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Gambia new Justice Minister takes Oath, Barrow Calls for Unity
July 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

President Barrow and New Justice Minister Dawda Jallow
President Barrow and New Justice Minister Dawda Jallow

President Adama Barrow has appealed for unity in preserving peace and stability of the country, as the new Attorney General and Minister of Justice took the oath of office today.

The President said maintaining peace and stability in the country hinges on respect for the rule of law and allowing the law enforcement officers to perform their duties without hindrance.

“Once again, I appeal to all Gambians to unite and be law-abiding citizens. Let us remain united. Unity fosters peace and prevents crime and disorder,” urges President Barrow.

He described Gambians as “a diverse people”, maintaining that such diversity should not breed hate or hostility. “Instead,” he said, “it should be a source of inspiration, pride and strength in building peace and strengthening social cohesion. Therefore, let us stand united as proud Gambians.”

The President recalled that in February 2017, he presided over the swearing-in ceremony of the members of his first Cabinet. Among them was Honourable Abubacarr Marie Tambadou.

“As a team, we pledged to execute relevant institutional and legal reforms, and committed ourselves to transforming The Gambia into a fully-fledged democracy for the overall development of the people,” he recounted.

Today, he expressed pride that Mr. Tambadou does not only leave behind an indelible mark on The Gambia’s legal reform programme but also made a name for himself.

“This occasion affords me the opportunity to thank him for his selfless service to the nation. Despite the many challenges that confronted us from the outset, we have been able to weather the storm this far. On behalf of the entire nation, I thank Honourable Tambadou and wish him luck in his endeavours,” he added.

To Dawda Jallow who just swore as Minister of Justice, President Barrow said his appointment comes at a time when his government is solidifying the democratic foundations built to establish a just and peaceful nation. Such foundations are also marked by the rule of law, respect for human rights and human dignity.

He noted that the Justice and Judiciary sector have been playing a lead role in this direction. However, in spite of the progress made so far, he noted that more needs to be done to complete the legal reform process that begun within this vital sector.

“It is a common belief that good governance in any democratic environment must always be grounded in equal rights, justice and the rule of law. This is not attainable in the absence of a strong judicial and justice system, staffed by competent professionals under impartial and upright leadership,” the President argued.

He expressed trust that Honourable Jallow will build on the work of his predecessor, and contribute to strengthening the Justice sector for the realisation of government reform objectives and national goals.

Honourable Dawda Jallow in his statement thanked the president for appointing him to serve the country and the government. He assured him of his “absolute and diligent dedication to duty at all times.”

“I therefore take this opportunity to assure all stakeholders in the transitional justice process, especially the victims that the Ministry of Justice will continue to support and provide the necessary leadership to ensure that the transitional justice process reaches its logical conclusion,” he said.

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Gambia: Former Justice Minister Gets UN Appointment
July 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Abubacarr Marie Tambadou
Abubacarr Marie Tambadou

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Abubacarr Marie Tambadou of the Republic of the Gambia as the Registrar of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT).

Mr. Tambadou succeeds Olufemi Elias of Nigeria, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedicated service to the Residual Mechanism and international criminal justice.

Until recently, Mr. Tambadou was serving as the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the Republic of the Gambia, a position he held since 2017. Mr. Tambadou brings over 14 years of experience in the area of international criminal justice, including through his role as Special Assistant to the Prosecutor of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals and Trial Attorney and later Appeals Counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Prior to those positions, he worked as a prosecutor in the Gambia and, later, as a Private Legal Practitioner. He has also served as the Chair of the African Union Specialized Technical Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs.

Mr. Tambadou holds a Master of Laws in International Human Rights Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Warwick. He was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn in the United Kingdom, and as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of the Gambia, in 1999. He is proficient in English with working knowledge of French.

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The War Economy, Impunity And The Crisis Of Primitive Accumulation
July 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Chief Charles A. Taku*

Chief Charles Taku is an International Lawyer and former President of the International Criminal Court Bar Association- ICCBA
Chief Charles Taku is an International Lawyer and former President of the International Criminal Court Bar Association- ICCBA

The persistent call by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and significant peace advocates, among them, Nobel Peace prize laureates for a cease-fire in the ongoing war of attrition and genocide in the Southern Cameroons, to allow peace efforts to be explored and access to victims in dire need of humanitarian assistance during the covic-19 pandemic has been ignored by the Government of Cameroun. What brazen insensitivity and impunity!

It is left to be seen how the international community will react to the impunity with which the rampaging hordes of assassins have been unleashed to perpetrate genocide, to loot, rape, pillage and swim in the blood of the innocent victims; women, children men of all ages. I have incessantly called on the civilized world to put an end to the carnage, genocide and impunity, lest the blood of the innocent blur the collective conscience of humanity, in our time, and on our watch.

The question is worth asking: What emboldens the masterminds of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes to disregard the calls for a ceasefire, to get to the negotiation table to address the root causes of the crisis without preconditions requested by the international community? And how come it that there has so far been no consequences for this blazon impunity?

The answer to these questions may among several reasons reside on the influence and impunity of reckless primitive capitalist accumulation in the war economy. Borrowing from the distinguished Professor Ekor Toyor, the international community needs to understand the essence, processes, contradictions, historical pressures and cultural emanations of primitive capitalist accumulation to understand the politics underpinning the politics and the impunity of the genocidal predators.

The Southern Cameroons case crystalizes around the interpretation of United Nations Resolution 1608 (XV). A British Minister in the Commonwealth and Foreign Office very recently made bold to anchor the case of his government on a flawed interpretation of Resolution 1608(XV) in a widely publicized letter to a Member of the House of Commons.

An enduring resolution of the Southern Cameroons/Ambazonia conflict, rests on the accurate interpretation of this UNGA Resolution and the consequences of non-compliance, the violations of the sacred trust embedded in the UN Charter and the sanctity of universal erga omnes obligations towards the people the Southern Cameroons.

