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Connecting Africa to the global economy is paramount to strengthening international trade.
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

By David Eurin*

David Eurin is CEO Liquid Sea & Group Strategy Officer Liquid Intelligent Technologies

Connecting Africa to the rest of the world and unleashing its workforce potential may just be the key to catapulting international trade and markets to a whole new level. According to 2019 United Nations Demographic data, 60% of the African population is under the age of 25, giving this developing continent the largest population of young people in the world. These innovative young minds are eager for a seat at the global economic table, but how do we get them there?

Africa (as a whole) desperately needs to leapfrog into the digital future and catch up with the rest of the world. The continent is in need of proper broadband infrastructure and connectivity to the global economy. The sooner the better as each country in Africa is developing digital skills (albeit at different rates) to offer the world.

Liquid Intelligent Technologies recognises Africa’s potential and connects it to the global economy. We created 100,000km of fibre routes to transport data across the length and breadth of the continent and provided access to submarine cables.

Through our vision, we built Africa’s largest independent fibre network, and with the East to West fibre connection, our fibre routes are the most direct digital corridors across the southern hemisphere. We have set a new benchmark helping the organisation achieve historic milestones in its journey to create a more connected Africa.

The fibre connectivity infrastructure corridors offer a low latency path to connect Asia, Africa and the US as an alternative to busier routes via the Middle East. Our growth is a direct result of the increasing demand for infrastructure to support broadband internet on the African continent. Now more than ever before, local businesses need reliable and extensive connectivity to ensure effective digital transformation.

With all of this in place, it is now possible for companies to expand their operations in Africa using a reliable and extensive network with access to over 100,000 kilometres of the fibre network. This includes access to Cloud, Cyber Security, IoT networks, and state-of-the-art data centres in Nairobi (Kenya), Johannesburg and Cape Town (South Africa) and Lomé (Togo), with more being built such as in Lagos (Nigeria) – keeping Africa’s data in Africa and meeting all required data regulations.

This infrastructure not only enables new trade-in and out of Africa, but it also brings a variety of new benefits to a continent that has for far too long been in much need of more global investment, infrastructure and support. This cross-border connectivity with high speed and access to public clouds allows the region to grow via digital services such as internet banking, access to international education, and the platform to connect hospitals to central databases. It also helps bring governments online and bolster service delivery efforts.

Despite some challenges along the way, we connected Africa and continue to grow our footprint in the region. The likes of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft are also investing in Africa. But one of the crucial advantages of Liquid’s infrastructure is the ability to offer network redundancy. This essentially means that a network in Nairobi, for example, has three or four different route options. If one goes down, there are still others that can be used as a backup. Multiple routes are important because you can never be reliant on a single route.

The time for African strength and economic power on the global stage is coming. The question is who is going to be the first to take advantage of this as the continent’s infrastructure quickly catches up to global standards. Who will be the first in line to unleash the potential of African youth?

About the author

*CEO Liquid Sea & Group Strategy Officer Liquid Intelligent Technologies. David Eurin joined Liquid Intelligent Technologies in 2013. He is responsible for leading the Group’s strategy in his role as Group Chief Strategy Officer as well as heading the International Wholesale division.Prior to Liquid he was a Partner and Head of Africa at Analysys Mason, a management consultancy specialising in TMT. David has extensive experience in the fixed and mobile telecommunications industry, gained in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa where he advised senior management teams on strategic, regulatory, financial and commercial issues. He has an MBA from the Collège des Ingénieurs (France), an MSc from the University of British Columbia (Canada), as well as an engineering degree from ParisTech (France). David was born in France and now lives in London.

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Driving Regional Energy Growth in Central Africa: African Energy Week in Cape Town Emphasizes Market-Driven Policies, Local Content Development, and an Enabling Environment
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
Leoncio Amada NZE, African Energy Chamber Executive President for the CEMAC region

Through a series of high-level meetings with industry leaders and international oil companies, Leoncio Amada NZE, African Energy Chamber Executive President for the CEMAC region, is driving a strong narrative on the role of regulation and an enabling environment in accelerating investment in Equatorial Guinea. 

By promoting African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 in Cape Town South Africa as the ideal platform whereby global and African stakeholders can network and collaborate, he is driving an Africa-focused narrative and pushing for a multi-stakeholder approach to attracting investment and establishing a competitive African market both Equatorial Guinea and the wider CEMAC region. 

The CEMAC region – which comprises Cameroon, Chad, the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo – is richly endowed with multiple natural resources, in which a recent oil and gas boom has the potential to accelerate economic growth and alleviate energy poverty throughout the region. Despite comprising one of the richest areas on the continent – with existing production levels at 700,000 barrels of oil per day and 5 million tons of LNG per annum ­– the CEMAC region also remains one of the most challenging business environments in Africa, with red tape and burdensome regulations creating significant barriers to entry. 

Gas from the YoYo/Yolanda field (which straddles the maritime border between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon, operated by Noble Energy on both sides) may also be eventually processed at Punta Europa. In mid-2017, Noble Energy signed an agreement with both governments to develop the fields jointly. Resources for YoYo are estimated at 47 Bcfg and 18 MMbc, whilst resources for Yolanda have been estimated at 27 Bcfg. The delays in approving these deals are not helpful to the citizens of both countries and we urge all players to fast track the process. Whilst the Etinde fields are just 35km away from Punta Europa, we are concerned about the delays in developing this project as well. We hope to see an FID soon and free from regional politics.

The region has been blessed by many companies that exploring for energy like Parenco, New Age, Bowleven, Exxon Mobil, lukoil ,Tower Resources, Chevron, Vaalco, Marathon, Atlas Petroleum, Glencore, Total Energies, BW Offshore, Assala Energy, Royal Gate Energy ENI, Kosmos Energy, Panoro Energy etc. They are creating so many beautiful jobs and must be encouraged. The issues of energy transition are real and we welcome an honest dialogue that starts with making energy poverty history. 

While the concerted effort amongst all of the world’s nations is fundamental to curb the effects of climate change, it is paramount to have a clear understanding of what efforts will be most decisive, and which regions of the world are in a better position and have the biggest responsibility to tackle these issues. Demonizing energy companies is not a constructive way forward, and ignoring the structural role that carbon-based fuels have in today’s society distorts the public debate. Bringing energy companies, governments and civil society groups together to find functional solutions will achieve much more. We in Africa must not be dragged into the western hatred of oil companies. You can’t love jobs and hate those who create jobs. We must support our energy companies to ensure jobs and development for our people. 

As Dr Martin Luther King Jr., stated in his letter from Birmingham Jail “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” We are tied together with these energy companies, and we must never apologize for supporting them and the so many African workers that work in the energy sectors. Africans are the biggest beneficiaries of their investment and their work.

One of the primary challenges hindering investment in the CEMAC region concerns excessive regulations such as the Bank of Central African States’ (BEAC) newly established foreign exchange (forex) policies. By increasing operational costs and reducing the ease of doing business across the region, such regulations reduce the appeal for foreign investors, rendering the region uncompetitive. With the focus on an effective COVID-19 recovery and accelerated energy sector growth requiring significant amounts of foreign capital, disrupting regulations such as the BEAC’s could significantly hamper any progress made by the region in recent years. 

“We at the AEC, continue to believe that the BEAC’s new forex regulations pose a significant threat to domestic economic growth, directly restricting local business participation and disrupting local content development. The work Mr Jude Kearney and Leoncio Amada Nze are doing leading our AEC taskforce is critical” Stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber

“Through adjusted foreign exchange rules, increased tax policies, and restricted capital flow, local businesses will be unable to compete or establish partnerships with international companies, resulting in job losses and associated energy poverty. If the idea of BEAC is to hurt investors, they are not only doing that, but they are also hurting the local companies as well and the bureaucrats of BEAC should not be picking winners and losers. This is against the pro-growth and market driven policies that will ensure economic growth than begging for foreign aid, and we will make it a topic at African Energy Week in Cape Town”. Concluded Ayuk

In response to these challenges, the AEC is focused on a multi-stakeholder approach in eliminating red tape, burdensome regulations, and barriers to investment across Africa. Through meetings with BEAC representatives, Leoncio Amada NZE is advocating for an enabling environment, market-driven policies, and increased local participation in the regions energy sector, promoting AEW 2021 in Cape Town as the best platform to drive this trend. By uniting global and African energy stakeholders and financiers in one comprehensive event program, AEW 2021 will be the best place to discuss how the CEMAC region can create a more inclusive energy sector, attract further investment, and facilitate critical intra-African trade. 

In driving this narrative, Leoncio Amada NZE has conducted productive meetings with industry leaders in Equatorial Guinea, initiating a valuable dialogue on the role of an enabling environment. Notably, meetings with H.E. Bindang Ndong Okiri, Secretary of State of Planning of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, emphasized how the adoption of fiscal policies that attract Foreign Direct Investment can create a competitive energy sector. Additionally, a meeting with representatives from Marathon Oil – an exploration and production company that has been at the core of Equatorial Guinea’s economic transformation – generated an insightful discussion on sustainable oil and gas operations. By emphasizing the need for regulatory reform, in which ease of doing business and investor-friendly policies are a focus, both Leoncio Amada NZE and the AEC are focused on driving investment in Africa. 

What’s more, in a bid to promote AEW 2021 and invite international participation at Africa’s premier energy event, Leoncio Amada NZE met with Jesus Alfonso Osa and representatives from ExxonMobil’s Malabo team to discuss how the oil and gas industry can drive an economic transformation in the CEMAC region. With a firm presence and active participation in Equatorial Guinea for almost three decades, ExxonMobil has been a major contributor to energy sector and GDP growth. In addition to expanding their own operations in the country, ExxonMobil, through the implementation of local content programs, has transformed the local business sector, driving job creation and economic growth. Through events such as AEW 2021 in Cape Town, ExxonMobil can enhance partnerships and promote growth across the CEMAC region.

Finally, Leoncio Amada NZE’s meeting with Mr. Juan Antonio Ndong Ondo, CEO of Sonagas GE – the national gas company of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea –, further advanced the discussion on the role of the local business sector and National Oil Companies (NOC) in driving energy sector growth and success. By focusing on regional expansion as well as the value of local content and business-friendly regulation, both Leoncio Amada NZE and Mr. Ndong Ondo emphasized investment and intra-African partnerships, both of which will be facilitated at AEW 2021 in Cape Town. 

Equatorial Guinea and the wider CEMAC region have significant potential, and AEW 2021 serves to enable the realization of economic growth, increased investment, and local business enhancement by emphasizing the risks pertaining to the BEAC forex regulations. Africa needs energy as well as productive partnerships to accelerate economic growth, all of which are driven by market-driven policies, productive regulation, and multi-stakeholder integration. AEW 2021 presents the most suitable platform to network with stakeholders, drive investment, and promote sector-advancing regulation. 

For more information about Africa’s premier energy event, visit www.aew2021.com or energychamber.org and/or email Amina Williams at amina.williams@energychamber.org  

For registration-related inquiries, please contact registration@aew2021.com     

For sales-related inquiries, please contact sales@aew2021.com   

For media-related inquiries, please contact media@aew2021.com   

For speaker-related inquiries, please contact speakers@aew2021.com

*Source African Energy Chamber

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Oil and Gas Discoveries and Activity in Southwest Africa Set to Open New Basins for Development and Trigger Big Investments in Namibia, Angola and South Africa.
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

By NJ Ayuk*

Last spring, the Maersk Voyager, an ultra-deepwater drillship under contract by French supermajor Total, drilled a wildcat well in the deepest water ever – 3,628 meters (11,903 feet) in Block 48, a massive area with potentially huge oil reserves in the Congo basin offshore Angola.  

The record-setting achievement wasn’t a success just for Maersk and Total. It also represented a victory for Angola and state oil company Sonangol in their search for new oil, part of a campaign to reverse a recent trend of production declines. The high-impact concept well was long anticipated, and it didn’t take long for other global players, including Qatar Petroleum (QP), to buy in. As part of its bid to expand its exploration portfolio, QP acquired a 30% stake in Block 48 in August, its first venture into Angola’s promising deepwater acreage.

If Angola were the only southwestern African nation making oil and gas news, that would still be a pretty good story. But the fact is, Africa’s southwestern coast is home to perhaps the most globally anticipated wildcats of 2020 and 2021 – exploration that continues despite the added challenges of COVID-19, which has constrained operating and capital budgets. As the African Energy Chamber noted in our 2021 outlook, if successful, prospects in Angola, Namibia, and South Africa, could “open new basins for development and trigger big investments towards the latter half of the 2020s.”

That’s headline-making, indeed.

Combined with Block 48, the Venus-1 prospect in Namibia, and South Africa’s Brulpadda and Luiperd, the region holds world-class resource potential. The key is translating that potential into real benefits for all Africans.

Production is Building Momentum in Angola
For nearly 70 years, oil has been a mainstay of the Angolan economy, contributing about 50% of the nation’s gross domestic product and around 89% of exports. The country holds the continent’s second-largest proven oil reserves and is behind only Nigeria in terms of production. (Angola also has Africa’s fourth-largest proven natural gas reserves, although historically it hasn’t produced much commercially.)

In recent years, though, the drop in oil prices scared off foreign investment, putting pressure on Angola’s well-established oil and gas industry as well as its oil-based economy. Despite its vast resources, not only was production on the downturn, there had not been a major new discovery since 2011. Without fresh finds, consultants Rystad Energy, S.A. said, volumes could drop below 1 million barrels per day by 2025, far below capacity and less than half the 2008’s daily output.

That forecast was more than enough to spur Angolan President João Lourenço into action.

Following his election in 2017, he promised Angola an “economic miracle” and immediately began incentivizing participation in the nation’s oil and gas industry as part of his turnaround plan.

Lourenço’s lures, including better contract terms that would make foreign investment more profitable, paid off. With reforms such as tax relief and a standalone oil industry regulator in place, Total – which has been operating in Angola for six decades – moved quickly in 2018 to take over Block 48 and was awarded Block 29 in the Namibe basin earlier this year; Italy’s Eni was awarded neighboring Block 28 about the same time. Angola also awarded several offshore blocks to Norway’s Equinor and BP. (There are approximately 50 blocks in the Namibe basin, but whether they will all be put into play remains to be seen.)  Eni and its partners also began production at Agogo-1, pumping a modest 10,000 barrels per day. While that may sound small, it contributes to a much larger sum: Taken together, Rystad said, production from new Angolan projects – that is, those begun just in the last five years – should yield 549,000 barrels per day by 2025.

Fiscal Regime Sets Stage for Success in Namibia
If early seismic data is to be believed, compared to Angola there is equal, if not even more, promise in new discoveries offshore Namibia. Altogether, more than 11 billion barrels in oil reserves have been found off the Namibian coast, and scientists compare Namibia’s geology favorably to the pre-salt fields offshore Brazil, which hold 16 billion barrels of crude reserves. Yet Namibia’s basins are considered underexplored, meaning there’s ample opportunity for foreign and domestic investment. The possibility of high-impact discoveries has attracted the likes of Total, ExxonMobil, QP, and Kosmos Energy, which has had significant wildcat success in Africa over the past dozen years.

