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South Sudan: Ceasefire monitor body calls for establish of VIP protection forces
October 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Maj. Gen. Desta Abiche Ageno, Chairman of CTSAMVM, Photo credit: CTSAMM)

Juba – the Ceasefire Monitoring body has called for the formation of the VIP protection as the deadline for a unity government approaches.

According to the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM), the formation the VIP protection forces has not yet commenced.

Despite that president Kiir and opposition leader Dr. Machar made important progress on the path to the formation of a unity government on 12 November when the two principals meet in Juba last month.

There is growing fears that the 2018 peace deal is a facing many obstacles as its key provisions remained unimplemented or were lagging behind and Machar’s group rejected the formation of transitional government on November 12 due to pre-transitional issues.

The formation of the unity government was then extended in May by six months because the national army was not created and the issue of the states was not finalized.

Speaking at a monthly CTSAMVM technical meeting in Juba on Thursday, Chairperson Maj.-Gen. Desta Abiche says the delays of established the VIP protection forces is unacceptable and is needed before the formation of the government next month.

He said the parties should speed up completion of unified forces to meet the November 12th deadline for the formation of a new government.

“CTSAMVM has received no information on the planned date to assemble and train the VIP protection. CTSAMVM urges the VIP protection force to be formed as a matter of urgency and the formation and training of the necessary unified forces to begin as soon as possible,” said Gen. Abiche.

The body hailed the registration of forces at the cantonment sites and barracks, to ensure the required number of troops is attained.

“While the number of forces being registered is encouraging, the cantonment process remains slow. Cantonment is an important step in enabling the security arrangements to be in place before the transitional period commences,’ he added.

The IGAD – peace mediator, deadline that at least 50 per cent of the 83,000 necessary unified forces should be cantoned and barracked, trained and deployed by 30 September has now passed without progress.

There are 35 cantonment sites identified by the Joint Defense Board across the country, a move in line with the new peace deal.

The logistical constraint continues to negatively impact the implementation of cantonment sites, includes lack of food, shelter, water and medicines.

The body also said the government forces and opposition forces are still occupied the civilian and school buildings in Equatoria region, arguing that the failure to vacate these buildings demonstrates a lack of commitment to the peace process.

He said the ceasefire continues to hold with no reported incidents of clashes between the parties across the country, adding that the body continues to monitor the overall security situation and reports of tension in order to encourage early mediation and prevent escalation.

However, the country is trying to end the five-year conflict through the formation of transitional unity government next month, in which Dr. Machar will take up one of the four vice presidents under president Kiir.

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Academics Urge US Government To Channel More Resources Towards Education And Scientific Research In Africa
October 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Prof. Nkem Khumbah flanked by Ambassador Tibor P. Nagy (Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, US Department of State), Hon. Amro Adly (Deputy Minister of Education, Egypt), and Dr. Menna Demessie, (Vice President, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc) during the session on “Strengthening US-Africa Governments Academic Diplomacy and Research Cooperation Policies”

Professor Nkem Khumbah, Chairman of Africa Development Futures Group, ADFG, has urged the United States government to channel its foreign investment, resources and policies meant to develop Africa into fostering and professionalizing higher education in the continent.

The educationist cum lecturer at the University of Michigan outlined that Africa faces many challenges which can duly be addressed if more attention and resources are invested in its higher education systems, permitting Africans to better carry out scientific research, and finding solutions to their own problems without waiting and hoping on foreign aid.

Prof Nkem Khumbah with Ambassador Tibor P. Nagy ,Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, US Department of State at the AAU launch in Washington,DC

Speaking last week at the launch of the North American office of the Association of African Universities, AAU, in Washington, DC, Prof Nkem Khumbah did applaud US support to Africa but reiterated that it will be more beneficial if redirected into enhancing higher education in the continent, given that “it is the caliber of African universities’ graduates that will produce and manage the knowledge that gives relevance to its other institutions – government, trade, defense, agriculture, health, finance, energy and diplomacy”, that it is by “supporting Africa to vitalize its Higher Education systems that the continent may turn its increasing demographics into a dividend to drive its development agendas and enhance its democracies”.

In his address during the pre-launch season of the regional office, Prof Khumbah, who was sharing the stage with US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tibor Nagy, pointed to the fact that attention is only paid to Africa based on its colonial past and its inefficiencies. Dissecting the continents inability to better bargain for itself due to the small size of its countries as opposed to those in Asia, he maintained that, thanks to the African Union, the continent now has that one voice, to better represent her regional interests.

“The challenge that I see is that resources and policy, have not so much accompanied the level of latent interest in that area…the US is the one singular country in the world that has the deepest roots in Africa and if you look around the continent, Africa is seen in terms of big brother, younger brother and this determines the policies that accompany actions.”

Holding at the premises of the African Union Mission to the United State, attendees included dignitaries from Africa and American Diplomats, academic and professional associations, higher education stakeholders in North America, and from Africa, including a large representation of the African diaspora; Nkem Khumbah said  higher education was one of the major keys to unlocking Africa’s enormous potentials .

Advocating for the harmonization of African educational systems so as to permit the exchange of ideas and research topics, thus facilitating intercontinental exchange of knowledge, Nkem Khumbah used the story of the Koreas’ to better disseminate his idea.

“We often talk about how Korea was receiving aid in the 1950s from Ghana and Cameroon; what turned the stakes around was higher education and scientific manpower, with significant US support through higher education and research cooperation,” he said.

He expressed hope that establishing the North American regional office of the Association of African Universities will strengthen the interface for linking higher education institutions and enterprises in the USA with their African counterparts.

Higher education “can be a powerful, strategic winning area for US foreign policy. While China is building the roads, putting Billions of Dollars on infrastructure and winning the hearts of African heads of states, helping develop its higher education can win the hearts of the entire population,” he said. 

With better cooperation between the US and Africa in higher education expected to shift gear with the establishment of the North American office, speakers and moderators at the launch were all unanimous that the bilateral relation between the two continents will flourish.

Speakers included H.E. Sarah Ayang-Mbi Commissioner, Human Resources, Science and Technology at African Union Commission, who shared information about regional cooperation in African Higher Education and relevant lessons for further collaboration, Ambassador Arikana Chimbori of the AU Mission to the USA, Prof. Orlando Quilambo,  AAU President and Vice Chancellor at the University of Maputo, Mozambique in company of Prof. Rungano Zvobgo, Southern Africa member.

