Air, Hotel and Cape Peninsula Tour for $1499* Per Person Fort Lauderdale, FL (October 18, 2017) – South African Airways Vacations® (SAA Vacations ®), a division of South African Airways, the national airline of South Africa and Africa’s most awarded airline, is offering, savings of $500 per person for an air-inclusive vacation to Cape Town and the surrounding Cape Winelands. The “Cape Town and the Winelands Super Saver” starting at $1499* per person, will captivate travelers with the breathtaking views and exhilarating activities in sophisticated Cape Town and a 2-night stay in South Africa’s wine and culinary capital, Stellenbosch. The “Cape and Winelands Super Saver” package is available for sale now through October 31, 2017 for stays through December 09, 2017 and January 10 – March 31, 2018.
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Full-day Cape Peninsula tour to visit Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope · 2 -nights at the Evergreen Manor and Spa in the Cape Winelands in Stellenbosch · Breakfast on a daily basis · Airport and ground transfers in South Africa “The Cape and Winelands Super Saver” package is available for new reservations made by October 31, 2017. To book this package, contact one of SAA Vacations® Africa Specialists by calling 1-(855) 359-7228. South African Airways Vacations offers vacation options for all budgets to ensure its clients experience the vacation of their dreams. For more air-inclusive vacation packages throughout Africa, visit www.flysaavacations.com.
A division of South African Airways (SAA), South African Airways Vacations® (SAA Vacations®) is highly regarded for its wide array of affordable luxury packages to Africa and uses SAA’s extensive route network to create packages for travel throughout South Africa, Botswana, Victoria Falls, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal, Ghana and the Indian Ocean Islands. Offering more than 80 air-inclusive packages, which range from value to superb luxury. Our specialty-themed programs offer unique experiences, whether you are interested in safaris, culture, cuisine, romance and adventure. The program is managed and fulfilled by Destination Southern Africa (DSA), which was founded in 2001 and offers an extensive portfolio of tour programs with a variety of hotels, game lodges and safari companies throughout Southern Africa.
South African Airways (SAA), South Africa’s national flag carrier and the continent’s most awarded airline, serves over 75 destinations worldwide in partnership with SA Express, Airlink and its low cost carrier Mango. In North America, SAA operates daily nonstop flights from New York-JFK and direct flights from Washington D.C.-IAD (via Accra, Ghana and Dakar, Senegal) to Johannesburg. SAA has partnerships with United Airlines, Air Canada and JetBlue Airways, American Airlines and Virgin America, which offer convenient connections from more than 100 cities in the U.S. and Canada to SAA’s flights. SAA is a Star Alliance member and the recipient of the Skytrax 4-star rating for 15 consecutive years.
Nairobi, Tuesday October 17th, 2017: Rabobank – the world’s leading food and agricultural bank – announces its global activation program, ‘Kickstart Food’ to accelerate the transition to a sustainable food supply. One of the first steps in this program will be the launch of a one billion dollar facility to initiate land restoration and forest protection initiatives.
Focus on four food issues
The facility is being launched in partnership with UN Environment. It marks the start of a three-year initiative to kick-start and scale up Rabobank’s support for clients and partners in the transition to a more sustainable food and agricultural sector. The Kick-start Food initiative has four key focus areas: Earth, Waste, Stability and Nutrition. This facility is part of the first focus area: Earth, which is centered on sustainable and environmentally sound food production. The Waste program will focus on reducing food waste throughout the food supply chain. The Stability program aims to create a more stable and resilient food and agricultural sector. The Nutrition program will focus on ensuring a healthy and balanced diet for everyone. Rabobank has been present in Kenya since opening a Representative Office in 2014.
Mission Critical Initiative
Chairman of the Executive Board Wiebe Draijer said: “Our global lead role in financing food production urges us to accelerate developments in sustainable food supply. With our knowledge, networks and financing capabilities, we aim to further motivate and facilitate clients in adopting a more sustainable food production practice globally. We are proud of this major initiative with the UN Environment. We will engage others to expand the initiative. It fits very well with our mission of Growing a better world together.”
Commitment to SDG
With this mission, Rabobank embraces the UN Sustainable Development Goals. With the world’s population growing towards 9 billion, the decline in available arable land, and the impact of agriculture on climate change and the environment; food production is now at a critical juncture. Therefore, Rabobank is increasing its support for efforts to increase food production by at least 60% towards 2050 while reducing the sector’s environmental footprint by 50%.
Around the globe, Rabobank is actively promoting sustainability certification for its clients. The bank is also advising them on sustainable production methods and soil management. The facility together with UN Environment aims to offer grants and open the door for clients to initiate large scale land restoration and forest protection projects. It positively impacts their risk profile, which leads to easier access to loans.
Building on Existing Initiatives
Significant progress has already been made in many areas by Rabobank. For example, in Brazil, Rabobank has been promoting and financing Integrated Crop, Livestock and Forestry (ICLF) farming. Working with the World Wildlife Fund and local partners, we will endeavor to restore underutilized or degraded arable land under the management of Brazilian farmers owning 17 million hectares (42 million acres).
Together with clients and influential partners such as UN Environment, the WWF and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Rabobank will increase and scale similar efforts around the world. A kickstart with Justdiggit will be prepared in Africa. Coming at a time when four million Kenyans are facing starvation and drought, this is a timely initiative. Rabobank’s Africa CEO Coert Beerman said “with Rabobank’s Kickstart Food initiative, we are now extending our depth of knowledge, skills, networks and financing resources to the entire value-chain’.
