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U.S. Africa Energy Forum 2021 Launches: Promotes U.S. Role as Primary Investor in African Energy
April 7, 2021 | 0 Comments

The multi-day forum unites U.S. and African policymakers, energy executives and industry leaders to create new linkages and foster discussions

The U.S. Africa Energy Forum 2021 – organized by Africa Oil & Power, in partnership with the African Energy Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Committee – will foster alignment between U.S. and African governments’ energy policies and highlight African oil, gas, power and renewable projects across the energy value chain for U.S. investors; the multi-day forum unites U.S. and African policymakers, energy executives and industry leaders to create new linkages and foster discussions that drive long-term policy formation and project execution; the in-person, two-day summit and gala dinner will be hosted in Houston, Texas (October 4-5, 2021) and an online seminar and in-person networking event will be held in Washington D.C. (July 12).

Africa Oil & Power (AOP) (www.AfricaOilAndPower.com) and the African Energy Chamber are excited to announce the launch of the first-ever U.S. Africa Energy Forum (USAEF). This event aims to create deeper cooperation between the U.S. and Africa on energy policy, to reach alignment on long term sustainability goals, to stimulate greater American investment in the African oil, gas and power sectors, and to engage and reposition the U.S. as the primary partner of choice for African energy developments. 

Under the theme “New Horizons for U.S. Africa Energy Investment” the forum will explore diverse foreign investment and export opportunities across the continent, including natural gas as a vital fuel for the energy transition; energy storage and battery minerals; Africa’s place in global energy supply chains; the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area; evolving energy technologies and how they relate to the future role of petroleum resources; and on-and off-grid power developments. 

An online seminar and in-person networking event will be held in Washington D.C. on July 12, 2021, building up to the in-person U.S. Africa Energy Forum summit and gala dinner, to be hosted in Houston, Texas, on October 4-5, 2021. Africa Oil & Power and the African Energy Chamber invite all U.S.-based companies with an interest in engaging with African industry leaders and project developers to participate in the USAEF Houston summit.

This initiative comes at an important juncture in U.S.-Africa relations. The Biden Administration’s announcements of its intentions to proactively build a stronger U.S.-Africa partnership coincides with the fact that African projects are seeing rising interest from U.S. companies and lending institutions alike. The USAEF event is thus dedicated to enabling dialogue between its participants that advances these developments.

“Our mission has always been to showcase the resource potential that Africa has to offer while at the same time showing its growing preference for sustainable energy policies and technologies. Toward that end, we hope it becomes evident that Africa does not just want investment capital: it wants smart capital and an accompanying partnership with the investors,” says James Chester, Senior Director of Africa Oil & Power. “The U.S. Africa Energy Forum represents the first-of-its-kind opportunity to catalyze U.S. participation in Africa’s energy transformation – via technology, policy support, capital injection and skills development – and turns a new page in the chapter on global energy investment.” 

In partnership with the African Energy Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Committee, AOP will introduce American companies to African opportunities and advance an agenda of sustainable, long-term investment in African energy and other sectors by U.S. organizations. 

“The rise in support from the U.S. to the continent is a credit to Africa itself, which is increasingly viewed as a favored destination for global investors, multilaterals and export credit agencies,” says Jude Kearney, President of Kearney Africa and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Service Industries and Finance at the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Clinton Administration. “Africa continues to command a healthy share of global FDI in oil and gas industries. It has for decades shown that investment in those sectors is favorable compared to other jurisdictions and can be successful by many measures. Even as Africa and the rest of the world wrestles with a global pandemic, Africa’s energy sector shows vitality and resiliency – not only in hydrocarbons but in regard to new opportunities in mining, liquefied natural gas, and agriculture.”

Both African governments and private sector sponsors of African energy projects value highly the combination of investment and partnership that US investors famously convey. The USAEF seeks to enable successful partnerships between its participants such that the energy development goals of U.S. investors and strategic partners and their African counterparts can be achieved.

To find out more on opportunities for U.S.-African energy investment and cooperation, as well as information on the inaugural U.S. Africa Energy Forum, please visit www.AfricaOilAndPower.com and to participate in the USAEF, reach out directly to Senior Director James Chester at james@africaoilandpower.com.

*SOURCE Africa Oil & Power Conference

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President Mnangagwa takes shooting strides in climate-change fight to green African Economies.
April 7, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu 

President Mnangagwa

President Mnangagwa on Wednesday 6th April addressed African Heads of State, Multi-lateral organisations in climate-change, United Nations Agencies, institutions and the general population on a virtual platform from State-House in Harare calling the World to take action on climate change.

The dialogue organised by the African Development Bank and the Global Centre for Adaptation looked at how Zimbabwe by 2030 can be a Green Economy through the combatting of climate change. The country is driving up the ladder to become a Middle-Income Economy fighting its economic challenges and climate-change.

The dialogue specifically looked at covid-19 impact on climate change mitigation report. Countries of the World remain on the edges in terms of their economies Gross-Domestic-Product severely affected by climate-Change, a natural phenomenon likely to continue in the covid-19 era.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa said for Zimbabwe to become a middle-income –economy, there is need to fight effects of climate-change that remain a draw-back to the whole world especially the developing World.

‘’For the country to achieve a middle income  economy by 2030 there is all need to fight climate-change especially in this covid-19 era it helps reduce the adverse effects .’’

‘’Mitigation and resilience in the face of national adaptation programs remains crucial in this fight to become a green economy by 2030. Countries needs to adapt to climate change then mitigate and become resilient and stronger’’.

     Taking the blame to the West .. ……………………………..

The developing World has faced the striking swipe which President Mnangagwa takes head-on blows blaming the Western World for release of more emissions responsible for climate- change .  Africa has less than 3%  carbon emissions constituting less tons not likely to affect the world . Countries like USA , Canada and China have more gas emissions which affects the world at high rate .

‘’We as a country, we have long term low emissions development strategies. These in turn lower global temperature increase.’ Therefore climate smart Agriculture is important for us to remain vibrant in the fight. At the same time water harvesting and infrastructural development is crucial

 ‘’ Africa that is more affected as developing world yet its emissions are low. The developed world should therefore take the task to help us ‘’.

IMF Intervenes in Climate-Change and Covid-19  multiple effects ………………………………

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Ms Kristalina Georgieva said the organisation will soon release Special Drawing Rights. These are meant to resuscitate economies in the covid-19 era in which economies are severely ravaged by the pandemic.

‘’SDR are International Reserve Assets. They help to supplement member countries official reserves. ’These are held by central banks. They can be exchanged for hard currency with another Central Bank. They are used to determine a country’s credit -worthiness’’

‘’IMF is expected to release US$650 billion worth of SDRs to boost country reserves,’’ she notes.

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350.org announces a Global Just Recovery Gathering
April 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

Africa-wide – From April 9th-11th, 350.org and hundreds of organisations will be hosting a three-day online Global Just Recovery Gathering. The program events are free, online, multilingual and will be running six hour cycles over three different time zones to make it a truly global event. 

Choices are being made right now that will shape our society for decades to come; the gathering will bring together speakers who will explore what we need for a just recovery from the compound crises of COVID-19 and climate breakdown. Some of the key speakers include Vandana Shiva (India), Hakima Abbas (Kenya), Ailton Krenak (Brazil), Nnimmo Bassey (Nigeria), Greta Thunberg (Sweden), Eriel Deranger (Canada), Noelene Nabulivou (Fiji), Naomi Klein (Canada), Sharon Burrows (ITUC), Bill McKibben (United States) and many more.

Cultural sessions that accompany each six hour cycle of the gathering will include artists and musicians such as Gilberto Gil,  Patti Smith, Angelique Kidjo, Ana Tijoux, Jazzmeia Horn, Rocky Dawuni and many more.

In addition to the panels and cultural sessions, there will be over 180 workshops and training events to support individuals and campaign groups in designing a new path towards a better future for all.

There will be interpretation in English, Español, Français and Português for all the sessions allowing all communities from across Africa to participate.

Landry Ninteretse: Africa Regional Director at 350.org

“The solutions to the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 must also be the solutions to the climate crisis. As governments plan for recovery, they must ensure that their plans address the recurrent issues of access to healthcare, food, education, and clean energy  as basic human rights. People across Africa are expecting radical, inclusive and sustainable responses that  will strengthen Africa’s resilience to social, economic and environmental disasters exacerbated by pandemic. This is especially so for a continent such as Africa that continues to face numerous climate change issues such as food insecurity, energy poverty, floods and droughts amidst a global pandemic.”

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API and African Energy Chamber Sign First MOU to Expand Natural Gas and Oil Industry Standards and Initiatives
March 31, 2021 | 0 Comments

The American Petroleum Institute (API) and the African Energy Chamber (AEC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on capacity building initiatives and standardization to enhance safety, environmental protection, and sustainability in African countries producing natural gas and oil.

“API is pleased to collaborate with the AEC to expand use of our world-class standards and programs to help enhance the safety, transparency and sustainability of natural gas and oil operations across the African continent,” API Segment Standards and Services Vice President Alexa Burr said. “This is our first partnership with an African based organization, and we look forward to supporting AEC’s efforts to drive industry-wide technical knowledge.”

The number of petroleum producing countries in Africa has increased substantially, coinciding with a movement across the continent to enact robust, equitable and imminently more transparent policies. This continent-wide pursuit to increase the technical capacity of local organizations is of paramount importance in these natural gas and oil economies. It will be vital for public and private representatives of African host economies to work with the international petroleum industry and help ensure the developmental needs of the local markets are met while maintaining policies that allow for oil sector investment in these economies and accelerating the adoption of industry practices that enhance safety and environmental protection.

The MOU will facilitate collaboration between API and AEC members in several areas, including:

  • Development of training programs and seminars
  • Coordination, collaboration and sharing of the natural gas and oil industry’s good practices for environmental, health, safety, security and sustainability
  • Organization of joint forums, conferences, roundtables, workshops, about energy issues and the continued multifaceted uses of natural gas and in the world’s energy future

“Our association with API is a milestone for the work we do, and we are confident we will see American ingenuity – a key component of the partnership between African producing nations and IOCs – at its best,” US-Africa committee Chair of the AEC Jude Kearney said. “America has a tried, true and tested tradition of developing and deploying best-in-class standards, and industrial ingenuity to safely develop natural resources in America and around the globe. We also have a proud history of partnering with the earliest oil producing countries in Africa to create stable petroleum sectors and sustained economic contributions. Our goal is to work with the API to further support African nations and businesses to build technical capacity, harmonize standards and attract investment to help Africans monetize their resources and combat energy poverty while growing their economies while prioritizing safety and the environment.”

Given the economic and transformative potential which Africa’s natural gas and oil industry holds – including the focus on human capital growth, supply chain development and local and international partnerships for talent and infrastructure development  the AEC is determined to place this collaboration at the forefront of its mission.

API represents all segments of America’s natural gas and oil industry, which supports more than ten million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. Our 600 members produce, process and distribute the majority of the nation’s energy, and participate in API Energy Excellence, which is accelerating environmental and safety progress by fostering new technologies and transparent reporting. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization and has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency, and sustainability.

*African Energy Chamber

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U.S. Institute of Peace and Sudan Forge Partnership for Peace
March 31, 2021 | 0 Comments
CEO Lise Grande and Sudanese Ambassador to the United States H.E. Nureldin Satti signed a Memorandum of Understanding  pledging to support Sudan’s historic transition. Photo  credit twitter
CEO Lise Grande and Sudanese Ambassador to the United States H.E. Nureldin Satti signed a Memorandum of Understanding pledging to support Sudan’s historic transition. Photo credit twitter

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) President and CEO Lise Grande and Sudanese Ambassador to the United States H.E. Nureldin Satti signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Tuesday pledging to support Sudan’s historic transition.

“Sudanese peacebuilders are an inspiration to the world,” said Grande. “They have advanced peace, justice and freedom under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable.”

USIP has been working in Sudan for more than 30 years helping Sudanese peacebuilders who promote nonviolent action, justice and security.

As part of its new engagement, USIP will expand and accelerate its efforts to promote citizen engagement, facilitate women’s leadership and deepen dialogue on national security policies. In the months ahead, USIP will work closely with public institutions, civil society, the private sector, experts and practitioners to establish and strengthen genuine partnerships and, through these, to inform U.S. policies.

“Sudan’s Transitional Government is ready to build on its recent progress on peace and reform together with USIP. We value this partnership and look forward to sustained engagement,” said Satti.

