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Turkey-Gambia Relations ‘Excellent’ as President Erdogan Visits Banjul Next Week
January 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay 

New Turkey Ambassador with President Barrow
New Turkey Ambassador with President Barrow

The Turkish Ambassador to The Gambia, Mr. Tolga Bermek has described as “excellent” the relations between Ankara and Banjul, which makes it possible for the Turkish President to select The Gambia among countries to visit next week. 
The President will be accompanied by a big business delegation to The Gambia, which the envoy said, will be “short but efficient”. 
After inspecting the quarter guard mounted by the State Gurads Battalion at the State House, he was led to the offices of His Excellency, President Adama Barrow who accepted his credentials. 
President Barrow formally welcomed him to The Gambia and described Turkey as a great partner and friend of the Gambia since he assumed office three years ago. The expected visit will help facilitate greater exchanges at the highest level and will result in other high level Turkish visits to Banjul in the future.
However, President Barrow calls for more Turkish investment in The Gambia as many existing opportunities are yet unexploited. 
Ambassador Bermek agreed to this and added that the trade volume between the two countries are not at desired levels. 
He described President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit as “a good start” for him as Ambassador, pledging that he will do his best to develop the relations in the future. 
For trade, he said both countries should do their best to increase its volume, while he will work to bring more Turkish investors to The Gambia. 
 “We have a good opportunity on the occasion of the visit of our President. It will be the first time of such a visit to The Gambia at presidential level. I think it will open up new horizons to the relations of both countries,” he said. 
Turkish Airlines launched direct flights from Istanbul to Banjul in 2019 and the Turkish Ambassador said they will like to increase that flight frequency in the future if business relations develop.

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Gambia:First Lady, Partners Sign Memorandum on Medical Support
January 20, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

First Lady, Her Excellency, Madam Fatou Bah-Barrow on Monday presided over the signing ceremony between her Foundation, FABB, and a Switzerland registered, Saudi Arabian medical NGO (Albalsam Cure and Care).

The ceremony followed an audience with the visiting delegation of the NGO at the State House, and a conducted tour of the facilities at selected hospitals in Banjul,Kanifing Municipality and West Coast Region.

The group’s delegation is currently in the country on the invitation of the First Lady, who held talks with them during her visit to Saudi Arabia in November 2019.

“We are here to discuss ways to cooperate with the First Lady’s foundation for better improvement, support and care of babies and mothers,” Dr. Emad A. Bukhari, the CEO of the NGO, said.

Due to the First Lady’s special interest in the health of these category of the population, especially pregnant mothers, FABB is proposing special health caravans to deliver voluntary services to remotest parts of the country.

“For now, special attention is given to deworming in new born babies and pregnant mothers. That is one area where the partners have good experience in,” he added.

At the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, the group handed over five boxes of highly specialised surgeon equipment to the hospital through the First Lady. These are used in operating on pregnant mothers, young babies and children.

In receiving the donated materials, Dr. Kebba Marenah, Orthopaedic Surgeon and Head of Surgery at the Hospital described the equipment as “very high quality, well-known brand surgical instruments” which will be a good addition to the department.

“Whenever we see the First Lady around, we know there is something good is store for us. These materials will be put into good use and we thank her for the endless support,” Dr Manneh said.

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Centurion Law Group leads market entry of Turkish Airlines in Equatorial Guinea
January 20, 2020 | 0 Comments
As part of its mission to open new routes and expand its fleet in 2020, Turkish Airlines has added Malabo, Equatorial Guinea to its route network

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, January 20, 2020/ — Pan-African law firm Centurion Law Group (, leads the entry of Turkish Airlines into Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; Operations on the new route will commence 7 February 2020; The entry of Turkish Airlines into Equatorial Guinea supports the objectives of the Year of Investment Initiative led by the Ministry of Mines and Hyrocarbons.

As part of its mission to open new routes and expand its fleet in 2020, Turkish Airlines has added Malabo, Equatorial Guinea to its route network.

Represented by pan-African law firm Centurion Law Group in its entry into Central Africa, the airline continues to offer more destinations than any other in the world. Operations are set to commence on 7 February 2020, offering the Malabo route three times a week.

