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Mo Ibrahim Foundation to launch first ‘African Governance Report’ in 2019
September 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

The report uses data from the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) to further governance analysis in Africa

Mo Ibrahim

Mo Ibrahim

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of the first comprehensive African Governance Report. The report will be published online at mo.ibrahim.foundation on 15 October 2019.

Based on IIAG data, the report will focus on: Governance and Africa’s implementation of the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It will highlight the importance of using data to analyse the growing governance challenges and opportunities that must be addressed to drive sustainable development in Africa.

In this report, the Foundation will highlight gaps in the availability of sound data to track and measure progress. It will issue a call for national and international players to work together to urgently address these gaps, which will be critical to encouraging and directing development progress across the continent.

The African Governance Report will:

1)  Examine the governance environments needed to achieve progress towards Agenda 2063 and the SDGs and the links between these, highlighting common areas and major challenges

2)  Identify progress in these areas and data gaps, both in terms of national statistical offices but also vital statistics and civil registration

A new report in response to new challenges

Africa is at a critical turning point. While governance across the continent has continued to improve, new challenges and needs from stakeholders and citizens have changed this landscape.

The scope of public governance has expanded to include new challenges for existing topics, and new needs, such as access to quality healthcare and environmental sustainability. Meanwhile, transformative frameworks, such as the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), now pave the way for Africa’s development agenda, and contribute to defining policy priorities towards political, social, environmental and economic progress.

In response to these developments, the Foundation will publish the African Governance Report with unique insights around these frameworks, challenges and opportunities.

Strengthening the use of our data

As the largest source of data on African governance, the IIAG is a key tool for African countries to measure the environment around achieving transformative frameworks, such as the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the SDGs.

Good governance remains at the core of Africa’s development and the report. The Foundation holds the most comprehensive assessment and collection of data on African governance ever undertaken using 90 indicators and 150,000 data points across 54 countries to assess performance.

With a view of continually improving the IIAG, expanding its scope to include new challenges and data, and making use of its wealth of information and growing dataset, the Foundation will release new data with updated scores, ranks and trends every two years, with the next iteration in 2020.

Between the biennial updates of the IIAG dataset, the Foundation will publish additional data-driven research publications and tools to support Africa’s stakeholders with resources for evidence-based decision making and policy debates, alongside the comprehensive African Governance Report, based on the IIAG.

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation was established in 2006 with a focus on the critical importance of leadership and governance in Africa, by providing tools to assess and support progress in leadership and governance.

The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) provides an annual assessment of the quality of governance in African countries and is the most comprehensive collection of data on African governance.

With over ten years of data to draw from, the IIAG is uniquely positioned to measure trends in governance, providing in-depth analysis on how the quality of governance has changed, and what has or could be key to Africa’s transformation.

In every iteration, MIF – assisted by the IIAG’s Advisory Council – looks at improving the structure, components and methodology of the IIAG. Due to this revision, MIF recalculates all scores in the Index for each iteration.

Previous iterations of the IIAG covered data from 2000 onwards. The 2018 IIAG, for the first time, provided comparable governance data for the last decade only, to strengthen the robustness of the findings.

In 2018, an assessment of youth inclusion was also made part of the IIAG. Through the indicator Promotion of Socio-economic Integration of Youth (provided by Global Integrity), the Index assessed whether there is a government policy/strategy to increase the socioeconomic integration if youth.

The IIAG contains analysis across 102 indicators from 35 independent African and global data institutions to cover all 54 African counties in the areas of Safety & Rule of LawParticipation & Human RightsSustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development.

The IIAG Data Portal is a user-friendly interface that offers a bespoke analysis of governance ranks, scores and trends for each country. Users can create printable charts and graphics from the data.

Access the IIAG Data Portal directly: http://iiag.online/

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Malawi: Protests against planned erection of Mahtma Ghandi statue resume
September 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Joseph Dumbula, Blantyre Malawi

A statue of Gandhi in Accra, Ghana was eventually taken down

A statue of Gandhi in Accra, Ghana was eventually taken down

There would be a spate of protests at the Indian consulate, should the Indian government continues with the plan to erect a statue for popular figure Mahtma Ghandi in Blantyre, the grouping that protests the move has warned.

Earlier this week, media reports had suggested that the Indian government was reportedly working towards financing and purchasing some equipment for the statue. However, the matter is in court as previous protests saw the organisers scrapp off the construction of the statue in the Commercial city of Blantyre. The grouping managed to obtain a court injunction against the erection and the site remained notably ready for the erection.

