It Is Time to Create Aggressive Market-Driven Policies That Spur Economic Growth
October 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
|The African Energy Chamber insisted on the need for fair regulations that are supportive of local industries whole encouraging international investments|
|CAPE TOWN, South Africa, October 10, 2019/ — The African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org/) advocated for better regulatory frameworks, local content development, women empowerment and cross-border cooperation at the grand opening of Africa Oil & Power in Cape Town this week.|
Attended by hundreds of senior government officials and energy executives from across Africa and the world, the Africa Oil & Power Conference & Exhibition is seeking solutions to make energy work better for Africans and investors. It was opened by leading industry figures such as H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, H.E. Mouhamadou Makhtar Cissé, Minister of Petroleum and Energies of Senegal, and Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber and CEO of the Centurion Law Group.
Delivering the opening remarks, African Energy Chamber Executive Chairman Nj Ayuk addressed key issues facing the industry’s future, reminding the continent that it needs and must do better to provide energy and jobs to all Africans. “We are here at AOP not only to highlight success stories but also to have an honest conversation with each other on what needs to be done for our industry, and follow a roadmap to successful implementation on core issues such as regulations and local content policies, the empowerment of women, infrastructure development, cross-border cooperation and fiscal frameworks,” declared Nj Ayuk.
On the issue of regulations and the creation of a better enabling environment for investors and businesses, the African Energy Chamber insisted on the need for fair regulations that are supportive of local industries whole encouraging international investments. “Look to Ghana,” said Nj Ayuk. “The country has built an oil and gas regulatory framework from scratch and built a reputation for transparency and regulatory certainty. Its projects are getting off the drawing board and Ghana is already a serious African producer. Regulations have to be progressive, so what matters is to implement regulations that set the ground for the development of a sustainable, local content-oriented and jobs-creating industry.”
“On local content, look to Nigeria,” he added. “It has used its oil and gas as a jumping off point for overall economic development and building up domestic capacities from the ground up while providing the right opportunities for the establishment and growth of strong local companies across the value chain.”
At the core of the African Energy Chamber’s message was also a call to women empowerment across Africa’s energy industry. From creating strong educational and training programmes to implementing progressive policies in the workplace, the Chamber has advocated for better policies that provide women equal opportunities in the workplace and across the industry. “On woman empowerment, look to South Africa, which boasts some of the strongest leaders in Africa’s oil and gas sector,” declared Nj Ayuk. “Diversity will change our industry for the best and needs to be a priority.”
The African Energy Chamber closed its opening remarks on the issues of infrastructure development and cross-border cooperation. In many cases, a lack of infrastructure is severely holding back economic and social development, including a lack of roads, pipelines, ports and airports is stopping exploration and production in its tracks; and delaying the progress of otherwise economically viable progress. Meanwhile, cross-border cooperation is the key to unlocking the potential of the continent. “On cross-border cooperation, look to Senegal and Mauritania,” said Nj Ayuk. “They both have already shown Africa that putting its differences aside and working towards co-developing projects is beneficial for African economies and their people. The GTA project is a landmark project in that regard, and one that will profoundly impact the socio-economic development in both countries. The major step to encourage future such collaboration and projects is to simply keep the dialogue open and engage more.”
*Africa Energy Chamber
African Development Bank and partners launch pilot Cities Diagnostics tool in five cities
October 10, 2019 | 0 Comments
|The tool includes key environmental and urban sustainability indicators as well as disaster risk and vulnerability, and urban footprint growth|
|ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, October 7, 2019/ — “The urban opportunities far outweigh the challenges,” said Prof. Davis G. Mwamfupe, the Mayor of Dodoma, Tanzania, during his message to the Cities Leadership workshop, launching the City Diagnostics for five pilot cities in Africa, held on the 25th and 26th September 2019 in Abidjan.|
Five cities were chosen for the pilot phase of the Cities Diagnostics for 2019 -2020: Antananarivo (Madagascar), Bizerte (Tunisia), Conakry (Republic of Guinea), Dodoma (Tanzania) and Libreville (Gabon) and were represented by their respective authorities.
