Posts Tagged ‘africa’

Restoring cassava farming in Rwanda

16.September.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Download logo Felicien Simpunga grew up in the Ruhango district of Rwanda, where life and making a living revolved around agriculture. While he grows other crops such as beans and sweet potatoes for home use, Felicien decided to focus on cassava to earn an income after attending a training course delivered by the Food and ...

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
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Felicien Simpunga grew up in the Ruhango district of Rwanda, where life and making a living revolved around agriculture. While he grows other crops such as beans and sweet potatoes for home use, Felicien decided to focus on cassava to earn an income after attending a training course delivered by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 2005. When the Kinazi Cassava Plant was established in 2012 and became his main client, his choice seemed to be paying off and he decided to set up a small factory to process raw dried cassava into flour, which he could then sell at a higher price than unprocessed cassava.

This dream came to a halt in 2014 however, with the outbreak of Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD), known locally as Kabore. In 56 years, Felicien had never seen such an intense CBSD outbreak. All eight hectares of his cassava plants were infested and had to be uprooted. “The impact was devastating. I had taken a bank loan of 15 million Rwandan Francs (USD 16 300) that I haven’t been able to pay back. My four children could no longer go to school. All the workers on my farm lost their jobs and income too”, he said. The CSBD outbreak wrought serious damage on Rwanda’s leading cassava-producing districts of Bugesera, Gisagara, Kamonyi, Nyanza, Muhanga and Ruhango.

Of the three staple food crops in Rwanda (cassava, maize and potatoes), cassava makes up nearly one-quarter of production. An FAO assessment on the impact of CBSD showed some farms had lost their entire cassava yield, with the disease incidence soaring from 18.5 percent in 2012 to 69 percent by 2014. This meant that people in affected districts were going hungry and losing their earnings.

Rapid response to control CBSD

Mr Telesphore Ndabamenya, Deputy Director General of the Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) which led the Government’s efforts to contain the outbreak, noted that FAO’s timely support was critical in containing the disease’s rapid spread. With financial support from the Government of Belgium, FAO provided a rapid response in two stages: first by importing CBSD-free cuttings from Uganda for the planting seasons in September–December 2014 and February–June 2015, then by implementing sustainable, long-term CBSD control strategies and reinforcing national capacities for disease identification, diagnosis and surveillance.

Introducing CBSD-resistant cassava varieties

“In 2010 there was significant scarcity of cassava seedlings in the country, and the disease was spreading very fast. Over 80 percent of all farms in the three districts were affected,” notes Aime Parfait Gasana, Head of RAB in the southern province. Parfait explains that the problem was exacerbated by poor farming practices, a lack of high quality, disease-free planting materials, and low awareness or knowledge of pest and disease management among farmers, who were growing varieties that had been introduced in the 1960s.

Through the FAO projects, scientists from RAB conducted a due diligence survey on cassava multiplication fields in Uganda. Field screening and pre-testing identified the NASE (Namulonge Selection) 14 Variety as the most resitant to CBSD, and about 14 887 million cuttings of this variety were then imported to Rwanda and planted on 723 hectares in uncontaminated research stations and farmer cooperatives’ fields in 12 districts. The disease-free multiplication plots produced over 38.5 million new cuttings, which were redistributed to 272 farmers in the same districts to avoid further spread of CBSD. This enabled them to restart planting in September 2015 and produce a harvest that restored their livelihoods in a relatively short time.

Improving food access and availability

According to the last Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA) carried out in 2015, the spread of CSBD caused a significant drop in cassava production, particularly in the southern province. In 2014, national production dropped from 3.3 million tonnes to 900 000 tonnes and by April 2015 cassava flour prices were more than 45 percent higher than the five-year average.

Emile Nsanzabaganwa is the General Manager of the Kinazi Cassava Plant in Ruhango District, which was not spared from the CBSD outbreak: “The plant would have closed down if it hadn’t been for the intervention of agricultural stakeholders. We had to import cassava from neighbouring countries, which increased the cost of production and caused the price of cassava flour to skyrocket,” notes Emile. “The factory price of increased three times, from RWFR 500 Francs (0.50 USD) to to RWFR 1 600 Francs (1.75 USD) per kilo, Emile added.

Restoring local economies, businesses and livelihoods

Both farmers and cassava flour producers agree that the NASE14 variety is very productive, the roots and leaves taste better than other varieties and the flour is very white. With this variety, Felicien has recovered his livelihood. “From one hectare, I harvested around 25 to 30 tonnes. With the old varieties, I used to harvest just 12 tonnes on the same land”, he noted happily.