Initially, the grouping known as Citizens for Progressive Action, had led masses into protesting against the move as they described Ghandi as being racist and not having any impact in his dealings over Malawi.

But in reacting to the recent reports the grouping states that the move potrays the government as being receptive to manipulation stating that it would not relent to stop the move.

It is our demand therefore, that the government of India rescinds its decision to do the same in Malawi. It is our appeal to them to respect our sovereignty and not to impose upon us what we do not want. We are giving the government of India 7 days from today, the 16th of September, 2019 to come out and tell Malawians that they will not be erecting such a statue anywhere in Malawi. If they fail to do so, we will be planning vigils that will be held outside their consulate in Malawi till they rescind the decision.

” The government of India has so many needs in its country that it should be addressing instead of going around causing havoc. The Indian people are suffering from economic injustice which would be something for them to focus on instead of spending huge sums of money trying to impose statues of Gandhi on other countries. They have a horrible caste system which abuses and segregates against minorities in India. Instead of going around promoting racist Gandhi, perhaps India should divert its attention to healing such wounds of division.”reads s statement that the grouping has issued.

It adds:” Let the government of India be warned that what we have is strong will power and we will not relent in our quest to have a Malawi that is sovereign. We extend a hand of friendship to India on the condition that this friendship will be mutually beneficial where no one has selfish agenda of their own.”

Gandhi  was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist, who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India’s independence from British Rule, and in turn inspire movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.

However, he is christened as being racists due to his dealings in South Africa where he worked as an expatriate lawyer, a supposition that has stimulated ernomous debate over his legacy.

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Murdoch to help empower 1,000 entrepreneurs across Africa by 2022
September 19, 2019 | 0 Comments
Murdoch hosted Kingdom Business Network (KBN) Chief Executive Officer Joarina Matthys and four of its entrepreneurs to participate in a panel at the 9th Annual Africa Australia Research Forum
From left to right: Pr Lyn Karstadt, Deputy Vice Chancellor International at Murdoch University; Jillian Hudson, entrepreneur and member of KBN; Joarina Matthys, CEO of KBN; Pr Eeva Leinonen, Vice Chancellor at Murdoch University; Caroline Yonke, Dr Lebohang Fadiran and Dr Keitumetse Mothibeli entrepreneurs and members of KBN

From left to right: Pr Lyn Karstadt, Deputy Vice Chancellor International at Murdoch University; Jillian Hudson, entrepreneur and member of KBN; Joarina Matthys, CEO of KBN; Pr Eeva Leinonen, Vice Chancellor at Murdoch University; Caroline Yonke, Dr Lebohang Fadiran and Dr Keitumetse Mothibeli entrepreneurs and members of KBN

PERTH, Australia, September 11, 2019/ — A new partnership between Murdoch University (www.Murdoch.edu.au) in Western Australia and the South African-based Kingdom Business Network (KBN) took a first step towards formation after a visit to Perth for Africa Week by a delegation of five of its members.

The KBN is a programme created and funded by the South-African diversified investment company, the Beryl Group, to inspire entrepreneurs to create and acquire sustainable wealth, enabling them resources and training to build and develop their communities and positively impact their generation.

Murdoch hosted KBN Chief Executive Officer Joarina Matthys and four of its entrepreneurs to participate in a panel at the 9th Annual Africa Australia Research Forum and meet with Murdoch Alumni, members of the Perth African diaspora and entrepreneurial community.

The KBN was founded 10 years ago by Neverl and Beryl Kambasha and has a goal to empower 1,000 entrepreneurs across Africa by 2022.

“We are passionate about developing quality entrepreneurs who will have a positive impact on their communities,” Ms Matthys said.

“After 10 years of operation in South Africa we have made the decision to expand our reach, to other parts of Africa and to seek partnerships within Australia, including with Murdoch.”

Murdoch University Africa Research Group Chair David Doepel said Murdoch was keen to understand what structures facilitated creative and innovative thinking, and to harness the formidable African brain power globally.

“This is absolutely critical to Africa’s participation in the creation of the 4th Industrial revolution,” Mr Doepel said.

“Our digital interconnectedness holds great promise, but it only works if we have the human networks formed to leverage the digital ones.

“We have been exploring how we can be more embedded with each other to ensure the success of this burgeoning phenomena on the continent.”

Mr Doepel said there were 314 tech hubs in Africa in 2016, which had grown to more than 618 in 2018.

“More than 50 per cent of those tech hubs have incubators with in-kind support for idea and early stage start-ups, developing innovations in agtech, healthtech and fintech focused on African solutions for African opportunities.