This joint effort with UN Environment is designed to be an open platform for others to join. Rabobank invites stakeholders from across the entire food and agricultural sector to join the Kickstart Food program.
Rabobank is an international financial services provider operating on the basis of cooperative principles. It offers retail banking, wholesale banking, private banking, leasing and real estate services. As a cooperative bank, Rabobank puts customers’ interests first in its services. Rabobank is committed to being a leading customer-focused cooperative bank in the Netherlands and a leading food and agri bank worldwide. Rabobank employs approximately 44,600 people internally and externally. Rabobank Group is active in 40 countries
“We must get youths into agriculture and see it as a profitable business venture not a sign of lacking ambition”- Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank
DES MOINES, United States of America, October 17, 2017/ — On the occasion of the 2017 World Food Day, the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org/en) has highlighted how Africa’s food security depends on attracting young people to agriculture and agribusiness. The sector can potentially create wealth and employment for African youth, thereby stemming migration.
World Food Day, celebrated yearly on October 16, promotes worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. This year’s theme focuses on the need to ‘Change the future of migration; Invest in food security and rural development’.
The AfDB’s ENABLE Youth program, which grooming a crop of young agriculturists, is on course to make this happen.
Mahmud Johnson, 26, is the Founder of J-Palm Liberia which works to improve income for Liberia’s smallholder oil palm farmers by 50-80%. He is also creating additional jobs for over 1,000 young people to work as sales representatives for his products.
“Despite the tremendous odds, we (African youth) are determined to maximize our abundant agricultural resources to create wealth, jobs, and socioeconomic opportunities in our countries and across the continent. We need our stakeholders to view us as serious partners in Africa’s transformation, and to work with us to expand our enterprises,” Mahmud said.
Mahmud and some of his employees have benefited from capacity building programs under the AfDB’s Empowering Novel Agri-Business-Led Employment for Youth initiative.
Like Mahmud, many African youth are passionate about staying back on the continent to create wealth and employment, if given the tools and opportunities to put their skills to use. Under the ENABLE Youth program, the Bank is working with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to develop a new generation of young commercial farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs.
“Our goal is to develop 10,000 such young agricultural entrepreneurs per country in the next 10 years. In 2016, the Bank provided US $700 million to support this program in eight countries and we’ve got requests now from 33 countries,” said Adesina.
The Bank considers investment in agriculture as key to making Africa youths prosperous, thereby stemming the tide of migration.
“A thriving business sector in Africa will provide the jobs and returns that will attract and retain Africa’s best talent on the continent, while improving the quality of life of all Africans,” she said.
With more than 70% of Africans depending on agriculture for their livelihoods, it is imperative for the sector’s full potential to be unlocked, and by doing so help to vastly improve the lives Africans.
Accordingly, one of the goals of Feed Africa is to eliminate hunger and malnutrition by 2025.
Due to the finite nature of mineral resources such as gold, diamonds, crude oil, among others, African countries must diversify their economies. This cannot be done without a significant emphasis on agriculture given that the great majority of Africans depend on it for their livelihoods.
Increased food demand and changing consumption habits driven by demographic factors such as urbanization (internal migration) are leading to rapidly rising net food imports, which will grow from US $35 billion in 2015 to over US $110 billion by 2025 if trends are left unchecked.
Given that African smallholder farmers are on average about 60 years old, Africa’s food security depends on attracting young people into agriculture and agribusiness and empowering them. Governments can support these shifts through the right enabling environments via policy reforms for increased private investment in agriculture and agribusiness. And also by better articulating the importance of agriculture for their economies in their interaction with the public.
“Food security, rural development are closely interlinked with issues of migration, fragility and resilience. The Horn of Africa and the Sahel provide compelling examples of how global factors such as food insecurity, radical extremism and migration reinforce state fragility and have devastating effects on development,” said Khaled Sherif, AfDB Vice-President for Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery.
“The lack of economic opportunities, infrastructure, employment opportunities and unpredictable climactic changes in these countries are key sources of fragility that often times result in the forced migration of peoples seeking a desperate alternative. The Bank has, where appropriate, adopted risk-based approaches at both country and regional levels in addressing fragility.”
Ahead of the World Food Day, the AfDB joined Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and other developing partners on October 14 in a day-long set of activities to promote agriculture as a business. They emphasized the need for governments to invest in agriculture to create jobs and stem the flow of migration that has undermined the security and economies of African countries.
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) (www.AfDB.org) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 37 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states.
Zambeef Products in Zambia has partnered with the Industrial
Development Corporation (IDC) in a Public-Private Partnership (PPP)
that sees the government’s investment arm take a 90% stake in the
Zampalm palm oil plantation in Mpika.
It is reported that under the agreement, IDC will inject funds to
develop the project, plant an additional 900 hectares of palm and
expand production with a modern 10 tonnes-per-hour self-powering palm
oil mill to process fruit from the plantation.
According to a spokesperson, going forward, the aim is to develop
the full potential of the 20,000 hectare plantation, of which 2,911
hectares is already planted, and build an outgrower scheme for local
As part of the investment, IDC will inject $16 million in equity
capital, with a further $2 million dependent on production milestones
over the next five years.
