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American rapper, Ludacris and family get Gabonese citizenship
January 6, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Ludacris and family pose with Gabonese official brandishing their passports
Ludacris and family pose with Gabonese official brandishing their passports

American rapper, Christopher Brian Bridges known by his stage name, Ludacris is now a Gabonese citizen alongside his family after saying “yes” during the holiday season as they went down to Africa.

Gabon is his wife’s home country and located on the western coast of central Africa.

Ludacris, rapper/actor with three Grammy Awards to his name, twenty awards including three Grammys, two Billboard, three BET, four MTV among others shared a video on Instagram of himself receiving dual citizenship.

“Starting My New Year off with Dual Citizenship!” he wrote in the video’s caption. “AFRICA IM OFFICIAL!! Momma & Kids Too. The Best Gift of the Decade.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, I just became an official citizen of Gabon,” he said in a clip. “Of Africa! I am a loyal citizen of Zamunda! I mean, Gabon…this is the greatest day of my life! And Wakanda. All of that”, he added making known his intentions to get to work immediately.

News reports hold that they American based star is aiming to invest heavily in the country, now his second home. American actor; Samuel L Jackson, also holds a Gabonese passport while British actor, Idris Elba got his dual citizenship with Sierra Leone.

Ever since last year when Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo launched the year of return wherein he urged African diaspora to return home and help fuel development in the continent.

The program continues to gain momentum and has seen several Africans in the diaspora “going back” to African including World hip-hop billionaire Jay-Z and wife Beyonce and several other influential Africans in the diaspora. 

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Over 2,000 Participants From 68 Countries Expected at CAX Weekend in Kigali
January 3, 2020 | 0 Comments
Nigerian musical sensation D’Banj is scheduled to perform at the CAX Weekend in Kigali.

Cairo, 02 Jan. 2020: – More than 2,000 participants from 68 countries are expected at the Creative Africa Exchange (CAX) Weekend which opens in Kigali on 16 January in what the organisers are describing as Africa’s first continental event dedicated to promoting exchange within the creative and cultural industry.

Organised by Times Multimedia (TMM) and sponsored by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and other partners, the three-day CAX Weekend will feature 250 exhibitors, including some of Africa’s leading talents. CAX Weekend is the opening act of a series of activities planned under the CAX Programme which seeks to bring together African creative talents from the music, arts, design, fashion, literature, publishing, film and television sectors.

According to information from the organisers, AITEO, the African Union, UNESCO and a number of other multilateral institutions are also partnering in CAX, which is a consolidated marketplace where buyers and sellers of goods and services from the creative and cultural industry can meet and explore business opportunities.

CAX Weekend is expected to give the exhibitors and participants the opportunity to network, create business opportunities, consider investment proposals and increase customer base. It will feature breakout sessions with investors and captains of industry, notable African and global actors, music stars and creative thought leaders from Africa and the Diaspora.

Speakers will include Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, American media personality Steve Harvey, actor Djimmon Hounsou, Oscar winning actor Idris Elba, representatives of the African Development Bank and senior government officials responsible for culture and the creative economy. Award winning Nigerian musician D’Banj and several other high-profile musicians are scheduled to perform.

CAX Weekend will also see the launch of MVMO, a new pan-African streaming service for movies, videos, music and opportunities that will serve as a distribution platform for the creative and cultural industry in Africa by deploying cutting-edge technologies to allow high performance streaming experience via mobile internet. MVMO is expected to help independent producers to publish and monetise their content.