“Coming together to ensure the success of these entrepreneurs, and finding ways to straddle continents with ideas that lead to businesses that solve problems, exploit opportunities, create jobs and deliver inclusive growth, is the work we must support.”

Ms Matthys said the KBN could also provide a trusted partner for companies interested in investing in African companies or your partners in Africa.

“A key role we play is developing and maintaining strategic partnerships to create a web of networks for our entrepreneurs as well as for people looking for opportunities in South Africa and Africa generally.

“We understand how government and local systems work; if you don’t know who to trust we are the place to come to.

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Merck Foundation provides their first ‘Health Media Training’ in partnership with the First Lady of Zimbabwe
September 17, 2019 | 0 Comments
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Africa Logistics Properties holds Supply Chain Networking Breakfast Forum to tackle current challenges in the East African Region
September 17, 2019 | 0 Comments
L -R Maruza Chikwanha- Development Director Africa Logistics Properies, Richard Hough, CEO Africa Logistics Properties. Tariq Arain, Sub Regional Development Manager, EA, Kuehne + Nagel. James Rusty Eason, Global Technical Adviser, Global Cold Chain Alliance. Joseph Kariuki, Head of Transport - Freight Forwarders Solutions. Tim Steel, CEO Copia

L -R Maruza Chikwanha- Development Director Africa Logistics Properies, Richard Hough, CEO Africa Logistics Properties. Tariq Arain, Sub Regional Development Manager, EA, Kuehne + Nagel. James Rusty Eason, Global Technical Adviser, Global Cold Chain Alliance. Joseph Kariuki, Head of Transport – Freight Forwarders Solutions. Tim Steel, CEO Copia

The event brought together key stakeholders in the Logistics and Supply Chain sector with the aim of generating industry solutions

NAIROBI, Kenya, September 17, 2019/ — Africa Logistics Properties (ALP) (http://www.AfricaWareHouses.com/), a modern warehousing solutions company hosted a Supply Chain Networking Breakfast Forum in celebration of it’s second anniversary since the completion of phase one – ALP North at Tatu City’s Industrial Park. The event brought together key stakeholders in the Logistics and Supply Chain sector with the aim of generating industry solutions.

Speaking at the event, Africa Logistics Properties CEO Richard Hough said, “Since setting up operations in Kenya, we as an organisation have noticed various challenges in the East Africa’s Supply Chain ecosystem. We are delighted to have our first supply chain breakfast event as a way of creating dialogue to solve some of the key challenges many business’s experience within the Supply Chain ecosystem as well as align key international best practices that are relevant and can be applicable to the East African Region.”

He further added, “With ALP logistics centres we are able to provide a key part of the solution and improve distribution in Kenya by streamlining the supply chain and logistics processes. Through eliminating shipping and transportation challenges, establishing better ways of storing goods and the effective use of technology.”

Africa Logistics Properties’s flagship project ‘ALP Nairobi North’ is Kenya’s first international standard grade-A logistics and distribution centre. The project consists of 47,000sqm of grade-A international standard warehousing on a 22-acre site. The first two phases of the ALP North park are over 82% leased and the third final phase of 19,600sqm was delivered in May 2019.

ALP Nairobi North won the Best Industrial Project in Africa award at the 2018 Africa Property Awards and also achieved the World Bank’s EDGE building sustainability certification – the very first industrial warehousing complex to achieve this benchmark in Africa.

Frank Mwiti- Partner Ernst & Young

Frank Mwiti- Partner Ernst & Young

In addition to ALP Nairobi North, ALP has also commenced construction of its second logistics and industrial project called ALP Nairobi West on a 49-acre site in Western Nairobi. ALP West is situated on the A104 highway towards Limuru, with planning approval for a 100,000 sqm logistics and distribution warehousing complex, the largest in East Africa. This second project aims to attract smaller more modern warehouse units, similar units at ALP North and specialized built to suit options for business’s seeking to move away from traditional land ownership to focusing on their core businesses.

ALP’s strategy is to identify demand-led investment opportunities within Africa that will generate strong returns for its shareholders through the development of industrial real estate projects whilst improving logistics and infrastructure in the markets in which ALP operates, according to Hough, a strategy that saw the company win Best Industrial & Logistics Development in 2018 at the Africa Property Investment Awards (API) held in South Africa.

