UK launches media freedom project in Kenya
May 12, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
The British High Commission has launched a new programme aimed to support media freedom in Kenya.
Our PROTECT, the new programme, targets the players in the media sector based in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu, said the UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Jane Marriott.
The programme has four local partners: ARTICLE19, HIVOS, ICNL (International Centre for Not for Profit Law) and INTERNEWS.
Marriott said that it will provide grants to other organizations such as the Mzalendo Trust, which monitors Parliament, the Civil Society Reference Group. It will also issue grants directly to journalists in Mombasa and Kisumu to support the production of data journalism stories.
Speaking at a virtual event hosted by the Kenya Editors’ Guild Press Club-media freedom in the East African nation, Ms. Marriott said Our PROTECT programme will focus on five areas that are improving the use of data to hold the government to account on service delivery; contributing to an improved policy and legal environment; supporting female journalists to have a safe and secure operating environment; supporting media houses on future business models; and promoting civic education on the crucial role of the media.
She stressed the need for independent and sustainable media with laws, policies and professionals to play a watchdog role on those in power.
“We need investigative journalists who spend days – weeks, months –getting to the real heart of stories. We need a media that holds power in all its forms– Executive, Legislature, Judiciary, business, civil society, individuals, your own bosses – to account. And we need journalists to be safe in their endeavor, working without fear of interference,” she said.
Marriot added that the British government and partners will also train and mentor individual journalists on data journalism.
Emirates launches India humanitarian airbridge to transport urgent COVID-19 relief items
May 10, 2021 | 0 Comments
- Emirates will offer cargo capacity free of charge to NGOs, to ship relief items on all its flights from Dubai to nine cities in India
- Airbridge initiative is a major boost from Emirates, supporting the various relief efforts undertaken by the humanitarian community
- In co-ordination with the International Humanitarian City (IHC), first flights carrying WHO cargo departs from Dubai to India
Dubai, UAE, 10 May 2021– Emirates has set up a humanitarian airbridge between Dubai and India to transport urgent medical and relief items, to support India in its fight to control the serious COVID-19 situation in the country.
Emirates will offer cargo capacity free of charge on an “as available” basis on all of its flights to nine cities in India, to help international NGOs deliver relief supplies rapidly to where it is needed.
In the past weeks, Emirates SkyCargo has already been transporting medicines and medical equipment on scheduled and charter cargo flights to India. This latest airbridge initiative takes Emirates’ support for India and for the NGO community to the next level.
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates’ Chairman and Chief Executive, said: “India and Emirates are deeply connected, since our first flights to India in 1985. We stand with the Indian people and will do all we can to help India get back on its feet. Emirates has a lot of experience in humanitarian relief efforts, and with 95 weekly flights to 9 destinations in India, we will be offering regular and reliable widebody capacity for relief materials. The International Humanitarian City in Dubai is the largest crisis relief hub in the world and we will work closely with them to facilitate the movement of urgent medical supplies.”
The first shipment sent as part of the Emirates India humanitarian airbridge is a consignment of over 12 tons of multi-purpose tents from the World Health Organization (WHO), destined for Delhi, and coordinated by the IHC in Dubai.
Giuseppe Saba, CEO of International Humanitarian City, said: “His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid built the International Humanitarian City (IHC), so Dubai, in coordination with humanitarian agencies, would be able to assist communities and families, most in need – around the world. The creation of the humanitarian airbridge between Dubai and India, facilitated by Emirates SkyCargo, Dubai’s International Humanitarian City and UN agencies, to transport urgent medical and relief items, is another example of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision for the IHC, being brought to life. Last year over 1,292 shipments were dispatched from the IHC in Dubai, setting the standard for humanitarian response globally. We appreciate the great efforts by IHC’s partner Emirates SkyCargo establishing this humanitarian airbridge between Dubai and India in this time of need”.
The freight division of Emirates has a close partnership with IHC, developed over several years of delivering relief materials to communities across the world impacted by natural disasters and other crises. IHC will support Emirates SkyCargo in channelling relief efforts to India through the airbridge.
Following the Port of Beirut blasts in August 2020, Emirates also leveraged its expertise in humanitarian logistics to set up an airbridge to Lebanon to assist with relief efforts.
Emirates has led the aviation and air cargo industry in its efforts to help markets around the world combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The air cargo carrier has helped transport thousands of tonnes of urgently required PPE and other medical supplies across six continents over the last year by rapidly adapting its business model and introducing additional cargo capacity through its modified mini freighters with seats removed from Economy Class on Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft along with loading cargo on seats and in overhead bins inside passenger aircraft to transport urgently required materials.
In addition, Emirates SkyCargo has partnered with UNICEF and other entities in Dubai through the Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance, to transport COVID-19 vaccines rapidly to developing nations through Dubai. So far, close to 60 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been transported on Emirates’ flights, equating to nearly 1 in 20 of all COVID-19 vaccine doses administered around the world.
Through its scheduled cargo flights to close to 140 destinations across six continents, Emirates helps maintain unbroken supply chains for vital commodities such as medical supplies and food.
The Emirates story started in 1985 when we launched operations with just two aircraft. Today, we fly the world’s biggest fleets of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s, offering our customers the comforts of the latest and most efficient wide-body aircraft in the skies.
We inspire travelers around the world with our growing network of worldwide destinations, industry leading inflight entertainment, regionally inspired cuisine, and world-class service.
ZAMBIAN BREWERIES RECOGNISED FOR ROLE IN BUILDING GREEN COMMUNITIES
May 4, 2021 | 0 Comments
LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – The Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) has awarded Zambian Breweries with the ZAM Sustainability Award for its leading role in environmental protection and building green communities through its Manja Pamodzi recycling initiative.
Manja Pamodzi is a recycling initiative introduced, by Zambian Breweries, in 2016 in partnership with Lusaka City Council and the Zambia Environmental Management Agency to help rid local townships of packaging waste and improve hygiene and sanitation.
Since its inception, the programme has played a critical role in not only revitalising township streets but also creating a new breed of entrepreneurs in local communities who earn a living by collecting waste and selling it to recyclers.
When receiving the award, Zambian Breweries Better World Manager Elaine Kafwimbi said the ZAM award incentivised manufacturers to do more to protect the environment adding that a large amount of urban waste comprised of packaging material.
She said that: “Environmental protection is everyone’s responsibility. We only have one planet hence we must do all we can to ensure we preserve its natural ecosystems.”
“At Zambian Breweries, our responsibility for our products goes far beyond the last sip. Through Manja Pamodzi, we are changing lives and saving the environment by recycling various recyclable waste materials.”
“Manja Pamodzi also holds sensitisation workshops to educate consumers on the importance of recycling and proper waste disposal to help build a responsible and environmentally conscious society – in line with our ethos “bringing people together for a better world,” she said.
Statistics show that only 26 percent of the estimated 900 tons of waste generated daily in Lusaka is collected by formal services with some 34 percent of that waste being recyclable.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, ZAM Sustainability Board Committee Chairperson Ms. Bridget Kambobe said: “On behalf of Zambia Association of Manufactures we are awarding a very phenomenal practical project that has demonstrated that it is possible to create a model that not only creates employment while cleaning the environment but also contributes to the social economic development of our country. We want to congratulate Zambian Breweries for playing a leading role in this recycling project.”
Over the last five years, more than 800 collectors – 500 of whom are women – have supported their livelihoods through this programme.
And by close of 2020, over 12,000 tons of recyclable waste had been collected from 11 aggregator sites around Lusaka.
About AB InBev in Zambia
Zambian Breweries Plc is part of Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the largest brewer in the world, with more than 400 beer brands and some 200,000 employees in over 50 countries. It is also one of the world’s largest bottlers of soft drinks.
Zambian Breweries was established in Zambia in 1968 and its product range has grown to include clear beers such as Mosi Lager, Castle, Carling Black Label, Eagle beer, Stella Artois and Budweiser.
Kenya’s community-centered response system highlighted in new report showing how countries successfully beat infectious disease outbreaks before they became epidemics
April 28, 2021 | 0 Comments
New report highlights how African leadership helped beat infectious disease outbreaks before they became epidemics,
Last year, a single outbreak of deadly infectious disease travelled around the world, changing life as we know it. But every year, there are many near misses—outbreaks that are successfully controlled before they become epidemics. Today, Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, released a first-of-its kind interactive digital report highlighting “Epidemics That Didn’t Happen” to show how the trajectory of an outbreak can be altered when a country invests in and prioritizes preparedness combined with swift strategic action.
Epidemics that Didn’t Happen was developed by Resolve to Save Lives to highlight how investing in and prioritizing preparedness and response systems, such as community vaccination and vaccination programs, can save millions of lives and trillions of dollars. As governments contend with the ongoing devastation of COVID-19—and look for lessons for the next pandemic, the report serves as a call to action to global leaders. The world can learn from the experience that African countries have had with infectious diseases, including COVID-19, Ebola and monkeypox.
Kenya’s community-centered approach to the anthrax outbreak highlighted in the report serves as a lesson to global governments and health leaders on how to respond to future health threats more efficiently.
“The strength of Kenya Red Cross’s community-based surveillance system, along with its community-engagement work, has been invaluable for building support for and trust in emergency preparedness systems,” said Dr Asha Mohammed, Secretary General of Kenya Red Cross. “Our case study in the Epidemics That Didn’t Happen report demonstrates that through effective surveillance and risk communication, an anthrax outbreak was contained in Kenya.”
The case studies described in the new report show that devastating human and economic losses can be avoided with modest investments, improved health systems, and better coordination and communication by determined leaders who put structures in place to find, stop and prevent infectious disease outbreaks before they spread. And although the story of containing COVID-19 has largely been one of failure, countries including Kenya, Mongolia and Senegal mounted effective responses that reinforce and act upon lessons drawn from earlier outbreaks. The case studies illustrate different aspects of effective public health programs, including:
- Building community trust: How Kenya controlled a deadly anthrax outbreak
- A risk-based response: How protective actions stopped yellow fever in Brazil
- Effective surveillance: How Uganda detected cases of Ebola at the border
- Rapid response teams at the ready: Nigeria’s approach to containing monkeypox
- Good governance matters: How Senegal saved lives through government action and early testing
- Preemptive action: How an early, strategic response in Mongolia averted a COVID-19 nightmare
- COVID-19 Cooperation: Africa’s cohesive, continent-wide response to the pandemic
- Investment in public health saves lives: Vietnam’s COVID-19 response is proof.
“This is our now or never moment to invest in public health, to prevent the next pandemic, and ensure that as a world, we are never again so underprepared as we were with COVID-19,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, former CDC Director and current President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives. “Epidemics don’t have to spread uncontrollably and cause devastating loss of life. Epidemics That Didn’t Happen highlights the great work of public health professionals from around the world and shows that if we work together, led by science, we can make the world a much safer and healthier place.”
These successes demonstrate what works: strong preparedness systems and decisive responses supported by good governance. When countries can prepare and respond appropriately, even if not perfectly, their communities, neighbors and ultimately the world are safer for it.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need to work together at the global, regional, country and local levels to build a more resilient response to future health emergencies. It has revealed gaps and weaknesses across high-, middle- and low-income countries. Among the key lessons highlighted from successful responses to public health emergencies:
- Improve governance to prioritize public health emergencies and address equity gaps
- Invest in preparedness response and technical assistance
- Learn from and adapt effective responses from other diseases and other areas
- Prioritize early warning and response systems by adopting the “7-1-7” goal by being able to identify any new suspected outbreak within seven days of emergence, start to investigate the event within one day and report and begin response to it then, and mount an effective response within seven days.
