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Cameroon Government Wants Ceasefire Negotiations With Jailed Separatist Leaders To Remain Secret
July 9, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Many think that President Paul Biya, 87, has not shown sufficient good faith in seeking a lasting solution to the crisis
Many think that President Paul Biya, 87, has not shown sufficient good faith in seeking a lasting solution to the crisis

Last week news about ongoing negotiations between the government of Cameroon and jailed leaders of the country’s nonstate armed groups vying for secession broke out, making rounds on social media platforms and was even reported by local and international media outlets including Aljazeera.

The news was received by many with euphoria who hoped the talks will put an end to the ongoing killings in the country’s troubled English-speaking regions of North West and South West. One of those who confirmed the rumors was Agbor Felix Nkongho, Human Rights Lawyer, President of Fako Lawyers Association, African Bar Association Vice President, and Director of Centre for Human Rights & Democracy in Africa.

Agbor Nkongho,  leader of theCameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium (CACSC), a group which at the start of the crisis in 2016 held several talks with government in bid to find lasting peace to the simmering crisis took to his twitter handle to congratulate the government and separatist leaders for engaging in negotiations towards putting an end to the crisis.

“I salute the bravery and the Laudable initiative by the Government and Sisiku Tabe & Co as they met on 2 July 2020 to start discussions. It is my fervent wish that these discussions will contribute in finding a breakthrough in the current logjam. I endorse these discussions,” he wrote.”

A few days later, On Monday July 4, the government issued a statement refuting reports it had engaged in a ceasefire negotiation with detained Ambazonia separatist leaders.

In the communiqué, government through Communication minister, Emmanuel Rene Sadi said information circulating social media about the holding of negotiations between a government delegation and detained separatist leaders “is not consistent with reality”. Without giving further details, the communique said government was reaffirming its readiness to seek peaceful solutions to the crisis in the North West and South West regions “particularly through dialogue”.

However, Cameroon’s leading English-language newspaper, The Guardian Post, maintains that the government has indeed engaged in talks with separatist leaders, adding that this was not the first time.

According to the article written by long-time venerated reporter, Kristian Ngah Christian, some members of the government might not want the public to be aware of ongoing talks for various reasons.

Citing a source whom they dubbed a “trusted and renowned personality” of the government, the reports states that the source had presented unquestionable graphic information and evidence detailing how the talks unfolded.

“The mediator, who pleaded to remain anonymous citing the sensitivity of the issue, told this reporter that the July 2, 2020 meeting between government emissaries and the jailed separatist leaders, was the second. He gave to understanding that during the two encounters, both delegation heads took notes on each party’s demands. The report of the two meetings, he said, it was agreed, was supposed to be forwarded to the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute, for onward transmission to President Biya,” the report partially read.

Another faction of separatist front runners also rebuked claims that detained separatist leaders engage in any ceasefire negotiations with the government of Cameroon. To Chris Anu Communications Secretary of the Interim Government “being led by Dr. Samuel Ikome Sako, has not, is not, and will not hold any talks or meetings with authorities of La Republic du Cameroon, LRC outside of a properly constituted meditation or negotiation and such must hold outside of LRC.”

By the time of this report, the detained separatist leaders were yet confirm or rebuke claims that such talks ever took place or is taking place. An avid supporter of detained Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe known by separatist as first president of the unrecognized Federal Republic of Ambazonia told this reporter on phone from Maryland U.S.A that indeed the government has met with detained leaders privately but to seek lasting solutions to the simmering in the English-speaking regions.

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Cameroon: Security Forces And Armed Separatist Groups Preventing 700,000 People From Getting Immediate Humanitarian Assistance
July 9, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

A Cameroonian aid worker conducting Covid-19 awareness campaign in the South-West region, May 15, 2020 (Photo: UnitedNationsCameroon)
A Cameroonian aid worker conducting Covid-19 awareness campaign in the South-West region, May 15, 2020 (Photo: UnitedNationsCameroon)

A coalition of international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) that deliver humanitarian assistance and support to Cameroon’s crisis-affected population in the North West and South West regions have raised concerns that humanitarian assistance might not get to the over 700,000 people in dire need.

