Call Us Now: (240) 429 2177

development

Pan-African Private Sector Trade and Investment Committee (PAFTRAC) challenges WTO to hear Africa’s voice
September 11, 2020 | 0 Comments

Agriculture subsidies and non-tariff barriers highlighted as a specific hindrance to development.

Communiqué sets out a road map for WTO reform; Communiqué calls for development to be at the centre of WTO reform; Agriculture subsidies and non-tariff barriers highlighted as a specific hindrance to development.

Following a meeting convened by the Pan-African Private Sector Trade and Investment Committee (PAFTRAC) and hosted by the Afreximbank, a communiqué addressed to members of the WTO and the eight candidates who have been shortlisted as the institution’s next Director General was released yesterday calling for a wide range of reforms.

The communiqué was formulated following numerous consultations with PAFTRAC members, its institutional partners, and through a comprehensive survey of the African private sector. Within it, the Committee have highlighted a number of recommendations to ensure the institution is more effective in growing global trade but doing so in a manner that is fair to all.

The communiqué stated that “ignoring the voice of Africa and other emerging economies will have dramatic consequences for and undermine the relevance of the WTO and the rules-based system at a time when multilateralism is already under threat.”

In the opening remarks at the meeting, the President of the Afreximbank stated that “Africa has played an important but largely under-valued role in the global economy.” He cited that Africa’s global share of trade has fallen from 4.4% in 1970 to 2.5% today, whilst the share of Asia has risen from 7.7% to 20% over that same period. “Whilst this is the result of numerous factors, including fragmented markets and persistent supply-side constraints,” he said, “tariff escalations and stringent standards on final goods in developed economies have limited Africa’s potential to move up value chains.”

The communiqué called for the WTO to ensure “that development issues are front and centre of its reform agenda.” They specifically called for African countries to be afforded Special and Differential Treatment that will allow flexibilities and sufficient policy space to support local industries and advance development. The African private sector also emphasised the importance of addressing subsidises and state-aid in developed economies which continue to confine Africa to the bottom of global value chains.

With the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) coming into effect in 2021, they also requested that African integration under the AfCFTA and the establishment of an African Common Market is not undermined by multilateral negotiations.

The organisers called for the voice of the African private sector be “heard and considered under the multilateral framework,” so that the private sector can not only compete fairly but also grow. Trade, they said, is vital to generate the volume and quality of jobs required to absorb over 17 million young Africans who are entering the labour market every year.

About PAFTRAC:
THE PAN-AFRICAN PRIVATE SECTOR TRADE AND INVESTMENT COMMITTEE (PAFTRAC)

PAFTRAC unites African leaders from the private sector and provides a unique advocacy platform bringing together the African private sector and African policymakers to support extra and intra-African trade, investment and pan-African enterprise. 

The platform drives pan-African results by providing a framework for private sector engagement in trade and investment issues in Africa, including policy formulation and trade negotiations to support African economies in line with the ambitions of Agenda 2063: “The Africa We Want”.

PAFTRAC enhances advocacy and supports policy actions and recommendations of the private sector on trade; and investment issues at the national, trade corridor, regional and multilateral levels.

*SOURCE Pan-African Private Sector Trade and Investment Committee (PAFTRAC)
 
0
Read More
Sierra Leone : Patronize Us To Boast Agric Productivity FINIC Appeals To Government.
September 11, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

The Chief Executive Officer of Fomel Industries and National  Industrialization Centre, popularly known as (FINIC), Foday Melvin Kamara has called on government to patronize with his company , an enterprise that designs and manufactures agricultural machines in the  country in order  to boost agricultural productivity for farmers.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Panafricanvisions.com, on Tuesday 8th September , at his factory, Kissy , East of Freetown , Foday Melvin Kamara said that most times when people talk about boosting production in agriculture, what comes to their mind is having tractors ,which some of them don’t understand how to use it , and most of them do not have the  culture to maintain them , adding that they do not have the skills well enough to operate those machines and thus end up not helping the farmers.

“And so, if people like us are given the chance to come out with technology that his home grown , that is done taken into  account the circumstances of this country will be very helpful. I have  always said, we can use Okada to do lots of operations within the agricultural sector particularly production like in ploughing , processing and rice milling, an okada can do that . so, if we have a sponsorship by way of patronage, a lot of things will come out that will  enhance in the boosting of agricultural productivity in the country both in terms of growing of the plants as well as adding value to them,’’ he said.

Foday Melvin Kamara said there has not been much collaboration by governments both past and present stating that one will expect that government collaborate and patronize with them especially about mechanization in the agricultural sector by the Ministry of Agriculture.

