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African Nations Cup Postponed to 2022
June 30, 2020 | 0 Comments
Cameroonian President Paul Biya (centre) receives a gift from Caf President Ahmad Ahmad at the State House in Yaoundé on October 2, 2018. Looking on is Cameroonian soccer legend Samuel Eto’o.File Picture.

Initially billed for 2021 in Cameroon, the next edition of the African Cup of Nations has been moved to 2022. The decision to move the continents most important sporting event is contained in a press statement following an Executive Committee meeting of the Confederation of African Football that took place via video conference today.

For the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) Cameroon 2020,the final tournament has been postponed till January 2021 in Cameroon.

“The CAF Executive Committee is satisfied with t the Cameroonian authorities for their commitment towards the hosting of the two competitions. Cameroon is ready to host either competition and are within schedule,” CAF President Ahmad Ahmad said.

Below is the full statement from CAF

Decisions of CAF Executive Meeting – 30 June 2020

The CAF Executive Committee held a meeting on Tuesday, 30 June 2020, via video-conference to discuss the future of competitions and other related issues following the COVID-19 pandemicThe committee decided as follows;

Total Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2021

After consultation with stakeholders and taking into consideration the current global situation, the tournament has been rescheduled for January 2022. The date for the final tournament and the remaining matches of the qualifiers will be communicated in due course.  

Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) Cameroon 2020

The final tournament has been postponed till January 2021 in Cameroon.

“The CAF Executive Committee is satisfied with t the Cameroonian authorities for their commitment towards the hosting of the two competitions. Cameroon is ready to host either competition and are within schedule,” CAF President Ahmad Ahmad said.

Interclubs 2019/20 season

The Total CAF Champions League and Total CAF Confederation Cup, will resume in September with a Final Four (4) format. Semi-Final matches will be played in a single match.

Total CAF Champions League

Venue for Final Four to be decided

Total CAF Confederation Cup

Morocco will host the Final Four

Total Women’s Africa Cup of Nations 2020

Due to challenging conditions, the 2020 edition of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations has been cancelled.

Meanwhile, the CAF Women’s Champions League will be launched in 2021. The format and other details will be communicated in due course.

Zonal Qualifiers for U-20 & U-17 Africa Cup of Nations

A meeting with the Organising Competitions for Youth Football and the Zonal Unions has been proposed to finalize the arrangements for the zonal qualifiers. Meanwhile, the U-17 AFCON will take place in July 2021.

Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations 2020

Following the withdrawal of Uganda, a new hosting bid will be launched for the organization of the final tournament either in 2020 or 2021.

Headquarters Agreement 

CAF President Ahmad Ahmad commended the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt under the leadership of His Excellency Abdel Fattah El Sisi, who appended his signature to the 10-year agreement on 24 June 2020.

With the new agreement, CAF and its officials will benefit from immunities and privileges granted to diplomatic missions in the territory of the Arab Republic of Egypt in accordance with the 1961 Vienna Convention.

CAF Ordinary General Assembly

The 42nd CAF Ordinary General Assembly has been rescheduled for December 2020 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

As per the recommendations of the CAF Governance Committee, the Elective General Assembly will be held on 12 March 2021.

CAF Awards 2020

Cancellation of the 2020 edition. Major partners for the event, Pickalbatros Group, has re-affirmed their contractual commitment towards the next two (2) editions.

Financial Support to Member Associations

CAF has allocated an additional USD 16.2 Million to assist Member Associations to mitigate challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each Member Associations will be entitled to USD 300,000.

Appointment of Commercial Director

Confirmation of the appointment of Ali Aissaoui as Commercial Director. Prior to joining CAF, the Moroccan served as Business Development Manager of FC Barcelona.

Update on Transform CAF 2021

There has been giant stride in the execution of Transform CAF 2021 which was launched during the CAF Executive Committee in Doha, Qatar, last February. The CAF Administration will continue with the implementation of the major points towards achieving the targets of the project.

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Ex- Gambia’s Justice Minister Optimistic Dictator Jammeh Must Face Justice
June 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Abubacarr Marie Tambadou
Abubacarr Marie Tambadou

Abubacarr Marie Tambadou, outgoing Attorney General has assured Gambians that former president Yahya Jammeh will surely be in court one day to face justice for the atrocities he commit.

He advised the supporters of ex president Yahya Jammeh to wake up from dreams and move on, saying the former president will surely have his day in court one day.

Tambadou resigned as justice minister effect from 30th June, 2019 and he is expected to Join  United Nations Abubacarr  as the registrar of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT).

During a press conference on Friday to bid farewell said: “I am aware that my principled position on former President Yaya Jammeh has not endeared me to his supporters and sympathisers, and to them I say, Jammeh belongs to the past, so wake up from your dreams of a Jammeh political comeback and move on with your lives,” he said.

He accused Jammeh of causing too much pain and suffering to the people of this country throughout his 22-year reign of terror as the TRRC keeps revealing.

“He has during this period destroyed the innocence and soul of Gambian society with the sheer brutality of his crimes, and for this, he will be brought to account someday here or abroad. He will surely have his day in court.”

He therefore, assured the victims of the past regime that justice will be served.

“To the victims of human rights violations and abuses during 22 years of Jammeh’s rule, you will get justice. I have always had you in mind at every stage of our transitional justice process and I have been committed and dedicated to your cause since the first day I was appointed,” he said.

“I know that there have been difficult moments for you and your families in this process and I can only assure you that it will not have been in vain,” he added.

On my part, I have initiated and delivered on the key pillars of our transitional justice process which has now achieved global recognition by experts as being among the best models in the world particularly for its inclusiveness and originality.

During his tenure, Tambadou led the initiations of several transitional justice programs to recover wasted public funds and bring closure to the victims. These include the commission of inquiry (Janneh Commission) to the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), the establishment of the National Human Rights Commission.

The Janneh Commission, tasked to inquire into the financial corruption of former President Jammeh, allowed the government to recover over 1.1 billion dalasis so far.

“And in all of these processes, we were able to put together a team of talented and credible Gambians, and I wish to thank them for their service to the country.”

He credited himself for rebuilding a hitherto weakened judiciary, stating that the institution has now become respectable, robust and independent organ of State.

“Immediately after my appointment, I established a Criminal Case and Detention Review Panel which reviewed a total of 241 ongoing criminal cases involving 304 accused persons. I discontinued prosecutions in 36 cases involving 86 accused persons on the basis of insufficient evidence,” he said.

He also claimed that the reported incidents of arbitrary arrests, detention without trial or torture by State agents, which were a hallmark of the Jammeh days, have substantially reduced.

“Freedom of expression which was a luxury in the past is now taken for granted. In sum, The Gambia is no longer in a state of fear.

