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National Strike Looms in Tunisia as UGTT Rubuffs President Saied

Tunisia

After refusing to participate in a limited dialogue proposed by the president as he rewrites the constitution, Tunisia‘s powerful labour union announced on Monday that it would hold a national strike over wages and the economy.

The UGTT is Tunisia’s most powerful political force, with over a million members, and its call for a strike may pose the biggest challenge yet to President Kais Saied following his seizure of broad powers and move to one-man rule.

Saied has been focused on his political agenda since last summer when he ignored the parliament and most of Tunisia’s democratic constitution to declare that he would rule by decree despite a looming economic crisis.

Opponents accuse the president of staging a coup to undermine the democratic gains of the 2011 revolution that sparked the Arab Spring, but he claims his actions were legal and necessary to save Tunisia from a prolonged political crisis.

The union has called for a meaningful national dialogue on both political and economic reforms, but it has turned down Saied’s offer to join a small advisory group of other civil society organisations that could submit reform ideas.

Last week, Saied stated that political parties would be barred from participating in the creation of the new constitution, which would replace the 2014 document resulting from an inclusive debate among Tunisia’s major political factions and social organisations.

“We reject any formal dialogue in which roles are determined unilaterally and from which civil and political forces are excluded,” UGTT spokesperson Sami Tahri said.

Tunisia’s major political parties vowed to fight Saied’s decision to exclude them from key political reforms such as the drafting of a new constitution, accusing him of attempting to consolidate autocratic rule.

According to Achaab, the union’s newspaper, Saied met with the UGTT leader on Sunday and informed him that he insisted on the dialogue continuing in the current format that he proposed.

The date of the strike, by UGTT members working in public services and state companies, will be announced later, Tahri said.

Saied’s government is in talks with the IMF about a bailout, which is seen as necessary to avoid national bankruptcy, but the UGTT has rejected proposed spending cuts and instead wants wage increases for state workers.

Uganda Issues its First Electronic Passports to Citizens

Uganda

Uganda has become the first country in East Africa to issue electronic passports to its residents. After the government phased out the old document readers, those who have not yet obtained an e-passport cannot travel outside of Uganda.

The EAC agreements superseded Uganda’s old passports. In April of this year, Uganda replaced the old travel documents.

Six years ago, after the EAC heads of state summit in Arusha, Tanzania, the decision to phase out the old passports was made.

Kenya is scheduled to switch to e-passports in November, after the December 2021 deadline has passed.

All EAC countries that have not yet adopted the e-passport must do so following the regional bloc’s directives, according to EAC Secretary-General Peter Mathuki.

According to a communiqué from Rwanda’s Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration, the new passports will be available by June 27, 2022.

Kenyan nationals now have access to a new chip-embedded passport, which is intended to combat widespread counterfeiting and impersonation. The new characteristics make forgery or duplication of a Kenyan passport impossible.

C.A.R to Launch Bitcoin Investment Platform Called ‘Sango’

Sango

The Central African Republic’s presidency announced the establishment of the continent’s first legal Bitcoin Investment Platform called ‘Sango’, extending the impoverished country’s embrace of digital finance despite warnings from the International Monetary Fund, IMF.

After decades of conflict, the C.A.R. became the first in Africa and only the second in the world to adopt bitcoin as an official currency last month.

So far, the government has provided little information about the logistics of its bitcoin vision.

The soon-to-be-launched “SANGO” crypto initiative has a website where interested investors can sign up for a waiting list.

“The formal economy is no longer an option.

“An impenetrable bureaucracy is keeping us stuck in systems that do not give a chance to be competitive,” President Faustin-Archange Touadera said in a statement on Monday.
There was no word on when the investment hub would open or function.

The adoption of bitcoin in a country where internet use is low, and electricity is unreliable raised eyebrows among cryptocurrency experts, perplexed lawmakers and residents of the gold and diamond-producing country, and drew warnings from the International Monetary Fund.

Central Africa’s regional banking regulator for the six-nation Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa also issued a reminder about its cryptocurrency ban, stating that the ban was in place to ensure financial stability.

WHO Chief Tedros Reappointed to Second Five-Year Term

Tedros

Ethiopian Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was re-elected as head of the World Health Organization, WHO, for a second five-year on Tuesday.

The director-general received more than two-thirds of the votes cast in the secret ballot, with 155 votes for him out of the 160 casts. Tedros was the only nominee.