“Centurion Law Group is proud to have lead the market entry of Turkish Airlines in Equatorial Guinea. It is yet another show of our commitment to the development of Africa through facilitating strategic deals with positive externalities both in-country and on a regional scale,” said Zion Adeoye, Managing Director at Centurion Law Group. “This particular deal is also of great significance to us as it supports the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons’ objectives as represented in the Year of Investment initiative, which is aimed at directing foreign investment into key industries in Equatorial Guinea,” he added.

“This partnership withTurkish Airlines will open the country up to new opportunities not only in the aviation sector but to other industries as well. It is also another way for Equatorial Guinea to attract new business and investment while offering the people of Equatorial Guinea a direct route to the beautiful country of Turkey,” Santiago Olo Lima, Director at Centurion Law Group, Equatorial Guinea. “Our partnership truly speaks to the direction Africa is headed.”

The new service will link to the existing Nigeria, Port Harcourt route and will operate in the rotation: Istanbul – Port Harcourt  – Malabo  – Istanbul, building on the airlines’ already attractive logistical positioning.

“We are thrilled to have been part of this, it is a noteworthy achievement for Equatorial Guinea and us at Centurion as it allows us to once again utilize our expertise in the aviation industry,” said Manuel Oliveira, Senior Associate Attorney at Centurion Law Group.

Beyond its oil and gas offerings, Centurion Law Group has been active in Equatorial Guinea’s aviation industry, having previously represented Lufthansa Airlines.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Centurion Law Group.
About Centurion Law Group:
Centurion ( is a pan-African corporate law conglomerate. Operating at the cutting edge of business practices today, Centurion stands ready to provide outsourced legal representation and a full suite of legal services to new, expanding and established corporations.

Across Africa, Centurion provides a service tailored to your operating environment, the nature and structure of your business, your level of risk tolerance, and your overall objectives. Our alternative billing arrangements provide our clients with a greater degree of certainty about their legal costs.

Centurion is committed to the highest ethical standards and we recognize that our firm must take a leadership role in the legal profession in Africa.
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France commits to work with Samuel Eto’o Foundation to promote Sports, culture and Education in Cameroon
January 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

France ambassador to Cameroon, Christophe Guihou with Samuel Eto’o after this week’s meeting (photo: Christophe Guihou/twitter)

French ambassador to Cameroon, Christophe Guihou has reaffirmed the commitment of his country France to work with humanitarian organization of Africa’s football legend, Samuel Eto’o Fils, to promote disciplines such as sports culture and education in Cameroon. 

The top diplomat took to twitter Monday to make the announcement after holding a meeting his Samuel Eto’o at the Yaounde-based foreign mission.

Though he was very brief in his tweet and failed to elaborate on how much support the French government will be handing the foundation to promote the above listed projects, the news of their collaboration has been received with excitement in Cameroon.

With goal to ensure the protection of children and young people, providing emergency aid and encouraging education, basic health and social inclusion for the disadvantaged, the Samuel Eto’o Foundation is involved in a number of projects in Cameroon including community development, sports, health, education, cultural activities, and child survival and development.

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Cameroon University Campaign: Leadership is not determined by Money – Angelle Kwemo tells TEF Prospective Applicants
January 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

It was a rich exchange between the seasoned professional that Angelle Kwemo is and dynamic students eager to benefit from TEF initiatives
It was a rich exchange between the seasoned professional that Angelle Kwemo is and dynamic students eager to benefit from TEF initiatives

Students of some higher institutions in Buea, South West Region of Cameroon have been schooled on how to apply for the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Program with the students urged not to focus on the seed capital but the training they will derive from it.    

The TEF 2020 Application Workshops dubbed Cameroon University Campaigns, at HIBMAT (Higher Institute of Business Management and Technology), and HIMS (Higher Institute of Management Studies), was moderated by TEF Alumni Mentor, and special guest Ms. Angelle Kwemo as the students were educated on the opportunities that are involved in applying for the TEF Programme.

“What makes business people or entrepreneurs is not necessarily the money but the leadership, vision, resilience and so on. The biggest asset of the TEF programme is the knowledge, the library, expertise, training, and it is more important than the seed capital that will be given,” Ms. Angelle Kwemo, President of Believe in Africa said.

