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Five African countries bid to host 2021 ICASA conference
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Dr. Ihab Ahmed, SAA President

Dr. Ihab Ahmed, SAA President

Five African countries have submitted bids to the Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA) to host the  International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) 2021 conference.

The society has revealed that the countries which have submitted their bid for pre-selection to be the host of ICASA 2021  are Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, Uganda and Tunisia.

The pre-selection started from 14 August 2019 ending on 29 August 2019, according to the society.

ICASA is a major bilingual international AIDS conference which takes place in Africa.

This year the 20th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa will take place in Kigali, Rwanda.

It is reported that the conference represents a tremendous opportunity to highlight the diverse nature of the African region’s HIV epidemic and the unique response to it.

It is also added that the conference theme this year  “AIDS Free Africa – Innovation, Community, and Political Leadership” engages the whole continent and all stakeholders in the Post-SDG Framework, where sustainability of the response in reaching 90, 90, 90 UNAIDS will not be possible if human rights are not a key priority for a new of leadership in the context of strengthening the application of science-based evidence.

ICASA is a major international AIDS conference which takes place in Africa. Its current biennial hosting alternates between Anglophone and Francophone African countries.

The society says that the convening of the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa  represents a tremendous opportunity to highlight the diverse nature of the African region’s HIV epidemic and the unique response to it.

The biennial International AIDS Conference is the premier gathering for professionals   working in the field of HIV, as well as leaders, people living with HIV and others committed to ending the epidemic. It is reported to   be a tremendous opportunity for researchers from around the world to share the latest scientific advances in the field, learn from one another’s expertise, and develop strategies for advancing all facets of  collective efforts to treat and prevent HIV.

The Society for AIDS in Africa was established in Kinshasa in October 1990 during the 5th International Conference on AIDS and Associated Cancers in Africa, a precursor to the International Conference on AIDS
and STIs in Africa (ICASA).

It is reported that the formation of the Society for AIDS in Africa, was facilitated by the (W.H.O) to encourage the African continent to host international conferences on HIV/AIDS, a disease whose scourge has hardest hit the continent.It is reported that the move encourages and empowers Africans to directly address and respond to the challenges posed by the HIV and AIDS pandemic on the continent.

The Society envisions an HIV free Africa with capacity to confront all related consequences and diseases. The Society enables a positive environment for research on HIV and related diseases. The Society for AIDS in AFRICA (SAA) is governed by an Executive Council drawn from South, North, East, West and Central Africa. SAA collaborates with
AFRICASO, SAFAIDS, SWAA, NAP+, and Network of Youth in Africa and enjoy the support of the UN- System, as well as various International organizations, including the International AIDS Society (IAS).

Since its inception, SAA has successfully organized 19 International Conferences on HIV /AIDS and STIs in 14 Africa countries. On 6th December, 2017, in Abidjan, during ICASA 2017 the Sofitel Hotel Ivoire, the Minister of Health of Rwanda in the presence of ICASA 2017 President and the ICASA Director and other Executive Board Members, won the bid to host the 20th International Conference on AIDS and STIs which was conferred to Rwanda. Rwanda’s selection was a result of a rigorous evaluation of 3 countries to host ICASA 2019.

With the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Minister of Health and SAA with the strong support of the Rwandan Government, Dr. Ihab Ahmed, SAA President, officially declared Rwanda as the next host
country of the 20th edition of ICASA, ICASA 2019.

 

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“The Kaizen approach is more than a technique…it is an approach to economic development, and it’s been yielding tremendous results” – African Development Bank Vice-president Celestin Monga
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
African Development Bank Vice-president Celestin Monga

African Development Bank Vice-president Celestin Monga

Yokohama, Japan, 27 August 2019 – Kaizen, the business philosophy which means continuous improvement in Japanese, was at the heart of discussions at a seminar held on Tuesday, and co-organised by JICA and NEPAD on the sidelines of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD7.

The seminar, under the theme: “Africa’s Socio-economic Transformation through innovation,” discussed the role of Kaizen, in improving quality and productivity as well as human resource development on the continent.

Panelists included Assane Mayaki, CEO of AUDA-NEPAD; Bezabih Gebereyes, Commissioner of the Civil Service Commission of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; and JICA Research Institute Director General Toshiyuki Nakamura, of the Industrial Policy and Public Policy Department.

“The Kaizen approach is more than a technique…it is an approach to economic development, and it’s been yielding tremendous results,” African Development Bank’s Chief Economist and Vice President, Economic Governance and Knowledge Management, Dr. Celestin Monga, said.

