Pray for Nature:Young Kenyan Artists Release New Music Video To Stop Deforestation
January 11, 2021 | 0 Comments
NEW YORK, NY, January 11, 2021: Kenya’s rising rap stars, Anderson Mwakazi (aka Harshkid Luckystah) and fellow artists Benard Kaisa (aka Benkaizah) and Simon Mwanjala (aka Popsodah) released ‘Pray for Nature,’ a new music video with an urgent message for the world about the Climate Crisis and the critical need to stop forest destruction.
Deforestation is the second largest contributor to the Climate Crisis. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change – warns that deforestation intensifies the effects of climate change, such as water scarcity, drought and food shortages. Billions of people will be adversely affected and especially those living in rural parts of the world who depend on farming to feed their families.
Anderson Mwakazi lives in the Kasigau Corridor, a severe drought region in SE Kenya, located between Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks – a vital wildlife corridor. Anderson’s family and neighbors are subsistence farmers. He knows first-hand how burning and cutting trees to clear land for farming and for charcoal production has a direct negative impact on the rain and farming conditions. Thus, his new song and music video seeks to inspire environmental activism.
“My generation is increasingly anxious about the climate crisis- we don’t know if our lives will be cut short or if current harsh conditions will get even worse. It is overwhelming and causing young people serious depression. Climate scientists have been warning our leaders since before I was born but unfortunately for us, they have not acted. I wrote this song as a wakeup call for young people to stand up and demand that corporate and political leaders take immediate action to do what’s right for the children of the world before it’s really too late,” said Anderson Mwakazi.
The Kasigau Corridor is also home to Wildlife Works, a leading conservation business focused on protecting forests, wildlife and sustainable development for local forest communities. The company with its 350 local employees and with the cooperation of 120k community members, protect the entire 200k hectare corridor.
Wildlife Works far reaching community engagement activities include youth education on environmental issues held at local schools, many of which have been built or refurbished by Wildlife Works and where thousands of children have and continue to receive scholarships covering their school fees. Anderson first learned about climate change and the importance of protecting trees from the community outreach leaders at Wildlife Works.
“Deforestation causes a direct threat to our survival in rural Kenya but it’s not only a local problem, we all share the atmosphere that doesn’t care where emissions from burning forests come from so this is also a serious problem for everyone in the world. I hope our song Pray for Nature will help people remember to have more respect for nature” said Anderson Mwakazi
Wildlife Works and its business development partner Everland sponsored Anderson to write and record “Pray for Nature.”
Kenya:Chief Justice David Maraga retires aged 70
January 11, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Kenyan Chief Justice David Kenani Maraga has officially retired.
Mr. Maraga, the 15th Chief Justice (CJ) in the country, announced his official retirement on Monday, January 11, 2021, during the official retirement ceremony held in the Supreme Court in Nairobi.
Article 167 (2) of the Kenyan constitution allows Chief Justice to remain in power for a period not exceeding ten years or after attaining the retirement age of 70 years, whichever comes first.
He assumed office in October 2016 as Dr. Willy Mutunga’s successor, and his exit means the deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu will be the new CJ in an acting capacity until a substantive one is appointed.
In his final remarks, Maraga started by thanking God for the opportunity to serve and for guiding him during his four-year tenure.
He also expressed his gratitude to his family, friends, and entire Kenyans for the unwavering support they accorded him.
“A special Thank You goes to my dear wife and our children, as well as my extended family. Through your prayers and support, you have been to me what Harun was to Moses. I don’t take that for granted. I sincerely thank you. I also want to thank you, the people of Kenya, for your unwavering confidence in and support for me. Your solidarity in moments of great adversity and peril, and your steadfast defence in moments of trials and tribulations, only strengthened my resolve and enabled me to serve you,” said Maraga.
The outgoing CJ asked Kenyans not to tire of supporting judges to ensure the rule of law is upheld in the East African country.
He also urged judges to do what is right and follow the constitution to the latter.
“Today, I leave behind me a strong Judiciary, a professional and enthusiastic corps of Judges and Judicial Officers as well as staff who are deeply committed to the administration of justice, and an increasingly enlightened public whose confidence in and demand for our services grows by the day,” he continued.
In her inaugural speech, Mwilu lauded Maraga for his selfless and exemplary leadership.
She noted her former boss had left behind a great legacy characterized by judicial independence, protecting and entrenching the rule of law.
“Yours has been a life of service characterized by hard work, honesty and integrity, fidelity to the rule of law and the constitution and most importantly obedience and faith in God. When any reflection on the development on our constitutional democracy is undertaken, your name shall be written large,” noted Justice.
Maraga entered into the book of history in 2017 after he nullified presidential results citing irregularities.
Fisherman’s Diary Puts Cameroon Film Industry on Global Map With Oscars Representation
January 11, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
Picking up from where it left behind in 2020, Cameroonian movie The Fisherman’s Diary is going full steam ahead in 2021. The movie fronted by Kang Quintus and Faith Fidel and Directed by Enah Johnscott has been accepted to represent Cameroon at the 93rd edition of the Oscars.
“The movie becomes the 1st ever Cameroon film to achieve this milestone. Thank you to the Cameroon Oscars committee and CFI,” Kang Quintus posted.
“It is a statement that the Cameroonian film industry is doing a lot of work. We have stepped up the game a little bit and it is quite a humble experience that the Fisherman’s Diary is the first-ever Cameroonian film to be accepted into the Oscars to represent Cameroon,” Kang Quintus told Pan African Visions in a telephone interview.
“I am very humble and it tells us that whatever we are doing here we are doing the right thing and a lot of work is to be done. I can tell you that this is the beginning of many great films as we are heading to August and we are open to partway for that to be possible.”
With the Fisherman’s Diary already making headways, Kang Quintus is already envisaging the production of a new movie before the year ends. “The Fisherman’s Diary is the beginning of many films to come from Kang Quintus Films,” Kang Quintus said.
“As soon as we are done with the marketing and distribution of this film we are getting to preproduction for the next film and all of that is in the pipeline. We have to put all energy behind the Fisherman’s Diary right now because it has to get all the attention it deserves.”
“There are many awards that we have submitted this film to and as soon as the good news comes in we are going to make it public,” Kang Quintus, the Best actor of the 2020 Golden Movie Awards said.
Last year the Fisherman’s Diary was one of the major success stories for the Cameroonian movie industry picking up awards in the country and beyond. At the Golden Movie Awards in Ghana and the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) in Nigeria, the Film snapped up 10 awards, adding to awards in Instanbul, Cameroon, and a host of other countries.
An insight into The Fisherman’s Diary
The movie directed by Enah Johnscott and produced by Kang Quintus is a storey of a 12-year-old Ekah (Faith Fidel) who got inspired by Malala Yousalzai, the youngest noble prize winner.
She is determined to go to school in a village of fishermen where it is considered as taboo. He drives to break this adage gets her embroiled with her father Solomon (Kang Quintus) experience with girl child education, critiqsite reported.
The film features other actors such as Ramses Nouah, Onyama Laura, Neba Godwill, Mayohchu and Daphne Njie.
The film has won best film in India and New York, picking up Best director, best film, best soundtrack and best production nominations at the prestigious PAMA in Paris, France.
South Sudan: JEDCO to cut off power supply in Juba capital
January 10, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Deng Machol
Juba – The Juba Electricity Distribution Company has announced plans to cut off power supply starting Tuesday in South Sudan’s capital city of Juba’s capital of the East African’s youngest nation.
The city is going back to darkness as the management of the company (JEDCO) announces total blackout, says the power halt will start Tuesday until further notice.
In a public statement released on Sunday, the electricity distributor claims that the South Sudan government has “not been able to provide the foreign currency required to make long-overdue payments for the bulk energy” they get from Ezra Construction and Development Group.
Ezra Group of companies built a first electricity power and is operating the 100 Megawatts Power Plant in Juba.This was a first electricity power built in Juba since the country gained her independence from Sudan in July 2011.
The government of South Sudan is expected to take over the power plant in the future according to the agreement.
The Juba City Power Distribution System was constructed with the support of the African Development Bank which provided $38 million.
While launching the power plant a year ago, President Salva Kiir said South Sudan shall be connected to a 400 KV line interconnecting Karuma in Uganda and Juba by 2023. Kiir further said the country will also develop its hydropower resources –mainly in Fulla in Nimule.
“Juba Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (JEDCO) regrets to inform all its customers that it has been forced to halt electricity supplies starting the morning of Tuesday, January 12, 2021, until further notice,” the statement said.
Despite that, JEDCO says it is working with stakeholders to resolve the problem to resume normal services.The electricity distribution company has so far connected 9,990 households, 3,550 businesses, and 200 governmental institutions to the grid.The company says it will resume supplying electricity once the issue of foreign currency has been resolved.
The Juba government is yet to respond to this matter, but the observers also call on the government to release some foreign currency to the company so that the city wouldn’t go back total darkness.
Understanding the psychological madness of successive mandates
January 10, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Kadar Abdi Ibrahim*
It is necessary to identify, along the way, the reasons inherent in the self, which, if not combated, largely explain the psychological madness of successive terms of office, attachment and longevity to power. All boiling down to one and the same question: what will be done tomorrow?
- Anxiety derived from inaction: the anxiety of boredom These dictators all have a leitmotif in common. That of only existing for one activity: to exercise only power. Leaving the “armchair” creates a relaxation in them which is a prelude to inaction, leading to an anxiety that makes them feel like they are of absolutely no use. Scientifically called “the anxiety of boredom” by psychiatrists, it is generally manifested by feelings of helplessness, inanity, maladjustment, despair, which, taken to the extreme, turns into an anxiety of dead. They are bored and therefore vegetate far from power, from the decision-making sphere and above all from the tumultuous life they led among the big boys.
- Fear of the end : fear of death The idea of postponing each time their departure to the next term, is reminiscent of these dictators, this fear that every human being has of the End, the supreme being death, physical law, inflexible, imposed on the man and which happens most often when we do not expect it. Few are the people who, aware of this appalling programmed fatality of the human being, agree to resign themselves. On the contrary. “The fear of death is not natural” said Jean Jacques Rousseau. In fact, one could not find a better parallel between the fear of death, the ultimate, and this frenzy of the fear of leaving the armchair which absorbs them and loses them to infatuation. And besides, do we not always learn of their death, a few months after the end of their reign? If we are to believe that they themselves have a presentiment that the end of their reign inevitably corresponds to that of their life. It is therefore, in their depressing logic, a vicious cycle: they leave power, become inactive, stop living, and finally die slowly.
- Fear of disgrace: the scissor effect This fear stems particularly from the “chisel effect” theory: on the one hand, the blade of the opposition and on the other, the edge of the Western powers. Indeed, the faults committed during their reign generate a strong feeling of hostility between those in power at the height of their reign, stinking of glory, abusing the spittoon, which no rule stops and criminalized opponents, ensnared for crimes of opinions, tortured in jails and any political manifestation of which is bloodily suppressed. Not surprisingly, then, a bitter, mistrustful relationship has developed between dictators and opponents. It is certain that no longer enjoying immunity without their positions as president “for life”, dictators believe that opponents, clogged with the emery, once they come to power, will in turn inflict snub to them. The fear of these tyrants, which has become a chronic wound that gnaws at them, is not to fall under the ax of the rule of “each in turn” led by an immature opposition, with the blade in hand, freshly installed in power. activating in a very beautiful way to bring them down in flames. Without forgetting, of course, the cutting edge of the Western countries, their allies of yesterday, who saw them as indispensable ramparts against communism or against Islamism, for whom, today, they are becoming embarrassing and are forced to hang out in multiple political and financial trials. So let us no longer be surprised, among these dictators, that this obsession with constantly having the knife under the throat, this fixed idea of being stuck in machinations and cabals, this nightmarish fear of falling into disgrace without few people are moved by it, pushing them to stay indefinitely at the post.
- Nostalgia for the past: the end of the “traveling bank account” The vacancy causes the loss of privileges of former Heads of State. It is known, money is the fuel of dictatorships which buy in the strongest sense of the word the political elite! A gap then widens between their past as President-predators, confusing the State coffers with his own, justifying the expression of Bernard Kouchner’s “traveling bank account”, bathed in a flood of full power, which makes them dizzy, in which they seem more haughty, leading a senator’s train without concealing the pleasure they take, and their future, which, for its part, is anchored more in the experience of ordinary people and whose success lies behind .
A radical change of status whose awareness refers to nostalgia for the past, a sensation taking place in three (3) stages. First of all, by a refusal. Refusal to accept that what was will be no more. In other words, nothing will be the same for them. The refusal, giving way, then, to a dissatisfaction with their situation far from suiting them. And finally, when it is impossible to make the slightest change, discontent ends in resignation which plunges them into deep dismay.
Cameroon: Civilians reportedly killed by Security Forces in Mautu
January 10, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
Civilians including a child are reported to have been killed by elements of Cameroon’s security forces this Sunday, January 10, in Mautu, a small community in the restive South West Region of the country.
The exact number of those killed cannot be ascertained by Pan African Visions but media reports put those killed in the range of nine, including a child.
Videos circulating online and seen by Pan African Visions shows a gruesome scene with civilians including children lying dead on the ground, with blood oozing out. In one of the disturbing videos, a woman who was shot on the leg could be seen supporting a child with blood coming out of his fingers, indicating that he too had been shot.
It is still unclear as to what caused the latest attack by Cameroon’s security forces. The Minister of Communication and government spokesman Rene Emmanuel Sadi has yet to confirm or deny that the attack was carried out by its forces. In the past, the government has denied such allegations which turned out to be true, like the case of the Ngarbuh massacre.
There has been mass condemnation on various social media platforms with many recalling the incident in Ngarbuh that saw women and children killed by Cameroon’s security forces. Others have called on the international community to intervene in the crisis ensuing in the country’s North West and South West Regions.
For the past four years, separatist fighters have been battling government forces in the North West and South West regions. The former is looking to establish an independent state of “Ambazonia”. The conflict started in 2016 with lawyers and teachers and degenerated into a full-blown war in 2016.
Thousands of people have been killed, maimed, kidnapped and others forced to flee their homes for shelter in neighbouring Nigeria and other parts of the country. Both government and separatist fighters have been accused of extrajudicial killings of civilians.
Kenya prisoners protest over colleague’s death.
January 9, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Operations at Manyani Maximum Prison in Kenya’s coast on Friday, January 8, 2021, came to a standstill after prisoners at the facility staged demonstrations protesting their colleague’s death.
The deceased, identified as Stephen Mwangi Kabanzu, is alleged to have breathed his last after a short illness.
The irate inmates accused the facility of negligence, claiming their pleas to wardens to take Stephen to hospital fell into deaf ears.
However, Manyani Maximum Prison Commander in charge, Bison Madegwa, dismissed the claims that the inmate died within the facility, saying he passed on in the hospital.
“I want to say this, the prisoner did not die in prison…he died at Moi Referral Hospital in Voi after he was taken in ill…he did not die at Manyani, those are just but rumours,” he reiterated.
Manyani Maximum Prison has been in the limelight over the mistreatment of prisoners allegations. On December 14, 2020, two inmates at the facility protested against what they termed as torture by the officers. The duo climbed on the top of the institution’s rooftop, reportedly weeping, asking for help from passersby.
The institution denied the allegations insisting they were trying to incite others.
