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The Process of Unification and Further Developments

There is the continued discoveries related to “unification.” There should be efforts to continue to place together what some aren’t understanding as “Grouped Unifying.” There’s the selected, the chosen, and the administered. There are some unwilling to accept There are some unwilling to accept that the process towards building a more unified class of society is necessary. Yes there will be some continuing to try and invade what is surely going to occur. They’re unaware of the many efforts projected in order to establish the most excellence. The persons allowed to proceed on the journey are certainly gifted individuals. They’re confident enough to allow what can create more stability.

The ones trying to hinder the process towards unification aren’t doing themselves any favors. They’re placing themselves in troubled waters. “The ability to continue to seek and discover the necessary avenues is truly a blessing.” By: Tanikka Paulk. No matter how many times the individuals try to cause disruption there will be movements occurring. Why? God has already ordained it to be so. That’s right. What they’ve tried to do hasn’t brought the solutions they’ve been “searching” for. The unifying needs to occur and the ones who were on the journey before aren’t receiving their invitation to continue to travel because of the efforts to sabotage.

I’ve tried to remain patient and I’ve learned to deal with such beings properly. Yes, there were times when it appeared as if there would be a blowing of the roof top. God has allowed that there be continuation of the process towards unification and amen to that. The competitors aren’t providing their own glory. They’re continuing to think that trying to disconnect the “building up” will allow their accomplishments to flourish. There will continue to be movements in the direction which will offer the best methods possible. Some may not agree with what is to take place.

There are many intimidated by what has occurred and shall occur. They’re not in tuned with the spiritual level and perhaps the reason why is that some aren’t “spiritually” connected. Their focus seems to be more on disconnecting instead or connecting and reconnecting. If they’re trying to sabotage then they shouldn’t be invited. When there was a decision to add the individuals they’ve chosen to cause disruptions and disorder so therefore there is no need to ask the persons along.

There shall be focus on the areas which will pull together the greats. There are more than one and the determined ones will demonstrate that they’re “qualified” to continue on this=tanikka paulk that=tanikka paulk journey. What the competition will do no person has control over. The best thing to do is to proceed confidently. The materials available to assist with further developments are provided for People. There’s more where some eyes haven;t looked. “Where will be the dropping off?” (Tanikka Paulk> There are so many wanting to know.

this is also that=Tanikka Paulk

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Groundbreaking of 614km Ajaokuta-Kano gas pipeline project soon – NNPC
Groundbreaking of 614km Ajaokuta-Kano gas pipeline project soon - NNPC

 The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said arrangements are being concluded for the historic groundbreaking of the 40 inches x 614 kilomertre Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline and stations in the weeks ahead.

NNPC said following last week’s signing of contract agreements for the engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning and financing for Lots 1&3 of the over $2.8bn trans-Nigeria gas pipeline project, measures had been activated for the flag off of what has been described as the single biggest gas pipeline project in the history of oil and gas operation in Nigeria.

The Group General Manager, Public Affairs, NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, said upon completion, 24 months from now, the AKK gas pipeline would enable connectivity between the East, West and North, which was currently non-existent, and that it would also enable gas supply and utilisation to key commercial centres in the northern corridor with the attendant positive spin-off on power generation and industrial growth.

Providing details of the contract awarded to a consortium of indigenous and Chinese companies under a 100 per cent contractor financing model, the NNPC said Lot 1, with total length of 40 inches x 200km stretching from Ajaokuta to Abuja Terminal Gas Station awarded to the OilServe/Oando Consortium, had a contract value of about $855m.

Lot 2, which contract agreement is yet to be executed, covers 40 inches x 193km, stretching from Abuja to Kaduna with contract value of about $835m.

NNPC said Lot 3 which ran from Kaduna Terminal Gas Station (TGS) to Kano TGS with total length of 40 inches x 221km was awarded to Brentex/China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (CPP) Consortium under a contract value of about $1.2bn.

The above brings the total value of the entire project to over $2.8bn as approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at its 46th meeting on December 13, 2017.

For a long time NNPC had activated aggressive gas reforms and implementation drive requiring accelerated implementation of gas pipeline infrastructure development with specific focus on critical pipeline infrastructure to power plants and industries.

Between 2010 and now, almost 500km of pipelines had been completed, commissioned and now are delivering gas. Some of the completed pipelines are Oben-Geregu (196km), Escravos-Warri-Oben (110km), Emuren-Itoki (50km), Itoki-Olorunshogo (31km), Imo River-Alaoji (24km) and Ukanafun-Calabar pipeline (128km).