Dr. Beatrice Khamati Njenga, Head of Education Africa Union Commission-Human Resource Science Technology, chaired the session centered on Strengthening US-Africa Governments Academic Diplomacy and Research Cooperation Policies” which had as panelist Ambassador Tibor P. Nagy (Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, US Department of State), Hon. Amro Adly (Deputy Minister of Education, Egypt), Prof. Nkem Khumbah (Prof. and Steering Committee, STEM-Africa Initiative, University of Michigan) and Dr. Menna Demessie, (Vice President, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc).

Forging “Strategic Partnerships among Key Stakeholders in Academia, Professional Associations & Research Institutions” was the focus of the third session moderated by Niamani Mutima, Executive Director Africa Grantmakers’ Affinity Group. Sharing insights on the topic were, Alma L. Golden (Executive Director, USAID Global Development Lab), Norman Fortenberry (Executive Director, American Society for Engineering Education, ASEE), John Boright (Executive Director, International Activities, US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine), Tag Demment (Vice President, Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, APLU), Prof. Nicholas Nsowah-Nuamah (AAU Vice President for West Africa).

On how to better galvanize the Diaspora comprising some 20,000 African-born Academics, 105,000 African-American academics, 105 HBCUs and a larger community that Africa seeks to involve in its development, panelist presented view points on the topic; Advancing African Diaspora’s Academic Relation in a session chaired by Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, Ghana’s Former Minister of Education .

The panel discussions and sessions were crowned by the official launching of the regional office by H.E. Sarah Ayang-Mbi Commissioner, Human Resources, Science and Technology at African Union Commission) and Prof Orlando Quilambo, AAU President and Vice Chancellor Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique.

With the establishment of the regional office, AAU stakeholders hope to boast continental ties between Africa and North America and to identify key areas of partnership that can drive positive change in Africa through Higher Education, among others.

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South Sudan: Deformity oil leak contained
October 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Juba – South Sudan’s petroleum minister has said that an oil spill from a pipeline last month which polluted several areas of former Unity state has been contained, but warned more oil pipelines rupture as the country makes plans to boost oil production.

Of recently, residents of Budang County reported that a pipeline had ruptured, causing the oil to contaminate the environment. Photos circulating on social media show the leakage has had adverse effect on the environment.

Speaking to a press for the first time since the oil pipeline broke on Sept. 25, Oil Minister Awow Daniel Chuang said the oil spill was contained after Greater Pioneer Operating Company (GPOC) dispatched foreign experts to the scene last week.

Chuang describe a recent deformity oil leakage as ‘normal issue,’ but says it was caused by aging pipelines which is currently under control.

“A Russian repair team from the company GOPC went to the site and they contained the leakage because the pipeline has been constructed a long time ago and is aging and as it ages, weak points always develop,” said Chuang.

 “Leak had been contained and “what is left for us now to clean is the soil in that area.” “Of course we know that the production has been down for the last five years and the pipeline was empty and probably was filled with water (that) can expedite the process of corrosion within the pipeline,” Chuang told journalists on Monday in Juba. “That is why we will all suspect that ruptures will happen from time to time…” he added.

Chuang said more oil spills from poorly maintained facilities, after a pipeline leaked 2,000 barrels of oil in the north of the country into the surrounding land and water since the pipeline burst on Sept. 25.

Activists have long warned of the consequences to residents and the environment from oil spills in the area, where facilities have been battered by war and some lay dormant for years until a peace deal was signed in 2018.

When asked about the spill’s impact on residents, Minister Chuang said the leakage took place in a remote area where there is no human settlement.

The extent of the oil spill is difficult to verify, but the Oil minister mentioned only an area of 400 square metres was impacted, while the local said a river used by residents of three counties has been heavily polluted.

Local population affected?

The area official, who don’t want to be mentioned, saying though the leakage has been stopped, the local population has been seriously affected by the spill, includes drying trees, killing cattle, and poisoning people, and the water is falling into the Nile.

But Minister Chuang said plans are under way to retrieve the leaked oil with powerful vacuums placed on trucks.

“The oil and the water will be sucked by vacuum trucks so that it is retrieved and taken back to the system because when you take water and oil, they can be taken back to the system, and the solid is treated to a level where it is environmentally friendly,” said Chuang/

Chuang said some pipelines in the area have not be in use since late 2013 when fighting broke out in South Sudan, and warned there could be more oil leaks on the horizon.

Chuang said as long as they have started to resume oil in block 1, 2, and 4, since the pipelines are not new, then they should expect the leakage from time to time. What is important is to respond to those leakages from time to time.

Increase oil production

South Sudan is planning to increase oil production by 16,000 barrels per day, to be added to its current production of 178,000 barrels per day, an official announced on Monday.

“We have reached an agreement with Sudan to be able to produce up to 16,000 barrels a day,” Petroleum Minister Awow Daniel Chuang told journalists in the capital Juba, underlining that the country was “moving very fast” to start production in currently unused oilfields.

At its peak, oil production in South Sudan was at 350,000 barrels a day. Since the signing of the peace deal production has gone from 135,000 to 178,000 barrels a day.

Environmental audit planned

Chuang says the ministry plans to contract a foreign company to carry out an environmental audit, adding that the government made some progress in its last negotiations with Sudan, announcing the formation of an environmental audit committee to begin operations next week.

Advocates and legislators representing the oil-producing states had argued that there had been an increase in the number of women who have had stillbirths and deformed children. Other effects that they voiced were skin rashes, eye disease, sudden death and unidentified diseases.

This is mostly caused by dangerous heavy metals used in oil production which leaks into drinking water sources used by people.

Residents living near the oil wells blame the government and the companies for turning a deaf ear to their plight by failing to properly dispose of waste.

The official fears that people living along the River Nile, especially nearby villagers, are drinking contaminated water.

Last week, a child was born with a deformity in Northern Liech State. The child’s photograph was shared widely on social media, which prompted public debate on the effects oil pollution has had on local residents.

Chuang said the child has been taken to Nairobi, Kenya, for further medical examination, adding that the government was busy investigating the effects of oil pollution in the area.

However, concerns have mounted over the health impact of the oil fields to surrounding communities, after decades of companies flouting environmental regulations in the war-torn nation.