“They just came in the other day after they were transferred from another facility. The matter is being addressed by the officers in charge,” said Madegwa.
In May 2017, three prisoners who were serving sentences at the facility sued the state over alleged inhuman treatment.
Kenya:Injured Gor Mahia to face Napsa Stars in Caf Confederation Cup
January 9, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Kenyan Premier League giant Gor Mahia has been drawn to face Zambian side Napsa Stars in the Caf Confederation Cup group stage play-offs.
The Kenyan champions will host their opponents on February 14, with the return league scheduled to be on February 21 in Lusaka, Zambia, according to the draw of the competition carried out by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) on Friday.
The winner between Gor and Napsa Stars will qualify for the group stage of the competition.
Gor is set to face former players Shaban Odhoji, Timothy Otieno, and another Kenyan, Andrew Tololwa, who ply their trade at the Zambian Side.
The Green Army was bundled out of the Caf Champions League by CR Belouizdad of Algeria on 8-1 aggregate. Napsa reached the play-offs stage on away goal rule following a 1-1 aggregate score against Mozambique’s UD Songo.
Housing demolitions by Harare City Council not the solution: says watchdog group
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
A local watchdog group the Harare Residents’ Trust(HRT) has denounced the ongoing demolition of houses by Harare City Council especially in Budiriro high density suburb saying it is not a solution.
The trust says that a humanitarian crisis is developing and requires a purely humane response.
It is reported that on 3 December 2020, the City of Harare, with the help of the police, and armed with demolition orders, demolished 143 houses, leaving an estimated 715 people homeless.
The trust said that although it does not support building on illegal land, it opines that demolishing houses is and will never be the solution.
It is reported that the government, together with the local authority should look at the bigger picture and tackle the root problem of housing shortages.
“The repeat illegal allocations and demolitions of people’s homes will be with us for a long time to come if local authorities do not address housing delivery and service land. Ultimately, the human rights of the citizens will continue to be violated while the corrupt keep getting away without being punished,” HRT said.
The trust added that several factors are leading to the never-ending illegal land sales.
It said that one of the main reasons is citizens’ desperation to acquire housing stands.
It is also reported that there is a huge housing backlog, which is fuelling desperation among the citizenry and exposing them to land barons and corrupt officials in local authorities and central government.
“This desperation clouds them and in the end, they do not verify whether the land they will be receiving is legal or not. A few who are aware of the illegalities surrounding the land sales also go into desperation and they receive assurance from political figures that their houses will be regularized,” the trust said.
It added that it is insensitive to lay the blame on the vulnerable citizens to the extent of demolishing their houses at a time rains have started falling.The corruption is worse in land allocations as estate agents, land barons, council management, town planners, councillors, and central government officials are using the desperation of home seekers to manipulate systems and make more money for themselves in the process,” they said.
It is reported that for example, Tembwe Housing Cooperative secured land in Budiriro in 2010 through the council officials, and obtained certificate of incorporation as a housing cooperative.
They were allocated land to their members.
It is however, reported that in 2014, an identified council Town Planner Priscilla Charumbira allegedly demanded that they pay US$45 000 in order to have their housing stands regularised.
It is added that council allegedly wrote their names down, and assured the stand owners that their stands would be regularised.
It is however added , things changed after they refused to pay the US$45 000.
Charumbira is reported to have allegedly initiated through identified proxies to establish Events Housing Cooperative and offered it the same land as Tembwe Housing Cooperative.
Events Housing Cooperative is however reported not have separate land.
It is reported that the impact of the conflicted situation is that Tembwe Housing Cooperative members had their houses demolished on a court order issued against Events Housing Cooperative, which however did not have houses on the disputed land.
The trust said that it urged the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and responsible authorities to fully investigate how the situation obtained.
It is added that demolition of houses belonging to residents in Budiriro will have severe social, economic and psychological impacts to the victims.
It is also added a majority of the victims come from very poor socio-economic backgrounds and their social capital is very low.
It is added that a majority of the houses were built using pension funds, savings and other investments saved over a long time.
“Demolishing people’s houses without a critical consideration of their position on the sustainable livelihoods scale will make it more difficult for the victims to escape from poverty,” the trust said.
It is added that following a Human Rights Based Approach, the state is obligated to protect, promote and safeguard the human rights of all its citizens, including those living with disabilities, the sick, children and senior citizens.
“However, these demotions demonstrate that the state has abandoned its constitutional obligations and is therefore failing to offer security to its vulnerable citizens. Household economies are going to be shattered after the demolitions, and this will put pressure on the already depressed society due to the fluid state of the economy. Stress levels among the affected citizens are going to shoot up, severely damaging the psychological and mental wellbeing of victims,” the trust added.
It added that demolitions are evidence of the chaotic housing delivery system in the council.
The trust recommended that the council regularise all the houses not built on wetlands, make the house owners pay the price for not following the law in acquiring their houses, postpone all demolitions until the end of the rainy season, bring to account all known corrupt land dealers, councillors, council managers, land barons, estate agents, central government officials and politicians for their transgressions.
The City of Harare has been urged to have an electronic housing waiting list to enable transparent land allocations for housing developments.
They said that only the council should be responsible for selling council land and the land must be serviced.
SW Regional League: Major Upsets Recorded On Matchday One
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The much anticipated South West regional League finally took off across stadia in the Region with major upsets recorded along the way. Victoria United, LIFCA, UBFC, Little Foot all recorded defeats.
24 goals were scored on matchday one with 7 home wins. 2 games did not take place due to licenses issues.
With the Regional League in recess to resume only after the Africa Nations Championship, CHAN which concludes on February 7, 2021, Pan Africa Visions looks at the state of affairs of the League after the first day of play and examines the chances of the big guns succeeding after faltering on the first day.
Victoria United Faltered at the Start
Victoria United aka “OPOPO” went in this year for a new coach in the person of Njoku Barnabas to help them get that much-needed ticket to Elite 2 Football. The start, however, is not what he would have hoped for as his side were beaten 1-0 by Option Sport.
The team’s ambition despite the loss on the first day is to first reach the mini interpool and then secure a space at the national interpool. “…That is what I am here”. “If I am here I think I have something to offer. I am here because I have my ambitions. With the players and administration I have at hand I believe we are up to the task. Like any ambitious club in the region, the goal is to qualify this club first to the mini interpool and from there we will take it forward,” Coach Barnabas said.
The next game for Victoria United is almost a must-win affair. They cannot afford to drop points if they are to achieve their ambitions. Victoria United will face Best Stars on Matchday 2. Best Stars was on standby during day one. They too will hope not to drop points against Victoria United and a draw will suit them well.
Prisons Show Master class against Cinyodev FA
Prisons Social Club of Buea aka “Home Boys” showed class and superiority against a lacklustre Cinyodev FA side that fielded a young squad against an experienced side. Prisons dismantled Cinyodev FA by 6 goals to 0 with a brace each from Mborong Collins, Elonge Moki Junior and substitute Ekema Samuel Etonge.
Cinyodev FA was without Ntui Brandon, a main-stay at the defence for Cinyodev FA last football season who signed with YOSA this year, as was another player of Cinyodev.
“This is a championship and every goal counts on the last day of the competition. So when you have the opportunity to make a goal you have to take it and it also builds confidence with the attackers. Last year we had the problem of our attackers not scoring so if they have the opportunity to score they have to take it to get that confidence,” Coach Enang Severine of Prisons FC told Pan African Visions.
In the other Pool A game, H.O Academy had an easy ride over Mt Cameroon FC. The former defeated the latter by 3 goals to 0, with a brace from Alexi Lalas giving his side all three points.
Ajax FC too Good for Little Foot FC
Ajax FC Likomba showed cutting edge finishing against Little Foot FC. The boys of Coach Patrice who had a series of training exercises dispatched Little Foot Fc by 4 goals to zero.
“Last football season Ajax did something that no one would have imagined. In the overall classification Ajax was second and at the beginning of the championship last year no one would have imagined that Ajax would hold Tiko United, EEMSA. This year the expectation is much higher than last year,” Coach Tueche Patrice said.
The club has succeeded in getting some new faces to flesh up the squad. Attacker Mbigla Oscar has been brought in. So too are Chenco and Benton in the defence line. “The boys are ready than last year, and I am sure that this year Ajax will be different,” Coach Patrice Tueche added.
A sneak peek at Matchday Two
Matchday two in Pool A promises to be firework with a battle for first place. Prisons FC who leads Pool A by goal difference faces H.O Academy – a side that the former defeated last football season by 1 goal to 0.
LIFCA will be hoping to be on red hot form when they next take to the pitch. The team has high hopes of reaching the Elite 2 football championship this year after bringing in Coach Augustine Choupo. LIFCA will face Pool C leaders NQSA. Everything rest on this game for LIFCA.
In Pool F, Ajax FC will hope to continue their good start of the championship. The team dispatched Little Foot on day one of the championships. Coach Patrice Tueche was very pleased after the opening day victory and will hope the good fortunes will be with them.
EEMSA on their part will also hope they can continue their winning run. The team that won Tiko United in the opening day of the championship faces Little Foot FC, a side that was hammered by Ajax FC.
Complete Matchday Two fixtures
Pol A: Cinyodev FA versus Mount Cameroon FC and Prisons against H.O Academy.
Pool B: Continetal FA versus University of Buea FC, Buea United FC versus Dynamic FC. Catholic University Soccer Academy is on standby.
In Pool C: ISOHSA to face Njalla Quan Sports Academy (NQSA), FUSSA against LIFCA
Pool D: Best Stars will face Victoria United, while Option Sports will be on standby
In Pool E: Kumba Lakers awaits NEMFA, while Bau Manibok to battle with Future Dream. Nkamanyi Football Initiative will be on standby.
Pool F: Treviso who was on standby on matchday one will face league leaders Ajax FC Likomba. Little Foot FC battles EEMSA, while Tiko United is on standby.
The goal of the teams in the South West Region is to get a ticket to play Elite Two football next football season. The Region is blessed with state-of-the-art infrastructure but yet no team in the Elite 1 or 2 Football Championships. The hope from football stakeholders in the Region is that this year will be that year as since the like of Buea United, Tiko United, no team from the South West Region has been into the Elite tier of Football in the Region.
Cameroon: 2020/2021 NW Regional League Begins February 9
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
2020/2021 North West Regional football Championship is set to begin February 9, 2021, after the conclusion of the Africa Nations Championship, CHAN. This was one of many decisions taking during the FECAFOOT North West Assembly meeting this December 23, 2020.
According to reports the 2020/21 football season will be played with 22 teams instead of 21 as was the case last season. There will be four pools with five teams and another two pools with 6 teams. The top 2 teams from both pools will qualify for the mini-interpools.
The launch of the North West Regional football championship will follow that of the South West, East, West, and Centre Regional championship which were launched earlier. For the South West Regional championship, it is on recess to resume only after the Africa Nations Championship, a decision taking by club president during the FECAFOOT General Assembly for the South West Region.
The Secretary-General of the NW Regional League of FECAFOOT Ndi Tsembom Elvis has said that FECAFOOT NW has set up a team to manage “Futsal” in the region. To him, work is in progress to ensure that there is a Futsal tournament in the region.
“1st national President for Futsal is currently in the region to work hand in hand with the NW SG for the realisation of this,” SG Ndi Tsembom said, as reported by Martial Gnoukapasir. “New Futsal fields have been constructed already in the NW to facilitate the upcoming specialised tournament.”
In his presentation of the balance sheet of last football season that was cancelled like other regional leagues across the country, Ndi Tsembom highlighted that the absence of funds was an issue for the proper management of football in the region.
He equally congratulated PWD Bamenda for being crowned champions of the Elite one football championship. PWD won the championship last year, a feat they had never reached since their creation some 58 years ago.
“The greatest problem we face away from covid-19 is the football pitch. Now that am Mayor I will do my best to see something is done about that,” Mbigha Felix, President FECAFOOT NW said.
Other resolutions taking during the NW FRCAFOOT Assembly:
-On instructions from Mbombo Njoya, no club duly affiliated last season will do so this season.
– Affiliation is free as the bureau is obliged to give same licenses teams paid for last year.
– Female football league will be inter-regional with NW clubs playing alongside those of the west region. 5 teams are to represent the region with their licenses.
Cameroon: Fri Asanga Appointed Interim CEO of D&L Foretia Foundation
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The Board of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation has appointed Madam Fri Asanga, current Chief Operating Officer, to lead the organization as Interim Chief Executive Officer as of 1st March 2021. Dr William Arrey who has been in that position will step down from 1st March 2021.
This information is contained in a document sent to Pan African Visions and authored by Denis Foretia, Co-chair of the D&L Foretia Foundation. “Since joining the Foundation, Mme Asanga has helped further standardize our operations and significantly improve execution efficiency,” Denis Foretia said.
Dr Arrey who has worked tirelessly to see that the mission of the Foundation is taking to higher heights steps down to dedicate more time to policy research. “While Dr Arrey is stepping down he is not leaving the Foundation. He will continue to further the Foundation’s vision as a Senior Fellow at the Nkafu Policy Institute and as an Advisor to the Board. We are extremely grateful for his leadership,” Dr Denis Foretia, Co-chair of the D&L Foretia Foundation said.
Over the past three months, Dr William Arrey has been working with the Board to ensure a smooth transition.
To Dr Denis, during Dr William Arrey’s tenure, he oversaw the Foundation’s success in building critical national and international partnerships, growing Nkafu Policy Institute’s impact in Africa, and developing exceptional talent across all Foundation departments.
According to the Co-chair, the Board will launch a national search for the next CEO shortly and Dr Odette Kibu has been charged to assist the Board in that process and the goal is to have the next CEO by July 2021. “We are incredibly honoured to have had the foresight and leadership of Dr Arrey and are very pleased to have Mme. Asanga leads the Foundation during this process,” Dr Denis Foretia, Executive Chairman of the Nkafu Policy Institute said.
Who is the Incoming CEO, Fri Asanga?
Before joining the Foundation, she was the Coordinator for FinScope and MAP Cameroon where she oversaw the activities of the financial scoping consumer survey in Cameroon on behalf of UNCDF and FinMark Trust.
She has deep expertise in the microfinance sector haven spent more than 15 years working on financial inclusion for the most vulnerable groups in society. Before her work with FinScope and MAP Cameroon, she served as Advisor with the UNCDF Microlead project where she helped established the computerization of networks of CVECA as well as the piloting of branchless banking at some microfinance institutions. She also has broad experience in risk management, micro-insurance schemes, training in financial literacy as well as social accountability.
With her role as Chief Operating Officer Fri Asanga was responsible for the overall operational efficiency with the supervision of grant management processes and human resources.
She holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the United States International University-Africa in Nairobi, Kenya and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Lagos in Nigeria.
About the D&L Foretia Foundation
The Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation work to catalyze Africa’s economic transformation through social entrepreneurship, science and technology, innovation, public health and progressive policies that create economic opportunities for all.
The foundation works in partnership with local government, policymakers, private enterprises, civil society organizations as well as development partners to expand the resources available to entrepreneurs, farmers, and small business owners to improve individual livelihoods.
The areas of work include sustainable development, science and technology, health, leadership, education, entrepreneurship, economic and public policy.
