IMF Mission to Visit the Republic of Congo

At the request of the authorities of the Republic of Congo, a staff team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will visit Brazzaville from September 26 to October 4, 2017.

The mission will take stock of recent economic developments, finalize the assessment of debt, and update macroeconomic projections.

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

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Solarplaza and GOGLA Build the Leading Conference Brand for Solar Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa

Solarplaza (www.Solarplaza.com) and GOGLA (www.GOGLA.org) are proud to announce the second edition of Unlocking Solar Capital (USC) Africa (Africa.UnLockingSolarCapital.com). After hosting last year’s inaugural edition in Nairobi, Kenya, we’ll be organizing its follow-up in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The high-level 2-day conference centered around unlocking capital for new solar project development in Africa provides an original and exclusive international platform and will take place on the 25-26th of October, 2017. In preparation for the event, Solarplaza analyst Marco Dorothal speaks with 3 of the event’s main driving forces – Lydia van Os and Adriaan van Loon of Solarplaza and Eveline Jansen of GOGLA discussing the challenges and opportunities for African solar development in the region.

The story of ‘Unlocking Solar Capital’ did not start in Abidjan. Why did you choose to hold the first edition in Nairobi and what were the main lessons learnt?

Eveline: “The unique design of the USC Africa conference characterizes how partnerships and collaboration can strengthen the solar sector: The Nairobi edition was the first investor conference to bring the off-grid industry together with on-grid and mini-grid segments of the solar sector. While the needs and demands of the three sectors are diverse, it is vital to maintain open channels of communication in order to effectively advocate for beneficial policy environments and work together towards the shared goal of increased electricity access. The success of this first edition was a testimony of catering to a new demand for a more holistic approach – and clear indication that there is a need to keep that momentum going.”

Adriaan: “Nairobi was chosen to host the first edition of Unlocking Solar Capital because it is the business capital of East Africa. As Eveline mentioned, a truly unique factor was the unique involved mix of on and off-grid players. The fact that a lot of industry players are already established in Nairobi enabled us to grow the conference bigger than we ever imagined. However, as a conference that aims to cover the whole continent, we learned that the best way to have both a strong international and continental presence is to move to other regions as well to be able to reach a larger and more diverse audience and address different markets.”

Lydia: “Currently, we see an extremely promising growth of the solar industry on the African continent. To increase our impact we want to be close to the developments and aim to take our international network to the local sources where opportunities arise. We have a holistic vision regarding the joint potential of on and off-grid energy, as we think both are crucial to work towards fully electrifying African countries. To accomplish this vision we have chosen to organize the conference in Africa, for Africa.”

Now, moving on to Abidjan, what are the differences between the locations and how are you buildingon the success of the previous edition?

Eveline: “Moving the second edition to West Africa is not only essential for a truly holistic approach to the Sub-Saharan Africa market, but also a recognition of the rapidly developing solar market in the region.”

Lydia: “This year the event is going to take place in Abidjan as we want to expand upon the success of last year, while at the same time involving more of the francophone community and investors. Hosting the event in different markets allows us to not only bring the conference platform and our relations to exciting new regions, but also allows us to leverage the knowledge and experience of our previous editions by sharing them with regional partners and attendees.”

How did you reflect new regional developments in your program?

Lydia: “Our program focuses on opportunities for both established as well as upcoming market players. With the Solar Incubator, which is co-organized with Phanes Group PV, smaller players in the African solar market are challenged to pitch their projects with the chance of winning mentorship and co-development facilities. At the same time, we will host sessions that focus on utility-scale projects. For instance, we have a panel in which we’ll discuss the bankability of solar projects, which is a recurring challenge, featuring leading regional experts from Standard Bank, Scatec Solar, the EU commission and Africa50.”

Adriaan: “Compared to our previous event, we did see a need for more collaborations between development financial institutions (DFIs) and the private sector in order to spearhead the growth of the solar sector in the more challenging countries. Furthermore, the advancements in mini-grid technology will be represented in our ‘Generations’ track, focusing on bigger mini-grid projects, as well as in our ‘Connections’ track, which focuses purely on micro-grid developments.”

How do you see the future unfolding for the African region; what are the most important things that need to be achieved in order to succeed and how will you hope that USC Africa can contribute to this?

