Zamfara state gripped by humanitarian crisis as violence escalates.
June 4, 2021 | 0 Comments
Spiralling violence between armed groups in Nigeria’s northwest has driven thousands of people from their homes; Conditions in the resulting displaced people’s camps are dire, with a lack of food, water and shelter; We are urging for an immediate scale up in the humanitarian response in Zamfara state to meet people’s basic needs.
Rising violence in northwest Nigeria’s Zamfara state is causing a humanitarian crisis, warns Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). MSF is calling for an urgent humanitarian response for people in the region, who are desperately short of food, drinking water, shelter, protection and basic services, including healthcare.
“Our teams in Zamfara state have witnessed an alarming rise in preventable illnesses associated with a lack of food, drinking water, shelter and vaccinations,” says MSF’s Dr Godwin Emudanohwo, speaking from the hospital MSF supports in the town of Anka. “Children keep on arriving here in a very bad condition.”
“In the first four months of 2021, our teams in Anka, Zurmi and Shinkafi treated 10,300 children for severe acute malnutrition, measles, malaria, watery diarrhoea and respiratory infections,” says Dr Emudanohwo. “This is 54 per cent higher than in the same period last year.”
What began as occasional clashes between farmers and herders, competing over increasingly scarce land and water resources, has now evolved into generalised random violence by armed groups, who use kidnapping and plundering as a lucrative source of income.
People who make it to MSF health facilities say that the surge in violence has driven them to flee their homes, farms and grazing lands. Some have sought protection in Zamfara’s larger towns, such as Anka, where they are sheltering in camps, both formal and informal.
Living conditions in the camps are dire, with no regular food distributions or proper shelter and with insufficient water and sanitation facilities, according to MSF teams. Other people have stayed in villages, too afraid to travel on insecure roads and delaying their trips to seek healthcare or fulfil other basic needs.
“There’s hardly any food to give to my children,” says Halima, two of whose children are being treated for severe acute malnutrition by MSF in Anka hospital. “We can no longer grow crops because criminals attack our farms.”
“Two of my children got measles and they were growing very thin. The roads are very dangerous, but I had to risk our lives and bring them to hospital,” says Halima. “Last time, when their elder sister got measles, I decided too late to travel by road and bring her to hospital. She had complications and now she is blind.”
In February 2021 there were more than 124,000 displaced people living in in Zamfara state, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) – an increase of more than 12,000 since August 2020. In Anka town alone, our teams have counted more than 14,000 displaced people, with around 1,599 arrivals in the past four months.
“We had to flee our grazing lands and most of our cattle were stolen,” says Nana, who is sheltering in a camp for displaced people on the edge of Anka. “Now there’s very little for us to eat. I make a living by selling cows’ milk to local people.”
The 150 beds in MSF’s paediatric ward in Anka hospital are already full, but staff fear the worst is yet to come.
“We are currently running over our bed capacity in Anka hospital,” says Dr Emudanohwo. “Families tell us they won’t be able to farm for the new season, which means a new cycle of hunger.”
“And the rainy season is yet to start, when malaria and other seasonal diseases increase,” continues Dr Emudanohwo. “People here need food, safe water and vaccinations now.”
“The survivors are afraid to take the roads, so they usually arrive at our clinics too late to prevent sexually transmitted infections, with serious mental trauma and in desperate need of protection”. Dr. Noble Nma, Msf Medical Activity Manager in Shinkafi.
Rise in kidnapping and sexual violence
As the violence spirals, reports of kidnappings, killings, armed robbery and sexual violence have multiplied.
“From January to April, our teams in Zamfara have received over 100 victims of sexual violence,” says Dr Noble Nma, MSF medical activity manager in Shinkafi, where we run a clinic for survivors of sexual violence. “Women and sometimes men are abducted by armed men and subjected to violation for a few weeks before being returned to their community. This is in addition to the violence faced by women within the community itself.”
Fear of travelling along dangerous roads means that rape survivors often seek support late, or not at all. “The survivors are afraid to take the roads, so they usually arrive at our clinics too late to prevent sexually transmitted infections, with serious mental trauma and in desperate need of protection,” says Dr Nma. “They tell us that there are more survivors out there who are afraid to travel here, so we fear that we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg.”
MSF is one of just a few aid organisations working in Zamfara state. This is not the first time we have raised the alarm on the urgent need for increased humanitarian assistance and protection in the region.
“Our teams have witnessed the speed at which the situation in Zamfara state has deteriorated,” says Froukje Pelsma, MSF head of mission in Nigeria. “The lives of people in northwest Nigeria are now dominated by hunger, abuse and preventable diseases.”
“What is happening here is a humanitarian emergency that needs urgent attention and a fast and proper response,” says Pelsma. “The authorities and all relevant stakeholders should assume their responsibilities towards affected communities.”
Cameroon: AfCFTA is Vital for Economic Growth, Job Creation – Ecobank Cameroon’s Gwendoline Abunaw
June 4, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA is crucial for “our economic growth and job creation” said Gwendoline Abunaw, Managing Director of Ecobank Cameroon.
The Managing Director of Ecobank Cameroon, ranked 4th out of the 16 banks in Cameroon was speaking during a webinar on June 3, 2021, organized by the Nkafu Policy Institute. Moderated by Dr Denis Foretia, Executive Chairman of the Nkafu Policy Institute, the session was under the theme “Africa’s Road to Recovery – A Conversation with Gwendoline Abunaw.”
With 20 years of experience, Gwendoline Abunaw, the first female Managing Director in the country has occupied C-suite roles since 2011, including Head of Corporate bank Cameroon including coverage of 6 other countries in Central Africa and Deputy Managing Director at Ecobank Cameroon.
“All I can say is that we survived. There was a fear that Africa will disappear in the way we were going to manage the pandemic. It was also because of the quick reaction in closing the borders and also the youthful population in most African countries,” said Gwendoline Abunaw, a board member at Ecobank Cameroon and Chad.
“A lot of work still needs to be done. We are in a stable but wait and see the situation as everyone is taking the baby steps into going back to normal.
There economic situation in most African countries is dire. The banking sector according to the Managing Director of Ecobank is still trying to get on its feet while the number of custom or tax collection has reduced due to the pandemic. It has also affected the rate at which investment is done in a particular country. “What we are seeing now is the inflows of support being given to the various governments in their fight against the pandemic.”
The IMF programme is important as it helps make sure that our countries can develop. We need more of that support and we are going to see more as the countries slowly come out of the pandemic.
According to many analysts, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically affected many Small businesses across the Africa continent. In Cameroon, some 90% of businesses in the country are SMEs. With the problems that this sector is currently facing, the pandemic has made things worse for small-scale businesses.
The pandemic has not been all gloomy according to the Managing Director of Ecobank. “Because of the pandemic, creative space has been created for SMEs. Government has provided tax reliefs to some of the like in the transport sector and those involved in tourism (to help the SMEs cope with the challenges involved).”
Many of these SMEs have had to come up with innovative ways to reach their customers than they were doing before the pandemic hit. Small-scaled businesses have incorporated technology into their businesses. Social media platforms have been a major boost to these companies.
“Ecobank has also stepped in to assist these SMEs with the launch of the Elevate Programme and also provided the SMEs digital software to enable them better manage their businesses. All these efforts have enabled SMEs to thrive, despite the partial lockdowns that were instituted in some areas of the country,” said Gwendoline Abunaw, chairperson of the boards for both Pan African savings and loans (microfinance) and Ecobank Development Corporation (EDC), an investment bank.
Responding to the question on the challenges and hurdles of the AfCFTA, Gwendoline Abunaw said there is a need to finalize and put the framework in place and the creation of infrastructure to assist. “Leaders have t make it a domestic policy. We have to be open to industrialization and liberalization as COVID has shown that there is a need to develop some companies providing essential services,” She said.
The implantation relies on the political will and has to be driven by the government. This can also only be possible when there is peace and security and it is vital for the AfCFTA. When there is peace, it will help attract investors into a country.”
GLF first-ever digital conference focused on Africa drylands brings experts from FAO to discuss techniques that will help preserve the region.
June 4, 2021 | 0 Comments
Conservation is indispensable for the recovery of Drylands and the maintenance of Sustainable Landscapes. Drought respects no borders.
By Uzman Unis Bah
Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) hosts its maiden digital conference to discuss Africa drylands and how fundamental restoration techniques can help recover the threatened region. Experts from FAO outline the GEF-7 Dryland Sustainable Landscapes Impact Program: Catalyzing transformation – scale – sustainability.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is poised to launch the GEF-7 Dryland Sustainable Landscapes Impact Program, which aims at helping salvage the endangered areas of the African region.
Deputy Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization, Maria Helena Semedo, said GEF-7 is an increasingly important partner of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in supporting countries in meeting their priorities in connection of the environment and sustainable development.
According to Maria, the GEF-7 will focus on intersecting challenges of sustaining production in the natural ecosystem. She said collaboration is a multifocal and integrated initiative that support countries in addressing common drylands management challenge.
Gustavo Fonseca, the Director of Programs, Global Environment Facility (GEF), drylands are home to more than 2 billion people and contain 44% of the world agricultural land that supports over half of the earth food production. Drylands also host the most fragile ecosystems on the planet, including 25% of all growth biodiversity hotspots.
Gustavo said climate change, growing populations, overgraze of rangelands pose environmental problems, leading to land degradation and affecting the livelihoods of 600 million smallholder farmers.
He stressed the importance of investment in the sustainable management of drylands. Investment is a good value proposition for the GEF, as dryland areas have a high potential for generating multiple environmental benefits and their importance for improving local livelihoods.
Ulrich Apel, a Senior Environmental Specialist at GEF, said the essence of the programme is to achieve land neutrality in poverty-stricken and fragile areas. Such as dryland, which is in line UNCCD concept on land degradation restoration; the scheme supports smallholders and medium enterprises that support living in the drylands, reduces the vulnerability of the communities and the ecosystems, he states.
According to Ulrich, working together, learning together, sharing knowledge in platforms will enhance cost-effective impacts and strengthen the integrated approach in responding to degradation and harnessing the most plausible solutions that mitigate the problems.
Malawi’s Minister of Forestry and Natural Resource, Nancy Tembo, said the country’s dry landscape faces severe pressure from the rapidly growing population. The population density is 20 people per square kilometre, growing at a rate of 2.6%; the last census conducted in 2018 puts the youth at 51% of the total population expansion of the country. She states that Malawai uses 32,000 hectares of forest cover every year; the GEF-7 dry land sustainable program provides an opportunity in Malawi to reach out for the sustainable goals, she said.
According to Nancy, Charcoal production in Malawi is high. About 80% of the population depends on charcoal energy for cooking and land encroachment, especially forest reserves. Population growth and the acquisition of lands for agriculture and housing purposes is worsening the situation.
Frank Musukwa, the Chairperson ofZambia National Forest Commodity Association (ZNFCA), said poverty, low agriculture productivity, lack of livelihood opportunity and increasing need for housing influence land degradation. Frank explains that youth are engaged in charcoal burning, an easy source of income, a form of business that requires a low investment that leaves an indelible scar on the surface of our planet.
The Dryland Sustainable Landscapes Impact Program supports integrated landscape management, focusing on sustainable forest management, restoration of rangelands and livestock production. The program will promote and diversify agroecological food production and creating enabling environment to support these objectives, outlined by the Program Framework.
This approach will lead to enhanced preservation and maintainable use of biodiversity, repossession and storage of carbon, developed water infiltration and regulation, control of forest fires, pest and viruses disturbing dryland crops and livestock, improved soil condition and improved livelihoods.
The GLF conference hosts experts and journalists in discussing evidence of the successes of dryland restoration and guide practitioners and policymakers ahead of the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a challenge to scale up restoration efforts that will restore the degraded ecosystem.
Ghana warned over illegal fishing-European Commission
June 3, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Maxwell Nkansah
The Commission, leading the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing worldwide, has issued a warning, so-called yellow card, to the Republic of Ghana that it risks being identified as a non-cooperating country in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. This warning, according to the Commission, is based on various shortcomings in Ghana’s ability to comply with its duties under international law as flag, port, coastal or market State.
Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said: “The Commission stands for zero tolerance for IUU fishing. Ghana plays an important role in fisheries governance in West Africa. Therefore, we stand ready to work with Ghana to address the threats IUU fishing poses to the sustainability of fish stocks, coastal communities, food security and the profits of those fishermen and – women who follow the rules. Sustainable fisheries are key to better ocean governance.”
