Rwanda, Tanzania : IFC and WFP Collaborate to Finance Smallholder Farmers

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) are launching smallholder farmer financing programs with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to improve food security among vulnerable people in Rwanda and Tanzania.

The initiatives with KCB Bank Rwanda Limited and CRDB Bank PLC in Tanzania are part of the Farm to Market Alliance, a multi-stakeholder platform established in 2016, of which IFC and WFP are global members, to create agriculture value chains that secure sizeable local and international demand for produce from smallholder farmers. The Alliance is designed to create systemic change in markets through a holistic approach to smallholder development. This approach, which is sustainable and commercially viable, benefits individual farmers and broadens the global supply base of agricultural produce to meet increasing demand.

“Smallholder farmers produce most of the world’s food, but they form the majority of people living in poverty and often have food security challenges themselves,” said David Beasley, WFP Executive Director. “We want to help them get better access to markets so they build more demand for their products, thus making a long-term impact on the economic future for them and their families. But WFP can’t do it alone, and that’s why we are grateful for our collaboration with others through the Farm to Market Alliance.”

“Agribusiness drives many African economies and creates the most jobs on the continent,” said IFC CEO Philippe Le Houérou. “Through the Farm to Market Alliance, IFC is creating new markets—by connecting smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa directly with buyers. The result: improved productivity and higher living standards for people in rural areas.”

IFC, joined by GAFSP, will provide advisory services in the form of capacity building activities to improve the professionalism of smallholder farmer cooperatives in the area of financial management and governance as well as agronomy and input use training.

Distributed by APO on behalf of World Food Programme (WFP).

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Source:: IFC and WFP Collaborate to Finance Smallholder Farmers in Rwanda and Tanzania

Categories: AFRICA, African Environmental Issues, Rwanda, Tanzania | Tags:

South Africa : Mpumalanga Ray Phiri musical theatre proposal

ANC presidential candidate urges Mpumalanga Ray Phiri musical theatre

FORMER Mpumalanga premier and Africa National Congress (ANC) Presidential candidate Mattews Phosa has urged the government of his province to build a musical theatre in honour of late jazz maestro Ray Phiri, who died last week.

The late musician has already been accorded a provincial funeral and will be buried in Mpumalanga this weekend.

Phosa, who was the first Premier of Mpumalanga, from 1994 to 1999, said the Ray Phiri musical theatre is worth an investment by the government.

He said: “During my time as the Premier of Mpumalanga, there was a discussion to build a Musical theatre, which I still believe that the Mpumalanga government should do that in the honour of this giant.”

Phosa, a freedom fighter, one of the first four members of the ANC to enter South Africa from exile in 1990 in order to start the process of the negotiations with the National Party government, said Phiri played a significant role in liberating South Africa.

“It was in the dark days of our struggle as commanders and freedom fighters, we could draw inspiration from Ray and Stimela through their music. As it gave us hope and courage to continue with the fight for the struggle of our people and the country,” said Phosa.

He urged young South Africans to draw lessons from the late jazz musician.

Phosa said: “The lessons we need to learn from the life of this great legend is for us to rally our young people behind the art, education and technology……….. our young people cannot afford to be disenfranchised when they grow up with such rich legacies left by the great legends like Ray Phiri.”

The ANC has also paid tribute to the musician saying: “Ray was able to use his music to contribute in the struggle for liberation of this country, together with his group Stimela they had many of their songs banned by the apartheid regime; Ray Phiri holds the order of the Ikhamanga in Silver for his excellent achievement in the field of music and contribution to the struggle against apartheid.”

Ray Phiri will be buried in his home province on Saturday.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Mathews Phosa.

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Source:: ANC presidential candidate urges Mpumalanga Ray Phiri musical theatre

Categories: AFRICA, African Culture, South Africa | Tags: ,

Innovation Prize for Africa 2017

Three outstanding African innovations walk away with Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2017 total cash prize of US$150 000

The sixth edition of the coveted Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) (http://InnovationPrizeForAfrica.org) culminated with a bang as the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) (www.AfricanInnovation.org) awarded three more African innovators for their incredible innovations. Out of the total of over 2500 applications, 10 nominees were selected, and from these Aly El-Shafei of Egypt emerged as the Grand Prize winner, with Philippa Ngaju Makobore of Uganda landing the Second Prize, and Dougbeh-Chris Nyan of Liberia winning the Special Prize for Social Impact. Each one of the seven remaining nominees also went home with US$ 5 000 voucher to be used to further develop their innovations. Moreover, all nominees and winners will benefit from IPA post prize activities aiming at moving their innovations to the next level.

The main obstacle in increasing electricity generation capacity in Africa continues to be the high cost of producing electricity, which is forcing governments to subsidize consumption. Dr. El-Shafei’s innovation, Smart Electro-Mechanical Actuator Journal Integrated Bearing (SEMAJIB), is a world-class solution that supports energy generating turbines and can be used to improve efficiency and reduce costs of generating energy in Africa.