“All countries can and must improve their systems for preparedness and the quality of their response,” said Dr. Emmanuel Agogo, Nigeria Country Representative at Resolve to Save Lives. “The actions highlighted in the report save lives and can fundamentally alter the trajectory of future outbreaks and pandemics.”
The case studies were developed with support from health ministries and global health organizations including, Kenya Red Cross, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Infectious Diseases Institute, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Health, Pan American Health Organization and Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
About Resolve to Save Lives
Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of the global health organization Vital Strategies, focuses on preventing deaths from cardiovascular disease and preventing epidemics. It is led by Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About Vital Strategies
Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible.0
13 African First Ladies present during the inauguration of the Merck Foundation 2021 conference
April 27, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Thirteen First African Ladies graced the inauguration of the8th edition of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary conference as guests of honors.
They included Angola First Lady, H.E. Ana Dias Lourenço, Botswana First Lady, H.E. Neo Jane Masisi, Burkina Faso First Lady, H.E. Sika Kabore, Burundi First Lady, H.E. Angeline Ndayishimiye, Central African Republic First Lady, H.E. Brigitte Touadera, Democratic Republic of Congo First Lady, H.E. Denise Nyakeru Tshisekedi.
Others are Ghana First Lady, H.E. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Guinea First Lady, H.E. Djènè Condé, Liberia First Lady, H.E. Clar Marie Weah, Malawi First Lady, H.E. Monica Chakwera, Mozambique First Lady, H.E. Isaura Ferrão Nyusi, Namibia First Lady, H.E. Monica Geingos and Zambia First Lady H.E. Esther Lungu.
They shared health capacity-building strategy and building a robust platform of specialized trained medical experts in their respective countries, infertility stigma and support girl’s education.
They expressed their gratitude to Merck Foundation saying their partnership with the philanthropic arm of Merck Germany has supported them in building healthcare capacity and train healthcare providers in their respective countries. Some of the successes highlighted include:
More than 37 local young Namibian doctors will be provided with one-year online diploma from South Wales University, in the fields of Diabetes, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Respiratory Medicines, Acute Medicines and Sexual and Reproductive Medicines, reiterated H.E. Monica Geingos, the First Lady of Namibia.
Mozambique has enrolled 14 doctors in the Diabetes Master Course through Merck Foundation Diabetes Blue Points Project.
Malawi has launched the winners of Merck More Than a Mother Media Recognition Awards to avert the stigma of infertility and become the voice of the voiceless and break the silence. They are also set to launch Film, Song Awards to inspire youth to be innovative.
In Ghana, more than 60 healthcare providers have been trained in fields like Cancer, Diabetes, cardiology, endocrinology, respiratory, acute medicines, sexual and reproductive medicines, Fertility and embryology.
32 Doctors have also been enrolled for the Master Course in Diabetes Management in French accredited by Diabetes UK in DRC.
“Till today we have 33 doctors who have benefited from scholarships that Merck Foundation is providing in Oncology, Fertility speciality, embryology and reproductive and sexual medicines and Diabetes management,” said Burundi First Lady, H.E. Angeline Ndayishimiye.
Thirteen doctors have also been trained in oncology and diabetes in Central African Republic.
The first ladies noted challenges women and girls are undergoing in Africa such as physical and psychological violence, stigma of infertility, child marriage, etc.
“UN reported that nearly one in five women worldwide has experienced violence in the past year. It means that infertile and childless women are suffering even more and more physical and psychological violence and are now trapped at home with their abusers, struggling to access services, they are lonely suffering in silence,” said Namibia First Lady, H.E. Monica Geingos
They committed to empower infertile women through access to education, information, health, change of mindset, and economic support.
JAPAN DONATES $6.5 M TO WFP TO STEM FOOD INSECURITY IN SOUTH SUDAN
April 21, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Deng Machol
Juba – The government of Japan has donated $6.5 million US dollar to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to mitigate food insecurity in the restive country.
The Government of Japan has funded food assistance to developing countries since 1968. Japan has supported WFP’s work in South Sudan since 2013, contributing more than US$35 million.
This latest contribution consists of US$4.5 million for life-saving food assistance to people who are severely food insecure and US$ 2 million to restore livelihoods and enhance resilience.
However, the WFP has welcomed contribution of US$6.5 million from the Government of Japan.
This contribution is timely at the start of the lean season when more than 7.2 million people in South Sudan are expected to face acute food shortages, said WFP in a press release today.
The WFP will use this contribution to support 115,000 people in Jonglei, Warrap, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Lakes States, where food insecurity has reached catastrophic levels due to continuing violence, two years of excessive flooding, displacement and the loss of livelihoods, livestock, infrastructure and homes that have left millions of people highly vulnerable and unable to provide for themselves.
“It is our sincere wish that Japan’s grant helps save the people from food insecurity accelerated by natural disaster, communal violence and displacement and bring those suffering people back to a normal living environment which is the precondition to pave the way to nation building and economic development in South Sudan,” said H.E. Tsutsumi Naohiro, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of South Sudan, in the press statement seen by Pan African Visions.
The contribution will also support WFP’s livelihoods and resilience-building programmes, which include creation of community assets such as access roads and multi-purpose water points.
These communal assets are geared towards improving families’ access to local markets to sell their produce and purchase food and other essentials, as well as their access to clean water.
“We are grateful to Japan for this timely contribution at a time when food needs are the greatest but funding for humanitarian assistance is dwindling because of the economic impact of COVID-19. This noble gesture demonstrates the government of Japan’s commitment towards alleviating suffering and contributing to peace in South Sudan,” said Matthew Hollingworth, WFP’s Country Director in South Sudan. “It is a great boost towards our saving lives and changing lives efforts.”
The country’s five year conflict has taken a heavy toll on the oil – rich nation’s economy and investment, founded 10 years ago after two decades of civil war.
It has also blighted by the impact of COVID-19 and unprecedented floods on the lives of the vulnerable locals.
The American e-education startup Holberton announces a new $20 million round of funding to accelerate its development in Africa
April 20, 2021 | 0 Comments
The funding will allow the Californian-based startup to develop its computer engineering training solutions for universities, training centers, and companies on the African continent.
SAN FRANCISCO, April 19, 2021 – Holberton, making software engineering education affordable and accessible globally, announced today that it has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Redpoint eventures with new investor Pearson Ventures and participation by existing investors Daphni, Imaginable Futures, Reach Capital and Trinity Ventures.
Holberton works with institutes in several African countries including Tunisia, Madagascar, and Morocco, which have trained thousands of learners. The group’s ambition is to help more than 500,000 students in Africa gain access to first-rate education by 2030, directly via its Holberton School Network, or indirectly with education institutions and training centers. To reach that goal, Holberton constantly innovates and expands how it delivers education on a large scale.
“We have developed technologies, tools, programs, and teaching methods to complement, extend or fill gaps in the training of students or employees. Our solutions have been designed and created to train learners anywhere in the world and at any level of Commuter Science Knowledge, whether they are beginners or familiar with the computer language”, says Julien Barbier, CEO, and co-founder of Holberton.
With its partners, Holberton has provided education to thousands of students around the world, creating new tools, processes, programs, and methods needed to send students into high-paying jobs at top technology companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, LinkedIn, Tesla, and more. Holberton has created a new concept that it calls the “OS of Education”. Customers use what they need to either build entire new schools or supplement their current education delivery.
“Since our founding in Silicon Valley in 2015, we have had a vision of making software engineering education affordable and accessible to everybody around the world,” said Julien Barbier. “Africa is a continent with a considerable nursery of young people to train. Our solutions enable public and private institutions to offer modern, tailored education that meets the needs of the job market on the continent.”
Holberton’s offering includes a complete off-the-shelf franchise model, as well as tailored curricula, auto-graded projects, and tools. Customers — who best understand their student needs, job market requirements, and unique accessibility challenges — use what they want or need to fulfill their educational mission. And thus contribute to filling a national pool of highly qualified software engineers.
“Holberton’s OS of Education concept opens up the company’s proven tools to a broader education market,” said Manoel Lemos, managing partner at Redpoint eventures. “They’ve proven successful in breaking down barriers of cost and access while delivering a world-class curriculum. With the concept of ‘OS of Education’ as a service, they provide customers with all the tools they need for success. Customers can be non-profit impact investors who want to improve local economies, education institutions who want to fill gaps in how they teach in a post-COVID learning environment or corporations who want to provide the best training possible as education providers themselves or as employee development programs.”
Founded in Silicon Valley in 2015, Holberton’s innovative and flexible delivery of the “OS of Education” provides a unique portfolio of tools, auto-graded tailored curricula and teaching methods to help its customers – education institutions, universities, corporations and franchisees – successfully train the next generation of digital talent at scale.
About Redpoint eventures
Redpoint eventures is a venture capital firm investing in Latin American startups. The firm partners with visionary founders using technology to create new markets and solve big problems in existing ones. With an experienced team in Brazil and in close partnership with two Silicon Valley firms (e.ventures and Redpoint), the firm helps founders secure the capital, talent and growth to succeed further, faster.
Founded in 2012, Redpoint eventures invests across seed, early and growth stages. It manages over $300 million and has more than 40 companies in its portfolio, including Creditas, Gympass, Minuto Seguros, Olist, Pipefy, Rappi and Resultados Digitais. As part of its mission to support the Brazilian ecosystem, the firm co-founded Cubo , the second largest innovation hub in the world, based in Sao Paulo, where it’s headquartered. For more information, please visit www.rpev.com.br.
US Gives $95 M Humanitarian Aid to South Sudan
April 17, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Deng Machol
Juba – The United States (US) has contributed $95 million to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to support the vulnerable people of South Sudan in the face of six year -conflict and floods.
The contribution will be used to assist 7.24 million people likely to face acute hunger this summer.
On Thursday, Ambassador Larry André Jr. told reporters in the capital Juba that the funding will provide critical protection, economic opportunity, shelter, healthcare, emergency food assistance, safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene services to some of the nearly 4 million South Sudanese refugees and internally displaced people in South Sudan.
It also supports refugees and host communities in Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“We are deeply concerned by the increase in the scale, intensity, and geographic spread of local conflicts. “South Sudan is at a critical point for humanitarian assistance. The humanitarian needs arising from severe acute food insecurity at likely famine levels have been compounded by political and intercommunal violence, and successive years of flooding,” said Andrè.
South Sudan is facing the highest levels of food insecurity and malnutrition since its independence in 2011.
The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification assessment this year warned that 7.24 million people will face severe acute hunger at the height of the lean season in May to July, while 1.4 million children will be acutely malnourished.
Meanwhile, Mathew Hollingworth, the Country director of WFP in South Sudan, said the WFP welcomed contributions totaling $345 million from the United States through USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance to support WFP food assistance in South Sudan, where rising food insecurity has pushed 60% of the population into hunger and poverty.
“This funding from our biggest donor, USAID, comes at a very critical time when funding is scarce and needs are enormous,” said Hollingworth. “WFP relies on predictable funding, which enables us to plan ahead to prevent the kind of alarming conditions that precede famine by covering the pressing needs of the most food-insecure communities. These funds will also help WFP to pre-position food stocks for the lean season when humanitarian access is more challenging,” he added.
South Sudanese warring parties signed a peace deal in three years ago but the peace process remains fragile to ends a conflict.
“The peace agreement and humanitarian challenges are closely related….there are key areas of the peace agreement that are yet to be implemented. If South Sudan’s foreign friends see that the political will is there to move the peace process forward then there may be an opportunity for assistance.”