“Also, during my tenure, the Government’s commitment to international law has strengthened. We rescinded the decision by the Jammeh administration to withdraw The Gambia from the International Criminal Court, paving the way for our continued membership to the ICC.

“We signed and/or ratified a number of international treaties including the UN Convention against Torture, the UN Optional Protocol on the Abolition of the Death Penalty, the UN Convention against Enforced and Involuntary Disappearance, and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.

He said the government submitted combined periodic reports for the first time since 1985 to the UN Human Rights Council on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and our combined periodic report for the first time since 1994 to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

He hints the preparation for other new bills which include a prohibition of torture bill to criminalize acts of torture for the first time in The Gambia; an international crimes bill to cover mass atrocity crimes like genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity; an access to information bill, an anti-corruption bill, and various other amendments to remove discriminatory laws against women in our society.

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Malawi:Mutharika loses Presidency to opposition leader Chakwera .
June 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

By James Mwala

Malawi’s newly elected President Lazarus Chakwera greets supporters after being sworn in in Lilongwe, Malawi, Sunday, June 28 2020. Chakwera is Malawi’s sixth president after winning the historic election held last week, the first time a court-overturned vote in Africa has resulted in the defeat of an incumbent leader.Photo: Thoko Chikondi, AP

Opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera has been declared winner in Malawi’s fresh presidential election, defeating fierce rival Peter Mutharika.

Chakwera led Malawi’s oldest political party, Malawi Congress Party and claimed at 58% threshold and won out of the three horse race in Tuesday’s election.

The election followed the nullification of 2019’s poll in which Mutharika was declared winner.

Chakwera himself and Mutharika’s Vice Saulos Chilima took the irregularities that marred the poll to court and the order was that the poll be held in the next 150 days from February 3.

In making the announcement, Malawi Electoral Commision Chairperson Dr Chifundo Kachale said Chakwera had beaten the required majority to the position.

But hours before the announcement, Mutharika said the country had held its worst ever poll citing the attacks on  monitors of his party as having an impact on the results.

Mutharika held a briefing along with Atupele Muluzi, whom he patterned with in the election.

Meanwhile, Chakwera and Chilima have taken oaths of office in Lilongwe and as of yet, Mutharika has not formally extended an olive branch to the two.

Here are the results:

Total registered voters – 6,859,570

64.81 % people voted

Null and void – 57,553

Total votes cast – 4,445,659

Total Valid votes – 4,388,376

Lazarus Chakwera – 2,604,043

Peter Mutharika – 1,751,877

Peter Kuwani – 32,456

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International community shows strong support for Sudan with $1.8 billion pledge
June 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

Over $1.8 billion dollars in pledges for Sudan poured in during a high-level Sudan Partnership Conference held on Thursday, 25 June 2020, marking an important step in the African nation’s re-engagement with the international community.

African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina, and the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund chiefs attended the Conference, which was co-hosted by the Republic of the Sudan, the Federal Republic of Germany, the European Union and the United Nations, and held virtually in Berlin. Other participants included delegations from 50 countries and international organisations.

“This Conference signals the strong and full return of Sudan to the international community, “ said Abdalla Hamdok, Prime Minister of the Republic of the Sudan, as he outlined the progress of the nation from war, conflicts, economic collapse and isolation, to relinking with the rest of the world. Hamdok said the meeting was convened for an open exchange of views to support “a comprehensive home-grown policy reform agenda.”

In turn, governments and delegations expressed their support for the Transitional Government headed by Prime Minister Hamdok, pledging unprecedented support to help Sudan achieve its goals for a free, peaceful, just, inclusive and prosperous nation, and to mitigate the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Conference acknowledged the urgent need to support Sudan in addressing its acute economic crisis, which has been exacerbated by the additional challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many participants also called for debt relief for the country.

 “The level of participation is unprecedented. This is a tide of support and solidarity we are hoping for,” Hamdok said. “Thank you so much, thank you friends.”

H.E. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations said the world needed to “mobilise massive financial support for Sudan. The world needs a stable Sudan, a democratic Sudan…I’d like to see all nations united in support for Sudan,” Gutteres said.

The Transitional Government of Sudan has prioritized economic reforms and the recovery of assets stolen by its previous leaders, both domestically and internationally. It has made reviving productive sectors of the economy, job creation and inclusive and sustainable peace, the cornerstones of its reform process.

Opening the conference, Heiko Maas, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany said it was “a responsibility to stand by the people of Sudan and their revolution. “You have done a remarkable job of leading the country through the transition so far. I offer you Germany’s full support.”

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, spoke with similar sentiment, describing Sudan as a light of hope in Africa.

“The EU stands ready to assist Sudan. It is an investment worth making in the region…in order to set a reference for the world.”

The programme also featured a panel session comprising Sudanese Finance Minister, Ibrahim el-Badawi; Lena el-Sheikh Mahjoub, Minister of Labour and Social Development; African Development Bank President Akinwuni Adesina; President of the World Bank Group, David Malpass; and Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, on the theme of supporting Sudan’s economic reform agenda.

The pledged funding contributions will support Sudan’s Transitional Government in meeting its priorities and launching of a formal process of political support for democratic reforms, peace, and the economic reform agenda. Much of the support will be earmarked for the Family Support Programme, which will provide humanitarian and social support and relief for close to 80% of the country’s population, 40 % of whom are unemployed.

“The African Development Bank has always been with Sudan from the very beginning. We never left Sudan for one day, even all the while that it was under economic sanctions. That is because we believe in Sudan,” Adesina said in remarks at the panel discussion. ““We provided, from our African Development Fund, $445 million dollars that we have for arrears clearance, which includes Sudan and Zimbabwe, and we are working very closely on that with many of you, including the World Bank and IMF.”

Minister Borrel said participants agreed on the need to hold a follow-up Partnership Conference in early 2021, in close cooperation with the Government of Sudan and the group of the “Friends of Sudan.” These include France, which has offered to host a high-level conference to launch the debt relief process for Sudan, allowing the full reintegration of Sudan into the international economic community.

Adesina said the African Development Bank has earmarked about $115 million in grants for the next three years to finance public sector projects and programs in Sudan, in addition to about $215 million grants provided in the last three years. Specifically, the Bank will support Sudan to strengthen its health care systems with a grant of about $30 million to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

*AFDB

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Sierra Leone: Bio Eases Covid- 19 Restrictions
June 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

In his fourth press conference on COVID -19 , Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio has today announced the  easing of  some restrictions with the ban on Inter-District Lock down lifted from tomorrow and the 9pm-6am curfew has been eased to now start at 11pm.