“All of us have a responsibility to support and stand in solidarity with Sudan at this historic time,” said Grande. “We are proud to be part of this and are fully committed to doing everything we can to help make peace sustainable in Sudan.”

*USIP

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Kenya joins The Canada-Africa of Business
March 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

The opportunities are immense and work toward realizing Canadian trade and investment in Kenya is already well-underway.

Prime Minister Trudeau and President Kenyatta | Source PM Trudeau Twitter Account
Prime Minister Trudeau and President Kenyatta | Source PM Trudeau Twitter Account

Today, the Republic of Kenya has joined The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business (www.CanadaAfrica.ca) as a full member of the 27-year-old organization, committed to accelerating Canada-Africa trade and investment.

‘On behalf of the board, I am pleased to welcome an African hub and a leader on the continent,’ said Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, Chair of the Board, speaking live from the organization’s offices in Ottawa.

The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business is an independent, not-for-profit organization with strong working links with both Canadian and African businesses and governments. Leading CEOs and Heads of State – alongside investors, entrepreneurs and policy-makers – are among the hundreds of speakers and tens of thousands of delegates to in-person and virtual events.

‘We are excited by this new partnership with the Canada-Africa Chamber of Business. We look forward to benefiting from the expertise and knowledge of over a quarter a century promoting trade and investment between Canada and Africa,’ underscored Mr. Stephen Lorete, the Charge d’Affaires at the Kenya High Commission in Ottawa.

‘Kenya is a leading and one of the fastest growing economies in Africa with many attractive trade and investment opportunities, across many sectors, and we invite the Chamber’s membership and the general Canadian business community to take advantage.’

A packed program of action immediately accompanies the Republic of Kenya’s accession to The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business. Over the next two months three (3) major events are scheduled to take place. These are:

Chamber and Kenyan Representatives] Left to Right: Mr. Abdishakur Hussein (Abdishakur Hussein, Minister-Counsellor, responsible for Commercial Affairs); Mr. Sebastian Spio-Garbrah Garbrah (Chair of The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business); Mr. Stephen Lorete (Charge d'Affaires)
Chamber and Kenyan Representatives] Left to Right: Mr. Abdishakur Hussein (Abdishakur Hussein, Minister-Counsellor, responsible for Commercial Affairs); Mr. Sebastian Spio-Garbrah Garbrah (Chair of The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business); Mr. Stephen Lorete (Charge d’Affaires)
  • The Second Session of the Binational Commission meeting between Kenya and Canada with a strong trade and investment component taking place in Nairobi, Kenya between 13th-15th April 2021.
  • An upcoming mid-April announcement on a historic MoU with The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business and Kenya’s private sector, following a seminar held last year with Minister Mary Ng and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) in Nairobi
  • A Virtual Trade Mission from Canada to Kenya in the second half of May 2021

‘Apart from my country of birth, there is no other nation on the continent in which I have spent more time than in the incredible country of Kenya,’ says Garreth Bloor, President of The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business.

‘Today we are honoured to welcome a leading economy, comprised of some of the world’s top business leaders. The opportunities are immense and work toward realizing Canadian trade and investment in Kenya is already well-underway.’

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President Biden Invites 40 World Leaders to Leaders Summit on Climate
March 28, 2021 | 0 Comments
President of Nigeria is one of the leaders invited by President Biden
President of Nigeria is one of the leaders invited by President Biden

Today, President Biden invited 40 world leaders to the Leaders Summit on Climate he will host on April 22 and 23.  The virtual Leaders Summit will be live streamed for public viewing.

President Biden took action his first day in office to return the United States to the Paris Agreement.  Days later, on January 27, he announced that he would soon convene a leaders summit to galvanize efforts by the major economies to tackle the climate crisis.

The Leaders Summit on Climate will underscore the urgency – and the economic benefits – of stronger climate action.  It will be a key milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow.

In recent years, scientists have underscored the need to limit planetary warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in order to stave off the worst impacts of climate change.  A key goal of both the Leaders Summit and COP26 will be to catalyze efforts that keep that 1.5-degree goal within reach.  The Summit will also highlight examples of how enhanced climate ambition will create good paying jobs, advance innovative technologies, and help vulnerable countries adapt to climate impacts.

By the time of the Summit, the United States will announce an ambitious 2030 emissions target as its new Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement.  In his invitation, the President urged leaders to use the Summit as an opportunity to outline how their countries also will contribute to stronger climate ambition.

The Summit will reconvene the U.S.-led Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, which brings together 17 countries responsible for approximately 80 percent of global emissions and global GDP.  The President also invited the heads of other countries that are demonstrating strong climate leadership, are especially vulnerable to climate impacts, or are charting innovative pathways to a net-zero economy.  A small number of business and civil society leaders will also participate in the Summit.

Key themes of the Summit will include:

  • Galvanizing efforts by the world’s major economies to reduce emissions during this critical decade to keep a limit to warming of 1.5 degree Celsius within reach.
  • Mobilizing public and private sector finance to drive the net-zero transition and to help vulnerable countries cope with climate impacts. 
  • The economic benefits of climate action, with a strong emphasis on job creation, and the importance of ensuring all communities and workers benefit from the transition to a new clean energy economy.
  • Spurring transformational technologies that can help reduce emissions and adapt to climate change, while also creating enormous new economic opportunities and building the industries of the future.
  • Showcasing subnational and non-state actors that are committed to green recovery and an equitable vision for limiting warming to 1.5 degree Celsius, and are working closely with national governments to advance ambition and resilience.
  • Discussing opportunities to strengthen capacity to protect lives and livelihoods from the impacts of climate change, address the global security challenges posed by climate change and the impact on readiness, and address the role of nature-based solutions in achieving net zero by 2050 goals. 

Further details on the Summit agenda, additional participants, media access, and public viewing will be provided in the coming weeks.

The President invited the following leaders to participate in the Summit:

  • Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Antigua and Barbuda
  • President Alberto Fernandez, Argentina 
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Australia    
  • Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh
  • Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, Bhutan
  • President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil    
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada          
  • President Sebastián Piñera, Chile 
  • President Xi Jinping, People’s Republic of China    
  • President Iván Duque Márquez, Colombia    
  • President Félix Tshisekedi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Denmark 
  • President Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission
  • President Charles Michel, European Council
  • President Emmanuel Macron, France        
  • President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Gabon        
  • Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany 
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India    
  • President Joko Widodo, Indonesia      
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel
  • Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Italy    
  • Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Jamaica
  • Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Japan  
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya      
  • President David Kabua, Republic of the Marshall Islands
  • President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico  
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand
  • President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria        
  • Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Norway 
  • President Andrzej Duda, Poland  
  • President Moon Jae-in, Republic of Korea     
  • President Vladimir Putin, The Russian Federation  
  • King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore
  • President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa 
  • Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Spain
  • President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey
  • President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, United Arab Emirates
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson, United Kingdom
  • President Nguyễn Phú Trọng, Vietnam  
  • *Source White House 
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Brazil Africa Institute Takes On Renewable Energy In Upcoming Seminar
March 22, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

Prof João Bosco Monte is President of the Brazil African Institute
Prof João Bosco Monte is President of the Brazil African Institute

On March 30, the Brazil Africa Institute (IBRAF) will hold a seminar on renewable energy in Africa with the goal of promoting in-depth discussions on the main trends in the energy sector, sustainable economic development and climate change, in response to the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic

“We chose renewable energy for two reasons: first, to reinforce the agenda of sustainable development, which has been the object of disinformation, and is key for us to avoid a climate crisis in the next few decade; second, to show that the Global South, despite its developmental struggles with poverty, unemployment and inequality, can’t and won’t neglect the green economy as the sole alternative for the future,” says Prof João Bosco Monte ,President of the Brazil African Institute .

In an interview with PAV, Prof Monte says the event is an opportunity for Brazil and Africa  to share successful projects,  encourage smart investments, and discuss inclusive policies in the energy sector.

Prof Monte, thanks granting this interview, could we start with an update on how the Brazil Africa Institute has readjusted its schedule to cope with the COVID 19 pandemic?

This pandemic is affecting every country in the world. Right now, we are trying to do everything we can to keep everyone safe while adopting the model of remote work. As an international organization, it is not easy to be distant from other parts of the world. But with all the new technologies we are finding ways to shorten distances. We turned the Brazil Africa Forum 2020 into a 100% online edition. The Seminar Renewable Energy and Africa is going in the same direction. 

IBRAF will be hosting a seminar on Renewable Energy in Brazil and Africa, why the focus on energy at this time? How relevant do you see renewable energy as an instrument of economic development for both Brazil and Africa?

IBRAF’s mandate is to find areas in which Brazil and Africa can exchange good practices and solutions. Infrastructure, and the several areas that revolve around it, are key in this sense. We chose renewable energy for two reasons: first, to reinforce the agenda of sustainable development, which has been the object of disinformation, and is key for us to avoid a climate crisis in the next few decade; second, to show that the Global South, despite its developmental struggles with poverty, unemployment and inequality, can’t and won’t neglect the green economy as the sole alternative for the future. Renewables are essential for Brazilian and African development: we have the single strongest renewable matrix in the world, and Africans have the one with the greatest potential.

Currently what is the situation like with regards to renewable energy in Brazil today and what could your country offer Africa catch up renewable energy?

Brazil currently has a relevant percentage of its energy matrix based on renewable sources and 83% of our electricity is derived from hydroelectric plants, bioenergy, solar panels, wind turbines, and geothermal stations.  In general, the interest of the Brazilian public and private sector with Africa needs to be stimulated. The country used to be a leader in South-South Cooperation and we need to engage in it again. The transfer of knowledge and technology is an important field of cooperation.

African still needs to overcome the challenges of social inequality, since a considerable portion of its population does not have access to energy of any kind. On the other hand, renewable energies are a reality in many countries and investments have been increasing. The event is an opportunity for both sides to share successful projects,  encourage smart investments, and discuss inclusive policies in the energy sector.

May we know some of the key personalities or professionals who will animate or lead discussions at the seminar?

Sure! We are going to have so many important names dialoguing on our event. Damilola Ogubiyi, the CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All is going to be joining us. We’re also going to have NJ Ayuk, Founder and President of the Centurion Law Group and Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber; Rentia Van Tonder Head of Power, Client Coverage, Corporate and Investment Banking at Standard Bank; Patrick Dlamini, CEO and Managing Director at the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA); Alessandro Amadio, Head of Mission for UNIDO in Brazil and Venezuela; and many other. The list is on our website.

One of the core projects of IBRAF is its Fellowship Program on South-South and Triangular Cooperation (IFP), how is that going and is it serving the purpose for which it was created?

The IFP is up and running since February, and will extend until late 2021. We are engaging with researchers from 9 different countries – Brazil, Argentina, Mozambique, Nigeria, Egypt, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso and South Africa —, giving them the opportunity to research themes that can further approximate the Global South, like agriculture, trade, investments, technology and public health. The project has been very successful in serving the purpose for which it was crafted, as it gives both IBRAF and our research fellows the tools to build bridges between professionals and organizations in the two sides of the South Atlantic. Our research fellows are having a very practical and realistic experience of how SSTC works: they dive deep into a research theme, speak with leaders and specialists from their fields, and build a solid research project that can give insights on policy-making focused on the needs of the Global South. This gives IBRAF an opportunity as well, to start dialogues and work with a vast network that is also interested in finding solutions for LDCs.

Any plans yet for the 2021 Brazil-Africa forum and what else is on the calendar at IBRAF for the rest of the year ?

Yes, the Brazil Africa Forum 2021 is just around the corner. We will announce the dates and theme of our flagship event very shortly, and we are hoping to have an even greater debate than the ones we had in 2020. The world is still facing the COVID-19 crisis, so the format of the event is yet undecided. Still, as long as we have strong and encouraging voices with us, as we are sure we will do, the form is merely a detail. There is much more in IBRAF’s pipeline for 2021: we will have more seminars as the one we are currently promoting, but focusing on other strategic themes that can be used as leverage for Brazil-Africa approximation. We are promoting new ways to engage in capacity-building, through our Online Professional Learning (OPL) project, exchanging Brazilian solutions with African learners. IBRAF will also strengthen its presence in the research front, producing more high-quality research on policies, markets and social development, and will create new channels to dialogue with the general public via the creation of content. The year has just begun, and despite a sad scenario worldwide, we remain optimistic.

For those who read this interview and are interested in the seminar on Renewable Energy in Brazil and Africa, what is needed from them to be part of the event?