“ One absolutely will expect that we should collaborate with government , meaning government to patronize us , when government has anything to do or think about mechanization can come to people like us  that is always  doing this kind of work. That is our expectation and that  what we are doing is bigger for the nation and us that are doing the job .we  expect that; on that account , the government or governments to patronize us but that is not happening . I mean, with that who should be blamed , me or the government? What I’m doing, to me , it is more beneficial to country than to me as a personal person and then the government that our work will benefit which creates employment for youths, they don’t patronize me,’’ Foday Melvin Kamara said.

Foday Melvin Kamara added that if the government do not place him up there for the youths to see   him   as a role model  how can the country  industrialize adding that if we don’t industrialize , how would  that benefit the government thus it will create unemployment and badly affects the nation which will in turn creates unrest and chaos.

“People wants to work , if there are no places to work , they will put their talents into a negative form . so, I expect that the governments , both present  and past  to patronize me . That’s how I see it .The time actually that I should spend to go to the corridors of power to lobby,  and buy from me , is difficult to do as long as I am not able to sing the political songs . It is something that I am not able to do , therefore , I prefer the government gives me task once in a while, developing machine systems that will be according to our circumstances to enhance productivity in the agricultural sector and also enhance value -chain  addition. This is one way we can push the country forward,’’ Mr. Kamara urged.

When asked about  his company’s  collaboration with technical institutions, colleges and universities to help students get practical skills in mechanical and automobile engineering, he replied “the collaboration with the universities is ongoing though not how I expect it to be . They sometimes have their students on internship here at FINIC , they will be us with us for one month, two months , and sometimes they used the factory as an incubator centre  to hatch their ideas when they are doing their projects. That was going on with Njala , Fourah Bay College , and the for the past four years, that collaborative venture , I am  not  seeing it as much stronger as it used to be . It is important that the universities collaborate with us  because what they trained is more of  theoretical than practice but when the students leave the class room , then the theory just becomes something in the head , and something in the head, without been put into use , is as a good as a dead one.

The FINIC boss went on to say , that the world pays for  what one does , with that which one knows stating that  if one  know something in his  head, and  do not put it into application who will care thus expecting the universities  to give confidence to their students to send them to go through trainings  at various technical institutions across the country.

“Thank God the Ministry of Education I think is coming out with some kind of innovative ways for train such people in collaboration with GIZ and also the World Bank they will be coming within the agricultural , technical and vocational institutions package to help people get practical trainings,’’ the FINIC boss added.

2+
Read More
Floods in Sudan and across the Sahel region demonstrate the urgency of climate action
September 9, 2020 | 0 Comments
A barricade against flood waters in Tuti island, where the Blue and White Nile merge in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. Photograph: Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images
A barricade against flood waters in Tuti island, where the Blue and White Nile merge in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. Photograph: Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images

Nairobi, Kenya – As the global community continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Sudan has declared a three-month state of emergency after the worst flooding in 32 years killed 99 people, damaged more than 100,000 homes and affected more than half a million people. The flooding is not only taking place in Sudan, heavy rains have also pounded Senegal, Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Chad and Cameroon, leading to devastating floods that have killed dozens and displaced thousands of people.

In reaction to this, Landry Ninteretse the Africa Team Leader at 350.org said,

“As we can see from the happenings across the Sahel region, climate change is real and will continue being with us not unless urgent measures are taken to limit the rise of global temperatures. 

Climate change requires global collective solutions. It is unacceptable for the most under-resourced parts of the world to continue bearing the brunt of climate change, despite having the least responsibility for rising emissions. International financiers and development partners must put an end to all financing of fossil fuel infrastructure, a leading cause of climate change. That is the real global climate leadership we need that charts a bold path forward to a just, sustainable, and livable future for all, focusing on the people and the planet.

As leaders across the world take urgent steps to ensure both immediate relief and long-term recovery from the effects of COVID-19, this should not be a missed opportunity to tackle the climate crisis which is still here with us and not waiting for us to recover from this global pandemic.”

In a year that is predicted to be the hottest on record, numerous climate-related events have been witnessed across Africa, such as the drought being witnessed in Southern Africa that has contributed to over 50% of the population of Zimbabwe facing hunger, the largest locust invasion seen in 25 years in East Africa, and floods in Kenya where over 237 people lost their lives and 800,000 people displaced. 

The most vulnerable communities that are currently coping with the COVID-19 pandemic are the same ones that face the hardest impacts of climate breakdown.

0
Read More
PIN hosts webinar on Draft Bill on Data Protection, launches report on Digital Rights in Nigeria
September 9, 2020 | 0 Comments
Adeboye Adegoke, Senior Program Manager at Paradigm Initiative
Adeboye Adegoke, Senior Program Manager at Paradigm Initiative

Pan-African Digital Rights and Inclusion organisation, Paradigm Initiative hosted a civil society webinar on Nigeria’s draft data protection bill and launched a new report on Digital Rights and Privacy in Nigeria.

