African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina receives Emeka Anyaoku lifetime achievement award
October 10, 2019 | 0 Comments
|The Hallmarks of Labour Foundation presented the Outstanding International Icon Award to Adesina at a ceremony held in Lagos on October 6th|
| ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, October 9, 2019/ — Former Commonwealth Secretary-General Emeka Anyaoku has presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to the African Development Bank (AfDB.org) President Akinwumi Adesina, describing him and the Bank’s work as “ legendary, unprecedented and worthy of emulation.”|
The Hallmarks of Labour Foundation presented the Outstanding International Icon Award to Adesina at a ceremony held in Lagos on October 6th.
The Hallmarks of Labour Foundation is a non-profit that recognizes Africans who have achieved success through hard work, honesty, integrity, and justice in every field of human endeavour. Previous beneficiaries of the award include Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka.
Thanking the foundation for the recognition, Adesina said that the African Development Bank had helped 181 million people directly through its investments in the past four years
“There is still much to do. We have gone some way, climbing the steep mountainside of Africa’s development, yet there’s still a long way to go until we reach the mountaintop,” he told the gathering of top government officials, industry leaders, and diplomats.
The Bank has connected 16 million people to electricity and provided 70 million people with improved agricultural technologies to achieve food security. The African Development Bank also gave 9 million people access to finance from private sector companies, provided 55 million people access to improved transport, and 31 million people with water and sanitation.
Adesina congratulated his fellow awardees and urged them to be relentless in their efforts to build humanity.
“Recognition is never the expectation or endgame when you are passionate about your work. But when one’s modest contributions and efforts are found worthy of honor, it is both a surprise and a delight,” he noted.
Climate and environmental civil society organizations urge AFDB President Adesina to curb funding for coal projects in Africa
October 7, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
Climate and environmental civil society organizations have submitted an open letter to Mr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank calling to immediately stop the financing of all coal projects on the African continent.
The letter reads:
We, the undersigned civil society organisations call on the leadership of the African Development Bank to immediately put in place and publish on the AfDB website a policy that denies the bank’s funding or financial services to any coal project on the African continent.
We welcomed your announcement made on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, in which you reiterated the AfDB’s commitment to no longer fund coal plants on the continent, but rather build the “largest solar zone in the world” in the Sahel region.
This announcement follows a series of scientific reports confirming that stopping the construction of coal fired power plants and closing existing plants is a crucial element in achieving the Paris Agreement’s objective.
Africa’s vulnerability to climate change is well known and documented. According to the 2018 Climate Change Vulnerability Index, seven of the ten most climate-vulnerable countries are in Africa.
During this year alone, two powerful hurricanes plunged Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi into a state of disaster, at a time when droughts have taken their toll in Eastern Africa and the Horn of Africa. Successive reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirm that after the polar zones, Africa is expected to be the second hardest hit region by the effects of climate change. These effects are already hampering economic development, sometimes eroding years of economic progress, exacerbating conflict and pushing hundreds of thousands of people every year into exile, especially those living in arid zones and areas affected by desertification.
Despite this gloomy picture, Africa remains one of the few continents where the development of coal fired power plants continues while the latest IPCC report stated that all coal-fired plants must close by 2040 to reach the 1.5 °C target set in the Paris Agreement. If fossil fuel projects continue at the current rate, Africa is heading straight for warming of 3 to 4 °C; a scenario that would have disastrous consequences, with extreme heat that would affect the majority of the continent’s land, increased risks of extreme drought (especially in Eastern and Southern Africa), a decline in agricultural yield, and extreme flooding as highlighted in the latest IPCC report. The same report made it clear that anyone who supports the fossil fuel industry knowingly contributes to untold suffering around the world. In the face of these extreme weather events and associated risks that threaten the lives and livelihoods of millions of Africans, the youth and civil society organisations of Africa took action from the 20 to 27th September, calling for immediate and radical climate action in agreement with science, and an end to the fossil fuel era. In this historic mobilisation called “Global Climate Strikes”, people from all walks of life, including fishing communities, farmers, women, young people, civil society groups, traditional and religious leaders took part in diverse actions sending a strong message to their governments and financial institutions that Africa does not need fossil fuels to meet its energy demand and grow its energy supply, but should rather lead the world in the energy transition fueled by renewable resources.