The event is taking place on March 30th. Registrations are free of any charges. To join us, all you need to do is go to the registration page on the event’s website (https://ibraf.org/projects/renewable-energy-seminar/registrations/) and fill out a very simple form. And that’s it. We want everyone to engage with us and share their thoughts.

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Former Minister Celso Amorim analyzes Brazil’s foreign policy history, focusing on South-South Cooperation, in the opening lecture of the IBRAF Fellowship Program
March 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense of Brazil, Ambassador Celso Amorim, outlined a history of Brazilian foreign policy during the opening class of the IBRAF Fellowship Program.

Ambassador Amorim highlighted significant moments for the brazilian South-South Cooperation projects. “Even during the military dictatorship, Brazil, unlike other countries, had some actions”, said, underlining the first steps in approaching Argentina and Africa and emphasizing that the country was a “pioneer” in multilateral initiatives.

The first IFP cohort has nine Fellows from eight different countries: South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

During the program, the Fellows have the opportunity to follow practical experiences, enable them to monitor and study the international cooperation projects being developed by IBRAF, as well as its wide network of partner organizations. They also engage in other exclusive masterclasses with internationally renowned professionals.

The next class will be on March 15 with Prof. Sarah Agbor, African Union Commissioner for Human Rights, Science and Technology, to dive deep into capacity-building as a key component of South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

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Kenya’s investigative agency, DCI, receives forensic lab equipment from Germany
March 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

DCI boss George Kinoti  with German Embassy Official.Photo courtesy
DCI boss George Kinoti with German Embassy Official.Photo courtesy

The fight against crime in Kenya on Thursday, March 4, received a boost after the German Government donated forensic lab equipment to the country’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

The equipment valued at ksh26 million (approximately US$237,393) will hasten the investigation process.

They included cameras and simulation crime scene tools.

Speaking during the handover at the DCI headquarters in Nairobi, German Deputy Ambassador Thomas Wimmer said the equipment would significantly help solve criminal offenses.

On his part, DCI boss George Kinoti praised the German Government, noting the donation will help tackle several pending cases.

Kinoti also updated Kenyans on the forensic laboratory’s status, which has been under construction for many years, saying it is 98 percent complete.

He averred that it is just a matter of time before the laboratory is officially opened.

The lab is based at the DCI’s headquarters.

Many Kenyan criminal cases have remained unsolved due to a lack of laboratories to carry out tests for evidence on matters being investigated.

The country has relied on foreign laboratories like South Africa and some European countries to conduct its tests.

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Portugal may help Mozambique train forces against terrorists from April
February 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

Portugal may start in April to train Mozambican troops in order to step up the fight against terrorism and strengthen cooperation in the security area, Portuguese defence minister João Gomes Cravinho said.

Planning work is currently underway and equipment would also be provided, he said, adding that the training programme had already been agreed between Portugal and Mozambique and only needed to be signed off.

Mozambique had already asked the European Union for help in training its forces to battle the insurgency, which has alarmed countries across southern Africa and beyond and forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.

While Mozambique awaits for the help, the country is still battling with the insurgents. Government forces have killed six leaders of the Islamist terrorists operating in Cabo Delgado province.

One of those killed was a Tanzanian, and two were described as “Arabs”. The operations in which they were killed took place in Macomia and Muidumbe districts, where the forces are driving terrorists out of their hideouts.

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Kenya, Iran to make joint initiatives in science and technology
January 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Iranian Ambassador to Kenya Jafar Barmaki, Iranian Vice-President for Science and Technology, Dr. Sorena Sattari, Education Chief Administrative Secretary Mumina Bonaya and PS for Education& Research Amb. Simon Nabukwesi at Jogoo House .Photo credit Citizen Digital
Iranian Ambassador to Kenya Jafar Barmaki, Iranian Vice-President for Science and Technology, Dr. Sorena Sattari, Education Chief Administrative Secretary Mumina Bonaya and PS for Education& Research Amb. Simon Nabukwesi at Jogoo House .Photo credit Citizen Digital

Kenya and Iran intend to strike a deal that would see the two nations offering joint programs in science, technology and innovation.

 Kenya’s Education Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Mumina Bonaya held a meeting with the Iranian Vice-President for Science and Technology, Dr Sorena Sattari in Nairobi. They said the joint initiative would focus on nanoscience and nanotechnology.

They also deliberated on areas of collaboration between the two countries such as harnessing and promoting opportunities in nanotechnology and hi-technologies in science, technology and innovation programmes.

The deal also includes seeking support for post-graduate programmes, training trainers programmes, and creating innovation and technology hubs and parks.

Others present were Amb. Simon Nabukwesi (Principal Secretary for University Education and Research); Jafar Barmaki (Iranian Ambassador to Kenya); Prof. Walter O. Oyawa (Director General of the National Commission for Science, Technology & Innovation (NACOSTI)); Mr Mogaka Ogutu (Director for Higher Education) among many others.

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DP WORLD AND UNICEF ANNOUNCE GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP TO SUPPORT COVID-19 VACCINATION
January 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

The agreement will support the provision of COVID-19 vaccines and related supplies for low- and lower-middle-income countries

Africa, 29 January 2021: DP World and UNICEF have announced a wide-ranging partnership to support the global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and related immunisation supplies in low- and lower-middle-income countries.

The new partnership – with a multi-million dollar value – is the largest to date to support UNICEF’s lead role in procuring and supplying 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines and auxiliary vaccination supplies on behalf of the COVAX Facility. DP World and UNICEF will also collaborate on other global programs in support of education, health, women’s empowerment and water and sanitation.

DP World, a leader in global end-to-end supply chain logistics, will provide UNICEF with logistics solutions and supply-chain expertise. By using DP World’s warehouse facilities in Dubai, UNICEF will have optimized access to many countries. In addition, DP World has committed to leveraging its global logistics infrastructure and services on a pro-bono basis in support of COVID-19 vaccine logistics needs, including transport, port and storage requirements in countries where DP World is present. Dubai is currently used by UNICEF as a strategic hub for pre-positioning auxiliary materials needed for the COVID-19 vaccine campaigns, such as syringes and safety boxes.

The partnership was signed by Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director, and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World. It arose from UNICEF’s collaboration with the World Economic Forum’s Supply Chain and Transport Community, of which DP World is a member and explores how the community collectively could support an equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccines globally.

“Distributing COVID-19 vaccines is humanity’s biggest logistics challenge since the end of the Second World War,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem. “We offer our infrastructure and expertise to support this effort because everyone should have access to vaccines, especially the most vulnerable in our society. Unless the vaccine is available to all, the pandemic will not end for anyone.”

“The pandemic has turned children’s world upside down, disrupting their education, health and protection,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Vaccines will be a big step towards putting children’s lives back on track. This new partnership will support our collective efforts to ensure equitable, affordable and sustainable access to COVID-19 vaccines”.

Under this partnership, DP World and UNICEF will also collaborate to address logistical bottlenecks hindering children and their families’ access to essential supplies through advocacy and sharing of knowledge and expertise.

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Kenyan troops to remain in Somalia
January 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Defense Minister Dr. Monica Juma
Defense Minister Dr. Monica Juma

Despite the frosty relationship between Kenya and Somalia, the former has no intention of pulling out its military from the neighbouring country.

This was revealed by the Defense Minister Dr. Monica Juma when she accompanied United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace at the British Army Training Unit in Kenya (Batuk) in Nanyuki during the opening of Nyati barracks.

Dr. Juma said the Kenyan Defence Forces troops in Somalia were deployed under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Only the UN Security Council can ratify the decision to withdraw them.

She maintained that bilateral relations do not define the ongoing operations in Somalia.

“The withdrawal is the mandate of the African Union-(AU) which is the authorizing agency, it is not us to decide when to get in or out,” said Dr.Juma.

On his side, Wallace said Kenya and the UK would work together to maintain peace and order in the horn of Africa and the entire East Africa region. He added that the two countries being members of the United Nations Security Council is an added advantage.

“Britain and Kenya are now together this year on the Security Council. Britain is the Chair while Kenya has taken up its place on the same, that’s good news, and we’ve jointly gone through the four priorities for Kenya that is climate change, counter-terrorism, nation-building, and regional stability, and that’s where Britain agrees with Kenya,” Wallace said.

According to him, approximately 200 troops from the UK are permanently based in Nanyuki, noting that the last visiting troop from the European country landed in Kenya on Sunday despite the novel coronavirus’s challenges.

The duo noted that Kenyan troops had gained a lot since they joined AMISOM in 2011 and share the expertise with the British troops training in the country, who also share their military experiences of their excursions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Putting that knowledge together and joint training personnel helps keep Kenyans safe when they are doing this job because the bombers are crafty, clever, and dangerous,” reiterated Wallace.

This announcement comes a day after the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) exonerated Kenya from claims by Somalia that it is interfering with its internal affairs.

IGAD said there is no evidence to support the allegations.

“The commission considers that these grievances, some of which are longstanding, do not appear to be sufficient to justify a diplomatic separation between Kenya and Somalia. The federal government of Somalia is indeed sovereign in its decisions,” read part of the report.

However, the authority recommended the deployment of more diplomatic efforts to reconcile the two nations.

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EIB to support for high-impact investment in 11 Sahel countries under Great Green Wall initiative
January 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

  • President Hoyer reaffirms EIB commitment to Sahel and climate vulnerable regions in Africa as part of Team Europe
  • EIB to strengthen financial and technical support for sustainable agriculture, clean energy, water, infrastructure and microfinance to create jobs and resilience
  • Biodiversity investment in Africa to benefit from pioneering EIB Sustainable Awareness Bonds
EIB President Werner Hoyer
EIB President Werner Hoyer

The European Investment Bank today announced that it aims to provide new financial and technical support to back sustainable agriculture, clean energy, water, infrastructure and private sector financing in 11 Sahel countries most vulnerable to a changing climate by 2025.

The EIB financing and technical support will enhance the impact of the Great Green Wall initiative to improve biodiversity in the Sahel and better tackle climate and environmental challenges facing the region. Targeted high-impact investment will enable more inclusive economic growth and strengthen resilience in the region to foster peace and stability.

EIB President Werner Hoyer outlined the expected strengthened engagement to back high-impact investment essential to create jobs, improve economic opportunities and increase access to clean energy and water during the One Planet Summit for Biodiversity hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris earlier today.

“Communities across the Sahel are threatened by climate change, increasingly frequent droughts and floods, and unreliable and limited access to energy, water and food. The European Investment Bank, as part of Team Europe and member of the Sahel Alliance, recognises the need to scale up investment that tackles these challenges, delivers sustainable development and improves stability in the region. The EU Bank is pleased to join African and international partners in ensuring that the Great Green Wall biodiversity initiative improves lives and opportunities across the Sahel. Looking ahead, the EIB expects to back transformational public and private sector investment in 11 Sahel states most vulnerable to climate change as part of our commitment to accelerate high-impact investment across Africa. This will complement our broader strategic engagement across Africa and 58 year track record of backing transformational investment on the continent.“ said Werner Hoyer, European Investment Bank President.

President Hoyer addressed the One Planet Summit for Biodiversity alongside the Prince of Wales, President of the African Union Commission and heads of the French Development Agency, African Development Bank, UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

Working with African partners to unlock high-impact investment across the Sahel

During his address to the One Planet Summit for Biodiversity President Hoyer highlighted the impact of recent EIB support for water investment in Mali and Niger, clean energy across West Africa and private sector support with local microfinance and banking partners.

The EIB is currently supporting projects to address land degradation and enhance access to finance by rural communities and small holders in Mali and Ethiopia, and to redress and prevent soil erosion in Nigeria, all initiatives that provide a model for successful biodiversity investment elsewhere in Africa.

EIB harnessing global capital markets to support biodiversity investment

Future EIB investment for sustainable agriculture and environmental projects across Africa will benefit from the EIB being the first international financial institution to issue bonds to support biodiversity investment.

This week the EIB, the world’s largest supranational bond issuer and pioneering of green bonds, will include biodiversity in the eligibility of the established EIB Sustainable Awareness Bonds.

Supporting the Great Green Wall initiative to improve lives and opportunities in the Sahel

The Great Green Wall initiative aims to restore Africa’s degraded landscapes and transform the lives of people living in the Sahel. The 11 countries  selected as intervention zoned for the Great Green Wall are Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan

The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and owned directly by the 27 European Union member states.  

Background information

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union and is owned by the EU Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals both in Europe and beyond. The European Investment Bank is active in around 160 countries and is the world’s largest multilateral lender for climate action projects.

