Please Hold Your Horses…A word of caution about the dismissal of the African Union permanent representative to the United States of America.
October 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Ed. DUCHE
The African diaspora in the United States of America and around the world is riled up in controversy following the dismissal of the African Union Head of Mission to U.S., Ambassador Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao by the African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Farki Mahamat.
A petition on the popular site ww.change.org initiated by Professor Apollos Okwuchi Nwauwa
Secretary of the African Diaspora Congress to “Reinstate African Union Ambassador Chihombori-Quao” on Sunday, October 20, 2019 has garnered approximatively 60,000 signatures in counting. The petition reads as follow:
“…Dr. Arikana has been outspoken about neo-colonial maneuverings and exploitation that still exist today. Her dissemination of the truth has garnered her attention and support around the world… However, not everyone is embracing her bold but honest discourses for effecting change for the betterment of Africa. On October 7th, 2019, Ambassador Quao was relieved of her position as the “Permanent Ambassador” in a unilateral decision made by the African Union Commission Chairman without any hearing or explanation, and yet presented as representing the opinions of all 55 countries. The questions are: why was she dismissed, or better, who benefits from her removal? Were African heads of states and governments consulted? Who called the shot? Or is Africa, and peoples of African descent, still facing the debilitating effects of modern colonialism or neocolonialism? Leadership based on self-interest and preservation that does not benefit the people they serve is no longer acceptable…”
An cnn.com article, authored by Bukola Adebayo, dated October 16th 2019 and titled “AU faces backlash after terminating ambassador’s appointment”, the authorstated that on October 7th, 2019, A.U. Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat relieved the Ambassador from her position in line with the commission’s rules, and suggested that the dismissal was due to her “strong views on France’s occupation and hold over its former African colonies, which she shared publicly”. The assertion is that the firing occurred under direct pression from the French Government. Apparently this is also Ambassador Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao narrative and argument in pushing back on her dismissal and in making a case directly to the diaspora in support of her reinstatement as the continental organization permanent representative to the United States of America.
Believing that Ambassador Dr. Arikanna Chihombori-Quao was fired over her criticism of the French and their colonial practices in Africa, several preeminent members in the African American community, the Diaspora and International leaders, appalled by the A.U. action, are adamantly criticizing the leadership of the African Union and calling in to question the independence of African countries vis-á-vis their former colonial power. The situation is rapidly degrading and becoming another public opinion nightmare for the A.U. commission and its leadership. In the U.S. and especially in Washington DC, Ambassador Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao appears to be another “victim” of a stand against colonialism. Many are expressing outrage on her behalf and throwing their support behind her in pressuring the A.U Commissioner to give her the job back.
Looking at the way the situation is unfolding, the mastery in display, the activism deployed and the narrative peddled by the Ambassador’s supporters, It is of a paramount importance to exercise caution in embracing the situation as painted, and restraint from jumping to conclusions. Indeed, a closer look reveals that there may be a lot more to the story than what we have so far read on social media and in news stories.
Curiously, for all the communication that has been selectively leaked both from the AU to Ambassador Chihombori and from her to the AU, there is no mention of the existence of a damning audit report about the Ambassador’s tenure. Is this just an oversight, or a deliberate attempt to peddle a narrative that favors one party as the victim and hero, while labeling the other as the villain? Indeed, on August, 22nd 2019, an investigation into Ambassador Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao governance of the A.U., mission in Washington DC for the period of September 2016 to February 2019 was submitted to the chairperson of the Commission.
The subject of the investigation report is “Alleged violation of Procurement Procedures, Abuse of Authority/Misuse of Office and Conflict of interest” and the transmittal letter reads in its entirety as follows:
“The investigation is based on the allegation by a whistleblower that the Head of Mission (HOM) Ambassador Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao has been violating AU procurement rules by single sourcing contracts, bid splitting to circumvent procurement procedures, receiving three quotation from the same bidder to create the semblance of legality and also failure to submit bids above the threshold of $50,000 to the headquarter Tender Board for approval. It is also alleged that Ambassador Quao misapplied funds earmarked for other activities to Miss AU Pageant, the AU Diaspora retreat and the African Diaspora Youth League summit without approval from the AUC Chairperson…” the report continues, “…Furthermore, Ambassador Quao is alleged to abuse authority/misused of office and also involved in conflict of interest issues with the African Union-African Diaspora Health Initiative (AU-ADHI) is registered as her private organization and the “Wakanda One” project. The AU-ADHI is registered under her name as a private citizen and currently being funded by AU as political sub division of the African Union approved initiative established for the purpose of galvanizing the African Diaspora to participate in the development of Africa as stated in an Agreement signed by her with a Washington DC based Attorney”.
The investigation report was very damning to Ambassador Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao. It described in detail a stream of procurement violations, misuse of public funding as well as instance of conflict of interests in details and concluded by ascertaining the veracity of the whistleblower allegations and recommended sanctions against the Ambassador.
For example the audit reported that “$181,204 Miss AU pageant cost was a misapplied funds earmarked to other activities…” “Ambassador Dr Quao cancelled the MOU with Newdesk Media and single source the contract for the production of the Magazine -invest in Africa- to AMIP family business at the cost of $60,000 USD”, “Dr.Quao single-sourced the production of the 2017 Calendars to 5 Star Eventz for $9,583 meanwhile the 2019 Calendars were printed for $3,600 following a Request for Quotation initiated by the Finance Officer...” Moreover, the Ambassador has “registered associations in her own name that are being funded using AU resources” thereby creating a blatant conflict of interest. Two companies “Homestrings and Global Political Solutions were single-sourced and awarded a contract without the knowledge of the Finance and Administrative Officer…”
As one reads the investigation report, it becomes clear that there is a lot more to the history about why the Ambassador was fired. It is now obvious that one should exercise caution, wonder, ponder, and hold the horse, before jumping too quickly into the bandwagon of an emotionally driven narrative on the news. The anti-colonialist narrative for being the reason for the Ambassador’s dismissal has “muddied” the water. The conclusion that the Ambassador was relieved of her duty due to her stand and denunciation of the French colonial engagement in Africa is questionable in light of the damning audit report.