Angolan Legal Reform Shows How Africa Can Use Oil and Gas as a Springboard Towards Job Creation
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments
–But Only if It Looks Beyond the Obvious Options
By NJ Ayuk*
|Africa’s oil and gas resources have the potential to accomplish so much good for the continent’s people.|
For decades, many of Africa’s oil- and gas-producing states followed a predictable pattern. They treated their oil and gas primarily as raw materials that could be sold abroad for a quick profit, rather than as a means of supporting efforts to make more lasting changes in the economy of the nation as a whole.
This pattern has had unfortunate consequences. It discouraged investment in local capacity, and it fostered the development of arrangements under which most residents of the producing states could not see how the large amounts of money earned from oil and gas exports were improving their lives. In other words, it allowed most hydrocarbon revenues to flow back to the home offices of international oil companies (IOCs) or to go to national oil companies (NOCs) that transferred funds to local governments — and, in many cases, to individual government officials, along with their friends and family members.
Africans already know that focusing on oil exports doesn’t yield the best results. They already know that it ignores the need for long-term investment and fosters corruption.
But corruption isn’t the only issue. Africans also know that the old pattern of focusing on commodity exports doesn’t do enough to put their economies on track for long-term growth and keep them there.
They know, in other words, that the old habits don’t create jobs.
At least, maybe they don’t create large numbers of jobs. Or maybe they don’t create the kind of jobs that last long enough or have enough impact to lead to real change.
And why should it be that way? Africa’s oil and gas resources have the potential to accomplish so much good for the continent’s people – and that includes creating training and job opportunities across multiple sectors, which is one of the keys to sustainable economic growth. This can be accomplished by strategically harnessing oil and gas to monetize value chains and diversify economies. And to do that, we need to create an environment that enables new businesses to launch and thrive.
As the Chamber’s 2021 Africa Energy Outlook says, “Using the stimulus afforded by the natural resources to stimulate jobs in other economic sectors with higher labor intensity is where a significant amount of jobs can be created.”
So it’s time to broaden our view of Africa’s oil and gas resources. Instead of treating them only as a revenue source, we must approach them as a path towards a very important goal: empowering Africans to improve their own lives.
Local Content for Local Jobs
Africans understand the necessity of breaking free of old patterns, and they’ve tried to address the challenge with policy changes. In Angola’s case, they have sought to thwart old oil habits of the past by embarking on a fundamental reform of how the sector works. This entailed taking away regulatory powers for the sector from the national oil company Sonangol and giving those to the newly created National Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANPG). The restructuring of the sector, that resulted in the creation of the ANPG and the reorientation of Sonangol, is arguably one of the greatest achievements of H.E. Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, Angola’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum who was brought in to reform the sector. This enabled Sonangol to embark on its own restructuring, at the core of which is the sale of non-core assets and a withdrawal of what Sonangol is expected to do; be a competent partner to foreign operators, and cost efficiently run its own operations. These changes, though very recent, have already stated bearing fruits. The newly created agency, under the chairmanship of a recognized industry expert Paulino Jeronimo, has moved swiftly, to usher in the implementation of new local content guidelines. They have also refocused their efforts on making new acreage in Angola attractive for investment, in an effort to stop the expected decline in output, mid to long-term.
In more general terms, though, they’ve also introduced policy initiatives that aim to create jobs. In Angola, the government recently rolled out a new legal regime for local content requirements after two years of concertation with the various stakeholders.
President João Lourenço, who introduced the new rules last month, has made the job-creation angle clear. He has described Presidential Decree 271/20 as a way to promote Angolan commercial entities’ participation in the development of the oil and gas sector. He has said he hopes the new measure will encourage IOCs to obtain goods and services (including raw materials) from local providers and to replace foreign experts with local workers.
Presidential Decree 271/20 also stresses the Angolan government’s desire to strengthen “national entrepreneurship.” It states that foreign technical assistance and management contracts must include provisions for the establishment of detailed training and professional development programs and the transfer of expertise and technology.
Training Across Sectors
This all sounds like a good idea — and a plan for concrete action as well. Presidential Decree 271/20 doesn’t just talk about increasing local content; it also replaces all the previous local content measures approved between 2003 and 2009. It offers a more detailed description of the factors that qualify an entity as an Angolan company and outlines the procedures that will allow the government to keep an up-to-date list of the parties that are pre-qualified to bid for contracts with IOCs
But does it really go far enough?
In some ways, it does. And by that, I mean that I’m glad to see that the decree talks about the need to make sure that Angolan workers have access to detailed, effective, and sophisticated training programs— and about the need to include provisions for such training in foreign management and technical assistance contracts.
In other ways, though, I’d like President Lourenço and his government to go further. I’d like them to think about exactly what kind of training might serve Angolans best. For example, what if they decided to prioritize training in information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) skills? Might they find that workers who learn how to operate the control systems used to maximize the efficiency of, say, gas pipelines also turn out to have the skills needed to operate similar equipment in manufacturing plants? And might such workers turn out to have something even more useful, such as the skills needed to set up and promote a new tech hub that could serve as another new source of jobs?
A More Expansive View of Oil and Gas
I also think there’s room for Angola to take a more expansive view of oil and gas. That is, I think the government ought to look further down the value chain so that its new policies don’t emphasize conventional upstream, midstream, and downstream operations (and the ways that Angolan companies can support them) while overlooking other opportunities. Oil and gas aren’t just raw materials to be exported. They can also serve as feedstock for the production of petrochemicals, fertilizers, and other value-added goods. They can be used to power energy-intensive industrial facilities such as manufacturing complexes. They can also fuel power plants that increase domestic electricity supplies to such an extent that life gets better for residential and business customers alike.
In turn, all of these new enterprises will have to hire people. They will need construction workers to build their physical plants, skilled and unskilled workers to keep their facilities running, IT and OT experts to operate and maintain the digital systems that help maximize efficiency, contractors to provide services such as food and transportation, and so on. In short, they will create jobs — and in so doing, they will show that oil and gas amount to something more than exportable raw materials.
Furthermore, if Angola can pull this feat off — if it can use its new policies to lay a foundation for job creation that both includes and transcends oil and gas — it will be in a position to show other countries in Africa how to do the same thing. It will be able to set an example capable of inspiring Africans who want to see the old patterns of hydrocarbon development broken.
Global impact and market stability
Finally, it is important to acknowledge the role that Angola and its current Minister of Mineral Resources, Petroleum and Gas, Diamantino Pedro Azevedo is playing as president of the conference of ministers of OPEC. Without market stability and a realistic price environment for crude globally, all potential benefits from the industry in Angola will be short-lived. OPEC Plus’s January 5th 2021 agreement to allow some of its members to cautiously increase production in February and March in a coordinated manner, is also due to Diamantino’s tact and experience. It is even more encouraging for the global oil markets, that Saudi Arabia is backing the current OPEC Plus deal with additional cuts of its own. This is good for Angola’s oil sector and Angolan jobs.
*SOURCE African Energy Chamber.NJ Ayuk is Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, CEO of Centurion Law Group, and the author of several books about the oil and gas industry in Africa, including Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals.
Turkish Ambassador set up a spying network in Mozambique – report
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Nordic Monitor
In a breach of the international conventions, Turkish diplomats in the southern African nation of Mozambique spied on critics of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a secret Turkish Foreign Ministry document obtained by Nordic Monitor has revealed.
According to the communiqué, then-Turkish Ambassador to Mozambique Aylin Taşhan, the first ambassador of Turkey in the country, dispatched a cable to headquarters in Ankara that included information collected unlawfully by employees of the Turkish Embassy. The intelligence cable included the names and identities of critics of President Erdoğan as well as institutions and organizations set up by these people.
The people who were spied on are believed to be affiliated with the Gülen movement, a group that is critical of the Turkish government for a number of things, from rampant corruption in the administration to Erdogan’s aiding and abetting of armed jihadist groups in other countries.
The document, dated September 16, 2016, listed the names of 32 individuals as well Willow International School, Ltd., which runs one of the best performing schools in Mozambique. Several firms run by Turks such as DECO Construction Limitada, Turkmall Limitada, Isparta Construction Limitada, Ilhas da Paz and others were also profiled in the intelligence document.
Following a similar pattern seen in other diplomatic missions Turkey maintains in foreign countries, the Turkish Embassy in Maputo shared the list of persons living in the country so that their passports could be canceled by the Turkish Interior Ministry with no administrative or judicial investigation.
The cancellation of passports serves multiple purposes for Erdoğan in his quest to persecute his critics: It limits their free movement, especially to safer countries; prevents applications for extending permits or visas for legal stays; and paves the way for deportations and renditions.
Secret Turkish Foreign Ministry document that reveals extensive spying activities in Mozambique:
According to Article 23 of the Turkish Constitution, freedom of movement can be restricted by law for the purpose of investigation and prosecution of an offense and for the prevention of offenses. Moreover, a Turkish citizen’s freedom to leave the country may be restricted only by the decision of a judge based on a criminal investigation or prosecution. It demonstrates the arbitrary rule in Turkey, which is run by a one-man regime without respect for due process and in blatant violation of fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution.
The classified document reveals how widespread the spying network of Islamist President Erdoğan is and confirms the use of Turkish embassies for intelligence gathering and profiling of his critics and their organizations.
These documents containing information collected by the embassies are later used in criminal indictments of critics and their families on dubious charges of terrorism.
In December 2016 Ambassador Taşhan was assigned as general director of the foreign ministry’s intelligence section, the Directorate General for Research and Security Affairs (Araştırma ve Güvenlik İşleri Genel Müdürü). In her new capacity she continued to run large-scale spying activities using Turkish embassies and consulates around the world to gather intelligence. She was succeeded by Ambassador Zeynep Kızıltan. Earlier in December 2020, Taşhan was appointed ambassador to Slovenia.
A judicial document previously obtained by Nordic Monitor had confirmed her predecessors in Ljubljana had already engaged in a similar spying campaign. Turkish educators, academics and representatives of NGOs who had been listed by Turkish diplomats in Ljubljana were later indicted on dubious terrorism charges by a Turkish prosecutor. Those documents exposed clandestine spying activities in Slovenian territory that targeted critics as part of President Erdoğan’s long arm.
The document, pulled from a restricted case file, revealed the extent of spying activity by the Turkish Embassy that targeted critics and organizations in Slovenia. The people and organizations that were spied on by the embassy are believed to be affiliated with a civic group led by Fethullah Gülen, a US-based Muslim cleric who has become a vocal critic of Erdoğan for pervasive corruption in the government and the Turkish regime’s clandestine support for armed jihadist groups including the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaeda.
The Turkish president turned against the Gülen movement after major corruption investigations in December 2013 that incriminated Erdoğan, his family members and his business and political associates. A month later, in January 2014, an exposé of illegal arms shipments by Turkish intelligence to jihadists in Syria in 2014 created further troubles for the Erdoğan government for covertly fueling a civil war in the neighboring country.
The order to spy on Gülen-affiliated people and organizations came in early 2014, and volunteers of the movement were targeted with criminal prosecutions on fabricated charges of terrorism. In July 2016 Erdoğan staged a false flag coup to set up the opposition, including the movement, for mass persecution, pushed the army to invade northern Syria and declared himself the imperial president of the new Turkey.
As a part of Turkey’s global witch-hunt, Turkish diplomats systematically spied on critics of the president, collected information on Turks living abroad and transmitted it to headquarters while enjoying the privileges and immunities described in international conventions. In some countries, Erdoğan’s envoys coordinated the local elements of intelligence operations carried out by the Turkish intelligence agency (MİT) on foreign soil to abduct Turkish nationals.
Moreover, Nordic Monitor revealed how MİT infiltrated refugee camps in Greece in order to spy on opponents who were forced to flee to Greece to escape an unprecedented crackdown in neighboring Turkey.
It is clear that Turkish diplomatic missions violate the domestic laws of receiving states and the principles of international law by conducting unlawful information-gathering campaigns and sweeping intelligence operations.
The immunities and privileges of diplomats and consular staff are governed by international conventions. However, diplomats enjoying the privileges and immunities described in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations are under a duty to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving state and to avoid interfering in its internal affairs as detailed in Article 41. Similarly, the consular staff is granted limited privileges and immunities by the Vienna Convention on Consular Affairs, but the host state authorities can start investigations and prosecute any of the personnel if they perpetrate crimes inside or outside the consulate premises, according to Article 43 of the convention.
Turkish diplomatic missions continue systematic spying on Turkish government critics on foreign soil as confirmed by Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in February 2020. Çavuşoğlu said Turkish diplomats assigned to embassies and consulates have officially been instructed by the government to conduct such activities abroad. “If you look at the definition of a diplomat, it is clear. … Intelligence gathering is the duty of diplomats,” Çavuşoğlu told Turkish journalists on February 16, 2020, following the Munich Security Conference, adding, “Intelligence gathering and information collection are a fact.”
In his interview with The Globe and Mail, Turkish Ambassador to Canada Kerim Uras also admitted to spying on 15 Turkish-Canadians. “Any embassy would focus on the threats targeting their countries. That’s what every Embassy does,” he told The Globe and Mail.
Turkish Ambassador to Uganda Kerem Alp spoke to the state-run Anadolu news agency in March and confirmed that Turkish diplomats collect information on the business activities of Erdoğan critics living abroad and profile their companies as if they were part of a terrorist organization. Alp also revealed how the embassy was gathering information on the medical staff, educators and humanitarian volunteers working for Ugandan institutions. “There were some FETO followers who had sought to hide in Uganda and were working in schools or hospitals. … They have been disguising themselves as humanitarian workers,” he told the news agency. FETO is a derogatory term coined by the Turkish government to refer to the movement.
The crackdown on Erdoğan critics throughout the country intensified in the aftermath of the corruption scandal of December 2013 that incriminated Erdoğan, his family members and his business and political associates. Immediately after the corruption investigation, Erdoğan accused the police officers, judges and prosecutors involved in the case of mounting a coup against his government and claimed they were linked to the Gülen movement, which he branded a “parallel state.”
Newly acquired airbus to boost Uganda Airlines’ post-covid-19 recovery plan
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
Uganda Airlines, the country’s flag-carrier, has taken delivery of its first A330neo, the latest version of the most popular widebody airliner. It is the first Airbus aircraft delivered to Uganda Airlines, which was established in 2019, it has been reported.
It is added that in line with the company’s strategy to keep offering its customers unbeatable economics, increased operational efficiency and superior passenger comfort, the A330-800 is the latest addition to Airbus’ commercial aircraft product line.
Thanks to its tailored, mid-sized capacity and its excellent range versatility, the A330neo is considered the ideal aircraft to operate as part of the post-COVID-19 recovery.
It is added that the A330neo will enable the new airline to launch its long-range operations with non-stop intercontinental flights to the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
Featuring Airbus’ Airspace cabin, passengers can enjoy a unique experience and explore its full comfort with 20 full-flat, business-class beds, 28 premium-economy seats and 210 economy-class seats, totaling 258 seats.
The A330neo is a true new-generation aircraft, building on the features of the popular A330 and using technology developed for the A350. Powered by the latest Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines and featuring a new wing with increased span and A350-inspired Sharklets, the A330neo provides an unprecedented level of efficiency. The aircraft burns 25% less fuel per seat than previous generation competitors. The A330neo cabin offers a unique passenger experience with more personal space and the latest generation in-flight entertainment system and connectivity.
