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Cameroon: Voluntary Repatriation, Community led initiatives, Empowering Youths, advanced in solving crisis in Cameroon
November 9, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Participants and Foretia Team pose for a photo in connection with the event on common sense solution to promote peace in Cameroon and the role of the civil society organizations
Participants and Foretia Team pose for a photo in connection with the event on common sense solution to promote peace in Cameroon and the role of the civil society organizations

As a way of bringing peace to Cameroon which is experiencing various crisis ranging from the Boko Haram insurgency in the North, the Refugee crisis in the east Region and the Anglophone crisis in the North West and South West Regions, participants have advanced various points ranging from voluntary repatriation of refugees in the East, Empowering of the youths and community led initiatives.

The event which was held November 8, 2019 in Buea under the theme “Common sense solutions to promote peace in Cameroon and the role of the civil society organizations” is in line with the mission of the Nkafu Policy Institute, (a think tank of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation), whose mission is to provide independent, in-depth and insightful policy recommendations that advance the Cameroonian economy and the economies of other sub-Saharan African countries.

During the discussions, three prominent conflicts were x-rayed by participants such as: the on-going Anglophone crisis in the South West and North West Regions, the Boko Haram insurgencies in the North since 2013 till date, and Refugee crisis in the East Regions.

On the Refugee crisis in the East Region, it was indicated that Cameroon plays host to some 361,000 refugees from Nigeria and Central African Republic, CAR and some 257,000 refugees from CAR alone.

To Mbeng Primus, the government has to provide grazing land to the refugees so that they can feed their cattle. He said, “The problem is the East may go on for long if the government fails to provide grazing land as the cattle of the refugees are feeding on the crops of the host country.”

“The community leaders should equally accept the refuges and work with them so as to reduce the tension” He added while adding that “All we want is peace and we have to do everything we can to achieve peace.”

As a solution to the refugee crisis, participants said the voluntary repatriation of the refugees to their said country may go a long way in bringing peace to the East Region. They equally called on the Cameroonian government to assist the CAR in bringing peace to the country as a stable CAR will make it easier for the displaced persons to be willing to go back to their country.

Cameroon recently carried out a voluntary repatriation of refugees in the East Region who were willing to go back to their country. According to the government, these people (refugees) opted to go back to their country and they were not forced to leave Cameroon.

Others propose a pathway for nationalization in Cameroon. Participants say when these people (refugees) are integrated into the Cameroonian society; it will reduce the violence in the region. They however noted that such a process (nationalization) is very complicated in Cameroon and may take time to be implemented.

With the Boko Haram crisis in the North, participants called on individuals and government to know the root cause of the insurgency as they cannot solve a problem when they do not know the background of the grievance.

Others say to prevent further recruitment of Cameroonian into Boko Haram; youths should be empowered with the provision of education and necessary skills which will help them in getting jobs for themselves. These empowerment centres will prevent Boko Haram from indoctrinating the youths to carryout heinous activities on the population in the North.

Ego Aziz, Development Policy Analyst at Nkafu Policy Institute led discussion on possible solution to crisis in Cameroon
Ego Aziz, Development Policy Analyst at Nkafu Policy Institute led discussion on possible solution to crisis in Cameroon

The Imams of the North have been encouraged to be empowered to talk to children in the area by giving them more knowledge and education as Boko Haram is fighting a religious war. “The Imams who are well respected should provide education and train the youths on values”, noted one participant.

Talking to PAV Che Bruno, Communications unit CHRDA, called on wealthy individuals to invest more by creating SMEs which will help youths in the North not to be recruited by Boko Harm. “They should provide ideas/ideologies which will make young people realize that it is not only through violence that they can make a living but there are different ways, and where these youths need assistance private individuals and organizations should be ready to provide the financial support,” He said

He added, “The civil society has a great role to play in solving crisis in Cameroon. They are involve in Education (sensitizing the public on the need for peace), advocacy (engaging stakeholders/government to create enabling environment for peace to strive), and direct support (CSOs provide financial support for peace who want to build peace and the respect for human rights).”

The event is the fourth of its kind after similar events in Yaounde, Douala, and Limbe. It brought together students, members of the private sector, civil society organizations and journalists to proposed grass root solutions through which Cameroon can accelerate its progress towards the resolution of the current conflicts it is presently facing.

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Dangote Group, Togo partner to transform Phosphate into Fertiliser
November 9, 2019 | 0 Comments
With over two billion tonnes of phosphate reserves, Togo is one of the leading phosphate producers in Africa
LOME, Togo, November 8, 2019/ — Dangote Industries Limited (Dangote.com) and the Government of Togo (GoT) have concluded an agreement to develop and transform Togolese phosphate into phosphate fertilizers for the West African sub-region; in a bid to improve consumption of the product in Africa.

