Barclays Africa, China Development Bank sign agreement to cooperate on development projects in Africa
December 5, 2017 | 0 Comments
|Barclays Africa will leverage the MoU to unlock opportunities in order to strengthen its contribution towards Africa’s economic growth and development|
|JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, December 5, 2017/ — Barclays Africa Group Limited (BAGL) (www.BarclaysAfrica.com) and China Development Bank (CDB) (www.CDB.com.cn) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at strengthening cooperation and exploring opportunities to fund development projects in Africa.
Given CDB’s focus on infrastructure finance for roads, railways and dams, Barclays Africa will leverage the MoU to unlock opportunities in order to strengthen its contribution towards Africa’s economic growth and development. Barclays Africa will also extract synergies from the CDB’s focus on inclusive finance to provide capital to SME’s and low income communities.
In addition, Barclays Africa and CDB will explore reciprocal training and development opportunities for their respective investment teams. In this regard, Barclays Africa has already hosted more than 30 employees from the CDB.
“This MoU represents a long-term commitment by senior leadership at Barclays Africa to strengthen our relationship with the world’s largest development finance institution, which has assets of over US$2-trillion. This partnership will unlock opportunities that are aligned to our Shared Growth approach and could facilitate positive socio-economic impact,” says Barclays Africa’s Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) Co-Chief Executive, Temi Ofong.
Barclays Africa has a history of more than 100 years in Africa, with deep local and regional expertise. As one of the leading Pan-African banks on the continent, Barclays Africa’s in-depth understanding of local markets and sectors, coupled with a strong branch, ATM and customer networks, is well positioned to provide a unique value proposition to local, regional and global clients.
“Strengthening these kinds of relationships will help our Group identify opportunities aligned to our Shared Growth commitment to leave our communities better than we found them. As a Pan-African bank, Shared Growth gives our business an exciting opportunity to make a difference in our communities and to be part of shaping the collective futures of this great continent,” says Ofong.
The CDB was established in 1994 as a policy bank but now operates as a Development Finance Institution (DFI) for the Chinese Government. By 2017, CDB supported more than 500 projects in 43 African countries valued at USD 50-billion.
In 2016, China-Africa trade flow reached US$150-billion, making China, Africa’s largest trade partner for seven consecutive years.
Barclays Africa Group Limited (‘Barclays Africa Group’ or ‘the Group’) (www.BarclaysAfrica.com) is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and is one of Africa’s largest diversified financial services groups. As of June 2017, Barclays PLC is a minority shareholder in Barclays Africa Group.
Barclays Africa Group offers an integrated set of products and services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking, wealth and investment management and insurance. We are strongly positioned as a fully local bank with regional and international expertise. We are committed to Shared Growth, which for us means having a positive impact on society and delivering shareholder value.
Barclays Africa Group operates in 12 countries, with approximately 40 000 employees, serving close to 12 million customers.
The Group’s registered head office is in Johannesburg, South Africa and owns majority stakes in banks in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania (Barclays Bank Tanzania and National Bank of Commerce), Uganda and Zambia. The Group also has representative offices in Namibia and Nigeria.
Egypt to host six Heads of State and Africa’s leading Chief Executive Officers at the Africa 2017 Forum
December 5, 2017 | 0 Comments
|Over 100 speakers and 1,500 delegates to discuss regional integration and job creation in Africa|
|CAIRO, Egypt, December 5, 2017/ — President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi will be hosting six African heads of state at the Africa 2017 Forum (www.BusinessForAfricaForum.com) that will take place this week in the picturesque beach resort of Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The President of Guinea, current chair of the AU, will be joining the Forum as well as the Presidents of Chad, Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire, Comoros and Somalia. The Vice President of Nigeria is also expected as is the Prime Minister of Mozambique. The Forum will start with a Young Entrepreneurs Day, with 50 of Africa’s leading start-ups in funding and partner pitches.
