International Monetary Fund Staff Concludes Visit to Guinea-Bissau

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Tobias Rasmussen visited Guinea-Bissau from January 17-23, 2018, to evaluate the draft 2018 budget, assess the fiscal and debt implications of an intended scaling up of infrastructure investments, and discuss recent developments in the banking sector.

At the end of the visit, Mr. Rasmussen issued the following statement:

“Economic activity remains buoyant, supported by effective fiscal management. Inflation has remained low, tax revenue is rising robustly, and real GDP growth appears continuing near the 2017 pace of around 5.5 percent. Pickups in public and private investment are providing new growth impetus, compensating for a likely levelling off in cashew prices following last year’s sharp increases.”

“The 2018 budget approved by the Council of Ministers reflects the authorities’ efforts to enhance revenue mobilization and create fiscal space for priority spending, in line with the objectives of the IMF-supported program. With the budgeted overall deficit contained below 3 percent of GDP, the increased revenue would enable a roughly 3 percentage point of GDP increase in spending, mainly on infrastructure investment.”

“The scaling up of investment is welcome, as it could help address critical gaps in the country’s infrastructure, but the process needs to be carefully managed. Achieving the intended developmental effects depends on proper planning and execution, with due regard to capacity and debt carrying constraints. A number of investment projects are, however, yet to be fully integrated into budget planning.”

“Vigilance is also needed to ensure a sound financial sector that supports sustainable economic growth. This includes effective banking supervision and monitoring of prudential norms.”

“The team expects to return to Bissau in March to initiate discussions with the authorities for the fifth review of the ECF-supported program.”

The team met with President José Mário Vaz, Public Prosecutor General Bacar Biai, Minister of Finance João Fadia, Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) National Director Helena Nosolini Embaló, other high level officials, as well as representatives of the private sector and the donor community.

The IMF team wishes to express its gratitude to the authorities for the constructive discussions and for their hospitality.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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Source:: International Monetary Fund Staff Concludes Visit to Guinea-Bissau


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International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde Meets Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde met with Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre on January 23 on the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos. The underlying economic conditions in Somalia remain difficult, but the authorities are making strong efforts to rebuild their country. Somalia’s debt relief is a priority for the IMF and every effort is being made to accelerate the process within established procedures.

The Managing Director and Prime Minister Khayre discussed the IMF’s support for Somalia, especially through two Staff-Monitored Programs and extensive technical assistance. Somalia is among the largest recipients of IMF technical assistance. The Managing Director reiterated the Fund’s continued active engagement with Somalia, including to reach the point that enables it to receive debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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Source:: International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde Meets Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre


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MainOne partners with West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN) to boost connectivity in research and education institutions

Following a highly competitive and non-discriminatory bidding process involving leading communications operators in Africa, leading Connectivity and Data Center solutions provider, MainOne ( has emerged winner of a 15-year contract with the West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN) ( to provide high-speed bandwidth services. WACREN, the regional research and education network (REN) that facilitates interconnections between national RENs in West and Central Africa will use MainOne to provide high-speed backbone data services including internet access to schools, colleges and universities, research and the general academic community across West and central Africa.

This long-awaited contract was initiated under the AfricaConnect2 programme and is expected to leverage MainOne’s open-access submarine cable to introduce improvements in education, leverage Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to support availability of open educational resources, introduce correspondence courses and foster MOOC tradition and democratizing the learning experience.

Speaking on the partnership, Boubakar Barry, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WACREN, underlined the importance of connecting the region to high-speed connectivity services aimed at fostering better collaboration among its members and with other professional colleagues in other parts of the world and reiterating the pose of WACREN to emerge as Africa’s leading research and education network. “This is a big step for the REN and academic communities in West and Central Africa and will ensure that our members are better equipped to provide premium research and education services”.

Funke Opeke, CEO of MainOne commended the commitment of WACREN to connect regional researchers to the global research and education communities across the world. “MainOne was borne out of a passion to close the digital divide in West Africa and this agreement with WACREN leverages our capacity and provides us the opportunity to get all Research and Educational institutions in West Africa connected within themselves and to the rest of the world. We are delighted to have won this bid and believe we will add value to institutions in our region with our cost effective and innovative connectivity solutions”.