With over two billion tonnes of phosphate reserves, Togo is one of the leading phosphate producers in Africa. By partnering the Dangote Group, the country intends to benefit from the expertise and investment capacity of Africa’s largest industrial group, according to a joint release issued by the Dangote Group and the Communications Department of the Presidency of the Republic of Togo.

With the completion and commissioning of the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Fertilizer complex in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, Dangote Group will be the largest ammonia producer on the African continent, the release noted. Ammonia is an essential ingredient in the transformation of phosphate into fertilizer derived from phosphates. Under the agreement, Togo will provide access to phosphate resources and the Dangote Group will provide access to ammonia and to the Nigerian market.

The project, in line with second pillar of the Togo National Development Plan, should enable the production of more than 1 million tonnes of fertilizers derived from phosphates once completed. The cost of the investment is estimated at about $2 billion and is expected to create several thousand direct jobs. Mining development work will start before the end of 2019, it added.

On this occasion, Dangote Group also announced the establishment of a cement manufacturing plant with an annual capacity of 1.5 million tonnes in Lomé. This plant will use clinker from Togo and Nigeria and will meet both local and neighbouring countries’ demand, the release noted.

It further added that construction of the Lome plant is billed to start in first quarter of 2020 and its commissioning scheduled to take place before the end of 2020. The investment is estimated at $60 million and is expected to create 500 direct jobs.

Togolese President, Faure Gnassingbé said, “The structural transformation of our economy is the main objective we have set ourselves in the context of the 2018-2022 NDP. By processing our phosphate we will not only create jobs but we will also be able to provide our farmers with good quality fertilizers at an affordable cost. Having an industrial investor like Alhaji Dangoté shows that our efforts to improve the business climate are paying off. We intend to continue in this dynamic for the well-being of Togolese men and women.”

President/CE Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote said, ‘’This partnership is in line with our transformation agenda in creating prosperity and enhancing economic development not only in Togo but also in Affrica.  In addition, the Dangote Group is determined in supporting the Government of Togo in its industrialisation strategy aimed at creating jobs for its citizens and making Togo an attractive investment destination.’’

The two investment agreements reinforce Togo’s industrialisation strategy adopted under the 2018-2022 National Development Plan.
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Pay-as-you-go solar market leader, Greenlight Planet, partners with leading telecom operators in sub-Saharan Africa
November 9, 2019 | 0 Comments
A customer using mobile money to pay for his Sun King EasyBuy solar home system
A customer using mobile money to pay for his Sun King EasyBuy solar home system

Full-fledged sales and distribution partnerships have been launched with three leading telecom operators, Vodacom (Tanzania), Orange (Burkina Faso) and Telma (Madagascar)
NAIROBI, Kenya, November 8, 2019/ — Greenlight Planet (www.GreenlightPlanet.com), the market leader in the rapidly expanding pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar industry has successfully partnered with major telecom operators in Africa. Recognizing the natural synergy between the telecom and pay-as-you-go solar industries, the company is pursuing a strong telecom-focused strategy that aims to have a far-reaching impact on more than 600 million unelectrified consumers across the African continent.

The company has collaborated with more than fifteen telecom operators, banks and payment gateways to make Sun King products more affordable and accessible for rural individuals, increasing long-term value for a common consumer base. Full-fledged sales and distribution partnerships have been launched with three leading telecom operators, Vodacom (Tanzania), Orange (Burkina Faso) and Telma (Madagascar), to enable sales of solar-powered energy solutions through each operator’s subscriber base and mobile money channels. In addition, Greenlight Planet has integrated its innovative PAYG technology platform with leading mobile money providers across sub-Saharan Africa, enabling consumers to make continuous installment payments in a secure and simple way. Greenlight Planet establishes unique operating models with each telecom partner to best serve and work with each service provider’s strategic goals, local business model and competitive landscape.

Mr. Dhaval Radia, Senior Vice President at Greenlight Planet, says “The time is right for telecoms to look beyond their traditional revenue earning models and explore innovative partnerships that can lead to a sustained increase in ARPU and customer retention. By expanding to rural consumer segments with value-added services such as PAYG solar products for daily energy and infotainment, telecom operators can help deliver higher value to their customer base.” Recent collaborations between PAYG solar companies and telecom operators have demonstrated that PAYG solar customers are amongst the most active profiles of mobile money users in sub-Saharan Africa, many opening their first mobile money account specifically to purchase a PAYG solar home system.

Ninety-eight percent of Greenlight Planet’s PAYG customers make roughly 60 mobile money payments between $2 and $5 each over a period of twelve to twenty-four months to complete their installment payment plans for a PAYG solar device. The company has processed nearly 40 million mobile money payments from customers in Africa in the last three years.