Eveline: “There is a clear need for greater communication and understanding between the different stakeholders in the solar sector, as well as recognizing the patterns and shared challenges in the hugely diverse individual markets. Unlocking Solar Capital Africa accelerates this process by providing opportunities for focused interaction between these stakeholders.”

Adriaan: “We aim to contribute by providing people with a platform to share best practices and meet the stakeholders that you need to further your business. With the conference platform, we seek to solve Africa’s solar energy funding gap by connecting financiers and developers, and having key market players share their practical experiences. Furthermore, the floor will be given to innovative startups to pitch their business models and secure financing.”

Lydia: “There is a lot of dedication among solar industry players to bring electricity to the 600 million Africans that currently do not have access to modern energy solutions. This dedication is easy to understand from both a market perspective, which is obviously very large, as from the conviction that everyone should have access to electricity and that we shouldn’t burden the environment through the use of fossil fuels, while great alternatives are readily available at a competitive price point. We want Unlocking Solar Capital Africa to be the driving platform for Africa’s solar revolution moving forward.”

Learn more about the challenges and solutions to financing of solar projects in Africa at Unlocking Solar Capital Africa, the African region’s largest and foremost conference on unlocking capital for new solar development. The 2-day conference will be held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on the 25-26th of October, 2017 and will be aimed at bringing together hundreds of solar stakeholder, such representative from solar developers, development banks, investment funds, EPCs, IPPs and others. For more information on Unlocking Solar Capital Africa, please visit Africa.UnLockingSolarCapital.com.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Solarplaza.

For program enquiries, please contact:
Lydia van Os
Project Manager Emerging Markets, Solarplaza
Lydia@Solarplaza.com
+31 10 280 9198

Adriaan van Loon
Project & Financial Manager, Solarplaza
Adriaan@Solarplaza.com
+3110 302 7915

For media and marketing enquiries, please contact:
Tom van der Linden
Marketing Manager, Solarplaza
T.VanderLinden@Solarplaza.com
+31102809198

About Unlocking Solar Capital Africa:
Unlocking Solar Capital Africa (www.Africa.UnLockingSolarCapital.com) is an event entirely focused on connecting solar project development and finance & investment across the entire African solar sector (On-grid Solar, micro-grids, off-grid lighting and household electrification). Unlocking Solar Capital Africa 2017 will bring together hundreds of representatives from development banks, investment funds, solar developers, IPPs, EPCs & other solar stakeholders to engage in extensive discussions to solve Africa’s solar energy funding gap – and get projects realized.
As a professional solar event organizer, Solarplaza has hosted over 90 events in 30 countries around the world, ranging from exploratory trade missions in emerging markets to large-scale conferences with 450+ participants. Unlocking Solar Capital Africa 2017 is Solarplaza’s 8th conference on the African continent, and directly builds on our previous Unlocking Solar Capital Africa (Nairobi, Kenya), Unlocking Solar Capital Latam (Miami, USA), Unlocking Solar Capital Asia (Singapore) and Making Solar Bankable (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) conferences.
For more information regarding the program, attendees, and registrations, visit www.Africa.UnLockingSolarCapital.com.

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Four Points Best Brews Trail Makes Its Stop in Nairobi

Four Points by Sheraton, a booming Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) (www.Marriott.com) hotel brand known for its love of beer, embarked on the Nairobi leg of it’s global trip discovering the world’s Best Brews. The journey kicked off at the new Four Points Hurlingham in a trail that culminated with an exclusive preview of the soon to open, Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport.

Four Points’ Best Brews Around the World celebrates the brand’s signature initiative, a dedicated program in which each of the brand’s 225+ hotels around the world showcases a local, craft beer which has been chosen based on taste, popularity, quality and proximity to the property. A Best Brew is available on tap at each Four Points, offering travelers an authentic taste of local beer culture wherever their travels may take them. This year’s global trail kicked off in Manhattan, followed by Cancun Mexico, Okanagan Valley Canada, Melbourne Australia, stopping off in Nairobi and culminating in Barcelona, Spain.

As the only city on the African continent to be joining this trail, Four Points by Sheraton, Nairobi is excited to showcase our love for beer and travel to the international community. In Nairobi, we like to push boundaries with our passion for local artisans. In this spirit, we have collaborated with the Big Five Breweries to create our own signature craft beer that carries serious flavour.