Ghana is encouraged to take the necessary actions in order to abide by its international obligations in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
The identified shortcomings include illegal transshipments at sea of large quantities of undersized juvenile pelagic species between industrial trawl vessels and canoes in Ghanaian waters, deficiencies in the monitoring, control and surveillance of the fleet and a legal framework that is not aligned with the relevant international obligations Ghana has signed up to. The sanctions imposed by Ghana to vessels engaging in or supporting IUU fishing activities are not effective and not an adequate deterrent.
Ghana should ensure effective monitoring and control of the activities of its fishing vessels and an adequate implementation of its enforcement and sanctioning system. It should also ensure a sound fisheries management system in order to prevent fish stemming from IUU fishing activities from reaching its market or others, including the European one.
The yellow card is a warning and offers Ghana the opportunity to react and take measures to rectify the situation within a reasonable time. At this stage, the decision does not entail any measures affecting trade.
However, in cases of prolonged and continued non-compliance countries can ultimately face a procedure of identification (a so-called red card), which entails sanctions such as the prohibition to export their fishery products to the EU market.
Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is jeopardizing the very foundation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the EU’s international efforts to promote better ocean governance. Under the European Green Deal and pursuing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal for conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, sea and marine resources, the Commission has committed to a zero-tolerance approach to IUU fishing.
The fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is also an important aspect of the EU Biodiversity Strategy’s objective to protect the marine environment. The Strategy for Africa highlights the fight against IUU fishing as one of the key issues to address with our African partners. The Republic of Ghana had already received a yellow card in November 2013, which was then lifted in October 2015, after Ghana addressed the shortcomings.
The EU is the world’s biggest importer of fisheries products. The global value of IUU fishing is estimated at 10-20 billion euros per year. Between 11 and 26 million tonnes of fish are caught illegally every year, corresponding to at least 15% of world catches.
Today’s Commission Decision is based on the EU’s ‘IUU Regulation’, which entered into force in 2010. One of the pillars of this Regulation is the catch certification scheme that ensures that only legally caught fisheries products can access the EU market.
The Regulation also provides for specific dialogue mechanisms with the countries that are not complying with their obligations as flag, coastal, port and market State under international law. While failure to cooperate in the framework of the dialogue can lead to an identification of the country, the IUU dialogues are based on cooperation and support to countries and are an important step in tackling IUU fishing, with sanctions, including trade prohibition being only a last resort measure.
Since November 2012, the Commission entered in formal dialogues with 27 third countries, i.e. officially warned them of the need to take effective action to fight IUU fishing. In most cases, significant progress was observed and therefore the Commission could satisfactorily close the formal Dialogue phase and lift the yellow card. Only a few countries have not shown the necessary commitment to reforms until now. The EU is working to support Ghanaian population on the ground with several capacity building projects.
Dryland is Hindering the Fight to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 2030), GLF experts impart reporting skills.
May 31, 2021 | 0 Comments
Telling the story is essential for raising awareness on environmental concerns; thus, journalists and media professionals are integral in inspiring a global effort to end the imminent challenges our planet faces today.
By Uzman Unis Bah
GLF training 2021– as the African dryland issue continues to pose a threat to the farming sector, stalling the progress of achieving SDG zero hunger and the elimination of poverty; the Global Landscape Forum (GLF) organises training that reveals reporting skills for journalists in helping raise the awareness and inspiring a global call to help address the crisis.
The GLF training lasted for three days, imparting knowledge to over 40 professional and fledgling journalists in the African continent. The experts shared vital storytelling skills, sharing knowledge and deepening the insight into the looming environmental issues affecting the continent. According to Susanne Wallenöffer, the head Forests4Future, although this is a virtual engagement, it points out the scale at which land damage is taking place and at the same time highlighting the continent’s potential in tackle the problem.
Susanne says the role of the media is to continue raising awareness on the topic and the importance of restoring forests and despoiled lands in the continent, inspiring political actions, reporting and setting the agenda for broader deliberations. “The other point is to simply raise awareness among the communities and the general public on the potential that restoring degraded lands and forests has fought for everyone.” She said.
The journalists and media specialists are pivotal in telling the stories of affected communities from the most affected to the least affected places of our globe. In raising awareness and stirring aspirations for a lasting solution, the media and journalists play are pivotal. Susanne hailed the Global Landscapes Forum, climate track and partners for hosting such media training.
Storytelling is vital in promoting awareness of the situations affecting people and their livelihood and the environmental danger our society is currently facing. The press and the drivers of conservation stories are crucial in casting light on the signs the planet is witnessing.
“It’s been estimated that there’s potential to generate $2 trillion globally from Sustainable Agriculture and forest protection.” Jonathan Davies, Global Agriculture Programme Lead at International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Jonathan said.
In giving an overview of dry land in Africa, Peter Minang, a Principal Scientist with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), said land degradation is the deterioration or loss of productive capacity of soils. Peter asserts that land degradation is often resulting in desertification and primarily importing desertification in drylands.
Most of our forest areas are dry ecosystems that are also important and needed for growing several crops that mostly do well in drier areas, like cotton, so it good to be aware of these facts; Peter clarifies.
Africa is vulnerable to land degradation; millions of hectares are affected, close to 500 million hectares; desertification affects around 45% of Africa’s land area, where there is 55% high risk for further degradation; a study in 2016 estimates that the annual losses in land degradation in Africa, especially in Agriculture, accrue losses of billion Euros, he explains.
According to Peter, population increase, poverty, and a host of other issues contribute to the land loss, but the most dynamic causes are poor governance, poor policy enforcement and lack of investments in land management.
Salima Mahamoudou, a Research Associate at World Resources Institute (WRI), said, often, when we hear of land degradation in Africa, our mind run to pictures of cracked and broken soil, but the fact is, degradation doesn’t necessarily need to be to the extreme, where you will witness the physical markers.
According to Salima, while reporting dryland stories, it is good to consider the common environmental impacts, but it is worth noting that some of the dryland impacts might not be as visible as others.
There is a great potential to store carbon in the soil, arousing interest in developing land carbon sinks, which will benefit the African continent. The opportunity will bring immense possibilities for land use and proper land regime systems in Africa, stated Jonathan.
Birguy Lamizana Diallo, Senior Project Officer, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, said desertification is growing; it is noticeable at the environmental level, but predominantly in the social sector, leading to disputes and migrations, economic losses that hugely affect the livelihood of women and youth in the rural communities.
Desertification is land degeneration in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas emanating from many factors, including climatic shifts and human activities. It leads to a reduction in crop yields and minimises the resilience of agricultural and pastoral systems – key livelihood pillars in Africa. According to the policy brief of the African Group of Negotiators experts Support.
Our food heroes, the farmers who toil, breaking backs to achieve food security, in the face of all hurdles, are the most challenged when it comes to desertification and the altering of the landmass, either by climate change or natural emergencies. Issues that impact our planet need coverage, but to tell stories that will help raise awareness and inspiring solutions, journalists’ need to be equipped to better understanding the issues for better reportage.
Dangote Refinery Oil Refinery: XCMG’s End-to-end Service Supports 2,500 Units of Equipment for Construction of the Largest Oil Refinery
May 31, 2021 | 0 Comments
XCMG Construction Machinery Co.Ltd (000425.SZ), global top three construction machinery manufacturer, has deployed a team of 81 engineers and technicians to work on the construction of the world’s largest oil refinery project, the Dangote Refinery, located at Lekki Free Zone in Lagos, Nigeria. The team is providing end-to end, round-the-clock service to facilitate more than 2,500 units of construction machinery equipment.
Built with an investment of nearly $35.38 billion (29 billion Euro), the Dangote Refinery project covers an area of 250,000 hectares, and the phase I and II of the project is expected to be completed by 2022. Once in full operation, the refinery will produce gasoline and other petrochemical products such as polyethylene and polypropylene.
Nigeria, the largest oil-producing country in Africa, currently has four operating oil refineries. However, due to equipment aging and poor maintenance, the plants are in a state of partial shutdowns with a combined daily output of less than 445,000 barrels, while the average daily consumption is approximately 40 million liters, 7 million liters lesser than of which are produced locally.
“The refined oil output of the Dangote Refinery will be able to fulfill the gasoline demand in Nigeria sufficiently, even meeting West Africa’s demand for refined oil, freeing Nigeria from its dependence on oil imports. XCMG is proud to participate in this mega refinery project,” said Jiansen Liu, Vice President of XCMG and General Manager of XCMG Import and Export Company.
Led by Liu Jiansen, the team submitted a complete construction technology solution with more than 500 units of equipment from 13 categories within one month for the construction contract bidding.
Subsequently, XCMG won a massive order of 504 equipment from 37 models, the largest export order to Africa across the Chinese construction machinery industry, including 27 concrete mixer trucks, two pump trucks and five mixing plants. Throughout the construction period, the XCMG project team provided after-sales engineer support at the site to monitor the construction conditions.
The team managed several other challenges including the road conditions which required levelling with road rollers and graders, and excavators to dig waterways for drainage every few days. Liu and the team also took on tasks such as 30-ton hoisting, HB41A pump truck debugging and sand pumping from the Gulf of Guinea to fill up the marsh – a task completed by XCMG excavators and dump trucks, also aiding in anti-flood rescues.
To facilitate the maintenance of XCMG equipment, the end-to-end service team set up a 5,000-square-meter equipment maintenance workshop on site to provide support, mechanical debugging and maintenance services. The comprehensive after-sales service prompted Dangote Group to sign an additional order of 183 crawler cranes, 201 concrete equipment and 40 hydraulic vibratory hammers with XCMG.
To date, the Dangote Refinery Project has purchased XCMG machinery equipment totaling $400 million and spare parts worth $35 million.
About XCMG Construction Machinery Co. Ltd
XCMG, a multinational heavy machinery manufacturing company, leverages on its experience and expertise of over 78 years to manufacture top of the line goods. It currently ranks third in the world’s construction machinery industry and exports to over 187 regions worldwide.
Kenya mulls scrapping off Bachelor of Education Degree
May 27, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
It is just a matter of time before Kenya does away with the Bachelor of Education course (B.Ed) in the universities in line with the new education system known as Competence Based Curriculum.
Kenya’s Teachers Service Commission (TSC), tasked to hire teachers, wants students aspiring to pursue teaching as a career to take regular arts or sciences degrees instead.
In the new proposal, students would be required to pursue the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Sciences courses for three years, followed by a one-year post-graduate diploma in education to qualify to be teachers in secondary schools.
The minimum requirements would be a mean grade of C+ and a minimum of B- in three teaching subjects.
“In order to professionalise the teaching service and improve the quality of education, the commission needs to review entry grades to the teaching service and advice the national government. This will raise the standards of the teaching profession and attract more quality grades,” read the report prepared by TSC Director of Quality Assurance and Standards Dr.Reuben Nthamburi.
The TSC wants the proposals to take effect in September this year.
However, the proposed changes face opposition from university education lecturers and the University Academic Staff Union (Uasu). They have branded the new framework unnecessary and unfounded.
According to university lecturers, many staff will lose their jobs should the new changes be implemented. They vowed to author a counter-report based on constructive research.
“We feel the TSC framework is unacceptable as it is going to water down our education system, teachers require specialized training from the start,” Kenyatta University Uasu official told the Daily Nation.
The Bachelor of Education training course in Kenya has existed since 1972.
Zambia: Lusaka’s water point ambassadors turn the tap to protect residents from Covid-19
May 27, 2021 | 0 Comments
A water point attendant in Zambia’s capital Lusaka has a new role beyond filling up containers for residents at the community tap. John Nyambe spreads the word about the novel coronavirus – its dangers, and what residents can do to protect themselves.
The role comes with a new title too – “coronavirus prevention ambassador.” Nyambe, 71, bears the title with pride. His message was especially vital in a city with a history of inadequate sanitation and disease outbreaks.
As soon as the first cases of Covid-19 were identified in Lusaka in March 2020, the African Development Bank adjusted one of its programs to address the outbreak. The aim was to engage communities benefiting from the Lusaka Sanitation Program to keep them up to date with information on the pandemic, dispel misinformation and to distribute hygiene products.
Nyambe, who was appointed by the Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company, has witnessed a difference in behaviour since the sanitation program accommodated its new mission.
“We have seen change in the community and people are now following the guidelines that have been set because they now understand that the disease is deadly and they need to take care of themselves,” said Nyambe, who also works as a security guard for a local firm.