With more than 100 million mobile money subscribers, and nearly 600 million people that lack reliable access to electricity on the African continent, opportunities for the telecom and distributed energy sectors to join forces remain tremendous. Since inception, Greenlight Planet has installed nearly six million solar products, benefitting over 24 million individuals, across Sub-Saharan Africa through its direct distribution channels in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda and through more than 200 strategic alliances in 32 countries across the African continent. The company will showcase its flagship Sun King range of solar-powered products at the upcoming AfricaCom conference from 12th to 15th November 2019 in Cape Town.

Greenlight Planet (www.GreenlightPlanet.com) has sold over 12 million Sun King™ solar home energy products to off-grid households around the world. Greenlight Planet reaches remote, off-grid customers through a unique business model involving a vast network of micro-entrepreneurs, more than 300 global strategic distribution partners, and its proprietary EasyBuy (“pay-as-you-go”) installment payment technology that makes safe, high-quality solar energy products affordable for all. Greenlight Planet’s Sun King™ products are currently installed in 65+ countries and serve more than 50 million beneficiaries.
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Nigeria:Paradigm Initiative Launches Learning Lab for Digital Rights and Inclusion
November 7, 2019 | 0 Comments

LAGOS – 5 November 2019 – Today, Paradigm Initiative is thrilled to announce that its first Digital Rights and Inclusion Learning Lab (DRILL) will begin operations in February 2020, and will operate from its new headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria.

DRILL has a mission to host innovative learning around digital rights and inclusion in Africa, and serve as a space for both practice and reflection. The Learning Lab will involve, and connect, different stakeholders and create dialogue amongst researchers, social innovators, policymakers and actors, the private sector, as well as civil society.

As a lighthouse for digital rights and inclusion advocacy in Africa, learning activities will take place at the Lab in order to evolve new thinking on digital rights and inclusion strategy for Africa. There are a variety of activities that will take place, including, but not limited to, focused future-facing research; presentations; ecosystem meetings and discussions focused on digital rights and/or inclusion hosted within the ecosystem; and general communication about the lab’s activities.

DRILL will offer a space for big thinking, evaluation of digital rights and digital inclusion programs, and future-proofing ecosystem activities. DRILL will host innovators, researchers and/or entrepreneurs-in-residence at the PIN HQ so they can host biweekly ecosystem/sector meetings (to share insight/ideas), biweekly presentations (to share outcomes of their research and/or work) and work with the Executive Director to record a monthly DRILL podcast on topical issues.

“There are both enormous challenges and opportunities for realizing the ambitious task of creating an inclusive, healthy, safe and open Internet in the coming decade for all Africans, including marginalized and vulnerable populations such as women and girls, people with lower income levels or living in rural communities, sexual minorities, the elderly and persons with disabilities,” said ‘Gbenga Sessan, Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative. 

“Connecting the next billion, who mostly live on the African continent, requires not only technological and commercial innovations, but also new models of collaboration among all stakeholders,” he continued. 

He added, “The selection process for the DRILL Fellowship will be supported by an External Advisory Group made up of ecosystem leaders, including Alberto J. Cerda Silva (Ford Foundation), Anriette Esterhuysen (Association for Progressive Communications), John Dada (Fantsuam Foundation), Nnenna Nwakanma (World Wide Web Foundation), and Oreoluwa Somolu Lesi (Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre), who will help shape the program and work with the PIN team to review Fellowship applications.”

The inaugural fellowship of the Digital Rights and Inclusion Learning Lab will start in February 2020. The fellowship will be open for a period of three months at a time, but can be renewed for another three months, depending on planned activities and joint reviews between the Fellows and PIN. 

“As a mid-career fellowship, potential candidates will be expected to have had a minimum of 5 years’ experience as technology or social innovators, researchers, policy experts, and/or entrepreneurs,” said Emmanuel Vitus, Communications Officer at Paradigm Initiative. 

In his words, “Paradigm Initiative will cover costs associated with learning activities at the Digital Rights and Inclusion Learning Lab and provide office space, an opportunity to be embedded within our team, access to the ecosystem, and feedback on projects throughout the duration of the Fellowship.”

Applications are open via the Paradigm Initiative website, www.paradigmhq.org/drill, until December 20, 2019.

About Paradigm Initiative

Paradigm Initiative (PIN) is a social enterprise that builds ICT-enabled support systems and advocates for digital rights in order to improve the livelihoods of under-served young Africans. The organization’s digital inclusion programs include a digital readiness school for young people living in under-served communities (LIFE) and a software engineering school targeting high potential young Nigerians (Dufuna). Both programs have a deliberate focus to ensure equal participation for women and girls.  

The digital rights advocacy program is focused on the development of public policy for internet freedom in Africa, with offices in Abuja, Nigeria (covering the Anglophone West Africa region); Lome, Togo (Francophone West Africa); Yaoundé, Cameroon (Central Africa); Arusha, Tanzania (East Africa) and Lusaka, Zambia (Southern Africa). 

