Regional meeting in Abidjan: FAO sets tone for accelerating implementation of the Malabo Roadmap and Sustainable Development Goals

This year FAO sets “Transforming African Agri-food systems for inclusive growth and a shared prosperity” as its theme for the 29th Session of its Regional Conference for Africa (4-8 April, 2016).

More than 50 African Ministers of Agriculture and related sectors from FAO Member countries, high-level technical experts, representatives of regional organizations and institutions, the civil society and about 100 accredited media gather in Abidjan this week to take stock of progress made in food security and nutrition on the continent and agree on priority areas for the next two years.

“Global trends and issues are expected to have direct or indirect impacts on the food and agriculture sector, with specific manifestations and impacts in the Africa region”, explained Mr. Bukar Tijani, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, in his opening remarks at the Senior Technical Officers Meeting(4-6 April 2016) that precedes the Ministerial Roundtable (7-8 April 2016).

“The national and regional actions that FAO can most effectively support in this context will be firmly grounded in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) through the Malabo Implementation Strategy and Road Map and the commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals”,

Mr. Tijani added.

FAO priority areas in Africa will continue to focus on food security and nutrition; fight against poverty; climate mitigation and adaptation and sustainable use of natural resources, including energy and water scarcity; protection against transboundary animal and plant diseases and pests, and food safety threats; agri-food systems development and employment and trade, with a particular attention to gender and youth.

Tackling global trends and issues in food and agriculture

Three important global developments in 2014-2015 will frame national and regional action and FAO’s work in food and agriculture in the future: the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement adopted as an outcome of the UN Global Climate Change Conference (COP21), and the Rome Declaration on Nutrition and the Framework for Action adopted by the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2).

“The eradication of hunger remains at the heart of FAO. To date, the organization has helped deliver more than 90 agriculture and food investment projects across 40 countries, and these figures will continue to grow”, said with confidence the FAO Regional Representative for Africa.

The organization has provided substantial assistance in policy formulation, including the design and implementation of the ECOWAS Zero Hunger Initiative and the CAADP Regional and National Agriculture Investment Plans to address food security and nutrition.

FAO has developed a number of successful relationships with partner organizations to achieve this mandate and seeks to cultivate new partnerships with the private sector as this year’s Conference will explore opportunities in Public-Private Partnerships for Inclusive Growth.

Expanding regional initiatives for development

FAO has focused and integrated its work in the Region through three main Regional Initiatives. The Initiatives respond to the priorities of member States and will achieve demonstrable impact in a time bound manner, whilst responding to FAO’s Strategic Objectives.

In Africa, the Regional Initiatives were developed based on an in-depth cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary review of regional issues. They call for accelerated action by member countries in the fight against hunger (Africa’s Commitment to End Hunger by 2025); promote sustainable proven innovative practices and principles of production and post-production processes (Sustainable Production Intensification and Value Chain Development in Africa); and aim at strengthening resilience among vulnerable farming communities and pastoralists (Building Resilience in Africa’s Drylands).

“This experience about targeting specific actions for specific contexts has placed sharp focus on the critical role of policy, governance and institutional dimensions in successful programme implementation”, reported Mr. Bukar Tijani, adding that “it has also highlighted the need for improved data and statistics and the importance of addressing cross-cutting issues such as gender, climate change, nutrition and resilience building against crises and shocks.”

In the same vein, the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund (ASTF) is an innovative Africa-led fund to support Africa for African development initiatives. Its main goal is to strengthen food security across the continent by assisting countries and their regional organizations to eradicate hunger and malnutrition, eliminate rural poverty and manage natural resources in a sustainable manner.

The fund has allocated USD 35.5 million to 15 regional programmes and national projects covering 39 countries to boost efforts to eradicate hunger, widen market access, and support income and employment generation. During this biennium, the ASTF will also aim to support the establishment of an “African Centre for best practices, capacity development and South-South Cooperation (SSC)” in collaboration with AU and NEPAD.