Farida ABBAS- CEO British chambers of commerce Kenya

Farida ABBAS- CEO British chambers of commerce Kenya

About Africa Logistics Properties (ALP):
Africa Logistics Properties (ALP) (http://www.AfricaWareHouses.com/) is a specialist integrated property investment company that develops, acquires and owns class-A industrial and logistics properties in principal cities across Africa. ALP leverages its team throughout the region via a deep understanding of global customer and logistics demands, international best practices in warehousing design specifications, construction and property management along with local expertise in market dynamics, site selection and regulatory approvals. ALP is supported by global institutional shareholder investors and chairman Nicholas Ferguson CBE. The company is currently developing Nairobi’s first international grade-A logistics warehousing parks.

ALP was started by Toby Selman in 2016 to address the lack of modern warehousing and distribution centres across Africa. ALP’s strategy is to identify demand-led investment opportunities within Africa that will generate strong returns for its shareholders through the development of industrial real estate projects whilst improving logistics and infrastructure in the markets in which ALP operates.

The CEO Richard Hough of ALP was part of the founding management team of Raven Russia Plc, a London Stock Exchange listed property company that specialised in bringing modern warehousing infrastructure to Russia https://www.TheRavenPropertyGroup.com

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Gambia to Host Drama Fest-Gambia 2019
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Drama Fest 2019

Drama Fest 2019

Gambia is expected to host maiden edition of Drama Fest-Gambia 2019 on 25-26 October, 2019 at Ebunjan Theatre in Kanifing.

Organised by Stage and Screen Entertainment Africa is a premium Entertainment Art network that seeks to nurture, promote, develop and engage the vision of creative and performing art in Africa.

This was revealed during a press conference which attracts writers, playwrights, directors, actors at West Africa Insurance Institute on 7th September, 2019.

Milton Kamanda, coordinator of Stage and Screen Entertainment Africa The Gambia explained that the event will showcase an array of cultural diversity through drama, music, dance poetry and arts exhibition which will feature creative and literary work done by renowned playwrights and directors from the Gambia.

According to him, this year the festival will show case home grown talents from the different facets of art.

He added that: “Our goal is to use Art Edutainment as a means of sustainable livelihood for upcoming and established artist, artiste thereby showcasing the work of creativity, craft and art to the world”

Miss Monica Davies, Chairperson Drama Fest-Gambia said they want to empower the next generation of art through leadership training.

She pointed out that Drama Fest want to promote arts entrepreneurship in Africa, through training, mentorship and networking platforms, to appreciate and celebrate the diversity of African arts.

“Recognizing distinguished accomplished personalities in the arts fraternity in the Gambia and Africa at large. Promote arts as a positive tool for social and economic transformation in Africa. To use creative and performing arts to address the ills in our communities. Giving preferences to promote and support local talents. Engage relevant stakeholders in the arts industry within the region with the implementation of policies that benefits its people,” Davies a prominent actress in Gambia said.

She noted that the event will be in a form of trade fares, concerts and art exhibition as one of the medium to showcase African arts to the world, by encouraging government to create state funds to support arts in school and tertiary levels.

 

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Cameroon: Citizens urged to be involved in peace building process
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Participants at at the end of the public talk on proposing solutions to the numerous problems in Cameroon

Participants at at the end of the public talk on proposing solutions to the numerous problems in Cameroon

Citizens in Cameroon has been urged to be involved in the peace building exercise and should also learn to be proactive as a means to bringing peace in the country. According to participants, the government cannot do everything on its own. These amongst others were some solutions proposed by participants during a public dialogue which took place September 12, 2019, at Mbouoh Star Palace Hotel in Dschang under the theme “The quest for citizen participation in promoting peace in Cameroon.”

The event was in line with the mission of the Nkafu Policy Institute, a think tank of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation, whose mission is to provide independent, in-depth and insightful policy recommendations that advance the Cameroonian economy, and the economies of other sub-Saharan African countries, in partnership with NEDemocracy

Participants say the release of political prisoners, and all those arrested will help solve the Anglophone crisis

Participants say the release of political prisoners, and all those arrested will help solve the Anglophone crisis

During the discussions, three prominent issues were x-rayed by participants such as: the ongoing Anglophone crisis in the South West and North West Regions, the Boko Haram insurgencies in the North, and the refugee crisis in the East Regions.

Some 80 participants from the public, private and civil society organizations, and others were present to propose solutions through which Cameroon can accelerate its progress towards the resolutions of the current conflicts it is presently facing.

On the Anglophone crisis, participants indicated that a national inclusive dialogue will go a long way in resolving the present upheavals in the Regions. This call comes at a time when the Head of State has equally acknowledged the Anglophone crisis. In his unprecedented State of the Nation address, the President said there will be a national dialogue at the end of this month which will involve all stakeholders. “The dialogue to be presided over by the prime minister will bring together all Cameroonians, especially traditional rulers, lawmakers, the clergy and all elected officials,” Biya said.