Paradigm Initiative has worked in communities across Nigeria since 2007, and across Africa from 2017, building experience, community trust and an organizational culture that positions us as a leading social enterprise in ICT for Development and Digital Rights on the continent.

Paradigm Initiative is also the convener of the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (DRIF), a pan-African bilingual Forum that has held annually since 2013. 

*Paradigm Initiative

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Augmented Reality Art Show Launches to Champion Africa’s Tech Leaders
November 7, 2019 | 0 Comments

African Tech Pioneers – Jason Njoku, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Funke Opeke, Rebecca Enonchong, and more feature in CcHUB and iHUB’s “NYOTA”

Ory Okolloh Nyota
Ory Okolloh Nyota

Thursday November 7, 2019. Nairobi, Kenya. A unique African augmented reality art experience “Nyota” that showcases and celebrates 24 of Africa’s technology pioneers, has been unveiled by Co-creation Hub (CcHUB). The landmark AR exhibition launched officially on Wednesday 6th November, to mark technology and innovation champions such as Jason Njoku, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Funke Opeke, and Rebecca Enonchong, were selected for having contributed immense value to the growth of the innovation and technology ecosystem on the African continent. 

The pieces, curated by CcHUB and designed by Mayowa Alabi, are created using digital illustration which comes to life when viewed through an augmented reality app called ‘Artivive’ (available on iOS and Android devices). The app is placed over the piece in order to enhance it and create new dimensions of the art, whereby viewers will also download information about the subject’s journey in the tech world.      

Speaking at the event, Bosun Tijani, CEO at CcHUB stated: “Technology is Africa’s fourth industrial revolution; it is powering and impacting the lives of millions. There are a number of personalities from across the continent who have been integral to promoting the technology-at-scale agenda in Africa. Nyota is a recognition of these tech leaders, and we are thrilled to be celebrating their work through this incredible augmented reality exhibition.

“Those included have come up from the trenches; they have paved the way for others in a sector still in its relative infancy, albeit one that is making a massive impact on how Africa operates. Nyota is a marker celebrating all that Africa’s technology sector has achieved to date, whilst recognising how much more there is to do. Thank you to all of those who are part of the exhibition – we are happy to share your story and your success with the world via Nyota, an intersection between art and tech in Africa”. 

The exhibition features 24 of Africa’s tech trailblazers who have paved the way for African tech as we know it. The tech leaders include: Erik Hersman (BRCK), Rebecca Wanjiku (Fireside Communications), Ory Okolloh (Omidyar Networks), Juliana Rotich, Bitange Ndemo (UoN), Dorcas Muthoni (Openworld Ltd.), Gustav Praekelt (Praekelt Group), Strive Masiyiwa (Econet Wireless), Rebecca Enonchong (AppsTech), Nadu Denloye (Telnet Nigeria Ltd.), Tomi Davies (TVCLabs), Funke Opeke (Main One Cable), Iyin Aboyeji (An African Future), Mitchell Elegbe (Interswitch), Jason Njoku (CEO of iROKO), Sim Shagaya (Konga), Barbara Birungi (HiveColab), Omar Cisse (InTouch), Emeka Afigbo (Facebook), David Kobia (Lab1886), Estelle Akofio Sowah (CSquared), Ehi Binite (ClearSpace Labs Ltd.), Lucy Quist (Morgan Stanley London), Herman Chinery-Hesse (theSofttribe).

Nyota artist, Mayowa Alabi Damilola, also known as Shutabug, is a multidisciplinary creative with strengths in Graphic/Motion Design, Photography, Cinematography and Vector Illustrations. He has over five years of professional design experience working as a graphic designer, and then Creative Lead, at Co-Creation Hub Nigeria. His illustrations are created with lines and are largely influenced by the Lagos city life. His art career officially kicked off after he won the European Union/United Nations Women Gender Equality Picture It Comic & Cartoon Competition in 2017. He had his first solo exhibition tagged, “Lati OjuKokoro” shortly after winning the competition.

The exhibition will travel to CcHUB Lagos and Design Lab Kigali in 2020, and is accessible across the continent through this website.

Co-creation Hub (CcHUB) is an innovation centre dedicated to accelerating the application of social capital and technology for economic prosperity. CcHUB is Nigeria’s premier living lab designed as a space where work to catalyze creative tech ventures take place. The hub is Nigeria’s first open living lab for technologists, entrepreneurs, tech companies, investors and hackers in and around Lagos. Over the years, CcHUB has provided technological solutions to various sectors of the economy including education, public health and governance through the various projects the hub is actively engaging in.


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Unique Energy to embark on The Gambia’s First Green Mini-Grid Electricity Project to a tune of D30.6 Million Dalasis
November 6, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Unique Group subsidiaries, Unique Solutions & Unique Energy, received a co-funding grant award of $282,902 from the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency-ECREEE funded by USAID during its third annual ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Forum in Accra, Ghana to help usher in The Gambia’s first Solar Green Mini-Grid Electrification project.

