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Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba tasks African entrepreneurs to grab e-commerce opportunities presented by African Continental Free Trade Agreement
November 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Photo: UNCTAD South Africa
Photo: UNCTAD South Africa

Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba group, one of the world’s largest e-commerce businesses, has urged African entrepreneurs that they will find countless opportunities in e-commerce, logistics and e-payments as the continent prepares for the start of a free-trade deal brought about by the penning of historic African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA.

A successful entrepreneur himself who make a fortune via e-commerce Jack Ma in an interview with Bloomberg Television said; while governments will be responsible for administering the African Continental Free Trade Agreement which has a target starting date of July, business leaders will have to find practical ways on how to connect consumers in disparate markets.

“People like e-commerce, today people trust e-commerce,” said Ma. “It’s just like virgin land. People need it.”

The former English teacher who went ahead to be rated Forbes richest man in China; #21 billionaire worldwide in 2019, #21 most powerful person in 2018, #7 richest person in 2017 among other caps, stepped down from his role at China’s largest company on his birthday in September after amassing a $41.8 billion fortune with the wealth been generated largely via e-commerce.

Today his fortune according to Forbes stands at $39.5Billion as of today.

Ma wants African entrepreneurs to be celebrated as “heroes” and supported by their governments on a continent with a combined market size similar to China’s.

“Sometimes, it’s easy to reach an agreement, but it is difficult to implement…there are too many countries, there are different rules, and languages and systems. But one thing is sure, entrepreneurs can connect Africa.”

Ma is a staunch believer in the economic potentials of Africa and has on several occasion support entrepreneurs and African startups.  

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South Sudan: Growing Pressure on Kiir and Machar as US Recalls Envoy
November 29, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

US Ambassador, Amb. Tom Hushek, presenting his credentials to President Kiir at the State house.  File Picture  Nyamilepedia
US Ambassador, Amb. Tom Hushek, presenting his credentials to President Kiir at the State house. File Picture Nyamilepedia

Juba – Fourteen months since the signing of the peace deal, too little progress has been made to ensure completion of the key tasks assigned to the pre – transitional period.

This indicates a lack of political will by the parties’ leadership [who undertook obligations by signing the agreement] to end the country’s five – year conflict, as these delays have cost the people of South Sudan by delaying the significant reforms outlined in the deal which are necessary to build a lasting peace.

All the parties to the deal, particularly president Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar, share responsibility for the failure to form a new transition government on November 12, 2019, something that has ‘disappointed and frustrated’ the Trump administration in the USA

This ‘frustration,’ has, resulted in  the US recalling its envoy to the East African country, Thomas Hushek to Washington for consultation as  it re-evaluates its relationship with the restive country over warring leaders’ failure to form a unity government on November 12 as  stipulated in the 2018 peace deal.

The move has also been protested by President Salva Kiir’s administration, while urging the White House to exercise patience as the leaders’ trying to reach a viable peace.

South Sudan President Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar fell out in late 2013 – two years after the largely Christian nation won independence from Sudan with strong US support after decades of scorched – earth civil war that has claimed two million lives.

However, the two leaders reached peace deal in 2015 and was violated within months in 2016, saw deadly skirmish but again the two principals signed a revitalized peace deal on September, 2018.

Initially, the peace parties were to set up the unity government in May 2019. However, they pushed it to November 12, to allow for the implementation of key security arrangements.

But the two leaders missed a November 12 deadline to form a unity government as they disagreed over the pre – transitional period issues, prompting African mediators and guarantors to the peace deal to convene a meeting and gave them another 100 days, the second extension to complete the outstanding issues.

Before extension, president Kiir always wanted to form the transition government with or without opposition leader Machar, who insisted on the full implementation of the security arrangement issues as stipulated in the peace deal.

In regards to that, the international community had also strongly advised against the exclusion of the SPLM-IO leader or any other signatory to the September 2018 peace accord.

The White House reacted to the new extension, saying it was “gravely disappointed” with South Sudan’s leaders for not meeting the deadline.

President Trump’s administration also questioned the ability of President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar to lead South Sudan, adding that it would “re-evaluate” its relations with Juba.

The US is a key supporter of South Sudan since the liberation era to the independence time. The United States, which contributes about $1 billion a year in mostly humanitarian aid for the young country, has been especially vocal in its enragement over the lack of progress in South Sudan.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote on Twitter that he recalled the ambassador “as we re-evaluate our relationship with the government of South Sudan.”

But the recall has shocked the government in Juba, further begging the United States to be patient as its rival leaders work to achieve viable peace.

Juba described the withdrawal as a diplomatic concern to the government of South Sudan, urging the United States to reconsider the withdrawal while appealing to them to support the peace process.

“It’s unfortunate that Mr. Mike Pompeo, the United States secretary of state, questioned the suitability of our head of state, an act that is regrettable and in total disregards of the norms of diplomatic practices,” partly reads a statement issued on Tuesday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

But the government of South Sudan says it is still hopeful that a unity government will be formed at the end of the 100 days.

Amb. Mawien Makol, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, urged US to exercise restraint and patience with the South Sudan peace process.

“We are urging the United States to reconsider the withdrawal,” said Amb. Makol quoted by Eye Radio on Tuesday. “It is their concern; it is true they have reached that decision but we are still urging them to reconsider and try to support the country.”

Although the U.S has recalled Ambassador Thomas Hushek, statement also said “the United States stands with the people of South Sudan in their pursuit of peace and will work in partnership with the region to support efforts to achieve peace and a successful political transition in South Sudan.”

Last month, the Senate in the United States introduced a bipartisan resolution in support of the peace process in South Sudan. The Democrats and Republican senators called on the leaders to keep the momentum going to strengthen the fragile peace that exists in South Sudan.  

President Kiir earlier said he accepted the 100-day extension because it was a collective need by some parties to the peace deal, and it would help the country achieve durable peace rather return to war again.

“While in Washington, Ambassador Hushek will meet with senior U.S. government officials as part of the re-evaluation of the U.S. relationship with the Government of South Sudan given the latest developments,” partly reads a statement issued by the Department of State on Monday.

Lost trust

South Sudanese political analyst James Okuk said the recent statement by the US government is an indication that the Trump administration has ‘lost trust’ in the ability of President Kiir and opposition leader Machar to work together in bringing peace and stability in the country.