The African Development Bank (AfDB.org), the Urban and Municipal Development Fund (UMDF) and the Korea Africa-Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) organized the workshop to review the cities diagnostic methodologies with city managers and international urban development experts. Amadou Oumarou, Director of the Bank’s Infrastructure and Urban Development Department said, “The new City Diagnostics tool of the Bank will enable city managers and development partners to have a clear understanding of the situation in all the various sub-sectors of the city and allow us to prioritise our work”.
The diagnostic tool includes key environmental and urban sustainability indicators; two baseline studies covering disaster risk and vulnerability, and urban footprint growth. It also includes a public opinion survey covering accessibility and quality of municipal services for water, sanitation, electricity. Drainage, solid waste management, and other measures of quality of life in cities are also included. The tool can measure and assess inclusiveness and resilience parameters, strategies, municipal resource mobilization, investments, and public accounts administration.
The Mayor of Bizerte, Dr. Ben Amara Kamel stressed the challenge of limited municipal budget resources for capital infrastructure and services investments as well the difficulty of recruiting qualified municipal staff to cities, especially given Bizerte’s ambitious projects such as 100% clean energy by 2030. Participants from Conakry and Libreville also mentioned problems of city governance, the low level of municipal tax collection, poor sanitation, and solid waste management.
The five pilot cities exchanged experiences at a panel headed by Ellis Juan, Senior Advisor to the Bank’s UMDF and former head of the Inter-American Development Bank emerging and sustainable cities program (ESC) . Juan highlighted some of the key lessons learned in Latin America which included the following:An integrated approach to city planning and management yields greater impact;Climate change should be integrated into city planning and management;Making cities for the people, or people-oriented cities;Order in the fiscal accounts, increased digitalization of city management and strong governance and transparency make for a credible partner;Efficient management of solid waste, sewerage and drainage systems, and water resources will preserve cities’ environmental assets for future generations while improving quality of life;Integrating mobility into urban planning and investing in quality public transportation services will drive productivity and create citizen-friendly cities;The City Diagnostics program is fully funded by the UMDF, which supports African cities and municipalities to improve their resilience and manage urban growth and development better through planning, governance, and efficient public services as well as improving the quality of life in urban environments in Africa.
Gambia Gov’t, Japan Signed Food Assistance Grant
October 8, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
The Governments of The Gambia and Japan signed food assistance grant worth $2,337,650 at a ceremony held at Atlantic Hotel in Banjul on Saturday October 5th, 2019.
The rice assistance is part of Japan’s annual Official Development Assistance (ODA) to The Gambia. Following the signing ceremony, the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, Dr. Mamadou Tangara said the ceremony is testament of Japan’s commitment to work closely with the Government of The Gambia to addressing Gambia’s food security situation and also part of efforts aimed at elevating Gambia – Japan bilateral relations.
Dr. Tangara thanked the Government of Japan for the level of support the country has so far received.
He said discussions have been done with members of Japan’s Parliamentary Council to the African Union on the margins of TICAD 7th in Yokohama, and The Gambia is working towards intensifying collaboration in the areas of agriculture, infrastructural development and capacity building for the youth.
He called on the Japanese private sector through the Japanese Embassy to invest in potential sectors of The Gambia’s economy, including agriculture and fisheries.
He assured Ambassador Tatsuo Arai of the principle of transparency and accountability adding that the government will ensure that the arrangements under this partnership is worked out to achieve Gambia’s common objectives and support Japan’s international commitment.
He commended Japan for interventions in education, rural water supply, health, youth and sports and other development.
For his part, Ambassador Arai told reporters that the two countries have fruitful cooperation in the areas of education, health, fisheries and food assistance. The food assistance, he adds, will alleviate food shortage, stabilise food price and socio-economic development through the utilisation of the counterpart fund. He assured that Japan will continue to work with the Barrow Government in order to address the needs of the population.
He said human security is one of the main pillars of Japan’s Official Development Assistance, ODA, policies and the establishment of food security and food self-sufficiency holds a special importance in these policies.
Verve International celebrates 10 years of resilience, innovation, determination and unmatched services to Africa
October 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Amos Fofung
Verve, a leading payment technology and card business established in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, is celebrating ten years of unparallel service and innovation.
The celebration comes barely weeks after Verve penned an agreement with Discovery Global Network, a US-based direct banking and payment service in New York, enabling Verve cardholders to use their Verve Global Cards on the Discover Global Network which provide acceptance in more than 190 countries and territories worldwide.