It is well known that French colonial engagement is an issue, many people have spoken and continue to speak against it both in Africa and in the diaspora. Leaders like President Paul Kagame who have lashed out at the French are some of the most admired, and influential people in Africa and beyond. While we may not completely rule out that veracity of the allegation from Arikana’s partisans on the French influence in forcing her out, we must put everything in context, evaluate all the factors and circumstances before jumping into conclusions .
This opinion piece is essentially a cautionary advice to not let the situation spin out of control and in the process cast a discredit of the AU Commission as well as in damaging the Diaspora judgment. It is understandable and counter intuitive for many not be outraged in light of what appears to be an injustice perpetrated against Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao especially when she performed admirably well and above expectation on her duties in Washington DC. However we can’t overlook the facts in the Audit report and if history teaches, let’s then remember lesson learned from high profile cases of rush to judgment, public response that followed suit and ultimately jury conclusion.
As the AU spokesperson Ebba Kalondo said in statement, diplomatic transfers and changes are standard practice. In the USA for instance, it is hard to see an Ambassador spend four years in the same duty post. While emotions may be charged, it would be good if the diaspora could channel this energy into more useful initiatives. It could be to lobby for projects to Africa, raise funds to support development initiatives, use its clout to build useful networks and more. For all she did and that the AU acknowledges , the Mission to the USA did not start with Ambassador, nor will it end with her. The diaspora should build on her successes and ensure that the momentum she has created is built upon or sustained by her successor for the greater good of Africa. After all, not many in the diaspora knew Ambassador Arikana Chihombori prior to her appointment and not many probably knew she would perform well. I am sure she will be the last person interested in seeing the work she did go up in flames or to see the mission she led destroyed because she was relieved as Ambassador.
For Ambassador Arikana Chihombori, there is still more
for her to do out there. It will be good if she can rein in her partisans by
letting them understand that, the services we render to mother Africa are
beyond any one individual. There are people in the diaspora and specifically in
the Washington, DC metro area who have spent a lifetime fighting for African
causes without fuse, and without expectations. Some of them actually worked
with Ambassador Arikana, just as they worked with her predecessor and will
hopefully work with her successor. Just like someone ran and handed the baton
to Ambassador Chihombori, she too has done her own running and should pass the
baton to another person in peace for the task of moving Africa is like a relay
race , where it will take the efforts of many, infact effort from all Africans
and its diaspora for sustained progress to be made.
 AU inter office Memorandum from the Director of Internal Audit to the Chairperson of the Commission
 AU inter office Memorandum from the Director of Internal Audit to the Chairperson of the Commission
Africa and globetrotting leaders: Cause for Optimism or Concern
October 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Prince Kurupati
“You have to engage people. If you don’t travel how do you engage them (donors)?” Former Malawi President Bakili Muluzi (2003)
After a long day which started as early as 4 am, I returned home around 7 pm. Just as is the case with many neighbourhoods in Zimbabwe, there was no electricity at home so I turned to my smartphone for some entertainment while preparing my body for sleep. I logged in to my Twitter account and started to catch up on all the latest headlines both local and international. While scrolling down, one tweet did catch my eye; the tweet was about Emerson Mnangagwa, the Zimbabwean President. The tweet stated that by January 2019, just one year and one month after becoming the president, Mnangagwa had embarked on 26 foreign trips! This staggering figure which now stands above the 30 point mark quickly forced me to draw comparisons between the president and his globetrotting predecessor, Robert Mugabe.
When Mnangagwa came into power, he promised that he would usher in a new way of doing business. Simply put, this, therefore, meant that as Mugabe was a globetrotter, Mnangagwa would be the exact opposite, that is, he was going to spend much of his time in the country with his people. With over 30 foreign trips travelled since December 2017, this, however, is not the case. As I was pondering about this issue, I began to remember all the headlines that I have read detailing how most African leaders have a penchant for travelling. I also came to realize that globetrotting is not solely a Zimbabwean ‘problem’ but its an African ‘problem’.
Cameroonian President Paul Biya is nicknamed an ‘absentee president’ owing to his long stays in Switzerland as opposed to his home country. Last year, Paul Biya held his first cabinet meeting in more than two years. The reason behind the huge lapse in cabinet meetings being down to Biya’s long absence. Paul Biya’s foreign travels have been the subject of an online spat between the state-owned Cameroon Tribune newspaper and the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), which calculated the amount of time the president spent abroad using reports from the daily newspaper. Biya is estimated to have spent nearly 60 days out of the country in 2018 alone. In 2006 and in 2009, Biya spent a third of the year abroad.
In Nigeria, President Buhari is known for his love for the city of London in the UK. Buhari has travelled to London on several occasions since 2015 when he first came into office. The Nigerian president mostly travels to London under the auspices of seeking medical attention. At one point, the president spent three months abroad in which time his deputy Yemi Osinbajo ran the country. According to the New York times, Buhari has “spent more than 170 days in London on official medical leave since becoming president in 2015.”
Former Malawian President Bakili Muluzi at one point responded angrily after being asked for the umpteenth time why he was so fond of taking foreign trips instead of trying to solve problems back home. After returning from a three week trip to Asia in 2003, the president received criticism from various circles within the country accusing him of being ‘ignorant’ and wasting the little resources the country had globetrotting. Realizing that the criticism was coming thick and fast showing no signs of ending anytime soon, the president had to call for a press conference where he criticized all critics saying it was of paramount importance that he spends much of his time globetrotting and it was the only way to engage the donors who primarily fund Malawi’s budget. In his own words, Bakili Muluzi stated “You have to engage people. If you don’t travel how do you engage them?” while critics had a strong case in criticizing the president for his numerous foreign trips, in the case of the country as a whole, Muluzi can be justified for his travels as Malawi for the past two decades has seen donor-funded projects make up over 60 percent of the capital budget each year.
In profiling instances of African leaders who have a penchant for travelling, we can certainly go on and on as many African presidents both current and former are avidly known for loving the fast plane life. As such, besides looking at the obvious, let’s take a moment to examine if globetrotting is of any benefit to African nations or its just an illusion used by African leaders to hoodwink the citizens into believing that they are actually doing something.
