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Standard Bank report confirms strong growth in Africa’s rising middle class – and even faster future growth  

Posted by African Press International on August 22, 2014

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, August 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Africa has experienced substantial growth in its middle class over the past 14 years, according to a study by Standard Bank (http://www.standardbank.com).

The report, entitled ‘Understanding Africa’s middle class,’ found there are 15 million middle-class households in 11 of sub-Saharan Africa’s top economies this year, up from 4.6 million in 2000 and 2.4 million in 1990 – an increase of 230% over 14 years. However, of the total number of households across these focal economies, 86% of them remain within the broadly “low income” band, emphasizing the nascent maturation of many of the continent’s markets.

The report also found that the combined GDPs of the 11 measured economies had grown tenfold since 2000.

The study uses a proven methodology widely employed in South Africa. The report, based on the Living Standards Measure (LSM), gives investors to Africa data on which to base their investment decisions.

In the past, the conventional wisdom was that as many as 300 million Africans are categorised as ‘middle class’. The report points out that investors using an unquantifiable assumption might find individuals they had thought were middle class were in fact highly vulnerable to lose that status in any economic shock.

The report suggests that while the middle class may be smaller than previously thought, two factors should give investors greater comfort: by any methodology Africa’s middle class is growing strongly; and Africa’s income accumulation is far more broad-based than had previously been thought.

Standard Bank senior political economist Simon Freemantle, author of the report, says the new report is cause for optimism among investors as it suggests even greater scope for future growth, and indeed the report forecasts acceleration in the accumulation of middle-class households in Africa.

Commenting on the lower than  anticipated total number of middle class households, Freemantle says any view “concerning the undoubted ongoing improvement in Africa’s economic performance has to be tempered with the reality that the level of this growth and the nominal size of the continent’s middle class had not until now been adequately measured”.

He argues the previous figure of 300 million ‘middle class’ Africans was viewed as a best-estimate that has now been confirmed as to trend if not as to the total aggregate. The report cites the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) influential 2011 study, ‘The Middle of the Pyramid: Dynamics of the Middle Class in Africa’, which by its methodology attached middle class status to individuals earning just USD4 to USD20 a day, and even a “floating class” of individual earning USD2 to USD4 a day, thereby categorising fully one-third of Africa’s people (over 300 million of them) as ‘middle class’.

“In fact, such individuals would still be exceptionally vulnerable to various economic shocks, and prone to lose their middle-income status,” explains Freemantle.

South Africa’s LSM measure as a methodology is not income-based but rather uses a wider range of analysis. The report covers 11 selected sub-Saharan African countries which combined account for half Africa’s total GDP (75% if excluding South Africa) and half its population. The methodology identified LSM5 and above as middle class and categorises household income into four distinct income bands: low income; lower middle class; middle class and upper middle class.

“Standard Bank has attempted to fill the knowledge gap by using comprehensive household income data and adopting our own measure of the middle class using South Africa’s LSMs as a framework in order to provide cross-quantifiable reference points for peer African economies.” The 11 focus economies are: Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

This methodology found there was an undeniable swelling of Africa’s middle class irrespective of which methodology was used. “Looking ahead, an even greater elevation in income growth is anticipated in the next 15 years; between 2014 and 2030, we expect an additional 14 million middle-class households will be added across the 11 focal countries – tripling the current number. Including lower-middle-class households, the overall number swells to over 40 million households by 2030, from around 15 million today,” the report states.

Furthermore, while figures for 1990, 2000 and 2014 all contain more lower-middle class than middle class households, by 2030 it is expected that “there will be notably more middle-class households than those in the lower-middle-class bracket (19.2 million versus 22 million)”

 

Freemantle says: “The swifter pace of middle-class growth is critical in its suggestion of a more marked income ascent in the next decade and a half, compared to the period since 2000.”

As a caution, the report states: “Though there has been a meaningful individual lift in income, it is clear that a substantial majority of individuals in most countries we looked at still live on or below the poverty line (measured as those with a daily income of USD2 or less).” Income discrepancies are vast among the 11 economies, with almost 86% of the 110 million households in the focal grouping falling within the low-income band. This is expected to fall to around 75% by 2030.

“In conclusion, while the scale of Africa’s middle class ascent has, we believe, been somewhat exaggerated in line with the at times breathless ‘Africa Rising’ narrative, there is still plenty of scope for measured optimism regarding the size of the middle class in several key SSA [Sub-Saharan Africa] economies. Reliable and proven data should if anything spur more interest in the continent’s consumer potential by adding depth to what was previously conjecture,” says Freemantle.

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  • About Standard Bank Group

Standard Bank (http://www.standardbank.com), trading as Stanbic Group, is the largest African bank by assets and earnings. Our strategy is to build the leading African-focused financial services organisation using all our competitive advantages to the full. We will focus on delivering superior sustainable shareholder value by serving the needs of our customers through first-class, on-the-ground operations in chosen countries in Africa. We will also connect other selected emerging markets to Africa and to each other, applying our sector expertise, particularly in natural resources, globally. We operate in 20 countries on the African continent, including South Africa.

Standard Bank has a 151-year history in South Africa and started building a franchise outside southern Africa in the early 1990s. In recent years, Standard Bank has concluded key acquisitions on the African continent in Kenya and Nigeria. Africa is at our core and we will continue to build first-class on-the-ground banks.

The group’s nearly 49 000 employees in all regions deliver a complete range of services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking and wealth management.  Standard Bank’s Corporate & Investment Banking division offers its clients banking, trading, investment, risk management and advisory services to connect selected emerging markets to Africa and to each other. It has strong offerings in mining and metals; oil, gas and renewables; power and infrastructure; agribusiness; telecommunications and media; and financial institutions.

Normalised headline earnings for 2013 were R17.2 billion (about USD 1.8 billion) and total assets were R1 694 billion (about USD 162 billion). Standard Bank’s market capitalisation at 31 December 2013 was R209.4 billion (about USD20 billion)

The group’s largest shareholder is Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest bank, with a 20,1% shareholding. In addition, Standard Bank Group and ICBC share a strategic partnership that facilitates trade and deal flow between Africa, China and select emerging markets.

 

SOURCE

Standard Bank

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Africa: Growth is on the horizon but where should you look?

Posted by African Press International on August 21, 2014

Originally posted on African Press International (API):

  • By 2040, Africa will experience faster economic growth than any other region

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, August 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ CEOs around the world are increasingly recognising the untapped potential of sub-Saharan Africa. This is driven by Africa’s unparalleled demographic edge or demographic dividend. By 2040, Africa is expected to have the biggest labour force in the world and experiencing faster economic growth than any other region, according to a report issued by PwC (http://www.pwc.com).