To one participant, “We have to solve the problem by tackling it from the root. There has to be the respect for the fundamental rights of individuals especially those of the Anglophones. They are not respected at all.” “This issue also boils down to the respect of cultural differences-Cameroon being French and English. These two languages and cultures are very different from one another and no one should be seen as superior and forced down on people.”

Another major solution proposed to solve the Anglophone crisis is for the release of political prisoners, and the release of all those arrested in connection to the crisis. This has been one of the calls from the opposition parties and human rights organizations both internally and externally. Many had equally hoped that prior to the head of State’s address all those in prison would be released-something which was not done by the Head of State.

Participants say the elimination of bad governance and corruption will contribute in solving the numerous problems in Cameroon. It is not new in Cameroon that corruption has become pervasive and has affected all sectors of the government, and even the private sector.

Corruption in Cameroon is caused by various issues such as personal interest, favoritism, ineffective system of accountability and others. According to the 2018 Corruption Perception Index reported by Transparency International, Cameroon is the 152 least corrupt nation out of the 175 countries.

With respect to the Boko Haram crisis in the North, and the refugee crisis in the East of Cameroon, participants suggest that before the intervention of the government, citizens should regroup themselves to protect their territories. For years now, the Cameroon military has been battling embers of the Boko Haram sect in the North with casualties in the numbers.

In May 2014, Cameroon declared war on Boko Haram at the Paris Summit. Since then, Boko Haram has intensified its activities in the Far North Region of the country, making Cameroon the second most targeted country, regarding attacks by the sect. From July 2015 to March 2016, Boko Haram carried out more than 50 suicide attacks in Cameroon, killing more than 230 people while wounding 500 others.

 

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Sierra Leone: Energicity Corporation launches its first Electrification Project in Sierra Leone
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

Energicity Corporation, operating under the name Power Leone, has launched its first electrification project in Petifu Junction, Port Loko District, Northern Sierra Leone, to provide 24-hour electricity to 100,000 people and businesses by the end of 2020.

According to the press statement from the company, Power Leone will launch 31 more minigrids over the next 2 years thus stating that by year end of 2020, Power Leone will have completed deployment of all 31 projects and will be providing 1.5MW of solar powered electricity to over 100,000 people in the Moyamba, Port Loko and Kambia districts in which the company is already providing free electricity to Community Health Centers across 23 communities.

‘’Power Leone’s service in Sierra Leone is under a contract signed with the Ministry of Energy in January 2019. This contract is the culmination of the ambitious Rural Renewable Energy Project (RREP) supported by grant funding from the UK Department for International Development and implemented by United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). Upon completion of the project, RREP with a total of 90 minigrids across the Sierra Leone will be one of the largest off-grid distributed minigrid projects in Africa,’’the release stated.

The release further stated that Petifu Junction is the first of 14 surrounding villages under the Lokomasama Chiefdom to receive electricity since its formation in 1908 adding that Petifu Junction is a village of 2000 people who are primarily farmers of rice and palm oil, in addition to residential users, small holder farmers, 2 schools and a community health Center, and  home to the Love Bridges Hospital a charitable hospital performing surgeries ranging from appendectomies to complex laparotomy.

For most people living in the Northern part of Sierra Leone, Love Bridges Hospital, serves as the last resort for all medical complications.

Alfred Young, General Manager of Love Bridges pointed out numerous challenges the hospital is facing due to lack of electricity. “Each time we have to maintenance our gensets, we have to close down operation and send some patients to other nearby health Centers,” he said, adding that having constant electricity supply will help them to expand their services.

According to Chief Obai Fath, section chief for Petifu Junction, the lack of electricity has derailed economic growth in the village, increased suffering and forcing most of the young people to abandon the community to seek sustainable futures elsewhere. Women and children are the most affected by the lack of electricity. “Our women travel to distant places to buy ice-block for them to carry out their local businesses, he said. “Despite the improvements in technology, our community continue to be in a deplorable state with high rates of health complications, crimes and profound hardships, he continued. Having electricity will improve all aspects of our lives”.

‘’There are over 600 million people in Sub Saharan Africa living in communities like Petifu Junction. Minigrids are the lowest cost solution to provide electricity for at least 100 million of them. With electricity provided by minigrids, people can have electricity to power health care, including ultrasounds and vaccine refrigerators, power agriculture – including irrigation, agro-processing and cold storage, and to power economic development,’’ the release added.