Assessing the path covered so far by the giant in African card business, Mike Ogbali III recounted that what started as a mare dream, has today concurred the African economic sphere and is set to take on the world.
“Ten years ago, a group of young, vibrant, innovative minds decided that it was time to challenge the status quo, it was time to drive financial inclusion; economic prosperity by building durable Nigerian enterprises; propositions that the rest of the world is willing to embrace. All they had was a dream…today we are gathered here to celebrate that dream, which has not only become a reality but has helped to re-define the payment landscape in Nigeria, Africa and beyond.”
Recalling that before its introduction in Nigeria the sector was flooded with foreign card business, he pointed out that “Verve was created to cater to the need of Nigerians and offer real value to the Nigerian market…As a domestic card of African origin, with a better understanding of the African Market, we have delivered this promise in issuing our card to 21 African countries.”
“Ten years after we have become an international brand…It is general knowledge that the global financial technology ecosystem is accelerating at a rapid pace and as Africans we cannot afford to be left behind, not just as users, but more importantly as innovators and enablers. That is why over the past years, we have evolved from being a domestic card scheme to a globally accepted brand giving Africans the opportunity to explore the world with an African key,” he added.
Weighing in, Mitchell Elegbe, Group Managing Director/FOUNDER, at VERVE, an Interswitch digital company that prides itself as a pacesetter in facilitating seamless electronic transaction referred to the last 10 years of Verve’s journey as a period colored with different experiences, stories and emotions.
His words; “the Verve brand, which is the focus of our gathering today, has come a very long way. The card scheme has grown from just an idea to solve the payment inefficiencies in Nigeria, into a bouquet of innovative payment solutions for Nigerians, Africans; rest of the world, including Verve Classic card, accepted in Nigeria 21 African countries; Verve Global card, accepted in 185 countries including U.S, U.K and Dubai.”
Reiterating that despite their steadfastness its not been an easy ride, Mitchell Elegbe pointed out that such turbulent times have helped the brand to earn its stripes and come this far.
Verve card scheme started out as a small branch of the Interswitch family, over-time has grown into an independent company of its own with several product offerings in its portfolio. Behind this growth has been our people. They have remained resilient in the face of all the challenges, odds and seasons of doubt. They have trudged on, ensuring that objectives set are met, projects are delivered, relationship with partners are well nurtured, ultimately customers are satisfied.”
Attributing Verve’s success to the dedication of its employees, the Group Managing Director adds; “today, the solutions and products Verve has brought to the marketplace so far demonstrate what can happen to any endeavor when met with the right people, opportunities and environment. I consider these first 10 years as years of consolidation and growth. We anticipate the next 10 years as years of massive investment in unprecedented customer service delivery. In the coming 10years we will improve financial inclusion even more and make payment much more seamless efficient.”
Merck Foundation provides their first ‘Health Media Training’ in partnership with the First Lady of the Kingdom of Lesotho
October 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
|Merck Foundation partners with The First Lady of the Kingdom of Lesotho to underscore their commitment to build healthcare capacity in the country|
|MASERU, Lesotho, October 4, 2019/ — Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com) Calls for Applications for Media Recognition Awards to break infertility stigma; Merck Foundation partners with The First Lady of the Kingdom of Lesotho to underscore their commitment to build healthcare capacity in the country|
Merck Foundation the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany organized their first “Merck Foundation Health Media Training” on 03rd October 2019 in Maseru, Lesotho in partnership with H.E. DR. MAESAIAH THABANE, The First Lady of the Kingdom of Lesotho and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother together with Ministry of Communication, Science & Technology to break the stigma around infertility in Lesotho and rest of Africa.
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother explained, “Based on my meeting with the First Lady of Lesotho, H.E. DR. MAESAIAH THABANE, The First Lady of Lesotho, we are very happy to underscore our long-term commitment to build healthcare capacity in the country. We are also very proud to appoint H.E. First Lady of Lesotho as the Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother campaign to raise awareness about infertility prevention, male infertility and define interventions to break infertility stigma. Moreover, we will be happy to provide training to doctors from Lesotho in the fields of Fertility, Diabetes and Cancer Care.”