Currently, all eyes are on Total’s possibly play-opening Venus 1- prospect, which may turn out to be the largest discovery in Africa in a decade. An ultra-deepwater well in the Orange Basin, which straddles the border with South Africa, Venus-1 is thought to have at least 2 billion barrels of oil in place. If Venus-1 is successful, it’s like to attract even more attention to the area. Fortunately, the Namibian government’s oil-friendly policies make it easy for foreign companies to do business there. The fiscal regime is positive, and the state-owned oil company, the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR), is a cooperative partner. It also helps that Namibia is politically stable and has some of the best-developed infrastructure on the continent, including a modern electricity distribution grid.

We’re Seeing Growing Excitement in South Africa
Like its neighbors to the west, South Africa has been the site of considerable excitement over frontier discoveries, including Total’s Brulpadda, which opened up the Outeniqua basin in 2019. Brulpadda is considered a world-class oil and gas play that holds as much as 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent of gas and condensate light oil.

Brulpadda is considered an antidote to the cascade of ailments South Africa – like many countries with petroleum resources – has experienced in recent years: a drop in oil and gas exploration following a decline in commodity prices. It is likely that PetroSA’s gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant will provide a ready domestic market for Brulpadda, as will the nearby petrochemical and industrial facilities. It is also possible the discovery will help South Africa accelerate the use of gas for electricity.

Total continues to explore other parts of the Outeniqua basin and just last month discovered gas condensate on the Luiperd prospect, where it is a joint venture partner with QP, CNR International, and an African consortium called Main Street. In an announcement, Total said that the Luiperd well was drilled to a total depth of about 3,400 meters and encountered 73 meters of net gas condensate pay, making it even larger than the main reservoir at Brulpadda. Total and its partners have decided to commercialize the Luiperd gas rather than drill another exploration well in the program.

Africans Must Realize the Benefits
There’s no question that these discoveries have made southwestern Africa an exploration hot spot.

Neither is there any doubt that the governments of Angola, Namibia, and South Africa have facilitated and even accelerated the discovery and development processes by making it easy to do business there. (In the case of South Africa, its fiscal terms for oil and gas companies are described as “very generous.”)

What remains uncertain is to what degree each country will continue working to ensure its natural resources, whether newfound or long-established, are used to lift people out of poverty. True, African involvement in joint ventures leads us to assume that the best interests of every citizen are being considered.

But this is a time for the oil and gas companies that are involved in these mega-opportunities to redouble their efforts to support local communities and people. These companies are our guests in Africa, but the price of a welcome to our resource riches can’t be merely contractual, a handshake between governments and businessmen. The more they profit, the more Africans should benefit.

This idea is at the heart of the concept of Shared Value, which has been defined as “a framework for creating economic value while simultaneously addressing societal needs and challenges,” and as the “practice of profit in a way that creates value for society.” Shared Value doesn’t suggest that businesses should act as philanthropies or charities, giving handouts to those who exhibit need. It goes beyond the idea of corporate social responsibility, which is often based on volunteerism and one-off donations. Perhaps most important, Shared Value recognizes that companies can only stay in business if they are making money. As consultants FSG described it, the value companies and the community are sharing is “worth,” that is, economic value on a financial sheet and societal value in the form of progress on social issues.

Shared Value recognizes that companies have a responsibility to take on social challenges through the business itself. It is in their economic interest to do this. In Africa, one way they can do that is by supporting capacity-building. As the Shared Value Initiative noted, despite the substantial economic output of the oil and gas industry, it has “not always translated into societal improvements in host countries and communities… companies are losing billions of dollars a year to community strife,” much of it due to underemployment.

As more companies are attracted to southwestern Africa and these exciting new developments, we can only hope that they will recognize that where opportunity exists for them it should exist for everyone. And they have the power to make it so. 

That would be really big news.

* NJ Ayuk is Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber

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Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity of Alberta, Canada, Hon. Dale Nally Confirms Participation at African Energy Week 2021.
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

A speaker commitment by Hon. Dale Nally will further African Energy Week’s agenda regarding the role of natural gas in the global energy transition. 

African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 is proud to host Hon. Dale Nally, Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity, Alberta, Canada, as a speaker at the four-day interactive conference and networking event on the 9th-12th of November 2021. Representing Canada at Africa’s premier energy event, Hon. Dale Nally will drive a discussion on natural gas and Africa’s energy transition and the value of gas-to-power solutions, emphasizing Africa-Canada relations and the role that Canadian service providers have to play in Africa. 

Having served as the Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity in Alberta since 2019, Hon. Nally has placed natural gas and associated gas-to-power solutions as top of the agenda in Canada’s energy development. Under his leadership, the government has established a more business friendly regulatory environment for natural gas companies in Alberta, fast tracking growth across the sector. Prioritizing the global climate agenda and the utilization of cleaner sources of fuel, Hon. Nally promotes natural gas as the ideal energy solution, not only for Canada, but for the global economy. Accordingly, Hon. Nally will bring a unique set of skills and decades of experience to AEW 2021 in Cape Town, promoting the role of natural gas in facilitating a transition to cleaner fuel sources, while emphasizing the role that energy plays in accelerating socio-economic growth. 

Meanwhile, Hon. Nally is a strong advocate for gas-to-power solutions, maintaining that natural gas offers the best environmental energy alternative compared to traditional coal-fired power plants. As many African countries turn to natural gas as a power generation solution – driven by the continent’s power challenges whereby 620 million lack access to electricity – Hon. Nally offers fundamental solutions and technological models for the transition from coal to natural gas, and will promote such at AEW 2021. Additionally, Hon. Nally will promote the utilization of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) as a cleaner source of fuel. By showcasing Canadian technology and its integration with LNG, Hon. Nally will introduce methods of making clean energy even cleaner, introducing valuable insights into the role of both small- and large-scale LNG in Africa. As Alberta begins to expand LNG development and utilization, Hon. Nally will share strategies for the adoption of LNG in Africa at AEW 2021, promoting development across the continent.   

“AEW 2021 is committed to making energy poverty history by 2030. We are honored to host Hon. Nally as a speaker and eager to hear his viewpoints on the role of natural gas and gas-to-power in accelerating electricity access and alleviating energy poverty. As Africa progresses into an energy transition, AEW 2021 aims to promote the role of natural gas in the transition and Hon. Nally’s participation will only further this agenda, as well as promote the role of Canadian service providers in African markets,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman, the AEC. 

“African states and the Oil and Gas industry can learn a lot from the Province of Alberta, Canada. Alberta, under Hon. Jason Kenney, Hon. Sonya Savage, and Hon. Nally has shown real courage in defending the role the oil and Natural gas industry plays in the economy of Alberta, Canada. They have promoted free market and pro-growth policies and Africans can learn a lot of from their bold policies for the Oil and Gas Industry. Hon Nally and his team have put in place policies that encouraged new drilling and provide relief to mature oil fields. It has improved investor confidence and created jobs for Albertans. Africans will embrace Alberta and its key institutions like the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology that has trained so many Africans working offshore and onshore. These relationships need to be strengthened and prepared for a strong Canada-Africa energy investment,” concluded Ayuk

Canada already has a foothold in Africa with companies such as Reconnaissance Energy Africa (Recon) working with both the Namibian and Botswana governments to drive exploration and production within the Kavango Basin. Recently, in a three-stage drilling campaign in Namibia, Recon has indicated the potential of billions of barrels of oil, further cementing Canada’s footprint in African markets. With the third stage about to be implemented, the world eagerly awaits the results.  Additionally, Canadian-based Africa Energy Corp., an oil and gas company with exploration assets offshore South Africa and Namibia, is actively exploring offshore prospects and advancing upstream activities in Southern Africa. With working interests in Block 2B and Blocks 11B/12B in South Africa, and PEL 37 in Namibia, Africa Energy Corp. is working with major oil companies Total Energies and Tullow to explore African oil and gas opportunities. By participating at AEW 2021, Hon. Nally will further promote the role that Canadian service providers such as Recon and Africa Energy Corp. have to play in emerging African markets. Canada is set to be a key driver of African upstream growth, with Hon. Nally’s participation only enhances this trend. 

Hon. Nally brings with him decades of private sector experience and will, therefore, promote the increased penetration of Canadian service providers and the private sector in African markets, initiating sectoral and economic growth continent wide. By emphasizing the role that companies such as Recon and Africa Energy Corp. play in Africa, as well as the opportunities available for such companies, Hon. Nally is focused on expanding Africa-Canada relations in a bid to reaffirm partnerships, introduce Canadian companies to African opportunities, and drive energy sector development in both Alberta and Africa as a whole. 

Both Hon. Nally and the African Energy Chamber believe in the advantages of natural gas in spurring electricity access, industrialization, and economic growth. Hon. Nally’s position on natural gas is clear: that it is the best resource to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and end energy poverty. By promoting this message at AEW 2021 in Cape Town, Hon. Nally aligns with the African Energy Chamber’s agenda to make energy poverty history by 2030. 

For more information about Africa’s premier energy event, visit www.aew2021.com or energychamber.org and/or email Amina Williams at amina.williams@energychamber.org  

For registration-related inquiries, please contact registration@aew2021.com    

For sales-related inquiries, please contact sales@aew2021.com   

For media-related inquiries, please contact media@aew2021.com   

For speaker-related inquiries, please contact speakers@aew2021.com

*African Energy Chamber

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Zimbabwe:Chirundu border post fuel transit scam busted .
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) officials have reported here that they have  intercepted three transit fuel trucks at Chirundu border post  that are accused of smuggling fuel into Zimbabwe which was meant to be transported to Zambia potentially prejudicing the country of potential revenues through organized crime.

 It is reported that during the period from 17 July 2021 to 23 July 2021, three tankers that had declared fuel at Forbes Border Post en route to Zambia were intercepted at Chirundu One Stop Border Post all loaded with water instead of fuel as per the declarations made at Forbes Border Post. The tankers had respectively declared 44 924 litres of diesel, 39 932 litres of diesel and 45 800 litres of petrol destined for Zambia, however the three tankers after physical inspections turned out to be carrying water.

“The three fuel tankers were flagged for physical inspection and with the assistance of police, two drivers were arrested and have already appeared in court. The driver of the third tanker is still at large as he disappeared during the physical inspection of the vehicle. The Authority is currently capacitating the intelligence management unit and will continue leveraging on technology and data matching to fish out fuel smugglers”, explained ZIMRA’s Head Corporate Communications, Francis Chimanda.

The arrested drivers for the two fuel tankers, Godfrey Nyamukondiwa and Joseph Guveya, who appeared in court on Monday the 26th of July were granted bail worth $30,000 each and are set to reappear in court on the 24th of August 2021. The bond for the Clearing Agent involved has been recommended for suspension until the duty due for the fuel has been secured.

“Intelligence at hand points to possible connivance between transporters and their drivers as well as some unscrupulous agents. The transit fuel does not exit Zimbabwe and is consumed locally against customs regulations. The smugglers off-load and sell the fuel in Zimbabwe. Thereafter they load the trucks with water and proceed to Chirundu for the acquittal process. Once acquitted, they enter Zambia where they drain the water and buy cheaper fuel for delivery to their customers. This ensures that they make a hefty profit in Zimbabwe since they would have brought the fuel into Zimbabwe duty-free,” said Mr. Chimanda.

Transit shipment of fuel occurs when transporters ship fuel from outside Zimbabwe, which passes through the country destined for another country. Since this fuel is not for local consumption, no duty is paid on importation. The fuel trucks are sealed at the port of entry and the seals are removed at the exit point after the acquittal process.

Sealed fuel trucks that transit through Zimbabwe, are monitored by an Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) operated by ZIMRA’s Customs and Excise Division. The trucks use dedicated routes and any departure from these routes attracts a fine of US$2 000.00. Removal of seals is a serious offence, which also attracts a hefty fine.

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Court awards $30000 to Kenyan employee whipped in a Chinese restaurant.
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Chez Wou Restaurant was on the spot last year after a Chinese national, Deng Hailan, was caught on camera whipping a Kenyan employee

A Kenyan court has directed a Chinese restaurant based in Nairobi to compensate its former employee $30000 for violating his rights.

Chez Wou Restaurant was on the spot last year after a Chinese national, Deng Hailan, was caught on camera whipping a Kenyan employee identified as Simon Oseko and later dismissed him without proper explanation or explanation.

Following his dismissal, the complainant went to court seeking damages of $50000 from the management of the Chinese restaurant and Hailan for assault and unfair dismissal.

In a judgement delivered on Thursday by the Employment and labour relations court, Justice Mathews Nderi found the restaurant lost his employment prospects and lost his source of income as a result of indignity meted on him by the restaurant.

Justice Nderi also awarded Oseko $720 as compensation for illegal dismissal.

“It is the court finding that the Chinese restaurant used unlawful and unconstitutional methods to punish staff including the petitioner. The court awards the claimant general damages to a sum of $30000 for the human rights and fundamental freedom violations,” ruled the judge.

The complainant told the court that Hailan physically assaulted him after he refused his sexual advances. He noted that he worked for his ex-employer for three months, and within that period, he faced sexual, verbal and physical abuse.

‘The victim suffered extreme cruelty, humiliations, psychological, trauma; pain and suffering loss of self-esteem due to the continuous sexual harassment, corporal punishment, verbal abuse and confinement whilst being humiliated in front of co-workers. The petitioner has hallucinations and nightmares as a result thereof,” Justice Nderi added.

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Cameroon: Witness testimony and satellite images reveal the scale of devastation in Anglophone regions.
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

New research by Amnesty International has revealed the devastating scale of destruction caused by the ongoing conflict in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions.

Fighting between various armed groups and the Cameroonian armed forces has continued unabated for the past three years, with civilians bearing the brunt of unlawful killings, kidnappings, and widespread destruction of houses and villages. Government intervention has been limited, and there has been near-complete silence from the international community.

Violence between government forces and the Anglophone armed separatist groups-who are themselves divided-erupted in 2017, when protests against discrimination and marginalization were repressed by the authorities.

Based on eyewitness testimonies and analysis of satellite images, Amnesty International documented how dozens of civilians have been killed and multiple villages destroyed since 2019.

All parties to the conflict in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions have committed human rights violations and abuses, and civilians are caught in the middle. In one particularly appalling case, armed separatists shot dead two elderly women with barrage rifles; in another, Fulani vigilantes burned hundreds of houses and killed four people in a terrifying attack. Fabien Offner, Amnesty International’s Central Africa Researcher.

“All parties to the conflict in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions have committed human rights violations and abuses, and civilians are caught in the middle. In one particularly appalling case, armed separatists shot dead two elderly women with barrage rifles; in another, Fulani vigilantes burned hundreds of houses and killed four people in a terrifying attack,” said Fabien Offner, Amnesty International’s Central Africa Researcher.

“It is difficult to obtain accurate information about the human rights crisis unfolding in these regions, which are hard to reach by road and have poor telecommunications networks. But this is no excuse to look away – without strong action by the authorities and the international community, civilians will continue to bear the brunt of the crisis.” 

The Anglophone regions of Cameroon – the South-West and North-West – make up approximately 20% of the country’s population. Violence has recently intensified in parts of the North-West.

According to the UN, at least 22 civilians were killed in Ngarbuh in the night of 13 to 14 February 2020, including 15 children and two pregnant women, following a military operation. A government inquiry found that during the same incident, “the detachment commander decided to enlist 17 members of a local vigilante committee”. Several sources also reported that members of that “local vigilante committee” were Fulani armed groups.

The situation has heightened tensions with armed separatists who have long accused the Fulanis of cooperating with the authorities. 

