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Rakuten Group and AAIC Launch the AAIC-Rakuten Africa Innovation Project
October 30, 2020 | 0 Comments

Rakuten logo

New project promotes addressing social challenges in Africa by mentoring local startups for further business growth.

Tokyo, October 29, 2020 – Rakuten Europe S.à r.l., Rakuten’s European headquarters, and Asia Africa Investment & Consulting Pte. Ltd. (AAIC), a Japanese growth equity fund and consulting firm based in Singapore, today announced the launch of the AAIC-Rakuten Africa Innovation Project. The project will drive solutions to social challenges in Africa through technical and management mentoring designed to promote business growth for African startups.

As countries and regions across Africa are achieving remarkable economic growth, many local startup companies are actively aiming to “leapfrog,” a process that seeks to use innovation to solve social challenges such as infrastructure, agriculture, nutritional improvement and the provision of clean drinking water.

With this project, startups from Africa participating in the AAIC-managed Africa Healthcare Fund and Rakuten will share information and expertise with an aim to realize practical countermeasures that efficiently solve social challenges. As startups share information about the challenges they face locally in their industries as well as those in wider society with Rakuten, based on this intelligence, Rakuten will make use of its expertise in technology implementation across a wide range of fields from e-commerce to fintech, digital content and communications to support and help grow these local businesses through active mentoring.

Rakuten has expanded to offer more than 70 services around the world based on its mission to empower individuals, communities, businesses and society. From April 2019 to June 2020, Rakuten participated in the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)’s SDGs Business Supporting Surveys program for partnering with private enterprises, working in Rwanda to overcome social challenges through Rakuten’s technological expertise by building an insurance system using blockchain technology and harnessing drones for agriculture. In May 2020, Rakuten announced an agreement with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) to work together to train the African tech community by providing students with cooperative research opportunities and further develop an ecosystem of innovation.

Toby Otsuka, CEO of Rakuten Europe, commented, “Since the day Rakuten was founded, we have always believed in the power of innovation, and throughout its history, our company has always been dedicated to contributing to society. In recent years, many startups in Africa have achieved tremendous growth and are using technology to change people’s lives in significant ways. By collaborating with AAIC and engaging in dialogue with startups that are confronting local challenges head-on, we hope to solve social challenges with our partners as a team leveraging Rakuten technology and business assets.”

As a growth equity fund with operations in Africa, AAIC aims to achieve sustainable growth for developing countries by harnessing Japan’s strength across three pillars: strategic consulting, funds and human resources. In 2017 it established the Africa Healthcare Fund to invest in fast-growing companies in the African healthcare sector. As of September 2020, it has investments in 21 companies that bring innovation for healthcare services that include healthcare e-commerce, fintech for international money transfers, an ambulance dispatch platform, online mental health counseling, teleradiology platform and advanced imaging centers, dialysis centers and maternity hospitals.

Shigeru Handa, Director of AAIC, commented, “Scaling up for further growth is a big challenge as we invest in and support companies that are driving innovation in the healthcare sector, which is one of Africa’s social challenges. We expect this collaboration with Rakuten to provide opportunities to promote synergies and business growth for startups, particularly in the area of technology.”

Rakuten and AAIC aim to contribute to solving social challenges in Africa through the acceleration of innovation.

Overview of the AAIC-Rakuten Africa Innovation Project

  • Overview and purpose: This project aims to realize practical countermeasures that efficiently solve social challenges in Africa through mentoring local startups participating in AAIC’s Africa Healthcare Fund and sharing knowledge and expertise.
  • Period: October 29, 2020 – December 2021 (dates subject to change)
  • Examples of initiatives: Initiatives include improvements to apps and other products and services provided by startups in Africa, and mentoring to support business operations and new service launches. Some initiatives are subject to change going forward as details are currently under consideration.

About AAIC

AAIC Group aims to create new business growth models by offering support mainly in emerging markets, as well as new businesses in Japan. As a fund management firm, AAIC in Singapore manages the African Healthcare Fund to support innovative startups and companies in growth in the healthcare industry in Africa, which provide innovative and sustainable solutions to social challenges in Africa.

About the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS)

Established in 2003, this higher education and research institute aims to foster high-level human resources for the science and technology sector. Attracting excellent scholars and instructors from 43 African countries to its centers in several African countries (South Africa, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania and Rwanda), AIMS is raising the level of Africa’s science and technology through postgraduate education, teacher training, blue sky scientific research and research in partnership with business. With the cooperation of companies like Facebook and Google, it is running a number of advanced projects in areas such as the provision of AI and machine learning courses.  

About Rakuten

Rakuten, Inc. (TSE: 4755) is a global leader in internet services that empower individuals, communities, businesses and society. Founded in Tokyo in 1997 as an online marketplace, Rakuten has expanded to offer services in e-commerce, fintech, digital content and communications to approximately 1.4 billion members around the world. The Rakuten Group has over 20,000 employees, and operations in 30 countries and regions


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Themba Mliswa , Zimbabwe Active Legislator on Sweep Clean Campaign Exposes Massive Grant Corruption By Godwin Matanga Police Commissioner General .
October 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

Temba Mliswa

By Nevson Mpofu

Grant corruption reaches its highest levels in record in Zimbabwe after thorough investigations carried by Temba Mliswa Legislator for Norton constituency. Mliswa this week on Monday addressed journalists in Harare at the Media Centre. He exposed Commissioner General of Police Godwin Matanga who carried out several corrupt activities while in office since Robert Mugabe’s reign. By then he was the Deputy Police Commissioner while Augustine Chihuri was the Commissioner General.

Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga is alleged that whilst he was Deputy Police Commissioner subordinate to Augustine Chihuri who by then was the Commissioner General sourced goods and services from personally known friends and acquaintances for self-greedy in a shameful corrupt avarice, Zim-Sentinel has learnt this through investigations and one on one interviews as confirmed by Themba Mliswa Member of Parliament for Norton Constituency.

The dealings are fraught with irregularities and attempts are alleged to have been made by Matanga to have these dealing swept under the carpet. At the same time other dealings were conducted by Chihuri and him Matanga are alleged to have been torn to shreds to conceal evidence, Themba Mliswa bares all to media at a press briefing in Harare on Tuesday this week.

‘’These are serious dealings that are contributing to shameful corrupt activities. It is however sad to note that these are issues kept quiet by the Government.  It is also pathetic to note that an organization like Zimbabwe Republic Police geared to effectively and efficiently tackle the challenges presented by miscreants in society is involved in shed deals likely to add injury to pain already suffered by Zimbabweans ‘’ , he gesticulates snarling with anger .

‘’But what if these miscreants are not only members of the organization, but indeed head ranks? Who the policies police for that matter?’’ he poses a rhetoric question.

Further more to it, Matanga in December 2019 in the company of his staff officer, Transport and Logistics, Commissioner Hlabiso , is alleged again to have paid  a visit to Croco Motors with intention to purchase 80 operation vehicles without following  due tender process and procedure . In his personal capacity, he is alleged to have instructed Croco motors to clear the vehicles on customs clearance certificates under the Zimbabwe Republic Police. He is further alleged to have instructed Croco Motors to brand the afore-mentioned vehicles in ZRP colors ready for collection.

‘’During routine inspections of Croco Motors, ZIMRA, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority officials discovered various anomalies in the procurement process of the vehicles. Alarms rang and Matanga did not collect the vehicles initially as agreed. Matanga then made an attempt to institute regulated tender procedures in retrospect, but failed, He then preceded to have payment made for 15 [fifteen of the 80 [eighty] vehicles which are currently packed at ZRP warehouses. The remaining 65 [sixty-five vehicles remained at Croco Motors warehouse in Harare. He made efforts to make the matter vanish at Croco Motors.’’ , he adds more .

‘’ZRP paid double the amount of each vehicle. Other players were denied the opportunity to tender as the procurement process was flouted and fraught with irregularities. This prejudiced ZRP of a huge sum of money in the process’’;, continues Mliswa .

Matanga also approached Scan-Link in another incident of grant corruption. The intention was to purchase command vehicles for Chief Superintendents and Assistant Commissioners at a cost of approximately USD 43 ,000 each for Chief superintendents and USD66,000,00 for each for Assistant Commissioners. The total number of vehicles is yet to be verified. The value of the vehicles were inflated two-fold at the behest of Matanga . This price anomaly came to light. In an attempt to conceal corruption, ZRP tried to engage Scan-Link to reimburse the value of the inflated amount.

There are several cases as well in relation to 5 [five]residential stands at Sandton development near Westgate in Harare. These were obtained through corrupt means involving a dealer called Felix Munyaradzi . Matanga is as well the beneficiary of stands acquired through the then Mayor of Harare Herbert Gomba .

‘’The procurement violations are apparently not limited to the above listed and it is believed that the flouting of procurement procedures, price inflations, the indiscriminate arrests of targeted individuals, persecution as opposed to persecution, abuse of office and corruption are all allegations that a concerted and thorough investigation will un-earth.

‘’These are allegations that I have officially submitted to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission. For all this to move on well, Matanga must immediately step down so that investigations move on well. How can an officer investigate his boss while still in office? Thus, why many of the previous number of cases have died silently over the years ‘’.

‘’Matanga must be investigated together with some other people sucked in like the Director of the Special Anti-Corruption Unit in the President’s office, members of the Magistrate Court and CIO. This is causing fear and despondency to its victims who are allegedly arrested either by police or SACU, Southern Africa Customs Union. The problem un-earthing all evidence is that there are bribes demanded from those guilty so that they can be released. Alleged syndicates are believed to target those loyal to His Excellency President Mnangagwa, senior ZRP officers and some individuals ‘’ he concluded.

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Media Expert Zarina Geloo Tips Reporters On Effective Coverage Of Health Matters
October 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Kelvin Mbewe

Zarina Geloo

Health reporters in Lusaka Zambia where over the weekend given tips on how to thrive in reporting on health issues by a health journalists Zarina Geloo that has been practicing for over four decades.

Ms Geloo called on health reporters to report correctly on health matters as wrong messages have serious consequences on people’s lives.

The health expert also emphasized on empathy as being at the core of health reporting.

She said health reporters must exercise empathy with the subject being reported on heath matters and must avoid drama, hype and sensation.