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BRD, saving coops ink deals to accelerate rural electrification

Citizens and small businesses from different parts of the country working with community Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) will soon be able to access affordable finance to purchase solar energy equipment.

This follows agreements entered between Rwanda Development Bank (BRD) and different SACCOs clinched at the bank’s headquarters in Kigali yesterday.

During the event, the bank signed a subsidiary financing agreement with eight heads of SACCOs, which will see their clients access affordable finance to acquire off-grid energy equipment.

According to Eric Rutabana, the chief executive officer of BRD, the agreement is part of the Rwanda Renewable Energy Fund, worth $48.94 million, aimed at supporting extension of off-grid energy solutions to different parts of the country.

“This is a government and World Bank project rolled out through Rwanda Development Bank. The project is facilitating financial institutions to avail affordable finance to their clients to enable them get access to energy,” he said.

Rutabana told the media yesterday that the agreement entered between the bank and the SACCOs will see the eight SACCOs get up to $25,000 funding (Rwf21.2 million) during the first phase, and that those that will better utilise the financing stand a chance to get another.

“We are giving them $25,000, which, if put to good use, can easily attract another round of finance from the Fund. We will be signing another agreement with 22 other SACCOs in the coming days,” he said.

The loan given to the SACCOs will carry an interest of 5 per cent, but bank officials did not specify within which period it is expected to be paid back. They also highlighted that SACCOs would set their own interest when lending to their clients.

Those that inked deals with BRD include Girubukire SACCO Buyoga, Imbarutso SACCO Musenyi, Rebakure SACCO Rusarabuye, Terimbere SACCO Bwira, Rebakure SACCO Coko, COOPEC Ubumwe Nyakariro, Isunge SACCO Ngarama, and Uruyange SACCO Rukoma.

All are from the districts of Rulindo, Bugesera, Burera, Ngororero, Gakenke, Rwamagana, Gatsibo and Kamonyi.

Isidore Karasi, the president of Girubukire SACCO Buyoga in Rulindo District, told The New Times that they are hopeful that the money will help some of their clients, especially those living in areas with no electricity.

“We are happy to partner with BRD to acquire affordable finance, and we think it will help the people who we work with in our sector, mostly those who don’t have access to energy,” he said, adding that it is a small amount of money which could be spent in a short time.

In general, the Renewable Energy Fund targets to benefit up to 445,000 households (1.8 million people) in the next seven years, helping the Government to achieve its targets of providing access to the entire population by 2024.

The agreements with SACCOs come few days after BRD signed another agreement with commercial banks, including Bank of Kigali, KCB Bank Rwanda, Access Bank and I&M Bank.

The multimillion dollar funding agreement seeks to enable SACCOs, commercial and micro-finance institutions finance off-grid energy, which, according to the current national strategy, is meant to account for about 48 per cent of national energy provision.

Rutabana said the project ultimately targets rural areas that have very low energy access rates.

Some districts like Nyaruguru, Nyamagabe, Gakenke, Gisagara, and Gicumbi have less than 10 per cent energy access. Officials said they would benefit from the initiative.

At the moment, about 42 per cent of Rwanda’s population has access to power, both on-grid and off-grid solutions.

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African Development Bank undertakes High Power Sector mission in Nigeria

Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, receives African Development Bank Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth, Amadou Hott, and other African Development Bank Senior Managers in his Office to discuss Nigeria’s Power Sector Recovery Program (PSRP), State House Abuja.

The African Development Bank has undertaken a mission to hold further discussions on Nigeria’s Power Sector Recovery Program (PSRP) with several stakeholders in Abuja, the country’s capital, from March 14-16, 2018. The high-level mission was led by Amadou Hott, the Bank’s Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth.

The Bank will focus on supporting the program in three primary areas including operational and technical intervention, addressing governance issues and policy-based support. The program is designed to promote energy access to rural communities, through the expansion of the transmission grid, development of innovative financing products and provision of technical assistance to improve revenue generation by the distribution companies.

The goal of the mission was to identify opportunities for collaboration in the program. It included meetings with relevant Ministries, departments and agencies to harmonize plans and areas of intervention, including the Federal Ministries of Finance, Power, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, the Transmission Company of Nigeria, the World Bank and solar power developers.

The African Development Bank’s energy strategy identifies energy as crucial not only for the attainment of health and education outcomes, but also for industrialization, reducing the cost of doing business and for unlocking economic potential and creating jobs. In line with its High 5 development priorities, the Bank is committed to supporting Nigeria in the effective and efficient implementation of the country’s Power Sector Recovery Program.

Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, has said that “Africa is simply tired of being in the dark. It is time to take decisive action and turn around this narrative: to light up and power Africa – and accelerate the pace of economic transformation, unlock the potential of businesses, and drive much-needed industrialization to create jobs.”

Agriculture Fast Track Fund to launch 12 new projects in support of agribusiness SMEs in six African countries

The African Development Bank will launch 12 new projects funded by the Agriculture Fast Track Fund (AFT) on March 27-29, 2018 to support agribusiness SMEs in Ghana and five other countries – Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique and Nigeria

The Agriculture Fast Track Fund is managed by the African Development Bank to support the development of a strong pipeline of “bankable” agriculture infrastructure projects, funded by the governments of the United States, Denmark and Sweden, in support of project preparation activities to facilitate the takeoff of African small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The AFT finances the project development cost of a broad range of agriculture infrastructure spanning the entire value chain, from production to market. Target projects range from rural feeder roads to agro-processing and marketing facilities, and outgrower schemes. Emphasis are on projects that contribute to food security and support to smallholder farmers.

The projects are being implemented in 10 eligible regional member countries of the Bank – Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania.

AfDB appoints Dibba-Wadda new Director of Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced the appointment of Ms. Oley Lucretia Clara Dibba-Wadda as Director of Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development with effect from July 1, 2017.

A citizen of the Republic of The Gambia, Ms. Dibba-Wadda is a social development executive and strategic analyst with over 20 years of leadership and management experience. She is an expert in African and international policies on education, gender equality and youth development.

“Oley is a well-respected leader in the field of education and her leadership has been inspiring in mobilizing African decision makers to focus on human capital and youth development on the continent. Her extensive experience, passion and commitment to the education of girls and skills development for the youths, will help advance the Bank’s focus on building Africa’s workforce of the future and creating jobs for the youths,” said Akinwumi Adesina, President of AfDB

Before her appointment, she was the Executive Secretary of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) – a pan-African Institution (hosted by the African Development Bank). She had earlier worked as the Executive Director of the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), a pan-African organization for promoting the education of girls across sub-Saharan Africa. She had also worked as the Executive Director of Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) – an Africa-wide organization on women, peace and security in Africa.

Ms. Dibba-Wadda has held several other management and advisory roles in various international development agencies, including Oxfam, Great Britain, the Commonwealth Education Fund and Concern Universal. She is a Global Ambassador for 10X10 and Concern Universal and chairs and sits on several Advisory Boards and Committees.

A certified life coach, Ms. Dibba-Wadda has over the past 19 years been providing coaching and mentoring support on emotional life skills to several youths across the African continent. She is the founder of the Gam Africa Institute for Leadership (GAIL) in The Gambia and a strong advocate and champion for youth development in Africa.

In recognition of her exemplary contribution towards human development, she was awarded the “Inspiring Woman of Excellence” in 2012 and the “African Woman Leadership” in 2013. She was one of the nominees for the “2017 New African Woman in Education.”

She holds a Master’s degree in Gender Analysis in Development from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom and a Diploma in Gender and Developmen

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African Development Bank approves a US $50-million Risk Participation Agreement for Commerzbank AG to address Africa’s trade finance market demand

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a US $50-million unfunded Risk Participation Agreement for Commerzbank AG (Commerzbank). The Risk Participation will leverage Commerzbank support to African issuing banks seeking to expand their trade finance operations.

The facility will help address trade finance market demand in key economic sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing. It will also foster financial sector development, regional integration and boost government revenue generation.

Stefan Nalletamby, the Bank’s Financial Sector Development Director, said, “Commerzbank is a strategic partner for implementing the Bank’s development mandate. This intervention will improve market access by African issuing banks, corporates and SMEs.”

Most African banks are small and struggle to obtain adequate trade finance facilities from international confirming banks to support African importers and exporters. The African Development Bank’s additionality lies in the use of its “AAA” credit rating to provide comfort to Commerzbank to increase its trade finance exposure to local African banks.

The portfolio of trade transactions supported will represent various economic sectors. The facility is thus well aligned with the Bank’s strategic priorities – the “High 5s” that are aimed at transforming Africa.

The Risk Participation Agreement will run for three years as a 50/50 risk sharing arrangement. Counting rollovers, it is expected that the facility will support approximately US $700 million of trade in Africa over the period.

This will be the African Development Bank’s second Risk Participation Agreement with Commerzbank, a major player in the global trade finance market with a significant Africa footprint.