Between June and July 2021, at least four policemen were killed in an ambush near the town of Bali Nyonga in the North-West region. Two gendarmes were beheaded in the town of Babadjou in the West region, bordering the North-West in an attack attributed to armed separatists by officials. Other examples include the killing by the army in Bamenda 3 subdivision of civilian man driving a car, and the kidnapping of six local officials in the town of Ekondo Titi in the South-West region.

Nwa subdivision particularly hard hit by violence

Nwa subdivision, located along Cameroon’s border with Nigeria, has been particularly hard hit by the recent violence. Between 22 and 26 February 2021, at least 4,200 people were displaced from seven villages in Nwa, following attacks by Fulani vigilante groups in which at least eight people were killed.   According to the Centre for human rights and democracy in Africa (CHRDA), the Fulani herders “have carried out over a dozen raids against the natives in the villages of Nwa in less than a month”.

Satellite images analysed by Amnesty International show some villages that have been destroyed or burned down in Nwa in February 2021. It is unclear whether Fulani vigilante groups attacked the villages or whether the destruction took place during clashes with armed separatist groups, but the images suggest that the destruction was fairly recent.

For example, imagery taken from the village of Sih on 5 March 2021 shows large areas of blackened vegetation, indicating it was recently burned.  

Like many areas in the North-West region, villages in Nwa subdivision are poorly mapped, meaning not all locations could be verified. 

In the village of Sih, three metre resolution imagery from 11 February and 5 March 2021, shows an overview of the area using the near infrared band which highlights healthy vegetation in red tones and recently burned areas in brown, black tones. Much of the vegetation in the village appears black as of 5 March 2021, indicating it was recently burned. @2021Planet Lab Inc

The village of Ntong was also heavily impacted as shown by imagery from 11 February and 5 March 2021.

  

High resolution satellite imagery from Ntong shows in detail part of the village that was heavily impacted. Three metre resolution imagery from 11 February and 5 March 2021, shows an overview of the area using the near infrared band which highlights healthy vegetation in red tones and recently burned areas in brown, black tones. Small areas within the village appear darker coloured on 5 March 2021, indicating it was recently burned. A 1.5 metre imagery from 3 April 2021, shows many damaged or missing structures. The changes in structures in Ntong appear more isolated, suggesting they were specifically targeted. @2021Planet Lab Inc

Imagery from 3 April 2021 shows multiple areas where structures in the village of Ntim appear damaged or no longer existing. 

High resolution satellite imagery from 2019 shows the village of Ntim in detail. Three metre resolution imagery from 11 February and 5 March 2021, shows an overview of the area using the near infrared band which highlights healthy vegetation in red tones and recently burned areas in brown, black tones. Much of the vegetation in the village appears black, on 5 March 2021, indicating it was recently burned. A closer look, with 1.5 metre resolution imagery from 3 April 2021, shows multiple areas where structures appear damaged or are no longer present – highlighted with yellow squares. @2021Planet Lab Inc

Mbororo communities paying a heavy price

Attacks by armed separatist groups have particularly targeted Mbororo communities-a subgroup of the Fulanis- 

According to unofficial figures Amnesty International received from Mbororo groups, in the absence of official data from the authorities, since 2017, in the seven divisions of the North-West region:

  • 162 Mbororo have been killed
  • Approximately 300 homes have been burned
  • 2,500 cattle have been killed or seized
  • 102 people have been kidnapped, resulting in the payment of almost 270,000 euros in ransom.

One Mbororo traditional leader in Nwa subdivision told Amnesty International:

“Armed separatists came to attack me six times. They destroyed my compound, burned down my brother’s houses. Seven people were killed in my compound. They gathered them in a house, locked the house and burned it. “

Testimonies, documents and satellite imagery reviewed by Amnesty International showed that armed separatists attacked a Mbororo community in the town of Mbem on 16 February 2020.
Four members of one family, aged between 15 and 80, were killed, and three others were injured, including two elderly women who were shot in the forehead, legs and thighs with barrage rifles. The attackers also set fire to 30 homes, the mosque, and looted property, including motorcycles.

A victim and eyewitness whose identity has been verified by Amnesty International said:

“We were coming out of the mosque after prayer, when armed separatists came on three motorcycles and attacked us. They burned all our houses. Two hundred people could not sleep because their homes were razed.”

A photo of the damage in Mbui in Mbem town, Nwa subdivision was geolocated using high resolution satellite imagery from 2019. Satellite imagery from 17 February 2020 shows changes in the structures at the same location. @2021 Planet Lab Inc

During the night of 30 to 31 May 2019, around a hundred armed separatist groups carrying guns and knives attacked Upkwa resettlement camp near Lake Nyos, burning down dozens of Mbororos’ homes and killing cattle.

In October 2019, Amnesty International researchers met two people, one of them who used to work as a motorbike taxi driver, said:

“The armed groups were looking for me because I was a motorcycle driver, and they think the motorcycle drivers are informants for the military. They told us to go back to where we came from.”

Leaders of separatist groups, and participants of the media networks they manage, have also targeted Mbororo communities in aggressive speeches broadcast online.

Some of these speeches could constitute incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence, according to Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Advocacy of hatred escalated after the Ngarbuh massacre in February 2020. On 19 February 2020, an online TV channel belonging to an Anglophone separatist group broadcast a call from a speaker who said:

“These people [Mbororos] are immigrants and it seems their time is over (…) The earlier they will leave, the better…or they will pay the price like any other ‘La République’ citizen that is in the Southern Cameroon (…) All of them if they don’t want to leave, they will die.”
“Hundreds of houses were burnt”

Fulani armed groups have also committed multiple serious human rights abuses.

Between 30 January and 7 July 2020, five people were killed, 600 houses were burned down, and at least 4,500 people were displaced from Koshin, Fangs and Bu-u villages (North-West). These violations took place during attacks perpetrated by about 200 members of Fulani vigilante groups, according to reports by OCHA.

Imagery from February 2020 shows an overview of Koshin village using the near infrared band which highlights healthy vegetation in red tones and recently burned areas in brown, black tones. Areas in the centre of the village appear darker on 17 February, suggesting the structures were damaged or destroyed by fire. @2021 Planet Lab Inc

A resident of Koshin who is now displaced told Amnesty International that the village was attacked on three occasions in February 2019, February 2020 and June 2020.

“The Fulanis came twice. In February 2019 they killed four people and in February 2020 they killed two people and burnt many houses.  Then in June 2020, the state security forces also came in search of non-state armed groups and destroyed the village. They killed one civilian. Hundreds of houses were burnt. There are about 3,000 people [displaced] in the bushes now. They need food, shelter, health services, education, water,” he said.

“Bodies spreading all over… “

According to a report by OCHA, an estimated 350 people fled the village of Kimbi (Boyo Division), following clashes between armed separatist groups and Fulani vigilante groups on 25 and 28 January 2020.

Imagery from January 2020 shows a village in the Kimbi area using the near infrared band which highlights healthy vegetation in red tones and recently burned areas in brown, black tones. Between 12 and 14 January 2020, a large amount of vegetation has been burned in the village and one metal roof structure appears destroyed.

Kimbi was also attacked on 12 December 2019 by Fulani vigilante groups, some of whom were wearing army uniforms and armed with guns, who burned houses and killed people, according to eyewitnesses.

One witness told Amnesty International:

“They went ahead burning palm plantations all over Kimbi, harassing the population, looting people’s clothes, collecting money from people…On 16 December some armed separatists came, and clashes started with Fulanis. There were bodies spreading all over here in Kimbi.”

“The Cameroonian authorities must deliver on their responsibility to protect the entire population indiscriminately, and they should accept the fact-finding mission the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has been calling since almost three years, “said Fabien Offner. The international community must ensure that the humanitarian response aimed at addressing the needs of those affected by the violence, including refugees and internally displaced, is adequately funded. Fabien Offner

“The international community must publicly call on the Cameroonian authorities to urgently initiate thorough, independent, impartial investigations into allegations of human rights violations and, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, prosecute those suspected of criminal responsibility in fair trials before ordinary civilian courts without recourse to the death penalty. In addition, the international community must ensure that the humanitarian response aimed at addressing the needs of those affected by the violence, including refugees and internally displaced, is adequately funded.”

*Amnesty International

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ABA honors Nigerian lawyer with international human rights award.
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

Adeola Austin Oyinlade

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2021 — Adeola Austin Oyinlade, a Nigerian lawyer, human rights advocate and international law expert also known for providing pro bono legal services to those in need in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa, has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 ABA International Human Rights Award.

The award was established to honor an individual or organization that has made an exceptional contribution to the advancement of human rights outside of the United States. One of the association’s top human rights honors, the award is given on behalf of five ABA entities — the Center for Human Rights, the International Law Section, the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, the Litigation Section and the Rule of Law Initiative.

Oyinlade has “advanced solutions to human rights issues across Africa, including the South Sudan political crisis, the Central African Republic crisis, the Congo Democratic Republic armed conflict and the Libyan peace talks,” ABA President Patricia Lee Refo said. She also praised his contribution to the African Union on the implementation of the African Youth Charter.

In 2008, Oyinlade began hosting a human rights empowerment radio program that educates Nigerians on the scope of their constitutional rights. The radio program simplifies listeners’ understanding of the law and assists to seek justice for human rights abuses. He also is a founder of Constitutional Rights Awareness and Liberty Initiative, an organization that works toward expanding the frontiers of human rights and democracy in Nigeria by educating people about their rights and responsibilities and by providing legal assistance.

In 2016, Oyinlade unveiled “Know Your Rights Nigeria,” the first-ever human rights empowerment app, which simplifies human rights and constitutional safeguards in several languages, including English, Pidgin and other major regional languages. Users have the option to chat with Oyinlade and a team of 50 lawyers for free legal support on human rights issues and to report human rights abuses.

The virtual award presentation will take place during the ABA Hybrid Annual Meeting on Thursday, August 5 at 11:30 a.m. CDT.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law

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President Biden nominates Peter Hendrick for Ambassador in Mozambique.
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday his intent to nominate Peter Hendrick for Ambassador in Mozambique in replacement of Dennis W. Hearne,in Mozambique since December 2018.

Peter Hendrick Vrooman, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, is the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Rwanda. 

Vrooman recently served as the Chargé d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Prior to that he served as the spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi; Director for Iraq on the staff of the National Security Council in Washington, D.C.; and Deputy Political Counselor in Tel Aviv and at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. 

He also worked at the U.S. embassies in Baghdad, Beirut, and Djibouti, as well as the U.S. Liaison Office in Mogadishu, Somalia.  In Washington, he was a Watch Officer in the Department of State’s Operations Center and the Desk Officer for Algeria in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. 

A native of New York, Ambassador Vrooman graduated from Harvard College with a B.A. in Social Studies and earned an M.S. in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces, now known as the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy.  Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he worked as the special assistant to the President of the American University in Cairo.

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Children Are Targeted in Anglophone Cameroon Violence.
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Rebecca Tinsley*

Dormitories of PSS Mankon in the North West Region went up in flames last January.Photo courtesy

A new report describes how schools are being targeted in arson attacks across Cameroon’s English-speaking regions in the country’s increasingly violent Anglophone Crisis. Children are deliberately mutilated, abducted and killed as armed separatist groups and government soldiers terrorise civilians.

The independent investigation by Bellingcat verified 13 recent attacks using satellite images. It is thought that two hundred schools have been attacked or set on fire since 2018. Armed separatist groups use violence to enforce a ‘school boycott,’ while government security forces punish those keeping children from school, trying to convince the international community that normalcy has returned.

The investigation draws on initial research by the Cameroon Anglophone Crisis Database of Atrocities, working with the Berkeley Human Rights Center in one case. Bellingcat is an independent international collective of researchers, investigators and citizen journalists. Its report, “How Schoolchildren Became Pawns in Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis,” is based on videos posted on social media by civilians, soldiers and armed groups, and open-source material and satellite imagery.

Among the incidents catalogued in the report are two attacks in 2018 on a Presbyterian school near Bamenda during which almost 100 teachers and children were abducted, interrogated and held for ransom. They were eventually released unharmed.  

In October 2020, men on motorcycles armed with machetes and guns killed seven children and wounded a dozen at Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy in Kumba. In November 2020, students and teachers at Kulu Memorial College in Limbe were forced to strip and then run away before the building was burned. More recently, in February 2021, the wing of a Catholic school in Nkambe was burned.

The school boycott originated as a temporary protest measure. In 2016, lawyers and then teachers peacefully protested against the Francophone-dominated central government’s placement of French-speaking judges and teachers in English-speaking courts and schools, including a systematic erosion of Anglophone Common Law procedures. “This…prompted the shutting down of almost all schools across the region in order to raise awareness of the damage such a move would bring to our education system” .

The Biya government responded to the 2016 protests with what human rights groups described as disproportionate force, arresting peaceful protest leaders and shutting down the internet for three months. In October 2017, some Anglophones unilaterally declared the regions to be an independent country called ‘Ambazonia,’ prompting more crackdowns. As the violence intensified, armed pro-Ambazonia groups emerged, enforcing “ghost towns” that shuttered the economy, and maintaining the school boycott.

Four years later, most schools have not reopened. A warning from the “Ambazonia Defence Forces” appeared on Facebook in August 2019, telling parents to continue the boycott and not send their children to school, saying, “You will have only yourselves to blame.” Although the Biya government has signed the Safe Schools Declaration, it has not kept schools safe. Government officials have urged a return to school, but parents lack confidence because there are insufficient security measures.

UNICEF estimates that more than one million youngsters (out of a total Anglophone population of six million adults and children) have been out of school for almost four years. The Cameroon Ministries of Basic and Secondary Education recently announced that 70,000 children have now returned and 400 schools have reopened. However, it is understood that those schools are in towns and cities, whereas institutions in more remote areas are reluctant to reopen for fear of attack. Cho Ayaba of the “Ambazonia Governing Council” claims that children could attend school, but only in areas controlled by his armed group, and only learning from an Ambazonian curriculum.

The Bellingcat report quotes teachers who “walk a thin line” between the armed separatists enforcing the boycott and the government security services trying to end the ban. In addition, teachers say they are harassed by not only the warring parties but also by criminal gangs extorting money. Voices in civil society express concern that the school boycott is self-defeating, producing a generation of illiterate youth and deterring any international allies from supporting legitimate Anglophone grievances.

Before he died earlier this year, Cardinal Christian Tumi warned that violently enforcing the school boycott was turning the Anglophone population against the separatists. He mentioned a girl whose hand was amputated by separatists as she went to sit her exams. Cardinal Tumi was kidnapped and interrogated by an armed Anglophone group in November 2020. He was later released unharmed but died in April 2021, age 90.

Ambazonian leaders believe the boycott demonstrates their control over the Anglophone population and their leverage over the Biya regime, although only Anglophone children and their communities are suffering. Many parents keep children home while those who are wealthy enough send them to schools in the Francophone regions (where, paradoxically, they learn in French), forcing education in the Anglophone regions to largely cease. Before the conflict began, Anglophone schools had a reputation for such high standards that Francophones would send their children to school there.

Most separatist leaders live overseas, where their children are not missing school. They refuse to back down unless they are seen to win concessions from the government. In a Newsy video accompanying the Bellingcat report, Ebenezer Akwanga, leader of the Southern Cameroons Defence Forces (SOCADEF) separatist group, says that the boycott could compel the government to come to the table, although there is no evidence this tactic is working.

