USAID Promotes Investment in Ghanaian Agriculture

On May 4, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the U.S. government’s Feed the Future Initiative, hosted the 4th Annual Ghana Agribusiness Investment Summit to showcase investment opportunities in Ghana’s agribusinesses. The event brought together business service providers, financial institutions, agribusinesses, farmers, development partners and the Ghanaian government under the theme “Mobilizing strategic investment for agriculture.” At the summit, the Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Honorable George Oduro, and U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Melinda Tabler-Stone stressed the importance of leveraging financial opportunities for Ghanaian agribusinesses.

The aim of the event is to spotlight Ghanaian agribusinesses and link them with viable private investment opportunities. The event featured panel discussions on opportunities in the agriculture sector, the importance of forming strategic partnerships to enhance agricultural productivity, risk-sharing agricultural lending, and alternative sources of financing for agribusiness. The summit offered participants business-to-business sessions where they were given the opportunity to network and forge partnerships.

“Today’s summit is a call to action,” remarked Chargé d’Affaires Tabler-Stone. “It is a call for private, public, and development partners to re-strategize and increase investment in agriculture, so that we can achieve sustainable and broadly shared economic growth. Let me assure you that the U.S. government is committed to working with the Ghanaian government and our partners to boost economic growth and reduce poverty.”

This annual event was organized by Feed the Future with support from USAID. In Ghana, Feed the Future has mobilized more than $115 in private sector investment for Ghana’s agriculture sector and works to improve agricultural productivity, boost incomes, and link farmers to market and trade opportunities.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Embassy of the United States – Accra – Ghana.

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PEPFAR Approves 2017 Budget to Support South Africa’s Fight Against HIV/AIDS and TB

On April 25, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, Ambassador Deborah Birx, approved PEPFAR’s $483 million Country Operational Plan 2017 (COP2017) budget for South Africa, an increase over 2016. The COP2017 budget will support South Africa’s HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) programs through September 2018. The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the U.S. government’s initiative to help save the lives of those infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS around the world. Since 2004, PEPFAR has invested over $5.6 billion in South Africa’s response to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS and TB. This investment has saved the lives of millions of South Africans.

With this new funding allocation, the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, through PEPFAR, will continue programs in support of South Africa’s HIV/AIDS and TB response under the recently launched 2017-2022 HIV, TB, and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) National Strategic Plan (NSP). An additional $51 million in funding to support South Africa’s voluntary male medical circumcision program may be available based upon program performance.

Speaking at the PEPFAR COP2017 Review, Dr. Yogan Pillay, the National Department of Health’s Deputy Director General: HIV/AIDS, TB and Maternal, Child and Women’s Health said, “I wish to thank the U.S. government for its continued support of our country’s response to the HIV and TB epidemics under its PEPFAR program. Given the scale of the challenges that we face, it is unlikely that the progress we have made would have been possible without its support, and neither will we be able to achieve the targets in the National Strategic Plan.” Senior U.S. and South African government health officials and civil society attended the session.

Ambassador Birx acknowledged South Africa’s leadership, commitment and substantial funding of the national HIV response, and highlighted the need for continued use of data, improved approaches, and rigorous program management. South Africa funds more than 80% of its national HIV response, which currently provides lifesaving care and treatment to more than 3.7 million persons living with HIV (PLHIV). PEPFAR funding supports national and provincial programs focused on the 27 highest HIV-burdened districts in eight provinces. These 27 districts represent more than 80 percent of South Africa’s PLHIV.

From October 2017 through September 2018, PEPFAR will continue to assist South Africa in providing more than one million additional PLHIV with lifesaving treatment, for a total of 4.3 million on treatment in the 27 focus districts. These ambitious goals require the work and commitment of all stakeholders and reflect the goals of the NSP to have more than 90 percent of the estimated seven million South Africans on treatment.

