FarEye To Benefit 175 Million Online Shoppers of Africa With Its Parcel Shop Technology – ‘Drop&Pick’
February 17, 2018 | 0 Comments
Sanders on Africa: Democracy and Governance Key To Sustainable Development
February 13, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Ajong Mbapndah L & Prince Kuripati
As the Trump Administration settles on business, trade, and investments as the cornerstones of its African policy, democracy and governance must be added to the dynamic says Ambassador Robin Sanders of the FEEDS Advocacy Group.
Talking to PAV recently in a phone interview, Sanders who served as Ambassador to Nigeria and Congo, believes that good business, trade, and investment can only thrive better in the right democratic environment, with sound principle of governance that can help sustain development.
To Ambassador Sanders, these two tangibles, democracy and governance are crucial because all facets of development are undermined if there is no security, and if the political environment is not open. Business, trade, and investment promotion cannot thrive in an unstable environment, she said.
In reference to the recent unfortunate remarks by President Trump referencing Africa in derogatory slurs, Ambassador Sanders described them as inaccurate and unfortunate. She went on to say that, the views certainly did not represent the perceptions of Americans. It is for this reason that she joined some 77 other former U.S Ambassadors who served in Africa to put distance between themselves and the American people from the remarks of the President.
“We wanted to show that the perception was not only inaccurate and untrue, but certainly not a representative of how Americans feel about a continent of 1.5 billion people,” Ambassador Sanders said.
Though unfortunate, Ambassador Sanders said the whole debacle actually helped in opening the eyes of the current US administration on the need to build a relationship with Africa, and the planned visit of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Africa in March will be a step in the right direction, she said.
Ambassador Sanders pointed out that while the current U.S administration may have floundered in terms of making official visits, and cementing existing ties with individual countries, it however, knew the strategic importance of Africa as a business, and security partner as evidenced by the US National Security Strategy document that lays out the importance of Africa to the US security.
Conceding that many Americans still have a pre-1990 view of what Africa is as a continent; Ambassador Sander said a lot of efforts are put in by herself, other Diplomats who served in Africa, and a host of other people and groups to dispel these perceptions. Acknowledging that the anger and disappointment may take a while to cool off, Ambassador Sanders said there are many examples that point to the solidity of U.S –African relations. The U.S government still provides the largest amount of development aid to the African region.
Shedding light on the FEEEDS (Food Security, Education, Environment, Energy, Economics, Democracy-development, and Self-help) program that has kept her actively engaged on Africa, Ambassador Sanders said, the focus areas of the advocacy group are vital both for Africa, and the USA.
Discussing her book “The rise of Africa small and medium enterprises: spurring development and growing the middle class,” Sanders said it highlights the importance of SMEs in the growth and development of Africa. To Ambassador Sanders, millennials are beginning to take control of their destiny as they are building robust SMEs that are putting the continent on the world map. The book also exposes the link between economic development and security, highlighting that economic development is crucial if a country wants to safeguard its security.
Despite the regression witnessed from her assessment of the last 18 months, Ambassador Sanders said Nigeria’s democracy and civil society had really matured in recent years. The 2015 election enabled Ambassador Sanders and her team to get a deeper insight into Nigeria’s democracy and according to her, the election showed the country’s political maturity.
On Congo, Ambassador Sanders said though the country had gone through a brutal civil war, she was impressed with the rebuilding of the country in terms of infrastructure when she visited there a few years back.
Mutual respect must be underscored, Ambassador Sanders said in response to a question on the future of U.S –African ties.
“There needs to be a direct understanding that there is an important partnership that America need to have with Africa, and the people of Africa,” Ambassador Sanders said while expressing hope that misperceptions that Americans have about the continent will eventually be erased. Expressing optimism about the upcoming trip of Secretary of State Tillerson to the continent, Ambassador Sanders said the outcome maybe a change of perspective from him and the administration once he sees the realities of the emerging Africa for himself.
Merck Foundation signs Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with African First Ladies Organization to build Cancer and Fertility Care Capacity in their Countries
February 13, 2018 | 0 Comments
|Marking the “World Cancer Day” at African Union Assembly, Merck Foundation pledges to continue their commitment to provide oncology fellowship program across Africa in partnership with African First Ladies|
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, February 12, 2018/ — Merck Foundation, a non-profit organization and a subsidiary of Merck KGaA Germany (www.Merck.com), signs Memorandum of Understanding -MoU with the African First Ladies Organization with the aim to achieve the objectives of raising awareness, building professional capacity and improving healthcare access in the field of Cancer and fertility care in Africa.
Merck Foundation has conducted many educational and fellowship programs in Africa since 2012 in the field of non-communicable diseases through Merck Cancer Access Program, Merck capacity Advancement Program, Merck STEM Program and Merck more than a Mother campaign.
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO Merck Foundation emphasized during the signing event, “We are delighted to partner with the African First Ladies Organization, to build health capacity and improve healthcare access in the field of cancer and fertility care, Merck Foundation dedicate majority of their efforts to build healthcare capacity in Africa and developing countries and with this partnership, we will be able to achieve our vision of a world where everyone can lead a healthy and fulfilling life.”
The MOU aims to raise awareness optimally about the prevention, management and de-stigmatization of infertility and cancer in women. It will also aim to build profession capacity and improve access to fertility and cancer care in cooperation with the African First Ladies in their countries.
In 2017 alone, MF initiated the following activities in partnership with academia, ministries of health and the offices of First Ladies in more than 35 countries:
Merck Cancer Access Program:
Merck more than a Mother:
Merck Diabetes and Hypertension Awards:
The Merck Foundation upholds its commitment to building capacity and improving access to quality and equitable healthcare solutions with special focus on cancer and fertility care in Africa. So far, doctors from Uganda, Zambia, Ethiopia, Namibia, Tanzania, Ghana, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Botswana, Liberia, Rwanda, Kenya, Chad, Niger, Guinea, Gambia, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal have benefitted from Merck Foundation programs. Merck Foundation aims to expand to more African and Asian countries in the near future.
The Merck Foundation (www.Merck-Foundation.com), established in 2017, is a philanthropic organization that 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 innovative 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. Please go to www.Merck-Foundation.com to read more and/or register online to interact and exchange experience with our registered members.
Kenya’s HydroIQ wins “Startup of the year Africa 2018”
February 13, 2018 | 0 Comments
|This year, more than 600 startups from 52 different countries took part, more than 12 000 online votes were gathered, and 41 million people reached on social media|
|CASABLANCA, Morocco, February 12, 2018/ — Startup.Info (https://Startup.info) has announced the winners of the “Startup of the Year 2018 competition” following an awards ceremony which took place in Casablanca at the end of last month.
Following the success of the first edition of “Startup of the year Africa”, the collaborative startup magazine Startup.Info has reiterated its commitment to supporting African innovation. With the support of major international groups such as OCP, ENGIE, QWANT, FINANCE INNOVATION, PwC, Labs-NS-Avocats, Holmarcom Group, Royal Air Maroc, as well as 70 media and ecosystem partners, Startup.Info launched the 2nd edition of the contest “Startup of the year Africa”.
This year, more than 600 startups from 52 different countries took part, more than 12 000 online votes were gathered, and 41 million people reached on social media.
The jury of experts of the competition « Startup of the year Africa 2018 » on January 24, 2018 to choose the winners of the following awards:
Founded by Brian Bosire & Victor Shikoli, HydroIQ is a virtual Water Network Operator. It brings intelligence in water distribution by preventing leakages on the network and automatic (mobile) billing a payment.
Founded by Youness Ouazri, Ecodome Maroc produces ecotouristic housing made of natural soil in the form of domes.
Founded by Brou Kouame Yves Laurent, GRACI is a startup aiming at the development of rice production in Ivory Coast. It proposes a program of production, certification and distribution of Improved Certified Seeds of rice.
Founded by Okey Ibekwe Esse, Peachwater Consulting designs, manufactures and markets Powerstove clean cookstove that is smokeless and generates electricity with 70% less biomass fuel than competitors.
FINANCE INNOVATION – FINTECH DESTINATION AFRICA &
Founded by Edem ADJAMAGBO, SEMOA proposes a solution to the development of e-commerce in Africa by installing payment terminals throughout the continent.
Holmarcom Group Special Prize: THEA (France)
Founded by Dr. Eloi MONKAM, THEA is a medical mobile app that connects patients to doctors for a first diagnosis.
Founded by Palesa Mahlatji, PRIYO has developed a portable solar digital smart computer lab to train youth from underprivileged, under-resourced schools and communities in rural and peri-urban areas on how to use the computer. Priyo trains them in IT: End user computing, ICT, Digital Marketing and E-Learning and links job seekers to online employment opportunities.
Founded by Muriel RANDRIAMASIMANANA, Project Alpha is an event agency. Its principal activity is based on video games and e-sport phenomena.
JURY and EXPERTS « STARTUP OF THE YEAR AFRICA 2018 »
The finalists of the competition have been selected by a jury of experts, DGs of big international groups and successful startuppers:
The Awards Ceremony has been broadcast live (videos & live tweets) during its entire duration. You can have an overview on Facebook and Twitter pages with the hashtag #StartupAfro
The winners will receive the following awards:
Jury Prizes « Startup of the Year Africa 2018 »:
The following rewards will correspond to different kinds of prizes:
Special Partner Awards:
In addition to the jury and the public awards, our partners will grant special awards accompanied with a Startup.Info communication pack :
Public choice awards:
Abuja Selected to Host Afreximbank’s 2018 Annual Meetings and 25th Anniversary
February 9, 2018 | 0 Comments
Cairo, 09 February 2018: – Nigeria has emerged the host country for the 2018 African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) Annual Meetings (AAM2018) and 25th Anniversary celebrations scheduled to take place from 9 to 14 July, the Bank announced today in Cairo.
Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance of Nigeria, conveyed the country’s readiness to host the event in a recent letter to the Bank in which she stated that the Government and people of Nigeria felt highly honoured at being considered to host the meetings and anniversary.
The two events will be held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja and will feature a series of seminars exploring various aspects of trade and economic development and looking at the transformation of African economies through trade. There will also be the meeting of the Afreximbank Advisory Group on Trade Finance and Export Development in Africa.
Other activities include an investment forum hosted by the Nigerian Government, a trade exhibition, and formal celebratory activities marking the Bank’s 25th Anniversary. The events will conclude with the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of the Bank.
To kick off preparations for AAM2018 and the anniversary celebrations, an Afreximbank delegation led by Dr. George Elombi, Executive Vice President (Governance, Corporate and Legal Services), traveled to Abuja from 31 January to 3 February for meetings with the Minister and her team and to inspect the facilities to be used.
During the meeting with the Minister, she reiterated Nigeria’s readiness to provide all the necessary support to ensure the success of AAM2018 and the anniversary celebrations.