The prominent barrister Felix Agbor Nkongho of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (CHRDA), co-led the first peaceful protests in 2016 that started the Anglophone Crisis. He was imprisoned for eight months by the Cameroonian government. He says, “Perhaps at a time the school boycott was good, but a school boycott cannot run for long. And you cannot sacrifice the well-being of kids for political reasons.”

Meanwhile the Swiss Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue continues to offer to host inclusive peace talks. Both the government and some armed separatist groups have declined to participate. Meanwhile, a million Anglophone children live in fear of violence today and unemployment in the future.

*Rebecca Tinsley is a human rights activist and journalist. She is the founder of Network for Africa, and her most recent novel, When the Stars Fall to Earth, is set in Darfur. Stars Fall to Earth, is about Darfur and is available in English and Arabic

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Former U.S President Barrack Obama joins NBA Africa as a strategic partner.
July 28, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Former US President Barrack Obama has joined the National Basketball Association (NBA) Africa as a strategic partner to help advance social responsibility efforts across the continent, announced the association on Tuesday.

He will be the minority stakeholder in the organization, a position he intends to use in the future to fund Obama Foundation youth and leadership programs across Africa.

“By investing in communities, promoting gender equality, and cultivating the love of the game of basketball, I believe that NBA Africa can make a difference for so many of Africa’s young people,” said Obama.

In the release, the ex-POTUS highlighted his love for the sport during his tenure. He noted that his father, a Kenyan, made him love the game when he gave him his first basketball at age 10.

“The NBA has always been a great ambassador for the United States—using the game to create deeper connections around the world, and in Africa, basketball has the power to promote opportunity, wellness, equality, and empowerment across the continent,” he stated.

NBA Africa is making tremendous progress in Africa, including running Basket Africa League, inaugurated in May 2021 featuring 12 teams. It also expands the NBA’s presence in priority African markets, deepening the league’s engagement with players and fans across the continent and growing Africa’s basketball ecosystem through programs like the Jr. NBA, Basketball Without Borders (BWB) and NBA Academy Africa.

“I’ve been impressed by the league’s commitment to Africa, including the leadership shown by so many African players who want to give back to their own countries and communities.  That’s why I’m proud to join the team at NBA Africa and look forward to a partnership that benefits the youth of so many countries.”

“The NBA has always been a great ambassador for the United States—using the game to create deeper connections around the world, and in Africa,” he added.

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THIS EGYPTIAN SENATOR, AFRICAN WOMAN CEO, FASHION ICON, EMPOWERS FASHION WITH PURPOSE IN AFRICA.
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

By BrandVoice Partner*

Senator Rasha Kelej is the first African woman to be Merck Foundation CEO, one of the world’s most important foundations, who has kept her efforts going for the last ten years.

Rasha Kelej is the brain behind the inspiring ‘More Than A Mother’ campaign – a rallying call against female infertility stigma – for which she was recognized as one of the Most Influential Africans of 2019 & 2020. The campaign, one of the most successful causes that have been taken forward by Merck Foundation, empowers childless and infertile women through access to information, health, change of mindset, and economic empowerment. More than 20 First Ladies rallied behind the campaign as Ambassadors of “Merck Foundation More than a Mother” campaign, which is very impressive.

Hailed from Egypt and based in Dubai, this versatile lady and a style icon is a trailblazer and is influential in changing the perception of how fashion, film, music, and media can be utilized to address sensitive social and health issues such as breaking infertility stigma in Africa. This has been exemplified with the launch of “More Than A Mother’ Fashion, Films, Songs & Media Awards as she strongly believes in the critical role art, media, and fashion play in creating a culture shift, addressing sensitive issues and health matters in our communities.

ENATOR DR. RASHA KELEJ IS A PROLIFIC WOMAN AND HEALTH RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER:

Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej has been appointed by The President of The Arab Republic of Egypt as a member of the Egyptian Senate in 2020.

Called ‘Mama Africa’, Senator Kelej is an inspirational pioneer in the transformation of Patient care in Africa. More than 1000 doctors from 42 countries have benefited from Merck Foundation scholarships of specialties training in critical fields.

She emphasized, “During Coronavirus pandemic, it has been more important than ever to build capacity and training of specialized doctors. In some of these countries, they have never had even one oncologist, for example. They may have a general practitioner, but they did not have specialized doctors. We simply made history in these countries such as The Gambia, Burundi, Guinea & Liberia.”

“Our strategy and our program have been crystal clear – to invest in professional healthcare capacity building, and by helping train skilled doctors in the midst of this pandemic, has made a big difference,” she adds.

She is truly a force of nature and one of Africa’s unsung ‘sheroes’ of women empowerment and health advocates.

A Style icon and a champion to empower Fashion with Purpose in Africa

It is worth noting that Senator Rasha Kelej pays great attention to her looks and has a special and unique style that mixes international and African fashion. She never abandons the look of the outgoing, creative businesswoman who keeps pace with all international fashion trends, but rather mixes them with elegant touches of the African looks, which highlights the talent and creativity of many African fashion designers. Dr. Rasha Kelej is a truly African fashion icon and a champion of empowering fashion with purpose in Africa through supporting and mentoring potential new African fashion designers. She launches an annual competition through the Merck Foundation for the best design that carries messages that address sensitive social and health issues. She explained to us “My vision is to develop a community of young African fashion designers in order to catalyze a movement whose reach extends far beyond just fashion. But to create a culture shift and be the voice of the voiceless in their communities.“

“Fashion industry has already got enough flakes for being superficial. Let’s change this perception and create a meaningful fashion trend aiming to educate our communities. I love fashion and I strongly believe that designs can make Men and Women proud to wear to show their contribution toward their communities, villages, cities, across Africa ”

She added, “I will pay more attention to helping and supporting new fashion designers and talents in Africa to start their lines and professional journey in their countries, at the same time I am committing to raising awareness to correct misconceptions and wrong habits through their work and designs. I will also start two very important projects, I am planning for production of a TV program directed to African countries to unleash these talents, and also the start my own fashion line targeting Africa, through which I will cooperate with new talented designers from time to time to spread community awareness in rural African communities. It is not only my hobby, but it is also part of my personal contribution towards my beloved Africa.”

We can see what is unique about Senator Rasha… it is her appreciation for art, fashion, and media as critical partners in Merck Foundation’s journey of transforming patient care, sensitizing our communities, and addressing sensitive issues such as breaking infertility stigma, supporting girl education and stopping GBV. She is also cementing her position in African pop culture, capitalizing on her experience in TV production via releasing 20 songs with popular African musicians. She has developed concepts, produced, and sometimes directs their video clips herself. She also produced and directed an inspiring pan- African song called ‘My White Army’ as her personal contribution to thank the doctors and nurses fighting on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle. The song, featuring singers from 11 African countries in three languages Arabic, English, and French, has received high acclaim from the continent.

She is the first and perhaps the only one to utilize fashion and art to break infertility stigma in Africa.

“I’d like to invite all fashion designers, singers, filmmakers, media representatives, and young talents to apply for these important awards and become health and social champions to become the voice of the voiceless in their communities. Kindly share in entries through an email at Submit@merck foundation.com”, she added.

To know more about Rasha Kelej’ s journey in creating a culture shift and leading Merck Foundation efforts in transforming patient care in Africa, please visit www.merck-foundation.com

*Courtesy of Forbes Africa

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Kenyan Chief Justice Martha Koome to hold discussion with judges from India, UK, and South Africa.
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Kenya’s Chief Justice Martha Koome

Kenya’s Chief Justice Martha Koome will on Wednesday hold a roundtable meeting with both former and sitting Supreme Court judges from India, UK, and South Africa to discuss the independence and integrity of the Judiciary.

Justice Sujata Manohar has convened the virtual meeting, a former Supreme Court of India Judge, hosted by the Justice K. T. Desai Memorial Committee with the Bombay Bar Association.

Justice Koome will be joined by Kenya’s Supreme Court Judge Isaac Lenaola and Lady Justice Mary Arden of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

Justice B.N. Srikrishna, a former Judge of the Supreme Court of India, and Justice Albie Sachs, a former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, will also be in attendance.

Others are Sharad Rao, Chairman of the Judges and Magistrate Vetting Board in Kenya; Jan van Zyl Smit, from the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law in London and Arvind Datar, senior advocate in India. 

The meeting comes in the backdrop of the frosty relationship between the Judiciary, the executive and the legislature.

On July 7. Justice Koome wrote to Speakers Justin Muturi (National Assembly) and Kenneth Lusaka (Senate) protesting against “frequent, multiple, overlapping and duplicating” summonses from Parliament’s committees.

She claimed the summons threaten the functions of the Judiciary and Judicial Service Commission (JSC)-Judges and Magistrates employer.

She incited summons, including the one on May 10, 2021, by the Senate standing committee on Justice, Legal Affairs, and Human Rights. The committee had summoned the Chief Registrar Anne Amadi to discuss the state of the Judiciary and Administration of Justice annual reports for the financial year 2018/2019 and 2019/2020.

She reminded the two Houses that the JSC is independent and not subject to direction or control by any person or authority.

Koome noted that the oversight role of the National Assembly has bounds.

“I am keen to explore constructive engagement with both Houses of Parliament, particularly on the accountability of the Judiciary, all within the permissible bounds of our respective constitutional mandates,” read part of the letter.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was also in the limelight in the past few weeks for failing to appoint six out forty judges recommended by the JSC.

The executive is also facing allegations of disobeying court orders.

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President Mnangagwa Scored only 2% out of a full package of 2018 fully-fledged pledges .
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa speaks at the 2019 Global Business Forum in Dubai on 19 November 2019, /Photo courtesy: Emmerson Mnangagwa – Twitter

Zimbabweans expectations  bare-faces a silhouette of a dark shadow . This comes after it has been learnt  and revealed by SIVIO Public Policy Institute .The civil society report reveals the leader of the country President Emmerson Mnangagwa dismally failed to fulfil a plethora of promises signed in 2018 . This was  some months after he took Presidential office post from embattled  coup sized and  deceased  Robert Mugabe .

The Institute pilot survey , qualitative and sieved quantitative data “reveals Mnangagwa dismally failing to reach height of his acme plans “. In total  there were 237 promises which culminated into  expected pledges in various sectors of governance. From the total , only 5 ( five) promises hit the ground running .

His success and victorious promises in sundry package of sincerity surrounds bit and pieces on economic issues , governance , politics and civil rights . One of his pledges was to enhance foreign currency retention thresholds for exporting firms , prompt an export oriented strategy and ensure the country‘’s infrastructural development related to roads in rural and urban areas get fully rehabilitated , double macadamized main highways from city to city .

SIVIO Institute report says ,

“Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on January 2021 reversed a decision to force exporters including mining companies to sell their large proportion of  their US$ dollar earnings if they were not used  after 60 days.

“Zimbabwe’ balance of payment position continues to strengthen after surging 4,25% in 2020 compared to same period last year on account of strong growth in exports” , reads the report .

President Mnangagwa boasts he has come up with 20 Bills into law . Out of 44 drafted constitutional changes , 27 are in parliament .

President Mnangagwa has said several times ” The new dispensation respects the rule of law , respect of human rights and ready to work with investors “.

“We are open for business , with action , not words , we  build this country”. We will work hard to build up on infrastructure , economic reforms and attract investors “

President Mnangagwa has talked of elimination of corruption . He has tried to bring to book some ZANU PF corrupt people of high figure . Some are said to have returned back wealth that they accumulated during Mugabe reign. His concern centred on accountability , transparency in the government and both in the private sector .

President Mnangagwa after taking office in November 2017 he took a different direction to look opposite the direction of ZANU PF and  bury the bad practices which Robert Mugabe took as norm in his 37  years of dictatorial and tyrant rule . Of all elections done in Zimbabwe , the 2018 elections were directly peaceful with order without political violence . It was only revealed by independent media through information of the European Union observer mission that there was latent , hid and indirectly perpetrated violence in rural and farming communities where people were coerced to vote for ZANU PF during night meetings. The most tragical incident of all was the killing of six ( 6 ) protesting supporters among them innocent people who died in Harare on 1 July . Thus where Mnangagwa lost the confidence in terms of human rights observance.

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Mozaambique: Schools reopen in terrorism-hit district
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim


A Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) staff member measures a child’s upper arm circumference to check for malnutrition in Meluco, in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, Feb. 19, 2021, Photo MSF

Ten out of eleven schools have reopened in the district of Meluco, in Cabo Delgado province, after being closed because of terrorism in the region.

According to the district’s administrator, Paulo Lilanda, all schools have resumed classes except for one that was destroyed, and the government is working with the community to rebuild it.

The children who attended that school had moved to another school nearby, but it added around 6km to their journey, he said. The district was working to allocate the resources necessary to rebuild the school, Lilanda added.

On the other hand, the suspension of work on TotalEnergies’ natural gas project in March led to the direct loss of around $116m of revenues and the suspension of 3,250 work contracts, including people directly employed by TotalEnergies, President Filipe Nyusi said in a speech in Maputo on Sunday.

The terrorist attack on the town of Palma, near the gas project site, affected the operations of at least 28 companies, 17 of which suffered substantial material damage, Nyusi said.

In all the districts affected by the violence since 2017, mining activity had been completely paralysed and agriculture had become risky, which had had an impact on families that depended on farming for survival, the president said. In addition, the districts of Mocímboa da Praia, Quissanga, Macomia, Muidumbe and Palma do not have any health services, he added.

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Namibia Minister, NAMCOR and Petroleum Commission Commit to African Energy Week in Cape Town, Promote Oil and Gas Agenda and Opportunities for Investment.
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

Commitments made by Minister of Mines and Energy Hon. Tom Alweendo, NAMCOR, the Petroleum Commission, and AIPN further position African Energy Week as Africa’s premier energy conference in 2021.

Namibian government representatives, public- and private-sector industry executives, and International Oil Companies (IOC) have committed to African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 in Cape Town on the 9th-12th of November. During a recent visit to Namibia by a delegation from the African Energy Chamber (AEC), the team met with various Namibian stakeholders, gathering key insight into the country’s high potential energy sector and promoting AEW 2021 in Cape Town as the ideal platform to drive investment in and growth across Namibia’s energy sector. By participating at AEW 2021, and taking part in the exciting networking opportunities the conference will present, Namibia is set to accelerate international participation in the country, driving economic growth, and positioning itself as an emerging energy competitor.  

With productive meetings underway, many Namibian stakeholders have already declared their commitment to the upcoming AEW 2021. As of yet, the AEC have met with Hon. Tom Alweendo, Minister of Mines and Energy; Maggy Shino, Namibia’s Petroleum Commissioner; Immanuel Mulunga, Managing Director of the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR); and Shakwa Nyambe, Managing Director, Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN)– Africa Chapter and Founder and Managing Director of the Namibian law firm Shakwa Nyambe & Company Inc., all of which have announced their support of and commitment towards AEW 2021. With an emphasis on local content, technical and regulatory affairs, and exploration and production, Namibia will drive a strong narrative for investment in its energy sector at AEW 2021.

The AEC team met with the Minister to discuss Namibia’s upcoming oil boom, the increase in upstream activities, and the role that AEW 2021 will play in advancing the country’s energy sector. Representing a relatively new oil and gas sector, and yet one with significant resources, Namibia is open for investment and is actively seeking partners to develop its industry, establish Namibian energy independence and security, and fast track economic growth. The AEC’s meeting with Hon. Tom Alweendo reiterated the role of AEW 2021 in contributing to Namibia’s oil boom, driving investment as well as both regional and international participation in the country’s emerging sector.