Aligned with the NSP, PEPFAR programs will continue to support priorities in the 27 highest burdened districts, as well as the national and provincial levels, including:

  • Programs to support programs to address TB/HIV co-infection, paediatric, adolescent and adult HIV care and treatment services, and differentiated models of care and treatment.
  • HIV prevention services (HIV counselling and testing, voluntary medical male circumcision, prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission, and other combination prevention approaches to reach key populations.
  • Support to strengthen the health and social welfare system for orphans and vulnerable children services.
  • Emphasis on adolescent girls and young women through the DREAMS initiative (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe) and the national She Conquers strategy and campaign.
  • Support for cross-cutting activities for HIV/AIDS-related surveillance, laboratory systems strengthening, human resource capacity building, health information systems, and supply chain management.
  • Collaboration with the government of South Africa to sustainably control the HIV/AIDS epidemic by scaling up interventions in line with the UNAIDS’ Fast-Track Strategy and the 90-90-90 targets for 2020.

More information about PEPFAR may be found at
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Source:: PEPFAR Approves 2017 Budget to Support South Africa’s Fight Against HIV/AIDS and TB

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“Sports and Refugees Project” for Uganda

In the framework of the ‘Sports and Refugees Project (S4R)’ for Uganda, implemented by the Ministry of Education and Sports with support from the Embassy of The Federal Republic of Germany in Kampala, 3 S4R activities were conducted:
i) A S4R strategy workshop that brought together participants from government departments, development partners, district local government, non-governmental organisations, sports federations and the media working with refugee communities in education, sports, relief supplies and general settlement management. This workshop held at Nob View Hotel Kampala from 16th – 20th November 2016 provided a platform for engaging the refugee settlement community as lots of experiences were shared by participants especially those already engaging the refugees.
ii) 2 IAAF Kid’s Athletics Activator workshops were held in Adjumani (Nyumanzi Refugee Settlement (25th–27th November 2016) and Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement (29th November–1st December 2016). The workshops introduced young leaders to Kid’s Athletics (Running, Jumping and Throwing movements) so that they can organise regular physical activity for the children for sanitation, integration and mobilization of community to address issues beyond family. This workshop attracted 71 young leaders (19 females and 52 males). 16 participants were drawn from the community neighboring the refugee settlements while the rest were refugees majority of whom were from South Sudan. The workshops were facilitated by IAAF Lecturers and all participants received IAAF Kid’s Athletics Activator certificate. As young sports leaders in the community the workshop provided them with possibilities to engage in physical activities at cluster and settlement level.
iii) At the end of the workshop, Sports Festivals were held at Nyumanzi Youth Learning Centre for Adjumani (28th November 2016) and at Arnold Memorial Primary School for Kiryandongo (2nd December 2016). The festival in Adjumani attracted over 1550 children and Kiryandongo over 1650 who participated in Kid’s Athletics skills display. In total we reached to over 3200 children in both venues.
On Wednesday, 3rd May 2017, the German Embassy in Kampala through Chargé d’Affaires a.i., Ms. Petra Kochendörfer, officially handed over sports equipment to the Commissioner for Physical Education and Sports Mr. Lamex Omara Apitta and Commissioner for Refugees Mr. David Apollo Kazungu to be delivered to the two refugee settlements in Adjumani and Kiryandongo. These sports materials are provided to continue to motivate the young people in the refugee settlements to organise and participate in physical activity regularly in their respective host communities.
Chargé d’Affaires a.i., Ms. Petra Kochendörfer, expressed German Embassy’s continued support to young people to participate in sports and advised the beneficiaries to put to use the
donated equipment. She commended Uganda’s open-minded refugee policy having welcomed nearly 1.2 Million refugees by end of April 2017 and considering that children and young compose majority of this, sport as a school for life as it teaches fairness, teamwork and trust.
The Commissioner for Physical Education and Sports Mr. Lamex Omara Apitta lauded the German Government for their exemplary accommodative Refugee policy which resonates well with Uganda’s Refugee policy and has enabled sports to be used as a tool for peace building and integration of communities within and around the refugee settlements.
The Commissioner for Refugees Mr. David Apollo Kazungu commended the German Embassy for their support to the sports and refugees project which he stated has been used to bring hope to the hopeless and reduce idleness among young people and utilise their time in refugeehood to become productive and better their sports skills. The leadership structures in the settlements will be responsible of the sports materials which will cater for not only Kid’s Athletics but also football, volleyball and basketball.
The Project Coordinator Mr. Innocent Asiimwe extolled the German government for such timely engagement especially when Uganda is experiencing a huge influx of refugees fleeing conflict especially in South Sudan. The sports materials donated to the refugee settlements will go a long way in getting young people together, play and have fun and learn to make better life choices.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Kampala.