The eight international NGOs – Action Against Hunger, International Rescue Committee, Norwegian Refugee Council, Plan International, and the Danish Refugee Council among others raised concern that actions of certain parties hinder their operations. – a move that has since been worsened with the rise in the infection rate of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a joint statement a copy sent to our newsroom, the INGOs emphasized their commitment to delivering humanitarian assistance to affected civilians adding that any aid provided is based on need and without discrimination or military objectives.

The statement did not point fingers or list any group responsible for hindering their activities, several reports have blamed Cameroon’s armed separatist for destroying humanitarian assistance and preventing aid to needy Cameroonians.

Earlier this year, one of the INGOs was accused of supporting armed groups in Cameroon. An accusation which the group denied.

In the July 6th joint statement, the nongovernmental organizations reiterated that they “remain committed to delivering humanitarian assistance to all civilian populations affected by the on-going crisis based on need and without discrimination, to saves live,” the statement partially reads.

Now faced with coronavirus pandemic the group demands that stakeholders and parties concerned help facilitate their work to ensure swift access to all affected population in the crisis-stricken regions.

To ensure the safety and wellbeing of their staff working in the affected regions, the INGOs requested that humanitarian staff and personnel must be protected in all circumstances, in accordance with international humanitarian laws.

This follows recent attacks on humanitarian aid groups by separatist fighters which prompted the United Nation’s Humanitarian Coordinator in Cameroon, Allegra Baiocchi to condemn the increased separatist attacks on humanitarian aid workers in the two English-speaking regions of the country and called on these non-State armed groups to rather protect the workers.

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Planning is more important than prediction for Africa’s property sector now
July 9, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Gerhard Zeelie*

Gerhard Zeelie is  Head of Property Finance Africa at Nedbank CIB
Gerhard Zeelie is Head of Property Finance Africa at Nedbank CIB

An understandable response to the economic fallout of Covid-19 is for governments, industries and businesses trying to predict the path that the global economy will take in the coming months and years. However, given that this is a challenging exercise at best, it’s probably a better investment of valuable time and effort to ponder the many lessons – some very hard to swallow – that the pandemic has taught us, and integrate them into our future business and investment plans and strategies, so that we’re more prepared for what the future brings, irrespective of what that is.

For the African property sector this approach is especially vital. As a largely developing continent, Africa’s advantage over its so-called developed economy counterparts is that, in almost every aspect, it has the capacity to reset its economic development compass on the back of Covid-19. Property is a case in point. Where property stakeholders in most developed countries and continents will now have to consider how they can adapt or retrofit what they already have in place to a post-Covid reality, Africa’s property landscape is still very much in its infancy. Meaning that it has immense opportunities to leverage the pandemic lessons as a springboard for the type of future-focused property development that could very well position the continent as a global property leader.

With that in mind, it’s worth taking a closer look at how Covid-19 has impacted the key property sectors in Africa and, more importantly, what opportunities may present themselves going forward.

The hospitality sector was undoubtedly the hardest hit by the pandemic, with revenues coming to a complete and sudden halt as travel was shut down. Interestingly, this is probably also the sector that will be least changed by Covid-19 in the long-term. However, stakeholders would still be well advised to consider innovative ways in which to leverage and maximise the significant value of their assets as the world once again becomes more mobile going forward.

The office sub-sector also experienced significant negative impacts, but revenue streams were not as widely or extensively shut down as with the hospitality sector, given that many tenants were able to pay some or all of their rent through the crisis. However, office space is the one area where the post-Covid-19 future needs to be very carefully considered. The virus threw a bright spotlight on a truth that was already widely known, but largely ignored – which is that the way we use office space is evolving. With the potential for remote working now clearly demonstrated, workplace ecosystems are set to transform, and there is a real opportunity to completely rethink the role and purpose of office space going forward.