The persistent insecurity, intercommunal conflict, and deliberate attacks against humanitarian aid workers and assets are exacerbating humanitarian needs and preventing life-saving food and nutrition assistance from reaching the most vulnerable.
The US Ambassador called on the Government of South Sudan to do everything in its power to protect humanitarian workers, improve humanitarian access, and expedite delivery of urgently-needed food to vulnerable South Sudanese citizens.
The United States is the single largest donor to the South Sudan crisis response, providing nearly $5.6 billion in humanitarian aid to support vulnerable people in South Sudan and South Sudanese refugees in neighboring countries since December 2013.
Despite generous contributions from donors, funding shortages remain a reality in South Sudan, where humanitarian needs outpace the aid response. WFP was forced to cut food rations this April, affecting 700,000 refugees and internally displaced people who now receive 50 percent of a full ration, down from 70 percent.
The impact of COVID-19 and unprecedented floods on the lives of the vulnerable locals, and increased conflicts over the last five years have taken a heavy toll on the East Africa’s youngest nation, founded 10 years ago after two decades of civil war.
The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business announce major Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
April 14, 2021 | 0 Comments
|The MoU will seek to accelerate Canada-Kenya trade and investment, following initial discussion last year in Nairobi|
The Kenya Private Sector Alliance and The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business (www.CanadaAfrica.ca) are proud to announce collaboration to promote, support and facilitate bilateral trade and investment opportunities from Canada into Kenya.
The first engagement will be a virtual trade mission to Kenya from Canada in May.
The 3-year agreement MoU was signed today during the Second Session of the Binational Commission meeting between the Governments of Kenya and Canada – and is subject to ongoing renewal.
“This MoU will solidify the existing trade relations between Kenya and Canada and establish strong bonds between the two countries that will go a long way to boost private sector trade and investment. The MOU will also enable us to exchange business information with CACB which is critical especially to our members who wish to expand their coverage to international market,” explained Ms. Carole Kariuki Karuga, KEPSA CEO.
The Kenya Private Sector Alliance is the apex body of private sector in Kenya.
The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business is a 27-years old organization committed to accelerating trade, business and investment between Canada and Africa.
‘Nairobi is a vital gateway not just to Kenya and the region, but the continent’s economies of the future in Africa,’ noted Garreth Bloor, President of The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business.
‘KEPSA is world leader in the private sector, showcasing excellence on the global stage. This MoU is a great honour for The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business, our leadership, and all our members across Canada,’ says Deepak Dave, the organization’s long-standing representative in Nairobi and Chief Risk Officer at the African Trade Insurance Agency.
‘The joint intended results of the co-operation agreement between CACB and KEPSA seeks to increase two-way trade and investment between Canada and Kenya in all sectors – while laying the foundations to explore trade missions to Kenya by The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business and to Canada by KEPSA,’ said Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, Chair of The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business.
Guided by this MOU, CACB and KEPSA will work together towards on a case-by-case basis exploring events together, exchange of business information and reciprocity members of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance to enjoy the privileges of membership afforded to CACB members, and to ensure KEPSA members are well-positioned in the Canadian market for investment and trade in all sectors and that CACB members are well-positioned in the Kenyan market for investment and trade in all sectors.
“As KEPSA, we remain committed to establishing progressive business and trade partnerships with Canada and other similar minded parties for a mutual benefit of our members as well as those of our CACB counterparts,” said Ms. Carole Kariuki Karuga, KEPSA CEO.
ITFC and the Republic of Cameroon Sign a US$750 Million Three-year Framework Agreement to Support Cameroon’s Key Sectors through Integrated Trade Solutions
April 13, 2021 | 0 Comments
|A EUR 98 Million Murabaha financing agreement with SODECOTON was also signed to facilitate the purchase of agricultural inputs and cotton seeds|
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) , a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB) and the Republic of Cameroon have signed on April 12, 2021 two agreements in a virtual signing ceremony between H.E. Alamine Ousmane Mey, Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development (IsDB Governor) and Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO, ITFC.
The first signing is a three-year framework agreement amounting to US$ 750 Million under which ITFC will provide to Cameroon a financing envelop of US $ 250 Million annually over a period of three years to facilitate the imports of key commodities in the strategic sectors of energy, mining, in addition to the health sector with medical supplies including healthcare equipment. It will also sustain its already strong support to the priority sector of agricultural with the exports of agricultural commodities such as cotton, soy amongst others.
Through this framework agreement, ITFC will also be extending its support to SMEs and private sector through financing facilities to local banks and financial institutions. It will also support trade development through capacity building initiatives to strengthen key sectors including healthcare. The agreement also enshrines Cameroon’s membership to ITFC’s flagship program, the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) program, which aims to facilitate trade and investment flows between Arab and African regions.
In this regard, H.E. Alamine Ousmane Mey stated that, “We are very pleased with the agreements signed with ITFC. The three-year renewal of our cooperation framework is a sign of the good and strong cooperation between Cameroon and ITFC, and of the continued goodwill to implement a successful planning strategy in the country. The US $750 Million financing will help the Cameroonian government consolidate its economic recovery efforts in the specific context of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, by facilitating the importation of crucial energy products, medical supplies, and agriculture inputs, whilst strengthening the fundamentals of the economy of Cameroon through private sector and SME development. This is an opportunity for us to reiterate Cameroon’s sincere thanks to ITFC.”
The CEO of ITFC, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol reiterated the Corporation’s commitment to supporting economic recovery in Cameroon saying that, “We are keen to continue our successful collaboration with the Government of Cameroon through providing trade solutions that best meet the needs of the country, especially in view of the impact of COVID-19. We are committed to working closer with our partners and to support the country in its efforts to develop important sectors such as agriculture, especially cotton, which is a major export commodity, as well as to support the country’s financial institutions to boost private sector development and SME growth.”
The second signing is related to a EUR 98 Million Murabaha Financing agreement in favour of Société de Développement du Coton (SODECOTON), to facilitate the purchase of agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, seed cotton, and soybeans. ITFC has a long-standing relationship with Cameroon and SODECOTON. ITFC financing to date has enabled the country to achieve a record production of 328,454 tons of seed cotton collected in 2019/2020, of which 115,000 tons of cotton lint were exported despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
About the International Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC):
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) is a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. It was established with the primary objective of advancing trade among OIC member countries, which would ultimately contribute to the overarching goal of improving socioeconomic conditions of the people across the world. Commencing operations in January 2008, ITFC has provided US$55 billion of financing to OIC member countries, making it the leading provider of trade solutions for these member countries’ needs. With a mission to become a catalyst for trade development for OIC member countries and beyond, the Corporation helps entities in member countries gain better access to trade finance and provides them with the necessary trade-related capacity building tools, which would enable them to successfully compete in the global market.
*SOURCE International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC)
U.S. Africa Energy Forum 2021 Launches: Promotes U.S. Role as Primary Investor in African Energy
April 7, 2021 | 0 Comments
|The multi-day forum unites U.S. and African policymakers, energy executives and industry leaders to create new linkages and foster discussions|
The U.S. Africa Energy Forum 2021 – organized by Africa Oil & Power, in partnership with the African Energy Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Committee – will foster alignment between U.S. and African governments’ energy policies and highlight African oil, gas, power and renewable projects across the energy value chain for U.S. investors; the multi-day forum unites U.S. and African policymakers, energy executives and industry leaders to create new linkages and foster discussions that drive long-term policy formation and project execution; the in-person, two-day summit and gala dinner will be hosted in Houston, Texas (October 4-5, 2021) and an online seminar and in-person networking event will be held in Washington D.C. (July 12).
Africa Oil & Power (AOP) (www.AfricaOilAndPower.com) and the African Energy Chamber are excited to announce the launch of the first-ever U.S. Africa Energy Forum (USAEF). This event aims to create deeper cooperation between the U.S. and Africa on energy policy, to reach alignment on long term sustainability goals, to stimulate greater American investment in the African oil, gas and power sectors, and to engage and reposition the U.S. as the primary partner of choice for African energy developments.
Under the theme “New Horizons for U.S. Africa Energy Investment” the forum will explore diverse foreign investment and export opportunities across the continent, including natural gas as a vital fuel for the energy transition; energy storage and battery minerals; Africa’s place in global energy supply chains; the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area; evolving energy technologies and how they relate to the future role of petroleum resources; and on-and off-grid power developments.
An online seminar and in-person networking event will be held in Washington D.C. on July 12, 2021, building up to the in-person U.S. Africa Energy Forum summit and gala dinner, to be hosted in Houston, Texas, on October 4-5, 2021. Africa Oil & Power and the African Energy Chamber invite all U.S.-based companies with an interest in engaging with African industry leaders and project developers to participate in the USAEF Houston summit.
This initiative comes at an important juncture in U.S.-Africa relations. The Biden Administration’s announcements of its intentions to proactively build a stronger U.S.-Africa partnership coincides with the fact that African projects are seeing rising interest from U.S. companies and lending institutions alike. The USAEF event is thus dedicated to enabling dialogue between its participants that advances these developments.
“Our mission has always been to showcase the resource potential that Africa has to offer while at the same time showing its growing preference for sustainable energy policies and technologies. Toward that end, we hope it becomes evident that Africa does not just want investment capital: it wants smart capital and an accompanying partnership with the investors,” says James Chester, Senior Director of Africa Oil & Power. “The U.S. Africa Energy Forum represents the first-of-its-kind opportunity to catalyze U.S. participation in Africa’s energy transformation – via technology, policy support, capital injection and skills development – and turns a new page in the chapter on global energy investment.”
In partnership with the African Energy Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Committee, AOP will introduce American companies to African opportunities and advance an agenda of sustainable, long-term investment in African energy and other sectors by U.S. organizations.
“The rise in support from the U.S. to the continent is a credit to Africa itself, which is increasingly viewed as a favored destination for global investors, multilaterals and export credit agencies,” says Jude Kearney, President of Kearney Africa and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Service Industries and Finance at the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Clinton Administration. “Africa continues to command a healthy share of global FDI in oil and gas industries. It has for decades shown that investment in those sectors is favorable compared to other jurisdictions and can be successful by many measures. Even as Africa and the rest of the world wrestles with a global pandemic, Africa’s energy sector shows vitality and resiliency – not only in hydrocarbons but in regard to new opportunities in mining, liquefied natural gas, and agriculture.”
Both African governments and private sector sponsors of African energy projects value highly the combination of investment and partnership that US investors famously convey. The USAEF seeks to enable successful partnerships between its participants such that the energy development goals of U.S. investors and strategic partners and their African counterparts can be achieved.
To find out more on opportunities for U.S.-African energy investment and cooperation, as well as information on the inaugural U.S. Africa Energy Forum, please visit www.AfricaOilAndPower.com and to participate in the USAEF, reach out directly to Senior Director James Chester at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*SOURCE Africa Oil & Power Conference
President Mnangagwa takes shooting strides in climate-change fight to green African Economies.
April 7, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Nevson Mpofu
President Mnangagwa on Wednesday 6th April addressed African Heads of State, Multi-lateral organisations in climate-change, United Nations Agencies, institutions and the general population on a virtual platform from State-House in Harare calling the World to take action on climate change.
The dialogue organised by the African Development Bank and the Global Centre for Adaptation looked at how Zimbabwe by 2030 can be a Green Economy through the combatting of climate change. The country is driving up the ladder to become a Middle-Income Economy fighting its economic challenges and climate-change.