“IDC invests in projects for the long-term benefit of the country,
and so this partnership with Zambeef on the expansion of the Zampalm
project in Mpika makes sense for both parties,” said Zambeef chairman
Dr Jacob Mwanza.
“We look forward to working with the IDC team to build on Zampalm’s
strengths to further develop the nation’s home-grown edible oils
industry, create employment and develop the area around the
IDC’s shareholding in Zampalm complements the investment in Zambeef
by the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA), which is the largest
Zambian shareholder in the company, giving every Zambian citizen a
stake in the food processing and retailing giant.
Zambeef will retain a 10% shareholding in Zampalm following the
investment and will continue to supervise and develop the palm project
under a management contract overseen by a join board comprising IDC
and Zambeef representatives, along with Senior Chief Kopa, in whose
chiefdom the plantation is situated.
Zampalm was incorporated in 2009 to provide a source of crude palm
oil following Zambeef’s acquisition of edible oil processing company
Zamanita as a continuation of its strategy of vertical integration.
The company sold Zamanita to Cargill in 2015 in the light of the
increasingly competitive, technologically complex and capitally
intensive oilseed crushing industry.
“Following the disposal of Zamanita, the Zambeef board reviewed its
strategy for Zampalm and concluded that given the long timescales
required to create value from a greenfield project, it was in the best
interests of Zampalm stakeholders to seek a new majority shareholder.
IDC represent the ideal partner given its mandate of working with the
private sector to deliver long-term economic transformation,” said Dr
The transaction also ensures continuation of the social
responsibility contribution agreement entered into in October 2009
between Zampalm and the Kopa Community Development Trust.
Zampalm owns 20,238 hectares of land on title in the Northern
Province of Zambia, on the Eastern side of Lake Bangweulu, to the
North-West of Mpika town. Zampalm currently has approximately 413,362
palms planted over an area of 2,911 hectares in the main plantation,
with another 172,000 seedlings in the main and pre-nursery. The first
crushing mill, with a capacity of 2 tonnes per hour, was established
The production and processing of crude palm oil is expected to
drastically reduce the country’s dependence on crude palm oil and
edible oil imports. Current imports stand at over $70 million every
year, a costly exercise for the country which consumes around 120,000
tonnes of cooking oil but only produces 30 to 50% of the total supply.
More than half of Zambia’s edible oil consumption is imported from
the Far East, East Africa and South Africa.
Once at full capacity, the plantation will contribute to
substituting 70,000 tonnes of cooking oil imported into Zambia, saving
the country around $70 million (K511 million) in foreign exchange
outflows every year.
It is also reported that there is also potential for Zampalm to
branch out into the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
market, targeting countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo
(DRC) and Angola, which are also massive importers of the crude palm
Palm oil is the world’s most used and versatile vegetable oil. In
addition to cooking oil, its derivatives are found in foods such as
margarines and ice cream and is also used as a thickener, preservative
and antioxidant; in personal care products such as shampoo, and
cosmetics, industrial products such as lubricants, paints and inks
and as a renewable fuel.
The palm plant is the most efficient oil producing plant and
can be harvested for 25 years and as long as the tree continues to
yield a harvest.
Scientists have come up with a new method of using radiation to
eliminate tsetse-fly which is threatening Zambia’s cattle.
It is reported that African nations have for decades suffered the
devastating consequences caused by the tsetse fly.
Scientists have found a remedy radiation.
With the help of nuclear technologies, African countries are now
winning the battle against the livestock menacing flies. The Tanzanian
islands of Zanzibar were among the pioneers to use radiation against
the tsetse fly.
The nuclear-based Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) played a
fundamental role in achieving the total eradication of the tsetse fly
population. SIT is a form of insect pest control that involves the
mass-breeding and sterilization of male tsetse flies using ionizing
radiation in special rearing facilities.
The sterile males are released systematically from the ground or by
air in tsetse-infested areas, where they mate with wild females, which
do not subsequently produce offspring.
The results of nuclear technique employment are incredibly
effective. Through the eradication of the tsetse fly socio-economic
conditions have dramatically improved. Since 2014 socio-economic
studies have shown that the total number of all cattle breeds have
increased by roughly 38%. The figures are truly impressive, as most
rural households earn more than 20% of their total income from the
For instance, milk production has nearly doubled from 4.6 to 10 liters
after the introduction of nuclear based techniques. Radiation has
proved to be an effective solution for the eradication of many
infectious insects on almost every continent on Earth. SIT has been
applied to hundreds of species of fruit flies, moths, mosquitoes and
By implementing the same methods Senegal has in four years declared
some its regions totally tsetse free. Ethiopia has also chosen this
option, which has already helped to bring down the fly population by
There’s no doubt that Zambia needs this technology to deal with
tsetse flies. The country is on the verge of taking a leading role in
nuclear technology and research. The Zambian government recently
embarked on the path of establishing up its own nuclear science and
technology programme in collaboration with Russia and Rosatom.
According to the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture
Organisation the bloodsucking insect kills more than three million
herds of livestock in sub-Saharan Africa every year, resulting in more
than $4 billion in losses in the region.
In Zambia, about 60% of the country’s traditional cattle as well as
goat and sheep populations are reported to be at risk of infection
It is further added that apart from cattle, dogs and pigs are also
at risk. Human-Animal Trypanosomiasis (HAT), commonly referred to as
sleeping sickness, affects 100 people per year, according to President
Lungu made the remarks at the 34th African Union International
Council for Trypanosomiasis Research and Control Conference, which was
held in Livingstone recently.