Frontline communities affected by the coal projects of Bargny (Senegal), Lamu (Kenya) and South Africa have taken the lead in the strike mobilisations. While thanking and congratulating you for your commitment to rid Africa of the coal influence and to accelerate the use of renewable energies, we are convinced that the AfDB can do more by officially and definitively disengaging itself from any current or future coal project, starting with the Bargny project (Senegal) where the AfDB Board of Directors had approved a preferential loan of € 55 million on November 25, 2009. Subsequently, the same board approved an additional loan of $ 5 million. By doing so, we will be truly convinced that the statement made in New York is not a mere announcement, but rather a firm commitment to actively and concretely support the renewable energy transition and development that Africa so badly needs to not only fight against the climate crisis but also boost its development and improve the well-being of its inhabitants. That is why we, therefore, urge the AfDB to: Immediately put in place and publish on the AfDB website a policy that denies the bank’s funding· or financial services to any coal project on the African continent. Shift the AfDB’s portfolio to 100% renewable energy projects and sustainable, low-emission· agriculture and infrastructure; Publish a roadmap to reduce portfolio-wide emissions and align with 1.5ºC goal.· 3 Increase transparency and access to information as well as increased transparency in stakeholder· engagement and consultation in relation to energy finance; Release additional information or a timeline for the release of additional information regarding· the construction of the “largest solar energy zone on the planet” in the Sahel region; We look forward to hearing from you on what steps will be taken towards achieving these changes. Our hope is that we can all work together to create a brighter, sustainable future for the African continent.
Kenya: African Development Bank Group approves loans of €209m for expansion of ‘Great North Road’
October 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
The five-year project will convert the 84km Kenol–Sagana–Marua Road in central and eastern Kenya from a two-way single carriageway into a dual bypass
|ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, October 4, 2019/ — The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) has approved loans of around €209 million to fund the expansion of a highway that links major economic hubs in Kenya.|
The approval was granted on 26 September during a meeting at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan.
The total project cost is €257.68 million, of which €178.02 million (69%) will be financed by the Bank Group, while 12% will come from the Africa Growing Together Fund, set up by the Bank and the People’s Bank of China in 2014. The remaining 19% will be financed by the Kenyan government.
The five-year project will convert the 84km Kenol–Sagana–Marua Road in central and eastern Kenya from a two-way single carriageway into a dual bypass, and is due for completion in 2025. The new road will enhance traffic flow between the port city of Mombasa and major centres like Nairobi. It will also ease transport between Nairobi and the Mount Kenya region; and ultimately Ethiopia.
The current Kenol–Sagana–Marua Road is situated along the “Great North Road”, which forms part of the 800km stretch between Nairobi and Moyale and runs across the five counties of Muranga, Kirinyaga, Machakos, Embu and Nyeri.
Kenol–Sagana–Marua Road is also part of the Trans-Africa Highway, commonly known as the Cape to Cairo route.
According to a project report, about 1.15 million people will benefit from the upgraded highway. 44% of the beneficiaries are likely to be women. The beneficiaries include producers, manufacturers and traders, who will save time and money, thanks to improved access on the main corridor to the north.
Building a 21st century road must also take into account climate change, which often leads to road runoff, flooding and erosion. In order to counter these phenomena, trees will be planted in the surrounding area.
The project is part of broader government efforts to improve the country’s infrastructure, including the construction of 1,304 km of new roads in recent years. The Bank’s present portfolio in Kenya consists of 38 operations, totaling around $3.3 billion.
UNGA 2019: Hands off our girls! African first ladies take campaign against rape, early child marriage, to UN General Assembly
September 27, 2019 | 0 Comments
New York, New York 27 September 2019 –Africa’s first ladies, led by Sierra Leone Fatima Maada Bio brought their campaign to ban early child marriage and sexual violence against women and girls before a global stage in a passionate appeal for the world to support their “Hands Off Our Girls! Campaign.
In a no-holds barred conversation organized on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Wednesday, Bio flanked by her husband President Julius Bio, spoke to “lift the lid of silence” taboo and stigma surrounding rape and early marriage in Sierra Leone and other parts of the continent.
The high-level meeting was organised to rally support for the end of early marriage and rape in Africa, a movement which the Bios have spearheaded.
This year’s General Assembly has been dominated by delivery of the sustainable development goals, of which number 5 is Gender Equality.
In brief opening remarks, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina spoke out forcefully against all forms of early marriage and said the economic empowerment of women is a critical tool to end the vicious cycle of marginalization and gender imbalance.