Since the Covid-19 hygiene project got under way, 400 hand sanitiser stations have been installed in public spaces such as markets, health centres, water points, and places of worship. And over 600 water tap attendants like Nyambe have become coronavirus prevention ambassadors. The key message was around the importance of staying safe by practising social distancing and washing hands thoroughly. This helped change the perceptions of people, many of whom were sceptical about the pandemic.
“This project is good for, not only the water tap attendants, but for the community as well. The tap attendants were able to sensitize the community and did so by demonstrating, using the materials that were given by the Bank,” said Josephine Moono Chihongo, the Lusaka Water and Sanitation Company community development officer for the area known as Peri-Urban West.
“Today, when you go to the community water collection points, no one draws water without a mask and without sanitizing their hands. This shows us that there is behavioural change among the communities,” Chihongo added.
The measures were rolled out in addition to ongoing activities that are part of the Lusaka Sanitation Program, a $243 million project jointly funded by the African Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the German Development Bank and the World Bank.
The African Development Bank is providing $50 million to build healthier and happier families by elevating residents’ quality of sanitation, especially the poor living in peri-urban communities around Lusaka. At the time that the Lusaka Sanitation Program was launched in 2015, around 70% of the city, roughly 2.2 million people, lived in high-density, unplanned peri-urban neighbourhoods. Five years later, the sanitation program provided a foundation to fight the pandemic.
By late March 2021, Zambia had registered more than 87,000 cases of Covid-19 and the death toll from the disease was more than 1,000. Bank support enabled the production and translation of messages and jingles, the distribution of bottles of hand sanitizer, and face masks.
“We now understand that coronavirus is real and we were empowered by the Lusaka Sanitation Program with information on how to protect ourselves,” said Easter Kumbana, a resident of Kanyama. “I had no money to buy facemasks and hand sanitizers because the little money I had, I needed to feed my children, so I was extremely happy to be assisted with the sanitizers and face masks.”
DFC Advances COVID-19 Response in Africa with $5 Million Investment in Africa Healthcare Network
May 27, 2021 | 0 Comments
The direct loan will help Africa Healthcare Network expand dialysis center operations across Sub-Saharan Africa.
WASHINGTON – U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) announced the first disbursement of a $5 million direct loan to Africa Healthcare Network (AHN), the largest operator of dialysis centers in East Africa. The project is part of DFC’s comprehensive COVID-19 Response through which the agency is mitigating the economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and DFC’s Global Health and Prosperity Initiative, under which the agency is working to strengthen global health systems.
“DFC continues to support global health and sustainable economic growth in developing countries during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” said DFC’s Vice President of the Office of External Affairs and Head of Global Gender Equity Initiatives Algene Sajery. “This investment in AHN will expand access to affordable, high quality healthcare across Sub-Saharan Africa through its operation of lifesaving dialysis centers.”
The pandemic has caused disruptions to health services worldwide and has impacted the ability for countries to address and respond to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Those living with NCDs, including chronic kidney disease (CKD), are at an increased risk of becoming severely ill with COVID-19. Independent studies estimate that there are over 1 million patients with CKD in Sub-Saharan Africa requiring dialysis and the region requires over 50 times the current number of centers to meet the demand. DFC’s financing will help increase patient access to safe dialysis treatment and help mitigate disruption to essential health services.
AHN is the largest and most expansive dialysis services provider in East Africa with 18 dialysis centers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda offering high-quality, affordable care. DFC funding will allow AHN to support growth throughout Sub-Saharan Africa as it continues to build and operate additional dialysis centers through partnerships with leading hospitals in the region.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, DFC has undertaken a multifaceted approach to mitigate the pandemic’s impact by providing rapid response recovery lending to existing DFC clients in developing countries; providing economic recovery lending to new DFC clients in vulnerable regions that support small and medium sized businesses, especially women-owned or women led businesses; and strengthening health systems. Also, as part of the overall U.S. global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, DFC is partnering with the private sector, other DFIs, U.S. government agencies, and other organizations. At a time when developing markets are experiencing liquidity strains, the agency is helping stabilize industries, safeguard jobs, and speed private sector recovery.
In addition to financing this vital project, DFC is strengthening global health systems by working to provide businesses with financing to increase capacity in the manufacturing, production, and distribution of vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, under DFC’s development strategy Roadmap for Impact. DFC is also prioritizing investments that empower women and advance its 2X Women’s Initiative, as women are often disproportionately impacted by crises, especially when they seek access to capital.
DFC is accepting proposals under its Global Health and Prosperity Initiative. The agency seeks to invest between $5 million and $500 million per eligible project through its full range of financial tools, which includes equity and debt financing, political risk insurance, and technical development. Eligible projects should deliver highly impactful health outcomes in developing countries.
U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is America’s development bank. DFC partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. We invest across sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology. DFC also provides financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs in order to create jobs in emerging markets. DFC investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights.
Polluters are slowing down Africa’s progress
May 26, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Charity Migwi and Nicole Rodel*
The world has no business investing in new fossil fuel developments in our race to the 1.5°C
pathway. The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) newly released Net Zero by 2050 roadmap
has closed the door on new fossil fuel extraction, and fossil fuel giants have lost their claim to
fame of new oil and gas reserves being aligned with the Paris Agreement. It’s a small victory for
climate, and the big polluters, governments, and public finance institutions will have a tough
time giving grounds for dirty developments – but there is seemingly no slowing down Total SE,
Standard Bank and AfDB from riding their gravy train through Africa at full steam ahead.
Since 2012, Total SE has been the largest fossil fuel spender in Sub-Saharan Africa. The French
energy giant expanded its dominance in the region when it signed the Shareholding Agreement
(SHA) and the Tariff and Transportation Agreement (TTA) alongside the governments of
Uganda and Tanzania with Tanzania recently signing the Host Government Agreement (HGA).
This deal has paved the way for oil exploration in the Albertine Graben and the construction of
the longest heated pipeline in the world, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). The
signing of this long awaited deal has spelled doom for communities affected by the project as
compensation delays and mixed messages have only triggered anguish and controversy among
the Project Affected Persons (PAPs). Not only will tens of thousands of people be displaced but
locals risk losing their land in exchange for peanuts as the valuation report used by the
government relies on old property rates. In consequence, Total will continue enriching itself at
the expense of already vulnerable East Africans.
EACOP is not the only African charm for the French energy giant. Its mega Liquified Natural Gas
(LNG) project in Mozambique is targeted for completion in 2024 – and the added conflict has
displaced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, farmlands and fishing areas,
leaving them without livelihoods and reliant on food aid. Total’s operation in Mozambique has
ignited flames for the province of Cabo Delgado as the gas industry is fuelling social tensions.
The already vulnerable locals are feeling frustrated being caught up in the manifestation of the
paradox of plenty. Their resource rich province is being plundered by political and global
economic elites as they suffer violence, human rights abuses and massive displacements, amid
escalating insurgencies and security threats conveniently labelled as terrorism. In response,
Total declared force majeure on it’s $20 billion LNG project, thereby absolving itself of its
commitments and contractual obligations, while still holding the major benefits of being the
project concessionaire even at a time when survival is at stake.
The effect of Total’s presence ranges from human rights violations, violent conflict,
environmental destruction, displacement, and death; all while fueling the climate crisis.
Environmental racism has put black, indigenous, and people of colour communities in the path
of polluters and the climate crisis – one of the biggest global threats to ensuring human rights
and dignity for all.
At the forefront of championing these crises is Standard Bank, as they continue to play an
advisory role in organizing funding for the $3.5billion EACOP project as well as finance the
Mozambique LNG to a tune of $485 million, thereby fuelling a climate catastrophe. In the
meantime, Standard Bank prides itself in being a leading oil and gas sector banking team on the
continent. With its tremendous assets totalling over $162billion regionally, Standard Bank has
the potential of influencing positive transformation across the African continent through clean
renewable energy that will not only meet the continent’s energy needs but also create
thousands of jobs. Instead, the bank opts for life long long torture of already vulnerable
communities by investing in fossil fuels.
While governments and fossil fuel companies champion these projects under the guise of
economic revival, growing environmental, social, and governance concerns – and stranded
assets – are beginning to make their way into the boardrooms of the public finance institutions
footing the bill, in large part due to pressure from civil society and grassroots movements. The
African Development Bank Group (AfDB) – who poured $400 million into Total’s Mozambique
LNG project, but strongly refuted claims of its involvement in financing EACOP – recently
released its draft Climate Change and Green Growth Strategic Framework for public comment,
which finally put in writing that the Bank will “cease all investment in coal or coal-related
technologies, ensuring that it will not perpetuate or provide longevity to coal”. The strategic
framework tiptoes around the subject of natural gas, with the seemingly cuddlier cousin to coal
and oil set to play a limited and transitional role in Africa’s energy access development goals,
but no mention of oil is made whatsoever. However, a golden thread weaved throughout the
draft policy is the AfDB’s commitment to Paris Alignment – and with the IEA’s new stance
against oil and gas for a 1.5°C warmer world, it may be back to the drawing board for the AfDB
to uphold their goal of operationalising the Paris Agreement.
The climate crisis is already here and hurting the most vulnerable people. In 2020, the warmest
year on record, extreme climate disasters displaced more people globally than war. It is time for
governments, public finance institutions, and fossil fuel giants to take heed of what we, the
people, have been calling for, and reimagine our development pathway for a sustainable and
equitable future. The people and the planet do not need to be weighed against profit and
economic development. This is a climate emergency, and we need to use all of our energy and
might to fight for the Africa we want – one that puts its people, heritage, and environment at the
centre of our development.
A Mission To Transform 10 million lives by 2030 For Africa Grain and Seed
May 20, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Ajong Mbapndah L
Africa’s fight against problems faced by rural communities like hunger, poverty, education and others has found a new partner in Africa Grain and Seed-ASG. Working in synergy with other key stakeholders, the ASG is out with an ambitious program to rewrite the future of 10 million lives in Africa by 2030 through education, food security, technology and entrepreneurship.
PAV caught up with the founder Anthony Denga and co-founder Zanile Matiwaza Denga for more insights into the mission and vision of the ASG.
Could we start with an introduction of the Africa Grain and Seed that you lead?
Africa Grain and Seed (AGS) is a multidisciplinary collaboration leading an inclusive economic growth strategy piloted by business partners who have expertise in investments, technology, and supply chain. To ensure the success of our turnaround strategy we have piloted through collaboration, innovation, and smart- agriculture based on long-term, sustainable solutions.
As Africa, grain, and seed we seek to address the current problems faced by Africa’s rural communities such as hunger, poverty, clean water, education, nutrition, energy, education, climate-smart livelihoods. We integrate resources, programs, and research to transform rural communal land into economically vibrant commercial hubs by organizing African unbanked communities with surplus land but not adequate resources and access to the market to become food producers of the world.
May we understand the relevance of the Enterprise and its mission in helping Africa meet some of its present-day challenges?
Africa’s present-day challenges factoring the impact Covid has had on these marginalized communities and Africa as a whole is a mammoth task and we have taken the initiative as the private sector to relieve malnutrition, hunger and poverty – Our role as AGS is to develop and strengthen communities by identifying marginalized rural communities with the potential to become self-sustaining communities that are able to grow sufficient food for the communities and surplus into local and international markets. Our implementation approach is showcased through the donation of seeds, seedlings, books, sanitary pads with intended extensive workshops and training. This ensures that our deliverables are met in sustainable approaches the guarantees that these communities and schools have access to nutritious meals on their tables, and through the surplus, they are able to realise income reviving their economies. The relevance of our programme is the strength of partnership of these communities, private sectors, off-takers, export markets and governments through providing inputs and guaranteeing markets. Our programme is offset in the rural school propagation programmes which are interlinked with our out-growers programmes done through cluster communities. We are making these communities productive (through infrastructure development), production (through secure trade and funding) export development (through the surplus partnering with local and foreign off-takers).
It is imperative that our structures are adopted to build resilient communities that can realise revenue for the unbanked to become banked. The programme will grow the marginalized communities from producing unprocessed seeds and vegetables to producing value-add outputs. Our 2030 vision is to see established green technology commercial hubs with factories, collection, and distribution platforms within the communities through established climate-smart agriculture solutions that teach and mentor the future of Africa which are through the grower’s programmes to grow and produce vegetable, herbs, small grains, and oils through surplus that can be traded on the international markets.