Technical contact: Mohamed Aloui, Senior Investment Officer

La Banque africaine de développement octroie 11,23 millions USD à Madagascar : énergie, agriculture et lutte contre la peste

La Banque africaine de développement octroie 11,23 millions USD à Madagascar : énergie, agriculture et lutte contre la peste

Le gouvernement de Madagascar et le Groupe de la Banque africaine de développement (BAD) ont signé, le 30 mars 2018 à Antananarivo, cinq accords de financement de projets d’un montant d’environ 11,23 millions USD.

Les deux premiers accords ont porté sur le financement du Programme de promotion de l’entreprenariat des jeunes (projet 1), d’un montant de 7,23 millions USD, dont 6,23 millions USD en don et 1 million USD en prêt. Ce projet 1 vise la formation et le financement de 410 jeunes dont 50% de femmes, pour devenir des chefs d’entreprise intégrant les chaînes de valeurs agricoles et agro-industrielles.

Deux autres accords de financement d’environ 3 millions USD ont également été signés au cours de la cérémonie, pour la préparation des projets à financer en 2019. Il s’agit de l’étude du projet de renforcement et d’interconnexion des réseaux de transport d’énergie électrique à Madagascar (PRIRTEM). Cette étude permettra de préparer le grand projet de construction de la ligne de transport Tamatave – Antananarivo associé aux travaux de renforcement du réseau de distribution d’Antananarivo. La deuxième étude porte sur la préparation du Projet de Pôle intégré de croissance agroindustrielle dans le Sud (PICAS).

Le dernier accord concerne un don d’urgence d’un million USD afin de soutenir les efforts du pays dans la lutte contre la résurgence de l’épidémie de la peste à Madagascar. Les ressources de ce don seront administrées par l’OMS et serviront entre autres à l’acquisition d’équipements et d’intrants médicaux et à la mise en place d’un système de surveillance renforcée.

Signant pour le gouvernement malgache, la Ministre des finances et du budget, Vonintsalama Sehenosoa Andriambololona, s’est félicité des bonnes relations entre la BAD et son pays, estimant que les financements dans les secteurs de l’énergie et de l’agriculture contribueront à ’accélérer la transformation des chaines de valeurs agricoles, l’industrialisation et la création d’emplois salariés formels. Ils contribueront également à satisfaire les besoins fondamentaux en matière de santé des populations.  Le développement de compétences et l’accompagnement des petites et moyennes entreprises feront également parties des activités.

Cosignant pour la Banque, le Responsable-Pays, Mohamed Chérif a souligné la pertinence des accords.  «Il s’agit pour la BAD, de concrétiser la mise en œuvre du document de stratégie pays 2017-2021, ayant comme objectif de soutenir les efforts de Madagascar en accordant une plus grande attention à l’élimination des contraintes structurelles qui empêchent le pays de s’engager sur une trajectoire de croissance économique forte et partagée, axée sur la transformation structurelle et la création d’emplois à plus forte valeur ajoutée. »

Le Responsable-pays a rappelé que le Conseil d’administration du Groupe de la BAD a approuvé, le 22 novembre 2017 à Abidjan, en Côte d’Ivoire, le Document de stratégie pays (DSP) de Madagascar, qui vise le développement des infrastructures d’énergie et de transports pour soutenir la croissance inclusive et le soutien à la transformation de l’agriculture et au développement de l’industrie. Ainsi, les cinq (5) accords de financement signés s’inscrivent en droite ligne de cette stratégie d’intervention, convenue avec le Gouvernement de Madagascar, en soutien au Plan national de développement (PND) 2015-2019.

La Banque a commencé ses opérations à Madagascar en 1977, et à la date du 31 décembre 2017, elle a approuvé au total 89 opérations, principalement dans les secteurs des transports, de l’industrie, de finances et de l’agriculture, pour un montant cumulé de 1,3 milliards UC / 1,88 milliards USD. Le portefeuille actuel de la Banque dans le pays comprend quatorze (14) opérations pour un total de 185,14 millions d’UC. Il couvre trois grands secteurs essentiellement (Fig. 1) : l’agriculture (54,71%), les transports (31,44%) et la gouvernance (11,61%).

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Visiting Swiss delegation underscores African Development Bank’s crucial role in Africa’s development

“Switzerland recognises the African Development Bank’s crucial role and appreciates its commitment to Africa’s development.” – Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, Federal Councillor and former President of the Swiss Confederation

Visiting Swiss delegation underscores African Development Bank’s crucial role in Africa’s development

The tranquillity usually felt in Abidjan’s business district on the weekend was broken on the morning of Saturday, March 24, 2018 by a frenzy of activity around the headquarters of the African Development Bank.