The same is true for retail property. The isolation resulting from Covid-19 lockdown responses illustrated the need that exists in African communities for human interaction. And retail destinations were highlighted as the spaces where such interaction is facilitated. While the impact of the pandemic was quite severe in this sub-sector, the recovery may also be swift – particularly given that online trade has not yet gained enough of a foothold to be a significant driver of shopping behaviour change. So, there is significant opportunity for retail developers to capitalise on the lessons learned over the past two months; the most important of which is the need to rethink the primary role of retail centres and change the focus from shopping centres to holistic experience destinations.

The logistics/industrial sector, while not as severely impacted as the previously mentioned sub-sectors, also has the potential to position itself to capitalise on Africa’s post-Covid-19 future. It is likely that online shopping will continue to grow in popularity across the continent, which has the potential to drive significant growth in the logistics industry. To make the most of this opportunity, sector participants will need to carefully and strategically think about where to locate future light industrial developments for maximum exposure and leverage.

So, there are undoubtedly opportunities for property in Africa to flourish going forward. But there are a few caveats to keep in mind. For one, if Africa wants to fully capitalise on its property development springboard potential, stakeholders in the sector have to avoid the temptation to now become bogged down in trying to anticipate the next global crisis or attempting to build such considerations into their property feasibilities. While there is always the possibility of another Covid-type event, with global repercussions, the relatively low probability means that adjusting for it now will have little or no long-term impact on property development models – other than requiring large investments of time, intellectual resources and money that could be better spent elsewhere.

Of course that doesn’t mean that investors and developers in Africa should simply be throwing caution to the wind and going full steam ahead with new developments they had planned before the pandemic struck. There is still much uncertainty about what the future holds. And while we can’t forever be held captive by that uncertainty, we also cannot afford to ignore it. Where projects and developments can be delayed by a few months, it would almost certainly be prudent to do so. At least until the economic fog has lifted somewhat – particularly in terms of local currency stability, commodity prices and tenant sustainability – and the future is a little clearer.

*Gerhard Zeelie is Head of Property Finance Africa at Nedbank CIB

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Tanzania Adopts Good Financial Grant Practice Standard
July 9, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Tanzania President John Magufuli

Tanzani has adopted the Good Financial Grant Practice (GFGP) standard through their national bureau of standards, according to the African Academy of Sciences (AAS).

 According to the AAS, over the last few decades, many government departments across sub-Saharan Africa have faced significant trust and accountability issues in managing foreign aid.

 It is reported that corruption has been cited to be one of the biggest reasons why donors stop giving aid to the development world.

  It is added that the recent World Bank’s study, ‘Elite Capture of Foreign Aid’- Evidence from Offshore Bank Accounts sheds light on how aid disbursements to highly aid-dependent countries coincide with sharp increases in bank deposits in offshore financial centers known for bank secrecy and private wealth management.

  It is reported that donors have lost trust in governments that don’t demonstrate transparency and accountability in managing foreign funds.

 It is added that they spend a lot of time and money on systems to monitor and investigate the unscrupulous/corrupt governments that misuse funds. In some extreme cases, they give less foreign aid or cut it off completely thereby weakening progressive growth and affective the delivery of public services to communities who need it most.

  It has been added that in order to crack down on corruption, robust systems need to be established. Through Certification to the international Standard known as the Good Financial Grant Practice (ARS 1651:2018), government departments can address the issues of trust and accountability.

The Good Financial Grant Practice (GFGP) standard is a new global quality standard that sets out in detail the procedures, processes, and policies that small to philanthropic donors expect organizations to have implemented.

Currently, the standard is being implemented by more than 300 organizations in 45 countries in Africa, America, Europe and Asia and has been adopted in Rwanda, Uganda as their national standard.

 “We are proud to have Tanzania adopt the standard in June through their national bureau of standards,” AAS said.

The certification to the GFGP standard will enable governments to  ensure that relevant capability is available for managing foreign aid in a manner that create an impact in the society, enhance and maintain trust and accountability over budget planning, strengthen operational efficiency and ensure the public get value for money.