The EIB Group has recently adopted its Climate Bank Roadmap to deliver on its ambitious agenda to support €1 trillion of climate action and environmental sustainability investments in the decade to 2030 and to deliver more than 50% of EIB finance for climate action and environmental sustainability by 2025. As part of the Roadmap, all new EIB Group operations will also be aligned with the goals and principles of the Paris Agreement from the start of 2021.

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Flying The African Flag Even In Crisis: Ethiopian Airlines And Its Fight Against Coronavirus
December 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

A donation from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma of masks, COVID19 test kits and other materials arrive in Tanzania. Photo Courtesy

A donation from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma of masks, COVID19 test kits and other materials arrive in Tanzania. Photo Courtesy

When the coronavirus outbreak first hit international news outlets, no one could fathom the level of chaos it will create on a global level. Giant economies have been shattered, companies bankrupt, and thousands of lives destroyed. There was no escaping from the novel virus which seemingly throw scientists off their game and challenged world leaders, most of who strived to keep their countries afloat.

Responding to the outbreak and preventing a far devastating consequence was the only viable option. It will be fair to state that European nations and some countries in North America had an easy ride responding to the pandemic due to their economic and developmental standings. But in a continent like Africa, unique in every way, a Pan African hero was needed – especially after the first coronavirus case was reported in February.

On March 15, 2020, Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced that he had secured a continent-wide coronavirus support from Chinese business magnet, Jack Ma.

The Ali Baba founder confirmed the news 24-hours later following which the materials were flown to Ethiopia on March 22. With coronavirus increasing its spread across Africa, the continent received a much-needed care package but then the issue was how to get the package across the difficult terrain in Africa to the affected population – most of them in secluded areas.

Flying the African flag even in times of crisis

Ethiopia agreed to use its national career, Ethiopian airlines, to undertake deployment to all member states across the continent.

On March 23, the airline which is Africa’s most profitable was flying across the continent delivering the supplies and before March 27, Ethiopian airlines had delivered the consignments to 41 countries. This is after the national carrier had announced major cancelation of international flights to curve the spread of the virus and keep its employees safe.

Destined to each of the 54 African countries was 20,000 test kits, 100,000 masks and 1,000 medical use protective suits and face shields all distributed by Ethiopian Airlines.

A star Alliance member, Ethiopian airlines is branded the pride of Africa and recognized and the best airline of the continent wining three times in a row the prestigious Skytrax World Airlines Award.

Suffering a loss of over $190 million, the carrier has suspended flights to 30 destinations as demand collapses and some countries impose travel bans to try and contain the deadly pandemic. Aviation is one of the hardest hit industries by the virus, facing billions of dollars of lost revenue.

Ghana’s Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu received his country’s consignment as Ethiopian airline carrier touched down at the Kotoka International Airport

Despite the difficult times marred with uncertainty, Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines remains optimistic saying the African skies could experience increased activity earlier than other continents.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV he said “here in Africa we expect to be slightly faster in recovery,” this is against the backdrop that global flights are forecast to take up to two years to return to 2019 levels.

Air travel was one of the most impacted economic centers as most countries across the world closed their airspaces to passenger flights save in some instances for medical and emergency landings.

The European Union, United States and several western governments had also arranged flights to evacuate their citizens across the continent with Ethiopian at the forefront of some of these operations.

Conversely, African governments – most recently Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, and Uganda have all moved to evacuate stranded citizens from different parts of the world. Again, Ethiopian, one of few airlines that continued operations stepped in to bring them home.

About bailouts, he stressed that Ethiopian – a continental leader – was not at the stage of seeking any such interventions but that they had other operational areas they seek government support.

“African governments will not be in a position to bail out airlines as much as in Europe and America,” said Tewolde. “Airlines are not flying or generating revenue and governments do not have the resources to bail them out. It is going to be very, very tough for most African airlines.”

Lessons to other African carriers

Indeed, the biggest airlines in Africa are reeling from the devastating economic effects of coronavirus. Kenya Airways, the sixth largest airline on the continent, has occasionally asked the country’s government for an urgent bailout to avoid going into bankruptcy, and protect the jobs of 3,900 employees. In July 2019, the Kenyan parliament voted to re-nationalize the airline, 23 years after it was privatized.

Small carriers like Air Zimbabwe, a single-plane carrier that’s $300 million in debt, The Associated Press reported. But major airlines are also hurting, including Kenya Airways, Royal Air Maroc and Lome-based regional carrier ASKY Airlines, whose fleet of nine aircraft is still grounded.

In April, the International Air Transport Association warned African airlines could lose $6 billion in revenue this year, along with about 3 million aviation and related jobs continentwide. The African Airlines Association offered an even darker assessment of $8 billion in losses.

Even industry star Ethiopian Airlines is hurting, reporting revenue losses in millions of dollars.

Aviation experts say the 75-year-old Ethiopian Airlines has both the fleet and managerial capacity to help ease the burden of Africa’s struggling airlines.

In the 2017-2018 financial year, Ethiopian owned 111 planes, more than any other airline on the continent, and flew to 106 destinations around the world. It is also one of the few airlines that consistently turn up a profit in Africa.

Ethiopian has invested heavily in modernizing its fleet, which is now the youngest in Africa at 5.4 years as of March 2019. This compares well above the average of 13.5 years, 15 years, and 10.7 years for British Airways, United Airlines and American Airlines, respectively.

(L to R) Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam and U.S. Ambassador Michael Raynor at the signature of a partnership between USAID and Ethiopian Airlines

(L to R) Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam and U.S. Ambassador Michael Raynor at the signature of a partnership between USAID and Ethiopian Airlines

A long way here

Ethiopian has come a long way since commencing operations in 1945 with a weekly service between Addis Ababa and Cairo. Early on the airline recognized that a successful future depended on first developing a far-reaching pan-African route network. With this aim now largely fulfilled, the airline’s focus is shifting. New destinations and increased numbers of flights to Europe, the United States of America, Canada, Asia and the Middle East have been launched, as the airline goes about bringing the world closer to Africa.

Internationally, Ethiopian flies to a number of major cities in Europe including Frankfurt, London, Paris, Rome, Brussels and Stockholm; to Bangkok, Beijing, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Mumbai across Asia; to numerous destinations in the Middle East; to Washington D.C ,Newark and Toronto in North America.

From its hub at Addis Ababa, Ethiopian serves 116 international and 23 domestic destinations.

*Culled from December Issue of PAV Magazine

 

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EIB launches EUR 50 million Africa pharmaceutical manufacturing initiative
December 18, 2020 | 0 Comments
  • Programme to strengthen supply chain and reduce dependency on drug imports
  • Investment to scale-up local production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients
  • Scheme to improve healthcare, create skilled jobs and boost industrial growth

This scheme has been designed with African and global experts and builds on the EIB’s unique global technical experience and financing expertise supporting health and innovation investment.” said Thomas Östros, European Investment Bank Vice President.

This scheme has been designed with African and global experts and builds on the EIB’s unique global technical experience and financing expertise supporting health and innovation investment.” said Thomas Östros, European Investment Bank Vice President.

The European Investment Bank today launched the first ever scheme to strengthen local production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients in Africa and scale up drug manufacturing essential to improve public health.

The EIB’s new EUR 50 million pharmaceutical investment initiative, initiated together with kENUP Foundation, will contribute to reducing dependency on drug imports and address medical supply chain weaknesses linked to COVID-19. The programme will improve availability of specialist drugs and tackle supply chain challenges that currently damage public health across Africa.

Scaling up pharmaceutical investment in Africa will help to protect millions of people from disease and disability and strengthen resilience to ongoing and future pandemics.

“Accelerating high-impact pharmaceutical investment across Africa is crucial to improve public health, address medical supply chain weaknesses and unlock long-term economic development.  The European Investment Bank is pleased to launch the first ever-financing initiative to scale up local production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients in Africa. This scheme has been designed with African and global experts and builds on the EIB’s unique global technical experience and financing expertise supporting health and innovation investment.” said Thomas Östros, European Investment Bank Vice President.

“COVID-19 has highlighted how public health in Africa is vulnerable to global supply chains and dependent on international production. Increasing local specialist manufacturing of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients will help to improve the public health of millions of Africans. This new initiative demonstrates how specialist pharmaceutical and financing expertise can create jobs and a better future for Africa.” said Dr Mariângela Batista Galvão Simão, World Health Organisation Assistant Director- General responsible for Access to Medicines and Health Products.

“Team Europe’s new support to scale up African manufacturing of advanced pharmaceutical ingredients and build on the strengths of existing manufacturing expertise, in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa, will help to protect millions of people from disease and disability. The demand for pharmaceuticals is expected to double in Africa by the end of the next decade. This provides huge business opportunities for African pharmaceutical companies.” said Simon Mordue, European Union Ambassador to Kenya.

The Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients financing initiative was formally launched earlier today with participation of representatives from the European Investment Bank, World Health Organisation, EDCTP, Global Access in Action at Harvard Law School and kENUP Foundation. Kenyan-based non-profit APIFA (API for Africa) contributed their expertise throughout the process of establishing this financing facility and will act as a non-exclusive promotor to the facility.

“In the spirit of leaving no region behind in the pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals, we warmly welcome the launch of the API for Africa initiative. This will add value to future Research & Development with more active involvement of the African region.” said Michael Makanga, Executive Director of the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP).

“This is a timely facility that will transform the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry on the continent and thus enhance access to essential medicines for vulnerable populations. We call on all relevant stakeholders to now work together to support manufacturers in this transformation journey and ensure the long-term viability of this initiative”, says Gerald Macharia, a founding director of APIFA.

Supporting global efforts to strengthen health system reliance

This new initiative is aligned with World Health Organisation goals and the recently announced cooperation between the EIB and WHO to combat COVID-19 and strengthen health system resilience to better face future pandemics.

Specialised pharmaceutical financing responding to exceptional COVID-19 healthcare needs

Long-term financing will be available in USD, EUR and local currency and can cover more than 50% of the total cost of eligible investment, as part of the EIB’s exceptional response to COVID-19. EIB financing can co-finance projects alongside philanthropic, equity, development financing or support from commercial banks.

Tackling medical supply chain weaknesses highlighted by COVID-19

In recent months the global COVID-19 pandemic has stained fragile supply chains and led to acute local shortages of medical and pharmaceutical supplies, including drugs to treat HIV. Increasing local production will reduce dependency on imports and exposure to counterfeit drugs.

Enabling African business to benefit from future pharmaceutical growth

The scheme will enable Africa to benefit from predicted doubling in local pharmaceutical sales over the next decade, improve access to healthcare and create specialist jobs on the continent. Demand for pharmaceutical products in Africa is expected to double to EUR 60 billion by 2020.

Unlocking high-value innovation investment in Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients

The EIB initiative will provide long-term financing for pharmaceutical production across sub-Saharan Africa and specifically target manufacturing of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients that constitute 45% of final drug costs.

The new financing programme will also ensure that African pharmaceutical manufacturing can benefit technological innovation that is transforming the industry and making local production easy through digital connectivity, automation and cloud computing.

Building on the EIB global response to COVID-19

The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and a leading financier of public health and innovation investment.

Since the start of the COVID pandemic the EIB has been working with partners across Europe and around the world to accelerate vaccine development, strengthen public health and help business to invest during the crisis, with more than EUR 27 billion of COVID related investment approved in recent months.

Last year the EIB provided more than EUR 3 billion for public and private investment across Africa.

 

Background information

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

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Merck Foundation partners with Burundi First Lady to build healthcare capacity, empower girls in education and break the infertility stigma
October 22, 2020 | 0 Comments
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation & President, Merck More Than a Mother during her meeting with H.E. Madam ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of Burundi and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation & President, Merck More Than a Mother during her meeting with H.E. Madam ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of Burundi and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother

The First Lady of Burundi was also appointed as the Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother during the meeting.

Merck Foundation , the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany partnered with The First Lady of Burundi, H.E. Madam ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, during a high-level meeting held between Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and Burundi First Lady. During the meeting, Merck Foundation underscored their long-term commitment to continue their efforts to build healthcare capacity, empower girls in education and break the infertility stigma in Burundi. The First Lady of Burundi was also appointed as the Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother during the meeting.