The reliable internet connectivity solution provided by MainOne guarantees a sustainable high-capacity data network that serves higher education and research institutions across the region. The company already provides connectivity solutions to 20+ tertiary institutions across West Africa.

AfricaConnect2 is an EU-funded pan-African connectivity project that aims to support the development and consolidation of high-capacity regional internet networks for R&E across Africa and their interconnection with the pan-European GÉANT network, creating a continental gateway for collaborative research and education across and beyond Africa.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of MainOne.

Media contact:
Temitope Osunrinde

WACREN ( is the West and Central African Research and Education Network which supports interconnections and fosters collaboration between R&E institutions in the region and international peers by building and operating a world class network infrastructure, developing state of the art services, promoting collaboration among national, regional, and international R&E communities, and building the human capacity of the REN community. Constituted in 2010, membership is open to all 22 countries in the region and it currently has 12 participating NRENs from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Togo. WACREN has also two Associate members from France and Nigeria. For more information, visit

About MainOne:
MainOne ( is West Africa’s leading connectivity and data center solutions provider. We are the first choice for wholesale internet, enterprise services, cloud solutions and managed data services for businesses with global scale ambitions. We operate the only Tier III certified data center in West Africa with ISO 27001 and PCI DSS. Our cost effective and innovative solutions are such that businesses that partner with us are fully empowered to meet the needs of today’s market and also prepared for tomorrow’s growth opportunities. Additional information can be found on

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MYDAWA Disrupting the E-Healthcare Industry in Kenya

E-health platform MYDAWA (, hit over 30,000 registered users as of December 2017. The digital service that is enabling consumers to conveniently purchase authentic medicines and wellness products was launched in March 2017.

Speaking during an update on the growth of the platform, MYDAWA Managing Director Tony Wood said that the steady rise in users was driven by rising healthcare costs, an increasing value conscious customer and negative patient experiences reported in Kenya.

“MYDAWA is proud to be a formidable force in disrupting Kenya’s healthcare industry through innovation. The company is anchored on privacy, convenience and guaranteed quality as part of its promise to service delivery,” said Mr. Wood.

The MYDAWA solution is beneficial to consumers as they gain the advantage of having increased transparency, convenience and affordability. In addition, it ensures better pharmacovigilance as it tackles the issue of counterfeit drugs/products in the market since the entire supply chain process is tracked and one has the option of authenticating the products.

MYDAWA features a unique mechanism that gives back control to the consumer. Once a prescription has been uploaded online, the consumer can use the mechanism to verify authenticity of products from source all without compromising on their privacy and convenience. Moreover, consumers get value for money since products sold at the platform are 40% below the market price for MYDAWA products, whilst 3rd party products are sold at a 20% cheaper rate.

Mr. Wood further emphasized the need for healthcare operators to continue to embrace disruption in the industry to become more efficient, to lower costs, increase accessibility to healthcare and provide patient centric care.

Technology, especially the internet, has added immense value where the consumer is now more informed and empowered. MYDAWA enables the consumer to access healthcare products through its platform whilst maintaining quality and affordability.

MYDAWA’s innovative solution fits into the President’s four priority areas of government delivery as outlined in his Jamhuri Day Speech 2017, which included Healthcare, Food Security, Affordable Housing and Manufacturing.

In September 2017, Kenya was named among the leading countries in e-health and telemedicine alongside South Africa and Ghana. In the report titled; Enabling eHealth Technology in South Africa, Kenya and Ghana’, Kenya was named alongside South Africa and Ghana as leading countries in e-health and telemedicine.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of MYDAWA.

+254703676644 or +254722960330

MYDAWA ( is a technology based service that enables consumers to conveniently purchase authentic high-quality medicines, health and wellness products. It is a solution developed in Nairobi, Kenya in partnership with a diverse array of healthcare practitioners and suppliers. MYDAWA aims to bridge the gaps between healthcare providers and patients thus improving quality and cost of care.
For more information, visit

Source:: MYDAWA Disrupting the E-Healthcare Industry in Kenya


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