On a brochure of the Enterprise, we came across, there is mention of a plan to transform 10 million lives by 2030, how do you plan on doing this?
At Africa Grain and Seed we have taken a lead in the transformation of 10 million lives by 2030 through hard work, partnering with likeminded investors that are ready to work tirelessly in piloting a viable, scalable, and a secure platform which is centered around education and Agri income-generating programs. Despite all financial and physical limitations brought about prior and during covid, we have been able to initiate the work we are doing in Africa to meet our target of 1,000,000 vegetable seedlings and 10 000 fruit trees for income-generating purposes. We have attracted like partners like Kamari and their lotteries whose funds play a critical role in Africa, which will further our agenda in transforming 10 million lives.
Our plan will be to see direct impact on these communities through our ecosystem, key areas youth and women training, infrastructure established, Agri -entrepreneurs developed, access to education, job creation, increased nutritional meals and meals per household. The unbanked becoming banked.
In what parts of the continent are your operations actually located at the moment?
Our programmes are located and implemented across Africa. In Zimbabwe with a donation of over 700 000 seeds and seedlings, 1000 sanitary pads, 800 reading books and 100 fruits trees. In South Africa we have donated sanitary pads and seeds to the National Traditional House of Leaders and will be increase over role out and partnership with Humble Smile foundation and rolled up programmes in Zimbabwe, South Africa, and people can follow our work in the month of May & June in Malawi, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, and Uganda
How does the Africa Grain and Seed identify partners that it is going to work with?
We look for like-minded partners with the heart to see Africa transformed by investing in the youth to transform their minds and narrative from a dependency standpoint to leaders tomorrow. We look for synergies with partners that see the critical role women will play in this transformation and build trading platforms. We look for innovative ideas focused at resolving Africa’s challenges. One of the biggest challenges was creating a financial structure that can accommodate the current challenges faced. Our partnership with Kamari will be introduce an application called Kampay that is designed for smart, safe, and cheap remittance and it will sit between the communities and the consumer, acting as a transaction facilitator. It will feature near -zero fees for users, and our beneficiaries will enjoy automated settlements via smart contracts. There will also be various efficiency benefits for governments and enterprises.
What mechanism do you have in place to ensure that those who benefit from the seeds you make available actually deliver tangible results to help them meet targeted goals?
Investor, partners, and AGS Steering Committee – that is inclusive of agronomists, the schools, youth leaders, teachers, women lead committees. The AGS team
The relevant partners in countries to monitor, manage and account for the resources deployed are used to derive the best results.
AGS will develop a platform should see ease of access to our communities.
May we know some of the challenges faced so far?
Smallholder and micro-farming communities in Africa are notoriously underserved by banks and traditional financial institutions. Making it difficult for them to access credit and financing to invest in climate-smart agriculture and scalable operations. Through a partnership with Kamari, these challenges will be addressed by bringing in secured-risked adverse solutions like Blockchain technology and our main focus will be on providing financing for Africa’s unbanked. It is critical for us to revisit the majority population in Africa is the Rural communities. These are not backed with critical resources for them to expand and optimize their full potentials blockchain can provide in creating cheaper credit, cross-border trade, and foreign liquidity into markets generally not priced or not supported by local banks or capital markets.
We can expect to see incentivized strategies through Kamari which will be the strengthening factors and key elements of what we look for in partners to solve development issues and bridge the gap.
When you look around Africa, what is it the governments are getting right about food security, and what are there getting wrong?
Right is that they have acknowledged the exorbitant net food import bill realized by Africa to date and how it will fluctuate if we do not take the relevant steps to change the narrative to increase the net export.
They have carried this problem on their shoulders, we would like to see strengthening in partnerships to compliment the private sector through policies to increase Africa GDP by investing in the marginalized. We also look forward to the government structures create an accountable mechanism to protect local and foreign investments across Africa.
For those who read this interview and will like to be part of the or join you towards the fulfillment of the lofty goals you have had, what do they need to do, how can they be a part of this?
Get in touch with us! We will look at likeminded business, philanthropist, and individuals who we have synergies in legacy building. There is no partner or impact that is too small or too big. There are avenues and inputs that can be brought to this table.
For example, we are excited to announce our partnership with Kamari who has come on board as funders. The funds will be dedicated to some of our communities to outgrow commercial produce. These are at building resistant, sustainable communities which are aimed at presenting Africa with the best solutions focusing on education, technology, smart – agri which are key driving factors in developing an African circular economy.
Youth are Africa’s best asset; invest in them – African Development Bank President Adesina
May 20, 2021 | 0 Comments
Africa’s underinvested youth are in need of urgent attention and youth entrepreneurship investment banks must become the focus of global support, the African Development Bank head Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina said Monday in a discussion on scaling up financing for the continent’s youth.
Adesina was speaking at a virtual roundtable at which he presented a novel concept for youth entrepreneurship investment banks. The roundtable, organized by the African Development Bank, came a day ahead of the Summit on Financing African Economies convened by President Emmanuel Macron.
Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya, Jean-Michel Severino, CEO of Investisseurs et Partenaires; Ashish J. Thakkar, CEO of Mara Phones; Yana Kakar Global Managing Partner Emeritus at Dalberg Advisors; Yvonne Otieno, CEO, Miyonga Fresh Greens, and other representatives of the private sector joined in the meeting.
Otieno urged the world to believe in the youth and to put their hands in their pockets. “Take a risk on us. You will never regret it,” she said in a moving presentation in which she described her career trajectory which began in a bookshop, progressed through journalism, to starting her own business growing French beans on 1.5 acres of land.
“Failure is only a weakness if you don’t learn from it,” said Otieno.
With lack of access to finance a serious bottleneck, the proposed youth entrepreneurship investment banks would coordinate financial and non-financial actors and partners to more effectively support youth entrepreneurs.
“We must support the youth to go beyond looking for jobs. We must unleash the entrepreneurial drive and capacities of the youth to create jobs, Adesina said. “We must grow, finance and support large scale successes of youth -led businesses in Africa.”
Speaking immediately after Dr. Adesina’s opening remarks, Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya expressed strong support for the initiative. “Spain welcomes the African Development Bank’s youth entrepreneurship investment initiative, geared towards unlocking entrepreneurship and promoting the growth of businesses of the youth.” she said.
Thakkar, chair of the African Development Bank’s Presidential Youth Committee, advised that the youth investment banks would need to be scalable and self-sustaining. He said it was very important to create the right incentive structures for governments to encourage the private sector to play a key role.
Research suggests that Africa needs to create 18 to 30 million jobs annually through 2030, and Ladi Balogun, CEO of First City Monument Bank Group, reiterated the urgency of this challenge. He said time was of the essence in terms of mounting a response as well as accelerating decision-making processes for the extension of financing to entrepreneurs. He also advised working through local money managers to achieve scale.
“We have a ticking time bomb on our hands,” Balogun said.
Participants also commended the African Development Bank for taking a lead role in the effort to support youth entrepreneurs, as well as calling on the Bank to play a number of roles.
Yana Kakar said the African Development Bank has an important knowledge transfer role to play. She added that the Bank has much to share about what is needed in tech-enabled segments versus what might be needed to enable entrepreneurs in more production-oriented segments.
The African Development Bank has demonstrated its strong commitment to the youth of Africa through its Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy to help create 25 million direct and indirect jobs, and empower 50 million youth by 2025. The institution has also set up a $40 million trust fund in partnership with several European countries to advance youth entrepreneurship and innovation.
The North West African’s leading mining event is back in Dakar on 2 – 4 November 2021
May 18, 2021 | 0 Comments
The 6th edition of SIM Senegal will take place on 02 – 04 November 2021 in Dakar, and is, once again, organised by the Senegalese Ministry of Mines & Geology in association with AME Trade Ltd. Developed under the theme “Promotion and development of Local Content, a lever for the optimization of socio-economic benefits in the extractive sector”, the two-day conference will showcase the Ministry’s strategy on the mining sector and concentrate on new developments and investment for further growth and expansion of the Senegalese mining sector.
SIM Senegal is the only government supported mining event in Senegal, guaranteeing the highest-level audience possible. Being the services & financial hub of Francophone West Africa’s mining industry, Senegal attracts senior decision makers and a diverse range of investors from: Guinea, Mali, Niger, Mauritania, and Guinea Bissau. SIM Senegal attracts a unique and diverse range of mining investors in finance, services, exploration & production and institutional industries, from both public and private sectors, from 30 countries.
Why invest in Senegal? The country has a diverse portfolio of mineral resources, excellent port and road infrastructure, a skilled workforce, as well as being the financial centre of Francophone West Africa. Senegal’ strategic goals for 2023, be part of the Top 7 gold exporters in Africa, be amongst the Top 3 of African phosphate producers, become the 4th largest global producer of zircon.
NEW in 2021: gold exploration projects will be unveiled during the event:
- Financing your investment in Senegal’s mining industry
- Case studies of gold, rare earths and phosphate projects in Senegal
- Developing a modern and performing mining supply chain in Senegal
- Technology and innovations to maximise mineral production in the country
- Mines and Geology: what are the benefits for the impacted communities?
SIM Senegal 2021 is the event for companies active in the Senegalese mining industry to showcase their projects & services to a pre-defined & targeted audience via the exhibition or conference; new investors aiming to acquire first-hand & advance information on mining policy, key projects, mines in development & associated opportunities; and for stakeholders based in Senegal looking for finance, technology transfer and sharing expertise with international experts.
While waiting for the 6th edition in Senegal, the Senegalese Government with AME Trade, organised in January 2021 the Virtual Summit, gathering 384 participants, 8 sponsors, 40 virtual exhibitors, 31 speakers from 29 countries online. The interactive panel discussions covered topics such as improving socio-economic benefits for communities, innovative solutions for social inclusion and women’s empowerment, increasing access to new technologies and strengthening local content development. The virtual edition was officially opened by the Honourable Minister of Mines and Geology of Senegal, Mr. Oumar Sarr.
REGISTRATIONS ARE OPEN: https://ametrade.org/event/sim-senegal-2021/
About AME Trade Ltd:
AME Trade’s business to business events provide vital practical information for companies looking to diversify and realign their business strategies to keep up with fast-moving global trends. Through sector specific and country focused events, we are now one of the leading providers of strategic business intelligence for the African regions. Our services include bespoke conferences, trade exhibitions, training workshops and networking functions. www.ametrade.org
Sierra Leone:VSO Supports VIONET & Partners, to boost over 300 Fire Victims at Susan’s Bay Community
May 18, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
With support from VSO, VOINET and partners have embarked on a food distribution to over 300 fire victims at the Susan’s Bay Community.
This move is to ameliorate the sufferings of the poor people in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the world.
The distributed items include rice, onions, tomatoes and other cooking condiments.
In his statement, Ibrahim Kamara, Programme Manager Volunteers Involving Organizations Network (VIONET) said since the fire incident took place at Susan’s Bay community on the 24th March 2021, their network through the support of VSO was the first to intervene and joining partners in doing needs assessment of the community, adding that at the end of the day the network is able to put together four pillars on how they would go about their intervention.
“The four pillars of which our volunteers are based on today, we have four pillars, we have the psychosocial pillar, educational pillar, food distribution pillar and health pillar. Since the intervention, VOINET has been participating effectively on all those pillars. Well, in the food distribution pillars VOINET is actively involving helping ONS and other partners in distributing food and other items,’’ he said.
He added that even before they had funding from VSO, they have been playing a great role in trying to rebrand the children in that community through psychosocial support, stating that they are targeting them because they are devastated during the incident; thus they needed sober guidance and counselling in order to help them in their healing process .
Ibrahim Kamara further said they have been working in collaboration with many non–governmental organization, community based organizations such as Strong Women Strong Girls Sierra Leone, Liberating the Depressed Foundation, in pursuit to contribute in diverse ways in helping the community.
“So far so good during our intervention we have been able to minimize the issue of gender based violence, violating child’s right because during our intervention we actually preach to community members that children have right and parents have the responsibility to look out for their children and they should not be violated .The impact has been so great, there is no more child beating and all the other things that amount to child abuse both physical and verbal,’’ Kamara lamented.
The VOINET Programme Manager went on to say, with the intervention with our funding from VSO, they are going to reach 300 people with food supply, reaching 150 children with educational materials, with 300-400 on psychosocial support, counselling and trauma healing counselling.