Monga underlined the need for incremental innovation in each African country, but also called for increased support to small and medium sized enterprises as a starting point to scaled up industrialization.

Africa needs to create production lines because “ even with low-skilled labour we can do tremendous things,” he said.

JICA and NEPAD have been promoting incremental innovation through the Africa Kaizen Initiative, launched in 2017.

“Kaizen is about mindset changes. It will be a formidable tool to enhance productivity of SMES…We have rolled out projects and training programs in 10 countries,” Mayaki said in his welcome remarks.

Acknowledging two Africa Kaizen awardees, also in attendance, Makayi told the packed room “They are the exact product of how Kaizen should be implemented.”

Fikreselassie Ambaw, General Manager of MAA Garment Factory in Ethiopia and Ruben Zebedayo Lyanga, head of Atoz Textile Mills (Tanzania), who won the Africa Kaizen Award in 2019, made presentations on how the business approach radically transformed their enterprises and boosted productivity, employee commitment and creativity.

Sharing Kaizen’s contribution and achievements in Ethiopia, Gebreyes explained how Kaizen and the subsequently transformed mindset have led to increased efficiency in spare parts production lines. “In the sugar cane sector, the Kaizen model has led to a 43% hike in productivity,” he noted.

Answering questions on the capabilities needed for entrepreneurs and firms to promote radical, disruptive innovation in Africa, Toshiyuki Nakamura, Director General of Industrial Development and Public Policy Department said: “the common thread between GAFA, (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon), is the implementation of Kaizen. Incremental and radical innovation, are one of the most important messages for the continent.”

Through JICA, the Kaizen approach has expanded its outreach to 25 countries on the continent; touched 18,096 enterprises and 301 public institutions.

The African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina is leading a high-level delegation to TICAD7 which is being held in Yokohama city from 28-30 August.

The Tokyo International Conference on African Development, led by Japan, started in 1993. African heads of states and key business leaders are scheduled to attend from around the world, providing an opportunity to explore investment opportunities. The event, held every 3 years, has been convened alternately in Japan and Africa since 2016.  The last TICAD was held in Nairobi, Kenya.

*AFDB

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Merck Foundation to conduct 6th Edition of “Merck Africa Asia Luminary” October 2019 in Ghana
August 27, 2019 | 0 Comments
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Owendo Port leads a logistics revolution in Gabon
August 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

One of the questions that global investors and commentators often ask about Africa is what next after the continent’s vast natural resources have been exploited? Well, that question has been answered emphatically in Gabon through several initiatives that are modernizing and industrializing the Gabonese economy.

One of these initiatives is the GSEZ New Owendo Port that is revolutionizing the maritime industry in Gabon and broader Central African region. The Port is part of a unique and dynamic Public Private Partnership between the Gabonese Government, Olam International and Africa Finance Corporation that was formed with the aim of diversifying the Gabonese economy away from oil to other sectors of the economy.

While the oil industry has been good for this nation of 1.8 million people, boasting one of the highest GDP per capita in the region and one of the highest Human Development Index in Sub-Saharan Africa, overreliance on the turbulent oil markets is not sustainable for the country.

Other oil producing countries are setting up sovereign funds to capture oil profits and reinvesting them in other sectors of the economy as a way of diversifying their economies and boosting their revenues. However, Gabon is doing things differently by partnering with the private sector to organically develop the economy through investing in infrastructure and boosting the country’s industrial capacity.

Given that the oil industry accounts for more than 50 percent of Gabon’s GDP and 80 percent of the country’s export earnings, diminishing production and the oil price downturn have hurt the nation’s economy – giving rise to a need to grow other sectors of the economy.

On the back of Gabon’s vast timber resources, new productive industries are being developed, making Gabon the second biggest producer of veneer in the world. At the centre of this modernization of Gabon is a sophisticated logistics network that connects the ports, airports, rail and road networks in a seamless fashion to allow for the delivery of goods and services more efficiently and cost-effectively for local and global markets.

Théophile Ogandaga, GSEZ Deputy Director says: “The SEZ model has been groundbreaking in many respects for the country of Gabon. Our partnership with the Gabon government, has resulted in a package of attractive incentives for global investors to invest in the country. These include zero corporate tax for the first 10 years; the easy repatriation of profits out of the country, and others, has seen an increase in the number of foreign companies establishing operations in Gabon.