“I am humbled and honoured to be elected to serve a second term as WHO Director-General,” he said in a tweet.

“I am deeply grateful for the trust and confidence of member states. I thank all health workers and my WHO colleagues around the world. I look forward to continuing our journey together.”

Tedros, a former Ethiopian Health Minister and Foreign Affairs minister, is the first African to head the WHO. He was first elected as WHO director-general on May 23, 2017.

In the run-up to the new election, Tedros gained global support to head WHO for a second term after championing the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last year, when the deadline for nominations elapsed, Germany officially nominated Tedros and sought support from other European Union member states.

Later, at least 17 EU members, backed by countries in other regions, formally nominated Tedros for his re-election.

Except for his home country Ethiopia, African countries have broadly supported Tedros, who fought for more access to Covid-19 vaccines in Africa.

In September last year, the director-general called for vaccine equity globally.

“More than 5.7 billion doses have been administered globally, but only 2% of those have been administered in Africa,” Tedros said at a press conference on September 14, 2021.

“This does not only hurt the people of Africa; it hurts all of us. The longer vaccine inequity persists, the more the virus will keep circulating and changing, the longer the social and economic disruption will continue, and the higher the chances that more variants will emerge that render vaccines less effective,” he added.

Africa objects to U.S. push to reform health rules at WHO Assembly

WHO

African countries objected on Tuesday to a U.S.-led proposal to reform the International Health Regulations (IHR), a move delegates say might prevent passage at the World Health Organization’s, WHO, annual assembly.

If Africa continues to withhold support, it could block one of the only concrete reforms expected from the meeting, fraying hopes that members will unite on reforms to strengthen the U.N. health agency’s rules as it seeks a central role in global health policy.

The IHR set out WHO members’ legally binding obligations around outbreaks.

The United States has proposed 13 IHR reforms which seek to authorise the deployment of expert teams to contamination sites and the creation of a new compliance committee to monitor the implementation of the rulesThe draft proposal yet to be formally decided is seen as the first step in a broader IHR reform process and would aim to change article 59 that would speed up the implementation for future reforms from 24 to 12 months.

But the African group expressed reservations about even this narrow change, saying all reforms should be tackled together as part of a “holistic package” later.

“The African region shares the view that the process should not be fast-tracked…,” Moses Keetile, deputy permanent secretary in Botswana’s health ministry, told the assembly on Tuesday on behalf of the African region.

Diplomats said that African objections might be a strategy to seek concessions on vaccine and drug-sharing from wealthier countries who were seen to be hoarding supplies during COVID-19.

“We find that they are going too quickly, and these reforms can’t be rushed through,” said an African delegate in Geneva who was not authorised to speak to the media.

Several other countries expressed broad support for the idea of IHR reforms without giving specifics. Iran and Malaysia also expressed reservations.

One diplomat following the discussions “They disagree, but it’s not a disaster. It’s a multilateral process, so you can’t force things through.”

The negotiations will run alongside talks on a potential pandemic treaty, raising concerns over duplication.

“Several developing countries have said that the WHO has too many platforms for negotiation, and it is simply not manageable,” said Nithin Ramakrishnan, consultant for the Third World Network.

Diplomats say that since the U.S. IHR proposal, Russia has also submitted draft revisions. This assembly is expected to officially launch IHR reform discussions, which may last two years.

African Media Agency Partners With MSGBC Oil, Gas And Power 2022 Conference And Exhibition Titled: The Future Of Natural Gas

The Partnership Aims To Provide Visibility On The Innovation Of The Gas Industry And Shed Insight On How To Monetize The Energy Transition For The Region

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, 25 May 2022, /African Media Agency/-African Media Agency, a leading pan-African PR and communications firm, today announced its partnership with Energy Capital & Power, an Africa-focused global leading investment platform for the energy sector. The partnership is aimed at increasing visibility for the MSGBC Oil, Gas and Power 2022 conference and exhibition taking place 1-2 September 2022.

Organized under the patronage of H.E. President Macky Sall and in partnership with the Ministry of Petroleum and Energies, COS-Petrogaz, and the African Energy Chamber, the second edition of the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power conference and exhibition titled ‘The Future of Natural Gas: Growth using strategic investment and policy making’ will gather leading experts, policymakers, engineers and industry leaders to discuss the unique role of gas in the energy transition and to offer critical solutions and strategies to fast-track gas development projects and secure gas monetization.