A 2014 study by Cordaid reported that: “Oil production pollutants are suspected by communities to have caused many new health problems, such as increased infertility in women, a higher number of miscarriages, and eye and skin problems.”

German NGO Sign of Hope, which has investigated the impact of oil pollution in the country, estimates as many as 600,000 people may be affected.

The oilfields in the war-torn country are being operated by the Greater Pioneer Operating Company or GPOC – is an oil consortium owned by China’s National Petroleum Corporation -an oil and gas company which has shareholders of four namely Malaysians, Chinese, Indians’ ONGC Videsh and Nilepet of South Sudan’s government – rule Nile Petroleum Corporation.

All of these companies have been accused of making profits off the country’s five – year conflict and disregarding best oil production practices.

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S. Sudan: U.S won’t accept unity government without Machar
October 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar addresses the nation at the John Garang’s Mausoleum in Juba, South Sudan October 31, 2018. REUTERS/Jok Solomun

Juba – the President Trump’s administration warned that it would not accept a transitional government in South Sudan which excludes ex- rebel Dr. Riek Machar.

Dr. Machar, leader of the main opposition group, Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army – in Opposition signed a new peace deal with president Kiir in 2018 after the 2015 peace deal collapsed.

In the latest peace accords, the two principals promised to end the country’s five – year conflict that has killed nearly 400,000 people and uprooted four million both internally and externally from the homes.

A new unity government is expected to be formed on November 12, in which Machar will take up a post of the first vice president in the country for next 30 months before elections.

Last month, president Kiir said he would go ahead to form a new transitional government on November 12 if an ex-rebel leader Machar’s hesitates.

President Kiir’s statement comes after the two principals held serious face-to-face talks in Juba where they have made importance progress to speed up screening and registration of their forces as they enter into the over 25 cantonment sites across the country.

Thomas Hushek, U.S Ambassador to South Sudan said the parties must get their act together and implement some of the significant outstanding issues before the D – day for the forming the unity government.

He said this peace deal is where the mandate for the unity government will come from that means it need inclusivity of all parties.

However, the IGAD – which mediated the revitalized peace deal, recently invited the parties to the accord for further talks in Ethiopia to help speed up implementation of outstanding issues that include security arrangements, determination of number states and boundaries but it flabby as the parties never turned up.

The U.S diplomat said the government party has refused to participate in the ones [talks] that the IGAD tried to call and yet they have not established any other mechanism to discuss that outstanding political issue.

“They need to be talking about settling this outstanding political issue of determining of the number of states,” he said, despite the promises and announcements by president Kiir and Machar [in September] that they had asked their members to be negotiating this matter – those negotiations are still born.”

Non – Signatories

Amb. Hushek also revealed that he already reached out to Thomas Cirilo, leader of the National Salvation Front (NAS) to join the peace process and pursue his political objectives through non – violent means.

“I have reached out several months ago to Thomas Cirilo and discussed with him the importance of pursuing whatever objective he had without violence, armed forces,” he said. Adding, when you hear us talking about the need for political space here in South Sudan as part of the peace agreement. It’s about making sure that all parties whether they signed the peace agreement or not, have room to champion political change.”

Gen. Cirilo and former chief of army, Paul Malong Awan are still threatening to the peace process despite that the ceasefire is relative calm.

Support

Hushek further disclosed that the president Trump’s administration remains strong supporter of the peace process in the world youngest nation as it has up to now been the largest supporter of humanitarian assistance to the war-torn country.

“We support moving this peace process forward but doesn’t come without some caveats. First of all, we want to see a formation of the unity government. It is clearly defined in the agreement that means all parties have to be in unity. It can’t be a unity government of the incumbent government that moves ahead with the SPLM-IO or other signatory parties drop out,” said Hushek.

He lamented that the parties have been slow on implementing the security arrangements with a bulk of their forces expected to form the 83,000 unified force not yet screened and registered.

“The government has not yet put forward its’ pledged financial support for the [peace] process and also they have been slow to register forces for the cantonment in particular on the government side. They have not done as many registrations so that all needs to be formed in a much accelerated fashion,” Amb. Hushek echoed.

Sanction

Hushek said Trump’s administration will continue to target individuals perceived to be obstructing the peace process in the horn of African region.

“We still have the same executive order in place that we have had that has been a basis for our bilateral sanctions previously. So, this points to people who are obstructing peace and we have this authority to put sanctions on them,” said Hushek. A lot of these sanctions are actually UN sanctions and we use that same executive order to implement them within our legal system. So, it’s incumbent upon all governments of the UN to implement those sanctions.”

Hybrid court

Amb. Hushek also reignited the controversial issue of the formation of the African Union led hybrid court to prosecute war crimes besides setting up the truth, reconciliation and healing commission and reparation commission for the victims of human rights abuses during the violence.

Sentry report

On the recent Sentry report on South Sudan, which alleged syndicate corruption by political elites and international companies helping to fund the civil war, the U.S diplomat agreed that there was massive chronic corruption within the establishment.

“I hope moving forward a future government will see that internationals have a role to play to help the government here [to] fix the problem of corruption. I don’t think anyone in the government has said there is no problem of corruption here. I think they do recognize that,” said Hushek.

The parties have signed a peace deal that includes an entire chapter [four] on improving financial fiscal management, in which a corruption shall be deal with it.

However, the parties to the revitalized peace deal failed to form the unified force by the September 30 as agreed upon.

Of recently, Machar’s group said they are not ready for the formation of the unity government in November 12th if the rest of the security arrangements and the number of states and its boundaries are not implemented. While President Kiir’s group are pushing for the formation of the unity government despite challenges.

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African Development Bank and partners launch pilot Cities Diagnostics tool in five cities
October 10, 2019 | 0 Comments
PICU Cities Leadership workshop: Launching the city diagnostics for five cities, 25-26 September 2019, Radisson Hotel, Abidjan Cote d’Ivoire
The tool includes key environmental and urban sustainability indicators as well as disaster risk and vulnerability, and urban footprint growth
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, October 7, 2019/ — “The urban opportunities far outweigh the challenges,” said Prof. Davis G. Mwamfupe, the Mayor of Dodoma, Tanzania, during his message to the Cities Leadership workshop, launching the City Diagnostics for five pilot cities in Africa, held on the 25th and 26th September 2019 in Abidjan.