In 2018 he sold 125 tonnes of cassava to the Kinazi Cassava Plant, in addition to drying it for sale at different markets across the country. The Kinazi Plant has also been restored: after FAO and the Government’s intervention, production increased from 900 tonnes in 2017 to 180 million tonnes in 2018, and the price of flour was restored to RWFR 400 per kilo. The challenge now is to find buyers for all the farmers’ produce.

Building on achievements

The Government of Rwanda has since intensified research into new cassava varieties that are high-yielding and resistant to pests and diseases. Two varieties – the Gahene II and Ndamirabana VII – will soon be released to farmers, with four more currently undergoing further testing and development. FAO and RAB are committed to strengthening awareness campaigns targeted at farmers on good agricultural practices and control and management of different pests and diseases. Local farmers are encouraged to buy seedlings from reliable sources and to grow tested and approved varieties and adopt better farming practices.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Source: Apo-Opa

Restoring Zimbabwe’s Livelihoods, Infrastructure After Cyclone Idai

16.September.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Download logo STORY HIGHLIGHTS After massive devastation in Zimbabwe from Cyclone Idai, a new World Bank-funded multi-sector operation will advance recovery and resilience building to prevent a development crisis Approximately 270,000 people have been affected, with estimated direct damages of $622 million. The financing will help mitigate the impact of Cyclone Idai on the nine ...

The World Bank Group
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • After massive devastation in Zimbabwe from Cyclone Idai, a new World Bank-funded multi-sector operation will advance recovery and resilience building to prevent a development crisis

  • Approximately 270,000 people have been affected, with estimated direct damages of $622 million.

  • The financing will help mitigate the impact of Cyclone Idai on the nine most affected districts of Zimbabwe

In the months after Cyclone Idai, one of the worst tropical cyclones to hit the country, scarred mountains remain with some impassable roads and many lives lost. Schools have reopened with inadequate infrastructure and resources in an attempt for normalcy.

In Chimanimani, a mountainous area in eastern Zimbabwe, acres of devastation confronted Edgars Seenza, Acting Provincial Development Coordinator for Manicaland Province.

“The destruction was beyond our wildest imagination as we could not have foretold the magnitude of the cyclone that saw water defying mountains resulting in mudslides,” Seenza recalled of the first days after Cyclone Idai made landfall. “In only three days, 600 millimeters (mm) of rain was received.”

In one month of a normal rainy season in December, Chimanimani receives about 200-250 mm of rain. The cyclone caused estimated direct damages of $622 million and significantly damaged infrastructure, properties, crops, and livestock. It is estimated that to “build back better” requires up to $1.1 billion.

As the recovery process unfolds new initiatives and financial resources are required to reclaim livelihoods, rebuild infrastructure and ensure that a similar calamity never has the same devastating consequences. In response to developmental assistance required by the most affected communities, the World Bank approved an exceptional allocation of $72 million to the Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project (ZIRP) which aims to “address the early and medium-term resilient disaster recovery needs of cyclone-affected people.” ZIRP, which is financed through an International Development Association grant, became effective in July and was formally launched in Harare on September 2, 2019. Given Zimbabwe’s non-accrual status with the World Bank, the ZIRP was processed and financed on an exceptional basis, underscoring the unprecedented humanitarian crisis caused by Cyclone Idai.

“The project will utilize the Bank’s comparative advantage in medium-term recovery and resilience building, facilitation of the Humanitarian-Development-Peace nexus initiative and marks its first ever integrated engagement with a range of UN agencies under one project umbrella, while being closely coordinated by the Government,” said Ede Jorge Ijjasz-Vasquez, World Bank Regional Director for Social, Urban and Rural Resilience

Through a surge of high-impact and immediate interventions in partnership with various United Nations agencies, the ZIRP aims to enhance the coping capacity of affected communities across multiple sectors, such as water, sanitation, education, health and disaster risk mitigation and preparedness, benefitting as many as 270,000 people.

Drawing on experience from elsewhere in Africa, a Zimbabwe Recovery and Resilience Framework (ZRRF) is proposed to contribute to the strengthening of Zimbabwe’s capacity and systems for recovery and resilience coordination and disaster risk management and mitigation. It is envisaged that once developed this framework will be scaled-up and applied more widely to support recovery and resilience-building across the country.