The dialogue specifically looked at covid-19 impact on climate change mitigation report. Countries of the World remain on the edges in terms of their economies Gross-Domestic-Product severely affected by climate-Change, a natural phenomenon likely to continue in the covid-19 era.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa said for Zimbabwe to become a middle-income –economy, there is need to fight effects of climate-change that remain a draw-back to the whole world especially the developing World.
‘’For the country to achieve a middle income economy by 2030 there is all need to fight climate-change especially in this covid-19 era it helps reduce the adverse effects .’’
‘’Mitigation and resilience in the face of national adaptation programs remains crucial in this fight to become a green economy by 2030. Countries needs to adapt to climate change then mitigate and become resilient and stronger’’.
Taking the blame to the West .. ……………………………..
The developing World has faced the striking swipe which President Mnangagwa takes head-on blows blaming the Western World for release of more emissions responsible for climate- change . Africa has less than 3% carbon emissions constituting less tons not likely to affect the world . Countries like USA , Canada and China have more gas emissions which affects the world at high rate .
‘’We as a country, we have long term low emissions development strategies. These in turn lower global temperature increase.’ Therefore climate smart Agriculture is important for us to remain vibrant in the fight. At the same time water harvesting and infrastructural development is crucial
‘’ Africa that is more affected as developing world yet its emissions are low. The developed world should therefore take the task to help us ‘’.
IMF Intervenes in Climate-Change and Covid-19 multiple effects ………………………………
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Ms Kristalina Georgieva said the organisation will soon release Special Drawing Rights. These are meant to resuscitate economies in the covid-19 era in which economies are severely ravaged by the pandemic.
‘’SDR are International Reserve Assets. They help to supplement member countries official reserves. ’These are held by central banks. They can be exchanged for hard currency with another Central Bank. They are used to determine a country’s credit -worthiness’’
‘’IMF is expected to release US$650 billion worth of SDRs to boost country reserves,’’ she notes.
350.org announces a Global Just Recovery Gathering
April 2, 2021 | 0 Comments
Africa-wide – From April 9th-11th, 350.org and hundreds of organisations will be hosting a three-day online Global Just Recovery Gathering. The program events are free, online, multilingual and will be running six hour cycles over three different time zones to make it a truly global event.
Choices are being made right now that will shape our society for decades to come; the gathering will bring together speakers who will explore what we need for a just recovery from the compound crises of COVID-19 and climate breakdown. Some of the key speakers include Vandana Shiva (India), Hakima Abbas (Kenya), Ailton Krenak (Brazil), Nnimmo Bassey (Nigeria), Greta Thunberg (Sweden), Eriel Deranger (Canada), Noelene Nabulivou (Fiji), Naomi Klein (Canada), Sharon Burrows (ITUC), Bill McKibben (United States) and many more.
Cultural sessions that accompany each six hour cycle of the gathering will include artists and musicians such as Gilberto Gil, Patti Smith, Angelique Kidjo, Ana Tijoux, Jazzmeia Horn, Rocky Dawuni and many more.
In addition to the panels and cultural sessions, there will be over 180 workshops and training events to support individuals and campaign groups in designing a new path towards a better future for all.
There will be interpretation in English, Español, Français and Português for all the sessions allowing all communities from across Africa to participate.
Landry Ninteretse: Africa Regional Director at 350.org
“The solutions to the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 must also be the solutions to the climate crisis. As governments plan for recovery, they must ensure that their plans address the recurrent issues of access to healthcare, food, education, and clean energy as basic human rights. People across Africa are expecting radical, inclusive and sustainable responses that will strengthen Africa’s resilience to social, economic and environmental disasters exacerbated by pandemic. This is especially so for a continent such as Africa that continues to face numerous climate change issues such as food insecurity, energy poverty, floods and droughts amidst a global pandemic.”
API and African Energy Chamber Sign First MOU to Expand Natural Gas and Oil Industry Standards and Initiatives
March 31, 2021 | 0 Comments
The American Petroleum Institute (API) and the African Energy Chamber (AEC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on capacity building initiatives and standardization to enhance safety, environmental protection, and sustainability in African countries producing natural gas and oil.
“API is pleased to collaborate with the AEC to expand use of our world-class standards and programs to help enhance the safety, transparency and sustainability of natural gas and oil operations across the African continent,” API Segment Standards and Services Vice President Alexa Burr said. “This is our first partnership with an African based organization, and we look forward to supporting AEC’s efforts to drive industry-wide technical knowledge.”
The number of petroleum producing countries in Africa has increased substantially, coinciding with a movement across the continent to enact robust, equitable and imminently more transparent policies. This continent-wide pursuit to increase the technical capacity of local organizations is of paramount importance in these natural gas and oil economies. It will be vital for public and private representatives of African host economies to work with the international petroleum industry and help ensure the developmental needs of the local markets are met while maintaining policies that allow for oil sector investment in these economies and accelerating the adoption of industry practices that enhance safety and environmental protection.
The MOU will facilitate collaboration between API and AEC members in several areas, including:
- Development of training programs and seminars
- Coordination, collaboration and sharing of the natural gas and oil industry’s good practices for environmental, health, safety, security and sustainability
- Organization of joint forums, conferences, roundtables, workshops, about energy issues and the continued multifaceted uses of natural gas and in the world’s energy future
“Our association with API is a milestone for the work we do, and we are confident we will see American ingenuity – a key component of the partnership between African producing nations and IOCs – at its best,” US-Africa committee Chair of the AEC Jude Kearney said. “America has a tried, true and tested tradition of developing and deploying best-in-class standards, and industrial ingenuity to safely develop natural resources in America and around the globe. We also have a proud history of partnering with the earliest oil producing countries in Africa to create stable petroleum sectors and sustained economic contributions. Our goal is to work with the API to further support African nations and businesses to build technical capacity, harmonize standards and attract investment to help Africans monetize their resources and combat energy poverty while growing their economies while prioritizing safety and the environment.”
Given the economic and transformative potential which Africa’s natural gas and oil industry holds – including the focus on human capital growth, supply chain development and local and international partnerships for talent and infrastructure development – the AEC is determined to place this collaboration at the forefront of its mission.
API represents all segments of America’s natural gas and oil industry, which supports more than ten million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. Our 600 members produce, process and distribute the majority of the nation’s energy, and participate in API Energy Excellence, which is accelerating environmental and safety progress by fostering new technologies and transparent reporting. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization and has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency, and sustainability.
U.S. Institute of Peace and Sudan Forge Partnership for Peace
March 31, 2021 | 0 Comments
(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) President and CEO Lise Grande and Sudanese Ambassador to the United States H.E. Nureldin Satti signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Tuesday pledging to support Sudan’s historic transition.
“Sudanese peacebuilders are an inspiration to the world,” said Grande. “They have advanced peace, justice and freedom under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable.”
USIP has been working in Sudan for more than 30 years helping Sudanese peacebuilders who promote nonviolent action, justice and security.
As part of its new engagement, USIP will expand and accelerate its efforts to promote citizen engagement, facilitate women’s leadership and deepen dialogue on national security policies. In the months ahead, USIP will work closely with public institutions, civil society, the private sector, experts and practitioners to establish and strengthen genuine partnerships and, through these, to inform U.S. policies.
“Sudan’s Transitional Government is ready to build on its recent progress on peace and reform together with USIP. We value this partnership and look forward to sustained engagement,” said Satti.
“All of us have a responsibility to support and stand in solidarity with Sudan at this historic time,” said Grande. “We are proud to be part of this and are fully committed to doing everything we can to help make peace sustainable in Sudan.”
Kenya joins The Canada-Africa of Business
March 30, 2021 | 0 Comments
The opportunities are immense and work toward realizing Canadian trade and investment in Kenya is already well-underway.
Today, the Republic of Kenya has joined The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business (www.CanadaAfrica.ca) as a full member of the 27-year-old organization, committed to accelerating Canada-Africa trade and investment.
‘On behalf of the board, I am pleased to welcome an African hub and a leader on the continent,’ said Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, Chair of the Board, speaking live from the organization’s offices in Ottawa.
The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business is an independent, not-for-profit organization with strong working links with both Canadian and African businesses and governments. Leading CEOs and Heads of State – alongside investors, entrepreneurs and policy-makers – are among the hundreds of speakers and tens of thousands of delegates to in-person and virtual events.
‘We are excited by this new partnership with the Canada-Africa Chamber of Business. We look forward to benefiting from the expertise and knowledge of over a quarter a century promoting trade and investment between Canada and Africa,’ underscored Mr. Stephen Lorete, the Charge d’Affaires at the Kenya High Commission in Ottawa.
‘Kenya is a leading and one of the fastest growing economies in Africa with many attractive trade and investment opportunities, across many sectors, and we invite the Chamber’s membership and the general Canadian business community to take advantage.’
A packed program of action immediately accompanies the Republic of Kenya’s accession to The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business. Over the next two months three (3) major events are scheduled to take place. These are:
- The Second Session of the Binational Commission meeting between Kenya and Canada with a strong trade and investment component taking place in Nairobi, Kenya between 13th-15th April 2021.
- An upcoming mid-April announcement on a historic MoU with The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business and Kenya’s private sector, following a seminar held last year with Minister Mary Ng and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) in Nairobi
- A Virtual Trade Mission from Canada to Kenya in the second half of May 2021
‘Apart from my country of birth, there is no other nation on the continent in which I have spent more time than in the incredible country of Kenya,’ says Garreth Bloor, President of The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business.
‘Today we are honoured to welcome a leading economy, comprised of some of the world’s top business leaders. The opportunities are immense and work toward realizing Canadian trade and investment in Kenya is already well-underway.’
President Biden Invites 40 World Leaders to Leaders Summit on Climate
March 28, 2021 | 0 Comments
Today, President Biden invited 40 world leaders to the Leaders Summit on Climate he will host on April 22 and 23. The virtual Leaders Summit will be live streamed for public viewing.
President Biden took action his first day in office to return the United States to the Paris Agreement. Days later, on January 27, he announced that he would soon convene a leaders summit to galvanize efforts by the major economies to tackle the climate crisis.
The Leaders Summit on Climate will underscore the urgency – and the economic benefits – of stronger climate action. It will be a key milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow.
In recent years, scientists have underscored the need to limit planetary warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in order to stave off the worst impacts of climate change. A key goal of both the Leaders Summit and COP26 will be to catalyze efforts that keep that 1.5-degree goal within reach. The Summit will also highlight examples of how enhanced climate ambition will create good paying jobs, advance innovative technologies, and help vulnerable countries adapt to climate impacts.
By the time of the Summit, the United States will announce an ambitious 2030 emissions target as its new Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement. In his invitation, the President urged leaders to use the Summit as an opportunity to outline how their countries also will contribute to stronger climate ambition.
The Summit will reconvene the U.S.-led Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, which brings together 17 countries responsible for approximately 80 percent of global emissions and global GDP. The President also invited the heads of other countries that are demonstrating strong climate leadership, are especially vulnerable to climate impacts, or are charting innovative pathways to a net-zero economy. A small number of business and civil society leaders will also participate in the Summit.
Key themes of the Summit will include:
- Galvanizing efforts by the world’s major economies to reduce emissions during this critical decade to keep a limit to warming of 1.5 degree Celsius within reach.
- Mobilizing public and private sector finance to drive the net-zero transition and to help vulnerable countries cope with climate impacts.
- The economic benefits of climate action, with a strong emphasis on job creation, and the importance of ensuring all communities and workers benefit from the transition to a new clean energy economy.