The Most Powerful Resource We All Need Right Now: The Supernatural Power of God
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments
Denver, CO, January 6, 2021 — Imagine what it would be like to pray for miracles and see them happen right in front of your eyes! When he was just 15 years old, Dr. Andrew Nkoyoyo prayed for a blind man, and before hundreds of witnesses, God gave the man his sight. Is Dr. Nkoyoyo one of the chosen few born with a unique spiritual gift, or is the ability to access and walk in God’s supernatural power something all believers can cultivate?
In Catch and Release God’s Supernatural, author Dr. Andrew Nkoyoyo shows readers how to operate in the power of God despite their spiritual maturity or call, even if they’re a new believer with no prior experience in God’s supernatural. Nkoyoyo believes that we are in a crucial time, and that God is raising up those who desire to go to the next level.
“We choose to be chosen,” Nkoyoyo said during a recent interview with Dr. Francis Myles . “It’s not happening by accident. God is giving us opportunities, and He’s waiting on our response.”
In Catch and Release God’s Supernatural, Nkoyoyo says he will:
- Show you how the power of God will make a shift in your life so that you can be victorious and transform the lives of others
- Reveal the simple yet powerful kingdom keys, secrets and methods needed to release God’s supernatural
- Guide you step by step on how to apply each kingdom key in your life so that you can access heaven and unleash the miracle worker in you
- Interweave powerful supernatural testimonies and stories he experienced both personally and in ministry to demonstrate each key
Even before you finish the book, Nkoyoyo says your confidence in God’s ability to use you will increase as you become more spiritually equipped to apply these keys to each situation you encounter. You’ll soon find yourself operating in God’s miracles, healing and power, changing people’s lives for Jesus, and catching and releasing the supernatural power of God!
Author Dr. Andrew Nkoyoyo is the founder and president of Kingdom Impact Ministry. He is a revivalist, international speaker, host of the Kingdom Come TV program, apostolic/prophetic minister, author, and missionary from Uganda, East Africa, to the United States. Additionally, Nkoyoyo is a member of Harvest International Ministry, an apostolic network.
His Kingdom Come broadcast program and streaming media reaches people in more than 195 countries every day. He has shared miracle healing and revival stories on Sid Roth’s TV program It’s Supernatural. He has also shared the platform with speakers and Christian recording artists such as The Newsboys, For King and Country, Nick Vujicic, Jaci Velasquez, Sidewalk Prophets, Kutless, The Afters, Uncle Reese and many more.
Nkoyoyo is also the author of Working the Works of God, a book expounding on the keys to supernatural ministry. He focuses on inspiring the body of Christ and communities toward a great spiritual revival and awakening that has the power to transform society. With an obvious passion to impact lives with the message of Christ through God’s power, miracles, healing, signs, wonders and prophetic ministry, he equips Christians to catch and release God’s supernatural love and power daily. He and his wife, Mona, have four beautiful children and make their home in Montrose, Colorado.
For more information, please visit www.kingdomimpactministry.org, or connect with the author on Facebook: @kingdomimpactministry; Instagram: kingdomimpacttv; and Twitter: @kingdomimpacttv.
Catch and Release God’s Supernatural: Keys to Operating in God’sMiracles, Healing, and Power
Publisher: Spirit Life Publishing
Release Date: December 1, 2020
ASIN: B08K9FXQ7Y (eBook)
*Courtesy of Ascot Media Group
AfCFTA/African E-Commerce trading platform activated
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
The African Continental Free Trade Area and African E-Commerce trading has been activated starting with Ethiopian Airlines-DHL and the African Electronic Trade Group partnering to transport historical parcels in the African Continental Free Trade Area.
It is reported that the partnership is meant to invoke the start of trading of the African Continental Free Trade Area market and the operations of the African E-Commerce Platform in the continent.
It has also been reported that the first batch of the goods has arrived at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport on 1 January 2021 at a ceremony graced by high-level officials from the public and private sectors including the African Union (AU), DHL and Ethiopian Airlines Group.
Working in collaboration with African Union Commission and the African business community with a vision to enhance intra-and inter-African trade, the African Electronic Trade Group transports fragile trophies to various African countries as African Continental Free Trade Area commences.
It is added that the smooth and reliable connection between the source and the final destination is possible because of the partnership between Ethiopian Airlines and the African Electronic Trade Group.
The partnership joins the pre-existing continental partnership between Ethiopian Airlines and DHL that has strengthened the multimodal logistics systems established by Ethiopian at its hub in Addis Ababa.
Commissioner General of the Eswatini Revenue Authority remarked, “Tremendous opportunities exist digitally enabled cross border trade through the implementation of ASYCUDA World, Customs to Customs Data Exchange, Coordinated Border Management, Single Windows and other similar mechanisms pursued under the Regional Economic Communities, which need to be the norm rather than the exception in Africa. The African Continental Free Trade Area brings momentum behind our commitment for enhanced ease of doing business that we are addressing in partnership with the business community, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade and all members of the National Trade Facilitation Committee”.
It is reported that so far, the fragile goods have passed through Eswatini, South Africa and Ethiopia, countries that have signed and ratified the AfCFTA Agreement.
Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO Ethiopian airlines said, “The link between an integrated African marketplace, free movement of persons and the single air market in Africa cannot be underestimated as it serves as a catalyst for unlocking immense opportunities in Africa for the benefit of Africans and all stakeholders. I would like to commend the African Union leaders for their strategic focus on the legal instruments that will make it easier for Africans to travel across the continent peacefully and do business with each other. I believe that the partnership with The African Electronic Trade Group and DHL is crucial, as Ethiopian is a key player in African cargo and passenger transportation. While fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to work to boost intra African trade to pave the way for a brighter future.”
The African Electronic Trade Group Southern Africa office is the origin of the cargo comprising of small fragile trophies destined to several African countries.
The items are handmade by artisans in the Kingdom of Eswatini from recycled glass and converted into items of beauty.
It is added that this is to mark the start of trading of the African Continental Free Trade Area and the operation of the African E-Commerce Platform named “Sokokuu (www.sokokuu.africa)’’ which means big market, central market and unity in Kiswahili.
It is reported that the items produced in Eswatini and transported to various destinations across the continent symbolize that Africa is ready to exchange goods originating in the marketplace from the first day of trading.
“A robust ecosystem to serve SMEs, especially women and youth, better is under construction with fresh impetus from digital technologies and enabling policies being put in place by the African Union Member States,” Chairperson of the African Business Council, Dr. Amany Asfour remarked.
A joint statement issued by the partners stated, “This is the beginning of an exciting journey between a consortium of proud and trusted African and global brands namely AeTrade Group, Ethiopian Airlines and DHL.”
They said that standing together they welcomed the start of trading of the African Continental Free Trade Area with its 1.3 bililon people and an estimated GDP of 3.4 trillion.
It is also added that All African countries are encouraged to sign and ratify the agreement, because universal signature and ratification of the relevant instruments is essential for seamless and hassle free trade and industrial development in Africa.
“We wish to thank the African leaders for bringing this fruitful decision. The AfCFTA serves as an inspiration to the business community which propels us to make a start now, providing payment and logistics services and trade information via Sokokuu.Africa” said the CEO and Chairman of the AeTrade Group, Mr. Mulualem Syoum.
South Sudan: President Kiir’s Officials Clash Over Lifespan of Transition Period
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Deng Machol
Juba – South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir’s officials publicly disagreed on the government’s position regarding the life span of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNoU), aimed at ending the bloodshed in East Africa’s youngest nation.
South Sudan Presidential Spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny told Eyeradio, local – based radio that warring parties to the revitalized peace agreement had agreed to extend the Transitional Period up to 2023 to allow full implementation of critical tasks.
According to president Kiir’s press secretary the parties cannot accomplish the tasks ahead of them within the 36 months, adding that the decision was not taken by the Presidency but all parties reached “consensus and agreed that the end of the transition will be 2023 because the end of the 2022 and beginning of 2023, that is where the election will be run to achieve peace.”
“It is not the Presidency that has decided but it is the implementation matrix given that they have lost some months in the Pre-Transitional Period. “All of them [parties] by consensus has agreed that the end of the transition will be 2023 because the end of the 2022 and beginning of 2023, that is where the election will be run to achieve peace,” Ateny told Eye Radio, this week.
Ateny added that Peace is not easy and peace is not an overnight event.
“Peace is a process and even the implementation is a process so people should not expect it as a free lunch. It has time in order for it to happen and become mature,” Ateny said.
However, Parties to the revitalized peace agreement have distanced themselves on the plan to extend the transitional period.
And president Kiir’s media aide statement was vehemently denied by the country’s information Minister Michael Makuei.
In reaction, Transitional government’s Spokesperson Makuei said there was “nothing as such”, distancing government from his counterparts decision.
“I said no, check your sources, nothing as such,” said Makuei, quoted by Eye Radio.
According to the implementation matrix of the peace deal, signed in September 2018, many provisions should have been implemented by now. These include the reconstitution of the transitional national legislature, the reunification of forces, the full establishment of state governments and the constitutional making process, and the economic sector reforms.
In May 2019, the pre-transitional period was extended by six months, after the main opposition leader – Dr. Riek Machar – requested for more time to implement key parts of the security arrangements.
At the end of the six months, they again extended the pre-transitional period by 100 days.
It ended in February 2020 when President Salva Kiir appointed opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar and other vice presidents—beginning the three-year Transitional Period.
But nearly one year after the presidency and the cabinet were formed, the Transition Government of National Unity is yet to be fully established.
The implementation of peace accord has been stalled as the signatories have failed to adhere to the deadlines set in the peace agreement and have backtracked on aspects of its political, security and economic provisions, according to the UN experts.
The unified army is not yet deployed as their graduation has been postponed several times.
State and local government structures are yet to be established. One of the ten-state governors is still not appointed.
Only late last year, a parties reached compromise on a prolonged stalemate on formation of states governments and reconstitution of the National Legislative Assembly, much needed to support the agreement and enact legislation that enables and assists the transitional processes and reforms ahead of the proposed national elections.
The peace deal mandates the unity government to hold elections sixty days before the end of the Transitional Period in 2022 to establish a democratically elected government. However, major components in the unity governments are far from over.
The observers urge the parties to the peace deal to respect the deadline, arguing that only elections will restore peace and stability that will lead to entire reform in the country.
South Sudan erupted into civil war after two year of her independence from Sudan in 2011, the five – year conflict lead to an estimated 400,000 deaths and uprooted four million people from their homes, before devastating the country’s economy, one of the worst refugee crises in East Africa since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Once implemented, the deal will help to restore permanent and sustainable peace, security, and stability in the restive country.
Siemens Gamesa seals its first wind farm project in Ethiopia, expanding its leadership in Africa
January 6, 2021 | 0 Comments
|The 100 MW wind farm will help power over 400,000 Ethiopian households.|
ADAMA, Ethiopia, January 4, 2021/ — The company will deliver 29 SG 3.4-132 wind turbines to state-owned utility Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) for the Assela project; the 100 MW wind farm will help power over 400,000 Ethiopian households; the wind farm is set to be commissioned by Spring 2023, and will save more than 260,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
Siemens Gamesa (www.SiemensGamesa.com) has signed its first wind power project in Ethiopia with state-owned electricity company Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), strengthening its leadership in Africa as the country begins to expand its green energy capacity to meet ambitious renewable targets.
The 100 MW Assela wind farm will be located between the towns of Adama and Assela, approximately 150 km south of the capital, Addis Ababa, and will contribute to clean and affordable power for the country’s electricity grid.
The country has set an ambitious target to supply 100% of its domestic energy demand through renewable energy by 2030. According to the African Development Bank, Ethiopia has abundant resources, particularly wind with a potential 10 GW of installation capacity and having installed 324 MW at present.
“Siemens Gamesa is intent on expanding its leadership across Africa, and in turn help a growing transition to green energy across the continent. So, we are extremely pleased to begin work in Ethiopia and look forward to collaborating with both EEP and the country to continue to promote their drive to install more renewables and meet transformational energy targets,” said Roberto Sabalza, CEO for Onshore Southern Europe and Africa at Siemens Gamesa.
According to a Wood Mackenzie forecast, around 2 GW of wind power would be installed in Ethiopia by 2029.
The wind farm will be made up of 29 SG 3.4-132 wind turbines and is expected to be commissioned by the start of 2023. The project will generate about 300,000 MWh per year. Siemens Gamesa will provide full engineering, procurement, and turnkey construction.
The Assela wind project will be financed by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs via Danida Business Finance (DBF) adding to a loan agreement signed between the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC) and Danske Bank A/S.
Ethiopia has many renewable resources covering wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass, and the country aspires to be a power hub and the battery for the Horn of Africa. The country’s National Electrification Program, launched in 2017, outlines a plan to reach universal access by 2025 with the help of off-grid solutions for 35% of the population.
Siemens Gamesa is among the global leaders in the wind power industry, with a strong presence in all facets of the renewable energy business: offshore, onshore, and services. With more than 107 GW installed worldwide; Siemens Gamesa is an ideal partner for Ethiopia at this critical juncture in the East African nation’s accelerating energy journey.
About Siemens Gamesa in Africa:
Siemens Gamesa has been pioneering wind energy projects in Africa for 21 years.
Installations total 4 GW in countries such as Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, Kenya, Mauritania, Mauritius Islands, Tunisia and Algeria representing 60% of all wind power on the continent.
Siemens Gamesa is driving Africa’s energy transition to deliver cleaner, more reliable, more affordable energy for millions of African people and support long term sustainability and economic growth. It has the broadest product portfolio in the industry with leading technology and innovation, the scale and global reach to provide proximity to customers, and high standards of health, safety and environmental protection.
*SOURCE Siemens Gamesa
Universal Music Group announces Strategic Leadership Appointments within Africa
January 6, 2021 | 0 Comments
Sipho Dlamini promoted to CEO, Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa; Elouise Kelly appointed COO, Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa; Chinedu Okeke named MD, Universal Music Nigeria.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, January 4, 2021/ — Universal Music Group (UMG) , the world leader in music entertainment, today strengthened its position as the leading music company in Africa by announcing a strategic expansion of its Sub-Saharan Africa leadership team. These appointments underscore UMG’s ongoing commitment to support and grow Africa’s domestic music ecosystems, while also creating new opportunities for African talent to reach new audiences globally.
UMG’s holistic approach to expanding operations across the continent, opening new divisions in Nigeria, as well as becoming the first major music company to establish divisions in Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Cameroon and Morocco to complement UMG’s longstanding operations in South Africa. This presence will continue to grow throughout 2021 and beyond, as UMG continues to further extend the company’s ability to support domestic artists across Africa and globally.
To help lead this expansion, Sipho Dlamini has been promoted to CEO, Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, effective immediately. Dlamini will continue to oversee all of UMG’s operations within English-speaking Africa. Since joining UMG in 2016, he has been instrumental in solidifying and growing UMG’s African infrastructure, increasing the visibility of African music around the world and delivering unprecedented artist success in South Africa. During this time, UMG has also led the industry with new initiatives across live music, brand partnerships and the adoption of licensed and legal streaming platforms within Africa.
Sipho is a member of UMG’s Task Force for Meaningful Change (TFMC), which was created last year as a driving force for inclusion and social justice within the global music industry and serves as chair for the TFMC’s Global Committee. In 2019, Dlamini was named in Billboard’s International Music Power list, the first African-based executive to make their list.
