President Kiir and Machar report ‘important progress’ following meetings in Juba
September 14, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Beatrice Mategwa*
Also spotlighted was the need to incorporate the agreement into the country’s constitution
JUBA, South Sudan, September 12, 2019/ — The second day of talks between South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, and his former deputy, Riek Machar ended with both leaders reiterating their desire for peace as they promised to meet regularly in the lead up to the formation of a Transitional Government of National Unity, expected on 12 November 2019.
A handshake, a hug and other pleasantries exchanged upon Machar’s arrival, the leaders and their subordinates soon took their seats, but not before an invocation of spiritual intervention, complete with song and prayer.
“No matter the magnitude of the issues that we will face, it is incumbent upon us to do that which is well, which is right – that is to come together and reason,” said the chair of the South Sudan Council of Churches Bishop Alkangelo Wani Lemi, setting the mood of the day’s deliberations.
It was no surprise, in a country where religion seems to play a significant role.
In April this year, South Sudanese leaders visited Rome, where Pope Francis knelt to kiss their feet, and on Wednesday morning, there was an obvious recourse to that spirit.
“It is in reasoning, in dialoguing, and in sitting together and accepting one another, that we will put everything on the table and discuss for the good of the people whose hands have not forgiven its leaders,” continued Bishop Wani Lemi.
The mood set, the two leaders and their representatives went into a closed-door meeting, emerging hours later to briefly speak to the eagerly waiting members of the media.
“You have now seen how we are; we are progressing very well in our discussions,” said President Kiir, as journalists pricked up their ears, seeking to hear more.
For the opposition leader, there was a certain significance to being back home.
“Juba is home, and I have come back to Juba, even if I go away for some time,” said Dr. Machar. “IGAD (the regional intergovernmental bloc), will determine my status to be free to come and discuss more with you here, but we have made important progress,” he added, promising frequent meetings, particularly after a summit organized by IGAD.
Acknowledging the limited time to the deadline for the formation of a transitional government, the two leaders preferred to let their subordinates divulge the fleshy details of their meetings.
“It is a positive move and a commitment towards the stability of South Sudan,” said Tut Gatluak, President Kiir’s advisor on security affairs, who is also the chair of the National Pre-Transitional Committee.
“We also talked about [the] non-signatory parties. As you are all aware, we have parties led by Thomas Cirillo and Paul Malong, and there is need to bring them on board. Without them, this peace may have difficulties and that is why we must move as one people; as South Sudanese,” said Henry Odwar, the deputy chair of Machar’s political movement.
Apart from the need to fund the peace process, Odwar also reported that part of the discussions highlighted an urgent need to take peace messages to every part of South Sudan and the diaspora.
Also spotlighted, was the need to incorporate the agreement into the country’s constitution, the creation of a free political space, security laws, and the contentious issue concerning the number of states and their boundaries.
*Source United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)
Withdrawal of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame from the World Economic Forum in South Africa Last Week was an Honorable Act for Africa
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments
By James N. Kariuki
On Friday last week in one of South Africa’s national newspapers, The Citizen, Ralph Mathekga, usually insightful political analyst, was reported to have rebuked Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame for declining an invitation to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Cape Town.
The issue at hand related to African reaction to the on-going xenophobic attacks on non-South African nationals in SA. In Mathekga’s view, Kagame’s response to the attacks reflected ‘weak leadership’ and lack of ‘political maturity’ in Africa. In assessing the facts realistically, such a conclusion was not only unduly harsh; it was misleading, unjustified and disingenuous.
To begin with, besides Rwanda other African states had voiced grave reservations about attending the WEF under the prevailing circumstances in SA. These included Nigeria, Malawi, the DRC, Zambia and Tanzania. Kagame was hardly alone. More to the point, he had nothing to do with the causes, spread and execution of the xenophobic carnage and had virtually no influence over its perpetrators. After all, South Africa is a sovereign nation. The only avenue available to Kagame was indirect influence via the local South African authorities.
Yet, no utterances were forthcoming from the SA Government officialdom or the organizers of WEF that a plan was underway to stem or alleviate the impact of the savage and senseless attacks on innocent and defenseless fellow Africans. Obviously Kagame felt helpless and frustrated that the WEF seemed to be bent on proceeding as if nothing alarmingly critical was happening in its host country.
Mathekga’s reasoning would have been sound had it proposed that an urgent consultative meeting of African leaders be called by the SA government just before, or along the WEF, to discuss on emergency basis the crisis of the on-going Afrophobia-driven brutality. In the absence of the African Union in the WEF, the obligation to solicit such give-and-take views from other African leaders rested squarely on the shoulders of the host, President Cyril Ramaphosa. President Kagame was certainly not in a position to summon such a sub-meeting; he was a guest, not the man-in-charge. To repeat ourselves, South Africa is a young sovereign nation and is understandably ultra-sensitive to matters touching its jurisdiction.