Using evidence-based analysis and a bottom-up consensus building methodology, the ZRRF will identify recovery and resilience building priorities and propose a financing approach and institutional arrangements by which can be acted on by the Government and its international partners. The Bank will contribute to the ZRRF through an approved grant from the State and Peacebuilding Fund (SPF). This grant will also help strengthen the government’s response systems at local levels, to facilitate links between the UN-implemented project and national efforts to promote better development planning and disaster preparedness going forward.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The World Bank Group.
Source: Apo-Opa

Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellowship – Visit of Mr Paul Mashatile, Treasurer-General of the African National Congress, Republic of South Africa, 17 to 24 Sep 2019

16.September.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Download logo Treasurer-General of the African National Congress Mr Paul Mashatile will visit Singapore as the 68th Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellow from 17 to 24 September 2019. 2 Mr Mashatile will call on Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat. He will be hosted to dinner by Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister ...

Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Singapore
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Treasurer-General of the African National Congress Mr Paul Mashatile will visit Singapore as the 68th Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellow from 17 to 24 September 2019.

2 Mr Mashatile will call on Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat. He will be hosted to dinner by Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam. He will also meet Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and other Cabinet Ministers. Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellowship (LKYEF) Chairman Lee Tzu Yang will host a welcome dinner in honour of Mr Mashatile.

3 During his visit, Mr Mashatile will attend site-visits and receive briefings by Singapore agencies. He will also attend a Meet-the-People Session.

4 Established in 1991, the LKYEF invites outstanding individuals to visit Singapore. The Fellows are chosen on the basis of their track records and extraordinary potential to contribute to the development of their nations and to bilateral relations with Singapore.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Singapore.
Source: Apo-Opa

Merck Foundation provides their first ‘Health Media Training’ in partnership with the First Lady of Zimbabwe

16.September.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com) , the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany organized their first “Merck Foundation Health Media Training” on 16th September 2019 in Harare, Zimbabwe in partnership with H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother together with Ministries of Health and Information to break the stigma around infertility in ...

Merck Foundation

Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com) , the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany organized their first “Merck Foundation Health Media Training” on 16th September 2019 in Harare, Zimbabwe in partnership with H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother together with Ministries of Health and Information to break the stigma around infertility in Zimbabwe and rest of Africa. 

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck more than a Mother emphasized “It is an honor to appoint the First lady of Zimbabwe, H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, the Ambassador of Merck more than a Mother. After our committee meeting in March 2019 at Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative (MFFLI) Summit, our programs have started in partnership with Zimbabwe government and we have already enrolled many doctors to our specialty training programs for Two Year Oncology Master and Fellowship, One Year Online Diabetes Diploma and Fertility Specialist Training. Moreover, we are conducing today, the first health media training in Zimbabwe to educate media how to break the stigma of infertility through their valuable work”.

The training program is a part of ‘Merck More than a Mother’ community awareness Program and was organized for the first time in Zimbabwe for local media representatives and media students.

H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGW, The First Lady of Zimbabwe and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “We welcome this important initiative of Merck Foundation in our country. Media, if guided properly can bring about a huge change in the current scenario where women solely blamed for infertility. I urge or media partners to work together for this cause to make a difference.”

“I am delighted to initiate this important training as I strongly believe that media plays a significant role to influence our society to create a cultural shift. It has the capacity and ability to break the stigma around infertility in the community” Rasha Kelej added.

The training was addressed by the First Lady of Zimbabwe, stalwarts of media industry, including international faculty and infertility experts.

Moreover, it provided a great opportunity for the journalists to meet the experts and also to network with each other and work as a unit to eradicate the stigma around infertility in Zimbabwe and rest of Africa. It was attended by journalists working for Print, TV, Radio and Online media and journalism students.

“The Merck Health Media Training program focused on the international standards and media ethics for reporting sensitive issues like infertility in Africa. It was designed to benefit the journalists in understanding the infertility issues in African communities and to learn the best media practices to cover such issues” added Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Merck Foundation also announced Call for Application for “Merck More than a Mother” ‘Media Recognition Awards’ for Zimbabwe and rest of Africa. The “Merck More than a Mother” ‘Media Recognition Awards’ were launched in 2017 with the aim to emphasize the role of media in enhancing the public engagement and understanding of infertility stigma and the need to change its social perception in African communities.

