The AfCFTA: The first step of a long marathon
September 25, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Angelle B .Kwemo*
Earlier this summer, the two final holdout countries, Nigeria and Benin, signed on to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. When this ambitious plan—which has created the world’s largest free trade zone—was first expressed a couple of years ago, I admit that I was a bit doubtful and wondered if African leaders were fully committed to achieving this historical milestone. However, the progress and enthusiasm around the agreement, as well as its potential to be transformational for all Africans, have eased my reservations.
As noted by many experts, including Dr. Landry Signé in a recent report on this subject, the AfCFTA has great potential: By 2030, Africa will have a combined consumer and business spending of $6.7 trillion, offering some of the world’s biggest opportunities for international investors. The United Nations Commission for Africa also estimates that the AfCFTA has the potential to boost intra-African trade by 52 percent by 2022.
There are, however, significant obstacles: Africa is still heavily reliant on commodity and agricultural exports. Industrialization has been slow and, in some places, stagnant. With a global trade share of less than 3 percent, export diversification is yet to be achieved. Current intra-African trade accounts for a mere 16 percent of the continent’s total trade volume.
MIXED VIEWS ABOUT THE POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE AFCFTA
As I consider and generally welcome this historical milestone, I still have some mixed feelings about it. Indeed, many experts are torn: While many see the agreement as a crucial move toward fostering regional economic integration and overall economic growth, others fear that African markets are ill prepared for such heightened levels of competition.
Indeed, the continent remains plagued by a number of unpredictable tariff and non-tariff barriers, poor infrastructure, few supportive policies and legal framework, a lack of a transportation network, heavy layers of government bureaucracy, and still-high levels of corruption.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE AFCFTA TO DELIVER ON ITS PROMISE
In order to be successful and deliver on the AfCFTA’s promises, a labyrinth of regulatory hurdles need to be addressed and a number of enabling intertwined actions need to be considered by all stakeholders. These include:
1. Keep African unity in mind through education and communication
The African continent is very diverse in every aspect of its societies, from political and economic systems and currencies to religion, race, culture, and language. As much as the idea of building an African single market is very popular on the continent, some countries remain very protectionist: For example, some small countries like Equatorial Guinea and Gabon are still reluctant to open their borders. In fact, Equatorial Guinea announced earlier this month that it intends to build a border wall to prevent Cameroonian and West African illegal immigration, citing security threats. There have even been some cases of xenophobia-inspired attacks in South Africa.
Therefore, before it become fully implemented, the African Union must bring awareness of the AfCFTA to the general public–especially youth, women, and informal sector actors–by educating them about what it entails and how it might affect them. Importantly, leaders should showcase the agreement’s success stories—not just those of multinationals but also the achievements of small, medium, and large African firms. The goal will be to debunk the misperception that reducing borders will equate to jobs lost or mass immigration from lower income countries.
The African Union should declare an official “Africa Economic Community Day” to celebrate the creation of the AfCFTA, and appoint special envoys from among influencers— such as African celebrities in the arts, media, business, and sports—to engage in commercial diplomacy and to promote unity, tolerance, and a sense of common purpose. Their role will be to educate the general public on the importance of reducing barriers and building a common market. It will mitigate future losses and misperceptions of the AfCFTA in general, prevent xenophobia, and, more importantly, turn African ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity into an asset and not a cause of conflict.
2. Attract investments in power and infrastructure development
Perhaps one of the most pressing issues facing the region is the lack of supportive infrastructure. Without enhanced infrastructure, businesses cannot affordably transform products or move people, goods, and services in a cost-effective way. Unfortunately, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB), Africa’s infrastructure financing needs come down to an estimated $130 billion to $170 billion per year. The African Union (AU) must encourage international partners to invest in regional infrastructure projects as well as national infrastructure development, including through the Africa Investment Forum, the Afrochampions Initiative, and the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa.
3. Establish a fair mechanism to level the playing fields among member countries
The AfCFTA is host to the greatest level of income disparity of any continental trade agreement. It is more than double the levels witnessed in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and CARICOM (Caribbean Community) countries. As discussed by Signé and van der Ven, these economic disparities could be addressed by putting in place special and differential treatment (SDT) provisions, especially for least developed countries, coupled with technical assistance programs allowing them to gradually fulfill their obligations under the AfCFTA, monitor progress, and establish safety nets.