When commenting on the partnership CEO and Founder of African Media Agency, Eloïne Barry said, “We are delighted to partner with an event that through panel discussions, roundtable talks, and live interviews, provides exceptional opportunities to connect with award-winning authorities and thought leaders of the global energy market. The industry is going through transitions that will affect a number of African economies. We are looking forward to highlighting conversations about energy finance, investment attraction strategies, technology development, women in energy, and youth empowerment in the MSGBC region. “

“West Africa’s energy sector is at a tipping point where new major developments could see the MSGBC countries and economies thrive. We need robust strategies and unification of stakeholders to bring out this transformation, wherein the MSGBC conference will act as the keystone in these nations’ investment and development drive,” said Sandra Jeque, International Conference Director of MSGBC Oil, Gas &

Power.

Distributed by African Media Agency in partnership with Energy Capital and Power.

About African Media Agency

African Media Agency (AMA) is an integrated communications agency that unifies PR, creative services, and digital marketing to create strategic, content-rich communications campaigns that inspire action and build value. With a footprint across Africa, we understand the dynamic of the African newsrooms, the challenges that journalists are going through, what makes a story interesting and the different styles and editorial cultures within the continent.

About Energy Capital and Power

Energy Capital & Power is an Africa-focused global leading investment platform for the energy sector. Through a series of events, online content, and investment reports, we unite the entire energy value chain – from oil and gas exploration to renewable power – and facilitate global and intra-African investment and collaboration.

Energy Capital & Power is dedicated to bringing investment to all segments of the energy value chain in Africa and globally, including solar and wind, hydroelectricity, power infrastructure, hydrocarbons exploration and production, refining and petrochemicals, gas to power, and nuclear.

Media contacts:

Amy Minnie- amy@amediaagency.com

Sandra Jeque- sandra@energycapitalpower.com

The post African Media Agency Partners With MSGBC Oil, Gas And Power 2022 Conference And Exhibition Titled: The Future Of Natural Gas appeared first on African Media Agency.

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

African Media Agency Partners With South Sudan Oil And Power 2022 Conference And Exhibition 

The Partnership Aims To Drive Business And Investment For East Africa’s Only Major Oil Producer

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, 25 May 2022, /African Media Agency/-African Media Agency, a leading pan-African PR and communications firm, today announced its partnership with Energy Capital & Power, an Africa-focused global leading investment platform for the energy sector. The partnership is aimed at increasing visibility for the South Sudan Oil & Power (SSOP) 2022 and celebrating the event’s fifth anniversary.

SSOP 2022 is the official energy event and meeting place for the oil, gas, and power industries of South Sudan. In official partnership with the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, the Ministry of Petroleum, Ministry of Energy and Dams, and Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the South Sudan Oil & Power (SSOP) conference is slated for 13-14 September 2022.

This is the primary international forum driving business and investment in East Africa’s only major oil producer. In 2022 the organizers and government partners welcome a larger audience of global and South Sudanese energy professionals and leaders than ever before.

“We are proud to partner and mark the fifth anniversary of SSOP 2022. Our partnership aims to shed visibility on the contribution of oil and gas to society and the economy, future projects, and expansion of the industry, and encourage local participation and job creation. The energy transition is a critical focus area for the conference that affects Africans. We are excited to learn from industry experts how the industry will align with SDG goals for access to affordable, reliable, modern, sustainable energy for all. “said Eloïne Barry, CEO, and Founder of African Media Agency.

“South Sudan is a remarkable country, with an energy sector presenting unique and unmatched opportunities for investors in oil, gas and power within the East Africa region,” said James Chester, Senior Director at Energy Capital & Power. “ECP has been privileged since 2017 to partner with the government of South Sudan to promote investment and we encourage global investors and companies to participate. The energy transition, capacity building and petroleum industry optimization will be key themes in 2022 along with the ongoing exploration licensing round. This new partnership with AMA will enhance this effort to bring investment into South Sudan.”

Distributed by African Media Agency in partnership with Energy Capital and Power

About African Media Agency

African Media Agency (AMA) is an integrated communications agency that unifies PR, creative services, and digital marketing to create strategic, content-rich communications campaigns that inspire action and build value. With a footprint across Africa, we understand the dynamic of the African newsrooms, the challenges that journalists are going through, what makes a story interesting and the different styles and editorial cultures within the continent.