Nicole Poindexter CEO of Energicity Corp and Power Leone reiterated the company’s commitment in providing electricity. “We at Power Leone are pleased to be able to bring affordable, reliable electricity to tens of thousands of people in rural Sierra Leone. From returning light to Bauya to providing reliable power for surgeries in Kambia District, to providing electricity and ice making to fishermen to enable fishermen to double their incomes in Port Loko, we are certain that the power we bring will transform the lives of Sierra Leoneans today and for generations to come.”

Energicity Corp is a developer and operator of off grid minigrid serving rural communities with subsidiaries in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria operating under the names Black Star Energy Ltd, Power Leone, Atanya Solar respectively. Energicity provides affordable, reliable electricity that is scalable to every household and commercial need. Energicity was a 2018 participant in the Ghana Climate Innovation Center, and one of the winners of the EDF Pulse Africa Prize in 2018.

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Reaching global financial inclusion by 2020 is almost impossible
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ferdinand Maniraguha

Dr Alfred Hannig, Executive Director of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI)

Dr Alfred Hannig, Executive Director of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI)

International organizations  have that admitted reaching hundred percent financial inclusion by 2020 is not possible though much has been done since that vision has been set.

At the 2015 World Bank Group-IMF Spring Meetings, they adopted measurable commitments to achieve Universal Financial Access by 2020 and help promote financial inclusion.

In 2011, 2.5 billion people were unbanked according to World Bank. That number reduced to 1.7 billion by 2017.

Dr Alfred Hannig, executive director of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) says that such objective is unlikely to be achieved  on time.

He was speaking Tuesday at a press conference in Kigali, before a two day AFI Global policy forum 2019 program which kicked off this Thursday.

“I believe that this objectives have been quite optimistic , the timeline was very short and from our own experience, we can say that if you talk  about hundred percent inclusion, we need to recognize that this take time”, he said

However, Hannig praised the decision of having set such vision, because it helped to put much efforts into bridging the gap between banked people and unbanked.

“From our point of view, the time that has been given it’s a little bit too short  to achieve. On the other hand, the 2020 objective was also important looking to access to finance. The question is how can we achieve it in a very short time.”

He stressed that global financial inclusion may take up to 2030 to be achieved.

During the opening of  2019 AFI Global policy forum, Rwanda’s Prime Minister Dr Edouard Ngirente urged countries to shift their focus on digital finance by bringing youth on the run.

He said that  in Sub-Saharan Africa, over 60% of the population fall below age of 25, most of them are less likely to have a bank account compared to adults.

Bringing youth on board, Dr Ngirente said that financial institutions have to use technology which attract them.

“In this regard, financial literacy could be the starting point in this process since many of the youth have a keen interest in digital channel,  digital financial services accessed  and delivered through their mobile phones, could be the solution to banking them” said Ngirente.

Rwanda’s Prime Minister Dr Edouard Ngirente urged countries to shift their focus on digital finance by bringing youth on the run.

Rwanda’s Prime Minister Dr Edouard Ngirente urged countries to shift their focus on digital finance by bringing youth on the run.

One of the  problems that still hinders financial inclusion,  is a big number of women who are unbanked, because 56% of the unbanked population are women.

Rwanda Central Bank Governor, John Rwangombwa warned that the  SDG 5 will not be achieved if women are excluded financially.

SDG5 on Gender and Equality, aims at bringing to an end all forms of discrimination against women and girls.

“These numbers imply that strong measures must be taken to create a conducive environment, for women to participate and benefit from all development opportunities” he said before adding that “Having access to quality and affordable financial products and services is a foundation to the efforts to promote gender equality.”

AFI says that since 2011 there is a 9 % gender gap in  financial inclusion globally that needs to be bridged.

 

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We got approval to complete the $5.3bn Ibadan to Kano rail project – Amaechi
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Olumide Ajayi

Amaechi

Amaechi

Nigeria’s minister of transportation,Rotimi Amaechi, has confirmed the federal government approval of $5.3 billion for the construction of Ibadan-Kano standard gauge rail line.

Speaking at the third maritime stakeholders interactive forum in Lagos on Thursday.

The Minister said: “We got approval to complete the $5.3bn Ibadan to Kano rail project. We have also applied for funding to commence coastal rail for the Port Harcourt to Warri segment,” he said.

Amaechi further added that the minister of state in the ministry, Gbemisola Saraki, will supervise the maritime sector, while he takes charge of the railway sector.

Saying “In my first term as minister, I completely abandoned the maritime sector to the heads of agencies. This time, that won’t be happening again,” he said.