H.E. Madam ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of Burundi and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother expressed, “I am very happy to partner with Merck Foundation and excited to capitalize on their valuable programs in our country. These programs will create a very significant impact on our people’s advancement, as health is very critical to our social and economic development. As the Ambassador of Merck More than a Mother, I will work closely with Merck Foundation to sensitize our communities to better understand infertility and empower women through access to education, information, health and change of mindset and also empower our girls through education”.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “I am very proud of our partnership with Burundi First Lady and welcome her as the Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother and new member of Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative-MFFLI . We have discussed our long-term collaboration and partnership with her Foundation and Ministry of Health & Ministry of Education to build healthcare capacity in Burundi, by providing training to doctors in the fields of Cancer, Fertility, and Diabetes care. With the outbreak of the global pandemic, building healthcare capacity is more significant than ever, and through our long-term partnership we are looking forward to creating a strong medical army in Burundi.

The Burundi First Lady had also attended Merck Foundation’s first Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative (MFFLI) VC Summit held last month, which was attended by a total of 13 African First Ladies and introduced her development programs in Burundi”.

Merck Foundation has conducted their capacity building programs in Burundi for the past three years through their partnership with Burundi government and Former First Lady of Burundi, H.E. MADAM DENISE NKURUNZIZA 

Merck Foundation has provided specialty training to more than 31 doctors from Burundi and will continue doing so for the next 10 years plan.

Merck Foundation made history by providing training to the first oncologist and fertility specialists and embryologists in Burundi.

So far 10 doctors have completed the fertility and embryology training, and together with Burundi First Lady, more doctors will be trained to improve access to quality and equitable fertility care in the country.

Merck Foundation has also trained the first Oncologist in Burundi and will continue enrolling doctors for oncology fellowship program as a contribution to improve cancer care in the country.

Moreover, Merck Foundation has provided Diabetes care training to twenty doctors and is going to train more doctors, one from each province. After completion of the training, these doctors should be able to establish a diabetes clinic in his/her Health Centre or Hospital with the aim to help prevent and manage the disease in their respective communities.  

“We will continue our new important Program “Educating Linda”, in partnership with the First Lady of Burundi together with the Ministry of Education. Under this program, we have sponsored 20 girls in 2019 and will sponsor the education of 20 best performing girls in their secondary schools this year and fir the next 10 years. We strongly believe that Education is one of the most critical areas of women empowerment”, added Dr. Rasha Kelej, One of 100 Most Influential Africans (2019, 2020).

Merck Foundation also announced a winner from Burundi for their “Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards from French speaking African Countries.

About ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign:
“Merck More Than a Mother” is a strong movement that aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and change of mind-sets. This powerful campaign supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe, effective and equitable fertility care solutions. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention, management and male infertility. In partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information, Education & Gender, academia, policymakers, International fertility societies, media and art, the initiative also provides training for fertility specialists and embryologists to build and advance fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries.

With “Merck More Than a Mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility at all levels: By improving awareness, training local experts in the fields of fertility care and media, building advocacy in cooperation with African First Ladies and women leaders and by supporting childless women in starting their own small businesses. It’s all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to live a fulfilling life, with or without a child.

The Ambassadors of “Merck More Than a Mother” are:
H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana
H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia
H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia
H.E. ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE,

The First Lady of Burundi
H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana
H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU, The First Lady of Niger
H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic
H.E. CONDÉ DJENE, The First Lady of Guinea Conakry
H.E. AISHA BUHARI, The First Lady of Nigeria
H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad
H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia
H.E FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone
H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo Brazzaville
H.E. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi
H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia
H.E. DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, THE First Lady of Democratic Republic of Congo
H.E. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique
H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe
 
Merck Foundation launched new innovative initiatives to sensitize local communities about infertility prevention, male infertility with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and empowering infertile women as part of Merck More than a Mother COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN, such as;
‘Merck More than a Mother’ Media Recognition Awards and Health Media Training
‘Merck More than a Mother’ Fashion Awards
‘Merck More than a Mother’ Film Awards
Local songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change it
Children storybook, localized for each country
About Merck Foundation:
The Merck Foundation , established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation

*SOURCE Merck Foundation
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DFC Backs $1.55 Million for Tulu Moye Power Project in Ethiopia
October 15, 2020 | 0 Comments

First use of agency’s technical development program speeds critical project

Adam Boehler, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) Chief Executive Officer, with Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde.Photo credit AllAfrica/Twitter

WASHINGTON – U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has committed $1.55 million in technical development for the Tulu Moye Geothermal Power Plant Project in Ethiopia. DFC’s grant will enable project development and accelerate the schedule to design the 50-megawatt geothermal power plant. When completed, the project will be the country’s first Independent Power Project and one of the largest geothermal power plants in Ethiopia, a country with substantial untapped geothermal resources that can provide significant baseload power.

“DFC will help to shape the design of the project by utilizing one of our new development tools: technical assistance,” said DFC Chief Executive Officer Adam Boehler. “This project will help Ethiopia to tap a critical resource for its economic growth.”

Ethiopian company TM Geothermal Operations PLC (TMGO) is developing the Tulu Moye project, which is approximately 100 kilometers southeast of Addis Ababa. DFC’s technical development would provide funding for up to $1.55 million for project development. After development is completed, DFC would evaluate additional financing for implementation. If TMGO receives implementation financing from DFC or any other financier, TMGO will pay back the full amount of the technical development funding.

DFC’s technical development builds upon long-term U.S. Government support for the Ethiopian power sector, including by Power Africa, the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

The Tulu Moye project is one of the first instances of DFC using its new technical development tool provided in the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act of 2018. DFC grants for technical development, including feasibility studies and technical assistance, are designed to support potential and existing DFC financing and insurance investments and increase the impact of those investments.

U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is America’s development bank. DFC partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. We invest across sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology. DFC also provides financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs in order to create jobs in emerging markets. DFC investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights.

*DFC

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Sustained Efforts Needed To Boast Brazil-Africa Relations -Prof Joao Monte
October 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

 Under Prof Monte the IBRAF has been a vital link between Brazil and Africa
Under Prof Monte the IBRAF has been a vital link between Brazil and Africa

Sustained efforts are needed to maximize the enormous potentials of stronger ties between Brazil and says Prof João Bosco Monte ,President of the Brazil African Institute- IBRAF.  Speaking in a skype  interview to discuss the upcoming Brazil-Africa forum, of the flagship programmes of the IBRAF, Prof Monte says the similarity between the South American country and Africa are too many with ample opportunities for win-win cooperation.

 PAV: Dr Monte good morning and thanks for talking to Pan African Visions

Professor Joao Monte: It is a pleasure to talk with you, my friend.

PAV: Let’s start with an introduction of the Brazil-Africa Institute that you lead. Can you give an introduction of that Institute for us?

Professor Joao Monte: When I founded the institute 10-years-ago the idea was to give Brazilians to see what kind of synergies and activities that both sides could do together. I see a link between the two regions, Brazil and the African continent, not only because of the history; geography but because I see a potential similarity between both places. When I saw the possibility to interact, I understood that we could do things together and came to the idea to have the institute.

This is the idea we had for the institute ten years ago, and now it is found in many states in Brazil. Two-years-ago we opened one office in Accra, Ghana. We are thinking to have one more antenna of the institute, and we are trying to understand when and where it will be. The idea was to do it this year, but because of the situation of the pandemic, we had to change it for next year.

PAV: One of your flagship programmes is the Brazil-Africa forum, and the 2020 edition is scheduled for November 3-4, how prepared is the institute to host this event this year.

Professor Joao Monte: The forum is one of the tools we have to engage, to put together Brazilians and Africans. In the last seven editions of the forum we discussed many things, topics, brought so many high-level authorities from Brazil and Africa. More and, more, we are engaging with people from outside Brazil and Africa. The idea is to promote the forum and have leaders from many parts of the world to present their ideas, and have their voices heard. This year we are going to celebrate the tenth year of the institute and, in the beginning, we wanted to have the forum with a physical presence, so, people come into Brazil. But because of the pandemic, we needed to change, and it will be 100 % virtual.

The event won’t be a webinar; it is a well-prepared event. We have participants from Africa, Brazil and other regions, and the topic we are going to talk about will be “How the world will behave after the pandemic” because we are now facing an important moment, but, we need to understand how the world will act after the pandemic is important. Brazil and Africa should be together again, and we are going to discuss opportunities for Brazil and Africa during the forum this year.

PAV: Looking back ten years is quite some time. If you were, to sum up, the achievements you have recorded, what progress have you seen in the ten years you have been doing this?  

The Youth Technical Training Program is one of the IBRAF programmes working well to cement cooperation ties between Brazil and Africa
The Youth Technical Training Program is one of the IBRAF programmes working well to cement cooperation ties between Brazil and Africa

Professor Joao Monte: Just to clarify that the institute has ten-years already, but the forum has eight-years – we are now coming to the eighth edition of the forum. It is not easy to summarize in a short time what we have done in eight years of the event. I remember in 2016 I put together two Ministers the Minister of Agriculture of Brazil and the Minister of Agriculture of Nigeria to discuss opportunity possibilities that this initiative that we engage at the Brazil-Africa forum at that time could have. Our mandate is to be a catalyser, a facilitator, and I think that is what is there to promote the meeting between both sides of Brazil and Africa. We brought personalities to the event that brought ideas, which was the beginning of something as we had a Brazilian company that is now doing projects in Rwanda, Kenya and Ghana. They came to the forum, used the platform to engage with partners and then we now see positive results.

PAV: And for the 2020 forum may we know some of the highlights and personalities that will be answering present?

Professor Joao Monte: The forum this year like I said is on how the world will behave after the pandemic, and we have already confirmed some important participations. We have Jennifer Blanke, former Vice-President at AfDB, Michael Kremer, 2019 Nobel Prize Economist, Dr Denis Mukwege, 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and others. We are bringing something else which is the launch of the initiative relating to business and investment between Brazil and Africa that is something for us in the coming years.

PAV: With regards to the theme for this year that is: “what next after the pandemic”, in what areas do you cooperation between Brazil and Africa in meeting the next challenges?

Professor Joao Monte: We are going to bring the President of Fiocruz – a Brazilian government company relating to the production of vaccines. They will produce the next year millions of vaccines for Brazilians and also for the African context.

Health is one of the areas I am very sure we can contribute to using the platform of the forum but also Agriculture. As I said, we are going to have the commission on Agriculture from AU. We are going to have the foreign Minister of Agriculture from Brazil during Lula’s time. So, agriculture is again another possibility of discussion.

Infrastructure is something very unique. We had a few companies from Brazil which have built roads, airports, ports and other infrastructure activities and, they will be again in the forum.  I am sure this will be a contribution we can bring to the movement in engaging the two regions. In the area of education, we are going to have experts to discuss what they are doing, and this can be an opportunity for interacting in this area.

PAV: May we know how the current President of Brazil is doing to forging stronger bonds between Africa and any comparison with his predecessors in this regard?

Professor Joao Monte: Last year we brought to the event the Vice- President of Brazil. He opened the Brazil-Africa forum in 2019.  It was good to hear from him that he was planning to come to Africa – he was planning to visit Africa this year in March but because of the pandemic and the borders we closed He could not travel – what I am saying is that when he mentioned that Africa could be a part of the Brazilian agenda I understand that this is something special, but we should not compare what we had during President Lula’s mandate and what we have now.

The current President did not point Africa as President Lula did in the past but now, we can still harness what President Lula said in 2003. He said:  “Africa will be a priority for this government”, and it was a reality as he travelled to Africa many times with his Ministers. The current President of Brazil did not say anything about having Africa as a priority but, from the voice of the Vice-President, we can have an important message that Africa was not erased from the core of the government. I am not a government official, so, I cannot talk on behalf of the government but, looking from outside I see that the voice of the Vice President was good to announce that we can still do things together.

I have spoken to private sector key personalities, and they say Africa is on their radar and they want to do things with Africa. But we need to put more people together to engage more and more, and this is good for the Brazil-Africa Institute because we have the best connections to put things together, Brazilians and Africans.

Not even the challenges of COVID 19 could stop Prof Monte and the IBRAF from holding the Brazil Africa Forum, now in its eight year
Not even the challenges of COVID 19 could stop Prof Monte and the IBRAF from holding the Brazil Africa Forum, now in its eight year

PAV: During the recent crisis at the AfDB you spoke out forcefully in support of Dr (Akinwumi) Adesina, and he was re-elected for another four-year mandate. Firstly, are you happy with his re-election and secondly in what areas do you see prospects to engage with the AfDB in meeting some of the objectives of the Brazil-Africa Institute?

