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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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The EurAfrican Forum Digital 2020: 2 Days Between Europe and Africa’s Major Leaders
June 5, 2020 | 0 Comments
The EurAfrican Forum Digital 2020 will be gathering key actors from the public and private sector but also engaging the civil society, entrepreneurs, artists, activists, scientists

For the first time, the EurAfrican Forum  will be moving online holding its 3rd annual meeting on July 2nd and 3rd, 2020; The EurAfrican Forum Digital 2020 will be gathering key actors from the public and private sector but also engaging the civil society, entrepreneurs, artists, activists, scientists; 2020’s edition will explore and discuss common challenges, as it unveils its theme In Search for a Common Ground in a Post COVID World; The program will focus on five key topics: Perspectives on EU-AU relations, Matrix (Energy) Just Transition, Made in Africa: Emerging and Fast Track Business, African Culture Feeding the world, Connecting the Unconnected.

Due to the global health crisis, many international conferences have cancelled or postponed their 2020 edition. But at a time of risk and uncertainty, the President of the Board believes it is a crucial moment to come together.

“The only way to respond to a global crisis is to reunite not only the political or private decision makers but also the civil society to have a collective vision and establish global solutions. We have thus taken the decision to move the EurAfrican Forum online, in order to all be part of the recovery of our economies,” Filipe de Botton, Chairman of the Board of the Portuguese Diaspora Council.

The annual meeting will be gathering online the foremost changemakers of the African and European continent, such as entrepreneurs, artists, activists, public and private decision leaders, on July 2nd and 3rd 2020.

The conversations will go on, and the digital Forum be providing the tools needed to work together, in search of common ground in a post-COVID world. With live and recorded programming: talks, firechats, networking, and exhibitions, a wide range of panelists will join the conversation, such as: Jonathan Rosenthal, Africa
 Editor of The Economist – Prof. Landry Signé, Senior Fellow in the Global Economy and Development Program, Brookings Institution, Dr. Bakary Diallo, CEO, African Virtual University – Biola Alabi, Founding Partner, Biola Alabi Media, Carlos Lopes, Honorary Professor, University of Cape Town – Fabio Scala, Founder, Further Africa, Vanessa Nakate, Climate Activist and Founder, The Rise Up Climate Movement, Thora Arnorsdottir, Managing TV Editor, Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, Enuma Okoro, Author.


The Portuguese Diaspora Council is a non-profit private association, recognized in 2019 as a non-governmental organization for development. Founded in 2012, its main purpose is to enhance Portugal’s brand and international reputation involving the Portuguese diaspora of proven influence who have distinguished themselves in their field of expertise, namely in Culture, Citizenship, Science and Economics. The “World Portuguese Network” comprises over 100 counsellors, spread on 5 continents.

* EurAfrican Forum
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Facebook and Red Cross Launch #AfricaTogether, a Campaign Calling for Vigilance against Covid-19
June 1, 2020 | 0 Comments
#AfricaTogether combines musical and comedy performances with information from Covid-19 first responders and fact-checkers from across Africa

Facebook and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are partnering to launch #AfricaTogether – a digital campaign and two-day festival on June 4th and 5th featuring artists from across Africa to encourage continued vigilance against Covid-19.

With more than 100,000 Covid-19 cases confirmed on the continent and containment measures easing in many countries, #AfricaTogether combines musical and comedy performances with information from Covid-19 first responders and fact-checkers from across Africa.

#AfricaTogether will include a festival with performances by artists such as Aramide, Ayo, Femi Kuti, Ferre Gola, Salatiel, Serge Beynaud, Patoranking, Youssou N’dour amongst many others, as well as a digital awareness campaign with prevention messages developed with Red Cross and Red Crescent health experts and targeting simultaneously Facebook users in 48 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

The event will be streamed on Facebook Live on the 4th June in English and hosted by the Nigerian popular actor and comedian Basketmouth and in French on the 5th June by the renowned media personality Claudy Siar. To watch the live shows, viewers can tune in to the Facebook Africa page  and Red Cross and Red Crescent Facebook pages. To register and learn more about the artist lineup and how to tune in, please visit the Facebook event pages in English and in French .

Commenting, Mamadou Sow, a long-serving member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement said, “The Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis in that it can affect us all, and ignores borders, ethnicities, and religions. African communities so far have responded quickly, but the risk remains very real. If we all do our part, we will beat Covid-19. Music is a powerful uniting force and we hope that the #AfricaTogether festival will bring renewed hope and action against this dangerous disease.”

Adding her voice to the initiative, Jocelyne Muhutu-Rémy, Facebook’s Strategic Media Partnerships Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa said: “The spike in the use of online tools during the Covid-19 pandemic shows the social usefulness of digital platforms in difficult times. We are seeing many incredible initiatives from artists bringing their communities together on Facebook Live. The #AfricaTogether campaign will enable people to learn more about fighting Covid-19, while enjoying entertainment from their favourite African performers. We will be spreading joy in a way that doesn’t spread the disease.”