Dr. Okuk further warned that if the two leaders do not form a unity government at the lapse of the 100-day extension, they may face ‘gigantic sanctions.’

In August this year, the United States threatened to impose fresh sanctions against South Sudan leaders if they fail to form a coalition government as scheduled.

The five-year civil war, which was triggered by power wrangles between president Kiir and ex – rebel leader Machar has reportedly caused nearly 400,000 deaths, uprooted four million people from their homes both internally and externally, and has devastated the country’s economy.

In addition to the hundreds of millions the United States has paid for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and to fund the peace agreement’s key monitoring mechanisms.

The U.S and other international partners have contributed several billions of dollars for humanitarian and development purposes, all of which are responsibility of government – ‘which gives us an interest in the peaceful transition to an elected government that acts responsibly, respects the rights of its citizens and doesn’t support corruption and conflict,” said in part of US embassy statement.

Its further said they have engaged with all parties

[both signatory and non-signatory]

to encourage them to make progress towards peace process but remain disappointed by ‘slow progress and the obvious lack of will’ on the part of the individuals who have been entrusted this important responsibility of the nation.

As a new unity government is expected to be formed on February, 2020, in attempt to help stabilise the country and bring to an end the unfolded suffering of the citizens, the security and governance issues needed to be resolved in the horn of Africa.

The U.S urge all the parties and individuals in the country to reflect on their failure and on what changes are needed in order to accomplish necessary tasks within the limited time remaining in the one – hundred days extension.

In Washington, U.S Amb. Hushek to reassess relationship with the existing, unelected government in South Sudan and to discuss what measures might be employed to discourage  obstruction of the peaceful progression to an inclusive transition government.

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A Robust Response in Gestation from African Mayors to Fight Climate Change
November 26, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General, UCLG Africa.
Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General, UCLG Africa.

Higher temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, drought, and increased climate variability are some of the climate changes pushing scientist and experts to make dire predictions on the future for Africa if nothing is done. Determined to meet the challenge of climate change head on, African mayors and local governments leaders are taking urgent actions to cushion the effects.

Working under the aegis of The Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) – African cities and municipalities are developing and implementing sustainable climate and energy actions that center on access to clean energy, climate mitigation and climate adaptation. Funded by the European Union, CoM SSA  is the regional chapter of the Global CovenantofMayors ,the  largest coalition of cities to local climate and energy action, an initiative shaped by local governments to reflect the importance of climate and energy action at local level, while highlighting the context and specificities of the Sub-Saharan region.

At the 2nd African Climate Chance Summit, that took place in Ghana recently and  featured the Conference of the Covenant of Mayors In Sub-Saharan Africa-CoM SSA , one of the most critical messages was to ensure  accessibility of climate finance at the local level.

To shed more light on the climate change challenges, and the robust response that African mayors are working on, Jean Pierre Elong MbassiSecretary General of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa- UCLG and  Frédéric Vallier Secretary General at Council of European Municipalities and Regions-CEMR, fielded questions from PAV.

Could we start by introducing the Covenant of Mayors In Sub-Saharan Africa for us and its brief history?

Frédéric Vallier, Secretary General, CEMR  :The Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) initiative supports Sub-Saharan cities in their fight against climate change and in their efforts in ensuring access to clean energy. Started in 2015, the initiative is shaped by local authorities for the local authorities to reflect the local context and specificities.

The Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) is the “regional covenant” of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM). It is a bottom-up and voluntary initiative that invites cities to define and meet ambitious and realistic energy and climate targets. Cities and Local authorities are encouraged to define their long-term vision and actions towards a sustainable future based on the pillars of Climate Change i) Mitigation, ii) Adaptation, and iii) sustainable, affordable and secure Access to Energy.

The CoM SSA initiative was launched in 2015, just around the same period as the historic Conference of Parties (COP) 21 and is funded by the European Union, with the ambition of bringing together local governments in Sub-Sharan Africa voluntarily committed to fighting climate change.

The main objective of the CoM SSA is to increase the capacity of cities to provide access to sufficient, sustainable and safe energy related services to urban and peri-urban populations, with special attention to energy efficiency and renewable energy as drivers for local low emission, climate resilient, sustainable development. Given the major challenge of urban growth in most African countries in the coming decades, the specific objective is to increase local governments’ planning capacities on urban design, mobility and energy.

What would you cite as some of the success stories of CoM SSA since its creation?

Frédéric Vallier, Secretary General, CEMR : In Africa, cities and municipalities are particularly vulnerable when it comes to climate change. Increasing floods and droughts threaten city’s social and economic health, and the need for clean, stable energy is constant. One of the major successes is that the initiative has over 200 signatory cities across sub-Saharan Africa, and is working with 13 pilot cities which are receiving funding from the European Union to develop climate action plans and implement pilot actions in their territories. Thanks to CoM SSA, mayors and city civil servants have been mobilized, their awareness increased, their capacities built, and their readiness to face climate change improved.

How many members does CoM SSA have and what does it take to join?

Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General, UCLG Africa :Joining CoM SSA, now more than 200 cities strong, is open to any city or municipality in Sub-Saharan Africa regardless of size.

Benefits of joining the initiative are numerous but a snapshot view includes:

  • Capacity building and support to implement climate change policy commitments that contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the drive for cities and local governments to be recognized and included in the development of Nationally Determined Contributions
  • Access to general and technical support on climate and energy planning including the very important step to access finance
  • Gaining access to best practices and taking part in city to city partnerships leading to knowledge exchanges and peer support at regional and local workshops in Senegal, Kenya and Cape Town to name a few.
  • Engaging in networking opportunities with other global cities including the participation of the Mayor of Accra representing Africa on the Executive Board of GCoM at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York in September 2019 where he spoke passionately about the impact of climate on the health of people in his city through air pollution highlighting solutions that Accra the city aims to introduce to address this
  • Increase international visibility for Sub-Saharan Africa local governments’ climate and energy actions through joint events such as Climate Chance and the participation in key Global events including COP 25 scheduled now to take place in Madrid, Spain between 2-13 December 2019.

The 2nd African Climate Chance Summit, featuring the Conference of the Covenant of Mayors in Sub Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) took place in Ghana, can you shed some light on how the Summit went and some of the major outcomes?

Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General, UCLG Africa :Jean-Pierre Elong-Mbassi, Secretary General of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa, chaired the first day’s opening and he highlighted four key messages from the Conference

  1. The need to correct the imbalance in financing Climate Adaptation to enable African local governments to achieve their ambitious climate action plans, with Africa demanding more adaptation finance;
    1. Ghana to position itself as Africa’s Climate Hub and champion the localisation of Nationally Determined Contributions. The Mayor of Accra, who is the Global Covenant of Mayor’s Executive Board member and CoM SSA Ambassador, is well positioned to take these messages to the international stage;
    1. The Climate Chance Summit Africa to become the preparation conference for COPs representing cities, local governments and non-state actors in Africa to formulate and deliver their messages, declarations and recommendations at an international level where these ambitious climate plans that are now called “The Accra Climate Dialogue”; and

The theme of the conference was “Towards the Institutionalization of Local Climate Action and Access to Finance,” how did it tie in with the objectives or agenda that CoM SSA has?

Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General, UCLG Africa: The idea is to make climate action a component of most of the municipalities in every country in Africa. National governments have a role as they can create the enabling environment, such as new institutional framework, in order to generalize local climate action and make it more effective.

In terms of climate change, how is this manifested in some of your member cities, what are some of the changes worthy of concern that are been reported?

Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General, UCLG Africa :Some cities have created teams of civil servants within their municipal structure, sometimes in cooperation with other supporting stakeholders from civil society and universities, to address the issues of climate change and energy access. The institutional dynamic at city level was boosted by the capacity building activities that cities could benefit from the CoM SSA program, as well as thanks to the peer-learning with other cities from the continent, such as Bouaké in Ivory Coast and Tsévié in Togo, which both almost finalized their climate plans. These cities already implement local projects such as safer and cleaner cook stoves, public lightening powered by solar energy and waste management initiatives.

Frederick Vailler CEMR SG High Res Pic
Frederick Vailler CEMR SG

Looking at the realities on the ground, in the cities across Africa, how bad or alarming is the situation compared to some of the dire reports that we see in some international publications?

Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General, UCLG Africa :According to IPCC regular reports, Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents and it is already one that is experiencing the consequence of climate changes in the most spectacular way. Droughts, flooding, desertification, biodiversity loss, etc. are happening more often and in worse proportions than before.

We noticed that that the activities of CoM SSA are funded by the European Union, what kind of support are your members and CoM SSA as a group getting from African governments?

Frédéric Vallier, Secretary General, CEMR :CoM SSA initiative does not receive specific support from African government. However, in some instances, contacts have been established with agents from ministries so they can promote the initiative back to their countries or promote the cooperation of cities with national statistical agencies for example. The President of Ghana spoke in support of CoM SSA during the last Climate Chance conference in Accra.

Besides the funding that it provides, what other support do you get from the EU and other international partners, and how do you balance local or African realities with dictates of some of the international partners?

Frédéric Vallier, Secretary General, CEMR : In addition to its financial support, the European Union supports CoM SSA through the involvement of its Joint Research Centre, a European research agency, which developed key material for the development of climate plans (Guidebook for the elaboration of climate action plans) and still provides technical support.

CoM SSA implementing partners from Europe have also shared experiences acquired with the European Covenant of Mayors and promoted city partnerships of African cities with European cities in the area of climate action. CoM SSA also relies on its partners based in Africa, with their strong local experience, to provide support in capacity-building, technical support, opportunities for advocacy and opportunities of cooperation with African civil society.

What kind of mechanisms does CoM SSA have in place to monitor progress with recommendations from the recent forum, and what next in the months and years to come for CoM SSA?

Frédéric Vallier, Secretary General, CEMR :CoM SSA Help Desk based in Accra, at UCLG-Africa’s West Africa regional office, is in constant contact with signatory cities in order to provide them with technical support and monitoring their progress towards the development of their climate action plans. The Help Desk, together with other partners such as ICLEI-Africa, is also liaising with cities on possible funding opportunities.

The European Union will continue to support the CoM SSA, including with specific support to African cities ready to implement a climate plan from 2020. African partner organisations, such as UCLG-Africa (based in Accra), ICLEI-Africa (based in Cape Town), Sustainable Energy Africa (based in Cape Town) and ENDA Energies (based in Dakar) will continue their work in guiding the CoM SSA signatory cities through their climate action.

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Former Tanzania President Kikwete elected chairperson of Global Water Partnership Southern Africa
November 26, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Jakaya Kikwete

Partners of the Global Water Partnership (GWP) Southern Africa have announced the new Chair of Global Water Partnership  Southern Africa and Africa Coordination Unit (GWPSA-ACU)  His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania. His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete was the 4th President of the United Republic of Tanzania from 2005-2015.

  GWP announced its new Chair during a High Level Ambassador reception attended by ambassadors from SADC countries and OECD countries accredited to South Africa. The High Level Ambassador reception was also attended by South Africa Deputy Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, representatives of the Africa Union, SADC, GWP representatives from its global office in Stockholm, Sweden, GWP international cooperating partners, River Basin Organisations and GWP partners from SADC member states.

In accepting his election as GWPSA Chair, His Excellency Kikwete said, “It is with a deep sense of gratitude and humility that I accept the mandate that GWP Partners have bestowed on me to serve as the Chair of Global Water Partnership Southern Africa and the Africa Coordination Unit for the next four years. Water is a common denominator for socio-economic development. It is the epicenter of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and plays a key role in regional cooperation and integration as well as peace and security. I look forward to working with GWP to support countries to improve their water security and enhance resilience to climate change through increased water investments and access to water, in particular for vulnerable women and children”.

Welcoming the election of GWPSA’s new Chair, GWPSA Executive Secretary and Head of the Africa Coordination Unit, Mr. Alex Simalabwi, said, “We are thrilled and excited to have one of Africa’s accomplished statesman as our new Chair and look forward to working with His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete to champion water security in the SADC region, Africa and globally”.

His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete will provide GWPSA with regional and Pan-African leadership for implementing the new GWP Strategy 2020-2025, that was launched at the same event by GWP Executive Secretary Dr. Monika Weber-Fahr.

Launching the new GWP Global Strategy, Dr. Weber-Fahr stressed, “The world can hold us to account as we have concrete measurable commitments in our new Strategy. Working with our partners, we will significantly advance water-related SDGs in 60 countries and 20 transboundary basins with a combined population of over 4 billion people. We will influence more than €10 billion in water-related investments from government and private sources”.