- Spurring transformational technologies that can help reduce emissions and adapt to climate change, while also creating enormous new economic opportunities and building the industries of the future.
- Showcasing subnational and non-state actors that are committed to green recovery and an equitable vision for limiting warming to 1.5 degree Celsius, and are working closely with national governments to advance ambition and resilience.
- Discussing opportunities to strengthen capacity to protect lives and livelihoods from the impacts of climate change, address the global security challenges posed by climate change and the impact on readiness, and address the role of nature-based solutions in achieving net zero by 2050 goals.
Further details on the Summit agenda, additional participants, media access, and public viewing will be provided in the coming weeks.
The President invited the following leaders to participate in the Summit:
- Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Antigua and Barbuda
- President Alberto Fernandez, Argentina
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Australia
- Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh
- Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, Bhutan
- President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada
- President Sebastián Piñera, Chile
- President Xi Jinping, People’s Republic of China
- President Iván Duque Márquez, Colombia
- President Félix Tshisekedi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Denmark
- President Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission
- President Charles Michel, European Council
- President Emmanuel Macron, France
- President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Gabon
- Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India
- President Joko Widodo, Indonesia
- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel
- Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Italy
- Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Jamaica
- Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Japan
- President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya
- President David Kabua, Republic of the Marshall Islands
- President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico
- Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand
- President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria
- Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Norway
- President Andrzej Duda, Poland
- President Moon Jae-in, Republic of Korea
- President Vladimir Putin, The Russian Federation
- King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore
- President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa
- Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Spain
- President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey
- President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, United Arab Emirates
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson, United Kingdom
- President Nguyễn Phú Trọng, Vietnam
- *Source White House
Brazil Africa Institute Takes On Renewable Energy In Upcoming Seminar
March 22, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Ajong Mbapndah L
On March 30, the Brazil Africa Institute (IBRAF) will hold a seminar on renewable energy in Africa with the goal of promoting in-depth discussions on the main trends in the energy sector, sustainable economic development and climate change, in response to the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic
“We chose renewable energy for two reasons: first, to reinforce the agenda of sustainable development, which has been the object of disinformation, and is key for us to avoid a climate crisis in the next few decade; second, to show that the Global South, despite its developmental struggles with poverty, unemployment and inequality, can’t and won’t neglect the green economy as the sole alternative for the future,” says Prof João Bosco Monte ,President of the Brazil African Institute .
In an interview with PAV, Prof Monte says the event is an opportunity for Brazil and Africa to share successful projects, encourage smart investments, and discuss inclusive policies in the energy sector.
Prof Monte, thanks granting this interview, could we start with an update on how the Brazil Africa Institute has readjusted its schedule to cope with the COVID 19 pandemic?
This pandemic is affecting every country in the world. Right now, we are trying to do everything we can to keep everyone safe while adopting the model of remote work. As an international organization, it is not easy to be distant from other parts of the world. But with all the new technologies we are finding ways to shorten distances. We turned the Brazil Africa Forum 2020 into a 100% online edition. The Seminar Renewable Energy and Africa is going in the same direction.
IBRAF will be hosting a seminar on Renewable Energy in Brazil and Africa, why the focus on energy at this time? How relevant do you see renewable energy as an instrument of economic development for both Brazil and Africa?
IBRAF’s mandate is to find areas in which Brazil and Africa can exchange good practices and solutions. Infrastructure, and the several areas that revolve around it, are key in this sense. We chose renewable energy for two reasons: first, to reinforce the agenda of sustainable development, which has been the object of disinformation, and is key for us to avoid a climate crisis in the next few decade; second, to show that the Global South, despite its developmental struggles with poverty, unemployment and inequality, can’t and won’t neglect the green economy as the sole alternative for the future. Renewables are essential for Brazilian and African development: we have the single strongest renewable matrix in the world, and Africans have the one with the greatest potential.
Currently what is the situation like with regards to renewable energy in Brazil today and what could your country offer Africa catch up renewable energy?
Brazil currently has a relevant percentage of its energy matrix based on renewable sources and 83% of our electricity is derived from hydroelectric plants, bioenergy, solar panels, wind turbines, and geothermal stations. In general, the interest of the Brazilian public and private sector with Africa needs to be stimulated. The country used to be a leader in South-South Cooperation and we need to engage in it again. The transfer of knowledge and technology is an important field of cooperation.
African still needs to overcome the challenges of social inequality, since a considerable portion of its population does not have access to energy of any kind. On the other hand, renewable energies are a reality in many countries and investments have been increasing. The event is an opportunity for both sides to share successful projects, encourage smart investments, and discuss inclusive policies in the energy sector.
May we know some of the key personalities or professionals who will animate or lead discussions at the seminar?
Sure! We are going to have so many important names dialoguing on our event. Damilola Ogubiyi, the CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All is going to be joining us. We’re also going to have NJ Ayuk, Founder and President of the Centurion Law Group and Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber; Rentia Van Tonder Head of Power, Client Coverage, Corporate and Investment Banking at Standard Bank; Patrick Dlamini, CEO and Managing Director at the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA); Alessandro Amadio, Head of Mission for UNIDO in Brazil and Venezuela; and many other. The list is on our website.
One of the core projects of IBRAF is its Fellowship Program on South-South and Triangular Cooperation (IFP), how is that going and is it serving the purpose for which it was created?
The IFP is up and running since February, and will extend until late 2021. We are engaging with researchers from 9 different countries – Brazil, Argentina, Mozambique, Nigeria, Egypt, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso and South Africa —, giving them the opportunity to research themes that can further approximate the Global South, like agriculture, trade, investments, technology and public health. The project has been very successful in serving the purpose for which it was crafted, as it gives both IBRAF and our research fellows the tools to build bridges between professionals and organizations in the two sides of the South Atlantic. Our research fellows are having a very practical and realistic experience of how SSTC works: they dive deep into a research theme, speak with leaders and specialists from their fields, and build a solid research project that can give insights on policy-making focused on the needs of the Global South. This gives IBRAF an opportunity as well, to start dialogues and work with a vast network that is also interested in finding solutions for LDCs.
Any plans yet for the 2021 Brazil-Africa forum and what else is on the calendar at IBRAF for the rest of the year ?
Yes, the Brazil Africa Forum 2021 is just around the corner. We will announce the dates and theme of our flagship event very shortly, and we are hoping to have an even greater debate than the ones we had in 2020. The world is still facing the COVID-19 crisis, so the format of the event is yet undecided. Still, as long as we have strong and encouraging voices with us, as we are sure we will do, the form is merely a detail. There is much more in IBRAF’s pipeline for 2021: we will have more seminars as the one we are currently promoting, but focusing on other strategic themes that can be used as leverage for Brazil-Africa approximation. We are promoting new ways to engage in capacity-building, through our Online Professional Learning (OPL) project, exchanging Brazilian solutions with African learners. IBRAF will also strengthen its presence in the research front, producing more high-quality research on policies, markets and social development, and will create new channels to dialogue with the general public via the creation of content. The year has just begun, and despite a sad scenario worldwide, we remain optimistic.
For those who read this interview and are interested in the seminar on Renewable Energy in Brazil and Africa, what is needed from them to be part of the event?
The event is taking place on March 30th. Registrations are free of any charges. To join us, all you need to do is go to the registration page on the event’s website (https://ibraf.org/projects/renewable-energy-seminar/registrations/) and fill out a very simple form. And that’s it. We want everyone to engage with us and share their thoughts.
Former Minister Celso Amorim analyzes Brazil’s foreign policy history, focusing on South-South Cooperation, in the opening lecture of the IBRAF Fellowship Program
March 13, 2021 | 0 Comments
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense of Brazil, Ambassador Celso Amorim, outlined a history of Brazilian foreign policy during the opening class of the IBRAF Fellowship Program.
Ambassador Amorim highlighted significant moments for the brazilian South-South Cooperation projects. “Even during the military dictatorship, Brazil, unlike other countries, had some actions”, said, underlining the first steps in approaching Argentina and Africa and emphasizing that the country was a “pioneer” in multilateral initiatives.
The first IFP cohort has nine Fellows from eight different countries: South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
During the program, the Fellows have the opportunity to follow practical experiences, enable them to monitor and study the international cooperation projects being developed by IBRAF, as well as its wide network of partner organizations. They also engage in other exclusive masterclasses with internationally renowned professionals.
The next class will be on March 15 with Prof. Sarah Agbor, African Union Commissioner for Human Rights, Science and Technology, to dive deep into capacity-building as a key component of South-South and Triangular Cooperation.
Kenya’s investigative agency, DCI, receives forensic lab equipment from Germany
March 4, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
The fight against crime in Kenya on Thursday, March 4, received a boost after the German Government donated forensic lab equipment to the country’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
The equipment valued at ksh26 million (approximately US$237,393) will hasten the investigation process.
They included cameras and simulation crime scene tools.
Speaking during the handover at the DCI headquarters in Nairobi, German Deputy Ambassador Thomas Wimmer said the equipment would significantly help solve criminal offenses.
On his part, DCI boss George Kinoti praised the German Government, noting the donation will help tackle several pending cases.
Kinoti also updated Kenyans on the forensic laboratory’s status, which has been under construction for many years, saying it is 98 percent complete.
He averred that it is just a matter of time before the laboratory is officially opened.
The lab is based at the DCI’s headquarters.
Many Kenyan criminal cases have remained unsolved due to a lack of laboratories to carry out tests for evidence on matters being investigated.
The country has relied on foreign laboratories like South Africa and some European countries to conduct its tests.
Portugal may help Mozambique train forces against terrorists from April
February 12, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Jorge Joaquim
Portugal may start in April to train Mozambican troops in order to step up the fight against terrorism and strengthen cooperation in the security area, Portuguese defence minister João Gomes Cravinho said.
Planning work is currently underway and equipment would also be provided, he said, adding that the training programme had already been agreed between Portugal and Mozambique and only needed to be signed off.
Mozambique had already asked the European Union for help in training its forces to battle the insurgency, which has alarmed countries across southern Africa and beyond and forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.
While Mozambique awaits for the help, the country is still battling with the insurgents. Government forces have killed six leaders of the Islamist terrorists operating in Cabo Delgado province.
One of those killed was a Tanzanian, and two were described as “Arabs”. The operations in which they were killed took place in Macomia and Muidumbe districts, where the forces are driving terrorists out of their hideouts.
Kenya, Iran to make joint initiatives in science and technology
January 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Kenya and Iran intend to strike a deal that would see the two nations offering joint programs in science, technology and innovation.
Kenya’s Education Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Mumina Bonaya held a meeting with the Iranian Vice-President for Science and Technology, Dr Sorena Sattari in Nairobi. They said the joint initiative would focus on nanoscience and nanotechnology.
They also deliberated on areas of collaboration between the two countries such as harnessing and promoting opportunities in nanotechnology and hi-technologies in science, technology and innovation programmes.
The deal also includes seeking support for post-graduate programmes, training trainers programmes, and creating innovation and technology hubs and parks.
Others present were Amb. Simon Nabukwesi (Principal Secretary for University Education and Research); Jafar Barmaki (Iranian Ambassador to Kenya); Prof. Walter O. Oyawa (Director General of the National Commission for Science, Technology & Innovation (NACOSTI)); Mr Mogaka Ogutu (Director for Higher Education) among many others.
DP WORLD AND UNICEF ANNOUNCE GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP TO SUPPORT COVID-19 VACCINATION
January 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
The agreement will support the provision of COVID-19 vaccines and related supplies for low- and lower-middle-income countries
Africa, 29 January 2021: DP World and UNICEF have announced a wide-ranging partnership to support the global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and related immunisation supplies in low- and lower-middle-income countries.