By all indications, a give-and-take meeting of African leaders at, or parallel to the WEF, was not forthcoming. Conceivably, President Kagame felt that it would be a betrayal to his personal conscience and the people of Rwanda for him to sit among global leaders to discuss economic issues while innocent fellow Africans around them were being decimated with impunity. Meanwhile, the global leaders would be sitting at the majestic International Convention Center in Cape Town, securely protected by state security forces, possibly oblivious to the woes of the violence outside.
Viewed from this angle, President Kagame’s conscious and deliberate choice to formally exclude himself from Cape Town’s WEF was a carefully considered act of ultimate decency, political maturity, and diplomatic savvy. It was his way of protesting how victimized ‘foreigners’ in SA were being handled virtually indifferently by the country’s officialdom and to inform the victims of Afro-phobia that, “yes, we hear you and we do care. Indeed, you matter to us.”
Such a reaction is truly understandable coming from a leader who, in all likelihood, still encounters occasional sleepless nights, haunted by memories of man’s savagery to fellow man from the ghastly Rwanda Genocide which took place twenty five years ago and senselessly wiped out ten percent of his nation’s population.
It was indeed a misplaced judgment for Mathekga, otherwise a seasoned and compelling political analyst, to condemn President Kagame for finding it unacceptable to visualize himself sitting in an economic meeting while innocent people outside faced war conditions of life and death.
Seen in this context, President Kagame’s self-imposed ‘exclusion’ from WEF was indeed a dignified and decent diplomatic act to show that he, as a mature and committed African leader, drew the line in the sand to assert that what was happening in SA at that juncture was far from acceptable. To see this gesture any other way than honorable, verges on blaming the victim.
*James N. Kariuki is a Kenyan Professor of International Relations (Emeritus). He comments on public issues in various international publications.He runs the blog Global Africa
Rwanda Named Long-Term Home for African Green Revolution Forum
September 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Mohammed M. Mupenda
The African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) Partners Group has unanimously selected Rwanda to host AGRF 2020 and serve as the home country of the forum going forward.
In a statement released on this Friday, September 6, 2019, H.E Hailemariam Desalegn, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia who is currently serving as the Board Chair of AGRF Partners Group revealed that Rwanda’s successful hosting of AGRF 2018 was one of the triggers of the decision.
“Rwanda’s hosting of AGRF 2018 featured the largest attendance on record and the leadership of H.E. President Paul Kagame, both in presiding over that historic gathering and in his broader commitment to the transformational power of agriculture has set a model for all to follow,” he said.
“We are honored to be the home country for AGRF and are committed to working closely and collaboratively with our may partners across Africa and around the world to ensure the continued growth and influence of AGRF as the voice of Africa’s smallholder farmers and agriculture businesses,” Said Hon. Geraldine Mukeshimana, Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources.
“The move will add the Republic of Rwanda to the AGRF partners Group to help shape and drive the AGRF’s long term vision, deepen relationships with service providers to streamline organizational logistics, and unlock partnerships with several new institutions looking to grow with the forum,” reads the statement.
The AGRF underpins its partners noted that Rwanda’s pact as its home country “will increase accountability and commitment of the continent’s leaders to use the forum as the focal point for delivering on the goals laid out by African Heads of State and Government in the African Union’s Malabo Declaration, United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Africa Agenda 2063.”
AGRF is established as the platform for leaders from across Africa and around the world to advance concrete plans and share knowledge to tap enormous potential agriculture to drive equitable and sustainable growth across the continent. It has taken place in eight different countries over the last ten years.
The AGRF Group is made up of a coalition of 21 actors in the African agriculture sector. Among them include the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank, the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
Washington Braces Up for Mega Forum on Making African Trade Easy
September 7, 2019 | 0 Comments
-Q& A with Angelle Kwemo on Mate 2019
By Ajong Mbapndah L
Trade, the African Continental Free Trade Area, Prosper Africa initiative, business networks and more will be in focus during the upcoming Making African Trade Easy Forum organized by Believe in Africa Foundation. Considering that this is the 5th anniversary of Believe in Africa, we decided to do something different, says Founder and CEO Angelle Kwemo in a preview of the forum with Pan African Visions.
“We are strongly mobilizing the African diaspora, African, and American firms to explore partnership opportunities,” says Angelle Kwemo. Also expected at the event are several African leaders and close to 200 participants from Africa.
With experience working in diverse legislative and policy circles in the US, and Africa, Angelle Kwemo believes that MATE 2019 which runs from October 3-4 will provide a unique platform for delegates to understand and explore the myriad of business opportunities in the light of recent developments in both Africa and the USA.
You are Founder and Chair of Believe in Africa, could you start by introducing the organization for us and what it does?
Believe in Africa is a non profit organization created by African diaspora leaders to promote African solutions to African problems, advocate for increasing the role of the African private sector into the continent’s economic transformation, promoting intra African trade, and last but not the least promoting investment in women, and youth. What we do is organize meetings, seminars, and create platforms to facilitate partnerships.