Through more regional initiatives of this kind, FAO will seek to accelerate and strengthen the programming, mechanisms, capacity and delivery actions needed to translate into results the commitment to end hunger by 2025.

The opening session on Monday was chaired by the Ivorian Minister of Animal Resources and Fisheries, Mr. Kobenan Adjoumani, in the presence of the Ivorian Minister of Agriculture, Mamadou Coulibaly Sangafowa, and the FAO Deputy Director-General, Coordinator for Natural Resources, Ms. Maria Helena Semedo.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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Categories: AFRICA

The AU welcomes the arrival in Tripoli of Presidency Council and Prime Minister

The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, welcomes the arrival in Tripoli, on 30 March 2016, of the Head of the Presidency Council and Prime Minister of Libya’s Unity Government, Fayez El-Serraj and some members of his cabinet.

The Chairperson hails the courage of the Prime Minister to go to Tripoli with some members of his cabinet to unite all Libyan stakeholders with the overall aim of attaining peace, security and national reconciliation. She further calls upon all stakeholders, including those who are still outside of Libya to take similar steps in order to create a positive momentum that will culminate in the establishment of a Government of National Accord.

The Chairperson reiterates, in this regard, that the AU High Representative for Libya, former President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, will continue to undertake, in coordination with the United Nations, consultations with all parties, including neighbouring countries and other relevant international partners, on how best to assist in the consolidation of the peace process.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Categories: AFRICA

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) signs MoU with Export-Import Bank of India to increase bilateral co-operation and explore the feasibility of extending a commercial line of credit

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) (www.IDC-ps.org), the private sector arm of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group and Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank), a specialized financial institution, established under an Act of the Indian Parliament, wholly owned by the Government of India with a mandate to finance, facilitate and promote India’s foreign trade.

The MoU envisages cooperation to explore the feasibility of extending a commercial line of Credit of USD100.0 million to ICD with the aim of facilitating the export of goods and services from India to ICD’s member countries. Typically, the recipients of EXIM Bank’s commercial lines of credit act as intermediaries and on lend to overseas buyers for the import of Indian goods and services. Under the agreement, co-operation will also be achieved through the exchange of information on trade-related matters and the identification of business opportunities for Indian companies to pursue in ICD’s member countries.

The MoU was signed by Mr. Khaled Al Aboodi, the Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of ICD, and Mr, Tarun Sharma, Regional Head of EXIM Bank.

During the signing ceremony, Mr. Khaled Al-Aboodi commented: “Moving forward, we are very excited to find common ground and work with EXIM Bank. We acknowledge that India, being the seventh largest economy in the world, has a lot to offer and its high-quality exports of goods and services can drive the next wave of growth. I believe ICD’s member countries can offer vibrant business prospects for India’s exporters.”

Mr. Tarun Sharma said, “Since its inception, EXIM Bank has been both a catalyst and a key player in the promotion of cross border trade and investment. We remain committed to support Indian exporters to enter new markets in their bid to expand and we are convinced that our co-operation with ICD will serve that very purpose and will be mutually beneficial for both parties.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD).

For further information please contact:

Ahmed A Khalid / Nabil Al-Alami
Regional Head – Asia / Head, Marketing
E-mail: aabdulkhalid@isdb.org / nalami@isdb.org
Website: www.icd-ps.org

About the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD)

ICD (www.IDC-ps.org) is a multilateral organization and a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group. The mandate of ICD is to support economic development and promote the development of the private sector in its member countries through providing financing facilities and/or investments which are in accordance with the principles of Sharia’a. ICD also provides advice to governments and private organizations to encourage the establishment, expansion and modernization of private enterprises. For more information, visit www.icd-ps.org

About Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank)

EXIM Bank is a premier financial institution established under the Export-Import Bank of India Act 1981 and wholly owned by the government of India. Its mandate is to finance, facilitate and promote India’s international trade and to coordinate the working of institutions engaged in export and import-related services aimed at the globalisation of Indian companies. EXIM Bank, through its wide network of alliances with financial institutions, trade promotion agencies, information providers across the globe, assists externally-oriented Indian companies in their quest for excellence and globalisation.