This business and investment Forum, whose theme is “Driving investment for inclusive growth’, has been convened to increase intra African investments and cross border collaboration. Egypt in 2015 hosted the signing of the tripartite agreement between the three regional economic communities SADC, COMESA and the EAC, and the Forum has been designed for African business leaders to play a greater role by investing in opportunities throughout the continent.
The first edition of the Forum took place in February 2016. This year the programme has been enhanced to include 2 exclusive Presidential Roundtables, where these business leaders will openly discuss policy with the African presidents present to help create a more conducive business environment, in addition to immense investment and business opportunities available in the continent. Youth and entrepreneurs will also play a prominent role. Over 50 of the continent’s brightest and most promising entrepreneurs have been invited to showcase their businesses and will be presenting them to investors and funds in a Deal room curated by Asoko Insights.
The Forum is being organised by the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation of Egypt and the COMESA Regional Investment Agency (RIA). Speaking ahead of the Forum, Dr. Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation of Egypt stressed the importance of greater intra-Africa collaboration: “Intra-Africa trade is a valuable component of Africa’s and Egypt’s economic growth strategy,” she said. “For Egypt’s growth strategy, Intra-Africa trade remains a valuable component. Despite European and North American markets dominating Egypt’s trade activities, we have proximity to African markets as well as trade agreements with African nations. The markets where Egypt has seen an increase in its trade include North Africa, specifically Morocco, East Africa, specifically Kenya, South Africa and Sudan.”
Heba Salama, head of RIA, highlighted the responsibility of the private sector to devise innovative solutions. “The private sector can play an important role in filling in the US $93bn infrastructure gap. Manufacturing is another important sector where private sector support is needed. McKinsey Global Institute estimates that Africa could double its manufacturing output in 10 years, which could ultimately create between 6 million and 14 million stable jobs and boost African GDP growth.”
The Forum will take place between the 7-9th of December. The speakers feature some of Africa’s leading CEOs and policy makers, including Isabel dos Santos, Chairperson of Unitel Angola, Daniel Matjila, CEO, Public Investment Corporation, Dr. Ahmed Heikal, Founder of Qalaa Holdings, Tony Elumelu, Chairman of UBA, Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
Africa 2017 Forum (www.BusinessForAfricaForum.com) is held under the high patronage of H.E. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi on 7th to 9th December 2017 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, and is organized by the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation of Egypt and the COMESA Regional Investment Agency (RIA).
BUSINESS TRAVELER MAGAZINE NAMES SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS THE BEST IN AFRICA
December 5, 2017 | 0 Comments
SAA recognized as “Best Airline in Africa” and “Best Business Class to Africa”
Fort Lauderdale, FL (December 5, 2017) – South African Airways (SAA), the national flag carrier of South Africa and Africa’s most awarded airline is proud to be the recipient of two of Business Traveler Magazine’s prestigious Best in Business Travel Awards for 2017. Being honored for the 9th consecutive year as “Best Airline in Africa” and the 8th consecutive year as “Best Business Class to Africa” by the readers of Business Traveler is a continued affirmation of SAA’s long-standing position as the preferred carrier for business travel to the continent.
“We are thrilled to have earned these two awards from Business Traveler, a publication whose readers know the very best in travel,” said Todd Neuman, Executive Vice President for South African Airways in North America. “It is a tremendous honor to be named their favorite airline to the African continent for so many years. All of us at SAA will continue to work hard to earn their support and accolades by offering the most convenient schedules and unsurpassed service on our flights to Africa.”
“The business traveller has absolutely taken center stage,” noted Dan Booth, editorial director of Business Traveler Magazine. “Today’s business travel community – empowered by technology – is an ever-expanding platform for new products, new ideas, and new opportunities. For our readers to pick your company as the Best in Business Travel means you have connected with them in a meaningful and innovative way. And your most sophisticated and demanding customers are recognizing you for it.”