The organization is hosting the Making Africa Trade Easy Fair in Washington, DC, can you shed light on this?
This year is our fifth-year anniversary. We decided to do something special in Washington DC where the organization was born. Three important policies changes happen this year that coincided with our mission and will be at the center of MATE. Private sector, Finance and intra African trade.
- Prosper Africa initiative announced by the current administration is perfectly in line with our vision to put the African private sector at the center of the continent’s economic growth as well as at the center of US Africa cooperation. We strongly believe that Africa should gradually get out of the “Aid dependency”. This can only happen if Africa attains its economic independence. That independence will begin when the African private sector will be strong and prosperous. Also, with Africa’s population growth exceeding the billion, Job creation is an emergency. Those jobs will not come from the public sector, nor from the humanitarian programs. Therefore, it is imperative that the governments, Africans, and partners like the US, MUST create the enabling environment for the African private sector to prosper. This also applies on US foreign policies. I believe this is what Prosper Africa intends to do. Support the private sector to double US Africa two ways trade.
- International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), will open soon. Created by the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILT Act) with 60 billion USD appropriated (double of OPIC), it is one of the biggest changes in U.S. development policy in recent years. The DFC will combine the Overseas Private Investment Corporation(OPIC) and the S. Agency for International Development’s Development Credit Authority, add new development finance capabilities, including equity authority, and have a higher lending limit than its predecessor. It is aimed at advancing private-sector-led development and will prioritize low-income and low-middle income countries, where the DFC’s services will have the greatest impact.
- This July the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) became effective, creating the world’s largest single market, including the world’s fastest growth economies. It is historical and creating the biggest opportunity of our lifetime. By 2030, Africa will have a combined consumer and business spending of $6.7 trillion in 2030. We should all play a role in making the continental market successful.
It is for these three reasons that as the African diaspora in the U.S., we decided to use our networks to help in promoting these policies with the concept of MATE.
MATE is a collaborative effort between us, USAID, and the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center to promote Prosper Africa, and African Economic integration in order to strengthen U.S. – Africa trade relations and double two ways trade between both continents using the bridge created by the African diaspora.
Any projections on the level of participation from companies and businesses, and what will represent a successful MATE forum for you?
We are strongly mobilizing the African diaspora, African and American firms to explore partnership opportunities. As you know, the African diaspora is historically, culturally, and emotionally connected with the continent. Their proximity with the continent has been unutilized until today. They are the most effective US ambassadors to the continent. They abide by the American standards and have good understanding of both continent’s ways of doing business. With MATE, we want to equip them with tools that they need to trade and invest more in Africa. In doing so, they are not only contributing to the development of the continent, but they also promoting American products and services, and creating badly needed jobs in both continents.
That is why we are also bringing together U.S. agencies under Prosper Africa hospice, African leaders from both the public and private sectors to discuss and explore partnership opportunities.
How will the program of events look like, what should participants expect?
The MATE program will comprise plenary sessions, workout sessions, seminars and roundtables. We will discus investment opportunities in various sectors like Technology and digital, AfCFTA, healthcare, agribusiness, textile and fashion, power.
Participants will get more insights or learn about resources available in the U.S through “Prosper Africa”, meet potential partners and investors. We will hold exhibitions, and create platforms for B2B and B2C.
Also, we are planning a special session on Women in Agriculture to coincide with our annual “AWAA” meeting. African Women in Agriculture and Arts (AWAA)” is a platform dedicated to empowering women in agriculture, especially in rural areas, enabling them to become self-reliant, productive and competitive. AWAA network was launched last year in Morocco under the hospice of H.E. Aissata Issoufou Mahamadou. We will bring women leaders from Africa to Washington to showcase their products and explore the U.S. market.
May we know some of the dignitaries who have confirmed participation at the event?
On the African side, we will have two heads of States in attendance H.E. Roch Kabore, President of Burkina Faso, H.E. Felix Tsisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahama, Chair AU Commission, H.E. Albert M. Muchanga, AU Commissioner of Trade and Industry, H.E. Lesego Makgothi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations of Lesotho, Chantal Yelu Mulop, SA President of Congo on youth and violence against Women, high level representation of Afrexim Bank, Niger, Lesotho, Guinea, Mauritious, Rwanda, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, and Senegal.
We will host Africa’s biggest women advocate like H.E. Adjoavi Sika Kaboré, First Lady of Burkina Faso, H.E. Aisha Buhari, and First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and H.E. Aissata Mahamadou, First lady of Niger.
On the U.S.G side, we will have, Hon. Tibor Nagy, Assistant Secretary on Africa, Hon. Ramsey Day, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for Africa, USAID, Hon. Constance Hamilton, AUSTR for Africa, Hon. Oren Wyche-Shaw, Deputy Assistant Administrator, USAID, Matthew Rees, Prosper Africa Coordinator, Tom Hardy, Acting Director, U.S. Trade and Development Agency, CD Glin, President & CEO, US Africa Development Foundation, Hon Alicia Robinson-Morgan, Director for Africa, Millenium Challenge Corporation, and Worku Gachou, Director for Africa, International Development Finance Corporation.
