violence especially in the areas where gas discoveries were made a few years ago.
Despite promises of jobs and prosperity brought in by the discovery of gas- if the current gas project were to go ahead, only a few hundred Mozambicans will get small or junior jobs.
For countries like Mozambique (and to a certain degree Uganda and Tanzania) to harness Africa’s abundant gas /oil resources, deep structural reforms that address the issues of accountability, transparency, public participation and redistribution of resources MUST take place. This won’t happen overnight, unless there’s a critical pressure from affected countries, civil society and campaigning organizations proactively pushing for such reforms to take place.
It takes two to tango and most of the companies exploiting fossil fuels are foreign based, what is it 350.org doing to send the message to them as opposed to putting the blame on African countries?
Landry Ninteretse : To be clear – 350.org isn’t blaming African countries but rather targeting all decision makers whether they are public or private institutions, banks, corporations and governments to take the necessary steps and courageous measures in shifting their economies away from a dependence on fossil fuels and focus on building resilient and decentralized energy systems based on renewable sources.
We want every decision maker to take its responsibility and ensure that people’s needs and priorities are at the heart of their decisions and actions.
May we know some of the key partners that 350.org works with in pushing for reforms in Africa?
Landry Ninteretse : We work with hundreds of multiple and diverse partners that will be hard to exhaustively list here. They include affected communities, local/national energy rights and environment and climate justice CSOs and NGOs, global INGOs and progressive movements across the continent.
From the hyper activism of 350.Org, what kind of changes are you seeing in Africa, and may we know some countries that are meeting expectations you have?
Landry Ninteretse: In South Africa, 350Africa.org is building and coordinating the work of the Climate Justice Coalition bringing together civil society groups, grassroots, trade union, and community-based organisations advocating for a rapid and just transition to a more socially owned, renewable energy powered economy, providing clean, safe, and affordable energy for all, with no worker and community left behind in the transition.
In Ghana, between 2013 and 2016 civil society groups and local communities challenged the governmental project to build a 700 MW coal-fired power plant that was supposed to be built in partnership with Shenzhen Energy group. The proposed project was postponed and then abandoned through a change of government in December 2016. Our partners in Ghana are now working on a Renewable energy campaign in 5 districts of Accra.
In Kenya, following years of campaigning against the proposed coal-powered plant in Lamu that was reportedly to increase the country’s emission by 700%, the National Environmental Tribunal halted the plans to construct the infrastructure due to failure in conducting a thorough environmental impact assessment. Our partners from Decoalonize have now embarked on a renewable energy strategy to help the country to achieve a low carbon transition plan.
In Zimbabwe, communities, environmental and rights groups are building resistance against the Sengwa coal power project and engaging the Industrial Commercial Bank of China to commit not to fund that project and are confident that they will win the battle.
What other plans does the Organisation have for the rest of the year and any last word as we wrap up this interview?
Landry Ninteretse : Our plans for the rest of 2021 and beyond include:
-Supporting partners working to stop fossil fuel projects across the continent and beyond
-Building an inclusive, diverse and progressive climate movement by getting people involved in the climate movement, deepening the commitment of people already involved and through coalition building, training, research, networking, and inspiration of people to join the movement.
-Pressuring banks that are still funding fossil fuels infrastructures and get them to commit to a fossil fuel exclusion policy
-Initiate and be part of mobilisations and actions that demand climate justice in Africa and beyond.
Ghana:Stanchart Announces €280m Social Loan Financing Road Infrastructure For Finance Ministry.
July 2, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Maxwell Nkansah
Standard Chartered announces the signing of a €280 million Social Loan financing for the Ministry of Finance, Ghana (MoF Ghana) to develop a section of vital highway, the Eastern Corridor that will transform the country’s transport infrastructure.
The financing is backed by Euler Hermes, the German Export Credit Agency, and INZAG Germany GmbH, a client of the Bank, is the chosen Engineering, Procurement and Construction contractor. Standard Chartered is acting as Book runner, Mandated Lead Arranger, Structuring Bank, Social Loan Co-coordinator, Original Lender and Agent.
In an industry first, Standard Chartered structured the financing to fully comply with the recently published Social Loan Principles (SLPs). This is the first time a Social Loan has been structured not only in Ghana but on the wider African continent. The project is eligible because of its objective to improve basic transport network, which is categorized as affordable basic infrastructure.