The biggest asset of the TEF programme is the knowledge, the library, expertise, training, and it is more important than the seed capital that will be given, said Angelle Kwemo, President of Believe in Africa

This was the same worry re-echoed by the President of HIBMAT Jude Chilaka who said, “…the very first motivating factor should not be the money, but the passion, the drive to do what you are truly called to do — the willingness to serve mankind. Should any of them benefit the seed capital, and squander it, it will not help them or their community in any way”

“They (students) should rather focus on the training because money or no money, they should be able to learn, and be able to take care of their family. As an entrepreneur the money will eventually come and it doesn’t come at the very beginning of a business venture. So this training will give them the idea of how to manage their capital, and finance and if they are not knowledgeable in this aspect, there is practically no way they can succeed in their business activity.”

But for the present crisis in the Anglophone regions, such opportunities will have been made available to the students, according to the President of the Institution. “In 2016, the institution tried to independently implement what is being done and with the coming of TEF, it is going to create an impact on the students, and the community,” Jude Chilaka added.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation’s $100 million entrepreneurship program is the Foundation’s flagship entrepreneurship initiative and will support 10,000 African entrepreneurs over the next decade, leading to the creation of a million new jobs and adding 10 billion dollars in annual turnover to the African economy.

Successful entrepreneurs participate in intensive online training during which they are mentored and obtain, after validation of their Business Plan, launch funding of $5,000. With the support of several partners, the TEF has for the year 2019 trained almost 8,289 entrepreneurs and funded 5,149 Africans.

Angelle Kwemo challenged female participants to show more interest in TEF initiatives and opportunities
Angelle Kwemo challenged female participants to show more interest in TEF initiatives and opportunities

For Ms. Angelle Kwemo, “it’s a great honor to support this initiative. Our organization (Believe in Africa) is committed to supporting young people and women in their ambition to reach financial autonomy. Since its launch in 2015, 460 Cameroonian entrepreneurs have been funded by the Tony Elumelu Foundation, including very few students. This awareness campaign among campuses therefore aims to help students see entrepreneurship as a possible career option, and to expose them to business opportunities.”

“Students are a great asset for the development of our economy. This awareness campaign offers us the opportunity to expose students to the entrepreneurial world, thereby enabling them to avoid the pitfalls of unemployment,” She added.

It has been noticed the students especially females do not apply for such initiative as Ms. Kwemo notes, they have issues that are preoccupying their mind in their personal life, job life or emotional life it is difficult for them to apply. “But it is growing, and very year we have more and more women. 75 per cent of those who attended are females and definitely we will have more applying,” She said.

This awareness campaign offers us the opportunity to expose students to the entrepreneurial world, thereby enabling them to avoid the pitfalls of unemployment,Angelle Kwemo said
This awareness campaign offers us the opportunity to expose students to the entrepreneurial world, thereby enabling them to avoid the pitfalls of unemployment,Angelle Kwemo said

The Tony Elumelu Foundation is a philanthropic organization based and funded in Africa, founded in 2010, by philanthropist and business leader Tony O. Elumelu, CON, which is committed to promoting African economic growth by empowering African entrepreneurship.

Believe in Africa is a non-profit organization launched in Washington DC in 2014. Its mission is to promote African solution to Africa problems, and to promote the role of the African private sector.

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Commonwealth Secretary-General will visit India next week to address Raisina Dialogue
January 10, 2020 | 0 Comments

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland will address the 2020 Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi, India next week.

The Dialogue is India’s flagship conference on geopolitics and geo-economics. In her speech, the Secretary-General will highlight the need for multilateral responses to navigate the most pressing issues facing the global community. She will focus on how women can lead the way in tackling the complex and interconnected challenges of the 21st century.

Secretary-General Scotland said: “India holds a valued place in the modern Commonwealth, with her government, people and institutions contributing in practical and imaginative ways to collaboration among our 53 member countries.

Secretary-General Scotland said: “India holds a valued place in the modern Commonwealth, with her government, people and institutions contributing in practical and imaginative ways to collaboration among our 53 member countries.

“This includes generous financial support and strong commitment to the promotion of the rule of law, development and democracy in our member countries, in accordance with the values and principles of our Commonwealth Charter.