In the private sectors, we have more than 200 companies including large ones
like OCP, MTN, Standard Charted Bank and many more for more than 20 countries.
How much participation do you expect to come from Africa?
We are expecting around 200 participants from Africa. I must be honest to say that the most recent developments in U.S. immigrations and visa policies have been counterproductive because it is difficult to imagine doubling two ways trade when African partners are unable to visit the U.S. It is also part of our duties to raise awareness about obstacles to trade. American needs to make sure its policies and all agencies policies are not self destructive, and pushing Africa closer to China, Russia and other competitors.
What is your take on the overall strategy of the Trump administration towards Africa, what has changed in the sphere of development and trade?
I want to remain objective and nonpartisan as African policies have always been in the past. On the trade front, I think the administration has good intentions: help Africa become less dependent on aid. If you run a poll in Africa on this subject, the majority of Africans will agree. The question now is how? I think it will start with a big mind shift that American will have to make. Africa has changed, and the new Africans are ready for business and they are open to explore different avenues. I think American firms should come to the realization that they are in a competitive field and learn to adjust accordingly. This is the most difficult part.
Lastly America needs to innovate in their foreign policy approach and use the cultural bridge that the African diaspora represents. I will not emphasize it enough. Diaspora entrepreneurs are also pragmatic. If they don’t find support in the U.S. they will find it somewhere else. It would be a waste.
As I said earlier, immigration policies send wrong signal to our African partners. How can you do business with someone who is not welcome in your country?
After MATE, what next for Believe in Africa, any other big projects or ventures in the horizon?
We will continue to build MATE and AWAA. I will give you more details in October 4, 2019. Big announcement are coming.
*Originally published by Pan African Visions, contact,firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel:12404292177
Nigeria: President Buhari sends delegation to register displeasure over xenophobic attacks in South Africa
September 3, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Teslim Olawore
President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a delegation to South Africa to register his “displeasure” over the killings of Nigerians in South Africa.
In a statement by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Buhari, Femi Adesina, the delegation will arrive South Africa on Thursday to find a resolution to the reported attacks.
Mr Adesina said Mr Buhari has “noted with deep concern, reported attacks on Nigerian citizens and property in South Africa since August 29, 2019.”
“Consequently, the President has instructed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, to summon the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria and get a brief on the situation; express Nigeria’s displeasure over the treatment of her citizens; and assurance of the safety of their lives and property.
“President Buhari has also despatched a Special Envoy to convey to President Cyril Ramaphosa his concerns and also interact with his South African counterpart on the situation.
“The Special Envoy is expected to arrive in Pretoria latest Thursday, September 5, 2019.”
The presidency did not name the special envoy.
Earlier, the Nigerian High Commission in South Africa said Mr Buhari would travel to South Africa next month over the attacks.
The high commission condemned the attacks and pledged to defend the interests of Nigerians in South Africa.
“All Nigerian victims of the current attacks are requested to come forward to report their situation to the high commission and the consulate,” Kabiru Bala, the high commissioner wrote in a statement.
Nigeria’s ruling party, APC, has also condemned the attacks which have been condemned by most Nigerians.
Zimbabwe: Hit and Hide, Mouse and Cat Relationship, ED Mnangagwa versus Tim Olkonnen
September 3, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Nevson Mpofu
Harare—Stealth tempers are flaring in Zimbabwean Politics between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and EU Ambassador Head of Delegation to Zimbabwe Tim Olkonnen . The EU Ambassador has over the past days encouraged President Mnangagwa to exercise Human Rights.
The Head of Delegation in Zimbabwe last week challenged the new Regime to prove it had moved away from the Robert Mugabe old days.
‘’We are witnessing these days several developments that put constitutionalism and the rule of Law in question. A number of abductions have been witnessed in the country. The new regime must move away from the past act of doing. Zimbabwe should show it genuinely it has made a break from the past.’’ Olkkonen was quoted by Journalists in Harare.
In evidence to show the flare of vented anger in a cat and mouse relationship, President Mnangagwa responded;
‘’The rule of Law Observance is not needed for the purpose of pleasing other countries. We need it because it is proper for ourselves’’.
Another wave of political acrimony has burst with the avail of the information from a source who spoke to Pan-African –Visions Journalist early this week. The gathered information is that the police is training soldiers in a bid to thwart any opposition head-way towards initiation of political violence.
Several Army personnel confirmed the clandestine trainings in the country. The only grip of fear is that they are not feeling comfortable if caught suspected to have divulged the information.
‘’The Army will work with the police in a new strategy that is harmless to the public. This is not for the first time. In January this year, Army helped police. Now its vice-verse.