The project will also contribute towards meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 9, which relates to industry, innovation and infrastructure. Desislava Radeva , Director, Structured Export Finance, Standard Chartered Bank, said, “We are proud to build on our strong relationship with the Ministry of Finance, Ghana to deliver a bespoke ECA-backed solution to enable the development of this critical infrastructure project. We are equally excited to have signed the first Social Loan in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
The Ghana Eastern Corridor is the National Road N2 that starts at the Tema roundabout and ends in Kalungugu, the northeastern border with Burkina Faso. Standard Chartered’s financing will fund a particular intersection of the road, otherwise known as Lot 1, which includes two flyovers and interchanges, 11 pedestrian bridges and three mixed bridges in dual carriageway.
It stretches from the Ashaiman roundabout and ends at the Akosombo Junction, Madina; a distance of 64km. When completed, the Ministry of Roads and Highways expects the upgraded, tolled route to positively impact the lives of around 500,000 local residents from underserved populations.
It will drive employment opportunities and trade, providing shorter access to the port of Tema and will link regions within Ghana, and also to neighboring countries. Additionally, the intersection will improve road safety and better access to healthcare and other essential services.
Xorse Godzi, Head of Corporate, Commercial and Institutional Banking, Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Plc, said their involvement in the project is a prime example of Standard Chartered living up to its brand promise, here for good, and supporting our communities.
According to him, they have operated in Ghana for over 125 years, are able to advise and play a leading role in tapping liquidity around the world for major sustainable infrastructure projects in the country to help Ghana achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Naim Danji, Head of Export Finance, INZAG Germany GmbH, said, INZAG is delighted to execute this project and looking forward to the successful development and construction of this flagship infrastructure for the country of Ghana.
The transaction is the sixth ECA-supported deal in Ghana arranged by Standard Chartered Bank in the past 12 months, bringing the total amount of financing to over €560 million delivering a wide range of transport and healthcare infrastructure for government.
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, has stated that corporate governance plays an important role in the financial sector. He identified corporate governance breaches, overbearing shareholder behavior and related party transactional breaches as some of the factors that led to the failure of some banks in the financial sector and their consequent resolution.
He reiterated the need for the Ghanaian society to uphold good corporate governance practices and pledged the Bank’s support for the work of the Institute especially as events in the banking sector has a rippling effect on the Ghanaian
He said these when the Institute of Directors-Ghana (IoD-Gh), led by its President, Mr. Rockson Kwesi Dogbegah, on Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, paid a courtesy call on him and the Management of the Bank. The visit was to commend the Bank for its significant role in promoting the culture of good corporate governance in Ghana and to seek mutually beneficial relationships between the Bank and the Institute.
In his remarks, the President of the Institute of Directors-Ghana, Mr. Rockson Kwesi Dogbegah, eulogised the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, for providing transformational leadership in reforming the financial services sector, which has led to a vibrant and resilient banking sector.
Speaking on the strategic projects of the IoD-Gh, Mr. Dogbegah said the IoD-Gh is developing a charter aimed at setting standards for the practice of Corporate Governance in Ghana. He indicated that the development of a National
Governance Code was another key strategic project to be undertaken by the Institute.
He spoke about the Institute having established the ongoing annual Corporate Governance Excellence Awards; as part of its strategic efforts to celebrate the achievements of outstanding individual personalities and corporate organizations that have represented excellence in leadership, corporate governance, and have made significant contributions to the socioeconomic development of Ghana.
He added that the Institute working in collaboration with key stakeholders has championed the formation of the Ghana Association of Integrated Thinking and Reporting which is aimed at stimulating a strategic and sustainable way of value creation and reporting by organizations
US$1Million Al-Sumait Prize nominations period extended to 15th August due to the ongoing impact of Covid19.
June 28, 2021 | 0 Comments
Eligible candidates include organizations and research institutions whose initiatives and programs contributed significantly to solving health challenges in Africa.
Kuwait’s Al-Sumait Prize for African Development today announced an extension for nominations to be received for its 2021 award for health to the middle of August 2021.
The decision to extend the deadline was due to the repercussions of the COVID19-pandemic and the subsequent challenges being faced by African researchers, research centers, and healthcare organizations.
The Health category includes but is not limited to initiatives, program, and research projects in the following areas: Combating the prevalence of diseases in Africa, with a special focus on the utilization of effective frameworks and programs, to address and manage health crises such as SARS, COVID-19, and infectious zoonotic diseases; National capacity building in medical research and medical education; Upgrading and maintenance of national medical facilities; Developing national health policies and successful implementation of the outcomes.