The projections are contained in the latest PwC ‘Global Economy Watch’, which puts the spotlight on the largest cities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Most major corporations are already active in at least one of the four largest cities in sub-Saharan Africa – Lagos, Kinshasa, Nairobi and Johannesburg.

But PwC economists believe it’s the ‘Next 10′ biggest cities in sub-Saharan Africa that should also be exciting foreign investors. The population of these cities is…

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School tries to heal the divide in northern Nigeria

Posted by African Press International on August 21, 2014

By Obinna Anyadire

MAIDUGURI, 18 August 2014 (IRIN) – The kidnapping of more than 200 girls from a secondary school in Chibok in northeastern Nigeria’s Borno State in April by Boko Haram militants, and a so far unsuccessful high-profile campaign to free them, exemplifies the insecurity-driven education crisis in the area.

Since March all public schools have been closed in Borno State – one of the three states in the northeast hardest hit by the violence. The tragedy is that, according to a 2010 national literacy survey, Borno already had the sixth worst literacy rate for youths in any language out of Nigeria’s 36 states. What formal education currently exists in Borno has been through a handful of private schools that have kept their gates open.

One of these is a school for orphans and vulnerable children in Maiduguri, providing free primary education. What sets Future Prowess Islamic Foundation apart is the deliberate policy of its founder, Zannah Mustapha, to care for children from families on both sides of the conflict – Boko Haram and the security forces.

“We are trying to avoid a catastrophe,” said Mustapha, a lawyer, who has played a role in abortive mediation efforts between the government and Boko Haram. “We want the two sides of the divide to grow as friends, not a case of ‘You killed my father, you killed my mother, I must have revenge’. No. They must learn together. We are providing that security.”

The seven-classroom school delivers a blended curriculum of Islamic tuition, and the standard syllabus approved by the state education board, taught in English. Although Boko Haram is notorious for its rejection of “Western” education, and some parents (many of them widows) objected to what they viewed as “pagan” lessons, the school was able to challenge those beliefs.

“English is just a language, many British people are also Muslims,” said Mustapha. “And mathematics, how is that Western? It was invented by the Arabs.”

The five-year conflict has exacerbated the northeast’s historically bad social indicators. More that 42 percent of children are stunted by malnutrition (compared to just 16 percent in the southeast), according to the government’s 2013 Demographic and Health Survey. The deep disruption of the local economy by the violence has worsened the situation, driving up prices and shrinking employment.

The school’s response has been a breakfast feeding programme for its 420 pupils. “It’s rice and beans or moi-moi [a bean-based sponge], something that can fill the stomach for some time,” said headmaster Suleiman Aliyu. “There is no way a child can learn properly on an empty stomach.”

It is funded by local benefactors, and “as a result of the programme a lot of parents are registering their children – not for the learning, but for the breakfast alone.”

A traumatized community

This is a community traumatized by violence – shootings, bombings and kidnappings by Boko Haram; retaliatory beatings, arrests and extra-judicial killings by the security forces. “We are serving as teachers and parents for the orphaned children,” said Islamic teacher Hassan Sharif al-Hassan.

“English is just a language, many British people are also Muslims. And mathematics, how is that Western? It was invented by the Arabs.”

“Many of them have no guardians at home. When they come to school we give them what they can use in their lives in terms of respect, in terms of behaviour. But it’s not a normal childhood. Sometimes you can ask a pupil why they are silent, and the child can start crying. Psychologically we can understand they have internal problems.”

Abubaker Tijjani is aged 14 and wants to be an accountant. But right now he would just like to have his father back, who died a year ago. “I’m sad about that, I miss him,” he told IRIN. “I’m not OK with life.”

A local hospital is providing monthly counselling sessions for the members of a widows’ association the school has formed. “People didn’t realize their symptoms of stress, high blood pressure, headaches, sleepless nights were related to psychological problems,” said Aliyu. ‘We’ve seen positive changes.”

The association’s revolving micro-credit fund also tries to provide some financial help with a little business capital. In the vulnerable households the children are out on the streets after school selling groundnuts, sweets and water.

The community has supported the school and some prominent people are sponsoring individual students. Mustapha has, according to the headmaster, ploughed much of his own money into keeping the school open. That has included building a fish farm that provides a measure of financial independence, helping pay teachers’ salaries, and providing the free uniforms and books the students need.

But aside from the US Agency for International Development recently agreeing to provide some desks, and the Swiss embassy paying for the trauma counsellor, there is no other outside assistance.

“International partners don’t often come here because of the insecurity,” Mustapha said. “Individuals can’t do what we need. We need institutions like the UN, UNICEF, to help.”

oa/cb End

Source irin

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The Sierra Leone Embassy In Beijing Now A Tribal Village

Posted by African Press International on August 20, 2014

  • By Sulay B. Conteh

    We, the Sierra Leone Diaspora Community in China and the Greater Asia, are profoundly grateful to His Excellency, President Dr. Earnest Bai Koroma, for going all out to have a “Limba Corner” sort of thing in the Sierra Leone Embassy in Beijing, China. We must hasten to express our appreciation as had it not been for the selfless personal sacrifice by His Excellence, the Sierra Leone Diaspora Community in Asia would not have ever gotten this unique opportunity to taste on a near-daily basis the highly liked delicacy drink we all know in Sierra Leone as “god-to-man” or “poyo”. Now with the Ambassador, the Deputy Ambassador and the Press Attaché all hailing from the Limba-Loko tribe in Sierra Leone like our abled President himself, arrangements have been eventually finalized for daily import of “god-to-man” from the President’s home village direct to the Sierra Leone Embassy in Beijing. This is part of the people-to-people link we have
    always worked so tirelessly to promote between our two great countries. This could also be our own little way of relaxing ourselves from the gruesome killings of the rampaging Ebola Virus Disease we have personally fomented as a responsible, people-driven Government in Sierra Leone.

    With the coming of the Deputy Ambassador, who is also President Koroma’s blood sister, we the Diaspora Community in Australia have received an official invitation to this colossal development in our noble Embassy in Beijing. Also our compatriots in Greater Asia, including Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong and other countries that are directly under the purview of the Embassy in Beijing have confirmed receipt of the well worded official invitation. Of course we have unanimously hailed this development as uniquely monumental in the history of our diplomatic relations overseas and we have therefore fully consented to patronizing with such a worthy effort of our Government and Embassy of Sierra Leone. This effort, we are made to understand, is dedicated towards the creation of the so-needed enabling environment where we can freely interact and know each other on a personal basis, come together as one people and one country, relax ourselves from the
    theatrically ravaging woes of our people back home by the killer Ebola Epidemic and above all to raise funds to support the fight against the corruption-ridden Ebola Virus Disease Epidemic efforts in Sierra Leone.