Five cities were chosen for the pilot phase of the Cities Diagnostics for 2019 -2020: Antananarivo (Madagascar), Bizerte (Tunisia), Conakry (Republic of Guinea), Dodoma (Tanzania) and Libreville (Gabon) and were represented by their respective authorities.

The African Development Bank (AfDB.org), the Urban and Municipal Development Fund (UMDF) and the Korea Africa-Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) organized the workshop to review the cities diagnostic methodologies with city managers and international urban development experts. Amadou Oumarou, Director of the Bank’s Infrastructure and Urban Development Department said, “The new City Diagnostics tool of the Bank will enable city managers and development partners to have a clear understanding of the situation in all the various sub-sectors of the city and allow us to prioritise our work”.

The diagnostic tool includes key environmental and urban sustainability indicators; two baseline studies covering disaster risk and vulnerability, and urban footprint growth. It also includes a public opinion survey covering accessibility and quality of municipal services for water, sanitation, electricity. Drainage, solid waste management, and other measures of quality of life in cities are also included. The tool can measure and assess inclusiveness and resilience parameters, strategies, municipal resource mobilization, investments, and public accounts administration.

The Mayor of Bizerte, Dr. Ben Amara Kamel stressed the challenge of limited municipal budget resources for capital infrastructure and services investments as well the difficulty of recruiting qualified municipal staff to cities, especially given Bizerte’s ambitious projects such as 100% clean energy by 2030. Participants from Conakry and Libreville also mentioned problems of city governance, the low level of municipal tax collection, poor sanitation, and solid waste management.

The five pilot cities exchanged experiences at a panel headed by Ellis Juan, Senior Advisor to the Bank’s UMDF and former head of the Inter-American Development Bank emerging and sustainable cities program (ESC) . Juan highlighted some of the key lessons learned in Latin America which included the following:An integrated approach to city planning and management yields greater impact;Climate change should be integrated into city planning and management;Making cities for the people, or people-oriented cities;Order in the fiscal accounts, increased digitalization of city management and strong governance and transparency make for a credible partner;Efficient management of solid waste, sewerage and drainage systems, and water resources will preserve cities’ environmental assets for future generations while improving quality of life;Integrating mobility into urban planning and investing in quality public transportation services will drive productivity and create citizen-friendly cities;The City Diagnostics program is fully funded by the UMDF, which supports African cities and municipalities to improve their resilience and manage urban growth and development better through planning, governance, and efficient public services as well as improving the quality of life in urban environments in Africa.
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Winners for Africa’s Top Real Estate Developments Announced at The 10th API Summit
October 10, 2019 | 0 Comments
The winning developments, project teams and professionals came from Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, Mozambique, Namibia, Mauritius and Rwanda
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, October 9, 2019/ — Property developers, suppliers and owners were provided an opportunity to showcase their best projects and services from across sub-Saharan Africa at the annual Africa Property Investment (API) (www.APIEvents.com) Awards which were on held on  the  2nd of October 2019, at a gala networking dinner held at the exclusive Alice & Fifth Restaurant. s

A key component of the 10th API Summit, Africa’s largest investment and real estate development, the Awards, now in their third year, recognised innovation and outstanding achievement across the entire property industry across 13 categories. The categories covered projects and the leaders shaping the future of Africa’s real estate sector. These categeries covered: Retail, Office, Mixed Use, Green Building, Hotel, Alternative Asset, Architectural Design, Banking, High-end residential, Logistics and best women in Property.

The winning developments, project teams and professionals came from Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, Mozambique, Namibia, Mauritius and Rwanda, and critically provided a moment of peer recognition for completed projects, says the managing Director of API Events’ Kfir Rusin.

The projects were judged on a wide range of criteria including location, infrastructure and transport access, integration into the environment, originality of the concept, technical and architectural quality, services offered, sensitivity to the local community, innovation, sustainability, corporate staff involvement, response to market demands, financial performance, occupancy, and the impact of the project on economic convergence.

Kfir Rusin, Managing Director of API Events: “We congratulate all the winners and finalists as well as their respective project teams. They have set an exceptionally high standard for real estate developments across sub-Saharan Africa and continue to shape the African built environment landscape. API Events is proud to be associated with these companies and wishes to aid in further pushing the boundaries of excellence for African property development.”

The calibre of entries was world class and the panel of judges had a challenging time selecting the winners, nevertheless they managed to hone in on the worthy projects. Here are the winners for each category from the  2019 Africa Property Investment Awards.

The 3rd Annual API Awards WinnersBEST AFFORDABLE HOUSINGKaribu Homes | Nairobi, KenyaBEST ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNTatu City Education Village (Crawford International School) | Nairobi, Kenya
           Project Team Award Winner: Boogertman+Partners ArchitectsBEST COMMERCIAL OFFICE DEVELOPMENTSU Tower | Accra, Ghana          Project Team Awarded Winner: Boogertman+Partners Architects,BEST GREEN BUILDINGMon Tresor Business Gateway – Office Park | Plaine Magnien, Mauritius
           Project team Award Winner: Omnicane LtdBEST HIGH-END RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENTPurple Haze | Nairobi, Kenya​ 
            Project team Award Winner: Dewbury LimitedBEST HOTEL DEVELOPMENTHilton Garden Inn Mbabane| Mbabane, eSwatini
           Project team Award Winner: Paragon ArchitectsTOP AFRICAN REAL ESTATE BANK OF THE YEARNedbank CIBBEST RETAIL DEVELOPMENTEast Park Mall | Lusaka, Zambia
           Project team Award Winner: Graduare Property Development LimitedBEST MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENTAppolonia City| Accra, Ghana​           Project Team Award Winner: RendeavourBEST INDUSTRIAL & LOGISTICS DEVELOPMENTAgility Logistics Parks| Maputo, Mozambique
            Project team Award Winner:  Agility AfricaYOUNG PROPERTY PERSON OF THE YEARNeltah Mosimanegape | Tempest Gold, BotswanaWOMEN IN AFRICAN REAL ESTATEOluwatosin Ajose | Deal HQ Partners, Nigeria BEST PROPERTY TECHNOLOGY AWARDLand Layby, Nigeria

The Africa Property Investment Summit & Expo (API) is Africa’s largest and most premier real estate event. It connects the most influential local and international Africa property stakeholders, driving investment and development into a wide range of real estate and infrastructure projects and developments across the continent.

