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aYo Ghana looks to secure wellbeing of customers
June 17, 2021 | 0 Comments
Francis Gota

Consumer anxieties around Covid-19 and its related economic challenges have raised awareness of the need for protection in the event of either loss of life or hospitalisation, says microinsurer aYo Intermediaries Ghana Limited CEO, Francis Gota.

aYo has seen a strong increase in its customer base since the start of the pandemic, with more than 5.5 million customers on its books by 31 May. The company offers Hospitalisation and Life Insurance Cover through its two insurance products, ‘Send with Care’ and ‘Recharge with Care’.

Last year, the company paid claims of GH¢2,421,787 to more than 8,000 customers. In all, aYo Ghana has paid out GH¢5,050,715.00 over its four years in existence.

“The pandemic has had a major effect on all sectors of Ghana’s economy. Despite these difficult times, we are committed to securing the financial wellbeing of our customers, and ultimately see a future where everyone uses insurance because technology makes insurance relevant, accessible, and easy to use,” said Mr Gota.

Microinsurance is widely regarded as a powerful enabler of financial inclusion in African markets, providing a much-needed social safety net that helps vulnerable people and particularly people with low incomes to stay afloat when the unexpected happens.

Nearly 5 million subscribers are currently using aYo’s Recharge with Care product, which offers life and hospital insurance cover every time customers recharge their MTN airtime. Customers can receive up to GH¢100 for each night they are admitted to hospital, and up to GH¢6,000 life cover for themselves and one family member who is registered on the policy.

How to sign up

For Recharge with Care, subscribers sign up by dialling *296#, selecting option 1 and following the prompts. They have the option to sign up for either MyLife Cover, MyHospital Cover, or both. The insurance cover is valid for 30days for a premium of GH¢4.00.

Subscribers can file claims using the same process (*296#, option 1, option 7, and follow the prompts.) Alternatively visit https://app.ayo4u.com/ to files claims. Valid claims are paid directly to the claimant’s mobile money wallet.

MTN MoMo subscribers can send MoMo through aYo Send with Care by dialling *170#, select option 1 (transfer money) and then option 3 (Send with Care) on the mobile money menu to get up to GH¢30,000.00 hospital and life insurance cover and up to GH¢3,000.00 life cover for their family members (receiver of the MoMo).

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Mozambique:Maputo prison management suspended over alleged sexual abuse of female inmates
June 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

The Justice Minister has suspended all the management of the Maputo women’s prison pending an investigation into allegations of pimping out the inmates.

Helena Kida also announced the creation of a commission of inquiry to investigate the case — but hopes are not high for an honest and transparent procedure after her performance at the prison yesterday.

Journalists were invited to cover her visit to the prison at 10am, only to be told just after midday that she had done her visit at 8am. Kida then appeared, and gave a press conference promising an independent investigation that would report back within 10-15 days.

Khida also announced that a similar investigation would be conducted in every prison across the country.

The minister guaranteed that should prison guards be found to be involved in forced prostitution, they would be held accountable and disciplined or prosecuted. Action would also be taken against the clients who paid for sex with the prisoners.

Following the press conference, journalists were invited in to speak with prisoners — but after a number of prisoners said they were willing to speak, they were then taken aside by members of Kida’s team and prison guards, apparently to discuss what they were going to tell the journalists. The journalists then left without speaking to the prisoners.

The allegation that prison guards are forcing female inmates to prostitute themselves was made by transparency watchdog CIP, which investigated the Cadeia Feminina de Ndlavela women’s prison in Maputo.

According to CIP, prison guards can receive around €40-€400 ($48-$480) for each inmate, in what they call a lucrative business only available to the well-off in Maputo. CIP called for the creation of an independent commission of inquiry involving different state bodies and institutions to investigate the case.

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Canon partners with Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt to develop creative collaboration.
June 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Canon Central and North Africa have announced a new partnership with communities in Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt to ensure people are connected in Africa.

The new collaborations included those with SYNC School in Cairo, Egypt, Peexoo, a Nigerian photography hub, and the Photographers’ Association of Kenya (PAK).

 Canon, a long-standing supporter of film and photography education groups, aims to inspire and enrich the next generation of image-makers.

“Our mission is to empower people to see the bigger picture, on a grandyet local level,” explainsAmine Djouahra, sales, and marketing director for Canon Central & North Africa. “In this rapidly changing, image-based culture, we want to explore new and innovative ideas with a wider audience.”

They noted such collaborations would provide a forum for sharing Canon expertise, knowledge, and technology, with regular masterclasses, training opportunities, photo booths, and competitions.

Community members will also gain exclusive access to masterclasses with Canon ambassadors through the collaborations, including Emmanuel Oyeleke and YagaziEmezi.

There will also be regular competitions to challenge and inspire with exciting prizes such as Canon’s mini phone-to-printer Zoemini, the portable Selphy, G-Series printers, and a compact Powershot SX720 mirrorless M50 cameras.

According to Canon, the collaborations have realized tremendous progress with SYNC school in Egypt having 94000 photographers, filmmakers, and content creators.

Peexoo, on the other hand, has brought together more than 20,000 photographers and videographers from across Nigeria.

“We change perceptions through film and photography,” said PeexooCo-Founder,

techpreneu r Steven Kelechi Nwadike.

Also, in Kenya, the Association of Kenya (PAK) is now the leading photographic society representing professionals, amateurs, and hobbyists.

It further disclosed that interest in developing and recognizing excellence in amateur and professional photographers goes beyond Hands-on ‘touch and try’ sessions with cutting-edge Canon R system technology.

Canon said its Future Focus programme for students is in its fifth year, and the inaugural Redline Challenge for amateur photographers received tremendous response in entries from the African region.

“We believe in enriching local creatives and welcome the opportunity to connect and support the next generation of visual storytellers. By investing expertise, technology and opportunities in them, we hope to enhance their art, skills and future careers,” said Amine Djouahra

Therefore,  filmmakers and photographers across Africa to connect and collaborate.  

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IBRAF intermediates project to boost rice production chain in Ghana, with MoU between CAMPO and Intervalle
June 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

The Brazil Africa Institute is the facilitator for an agreement that will boost the rice production and value chain in Ghana, West Africa, opening doors for technology transfer and new business opportunities with Brazil.

On Tuesday (15), representatives of Campo Group and Intervalle Group, two of the largest companies in the agricultural sector in Brazil and Ghana respectively, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for three development projects focused on the modernization and mechanization of the supply and value chain of rice, with transfer of Brazilian technologies, participation of experts and monitoring of the local Ghanaian production chain.

“We will start with the project in the southern region of Ghana and also further north, on the border with Burkina Faso. We are prepared to provide all the technical support and transfer all the technology and knowledge about irrigated rice production that we have, using the best and most sustainable practices for tropical agriculture. We are prepared to provide this support and create this exchange. And we are going to learn a lot, as we are now within an effective production project”, says the Project Coordinator of Campo Group, Cézar Rizzi.

For the CEO of Intervalle Group, Njack Kane, the project marks a transforming moment for the country.

“The momentum is so perfect as Ghana is embarking in these new transformative projects. The big interest of this new partnership is that from day one will be able to jointly demonstrate on something concrete, and being on the basis of this partnership, being able to execute together such a project”, says Intervalle CEO.

Negotiations between the two companies have been taking place for about a year, initiated by the Brazil Africa Institute, which identified the potential for convergence for the initiative.

“The signing of the MoU is just the beginning, as I understand that we have something in front of us with unique possibilities. This project opens doors for governments, the private sector and civil society to engage. I am confident that Campo, for the work it is already doing in Brazil and Africa, and Intervalle, for its vast network and capacity to transform ideas into actions, will have a long life together, with IBRAF being the third arm of this initiative”, says the President of the Brazil Africa Institute. Prof. João Bosco Monte.

The calendar foresees that within a month the two companies will sign the formal contract.

“We were keen on returning to work in Ghana, an organized country, with a land that has the possibility of developing good agricultural work, so the expectation is very good. Even more so with the participation of Professor João Bosco in coordinating this work. We’ve been talking to him for years and now this opportunity arises. I thank IBRAF”, says Emiliano Botelho, CEO of Campo Group.

The Brazil Africa Institute will continue to facilitate the initiative, fostering dialogue with other stakeholders.

“This is a very special moment for the Brazil Africa Institute. We started the materialization of a project that, I hope, will be very intense for the next three, four years”, states IBRAF’s President.

*IBRAF

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FORMER PRESIDENT JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA TALK ABOUT GHANA MEDIA
June 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

Former President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama

The former President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama said, he thinks is populism, a certain group has taken control of the media in Ghana and it makes it difficult for people to discern the truth. He says as much as you are putting out the information, it is either being blocked or distorted.

According to the former President we have 300 FM stations in the country, and have seventy newspapers with all kinds of media. All kinds of media raises allegations against office holders. He stated that it cannot be on the basis that every allegation that is being raised should take action. It means he will change his cabinet so many times if he has to act on every single allegation against officers.

He further says for every allegation that was made against him, he had to consider the accusation seriously, to investigate and if those allegations are substantial that requires that he take action against a Minister, he will do so. John Mahama said he has done that in several cases, which led to change of Ministers.

The former President said when in power, he heard a lot of complaints and it is the very reason that he did everything to make people live a better life under his regime. According to him, unemployment building of infrastructure will get worse because there should be certain foundation upon which the economy can grow and create the jobs.

He says all the things the government did in his tunnel is what has grown the economy.  ”When investor’s comes into the country and are unable to send their children to school, with no good roads, and bad hospitals for their staff’s the investor may go elsewhere” he said. According to him, we need social infrastructure to act as a kind of stimulus that would create jobs and put money in people’s pockets.

The fact shows it is absolutely untrue that we are incurring debt because post HIPC, Ghana had a debt write off. But if you look at the period from 2006 until 2008, under the NPP government, they virtually doubled the debt again after it had been written off. He then releases what the debt figures were from independence till now; its shows the structure that our debt profile is currently $24 billion and in total, that is dollar and cedi debt, GHc104 billion.