    The Diaspora Community and the student body had expected so much from our Deputy Ambassador, our dear President’s sister, for the very simple fact that she has lived most of her life in the first world in UK. We had so hoped that our sister’s overseas exposure and experiences along with her blood relationship with our dear President would have meant that right difference in the manner the Embassy was run or the students and Diaspora member issues handled. Indeed the arrival of Her Excellency the Deputy Ambassador started with a moderate welcoming party, which was a welcoming start. Of course, even that welcoming party would not have happened without the persistent criticism of the way every meritable event was being curtailed by Ambassador Foh. But now that the Her Excellency the Deputy Ambassador has gotten fully settled in her massive second-floor office in the Embassy, everything has gone back to business-as-usual.

    To start with, the payment for the 2013 student container was deliberately delayed until the contained actually was reported to have arrived at Deep Water Quay. Because of this delay, the said container is yet to complete the customs clearance at the Quay. Also all the 2014 graduates have left China without receiving their annual allowances, and not in fact to talk about the money for shipment of personal effects. Now with the massive Ebola outbreak in town, no one can even dare to talk about the students’ allowances and the money for the container. For the time being, however, you have to be a Limba-Loko or at least affiliated with the North before your business can pass in the Embassy and by extension in the APC Government in Sierra Leone.

    This is just a tip of the ice-berg and of the hard reality we have to live with today. APC has never been and will never be a blessing to Sierra Leone. For all its past and present rules, APC has always been and will ever be a curse to our beloved Sierra Leone. It all seems like even God is now angry with us and the current Ebola Plague brutalizing our country could not be for any less reason than this. Of course, this is the prize we have to pay for having APC run Sierra Leone once again. So we must have to repent in order to redeem Sierra Leone and only our genuine decisions and rightful actions we get us God’s empathy once again. As even our abled Deputy Ambassador now increasingly seems to be of no blessing to anyone outside her clan and the affiliated, the slang “business-as-usual” once again rules the day-to-day operations of the Embassy.

    May God Continue To Bless Our Beloved Sierra Leone!

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Restrictive measures against Russia

Posted by African Press International on August 19, 2014

The Government has today adopted new restrictive measures against Russia, in line with the decision announced on 11 August. The new regulations were adopted today by the King in Council, and enter into force immediately. 

The situation in Ukraine has deteriorated further during the past few weeks. The regulations adopted today bring Norway’s restrictive measures against Russia in line with those of the EU.

‘Russia has shown no willingness to help bring about a ceasefire and seek a solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. On the contrary, it has contributed to an escalation of the conflict by actively supporting the pro-Russian rebels. The situation in eastern Ukraine is getting worse every day. It is vital that the international community stands united in its response to Russia’s actions,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

The Government will maintain a close dialogue with the business community to assess the consequences of the measures for the various sectors affected. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has opened a service telephone line for Norwegian companies affected by the new restrictive measures.

The main points of the regulations are:

·         An extension of the list of individuals and entities that are subject to asset-freeze measures and travel restrictions to include a further 8 people and 12 entities, and an expansion of the criteria for inclusion on the list.

·         A ban on imports from Crimea and Sevastopol, and for the same area, a ban on the issuing of loans or other forms of credit for the development of infrastructure in the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors, a ban on the issuing of loans or other forms of credit for the exploitation of oil, gas or mineral resources, and a ban on the sale or export of key equipment or technology to these sectors.

·         A ban on the import and export of arms and defence-related products (List I) to and from Russia and the export of dual-use items and technology (List II) for military end-use in Russia.

·         A ban on the purchase or sale of new bonds, equity or similar financial instruments with a maturity exceeding 90 days issued by five listed Russian financial institutions.

·         Prior authorisation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be required for the export of certain categories of goods to the Russian petroleum sector. The export of products to be used for deep-water oil exploration and production, Arctic oil exploration and production, or in shale oil projects in Russia is prohibited. Prior authorisation is also required for the provision of financing or other technical assistance related to these categories of goods. Authorisation can and will normally be given for the export of products if this is to honour obligations under contracts agreed prior to the entry into force of the new regulations.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for processing applications for export licences.

The measures implemented by the regulations leave room for discretion. In applying the regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will take into consideration other Norwegian legislation and relevant guidelines and experience relating to the sectors covered by the regulations. This applies in particular to the rules for the export of products etc. relating to the petroleum sector. Once the rules have entered into force, they will be further developed on the basis of their application in practice and any new guidelines.

End

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MoboFree said it expects the total volume of items for sale in its marketplace to reach USD 1.5 billion by 2015

Posted by African Press International on August 19, 2014

Nigerians Are Selling Unused Items Worth USD 526 million on MoboFree.com

 

LAGOS, Nigeria, August 18, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ MoboFree.com (http://www.mobofree.com), the leading African social marketplace, today announced that the total volume of items currently for sale in its marketplace is worth USD 526 million and is expected to reach USD 1.5 billion by 2015.

With 3.3 million registered users, including 2 million in Nigeria and a strong footprint in Zimbabwe, Uganda and Ghana, MoboFree.com is among the largest and most successful mobile social and trusted classifieds platforms in Africa.

MoboFree members upload thousands of new classifieds every day, generating an average of 60 million page impressions monthly.

The best-selling items on MoboFree.com are phones, tablets and mobile devices, followed by clothes, fashion and beauty and electronic devices.

The MoboFree technological platform makes buying and selling online easy for any African user with any device, not only for PCs and smartphones but also for old phones with small screens (so called “feature” phones).

“Africa is home to six of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world. Our strong performance once again confirms the success of our model and is indicative of the high level of activity in all markets in which we operate. We are now looking for new partners with which to share our exciting expansion plans as we see enormous opportunities arising in Africa,” said MoboFree CEO and co-founder Neringa Kudarauskiene.

MoboFree is a social marketplace with a unique user-centric approach rather than the traditional item-centric approach. MoboFree allows its buyers and sellers to obtain a large amount of personal information about one other – ranging from photos and mutual friends to ratings or other data that enables identification of whether or not a person is trustworthy.

Negotiation and communication during the buying/selling process is a very important part of African culture. MoboFree allows its members to communicate and negotiate conveniently without leaving the platform. They can do this via private messages or via chat. MoboFree members send over 8 million private messages per month.