“We are replicating this model in other African countries to unlock their potential, create jobs and grow their economies.”

The GSEZ New Owendo Port offers a comprehensive logistics solution to customers. It is a multi-modal platform that is easily accessible by sea, road and rail. The goods can be distributed anywhere in the country and in the broader Central African region.

The words “efficiency” and “cost-effectiveness” are not only the buzzwords for Ogandaga and his colleagues at GSEZ but is a “mantra” that is gaining traction in the whole of the Gabon business world.

Conceptualized in 2012. The purpose was to offer comprehensive and cost-effective solutions for all businesses wishing to export or import their production to and from Gabon. The brand-new harbor facility has been so far a powerful key-driver for investors wanting to start production in the Gabon Special Economic Zone (GSEZ) of Nkok. From sourcing to exports, GSEZ is now offering them end-to-end solutions to make their business successful in Gabon.

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UN ready to support implementation of agreement between Rwanda Uganda
August 23, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

Heads of states after signing the agreement

Heads of states after signing the agreement

UN has vowed to do whatever it takes to support the normalization of relations between Uganda and Rwanda after months of hostilities.

This comes two days after the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between Rwanda and Uganda.

The agreements were signed on 21st August in Luanda, Angola in front of  Presidents João Lourenço of Angola and Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Denis Sassou Nguesso of Republic of Congo.

Rwanda and Uganda have been in stand off since around 2016, with Rwanda accusing its neighbor of supporting anti-Rwanda rebels, inhumane treatment of its nationals on Ugandan territory.

Uganda blames Rwanda on closing Gatuna border which had a negative impact on movements of goods and persons. It also alleges Rwanda send spies on its territory though it has never been communicated publicly.

On Friday, 23 August, 2019 UN released a statement commending the move taken by Rwanda and Uganda.

Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General said that the Secretary-General  has welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the aim of normalizing bilateral relations between the two countries.

UN says agreement should be implemented in the interest of peace and stability in the region.

“He (Secretary General) encourages the parties to implement the agreement in good faith, with a view to restoring friendly relations and cooperation between the two neighbouring states, in the interest of peace, stability and sustainable development in the region”, the statement reads

UN statement went on emphasizing that the New York   based body stands ready to support the implementation of the agreement.

“The Secretary-General stands ready to support the momentum generated through this and other initiatives to advance peace, cooperation and integration in the region”, it adds

The pact that was signed says that agreement enter  into force immediately upon signature.

Inside the agreement, both parties have agreed to respect the sovereignty of each other’s and of neighboring countries,  refrain from conducive to destabilization or subversion in the territory of other party and neighboring countries thereby eliminating all factors that may create such perception as well as that of acts such as financing, training and infiltration of destabilizing forces.

The agreement also  urges both party  to resume as soon as possible the cross border activities including the movement of persons and goods.

However till Friday morning no sign of the implementation of agreement was to be seen as movement of goods and people on Gatuna border is still low.

Besides,  one day after the agreement was signed, Uganda restricted access of some of Rwanda news website that are taught to be pro government.

In March this year Rwanda sent an advisory note to its people urging them not to cross to Uganda.

On Thursday  State Minister in charge of foreign affairs, Olivier Nduhungirehe told local media that the advisory is still relevant as Rwandan nationals who were arrested in Uganda are yet to be  freed.

 

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Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi holds talks with Vladimir Putin in Russia
August 23, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Arnaldo Cuamba

Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with the Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, who is in Russia on an official visit since Tuesday until friday. The leaders discussed issues related to the further development of Russian-Mozambican cooperation in various areas, as well as current international and regional issues, according to a press release seen by Pan African Visions.

Following the talks, Putin and Nyusi witnessed the exchange of documents signed during the a meeting at the Kremlin, Moscow.

The list of signed documents includes an intergovernmental agreement on mutual protection of classified information and an agreement on cooperation between the interior ministries of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Mozambique; as well as documents related to technical cooperation in geology and minerals’ extraction, as well as cooperation between Rosneft, the Mozambican National Institute of Oil and the Mozambican National Hydrocarbons Company, including on the development of natural gas deposits on the shelf of Mozambique. Inter RAO-Export and EdM (Mozambique) also signed a memorandum of understanding in power generation.

Putin told Nyusi that its government is ready to develop relations between both countries in all areas. “I am sure that your visit, Mr President, will give a boost to the ties between our countries” he said adding that “we are very happy to see you”

On April when Mozambique was severely affected by destructive Cyclone Idai, Russia has delivered 30 tonnes of humanitarian aid, following the the country appeal to the international community for help.

