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Cameroon: Human Rights Lawyer Agbor Balla advocates back-to-school
July 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Felix Agbor Balla-Human rights defender addressing participants during the International Nelson Mandela Day in Yaounde

Felix Agbor Balla-Human rights defender addressing participants during the International Nelson Mandela Day in Yaounde

Renowned Human rights advocate and leader of the outlawed Anglophone Civil Society Consortium Barrister Felix Nkongho Agbor “Balla” has stepped up his campaign for children in the restive Anglophone Regions to go back to school.  The lawyer who is also the Founder/CEO of the Centre for Democracy in Africa, CHRDA was a guest speaker at the International Nelson Mandela Day organized by Nakfu Policy Institute under the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation, July 17, 2019, in Yaounde.

As it is a tradition every year, the Foretia Foundation celebrates the International Nelson Mandela Day with focus on the life of Nelson Mandela and what Cameroon can learn from the life of the ex-South African President, who gave his life for the fight for justice and peace, respect for human rights in his country.

During the panel discussion on “Nelson Mandela’s fight for justice-what lessons for the peace process in Cameroon”, Barrister Felix Agbor Nkongho proposed various measures Cameroon should put in place to bring a long-lasting solution o the Anglophone crisis. According to him, an all-inclusive dialogue should be implemented.

He added: “never again will one group of people marginalized and oppress another. The fear now however those who were oppressed are becoming the oppressors. We gave to abandon our individual goal for a general one, while peace is something very important”.

Barrister Balla further indicated that children should be allowed to go back to school in areas where security is much better. He, however, did not regret calling for school boycott but said however the school boycott has turned out is not what they had earlier wanted.

“It is a laudable imitative that has to be supported as education is very important. It is fundamental human rights and we need to encourage our children to go back to school. I understand that the security situation is worrisome but then there are places where children can go back to school”. “To have a million uneducated children, let us have at least 500 hundred thousand. Let us start working towards it. It is going to be a gradual process and it will not be done today. Let us at least not prevent them from going back to school”.

He went on to say those who are saying children should not go to school some of them have gone to school. “No matter how imperfect the educational system might be, basic education is helpful because if they don’t then they will end up tormenting the society with all the deviant behaviour. During Mandela’s period of Apartheid, children were going to school, in Syria, Afghanistan children are going to school.”

For his proposed All-inclusive dialogue, Barrister Balla said it depends now on the Head of State who should activate the dialogue. “Something has started in Switzerland and we hope that it will be inclusive. All-inclusive means everyone should be part of it, not necessarily those who have arms but should include the clergy, civil society and others, to find a long-lasting solution to the conflict” He said.

He has however called for the Separatist leaders to rethink their strategy. Giving his personal opinion, he said “I might still maintain the position of separation but hoping the negotiation which is a give and take-they (separatist) have to forgo something and the government too. Probably we have a two-State Federation and we move from there to a part way of independence. But insisting that independence or nothing means we are not going to come out of the conflict.”

Barrister Balla says children should not to be stopped from going to school

Barrister Balla says children should not to be stopped from going to school

Barrister Balla’s message to the youths was simple and clear: “youths should be active in politics by registering to vote and changing their country and should not be social media politicians-those who spend most of their time criticizing social media but can’t even register and vote.”

A report by CHRDA notes that the consequences of the prolonged school boycott, since for three years and counting now are more than catastrophic. Before October 2016, more than 6 thousand schools were operational in the North West and South-West Regions. As at December 2018, less than 1 hundred schools were operational in these regions, meaning that 5900 schools had shut their doors, with over 600 thousand students out of school and at least 40 schools burnt. In a UNICEF 2019 report, at least 600 thousand students are out of school in the North West and South-West Regions.

 

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Nigeria: Unemployed Nigerians rises to 21 million
July 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Teslim Olawore

Joseph Ari, the Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has said that the number of unemployed Nigerians rose from 17.6 to 20.9 million between the last quarter of 2017 and the third quarter of last year.

Ari while speaking at a news briefing on Thursday in Abuja, said the unemployment record was sourced from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

He said, “Despite the fact that the number of people in employment increased from 68.4 million in the third quarter of 2015 to 68.72 million in the third quarter of 2016 to 69.09 million in the third quarter of 2017 and 69.53 million in the third quarter of 2018.