The awards were created to recognize the following characteristics:

RECOGNISE: To recognize and reward excellence in the real estate and associated sectors.

ENCOURAGE: To encourage innovative real estate solutions within the industry.

ENHANCE: To enhance quality standards.

PROMOTE: To promote confidence in the real estate and property industry.

SAFEGUARD: To safeguard and strengthen interest of stakeholders in the industry.

PROVIDE: To provide a strategic and reputable platform of interaction for the different stakeholders in the industry.

About API Events:
API Events (www.APIEvents.com) deliver Africa’s most renowned events in real estate investment and development. Our events across the continent have become the ultimate meeting places for Africa’s property market to learn, network and most importantly to do deals. The company also hosts the API Awards – these prestigious awards provide a platform for distinguished developers, suppliers and owners in the African real estate industry, to showcase their best projects and services. Other services provided by API Events include training programmes and the recently launched Skyline Magazine. 

About API Events:
The Africa Property Investment Summit & Expo (API) is Africa’s largest and most premier real estate event. It connects the most influential local and international Africa property stakeholders, driving investment and development into a wide range of real estate and infrastructure projects and developments across the continent.

API Events (www.APIEvents.com) deliver Africa’s most renowned events in real estate investment and development. Our events across the continent have become the ultimate meeting places for Africa’s property market to learn, network and most importantly to do deals. The company also hosts the API Awards – these prestigious awards provide a platform for distinguished developers, suppliers and owners in the African real estate industry, to showcase their best projects and services. Other services provided by API Events include training programmes and the recently launched Skyline Magazine. 
SOURCE API Events


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African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina receives Emeka Anyaoku lifetime achievement award
October 10, 2019 | 0 Comments
Adesina
The Hallmarks of Labour Foundation presented the Outstanding International Icon Award to Adesina at a ceremony held in Lagos on October 6th
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, October 9, 2019/ — Former Commonwealth Secretary-General Emeka Anyaoku has presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to the African Development Bank (AfDB.org) President Akinwumi Adesina, describing him and the Bank’s work as “ legendary, unprecedented and worthy of emulation.”

The Hallmarks of Labour Foundation presented the Outstanding International Icon Award to Adesina at a ceremony held in Lagos on October 6th.

The Hallmarks of Labour Foundation is a non-profit that recognizes Africans who have achieved success through hard work, honesty, integrity, and justice in every field of human endeavour. Previous beneficiaries of the award include Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka.

Thanking the foundation for the recognition, Adesina said that the African Development Bank had helped 181 million people directly through its investments in the past four years

“There is still much to do. We have gone some way, climbing the steep mountainside of Africa’s development, yet there’s still a long way to go until we reach the mountaintop,” he told the gathering of top government officials, industry leaders, and diplomats.

The Bank has connected 16 million people to electricity and provided 70 million people with improved agricultural technologies to achieve food security. The African Development Bank also gave 9 million people access to finance from private sector companies, provided 55 million people access to improved transport, and 31 million people with water and sanitation.

Adesina congratulated his fellow awardees and urged them to be relentless in their efforts to build humanity. 

“Recognition is never the expectation or endgame when you are passionate about your work. But when one’s modest contributions and efforts are found worthy of honor, it is both a surprise and a delight,” he noted.
*AFDB

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INAUGURAL “SAUDI MEDIA FORUM” SET TO DRAW OVER 1000 GLOBAL MEDIA PROFESSIONALS
October 10, 2019 | 0 Comments
  • Fake news, the changing face of journalism and how to keep print media alive in the digital age, are some of the key topics to come under the spotlight at the forum
  • The first-of-its-kind media event will be held in the Saudi capital from December 2-3, 2019

Riyadh, KSA – October 08, 2019: One of the Kingdom’s key independent civil societies, The Saudi Journalists Association (SJA), and the organizers of the inaugural “Saudi Media Forum” (SMF), have announced that the event is well-positioned to attract more than 1000 media leaders and professionals from around the world.

Held under the theme “Media Industry: Opportunities and Challenges” the 2-day forum in Riyadh from December 2-3, will have a wide number of panels, workshops, and meetings that have been curated around discussing the media industry today and bringing together intellectual, cultural, and media leaders each year. The forum seeks to facilitate the exchange of ideas, and to provide a platform where meaningful dialogue can be initiated. It is an annual meeting of the sector’s key players that aims to leave a remarkable and long-lasting impact on the media industry, in the region and beyond.

The selected theme of the forum is centered around viewing media as an interconnected industry and system, now facing the most difficult period in its history in terms of challenges regarding structuring and the media economy. Today’s media is an industry with tremendous opportunity that emerged as a result of the information revolution and rapid digital developments. The Saudi Media Forum represents a chance to learn about innovative, international experiences that have managed to adapt to changes across the industry, and across media platforms.

“We believe that the media industry as a whole is facing major changes and challenges today. Having a strong media presence within this environment is important for any country, as it is essential and an effective means of soft power that can influence real change at home and abroad. The more media is considered effective and influential, the greater the effectiveness of the community it represents,” says Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi, President of the Saudi Media Forum.

Some of the key topics that will soon come under the spotlight at the Saudi Media Forum include the war against fake news, the changing face of journalism and how to keep print media alive in a digital age, in addition to other key pressing topics and issues facing the industry.

“The Forum will act as a key platform for local media professionals to get exposure to media expertise and competencies from many countries. It will also give foreign media an opportunity to learn about Saudi Arabia’s true fiber, particularly in regard to the social and economic changes transforming the kingdom today,” explains Al Harthi.

The inaugural Saudi Media Forum will also be the launch-pad for the Saudi Media Awards. The award categories include both print and digital media, as well as audiovisual production, in a move by the Saudi Journalists Association to encourage competition and invigorate the spirit of innovation and creativity in the media industry.

“We still have a long way to go. However, initiatives such as the Saudi Media Forum and the Saudi Media Awards are a step in the right direction towards the development of the media industry in Saudi Arabia and across the region. Through combined efforts and real-world knowledge exchange, we will continue to enhance Arab media as a whole, build a unique platform in which the changing paradigms of media are tackled, eventually affecting overall quality and freedom of press,” concluded Al Harthi.