An exciting day of adventure commenced with a tasting of the signature Four Pills brew along with a cook-off beer inspired lunch at the Four Points by Sheraton, Nairobi Hurlingham property.

This was followed by a private tour of the Big Five Breweries micro-brewery. Naturally, no trail in Nairobi would be complete without taking in the views of our National Park and scenic green savannah. Guests were treated to a surprise helicopter ride crossing the city and out to the Ngong Hills.

The trail culminated with an exclusive preview at the Four Points by Sheraton, Nairobi Airport hotel where our influencers were put to the test with their beer knowledge in a blind-tasting conducted by Master Brewer Aleem Ladak. Acclaimed graffiti artist Bankslave was also on hand to share a live-art piece around the day’s activities.

Vivek Mathur, General Manager, Four Points by Sheraton, Nairobi Airport said, “Four Points has a love for locally crafted beers, which is why we partnered with The Big Five Breweries to sample a taste of what Nairobi has to offer. We know the perfect pint has universal appeal, which is why we are the only city in Africa participating in the launch of ‘Best Brews Around the World.’ We invite local beer lovers and thirsty travelers to join us as we discover new Best Brews.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of Marriott International, Inc..

Media Contacts:
Anjali Mehra
Anjali.Mehra@Marriott.com
+971 565396555

About Four Points:
Travel reinvented. With more than 225 Four Points hotels, part of Marriott International, Inc., can be found in nearly 40 countries and territories, travelers can find the timeless style and comfort they’re looking for with genuine service and everything that matters most, all around the world. Four Points hotels can be found in big urban centers, by the airport, near the beach, and in the suburbs. Each hotel offers a familiar place with an authentic sense of the local, and friendly genuine service where guests can relax and unwind, watch local sports, and enjoy the brand’s Best Brews and BBQ™ program. Four Points is proud to participate in the industry’s award-winning loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest®. Members can now link accounts with Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® at http://Members.Marriott.com for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. To learn more, visit us online and stay connected to Four Points on Facebook.

About Marriott International:
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) (www.Marriott.com) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,200 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 125 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at www.Marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.MarriottNewsCenter.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/marriottinternational) and @MarriottIntl on Twitter (https://Twitter.com/MarriottIntl) and Instagram (www.Instagram.com/marriottintl).

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Hon. Joshua N. Osih: Biya Should Step Down Immediately

The Social Democratic Front (SDF) for the Republic of Cameroon strongly condemns curfews, restrictions on movement of the population and all forms of violence perpetrated by the Government in the South-West and North-West regions of the country. Cameroon is now at a crossroads. President Biya’s inadequate response to the Anglophone crisis has only aggravated the situation and caused further instability. The government’s failure to stem social unrest has compromised its leadership. It is time for President Biya to resign immediately.

Freedom of movement in Cameroon is a constitutionally guaranteed right. By prohibiting the mobility of people in the heavily militarized North-West and South West regions, the Government is treating our compatriots like second-class citizens. We warn that these inflammatory actions only breed new resentments and embolden those who espouse secession. Even at the height of the war against Boko Haram, no such extreme measures were applied as like now on the Anglophone citizens.

The SDF has repeatedly voiced strong condemnations for bad governance, dysfunctional state institutions, endemic corruption, blatant disregard of the rule of law and free press, and non-application of the 1996 constitutional requirements with regards to decentralization and reform of state institutions. President Biya’s government is responsible for continuous state-sponsored electoral fraud, has disregarded any proposals from national and international communities to reform government, and has closed all avenues to inclusive national dialogue. This has led to an irreversible escalation of violence in Cameroon for which the Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement is solely responsible. The President has failed to meet with any civil society leaders or visit with the Anglophone regions since the crisis started nearly one year ago. His inability to draw the conflict to a close has risked more bloodshed and violence. The SDF calls for the military to show restraint and to protect all Cameroonians from abuse.

Cameroonians now have a choice to make between a free, inclusive and democratic Cameroon or stick with President Biya’s current regime. The SDF clearly chooses a free, inclusive and democratic Cameroon where its people can come and go in peace.

Hon. Joshua N. Osih
1st National Vice-President

Distributed by APO on behalf of The Social Democratic Front (SDF) for the Republic of Cameroon.

Source:: Hon. Joshua N. Osih: Biya Should Step Down Immediately

      

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