“The statistics are scary and staggering and should not only be a source of worry for any administration that is as committed to the welfare of Nigerians as the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari but indeed all patriotic Nigerians.

“This administration has made tremendous efforts to create jobs as could be seen in the increase in the number of people employed as cited by the NBS report.

“There are countless reasons for us to worry as government, as institutions vested with the arduous task of equipping Nigerians with life skills for employability and entrepreneurship we will do all we can, there is no doubt that unemployment has wrought a terrible damage on all facets of our national life.

“No reasonable analysis will divorce unemployment from the needless incidence of violence that has claimed thousands of lives across the nation. It will equally be difficult to separate rising criminality and harmful social vices that are being perpetrated by Nigerians because of unemployment and the attendant poverty. Consequently our population that should be a resource has become an albatross because we cannot provide a greater proportion of our population with a source of livelihood.

“ITF outlined 11 implementable programmes for 2019 which are: National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP); Women Skills Empowerment Programme (WOSEP); air-conditioning and refrigerator (training on wheels); design and garment making; training on wheels for Nigerian youths under passion to profession programme; skills training and empowerment programme for the physically challenge (Step C); aquaculture fish farming; manure production; crop production and greenhouse technology; poultry farming and training programme development on international marketing and test running.”

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Mombouli and Lowey Talk US -Africa Ties
July 19, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Ben Bangoura*
Ambassador Mombouli and Chairwoman Lowey.

Ambassador Mombouli and Chairwoman Lowey.

The Ambassador of the Republic of Congo and Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps, Serge Mombouli, met on Wednesday, July 17, 2019, with Nita M. Lowey, Chairwoman of House Appropriations Committee in Washington.

The discussions focused on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the key role of the African Development Bank to achieve these goals.

During the meeting, Ambassador Mombouli -speaking on behalf of his colleagues in the diplomatic corps-, stressed the importance of relations  between the United States and Africa. With this in mind, he called on the partnership of chairwoman Lowey in making a strong advocacy with her fellow congressmen, as well as within the Administration, to ensure a successful 7th General Capital Increase for the African Development Bank, and 15th replenishment of the African Development Fund.

According to Ambassador Mombouli, the institutional and policy reforms implemented since the 6th General Capital Increase in 2010 have enabled the Bank to substantially increase its delivery capacity, making it the best financial body to help accelerate Africa’s transformation agenda.

 

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Abu Dhabi ‘Ready’ to Invest in Gambia
July 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Barrow speaks upon arrival

Barrow speaks upon arrival

President Adama Barrow has said that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) stands ready to support Gambia through exploring investment opportunities available in the country, as well as implementing various partnership agreements reached during his two days’ state visit.

The President returned from an official visit which he undertook on the invitation of the government and Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This was the first time in the history of The Gambia that a president is invited in an official capacity to visit the UAE, especially as a member of the OIC.

“They are ready to come to Gambia, and have assigned a technical team to come down to Banjul and engage with our government in order to best explore the opportunities we have to offer,” President Barrow told reporters upon return from the trip early Wednesday morning.

He and his delegation discussed the OIC as an organization, and the hosting of the summit in Banjul come 2022. They also discussed investment [opportunities] knowing very well the capacity of the Emirate country to invest in The Gambia.

The President’s delegation also held several meetings with authorities of the Abu Dhabi Fund. High on their agenda included the 2022 OIC Heads of States Summit to be hosted in the Gambia.

The Emirate of Abu Dhabi pledged to assist the Gambia with the. VIP vehicles for the Heads of States attending the Summit in the Gambia; provide some airport ground handling equipment for the Banjul International Airport, and construction of an aircraft parking apron at the Banjul International Airport that will accommodate aircrafts flying in for the summit.

On agreements that were reached, including the legal protection for Gambian workers in Abu Dhabi, he said despite signing such agreements, it has to still go through ratification by people’s representatives at the National Assembly.

“Anything we do in this country have to follow the due process. We will follow the due process to make sure we ratify it and move on,” he assured, advising that everybody in this country follow the due process in order to consolidate the gains of the new democracy.

The president said the Prince of Abu Dhabi had asked him what they could do in The Gambia. In response, he outlined all the prospects available in The Gambia. “The most important of them all is the environment [for business]… the sky is the limit for The Gambia,” President Barrow added.