The applications are invited by media professionals to showcase their work to raise awareness about infertility prevention and breaking infertility stigma in Zimbabwe and rest of Africa.

Who can apply? Journalists from print, online, radio and multimedia platforms from Zimbabwe and rest of Africa.

Last date of submission: Entries can be submitted till 31st December 2019.

How to apply? Entries can be submitted via email to 

mystory@merckmorethanamother.com.

Categories and prize money for winners:

Category

TV

Radio

Print Media

Online Media

Prize Money

USD 1000

USD 1000

USD 1000

USD 1000

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Merck Foundation.

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Website: Merck-Foundation.com

Join Merck Foundation online community to exchange experience and information with other healthcare providers, researchers, students, policy makers and community members in Africa and beyond. Merck-Foundation.com free registration

About ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign;
“Merck More Than a Mother” initiative aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and health and by changing mind-sets. This powerful initiative supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe and effective fertility care. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention and management. In partnership with academia, ministries of health and international fertility societies, the initiative also provides medical education and training for healthcare providers and embryologists to build and advance fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries.

With “Merck More than a mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility on all levels: By improving awareness, training the skills of local experts, building advocacy in cooperation with decision makers and by supporting childless women in starting their own small business. It’s all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to live a fulfilling life, with or without a child. 

The Ambassadors of “Merck More Than a Mother” are: H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana; H.E DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The First Lady of Burundi; H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic; H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad; H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo; H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana; H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia; H.E. CONDÉ DJENE, The First Lady of Guinea Conakry; H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Republic of Liberia; H.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The First Lady of Malawi; H.E. DR. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique; H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADO, The First Lady of Niger; H.E FATIMA MAADA, The First Lady of Sierra Leone; H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGW, The First Lady of Zimbabwe; H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia.

Also, part of the campaign is our Merck Embryology & Fertility Training Program, a three-month hands-on practical course in partnership with IRSI, Indonesia, IIRRH, India and Manipal Academy of Higher Education (Manipal University), India to establish the platform of fertility specialists across Africa and developing countries. Merck Foundation provided for more than 135 candidates, in clinical and practical training for fertility specialists and embryologists in more than 35 countries across Africa and Asia such as: Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, CAR, Cote D'IVOIRE, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malaysia, Liberia, Mali, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Niger, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, The Gambia, Togo, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia & Zimbabwe.

Merck Foundation is making history in many African countries where they never had fertility specialists or specialized fertility clinics before ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ intervention, to train the first fertility specialists such as; in Sierra Leone, Liberia, The Gambia, Niger, Chad, Guinea, Ethiopia and Uganda. 

Merck Foundation launched new innovative initiatives to sensitize local communities about infertility prevention, male infertility with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and empowering infertile women as part of Merck more than a Mother such as;

• Merck More than a Mother media recognition award and health media training 
• Merck More than a Mother fashion award 
• Merck More than a Mother film award 
• Local songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change it

About Merck Foundation:
The Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com), established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation Website.  Please visit www.merck-foundation.com to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com); Facebook (bit.ly/2MBzsDj), Twitter (bit.ly/2NDqHLR), Instagram (bit.ly/33W9wKI), Youtube (bit.ly/2K3ACZp) and Flicker (bit.ly/2P7AICN).

About Merck
Merck ( (MerckGroup.com) is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Almost 52,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions.

Founded in 1668, Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma.

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Source: Apo-Opa

U.S. Applauds Janneh Commission Report Release, Pledges to Support Recovery of “Ill-Gotten Gains”

16.September.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Download logo The United States government applauds the release by the Government of The Gambia of the full report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Financial Activities of Public Bodies, Enterprises and Offices, known as the “Janneh Commission,” as well as the Cabinet white paper. It is crucial that the asset recovery process be ...

U.S. Embassy in The Gambia
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The United States government applauds the release by the Government of The Gambia of the full report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Financial Activities of Public Bodies, Enterprises and Offices, known as the “Janneh Commission,” as well as the Cabinet white paper. It is crucial that the asset recovery process be undertaken in a similarly transparent fashion to assure the Gambian people that recovered assets are being properly accounted for and accrue to the public benefit.

The government of the United States will continue the work well under way to pursue available legal means to support the Gambian government’s efforts to recover the identified ill-gotten gains.  The investigation of financial crimes is extremely complex, requiring specialized knowledge and training.  We urge the Gambian public and civil society to invest the time to understand fully the complexities of the investigation and report, referencing the original Act that established the Commission of Inquiry, and the legal thresholds required to establish facts meeting evidentiary standards under Gambian law.