Earlier, Dr. Elombi noted that holding AAM2018 and the anniversary celebrations in Nigeria was like a homecoming for Afreximbank, given that the first Annual General Meeting of the Bank had been held in the country and that Nigeria played a significant role in the establishment of the Bank.
He also pointed out that the Nigeria accounted for a significant portion of the Bank’s business, with critical financing support extended to many Nigerian corporates and entities.
Several serving and former African Presidents and heads of state, as well as many high-profile political and business leaders, are expected to attend the events where they will be joined by the shareholders of the Bank and other stakeholders.
The full AAM2018 and 25th anniversary event programme will be released in due course. In the meantime, details about the registration and participation procedures, can be found by clicking on the link below:
ATIGS 2018 Will Connect Global Investors To The African Market In A Unique Way- Bako Ambianda, Snr Dir of GAA Exhibitions & Conferences
February 9, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Ajong Mbapndah L
On June 24 the 2018 Africa Trade and Investment Global Summit (ATIGS), will kick off in Washington D.C.Bringing together new and established partners from around the world to increase business ties, and partnerships,the summit will highlight and showcase trade and investment opportunities and development solutions across Africa and enable companies from around the world to scale or establish operations in Africa and beyond. Since the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit, there have been few summits of this magnitude in Washington DC , and to learn more about the scope, and objectives of the event, Pan African Visons spoke to a leading member of the organizing team Bako Ambianda, Senior Director of GAA Exhibitions & Conferences
Could you tell us more ATIGS?
The Africa Trade & Investment Global Summit (ATIGS) is a unique high-level conference and exhibition, prestigious, biennial business platform designed specifically to promote and facilitate international trade between Americas, Asia, Caribbean, EU, UAE, with Africa; to facilitate foreign direct investment in Africa; and to provide a platform for businesses to expand into new markets. ATIGS is where companies around the world looking to expand or establish their business operations in Africa come to gain strategic knowledge about local investment opportunities, and connect with competent authorities, and businesses from Africa.
Who will attend ATIGS 2018?
The ATIGS 2018 edition scheduled on June 24 to 26, 2018 will gather key economic players from more than 70 countries, including government delegations, African buyers, high-profile African leaders, project developers, and international investors. The event has a well-structured format for facilitating direct peer engagement, for more advanced deal-making, co-investments, strategic partnerships, and business networking.
What is the theme of ATIGS 2018?
ATIGS 2018’s theme is “Driving Trade, Unleashing Investment, and Enhancing Economic Development: the Gateway to African Markets”. ATIGS 2018 will provide access to African markets as a one-stop shop, and connect global Investors to Africa market.
What are the sectors of focus for ATIGS 2018?
ATIGS program will cover 16 economic sectors particularly manufacturing, agribusiness, power, construction, infrastructure, transportation, IT, tourism, telecoms, healthcare, fintech, textile, and natural resources sectors.
Which African countries will delegates be coming from?
We anticipate to welcome delegates from over 40 African countries. We currently have confirmed delegates from 32 countries including South Africa, Algeria, Nigeria, Angola, Morocco, Cameroon, Kenya, Namibia, Ghana, Ethiopia, Gambia, and Uganda among others.
Which Western countries will delegates be coming from?
We already have registered delegates from UK, Spain, UAE, Turkey, Brazil, France, Switzerland, and Canada, among others. It must be noted that ATIGS is an Africa-global business event, so we anticipate delegates from more than 70 countries, and we currently have ATIGS country representatives in over 75 countries working on mobilizing delegates from their respective countries.
Who are some key speakers confirmed to grace the Summit?
We currently have 124 confirmed high-level speakers from more than 65 countries, which include key speakers like Dr. Munir Ahmad Ch, President of Aspire World Investments LLC from United Arab Emirates, Hon Senator Ike Ekwerenmadu, Deputy Senate President of Nigeria, Hon Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, Ghana Minister of Transport, Walid Loukil, Deputy Managing Director of Loukil Group from Tunisia, Xoliswa Daku, Founder & CEO of Daku Group of Companies from South Africa, Asma ALAOU, CEO of Africa Key Partners from Morocco, Belarmino Van-Dúnem, Chairman of Angola’s Investment and Exports Promotion Agency from Angola , Meir Moalem, CEO & Managing Director of Sky and Space Global from United Kingdom, Dr. Richmond Annan, President of iRichie Group Inc from Texas, and Andrew Herscowitz, USAID Power Africa Coordinator, among others.
How is ATIGS different from other summits focused on Africa?
Unlike most talk-shop conferences focused on Africa, ATIGS moves beyond that, and focuses on bringing together investment promotion agencies (IPAs), trade promotional organizations (TPOs), and international development organizations (IDOs) all under one roof to showcase investment opportunities to global investors, and enhance trade engagements between Americas, Asia, Caribbean, EU, UAE, with Africa in an ultimate business platform ideal for conducting G2B, G2G and B2B meetings.
We currently have 58 confirmed trade, investment and development organizations (TIDO’s) which include, Angola’s Investment and Exports Promotion Agency; Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Entreprises Du Cameroun; Ghana Investment Promotion Centre; Gambia Ports Authority; Guyana Office For Investment; Lesotho National Development Corporation; Lagos State Employment Trust Fund; Namibia Ministry of Industrialization; Trade and SME Development; Nigeria National Economic Council; Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency, among others. Also, ATIGS is a conference and exhibition.
Tell us about the exhibition segment of the event?
You know, the exhibition is my favorable part of ATIGS. It will be divided into two sections. The exhibition hall 1 will showcase trade and investment opportunities in Africa by trade and investment agencies, and exhibition hall 2 will be dedicated for companies to showcase their products and services. Some highlights include Agriculture Pavilion, and Real Estate Pavilion. We currently have confirmed exhibitors from Spain, Brazil, Australia, UAE, Kenya, Kenya, and U.S.
Why Is ATIGS held in June 2018?
ATIGS is held under the umbrella of World Business Week on Africa, and strategically positioned between the 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit (highest-profile event FDI event in USA), and the 27th World Gas Conference (world’s largest global natural gas event). It is estimated that Over 18,000 business leaders, media, and global investors will be in Washington D.C for different business and investment events all happening from June 20 to June 29, 2018.Therefore delegates that will make it to ATIGS 2018 (June 24-26,2018) can easily use one stone to hit three birds in terms of networking, deal-making, strategic partnerships, meetings, and more.
(Other Flagship Africa-focused small events to be held within the same week include: Arica-China Economic Forum, UAE-Africa Business Forum, US-Africa Manufacturing Forum, EU-Africa International Business Congress, LAC-Africa Business Forum, Africa FDI Shark Tank, Electrify Africa Forum, Africa Smart Cities Forum, Africa Construction and Infrastructure Forum, Africa Consumer Technology Forum, among others.)
Who are the key partners in the event?
We are delighted to organized ATIGS 2018 in partnership with Trustrade Consulting Group, Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Africa Global Chamber of Commerce, Franchise Africa, The Varanda Network, Ignite Trade Africa, Footprint to Africa Limited, and World Trade Center Antananarivo, among others.
We are also honored to have the endorsement of International Trade Centre for ATIGS 2018. The Council is helping us to invite / arrange external speakers, representatives of government agencies and the media, create and design some important topics to be discus at ATIGS 2018, and will promote the event in the Council newsletter, social media channels and on the Council’s website.
ATIGS 2018 is a three-day event with unique activities, top rated speakers and high-level participation. The formats are designed to give delegates more opportunities for questions, debate, and peer to peer interaction, but still with the same high-quality content delegates will come expecting from ATIGS 2018. We will have Roundtables, Investors’ Zone, ATIGS Awards Dinner, Meet the FDI Experts, Bilateral Meetings, and Signing Ceremony, among others.
Why host an African event in USA?
The vision of ATIGS is built on the model of rotating the location of the summit every two years through a bidding process and organizing country specific ATIGS in between. So, the upcoming ATIGS events include: ATIGS 2018 – Washington D.C, ATIGS 2020 – Dubai; ATIGS 2022 – Beijing; ATIGS 2024 – Brussels, ATIGS 2026 – Addis Ababa; and, ATIGS 2028 – South America. As the host country for Africa Trade and Investment Global Summit 2018, The United States of America serves as a model for ATIGS 2018 for several reasons including its high number of embassies in Washington, D.C and the high Access to capital, as the United States hosts the most developed, liquid, flexible, and efficient financial markets in the world. Washington D.C also host over 40 African embassies making it easy for companies all round the world to engage with Africa during ATIGS 2018.
Tell us about some delegations coming to the Summit?
We currently have over 18 confirmed delegation groups from all around the world including Gabon, Algeria, Hong Kong, China, Ghana, Angola, Kenya, Japan, Zambia, Cote d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Guinea, Congo DRC, Nigeria, Singapore, Togo, South Africa, and Ghana, among others. The numbers will increase soon as the event is still developing.
What are you most excited about ATGS 2018 and Beyond?
Good question. I am excited about our portfolio of investment sourcing and trade facilitation initiatives that will connect African businesses to world-class investors and strategic partners, which will help get more African projects off the ground. We are building a pipeline between investors and top scalable, profitable opportunities across Africa that enhance economic development. Some of our innovative programs includes Africa FDI Shark Tank, Bankable Projects Showcase, ATIGS Business Matchmaking, Africa Worldwide Alliance Partnerships (AfriWAPA), Africa FDI Academy, ATIGS Deal Marketplace, and other programs set to lunch, ATIGS CEO Network, and Cities Network on Trade and Investment, among others.
How do you see Africa in the context of its strategic position in the world?
We all know that Africa is the world’s next major economic success story and has tremendous opportunities. Africa is the second most attractive investment destination in the world and trade flows have expanded by 15 percent per year since 2006, with $2.6 trillion Africa’s collective GDP by 2020, $1.4 trillion Africa’s consumer spending by 2020, and 122 million people will be added to workforce by 2020.
I see Africa position in the world as the forecast that foreign direct investments and international trade will continue to increase rapidly. As Africa’s reputation for a viable location for investment increases, so does its significance in trade.
With interest in the continent growing exponentially, some of today’s newest business players are originating from non-traditional regions such as South America, Eastern Europe, the Gulf, and Africa itself. While well-established and new partners from Europe, North America, and Asia continue to be valued, it is interesting to note that the private sector’s scope of attention is increasingly widening to include, especially among newcomers, consumer-market industries including food, IT, tourism, finance and retail.
Where can people learn more, or register for ATIGS 2018
There is a comprehensive website www.atigs2018.com which contains everything to know about ATIGS 2018 and registration can be done directly on the website.
