AfricanBrains Africa Education Innovation Technology Investment Networking Events News Social Media Blogs Tue, 28 Jun 2016 20:03:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 African Union Commission and FAO scale up efforts to ending hunger in the Horn of Africa Tue, 28 Jun 2016 20:03:31 +0000 aucNew development project launched – “Ending Hunger in The Horn of Africa: Moving from Rhetoric to Action”.

The African Union Commission (AUC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have reached a new milestone in the implementation of the 2014 AU Malabo Declaration on Agricultural Growth and Transformation through a new project titled, “Ending Hunger in the Horn of Africa: Moving from Rhetoric to Action.”
The objective of the project is to “implement a coherent set of activities intended to improve partnership and coordinated action on ending hunger, malnutrition and poverty in the Horn of Africa by 2025 through providing a consultative forum for governments, regional economic communities (RECs), development partners and stakeholders to discuss, review and develop new strategies on hunger eradication for the sub-region.”

The project is expected to take stock of policies and investments for ending hunger in the Horn of Africa (HoA), to establish national and regional partnership mechanisms for hunger eradication in the HoA; and to encourage advocacy and communication for ending hunger in the Horn of Africa.

Officially opening the ceremony to launch the project, AUC Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, H.E Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, represented by her Senior Advisor and CAADP Team Leader, Mr. Ernest Ruzindaza, noted that the “Ending Hunger in the Horn of Africa” Project was the first project in a range of activities for translating the Malabo Commitments into concrete actions.

“The Horn of Africa with its notable food insecurity challenges, which the recent El Nino effects aggravated, is the right place to start with,” she said. “Malabo is about commitment to actions, results and impact.”

Commissioner Tumusiime declared that the success of the project would provide a strong basis for up-scaling and out-scaling the project to the other regions.

Also speaking at the ceremony, Patrick Kormawa, FAO’s Sub-regional Coordinator for Eastern Africa and Representative to AUC, said, “There is a great opportunity for the HoA to change the narrative of being a hunger prone region, to a hunger free region.”

“What is required is sustained partnerships and strong political commitment to leverage from and scale up already successful programmes and activities to end hunger in Africa. This is why FAO is teaming up with the AU Commission and Member States in the HoA to implement the Malabo Declaration to end hunger in Africa by 2025,” he added.

Accelerating action to end hunger through expanded partnerships

The AU-FAO project will contribute to improved partnerships and coordinated action on ending hunger, malnutrition and poverty in the Horn of Africa by providing a forum for governments, regional economic communities (RECs), development partners and stakeholders to come together to discuss and come up with effective strategies to reduce hunger in the region.

The project will come up with a project proposal/regional programme and a roadmap for hunger eradication in the Horn of Africa; a knowledge and information exchange platform to facilitate dialogue on reducing hunger in the Horn of Africa; and a monitoring and peer review framework for the monitoring of ending hunger in the Horn of Africa.

As part of the sustainability actions of the project, a roadmap for hunger eradication in the Horn of Africa completed with a resource mobilization strategy will be developed to support efforts to scale up hunger eradication initiatives in the Horn of Africa, as well as incorporating a monitoring and review framework to support tracking of country and sub-regional level progress.

All involved partners recognize that there is a need to join efforts from various sectors and stakeholder groups by working with different partners at the national, regional and global scale, including international and regional organizations, civil society, youth, the private sector, the academia, family farmers and others.

The project is in line with a current FAO and AUC development initiatives on the continent on The Renewed Partnership to End Hunger by 2025, which focuses on accelerated action towards ending hunger through expanded partnerships.

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Namibia Adheres to the International Monetary Fund’s Enhanced General Data Dissemination System Tue, 28 Jun 2016 18:57:49 +0000 imfNamibia has implemented the recommendations of the Enhanced General Data Dissemination System (e‑GDDS)—endorsed by the IMF Executive Board in May 2015—by disseminating a National Summary Data Page (NSDP). The page serves as a one‑stop publication vehicle for essential macroeconomic data—in both human and machine‑readable formats.