About Energy Capital and Power

Energy Capital & Power is an Africa-focused global leading investment platform for the energy sector. Through a series of events, online content, and investment reports, we unite the entire energy value chain – from oil and gas exploration to renewable power – and facilitate global and intra-African investment and collaboration.

Energy Capital & Power is dedicated to bringing investment to all segments of the energy value chain in Africa and globally, including solar and wind, hydroelectricity, power infrastructure, hydrocarbons exploration and production, refining and petrochemicals, gas to power, and nuclear.

Media contacts:

Amy Minnie- amy@amediaagency.com

James Chester- james@energycapitalpower.com

The post African Media Agency Partners With South Sudan Oil And Power 2022 Conference And Exhibition  appeared first on African Media Agency.

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

Investing in the African Youth to Foster Development

youth

The justification for youth development is captured in the words of former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo who stressed that youths are the foundation of a society.

Their innovativeness, character, willpower and orientation define the pace of development of a nation. There is a link between youth and development. This link is not only connected, but one depends on the other for its sustenance.

Youth development is a process that prepares young people to meet the challenges of adolescence and adulthood and achieve their full potential. Youth development is promoted through activities and experiences that help youth develop social, ethical, emotional, physical, and cognitive competencies.

One of the most significant challenges facing governments and policymakers in Africa today is providing opportunities for the continent’s more than 400 million youths to have decent lives and contribute to the development of their countries. This figure represents both a challenge and an opportunity for growth on the continent.

The critical role youths play in Africa’s development cannot be overemphasized. These large numbers of young people are an opportunity, an investment. The matrix of development of the continent lies on the shoulder of how productive and creative the youthful populations are because of youth participation in development:

· Provides the labour force for goods and services to take effect.
· Strengthens young people’s abilities to meet their own subsistence needs.
· Prevents and reduces vulnerabilities to economic, political and socially unstable environments.
· Creates much-needed jobs and a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation.
· Helps gain entry into target communities and builds trust and social capital.

There are several other reasons why youths could become an integral part of Africa’s growth and development:

They tend to be more educated than the older population; therefore, they can better absorb new technologies and ideas and adapt them to their environment.

When employed, youths could be a reliable source of demand for the economy through their consumption activities.

Youths could be critical for developing a new class of entrepreneurs that African countries need to prosper.

They tend to take more risks than the older population.

They are more likely to challenge certain norms and sociopolitical processes that may be hindering economic development.

Undoubtedly, youths face many challenges that are central to Africa’s development. They include unemployment, health impacts and political participation. These issues differ among groups within and across countries and regions.

The challenge for African policymakers is how to harness young people’s innovativeness, potential, talent, willpower and desire for change.

The consequences of not fully developing and harnessing youth’s potential could be dire, including significant economic losses, armed conflict, and political and social upheaval and instability.

Youths are more likely to become frustrated because of legitimate grievances, including a lack of employment opportunities, low educational attainment, little decision-making participation, and downward social mobility—as demonstrated recently by the #endSARs protest in Nigeria. The active, informed, and voluntary involvement of young people in decision-making is vital if valuing youth as assets are to be achieved.

Africa has an opportunity to harness a demographic dividend: With the projection that most countries in Africa will have more working-age adults in 2030, there will be a large workforce.

This trend will result in a lower dependency burden; free up resources for development; enable youths to make choices that support the pursuit of educational goals and the development of life skills necessary for national and local leadership positions; be the major determiners of peace and stability on the continent.

Many problems have a substantial impact on youths. Unemployment and underemployment; crime and deviant behaviour; limited sports and recreation facilities; abuse and exploitation; limited access to information and communication technology (ICT); limited participation and lack of opportunities, and in some cases, frustration due to political disenfranchisement problems have far-reaching consequences.

There needs to be a shift in working with young people. The size, energy, enthusiasm, innovation and dynamism of youths are assets that can be harnessed for Africa’s development with appropriate policies that deal adequately with the issues facing them.

Policies that accelerate the growth of Africa are critical because they will trigger industrialization and the need for inclusive policies that address the needs of youth.