The report which explores the state of digital rights and privacy in Nigeria details the political and policy environment, practices, and stakeholders around digital rights and privacy in Nigeria. Building on previous annual reports on Nigeria and Africa by Paradigm Initiative, the report recommends a review of certain regulations by Nigeria’s Communications Commission to include judicial and public accountability in order to address the potential for abuse and abuses occasioned by the politics of regime preservation. Other recommendations in the report include a call for the passage of the digital rights and freedom bill and the data protection bill, the repeal and re-enactment of the cybercrimes act 2015, and a public education campaign to raise the awareness of citizens on data protection.

While speaking on the report and the webinar, Adeboye Adegoke, Senior Program Manager at Paradigm Initiative said “Given the work that we do, part of our advocacy objectives is to ensure that the development of digital policy receives quality inputs from us. Our focus is clear in this regard; rights, inclusion, and innovation”. “We will advocate against draft legislation/policy that seeks to limit rights, stifle innovation or widen access gaps and we will support those who seek to promote access, rights, and innovation.”

The Chief Operating Officer at Paradigm Initiative, Nnenna Paul-Ugochukwu in her remarks recognised that PIN represents a lot of other voices within the civil society space and this explains why the webinar and the report launch were held together, to present the organisation’s research output and to capture the views of other civil society organisations in its submission to the Federal government on the draft data protection bill.

0
Read More
African Development Bank partners with Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa as sponsor of virtual African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF)
September 7, 2020 | 0 Comments

The African Development Bank returns as a top-tier partner of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) – Africa’s largest agriculture conference – to be held online for the first time from 8-11 September 2020, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tenth annual AGRF will be headlined by African Heads of State and Government, and will bring together delegates from governments, civil society, the private sector and research communities. AGRF 2020 is hosted by the Government of Rwanda and the AGRF Partners Group, organized under the theme Feed the Cities, Grow the Continent. Leveraging Urban Food Markets to Achieve Sustainable Food Systems in Africa.

“As COVID-19 causes disruptions across Africa, we must prioritize policy support, especially for small and medium enterprises that produce, process and market 60% of food consumed on the continent,” said Wambui Gichuri, Bank Acting Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development. “We need to enhance movement of inputs and food, increase production of and access to healthy and nutritious foods, establish food security task forces in countries, as well as strengthen regional organization capacity to monitor multi-country initiatives. AGRF is the platform to move these policy conversations forward.” 

Acting Vice President Gichuri leads the Bank’s “digital delegation” to AGRF, which also includes Atsuko Toda, Director for Agricultural Finance and Rural Development; Martin Fregene, Director for Agriculture and Agro-industry; Esther Dassanou, Coordinator of the Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for the Women of Africa initiative (AFAWA), and Edson Mpyisi, Coordinator of the Bank’s Enable Youth program. The Bank delegation will take part in nine AGRF sessions.

Gichuri is scheduled to deliver remarks during a nutrition-themed plenary: Building Back Better – Growing the Continent. This policy symposium held Wednesday (16:00 CAT) will discuss the UN’s The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, the ongoing pandemic, and feeding the continent.

Director Toda will moderate a Bank-organized AGRF side event on Monday, 7 September (15:00 CAT). The session, Integrating African Food Systems through the Lens of SME Champions will amplify the voices of small and medium enterprises in the production, processing, logistics, and cold chain solutions sub-sectors.

“Feeding Africa’s growing population is not just about producing more food. It’s also about getting food to people who need it most. We support entrepreneurs along food system value chains helping to make that happen,” Toda said.

Fregene will be a panelist at an AGRF pre-event, Scaling Up, starting at 15:00 CAT on Monday, and he will speak during another pre-event session, Agriculture Technologies for Feeding Cities AGRF at 17:00 CAT on the same day.

Mpyisi will help judge the AGRF Agripreneur Competition Finale parallel session on Tuesday. The competition brings together young entrepreneurs, innovators and “movers and shakers” in Africa’s agri-food sector. Mpyisi will also serve as a panelist on the Strengthening the Ecosystem for Young African Agripreneurs session, which will look at action plans on how to better serve the needs of young agripreneurs.

AFAWA Coordinator Dassanou will join a panel of experts discussing Making the Most of Gender-Based Financing on Wednesday, 9 September. The session will home in on the methods needed to identify and fund women entrepreneurs who are part of the hidden middle that links farmers to the value-added processing, retailing and food service sectors in urban centers across the continent.

“Agriculture and strengthening food systems are cornerstones of Africa’s plan to build back better coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Fregene. “AGRF online will convene the most senior decision-makers of governments in the same digital space as grassroots players along the agricultural value chain – we at the Bank are proud to be part of it,” said Fregene.