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About MoboFree.com

MoboFree.com (http://www.mobofree.com) is a leading African social marketplace allowing people to buy, sell and swap products and services with other trusted people. MoboFree.com combines a social network and classifieds board into one integrated online platform and makes buying and selling online more fun, personal and safe.

Over 3.3 million users are registered on MoboFree and together they generate on average around 60 million page impressions monthly. More than 2 million registered users are from Nigeria.

MoboFree currently has more than 3.3 million registered users, with more than 2 million users in Nigeria and a leading position in several other African countries such as Uganda and Zimbabwe. MoboFree users generate on average around 60 million page impressions monthly and upload thousands of new classifieds daily. The project sees ~3000 new registered members added every day. http://www.mobofree.com

 

SOURCE

MoboFree

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Considerable progress for Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI)

Posted by African Press International on August 18, 2014

NOK 10 billion in development aid combined with six years’ work have contributed to conserving natural forest and to establishing systems for the reduction of deforestation and for the inclusion of the conservation of forests in international climate change negotiations. A new report from Norad evaluates the initiative and shows that results have been achieved in spite of weak pre-initiative planning and poor reporting during its implementation.

Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) has been monitored by an evaluation team since 2010, and a summarizing evaluation report has now been published. This shows that the four main objectives of the initiative have largely been attained:

“The evaluation points out that the initiative has made considerable progress. In general positive results have been achieved in the three climate change goals,” says Ida Hellmark, Adviser in Norad’s Evaluation Department. “The initiative has been crucial for the international work on setting up systems to reduce deforestation. With regard to the development goal, the initiative has assisted in mapping forest areas, thus clarifying who has the right to use the forest.”

A solid contribution to reaching the climate change goals

The first main goal of NICFI is to help ensure that forests are included in a new international climate regime. Through NICFI, Norway is the largest donor to REDD+ – the global initiative that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting from deforestation and forest degradation. NICFI has acted as a driving force and has played a major role in the successful establishment of a framework for REDD+ in international climate change negotiations.

The second main goal is to take early action to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries pending a new climate change agreement. NICFI has made important contributions to the work of establishing systems that make it possible for countries to measure their emissions and to receive disbursements.

NICFI’s third main goal is to promote the conservation of natural forest areas in order to maintain their carbon storage capacity. In this context NICFI has made what the evaluation calls a solid contribution by including protection in national plans, conducting pilot projects and safeguarding the protection of new natural forest.

Good contributions to the development goal, but gender equality not prioritized

The initiative is also intended to support the achievement of Norwegian development policy goals. According to the evaluation, NICFI has here contributed to better governance of the forest areas.

“Better governance has been achieved by mapping the land and the activities that take place in the forests and by identifying who owns them. Civil society has played a significant role in the work on anti-corruption measures, illegal tree felling and the rights of indigenous people,” says Ms Hellmark.

Gender equality was included in the planning documents, but the evaluation is critical of the fact that women’s rights are still not assigned priority in the implementation of the projects.

Poor planning and reporting 

The report reveals that the positive results have been achieved in spite of the fact that there is no overall result framework or coordinated strategy for how the goals are to be met. This was also pointed out in previous evaluations, and was one of the main criticisms of the report from the Office of the Auditor General in 2013.

“When NICFI was set up, it all happened quickly and as a political initiative. The evaluation shows that both the pre-initiative planning and the reporting during the implementation were inadequate,” Ms Hellmark tells us. “The outcome of the initiative has clearly been positive, but much has been due to wide political support, large disbursements, great flexibility and competent employees.”

She continues, “Several of the individual projects that are included in the initiative are well planned and reported, but the lack of a coordinated strategy prevents joint prioritizations within an initiative that has many different actors.”

Ineffectiveness, poor information and coordination problems

Norway has given financial support to both the UN and the World Bank to enable these organizations to support the countries’ work of reducing deforestation. Information and the reporting of results are as inadequate in these organizations as they are in the Norwegian initiative. Moreover the evaluation team concludes that the multilateral organizations are ineffective and badly coordinated.

“Coordination problems arise because there are so many actors involved and because the activities that are to be performed are so diverse,” Ms. Hellmark explains.

The multilateral organizations are also increasing the number of countries they support even though many of the countries that have already received support show little progress. The cause of the lack of progress should therefore be analysed before more new countries are included.

Lack of certainty over funding is a challenge

One of the main motivating factors to encourage a country to commit itself to forest conservation and emission reductions is the pledge of disbursements for results achieved. According to the evaluation report, uncertainty about the future financing of such result-based payments is the greatest risk for further progress.

“In addition, the evaluation points out that the costs of forest conservation should be viewed in relation to the countries’ potential for operating the necessary systems,” says Ms Hellmark.

The evaluation also states that result-based funding, which is the form of disbursement that has been selected, is probably not viable in several of the countries.

Changes recommended

According to the evaluation, the next step should be to draw up an overall strategy that also encompasses result reporting. The initiative should also improve its communication of activities and achievements, and an assessment should be made to determine how the collaboration with the multilateral organizations within REDD+ can be coordinated and rendered more effective.

Results at country level :

Brazil: Brazil’s deforestation and emissions have substantially declined, a reduction that took place before the start of the cooperation with Norway. Activities established after Norwegian disbursements for these results now pave the way for future emission reduction.

Guyana: Although the establishment of the necessary systems for measuring forest protection has been successful in Guyana, insufficient action has been taken to reduce the mining operations that are the main cause of deforestation in the country.

Indonesia: Indonesia has made very good progress in readiness planning for the implementation of REDD+. However, changes in government and weaknesses in the legal basis for REDD+ constitute a serious threat to the results attained.

Tanzania:In Tanzania NICFI has contributed to achieving a number of results at project level. The lack of government ownership means that there are limited opportunities for producing large-scale results at national level.

To download the report and read more: www.norad.no/nicfievaluated 

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Fact box: Summarizing evaluation of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative

  • Background of the evaluation

The aim has been to assess the results of the initiative in relation to its overarching climate change and development goals and in relation to cross-initiative topics such as gender equality and anti-corruption measures.

The evaluation summarizes activities and correlates results on the basis of data collected by the evaluation team and other published reports.

  • More information on the evaluation

The evaluation has been conducted by LTS International, Indufor Oy, Ecometrica and Chr. Michelsen Institute.

The evaluation includes a brief review of NICFI’s institutional and economic frameworks, as well as a number of strategic issues.

The evaluation covers fieldwork in four countries: Indonesia, Tanzania, Brazil and Guyana. In addition, results achieved through multilateral organizations have been examined.

The evaluation covers the period 2007-2013.