He urged livestock experts and other stakeholders from 38 African
countries who attended the meeting to devise a practical roadmap to
eradicate tsetse flies and trypanosomiasis, which threaten the growth
of the livestock and tourism sectors.
“The increasing presence of tsetse flies has serious negative
consequences for the growth of the agriculture and tourism sectors,”
President Lungu said, in a speech read on his behalf by Livestock and
Fisheries Minister Michael Katambo.
“The government supports initiatives to eradicate the tsetse flies
that cause the tropical disease, threatening human and animal life,
and urge the conference to come up with a roadmap to eradicate the
disease,” he added.
But there’s good news showing up on the horizon in tackling the tsetse
fly menace. During the last decade, the situation has been drastically
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“These sale fares coupled with the strong currency exchange rate are making it more affordable than ever to visit South Africa.” said Todd Neuman, executive vice president, North America for South African Airways. “SAA’s low fares provide a great opportunity to visit family and friends in South Africa or take that bucket-list African vacation of a lifetime.”
South African Airways offers the most daily flights from the U.S. to South Africa with daily nonstop service from New York-JFK International Airport and direct service from Washington, DC-Dulles International Airport to Johannesburg. Onboard, SAA provides an in-flight experience designed for pure comfort for long-haul travel. Our customers enjoy a spacious Economy Class cabin, gourmet cuisine and a selection of complimentary spirits and award-winning South African wines and generous checked baggage allowance. Also included are individual audio / visual entertainment systems that deliver an extensive menu of first-run movies, music choices, and games. Via our Johannesburg hub, SAA links the world to over 75 destinations across the African continent and Africa’s Indian Ocean islands.
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South African Airways (SAA), South Africa’s national flag carrier and the continent’s most awarded airline, serves over 75 destinations worldwide in partnership with SA Express, Airlink and its low cost carrier Mango. In North America, SAA operates daily nonstop flights from New York-JFK and direct flights from Washington D.C.-IAD (via Accra, Ghana and Dakar, Senegal) to Johannesburg. SAA has partnerships with United Airlines, Air Canada and JetBlue Airways, American Airlines and Virgin America, which offer convenient connections from more than 100 cities in the U.S. and Canada to SAA’s flights. SAA is a Star Alliance member and the recipient of the Skytrax 4-Star rating for 15 consecutive years
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Nigeria has decided to start issuing visas on arrival for all Africans, the African Union said Friday, in a major step toward the goal of free movement on the continent.
The continental body’s deputy chairman Kwesi Quartey praised the action as a “laudable move towards Africa’s integration agenda” in a Facebook post.
The AU has advocated for a “single African passport” that aims to improve intra-African trade and has called for “the abolishment of visa requirements for all African citizens in all African countries by 2018.”
A spokeswoman for the AU chairperson, Ebba Kalondo, told The Associated Press they were waiting for details from Nigeria as the news was “announced verbally with no formal communication.”
Nigerian officials could not immediately be reached. Nigeria announced the action at a retreat for permanent representatives, the AU’s political affairs office said in a tweet.
Africans need visas to travel to 55 percent of the continent, according to AU figures.
According to the African Development Bank’s 2017 Africa Visa Openness Report , Africans can get a visa on arrival in just 24 percent of other African countries, while North Americans, for example, have easier travel access on the continent.
One of the things that African market places in sub-Saharan Africa have in common is the active presence of women, sailing food, vegetables, clothes and many other consumers’ products. Women are very visible in most capitals, playing a vital role in the socio-economic fabric of the country. Unfortunately, their economic activities are often limited to the informal or domestic areas. Their potential is yet to be unleashed.
According to McKinsey institute in August 2016, in the private sector in Africa, only 5% of women are CEO’s, 29% are senior managers, and 44% have senior positions. Women do not only represent more than 50 percent of Africa’s population but various reports have shown that women spent their revenue in their household, therefore their economic empowerment will unequivocally bolster economies and have a positive impact on health, education and the wellbeing of the communities and the society as a whole. Such gender inequality has a negative economic impact on economies, with an estimated annual lost of revenue of $95 billion lost annually in Africa.
You cannot ignore over 50% of the population of a continent and still hope to harness and exploit its full potential. This is the shift that all decision makers need to make for the betterment of all.
Empowering women goes beyond feminism, or gender inequality. It is an economic imperative.
Although the importance of the role of women is recognized, we still have a lot of cultural and legal barriers that are preventing women entrepreneurs to turn into global businesswomen.
African women entrepreneurship paradox
Women entrepreneurship activities have intensified in recent years. Their global business activities have grown by 10 percent, reducing the gender gap by 5 percent since 2014. Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region where women make up the majority of self-employed individuals.
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor reported that Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest percentage of female entrepreneurs in the world, defying the odds but only few of these women-owned businesses reach national and/or global stage. They also have the highest failure rate of 8,4 percent.
There are several key constraints that hold back African women entrepreneurs such as education, cultural mindset, legal barriers, and lack of access to markets, capital, and networks.
In the banking sector for example, statistics show that close to 1 billion women have no access to financial services. Only 20 percent of women in Africa have access to financial services, more than 50 percent of them have it through their husband and only 1 percent has access to capital in the formal sector.
