Africa Investment Forum 2019: Unveiling the Boardroom: $67.6 billion dollars of deals tabled, $40.1 billion investor interest secured
November 13, 2019 | 0 Comments
Africa is winning…Africa is bankable- African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina
It was deals that brought participants to the 2019 Africa Investment Forum and they were not disappointed. The second Forum ended on a high note Wednesday, with 56 boardroom deals valued at $67.6 billion tabled – a 44% increase from last year.
Fifty-two deals worth $40.1 billion secured investor interest compared with $37.8 billion dollars last year.
During the 2018 edition of the Forum, 61 transactions valued at $46.9 billion were tabled for discussions in boardroom sessions and 49 deals worth $38.7 billion, secured investment interest.
Presiding over the session: “Unveiling the Boardroom Deals”, African Development President Akinwumi Adesina said that was the spirit of the Africa Investment Forum: “transactions, transactions, transactions. Deals, deals, deals!”
Over 2,221 participants attended this year’s Forum from 109 countries, 48 from Africa and 61 from outside of Africa. They came from government, the private sector, development finance institutions, commercial banks, and institutional investors.
‘The Forum is a platform that will change Africa’s investment landscape,” Chinelo Anohu, the Forum Senior Director said. “Africa is ready to engage on its own terms.”
Key moments of the Forum included:
- a $600 million COCOBOD deal for Ghana, for cocoa processing, warehousing and processing
- $58 million for the Alithea Identity Fund for women
- A concession agreement for the Accra Sky Train, worth $2.6 billion
The Forum focused on projects and advancing deals spanning several sectors, including Energy, Infrastructure, Transport and Utilities, Industry, agriculture, ICT and Telecoms.
“Now the hard work begins to fast-track these deals to financial closure… Africa is bankable,” Adesina said.
Cameroon:At Nkafu event Entrepreneurs urged to understand their environment, know the needs of their clients
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
(Yaounde, Cameroon) Entrepreneurs have been encouraged to understand the environment they operate in and to equally know the needs of their clients in order to foster the growth of their business. Shouame Cyrille Researcher, Vice President of SOS Espoir et Émergence was speaking at the Mansel Hotel in Yaounde November 12, 2019 at the Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Skills training organized by the Nkafu Policy Institute.
To him, every entrepreneur is a client because they need the services of others in their work and they should not provide the kind of services that they will not accept from others.
Speaking on the Business Management, He said that, as small business owner, entrepreneurs need to understand the economic situation of their country.
To economic analysts, knowing the economic situation will make it easy for an entrepreneur to survive in a particular business as the purchasing power of customers is very important. Equally, the political instability of a country makes it very difficult for a particular business to operate.
Shouame Cyrille added that entrepreneurs need to understand their finances well, and understand where most of their income goes so as to better plan while educating the various participants on the different opportunities offered by the Ministry of Small and Medium Size Enterprises to small business owners in Cameroon.
In her introductory words, the Program Manager Agathe Djomeghu indicated that the mission of the SBEC is to provide entrepreneurs with organizational skills, and today’s session is part of a long series of six training sessions.
Ngueteu Nganga, Founder of MARON & Associates SARL and Accountant edified participants on tax requirements, registration and declaration procedures, while equally advancing some importance of moving from the informal to a formal sector.
Ngueteu Nganga added that “Cameroon is under the OHADA accounting system and practices accrual accounting. Small Businesses should be able to calculate and declare their turnovers themselves”, while adding that “this should not be done by the tax collectors, as explained by Foretia foundation”
According to an accountant, Taxes should not be the reason why entrepreneurs fail. Tax is an end product, it is on entrepreneur’s profit and not capital. Cameroon has one of the best tax systems as it is a declarative system – it is the entrepreneur who declares what he has earned for the month, calculates and pays. But the issue is that people do not even know how to calculate as some cheat the system.