Professor Joao Monte: I am happy with the re-election, and I understand what he did for his first term but, he will need more time to continue to give more visibility and bring more results for what he planned to do. I supported him because I understand his voice is important for the Africa context and he brings to the table the idea that Africa needs to change not only to receive things from outside but that Africa should engage and work together with partners –  something which is very important for the continent and the people. The agenda of the bank is very wide; the reduction and elimination of poverty are important to mention but I think there is one direction which he is doing which is related to Agriculture. Because of his background as the former Minister of Agriculture for Nigeria he knows what he is saying when he is talking about Agriculture.

Specifically, from the Brazilian context agriculture is one of the main assets that we have in this discussion. If you look back at Brazil four years ago, you will see maybe the same situation that is in other parts of Africa. We used to import foods, crops but now Brazil is one of the biggest exporters of food and commodities in the world (maize, corn, soybeans, sugar and others). We have so many possibilities of producing in Africa what we are producing in Brazil and the AfDB plays an important role.

From outside I think the bank can work more with Brazil in terms of attracting Brazilian voices, entrepreneurs, businesspeople to Africa. One thing I would like to mention is if we do not take the opportunity to invite people to come, and see what we have in front of us people will not see the potentials. The bank is playing an important role, but I think the conversation should be more precise, and the initiative of the bank with Brazil should be more aggressive and precise. I hope that in his second term he could put more attention to the Brazilian context.

PAV: In the build-up to the forum coming up in November, news came up indicating that you had been appointed as a champion of the UN Food Summit by the UN Special envoy for Food System Summit. What does this appointment mean for you and what do you think you can bring to the table? 

Professor Joao Monte: I am very honoured to be appointed as a champion of the Food System Summit for 2021. We need to give people the food that they need. I just mentioned that Brazil is producing more food than before which is very important, but we need to see how we can again work together. Being appointed as a champion of the Food System is the opportunity to raise our voice amongst others to bring benefit to the people, especially poor people in Africa and Brazil. With the experience we can bring from Brazil, I think we can help put some realities in the African context. We just started this discussion, but I am very excited to see the results of the engagements of the group of champions including myself.

PAV: We would like to round up with what you plan to do next after the Brazil-Africa forum, what other initiatives will you be working on, and what perspectives do you see for the future of  Brazil-Africa relations? 

Professor Joao Monte: The Brazil-Africa Institute has many activities besides the Brazil-Africa forum which is important for us.  Of course, this year has been a difficult year for everybody as we had to reinvent ourselves – we could not travel and meet people and so it was not easy to do everything we planned last year for this year. One of the activities we have going is the fellowship programme, we bring researchers from Africa to stay in Brazil for up to two months under my supervision to do research, bringing to the world some experience that Brazil is doing well in the South-South Cooperation platform. We can have health, education science, innovation, agriculture and so this is something we are still doing, and we launched a call last month and is still running until 12 of October, and they will arrive in February/March next year.

Also, we have “YTTP” which is Youth Technical Training Programme, where we bring young Africans to receive technical training, very sharp and direct training in areas that Brazil again is doing well, succeeding and when they go back home, they are easy to deploy with the knowledge they have received in Brazil. These youths stay in Brazil for up to two weeks – we started this programme in 2017 and, this year we had to reschedule, and the first group was supposed to arrive in April but had to be rescheduled for February. We are in the process of selecting people, and something new we learnt from this moment is the use of technology. We have launched a programme called Online Platform Learning, and we will be starting next year. We are finalizing the preparation of this programme.

What is going to be the future between Brazil and Africa? It is not easy to say that the relations will be strong or diminish.  But understand what we are doing, your job and my job, it is to keep talking, thinking and dreaming as without dreaming we cannot go far. The situation is not easy – it is difficult. If I looked back ten years ago, it was impossible to achieve the things we have now. We need to leave the message to the people that it is possible to engage Brazil and Africa, and we should be together. We cannot do things alone; we should be together to go far. I am very optimist and realistic as well for what is going to happen tomorrow, but I am very sure that if we stay quiet, and calm, too many things will not happen. That is why we should act precisely with strategy.

PAV: Professor Monte thanks so much for talking to Pan African Visions and keep the doors open when we come again next time.

Professor Joao Monte: Thank you very much for your time, and I look forward to engaging more and more with you. Thanks again.  

*Culled from October Issue of PAV Magazine

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GE and Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) Successfully Restore up to 360MW in Nigeria Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic
September 29, 2020 | 0 Comments
“PSP31318-10, 9E 3-series Gas Turbine, Compressor, IGV in casing – fully open, People, Belfort, France, Europe, DI-3200×4900, PRA”
With compressive safety measures due to COVID-19 in place, GE and NDPHC quickly ensured both employee safety and on-time project execution.

GE safely completed service interventions on three GE 9E gas turbines at the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) power plants in Calabar and Sapele, Nigeria; With compressive safety measures due to COVID-19 in place, GE and NDPHC quickly ensured both employee safety and on-time project execution; Outages were executed on time and the restored power will enable NDPHC to provide the equivalent electricity needed to power up to 2 million Nigerian homes.

GE (NYSE: GE) today announced the successful rehabilitation of three 9E.03 gas turbines, at three Niger Delta Power Holding Company’s (NDPHC) Power Plants in Calabar and Sapele, Nigeria. These operations reduced the risk of unplanned downtime of its power generation equipment, enabling the plants to reliably secure and restore the supply of up to 360 megawatts (MW) of electricity to the national grid, the equivalent electricity needed to power approximately two million Nigerian homes. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, GE and NDPHC worked together to swiftly implement safety procedures to ensure a safe and on-time execution.

“Being Nigeria’s largest electricity generating company, with a total installed capacity of 4.0 gigawatts (GW), representing about 35% of Nigeria’s generating capacity, we are committed to strengthening Nigeria’s power sector, despite the unexpected logistical challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Chiedu Ugbo, Managing Director, NDPHC. “GE’s efficiency to mobilize local teams on-site with the required technical skills and expertise, as well as GE’s global supply chain scale was crucial to ensure the timely and safe completion of the outages at the sites and help us achieve our goal.”

The outages involved stage three bucket changeouts on three 9E gas turbines as well as additional combustion inspections. Engineers from GE and FieldCore, the field services execution company owned by GE, worked together and in close collaboration with NDPHC  to implement additional safety measures and reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19, including frequent disinfections at the site, physical distancing, standard passive and active temperature screenings for personnel, and the use of personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves.

“We are committed to supporting power plant operators like NDPHC to be able to provide reliable power with exceptional support and services from GE throughout these uncertain times, while ensuring and maintaining the health and safety of our employees and suppliers.” said Elisee Sezan, CEO for GE’s Gas Power business in Sub-Saharan Africa. “The successful rehabilitation of the power generations assets at Calabar and Sapele plants will help increase the 9E gas turbines’ efficiency, while lowering emissions and providing essential power for industrialization, healthcare facilities, homes, schools and businesses.”

This year, GE’s 9E gas turbine fleet celebrates 40 years of operations globally. The 9E is a robust, proven platform that delivers high availability, reliability, and durability while lowering the overall cost-per-kilowatt. It has a large installed base of over 650 units in the world located primarily in Asia, China, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

GE has been collaborating with energy stakeholders to deploy innovative technologies tailored to respond to the needs in the region since the 1950s with reliable baseload and flexible emergency power. In 2018, the company celebrated its 100th power plant in Sub-Saharan Africa and today, up to 17 GW of gas power generation on the grid runs on GE gas turbines. GE delivers across the entire energy ecosystem from generation to transmission and distribution and throughout Nigeria, GE-built technologies are supported by local service and maintenance teams from the company to ensure access to reliable and sustainable energy.

GE Gas Power is a world leader in natural gas power technology, services and solutions. Through relentless innovation and continuous partnership with our customers, we are providing more advanced, cleaner and efficient power that people depend on today and building the energy technologies of the future. With the world’s largest installed base of gas turbines and more than 600 million operating hours across GE’s installed fleet, we offer advanced technology and a level of experience that’s unmatched in the industry to build, operate and maintain leading gas power plants

*SOURCE GE
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EU provides over USD 16.5 million for the most vulnerable in Zimbabwe
July 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Janez Lenarčič, EU Commissioner for Crisis Management

The European Union has further increased its support towards the most vulnerable in Zimbabwe by providing an additional EUR 14.2 million (approximately USD 16.63 million) to help support people in need dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, extreme weather conditions – such as persistent drought in the region – and other crises.

 Janez Lenarčič, EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, said: “The EU is helping to provide life-saving assistance to impoverished households suffering from crop and livestock losses due to drought. The aid package will also strengthen the preparation and response to the coronavirus pandemic for countries in the region. In parallel, the EU is helping communities better prepare for natural hazards and reduce their impact.”

The additional support to Zimbabwe is part of a €64.7 million (approximately USD 75.78 million) package that the European Union’s Department for Humanitarian Aid provides for countries in the southern Africa region.

 Other countries that benefit are Angola (€3 million), Botswana (€1.95 million), Comoros (€500,000), Eswatini (€2.4 million), Lesotho (€4.8 million), Madagascar (€7.3 million), Malawi (€7.1 million), Mauritius (€250,000), Mozambique (€14.6 million), Namibia (€2 million) and Zambia (€5 million) A further €1.6 million is allocated to regional disaster preparedness actions.

  The funding will target food assistance to vulnerable households and helping farmers in the affected areas restore their means of subsistence, coronavirus prevention and preparedness actions to support local health systems and facilitate access to health care, protective equipment, sanitation and hygiene, disaster preparedness projects that also cover new needs brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

 They include strengthening early warning systems and evacuation plans for communities at risk of natural hazards, and having emergency stocks of personal protective equipment, support for children’s education and providing training to teaching staff. The humanitarian aid funding announced this week comes on top of the more than €67 million allocated to the region in 2019 by the European Union’s Department for Humanitarian Aid following the impact of the two cyclones, drought, and the economic and humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe.

 The southern Africa region has had just one normal rainy season in the last five years, with the last quarter of 2019 being one of the ten driest since 1981 for most areas, causing large-scale livestock losses and damaging harvests. In many places, the current growing season is exceptionally hot and dry, while in several other parts of the region, erratic rains risk undermining harvests in 2020. In some countries, this burden comes on top of already-crippling economic woes. The corona virus pandemic is likely to compound already significant humanitarian needs in the region.

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Germany-Africa Business Forum (GABF) to Host a Webinar on Making Deals Post Covid-19
July 22, 2020 | 0 Comments
The event will be exploring the deals that are set to shape up the post-Covid-19 German-African economic and business relations.

While Covid-19 has hit world markets very hard, African economies are showing more resilience than others. Out of the 37 countries escaping recession this year, 22 are Africans according to the IMF’s latest forecasts. Post Covid-19, Africa will remain the fastest growing region in the world, and one where a new world also means new deals. German companies have increasingly made successful business in Africa over the recent past, and opportunities for German businesses and public sector companies will only grow as Africa builds sustainability and cleaner energy mixes in a post Covid-19 world.

To explore the opportunities offered to German companies in a post Covid-19 Africa, the Germany-Africa Business Forum (GABF) will be organizing an exclusive webinar in cooperation with Africa Oil & Power on Aug. 6, 2020 at 4 p.m. South Africa Standard Time. The event will be exploring the deals that are set to shape up the post-Covid-19 German-African economic and business relations. Key confirmed participants include, among others, NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber and CEO of the Centurion Law Group; Sebastian Wagner, Co-Founder of the GABF and Executive Director at DMWA Resources; and Tim Gengnagel, Deal Accelerator at Rwanda Development Boar.

“Covid-19 has shown us how quickly the world can be brought to a standstill and how fragile the current global economy is. In such times of crisis, it is especially important to show solidarity and fight the virus together,” said Sebastian Wagner, Co-Founder of the GABF. “Nevertheless, the crisis should not be seen in a purely negative light. Instead, we should use the time of deceleration to reflect on the mistakes of the past and thus build the foundations for a more stable network between Germany and Africa,” he added.

The webinar will put a specific focus on digitalization and energy transition, two major pillars on which the economic and investment cooperation between Germany and Africa is expected to grow in the future.

Register for the webinar here

Date & Time: Aug. 6, 2020 at 4 p.m. South Africa Standard Time
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Germany-Africa Business Forum (GABF).
About the Germany Africa Business Forum:
The Germany Africa Business Forum (GABF) is a private think tank whose goal is to strengthen investment ties between Germany and Africa. As a “private for privates”, the GABF encourages German investors to consider the African continent as a profitable and important investment destination.