4. Strengthen the role of the private sector
Despite the continent’s growth, economists still predict a shortfall of 68 million jobs by 2022, not including the tens of millions of currently underemployed. Even within the context of AfCFTA, the African Union should encourage member states and other institutions to strategically prioritize their private sectors, encouraging investment in infrastructure, technology and power development, and agribusiness. Perhaps more importantly, local and national governments should focus on creating an enabling environment for businesses to prosper and ensuring that the wealth they create is inclusive, sustained, and reinvested in African communities, in youth, and in women.
The informal sector merits special attention, given that it represents more than 66 percent of total employment in sub-Saharan Africa and 52 percent in North Africa. Reducing government bureaucracies and corruption, improving fiscal policies and accountability, and providing training, technology, and access to financial services, will empower start-ups to get out of the informal sector, access the gains of the continental market, and, as a result, increase government revenues.
To conclude, for the AfCFTA to be successful, it is essential that African leaders play their part, keep the bigger picture in mind, and put long-term economic growth and Africa’s betterment before their short-run political agendas. A marathon always starts with one step, but as Madiba said, “It is always impossible until it is done.” Africans have every reason to have hope for a better tomorrow.
Gambia: National Assembly Suspends session calls for President Appearance
September 23, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
National Assembly members in Banjul on Monday have suspended the session requesting the appearance of the President or Vice President on the debate on the President address to the nation which was held Thursday 19th September.
According to Section 77 of the Gambian Constitution which reads: “The Vice-President shall answer in the National Assembly for matters affecting the President, and the President shall be entitled to send a message to the National Assembly to be read on his or her behalf by the Vice-President”
On Monday, Hon. Sidia Jatta , National Assembly Member of Wuli West tabled a motion for the assembly to suspend session until the Vice President or the president appears in the National Assembly for the debate on state of nation address and the Assembly stand down waiting for the appearance of the Vice President or President.
After the break, three ministers appear on behalf of the president for the session to continue but Hon. Sanna Jawara, National Assembly of Upper Fulladu raised a point of order, drawing the attention of the Assembly to Section 77 of the Constitution which reads: “The Vice-President shall answer in the National Assembly for matters affecting the President, and the President shall be entitled to send a message to the National Assembly to be read on his or her behalf by the Vice-President”
Hon. Halifa Sallah, National Assembly member of Serekunda stressed that “President in this National Assembly, it is only the vice president who is authorized and mandatory to represent the President. What we also know that all members of cabinet may also come to this National Assembly shall also be requested to appear to deal with any matter dealing with their Department of State. That’s what the Constitution says,”
The veteran lawmaker said: “Hon. Speaker we need to put an end to this practice of having a minister absent or a vice president absent and the session has to be suspended. The Constitution is very clear on the absent of minister or vice president the section 270. They are acting appointees; anybody who appoints a person can also appoint any other authority to act on the behalf of that person. And we must begin that trend in this country”
Sallah further explained that they have abundant, the principles of good governance. What is important is that anytime any minister goes abroad, the president should appoint an acting person from any of the other ministers and simply publishes in the gazette. And that person can appear on behalf of the minister on behalf of the vice president.
“This is what should start. If we are going to continue to proceed, we can’t on the basis that the ministers are simply representing their offices and their department, but not representing the president here”.
At this juncture, Speaker of National Assembly Hon Mariam Jack-Denton requested for the members to vote for or against the motion of the assembly to continue in the absence of the vice president or president or continue without the president or vice since there was different views on the issue.
The Assembly then proceeded with voting, 28 voted for the Assembly to suspend session for the President or Vice President to appear while 11 voted for the session to continue.
Going by the votes the session was suspended until a request is sent for the President or the Vice President to appear on a later date for the debate on the Speech of the President on the State of the Nation Address to commence.
Mozambique: New armed group claims responsibility for lorry attacks
September 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Arnaldo Cuamba
The leader of the self-styled Renamo Military Junta, Major-General Mariano Nhongo, has taken responsibility for the two attacks on lorries in Manica province on Tuesday, and has warned that attacks will continue unless the elections scheduled for 15 october are suspended.
“Junta Militar is not the same as the late Renamo president [Afonso Dhlakama], who was patient. Those who do not hear us will get shot, which can hit anyone, journalist, administrator, governor and others,” Nhongo told journalists on Thursday in Beira by phone.