Access to finance is a key factor to the growth of SMEs but notwithstanding, because of the difficulties faced by financial institutions in obtaining information on the borrowers-solvency, lack of reliable financial statement of SMEs, absence of guarantee or inadequate collateral and lack of detailed business plan, they (financial institutions) become reluctant to award loans to these SMEs.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Small and Medium Size Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts, there are more than 400,000 companies in the informal sector and out of these, 99 per cent are SMEs. In an economy, firms can obtain funds from the stock exchange or indirectly from financial intermediaries like banks, microfinance institutions and other non-financial institutions. A 2009 IMF study indicated that heavy taxes and 15 per cent interest ceiling on loans to SMEs also discourage these institutions from financing the sector.
The Small Business Training under the theme, “Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Skills” falls within the framework of the prime purpose of the Small Business and Entrepreneur Centre (SBEC) – to spur economic growth in Cameroon through the provision of tools to establish, expand and sustain private sector business in partnership with Global Affairs Canada.
Traveller Spend in Africa Could Increase by 27%, Sabre Research Reveals
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
|Consumers would be more willing to travel if they were able to move freely within the continent, and if travel pain-points were addressed|
|PORT LOUIS, Mauritius, November 12, 2019/ — Spend among African travellers could increase by 27 percent over the next year if they were able to move more freely within the continent, new research from Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) (https://www.Sabre.com/) reveals at today’s 51st African Airlines Association (AFRAA) Annual General Assembly in Mauritius.|
More than 5,000 people across Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa were asked whether they had travelled by plane in the past 24 months, to which 26% said they had – a 2% increase on Sabre’s similar 2016 study. However, those that did travel cited that various barriers were preventing them from travelling more often. The majority said that air travel was too expensive, but many also cited difficulties in obtaining visas and booking flights, delays, queues at the airport, and an overall stressful travel experience as some of the reasons they don’t travel more.
Of those that had travelled, there was a willingness to spend up to 27 percent more on air travel if they could travel visa-free throughout the continent – with most respondents saying they would take 2-3 trips per year compared with the 1-2 they currently take. More than 90% were also willing to spend more on ancillary services like in-flight Wi-Fi and entertainment, and special on-board food and beverages. Forty-three percent said they would spend over $100 on these ancillaries to improve their travel experience – 26% up on 2016 and still significantly more than global averages.
“It is encouraging to see that a greater number of people have been able to access air travel over the past three years,” said Dino Gelmetti, vice president sales, Middle East and Africa. “However, our research shows that there is still a long way to go to make travel affordable and accessible. The majority of our respondents’ barriers to travel are within an airline’s control, and investing in the latest technology can significantly improve the whole flight experience – from booking to the day of travel.”
Those polled said that if pain points were eliminated and they could travel more freely, the countries top of their lists to visit are South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, Kenya and Botswana. And, in an environment in which airlines across Africa are grappling with slow growth, this study sheds light on significant opportunities for the travel industry to improve the travel experience and capitalise on new revenue opportunities.
“Overcoming the cost constraint is a major challenge, but all indications are that if airlines were able to reduce flight costs by optimising operations, routes and pricing, far more African people would take advantage of the opportunity to travel by air,” continued Gelmetti. “Digital technologies offer the key to slashing operational costs, improving efficiencies and understanding customer pain points. By using data harnessing technologies to make sense of customer data and using these insights to offer passengers the right product in the right context at the right time, travel operators immediately improve their chances of increasing sales.”
Airlines also need to break down barriers such as confusing booking and check-in processes, by adopting multi-channel sales and check-in processes that allow travellers to engage in the channels they are most comfortable with – be those traditional channels such as travel agents and check-in staff, or digital channels such as websites and mobile apps. These same digital channels lend themselves to streamlined ancillary services sales, allowing travellers to quickly and easily order and pay for personalised add-ons to enhance their travel experience.
Sabre Corporation (https://www.Sabre.com/) is the leading technology provider to the global travel industry. Sabre’s software, data, mobile and distribution solutions are used by hundreds of airlines and thousands of hotel properties to manage critical operations, including passenger and guest reservations, revenue management, flight, network and crew management. Sabre also operates a leading global travel marketplace, which processes more than US$120 billion of global travel spend annually by connecting travel buyers and suppliers. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world.