We take this moment to renew our recommendation that government authorities work closely and expeditiously with civil society organizations and the National Assembly to develop strong legislation, strong regulations, and strong rule of law-based investigative and prosecutorial mechanisms to better ensure that persons who abuse their positions of public trust to greedily benefit themselves are held accountable.  Trust by the Gambian people in their government will be bolstered by vigorous, transparent action to do so.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy in The Gambia.
Source: Apo-Opa

Equatorial Guinea’s local services companies continue to attract best international partnerships

16.September.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

As Equatorial Guinea prepares to host the Oil & Gas Meeting Day in Malabo on October 1st and 2nd, 2019, one of the country’s local services company has signed an international partnership with a $440m services conglomerate. Apex Industries, an indigenous service company providing services in the oil & gas industry in Equatorial Guinea, has ...

African Energy Chamber

As Equatorial Guinea prepares to host the Oil & Gas Meeting Day in Malabo on October 1st and 2nd, 2019, one of the country’s local services company has signed an international partnership with a $440m services conglomerate.

Apex Industries, an indigenous service company providing services in the oil & gas industry in Equatorial Guinea, has signed a deal with the Duscaff Organization, a joint international scaffolding supply company headquartered in Dubai.

“Apex is determined to work with the oil sector and build alliances with international companies to add value to Equatorial Guinea’s economy. This partnership allows us to gain the know-how from a reputable industry leader like Duscaff and work with them to create jobs for our people,” said Apex CEO Leoncio Amada Nze

Under the agreement, Apex Industries will partner with the Duscaff Organization for the supply of scaffolding products that comply with the best oil and gas industry and global norms and can support several ongoing and future construction and industrial projects in Equatorial Guinea and the CEMAC region.

“The Africa Energy Chamber welcomes such agreements. This is tangible evidence that African services companies can attract the best international agreements, when they position themselves as strong and credible local partners in their market. This contributes to building local capacity and to the growth of the industry. We want to see African companies making money and profiting from oil and gas in Africa,” declared NJ Ayuk, Executive Chair of the African Energy Chamber and CEO of Centurion Law Group.

In order to strengthen cooperation amongst African and international services companies, and encourage the development of a strong African content, Malabo will be hosting the Oil & Gas Meeting Day on October 1-2, 2019. The event will offer the opportunities for African services companies to make such deals with regional and international partners and drive global transformations within the oil services industry.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Energy Chamber.

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Source: Apo-Opa

Kenya rolls out landmark malaria vaccine introduction

16.September.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

The World Health Organization (WHO) congratulates the Government of Kenya for launching the world’s first malaria vaccine today in Homa Bay County, western Kenya. The malaria vaccine pilot programme is now fully underway in Africa, as Kenya joins Ghana and Malawi to introduce the landmark vaccine as a tool against a disease that continues to ...

WHO Regional Office for Africa

The World Health Organization (WHO) congratulates the Government of Kenya for launching the world’s first malaria vaccine today in Homa Bay County, western Kenya.

The malaria vaccine pilot programme is now fully underway in Africa, as Kenya joins Ghana and Malawi to introduce the landmark vaccine as a tool against a disease that continues to affect millions of children in Africa.

The vaccine, known as RTS,S, will be available to children from 6 months of age in selected areas of the country in a phased pilot introduction. It is the first and only vaccine to significantly reduce malaria in children, including life-threatening malaria.

Malaria claims the life of one child every two minutes. The disease is a leading killer of children younger than 5 years in Kenya.

“Africa has witnessed a recent surge in the number of malaria cases and deaths. This threatens the gains in the fight against malaria made in the past two decades,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “The ongoing pilots will provide the key information and data to inform a WHO policy on the broader use of the vaccine in sub-Saharan Africa. If introduced widely, the vaccine has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives.”

First vaccination: a day to celebrate

Distinguished health officials, community leaders and health advocates gathered in Homa Bay County – one of eight counties in Kenya where the vaccine will be introduced in selected areas – to mark this historic moment with declarations of support for the promising new malaria prevention tool and to demonstrate a ceremonial first vaccination of a 6-month-old child.