She was speaking at a media engagement where she gave an example of how wrong messages on covid 19 would have impacted negatively on humans.

“Imagine how many people we would have lost if journalists where spreading false rumors that covid 19 did not exist,” she said.

Ms Geloo has therefore called on health reporters to investigate on covid 19 stories rather than reporting from press briefings.

“Develop a skill of embedding things in your mind; it’s annoying but you have to stay with it because that is who you are. There was a time when most members of parliament tested positive to Covid 19 and a follow up story revealed that they attended a wedding where it was discovered that they contracted it from,’’ she said.

She also advised health reporters to develop a good network of sources that help with simplifying information on health.

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Terrorism in Mozambique is linked to the natural gas, says interior minister
October 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

Interior Minister Amade Miquidade

The terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado province are linked to the natural gas and precious minerals found there, Interior Minister Amade Miquidade has admitted.

The minister was answering questions in parliament about the government’s strategy for combating the armed groups that have been carrying out attacks in the region for three years, when he said that terrorism has a relationship with resources and resources with terrorism, and “this is the evil that we deal with”.

He added that the discovery of hydrocarbons and precious minerals in the region attracted international groups interested in its disorderly exploration, and that criminal groups with international connection were behind the conflict.

“It is not to be neglected, [that there might be] some geostrategic interest in the economic importance that the province [of Cabo Delgado] presents for the southern hemisphere and on the global hydrocarbon chess-board,” Minister Miquidade said.

According to the minister, armed violence in Cabo Delgado may bear the hand of the so-called ‘Islamic State of the Province of Central Africa’, “which recently carried out simultaneous attacks in Mozambique, Tanzania and DR Congo”.

Miquidade also admitted the presence of foreign mercenaries helping government forces, the first time the government has done so. He called them “security consultants” and said that the government had had to ask other countries for support, as Mozambique did not have experience in fighting terrorism.

“The new economic players have specific security dynamics, and the continuity of these investments requires specialization in means that we do not have,” the minister said.

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Africa Energy Forum and AFSIA celebrate winners in 15 categories during the AFSIA Solar Awards 2020
October 29, 2020 | 0 Comments
The winners of the Africa Solar Industry Association (AFSIA) Solar Awards 2020 were unveiled during first-of-its kind online event.

The inaugural AFSIA Solar Awards, organized in partnership with the Africa Energy Forum (aef) , culminated in a grand show streamed online on 29th October. During this ceremony, the winners of 15 categories were unveiled and celebrated.

More than 130 entries were submitted across the different categories from all over the continent over the past few months. The Jury, composed of leading experts in solar energy in Africa, have carefully evaluated each entry to identify the most deserving companies and individuals to be awarded the grand prize during this online ceremony.

Among the 15 categories in competition this year, the most disputed titles included “C&I Project of the Year” and “Mini-Grid Project of the Year”, which is reflective of the increased activity of both of these segments of the African solar industry. “Woman in Solar of the Year” has also been particularly popular among participants. This highlights the very positive trend of the growing involvement of women in the solar industry across the continent.

Utility Scale Project of the year
Sterling & Wilson Solar
for the multi-projects 322 MW contribution to Egypt’s 1.6 GW Benban Solar Complex
Commercial & Industrial Solar Project of the year
CrossBoundary Energy
for the Jabi Lake Mall project in Abuja, Nigeria
Mini Grid Project of the year
Africa GreenTec
for their productive-use based Mini-Grid projects in Mali, Niger and Senegal which are often subject to high security risks
Solar Home System Company of the year
for achieving the target of reaching 100 million people with solar energy
Residential Project of the year
Munyax Eco
for exceptional achievement in the field of Solar Water heaters having installed more than 1,000 units across Rwanda saving 8,000 tons of CO2 per year
African Solar company of the year
ANKA Madagascar
for securing 5 MW worth of mini-grids across Madagascar and for the company’s innovative AgriGrid model
African Solar SME of the year


Solar Box Gabon
for reaching 80,000 Kenyans with Solar Home System solutions while achieving cash-flow break-even and profitability

for developing the “Solar Cube” which doubles the production of traditional solar panels
Financial Advisor of the year
Synergy Consulting Infrastructure and Financial Advisory Services
for their advisory services to cutting-edge large-scale projects across the continent such as the 2×50 MW tender in Botswana, the 32MW Djermaya project in Chad or the world’s first PV-CSP hybrid 200MW project in Egypt
Legal Advisor of the year
Eversheds Sutherland
for their contribution to the Open Solar Contracts with IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency, and the Terrawatt Initiative, providing open source standardized contracts to governments across the globe
Technical Advisor of the year
for technical advisory to the Fekola Gold mine hybrid project in Mali, a first of its kind off-grid hybrid project composed of 36 MW of solar, 15.4 MWh of storage, saving 13 million litres of heavy fuel oil annually
DFI of the year
African Development Bank (AfDB)
for establishing SEFA, the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa which has contributed among others First of its kind inventory finance facility for solar irrigation products in East Africa
Woman in Solar of the year
Olaedo Osoka
CEO of Daystar Power Ghana, for leading the expansion of the company from Nigeria to Ghana, Togo and Senegal and realizing C&I projects of 8MW in this 2-years period… only at the age of 27!
Solar Innovation for the year
for their work on the RevivED Water Innovation project, a solar-powered desalination and purification systems for brackish water based on electrodialysis technology providing up to 2000l of clean drinking per day
Solar Picture of the year
Alexandre Skander Allegue – Pawame
for a beautiful picture highlighting the impact of lighting in the most remote areas
Solar video of the year
Joanna Gentili – African Minigrids
for a super inspiring and motivating video about electrifying a village in Malawi
An exceptional and global platform

The awards ceremony was organized in collaboration with aef and was conducted online.