The argument that has been used by many African leaders if not all when questioned about their numerous trips abroad is that foreign trips help them to engage and reengage with foreign powers most of whom possess massive influence and power that can be used for the betterment and development of Africa. On the front of engagement and re-engagement, it can be noted that indeed, Africa is now much more connected to the rest of the world in comparison to years gone by. Various leaders of the more powerful states and institutions including the U.S., China, Russia, Britain, IMF and World Bank have visited African nations in an attempt to consolidate and strengthen the ties that exist between them and Africa. This on its own paints a positive picture that indeed, foreign trips embarked upon by African leaders have managed to put Africa on the global map.
However, while still of the front of engagement and re-engagement, it can be noted also that the benefits from the ties between Africa and the rest of the world do not work in a reciprocal manner. Rather, Africa by engaging with the rest of the world has managed to give leeway to foreign powers to exploit Africa while she, on the other hand, has benefited nothing of true value. Most of the deals that have been reached as a result of engagement and re-engagement efforts have seen European powers come to Africa to establish their companies, plundering African resources, polluting the local environment and repatriating the profits back to the headquarters. Employment of the locals and availability of ready-made manufactured goods has been the only benefit to Africa; something that’s insignificant when compared to the benefits enjoyed by foreign powers.
The above therefore clearly shows that the talk of engagement and re-engagement has on the surface appeared as a good thing to Africa but when one takes a deeper look, it’s quite crystal clear that Africa is not benefitting as much as it should from the engagement approach. Earlier on, we stated that Bakili Muluzi supported his globetrotting adventures saying they were the ones responsible for bringing the much-needed finance used to sustain human lives in the country in the form of donor funds. While this is certainly true, what can also be seen is that donor funds have actually made Malawian leaders and the citizenry at large idle, dependent and some would say lazy. This is because instead of looking at ways to use what they have in creating a source of livelihood for the whole nation, the country is now much more concerned with appeasing the foreign powers so that donor funding keeps flowing at all times. The ingenuity of the locals has been suppressed and docility is praised.
Moving on, globetrotting leaders have also used trade as one of the main reasons why they embark of numerous foreign trips. African leaders with a penchant for travelling state that they spend most of their time travelling and meeting with their foreign counterparts so that they can improve trade between their nations and other foreign powers. While its indeed true that trade figures between Africa and the rest of the world (Europe, Asian and America) have increased gradually since the 1980s, it’s also true that the increase has largely been necessitated by foreign powers instead of Africa. This is to say that the actions taken by African leaders have had little to insignificant value in terms of paving the way for the increase in trade figures. It is firstly down to Europe, America and Asia’s commitment to producing more products for export that has seen trade figures between Africa and the rest of the world increase. Secondly, it is also as a result of the numerous multinationals operating in Africa seeking to exploit cheap human labour, relaxed environmental laws and favourable policies and taxes that have seen Africa produce more products for export. Products produced by Africans in Africa for sale in other parts of the world account for only an insignificant portion of export figures. This, therefore, shows that globetrotting African leaders have achieved so little when it comes to real benefits for the home countries.
Whatever the Election Outcome, Botswana’s ‘Democracy’ has Come of Age
October 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Prince Kurupati
Botswana is heralded as a beacon of stability in a continent that is full of upheaval. However, according to former Botswana President, Botswana’ stability is soon to become a thing of the past if the current president Mokgweetsi Masisi is reelected for a full term in office come October 23. Ian Khama who put Masisi in the top job believes his successor is an autocrat who will reverse all the democratic gains that the country has enjoyed for decades.
The October 23 General Election in Botswana is going to be one of the most significant elections that Botswana has ever had. This is because for the first time, the election is not going to be a walk in the park for the incumbent like past elections but it’s going to be fiercely contested by three candidates who all have a huge chance of winning. This is going to present Botswana with a dilemma that it has never experienced before and one that has torn several African countries to shreds.
Hotly contested elections in neighbouring countries such as Zimbabwe, Mozambique and other African nations such as Kenya, Ivory Coast, Egypt and Nigeria among others have always led to clashes often violent and in some instances, they have ignited civil wars as is the case with Ivory Coast. For Botswana, the upcoming elections, therefore, will put to the test, the country’s democracy.
Mokgweetsi Masisi will be running under the ruling party, Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) which has ruled the country uninterrupted for the past 53 years. BDP will come up against a coalition of opposition parties under the banner ‘Umbrella for Democratic Change’ (UDC) and the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) a brainchild of the former president Ian Khama.
Strongly believing that the man he chose as his successor, Mokgweetsi Masisi has become an autocrat, “The person who I nominated to be my successor, as soon as he took office became very autocratic, very intolerant and it has led to a decline in the democratic credentials that we have a reputation for,” Ian Khama is hoping that a win for the BPF will help Botswana return back to its former glorious past.
While both the UDC and the BPF pose a major threat to Masisi’s attempt to win his first full term in office, Khama’s main fear is the loose electoral alliance that it has with the UDC. The BPF which is a relatively new party sought to establish a close alliance with the UDC. However, by the time that the BPF sought to strike a deal with the UDC, the UDC had already nominated its candidates. So in many seats, the UDC and BPF candidates are standing against each other, which could split the opposition vote enough to give the BDP victory. And the BDP and many analysts believe that associating with Khama and the BPF will conversely dent the UDC’s chances in the urban areas, which are its stronghold, and where Khama isn’t widely popular.
Even more worrisome for Khama and the BPF is that not all elements inside the UDC are in favour of an alliance. Speaking to the Institute of Security Studies in Gaborone, deputy leader of the Botswana National Front which is the main party in the UDC, Prince Dibeela said it had been a ‘blunder’ to ally with Khama’s BPF.
The main question now as asked by Peter Fabricius of the Institute of Security Studies is, “For over half a century, Botswana has been an island of peace and stability in a stormy regional sea. But was that stability founded purely on the fact that one party has ruled since independence? If the BDP is defeated next week, will that change? Will it refuse to accept defeat and provoke an opposition backlash? And if the BDP wins again, will the UDC/BPF cry foul and take to the streets? Most Batswana say no, and they’re probably right. But then again they haven’t really been here before.”