The new partnership – with a multi-million dollar value – is the largest to date to support UNICEF’s lead role in procuring and supplying 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines and auxiliary vaccination supplies on behalf of the COVAX Facility. DP World and UNICEF will also collaborate on other global programs in support of education, health, women’s empowerment and water and sanitation.
DP World, a leader in global end-to-end supply chain logistics, will provide UNICEF with logistics solutions and supply-chain expertise. By using DP World’s warehouse facilities in Dubai, UNICEF will have optimized access to many countries. In addition, DP World has committed to leveraging its global logistics infrastructure and services on a pro-bono basis in support of COVID-19 vaccine logistics needs, including transport, port and storage requirements in countries where DP World is present. Dubai is currently used by UNICEF as a strategic hub for pre-positioning auxiliary materials needed for the COVID-19 vaccine campaigns, such as syringes and safety boxes.
The partnership was signed by Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director, and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World. It arose from UNICEF’s collaboration with the World Economic Forum’s Supply Chain and Transport Community, of which DP World is a member and explores how the community collectively could support an equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccines globally.
“Distributing COVID-19 vaccines is humanity’s biggest logistics challenge since the end of the Second World War,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem. “We offer our infrastructure and expertise to support this effort because everyone should have access to vaccines, especially the most vulnerable in our society. Unless the vaccine is available to all, the pandemic will not end for anyone.”
“The pandemic has turned children’s world upside down, disrupting their education, health and protection,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Vaccines will be a big step towards putting children’s lives back on track. This new partnership will support our collective efforts to ensure equitable, affordable and sustainable access to COVID-19 vaccines”.
Under this partnership, DP World and UNICEF will also collaborate to address logistical bottlenecks hindering children and their families’ access to essential supplies through advocacy and sharing of knowledge and expertise.
Kenyan troops to remain in Somalia
January 27, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Despite the frosty relationship between Kenya and Somalia, the former has no intention of pulling out its military from the neighbouring country.
This was revealed by the Defense Minister Dr. Monica Juma when she accompanied United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace at the British Army Training Unit in Kenya (Batuk) in Nanyuki during the opening of Nyati barracks.
Dr. Juma said the Kenyan Defence Forces troops in Somalia were deployed under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Only the UN Security Council can ratify the decision to withdraw them.
She maintained that bilateral relations do not define the ongoing operations in Somalia.
“The withdrawal is the mandate of the African Union-(AU) which is the authorizing agency, it is not us to decide when to get in or out,” said Dr.Juma.
On his side, Wallace said Kenya and the UK would work together to maintain peace and order in the horn of Africa and the entire East Africa region. He added that the two countries being members of the United Nations Security Council is an added advantage.
“Britain and Kenya are now together this year on the Security Council. Britain is the Chair while Kenya has taken up its place on the same, that’s good news, and we’ve jointly gone through the four priorities for Kenya that is climate change, counter-terrorism, nation-building, and regional stability, and that’s where Britain agrees with Kenya,” Wallace said.
According to him, approximately 200 troops from the UK are permanently based in Nanyuki, noting that the last visiting troop from the European country landed in Kenya on Sunday despite the novel coronavirus’s challenges.
The duo noted that Kenyan troops had gained a lot since they joined AMISOM in 2011 and share the expertise with the British troops training in the country, who also share their military experiences of their excursions in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Putting that knowledge together and joint training personnel helps keep Kenyans safe when they are doing this job because the bombers are crafty, clever, and dangerous,” reiterated Wallace.
This announcement comes a day after the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) exonerated Kenya from claims by Somalia that it is interfering with its internal affairs.
IGAD said there is no evidence to support the allegations.
“The commission considers that these grievances, some of which are longstanding, do not appear to be sufficient to justify a diplomatic separation between Kenya and Somalia. The federal government of Somalia is indeed sovereign in its decisions,” read part of the report.
However, the authority recommended the deployment of more diplomatic efforts to reconcile the two nations.
EIB to support for high-impact investment in 11 Sahel countries under Great Green Wall initiative
January 12, 2021 | 0 Comments
- President Hoyer reaffirms EIB commitment to Sahel and climate vulnerable regions in Africa as part of Team Europe
- EIB to strengthen financial and technical support for sustainable agriculture, clean energy, water, infrastructure and microfinance to create jobs and resilience
- Biodiversity investment in Africa to benefit from pioneering EIB Sustainable Awareness Bonds
The European Investment Bank today announced that it aims to provide new financial and technical support to back sustainable agriculture, clean energy, water, infrastructure and private sector financing in 11 Sahel countries most vulnerable to a changing climate by 2025.
The EIB financing and technical support will enhance the impact of the Great Green Wall initiative to improve biodiversity in the Sahel and better tackle climate and environmental challenges facing the region. Targeted high-impact investment will enable more inclusive economic growth and strengthen resilience in the region to foster peace and stability.
EIB President Werner Hoyer outlined the expected strengthened engagement to back high-impact investment essential to create jobs, improve economic opportunities and increase access to clean energy and water during the One Planet Summit for Biodiversity hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris earlier today.
“Communities across the Sahel are threatened by climate change, increasingly frequent droughts and floods, and unreliable and limited access to energy, water and food. The European Investment Bank, as part of Team Europe and member of the Sahel Alliance, recognises the need to scale up investment that tackles these challenges, delivers sustainable development and improves stability in the region. The EU Bank is pleased to join African and international partners in ensuring that the Great Green Wall biodiversity initiative improves lives and opportunities across the Sahel. Looking ahead, the EIB expects to back transformational public and private sector investment in 11 Sahel states most vulnerable to climate change as part of our commitment to accelerate high-impact investment across Africa. This will complement our broader strategic engagement across Africa and 58 year track record of backing transformational investment on the continent.“ said Werner Hoyer, European Investment Bank President.
President Hoyer addressed the One Planet Summit for Biodiversity alongside the Prince of Wales, President of the African Union Commission and heads of the French Development Agency, African Development Bank, UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
Working with African partners to unlock high-impact investment across the Sahel
During his address to the One Planet Summit for Biodiversity President Hoyer highlighted the impact of recent EIB support for water investment in Mali and Niger, clean energy across West Africa and private sector support with local microfinance and banking partners.
The EIB is currently supporting projects to address land degradation and enhance access to finance by rural communities and small holders in Mali and Ethiopia, and to redress and prevent soil erosion in Nigeria, all initiatives that provide a model for successful biodiversity investment elsewhere in Africa.
EIB harnessing global capital markets to support biodiversity investment
Future EIB investment for sustainable agriculture and environmental projects across Africa will benefit from the EIB being the first international financial institution to issue bonds to support biodiversity investment.
This week the EIB, the world’s largest supranational bond issuer and pioneering of green bonds, will include biodiversity in the eligibility of the established EIB Sustainable Awareness Bonds.
Supporting the Great Green Wall initiative to improve lives and opportunities in the Sahel
The Great Green Wall initiative aims to restore Africa’s degraded landscapes and transform the lives of people living in the Sahel. The 11 countries selected as intervention zoned for the Great Green Wall are Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan
The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and owned directly by the 27 European Union member states.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union and is owned by the EU Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals both in Europe and beyond. The European Investment Bank is active in around 160 countries and is the world’s largest multilateral lender for climate action projects.
The EIB Group has recently adopted its Climate Bank Roadmap to deliver on its ambitious agenda to support €1 trillion of climate action and environmental sustainability investments in the decade to 2030 and to deliver more than 50% of EIB finance for climate action and environmental sustainability by 2025. As part of the Roadmap, all new EIB Group operations will also be aligned with the goals and principles of the Paris Agreement from the start of 2021.
Flying The African Flag Even In Crisis: Ethiopian Airlines And Its Fight Against Coronavirus
December 22, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Amos Fofung
When the coronavirus outbreak first hit international news outlets, no one could fathom the level of chaos it will create on a global level. Giant economies have been shattered, companies bankrupt, and thousands of lives destroyed. There was no escaping from the novel virus which seemingly throw scientists off their game and challenged world leaders, most of who strived to keep their countries afloat.
Responding to the outbreak and preventing a far devastating consequence was the only viable option. It will be fair to state that European nations and some countries in North America had an easy ride responding to the pandemic due to their economic and developmental standings. But in a continent like Africa, unique in every way, a Pan African hero was needed – especially after the first coronavirus case was reported in February.
On March 15, 2020, Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced that he had secured a continent-wide coronavirus support from Chinese business magnet, Jack Ma.
The Ali Baba founder confirmed the news 24-hours later following which the materials were flown to Ethiopia on March 22. With coronavirus increasing its spread across Africa, the continent received a much-needed care package but then the issue was how to get the package across the difficult terrain in Africa to the affected population – most of them in secluded areas.
Flying the African flag even in times of crisis
Ethiopia agreed to use its national career, Ethiopian airlines, to undertake deployment to all member states across the continent.
On March 23, the airline which is Africa’s most profitable was flying across the continent delivering the supplies and before March 27, Ethiopian airlines had delivered the consignments to 41 countries. This is after the national carrier had announced major cancelation of international flights to curve the spread of the virus and keep its employees safe.
Destined to each of the 54 African countries was 20,000 test kits, 100,000 masks and 1,000 medical use protective suits and face shields all distributed by Ethiopian Airlines.
A star Alliance member, Ethiopian airlines is branded the pride of Africa and recognized and the best airline of the continent wining three times in a row the prestigious Skytrax World Airlines Award.
Suffering a loss of over $190 million, the carrier has suspended flights to 30 destinations as demand collapses and some countries impose travel bans to try and contain the deadly pandemic. Aviation is one of the hardest hit industries by the virus, facing billions of dollars of lost revenue.
Despite the difficult times marred with uncertainty, Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines remains optimistic saying the African skies could experience increased activity earlier than other continents.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV he said “here in Africa we expect to be slightly faster in recovery,” this is against the backdrop that global flights are forecast to take up to two years to return to 2019 levels.
Air travel was one of the most impacted economic centers as most countries across the world closed their airspaces to passenger flights save in some instances for medical and emergency landings.
The European Union, United States and several western governments had also arranged flights to evacuate their citizens across the continent with Ethiopian at the forefront of some of these operations.
Conversely, African governments – most recently Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, and Uganda have all moved to evacuate stranded citizens from different parts of the world. Again, Ethiopian, one of few airlines that continued operations stepped in to bring them home.
About bailouts, he stressed that Ethiopian – a continental leader – was not at the stage of seeking any such interventions but that they had other operational areas they seek government support.
“African governments will not be in a position to bail out airlines as much as in Europe and America,” said Tewolde. “Airlines are not flying or generating revenue and governments do not have the resources to bail them out. It is going to be very, very tough for most African airlines.”
Lessons to other African carriers
Indeed, the biggest airlines in Africa are reeling from the devastating economic effects of coronavirus. Kenya Airways, the sixth largest airline on the continent, has occasionally asked the country’s government for an urgent bailout to avoid going into bankruptcy, and protect the jobs of 3,900 employees. In July 2019, the Kenyan parliament voted to re-nationalize the airline, 23 years after it was privatized.
Small carriers like Air Zimbabwe, a single-plane carrier that’s $300 million in debt, The Associated Press reported. But major airlines are also hurting, including Kenya Airways, Royal Air Maroc and Lome-based regional carrier ASKY Airlines, whose fleet of nine aircraft is still grounded.