This year, aef joined forces with the African Utility Week & POWERGEN Africa plus Oil & Gas Council’s Africa Assembly this October to host a ‘Digital Africa Energy Festival’ – the largest ever energy event for the African continent.

John van Zuylen, Founder of AFSIA, commented; “AFSIA Solar Awards is delighted to be hosted by this much respected programme and to unveil the winners during a digital ceremony on October 29th.

The event was organized as a great show celebrating exceptional achievement in the solar industry and hosted several African personalities such as Ndumiso Lindi, the host of the awards, and the African band and dance troupe ‘Les Merveilles de Guinee’ who gave a thrilling performance. Several leaders of the global industry such as Huawei, Trina Solar and Jinko Solar also provided their support to make this a truly exceptional event.”

Meet the jury

Applications to the AFSIA Solar Awards were evaluated by some of the most experienced professionals of the African solar industry. These experts reviewed every application independently and selected the best ones in each category.

This year the jury was composed of Eng. Lamya Abdel Hady, Head of Sector Private Projects, EETC (Egypt), Bah F.M. Saho, Executive Director, ECREEE (Cape Verde), Jo Dean, Board Member, SAPVIA (South Africa), Jasandra Nyker Managing Director, Denham Capital (South Africa), Aaron Leopold, CEO, AMDA – Africa Minigrid Developers Association (Kenya), Linda Munyengeterwa, Regional Industry Director for Infrastructure, IFC (South Africa), Izael Da Silva, PhD, Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Research and Innovation Department, Strathmore University (Kenya) and Simon Gosling, Managing Director, EnergyNet (UK).
*SOURCE Africa Energy Forum
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Professor Kishore Mahbubani predicts rise of Africa at Afreximbank’s Babacar Ndiaye Lecture
October 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

H.E. Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Distinguished Fellow, Asia Research Institute and Founding Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore

aking place last week, the Fourth edition of the Ndiaye Lecture was organised at a time of major tectonic shifts around the world and the choice of the main theme “Africa and the Remaking of the New World Order” reflected these developments at the global level. In his keynote address H.E. Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Distinguished Fellow, Asia Research Institute and Founding Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, predicted a shift in economic power from the West to Asia in the first half of the 21st Century, with the second half moving into the Afro-Asian Century.

“From the year one to 1820, China and India were the two largest economies of the world. It is only in the last 200 years that Europe took off, followed by the United States. In contrast to the plight of the bottom fifty percent in the United States today, the bottom fifty percent in China have had their best forty years of socio-economic advancement in four thousand years of Chinese history,” said Professor Mahbubani, a world-renowned geopolitical thinker and veteran diplomat.

“In the 1990’s, China decided to become more pragmatic and the West decided to focus on ideology,” stated Professor Mahbubani. Four decades later, pragmatism which emphasises the adoption of development models and solutions with a proven track record, enabled China to overtake the US as the largest economy in the world in purchasing power parity terms after a successful demographic transition.

Professor Mahbubani predicted that the second half of the 21st century will be the Afro-Asian century, especially with the African population projected to double in the coming decades. Mainstreaming the culture of Meritocracy, Pragmatism and Honesty (MPH), which helped achieve successful demographic transitions in China, will play the same role in the process of African Renaissance and the return of the continent to the global centre stage. The MPH structure also has the potential to stem endemic corruption which in the view of Professor Mahbubani has been the single most important impediment to development over the years. Professor Mahbubani exhorted future generations of Africans to aspire to be as honest as Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.

Earlier, Professor Benedict Oramah, the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, underlined the visionary spirit of Dr Babacar Ndiaye and his development impact. “Afreximbank which was created in response to the sovereign debt crisis of the 1980’s has become the African crisis management institution par excellence,” stated Professor Oramah.

The event also featured a tribute to Dr Ndiaye from his former colleague, Ms. Arunma Oteh, who was African Development Bank Vice President for Corporate Services, World Bank’s Treasurer and is currently at the Said Business School at University of Oxford as an Academic in Residence. She gave a moving tribute about Dr Ndiaye’s life as her mentor and shared his vision of Africa as an economic powerhouse.

The poet Dike Chukwumerije gave a rousing rendition of African history, highlighting the exceptional contribution of Africa to the world and paying homage to systematically organized civilizations of Africa’s past. Stressing the importance of history in the survival of civilizations he invited Africans to treasure and preserve their history. “In our African souls we carry always our ability to rise,” Mr Chukwumerije stated in his closing statement.