“That’s why the Bank is raising $3 billion to support women,” Adesina said, referring to the Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women In Africa (AFAWA) initiative.
“Early marriage is not only a human rights abuse it is an economic issue,” Rachel Yates, Executive Director of Girls Not Brides, said.
Sharing intimate personal details, Maada Bio, recounted her personal story of running away from an arranged marriage to an older man in her early teens. Aided by an older sister, she took a flight out of her native Sierra Leone to the United Kingdom – without her father’s knowledge or permission. “I come from a family where girls are married at 12 years,” she said.
Three months later from the safety of the UK, her resolve was set.
“From that moment I vowed that I would not see a child being abused,” she said.
President Bio, responding to a question on how deeply set cultural mindsets could be changed, said it would take patience and persistence. “We have to leave some aspects of culture behind. We have to establish institutions and cascade our campaigns down across the entire country.
Sierra Leone has one of the highest incidences of rape and sexual assault on the continent. In February, President Bio declared a state of emergency due to the high incidences of rape.
Other prominent first ladies at the event included Jeanette Kagame of Rwanda, Clar Weah of Liberia, Antoinette Sassou Nguesso of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the first lady of Zimbabwe, Auxilla Mnangagwa, and Ermine Erdogan, first lady of Turkey.
Speaking passionately in support of her “Sierra Leonean sister,” Weah said it was time to collectively say no to abuse. “We renew our commitment to create a safe world for our girls in Africa. We entreat all presidents and heads of states to join us,” she said.
Ermine Erdogan, an ardent advocate against child marriage in Turkey and who made a special appearance to support the event, said the key to the empowerment of women was education.
“There is no excuse for early marriage. The place for a school-going child is school,” she said.
Other voices in support of the first ladies included Djereje Wordofa, UNFA Deputy Executive Director who said protection of girls and women and preventing abuse must become a national priority.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organisation said it was a subject he dreaded but had to talk about. “Child marriage reinforces poverty…It is totally unacceptable.
We must speak out against political, religious and social practices,” he said.
Since his election to office in 2018, President Bio has strongly advocated against early marriage and has tightened legal and policy frameworks for sexual offenders and rapists. The campaign is gaining traction and has been endorsed across the continent with the support of the African First Ladies.
The High-Level meeting follows a First Ladies Meeting on Combatting Child Marriage and Promoting Education of Girls in West Africa, which took place in Niamey in Niger on the Margins of the Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State of the African Union.
“Every time I get the opportunity, I say the fight against early marriage is not a political statement, it is a personal one. We need help,” Maada Bio said.
Innovative thinking marks African Development Bank’s Africa jobs manifesto
September 14, 2019 | 0 Comments
Employment is top of the agenda of every African leader – SVP Charles Boamah
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, September 13, 2019/ — Innovative thinking about Africa’s conventional employment issues is what marks the African Development Bank’s (www.AfDB.org) new policy research document “Creating Decent Jobs: Strategies, Policies, and Instruments,” participants heard at the report launch, held 12 September 2019.
The report elicited strong presentations and a lively debate during the event which took place in the Babacar N’Diaye Auditorium at the Bank’s headquarters, attended by senior management, diplomats, staff, and media representatives.
The Bank’s Senior Vice President Charles Boamah introduced the issue of employment as being “at the top of the agenda of every African leader”, and said that the report was “the first of its kind in challenging and unveiling some of the misconceptions that many experts have about the nature of under-employment and unemployment in Africa.
“The report signals the start of some fresh thinking about the nature of employment creation on the continent and clarifies which development strategies and policy interventions are needed for low-income countries in Africa”, Boamah said. He went on to predict that the report would “serve as a reference document on employment in Africa for some years to come”.
Introducing the report, Celestin Monga, the Bank’s Chief Economist, remarked that part of its appeal was in applying innovative thinking to conventional employment issues. For example, one problem identified was that domestic economic progress was often assessed by the allocation of public funding to priority sectors or by analyzing the number of reforms carried out to improve the business environment. In this context, he observed that several of the world’s top-performing countries had low rankings for the ease of doing business.
Monga also remarked that the official unemployment figures of many African countries were so unrealistically low that policymakers found it difficult to explain how demand for labor in markets was so buoyant. Africa was also the world region with the highest proportion of its workforce in vulnerable employment, which served to hide rather than clarify the essential issue of employment in Africa. A new model for measuring employment that related to actual conditions in Africa was needed, he said. The report should also be seen as a manifesto for African jobs.