“Merck Foundation will work closely with the office of the First Lady of Lesotho and her Foundation – Maesaiah Thabane Trust Fund, to introduce innovative ideas that will engage different sectors to create a culture shift with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and make a great impact in a short time. We plan to conclude the execution of our programs in our meeting with Her Excellency in Accra Ghana, during Merck Foundation’s annual conference, Merck Africa Asia Luminary 2019. However, to start with, we are conducing, the first health media training in Lesotho to educate media on how to break the stigma of infertility through their valuable work.” Added Dr. Rasha Kelej.
The training program is a part of ‘Merck More than a Mother’ community awareness Program and was organized for the first time in Lesotho for local media representatives and media students.
H.E. DR. MAESAIAH THABANE, The First Lady of Lesotho and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “We are happy to host this training program together with Merck Foundation. Media has the power to bring about a culture shift in our society”.
The training was addressed by the First Lady of Lesotho, stalwarts of media industry, including international faculty and infertility experts.
Moreover, it provided a great opportunity for the journalists to meet the experts and also to network with each other and work as a unit to eradicate the stigma around infertility in Lesotho and rest of Africa. It was attended by journalists working for Print, TV, Radio and Online media and journalism students.
“The Merck Health Media Training program focused on the international standards and media ethics for reporting sensitive issues like infertility in Africa. It was designed to benefit the journalists in understanding the infertility issues in African communities and to learn the best media practices to cover such issues” added Dr. Rasha Kelej.
Merck Foundation also announced Call for Application for “Merck More than a Mother” ‘Media Recognition Awards’ for Lesotho and rest of Africa. The “Merck More than a Mother” ‘Media Recognition Awards’ were launched in 2017 with the aim to emphasize the role of media in enhancing the public engagement and understanding of infertility stigma and the need to change its social perception in African communities.
The applications are invited by media professionals to showcase their work to raise awareness about infertility prevention and breaking infertility stigma in Lesotho and rest of Africa.
Who can apply? Journalists from print, online, radio and multimedia platforms from Lesotho and rest of Africa.
Last date of submission: Entries can be submitted till 31st December 2019.
How to apply? Entries can be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Categories and prize money for winners:CategoryTVRadioPrint MediaOnline MediaPrize MoneyUSD 1000USD 1000USD 1000USD 1000
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 and effective fertility care. 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 on 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 BotswanaH.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The GambiaH.E. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of MozambiqueH.E DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The First Lady of BurundiH.E. CONDÉ DJENE, The First Lady of Guinea ConakryH.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of NamibiaH.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African RepublicH.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of LiberiaH.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADO, The First Lady of NigerH.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of ChadH.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The First Lady of MalawiH.E FATIMA MAADA, The First Lady of Sierra LeoneH.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo BrazzavilleH.E. DR. MAESAIAH THABANE, The First Lady of LesothoH.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGW, The First Lady of ZimbabweH.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of GhanaH.E. KEÏTA AMINATA MAIGA, The First Lady of MaliH.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of ZambiaMerck Foundation is making history in many African countries where they never had fertility specialists or specialized fertility clinics before ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ intervention, to train the first fertility specialists such as; in Sierra Leone, Liberia, The Gambia, Niger, Chad, Guinea, Ethiopia and Uganda.
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 CAPAIGN, such as;Merck More than a Mother media recognition award and health media trainingMerck More than a Mother fashion awardMerck More than a Mother film awardLocal songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change itChildren storybook, localized for each countryAbout Merck Foundation:
The Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com), 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 Website.
Merck (MerckGroup.com) is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Almost 52,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions.
German Ambassador Outlines Projects in Gambia
October 4, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
President Adama Barrow today received the Dakar-based German Ambassador to The Gambia, His Excellency Stephan Roken, who was at the presidency to brief the President on the fulfillment of the promises made by the German president during his Gambia visit in 2017.
Following President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s trip, the German government inaugurated a Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI) annex institute in Mansakonko, Lower River Region, which, according to the Ambassador, will provide training for Gambian students in solar energy installation and repairs and agricultural machinery repair and maintenance. The regional extension will enable youth in the rural Gambia to acquire skills and meaningfully contribute to the development of the country.
During his 2017 visit, the German President expressed commitment to support the energy sector, and the expansion drive of The Gambia Technical Training Institute after touring its complexes.