As the leading carrier from the U.S. to Africa, South African Airways offers the most flights with non-stop service from New York–JFK Airport to Johannesburg and daily non-stop service from Washington, DC-Dulles to Dakar, Senegal, or Accra, Ghana, with continued service to Johannesburg.From its hub in Johannesburg, SAA together with its regional partners SA Express, Airlink and Mango offers easy, convenient connections to more than 75 destinations throughout Africa. SAA’s awarding –winning Premium Business Class offers 180 fully lie-flat seating with duvet and full-size pillows, gourmet cuisine designed by renowned South African celebrity chefs, a wine cellar featuring some of South Africa’s finest vintages and extensive programming of on-demand audio and visual entertainment.
For further information on South African Airways product and services, please visit www.flysaa.com or for reservations call 1-(800) 722-9675.
South African Airways (SAA), South Africa’s national flag carrier and the continent’s most awarded airline, serves over 75 destinations worldwide in partnership with SA Express, Airlink and its low cost carrier Mango. In North America, SAA operates daily nonstop flights from New York-JFK and direct flights from Washington D.C.-IAD (via Accra, Ghana and Dakar, Senegal) to Johannesburg. SAA has partnerships with United Airlines, Air Canada and JetBlue Airways, American Airlines and Virgin America, which offer convenient connections from more than 100 cities in the U.S. and Canada to SAA’s flights. SAA is a Star Alliance member and the recipient of the Skytrax 4-Star rating for 15 consecutive years.
Senegal’s sports minister Matar Ba aiming for the World Cup semi-finals
December 5, 2017 | 0 Comments
Senegal’s sports minister, Matar Ba, says the Teranga Lions are aiming to do better than any other African nation at the World Cup and reach the semi-finals next year.
In Russia, Senegal are in Group H along with Poland, Colombia and Japan.
In 2002, at their first ever World Cup, Senegal made it to the quarter-finals.
“We have to have our objectives – those objectives are to get to the second round and do better than in 2002,” Ba told BBC Sport.
“The semi-finals are achievable because today football is not about being European or African or American – football is global,
“You look at the biggest championships in the world – in England in Italy, everywhere – there are Senegalese playing and they are in the teams. So we can rival any of the teams.
“We won’t underestimate any of these teams because all 32 teams who are there have won through the qualifiers and so we have to respect them and we have to take them seriously.”
Senegal will begin their Group H campaign against Poland on 19 June in Moscow before they play Japan on 24 June and finally Colombia four days later.
Ba refused to be drawn into making comparisons between the current team and the squad that play in South Korea and Japan in 2002.
“It’s not the same – we can’t compare them,” he said.
“Each generation does its work and this generation want to do better than the team of 2002.
“We have a great team and we have Senegalese coach and we are going to prepare well for a good performance.
“We are ambitious but we are also reasonable and so we are going to set obtainable objective.”
Ba admitted they may not now much about their opponents at the moment but added that can easily be changed.
“Nothing can be hidden these days with the internet. We can see everything we can analyse Colombia’s matches and all the others,” he pointed out.
*Culled from BBC
Peace diamond: Precious stone fetches $6.5m in New York
December 5, 2017 | 0 Comments
Laurence Graff, chairman of Graff Diamonds, won the precious stone – nicknamed the “peace diamond” – in bidding on Monday.
Half of the proceeds, $3.8m, will be used to fund infrastructure projects to benefit the community of the small village where it was discovered.
The Sierra Leone government rejected a bid of $7.8m at an earlier auction.
The government is now expected to use the money raised to improve conditions in the village of Koryardu, including the introduction of a fresh supply of water, electricity, roads, medical care and the building and maintenance of schools.
“The Peace Diamond bought by Laurence Graff will change lives even though it’s a shame the diamond hasn’t sold for a wildly expensive price,” the managing director of 77diamonds.com, Tobias Kormind, said.
The earlier bid of $7.8m was rejected by the government when the stone was initially auctioned in Freetown, after it said that the figure was too low.
The “peace diamond”, said to be the 14th largest recorded diamond in the world, was handed to the Sierra Leone government in March after it was unearthed by Emmanuel Momoh, a Christian pastor.