Finally, he praised the painstaking work of his co-editors, and particularly recommended a focus paper written by Andinet Woldemichael, principal research economist, entitled “The Missing Women in African Labor Markets” in the report.
In the face of rapidly growing populations and heightened risks of social unrest or discontent, jobless growth was the most serious concern for African policymakers, said Abebe Shimeles, manager in the Chief Economist’s complex, who spoke on the highlights of the report. “One problem”, he added, “was already well known – that employment and unemployment needed to be more closely defined in their relative context, a task that had already caused difficulties in other development finance institutions. Traditional labour market economists were not capable of accurately defining the particular African employment phenomenon”. In addition, he pointed out that the status of the ministries of work or labour in many African countries was often not important enough to be considered as a critical policy sector, reflecting the low priority given to making a serious difference to the continental employment challenge facing all the African countries.
Following questions from the audience, a small panel briefly discussed the overall issue presented by the report. This session of reflections featured Ivorian minister of youth promotion and employment Mamadou Toure, in the government of Cote d’Ivoire, who drew attention to the interconnections that existed around the jobs issue. “This cannot be resolved on its own, and certainly not without considering carefully other related aspects, such as skills, education, training, enterprise and social services” he said.
Professor Tchetche N’Guessan, of the University of Felix Houphouet-Boigny, Cocody, Cote d’Ivoire; and Mr Freddy Tchala, CEO of MTN in Cote d’Ivoire. Also spoke, discussing different aspects of employment, education, training, skills and government measures for the promotion of youth entrepreneurs.
African Development Bank launches US$ 2 billion 1.625% Global Benchmark due 16 September 2022
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 13 September 2019 – The African Development Bank, rated Aaa/AAA/AAA (Moody’s/S&P/Fitch, all stable), has launched and priced a US$ 2 billion 3-year Global Benchmark bond due 16 September 2022, its first US$ benchmark of the year.
Launched on September 11, the bond issue is the Bank’s second Global Benchmark of 2019, following a EUR 1 billion 10-year priced in March 2019. With this transaction, the Bank has now raised US$ 4.4 billion in 2019 to date and executed 61% of its borrowing program for the year. The transaction received strong support from investors globally, with order books reaching US$ 2.8 billion and 53 investors participating. The high quality of the order book is illustrated by the strong participation of Central Banks and Official Institutions, taking 64% of the allocations.
The African Development Bank decided to take advantage of favorable investor sentiment post summer break to access the 3-year tenor, in spite of volatile market conditions ahead of the Fed Meeting the following week. The mandate was announced on Tuesday, September 10, at 12:00 London time with Initial Pricing Thoughts of Mid-Swaps + 13 basis points (bps) area.
The transaction met strong interest from the outset, with Indications of Interest in excess of US$ 1.8 billion (excluding Joint-Lead Managers interest) when order books officially opened at 08:00 London time the following morning, with initial price guidance of Mid-Swaps + 13bps area.
Momentum continued throughout the European morning, with orders in excess of US$ 2.5 billion around 11:20 London time. At this time, final pricing was set at Mid-Swaps + 13bps. Following the close of the order book in the US, the size of the transaction was set at US$ 2 billion by 14:20 London time.
The transaction was priced at 16:24 London time with a re-offer yield of 1.679%, equivalent to a spread of 8.75bps vs UST 1.5% 15 September 2022, the issuer’s tightest print vs US Treasuries to date.
“We are delighted with this successful dollar Global Benchmark, and particularly pleased by both the very high quality of the order book and the solid participation of African Central Banks. The African Development Bank achieved its tightest ever spread to US Treasuries, and we are grateful to our investors across the world for this outcome, and the financing it will bring to the African continent”. Hassatou Diop N’Sele, Group Treasurer, African Development Bank
Investor distribution statistics:
|By Geography||By Investor Type|
|Issuer:||African Development Bank (“AfDB”)|
|Issuer rating:||Aaa/AAA/AAA (Moody’s/S&P/Fitch)|
|Amount:||US$ 2 billion|
|Pricing date:||11 September 2019|
|Settlement date:||18 September 2019|
|Coupon:||1.625%, Fixed, Semi-Annual 30/360|
|Maturity date:||16 September 2022|
|Re-offer yield:||1.679% Semi-Annual|
|Re-offer spread:||Mid-Swaps + 13bps / UST 1.5% 15 September 2022 + 8.75bps|
|Joint lead-managers||Citi, Daiwa, HSBC, JP Morgan, Société Générale|
Japan and African Development Bank announce $3.5 billion in support of Africa’s private sector development
August 30, 2019 | 0 Comments
Electricity, transport, and health identified as key priorities
Yokohama, Japan, 30 August 2019 – Japan and the African Development Bank on Friday announced a joint target of $3.5 billion under the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance for Africa initiative (EPSA4), during the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7).