If since October 1, 1961, the matter was as simply a a matter of the interpretation of the UNGA Resolution 1608 (XV) as the Hon Minister now purports, why then has Great Britain the Trust Administering Power, LRC , the colonising power or the UN not taken up the matter to obtain expert interpretation to ascertain if the intendment of the resolution and UN Charter obligations were respected and implemented? Why vacillate for over 59 years during which period genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes claiming the precious lives of over 13000 and the deportation of hundreds of thousands to Nigeria and many countries in West Africa has occurred with impunity; and for economic gain, and the corruption of the consciences and gratification of the economic interests of colonial and neo-colonial interests ? Why have they not activated the mechanism for the resolution of conflicts through the international rule of law enshrined in the UN Charter to interpret the Resolution; provide a comprehensive solution to the conflict, abate the genocide and crimes and hold the masterminds accountable pursuant to founding objectives for which the UN was founded?

I cannot at this point in time conclude that the UN will do nothing or will act in a manner that will encourage tacitly endorse or encourage the ongoing genocide and impunity. The UN internal mechanisms have been activated and the competent organs are constantly briefed while some of its personnel and ancillary organs are engaged; each at its own pace, although the intensity of the carnage warrants an urgent and robust intervention.

However, the impunity and reluctance of LRC to hasten to respect the call of the civilized world to abate the slaughter and impunity has been aggravated by the devastation of the covid-19 pandemic. The benefits to its war economy has demotivated Cameroun from respecting the request for a ceasefire and calling its forces back to barracks to allow humanitarian and healthcare assistance to war victims in the forests and bushes of the Southern Cameroons. Cameroun and its colonial master have benefited from the spoils of annexation and colonisation of the Southern Cameroons since the night of September 30, 1961 and finds it hard to disengage from a territory and people it has exploited for almost six decades with impunity.

Fon Gorgi Dinka termed the deal which led to the annexation and colonisation of the Southern Cameroons the Mc McLeod slave deal. By this deal, Her Majesty’s Government in the night of September 30, 1961 folded the Union Jack and handed over the instruments of sovereignty over the Southern Cameroons to a war criminal Ahmadou Ahidjo . At the time, he was intensifying the slaughter of nationalists in his own country, LRC. Britain knew that the war criminal would slaughter, jail and plunder the Southern Cameroons in enforcing the slave deal; as indeed he did, and his successor has intensified with sadistic impunity.

Ambazonia however kept the international legality of surrounding its fate and date with history, on October 1, 196. On October 1, 1961, it was its elected government that was in place and all symbols of state and UNGA Resolution 1608(XV) have survived the thievery for posterity to plead and defend its case and sovereignty until the last man standing. The impunity and complicity in the Alibaba booty was explained by Ahmadou Ahidjo in a speech to the National Assembly of LRC on August 11, 1961. He discounted the usefulness of signifying a treaty of union with the Southern Cameroons after it attained independence on October 1, because for him, the Southern Cameroons was merely returning to LRC’s motherland. He intended to adjust LRCs constitution of 4th March 1960 to accommodate its territory to the LRC motherland. It is this arrogance of impunity and the fulfilment of the criminal qui pro quo that took place at the Tiko Airport in the night of September 30, 1961 that led this criminal mastermind to make the fundamental mistake of believing that through terror of impunity he would annex and colonise the Southern Cameroons with no consequences. History has proved that he was wrong and will always be wrong.

There concealment of the spoils of the slave deal were wrapped in deception and shameful lies. The British argued that the Southern Cameroons was poor and could not survive economically on its own. This shameful status-evaluation was false. History has proved that the British and the French knew about the extensive mineral and natural resources potential of the Southern Cameroons. The British managed the CDC, PAMOL, exploited the Southern Cameroons Maritime Economy. Britain exploited the strategic and regional security potential of the Southern Cameroons. The Southern Cameroons had significant hydro-electric potential, Sea Ports and Airports.

Lately a British Firm signed an oil exploitation deal in the territory at the heart of the genocide to help LRC in its genocidal war efforts. An official British Government statement announced and praised the deal. An attempt by LRC to auction extensive forest and agrarian ancestral lands covering almost half of the territory of the Southern Zone of Ambazonia with the complicity of puppet chiefs and fringe power elites was strongly resisted by the people. The internationalisation of the protest forced the land grabbers to withdraw but the land grabbing crusade of the invaders remains unabated.

The peaceful resistance, resilience and gallantry in the fight against the plunder led to the declaration of a vicious war against the armless civilian population by President Paul Biya of LRC. This led to the ongoing slaughter and genocide; the prosecution of which has led to the exponential increase of the benefit derived from its the war economy.

The bourgeoisie class of colonial puppets to whom power was handed over in LRC after the slaughter of pro-independence nationalists in that country, sustained colonial power overseers over French colonial vassal and neo-colonial war economy. To sustain the war economy and exact maximum benefits, through systemic terror, asphyxiation of the so-called power elite, supposed academic and faculty opportunists, mystical initiations, systemic corruption, masturbation of the intellect etc, allegiances are compelled and human consciences subdued. Houses of worship and clerics are freely rented to perform rituals and praise worshipping to glorify not the living God but the god of their pecuniary desires.

The spoils of the war economy recruited some clergy on the side of those who are baying for and wasting the precious lives of people whom God created in his image and for whom these supposed anointed ones were commissioned to lead in their salvific sojourn towards the Kingdom of God. I am consoled by the fact that the Church of God is holy. It must not be abused and conflated with cursed Alibaba caves of earthly treasure that some are showcasing in the context of the war economy. Christians and persons of faith in the Lord must therefore, intensify prayers and leave Alibaba treasure seekers to play their acquired roles in the circus of earthly power and primitive capitalist accumulation.

The apparent senselessness and futility of the unwinnable war and genocide in the Southern Cameroons by LRC would reasonably have led to a withdrawal of its troops from the territory to the barracks and sought a negotiated settlement. The history of armed conflicts in Africa requires a respectable decision to stop the genocide, the carnage, looting, rape and indignities to victims. The war in Sierra Leone went on for 10 years, ending in the Lomé Peace Accord. A combined force of the Sierra Leone Army, ECOMOG, UNAMSIL, Executive Outcomes mercenaries brought by the Government of Sierra Leone did not defeat the Revolutionary United Front for Sierra Leone in the battlefield. Cameroun cannot win this senseless war of choice in the battlefield. It must end in an international negotiation table where internationally recognized experts, will examine the root causes of the conflict without pre-conditions has an overwhelming majority of international opinion has stated.