I have instructed that the Minister of State for Transportation should personally supervise the maritime agencies, while I just oversee what is happening.”

He also said he discussed issues affecting the maritime sector with President Muhammadu Buhari, and that by next year, ”the country will have a single window in the maritime sector”.

There are two things I discussed with Mr. President that I will be focusing on in this second term as minister, and they are maritime security and the single window project,” Amaechi said.

I have assured the government that by the end of 2020, we should have the single window at our maritime sector.

On maritime security, I have told the Israeli firm HSLI that they are too slow. By now, they should have launched. I want to know the situation of things with the aspect of security on our maritime space.”

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China donates rice to South Sudan to accelerate unification of army
September 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Juba – China has handed over 1,500 tonnes of rice to the South Sudan government to assist the peace process and formation of unified army in the youngest world country.

In order to support South Sudan in implementing the revitalized peace agreement (RARCSS), the Chinese government decided to provide a batch of material assistance to South Sudan.

The National Period Transitional Committee (NPTC), body tasked with peace implementation received a first batch of 1,500 tons of rice aided by China, that will help the construction of cantonments and accelerate the formation of a unified army as the country’s 5-year civil war comes to an end.

On September 2, the handover ceremony of the first batch of food was held at the warehouse of the National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC) in Juba.

The 30,000 sacks of rice will be transported to the army forces in the cantonment sites across the country. There are about 25 cantonment sites in the country, created by the 2018 peace deal.

The China’s assistance is in line with an effort to faster the implementation of security arrangement to pave way to have one unified army in the country.

The latest peace deal signed between South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit and opposition groups last year is now in its implementation stage.

The Chinese government hope that South Sudan will restore peace and stability at an early date. The China to take the lead in providing material assistance for the construction of cantonments together with AU and some African countries.

It is only two months left for the formation of unity government that return Dr. Riek Machar, as the president Kiir’s deputy, the same position he held before the conflict broke in late 2013.

At present, China is speeding up the preparation of other material assistance, including tents, blankets and medicine, and they will be delivered to South Sudan respectively.

The handover ceremony was attended by Chinese Ambassador Hua Ning, Hon. Cabinet Minister and Secretary of NPTC Martin Elia Lomuro, and representatives from JDB, JMCC, and JTSC representatives.

Speaking to the press, Chinese Ambassador, Hua Ning said that the peace process has entered into a critical moment, and the formation of a unified army is one of the most pressing issues at present.

Ambassador added that the assistance is an effort to move the peace process forward so that the transitional government is formed on time. This is a first shipment of the food, but Amb. Ning lamented that there will be more [foods] coming to South Sudan.

“The signatories have to choose the suffering of the people, at meanwhile we also hope that most of the countries could provide direct support to the cantonments, to unification of the army. This is a key to the future peace – without the unified army, there will be no true peace so that why we put cantonments as our priority – that why a China promised to provide support for cantonments,” said Amb. Ning.

He further called on all parties to peace deal to listen to the voice of the people and unite to implement the peace deal, giving peace a chance and giving people a hope.

“Now, we have only two months before the formation of new transitional government and all the members and the parties to the peace deal need to work together and double our efforts to put forward the peace process. I believe that the feel of the people, just the feel of the country and we believe that with joint efforts, South Sudan will enjoy a peaceful and prosperous future,” said Amb. Ning.

Amb. Ning appreciated the recent support from the African Union and relevant African countries to provide support to South Sudan and called on the international community to increase efforts in supporting peace in South Sudan in all aspects to see that the country is returning to a stability path.

“I believe that the international community are still committed to the peace process, [but] at this critical moment, the international community also need to double its efforts to support the parties to the peace agreement in South Sudan. We work together to give a peace a chance,” said Ning.

On behalf of the South Sudanese Government and NPTC, Cabinet Minister Elia thanked the Chinese government and people for their valuable support and stressed that China’s assistance will greatly promote the South Sudan peace process.

Minister Elia said that the trucks and planes from South Sudan People’s Defence Force are ready to go, and the first batch of rice aided by China will be transported to the cantonments as quickly as possible, and that each cantonment will receive over 700 bags of rice to maintain the forces in the country.

He further unveiled that the NPTC gave a necessary money to transport the food to the army across country so that next two months, there must be unified forces.

“The South Sudan People’s Defence Force (SSPDF) has contributed their vehicles and planes and the NPTC gave a necessary money to transport the food all over the country so that in next two months, we have unified forces,” said Minister Elia. “We have committed ourselves that any country helps us, we will work to the higher standard for accountability and transparency,” he added.