*SOURCE Germany-Africa Business Forum (GABF)
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Japan donates over $600,000 to combat terrorism in Mozambique
July 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Jorge dos Santos

The government of Japan will disburse $643,000 to combat terrorism through development projects aimed at promoting peace among vulnerable groups directly affected by armed attacks in Cabo Delgado province, extreme north of Mozambique.

With the project, the Japanese government hopes to promote peace mechanisms, social cohesion and conflict prevention by strengthening institutional capacity, awareness, community involvement and livelihoods in Cabo Delgado.

“Poverty and marginalisation are some of the risk factors that may increase instability in the province. Therefore, our government has decided to support mainly displaced population groups and communities with existing tensions due to violent conflicts,” said the Japanese Ambassador in Mozambique, Kimura Hajime.

He noted that the initiative will improve awareness of violence prevention and livelihood capacity in Cabo Delgado, saying “through this project we will support about 3,200 families, about 16,000 people”.

The implementation of the project will be coordinated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the Ministry of Interior; the Police of the Republic of Mozambique (PRM); and the Ministry of State Administration and Public Service (MAEFP).

The UNDP Representative in Mozambique, Francisco Roquette, said that the project should help young people and women, having as main focus three pillars namely resilience, socio-economic integration and social cohesion.

“We want to empower and promote opportunities above all for young people and women who, despite being the most vulnerable to conflict, have the greatest potential to promote significant and lasting impact changes in Cabo Delgado province,” he said.

The permanent secretary of the Interior Ministry, Zefanias Muhate, acknowledged that Cabo Delgado has been the scene of terrorist actions that undermine the country’s development. He expressed his appreciation for the initiative saying it adds value to the government’s peacekeeping efforts in the province.

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Malawi’s New President Pledges Support To Mozambique In Fight Against Terrorist Attacks
July 8, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Jorge dos Santos

Malawi’s new President, Lazarus Chakwera, condemned the armed attacks in Northern Mozambique

Malawi’s new President, Lazarus Chakwera has condemned the armed attacks in northern Mozambique and expressed his willingness to help bring peace to the country, according to a statement from the Mozambican Presidency.

Lazarus Chakwera repudiated the violence in the north, during a telephone conversation with his Mozambican counterpart, Filipe Nyusi, indicated the note published on Monday night.

The two heads of state expressed their desire to focus attention on cooperation in defence and security with a view to combating armed violence in Cabo Delgado province, which has already caused the deaths of over 1,000 people.

On 27 June five terrorists killed eight people in an ambush against a vehicle of the company Fenix Construction Services that is working in Palma district where the complex to liquefy natural gas in being built on the Afungi Peninsula.

According to a press release from the company, the ambush took place about four kilometres north of the town of Mocimboa da Praia. Of the 14 people on board the vehicle, eight lost their lives, three managed to escape unharmed, and three are missing.

The survivors said that the attackers wore military uniforms similar to those of the Mozambican armed forces. They blocked the vehicle and then opened fire, killing the driver instantly. As the vehicle came to a halt, the three known survivors managed to scramble out and fled into the bush.

One of them walked through the bush to the village of Quelimane, where he spent the night. The following day he got a lift from a motorbike and returned to Palma on 28 June.

The other two survivors remained hidden in the bush for several more days. One returned to Palma on 1 July, and the other on 2 July.

A private security company hired by Fenix recovered the bodies of the eight murdered men, who were buried in Palma on 3 July.

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New Agreements to Expand Access to 20 Lifesaving Cancer Medicines for Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia
June 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

Cancer Access Partnership is expected to result in a 59 percent savings on procured cancer medicines

This collaboration has the potential to drastically impact access to care and save countless lives, says William G. Cance, MD FACS, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, American Cancer Society
This collaboration has the potential to drastically impact access to care and save countless lives, says William G. Cance, MD FACS, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) today announced agreements with pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, Novartis, and Mylan to expand access to 20 lifesaving cancer treatments in 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Purchasers are expected to save an average of 59 percent for medicines procured through the agreements.

“With the rapidly growing burden of cancer in Africa, it is crucial that we improve and expand access to high-quality, affordable treatment. These agreements build on those announced in 2017 that have already delivered substantial savings and increased treatment availability in several countries, including Nigeria. By targeting the treatment needed for the cancers that cause the most deaths, these new agreements will help us to improve on quality of lives and close the mortality gap for Africans with cancer,” said Professor Isaac Adewole, co-chair, African Cancer Coalition and former Health Minister of Nigeria.

Medications included in the agreements cover recommended regimens for 27 types of cancer and enable complete chemotherapy regimens for the three cancers that cause the most deaths in Africa—breast, cervical, and prostate. These cancers are highly treatable and account for 38 percent of cancers in the countries covered in the agreements. The new agreements include both chemotherapies and endocrine therapies aligned to evidence-based guidelines harmonized for sub-Saharan Africa, and expand access to additional formulations, including those essential for treating childhood cancer.

“With cancer cases increasing at such a rapid rate in sub-Saharan Africa, access to affordable cancer treatment that meets the quality standards set by a stringent regulatory authority is imperative,” said William G. Cance, MD FACS, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, American Cancer Society. “This collaboration has the potential to drastically impact access to care and save countless lives.”

Sub-Saharan Africa’s cancer burden is significant and growing. In 2018, there were an estimated 811,000 new cases of cancer and 534,000 deaths from cancer in the region. Cancer patients in sub-Saharan Africa are twice as likely to die as those in the United States, often due to late diagnosis and lack of access to treatment. Based on population aging alone, annual cancer deaths in sub-Saharan Africa are projected to almost double by 2030. The new agreements reach 23 countries in Africa, covering 74 percent of the annual cancer cases.

The collaboration is a significant step in delivering high-quality cancer treatment to more patients, bringing us closer to equitable cancer treatment for all people says, Dr. Iain Barton, Chief Executive Officer of CHAI
The collaboration is a significant step in delivering high-quality cancer treatment to more patients, bringing us closer to equitable cancer treatment for all people says, Dr. Iain Barton, Chief Executive Officer of CHAI

The new initiative includes Pfizer, Novartis, and Mylan, and will expand access to the priority medications and formulations in the agreements to additional countries. All of the medications included in the agreements meet the quality standards set by a stringent regulatory authority such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the European Medicines Agency (EMA). These medicines will be available for purchase at newly and independently negotiated prices in the designated countries, and the companies have committed to monitoring the impact of their respective agreements with CHAI.

This new Cancer Access Partnership is an initiative of Allied Against Cancer and an expansion of the Chemotherapy Access Partnership. ACS and CHAI began working together in 2015 to improve care and treatment of cancer in sub-Saharan Africa, working with governments and cancer treatment institutions to address market inefficiencies, improve supply chains, and increase procurement to ensure quality medications were available at affordable prices. This collaboration has shown that access to high-quality cancer treatments can be expanded in a sustainable way.

Dr. Iain Barton, Chief Executive Officer of CHAI stated, “While we have made strides in increasing access to lifesaving cancer treatments in sub-Saharan Africa over the last several years, there is much more work to be done. This collaboration is a significant step in delivering high-quality cancer treatment to more patients, bringing us closer to equitable cancer treatment for all people.”

In 2017, Allied Against Cancer members ACS and CHAI announced agreements with Pfizer and Cipla to expand access to 16 essential cancer treatment medications in six countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The market access agreements secured competitive prices, allowing these governments to realize substantial savings and improve the quality and quantity of treatment available. As a result of the agreements, several African governments and hospitals increased their commitment to procuring necessary cancer medicines by using the cost savings to increase the volumes of medicines procured, setting up innovative systems to supply high-quality cancer medications, and increasing budgets for cancer care and treatment. Countries that accessed products through the agreements saved an average of 56 percent. As a result, patients have new levels of access to quality chemotherapies in nearly all of the countries included in the original agreements. Three new countries were added in November 2019.

Since entering into partnership with CHAI and ACS in 2017, we have seen the positive impact that sustainable access to quality, affordable cancer medicines can have on patients in vulnerable communities in Africa, says Rhulani Nhlaniki, Pfizer Cluster Lead for sub-Saharan Africa and Country Manager, South Africa
Since entering into partnership with CHAI and ACS in 2017, we have seen the positive impact that sustainable access to quality, affordable cancer medicines can have on patients in vulnerable communities in Africa, says Rhulani Nhlaniki, Pfizer Cluster Lead for sub-Saharan Africa and Country Manager, South Africa

“Since entering into partnership with CHAI and ACS in 2017, we have seen the positive impact that sustainable access to quality, affordable cancer medicines can have on patients in vulnerable communities in Africa,” said Rhulani Nhlaniki, Pfizer Cluster Lead for sub-Saharan Africa and Country Manager, South Africa. “We remain committed to this model that helps to reduce the overwhelming burden on patients and healthcare systems, and we are pleased to be able to expand our chemotherapy offerings under the program to better serve the needs of patients.”

“Novartis is reimagining medicine and access to healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa with the patient at the center of everything we do,” said Racey Muchilwa, Head of Novartis sub-Saharan Africa. “This agreement is an important step to provide lifesaving medicines to more cancer patients across Africa. Having personally seen the growing toll cancer takes on the patients and many affected families in Africa, I am very excited about this collaboration of multiple stakeholders to dramatically improve access to cancer medicines in many countries.”

Novartis is reimagining medicine and access to healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa with the patient at the center of everything we do, says  Racey Muchilwa, Head of Novartis sub-Saharan Africa
Novartis is reimagining medicine and access to healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa with the patient at the center of everything we do, says Racey Muchilwa, Head of Novartis sub-Saharan Africa

“Mylan is proud to join CHAI, ACS and this important group of industry stakeholders to help expand access to critical medicines for oncology patients. Mylan has a long-standing commitment to support those impacted by non-communicable diseases, including cancer, which significantly impact low- and middle-income countries. We look forward to continuing to do our part by expanding access to treatment through initiatives like the Cancer Access Partnership and working with all involved in the healthcare system to help serve the community,” said Rakesh Bamzai, President, India and Emerging Markets, Mylan.

The market access agreements are part of a broader effort to improve access to quality cancer care in Africa. In 2019, ACS, CHAI, the African Cancer Coalition, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), and IBM joined to form Allied Against Cancer. This coalition is leveraging the strengths of each organization to connect with and empower the African oncology community to deliver high-quality cancer care and is working to pursue additional market-based collaborations to increase access to cancer medicines in the region.

NCCN, ACS, and CHAI are also working with the African Cancer Coalition, which comprises 110 leading oncologists from 13 African countries, to adapt the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) to create the NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™ for Sub-Saharan Africa. These NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™ for Sub-Saharan Africa outline pragmatic approaches that provide effective treatment options to improve the quality of care in resource-constrained settings and are available free of charge to health care providers on www.nccn.org/harmonized. IBM and ACS also developed ChemoSafe, a suite of training resources for regional healthcare personnel to guide the safe transportation, storage, administration and disposal of hazardous drugs.

The countries included in the agreements are: Botswana, Cameroon, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, in Africa; and Vietnam, India, and Myanmar in Asia. Oncologists, government officials, and nonprofit organizations in many of these countries contributed to these agreements by sharing information and feedback to the CHAI team.

You can learn more about the Chemotherapy Access Partnership and see medicines available by country here: www.alliedagainstcancer.org/access-partnership

About the Team

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 1.5 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives, and leading the fight for a world without cancer. From breakthrough research, to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to treatment, and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the Society is the only organization attacking cancer from every angle. The Society also works in low- and middle-income countries to expand access to high-quality chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and pain relief, as well as getting patients diagnosed and into treatment earlier. For more information go to www.cancer.org. ACS does not endorse any product or service nor any particular brand of cancer drugs. ACS is not a provider of medical services and is not responsible for any drugs, screening, diagnosis, or medical treatment.

The Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI) is a global health organization committed to saving lives and reducing the burden of disease in low-and middle-income countries. We work with our partners to strengthen the capabilities of governments and the private sector to create and sustain high-quality health systems that can succeed without our assistance. Learn more at: clintonhealthaccess.org.         

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at www.Pfizer.com. In addition, to learn more, please visit us on www.pfizer.com and follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer and @Pfizer News, LinkedIn, YouTube and like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Pfizer.

Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 109,000 people of more than 145 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at
https://www.novartis.com.