Source:: The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) signs MoU with Export-Import Bank of India to increase bilateral co-operation and explore the feasibility of extending a commercial line of credit

Categories: AFRICA

Nigeria steps up preparations for UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS

Following the official visit of the UNAIDS Executive Director and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, Michel Sidibé, to Nigeria in February, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS is stepping up efforts to ensure that the country’s leadership participates in the upcoming United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS.

The meeting will take place in New York, United States, from 8 to 10 June 2016.

“NACA recognises the importance of the upcoming High Level Meeting to the global goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. My team is working hard to ensure that Nigeria contributes to preparations for the meeting and that it is represented by the highest political leadership possible during the meeting,” said the Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Prof John Idoko.

“The upcoming meeting offers a timely and critical opportunity for the political leadership in Nigeria to help nurture the global partnership and cooperation that shall guide and monitor the AIDS response up to 2021 and beyond,” Prof. Idoko said.

During his successful official visit to Nigeria in February, the UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé, explained the importance of High Level Meeting to the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and appealed to the Nigerian authorities to play a leadership role in it. He made similar appeals during meetings with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Eng. Babachir David Lawal, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, the Minister Budget and Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, members of the National Assembly, the Director General of NACA, Prof John Idoko, the donor community, the private sector and the civil society.

The High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS shall review the progress achieved in realising the implementation of the Political Declarations of 2011, including successes, lessons learned, obstacles and gaps, as well as challenges and opportunities. The meeting will adopt a new Political Declaration to guide the AIDS response until 2021.

“It has become scientifically evident that the world can defeat AIDS by 2030 and that Nigeria can lead this global success,” said the UNAIDS Country Director for Nigeria and UNAIDS Focal Point for Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), Dr Bilali Camara.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Lagos.

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Categories: AFRICA

Commissioner Maruping Addresses joint AUC/ACBF Press Briefing on the Impact of Drought, Floods and Declining Commodity Prices in Africa

H.E Dr. Anthony Mothae Maruping Commissioner for Economic Affairs of the African Union Commission (AUC) , together with Professor Emmanuel Nnadozie, Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and Mr. Mohamed Beavogui, UN Assistant Secretary General and Director of the African Risk Capacity , addressed the press on 3rd April 2016 at the closing of the Ministerial roundtable discussion on the “Impact of Drought, Floods and Declining Commodity Prices in Africa” that took place at the UNCEA Conference Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Holding at the margin of the 9TH Annual Joint Meetings of the AU Specialized Technical Committee on Finance, Monetary Affairs, Economic Planning and integrated and ECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic development, Commissioner Maruping told the journalists that, in recent months, drastic decline in demand for, and a sharp drop in the prices of a wide range of commodities produced and exported by most African countries has had adverse financial and economic effects which is worrisome in that African economies are still heavily dependent on commodity exports. Contextually, economic growth in Africa has been declining over the years from 5.7 percent in 2002 to 4.6 percent in 2015 and recent forecasts puts it further down to about 3.8 percent. Such decrease is explained by a combination of both internal and external factors the Commissioner highlighted.

The AUC Commissioner for Economic Affairs explained that floods have negative impacts on the continent of Africa and have caused a sharp drop in the prices of a wide range of commodities produced and exported. Furthermore, it has also led to a rise of interest rates in USA which has devastating financial and economic effects on the continent. The aggravated situation of prolonged droughts and floods has greatly and adversely affected agricultural production especially given that rain-fed agriculture remains the backbone of many African economies contributing over 90% to total agricultural output. Specifically, one third of income in Africa is generated by agriculture and 70% of Africans are farmers. He said it is against this background that the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) are organizing a Ministerial Roundtable to offer a platform for ministers and experts to share their experiences and ideas on the best way to tackle the declining commodity prices, severe drought, and floods facing African countries. The idea is to tap into the collective and individual experiences in order to develop viable interventions and pragmatic responses to the crises.