On Tuesday Nyusi thanked Putin for the help.

“I would also like to thank you for the material and moral support you have been providing us” Nyusi said, “We would like to thank all Russian people for this”

On wedsneday Russia has pardoned 95% of Mozambique’s debt, according to an announcement made by the President of the Republic, Filipe Nyusi at a meeting with Russian and Mozambican businesspeople.

Nyusi’s visit is the first by a Mozambican head of state to Russia since the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1991. The last Mozambican statesman to visit Moscow was Joaquim Chissano, in 1987.

 

 

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Arsenal and WorldRemit launch second edition of Future Stars
August 22, 2019 | 0 Comments
Two community football coaches, one male and one female, will attend an exclusive training programme with Arsenal Football Development coaches in London

LONDON, United Kingdom, August 22, 2019/ — Arsenal and online money transfer service, WorldRemit (https://www.WorldRemit.com), are offering one male and one female football coach from Africa or the Americas the chance to attend an exclusive training programme with Arsenal Football Development coaches in London.

Now in its second edition, the “Future Stars” programme was developed by WorldRemit and Arsenal to celebrate the positive impact that grassroots youth football coaches have on their communities, helping the children they train to develop life skills both on and off the pitch.

Future Stars is free to apply for and open to youth team (under 16s) coaches from across Africa and the Americas. WorldRemit will sponsor two winners, one male and one female, to fly to London for a personalised coaching programme with Arsenal Football Development coaches. Through the programme, 20 shortlisted coaches will be rewarded with Arsenal shirts for their youth squad.

Apply now

Entries are now open on https://www.FutureStars.WorldRemit.com/ or via a chatbot on the WorldRemit Facebook page (http://bit.ly/2ZeBf5O) until 4 September. To enter, coaches simply need to complete a short application form explaining why they deserve to be granted this unique training opportunity and how they would use it to build a lasting legacy of positive change through football.

How it works

1. From the online applications, 20 coaches will be shortlisted to receive Arsenal youth shirts for their team. Applicants will be assessed against the following criteria by a panel of judges including Catherine Wines, Co-Founder at WorldRemit; Simon McManus, Head Coach at Arsenal Football Development; and Marc Thorogood, Business Manager at Arsenal Football Development.

Selection criteria:

  • The commitment of the coach to improving the lives of their community
  • The impact the coach has had on young people within their community
  • The strength of the coach’s proposal to pass on their training on their return home

2. From the shortlist of 20, the judging panel will select eight coaches as finalists – four male and four female.

3. The eight finalists’ stories will be shared on https://www.FutureStars.WorldRemit.com/ and the winners will be chosen based on a public vote on the website.

Andrew Stewart, Managing Director for the Middle East and Africa at WorldRemit, said: “Our customers work hard every day to send money home to support their communities. Inspired by them, we developed the Future Stars programme with Arsenal to shine a spotlight on youth community coaches who use their passion for football to build a better future for others.

“The standard of applications for last year’s programme exceeded our expectations. We’re excited to build on this success and celebrate the incredible contributions of male and female coaches from across Africa and the Americas.”

Simon McManus, Head Coach at Arsenal Football Development said: “Community engagement has always been at the heart of everything we do and we continue to work hard to promote greater levels of participation in sport, both in north London and around the world.”

“The Future Stars programme is all about recognising youth coaches across Africa and the Americas who bring communities together and are changing lives through football. We are looking forward to celebrating them and welcoming the two winning coaches to train with us at the Emirates!”

Last year’s Future Stars winner was Hamisi Mohamed from Young Talents Soccer Academy. Hamisi founded Young Talents, a mixed academy outside Nairobi, Kenya, to bring young members of his community together and help them avoid falling into tribalism, drug abuse and crime.

Hamisi said: “Training with Arsenal Football Development was the opportunity of a lifetime. For my own coaching, it was amazing to hear about the Arsenal coaching philosophy and how it can bring teams of all levels together. The exchange of ideas and practices is beneficial for both sides and leads to a higher standard of football at a grassroots level. Good luck to this year’s Future Stars!”