Eligible candidates include organizations and research institutions whose initiatives and programs contributed significantly to solving health challenges in Africa, as well as outstanding researchers who are nominated by their institutions and peers.
For information about the AlSumait Prize for the 2021-Cycle of Health as well as its conditions and requirements, please visit www.AlSumaitPrize.org/nominations.
To access the Prize nomination form, please visit: www.KFAS.formstack.com/forms/AlSumait2021.
*SOURCE Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS)
Entrepreneurship is critical to Africa’s transformation – African Development Bank.
June 23, 2021 | 0 Comments
A June 2021 African Development Bank White Paper, Entrepreneurship and Free Trade: Africa’s Catalysts for a New Era of Economic Prosperity, states that entrepreneurship must be at the heart of efforts to transform Africa’s economic prospects.
The paper posits the Covid-19 crisis has triggered shifts that open up prospects for enhancing resilience and economic growth. As African economies begin rebounding from the crisis, the continent stands at an inflection point. The report also notes a number of trends that could bring about more inclusive economic growth are beginning to take hold—including digitalization and the emergence of business opportunities linked to greening economies.
The right interventions could open the door for the continent’s young and dynamic entrepreneurs and help build linkages with the large firms that are the key drivers of supply chains to create jobs and revenues to help scale up businesses.
According to Dr. Khaled Sherif, AfDB’s Vice-President for Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery, “the White Paper aims to reframe the narrative around Africa’s private sector and, going forward, guide initiatives promoting entrepreneurship on the continent to capitalize on new opportunities.”
The release of the paper follows the May 2021 launch of the Alliance for Entrepreneurship in Africa, in which the African Development Bank will play an important role. The Alliance will mobilize financial and technical resources from partners to develop Africa’s private sector, with a focus on micro, small and medium enterprises.
The Alliance also aligns with the Bank’s concept of coordinating more effective financial and non-financial support to young entrepreneurs through African youth entrepreneurship investment banks. The paper argues that the intelligence, creativity, knowledge and technological skills of young entrepreneurs will be central to harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution in and for Africa for the first time to meet the continent’s development objectives of a sustainable and more equal future.
On the supply side of investment in entrepreneurial activity across Africa, the paper notes that Africa’s nearly 650 tech hubs include “accelerators, incubators, university-linked start-up support labs, maker parks, and even co-working sites. “Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa account for more than a third of these, but most countries and regions have tech hubs in one form or another.” While this represents great progress, a more robust ecosystem and network must evolve to reach smaller, less developed economies.
On the demand side, the paper advises that both entrepreneurs and investors may need to scale back expectations in terms of financing and revenue. “By adjusting expectations, there is a better chance of increasing the roll-out of ecosystem development and for more start-ups to be able to access financing through stages that would have been inconceivable before 2015.” Change will be transformative, but will not occur overnight. Innovation and digital apps alone will not lead Africans to wealth and stability; and systems, digital connectivity and infrastructure, together with improved human capital and access to services, will be critical for success and sustainability.
Ecosystems to support African entrepreneurs—particularly small and medium firms—must be tailored to the African context. To achieve this, the paper recommends that stakeholders work with entrepreneurs along the entire growth path, rather than through a fragmented approach.
Trade can be another catalyst for entrepreneurship, particularly given that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) became operational in early 2021.
Entrepreneurs will make the AfCFTA work by forging new value chains and exploiting opportunities to scale up via increased trade in regional markets. While the final terms of the agreement will be negotiated over the coming decade, the paper offers recommendations to advance intra-African trade and private sector involvement. These include accelerated support for innovation hubs; partnerships with business associations to support trade-enabling information platforms; and automated one-stop border processing. They all underscore the importance of integration, connectivity, information dissemination, and scale.
Frederik Teufel, Advisor to the Vice-President and task manager of the White Paper, argues that ”entrepreneurship has been a driver of economic growth throughout the world and Africa should be no different. There is already a highly entrepreneurial culture in place. With the right policies and conditions, the private sector can act as an engine for inclusive prosperity across the continent.”
Africa should produce vaccines on the continent, African Development Bank Group head says on eve of the group’s 2021 Annual Meetings.