In the agriculture sector, women represent more than 70 percent of the workforce. They are very active in the entire value chain but yet also lack access to credit and have no land ownership, therefore no capacity to become competitive at the national and export level. Agriculture development is a prerequisite for Africa wants to boost economic growth and reach food sufficiency. For that, mechanisms need to be put in place to transform those women from being subsistence farmers into agribusiness leaders. If women were given the necessary tools, they could succeed like any man or any westerners. Living examples are successful agro-preneurs like Sirebara Fatoumata Diallo in Mali championing “Above ground cultivation”, Korka Diaw producing rice in Senegal and Mosunmola Umoru with Pretty farmers in Nigeria.
It is imperative that we overturn these traditional mind-sets and customs and promote inclusivity in business and in this particular industry, the agriculture sector, by tapping into the immense untapped resources offered by women.
There are several key constraints that hold back African women entrepreneurs such as education, cultural mindset, legal barriers, and lack of access to markets, capital, and networks.
We need to turn women from being job seekers into job creators, becoming entrepreneurs and businesswomen
How do we do that? The complexity of the challenges requires investment from all sectors of society and commitment from all stakeholders.
– The public sector should implement specific policies and create the enabling environment for women to prosper and become competitive. Setting up government agencies in charge of women affairs does not suffice. It needs to be accompanied by an intra-government approach integrating gender parity into all programs from various sectors. Furthermore, greater incentives should be given to encourage women participation into the procurement processes such as giving preference to women-owned businesses.
– We need to depart from postcolonial models of economic production and promote a “made in Africa” market. This will allow African industries to succeed by producing, through their own specific patterns, what they consume and consume what they produce. This approach will make women businesses profitable, especially in the agricultural sector where they are most active.
– Creating the ecosystem for women to create value-added products. Women should be able to turn raw materials into value-added products that can be sold in local and international markets, thereby increasing their income and economic power.
– Capacity building and training are two key tools for helping women understand and produce products for the wider market. Giving them access to information, sharing best practices, providing affordable business development services and improving their financial literacy will also help them access financial services and grow their business ventures.
Above all this, more importantly, women are master of their own destiny. Creating mentoring and networking platforms to share experiences, skills and best practices to support each other will go a long way. “Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talents in the world” said Hillary R. Clinton. It is time to put all our hands to the task, take action and use all our human assets to make Africa’s economic transformation a reality.
*Source Medays.Angelle B. Kwemo is a lawyer by training, author of “Against All Odds”, Africa Director of Washington Media Group and advocate. She is the founder of Believe in Africa, a US based non-profit organization aiming at promoting Africa’ economic prosperity, women and youth empowerment.
The 2017 Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa held in Johannesburg between September 27 and 29. According to the organisers, the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) and the Association for Progressive Communication (APC), FIFAfrica is an annual assembly of discussions towards promoting a Free and Open Internet in Africa. I attended the forum as a representative of Paradigm Initiative and I share some important insights I learnt during the 3-day Forum.
How Internet Refugee Camps helped Cameroonians during shutdown: Have you ever wondered how people managed to survive the 93-day internet shutdown in parts of Cameroon? The keynote speaker at the Forum, Rebecca Enonchong told the gathering about the resilience and innovation of the people of Cameroon who were denied internet services for more than three months. Internet refugee camps were created in areas where there were internet services. People would travel a great deal of distance to make use of internet in those centres. Sometimes they would give their phones to others travelling to those places so their pending messages and emails could be received. As Ms Enonchong, a tech entrepreneur shared this experience, I began to appreciate more the centrality of internet services to our lives. It is important that no government should have the right to turn it off just to deny citizens their freedom of speech.
Africa as a country: Over the course of several panels with stakeholders from different countries in Africa, I noticed several similarities in many of the stories the panellists and audience shared. These similarities were so strong that it was possible to mistake a discussion on terrible tech policies in Zimbabwe for one on Tanzania. The only major differences are the actors and the countries concerned, but other details of an attempt to stifle dissent, to regulate (read: emasculate) civil society, the use of national security as a defence for internet shut down or regulation, all these details stand. When it comes to the internet, Africa may as well be a country where all the provinces compare notes on how to deny their citizens and residents inalienable rights. Just look at the number of African countries that have used their recently passed Cybercrime laws to persecute dissenters. Look at the number of African countries that have embarked on comprehensive and multiple data capturing of their peoples without a decent data privacy law and framework. Look at the number of African countries that have passed or are about to pass an NGO regulatory bill, something Kenya has shown to be quite effective in muzzling the voice of an NGO the government does not like.