To follow Bank-attended events at AGRF and access the full AGRF schedule, register for free at www.agrf.org(link is external)

*AFDB

0
Read More
Virtual Pan-African science journalists event to be held this week
September 7, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Lyn Oyugi*

Science journalists from 30 African countries will participate in a virtual pre-conference being organised by a media association and a leading conservation organization in Kenya.

For one to participate in the event, registration must be done in advance at https://wwf.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_5wJPZgBjSrGD-QEpSzs89A

According to the Chairperson of the Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (MESHA), Ms Violet Otindo, the network, which has a large foot print in African science journalism, is partnering with the World Wildlife Fund – Kenya to bring together nearly 200 journalists from African and beyond to discuss conservation, climate change, agriculture and health.   

The pre-conference which runs from Thursday, September 10 to September 11, 2020 will be a test run to the main conference (Fourth African Conference of Science Journalists) due from Nov 16 to 19, 2020 in Kisumu, Kenya. It seeks, among other things, to bolster science journalism to facilitate factual reporting, using the pandemic and resulting “infodemic” as a case in point.

Besides, it aims to empower science journalists with tips and tools to carry out factual investigative stories. Journalists are also expected to use the platform to identify opportunities and threats to science journalism in a post COVID-19 world.

 It will also provide a valuable and unique opportunity for various partners and organisations to maximisetheir investments towards improving science journalism in Africa in the aftermath of COVID-19. 

Speakers will cover the following topics:

  • Conservation and Climate Change: Is the world neglecting climate change for Covid-19? By Luther Anukur, the IUCN Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa.
  • Conservation: An SOS for Nature and People by Nancy Githaiga – Head of Conservation Programmes, WWF-Kenya.
  • Agriculture: Status on development and commercialization of transgenic TELA maize for African farmers. By Dr Sylvester Oikeh, AATF
  • Agriculture: The place of biopesticides in pest control in Africa. By Dr Sevgan Subramanian, icipe
  • Health: Pandemic preparedness and response: Investing in infection prevention and control by Dr Evelyn Wesangula, Ministry of Health, Kenya
  • Animal Health: New livestock vaccines in Kenya by Dr Jane Wachira, Director, Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute (KEVEVAPI)
  • Mobility vaccine: How walking and cycling reaps benefits during COVID-19 and after – for environment, air quality and road safety. By Ms Carly Koinange, Global Programme Lead – Share the Road Programme, UNEP.
  • Health: The need for an African led research for COVID-19 by Dr Borna Nyaoke, Senior Project Manager, Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative
  • Health: Wound management as a concern to the medical fraternity will also be discussed.

*MESHA is a not-for-profit membership association that champions the interests of science journalists in Kenya and Africa. For more inquiry, one can get in touch with the organisers at meshascience@gmail.com

0
Read More
Zimbabwe’s Big Shot in the Arm of Protective Measures Rescued Miners from Covid-19 .
September 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Winston Chitando
Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Winston Chitando

The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development which managed to rescue its millions of workers spared from covid-19 effects had earlier on put in place holistic measures. The measures in whole lot saved miners especially those illegals who work in dozens at one site.

Asked to comment over the phone in Harare on Thursday this week, Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Winston Chitando said the Government had already way-laid covid-19 before its disaster to miners in the country.

”Million workers in the sector survived threat of covid-19 despite its Global upsurge and strong prevalence. We had put holistic measures as we approached the on-set start of the disease that took the World by storm.

”We managed to save millions of lives, not only of miners, but their immediate, close families on the mining compounds. Their Health is important. If miners had succumbed to corona, then we would have house-holds affected by it . We never had such difficulties in the country, but we only had 10 infections ‘ This is confirmed by Unions,” he concludes referring this writer to the unions. .

Standing for Unions, Justice Chinhema an Expert in managing the running of unions pointed out that Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Mine Workers Union put in place measures from the beginning to curb the spread of corona. He added that although there arose infections at How Mine in Bulawayo, management of proper and efficient strategy with Health in mind saved millions of workers. Some mines like Unki Mine in Shurugwi , Hwange and How Mine where we had 10 cases had shown signs that would spell out health challenges for us .

”From the beginning, we had 10 cases at How Mine. There arose signs that at other mines like Unki and Hwange health problems related would emerge. We, however managed it at safe point in time.

”We quickly pushed the Government to call for closure. Tests were done in all mines. Compounds of miners were protected from the spread of corona. Workers got protective clothing. Sanitation Health was put in place. Mining compounds and work-places were disinfected. This was the strongest measure which made us succeed as we responded to the policy of lock-down.”

”Even Small to Medium and Artisanal miners survived threat of the corona-virus which now is just a talk in these places. We are moving on with Health measures put in place at all points. Health of mine workers was our main priority. We are playing it as it is testing, sanitizing, supplying protective clothes, gloves, temperatures and disinfecting, ” he concluded on telephone.