Peace talks aimed at ending decades of conflict in Sudan ongoing in Juba
October 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Deng Machol
Juba – Peace talks between the Sudanese transitional government and armed and non-armed opposition groups have begun in South Sudan’s capital with parties showing eagerness to end the country’s long civil war.
South Sudan’s President Kiir is hosting the peace talks, where the transitional government and rebel groups signed a draft agreement last month that detailed a roadmap for the talks, trust-building measures and an extension of a cease-fire already in place, represents a turning point in ending war and bringing about peace to Sudan.
This followed former president Omar al-Bashir’s successful mediation of the South Sudan peace talks in Khartoum last year, September, before overthrow in April, 2019.
The peace initiative was also built into a power-sharing deal between Sudan’s army groups and its pro-democracy movements. That deal was reached after the deposed of longtime tyrant President Omar al-Bashir in April. The transitional authorities have six months to make peace with the rebels, according to the agreement.
Ethiopia and the African Union mediated the power-sharing agreement in August which ended months of violence and faltering talks between Sudan’s generals and protesters following the uprising against al-Bashir.
South Sudan gained independence from the north in 2011 after decades of civil war. But in the 2000s, Sudan was most known for al-Bashir’s brutal repression of an uprising in the western Darfur region.
Attaining peace is crucial to the transitional government in Sudan. It has counted on ending the wars with rebels in order to revive the country’s dilapidated economy through slashing the military spending, which takes up much of the national budget.
However, Sudanese military councils have introduced good-will signals. They dismissed death sentences against eight rebel leaders and released more than a dozen prisoners of war. They have also delayed the formation of the parliament and the appointment of provincial governors to allow time for the rebels to come on board.
President Kiir is trying to look for the best ways to end the war that has been raging in Sudan for the last 63 years – that’s to say since independence.
The peace solutions brokered in the past, starting by Addis Ababa 1972, Khartoum 1997, CPA 2005, Abuja, Cairo, Asmara and Doha agreements, failed to achieve a just, comprehensive and permanent peace.”
Sudanese warring parties accepted the mediation of president Salva Kiir and Juba as a venue for peace talks when the AUHIP failed to settle the conflict in Sudan in eight years and twenty-two rounds of talks.
Addressing the launch of the peace talks at the Freedom Hall in Juba, President Kiir called on the Sudanese parties to make compromises during the negotiations.
President Kiir said negotiations and compromises are ushered to settle any political conflict and reach a peace deal that will end the country prolong conflict.
He added that peace could not come to any country through armed conflict adding that it was possible if parties come together, discuss and find possible solutions.
President Kiir reiterated that lack of peace in his former country would lead to instability in the whole Africa and South Sudan particular.
“Time has come for us in Africa and in our region to rise up to the challenge of addressing our differences and conflicts,” said Kiir in the event graced by regional heads of states, including Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni and Ethiopian Premier Dr Abiy Ahmed.
“I have no doubt that we have the capacity, the ability and the required competence to do so if we have a strong political will. “Now for the Sudanese delegations for the peace talks, I wish them successful dialogue, negotiation and compromise so that we celebrate the achievement of peace in the Sudan,” said president Kiir.
Symbol of peace
The chairperson of the IGAD, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, also Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, called on the region to exert more efforts for peace building to create a safe environment for investment, adding that the horn of Africa should always address its challenges through inclusive dialogue.
The IGAD countries consist of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Sudan and South Sudan. But Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan have been ruined down by years of conflict as a result of political and communal wrangles.
Dr. Abiy say the region has the potential to become a symbol of peace and economic in Africa as well as in the global.
“I believe there is nothing that we cannot achieve as a region. We have witnessed a peace between the Ethiopia and Eritrea; the silence of the guns in South Sudan and the successful Sudanese reconciliation; we are also hopeful that Kenya and Somalia will have to resolve their problem through dialogue. What we have achieved together are building-blocks for our region’s shared goals and collective prosperity,” said Dr. Abiy.
Dr. Abiy urged the leaders to engage youth in addressing the economic challenges in the region rather than recruiting them for civil war.
“It is time for our regions to focus on the inevitable journey of a robust economic integration,” said the 2019 Noble Prize Winner. “The time has come to give a better chance to our youth through pooling our cooperative advantages to common goals and developments – this, we can only do when all the stakeholders in each of our countries commits to peace.”
Meanwhile, the Ugandan President cautioned leaders against the use of religion and tribes to advance their political interests.
Yoweri Museveni says leaders in Sudan and South Sudan have sought leadership positions by turning their people against each other.
He says since 1962, Sudan has failed to address the underlying causes of wars and poverty because of lack of political ideology.
In 2011, Sudan split following 39 years of civil war between South Sudanese and the Sudanese government over lack of services and poor system of governance.
Museveni argues that the problems of Sudan and Africa can be attributed to the misguided use of tribal and religious identities as a means of resolving issues.
“People who are ideologically bankrupt have no alternative but to use opportunism of religion, tribe, and of race. This is a crime against Africa,” said the leader who has been the Uganda’s president since 1986. “If you don’t know what to do, go back home and mismanage your home. Don’t come to a public office to cause suffering for the people.”
While they applaud President Kiir’s efforts to help restore stability in the Sudan, critics and activists say the President should start the charity at home by ensuring that the revitalized peace agreement is fully implemented.
For his part, the President of the Sudanese Sovereign Council, Gen. Abdul Fattah Al Burhan, expressed hopes that the Kiir-mediated peace talks will bring to an end years of conflict in the Sudan.
“We come to negotiate in good faith for the sake of the Sudan. This time is different from the past, in the past there was a government wanted to divide the country with armed groups, though the oppositions are in the country,” said Al Burhan. We are reiterating our full commitment that this round of talks will be the end to the problems of our Sudanese people – to put an end to the suffering of our people,” he promised, his government want comprehensive peace such that over five million Sudanese displaced both internally and externally return to their homes.
According to Juba’s government, Kiir’s mediation efforts is aimed at finding an end to the civil war in Blue Nile and Darfur regions.
The states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan – which both have large ethnic minority populations that fought alongside the South Sudanese during the two decades of scorched – earth civil war.