In his new role, Dlamini will continue to work closely with Adam Granite, UMG’s EVP, Market Development, to identify further opportunities for artists signed to Universal Music Africa to reach new audiences around the world, utilizing UMG’s unrivalled global network of industry-leading businesses spanning more than 60 countries worldwide.
Within South Africa, Dlamini has been joined by hugely experienced senior executive Elouise Kelly, who has been appointed Chief Operating Officer, Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. She will be based in Johannesburg and will report to Dlamini. Kelly Joins UMG from global advertising and media agency Ogilvy, where she held the position of Managing Director, South Africa. With a proven and award-winning background in branding, marketing, communication and commercial business strategy, she will play an integral role in the further expansion of Universal Music Africa and its operations and label divisions. Prior to working at Ogilvy, Kelly held senior positions at SABC, Top TV, Viacom International Media Networks and M-Net.
In addition, Chinedu Okeke has been named Managing Director, Universal Music Nigeria and will lead the development and expansion of UMG’s existing operations within Nigeria, and further English-speaking markets in West Africa. He will be based in Lagos, Nigeria and will report to Dlamini. Okeke joins UMG having established himself over the last decade, as a successful business and live-music entrepreneur. He is the founder of Eclipse Live – A Live entertainment company focused on bringing live affordable entertainment to the youth of Africa and Eclipse Brand Agency, working with major clients, artists and commercial partners. He is also the founder and Executive Producer of Nigeria’s legendary Gidi Culture Festival, and a founding Trustee of Echo Music & Arts Foundation, and previously held positions at The Wicklow Group, Canvest Group & AP Moeller Maersk.
Announcing the changes, Adam Granite said, “I am thrilled to announce these strategic appointments, as we look to further develop our domestic infrastructure and label rosters within Africa. Most integral to achieving our long-term ambitions, is to build a strong leadership team on the ground, with deep foundations in each country to help grow a dynamic ecosystem for all to benefit in the future.
“Over the past few years, Sipho has shown great leadership, commitment and vision for music in Africa, helping UMG to introduce new talent to audiences around the world and identify opportunities to lead the industry in licensing and supporting new platforms to reach African music fans. Elouise and Chin both bring welcome new skills, proven entrepreneurship and important leadership experience that will only serve to bolster UMG’s position as the market-leader across Africa.”
Sipho Dlamini said, “There has never been a more exciting time for African music around the world, as it continues to influence and inspire culture and creativity, whilst reaching a wider audience globally each day through streaming. I am delighted to welcome both Elouise and Chin to the UMG family, their unique skills and experiences will only help to further establish UMG as a bedrock within the African music community, that will continue to put the interests and opportunities for artists first and help elevate African talent to new levels of success at home and abroad.”
As part of UMG’s strategy, the company is helping African talent reach new audiences internationally. In 2018, UMG became the first major label to licence its catalog to Boomplay, Africa’s largest local streaming platform. Last year, UMG released several acclaimed albums by African artists globally, including:
- Celia from Nigerian Afrobeats star Tiwa Savage (released in partnership with Motown Records U.S.) and South African rapper Nasty C’s – Zulu Man With Some Power (in partnership with Def Jam Recordings in the U.S., Island Records U.K. and other Universal labels around the world);
- Midnight Train from Kenya’s Sauti Sol; and
- Old Romance, the debut album release from Nigerian singer/producer Tekno, who is signed to Universal Music Nigeria in partnership with Island Records in the U.K. and U.S.
UMG also agreed a strategic partnership between Nigeria’s Aristokrat Records and Universal Music France and launched Def Jam Africa as a standalone label on the continent, with resources across five countries, dedicated to discovering the best in African hip-hop, Afrobeats and Trap music.
Under the new leadership structure, each territory will continue to focus on domestic A&R and talent development with a unique suite of services available to local talent including marketing, promotion, bespoke brand partnerships, recording facilities and live music promotion and booking through UMG’s ULive Africa division. In Africa, UMG has led the industry, working hand in hand with both domestic and international platforms and Telco’s to help bring the best in global music to music fans across Africa.
UMG remains committed to helping bolster the wider local ecosystem, with continued focus on building a fair and prosperous market for all through better understanding and management of copyright and royalty distribution, and through the development of strong partnerships with platforms throughout the region which will be integral to introducing African music to a wider audience in years to come.
All three will work closely with French-speaking operations in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Cameroon and markets within the continent, which operate under the leadership of Franck Kacou, Directeur General, Universal Music Africa. UMG is also working closely in partnership with parent company Vivendi, and several of Vivendi’s divisions, including CanalOlympia, Olympia Production, Vivendi and Canal+ to support and develop the live music industry throughout Africa.
Tekno’s Old Romance, Tiwa Savage’s Celia, Sauti Soul’s Midnight Train and Nasty C’s Zulu Man With Some Power’ are all available now.
About Universal Music Group:
Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries. Featuring the most comprehensive catalog of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. Universal Music Group is a Vivendi company.
*SOURCE Universal Music Group (UMG)
What happens to the African Energy Industry if Western Lenders cut off Loans for Fossil Fuel Projects?
January 6, 2021 | 0 Comments
|A little more than a year ago, in November 2019, the European Investment Bank (EIB) declared its intention to phase out funding for fossil fuels|
By NJ Ayuk*
A little more than a year ago, in November 2019, the European Investment Bank (EIB) declared its intention to phase out funding for fossil fuels. Specifically, it said that it would no longer grant loans for projects involving crude oil, natural gas, and coal as of January 1, 2022 (with a scant few exceptions for gas projects that meet rigorous environmental criteria).
In making this announcement, the EIB made history. It became the first major multi-lateral financial institution to make a public commitment to abandon fossil fuels in the name of combatting climate change.
Its pledge did not go unnoticed. In October 2020, Antonio Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations (UN), called on the world’s publicly funded development banks to follow suit. Less than a month later, all 450 of these institutions — including, incidentally, the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) — agreed to bring their lending policies into line with the Paris climate accord.
The agreement did not include a categorical ban on fossil fuel loans, since some of the lenders involved, such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), were unwilling to make this commitment. However, a group of European lenders did exactly that — and they were hardly alone in doing so.
You see, public development banks aren’t the only institutions to have made climate commitments. Since the beginning of 2020, a number of major private lenders — including but not limited to giants such as Barclays, HSBC, and Morgan Stanley — have rolled out plans to reach net-zero in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. Others — such as Blackrock, a major asset management firm — have pledged to make more money available for renewable energy projects. And just a few weeks ago, South Africa’s Standard Bank Group joined the chorus, saying it would no longer fund fossil fuel projects unless the sponsors could demonstrate compliance with strict environmental standards.
And it’s not just the banks. Climate considerations are now driving some of the world’s largest oil and gas firms, with multi-national giants such as BP and Royal Dutch/Shell and slightly smaller operators such as Occidental Petroleum, aiming to hit the net-zero mark by 2050. They may also come to drive the U.S. government’s policies, as President Joe Biden has declared climate change one of the first priorities of his administration.
Is This a Tipping Point?
So what next? Should I follow the Bloomberg news agency’s example and talk about 2020 as a tipping point for climate activism? Should I try to extend the story I outlined above into the future and paint this year as the beginning of the end for fossil fuels?
That’s not what I want to do.
That’s not what I want to happen.
Instead, I’ll try to explain why I think the move away from financing fossil fuel projects has the potential to hurt Africa. And I’m going to do it by imagining what might happen if this move continues.
What Happens If Climate Concerns Dominate?
In this scenario, climate concerns come to dictate the lending policies of Western financial institutions. By 2025, all of the world’s publicly funded development banks have joined the EIB in declining to fund fossil fuel projects (even though a select few organizations are still managing to attract small-scale creditors after agreeing to adopt onerous and costly carbon offset arrangements). Private lenders have followed suit, making it known that they will only support renewable energy schemes (and that they prefer to do business with companies and governments that fall in line with their own net-zero pledges).
As far as the leaders of these financial institutions are concerned, they’ve done the right thing. They’ve done their part to uphold the Paris agreement and prevent the disasters caused by climate change. They’ve responded to the concerns of the public (and of their shareholders). And aren’t fossil fuels a risky investment nowadays? After all, demand never quite recovered after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and prices have stayed rather low. Oil and gas are quite out of fashion now, really!
The View from Africa
But the view from Africa is likely to be different.
In Africa, climate considerations and ideological commitments to eliminating GHG emissions may well take a back seat to more urgent questions about how to encourage economic growth and supply basic necessities to the continent’s growing population. In countries with large natural gas reserves such as Mozambique, Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, and many others, politicians, businessmen and everyday people should ask their western counterparts why they should decline to extract a resource that could be used to produce electricity cheaply and reliably for both households and businesses. They should ask why they should forego the opportunity to develop an industry that creates jobs, both directly and indirectly, and promotes trade with neighboring states that also need energy. They should ask why they are being discouraged from using the least polluting of the fossil fuels and pushed towards renewable energy solutions that are less reliable and more expensive per unit of power generated. They should ask why Africa should be punished for western nations GHG emissions. They should ask what happens to energy poverty. They should ask who will pay reparations to Africa if Africans have to abandon their natural resources.
They may also ask why they should make the same sacrifices as Western countries when they don’t have the same advantages as those countries — including, say, the complement of legacy, gas-fired power plants needed to ensure that electricity supplies continue all day and night, without interruption, even at times when the wind isn’t blowing, and the sun isn’t shining.
Africans should also question the need to leave crude oil in the ground – and they should! For many of them, their oil industry and service companies are a major source of income. And while they may be willing to see that source phased out gradually, they’re not likely to assent to plans for killing them off abruptly.
Also, what about independent African exploration and production companies? What about African oilfield service companies and midstream operators? Shouldn’t they have a say in their future too?
Meanwhile, what about all the time and resources that a number of African leaders have invested in creating policies that encourage international oil companies to invest in their countries, from improved fiscal regimes to transparency laws to win-win local content policies? There’s no question that these leaders were interested in oil revenue, but there is so much more to gain from these policies, from much-needed technology transfers to business and growth opportunities for local entrepreneurs. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, African economies need these opportunities more than ever.
Leaving China As the Only Option
Amidst all these questions, there may be a few determined types who seek to push forward with upstream oil and gas development despite the lack of support from Western banks. Heads of state may try to subsidize gas projects (or provide other forms of support) in an attempt to build up domestic capacities and promote self-sufficiency in energy. Entrepreneurs may reach into their own pockets or work to drum up local support, in the hope of using abundant natural resources to turn out products for which there is demand.
Without access to Western capital, such initiatives are more likely to fail — or, at least, to falter. If so, their backers may very well look for support elsewhere. And they may find it in China, which has been very willing to provide financial and technical assistance for fossil fuel projects in Africa.
Personally, I find the prospect of Beijing becoming the main source of outside financing for African oil, gas, and gas-to-power projects to be concerning. I’m not saying this because I think African states ought to shy away from cooperation with China. I’m saying it because I want them to have as many options as possible. I want them to be ready to work with a wide range of partners, rather than fall into a pattern of not having to look further than satisfying China’s requirements.
And this won’t happen if Western lenders cut off funding for African oil and gas projects as a consequence of their commitment to curbing climate change.
Instead, China will come to have more influence than any other party over the African oil and gas sector. China, which has already put a number of African countries in the position of handing over important assets when they find themselves unable to keep up with loan payments. China, which has a less-than-stellar track record on environmental protection, despite being a signatory to the Paris climate accord.
Time to Make a Case for Oil and Gas
As I’ve already said, this is not the outcome I want.
Instead, I think Africa should have the chance to use its own oil and gas to strengthen itself especially with the coming into force of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement.
I also think Africa should have more than one option when it comes to financing petroleum projects.
Most of all, I think Africa should have the chance to make its own choices without undue pressure from Western institutions that don’t face the same challenges. Africans have to become more visible, more vocal and even more hopeful about the future and the energy sector.
As a result, I think African states ought to push back against the idea that it’s time for Western banks to stop all funding for fossil fuels. I think that African oil and gas producers ought to stand up for themselves and make a case for developing their own resources — particularly for using the least-polluting fossil fuels to deliver as much electricity as possible to as many people as possible.
And the time to make that case is now, while financing for oil and gas is still available.
*SOURCE African Energy Chamber.NJ Ayuk is Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber.
Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa confirmed for Mining Indaba Virtual
January 6, 2021 | 0 Comments
|President of South Africa has confirmed to deliver the presidential keynote address at the upcoming Mining Indaba Virtual.|
Investing in African Mining Indaba (Mining Indaba) , part of Hyve Group Plc is honoured to announce that His Excellency, Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa has confirmed to deliver the presidential keynote address at the upcoming Mining Indaba Virtual.
Following last year’s announcements, H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa will be joining the already confirmed president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), His Excellency, Félix Tshisekedi and H.E. Julius Maada Bio, president of Sierra Leone, at Mining Indaba Virtual which will be held next month, 2-3 February 2021.
10 months ago, the World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic, in which South Africa had been praised for its hard lockdowns ensuring the virus was contained. Almost all industries were disrupted and shutdown, including the mining operations within the country, excluding those supplying coal to power generator, Eskom.
As the world starts to recover from the global pandemic, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) remarks on the government’s well-thought-out plan to gradually reopen particular economic sectors, whilst continuing to diminish the Covid-19 virus. The mining industry was one of the first to reopen, as it represents 8% of the country’s GDP and up to 60% of South Africa’s exports. Many of the large mining operators helped combat the virus by developing their own health and safety regimes and working closely with the government to transform facilities to help with control the rise of the Covid-19 rates.
This coupled with the South African National Development Plan (NDP), the industry will help rebuild a capable and developmental state, the booming natural resources sector will be the key driver in the Covid-19 recovery, whilst achieving elimination of poverty and reduction of inequality through significant job creation. As a result, the industry will essentially play a critical role in the economic recovery and prosperity in the global transition.
Mining Indaba Virtual geared towards helping the industry build resilience and regrowth, whilst adopting a new mindset. H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa will take to the online stage to discuss South Africa, the mining economy and the way forward for the country, including opportunities for international investment in gold and PGMS, progress on the country’s response to the global pandemic and ultimately provide an update on South Africa’s power generation and supporting independent generation for mining operators.
Registration for the Mining Indaba Virtual has now opened, the event is free to attend. For more information about the programme, visit the website here
About Investing in African Mining Indaba:
Investing in African Mining Indaba is solely dedicated to the successful capitalisation, development and widening perspective of the African mining industry. Bringing together the world’s industry giants to tomorrow’s barrier-breaking disruptors from across the spectrum. It’s the place where multi-million deals are done, and life-long partnerships are discovered.
*SOURCE Investing in African Mining Indaba
Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis Lacks Leadership; The U.S. Can Help Fill the Void
January 6, 2021 | 0 Comments
The Anglophone crisis has registered among the world’s ‘most neglected,’ according to assessments by the Norwegian Refugee Council
By Jeffrey Smith*
|LAGOS, Nigeria, January 5, 2021/ — Over the last several years, since at least 2016, an inconceivably violent conflict has ravaged the Central African nation of Cameroon. The daily barrage of bloody images posted to social media and the accounts of cruelty and likely war crimes have – at least to date – not been enough to galvanize meaningful or concerted action to resolve what has become known as the Anglophone Crisis. After years of wreckage, there is now a domestic stalemate, a paralyzed status quo that has served to radicalize hardliners on both sides of the conflict.|
The roots of the Anglophone crisis date back much farther than 2016, of course. Like many long-simmering issues in the region, hostilities can be traced to the maneuvering of former colonial powers who spliced up African territories with little regard for the dignity or preferences of local populations. This fact, however, does not excuse the failed leadership that has more recently been the norm – embodied most profoundly by President Paul Biya, who has been in power since 1982, longer than most Cameroonians have been alive. In October 2018, Biya secured yet another term in office during an electoral exercise that was marred by credible allegations of vote rigging and a clampdown on political adversaries, including opposition leader Maurice Kamto, who had remained under house arrest until last month.