This event is one of the many ways that Facebook and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are both contributing in the fight against Covid-19 across the continent.

Facebook continues to work with governments across Sub-Saharan Africa, including partnering with organizations like health agencies and NGOs who are actively using its platforms to share accurate information about the situation and launching Covid-19 Information Centers in more than 40 countries, which provides real-time updates from health authorities and helpful articles, videos and posts about social distancing and preventing the spread of the virus.

With a network of more than 1.5 million volunteers and staff across the continent, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is on the frontlines of combating Covid-19 in communities through information campaigns, providing soap and access to clean water, and supporting health care facilities and workers with training, equipment, and supplies. In parts of Africa, Covid-19 is another layer of crisis on top of conflict, violence, or climate disasters.

About the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement:
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (www.ICRC.org) is the world’s largest humanitarian network. It is neutral and impartial, and dedicated to preventing and alleviating human suffering, protecting life and health, and upholding human dignity especially in armed conflicts and emergencies such as health crises and disasters. The Movement is composed of 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

About Facebook:
Facebook is a technology company whose mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. Our products — which include the Facebook app, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, Workplace, Portal, and Novi — empower more than 3 billion people around the world to share ideas, offer support and make a difference.
*SOURCE Facebook
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The Rockefeller Foundation Announces New Awards to Strengthen Covid-19 Response in Communities Across Africa and Asia
May 28, 2020 | 0 Comments
Dr. Rajiv J. Shah meets with a mother and her daughter to talk about The Rockefeller Foundation’s work to bring electricity and lighting to the Kibera area in Kenya. | Photograph by Chad Holder

The Rockefeller Foundation announced today that it will award three new grants to support organizations that are working with countries, communities and regions in Africa and Asia to leverage data and technology to bolster their Covid-19 response. These grants will enhance data collection through contact tracing, symptom checking, and testing that can generate data that is crucial for ensuring efficient Covid-19 responses across community, country and regional levels. The Foundation is also expanding its support of off-grid technologies that can quickly address the energy needs of healthcare facilities currently operating without electricity.

“When I was leading the U.S. response to the 2014 outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, using transparent, location-specific, real-time data was a game-changing innovation,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “Employing a data-driven response to outbreaks is critical to target prevention and response efforts much more precisely and return to normal more quickly.”

With more than 5 million cases globally, countries have turned to technology at all levels of their health systems to respond to Covid-19. Yet many lower- and middle-income countries do not have the same resources as wealthier countries to develop innovations that meet their unique needs and could aid their responses. As a result, those countries with the fewest resources to combat a Covid-19 outbreak are often the least well-positioned to leverage data and technology to drive efficient responses.

“We are partnering with countries and local communities to equip them with the technologies and tools that will help to protect their health and save their economies,” said Ashvin Dayal, Senior Vice President, Power Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation. “Reliable electricity is essential for effective testing and treatment, and off-grid technologies can be rapidly deployed to address this crisis.”

To support countries and those on the frontline in their Covid-19 responses, the Foundation is awarding grants totaling $2 million to four organizations: Dalberg, Dimagi, Medic Mobile and Odyssey Energy Solutions. These new grants build on the Foundation’s efforts to improve public health and provide reliable electricity to vulnerable communities worldwide and brings its total commitment to the global Covid-19 response to over $50 million.

The Foundation’s new grants include:

  • Dalberg has received a grant to strengthen the Incident Management System (IMS) capacity of West African Emergency Operations Centers to prepare for, detect and respond to public health emergencies. The foundation’s grant will support work in six West African countries: Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and Mauritania. “Emergency Operations Centers help countries and communities come together in a way that saves lives and allows economies to get back on their feet more quickly after disasters have passed,” said Madjiguene Sock, Partner at Dalberg. “This grant will allow us to bolster the effectiveness of the Emergency Operations Centers we have supported for more than seven years, as well as establish a platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing between centers across West Africa.”
  • Dimagi and Medic Mobile have received funding to equip community health workers with new digital tools that can bolster a data-driven response to Covid-19 in up to 50 countries. Dimagi and Medic Mobile are the two largest developers of apps designed specifically for community health workers, reaching 700,000 community health workers across the globe. “Digital tools can make a real difference in fighting Covid-19, but only if they make it into the hands of health workers,” said Isaac Holeman, PhD, Co-Founder of Medic Mobile. “This collaboration is an opportunity for our organizations to share what we know, to leverage our respective strengths in order to deliver systems that are optimized for frontline workers in hard-to-reach communities.” Jonathan Jackson, Co-Founder and CEO of Dimagi added, “By creating and sharing these tools, we can help community health workers better respond to this devastating virus and optimize public health in the long-run. These tools will shape a future in which we can predict and respond to pandemics faster and more effectively.”
  • Odyssey Energy Solutions is receiving funding to develop its data platform, which will enable the fast and sustainable deployment of donor capital to energize healthcare facilities with distributed renewable energy technology. The Odyssey platform will align donor efforts, targeting efficient allocation of over $200 million across at least 2,000 health centers in sub-Saharan Africa. “Over 70% of healthcare facilities lack access to reliable electricity in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Odyssey CEO Emily McAteer. “By integrating key datasets with the location of priority health facilities, matching them with developers, supporting the bulk procurement of mini-grid components, and utilizing asset management technologies to track performance, this project will help address the energy needs of healthcare facilities immediately and reliably.” Dana Rysankova, Global Lead for Energy Access at the World Bank noted: “The Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) is supporting World Bank client countries in their efforts to electrify health facilities to help mitigate the Covid-19 health crisis. Odyssey can be a very powerful tool in this effort. In Nigeria, for example, the Rural Electrification Agency and the World Bank are partnering with the Odyssey platform for a significant Covid response effort to electrify isolation and treatment centers and primary healthcare facilities, many of which are subsequently expected to be expanded into mini grids that also serve neighboring communities and businesses.”