 Speaking at State House in Freetown to journalists, civil society organisations, the International community , President Bio said the Inter-District Lockdown continues to be an important suppression measure to stop the spread of the virus  but  however said , it has presented some constraints for Sierra Leoneans.

“With the following specific conditions, I announce a lifting of the ban on Inter-District travel starting on Wednesday, 24 June 2020. I have instructed the NaCOVERC Interim Coordinator and his team to develop and announce enforceable infection prevention control protocols (especially the mandatory and proper wearing of face masks and other healthcare protocols). Only travellers who comply shall be allowed to travel on all vehicular transportation. This will be strictly enforced by the security forces. We will closely assess the data and announce further measures, if necessary,’’he said.

President Bio said with the support of international and development partners, traditional and religious leaders, civil society, the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, and various community stakeholders, the country’s COVID-19 preparedness and response measures have been robust.

“We have not experienced the apocalyptic-scale infections and deaths that have been recorded in other countries. We owe a debt of gratitude to our health workers, NaCOVERC and COVID-19 staff, the security forces, and district and other administrators and staff, who have all worked relentlessly,’’Bio averred.

He added that the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary School (MBSS) , in consultation with stakeholders, has developed comprehensive health and safety guidelines for teachers, pupils, and their communities for the sole purpose of providing a safe environment for students who are taking public examinations at all levels adding that  those guidelines are consistent with best practices around the sub-region and the world.

“We will monitor the data and determine and scale up further actions as necessary. Whilst easing restrictions, Government will expand testing, contact tracing, and surveillance to unprecedented levels. Government will monitor the data and take all further necessary action. While there may be a temporary surge in numbers, this aggressive action will help us isolate and deal with pockets of community infections. So the key take-away from this engagement today is that as we are easing restrictions and re-opening the economy and livelihoods. I urge all citizens to comply with all healthcare and public safety directives. The NaCOVERC Coordinator and Security forces will strictly enforce all measures deemed necessary to flatten the curve,’’President Bio noted.

President Bio further noted that the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority has held extensive consultations with stakeholders and considered developments in the aviation sector around Africa and in the world stating that countries are opening their airspaces.

“A broad inter- sectoral body will soon finalise rational, effective, and affordable pre-arrival and departure protocols that are in consonance with best practices elsewhere and WHO guidelines. We will also soon install technology at the Lungi International Airport that will help us monitor, test, and trace all travellers. Once all measures are in place, commercial flights will resume in the very short run,’’Bio assures.

 The President revealed that he  has initiated engagements with colleague Heads of State of the Mano River Union countries with a view to discussing and adopting a harmonised approach and common measures on the re-opening and monitoring of their  common land borders thus sating that  once they  finalise those discussions, they  will open all land borders and crossing points.

“We have had high recovery and discharge rates, lower infection rates, and proportionally lower death rates three months on. This is because we have got a lot of things right over those three months. Our anticipation and timely responses, contact tracing and surveillance, well-considered economic response, social safety support, and other measures have been praised and well-supported by our multilateral and development partners. We now have greater lab capacity and more specimen collectors, more care beds, better IPC protocols and equipment, enhanced and purposeful use of digitalisation and technology to support our response, more social and mental healthcare support, a decentralised response network, and increased public messaging.’’

The President further stated that NACOVERC has developed an updated National Strategic Response plan that takes into account the country’s  current needs and situation which he said details will be announced soon boasting that overall, they  are now more adept, nimble, and confident that we will surmount challenges and continue managing this crisis.

 “As other countries worldwide and the World Health Organisation have acknowledged, COVID-19 will be with the world for probably the next one year as experts find an effective vaccine. It will remain highly infectious disease and deadly. I, therefore, strongly encourage continued compliance with all measures that will help us mitigate and suppress the spread of this virus’’

The President stressed on the attitude of citizen’s refusal and not wearing face mask properly stating that such attitude is irresponsible and dangerous for citizens who continue to live in denial.

“Remember, only you and your actions can help protect yourself against the Corona virus. 11. In all our decisions during this crisis, we have aimed to save lives but we have also worked to sustain livelihoods, support the most vulnerable, and keep our key economic and human capital development sectors healthy. Our considerations have been driven by copious real-time data. We continue to closely monitor data and we are attentive to advice from the Sierra Leonean and global scientific community.’’

He however urged every citizen to strictly comply with healthcare and public safety protocols — from handwashing, using face masks, social distancing, travel restrictions, and all other restrictions on public gatherings in public spaces thus stating  as a person, only you can protect yourself and your loved ones from this virus by choosing to comply with all directives.

“We are encouraged that surveys indicate that more Sierra Leoneans are aware of the Corona virus and know what to do to prevent and treat the disease. But there is alarming apathy and a refusal to comply with protocols.’’

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Infrastructure Symposium “is laying a path for South Africa after coronavirus, but also way into the future.” – President Ramaphosa
June 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

South African President and African Union Chairperson, Cyril Ramaphosa today hosted a historic conference to spur infrastructure investment in his country and inspire similar efforts in the rest of the continent.

“South Africa, within the AU family, has been given responsibility for championing infrastructure development. It is through these objectives we will be able to attain the objectives and aspirations we have set out in Agenda 2063. This is truly a historic moment for South Africa, the continent and the world.”

President Ramaphosa made these remarks in his opening keynote address at the inaugural Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium of South Africa (SIDSSA) to discuss the government’s revised Infrastructure Investment Plan – a public-private initiative to accelerate major built projects.

“The coronavirus pandemic will likely lead to the deepest global recession in the post-World War II era, possibly as deep as the Great Depression in the 1930s. This symposium is laying a path for South Africa after coronavirus, but also way into the future,” Ramaphosa said.

“It represents a new beginning for infrastructure development – a new beginning that promises inclusive growth, development, transformation and, above all, hope for a better tomorrow for all our people.”

Over 681 delegates from 263 funding institutions across the globe attended the symposium, including African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Amani Abou-Zeid, and World Bank Vice-President for Infrastructure, Makhtar Diop.

“We at the Bank are boldly bullish about South Africa. We need to continue to invest in critical areas, and energy is a big one. We have invested $3.1 billion in the energy sector,” Adesina said.

Adesina insisted on the need to invest in a way that was environmentally sustainable and commended the government of South Africa for its efforts on the renewable energy front. 

The African Development Bank has invested in a number of these areas, including the 100 MW Sere wind project connected to the national grid and the 100 MW Xina solar energy project.

As at 20 June 2020, the Bank’s total portfolio in South Africa comprised 21 operations valued at $4.74 billion. About 75% of the portfolio is in the infrastructure sector, mainly through loans to state-owned enterprises, Eskom and Transnet. The current portfolio includes 16 private sector operations, valued at around $2.93 billion.