African Development Bank, Credit Suisse, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Ghana Cocoa Board ink $600 million loan agreement to boost cocoa production
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
- Agreement is a turning point for scaling up the cocoa value chain – President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana
- Ghana is bankable, cocoa is bankable and of course Africa is bankable – Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, President, African Development Bank
The African Development Bank, Credit Suisse AG, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited and Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) signed a $600 million syndicated receivables-backed term loan on Tuesday, to boost cocoa productivity in Ghana – the world’s second-largest cocoa producer.
Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of the African Development Bank Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, senior officials from Credit Suisse and ICBC, oversaw the signing of the facility, at a ceremony held on the second day of the 2019 Africa Investment Forum.
The multi-million dollar agreement is a milestone for the Bank-convened Africa Investment Forum, a transactional platform dedicated to transforming the continent’s investment and development agenda, which kicked off in Sandton City Johannesburg on Monday.
The COCOBOD transaction was launched at the Africa Investment Forum in 2018, and a year later, the signing is a demonstration of the Forum’s ability to raise much needed financing, including from international commercial financiers, for projects in Africa. Prior to the agreement, COCOBOD did not have access to long-term debt capital.
At a press conference following the signing, President Akufo-Addo said the agreement would help to ensure higher incomes for Ghana’s cocoa farmers.
“It was critical that we find a mechanism for scaling up the value chain for our farmers and that is where the Bank came in,” Akufo Addo said. “We see this agreement as a turning point and…to what is possible on this continent.”
The Bank, as Original DFI Lender and Initial Mandated Lead Arranger, is partnering with Credit Suisse as Original Commercial Lender, Global Commercial Coordinator, Co-Mandated Lead Arranger. Credit Suisse is also acting as Joint Commercial Underwriter and Bookrunner to structure and fund a dual-tranche facility comprising a $250 million, 7-year DFI tranche with the Bank, as well as a $350 million, 5-year commercial tranche.
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited London Branch joined as an Original Commercial Lender, Co-Mandated Lead Arranger and Joint Commercial Underwriter and Bookrunner ahead of syndication.
Syndication of the facility is underway.
Making sure that Africa gets to the top of the value chain is one of the African Development’s Bank’s top priorities, President Adesina said, adding that Africa could become a global hub for cocoa and cocoa-based products.
“All cocoa producing countries will get similar support (from the Bank). Ghana is bankable, cocoa is bankable and of course Africa is bankable,” Adesina said.
COCOBOD will use the facility to raise cocoa yields per hectare and increase Ghana’s overall production. These include financial interventions to sustainably increase cocoa plant fertility, improving irrigation systems, rehabilitating aged and disease-infected farms. The funds will also help increase warehouse capacity and provide support to local cocoa-processing companies.
Signing for Credit Suisse, Madthav Patki said the “landmark” transaction would facilitate future long-term investment in the Ghanaian cocoa sector.
“This is a positive contribution to a key sector of Ghana’s economy. “It is a moment of tremendous pride…This is what the Africa Investment Forum is all about,” Patki said. He also commended the Bank’s signature expertise in financial instruments, that enabled them to leverage financing for the deal.
The Africa Investment Forum, an initiative of the African Development Bank is an innovative, multi-stakeholder transactional marketplace, dedicated to raising capital, advancing projects to bankable stage, and accelerating financial closure of deals.
Ghana’s cocoa sector employs some 800,000 rural families and produces crops worth about $2 billion in foreign exchange annually. COCOBOD is a fully state-owned company solely responsible for Ghana’s cocoa industry, controlling the purchase, marketing and export of all cocoa beans produced in the country.
Africa Investment Forum 2019: Billion dollar boost for African female entrepreneurs
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced a $1.1 billion lending programme to help women entrepreneurs on the continent.
EIB Vice President, Ambroise Fayolle, also revealed that the bank has signed three further agreements to boost sustainable development on the continent.
But the major deal is what the EIB has dubbed SheInvest. The EIB expects the gender-lending initiative to allow women to play a more active role in economies.
“This initiative aims to promote female entrepreneurship,” said Fayolle, noting that female entrepreneurs will also gain business skills from the initiative. He explained that the financing will promote gender investment related to climate change and is part of broader European engagement to provide targeted support for new investment that supports increased female economic participation in Africa.
The announcement was made at the Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg, where hundreds of investors, development partners and wealth funds have gathered from 11 to 13 November for the continent’s premier marketplace.