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American Multinational Abbot Laboratories faces multimillion-dollar lawsuit over contract compliance with African Covid-19 Test Kits
July 8, 2020 | 0 Comments

The inability of Abbott Laboratories to execute orders and to deliver came at the expense of African companies causing financial loss and damage to their reputations

Abbott Laboratories should have known better and their handling of orders of COVID-19 test kits have caused serious health and financial damages to many Africans, states NJ Ayuk, CEO of Centurion Law Group

Centurion Law Group has been engaged to institute legal action against American multinational health care company Abbott Laboratories for willfully under supplying African suppliers of COVID-19 test kits. Even when the African parties made orders first, delivery was effected last or not at all.

 “Abbott Laboratories should have known better and their handling of orders of COVID-19 test kits have caused serious health and financial damages to many Africans,” stated NJ Ayuk, CEO of Centurion Law Group. 

“We do not take this case lightly. These are trying times, and though a corporation is big and powerful, it does not give it the right to undermine the rights of African companies and governments who placed orders of COVID-19 test products,” added Mr. Ayuk.

Abbott Laboratories has been expanding on the continent and pushing for a lot of new business.  Many African suppliers and governments were proactive in their response to the pandemic and placed timely orders with Abbott Laboratories.  The inability of Abbott Laboratories to execute orders and to deliver came at the expense of African companies causing financial loss and damage to their reputations.

*SOURCE Centurion Law Group

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Malawi’s New President Pledges Support To Mozambique In Fight Against Terrorist Attacks
July 8, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Jorge dos Santos

Malawi’s new President, Lazarus Chakwera, condemned the armed attacks in Northern Mozambique

Malawi’s new President, Lazarus Chakwera has condemned the armed attacks in northern Mozambique and expressed his willingness to help bring peace to the country, according to a statement from the Mozambican Presidency.

Lazarus Chakwera repudiated the violence in the north, during a telephone conversation with his Mozambican counterpart, Filipe Nyusi, indicated the note published on Monday night.

The two heads of state expressed their desire to focus attention on cooperation in defence and security with a view to combating armed violence in Cabo Delgado province, which has already caused the deaths of over 1,000 people.

On 27 June five terrorists killed eight people in an ambush against a vehicle of the company Fenix Construction Services that is working in Palma district where the complex to liquefy natural gas in being built on the Afungi Peninsula.

According to a press release from the company, the ambush took place about four kilometres north of the town of Mocimboa da Praia. Of the 14 people on board the vehicle, eight lost their lives, three managed to escape unharmed, and three are missing.

The survivors said that the attackers wore military uniforms similar to those of the Mozambican armed forces. They blocked the vehicle and then opened fire, killing the driver instantly. As the vehicle came to a halt, the three known survivors managed to scramble out and fled into the bush.

One of them walked through the bush to the village of Quelimane, where he spent the night. The following day he got a lift from a motorbike and returned to Palma on 28 June.

The other two survivors remained hidden in the bush for several more days. One returned to Palma on 1 July, and the other on 2 July.

A private security company hired by Fenix recovered the bodies of the eight murdered men, who were buried in Palma on 3 July.

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Malawi farmers record huge harvest from genetically modified cotton
July 8, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Suzgo Chitete

A cotton farmer from Malawi shows off his bumper harvest from Bt cotton - Photo by Suzgo Chitete
A cotton farmer from Malawi shows off his bumper harvest from Bt cotton – Photo by Suzgo Chitete

After years of research and scientific approvals, the Malawi government in November last year released genetically modified cotton seeds for commercial cultivation.

The farmers who planted Bt cotton for the first time in the last growing season took a gamble to depart from tradition.

France Thole, a cotton farmer in Chikwawa, Southern Malawi, was among the few farmers who were part of the field trials of the new cotton varieties, which have performed wonders elsewhere.

Through the trials, farmers had a feel of the new technology and were convinced this could be the way to go. But it was a real gamble, according to Thole.