Over nine different armed and non-armed opposition groups are taking part in the talks including main opposition movements of Revolutionary Front and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army – North.
Dr. Alhadi Idris Ahmed, Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) Leader has expressed his willingness to cooperate in good faith with the interim government to bring solution to the conflict in Sudan.
“Time has come for us to stop war and killings in the Republic of Sudan. It is time for beginning of stability, peace, respect of human rights and economic development in Sudan,” said Ahmed, adding that they want to see a new Sudan with a democracy and equal opportunity to all the Sudanese people.
Cdr. Abdul-Aziz Adam Alhilu, SPLM-N, emphasized that they have come to the talks with a firm will and determination to achieve a new Sudan of freedom, justice and equality.
“We also believe that the success of the negotiations to bring an end to the war in Sudan depends on addressing the root causes of the problem that can be summarized in the two issues of national identity and relationship between religion and state,” said Abdul-Aziz. The two points of identity and theocracy are at the top of the contentious issues that divide the Sudanese people. We have to look for the commonalities that provide the basis for a just unity and permanent peace,” he added.
Despite the secession of South Sudan, there is racism in Sudan today. It is racial and religious double apartheid that resulted in 63 years of civil wars, where the state exterminated over 3 million of its own citizens in [then] South Sudan, Nuba Mountain, Blue Nile, Beja of the East, far North Nuba and Darfur.
“We, in the SPLM-N believe that the failure was due to the complicated nature of the conflict on one hand, and the insistence of the subsequent Khartoum governments to deal with it as a security problem on the other, while the conflict is basically political. We also believe that success of the negotiations to bring an end to the wars in Sudan depends on addressing the root causes of the problem that can be summarized in the two issues of national identity and relationship between religious,” said Abdul-Aziza.
The official launching ceremony of Sudan peace talks being mediated by president Kiir was attending by The president of Sudan Sovereign Council, Gen. Abdel AlFattah Al-burhan, the president of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Dr. Abiy Ahmed and the Prime Minister of Arab Republic of Egypt, Mustafa Kemal Madbouly.
The presidents of Kenya and Somalia were not in attendance they have busy schedules in their respective countries.
Several peace talks have failed to end the internal conflict in Sudan and bring in a comprehensive justice and permanent peace, however, this is litmus – test for president Kiir whether to bring final solution to the Sudanese crisis or not. This peace talks will go on for two months.
Peace talks to end decades of conflict in Sudan begin in Juba
October 18, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Deng Machol
Juba – Peace talks between the Sudanese transitional government and armed and non-armed opposition groups begun in South Sudan’s capital on Monday with parties showing eagerness to ending the country’s long civil war.
Symbol of peace
The official launching ceremony of Sudan peace talks being mediated by president Kiir was attended by The president of Sudan Sovereign Council, Gen. Abdel AlFattah Al-burhan, the president of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Dr. Abiy Ahmed and the Prime Minister of Arab Republic of Egypt, Mustafa Kemal Madbouly.
Kenya introduces free cervical cancer vaccine
October 18, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma |@journalist_27
Kenya is set to roll out free cervical cancer vaccine for school girls on Friday, October 18 after the programme was launched yesterday in a ceremony that was presided by Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki.
The vaccine known as the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) will aid in hindering lethal infection as well as reducing chances of contacting anogenital cancer and genital warts. It will also reduce oropharyngeal cancer and maternal transmission of HPV infection to infants.
The main targets are 800,000 girls 10-years old and above in public, private and faith based schools across the country. The two doses of the vaccine will be administered to the girls twice in a year. A total of $8 million has been set aside to support the roll-out.
“The vaccine will be offered nationally alongside other routine infant vaccines through an existing network of more than 9,000 public, private, faith-based and NGO health facilities free of charge to 800,000 girls, who are currently aged 10 and subsequently to all girls as they attain that age in the future,” said Ms. Kariuki.
The Ministry of Health is working in partnership with Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi}, World Health Organization and Unicef to support the project which aims at eliminating cervical cancer which is the third cause of deaths in Kenya.
The project will see Kenya join the list of African countries like Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe and many others who have has already rolled out HPV.
Cervical cancer is the second dominant type of cancer after breast cancer in the East African country.
Negotiating for a better future: Why the good or bad of Russia’s presence in Africa will rely on the continent’s ability to make better deals
October 18, 2019 | 0 Comments
|Deal-making is what will shape the future of Russia-Africa relations and will tell whether Russia’s renewed influence in the continent is good or bad for its people|
|JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, October 18, 2019/ — By African Energy Chamber|
Russia’s return to Africa has been the subject of wide media coverage, governmental concerns and civil society reactions in recent weeks, especially as Sochi gears up to host the first ever Russia-Africa Summit next week. Most commentators have come from Europe and North America to voice concerns over Russia’s dodgy arm deals in Africa, political meddling with unstable African regimes, and its overall challenging of the status quo on the continent. The problem is, when these comments are not outright hypocritical, they are missing a key point: competition is good for business, which is just what Africa needs right now.
First, Russia’s presence in the continent cannot be summarized into sensationalism. It is complex and needs to be put back into context. Its modern relations with African governments and institutions started building up in post-independence Africa, time when the Soviet Union offered key diplomatic and military support to young African nations in need of it. This assistance was multi-form and much needed for countries seeking fast development following harsh independence wars and conflicts. “The Soviet Union provided significant economic assistance, including infrastructure, agricultural development, security cooperation, and health sector cooperation,” wrote Paul Stronski of the Carnegie’s Russia and Eurasia Program this week. Consequently, Putin’s vision for Africa is resuming and building up on a cooperation that started in the second half of the 20th century and was only put on hold by the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
In short, while arriving late to the party, Russia is no stranger to the African playground. Beyond military cooperation, its state-owned natural resources companies have already made inroads into the continent, and could be a game changer for many African countries in need of investment and electricity. Key Russia energy companies such as Gazprom, Lukoil, Rostec and Rosatom are already present in Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea or Uganda, while mining and minerals ones such as Nordgold or Rusal are developing world-class mines in Guinea and Zimbabwe. On a global stage, Russia’s involvement in OPEC has also sent strong signals that it is committed to market stability and global energy cooperation, which ultimately benefit African producers.