Also speaking during the press briefing the Executive Secretary of ACBF, Professor Emmanuel Nnadozie underscored the importance of the round table saying that the fifty year achievement of Africa in terms of economic growth, employment especially in the sector of youths, reduction of poverty which has been termed as “Africa rising” is currently at risk is something is done urgently to mitigate the problems of droughts, floods and decline in commodity prices Africa is facing. He noted that a continent faced with such risks should either take preventive measures, mitigate the risks if they have already occurred or cope with it. In combatting the problem of decline in commodity prices, Professor Nnadozie said countries should put in place macro-economic policies if they have physical space as well as insurance mechanism to help Africa in times of shock like the sudden occurrence of these disasters. He emphasized on the need for Africa to diversity and industrialize their basic primary commodity.

Mr. Mohamed Beavogui, UN assistant Secretary General and Director of the African Risk Capacity, congratulated Africa’s effort to finding solutions to these problems and not seeking for help from external bodies. He further explained that managing disasters is something Africa must build which is one of the avoidable solutions achieved through the solidarity of African Member States giving that Africa will combine its resources together and lower down the premium to be paid for insurance.

The press briefing brought together continental and international journalists all very interested on the issues discussed during the AUC/ACBF Ministerial Round table debate, that was chaired by H.E Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Source:: Commissioner Maruping Addresses joint AUC/ACBF Press Briefing on the Impact of Drought, Floods and Declining Commodity Prices in Africa

Categories: AFRICA

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition

The Royal Commonwealth Society has a rich history of nurturing the creative talents of young people around the Commonwealth, promoting literacy and expression by celebrating excellence and imagination.

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition, run in partnership with Cambridge University Press, gives young people from diverse backgrounds a platform to express their views about the world and their dreams for the future.

This year’s theme, ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’, asks young people to reflect on what it means to live in a diverse but tolerant, equitable and fair society. The topics for both the Junior and Senior categories allow for the exploration of this theme in a number of ways, including: the significance of community; the importance of diversity and difference; the question of belonging; the values of tolerance, respect and understanding; and the sense of shared responsibility that exists within the Commonwealth today.

The competition is open to young writers aged 18 and under who are living in, or a national of, a Commonwealth country or territory. Special dispensation applies to entrants from Hong Kong, The Gambia, Ireland and Zimbabwe who are entitled to enter the competition. All entries must be in English and are to be submitted online. The deadline for entries is 1st May 2016. The flyer can be downloaded for display in classrooms, to share with friends, colleagues and interested parties, and for reference to the topics.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of British High Commission Accra.

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Source:: The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition

Categories: AFRICA

APRM critical for Africa’s Development Agenda

The APRM was established when Africans turned to themselves to mobilize their own resources in order to realise African change and development. The APRM is therefore a critical mechanism for Africa’s Governance landscape,” these are the words of former President of Mozambique H.E Joaquim Chissano during his response to the presentation of the APRM’s Turnaround Strategy at the 4th General Assembly of the Forum of Former African Heads of State and Government – Africa Forum.

The APRM was invited by the Africa Forum to share its strategy of restoration, reinvigoration and renewal with the Forum of the Former Heads of State whom among others are APRM’s Founding Fathers.

‘The APRM is seeking guidance and wisdom from the Founding Fathers. Platforms like these are critical for the advancement of the agenda of the APRM,” said APRM CEO, Prof. Eddy Maloka.

“Everybody should know that the APRM is out of its comatose state, we are ready to claim our rightful position as the Premier Governance Hub in Africa. The turn out today is also demonstrative of the support and commitment our African brothers and sisters have on the APRM. Failure is therefore not an option,” he said.