‘’A number of Army officers have been trained. Actually, this is the Third Batch. The training is that they are trained to play the game smart and smooth. They are trained to manage large crowds without using guns or any military weapon. Thus why it is police training the military’’, he took a strong breath.
Asked to comment, an MDC official who gave a short comment said they are a number of demonstrations in planning with opposition. He pointed out that the opposition party is moving into ZANU PF strongholds.
‘’ Nevson , Just tell them and know we have a spate of planned demonstrations in our mind . We do it , we win it because people are suffering. We have plans as well to move around the country in towns and cities. I think these people are in panicky mode ‘’ he concludes.
The source from MDC denied any knowledge about military trainings by the police .
Known sources to the Pan-African Visions took it a hide and locked their phones after realisation that there were calls in question. A source from the Civil Society Elston Chitombo said that is the reason why military is being trained because the past aborted demonstrations left scars of anger in MDC. He also commented that the Government wanted to follow International standards of human rights observation.
‘’They are afraid of MDC. A number of demonstrations were expected but Central Intelligence and police kept awoke. The Government fears Western powers over abuse of human rights. They now want to act well.
‘’It seems and looks like there is nasty secret hit and hide between Mnangagwa and the EU and America. This is so because EU Head of Delegation to Zimbabwe called for Zimbabwe’s observation of Human Rights in the country. Lastly USA Ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols visited some victims of abduction and torture. One victim’s legs were broken by eight men who abducted him. This is a hit and hide relationship , Mnangagwa versa EU and USA’’, He concludes.
Time to Make Energy Work for Africa
September 2, 2019 | 0 Comments
It is past time that Africa’s natural resources benefited Africans
By Prince Arthur Eze*
It is long past time that we made energy work for Africa. It is past time that Africa’s natural resources benefited Africans; that every African had access to electricity; and that the wealth created by oil and gas would lead to the sustainable development of African economies.
Certainly, much needs to be done to make these dreams a reality, and the continent’s top leaders in the energy industry will gather in Cape Town on October 9-11 in Africa Oil & Power 2019 (http://www.AOP2019.com) to drive the conversation forward and #MakeEnergyWork.
Thankfully, success stories and opportunities abound.
The incredible story of Senegal, for example, stands as a roadmap on creating a transparent government; building the needed infrastructure to support future development; creating an attractive regulatory framework to bring in much-needed FID and new investment; and for using the oil and gas sector to spur new growth. The country, led by H.E. Macky Sall, the President of the Republic of Senegal, has seen tremendous growth in the last decade, consistently ranking in the top ten fastest-growing economies in the world. Government reforms, led by Sall, have improved Senegal’s image both domestically and abroad, encouraging a string of new investment in oil and gas, electricity, roads, fisheries and tourism.
The outlook for the country’s oil and gas sector, led by Sall, is bullish, with two of the world’s most-watched projects — SNE oilfield and the Great Tortue/Ahmeyim gas project — moving forward. Both are expected to start producing export revenues in the early 2020s.
H.E. Sall, winner of the prestigious “Africa Oil Man of the Year” award during the 2019 Africa Oil & Power conference, has certainly provided Africans with a strong example of leadership and cooperation. We are honored to recognize and support H.E. Sall’s achievements and continued efforts at Africa Oil & Power (https://AfricaOilandPower.com/).
At Atlas-Oranto, we are proud to be leading pioneers in the sustainable development of Africa’s energy sector, ensuring growth in countries like South Sudan, where we are honored to operate Block B3; in Equatorial Guinea where we operate Block I and in Nigeria, where we operate OML109. In total, Atlas-Oranto is active in 11 countries in Africa and we are committed to working with the governments and communities of these countries to ensure our operations meet the highest standards of energy development. In Equatorial Guinea, for example, we are currently investing $350 million into the country’s gas monetization and backfill project.
At Atlas-Oranto — Africa’s largest privately-held, Africa-focused exploration and production group — we have faith in Africans, and we invest heavily in frontier markets so that the continent as a whole can continue to grow. We know first-hand what it takes to get new investments off the ground and how to grow small-to-medium enterprises. It takes boots on the ground, as well as understanding and coordination with our brothers and sisters around the world.
Indeed, with new investment opportunities on the horizon and a new drive to cooperate across borders, now is the time to spur this sustainable growth in Africa with energy as the catalyst.
At Africa Oil & Power 2019, many of these opportunities will be featured, including the ongoing licensing rounds in Equatorial Guinea and Angola; the launch of the South Sudan licensing round; and more.
For three days, over 1,200 of Africa’s foremost thought leaders, industry experts, private sector executives and government officials will gather together to discuss the incredible role of technology in Africa’s energy sector; the rise of renewables; the incredible upstream opportunities from South Africa to Senegal and the need for cooperation.
Let’s get busy and #MakeEnergyWork.