Regarding the addressing of the energy supply deficit in the country, the Ambassador stated that his government handed over to National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) a capacity-building project package designed to improve electricity supply in the Greater Banjul Area through improvements in monitoring and communication.
‘’We did a lot of training on monitoring and we helped in communication systems but what is important is the training of engineers into collaborators of NAWEC. With this monitoring system, there will be fewer power cuts in the Greater Banjul Area.’’
The German ambassador added that the German companies that were working with NAWEC were impressed by the skills and dedication demonstrated by the NAWEC staff.
Similarly, he disclosed that a German organisation, GIZ, is implementing EU funded projects geared towards creating job opportunities for the young people of the country.
Commission president reiterates; Cameroon’s peace in vital to CEMAC sub-regional development
October 2, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Amos Fofung
Chairperson of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa, CEMAC, Professor Daniel Ona Ondo, has reiterated that the return of peace to Cameroon is the only guarantee for any meaningful economic development within the sub region.
Speaking September 26 at Cameroon’s executive mansion during a tête-à-tête with President Paul Biya who doubles as current chairman of the CEMAC conference of heads of state, Ona Ondo expressed hope that the national dialogue will solve the sociopolitical crisis in the North West and South West regions.
Noting that Cameroon contributes some 40 percent of the sub region’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, Ondo said the economic situation of the sub region has a positive outlook.
This, he explained, were the outcome of the 2016 resolutions of the CEMAC heads of state under the leadership of President Paul Biya.
These measures, the CEMAC official noted, have resulted in economic recovery and good inflation rates across the sub region. To enhance the economic recovery of the sub region, President Biya issued new directives to Prof Ondo to make CEMAC an enviable sub regional body with an interest on the population. The president also promised his support to the CEMAC Commission enable it fulfill its assigned missions.
Gambia: High-level delegation from Qatar arrives in Banjul to assess Development priorities
October 1, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
Following President Adama Barrow’s three-day working visit to Doha, Qatar, a high-level delegation from the gulf state has arrived in Banjul this week to make a first-hand assessment of the development priority needs of The Gambia.
The group’s first port of call was the Office of the President, where they held discussions with the Department of Strategic Policy and Delivery on Monday. They were taken through a PowerPoint presentation on the various aspects of the Gambia’s development blueprint – the National Development Plan, particularly high priority areas.
Speaking to waiting reporters after the meeting, Mr. Hamad Mohamed Al-Rumaihi from the Central and West African Countries’ Division, Department of African Affairs at the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs described the trip as “a fact finding” one.
“We know that there is an excellent relation between Qatar and The Gambia, which translated into the state visit by President Barrow to Qatar. The two leaders held fruitful discussions on various areas of potential intervention. This is a follow up to that state visit to help assess Gambia’s needs,” Mr. AlRumaihi explained.
The delegation comprises line ministries of health, education and economic empowerment areas like agriculture and youth and sports. Additionally, the private sector, national and international NGOs operating from Qatar are also represented, and they were led by the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Qatari Fund for Development.
While in Banjul, they will visit different departments and organisations.
Samer R. Fragieh, Senior Strategic Planning Advisor at the Qatari Fund for Development said the mission was a strong reflection of the strong ties between Qatar and The Gambia, as well as the leadership of both governments.
“We are hoping that from this trip, we can get back to Doha with [a] clear understanding of the priorities of development based on Gambia’s NDP,” he said, noting that their visit is designed to fast-track and cut through government bureaucracies in support of Gambia’s development.
MAKING AFRICA TRADE EASY (MATE) “The African Diaspora linking U.S. and African businesses” HIGH LEVEL DIALOGUE
September 27, 2019 | 0 Comments
Washington, D.C.)- September 26, 2019–BELIEVE IN AFRICA (BIA) is honored to announce its first and largest African diaspora gathering conference called “Making Africa Trade Easy” (MATE) scheduled from October 3rd to 4th, 2019 at the prestigious Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center located at 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NE in Washington, DC 20004, USA.
“MATE is a collaborative and nonpartisan effort between the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center and Believe in Africa to unleash the African Diaspora potential as a catalyst for trade between the U.S. and African economies. This first edition aims at promoting the new U.S. Africa strategy “Prosper Africa” as well as advancing Africa’s economic integration,” said Mrs. Angelle Kwemo, Founder and Chair of Believe in Africa.