“There was lot of negativity from community members when we told them we wanted to try Bt cotton. In as much as we were convinced that the new cotton variety was better than the traditional seeds, we were still not sure if we would be successful,” says Thole, 60, who has been growing cotton for almost half his age.

 “I can tell you the quality of the new variety is impressive; one plant gives you up to 150 bolls when the local variety would give 40-50 bolls. The cotton is thick and good looking.”  

Bt cotton seed has been genetically engineered to make the crop resistant to bollworm. Scientists say this resistance significantly reduces the cost of production as one does not need pesticides now and again.

“If you follow instructions properly you gain more with this new variety. You can produce up to 3,000  bags per hectare while the old variety would you give you 1,000 -1,500 and yet it is also labour intensive because it requires frequent spraying of pesticides,” says Allan Tchalison, another farmer in the Lowershire zone.

Apart from his modern, fully electrified house, some herds of cattle, chickens and goats, Tchalison sponsors his grandchildren’s education. His son’s daughter is in second year pursuing an engineering course at University of Malawi’s Polytechnic. Others are in secondary schools.

Tchalison vouches for Bt cotton as the best so far, but pleads for improved extension work. He says at this stage farmers need close supervision because of their unfamiliarity with the new technology, which he believes is a game changer if well handled.

Another cotton farmer, Mwayi Joseph Chirwa, a primary school teacher in Salima, Central of Malawi, 120 kilometres from the Capital Lilongwe, attests to the scientific claim that Bt cotton significantly reduces the cost of production and has high yield. She estimates that from her piece of land she has been able to harvest double the usual yield.

“I followed instructions throughout, based on leaflets that I was given and also the advice from the extension workers but I could have missed a step or two…because it is new. I think if one follows the guidelines to the letter they can get more than double,” said Chirwa.

Malawi is among new entrants in a growing list of countries that have commercialised cotton in Africa which include South Africa, Ethiopia and Sudan are other examples. Kenya is yet to get its first harvest and so is Nigeria though they have commercialized the crop too. According to the Seed Trade Association of Malawi, 20,000 Malawian farmers planted the Bt cotton seed last season which just ended last month. 

Cotton is one of the strategic crops in the national export strategy and if well managed, the genetically modified variety can significantly improve production, which has dropped at an alarming rate due to lack of investment.

With an allocation of K1.6 billion (USD2.2 million) in the 2011/12 financial year, Malawi was able to produce a record 100,000 metric tonnes that year. Over the years,  this figure has drastically dropped;  the Cotton Council of Malawi estimates that on average  the country is now producing  about 15,000 MT per year, which rakes in K10 billion (USD13.5 million) against a ginning capacity of 600,000 metric tonnes. With the adoption of the new technology in Malawi, it is estimated that the country will soon produce nearly 40,000 MT.

According the Chairman of STAM, Mr John Lungu, stakeholders are now putting their heads together to ensure that market for the bumper harvest is secured to ensure that farmers benefit wholly from their sweat.

“We hope government may consider to subsidise the seeds just to boost cotton farming in Malawi. With this new variety which has shown that it has higher yield, we expect more farmers to come on board and adopt it. So my appeal to government is to liaise with the seed making company to make the seeds available at an affordable price,” pleaded Rodgers Manjawira another farmer from Salima.

The African Institute of Corporate Citizenship (AICC), an NGO which has been pushing for an improved cotton in Malawi, equally thinks one way of helping farmers is to have the seeds for Bt cotton subsidized and also strengthen extension work so that farmers have up to date information on Bt cotton.  

AICC Chief Executive Officer, Felix Lombe, said: “We need to improve cotton production because it is a strategic crop for exports. The economy stands to benefit from cotton which has a ready market locally and internationally.”  

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Yutong provides support in the pandemic prevention of public transport in Africa
July 8, 2020 | 0 Comments
Recently, China Yutong Bus has donated more than 1.2 million medical masks to African countries.

China Yutong Bus , one of the world’s major bus and coach suppliers, has donated more than 1.2 million medical masks to Ghana, Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Sudan, Angola and other African countries and shared the experience of public transport pandemic prevention in China. At the critical moment when African countries are fighting the pandemic, Yutong’s vigorous assistance has made the African people feel the humanitarian warmth of international assistance.