The Anglophone crisis has registered among the world’s ‘most neglected,’ according to assessments by the Norwegian Refugee Council. And according to the International Crisis Group, the fighting has killed well over 3,000 people and displaced an additional 600,000 more. In Anglophone regions, an estimated 850,000 children are currently out of school – likely much higher today in light of the covid-19 pandemic – and one in three of the region’s four million people are in need of humanitarian aid. Cameroon, once a reputed host for refugees is now a major exporter of people who are fleeing violence and government persecution. The number of Cameroonians seeking refuge in neighboring Nigeria, for example, has crossed the 300,000 mark . The instability inside Cameroon has thus produced negative ripple effects on an entire region, including disastrous economic and commercial blowback.
These statistics, as staggering as they are, barely do justice to the overall magnitude of a conflict that has exacted a huge toll on the lives of ordinary Cameroonians – mainly women and children – who have literally been caught in the crossfire between government forces and Anglophone fighters. In the words (bit.ly/3hLsaME) of local journalist Comfort Mussa, “hardly a day goes by without news of deaths, abductions, arson attacks and other forms of violence that have become a reality for people in [Anglophone] regions.”
As 2021 gets underway, however, there is a small glimmer of hope that momentum has built behind a reform agenda. Rather symbolically, on New Year’s Day, the United States Senate passed a resolution by unanimous bipartisan consent – no small feat in Washington these days – that sent a strong signal to the Biya government and armed groups alike to end the violence and to commit to an inclusive process of international arbitration. The resolution also raised the prospect of punitive sanctions on those individuals responsible for participating in atrocities. (This author has long called for these actions by the U.S. government, a significant donor to and enduring security partner of the Biya government).
As a longtime partner of human rights defenders and pro-democracy leaders in Cameroon, we at Vanguard Africa heartily welcome this development in the halls of the U.S. Senate. We will also advocate that the incoming Biden-Harris Administration make this resolution – and the key principles upon which it is premised – a key priority of its US-Africa policy moving forward.
Put simply, it is time for both sides of the Anglophone crisis to come to terms with the fact that there is no military solution. The guns need to be silenced. The chaos can no longer continue. Importantly, there is some recognition , even among the most militant Anglophone leaders, that this is the only feasible way forward. What is needed today is a negotiated settlement that holds human rights violators accountable and paves the way for a new era of leadership that many Cameroonians are demanding.
The violence perpetrated during the Anglophone crisis, and the lack of respect for the sanctity of human life, has taken a massive toll on future generations of Cameroonians. To relieve citizens from this tailspin, both the government and Anglophone leaders need to take a hard look at this freefall and their respective roles in perpetuating it. A genuinely inclusive dialogue must begin, and the U.S. Government – now vitalized by a rare act of bipartisanship – should help to fill Cameroon’s leadership void that has been so readily exploited.
*Jeffrey Smith is the Founding Director of Vanguard Africa
Remaking Nigeria, Sixty Years After
January 5, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Chido Onumah *
“…Nation-building is a futuristic venture; it is not something you do looking back. If a nation would be tempted, like Lot’s wife, to keep looking back, perhaps that nation will turn to a pillar of salt.” – Tope Fasua in Remaking Nigeria: Sixty Years, Sixty Voices
“A country is as good and redeeming as those who engage in its politics.” – Joel Nwokeomain Remaking Nigeria: Sixty Years, Sixty Voices
“They prayed for things God had given them capacity to do for themselves yet killed and maimed in the name of God. They fought for God and left their fight to God.” – Aisha Yesufu in Remaking Nigeria: Sixty Years, Sixty Voices
Nigerian politicians are a special breed. You do not know what motivates them—beyond unbridled power and opportunity to dip into the till. Or how else can one explain the mad rush for the presidency in 2023? In this conclave, you have Orji Uzor Kalu, “distinguished” senator of the Federal Republic, who supervised the plunder of Abia State as governor between 1999 and 2007 and Ahmed Rufai Sani Yerima, ex-governor of Zamfara State, a certified paedophile whose idea of democracy and nationhood is a throwback to the Stone Age.
Of course, only an insanely perverse group—maniacally obsessed with power—would attempt to lead Nigeria the way it is presently constituted, particularly after a Buhari presidency. As the writer and journalist, Fredrick Nwabufo, noted, “… it will take four decades to put Nigeria together after the exit of President Muhammadu Buhari. Nigeria is like humpty-dumpty—broken, amputated and cannibalised. The Buhari administration has wrought irreparable damage on the country across sectors. The mess is deep and stinks. The next president of Nigeria in 2023 will have to be a night soil man; in our parlance—a s..t packer; agbepo; onye obulunsi.” This is not an exaggeration!
In the past six months, I have had the honour of editing a book of essays, Remaking Nigeria, Sixty Years, Sixty Voices, by post-civil war Nigerians, a project supported by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and Ford Foundation. Looking at the submissions by the contributors, there is no shortage of ideas to propel Nigeria to greatness. The challenge, of course, is that we have not found a way to engage in the right conversation and let our ideas work for us. For far too long, we have had scoundrels posing as statesmen occupy the public space. We have allowed charlatans and our worst eleven to not only control the narrative but to steer the country toward the path of self-destruction. This must change. What it means is that we must fix many things about our country. We must fix its structure—politically, economically, and socially; we must fix its politics (Dr Oby Ezekwesili, former minister of education and Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy, Berlin, Germany, is leading a grand effort with young Nigerians on this); we must fix its identity, etc.
These are ideas that resonate with the country’s youth population who should lead the effort to reclaim, redeem and remake Nigeria. There are many reasons Nigerians are concerned about the country. Clearly, it has not lived up to expectations. And we know what happens to a dream deferred. I shall return to this. It was Prof. Okey Ndibe who described Nigeria as a space conceived in hope sixty years ago but nurtured into hopelessness. There couldn’t be a better description of our predicament. Nigeria’s rapacious and rogue elite, military and civilian—buoyed by a defective federation—has immiserated the country and undermined the essence of our democracy: the right to a good life and the freedom to choose those who govern us. And they are ready to do that again in 2023 if we do not halt their perilous match.
Nigeria, according to Ndibe, has a lot to do to regain its promise. It is an understatement to say that the country’s journey has been a tortuous and torturous one. According to the poet, Chiedu Ezeanah, “We are stuck with a predatory and repressive nation where the only order that endures is disorder.” How do we help this giant make its way out of the labyrinth?
Mathew Hassan Kukah, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, in his 2020 Independence Day sermon noted that, “Journeys to greatness require more than good people. They require more than just goodwill; they require more than just hope. The journeys have to be led by men and women with vision, men and women of tested character, prepared to mobilise their people to a vision and a goal that may not be necessarily available or attainable but encourage them to march towards the attainment of that goal. No nation has ever taken a short cut to success. Not because nations have not tried but simply because there are no short cuts that are available.”
Will Nigeria survive? How do we remake Nigeria and turn it into the country of our dreams? Remaking Nigeria, Sixty Years, Sixty Voices addresses this challenge. It provides answers to realise a dream deferred. Langston Hughes, American poet, and social activist, in his poem, “Harlem – What happens to a dream deferred?” evokes what happens when the dream of a people is aborted.
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
From the rudderless leadership, the daily carnage across the country, to the mindless pillage of our patrimony, the Nigerian dream is drying up “like a raisin in the sun” and “festering like a sore.” It “stinks like rotten meat and sags like a heavy load.” Time is running out. Let’s hope it does not explode!
Clearly, the new decade will be a defining moment for Nigeria. Sixty years after independence, fifty years after a civil war, and at the beginning of a new decade, it is important that a new generation of citizens is challenged to reposition the country.
For young Nigerians to whom this book is dedicated, it is time to stop looking back or looking up and heed the admonition of Senator (and later 35th President of the United States) John F. Kennedy in 1958: “Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.’’
Remaking Nigeria: Sixty Years, Sixty Voices is available here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1953967027
*Onumah is the author of We Are All Biafrans, among other books.
South Sudan: President Kiir appoints six deputy state governors
January 2, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Deng Machol
Juba – South Sudan President Salva Kiir has appointed six deputy governors for some of the states in the East African youngest nation.
There are 10 states in South Sudan with 9 appointed governors last year and 3 Chief Administrators, with no state cabinets and other local government officials.
In a presidential decree issued Wednesday evening, Kiir named the deputy governors for Jonglei, Lakes, Unity, Eastern Equatoria, Western Equatoria and Western Bahr el Ghazal state.
In the decree, President Kiir appointed a woman and five men as the deputy governors.
President, however, did not appoint deputy governors for three states – Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Warrap and Central Equatoria states.
The leadership of one state -Upper Nile is still in contention. This excludes Upper Nile state which is yet to get a governor.
A reconciliation conference of the communities of the state is set to take place in Juba to discuss ways and means of resolving communal differences to create harmony in the state.
The announcement only featured nominees of the SPLM under President Salva Kiir and those of the SPLM-IO under Dr. Riek Machar.
There were also no appointees from the South Sudan Opposition Alliance, SSOA, Other Political Parties (OPP) and the Former Detainees, FDs.
According to the revitalized peace deal, the responsibility sharing ratio at State and local government levels shall be 55% for the SPLM; 27% for the SPLM/A-IO; 10% for SSOA and 8% for OPP.
However, in August, the parties agreed on a new formula for sharing state structures.
They agreed that there shall remain 10 deputy governors.
President Salva Kiir’s group shall nominate 3, Dr. Riek Machar’s party shall nominate 3, while SSOA shall nominate one, and OPP shall nominate 3 deputy governors.
His Presidential Advisor on Security, Tut Gatluak had informed the media yesterday that there are still misunderstandings among members of the Other Political Parties, OPP, over their choice for deputy governors in states allocated to them.
According to Presidential Adviser Tut Gatluak, all state governments and county authorities will be formed by the first week of January 2021.
“By the first week of January, we would have completed the formation of the transitional government from national to state levels,” Gatluak said.
They also agreed to appoint five Advisors for each state governor.
They further resolved to appoint 17 ministers for each of the states.
President Kiir’s party shall nominate nine, Machar with five nominees, two from SSOA and one from the OPP.
The parties are also yet to appoint state Ministers, Legislators, Advisors, Commissioners and Administrators.
In the end, there shall be a total of 170 ministers in the ten states, 50 advisors, 60 chairpersons of commissions and 510 members of parliament, Commissioners, Administrators and other local level officials.
Two years after signing the revitalized peace agreement, the country’s political leaders are still struggling to implement tasks spelt out by the deal.
Many critical tasks remain unaccomplished, including the unification and deployment of government and opposition forces, the peace parties are yet to reconstitute the national legislature – the body responsible for enacting reforms stipulated in the agreement.
According to observers, disputes among the peace parties and financial constraints have been major obstacles to completing the peace processes.
Despite that the observers say this is a motivating step for the way forward.
Guide to 2021 Political Events in Africa
December 30, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Prince Kurupati
2020 was a momentous year for Africa on the political front in spite of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic which threatened to halt all political events largely elections. Nothing exemplifies this than the presidential elections in Malawi. Malawi in 2020 became only the second country on the whole continent to reverse a presidential election and call for fresh elections. The country’s judiciary noted widespread electoral malpractices thus calling for fresh elections which were ultimately won by an alliance of opposition candidates.
The decision taken by the Malawi Judiciary was hailed by many political analysts and lovers of African politics citing that it provides a good precedent in a continent widely marred by reports of electoral malpractices. Going into 2021, African will once again witness several elections ranging from local government elections, House of Assembly elections to presidential elections.
Looking forward to these elections, we came up with this 2021 guide to political events in Africa which looks at the most important elections to watch out for in the New Year.
Angola – Local Government Elections – April 2021
Angola is one of Africa’s most centralized states – at least administratively. The country has four levels of government that is national, provincial, municipal and district. However, the last three do not enjoy any autonomy as they are all rigidly controlled by the central government in Luanda. The present system in the country does not permit senior officials of the three lower government levels to be elected by the people. Rather, the central government appoints all senior officials at the three lower levels. The president appoints the 18 provincial governors. They in turn appoint the 164 municipal administrators, who then appoint the 475 administrators of the districts. The party that wins the presidential election will, therefore, hold all political power across all the levels of government.
The country’s latest constitution which came into effect in 2010 recognized the need to ditch this system and introduce a two-tier governance system at local government level which comprise of one, an elected local representative body and two, decentralized local units of the central government. This effectively paved the way for the government to start conducting elections for local government. Since 2010, the central government in the country has been working on the legal and institutional frameworks to start conducting local government elections and the country’s president Joao Lourenco announced that the first municipal elections will be held in 2020.
That however did not come to pass as the government blamed the devastating COVID-19 pandemic as the reason why it was impossible to hold the elections. A new date was set and the elections if all things remain as is will be conducted in April, 2021. Apart from the presidential elections, the municipal elections will serve as a test to prove the popularity of the ruling party both in the urban and rural areas as the country gears up for the presidential elections in a couple of years time.
Benin – Presidential & Local Government Elections – April 2021
There have been a few countries in Africa that could pride themselves as models of democracy on the African continent. One such country is Benin. However, in the recent past, Benin has seen democratic decline. This best exemplified by the country’s fall on the Freedom House democracy rankings which saw Benin downgrading from Free to Partly Free in 2019. According to many political analysts, this has largely been necessitated by the current president Patrice Talon who is seeking a second presidential term. In the past elections, Patrice Talon barred some opposition parties from contesting. In the April 2019 parliamentary elections, only two parties – both of which loyal to Talon contested. In the 2020 local elections, only one opposition party was allowed to contest. In both elections, some key opposition figures were detained without cause.
There are many fears that the political and civil space in Benin will shrink further in 2021 as there is a huge possibility that only Patrice Talon’s name will be on the ballot – this, in essence, meaning a landslide win for the incumbent. This necessitated by a new electoral law adopted in 2019 which stipulates all prospective presidential and vice presidential candidates to be sponsored by 16 members of parliament or mayors. Since the opposition has no representation in parliament and does not hold 16 mayoral offices, it becomes a mammoth task for any aspiring candidate to meet the requirements to run for president.
Burkina Faso – Local Government Elections – May 2021
Burkina Faso conducted its presidential and parliamentary elections just as recent as November 2020. The electoral season, however, isn’t yet over in Burkina Faso as the country gears for another round of elections – this time, the local government elections. The country’s president Roch Marc Christian Kabore won comfortably in the presidential election as he was reelected and many political analysts are predicting another win for his party in the local government elections.