“During my time in India, I shall be working with representatives of government and other agencies to build closer strategic partnership and to discuss how we can support our membership more closely on areas such as gender equality, climate change, trade and ocean governance.

“This visit will reaffirm the continuing vibrancy and immense potential offered through India’s networks of connection with the wider Commonwealth, and also capitalise on the dynamic platform of the Raisina Dialogue to discuss issues of strategic importance and interest to the Commonwealth family as a whole.”

During the visit, the Secretary-General will meet with government officials, high commissioners and representatives of the international community in New Delhi.

The fifth Raisina Dialogue, taking place 14-16 January 2020, is hosted by the Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs of India.

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January 10, 2020 | 0 Comments

– US firms form consortium to develop renewable energy & smart city in Kaohsiung

Evening Kaohsiung city view.Photo credit Flikr

Kaohsiung, Taiwan (January 9, 2020) – Renewable Development Corporation (RDC) announces today in Kaohsiung, Taiwan that it has completed preliminary feasibility study and has tentatively agreed with allies and partners to conduct a series of investments in renewable energy and smart city redevelopment in the Kaohsiung area. RDC is a US company specializing in renewable energy and smart grid development worldwide. The company focuses on resilient and smart city design, implementation and development by working with its partners such as EYP Mission Critical and JLL, to develop and implement these projects in Europe, North America and Asia.

“Our communities, urban or rural, have become more and more complex and dependent upon mission critically reliable, intelligently dynamic and sustainably renewable sources of power supply. The combination of renewable and eco-friendly energy controlled by decentralized smart grid systems and the power hungry data centers that run big data cloud computing to support modern day smart city applications will continue to be the direction of our future,” said William Yuan, Chairman of RDC. “We are pleased to announce that we have entered into an agreement with our partners to develop and invest in these projects to make the world we’re living in a better one.” Yuan wrote in a letter of intent (LOI) that was submitted by Leo Chan, President of RDC Asia-Pacific to the Kaohsiung city government on January 9th, 2020.

A study by BP indicates that Asia, including China and India, will represent 43% of global energy demand by 2040, and through that year, the region will account for more than 50% of the growth in demand. In contrast, energy demand among the 36 nations in the OECD, which includes most big economies in the Americas and Europe, will be flat. Worldwide, demand for oil will peak in around 2034, according to Vitol, a Switzerland-based energy and commodity trading company. Wood Mackenzie, a commercial intelligence consultancy, reckons demand in the developed world has probably already topped out, with the OECD expected to move into structural decline by next year. The global demand for liquid fuel is about to see its growth rate take a dramatic dip over the next five years.

“We are excited to be part of the RDC team to deliver data centers that run solely on clean and renewable energy.” said Hans Chia, President of General Eco Energy Co., Limited (GEE). The demand for electricity seems insatiable, especially in Asia. Electrification rates continue to rise across the globe, with Asia expected to be close to 100% coverage by 2030. Much of that growth in demand may be supplied by renewables and nuclear power rather than fossil fuel-generated power, although natural gas is expected to play a role for years to come. It also may be accomplished through a decentralization of generating capacity, such as recent rural electrification projects in places like Malawi and Bangladesh where farmers and villages use solar panels and small generators to provide their own electricity.

“EYP Mission Critical Facilities is very excited to be a part of the RDC team and their global program for smart cities, highly energy efficient buildings and data centers. We look forward to playing an important role helping the group achieve its vision in the US, Europe and Asia in this growing segment. We will be working closely with RDC and collocating their team members as needed in various offices in the US, Europe and Asia.” says EYP MCF Managing Partner Rick Einhorn.

Love River of Kaohsiung

In an effort to redevelop the city, Kaohsiung government has called for international companies to invest in the region. RDC and partners formed a consortium to study the feasibility of putting a double rings over the Love River of Kaohsiung near the Piers area.

A world famous attraction design firm Jack Rouse Associates (JRA) joined the consortium after RDC and Cupkovic Architecture LLC who provided the conceptual design of the double rings project entered into an agreement with a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). “This is definitely a unique and bold design, and very doable too. We are thrilled to be involved in this project.” Keith James, CEO of JRA said in the meeting with the Kaohsiung city government, as he was touring the sites potentially slated for the project development on Thursday, Jan 9, 2020.