Nhongo added that, when peace negotiations had been ongoing, he had warned an ambassador not to endorse the deal, particularly the part that dealt with disarmament and reintegration of Renamo fighters into the security and defence forces.
The spokesperson for the General Command of the Mozambican police, Orlando Mudumune, says the defence and security forces are hunting down the gunmen involved and hope to bring them to justice.
The Junta was formed by Renamo dissidents who describe the Renamo leader and presidential candidate, Ossufo Momade, as “a traitor”, and do not recognise the peace agreement he signed with President Filipe Nyusi on 6 August.
The Tuesday attacks occurred in the Zepinga area of Gondola district. There were no fatalities, but five people were injured and the two trucks were damaged.
Central Africa: President Touadera Honored With PALOMA DE LA PAZ” (PEACE DOVE) From World Organization of Peace
September 18, 2019 | 0 Comments
Juan Samuel Delgado Cedillo, President of the World Organization for Peace (OMPP/WOFP), presented the special prize La Paloma de La Paz, to Professor Faustin Archange Touadera, President of the Central African Republic and Head of State, for the results obtained during the pacification process in some regions of Africa.
The Dove of Peace is the most important symbol that the OMPP grants as a special prize to those who with their actions have sought, fought or contributed to global pacification and to the resolution of conflicts in any region of the world, without distinguishing beliefs religious, political preferences or skin color.
In an event held at the official facilities of the Presidency in the city of Bangui, capital of that country, attended by the highest officials of the government and Central African politics, as well as Ambassadors and Ministers of some countries in the region, Samuel Delgado said that peace is a universal right for those who inhabit this planet, and our existence depends on our actions and how we interact with others. Working for peace is not only about words and good intentions, peace comes with the actions we carry out every day, he said. Inner peace is where everything begins and is transmitted with our behavior as a species. We all need to carry out peace actions, said Delgado.
Speaking at the event, President Faustin Archange Touadera, who has become a well-known and respected interlocutor in the African continent for deactivating, through dialogue, clashes between rebel groups and authorities in Africa, highlighted the support he received from the civil society to reach the results obtained during the process of pacification of the region, an achievement that until then had been denied for many years to the inhabitants of the countries involved, although there is still much to do.
The World Peace Organization will continue to support those peace projects aimed at the population that needs it most, always in conjunction with the authorities, civil society and those public and private sectors in all countries of the world that want to carry out peace and well-being, always in favor of people.
African Leaders converge in Accra for maiden edition of Kofi Annan Peace and Security (KAPS) Forum
September 17, 2019 | 0 Comments
The forum was also organized to honour the sterling achievements of H.E. the late Kofi Annan and to immortalize his memory
ACCRA, Ghana, September 17, 2019/ — The Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) (https://www.KAIPTC.org/) has organized the maiden edition of the Kofi Annan Peace and Security (KAPS) Forum in Accra, Ghana, to facilitate discussions on evolving trends in peace and security in Africa. The forum was also organized to honour the sterling achievements of H.E. the late Kofi Annan and to immortalize his memory.
Under the theme, ‘Peace Operations in the Context of Violent Extremism in Africa’, the forum was held under the Distinguished patronage of H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana and the Chairmanship of H.E. Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and Sahel (UNOWAS).
Among the high level delegates were seven former African Heads of State namely; H.E. Pierre Buyoya, Former President of Burundi and AU High Representative to Mali and Sahel (MISAHEL), H.E Catharine Samba-Panza, Former President of Central African Republic, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Former President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, H.E. Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, Former President of Sierra Leone, Professor Amos Claudius Sawyer, Former President of Liberia, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of Nigeria and H.E. John Dramani Mahama, Former President of Ghana.
Addressing the delegates at the opening ceremony, the Commandant of KAIPTC, Air Vice Marshall Griffiths S. Evans shared the rationale behind the forum;
“The forum seeks to provide a platform for robust engagement on critical peace and security issues affecting the African continent. Our actions are guided by our mission to foster peace and stability through the provision of a globally-recognized capacity and policy support for all actors on African peace and security issues”, he stated.
In his address, the President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, identified key interventions which can be implemented to tackle violent extremism.
“It is important that we promote and develop, on the continent, a system and culture of accountable governance, free of corruption, whereby our people are governed in accordance with the rule of law, respect for individual liberties and human rights, and the principles of democratic accountability”, he stressed.