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African Energy Chamber’s Angola President to Lead Angolan Services Companies’ African Outreach at Upcoming Oil & Gas Meeting Day in Malabo
July 17, 2019 | 0 Comments
The growth of Africa’s oil & gas sector presents the continent’s services companies with tremendous opportunities for partnerships and regional expansion

LUANDA, Angola, July 17, 2019/ — Angolan and Mozambican services companies are answering to Equatorial Guinea’s call to cooperation and will be participating in the Oil & Gas Meeting Day in Malabo on October 1st and 2nd, 2019. The delegation will be led by President of the African Energy Chamber in Angola, Sergio Pugliese.

The growth of Africa’s oil & gas sector presents the continent’s services companies with tremendous opportunities for partnerships and regional expansion. As Africa’s second largest oil producer and thanks to its strong local content efforts, Angola is now home to countless services companies with the necessary capacities to expand across sub-Saharan Africa.

“Angola is known for having strong local services companies,” said Sergio Pugliese. “The growth of our local content is now accelerating thanks to the reforms made by President João Lourenço and his administration. We now have Angolan companies that developed strong capabilities and are ready to expand beyond Angola. They are seeking partnerships and deals with other African and international services and technology companies, to serve both their regional expansion plans but also to further support the growth of the Angolan industry at home. The Oil & Gas Meeting Day provides the perfect platform to seal such deals.”

The African Energy Chamber  (https://EnergyChamber.org/)strongly supports the Oil & Gas Meeting Day, a Year of Energy event organsied by Equatorial Guinea’s National Alliance of Hydrocarbons Service Companies (NAHSCO). Malabo has positioned itself as the hub for services companies to engage in meaningful conversations on how to build the next-generation of African oil & gas leaders and companies. The services industry is a massive job creator and a strong pillar of the global oil & gas industry. As cooperation amongst African oil markets increases, the need for services companies to step up their game and pursue an aggressive outreach has become a necessity.

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President Barrow Holds Bilateral Talks with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi
July 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Barrow with UAE Crown Prince

Barrow with UAE Crown Prince

President Adama Barrow has on Monday held bilateral talks with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the United Arab Emirates Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi Recently.

The two leaders discussed a wide range of bilateral issues, including the potential increase of support in the areas of vision and eye care services in The Gambia through the Sheikh Zayed Eye Care Center, which is providing various services in West Africa. Giving that Abu Dhabi was one of the countries that pledged to support The Gambia’s National Development Plan 2018-2021, the bilateral discussion couldn’t have come at a better time.

The talks gave the two leaders an opportunity to consult on areas that would strengthen the cordial relationship that exist between the two countries for the benefit of their peoples. While espousing the great investment potentials of The Gambia in the hope of forging a closer partnership, President Barrow thanked the Crown Prince for his wonderful hospitality.

Leaders in business, politics, and society from across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi were in attendance to meet and greet the president and his delegation.

Following the meeting with the Crown Prince, President Barrow was also taken on a conducted tour of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center – the largest mosque in Abu Dhabi with a capacity of 51, 000 people.

 

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Oil Executives Join African Energy Chamber in visit to the Famous Slave Hub of Goree Island, Senegal
July 15, 2019 | 0 Comments
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Zimbabwe Invests in Young People through UNFPA..
July 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Nevson  Mpofu

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Harare-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed to support the International Conference on Population and Development goals through the support of UNFPA to young people in the country. He said initiatives that improve life like what UNFPA does can -not be ignored or looked down upon.

On Thursday 11 July on World Population Day, the President officially opened a clinic in Harare South at a severely poverty stricken community called Hopley , 10 kilometres outside the city  centre of Harare .

‘’My Government renews its commitments to the International Conference on Population and Development Agenda. We support initiatives that improve the quality of life of our young people.

‘’The quality of life of any individual is undoubtedly important. There-fore the work of the UNFPA is important as we address concerns of young people World-Wide today.

‘’At ICPD in Cairo , 179 countries adopted a forward looking 20 year programme of action that continues to serve as a comprehensive guide to people centred development program .