About RDC RDC is a renewables and digital infrastructure development company committed to tackling the world’s global climate crisis through innovations in technology and finance. RDC is focused on the transformation of energy, data, wind and solar to transition the world to a Net Zero environment.


EYPMCF is a pioneering consultancy in the data center and critical facilities industry with over two decades of experience assisting its clients plan, design, test and efficiently operate their facilities. With client across many verticals, from enterprise to institutional, colocation and hyperscale EYPMCF has unmatched experience and the capabilities to deliver projects of any size. With a global presence and projects in over 40 countries, it continues to drive new solutions and thought leading concepts to market that benefit its customer base.

About JLL JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. Our vision is to reimagine the world of real estate, creating rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, we will build a better tomorrow for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.3 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 93,000 as of September 30, 2019. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit

About JRA As a team of practical dreamers, JRA plans, designs, and realizes immersive experiences that create memories and excite audiences around the world. JRA understands what it takes to bring ideas to life so that your visitors connect with your story, eager to return. Turning ideas into a successful theme park, attraction, museum, or branded experience is JRA’s specialty.

About GEE General Eco Energy Co., Limited is established in 2014 by former leader of distributed energy business of a large US multinational energy group and industry professional team in Hong Kong. Partnering with one of the leading global infrastructure investment funds in the US, General Eco mainly engaged in development, design research, investment, construction, operation, services of industrial and commercial energy off takers by natural gas and renewable energy combined heat and power projects in Asia. General Eco is an important distributed energy field and development platform.

*For more information, contact

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Boon for African Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) as African Guarantee Fund receives USD 33 Million Capital Increase
January 10, 2020 | 0 Comments

The African Guarantee Fund is focused on its goal to provide financial guarantees for over 10,000 SMEs annually through partner financial institutions

Dr. Thomas Duve, Director for Regional Funds, KFW Development Bank (Left) and Felix Bikpo, CEO, AGF (Right)

NAIROBI, Kenya, January 9, 2020/ — Africa’s leading Guarantee Institution, African Guarantee Fund (AGF) ( has received an additional USD 33M financing from German lender KfW Development Bank , in a move that will catapult AGF’s efforts to enable African SMEs continue to play their critical role in driving Africa’s economy.

This new financing comes at a time when the continent’s SME sector has been singled out as a key driver of growth. This now places AGF firmly on the driver’s seat as the champion that eases access to financing for SMEs across the continent.

The African Guarantee Fund is focused on its goal to provide financial guarantees for over 10,000 SMEs annually through partner financial institutions and as a trickledown effect, create 30,000 jobs per year.

“We are excited about the confidence our shareholders and partners have in what we are doing in Africa. This capital injection will go a long way in ensuring that we continue to make a positive impact in the continent. So far, we have cumulatively issued more than USD 1 B worth of guarantees making available about USD 1.7 billion for SME financing through our Partner Financial Institutions. This has led to the creation of more than 100,000 additional jobs,” says Felix Bikpo, Group CEO of African Guarantee Fund.

Out of the 20,000 African SMEs from various economic sectors that have so far benefited from AGF guarantees, the institution is very proud that 60% of these SMEs are owned by youth who are the majority in Africa today, and 30% owned by women, both being demographics that heavily impact Africa’s economy. 

“Our experience traversing Africa has shown us that Women in Africa are tenacious entrepreneurs, even though they face a gender financing gap of USD 42 billion. The capital increase from KfW will largely be used to increase financing of women owned or led businesses. This is in addition to our partnership with the African Development Bank through the recently launched Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) which currently has a USD 251 million commitment from G7 countries.” added Mr. Bikpo.

About African Guarantee Fund:
African Guarantee Fund ( is a non-bank financial institution whose objective is to promote economic development, increase employment and reduce poverty in Africa by providing financial institutions with guarantee products and capacity development assistance specifically intended to support SMEs in Africa.

African Guarantee Fund was founded by the government of Denmark through the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the government of Spain through the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID) and the African Development Bank (AfDB). Other shareholders include: French Development Agency (AFD), Nordic Development Fund (NDF), Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) and KfW Development Bank (KfW).

AGF has a rating of AA- by Fitch Ratings Agency. 