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SANITATION IN GHANA: HOW CAN WE GET OUT OF THE QUAGMIRE?
June 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

One out of every five Ghanaian defecates in the open and about 90% of all our excreta end up in streams and rivers the same place drinking water comes from. If Accra, the national capital, had to dump human excreta into the sea for several years, then one can only imagine what happens in other towns and cities across the country.

 Solid waste management, on the other hand, is nothing to write home about although private sector involvement has caused some improvement. Our streets and gutters are still littered with waste and unpleasant sights of pest-infested, stinking and overflowing waste collection containers are not uncommon in our market centers and suburbs.

The result being annual outbreak of Cholera and other preventable diseases in the country. Sadly enough, sanitation-related diseases have over the years been among the top ten diseases reported at Out-Patients Departments (OPDs) in health centers costing the nation huge sums of money annually.

Estimates show that, Ghana loses close to US$300million every year due to poor sanitation – money that can be used to construct a grade 35 concrete road from Takoradi to Paga (about 900km). Yet, poor sanitation remains an unseen emergency to the public and decision makers because its effects are not as sudden as an earthquake or tsunami which claims thousands of lives within a short period.

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Ghana:AMEND LAW TO PREVENT CITIZENS FROM GIVING ALMS TO STREET BEGGARS- MP-FREDA PREMPEH
June 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

Former Minister for Gender, children and social protection, Freda Prempeh

The former Minister for Gender, children and social protection, Freda Prempeh says there should be an amendment of law which will prevent people from giving alms to those on the street.

Freda Prempeh responded to an investigation made by Ghana’s ace investigator Anas Aremeyew Anas said the government must amend a law which will prevent citizens from giving alms to beggars of the street

According to her we have some of the street beggars who can work to gain money to take care of themselves or school.She further explained that the ministry has taken monitoring and evaluation of
orphanages seriously and then the ministry will ensure that agonizing of children in orphanages will not repeat itself.

She stated that Orphanages are homes for children whose parents are dead or unbolt cater for them.The minister said apart from the fact that owners of orphanages are helping to cater for other children, others set up orphanages for their own selfish gains.

She says the ministry will ensure that the right thing is done in the case of the Echoing Hill Village since it cannot be closed down. She urged all Ghanaians to partake in catering for children in orphanages because it is a collective duty not that of government only.

The beggar’s on the street are nowadays becoming more dangerous due to the recent activities of personal attack on vehicles in traffic. The issue of robbery is getting out of hands. We as Ghanaians and foreigners should be careful in traffic when the red light is on because they will come close to your car in the name of asking for money but would rather be searching on how to attack you.

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Mozambique: Prison Guards Trading Female Inmates for Sex at Maputo’s women’s prison .
June 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

Inmates at Maputo’s women’s prison are being sold for sex by prison guards, an investigation by the transparency NGO CIP has found.

Using hidden cameras and posing as clients, CIP researchers paid for meetings with women who testified that they were regularly taken out of the prison to have sex with clients — or beaten up by guards if they refused.

During the day, the women serving sentences in this prison undertake various activities, including training in courses such as dressmaking, breeding chickens and food cultivation. At night, they are prostitutes.

“Little doves”, “bunnies” are some of the terms used by the prison guards to refer to the female prisoners during interaction with the clients. Guards charged CIP researchers MZN15,000 ($240) for two hours with an inmate.

Normally the prisoners are taken out on the days when the guard with whom the deal was negotiated is on duty at the prison. Generally, the inmates are taken out at the weekends and on public holidays. But in some cases, they are taken out in the middle of the week. The day is chosen largely in accordance with the availability of both the guard and of the client. The inmate is treated merely as merchandise. Even in the middle of the week, a way is arranged to take the inmates out

According to CIP, there are inmates who leave 3 or 4 times a week to have sexual relations with people they say they do not know.

Reports say that the sexual exploitation of inmates is a phenomenon that has been happening for many years in the Maputo Women’s Special Prison and has remained hidden from the government authorities and from the organisations that defend human rights and the rights of prisoners.

The guards, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the prisoners and of the power they possess, push them into the world of prostitution in exchange for money. In addition, the inmates are sexually harassed and abused by the guards.

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Kenya to send 231 soldiers to DRC
June 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

General Robert Kibochi Tuesday handed over the Kenyan flag to the Quick Reaction Force (QRF) proceeding to MONUSCO at Embakasi Garrison. Photo credit Kenya Defence Forces

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) has released 231 troops to be deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo as part of a peacekeeping mission.

The soldiers will be working under the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) to restore peace in the violence-rocked villages in the Eastern DRC.

The team had completed their training at the KDF Kangaita Camp in Mt Kenya and were handed over Kenya’s flag at an event in Nairobi on Tuesday, June 15.

Speaking during the handover of the flag, the Chief of Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi called on the troops to be peace ambassadors in the central African county.

He also urged them to remain disciplined during the exercise.

He said, “You are joining a mission similar to Amisom because you will be fighting their own people. This is not a peace keeping mission and you are lucky as some of you have served in Amisom and know what it is.”

“Be professional in your mission and ensure you are safe. Know it is not an easy task but with the training you will make it,” he added.

The deployment comes two months after President Uhuru Kenyatta and his DRC counterpart Felix Tshisekedi signed a deal on defence cooperation to promote peace, stability, and security in the region. The agreement was signed during President Kenyatta’s official visit to DRC in April.

Kenyan troops will be working alongside soldiers from Nepal, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Brazil, Malawi, Ghana, Uruguay, and Morocco.

An earlier had report indicated that the KDF contingent would be deployed in the provinces of Ituri, North and South Kivu to fight against the armed group in the eastern part of the nation.

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Opposition Chides Chakwera For Tainting Image of Malawi.
June 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Prince Kurupati

President Chakwera is accused by the opposition of tainting the image of Malawi

Malawian diplomats serving in South Africa were a few days back embarrassingly declared persona non grata by the South African government and ordered to leave the country. The incident forced the hands of the Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera to issue a response directly to South Africa. However, Chakwera’s response has since divided the nation with some castigating him for tainting Malawi’s image before the eyes of the world.

In his response to the incident of the expelled Malawian diplomats serving in South Africa, President Chakwera expressed regret over the conduct of the implicated individuals. He went on to state that “even before the unfortunate incident, all the bad apples in the foreign missions had already been served with letters of recall to come back home.” The President went on to state that the move to recall and replace the diplomats came after the realization that Malawian foreign missions deployed across the globe were “bad apples”.

The “bad apples” remarks made by Chakwera have since caused huge fiery debates in Malawi. On one side of the spectrum is the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which has accused Chakwera of tainting the image of the country on the global stage via the remarks. In a statement, DPP’s national organizing secretary Chimwemwe Chipungu said “it is completely unprecedented and inconceivable in diplomacy for the President of a country to publicly demean and undermine the country’s diplomats while they serve our country abroad.”

Chipungu further castigated the President stating that even though the foreign mission serving in South Africa was implicated for wrongdoing, the President needed to have the decorum to protect them in the time they were still in a foreign land and only institute any disciplinary proceedings once they landed in Malawi.

“Although motivated by the desire to appease and please the South African Government, the President must remain mindful of the fact that the diplomats are his own citizens towards whom he owes a fundamental duty under our Constitution. The diplomats, while still in South Africa, therefore deserve the protection of their President and their own government. A demure and restrained expression of regret would have been a fitting response by our President towards his South African counterpart,” Chipungu said.

Though castigating President Chakwera for being a people-pleaser to South Africa, Chipungu said the decision taken by South Africa bearing the circumstances in mind cannot be faulted. “We acknowledge that it was within the powers and rights of the South African Government, under the law governing international relations (Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations), to declare the Malawi diplomats persona non grata,” he said.

In his apology to South Africa, President Chakwera also stated that his administration is already undertaking the selection process to identify the new diplomats to be deployed to South Africa as well as other missions across the globe. On this front, President Chakwera said the selection process they are conducting is “thorough, legal, meticulous and objective”. He said that this marks a “departure from past practice of filling out embassies with cronies sent without due process or due diligence.”

It is completely unprecedented and inconceivable in diplomacy for the President of a country to publicly demean and undermine the country’s diplomats while they serve our country abroad, says DPP National Organizing Secretary Chimwemwe Chipungu

DPP’s Chipungu however rubbished the remarks saying instead of “removing rubble”, Chakwera was actually “gathering rubble”. He said it is the President who is actually “trying to fill the embassies with his cronies, regardless of their conduct”.

In his concluding remarks, Chipungu said Chakwera is not an emblem of a corruption-fighter something which is trying to insinuate through the recalling and replacement of foreign missions – he is actually the opposite. “President Chakwera must know by now that he is not standing on any moral high ground in so far as fighting corruption is concerned. In fact, President Chakwera is on ground zero. President Chakwera had lots of undeserved goodwill at the start of his term. He has, unfortunately, squandered it all before the end of the year,” Chipungu said.

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COVID-19 Triggers Financial Crisis in Kenya.
June 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Treasury Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ukur Yatani

The Kenyan government has disclosed that it faces severe financial challenges that have affected operations across ministries, agencies and departments.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ukur Yatani said the crisis is a result of the coronavirus, which has taken a heavy toll on revenue performance.

Mr. Yatani spoke when he appeared before   the Senate Finance and Budget Committee to shed light on the delayed release of funds to county governments.

Governors on Monday threatened to shut down counties over lack of funds, accusing the Treasury of delaying to disburse funds amounting to sh102 billion ($1.02). According to the county bosses, the delay has interfered with delivery of services, payment of salaries and clearing of pending bills.

The CS told the committee that the Ministry will release ksh39 billion ($390 million) on Friday to curb the June 24 shutdown.