She added: “It is more importantly a platform that will allow two-way trade between African businesses and their U.S. counterparts, and therefore help strengthen mutually beneficial partnerships that create wealth, prosperity and lasting jobs on both continents.”
MATE’s program comprises a two-day trade fair, high level discussions, workshops on how to do business with U.S. agencies, a fashion show and cultural activities. We are expecting 200 selected high-level delegates from the U.S. and Africa, dozens of speakers and exhibitors and 1,000 visitors.
This year Award Ceremony will be hosted by Maureen Umeh, TV Host.
2019 Believe in Africa Awardees are:
- H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson, African Union Commission
- Aisha Babangida, Chairperson Betterlife for Rural Women,
- Samba Bathily, Founder, AED Group and
- Dr. Gloria Herdon, CEO GH Global Group.
This years speakers included:
Hon. Ramsey Day, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for Africa, US Agency for International Development, Matthew Rees, Prosper Africa Coordinator, David Weld, Senior director, Africa, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Constance Hamilton, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa, Oren Wyche-Shaw, Deputy Assistant Administrator, US Agency for International Development, Alison Germack, Director of Corporate Development, International Development finance corporation, Heather Lannigan, Regional director for sub-Saharan Africa, US Trade Development Agency – Access Africa, Katie Auth, Acting deputy Coordinator, Power Africa, CD Glin, President & CEO, US Africa Development Foundation, Gregory Simpkins, Senior Advisor, US Agency for International Development, Martin Ezemma, Director of International Business, Prince Georges’s County Economic Development corporation
African government Officials
Hon. Lesego Makgothi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Kingdom of Lesotho, His Excellency Albert M. Muchanga, African Union Commissioner of Trade and Industry, His Excellency Ambassador Fitsum Arega, Hicham Boudraa, Morrocan Agency for Development and Export, MADIE, H.E. DHR Sergio Akiemboto, Minister of Mines and Natural Resources, Suriname.
Actors in the Private sector:
Angelle Kwemo, Founder & President, Believe in Africa, Andrew Gelfuso, Vice president, Ronald Reagan building international trade center, Dr. Aurele Houngbedji, senior risk management officer, international monetary fund, Jeannine Scott, Board Chair, Constituency for Africa, Leila Ndiaye, President & CEO, Institute for Global Development, Flori Liser, president & CEO, Corporate Council on Africa, Scott Eisner*, president, Africa Business Council, US Chamber of Commerce, Samba Bathily, Founder ADS Group, Prof. Landry Signe, David M. Rubenstein Fellow in the Global Economy and Development Program, Brookings Institution, Yusuf Daya, senior manager, Afrexim Bank, Dr. Edem Adzogenu, chair, executive committee, the afrochampions initiative, Wilmot Allen, ceo, VentureLift Africa, Simon Tiemtore, chairman, Lilium capital &vista bank, Reda Rami, chairman, winvestment, Mohammed Ibrahim Jega, Chief Business Development Officer, CEO Vogue Pay, Franklin Assare*, Ghana director, oracle, Dr. Mima Nedelcovitch, Partner, Africa global , Ollowo-N’Djo Tchala, ceo, Alaffia, Albert Zeufack, chief economist, world bank, Salma Seetaroo-Bonnafoux, Ivoirienne de Nois de Cajou, H.E. Aisha Babaginda, Chairperson, Better Life for Rural Women, Rahama Wright, Shea Yeleen, Member U.S. Presidential Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, Shehnaz Rangwalla, President, Leadership Global, Dr. Sharon Freeman, President & ceo, Gems of wisdom consulting, Mariama Camara, mariam fashion production, Tebabu essefa, founder & ceo, blessed coffee, Dr. Gloria Herndon, GH Global, Andrew Gelfuso, Vice president, Ronald Reagan Building International Trade Center, Hope Sullivan, consultant, OIC of America, Dr. Malcolm Beech, Sr., President Africa Business League – America, Lledon Stokes, President, National Business League, Stanley L.Straughter, Chairman, African and Caribbean Business Council of Greater Philadelphia, Dr. Menna Menessi, secretary, Ethiopian diaspora trust fund, Awoke Semework, President, Ethio-American Chamber of commerce, Ambassador Robin Sanders, feeds, former Ambassador to Congo, Nigeria and Ecowas, Tumelo Ramaphosa, StudcCoin , Andrew Berkowitz, Crypto Media Company, Camilla Barungi, co-funder, Alliance 4 Development, Ed Thurlow, Bination, Alex de Bryn, Founder and CEO Doshex, Tamra Raye stevenson, CEO, Women Advancing Nutrition Dietetics and Agriculture, Kimberly Brown, phd, amethyst technologies, llc, Dr. Aunkh chanbalala, Director, Department of Science and Technology, South Africa, Adrian Gore, founder & ceo, discovery aid, Betty Adera, Betty Adera foundation
Believe in Africa (BIA) is an African Diaspora-led initiative founded by former U.S. congressional staffers and African leaders in the U.S., to empower young Africans, promote the role of the African private sector, harness the power of the African Diaspora, educate policy makers and the public about African economic growth and highlight the continent’s gradual rise in the global community.