About the Saudi Media Forum:

The Saudi Media Forum is an initiative launched by the Saudi Journalists Association, one of the Kingdom’s key civil societies, independent from the government, with an elected board of directors. The Forum acts as an important platform for media professionals and intellectuals to discuss, debate, and exchange opinions and share knowledge and expertise on the industry’s most challenging issues and explore opportunities for improvements and best practices.

For more information on the Saudi Media Forum or on the Saudi Media Awards submissions, please visit: https://saudimf.com/en/

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Ethiosat platform to deliver HD channels to Ethiopian viewers for the first time
October 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

Ethiosat platform to deliver HD channels to Ethiopian viewers for the first time

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 3 October 2019 – For years, Ethiopian TV viewers have had to navigate through a plethora of multinational content in a variety of foreign languages in order to locate their favourite channels. That changes today with the launch of Ethiosat – the first-ever dedicated Ethiopian TV platform to host Ethiopia’s most popular local channels. This has been made possible by agreements between the Association of Ethiopian Broadcasters (AEB), the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), and the world’s leading satellite operator, SES.

Ethiosat is hosted on SES’s NSS-12 satellite at 57 degrees East and delivers over 30 channels for Ethiopian audiences only, with 12 of those channels already in High Definition (HD) quality.

Amman Fissehazion, Chairman of the AEB, said, “Up until now, the majority of Ethiopia’s content has been broadcast from an orbital location that also supplies content to Middle Eastern and North African countries, which explains the often confusing mix of content. By migrating the most popular Ethiopian TV channels to a new location on SES’s satellite, we’ve created an Ethiopian-only TV offering, that also delivers a variety of channels in HD, a first in Ethiopia.”

Fissehazion added that this is also a great time for the millions of homes in Ethiopia that currently do not receive TV services to bring TV sets into their home. “For Ethiopians looking to buy a new TV set and receive content from the dedicated TV neighbourhood, we recommend purchasing an HD TV whenever possible, as this will allow for a higher picture quality.”

In addition, the launch of Ethiosat will offer Ethiopians a larger offering of both local and relevant international content in the future. Fissehazion said, “We believe consolidating all Ethiopian TV channels and broadcasting them from one orbital position will fuel growth in the Ethiopian media sector, as local networks will now be able to easily expand their audience reach. This will foster healthy and growing advertising markets, which will result in a greater variety of content, and more localised content.”

To access Ethiosat direct-to-home (DTH), Ethiopian TV viewers must have their respective local satellite antenna installer change the position of their antenna. This will allow them to receive the content from SES’s NSS-12 satellite.

“SES is supporting every aspect of this launch and providing on-the-ground services to ensure the success of Ethiosat, which includes training local installers to correctly repoint the satellite dishes of each TV household to ensure a seamless migration. Ethiosat is bringing a completely new television experience to Ethiopians. We intend for the reliability and quality of the new platform to attract many new viewers, fuelling a bright future for the Ethiopian media sector,” said Ferdinand Kayser, CEO of SES Video.

Ethiosat is Ethiopia’s first dedicated TV platform to host the most popular local channels. Ethiosat’s tagline “Colour Your World” is inspired by the colourfulness of Ethiopian culture and tradition. The logo is a representation of the fact that a dedicated platform has been created for Ethiopia via satellite.

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African Diaspora Endorses the Continental Free Trade Agreement
October 9, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

Organizers and Panelists after the Trade and Development Project session. L-R, Gregory Simpkins, Senior Advisor at USAID, Hope Sullivan, Consultant, OIC of America, Andrew Gelfuso, VP Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center,  Angelle Kwemo, Founder and President of Believe in Africa Foundation, Martin Ezemma Dir of Int Business PG Cty Economic Development Corporation, Felix Obi Commissioner Economic & International Development Task Force MD Governor’s office of Community Initiatives, and Dr Malcom Beech, President Africa Business League -America

A major outcome of the recent Making African Trade Easy Forum in Washington, DC was the resounding endorsement from the African Diaspora towards both the Prosper Africa initiative and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCTA).

At the heavily attended event, policy experts, trade professionals, government officials, and other participants agreed that with its enormous potentials, much was still needed for Africa to enjoy the game changing benefits of trade. In this light, the groundbreaking development in the creation and rapid ratification of the African Continental Trade Agreement was hailed as a harbinger of hope for the future.

Speaking at the event, African Union Trade and Industry Commissioner Albert Muchanga said Africa means business in every sense of the word with the AFCFTA. Typically, agreements like the AFCFTA take about five years to ratify, but within a year of its creation, a majority of African countries have ratified it with the exception of Eritrea which is still working on doing so. Commissioner Muchanga harped on the great work that has been put in, and the myriad of benefits that effective implementation could have on the people of Africa. Speaking with great optimism, Mr Muchanga said political will from the leaders was strong, and there was overwhelming support from Africans across the continent for the AFCFTA. With its Secretariat in Ghana, Mr Muchanga lauded the partnership of institutions like the African Development Bank and financial institutions like the Afrexim Bank, a cosponsor of MATE 2019, which are helping to put the AFCFTA on the right path.

The Award to AU President Moussa Faki was received by African Union Trade and Industry Commissioner Albert Muchanga,(L) flanked here by Gregory Simpkins, Senior Advisor at USAID and Angelle Kwemo, Founder and President of Believe in Africa Foundation. Photo Adam Ouologuem

In appreciation and salute of the progress and renewed optimism that the AFCFTA is bringing to the continent, the African Diaspora represented by Angelle Kwemo Founder and President of Believe in Africa Foundation expressed satisfaction,and encouraged African leaders to do all to ensure that the AFCFTA lives up to its game changing potentials for the continent. 

A seasoned international Trade Professional and Chair of the organizing committee of MATE 2019, Angelle Kwemo presented an award to African Union President Moussa Faki in recognition of the great work that he and his team have put in towards making free trade a reality in Africa. The African diaspora with all its potential will throw its weight behind the AFCFTA and do its part to ensure that it works for the benefit of Africa and its partners,said Angelle Kwemo. 

Accepting the award on behalf of AU President Moussa Faki, Trade and Industry Commissioner Muchanga expressed gratitude for the recognition. The leadership of AUC Faki has been instrumental in facilitating progress made by the AFCFTA, and the award will spur them to keep up the hard work, Commissioner Muchanga said. All hands must be on deck for the AFCFTA to succeed, and the diaspora remains one of the most important partners Commissioner said Commissioner Muchanga.