This reality is not lost on Cameroun’s leaders, its civilian and military commanders but the gain derived from the war economy is driving their urge to continue the war, regardless of the consequences and loss of human life. This is what is driving the impunity and urge to continue a losing war with the magnitude of the genocide, crimes against humanity and the ferocity of the war crimes.

This war is also about a policy of slaughtering civilians to sustain annexation, cultural genocide also called national integration which President Paul Biya confessed in France early this year has failed. The founding underpinning of the war is economic which was the basis of the annexation and colonisation in the first place. Inspired by this ideological orientation and motivation, the war is a cash cow for the enrichment of a colonial bourgeoisie puppetry at the evening of its life; but intent to drawn in the blood of Southern Cameroonians and sink with its natural resources and subsistence economy. These are the dire consequences of the war economy, impunity and the crisis of primitive accumulation.

There are two important obstacles standing between the Southern Cameroons and the unimpeded prosecution of this policy: Resistance, spiritual purity, the strength and the justice of its case around UNGA Resolution 1608 (XV) as well as the fact that the price of impunity will be fully paid now or at some point in time. In this regard, every pin of blood unjustly taken away will be accounted for and every victim, dead or alive will cry for and obtain justice.

*Chief Charles Taku is an International Lawyer and former President of the International Criminal Court Bar Association- ICCBA

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Are businesses prepared for the ‘return to work’ security risks?
July 1, 2020 | 0 Comments

Why putting measures in place to keep data safe as employees rejoin their

company’s network, should be a number one top priority.

By Stephen Burke*

As lockdown eases, many businesses are preparing for employees to return to work. But are their corporate networks ready, with adequate security measures in place, to ensure their systems are protected from the increased risk of a cyber attack owing to staff and their equipment working from home.

Cyber criminals are well aware of employee environments, and will target cyber attacks in areas that have become vulnerable. We saw this with the spike of phishing attacks themed around working from home and it will continue to evolve as workforces change their work practice once again.

When remote working descended upon the nation strong and fast earlier this year, some organisations were able to issue company standard devices with regularly patched antivirus security. However, for the majority, there was a frenzy to equip their staff with the required machines to enable a quick and adequate ‘working from home’ set up. As we now raise our heads above the parapet, we are seeing an abundance of employee hardware lacking necessary security and about to connect to their company’s corporate network, risking sensitive data being exposed to a cyber attack. 

Computers used for remote working are likely to have confidential company data stored, have been shared with family members possibly visiting insecure websites or installing insecure software for example, with no guarantee that they have been patched and maintained over these recent months. The big question is: can these external devices be trusted back on to the corporate network? 

Businesses need carry our risk assessments and put best practices in place before their networks are exposed. Firstly, staff need to share where company data has been saved and under which accounts, work or private credentials. Was it a public cloud environment like google drive, one drive, dropbox? This all needs to be disclosed to minimise risk, ensure data is safe and GDPR compliance is maintained. 

Secondly, if employees have been sharing the devices with their house members, have they given away their password? Is the password the same across work accounts and personal accounts? What new software has been installed or removed and by whom? Were there any security warnings such as viruses being detected by anti-virus software? Has any confidential paperwork been printed at home and has it been shredded or dropped in the bin? Where employees have access to sensitive information, questions need to be answered before they rejoin an organisation’s network. 

If a company allows all machines back onto their corporate network, they will need to rely on network monitoring and most critically, they will need to monitor the activities of the people within the network. It is the people who pose the greatest business risk if they have not got ongoing support in terms of cybersecurity awareness training. They are operating from within a company’s network on a daily basis, sending and receiving data through a multitude of access points. If left untrained, employees are a hackers haven, an easy access point to the entire network, surpassing any technological measures in place to keep them out. If trained, employees are your greatest line of defence – your Human Firewall. 

There are various types of cybersecurity awareness available, but the ideal is to combine interactive cybersecurity awareness training content with a software solution that works hand in hand with your company’s IT infrastructure. Cyber Risk Aware offers “real time” intervention training, which identifies where employees are making mistakes and sends focused training material to help improve their behaviours, saving both money and time. Building a Human Firewall is the biggest defence against cyber attacks.

About Cyber Risk Aware

Operating out of London and Dublin, Cyber Risk Aware is the only company in the world to offer real time cyber security awareness training. Its platform leads the industry helping companies worldwide assess the level of human cyber risk in their business, by running real time simulated phishing attacks and cyber knowledge assessments to see where the risks lie in their business (user, department, office, country). Cyber Risk Aware is Microsoft Azure’s only Security Awareness Training Platform and is fully integrated with MS Azure’s Security Suite and Active Directory Environment.

Cyber Risk Aware also provides highly engaging and interactive  CyberSecurity Awareness Training content and enterprise risk and compliance reporting so companies can demonstrate and meet their legal and regulatory compliance requirements in protecting proprietary and personal data, systems and finances. Cyber Risk Aware is the first company in the world to achieve GCHQ accredited security awareness training by the Chartered Institute of Information Security.

Thousands of companies use Cyber Risk Aware to provide a front line of defence against cyber criminals, significantly reducing the material risk of employee error via phishing, ransomware, CEO Fraud and Malware attacks.

About Stephen Burke – CEO and Co-Founder Cyber Risk Aware

Stephen founded Cyber Risk Aware in 2016, after a career spanning over 20 years in technology and security specialising as a CISO. In that time he found that most if not all security incidents are caused by human error at all levels in an organisation, no matter how good the technical defences were. Stephen founded Cyber Risk aware with the mission of making a genuine difference and helping companies and users at home from being victims of cybercrime.

Specialities: Security Education and Awareness Programs, Cyber Insurance, Network Security, Data Governance and Security, Malware Investigator and Incident Response, Risk Management, Security Behaviour Analytics. Security Architecture, Heuristic Security, Security Audit, Digital Forensics, Penetration Testing, Encryption, Wireless security, Security management, , Database as a Service, Internal Cloud Design, SAN Design, RDBMS Virtualisation and Consolidation, Disaster Recovery.