The Group subsidiaries have committed over $300,000 towards the D30.6 million project to provide electricity in the Sara Pateh Jamwelly area of the Western Division of The Gambia & its surrounding areas.

Commenting on the D30.6 million project, Group CEO Papa Yusupha Njie said that “The focus is to make sure that we play a part in Gambians having access to affordable, reliable & clean energy wherever they may be in this country.”

Unique Solutions & Unique Energy as part of its contractual and funding obligations, have committed the sum of $316,961.56 towards the project. This D30.6 million project will provide electricity to homes and businesses in the SaraPateh Jamwelly area of the Western Region of the Gambia and its surrounding areas in the initial phase.

ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, ECREEE, awarded Unique Group the staggering sum during its third annual ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Forum held in October in Accra, Ghana.

A statement by Unique Group said: “The three-day forum held in Accra, Ghana on the 22nd to the 24th October 2019, concluded with an award ceremony for the Third ECOWAS Renewable Energy Facility (EREF 3), funded by USAID. Winners of the highly competitive funding included seven countries, Nigeria, Togo, Cabo Verde, Mali, The Gambia, Ghana and Sierra Leone. This is the first ever award to the Gambia.

“This grant funding will usher in the Gambia’s first Solar Green Mini Grid Electrification project. Unique Solutions & Unique Energy as part of its contractual and funding obligations, have committed the sum of $316,961.56 towards the project. This D30.6 million project will provide electricity to homes and businesses in the SaraPateh Jamwelly area of the Western Division of the Gambia and its surrounding areas in the initial phase.”

The chief executive officer of Unique Group of Companies Papa Yusupha Njie said of the project: “As we prepare to celebrate our 20th Anniversary of being in business, my vision is to see more Gambian owned companies play a greater role in the key economic areas of this country and our work in the energy sector over the past few years is a clear testament of what is possible. The focus is to make sure that we play a part in Gambians having access to affordable, reliable and clean energy wherever they may be in this country.

“Working with the Ministry of Energy, the Regulators, NAWEC and other stakeholders, we hope The Gambia’s first Green Minigrid project will open doors for many more opportunities including much needed jobs for our young people and also impacting thousands of ordinary Gambians in taking advantage of clean renewable energy sources.”

Mr. Njie concluded by thanking the honourable Minister of Energy and his entire team at the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, USAID and the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency – ECREE, for trusting his companies with this opportunity and enabling them to change lives in The Gambia and powering the energy of the future in more ways than one.


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Africa Finance Corporation issues US$500 million Ten-Year Eurobond
November 6, 2019 | 0 Comments
Mr. Zubairu President & CEO of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC)
Mr. Zubairu President & CEO of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC)

LAGOS, Nigeria, November 6th, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Africa Finance Corporation (“AFC” or “the Corporation”), the leading infrastructure solutions provider in Africa, announces the successful issuance of a US$500 million Reg S Only Eurobond for general corporate purposes, maturing in October 2029.

The Senior, unsecured Eurobond which carries a coupon of 3.75% was priced to yield 3.895% for a tenor of 10 years. It is the longest tenor bond issued by the Corporation till date. The bond received strong global interest across the Middle East, Asia, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Europe. Prior to the launch of the bond, AFC held a global investor call followed by investor meetings in London.

The issuance is the fourth Eurobond issued by the Corporation, under its US$ 3,000,000.00 Global Medium-Term Note Programme. The bond proceeds will provide capital for AFC to support its growth and long-term approach to infrastructure investing in Africa.

The bond was rated A3 by Moody’s Investor Services, in line with AFC’s issuer rating. It is listed on the Irish Stock Exchange and was distributed to investors in Asia (28%), United Kingdom (26%), Switzerland (17%), Middle East and Africa (15%) and other Europe (11%). 

Samaila Zubairu, President & CEO of AFC, commented on the announcement: “AFC is pleased with the successful placement of its fourth Eurobond, which enjoyed a strong subscription rate across multiple geographies. The level of appetite for this bond is a true testament to the growing confidence that global capital markets are placing on Africa’s investment potential, especially in infrastructure, as well as the capital markets’ confidence that AFC is the right partner to de-risk opportunities for institutional capital on the continent.”

MUFG, J.P. Morgan, Merrill Lynch International, First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC and Rand Merchant Bank acted as Joint Lead Managers and Bookrunners for the U.S.-dollar-denominated Reg. S issue.