Equally recognized with awards were prominent business leader ‘Samba Bathily, founder of ADS Group who received the “Pan-African Award for his investments across the continent, and Dr Gloria Herndon, Founder GH Global Group with the Africa Diaspora Award.

Dr Gloria Herndon, Founder GH Global Group (in White) was honored with the Africa Diaspora Award

While Samba Bathily represents the upcoming generation of dynamic young Africans transforming the continent with daring investments, in Gloria Herndon, the award was in recognition of decades of strong, and sustained attachment to Africa. Dr Herndon regaled the audience with humor laced tales of her vast experiences across the continent.My love affair with Africa is far from ended Dr Herndon said, as she accepted her honor.

Organized to coincide with the 5th anniversary of Believe in Africa Foundation, the Making African Trade Easy Forum was organized in partnership with USAID and Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center to promote Prosper Africa and the AfCFTA. MATE was opened by Andrew Gelfuso, VP of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Ian Steff, Director Global Market Bureau at U.S. Department of Commerce with the keynote from Ramsey Day, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for Africa, USAID.  They all recognized the importance of the Diaspora in fostering trade with Africa.

A lot of hard work was put in by the Mate Organizing Team for the successful event

It was two full days of intense panel discussions and exhibitions.From panels on African Economic Outlook, to Building Africa’s Manufacturing Sector, the African Continental Free Trade area, Facilitating Finance in Africa, Investing and building Africa’s health industry, Building Diaspora Trade and Innovation, Making the African Digital Revolution a reality, Investing in Africa, Growing Sustainable jobs under AGOA, Democratizing Africa’s energy sector,and Growing Africa’s Agricultural Industry, participants had more than a full dose of potentials, realities , challenges , and what must be done to improve doing trade in and with Africa.

Led by Capitol Hill Veterans Angelle Kwemo, Founder and President of Believe in Africa Foundation and Gregory Simpkins, Senior Advisor at USAID the MATE Forum brought together the crème de la crème of African trade and advocacy professionals in the USA including Matthiew Rees, Coordinator, Prosper Africa, David Weld, Senior Director for Africa, MCC, Jeremy Streatfield, Director for Africa at USTR, Heather Lannigan, Regio9nal Director for SubSahara Africa at TDA, C.D. Glin, President and CEO, USADF, Dr. Albert Zeufack, Chief Economist for Africa, The World Bank Group, Leila Ndiaye, President and CEO, IGD, Flori Liser, President & CEO, CCA, Dr. Menna Demessie, Secretary, Ethiopian Diaspora Trust Fund, Jeannine Scott, Board Chair, CFA, Dr. Sharon Freeman, President & CEO, Gems of Wisdom Consulting, Mariama Camara, Mariama Fashion Production Dr. Mima Nedelcovith, Partner, Africa Global, Maureen Umeh, Fox5 news,  Oren Wyche-Shw, Deputy Assistant Administrator at USAID, Alison Germack, Director of Corporate Development, International Development Finance Corporation, Prof. Landry Signe, Fellow Brooklings institutions, Yousuf Daya, Senior Director Trade policy, market Access, Reseach and International Cooperatio, Afrexim Bank, Steve Lande, VP, Manchester Trade, Tamra Raye Stevenson, CEO, WANDA, Kimberley Brown, Amethyst Technologies, Betty Adera, Betty Adera Foundation, Ollowo-N’Djo Tchalla, CEO Alafia, Salma Seetaroo-Bonnafoux, Ivoirienne de Noix de Cajou, Rahama Wright, Shea Yeleen Katie Auth, Acting Deputy Coordinator, Power Africa, and delegations from many African countries.

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The Unrealized Oil Promise of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the era of “Billions At Play”
October 8, 2019 | 0 Comments

Standing in the 12th position amongst African oil producers, the DRC’s petroleum industry is miniscule at best, producing an average of 25 thousand barrels of crude oil per day

President Tshisekedi of D.R.Congo

 By NJ Ayuk *

It is no secret that the DRC’s mining industry is of vital importance in answering the country’s and the world’s mineral needs. Today, copper, cobalt and other byproducts represent the backbone of the DRC’s economic structure at about 85% of its exports. That has been the case for many years, through several regimes, with little change. Besides metals, diamonds and oil represent the remaining of all that the DRC sends abroad, the vast majority of its outbound trade balance being composed of raw unprocessed goods.

Standing in the 12th position amongst African oil producers, the DRC’s petroleum industry is miniscule at best, producing an average of 25 thousand barrels of crude oil per day off its coastal ageing fields. But that seems rather odd. While there is not much talk about this particular fact, when we think of it, it is somewhat perplexing that the DRC, which is bordered by so many oil producers and has territorial waters in the prolific Gulf of Guinea, has never really developed an oil industry or even seemed to be interested in developing one, despite its prospective reserves. With a population of around 80 million people, of which around 75%, most statistics indicate, live in extreme poverty, the DRC is today amongst the five poorest countries in the world. 

One would expect that the country’s leaders would strongly push for the exploration of the country’s natural resources to produce wealth and provide for better living conditions for its citizens. Yet, the DRC’s oil and gas reserves remain largely unexplored, while most studies estimate that there could be around 20 billion barrels of undiscovered oil in the country’s basins, both onshore and offshore. That is a tremendous amount of oil which, if confirmed, would place the DRC as the second biggest petroleum holder in Sub-Saharan Africa, behind only Nigeria, and far outdoing Angola’s reserves of 9 billion barrels of oil.

This is not the Africa we want, and this is not the DRC that we want.

First of all, keeping certain communities in poverty to retain power is a complete mistake. Power stability comes from generalized improvement of life conditions. If the country is wealthier and is capable of improving the lives of those that live in it, the more stable it will be and the more capable it will become of sustaining and giving continuity to that development.

Further, as I have extensively defended over the years, the sanctity of contracts is of paramount importance to attract investment and partnerships into any country. What company would want to invest in a country where a contract can be signed and then cancelled a few months later without further explanation or justification? And it is not just a matter of reputation, but of direct financial burden, lest not forget that just in March this year, an international court ordered the Democratic Republic of Congo to pay South African DIG Oil Ltd USD$617 million for failing to honour two oil contracts. That is 1.6% of the country’s 2017 GDP. How can any leader possibly justify such a loss to its economy. Not to, again, mention the enormous economic potential that could come from actually letting those contracts take shape and allow companies to explore the country’s oil regions.