June 23, 2021 | 0 Comments
African Development Bank Group president Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina has again urged regional leaders to focus on vaccine production and access for the African continent as the Covid-19 epidemic continues to take lives and hurt economies and livelihoods.
Adesina addressed leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at a special summit held on Saturday, just days before the Bank Group’s 2021 Annual meetings, scheduled for 23-25 June.
“Africa needs solutions to help it navigate through the very challenging times posed by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Adesina said. “But the rebound will depend on access to vaccines.”
The African Development Bank will support the continent as part of the vaccines plan of the African Union. It is planning to commit $3 billion to develop the pharmaceutical industry in Africa, Adesina said. “Africa should not be begging for vaccines,” Adesina said. “Africa should be producing vaccines,” he stressed.
In recent months, the African Development Bank president has publicly emphasized the need to rapidly build a health care defense system for the continent, to tackle Covid-19 and future pandemics.
The Bank has already channeled $2 million in emergency assistance to the World Health Organization to bolster the WHO’s capacity for infection prevention, testing, and case management. It has also provided $28 million in funding to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) for a Covid-19 response project. This will strengthen capacity to coordinate the Covid-19 response and future epidemics across Africa.
This year, the Bank is organizing its annual meetings around the theme, “Building Resilient Economies in Post Covid-19 Africa.” The meetings will provide a platform for its governors to share their countries’ experience in addressing the pandemic and the policy measures they are employing to rebuild economies and livelihoods.
In their communiqué, the ECOWAS heads welcomed the recent decision by G7 nations to provide additional vaccines to developing countries. They encouraged the West Africa Health Organization to intensify its efforts to mobilize partnerships to produce Covid-19 vaccines in Africa.
Adesina said the recent decision by the International Monetary Fund to issue special drawing rights (SDRs) provides a real opportunity to rebuild back better and greener and to tackle Africa’s debt challenges, more decisively. “The G-7 Leaders’ summit last week gave the green light for allocating $100 billion of SDRs to Africa. This will open the way for much-needed relief for Africa,” he noted.
African leaders, at a summit in Paris in May, called for the African Development Bank to receive SDRs on behalf of African countries, and to use them to on-lend to African public development banks. Adesina said it would be important to allocate some of this to buy down Africa’s “very expensive debt” owed to private creditors that will engaged with the international community.
The Bank president, who has proposed an African Financial Stability Mechanism to protect the continent against external shocks, said such a mechanism was critical. “It will require that we mutualize our resources, avoid regional spillover effects, regionalize fiscal policy rules, develop homegrown reforms and debt-resolution approaches, and provide a regional safety net that will complement the global safety net of the International Monetary Fund,” he said.
Adesina also touched on insecurity on the continent, highlighting that terrorist actions affect countries all across the continent, including the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin as well as the Horn of Africa regions which must re-direct huge resources from their development programs.
He said: “These insecurity situations now pose the biggest risks to Africa’s development. We must now link security to investment, growth and development.”
The African Development Bank is calling for the development of security-indexed investment bonds. Taking advantage of low long-term interest rates, these bonds will allow Africa to leverage resources on the global capital markets to reinforce its security in support of growth and development, and to protect investments.
The bonds can be delivered through special purpose vehicles, established on behalf of a pool of African countries. The African Development Bank and other development partners can credit-enhance them. Administering the bond proceeds would be managed under the auspices of the African Union’s Peace and Security Council and regional economic communities.
The ECOWAS leaders’ communiqué commended the African Development Bank Group for launching a facility to support African countries — including ECOWAS member states — to address the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. It also welcomed the Bank’s support to the G5 Sahel countries as they seek to strengthen national health systems, and for its support to the West Africa Health Organization.
AMEA Power launches 50MW Solar Power Plant in Togo – the country’s first utility-scale renewable energy project developed by an Independent Power Producer.
June 22, 2021 | 0 Comments
The solar plant was delivered in record time, reaching commercial operations within 18 months of signing the Power Purchase Agreement, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.
AMEA Power , a subsidiary of UAE-based Al Nowais Investments (ANI), today announced the official commissioning of its 50MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Blitta, Togo, marking the country’s first utility-scale renewable energy project developed by an Independent Power Producer (IPP), and one of the largest solar PV IPP plants in West Africa.
Officially named Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed, after His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the PV plant has been delivered in record time, with just 18 months between the signing of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and commencement of commercial operations.
