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Kenya & Tanzania: Over 3 million people to benefit from African Development Bank’s €345 million road construction support
December 13, 2019 | 0 Comments
Nnenna Nwabufo, AFDB Acting Director General for the East Africa Region
Nnenna Nwabufo, AFDB Acting Director General for the East Africa Region

Over three million people in Tanzania and Kenya will benefit from a €345 million financing package for road construction support, approved by the African Development Bank’s board in Abidjan on Thursday.

The Bank’s support for the Mombasa-Lunga Lunga/Horohoro and Tanga-Pangani-Bagamoyo roads Phase I, is in the form of African Development Bank and African Development Fund loans and represents 78.5% of the total €399.7 million project cost.  The European Union contributed a grant of €30 million, 7.7% of the total project cost, to the government of Kenya.

The road is a key component of the East African transport corridors network, connecting Kenya and Tanzania. Producers, manufacturers and traders will be able to move goods more quickly and cheaply. In addition, farmers and fishermen will benefit from improved access to local and regional markets and amenities, including better schools and health centres.

“The project will have spillover benefits for hinterland countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan that depend on Mombasa as gateway to global markets,” said Hussein Iman, the Bank’s Regional Sector Manager for infrastructure, private sector, and industrialization.

The Bank’s support will also provide roadside trading facilitates for sellers, half of them women who currently operate in disorganized and unsafe conditions. 

The road crosses regions with high rates of youth unemployment. In light of this, the project includes a vocational training component for 500 unemployed youth (half of them women) to acquire marketable skill and improve their economic prospects.

The Bank anticipates that the intervention will boost regional integration by reducing transit times, facilitating trade and the cross-border movement of people, opening access to tourist attractions. The project will also link the ports of Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Mombasa, and stimulate the blue economy in coastal areas.

This first phase involves the construction of 175 km of road sections:  the 121 km Mkanga-Pangani road section in Tanzania and the 54 km Mombasa-Kilifi road section in Kenya.

The intervention is a priority item in the Bank’s Eastern Africa Regional Integration Strategy (EA-RISP), the Country Strategy Papers (CSPs) of both countries and aligns with two of the Bank’s High 5 priorities – Integrate Africa and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.

Regional integration is a priority for Kenya, and Tanzania. However, poor infrastructure has been a major constraint.

This week, the Bank witnessed the signing of a $440 million agreement between Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the government of Kenya for the first phase construction of a bridge connecting Mombasa island and Likoni, a major international port area of East Africa.

The Mombasa Gate Bridge will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in Africa, providing a critical link over the Indian Ocean along the just approved Mombasa – Lunga Lunga/Horohoro and Tanga – Pangani – Bagamoyo corridor phase I.

The total amount of co-financing is expected to be more than $ 1.2 billion when subsequent phases of the project are concluded – the largest co-financing agreement between the Bank and JICA.

“We are confident that we can all work together to accomplish this important task and other projects in the future,” Nnenna Nwabufo, the Bank’s Acting Director General for the East Africa Region, said at the signing.

As at the end of November 2019, the Bank’s portfolio in Kenya comprises 27 public and 7 private operations with a total commitment of 2.7 billion euros.

The Bank’s portfolio in Tanzania as at the end of November 2019 comprises 21 public and 2 private operations with a total commitment of 1.82 billion euros.

*AFDB

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Senegal: African Development Bank lends €62.8 million to help create 150,000 jobs for women and young people
December 13, 2019 | 0 Comments
Adam Amoumoun, Acting Country Manager for Senegal
Adam Amoumoun, Acting Country Manager for Senegal

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank approved a €62.83 million loan to the Government of Senegal for implementation of the first phase of a project aimed at providing jobs for 150,000 women and youth.

Funding for the Project to Support and Enhance Women’s and Young People’s Entrepreneurial Initiatives (PAVIE I), is composed of a €14 million loan from the African Development Fund and a €48.83 million loan from the African Development Bank.

“PAVIE is intended to support the Government of Senegal’s efforts to implement the Plan for Safeguarding Jobs (PSE) to create decent work for young people and women, through the promotion of entrepreneurship,” explained Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbadé, the Bank’s General Manager for West Africa.

PAVIE was designed as a demand-driven approach to be implemented in coordination with the private sector, banks and microfinance institutions. The project will finance businesses and entrepreneurial initiatives by women and young people throughout Senegal, offering them technical support for their business plans and business management.

Serge N’Guessan, The Bank’s Deputy General Manager for West Africa, added, “Given the encouraging and promising results already achieved, the Rapid Entrepreneurship Delegation (DER) is well worth supporting. The Bank’s action will help to strengthen the DER approach based on structuring agricultural and artisanal value chains to create a multiplier effect on employment and the digital transformation of the companies it supports, to further increase their productivity and competitiveness.”