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Rotary establishes peace center at Makerere University
January 10, 2020 | 0 Comments

Inaugural 2021 class will focus on shaping peace and development in Africa

KAMPALA, Uganda, January 9, 2020/ — From human rights violations to the impacts of climate change, Rotary ( and Makerere University are offering a postgraduate certificate program to peace and development leaders who are from or who have worked in Africa to address the underlying challenges to peace in the region.

The year-long program in Peacebuilding, Conflict Transformation and Development will emphasize issues and solutions that are of particular relevance throughout the African continent and beyond. Hands-on experience will complement coursework that addresses topics including human rights, governance, and the role of the media in conflict. Other studies will focus on refugees and migration, as well as resource and identity-based conflicts.   

The program will incorporate the Positive Peace framework pioneered by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) ( as well as apply concepts grounded in mediation and negotiation, African philosophy, and indigenous mechanisms for conflict resolution.

“For centuries, we have looked at peace as the absence of violence, without fully considering the other drivers in play,” said Olayinka Babalola, vice president, Rotary International Board of Directors. “Instead of merely examining the causes of war, Rotary Peace Fellows at Makerere University will explore the underpinnings of peace to achieve tangible measures of human wellbeing and progress.”

The program is designed to accommodate working professionals with at least five years of proven experience in the areas of peace and development. There will be two cohorts a year each with 20 fellows, and the first class will begin in February 2021. The online application will be available in February 2020.

“Makerere University is situated at the heart of the Great Lakes region, which has experienced the most strife and the most conflicts in Africa,” said Barnabas Nawangwe, University vice chancellor. “We’ve had frequent experience with conflict, so we established our peace program more than 15 years ago to expand our expertise and augment our engagement in the area of conflict and peace. Partnering with an international organization like Rotary allows us to demonstrate on a global scale what we’ve been doing in our local environment. Based on our past rich experience, we can confront strife in populations all over the world.”

Every year, Rotary awards up to 130 fully funded scholarships for dedicated peace and development leaders from around the world to study at any of its seven peace centers programs. In just over 15 years, Rotary Peace Centers have trained over 1,300 individuals for careers in peacebuilding in more than 115 countries, and program alumni serve as leaders in both governmental and nongovernmental agencies, international organizations, and more.

About Rotary:
Rotary ( brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. To learn more about Rotary Peace Centers programs and fellowships and to start an application, visit

About Makerere University:
Established in 1922 as a technical school, Makerere University ( is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Africa. It is composed of nine colleges offering programs for 35,000 undergraduates and 3,000 postgraduates. Its Department of Religion and Peace Studies, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, will host the Rotary Peace Centers program

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Vice Prime Minister Melida Harris Barrow Of The State Of The African Diaspora Harps On Unity, Trade, And Collaboration In Ghana
January 3, 2020 | 0 Comments
Dr. Barrow spoke on the need for unity, collaboration and trade between the Continent of Africa and those living in the Diaspora
Dr. Barrow spoke on the need for unity, collaboration and trade between the Continent of Africa and those living in the Diaspora

Kumasi Ghana December 29, 2019— At the invitation of Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Dr. Barrow gave an iconic keynote speech address at the African Prime Leadership Awards ceremony held at Manhyla Palace. Dr. Barrow has been touring the world on a mission to link Africa with the Diaspora and the Diaspora with Africa.  

Along with Dr. Barrow, several Heads of State, local Chief’s, community leaders, and thousands of community members came out to support The Asantehene at the community Dubar Festival where the Ashanti Culture was on full display. The following evening December 29, 2019, a State Dinner was held to honor The Asantehene as he received The Pillar of Peace Award. 

During her keynote address Dr. Barrow spoke on the need for unity, collaboration and trade between the Continent of Africa and those living in the Diaspora. She spoke on business opportunities and the need to support each other economically so we can progress into the future.  She stated “if we don’t do it, we are going to go another 400 years.”

She issued a call to action to “be strong, know that you have your brothers and sisters…we are waiting for you, don’t have us waiting to long.”

The State of the African diaspora has been formally established. On October 24, 2019.  The government will present its first actions and ongoing projects and launching of Global Parliaments having summits around the world. Summits will be in North America, Europe, South America, The Caribbean, Asia/Oceania and Africa.