“The Rockefeller Foundation has supported the field of public health for over 100 years, fueling progress against disease through innovation,” said Naveen A. Rao, MD, Senior Vice President, Health, The Rockefeller Foundation. “These grants build upon that legacy to ensure that countries can fight a 21st century pandemic with 21st century tools.”

The new grants are part of the Foundation’s overall response to the global pandemic, as described in Dr. Shah’s 2020 Annual letter.

About Dalberg
Dalberg is a leading social impact advisory group that brings together strategy consulting, design thinking, big data analytics, and research to address complex social and environmental challenges. We work collaboratively with communities, institutions, governments, and corporations to develop solutions that create impact at scale. With more than 30 locations worldwide and a diverse footprint in the global south, Dalberg is driven by a mission to build a world where all people, everywhere, can reach their fullest potential. In the midst of COVID, Dalberg is coming together with a diverse range of partners and collaborators to mitigate the most serious effects of the crisis for vulnerable communities around the globe. From preparing and transforming under-resourced healthcare systems to partnering with governments to re-imagine existing supply chains and open up new opportunities for livelihoods, we are building systems and solutions that address immediate risks and fend off broader socio-economic disruptions. In all that we do, we rely on our diverse capabilities, cross-sector experience, global mindset and local presence to contribute to the building of a more inclusive and sustainable society for the future.

About Dimagi
Founded in 2002, Dimagi, Inc. is an award-winning, socially conscious technology company that helps organizations around the world deliver quality digital solutions for a variety of sectors, across urban and rural communities. Dimagi’s flagship solution, CommCare, is a leading open-source mobile data collection and service delivery platform designed to improve data collection and the quality of frontline services in low-resource settings. More than 700,000 frontline workers have used CommCare across more than 2,000 projects in 80 countries. Today, Dimagi is supporting COVID-19 response efforts with several state, local, and national governments. Dimagi’s team of exceptional physicians, engineers, and health system architects perform technical strategy, systems design, software development, and health research with partners around the world.

About Medic Mobile
Medic Mobile’s mission is to advance good health and human flourishing with and for the hardest-to-reach communities. A unique non-profit organization, Medic Mobile works with partner organizations to build and apply software that helps health workers deliver equitable care. As technical steward of the Community Health Toolkit open source project, Medic Mobile supports more than 27,000 health workers who provide care for over 12 million people in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Most of the organization’s nearly 100 engineers, designers, and global health practitioners work from offices in Nairobi, Dakar, and Kathmandu, and roughly a third work remotely or from offices in Seattle and San Francisco. The organization and its open source community envision a more just world in which health workers are supported as they provide care for their neighbors, universal health coverage is a reality, and health is a secured human right.

About Odyssey Energy Solutions
Odyssey is an investment and asset management platform that enables data-driven capital deployment into distributed energy portfolios. The platform manages data across the lifecycle of project portfolios, including feasibility analysis, investment diligence, and asset monitoring. Odyssey is being used by key donors, governments and development finance institutions to manage large-scale mini-grid, solar home system, and other electrification initiatives across numerous countries in emerging markets.

About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission – unchanged since 1913 – is to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Today the Foundation advances new frontiers of science, policy, and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power, and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas and conversations. In health, The Rockefeller Foundation has been working to improve global public health for more than a century – from eradicating hookworm in the American South, to launching the field of public health, to seeding the development of the life-saving yellow fever vaccine. The Foundation’s Precision Public Health initiative aims to empower community health systems and frontline health workers with the latest digital innovations – including more accurate and precise decision-making tools based on predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

*AMA/ Rockefeller Foundation

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