Many donation reception ceremonies were held in Africa

In mid-June, donation handover ceremonies were held in Ghana Transport Bureau, Police Headquarters and Ministry of Health, respectively, in which Mrs. Mabel Sagoe, Director of Transport of Ghana, and ACP Mr Joseph Owusu-Ansah, Director of Manpower of Police Department, attended.

The Ghanaian Police General Administration liked Yutong on the official Facebook, and local netizens also left messages to express their gratitude. Mabel Sagoe, Minister of Transport of Ghana, sent an appreciation letter, “I am very grateful for Yutong’s act of kindness, which will greatly prevent the spread of the virus.”

On April 25, the donation handover ceremony in the capital of Ethiopia was attended by Engineer Endawk Habte, Deputy Mayor of Yadiz, the capital of Ethiopia, and Sisay Tadele, Director of Asian and African Affairs of the Mayor’s Office. In a speech on Yardis TV, the Mayor said “Thank Yutong for this generous donation and the wonderful travel service it has provided for a long time, and hope that other companies will learn from Yutong”. At the same time, official authorities such as Adis Television, the Office of the Press Secretary of Yardis City and the official Facebook of Ethiopian Radio covered the event.

Long-lasting relations between China and Africa

The friendship between China and Africa has a long history. It is reported that Yutong has also compiled an epidemic prevention manual and added some technical epidemic prevention configuration to public transport products to help African people travel healthily.

Building bridges, contributing to society

Since 2003, Yutong has not only provided high-quality bus products, but also provided vehicle operation management, service and spare parts logistics and other solutions to help improve the level of public transport in African countries. Yutong has established a sound sales and service network in nearly 50 countries in Africa, and provided support for the diversified development of local economies, upgrading of the automobile industry, employment problem solving, thus truly realizing the joint discussion, co-construction and win-win cooperation of “the Belt and Road Initiatives”. So far, Yutong has sold more than 16,000 vehicles in Africa, making it the No.1 Chinese bus brand in Africa. Yutong is not only a means of public transport, but also a symbol of economic development and a better life in Africa.

It is reported that Yutong’s assistance will continue to spread to countries and regions in Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and other regions, benefiting more than 10 million people.

*SOURCE China Yutong Bus
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The pan-African guarantee fund’s first CEO Felix BIKPO will transition to Board Chairman and Deputy CEO Jules NGANKAM appointed as Acting Chief Executive Officer
July 8, 2020 | 0 Comments
Jules Ngankam, AGF Group Acting CEO
Mr. NGANKAM joined the Company in 2013 as Chief Finance Officer and was appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer by the Board on 20 April 2017.

After a 9-year tenor since the founding of African Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (AGF), Group Chief Executive Officer Felix BIKPO decided to retire from his position. Mr. BIKPO was however requested to continue offering his services to the Company in a new capacity as Board Chairman. Pursuant to the recommendation of the shareholders, Felix BIKPO was appointed to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors as of 01 July 2020.

Reflecting on his tenure, Mr. BIKPO stated “My greatest satisfaction is that the financial sector has come to understand the role of the SMEs in driving economic growth and through our guarantee products have unlocked SME financing and ultimately had great economic and social impact on the continent”.

“The fact that we have been assigned a three-time exceptional AA- rating shows that we understood the gap and created a leader in the guarantee market. I am proud of what I am leaving behind especially for the coming generation” he added.

At the level of the management, the Board also resolved to appoint Mr. Jules NGANKAM, the Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer, as Acting Group Chief Executive Officer of the Company as of 01 July 2020.

Mr. NGANKAM joined the Company in 2013 as Chief Finance Officer and was appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer by the Board on 20 April 2017. He has over 15 years of experience in banking and financial services with leading financial institutions.

Prior to joining the Company, Mr. NGANKAM worked for over 8 years at Barclays Capital, the investment banking division of Barclays PLC, in various roles including rates strategist, rates trader and treasury vice-president.