Fact box: Last report in the real-time evaluation of the government’s climate and forest initiative (NICFI)

The climate and forest project has been monitored by an evaluation team since its start-up. Previous evaluations conducted under this agreement concern:

  • The inclusion of emissions from deforestation in the global climate change regulations (published in April 2011).
  • Support to national REDD efforts in Brazil, Guyana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Indonesia (published in April 2011).
  • Support to civil society with fieldwork in four countries: Indonesia, Peru, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (published in August 2012).
  • Support to the measurement, reporting and verification of fieldwork in four countries: Indonesia, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Guyana (published in September 2013, with links to news features with the reports).

Fact box: REDD, REDD+ and NICFI

REDD+ is a global initiative that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

At the climate change negotiations in Cancun in 2010 the various countries agreed to reduce the emissions resulting from deforestation. Several points were added to the agreement, which was given the name REDD+. The plus sign stands for sustainable forest governance, an increase in the forests’ carbon storage capacity, and the protection of forests and biological diversity.

Since 2007 the Norwegian government has pledged to allocate up to NOK 3 billion per year from the aid budget through NICFI.

 

End

Source mfa.norway

 

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APC Plays Cynically Dirty With Lethal Ebola Epidemic In South/East Sierra Leone

Posted by African Press International on August 18, 2014

Originally posted on African Press International (API):

By Sulay B. Conteh
 
It is almost a full half-year now since the first case of the fatal Ebola epidemic was reported in Kailahun, Eastern Sierra Leone. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, the APC Government led by Dr. Earnest Bai Koroma has responded in a series of extraordinarily queer way. This has raised a widespread suspicion about the real intentions of the APC Government regarding its unusual handling of this alien disease.
 
It has just been a little over a year when the Koroma-led APC Government boldly stole the elections and reinstalled itself into second term of office in an unusually unofficial way.  In fact even the Koroma-led APC first term of office could not have come to fruition had it not been for the blind craving for international recognition by late President Kabbah. But all of this is now history not worth any retelling in decent…

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Africa: New report raises concerns about the pace of reform and possible implications for security in Kenya

Posted by African Press International on August 18, 2014

Originally posted on African Press International (API):

  • The importance of security in Kenya for regional development makes security in Kenya a regional concern.

LONDON, United-Kingdom, August 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ The latest report from Think Security Africa (TSA) (http://www.thinksecurityafrica.org): National Security Profile on the Republic of Kenya, raises concerns about the pace of reform in Kenya, and the need to ensure that existing security challenges do not negatively interact with changes in Kenya’s new political and budgetary arrangements – intended to improve long-term security in Kenya.

The importance of security in Kenya for regional development makes security in Kenya a regional concern. Kenya plays a key role for sub-regional trade and logistics, and this role is set to expand with the inception of Lamu Port and Southern Sudan – Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET).

  • Key findings from the report:

National and regional economic development

Current infrastructure development plans provide…

View original 279 more words

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Norway to implement new restrictive measures against Russia

Posted by African Press International on August 17, 2014

‘The Government will align itself with the EU’s new restrictive measures against Russia. Since the start of the crisis in Ukraine, Norway has stood united with the EU and other like-minded countries in responding to Russia’s violations of international law. We will do so this time as well,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

In response to Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol and the destabilisation of eastern Ukraine, the EU has adopted restrictive measures against Russia. The situation in Ukraine has deteriorated further during the past few weeks.

‘Even after the tragedy of the Malaysian airliner that was shot down on 17 July, Russia has not changed its course, but has continued to destabilise the eastern part of Ukraine. This has resulted in the EU and the US introducing extensive restrictive measures against Russia, as they had warned that they would in the event of further destabilisation.

‘Norway will introduce the same measures as those adopted by the EU on 31 July. These measures are a response to Russia’s violation of fundamental principles of the UN Charter. Despite massive international pressure, Russia has not demonstrated any willingness to change its actions in Ukraine, which are in violation of international law,’ said Foreign Minister Brende.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will open a service telephone line on Wednesday 13 August to meet the business sector’s need for information about the new measures.

 

‘The Ministry has recently held a number of meetings with representatives from the Norwegian business sector about the restrictive measures now being adopted. Feedback from the business sector is important for our dialogue with the EU to clarify the details of the measures. The measures leave room for discretion, and we will use our discretion,’ said Mr Brende. 

The Norwegian Parliament (‘Storting’) has been consulted on this matter.

These are the main points included in the measures:

·         The list of individuals and entities subject to asset-freeze measures and travel restrictions will be extended, and the criteria for being included on the list will be expanded.

·         A ban on imports from Crimea and Sevastopol will be introduced; for the same area, it will be prohibited to issue loans or other forms of credit for the development of infrastructure in the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors, it will be prohibited to issue loans or other forms of credit for the exploitation of oil, gas or mineral resources, and the sale or export of key equipment or technology to these sectors in Crimea or Sevastopol will be prohibited.

·         The import and export of arms and defence-related products (List I) to and from Russia and the export of dual-use items and technology (List II) for military end-use in Russia will be prohibited.

·         Buying or selling new bonds, equity or similar financial instruments with a maturity exceeding 90 days issued by five listed Russian financial institutions will be prohibited.

·         Prior authorisation by the Norwegian authorities will be required for the export of certain categories of goods to the Russian petroleum sector. It will be prohibited to export products that are to be used for deep water oil exploration and production, Arctic oil exploration and production, or in shale oil projects in Russia. This ban will apply to new contracts only. Prior authorisation will also be required for financing and services related to these categories of goods.

The Norwegian authorities will shortly clarify the details of the measures that allow discretion, in close consultation with the EU.

End

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Louis Berger to Oversee Yaoundé-Douala Highway Segment Construction in Cameroon

Posted by African Press International on August 17, 2014

  • Cameroon is a key transit country for the landlocked countries of Central Africa

YAOUNDE, Cameroon, August 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/Louis Berger (http://www.louisberger.com), a $1 billion global professional services corporation, has recently signed a five-year project management contract financed by local funds for the construction of the first segment of the Yaoundé-Douala highway in Cameroon. The total construction value of the project is almost €7million.

The road segment will connect Cameroon’s government and diplomatic hub in Yaoundé to the country’s economic center and deep water port in Douala. The current road between these cities is extremely congested and is one of the deadliest roads in the Central African region, characterized by its many curves, changes in road grade, poor maintenance and heavy truck traffic, including logging semi-tractor trailers. The improvements will result into a straighter 2-lane road motorway, safer and of better quality.

“The new 236-kilometer highway will lead to reduced travel time and will hopefully have a positive impact on the international transportation because Cameroon is a key transit country for the landlocked countries of Central Africa” said Jean-Pierre Dupacq, head of Louis Berger’s operations in Africa.