To learn more about BIA visit www.believeinafrica.org
African Energy Sector to send strong message on Investment Potential in Africa at Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC) 2019
September 23, 2019 | 0 Comments
|The continent’s energy industry will be gathering at ADIPEC in Abu Dhabi on November 11-14, 2019 to set the industry agenda for 2020|
|JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, September 23, 2019/ — After a year of remarkable achievements and continuous recovery across Africa’s oil markets, the continent’s energy industry will be gathering at ADIPEC in Abu Dhabi on November 11-14, 2019 to set the industry agenda for 2020.|
As Africa’s energy revolution accelerates, African energy officials from governments and the public and private sectors are joining ADIPEC to send a strong message on the continent’s potential and ambitions for the coming years.
Taking the lead on representing Africa at the world’s largest oil & gas event, the African Energy Chamber (EnergyChamber.org) has signed an agreement with ADIPEC and is officially endorsing the conference & exhibition and inviting all its partners to join the African delegation participating in ADIPEC.
“The good news for Equatorial Guinea and many African countries is, we have the resources. African countries have some much untapped reservoirs of oil and natural gas that have regrettably been underexplored. We need to attract investment in our oil and gas industry, explore, supply the market and also develop our countries. ADIPEC is a great place to meet potential investors. We have a unique relationship with the UAE through OPEC and the GECF. We have worked closely on various oil matters under the leadership of H.E. Suhail Al Mazroui and the Ministry of Energy and Industry,” stated H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea.
“In the same ways as we push for a stronger African representation within global organizations such as OPEC, we need to have Africa better represented within global investment shows like ADIPEC where major deals and contracts are being discussed,” declared Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber and CEO of the Centurion Law Group. “The conference’s focus on technology and the oil & gas sector 4.0 is especially relevant for Africa as the continent seeks to fully embrace digitalization and the latest technologies to leapfrog into next-generation energy initiatives and developments.”
ADIPEC is being organized on the back of tremendous growth in investment and cooperation between the UAE and Africa this year, marked by the recent acquisition by ADNOC of Kosmos Energy’s stakes in Senegalese and Mauritanian offshore licenses. As interest for Africa picks up from Middle Eastern markets and global companies, ADIPEC offers the perfect stage to promote additional opportunities for such deals across African oil jurisdictions.
The conference will notably see the official launch of “Billions At Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals”, the long-awaited book by AEC Chairman Nj Ayuk that paves the way for the development of Africa’s energy sector. On this occasion, the Chamber will be organizing a high-level African oil & gas panel with ministers and executives from across the continent to shed the light on the biggest trends shaping the future of the continent’s energy industry.
Gambia Gov’t , UNDP sign $2Million Environmental Project
September 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
The Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service, Mr. Muhammed Jallow Wednesday afternoon presided over the signing ceremony of a $2million project between the government of The Gambia and the United Nations Development (UNDP) Programme Country Office in Banjul.
The UN Environmental Facility funded project intends to support The Gambia with the necessary technical and financial assistance to reduce the risks posed by a group of oily liquids and solid man-made chemicals called PCBs (Poly Chlorinated Biphenyls) and unintended Persistent Organic Pollutants (U-POPS) to the human health and the environment.
Secretary General Jallow said no one can underestimate the importance of the environment to the development of The Gambia. A great majority of the country relies on the river and marine resources for their livelihoods. Hence contamination of the waters will have serious impact on the population from both the cities to the rural areas.