He also threw more light on Ghana’s counter terrorism policy to combat violent extremism.
“Our Counter Terrorism Policy seeks to prevent acts of terrorism in the country. The Counter Terrorism Policy has led to the setting up of a Counter Terrorism Unit, within the National Security Council Secretariat, to lead and co-ordinate our efforts in the fight. Ghana has adopted a well-coordinated Inter Agency Approach, which encourages the timely sharing of information and intelligence, operational coordination and joint strategy formulation, and has proved essential towards ensuring the efficient execution of the country’s Counter Terrorism Policy”, he explained.
The Kofi Annan Forum brought together over two hundred high-level delegates and diplomats from governmental and intergovernmental organizations (including the African Union and its Regional Economic Communities, United Nations and European Union). Security professionals and representatives from policy and research think tanks, development partners, training institutions and civil society groups were all present to participate in the dialogues.
The forum also seeks to deepen the collaboration between KAIPTC and international organisations such as the United Nations, African Union, Regional Economic Communities, Governments, development partners, civil society organisations and the business community.
About the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre:
The Ghana Ministry of Defence (MoD) established the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) (https://www.KAIPTC.org/) in 1998 and commissioned it in 2004. The purpose was to build upon and share Ghana’s five decades of internationally acclaimed experience and competence in peace operations with other states in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region and the rest of Africa. This was in recognition of the need for training military, police and civilian men and women to meet the changing demands of multidimensional peace operations. The Centre is one of the three (3) Peacekeeping Training Centres of Excellence mandated by the ECOWAS to offer training in peacekeeping and peace support operations (PSO) in Africa.
The Centre delivers training courses in in three thematic areas; Peace Support Operations, Conflict Management and Peace and Security Studies and also runs Masters and PhD programmes in same. The KAIPTC has a world-class research department that undertakes research in the thematic areas in Peace and Security. Located in Accra, Ghana, the KAIPTC is an internationally-recognized institution and has till date trained and tutored over 21, 496 participants and students since its inception.
KAIPTC is a gender sensitive organization and committed to gender equality. Following the launch of its Gender policy in 2014, the Centre has mainstreamed gender into its policies and programmes, and integrates same in its focal areas, namely training, research and post-graduate education. The Centre has developed a Sexual Harassment policy and fully oriented employees on same. It has also provided a Nursing and Childcare Centre and instituted a paternity leave policy, all with the aim to create a conducive work environment at KAIPTC.
African Development Bank launches US$ 2 billion 1.625% Global Benchmark due 16 September 2022
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 13 September 2019 – The African Development Bank, rated Aaa/AAA/AAA (Moody’s/S&P/Fitch, all stable), has launched and priced a US$ 2 billion 3-year Global Benchmark bond due 16 September 2022, its first US$ benchmark of the year.
Launched on September 11, the bond issue is the Bank’s second Global Benchmark of 2019, following a EUR 1 billion 10-year priced in March 2019. With this transaction, the Bank has now raised US$ 4.4 billion in 2019 to date and executed 61% of its borrowing program for the year. The transaction received strong support from investors globally, with order books reaching US$ 2.8 billion and 53 investors participating. The high quality of the order book is illustrated by the strong participation of Central Banks and Official Institutions, taking 64% of the allocations.
The African Development Bank decided to take advantage of favorable investor sentiment post summer break to access the 3-year tenor, in spite of volatile market conditions ahead of the Fed Meeting the following week. The mandate was announced on Tuesday, September 10, at 12:00 London time with Initial Pricing Thoughts of Mid-Swaps + 13 basis points (bps) area.
The transaction met strong interest from the outset, with Indications of Interest in excess of US$ 1.8 billion (excluding Joint-Lead Managers interest) when order books officially opened at 08:00 London time the following morning, with initial price guidance of Mid-Swaps + 13bps area.
Momentum continued throughout the European morning, with orders in excess of US$ 2.5 billion around 11:20 London time. At this time, final pricing was set at Mid-Swaps + 13bps. Following the close of the order book in the US, the size of the transaction was set at US$ 2 billion by 14:20 London time.
The transaction was priced at 16:24 London time with a re-offer yield of 1.679%, equivalent to a spread of 8.75bps vs UST 1.5% 15 September 2022, the issuer’s tightest print vs US Treasuries to date.