As GWPSA-ACU Chair, His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete will also serve as Chair of the Africa Water Investment Programme (AIP) whose goal is to transform and improve the investment outlook for water security and sustainable sanitation for a prosperous, peaceful and equitable Africa. AIP aims to mobilise, water investments towards the implementation of SDG 6 on water and sanitation in Africa by 2030. AIP is an outcome of the High Level Panel on Water, that was co-convened in 2016 by UN Secretary- General and World Bank President. In February 2019, the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) adopted AIP and requested GWP to mobilise partnerships for its implementation in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Water Facility (AWF), the African Union Development Agency- NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) and other partners.

Born on 7 October 1951, President Kikwete is a graduate of Economics from the University of Dar es Salaam. He served in different party, military and government positions. He joined the Cabinet in 1988 and he held several ministerial portfolios including Minister for Finance, Minister for Water, Energy and Mineral Resources and Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. He was the longest serving Foreign Minister in the history of Tanzania after serving that position for a ten-year tenure.

In 2007, during his presidency, His Excellency Kikwete launched Tanzania’s Water Sector Development Programme (WSDP) 2006 – 2025, whose objective is to develop a sound water resources management and development framework in all nine river basins, and to promote good governance of water resources throughout Tanzania.

During his tenure in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he led Tanzania’s efforts to bring about peace in the Great Lakes region, particularly in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As Chairman of East African Community (EAC)’s Council of Ministers, he played a pivotal role in moving forward the process of regional integration in East Africa, particularly the delicate negotiations of establishing a Customs Union between Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. During his tenure as EAC chairman, he signed and ratified the Protocol on the Common Market. He also Co-chaired the Helsinki Process on Globalization and Democracy with the Foreign Minister of Finland.

In 2007, President Kikwete was elected Chairman of the SADC Organ on Security, Defense and Politics, where he was deeply involved in the search for peaceful solutions to political crises in the Southern Africa region, including a political crisis in Zimbabwe and Lesotho.

On 31 January 2008, President Kikwete was elected Chairman of the African Union Assembly of Heads of States and Government, where he took a proactive role in the resolution of conflicts in the Republic of Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He also advanced to greater heights the relations between the AU and the UN, EU and International Community at large.

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Global Gender Summit 2019: African leaders take on the responsibility to urgently close the gender gap
November 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

‘There is no template to follow…we (women) can deliver but we can deliver differently” – President Sahle-Work Zewde, President of Ethiopia

‘We are making sure that narrowing this gender gap is everyone’s responsibility,’ President Paul Kagame of Rwanda

“This discrimination is political, economic and social; it is politically incorrect, unjustifiable socially.’ – Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat

‘ A smarter world must invest in women and girls. Let’s be smart and let’s be wise. Women are the best investment any society can make,’ Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, African Development Bank Group

The 2019 Global Gender Summit, the first to be held on the continent, kicked off on Monday with a strong call to surge ahead on gender issues and move from commitment to action.

Africa’s only female President, Sahle-Work Zewde  of Ethiopia, said Ethiopia’s parliament is one of the only two on the continent with over 50% gender parity in seats, and women currently hold key ministerial roles in defense and national security for the first time. Despite her own country’s huge advances, however, the work has just started, she said.

Zewde was speaking during the opening plenary of the Global Gender Summit, a biennial event organized by the multilateral development banks (MDBs), bringing together leaders from government, development institutions, private sector, civil society, and academia.

The Summit is taking place in Kigali Rwanda from 25th to November 27th.

“There is good momentum for women and African women, but the work has just started…‘There is no template to follow…we (women) can deliver, but we can deliver differently,” President Zewde said.

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, who officially opened the Summit, described gender equality as “real commonsense.”  Rwanda leads the word in gender representation in parliament with 61% of its parliamentarians being women — the highest in the world. In addition, half of all ministerial positions are held by women, just like in Ethiopia.

“We got it from the beginning that there is a lot of work to do…made investments to ensure that women are at the center of development. We are making sure that narrowing this gender gap is everyone’s responsibility,’ President Kagame said.

Echoing their sentiments, Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat said the African Union’s Agenda 2063 was deliberate about gender parity.

“What we are telling our heads of states is to take the bull by the horns…This discrimination is political, economic, and social; it is politically incorrect, unjustifiable socially…not to take (gender) into account is a real waste.”

In Africa, 70% of women are excluded financially. The continent has a $42 billion financing gap between men and women. And women, who are the majority of farmers, face a financing gap of close to $16 billion.

“The challenges are not just about gender. They are about under-representation and lack of empowerment of women,” African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina said.

“A smarter world must invest in women and girls. Let’s be smart, and let’s be wise. Women are the best investment any society can make,’ he added.

The African Development Bank is doing its part to transform the financing landscape for women with the launch of the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA). AFAWA aims to mobilize $3 billion of new lending by banks and financial institutions for women in Africa. G7 leaders approved a package totaling $251 million in support of AFAWA during the summit in August.

Welcoming the conference participants, Rwanda’s Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Soline Nyirahabimana, said the Kigali Conference center was set to glow orange in honor of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. The 16 days kick off on November 25th, each year, which marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and runs until December 10th.

The 2019 Global Gender Summit is attended by the first ladies of Rwanda and Kenya as well as representatives of the heads of state of Gabon, Mali, Senegal, Chad and the King of Morocco. Also in attendance are ministers of genders from Niger, Somalia, Senegal, South Sudan, Tunisia, and Libya.

The Summit runs from 25th to 27th of November under the theme: ‘Unpacking constraints to gender equality.’

‘The African Development Bank believes in women. Women are bankable,” Adesina said.

*AFDB

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A Recipe For African Success In NJ Ayuk’s Billions At Play
November 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

NJ Ayuk speaking at the launch of Billions At Play in South Africa
NJ Ayuk speaking at the launch of Billions At Play in South Africa

Launched recently in South Africa at a heavily attended event, NJ Ayuk’s new book Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals has received rave reviews.

“Africans are more than capable of making our continent a success,” says NJ Ayuk in an interview with Pan African Visions to discuss the book. Past deals have not worked for a majority of African countries and Billions At Play is a road map to the future we Africans want to build for ourselves, says NJ Ayuk.