Jules, a Cameroonian national, is a graduate of ENSAE in statistics and economics and of ESSEC Business School in business administration. He also holds a Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Paris Dauphine in France.

In his new capacity as Acting CEO, Mr. NGANKAM remarked “I am grateful to be part of AGF’s journey to support financial institutions and help them overcome the challenges they face in serving SMEs. AGF remains committed to continue delivering the best quality service to our partners especially now during this challenging period”.

About African Guarantee Fund:
African Guarantee Fund is a non-bank financial institution whose objective is to promote economic development, increase employment and reduce poverty in Africa by providing financial institutions with guarantee products and capacity development assistance specifically intended to support SMEs in Africa.

African Guarantee Fund was founded by the government of Denmark through the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the government of Spain through the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID) and the African Development Bank (AfDB). Other shareholders include: French Development Agency (AFD), Nordic Development Fund (NDF), Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) and KfW Development Bank (KfW).

AGF has a rating of AA- by Fitch Ratings Agency

*SOURCE African Guarantee Fund
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African Energy Chamber Launches New Energy Jobs Portal and Pledges to Boost Local Content
July 8, 2020 | 0 Comments

The platform will assist local and international companies in attracting local talent across 30 different skills set in the oil & gas, power and renewable energy sectors.

With this new platform, we are getting rid of a lot of entry barriers set on the job market by expensive recruitment agencies , says NJ Ayuk
With this new platform, we are getting rid of a lot of entry barriers set on the job market by expensive recruitment agencies , says NJ Ayuk

In order to maximize the saving of local jobs and assist in the recovery of African energy markets after the Covid-19 crisis, the African Energy Chamber and its partners have launched a free-of-access jobs portal for trained and qualified African workforce. The collaborative platform is accessible at and relays the latest jobs opportunities for Africans across the continent’s energy markets.

The platform will assist local and international companies in attracting local talent across 30 different skills set in the oil & gas, power and renewable energy sectors. All energy companies operating in Africa are able to post their job offers for free, and these will be relayed on the platform and via the Chamber’s communications channels after approval by the Chamber’s admin and team. The jobs portal will be operated and maintained by the African Energy Chamber in order to avoid all fraud and guarantee the credibility of the offers available.

“Local content has always been the number one priority of the African Energy Chamber when advocating for an energy industry that works for Africans and builds truly sustainable business models. With this new platform, we are getting rid of a lot of entry barriers set on the job market by expensive recruitment agencies. This initiative of the Chamber is non lucrative and we encourage all African and international companies to work with us on boosting local jobs creation to support the recovery of our industry and build true sustainability,” declared Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber.

The African Energy Chamber is encouraging all companies in search of African talent across the energy industry to submit their job offers directly online via the platform. Any related requests or queries can be addressed to

*Africa Energy Chamber

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African Energy Chamber Hopeful for a Quick Resolution of Disagreements Over Fuel Shortages in Tanzania
July 8, 2020 | 0 Comments
The African Energy Chamber is calling for the respect of the rule of law, and asking that they be afforded all due processes as required by Tanzanian law

The African Energy Chamber expresses its concerns over the alleged arrest and detention of three energy executives in Tanzania last week. Total Tanzania’s Managing Director Jean-Francois Schoepp, Puma Supply Manager Adam Eliewinga and Oryx’s representative August Dominick were arrested for questioning and taken into custody while attending a consultative meeting between oil marketers and the Energy and Water Regulatory Authority (Ewura) in Dar es Salaam. 

The African Energy Chamber is calling for the respect of the rule of law, and asking that they be afforded all due processes as required by Tanzanian law. Given how critical these times are the ongoing economic crisis across the continent because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chamber is hoping for a quick and amicable resolution to such disagreements that are detrimental to Tanzanian citizens.