It is now posted on the websites of the Namibia Statistics Agency, the Bank of Namibia, and the Ministry of Finance, and is accessible on the IMF’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board ( This places Namibia in the first wave of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to implement the recommendations of the e‑GDDS.

Publication of essential macroeconomic data through the new NSDP will provide national policy makers, a broad range of domestic and international stakeholders, including investors and rating agencies, with easy access to information that the IMF’s Executive Board has identified as critical for monitoring economic conditions and policies. Making this information simultaneously available to all users will bring greater data transparency.

Louis Marc Ducharme, Director of the IMF’s Statistics Department, welcomed this major milestone in the country’s statistical development. “I am confident that Namibia will benefit from using the e‑GDDS as a framework for further development of its statistical system.”


The e‑GDDS was established by the IMF’s Executive Board in May 2015 to support improved data transparency, encourage statistical development, and help create synergies between data dissemination and surveillance. The e‑GDDS supersedes the GDDS, which was established in 1997.

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LINK Development helps in rolling-out Orange Egypt’s digital transformation from Mobinil brand using latest technologies Tue, 28 Jun 2016 11:30:51 +0000 link“LINK Development”, the leading technology solutions provider, announced that it has successfully helped in carrying out the digital transformation of “Orange Egypt”, in a record time, using latest technologies. LINK Development has delivered the giant telecom, a new integrated, service-rich, online portal as well as an updated mobile application; launching both to about 33.4 million customers under the new brand name of ‘Orange’ instead of ‘Mobinil’; without any service disruption while meeting the official brand launch date in Egypt.

In this project, LINK Development has upgraded the technological infrastructure of the web portal to provide customers with richer features such as a more powerful e-commerce experience and a faster, more efficient billing process. The company has delivered the new portal with a new user interface and a much easier navigation that complies with the international user experience and usability standards mandated by Orange. Built to be responsive, the new portal works seamlessly across all types of desktops, smartphones and tablets. On the other hand, the mobile application that serves a huge customer base has also been redesigned by LINK Development with the new brand “My Orange” and published in different application stores.

Mr. Amin Azab, Managing Director; ‘LINK Development’ stated “This is an exciting experience! We have helped “Orange Egypt” in creating a strong, distinctive and modern digital presence; with excellence and in time. We appreciate that “Orange” is a telecom giant that acknowledges that value of technology and quality. I also take pride in the team at ‘LINK Development’, he continued, “Our teams spared no effort to deliver a smooth, uninterrupted digital rebranding process using lest technologies and techniques that ensure that Orange’s online touchpoints are totally stable, secure, and available round the clock for around 33.4 million ‘Orange Egypt’ customers.”

It is worth noting that ‘LINK Development’ has more than 500 success stories in providing digital portal solutions to several governmental institutions and private companies in Egypt and the Middle East.

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Vuwani: Measures in place for matrics Tue, 28 Jun 2016 09:33:20 +0000 Des van RooyenBy –

Pretoria – The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Vuwani has welcomed the plans put in place to assist matriculants with preparations for their final year examinations, says the Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA).

The Ministry on Sunday said plans are in place to have matriculants taken to various locations and centres for their final year examination preparations.

Since the violent protests that left about 27 schools vandalized and torched, including 11 high schools and 16 primary schools, learning and teaching came to a halt in Vuwani and the surrounding areas in the district of Vhembe.

The Ministry said the protests and the subsequent lockdown that included the shutting down of schools deprived about 52 827 leaners from going to school and getting the much needed education.

“Out of this number of learners, 2 600 are matriculants who have since been unable to sit for their half-yearly examinations,” said the Ministry.

According to the Ministry, the IMC welcomes the hard work put in place by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) at national and provincial level, and other stakeholders who made it possible for grade 12 learners to go prepare themselves for final examinations.

“As it was agreed on 31 May 2016 at the meeting between the IMC and His Majesty, King Ramabulana, at his palace in Dzanani, engagements continued to try and find a lasting solution to the challenges in Vuwani.