After thanking the participants and speakers for their exceptional contribution to the fourth edition of Ndiaye Lecture in his closing remarks, Dr Hippolyte Fofack, Chief Economist at Afreximbank, observed that “the rise of Africa in the second half of the 21st century will take the world back to the beginning of history,” stressing the role played by Africa as the cradle of civilisation.
Participants also enjoyed a musical performance by the virtuoso Ms Sona Jobarteh. The Babacar Ndiaye Lecture was held as a virtual event – due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It attracted more than 2000 attendees.
Professor Kishore Mahbubani’s keynote address can be viewed here:
The Babacar Ndiaye Lecture series, launched by Afreximbank 4 years ago, honours the founding role the late Dr Babacar Ndiaye played in the establishment of Afreximbank. As President of the African Development Bank from May 1985 to August 1995, he is credited with championing the Africa’s economic growth and progress.

About Afreximbank: The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution with the mandate of financing and promoting intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank was established in October 1993 and owned by African governments, the African Development Bank and other African multilateral financial institutions as well as African and non-African public and private investors. The Bank was established under two constitutive documents, an Agreement signed by member states, which confers on the Bank the status of an international organization, and a Charter signed by all Shareholders, which governs its corporate structure and operations. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that are supporting the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby sustaining economic expansion in Africa. At the end of 2019, the Bank’s total assets and guarantees stood at USD$15.5 billion and its shareholders funds amounted to US$2.8 billion. Afreximbank was “African Bank of the Year” in 2019. The Bank disbursed more than US$38 billion between 2016 and 2020. Afreximbank has ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A-), Moody’s (Baa1) and Fitch (BBB-). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.


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Sisu’s Life Saving Hemafuse Device Introduced in Five Frontier Hospitals of Kenya
October 29, 2020 | 0 Comments
The Hemafuse device saves lives in trauma incidences, like ruptured ectopic pregnancies and ruptured spleens, as well as in planned surgeries

 Sisu Global’s flagship medical device is Hemafuse, a surgical autotransfusion device that is revolutionizing blood access across Africa. There is a global shortage of 100 millions units of donor blood worldwide, and only 40% of the demand for blood transfusions is met across Africa. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically worsened the global blood shortage as blood drives and large gatherings have been cancelled. Autotransfusion is the process of salvaging and retransfusing the patient’s own blood in cases of internal bleeding. Studies show that autotransfusion reduces a patient’s recovery time and risk of infection and removes the potential for rejection when compared to donor blood. Notably, autotransfusion is viable for cases of ruptured ectopic pregnancy. Other viable cases include blunt trauma, traffic accidents, and cardiac and orthopedic surgeries.

Sisu Global’s Hemafuse device is a direct answer to this blood shortage through its ability to  perform autotransfusions even in the most challenging environments as it is a completely manual device and doesn’t require any electricity. The device can be used both in emergencies and scheduled procedures to recover blood from where it pools inside of a patient into a blood bag, where it is immediately available to be re-transfused back to that same patient.

Hemafuse has been used in cases where there is no donor blood available, as well as the preferred option, over donor blood. When compared to autotransfusion, the use of donor blood comes with a higher risk of disease transfer, increased length of stay, readmissions, and other complications.

This past August, through Sisu’s partnership with Amref Health Africa, Hemafuse was introduced to five hospitals in frontier counties of Kenya addressing humanitarian challenges and with high incidences of emergency surgeries. Since this introduction, the Hemafuse has already been used to save multiple lives in cases of internal bleeding.

The Hemafuse training program began in these hospitals in late August and successfully finished in late September. Notably, the Hemafuse has already been successfully used twice in the Lodwar County Referral Hospital. The Lodwar County Referral Hospital is the only functional public hospital in the Turkana region and serves as the sole referral hospital for the Turkana region’s 90 health centers and dispensaries. Many patients from Uganda and South Sudan also utilize the Lodwar Hospital as their referral hospital, increasing the population coverage area for this hospital to almost 1 million people. One surgeon from the Lodwar Hospital said of the donor blood shortage faced by Lodwar County Referral Hospital: “Being one of the counties with vast land mass and well sparsely populated areas, LCRH has a satellite blood bank where at times they are able to do blood donation drive and send samples for testing to Eldoret especially when schools are open, but nonetheless the whole county relies on this satellite blood center which often is overwhelmed by the needs of patients requiring blood transfusion. Availability of blood products in the facility is also a big problem.”

In two recent cases, a Hemafuse device donated to Lodwar County Referral Hospital by the Amref Safe Motherhood project saved the life of a patient suffering from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and another patient with a ruptured spleen from a road traffic accident; there was no available donor blood for either operation. A theatre nurse who used Hemafuse in the case of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy in Lodwar reported that, “Donor blood is a big challenge in Lodwar particularly due to cultural beliefs and the long distance/bad terrain which makes the blood donation a difficult exercise.” With the Hemafuse device, doctors were able to salvage four units of blood and retransfuse them immediately, saving both patient’s lives. The theatre nurse also said of the device, It [Hemafuse] has been a great benefit…. so far it has saved lives and provides satisfaction too. As a health worker you go home knowing you have touched a life.”

On the introduction of Hemafuse to Lodwar, Sisu’s CEO stated, “Major surgeries typically require two units of blood on hand before they can commence. With Hemafuse, we are looking towards the future where a patient’s own blood can save them. At Lodwar Hospital and other hospitals across Kenya, Hemafuse has enabled surgeries that would otherwise not have been able to be performed. We commend the courageous work of our clinicians, patients, and families at Lodwar hospital and other hospitals across the globe and are glad we can do our part in saving lives. Even as we see a decrease in available donor blood due to the pandemic, we can increase access to blood by embracing innovation and the ability for patient’s to be their own blood donors.”