The committee castigated Yatani for treating counties like “step children” while disbursing national government funds on time.

“If you look at what is going on at national government, it is business as usual; military is working, Treasury and Parliament are working but counties are under severe stress,” said Senator Moses Wetangula.

However, he denied the favouritism allegations and attributed the delay to financial crisis facing the East African nation at the moment.

“Just because we are giving priority to Parliament and Parliamentary Service Commission, you can think that the rest are also smiling. We have serious issues.

“There is no preferential treatment. It is a challenge of revenue performance as a result of slowed down economic activities,” said CS Yatani.

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EG Petroleum Minister announces truancy from Africa Oil Week in Dubai and urges African leaders to work more towards financing oil and gas.
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

Minister Gabriel will engage in an aggressive investment drive over the next six months and will be in Cape Town, Houston, Doha, and other cities to promote investment opportunities in Equatorial Guinea

Republic of Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons Gabriel M. Obiang Lima

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons HE Gabriel M. Obiang Lima in a meeting held today in Malabo announced his ministry’s withdrawal of this Year’s edition of Africa Oil Week, due to be held in Dubai. The minister expressed his disappointment, that the organizers of this erstwhile for Africa critical event, London Based Hyve group had decided to move the event away from Africa.

Minister Obiang Lima further stated, that he will send a letter to all IOCs and service companies operating in Equatorial Guinea, strongly encouraging them not to go Africa Oil Week in Dubai. He urged fellow ministers and other industry stakeholders to not participate in the Dubai initiative.

The minister reminded the meeting about the story of President Obiang hosting the Africa Nation’s Football Cup with two months’ notice when Morocco declined to do so as previously agreed due to fears of the Ebola crisis, rather than let Qatar host the cup. This is not the time to abandon Cape Town, South Africa and Africa. In addition to this, the minister looks forward to seeing Gwede Mantashe, Minister of Mineral Resources in Cape Town to further promote the African energy agenda through development and deal-making participation.

According to HE Gabriel Obiang, Duncan Clarke’s vision and love for Africa and it’s oil industry should not be forgotten. He credits Duncan Clarke for helping so many countries showcase their resources and attract investments and urged the African Energy Chamber to continue that legacy as it more critical now than ever.

“Our work to support the African Oil and Gas sector, will lead to a lot of changes on how Africa is viewed and how we respect this continent and it’s people.”

Minister Gabriel will engage in an aggressive investment drive over the next six months and will be in Cape Town, Houston, Doha, and other cities to promote investment opportunities in Equatorial Guinea. He pledged to work with other ministers from the CEMAC region and the African Energy Chamber on finding solutions concerning the Central Bank’s (BEAC) new currency regulations. According to him, IOCs and Independents have to be welcomed in the region and we must create and enabling environment.

The African Energy Chamber thanked the Minister for his strong support for South Africa and Africa.

“Many Africans got into Oil and Gas because of Duncan Clarke. He opened doors for so many. That legacy must be respected and preserved.” Stated Leoncio Amada Nze, President of the African Energy Chamber, CEMAC Region.

“When you’re dealing with an issue like this, you don’t need everyone. You just need to be effective and we thank Minister Gabriel Obiang for his effective advocacy for Africa in times of crisis.” Added Mr Amada Nze.

“Our work to support the African Oil and Gas sector, will lead to a lot of changes on how Africa is viewed and how we respect this continent and it’s people. We must be patient, whatever temporary inconvenience there may be, in the long run it will be better for everybody.” Concluded Mr Amada Nze.

*Africa Energy Chamber

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GHANA: PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKER PLEDGES COMMITMENT TO PRIORITISE UN SDG GOALS.
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has re-affirmed the commitment of the 8th Parliament to priorities issues of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ensures that committed Members of Parliament are recruited to champion these goals.

According to him, Parliament will soon approve amendments being made to the current standing orders so as to open the standing committees up for broader engagements.

The Speaker was addressing 15 resident heads of the United Nations Agencies in Ghana, led by Charles Abani, the UN Resident Coordinator, when they paid a courtesy call on him in Parliament.

The delegation had called on the Speaker to, among other things, discuss Parliament’s role in serving as a catalyst to achieving the SDGs as well as priorities for shaping new cooperation framework.

The UN Resident Coordinator stated that the COVID-19 pandemic had taught the world an important lesson of network multilateralism required to achieving the SGDs and peace.

He pledged the support of the UN systems in Ghana at working closely with the current Parliament to address the many challenges confronting the Ghanaian people, particularly, issues of protection for the marginalized and vulnerable.

He stated that the UN stands ready to support with the principal objective of enabling Ghana realize its ambition of a prosperous inclusive, democratic and egalitarian state, building forward positively and confidently.

Mr. Bagbin announced Parliament’s readiness this year to pass into law the Affirmative Action Bill which is currently before Cabinet. He, however, cautioned that passing the law alone will not be enough to achieving the recommended 30% representation of women in governance and reiterated the need for further education to change the mindset of the people.

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BANK OF GHANA TO USE HELICOPTERS TO CIRCULATE CASH OVER ATTACKS ON BULLION VANS- DR. ERNEST ADDISON
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

Last year the Governor of the Bank of Ghana Dr. Ernest Addison said the Vice Air Marshal was supporting the central bank to use helicopters to transport cash to banks around the country in order to prevent robbery attacks.

He explained that this followed the robbery attacks by criminals on bullion vans in the country. Answering a question regarding the measures that the central bank has put in place to deal with the recent attacks on bullion vans, while speaking at the Monetary Policy Committee press conference in Accra on Monday September 28 2020, Dr. Addison said the Bank Of Ghana had taken note of the attacks and steps have accordingly been taken to deal with the menace.

Dr. Addison said all of them are using these Nissan pickup trucks that have been converted into bullion vans. It is a matter that the Bank of Ghana has taken seriously look at it. He said last week, Securities met with the banks to decide on the way forward.

He stated that they have quite a good fleet of bullion vans and are asking them to see how they collaborate with the banks so that they will have a more secure way of transporting money around the country.

Further says he had met with the Air vice Marshall and he has offered to assist the bank with lifting of currency around the country using some of the aircraft that they have. So there is a lot of work being done to improve carrying currencies around the country.

Nine months after Dr. Addison announced this; there has been a gruesome attack on a bullion van leading to the death of a Police officer and one other person on Monday June 14, 2021. Following this attack, the Inspector General of Police, James Oppong-Buanoh has given banks up to the end of June this year to provide fortified armored vehicles for carrying currencies.

He threatened that the Police will withdraw its officers if the banks fail to comply with his order. The IGP in a statement reminded the Association of Bankers to provide fortified armored vehicles for carting currencies by the close of June 2021 as earlier agreed between them and the [Ghana] Police Service, lest the Police withdraw its officers for escort duties.

He further directed the Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service to take over investigations into the attacks.

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Rage as Malawi communications board spends $ 57,000 in Dubai.
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Joseph Dumbula

There has not been much to laugh about with Malawi plagued by scandals and crisis since President Chakwera took office

At a time when Malawi is sailing through economic turmoil, tensions are rising for President Lazarus to fire the board of Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) which spent MK 46 Million ($57,000) during a two week training in the United Arab Emirates.

MACRA, is a statutory body established under the Communications Act, 1998 to regulate the provision of services in the communications sector in Malawi comprising telecommunications, posts and broadcasting.

A recent media report has revealed that five board members and two management officers travelled to Dubai for training on corporate governance and regulatory masterclass on Information Communication and Technology (ICT) at Pinnacle Training Institute.

Although MACRA Communications Officer, Clara Ngwira has justified the training, saying it was already budgeted for in the institutions budget, human rights groupings are describing as ‘wasteful’.

‘’We can’t be making such expenditures at this time. That is why we want the Presidency to dissolve this board as soon as possible’’ says a statement buy vocal human rights grouping, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition.

Meanwhile, the matter has seen a skyrocketing social media storm which has reminded people of a failed inquiry into the expenditure of Covid19 funds.

At the moment, the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) is grappling to meet its tax collection as most institutions have not been as functional due to the effects of the Coivid19 pandemic.

Currently, the MRA is still required to collect MK1. 116 trillion in tax revenues in the 2020/21 financial year. There has not been any immediate comment from government

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DP WORLD MAPUTO LAUNCHES FIRST DEDICATED LOGISTICS RAIL SERVICE BETWEEN MAPUTO AND HARARE.
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

  • First dedicated logistics rail service between Maputo and Harare launched from DP World Maputo
  • The rail service’s operations will be expanded in coming months, and is key to DP World’s vision in connecting Maputo with Zimbabwe, South Africa and Swaziland by rail
  • The landmark service will reduce transit times for customers in Zimbabwe
LEFT TO RIGHT: Vinay Maharaj, Mark Pretorius, Mark Neel (DP World), Christian Roeder (DP World)

MAPUTO (MOZAMBIQUE) JUNE 14, 2021 – DP World Maputo, which has the concession to manage, develop and operate the Maputo container terminal, last Friday handled the first dedicated container train service connecting Maputo and Harare, Zimbabwe. The new service is part of the company’s continued focus to expand its logistics and supply chain offering in the region, and key to its vision to connect several countries in Southern Africa – namely Maputo with South Africa, Zimbabwe and Swaziland – by rail.

This new offering presents a multitude of new business opportunities for customers in Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Not only will this help enhance DP World Maputo’s position as a gateway to Zimbabwe, the service offers significantly better transit times for customers in Zimbabwe. In the past, transit goods on their way to Harare would often have to be transported far greater distances by sea and road, but this route will give customers a new, direct and faster option for delivery.

Following the launch of the bi-weekly rail service, DP World Maputo will continue to work with all the stakeholders involved to make this a weekly train service between the two cities, to allow even greater cost saving and planning opportunities for businesses and individuals who need reliable, efficient transportation of goods.