On their part, Samuel Turay, Project assistant VSO said they as an organization has supported the emergency response to the Susan’s Bay Community with psychosocial, educational including food distribution support.
“But before that we have been able to support volunteers with credit, food and transportation from the 27th March to date also provided part of the support to the communities as well as looking at hygiene and the distribution of sanitary pads,’’ he said.
He added that they are also supporting them with education materials such as books, pencils, geometry sets for school going children in the community.
“We VSO provided trainings for the volunteers on safeguard and psychosocial support and also some referrals for any violence issue how they can report them. This is not VSO’s first response, we have been supporting response from Ebola to flashfloods and to every other natural disaster nationwide ,’’ Turay added.
One of the beneficiaries, Mamie Isata Selina a mother of 9, said, she is very happy for what VOINET through their partners have done for her stating that she will be able to eat well and feed well her children adding that since she had an accident, no family member has come to her aid except for charitable or volunteers like them who have come to her aid.
“I am happy for what you have done for me. Thank you so much. Right now I don’t have where to sleep this has impacted me on my health, my sides are aching. God bless you for the food and kind gesture,’’ she said.
Another beneficiary Kadiatu Aminata Coleson expressed thanks and appreciation for the kind gesture stating that the rice, onion and other condiments will help her and her family to get a decent meal thanking VOINET and partners what they have done for her and others in their community, hoping of another donation.
Ethiopia: African Development Bank Group signs grant agreement for $31 million to tackle nutrition and end child stunting
May 14, 2021 | 0 Comments
The African Development Bank and the Government of Ethiopia have signed an agreement for a $31 million grant to boost health and nutrition for children under the age of five.
The African Development Fund’s Board of Directors approved funding for the government’s Multi-Sectoral Approach for Stunting Reduction Project (MASReP) at the end of April. The total budget is $48 million.
The agreement was signed on 10 May by Yasmin Wohabrebbi, State Minister of Finance, on behalf of the Government of Ethiopia, and Abdul Kamara, Deputy Director General of the Bank’s East Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office.
Wohabrebbi said, “In the past two years the government spent close to $31 million from its own sources to execute the Seqota Declaration Innovation Phase. The Multi-Sectoral Approach for Stunting Reduction Project (MASReP) we are signing today will complement the government’s investment effort to achieve goals set under the Declaration.” The project targets 40 districts in the Amhara and Tigray regions, where nearly 50% of children under the age of five are afflicted by stunting.
Children will benefit from improved access to parent-grown nutritious food and nutrition services while pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers will receive nutrient-dense food crops, livelihood promotion and nutrition counselling. The wider population will gain greater access to water for domestic use and food production. The health, education and nutrition service delivery will benefit from stronger systems and improved infrastructure.
“The agreement further underscores the African Development Bank’s commitment to support the Ethiopian government’s initiatives to end stunting in children under age two by 2030, in line with its Seqota Declaration,” said Kamara. He said the project would address the multidimensional causes of stunting.
Ethiopia’s Seqota Declaration is a commitment to end stunting in children under two by 2030. The national ministries of health; agriculture, water, irrigation and energy; education; women, children and youth; labour and social affairs; transport; and finance are co-ordinated in this effort.
The Multi-Sectoral Approach for Stunting Reduction Project is consistent with the government’s Ten-Year Strategy and two of the Bank’s High Five strategic priorities, namely Feed Africa and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.
The African Development Bank’s total ongoing commitment in Ethiopia is $1.6 billion, covering the key sectors of basic services, energy, transport, water supply and sanitation, agriculture, governance, and the private sector.
In Niger, a rare scene in the pandemic: Covid-19 wards remain empty, agriculture and business benefit from support programs
May 14, 2021 | 0 Comments
Looking over his hectares of rice in Saga, less than 10 minutes from central Niamey, Garba Soumana’s face is radiant. A gust of wind from the Niger River drowns out his voice, but in no way diminishes his joy. “Thank you, Lord. God is great,” he exclaims. “This is such an achievement, like a thorn taken out of your foot,” he says, again and again, gazing over his vast green expanse.
Just like Garba Soumana, thousands of Nigerien producers have the comfort of knowing that they will have the seeds they need for the next planting season, in June and July, thanks to support from the African Development Bank to help Niger with its country-wide response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition to budget support of more than $100 million, the Bank is also providing funding to low-income member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), including more than $4 million for Niger. The Bank also provided $22 million to help the G5 Sahel countries combat the pandemic.
In this Sahelian country, exceptionally vulnerable to cyclical droughts and climate change, access to seed enhances food security and helps to prevent the health crisis from turning into a food crisis. In Niger, food security is linked to social and political stability.
“The Bank’s support has been particularly important for this country that is already suffering under triple climate, humanitarian and security shocks,” said Nouridine Kane Dia, the Bank’s country manager for Niger.
Not far from Saga, in Niamey, Amadou Tidjani has a contagious smile on his face too. This trader learned, just a day ago, that when it became due later this year, he would not have to pay his import-export licence.
“This is like a shot in the arm; the pandemic has put a stop to our business trips. Our shops are not getting the usual footfall. In this gloomy situation, getting a deferral on payment of the licence is a godsend,” said Amadou, as he bustled about his bags of rice, the staple food during Ramadan.
Several hundred Nigerien traders will benefit from the temporary suspension of taxes and duties. This government measure aims to save hundreds of businesses from bankruptcy.
The Bank’s support for Niger also extends to the most vulnerable groups, including internally displaced persons and refugees. Diffa, in the southeast, and Tahoua and Tillabéri in the northwest are three regions that form the epicentre of terrorist activities. Here, thousands of people have benefited from social protection measures, such as the distribution of food, hand-washing kits, and drinking water facilities, as well as the construction of latrines.
“The support of the Bank has provided Niger, whose financial capacities are being severely tested by the sharp increase in security and humanitarian expenses for the fight against terrorism and the reception of refugees, with the fiscal space and emergency support needed to cope with the additional consequences of the health crisis and preserve gains made in poverty reduction,” added Kane Dia.
The African Development Bank Group’s Covid-19 Response Facility (CRF) has had a considerable effect on the health response in Niger. It has increased the resources allocated to health and strengthened the country’s capacity for screening and caring for people infected with Covid-19, and for recruiting health workers.
Initially, screening was only available in Niamey, at the Medical and Health Research Centre (CERMES). Support from partners such as the African Development Bank helped to set up a number of facilities for the analysis of PCR tests, including at Zinder and Maradi, the most important cities after the capital.
In Talladjé, a working-class district of Niamey, wife and mother Halima Ousseini is preparing to go for a medical consultation. This time, she walks with a confident step, dressed in a flowing boubou. Her medical centre will, like other similar medical facilities, receive a variety of 140 medical products ordered under the emergency health response programme supported by the Bank.
“For us, access to medicines was no easy matter in normal times. It got harder still under the pandemic. Our revenues have fallen, but the prices of medications have stayed the same. So, having access to medicines is a huge relief for people like us of modest means,” said Halima Ousseini, who told us that she makes a living as an informal trader and with the help of her children.
The support of the African Development Bank has also helped Niger to take excellent care of those infected with the virus. Approximately 1,637 new health workers have been recruited and health logistics have been strengthened, including through the donation of three ultramodern ambulances to the Nigerien Ministry of Health.
Of a population of 23 million, 70% of whom are under the age of 25, some 5,000 cases have been detected and 185 deaths have been recorded, making Niger one of the least-affected countries on the continent. This significant support is also building the capacity of the health sector to deal with further public health shocks.
In Niamey referral hospital, the national facility approved to treat Covid-19 cases, beds remain unoccupied for lack of patients. Covid-19 units have been closed and ventilators transferred to other services that need them. “The department is operating at a relaxed pace because we do not have any more Covid-19 patients…The situation is totally under control,” said Dr Amadou Foumakoye, head of the hospital’s Covid-19 unit.
The achievements of this crisis management will be further boosted by the vaccination campaign launched on 29 March 2021, with the support of development partners.
A Myriad of opportunities for Entrepreneurs in Jack Ma Foundation Africa’s Business Heroes Prize Competition
May 12, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Entrepreneurs in Africa have a few more weeks to apply for the 2021 Africa’s Business Heroes competition, the Jack Ma Foundation’s flagship philanthropic program that identifies, supports, and inspires African entrepreneurs.
Speaking to Nigeria’s Channels TV, Zahra Baitie-Boateng, the Head of Partnerships and Programs with the Africa’s Business Heroes Prize Competition, highlighted the many opportunities that the initiative offers, saying that every entrepreneur who successfully submits their application can benefit from the competition even if they do not make it to the finale and win their share of the USD 1.5M prize.
According to her, the application process is designed to encourage candidates to conduct a thorough analysis and review of the fundamentals of their business. When testing the candidates, judges provide insights and guidance on strengthening their businesses and improving their pitches as they advance, said Zahra.
Participants also have the opportunity to access exclusive mentorship and learning, through a number of multi-disciplinary bootcamps and training sessions and connect to a community of like-minded entrepreneurs.
The Top 10 finalists take home grant funds ranging from USD 100,000 to USD 300,000, increase their public exposure by featuring in the Africa’s Business Heroes show, and have the opportunity to pitch to international business legends at the Grand Finale.
“There are many benefits one can gain depending on where you end in competition,” said Zahra Boateng.
She narrated how the competition has changed lives and businesses in the continent, noting that many heroes have used the grants and the publicity they achieved to make tremendous progress. In particular, she mentioned Nigerian Temie Giwa-Tubuson, the founder and CEO of LifeBank. The ABH Grand Prize winner in 2019, Temie has secured further investments and recently expanded her operations in Kenya and helped tackle Covid-19 by delivering medical oxygen and facilitating testing.
“This is just one example. Several other finalists have gone on to expand their footprint geographically and established collaborations among them,” she added.
She further disclosed that over ten years, the program will recognize 100 African entrepreneurs and allocate grant funding, training programs, and support for the broader Africa entrepreneur ecosystem.
They will also be launching an Africa’s Business Heroes virtual community in the future.
Applications for the ABH third edition officially launched on March 30, 2021, and it will remain open until June 7, 2021. Candidates from all African countries, all sectors, and all ages can submit their applications in French and English here before 7th June.
The applicants must be of African descent, founders/co-founders of the businesses, and their businesses must be registered and operated in Africa. The business must have revenues and have been in existence for at least three years.
WFP AND UNHCR ROLL OUT TARGETED FOOD ASSISTANCE TO MEET NEEDS OF THE MOST VULNERABLE REFUGEES IN RWANDA
May 11, 2021 | 0 Comments
KIGALI – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, have started rolling out a new mechanism in Rwanda to prioritize general food assistance to the most vulnerable refugees.
“The funding shortfalls, which we were already facing due to the protracted nature of the refugee crisis in Rwanda, have been aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Ahmed Baba Fall, UNHCR’s Representative to Rwanda. “To avoid these cuts affecting the most vulnerable refugees, we have established a targeting system that will allow us to prioritize extremely vulnerable refugees who depend entirely on humanitarian assistance and to ensure that their basis needs are met.”
“This is the right step at the right time when donors globally are under greater pressure than ever because of the impact of COVID-19 and growing demands,” said WFP Rwanda Representative and Country Director Edith Heines. “By targeting we prioritize funding to the refugees who are most in need of assistance while we work to mobilise more resources and find long-term solutions.”
This shift is in close collaboration with the Ministry of Emergency Management (MINEMA) and with technical support from the Joint UNHCR-WFP Programme Excellence and Targeting Hub. This is the first country in Eastern Africa where WFP and UNHCR have jointly implemented targeting and prioritization of humanitarian assistance, with the support of the hub.
UNHCR, together with the Rwanda authorities, is embarking on a stepped-up livelihoods and economic inclusion strategy that will increase refugee and host community resilience.
“We are confident that by investing in programmes that promote access to livelihoods and economic opportunities, education enrolment and access to land and financial services, part of the refugee population will be able to improve their livelihoods and support themselves. With this, I believe development partners will come forward with additional resources to support programmes targeting refugees and host communities for more sustainable solutions,” added Fall.
Gambia:Prison gets ambulance vehicle worth 2.5m
May 10, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Adama Makasuba
The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday donated an ambulance vehicle worth 2.5 million-dalasi as well as 100,000 dalasis coupons to Gambia Prison Service, held in Bijilo.
The donations aimed to support prison in the fight against coronavirus.