The surgeon who used the Hemafuse to operate on the patient with a ruptured spleen reported that the Hemafuse device is especially helpful in trauma cases that are a matter of life and death. “We shall be able to efficiently harvest the blood and provide it for the patient in the same setting. Issues of blood transfusion reactions will be no more if we use patients’ own blood to autotransfuse and provide volume deficits.”

The Hemafuse has also been introduced in the following four hospitals in humanitarian zones: Kakuma Mission Hospital, Mandera County Referral Hospital, Marsabit County Referral Hospital, and Garissa County Referral Hospital. Sisu has successfully completed the training of hospital staff in all of these hospitals, and they are continuing to work, train, and advocate for more hospitals to use this life-saving device.

In addition to Hemafuse’s ongoing success in Kenya, Sisu has seen early success in introducing Hemafuse to hospitals throughout Ghana. Sisu has completed a successful pilot of Hemafuse in three of the largest 10 hospitals in Ghana: Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, and Tema General Hospital. Over the first three months of the pilot from December through March, we saw exponential growth of Hemafuse use at these three hospitals over a 3-month period.

About Sisu Global:
Sisu Global is a corporation headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. We envision a world where medical technology enables access to healthcare in every community. Right now, 80% of the world’s medical devices are designed for 10% of the world’s population. Sisu aims to change this statistic by designing and scaling medical devices made specifically for the global market. Sisu is the manufacturer of goods including the Hemafuse™ System. For more information, please visit our website,

About Hemafuse™:
The Hemafuse™ is a handheld, mechanical medical device for intraoperative autotransfusion of blood collected from an internal hemorrhage, meant to replace or augment donor blood in emergency situations. The Hemafuse™ is a device that can support the donor blood ecosystem by providing an option for clinicians to salvage and recycle a patient’s own blood in cases of internal bleeding. This immediate access to blood can shorten the wait time to perform surgery, increase hospital efficiency and provide access to blood where there may be no other option. This device was developed with invaluable feedback from Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

About Amref:
Amref Health Africa is Africa’s leading health development organization, founded and headquartered in Kenya. Amref Health Africa began 60 years ago as the Flying Doctors of East Africa to provide critical medical assistance to remote communities in East Africa. Today, Amref Health Africa has expanded to three pillars: (1) Developing human resources for health, (2) delivering innovative & sustainable health services, and (3) enabling investments in health. Amref Health Africa reaches more than 35 countries across the continent and is supported by 11 offices in North America and Europe. Amref Health Africa in Kenya has operations in all 47 counties in the country and is highly respected and trusted. Amref Health Africa has over half a century of experience in delivering health care and building health systems in Africa and supports those at the heart of the communities, to bring about lasting health improvement.

*SOURCE Sisu Global
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PIDG company the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund supports local currency bond issue as Senegal’s national port of Dakar begins move to new enterprise zone location
October 29, 2020 | 0 Comments
The bond raised over XOF60 billion (US$107million).

 2nd Senegal bond this year for EAIF; New deep water port to increase efficiency and reduce city centre congestion; “Green port” strategy includes large scale tree planting programme.

Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) company ), the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) invested XOF* 8.3 billion (cUS$15 million) in a local currency capital market bond issue by Senegal’s Port Autonome de Dakar (PAD), the owner of the Port of Dakar. The bond raised over XOF60 billion (US$107million). The issue marks the start of the process of relocating the capital city’s port and its operations to a new greenfield site.

In June this year, as Covid-19 began to impact the global economy, EAIF backed a local currency bond issue by Senegal’s largest telecommunications company, Sonatel. The issue was successfully placed and attracted regional and international investors and demonstrated investor appetite for participating in African infrastructure projects. PAD approached EAIF following the success of the Sonatel issue.

The proceeds of the PAD bond will help fund phases one, two and three of the move of the port of Dakar from the centre of the city to a deep water port location 35 km by sea and 70 km by road from the existing site. The port will be part of the new special economic zone that includes Dakar’s international airport, which opened in 2017. New and upgraded road and rail links will connect the port and airport to Dakar and into the regional transport network. The seven year bonds will have a coupon rate of 6.60%.

Financial close (the transfer of funds from EAIF to Port Autonome de Dakar) took place on 13th October. The bond was issued on the regional UEMOA stock exchange.

Roland Janssens, a director at EAIF’s managers, Ninety One, says;

“Supporting enterprise zones around major ports is a core strategic economic development objective of PIDG and EAIF. So too is contributing towards strengthening local capital markets. Port Autonome de Dakar is to be congratulated on its vision and ambition. The new port will help make Senegal a more competitive international economy and have benefits for the whole of West Africa.”