0
Read More
ZIMBABWE Still Maintains Proper Management of the Minimata Convention Despite Covid-19 Outbreak .
September 2, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

Environmental Management Services Director, Steady Kangata
Environmental Management Services Director, Steady Kangata

Environmental Management Agency has given its way into the future outlining that it still maintains its proper management of Mercury  effects on human health despite covid-19 pandemic outbreak .Among other countries in Africa signatory to the Minimata Convention Zimbabwe is in a bid to efficiently manage well Mercury so that it confirms hard work done to reduce effects of mercury to mining communities .  

EMA, Environmental Management Services Director, Steady Kangata has opened up again on health issues highlighting that covid-19 being a new baby on the block to affect small scale and artisanal miners, there are other challenges of health concern to miners. On a telephone interview Kangata adds on that 3,5 million people miners and non are close to danger of mercury in mining areas where illegal activities are done.

”I understand covid-19 takes a new step into this World threatening lives of especially small and artisanal miners but we still have to keep an eye on managing health issues related to Minimata Convention. This is possible with us. It is our responsibility because there are 3,5 million people facing danger. Among them, the big number is women” , adds Kangata

”We have robust measures to control mercury through borders, in its use to minimize, reduce, or automatically eliminate it because it is health hazardous especially to women and children.

”Mercury has always been under control in the country since those found using it un-properly are arrested or fined depending on volumes they have. Mercury affects according to volumes used, age of person exposed to and type of mercury. We control mercury, manage its proper use but we urge miners to do it responsibly. We are not saying we are to burn mercury. What we say is let us use it properly not to the disadvantage of our children, women and others. In-fact we have done enough to reduce its effects on human lives. ”

Kangata continues to explore that mercury control is done for miners’ human health. EMA has had campaigns launched on 24 july- 2018. He added it was done because mercury had effects on women and children. Its effects have had impacts in areas like Chakari , Kadoma , Battle-Fields and in parts of Mashonaland west and East .

Mercury is used to extract ore from gold. It becomes effective if the process involves burning of amalgam that results in mercury evaporating in air. There are two methods used in gold extraction. These are Borax and Chemical Leaching. Mercury gets released in rivers. It affects then those who consume the water like children who do not know effects related and consequences attached ..

”Children are extremely at risk as they drink contaminated water, eat food with hands contaminated, eat contaminated food and play around spilling it around. Women also bear the brunt because they fetch water from rivers. They are the first victims followed by children because they drink it , cook , do all sorts of domestic uses . Mercury affects seriously pregnant women. It affects the baby. Normally such babies face challenges in life.

Emmanuel Nhariswa EMA, Education and Publicity Officer speaking to this Journalist adds that with corona at hand still women and children face more and more challenges arising from the outbreak of the new pandemic, corona-virus.

”We still maintain the same standards in the management of mercury during this era of covid-19. As EMA we are into Environment but still we are concerned with issues of Small-Scale and Artisanal miners at heart.

Zimbabwe is signatory to the Minimata Convention that has 128 signatories and 105 parties. The Convention was adopted on 10 October 2013 at a gathering of International top delegates in Kunamato, Japan. It has the International Negotiating Committee on Mercury which had the 5th session in Geneva 19 January, 2013 before its final launch.

The Convention manages Health of miners who are actually the ones more at close contact. They use it every-day in extracting gold from ore. Over recent years Zimbabwe has come out with 24,8 tons of gold in 2017 which raised the Gross Domestic Product [GDP]

0
Read More
Covid-19 pandemic severely threatens an already critical food and nutrition security situation in Zimbabwe
September 2, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Kudakwashe Zombe, National Coordinator for the Zimbabwe Civil Society Organizations Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance (ZCSOSUNA)
Kudakwashe Zombe, National Coordinator for the Zimbabwe Civil Society Organizations Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance (ZCSOSUNA)

The Covid-19 pandemic severely threatens an already critical food and nutrition security situation arising mainly from the prevailing poor macroeconomic conditions and consecutive years of drought. The situation is set to worsen as the Covid-19 pandemic spreads, according to the new Global Food Crisis Report Forecast (GFCRF).

   The 2020 Zimbabwe Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), launched on 2 April 2020, indicates that 7 million people in urban and rural areas are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance across Zimbabwe, compared to the 5.5 million projected in August 2019.

According to Kudakwashe Zombe, National Coordinator for the Zimbabwe Civil Society Organizations Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance (ZCSOSUNA), the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID 19) pandemic is a health and human crisis threatening the food security and nutrition of millions of people around the country. The pandemic comes at a time when more than 4.3 million people are severely food insecure in rural areas in Zimbabwe, according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis undertaken in February 2020.

   In addition, 2.2 million people in urban areas were identified to be, “cereal food insecure,” according to the Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZIMVAC) analysis.