President Adesina underscored the need to promote syndication. The Bank has channeled $1.3 billion in syndicated loans for South Africa to provide capital for the energy utility, Eskom, to invest in power transmission infrastructure.

Infrastructure tends to be concentrated in urban areas, the Bank’s President noted. “The rural areas are left out. So we need to make sure that we have density infrastructure in rural areas and allow food and agribusinesses to transpose into those areas, and create…a new economy, so that will turn those rural areas from being zones of economic misery into zones of economic prosperity.”

The symposium follows weeks of consultations to garner support for the revised Infrastructure Investment Plan. President Ramaphosa said the plan had preceded the coronavirus pandemic, but was now even more urgent.

In her welcome remarks to the Presidential Round Table Discussion, South Africa’s Minister of Public Works, Patricia de Lille, called for “less talk and more action”.

The SIDSSA projects that will be gazetted after the symposium have been selected from an initial 177 that were subjected to a due diligence process.

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S&P Global affirms African Development Bank’s AAA rating, with stable outlook
June 22, 2020 | 0 Comments
The rating agency’s report further noted that the AfDB will play a key role supporting the region, particularly in the context of COVID-19.


Ratings agency S&P Global on Friday affirmed its ‘AAA/A-1+’ long- and short-term issuer credit assessment of the African Development Bank (AfDB) with a stable outlook.

The rating agency positively assessed the Bank’s very strong financial risk profile, very strong capital adequacy, strong funding and liquidity, extraordinary shareholder support and adequacy of its governance and management. 

“We are therefore affirming our ‘AAA’ long-term issuer credit rating on the AfDB,” S&P Global stated.

The rating agency noted the Bank’s $115 billion capital increase, approved by shareholders in October 2019, and the replenishment to the African Development Fund, the Bank’s concessional window, in December 2019.

“The stable outlook reflects our expectation that, over the next two years, AfDB will prudently manage its capital while maintaining solid levels of high-quality liquidity assets and robust funding,” S&P Global said in a statement.

S&P expects that “shareholders will remain supportive by providing timely capital payments”; the Bank “will continue benefiting from preferred creditor treatment (PCT); and “prudently manage growth in private-sector lending in a way that’s aligned with its mandate.”

The rating agency’s report further noted that the “AfDB will play a key role supporting the region, particularly in the context of COVID-19. The institution approved an up to $10 billion relief package for 2020, of which $6.9 billion will be financed by AfDB and the remainder through its concessional lending window.”

The President of the Bank, Akinwumi A. Adesina, said: “We are delighted with and welcome S&P Global’s decision to affirm the Bank’s AAA/A-1+ rating. It reflects the Bank’s very strong financial position and risk management, as well as our sound governance. We will continue to maintain these standards, with the strong support of all our shareholders, as we deliver much needed financial, knowledge and policy support to our regional member countries during and after this period of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

*AFDB
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President Uhuru Kenyatta says Kenya ready to sign Free trade Agreement with U.S. as long as deal does not affect Africa Continental Free Trade Area
June 19, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Kenya President in a handshake with U.S. President during a 2018  Washington DC meeting (Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Kenya President in a handshake with U.S. President during a 2018 Washington DC meeting (Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta has reiterated the desires of his country to sign a Free Trade Agreement, FTA with the United States of America but maintains that this will only happen when he is fully convinced that the agreement will not affect his country’s engagement in Africa Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA.

 AfCFTA seeks to accelerate intra-African trade, boosting Africa’s trading position in the global market by strengthening Africa’s common voice and policy space in global trade negotiations and eliminating barriers and blockades thus ensuring free trading between African states. Kenya is a signatory to the agreement that went into force in May 2019 together with the other African countries.

 Its negotiations with the United States will be the first of its kind the U.S. has with an African country and will strengthen trade ties that already exist between the two states. Kenya currently benefits from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which ensures that most of its exports to the US are tariff-free.

Speaking June 18, 2020, in a live chat hosted by the Atlantic Council’s African Center, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta emphasized that the deal between his country and America will have a significant impact not only for Kenya but Africa at large. To him, though the agreement is the first of its kind, many African countries will have the opportunity to follow in Kenya’s footsteps.

During the session hosted by Fedrick Kempe, president and chief executive officer of the Atlantic Council who identified Kenya as a vital U.S counter-terrorism and trade partner and moderated by Katrina Manson Foreign Times US foreign policy & defense correspondent, Uhuru Kenyatta first took out time to present the enormous business-friendly potentials his country brags of. 

Reiterating that Kenya is opened for business, Uhuru Kenyatta currently serving his second and last mandate at the presidency pointed to some successful international business ventures that already exist between his country and the US saying “come partner with us – they are great opportunities in Africa, we have a vibrant youthful population and they are dying for business.”

Talks for the trade deal date back to February 6, when President Trump and President Kenyatta announced their intent to elevate the bilateral relationship between the United States and Kenya by opening negotiations on a free trade agreement. 

The announcement was made only a day after Kenyatta last addressed a captivated audience at the Atlantic Council. Since then, the United States Trade Representative has moved the ball forward by outlining the administration’s ambitious goals for the FTA, including that this historic agreement should serve as the model for all future US trade deals with Africa. 

Criticism toward Kenya

When news of talks between Kenya and US on the FTA was made public, Africa received the news with mixed feelings. This came at a time when negotiations for the AfCFTA was in high gear. The announcement triggered criticism from member states of the AfCFTA and East African Community (EAC), who feel frustrated by Kenya’s decision to negotiate alone.

Most African states as well as the top personalities at the African Union, AU are increasingly concerned that the U.S. attempt to use Kenya as a “model” will not reflect the needs of other AU members and could upset regional integration.

Shortly after Kenya decided to move forward on negotiations with the United States, former deputy chairperson of the African Union Commission and the first secretary-general of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Erastus Mwencha remarked, “Under the AU, the African heads of state have discouraged member States from entering into bilateral free trade negotiations with third parties because they jeopardize the AfCFTA.” Mwencha has also argued that Kenya would be able to negotiate a far better deal if it coordinated with other members

Kenya has downplayed these regional risks, forging ahead with talks geared at furthering its economic ambitions.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies, CSIS, a U.S think tank believes that Kenya’s decision to go ahead with talk towards the FTA is not unconnected to China’s move to sign a free trade agreement with the entire EAC bloc. A move that dates back till 2016. Kenya had refused to engage in the agreement that was embraced by other African countries.

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All 54 African countries call for UN human rights investigation into racism on African Americans and elsewhere
June 19, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

UN council in session (photo credits: Don Emmert/AFP via Getty Images)
UN council in session (photo credits: Don Emmert/AFP via Getty Images)

In a rare united effort toward achieving a common objective, all 54 African countries have united, speaking in one voice as they request a formal United Nations led prob into police brutality and acts of racism against Africans in America and the world over.