Cape Verde – Presidential & National Assembly Elections – Mar 2021
Cape Verde is widely considered as one of Africa’s most democratic and free nations. Unlike most elections across the continent, Cape Verde elections haven’t attracted much negative attention in terms of electoral malpractices and the like. The same is expected in the upcoming presidential elections scheduled for March, 2021. In the last election, the opposition candidate Mr. Ulisses Correia s Silva of the Movement for Democracy won the election. The incumbent will be seeking reelection and all indicators at the moment put him as the likely candidate to win the upcoming election. After the presidential election, the country using a closed list proportional representation system will elect the 72 members of the National Assembly.
Central African Republic – Presidential (Second Round) – Feb 2021
Central African Republic may conduct the second round of its general election on 14 February 2021. However, the country will only be able to conduct the elections if there is no outright winner (presidential candidate polling more than 50% of the votes cast) in the first round of the general election scheduled for 27 December, 2020. If an outright winner emerges during the first round, then there will be no election in 2021. 17 candidates will be competing in the presidential election. Namely, these include Faustin-Archange Touadera, Anicet-Georges Dologuele, Martin Ziguele, Sylvain Patasse, Mahamat Kamoun, Augustin Agou. Crepin Mboli Goumba, Serge Djorie, Eloi Anguimate, lexandre-Ferdinand Nguendet, Abdoul Karim Meckassoua, Catherine Samba-Panza, Cyriaque Gonda, Nicolas Tiangaye, Kolingba Desire, Reboas Aristide, and Serge Bokassa.
Chad – Presidential & National Assembly/Local Government Elections – Apr and Oct 2021 respectively
Regarded as one of the most authoritarian states in Africa, Chad will be conducting two rounds of elections in 2021. The first election is the presidential race to be held on 10 April 2021. The second election is the National Assembly and Local Government race scheduled for 24 October 2021. For many political analysts, the result of the presidential election is a foregone conclusion as the incumbent Idriss Deby who has been in office since seizing power in a 1990 revolution will once again come out victorious.
In the last presidential election held in 2017, Idriss Deby employed some authoritarian measures to intimidate, scare and hurt his challengers. The main opposition figure Ngarlejy Yorongar was barred from running due to ‘administrative irregularities’. Journalists were prevented from freely conducting their work with TV5Monde, the French broadcaster having its equipment confiscated and the crew detained for filming at a polling station on Election Day. On the day of the election, mobile internet, fixed internet connections and SMS messaging were cut.
In preparation for the upcoming presidential race, Idriss Deby has already shown that he is eager to use the same intimidating tactics that he used in the 2017 elections. Under the guise of preventing the mass spread of COVID-19 and to prevent misinformation about the pandemic, Idriss Deby has already started systematic bans on gatherings and incarcerating government critics and opposition figures for ‘disturbing public order’. Just like the presidential race, many political analysts believe that the parliamentary race is also a foregone conclusion as Idriss Deby’s party is set to win the majority of seats.
Zambia – Presidential Elections – Aug 2021
In August 2021, Zambians will go to the polls to choose their next leader. The southern African nation is one of the emblems of democracy in a region that has often been marred by high levels of electoral violence – this, however, is not to say Zambia has had its fair share of electoral disputes more so during presidential elections. The biggest indicator of Zambia’s democracy is seen in the fact that the country has seen opposition candidates in the past defeating incumbents something which is very rare in southern Africa as revolutionary parties tend to win often.
The presidential race in Zambia according to many political analysts will largely be decided by the candidates with the most appealing economic blueprints. Zambia has regressed economically over the years, a development which led the country to default on its sovereign debt a couple of years back. The local currency, the kwacha has been losing value against top global currencies and a large proportion of the working population has been complaining over the erosion of disposal income. Currently, the country’s external debt stands at $12 billion which is roughly 80 per cent of the GDP. In the year ending December 2020, projections stated that the economy would shrink by 4.8 per cent.
With the economy looking all gloomy, the racing candidates will be hoping to come up with appealing economic blueprints meant at transforming the country’s economic fortunes. The incumbent President Lungu has already stated that he is going to prioritize negotiations with the IMF if reelected with the intention of seeking a solution to the country’s debt crisis. According to him, the only way forward for the country at the present moment is to address the debt crisis and possibly open more lines for credit with favourable terms. Main opposition leader who is expected to give President Lungu a run for his money Hakainde Hichilema just like in his previous manifesto that he presented towards the 2016 election says his priority is to diversify the economy moving away from copper which has been the country’s biggest export over the years but has recently been affected by low commodity prices. In doing so, Hichilema aims at increasing tax revenue thus putting the country on a better economic pedestal.
Though the presidential election is months away, political analysts predict a close presidential race which will likely be won by the incumbent.
Ethiopia – National (Prime minister) Elections – TBA
Ethiopia had set August 2020 to be the month in which the citizens would choose their next leader. However, that unfortunately failed to take place owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic forced the authorities in Ethiopia to postpone the elections to a later date in 2021. According to many people both within and outside Ethiopia, the incumbent Abiy Ahmed was likely going to come out victorious in the event that the election took place as scheduled owing to his popularity. However, that has all changed owing to the internal conflict in the country’s northern Tigray region which has been badly handled by the government.
While several regions in Ethiopia showed admiration towards Abiy Ahmed’s rule, one political party the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was becoming increasingly frustrated with Ahmed’s leadership. As such, they saw the looming elections as the perfect time to boot out Abiy Ahmed. However, when the government announced that owing to COVID-19 the elections were to be postponed, the TPLF was angered. In defiance to the stipulations of the federal government, the party went ahead with its regional elections something which in turn angered the federal government. Towards the end of the year, reports emerged that the Tigrayan ruling party had gone on a rampage attacking defense posts and stealing military equipment. The Abiy Ahmed administration response was to send in troops to calm the situation down. However, as soon as the troops arrived on the ground, it became apparent that the only way to deal with the Tigrayan ruling party was to engage in fighting. For several weeks, government troops fought with the Tigrayan ruling party leading many Ethiopians to be displaced from their homes.
While at the present moment the situation seems to have calmed down, analysts say the only permanent solution to the internal conflict is for elections to take place. The elections will most certainly take place in 2021 and Abiy Ahmed will be hoping to win his second term in office. While the internal conflict has certainly affected his image, analysts state that he is still the frontrunner to win considering his party the Prosperity Party merged with other parties including the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), Amhara Democratic Party, Oromo Democratic Party and the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement.
Uganda – Presidential Election – TBA
One of Africa’s longest serving presidents will be hoping to win another term in 2021. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has been holding the highest office since 1986 and is looking to carry on. However, to do so, he needs to beat a charismatic and youthful presidential challenger in musician Robert ‘Bobi Wine’ Kyagulanyi. The opposition candidate Bobi Wine entered into an alliance with the losing candidate in the previous election Kizza Besigye and the two are hoping that their alliance will pay dividends.
The challenge for Bobi Wine and a plus for the incumbent Yoweri Museveni is how Museveni handled the COVID-19 pandemic. Uganda is one of the few African countries that have managed to contain the pandemic recording a little more than 200 deaths. Museveni has capitalized on the country’s successful handling of the pandemic constantly airing ads and documentaries detailing how Uganda is a global model in the fight against COVID-19. Daily contests are run on radio stations and televisions dishing out goodies to citizens who partake in COVID-19 awareness shows. Museveni and his administration are hoping that the goodies will help with vote counts come election time and if anything is to be taken from past elections, then Museveni is certainly on the right track.
Unlike Museveni, Bobi Wine has taken a different route when it comes to campaign strategy. Firstly, he sought to combine all opposition votes by entering into alliances with other opposition parties – something highly commendable but can be problematic if he wins when it comes to allocating political offices to other alliance members. Apart from this, Bobi Wine has also prioritized exposing Museveni’s authoritative tendencies as his campaign strategy often times telling his supporters the human rights violations that have been committed by Museveni. At his rallies, Museveni has actually played into the hands of Bobi Wine as government troops and authorities have often disrupted proceedings in some instances injuring and even killing the supporters of Bobi Wine. Bobi Wine is also relying on charisma and his energy as a youthful leader to emerge victorious.
Looking at the campaign strategies being employed by Museveni and Bobi Wine, it’s difficult to convincing conclude who will likely come out on top. However, when one considers the incumbent’s hold on state institutions, then the outcome will most likely be in Museveni’s favour. On this front, one just needs to take a look at the 2016 election in which international observers cited allegations of fraud and voting irregularities biased in favour of Museveni but the result stood.
Sierra Leone: Dauda Blaq receives massive endorsement for APC Youth Diaspora Leadership
December 30, 2020 | 1 Comments
By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
Top contender for the Youth Diaspora Leadership of the All-People’s Congress Party (APC) Dauda Blaq Kamara has received an outpouring of massive endorsements from different groups and individuals as the party’s elections drew closer early next year.
Dauda Blaq Kamara was one-time parliamentary symbol contender in the 2018 presidential and parliamentary elections for constituency 123, for the party and has done so much development to his constituency and even in the United States of America where he presently lives with youth empowerment being his drivel for change.
Blaq is a member of the California/Las Vegas APC Chapter, and PRO of the chapter, and has been hailed as a well-structured and detail-oriented humble individual with the quest to ensure the mighty APC wins elections under a fair and democratically calculated manner.
One such group that has endorsed him is the Manfred Lane Youths Organization, in a statement on Tuesday, they said they were throwing support to Dauda Blaq because he has greatly contributed to youth’s empowerment and community development in diverse ways in the country adding that even though he didn’t win the symbol to run for the Member of Parliament in his constituency, he has continually brought development to the Manfred Lane community and its environs.
The Group added that they are proud that he is the only former aspirant that is currently collaborating with the sitting APC Member of Parliament in their constituency bringing community development adding that Mr. Blaq recently commissioned a pipe born water project worth about fifty million leones (50,000000) for the Manfred lane community and its environs.
Youths of constituency 123, in a statement said it is with proper conscience, without fear or favour they as youths of constituency 123 vehemently, unanimously and unequivocally endorses Dauda Blaq Kamara for the position of the APC Diaspora youths’ leadership, in the forthcoming National Youth’s delegate conference.
“Foremost, Mr Dauda Blaq Kamara is a Grand chief patron of the indomitable APC. We have known him for couple of years ago as a loyalist member of the A.P.C party with undivided attention. He is an experience man with rich academic knowledge and skills. He has served reputable national and international organizations and in management capacities. He now wants to use his vast knowledge and skills to help the All-People Congress party and by extension the nation (Sierra Leone) to liberate the suffering masses,’’the Youths of constituency 123 said in a statement.
They added that since Mr. Blaq’s youthful days, he has vowed to render himself selflessly worthy of his fellow citizen’s esteem stating that undoubtedly, they believe that he can better serve the party as its Diaspora youth leader in its current need of political redemption than any other man possibly can do among his competitors.
“Mr Dauda Blaq Kamara, remains prepared to use all his energy and vigilance to move the party towards regaining political power in 2023 with the support and collaboration of all party members and the nation as a whole. We the youths of constituency 123, endorsed Mr. Dauda Blaq for the APC Diaspora youth leadership,’’ the youths said.
The constituency 123 Youths further added that, exercising leadership and authority is not new to Mr Dauda Blaq Kamara stating that at Ward 723, constituency 105, he was elected as Secretary General, a position he held with marked distinction at a tender age.
“His leadership potentials were spectacular from his days at Ginger Hall and Mount Aureol community because he was dealing with a youthful population and very experienced community stakeholders. Indeed, Mr Dauda Blaq Kamara has always displayed a mature sense of discipline and responsibility with an acute sense of judgement. He was truly a worthy secretary General. He manifested leadership credentials at his community by serving in plethora trusted and responsible positions and committees in a view to promote progress, peace and development,’’the youths lamented.
In a statement Dauda Blaq said he was very humble for the believe and trust these groups have placed upon him and promised that he will not let them down adding that he is a man of few words who believe in action than talking.
“95% of APC members in the diaspora favours Dauda Blaq Kamara to clinch the APC Diaspora Youths Leadership position … who they think is the most outstanding candidate for the position,’’ he said.
Natural Gas Monetization Binds Africa and Mozambique’s Oil and Gas Industries.
December 30, 2020 | 0 Comments
Mozambique is already benefiting from its collaboration with the African Energy Chamber, the largest energy industry lobby group in the continent.
For many years, and as it was pursuing ambitions to become a global LNG exporter, Mozambique has struggled to generate enough energy for its domestic market. We are now about to see an energy revolution thanks to great gas discoveries made by international investors over the past decade. While international technological innovation and skillful know-how will be driving such projects, we must all push for a transfer of knowledge throughout the development of Mozambique’s LNG projects.
The need for more collaboration and shared experience among African energy experts is going to be critical for Mozambique as it pushes towards monetizing massive gas discoveries. Similarly, recognizing that the state and the private sector need to play a role in the development of critical energy infrastructure to pave the way for domestic gas utilization will be key to Mozambique’s development and also solving energy poverty issues.
“Mozambique can learn from the success and struggles of other African countries on the critical role of gas in our development,” stated Florival Mucave, President of the Mozambique Oil & Gas Chamber, who firmly believes that increased collaboration between upstream and downstream players across the value-chain will benefit Mozambique.
Mozambican stakeholders from the public and private sector recognize that the country is at a crossroad in its development. In this context, building the right energy mix while taking into consideration climate issues is key for the country.
The African energy industry is capable of embracing climate concerns and at the same time continuing to develop its natural resources to benefit the poor, create jobs and promote an inclusive economic development.
Mozambique’s LNG is important to the world and will act as a bridge to other sources of energy, and local businesses should be ready to participate in this development. Local content and jobs must not be catch phrases, they must be real. African businesses and entrepreneurs have a role to play and must push for an enabling environment that will spur investment, entrepreneurship and growth.
“The government and energy companies have recognized the amazing opportunity that gas offers to change our economic ambitions, and there is a clear intent to monetize these resources for the benefit of Mozambicans. This will be possible only through an increase in investment into infrastructure,” added Florival Mucave.
“The issues around domestic gas and local concerns will be resolved with a market driven approach. This will pave the way for the use affordable and abundant gas to launch an industrial and agricultural-led growth, improve our trading abilities regionally, effectively increase the Mozambican spending power, and revitalize our economy in a post covid environment,” he concluded.
Mozambique is already benefiting from its collaboration with the African Energy Chamber, the largest energy industry lobby group in the continent. Such collaborative platforms between the public and private sector needs to be encouraged to drive investment in gas and monetization across industries, for the benefits of African factories and households.
“We stand ready to share lessons learnt from other gas producers with Mozambique. There are a lot of resources across our network when it comes to gas monetization, including successful deals, in-depth industry experience and market driven policies that can ensure Mozambique’s energy success,” declared NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.
“Mozambique is in a unique position to capitalize on these opportunities and I am confident it will. Our industry needs to collaborate with government to develop smart policies and drive up the economy. Total, Exxon, ENI are part of the solution and we must work with them and provide the incentives to collectives achieve such opportunities that benefit Africans as a whole,” he added.
December 30, 2020 | 0 Comments
|Mondia Brings Ground-Breaking Entertainment Platform Monsooq to Nigeria|
|Monsooq’s unique time-based model allows consumers to buy entertainment time just as they would mobile airtime and use that time to consume any content|
Mondia , a leading mobile technology company specialising in the marketing and distribution of digital content, today announced its second African launch of the ground-breaking time-based entertainment platform Monsooq, in Nigeria. This follows on the heels of the initial launch in South Africa.
Monsooq is the first-of-its kind model which utilises time as the currency. Users pay only for the time they spend consuming content and are not required to take out any contracts or subscriptions.