Christian Roeder, CEO of DP World Maputo said: “This rail service between Maputo and Harare is key to reopening the route between these markets to drive more efficient logistics in the region. Through this service, which we will facilitate and handle all port and border documentation, we can cut down transit times, give our customers better service and improve the connections between cities.” 

The rail service also follows the recent announcement of DP World Komatipoort in South Africa, handling its first transit import via Maputo, demonstrating that the Maputo Port can be seamlessly used as a gateway to South Africa’s hinterland using DP World Komatipoort. International container imports landed in Maputo port and destined for the South African hinterland, can now be moved under bond to Komatipoort, where full customs clearance can be provided and made ready for delivery across South Africa.

DP World will continue to develop the Maputo Corridor, a vital trade route in Southern Africa, through investing in new infrastructure to meet local demand, while DP World Maputo’s container terminal capacity will also be enhanced, having already doubled in size between 2016 and 2018.

About DP World  

We are the leading provider of worldwide smart end-to-end supply chain logistics, enabling the flow of trade across the globe. Our comprehensive range of products and services covers every link of the integrated supply chain – from maritime and inland terminals to marine services and industrial parks as well as technology-driven customer solutions.   

We deliver these services through an interconnected global network of 148 business units in 60 countries across six continents, with a significant presence both in high-growth and mature markets. Wherever we operate, we integrate sustainability and responsible corporate citizenship into our activities, striving for a positive contribution to the economies and communities where we live and work.  

Our dedicated, diverse and professional team of more than 54,620 employees from 137 nationalities are committed to delivering unrivalled value to our customers and partners. We do this by focusing on mutually beneficial relationships – with governments, shippers, traders, and other stakeholders along the global supply chain – relationships built on a foundation of mutual trust and enduring partnership.  

We think ahead, anticipate change and deploy industry-leading digital technology to further broaden our vision to disrupt world trade and create the smartest, most efficient and innovative solutions, while ensuring a positive and sustainable impact on economies, societies and our planet.  

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Cameroon: Hon. Joshua Osih Escapes “Expulsion” from SDF Party.
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Hon Joshua Osih called for Cohesion and Reconciliation of the Party in his appeal

Honourable Joshua Osih’s stay in the opposition Social Democratic Front (SDF) party will continue after the National Executive Committee (NEC) ruled in his favour.

Meeting this June 12, and chaired by the National President Ni Joh Fru Ndi, the National Executive Committee “settles for a decision to cancel the application of article 8.2 on the 1st National Vice President – Hon Joshua Osih after in-depth debate highlighting the need for party cohesion and reconciliation.”

“Take note of the humble appeal made by the 1st Vice National President for Party cohesion and reconciliation under the current political climate,” the communiqué read in part.

“Rejects the petitions from Douala 1, the Coordination of Mungo South and that of Nkam for lack of quorum and facts and orders that the provision of article 14 (F) that says officers of the executive committee of every level of the Party shall remain in office after the expiry of their mandate until new officers are elected to be respected.” 

The complaint against the Member of Parliament came from the Littoral bureau who dissociated itself from all his acts deemed contrary to the party. The Littoral Bureau had asked NEC to implement article 8.2 which will completely remove Hon. Joshua Osih from the SDF Party.

Joshua Osih, Vice President and MP for Wouri Centre was accused by the SDF Littoral Bureau of anti-party activities such as signing a petition addressed to the American Parliamentarians on the subject of the expulsion of Cameroonians illegally present in the United States, something Jean Michel Nintcheu and Osih have clashed on.

He was also under suspicion of collusion with the regime in power; the poor management of the 2018 Presidential campaign; his rebellion against the NEC resolutions of March 13 through the organization of a media campaign in defiance of the NEC.

While frowning at part of the report, the National Executive Committee went further in calling for the Centre Regional President to “immediately reinstate all the duly elected officials of the Party in the Region.”

Hon. Jean Michel Nintcheu and Hon. Joshua Osih has been having a well-documented fight with accusations and counter-accusations. The saga has been playing out in the open with many factions forming between the two well-known SDF politicians.

Hon Joshua Osih was SDF Presidential candidate in the 2018 Presidential election

It is still uncertain of this decision from the National Executive Committee of the Party will go to resolving the differences the two politicians have as the Party has called for “reconciliation.”

The SDF Party that for long has been regarded as the main opposition party to the ruling CPDM has fallen drastically in recent times even to the extent of losing its second place at the National Assembly in the last elections. The two strongholds of the North West and South West Regions voted overwhelmingly for the ruling CPDM party.

Taking note of this, NEC has instructed the Regional Coordination of the South West, “as soon as it is put in place to re-launch part activities within the Region wherever possible.” 

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Mozambique denies using landmines to combat terrorists
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

The Mozambican defence ministry has denied reports that security forces are using landmines in the fighting with terrorists in Cabo Delgado province, where the battle has left more than 2,500 people dead and 700,000 displaced since the insurgency began in 2017.

The spokesman Colonel Omar Saranga said that the defence forces were committed to acting in line with all the treaties and conventions ratified by the country, adding that if there had been any mine explosions, “they can only be the work of the terrorists”.

Mozambique was declared mine-free in 2015 after a major demining effort.

Although it was heavily mined before the 1992 peace deal between the government and the Renamo rebels, Mozambique ratified the Ottawa treaty on the prohibition of landmines in 1998, and the defence forces destroyed their stocks of landmines.

Colonel Saranga also urged everyone, particularly the media, to preserve Mozambique’s good name and image.

The last major attack in Cabo Delgado was recorded on 24 March in Palma town, which is still partially occupied by terrorists, according to refugees who fled the area to the city of Pemba.

Terrorist attacks in the district are continuing, over two months after the first attack on the town of Palma, and that almost the entire population is fleeing the district.

The town of Palma and several villages in the district had been abandoned, as terrorists were roaming through villages, kidnapping and decapitating people and burning down their houses.

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Kenyan Governors threaten to shut down counties over lack of finances.
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Governor Wambora.

Operations across Kenya’s 47 counties would come to a halt on June 24 should the country’s Treasury fail to disburse the billions owed to devolved units latest by Friday.

The county governments, through the division of Revenue Act 2020, were allocated ksh316 billion  ($3.16 billion), but the Treasury had released ksh214 billion ($2.14 billion), leaving a balance of ksh102 billion ($1.02 billion).

The Chairman of Council of Governors (CoG) has accused the Treasury of violating the law by failing to comply with its cash disbursement schedule.

County Governments Cash Disbursement Schedule for the Financial Year 2020/21 generated by Treasury and approved by Senate states that resources should be disbursed to counties on the 15th day of every month.

“The continued delay in disbursement is eroding gains made in devolved governance and affecting the economic growth in the counties. Treasury has not only failed to comply with the constitution but even with its own document- the Cash Disbursement Schedule, 2020,” said Governor Wambora.

With only two weeks remaining to the end of the 2020/2021 financial year, CoG wants the funds to be released by June 18 to ensure smooth operations at the counties.

The Governors are also racing against time to meet the Controller of Budget’s requirements to clear all pending bills amounting to ksh11.5 billion ($115 million) by June 30.

Mr. Wambora decried over the usual delay of county funds, unlike the national government’s.

“While Kenyans continue to demand services from the County Governments, operations at the National Government continue uninterrupted owing to timely financing from the National Treasury, while those operations in the Counties are slowly grinding to a halt. This should not be tolerated by those who support the success of devolution in Kenya,” he said.

According to the governor, financing of the counties by the Treasury is not a favour but a constitutional obligation.

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Kenyan unionist Francis Atwoli re-elected as member of ILO
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Dr. Francis Atwoli

Kenyan unionist Dr. Francis Atwoli has been elected for a fourth time in a row as a member of the International Labour Organization (ILO) governing body in Geneva, Switzerland.

Kenya’s Central Organization of Trade Unions (Cotu) Secretary General’s re-election was confirmed during the ongoing 109th Virtual Session of the International Labour Conference, ILC.

Firebrand Atwoli was among the candidates who garnered several votes worldwide. He will now be tasked with the responsibility of representing the interests of working men and women on the African Continent for the four years of 2021-2024.

“On behalf of COTU (K)’s Executive Board, and on my own behalf, I would like to congratulate the COTU(K) Secretary General, Dr. Francis Atwoli, for his re-election to this important decision making body. We wish him Godspeed in his role,” said Deputy Secretary-General, Cotu, Benson Okwaro.

“As COTU (K) we take great pride in associating with Atwoli and for his leadership, mentorship and guidance. Indeed, the person of Atwoli commands a lot of reverence and admiration internationally considering his firm leadership and commitment to the plight of the workers globally,” he added.

The ILO is a United Nations agency mandated to promote social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights, pursuing its founding mission that labour peace is essential to prosperity.

It was formed in 1919 as part of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I to reflect the belief that universal and lasting peace can be accomplished only if it’s based on social justice.

Members of the organization meet three times a year in March, June, and November to take decisions on ILO policy, decide the Agenda of the International Labour Conference, adopt the draft programme and budget of the Organisation for submission to the Conference and elect the Director-General of the ILO.

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Kenyan airports receive Level one Mapping accreditation
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

KAA Acting MD Alex Gitari

Three Kenyan airports have joined the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, announced Kenya Airports Authority (KAA).

On Monday, June 14, the authority said Jomo Kenyatta, Moi, Kisumu, and Eldoret International Airports have become the first airports in East and Central Africa to achieve Level one Mapping accreditation.

Airports Council International issued the accreditation. The Airport Carbon Accreditation programme is a global carbon management programme for airports.

“Reducing the effects of our operations on the environment is an important goal for us. It is our responsibility to future generations to engage in efforts that counter climate change. This accreditation is an important step in the right direction for our main airports, as the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme provides a framework to optimize and, eventually, minimize emissions,” said KAA Acting MD Alex Gitari.

The programme recognizes the efforts of airports to manage and reduce their carbon emissions through six levels of certification: ‘Mapping’, ‘Reduction’, ‘Optimization’, ‘Neutrality’, ‘Transformation’ and ‘Transition’.