Louis Berger has more than 50 years of experience in Africa and more than 20 years of experience working in Cameroon. The company’s work in the country includes 10 ongoing projects and more than 20 projects completed in the last twenty years. These projects have included a broad range of  services from institutional strengthening, capacity building and training of the central public authorities, feasibility studies, urban transport planning, regional transportation strategies and project management and construction supervision.

————-

Louis Berger

Louis Berger (http://www.louisberger.com) is a $1 billion global professional services corporation that helps infrastructure and development clients solve their most complex challenges. We are a trusted partner to national, state and local government agencies; multilateral institutions; and commercial industry clients worldwide. By focusing on client needs to deliver quality, safe, financially-successful projects with integrity, we are committed to deliver on our promise to provide Solutions for a better world.

 

SOURCE

Louis Berger

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       SOMALIA: 2016 Election: Optimism, Misgivings, and Leadership Analysis.

Posted by African Press International on August 16, 2014

  • By: Farhia Ali Abdi.

Federal national democratic election is not a new concept to Somalia politics. The country conducted last one person-one-vote democratic election in 1967. The cycle of free elections and democratic system of governance has ended with the assassination of President Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, and the subsequent military coup d’état on October 21, 1969. The civil war in 1991 was the consequence of the military regime’s policies led by Mohamed Siad Bare. During the civil war, the country has gone through few transitional federal governments, leading up to the 2012 election of the current government and the end of the transitional government led by Sharif Sheik Ahmed. The current government was well received and recognized by the Somali people and the international community. Apparently, its term ends with a general election set to take place in 2016. Therefore, the government put forward a ‘vision 2016’ in order to develop a legitimate democratic process in the country. It is worth mentioning that majority of Somalis and in particular, those who were young or born during the civil war have not experienced a democratic system of government and have very little knowledge about government institutions.

Currently, the present government is under siege by Al Shabab, who repeatedly stage attacks that successfully penetrate the heart of the government seats, such as the presidential palace and the house of parliament. The government’s survival depends on more than twenty thousand African led peacekeeping troops (AMISON) from Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenyan, Sierra Leone, and Djibouti, which are deployed in and around Mogadishu. The country is struggling with rule of law, constitutional constraints, inadequate governance, public security and unresolved national grievances.  Moreover, although government focused more effort to squash Al Shabab with the help of AMISON and Somali National Army; the challenges facing the country are real and undeniable. In the face of these mounting challenges would it be realistic to conduct a liberal democracy based on a one-person one-vote election process in 2016?

Vision 2016 and optimism:

On September 2, 2013, the Somalia President hosted a five-day national conference (‘Vision 2016’) held in Mogadishu with 200 delegates in attendance. The ‘Vision 2016’ is intended as a national dialogue expected to focus on key issues on the Somali’s future, developing federal systems, democracy, arranging the constitution and setting up a policy for the country to have free and fair elections held in 2016. This conference was in preparation for the government’s invitation to Brussels for the New Deal conference on Sept 16, 2013. At “Vision 2016,” the President expressed his government’s vision for the remainder of his term.

“The objective of the Conference was to advance a Somali-owned political process and to solicit the opinions of the Somali people, including members of parliament, regional authorities, civil-society groups and experts, as well as members of the diaspora to ensure the constitutional review and implementation process, together with the process of transitioning to democratic legitimacy.” The theme addressed by delegates were constitutional development, review, oversight and implementation; models of federalism, good governance and reform; the electoral process and party politics, and political outreach, public engagement, reconciliation and justice.

While some Somalis and international community members felt that the vision was carefully thought out and an appropriate solution for the country’s problems; the question remains whether there is enough time between now and the government’s end of the term to implement all the critical elements and hold a genuine national election. The President rebuffs any calls for re-evaluating the ambitions of the 2016 election and is adamant “by the end of the term of the current Federal Government of Somalia in September 2016, there shall be no attempts for extension of the mandate whatever the excuse.” This vision could be groundbreaking for the country, if it is handled well. If it is only a rush to make a point or political gain, it will neither help the country nor make the vision a reality.

Public and International misgivings:

Although the international community funded and supported the conference in Mogadishu, concerns about its outcome persist. The United Nations Special Representative for Somalia, Ambassador Nicholas Kay, who addressed the conference of September 2nd, 2013, has told Sabahi that for the government to review its constitution and then hold a referendum and elections by 2016 is “a mighty hill to climb.” He adds that “the federal government is tasked to move Somalia towards a genuine transition to democracy in the space of just three years… this is a daunting responsibility, but United Nations will spare no effort to support it.” The Ambassador acknowledges that the country faces many challenges in the development, economic, security, governance and human rights sectors, but he believes the over‐riding challenge of Somalia is political.

Ambassador Kay’s speech is grounded with caution, and he is not alone in this regard, as many Somalis have expressed concern about all the underlining issues, the country faces that will present a huge challenge for an election to successfully take place in such a short period. There are the other important and overriding matters as well, including the issue of regional administrations (power and resource sharing) and national truth and reconciliation (acknowledgment of grievances), which, though mentioned in the vision 2016, require more clarity on how to achieve before national election takes place.

Leadership expectations:

The term leadership has many definitions, but one that resonates is that “Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a [common] goal.” Early this year the current Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Farah Sheikh Abdulkadir Mohamed, gave an interview to Sabahi on the subject of the government’s Vision 2016. The minister summarized the ‘Vision 2016’s central points, including; revision of the provisional constitution, holding of a referendum on the constitution and to hold a free and fair election on one-person, one-vote.  However, when the minister was asked about reconciliation and whether his government is prioritizing this important issue, he failed to acknowledge the need for reconciliation, limiting his response to the fact that there is no problem between the Somali public and the Federal government. The minister recognized the need to tackle reconciliation at various levels; it is unfortunate; however,  if the attitude of the minister to reconciliation and the healing of the wounds of the civil war is a reflection of a government policy to bury the reconciliation process under the blanket of ‘Vision 2016’. Somali-own national reconciliation is crucial for the survival of the country, and its unity.

The Minister’s perception is not an exception, as some Somali intellectuals have publicly stated that reconciliation means there is a victim and that there is no victim in Somalia. This argument perhaps is valid in the sense that all Somalis are victims, both of their own making and by forces outside of their control, but as the minister said, ‘there are people who have grievances with one another’.  Masking or bandaging the problem does not move the country forward, but makes it stagnant.  For those who also argue, where we will stop the bus once we get into such things as reconciliation, I say wherever it takes to have a healthy society. It is well known that the majority of Somali grievances started in 1980s and have continued to the present. This is a good place to start.