The CAX programme is aimed at facilitating investments into cultural industries through education, trade, industrialisation and provision of critical infrastructure to support African economic transformation in alignment with continental initiatives, such as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement and the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) rolled out by Afreximbank to stimulate trade among African countries. Launched during the inaugural IATF in Cairo in December 2018, CAX is the first exchange of its kind. The CAX Weekend will be followed by CAX Week to be held on the sidelines of IATF2020 in Kigali from 1 to 7 September

About Afreximbank: The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is the foremost pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade. The Bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors. Its two basic constitutive documents are the Establishment Agreement, which gives it the status of an international organization, and the Charter, which governs its corporate structure and operations. Since 1994, it has approved more than $67 billion in credit facilities for African businesses, including $7.2 billion in 2018. Afreximbank had total assets of $13.4 billion as at 31 December 2018. It is rated A- (GCR), Baa1 (Moody’s), and BBB- (Fitch). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo. For more information, visit: www.afreximbank.com

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From Pharmacist To Marketing Premium Brands,A Success Story For Nigerian Born Chukwunonso Ezekwueche in the North American Fashion Industry
December 26, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Nonso has taken the fashion world by storm since moving to Canada.
Nonso has taken the fashion world by storm since moving to Canada.

Known popularly as Nonso, Nigerian-born Chukwunonso Ezekwueche is breaking barriers ,carving a niche for himself and standing tall in North American fashion industry.

Celebrated for his craft, an art which he uses to inspire and exert influence in the fashion industry, the Canadian based talent who contributes enormously to both local and international companies, helping them increase their brand awareness, recognition, and loyalty, is the next big gig Africa will be celebrating for a long time.

With a pharmacy degree on his shoulders and a blistering craving for fashion which he regards as an “age-old passion” Nonso, is making his mark as a men’s’ fashion and lifestyle influencer and in a chat with Pan African Visions, he narrates how he went from been a novice in 2017 when the moved to Canada to be a household trend, brand ambassador for international big-guns and influencer.

“It was not such a piece of cake to breakthrough in a foreign land and be among the top trending influencers. At first, I faced a lot of setbacks and rejections but I was convinced they were merely preparing me for something wonderful. To me, “No” doesn’t mean rejection, it means, next opportunity, it means go back to the drawing board and fix what is broken or missing and then try again. With hard work, consistency, and perseverance I was able to get in the limelight. I am still work in progress and I am still far from where I want to be but with God and hard work, all my efforts would pay off.”

Chukwunonso Ezekwueche who hails from Anambra State, Nigeria represents the quintessential dynamism that, “it is only impossible if you let it be”.

With his signature phrase; “Showing men how to dress without breaking the bank”, Chukwunonso Ezekwueche who hails from Anambra State, Nigeria represents the quintessential dynamism that, “it is only impossible if you let it be”.

It is with this mindset that each time he’s invited either to the Toronto Fashion Week, African Fashion Week Toronto, International Fashion Encounter Toronto, Fashion Forward, or any other fashion gathering, Nonso ensures he makes an entry worthy of his name.

With a rich social media following, the ambitious brand influencer has been instrumental in his contributions to a wide variety of brands in the fashion, tech and beauty industries. These include Fashion nova, Marks, Original Penguin, Huawei, Daniel Wellington, Drunk Elephant, Mario Badescu, among others.

A firm devotee in inspiring those behind, the fashion icon gradually claiming his throne believes “it is my utmost belief that we rise by empowering, inspiring and lifting others and I am don’t have the “crabs in a bucket” mentality. I believe the sky is big enough for everyone to fly and blossom. I have written several articles and done a couple of interviews where I explained step by step how I became a successful influencer, how anyone can get started and how to reach out to brands for collaboration”

Quizzed by Pan African Vision on the rationale behind his signature phrase; “Showing men how to dress without breaking the bank” he retorted that he shows “them how to dress up on a budget with what they already own by combining and styling different outfits without spending an arm and a leg for it. I encourage people to catch sales and take advantage of thrift stores instead of paying full price.”

With the successes and international recognition he’s gaining in the fashion industry, one would think that Nonso has waved “adieu” to his pharmaceutical background but that seems to not be the case.

“Oh no I am still very much a pharmacist and I know how to juggle the two careers. I am keeping an open mind for now. You never know what the future holds,” he responded with a grin.