In a penned letter, the 54 countries that make up the African continent requested the UN Human Rights Council to urgently debate racism and police violence as protests over George Floyd’s death grows around the world for the third week now.

Burkina Faso’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva wrote the letter on behalf of the 54 African countries, asking the UN’s top human rights body for an “urgent debate” on “racially inspired human rights violations, police brutality against people of African descent and the violence against the peaceful protests that call for these injustices to stop.”

The letter requests for the debate to be held next week when the council’s 43rd session resumes, after being stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For such a request to be considered by the council, or for any pertinent issue to be discussed at the gathering, it needs to be backed by at least one state. 

With the call now coming from a large group of countries, “that increases the chances” it will take place, a council spokesperson told AFP. This will be the first time such an elaborate report on rights violation against Africans will be recorded in recent times.

Mbom Sixtus, internationally acclaimed journalist who has covered human rights violation across several borders for over a decade now advocates that when conducted, the full reports of the rights abuses and racial injustice be made public and those responsible be sanctioned accordingly.

DW Africa reports that UN Council President Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger is expected to announce a proposed day for the debate on Monday and unless there are any objections, the debate is likely to go ahead.

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“Times of Unprecedented Crisis present Unique Opportunities for Unprecedented Action”
June 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Graça Machel, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Dr. Vera Songwe, Maria Ramos

Mrs Graça Machel, Founder, Graça Machel Trust and the Foundation for Community Development
We have been presented the opportunity to reimagine and redesign our society into a vibrant and equitable one.

COVID 19 has unearthed massive inequalities within our societies and brought to glaring light the unique burdens which women carry the world over. Allocation of response resources should be targeted towards the immediate needs of managing the virus as well as future-looking to simultaneously dismantle the structural, systemic barriers which reinforce inequality and disenfranchisement. We have been presented the opportunity to reimagine and redesign our society into a vibrant and equitable one. We must place women and women’s leadership at the core of the response and beyond.

COVID-19 has caused massive shocks to both the informal and formal economies in Africa. World Bank estimates that the Sub-Saharan Africa region will see significant economic decline, and plunge to as low as -5.1% this year.

Women have been hit particularly hard by this economic downturn. Emerging evidence from the ILO on the impact of COVID-19 suggests that women’s economic and productive lives will be affected disproportionately. They have less access to social protections and their capacity to absorb economic shocks is very low.

As the economic toll of the crisis is felt, there is also an increased risk that female children will be forced into early marriages, and the number of child marriages and early pregnancy may increase as girls are turned into a source of quick income for families.

Given these shocks to society at large, it is no surprise that our food systems will be dealt a significant blow resulting in the dangerous exacerbation of food insecurity and nearly doubling current levels of widespread hunger.

COVID 19 has disrupted supply chains and thrown the global food economy into disarray. As border closures, production stoppages, and export restrictions limit supply, demand has surged, inflating prices and impacting the world’s poorest and most marginalized people, and Africa is no exception.

Women are central players in the food chain and key to agricultural output on the continent. 50% of the agricultural activity on the continent performed by women, who produce about 60-70% of the food in Sub Saharan Africa.

Studies reveal that the cost of malnutrition has a tremendous impact on a country’s economic growth. A lack of adequate nutrition is a key contributor to unacceptably high levels of both maternal and child mortality as well as stunting– and therefore to the loss of human capital for the overall economic, social and political development of the continent.

The fragility of African health systems is revealing itself and women and children are most vulnerable to the lack of attention and adequate specialized services the diversion COVID 19 is causing resulting in an anticipated surge in child and maternal mortality.

Domestic violence has increased by upwards of 25% in some countries as a result of lockdowns. Victims face limited access to protective services during periods of quarantine.

A Call to Bold Action:
All Responses Must Take into Account Gendered Impacts of COVID and Be Informed by the Voices of Women:  Women and women’s organizations should be at the heart of the COVID-19 response decision making and designing health and socio-economic policies and plans. An intentional focus on the lives and futures of women and girls is an essential part of breaking structural practices which have been marginalizing them. A system for collecting and disaggregating data needs to be put in place to ensure that the impact of the crisis on women is informing the redesign of fragile and inequitable socio-economic and health systems into fully inclusive, equitable ones.
Government and Development Partners Must Implement Gender Lens Economic Policies and Sharpen the Capacity of Women as Engines of Economic Growth: Give women and female businesses direct access credit, loans, tax and social security payment deferrals and exemptions, and preferential procurement. Structural barriers to access to finance, inheritance, and land rights must be removed. Create and support the enabling environment for ICT infrastructure so rural and urban women are able to contribute to the digital economy and access online platforms to facilitate e-commerce and e-health/education/social exchanges.
Invest in Women Along the Local Food Chains to Improve Food Security: Response resources should target female SMMEs and rural women associations to increase productivity in both formal and informal economies, eradicate hunger and malnutrition. Boost local food production and confront head on the indignity of Africa importing its food. Food security is a fundamental investment in the building of healthy societies.
Recognize and Implement Equal Rights in the Workplace: Provide equal pay for equal work.
Narrow Gender-based Education Gaps: Build ICT infrastructure for online learning to bridge the inequality divide and retrain teachers on virtual curriculum so every African child, especially the girl child, has access to quality education. Efforts to protect girls from child marriage and early pregnancy, and provision of safety net resources for households to keep girls in school are also needed.
Strengthen Health Systems, Gradually Implement Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Provide Mental Health Services needed as key strategies to the improvement of health systems and citizen wellbeing.
Comprehensively Strengthen the Criminal Justice System and Increase Efforts Around Survivor Support and Protection: Prevention/protection efforts must be deemed as essential services and intentional mass media efforts to spur a fundamental change of mindset whereby GBV is rejected and deemed socially unacceptable and intolerable.
COVID-19 presents us with unprecedented opportunities for the regeneration of the African socio-economic landscape and the movement towards a just, equitable and sustainably prosperous continent. Let us dare not squander this opportunity for a rebirth.

Signed

Mrs Graça Machel
Founder, Graça Machel Trust and the Foundation for Community Development

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Board Chair, Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, AU Special Envoy to Mobilize International Economic Support for the Fight Against COVID-19, Former Finance Minister, Nigeria

Dr Vera Songwe
Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

Ms Maria Ramos
Co-Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s Task Force on Digital Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals and former Chief Executive Officer of Absa Group Limited

*SOURCE .Graça Machel Trust (GMT)

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Second Term For Adesina At AFDB Will Deepen Ties Between Brazil and Africa- IBRAF President João Bosco Monte
June 17, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

Prof. Joao Bosco and Dr. Adesina
Prof. Joao Bosco Monte says he looks forward to stronger and more diverse cooperation between Brazil and Africa during Dr. Adesina’s second AFDB Term.