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African Development Fund approves $9.52 million to enhance coordinated COVID-19 response in East and Horn of Africa and the Comoros
July 1, 2020 | 0 Comments

The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF) have approved grants totaling $9.52 million to strengthen responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in East Africa and the Horn, and in the Comoros.

The grant, approved on 26 June, is part of the $10 billion COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility (CRF) approved by the Board of Directors in April 2020 and complements the Bank’s direct support to regional member countries across the continent.

The beneficiaries are Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Funding will also go toward the procurement of essential medical supplies, including testing kits and to train health workers.

The funds will be used to bolster health systems and disease surveillance, enhance infection prevention and control, and improve regional coordination by the East African Community (EAC) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to contain cross-border transmissions.

“The overall objective of the operation is to reduce the incidence and mortality in the Eastern African region due to COVID-19 pandemic and other disease outbreaks,” Martha Phiri, Director for Human and Social Development said.

The EAC Secretariat will receive $8.79 million in tranches of $8.16 million and $629,582 while $729, 581 will go to IGAD. The World Health Organization will be the implementing agency for the emergency response activities in the EAC and IGAD member states, and the Comoros, while the RECs will be directly responsible for executing the cross-border interventions.

Countries in Eastern and the Horn of Africa are enforcing stringent border measures to mitigate the cross-border transmissions that have led to disruptions in the movement of people, trade flows and access to essential goods. The project will, therefore, tackle these challenges by improving testing and case detection capacity at border crossings and improving regional coordination. The Project will also support EAC and IGAD to roll out regional COVID-19 digital tracking systems to facilitate cross-border surveillance. This will make the regional bodies better prepared to counter cross-border transmissions during future pandemics.

The grants align with the Bank’s High 5 priority commitments, specifically to improving the quality of life for the people of Africa, and to advancing regional integration. The financing also strongly aligns with the Eastern Africa Regional Strategy Paper, which calls for enhanced cooperation in managing regional public goods.

As of 28 June, total confirmed cases in the 11 mainland countries of the region stood at 42,000, while the island nation of Comoros reported 265 cases out of a population of 800,000.

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Our journey to electrify the continent: Five years of the New Deal on Energy for Africa
July 1, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Dr. Kevin Kariuki*

The NDEA called for a substantial increase in investments to realize the Bank’s High 5 priority to “Light Up and Power Africa”

Five years into the African Development Bank’s ambitious New Deal on Energy for Africa (NDEA), the Bank’s investments are set to provide electricity access to around 13 million people and deliver about 55,000 km of distribution lines, and 6,700 km of transmission lines, of which 3,200 km are for regional interconnections.

The NDEA called for a substantial increase in investments to realize the Bank’s High 5 priority to “Light Up and Power Africa,” which aims to mobilize finance and expertise to expand access to reliable, sustainable energy for more than 200 million Africans through investments in power generation, inter-connections, transmission and distribution. This effort is critical to unlocking Africa’s vast economic potential, enabling the growth of value-adding industries and services, and, most importantly, unleashing the ingenuity of the continent’s 1.3 billion people.

The strategy was grounded in the recognition that partnerships are central to its success. In collaboration with African countries, the Bank’s interventions have ranged from setting up the right enabling policy environment, supporting utilities, to increasing the number of bankable energy projects. Additionally, the Bank is accelerating major regional projects and driving integration through the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa, whilst also supporting bottom-of-the-pyramid energy access programs.

Priority was given to investments in low-carbon technologies, set to contribute to over 2 GW of additional generation capacity by harnessing the large, hydro, solar, geothermal and wind resources of the continent. Yet this is only the beginning, as much of the work to date has been centered on setting up the right frameworks to mobilize different partners and alternative forms of capital to tackle the various challenges in the sector at country, sub-regional and regional levels.

Indeed, mobilizing partnerships and rolling out countrywide energy transformation are continuous works in progress. In 2019, as testament to the Bank’s efforts in enhancing dialogue and consensus, the G5 Heads of State endorsed the Bank’s Desert to Power initiative, intended to build the world’s largest solar zone across the Sahel by adding up to 10 GW of solar generation capacity through public and private interventions. The Yeleen Solar Program in Burkina Faso – the first of dozens of similar projects expected to flourish across the Sahel region – will provide energy to 150,000 households in rural areas through solar mini-grids and solar home systems, and an additional 52 MW of grid-connected solar generation, enough to power 30,000 new households.

Achieving the objectives of the New Deal on Energy for Africa will require a significant increase in private sector investments. The Bank catalyzes more private investments into independent power producers and off-grid projects through partnerships with project developers, commercial banks, private equity funds, institutional investors and other development finance institutions. Over the past five years, the Bank’s interventions reached $1.5 billion in private sector operations, corresponding to 1.7 GW additional generation capacity through independent power producers.

In addition to mobilizing concessional resources through bilateral and multilateral sources – notably from the European Union, Green Climate Fund and Climate Investment Funds – the Bank hosts the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), one of the largest multi-donor technical assistance and concessional capital funds in the continent, designed to catalyze private sector participation in renewable energy.

In 2019, the Bank converted SEFA into a special trust fund to widen its interventions into green mini-grids to accelerate energy access to underserved populations; green baseload to support clean generation capacity; and energy efficiency to optimize energy systems and reduce energy intensity. SEFA is expected to contribute to the electrification of more than 7 million households by 2030.

The Bank is also actively supporting the mobilization of commercial capital through blended finance solutions. The Facility for Energy Inclusion, which was operationalized in 2019, is a $500 million investment platform organized around two funds – off-grid and on-grid – to provide flexible debt products, including in local currency, to emerging business models in the small-scale renewable energy space. The Facility for Energy Inclusion will contribute to more than 3 million new connections by 2030.

To enhance institutional performance and improve the enabling conditions to attract much needed investments, the Bank has also implemented initiatives such as the Electricity Regulatory Index to monitor and benchmark regulatory performance against best practices, the Sustainable Utilities Transformation Agenda, to build sustainable utilities and energy institutions, and the Africa Energy Portal to provide accurate, up-to-date data on Africa’s energy sector.