The current port at Dakar has evolved over the past 150 years and is now reaching the end of its productive life as global shipping demands deeper water, custom-built facilities for specialist cargoes and fast turnaround times. Senegal’s new port at Popinguine-Ndayane will cover an area of 1200 hectares. Offering deep water capable of taking very large ships with a draught of up to 16.5 meters, it is being purpose built to respond to shipping market needs. Turnaround times will fall by between a half and two thirds, depending on the nature of the cargo. It will be rated a “4th generation” industrial port, meaning it will be capable of competing with the most advanced ports on the global stage. Container-based shipping is scheduled to be first to use the new facilities, followed by RoRo (roll on, roll off) traffic then other activities.

Invictus Capital & Finance was lead arranger of the bond issue. It’s CEO (Mr El Hadji Mbacké Fall), says;

“As a regional specialist in capital markets, Invictus is proud it was able to use its expertise and local knowledge to help at the birth of such an important infrastructure development for Senegal and West Africa. The success of the issue is an encouraging sign of the attractiveness of Senegal to international investors.”

PAD have developed a “Green port” strategy  that aims to minimise the port’s carbon footprint. The plan includes a commitment to a large-scale tree-planting programme to help deforestation in other parts of the country.

Speaking for Port Autonome de Dakar, M Aboubacar Sedikh BEYE, Managing Director) says;

“Creating a great new port to serve west African economies on a new site is one of the foundation stones of building a more successful, more prosperous and greener future for Senegal. It is of great benefit to Port Autonome de Dakar to have EAIF and PIDG supporting us in this venture. They bring deep expertise of financing African infrastructure and share with us a vision of long-term investment delivering a legacy of economic and social progress.”

Dakar’s existing port employs some 1,800 people. PAD estimates that an additional 400 jobs will be created when the port relocates. The construction phase is expected to bring work to some 3,000 people.

The project is forecast to have a ten to fifteen year construction period. It is part of the Government Of Senegal’s economic development plan that will take the country to 2035. Relocation will free up valuable waterside land in Dakar city. Among the benefits of ending most port activities in the city centre will be greatly reduced road traffic congestion, lower pollution from road traffic emissions and the stimulus of new economic activity in the land vacated by the port.

*XOF is the currency designation for the West African Franc (CFA) which is used by eight West African states; Senegal, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger and Togo. CFA means Communauté Financière d’Afrique (Financial Community of Africa).

About EAIF:
The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund provides a variety of debt products to infrastructure projects promoted mainly by private sector businesses in Africa and parts of the Levant. The Fund helps create the infrastructure framework that is essential to sustained economic stability, business confidence, job creation and poverty reduction. It has to date supported 75 completed infrastructure projects across nine sectors in over 20 African countries. As of the end of 2018 the Fund had invested US$20.082 billion. EAIF is part of PIDG. EAIF was established and substantially funded by the governments of the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Sweden. It raises its debt capital from public and private sources, including Allianz, the global insurance and financial services company; Standard Chartered Bank; the African Development Bank; the German development finance institution, KFW,and FMO, the Dutch development bank. EAIF is managed by Ninety One.

About PIDG:
The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) is an innovative infrastructure development and finance organisation which encourages and mobilises private investment in pioneering infrastructure in the frontier markets of sub-Saharan Africa and south and south-east Asia to promote economic development and combat poverty. PIDG delivers its ambition in line with its values of opportunity, accountability, safety, integrity and impact. Since 2002, PIDG has supported 157 infrastructure projects to financial close and provided 209 million people with access to new or improved infrastructure. PIDG is funded by six governments (the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden, Germany) and the IFC. PIDG TA can provide technical assistance and capital grants to the PIDG companies to meet a range of needs associated with an infrastructure project’s life-cycle. PIDG TA can also provide up-front viability gap funding grants to support PIDG projects that require concessional funding to make a project with strong development impact financeable. 

About Ninety One:
Ninety One is one of the largest third party investors in private equity, credit, public equity and sovereign debt across the African continent. The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) is managed by and fully integrated into Ninety One’s African investment platform. Ninety One manages the entire process on behalf of the EAIF. It markets the Fund, seeks projects, evaluates loan applications, including due diligence, manages transaction administration and monitors the loan portfolio. Since May 2016, when it was awarded the management mandate, Ninety One and its EAIF team have closed over 20 infrastructure transactions with a capital value of USD 650m. The team also led EAIF’s last round of fundraising, raising US$385 million, including US$100 million from Allianz Global Investors and US$50 million from Standard Chartered, a long-standing lender to EAIF.

Ninety One is  an independent, active global asset manager listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges. Established in South Africa in 1991, as Investec Asset Management, the firm was a pioneer in emerging markets in Africa. In 2020, almost three decades of organic growth later, the firm de-merged from Investec Group and became Ninety One. Today, Ninety One offers distinctive, active strategies across equities, fixed income, multi-asset and alternative investments to institutions, advisors and individual investors around the world.

*SOURCE Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG)
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A framework agreement of cooperation between IsDB and Standard Chartered Bank
October 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

IsDB President Dr. Bandar Hajjar and M. Sunil Kaushal, CEO for Africa and Middle East, Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), signed a Memorandum of Agreement to participate in IsDB’s Restore Track Program aimed to supporting IsDB’s member countries’ private sector through stimulus packages to the economic sectors most impacted by the CoVID19 pandemic.

This agreement leverages on IsDB’s $2Bn “COVID Guarantee Facility” to establish an operational cooperation framework for IsDB and SCB to facilitate financing arrangements to IsDB’s Member Countries.