“Government has also been hard at work engaging internally and externally to find lasting solution in Vuwani. As the IMC we are satisfied with the progress that has been achieved thus far.

“As we have been saying in many occasions, we are still convinced that only through dialogue a conducive environment can be created for normality to return in Vuwani,” said the Ministry.

It said the IMC reiterates that children have a right to education and their future is in parents’ hands. To this effect, said the Ministry, it is important to note that the inclusion in the Bill of Rights has a special section on the rights of the child.

“We therefore once again salute the indomitable spirit of those who continued to strive for calm in Vuwani and those parents who remain concerned and take action to ensure that their children resume schooling,” said the Ministry.

COGTA Minister Des Van Rooyen said: “As the IMC, we still stand ready and willing to continue working tirelessly with all willing partners in an effort to ensure that we bring the situation to normality in Vuwani and all the learners and educators are able to go back to class”.

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Development Bank of Rwanda secures Rwf1.5bn guarantee fund for SMEs Tue, 28 Jun 2016 06:30:50 +0000 Bank of Rwanda
Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) has signed a Rwf1.5 billion guarantee facility with the African Solidarity Fund to support development projects in different sectors of the economy

Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) has signed a Rwf1.5 billion guarantee facility with the African Solidarity Fund to support development projects in different sectors of the economy.

The BRD chief executive, Alex Kanyankole, said the facilitate will be used to support small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) with medium to long-term projects in the real estate, energy, and education sectors. He added that Rwf500 million of the money will be used to provide guarantee for commercial building projects, micro hydropower plants will get Rwf370 million, while Rwf345 million is for developers of a modern market complex, and a nursery and primary school venture will get Rwf291 million under the deal. African Solidarity Fund facilitates investment projects that support economic development among its member states, as well as those that create more jobs and help reduce poverty.

Speaking after the signing of the deal in Kigali last week, Ahmadou Abdoulaye Diallo, the African Solidarity Fund director general, said the agreement aimed at leveraging the Fund to support the development of Rwanda’s private sector through provision of financial security.

“The guarantee facility will ease risk and enable the investors acquire loans they need to develop their projects and create more jobs for Rwandans,” he said.

The deal also provides for an extension of loan repayment period “to allow the projects identified access financing and kick-start them”.

Abdul Gahima, the founder of Good Harvest School and one of the beneficiaries, said the guarantee will enable him acquire finance to put up modern infrastructure at the institution, adding the extension of repayment period will ease pressure on borrowers.

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Black entrepreneurs urged to participate fully in the economy Mon, 27 Jun 2016 15:30:43 +0000 Mzwandile Masina
Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Mzwandile Masina

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Pretoria – While government is committed to accelerating the active participation of black people in the economy, it has urged black entrepreneurs to fully partake in the economy.

Speaking on behalf of Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Mzwandile Masina, acting chief director of the Black Industrialists Programme Takalani Tambani, said government is promoting the creation of black industrialists through the black industrialists programme to fast track inclusive economic growth.

To date over R500 million has been approved and committed among the more than eight companies that applied for the Black Industrialists Scheme, Tambani told delegates of the Success Summit held in Pretoria on Friday.

Businesses that are going to create jobs need to enter the economic space and participate meaningfully in the key sectors of the economy and the value chain, he added.

Tambani emphasised that government has continuously expressed its commitment to the support and development of small businesses.

“Our approach to small business support systems is multi-pronged. It combines government support systems in funding, incubation and market support as well as private networks of information and strategy sharing amongst emerging businesses,” he said.

He further encouraged black entrepreneurs to form partnerships and joined ventures to fully participate in the economy.

“As government, we would like to see black people participating in the mainstream of the economy, and in particular in the manufacturing and value-adding sectors of our economy,” said Tambani.