What other Information will you like to share about ATIGS 2018
ATIGS 2018 is shaping up to be an exceptional show with unique activities, multitude of strategic business opportunities, top rated speakers, and high-level participation. I urge you to visit ATIGS 2018 official website – www.atigs2018.com, for all latest developments.
Thank you so much for talking to Pan African Visions
The pleasure is mine, and thanks for the great work you do in promoting events like this, and covering Africa in a more positive way.
The AFRICA CEO FORUM sets out its program for transforming the African private sector
February 9, 2018 | 0 Comments
- The major annual gathering for the African private sector takes place on 26 and 27 March in Abidjan
- More than 1,200 decision-makers from more than 60 countries are expected to debate the theme of “African Champions: Powering Competitiveness”
Cash or custody: Israel kicks off deportation of African migrants
February 6, 2018 | 0 Comments
Out of 6,800 requests reviewed so far, Israel has granted refugee status to 11 migrants. It has at least 8,000 more requests to process.
Israeli authorities have said Israeli officials will keep in touch with migrants accepted in a third country to oversee their progress. Rwanda has said it will only accept migrants who have left Israel of their own free will.
Nonetheless, the U.N.’s refugee agency has urged Israel to reconsider, saying migrants who have relocated to sub-Saharan Africa in the past few years were unsafe and ended up on the perilous migrant trail to Europe, some suffering abuse, torture and even perishing on the way.
Rights groups in Israel say the government is simply ridding itself of people it should be recognizing as refugees in Israel and that there was no real guarantee for their safety.
A fence Israel has built over the past few years along its border with Egypt has all but stopped African migrants from entering the country illegally. Beginning in the previous decade, when the border was porous, a total of 64,000 Africans made it to Israel though thousands have since left.
Emmanuel Asfaha from Eritrea crossed into Israel in 2011 with his wife and baby son. His second child was born in Israel.
A narrow grocery store stockroom stacked with bags of flour leads to their two-room apartment in Tel Aviv, a poster of Jesus hanging on the cracked walls above his son’s bed. Asfaha is concerned Israel will eventually deport families too.
“I am worried about the situation,” he said while cooking Shiro, a traditional stew. “Tomorrow it will be for me also.”
A few kilometers away, in a hip, upscale part of Tel Aviv, Ben Yefet, a 39-year-old stockbroker, said he had signed up with Miklat Israel to house two or three migrants in his two-room apartment.
“As Israelis and Jews we are obligated. We have a moral compass, we just have to do it,” he said.
Will the Stability Doctrine in Africa destabilise the world?
February 6, 2018 | 0 Comments
Amidst rising discontent, foreign governments are increasingly asserting the importance of “stability”. But for whom? To what end? For how long?
BY NANJALA NYABOLA*
In 2017, the world watched as Kenya endured one of the most complicated election cycles ever. In the hotly-contested initial August vote, the incumbent won. As expected, the opposition contested the result in court. Many saw merit in the complaints, but were nonetheless shocked when the Supreme Court ordered a re-run. Unhappy with the hurried process that ensued, and fuelled in part by an opposition boycott, however, voters largely avoided the repeat poll in October, which registered a paltry turnout of less than 40%.
The Kenya case throws up an interesting contradiction of modern foreign policy. Western diplomats have long preached the gospel of good governance in the developing world. But as these uncertain events unfolded last year – with the police killing 78 civilians and the electoral commission itself admitting it had made a shambles of the second vote – Western ambassadors kept urging Kenyans to recognise the importance of one particular idea.
That idea was not “rule of law”, “democracy” or “free, fair and credible” elections. It was “stability”.
More than 15 million voters refused to participate in the Kenyan election re-run. The process was widely seen as illegitimate and has likely sowed seeds of dissatisfaction that could undercut the ability of the ruling party to govern for the next five years. But despite this, diplomats continue to parrot the cardinal importance of “stability”.
This was not the first or last time this word echoed around the continent in 2017. From Togo to Egypt, and from Chad to Gabon – all of which have seen popular protests come up against state power – the emphasis on stability has taken precedence over, say, political engagement. As Cameroon’s government gunned down protesters, arrested activists en masse, and shut down the Internet in Anglophone regions, for example, international actors urged a return to stability. As simmering discontent in Ethiopia led to online blackouts, heavy force and a state of emergency, Western diplomats supported the government in restoring the same.
It has even become the strategy taken in relation to Eritrea, nominally a pariah state, but now a lynchpin in Europe’s immigration policy. When it comes to Western engagement with Africa, stability is the mot du jour.
The Stability Doctrine
In the name of this “Stability Doctrine”, foreign governments tip the political balance in favour of existing power and the state. They bolster the short-term status quo, even if that means disregarding visible discontent and overlooking state abuses. They pick power over protesters, and privilege the interests of others over those of the citizens in the countries at hand.
One of the main reasonings behind this approach is inseparable from the global march of neoliberalism. Foreign extraction from Africa is not new, but steady social and political conditions are a particular priority for today’s predominant form of exploitation. Corporations hungry for endless growth – more so than states looking to manage a balance of power – need predictable politics to operate.
Unlike some periods of history, the focus today is also notably short-termist. During the Cold War, African nations were seen as potential allies in long-term, ideological world-building projects. But today’s Stability Doctrine is focused only on the next few years. It has no interest in building institutions, embedding good governance, or understanding the underlying causes of threatened instability. It has little concern for the implications of its actions in the future – because by that time, it will be someone else’s problem.
Two things have changed in the last ten years that have led to this particular brand of the Stability Doctrine. Firstly, the rise of China, Turkey and other non-Western countries has threatened the West’s long-standing economic domination in Africa. This has given African elites – amongst the key beneficiaries of “stability” – more leverage and led Western policymakers, afraid of losing their patronage networks, to weaken their good governance agenda.
At the same time, the 2007/8 global economic collapse has made opportunities to extract from Africa all the more important. African markets, labour and natural resources have never been more integral to resolving urgent economic challenges in other parts of the world.
Delay, defer, deny
What’s wrong with stability uber alles? First and foremost, it puts a risky mortgage on the future of Africa. It is an alliance between outsiders and African elites whose mantra is eat now and delay, defer or deny the consequences.
The Stability Doctrine treats Africa as a place to make as much money as quickly as possible, not a place where people live, love and exist. It ensures African countries continue to play a position in the periphery of global politics, providing raw materials, markets, and an acquiescent labour force for multinational corporations.
The focus on stability treats the tremendous effort and risk that African activists and politicians take to shift the political discourse as secondary to the interests of foreign governments. It sees widespread demands for greater justice, democracy and accountability as less important than holding things steady – at least at the levels important for foreign business.
The reality, however, is that while outsiders are tipping the scales in favour of wealth and the status quo in the corridors of power, African countries are growing increasingly inhospitable for many of their citizens, particularly the youth. In 2017, thousands died attempting to cross the Mediterranean, while the African Union estimates that another 200,000 are currently zig-zagging across the Sahara chasing after the same dream.
They leave partly because of the collateral damage of “stability” or profiteering over all else. They leave because there is no land to work – much of it sold off or unusable thanks to the ravages of climate change. They leave because their educations are worthless as privatisation has eaten away at public universities. They leave because their leaders spend more on weapons to maintain power than they do on healthcare. They leave because police officers show up at their doorstep and summarily arrest, detain or kill anyone who dares to hold a political opinion that threatens the country’s “stability”.
Stability for whom? For how long?
In 2018, things in many countries in Africa are probably going to get worse before they get better. Millions of young people will come of age in countries that have little room for them.
In Kenya, the authority of the executive elected under suspect conditions will probably be tested more than ever. In Cameroon and Ethiopia, protests will likely continue and may escalate. Meanwhile, in Gabon, the two Congos, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and beyond, disillusionment will continue to swell even while African and Western elites hold fast on the promise, and profit, of short-term stability.
The point is not that instability is the answer. Rather, it is that when confronted with the Stability Doctrine, we must ask “stability for whom?”, “stability to what end?” and “stability for how long?”.
The Stability Doctrine as it is shuts African citizens out of their politics, lest they rock the boat, and leaves them abandoned. That may pave the way for predictable market conditions that benefit international corporations and African elites today and maybe even tomorrow. But what of everyone else? And what of the day after?
The Stability Doctrine is an imposter usurping a vacuum left by the slow erosion of ideological (versus commercialised) Pan Africanism. In 2018 and beyond, it’s important to re-assert that Africa is not just an idea or a market that must remain open for business at all costs. Enough Stability Doctrine – it’s time for a foreign policy ideology that asserts the dignity and personhood of African people over all else.
*Source African Arguments.Nanjala Nyabola is a Kenyan writer, humanitarian advocate and political analyst, currently based in Nairobi, Kenya. Follow her on twitter at @Nanjala1
U.S. ROADSHOW TOUR TO SPUR ACTION ON INCREASING U.S. INVESTMENT IN AFRICA
February 6, 2018 | 0 Comments
TOUR AIMS TO FOSTER GREATER BUSINESS CONNECTIONS BETWEEN AFRICAN AND U.S. BUSINESSES AND INVESTORS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 17, 2018 – The Initiative for Global Development (IGD) will embark on a four-city roadshow tour from April 18-28, 2018, across the United States aimed at re-shaping perceptions on doing business in Africa by highlighting investment opportunities and forging stronger connections between U.S. and African business leaders in key growth sectors.
The U.S. roadshow tour, “Africa Investment Rising: Building Momentum for Investing in Africa’s Economic Prosperity”, is a multi-city series of site visits, panel discussions, and speed networking among investors and business leaders to spur greater U.S. investment in Africa.
African and global CEOs and senior executives from sector-leading companies and investors in the U.S. and African countries are invited to participate in the U.S. roadshow. IGD is a U.S.-based network of African and global business leaders who are committed to sustainable development and inclusive growth through business investment.
Launching the U.S. roadshow in Washington, D.C on April 18, the roadshow tour will travel to New York City to highlight banking, financing, insurance and investment; Des Moines, IA for agriculture and agro-industry; and Houston, TX for oil and gas, energy, natural resources and infrastructure.
With some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, the African continent is increasingly becoming an attractive investment destination for emerging markets investors. Yet, estimates show that only 0.3% of the average portfolio in the U.S. is invested in Africa.
“Those of us investing in Africa know about the high returns and lucrative business and investment opportunities on the continent,” said Dr. Mima S. Nedelcovych, President & CEO of the Initiative for Global Development. “Creating favorable global perceptions about the business environment in Africa will go a long way in attracting greater investment in African countries with the right business climate.”
“Now, more than ever, there’s a need to change the narrative about doing business in Africa. The Africa Investment Rising roadshow will travel into the heartland of the U.S. to bring real business opportunities and connect African and American business leaders for networking, business matching and knowledge sharing,” said Nedelcovych.