  It is reported that government measures such as border restrictions and the lockdown to protect citizens from Coronavirus disease are crucial and saving many lives.

 “However, these measures put in place to slow the transmission of the disease are resulting in hardship for many vulnerable families. In particular the Covid-19 pandemic is having worrying impacts on household incomes and food security,” Zombe said.

    It is added that the continuous increase in food insecurity, coupled with high food prices, may negatively affect the nutritional needs,particularly of children and pregnant and lactating women.  “Such disruptions on livelihoods and food access can result in consequences for health and nutrition of an unseen severity and scale. Unless if immediate action is taken, we could witness an extra ordinary situation in which people are unable to meet their basic survival needs,” Zombe added.

   Drought and crop failure, exacerbated by macro-economic challenges and austerity measures, have directly affected vulnerable households in both rural and urban communities. According to the most recent Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC), 2.2 million people in urban areas, are “cereal food insecure” and nutritional needs remain high with over 1.1 million children and women requiring nutrition assistance. Food and nutrition insecurity have become a reality in most rural and urban households.

 It is added that the impacts of Covid-19 and the consequences of the containment measures such as lockdown and restricted mobility are far-reaching. Both subsistence smallholder farmers and low-income urban households are affected and exposed to food and nutrition insecurity. In rural areas, there is disrupted farm produce chains in the country, impacting the livelihoods of farmers and the diets of rural and urban households.

While in urban areas the livelihoods of the urban poor which rely mostly on the informal sector (vendors, Kombi drivers) has been hugely affected with the Covid-19 lockdown protocols. Zimbabwe is one of the countries whose household-level food system is sustained by the activities of subsistence smallholders.

  Of importance is to note that the consequences of the Covid-19 and the containment responses by the government and local authorities to the pandemic are likely to harmfully affect the poor and marginalized categories of societies who lack adequate resources and means to leap back after such catastrophic and unpredictable disruptions. Many of Zimbabwe’s farmers have already been hit by prolonged drought linked to climate change, and the market closures have come as an additional financial blow, exposing the affected household to food and nutrition insecurity.

  He added that as a nation, there is need to scale up nutrition programs.

“We cannot afford to delay. Good nutrition enables children to develop healthy immune systems, reducing future spending on healthcare throughout their lives,” Zombe said.

 It is added that it also unlocks children’s potential, children who get the right nutrition in their first 1,000 days that is from conception until 2 years will earn on average 21% more as adults and will actively contribute to the labour force of our nation.

 “We know that undernutrition comes at a high human and economic cost. The economic costs of undernutrition, in terms of lost national productivity and economic growth are significant. Collectively the costs of poor nutrition represent an estimated loss of 2-3% of a country’s GDP,” Zombe said.

 He added that as the Zimbabwe Civil Society Organisations Scaling Up Nutrition they urgently call upon the government of Zimbabwe to take action to protect nutritional status of the most vulnerable families and individuals across Zimbabwe while implementing appropriate infection control measures.

  Their  joint statement is intended to provide recommendations on a prioritized set of actions to support nutrition in the context of Covid-19, such as food and nutrition assistance needs to be at the heart of social protection programmes.

 There is need to protect food access for the most vulnerable households by increasing their purchasing power through cash transfer projects and where necessary by directly providing food through community-based programmes.

 The organizations propose that the government should consider providing a “Nutritious Food Basket,” of 5 food items that could help to prevent a spike acute malnutrition in vulnerable households. These food items include fortified mealie meal, flour and cooking oil, beans and kapenta). On average this food basket may cost $41.00 or equivalent in ZWD per family. The food items were identified because of their high nutritional value and wide consumption across Zimbabwe.

Guidance be provided to school staff, parents and children on the importance of safe and healthy diets, hygiene and physical activity for school aged children. They say that where possible school meal programmes should be continued using alternative transfer modalities including cash transfers and food deliveries at home, Local authorities should set up new markets to prevent informal food traders over-crowding and ensure social distancing in traditional marketplaces. Community halls and sports fields that are near residential areas can be used as food markets, there is need for the government, local authorities, international donors and the private sector to support smallholder subsistence farmers so as to ensure that the smallholder farmers and informal food traders (including street food vendors) have protective equipment and sanitizers as recommended by medical experts so that they can safely continue to produce, distribute and sell fresh produce.

1+
Read More
Africa’s outstanding solar players to be recognized
September 2, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

The African Solar Industry Association (AFSIA) is set to host the African Solar Industry Association Solar awards which will recognize best solar players in Africa.

 It is reported that the AFSIA Solar Awards is the industry’s premier awards ceremony. The annual event is the platform to recognize and celebrate exceptional talent and achievements that have contributed outstandingly to promoting and advancing the use of solar across Africa in its full diversity.