Furthermore, meetings with Immanuel Mulunga from Namibia’s national oil company, NAMCOR, emphasized the potential of the country’s oil and gas sector, providing insight into the current exploration activities across the country. NAMCOR has fully committed to AEW 2021 and will host a Namibia Pavilion at the event, showcasing the range of investment opportunities present in the sector and providing a base for which critical knowledge about the country can be gained. With NAMCOR playing an integral part in the AEW 2021 program, the country is set to drive investment and ensure energy security for years to come.

“Namibia is committed to AEW 2021, and we are honored to announce the participation by government and industry leaders. Namibia represents one of the most lucrative investment destinations in Africa, with emerging oil, gas and mining industries backed by a focused and modern regulatory framework positioning the country as a global competitor in 2021 and beyond. AEW 2021, as Africa’s premier energy conference, is the ideal platform by which Namibia can showcase its energy sector to the world, attracting significant foreign capital that will drive both energy sector and economic growth country wide,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC. 

Finally, meetings with Namibia’s Petroleum Commission highlighted the role of local content and a supportive regulatory environment in advancing Namibia’s energy sector. Maggy Shino has declared that the Commission is fully committed to AEW 2021 and will participate in the event’s exciting program, hosting various technical and regulatory programs in a bid to promote Namibia and drive a constructive dialogue on the role of regulation. Additionally, the Commission, being particularly content driven, is focused on making AEW 2021 a success and will work hand in hand with the AEW 2021 team to ensure as such.

Namibia’s emerging energy sector – comprising approximately 11 billion barrels of oil reserves and 2.2 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves – has attracted significant attention from both IOC’s and oil and gas explorers. Due to the country’s favorable regulatory environment, and under the leadership of Hon. Tom Alweendo, Namibia has seen an influx in upstream activities, positioning the country as one of Africa’s final frontiers for oil and gas exploration. Notably, a recent drilling campaign by Reconnaissance Energy Africa indicated that Namibia’s 6.3 million-acre Kavango Basin may hold billions of barrels of oil, creating the opportunity for an oil boom, driven by progressive policies and a favorable investment climate.

Additionally, Tullow Oil plc is exploring Namibia’s offshore basins and ExxonMobil the frontier Nambie basin in partnership with NAMCOR, with new exploration campaigns by Qatar Petroleum and Shell in Block 2913A and 2914B, as well as the Venus exploration well by Africa Oil Corp, operated by Total Energies, further accelerating upstream activities, all of which are attributed to Namibia’s ease of doing business. The AEC looks forward to the results from these campaigns and aims to further promote the country as a premier investment destination at AEW 2021.  

With day two of the AEC’s working visit to Namibia expected to comprise critical meetings with the private sector, Namibia’s role in AEW 2021 has been emphasized. AEW 2021 serves as the ideal platform for African countries to showcase significant opportunities, network with African and global stakeholders, and facilitate the critical deals necessary for Africa’s energy future.

For more information about Africa’s premier energy event, visit www.aew2021.com or energychamber.org and/or email Amina Williams at amina.williams@energychamber.org

For registration-related inquiries, please contact registration@aew2021.com  

For sales-related inquiries, please contact sales@aew2021.com 

For media-related inquiries, please contact media@aew2021.com

For speaker-related inquiries, please contact speakers@aew2021.com

*African Energy Chamber

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A Call For Direct Investment In The People Of Africa.
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Prof Martin M. Niboh*

Prof Martin M .Niboh is Founder & President, of Igniting Africa. an indigenous community development grassroots movement

In a June 6, 2018, article in the Washington Post titled, “The future is African — and the United States is not prepared,” Salih Booker and Ari Rickman of the Center for International Policy state the following,

Beginning in 2035, the number of young people reaching working age in Africa will exceed that of the rest of the world combined and will continue every year for the rest of the century. By 2050, one in every four humans will be African. At the end of the century, nearly 40 percent of the world’s population will be African. Yet, instead of preparing to build a relationship that can grow with the continent, based upon diplomatic cooperation, the United States is doubling down on more than a decade of reliance on its military as the primary vehicle of engaging with Africa. The consequences, as one might expect, are overwhelmingly negative.”

The USA risks losing Africa, not just from negligence but also from a toxic relationship. It is like the lover who ignores you, and when they reconnect, they do so in unhealthy ways. While the USA has relied on its military as the foundation of U.S. relations with a complex and rising Africa, China, Europe, and the rest of the world have seen the folly of such reliance on the military.  China is investing in Africa in ways the USA is not. The Pentagon may be able to provide weapons, training, and vehicles to African militaries. Still, such military emphasis cannot offer Africa’s needs in free enterprise, trade deals, infrastructure projects, advice on agriculture, good governance, transparent political parties, and social movements to promote democracy and human rights.

Dr. Dambisa Moyo, in her book Dead Aid, has stated that “In the fractured world of Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan, Africa’s fragile and impoverished states are a natural haven for global terrorists. Porous borders, weak law enforcement and security institutions, plentiful and portable natural resources, disaffected populations, and conflict zones make perfect breeding grounds for all sorts of global terrorists.”

The consensus is that political stability, sustainable physical health, economic prosperity, and social cohesion are not words that describe the Africa of today. But the adverse effects of Africa’s challenges will not be contained within the continent. Indeed, the persistently high number of people in poverty, the underdevelopment of infrastructure, ongoing conflicts, and continuing problems with democratic governance are already combining to force many Africans to flee their homelands. Thousands of Africans have died in the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea in our lifetime as they flee Africa to seek freedom and prosperity in other countries. But that does not have to be the case for the Africa of tomorrow.

Africa’s development impasse demands a new level of consciousness, a greater degree of innovation, a generous dose of honesty about what it will take to build a prosperous Africa. At the very least, Africa needs an indigenous, grassroots, financially self-sufficient Pan-African movement of humanitarian entrepreneurs whose calling is to continually expand unconditional love, liberty, and free enterprise in Africa. Africa also needs a global community of Friends of Africa to encourage its indigenous grassroots movements to better Africa.

In the face of dictatorial and often ruthless governments in Africa, this indigenous, grassroots, Pan-African movement needs the courage of the unknown Chinese man who stood against Chinese tanks in Tiananmen Square in June 1989. Therefore, Africa indigenous movement needs encouragement from a community of friends of Africa across the world. Otherwise, the indigenous movement won’t survive.

It is in the role of a “Friend of Africa” that the American government can encourage trade deals, infrastructure projects, advice on agriculture, good governance, and also inspire the American people to promote free enterprise, transparent social movements that humanitarianism, liberty, democracy, and human rights.  No real friend of Africa should send foreign soldiers to Africa. After all, one of the lessons of America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is that it is cheaper to build nations with entrepreneurs and civic movements than with soldiers and military forces.  

It is in the interest of the USA, Europe, and the rest of the developed world to encourage the building of a united and prosperous Africa.  But the history of Africa’s relations with the rest of the world reveals a strong desire to exploit Africa. Even the good-intentioned presence of thousands of business people, humanitarians, engineers, and other technicians, in Africa has been primarily exploitative in its effects.

The participation of foreigners and foreign governments in Africa should provide material, human, and financial resources to Africa’s indigenous grassroots movements working for a united and prosperous Africa. This change will require a shift in mindset in our foreign friends. They are comfortable with their friends in African government institutions, Western nongovernmental organizations, and financial institutions but less comfortable with indigenous Africa leaders who are not a part of existing institutions. It is no secret that current institutions have failed Africans. It is time for direct investment in the people of Africa who are working to improve institutions and build new institutions that serve the people of Africa.

If the USA and the rest of the West who claim to promote democracy invest in the people of Africa at the grassroots and if they do so in ways that encourage the practice of free enterprise, humanitarianism, and liberty in Africa, then no one ever has to send thousands of soldiers to fight terrorists or tyrannies in Africa.

An African proverb says the best time to plant a tree would have been twenty years ago, and the second-best time is now. Similarly, the best time to build a united, free, safe, peaceful, powerful, and prosperous Africa would have been more than sixty years ago, and the second-best time is now.

*Prof Martin M.Niboh is a Former nuclear physicist, former Professor of Physics and Mathematics ,and a Contemplative Humanitarian Entrepreneur & Activist, He is Founder & President, of Igniting Africa an indigenous community development grassroots movement. He can be reached at president@thetorchbearer.org

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Anti-Gay Bill Seeks To Get Ghana Blacklisted For Promoting Hate – Gabby Otchere-Darko
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

Former Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Gabby Otchere-Darko has said the activities of homosexuals are already illegal in Ghana. He said the new anti-gay bill that has been sent to Parliament will only lead to Ghana being blacklisted for promoting hate.

Gay+ activities are already illegal in our country. But, we aren’t known to hate. The President has given his word he won’t legalize it. According to him the Bill only serves one purpose: to get Ghana blacklisted for promoting hate! Further said, the promoters of the Bill can’t say they aren’t aware.

The Member of Parliament for the people of Ningo Prampram Samuel Nartey George and some other lawmakers are sponsoring an anti-LGBT+ Bill in Parliament.

Portions of the bill reads “A person who, by use of media, technological platform, technological account or any other means, produces, procures, markets, broadcasts, disseminates, publishes or distributes a material for purposes of promoting an activity prohibited under the Bill, or a person uses an electronic device, the Internet service, a film, or any other device capable of electronic storage or transmission to produce, procure, market, broadcast, disseminate, publishes or distribute a material for purposes of promoting an activity prohibited under the Bill commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years and not more than ten years.”

Sam George is receiving flak from some quarters for sponsoring the anti-LGBT+ agenda. A Ghanaian musician Sister Derby who is also a known advocate of LGBT+ rights in Ghana “obsessed with people’s sexual orientation” and tagged him as a pervert and backward thinker.”

But he has said his is opened to intellectual debate on the anti-LGBT+ Bill he and some of his colleague lawmakers are sponsoring. Speaking in an interview said emotional outbursts have no place in legislation.

The lawmaker said they are opened to intellectual criticisms or criticisms and suggestions grounded in law.

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Israel Readmitted To The African Union .
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Prince Kurupati

This diplomatic achievement is the result of efforts by the Foreign Ministry, the African Division, and Israeli embassies on the continent , says Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid .Photo credit Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Israel has been readmitted back into the African Union 19 years after it was ousted from the continental bloc. Israel was suspended from being an African Union observer member in 2002 at the time when the Organization of African Unity was rebranded into the African Union. The readmission of Israel into the African Union means it now joins its nemesis Palestine in being an African Union observer member.

The news of Israel’s readmission into the African Union was first publicly conveyed by Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid who in a statement said, “This is a day of celebration for Israel-Africa relations. This diplomatic achievement is the result of efforts by the Foreign Ministry, the African Division, and Israeli embassies on the continent.” Yair Lapid was speaking soon after Israel’s ambassador to Addis Ababa Aleleign Admasu had submitted Israel’s charter to the African Union as an observer member.

In his remarks, Yair Lapid went further to state that “This (rejoining the African Union) corrects the anomaly that existed for almost two decades… and is an important part of strengthening of fabric of Israel’s foreign relations. This will help us strengthen our activities in the continent and in the organization’s member states.”

In the recent past, Israel made attempts to rejoin the African Union but with no success. Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2016 became the first Israeli leader in decades to travel to Africa and visit a number of countries – Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia. The recent success as according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry was necessitated by a “diplomatic operation” that involved a visit by the ministry’s director-general of African Affairs Aliza Ben-Noun to Addis Ababa where she met 30 ambassadors from African Union member countries.

According to Aliza Ben-Noun, Israel’s readmission into the African Union will not only help on the economic front but will lend political recognition to the country. “This political recognition is extremely important because it’s not good enough to have good bilateral relations with the member states,” Ben-Noun said.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said the newly established relations between Israel and Africa will help the two to cooperate on areas of mutual interest such as the fight against Covid-19 as well as the fight against terrorism. “Once the relationship with the African Union is established, the parties will be able to cooperate, among other things, in the areas of the fight against the corona virus and the prevention of the spread of extremist terrorism throughout the continent.”

The move to readmit Israel shows the changing geopolitics in North Africa according to Ashok Swain, a professor of peace and conflict research. In a Twitter post, Prof Swain said “Gaddafi had forced Israel out – After 19 years, Israel returns to African Union as Observer. It reflects changing geopolitics in North Africa.”

Some African nationals have expressed skepticism on the decision reached by the African Union to readmit Israel as an observer member. One Twitter user in a post said, “Destabilize of the Middle East has set its eyes on African Union. God save Africa” while another simply tweeted, “What is Israel observing in the AU?”  

As an observer member, Israel joins its nemesis Palestine which since 2013 has been officially recognized as an African Union observer member. The African Union since 2013 has been voicing its support for the Palestinian struggle to establish an independent and viable state and the Palestinian leader since 2013 has been addressing the Union. It remains to be seen how the latest decision by the African Union to readmit Israel will affect its relations with Palestine. 

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Criticism Highlights Russia’s Media Weakness in Africa.
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Kester Kenn Klomegah*

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – DECEMBER 18, 2019: Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova speaks during a press briefing on Russia’s current foreign policy. Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

In her weekly media briefing July 23, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova criticized United States support for educational programs, media and NGOs in Africa. In addition, Zakharova said “the allocation of grants fits into the White House’s efforts to promote the idea that there is no alternative to Western concepts regarding state governance and the imposition of alien values on sovereign states, and this represents another manifestation of neo-colonialism and an element of covertly formalizing inequality in the overall system of international ties.”

Russia’s position as contained in her briefing is available on the official website, and part of which is quoted here: “We have no choice but to comment and explain why we perceive this as Washington’s striving to eliminate the favorable regional socio-political background with regard to Russia that became particularly obvious following the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi in October 2019.

It appears that the United States is deliberately encouraging anti-Russia publications in some African media outlets and is trying to portray Russia as a destabilizing force. We are confident that such methods of unfair competition and misinformation show that there is no hard evidence confirming the so-called Russian policy of propaganda and misinformation, and this is also the consequence of weak US approaches in the field of public diplomacy.”

That well-said of the United States, it is equally important to note that since the Soviet collapse in 1991, the question of media representation both ways, in Russia and in Africa, has attracted unprecedented concern and discussions. Over the years, nearly 30 years after the Soviet era, Russia has not encouraged African media, especially those from south of Sahara, to operate in the Russian Federation.

On the other hand, Russian media resources are largely far from eminent in Africa, and these include the media conglomerate popularly referred to as Rossiya Sevogdnya (RIA Novosti, Voice of Russia and Russia Today), TASS News Agency and Interfax Information Service. These are powerful and reputable Russian brands, compared to most well-known Western and European media organizations operate in and cooperate with Africa.

Even not quite long, that was in November 2018, the State Duma, the lower house of parliamentarians, called for an increased Russian media presence in African countries, while Russia has closed its doors in offering opportunities for Africa media representation in the Russian Federation.

During the meeting that was scheduled to brainstorm for fresh views and ideas on the current Russia-African relations, State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin told Ambassadors from African countries: “it is necessary to take certain steps together for the Russian media to work on the African continent.”

“You know that the Russian media provide broadcasting in various languages, they work in many countries, although it is certainly impossible to compare this presence with the presence of the media of the United States, United Kingdom and Germany,” Volodin said, and promised that the State Duma would create the necessary legal basis for this long-term media cooperation.