Each city will begin with an exclusive site visit for African delegates featuring innovations in leading industries, followed by a half-day forum and executive speed networking where U.S. and African private sector leaders and investors can make deals and business agreements to create new markets in both regions. Participants have the option of attending one or all stops on the U.S. roadshow.
The Initiative for Global Development (IGD) is a Washington, DC-based network of African and global business leaders who are committed to advancing sustainable development and inclusive growth in Africa through business investment. IGD brings together CEOs and senior executives from leading African and global companies through our Frontier Leader Network to catalyze greater business investment and impact on the African continent.
SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS VACATIONS® OFFERS AN AIR-INCLUSIVE “LOVE CAPE TOWN” PACKAGE FROM $1999*
February 5, 2018 | 0 Comments
Fort Lauderdale, FL (February 02, 2018) – Just in time to celebrate Valentine’s Day, South African Airways Vacations® (SAA Vacations®), the leisure division of South African Airways is offering a 5-night air-inclusive experience in the beautiful city of Cape Town. Starting at just $1,999* per person (restrictions apply) travel from New York – JFK between April 01 – May 31, 2018, and August 11-31, 2018 and enjoy the breathtaking views and exhilarating activities in sophisticated Cape Town.
SAA Vacations’® “Love Cape Town” package offers a stay in one of the hottest new hotels in the city center, Tsogo Sun’s Sun Square Cape Town City Bowl. This modern hotel boasts a hip and fresh edgy design, free wi-fi, an onsite restaurant serving complimentary breakfast daily, great service and personalized hospitality. With its convenient central location, travelers can explore the city of Cape Town, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, iconic Table Mountain and Lion’s Head and the trendy neighborhood restaurants and club scene of the “Mother City”.
The “Love Cape Town” package includes a Cape Point bike & hike tour. A fun way to experience the sights and sounds of the picturesque Cape Peninsula exploring the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and enjoying the breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean from the summit at the Cape Point lighthouse. Also included is a Hop on Hop off Red City Tour, the easiest and most convenient way to visit Table Mountain, explore the City Bowl, Camps Bay, and the Atlantic Seaboard for the complete Cape Town adventure.
“The Love Cape Town package provides what active travelers are asking for at an incredibly affordable price.” said Terry von Guilleaume, president of SAA Vacations®. “Experience the breathtaking scenery of Cape Town and the Cape Point Peninsula with an exciting bike & hike activity as well as a hop on hop off bus tour to stretch those legs!
This vacation package is a great introduction to the Mother City.”
“It’s fantastic to have a travel partner in South African Airways, which will make travelling to a worldclass destination more accessible. said Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism. The “Love Cape Town” package has been carefully selected to provide a wonderful introduction to some of the best bucket list attractions and experiences the city has to offer. We look forward to welcoming our visitors and sharing everything with them, from our natural environment to our award-winning restaurants and bars.”
SAA Vacations® “Love Cape Town” Package Includes:
• Round-trip Economy Class air transportation from New York JFK Airport to Cape Town on
South African Airways.
• 5-nights at the NEW Sun Square Cape Town City Bowl, on a bed and breakfast basis
• Full-day Cape Point, Bike and Hike Tour
• Full-day pass on the Hop on Hop off Red City Tour bus
• Airport transfers and meet and greet service by South African Airways Vacations
representative in South Africa
“Love Cape Town” package is available for new reservations made as of February 01, 2018. Travelers can book by calling 1-855-359-7228 or their professional travel consultant. South African Airways Vacations offers air-inclusive vacation options for all budgets, with their African Specialist available to ensure their clients experience the vacation of their dreams. For more vacation packages throughout Africa, please visit www.flysaavacations.com.
Unprecedented worldwide support for the Global Partnership for Education and addressing the global learning crisis
February 3, 2018 | 0 Comments
|Significant new financial commitments from donors and developing countries will enable new and improved support for the education of millions of children|
DAKAR, Senegal, February 3, 2018/ — Ten current and three former heads of state and more than 60 ministers gathered at the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Financing Conference (www.GlobalPartnership.org), making this the highest-level education financing event of its kind.
The conference, co-hosted by President Macky Sall of the Republic of Senegal and President Emmanuel Macron of the French Republic, marks the first time an education financing conference has been hosted by a G7 leader and the president of a developing country.
More than 1200 participants attended including leaders from UNESCO, UNICEF, the World Bank, civil society, philanthropic foundations and the private sector. Rihanna, GPE’s Global Ambassador supported by Global Citizen, also participated.
The size and nature of the attendance at the conference was a visible demonstration of the strengthened global political will to ensure every child is in school and learning. This heightened momentum will enable the Global Partnership for Education to reach the goal of providing US$2 billion a year by 2020 for education planning and delivery to support children’s learning in developing countries.
Donor countries pledged US$2.3 billion in financing to GPE. This is a substantial increase in funding compared to the US$1.3 billion contributed over the past three years. In addition, several donor countries have indicated their intention to pledge further funds over the course of the financing period.
The biggest source of education financing comes from developing countries themselves. More than 50 developing countries announced they would increase public expenditures for education for the period 2018 to 2020 to a total of US$110 billion, compared to US$80 billion between 2015 and 2017.
GPE encourages developing countries to increase their share of education spending to 20% of their overall budget. Of those governments committing today, over two-thirds will have reached that goal by 2020.
“I am energized by the generosity and determination we have seen here today to ensure every child and young person has access to a quality education. After today’s commitments, we are seeing a clear trend to seriously address the global learning crisis” said Julia Gillard, Board Chair of the Global Partnership for Education and former Prime Minister of Australia. “The success of the conference marks a turning point for global political support for education financing and brings a new breadth and depth to our partnership.”
At the conference, the United Arab Emirates joined GPE, becoming the first Arab donor and pledging US$100 million. Senegal, in addition to pledging to increase its own expenditure on education, became GPE’s first African donor. The Netherlands and Spain renewed their involvement, and China attended for the first time.
“The unprecedented support today means that the Global Partnership for Education can continue to focus on the most excluded and vulnerable children and work to extend assistance to up to 89 countries, which are home to 870 million children and 78 percent of the world’s out-of-school children,” said Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer, Global Partnership for Education.
The Global Partnership for Education’s funding model is a catalyst for education investment, working hand in hand with governments of low-income and lower middle-income countries to strengthen their education systems. The Global Partnership for Education supports governments to develop robust national education plans so that funds can then be channeled into their priority areas with confidence that they will contribute to improved quality of education for all children.
The conference was sponsored by: Ecobank, the Pan African Bank; Fondation Sonatel; and Altissia, and supported by Girls Not Brides; Global Campaign for Education; Global Citizen; Malala Fund; ONE; Plan International; RESULTS; and Women Deliver.
ARC and UN Partner to Increase Insurance Coverage in Africa
February 2, 2018 | 0 Comments
ADDIS ABABA – The African Risk Capacity (ARC), an agency of the African Union, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have announced a new partnership which will see the two organisations work together to increase insurance coverage against climate risks for African states.
The multilateral deal was announced at the African Union’s Annual Summit in Addis Ababa, and commits ARC and ECA to build the capacity of their 33 common Member States by embedding risk management investments into government planning through policy development. ARC and ECA also will share expertise and commit financial resources to joint analytical work in areas of economic and climate risk research in order to promote risk transfer instruments.
The UN estimates that Africa will see the adaptation costs of climate change rise to $50 billion per year by 2050.
“This partnership marks a bold new phase of heightened collaboration on combatting the effects of climate change in Africa,” said Mohamed Beavogui, Director-General of ARC Agency. “The future of disaster risk management is an increasingly urgent economic issue, and ECA’s unique expertise will complement ARC’s work serving its Member States and building preparedness and resilience on the continent.”
In the four years that ARC has offered insurance coverage to its Member States, it has paid out more than USD $34 million to Member States affected by drought events. These resources have assisted over two million people affected by climate disaster.
“Climate change is one of the biggest threats to Africa’s economic and social development,” said ECA Executive Secretary Vera Songwe. “We believe that efforts like our partnership with ARC will help move the needle, so that African countries can be well-guarded against these threats, and they can thrive.”
ECA is a UN regional commission established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN) in 1958. ECA’s mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development. Made up of 54 Member States, and playing a dual role as a regional arm of the UN and as a key component of the African institutional landscape, ECA is well positioned to make unique contributions to address the Continent’s development challenges.
ECA’s strength derives from its role as the only UN agency mandated to operate at the regional and sub-regional levels to harness resources and bring them to bear on Africa’s priorities. To enhance its impact, ECA places a special focus on collecting up to date and original regional statistics in order to ground its policy research and advocacy on clear objective evidence; promoting policy consensus; providing meaningful capacity development; and providing advisory services in key thematic fields.
ARC consists of ARC Agency and ARC Insurance Company Limited (ARC Ltd). ARC Agency was established in 2012 as a Specialised Agency of the African Union to help Member States improve their capacities to better plan, prepare and respond to weather-related disasters. ARC Ltd is a mutual insurance facility providing risk transfer services to Member States through risk pooling and access to reinsurance markets; it is owned by Member States with active insurance policies as well as KfW Development Bank and the UK Department of International Development (DfiD), as capital contributors.
ARC plays an important role in responding to countries’ needs at times of crisis by providing fast access to funding for pre-agreed-upon, rapid response plans developed in conjunction with governments. ARC’s financing complements other forms of local and international support.
In the few years since ARC began, it has proved to be an effective and vital model – paying out USD $34 million to four countries (Senegal, Niger, Mauritania, and Malawi) affected by drought events. Those resources provided assistance for over two million people and approximately one million cattle.
ARC is using its expertise to help tackle some of the greatest threats faced by the continent, including droughts, outbreaks and epidemics, and tropical cyclones.
For more information, please visit: www.africanriskcapacity.org
African Reinsurance Corporation joins Africa Finance Corporation
February 2, 2018 | 0 Comments
LAGOS, Nigeria, 1 February 2018,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- African Reinsurance Corporation (“Africa Re”) announces its membership of Africa Finance Corporation (“AFC”), and becomes the first multi-lateral financial institution to invest in AFC.
Africa Re, owned by 41 African states, approximately 107 insurance/reinsurance companies and non-African strategic investors, is the continent’s premier reinsurance corporation, operating across 41 African countries. Africa Re’s membership of AFC will be officially sealed at a signing ceremony to be held in Lagos, Nigeria, on February 1, 2018.
Africa Re’s membership of AFC advances AFC’s growth strategy for its country membership and greater diversification of its shareholding. In recent months, AFC has grown its country membership in Francophone, East and Southern Africa, with the accession in 2017 of Benin, Kenya and Zambia, respectively. AFC now seeks to consolidate this success by further expanding its shareholder base.