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G7 Development Finance Institutions and multilateral partners to invest over $80 billion into African businesses over the next five years .
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

The G7 DFIs, the IFC, the private sector arm of the African Development Bank, EBRD and the European Investment Bank today announced that they were committed to investing $80 billion in the private sector over the next five years to support sustainable economic recovery and growth in Africa.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a severe global economic and health crisis. The announcement is a welcome boost to support the long-term development objectives of African economies that have been negatively impacted by the crisis. It is the first time the G7 DFIs have come together to make a collective partnership commitment to the African continent.

The IMF estimates that sub-Saharan Africa needs additional financing of around $425 billion between now and 2025 to help strengthen the pandemic response spending and reduce poverty in the region.

The UK Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, said: “The UK is proud to back this commitment by world leaders at the G7 Summit to invest more than $80 billion in Africa’s private sector over the next 5 years.

“This investment will create jobs, boost economic growth, help tackle climate change and fight poverty. It comes at a crucial time as the continent rebuilds its economies, severely impacted by Covid-19.”

Nick O’Donohoe, the CEO of CDC Group, said: “The patient, high quality capital that DFIs provide is urgently needed if African economies are to start to rebuild quickly from the impact of the pandemic. CDC is committed to building long term investment partnerships in Africa that fuel sustainable private sector growth in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, said: “The EIB welcomes G7 leadership to enhance support for high-impact investment across Africa during and after the pandemic. Last year the EU Bank’s engagement in Africa, as part of Team Europe, represented the largest ever support for climate action and investment in fragile states in 55 years of EIB operations on the continent. We stand ready to cooperate further with African and multilateral partners to tackle both COVID-19 and accelerate the green transition in Africa.”

Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director, said: “Ensuring an inclusive and sustainable recovery for people, businesses and economies across Africa in coordination with our development partners, is at the core of IFC’s development mandate today. We know that the private sector will play a major role in financing Africa’s future by creating millions of jobs that are essential to ensuring sustained economic growth and poverty reduction. We therefore welcome this important partnership and are proud to provide financing and to work with partners to help create the right conditions to bring more private investment to Africa.”

David Marchick, Chief Operating Officer of U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), said: “Under President Biden’s leadership, investing more in Africa is a top priority for DFC in fulfilling our development mandate. DFC is proud to be doubling down on our commitment to Africa alongside our G7 and multilateral partners and will continue to prioritize investments in vaccine manufacturing, COVID-19 response, climate mitigation and adaptation, and gender equity on the African continent.” 

Dario Scannapieco, Chief Executive Officer of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), said: “Closer collaboration among Development Finance Institutions and multilateral partners is an essential factor in fostering sustainable economic recovery and growth in Africa. CDP looks forward to contributing to this strategic partnership, supporting the African continent in developing its entrepreneurial and financial private sector, to unlock its vast, untapped potential.”

Solomon Quaynor, African Development Bank VP, Private Sector, Infrastructure & Industrialization said: “We welcome this global partnership and the opportunity to provide the African voice, as Africa builds back better and boldly.  The opportunity to create jobs particularly for youth and women, from a focus on industrializing Africa underpinned by the African Continental Free Trade Area, will be our priority. Given the gap between the IMF estimates and what this partnership is committing to, we will seek to crowd-in African development partners, as well as African savings from SWFs, pensions, and insurance pools, estimated to have US$1.8 trillion AUM.”

Heike Harmgart, EBRD Managing Director, Southern & Eastern Mediterranean, said: “Harnessing the potential of the private sector is essential to supporting prosperity in Africa and meeting the continent’s development needs. In the North African countries where we work – Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia – we have invested over €11.5 billion in only 9 years, focused on boosting the private sector, developing green sustainable infrastructure and promoting youth and women participation in the economy. We will pursue our efforts to expand private sector investment opportunities at scale in the region in close cooperation with other development actors.”

Monika Beck, member of the DEG-Management Board, said: „Many of our African partner countries have been hit hard by the pandemic. We quickly developed new services to support private sector SME and to help protecting jobs and livelihoods. In Africa, DEG has always been specifically committed to creating prospects for the young, growing population. In addition to the continuing massive impact of Covid-19 we expect a further acceleration of the challenges connected to developments such as digitization and climate change. Therefore DEG welcomes and is proud to be part of the G7 DFI Africa initiative”.

Each DFI has its own investment criteria which are aligned to an assessment of need to achieve development impact across a range of sectors. DFIs play an important role in helping to build markets, mitigate risk and pave the way for other investors to enter new markets.

The G7 DFI group consists of CDCProparco (France), JICA and JBIC (Japan), DFC (US), FinDev Canada (Canada), DEG (Germany) and CDP (Italy). This commitment is also supported by the IFC, the Africa Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank

*AfDB

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Veld fires an issue of national concern in Zimbabwe.
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Zimbabwe’s environmental authorities and other concerned stakeholders are intensifying efforts to eradicate incidences of sporadic veld fires which are now reported to have become an issue of national concern given their wanton destructive nature, according to Mangaliso Ndhlovu, Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry at the recent 2021 national fire week launch, a few kilometres out of Harare.

 According to Ndhlovu, each year, the country loses over a million hectares of forests and grasslands depriving wildlife and livestock of pastures and leaving the country counting loses of property, crops and life.

 He said that the annual average burnt area from 2010 to 2020 was 1 million hectares.

  It is reported that an average of 60% of the total burnt area has been under the A1 and A2 resettlement areas established under the country’s land reform programme. 

  “Of the 18,000 A2 farmers, only about 400 have 99 year leases, which leases have specific clauses on environmental protection. This creates a possibility of massive information gap on the responsibilities of farmers in their properties,” Ndhlovu said.

 
 Every year, the second week of May in the country is set aside for education and awareness raising on the dangers associated with veld fires and  strategies for their prevention.

 It is added that statutorily, the veld fire season in Zimbabwe stretches from 31 July to 31 October each year.

 Ndhlovu said that what it basically means is that the veld fire season ends when the country receives the first effective rains to break the fire triangle, but the period has not differed significantly in reality despite the effects of climate change.

 According to the National Fire Management Strategy and Implementation Plan of 2006, the National Fire Week Launch is meant to raise awareness amongst communities on the need to prevent veld fires by undertaking pre-fire suppression measures such as fireguard construction, biomass reduction and early controlled burning.

 The theme for this 2021 national fire week commemorations is “Veld Fires and Food Security- Protect the harvest”, a theme with a focus towards revealing the nexus between veld fire management and sustaining food security. 

  “The country’s agricultural yield projection for the 2020/21 season indicates a bumper harvest, one of its kind in 37 years, which we should all celebrate and judiciously protect,” Ndhlovu said.

 He added that as the country celebrates the projection of a good national crop yield, citizens should be cognizant of the environmental factors which dominate   landscapes and it is not yet time to relax.   

 “We should therefore all work together to prevent catastrophic losses to our harvest from veld fires,” he said.

 The environment ministry says that it has already begun a comprehensive awareness programme with the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement through their Agritex extension services.

  It is reported that every farmer is expected to construct their fireguard in compliance with the laws of our country.

 The minister added that over the past 10 years veld fires have led to over 100 fire related deaths.

 “This is too big a figure to ignore. No life should be lost to veld fires because one life lost is one too many. Life is precious and hence we should thrive as a country to prevent loss of life,” he said.

 It is reported that the 2021 veld fire prediction undertaken by the Ministry through Environmental Management Agency (EMA), using biomass as indicated by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) as a proxy for fuel load, and the previous fire behaviour as indicated by the burnt area in 2020, shows that the country is generally in the high risk (65.2%) to extreme risk (24.7%) to veld fires, compared to medium (43.3%) to high (23.1%) risk in 2020.

 It is added that following the heavy rains received, there is high biomass even in areas that traditionally have low biomas implying that, the  country is highly vulnerable to veld fires in the 2021 fire season. The Provinces at extreme risk are Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central and Manicaland while the two Matabeleland Provinces, Midlands and Masvingo are this time around at high risk to veld fires.  

 “Given this background, l call upon all stakeholders to find a niche in the veld fire management strategy, especially landowners, occupiers, users and communities at large, as they remain key actors in veld fire prevention,” Ndhlovu said.

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Africa Energy Week 2021, Taking Place in Cape Town; Will Focus on Investment, Oil and Gas, Renewables and Energy Transition
June 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

AEW 2021 will showcase the first-ever African Energy Village, an interactive exhibition and networking event that seeks to unite African energy stakeholders

The African Energy Chamber (www.EnergyChamber.org) is set to host the first-ever African Energy Week (AEW)  in Cape Town on 9th – 12th November 2021; Replacing Africa Oil Week, the four-day interactive conference seeks to unite industry stakeholders, international speakers and movers and shakers from the African oil and gas sector; The conference comprises high-class networking events, innovative exhibitions, and one-on-one private meetings, with a golf tournament on the final day, providing a one-of-a-kind experience for stakeholders interested in the growth and success of the African energy sector.

The African Energy Chamber (AEC) is excited to announce the official launch of African Energy Week (AEW) 2021, taking place in Cape Town on 9th – 12th November 2021AEW 2021 will showcase the first-ever African Energy Village, an interactive exhibition and networking event that seeks to unite African energy stakeholders, drive industry growth and development, and promote Africa as the destination for African-focused events.

Commencing with a three-day conference and ending with a golf tournament on 12th November, the event’s primary focus is to define and promote the African energy agenda through development, deal-making, and private sector participation. Key topics include making energy poverty history before 2030 and the future of the African oil and gas industry; African upstream, midstream and downstream opportunities; African oil, gas and finance in the face of the energy transition – highlighting African financing institutions such as the African Development Bank, the African Export-Import Bank, the African Financing Corporation, Africa50, the Industrial Development Corporation and the Development Bank of Central African States; local content; women in energy and making African energy competitive for investment into a decarbonized Africa.