“We are delighted with this successful dollar Global Benchmark, and particularly pleased by both the very high quality of the order book and the solid participation of African Central Banks. The African Development Bank achieved its tightest ever spread to US Treasuries, and we are grateful to our investors across the world for this outcome, and the financing it will bring to the African continent”. Hassatou Diop N’Sele, Group Treasurer, African Development Bank
Investor distribution statistics:
|By Geography||By Investor Type|
|Issuer:||African Development Bank (“AfDB”)|
|Issuer rating:||Aaa/AAA/AAA (Moody’s/S&P/Fitch)|
|Amount:||US$ 2 billion|
|Pricing date:||11 September 2019|
|Settlement date:||18 September 2019|
|Coupon:||1.625%, Fixed, Semi-Annual 30/360|
|Maturity date:||16 September 2022|
|Re-offer yield:||1.679% Semi-Annual|
|Re-offer spread:||Mid-Swaps + 13bps / UST 1.5% 15 September 2022 + 8.75bps|
|Joint lead-managers||Citi, Daiwa, HSBC, JP Morgan, Société Générale|
Right Group commends President Bio for showing leadership over ACC saga
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
One of the leading Rights groups operating in the country Christian Legal Centre, popularly known as LEGAL LINK has in an open letter dated 11th September and addressed to the President Julius Maada Bio commended him for showing leadership over the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Saga.
According to the letter, LEGAL LINK said it gives them the greatest joy and delight to be amongst the first of Civil Society Organisations to openly and formally congratulate the President over his exemplary display of leadership regarding the open apology given for the inhumane and degrading treatment of suspects by the ACC.
‘’In the midst of the widespread dissent, outcry, hullabaloo, hustle and bustle and claims and counter claims lashed out by the public and a good number of rights organisations, your swift intervention and timely acknowledgement of the mistake by the Commission has not only succeeded in dissipating the tensions but has further set you apart as a leader with a deep sense of cosmic responsibility and moral rectitude,’’the letter stated.
LEGAL LINK said, as a civil society organization that defends the rights of vulnerable groups in society, they believe their role should not just be limited to holding the state accountable for its excesses, inaction and omissions but also to give compliments and commendations when good initiatives and actions are taken out by state authorities that contribute to social cohesion, nation building and development.
‘’We therefore make bold to say that we at LEGAL LINK are proud of your excellency’s intervention as chief defender of human rights in this matter and would like you to know how much this meant to us. Also, your open apology has further engendered dynamism within us and revitalised and energised our spirits to continue to be the voice of conscience for the nation and demand respect for the fundamental human rights of the people as enshrined under our noble constitution,’’the letter reads.
The Right group said, it is beyond dispute that the fight against corruption under President Bio’s leadership and that of Francis Ben Kaifala has been exceptional stating that Ben Kaifalah’s passion and commitment to the fight has indeed been forthright and exemplary thus extending Kudos to him and the ACC team.
‘’But as you have rightly pointed out, on this singular occasion, the ACC CZAR, in his quest to vigorously address corruption in the country, threw away both the BATH WATER AND THE BABY. It is for good reasons why the UN adopted a framework known as the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). This was to principally ensure that states address corruption from a human rights-based approach’’
It said, the African Union has also embraced this thinking when it passed a Protocol on the Prevention and Combating of Corruption for its African member states adding that Sierra Leone is a signatory to the above legal frameworks which put obligations therefore on the state and by extension the ACC to ensure that its policies and strategies in the fight against corruption adopts a human rights based approach.
The letter argued that it is clear from the recent act of the ACC against its suspects that perhaps a human rights-based approach has been lacking in its strategy to fighting corruption in Sierra Leone thus stating that their incessant refusal of the granting bail to suspects in many occasions further corroborates the above assertion in fundamental terms.
‘’But notwithstanding the above however, we at LEGAL LINK have pledged to give our legal expertise free of charge to help review the National Anti- Corruption Strategy and other internal policies at the ACC to ensure that they are in tandem with the human rights-based approach as expressed by UNCAC and the African Union Corruption framework,’’
It reiterated that they have pledged to doing this because they believe in the good work of the ACC and its place and relevance in terms of ensuring transparency and accountability in post conflict Sierra Leone.