The COVID pandemic has disrupted international financial channels and put pressure on hard currency inflows to Emerging Markets. This pressure led to considerable limitations of the private sector’s access to financial liquidity. Combined with the loss of income due to reduced demand, the health crisis poses unprecedented challenges to the private sector and especially SMEs.

Through its cooperation with Standard Chartered Bank, IsDB aims to help alleviate some of these pressures by providing blended lines of finance to local banks at competitive prices.

“I am glad to see our, already strong, relationship with Standard Chartered Bank further strengthened with this unique and innovative partnership” stated H.E IsDB’s President, Dr. Bandar Al Hajjar. He also expressed his firm conviction that SCB’s funding expertise added to IsDBG de-risking guarantees will make a lasting impact for IsDB’s Members Countries.

M. Sunil Kaushal expressed his thanks to IsDB for the developing partnership between the two institutions noting that IsDB is the first Bank to sign such agreement with SCB. He also expressed his strong commitment to support IsDB member countries to fight COVID-19.

Both agree that this “out of the box” partnerships between MDBs and the private sector are now necessary to overcome the challenges of our times.

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) is a multilateral development bank (MDB) counting 57 member countries across four continents – touching the lives of 1 in 5 of the world’s population.

IsDB works to improve the lives of those it serves by promoting social and economic development, delivering impact at scale. IsDB is one of the world’s most active MDBs, and global leaders in Islamic Finance, with a AAA rating. Headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, IsDB is a truly global institution with major hubs in Morocco, Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Senegal; and gateway offices in Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nigeria.

Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) is a leading international banking group, with a presence in 60 of the world’s most dynamic markets and serving clients in a further 85. SCB’s purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity through it unique diversity, and heritage; and values are expressed in it brand promise, “Here for good”.

Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges.

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Southern Cameroons International Conference Starts Tomorrow
October 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

It’s finally here. The International Conference on the Armed Conflict in the Southern Cameroons starts tomorrow October 30th and we could not be more excited. 

If you have not yet registered, you should do so today as it promises to be an incredible event!

Though initially planned for March 2020, the COVID pandemic forced us to re-schedule and convert to a virtual event. Our planning team has been working very hard over the past few months to put together a virtual event that would allow significant deliberation and opportunities to interact with other conference delegates and observers. For example, our virtual Southern Cameroons Auditorium is designed such that you can engage with other participants throughout the conference.

Amongst those scheduled to speak during this 3-day Conference are H.E. Dr Amos Sawyer, Ambassador Herman Cohen, Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh, Pa Augustine Ndangam, Frontline leaders, Civil Society, German Parliamentarians and French Parliamentarians. International observers will be present including the United States Congress, diplomats, international non-governmental organizations and many more.

With the strong enthusiasm for this Conference we already have over 700 Delegates approved to participate in Working Groups. Through the various Working Groups, Delegates will assess, analyze and propose a path out of the conflict that addresses the root causes in a sustainable manner.

There has been a very strong grassroots involvement with ordinary citizens, those internally displaced and refugees participating in the process. 

We continue to accept 2-minute video statements from Southern Cameroonians with proposals on the way forward. Kindly record a 2-minute video using your cell phone and send to this WhatsApp number: +13126177280

We need to have all voices heard. If you will like to make a Floor Statement, signup here:

We look forward to engaging with you tomorrow. Sincerely, 
Denis Foretia, MD MPH MBA
Co-Chair, Steering Committee  

Judith Nwana, MBA MSc MCIPS
Co-Chair, Steering Committee

*Source Coalition For Dialogue and Negotiation
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*Face of Evil*
October 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Wilson Eseme*

In search for food in a land where many walk in hunger
For faith in a land where many walk in fear
For friends and companionship  in a land where many walk alone
For light in a land where many walk in darkness
For justice in a land where many walk oppressed
For Education in a land where many walk ignorant
And for peace in a land where many walk in fear
They dared to attend classes
Hoping for a better future
Thinking they would be safe
They were wrong
Their young lives cut short
Before they even began
There is no greater evil
There can not be any greater evil
Than the one that takes the life of the innocent
Please God
Take their souls 
Cut them into little pieces
Make them shine in heaven
Over the faces of their killers 
For all to see
The face of evil!

*Dr Eseme Wilson is President of the Cameroon Federalist Society and the poem was written in the wake of the brutal killing of students in a classroom in Kumba, South West Region of Cameroon

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Rwanda:Former Prosecutor General Mutangana arrested.
October 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

Mutangana Jean Bosco was Rwanda's Prosecutor General from 2016 to 2019
Mutangana Jean Bosco was Rwanda’s Prosecutor General from 2016 to 2019

Rwanda investigation Bureau (RIB) on Wednesday, 28th October 2020 announced that it had arrested Mutangana Jean Bosco, former Prosecutor General over alleged use of forged documents.

No details were given about his arrest, however RIB announced that investigations were still going on, to send his case to prosecution.

If convicted on this case, Mutangana could face up to seven years in jail according to the Rwandan penal code.

Mutangana Jean Bosco was appointed Rwanda’s Prosecutor General in October 2016. He was replaced in November 2019. He has been in the Rwandan judicial system for over 20 years.

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