The Former Heads of States reiterated the relevance of the APRM to the African Development Agenda and its importance in the Monitoring and Evaluation of the Agenda 2063 and SDGs implementation.

“The APRM is a critical tool, a mechanism which should explore the possibility of playing the role of the Continental’s Rating Agency. We cannot have external people coming to rate us when we have such capable and competent Mechanisms like the APRM,” added the former President of the African Development Bank H.E Dr. Babacar Ndiaye who is also a Member of the Africa Forum.

The Africa Forum is expected to debate its future partnership with the APRM and the outcomes will be adopted into a declaration.

Following his presentation at the Africa Forum the APRM Chief Executive Officer in the company of his esteemed colleagues, UNECA Deputy Executive Secretary, H.E Dr Abdalla Hamdok, AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs H.E Anthony Mothae Maruping, Representative of the South African Focal Point and Representative of the Kenyan Focal Point presided over the Side Event on the Restoration, Reinvigorating and Renewal of the APRM.

Addressing the event Dr. Hamdok said the APRM needs to reassess the issue of voluntary accession.

“We need to be more relevant to the Africa’s development agenda and revisit the APRM indicators so that they are not as cumbersome,” he cautioned. He concluded by reiterating ECA’s commitment to the APRM.

AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs H.E Anthony Mothae Maruping urged delegates “to be more active in their support of the APRM both at continental and national levels”. He said the APRM is a mechanism that will propel Africa to a “great development path”. He allude the joint collaborative efforts of the ECA and APRM in quest of popularizing the Mechanism.

Both South African and Kenyan Focal Points commended the efforts of the New CEO in reviving the CEO. They expressed their Countries unwavering support and commitment to good governance and to the Mechanism. They said Kenya and South Africa are very committed to the strengthening and working together with the APRM in its renewal process.

The Event which was well attended by delegates from Embassies in Ethiopia, Focal Point Representatives, Civil Society Organizations, Partner Institution Representatives and other AU Organs was a collaborative effort between the APRM, AU and ECA.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Categories: AFRICA

AUC / ACBF roundtable discussion calls for economic resilience and strategic investment priorities for Africa’s Development

H.E Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) chaired a roundtable discussion on the theme: “Addressing the Impact of Drought, Floods and Declining Commodity Prices in Africa: What Coping Strategies and Capacities are required?, on 3rd April 2016, jointly organized by the African Union Commission and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF).

The event at the Conference Center of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was intended totackle the issues of the drastic decline in demand for, and a sharp drop in the prices of, a wide range of commodities produced and exported by most African countries in recent months, causing adverse financial and economic effects on the continent. According to the organizers, this situation is worrisome in that most African economies are still heavily dependent on commodity exports. Rising United States interest rates have resulted in currencies depreciation and risen external indebtedness as well as mounting inflationary pressures.

The situation has been exacerbated by widespread and prolonged drought that has adversely affected agricultural production especially given that rain-fed agriculture remains the backbone of many African economies. Low river flows and drying reservoirs have rendered irrigation schemes inactive and led to increased hydro – power deficit. In a number of countries, floods have also been prevalent and have destroyed infrastructure, caused displacement of people and are leaving water borne diseases on their path. As a consequence most African economies are navigating through stormy and rocky economic situations. Humanitarian, financial and macro-economic management as well as capacity challenges are immediate. Therefore the AUC –ACBF provided a platform for the participants to exchange views on effective mitigation measures and stimulus packages to urgently address these issues.

H.E Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma in her opening remarks applauded the efforts of Africastating thatsince 2000, the continent has recorded an impressive turn around for the average growth compared to the 80’s and 90’s and for the transformative process to continue, it has to be brought with industrialization and agricultural development as well as enhance African market. Among the lessons of the Millennium Development Goals , Africa’s growth is not stable if not inclusive, “Africa’s economies cannot be resilient if not diversified, our products are not competitive if not processed …there are many more factors to consider,“underlined the AUC Chairperson.