‘’Certainly, in our candid view, the mistake done by them in recent times is forgivable as it was occasioned out of good faith as the Commission strive towards eradicating corruption in Sierra Leone. But looking beyond the extra-judicial act of the ACC, we want to draw your Excellency’s attention to a couple of other unfortunate developments that have happened in the country which in our judgment might have the proclivity to undermine the body politic of the nation if not urgently addressed by you’’
They urged the President to look at NEC’s cancellation of the entire Parliamentary re- run elections in constituency 110, the petition cases filed by opposition members and civil society organizations including the recent alleged assault of two female journalists during the Sierra Leone – Liberia football match by guards in the office of the president.
The Human Right group therefore appeal that His Excellency looks into the above issues raised in this letter and take a firm stand against state institutions and officials that disrespects the rule of law, constitution and fundamental human rights of the people of Sierra Leone.
‘’And certainly, it would be an easy work over and perhaps an overwhelming endorsement by the populace if it can be shown clearly by you that you were at no point in time complicit in holding to account officials and institutions within your government that violate fundamental human rights and undermine the body politic of the nation. We wish you all the best in the remaining years of your tenure and once again thank you very much for your leadership over the Anti-Corruption Commission saga,’’the letter ended.
Rwanda not likely to quit International Conference on the Great Lakes Region- ICGLR
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Ferdinand Maniraguha
Rwanda is still in discussion on its wish to quit International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) due to this body’s failure to address security challenges in the region.
Rwanda’s state minister of foreign affairs, Olivier Nduhungirehe echoed the move to leave is not likely given the will shown aimed at resolving security issues.
In September last year, Rwanda announced its wish to leave ICGLR , alleging the body have failed to address security problems in the region.
ICGLR was founded in 2008 and was mandated to bring security, stability and development in the Great Lakes region.
During its formation, the region was a hub of rebel groups mainly operating in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Among the rebels was FDLR which is composed of many who are accused participation in 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis which claimed lives of more than a million in Rwanda.
FDLR is still present on Congo soil.
Last year, Nduhungirehe says Rwanda is considering to quit ICGLR because Rwanda cannot handle to keep spending money in a dormant organization.
Speaking to Pan African Visions’ Ferdinand Maniraguha this week, Olivier Nduhungirehe said they are still in discussion.
“This issue is still in discussion, given the new dynamics of the Trilateral Summit in Kinshasa” he said referring to the summit that brought together President of DRC, Felix Tshisekedi, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and João Lourenço of Angola, In May this year in Kinshasa, DRC.
Nduhungirehe added that those ICGLR members agreed to cooperate to bring stability in the region.
“ We are going to work together on security issues in the region and if course ICGLR was given responsibilities by Kinshasa’s communiqué” he said.
ICGLR has 12 members, with Angola as its major donor
Africans Rising saddened by xenophobic violence is South Africa
September 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
Africans Rising for Justice, Peace, and Dignity reports that it is saddened and outraged by ongoing systematic atrocities committed on African people in South Africa, not only over the past few days but for over a decade. Violent attacks on black migrants have so far led to the loss of lives, countless injuries, and destruction of Black migrant-owned businesses. We strongly and unreservedly condemn these ‘afro-phobic attacks’ and call on the South African government to ensure safety for all.
The organisation says that while black Africans from other countries may be easy targets, we urge South African citizens, especially the youth, not to attack their African brothers and sisters. Instead, we urge them to peacefully engage the South African government to better understand the causes of these attacks. Africans Rising calls on the South African government to take responsibility and be accountable based on the social contract that exists between it and the people by addressing the root causes of this violence.
They sais that they call on the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, and the entire government to play their role in making sure that there is a stop to these inhumane attacks. And to address the institutionalized Afrophobia that restricts the ability of migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, stateless people to integrate.
“We wish for a better understanding of the need for pan-African solidarity, a better understanding of the role of many African countries in the fight against apartheid. If the perpetrators of these atrocities could be made to remember the continental solidarity of that fight perhaps the violence would end. “Even if all the migrants pack up their bags and leave, poor Black South African lives won’t change because their misery is rooted in centuries of injustices,” said Coumba Toure, Africans Rising Co-Movement Coordinator”.
They add that while acknowledging the actions and reactions of certain African governments, we again call on the African Union, regional bodies like SADC and all African heads of state to condemn the ongoing brutality and violence in South Africa, and advise their citizens not to respond to violence with violence. We also call on all Africans, including religious leaders, artists, lawmakers, citizens, and descendants of Africa to raise their voices in condemning these unacceptable acts.