Experts say that neither Russia has an African media face nor Africa has a Russian media face. Thus, in the absence of suitable alternative sources, African political leaders and corporate business directors depend on western media reports about developments in Russia and from the developed world.

Interestingly, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Information and Press Department has accredited media from Latin America, the United States, Europe and Asian countries, and only two African media came from the Maghreb region (Morocco and Egypt) in North Africa.

The official information presented during the first Russia-Africa Summit, held in October 2019, explicitly showed the degree of priority given to African media. Some 300 media bureaus from 60 countries are currently operating in Russia, including 800 foreign correspondents while there are only two African news bureaus from Egypt and Morocco, according to Artem Kozhin, who represented the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Information and Press Department, at the panel discussion on media.

According to his interpretation, this extremely low representation of African media hardly meets the level of current dynamically developing relations between Russia and Africa. “We invite all interested parties to open news bureaus and expand media cooperation with Russia,” Kozhin said at the gathering, inviting Africa media to Moscow.

Nearly all the panelists noted precisely that western media dominates in Africa. “Often times, unique news offerings created by the Russian media simply do not make to the users and viewers in many regions, including Africa. Evidently, this vacuum gets filled with one-sided information from other players in the media market. This information can be biased, or outright hostile towards Russia and residents of other countries,” said Mikhail Bogdanov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa.

During the Russia-Africa Summit, Professor Alexey Vasiliev, the first appointed Special Representative of Russian President for Relations with Africa (2006-2011) and currently the Head of the Center for African and Arab Studies at the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (2013-2020), told the audience there in Sochi: “Africa is largely unaware of Russia, since African media mainly consumes information the Western media sources and then replicates them. And all the fake news, the Rusophobia and anti-Russian propaganda, spread by the western media, are repeated in the African media.”

“Measures are needed to enable us to better understand each other,” suggested Professor Vasiliev, who regularly advises the Presidential Administration, the Government of the Russian Federation, both chambers of the Federal Assembly, and the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Some experts have consistently argued that Russia has discriminated against the media from sub-Saharan Africa. That trend remains unchanged even after the first Russia-Africa Summit, held in Sochi with the primary aim of helping identify new areas and forms of cooperation, put forward promising initiatives that would bring collaboration between Russia and Africa to a qualitatively new level and contribute to strengthening multifaceted cooperation between the two regions.

Let that be the acceptable case, but both Russia and Africa have basic questions that still need quick answers. The questions raised at the panel discussion on media at the Russia-Africa gathering: What issues are currently encountered in the formation of the modern media landscape? What role does the media play in Russian-African relations? What are the prospects for collaboration in the information sphere? What needs to be done to develop a Russian media agenda in Africa? What is the role and place of Russia in the information space of Africa today? What role can African media play in promoting further Russia’s image in Africa?

In practical terms, the highly successful spade-work was the first Russia-Africa Summit. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has to layout some new mechanisms and adopt a more favorable approach that could readily attract African media to operate in the Russian Federation.

Russia and Africa need to examine every sphere based on shared partnership interests and redefine practical approach to realizing whatever plans on media cooperation. Media and NGOs, as instruments for improving adequately public knowledge, especially on developments and emerging opportunities, have not been persuaded to match the desired future objectives and policy goals.

The stark reality is that Russia needs Africa media and Africa needs Russian media, in order for them to enlighten ties in the economic spheres, to promote a better understanding among African elites and the middle class through media reports. The middle class is twice Russia’s population and almost the size the population of United States. According to UN forecasts, the Africa’s middle class, constitutes a very huge vibrant information-consuming market, will exceed 350 million by 2025.

Professor Vladimir Shubin, the former Deputy Director of the Institute for African Studies, explained in an interview with me that political relations between Russia and Africa as well as the economic cooperation would continue to attract more and more academic discussions. Such scholarly contributions, in essence, would help deepen understanding of the problems that impede building solid relationship or partnership with Russia.

In order to maintain this relationship, both Russia and Africa have to pay high attention to and take significant steps in promoting their achievements and highlighting the most development needs in a comprehensive way for mutual benefits using appropriately the media, according to Professor Shubin.

“African leaders do their best in developing bilateral relations,” he added. “Truly and passionately, they come to Russia more often than ten years ago, but a lot still has to be done; both Russian and African media, in this case, have a huge role to play.”

Perhaps, one of the reasons why some African leaders appear to have “written off” Russia has been lack of adequate information about Russia, or rather plenty of distorted information they have received from the Western media coverage of Russia, Professor Shubin concluded.

“Russian media write very little about Africa, what is going on there, what are the social and political dynamics in different parts of the continent. Media and NGOs should make big efforts to increase the level of mutual knowledge, which can stimulate interest for each other and lead to increased economic interaction as well,” said Fyodor Lukyanov, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal ‘Russia in Global Affairs’ and also the Chairman of the State Council on Foreign and Defense Policy.

“To a certain extent,” Lukyanov said, “the intensification of non-political contacts may contribute to increased interest. But in Russia’s case, the main drivers of any cooperation are more traditional rather than political interests of the state and economic interests of big companies. Soft power has never been a strong side of Russian policy in the post-Soviet era.”

Similarly, Bunn Nagara, a Senior Fellow of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies, member of the Valdai Discussion Club, has observed that “Russian businesses face a number of challenges. First, there is little information available internationally about the opportunities and possibilities for partnerships between Russian and foreign businesses.”

“Russia is a large country spanning both Europe and Asia. So, it can do much to bring Asian and European business linkages together and build on them. Better public relations and improved information dissemination are very important. To do this, it needs to do more in spreading more and better information about its achievements, the progress so far, its future plans, and the opportunities available,” Bunn Nagara said.

Early October 2019, the Valdai Discussion Club released an ebook titled “Russia’s Return to Africa: Strategy and Prospects” jointly or collectively authored by Vadim Balytnikov, Oleg Barabanov, Andrei Yemelyanov, Dmitry Poletaev, Igor Sid and Natalia Zaiser.

The Valdai Discussion Club was established in 2004, with a goal is to promote dialogue between Russian and international intellectual elite, and to make an independent, unbiased scientific analysis of political, economic and social events in Russia and the rest of the world.

The authors explicitly suggested the need to take steps in countering Western anti-Russia clichés that are spreading in Africa and shaping a narrative whereby only dictators and outcast partner with Russians. Therefore, efforts to improve Russia’s image must target not only the continent’s elite, but also a broader public opinion. It would be advisable to create and develop appropriate media tools to this effect.

Media and NGOs, working with the civil society, have to support official efforts in pushing for building a positive image and in strengthening diplomacy. Displaying an attentive and caring attitude towards the African diaspora in Russia, the key objective is to overcome racist stereotypes that persist in marginal segments of Russian society. Helping highly qualified educated African migrants to integrate through employment. This will, in addition, showcase and shape public opinion about Africa in the Russian Federation.

According to the authors, building a more and consistent positive public opinion within Russia and Africa should be considered extremely important at this stage of relations between Russia and Africa. Should Russia assist other countries for political purposes only? Will the recipient countries be willing to lend Russia their political support, and can they be trusted? Should Russia build its partnerships exclusively based on the principle of economic expediency?

The authors wrote: “Russia will have to answer these questions as it moves towards implementing its African strategy. Its experience in working with public opinion and governments across Eurasia to shape public perceptions will come in handy in Africa.”

In the context of these existing challenges, leaders on both sides have to draw a roadmap. Inside Africa, Africans have had enough of all these public discussions. The time has come to make progressive changes to the current approach, create a new outlook or simply call it “media facelift” instead of maintaining the old status quo. It therefore means taking concrete practical steps toward an effective media cooperation, this will substantially not only broaden but deepen two-way understanding of current developments in Russia and in Africa.

The irreversible fact is that there is the need to have an informed African society, and this has to be done largely, systematically and necessarily through the media. Africa has the largest number of young people, who look at the world with open eyes and are ready for cooperation with partner countries. This is a good opportunity to inform the young generation, bring them together through knowledge from Russia, Eurasia, and Africa.

Moscow hosted the first Russia-Africa Public Forum in October 2018, most of the issues emerging from there and diverse opinions expressed at that gathering are useful for improving current relationship. As already known, Russia has a long-time relationship with Africa. Russia and Africa have to make that mutual desire to step up cooperation in all areas including social spheres and public outreach diplomacy. In this connection, it requires complete understanding, necessary primary support for new initiatives and, as always reiterated, commitment to dynamic work to expand traditionally friendly relations with Africa.

*Kester Kenn Klomegah writes frequently about Russia, Africa and the BRICS. As a versatile researcher, he believes that everyone deserves equal access to quality and trustworthy media reports. Most of his well-resourced articles are reprinted elsewhere in a number of reputable foreign media.

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Suspension Of DWB Deprives Cameroon’s NW’s Most Vulnerable Citizens Of Free Healthcare Amid Deadly Armed Conflict.
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Andrew Nsoseka*

.A medical personnel from Doctors Without Borders attends to a patient in the North West Region

Locals in Cameroon’s Northwest region, who have had their lives distorted in the last couple of years by an ongoing war against cessation, which has displaced hundreds of thousands internally, and forced others to flee as refugees, now have another big challenge – access to healthcare.

 When the crisis erupted and protests gradually morphed into an armed resistance and the war that ensued, many institutions folded, including healthcare institutions. Many healthcare institutions and professionals, soon became targets, as they were accused of treating belligerents in the armed conflict. Several Doctors and practitioners are today, serving jail terms or languishing in pre-trial detention on such charges.

The situation, was however, was mitigated when Doctors Without Borders, DWB an international NGOs rendering health services to those affected by the war came in. However, it was short-lived, when DWB was like several medical care providers, accused of also treating armed fighters and aiding them. The accusation of aiding the fighters has been rejected by the organisation.

Unfortunately, Cameroon’s Northwest regional Governor, Adolphe Lele Lafrique in December of 2020, issued an order, banning activities of DWB in the region, leaving thousands of those who relied on the outfit for medical care, stranded, with no option. Many now rely on local remedies, prayers, or risk going to hospitals, and if treated, held hostage till the money is paid.

On its May 28, 2021 weekender edition, The Post reported a pathetic story of a family running away from the incessant raids in Bui Division, of Cameroon’s Northwest Region. The news article by Chris Mbunwe narrated the sad story of a teacher, Oliver Lankar who, in escaping from the turbulent Division, lost his one-year-old baby due to the heavy rains and cold.

At St Mary Soledad hospital, Dr Jifon Edwin Fonyuy stitches up the wounds of Felix, a young patient who was attacked and mutilated by his attackers in March 2020, in the NW

Though one could be incorrect to say that the refuge-seeking man would have sought medical help from community volunteers working with an organisation like Doctors Without Borders – providing free medical assistance to those in dire need, Lankar’s family did not have that option – it was ripped from people like him and a multitude of others, when DWB, had its activities suspended.

On December 8, 2020, Governor Adolphe Lele Lafrique issued a prefectorial order, suspending activities of Doctors Without Borders, a front-line organisations providing free healthcare services to thousands of victims and those affected in one way or the other by the Anglophone crisis in the two crisis-hit regions.

In article (I) of the Governor’s Decision suspending the activities of DWB, the Governor said, “The partnership between Doctors Without Borders (DWB, MSF) and Saint Maria Soledad Catholic Hospital Bamenda as well as similar partnerships with other health facilities in the Northwest Region are with effect from the date of signature of this Decision, suspended, pending definition of the framework of activities for Doctors Without Borders (DWB, MSF) by the Ministry of Health.”

Locals in the region, especially those displaced by war, and who now live under precarious conditions are the main beneficiaries of health services offered by DWB. This category of persons, are the region’s most vulnerable. The right to health has been denied, especially to those in distress situations who struggle to feed and can barely afford their needs, especially health needs which are expensive.

DWB often prioritises providence of its services to hard-to-reach communities, and with the current Anglophone crisis in Cameroon, many communities are without health facilities especially as many owners of private clinics were hunted down on accusations that they treat or sell medicaments to separatists too.

In 2020, DWB reported that it provided over 120,000 free medical consultations in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon – the two regions gripped by an over four war of secession. Unfortunately, with the Governor’s Decision, hundreds of thousands of patients in the Northwest who relied on this free health services can’t access it anymore, even though the armed conflict is rather deteriorating, leaving more people in need.  

The Governor said the organisation’s framework of activities are to be defined by the Ministry of Public Health, a process which has taken several months, with no sign that the organisation will be given the go-ahead, to continue to render services to the region’s most vulnerable, caught between an active war, and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

The World Health Organisation, to which Cameroon is a member, in its Constitution (1946) envisages “…the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental right of every human being.”

Speaking in relation to access to health in the Northwest region, the Director of the Bamenda regional Hospital, Dr Denis Nsame regretted that that the hospital keeps losing money because many patients can’t afford to pay their bills after treatment. This of course, is the category that because of the war situation and its effect on their livelihoods, previously depended on free services offered by organisations like DWB.

Dr Denis Nsame revealed that just in the first quarter of 2021, his hospital alone has lost FCFA Nine million, because many patients are unable to pay bills. The situation now puts the regional hospital, as well as other health facilities in financial distress.

On the part of the community, many who now do not have the option to receive free quality healthcare are now left with the option of either trying untested home remedies, taking a chance to be treated and held back by the hospital, or just hoping to get well someday. Many others who have seemingly lost hope, now resort to cuing up in churches that advertise miracle healings, as they hope for miracles to come their way.

One of the community leaders who recently took an initiative to address the situation, is the Mayor of Bamenda II Council, Peter Chenwi, who said his office has been flooded of recent by appeals for assistance to pay health bills. “The request for assistance from patients keep rising every day. That is why the Council decided to undertake this visit and see the situation of patients at the Bamenda regional hospital” the Mayor said. He reveals that so far, the council has paid FCFA one million, covering the hospital bills of 64 patients who could not leave the hospital because of unpaid bills. Amongst the beneficiaries were women who had put to birth, but could not pay their hospital bills.

A Community Health Worker, talking of the ban on DWB’s activities in the Northwest said, “Since the suspension, many children have died in my community, due to the lack of medication. People don’t have the money to go to the hospital. They keep asking me; when will they (DWB) come back” He recounts. Other community workers who served the community under DWB regret that the suspension has left them with no means to assist the people, who depend on such services.

“People keep calling me for help, but there is no means to help them anymore. They go back, and later on you hear that some of them died. It is terrible.” Another community health worker in the region regrets.

Though not mentioned publicly, government sources claim that DWB’s activities in the region are suspended due to allegations that it also treats wounded separatists, and actively supports them by transporting arms and ammunition. In a statement released On July 5, in relation to claims that the organisation was supporting separatist fighters, DWB said they “categorically reject the allegation of having provided support for separatist fighters in the Northwest.”

Heart warming moment between young beneficiary of health services from DWB and her father

“We affirm as an absolute that we have never facilitated the transport of arms, ammunition, or armed combatants, and have never provided logistical or financial support to any of the parties to the ongoing crisis”. It furthered.

Information from DWB’s data however show that just about five percent of its patients bring cases that are directly linked to violence. The statistics rather show that most of the patients are children with malaria, pregnant women, accidents, and sexual violence victims.

In a statement released recently after three weeks of meeting with government officials to end the suspension, DWB in a statement regretted that the suspension was not still lifted.