*You can get more information on the work of Nonso and his fashion tips here

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Nigeria Profits from Public-Private Investments: Waltersmith Modular Refinery Set to Meet the Scheduled Deadline
December 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

The project falls in line with H.E. Chief Timipre Sylva’s objectives to foster private sector participation in increasing domestic refinery capacity

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, December 23, 2019/ — Phase one of the modular refinery and the ground breaking ceremony of the phase two is expected to hold in May 2020; The Waltersmith project has already reached 90 percent completion; The project falls in line with H.E. Chief Timipre Sylva’s objectives to foster private sector participation in increasing domestic refinery capacity.

Last week, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, H.E. Chief Timipre Sylva paid an inspection visit to the Waltersmith Modular Refinery in Ohaji/Egbema LGA, Imo State.

Accompanied by Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Engr. Simbi K. Wabote, Minister Sylva said the Federal Government would continue on its efforts to ensure that the project meets the set deadline where phase one (5,000 bpd) of the modular refinery and the groundbreaking ceremony of phase two, which is targeted at delivering 25,000 bpd crude and condensate refinery; designed to produce gasoline, diesel, LPG, kerosene and aviation fuel, is expected in May 2020.

The minister said that the overall expectation of the site visit where the project that has already reached 90 percent completion, “was to see indigenous Nigerian Companies do well and the Waltersmith Modular Refinery is a major bright spot which has recently been incorporated into the Nation’s projection for petroleum product sufficiency and availability.” Further, the minister directed that the NCMB and Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited (Waltersmith) should centre their attention to corporate social responsibility which will ensure a “sustained and successful relationship with the host community.”

To this, AbdulRazaq Isa, Chairman of Waltersmith said the project’s first phase would create several direct and indirect jobs for the host community.

“This project is crucial for the development of the refining sector on the continent. Alongside the Dangote refinery which is slated for completion in early 2021, Nigeria is quickly setting an example for the role private investment stands to play in the development of the industry’s capabilities,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. “Nigeria is Africa’s largest crude producer, yet it lacks the refining capacity to meet its own fuel needs and through projects like these, the country is effectively making the move towards addressing this issue,” he added.

The public-partnership sees Waltersmith holding a 70 percent interest while NCDMB holds the remaining 30 percent.

One of the main drives for the development of this project include the crude loss which comes as a result of crude handling and the cost of crude transportation from the marginal fields owned by Waltersmith, said AbdulRazaq Isa who also explained that the first phase of the project is expected to contribute an estimated 271 million litres of refined products including Diesel, Naphtha, HFO and Kerosene annually to the domestic market.

The project reached FID in September 2018 with an 18-month Delivery time from November 2018 to May 2020, for phase one.

Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited is a wholly owned Nigerian integrated energy company. It is operator of the 7000 bpd Ibigwe field located on the OML 16 in the eastern Niger Delta and is also active in the OML 34 in Niger Delta Western Ltd where it holds a 8.33 percent stake.

Following a competitive bidding process in EGRonda 2019, the company was awarded a 40 percent stake in Block EG-23 earlier this month, allowing it to take operatorship of the asset.

The Block is located in Equatorial Guinea’s Niger Delta basin. This acquisition forms part of the company’s expansion plan which will see it venture further into Africa as it works to participate in accelerated production and extended value creation.

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Cameroon: CHRDA’s Empowerment Centre Launched, to go Operational in January 2020
December 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Barrister Balla, and other Dignitaries launched CHRDA's Empowerment Centre to train IDPS in tailoring, and others
Barrister Balla, and other Dignitaries launched CHRDA’s Empowerment Centre to train IDPS in tailoring, and others

As results of the current sociopolitical crisis in the North West and South West Region, thousands of people have been displaced either internally displaced or are refugees in neighboring Nigeria and other areas. Many have lost their source of livelihoods as their homes have been burnt, breadwinners of families killed and other atrocities committed.

To support Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs to regain their source of livelihood, the Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, CHRDA and its partners has launched its Empowerment Center on December 18, 2019, with it set to go operational in January 2020.

The Center will begin training IDPs on tailoring with the vision to extend training to other skills like computer designing, farming, and handicraft.