With key roles   roles as CEO of Centurion Law Group, and Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, Ayuk says Africans need to know the worth and value they bring into any oil and gas deals.

“Oil only becomes a curse when it is mismanaged, and when extraction is done without proper supervision and regulations, without pragmatic solutions that promise sustainability,” says Ayuk.

Described by OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo as a dreamer who has taken the time to develop a detailed roadmap for realizing that dream, Ayuk says he cherishes the battles he fights to get opportunities for fellow African to have a seat at the table.

“We are showing that we are not a helpless continent and we don’t want handouts – our future will not be based on aid,” says Ayuk in the interview which also discusses the role of the diaspora, women, alternative sources of energy ,and more.

NJ your new book Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals is now available, what is the message you seek to convey?

Billions At Play is a roadmap to the future that we, Africans, can build for ourselves by getting a few things right. The biggest message that I seek to convey is that of our shared responsibility towards improving Africa and creating the Africa our future generations will thank us for. It goes beyond the African energy sector. I hope everyone can see how they can be part of the solution in a more practical, sustainable way. Africans are more than capable of making our continent a success.

Special guests at the launch included H.E Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea; Hon. Abdirashid Mohammed Ahmed, Minister of Petroleum of the Federal Republic of Somalia; Kola Karim, Group Managing Director of Shoreline Energy and Mr. Rene Awambeng, Global Head of Client Relations at Afreximbank
Special guests at the launch included H.E Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea; Hon. Abdirashid Mohammed Ahmed, Minister of Petroleum of the Federal Republic of Somalia; Kola Karim, Group Managing Director of Shoreline Energy and Mr. Rene Awambeng, Global Head of Client Relations at Afreximbank

In terms of doing deals, what is it that African countries have failed to understand, and what are some of the suggestions that you are offering?

It’s no secret that in the past deals have proven not to work for a majority of African countries – only benefiting a selected few. We see the repercussions of that daily, where African countries are rich in oil and gas, but their communities at large suffer from poverty and unemployment. My biggest recommendation? Better deal-making abilities and implementation of local content regulations.  We need to learn how to negotiate better deals that benefit everyday Africans. We are getting smarter at building new models for managing petroleum revenue. Africans need to know the worth and value we bring into any oil and gas deals and be confident in that. Our laws must create an enabling environment for international investors who want to transfer technology and empower Africans, to be able to do business with us. As I write in Billions At Play, good deal-making is crucial. We need to negotiate deals that result in long-term benefits for the people, African companies need to negotiate deals that keep them on an equal playing field with their competition and empower them to grow, to create and sustain jobs, and to support the communities they are based in. 

Looking at the continent we see some countries that have produced oil for decades unable to maintain a single functional refinery, in other countries the resources seem to benefit a few and not the broader interest of the people, how does Africa turn the resource curse to a blessing ?

Oil only becomes a curse when it is mismanaged, and when extraction is done without proper supervision and regulations, without pragmatic solutions that promise sustainability. Otherwise, it can be a true blessing. We need infrastructure – we need to build and own our own refineries, pipelines, urea, ammonia, and fertilizer plants, power plants etc. The same applies to setting up technology hubs! We have seen how some African countries have started taking steps in this direction, and that makes me really proud.

When we talk of energy, the immediate focus is on oil, could you talk on the potential of other forms of energy like wind and solar and how this could shape the future as well?

Africa will never fulfill its true potential until access to reliable power is widespread, and that can only be attained once we have functional, well-funded, transparent power utilities that make use of new technologies and solutions and that partner with the private sector to promote the continent’s ability to power itself in a sustainable manner.

Yes, most of Africa has solar exposure that is very adequate for power generation, not to mention wind, hydro, and other forms of clean power generation. The likes of Kenya, targeting a 100% clean energy mix is a good example.

Africans are more than capable of making our continent a success, says Ayuk
Africans are more than capable of making our continent a success, says Ayuk

“Africans are more than capable of making our continent successful,” you say in the book, looking at what is going on in the continent, what makes you so optimistic?

Take a look around you and across the globe and you will easily spot African brothers and sisters actively doing amazing things in their spheres of influence, each playing a role in transforming the lives of hundreds of thousands of Africans. Similarly, the biggest discoveries made in the world recently are in Africa. We are showing that we are not a helpless continent and we don’t want handouts – our future will not be based on aid. Good things really are happening across the continent, and the petroleum industry is a common denominator. You can find plenty of examples of natural resources contributing to meaningful changes for the better. I’ll forever be optimistic, and I know my hard work and optimism is contagious.

What role do you see for the African diaspora, especially those with the skills set that could make a difference on the energy future of the continent?

The diaspora can actively engage with foreign partners, which is essential to Africa’s growth, and contribute to spreading a more objective narrative on the promising future the continent has. Similarly, and as we seek to build better organizations and run better businesses, skills learned and acquired abroad can be highly beneficial to the continent.

“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,” you say, what leverage do African countries have to compel companies from China, Europe, the US and other parts of the world to implement this?

We need foreign oil and gas companies to continue operating in African communities and to continue hiring African people, purchasing from African suppliers, and partnering with African companies. Like I said, foreign partners are essential to Africa’s growth, we need to push ahead, and we cannot live and prosper in isolation. We can also benefit from the companies working on the continent for investment collaborations and to build the infrastructure necessary for industrialization.

You also talk about the paucity of women in the energy sector, what accounts for this and how important is it for the trend to be reversed?

I sit in a lot of boardrooms, I speak at a lot of conferences, and I am always faced with how few and far in between women executives are in these spaces. It’s a fact that amongst African oil firms, women in leadership only account for only about 2-3%. So who is going to push the agenda for women, if not me? Not us? I know and work with a lot of amazingly hardworking, innovative, strong women that I believe need to take their spaces in executive roles. Women have a great deal to offer, and good jobs for women contribute to a more stable, more economically vital Africa. We have to do more to ensure that women and men receive equal compensation, whether it’s wages, community programs, or property royalties, etc. If I can do my part to put pressure, I’ll be happy.

Billions At Play is a roadmap to the future that we, Africans, can build for ourselves by getting a few things right,says Ayuk
Billions At Play is a roadmap to the future that we, Africans, can build for ourselves by getting a few things right,says Ayuk

Billions at Play is also hitting the stands at a time of great excitement and growing optimism with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA, how does this factor in into the vision you share?