DWB’s Director General, Stephen Cornish, remarked that “While our visit to Cameroon was an opportunity to address key points, no agreement was unfortunately reached to immediately restart our lifesaving medical services in the Northwest region. This is disappointing, but we remain hopeful that the lifting of our suspension can be reached in the coming days. Discussions will go on as all stakeholders understand that our operations cannot remain on hold indefinitely. Every extra day of suspension is another day that we cannot assist the population in dire need of health care services. An agreement will undeniably change the situation for the better in the provision of essential care in the Northwest. We are confident that such agreement is still attainable and will allow us to provide essential medical services in Northwest just as we do elsewhere in the country.”

*Culled from July Issue of PAV Magazine

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Cameroonian Born Priest Honored In Nigeria.
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Joseph Besong

Catholic priesthood is a mystery to many especially to those who are impede in materialism. The world quest of today doesn’t stop young men to say yes to the call of God all over the world. There’s a story of a Cameroonian who took the risk to journey into Nigeria in order to serve God as a priest.

                    More than two decades ago, Monsignor Paul Besong Enow left Cameroon for Nigeria to answer God’s call to become a Catholic  priest. While in Nigeria, he visited the Archdiocese of Benin City and spoke to the then Archbishop  of Benin City, Emeritus His Grace Patrick Epku. Bishop Epku was shocked to see a young man with a good accounting job who want to surrender it all for the priesthood in a foreign land. Emeritus archbishop Patrick Epku asked the young Paul to think about it and then to resign his job as an accountant. At this time, Monsignor Paul Besong Enow has made up his mind to respond to God’s call.

                Following his resignation from the job, the future Monsignor was accepted under the Archdiocese of Benin City. He was sent to the formation program and later admitted at the Saint Peter and Paul Major Seminary Ibadan-Nigeria where he studied for the  Catholic priesthood. He was later ordained a Catholic priest by the Emeritus Archbishop Patrick Epku.

              Monsignor Paul Besong Enow has been a dedicated servant of God.He loves his work more than you think. To arm him with knowledge, He was sent to the Catholic Institute of West Africa Port Harcourt, Nigeria.  He was been a lecturer at the Saint Paul’s Minor Seminary-Benin City and also held position at the Holy Cross Cathedral Airport road Benin City. Here Monsignor proved to be a true servant of God. Many there knows him as a the father for all children. He added meaning to the lives of many youths and the Christians of the Holy Cross Cathedral. It’s common to hear people say “papa for all pikin” referring to the fatherly concern of this man of God. He is a charitable priest to all children irrespective of your creed, race, tribe or status in society.

           As the first child in his family,Monsignor Paul Enow faced challenges in his journey into the priesthood. He attended Bishop Rogan College  Provincial Minor Seminary ,Small Soppo Cameroon briefly because his mother thought doing that will prevent him from achieving his desire to become a priest. Monsignor’s mom like every African mother wishes their offspring to be successful in their careers in fields like engineering, medical field,law, accountancy etc and finally to get married and have children. His case was even complicated because he was the first child in the family. His father was more tolerance and encouraging. The mother later became a champion and defender of his decision to serve God. Everyone in Cameroon called her ‘mama fada” Monsignor Completed his secondary school in Cameroon at the prestigious Saint Joseph’s College Sasse where he obtained his ordinary and advanced levels before heading to Nigeria. There in Nigeria, he went to the Calabar polytechnic where he did accountancy and as explained above, he picked up a lucrative job in Nigeria as an accountant. This is the journey of a man who was guided and protected by God in a foreign land for His greater glory.

          Pope Francis recently honored Rev.Fr.Paul Besong with the title of Monsignor. Monsignor title isn’t given to all priests. This is a title to acknowledge a priest’s hard work as a priest of God. Everyone is shouting and thanking Rome for finally gracing this selfless priest who despite his difficult journey into the priesthood has offered his all in making sure who ever comes across him leaves with a positive tone of priesthood and Catholicism.  On August 7,2021, all roads will be leading to Saint Paul’s Catholic Church for the official Investiture of Monsignor Paul Besong Enow. It should be noted that Monsignor Paul Besong Enow is the second priest from his division in Cameroon. Manyu today can boost of many priests and religious coming from the local villages which is evidence that his call to priesthood has opened more vocations in the area. May the Holy Spirit protect Monsignor Paul Enow in his new role as a Monsignor of the Catholic Church. Journey mercies to those who will be travelling from Cameroon, Europe, US, and others who will be travelling across Nigeria for this August occasion.

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Montel Swaray Embarks on a Mission to Transform African Lives
July 23, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Prince Kurupati

Actor Montel Swaray has big dreams for the continent

Popular Liberian American actor, writer, producer and entrepreneur Montel Swaray has embarked on a mission to transform the lives of underprivileged Africans on the continent. Through his foundation founded in 2018, Swaray says he wants to see wholesome transformation on the continent. As such, his Montel Swaray Foundation aims at “encouraging, supporting, funding, guiding and empowering different communities to develop in ways that secure their future into seeing a greater economy”.

In its mission to transform the lives of Africans on the continent, the Montel Swaray Foundation aims at working with local communities and community leaders. In its formative years, the Foundation states that it will focus more in uplifting the lives of Liberians – “Working in collaboration with government officials, and community leaders, we ensure that the appropriate infrastructure, food, water and educational sectors are in place to guarantee the long-term development and growth of Liberia”.

Though the Montel Swaray Foundation in its formative years will primarily focus in uplifting the lives of Liberians, it states that with time, it will move to influence and transform the lives of Africans in different countries from Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Nigeria and all other African countries.

In its mission to transform African lives, the Montel Swaray Foundation has earmarked specific sectors of interest. First up is the healthcare sector. On this front, the Foundation is aiming to improve the healthcare infrastructure while at the same time improving the welfare of healthcare workers. The Foundation states that it aims at working “with the communities to help the Department of Health to facilitate the innovative construction and improvement of the rural clinic facilities”.

The challenge of access to clean water has been an age long problem in Africa. Various reports have been drafted all coming to the same conclusion that millions of Africans do not have access to safe clean water. To help on this front, the Montel Swaray Foundation states that it’s looking to work “with communities to find the best solutions to improve access to water”. Some of the strategies that the Foundation is contemplating in its drive to address the challenge of lack of access to clean water is “creating water dams, installing boreholes and rainwater collection systems, and establishing community water stations for the rural and cities areas in Liberia”.

With many humanitarian reports on Africa Liberia included coming to the same conclusion that over half of the continent’s population is not adequately fed, the Montel Swaray Foundation is taking it upon itself to change this narrative in Liberia. The Foundation has teamed “up with local official and community leaders to ensure that all Liberians in need of help support and nourishment will receive that aid immediately”.

To future generations, the Montel Swaray Foundation is embarking on a drive to digitalize schools. The hope and intention is to provide all Liberian school going children with top quality education and an education that puts them at par with all other students from across the globe. This will in turn mean they will compete for the same opportunities in life thus helping them to uplift themselves and at the same time their communities. In a statement, the Foundation said it will help by providing “unlimited school supplies, laptops, notebooks, school uniforms and shoes – anything that our Liberian children need to be successful in class”.

The Montel Foundation sees sports as a way of giving opportunities to young Africans

Recognizing that school however is not everything that children and young adults need as they grow up, the Foundation also founded the Swaray United Sports Teams. The sports teams inhibit children and young adults from becoming idle all day and resorting to different vices in a bid to spend free time. The sports teams also provide children and young adults with an opportunity to develop their sports careers and even get noticed by sporting scouts of different professional sports teams. Some of the sports offered include soccer, basketball, volleyball and tennis.

Not only does the Montel Swaray Foundation aim at transforming the lives of Africans firstly Liberians, it also aims at transforming Liberia as a whole. The Foundation aims at working closely with “city leaders and construction companies to gain contracts that will help with the modernization of the Republic of Liberia”.    

*Culled from July edition of PAV Magazine

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Reforming Secondary And Higher Education Curriculum In Africa
July 23, 2021 | 0 Comments

By John Nkemnji, Ph.D.*

Dr. John Nkemnji is Professor Emeritus, Educational Technology. He is an educational consultant and a proponent of life-long learning

In a previous issue of Pan African Visions, “RECONSTRUCTING PRIMARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM IN AFRICA,” asserted that Indigenous curriculum contributed to the coercion and development of Africa. Colonial education encouraged Africans to study imperialistic concepts, which destroyed African society and compounded existing problems. A Eurocentric curriculum breeds low morale and a lack of civility amongst Africans. Modern African schools need a new inclusive Indigenous curriculum that educates all genders and covers the continent’s challenges.

            Africa needs educated youths to develop and transform the continent. Currently, the elderly leaders impede development as they indebt the continent with borrowing, and are seemingly accomplices of foreign interests. Female’s nurturing roles make them poised to lead and transform society. Educated female’s unique attributes provide great potential to move families out of poverty and away from early marriages and teen truancy. Properly educated Africans would also reduce inter-family, inter-tribal, and inter-state rivalries that stall harmony, coexistence, and development. Educated youths would be new leaders who speak and act on behalf of people.

The reconstructed primary school curriculum should cover the study of the people, places, and things in the locality, while modern secondary and higher education should prepare students to thrive in today’s world. The secondary program should continue where the primary teaching ends. The programs should broaden intellectual curiosity and transition students out of their locality to the national territory, the continent, and the world, thus building strength, stability, and self-reliance.

Despite the affirmation that Africa was the cradle for learning and civilization, scholars find more publications about Africa in libraries outside the continent. Due to lack of resources, poor internet services, and other hurdles, scholars in African institutions of higher learning sometimes write to colleagues abroad to send them literature and publications on Africa to aid their research efforts, since Africa’s publishing industry is not well-developed and there is a lack of educational materials. Education is a powerful tool for liberation or oppression; it should be structured to liberate and harness Africa’s potential.

            Foreign languages of instruction like French, English, Arabic, Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish hinder authentic learning and comprehension for the nonnative speaker. This reality extinguishes indigenous languages. Nonetheless, that is not the most problematic educational issue facing the continent. Euro-centric curriculum and the educational philosophy need to be reformed to include a quality secondary education covering the breadth and depth of the people’s culture. This would serve as the key driver for reducing poverty and greed; fostering economic growth, and guaranteeing personal and professional development with egalitarian participation regardless of gender or age. Such reform would educate and decolonize the continent while encouraging lifelong learning. Schools in Africa would rely on indigenous/traditional ways of learning and knowing. It used to be that the entire village was involved in the education of its children, with students having sovereignty, voice, and integrity.

African philosophy was communal, communitarian, and based on the holistic nurturing of the community. That philosophy determined student’s and teacher’s roles; however, that is no longer taught or adhered to. In education, like in life, a guiding philosophy directs daily actions and outcomes. Indigenous educational philosophy was based on the people’s heritage, experiences, and aspirations. Given the developmental crisis on the continent, I suggest a return to the golden age – a reconstructive and progressive philosophy of education guided by a curriculum that addresses the needs of students, society, and the continent. Such a curriculum would result in the self-reliance and creativity needed to overcome the continent’s under-development.

Currently, some parents are not involved in their children’s education. They have been conditioned to think that good students merely pass exams and obtain certificates. The well-to-do parents employ teachers for after-school tutoring to help their children do well on exams. Students also play a lagging role, serving as passive learners who do not reflect on what is taught and how such learning can change them and their society. Students currently study to pass examinations, and in many cases, they mindlessly memorize what is taught. The student’s goal is to obtain a certificate, and what they learn may not be interesting, relevant, or real-life problem-solving. That, too, has to change with the plight of mass unemployment and brain drain.

Students at a high school in Bamenda, North West Region, Cameroon. Photo credit Flikr,Alberto Vaccaro

A reformed secondary and higher education curriculum can equip learners with the tools and mindset to solve the continent’s problems. A curriculum guided by a new pragmatic philosophy would define a more explicit role for students, teachers, parents, and society. The new curriculum based on local realities and indigenous educational philosophy would produce inquisitive students, active learners, critical thinkers, and problem solvers. The new curriculum would also create better teachers and a better society. At such a time, Africa would cut down corruption, mediocrity, and incompetence.

There is a misguided mindset that Africa is cursed and will remain permanently underdeveloped. The geopolitical experience of Africans must force each citizen to free themselves from such a deceitful mindset, knowing that African education is education about the people, by the people, and for the people. Let us avoid the blame game as no individual can solve the dreadful problems in the content. Given that Africa is the cradle of civilization, 21st-century African scholars must strive to unite and change the status. Let Africa form international alliances and collaborate with benevolent international institutions to educate and develop the continent. That would be a giant step in the right direction, and Africa would change from a destitute continent to one that genuinely creates knowledge, wealth, happiness, and prosperity.

*Culled from July Issue of PAV Magazine. Dr. John Nkemnji is Professor Emeritus, Educational Technology. He is an educational consultant and a proponent of life-long learning. The author expresses gratitude to those educators and students who commented on this call for Action to help restructure education for development in Africa. More helpful comments will be appreciated.

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Rwanda Finance And Africa Legal Release A Joint Report On Realising And Facilitating Pan-African Investment
July 22, 2021 | 0 Comments

Kigali, Rwanda – 21.07.2021 – Rwanda Finance Limited and Africa Legal are delighted to announce the launch of their second research collaboration which highlights the current realities and future opportunities for capital deployment into African markets. 

The report, titled ‘Realising and Facilitating pan-African Investment’, combines unique data analysis and insights sourced through a global research survey with interviews and commentary from leading voices from the African investment landscape. 

This research depicts the growth trends in pan-African capital deployment, by further exploring the sectors and jurisdictions attracting the most significant investment while introducing the facilitators, advisors and structures supporting such financing. 

Despite significant sums of money flowing in through Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), this groundbreaking report shows how little of this is processed or facilitated by African lawyers, accountants and financiers – with most international investors relying on non-African entities to support their capital deployment.

The report also demonstrates the growing importance of Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) as, following recent G8 commitments, these organisations are primed to be the force behind capital flows into African markets over the next five years. The report is the second in a three-part collaborative series between KIFC and Africa Legal, which is looking into the importance of international financial centres in accelerating development in Africa.  

Commenting on this collaboration, Hortense Mudenge, Chief Operating Officer of Rwanda Finance Limited, said:
“As we embarked on this research journey, we knew it would be full of great insights and would allow for a fresh and new perspective of Africa. In this second edition of our research series, we are bringing to light key players involved in capital deployment and disclosing barriers and solutions to pan-African capital flow. Thanks to our trusted partner Africa Legal, our readers will be in for a treat.”

Scott Cowan, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of the Africa Professional Services Group (incorporating Africa Legal) added:
“When we entered this long-term collaboration with Rwanda Finance Limited and the Kigali International Financial Centre we were all excited by the prospect of supporting a true African success story and seizing another opportunity to showcase the aptitude, excellence and passion of our pan-African legal community. With this second report we have access to even more robust data which showcases not only the current investment landscape but also provides insight into where lawyers, financiers and funders need to be positioning themselves to ensure future relevance and the realisation of opportunity.” 

To read the full report ‘Realising and Facilitating Pan-African Investment’ – click here. To read the first report in the series, titled ‘A Modern Africa. A Modern IFC’ – click here

About Kigali International Financial Centre (KIFC)Kigali International Financial Centre is a financial centre facilitating international investment and cross-border transactions in Africa. KIFC positions Rwanda as a preferred financial jurisdiction for investments into Africa and by providing an attractive destination for international investors with a legal and regulatory framework fully compliant with international best practices.