The project is expected to finance over 14,000 entrepreneurial initiatives and generate or consolidate some 65,000 direct and 89,000 indirect jobs. Of these, 60% will be dedicated to women. In addition, more than 27,000 entrepreneurs, including 15,000 women, will receive training and 2200 enterprises will have the benefit of support for their digital transformation, while a further 3500 (50% of which are headed by women) will have support for their move from the informal to the formal economy.

Adam Amoumoun, Acting Country Manager for Senegal, said, “This project is planned to be an effective and innovative response to the challenge of finding work for young people and women in Senegal which, like every African country facing the employment challenge, is seeking a sustainable and lasting solution.”

The Bank’s active portfolio in Senegal comprises 32 operations with a commitment of around €1.84 billion, or 1205 billion CFA francs. It is composed of projects in the national public sector, regional projects, and operations financed by the private sector.

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African Development Bank and African Union to roll-out a continent-wide electricity market Masterplan
December 13, 2019 | 0 Comments
Professor Mosad Elmissiry, a Senior Energy Advisor to AUDA-NEPAD’s CEO

The African Development Bank and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) have agreed to jointly develop a blueprint for a pan-continental electricity network and market.

The agreement to set up a Continental Power System Master Plan between the Bank and AUDA-NEPAD was unveiled, on November 29th, during a three-day workshop on the sidelines of Programme for Infrastructure Development (PIDA) Week held in Cairo. The workshop also produced the Masterplan’s terms of reference.

“The Continental Power System Master Plan will ensure that competitive electricity markets are developed at regional and continental levels, creating unique opportunities to optimally utilize Africa’s vast energy resources for the benefit of Africa,” said Professor Mosad Elmissiry, a Senior Energy Advisor to AUDA-NEPAD’s CEO.

The workshop was aimed at advancing the launch of an Integrated Continental Transmission Network (ICTN) to link national power utilities into regional power pools and, ultimately, into a continent-wide transmission network. Plans also include setting up a market for electricity trading.

The Masterplan also will inform the energy component of a PIDA Action Plan, which focuses on key regional integration projects.

Development of a unified electricity transmission network and market for electricity trading are viewed as a critical priority to improve the lives of people across the continent.

“Most state-owned electric utilities in Africa today are unable to secure the financial resources needed to implement required segments of regional interconnectors and associated national feeder lines,” said Angela Nalikka, the Bank’s manager for National and Regional Power Systems, to explain the impetus for the partnership. “The Bank plans to encourage private sector participation in transmission projects in the continent.”

*Source AFDB

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New 𝐒𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐓𝐞𝐜𝐡𝐧𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐲 𝐔𝐧𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐲 Set for 𝐆𝐚𝐦𝐛𝐢𝐚
December 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

The Vice-Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Professor Kwasi Obiri-Danso has revealed that his university has signed an agreement with the Government of The Gambia to help establish a University of Science, Technology and Engineering in The Gambia.

Professor Obiri-Danso made the revelation while speaking to the State House Press Corps following a closed discussion with His Excellency, President Adama Barrow at the State House in Banjul. He was in the company of the Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science, and Technology, Honourable Badara Joof.


“Most Gambian engineers are trained at KNUST. Hence bringing that to your doorstep will help advance the developmental challenges in The Gambia. I hope that we can start this new university in January 2020,” Professor Obiri-Danso said, adding that the advancement of any country is highly dependent on science and technology.


Hence, Ghana’s founding President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah thought it wise to establish such a university in Kumasi, Ghana, many decades ago.


“Science and Technology education is greatly needed in The Gambia if we are to develop our country’’, President Barrow told the delegation.


‘‘Education is a priority area of my government’s development plan (NDP 2018-2021). Hence the establishment of this university will be something that will be good for The Gambia”.

The primary objective of the agreement requires the Ghanaian institute to The Gambia will help with the establishment and development of its own university of science, technology, and engineering to help train Gambians and diversify the economy of the country, just as it did in Ghana

The Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science, and Technology, Honourable Badara Joof said funding for the university will be jointly provided by the World Bank, Government of The Gambia, and OISCA Foundation as a grant to The Gambia.

‘’It will complement the already existing technician training programmes run by the GTTI but providing degree qualifications for those interested in pursuing courses in those fields”, Minister Joof said of the project.