Mr Momoh told the BBC’s Newsday programme before the auction on Monday that selling the diamond to middlemen would not have “benefited the community”.
“We lack a lot of things. We don’t have a good road network … or drinking water,” he added.
The sale of the diamond was handled by Rapaport Group, which waived all charges.
The group’s chairman, Martin Rapaport, told Newsday that the sale could bring about a “sea change in the relationship between artisanal miners and the government” if the community is seen to benefit.
“It will encourage others to work with the government,” he said.
HEINEKEN lays the foundation stone of its first brewery in Mozambique
December 4, 2017 | 0 Comments
|HEINEKEN makes $100 million investment|
|AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, December 4, 2017/ — HEINEKEN (www.theHEINEKENcompany.com) today laid the foundation stone of its first brewery in Mozambique in the presence of His Excellency Mr. Max Tonela, Minister of Trade and Industry.
This new brewery, incorporating the latest technologies, represents a $100 million (€85 million) investment. Located in the province of Maputo, between the Marracuene and Manhiça districts, the brewery will have a production capacity of 0.8 million hectoliters and will brew high quality beers for the domestic market. The first bottle of beer is expected to come off the production line in the first half of 2019.
HEINEKEN Mozambique started its activities in 2016 through a sales and marketing office, importing international beers including Heineken®, Amstel, Amstel Lite and Sagres in the country to offer more choice to Mozambican consumers. The construction of HEINEKEN’s very first brewery is a major step forward for the company’s presence in the country.
With this significant investment, HEINEKEN Mozambique is expected to create 200 direct jobs and support additional indirect jobs through its entire value chain.
Aligned with the HEINEKEN ambition of sourcing 60% of its agricultural raw materials in Africa by 2020, HEINEKEN Mozambique will explore the possibility of locally sourcing the raw materials it will need to produce its beers. One of the objectives of this project will be to improve crop yields as well as the capabilities and living standards of Mozambican farmers, contributing to the economic development of the country.
Boudewijn Haarsma, HEINEKEN International’s Managing Director East & West Africa, stated: “We are delighted to enter Mozambique, where we see promising long-term economic perspectives. The project is progressing well thanks to the support of the Mozambican Government and its commitment to bring investments into the country. Investing in a new market like Mozambique supports HEINEKEN’s ambition to expand its footprint and be the number one or a strong number two in all markets in which it operates. With our extensive experience and existing business in Africa, we also aim to be a partner for growth today in Mozambique as we already are throughout the continent. I am convinced our presence will contribute to the economic and social development that is already under way in Mozambique.”
Nuno Simes, HEINEKEN Mozambique’s General Manager said: “With HEINEKEN’s passion for quality, our new brewery will deliver high quality beers to Mozambique according to the international standards of the HEINEKEN Company. We look forward to continue to provide enjoyment to Mozambican consumers with our brands.”
HEINEKEN (www.theHEINEKENcompany.com) is the world’s most international brewer. It is the leading developer and marketer of premium beer and cider brands. Led by the Heineken® brand, the Group has a portfolio of more than 250 international, regional, local and speciality beers and ciders. We are committed to innovation, long-term brand investment, disciplined sales execution and focused cost management. Through “Brewing a Better World”, sustainability is embedded in the business and delivers value for all stakeholders. HEINEKEN has a well-balanced geographic footprint with leadership positions in both developed and developing markets. We employ over 80,000 employees and operate breweries, malteries, cider plants and other production facilities in more than 70 countries. Heineken N.V. and Heineken Holding N.V. shares trade on the Euronext in Amsterdam. Prices for the ordinary shares may be accessed on Bloomberg under the symbols HEIA NA and HEIO NA and on Reuters under HEIN.AS and HEIO.AS. HEINEKEN has two sponsored level 1 American Depositary Receipt (ADR) programmes: Heineken N.V. (OTCQX: HEINY) and Heineken Holding N.V. (OTCQX: HKHHY). Most recent information is available on HEINEKEN’s website: www.theHEINEKENcompany.com
Sierra Leone Parliament Ratifies Key Bumbuna II Project Documents
December 4, 2017 | 0 Comments
|This marks another important milestone in the development of the Bumbuna II hydropower project which, when completed, will provide much-needed all-year round power to Sierra Leone|
|LONDON, United Kingdom, December 4, 2017/ — Following on from the Government of Sierra Leone’s signing of the 25-year Power Purchase and Implementation Agreements with Joule Africa (www.JouleAfrica.com) in August 2017, these important project documents have now been ratified by the Sierra Leone Parliament. This marks another important milestone in the development of the Bumbuna II hydropower project which, when completed, will provide much-needed all-year round power to Sierra Leone.