“Russia’s influence is increasing through strategic investments in natural resources, and such investments are welcomed by African governments and companies. They bring in key Russian capital and know-how to the continent which is seeking to diversify its investors basket and attract much needed investment into its energy industry,” said Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber (EnergyChamber.org) and CEO of the Centurion Law Group. “The African Energy Chamber is supporting such efforts and has seen a definite uptick in Russian companies’ interests for the continent. We predict a lot of deals to be signed during and after the Sochi Summit for Russian energy companies to develop African resources and do business in Africa. This will be especially beneficial as Africa develops gas-based economies,” he added.
Amongst the most recent agreements are for instance the MoU between Atlas Oranto Petroleum and Rosneft in 2018, under which the pan-African E&P company agreed to explore the joint-development of its assets across Africa with the Russian state-owned giant. Another one is the signing of several agreements between Russia and Mozambique this summer, involving again state-owned Rosneft but also Nordgold. In Central Africa, Gazprom is also lifting gas from Cameroon’s the FLNG Hilli Episeyo, the world’s first converted FLNG vessel.
As such investments and activity picks up, the real game changer will be Africa’s ability to make deals that work for its people and its economies. Deal-making is what will shape the future of Russia-Africa relations and will tell whether Russia’s renewed influence in the continent is good or bad for its people. Rightly so, the ability and capacity of African governments to make better deals with investors is becoming central to the global business narrative on Africa.
In his much anticipated book coming up this month and already best-seller on Amazon, “Billions At Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals”, Nj Ayuk dedicates an entire chapter to the critical art of deal-making. “For Africa to truly realize all of the benefits oil and gas operations have to offer, we need to see good deal-making across the board,” he writes. “Clearly, good deal-making has far-reaching implications for African people, communities and business.”
Contracts negotiations is in fact the key element missing from the current debate on Russia’s increasing influence in Africa. There is no doubt Africa is welcoming Russia’s interest for doing business on the continent, not only because it comes without the conditionality of actors such as the IMF and the World Bank, but also because Africa needs critical energy investment and a giant oil producer like Russia has good technology and know-how to export. The only thing is, sub-Saharan Africa has seen several regulatory developments in the near future, with a particular focus on local content regulations across energy markets. Jobs creation, domestic capacity building and the growth of a strong base of local energy companies is high up on the African agenda. If African governments are able to negotiate contracts that deliver on these expectations and Russian companies are committed to see the continent grow, then the future is bright for Russia in Africa.
At the end of the day, it is all about how African governments and institutions will negotiate future contracts with Russian companies. As Nj Ayuk writes in Billions At Play, “governments must give investors a chance to generate income from the resources they are interested in and recoup their investments. At the same time, governments need to look at creating value for their country and its people. It’s a balancing act. It’s challenging, but it’s doable.”
Whether Sochi will result in that balancing act remains to be seen, but the challenge is given and Africa is up for it.
*Africa Energy Chamber
African countries are still not doing enough to meet one of the UN’s most important development targets, according to a new report to be published next week
October 18, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
eLearning Africa Report 2019, which provides a snapshot of the state of education,
training and development on the continent, interviewed more than 900 education
professionals and technology experts about key issues, including progress
towards the United Nations’ goal of universal access to quality education by
The goal (UN SDG 4) is set out in the UN’s list of sustainable development goals (SDGs), which every country should meet by 2030. However, the eLearning Africa Report’s survey of education and training professionals, working in almost every country in Africa, shows that a substantial majority believe that African countries are still not doing enough to ensure universal access to quality education for all Africans.
The finding, which is among the results in a survey in the report, will make uncomfortable reading for African leaders. The achievement of UN SDG 4 is not only an important UN goal, but also a major plank in the African Union’s plan for a ‘transformed continent’ by 2063. However, the survey shows that, by majorities of more than 12 per cent, experts believe that, in every major area of education, insufficient progress has been made.
“SDG 4 is perhaps the most important of the UN sustainable development goals and the disappointment about the lack of progress towards realising it is striking,” says the report. “It seems too that the further up the educational ladder you look, the greater the belief that insufficient progress is being made. 56 per cent of respondents do not believe that African countries are doing enough to ensure that, by 2030, all girls and boys will complete free primary and secondary education. However, the percentage of those believing that not enough has been done to improve access to higher education and vocational training or further education is as high as 65 per cent.”
In spite of the gloom about progress towards meeting the UN SDGs though, there is a sense of optimism about overall progress. More than two thirds (72 per cent) of the experts questioned said they think that the African Union’s 2063 vision is “realistic.”
“If our youth are empowered, believe in their own self-worth and think creatively,” said one of the experts, “Africa will be an inspiration to other continents with new inventions and original African solutions benefitting all.”
The eLearning Africa Report, which has been sponsored by GIZ, the German organisation for international cooperation, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), makes fascinating reading. With contributions from experts, practitioners, advisers, entrepreneurs and even students and artists, it provides an insight into how technology assisted learning and training are leading change and development throughout Africa. As businesses assess the implications of a ‘fourth industrial revolution,’ it looks at the state of education, training, development and technology at this moment of unparalleled change.
Achieving Broadband Access for All in Africa Comes With a $100 Billion Price Tag
October 18, 2019 | 0 Comments
WASHINGTON, October 17, 2019- Across Africa, where less than a third of the population has access to broadband connectivity, achieving universal, affordable, and good quality internet access by 2030 will require an investment of US $100 billion. This is according to a report launched at the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group, which calls for urgent action to close the internet access gap while providing a roadmap to reach this ambitious goal.
The report from The Broadband for All Working Group *gives practical insights and suggestions of what is needed to attain this objective, including an action plan for universal broadband connectivity in Africa. To achieve universal broadband access, African countries will need to bring about 1.1 billion more people online. This will require exceptional and coordinated efforts from governments, the private sector, development partners, and civil society, the report says, but the investment is worth it.
“The digital agenda is first and foremost a growth and jobs agenda,” says Makhtar Diop, the World Bank’s Vice President for Infrastructure. “The working-age population in Africa is expected to increase by some 450 million people between 2015 and 2035. If current trends continue, less than one quarter will find stable jobs. Broadening internet access means creating millions of job opportunities.”