Elumelu Challenges Japan – “Partner with us in Empowering African Entrepreneurs”
August 30, 2019 | 0 Comments
Mr. Elumelu’s statement captured his vision of a relationship between Japan and Africa, which prioritises economic and shared prosperity
TOKYO, Japan, August 30, 2019/ — Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator Praises Tony Elumelu’s Private-Sector Led Approach to African Development; President of South Africa, H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa: “If you want really good returns, as Tony Elumelu said, come to Africa”; Elumelu Champions Job Creation in Africa at Breakfast Meeting with President of Rwanda and UNICEF Executive Director.
In an impassioned keynote speech, delivered before global leaders, at the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama, Japan, African investor and philanthropist Tony O. Elumelu CON, challenged the Government of Japan to invest 5% of its $50billion commitment to Africa, in empowering African entrepreneurs.
“At TICAD 2016 in Kenya, Japan pledged $30billion for Africa. This year you have generously increased this to $50 billion. If we invested just 5% in Africa’s new generation of entrepreneurs, following my Foundation’s robust, proven model of getting capital directly to those best placed to catalyse growth and create real impact, we could touch 500,000 lives, across the 54 African countries, broadening markets, facilitating job creation, improving income per capita, and laying the key foundation for political and economic stability”, said Mr. Elumelu.
Mr. Elumelu’s statement captured his vision of a relationship between Japan and Africa, which prioritises economic and shared prosperity. He outlined the three key pillars of a bold and transformative structure: investment in infrastructure, partnership with the African private sector, and investment in Africa’s youth.
He urged Japan to learn from the example of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (https://www.TonyElumeluFoundation.org/), which champions empowering African entrepreneurs, as the most sustainable means of accelerating the development of Africa. The Tony Elumelu Foundation, in just five years has assisted over 7,500 African entrepreneurs across every African country, with seed capital, capacity building, mentorship and networking opportunities through its $100 million Entrepreneurship Programme.
Elumelu’s advice carried the weight of his track record of business success, founding Africa’s global bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), which has grown its presence to 20 African countries, as well as in the United Kingdom, France, and the USA; and Heirs Holdings, Africa’s private investment company which actively invests in key sectors of Africa’s economy and controls millions of dollars in its investment portfolio. Together, they employ over 30,000 people and transform the communities they operate in.
“Africa is one of the world’s viable destinations for investment. Our huge population, of nearly 1.3 billion people, creates one of the most attractive markets anywhere in the world. The world is paying close attention to Africa, but is Japan at the centre of this conversation or is it on the sidelines?” he queried.
Mr. Elumelu’s philosophy has become increasingly popular on the African continent, where he is acknowledged as the pioneer of a private-sector-led approach to accelerating development. He repeated the message at the Generation Unlimited breakfast meeting with H.E. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, with its focus on job creation in Africa, where he emphasised the role the African youth plays in this narrative.
President of South Africa and Co-Chair, TICAD, H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa corroborated Mr. Elumelu’s stance. He said: “If you want really good returns, as Mr. Tony Elumelu said, come to Africa. Africa presents risk-adjusted returns and is a market in which investments are flowing at a hundred billion dollars – that is the new profile of Africa that is being presented to the world.”
Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator praised Tony Elumelu’s Private-Sector led approach to development in Africa. He said: “I want to refer to my dear friend and colleague Tony Elumelu because he alluded to the vital role that business can also play in investing in the future of the youth. These are the kinds of partnerships that will drive business and development agenda to very different heights in the future”.
Speaking on the potential of the African continent, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe of Japan said: “In Africa, some countries have joined top nations in the ranking on the ease of doing business. The scale of the market continues to expand. We can envision a day when the entire continent of Africa becomes an enormous economic zone.”
Organised by the Japanese Government, TICAD is a three-yearly forum for advancing Africa’s development through people, technology, and innovation, bringing together government, business leaders, companies and other stakeholders. The event hosted Presidents and private sector leaders including Prime Minister Shinzō Abe of Japan; H.E. Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria; H.E. Mr. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, President of Egypt and Chair of the African Union (AU); H.E. Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa; and H.E. Mr. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and a host of other African Presidents.
Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7): Japan, South Africa and the African Development Bank unveil priorities to accelerate Africa’s technology transformation journey
August 29, 2019 | 0 Comments
“Let’s be visionary. Let’s be bold. Let’s support concrete initiatives to boost science, technology, and innovation in Africa,”- Akinwumi Adesina
|YOKOHAMA, Japan, August 29, 2019/ — Science, technology and innovation as well as human resource development are critical in Africa, a continent, which has the biggest potential on earth, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at the Science and Technology in Society (STS) forum held in Yokohama, on Wednesday, as part of TICAD 7.
The Science and Technology in Society forum (STS forum) is one of the largest and most influential nonprofit organizations established in 2004 by Mr. Koji Omi, a former Japanese Minister of Finance. The Forum aims at strengthening cooperation between Japan and Africa in science, technology, and innovation.
In his address, Prime Minister Abe also noted the important role that science and technology played in the history of Japan’s modernization.