Andrew Alli, President and CEO of AFC commented: “We welcome African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re) as a member and shareholder of AFC. As the first multilateral financial institution to become a member of AFC, this is a key milestone for us, as the Corporation seeks to further diversify its shareholding. We are, therefore, pleased to welcome Africa’s premier reinsurance corporation into membership of AFC and look forward to collaborating with Africa Re to provide innovative solutions to the development and financing of infrastructure assets in Africa.”
Corneille Karekezi, Group Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Africa Re, commented: “As a Corporation with both private and public shareholders, we see many synergies with AFC in the pursuit of African continent development agenda as well as business growth. Indeed, we have long admired AFC, and the transformative impact it has made across many of the geographies in which we operate, whilst delivering competitive returns. We are therefore delighted to become a part of one of Africa’s best success stories.”
Greenpeace Africa’s Executive Director Wins a Prestigious Human Rights Award
January 31, 2018 | 0 Comments
|Njeri has mentored many and her recent advances in the environmental protection crowns her lifelong commitment to human rights promotion and protection|
|NAIROBI, Kenya, January 30, 2018/ — Greenpeace Africa’s (www.Greenpeace.org/africa) Executive Director, Njeri Kabeberi, has won the 2017 Munir Mazrui ‘Lifetime Achievement Human Rights Defenders Award’ in a ceremony organised by the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (NCHRD-K) at the Royal Netherlands embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. This is one of three categories of Human Rights Defenders (HRD) Awards launched in 2016 to recognise and honour the work of human rights defenders in Kenya.
NCHRD-K is a national organization that promotes the safety and security of human rights defenders in Kenya through advocacy, capacity building and protection. It works in partnership with a Working Group on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, chaired by the Royal Netherlands Embassy.
Announcing the award, Kamau Ngugi, Executive Director of the HRDs coalition in Kenya said:
“Njeri is a selfless Woman Human Rights Defender who has broken chains of patriarchy to lead successful campaigns for justice, good governance and human rights in Kenya and beyond. Njeri has mentored many and her recent advances in the environmental protection crowns her lifelong commitment to human rights promotion and protection that deserves recognition and celebration.”
Upon receiving the award, Njeri Kabeberi said she was humbled and honoured.
“Despite having received a number of International Awards this is the first time I have been recognised in my own country – and since it is said that a ‘prophet is never recognised in their own home’, this then becomes the biggest victory and the sweetest award to date.”
“Human rights defenders’ work is lonely and hardly appreciated but I know that focus, persistence and resilience always cause the desired impact. We earn our freedom when we learn to face fear head on; that is what others call courage” continued Ms. Kabeberi.
Njeri’s activism career spans over three decades; as a young girl in 1982, she quietly began supporting mothers and wives of political prisoners but her human rights work was only thrown into limelight a decade later when she was invited to the late Prof. Wangari Maathai’s house to join the organization of the campaign to release Kenyan political prisoners.
With this long history in human rights activism, Njeri is now leading Greenpeace Africa into a new wave of environmental justice for Africans by Africans. Human rights is inextricably linked to climate change.
“If we won the human rights and governance battle, but lost our planet, we would have lost everything.”
“My current vision is to build an Environmental Movement in Africa so powerful that African citizens begin to take responsibility for their future. This can be achieved by restoring the continent through green pathways and seeking global environmental justice to mitigate climate change impacts” concluded Kabeberi.
Africa Business and Investment Forum set for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
January 29, 2018 | 0 Comments
Washington, DC – January 29, 2018: A high level public- private sector dialogue on ways of supporting and promoting private-sector led growth in Africa will take place on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The African Business and Investment Forum will serve as a platform for African and U.S. private sector executives to share insights with African heads of state, ministers, senior USG officials, representatives of multilateral institutions and other stakeholders.
The one-day Forum will feature roundtable discussions on issues related to trade and diversification, energy, agribusiness, and health. This will ensure that private sector voices and views are heard by leaders and key stakeholders, and that the day-to-day challenges faced by private sector operators in Africa are addressed.
Among the more than 150 expected participants are Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia; President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique; President Paul Kagame of Rwanda; President Alpha Condé of Guinea; President Macky Sall of Senegal; President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda; President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger; President João Lourenço of Angola; and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya; CEOs and senior executives of key U.S and African companies, both multinationals and SMEs will also attend.
In addition to providing a platform for a high-level public-private sector dialogue, the objectives of the Forum are to increase opportunities for business partnerships, secure commitments as well as track the adoption of business-friendly policies, and showcase countries and policies that are contributing to an enabling environment for enhanced African regional and global trade and investment, including with the United States.
The Africa Business and Investment Forum is organized by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). ECA’s Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe, and CCA’s President and CEO, Florizelle Liser, will be representing the two organizing institutions at the event.
CCA, as the premier U.S. business association solely focused on promoting U.S.-Africa trade, investment and business engagement, will bring its 23-year expertise of successfully providing insights, connections and access critical to U.S. and African businesses operating on the continent.
ECA provides a unique platform for intermediation between the public and the private sector policies and programs, offering solutions and support to accelerate sustainable private sector development on the continent.
ARSENAL CLOSE IN ON £55M AUBAMEYANG SIGNING
January 29, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Chris Wheatley*
Arsenal are on the verge of completing the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund after the clubs agreed a £55 million (€63m) fee in principle, Goal understands.
Aubameyang, 28, has been subject of negotiations between the Gunners and Dortmund for several weeks, with Arsenal having refused to meet the Bundesliga side’s €70m asking price.
Goal understands the Gabon international has already agreed personal terms with the north Londoners, with an official announcement to arrive in the coming days.
The striker, who scored 31 league goals last season, was left out of two consecutive games for Dortmund after missing a team meeting, with head coach Peter Stoger accusing the frontman of not being focused.
However, Aubameyang started in Dortmund’s draw with Freiburg on Saturdayamid claims from the Bundesliga side that a transfer would be sanctioned if Arsenal reached “certain parameters”.
“We are ready to agree a transfer under certain parameters, but only if these are fully met,” sporting director Michael Zorc told German TV.
“We have a clear position. Arsenal has made several attempts so far. We have refused them all up to now.”
Aubameyang would join up with former Dortmund team-mate Henrikh Mkhitaryan at Arsenal after the Armenian joined in a swap deal which saw Alexis Sanchez head to Manchester United. The duo combined for 62 goals in all competitions two seasons ago.
This season, Aubameyang has scored 21 goals in 24 matches in all competitions. He has found the net 141 times since joining BVB from Saint-Etienne for €13m in July 2013, and he also has 23 goals in 56 caps for Gabon.
The 28-year-old’s on the verge of joining an Arsenal side that sit sixth in the Premier League table, five points off the pace in the race for the top four.
The Gunners were eliminated in their FA Cup third round meeting with Nottingham Forest earlier this month but have advanced to the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City and will face Swedish side Ostersunds in the Europa League last 32.
As previously reported, West Brom defender Jonny Evans is also a target at the Emirates Stadium, although a hamstring injury sustained at the weekend could see a transfer put on hold until the summer.
Evans is open to a move, but Arsenal may face a late battle, with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City also keen to land the former Manchester United player, depending on his fitness status.
Diafra Sakho: Striker leaves West Ham to join French club Rennes
January 29, 2018 | 0 Comments
West Ham forward Diafra Sakho has joined French Ligue 1 club Rennes for an undisclosed fee.
The 28-year-old Senegalese, who joined the Hammers from Metz in 2014, scored 24 goals in 71 games for the club.
Sakho’s career at West Ham began well as he equalled a Premier League record by scoring in his first six starts.
However, injuries hampered the rest of his time at the club and he has started only two Premier League matches since the start of the 2016-17 season.
China dismisses ‘absurd’ African Union HQ spying claim
January 29, 2018 | 0 Comments
China has dismissed reports it bugged the African Union (AU) headquarters as “preposterous”.
Kuang Weilin, the Chinese ambassador to the AU, told reporters in Ethiopia the “absurd” claim in France’s Le Monde was “very difficult to understand”.
He spoke out three days after the newspaper published an article claiming data from the Chinese-built AU building was being copied to Shanghai.
The article said the discovery resulted in all the AU servers being switched.
Le Monde spoke to a number of anonymous sources, who claimed the alleged transfer was taking place late at night [link in French], and was only spotted in January 2017 due to the spike in activity between midnight and 02:00, despite no-one being in the building.
It was suggested the alleged data transfer had been taking place since 2012, when the building, in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, was opened.
Officials also brought in security experts from Algeria to sweep the entire headquarters for potential bugs, the newspaper said, leading to the discovery of microphones in desks.
But Mr Kuang – who hailed the headquarters as a “monument” to his country’s relationship with the continent – said it was entirely untrue.
“I really question its intention,” he told reporters on Monday. “I think it will undermine and send a very negative message to people. I think it is not good for the image of the newspaper itself.
“Certainly, it will create problems for China-Africa relations.”
Can Kagame? The African Union
January 29, 2018 | 0 Comments
The continental group of 55 countries has long sought to reduce its dependence on the West, with limited success. Will 2018 be different?
This week is Rwandan president Paul Kagame’s first as chairman of the AU’s Assembly, its top decision-making body. He plans to remake the notoriously sclerotic AU in his own image: lean and ruthlessly efficient. But first comes financial self-sufficiency, which means securing big commitments from African peers.
Last year member states funded just 14% of the AU’s budgeted programmes, well below the 75% they committed to in 2015. A 0.2% levy on imports into Africa might more than double revenues, but implementation has been slow; 21 countries have signed up, but only Ghana and Rwanda have enshrined it in law.
Mr Kagame wants tougher sanctions for recalcitrant members. But it will take deft diplomacy to overcome opposition from big economies like South Africa—a skill not all are convinced Mr Kagame possesses.
*Source The Economist
Netanyahu scoffs at notion Rwanda unsafe for deported migrants
January 29, 2018 | 0 Comments
PM tells meeting of Likud ministers that the UN is already protecting 180,000 refugees in camps in the African country
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told ministers on Sunday that Rwanda is a fitting deportation destination for African asylum seekers as the United Nations is already taking care of nearly two hundred thousand refugees in the African state
At the opening of a meeting of Likud party ministers, Netanyahu addressed Israel’s plans to deport tens of thousands of African migrants to a third country.
The prime minister has praised deals to send migrants to third-party countries in Africa, but has refused to publicly divulge where they are. Media reports have focused on Rwanda and Uganda as the destination countries.
“There are 180,000 refugees sitting there under the protection of the UN, so the claims that it is dangerous are a joke,” Netanyahu said of Rwanda.
Last month, the Knesset approved an amendment to the so-called “Infiltrator’s Law” paving the way for the forced deportations of Eritrean and Sudanese migrants and asylum seekers starting in March, and the indefinite imprisonment of those who refuse to leave “voluntarily.”