In April, the International Air Transport Association warned African airlines could lose $6 billion in revenue this year, along with about 3 million aviation and related jobs continentwide. The African Airlines Association offered an even darker assessment of $8 billion in losses.
Even industry star Ethiopian Airlines is hurting, reporting revenue losses in millions of dollars.
Aviation experts say the 75-year-old Ethiopian Airlines has both the fleet and managerial capacity to help ease the burden of Africa’s struggling airlines.
In the 2017-2018 financial year, Ethiopian owned 111 planes, more than any other airline on the continent, and flew to 106 destinations around the world. It is also one of the few airlines that consistently turn up a profit in Africa.
Ethiopian has invested heavily in modernizing its fleet, which is now the youngest in Africa at 5.4 years as of March 2019. This compares well above the average of 13.5 years, 15 years, and 10.7 years for British Airways, United Airlines and American Airlines, respectively.
A long way here
Ethiopian has come a long way since commencing operations in 1945 with a weekly service between Addis Ababa and Cairo. Early on the airline recognized that a successful future depended on first developing a far-reaching pan-African route network. With this aim now largely fulfilled, the airline’s focus is shifting. New destinations and increased numbers of flights to Europe, the United States of America, Canada, Asia and the Middle East have been launched, as the airline goes about bringing the world closer to Africa.
Internationally, Ethiopian flies to a number of major cities in Europe including Frankfurt, London, Paris, Rome, Brussels and Stockholm; to Bangkok, Beijing, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Mumbai across Asia; to numerous destinations in the Middle East; to Washington D.C ,Newark and Toronto in North America.
From its hub at Addis Ababa, Ethiopian serves 116 international and 23 domestic destinations.
EIB launches EUR 50 million Africa pharmaceutical manufacturing initiative
December 18, 2020 | 0 Comments
- Programme to strengthen supply chain and reduce dependency on drug imports
- Investment to scale-up local production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients
- Scheme to improve healthcare, create skilled jobs and boost industrial growth
The European Investment Bank today launched the first ever scheme to strengthen local production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients in Africa and scale up drug manufacturing essential to improve public health.
The EIB’s new EUR 50 million pharmaceutical investment initiative, initiated together with kENUP Foundation, will contribute to reducing dependency on drug imports and address medical supply chain weaknesses linked to COVID-19. The programme will improve availability of specialist drugs and tackle supply chain challenges that currently damage public health across Africa.
Scaling up pharmaceutical investment in Africa will help to protect millions of people from disease and disability and strengthen resilience to ongoing and future pandemics.
“Accelerating high-impact pharmaceutical investment across Africa is crucial to improve public health, address medical supply chain weaknesses and unlock long-term economic development. The European Investment Bank is pleased to launch the first ever-financing initiative to scale up local production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients in Africa. This scheme has been designed with African and global experts and builds on the EIB’s unique global technical experience and financing expertise supporting health and innovation investment.” said Thomas Östros, European Investment Bank Vice President.
“COVID-19 has highlighted how public health in Africa is vulnerable to global supply chains and dependent on international production. Increasing local specialist manufacturing of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients will help to improve the public health of millions of Africans. This new initiative demonstrates how specialist pharmaceutical and financing expertise can create jobs and a better future for Africa.” said Dr Mariângela Batista Galvão Simão, World Health Organisation Assistant Director- General responsible for Access to Medicines and Health Products.
“Team Europe’s new support to scale up African manufacturing of advanced pharmaceutical ingredients and build on the strengths of existing manufacturing expertise, in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa, will help to protect millions of people from disease and disability. The demand for pharmaceuticals is expected to double in Africa by the end of the next decade. This provides huge business opportunities for African pharmaceutical companies.” said Simon Mordue, European Union Ambassador to Kenya.
The Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients financing initiative was formally launched earlier today with participation of representatives from the European Investment Bank, World Health Organisation, EDCTP, Global Access in Action at Harvard Law School and kENUP Foundation. Kenyan-based non-profit APIFA (API for Africa) contributed their expertise throughout the process of establishing this financing facility and will act as a non-exclusive promotor to the facility.
“In the spirit of leaving no region behind in the pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals, we warmly welcome the launch of the API for Africa initiative. This will add value to future Research & Development with more active involvement of the African region.” said Michael Makanga, Executive Director of the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP).
“This is a timely facility that will transform the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry on the continent and thus enhance access to essential medicines for vulnerable populations. We call on all relevant stakeholders to now work together to support manufacturers in this transformation journey and ensure the long-term viability of this initiative”, says Gerald Macharia, a founding director of APIFA.
Supporting global efforts to strengthen health system reliance
This new initiative is aligned with World Health Organisation goals and the recently announced cooperation between the EIB and WHO to combat COVID-19 and strengthen health system resilience to better face future pandemics.
Specialised pharmaceutical financing responding to exceptional COVID-19 healthcare needs
Long-term financing will be available in USD, EUR and local currency and can cover more than 50% of the total cost of eligible investment, as part of the EIB’s exceptional response to COVID-19. EIB financing can co-finance projects alongside philanthropic, equity, development financing or support from commercial banks.
Tackling medical supply chain weaknesses highlighted by COVID-19
In recent months the global COVID-19 pandemic has stained fragile supply chains and led to acute local shortages of medical and pharmaceutical supplies, including drugs to treat HIV. Increasing local production will reduce dependency on imports and exposure to counterfeit drugs.
Enabling African business to benefit from future pharmaceutical growth
The scheme will enable Africa to benefit from predicted doubling in local pharmaceutical sales over the next decade, improve access to healthcare and create specialist jobs on the continent. Demand for pharmaceutical products in Africa is expected to double to EUR 60 billion by 2020.
Unlocking high-value innovation investment in Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients
The EIB initiative will provide long-term financing for pharmaceutical production across sub-Saharan Africa and specifically target manufacturing of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients that constitute 45% of final drug costs.
The new financing programme will also ensure that African pharmaceutical manufacturing can benefit technological innovation that is transforming the industry and making local production easy through digital connectivity, automation and cloud computing.
Building on the EIB global response to COVID-19
The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and a leading financier of public health and innovation investment.
Since the start of the COVID pandemic the EIB has been working with partners across Europe and around the world to accelerate vaccine development, strengthen public health and help business to invest during the crisis, with more than EUR 27 billion of COVID related investment approved in recent months.
Last year the EIB provided more than EUR 3 billion for public and private investment across Africa.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.
Merck Foundation partners with Burundi First Lady to build healthcare capacity, empower girls in education and break the infertility stigma
October 22, 2020 | 0 Comments
|The First Lady of Burundi was also appointed as the Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother during the meeting.|
Merck Foundation , the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany partnered with The First Lady of Burundi, H.E. Madam ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, during a high-level meeting held between Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and Burundi First Lady. During the meeting, Merck Foundation underscored their long-term commitment to continue their efforts to build healthcare capacity, empower girls in education and break the infertility stigma in Burundi. The First Lady of Burundi was also appointed as the Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother during the meeting.
H.E. Madam ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of Burundi and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother expressed, “I am very happy to partner with Merck Foundation and excited to capitalize on their valuable programs in our country. These programs will create a very significant impact on our people’s advancement, as health is very critical to our social and economic development. As the Ambassador of Merck More than a Mother, I will work closely with Merck Foundation to sensitize our communities to better understand infertility and empower women through access to education, information, health and change of mindset and also empower our girls through education”.
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “I am very proud of our partnership with Burundi First Lady and welcome her as the Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother and new member of Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative-MFFLI . We have discussed our long-term collaboration and partnership with her Foundation and Ministry of Health & Ministry of Education to build healthcare capacity in Burundi, by providing training to doctors in the fields of Cancer, Fertility, and Diabetes care. With the outbreak of the global pandemic, building healthcare capacity is more significant than ever, and through our long-term partnership we are looking forward to creating a strong medical army in Burundi.
The Burundi First Lady had also attended Merck Foundation’s first Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative (MFFLI) VC Summit held last month, which was attended by a total of 13 African First Ladies and introduced her development programs in Burundi”.
Merck Foundation has conducted their capacity building programs in Burundi for the past three years through their partnership with Burundi government and Former First Lady of Burundi, H.E. MADAM DENISE NKURUNZIZA
Merck Foundation has provided specialty training to more than 31 doctors from Burundi and will continue doing so for the next 10 years plan.
Merck Foundation made history by providing training to the first oncologist and fertility specialists and embryologists in Burundi.
So far 10 doctors have completed the fertility and embryology training, and together with Burundi First Lady, more doctors will be trained to improve access to quality and equitable fertility care in the country.
Merck Foundation has also trained the first Oncologist in Burundi and will continue enrolling doctors for oncology fellowship program as a contribution to improve cancer care in the country.
Moreover, Merck Foundation has provided Diabetes care training to twenty doctors and is going to train more doctors, one from each province. After completion of the training, these doctors should be able to establish a diabetes clinic in his/her Health Centre or Hospital with the aim to help prevent and manage the disease in their respective communities.
“We will continue our new important Program “Educating Linda”, in partnership with the First Lady of Burundi together with the Ministry of Education. Under this program, we have sponsored 20 girls in 2019 and will sponsor the education of 20 best performing girls in their secondary schools this year and fir the next 10 years. We strongly believe that Education is one of the most critical areas of women empowerment”, added Dr. Rasha Kelej, One of 100 Most Influential Africans (2019, 2020).
Merck Foundation also announced a winner from Burundi for their “Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards from French speaking African Countries.
About ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign:
“Merck More Than a Mother” is a strong movement that aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and change of mind-sets. This powerful campaign supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe, effective and equitable fertility care solutions. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention, management and male infertility. In partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information, Education & Gender, academia, policymakers, International fertility societies, media and art, the initiative also provides training for fertility specialists and embryologists to build and advance fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries.
With “Merck More Than a Mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility at all levels: By improving awareness, training local experts in the fields of fertility care and media, building advocacy in cooperation with African First Ladies and women leaders and by supporting childless women in starting their own small businesses. It’s all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to live a fulfilling life, with or without a child.
The Ambassadors of “Merck More Than a Mother” are:
H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana
H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia
H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia
H.E. ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE,
The First Lady of Burundi
H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana
H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU, The First Lady of Niger
H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic
H.E. CONDÉ DJENE, The First Lady of Guinea Conakry
H.E. AISHA BUHARI, The First Lady of Nigeria
H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad
H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia
H.E FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone
H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo Brazzaville
H.E. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi
H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia
H.E. DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, THE First Lady of Democratic Republic of Congo
H.E. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique
H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe
Merck Foundation launched new innovative initiatives to sensitize local communities about infertility prevention, male infertility with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and empowering infertile women as part of Merck More than a Mother COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN, such as;
‘Merck More than a Mother’ Media Recognition Awards and Health Media Training
‘Merck More than a Mother’ Fashion Awards
‘Merck More than a Mother’ Film Awards
Local songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change it
Children storybook, localized for each country
About Merck Foundation:
The Merck Foundation , established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation
*SOURCE Merck Foundation
DFC Backs $1.55 Million for Tulu Moye Power Project in Ethiopia
October 15, 2020 | 0 Comments
First use of agency’s technical development program speeds critical project
WASHINGTON – U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has committed $1.55 million in technical development for the Tulu Moye Geothermal Power Plant Project in Ethiopia. DFC’s grant will enable project development and accelerate the schedule to design the 50-megawatt geothermal power plant. When completed, the project will be the country’s first Independent Power Project and one of the largest geothermal power plants in Ethiopia, a country with substantial untapped geothermal resources that can provide significant baseload power.