The AfCFTA like in every other industry or sector, can yield great results for the oil industry. I love unity! I love making money together! I have Centurion Law Group offices in South, West, and East Africa already – I’m glad the entire continent is catching up. I continue to embrace strong regional economy give the continent a competitive edge in the global economy and it will make a lot of pan-African work easier. Lets’ win together.

In his foreword, OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo describes you as a dreamer who has “taken the time to develop a detailed roadmap for realizing that dream,” how far is NJ Ayuk willing to go in rallying Africa and friends of Africa towards the fulfilment of this dream?

That’s what I live for every day. Opening opportunities for fellow African to come and have a seat at the table. It is an honor for me to be able to do that and call it my work. to open doors for other people, the same way as doors were open for me and knowledge imparted. That is what it is all about.

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Africa’s infrastructure financing reaches an all-time high in 2018, surpassing $100 billion – Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA)
November 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

This years’ report shows the role ICA continues to play in institutional and policy reform as well as its consistent financial contribution within the infrastructure space
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, November 18, 2019/ — The Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) on Tuesday announced a 24% leap in infrastructure financing in Africa in 2018, surpassing $100 billion for the first time, but significant financing gaps remain.

Launched on 12 November at the Africa Investment Forum (https://AfricaInvestmentForum.com/), the ICA’s Infrastructure Financing Trends in Africa 2018 report shows that financing of infrastructure in Africa reached a new high of $100.8 billion in 2018, a jump of about a quarter on 2017 and 38% up on the 2015-2017 average.

Mike Salawou, ICA Coordinator, and Manager of Infrastructure Partnerships, at the African Development Bank, commented: “Over the years the Infrastructure Financing Trends in Africa report has become an important document for presenting, in a consistent manner, how funding is being mobilised to develop the continent’s infrastructure. 

“The report’s publication during the Africa Investment Forum is extremely timely. While the increase in financial commitments in 2018 is very welcome, the report also serves to highlight the size of Africa’s infrastructure financing gap – one of the key issues addressed during the forum,” Salawou said.

This years’ report shows the role ICA continues to play in institutional and policy reform as well as its consistent financial contribution within the infrastructure space. This, along with a 65% and 33% increase in commitments over the previous 3-year average by China and African Governments respectively, and the role of other multilateral organisations resulted in the 24% increase recorded in infrastructure financing for 2018.

Among the key findings of the report was an increase in financing commitments across all sectors, with a notable increase in the energy sector, which attracted financing commitments worth $43.8 billion, an all-time high and a 67% increase on the 2015-2017 average. The ICT sector also saw record commitments in 2018 of $7.1 billion, mostly from the private sector.

Even with the significant increase in commitments in 2018, there remains a total financing gap of $52 billion to $92 billion per year. Yearly estimates of Africa’s financing requirements range from $130 billion to $170 billion. Water and sanitation has the largest financing gap of all the sectors, based on annual financing needs of $56-$66 billion and a 2016-2018 average commitment of $13 billion.

Panellists Dr. T. Nyirenda-Jere, Dr. B. Ben Yaghlane, Dr. I. Urua, Mr. C. Kirigua and Mr. P. Guislain, addressed key messages highlighted in this year’s report, which includes, the need to increase both public and private sector financing, strengthen governance and improve the quality of infrastructure services.

The Africa Investment Forum took place from 11 to 13 November 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa, and offered a platform for sourcing funding for bankable African projects, brokering infrastructure deals and providing innovative financial solutions.

The event attracted key global companies, financial players, and public officials who addressed the continent’s critical infrastructure investment gaps.

Infrastructure Financing Trends in Africa 2018 can be downloaded from the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (https://www.ICAfrica.org/en/) website.

*Source AFDB

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‘The cost is going to be high’-Kagame warns Rwanda’s enemies
November 14, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

Kagame warns those who want to destabilise Rwanda

President Paul Kagame is warning those who want to wage a war on Rwanda and everyone who is involved, that the cost on their part will be very high.

He made the comments on   Thursday, 14 November after officiating the swearing in ceremony of new cabinet members.

Among new cabinet members includes General Patrick Nyamvumba who was tasked to lead Internal security ministry. This ministry had been scrapped three years ago.

President Kagame said that  people who are planning to destabilize Rwanda, hiding behind politics are going to face consequences.

Though he did not name them, Kagame could have been saying those who are plotting against his government from inside in cooperation with negative forces from outside.

“I want to warn some people among us who hide behind different things, they hide behind politics, democracy , freedom … that we actually want , it is our responsibility to ensure that there is democracy, there is peace, freedom and everything in our country. For people who hide behind this nonsense and they even backed and praised by people outside ..you are going to face us” he said

In his speech that was being aired live on national television, Kagame said that he cannot accept people who consume security that have cost even people’s lives, to cause problems in the country.

“For those who are involved they better come clean very fast. You cannot be here benefiting from security, peace that we have created, we have paid for in blood, over many years and the you  do things behind our backs to cause us problems. We will put you where you belong… and those ones who make noises about it we will see what they will do.”

Recently Rwanda has been experiencing attacks from rebel groups who say they want to liberate country. Some of them operates from Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

In early October, assailants launched an attack in Northern Rwanda where they killed 14 people and wounded dozens.

Those who were captured told local media that they are from RUD Urunana rebel group, a faction group that detached itself from  FDLR, a rebel group in DRC that Rwanda accuses to be made of many who involved in 1994 genocide against the Tutsis.

Kagame warns whoever collaborate with those groups, saying it will cost them highly.

“We are going to raise the costs on the part of anybody who wants to destabilize our security. The cost is going to be very high whether it is the means, we are going to put into that to make sure that we have everything it takes  to ensure security and stability of our country and our people and our development. The source of the cost mainly those people who destabilize our country who want ..it going to be a very high cost on their part absolutely. I mean it and you know that I mean it”, he added.

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Africa Investment Forum 2019: Unveiling the Boardroom: $67.6 billion dollars of deals tabled, $40.1 billion investor interest secured
November 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

Africa is winning…Africa is bankable- African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina

It was deals that brought participants to the 2019 Africa Investment Forum and they were not disappointed. The second Forum ended on a high note Wednesday, with 56 boardroom deals valued at $67.6 billion tabled – a 44% increase from last year.