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Zimbabwe included in GPE new grants in 2019 to improve children’s education in the poorest countries
December 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Partnership for Education
Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Partnership for Education

Zimbabwe has been included in the Global Partnership for Education  approved grants totaling nearly US$110 million to support efforts by BhutanBurkina FasoCabo VerdeCote d’IvoireTanzaniaKenyaSomaliland, Puntland to strengthen their education systems and make quality schooling available to more children.

With these new grants, GPE, which partners with close to 70 developing countries across the globe, has approved more than US$312 million in funding in 2019. Moreover, new grant applications totaling US$220 million were received in the last quarterly round of grant proposals this year, demonstrating a clear acceleration of funds allocated by GPE during this third replenishment period spanning 2018 to 2020.

“As GPE partner countries continue to invest more of their domestic resources in education, external financing is also critical to their success,” said Julia Gillard, Chair of the Global Partnership for Education’s Board of Directors. “These new grants will help drive real and important progress, including getting more children in school – especially girls and children from disadvantaged communities – and ensuring that the quality of the schooling they receive gives them what they need to learn and grow.”

“We are very pleased to deepen GPE’s relationship with Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Puntland, Somaliland, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, partners that are engaged in the hard work of strengthening their education systems,” said Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Partnership for Education. “We are working hard to move faster in our grant process to ensure that our partner countries get the resources they need. With GPE’s help, they are recruiting and training more teachers, enabling more girls and children with disabilities to get schooling, developing better learning materials and much more.”

GPE has approved US$700,000 to Bhutan as additional financing of a previously allocated grant of US$1.8 million. The funding focuses on increasing enrollment in pre-primary education and developing a new learning assessment framework. Save the Children U.S. is the grant agent overseeing the three-year, five-month funding.

Burkina Faso, a GPE partner since 2002, will receive a grant of US$21 million over four years. This funding is additional to the US$33.8 million grant approved in 2017. The US$14.84 million fixed portion of the funding will provide continued support through a multi-donor pooled fund for the country’s 2017-2030 strategy to increase the number of children with access to education, invest more in education infrastructure and teacher training, improve learning through enhanced teaching and learning materials and strengthen government management of the education system. The US$6.36 million results-based portion of the grant aims to promote increases in primary school enrollment in six regions, more efficient operational spending within the education system and a higher reading and numeracy performance in early grades. GPE’s grant agent in Burkina Faso is Agence Française de Développement.

Over the next three years Cabo Verde will receive US$1.1 million as additional financing of a US$1.4 million grant approved previously. The funding will support inclusion and equity in education, with a focus on children with special needs. It will also complement and strengthen the existing GPE grant by further supporting improvements in education system management, teacher training, learning evaluation and collection and analysis of education data. UNICEF is the grant agent in Cabo Verde, which became a GPE partner in 2018.

The GPE Board agreed a US$28 million additional financing to Cote d’Ivoire. The US$19.6 million fixed portion of the funding, available over nearly four years, will be devoted to community-based preschool education in rural areas, the building of new primary school buildings in those areas and “bridging classes” for older children who have missed primary schooling. The US$8.4 million results-based portion of the grant centers on increasing enrollments in preschool, the number of hours of lower secondary teachers and students’ performance on reading and math tests in third and fourth grades. The World Bank will administer the grant in Cote d’Ivoire, a GPE partner since 2010.

Kenya, which has made substantial progress towards achieving gender equity in its schools and increasing primary completion rates, has been a GPE partner since 2005. This latest GPE grant of US$9.7 million for two years supplements existing efforts to improve early-grade math proficiency, and strengthen education management, accountability and reforming education data management systems. The US$3 million results-based portion of the grant is keyed to achieving results in early education, extending educational opportunities to learners with special needs and disabilities, and schools’ compliance with new administrative guidelines to strengthen efficiency. The World Bank is the grant agent for this grant.

Within Somalia, Puntland will receive a GPE grant of US$8.83 million over four years to support activities aimed at improving teaching quality – and, thus, children’s learning outcomes. Puntland will apply the funding to the rehabilitation of a teachers’ college and other professional development resources, as well as to the creation and implementation of a teachers’ profession test and to monitoring and verification of quality of teaching and learning outcomes. The grant also focuses on enrolling and keeping more of the state’s most socially excluded children in school. The new grant is additional financing on top of a previous GPE grant. UNICEF is the grant agent.

Further, GPE has approved a three-year grant of more than US$12 million to Somaliland, also a semi-autonomous state within Somalia, to increase primary school enrollment, especially among girls, boost the quality of schooling in order to achieve higher learning results, promote safe, gender-sensitive learning environments, improve administration and data management, and strengthen disaster and emergency preparedness. GPE will also accelerate the availability of more than US$3 million to support emergency responses to Somaliland’s drought-affected schools and increase the share of girls enrolling in school. Save the Children – U.S. is GPE’s grant agent in Somaliland.