Call for proposals issued by Niyel for cross collaboration on research into African data governance

DAKAR, SenegaI, 24 May 2022-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Advocacy group Niyel is excited to launch a Call for Proposals (CFP) into cross-country collaboration initiatives on behalf of the Africa Data Governance Opportunity Fund. The Fund will consider providing grants for up to five projects ranging from USD50 000 to USD250 000 over an implementation period of a maximum of two years. 
The CFP is addressed to organizations seeking to explore collaboration opportunities in research, advocacy, and developing an evidence-based approach to important issues regarding the continent’s data governance policies.

Niyel established the African Data Governance Opportunity Fund to support such organizations, with the Fund offering the resources in order to prioritize cross-country/regional initiatives; focus on evidence for policy change and advocacy, and stimulate collaboration between research and advocacy institutions.

 Specifically, what is on offer to the successful CFP proposal is funding, institutional support, and access to Niyel’s network. Among other outcomes, this will strengthen participating data governance organizations’ ability to engage with national and regional policymakers at the level of Regional Economic Communities and the African Union.

 Applications are open from May 23, 2022, and close on June 30, at 23h59 (GMT). The online application form is available here. Submissions can be submitted in English or French, with only those submitted via the online application form being considered. Thereafter, notification of shortlisted organizations and invitation to prepare a full proposal will take place on August 12, with a deadline for submission of full proposals being September 10.

 Lolo Cynthia Ihesie, Advocacy Officer at Niyel, amplifies the assessment process: “All applications will go through an administrative review to establish eligibility. Thereafter, the applications will undergo a preliminary shortlisting assessment. An assessing body will be composed of five individuals with proven expertise in the field from civil society, think tanks/ research institutions, policymaking, and philanthropy. At this time, applicants will be notified individually and informed whether or not their applications have been shortlisted.” 

Finalization of the awards will occur at end-September, with the actual date to be announced in due course.

 Lolo Ihesie offers some examples of types of research that are urgently required in Africa: “They would embrace the prevention of data misuse, whether by private companies, or governments; the harnessing of current eagerness to create open data government portals while also mitigating the risks they can present, such as the potential politicization of data. Research could also look at the creation of guidelines that ensure balanced data governance and accountability of how data is collected, used, and shared.

 “Finally, the fund wishes to develop research that demonstrates the social, economic, and/or political outcomes of open data in a country or across regions in order to enable African governments to make evidence-informed decisions,” says Ihesie. 

Advisory board member, Ashnah Kalemera, says: “The Opportunity Fund is a welcome addition to existing efforts working to advance data governance in Africa. I am honoured to have been part of the process that established the fund and look forward to learning and exchanging with beneficiaries.” 

According to fellow advisory board member Adedeji Adeniran: “If data is the new oil, data governance is that tool to exploit the useful information and digital products for human development. Next to that is an effective collaboration among actors to move digital development from ideas to action.”

The CFP process stems from a rapid assessment Niyel undertook in 2021 of the data governance landscape. This revealed the limited extent of collaborative work between organizations across regions, languages, and issues. “It identified an inability for organizations in the field to take advantage of advocacy opportunities that may fall outside their traditional funding. Data governance organizations were found to mostly work in silos and rarely cross-learn or do joint research. 

“While this is a challenge, our research made it clear that there was a great desire on the part of organizations to work together on a set of complementary policy issues that affect multiple countries, to collaborate on advocacy within and across sectors and regions, as well as to learn from each other different ways to engage stakeholders,” concludes Ihesie.  

Distributed by African Media Agency on behalf of Niyel

Media Contact

Meganne BohoMeganne@africanmediaagency.com

The post Call for proposals issued by Niyel for cross collaboration on research into African data governance appeared first on African Media Agency.

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

Egypt’s Suez Canal Revenue Expected to Hit $7 Billion by Year-end

Suez Canal

Egypt’s Suez Canal is expecting revenues worth around $7 billion by the end of the current financial year.

According to Egypt’s finance minister, Mohamed Maait, tourism revenues are predicted to stand at $10 billion and $12 billion at that time, notwithstanding the Ukrainian crisis.

He made his remarks during his participation in an event by the British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) in London, with delegates of Morgan Stanley Bank, Bank of America, and Bank of New York.

Egypt’s financial year starts from July 1 to June 30.

The Suez Canal is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia; it is considered one of the country’s main sources of foreign currency. In 2021, the canal registered a historic $6.3 billion in yearly revenues.

It also reached its largest annual net tonnage ever in 2021 — 1.27 billion tones — according to official figures.