The EIB is the lending arm of the European Union. The EIB has supported investment in Africa for more than 50 years. Last year, it provided a record €3.3 billion to African countries, with more than half the funds being pumped into the private sector.
As one of the largest providers of climate finance, the investment bank has also struck a deal with Guinea-based telecommunications provider, IPT PowerTech Group, which will see the company abandon fossil fuels for cleaner sources of power such as solar and wind.
Mohamed Al Habbal, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at IPT PowerTech Group, says the move to renewable sources of energy such as solar power will help the company reduce its carbon footprint. Habbal estimates that thousands jobs will be created as a result of this deal.
A further deal that was signed on the first day of the second Africa Investment Forum, will see African Trade Insurance increase its membership in Western and Southern Africa. This increased insurance coverage is expected to attract more investment to the continent.
In Southern Africa the EIB confirmed a new lending programme to support access to finance by entrepreneurs across Malawi and confirmed a new scheme to finance smallholders in the country to be launched early next year.
Patricia Hamisi, a Senior Manager at Malawi’s FDH Bank, says the money will help the bank enhance its long-term credit to small businesses owned by women. “The agreement comes with technical assistance which will help the bank enhance its trade financing,” said Hamisi.
The Africa Investment Forum inaugural edition was launched in 2018 in partnership with Africa50, Afrexim Bank, the Trade Development Bank, the Development Bank of South Africa, the Islamic Development Bank, the Africa Finance Corporation, the European Investment Bank.
The 2019 Forum runs from 11 to 13 November in Johannesburg, South Africa.
2019 Africa Investment Forum: Achieving an African economy four times bigger with only a 50% increase in energy demand
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
Africa has the potential to expand the continental economy fourfold, with energy demands expanding by only 50 percent, according to a new report. The International Energy Agency (IEA) unveiled its report on the first day of the second African Investment Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Africa Energy Outlook 2019 found that the continent’s future energy prospects look bright, but only if Governments can make the shift to more renewable energy sources. The report says there are three factors that will determine the continent’s future energy consumption – its growing population, the rapid increase in urbanisation and industrialisation.
Kieran McNamara, an analyst at IEA, noted that these will have “profound effects on Africa’s energy mix and how the economy develops.”
The IEA has for the first time conducted detailed modelling of the energy mix for 11 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, namely Angola, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Nigeria and Senegal.
The projected energy mix needed for Africa will be very different from the current one, with countries moving away from biomass and fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy.
About 600-million Africans have no access to electricity, although this has improved since 2013, according to IEA’s analysis. “In order to start to address the problem, we have to realize the scale of the emergency. And that data is extremely important. You have to be able to define the problem before you can actually address it,” said Wale Shonibare, Acting Vice President of Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth.
Africa also needs to radically increase its investment in power generation from the current $30-billion to $120-billion by 2040, if it is to achieve universal access to electricity, according to Tae-Yoon Kim, another analyst at IEA.
If countries on the continent do not change current policies on energy use, Africa will not achieve the African Development Bank’s target of universal electricity by 2030.
But with improved policies, Africa can see the continental economy expand four times with matching energy demand that is only 50 percent greater than the current demand.
Kenya is one country where universal access to electricity could become a reality by 2022, if it continues with its current policy that has brought a large amount of renewables into the energy mix. Ethiopia could follow suit towards the end of the decade.
The African Development Bank and the IEA, an autonomous agency aiming to improve the world’s energy markets, participated in a high-level side event during the African Investment Forum 2019. Other participants included the European Commission, the African Union Commission and the African Energy Commission.
Discussions were based on the African Development Bank’s “Light Up and Power Africa” strategy, through which the bank hopes to build knowledge of the African energy sector, and assist in achieving universal access to electricity on the continent. Governments, utilities, regulators and investors will hopefully use this knowledge to help them grow energy sectors, while reducing costs. The availability of quality data will improve African countries’ abilities to make informed energy policy decisions and to provide private investors with valuable market analysis.
Through the New Deal on Energy for Africa (NDEA), the Bank has positioned itself to lead Africa’s energy transformation. The NDEA is a partnership-driven effort launched in 2016, which aims to achieve universal access to electricity in Africa by 2025.