Mylan is a global pharmaceutical company committed to setting new standards in healthcare. Working together around the world to provide 7 billion people access to high-quality medicine, we innovate to satisfy unmet needs; make reliability and service excellence a habit; do what’s right, not what’s easy; and impact the future through passionate global leadership. We offer a portfolio of more than 7,500 marketed products around the world, including antiretroviral therapies on which approximately 40% of people being treated for HIV/AIDS globally depend. We market our products in more than 165 countries and territories. We are one of the world’s largest producers of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Every member of our approximately 35,000-strong workforce is dedicated to creating better health for a better world, one person at a time. Learn more at Mylan.com. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at investor.mylan.com.

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International community shows strong support for Sudan with $1.8 billion pledge
June 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

Over $1.8 billion dollars in pledges for Sudan poured in during a high-level Sudan Partnership Conference held on Thursday, 25 June 2020, marking an important step in the African nation’s re-engagement with the international community.

African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina, and the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund chiefs attended the Conference, which was co-hosted by the Republic of the Sudan, the Federal Republic of Germany, the European Union and the United Nations, and held virtually in Berlin. Other participants included delegations from 50 countries and international organisations.

“This Conference signals the strong and full return of Sudan to the international community, “ said Abdalla Hamdok, Prime Minister of the Republic of the Sudan, as he outlined the progress of the nation from war, conflicts, economic collapse and isolation, to relinking with the rest of the world. Hamdok said the meeting was convened for an open exchange of views to support “a comprehensive home-grown policy reform agenda.”

In turn, governments and delegations expressed their support for the Transitional Government headed by Prime Minister Hamdok, pledging unprecedented support to help Sudan achieve its goals for a free, peaceful, just, inclusive and prosperous nation, and to mitigate the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Conference acknowledged the urgent need to support Sudan in addressing its acute economic crisis, which has been exacerbated by the additional challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many participants also called for debt relief for the country.

 “The level of participation is unprecedented. This is a tide of support and solidarity we are hoping for,” Hamdok said. “Thank you so much, thank you friends.”

H.E. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations said the world needed to “mobilise massive financial support for Sudan. The world needs a stable Sudan, a democratic Sudan…I’d like to see all nations united in support for Sudan,” Gutteres said.

The Transitional Government of Sudan has prioritized economic reforms and the recovery of assets stolen by its previous leaders, both domestically and internationally. It has made reviving productive sectors of the economy, job creation and inclusive and sustainable peace, the cornerstones of its reform process.

Opening the conference, Heiko Maas, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany said it was “a responsibility to stand by the people of Sudan and their revolution. “You have done a remarkable job of leading the country through the transition so far. I offer you Germany’s full support.”

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, spoke with similar sentiment, describing Sudan as a light of hope in Africa.

“The EU stands ready to assist Sudan. It is an investment worth making in the region…in order to set a reference for the world.”

The programme also featured a panel session comprising Sudanese Finance Minister, Ibrahim el-Badawi; Lena el-Sheikh Mahjoub, Minister of Labour and Social Development; African Development Bank President Akinwuni Adesina; President of the World Bank Group, David Malpass; and Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, on the theme of supporting Sudan’s economic reform agenda.

The pledged funding contributions will support Sudan’s Transitional Government in meeting its priorities and launching of a formal process of political support for democratic reforms, peace, and the economic reform agenda. Much of the support will be earmarked for the Family Support Programme, which will provide humanitarian and social support and relief for close to 80% of the country’s population, 40 % of whom are unemployed.

“The African Development Bank has always been with Sudan from the very beginning. We never left Sudan for one day, even all the while that it was under economic sanctions. That is because we believe in Sudan,” Adesina said in remarks at the panel discussion. ““We provided, from our African Development Fund, $445 million dollars that we have for arrears clearance, which includes Sudan and Zimbabwe, and we are working very closely on that with many of you, including the World Bank and IMF.”

Minister Borrel said participants agreed on the need to hold a follow-up Partnership Conference in early 2021, in close cooperation with the Government of Sudan and the group of the “Friends of Sudan.” These include France, which has offered to host a high-level conference to launch the debt relief process for Sudan, allowing the full reintegration of Sudan into the international economic community.

Adesina said the African Development Bank has earmarked about $115 million in grants for the next three years to finance public sector projects and programs in Sudan, in addition to about $215 million grants provided in the last three years. Specifically, the Bank will support Sudan to strengthen its health care systems with a grant of about $30 million to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

*AFDB

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World Bank earmarks US$1bn for DR Congo health, education
June 16, 2020 | 0 Comments
President Felix Tshisekedi’s promise to provide free primary education has been estimated to cost $2.6 billion — between 40 and 50 percent of the state budget.

The World Bank has approved US$1 billion in grants and loans to promote free primary education and access to health care in Democratic Republic of Congo.

The bank’s board of executive directors approved $800 million to help support free primary education in the DRC’s poorest provinces, mainly in the east and centre of the country and the capital Kinshasa.

The funding comprises credit of $444 million and a grant of $356 million, it said in a statement received Tuesday.

In another decision approved on Monday, $200 million was approved for improving response to health emergencies in 14 provinces, especially for mothers and children.

It comprises credit of $121 million and a grant of $79 million.

The schools funding “will help the government roll out the reform on free primary education by strengthening governance systems and the quality of instruction,” World Bank education specialist Scherezad Joya Monami Latif said.

“It will enable over nine million children to re-enrol and stay in school when schools reopen after the (coronavirus) lockdown, and will provide access to school for more than a million poor children currently excluded from the education system.”

Schools and universities have been closed since March 24 under emergency measures aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

President Felix Tshisekedi’s promise to provide free primary education has been estimated to cost $2.6 billion — between 40 and 50 percent of the state budget.

On February 14, he also put forward a plan for “universal health coverage.”

Both schemes have been overshadowed by the coronavirus crisis, which is likely to cause growth to fall from 4.4 percent in 2019 to minus 2.2 percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

*AFP

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Scientists and Economists from Honoris United Universities In Global Selection for Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings
June 11, 2020 | 0 Comments

The selection of eight young scientists and economists from the network represents the strengthening of ties between Honoris and Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings in promoting research in Africa

 MoU signing with the Council & Foundation for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting
MoU signing with the Council & Foundation for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

Honoris United Universities, the first and largest pan-African network of private higher education institutions, today announced that five science and three economics students from across the network have been selected amongst 1,034 young scientists and economists from over 100 countries to participate in the 70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting and the 7th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences in 2021.

The Meetings, which will bring together young scientists and economists alongside Nobel Laureates in physics, chemistry, physiology & medicine, as well as economic sciences from across the world, form part of a partnership established between Honoris United Universities and Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings last year, to increase participation and research in the natural sciences and in economics across Africa.

The selected Honoris scientists and economists successfully completed a multi-stage selection process, which involved 144 academic partners of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings and German universities in the field of economics – including the “Wirtschafts – und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultätentag” (WISOFT – Association of Economics and Social Sciences Faculties).  The successful students were selected from leading African universities within the Honoris network including Université Mundiapolis in Morocco, Université Centrale in Tunisia, and REGENT Business School in South Africa.

CEO of Honoris United Universities, Luis Lopez, said, “As an Academic Partner to the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, we are extremely proud to support and promote the development of world-class African talent as evidenced by our exemplary students, selected to participate in this extremely competitive and prestigious event.  They are a testament to the learning being undertaken in our institutions and to the faculty members focused on student success and institutional research. This is a superb opportunity for our students to represent research in economics and in natural sciences from Africa as part of a landmark global event.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the onsite interdisciplinary 70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting and the Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences, originally planned for 2020, are postponed to 2021. The 70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting will now take place from 27 June – 2 July 2021 and 7th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences will take place from 24 – 28 August 2021.

For 2020, the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings will be introducing two exciting online forums, bringing together some 40 Nobel Laureates, Lindau Alumni and the selected young scientists and economists from across the world to exchange knowledge, ideas and questions via a series of interactive and high level activities.

This will include the Online Sciathon 2020 (19 – 21 June), a 48-hour hackathon-style event involving Lindau Alumni and the young scientists and economists on topics relating to global, sustainable and cooperative open science, climate change and capitalism after COVID-19.

The Sciathon will be followed by the Online Science Days 2020 (28 June – 1 July) for Nobel Laureates, Lindau Alumni and the young scientists and economists invited for 2021. They will participate in Debates, Conversations, Talks and Next Gen Science Sessions with each comprising live Q&A sessions. Invited guests as well as media representatives will be able to follow the whole programme online and interested parties may register for access, including future young scientists or economists, prospective academic partners or benefactors.

Since its foundation in 1951, around 400 Nobel Laureates have attended the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, held each year as a forum for scientists of different generations, cultures and disciplines to convene and exchange knowledge, ideas and experiences.  The theme is alternated each year and is based on the three natural science Nobel Prize disciplines – physics, chemistry and physiology & medicine. An interdisciplinary meeting based around all three natural sciences is held every five years and a Lindau Meeting on economic sciences is held every three years.

About Honoris United Universities

Honoris United Universities is the first and largest pan-African private higher education network committed to educating the next generation of African leaders and professionals able to impact regionally in a globalized world.  Collaborative intelligence, cultural agility and mobile mind-sets and skills are at the heart of Honoris’ vision of higher education.  Honoris United Universities joins the expertise of its member institutions to develop world-class African Human capital that is competitive in today’s fast-paced, demanding and increasingly digitized labor and start-up markets.

Honoris United Universities gathers a community of 45,000 students on 60 campuses, learning centres and via on-line, in 10 countries and 32 cities. The network counts 11 institutions: multidisciplinary universities, specialized schools, technical and vocational institutes, contact, distance and online institutions.  Students have an opportunity to experience exclusive partnerships and exchange programs in more than 60 universities across Europe and the United States.  Over 280 degrees are offered in Health Sciences, Engineering, IT, Business, Law, Architecture, Creative Arts and Design, Media, Political Science and Education.

About Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings

The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings foster the exchange among scientists of different generations, cultures, and disciplines. Once every year, around 30-40 Nobel Laureates convene in Lindau to meet the next generation of leading scientists: 600 undergraduates, PhD students, and post-doc researchers from all over the world.

The Lindau Meetings cooperate with more than 200 of the most renowned science and research institutions worldwide to identify the most qualified participants. The scientific programme of each Lindau Meeting is based on the principle of dialogue. The different sessions – Lectures, Agora Talks, Master Classes, and Panel Discussions – are designed to activate the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and experience between and among Nobel Laureates and young scientists. www.lindau-nobel.org

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Ethiopia: The African Development Bank gives $1.2 million for Ethiopia-Sudan railway study
June 9, 2020 | 0 Comments
The two-year, comprehensive feasibility study will assess the proposed project’s technical, economic, environmental and social viability

The African Development Bank’s (www.AfDB.org) Board of Directors has approved a $1.2 million grant to Ethiopia’s government to finance a feasibility study for construction of a standard-gauge railway (SGR) link between Ethiopia and neighbouring Sudan.

The grant, from the African Development Fund, the Bank Group’s concessional-rate lending arm, would cover 35% of the total estimated $3.4 million cost of the study. The remaining funding will be provided by the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) in the form of a $2-million grant, and by a contribution of $100,000 each from the two countries involved. The financing was approved in January.

The two-year, comprehensive feasibility study will assess the proposed project’s technical, economic, environmental and social viability, as well as alternative financing arrangements, including a public-private partnership (PPP).

The railway line will link Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to Khartoum in Sudan, with an extension to Port Sudan on the Red Sea. The route, agreed by both governments, stretches 1,522 kilometres between Addis Ababa and Port Sudan.

According to the document presented to directors of the African Development Fund, the absence of a regional arterial route linking Ethiopia, Sudan and other countries in the Horn of Africa is a brake on trade, development and regional integration. The movement of goods and people between Sudan and Ethiopia often requires the use of several modes of transport, which increases costs and lengthens journey times.

The feasibility study’s findings will be keenly awaited because its implementation would benefit a large proportion of Ethiopia’s 110 million people and 43 million inhabitants of Sudan, as well as populations in the wider region.

The proposed project is aligned with the Bank’s Country Strategy Paper 2016-2020 for Ethiopia. It is also consistent with the long-term development goals of the Sudanese Government, as set out in its national 25-year strategy (2007-2031). It also accords with the Bank’s Ten-Year Strategy 2013-2022 and the operational priority of infrastructure development. The proposed project also would satisfy four of the Bank’s High 5 strategic priorities: Integrate Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa.
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