The Clinic comes to official launch together with the youth centre in the community. The area has a total of 200,000 people of which 65,000 of them are young people. The clinic and youth centre was built by the City of Harare with much support from UNFPA. A local company Lafarge provided cement at the site.

The centre provides Industry skills to young people. Among them at most is cobble stone technology, brick laying, electrical work and plumbing. Out of the total number of those empowered 56% of them are young women. Young women train on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights.

‘’We have like always given full financial support. The core main reason is that we are into these issues. We need to see to it and get assured that young people explore for better opportunities especially young girls in terms of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights. They later in life explore better Health Life-Lines for better communities.’’

‘’Youth Friendly Health Services will serve many young people in the area in line with Health issues related to HIV and AIDS , STIs and elimination of Reproductive Tract Infections like those related to cervical cancers . It meant a lot about eliminating HIV and AIDS.’’ says Esther Muia , UNFPA Zimbabwe Country Representative .

Sweden is a strong advocate to the above mentioned issues.  Martin Johnrud  Charge d Affairs at  Swedish  Embassy in Harare said services at the centre will reduce unwanted pregnancies , sexual transmitted diseases , HIV and some communicable illnesses .

‘’This clinic goes a long way in achieving development goals of the United Nations. It is interesting that we address thorny Health problems at a time we move to eliminate HIV and AIDS,.

‘’I am impressed as this comes at a time the World is looking at Sustainable Development Goals. Today as we also commemorate World Population Day, the message is sent everywhere’’, he said

 

 

 

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South Sudan President Kiir pardons 15 prisoners without Biar & Kerbino
July 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir Mayardit

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit

Juba – South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has pardoned and ordered the release of 15 prisoners on the occasion of the 8th independence anniversary of the restive country in the Horn of Africa.

President Kiir announced the release of the detainees during his address to the nation at the Presidential Palace J1 on Tuesday.

The inmates to be released were detained in Juba, Wau, and Yambio among other towns.

“Because of this occasion of celebrating 8th independence anniversary, I have pardoned and released 15 inmates and their name will be read out by comrade Makuei,” said President Kiir.

But an entrepreneur Kerubino Wol Agok and a political activist, London based economist Peter Biar Ajak are not part of those pardoned by the president.

However, the country’s Information Minister Michael Makuei, who is also the government spokesperson, read out the names of those pardoned by the president, saying the prisoners would be released from various prisons in the country.

“In Juba central prison, you have Delta Justine Kenyi, Jackson Anip David, John Bosco Losimi, and Silah James Kumunan,” said the minister of information.

“In Wau Central Prison, you have Santino Chol Yai, Ayian Deng Athem, Marko Dut David, Yel Yel Mawein, Daniel Yol and David Dut Pualino.”

In Yambio Central Prison, there is only one person and that is James Anyiri John. In Twic State, you have Ayian Abiel, Ring Magok, Ayian Agok Magieth Deng and Ring Mabior Yom,” said Makuei.

Minister Makuei further asked the prison authorities to act on the presidential order.

“We say congratulation to them. Prison authorities should take necessary action for the release of these people,” said Makuei.

Perhaps, president Kiir’s moved was welcomed by South Sudanese, civil society organizations, observers and analysts, including the defense lawyers of Dr. Biar and Wol, but they are calling on president Kiir to extends further.

Philip Anyang Ngong, Defense lawyer for Dr. Peter Biar, said he welcomed the president Kiir’s decision to freed 15 prisoners across the country as a purely within his discretion but that should not be limited to only 15 prisoners.

“I want to appeal to the president to also activate his powers and release Peter Biar Ajak as a South Sudanese and an instrument of free press,” Anyang told Pan African Visions.

Month ago, the Juba high court finally sentenced to jail political activist Dr. Biar and entrepreneur Kerbino Wol to 2 and 15 years in prison respectively, following accusation that they threatened the security of the country.

The London based economist Dr. Biar was detained in July 2018, while businessman Kerbino was detained in April the same year. The Juba high court “did not charge Biar and Wol for the reasons they were first arrested but over an incident at the national security prison” last year when detainees allegedly took weapons and demobilized prison guards.

The Juba high court earlier dropped the treason, terrorism, undermining the government activities charges first against Biar and Wol, but convicted Dr. Biar for “breach of the peace” and of campaigning for the exit of president Kiir on foreign media over the peace agreement, whereas Mr. Wol convicted of masterminding subversive activities against president Kiir.