Under the conditions of the agreement, local project company Seli Hydropower, jointly owned by Joule Africa and its local partner Energy Services Company (ESCO), will build an extension to the existing 50 MW hydro station, Bumbuna I, situated in the north east of the country, adding a further 143 MW of power capacity. Construction on the extension is anticipated to start in the second half of 2018 with operations forecast to start four years later. Seli Hydropower, will be responsible for building, owning and operating Bumbuna II and will also be responsible for operating Bumbuna I.
Commenting on this announcement, Patrick Beckley, Chairman of Seli Hydropower, said:
“We would like to thank the Government of Sierra Leone for their ongoing support and in maintaining their commitment to the Bumbuna II project ahead of General Elections in early 2018. I am delighted that we received approval for ratification in Parliament with no exemptions – a clear indication that there is unanimous cross-party support for this project.”
“The development of Bumbuna II has always been a key part of the country’s long-term energy strategy and we look forward to being able to deliver affordable, all-year round power for the consumers of Sierra Leone.”
Andrew Cavaghan, Joule Africa’s Chairman and a Director of Seli Hydropower, added:
“I am pleased that we have reached another important milestone in the development of the Bumbuna II project. We are making good progress on all fronts and will look to build on this momentum in the coming weeks and months as we continue to consult with interested parties, appoint a contractor and finalise the relevant financing.”
The Bumbuna II hydropower project is Sierra Leone’s largest infrastructure project and is a key part of the Government of Sierra Leone’s long term Energy Plan.
Joule Africa (www.JouleAfrica.com) is a developer owner-operator of sustainable power projects across Africa. In addition to Bumbuna II, Joule Africa is developing Kpep, a 485MW hydro project in Cameroon, while considering various options for its third project.
Gambia gets new homeland security minister after Fatty sacking
December 4, 2017 | 0 Comments
By Kebba Jeffang
The Gambian President Adama Barrow has appointed a replacement for a key coalition member Mai Ahmad Fatty as Interior Minister following his unexplained sacking in November.
The new Minister was officially disclosed on Monday, December 4th as Habib Saihou Drammeh. With no background in security as per the content of the statement from the presidency, Drammeh becomes the first replacement as a minister for Barrow’s administration that just celebrated one year last Saturday.
He is due to take oath of office on December 6th to officially commence carrying out his responsibility.
Barrow after dismissing Fatty told journalists that the decision was in the best interest of the country. However, he refused to tell why he took the decision.
Mai is the first Minister to be relieved as a cabinet member by the President. He too has been quiet about his removal.
This was one of the most criticized decisions of Mr. Barrow by the Gambians with many describing it a ‘betrayal’ towards one of the key members of the coalition government.
While serving as Interior Minister, Fatty suspended the issuance of National Identity Cards as well as the production of non-ECOWAS Passport. He is undoubtedly one of the most controversial ministers in the cabinet.
Acting Assistant Secretary Yamamoto Travel to Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, London, and Rwanda
December 4, 2017 | 0 Comments
On December 4, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald Yamamoto attended the Somalia Security Pact Review in Mogadishu. The meeting was chaired by President Farmaajo and provided the opportunity for stakeholders invested in Somalia’s security and stability to discuss the development of Somali security institutions.