Additionally, the conference will address the role of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), the International Energy Agency (IEC), the African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO), the International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC), and the American Petroleum Institute (API) and Africa. By opening the dialogue on Africa’s gas miracle and its potential in markets including Senegal, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Algeria, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, Congo-Brazzaville, and Angola ­–  as well as small-scale Liquified Natural Gas, intra-African trade and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement – the conference represents the ideal networking and deal-making platform for all African energy stakeholders.

The AEC’s commitment to hosting this Africa-focused event in Africa comes at a  crucial time for the oil and gas industry. In light of recent developments that seek to suggest that Africa is not capable of hosting events of global standards, the Chamber feels responsible to voice against this and lead by example by showcasing the continent and all its profound beauty.

With this in mind, the only African-focused, in-person energy event aims to capture the essence and cultural hub that exists in Cape Town. The AEC will not abandon the continent for international venues. AEW 2021 is an energy event like no other and the AEC is fully focused on promoting African development and growth through African-held events.

“We are happy with the tremendous support from so many in-and-outside Africa. Our Oil and Gas producers have been a force for good and we must be proud of this industry. We must also welcome energy transition and engage Africa with the most forceful conversation and solutions for the future. AEW 2021 offers a unique and interactive networking experience in which global energy stakeholders can unite and participate in the continent’s transformation. The time is now,” says NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber.

“Africa Energy Week will have a bold message that encourages energy solutions that cut out entitlements, handouts and foreign aid. No one owes us anything and in order for so many Africans  who want to make energy poverty history to triumph, we must embrace all forms of energy in our energy mix. We must attract investors and push our leadership so that each country wins when we create and encourage an enabling environment,” adds Ayuk.

AEW 2021 is taking place with the full support of prominent African and global industry leaders and oil and gas organizations and is focused on expanding opportunities in Africa. Additionally, AEW 2021 will present innovative exhibition spaces at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront that aim to promote African heritage and culture, while showcasing the exciting technological advancements the industry has to offer.

“African energy producers can only grow and meet energy demand when we all do our best to mobilize our resources and advocate for important principles of personal responsibility, smaller government, lower taxes, free markets, personal liberty, and the rule of law. This will kick start investment and make a transition that works for Africa. Let’s do this in Africa, for Africa and for the energy sector,” concludes Ayuk.

Of equal importance, the event will take place under strict COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of all attendees. In line with current government regulations, AEW 2021 will host a series of networking events across a variety of locations at the V&A Waterfront, thereby ensuring social gathering limits are in place at all times. Additionally, through mandatory testing and the availability of personal protective equipment and facilities, AEW 2021 aims to protect attendees while ensuring a successful and productive event.

For more information about this transformative event, visit www.AWE2021.com or www.EnergyChamber.org and/or email Amina Williams at amina.williams@energychamber.org
For registration related enquiries contact registration@aew2021.com
For sales related enquires contact sales@aew2021.com
For media related enquires contact media@aew2021.com
For speaker opportunity related enquires contact speakers@aew2021.com

*SOURCE African Energy Chamber

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Open letter to the most senior Biafran in Buhari’s government
June 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Rudolf Okonkwo and Chido Onumah *

Dear Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Jideofor Onyeama, 

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Jideofor Onyeama with President Buhari

We chose to write you instead of President Muhammadu Buhari because it is apparent from the president’s two most recent media outings that his cognitive impairment has greatly deteriorated, even though that is no justification for his murderous and genocidal rhetoric. From his utterances, the gap between things his innermost mind conjures and what his mouth utters has been completely erased. We also chose to write you because you are the most senior Biafran in Buhari’s government. We know that in your world, Biafra is the worst tag that anyone could put on you. Unfortunately, the people you work with, in and around Aso Rock, see you as a Biafran. You can keep running away from it, but in the deepest corners of their eyes, Biafra is like a shell on you. And like a snail, you cannot cast it off.

Over the last six years, we are aware of your hard work on the international stage to rescue this government’s reputation. As this government squandered both at home and abroad the enormous goodwill it received in 2015, you have worked hard to reassure the international community that the wheel of the Nigerian vessel had not come off and would not come off. Based on recent events, you do not need a soothsayer or us to tell you that the wheels came off a long time ago. What the international community was telling you in private weeks ago, they have made a tiny bit of it public following the debacle that is Buhari’s reaction to Twitter’s sanction of his genocidal tweet against the people of the South-East.

Clearly, the government that you champion abroad is set to re-enact at home another genocide against the people of South-East Nigeria which had its opening act during the unfortunate Nigerian Civil War of 1967 to 1970. We think we should have you and the international community on notice. Even your late father, the great Justice Charles Dadi Umeha Onyeama, who was a judge at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, would have told you that in this unfolding moral crisis, you are not just going to be an accomplice in the killing of your own people, already in progress in several parts of South-East Nigeria, you are going to be remembered by history as a man who played a supervisory role in the senseless carnage.

As the blood of young men and women who knew nothing about the activities of a few Biafran activists seep into the red soils where your forefathers are buried, President Buhari would send you abroad to crisscross the world and lie for him. You would be lying that there were no killings of innocent young men and women in the South-East by security agencies. Your talking point would be that the security agencies were quelling the violence perpetrated by Biafran activists. You probably can sell it to the world, but you cannot sell it to your conscience or to the memories of your forefathers who have sacrificed enough for Nigeria.

At this juncture, maybe we should peep through the course of the Nigerian Civil War, a repeat of the genocidal memory of which your boss, Muhammadu Buhari, now threatens the Igbo population of Southeastern Nigeria with. A retrospective view of that war crime should point you to the frightening possibilities of poetic justice for the soul-destroying lying mission you are about to be sent abroad to whitewash. As the world reacted with anger to the massacre of able-bodied Asaba men and boys in October 1967 while their wives, mothers, and sisters, were forced to dance for the sadistic pleasure of trigger-happy soldiers who carried out the slaughter, General Yakubu Gowon, then head of Nigeria’s military junta, sent his spin doctors abroad for a lying offensive.

Among the propaganda team sent abroad was Philip Asiodu, an Asaba indigene and a Permanent Secretary in the Gowon regime. Asiodu was reported to have told a press conference in Germany that reconciliation was the irrefutable goal of the Gowon administration. He was quoted as saying inter alia, “there is no question of massacring Ibos in the captured areas.’’ At the time of the morally reprehensible propaganda mission, Asiodu had no idea that his younger brother, Sydney Asiodu, an Olympic athlete, was one of the victims of anti-Igbo massacre he had finished lying to an international audience did not happen. On his return to Nigeria, instead of savoring the satisfaction of a successful lying mission, he was faced with the mourning of his younger brother, killed by the agents of the same government he had gone abroad to lie for.

As we write this, you are aware that the hordes of Nigerian security agents shipped to the South-East are taking their cue from President Muhammadu Buhari’s often-expressed odium for the people of that region. They are reading the president’s body language that calls for maximum force “in the language they understand.” Knowing the history of Nigeria’s military in Asaba during the Civil War, and later in Odi, Bayelsa State, in 1999, Zaki-Biam in Benue State, in 2001, and in Zaria, Kaduna State, in 2015, where they massacred civilians in their hundreds, and carried out a litany of human rights abuses, nobody would be surprised at the news of young people being massacred after enduring torture in the hands of security agents in the South-East.

No matter how you disguise it, the United Nations, Amnesty International, and other reputable world bodies have unimpeachable documentations of ugly patterns of abuses anywhere the Nigerian military went for any form of intervention. It is why successive American governments have refused to sell arms to Nigeria out of fear that the government would use it against its people. In a brazen show of indifference to what the world thinks, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Usman Alkali Baba, recently ordered his officers to ignore any demand to respect human rights in their operations, thus setting the stage for what is shaping up to be an all-out genocide in the South-East.

With you an earshot away, President Buhari vowed to reenact in the South-East the kind of carnage he and Nigerian soldiers carried out during the 1967-1970 Nigeria-Biafra War. He mockingly invoked the obnoxious theory of “starvation as a weapon of war” that killed hundreds of thousands of women and children when he reminded the South-East people that they were “a dot in a circle.’’ As if that was not enough, he aroused the painful “abandoned property” saga when he reminded them that they had houses and businesses around the country and officially pronounced every Igbo man and woman a Biafran. The president went into the darkest chambers of his heart to spew hatred, all because a group of youths fed up with the state-sanctioned dehumanization of Southeasterners rose to demand justice.

While we condemn the mindless violence that has gone on under any guise in the South-East in the last few months, we must note that it is the lack of leadership of your principal and his blatantly bigoted response that has sustained the violence. In our view, as far as President Buhari is concerned, the Nigeria-Biafra War has not ended. You can then understand why for many young people who did not witness the war, to use President Buhari’s choice words, the cheque of “No victor, no vanquished” issued at the end of the war in January 1970 was indeed a dud cheque.

Since your principal has no sense of history, we need to remind you that Nigeria was built on and has been sustained through injustice. Well before the civil war of 1967-70, there was the Tiv crisis of 1960 and 1964 which has lingered up until today in different forms. More than a year before the civil started in 1967, Isaac Adaka Boro, a minority rights activist, was crying for justice for his people in the Niger Delta, where Nigeria’s oil wealth comes from, the same people President Buhari pandered to in his Arise TV interview when he reminded Biafrans, your people, that the Niger Delta youths and elders had assured him there would be no access to the sea. 

Fifty-four years before the #EndSARS movement, which President Buhari said was aimed at removing him for office, on February 23, 1966, out of frustration with Nigeria, Adaka Boro, at the age of 28, declared the Niger Delta Republic, an independent state for Ijaw people suffering environmental degradation of their land and plunder of their oil resources. Brazenly, President Buhari, who was sworn in as president of Nigeria, finds it convenient to share these resources with his kinsmen in Niger Republic. The Twelve-Day Revolution, as Adaka Boro described his exploits, happened before a series of pogroms in 1966/67 against the people of the old Eastern Region, Igbos and non-Igbos, which ultimately led to the declaration of the Republic of Biafra on May 30, 1967.