In 2019, the African Development Bank reported that an additional 96 million African households  had gained access to electricity between 2015 and 2019, with countries like Rwanda on track to achieve universal access by 2025. Despite this encouraging progress, close to 600 million Africans still lack electricity access and achieving universal access goals under SDG7 still requires greater and swifter efforts to meet the demands of Africa’s growing population.

Addressing electricity access remains a costly enterprise, with the International Energy Agency placing the price tag at around $120 billion annually through 2040, four times higher than current levels .

While our direct financial contribution is modest by comparison, we are confident that its judicious application to catalytic power projects, innovative financial structures, sector reform processes and acceleration of decentralized solutions will get us far in our mission.

*Dr. Kevin Kariuki is the Vice President, Power, Energy, Climate Change & Green Growth, at African Development Bank.

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Andela Expands Presence to All African Countries
July 1, 2020 | 0 Comments

Global Technology Network to Double Engineering Talent Pool as it Transitions to Fully-Remote Model

Andela, the global talent company that helps companies build remote engineering teams, will now accept engineers from all African countries, in a bid to double its global talent pool and connect an even greater number of specialised engineers with opportunities. The company is accepting pan-African applications for senior engineers with in-demand stack experience such as Node, React, Python and Ruby. 

Andela helps its customers, who include Cloudflare, Wellio, ViacomCBS, and Women Who Code, gain access to high-quality software engineers who work as long-term, embedded team members. Today’s news will further enable companies that work with Andela to source the talent they need, when they need it, by opening up to additional talent pools across the continent with an even greater diversity of experiences and technology stacks.

Jeremy Johnson, Andela co-founder and CEO says, “Over the past five years, we have become experts at identifying engineering excellence from nontraditional backgrounds. We know that there are extremely talented engineers across Africa and we believe that opportunity should not be limited by proximity to a major tech hub. Being a remote-first engineering organization allows us to open up access to Andela for engineers across the continent.” 

“By removing restrictions on location, we will double our pool of potential talent to the roughly 500,000 engineers in Africa who can now leverage Andela to work with top international engineering teams. Ultimately, our goal is to break down the barriers that prevent talent and opportunity from connecting by providing an easier, more efficient way for companies to scale global engineering teams.” 

Launched in 2014, and prior to being a fully remote organization, Andela operated in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. Today, Andela has successfully completed the transition to full-remote, which began with pilots in Ghana in 2018 and Egypt in 2019. Accepting engineers from outside the capital cities in these countries allowed Andela to select and work with a broader range of top tier technical talent, with no reduction in productivity. The company will continue to maintain its rigorous application process, in order to build the strongest talent pool of software engineers on the continent.

In the US, high growth companies continue to need more senior engineering talent, and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, are increasingly open to hiring remote. Johnson concludes, “The world is beginning to realize that remote work is going to be a major catalyst for the democratization of opportunity. Luckily, engineering leaders already know that remote work works if you have the right processes and systems in place, and are at the forefront of this change. By doubling our talent pool, we’re proud to help accelerate their critical work of building the future.”  

In addition to enabling experienced engineers to build global careers, Andela continues to invest in the Andela Learning Community, a program that has introduced over 100,000 learners from across the continent to software engineering. 

Andela is accepting applications from all countries in Africa.

Andela is an engineering-as-a-service business that helps companies build remote teams quickly and cost-effectively. We have 1,000+ software engineers working as full-time, embedded members of development teams at over 200 leading tech companies.

Andela is headquartered in New York, and has a globally distributed team. They are backed by investors including Spark Capital, Generation Investment Management, Serena Ventures, Chan Zuckerberg Education, and Omidyar Network.

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The African Continental Free Trade Area – from agreement to implementation
July 1, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Robyn Berger*

African leaders at the launch of the AfCFTA   in Kigali, Rwanda  in 2018.Photo credit  AFP
African leaders at the launch of the AfCFTA in Kigali, Rwanda in 2018.Photo credit AFP

The Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was brokered by the African Union (AU) and adopted by 44 of its 55 member states on 21 March 2018. By February 2019, all AU countries, save for Eritrea, had become signatories to the AfCFTA, which came into force on 30 May 2019.

The AfCFTA aims to increase Africa’s presence in the global economy by improving intra-African trade flows and attracting foreign investment. Once the AfCFTA is fully operational, it will be the world’s largest free trade area by number of countries.

However, in order for the AfCFTA to be binding on the signatory states, it must be ratified in accordance with each country’s internal procedures, and to date, only 28 AU member states have ratified the agreement.

The AfCFTA is to contain the following six protocols, of which only the first three have been concluded:

  • Protocol on Trade in Goods;
  • Protocol on Trade in Services;
  • Protocol on Rules and Procedures on the Settlement of Disputes;
  • Protocol on Investment;
  • Protocol on Intellectual Property Rights; and
  • Protocol on Competition Policy

The Protocol on the Trade in Goods is aimed at creating a liberalised single market for the free flow of goods within the African continent. This is to be achieved through progressive elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers (NTBs), such as customs and administration requirements.

State Parties are to accord products imported from other State Parties no less favourable treatment than that accorded to similar domestic products. However, State Parties are permitted to apply some protectionist measures, such as anti-dumping measures and measures to protect infant industries, when necessary.

The Protocol on the Trade in Services is aimed at inter alia enhancing competitiveness of services, fostering domestic and foreign investment and accelerating efforts on industrial development. It allows State Parties to enter into agreements for the recognition of the education or experience obtained or license or certifications granted by other member states and requires each State Party to regulate territorial monopolies.

What has been implemented?

The AfCFTA promises significant gains for the continent in respect of welfare gains, GDP, employment and intra-African trade growth and a reduction of Africa’s trade deficit.

However, little has been achieved thus far in terms of its implementation. The operational phase of the AfCFTA was launched at the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU held on 7 July 2019, where it was decided that inter alia

  • the final schedules of Tariff Concessions and outstanding Rules of Origin, which will formulate annexures to the AfCFTA, would be submitted at the next ordinary session of the Assembly in February 2020, and
  • the dismantling of tariffs would commence no later than 1 July 2020, with the goal of elimination of tariffs on 90% of goods within five years for non-LDC countries, 10 years for LDC countries and 15 years for G6 countries.