Minister Elia also advised all the parties to the peace deal to resolves local problems in the areas, something he says they would not tolerate anything going wrong to deter the peace process in the areas, there are cantonments.

The NPTC is working closely with Joint Defense Board (JDB), JMCC, JTSC and other mechanisms to develop a detailed distribution plan to ensure the proper and effective use of materials.

One of South Sudan’s other challenges is its poor road network. Getting the donated rice to the cantonment areas remains a challenge.

But Lt Gen. Charles Dut Akol, Chairperson of the JMCC explained that the rice that is going to Greater Equatoria will be transported by roads, while for Greater Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazel regions respectively will be delivered by air.

Gen. Dut assured that there would no malpractice on this donation, saying the food must reach the forces in the cantonment sites.

However, South Sudan hopes rice aid can make an impact on the maintaining of the forces at the cantonment sites across the country.

At present, China is speeding up the preparation of other material assistance, including tents, blankets and medicine, and they will be delivered to South Sudan respectively.

The formation of unity government was then extended in May to November this year, following the unfinished issues, including the security arrangement which is a backbone for the lasting peace in the country.

 

 

 

 

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South Africa’s Eastern Cape water crisis in urgent need of government response
September 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire

File Picture.A resident of the Masiphumelele informal settlement collects drinking water from a communal municipal tap in Cape Town, South Africa. Photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA

File Picture.A resident of the Masiphumelele informal settlement collects drinking water from a communal municipal tap in Cape Town, South Africa. Photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA

Sonke Gender Justice (Sonke) in South Africa says that it is deeply concerned by the ongoing water crisis in the Eastern Cape, which directly affects communities which Sonke works with in the Amathole District Municipality.

The organisations says that the crisis infringes the fundamental rights of the community members, including the right of access to sufficient water; the right to clean and decent sanitation; the right to dignity; and the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls. Additionally, this crisis has devastating consequences for the economy of the affected areas, which is largely agricultural.

“A lack of access to water is invariably a gendered issue because it renders poor women and children of all identities (including women with disabilities) more vulnerable to gender-based violence and other human rights violations. There is a disproportionate burden on women and girls to collect water. These journeys are long and onerous, and sometimes take place at night, without well-lit infrastructure for protection and peace of mind, as some of these women and girls have to be at work and in school during the day. Without water, women and girls are unable to practice safe sanitation for menstruation, inhibiting their participation in meaningful economic and/or social activities,”they said .

They add that access to water is a fundamental, basic right. When it is violated, this has a devastating domino effect which impacts the enjoyment of other fundamental rights. For example, last month’s temporary closure of two (2) Eastern Cape universities, the University of Fort Hare’s Alice Campus and Walter Sisulu University’s Butterworth Campus, denied students their right to an education.

“Despite persistent calls to action via correspondence and community protests, local government bodies have been unresponsive and inefficient in answering these urgent calls for improved water and sanitation access in the areas of Mnquma and Mbashe (Wards 17 and 3 respectively).”

It is reported that since April 2017, Mnquma Ward Councillor, Xolisa Pupuma, has urged the Amathole District Municipality to increase access to water in the affected areas by installing water systems and drilling boreholes. Pupuma was later informed by the municipality that it was unable to increase the number of water taps in the district. Pupuma’s most recent letter, drafted in March 2019, addressed the Mnquma Municipal mayor and requested the municipal government to supply water tanks to these areas to assist in alleviating the crisis. Local government and the mayor have failed to answer Pupuma’s most recent letter and all other demands have fallen on deaf ears. This is a travesty which undermines the state’s constitutional obligation to ensure the rights of all people “to have their dignity respected and protected”.

It is reported that the situation in the Amathole District is dire: villages with anywhere from 300 to 600 households have on average two (2) communal taps from which all their water and sanitation needs have to be met. It is not enough to argue that ‘93% of the South African population has access to water supply services and 76%…have access to basic sanitation services’ . Our conversations should go further. They must be concerned with the quality of that access: is it reliable and what are the means in which that water can be accessed?

It is added that the  problems are neither unique nor isolated to the Eastern Cape. All over the country, be it in urban, semi-urban or rural areas, access to basic provisions such as water, electricity and sanitation is dismal and consistently denied to poor, black South Africans. Advocacy and activism has been carried out by several civil society organisations. It is time, however, for the government to respond earnestly and substantively; a responsibility all too often falling solely on the tired shoulders of NGOs. If government fails again in this mandate, litigation must be resorted to to bring government to account.

 

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