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Source:: “Sports and Refugees Project” for Uganda

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New Atlas shows energy potential of Africa and opportunities for investment to meet Africa’s energy needs

  • Africa is richly endowed with energy resources, both renewable and non-renewable.
  • The poorest African households spend 20 times more per unit of energy than wealthy households when connected to the grid.
  • Investments in green energy infrastructure can bolster Africa’s economic development and bring it closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Energy consumption in Africa is the lowest in the world, and per capita consumption has barely changed since 2000 shows a new Atlas released today by the UN Environment and African Development Bank at the World Economic Forum being held in Durban, South Africa.

Current energy production in Africa is insufficient to meet demand. About a third of the total African population still lacks access to electricity and 53 per cent of the population depends on biomass for cooking, space heating and drying. A kettle boiled twice by a family in the United Kingdom uses five times as much electricity as a Malian uses in a year.

Prepared in cooperation with the Environment Pulse Institute, United States Geological Survey and George Mason University, the Atlas consolidates the information on the energy landscape in Africa. It provides information in the form of detailed ‘before and after’ images, charts, maps and other satellite data from 54 countries through visuals detailing the challenges and opportunities in providing Africa’s population with access to reliable, affordable and modern energy services.

“The Atlas makes a strong case that investments in green energy infrastructure can bolster Africa’s economic development and bring it closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It is therefore an important policy guide for African governments as they strive to catalyze national development by making use of their energy resources,” said Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo, Director and Regional Representative, UN Environment, Africa Office.

The Atlas shows both the potential and the fragility of the continent’s energy resources which are at the heart of Africa’s socio-economic development. It highlights some success stories of sustainable energy development around the continent, but it also puts the spotlight on major environmental challenges associated with energy infrastructure development.

Reserves of coal, natural gas and oil represent 3.6 per cent, 7.5 per cent and 7.6 per cent of global reserves respectively. A growing population, sustained industrialization and rising urbanization mean that energy demand in Africa is increasing. Only an insignificant fraction of the existing energy potential has been tapped into—leaving the continent lagging behind in the production and manufacturing sectors due to low and unreliable access to energy.

Main findings and key concerns in the Atlas

  • Africa has the world’s lowest per capita energy consumption: with 16 per cent of the world’s population (1.18 billion people out of 7.35 billion) it consumes about 3.3 per cent of global primary energy.
  • With current trends, it will take Africa until 2080 to achieve full access to electricity.
  • Of all energy sources, Africa consumes most oil (42 per cent of its total energy consumption) followed by gas (28 per cent), coal (22 per cent), hydro (6 per cent), renewable energy (1 per cent) and nuclear (1 per cent).
  • South Africa is the world’s seventh largest coal producer and accounts for 94 per cent of Africa’s coal production.
  • Africa’s renewable energy resources are diverse, unevenly distributed and enormous in quantity — almost unlimited solar potential (10 TW), abundant hydro (350 GW), wind (110 GW) and geothermal energy sources (15 GW).
  • Nearly 60 per cent of refrigerators used in health clinics in Africa have unreliable electricity, compromising the safe storage of vaccines and medicines; half of vaccines are ruined due to lack of refrigeration.
  • Energy from biomass accounts for more than 30 per cent of the energy consumed in Africa and more than 80 per cent in many sub-Saharan African countries. Indoor pollution from biomass cooking — a task usually carried out by women — will soon kill more people than malaria and HIV/AIDS combined.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa has undiscovered, but technically recoverable, energy resources estimated at about 115.34 billion barrels of oil and 21.05 trillion cubic metres of gas.
  • More women than men suffer from energy poverty.

Distributed by APO on behalf of UN Information Centre in Pretoria (UNIC).

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Source:: New Atlas shows energy potential of Africa and opportunities for investment to meet Africa’s energy needs

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