The re-election of Dr Akinwumi Adesina to  second term of office as the President of the African Development Bank-AFDB will greatly deepen and broaden ties between Brazil and Africa says Prof João Bosco Monte ,President of the Brazil African Institute- IBRAF .

In an interview with Pan African Visions, Prof João Bosco Monte lauded the great achievements of Dr Adesina including his whole hearted endorsement of partnership with the IBRAF on  hugely successful exchange programs on Agriculture that have benefited many African countries.

“I am optimistic about the possibility of Adesina being re-elected to the presidency of the African Development Bank, especially when we see Brazil as a country that can work very closely with Africa, not only at the government level, but also with the private sector,” says Prof João Bosco Monte in the interview which also discusses the IBRAF, racism , and the future of relations between Brazil and Africa.

Prof Joao Monte thanks for granting this interview, could we start this interview with an introduction of the Brazil -Africa Institute that you lead?

The Brazil Africa Institute, when was founded, I had the idea to put together Brazilians and Africans from many perspectives. The collaboration and the partnership that we can see between Brazil and some African countries are very obvious. But Brazil doesn’t know much about Africa, on the other hand, Africa doesn’t know everything about Brazil. So, the genesis of the Brazil Africa Institute, when we created it, was to put together both sides of the Atlantic and have mutual and respectful Knowledge and understanding about each other.

And now, after ten years of the conception of IBRAF we can see many opportunities that we can put together between the two sides, African and Brazilian. Not only the government, and I could say mainly the private sector can understand the potential of collaboration and opportunities that we can see from both regions.

The agenda of the Brazil Africa Institute brings many possibilities for interactions. One of the activities that we have annually is the Brazil Africa Forum, which brings leaders, Heads of States, Ministers, diplomats, private sector, the civil society, in order to discuss one important topic for Brazil, Africa, and for other regions. And this gives me the opportunity to emphasize that when we talk about Brazil and Africa, we should include all the latitudes on the agenda.

Could you also shed some light or put historical perspective on relations between Brazil and Africa, how important are the ties between your country and Africa?

Since 2006, when I started to visit Africa, I saw clearly, a very important connection between Brazil and some African countries. Actually, when I visit Africa, in many countries I feel just as I am in Brazil. On the other hand, whenever I see Africans in Brazil they say “Well, this is just like home. This is just like Africa”. In this regard, there is a very particular relationship between the two sides of the Atlantic.

And it’s important to emphasize the historical ties that Brazil has with Africa. Not because of slavery, and I can say, very sadly, Brazil is one of the places that had many slaves from Africa. But besides this, Brazil has a historical connection with Africa, and now we can see the roots of Africa in Brazil, in the gastronomy, in the music, in the clothes and the  way that we dress, and I can see that Brazil is very connected with the continent.

We are doing this interview at a time when racism has also taken centre stage with world protests following the killing of Floyd Georges in the USA…what are race relations like in Brazil?

The killing of George Floyd in the US brought to the international arena a discussion about racism and how countries, how organizations, how governments, how people are acting about this theme. It’s a bit very unique. We can see demonstrations in many parts of the world, not only in the US, against racism, that are asking the governments to bring the new policies to eradicate racism from the face of the world.

In Brazil, we do have problems with racism, and some demonstrations, some protests, also came to this discussion here essentially to highlight that historical inequalities are behind the great disparities faced by black people in the labor market. Less access to education is one of them, as well as more precarious living conditions. The governments of Brazil, I’m talking about Federal and State governments, should start to discuss what kind of argument we can bring to the table, to bring to poor people, and also black people as well, the possibility to have a better life. So, the agenda that we have to include now in Brazil, and also in some parts of the world, should include the discussion about racism, but also how can we bring dignity to people who don’t have the eyes of the state.





Under Prof João Bosco Monte IBRAF has been a vital link between Brazil and Africa

One of the partner institutions that the Brazil -Africa Institute works with is the African Development Bank, what do you make of the recent standoff between with external partners notably the USA? How has it been like working with current AFDB President Dr Akinwumi Adesina, and what do you think a second term for him is deserved?

We have many partners around the world. One of the key partners of the Brazil Africa Institute is, indeed, the African Development Bank, and this was emphasized in the last years, and I’m very proud to say that this partnership is because of the confidence and the vision of President Adesina. I had the opportunity to discuss with him, in many occasions the potential of collaboration between African countries and Brazil, and he’s very familiar with the possibilities of collaboration. Now, when we see countries like the US bringing issues about the leadership of President Adesina, we should understand what, specifically, are the reasons that the bank is being attacked by the US Government. We need to see the details, but we also need to see a concrete reason and the objective that the government of the US is bringing to damage the reputation of president Adesina. My personal opinion is that he’s doing a very good job, and this is important for the bank and for Africa.

Watching the situation from outside I can see that many African leaders, many former Head of States, are now supporting Adesina and what he’s doing at the bank. This is important to emphasize because the leaders who are dealing with him, who had the opportunity to deal with him, are bringing to the table a very strong message that he’s doing the job very well. And this emphasized that he needs to have the opportunity to have a second turn. My feeling is that, in five years, is not possible to change the whole situation, and what he was doing in the last five years was bringing a discussion, a dialogue, among many people, many organizations, and bringing the flag of the bank, and the demands of the continent to partners around the world, including Brazil. That’s why I emphasize and defend the possibility of President Adesina to be reelected.

What did you make of the allegations levied against him and were you satisfied with the defense he put up to deny any wrongdoing?

It is very relevant to mention that the Ethics Committee of the African Development Bank received the response from President Adesina in a very positive way. So, I don’t think we need to go any further to make this clear and I particularly feel very satisfied with the answers given by him.

In 2017 the AFDB and the Brazil Africa Institute launched the Youth Technical Training Program to train young African professionals in research and technology, how is the program working out?

Three years ago, the Brazil Africa Institute started a very important program, bringing young Africans to Brazil to receive training in areas that the country achieve great results. And the African Development Bank actually was the first door that we knocked to start the talks, to show the evidence, and the possibilities of bringing these young Africans boys and girls to Brazil. This was a valuable moment for us, and the Bank received it very well, and the voice of President Adesina, followed by his team, was very helpful and proactive. And we started with agriculture, which is related to the mind of President Adesina. This was in 2017, and after this activity that we have launched with the bank, we started to develop other initiatives with some other international organizations. I’m sure that the beginning of this program, with the African Development Bank, was a crucial moment for us to reach other areas, other activities and to amplify our partnerships around the world.  