President of GCCI Edrissa Mass Jobe, said: “This ambulance is yet to help further the agenda of equivalence of healthcare and the right to health is a principle that applies to all prisoners who are entitled to receive the same quality of medical care that is available in the community,”
“Prisons are not isolated from society and prison health is public health. Adding that the vast majority of people committed to prison, prison guards and families interact continuously making prisons the reservoirs of disease.
“At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemics, GCCI realized that the prisons together with the hospitals are the worst and most vulnerable places in the country hence in the spirit of true generosity they focused their material and financial contribution to helping these institutions,” Edrissa said.
Representing the Prison Service Modou Jarju, described the donation as very timely and relevant to their institution needs and current requirements of their prison sub-health system.
“The old ambulance in Mile II is overburdened with pressure of providing paramedic services to both Mile II and Jeshwang prison. Therefore, acquiring an ambulance for the prison is long overdue and will go a long way in improving the provision of health services to the prisons,” he said.
“GCCI and UNDP have provided life changing support services in various ways that have helped to improve the lives of both inmates and officers,” he added.
Fabba Jammeh Director of industry Ministry of Trade said: “We all know that we are still in the pandemic and it has constraint most of our activities so we can imagine those in the prison how they would have been impacted by the Covid and this support coming to them at least will relief some of the burden that they have been going through this covid moment.”
Gambia:UK-based charity donates D7m to EFSTH
May 10, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Adama Makasuba
UK-based charity, Humanity First, through its Gambia branch, has given 7.3 million dalasis worth in consignment of health items to Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul.
The donation comes as part of Ahmadiyya Muslims Jama’at’s humanitarian support to the nation’s health sector to fight against coronavirus and other diseases following the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding between the hospital and the charity organisation.
Humanity First is a UN recognised charity organisation that has its branches in 160 countries around the world. In 2020 the charity’s country branch donated 250,000 dalasis in items like face masks and hand sanitisers to EFSTH.
The materials were shipped in by the UN Agency for World Food Programme.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony in Banjul, chairman of Humanity First The Gambia Baba F. Trawally, Amir of Ahmadiyya Muslims Jama’at, described the donation as great as he said it happened in Ramadan which is a giving month.
“We are gathered for handing over these items as part of complementing the tremendous work of The Gambia government in the fight against Covid-19,” he told the gathering.
“In a pandemic such as this it is not just government but everyone has a responsibility to make a difference,” he said, adding that: “at the level of Humanity First and other partners we are committed to serving humanity irrespective of their religious belief, skin colour, national origin and ethnic background.”
He assured the National Health Services of the United Kingdom and Zeded Laboratory UK that “the items will go a long way in advancing our efforts against Covid-19, in The Gambia” saying “we are profoundly grateful to the National Health Services of the United Kingdom and Zeded Laboratory UK.”
Amir Trawally reminded people that servicing humanity is not only “moral obligation but a religious duty and obligation for all Muslims.”
Dr Baboucarr Sowe said what the charity procured to the nation in the fight against coronavirus in the country is ” to the tune of 7.3 million dalasis.”
He commended the ministry of health and finance as well as government Institutions like Gambia Ports Authority and Gambia Revenue Authority in helping to bring in the container items of materials to the country.
Meanwhile, Chief Medical Director Professor Ousman Nyan, described the help as significant as heaped praise on the charity organisation that the ” material donation have been quite consistent of high quality and relevant.”
“As medical teachers we are particularly more aware about the capacity building that they (Humanity First) have been involved with in the emergency care, surgical skills and in other outreach activities that the members of the medical fraternity of Humanity First have delivered to The Gambian community mostly through our hospital service here at Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital,” the health professor recognised support of the charity.
Representing the minister of health, Lamin Dampha, PS 2 at the ministry of health welcomed the gesture saying the materials will greatly help in the fight against coronavirus. He thanked the donors for the services they have been rendering to the country.
Emirates launches India humanitarian airbridge to transport urgent COVID-19 relief items
May 10, 2021 | 0 Comments
- Emirates will offer cargo capacity free of charge to NGOs, to ship relief items on all its flights from Dubai to nine cities in India
- Airbridge initiative is a major boost from Emirates, supporting the various relief efforts undertaken by the humanitarian community
- In co-ordination with the International Humanitarian City (IHC), first flights carrying WHO cargo departs from Dubai to India
Dubai, UAE, 10 May 2021– Emirates has set up a humanitarian airbridge between Dubai and India to transport urgent medical and relief items, to support India in its fight to control the serious COVID-19 situation in the country.
Emirates will offer cargo capacity free of charge on an “as available” basis on all of its flights to nine cities in India, to help international NGOs deliver relief supplies rapidly to where it is needed.
In the past weeks, Emirates SkyCargo has already been transporting medicines and medical equipment on scheduled and charter cargo flights to India. This latest airbridge initiative takes Emirates’ support for India and for the NGO community to the next level.
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates’ Chairman and Chief Executive, said: “India and Emirates are deeply connected, since our first flights to India in 1985. We stand with the Indian people and will do all we can to help India get back on its feet. Emirates has a lot of experience in humanitarian relief efforts, and with 95 weekly flights to 9 destinations in India, we will be offering regular and reliable widebody capacity for relief materials. The International Humanitarian City in Dubai is the largest crisis relief hub in the world and we will work closely with them to facilitate the movement of urgent medical supplies.”
The first shipment sent as part of the Emirates India humanitarian airbridge is a consignment of over 12 tons of multi-purpose tents from the World Health Organization (WHO), destined for Delhi, and coordinated by the IHC in Dubai.
Giuseppe Saba, CEO of International Humanitarian City, said: “His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid built the International Humanitarian City (IHC), so Dubai, in coordination with humanitarian agencies, would be able to assist communities and families, most in need – around the world. The creation of the humanitarian airbridge between Dubai and India, facilitated by Emirates SkyCargo, Dubai’s International Humanitarian City and UN agencies, to transport urgent medical and relief items, is another example of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision for the IHC, being brought to life. Last year over 1,292 shipments were dispatched from the IHC in Dubai, setting the standard for humanitarian response globally. We appreciate the great efforts by IHC’s partner Emirates SkyCargo establishing this humanitarian airbridge between Dubai and India in this time of need”.
The freight division of Emirates has a close partnership with IHC, developed over several years of delivering relief materials to communities across the world impacted by natural disasters and other crises. IHC will support Emirates SkyCargo in channelling relief efforts to India through the airbridge.
Following the Port of Beirut blasts in August 2020, Emirates also leveraged its expertise in humanitarian logistics to set up an airbridge to Lebanon to assist with relief efforts.
Emirates has led the aviation and air cargo industry in its efforts to help markets around the world combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The air cargo carrier has helped transport thousands of tonnes of urgently required PPE and other medical supplies across six continents over the last year by rapidly adapting its business model and introducing additional cargo capacity through its modified mini freighters with seats removed from Economy Class on Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft along with loading cargo on seats and in overhead bins inside passenger aircraft to transport urgently required materials.
In addition, Emirates SkyCargo has partnered with UNICEF and other entities in Dubai through the Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance, to transport COVID-19 vaccines rapidly to developing nations through Dubai. So far, close to 60 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been transported on Emirates’ flights, equating to nearly 1 in 20 of all COVID-19 vaccine doses administered around the world.
Through its scheduled cargo flights to close to 140 destinations across six continents, Emirates helps maintain unbroken supply chains for vital commodities such as medical supplies and food.
The Emirates story started in 1985 when we launched operations with just two aircraft. Today, we fly the world’s biggest fleets of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s, offering our customers the comforts of the latest and most efficient wide-body aircraft in the skies.
We inspire travelers around the world with our growing network of worldwide destinations, industry leading inflight entertainment, regionally inspired cuisine, and world-class service.
KANSANSHI MINE MANAGEMENT IMPLORES WORKERS TO GET COVID-19 VACCINATION
May 6, 2021 | 0 Comments
SOLWEZI, ZAMBIA – Kansanshi Mining Assistant General Manager John Gladston has appealed to employees to accept the COVID-19 vaccination when offered. Mr Gladston encouraged employees at Kansanshi Mine to be ready for the vaccine, which would likely be available to them in the coming weeks.
Speaking during the World Day for Safety and Health at Work at Kansanshi Safety Centre, Mr Gladston encouraged all employees, when offered, to volunteer to receive the vaccination against COVID-19 and to follow the science on its efficacy.
“When the time comes please volunteer yourselves to receive the vaccine to afford protection against the effects of COVID-19; if you are in any doubt please follow the science rather than social media in your decision making” said Mr Gladston.
He said getting vaccinated against COVID-19 was proven to provide high levels of protection and drastically reduce the chances of hospitalisation due to the virus, especially amongst ‘at risk’ groups. This was especially true of the Jenner Institute/Oxford Vaccine Group vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca which is already being administered in Zambia.
He said the Kansanshi Mine Hospital, in partnership with the Zambia Ministry of Health, anticipated the roll-out of the vaccine in the coming weeks. In line with Ministry of Health protocols, health and essential workers would be vaccinated first followed by vulnerable and at risk groups.
“Along with clean water and safe sewerage, vaccinations remain one of the fundamentals of public health,” Mr Gladston advised employees.
Mr Gladston was delighted with the company’s Occupational Health and Safety Department and the diligence with which it has approached the pandemic; at the time of writing Kansanshi Mine had seen no new Covid-19 cases in the previous week.
The low transmission of the virus was due to strong measures put in place to mitigate the spread of the virus by the occupational health and safety department.
And Kansanshi Mining Safety Manager Teza Kasengele stressed the importance of this year’s theme for the World Day for Safety and Health at Work: Anticipate, Prepare and Respond.
Mr Kasengele commended employees in the Safety Department for being actively engaged in promoting occupational health and safety at Kansanshi Mine.
“I am happy to note that as safety practitioners, you have been very active in spearheading many activities in response to COVID-19 such as enforcing social distancing by marking floors, installing hand sanitizer dispensers in common areas and ensuring face masks are worn by everyone accessing the mine site,” said Mr Kasengele.
Mr Kasengele added that the screening process at the point of entry to the mine has been heightened to ensure that only employees who are fit for work are allowed to access the mine site, and that goes a long way in preventing occupational accidents and the spread of diseases that have potential to affect the operation of the mine.
He assured the safety practitioners that they have support from management in all they do and this was the reason why managers from various departments of the company left their busy schedules and joined the safety practitioners in celebrating the World Day for Safety and Health.
ZAMBIAN BREWERIES RECOGNISED FOR ROLE IN BUILDING GREEN COMMUNITIES
May 4, 2021 | 0 Comments
LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – The Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) has awarded Zambian Breweries with the ZAM Sustainability Award for its leading role in environmental protection and building green communities through its Manja Pamodzi recycling initiative.
Manja Pamodzi is a recycling initiative introduced, by Zambian Breweries, in 2016 in partnership with Lusaka City Council and the Zambia Environmental Management Agency to help rid local townships of packaging waste and improve hygiene and sanitation.
Since its inception, the programme has played a critical role in not only revitalising township streets but also creating a new breed of entrepreneurs in local communities who earn a living by collecting waste and selling it to recyclers.
When receiving the award, Zambian Breweries Better World Manager Elaine Kafwimbi said the ZAM award incentivised manufacturers to do more to protect the environment adding that a large amount of urban waste comprised of packaging material.
She said that: “Environmental protection is everyone’s responsibility. We only have one planet hence we must do all we can to ensure we preserve its natural ecosystems.”
“At Zambian Breweries, our responsibility for our products goes far beyond the last sip. Through Manja Pamodzi, we are changing lives and saving the environment by recycling various recyclable waste materials.”
“Manja Pamodzi also holds sensitisation workshops to educate consumers on the importance of recycling and proper waste disposal to help build a responsible and environmentally conscious society – in line with our ethos “bringing people together for a better world,” she said.
Statistics show that only 26 percent of the estimated 900 tons of waste generated daily in Lusaka is collected by formal services with some 34 percent of that waste being recyclable.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, ZAM Sustainability Board Committee Chairperson Ms. Bridget Kambobe said: “On behalf of Zambia Association of Manufactures we are awarding a very phenomenal practical project that has demonstrated that it is possible to create a model that not only creates employment while cleaning the environment but also contributes to the social economic development of our country. We want to congratulate Zambian Breweries for playing a leading role in this recycling project.”
Over the last five years, more than 800 collectors – 500 of whom are women – have supported their livelihoods through this programme.