Meanwhile, inadequate medical solutions to efficiently administer drugs or to diagnose diseases continue to affect the quality of healthcare delivery in many parts of the continent. Makobore’s invention, known as Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set (ECGF) and Dr. Nyan’s multiple disease rapid detection test, both offer ingenious solutions aimed at raising the quality of healthcare provision in Africa.

AIF collaborated with the Government of Ghana, represented by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) and Ghana@60 Planning Committee to host IPA 2017, which was themed ‘African Innovation: Investing in Prosperity’. H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of Ghana, presided over the prestigious awards ceremony, held at Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra in Ghana.

AIF Founder, Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, Founder, African Innovation Foundation, commented, “This edition of IPA has been all about galvanizing support for African innovators in order to mobilize increased investments to help them commercialize and scale their innovations at a greater rate. AIF has rewarded IPA 2017 for developing solutions that can truly add value to the lives of Africans, and I believe that these innovations have incredible commercial potential and will succeed in attracting the right investments to go to the next stage.”

IPA 2017 Chairman of the Jury, Prof Nyasse Barthelemy said that the deliberation was tough as the quality of innovations were high. “Each of the innovations, in their own respective ways, were winners as they represented local solutions to local challenges. It came down to the wire but we believe we have awarded the most compelling innovations this year. We look forward to seeing what comes next for the incredible innovations from IPA2017 innovators and wish them the very best”.

The patented innovation, SEMAJIB), by Dr. El-Shafei who walked away with the Grand Prize of US$ 100 000, is a smart bearing that significantly improves turbine performance in single line combined cycle plants as well as conventional generator technology. Patented in the US since 2010 with another patent pending, the device is designed to be used to support energy generating turbines more efficiently and cost effectively in Africa. SEMAJIB is an innovation that does not currently exist in the West, and already Siemens’ has indicated interest in the device. A world class innovation originating from Africa, SEMAJIB reverse Africa’s image as a technology consumer to technology producer. Production of these bearings in Africa will also generate jobs and increased revenue for Africa.

Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set (ECFG) by Philippa, who bagged the Second Prize of US$ 25 000, is designed to accurately administer intravenous (IV) fluids and drugs by controlling the rate of fluid flow based on feedback from a drop sensor. It is easy to operate and has key safety features, which include alarms for rate of infusion (rapid or slow), total volume (over or under) and faulty sensors. A battery utilizing a hybrid (AC mains and solar) charging bed powers the device. IV infusions are critical for both adults and children in various situations. Over 10% of children admitted to East African hospitals need immediate infusion therapy. Findings from the FEAST trial indicates that over-infusion in children increased the absolute risk of death by 3.3 % at 48 hours. Erroneous delivery rates can result into serious adverse effects. The ECGF has the potential to save lives by providing accuracy and safety at 8% the cost of a brand new infusion pump.

Dr. Dougbeh, who was awarded the Special Prize for Social Impact of US$25 000, developed a rapid test that can detect and simultaneously differentiate at least three to seven infections at the same time. His diagnostic test is fast and easy to use in any setting and is able to detect and distinguish multiple infections which bear the same symptoms for instance, when a patient has yellow fever, malaria, and Ebola. Whereas most testing methods take three to seven days, this device gives test results in ten to forty minutes. Dougbeh is currently working on the second prototype of his innovation after obtaining positive results from his first prototype. The results have been validated with human clinical samples, peer-reviewed and published in several respected scientific journals such as ‘Nature-Scientific Reports’. His innovation has the potential of being a game changer in the continent in the detection and management of infectious diseases for quality patient-care.

Speaking at the Awards ceremony, H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of Ghana, commented, “As Ghana marks 60 years of independence, there is no opportune time than now to reiterate our nation’s commitment towards investing in innovation-led growth and prosperity. Our decision to partner with the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) to host the 2017 edition of the Innovation Prize for Africa is a result of our commitment to support African innovation not just at a national but at a Pan-African level. Platforms such as IPA are vital for building stronger synergies amongst key Science Technology and Innovation influencers and stakeholders in Ghana whilst expanding linkages with international partners to promote STI development capacity building, knowledge transfer and forge new partnerships with regional innovation leaders and expand our nation’s innovation footprint.”

The 2017 awards welcomed hundreds of entries from outstanding innovators. For the first time, IPA nominees include innovators from Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Zimbabwe, and featured a stronger presence of women that in any of the years past. The exceptional quality of entrants, finalists and winners delighted this year’s judges and made for a thrilling awards celebration night.

IPA has seen tremendous growth in applications and increasing interest from both innovators and innovation enablers over the years. To date, IPA has attracted more than 7 500 innovators from 52 African countries, making it a truly Pan African initiative. IPA 2017 edition witnessed a record number of entries from over 2 500 innovators across 48 African countries. The Foundation has supported past winners and nominees with approximately US$ 1 million to move their innovations forward. Due to exposure generated by IPA, past winners have gone on to secure over US$30 million in investments to grow and scale their businesses.

Distributed by APO on behalf of African Innovation Foundation (AIF).