About Africa Finance CorporationAFC, an investment grade multilateral finance institution, was established in 2007 with an equity capital base of US$1 billion, to be the catalyst for private sector-led infrastructure investment across Africa.  With a current balance sheet of approximately US$4.2 billion, AFC is the second highest investment grade rated multilateral financial institution in Africa with an A3/P2 (Stable outlook) rating from Moody’s Investors Service. AFC successfully raised USD 750 million in 2015 and USD 500 million in 2017; out of its Board-approved USD 3 Billion Global Medium-Term Note (MTN) Programme. Both Eurobond issues were oversubscribed and attracted investors from Asia, Europe and the USA. In 2019, the Corporation also issued a Samurai Bond which raised US$ 233 million and JPY 1 billion. AFC’s investment approach combines specialist industry expertise with a focus on financial and technical advisory, project structuring, project development and risk capital to address Africa’s infrastructure development needs and drive sustainable economic growth.  AFC invests in high-quality infrastructure assets that provide essential services in the core infrastructure sectors of power, natural resources, heavy industry, transport, and telecommunications. To date, the Corporation has invested over US$4.5 billion in projects within 29 countries across Africa. Please visit www.africafc.org for more information 

*AMA

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Norway offers $3m to flood victims in South Sudan
November 5, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Juba – The Norwegian government has allocated about $3 million to support people displaced by torrential floods across South Sudan.

Of recent, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian said severe flooding across the country had affected nearly 1 million people since July. The families in the three regions, including Abyei Administrative Area being forced to seek shelter on higher grounds because of the persistent rainfall and flash floods.

Last week, President Salva Kiir declared floods a national disaster in 27 locations in the East Africa country. President stated the dire humanitarian conditions plagued by flash floods on 16 areas in Greater Upper Nile, 7 in Bahr el Ghazal, and 4 areas in Equatoria regions.

Aid agencies have reported the closure of health centers due to floods, put most of the displaced people at the risk of infection from water-borne diseases.

South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis has now been exacerbated by heavy rains and floods due the current five-year conflict, therefore Norway’s $3.3 million is expected to help save lives and alleviate the suffering of people in areas that are badly affected by the flooding and in other areas where there are major humanitarian needs.

Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen, said the money will provide for needs such as shelter, clean water, food, and medicines.

Norway’s humanitarian assistance will help to save lives and alleviate need both in areas that are badly affected by the flooding and in other areas where there are major humanitarian needs after many years of armed conflict. It is crucial that the local authorities and humanitarian actors cooperate closely to ensure that aid reaches those who need it most,’ said Ms Eriksen. 

Ine Eriksen called on local authorities and humanitarian actors to collaborate to ensure that aid reaches those who need it most.

Norway’s money is being channeled through humanitarian organization operating in the country so that they can respond to the humanitarian needs rapidly and effectively.

The UN OCHA says more than 60 per cent of the flood-affected areas in South Sudan are currently classified as facing extreme levels of acute malnutrition.                        

But the UNHCR reported that the water levels have begun to recede but road conditions continue to deteriorate with the long exposure to water and fast-moving currents eroding the marram roads. Adding that refugees and host community members are at risk of disease outbreak due to flooded latrines which have resulted in contaminated surface water in addition to the high risk of water borne diseases due to stagnant water.

South Sudan, which gained her independence in 2011 from North Sudan depends entirely on international aid organizations to address its humanitarian challenges.

For many years, Norway has given high priority to the humanitarian crises in South Sudan. This most recent contribution brings Norway’s total allocation to humanitarian aid in the country and support for South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries to a total of NOK 172 million.

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Zimbabwean wildlife justice organisation to fundraise for animals affected by climate change
November 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

A non-profit environmental law climate and wildlife justice organisation based in Harare and Bulawayo, Advocates4Earth is to embark on a 600km wildlife solidarity march to raise awareness and funds to feed wildlife affected by drought, climate change and human encroachment, especially at Hwange national park in Zimbabwe.

  According to Lenin Tinashe Chisaira, Founder and Director of Advocates4Earth, the march was expected to have commenced on the 4 of November 2019, but was postponed following heat wave threats experienced in Zimbabwe. Also the organisation was in discussion with the police for clearance. He said that the organisation would advise on the new date the march would commence.

 At the time of writing, it is reported that at least 25 people had signed up for the march. The march will commence from Harare to Hwange.

  Advocates4Earth has been campaigning for animal rights and against the capture and trade of live wildlife trade. The organisation uses local and global laws and policies to back their arguments as a reputable legal, evidence and research-based organisation.

  “We have been involved in campaigns concerning the welfare, necessity of trade in live Zimbabwe and African wildlife in the past several months and that is a campaign that is on-going around Africa and the world,” Chisaira said.

  Chisaira said that, as a wildlife and climate justice organisation,Advocates4Earth has noted that Zimbabwe and most of Southern Africa are facing drought, heatwaves, diseases and other problems associated with climate change.

 “Wildlife has not been spared, thereby leading us to place more emphasis in our campaigns for wildlife and environmental justice,” Chisaira.