Although the February 2020 session took place, final schedules of Tariff Concessions were not submitted and the Assembly urged State Parties to submit these at the Extraordinary Summit of the AfCFTA Council of Ministers to be held in May 2020 in order to start trading under the AfCFTA on 1 July 2020.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting of the Council of Ministers took place virtually; however, it is unclear what decisions were taken and whether all schedules of Tariff Concessions were submitted.

Commentary

Africa is one of the least integrated continents, with intra-African exports constituting only 16.6% of total exports in 2017, which is one of the issues the AfCFTA aims to improve. However, some of the initial concerns commentators have identified include:

  • difficulty with ongoing negotiations, particularly the services liberalisation, given the number of State Parties and their varying economic positions;
  • confusion regarding integration between AfCFTA and the various other regional economic arrangements already in existence, such as the SADC Protocol on Trade and the Tripartite Free Trade Area; and
  • the potential effect of increasing the economic imbalance among member countries due to concentration of economic activities in a few African countries with low production costs.

Studies have shown that there will only be small gains from a reduction of import tariffs, with the larger gains occurring as a result of the reduction of NTBs. Furthermore, African countries generate significant revenue from trade tariffs. While the agreement is meant to offset those losses by resulting in higher tax revenue from increased consumption and income, there will be a period of loss and the gains will be determined by how countries pursue the necessary steps to lower NTBs.

As most African countries have significant NTBs and other protectionist measures, this will pose a significant challenge. The continent will also need to reduce infrastructure deficits, such as poor quality roads and ports, if the agreement is to operate effectively.

Ultimately, the view seems to be that there is promise in AfCFTA achieving its goal of increasing intra-Africa trade and foreign investment in the continent, but there is a lot for African countries to do before the agreement can actually achieve those goals.

The COVID-19 pandemic arguably creates a pressing need to reduce Africa’s high trade dependence on non-African states. The AfCFTA could help facilitate this, but it would mean intensifying the process and reducing the current five-year timeline for the liberalisation of tariffs.

Reducing this timeline, however, becomes even more challenging in light of the current lockdowns and border closures across the continent in addition to the Secretary General of the AfCFTA having postponed the commencement date of 1 July 2020. Although it is unclear to when the commencement has been postponed, some reports suggest trade under the AfCFTA will only take off in January 2021.

*Executive: Tax, Theunis Claassen, Senior Associate, and Catherine Robson, Candidate Attorney, Bowmans

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International Energy Agency’s Africa Dialogue Needs to be Inclusive for a Workable Africa’s Energy Transition
July 1, 2020 | 0 Comments
The Chamber reiterates its support to inclusive dialogues that take into account the realities of African economies and of energy poverty.

The African Energy Chamber  takes notes of recent initiatives taken by the International Energy Agency (IEA) to support Africa’s energy transition and salutes the leadership of the IEA in this dialogue. Such conversations notably echo the Chamber’s recent statement on African Lives Matter, questioning the OECD and IEA’s recent call to phase out fossil fuels. While the conversation of Africa’s energy transition continues, the Chamber reiterates its support to inclusive dialogues that take into account the realities of African economies and of energy poverty.

Unfortunately, the Africa Ministerial Roundtable organized this week has sidelined key stakeholders and actors within Africa’s energy sector, preventing its ability to be truly inclusive and impactful on the ground. Africa’s energy transition will not be possible without the inclusion, and participation of, the continent’s petroleum and gas ministries and companies.

The Chamber strongly believes that key institutions like the African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO), led by its Secretary General Dr. Farouk Ibrahim, need to be part of this dialogue, along with representatives of the petroleum ministries of producing countries such as Algeria, Nigeria, Angola, Equatorial, Libya, Congo or Gabon and key National Oil Companies such as Sonatrach, GEPetrol, Gabon Oil, NNPC or Sonangol. The African private sector was not invited while we note the invitation and participation an international oil company. Given the importance of the oil & gas sector for several African economies, the Chamber questions the relevance of an energy debate that would exclude them from the conversation.

“Energy poverty is as real as climate change, and the global debate on Africa’s energy transition tends to forget that hundreds of millions of African have no access to energy and still rely on firewood for cooking. Their needs must be at the center of the energy transition debate, which should not be made at the expense of any particular source of energy,” stated Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber. “This generation of Africans are not tickled by foreign aid and handouts that resulted in poor governance and mismanagement. Jobs, sustainable power and gas that drives development, along strong market-driven economies, are what Africans want. In order to accomplish a true African energy transition, petroleum producing countries, their National Oil Companies, civil society, African entrepreneurs and independent producing companies need to have a seat at the table,” he added.

The African Energy Chamber remains concerned that global conversations on Africa’s energy transition would result in a new foreign aid narrative by which Western stakeholders and investors would blindly push a renewable energy agenda at the expense of proper private sector-led development supporting jobs and entrepreneurship. While the Chamber strongly supports diversified energy mixes and wishes to see cleaner energy developments across Africa, solar and wind projects are still relying on global value chains which restrain their ability to support local content development. As a result, most solar and wind projects in the continent continue to have local content participation of less than 50%. Such issues need to be at the core of the energy transition debate so Africa’s cleaner future does not serve only the interests of big multinational corporations but also translates into private sector development and opportunities in Africa. It is time to put the voices of African businesses at the center of the debate.

As Africa seeks new ways to develop and grow in a post Covid-19 world, let’s remember the words of Nelson Mandela: “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. While poverty persists, there is no true freedom. Do not look the other way; do not hesitate. Recognise that the world is hungry for action, not words. Act with courage and vision.”
*African Energy Chamber
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World Bank Realigns Africa Region into Two Vice Presidencies for Greater Focus on Country Progress
July 1, 2020 | 0 Comments

Ousmane Diagana will join as Vice President for Western and Central Africa;

Hafez Ghanem to become Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa  

Ousmane Diagana, Vice President for Western and Central Africa

WASHINGTON, July 1, 2020—As a sign of its strong commitment to Africa, the World Bank’s Sub-Saharan Africa Regional portfolio will now be managed by two Vice Presidents, covering Western and Central and Eastern and Southern Africa, respectively. The institution announced the change in early 2020, which took effect today. 