Both Japan and the Bank have set a target of $1.75 billion each, from 2020-2022, to enhance the fourth phase of EPSA to spur private-sector-led sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa.
“Building on the successful achievements so far, Japan and the Bank have decided to upgrade EPSA in both quality and quantity to meet financial needs for infrastructure development as well as for the private sector development in Africa,” Japan’s State Minister of Finance,” Mr. Keisuke Suzuki said at the EPSA4 launch ceremony held in Yokohama and attended by government officials and a high-level delegation from the Bank as well as representations of the business community.
“We will cooperate by integrating our funds, expertise, and experiences, and I wish the win-win relationship between Japan and Africa will deepen further,” Mr. Suzuki noted.
Electricity, transportation, and health will be key priorities under EPSA4. Projects and programs for the 3 key priorities will be formulated and implemented in line with the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment and G20 Shared Understanding on the Importance of UHC Financing in Developing Countries. African countries will also be provided with support to improve and create conducive business environments to attract private investments.
“Today marks another day to celebrate the strong and impactful partnership between Japan and the African Development Bank. The African Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are long-term partners for promoting the development of Africa. EPSA helps to deliver much needed support to the private sector,” Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development, said during his address.
During EPSA1 (2005-2011), Japan set the target of providing $ 1 billion in loans and $ 2 billion under the second phase (2012-2016). The ongoing EPSA3 (2017-2019), Japan and the African Development Bank are cooperating closely to provide the targeted joint amount of $ 3 billion.
As of today, the Bank and JICA under ACFA have co-financed 25 projects to improve key transportation and electricity transmission networks. These include the Construction of Three Intersections in Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire and Power Sector Reform Program in Angola.
Under EPSA 4, JICA and the African Development Bank will provide co-financing of $3.5 billion. This is a significant increase over EPSA-3, which was executed at $3 billion – a 17% increase.
“Increase is what we need to meet the needs of Africa. Increase is what we need to raise the level of our ambitions for Africa. Increase is what we need to build upon the solid foundations of co-financing over the last 13 years, and deliver even greater and more impactful development results in the years ahead. Now, let us arise with renewed vigor. Let us deliver even greater impacts for African countries through EPSA 4,” Dr. Adesina concluded.
EPSA has three components:
- The Accelerated Co-Financing Facility for Africa (ACFA): a sovereign co-financing arrangement between the African Development Bank and JICA, under which JICA lends on concessional terms to borrowers under this scheme.
- The Non-Sovereign Loan (NSL): a line of credit from JICA to the Bank on concessional terms to help fund private sector operations. Collaboration between JICA’s Private Sector Investment Finance (PSIF) scheme and AfDB’s Non-Sovereign Loan will be promoted.
- The Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA): a Multi-Donor Trust Fund for technical assistance and capacity building for the Bank’s public and private sector clients. The Government of Japan is the major contributor to the Fund, managed by the Bank.
TICAD7: Invest in Africa’s food markets to win the war on hunger and boost nutrition – African Development Bank
August 30, 2019 | 0 Comments
“There is a business case for governments to invest in grey matter – Jennifer Blanke
Yokohama, Japan 30 August 2019 – By investing in Africa’s food markets, governments can win the fight against stunting and improve nutrition across the continent. And with support from institutions like the African Development Bank, the results would be a win-win situation for all.
“What a huge potential the food markets represent. “Feed Africa,” which is one of the Bank’s High 5 priorities, has nutrition at its core,” Bank Vice President for Agriculture, Human, and Social Development, Jennifer Blanke said Thursday at a panel discussion on day two of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development.
The session, organised by the Global Panel on Agriculture & Food Systems for Nutrition (GPAN) & the African Leaders for Nutrition (ALN), was titled Ending Malnutrition in Africa: Towards Nutrition for Growth 2020 & Beyond.