Tanzania, a GPE partner since 2013, will receive US$22.5 million in additional financing over a three-and-a-half year period. This expands on components of a grant approved earlier this year aimed at improving the quality of pre-primary, primary and non-formal education by strengthening teacher training and professional development, distributing more quality teaching and learning materials to underserved areas and improving planning and management in education. The results-based portion of the grant is dependent upon Tanzania’s meeting targets such as timely distribution of funding to local schools, increase in the number of girls who transition from primary to secondary school, and higher student retention and reading rates. The Swedisn International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) oversees the GPE grant in Tanzania.

An additional financing of US$2.8 million will enable Zimbabwe, a GPE partner since 2013, to expand access to school improvement grants and help the country carry out an assessment to inform an upcoming new long-term education plan. UNICEF is GPE’s grant agent in Zimbabwe.

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Ghana and Nigeria top list of markets to watch for key project developments
December 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
Ghana’s determination to become sub-Saharan Africa’s first LNG importer in 2020 is set to become a reality as the Tema LNG terminal project nears completion
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, December 10, 2019/ — In its African Energy Outlook 2020 report launched last month, the African Energy Chamber (“The Chamber”) highlighted the importance of increased infrastructure capacity in Africa’s long-term industrial development.

Spotlighting the $12 billion Dangote Refinery in Nigeria and Ghana’s Tema LNG Terminal, the Chamber noted essential role such projects play in revamping the sector and creating opportunities for private sector investors.

“At a time when the low oil price is gripping treasury revenues, private capital is developing key oil and gas infrastructure projects which could have a significant impact on the African energy and power landscape over the next decade,” the report said.

On the Dangote Refinery, the Chamber called attention to the current state of Nigeria’s infrastructure and the contribution the project would have specifically as the country works towards tripling its refining capacity to 1.5 million bpd by 2025 as a means to reduce its reliance on fuel imports.

To this, the report said, “the refinery’s tank farms are set out for completion in Q4-19 and they may be used as a depot before the refinery’s production starts. This would provide an immediate increase to fuel storage capacity.”

Ghana’s determination to become sub-Saharan Africa’s first LNG importer in 2020 is set to become a reality as the Tema LNG terminal project nears completion. The project will be able to cover 25 percent of Ghana’s total electricity generation capacity, with gas providing a cheaper alternative to oil.

“The deal with Rosneft enables Ghana to diversify gas imports away from Nigeria, which has consistently failed to provide the agreed level of supply since the West African Gas Pipeline started operating (back in November 2011),” the Chamber explained. Adding that the emergence of offshore storage and regasification technology is enabling smaller, lower-risk, rapid LNG solutions that could be replicated elsewhere in the region in countries with substantial gas reserves.

Now available for free download on the website, the African Energy Outlook 2020 also features the 25 Movers and Shakers to Watch list which highlights key industry players that are set to have a great impact on the future of Africa’s energy and economic development. The list includes Donald J. Trump President Of The United States of America; Mustafa Sanalla Chairman, National Oil Corporation, Libya; Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi President Of Egypt; Dr Omar Mithá Chairman & Ceo, Enh Mozambique and Tope Shonubi Managing Director, Sahara Energy.
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UNESCO report shows fewer than 5% of people in many countries benefit from adult learning opportunities
December 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
Adult education in Rwanda.Photo credit The New Times Rwanda

Paris, 04 December – In almost one-third of countries, fewer than five per cent of adults aged 15 and above participate in education and learning programmes, according to UNESCO’s fourth Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE 4). Adults with disabilities, older adults, refugees and migrants, minority groups and other disadvantaged segments of society are particularly under-represented in adult education programmes and find themselves deprived of crucial access to lifelong learning opportunities.

Published by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, the report monitors the extent to which UNESCO Member States put their international commitments regarding adult learning and education into practice and reflects data submitted by 159 countries. It calls for a major change in the approach to adult learning and education (ALE) backed by adequate investment to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to access and benefit from adult learning and education and that its full contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is realized.

“We urge governments and the international community to join our efforts and take action to ensure that no one – no matter who they are, where they live or what challenges they face – is left behind where the universal right to education is concerned,” says UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, endorsing the report’s recommendations. “By ensuring that donor countries respect their aid obligations to developing countries, we can make adult learning and education a key lever in empowering and enabling adults, as learners, workers, parents, and active citizens.”

The publication stresses the need to increase national investment in ALE, reduce participation costs, raise awareness of benefits, and improve data collection and monitoring, particularly for disadvantaged groups.