Last month, the defense lawyers of businessman, Kerbino Wol and political activist Peter Biar have made an appealed against the decision of the high court that sentenced their clients to prison.

 

 

 

 

 

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Namibia: Andjamba is the new minister education minister
July 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
Newly appointed Minister of Presidential Affairs, Martin Andjamba

Newly appointed Minister of Presidential Affairs, Martin Andjamba

Windhoek – Namibia President Hage Geingob has on Wednesday appointed Martin Andjamba, the minister of presidential affairs as an acting minister in the portfolio of education, arts and culture.

Andjamba was appointed to the Cabinet portfolio after follow the resignation of the Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa on Tuesday, after she was convicted of corruption this week.

Andjamba’s appointment is in terms of section 4 of the Assignment of Powers Act, 1990, says Presidential press secretary Dr Alfredo Tjiurimo Hengari.

“With seven months left before the end of the term of the current Government, coupled with the rights of Hon. Hanse-Himarwa under Article 47(2)(a) of the Namibian Constitution, President Geingob has decided not to appoint a new Minister in the education, arts and culture portfolio,” said Hengari.

Hengari emphasized that Andjaba will assume all statutory functions of the minister of education, arts and culture in terms of Article 37 of the Namibian Constitution and will be deputized by Anna Nghipondoka.

The former Namibian Ambassador to the United States was served as presidential affairs since April 2018.

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Namibia: President Geingob concludes successful visits to Rwanda and Niger
July 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Andreas Thomas

President Hage Geingob and First Lady Kalondo Monica were guests of President Paul Kagame and Madame Jeannette Kagame on the occasion of Rwanda’s 25 liberation anniversary

President Hage Geingob and First Lady Kalondo Monica were guests of President Paul Kagame and Madame Jeannette Kagame
on the occasion of Rwanda’s 25 liberation anniversary

Windhoek – The Namibian President Hage Geingob has successfully concluded a working visit to Rwanda and Niger, where he attended the 12thExtraordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly in Niamey. The session coincided with the inaugural Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the African Union and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) held from 7-8 July 2019 in Niger’s capital.

President Geingob delivered a statement at the meeting in his capacity as Chairperson of SADC. In his address, the Namibian leader highlighted the achievements made by member states towards regional integration, which include the establishment in 2008 of the SADC Free-Trade Area (FTA), increasing trade in the region from 16% to 22%.

He informed the gathering that SADC had made significant strides in the development of roads and ports that further facilitates trade and promotes economic growth in the region. Applauding the inaugural meeting.

“This AU-REC coordination meeting, therefore, allows us to take a critical look at the progress made in implementing and meeting the objectives of our integration agenda, and provides us with a unique opportunity to take stock of our synergies with the AU Agenda and programmes. I am confident that we will learn from each other, and be able to chart our way forward in positioning ourselves to meet the Continental Agenda,” said the Namibian leader.

The 12th Extraordinary Session served as the formal launch of the entry into force of the African Continental Free-Trade Area (AfCFTA) on 30 May 2019.

So far, 27 countries have ratified the Agreement establishing the AfCFTA, and 54 have signed the agreement.

Trading between African countries under the AfCFTA will commence on 1 July 2020, while Phase Two of the AfCFTA Negotiations on Investment Policy, Competition Policy, and Intellectual Property Rights are set to be concluded in December 2020.

Namibia ratified the Agreement establishing the AfCFTA in February 2019, which paved the way for the Namibian private sector and SMEs to fully participate in intra-Africa trade by taking advantage of the AfCFTA.

The First Mid-Year Coordination meeting discussed the the status of integration in Africa and started preliminary discussions on the division of labour between the AU and RECs with a view to avoiding duplication and overlapping mandates.

Before travelling to Niger Geingob participated at the invitation of President Paul Kagame in the Celebrations of Liberation Day of Rwanda on 4 July. During the visit, the two leaders held several discussions, focusing on bilateral ties, regional integration and international affairs.

In a solemn ceremony on 5 July, President Geingob laid a wreath at the Kigali Memorial Centre.

He stressed unity as a precondition for socio-economic progress in Africa cautioned strongly against tribalism and racism as ills that had no place in society.