“We hope that any ongoing disagreement between oil marketers and the Tanzanian government will be quickly resolved so everyone can get back to business and to providing services to Tanzanian consumers. The Chamber has repeatedly applauded Tanzania for its strike in discovering significant gas resources. With the right infrastructure, Tanzania’s natural resources could transform the country into an oasis of energy growth. We do not want to see such isolated incidents affect the attractiveness of the country for foreign investors and ultimately affect the its energy independence and slow down jobs creation,” declared Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber.

The Chamber will remain open to assisting all parties in reaching an amicable solution to ongoing disagreements and calls on all stakeholders to promote a stronger dialogue on ongoing matters of fuel supply across Tanzania. 
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New Digital Festival by the Big 5 to Connect Thousands of Construction Professionals across Africa
July 8, 2020 | 0 Comments

On July 21-22, the first ever Big 5 Digital Festival Africa aims to rebuild confidence in the African infrastructure and construction community and define the path to the post-Covid recovery

The global pandemic and restrictions over travel and gatherings are posing unprecedented challenges to businesses, and the building and construction industry is no exception. Technology and event organisers’ experience are bridging the physical gap, providing viable solutions to overcome at least some of today’s pressing issues.

On July 21 and 22, The Big 5 Digital Festival Africa , a new online platform powered by The Big 5, the largest portfolio of construction events in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, will bring together thousands of construction professionals for two days of networking, learning, and business-making in Africa.

The digital event, the first of its kind supporting the infrastructure and construction communities across the continent, aims to build resiliency, boost the industry’s recovery efforts, and help plan ahead for the post-Covid-19 era, connecting businesses and professionals in a safe and convenient way. 

One hundred providers of construction solutions from around the globe will present their latest products across the two days of the event. The goal is to establish new business relationships and reinforce the supply chain’s resiliency in a market, the African one, where infrastructure spent in 2021 is expected to increase by 10.8% YoY, according to ABiQ.

Beyond innovative product demonstrations, The Big 5 Digital Festival Africa will deliver insight, inspiration, and direction through a broad education agenda. With an emphasis on business continuity, infrastructure development and investments, digitalisation, governance, and sustainability, the event’s program provides on-point information and intelligence to industry players already active or interested in entering the African market. Confirmed speakers include Ministerial representatives as well as thought leaders from across Africa and beyond. 

Muhammed Kazi, Vice President at dmg events, the organisers of The Big 5 Digital Festival Africa, says: “We are thrilled to leverage on our 40 years long experience as organisers of construction events to launch a digital platform serving the African and global construction community during these unprecedented times. The Big 5 Digital Festival Africa aims to help infrastructure and construction stakeholders in Africa reconnect again through over 15 hours of quality networking opportunities, join forces, get inspired, and envision novel solutions for the industry’s future.”

Mr. Abdulaziz Nasser Al Khalifa, Chief Executive Officer, Qatar Development Bank, states: “Qatar Development Bank (QDB) was established in 1997 as a developmental organization with the primary objective of empowering Qatari entrepreneurs through a wide range of financial, business, incubation, and technical support services, as well as access to local and international markets, while accelerating the growth, development and diversification of the SME ecosystem and the country’s economy. QDB launched the export development agency ‘Tasdeer’ in 2011, to develop and promote non-hydrocarbon exports from Qatar in international markets and service all Qatari exporters. We are participating at BIG5 Digital Festival Africa with 20 Qatari Manufacturing Companies who are targeting the African market as the continent is increasingly seen as the next frontier for economic growth and development.”

Benjamin Gossage, B2B Sales & Marketing Director at Canon Central and North Africa, said: “We are excited to join The Big 5 Digital Festival Africa to effectively and conveniently engage with thousands of industry professionals in Africa, ignite their imagination, boost operational efficiencies, and drive business success thanks to Canon’s creative applications.”

The Big 5 Digital Festival Africa is free to attend and supported by Platinum Sponsors Toolkit, Canon, Decoral System, METALCO Srl, and Qatar Development Bank (QDB), and Gold Sponsors Everest, Gulf Acrylic Industries, Therra Wood, Wonderfloor, MIAKOM, and Shamal Plastic Industries.

*SOURCE The Big 5 Digital Festival Africa

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