After the fall of the military regime in 1991, Somalia dissolved institutionally and socially; today Somalia is a fragmented country and is administratively separated. To bring the nation together and achieve national consensus will require extraordinary leadership, and a new way of thinking that can bridge the gap between various sections of the Somali society. To underestimate and simplify the climate and tragedy of the country’s recent history, as it appears in the minister’s interview, is a huge disservice to the people of Somalia. Somali leaders present and future, federal or regional are expected to usher the country onto a path that heals and unites, not to live in denial of today’s reality or simply stick to one’s personal loyalty, script or identity. Reconciliation is not as scary word as some presume; it is a necessary component that all Somalis need to address with each other in order for healing, forgiveness and compromise to occur -for the sake of the country.  The concept of peace and reconciliation are tossed around in all Somali communications, including that coming from ‘Vision 2016’; however, Somali society and its leaders, in particular, need to understand first what reconciliation means to them and second, why it is necessary. If one cannot define the problem, one cannot find a solution.

Leadership means setting a goal and having a vision. ‘Vision 2016’ is a start in the right direction; however, when there is a barrier or challenge to that vision, a good leader does not forge ahead, but recognizes the problem and finds a solution to make it workable.  A free and fair national election in 2016 appears as a steep hill to climb, but optimism is always a healthy choice. Somalia needs proactive, open-minded, well-educated leaders with excellent communication skills who understand the country’s history and know what it takes to heal the society. What it does not need; is a leader burdened with nostalgia, who does not know the reality of today’s Somali society, or a leader who has split loyalties and identities and does not have what it takes to bring people together above his or her own reality.  Vision 2016 is a very good plan, but clarity on how this ambitious and important vision will be put together realistically and in a timely manner still needs to be established.

Finally, as Somalia ventures into the uncharted waters of the liberal-democratic federalism in 2016, its leaders, when making choices, need to be cognizant about which identity is important to them and which of their many loyalties are most salient when making decisions. Moreover, Somali leaders, both current and future have to be ready with new ideas to resolve issues, while at the same time allowing society to exercise their own problem solving muscles. The sentiment of the 2016 election was summed up by Asha Gelle Diriye, who is one of the current Constitutional Review Committee members and one of the original participants of the Vision 2016, comments to Sabahi “If the election is not held in 2016, it is important to find another option that can be used as a substitute for one person, one vote.”  It is not impossible to have a democratic election in the country; Puntland region held a different kind of successful democratic election in January, 2014 where they elected their current President, Professor, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas. To use Hillary Rodham Clinton’s words from her book ‘Hard Choices’; “democracy works only if political leaders put the common good ahead of personal interest.” Somalia needs and deserves after over two decades of fragmentation, leaders with good leadership skills that can usher the country’s political challenges ahead.

 

end

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Africa: Growth is on the horizon but where should you look?

Posted by African Press International on August 16, 2014

  • By 2040, Africa will experience faster economic growth than any other region

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, August 14, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ CEOs around the world are increasingly recognising the untapped potential of sub-Saharan Africa. This is driven by Africa’s unparalleled demographic edge or demographic dividend. By 2040, Africa is expected to have the biggest labour force in the world and experiencing faster economic growth than any other region, according to a report issued by PwC (http://www.pwc.com).

The projections are contained in the latest PwC ‘Global Economy Watch’, which puts the spotlight on the largest cities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Most major corporations are already active in at least one of the four largest cities in sub-Saharan Africa – Lagos, Kinshasa, Nairobi and Johannesburg.

But PwC economists believe it’s the ‘Next 10′ biggest cities in sub-Saharan Africa that should also be exciting foreign investors. The population of these cities is projected to almost double by 2030, growing by around 32 million people. In fact, latest UN projections show that by 2030 two of the ‘Next 10′ – Dar es Salaam and Luanda – could have bigger populations than London has now.

Cities are the typical entry points for businesses trying to expand into new overseas markets, because they enable closer interaction with customers in a relatively small geographic space, which in turn helps contain distribution costs.

Stanley Subramoney, Strategy leader of PwC’s South Market Region, says: “The report projects that economic activity in the ‘Next 10′ cities could grow around $140 billion by 2030. This is roughly equivalent to the current annual output of Hungary.”

This is a conservative estimate as no premise has been made for real exchange rate appreciation despite relatively strong projected growth in these economies.

“In addition to the trends with regard to high rates of GDP growth, rapid urbanisation and the so-called demographic edge that sub-Saharan Africa possesses, a number of other economic phenomena in the region are starting to appeal to the global investment community,” says Dr Roelof Botha, economic advisor to PwC.

These include the following:

•          Significant new discoveries of mining and energy resources, in particular gold and gas;

•          Substantial investment in infrastructure and capital formation by the private sector, which has witnessed an increase in the ratio of total fixed investment to GDP from 17.7% in 2000 to an estimated 23% in 2013;

•          Sustained growth in per capital incomes, which has led to demand shifts that are benefiting household consumption expenditure on durables, semi-durables and services;

•          The ability of a growing number of countries to raise financing for infrastructure projects on the international capital market, in particular Kenya and Rwanda. Both of these countries have recently managed to sell government bonds globally at single-digit yields, which obviate the need for excessive debt servicing costs.

As a result, a return was made last year to sound growth in foreign direct investment inflows (FDI)) into a number of key African economies, says Dr Botha.

However, there are three problems that could slow the pace at which the ‘Next 10′ biggest cities in sub-Saharan Africa grow, according to the report. These are issues that sub-Saharan countries have been trying to tackle for many decades with limited success:

•          Low quality of ‘hard’ infrastructure like roads and railways

•          Inadequate ‘soft’ infrastructure like schools and universities, and

•          Growing pains arising from political, legal and regulatory institutions struggling to deal with a bigger and more complicated economy.

“The challenges that policy makers face is to convert Africa’s demographic dividend into economic reality by overcoming these hurdles. History suggests this will not be a quick or easy process. Infrastructure development is a key driver for progress across Africa and a critical enabler for sustainable and socially inclusive growth. However, investors should form their own plans to mitigate these problems by supporting infrastructure skills and development programmes,” concludes Subramoney.

————-

About PwC

PwC (http://www.pwc.com) firms help organisations and individuals create the value they’re looking for. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 184,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. T

 

SOURCE

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC)

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APC is A Curse To Sierra Leone

Posted by African Press International on August 16, 2014

By Sulay B. Conteh

His Excellency, President Dr. Earnest Bai Koroma, where is our share of the promised prosperity to all Sierra Leoneans in your politically purported Agenda for Prosperity?