“Tribalism and racism are the same things because both involve hatred towards other people”, President Geingob warned, while commendingRwanda for the remarkable progress the country had made since the Genocide 25 years ago.

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Namibia:Africa can benefit from its diamonds if exploited responsibly – Minister Alweendo
July 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Andreas Thomas

From left Minister Tom Alweendo, Edgar Diogo De Carvalho – ADPA’s Executive Secretary and Saadou Nimaga, Deputy Minister of Mines and Geology of Guinea during the official handover of the ADPA Chairmanship by Guinea to Namibia.

From left Minister Tom Alweendo, Edgar Diogo De Carvalho – ADPA’s Executive Secretary and Saadou Nimaga, Deputy Minister of Mines and Geology of Guinea during the official handover of the ADPA Chairmanship by Guinea to Namibia.

Windhoek – The fact that Africa dominate diamond production is an indication that the continent has the potential to capitalise on these natural resources, says Namibian mines and energy minister Tom Alweendo on Tuesday.

Information by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme indicates that African countries such as Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Angola, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Sierra Leone is in the top ten of diamond producing countries in volume and value globally.

In addition, the most expensive diamonds are produced by Cameroon, Namibia, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Lesotho, with a value ranging from US$300 to more than US$500 per carat, in comparison to the global average value of US$315 per carat.

This Minister Alweendo said it “indicates that Africa has the opportunity and potential to capitalise on its diamond resources if exploited in a responsible and sustainable manner.

That way, we will ensure that diamond generated income is channelled towards the building of educational and health institutions, improving road and network infrastructure and meeting other pressing social-economic needs”.

Alweendo was speaking during the 6th Ordinary Meeting of the African Diamond-Producing Countries Association Council of Ministers in Windhoek. The annual session started on Monday with the meeting of senior officials for countries.

The two-day meeting hosted by the Namibian mines and energy ministry deliberated and formulated policies for the functioning of the African Diamond-Producing Countries Association (ADPA), approve its organic structures and internal regulations as well as approve and direct the work of the executive secretariat.

 Namibia also took over the rotational chair of the association from Guinea. ADPA comprised of 18 members countries of which 12 are the effective members, while six are observers. The effective members are the diamond producing nations, while the observer countries are those that have the geological potential of diamonds

The Association of the Diamond Producing Countries was then established in accordance with the Luanda Declaration of 2006 and the ADPA Statute

Since its establishment, Angola, South Africa, and Guinea have chaired the ADPA’s Council of Ministers meeting, with Namibia taking over the Chairmanship for the year 2019.

“ADPA has played a significant role particularly in consolidating views of African producing countries. For example, ADPA has been instrumental in the restoration of the Republic of Zimbabwe back into the Kimberly Process after economic sanctions were imposed against their exportation of rough diamonds. The same support has been extended to the Central African Republic and is ongoing,” Minister Alweendo said.

In June 2018, ADPA concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Antwerp World Diamond Center, which Alweendo said will benefit ADPA member states throughout the entire diamond value chain, by the provision of necessary support towards ADPA’s implementation of its strategies and work plan just to mention a few.

This MoU is due for adoption and implementation.

He said ADPA has also formulated the concept document on the ‘Establishment of the Diamond Bourse’ to serve as a centre of rough diamond trading and to assist Alluvial Artisanal and Small-Scale miners in getting fair value for their produce, which is currently undervalued.

The Namibian stressed that most of the minerals in Africa is exported in raw form as concentrated ore without significant value-addition.

“It is therefore important for ADPA member states to explore ways to add value to minerals that are economically viable including diamonds, in order to industrialise their economies,” he said.

The minister also commended the African Union for formulating the Africa Mining Vision, a policy framework calling for the promotion of downstream value addition, with a view to establishing beneficiation industries that could provide stock for local manufacturing and industrialisation.

“This is to promote more fiscal space and responsive taxation to allow countries to better capture revenue gains and encourage the use of revenues for value addition and linkages,” he said.

Therefore, he challenged ADPA to drive the beneficiation “agenda by developing the diamond downstream industry through the exchange of relevant information and expertise in the area of beneficiation and mainstreaming of alluvial artisanal and small-scale miners into the formal economies to mention a few”.

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