And by close of 2020, over 12,000 tons of recyclable waste had been collected from 11 aggregator sites around Lusaka.
About AB InBev in Zambia
Zambian Breweries Plc is part of Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the largest brewer in the world, with more than 400 beer brands and some 200,000 employees in over 50 countries. It is also one of the world’s largest bottlers of soft drinks.
Zambian Breweries was established in Zambia in 1968 and its product range has grown to include clear beers such as Mosi Lager, Castle, Carling Black Label, Eagle beer, Stella Artois and Budweiser.
Strong Sustainability Performance sees Perseus Mining deliver US$385 million to Ivorian and Ghanaian Economies in 2020
May 4, 2021 | 0 Comments
|As part of its longstanding commitment to the communities in which it operates, Perseus reported increasing community investment by 71% to around US$1.9M in CY20|
Perseus Mining Limited has released its CY20 Sustainable Development Report. The report details the company’s progress over the past 12 months in delivering on its commitment to responsible mining operations in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, including an overall economic benefit to host countries totalling about USD$385M.
As part of its longstanding commitment to the communities in which it operates, Perseus reported increasing community investment by 71% to around US$1.9M in CY20, funding critical health and education infrastructure projects for local communities. Additionally, Perseus announced it had increased its proportion of local procurement from 66% in CY19 to 78% in CY20, totalling US$287M, and further expanded its employment of local populations, with 96% of its current workforce local to Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
Jeff Quartermaine, Managing Director & CEO of Perseus said:
“Sustainability is deeply rooted in Perseus’s culture and operations and has had a large part to play in our resilience during this challenging year. We believe that responsible gold mining can play a key role in sustainable development, and that investing in our employees and our communities to create enduring social value will remain a guiding force in our growth path and future business operations. I am proud of my team’s effective response to the pandemic which successfully safeguarded our operations as well as our people, enabling us to deliver our Yaouré mine in Côte d’Ivoire this year ahead of schedule. Our approach to sustainability has continued to mature as our business has grown, and in the coming years we look forward to expanding our ESG offering and delivering greater impact across Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.”
Jessica Volich, Group Sustainability Manager at Perseus said:
“Despite the challenges the past year has brought, Perseus’s sustainability agenda has continued to strengthen and evolve alongside its expanding operations. Our wide-ranging efforts and engagement with our local communities and host governments has enabled us to create shared sustainable value for all our stakeholders. We are committed to strengthening these relationships in the coming years as we endeavour to generate socio-economic value for our people, communities and host countries.”
In CY20, Perseus has enhanced its disclosure on sustainability-related risks and opportunities by aligning with the key reporting frameworks used by our stakeholders. These include the World Gold Council Responsible Gold Mining Principles, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
Highlights of the report include:
Economic and Social Contribution
- Total economic contribution of US$385M in CY20 to Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire
- Increased community investment by 71% (from CY19) to around US$1.9M in CY20, funding critical health and education infrastructure projects for local communities and providing COVID-19 support
- Creation of new health clinics near Sissingué to improve health outcomes for the ~27,000 residents of the local communities
- Increased in-country employment, with over 96% of total employees from host countries
- Local procurement spend of $287M, an increase from 66% in CY19 to 78% in CY20
- Held 587 consultations with local communities
- Paid >US$69M in taxes, royalties, and duties to Government
Health & Safety performance:
- Maintained record of zero workplace fatalities and reduced injuries
- Implementation of comprehensive measures and protocols to prevent introduction and spread of COVID-19 and maintain business continuity
- Re-use of 12,495,163 KL of water
- Water intensity of 7.46M3/oz gold produced, benchmarked ahead of peers
- Enhanced tailings disclosures in line with the Investor Mining and Tailings Safety Initiative, and completed independent audits of all our Tailings Storage Facilities (TSFs)
- Worked with independent sustainability risk experts, KPMG, to refresh sustainability materiality analysis and conduct deeper analysis of sustainability risks and opportunities, and start development of a 3-year sustainability roadmap
- Announced appointment of a new Director by the end of FY21 to enhance sustainability skills of the Board
- Release of the first Modern Slavery Statement to address potential human rights risks in Perseus’ global supply chain
- Establish a 3-year sustainability roadmap, and enhance social value and sustainability risk management through updates to the Risk Management Framework and policy standards
- Establish the Yaouré Community Development Fund in FY21
- During FY21 and FY22, Perseus will complete and commence implementation of our biodiversity plan at Yaouré in Côte d’Ivoire mine site in and establish our site nursery, to be staffed by local community members
- Explore strategic opportunities for community partnerships in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana
- Achieve full alignment with the World Gold Council Responsible Gold Mining Principles by FY23
- About Perseus Mining:
- Perseus Mining Limited is a rapidly growing African gold producer, developer and explorer, operating three mines in West Africa with the aim of annual production of 500,000 ounces by 2022. Perseus’s first mine, the Edikan Gold Mine in Ghana, has produced around 1.8million ounces of gold since 2011 and based on current ore reserves, the company expects to recover a further 1.2 million ounces. Perseus became a multi-mine, multi-jurisdiction gold producer in January 2018 when it opened the Sissingué Gold Mine in Côte d’Ivoire and has since completed its third mine and begun commercial operations at its third mine – Yaouré – located in central Côte d’Ivoire.
- *SOURCE Perseus Mining Ltd.
How can Mauritius take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)?
May 4, 2021 | 0 Comments
|The AfCFTA offers an opportunity for Mauritius to promote good governance both globally and across Africa|
By Chido Pamela Mafongoya & Veedushi Mooloo*
Mauritius, being strategically located between Asia and Africa, praise itself as having one of the continent’s most stable regulatory environment. The Mauritius Financial Centre has built a reputation as a safe, trusted and competitive financial center, which has enabled it to position itself as the preferred jurisdiction for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) flows to the continent, since the country can serve both the Francophone and Anglophone Africa.
Mauritius and the other Africa countries are long known for the ties they share, both politically and economically. Mauritius ranks first in Africa has also made its way to Africa by being a member to two of the continent’s most important trade blocs, namely the Southern African Development Community SADC, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). Through these memberships, many foreign entrepreneurs have set up their businesses in Mauritius to gain from the trade advantages offered.
Apart from SADC and COMESA, Mauritius is now part of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA). Launched on 1 January 2021, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is an exciting game changer for African trade. Currently, Africa accounts for only 2% of global trade and only 17% of African exports are intra-continental, compared with 59% for Asia and 68% for Europe.
The AfCFTA is the world’s largest free trade area in terms of the number of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organization with all African countries being signatories except for Eritrea. The main purpose of the agreement is for members to remove tariffs from 90% of goods, allowing free access to commodities, goods, and services across the continent. The general objectives of AfCFTA can be summarized as follows, to:
- Create a single market, deepening the economic integration of the continent.
- Establish a liberalized market through multiple rounds of negotiations.
- Aid the movement of capital and people, facilitating investment.
- Move towards the establishment of a future continental customs union.
- Achieve sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development, gender equality and structural transformations within member states.
- Enhance competitiveness of member states within Africa and in the global market.
- Encourage industrial development through diversification and regional value chain development, agricultural development, and food security.
Mauritius has over the years been an offshore gateway to Africa. It has long been an advocate for developing economic bridges between itself and other African states, leveraging its position as Africa’s best place to conduct business as recognized by The World Bank. Through its Global Business sector, Mauritius has firmly established and promoted itself as a regional hub for facilitating investments on the continent. It is thus undeniable that AfCFTA will add further to the attractiveness of Africa as a place to do business. The AfCFTA provides a platform for Mauritius to contribute significantly to the new African impetus by making available to investors and businessmen an ecosystem that not only makes it easier for them to do business with Africa, but also enhances and safeguards their investments.
The AfCFTA also gives Mauritius market access estimated to be as large as 1.3 billion people across Africa, with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $3.4 trillion which covers most service sectors, including financial services, telecommunications, ICT, professional services, construction, and health. The AfCFTA will eventually reach zero tariffs on most of traded items, boasting trade outside of its boarders.
The Mauritian economy is a mixed developing economy based on agriculture, exports, financial services, and tourism. Since the 1980s, the government of Mauritius has sought to diversify the country’s economy beyond its dependence on just agriculture, particularly sugar production. In 2018, Mauritius Intra-Africa exports accounted for 23% of Mauritius’ total exports and imports for 13% of total imports. Mauritius mainly exports textiles to the rest of Africa. Of the top 10 intra-Africa export products five products are items of clothing or fabric accounting for 30% of Mauritius’ intra-Africa exports for 2018. The AfCFTA will provide the country access to an African textile market worth billions of dollars such that the country will be poised to become a major supplier of textile in the African market. The recent 2020 – 2021 budget of the government has announced one measure that can boost Mauritian exports from the already existing supply capacity to the region. The plan to set up Mauritius Export Warehouse in Tanzania and Mozambique will definitely support a number of Domestic Oriented Industry. Some are already gearing for Tanzania which is a more immediately obvious market than Mozambique. Mauritius has good potential to export a range of services in the context of the priority services lines set by the AfCFTA, namely Business services, Financial Services, Tourism and travel.
Mauritius mainly imports manufactured goods, petroleum products, cars, packaged medicaments from China, India and South Africa. The AfCFTA calls for a reduction in tariff in intra- Africa which means there will be a lower expenditure on importation of the above-mentioned goods from South Africa. As a result, there will be a reduction in the prices, reducing the country’s negative balance of trade.
The movement of goods and services amongst African countries will create employment opportunities for citizens in Mauritius. It will provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs to work together in a liberalized trade environment. Further, the AfCFTA will strengthen the existing commitment of deepening regional trade integration initiatives under regional bodies such as the African Union, COMESA and SADC. The geographical diversification brought about by the AfCFTA is likely to open up new markets for Mauritius thus boasting its economy.
The AfCFTA offers an opportunity for Mauritius to promote good governance both globally and across Africa, through the concept of “Trade Integrity” which is defined as international trade transactions that are legitimate, transparent and properly priced as a way to ensure the legitimacy the global trading system. Trade Integrity will provide investors with more confidence to increase their investments in the country.
The AfCFTA will also assist to alleviate some of effects brought about as a result of the COVID-19. The African Development Bank Group’s African Economic Outlook (AEO) 2020 Supplement estimates that Africa could suffer GDP losses in 2020 between $145.5 billion (baseline) and $189.7 billion (worst case), from the pre-COVID–19 GDP estimates. Further, trade in medical supplies and food has been disrupted. It is being fully recognized across the continent that AfCFTA presents a short-term opportunity for countries to “build back better” and cushion the effects of the pandemic. In the longer-term, the impact will increase the continent’s resilience to future shocks.
In conclusion diversifying exports, accelerating growth in its trade, competitively integrating into the global economy, increasing foreign direct investment, increasing employment opportunities and incomes, and broadening economic inclusion are just a few of the positive economic outcomes AfCFTA can bring to Mauritius. Mauritius having undergone a remarkable economic transformation from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a diversified, upper-middle-income country that has attracted considerable foreign investment should ensure that it fully takes advantage of the opportunities offered by the AfCFTA.
*SOURCE Centurion Law Group. Authors Chido Pamela Mafongoya & Veedushi Mooloo, Centurion Law Group
Ivory Coast First Lady Ropes in Artists in Fight against Child Labour
May 4, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Prince Kurupati
Ivory Coast First Lady Dominique Ouattara is intensifying her fight against child labour in the country. Recently, the First Lady roped in various artists in the country to help her amplify the message on the fight against child labour in all corners of the country. The First Lady took the occasion of the launch of the 5th edition of the Wara Tour to welcome all artists that will help in propagating the message on the fight against child labour.
Speaking at the launch of the 5th edition of the Wara Tour where she assumed the role of ‘godmother’ of the tour, Dominique Ouattara first took time in thanking all the artists who graced the occasion and accepted the call to become ambassadors on the fight against child labour. “I cannot quote you all because, to my great joy, you are very numerous at this ceremony. But know that I have for each of you a great affection and I thank you for your presence,” she said.
In her address, the First Lady of Ivory Coast said that for a long time, she has worked hard for the well-being of vulnerable women and children. She said that her work with Children of Africa Foundation starting all the way back in 1998 is a testament of her determination to raise the well-being of all the vulnerable groups in society. As such, the call to become the godmother of the 5th edition of the Wara Tour Caravan is something she did not think about twice as it aligns with her vision to free the country from all instances of child labour. She went on to state that her ascension to become the godmother of the Tour could not have come at a better time as the theme of the 5th edition – NO TO CHILD LABOUR IN COCA FARMING – resonates with her “personal commitment against child labour”.