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Unlocking the potential of SA’s oceans Mon, 27 Jun 2016 13:35:45 +0000 oceanBy-

For many people, an ocean is often associated with fun, relaxation, and escape. It is a place where families and loved ones visit to unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature. However, there is more that the oceans do than produce fish and serve as the centre of attraction for beach goers, writes Chris Bathembu.

Experts say if South Africa fully takes advantage of the immense potential of its oceans, more than R30 billion can be added to the country’s economy over the next four years, leading to the creation of 70 000 jobs.

But you may ask how will it be done? Government says Operation Phakisa: Ocean Economy, an initiative unveiled two years ago, will be the main driving force behind initiatives to unlock the economic potential of the country’s oceans. And, if the numbers are anything to go by, Operation Phakisa: Ocean Economy is already yielding positive results for the country’s economy.

During a visit to Port Elizabeth recently, President Jacob Zuma revealed that more than R17 billon has been unlocked in the economy since the launch of the initiative and that 4 500 people found jobs. Most of the work has so far focused on the development of infrastructure at South Africa’s major ports to make them more efficient for the maritime industry and attract investment.

Potential of SA ports

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, the minister who is in charge of the port infrastructure, tells SAnews that South Africa’s eight commercial ports and numerous small ports have great potential to perform better than they are doing. There are also proposed ports in the Northern Cape, Boegoe Bay and Port Nolloth.

Up to R7 billion has been committed towards new port facilities and refurbishments and already 200 jobs have been created.

“I have approved the model that Transnet will fund and operate five initiatives and seek Private Sector Participation for the new facilities in Saldanha, Richards Bay and East London,” says Minister Brown.

The state-owned Transnet, through the Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA), is responsible for revitalising the ports and providing access to the land and infrastructure at the port. Already, R80 million has been earmarked for the rehabilitation and maintenance of proclaimed harbours in Gansbaai, Saldanha Bay, Struisbaai, Gordons Bay and Lamberts Bay, as well as the establishment of the three new harbours in Boegoebaai in Northern Cape, Port St Johns in Eastern Cape and Hibberdene in KwaZulu-Natal, providing opportunities for local and rural economic development.

Minister Brown says TNPA intends to unlock investment in new and existing port facilities and these include conclusion of the lease deal with TAG Yachts to build catamarans for export at the Port of Port Elizabeth.

“TNPA has awarded a Terminal Operator Agreement to OTGC to build and operate a Liquid Bulk Terminal (Fuels and Oils) at the Port of Cape Town and preferred bidder status for a similar terminal in the Port of Ngqura,” says the minister.

Terminal Operator Agreements have also been concluded with Transnet Port Terminals to build and operate a 16mtpa Manganese Export Terminal and to operate the Container Terminal at Port of Ngqura as part of Operation Phakisa. TNPA has also awarded a Terminal Operator Agreement to V&A Waterfront to build and operate a Cruise Terminal at Port of Cape Town.

Six priority areas

Operation Phakisa: Ocean Economy focuses on six priority potential growth areas that include marine transport and manufacturing, offshore oil and gas exploration, aquaculture, marine protection services and ocean governance, small harbours development, coastal and marine tourism. Government says all these have significant GDP growth and job creation potential.

Also Operation Phakisa will deliver on some of the aspirations of the National Development Plan 2030 which have been championed at every level of government and society. This kind of ocean economy model is new to South Africa and is based on a fast results delivery programme that South Africa copied from Malaysia in 2014 to boost economic growth and create jobs.

In his State of the Nation Address earlier this year, President Zuma stated that a resilient and fast-growing economy is at the heart of radical transformation agenda and is in line with the National Development Plan.

In Port Elizabeth, where he visited the city’s port facilities, the President said government had learned some good lessons during the implementation of the programme.

He said where government has made interventions, whether within the policy space or facilitating authorisations and approvals or providing some incentives, it has unlocked private sector investment.

“We will continue to do so and work hand in hand with the private sector and all our partners and stakeholders to ensure that we realise our vision. Within the last year and a half, Operation Phakisa’s primary focus has been on implementing mechanisms to systematically clear constraints and blockages hampering the development of these projects.