While the number of broadband connections in Africa crossed the 400 million mark in 2018 (nearly twenty times 2010 levels), the regional average broadband penetration -including 3G and 4G connections- is only 25% in 2018. Mobile broadband coverage in Africa is still at 70% of the population. Even in North Africa, there is ample room for growth with 4G networks covering only about 60% of the population. Additional challenges, such as the lack of access to reliable and affordable electricity, make accelerating Africa’s digital transformation journey even more difficult.
According to the report, nearly 80% of all required investments are directly related to the need to roll out and maintain broadband networks. However, connecting the unconnected is about more than just infrastructure: about 20% of required investments consists in building the user skills and local content foundations, and another 2-4% should be allocated to setting up the appropriate regulatory framework, the report notes. While the private sector has driven most successful broadband initiatives, public agencies play a crucial role by implementing effective sector regulation, addressing potential market failures, and creating the conditions for an open, competitive broadband sector.
“In large parts of Africa, we are witnessing a lack of progress in extending access and network coverage. Affordability is also declining in many nations. Promoting greater digital inclusion is going to require more effective and innovative collaboration,” said Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Executive Director of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development and Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau. “We need to leverage our strengths and expertise. Governments can help with policies enabling new technologies, new business models and investment. The right policies will, in turn, provide the private sector with the incentives to build out infrastructure and explore new technologies and applications that will drive demand.”
Connecting the 100 million people in rural and remote areas that live out of reach of traditional cellular mobile networks will require strong private sector involvement, innovative business models, and alternative technologies, such as satellite and Wi-Fi based technical solutions, the report notes.
“Let us be clear: no single actor will be able to meet Africa’s 2030 target and carry the burden of a $100 billion investment funding requirement alone. All stakeholders must work together to make sure that every African has affordable and reliable access to the internet”, says Hafez Ghanem, the World Bank’s Vice President for the Africa Region. This includes: the African Union and regional economic communities; African governments and respective public investment agencies; sector regulators; multilateral development banks and regional development banks; the United Nations and other development agencies; the private sector; and civil society groups and nongovernmental organizations.
* The Working Group on Broadband for All: A Digital Moonshot Infrastructure for Africa, led by the World Bank, was established in 2018 under the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development with the primary objective of identifying investment requirements and policy roadmaps to increase connectivity and to reach full coverage in Africa. This report draws upon the expertise of Broadband Commissioners and experts from around the world.
About the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development: ITU and UNESCO set up the Broadband Commission for Digital Development in 2010 with the aim of boosting the importance of broadband on the international policy agenda and expanding broadband access in every country as key to accelerating progress towards national and international development targets. Following adoption of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015, the Commission was re-launched as the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development to showcase and document the power of ICT and broadband-based technologies for sustainable development. Its members include top CEO and industry leaders, senior policy-makers and government representatives, international agencies, academia and organizations concerned with development.
Download the full report:
*Source World Bank
Mozambique: Nyusi headed for victory in chaotic election
October 18, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Arnaldo Cuamba
On Tuesday 15 October, Mozambique organized its general elections to choose the President of the Republic, provincial governors and deputies to the Assembly of the Republic. In general, the process started at the scheduled time, 7 a.m., and had a satisfactory participation of voters.
Of the 20,570 polling stations, including abroad, only 7 did not open in Cabo Delgado, namely in the Districts of Macomia, Muidumbe and Mocímboa da Praia. The situation has to do with the lack of security due to the extremist attacks that have terrorized the province since October 2017.
Young people and adults voted en masse making these the elections with the most participation since the first democratic ones in 1999. Initial reports suggest a turnout of about 50%. The independent observers point out that the candidate for his own succession in the presidency of the Republic, Filipe Nyusi, dominates in the percentages with 70%. In second place is the leader of Renamo, Ossufo Momade (21%) and in third place is Daviz Simango, leader of the Democratic Movement of Mozambique with 7%.
In relation to the election of provincial governors and the assembly of the republic there are still no significant data. There is also no concrete date for the release of the data. The National Election Commission (CNE) will not announce partial results during the counting process as it has done in the past, CNE head Sheikh Abdul Carimo has told newspaper Canal de Mocambique in an interview published on wednesday. In the 2014 elections, the CNE called press conferences every few hours in the days following the vote, to read out results as they came in. This time they have decided against, Carimo says, because it “can create various negative interpretations.”
A shameful election
One of the important agents for the supervision of free, fair and transparent elections is the electoral observer. The truth is that 2,915 Mozambican observers were not accredited, although their applications were submitted more than a month ago to the electoral bodies. Many analysts believe that the act was deliberate in order to allow the fraud to occur.
The election night was marked by violence in the centre and north of the country. There was one death. A person was killed, shot and beaten by the police, and four people were shot in the lower limbs as police tried to disperse the crowd at Sao Vicente de Paulo Secondary School, Nacala-Porto, Nampula, province.
The election was also marked by situations of illegal ballot stuffing. Those who were captured brought with them ballots already marked in favour of the Frelimo party. There were also accusations of people who often voted for Filipe Nyusi and his party in an act sponsored by the electoral authorities.
Of the few independent observers who were accredited, those who dared to question illegal attitudes were arrested by the Mozambican police. These reports and more were brought from the central and northern parts of the country where Renamo carries a lot of weight.
“Frelimo’s level of fraud and misconduct was widespread and significantly higher than in previous elections and may have contributed to the qualified majority,” said the Center for Public Integrity, an independent organization that observed the elections.
Renamo boycott the counting
Renamo is boycotting all district vote tabulations, and has ordered its people not to participate in any way in those counts. The boycott was confirmed by an authorized Renamo source but there will be no public statement. MDM will continue to participate in the district counts, but may refuse to sign the district results sheets.
On Tuesday, speaking after voting in his homeland on the Island of Mozambique, Nampula Province, Northern Mozambique, Ossufo Momade, said he “will never” accept “rigged election results,” pointing out that the denial of popular will has led the country to military hostilities in the past.