Violet Fokum, Executive Director of CHRDA noted that Internally Displaced Persons need support as most of them have been displaced from their homes. “This center has been put in place to assist women and girls build their capacity,” She said.

“Putting economic resources in girl’s hands increases economic reduces poverty in the society” “This center will help in reducing poverty and other Development goals putting in place by the United Nations,” She added

Barrister Felix Nkongho Agbor Balla, President of CHRDA noted that the Center will pay the transportation of the IDPs during the first year of the training which begins in January. “The crisis has divided us more than bringing us together. We have to open a workshop for them (IDPs) to help boost their Morales, and thought how to live together.”

He added that the training will not only involve tailoring and computer maintenance but the displaced persons will equally be trained on peace building and peacekeeping. “This is not just a Centre but a school to teach the IDPs which will help them be able to contribute to society.” “These IDPs are coming from the South West and North West Regions, and we will ensure that all the Divisions are represented in the Center.”

“After the training we hope to retain some women at the Center to train others, and to ensure that those who have left here we will ensure that we monitor them for at least a year.” “… I am very optimistic that the Center will grow and why not have other Centers in Bamenda, Limbe, and Kumba so, it should not just be Buea….”

Some 43 tailoring machines have been made available to Internally diaplced persons as the Centre opens in January 2020
Some 43 tailoring machines have been made available to Internally displaced persons as the Centre opens in January 2020

He added, “CHRDA is looking at having an Institute of Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights — domains not common in most Universities though some few have just started.” “We are equally looking at doing Birth certificates for those who do not have it. In Mile 16, for example, some 80 requests for Birth Certificates were made especially for children who are involved in the GCE.”

43 sewing machines have been made at the disposal of these displaced persons. At the moment, the Center will receive some thirty displaced persons who will begin training in January with the hope of increasing the number to sixty displaced persons — a group comes in the morning while the others in the afternoon.

Various speakers called on the IDPs to make adequate use of the equipment that has been put at their disposal. The hope is that such training will boost the morale of the displaced persons which will help them to contribute to the development of the nation. 

During the inauguration, CHRDA’s goodwill Ambassador was presented for his support to the foundation. Ibrahim Mohammed Bashir, Consulate General of Nigeria to the North West and South West Region was officially made a goodwill Ambassador to the Center, a role that is not limited just when he is the country, but equally outside.

“People think when they are giving position they turn to look down on others. When you cannot handle a position you just have to relinquish the position. I want to assure you that this authority that has been bestowed on me I will live up to it and more,” His Excellency Ibrahim Mohammed Bashir noted.

Ibrahim Mohammed Bashir, Nigerian Consul General to NOSO tests the machines put at the disposal of displaced persons
Ibrahim Mohammed Bashir, Nigerian Consul General to NOSO tests the machines put at the disposal of displaced persons

“I know what it takes to be an internally displaced person even it is for a day. People in my home town have been displaced with the attacks from Boko Haram. If I see someone who needs help I will always be there, most especially those who have been displaced from the comfort of their homes no matter how small.”

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Rwandan media sets Government on task for better agriculture inputs distribution
December 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mugabo

Rwandan farmers harvest tea leaves. Photo courtesy
Rwandan farmers harvest tea leaves. Photo courtesy

Drawing on the views of the farmers across the country, Rwandan media has recommended the Government to harmonise the distribution of seeds and fertilisers to farmers by ensuring timely delivery and quality of seeds, among other 12 recommendations.

The recommendations were reached at the national dialogue organised by Pax Press at Kigali Serena Hotel on Tuesday, bringing together about 100 people from different sectors including public and private, civil society, farmers and the media.

Pax Press is an NGO bringing together 174 journalists from 35 media houses including TV and Radio stations, print and online publications with the mission of promoting professional media under the slogan “Informing for Peace,” according to the Pax Press National Coordinator Mr. Albert Baudouin Twizeyimana.