“We have focused on removing legislative uncertainty, lengthy bureaucratic authorisation procedures, delays in funding flows, infrastructure challenges and skills gaps. This means all spheres of government must be involved and must participate in removing obstacles to investment in the country.”

Operation Phakisa key driver of nine-point plan

South Africa is also targeting the oceans economy as it is one of the key drivers in the Nine-Point Plan to grow the economy, create jobs, transform the economy and attract investment.

President Zuma mentioned that South Africa is also making progress in the boat building sector. He said R353 million has already been committed in the ports of Durban and Cape Town for boatbuilding infrastructure, and this initiative has created approximately 355 direct jobs.

In Port Elizabeth, where an investment of R307 million is being channelled towards the refurbishment of the port, work is underway to attract new investments.

The completed work includes a refurbished and re-constructed slipway and lead-in jetties within the port. The refurbished slipway will be able to accommodate more vessels. At least twelve vessels can now be accommodated for hull inspection and maintenance as compared to the two that could be accommodated previously.

In addition, of the nine tugboats currently being built by South African Shipyards for Transnet National Ports Authority in the Port of Durban, two are destined for the Port of Port Elizabeth. One of these boats that are going to PE is named Mvezo, after the birthplace of the late former South African President Nelson Mandela. The Eastern Cape government has vowed to take advantage of these developments considering that the province boasts 800km of coastline.

According to the Premier of the province, Phumulo Masualle, the East London Port has been identified for boat building and ship repair. Coega in Port Elizabeth was also identified for over flows from Saldanha Bay with respect to oil rig repairs. Five Aquaculture Development Zones (ADZs) were also identified in the province.

President Zuma added that investments in boatbuilding and a fuel storage facility in the Port of Cape Town, amounting to approximately R3.6 billion have also been committed.

Operation Phakisa will also be used to develop rural economies. This will be done through small harbour development, coastal and marine tourism and aquaculture focusing mainly in the fish industry.

Government says the expansion of aquaculture projects to inland and other coastal areas in support of Small Medium and Micro Enterprises will create 3200 jobs and contribute R500 million to the GDP over the next year.

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Trade delegation from Ghana on food & beverage processing and agricultural inputs concludes visit to the Netherlands Mon, 27 Jun 2016 11:30:24 +0000 agiA 20-member trade delegation from Ghana concluded a week-long visit on Friday to the Netherlands to explore opportunities for business and cooperation in food & beverage processing and agricultural inputs. The mission was led by the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and Ghana Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI), supplemented by members of GhanaVeg. GhanaVeg is a programme funded by the Netherlands Embassy with the aim of establishing a sustainable and internationally competitive vegetable sector in Ghana that contributes to inclusive economic growth.

The goal of the trade mission was to promote cooperation, investment and exchange knowledge between Ghanaian and Dutch entrepreneurs, and to build the capacity of AGI and GCCI and its members in these sectors. The Netherlands is the second largest exporter of agri-food worldwide, exporting 65 billion euros worth of vegetables, fruit, flowers, meat and dairy products each year. According to the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) the Netherlands was the largest investor in Ghana in the first quarter of 2016.

The delegation visited a wide range of companies in the Netherlands active in different sectors: poultry farming, fruit and vegetable growers, dairy and oil seeds producers. The program was complemented with matchmaking, a visits to the GreenTech fair in Amsterdam and business networking events. The trade mission followed an earlier mission last year with GCCI to the Netherlands on agriculture, infrastructure and textiles.

The Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Ghana, H.E. Hans Docter: “This trade mission is another example of how the Netherlands and Ghana are literally growing together”. The mission complements the Embassy’s efforts on private sector development in Ghana’s agricultural sector. The trade mission was commissioned by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and implemented by the Ghana Netherlands Business & Culture Council (GNBCC), the Netherlands Africa Business Council (NABC) and Dutch employers’ organization FME.