The Africa Investment Forum (AIF) brings together project sponsors and investors, borrowers, lenders, policy makers and public and private sector investors, to promote Africa’s investment opportunities.
The Forum runs from 11-13 November in Johannesburg, South Africa.
New Survey Finds Frequent Power Outages a Major Constraint for Nigerian Tech Entrepreneurs
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
The average Nigerian tech firm faces 30+ power outages per month, according to a new survey
WASHINGTON – Nigeria’s young tech sector faces a major hurdle in an unreliable power supply, with the average tech firm reporting 30+ power outages per month, according to a major new survey of the country’s tech sector by the Center for Global Development and the ONE Campaign.
The survey covered 93 tech firms, which encompasses the majority of Nigeria’s tech industry. Firms were asked about a range of potential business obstacles, including access to credit and electricity, corruption, taxation, the legal system, and more. Political instability, access to finance, and reliable power were the most severe constraints, according to respondents.
Nigeria is becoming a major African destination for tech investment, driven in part by a large, well-connected population, but the survey raises concerns about the fundamentals of the business environment tech entrepreneurs have to operate in.
“Everyone is talking about 5G access or startup accelerators, but we found Nigeria’s tech industry is struggling with much more basic problems, like unreliable electricity. The firms we talked to are dealing with dozens of power outages per month. That’s hard for any business, and especially for a technology company,” said Vijaya Ramachandran, one of the authors of the report and a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development.
“Basically, Nigeria’s 21st century economy is being held back by a very 20th century problem: lack of power,” she said.
Some of the survey findings:
- 57% of tech firms surveyed said reliable access to power was a “major” or “severe” obstacle to their business.
- 53 of the tech firms surveyed reported 30+ outages, and another 22 reported more than 20 outages per month.
- A typical power outage was 2-3 hours for most firms, although for a significant group (about 15%), the lights usually stay off for 5 or more hours at a time.
- A third of firms surveyed report losing more than 20% of their sales due to power outages.
“We know that unreliable power is a huge issue across Nigeria, and now we have data on just how badly outages are affecting technology companies. Big Silicon Valley investments and government-sponsored tech hubs can be helpful, but Nigeria needs to get the basic business environment right first. That means providing the energy infrastructure all businesses need to flourish,” Ramachandran said.
The full report of survey findings is available at https://www.cgdev.org/reader/new-economy-africa-opportunities-nigerias-emerging-technology-sector
Gambian Upbeat As Scorpions Open Afcon 2021 Campaign
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
Gambia Scorpions are back in contention for a place at the Total Africa Cup of Nations 2021 in Cameroon as they prepare for the opening of qualifying campaign when they face off Angola’s Palancas Negras on Wednesday 13th November, 2019 in Luanda.
Having named his final list of Scorpions Squad for both the away and home legs, Head Coach Tom Saintfiet is never short of confidence on his charges. “I think we have a strong squad, there are lot of choices for me as a coach to make. We have lot of good players, and I’m sure we will be ready to make it difficult for our opponents and gain some points”, he said shortly before flying out to Luanda.
The Belgian added though that he expect very difficult games but believe his team can cope with the pressure of being the underdogs. “We are playing out against two strong opponents Angola and DR Congo. We are 166 on the FIFA Ranking, Angola is 120 and DR Congo is 54″.
He said both teams are usual participants at the Afcon, however ” We have learnt a lot from our previous games against Angola and Djibouti because we saw some strength and qualities of our players”.
Reacting to Gambia’s home games, the ‘Saint” posited that the Scorpions deserve more hence ” we will be the favorites in Banjul and so we have to believe in ourselves and get something in Angola in the first and away leg although naturally they too will be the favorites to play at home”.
He said DR Congo game at home in the Gambia could be the Gambia’s best game to collect maximum points. The Belgian tactician noted that been underdogs in the Group does not mean that the Gambia cannot push further.
The game will be amongst a host of Qualifiers on the continent and the Gambia will open its campaign to Angola on Wednesday 13th November 2019 at the 11th November Stadium in Luanda at 20:00hrs (19:00hrs ) in Banjul.