Platform and collaboration remain paramount: For digital rights advocates to be able to put up a decent fight against governments bent on discarding digital rights, there is a need to create, sustain and expand platforms for sharing of ideas and incubating collaborative efforts. Platforms like FIFAfrica and Paradigm Initiative’s Internet Freedom Forum must be sustained and expanded to ensure sufficient coverage of all countries in Africa. In addition, Francophone Africa deserves more attention than they are currently getting and there is a need to nurture platforms in those countries that are currently under-covered. Closely related to that is the issue of collaboration between organisations with interest in digital rights and inclusion. The impact of collaboration could be seen in the way organisations came together to protest against internet shutdown in Cameroon and Togo. Collaboration also extends to sharing of information, ideas and leveraging others’ resources and expertise instead of reinventing the wheel. This is already happening to an extent, but it is important to improve the system and platforms that enable collaboration. As Delta Ndou, a Zimbabwean journalist and digital activist said at the Forum, advocates must also learn to amplify their messages using traditional media, which remains largely the media of the elite and political leaders. That we are working on internet freedom does not mean the advocacy should be limited to online platform. While the coverage of the Forum online was excellent with the hashtag trending throughout the duration of the Forum, the coverage in the traditional media of South Africa was far from perfect. This is heartbreaking because many important issues explored at the Forum would have benefited from media coverage. We must do more to collaborate with print and broadcast media to amplify our messages. This is important because oppressive internet policies affect human rights online and offline. Operators of traditional media should also be more receptive to collaboration on digital rights issues as a gag on online media will affect traditional media eventually.
Novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie after a reading of her book ‘Americanah’ in Lagos in 2013. Akintunde Akinleye /Reuters
African literature is the object of immense international interest across both academic and popular registers. Far from the field’s earlier, post-colonial association with marginality, a handful of star “Afropolitan” names are at the forefront of global trade publishing.
Such commercial prominence, though, has attracted considerable and unsurprising push back from Western and Africa-based critics alike. Far from advancing narratives with deep roots in local African realities, such critics fear, many of Africa’s most “successful” writers hawk a superficial, overly diasporic, or even Western-focused vision of the continent.
Noviolet Bulawayo was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2013 for her book Olivia Harris/Reuters
The most visible of these critiques has been directed at the Zimbabwean writer NoViolet Bulawayo’s “We Need New Names” (2013). The Nigerian novelist Helon Habila worried in a review in the London Guardian that it was “poverty-porn”. The popular Nigerian critic Ikhide Ikheloa (“Pa Ikhide”) frequently makes a similar point. Fellow Nigerian writer Adaobi Nwaubani critiqued the West’s hold on Africa’s book industry in a much-circulated New York Times piece called “African Books for Western Eyes”.
Such debates about African writing could, and likely will, go on forever. Questions about Africa’s place in the current global literary marketplace broaden some of the most urgent queries of the postcolonial era. Who gets to document African realities? Who are the “gatekeepers” of African publishing traditions?
It goes on: To what sort of audience does African writing cater? What is the role – and what should it be, if any – of Western institutions in brokering cultural prestige?
All these issues merit concern.
Between the default poles
Too often, though, African writing ends up volleyed between two default poles of “corporate global” and “activist local”. Some onlookers, as in a recent essay by the Canadian scholar Sarah Brouillette, go as far as to name the biases of even Africa-based print outlets. Kenya’s Kwani Trust is exposed as “Western-facing” due to a web of donor relations. “West” here is code for neoliberal. “Western-facing” is for complicity with a market that skews toward British and American interests.
Faced with a “world system” argument like Brouillette’s, African literature would seem trapped between a rock and a hard place.
But, in fact, this tells only a small part of the story of how African writing now makes its way through the world. It is incomplete to the point of being outdated, given the boom over the past five years in new, globally conscious small US literary presses collaborating with African writers.
A “West subsuming Africa” brand of critique works fine for scholars with no real skin in the game of literary publishing. It also denies real agency to a lot of African writers and other literary professionals. On the ground the literary field is far more forward-thinking and diverse.
There is an entire new body of African writing that escapes this closed circuit of damning truisms. A wave of new or recently galvanised independent literary presses in the US and the UK are working in tandem with some of Africa’s most generative outlets. Together they are publishing and promoting work by young and adventurous African writers.
Labours of love
Books published originally by presses like Umuzi (South Africa), amaBooks (Zimbabwe) and Kwani (Kenya) find second lives with international publishers working to defy the constraints of profitability. They’re mostly labours of love with skeleton staffs that speak to a transcontinental commitment to innovative African writing.
These include Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s Ugandan epic “Kintu”which was originally launched by Kwani. It was the first Anglophone novel put out by the brand-new Transit Books based in Oakland, California. The press seeks maximum visibility for translated fiction alongside texts originally written in English. They advocate for more ethical legal and financial dealings with translators, as well as international writers.
Also dedicated exclusively to works in translation, LA-based Phoneme Media in 2016 published the first ever Burundian novel in English, Roland Rugero’s deeply contemplative “Baho!”. Phoneme’s tagline, fittingly, is “curious books for curious people”.
In a similar vein, Brooklyn’s Restless Books was founded to combat “parochial, inward-looking, and homogenised trends in American publishing”. Among their forthcoming titles, translated from the French is Naivo’s “Beyond the Rice Fields”. It’s the first novel from Madagascar to see its way to English.
Every one of these throws a wrench in a clear, cynical sense of what kind of novel Western presses prize. That is not to mention the many African writers, publishers, and editors working in concert to promote these same texts.
Small, focused channels
It applies to the Anglosphere too. Books that offer a decidedly more locally textured experience than those of the “Afropolitan” rock stars have made their way abroad through small, focused channels.
Clearly, this collection just scratches the surface. But what these works have in common is an investment in stylistic and structural experimentation that confounds rather than caters to an international taste for “digestible” fiction, or to mostly Western points of cultural and institutional reference.
This counter-current of transnational African literary life complicates the equation of culture, geopolitics and economics in more useful ways than stale materialist critiques.