“If these are manipulated results, we can never accept [them] and we are determined to do anything whatsoever that the people indicates,” said Ossufo Momade, when asked by journalists, whether he will accept a possible defeat in wednesday’s general elections across the country.
Investments in rail transport essential for the success of Africa’s free-trade area
October 18, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Aubrey Lekwane *
Africa is on the cusp of launching a free-trade zone that could meaningfully boost economic growth and unlock the continent’s vast potential.
Perhaps the most pressing requirement to improve economy in the region is the need for better transportation links between African states, particularly in the form of rail networks.
The establishment of a continent-wide trade bloc is an ambitious project, and one that could move the needle in terms of reducing poverty and promoting Africa’s industrialisation. Other regions, including the European Union (EU), offer good case studies on the benefits of economic integration, trade liberalisation, customs efficiencies, and the seamless movement of capital, goods and people across borders.
With its strong road, rail and air-transport links, the EU model reflects just how important it is to remove non-tariff barriers to trade. According to a May 2019 report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), non-tariff barriers in Africa are high “and represent a critical obstacle to trade”. The IMF says a reduction in ground transportation costs is “especially critical” to encouraging intra-regional trade and making a success of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The development of a comprehensive African rail network is the single biggest opportunity in that regard.
A reliable rail network would allow for the efficient movement of goods, businesspeople and tourists across the continent, while also improving Africa’s links to the rest of the world, particularly the continent’s landlocked nations. Rail is also a sustainable solution given that it is far more environmentally friendly than road and air transport – Africa’s natural environment is one of its greatest assets, and it must be protected. Rail investments stimulate economies while reducing carbon emissions and urban congestion – a major issue and growth impediment in many African cities.
As Africa is making investments in rail industry, green transportation and sustainable mobility should be a priority. Backed by new regulations and environmental groups, the global trend towards greener forms of transport is affecting multiple industries including the rail industry.
Several alternatives to diesel trains are currently being developed worldwide including:
- Hydrogen fuel cells in trains: work by generating power through an onboard fuel cell that combines hydrogen and oxygen
- Battery-powered locomotives: battery system that can be recharged by overhead wires on electrified tracks or by charging stations on non-electrified routes
- Liquefied natural gas: (LNG) is being used in the rail industry as an option for dual-fuel locomotives
These investments will help develop a zero-emission, energy-efficient and cost-effective alternative to diesel trains. Deploying fuel cell and battery technology for rail transportation will usher in a new era for non-electrified routes.
Bombardier Transportation, which designed and supplied a fleet of 96 rail vehicles for South Africa’s world-class Gautrain system, sees a golden era ahead for Africa’s rail sector, which has suffered from chronic under-investment in recent decades.
Today, African freight and passenger transport is heavily reliant on road infrastructure. In South Africa, the continent’s most advanced economy, nearly 90% of freight is moved by road, for example. That is a staggering proportion, and this overreliance means that our roads need to be constantly repaired while traffic congestion worsens in the face of urbanisation. Worse still, the lack of focus on rail until recently has placed a drag on South Africa’s exports.
Thankfully, the South African government is re-investing in the country’s rail links – a move that Bombardier Transportation fully supports. Going forward, these efforts need to be increasingly coordinated with the country’s neighbours.
South Africa also has an opportunity to become a major rail manufacturing hub as the continent invests in railway infrastructure, including new trains, signalling systems and general maintenance. Rail will play an important role in Africa’s future, and Bombardier Transportation is keen to apply its global expertise and solutions to propel the continent forward.
Ultimately, rail’s contribution towards an integrated transport network will help Africa to attract investment and to be competitive in the global trade arena. Rail is the only sustainable transportation solution to many of today’s environmental, social and economic challenges and Bombardier is looking forward to moving millions daily safely in the African region
*Managing Director, South Africa, Bombardier Transportation
President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, brings African vision to the 17th Rhodes Forum of the Dialogue of Civilizations
October 18, 2019 | 0 Comments
|President Mahamadou Issoufou took the floor as a Special Guest to conclude the debates of a panel dedicated to partnership between Africa and the rest of the world|
|RHODES, Greece, October 15, 2019/ — The President of Niger, His Excellency Mahamadou Issoufou , took part in the 17th Rhodes Forum on the 11th and 12th of October 2019, organised by the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute (https://DOC-Research.org/), to discuss several national and regional issues and offer Africa’s vision on major international issues.|
During the special session on the 11th of October, President Mahamadou Issoufou spoke with Stefan Grobe of Euronews Brussels in front of participants from more than 55 countries, presenting his vision for Africa and Niger. He also advocated for multilateralism, drew attention to the security situation in the Sahel region and Lake Chad Basin, the situation in Libya and support of the international community to combat terrorism in West Africa, and warned against the problems posed by climate change and illegal migration. The other points concerned the role that Niger will play as a non-permanent member of the Security Council from January 2020, tackling the market for fake medicines in Africa, reforms in global political and economic governance and win-win cooperation between countries.
On the 12th of October, President Mahamadou Issoufou took the floor as a Special Guest to conclude the debates of a panel dedicated to partnership between Africa and the rest of the world, led by Hannane Ferdjani of Africanews. Participants included the Founder of Transparency International, Africa Progress Panel Co-Chair Mr Peter Eigen (Germany), Founder and President of the Brazzaville Foundation Mr Jean Yves Olivier (France), former Prime Minister of Guinea Mr Kabiné Komara, Director of Education Projects of ABO Capital Mr Jaimie Graça (Angola) and South African Industrialist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist Mr Ivor Ichikovitz.
In his speech, President Issoufou raised all the issues related to this theme and clarified his vision for the development of Africa. His Excellency Mahamadou Issoufou emphasised the challenges and prospects inherent in the development of the African continent, recalling the situation of Africa in various fields and underlining the efforts led by its leaders through, inter alia, Agenda 2063 and its various Plans and Projects, including ZLECAf.
President Issoufou again thanked the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute and in particular its Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr. Vladimir Yakunin and Executive Director Mr. Jean-Christophe Bas, ‘for having provided him, as a Special Guest, at this 17th Rhodes Forum, a privileged place of reflection and analysis to help in the decision-making of political and economic world leaders.’
* DOC Research Institute