I am sure that the start of the Youth Technical Training Program in partnership with the African Development Bank, was a crucial moment for us to reach other areas, other activities and expand our connections around the world.

After 3 years of the program, we are very pleased to identify that many young Africans – now with more knowledge and skills – are applying some successful Brazilian experiences in many parts of the African continent, which clearly demonstrates the importance of south-south cooperation.

After 3 years of the Youth Technical Training Program in partnership with the AFDB   we are very pleased to identify that many young Africans applying some successful Brazilian experiences in many parts of the African continent ,says Prof João Bosco Monte

What expectation would you have for a second Adesina term at the AFDB especially with regards to prospects of more projects and partnerships with IBRAF and Brazil as a whole?

I am optimistic about the possibility of Adesina being re-elected to the presidency of the African Development Bank, especially when we see Brazil as a country that can work very close to Africa, not only at the government level, but also with the private sector. And I see President Adesina’s vision as something that we can have coincidences with the activities of the Brazil Africa Institute.

How is the agenda of IBRAF going to look like for the rest of the year especially with the challenges posed by COVID-19? We will like to end this interview with your perspective on the future of ties between Brazil and Africa, in what areas or sectors do you see potential for additional cooperation and what needs to be done on both sides to make the bonds stronger?

Like all organizations in the world, we are adapting to this situation of isolation and remote work, which of course is not an easy task. As an international organization, it is very necessary to be close to people in many parts of the world, participating in meetings or activities organized by us or our partners.

I think the Brazil-Africa agenda for next year is very positive and I am very optimistic about the future of these relations. Many areas can be addressed, and Brazil is already doing things with Africa in various activities, in many fields. I see agriculture, again, as a possibility for Brazil to become more and more involved with Africa, especially in the context of transfer of technology. But it is important to emphasize that Africa must know more about Brazil and African leaders must be open to seeing Brazil as a potential partner. On the other hand, Brazilians must look for the possibilities to get involved with Africans, and we need to understand more and more the potential that we have before us.

The role of the Brazil Africa Institute is to emphasize that the moment that we have now is very appropriate for Brazil and for Africa. Not only because we see the market potential to sell and buy things, but also because the partnership we see between the two sides is very unique and can last for a long time.

For the second half of 2020, we are still planning some activities, such as the YTTP, with an edition in September and the other in October. We are bringing Africans, from West Africa, to receive training in Brazil, as we have done in the last 3 years. In addition, we are starting the IBRAF Fellowship Program for South-South and Triangular Cooperation, with the objective of facilitating the dialogue between African researchers and local professionals, enabling the exchange of knowledge in various fields, through a platform for expanding contact with the top sustainable development practices in Brazil.

Certainly, our desire is that the result of all the activities that we are developing can somehow contribute so that Brazil and Africa are better prepared for the post-COVID era.

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From Lost Boy To Beacon Of Hope For Global Refugees- Manyang Reath Kher On The Sharing Award
June 17, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

734 Coffee exists to level the playing field for the often-forgotten refugee population that hails from East Africa, says Manyang Reath Kher
734 Coffee exists to level the playing field for the often-forgotten refugee population that hails from East Africa, says Manyang Reath Kher

From the wreckage of the South Sudan civil, a new generation has emerged with fresh hope on how to better the lot of refugees across the globe. One of the perfect epitomes of this new generation is Manyang Reath Kher who was part of the 4,000 Lost Boys who was fortunate enough to land a ticket to the United States in 2001.

A University Lecturer at George Mason University today, Manyang Reath Kher is better known for using the social enterprise 734 Coffee to advocate and conscientize the American population on the plight of refugees. Working with others under the aegis of the NGO Humanity Helping Sudan, Manyang Reath Kher has partnered with some other organizations to come up with the Sharing Award to understand and support the most vulnerable in society-refugees.

In an interview with Pan African Visions, Manyang says the Awards are intended to support individuals and organizations that work on sustainability, social inclusion, and diversity to recognize the humanity and hard work of refugees.

“My advice to successful citizens and especially those considered lost boys, is to invest in South Sudan. The country will not move forward if those of us who have learned and excelled in our respective professions or ventures do not return to invest our time and financial resources,” Manyang says.

Thanks for granting this interview to talk about 734 Coffee and the Sharing Awards, first could we start with an introduction and your journey from South Sudan where you hail from to the United States?

I currently teach Human Rights at the George Mason University (Virginia). I also steer the social enterprise 734 Coffee, as we take the lead on human rights advocacy for refugees and distribute conscious consumer goods to educate the broader American population. When I, Manyang Reath Kher, was three years old, my village was attacked and destroyed by unspeakable violence. My uncle was killed while trying to help me escape.  I managed to survive and lived in three different refugee camps for the next 13 years. Blessed by the hands of parishioners, I am one of the 4,000 Lost Boys who was fortunate enough to land a ticket to the United States.

How was the adaptation process like for you and what motivated you to come up with 734 Coffee and how long has it been running now?

I have a burning desire to help my fellow refugees who are forced to make their new homes in a foreign land. During my senior year in high school, I began working to develop my nonprofit, the Humanity Helping Sudan Project, and recruited others to help me with this effort. Founded in 2008 in Richmond, Virginia, my award­-winning NGO seeks to provide aid and assistance to the Sudanese Diaspora in the Gambella region of Ethiopia. HHSP’s mission is to create sustainable solutions to help alleviate suffering in the region by providing over 40,000 displaced people in refugee camps with materials and resources to battle famine, agricultural training and cultivation of indigenous crops, and clean drinking water through expansion of water wells and springs.  Within the past 8 years we have gained national recognition and top sponsor dollars to do just this as well as further enriching thousands around the world with my story, and the plight of the Sudanese refugees.  

Manyang says the Awards are intended to support individuals and organizations that work on sustainability, social inclusion, and diversity to recognize the humanity and hard work of refugees
Manyang says the Awards are intended to support individuals and organizations that work on sustainability, social inclusion, and diversity to recognize the humanity and hard work of refugees

There is coffee from so many countries, what makes 734 coffee unique and how has it fared in the USA market?

In the world today, racial injustice continues to be prevalent, however, when we couple that injustice with another factor, it becomes a heightened situation that needs immediate attention. Refugees already experience unimaginable social injustices and human rights violations, especially during the current political climate in the United States, that impacts the entire world. However, when refugees (especially those of African descent) do make their way to the United States, they are met with yet another desperate circumstance, that is the racial divide in America that systemically leads to racial injustice. 

734 Coffee exists to level the playing field for the often-forgotten refugee population that hails from East Africa. 734 Coffee uses America’s most popular beverage as a gateway to introduce Americans to the world refugee crisis and how the U.S government’s actions play a part. The 734 Coffee project distributes Arabica coffee from the Ethiopian and South Sudan region of Gambela; it caters to over 250,000 refugees, many of whom historically have been relocated to the United States. New policies in the U.S have not allowed for many refugees to find refuge here in America, this puts a burden on neighboring countries that already struggle to maintain an economy.