“DFC will help to shape the design of the project by utilizing one of our new development tools: technical assistance,” said DFC Chief Executive Officer Adam Boehler. “This project will help Ethiopia to tap a critical resource for its economic growth.”
Ethiopian company TM Geothermal Operations PLC (TMGO) is developing the Tulu Moye project, which is approximately 100 kilometers southeast of Addis Ababa. DFC’s technical development would provide funding for up to $1.55 million for project development. After development is completed, DFC would evaluate additional financing for implementation. If TMGO receives implementation financing from DFC or any other financier, TMGO will pay back the full amount of the technical development funding.
DFC’s technical development builds upon long-term U.S. Government support for the Ethiopian power sector, including by Power Africa, the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
The Tulu Moye project is one of the first instances of DFC using its new technical development tool provided in the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act of 2018. DFC grants for technical development, including feasibility studies and technical assistance, are designed to support potential and existing DFC financing and insurance investments and increase the impact of those investments.
U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is America’s development bank. DFC partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. We invest across sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology. DFC also provides financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs in order to create jobs in emerging markets. DFC investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights.
Sustained Efforts Needed To Boast Brazil-Africa Relations -Prof Joao Monte
October 13, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Ajong Mbapndah L
Sustained efforts are needed to maximize the enormous potentials of stronger ties between Brazil and says Prof João Bosco Monte ,President of the Brazil African Institute- IBRAF. Speaking in a skype interview to discuss the upcoming Brazil-Africa forum, of the flagship programmes of the IBRAF, Prof Monte says the similarity between the South American country and Africa are too many with ample opportunities for win-win cooperation.
PAV: Dr Monte good morning and thanks for talking to Pan African Visions
Professor Joao Monte: It is a pleasure to talk with you, my friend.
PAV: Let’s start with an introduction of the Brazil-Africa Institute that you lead. Can you give an introduction of that Institute for us?
Professor Joao Monte: When I founded the institute 10-years-ago the idea was to give Brazilians to see what kind of synergies and activities that both sides could do together. I see a link between the two regions, Brazil and the African continent, not only because of the history; geography but because I see a potential similarity between both places. When I saw the possibility to interact, I understood that we could do things together and came to the idea to have the institute.
This is the idea we had for the institute ten years ago, and now it is found in many states in Brazil. Two-years-ago we opened one office in Accra, Ghana. We are thinking to have one more antenna of the institute, and we are trying to understand when and where it will be. The idea was to do it this year, but because of the situation of the pandemic, we had to change it for next year.
PAV: One of your flagship programmes is the Brazil-Africa forum, and the 2020 edition is scheduled for November 3-4, how prepared is the institute to host this event this year.
Professor Joao Monte: The forum is one of the tools we have to engage, to put together Brazilians and Africans. In the last seven editions of the forum we discussed many things, topics, brought so many high-level authorities from Brazil and Africa. More and, more, we are engaging with people from outside Brazil and Africa. The idea is to promote the forum and have leaders from many parts of the world to present their ideas, and have their voices heard. This year we are going to celebrate the tenth year of the institute and, in the beginning, we wanted to have the forum with a physical presence, so, people come into Brazil. But because of the pandemic, we needed to change, and it will be 100 % virtual.
The event won’t be a webinar; it is a well-prepared event. We have participants from Africa, Brazil and other regions, and the topic we are going to talk about will be “How the world will behave after the pandemic” because we are now facing an important moment, but, we need to understand how the world will act after the pandemic is important. Brazil and Africa should be together again, and we are going to discuss opportunities for Brazil and Africa during the forum this year.
PAV: Looking back ten years is quite some time. If you were, to sum up, the achievements you have recorded, what progress have you seen in the ten years you have been doing this?
Professor Joao Monte: Just to clarify that the institute has ten-years already, but the forum has eight-years – we are now coming to the eighth edition of the forum. It is not easy to summarize in a short time what we have done in eight years of the event. I remember in 2016 I put together two Ministers the Minister of Agriculture of Brazil and the Minister of Agriculture of Nigeria to discuss opportunity possibilities that this initiative that we engage at the Brazil-Africa forum at that time could have. Our mandate is to be a catalyser, a facilitator, and I think that is what is there to promote the meeting between both sides of Brazil and Africa. We brought personalities to the event that brought ideas, which was the beginning of something as we had a Brazilian company that is now doing projects in Rwanda, Kenya and Ghana. They came to the forum, used the platform to engage with partners and then we now see positive results.
PAV: And for the 2020 forum may we know some of the highlights and personalities that will be answering present?
Professor Joao Monte: The forum this year like I said is on how the world will behave after the pandemic, and we have already confirmed some important participations. We have Jennifer Blanke, former Vice-President at AfDB, Michael Kremer, 2019 Nobel Prize Economist, Dr Denis Mukwege, 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and others. We are bringing something else which is the launch of the initiative relating to business and investment between Brazil and Africa that is something for us in the coming years.
PAV: With regards to the theme for this year that is: “what next after the pandemic”, in what areas do you cooperation between Brazil and Africa in meeting the next challenges?
Professor Joao Monte: We are going to bring the President of Fiocruz – a Brazilian government company relating to the production of vaccines. They will produce the next year millions of vaccines for Brazilians and also for the African context.
Health is one of the areas I am very sure we can contribute to using the platform of the forum but also Agriculture. As I said, we are going to have the commission on Agriculture from AU. We are going to have the foreign Minister of Agriculture from Brazil during Lula’s time. So, agriculture is again another possibility of discussion.
Infrastructure is something very unique. We had a few companies from Brazil which have built roads, airports, ports and other infrastructure activities and, they will be again in the forum. I am sure this will be a contribution we can bring to the movement in engaging the two regions. In the area of education, we are going to have experts to discuss what they are doing, and this can be an opportunity for interacting in this area.
PAV: May we know how the current President of Brazil is doing to forging stronger bonds between Africa and any comparison with his predecessors in this regard?
Professor Joao Monte: Last year we brought to the event the Vice- President of Brazil. He opened the Brazil-Africa forum in 2019. It was good to hear from him that he was planning to come to Africa – he was planning to visit Africa this year in March but because of the pandemic and the borders we closed He could not travel – what I am saying is that when he mentioned that Africa could be a part of the Brazilian agenda I understand that this is something special, but we should not compare what we had during President Lula’s mandate and what we have now.
The current President did not point Africa as President Lula did in the past but now, we can still harness what President Lula said in 2003. He said: “Africa will be a priority for this government”, and it was a reality as he travelled to Africa many times with his Ministers. The current President of Brazil did not say anything about having Africa as a priority but, from the voice of the Vice-President, we can have an important message that Africa was not erased from the core of the government. I am not a government official, so, I cannot talk on behalf of the government but, looking from outside I see that the voice of the Vice President was good to announce that we can still do things together.
I have spoken to private sector key personalities, and they say Africa is on their radar and they want to do things with Africa. But we need to put more people together to engage more and more, and this is good for the Brazil-Africa Institute because we have the best connections to put things together, Brazilians and Africans.
PAV: During the recent crisis at the AfDB you spoke out forcefully in support of Dr (Akinwumi) Adesina, and he was re-elected for another four-year mandate. Firstly, are you happy with his re-election and secondly in what areas do you see prospects to engage with the AfDB in meeting some of the objectives of the Brazil-Africa Institute?
Professor Joao Monte: I am happy with the re-election, and I understand what he did for his first term but, he will need more time to continue to give more visibility and bring more results for what he planned to do. I supported him because I understand his voice is important for the Africa context and he brings to the table the idea that Africa needs to change not only to receive things from outside but that Africa should engage and work together with partners – something which is very important for the continent and the people. The agenda of the bank is very wide; the reduction and elimination of poverty are important to mention but I think there is one direction which he is doing which is related to Agriculture. Because of his background as the former Minister of Agriculture for Nigeria he knows what he is saying when he is talking about Agriculture.
Specifically, from the Brazilian context agriculture is one of the main assets that we have in this discussion. If you look back at Brazil four years ago, you will see maybe the same situation that is in other parts of Africa. We used to import foods, crops but now Brazil is one of the biggest exporters of food and commodities in the world (maize, corn, soybeans, sugar and others). We have so many possibilities of producing in Africa what we are producing in Brazil and the AfDB plays an important role.
From outside I think the bank can work more with Brazil in terms of attracting Brazilian voices, entrepreneurs, businesspeople to Africa. One thing I would like to mention is if we do not take the opportunity to invite people to come, and see what we have in front of us people will not see the potentials. The bank is playing an important role, but I think the conversation should be more precise, and the initiative of the bank with Brazil should be more aggressive and precise. I hope that in his second term he could put more attention to the Brazilian context.
PAV: In the build-up to the forum coming up in November, news came up indicating that you had been appointed as a champion of the UN Food Summit by the UN Special envoy for Food System Summit. What does this appointment mean for you and what do you think you can bring to the table?
Professor Joao Monte: I am very honoured to be appointed as a champion of the Food System Summit for 2021. We need to give people the food that they need. I just mentioned that Brazil is producing more food than before which is very important, but we need to see how we can again work together. Being appointed as a champion of the Food System is the opportunity to raise our voice amongst others to bring benefit to the people, especially poor people in Africa and Brazil. With the experience we can bring from Brazil, I think we can help put some realities in the African context. We just started this discussion, but I am very excited to see the results of the engagements of the group of champions including myself.
PAV: We would like to round up with what you plan to do next after the Brazil-Africa forum, what other initiatives will you be working on, and what perspectives do you see for the future of Brazil-Africa relations?
Professor Joao Monte: The Brazil-Africa Institute has many activities besides the Brazil-Africa forum which is important for us. Of course, this year has been a difficult year for everybody as we had to reinvent ourselves – we could not travel and meet people and so it was not easy to do everything we planned last year for this year. One of the activities we have going is the fellowship programme, we bring researchers from Africa to stay in Brazil for up to two months under my supervision to do research, bringing to the world some experience that Brazil is doing well in the South-South Cooperation platform. We can have health, education science, innovation, agriculture and so this is something we are still doing, and we launched a call last month and is still running until 12 of October, and they will arrive in February/March next year.
Also, we have “YTTP” which is Youth Technical Training Programme, where we bring young Africans to receive technical training, very sharp and direct training in areas that Brazil again is doing well, succeeding and when they go back home, they are easy to deploy with the knowledge they have received in Brazil. These youths stay in Brazil for up to two weeks – we started this programme in 2017 and, this year we had to reschedule, and the first group was supposed to arrive in April but had to be rescheduled for February. We are in the process of selecting people, and something new we learnt from this moment is the use of technology. We have launched a programme called Online Platform Learning, and we will be starting next year. We are finalizing the preparation of this programme.
What is going to be the future between Brazil and Africa? It is not easy to say that the relations will be strong or diminish. But understand what we are doing, your job and my job, it is to keep talking, thinking and dreaming as without dreaming we cannot go far. The situation is not easy – it is difficult. If I looked back ten years ago, it was impossible to achieve the things we have now. We need to leave the message to the people that it is possible to engage Brazil and Africa, and we should be together. We cannot do things alone; we should be together to go far. I am very optimist and realistic as well for what is going to happen tomorrow, but I am very sure that if we stay quiet, and calm, too many things will not happen. That is why we should act precisely with strategy.
PAV: Professor Monte thanks so much for talking to Pan African Visions and keep the doors open when we come again next time.
Professor Joao Monte: Thank you very much for your time, and I look forward to engaging more and more with you. Thanks again.