As such titles and presses continue to gain acclaim and recognition by an international readership that is aware of and hostile to shallow representations of Africa – and who crave engagement with challenging fiction, regardless of its origin – critics will need to rethink some of their orthodoxies.
There is more to both African literature and Western publishing than meets an eye too practised in its suspicion. If literature is doomed only to echo the failings of globalisation, then why bother? On the contrary, a new generation of writers and publishers deserve our awareness of the “global literary marketplace” as a meaningfully multidimensional space.
*Culled from The Conversation.Jeanne-Marie Jackson is Assistant Professor of World Anglophone Literature, Johns Hopkins University
A pan-African open call inviting submissions for the seventh edition of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) awards from 10 October 2017 to 10 January 2018
Grand share prize of US$ 185 000 to be awarded to top ten African innovators who demonstratescalable, impactful, market-oriented, and outstanding innovations solving African challenges
African women innovators especially encouraged to participate, following a record number of entries in the previous edition.
Accra, Ghana | Tuesday, 10 October 2017: The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) today announced the seventh edition of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) themed “investing in inclusive innovation ecosystems” thereby inviting submissions to reward the best home-grown innovations on the continent. The annual Award seeks to celebrate outstanding breakthroughs that deliver practical, and commercially viable African solutions that are innovative and sustainable.
Affirming AIF’s purpose to catalyse the innovation spirit in Africa, Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl, the IPA Director commented, “We are pleased to launch IPA 2018 and are confident that this edition will prove bigger and better in terms of participation and quality of submissions. With each edition, IPA has gone from strength to strength attracting innovators across disciplines and with outstanding solutions to African challenges. For this seventh edition, we also look forward to expanding our ever-growing network of innovators, enablers and partners in order to join hands and build stronger, more sustainable innovation ecosystems that will propel the continent forward.”
IPA Awards timeline and eligibility
The call for entries will run for three months starting from 10 October 2017 with a submission deadline of 10 January 2018 at 23:59pm GMT. IPA’s goal is to strengthen African innovation ecosystems by supporting a culture of innovation and competitiveness, whilst spurring growth of innovative, market-driven African solutions to African challenges. Specifically, IPA honours and encourages pioneering achievements that contribute towards developing new products, increasing efficiency and/or saving cost in Africa. Applications will be accepted from all Africans including those living in the diaspora.
This edition encourages greater participation from women innovators who are increasingly playing a key role in driving African economies forward through business and entrepreneurship.
The submissions will be judged on the backdrop of IPA’s themes supporting social and economic innovation in the following five categories: manufacturing and service industry; health and well-being; agriculture and agri-business; environment, energy and water; and ICT showcasing ground-breaking innovations.
IPA 2018 winners will be announced at an annual ceremony in July 2018 (exact dates and country to be confirmed). The Award is the leading innovation event on the African calendar, bringing together some of Africa’s most inspiring innovators and entrepreneurs, leaders of hubs and accelerators, angel and venture capital investors, development institutions, government leaders, media practitioners and other game changers.
Creating an enabling environment for local innovators
This year’s theme ‘Investing in Inclusive Innovation Ecosystems’ calls for African governments and innovation stakeholders to invest in building bridges for more inclusive ecosystems that will accelerate and scale African innovation at all levels of society. The aim is to increase access to innovative financing and know-how and to enhance collaboration between African nations to enable local innovators to access higher value markets for their solutions at a faster rate.
“IPA is a platform to showcase the inherent ingenuity that exists in Africa,” said Walter Fust, Chairman of the AIF Board. “Each year, several hundred participants submit their entries with new solutions to overcome African-specific challenges. This year we want to drive greater pan-African synergies across our network of enablers and partners to create inclusive opportunities for local innovators and together disrupt business models, empower people and drive positive social impact across the continent.”
Register NOW for IPA 2018
Last year saw over 2 500 applications from across the continent, with the highest number of women applicants (482 representing 19%). This year promises to be even bigger.To date, IPA has attracted more than 7 500 innovators spanning 52 countries featuring 55 of the continent’s top innovators and 400+ innovation enablers making it a truly a pan-African initiative. Previously AIF has supported past winners and nominees with over US$ 1 million to move their innovations forward. Due to the exposure received via IPA, past winners have gone on to secure over US$ 30 million in investments to grow and scale their businesses.
In addition to the lucrative share prize of US$ 185 000 cash, selected innovators are offered many opportunities including access to the AIF networks via its platform, ZuaHub, where AIF connects innovators with resources and help them grow.
AIF has contributed to building African innovation ecosystems and has witnessed increased opportunities for African innovators in comparison to 2011 when IPA was launched.
The selection process will be led by an expert panel based on their knowledge and experience within the aforementioned IPA five key sectors as well as their influence and contributions to the tech and business industry on the African continent.
In the last six years, the IPA has recognized numerous Africans for their innovative solutions aimed at improving the lives of people across the continent. The IPA Awards celebrate African ingenuity by showcasing and rewarding the very best African innovators solving African challenges and creating new opportunities which lead to inclusive growth across the continent.
For this edition, the IPA will bring together select stakeholders comprising of innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, leaders of innovation hubs and technology parks, policy makers as well cutting-edge African training institutions. It is an opportunity for companies to forge important partnerships, synergies and collaborations with innovation enablers from across the continent to strengthen Africa’s investment climate through innovation.