Gambia: Defence Minister and CDS Nationwide Tour at Military Installations Underway
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
The Minister of Defence Sheikh Omar Faye and the Chief of Defence Staff Gambia Armed Forces Lieutenant General Masanneh N Kinteh continue on their nationwide tour to Military installations in The Gambia.
The tour has started on in the North Bank Region on 29th October, 2019 following a trip to Njongon and Kerewan with the aimed to familiarize the Honourable Minister with GAF deployments and to have a first-hand impression of the current state of both living and working conditions of members of the Armed Forces and their families.
On 30th October, 2019 they visited Lamin Koto, Military installations to after engagements in Farafenni (2Bn) Headquarters.
The Honourable Minister has availed himself the opportunity to listen to the concerns of the troops at this location and had brief engagements with elders of the community as well.
On 5th November, 2019 the Minister of Defence Sheikh Omar Faye and the Chief of Defence Staff (GAF) Lieutenant General Masanneh N Kinteh paid a courtesy call on the Governor of Lower River Region (LRR) Madam Rohey John after engagements with troops of the 3 Infantry Battalion (Basse) in Upper River Region.
Earlier on, the Minister of Defence Sheikh Omar Faye on 6th September 2019 paid a courtesy call on the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Lieutenant General Masanneh N Kinteh at the Defence Headquarters in Banjul.
Mr. Faye was received by the Army Commander Brigadier General Mamat O Cham, Commander Gambia Navy, Directors, Senior and Junior Officers of the Defence Headquarters of the Gambia Armed Forces after receiving a splendid quarter guard mounted by the Guards Battalion personnel.
General Kinteh said apart from familiarising the Minister with their deployments, the other purpose of the tour is to see the working and living conditions of their troops and families as well as the challenges they have with their logistics.
The CDS added they are also doing the tour to gather facts and put them together in the form of a comprehensive report and find ways and means of tackling the problems they come across during the tour.
“We expect that it is going to be a much better outcome after the tour,” he said.
He said their first engagement they meet the Ghanaian contingents deployed as (ECOMIG) forces in The Gambia in the North Bank Region.
Mr. Kinteh said they believe that as part of good practice and good governance, it is always necessary to be able to engage themselves at different levels of command so that they get to know plans.
“This is an opportunity where they can air their views and also an opportunity where we can transmit the message of the transformation agenda that we have for GAF”, said the CDS.
He said they had an opportunity to engage members of the communities and learn from them how the Army is doing their work and how they can advise them to serve them better.
Sheikh Omar Faye Defence Minister said his priority is to implement the security sector reform, ensure that The Gambia is a safe place and one of the best places in the world.
“We want the Gambia to stabilize and be peaceful so that there will be development,” he said.
He said ECOMIG are in The Gambia to help as they did in Liberian, Sudan, Darfur and other places.
“They are part of the system and globalized world,” he said
Mr. Faye said they are looking at the territorial integrity of the Gambia and that they are looking at everything to ensure that they update on their gains and make sure that Gambians are informed.
The tour is subsequently hope to continue to other similar locations throughout the country especially in the Greater Banjul area and West Coast Region.
Gambia: Mai Fatty Calls on Barrow to step down
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
Mai Ahmad Fatty, leader of Gambia Moral Congress (GMC) has stressed that President Adama Barrow failure to step down after three year coalition agreement led to the existing hiatus.
“I also affirmed GMC’s position on the 3yrs – 5yrs dilemma. I asserted that President Barrow should have respected his commitment to step down this year, as agreed, and making sure that elections could be conducted this year. His failure to do so, led to the existing hiatus. However, his 5yrs persistence is also supported by the Constitution,” he told journalists shortly after his returned from European tour. He visited Spain, France, Germany and Italy where he interact and discussed party policies and way forward for Gambia’s development with supporters.
He stressed that that if the 3yrs Jotna were to be denied permit to hold a peaceful protest, he will defend their constitutional right to peaceful protest in court at no cost to them.
former interior minister GMC as an institution will not be part of such a
protest. The law relied on by the President to keep his five years, is the same
law that entitles three years Jotna to a peaceful protest and we will defend
Fatty, a lawyer cum politician noted that having thoroughly considered all of the relevant facts and circumstances, it is not realistic to hold elections this year. It has not been budgeted. IEC decided that no elections would be held. President Barrow cannot be forced to step down because his 5yr mandate is supported by the law.