This year the World Bank is expected to lend about $50 billion to 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa – significantly more than any other Region and making up about one-third of the World Bank’s entire portfolio. These financing volumes are almost double what the region delivered ten years ago. The Bank’s portfolio includes projects and programs in areas such as agriculture, trade and transport, energy, education, health, water and sanitation. Furthermore, the growth in financing to fragile states has been even higher with about two-thirds of World Bank financing to fragile states happening in Africa. 

The region has been led since 2018 by Hafez Ghanem, who today takes on the role of Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa. 

“Our commitment to Africa gets stronger every day, and I am thrilled to work alongside Ousmane Diagana to deliver even more resources to the people who need them the most,” said Hafez Ghanem, World Bank Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa“We are two Vice Presidents, but we see Africa as one, and will continue sharing lessons, expertise, and ideas across the continent.” 

The creation of an additional Vice Presidency Unit is part of the World Bank Group’s continuous efforts to align resources with priorities. This will help drive the reforms and policies needed to achieve sustained and broad-based growth, alleviate poverty and raise living standards for people on the continent.

Hafez Ghanem, World Bank Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa.
Hafez Ghanem, World Bank Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa.

Ousmane Diagana becomes Vice President for Western and Central Africa today.  

“I am honored to lead the Bank’s efforts in West and Central Africa, with a strong focus on innovation, impact, and transformation,” said Ousmane Diagana, Vice President for Western and Central Africa“Working together with Hafez, I know we can and will do more to put countries and people first and find ways to confront today’s development challenges using all of the tools at our disposal.” 

Diagana’s appointment comes as the Bank is looking to strengthen the delivery of its Africa program and further improve its operational focus on regional portfolios to better support the transformational improvements that are possible in Africa.

About Ousmane Diagana

A Mauritanian national with more than 25 years of development experience, Diagana joined the Bank in 1992. As the Vice President of Western and Central Africa, Diagana will lead the World Bank’s strategic, analytical, operational and knowledge work in Western and Central Africa. 

Since joining the Bank, Diagana has held several technical and managerial positions including Country Director for Mali, Niger, Chad, Guinea and Country Director for Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Benin and Togo. Diagana has worked extensively in Fragile, Conflict and Violence (FCV) affected countries. 

Prior to this appointment, Diagana was the World Bank Group Vice President for Human Resources. He also served as Vice President for Ethics and Business Conduct and World Bank Group Chief Ethics Officer. As World Bank Group Vice President for Human Resources, he has been central to many initiatives to bring staff closer to clients, particularly in FCV client countries.

About Hafez Ghanem

Hafez Ghanem, an Egyptian and French national, is the Regional Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa. A development expert with over 30 years of experience, Dr. Ghanem leads relations with 26 countries, and oversees over 280 projects totaling more than $49 billion.

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Ghanem served as the Vice President for Africa. Under his leadership, the World Bank supported inclusive growth and poverty reduction by financing projects that boost human capital, support private sector development, raise agricultural productivity, improve access to infrastructure, build resilience to climate change, and promote regional integration. Intensifying assistance for fragile and conflict-affected states, promoting gender equality, and providing economic opportunities for youth were core to his vision for the Africa Region.

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SyncFloor Partners with Mavin Records, Launches Afropop-centric SyncSite
June 30, 2020 | 0 Comments
Afropop is golden, and Mavin Records is a powerhouse of African talent,” explains SyncFloor CEO Kirt Debique

SyncFloor, the commercial music marketplace, is announcing its partnership with Mavin Records, bringing the label’s catalog to more potential sync buyers via syncfloor.com and its newly launched Mavin Records SyncSite. SyncFloor’s SyncSites allow its rights holder partners to surface a sync-oriented website that presents thematic, customized blocks of tracks and allows potential users to search for and find tracks from within the partner’s one-stop catalog, using natural language and cultural references.

“Afropop is golden, and Mavin Records is a powerhouse of African talent,” explains SyncFloor CEO Kirt Debique. “We are honored to get their beautiful music in front of production professionals worldwide.”

SyncFloor recently launched its commercial marketplace, along with a sister site SongsForPodcasters. Mavin’s one-stop catalog will also be featured in the podcast focused marketplace, making their infectious sounds and rhythmic vibrations accessible to the growing podcast phenomenon.

"SyncFloor's groundbreaking service promises immense access, making them fitting partners to expand our dealings in commercial music licensing," says Oghenejobo P. Tega, Chief Operating Officer, Mavin Records
“SyncFloor’s groundbreaking service promises immense access, making them fitting partners to expand our dealings in commercial music licensing,” says Oghenejobo P. Tega, Chief Operating Officer, Mavin Records

“SyncFloor’s groundbreaking service promises immense access, making them fitting partners to expand our dealings in commercial music licensing,” says Oghenejobo P. Tega, Chief Operating Officer, Mavin Records, “Over time, Afrobeats, and African culture, in general, have converted audiences across the globe with massive moments. We’re glad to offer our vast catalogue to brands and platforms looking to tell global stories in film and digital content.”

About SyncFloor

SyncFloor is a revolutionary new marketplace designed to unleash the full potential of music in commerce. We are revolutionizing music licensing, from music discovery through license clearance, for advertisements, film, TV, video games, and more. 

About SongsForPodcasters

SongsForPodcasters is a marketplace of commercial music to be used in podcasts of all types.  Built on the SyncFloor platform, SongsForPodcasters simplifies the discovery and licensing of music for podcast creators and producers through customized discovery, pricing, and licensing workflows.

About Mavin Records

Mavin Records was founded in 2012 by legendary Afrobeats producer, Don Jazzy, and produced some of the definitive music and artists such as Wande Cole, Tiwa Savage, and Reekado Banks. Currently, its roster spans a variety of genres with artists including Korede Bello, Johnny Drille, Di’ja, D’Prince, Dr. SID, LadiPoe, DNA, Rema, Crayon and DJ Big N. Today, Mavin is a community of amazing people dedicated to creativity, innovation and breaking new frontiers.