“The African Solar Industry Association Solar Awards will recognize good practice, professionalism, quality, safety and innovation, with the aim of being a benchmark of the brightest and best that the African solar industry has to offer,” said John van Zuylen, CEO of AFSIA.  

The awards ceremony is organized in collaboration with the Africa Energy Forum (AEF) and will be conducted online on October 29th.

 It is reported that this year and given exceptional circumstances, AEF is joining forces with the African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa plus Oil and Gas Council’s Africa Assembly this October to host a ‘Digital Africa Energy Festival,’ the largest ever energy event for the African continent.

“AFSIA is delighted to be hosted by this much respected programme and to unveil the winners during a digital ceremony on October 29th,” a spokesperson said. 

  It is added that applications to the AFSIA Solar Awards will be evaluated by some of the most experienced professionals of the African solar industry. The experts will review every application independently and will select the best ones in each category.

This year the jury will be composed of Eng. Lamya Abdel Hady, Head of Sector Private Projects, EETC (Egypt), Bah F.M. Saho, Executive Director, ECREEE (Cape Verde), Jo Dean, Board Member, SAPVIA (South Africa), Jasandra Nyker Managing Director, Denham Capital (South Africa), Aaron Leopold, CEO, AMDA – Africa Minigrid Developers Association (Kenya), Linda Munyengeterwa, Regional Industry Director for Infrastructure, IFC (South Africa), Izael Da Silva, PhD, Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Research and Innovation Department, Strathmore University (Kenya) and Simon Gosling,  Managing Director, EnergyNet (UK). 

 According to the organizers, Africa is characterized by the wide and rich diversity of solar projects and applications. Contrary to other regions,  all kinds of solar applications in Africa ranging from large-scale solar parks to solar home systems, from grid-connected residential systems to off-grid hospitals and schools, from basic PV systems to solar-powered applications such as street lighting, solar irrigation, refrigeration or cook stoves to name a few. 

AFSIA is now accepting nominations for the following 15 categories. Participants in the competition must submit projects completed in the last 18 months. The categories include Utility Scale Solar Project of the Year, C&I Solar Project of the Year, Mini-grid Solar Project of the Year, SHS Solar Project of the Year, Residential Solar Project of the Year, African Solar Company of the Year, African solar entrepreneur/SME of the year, Financial Advisor / Consultant of the Year, Legal Advisor / Consultant of the Year, Technical Consultant of the Year, DFI of the Year, Woman in solar of the Year, Solar Innovation of the Year, Solar Picture of the Year and the Solar Video of the Year. 

 “This is a unique opportunity to shine and be recognized as a true leader in the African solar market. Application is free-of-charge and open to all,” the organizers said. 

All details may be found at http://afsiasolar.com/afsia-solar-awards/process/

0
Read More
Nigeria:Three Ogun state schools to play key part in world’s biggest grassroots online education conference
September 1, 2020 | 0 Comments
Schools to feature in World Education Week

Three schools from the Ogun state of Nigeria are  to play vital roles in what is billed as the ‘world’s biggest education conference’.

Each school has been chosen for its expertise and commitment to key areas of education: the Local Government School III in Sango Ota has been chosen for its focus on wellbeing; the  Baptist Primary School, Ogbogbo has shown impressive commitment to the access and delivery of technology to educate, while the Ikangba Erinlu United Anglican Primary School is noted for its work in deepening family and community engagement.

Each school is to be part of a showcase of 100 schools which will gather online to share expertise and best practices in the inaugural World Education Week, from 5-9th October, in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on Quality Education (SDG 4)  

The hundred schools have been hand-picked for their expertise across a range of educational themes, such as enhancing employability and life-skills; deepening family and community engagement; the use of technology; a focus on wellbeing; and promoting the science of learning and teaching.  Each will share their wisdom to an online audience expected to reach 100,000 worldwide. The ambition driving World Education Week is to accelerate progress to achieve UN SDG 4, a commitment designed to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all.

The principal of  the Baptist Primary School, Mr A. O. Talabi, said: 

“Our pupils and teachers are thrilled to be selected to host a showcase event during World Education Week, which will allow schools all over the world to learn and innovate together, improving education from the grass-roots up.  With our focus on arts education we are proud to be a founding showcase school of such an ambitious project, and are looking forward to our event.”

Mr. Dauda Adeshina the principal of  Local Government School III concurred: 

“The pupils and teachers of Local Government School iii, Sango Ota are excited to be included in this incredible Global Showcase of 100 schools! World Education Week will allow schools all over the world to learn and innovate together, improving education from the grass-roots up. With our focus on child well being, we are proud to be a founding school of such an ambitious project, and are looking forward to sharing our practice in October.”

The principal for Ikangba Erinlu United Anglican Primary School added:

“We are a school that is pioneering parents/community involvement in the teaching and learning process. Our idea is having parents actually sit in class working collaboratively on given tasks or projects with their children.”