There are approximately 38,000 African migrants and asylum seekers in Israel, according to the Interior Ministry. About 72 percent are Eritrean and 20% are Sudanese, and the vast majority arrived between 2006 and 2012. Many live in south Tel Aviv, and some residents and activists blame them for rising crime rates and have lobbied the government for their deportation.
The amendment has gained international attention and is fraught with controversy.
On Saturday a number of severed doll heads doused in red paint were left outside the Tel Aviv office of the Population, Immigration, and Border Authority (PIBA) in what appeared to be a protest move against the deportation plan.
Yossi Edelstein, PIBA’s head of enforcement and foreign affairs administration, complained Sunday that protests against the deportations had gotten out of hand and that opponents’ claims were rife with misleading information.
“What started as a protest became incitement and what happened yesterday in our offices in Tel Aviv is a result of that incitement,” Edelstein told Army Radio. “There are columnists who call for attacking [PIBA] workers. What have we come to? We have crossed every red line you can in protest and we crossed into incitement.”
While refusing to identify the specific countries the migrants will be sent to, he insisted that the destinations are safe and that PIBA operates a careful followup process.
“In the last two weeks there has been false information published,” he told the radio station, dismissing supposed claims that Israel is sending asylum seekers to their deaths. “The High Court has examined those claims from every angle and found that the countries are safe.”
Rami Gudovich, a social worker dealing with asylum seekers, said that some 100 people who were deported by Israel to South Sudan have died, and that there have been several accounts of rape as well as mistreatment by local authorities.
“We are gambling with peoples’ lives,” Gudovich said, saying that some of the asylum seekers that Israel deported to South Sudan have been killed in the civil war there. Other were arrested by local authorities or are suffering because they no longer have access to the medicines and treatments available in Israel, he said.
Israeli rights activists and Jewish communities in the US have spoken out against the deportation plan.
Last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Netanyahu met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and agreed to a demand that his country would only accept asylum-seekers Israel is looking to deport if the move was made in accordance with international law.
*The Times of Israel
This is Africa too
January 29, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Enuma Okoro*
A few months ago, at a recent forum on ‘Africa and Media,’ I got into a vibrant discussion with another African writer about the types of stories we choose to tell about the continent. From my understanding of her viewpoint, she was concerned that in trying to “change the narrative” of Africa, people would begin to “whitewash” certain realities in Africa; like poverty, unemployment, hunger, and other destitute factors affecting many Africans across the continent, and which she felt, were the significant issues important to write about and the stories to be shared.
She said that as someone born and raised in Africa, she wasn’t interested in new narratives, what she referred to as “private jet owners” or “fashion stories,” that she felt stemmed from a colonial mentality of Africans’ need to justify themselves by western standards and for western eyes. To be honest, I listened in disbelief. But after having more discussions on this topic I’ve also found that quite a few people hold this opinion that there are certain narratives about Africa that should be prioritized out of a sense of responsibility to the continent’s continued development. However, this suggests to me a limited imagination only allowing room for extremes, and that given a choice between the two – poverty-stricken or successful and rising – people like this writer, feel it is more beneficial to tell the world about Africa’s poor, needy and destitute, than to promote narratives about a rich and diverse Africa. Because, the argument claims, people need to stay aware that Africa and her citizens are still in need of so much for basic survival and development.
Unfortunately, I vehemently disagreed with this line of thought, which led to my heated discussion with the writer. I have no fear of overwrought narratives of a poor and destitute Africa being whitewashed by narratives of a rich, vibrant and pulsating Africa replete with stylish and success-driven citizens and cities. On the contrary I think we need more of those sorts of stories and media portrayals to counter balance what already exists in popular cultural imaginations of the continent. But her comments did make me rethink something, that maybe instead of using the phrase, “change the narrative,” a more suitable term would be “expand the narrative,” because these stories that she and others are invested in telling are in fact true and necessary stories of Africa.
Poverty, hunger, unemployment, disease, lack of basic amenities is the reality for many people, and these stories do need to be told because ongoing awareness, action, development and change are essential for a more equitable continent. But the only problem is that the world is already more than familiar with these narratives. So familiar that many outside of Africa are tempted to think that this is the only true reality of the continent, that need and destitution is the only true story. It is one reason that people can jump on the bandwagon of such an ignorant, racist and disgraceful comment such as that made earlier this month by the 45th President of the United States of America. When few alternate narratives are made available, it only helps to continue to limit people’s imagination about Africa and what it means to be African. If we don’t make the effort to share our own stories and images about the multiple realties of the continent then we’re simply continuing to allow outsiders to shape the larger imagination of what it means to be African and what it means to live in Africa.
Which is why the role of writers, musicians, painters, photographers, filmmakers, essentially what I think of as culture-bearers is so powerful and necessary. It is possible to control our own narratives in a way that can radically shift global perceptions. On a whim, I created an Instagram page called @ThisIsAfricaToo, and posted a few pictures of images that show Africa in ways many people overseas probably are not used to seeing. As I go about my daily life in Nigeria and on my travels throughout the continent I will continue to share these images that show other sides of our cities and countries than people may be used to. They will be images that suggest more than one reality and more than one tried and trite narrative. I invite people to share their own photos of the beautiful and rich Africa they know, and to tag the Instagram handle @ThisIsAfricaToo. It’s a small action but a picture speaks a thousand words. That writer I engaged with earlier would question why we feel the need to shift global perspectives if we ourselves know what is true about ourselves. Well, to put it in a very elementary way, because Africa is not a continent in isolation from the rest of the world and the world needs to know and hear our multiple truths in order to engage us appropriately.
*Source The Guardian Nigeria
African Heads of State Endorse New Measurement of Progress on Neglected Tropical Diseases Reaffirming Commitment to Health Equity
January 28, 2018 | 0 Comments
|For the first time, annual African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) Scorecard for Accountability and Action will reveal progress and gaps across five neglected diseases that affect countries’ poorest and most marginalised communities|
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, January 28, 2018/ — Today, at the 30th African Union Heads of State Summit , the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) added neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) to its annual scorecard on disease progress. The scorecard is personally reviewed by African heads of state every year, putting NTDs alongside malaria and maternal and child health as top health priorities for the continent.
Developed by the World Health Organization in collaboration with Uniting to Combat NTDs , this index reports progress for the 47 NTD-affected countries in sub-Saharan Africa in their strategies to treat and prevent the five most common NTDs: lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminths and trachoma. By adding NTDs to the scorecard, African leaders are making a public commitment to hold themselves accountable for progress on these diseases.
“My government is determined to make sure we can take ‘neglected’ out of these diseases,” said His Excellency, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn. “Improving the health, education and productivity of our poorest citizens by eliminating NTDs can put Africa on the path to prosperity and universal health coverage. I urge my fellow African leaders to build on the progress already made and increase their efforts to tackle NTDs to make them a subject for much concerted effort and action at the African Union.”
A Health Priority for Well Over A Billion
NTDs are a group of diseases that affect the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, often living in the most remote communities. More than 1.5 billion people are at risk for NTDs globally, including more than 620 million in Africa. Whilst NTDs cause hundreds of thousands of deaths each year, their primary impact is on the millions that are left trapped in endless cycles of poverty. They cause blindness, disfigurement, disability, stigma and discrimination. Parents are left unable to work and children unable to go to school.
Fortunately, the five diseases that are being monitored in the ALMA scorecard respond well to cheap, safe medicines, which are donated by pharmaceutical companies and are broadly distributed to treat and prevent the diseases. As a result of a global public-private coalition, more people than ever before are being treated for NTDs, and the number of people at risk of infection globally has dropped by more than 400 million in the last five years.
Good NTD coverage also promotes universal health coverage: NTD programs have trained over a million health workers and brought a variety of services, including family planning tools and vitamins, to people in remote communities otherwise unreached by the health system. This connection is discussed in more length in Uniting to Combat NTDs’ recent progress report, “Reaching a Billion: Ending Neglected Tropical Diseases: A Gateway to Universal Health Coverage,” launched last month.
“When it comes to diseases that affect the very poorest and most marginalised communities, it is up to political leaders to make them a priority,” said Thoko Elphick-Pooley, Director, Uniting to Combat NTDs Support Centre. “Beating NTDs is essential for Africa’s economic development, and we are thrilled that African Heads of State will be reviewing their progress every year and holding themselves accountable for equitable health outcomes.”
Progress in Africa, But More to Do
The scorecard shows the evidence of progress in Africa:
While most data points to progress, the scorecard shows areas of concern. Nearly two-thirds of countries have a NTD coverage index of less than 50%. The percentage of affected countries implementing disease-specific interventions ranges from 92% for trachoma to just 72% for schistosomiasis, suggesting that there is still much more to do.
“Beating NTDs will help lift millions out of poverty, improving the lives of some of the world’s poorest and most marginalised people. There is a huge amount at stake and we know that eradicating these diseases is too big a job for one sector alone,” said Tanya Wood, chair of the NTD NGO Network and CEO of the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations. “With the ALMA initiative driving accountability and action, and new cross-sector partnerships like the Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy combining expertise, we are getting closer to a world where NTDs are neglected no more.”
African Leadership in Health
Because some NTDs are transmitted in the same manner as malaria, and shared community distributions platforms are used for both malaria and NTDs, ALMA has chosen to include NTDs in its scorecard.
“Malaria and NTDs both lay their heaviest burden on the poor, rural and marginalised. They also share solutions, from vector control to community-based treatment,” said Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary, ALMA. “Adding NTDs to our scorecard will help give leaders the information they need to end the cycle of poverty and reach everyone, everywhere with needed health care.”
The addition of the index happens just before the 6th anniversary on 30 January of the London Declaration on NTDs a multi-sectoral partnership of pharmaceutical companies, donors, endemic countries and non-governmental organizations committed to control, eliminate or eradicate 10 diseases by 2020.
About Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA)
Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases
I profoundly Respect The Partnerships And Values We Share-Trump in Goodwill Message To African Union
January 27, 2018 | 0 Comments
-Announces Extended Visit of Secretary Tillerson in March
By Ajong Mbapndah L
U.S President Donald Trump has expressed respect for the partnerships and values his country shares with Africa.
In a message to the African Union as it meets for its 30th Summit, Trump says the U.S respects the people Africa while expressing his firm commitment to strong and respectful relationships with African States as sovereign nations.
The statement issued on July 25, commends the leadership of current Chairperson Moussa Faki as it works to transform the AU into an effective institution to advance economic prosperity peace and positive outcomes for Africa.
“We are working together to increase free, fair, and reciprocal trade between the United States and African countries, and partnering to improve transportation security and safeguard legal immigration,” the statement reads.
Describing seminal Summit issues on advancing trade and development, resolving armed conflicts, and combatting corruption as critical for the future of Africa, President Trump said the African Union could count on the support and partnership of the U.S.