Following the Somalia Security Pact Review, the Acting Assistant Secretary will travel to Nairobi, Kenya from December 4-6, where he will meet with representatives of the Kenyan government, as well as with Kenyan civil society. The visit will encourage all sides in Kenya to participate in a national dialogue following the presidential election.
In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Acting Assistant Secretary will meet with senior leaders of the Ethiopian government and of the African Union from December 7-9. In addition to continuing discussions on bilateral issues between the two countries, he will talk with both Ethiopian government and AU officials about regional concerns, including food security, peacekeeping and refugee matters.
In London, Ambassador Yamamoto will participate in the twice yearly gathering of P3 Africa Directors meeting on December 11-12 to discuss current policy issues with defense and development colleagues from France and the UK.
Ambassador Yamamoto will then travel to Kigali, Rwanda on December 13-14, where he will meet with President Kagame ahead of his term as President of the African Union.
*Courtesy of US State Department
Statement from the Archbishop Tutu Fellows to African Heads of State and the International Private Sector, Civil Society and Multilateral Organisations on the Great Stain of Slavery in Libya
November 30, 2017 | 1 Comments
|Slavery in Libya is a crime against humanity and immediate action is required by all stakeholders, including African governments|
|JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, November 30, 2017/ — Statement from the Archbishop Tutu Fellows to African Heads of State and the International Private Sector, Civil Society and Multilateral Organisations on the Great Stain of Slavery in Libya:
Your Excellencies, leaders of private sector and civil society organisations, policy makers at the United Nations and the African Union and fellow Africans,
Slavery in Libya is a crime against humanity and immediate action is required by all stakeholders, including African governments, to put an end to this outrageous practice and hold responsible parties accountable.
There are three Great Stains on humanity; War, Genocide and Slavery.
They are the Great Stains not only because they are the fertile soil for many other debasing evils; they are Great Stains because they are assaults and crimes against humanity.
The prevalence of war, genocide and slavery historically is by no means the measure by which we as humanity can accept such behavior as normative, then or now.
Slavery has spawned intergenerational social and economic disruption to the Continent of Africa and other areas; and has stolen the liberties and lives of people for the commoditization of their bodies against their will.
The slave trade is a crime against Humanity.
It is abhorrent to humanity.
It is monstrous.
It is an assault on the dignity of all.
Slavery can and must be stopped.
We, Archbishop Tutu Fellows, call upon the United Nations Security Council and its related organs to urgently declare the practice of Slavery – particularly in Libya- a threat against humanity and to work closely with civil society and member states to arrest the slave trade and create an effective punitive framework to combat against the slave trade globally.
We call upon the Africa Union to demonstrate continental leadership in aggregating national voices on ensuring slavery remains a historical footnote.
We call upon all African heads of State to take action to hold each other accountable, and to engage with other states beyond the continent who can make a contribution toward eradicating the Slave trade, and to stanch the capital flows and lack of consequence which makes this vile economy thrive.
We call upon businesses invested in countries such as Libya- which have failed to abide by the unwritten laws of humanity- to divest and support the removal of the Great Stain.
We call upon the NGO community invested in the fight against human trafficking, forced labor, involuntary migration, social justice and the betterment of the planet to support the removal of the Great Stain.
We call upon all Africans, in particular the nations of the African North, to support the removal of the Great Stain in all its forms.
We call upon the instruments of justice– national and international- to charge beneficiaries of the slave trade as Enemies of humanity.
As Archbishop Tutu Fellows and as Africans, we request the following immediate course of action:
As a network of more than 300 emerging young African leaders, we, the Archbishop Tutu Fellows, are willing and able to assist where such assistance is needed. We are deeply aware that it is pertinent upon the conscience and humanity of every member of the international community to act against the evils to which our fellow human beings are subject to in Libya. The urgency of the situation is such that we need to act now. Our ancestors fought slavery over hundreds of years and we cannot bear witness to its evils today and do nothing.