Organizations can register their interest in supporting African innovation by contacting AIF for more details on the IPA sponsorship opportunities available.
Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) is a landmark initiative of the AIF. Its goal is to strengthen African innovation ecosystems through supporting a culture of innovation and competitiveness, whilst spurring growth of innovative, market-driven African solutions to African challenges.
Previous IPA editions were held in Ghana (2017), Botswana (2016), Morocco (2015), Nigeria (2014), South Africa (2013) and Ethiopia (2012). IPA was endorsed at its inaugural edition in Addis Ababa in 2012 where African ministers at the joint Africa Union (AU) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) passed a resolution to support AIF to promote innovation-based societies across the continent.
Besides a host of exciting side events and brand new initiatives for Africa by Africans, IPA 2018 will offer the following prizes and incentives to winners and nominees:
√ Grand prize of US$100 000
√ Second Prize of US$25 000
√ Special Prize for Social Impact US$25 000
√ A voucher for each of the seven IPA nominees of US$5 000
√ Additional incentives include investment opportunities, training and access to a vibrant network of innovation enablers, ongoing PR support and media coverage, and invitation to join ZuaHub.
Top U.S. officials will be speakers for a Fireside Chat on greater engagement of Africa’s private sector in the continent’s economic transformation. A Policy Roundtable will focus on shaping U.S.-Africa trade and economic policy.
African Development Bank and African Export-Import Bank (Afeximbank) will serve as Collaborating Partners for the IGD Fall Forum.
Forum to host the Africa investor (Ai) Development Finance-Institutional Investor Roundtable.
The Initiative for Global Development will hold its Fall Frontier 100 Forum on October 11-12, 2017, in Washington, DC, where African and global business leaders will convene to drive action on unlocking greater U.S. investment in Africa and African mid-sized companies for sustainable development and inclusive growth.
Under the theme “Growing the ‘Middle’: Investing in African Companies for the Continent’s Economic Transformation”, the Fall Frontier 100 Forum will offer insight and scalable solutions on spurring investment opportunities to grow African companies and forge stronger business relationships between investors and African private sector leaders.
The Frontier 100 Forum is an exclusive, invitation-only gathering of CEOs and senior executives and high-level officials from the IGD Frontier Leader Network.
WHEN / WHERE:
October 11, 2017
Rotunda room, Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC
October 12, 2017
Covington, One CityCenter, 850 10th St NW, Washington, DC
WHAT: Sessions that are open for media coverage.
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 11, 2017 4:30PMFireside Chat
Introduction: Mr. Robert A. Mosbacher, Jr., Chairman, Mosbacher Energy Company & Former President & CEO, OPIC
Administrator Mark Green, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development
Ambassador Donald Yamamoto, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Mr. Jonathan Nash, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Millennium Challenge Corporation
5:15PMPolicy Roundtable: “Shaping U.S.-Africa Trade and Economic Policy to Improve Africa’s Investment Environment” Panelists:
Mr. Gregory Simpkins, Majority Staff Director, House Subcommittee on Africa
Mr. Scott Eisner, Vice President, Africa Business Initiative, US Chamber of Commerce
Mr. Merin Rajadurai, Chairman, Secretary of State Open Forum, US State Department
Ms. Algene Sajery, Professional Staff Director, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
6:15PM Reception, sponsored by the Africa Development Bank Remarks:
Mr. Charles Boamah, Senior Vice-President, African Development Bank
THURSDAY, OCT. 12, 2017 9:00AM Opening Remarks
Dr. Mima S. Nedelcovych, President & CEO, Initiative for Global Development
Dr. Witney Schneidman, Senior International Advisor for Africa, Covington & Burling LLP
Mr. Kenroy Dowers, Head of Corporate Development, Atlas Mara Ltd.
Mr. Bunmi Akinyemiju, CEO and Managing Director, Venture Garden Group
Mr. Hurley Doddy, Managing Director, Founding Partner, and Co-CEO, Emerging Capital Partners
2:00PM Africa Investor’s Development Finance-Institutional Investor Roundtable on Africa
The Africa investor (Ai) leaders roundtable will feature an institutional investor public partnership’s (IIPP) dialogue, led by Ministers of Finance, institutional investors and Development Finance leaders, on the products, policies and roles Development Finance Institutions (DFI’s) and policy makers can play, to facilitate greater institutional allocations to public and private markets in Africa and African infrastructure as an investable asset class.
Mr. Hubert Danso, CEO & Vice Chairman, Africa Investor
Mr. Nic Firzili, Director-General, World Pensions Council
Mr. John Espinosa, Managing Director, TIAA Investments
Mr. Chuck Burbridge, Executive Director, Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund
Mr. Symerre Grey-Johnson, Head, Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade Division, NEPAD
Hon. Sfiso Buthelezi,Deputy Minister of Finance, Government of South Africa
Mr. Joshua Franzel, President and CEO, Center for State and Local Government Excellence
Mr. Gavin Wilson, CEO, IFC Asset Management Company
3:45PMKeynote: African Diaspora as a Market – Insights and Strategic Implications
Dr. Benedict Okey Oramah, President and Chairman, Afreximbank
5:30PM Africa Investment Rising Celebration Reception
The Initiative for Global Development (IGD) is a network of African and global business leaders who are committed to advancing sustainable development and inclusive growth in Africa through strategic business investment. For more information, visit www.igdleaders.org.