Progress in participation in adult learning and education is insufficient

Despite low participation overall, many more than half of responding countries (57% of 152) reported an increase in the overall participation rate in adult learning and education between 2015 and 2018. Low-income countries reported the largest increase in ALE participation (73%), trailed by lower middle income and upper middle income countries (61% and 62%).

Most increases in adult learning and education participation were in sub-Saharan Africa (72% of respondents), followed by the Arab region (67%), Latin America and the Caribbean (60%) and Asia and the Pacific (49%). North America and Western Europe reported fewest increases (38%) though starting from higher levels.

The data shows persistent and deep inequalities in participation and that key target groups such as adults with disabilities, older adults, minority groups as well as adults living in conflict-affected countries are not being reached.

Women’s participation must improve further

While the global report shows that women’s participation in ALE has increased in 59 per cent of the reporting countries since 2015, in some parts of the world, girls and women still do not have sufficient access to education, notably to vocational training, leaving them with few skills and poor chances of finding employment and contributing to the societies they live in, which also represents an economic loss for their countries.

Quality is improving but not fast enough

Quality ALE can also provide invaluable support to sustainable development and GRALE 4 shows that three-quarters of countries reported progress in the quality of education since 2015. Qualitative progress is observed in curricula, assessment, teaching methods and employment conditions of adult educators. However, progress in citizenship education, which is essential in promoting and protecting freedom, equality, democracy, human rights, tolerance and solidarity, remained negligible. No more than 3% of countries reported qualitative progress in this area.

Increase in funding for adult learning and education needed

GRALE 4 shows that over the last ten years, spending on adult learning and education has not reached sufficient levels, not only in low-income countries but also in lower middle income and high-income countries. Nearly 20% of Member States reported spending less than 0.5 per cent of their education budgets on ALE and a further 14% reported spending less than 1 per cent. This information demonstrates that many countries have failed to implement the intended increase in ALE financing proposed in GRALE 3 and that ALE remains underfunded. Moreover, under-investment hits socially disadvantaged adults the hardest. Lack of funding also hampers the implementation of new policies and efficient governance practices.

Download of the UNESCO Global Report on Adult Learning and Education:

About the UNESCO Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE)

The UNESCO Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE) monitors whether UNESCO Member States are putting their international commitments on adult learning and education into practice. These commitments are set out in the Belém Framework for Action (2009), the outcome document of the 6th International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VI, Belém, Brazil), and the Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education (2015). In addition to this monitoring function, each issue of GRALE examines a particular topic, the 2019 edition focusses on participation. GRALE is published every three years. The Report combines survey data, policy analysis and case studies to provide policy-makers and practitioners with recommendations and examples of good practice. It presents evidence on how adult learning and education helps countries address current challenges and contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Cameroon: Faculty of Mines and Oil Industries, Maroua Wins 2019 STEM Prize Competition
December 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Winners of STEM Prize 2019
Winners of STEM Prize 2019

(Yaounde, Cameroon) The 2019 edition of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) competition organized by the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation has been won by the Faculty of Mines and Oil Industries, Maroua.

Kapche Christian, Mekoulou Ondigui, Andela Jessica and Dissake Olivier with a project on Production of diesel fuel paraffinic from neem oil was crowned winners during the award ceremony November 30, 2019, at the Muna Foundation in Yaounde.

“We are so happy that we won the STEM prize as all our efforts have been rewarded. We had a fix objective to transform our economy, especially that of the extreme North. Cameroonians should not give up — when you have projects just continue to work on it,” Mekoulou Odigui Daniel explained.

They equally went home with a cash prize of FCFA 1. 5M, with the second place going home with FCFA 1M, and the third with FCFA 75, 000. FCFA 500, 000 each was awarded to the fourth and fifth positions.

Second position was won by L’institut Universitaire de Technologie Fotso Victor (IUT-FV), third position occupied by Institut des Sciences Économiques et des Technique Appliquées (ISET), University of Buea came in the fourth place while the University of Yaounde 1 came in the fifth place.

To Odette Kibu, Health Policy Analyst, and Coordinator of the STEM Prize, “What we expected from the team is that they should implement their projects that they proposed to the foundation. We are expecting them to use the funds giving them to implement their projects, so they can see how to positively impact their communities,” She said while adding that, “Every three months, we will be following them up to see how far they have implemented the project because we don’t want to give money, and not to follow them up.”

To her, the foundation received 63, applications this year as compared to 48 last year. “In addition, 93 girls entered the competition compared to 82 last year. Applications were received from eight regions of the country, but we are hoping that next year’s edition will feature applications from all the ten regions of the country.”