A senior management team from the Bank led by its President Akinwumi Adesina is attending this year’s TICAD in the Japanese city of Yokohama, under the theme: Advancing Africa’s development through technology, innovation and people. The conference is focused on Africa’s economic transformation and the business environment through partnerships and increased cooperation with Japan.
Despite holding 60 percent of the world’s arable land, African countries import nearly $50 billion net of food annually. Yet the population bulge and a rising middle class represent a massive opportunity in terms of agribusiness and the consumer market.
“There is a business case for governments to invest in grey matter, or brainpower, and this requires much more nutritious diets” Blanke said.
With most people in Africa getting their food from local markets, business opportunities for healthy foods abound everywhere in the food system and potential investors were urged to engage and explore.
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in particular play a predominant role in the food supply chains in Africa, but their growth has been slow. “The biggest constraint to their scaling up is lack of access to finance,” Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) said.
Other side events such as a session on Investing in Human Capital Development and one on Rural Transformation and Sustainable Agriculture in the Digital Age, jointly organized by the Bank and the World Food Programme, spoke to policy makers about the importance of the private sector and an enabling environment in fighting malnutrition.
Women and Girls need to be at the table
On Wednesday, a discussion on empowering women and girls highlighted how that directly benefits Africa’s development agenda.
Technology, access to finance, education and digital technology can help women leapfrog over many hurdles.
“It is essential that women are empowered to become a vehicle for transforming society,”
Ms Toshiko Abe, of Japan’s ministry of finance said.
Blanke said women in agriculture were an overlooked stakeholder group. In many parts of Africa most farmers are women.
The Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa initiative known as AFAWA, seeks to support women entrepreneurs in Africa. Through AFAWA the African Development Bank aims to raise at least $300 million for a guarantee facility that will spur lending of ten times at much (around $3 billion) to African women entrepreneurs.
“We can leverage more for women,” Blanke said
Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7): Japan, South Africa and the African Development Bank unveil priorities to accelerate Africa’s technology transformation journey
August 29, 2019 | 0 Comments
“Let’s be visionary. Let’s be bold. Let’s support concrete initiatives to boost science, technology, and innovation in Africa,”- Akinwumi Adesina
|YOKOHAMA, Japan, August 29, 2019/ — Science, technology and innovation as well as human resource development are critical in Africa, a continent, which has the biggest potential on earth, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at the Science and Technology in Society (STS) forum held in Yokohama, on Wednesday, as part of TICAD 7.
The Science and Technology in Society forum (STS forum) is one of the largest and most influential nonprofit organizations established in 2004 by Mr. Koji Omi, a former Japanese Minister of Finance. The Forum aims at strengthening cooperation between Japan and Africa in science, technology, and innovation.
In his address, Prime Minister Abe also noted the important role that science and technology played in the history of Japan’s modernization.
In attendance were Mr. Yasutoshi Nishimura, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank Group (http://AfDB.org), Koji Omi, founder and chairman of the STS forum, and Asako Omi, member of Japan’s House of Representatives.
“South Africa endorses the focus on science, technology, and innovation as a priority theme for TICAD 7, given its great potential to accelerate African development through mutually beneficial partnerships with Japan, President Ramaphosa told participants.
“The STS forum has successfully changed global discourse on the role of science in development, we seek the forum’s support in changing the discourse on the role of Africa in science and innovation,” Ramaphosa concluded.
Adesina shared insights on the Bank’s work and support to train and develop the next generation of scientists. Since 2005 the Bank has provided financing of over $2 billion to support education, resulting in educational opportunities for 6 million students.
“We are proud of our investment in supporting the establishment of the Regional Center of Excellence in Kigali in conjunction with the Carnegie Mellon University, which is providing world-class Masters degree training in ICT. I am delighted that all the students that have graduated from the university have 100% employment, including setting up their businesses,” Adesina said in his keynote remarks.
The Bank has supported the establishment of ICT digital parks in Senegal and Cape Verde and is working with the Rockefeller Foundation, Microsoft, Facebook, LinkedIn and Safaricom to establish coding centers in several countries.
Adesina offered some key areas to prioritize in science and technology, including the establishment of regional centers of excellence; the urgent need to increase the share of GDP devoted to science and technology and close the gender gap in higher education.
“Let’s be visionary. Let’s be bold. Let’s support concrete initiatives to boost science, technology, and innovation in Africa,” he concluded.
Ministers for Science and Technology, Ambassadors, executives of international and national Agencies and business in Africa and Japan attended the Forum.