The ground-breaking event is led by Vikas Pota, a globally-respected leader and driving force in the education, international development, philanthropy and technology sectors. In launching the event, Mr Pota said:

“I congratulate all three schools for being selected to take part in our Global Showcase for World Education Week. By sharing the ways in which this school has developed its particular expertise, we hope others will feel inspired to undertake the same journey to excellence.”

“I am incredibly inspired by the schools that applied to take part in this year’s World Education Week. Their commitment to improving the life chances of their learners by nurturing expertise and wanting to share their experience with others, especially in these challenging times, says a lot about the education community. They are our heroes and World Education Week provides us all an opportunity not just to learn from them, but to celebrate their successes, too.”

The conference has won the backing of Andreas Schleicher, the Director for Education at the OECD, who said:

“What’s exciting about World Education Week is the idea of schools around the world sharing their expertise with their peers. After a turbulent period in global education, this is a great way of building back better.”

The project was also welcomed by Jaime Saavedra, the Global Director for Education at the World Bank:

“The sheer scale of educators around the globe combining to share expertise, excellence  and wisdom in accelerating learning is hugely impressive. If all educators learn from the best educators of their countries and of the world we would make immense progress in ensuring inclusive, equitable and quality education for all.”

World Education Week is an effort by thirty civil society organisations coming together after the record breaking T4 conference on 30th May that was attended by over 100,000 teachers.

The event will be hosted from the World Education Week website, with registration opening from September 1st.

0
Read More
Nigeria:Kaduna school to play key part in world’s biggest grassroots online education conference
September 1, 2020 | 0 Comments
-Kaduna school in World Education Week showcase

Kaduna school to play key part in world’s biggest grassroots online education conference 

Governor of Kaduna State Nasir El Rufai
Governor of Kaduna State Nasir El Rufai

The LGEA Kurmin Mashi school in Kaduna is to play a vital role in what is billed as the ‘world’s biggest education conference’.

The school, noted for its promotion of the science of teaching and learning, is to be part of a showcase of 100 schools which will gather online to share expertise and best practices in the inaugural World Education Week, from 5-9th October, in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on Quality Education (SDG 4)  

The hundred schools have been hand-picked for their expertise across a range of educational themes, such as enhancing employability and life-skills; deepening family and community engagement; the use of technology; a focus on wellbeing; and promoting the science of learning and teaching.  Each will share their wisdom to an online audience expected to reach 100,000 worldwide. The ambition driving World Education Week is to accelerate progress to achieve UN SDG 4, a commitment designed to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all.

Centred on the theme of ‘Learning Today’, each school will host a virtual event to demonstrate how to bring change, based on their own experiences. The LGEA Kurmin Mashi school will talk about its built powerful and easy relationships among learners, parents and teachers, through the creation of a platform where students are utilized as student group leaders and are accountable for peer performance and learning outcomes.

School principal, Ashia Sani, said: 

“The entire community of LGEA Primary School, Kurmin Mashi Kaduna are excited to be included in this unique Global Showcase of 100 schools. The World Education Week will provide a great platform for schools around the world to collaborate and create solutions for and from the grassroots. We are proud to be in the forefront of promoting the science of teaching and learning especially in large-sized classrooms. We look forward to sharing our expertise at the event.”

The ground-breaking event is led by Vikas Pota, a globally-respected leader and driving force in the education, international development, philanthropy and technology sectors. In launching the event, Mr Pota said:

“I congratulate the LGEA Primary School for being selected to take part in our Global Showcase for World Education Week. By sharing the ways in which this school has developed its particular expertise, we hope others will feel inspired to undertake the same journey to excellence.”

“I am incredibly inspired by the schools that applied to take part in this year’s World Education Week. Their commitment to improving the life chances of their learners by nurturing expertise and wanting to share their experience with others, especially in these challenging times, says a lot about the education community. They are our heroes and World Education Week provides us all an opportunity not just to learn from them, but to celebrate their successes, too.”

The conference has won the backing of Andreas Schleicher, the Director for Education at the OECD, who said:

“What’s exciting about World Education Week is the idea of schools around the world sharing their expertise with their peers. After a turbulent period in global education, this is a great way of building back better.”

The project was also welcomed by Jaime Saavedra, the Global Director for Education at the World Bank:

“The sheer scale of educators around the globe combining to share expertise, excellence  and wisdom in accelerating learning is hugely impressive. If all educators learn from the best educators of their countries and of the world we would make immense progress in ensuring inclusive, equitable and quality education for all.”

World Education Week is an effort by thirty civil society organisations coming together after the record breaking T4 conference on 30th May that was attended by over 100,000 teachers.

The event will be hosted from the World Education Week website, with registration opening from September 1st.

0
Read More
1 2 3 4 173