“We have already working on the project we presented (HAS 2.0). We were just looking for how we can get funds for the project to continue but giving the outcome, we are going to look for funds elsewhere as we were trained on how to attract funds for our projects,” noted Durell Dogmo, team member UB.

Various teams equally did a brief demonstration of their projects to the watching of those in attendance. Some projects include, the Home Automation Systems (HAS) proposed by those from University of Buea, LANDPAD – a tablet with a set of applications to digitalize agricultural plantations and optimize production from students at the University of Yaounde 1, Plastic waste bottles turned building blocks to construct eco-friendly residential houses by 2020 in Foumbot, by students from Institut des Sciences Économiques et des Technique Appliquées (ISET).

Fosi Jasmine from Institut des Sciences Économiques et des Technique Appliquées (ISET), was giving an individual award for being the youngest participant at this year’s event at 13-years-old, while Wadjom Eunice was equally honored for being the most dynamic person during the training. 

Previous Winners

Students from Quality international who had a project on “Hemo Android mobile application” won first position for the 2018 STEM competition, and equally went home with a cash prize of FCFA 1.5 million.

Students from Government Bilingual Grammar School Kumbo won the second prize with a project title, “Fighting Deforestation by substituting wood with mini biogas plants in restaurants by 2019 in Kumbo, North West Region of Cameroon.” The students went home with 1 million FCFA to help them in achieving their project.

ICT University came in third position winning FCFA 7, 50,000. They had a project called “Mediquick: Mobile application to ease access to healthcare information.”

Extreme North bags first prize at 2019 STEM
Extreme North bags first prize at 2019 STEM

The STEM Prize Competition was established to encourage young Cameroonians, especially girls and young women to pursue careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. From many applications received in this year’s edition, five (5) teams of  motivated young men and women  aged between 13 to 21 have been selected as Finalists.  These young Cameroonians are working on innovative projects to improve the living conditions in their communities and the entire country.

“Our goal here is simple: Unleash the potential of our people to be able to tackle many challenges to economic prosperity by creating wealth for themselves and the community. History has taught us that this can only be done through science, technology and innovation.” Dr. Denis Foretia, CO-CHAIR, Foretia Foundation

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Comoros: World Bank Group Pledges $175 Million in Additional Support for Development Programs
December 3, 2019 | 0 Comments

PARIS, December 3, 2019— The World Bank Group pledged an additional $175 million over the period 2020-2022 to support Comoros’ development through its National Emergent Plan. The announcement was made at the Development Partners Conference for Comoros, held in Paris on December 2 and 3, 2019.
This funding consists of grants and concessional credits from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s arm that provides grants and low to zero-interest loans to the world’s poorest countries and contributions from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a sister organization of the World Bank that provides financing for the private sector in developing countries. The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), another member of the World Bank Group, will also support Comoros through the implementation of the National Emergent Plan.

The IDA funds will help strengthen human capital development through better investments in nutrition and social protection programs. They will support the country’s recovery and reconstruction of infrastructure, roads and housing after cyclone Kenneth. The World Bank Group’s support will also help promote private sector and value chains development in agriculture and tourism, boost inter-island connectivity, renewable energy supply, and digital finance while increasing financial inclusion.

IFC will leverage IDA funds and other Development Partners’ programs to scale up private sector financing contribution to the National Emergent Plan and its reform agenda. IFC will focus on improving the investment climate and is ready to invest and provide advisory services following the successful implementation of the required reforms.
Comoros is a country with huge potential and important natural resources. However, two Comorians out of 10 live in extreme poverty and a third of the children under five suffer from chronic malnutrition. The human capital index of the Comoros is 0.41, meaning that a child born today in Comoros will have only 41% of the productivity he could have had if he had benefited from an education, comprehensive health care and nutrition.

With this new financing, the World Bank is committed to accompany Comoros in its efforts to achieve an inclusive and sustainable growth. We stand ready to work with other development partners to support the Government and the people of Comoros to address some of the urgent development issues, including enhancing the human capital and promoting better and more connected people”, said Mark Lundell, World Bank Country Director for Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Comoros and Seychelles.

IFC looks forward to continuing the collaboration with the Government of Comoros and its development Partners to strengthen the investment climate, including in areas related to property rights and access to credit. These building blocks will enable IFC to mobilize private investment to support food security, financial inclusion and sustainable job creation”, said Ousseynou Nakoulima, IFC Regional Director for Western Europe.