Fifty-two deals worth $40.1 billion secured investor interest compared with $37.8 billion dollars last year.

During the 2018 edition of the Forum, 61 transactions valued at $46.9 billion were tabled for discussions in boardroom sessions and 49 deals worth $38.7 billion, secured investment interest.

Presiding over the session: “Unveiling the Boardroom Deals”, African Development President Akinwumi Adesina said that was the spirit of the Africa Investment Forum: “transactions, transactions, transactions. Deals, deals, deals!”

Over 2,221 participants attended this year’s Forum from 109 countries, 48 from Africa and 61 from outside of Africa. They came from government, the private sector, development finance institutions, commercial banks, and institutional investors.

‘The Forum is a platform that will change Africa’s investment landscape,” Chinelo Anohu, the Forum Senior Director said. “Africa is ready to engage on its own terms.”

Key moments of the Forum included:

  • a $600 million COCOBOD deal for Ghana, for cocoa processing, warehousing and processing
  • $58 million for the Alithea Identity Fund for women
  • A concession agreement for the Accra Sky Train, worth $2.6 billion

The Forum focused on projects and advancing deals spanning several sectors, including Energy, Infrastructure, Transport and Utilities, Industry, agriculture, ICT and Telecoms.

“Now the hard work begins to fast-track these deals to financial closure… Africa is bankable,” Adesina said.

*AFDB

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African Development Bank, Credit Suisse, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Ghana Cocoa Board ink $600 million loan agreement to boost cocoa production
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
  • Agreement is a turning point for scaling up the cocoa value chain – President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana
  • Ghana is bankable, cocoa is bankable and of course Africa is bankable – Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, President, African Development Bank

The African Development Bank, Credit Suisse AG, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited and Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) signed a $600 million syndicated receivables-backed term loan on Tuesday, to boost cocoa productivity in Ghana – the world’s second-largest cocoa producer.

Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of the African Development Bank Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, senior officials from Credit Suisse and ICBC, oversaw the signing of the facility, at a ceremony held on the second day of the 2019 Africa Investment Forum.

The multi-million dollar agreement is a milestone for the Bank-convened Africa Investment Forum, a transactional platform dedicated to transforming the continent’s investment and development agenda, which kicked off in Sandton City Johannesburg on Monday.

The COCOBOD transaction was launched at the Africa Investment Forum in 2018, and a year later, the signing is a demonstration of the Forum’s ability to raise much needed financing, including from international commercial financiers, for projects in Africa. Prior to the agreement, COCOBOD did not have access to long-term debt capital.

At a press conference following the signing, President Akufo-Addo said the agreement would help to ensure higher incomes for Ghana’s cocoa farmers.

“It was critical that we find a mechanism for scaling up the value chain for our farmers and that is where the Bank came in,” Akufo Addo said. “We see this agreement as a turning point and…to what is possible on this continent.”

The Bank, as Original DFI Lender and Initial Mandated Lead Arranger, is partnering with Credit Suisse as Original Commercial Lender, Global Commercial Coordinator, Co-Mandated Lead Arranger. Credit Suisse is also acting as Joint Commercial Underwriter and Bookrunner to structure and fund a dual-tranche facility comprising a $250 million, 7-year DFI tranche with the Bank, as well as a $350 million, 5-year commercial tranche.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited London Branch joined as an Original Commercial Lender, Co-Mandated Lead Arranger and Joint Commercial Underwriter and Bookrunner ahead of syndication.

Syndication of the facility is underway.

Making sure that Africa gets to the top of the value chain is one of the African Development’s Bank’s top priorities, President Adesina said, adding that Africa could become a global hub for cocoa and cocoa-based products.

“All cocoa producing countries will get similar support (from the Bank). Ghana is bankable, cocoa is bankable and of course Africa is bankable,” Adesina said.

COCOBOD will use the facility to raise cocoa yields per hectare and increase Ghana’s overall production. These include financial interventions to sustainably increase cocoa plant fertility, improving irrigation systems, rehabilitating aged and disease-infected farms. The funds will also help increase warehouse capacity and provide support to local cocoa-processing companies.

Signing for Credit Suisse, Madthav Patki said the “landmark” transaction would facilitate future long-term investment in the Ghanaian cocoa sector.

“This is a positive contribution to a key sector of Ghana’s economy. “It is a moment of tremendous pride…This is what the Africa Investment Forum is all about,” Patki said. He also commended the Bank’s signature expertise in financial instruments, that enabled them to leverage financing for the deal.

The Africa Investment Forum, an initiative of the African Development Bank is an innovative, multi-stakeholder transactional marketplace, dedicated to raising capital, advancing projects to bankable stage, and accelerating financial closure of deals. 

Ghana’s cocoa sector employs some 800,000 rural families and produces crops worth about $2 billion in foreign exchange annually. COCOBOD is a fully state-owned company solely responsible for Ghana’s cocoa industry, controlling the purchase, marketing and export of all cocoa beans produced in the country.

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2019 Africa Investment Forum kicks off delivering on the promise to redefine and unpack the continent’s investment opportunities
November 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
  • $500 million equity closed for the Africa Infrastructure Investment Fund to speed up investments in agriculture
  • Financial close for the Africa Guarantee Fund $175 Equity transaction to support Small and Medium Size Enterprises, and $350 million for South Africa’s beef agro-processing project

The 2019 Africa Investment Forum opened on Monday living up to its promise to move from commitment to action.

A $500 million equity deal presented by the Africa Infrastructure Investment Fund last year, to speed up investments in agriculture, and a $175 million equity transaction from the Africa Guarantee Fund for investors to support Small and Medium Size Enterprises, are among the transactions that found financial close over the past year.

The opening ceremony was attended by President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa; President Nana Akufo Addo of Ghana; President Paul Kagame of Rwanda; and Prime Minister Agostinho do Rosario of Mozambique. 

 “The time is now to move with speed to ensure that we unlock our potential…Indeed our continent is ripe for investments, but more importantly, it is also brimming with enormous profitable opportunities,” President Ramaphosa said in his address, as he urged investors to move beyond pledges.

The Africa Investment Forum is an innovative, multi-stakeholder transactional marketplace conceived by the African Development Bank, aimed at raising capital, advancing projects to the bankable stage, and accelerating financial closure of deals.