A convoy of cars and minibuses pulled up outside the Bank’s main entrance. A 50-member economic and scientific delegation made up of parliamentarians, ministry officials, managers of leading Swiss companies and heads of academic institutions, led by

Johann Schneider-Ammann, Federal Councillor, Minister of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, and former President of the Swiss Confederation, made an official visit to the Bank.

The Bank’s Senior Vice-President, Charles Boamah, and Catherine Cudré-Mauroux, Executive Director for Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg and Portugal, welcomed the guests at the steps to the main entrance. They were joined by Pierre Guislain, Vice-President for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialisation, and Jennifer Blanke, Vice-President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development. The Bank’s team also included Stella Kilonzo, Senior Director of the Bank’s new landmark investment marketplace, the Africa Investment Forum – the first edition of which will be held in Johannesburg in November 2018 – Désiré Vencatachellum, Director of Resource Mobilisation and Partnerships; Abdu Mukhtar, Director of Industrial and Trade Development; Oley Dibba-Wadda, Director of Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development; Éric Jean Yoboué, Principal Specialist in Acquisition Policies; and Hervé Neffo, Principal Officer in Resource Mobilisation and Partnerships.

The boardroom, decorated with flags of the 54 regional and 26 non-regional members of the Bank, served as the venue of the meeting with the Swiss delegates, who took their places around the large table, where the most important decisions are made.

“I’m delighted to be with you”

After signing the visitors’ book, Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann opened the meeting, saying that it was a pleasure to be in Abidjan, the “fascinating capital of Côte d’Ivoire”, and to visit the African Development Bank, whose “essential role for Africa’s development is recognised by Switzerland” and whose “commitment is appreciated.”

Welcoming the visitors, Senior Vice-President Charles Boamah gave an overview of the Bank Group: the three institutions that make up its structure (the African Development Fund, the Nigeria Trust Fund and the African Development Bank itself), its mandate exclusively for Africa, its capital and member states – regional and non-regional like Switzerland – as well as the High 5 priorities established by President Akinwumi Adesina. “Africa’s needs are varied and we are here to meet them; not only in terms of loans, but also knowledge and expertise,” said Boamah, citing, for example, the lack of infrastructure (which reduces the continent’s GDP by 2%), youth unemployment and limited access to financing (only 23% of Africans have access to formal banking services). He also stressed the importance of partnerships with both governments and the private sector as well as research institutions to tackle the widespread challenges faced by Africa.

To illustrate the scale of these challenges and the Bank’s achievements, a video, which presented Africa’s development needs through the High 5s was shown on large screens.

Two other Vice-Presidents then provided further details about the Bank’s operations across the continent, each in their area of expertise and mandate: Pierre Guislain for the private sector, infrastructure and industrialisation, and Jennifer Blanke for agriculture and human capital development in Africa. The Directors completed the picture by presenting the results of several projects implemented by the Bank (the Noor solar plant in Ouarzazate, Morocco; cement works in Ethiopia, among others), and some of its major initiatives – the New Deal on Energy for Africa, Jobs for Youth in Africa, the Africa STI Forum to boost science, technology and innovation.

The Bank and Switzerland working together on Africa’s development priorities

“What I have seen during my visit to Africa is truly remarkable,” Federal Councillor Schneider-Amman, said, noting that his delegation had previously visited Nigeria, “the birthplace of President Adesina.” He then touched on all the “African Development Bank’s priority themes that make up its expertise”: youth and Africa’s huge workforce, creating the enabling environment to attract private investments, measures to accompany rapid urbanisation, as well as needs around regional integration emphasising both the benefits and challenges they represent. “As a Federal Councillor, I know that we must not forget rural areas and agriculture,” he added, before asking the question: “How can we make the most of this potential so that it becomes a reality?” He concluded his remarks by expressing his concern about the growing number of African countries with crippling debt or on the verge of over-indebtedness, which today stands at 14.

The meeting ended with a question-and-answer session involving the large number of representatives from the Swiss private sector, moderated by Catherine Cudré-Mauroux, who expertly and cheerfully performed her role throughout the meeting.

De-risking instruments, guarantees, co-financing, procurements, knowledge-sharing are all ways for private entities to form partnerships with the Bank. The flood of questions was an indication of the high level of interest among private-sector representatives in the delegation.