TICAD 7 runs from 28-30 August in Yokohama, Japan.
Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7): PM Shinzo Abe says Japan will help double Africa’s rice production by 2030
August 29, 2019 | 0 Comments
|“We must end hunger in Africa. Yes, we must! Hunger diminishes our humanity” – Adesina urges|
YOKOHAMA, Japan, August 28, 2019/ — The Sasakawa Association will work with the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), to help double rice production to 50 million tonnes by 2030. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the announcement at the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) symposium held on Wednesday during TICAD7.
“Japanese technology can play a key role in innovation which is key to agriculture,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told delegates.
Discussions at the Symposium focused on Africa’s youth bulge, unemployment rates, agricultural innovations and technologies, solutions and job creation opportunities in the agricultural sector.
“We’ve always believed in the agriculture potential of Africa,” said Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon foundation. “We are paying more attention to income-generating activities. We want to help shift the mindset of small-holder farmers from producing-to-eat to producing-to-sell. We are hopeful that Africa’s youth can take agriculture to a new era, and that they can see a career path in agriculture,” he added.
In a keynote address, African Development Bank Group President, Akinwumi Adesina, called for urgent and concerted efforts to “end hunger”.
“In spite of all the gains made in agriculture. We are not winning the global war against hunger. We must all arise collectively and end global hunger. To do that, we must end hunger in Africa. Hunger diminishes our humanity,” Adesina urged.
According to the FAO’s 2019 State of Food and Security, the number of hungry people globally stands at a disconcerting 821 million. Africa alone accounts for 31% of the global number of hungry people – 251 million people.
Commending the Sasakawa Association’s late founder, Ryochi Sasakawa, for his tireless efforts in tackling hunger, Adesina said: “Passion, dedication and commitment to the development of agriculture and the pursuit of food security in our world has been the hallmark of your work.”
Between 1986 and 2003, Sasakawa Association in Africa, operated in a total of 15 countries including – Ghana, Sudan, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, Mali, Guinea, Zambia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Mozambique.
Harnessing the potential of new technologies
Adesina expressed confidence in the ability of technology to deliver substantial benefits in agriculture. To accelerate Africa’s agricultural growth, the African Development Bank has launched the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) to deliver new technologies to millions of farmers. ‘TAAT has become a game changer, and is already delivering impressive results, Adesina said.
Working with 30 private seed companies, the TAAT maize compact produced over 27,000 tons of seeds of water efficient maize that was planted by 1.6 million farmers.
Tackling climate change: a top priority
Hiroyuki Takahashi, founder of Pocket Marche, a platform that connects Japanese farmers and producers with consumers, shared insights and lessons learnt from Japan’s experiences, historic cycles of climate disasters and the country’s rebound.
“The power to choose what we eat is the power to stop the climate crisis and bring sustainable happiness to a world with limited resources,” Takahashi said.
It is estimated that Africa will heat up 1.5 times faster than the global average and require $7-15 billion a year for adaptation alone. Limiting the impacts of climate change is expected to become a top priority for Africa.
“Africa has been short changed by climate change. But, it should not be short changed by climate finance,” Adesina said in his concluding remarks.
“Let’s be better asset managers for nature. For while we must eat today, so must future generations coming after us. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that we do not leave empty plates on the table for generations to come,” Adesina concluded.
“The Kaizen approach is more than a technique…it is an approach to economic development, and it’s been yielding tremendous results” – African Development Bank Vice-president Celestin Monga
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
Yokohama, Japan, 27 August 2019 – Kaizen, the business philosophy which means continuous improvement in Japanese, was at the heart of discussions at a seminar held on Tuesday, and co-organised by JICA and NEPAD on the sidelines of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD7.
The seminar, under the theme: “Africa’s Socio-economic Transformation through innovation,” discussed the role of Kaizen, in improving quality and productivity as well as human resource development on the continent.
Panelists included Assane Mayaki, CEO of AUDA-NEPAD; Bezabih Gebereyes, Commissioner of the Civil Service Commission of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; and JICA Research Institute Director General Toshiyuki Nakamura, of the Industrial Policy and Public Policy Department.
“The Kaizen approach is more than a technique…it is an approach to economic development, and it’s been yielding tremendous results,” African Development Bank’s Chief Economist and Vice President, Economic Governance and Knowledge Management, Dr. Celestin Monga, said.