Speaking at the event, WHO Representative to Kenya Dr Rudi Eggers said: “Vaccines are powerful tools that effectively reach and better protect the health of children who may not have immediate access to the doctors, nurses and health facilities they need to save them when severe illness comes. This is a day to celebrate as we begin to learn more about what this vaccine can do to change the trajectory of malaria though childhood vaccination.”

Thirty years in the making, the vaccine is a complementary malaria control tool – to be added to the core package of WHO-recommended measures for malaria prevention, including the routine use of insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor spraying with insecticides and timely access to malaria testing and treatment.

Malaria vaccine implementation in Kenya

The Ministry of Health, through the National Vaccines and Immunization Programme, is leading the phased vaccine introduction in areas of high malaria transmission, where the vaccine can have the greatest impact.

The aim is to vaccinate about 120 000 children per year in Kenya across the selected introduction areas, including Homa Bay, Kisumu, Migori, Siaya, Busia, Bungoma, Vihiga and Kakamega counties. Within the eight counties, some sub-counties will introduce the vaccine into immunization schedules while others are expected to introduce the vaccine later.

More about the vaccine pilot programme

The WHO-coordinated pilot programme is a collaboration with the ministries of health in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi and a range of in-country and international partners, including PATH, a non-profit organization, and GSK, the vaccine developer and manufacturer, which is donating up to 10 million vaccine doses for this pilot.

Financing for the pilot programme has been mobilized through an unprecedented collaboration among three key global health funding bodies: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and Unitaid.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of WHO Regional Office for Africa.

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Source: Apo-Opa

Energy Exec Says New Book Billions at Play, Provides Solutions for African Energy Self-Sufficiency

16.September.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Natural gas can help Africa bring power to the people. It just has to be harnessed appropriately and not wasted or exported. That is the premise of Chapter 5 of Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy, the new book by leading African energy attorney, NJ Ayuk. And it is a message that Jeff ...

African Energy Chamber

Natural gas can help Africa bring power to the people. It just has to be harnessed appropriately and not wasted or exported.

That is the premise of Chapter 5 of Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy, the new book by leading African energy attorney, NJ Ayuk. And it is a message that Jeff Goodrich, former CEO of OneLNG, supports.

OneLNG was a joint venture between liquified natural gas (LNG) shipping company, Golar LNG, and Schlumberger, the global oilfield services giant. While financing issues hampered OneLNG’s attempts to develop Africa’s first deep-water floating liquid natural gas (FLING) project with London-based Ophir Energy, the project principals, including Goodrich, recognized LNG’s potential to monetize Africa’s offshore natural gas reserves.

“In the chapter entitled Abundant, Accessible, Affordable: The “Golden Age” of Natural Gas Shines in Africa, Ayuk correctly identifies the benefits of natural gas, especially as the world looks for ways to lower CO2 emissions,” Goodrich said. “He also takes aim at some of the issues the African natural gas industry has to confront, namely flaring and the export of product that could be well-used at home.”

Despite advances in electrification, much of Africa is still plunged into darkness each evening. Using natural gas as a reliable source to generate electricity would change that. It would also reduce the reliance on sources like animal dung for cooking—a method that is linked to respiratory diseases.

“It is incredible to think that in this day and age, there are nearly a billion people in sub-Saharan Africa without access to electricity, but that is a reality Ayuk does not shy away from,” Goodrich said. “Rather than running from the problem, he puts forth a number of realistic solutions that anyone who cares about making Africa more self-sufficient will be eager to hear. I think his ideas will resonate especially with readers who agree with Ayuk that an oversaturated global export market makes this the best time to advance intra-African energy trading and focus on regional markets.”

NJ Ayuk is founder and CEO of Pan-African corporate law conglomerate, Centurion Law Group (https://CenturionLG.com) and Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org). He is also the co-author of Big Barrels: African Oil and Gas and the Quest for Prosperity (2017).

He is recognized as one of the foremost figures in African business today.

Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy will be published by October 2019. Pre-order your copy here (https://amzn.to/2NxkNLP).

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Energy Chamber.

For more information about the book:
Twitter: @BillionsAtPlay
Facebook: @BillionsAtPlay
Instagram:@billionsatplay

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Source: Apo-Opa

Mixed-use is the key to funding hotel development in Africa

16.September.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

A new report from JLL (www.JLL.com), the world’s largest professional services firm specialising in real estate, has revealed that people seeking to finance a new hotel project in Africa will be much more successful if their hotel is part of a mixed-use development. JLL’s research into global property transactions reveals that in the first half ...