The organisation also urges African governments to use intelligence directed policing capable of anticipating and stopping looming acts of xenophobia.
“ As our core team sits in a circle next to the fire at Earth Rise Lodge in Rustlers Valley, we represent Ubuntu. We (Africans Rising) are here from different African countries and the diaspora. Here, we feel welcomed, safe, and at peace with South Africans…This is how it should be everywhere. For Africans Rising, Earth Rise Lodge, Naledi Village, Rustlers Valley represents a model for people to live in dignity. But this cannot happen without the joint efforts of Africa and Africans. We urge (African) leaders to address the issues arising in order to stop this plague” said Muhammed Lamin Saidykhan, Africans Rising Co-Movement Coordinator.
Africans Rising has also called on the citizens and descendants of Africa to not respond to hate with hatred but to join hands in building the #AfricaWeWant.
Chinese companies commit $1.4 Billion USD investment into Bankable Energy projects in Africa during African Energy Chamber’s Visit
September 2, 2019 | 0 Comments
The African Energy Chamber secured over $1.4bn in intentions to invest in Africa’s bankable projects in mining, oil & gas, power and renewables
BEIJING, China, September 2, 2019/ — The African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org) has just concluded a one-week working visit in Beijing where it met with senior officials from the Chinese government, heads of state-owned energy companies, and executives and entrepreneurs from the private sector.
During meetings with top Chinese energy companies and financial institutions, the African Energy Chamber discussed the signing of win-win agreements and contracts that will make energy work for Africa while providing Chinese investors with attractive and rewarding opportunities in Africa.
As LNG demand is growing by the day in China, Africa stands to play a role. In 2018, China consumed 276.6 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas, an increase of 16.6% over 2017. In meetings, the Chamber discussed with Chinese companies the need to invest in gas exploration and the need to also work on African initiatives like LNG2Africa which are a win-win for both Africa and China.
Throughout its meetings, the African Energy Chamber secured over $1.4bn in intentions to invest in Africa’s bankable projects in mining, oil & gas, power and renewables. “The biggest encouragement for us is that beyond their investment appetite for Africa, Chinese companies are clear about their intention to invest in the promotion of local content and the building of local manufacturing capacities,” added Nj Ayuk. In addition to upstream oil & gas and mining projects, key infrastructure financing opportunities in refinery and storage facilities were also discussed.
In light of strong Chinese interest for Africa, and following demands from its Chinese partners, the Chamber will be hosting the first China-Africa Energy Investment Forum in 2020 in Beijing. Interested parties should already manifest their interest in participating and promoting projects to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Japan and African Development Bank announce $3.5 billion in support of Africa’s private sector development
August 30, 2019 | 0 Comments
Electricity, transport, and health identified as key priorities
Yokohama, Japan, 30 August 2019 – Japan and the African Development Bank on Friday announced a joint target of $3.5 billion under the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance for Africa initiative (EPSA4), during the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7).
Both Japan and the Bank have set a target of $1.75 billion each, from 2020-2022, to enhance the fourth phase of EPSA to spur private-sector-led sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa.
“Building on the successful achievements so far, Japan and the Bank have decided to upgrade EPSA in both quality and quantity to meet financial needs for infrastructure development as well as for the private sector development in Africa,” Japan’s State Minister of Finance,” Mr. Keisuke Suzuki said at the EPSA4 launch ceremony held in Yokohama and attended by government officials and a high-level delegation from the Bank as well as representations of the business community.
“We will cooperate by integrating our funds, expertise, and experiences, and I wish the win-win relationship between Japan and Africa will deepen further,” Mr. Suzuki noted.
Electricity, transportation, and health will be key priorities under EPSA4. Projects and programs for the 3 key priorities will be formulated and implemented in line with the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment and G20 Shared Understanding on the Importance of UHC Financing in Developing Countries. African countries will also be provided with support to improve and create conducive business environments to attract private investments.
“Today marks another day to celebrate the strong and impactful partnership between Japan and the African Development Bank. The African Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are long-term partners for promoting the development of Africa. EPSA helps to deliver much needed support to the private sector,” Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development, said during his address.