The poor leadership and discriminatory policies of the Buhari administration are today fueling the clarion call for secession across Nigeria, including prominently, in the South-West. Clearly, the people of the South-East were not the first group to demand a country of their own due to the failure of the Nigerian state to protect them and give them a fair shake in the country. Nor are they the only group making such a demand in present day Nigeria. But somehow, it is the people of the South-East who receive Buhari’s bitterest venom each time some elements in the region, fed up with injustice, resort to self-help.

Dear honourable minister, in 1990, while you were at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Major Gideon Okar, a Nigerian military officer, staged a coup in which he excised Buhari’s home state of Katsina and other states in the North from Nigeria. It is this same part of the North that initiated Sharia Law in 2000, in defiance of the constitution. And it is the aftermath of the Sharia Law that led to the emergence of the Boko Haram insurgency in 2002. In 2009, following the extra-judicial killing of Boko Haram founder, Mohammed Yusuf, a more militant leader named Abubakar Shekau emerged.

The Shekau insurgency has lasted over twelve years, killed more than 30,000 Nigerians—Muslims, Christians, men, women, children—as well as international aid workers, in dastardly acts of terror, and attracted well-financed international terrorist organisations like ISIS and Al Qaeda into West Africa. At various times, Boko Haram took control of sections of the North-East, declared a caliphate, mounted their flags as a separate nation and were collecting taxes from Nigerians within their “territory.” They posted videos of gruesome execution of their victims, including Nigerian military officers. On at least two occasions, they had attempted to assassinate Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State. We did not witness the kind of genocidal fury and righteous indignation that propel President Buhari’s scorched-earth response when it comes to the people of the South-East. Daily, across the nook and cranny of Nigeria, we witness calls for secession in different forms, including expulsion orders, without as much as a whimper from the man you serve so diligently, except, of course, the call comes from Biafrans.   

If President Buhari can talk glibly in public about what he plans for Biafrans, imagine what he says during security council meetings or when he is with his kitchen cabinet! Of course, we feel it. From Mr. Danladi Umar’s “Biafran boys” incident, to the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, comparing open grazing to selling of spare parts—a position Buhari has vowed not to contradict—to the shoot on sight order given to security operatives in the South-East, everyone that matters in the Buhari regime is reading the president’s mind and body language correctly.

All right-thinking men and women in the South-East condemn the killing of security agents and innocent citizens and the destruction of the country’s vital infrastructure in the region. The way out would have been a measured government response to arrest the ugly development, but not when you have as president, whose allegiance is more to his cousins in other countries than fellow Nigerians who do not share his ethnicity. You would agree, Sir, that whatever excesses Biafran activists exhibit pale in comparison to the activities of well-armed, long-established northern-based groups, most of whom are from the president’s ethnic stock. And this is not to compare whose terrorism is more vicious, but the carnage these extreme groups—be they herders or those who want to propitiate heaven—have visited upon Nigeria through kidnappings, wanton destructions, and surgical hit on the little threads that keep Nigeria one, has placed them among the top terrorist groups in the world and thereby placed Nigeria on the top of every list of failed nations around the globe. Somehow, these abysmal records do not keep President Buhari up at night. From what we see, what wakes him up from his slumber is any mention of Biafra.

As the sense of Nigeria’s failure and unjust structure spreads, some people in the South-West have also joined the demand for an independent nation of their own. Despite their vigorous pursuit of Oodua nation, they have not received the same kind of vituperation from Buhari. The president has not spoken about the activists in the South-West as representatives of all the people of the region. He has not made them the scapegoat for his colossal failures the way he takes delight in making the people of the South-East. Why is that, Mr. Onyeama?

Allies of the government that you serve now demand that Igbo people daily profess their loyalty to Nigeria before they receive basic citizenship rights. Igbo people who live in Northern parts of Nigeria are daily inundated by pronouncements of one Northern group or another, who have warned that the lives and property of Igbo people are fair game in the ongoing crisis. They have an ally in your boss, President Buhari. These groups openly send signals that they have been holding their youths from unleashing a Rwanda-style genocide against the Igbo in their region. The government you serve, and its accomplices, have declared all Igbo men and women guilty by association. They even had the audacity to announce that they had foreclosed the possibility of any Igbo person becoming president of Nigeria until all Igbo people go on their knees and make a public denunciation of the advocates for Biafra. The president you serve obediently recently amplified these absurd demands.

Let us jog your memory, Mr. Onyeama. At the outset of the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East, your principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was then leader of the opposition, defended the group against what he tagged their “extra-judicial killings by Nigeria’s security forces,” the same forces he is now deploying to the South-East with orders to “treat them in language they understand.” At one point, Boko Haram terrorists picked him as the man to negotiate for them with the previous government of President Goodluck Jonathan. None of these caused anyone or a group to demand his disqualification from contesting for the presidency in 2015. At no point did any part of Nigeria label every northerner a Boko Haram member or demand that the North be excluded from Nigeria’s leadership until they crushed the Boko Haram insurgency.

Today, President Buhari and his allies are blackmailing Ndigbo and generalizing on their character based on the activities of Biafran activists. Mr. Onyeama, think for a moment what would be of you and your career if Biafran activists announce today that you would be the man to negotiate for them with the federal government. Think of it. Would that earn you the presidency of Nigeria in 2023?

For the avoidance of doubt, Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, is a product of Buhari’s incompetence. Buhari’s paranoiac frenzy about anything Biafra turned what was Nnamdi Kanu’s agitation for justice and fairness into what it is today. The president, in effect, made Nnamdi Kanu a hero by locking him up and disobeying court orders to free him. Buhari should therefore not be surprised at the formidable opponent he has created as a result. Buhari’s mismanagement of a complex and diverse country mixed with blatant nepotism is Nnamdi Kanu’s fuel. If Buhari has any desire to deescalate the tension he created, he has a slew of options on his table. But as we have seen, again and again, Buhari must exhaust all bad options before he chooses a good one staring him in the face.

We know that as a minister, you have not been working with other leaders of the South-East to address matters pertaining to the region. You have been so afraid of annoying Buhari and his clique or making them question your loyalty that you have relinquished leadership and auctioned off the leverage you should have had in the South-East. Before you, the task is to go back to the South-East, not as a man with his tails between his legs, but as the most senior Biafran in Buhari’s government. Go and engage your people in an honest conversation. If you do it well, working together, you can come up with the proverbial right channel to direct the grievances of your people to the government that you serve.

Dear honorable minister, the alternative is what we are witnessing now. In the South-East, the hawks are in, picking up the chicks one after another. The hen is crying out not for the monster that is killing its chicks to let go but for the world to hear its voice. Your forefathers used to say that we must chase away the hawks before we caution the hen.  On your part, as the minister of external affairs, you will soon be sent abroad to walk up podiums around the world to commit the most abominable act against God and man—justify the shedding of innocent blood. You either uphold the ofor of your forefathers, as your middle name commands, or you soil it on the altar of loyalty to the president of a crumbling edifice. The choice is yours. Time is running out!

Dear honorable minister, if you ever have the chance of talking with President Buhari, tell him that Biafra is not the problem of Nigeria. Nigeria is not the first or only country to fight a civil war. Let him know that Nigeria is collapsing under the weight of injustice in the East, West, North and South. In a sentence, we are all Biafrans! Rather than being fixated on a ‘‘dot in a circle,’’ let him know it is time to go back to the drawing board or sit at the table of nationhood and draw a genuine non-discriminatory circle that accommodates every group, no matter how small, on equal terms. This is the irreducible expectation in a country that prides itself on being a federal republic.

We will end this letter by paraphrasing Edwin Madunagu’s admonition to the Nigerian Left in his latest essay, “Birthday greetings in lieu of responses.”  He may well be speaking to you, the most senior Biafran in the Buhari regime: “Wherever you are today, use all your intellect, use whatever levers you have, as individuals and as groups, to prevent Nigeria fully enacting a second edition of the (1966-1970) tragedy.”

Yours truly,

Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo and Chido Onumah

CC:

  1. The UN Secretary General
  2. The US President through the American Embassy in Nigeria
  3. The Canadian Prime Minister through the Canadian High Commission in Nigeria
  4. The British Prime Minister through the British High Commission in Nigeria
  5. The French President through the French Embassy in Nigeria
  6. President Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi, Chairperson of the African Union
  7. President Nana Akufo-Addo, ECOWAS Chairman
  8. Head of Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS
  9. Amnesty International
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Brazil Africa Forum 2021 – Natural Resources: Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development.
June 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

Brazil, June 7th 2021 – Brazil Africa Institute launches Brazil Africa Forum 2021, focusing on natural resources

The Brazil Africa Institute announced, on Monday (7), the 2021 edition of the Brazil Africa Forum. The event will be held on November 23rd and 24th with the theme “Natural Resources: environmental protection and sustainable development”.

Consolidated as the main space for debate between Brazilian and African leaders and fostering dialogue with actors from third regions, the Brazil Africa Forum repeats this year the successful 2020 virtual format, when it remotely brought together more than 60 speakers, reaching an audience of more than 1,200 registered participants.

“The pandemic forced us to make a significant adaptation to the forum’s dynamics, all to ensure that urgent debates could be held. In 2020, our focus was to identify the main challenges brought by the crisis and propose solutions. Now we will continue analyzing the effects of the pandemic, but focusing on the necessary actions so that we can stop the impacts on the exploitation of natural resources”, says the President of the Brazil Africa Institute, João Bosco Monte.

Thematic axes

Natural resources, severely affected by the pandemic, are at risk of irreversible disruption if there are no concrete actions to stop exploration, invest in recovery and prevent future crises.