JLL

A new report from JLL (www.JLL.com), the world’s largest professional services firm specialising in real estate, has revealed that people seeking to finance a new hotel project in Africa will be much more successful if their hotel is part of a mixed-use development.

JLL’s research into global property transactions reveals that in the first half of 2019, there was a 42% increase in the value of mixed-use property transactions, whereas there was a decline in other sectors, with Office down 4%, Industrial down 6%, Retail down 20%, Hotel down 18% and alternatives down 40%.

Xander Nijnens, Executive Vice-President, JLL Sub-Saharan Africa, explains that the trend is driven by lenders’ approach to risk. He said: “Diversifying risk by including alternative types of property, commercial, retail, hotel and branded residences, in one development, provides comfort to financiers due to the diverse and more consistent income streams generated. Branded residences are also increasing in prevalence because they provide up-front cash inflows and a more predictable source of revenue than one gets from a hotel alone.”

In Africa, the leading funders of hospitality construction projects are government-backed Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) like International Finance Corporation (IFC), Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the CDC Group, Proparco and the German Investment Corporation (DEG). They are motivated by economic development, skills development and job creation and have a lower requirement for the predictable, consistent loan repayments required by a commercial bank. DFIs are also able to stomach more risk.

A driving factor for this trend is that hotels rent their rooms in euros and US dollars rather than in local currency which, from a financing perspective, reduces the risk to the lender and lowers the interest rate paid by the borrower.

The research comes a week ahead of the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), Africa’s highest profile gathering of the hospitality and tourism industry, which takes place in Addis Ababa on September 23-25.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of JLL.

Media Contacts:
Nadine Arendse
Phone: +27 (0)11 507 2200
Email: nadine.arendse@eu.jll.com

Fabio Nava
Phone: +27 (0) 11 507 2200
fabio.nava@eu.jll.com

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About JLL:
JLL (NYSE: JLL) (www.JLL.com) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management.

Our vision is to reimagine the world of real estate, creating rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, we will build a better tomorrow for our clients, our people and our communities.

JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.3 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of over 91,000 as of March 31, 2019. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated.

For further information, visit https://ir.JLL.com 

About JLL MEA:
Across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) JLL (www.JLL-MENA.com) is a leading player in the real estate and hospitality services markets. The firm has worked in 35 countries across the region and employs over 800 internationally qualified professionals across its offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Jeddah, Al Khobar, Cairo, Casablanca and Johannesburg.

https://www.JLL.co.za/; http://www.JLLVantagePoint.com/

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Source: Apo-Opa

Threats to African Borders

16.September.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

EXX Africa (www.EXXAfrica.com) published a special report on Threats to African Borders. With 54 countries and a continental coastline of 30,500 km that spans the Mediterranean sea in the north, the Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the northeast, the Indian Ocean in the east, and the Atlantic Ocean in the west, Africa’s borders ...

EXX Africa

EXX Africa (www.EXXAfrica.com) published a special report on Threats to African Borders.

With 54 countries and a continental coastline of 30,500 km that spans the Mediterranean sea in the north, the Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the northeast, the Indian Ocean in the east, and the Atlantic Ocean in the west, Africa’s borders are both numerous and vulnerable.

EXX Africa delves into the primary threat actors taking advantage of these vulnerabilities to further their own objectives across the continent. The report will be submitted the United Nations General Assembly this month to raise awareness of the continent’s border threats.

While there is occasional overlap among such actors given the nature of illicit activities, this series explores the threats posed by (a) illegal migrants, (b) criminal organisations, and (c) militant groups. EXX Africa also looks at the various local, regional, and international measures that have been implemented to mitigate each one of these threats, with a focus on Western interventions.

In order for Europe, the US, and other regions to stem the smuggling of illegal substances and people, as well as other forms of transnational flows, a more coherent and collaborative approach is required which is addressed in EXX Africa’s latest report.

For any further comment or a full copy of the report, please contact www.EXXAfrica.com

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of EXX Africa.

Media Contact:
Robert Besseling
Executive Director
robert.besseling@exxafrica.com
www.EXXAfrica.com

About EXX Africa:
EXX Africa (www.EXXAfrica.com) is a specialist intelligence firm providing analysis and forecasts on political, security, and economic risk across all African countries. The company was founded in 2015 and has since become a leading risk advisory and consultancy with a broad network of clients ranging from DFIs, banks, traders, corporates, and insurers, to governments and military forces worldwide.

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Source: Apo-Opa