  According to Chisaira, the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority (ZIMPARKS) reported that at least 55 elephants had died at Hwange national park in the past two months due to drought.

 It has also been added that there are no water bodies at Hwange national park resulting in the deaths of animals. It is also added that coal mining activities at Hwange has driven away some animals. Also human wildlife conflict at Hwange national park has been exarcebated due to climate change as animals and people compete for scarce water resources and food.

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Africa Grapples with disaster response Through New Key Mechanisms
November 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

 

Twenty One countries in the Africa Risk Capacity East, West and Southern countries ended a two day workshop on 31 October on Thursday in Harare. The two days’ workshop was attended by among them worth hit countries affected by Cyclone Idai in 2018. The three countries Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi attended the workshop.

Since 2012 Africa Risk Capacity has used US $400 million for risk coverage in the whole region .This has been used to cover on floods, disasters, diseases, hunger and famine risks and some risks of the said nature. Some the problems covered looks at the vulnerable groups, displaced people during outbreaks and affected people.   ARC used in total US$37 million in Insurance pay-out in coverage of related risks.

According to Timothy Gotora one of the top officials at ARC offices based in Johannesburg, South Africa, the main objective of the workshop was to focus on early detection, warning and solution make up to the problem before time runs out with the coming season.

‘’Our main aim I to give rapid quick responses to outbreaks and epidemics. We have seen several disasters and hazards which relates to cyclones, floods, diseases outbreaks like cholera and malaria. Water, air and food Bourne diseases contributes to loss of lives and financial losses in millions to the continent.

‘’As African Union we have vision to see  and  goals to achieve by   2063 .Failure to  in response to these problems we have exposes us to severe hardships resulting in poverty , hunger , vulnerability and diseases .

Gotora asked on mechanism put in place to reduce  disasters said the Disaster Risk Finance Insurance [DRFI] was initiated in 2012 to give special focus on strengthening financial support  , early warning , information analytics and  risk financing  instruments .

‘’We have put in place key mechanisms. These are early warming, information analytics and risk financing instruments. DRFI Implementation is underway financing at regional level. We have program called the Outbreak and epidemic’’.

‘’Efficient and effective frame works and strategies help us move forward. We get prepared to disasters, bring awareness to communities, sensitise them and bring advocacy.  Therefore we need to be efficient in timing, finance areas of resource need, and reach out communities with correct, accurate and perfect information .’’

Speaking on behalf of the organisation, Spokesperson of ARC Chinedu Moghalu said the whole region had got ready to grapple with enormous challenges of the coming season without hesitation and failure.

‘’Last year there are countries which were affected. Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique were a test metre to our work. We have this time grown stronger because of past experiences. It was like a blessing in disguise. We as an organisation have learnt a lot in terms of what must be done to avoid risks.

‘’The organisation has done enough ground work so far in terms of early  warming , information dissemination , instruments all have been put in place in the African region in east  , west and SADC Region . On top above some work done, we did trainings and capacity building to all stakeholders and those on the side of effects.’’ said Moghalu .

The workshop was attended by 200 delegates, among them 50 to 100 from the African region. It was initially supported by Ministries of Finance in the Regional group. ARC is part and parcel of the African Union.

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10 Million Young People to Access Dignified and Fulfilling Work Opportunities in Ethiopia
October 31, 2019 | 0 Comments
Dr. Ephrem T. Lemango, Commissioner, Jobs Creation Commission; Reeta Roy, Mastercard Foundation President and CEO, and Alemayehu Konde Koira , Country Head Ethiopia, Mastercard Foundation celebrate the announcement of Young Africa Works in Ethiopia. This initiative aims to see 10 million young Ethiopians access dignified and fulfilling work opportunities by 2030. Mastercard Foundation has committed an initial USD300 million to the initiative.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 30th, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Over 10 million young people are expected to access dignified and fulfilling work opportunities in Ethiopia by 2030.
This follows the launch of an initiative, Young Africa Works in Ethiopia, by Mastercard Foundation that will seek to create employment opportunities for the youth in partnership with Ethiopia’s Jobs Creation Commission (JCC). Mastercard Foundation has committed an initial USD300 million to the initiative.

Young Africa Works in Ethiopia is aligned with the Ethiopian government’s plan to create new jobs to spur economic growth and was designed in partnership with the government, the private sector, academic institutions, and young people.

Mastercard Foundation will work with JCC to create programs to catalyze growth in the tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, and ICT sectors. Programs will support entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses to achieve greater productivity and expand income-generating opportunities.

‘Ethiopia’s prosperity will be achieved when we individually achieve our full potential first. Creating jobs for all, particularly, youth and women, is about giving people hope, dignity and the means to build this prosperous future,” says Dr. Ephrem T. Lemango, Commissioner, Jobs Creation Commission.