The international scientific community has solid evidence that there is a direct link between the destruction of nature and outbreaks of COVID-19. Rural areas face increasing pressure, deforestation is on the rise in many vital regions, and there are reports of illegal mining and poaching emerging in the daily news.

BAF 2021 agenda will be divided into four axes, each addressing central themes for the natural resources agenda: land, water, forests and action.

Each axis will bring together the main stakeholders to discuss courses of action, public-private partnerships and solutions that can bring results for Brazil and African countries when dealing with their own challenges, as well as those shared globally.

The event will show once again that even connected only virtually, it is possible to strengthen dialogues, create opportunities, encourage investments and contribute to overcoming this unprecedented crisis.

*IBRAF

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The Lionesses of Cameroon win the return Test Match against Burkina Faso.
June 13, 2021 | 0 Comments
Burkina Faso finally lost to Cameroon by the final score of 35 to 3

After their first victory, the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon won, this June 12, 2021, at the Stadium Aout 4 in Ouagadougou, the return test match against the Ladies Stallions of Burkina Faso by the score of 35 to 3. This return test match was highly anticipated by the two teams who each had high hopes to excel.

Like the first test match, the Women’s Stallions did not get any tries. The only penalty that gave them the 3 points came in the 44th minute. Although they demonstrated a stronger resistance than during the first test match, Burkina Faso finally lost to Cameroon by the final score of 35 to 3. This score is roughly equal to that of the first test match where Cameroon had won by 37 to 0. There was no lack of faults in this match. Each of the two teams received yellow cards. These were handed to Cameroonian No.11 Mimosette Mouto, and Burkina Faso’s No.3 Bonkoungou Janine and No.18 Adjaratou Yanogo.

Burkina Faso’s captain, Yvette Sawadogo, admitted that with her teammates, they played differently in this second match. The difference, she said, was in controlling their fear of the physically imposing Cameroonian team. It should be noted that there was also a greater mobilization of Burkinabè supporters in the stands, and this was undoubtedly in favour of Burkina Faso. Fans wearing black uniforms helped to overheat the stadium with their galvanizing cries. Cameroonian coach Jacques NGomsu Tchon Lahui said his team faced difficulties because “they were different opponents from the first encounter”. For Cameroon vice-captain Priso Rosine Maxime Ndingo, her team did not fully follow the coach’s instructions.

Later today at 4 pm GMT, the highly anticipated match will pit the men’s teams of Burkina Faso and Cameroon. Immediately after the end of the women’s test match, the Cameroonian men’s team put on their training boots for a practice game. The final result will show which of the two countries will snatch its ticket for the Rugby Africa Cup next July in Tunisia.

*APO Group on behalf of Rugby Africa

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IBRAF Fellowship Program Actively Engages Researchers with International Cooperation.
June 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

By João Paulo Alves*

The Brazil Africa Institute (IBRAF) is currently hosting the first cohort of the IBRAF Fellowship Program on South-South and Triangular Cooperation (IFP). The IFP is an academic project that allows researchers from different countries to engage with each other and interact with specialists in the field of South-South and Triangular Cooperation. From February to September 2021, 10 researchers from 8 different countries (Brazil, Argentina, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Mozambique and Senegal) are producing studies on the importance of international cooperation in multiple areas.

Brazil has been a key promoter of South-South and Triangular Cooperation in recent decades, attracting much attention for its several projects within Latin America and the Caribbean and with Africa in agriculture, industry, health, education and other fields. The IFP focuses on key areas that are important for international cooperation, and in which one can see strong linkages in the promotion of international change: (i) technical and scientific cooperation; (ii) economic and sustainable development; (iii) trade and investments across the South-Atlantic; (iv) agriculture, agri-business and rural development; and (v) demography, urbanization, housing and public health.

Ms. Marina Figueira Lucas presenting her final seminar to conclude the Fellowship programme.

The IFP is formed by a faculty of high-level leaders, such as Dr. Adriana Abdenur, Founder and Executive Director of Plataforma CIPÓ, Dr. Frannie Leautier, CEO of SouthBridge Investments, Dr. Pedro Almeida, Independent scholar and former Head of Basic & Infrastructure Industries, World Economic Forum, Dr. Kapil Kapoor, CEO of Developex, and Dr. Martin Fregene, Director of Agriculture and Agroindustry at the AfDB.

IBRAF supports each of these researchers throughout a six-week period, in which they have contact with academic institutions, international organizations and multiple specialists, including former directors of international organizations and former ministers. The researchers are constantly engaged with specialists in their areas of interest, having space for conversations and interviews that contribute to provide them with international perspectives. Research topics vary from agriculture 4.0, to supply-chain finance, health cooperation, dairy industry, forests conservation and trade and investments facilitation.

Amb. Sarah Agbor, Commissioner of Human Resources, Science and Technology, African Union ©IBRAF

Fellows also have the opportunity to engage in exclusive lectures, come face-to-face with high-level authorities, listen to their insights and dialogue with them. IFP lecturers include Ambassador Celso Amorim, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and of Defense of Brazil, Ambassador Sarah Agbor, Commissioner of Human Resources, Science and Technology at the African Union, Dr. Jennifer Blanke, Non-Executive Director at African Risk Capacity and Ambassador Ruy Pereira, General Director of the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC).

The programme has counted on the close collaboration with UNOSSC and the South-South Galaxy platform. UNOSSC has been an important partner of the IFP, by making the South-South Galaxy Experts database available and facilitating connections with various stakeholders. The South-South Galaxy team has also provided a workshop to inform and engage visiting fellows on the platform, showing them how to take advantage of the content provided, as well as how to contribute to the platform’s development.

Amb. Ruy Pereira, General Director, Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) ©IBRAF

Fellows are also encouraged to identify and study South-South and Triangular Cooperation good practices and projects within their research areas, contributing to the expansion of the South-South Galaxy Solutions database. By mapping these initiatives, they can collaborate to raise awareness about the history and current development of international cooperation, their results and potential scalability, drawing on useful lessons for new interventions.

The IFP ultimately aims at strengthening the agenda of South-South and Triangular Cooperation, shedding light over its accomplishments, within the scope of scientific evidence, and providing policy makers and academics with useful insights on relevant themes. The IFP research fellows will become champions and active voices in the advocacy for South-South and triangular cooperation, taking foward these learnings for when they become the leaders of the future.

*Projects Coordinator, Brazil Africa Institute (IBRAF)

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PANWAYS GHANA SECURES STAKE IN PROPOSED PETROLEUM HUB PROJECT IN JOMORO
June 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

PANWAYS Ghana, a subsidiary of PANWAYS Group of Italy through its wide global business network, has attained the facilitation authorization to lead the operations of GAZPROM, one of the largest producers and exporters of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Company in Russia, in the proposed Ghana National Petroleum-Hub project in Jomoro in the Western Region.

According to Mr. Kwesie, Lead Consultant of GAZPROM Dr. Ing Luigi Brescia, who doubles as the President of PANWAYS Group Srl, will be providing the technical assistance for GAZPROM’s interest.

PANWAYS Ghana, a native Nzema company, has global presence but with particular interest in Africa in Industrial Forecasting and Development for 3 years. Mr. Kwesie said GAZPROM’s interest in the Ghana National Petroleum-Hub project will be of immense benefit to the economy of Ghana.

He said PANWAYS GHANA is ready to support the government on her drive to move the economy forward. It is their fervent wish that they will be able to work in ensuring that the interest of both GAZPROM and government of Ghana is achieved.

The company also envisions supporting the human capital in the Nzema enclave with the setting up of the Annor Adjaye Technical Institute at Bawia with concentration in oil and gas and it’s related. The proposed $50 billion petroleum hub is one of the government’s strategic anchor initiatives that would serve as a new pillar of growth to the Ghanaian economy.

It is expected to accelerate the growth of Ghana’s petroleum downstream sub-sector and make it a major player in the economy and, consequently, ensure development of sustainable value, wealth creation and the progress of the industry. The petroleum hub, which will occupy a land space of about 20,000 acres, would have four refineries each with a capacity of 150,000bpd, two oil jetties, storage tanks for crude and two petrochemical plants. The project, which is a private sector led initiative, is expected to be completed by 2030.

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WORLD BANK SUPPORTS GHANA WITH $200M FOR VACCINES
June 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

World Bank has approved a $200 million Ghana COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project Second Additional Financing to procure and deploy COVID-19 vaccines for 13 million people.

The project, in collaboration with the COVAX Facility COVID-19 vaccine acquisition, will provide financing to support the government strengthen the resilience of Ghana’s health systems to better prepare for the future pandemic and to secure the continuation of essential health and nutrition services, including routine childhood immunization.

Ghana experienced a surge in infections and fatalities in January 2021, entering the second wave of rising infections of COVID-19. The number of daily active cases in February 2021 was as high as the peak of the first wave in June 2020. Furthermore, Ghana was also confirmed to have recorded the COVID-19 variant, which first appeared in South Africa.

The World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Pierre Laporte said, World Bank is happy to support this second additional financing, given the importance of preventing deaths and reducing transmission of COVID-19 among the population by providing access to COVID-19 vaccines towards accelerating economic and social recovery in Ghana.
According to him they are also aware of the continuing difficulties in having access to COVID-19 vaccines and logistics due to the global vaccine market challenges and will continue to work to address the inequity in vaccine supplies that is impacting Ghana and other developing countries.

The Ghana COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project Second Additional Financing will enable the country to explore the acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines from a range of sources to support Ghana’s target to vaccinate 17.5 million people in a way that ensures value-for-money. The project will also support an equitable and effective distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in line with Ghana’s National Vaccine Deployment Plan.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group has committed over $125 billion to fight the health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic, the fastest and largest crisis response in its history.

The financing is helping more than 100 countries strengthen pandemic preparedness, protect the poor and jobs, and jump-start a climate-friendly recovery. The Bank is also providing $12 billion to help low- and middle-income countries purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments.

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