Entertainment anytime anywhere
Monsooq’s unique time-based model allows consumers to buy entertainment time just as they would mobile airtime and use that time to consume any content they choose, including movies, sports, educational content, books, series, games and music – all on a single, convenient, end-to-end entertainment platform. New users to https://Monsooq.com/ng will receive 60 minutes complimentary access and a 50% discount on content during the launch, after which pricing is NGN20 per hour.
Whether a consumer wishes to play a game for 30 minutes while commuting, or binge a new series for six hours, they are able to load that amount of time to their profile securely using a debit or credit card. And when their time ends, they simply top up with more.
Nigeria houses incredible content
Dr Amadeo Rahmann, Mondia Group CEO, said: “Africa is the next frontier in regard to digitalisation. Our extensive footprint, increasing customer base and significant experience in the region make Africa a natural choice of focus for us. African markets, especially Nigeria with its large population and growth of digital streaming services, are primed for the democratisation of content. Mondia is firmly focused on changing the way people consume entertainment. We have incredible reach and deep understanding of the geographies in which we operate, with over 1.4 billion potential users in these countries.”
Mondia believes that Nigeria is a great local content hub for Africa with its media and entertainment industry, Nollywood, providing world-class content. Nigeria is also currently the second-largest film producer in the world in terms of number of movies. The local industry employs about one million people and generates over US$7 billion for the economy3, and Mondia is excited to help provide another platform for this content.
The “new normal” brings new opportunities
“COVID-19 has had such a dramatic impact on economies globally, deeply affecting consumers’ disposable income. We believe that the Monsooq model is reflective of the changed financial situation of consumers while bringing much needed entertainment during these difficult times,” concludes Dr Rahmann.
Mondia sees exceptional potential in the continent. According to research conducted by PwC South Africa in 2019, entertainment and media (E&M) spend in Nigeria saw a 25.5% rise in E&M revenue in 2017 to US$3.8bn.
In December 2019 more Africans (526 million) accessed the internet than North Americans. And there is still massive potential for growth: Africa has a total internet penetration level of just under 40%, as compared to penetration in the rest of the world of 63.2%. While streaming services have proliferated across Africa, there is an increasing need to deliver enhanced value, choice, and innovation in terms of pricing and content.
Monsooq also represents a new frontier of content monetisation for entertainment providers, giving them direct access to customers who are not interested in a traditional subscription model.
Content is king
Monsooq features a world-class recommendation engine to ensure consumers find the content they love. Content will be localised and customised, with a mix of local, regional and international content. Mondia aims to build the content economy and bring value across Africa as Monsooq expands.
The platform has partnered with leading regional content providers such as Viva Nation and Wi-flix, as well as well-known international TV channels, sports and games providers, and offers over 20 000 hours of entertainment including, Esport and EPIC ON. In addition, Mondia will also feature their own entertainment services which boast leading games and music titles.
Monsooq launched in South Africa in November, which incorporates a deal with LaLiga as a premium content partner, and now launches in Nigeria, with other markets to follow.
To access Monsooq simply click here .
What the U.S. Political Transition Might Mean for Africa Generally and Its Oil and Gas Sector in Particular
December 30, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Jude Kearney*
US Africa relations will likely improve by virtue of Trump’s exit.
2021 could be the beginning of a much needed reset for US relations with Africa and its various countries and regions. To date, most African governments have responded positively to the results of the recent U.S. presidential election, with many African leaders offering their congratulations to Joe Biden. That is no surprise: Donald Trump’s presidency has been, at best, a mixed bag for Africa and Africans.
President Trump’s Africa Legacy
Unfortunately for Donald Trump, his widely reported use of profane and vile language in a closed door meeting to describe African and other developing countries is now viewed by many, including most Africans, as clear evidence that he is uninterested in any meaningful or supportive relationship with Africa. While I accept it as fact that such derogation of a whole continent of peoples displays bigotry and disdain towards Africans, it is nonetheless true that, by some measures, his administration’s substantive policies and actions towards Africa are not all negative. For instance, it is a fact that Trump played a role in facilitating the April 2020? “OPEC plus” deal which helped to stabilize the oil industry and gave African oil-producing nations new opportunities to recover from COVID-19-related economic hardships. Certain of his administration’s senior officials and agencies have championed policies devoted to creating openings in Africa for US and Western investments, though primarily as a geopolitical hedge against our nation’s chief international hegemonic rivals. Indeed, the Prosper Africa program was launched by his administration pursuant to the stated intention to utilize the resources of the, including the balance sheet of a new, highly capitalized US Development Finance Corporation, to more forcefully compete for partnerships and commercial opportunities for US businesses in Africa.)
But let’s be clear: Among Africans and those in the private sector dedicated to partnering with and developing countries and regions in Africa, the net effect of Trump on US Africa matters is deeply negative. He didn’t win any friends in Africa by the above-mentioned disparagement of Africa as a monolithic “shithole”, nor through his spontaneous and otherwise unsubstantiated issuance of orders restricting travel to the United States from several African states beginning in 2017. In a move that drew criticism from many observers (including myself), his administration also withdrew from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in 2017, thereby weakening the critical war against corruption in the extractives industries (including especially the hydrocarbons sector). And the shithole reference was troubling beyond its arresting and unpresidential nature: that comment came as a flourish, of sorts, meant to punctuate his view of the unattractiveness of Africans as immigrate to the United States. As retold by an official present at the meeting, Trump would prefer instead emigres from Norway.
All, in all, where the Trump administration is concerned, US Africa relations will likely improve by virtue of Trump’s exit, even as observers seek to retain and expand on the few Trump policies and initiatives which are useful to the relationship. What remains is therefore to see what in particular the Biden Administration portends for the relationship.
How Substantially Better Will US Africa Relations Be Under Biden?
For a host of reasons, including his standing with the African American community, his reputation for stability and reason, and his renown for foreign policy expertise and diplomatic good will, Biden as president is already viewed by Africans and Africanists as an improvement over Trump. Certainly, Biden is expected to strike a different tone. In addition, throughout his presidential campaign, Biden engaged a group of dedicated Africa and foreign policy specialists to help him define and convey a positive and substantive Africa polity. Indeed, the Biden transition team has already pledged to aim for “mutually respectful engagement toward Africa with a bold strategy,” so it seems safe to assume that the new administration will take a much less confrontational approach to Africa, with an important nod to improving trade and diplomacy relationships between the US and African countries.
It is thus at least reassuring that there will be earnest and polite interaction between the US Government and its various bilateral counterparts in Africa. But will politeness good will be enough? Will the Biden administration be willing to work with Africa in ways that are productive and substantive, or will it offer mostly warm regards and rhetoric? In particular, will the new administration craft true partnerships with certain African governments and, importantly, will the Biden administration navigate a path in its Africa policies that advances US goals while acknowledging the unique juxtaposition of Africa’s continued and growing demand for power generation and poverty abatement, on the one hand, while on the other hand it must rely overwhelmingly on extractive resources, including hydrocarbons, to capitalize the installation of power and abatement of poverty.
Africa’s Energy Conundrum
So, looking more granularly at future of US Africa policy on Africa’s economies, what does the impending US presidential transition mean for Africa’s oil and gas sector? By virtue of my role at the African Energy Chamber, I simply have to ask: How will the Biden administration approach African oil and gas? Is it likely to exert itself to strengthen one of the most important pillars of the continent’s economy, or will it focus on other issues? How will it deal with energy poverty issues? Will the US help to fund an energy transition for Africa and brainstorm with leaders in Africa on the balance of optimizing Africa’s extractive resources while likewise planning a sustainable future for Africa and the planet? Or instead, on these thorny issues, will African countries be left to fend for themselves seek partnerships and support on these issues elsewhere? (It is a safe bet that China and Russia and others will be happy if that latter tack is taken.) Though I certainly don’t expect it, a related question should also be asked: Will the Biden Treasury Department continue policies where its default position is to distrust and punish Africa’s governments through sanctions and punitive monetary and banking restrictions, increasing the chances that certain countries will never get the developmental traction to pull itself out of stagnation? Will there be, in particular, an abrupt anti-funding posture towards Africa’s biggest commodity, hydrocarbons? Will the new administration utilize the good will that it will enjoy with Africa upon inauguration and the administration’s agency initiatives to foster stronger private sector alliances between US and African companies? In regards to expanded trade between the African continent and the US, how might the US provide input and partnership with Africa on the development of the proposed African Free Trade Agreement and how might the US Africa Growth and Opportunity Act be improved and strengthened so as to substantially improve direct trade advantages between the US and certain African countries?
Biden administration answers to these and similar questions will have profound influence on the tenor and success of renewed engagement between Africa and the US.
Relationship Between US Africa Policy and US Domestic Priorities, Especially Including Climate Change
First of all, the incoming administration’s top priority is likely to be COVID-19 — and specifically, the domestic implications of the pandemic. For despite the recent roll-out of several types of vaccines, infection rates are rising in the United States — and may continue to do so for some time yet. At the same time, the U.S. economy has not yet regained the momentum it lost in the spring. The outbreak is still causing companies to go out of business and people to lose jobs.
Under these circumstances, it makes sense for Biden to focus on the home front. What that means, though, is that he’ll inevitably devote more attention to the question of how best to compensate for the loss of many thousands of jobs in the U.S. oil and gas sector than to the question of how best to support upstream, midstream, and downstream projects that might create many thousands of jobs in Africa.
In short, the Biden administration is probably not going to make Africa’s oil and gas sector a priority.
But that’s not just because of the pandemic. The second reason why is that Biden has identified climate change as an urgent threat that requires immediate attention. He said so explicitly at a news conference on Dec. 19, as he named his picks for three cabinet-level posts at the Department of Energy (DoE), Department of the Interior (DoI), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“Folks, we’re in a crisis,” he declared. “Just like we need to be [a] unified nation that responds to COVID-19, we need a unified national response to climate change. We need to meet the moment with the urgency it demands, as we would during any national emergency.”
Biden also described climate change as “the existential threat of our time.”
These statements are all perfectly in line with the lofty goals outlined on the Biden campaign website. They suggest the incoming U.S. administration will come down decisively on the side of renewable, zero-emissions energy initiatives at the expense of oil and gas. They suggest the Biden team might not provide any backing, financial or otherwise, for projects that aim to help African and international companies turn the continent’s abundant hydrocarbon reserves into fuel for domestic industry. And they suggest Washington might not be overly sympathetic to African countries that are trying to reduce their carbon footprint by expanding the use of natural gas as a fuel for electricity generation.
China’s Role in Africa: Africa Requests the Favor of US Attention and US Business Practices as Alternatives
If a strictly anti-hydrocarbon policy dominates US posture towards African economies, African states are left with little choice but to push back against such cut-and-dried policies which would essentially disregard the continent’s primary source of economic survival. And it may have the clearly unintended consequence of pushing African states deeper into the arms of other geopolitical suitors who acknowledge the unavoidable role that hydrocarbon resources play in Africa’s economy.
That push back will come not just because gas-fired power stations, a creative and growing use of Africa’s abundant hydrocarbon resources, generate less carbon dioxide other petroleum products–while also supplying the electricity that Africans need to improve their own lives and build their own economies—but also because other foreign investors, while not necessarily favored in many countries, in Africa, don’t place the impossible burden on Africa of ignoring its most prevalent source of income . China is chief among the countries sending such alternative investors into Africa.
I’m hardly the first person to notice that Beijing has taken a strong interest in Africa — in its resources, in its strategic locations, in its potential as a market for Chinese goods. And I’m also not the first person to notice that this interest has led multiple African countries to accept loans from China, which does not follow Western creditors’ practices of imposing requirements for transparency and human rights protections. But I want to add my voice to those who have pointed out that Chinese loans may be a net drag on Africa, since they often do little to support local workers or local companies and are so hard to repay that they sometimes leave borrowers with no option but to forfeit control of important assets.
I also want to point out that billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese credits have flowed into Africa’s oil and gas sector — especially in cases where sanctions and other restrictions have limited opportunities for Western investors. Chinese companies have, for example, played the leading role in developing oil fields in Chad, Sudan, and South Sudan. They have also established footholds in key producer states where sanctions are not a consideration — as in Nigeria, where a Chinese company is building the cross-country Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline.
In short, China is looking to play a significant role in Africa’s oil and gas sector. What’s more, it’s making clear that it’s ready to invest in hydrocarbons even when the United States and other Western countries won’t do so.
Certainly, African countries aren’t going to be turning their back on Chinese investments any time soon – and they shouldn’t. Even so, I’d like the continent’s oil and gas producers to have as many options as possible. As I’ve already said, I’m concerned.
And I think the United States ought to be concerned, too. Partly because China doesn’t always play fair with respect to trade and currency policy. Partly because China doesn’t necessarily share the U.S. government’s stance on transparency and accountability.
The Biden administration will be in a better position to do the watching if it looks for ways to help U.S. businesses compete in the same sectors that China has been targeting in Africa. It therefore ought to give serious consideration to projects that involve hydrocarbons. It should look for ways to provide financing, risk insurance, and other forms of support for African oil and gas initiatives, and it should pursue closer diplomatic and trade ties with African states that don’t fall in line with Beijing’s demands. It could, for example, back the Sudanese interim government’s decision not to renew PetroChina’s contract for Block 6 in the Muglad basin at the end of 2020.
U.S. DFC, Among Certain Other Agencies, Offers Great Potential for Both the U.S. and Africa
The one key initiative taken by the outgoing Administration which can be most useful to the development of an improved US Africa relationship in the coming years is the consolidation and focus of US developmental objectives through the establishment of the US Development Finance Corporation. The substantially increased balance sheet and proactive charter given to the agency can be used to greatly enhance African development initiatives and foster stronger bilateral ties between the US and many African nations. However, as is widely known in Washington, personnel is policy: the use and treatment of this agency and its resources by new Biden administration appointees will go a long way toward defining the tenor and effectiveness of Biden Africa policy. could also make better use of existing institutions — especially the International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).
The Trump administration had a point when it gave the DFC — which is described as the provider of “an economically viable form of private sector-led investment, offering a robust alternative to state-directed investment which often leaves countries saddled with debt”— the task of promoting U.S. trade and economic interests in the face of stiff competition from China.
What’s more, I don’t expect the Biden administration to set DFC aside — at least not initially, while it focuses so closely on the pandemic and climate change. Instead, I expect the incoming team to let the corporation continue along its current course for the time being.
The problem is that DFC’s course doesn’t do much for the oil and gas sector in Africa. The agency has lent its support to several gas-to-power schemes, such as the Central Termica de Temane (CTT) initiative in Mozambique, but it has shown much more interest in renewable energy projects such as solar farms.
This imbalance doesn’t seem to be the product of any institutional biases against fossil fuels. After all, DFC has awarded funding to a number of upstream and midstream projects in the Middle East and Latin America. Nevertheless, there is an imbalance, and African oil and gas producers could try to correct it by asking this U.S. government agency for help in financing oil and gas production, transportation, processing, and distribution initiatives.
If they succeed, they’ll be in a better position to seek alternatives to Chinese creditors as they work to develop some of their most valuable natural resources. And along the way, they’ll also extract more of the fuels they need to produce more electricity, support local industries, and raise their earnings.
*Mr. Kearney collaborated on this article with NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber and CEO of Centurion Law Group