The visit ended with a group photograph on the steps in front of the main entrance to the Bank’s headquarters

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Africa’s premier investment marketplace to accelerate continent’s economic transformation

Africa’s premier investment marketplace to accelerate continent’s economic transformation

To help Africa find the path to its long-deserved economic fortune, the African Development Bank is championing the region’s premier investment market.

The Bank is providing collaborative leadership for a new 100% transactional initiative – the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) – which provides Africa’s best opportunity so far to encourage accelerated economic transformation.

The African Development Bank is working with the world’s leading financial institutions to de-risk investment through the platform and make it a springboard for Africa’s economic transformation.

The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, told key Government and private sector leaders at a breakfast session on the sidelines of the 2018 Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan on March 27, 2018, that the AIF would be exclusively about transactions and investment deals.

“This is not a talk shop. There will be no political speeches. It provides an open platform to organise efforts among multilateral institutions, governments and private sector to improve a pipeline of projects capable of transforming the continent,” he said.

The first Africa Investment Forum will be held from November 7-9, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. It will then be held yearly to enable and facilitate interactions to broker and accelerate deals, for candid discussions with policy-makers to shape the business and regulatory environment, as well as to track the implementation of commitments.

Adesina noted that the cost of doing business in Africa is improving.

“Last year, and the year before, at least 30% of all the business and regulatory reforms that were done globally were not done in Asia. They were not in Latin America. They were done in Africa. If you look at what is happening in terms of foreign direct investments coming to Africa, it continues to rise. Why are they rising? This is because of the greater political stability that is found on the continent,” he said. “So there is a lot of optimism about our continent and in fact there is a discussion among our leaders towards an Africa beyond aid.”

He highlighted Africa’s human and material resources, stressing how they could be harnessed to make Africa the powerhouse of the world. “I think that the sovereign wealth of Africa is actually not being invested in Africa. It is being invested outside of Africa. And if Africa doesn’t invest enough, then who is going to invest? One of the reasons this happens is because people have a perception of risk. But the issue is not risk. It is about how you manage risk.”

On the AIF platform are the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, among others, who are working with the African Development Bank to set up a “mutualized co-guarantee platform” to de-risk investments.

“We also have those that are working on pipelines – Africa50 and others – that are very actively involved in this,” Adesina said.

Ghana’s Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, stressed that the bond market should be a strong part of the new move to mobilize resources for Africa’s economic transformation and lauded the idea of the African Development Bank and partners coming together through AIF to de-risk investment.

“The reality for the world is that Africa has to be, and will be, the best place to invest in future. What do we do for ourselves so that we unlock our own potential for investments? I think the emphasis now is on increasing infrastructure so that we open up the continent for investment opportunities to be properly exploited,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of one Africa’s largest distributor of consumer goods, Massmart, Kuseni Dlamini, called attention to the need for Africa to move from risk to opportunities and to take advantage of the many investment opportunities presented on the continent.

“The time to talk transaction is indeed now. I think that Africa has a lot to offer and we need to take advantage of opportunities,” he said.

Tigui Camara, Chief Executive Officer of Tigui Mining Company, said she was delighted that the African Development Bank was leading the investment initiative and called for more support for women in the informal sector.

Alain Ebobissé, the Chief Executive Officer of Africa50 – the Pan-African infrastructure investment platform – called on African Governments to create the right environment to attract investors to the continent.

The breakfast session was well attended by top Government officials, industry leaders and financial institutions, including the President of African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank), Dr. Benedict Okey Oramah.

The Africa Investment Forum will focus on improving the ease of doing business in Africa by advancing and promoting investment-friendly regulation. It will also champion ethical business practices in Africa

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ACCF Secretariat and experts meet in Abidjan on second call for proposals assessment

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ACCF team during the assessment session

The African climate change fund(ACCF)’s second call for proposals, which closed in August 2017, received unprecedented numbers of proposals from diverse government and non-governmental entities. Proponents of shortlisted concept notes were invited to submit full proposals, which were received in late January. The objective of this call was to solicit innovative and impactful projects that will support direct access to climate finance and small-scale or pilot adaptation initiatives in sectors aligned with the bank’s high 5 priorities  to build resilience of vulnerable communities in Africa.

The ACCF Secretariat’s team of independent experts convened in Abidjan from February 6-9 to assess and score the proposals against the pre-determined assessment criteria. The team met with various Bank departments, funds and initiatives, including gender and civil society, agriculture, renewable energy and the sustanable fund for Africa  Africa water facility, job for youth in Africa , climate special development fund, and the Africa NDC Hub with the aim of ensuring that the that projects supported by the ACCF are relevant and synergistic with broader Bank initiatives.