In attendance were Mr. Yasutoshi Nishimura, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank Group (http://AfDB.org), Koji Omi, founder and chairman of the STS forum, and Asako Omi, member of Japan’s House of Representatives.
“South Africa endorses the focus on science, technology, and innovation as a priority theme for TICAD 7, given its great potential to accelerate African development through mutually beneficial partnerships with Japan, President Ramaphosa told participants.
“The STS forum has successfully changed global discourse on the role of science in development, we seek the forum’s support in changing the discourse on the role of Africa in science and innovation,” Ramaphosa concluded.
Adesina shared insights on the Bank’s work and support to train and develop the next generation of scientists. Since 2005 the Bank has provided financing of over $2 billion to support education, resulting in educational opportunities for 6 million students.
“We are proud of our investment in supporting the establishment of the Regional Center of Excellence in Kigali in conjunction with the Carnegie Mellon University, which is providing world-class Masters degree training in ICT. I am delighted that all the students that have graduated from the university have 100% employment, including setting up their businesses,” Adesina said in his keynote remarks.
The Bank has supported the establishment of ICT digital parks in Senegal and Cape Verde and is working with the Rockefeller Foundation, Microsoft, Facebook, LinkedIn and Safaricom to establish coding centers in several countries.
Adesina offered some key areas to prioritize in science and technology, including the establishment of regional centers of excellence; the urgent need to increase the share of GDP devoted to science and technology and close the gender gap in higher education.
“Let’s be visionary. Let’s be bold. Let’s support concrete initiatives to boost science, technology, and innovation in Africa,” he concluded.
Ministers for Science and Technology, Ambassadors, executives of international and national Agencies and business in Africa and Japan attended the Forum.
TICAD 7 runs from 28-30 August in Yokohama, Japan.
Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7): PM Shinzo Abe says Japan will help double Africa’s rice production by 2030
August 29, 2019 | 0 Comments
|“We must end hunger in Africa. Yes, we must! Hunger diminishes our humanity” – Adesina urges|
YOKOHAMA, Japan, August 28, 2019/ — The Sasakawa Association will work with the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), to help double rice production to 50 million tonnes by 2030. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the announcement at the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) symposium held on Wednesday during TICAD7.
“Japanese technology can play a key role in innovation which is key to agriculture,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told delegates.
Discussions at the Symposium focused on Africa’s youth bulge, unemployment rates, agricultural innovations and technologies, solutions and job creation opportunities in the agricultural sector.
“We’ve always believed in the agriculture potential of Africa,” said Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon foundation. “We are paying more attention to income-generating activities. We want to help shift the mindset of small-holder farmers from producing-to-eat to producing-to-sell. We are hopeful that Africa’s youth can take agriculture to a new era, and that they can see a career path in agriculture,” he added.
In a keynote address, African Development Bank Group President, Akinwumi Adesina, called for urgent and concerted efforts to “end hunger”.
“In spite of all the gains made in agriculture. We are not winning the global war against hunger. We must all arise collectively and end global hunger. To do that, we must end hunger in Africa. Hunger diminishes our humanity,” Adesina urged.
According to the FAO’s 2019 State of Food and Security, the number of hungry people globally stands at a disconcerting 821 million. Africa alone accounts for 31% of the global number of hungry people – 251 million people.
Commending the Sasakawa Association’s late founder, Ryochi Sasakawa, for his tireless efforts in tackling hunger, Adesina said: “Passion, dedication and commitment to the development of agriculture and the pursuit of food security in our world has been the hallmark of your work.”
Between 1986 and 2003, Sasakawa Association in Africa, operated in a total of 15 countries including – Ghana, Sudan, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, Mali, Guinea, Zambia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Mozambique.
Harnessing the potential of new technologies
Adesina expressed confidence in the ability of technology to deliver substantial benefits in agriculture. To accelerate Africa’s agricultural growth, the African Development Bank has launched the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) to deliver new technologies to millions of farmers. ‘TAAT has become a game changer, and is already delivering impressive results, Adesina said.
Working with 30 private seed companies, the TAAT maize compact produced over 27,000 tons of seeds of water efficient maize that was planted by 1.6 million farmers.
Tackling climate change: a top priority
Hiroyuki Takahashi, founder of Pocket Marche, a platform that connects Japanese farmers and producers with consumers, shared insights and lessons learnt from Japan’s experiences, historic cycles of climate disasters and the country’s rebound.
“The power to choose what we eat is the power to stop the climate crisis and bring sustainable happiness to a world with limited resources,” Takahashi said.
It is estimated that Africa will heat up 1.5 times faster than the global average and require $7-15 billion a year for adaptation alone. Limiting the impacts of climate change is expected to become a top priority for Africa.
“Africa has been short changed by climate change. But, it should not be short changed by climate finance,” Adesina said in his concluding remarks.
“Let’s be better asset managers for nature. For while we must eat today, so must future generations coming after us. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that we do not leave empty plates on the table for generations to come,” Adesina concluded.