The former adviser to President Barrow, pointed out that even if he were to step down, GMC will not support assumption of the highest office by an unelected Vice President under such pretext.
“The distorted laws governing elections have not changed, favouring the incumbent. It is not realistic to hold elections in December 2019. A political institution should not assume an unrealistic position simply to play to the gallery or because it is the politically correct thing to do. That is not the way we do politics,” he added.
He further stated that GMC as a political party expresses its deep disapproval of the manner President Barrow alienated the Coalition in his unilateral declaration of five years mandate without the courtesy to consult the Coalition in advance.
“I submitted this position publicly in the press a year ago, and this is an emphasis. We believe that the President Barrow should have personally engaged his partners before his infamous declaration at a political rally. This singular fact and grave error of judgment constitute an act of betrayal of the principles that created the Coalition, and seriously call into question the issue of integrity and moral propriety,”
Gambia goes to ICJ to defend Rohingya Muslims
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
The Republic of The Gambia has filed today before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague a lawsuit alleging that the Republic of the Union of Myanmar has violated its obligations under the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide for its genocidal actions against the Rohingya people, a Muslim minority that lives in Myanmar.
Genocide is a crime under international law, and all States have an obligation to prevent, to punish, and to not commit genocide. Myanmar has failed in adhering to its obligations on all counts in its brutal treatment of the Rohingya, who have been subjected to wanton acts of violence and malicious degradation with the specific intent of State actors to destroy the Rohingya as a group.
The Gambia has stepped forward, on behalf of the 57 Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and with the mandate of the Organization, to hold Myanmar accountable for its genocidal crimes against the Rohingya.
This action asks the ICJ to adjudge and declare Myanmar to have violated its obligations under the Genocide Convention, to order Myanmar to cease and desist from its genocidal acts, to punish the perpetrators, and to provide reparations for the Rohingya victims.
The Gambia has also asked the ICJ to impose Provisional Measures, as a matter of extreme urgency, to protect the Rohingya against further harm during the pendency of this case by ordering Myanmar to stop all of its genocidal conduct immediately. The Gambia calls on the international community to support its legal effort, and to redouble all diplomatic and political efforts to cause Myanmar to stop, and never to repeat, its genocide against the Rohingya, and to assist in efforts to ensure justice and accountability for the crimes committed against them.
The Agent for The Gambia before the ICJ in this case, and head of its legal team, is H.E. Abubacarr Marie Tambadou, Attorney General and Minister of Justice of The Gambia. The Gambia has retained the services of Foley Hoag LLP, an international law firm with many years of experience representing States before the ICJ, as its counsel. The Gambia will also be represented by Professor Philippe Sands, of University College London, and Professor Payam Akhavan, of McGill University.
Mozambique mourns the death of 50 Malian soldiers
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Arnaldo Cuamba
The Mozambican President, Filipe Nyusi, deplores the deaths of 50 Malawian soldiers, victims of terrorist acts perpetrated by the Islamic State jihadist group.
In a message of condolence to his counterpart in the Republic of Mali, Ibrahim Abobocar Keita, Nyusi says that these actions draw attention to the creation of efforts to eradicate the problem.
“We must establish a joint and coordinated mission to eradicate not only the demonstrations, but also the roots and the moral and material constituents of these heinous crimes,” Nyusi said in a note seen by Pan African Visions.
Mozambique has also been a victim of extremist attacks since October 2017. More than 400 people were killed by unknown armed men. The Islamic State has made some claims as did on Monday when the group claimed killing 8 Mozambique soldiers in an ambush in Cabo Delgado area.
According to the Mozambican president the joint mission is necessary as actions tend to spread in Africa and the world, creating a climate of instability, ungovernability and insecurity.
“They are crimes that threaten the dreams of progress and well-being” he said in a message that ends up addressing, on behalf of the Mozambican people and in his particular name, the “most heartfelt condolences “to the people and Government of Mali and, in particular, the families of murdered soldiers.