The Archbishop Tutu Fellows, of the African Leadership Institute (https://ALInstitute.org), are a diverse group of leading professionals from 42 African countries working at the forefront of positive change on the African continent and representing various sectors – civil society, government, business, the arts, education, healthcare, media and more. Tutu Fellows have undergone the Institute’s flagship programme, the Archbishop Tutu Leadership Programme, which is widely considered the premier leadership training programme on the continent. The goal of the programme is to impact the future of Africa through building and nurturing the capability of future leaders of the continent, drawing upon the globally-respected leadership values of ther Patron, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Since the inaugural class of 2006, the network now boasts 300+ Tutu Fellows.
Sky captain Gyan: Soccer star to launch ‘Baby Jet’ airline
November 30, 2017 | 0 Comments
By Kieron Monks*
(CNN)Ghana’s record goalscorer has traveled the world over the course of his career.
Asamoah Gyan left his homeland as a teenager and took the scenic route around Europe playing in France, Italy, and England, before taking a detour via China and the United Arab Emirates, and then arriving at his current club Kayserispor in the Turkish Super League.
The striker says his motivation is a mix of personal and patriotic: “A desire to help my country, to create more jobs, and also to have a good life after football.”
House Arrest OK’d for Ex-Diplomat Awaiting Corruption Trial
November 29, 2017 | 0 Comments
By ADAM KLASFELD*
MANHATTAN (CN) – U.S. prosecutors lobbied unsuccessfully Monday to ensure the pretrial detention of former Senegalese diplomat awaiting a New York corruption trial.
Once deeply involved in U.S. peacekeeping and anti-terrorism efforts in Africa following the 9/11, Senegal’s former foreign minister Cheikh Gadio was arrested just over a week ago in connection to a three-year bribery scheme.
Alleging violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, prosecutors say 61-year-old Gadio helped Hong Kong-based businessman Patrick Ho funnel $2 million to Chad President Idriss Deby to help tap the nation’s vast oil reserves.
Though a federal magistrate granted Gadio a $1 million bail package, the government contended at a hearing Monday that Gadio should be considered a flight risk since America has no extradition treaty with Senegal.
“People flee, and they flee for rational reasons,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Richtenthal said this afternoon.
U.S. District Judge William Pauley III found house arrest under GPS monitoring enough to ensure Gadio’s appearance at trial.
“He’s going to be confined to his home in Maryland,” Pauley ruled.
Defense attorney Sean Hecker said Gadio’s reputation in the international community would be enough to ensure his appearance in court.
“This is a man of honor, a man of deep and well-deserved reputation,” said Hecker, from the firm Debevoise & Plimpton.
A West African nation roughly the size of South Dakota, Senegal has been a key U.S. partner in the fight against terrorism.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell heralded Gadio’s leadership on the issue the year after the 9/11 attacks.
“Senegal took a strong position against terrorism in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the U.S., and in October 2001 hosted a conference establishing the African Pact Against Terrorism,” a U.S. State Department noted in 2002 press briefing.
WikiLeaks also published a cable in which former ambassador Janice Jacobs emphasized senegal’s outsized peacekeeping role in a region rife with conflict.
“Despite high rates of poverty and illiteracy, Senegal retains a high degree of political stability and coherence thus enabling GOS to be a diplomatic player on a continent replete with conflicts,” the Nov. 8, 2006, cable said. “With U.S. training and assistance, Senegal has also become one of the world’s top ten contributors of peacekeepers.”
Gadio has not formally entered a plea, but his attorney made clear the diplomat will dispute the charges against him.
“The facts will come out,” Hecker said. “We’ll have the chance to tell our side of the story.”
Although he lived in Ohio for a decade, Gadio will await trial with his wife and children in Maryland. Hecker said that his wife works for the United Nations, where she is stationed in Equatorial Guinea.
Prosecutors say Gadio’s bribery scheme lasted from 2014 to this year, well after his tenure in Senegal from 2000 and 2009. Before his arrest earlier this month, Gadio posed for smiling photographs shaking hands both with Powell and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
*Culled from Court House News