He said the dialogue held under the theme “Improved Seeds and Fertilisers distribution process for a real socio-economic transformation”, was the eighth annual dialogue the NGO has organised over the last seven years and that every dialogue is held around the most pertinent issue among all the issues raised by the citizens during the community debates that Pax Press regularly carries out in rural areas across the country.

Mr. Adolphe Higiro, the Project Manager for Public Policy Information Monitoring and Advocacy (PPIMA) at Pax Press said the major problems found in agriculture inputs’ distribution during the community debates held in 2019  include too high prices of seeds and fertilisers which also keep increasing every year, delay of delivery of seeds and fertilisers ordered by the farmers, poor quality of some seeds and lack of agro-dealers in many communities, forcing farmers to travel long distances to buy inputs afar. PPIMA project is being implemented by Pax Press with the funding of Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA).

Dr Charles Murekezi, the Director General for Agriculture Development at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), commended Pax Press and its partners for reaching out to the farmers and bringing out the issues that affect their activities and said the Government of Rwanda is committed to supporting the farmers through enhancing the distribution of agriculture inputs and making them affordable to make farming more profitable to the farmers.

“Over 70% of Rwandans are engaged in agriculture and it remains important in ensuring food security, improving incomes and creating jobs in rural areas.  The challenge in the agriculture sector is most farmers have smallholdings and have tended to engage in subsistence farming,” he said.

Munyakazi, PhD, said since the Crop Intensification Programme (CIP) was established in 2007, there has been good increase in the use of inputs.

Farmers harvest potatoes in Nyanza District of Southern Rwanda in July 2019 (2)
Farmers harvest potatoes in Nyanza District of Southern Rwanda in July 2019

“Improved seeds increased from 3% in 2006 to 12.5% in 2018 in small-scale farms and 53.1% for large-scale farmers. Before CIP was initiated in 2007, fertiliser application averaged about 4.2 kg/ha per year, among the lowest fertiliser utilization rate in the world, but stood at 39kg/ha in 2018. The production of maize since 2007 has increased by 314% and almost similar increases have been witnessed with Irish potato and rice,” he said.

Solutions in the offing

Dr Munyakazi admitted that despite the gains registered so far,  there are still several challenges including poor farmers’ knowledge of the benefit of improved seeds and fertilisers, drastic increase of inputs prices especially for imported inputs, limited access to inputs as the agro-dealer stores are a distance from some farmers while some sectors lack a resident agro-dealer, delays in delivery of inputs to farmers due to delays along the distribution channel, poor quality of seeds delivered to farmers, among others.

He said expected solutions include the construction of fertiliser factory in Bugesera District which is expected to be operational by next year, increasing seeds producers to have one in every cell across the country, compelling agro-dealers to open more distribution outlets to reach every sector, among others.

Mr Twizeyimana appreciated the partners’ support in making the dialogue a success and said in his closing remarks that Pax Press will keep bring out the citizens’ concerns and partner with the Government in finding the solutions for the benefits of citizens.

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Manufacturers Urge Africans to Prioritize Consumption of Local Products Over Sub-Standard Foreign Ones
December 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

Rwanda's Minister of Trade , Ms Soraya Hakuziyaremye looking at the products that are being exhibited in East African Community Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Trade Fair
Rwanda’s Minister of Trade , Ms Soraya Hakuziyaremye looking at the products that are being exhibited in East African Community Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Trade Fair

African manufacturers urged their fellow Africans  to stop despising African products while praising western ones even when they  are not good in quality.

They raised this in Kigali during the  ongoing  annual East African Community Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Trade Fair, officially known as JuaKali Nguvu Kazi. This exhibition kicked off Monday 16th December and is set to close on 22nd December.

The problem that most exhibitors have raised is a low number of people turning up  to buy,  comparing to previous exhibitions. However they blame it on the mentality that still hangs in the heads of some Africans, who tend to despise Africans products over western on Asian ones.

Nsobora Margaret, a medical technologist from Uganda who came in exhibition to sell herbal medicine and nutritional supplements, told Pan African Visions that Africans industries and manufactories lack high technologies but if supported, they have chances of manufacturing high quality products than those from outside.