The First Lady said that her involvement with organizations fighting child labour including with the National Monitoring Committee has managed to bear some success with regards to uplifting the lives of women and children. However, some of their efforts have been derailed by external parameters which include illegal immigration, the fight against poverty and the income of the planters. It is these external parameters that the First Lady is looking to address and curtail as a way of paving the way for the total elimination of all forms of child labour.
Dominique Ouattara acknowledged that the fight against child labour is something that cannot be done by one man or one organization but it’s something that needs collective support from everyone if the desired end game is to be achieved. “Child labour in general is a problem that concerns us all and against which we can act, each at his level,” she said.
In her concluding remarks, the First Lady praised and thanked the founder of the Wara Tour citizens initiative Abou Nidal stating, “I would like to thank you for your commitment to our children through your various awareness caravans. This year, you have decided to say no to child labour in coca farming. I would like to congratulate you and all the artists who accompanied you for this citizens’ initiative that honours your corporation.”
To ensure that the Wara Tour Caravan records success in achieving its objective in the fight against child labour in cocoa farming, the First Lady said she is “contributing 10 million CFA francs to help you (WARA TOUR Caravan) travel within the country.” She also offered a sum of “15 million CFA to all artists who came to participate in the training seminar on child labour.”
To all the artists who signed up to help in the fight against child labour, the First Lady’s parting message encouraged them to keep working for the betterment and upliftment of the communities, “You have the gift to make us dream, to transport us and to make us feel the most vivid emotions. You also have the power to educate us and awaken our consciousness through your art. Do not hesitate to take up this fight through your respective artistic works, in order to preserve our children against these harmful practices.”
Thompson Reuters ,Adapt IT Expand Relationship to Prioritise Technologal Agility in Sub-Saharan Africa
May 3, 2021 | 0 Comments
|Strategic collaboration will help region’s technology-enabled businesses accelerate digital transformation and operational efficiencies|
A newly expanded collaboration between Thomson Reuters , a leading provider of business information services, and Adapt IT , a reputed service provider of leading specialised software and digitally-led business solutions in Sub-Saharan Africa, will enable more businesses across the region gain competitive advantages through the technology solutions both provide.
With economic recovery and growth for the region forecast at 2.7% for 2021 according to the World Bank, the drive for digital transformation across business in multiple industry sectors is accelerating following a year of contraction driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. The combined capabilities of Thomson Reuters and Adapt IT ensure a broader range of technology implementations, increased operational efficiencies, and enhanced maintenance and service support for existing and new clients in markets across Sub-Saharan Africa.
“In the same way that our clients trust us to empower them with systems and technologies that can scale with their business, our collaboration with Adapt IT will enable us to increase the breadth and depth of our service footprint across this key region,” said Jackie Rhodes, managing director, Asia & Emerging Markets at Thomson Reuters. “The synergies we enjoy in terms of providing best-in-class solutions will benefit our respective clients, ensure a consistent level of quality engagement, and support and deliver a significantly stronger offering.”
Organisations currently leveraging legal, tax, global trade software, regulatory intelligence, and compliance solutions from Thomson Reuters will benefit from the new arrangement with Adapt IT, including access to their business advisory capabilities and established network.
Tiffany Dunsdon, chief commercial officer, Adapt IT, said: “Our alliance with Thomson Reuters means more clients can access more world class technology solutions backed up by local expertise and the deep sector knowledge Adapt IT offers. We’re delighted to be working together to help corporations achieve greater success in an increasingly complex business environment.”
Thomson Reuters is a leading provider of business information services. Our products include highly specialized information-enabled software and tools for legal, tax, accounting and compliance professionals combined with the world’s most global news service
Adapt IT is a provider of leading specialised software and digitally-led business solutions that assist clients across the targeted industries to Achieve more by improving their Customer Experience, Core
Business Operations, Business Administration, Enterprise Resource Planning and Public Service Delivery. Adapt IT is a Level 1 B-BBEE contributor.
Zimbabwe Farmers Gets New Lease of Life, President Emmerson Mnangagwa Launches AFC Holdings Formerly Agri-Bank.
May 1, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Nevson Mpofu
Zimbabwe’s communal and large scale farmers got a slice of shared confidence with the launch of Agricultural Finance Company Holdings. This was formerly Agri-Bank. Speaking in Harare on Friday, 30 April before mid-day President Mnangagwa pinched confidence in farmers highlighting that AFC is premised on playing a strategic and pivotal role within the Agricultural Industry.
‘’ AFC is premised on playing a strategic and pivotal role within the Agricultural Industry. This will go a long way in helping communal and large scale farmers in overcoming farming challenges. AFC is comprised of four  subsidiaries namely AFC Commercial Bank, AFC Insurance, AFC Land and Development Bank and AFC Leasing Company’’.
‘’This makes it easy for farmers to access funding and other services for production meant to support growth of the economy. At the same time let us see the growing up of communal farmers into large scale farmers well financially empowered by AFC. The Agricultural Industry must grow as well in support of our economy’’.
Minister of Finance and Economic Development Minister, Muthuli Ncube points it out that restructuring of AGRI-BANK into AFC was achieved through hard work and it was a long journey taken by the Government of Zimbabwe to make farmers get farming funding without challenges.
He adds that $700 million was injected by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in-order to support Agriculture. Zimbabwe as an Agric economy keeps on pushing to bring the Agricultural sector to traditional functioning that brought it to become a bread basket in the SADC Region in the early 8os when it was responsible for food security when it was SADCC (Southern Africa Development Co-ordination Conference formed by a few countries in Zambia Lusaka in 1980 .
Experts commenting on this destructuralization sees President Mnangagwa moving towards the 2030 vision of the country to become a middle income economy. Secondly the focus on NDS1, National Development Strategy 1 buttresses the optimized growth of the economy. Thirdly to have a bank that aligns the land reform program in the country. This is expected to meet demands of all farmers.
Taking a hide of a swipe , an anonymous expert , an Economist points out that the coming in of AFC is just a renovation on a tattered , old , dilapidating building that other-wise needs to be destroyed first , then build anew . He reiterates,
‘It’s a brilliant idea but the challenge is just one, where do they get funding for all the farmers, the communal and large scale farmers. This is not a move for the first time, history repeats itself’, he notes briefly .
MINE SAFETY KEY TO HIGHER COPPER PRODUCTION, SAYS FQM
April 30, 2021 | 0 Comments
Comprehensive skills development can help boost workforce productivity while minimising accidents.
LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – Strong safety guidelines and training at mines across the country must be implemented with the seriousness they deserve to avoid workplace accidents, says First Quantum Minerals Government Relations Specialist Dr Godwin Beene.
Speaking ahead of World Day for Safety and Health at Work on April 28, the industry leader noted that poor safety standards were not only a leading cause of serious injuries but also threatened the industry and the wider economy by depressing productivity.
“A company’s productivity boils down to its human capital’s efficiency and proficiency,” said Dr Beene. “A healthy and skilled workforce is one of the most important aspects of a business’ success, which in turn feeds into national economic growth. For a copper-dependent country like Zambia, poor mine safety has the potential to derail the country’s development objectives as injuries impact negatively on productivity while fatalities rob the country of its resource and altogether, hamper production of the country’s largest export commodity.”
Dr Beene explained: “As a company that prides itself on fostering community health and contributing positively to Zambia’s economic growth, FQM has made safety its biggest priority.”
The company has put in place a comprehensive skills development programme that is helping to improve operations and boost productivity at its Kansanshi Mine in Solwezi and Sentinel Mine at Kalumbila. Under this initiative, more than 5,000 employees, including management and contractors, have been trained in first aid at different levels, for example.
As a result of its robust safety interventions enshrined in its operational motto ‘No job is so important that it cannot be done safely’ FQM remains above the Zambia Chamber of Mines’ first aid standards, which stipulate that one miner for every five working on a project must be a qualified first aider.
The company continuously strives to provide a safe and healthy work environment for its employees and contractors by making in depth knowledge and application of all relevant laws and regulations.
FQM has put in place a training management system that monitors safety compliance and training requirements to ensure all personnel at the mine comply with the competency requirements of their respective jobs. Under its ‘THINK’ approach to safety, employees endeavor to Think safety by Taking the time to Highlight a hazard, Identify what could possibly go wrong leading to an accident, and then without fail, take the Necessary (safety) action(s) and Keep safe.
World Day for Safety and Health at Work is championed by the United Nations’ International Labour Organization (ILO) to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases. This year’s theme is “Anticipate, prepare and respond to crises – Invest Now in Resilient Occupational Safety and Health Systems”.
About First Quantum Minerals LtdFirst Quantum Minerals Ltd is a global metals and mining company producing mainly copper, gold and zinc. The company’s assets are in Zambia, Spain, Mauritania, Australia, Finland, Turkey, Panama, Argentina and Peru.
In 2020, First Quantum globally produced 779,000 tonnes of copper, 265,000 ounces of gold and 13,000 tonnes of nickel.
In Zambia it operates the Kansanshi mine – the largest copper mine in Africa by production – and smelter and the Sentinel mine in Kalumbila.
Africa’s recovery pathway offers enormous opportunities, African Development Bank head says at EU-Africa Green Investment Forum
April 27, 2021 | 0 Comments
Sounding a note of optimism at the European Union-Africa Green Investment Forum on Friday, African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina reminded global audiences of the continent’s vast opportunities for green growth.
“Africa is a huge market offering incredible opportunities. The recovery pathway offers enormous opportunities. Recovery must be green and build climate resilience. Recovery must boost green investments,” Adesina said in a keynote address.
The hybrid forum was convened by Portugal and the European Investment Bank to mobilize private and public capital towards the green transition in Africa. The high-level event brought together leading government and business figures, international and development financial institutions, civil society and academia.
Adesina identified energy, agriculture and infrastructure as key areas of investment potential for a post-Covid-19 recovery in Africa. With abundant solar, wind, hydro and geothermal energy resources, Africa’s energy transition alone presents a $100 billion per year investment opportunity, he said. Agriculture potentially offers massive investments in climate-smart crops to build more resilient food systems. And climate-resilient infrastructure offers investment potential of between $130 billion and $170 billion, Adesina said in a video address.
Speakers emphasized the need to build back greener collectively. Several congratulated the United States, after President Joe Biden on Thursday committed to cut carbon emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by the year 2030.
“We need to bring everyone on board,” African Union Commissioner Josefa Sako said. She called for a just transition that recognized the historical responsibility of the developed world for climate change. She warned that measures taken should not push vulnerable populations into greater poverty.
European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer said the partnerships forged in addressing the Covid-19 crisis must now be applied to climate change. “Africa may be the continent that is most vulnerable to the immediate effects of climate change but it is responsible for some of the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per head. This is also the continent where mistakes made elsewhere can be avoided. Africa can invest in innovative technologies and make the right choices for a sustainable and inclusive future.”
In a recorded message during the opening session, António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, said the gathering was an opportunity to strengthen partnerships and boost investment in Africa for the benefit of all.
“I see agendas converging around financing a green transition and greater resilience. African countries are rapidly scaling up renewables, particularly solar and wind power,” Guterres said.
While climate change is a huge challenge for Africa, Adesina urged investors to seize on the opportunities it presents, which would be worth $3 trillion by 2030.
The African Development Bank is in the vanguard of investment in climate adaptation, he said, but over 70% of the financing needed will need to come from the private sector to complement public investments.
“The private sector, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, is critical in mitigating climate change and implementing adaptation methods. This calls for innovative approaches to attract and steer financial flows toward low carbon and climate resilient development,” Adesina said.
A greener Africa must also focus on the circular economy, in which waste can be recycled and turned into wealth. For example, a new plastic recycling plant in Ghana has already created 2,300 green jobs, while converting food waste into organic fertilisers will increase the circularity of the food systems, Adesina said.
Commending the European Commission’s External Investment Plan, Adesina said the Bank looked forward to building a strong partnership with the Commission to deliver more in the context of the new EU strategy with Africa.
“Africa is already green. Africa just needs to get greener. What is needed now is more euros to back Africa’s green growth. Think about the tremendous green investment opportunities available today and many more that will emerge into the future. Think differently, think Africa,” he said.