GCCI was established with the prime objective of promoting industrial and commercial interest Ghana and reprents business operators, firms and industries with interests spanning every sector of private enterprise in the country. As a business association, AGI represents over 1200 members and aims to create a supportive and competitive business climate that will make Ghanaian companies internationally competitive.

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Governments and Telecoms Top Targeted Sectors for Cyber Attacks in East Africa Mon, 27 Jun 2016 09:17:16 +0000 cyberIn East Africa, governments are the top target sector for cyber attacks (33%). Telecommunications (22%) and financial services (17%) follow in close succession. Contrary to the perception that cyber breaches are a problem unique to the large multinational companies based in developed markets, East African organisations are fast becoming a target for attacks with local subsidiaries particularly attractive as the ‘cyber’ route into these multinationals.

According to Control Risks’ ( cyber threat intelligence team:

Attacks are increasing rapidly and in severity: Globally there has been a 42% increase in the number of targeted attacks reported between 2015 and Q1-Q2 2016
For East Africa, Advanced Persistent Threat and Criminal Targeted Attacks are the most impactful cyber attack techniques in 2016
In Kenya alone, the estimated costs for the country due to cyber crime costs sums up to 2 billion Kenyan shillings ($23m) +
The Kenyan Government has made great strides with the formation of Kenya National Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Centre (KE_CIRT/CC) launched in 2012 and the development of the national cyber security strategy in 2014, it is however key for the public and private sector organisations to interpret what the policies mean for them; essentially adopt a “paper to practice” model for their organisation
Patrick Matu, Compliance, Forensics and Cyber expert for East Africa comments:

“Despite a growing number of media headlines about US or EU based companies falling victim to a cyber breach, the lack of obligation in many emerging markets to report on incidents is creating a false illusion that businesses operating in these markets are not subject to cyber attacks. In fact many organisations with bases in these emerging markets are prime targets and seen as the ‘weak underbelly’ when it comes to an organisation’s cyber security.”

Matu continues:

“Cyber security still isn’t given enough priority by business leaders in the region as it’s often seen as an isolated IT problem and not a business issue. It’s important that cyber security is demystified at that senior level. Rather than being perceived as this elusive dark art, cyber security needs to be incorporated into the whole business and not left isolated with the IT team. As the world of cyber criminality continues to evolve, it’s important that businesses continually review their IT security measures. This should include an on-going review of the cyber threat landscape to understand what kinds of threats your business might face and adjusting your security measures accordingly – not forgetting making sure all employees are aware of the potential threats and how to respond.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Control Risks Group Holdings Ltd.
Media Contacts: Control Risks Charity Kahuki Marketing Executive, East Africa +254 709666634 +254 720936043

About Control Risks: Control Risks ( is an independent global business risk consultancy with 36 offices across the globe. Control Risks has over 30 years of experience working in Africa. With regional offices in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya, we provide clients with high quality support in understanding and managing the business risks they face. To learn more about Control Risks’ capabilities in Africa, click here.

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President, Deputy President to attend SADC summit Mon, 27 Jun 2016 06:06:08 +0000 .

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Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma is expected to travel to Gaborone, Botswana next week to attend the Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Double Troika.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will also attend the summit in his capacity as the SADC-appointed Facilitator on Lesotho.

Earlier this week, the Deputy President was in Maseru for a working visit as part of his SADC mandate to assist the Kingdom.

He was expected to hold consultations with the Prime Minister Phakalitha Mosisili and members of his government, members of the opposition political parties, college of chiefs, Council of Churches of Lesotho and representatives of civil society on progress regarding implementation of recommendations for the constitutional and security sector reforms.

Recommendations for constitutional and security sector reforms were adopted by SADC during its Organ Troika meeting in Pretoria on 3 July 2015.

The extra-ordinary summit, scheduled to be held on 28 June, will consider the political and security situation in the SADC region, paying particular attention to the situation in Lesotho.

South Africa is participating in the meeting in its capacity as the outgoing Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

The Double Troika is made up of the following countries: Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania.

President Zuma will also be accompanied by the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and State Security David Mahlobo.

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