 

https://youtu.be/qwf8GMlFWoE

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African Energy Chamber to Conduct Working Visit in Beijing and Discuss Energy Deals with Chinese Investors
August 22, 2019 | 0 Comments
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Kagame and Museveni agree to end hostilities
August 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

President Museveni (left) shaking hands with Kagame (right) after signing while João Lourenço looks on

President Museveni (left) shaking hands with Kagame (right) after signing while João Lourenço looks on

 

President of Rwanda Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has come to the agreement after signing memorandum of understanding to end years of hostilities between the two countries.

The agreement was signed this Wednesday in Luanda the capital city of Angola before the host president João Lourenço; Félix Tshisekedi of Democratic Republic of Congo and Denis Sassou Nguesso of Republic of Congo.

Inside the agreement, both parties have agreed to respect the sovereignty of each other’s and of neighboring countries,  refrain from conducive to destabilization or subversion in the territory of other party and neighboring countries thereby eliminating all factors that may create such perception as well as that of acts such as financing, training and infiltration of destabilizing forces.

Rwanda has been accusing Rwanda of imprisoning, torturing Rwandans living in Uganda without giving them justice. It also accuses Uganda of supporting groups that aim at destabilizing Rwanda.

Uganda has accused Rwanda of sending spies on its territory.

Both countries have agreed to protect and respect the rights and freedoms of nationals of the other party.

Since March this year, Rwanda had advised its nationals to avoid crossing to Uganda, over ill treatment they may get if they enter. The busy Gatuna border was also closed on Rwanda side, thus bothering the movement of goods and persons.

The Agreement signed today urges both party  to resume as soon as possible the cross border activities including the movement of persons and goods.

 

After signing, President Kagame promised to act accordingly with the agreement, and he said it is not difficult to do so.

“I think it is not very difficult to address many of the problems we have had, it may take a bit of time to understand each other but I think we have come a long way”, said Kagame adding that “I see no problem in Rwanda working with President Lourenço, President Tshisekedi and more specifically with President Museveni to address what we have agreed to address.”

Kagame emphasized that  “when you have an open border, you have goods and people. When you create a problem for people to move across the border from one side to another, then you have closed the border to people and goods.”

For Kagame, respecting the agreement means respecting mediators who brought both countries together.

“We are not going to be found wanting in not only respecting the communique, but also our brothers who have brought us together to reach this understanding”, he added

President Museveni noted that even the problem was in the line of being resolved however the agreement comes as reinforcement.

“I was already in touch with President Kagame through our own channels, but this came as a reinforcement. We are just re-affirming what we have always held as principles of the African Union”.

The pact that was signed says that agreement enter  into force immediately upon signature.

 

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German Expertise is Behind West Africa’s First LNG Storage and Regasification Plant
August 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
Sebastian Wagner, founder at the Germany-Africa Business Forum (GABF)

Sebastian Wagner, founder at the Germany-Africa Business Forum (GABF)

The Akonikien plant will be receiving LNG and distribute it to various industries on the mainland, such as power and cement

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, August 20, 2019/ — German companies ESC Engineers and Noordtec worked closely with Equatoguinean contractor Elite Construcciones on the design, development and construction of the Akonikien LNG project in Equatorial Guinea. The 14,000 cubic metres storage and regasification plant was inaugurated this week by H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, and is the first such facility in West Africa.

The project is part of Equatorial Guinea’s LNG2AFRICA initiative that seeks to develop small-scale LNG projects to supply African gas to African countries and regions with limited infrastructure. The Akonikien plant will be receiving LNG and distribute it to various industries on the mainland, such as power and cement.

“German companies have once again demonstrated their ability to bring valuable technical expertise and technology to meet Africa’s growing and complex energy needs,” declared Sebastian Wagner, founder at the Germany-Africa Business Forum (GABF). “More importantly, this project was realized in cooperation with German SMEs, showing the increasing number of private German companies able to work in collaboration with African entities on key energy project. Germany has developed a strong expertise in gas, power and renewables, which have all become central to the African energy agenda.”

Last month and in order to support the growing energy cooperation between Germany and Africa, the GABF launched a multi-million Euro funding commitment to invest in German energy startups that focus on Africa. The funding commitment, which pledges funds to German startups with exposure to African energy projects, is the first such intra-regional initiative. It goes in line with Germany’s renewed focus on Africa, with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) providing new stimulus to cooperation with the continent through the Marshall Plan with Africa.

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AFRICOM, Ghana Armed Forces Commence Africa Endeavor 2019
August 19, 2019 | 0 Comments
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Angola’s Path Forward for Security and Economic Development: Weapons Management and Humanitarian Demining
August 19, 2019 | 0 Comments
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