 “As the investor community, your presence here shows your unwavering will to help us and support us to succeed. I invite you, therefore, to join us as we pass the flickering torch of progress across every border of this great continent until the light of development and economic prosperity illuminates every African village, every African town, every African city, in every African household.” he said.

The inaugural Africa Investment Forum secured investment interests for deals valued at $38.7 billion in less than 72 hours. “A lot of progress has been made on these investment interests,” with a highly dedicated team of partners working around the clock to accelerate financial closure for transactions,” African Development Bank President Akinwuni Adesina said.

Another transaction tabled last year – a $600 million transaction for COCOBOD to help improve processing and value addition for cocoa – has also reached financial close, and will be signed during this edition of the Forum. Similarly, South Africa’s $350 million beef agro-processing project has reached financial close.

“Promise made, promise kept,” said Adesina. He noted that Mara Phones Ashish Takkhar made a commitment during the 2018 Forum. “In 2019, he delivered.”

“It is a new, more confident Africa. A continent now aware of its place in the world and determined to be a global investment haven. And Africa is harnessing investors’ interests and investments. Welcome to the Africa Investment Forum, the place to be for investors,” he said.

Several leading figures were in attendance including, the Premier of Gauteng province, David Makhura; Tito Mboweni, Minister of Finance and African Development Bank’s Governor for South Africa; Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs and Ibrahim Mayaki representing the chairperson of the African Union Commission. Minister Philip Mpango from Tanzania; Minister Jean Jacques Bouya from the Republic of Congo; Mr. Vital Kamerhe from the Democratic Republic of Congo were among the high-level delegates who took part in the opening ceremony. Executive Governors from Nigeria, including Kayade Fayemi of Ekiti State; Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, and Adulrahman Abdurazaq of Kwara State.

Shortly after the opening ceremony, Masai Ujuri, President of the Toronto Raptors; Ashish J. Thakkar, CEO of Mara Group and Tokunboh Ismael Managing Partner of Alitheaia IDF Fund shared their views on progress made since 2018.

The Africa Investment Forum inaugural edition was launched in 2018 in partnership with Africa50, Afrexim Bank, the Trade Development Bank, the Development Bank of South Africa, the Islamic Development Bank, the Africa Finance Corporation, the European Investment Bank.

The Forum runs from 11 to 13 November in Johannesburg, South Africa.

*AFDB

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Zimbabwe: fresh Misfortunes as ED Mnangagwa Is Sandwiched from All Corners of the World
November 9, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu Munhumutapa

Emmerson Mnangagwa

Following last week’s message sent to President ED Mnangagwa by Boris Johnson British Prime Minister more is coming shadowing Zimbabwe with fresh, new misfortunes. The message came in the hands of two plenipotentiaries Harriet Mathews Director for Africa, Foreign Affairs and Common-Wealth Office and Debbie Palmer, Director for West and Southern Africa, UK Department for International Development. Some other countries like among them China are dragging cold feet over Zimbabwe following several reports.

The two envoys told Journalists in Harare that Britain is concerned with the observance of Zimbabwe Government to Human Rights, rule of law and the need for reforms to be put in place. They added that there are new signs of lack of human rights at a time the World is watching.

‘’There are several abuses reported since this Government got power. Britain is totally against this. There is need of observing the flow of human rights in the country. . There is rotting wave of challenges socially, politically and economically’’.

Harriet Matthews and Debbie Palmer assured ED and his Government that Britain has more in store only if human rights were observed. They also talked of the need to go for reforms in the country. This, they note is the route to full Democracy. Britain seems to go deep into some form of sanctions looking at lack of human rights in the country.

‘’There are issues these people need to follow, take into action and implement. There is need for human right to be followed without failure. There are a lot of abuses Zimbabwe has to account for. This is what UK is against.’’

‘’Looks like Zimbabwe is sanctioned by Britain , it’s like they claim , but it’s all about failure to be accountable , failure to respect rule of Law and end human rights violations .

‘’Reform or no support’’, UK Tells ED.

Nicholas Soames, British Member of Parliament talked openly about the need for the country to go for reforms and observe human rights. He added that Mnanggwa is a disappointment failure of him to observe human rights and rule of law. He said this while in the House of Commons on 4 September.

‘’Mnangagwa is a disappointment. He must hold accountable those who abuse human rights. He has failed to handle the situation at the same time everything is going bad in the country. What we want to see are reforms put in place then an end to human rights abuses.

‘’All in All its about Accountability in terms of human rights , political and economic reforms , stopping human rights violations , abductions  and several /other form of abuses . Besides, there is corruption. Thus why we channel our funds through Non-Governmental Organisations not the Government of Zimbabwe.  We have given 94 million pounds aid between 2018 and 2019. We also gave 100 million pounds before that,’’ he was quoted.

European Union and USA told Zimbabwe the same words in terms of the country’s need to be accountable to human rights, observance of peace and no human rights abuses. Tim Olkonnen EU Head of Delegation to Zimbabwe gave a brief comment late end of week. He cited repetition of mistakes

‘’There must be an end to repetition of what I bad like fresh abuses .What Zimbabwe must observe is Human Rights. Ending human rights violation, abuses and past few days’ abduction is questionable. Who argues that, let alone an abuser of human rights? Humanity is an International area of recognition for any country to attain economic and human development. Even churches, civil society, NGO’s, AU, and EU. We are looking at what we want to see as change’’

China

Even China may be  developing a cold feet over Zimbabwe .This, an insider of anonymity talking to Pan-African-Visions Journalist pointed out that the country might have gone pretty well in terms of its economy .He further points out that China as well looks at what the West looks at.

 ‘’It is all about human rights respect , respect of rule of law and ending corruption .We want to see everything in place like what the west is looking at . How can we just ignore issues of Human-Rights? We- are one World of Peace, Unity and Human-Rights respect for Economic development.

‘’We are as well not interested by what is taking place, especially corruption. It makes China stoop low over Zimbabwe because you al know, we hate corruption .To show this, we kill those involved’’, he concluded.

Zimbabwe has been plunged into pool of more miserable misfortunes this new week with countries like China taking low interest to push Zimbabwe going. The secret source says China can- not make noise over this but get into it slowly and nicely. Mnangagwa , source note is always in fresh new headaches .

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