For any media queries, please contact:
For the African Innovation Foundation

Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl
African Innovation Foundation
P.Mujawamariya@AfricanInnovation.org
+41 44 515 5460

Djembe Communications
International media queries:
Kiran Makhija
Kiran.Makhija@DjembeCommunications.com
+971 (0) 4 559 3106

Ghana media queries:
Toyin Dania / Lambert Akwa
Toyin.Dania@DjembeCommunications.com/ Lambert@TheOneEvent.com
+233 (0) 302 798910
+233 (0) 263 699195 / +233 (0) 577 683269

For the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation
Nasir Ahmad Yartey
Head, Public Relations (MESTI)
NasirAhmadYartey@gmail.com
+ 233 (0) 244 501 808

Find us on:
African Innovation Foundation
The Internet: www.AfricanInnovation.org
Twitter: @AfrInnoFdn
Facebook: @AfricanInnovationFoundation
Innovation Prize for Africa
The Internet: http://InnovationPrizeForAfrica.org
Twitter: @IPAPrize
Facebook: @InnovationPrizeForAfrica

About the African Innovation Foundation (AIF)
AIF works to increase the prosperity of Africans by catalysing the innovation spirit in Africa.

About the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA)
IPA is a landmark initiative of the AIF and 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.
IPA has been successfully celebrated in African major capitals representing African regions: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2012), Cape Town, South Africa (2013), Abuja, Nigeria (2014), Skhirat, Morocco (2015) and more recently in Gaborone, Botswana (2016).
Besides a host of exciting side events and brand new initiatives for Africa by Africans, IPA 2017 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 our vibrant network of innovation enablers, ongoing PR support and media coverage

Source:: Three outstanding African innovations walk away with Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2017 total cash prize of US$150 000

Categories: AFRICA, African Economics | Tags: , ,

Zambia : Young Agripreneurs Forum

Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions’ (SACAU) Young Agripreneurs Forum gets the inside track on mechanization and agriculture at AGCO Future Farm, Zambia

AGCO (www.AGCOcorp.com), Your Agriculture Company (NYSE:AGCO), a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment and solutions, welcomed delegates from 11 countries attending the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions’ (SACAU) Young Agripreneurs Forum to its Future Farm in Zambia for an in-depth three-day programme covering farm mechanization and the business of agriculture.

SACAU is committed to a transformative agenda for agricultural development which is growth-oriented and enterprise-development focused. A key emphasis is working with young farmers and, since 2014, SACAU has run an annual regional young farmers’ forum. The aim of the forums is to create a positive image for agriculture among the next generation and develop role models from within the sector.

While with AGCO, the young agripreneurs spent time in the classroom, workshop and on the farm. Among the topics covered were the role of mechanization in primary production, how technology is changing the face of farming, plus business and entrepreneurship skills.

Delegates were able to get familiar with AGCO’s leading brands of agricultural machinery including Challenger, Fendt, Massey and Valtra, together with the Company’s products and services aimed specifically at supporting African agriculture. A highlight was practical, hands-on experience with the range of Massey Ferguson equipment which includes tractors, harvesting machinery, hay & forage tools, implements and materials handlers.

The AGCO Future farm is based just outside Lusaka. A 150ha working farm, it demonstrates the value of mechanisation, technology systems and best agronomic practices through real-life experience. It is a centre for developing leading-edge agriculture for Africa.

“We were delighted to host the Youth Forum at our AGCO Future Farm,” says Nuradin Osman, AGCO Vice President and General Manager Africa. “This is exactly the kind of educational role the farm was set up for. Now more than ever, it is vital to encourage the new generation of farmers in Africa who are crucial to the future and advancement of agriculture. Mechanisation and technology touch farmers no matter where they are in terms of development. It applies to those who are just starting to mechanize for the first time, to professional agribusiness seeking to raise their game and to entrepreneurs wanting to develop farmer services like mechanized contracting.”

Ishmael Sunga, CEO of SACAU commented: “Young people are setting a new pace in driving agricultural transformation in Africa. The young champions that we work with really are leaders in their communities, challenging the negative public perceptions about farming and showing that agriculture is a dynamic and, most importantly, a profitable career to pursue.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of AGCO Corporation.

Contacts:
Shlobi Maluleke
Manager, Marketing and Communications Africa
Tel: +27 11 230 8606
Cell: +27 82 040 7543
Email: Shlobi.Maluleke@AGCOcorp.com

About AGCO:
AGCO (NYSE: AGCO) is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural solutions and supports more productive farming through its full line of equipment and related services. AGCO products are sold through five core brands, Challenger®, Fendt®, GSI®, Massey Ferguson® and Valtra®, supported by Fuse® precision technologies and farm optimization services, and are distributed globally through a combination of approximately 3,000 independent dealers and distributors in more than 140 countries. Founded in 1990, AGCO is headquartered in Duluth, GA, USA. In 2016, AGCO had net sales of $7.4 billion. For more information, visit www.AGCOcorp.com. For company news, information and events, please follow us on Twitter: @AGCOCorp. For financial news on Twitter, please follow the hashtag #AGCOIR.

Source:: Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions’ (SACAU) Young Agripreneurs Forum gets the inside track on mechanization and agriculture at AGCO Future Farm, Zambia

Categories: AFRICA, Zambia | Tags: ,