The next stage will consist of the approval of a shortlist by the ACCF’s Technical Committee followed by project appraisal and approval of the best proposals. The ACCF has approximately US $5 million available to allocate to approved projects, but is actively engaging with potential donors to mobilize new resources to respond to the significant demand

Reversing Africa’s cocoa paradox: Why Easter celebration signals a call to action

“What’s the brain surgery in making chocolates? The price of cocoa beans always falls, but never the price of chocolates” – Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank

Around the world, chocolate in all shapes and sizes symbolize Easter and bring joy to millions of kids and adults alike. And the demand for chocolate will most likely continue to increase, according to experts. There is huge opportunity for Africa, the largest producer of cocoa in the world, to rake in economic value that the global market offers.

Africa produces about 75 percent of the world’s cocoa. But the region faces a daunting paradox: though it accounts for a majority of the world’s cocoa production, Africa gets just 5 percent of the US $100 billion annual chocolate market value.

Africa has been unable to extract a larger share of the global chocolate market value because it exports just raw cocoa beans. “Africa is stuck at the bottom of the cocoa value chain, dominated, instead of dominating, despite being the leading producer!” exclaims Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank.

In 2014, looking into the economics of the chocolate industry, CNN anchor Richard Quest visited Côte d’Ivoire. He made a startling revelation into this paradox: most cocoa farmers he talked to had never even tasted chocolate.

Adesina is right when he says: “African farmers sweat, while other eat sweets. While the price of cocoa has hit an all-time low, profits of global manufacturers of chocolate have hit an all-time high. It’s time to process Africa’s cocoa in Africa, and end Africa being at the bottom of global value chains.”

The African Development Bank is leading a call to action on Africa’s agro-industrialization, which is key to transforming the cocoa value chain.

“Africa must not be locked at the bottom…it must rapidly add value to what it leads the world in producing”, says Mr. Adesina, adding that “it is time for Africa to move to the top of the global food value chains, through agro-industrialization and adding value to all of what it produces”.

The African Development Bank has prioritised industrialization in its High 5 agenda. This could create an opportunity for African countries to add value to their raw materials. It is this regard that the Bank’s Annual Meetings for this year has the theme Accelerating Africa’s Industrialization.

This year’s Easter celebration signals a further call to action for African cocoa producers to start producing chocolate to compete with countries like Belgium, Switzerland, U.S. and France. This will not only bring in money, but also afford opportunities for the many cocoa farmers who are yet to taste chocolate in their entire life.

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ACCF Secretariat and experts meet in Abidjan on second call for proposals assessment

ACCF Secretariat and experts meet in Abidjan on second call for proposals assessmentACCF team during the assessment session

The African climate change fund(ACCF)’s second call for proposals, which closed in August 2017, received unprecedented numbers of proposals from diverse government and non-governmental entities. Proponents of shortlisted concept notes were invited to submit full proposals, which were received in late January. The objective of this call was to solicit innovative and impactful projects that will support direct access to climate finance and small-scale or pilot adaptation initiatives in sectors aligned with the bank’s high 5 priorities  to build resilience of vulnerable communities in Africa.

The ACCF Secretariat’s team of independent experts convened in Abidjan from February 6-9 to assess and score the proposals against the pre-determined assessment criteria. The team met with various Bank departments, funds and initiatives, including gender and civil society, agriculture, renewable energy and the sustanable fund for Africa  Africa water facility, job for youth in Africa , climate special development fund, and the Africa NDC Hub with the aim of ensuring that the that projects supported by the ACCF are relevant and synergistic with broader Bank initiatives.

The next stage will consist of the approval of a shortlist by the ACCF’s Technical Committee followed by project appraisal and approval of the best proposals. The ACCF has approximately US $5 million available to allocate to approved projects, but is actively engaging with potential donors to mobilize new resources to respond to the significant demand

Reversing Africa’s cocoa paradox: Why Easter celebration signals a call to action

“What’s the brain surgery in making chocolates? The price of cocoa beans always falls, but never the price of chocolates” – Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank

Around the world, chocolate in all shapes and sizes symbolize Easter and bring joy to millions of kids and adults alike. And the demand for chocolate will most likely continue to increase, according to experts. There is huge opportunity for Africa, the largest producer of cocoa in the world, to rake in economic value that the global market offers.