Built by AMEA Togo Solar, a subsidiary of AMEA Power, the plant, located 267km from Togo’s capital, Lomé, has a planned production of nearly 90,255 MWh of power per year. This will supply power to approximately 158,333 Togolese households per year, with 9% of energy generation feeding into the local Blitta distribution network, enough to meet demand in the area.
The power plant will be operated for 25 years by AMEA Togo Solar, saving more than 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions over the course of its life. The plant is instrumental in supporting Togo’s ambitious US$8 billion 2018 – 2022 National Development Plan (NDP), which aims to achieve universal access to electricity by 2030 and to increase the share of renewables in the energy mix to 50%.
Hussain Al Nowais, Chairman of AMEA Power, commented: “We are delighted to launch the Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed PV plant and extend our congratulations to all those involved. Togo was an obvious choice for AMEA Power’s first operational power plant in Africa, with it being an important trade hub in West Africa, along with the government’s progressive regulatory framework for renewable energy projects, which was key in ensuring the completion of the project in a fast, efficient, and responsible manner. This is an incredibly exciting time for AMEA Power, and we are on track to becoming one of the fastest-growing renewable energy IPPs, with several additional projects set to achieve financial close in 2021.”
His Excellency Faure Gnassingbé, President of Togo, and AMEA Power’s Chairman, Hussain Al Nowais, attended an inauguration ceremony today [22nd June 2021] at the power plant site. Other high-profile attendees included the Prime Minister of Togo, Victoire Tomegah Dogbé; Minister Delegate to the President of the Republic, in charge of Energy and Mines in Togo, Mila Aziable; Director of Compagnie Energie Electrique du Togo (CEET), Laré Santiégou; Senior Advisor to the President of Togo, Shegun Adjadi Bakari; President of the West African Development Bank, Serge Ekué; and the Deputy Director General of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), Khalifa Al Qubaisi.
Mila Aziable, Minister Delegate to the President of the Republic, in charge of Energy and Mines in Togo, commented: “The development of the Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed PV plant is an excellent example of a successful Public-Private Partnership in Africa, with AMEA Power utilising Togo’s committed implementation unit and favourable investment climate to pre-fund a large-scale renewable energy project on balance sheet. We are delighted to have worked with a team of such highly-skilled professionals with demonstrated know-how in the energy sector.”
The project was supported with concessional loans from the West African Development Bank (BOAD) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD). It was pre-funded on balance sheet, and then refinanced, a unique model for a large-scale IPP project in Africa. This is indicative of the level of project certainty created by the NDP’s regulatory framework, which provided AMEA Power with the necessary level of assurance and comfort to embark on the project’s execution well in advance of the financing being arranged.
The construction of the power plant helped to create local employment opportunities, with 80% of plant workers hailing directly from Togo.
AMEA Power also invested directly in community initiatives in Blitta, which positively impacted more than 100,000 people, by constructing (and providing equipment for) one new clinic and three new school buildings; renovating four schools; providing school supplies for 1,400 students; and installing a water pump at a local primary school. AMEA Power will provide electrification via solar power to the schools and clinic.
Moreover, AMEA Power’s internship programme brought 36 engineering students from various technical institutions in Togo to the Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed PV plant, preparing them for employment by giving them the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge and develop their practical skills in renewable energies.
In response to COVID-19, AMEA Power distributed essential food and hygiene products to 8,500 families in nine countries across Africa, including 1,100 families in Togo. AMEA Power also distributed food and hygiene products to a further 8,000 families during Ramadan this year, which reached 1,100 families in Togo.
About AMEA Power:
Headquartered in Dubai, AMEA Power acquires, develops, owns and operates clean power generation assets in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The company has built a strong pipeline across technologies and at different stages of development in emerging markets. AMEA Power is led by a highly experienced international team with a proven track record in the power sector.
*SOURCE AMEA Power
President Mnangagwa Sets Sight on $ 12 billion Target for Mining Sector by 2023.
June 22, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Nevson Mpofu
Zimbabwe mining sector has been cornered by President Mnangagwa to increase maximum production and productivity in order to come up with target of US 12 billion. This is in line with economic strategies set high up at top to make Zimbabwe an upper- middle- income economy by 2030
President Mnangagwa said this last week addressing delegates attending the Chamber of Mines annual conference in Victoria Falls, the country‘s share of the tourist town on the Zambezi river bordering Zambia . He warned the mining sector to fully become fledged for economic growth and development.