The Foundation announced its first phase of implementing partners, including the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), Kifiya Financial Technology, First Consult PLC and DAI Europe, Dalberg, Ministry of Innovation and Technology, and SNV. The cumulative value of the first phase of partnerships is over USD119 million and will see more than 1.4 million direct work opportunities contributing to Young Africa Works in Ethiopia’s goal of 10 million work opportunities by 2030. 

“Through my travel across Ethiopia, I’m inspired by the creativity and dynamism of young entrepreneurs and how their innovations are bringing about meaningful change in their communities,” says Reeta Roy, Mastercard Foundation President and CEO. “Young Africa Works will support them by providing access to finance, business development support and skills development so they can further scale their businesses to create more jobs for young Ethiopians.”

Learning from its work in 34 countries on the continent, including Ethiopia, over the past decade, the Foundation will deepen its engagement in 10 African countries. Ethiopia is a priority country because of the government’s commitment to reform the policy and regulatory environment to encourage the development of the private sector and attract foreign investment. Since 2009, the Mastercard Foundation has committed more than USD62 million to advance financial inclusion, education, and youth livelihoods.

“It’s hard owning your own business, and I failed at least twice, but if you follow your passion, then you are able to really impact people’s lives. What keeps me going is knowing that my drive does not come from making a profit, but from creating jobs that are giving people a livable income and helping them flourish and grow. As an entrepreneur, I want to improve the productivity, creativity and sustainable growth of my company but this means access to capital and land so that I can expand and scale my business,” explains 29-year old Semhal Guesh, Founder and CEO of Kabana Leather in Addis Ababa, a start-up that was established in 2017 and now employs more than 80 people, 80% of them young women.

Young Africa Works in Ethiopia will focus on the following priorities:

  • Strengthening agri-food systems, supporting linkages to agro-industrial parks, and increasing access to finance and business development services for agribusinesses.
  • Strengthening micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across priority sectors to grow and create significant jobs.
  • Building a robust pipeline of skilled youth to work in Ethiopia’s industrial parks and enabling them to establish enterprises aligned with the business needs of the parks.
  • Improving the quality and relevance of training offered by academic and training institutions and ensuring Youth are successfully linked to jobs.
  • Supporting the expansion and modernization of the tourism sector by working With the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sports, and Tourism Ethiopia on their strategy, and by engaging with the private sector.
  • Supporting the development of a national digitization strategy with the Ministry of Innovation and Technology and working with the private sector on widespread digitization of payments, financial services, and other key services.

About the Jobs Creation CommissionThe Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Jobs Creation Commission is a new public institution established under the Office of the Prime Minister to advance the government’s goal around employment and job creation. It is positioned to lead, govern and coordinate the jobs creation agenda at the national and subnational levels. In doing so, it guides the interventions of government, the private sector and development partners to high-growth sectors through policy analysis, innovation and market-oriented skill development.

The Jobs Creation Commission works specifically on identifying and designing new job creation opportunities; building a coordination-platform for all job creation initiatives in Ethiopia; developing and implementing sectorial jobs strategies; and formulating and adopting policies that favour job creation, private sector development, and the bridging of skill mismatch in the Ethiopian labour market.

About the Mastercard Foundation

The Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. The Foundation’s work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion for people living in poverty. One of the largest foundations in the world, it works almost exclusively in Africa. It was created in 2006 by Mastercard International and operates independently under the governance of its own Board of Directors. The Foundation is based in Toronto, Canada. 

*AMA


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Mozambique: Authorities disable illegal logging network in Coutada 4 adjoining Zinave National Park
October 31, 2019 | 0 Comments

The Mozambican authorities have deactivated an illegal logging network that operated in a hunting concession next to Zinave National Park, located in Inhambane, south of Mozambique.

During the operation, carried out by park rangers and partner institutions including those linked to the Government, several suspects were arrested and, so far, seven have been accused of illegal logging in a protected area.

A press release from the Peace Park Foundation, PPF, seen by Pan African Visions indicates that in addition to the human arrests, four timber trucks, five tractors, six vehicles, two front loaders and various exploration equipment have been confiscated. Another six trucks were also seized when they were trying to leave the area.

“The protection of the park’s natural resources is one of our main priorities,” said Antony Alexander, Senior Project Manager of the PPF, an organization that has supported the Park’s development since 2015. “That’s why we will continue our efforts to ensure that no invader achieves their goals,” he added.

Bernard Van Lente, the Park’s Project Manager, in turn, explained that following similar operations seized timber has been used for local development.

“The confiscated timber logs have been reused in the production of tables for local schools, which greatly improves the learning environment for children and created work for a local carpenter,” he said.

The operation, which relied on helicopter air support to monitor, was conducted in Coutada 4 adjoining the park which, although currently with low numbers of wild animals, boasts a rich variety of valuable tree species that are a constant target of illegal timber operators.

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