Stability depends on investment, cooperation and development. To attract investment, conditions need to be created for the business environment to be enabling for industry development. Disrespecting contracts does not achieve that. Nor does keeping people from producing wealth.

Just in May, French super-major Total abandoned its exploration license in the DRC. Bloomberg’s article on the matter was titled “Congo’s Lone Oil Giant Quits Search, Partner Says”. That’s right, it was the last major oil and gas company to abandon the DRC’s oil plays. Others had been there over the years, Shell and Texaco for instance. About 10 years ago, Tullow Oil and partners tried to acquire a license for exploration, signed a contract, paid the bonuses, and saw the contract then cancelled and the same block then sold to yet another company just a few months later. Nothing has been done in the acreage since.

This is the absolute opposite of what must be done.

Oil and gas production can bring enormous wealth to the country and its people, not to mention the ability the country’s gas reserves could have to produce electricity to power homes and industry.

Since January 2019, the DRC is led by a new government. It now has the opportunity to change the status quo of the DRC within the global oil industry and to promote investment. The country’s oil and gas laws are fairly well developed and the potential for discoveries is huge; the problem is reputation. If the country’s leaders can reassure international investors that their contracts will be respected and if investments can be facilitated and transactions made transparent, there is little limit to how quickly the country’s industry could grow and how much its people could benefit. Better living conditions across the country would ease ethnic and social tensions and provide the basis for a level of socio-economic development that the country has never seen before.

If the dependency on the volatile prices of mineral commodities continues, as well as the uneven distribution of wealth, and if the generalized situation of extreme poverty is sustained amongst the population, instability, rather than stability, will be the end result.

Further, the DRC has the opportunity to seek the help and support of international institutions and partners in developing its oil industry, such as the World Bank, the IMF or the Norwegian government, which have vast experience in helping other African oil producers. They can also seek closer proximity with the US, where most of the major companies with the capability, technology and capital to help develop their industry reside. 

The US government also has an interest in promoting these developments in the DRC, as maintaining stability in the sub-continent and the Central African region is of particular strategic importance for US interests. 

It is astonishing to me that the leaders in Kinshasa are not willing to look from their windows just across the Congo river to Brazzaville and want to emulate the steps taken by their neighbour, the Republic of Congo, currently the third biggest oil producer in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Finally, good signs are coming from the current administration. In April, at the latest Africa Petroleum Producers Association’s Conference in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, the DRC’s oil minister announced the country would put 38 blocks on offer for bidding and negotiation, located in three different basins. This is an important step in order to call out investor attention to the country, and I applaud the initiative. Hopefully the regime change, the country’s adherence to the EITI, and the new block offer will help bring investment, but more will have to be done to reassure investors that entering this market will be a profitable and safe bet, and that their interests and rights are protected by the law.

I hope to see these developments happening soon and to be a witness to the fulfillment of the DRC’s oil industry’s full potential.

*NJ Ayuk is the CEO of Centurion Law Group, a pan-African law Conglomerate and the current Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (EnergyChamber.org), the voice of the African Oil and Gas industry. He is the author is the upcoming book “Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals”.

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Angolan Energy Exec Pugliese Says NJ Ayuk’s New Book Connects Governance and Gas Monetization with African Advancement
October 8, 2019 | 0 Comments
Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy will be published by October 2019
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, October 5, 2019/ — “Bribery is not a smart business model.”

Leading African energy attorney NJ Ayuk maintains that corruption in all its forms is one of the most significant barriers to business growth on the continent.

Ayuk’s position, which he elaborates on in his new book, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals, has earned the support of Sergio Pugliese, President of the Africa Energy Chamber in Angola. Pugliese was an executive with international oil companies BP and Statoil and founded Angola-focused oil and gas services firms Motiva LDA and Amipa LDA. 

 “NJ Ayuk is a champion of African energy investments, and that’s clear in his new book,” Pugliese said. “That doesn’t mean he has blinders on, however. In ‘Calling all Leaders! More on Good Governance’, he presents an unvarnished view of corruption’s negative effect on Africa’s business environment. His message is something anyone who is doing business there, or wants to, should hear.”

In particular, Ayuk says that while the continent has become increasingly attractive to investors, the lack of transparency is keeping it from reaching its full potential. Better policymaking would help, but Africans can’t just count on foreign countries as examples. His belief that “free markets, personal responsibility, less regulation, low taxes, limited government, individual liberties, and economic empowerment will boost African oil and gas markets and economies” is firm throughout the book. He is right when he advocates, “we should fight against a new aid and welfare culture that many young Africans are moving towards”. He demands accountability which is good.

“The global reality is that many countries have policies about how individuals and companies should respond to inducements and kickbacks, and in an era of transparency, they expect Africa to have the same—and enforce them,” Pugliese said. “As Ayuk’s book suggests, Africa has a history of looking abroad for aid and inspiration, and it’s time countries on the continent looked to each other to make sure they meet world-class standards for doing business.”

While Ayuk is not reluctant to call attention to issues Africa—and Africans—need to change, Pugliese said that what is special about Billions at Play is the author’s attention to providing a balanced message. Most important, it is based upon Ayuk’s own experiences as an advocate for everyday Africans.

“This isn’t some pedantic assessment of a problem or, worse yet, a glossed-over version of the truth,” Pugliese said. “In his book, Ayuk offers a boots-on-the-ground perspective and is prescriptive about how countries can change.”

As an example, Pugliese cited Ayuk’s coverage of Nigeria’s response to the 2008 global financial crisis, including reforms to bank oversight. Angola, Cameroon, South Africa, Senegal, Gabon, South Sudan, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea can learn from this book but African investors can learn more.

“Ayuk tells us what has been done, what can be done, and what should be done.  He knows the topic of good governance inside and out, and doesn’t hesitate to show us all sides.”

NJ Ayuk is founder and CEO of Pan-African corporate law conglomerate, Centurion Law Group (https://CenturionLG.com/); Founder and Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org/) and co-author of Big Barrels: African Oil and Gas and the Quest for Prosperity (2017).

He is recognized as one of the foremost figures in African business today.

Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy will be published by October 2019

 For more information about the book, follow us on social media @BillionsAtPlay.
*African Energy Chamber
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