Dr. Dlamini Zuma explained that, given thatAfrica isaffected by the fluctuation of commodity prices, it is imperative that the African economy be analyzed to understand why it is still vulnerable to weather fluctuations, and what needs to be done to build resilience in Africa’s agricultural products so as to make them more competitive in the world market. She also noted however the negative effect of climate change such as the el nino phenomenal on the African economy leading to recurring droughts and floods in some part of the continent,which she said calls for emergency action each time they arise including many other challenges Africa is facing.“Africa must defend and expand investments in education, skills and science technology to further boost the economic growth of the continent. AUC Chairperson emphasized.

Prof. Emmanuel NNadozie, Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), on his part noted the great significance of the ministerial round table discussionto the African Economy given that droughts, floods, and other hazards do have negative impacts on agriculture, food availability, infrastructure, assets, and productive capacity. Though studies over the past 20 years showed that Africa is the second fastest growing economy in the world, it is however witnessing a lot of issues related to Climate Change which also is the cause of droughts, floods and decline in commodity prices in Africa. Professor Nnadozie highlighted that relatively low economic growth in the continent can partly be explained by the external environment, which is now becoming less supportive. He further explained that the impact of climate change is felt at all levels ranging from droughts and floods which also causes a decline in crops production which are an important source of revenue to many African countries, thereby worsening a situation that is already bad.

Meanwhile, the commodity index prices has declined from 210 in April 2011 to 90.73 in December 2015 signifying that more primarily commodities have to be produced for the same amount of revenue, reiteratedProfessor Nndozie He added that, the key challenge had been the lack of capacity to anticipate, prevent and mitigate these kinds of challenges facing the continent. He said Africa’s vulnerability to sudden changes in commodity prices and external shocks is as a result of their heavy dependence on primary commodity export which also explains why in 2012/2013, out of 94 commodity dependent developing countries, 45 came from Africa with more than 60% of their exported merchandise made of primary commodities. It is important to mention that a decline in commodity price generally affects the pace of growth in household income, company profits and revenue for government. “The issue of droughts, floods and decline in commodity prices can be addressed if Africa pays particular attention to the right policies and necessary capacities”.Professor Nnadozie concluded.

The event was attended by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Economist and Former Finance Minister of Nigeria, Mr. Mohamed Beavogui, UN assistant Secretary General and Director of the African Risk Capacity, AUC Commissioners, Ministers and Representative from Member States as well as high level officials from various continental and international organisations.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Source:: AUC / ACBF roundtable discussion calls for economic resilience and strategic investment priorities for Africa’s Development

Categories: AFRICA

Japan-Zimbabwe Summit Meeting

On Monday March 28, 2016, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a summit meeting for approximately 75 minutes starting at around 18:20 with H.E. Mr. Robert Gabriel Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, who was paying an Official Working Visit to Japan.

After the summit meeting, the two leaders signed a joint statement (PDF) [Open a New Window] and with the presence of the two leaders, the Exchange of Notes between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe concerning Japanese grant assistance on the Economic and Social Development Programme on infrastructure development was signed. Following this, a joint press conference by the two leaders was held. Subsequently, Prime Minister Abe and Mrs. Abe hosted a dinner, where the two leaders had a conversation on a broad range of topics related to the bilateral relationship, including activities of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers and Japanese companies in Zimbabwe.
The overview of the summit meeting is as follows:

1. Opening remarks

(1) Prime Minister Abe welcomed the visit of President Mugabe as a senior African leader and longstanding friend of Japan and mentioned that Japan would like to make successful this year’s TICAD to be held in Africa for the first time with the attendance of President Mugabe and that he would like to further strengthen the relationship between the two countries taking the opportunity of this visit.