Africa produces about 75 percent of the world’s cocoa. But the region faces a daunting paradox: though it accounts for a majority of the world’s cocoa production, Africa gets just 5 percent of the US $100 billion annual chocolate market value.

Africa has been unable to extract a larger share of the global chocolate market value because it exports just raw cocoa beans. “Africa is stuck at the bottom of the cocoa value chain, dominated, instead of dominating, despite being the leading producer!” exclaims Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank.

In 2014, looking into the economics of the chocolate industry, CNN anchor Richard Quest visited Côte d’Ivoire. He made a startling revelation into this paradox: most cocoa farmers he talked to had never even tasted chocolate.

Adesina is right when he says: “African farmers sweat, while other eat sweets. While the price of cocoa has hit an all-time low, profits of global manufacturers of chocolate have hit an all-time high. It’s time to process Africa’s cocoa in Africa, and end Africa being at the bottom of global value chains.”

The African Development Bank is leading a call to action on Africa’s agro-industrialization, which is key to transforming the cocoa value chain.

“Africa must not be locked at the bottom…it must rapidly add value to what it leads the world in producing”, says Mr. Adesina, adding that “it is time for Africa to move to the top of the global food value chains, through agro-industrialization and adding value to all of what it produces”.

The African Development Bank has prioritised industrialization in its High 5 agenda. This could create an opportunity for African countries to add value to their raw materials. It is this regard that the Bank’s Annual Meetings for this year has the theme Accelerating Africa’s Industrialization.

This year’s Easter celebration signals a further call to action for African cocoa producers to start producing chocolate to compete with countries like Belgium, Switzerland, U.S. and France. This will not only bring in money, but also afford opportunities for the many cocoa farmers who are yet to taste chocolate in their entire life.

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Buhari: Why we won’t sign free trade agreement
Buhari: Why we won’t sign free trade agreement

President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigeria has been reluctant to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) among ECOWAS countries to protect her economy, especially the industries and small businesses currently providing jobs for majority Nigerians.

He said signing the agreement would expose industries and small businesses to external pressures and competitions, which could lead to closures and job losses

The president said this at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa yesterday, while receiving a letter of credence from the head of delegation of the European Union to Nigeria, Ketil Iversen Karlsen.

He said, “We are not enthusiastic about signing the EPA because of our largely youthful population. We are still struggling to provide jobs for them, and we want our youths to be kept busy.

“Presently, our industries cannot compete with the more efficient and highly technologically driven industries in Europe. We have to protect our industries and our youths.”

Commending the EU for its support for the rehabilitation of the northeast, Buhari said Nigerian economy was being repositioned to attract more investments that would create jobs.

Karlsen said the EU would continue to support Buhari’s administration in the key priorities it listed; security, economy and the fight against corruption.

He said the EPA was designed to accommodate and protect some economies that would find it difficult to compete.

“We are hopeful that there will be a signature on the agreement,’’ he stated.

Buhari also received letters of credence from the Ambassador of Italy, Dr. Stefano Pontesilli and the Ambassador of Spain, Mr Marcelino Cabanas Ansorena.

FG uncovers 925 hard-to-fill vacancies in labour market

Despite high unemployment in Nigeria, the Federal Government has uncovered 925 “difficult and very difficult-to-fill vacancies in the country’s labour market.

Skills Gap Assessment report released yesterday by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) revealed that the vacancies that employers find difficult to fill can be attributed to lack of skills, qualifications or experience among applicants.

The report seen by Daily Trust, which relied on responses from industries polled, disclosed that 19.7 vacancies in housing are difficult to fill just as 13.9 per cent in petrochemicals, 14.7 in other goods, 11.4 in auto industry, 10.3 in textiles, 10.1 per cent in steel, 8.9 in services and 3.3 per cent in leather.

The report found that 15.7 per cent of all hard-to-fill vacancies were due to lack of technical skills, 11.8 per cent due to lack of basic IT skills and 9.2 per cent due to lack of advanced IT skills.

Soft skills such as planning and organising skills, customer handling skills or team working skills were mentioned with regards to between 9.7 per cent and 7.5 per cent of hard-to-fill vacancies.

To remedy the shortage in manpower skills, the report stated that employers take remedial actions such as increasing salaries, increasing trainings to existing staff, redefining jobs, offer training to less qualified recruits, and increasing and expanding trainee programmes.

The Director General of the ITF, Sir Joseph Ari, told guests at the public presentation of the report, that the skills gap report would serve as a reference document for human capital development in the country.

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