Coffee is Ethiopia’s number one source of export revenue generating about 30% of the country’s total export earnings yearly. Using Fair Trade coffee, to create opportunities, educate and build the local economy.    

In terms of distribution, how wide is your network in the USA and considering that it has become a brand of its own, are there plans for expansion beyond American shores?

734 Coffee currently distributes coffee to commercial and residential complexes including Hosteling International, The WhyHotel (Tysons Corner and Arlington Campus), The Warner Building (D.C) and The Louis at 14th by Greystar (D.C); specialty coffee shops, TimGad Cafe (Reagan Center and F. st., D.C), Porter’s House (D.C) and Z-Zoul Cafe (San Francisco, CA) ; retail stores, Takoma Park Co-op (Takoma, MD).

Commercial and residential complexes and specialty coffee shops:

Commercial and residential complexes, specialty coffee shops and retail stores currently make up 70% of revenue. These accounts were obtained primarily through in-person events. To retain these existing accounts and compete for new accounts, 734 Coffee will invest in equipment for them. Providing equipment for these accounts guarantees a minimum of a year-long contract and consistent and reliable purchasing of coffee beans from 734. These investments will be secured through contracts that detail the terms of use, including machine maintenance and exclusivity. This will be the most cash intensive investment that 734 Coffee makes in 2020. 


734 Coffee plans to expand distribution to South America, Europe, the middle east and Asian in the future, but the next couple of years are focused on North America. 

What are some of the challenges that you faced in the course of taking 734 coffee to where it is today?

Of the many challenges that 734 Coffee has faced on its journey to where it now stands, we have noticed two developing trends. The first, the bigger players in the space are undoubtedly ready to defend their market-share like any business would, regardless of our mission and the positive output that we have on the world. Second, establishing partnerships and deals at the intersection of social good and profit has been a daunting task. 

We understand you are working on a very important project dubbed the Sharing Award, could you shed some light on this?

The Sharing Award is the result of a partnership between Humanity Helping Sudan, 734 Coffee, The Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship and One Journey Festival. It was inspired by the generosity of The Tides Foundation following the spotlight placed on HHSP by the refugee-focused film THE GOOD LIE, and the advocacy of its award-winning producers, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Karen Kehela Sherwood and Molly Smith. The purpose of the award is to support innovative individuals and organizations that work on refugee sustainability, social inclusion and diversity in order to build communities that welcome refugees, recognize their humanity, value their hard work, offer them a path to dignified work and have respect for their cultural differences, religious ideals and political beliefs.

The Sharing Award was launched earlier in June — World Refugee Month — to shed as much light as possible on the many organizations that are moving the needle on refugee issues.

With 734 coffee, the creative genius of Manyang Reath Kher is not just bringing dignity and hope to refugees but also contributing to the economic growth his host country and region of origin
With 734 coffee, the creative genius of Manyang Reath Kher is not just bringing dignity and hope to refugees but also contributing to the economic growth his host country and region of origin

Who is eligible to benefit from the awards, what is the application process, what exactly will you be looking for in successful applicants?

  • The Sharing Award Winner (individual or organization) will be awarded our prestigious Vision Development Package: 
    • A cash prize of US $5,000, 
    • Acceptance to the world-renowned Atlas Corps Fellowship, 
    • Invitation to attend the exclusive 2021 Nexus Youth Summit, a global community founded to bridge communities of wealth and social entrepreneurship, where the most innovative social entrepreneurs gather to discover new ideas and collaborate on world changing projects (choose to attend in New York City or Washington, DC – virtually or in person).
    • Applications will be reviewed by a select committee from Ashoka. Ashoka is known for its transformative program that supports the world’s leading social entrepreneurs.
  • 1st Runner Up will be awarded: 
    • 3 Months of business mentoring support through the highly regarded Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship Jumpstart accelerator program.
    • Invitation to attend the exclusive 2021 Nexus Youth Summit.
    • Applications will be reviewed by a select committee from Ashoka.
  • 2nd Runner Up will be awarded: 
    • Invitation to attend the exclusive 2021 Nexus Youth Summit.
    • Applications will be reviewed by a select committee from Ashoka.
  • All Finalists (top 20):
    • Thanks to an innovative co-review partnership with Unfunded List, all of the Finalist applications will also be independently reviewed by an experienced evaluation committee. Each finalist will receive helpful and candid feedback regardless of whether or not they win.
  • Special Nomination(7):
    • Additionally, 7 applicants will also be nominated to receive an Ashoka review.
    •  

Individuals and organizations that submit an application for The Sharing Award must fulfill each and every one of the following criteria to be deemed eligible:

  • Individuals and organizations must have fully developed conceptual ideas or existing projects that focus on tackling challenges faced by migrants and refugees. Examples include projects in the areas of: entrepreneurship, job opportunity, education, leadership development, capacity building, interfaith dialogue, integration, developing welcoming communities and civic engagement.
  • Applicants must have a valid mailing address where postal mail can be shipped.
  • Applicants must have a bank account (eligible financial institution account) in the name of the organization or individual (special circumstances will be considered).
A worthy Ambassador for Refugees at United Nations Foundation event with  Senior Officials. Manyang says the lost boys must continue to contribute their quota towards the emergence of  a better Southern Sudan
A worthy Ambassador for Refugees at United Nations Foundation event with Senior Officials. Manyang says the lost boys must continue to contribute their quota towards the emergence of a better Southern Sudan

What do you make of the political and economic developments in South Sudan, and what is it “lost boys” who have eventually turned out to be amazing success stories could do to help build or contribute your home country forward?

The political and economic landscape in South Sudan is an ever improving one with the people’s voice slowly but surely making a dent in actions taken by the government. With new appointees that have fresh ideas, I think that there is a lot of hope that we can look forward to. 

My advice to successful citizens and especially those considered lost boys, is to invest in South Sudan. The country will not move forward if those of us who have learned and excelled in our respective professions or ventures do not return to invest our time, financial resources and key partners. 

Yours has been a tale of resilience in the face of great odds, what message can you send the millions of refugees across Africa and the world going through experiences similar to what you went through?

Accept that Life is NOT “Supposed to be Fair”: Know that there is no single way that life is “supposed” to be. Demanding that life meet our expectations is a sure fire recipe for a miserable existence. Life is a game with no rules. Life just happens to us regardless of our best intentions. Our only path to happiness lies in being open to receiving whatever life throws at us with Gratitude.

*For more information on the awards and how to apply visit here

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