About Rwanda Finance Limited (RFL)

Rwanda Finance Limited is the agency tasked with leading the development of Rwanda as a preferred destination for international investment and cross-border transactions in Africa. RFL is working with key stakeholders to develop and support the Kigali International Financial Centre through investment promotion, policy advocacy and sector upskilling. 

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Good Relations With The United States Of America (U.S.A) Earns Zambia Free Covid 19 Vaccines
July 22, 2021 | 0 Comments

U.S.A has provided over $28 Millon dollars to Zambia in fight against Covid 19

By Kelvin Mbewe

U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, David Young at a public event in Zambia.Photo Chipo Tembo, USAID/Zambia

The United States of America says Zambia will soon receive another donation of 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine in an effort to fight the covid 19 pandemic.

Zambia yesterday received a total of 151,200 does of the Johnson and Johnson single dose covid 19 vaccine.

And the United States says it has  provided more than $28 million to fight COVID-19 in Zambia since the pandemic began.

U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires David Young said this morning when he held virtual meeting with journalists that belong to the Media Science café (Mesica) adding that the donations are free of charge.

“The United States is committed to leading the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerating global vaccine distribution as the world’s single largest donor to COVAX.  All countries, regardless of income status, need vaccines that meet rigorous standards for safety and effectiveness,” he said.

Mr Young said the US will continue aiding Zambia to ensure that covid 19 is put to an end.

“We lament the loss of life in Zambia due to COVID-19, especially during this tragic third wave and the delta variant.  We will continue working together to put an end to the pandemic’s high toll on life, livelihoods, and secondary social and economic impacts,” he said.

He said the US is sharing the vaccines to save lives.

“Our vaccines do not come with strings attached. We are doing this with the singular objective of saving lives sharing these vaccines also serve as another example of the strength of our partnership and our commitment to Zambia,” he said.

Dr Young said the President of the USA Joe Biden is committed to bringing the same urgency to international vaccination efforts that we have demonstrated at home.

“The vaccines were made available through the African Union COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility and are part of the U.S. pledge to provide at least 25 million of 80 million doses globally to Africa. The U.S. government coordinated closely with the African Union and Africa Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) on the country allocations, “he said.

He said the donation will help protect the Zambian people from the ravages of the COVID-19 virus and begin to reduce the barriers to building back the Zambian economy.

 And Dr Young expressed optimism at this latest stage of the U.S.-Zambian relationship, reassuring U.S. support to assist Zambia to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The United States is proud to strengthen our friendship through the donation of these life-saving vaccines. The third wave of COVID-19 has been especially difficult in Zambia.  Through these vaccines, and the additional U.S. shipments to come, we partner to save lives,” he said.

He said the 151,200 doses are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to share the U.S. vaccine supply with the  world

“As we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic at home and work to end the pandemic worldwide, President Biden promised that the United States will be an arsenal of vaccines for the world,” he said.

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Vitol, Shoreline Energy, And Springfield Energy Executive To Drive Discussion On Natural Gas, Financing And The Energy Transition At African Energy Week 2021 In Cape Town.
July 22, 2021 | 0 Comments

Recent speaker confirmations by Shoreline Energy International’s Kola Karim, Vitol Senior Investment’s Steven Brann, and Springfield Group’s Kevin Okyere to the upcoming African Energy Week 2021 in Cape Town aim to advance discussions on the role of gas in Africa’s energy future and the value of gas-to-power solutions.

Three new VIP speakers have just been confirmed for the highly anticipated African Energy Week (AEW) 2021, taking place in Cape Town on the 9th-12th of November. Confirmations by Kola Karim, Managing Director and CEO of Shoreline Energy International, Steven Brann, Senior Investment Manager at Vitol, and Kevin Okyere, CEO of Springfield Group further position the conference as Africa’s premier energy event. Serving as key players in the African energy industry and in line with AEW 2021’s agenda to promote the role of Africa in the global energy transition, Karim, Brann and Okyere will drive a productive discussion on the challenges and opportunities present in Africa’s power sector, as well as the role of natural gas and availability offinancing in Africa’s energy transition.  

Considered one of Nigeria’s most successful entrepreneurs, Karim is both the founder and CEO of Shoreline Energy International, an indigenous power solutions company focused on power generation and power equipment manufacturing activities, operating throughout sub-Saharan Africa. With extensive experience in construction, commodity trading, oil and gas, engineering and the power sector, Karim is well-versed on Africa’s energy industry and committed to driving investment and growth across Africa’s power and energy sectors. With a focus on developing reliable and sustainable power supplies and creating integrated energy solutions throughout sub-Saharan Africa, Karim’s participation will foster dialogue on Africa’s power sector, addressing key concerns and offering feasible solutions to expanding regional power networks and driving industrialization.

Meanwhile, as Senior Investment Manager at Vitol – an energy and commodities trader involved in exploration and production, refining, terminals and trading – Brann is committed to driving investment in Africa’s impressive oil and gas sector. With a focus on gas and power solutions, Brann will advance discussions on natural gas monetization, challenges associated with the financing of Africa’s large-scale LNG projects and the value of gas as a transitionary resource. Driving a strong narrative that access to power is key to Africa’s industrialization, Brann will promote gas-to-power as a viable alternative power generation solution that can boost socioeconomic growth continent-wide.   

In line with AEW 2021’s recognition of the growing role of natural gas, participation from Okyere from Springfield Group – the Ghanaian exploration and production firm responsible for a series of historic discoveries offshore Ghana – will contribute to discussions on natural gas’ place in Africa’s energy future. With a focus on exploring cleaner sources of energy, Springfield is committed to developing its natural gas fields and accelerating gas-to-power developments to fast-track Africa’s industrial revolution and economic transformation. Accordingly, Okyere’s participation proves particularly valuable, as he will be able to provide an Africa-focused narrative on natural gas monetization and utilization, backed by experience and success in Ghana’s sector.

“We are proud to announce that Kola Karim, Steven Brann and Kevin Okyere have all committed to AEW 2021. These industry leaders will contribute to AEW 2021’s natural gas agenda, further promoting the value and benefits of the resource not only in Africa’s energy transition, but in spurring economic growth, promoting energy sector development and alleviating energy poverty by 2030,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.

Karim, Brann and Okyere are all committed to the same objective: transforming Africa’s energy sector to drive industrialization and economic growth. AEW 2021 unites multiple stakeholders from varying industries, providing a valuable platform for discussion regarding Africa’s energy future, against a backdrop of integration and engagement. AEW 2021 believes in unity, partnerships and cooperation as the key to African energy success and is proud to host a variety of VIP speakers under one forward-thinking agenda.

For more information about Africa’s premier energy event, visit www.aew2021.com or energychamber.org and/or email Amina Williams at amina.williams@energychamber.org

For registration-related inquiries, please contact registration@aew2021.com  

For sales-related inquiries, please contact sales@aew2021.com 

For media-related inquiries, please contact media@aew2021.com

For speaker-related inquiries, please contact speakers@aew2021.com

*African Energy Chamber

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A Burgeoning Energy Sector: African Energy Week In Cape Town Committed To Promoting Investment In Zimbabwe.
July 21, 2021 | 0 Comments

NJ Ayuk presenting a copy of his book Billions At Play to President Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe

During a working visit to Zimbabwe, African Energy Chamber Executive Chairman NJ Ayuk met with H.E. President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa to discuss extensive investment opportunities across the country’s renewable, natural gas and mining sectors.  

Committed to driving attendance at the upcoming African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 interactive conference and exhibition taking place in Cape Town (November 9-12) – as well as promoting pan-African investment opportunities – NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, conducted a working visit to Zimbabwe to open a dialogue on the country’s promising energy sector. Meeting with H.E. Emmerson Dumbudzo Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe, and presenting his recently published book, ‘Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals,’ Ayuk emphasized how AEW 2021 will position Zimbabwe as a top investment priority in November, driving development across multiple energy sectors.  

Ayuk’s meeting with the H.E. President Mnangagwa focused on Zimbabwe’s energy potential and delineated strategies by which this potential can be achieved. Across the country, power generation and transmission remain some of the most critical investment opportunities, as existing coal-fired power stations require upgrades and untapped natural gas and renewable resources lack exploitation. Therefore, Zimbabwe is seeking new investors and projects to increase installed power generation capacity, diversify its domestic energy sector and boost country-wide energy security, in which AEW 2021 will be a key driver.

With approximately 30 billion tons of coal in 21 known deposits that could have a lifespan of over 100 years, Zimbabwe’s coal reserves have the potential to address energy supply challenges and meet demand across the region. Currently, the country’s largest thermal power station, Hwange Thermal Power Plant, has a capacity of 750MW, supplying critical electricity to the population. However, with ageing power plants requiring upgrades and the country opting to reduce its reliance on coal, alternative power generation solutions are being considered and significant investment opportunities have emerged. 

Ayuk’s visit initiated a dialogue on one of the country’s most promising sectors: renewable energy. Zimbabwe is home to impressive hydropower potential – estimated at 18,500 GWh per year, of which 17,500 GWh is technically feasible – and aims to drive further investment and associated development to establish domestic energy security and independence. To date, only 19% of the country’s hydropower potential has been exploited, with most of Zimbabwe’s electricity supply produced at the 750MW Kariba Dam Hydroelectric Power Station. With further potential from the Zambezi River, as well as several small-scale prospects across the country, the resource could potentially position the country as a regional renewable competitor. 

Furthermore, Zimbabwe holds significant exploration opportunities for stakeholders. Despite the lack of proven oil and natural gas reserves – and the continued dependence on crude imports to supply the nation – Zimbabwe is redirecting its focus on exploration, specifically of natural gas. Having experienced critical electricity shortages for decades, Zimbabwe is seeking alternative power generation solutions, in which natural gas may be a viable alternative. The Southern African nation is pursuing partnerships and investment deals with international stakeholders, focusing on accelerating exploration and driving energy sector diversification and growth. 

Meanwhile, according to the International Trade Administration, Zimbabwe’s lithium deposits are the largest in Africa. With the rapid increase in global demand given the mineral’s importance to the energy-battery industry, the country has the potential to become a major exporter, while contributing to the global energy transition. To position itself as a clean energy player, Zimbabwe requires significant investment in mining, with additional opportunities available in mining supplies, transportation infrastructure and materials. In a bid to attract further investment, the government has proposed regulatory changes to the Mines and Minerals Act, making its more progressive and investor friendly. With a renewed interest in increasing domestic production, the government is seeking significant capital investments, in which AEW 2021 will play a major role. 

“AEW 2021 is committed to promoting Zimbabwe. With established sectors requiring upgrades, and emerging sectors seeking international participation and investment, the country offers significant potential for both regional and international players. By showcasing these opportunities at Africa’s premier energy event, AEW 2021 aims to drive investment in Zimbabwe, initiating energy sector expansion and diversification,” stated Ayuk. 

H.E. President Mnangagwa has declared a commitment to developing a robust energy sector in Zimbabwe to meet rising power demand brought about by an increasingly vibrant, productive and resilient economy and people. With significant potential across multiple segments of its energy economy, Zimbabwe hopes to attract both regional and international investment, utilizing its energy sector as a catalyst for wider socioeconomic growth. AEW 2021 aims to further this agenda, placing Zimbabwe as a top priority and showcasing all that the country has to offer. 

For more information about Africa’s premier energy event, visit www.aew2021.com or energychamber.org and/or email Amina Williams at amina.williams@energychamber.org  

For registration-related inquiries, please contact registration@aew2021.com    

For sales-related inquiries, please contact sales@aew2021.com  

For media-related inquiries, please contact media@aew2021.com  

For speaker-related inquiries, please contact speakers@aew2021.com

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Sierra Leone: Suckling Mother Gets Le 100 Million Bail Over Allegation Of Illegally Abstracting Electricity.
July 21, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Lamrana Barrie

Isatu Marrah, a suckling mother was granted Le 100 million bail after she was brought before Magistrate Kekura at the Freetown magistrate court No. 1 in the on-going early investigation on allegations of illegally abstracting electricity.

On the 3rd July, 2021, at black hall road Freetown police alleged that the accursed persons fraudulently used electricity supply from the electricity Distribution and supply Authority. To be diverted to the said house, within Black Hall Road, The accused persons have appeared six times before Magistrate Kekura on one count of using electricity supply contrary to section 68, of the national electricity Act No. 16 of 2011.

Marrah was granted bail after his lawyer Pujeh told Magistrate Kekura that the second accused Isatu Marrah is a suckling mother with a three month old baby and both of them are seriously sick and need proper medication. He said they will only have access to a doctor if Marrah is granted bail, he further  said that his client will always be available when needed at court.

Magistrate Kekura said that the surety must be a resident in Freetown and should produce identification card of his or her address and the bail bond should be approved by the Deputy Assistant Register.

Magistrate Kekura granted the bail with Le 100 million plus one surety who must be an elderly person and a responsible citizen. But Ramatu Turay, Mohamed Kamara, Mohamed Santigie Kamara, Abdul Kassim Komeh and Sallieu and Ibrahim kamara with who they were jointly charge to the male and female correctional centre in Freetown.

This matter was prosecuted by ASP Ibrahim S. Mansaray. Magistrate Kekura adjourned the matter to Friday 23rd July 2021 for further hearing.

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National Mosque In Ghana Shows Unity In Diversity – Andrew Egyapa Mercer-MP
July 21, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

Member of Parliament for Sekondi Andrew Egyapa Mercer has observed that the construction of a National Mosque in a Christian dominated country by the Nana Addo-led government is a laudable demonstration that there is unity in diversity.

According to him, he is confident that the National Mosque will serve as a significant reference point for Christians and Muslims that irrespective of their faith, there is no difference.

The commissioning of the National Mosque by the President, his Vice, the National Chief Imam together with leaders of other religious faiths with one accord is ample evidence and demonstration that Ghana occupies a unique place on the face of this earth.

Hundreds of Muslims in Accra and its environs converged at the refurbished Sekondi Methodist Park to mark the Eid prayers. Western Region Chief Imam Dr. Sheikh Ostaz Ali Hassan Ali led the prayers.

Speaking through an interpreter, the regional Chief Imam entreated the gathering to continue to live in harmony with one another. He indicated that all the prayers will be meaningless if they do not allow the teachings of Islam to reflect in their daily activities.

Member of Parliament Andrew Egyapa Mercer, who joined the prayers together with the regional minister, Kwabena Okyere-Darko Mensah, and the Sekondi-Takoradi Mayor, Abdul Issah Mumin, said the peace the country is enjoying should not be taken for granted.

According to him, as government thrives to unite the country, it behooves on every Ghanaian to also play his or her part.

The selection of the Muslim Vice President in itself should tell people that we are a diverse and multi-faith country. And that we should strongly believe in this unique diversity. That we do not discriminate as the Constitution enjoins us to do against people of different faith. He said we are people with common destiny therefore different faiths notwithstanding we can live together for many years.

Sekondi-Takoradi Mayor Abdul Issah Mumin, on his part, encouraged the citizenry to observe protocols on Covid-19. He elaborated that the country is seeing an upsurge in Covid-19 cases across the country. It is important that they take responsibility for their health and safety because the virus is still with us.

 

 

 

 

 

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