President Trump said he looked forward to building on relationships established during a lunch he had with African leaders on the sidelines of the last U.N General Assembly, and the Africa Ministerial Engagements in Washington.
The statement indicates that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to Africa for an extended visit in March while the President looks forward to welcoming African leaders to Washington, DC.
Prior to his return from the World Economic Forum in Devos, Trump met with incoming Chairman of the Assembly, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda . President Trump faced a barrage of criticisms in the wake of remarks attributed to him describing Africa as a shithole. A number of U.S Ambassadors serving in Africa were forced to offer explanations on the statements of the President.
Describing the statement as a good start, Omar Arouna a former Ambassador of Benin to the USA and Managing Partner of the US-Africa Cyber Security Group thinks that this may be the closest to an apology Africa may get from a leader who is known to double down on his statements. Arouna, who is also a Member of the Washington, DC, Mayor’s Commission on Africa believes that the size, and importance of Africa, make it difficult for the Trump administration to ignore the continent.
Africa Prefers Fair Trade to Marshall Plans –Nigerian VP Osinbajo
January 25, 2018 | 0 Comments
|Remarks by His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, The Vice President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, at an Interactive Session Titled “Stabilizing the Mediterranean” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, 24 January, 2018|
DAVOS, Switzerland, January 25, 2018/ — Remarks by His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, The Vice President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, at an Interactive Session Titled “Stabilizing The Mediterranean” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, 24 January, 2018:
Q: How realistic is Africa replacing China as the factory of the world, how realistic is that? How do you look at the Marshall plan for Africa, is it something you think is credible?
Vice President: Let me begin with the Africa Rising narrative and all of the possibilities around Africa replacing China as the factory of the world. I think that probably is in the natural cause of things. Even now, we see that as wage costs go up in China, Africa is becoming the obvious choice for some certain industries, so it is clear that will happen and there are quite a few initiatives in that direction already; there are a few countries like Ivory Coast, Nigeria, with the development of Special Economic Zones, with partnerships coming from China.
I think those sorts of arrangements will very quickly absorb labour because obviously, you are looking at growing populations in Africa, the projections as you know are in the next 20 years or so, we are looking at the youth population… probably 70% of Africa’s population would be young people and Africa would probably about be the third largest population.
I think that the critical thing is to see that we cannot deal with this in any quick way, there are no quick fixes to this, we have got to look at this long term, because clearly there’s no way that African economies will ramp off quickly enough to be able to meet all of the expectations, especially all of the projections around population. So this is going to be a long walk and I think that it is important for all of us to see this as such.
The idea of the Marshall Plan is to me, in some sense, bringing old solutions to what really is a dynamic problem. I think that what Africa needs and what a lot of the southern neighbours of the Europeans need are fairer trade policies and a cocktail of policies that centre on job creation in those locations, more investments, but I think more thinking through those ideas and policies that creates more opportunities, partnership between Europe and Africa.
I don’t think that aid has worked through the years. I think that there’s a need for possibly just much more commitment to the whole process. I mean there have been multi-processes, several of them, but I certainly think that if we look at this as a major global problem and when you look around and look at extremism, terrorism and all of the various things that are exported along with illegal migration, it is a global problem and we really does deserve a global solution and the way to look at that is by coming together to reason these things through, but frankly it is not by those Marshal Plans off the shelf, I think it is more nuanced than that.
Q: Do you feel that values of human rights are being compromised in order for Europe to have tactical immediate solutions?
Vice President: I certainly agree that it was a great shock to see actual slave dealings in this century; it was absolutely horrifying to see that. What we are seeing is a degeneration of criminal activities where you find that state capacity is unable to maintain international human rights norms.
One of the crucial things is to encourage repatriation. Nigerian government for example is working with the Libyan government in repatriating everyone who is in the camps. It is a slow process because there are those who claim nationalities because they see a way out of the camps. There is also a great deal of willingness on the part of those who are in the camps to go back because it is entirely voluntary. There is pressure where there is no state capacity or inadequate state capacity to maintain law and order and international human rights norms. The pressure is a bit too much for the Libyan authorities, so what you find is that the criminal gangs and all of these asymmetric type organizations dominate the space and we may not be able to do much without relieving the Libyan authorities of a lot of the illegal migrants in their custody or their country.
Q: With a Yes or No, 5 years from now, are we still going to be seating here having the same discussion?
Vice President: Would you give us a chance to say, “I hope not?” (Laughter). I really suspect yes.
*Courtesy of Laolu Akande,Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity),Office of the Vice President
Refugee Settlements To Be Transformed Into Digital Communities For Long-Term Economic Growth
January 24, 2018 | 0 Comments
Mastercard and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Power Africa Initiative Announce Powerful New Public-Private Coalition
Davos, Switzerland – January 24, 2018 – Mastercard and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) today announced the launch of a public-private coalition that will bring together technology, solutions and experience from multiple sectors to transform refugee settlements into digitally-connected communities. This commitment delivers on a vision laid out in research conducted last year by Mastercard to better understand the critical needs of the over seven million refugees living in camps or settlements today.
The coalition, led by Mastercard and USAID’s Power Africa initiative, will launch pilot programs during the first half of 2018 to address some of the biggest barriers to development. For example, mobile phone and internet access is as critical to refugees’ safety and security as food, shelter and water. The organizations will work together to introduce internet and mobile connectivity, access to clean, efficient energy, and digital financial tools for communities in Kenya and Uganda, with plans to scale to other refugee-hosting countries around the world.
In addition to Mastercard and Power Africa, organizations participating in the coalition include: Accenture, Acumen, BRCK, Danish Refugee Council, Energy Peace Partners, Fenix International, GSMA, The Innovation Village, Lutheran World Federation, Mercy Corps, Microsoft, Moving Energy Initiative, NetHope, Norwegian Refugee Council, Off-Grid Electric, Pawame, PowerGen Renewable Energy, SolarKiosk, Tent Foundation, USAID Global Development Lab, U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, Vecna Cares Charitable Trusts, and World Vision.
“We’ve spent the past several years testing and learning with our partners to take what we do well as a technology company and apply it to help solve this humanitarian crisis,” said Tara Nathan, Executive Vice President, Public Private Partnerships, Mastercard. “Our payments technology has helped to reduce inefficiencies and expenses, add transparency, empower refugees, and stimulate local markets. Now we’re also acting as a force multiplier by combining our strengths with those of the coalition members to make an even bigger impact.”
Today, approximately 31 percent of the world’s refugees live in refugee camps or settlements. They are men, women and children who have fled from countries ravaged by war, political unrest and natural disasters, in hopes of a better life. But they spend an average of 10 years in exile, most often residing in low-and middle-income countries that are already under significant economic strain.
Uganda and Kenya are among the ten countries with the largest refugee populations. Uganda hosts 1.4 million refugees and is home to Bidi Bidi, currently the largest refugee settlement in the world. Kenya hosts approximately 490,000 refugees in settlements, including Kalobeyei, which was established in 2015 to improve the conditions of refugees and host communities through an economically integrated approach.
Mastercard recently published a recommendation for a new integrated model for refugee camps following a year of extensive research in the Kakuma and Kalobeyei camps in Kenya. The insights from the study helped identify the three key areas on which coalition members will focus:
- Connectivity – Coalition members will work together to create accessible and resilient connectivity platforms that deliver vital information to refugees and host communities and enable efficient management of settlement operations.
- Digital tools – Whether providing cash-based assistance or conducting outreach to refugees and host community members, agencies increasingly rely upon technology to effectively address needs. The coalition will work to design and implement an integrated set of identity, payment, and data tools that improve the delivery of essential services.
- Energy access – Power is not provided in settlements as a service, so refugees often rely upon donated solar lanterns for basic light, and poor quality, expensive diesel generators for small businesses. The coalition members will implement solutions for providing energy access to refugees and host communities in a more efficient and low-cost way.
This coalition complements the UN General Assembly endorsed Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) and the Global Compact on Refugees, which seeks to ease pressure on host countries and enhance refugee self-reliance. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and lead for the CRRF, welcomes innovative private-public approaches to longstanding refugee situations that advance the sustainable development agenda and the CRRF.
The Tent Foundation’s Partnership for Refugees will host the Smart Communities Coalition website, enabling additional companies to join the effort to tailor their services to meet refugee and host community needs, a focus area for Tent. Mastercard joined the Tent Partnership in 2016, and this coalition is an extension of its pledge to explore better ways to integrate refugees in host communities.
Louise James, Managing Director, Accenture Development Partnerships:
“Accenture is proud to be a coalition member and to support the mission of this group. Our main goal is to help refugees have the connectivity they require through access to mobile phones and the internet. Connectivity will expand refugees’ access to critical vocational, health and safety information and services.”
Sherwin Das, Managing Director, Energy Peace Partners:
“Energy Peace Partners is pleased to be part of the Smart Communities Coalition and excited to leverage our Peace Renewable Energy Credit (PREC) instrument to drive new renewable energy investment in some of the world’s most fragile settings.”
Lyndsay Handler, CEO, Fenix International:
“Fenix is committed to providing affordable energy products and inclusive financing to the hundreds of millions of people in Africa living without access to the grid. We are proud to partner with the Smart Communities Coalition to find innovative technology and customer experience solutions to overcome the barriers of delivering clean energy and other life-changing products to this population.”
Lennart Hernander, Program Representative, Lutheran World Federation:
“LWF is proud to work with so many dedicated and professional partners in the ‘Smart Communities Coalition’. LWF has supported refugees in Kakuma for more than 25 years. We were among the first few partners present on the ground when the ‘Lost Boys’ from Sudan started to arrive. We see the ‘Smart Communities Coalition’ as a major step towards a future-looking and integrated solution for refugees and local communities, which through connectivity and renewable energy will provide new opportunities for all. The Smart Communities Coalition approach empowers communities in a dignified and accountable manner, this is at the very core of LWFs vision and objectives globally.”
Neal Keny-Guyer, CEO, Mercy Corps:
“At Mercy Corps, we have long held the belief that to solve complex problems, we need to work together across sectors – public, private and nonprofit – to bring to bear our collective knowledge to design bold solutions. We’re thrilled to be a founding member of the Smart Communities Coalition and hopeful about the possibility to bring needed technology and other services to refugee settlements.”
Ben Good, Project Director, Moving Energy Initiative and CEO, Energy 4 Impact:
“The Moving Energy Initiative believes that a paradigm shift in the way humanitarian sector “does energy”, including new types of partnership with the private sector, can create major benefits for the environment, for the agencies and for displaced persons. And, as it is with energy access, so it is with connectivity and the digital economy. We are therefore delighted to be partnering with the Smart Communities Coalition.”
Lauren Woodman, CEO, NetHope:
“Internet connectivity is a lifeline that connects refugees to information, resources, and opportunities. Put simply: Information is aid.”