(2) In response, President Mugabe thanked Japan for the invitation to this visit, and mentioned that he would like to build on this visit to further enhance bilateral relations with Japan and that he is looking forward to participating in the coming TICAD in Africa, and to learning ethics and knowhow from Japan since he respects Japan’s experiences of development despite its lack of natural resources. He also mentioned that he expected Japan’s support to this end.

2. Bilateral relationship

(1) Prime Minister Abe announced his willingness to continue providing assistance to Zimbabwe following last year’s grant aid (approximately 1.8 billion yen). Specifically, he announced 1) a grant aid for infrastructure development amounting 600 million yen, 2) a implementation of a preparatory study for Zimbabwe-Zambia road improvement, and 3) a start of considerations on assistance to respond to the food shortages caused by drought. Prime Minister Abe requested President Mugabe to improve the business environment in Zimbabwe to promote trade and investment and expressed his willingness to expand people-to-people exchanges with Zimbabwe.

(2) In response, President Mugabe expressed appreciation to Japan for the above-mentioned support and past assistance from Japan such as human resource development and humanitarian aid. In addition President Mugabe explained Zimbabwe’s Indigenization Act in regard to the business environment.

3. The Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI)

(1) Prime Minister Abe once again mentioned TICAD VI to be held in Kenya in August, and explained his intention to promote Africa’s development agenda, Agenda 2063, through the TICAD process, and to demonstrate Japan’s contribution that is distinctive to Japan, such as quality infrastructure investment and human resource development and strengthening Public-Private Partnership.

(2) In response, President Mugabe stated that he would provide whatever assistance needed for the success of TICAD VI and he hoped to discuss Agenda 2063 as Africa’s own development plan at TICAD VI expecting Japan’s supports to realize the Agenda.

4. Strengthening cooperation in the international fora

The two sides shared the view to cooperate on various issues that the international community faces, including the early realization of the United Nations Security Council reform.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

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Source:: Japan-Zimbabwe Summit Meeting

Categories: AFRICA

African Ministers of Energy to discuss opportunities for power sector investment this June

Over 130 speakers to date have confirmed to attend the 18th annual Africa Energy Forum (AEF) (www.Africa-Energy-Forum.com), taking place in London this year from 22-24th June. Widely considered the meeting place for Africa’s power sector professionals to discuss opportunities for investment into the power sector, 56% of the African continent was represented at the Forum in 2015.

Recent decision-makers confirmed include Honourable John Abdulai Jinapor, Acting Minister of Power, Republic of Ghana, H.E. Honourable Spéro Mensah, Minister of Energy, Petroleum and Mining Research, Water and Renewable Energy Development, Republic of Bénin, H.E. Honourable Mamadou Frankaly Keita, Minister of Energy and Water, Republic of Mali, Nick Hurd, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development, Government of the United Kingdom, Brigadier General Emeldah Chola, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Water Development, Zambia and Karén Breytenbach, Head of IPP Projects, IPP Office, South Africa.

The agenda includes government keynote addresses, targeted industry seminars and plenary sessions, discussing topics such as how to accelerate renewable energy uptake, increase the bankability of projects, and encourage partnerships between the public and private sector. An exhibition of 80 solution providers enables attendees to network throughout the three days of the conference.

New for 2016, North and East Africa regional panel discussions will bring together the regions’ governments to discuss how they can collaborate to support cross-border power developments and energy infrastructure. More specific country-focused sessions will also explore the investment landscapes in countries such as Mozambique, Nigeria and Ghana.

Sponsor of the Forum Access Power will host the ACF competition for local clean power entrepreneurs in Africa, allowing developers to pitch their projects to a panel of specialists for the opportunity to win US$7million in prize funding.

Organisers EnergyNet will host a ‘Festival of Energy’ evening concert on the evening of 23rd June to bring together high profile bands in the UK with African musicians from across the continent. The Festival will highlight the role of commercial trade in delivering energy access to millions living beyond the grid.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of EnergyNet Ltd..