“MIGA is committed to supporting Comoros’ development goals and the government’s program to boost foreign private sector participation in key sectors. MIGA will play a critical role in de-risking private investment by insuring cross-border investors against non-commercial risks in sectors such as telecommunications, energy, and transport”, said Hoda Moustafa, MIGA Regional Head for Africa. 

*World Bank

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African universities, Mastercard Foundation chart ways of improving higher education
December 3, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mugabo

University community deliberate on improving higher education during the Mastercard Foundation's workshop in Kigali last week. Photo courtesy.
University community deliberate on improving higher education during the Mastercard Foundation’s workshop in Kigali last week. Photo courtesy.

At least 13 universities’ leaders from across Africa have come together to find ways of strengthening higher education for economic transformation and youth employment on the continent.

At the three-day workshop held in Kigali, Rwanda, last week, the academicia and politicians committed to scaling up innovations at universities, increase the mixture of technical and general education courses to ensure that graduates are prepared to meet the labour market’s needs and improve universities’ management, among other drivers of quality education.

Opening the workshop on Tuesday, Rwanda’s Minister of Education, Dr Eugène Mutimura, called on universities’ leaders to embrace the incessant changes of a disruptive era the continent has stepped in.

“We, in African countries, have already started to change. Therefore, it clearly indicates that we should consider repackaging our programmes to deliver programmes that create the future leaders of Africa and ensure that we help them optimise the opportunities presented to them,” he said.

Minister Mutimura also encouraged universities across the continent to broaden partnerships among themselves, with others beyond the continent and with private sector.

Mastercard Foundation’s Chief Programme Officer, Peter Materu, said the foundation targets to offer 15,000 university scholarships by 2030 to disadvantaged young but talented Africans including refugees who will take up 25% of the scholarships. In order to bridge the gender gap in higher education, Mr Materu said female young people will take 70% of the scholarships.

Through its Scholars programme, the foundation has so far offered 36,000 scholarships across Africa including 25,000 for secondary schools and 11,000 for tertiary education.

Materu said that Mastercard Foundation considers adding seven African universities in addition to the current 10 on the list of 24 Scholars Programme’s partner universities across the world. The ten include Nkwame Nkrumah University and Ashesi University in Ghana, Makerere University in Uganda, Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda, African Institute for Mathematical Sciences based in Rwanda Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania, University of Gondor in Ethiopia and University of Cape Town in South Africa, among others.

Mr Materu encouraged other African universities to apply for the partnership with Mastercard Foundation but reminded that they have to check well with their programmes, quality of education and facilities if they are to succeed in securing the partnership.

The University of Rwanda’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of institutional advancement, Dr Charles Muligande, said the university considers applying for Scholars Programme’s partnership and expressed confidence in securing it.

“We need to review our programmes. Some of the programmes were developed at a time when there wasn’t enough resources to do a comprehensive skills assessment, identify the skills gap and map out skills profiles that are needed. Therefore, we ended up developing programmes that are producing graduates who do not meet what the market needs,” he said. Dr Muligande added that UR also considers training the lecturers continuously to update them on the current changes of the job market.

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Government unveils Urban Mobility Project for Freetown
December 1, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Uzman Unis Bah

Freetown, Sierra Leone – President Julius Maada Bio has launched the Sierra Leone Integrated Resilient Urban Mobility Project; stressing the huge financial, environmental and health costs related challenges posed by overcrowding in the nation’s capital.

 

“There is a heavy direct and indirect cost to congestion. Alongside our interventions being announced today, it may be invaluable for our government and our development partners to calculate the real monetary value of the cost of Freetown’s congestion. That may help us come to terms with its multiple realities and guide strategy and policy,” the president said.

“I need not say that a congested city is not good for citizens, not good for tourism, not good for business, and not safe for our women and children. I need not emphasise that traffic congestion diminishes productivity, increases the cost of commuting through increased fuel and operating costs, and has environmental and health implications,” President Bio said. 

The President Bio affirms that the government is determined to address the current traffic congestion in Freetown. “not only by the construction of new roads” and the widening of others, supplemented with pedestrian flyovers at the busiest urban intersections; but also by employing proven and practical traffic engineering mitigation measures such as the use of actuated traffic light signals, directional traffic flows, channel station. He said.

President of the Sierra Leone Drivers’ Union, Alpha Bah, applauded the project, saying that they were excited. He said that the project, among other things, would help to decongest the roads, improve safety for vehicular traffic and commuters. He added that the project would also reduce road accidents, restore better transport service to commuters.  

The World Bank Executive Director said that she was excited to witness the official launch of the IRUMP, noting that she was especially pleased because the project looked at resilience of climate change, job creation that was crucial for youth and access to service and road safety in the country.