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Nigerian Actress / Screen Writer Pens Coronavirus hit African lockdown series
June 30, 2020 | 0 Comments
Tunde Aladese

Tunde Aladese is an African film actress and screen writer, she won an Africa Academy Award in 2018, she has recently been a studying BA in Filmmaking at MetFilm School .As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, a  popular series called, Shuga went into a mini-series nightly show titled MTV Shuga Alone Together highlighting the problems of Coronavirus on 20 April 2020. Tunde is the screenwriter.

The show was originally  to be broadcast for 60 nights, but it’s now been increased to 65 nights and its backers include the United Nations. The series is based in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Cote D’Ivoire and the story is told through with on-line conversations between the main characters. In the Q and A below she discusses the series and her career plans

Do you remember how you fell in love with films and writing? Was there a particular film/ script?  Did it make to feel a particular way? Anything growing up that pushed you in this particular direction? 

This is a difficult one because it’s never really just one thing. It’s the gradual growth of a lifelong romance. My love for writing started with prose, making sorry imitations of any book I enjoyed in order to somehow prolong the experience that the book had given me. Cinemas weren’t much of a thing in Nigeria at the time when I was growing up but VCR was big business and watching movies was a big family pastime.

It’s hard to pick just one film because the exposure was constant, and the genres were varied. It was the eighties so there was a lot of that B movie style action. Also, a lot of the glam mini-series type content, usually centred around a woman who succeeded against all odds. There was ‘The Sound of Music’ which my siblings and I could quote in its entirety. Arthouse came later, as options widened. I didn’t have a proper understanding of how films came to be for quite a while and a couple of appearances on kids’ variety shows were a surreal experience.

I guess primary school drama club was my first proper sense of trying to create a narrative out of thin air and get other people to help bring it to life. But I can say that I fell in love with the film business, this idea of actors and directors and storytellers on screen after reading biographies of some old Hollywood movie stars between the ages of 10 and 13.

I think that was when I began to understand the process of how all that came to the screen. The possibility of anything like that being a tangible and viable career plan, came much later. 

Please expand on the origins of when and why you decided that career in the screen industry was for you. 

I’m not quite sure I decided. I think the timing was fortunate for me. My first job after university led to an introduction between my boss and a producer who was about to make a radio drama series for the BBC in Nigeria. My boss showed him some ideas I had put down and I got invited to be part of a writers’ room, something I’d never heard of. I couldn’t believe someone paid me that much money (not a huge amount but at the time I was making almost nothing) to do something I’d been doing for fun all my life. I figured ‘I could get used to this…’ Success was not immediate but over the next couple of years, enough opportunities came my way that when an international cable company became interested in producing Nigerian series, I actually had a little experience under my belt and could pitch myself for some writing opportunities.

Tunde Aladese  won an Africa Academy Award in 2018
Tunde Aladese won an Africa Academy Award in 2018

Why did you choose Metfilm school? What’s unique about it? What were you experiences there? What were your education experiences beforehand? Where did you grow up and where did you go to college / university… what did you study before? 

My first degree was in English Literature, from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. After almost 10 years working professionally  as a screenwriter, mostly in television, I wanted new challenges and a wider canvas. I thought learning formally about all aspects of film production would help me with that. Choosing Metfilm was a combination of timing, location (Berlin had been popping up a lot in my timeline in the months preceding), language and investigating their alumni and the things they had gone on to do since leaving the school. It’s a great way to study the European arthouse film aesthetic, which I was very interested in, without having to take the time to learn a whole new language. And because it’s an English speaking school in a very European city, you get to study with students from a wide variety of countries from all over the world.

Tell me about MTV Shuga – how did the project come about about? 60 episodes – it’s quite an ask… how did you manage to complete it? 

We’re still trying to! And I’m not going to deny that it is a challenge. I just take it one block at a time, and fortunately I don’t have to do it all on my own. There’s a co-head writer and co-director who alternates blocks with me and of course, the SAF team. I had worked on 2 previous seasons of the series, including one season as Head Writer and had therefore had some contact with some members of the team. They reached out within the first couple of weeks of lockdown in Germany and told me about this idea they were throwing around, and asked whether it was something I would be interested in coming on board for. I’d been sitting home for 2 weeks, reading about everything going on all around the world, from news headlines to social media posts sharing people’s emotions, so I knew as soon as they asked that there was potential here. I didn’t imagine at the time that it would be 65 episodes (yeah, it’s 65 now)! We’re recording 41-50 this week and then my co-head takes over again for the next batch.

What’s the response been like? From the audience and the industry? 

To be honest? I don’t know. I usually try to stay away from comments because you get drawn in by the good stuff and then one negative comment and you might spend the rest of the day overthinking. I do understand that reactions and feedback from the first few episodes was quite exciting. It’s been challenging trying to find ways to maintain and increase the momentum and interest. But I did say I was looking for challenges, right?

Tunde is the screenwriter  of the mini-series nightly show titled MTV Shuga Alone Together highlighting the problems of Coronavirus
Tunde is the screenwriter of the mini-series nightly show titled MTV Shuga Alone Together highlighting the problems of Coronavirus

What are you working on now, what are your plans for the future? 

I’m almost done with this season of Shuga and there are a couple of things lined up for me to switch over to from next month. But nothing that I am at liberty to talk about right now.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about becoming a screen writer / considering a career in the screen industries? 

Read a lot of books, watch a lot of movies. Figure out what you like, what excites and moves you and why. And then try to put it into your own work. Write, write, write. Even when you hate it, keep at it. I had a period of about 6 years from secondary school into university where, everything I wrote, I hated soon after. But that made me question why I hated it and what I needed to do differently. The trick is to keep writing so that when an opportunity comes your way, you have something to show of your ability that will make them at least consider you. Don’t wait for someone to find you and make you a writer. And then of course, seek out those opportunities. I know this is a bit glib, and won’t work out for everyone, but it will for some. Oh, and I should mention this magic trick. The first time I went to a writers’ workshop, everyone there introduced themselves as a writer except me. I didn’t think I had the right to claim that about my hobby. The people present in the room made me say it ‘I’m a writer’. When I returned to my life, I started introducing myself that way. And people remembered. And the calls started coming.

*Q & A facilitated by Ruth Sparkes and MetFilm School

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