For more information about the Africa Energy Forum:

Contact: Amy Offord – Marketing Manager
Event dates: 22-24 June
Event location: London InterContinental O2
Organisers: EnergyNet Ltd
Email: AEF@energynet.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 7384 8068
Visit: www.Africa-Energy-Forum.com

Source:: African Ministers of Energy to discuss opportunities for power sector investment this June

Categories: AFRICA

UN Committee on Migrant Workers to review Mauritania, Lesotho, Senegal, Turkey

The UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families (CMW) is meeting in Geneva from 11 to 22 April to review: Mauritania (11-12 Apr); Lesotho (12-13 Apr); Senegal (13-14 Apr) and Turkey (14-15 Apr).

The above are among the 48 States Parties to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. They are required to submit regular reports to the Committee, which is composed of 14 international independent human rights experts.

The Committee will discuss a range of issues relating to the implementation of the Convention with the respective government delegations. The sessions, held in Room XII at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, begin at 15:00 to 18:00 Geneva time and resume the following day from 10:00 to 13:00.

Members will also hear from NGO representatives, national human rights institutions, UN bodies and specialised agencies. More information can be found here: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=1044&Lang=en. The Committee will publish its concluding reports here on Monday 25 April.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

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Source:: UN Committee on Migrant Workers to review Mauritania, Lesotho, Senegal, Turkey

Categories: AFRICA

Call for proposals in Ethiopia : Bilateral Programme Budget

The British Embassy’s Bilateral Programme Budget is opening a call for proposals for 2016/17.

The Bilateral Programme Budget is one of the channels through which the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) supports projects that strengthen ties with the Ethiopian government and contribute to creating lasting peace, security and democracy in Ethiopia.

Bilateral Programme Budget is designed to support implementation of small and quick impact projects that Promote democratic values, good governance and culture of open debate in Ethiopia.

The deadline for submission of applications is 10 April 2016. Early submission of proposals is highly encouraged.

Project proposals that are best fit to our strategic objective and have a potential to achieve the programme’s desired outcomes will be shortlisted and submitted to the Programme board for approval.

Only organisations whose proposals have been shortlisted will be contacted.

1. Project Period

This is a one year project proposal call. The financial year of the BPB is 01 April 2016 – 31 March 2017. All projects must be completed within this financial year. Funding of projects in the next financial year is not guaranteed.

2. Budget

The budget to be allocated to one project can fall under the following ranges.

• £10,000 – £15,000

• £15,000 – £20,00

3. Capital Goods and Administrative Costs

The Bilateral Programme Budget fund does not authorise the purchase of capital goods. Minimal percentage of administrative costs may be allowed on case by case basis.

4. Pre-payment

Pre-payment is not permissible under the UK government procurement guidelines.

Who Can Apply?

• Government Institutions

• Legally Constituted Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)

• Civil Society Organisations

• Community-based Organisations

• Universities and Research Centers

How to Submit Bids and Selection Criteria

The concept bid submitted should establish a clear and identifiable link between the activities planned and the BPB strategic objective of Promoting democratic values, good governance and culture of open debate in Ethiopia.

Proposals should be submitted on the Project form and sent to AddisAbaba.Projects@fco.gov.uk for the attention of the BPB Officer by Sunday 10 April 2016.

Bids will be assessed against the following criteria

• Potential implementers will need to comply with FCO(British Embassy) reporting requirements

• Must demonstrate sound management of risk and finances

• Project must strongly align with the BPB strategic objective indicated above

• Demonstrate the evidence of local need/demand

• Projects must present Value for Money

• Project viability, including capacity of implementing organisation(s)

• Project design, including clear, achievable outcomes

• Sustainability of the project

Successful Non-governmental organisations will be asked to submit their valid registration certificate by the Ethiopian Charities and Societies Agency at this stage.

Implementation of project will commence if/once both parties sign the FCO Grant /Commercial contract.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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Source:: Call for proposals in Ethiopia : Bilateral Programme Budget

Categories: AFRICA