Secretary General Jallow noted that the African Union has identified The Gambia’s First Lady, Mrs. Fatou Bah-Barrow as a Champion of environment conservation and protection. Hence the government’s dedication will be greatly enhanced by this laudable collaboration with the UNDP.
The Executive Director of the National Environment Agency (NEA), Mr. Dodou Trawally explained that the project will include the identification and disposal of 75 tons of PCB-contaminated equipment and waste and the reduction of U-POPS through the improved waste management practices and reduction of open burning of waste.
These materials and substances stay very long in the environment before they biodegrade, especially the mercury, which is contaminative to fish. Fish is one of the heavy dependents of The Gambia for food consumption.
The UNDP Resident Representative, Dr Aissata De said environment is one of the key priorities and areas of intervention in terms of closeness to the population for the UNDP. She said they are committed to supporting government efforts and all stakeholders on the path for the achievement of the goals of the NDP, the SDGs, the Agenda 2020 and Agenda 2063.
“We all know the impact and the importance of the environment on our daily lives and on development in general. This project is one more action because we have longstanding partnership between the National Environment Agency, the Ministry of Environment and the government,” she said, thanking all other collaborators that UNDP has been working with for the environment and the people for the ownership of those projects.
The NEA is the implementing partner for the government, while the UNDP country office is the Global Environment Fund (GEF) implementing agency for this project. Other stakeholders include the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, the Gambia Ports Authority, the KMC NAWEC, among others. It is geared towards supporting the implementation of the National Development Plan 2018-22021 in The Gambia.
Russia Spreading Its Tentacles Across Africa
September 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Scott Morgan*
When it comes to special operations in Central Africa initiated by the Russians most thoughts and conversations focus on the operations conducted within the Central African Republic over the last two years as either a point of contention or outright fear in some Capitals. But once again history is again repeating itself in Africa.
There have been allegations that after the 2016 Presidential Elections in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) that the incumbent President Soussou-Nguesso reportedly hired a Russian Private Military Company to put down the unrest in the vital town of Pointe Noir that occurred after the controversial polls. There was virtually no coverage of the influence in this election. It should be noted that when President Soussou-Nguesso was President for the first time Brazzaville was considered to be an ally of what was then the Soviet Union.
Also when it comes to Russian Operations in Central Africa even though it is not considered being part of Central Africa, the role of Sudan cannot be ignored. Khartoum has been used as a transit and logistics hub for its Operations in CAR. The Change of leadership that recently took place within Sudan will have an impact on Russian Operations in Central Africa. Russia was one of the countries that was coaching the Military in how to react during the final days of the Bashir regime. It would be wonderful if this dynamic was looked into. For the near future it should be taken as a fait accompli that whatever projects are launched in the region by the Kremlin it will have some form of presence in Sudan.
Another aspect that has been proving to be interesting regarding Russian Activities in the region is the media coverage regarding them or the efforts by the Putin Government and their allies to manipulate their coverage of the activities. One needs to recall the incident where four journalists for a Russian Opposition news site were ambushed and killed in the Central African Republic. That only occurs when a party wants an activity to be shielded from public view and scrutiny.
Another action taken by the Russians to spin events into their worldview has to be the deals to provide content to some African Media Outlets by either Sputnik or RT (Russia Today). A perfect example happens to be the deals reached with RTNC (National Radio and Television Corporation) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. RT was the first entity to reach a deal with the Congolese in November 2018, Sputnik has reached a similar deal in May of 2019. This effort in the DRC has been a success for Moscow. When Russia celebrated the fifth anniversary of the annexation of the Crimea , one of the largest events was actually held in Kinshasa.
Another tactic that Russia is using ties between the Duma and local legislatures on the ground. Once again the topic focuses on the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There is already a Russia-DRC Friendship Group already in the Parliament of the DRC. This is a simple and easy way for Russia to not only to promote its agenda in Africa it can be done in such a way that most other powers that have interests in the region such as the former colonial powers of France and Belgium and even the United States could find themselves be left on the outside without realizing what they allowed to Happen has indeed taken place without their ability to properly address the situation.
*The author is President of Red Eagle Enterprises and the views expressed are his.