During EPSA1 (2005-2011), Japan set the target of providing $ 1 billion in loans and $ 2 billion under the second phase (2012-2016). The ongoing EPSA3 (2017-2019), Japan and the African Development Bank are cooperating closely to provide the targeted joint amount of $ 3 billion.
As of today, the Bank and JICA under ACFA have co-financed 25 projects to improve key transportation and electricity transmission networks. These include the Construction of Three Intersections in Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire and Power Sector Reform Program in Angola.
Under EPSA 4, JICA and the African Development Bank will provide co-financing of $3.5 billion. This is a significant increase over EPSA-3, which was executed at $3 billion – a 17% increase.
“Increase is what we need to meet the needs of Africa. Increase is what we need to raise the level of our ambitions for Africa. Increase is what we need to build upon the solid foundations of co-financing over the last 13 years, and deliver even greater and more impactful development results in the years ahead. Now, let us arise with renewed vigor. Let us deliver even greater impacts for African countries through EPSA 4,” Dr. Adesina concluded.
EPSA has three components:
- The Accelerated Co-Financing Facility for Africa (ACFA): a sovereign co-financing arrangement between the African Development Bank and JICA, under which JICA lends on concessional terms to borrowers under this scheme.
- The Non-Sovereign Loan (NSL): a line of credit from JICA to the Bank on concessional terms to help fund private sector operations. Collaboration between JICA’s Private Sector Investment Finance (PSIF) scheme and AfDB’s Non-Sovereign Loan will be promoted.
- The Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA): a Multi-Donor Trust Fund for technical assistance and capacity building for the Bank’s public and private sector clients. The Government of Japan is the major contributor to the Fund, managed by the Bank.
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Secretary General Barkindo Writes Inspiring Foreword On African Energy Book By Nj Ayuk
August 29, 2019 | 0 Comments
OPEC is the subject of Chapter 3 in Ayuk’s book, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy, which will be published this October
|JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, August 29, 2019/ — As OPEC intensifies its engagement with Africa, Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo said there’s no better time for the analysis of OPEC membership benefits put forth in the newest book by leading African energy attorney, NJ Ayuk.
“It is most fitting at this time that Mr. Ayuk describes how important it is for Africa’s producing nations to be part of the discussion on global strategies that will affect their fortunes,” Barkindo, who wrote the book’s foreword, said. “In today’s oil and gas industry, coalitions are essential and Mr. Ayuk proves that point by discussing the advantages that our newest members from Africa have gained by joining OPEC.”
OPEC is the subject of Chapter 3 in Ayuk’s book, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy, which will be published this October.
Half of OPEC’s 14 members are on the African continent. Libya joined in the 1962, followed by Algeria in 1969. Nigeria came on board in 1971; and Angola followed in 2007. More recently, the organization welcomed Gabon, which rejoined in 2016, and Equatorial Guinea and Republic of Congo, which became members in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
With 130 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves, Africa is a frontier filled with promise, Barkindo said—and Ayuk does a masterful job of showing how both OPEC and the continent benefit from increased African participation in the organization.
“Mr. Ayuk’s book shows how the oil and gas industry can unleash economic development and prosperity across the continent but cautions that producing nations will achieve more in collaboration than individually,” said Barkindo. Adding that, “In particular, he explains how the Declaration of Cooperation has helped stabilize the market, providing economic opportunities that were previously unavailable.”
Above all, in his chapter about OPEC, called A Place at the Table: Africa and OPEC, Ayuk presents a balanced investigation of how OPEC needs Africa, and vice versa. He doesn’t gloss over the fact that the Middle East’s once prolific energy basins are declining—making the prospect of big discoveries in Africa one way for OPEC to wrest control over more of the world’s oil supply. At the same time, he points out the benefits that African nations can accrue as OPEC members, including access to information, financial aid, and the chance to have a voice in setting global policy.
Further, the OPEC chapter discusses the possible impact of NOPEC – the pending American legislation that seeks to protect domestic interests from what it perceives as price manipulation.
“There is no stone left unturned in Mr. Ayuk’s analysis of Africa and OPEC,” Barkindo said.
NJ Ayuk is founder and CEO of Pan-African corporate law conglomerate, Centurion Law Group; Founder and Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber; and co-author of Big Barrels: African Oil and Gas and the Quest for Prosperity (2017).
He is recognized as one of the foremost figures in African business today.
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