“Western drugs they are made out of these hubs.” She said pointing finger at a  box containing a herbal soap.  “ Their technologies is advanced, they make tablets , they make syrups but they are the same trees. We have not had chance of advancing in technologies to make tablets but if governments come up with a common support to herbalists.If we are supported,  we can make drugs the same as those that are imported from outside”, she adds.

Nattabi Ruth from Uganda finds it difficult for Africans to develop while thinking that products made in Europe are better than African.

From her experience, she said people often complain high prices but on the other hand they go to buy the most expensive products from abroad with minimum quality.

“There are products that fellow Africans make, they always complain that prices are high. Sometimes Italians product doesn’t work but they have that mentality that Italians  can work even when they have not used them before” she said adding that “We should really support our own products comparing to western products because for them, they support our products, you will be shocked Italian can come and buy our soap and use it, and even say it is better than his. We should be more proud of ourselves.”

African countries are coming up with idea of integration, removing barriers that hinder countries to trade among themselves.

The Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) that was ratified recently have in  target to expand intra African trade through better harmonization and coordination of trade liberalization and facilitation regimes.

The CFTA will bring together fifty-four African countries with a combined population of more than one billion people and a combined gross domestic product of more than US $3.4 trillion.

A move like this helped Asians countries like China to grow their economies and their products are scattered  everywhere in the  world.

Maimuna Chikuta , nuts manufacturer from Tanzania said Africans have to show support among themselves and remember that some products from the continent are  more natural that those exported.

“Let’s support each other we East Africans so that our products be respected. Let’s follow how Chinese did. We have to use our natural products that are found here in Africa”, she urged.

The current East African Community Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Trade Fair have attracted  more than 1000 exhibitors from EAC Partner States.

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African Development Bank commits €20 million to boost private sector competitiveness in Cabo Verde
December 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

The African Development Bank’s Board of Directors today approved a €20 million loan to strengthen the private sector’s role in Cabo Verde’s economic growth. 

Bank funding will support the second phase of the Private Sector Competitiveness and Local Economic Development Programme (PSC-LED-II).  The programme will extend fiscal 2019 budget support to the government of Cabo Verde as it undertakes reforms to boost domestic productivity and the country’s overall economy.

Specific initiatives of PSC-LED-II include promoting the competitiveness environment through the adoption of a revised commercial companies code, key legislation for judicial insolvency as well as a strategy of transition from the informal to the formal sector. The African Development Bank project partners include the World Bank and the European Union, as well as the governments of Luxembourg and Portugal.

The project advances the Bank’s aim to industrialize Africa and to improve the lives of its people, two of its High 5 development priorities.

Approval of the loan by the Bank’s Board of Directors signaled the successful completion of the first phase of the project, which set out a project framework and proposed reform measures. 

“The overall performance of the programme is good and we continue to work closely with authorities and with development partners,” said Abdoulaye Coulibaly, Director of the Bank’s Governance and Public Financial Management Coordination Office.

The planned reforms aim to strengthen Cabo Verde’s private sector by tackling the Atlantic island nation’s score on a number of competitiveness and economic development indicators. These include increasing credit to the private sector from 63% in 2016 to 70% of GDP in 2020; improving Cabo Verde’s score on the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business index; and boosting labor contribution to value added growth from 1.1% in 2014-2017 to 2% in 2017-2020.

A few hours after the approval of the project by the Board of Directors, an agreement was signed at the Bank’s headquarters between Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, the Bank’s Director General for West Africa and the Ambassador of Cabo Verde in Senegal, Felino de Carvalho.

“The signing of this loan agreement affirms the Bank’s commitment to supporting Cabo Verde’s economic advancement.  We have every confidence the government will continue the vital reforms needed to strengthen the private sector and decentralization.” Akin-Olugbade noted.

*AFDB

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*AFDB

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Source AFDB

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

By Bakary Ceesay

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

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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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