The mining industry currently generates US 2 billion annually. Gold and platinum is expected to contribute US 3 billion but it has not yet reached the level. President told the mining industry players to boost output in order to bit the target as 2023 is just nearby the corner.
‘’Considering that 2023 is 18 months away, the mining sector must take stock with regards the realization of a US 12 billion mining economy ‘’
‘’With unity of purpose, collaboration and increased investments, the sector is expected to reach great heights. Let us target attracting investors to grow the economy, reach targets and become upper-middle income economy. At the same time we address Sustainable Development Goals and Africa Agenda 2063’’.
‘’We have sanctions, but we can- not cry day and night. Let us prosper as we go on. The work done by the hard working Minister of Finance, Muthuli Ncube is recommendable. At least the economy is improving but I see less focus on beneficiation and value addition on minerals you produce. Yes in platinum, they are doing better, but I do not see much in gold and diamond ‘’. he said
President Mnangagwa urged the mining sector to remain optimistic. He welcomes increased investments, then production and productivity in-order to attract investors. He said even though covid -19 remains a challenge hard work is needed before things go well . Due to the global pandemic , covid-19 there is 4,7% decline in output in 2020.
Zimbabwe initiates tobacco value chain transformation plan.
June 22, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
Zimbabwe has begun the process of initiating the Tobacco Value Chain Transformation Plan mainly aimed at boosting national income revenue and foreign exchange as previously experienced before the sector faced its demise due to the land reform programme.
According to Dr Anxious Masuka, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, the tobacco industry is very important for the country’s economy.
He said that tobacco exports contribute 50% of national agricultural exports and the crop is the biggest single contributor to agricultural GDP at 25%.
“With some 160000 families directly involved in tobacco production and another 1 million people directly and indirectly impacted by tobacco, this industry must be protected,” Dr Masuka said.
He added that to date, tobacco sales have generated over USD 366 million from 135 million kg.
“We expect USD540 million to be generated from the 200 million kg this year. This tobacco is worth over USD1.2 billion when exported. Each family will receive an average of USD 3375, equivalent to USD 281 monthly. Such is the importance of tobacco to these households and consequently to Zimbabwe,” he said.
It is reported that for such an important industry, there has to be a clear understanding by stakeholders of the direction the industry should take, especially in the midst of the global onslaught on tobacco production under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
The Tobacco Transformation Plan’s objectives are to increase tobacco production and productivity to 300 million kilogrammes annually, primarily through yield increases and post-harvest loss reduction, while enhancing traceability, compliance and environmental stewardship,localisation of tobacco financing, for which the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) will lay out a solid framework from the current season, enhancing value addition and beneficiation from the current 1% to 30% to generate USD5 billion by 2025,exploring alternate and alternative crops, to enhance tobacco viability, while priming the industry for futuristic reductions in tobacco production, should they occur, including legislative and institutional reform and coordination to drive the transformation.
According to Dr Masuka, in August 2020, the President of Zimbabwe, Dr Emmerson Mnangagwa launched the Agriculture and Food System Transformation Strategy (AFSTS) aimed at assuring our nation of food security, reducing and finally eliminating imports, increasing exports, enhancing value addition and beneficiation, creating more employment and improving livelihoods towards the attainment of Vision 2030.
He said that an ambitious target of a USD 8.2 billion industry by 2025, from the current USD 5.8 billion was set, and the country is reported to be firmly on course to achieving the target, judging by the strides made in ensuring food security from just 1 million MT of cereals in the 2019/2020 season to over 3 million MT of cereals in the 2020/2021 season and increasing the hectarage under wheat to a targeted 85 000 ha from 44 600 ha last season.
According to Dr Masuka, Zimbabwe’s tobacco is exported to 60 destinations in over 50 countries.
He said that tobacco is therefore, arguably, the most widely exported product from Zimbabwe.
He added that with the global tobacco industry valued at USD 850 billion and with Zimbabwe producing 6% of the world tobacco, if the playing field was even, which is not the case,he said that this could potentially generate USD 51 billion for the country annually, yet it gets only USD 1.2 billion.
“How do we generate USD 5 billion from this USD51 billion potential for the country in the next five years? This question surely must occupy the uppermost space in our minds today,” he said.
He said that he hopes that the Tobacco Value Chain Transformation Plan will be radical enough to transform the lives of Zimbabweans and to contribute meaningfully towards the noble Vision of becoming an empowered and prosperous upper middle income society by 2030.