The mission of the State of the African Diaspora and the 6th Region Economic Community is to connect Africa with its Diaspora and the Diaspora to Africa, as well as connecting the Diaspora to the Diaspora internationally. Its mission further extends to being a key participant in the African Continental Free Trade Area.

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Ghana GOV’T to adopt ECOWAS single currency ECO in 2020
December 31, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Akufo Addo of Ghana and Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast
File Picture President Akufo Addo of Ghana and Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast

Ghana’s government has revealed  that it would  adopt the new single currency ECO in 2020 to be used by ECOWAS member states.

The currency was adopted by the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Nigeria’s capital Abuja in June 2019.

The West African leaders endorsed the currency at their 55th Ordinary Session and approved a road map towards the currency’s issuance in January 2020.

There was a roadmap to ensure that all member countries meet three primary criteria for the adoption of the currency.

Strong will
Many have doubted if the ECO will really be adopted by member countries, but there seems to be willingness of many countries in West Africa to adopt the currency.

In December 2019 Ecowas said it was renaming the CFA franc into Eco.

Under the new deal struck between ECOWAS and France, this will also involve cutting off some of the financial links between Francophone West African countries and France.

“This is a historic day for West Africa,” Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara said during a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in the country’s main city Abidjan.

Ghana’s government in a statement said it was “determined to do whatsoever we can to enable us join member states of UEMOA, soon, in the use of ECO.”

“Ghana urges the other Member States of ECOWAS to work rapidly towards implementing the decisions of the Authorities of ECOWAS, including adopting a flexible exchange rate regime, instituting a federal system for the ECOWAS Central Bank, and other related agreed convergence criteria, to ensure that we achieve the single currency objectives of ECOWAS, as soon as possible, for all Member States,” the statement added.

Criteria for Eco adoption
That includes member countries having a budget deficit of not more than 3 percent; average annual inflation of less than 10 percent with a long-term goal of not more than 5 percent by 2019.

Countries were expected to also have gross reserves that can finance at least three months of imports.

The other convergence criteria that has been adopted by ECOWAS are public debt or Gross Domestic Product of not more than 70 percent.

There is also the issue of central banks financing budget deficit not more than 10 percent of previous year’s tax revenue, and nominal exchange rate variation of plus or minus 10 percent.

ECOWAS has a combined population of 385 million and was set up in 1975.

It comprises Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

Eight of these countries use one currency called the CFA franc. Those are Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

The current decision to adopt one currency is similar to the move made by the European Union to adopt the single currency called Euro.

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Vice Prime Minister of the State of the African Diaspora, Dr. Melida Harris Barrow in Ghana
December 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
The Vice Prime Minister of the State of the African Diaspora, Dr. Melida Harris Barrow
The Vice Prime Minister of the State of the African Diaspora, Dr. Melida Harris Barrow

The Vice Prime Minister of the State of the African Diaspora, Dr. Melida Harris Barrow just arrived in Ghana.

Dr. Harris Barrow was chosen to be the Keynote Speaker to celebrate with his Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, as he receives the “Pillar of Peace” Award on the last Akwasidae Festival of the year, which also closes the chapter on the 20th Anniversary Celebrations of the enstoolment of His Majesty on the Golden Stool, to be held on December 29, 2019, at the Manhyia Palace.

The event will be under the Theme “Acknowledging and Celebrating Legendary and Transformational Leadership On The African Continent and Beyond.”

Osei Tutu II is the 16th Asantehene and has been in power since 26 April 1999. By name, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is in direct succession to the 17th-century co-founder of the Ashanti Empire, Otumfuo Osei Tutu I. He is also the Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

Information from the State of Africa indicates that with almost 350 million people, the African Diaspora is the THIRD COUNTRY in the world after China and India, but greater than The United States of America (323 million), Indonesia (258 million) and Brazil (205 million). Previously, it was unstructured, and only had potential as an entity.

“This is why the decision has been made to mobilize the energies of the Diaspora to officially launch the State of the African Diaspora: our Goal is to strengthen Africa through the Diaspora, and the Diaspora through Africa,” says the State of Africa in information shared with PAV.

*PAV will be coming up soon with more reporting and interviews on the activities of the State of the African Diaspora

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