NJ Ayuk in Billions at Play Explains How Energy Underpins the African Dream
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
The energy sector, in particular, holds great potential to revitalize African economies and empower the growth and development
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, August 27, 2019/ — African economies are undergoing a transformative period. The energy sector, in particular, holds great potential to revitalize African economies and empower the growth and development. This, is a subject NJ Ayuk dives into in great detail in his sophomore book, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals.
Now available for pre-order on Amazon, Billions at Play tells us how energy can work better for Africans.
With a foreword by OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Billions at Play sets out to answer the questions: How did Africa get here and what comes next? How do African countries and societies get the most value from their resources? What exactly can African leaders do to put their countries on a sustainable, profitable path? And how can all parties win in Africa’s energy deals of the coming decades?
In a straightforward approach, the Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber outlines the fortunes and misfortunes in Africa’s petroleum industry and presents to us that Africa can learn from itself to build competitive economies. In particular, he proposes that:
“If African governments, businesses, and organizations manage Africa’s oil and gas revenues wisely, we can make meaningful changes across the continent.”
Using his experience and knowledge of the global energy sector, Ayuk challenges key players to be more active in developing their resources and local content skills, and encourages decision-makers to put Africa’s people at the center of economic growth plans.
Making the case for the petroleum industry having the power to support and transform emerging economies, he unpacks key issues including what and how Africa can learn from itself, the role of natural gas in Africa’s energy future, effective and sustainable investment strategies, strategic oil and gas revenue management and, the role of women in the African petroleum sector.
The latter he insists is vital in the success of Africa’s oil and gas sector.
He asserts that the low number of women represented in the global energy sector is an opportunity missed. “I believe this is unacceptable, short-sighted, and, frankly a real stumbling block to African countries that want to realize the full socio-economic benefits that a thriving oil and gas industry can provide.”
Ayuk says that, “Africans are more than capable of making our continent successful.” However, global participation in the African energy landscape can produce greater benefits. Speaking on U.S.-Africa relations specifically, he stresses that Africa needs companies that are willing to share knowledge, technology and best practices, and businesses that are willing to form positive relationships in areas where they work.
In his foreword, H.E. Barkindo describes Ayuk as a dreamer who has “taken the time to develop a detailed roadmap for realizing that dream” and prompts people all over the world to take the time to read Billions at Play in order to “play a part in making his dream of petroleum-fueled economic growth, stability and improved quality of life happen for Africa.”
Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Order your copy today.https://amzn.to/2NxkNLP
Watch out for upcoming interview with NJ Ayuk at www.panafricanvisions.com
African Development Bank President Adesina leads delegation to 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD
August 27, 2019 | 0 Comments
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 26 August 2019 – A high-level African Development Bank delegation, led by President Akinwumi Adesina, is set to join global leaders at the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD7 from August 28-30.
TICAD7, hosted by Japan and co-organised by the United Nations Office of the Special Advisor on Africa (UN-OSSA), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), aims at “promoting high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners.”
President Adesina, is expected in Tokyo on Tuesday. Whilst in Japan, he will address the second plenary session of TICAD on the theme: “Accelerating Economic Transformation and Improving Business Environment Through Innovation and Private Sector Engagement”.
Several other engagements are also scheduled for Adesina and senior Bank management, including an International Finance Corporation/African Development Bank side event: “The Digital Africa 2020 and Japanese investment Panel: Creating markets to digitize Africa, and a side event co-hosted by the World Food Programme and the African Union Commission on “Strategic investments in Africa: Food security, human capital, sustainable agriculture, innovation and private sector partnership.”
The Bank’s senior management attending TICAD7 include, Dr. Celestin Monga, Bank’s Chief Economist and Vice President, Economic Governance and Knowledge Management; Dr. Jennifer Blanke, Vice-President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development; Ms. Bajabulile “Swazi” Tshabalala, Vice President for Finance and Chief Finance Officer; and Khaled Sherif, Vice-President, Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery.
VP Monga will address a panel on “Africa’s Socio-economic Transformation through Innovation” while VP Sherif will be a speaker on another panel:“Building a Better World through Business – Challenges in Humanitarian Assistance in Africa and the Role of Private Sector,” held at Waseda University.
VP Blanke will take part in sessions on “Investing in Human Capital Development in Africa- A case for Education & Skills, Nutrition, Health and Jobs for Youth”, and an African Leaders for Nutrition event: Designing sustainable and resilient societies.
A major announcement is expected in support of the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance (EPSA) Initiative, an innovative, multi-component, multi-donor framework.
The initiative seeks to support development to meet the infrastructure needs of Africa, with a special focus on the private sector.
The 7thTokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), led by Japan, started in 1993. African heads of states and key business leaders from around the world are scheduled to attend, providing an opportunity to explore investment opportunities. The event, held every 3 years, has been convened alternately in Japan and Africa since 2016. The last TICAD was held in Nairobi, Kenya.