Monga underlined the need for incremental innovation in each African country, but also called for increased support to small and medium sized enterprises as a starting point to scaled up industrialization.
Africa needs to create production lines because “ even with low-skilled labour we can do tremendous things,” he said.
JICA and NEPAD have been promoting incremental innovation through the Africa Kaizen Initiative, launched in 2017.
“Kaizen is about mindset changes. It will be a formidable tool to enhance productivity of SMES…We have rolled out projects and training programs in 10 countries,” Mayaki said in his welcome remarks.
Acknowledging two Africa Kaizen awardees, also in attendance, Makayi told the packed room “They are the exact product of how Kaizen should be implemented.”
Fikreselassie Ambaw, General Manager of MAA Garment Factory in Ethiopia and Ruben Zebedayo Lyanga, head of Atoz Textile Mills (Tanzania), who won the Africa Kaizen Award in 2019, made presentations on how the business approach radically transformed their enterprises and boosted productivity, employee commitment and creativity.
Sharing Kaizen’s contribution and achievements in Ethiopia, Gebreyes explained how Kaizen and the subsequently transformed mindset have led to increased efficiency in spare parts production lines. “In the sugar cane sector, the Kaizen model has led to a 43% hike in productivity,” he noted.
Answering questions on the capabilities needed for entrepreneurs and firms to promote radical, disruptive innovation in Africa, Toshiyuki Nakamura, Director General of Industrial Development and Public Policy Department said: “the common thread between GAFA, (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon), is the implementation of Kaizen. Incremental and radical innovation, are one of the most important messages for the continent.”
Through JICA, the Kaizen approach has expanded its outreach to 25 countries on the continent; touched 18,096 enterprises and 301 public institutions.
The African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina is leading a high-level delegation to TICAD7 which is being held in Yokohama city from 28-30 August.
The Tokyo International Conference on African Development, led by Japan, started in 1993. African heads of states and key business leaders are scheduled to attend from around the world, providing an opportunity to explore investment opportunities. The event, held every 3 years, has been convened alternately in Japan and Africa since 2016. The last TICAD was held in Nairobi, Kenya.
African Development Bank President Adesina leads delegation to 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD
August 27, 2019 | 0 Comments
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 26 August 2019 – A high-level African Development Bank delegation, led by President Akinwumi Adesina, is set to join global leaders at the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD7 from August 28-30.
TICAD7, hosted by Japan and co-organised by the United Nations Office of the Special Advisor on Africa (UN-OSSA), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), aims at “promoting high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners.”
President Adesina, is expected in Tokyo on Tuesday. Whilst in Japan, he will address the second plenary session of TICAD on the theme: “Accelerating Economic Transformation and Improving Business Environment Through Innovation and Private Sector Engagement”.
Several other engagements are also scheduled for Adesina and senior Bank management, including an International Finance Corporation/African Development Bank side event: “The Digital Africa 2020 and Japanese investment Panel: Creating markets to digitize Africa, and a side event co-hosted by the World Food Programme and the African Union Commission on “Strategic investments in Africa: Food security, human capital, sustainable agriculture, innovation and private sector partnership.”
The Bank’s senior management attending TICAD7 include, Dr. Celestin Monga, Bank’s Chief Economist and Vice President, Economic Governance and Knowledge Management; Dr. Jennifer Blanke, Vice-President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development; Ms. Bajabulile “Swazi” Tshabalala, Vice President for Finance and Chief Finance Officer; and Khaled Sherif, Vice-President, Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery.
VP Monga will address a panel on “Africa’s Socio-economic Transformation through Innovation” while VP Sherif will be a speaker on another panel:“Building a Better World through Business – Challenges in Humanitarian Assistance in Africa and the Role of Private Sector,” held at Waseda University.
VP Blanke will take part in sessions on “Investing in Human Capital Development in Africa- A case for Education & Skills, Nutrition, Health and Jobs for Youth”, and an African Leaders for Nutrition event: Designing sustainable and resilient societies.
A major announcement is expected in support of the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance (EPSA) Initiative, an innovative, multi-component, multi-donor framework.
The initiative seeks to support development to meet the infrastructure needs of Africa, with a special focus on the private sector.
The 7thTokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), led by Japan, started in 1993. African heads of states and key business leaders from around the world are scheduled to attend, providing an opportunity to explore investment opportunities. The event, held every 3 years, has been convened alternately in Japan and Africa since 2016. The last TICAD was held in Nairobi, Kenya.