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Transport and Aviation, Kabineh Kallon, said that he was delighted that the President was launching the project as a means of creating awareness to the people of Freetown, and other municipalities across the country.

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Junior Achievement Africa Hosts 9th Annual Africa Company of the Year Competition
November 29, 2019 | 0 Comments

Accra, Ghana – Junior Achievement (JA) Africa is proud to announce that the 2019 Regional Company of the Year (COY) Competition will return to Accra, Ghana. The competition will bring together Company Program students from the 15 African countries where JA works in Africa. The event will take place from 4-6 December 2019 at the Swiss Spirit Hotel and Alisa Suitesunder the theme Activating Disruptors”, which challenges the students to come up with products and services that will disrupt various industries.

The COY competition is JA Africa’s annual celebration of students of the JA Company Program, who have created and run their own businesses during the school year. The Company Program is JA’s flagship entrepreneurship education curriculum which teaches introductory business to thousands of secondary school students in Africa every year. For millions of young Africans, creating their own enterprises is the most viable avenue for employment as the formal sector is unable to meet the employment demands of the growing youth population.

Graduates of the Program compete at national level for the opportunity to represent their country at the regional level. The competing teams will pitch business ideas to judges at the regional competition, demonstrate understanding and explain how and why their businesses performed as they did. Judges will be looking at the current performance and future potential of these business, as well as the personal development of the team members. In addition to the finalist awards, students will also compete for several branded awards presented by the funders of the competition.

Each year, JA Africa engages over 250,000 students across Africa, teaching them how to start and run their own businesses. Harnessing Africa’s youth potential through entrepreneurship education has the potential to translate into a dividend for the continent. The creation of enterprises does not only contribute towards economic growth, but also creates jobs for other young people. Giving these young entrepreneurs the experience of running businesses builds their minds to take on the challenges and opportunities entrepreneurship brings.

This year’s competition is supported by FedEx, Citi Foundation, Delta Air Lines, Tomorrow Foundation, Kosmos Energy, Facebook, LAWtrust, Bechtel, African Export-Import Bank, The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Ghana Limited, Newmont Goldcorp Ghana, Bata, and L’Oreal.


JA Africa prepares youth for the future of jobs through the delivery of financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship training. JA Africa reaches over 250,000 young people in 15 countries in Africa each year (www.ja africa.org).

FedEx Corp:

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $70 billion, the company offers integrated business solutions through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 450,000 team members to remain focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. To learn more about how FedEx connects people and possibilities around the world, please visit about.fedex.com.    

Citi Foundation:
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. Citi invests in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill its mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. www.citifoundation.com/citi/foundation

Delta Air Lines:
Delta Air Lines serves more than 180 million customers each year. In 2017, Delta was named to Fortune’s top 50 Most Admired Companies in addition to being named the most admired airline for the sixth time in seven years. With an industry- leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 323 destinations in 59 countries on six continents.

Tomorrow Foundation:

Tomorrow Foundation supports African development. They harness technology and bring the most useful techniques and technologies affordably to all Africans to improve their living standards and boost the economies of African countries.

Kosmos Energy:
Kosmos is a premier international oil and gas exploration and production company focused on the frontier.

Facebook:

Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.

LAWtrust:

LAWtrust is Africa’s leading trust centre, security integrator and security solutions developer and also the company responsible for South Africa’s new national smart ID cards. With more than 20 years’ experience, LAWtrust’s CEO Christi Maherry lives and breathes everything related to tech, entrepreneurship, leadership as well as youth- and female-empowerment. Christi is a Board member of Junior Achievement Africa.

Bechtel:

Bechtel Corporation is an engineering, procurement, construction, and project management company, headquartered in Reston, Virginia. It is the largest construction company in the United States.

African Export-Import Bank:

African Export–Import Bank, also referred to as Afreximbank, is a pan-African multilateral trade finance institution created in 1993 under the auspices of the African Development Bank.

The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Ghana Ltd:
The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Ghana Limited (TCCBCGL), a subsidiary of Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company, is the authorized bottler of Coca-Cola beverages in Ghana. The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Ghana Limited believes in investing in the future.

Newmont Goldcorp:

Newmont Goldcorp is one of the world’s leading gold companies. Newmont’s presence in Ghana includes the Ahafo mine in the Brong-Ahafo region and the Akyem operation in the Eastern region near New Abirem.

Bata:

Bata is a multinational footwear and fashion accessory manufacturer and retailer based in LausanneSwitzerland.

L’Oreal:
Founded in Paris in 1953, L’Oreal has risen to become the world’s number one cosmetics company.

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