Neil Turner, Kenya Country Director, Norwegian Refugee Council:
“Offering refugees increasing livelihood opportunities, unleashing their entrepreneurial skills, and creating environmentally friendly, energy efficient ways of doing this, is at the heart of the NRC’s work in Kenya.”
Xavier Helgesen, CEO and Co-Founder, Off-Grid Electric:
“We have long been a proud partner of Power Africa, and are thrilled by the opportunity to use our technology and experience in Africa to serve refugee communities with affordable & reliable power.”
Maurice Parets, CEO, Pawame:
“Pawame is a social enterprise distributing solar home systems in Turkana County, where Kakuma refugee camp is located. We launched our operations in September 2017 and Pawame is committed to creating jobs by distributing its solar home system, empowering the lives of refugees and reducing the carbon footprint. Through our solar home systems, which provide lighting, phone charging and television, we will empower refugees with increased energy access.”
Andreas Spiess, CEO and Co-Founder, SolarKiosk:
“SOLARKIOSK is thrilled to be one of the founding members of the Smart Communities Coalition. We look forward to enabling our solar powered infrastructure, the E-HUBB, to become an integral part of the Coalition’s mission to bring renewable energy and economic generating opportunities to refugee and host communities. With a network of over 200 E-HUBBs across Africa and Asia, experience with refugee and host communities in the Middle East and over five years of know-how in providing retail products and energy services to underserved markets, SOLARKIOSK can greatly contribute to the transformation led by the Coalition.”
Paul Amendola, Executive Director, VecnaCares:
“VecnaCares is excited to be a member of the coalition. Our goal is to develop and deploy an electronic medical records system and CliniPAK to help close the information gaps between patients, caregivers, and decision-makers. Digital patient-centered data in real-time will impact and improve patient health, clinical treatment, and medical resources for refugees.”
Kevin Jenkins, President and CEO, World Vision International:
“The Smart Communities Coalition represents the positive shift in how private and public partners are working together to address growing humanitarian needs, especially in refugee settings. As part of the Smart Communities Coalition, World Vision will work with our partners to identify technologies and approaches that will expedite the delivery of services to reduce the vulnerabilities of children and build self-reliance for their families, particularly in fragile and conflict contexts.”
Next Einstein Forum launches survey to measure gender gap in STEM education and research in Africa
January 24, 2018 | 0 Comments
KIGALI, Rwanda, 24 January 2018 -/African Media Agency (AMA) – The Next Einstein Forum (NEF), an initiative of the Africa Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with Robert Bosch Stiftung, today announces the launch of an important survey that hopes to measure the existing gender gap in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) education and research in Africa.
The survey results will be announced through a report released at the NEF Global Gathering 2018 to be held 26-28 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. Further, the results will inform a White Paper to be unpacked during the highly anticipated panel on bridging the gap for women in science and technology to be held on the first day of the NEF Global Gathering 2018.
“The NEF and our AIMS Women in STEM (AIMSWIS) Initiative are committed to promoting scientific excellence and gender equity. We believe the two go hand in hand, improving scientific output and outcomes. We have launched this survey to get a better understanding of what barriers exist and what best practices can be adopted organically to advance gender equity in STEM education and research on our continent,” said Mr. Thierry Zomahoun, President and CEO of AIMS and Chairman of the NEF.
Questions will focus on participants’ academic journey and work experience including the opportunities and barriers faced along the way. The results will be compiled in a report which will provide much needed primary data to inform discussion and recommendations among policy makers, academic institutions, funding partners and civil society.
Central to the NEF’s vision of propelling Africa onto the global scientific stage, the NEF actively works to increase women’s representation in STEM fields in Africa and globally. Leading by example, NEF Fellows and Ambassadors cohorts comprise at least 40% women.
To participate in the survey, click here. The first 100 completed surveys will receive a participation prize.
Launched in 2013, the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) is an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The NEF is a platform that connects science, society and policy in Africa and the rest of the world – with the goal to leverage science for human development globally. The NEF believes that Africa’s contributions to the global scientific community are critical for global progress. At the centre of NEF efforts are Africa’s young people, the driving force for Africa’s scientific renaissance. The NEF is a unique youth-driven forum. At our headline biennial scientific events, 50% of participants are 42 or younger. Far from being an ordinary science forum, the NEF Global Gatherings position science at the centre of global development efforts. The next NEF Global Gathering will be held on 26-28 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. In addition, through our Communities of Scientists, we showcase the contributions of Africa’s brilliant youth to Africa’s scientific emergence through its class of NEF Fellows, who are Africa’s top scientists and technologists under the age of 42, and NEF Ambassadors, who are the NEF’s 54 science and technology ambassadors on the ground.
The NEF is also working together with partners such as the African Academy of Sciences, Ministers’ of Education, Science and Research across Africa, foundations and other global scientific and private sector companies, to build an African scientific identity. By bringing together key stakeholders, the NEF hopes to drive the discussion from policy to implementation by leveraging buy in and best practice results from Africa and the world. Have a look at our benchmark Dakar Declaration.
Finally, the NEF is telling untold stories of scientific research and innovation across the continent through our various platforms. We want to recalibrate what ‘innovation’ means in Africa. We want to make the link between science and technology, even basic sciences, to everyday life. We want the public involved in science and we have recently concluded the first coordinated Africa Science Week – an annual three to five day celebration of science and technology through coordinated science events across the continent. We believe the next Einstein will be African.
The NEF has been endorsed by the African Union Commission, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Governments of Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa, the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and a growing number of private sector and civil society partners from across the world who are passionate about positioning Africa’s scientific community as an influential member in the global scientific community, which will ensure sustainable human development in Africa and other parts of the world.
African Union Diaspora Headquarters to be established in Accompong Jamaica
January 24, 2018 | 0 Comments
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 24 January 2018 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- African Union Permanent Ambassador to the USA, Hon. Dr. Arikana Chihombori Quao, has re-affirmed the decision to establish an African Union Diaspora Headquarters in Accompong Jamaica during the official ceremony to mark the anniversary of the signing of the Peace Treaty between the Accompong Maroons and the British.
The Ambassador applauded the Maroons for maintaining their African cultural heritage and traditions, and described the Maroon state as being a piece of Africa in the heart of the Caribbean.
The Right Hon. Colonel Ferron Williams, Accompong Head of State, welcomed the decision and said “Today we Maroons are vindicated for having fought to defend our African heritage and identity. We are honoured by our ancestors valor and victory against European colonialism.”
Somalia and other countries in crisis benefit from newly launched humanitarian data exchange initiative
January 24, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs (OCHA)’s centre for humanitarian data has been launched in
Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and
Emergency Relief Coordinator said that he joined the UN Secretary General at the launch
event in December 2017 at the centre’s location in the Hague humanity
According to Lowcock, the idea of establishing the centre first
emerged at the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016.
“OCHA has fantastic information management capabilities, tools and
products. This work ranges from supporting needs assessments to
managing operational and financial data to creating maps and reports,
all in support of increased situational awareness to reach people
affected by crisis,’ he said.
In 2014, OCHA launched the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) to
improve data sharing across organizations.
‘I am pleased that HDX is now used in every active crisis around the
world, including Bangladesh, Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan, and by
users in at least 165 countries. New organizations join HDX every
week. Soon, Facebook will become a member too, recognizing the value
we attach to data-sharing partnerships with the private sector,’
He added that the Centre for Humanitarian Data is the next leg of
the journey. Lowcock says it aims to increase the use and impact of
data in humanitarian crises. It will do this by offering a number of
services to OCHA staff and partners. The services include processing
and visualizing data, developing and promoting data policies for
example, to ensure that sensitive data is protected, and offering
training in data skills.
‘My hope is that the Centre will be able to use data to predict what
is going to happen and help us to meet needs before they become too
big, leading to better, cheaper action, more lives saved and more
lives protected. That is the promise of the centre, to get people the
support they need more quickly and efficiently by harnessing the power
of data,’ Lowcock said.
African Union Commission to launch highly-anticipated Single African Sky
January 24, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
The African Union Commission is set to launch the first AU Agenda
2063 Flagship project, the Single African Air Transport Market
(SAATM), in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 28th January 2018 as a historic
event at the African Union Summit, nearly two decades after the
adoption of the 1999 Yamoussoukro Decision.
Speaking ahead of the launch event, Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner
for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission said
“With preparations continuing on schedule, the launch of the Single
African Air Transport Market will spur more opportunities to promote
trade, cross-border investments in the production and service
industries, including tourism resulting in the creation of an
additional 300,000 direct and two million indirect jobs contributing
immensely to the integration and socio-economic growth of the
The Commissioner stated that the aviation industry currently
supports 8 million jobs in Africa and hence SAATM was created with the
aim of enhancing connectivity, facilitating trade and tourism,
creating employment, and ensuring that the industry plays a more
prominent role in the global economy and significantly contributing to
the AU’s Agenda 2063.
“The AU Summit will also see the adoption of the regulatory text of
the Yamoussoukro Decision, that is, the competition and consumer
protection regulations that safeguards the efficient operation of the
market,” the Commissioner added.
An exhibition billed “Flying the AU Agenda 2063 for an integrated,
peaceful and prosperous Africa” will be unveiled to mark the launch,
as well as ribbon cutting and the inauguration of the commemorative
So far, 23 African countries out of 55 have subscribed to the Single
African Air Transport Market whereas 44 African countries signed the
“The African Union Commission, under the leadership and personal
commitment of H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, has been playing a key
coordinating role in the establishment of the Single African Air
Transport Market and advocacy to AU Member States, who have not yet
committed to the solemn commitment, to do so,” the Commissioner
The African Union Commission (AUC), the African Civil Aviation
Commission (AFCAC), the International Civil Aviation Organization
(ICAO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the
African Airlines Association (AFRAA) are also advising African
countries to open their skies for enhancement of connectivity and
efficiency of air services in the continent.
“As the first of the 12 African Union’s Agenda 2063 flagship projects
to be launched, the implementation of SAATM will pave the way for
other flagship projects as the African Passport and enabling the Free
Movement of People, the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA),”
Commissioner Abou-Zeid stressed.
The Declaration on the establishment of a Single African Air Transport
Market, as a flagship project of the AU Agenda 2063, was adopted by
the African Union (AU) Assembly in January 2015. Immediately
thereafter, eleven (11) AU Member States declared their Solemn
Commitment to establish a Single African Air Transport Market through
full implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision of 1999 that provides
for full liberalization of market access between African States, free
exercise of traffic rights, elimination of restrictions on ownership
and full liberalization of frequencies, fares and capacities.
To date, the number of Member States that have adhered to the Solemn
Commitment has reached twenty-three (23), namely: Benin, Botswana,
Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia,
Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger,
Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Togo and