About two years into his last five-year term of office, something utter abyss has befallen the politically so-lauded prosperity for all Sierra Leoneans declared by His Excellency, President Dr. Earnest Bai Koroma. Koroma and his APC Party came to power in 2007 with a political drive for attitudinal change, which laid the basis for governance in his first five-year term of office. Little did we know that APC Koroma had meant to redirect the country into all the bad tricks his predecessor, Late President Kabbah, had so assiduously fought with tremendous fortitude to eliminate in the public and private lives of Sierra Leone.

After over three decades of systematic social, cultural, economic and political decadence under successive APC Governments, the Kabbah-led SLPP Government painfully worked to remove all sorts of corruption, plundering and political decadence from national institutions in Sierra Leone within just ten years. The decades of accumulated domestic and foreign debts of Sierra Leone were completely cleared and a handsome nation reserve built to put the country back on a solid financial footing. Press freedom and human rights were observed to the letter and also the parliament and the judiciary restructured to work without fear of political interference and coercion.

With the APC-Koroma initiated attitudinal change since his questionable election victory in 2007, Sierra Leone once again deeply relapsed into all the worst tricks of governance. Battered with corruption and plundering of an epic magnitude, Sierra Leone has once again accumulated billions of dollars in foreign and domestic debts. Press freedom and human rights have again become those beautiful things of yesteryears. The parliament and the judiciary are now puppets of the APC Government. State revenues have become personal incomes of the corrupt authorities in charge. Today in Sierra Leone, there is nothing left for the common man to survive legitimately. This was indeed the sweeping agenda for attitudinal change which APC President Koroma instituted in his first five-year term of office.

In his second and final five-year term of office, President Koroma again introduced a brand new agenda, called the agenda for prosperity. With the woeful deceit and the subsequent failure of the agenda for attitudinal change, at least for the large majority of Sierra Leoneans, hardly was the agenda for prosperity launched than it became crystal clear that it was another deceit and therefore doom to fail. Just prior to the 2012 elections, President Koroma had just decorated the streets of Freetown with street lamps powered by solar cells. Also the Wilkinson Road was hastily given a flashy tar pavement. APC Koroma had even gone to the extent of surface grading the provincial roads in the East and South, including Kailahun, Pujehun, Moyamba, Bonthe, etcetera, etcetera. All these projects were meant to fool the illiterate majority of Sierra Leoneans that the APC-Koroma Government was a force to reckon with. No sooner was the election stylistically rigged and
declared worn than the APC-Koroma Government abandoned all these cherishable projects. Even the street lamps in Freetown were hurriedly uprooted and completely sold out. Of course, most of the roads in the North were tar paved during Kabbah’s SLPP regime and today remain the only reliable roads in Sierra Leone.

The APC-Koroma Government openly promised Sierra Leone in the National Stadium in Freetown that it will provide a total of one thousand buses before the end of its second term of office. In the hospitals, free medical programs were launched for the pregnant, lactating and vulnerable population. The medical system in Sierra Leone was lauded by the APC-Koroma Government as one of the best in the world, and in fact the best in the developing world. All these narratives and the numerous more not mentioned here are now clearly known to amount to nothing but a politically calculated hoax meant to tell the people of Sierra Leone that You Are A Country Of Stupid Nonentities. Now the outbreak of the Ebola Epidemic Disease, which of course is new in West Africa but not at all new in East Africa, has clearly revealed how best our medical systems in Sierra Leone are. Not even are there simple dressing gears for the doctors, let alone appropriate drugs or ambulances
or even the infrastructure where to treat patients. It is a total disgrace to realize that with all the iron ore, bauxite, rutile, zircon, petroleum, fisheries, cocoa/coffee, etcetera, etcetera, we have to be given tricycles adapted as ambulances by filthily wealthy nations like Saudi Arabia. It is really a disgrace worse than slapping one straight in the face with the sole of the shoe.

Where has all the money from plundering our God-given natural resources gone under the APC Government? Was this what APC Koroma meant by the agenda for attitudinal change and the agenda for prosperity? After fraudulently cooking the figures to put economic growth in Sierra Leone at over 13 per cent (the highest ever in the world), the people are today smoldering in sober destitution never before experienced. In fact the fatality rate of the Ebola in West Africa is put at around 56 per cent, far less than that in East Africa, which has a fatality rater of over 80 per cent. This implies that the Ebola in West Africa is not as deadly as that in East Africa. Then one wonders why the so much alarm about the Ebola in West Africa? The reason is just very simple and clear. It is the I-don’t-care laxity of the Governments of the Ebola-infected countries in West Africa regarding the containment and treatment of the killer virus disease that have dead-scared the
Western and Eastern worlds.

Sierra Leone, in particular, initially treated the virus disease outbreak as a political curse on the people of Kailahun District. It was not until when the lone virologist doctor died of the disease, the almost nation-wide spread of the disease and above all the ban on attending the Historic U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit that the APC Government started treating the killer virus disease outbreak with some seriousness. Even so, the Government allocated two hundred million Leones to fight the Ebola Virus Disease in Koinadugu District, where we are still to hear a single confirmed case of the disease. Can the APC Koroma Government please tell us how much it has allocated to the districts in the Eastern and Southern Provinces where the killer disease has its worst tolls in the country?

We are caught by surprise and absolute shame that in a country with the best medical system in the world and with the highest economic growth rate of over 13 per cent, a known disease epidemic like Ebola could devastate us so very rapidly. Have the agendas for change and prosperity now changed into the agenda for government relapse and agenda for Ebola death? The reality is that things are so much so worse that the entire country of Sierra Leone is today a land of death trap. If you survive economic hardship, then treatable diseases could easily take you out or political witch-hunting and suppression will eventually pin you down and exterminate you. There are also the witch doctors, so highly renowned under the Koroma-led APC Government, who summarily exterminate progressive people in the country. For the lay man in the streets of Sierra Leone, there is absolutely no room for survival.

It is the replica of the APC tactic put in place in Sierra Leone that Ambassador Foh is hurriedly putting in place in China today. The underlying doctrine of the tactic is “leave no room for the masses to survive”. As long as you can squeeze the survival of the masses into your hands, then you can manipulate them anyhow you like to stake on top of things. This is the real intension of the agenda for change and prosperity initiated by APC Koroma, of course for the chosen few. As long as the masses cannot survive, then the few in authority can prosper into wealthy monsters they are today.

We have to work concertedly to change this inhuman doctrine or Sierra Leone will be forever doomed.

God Bless Sierra Leone!

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Sierra Leoneans says: Goodbye Alhaji Usu Boi Kamara

Posted by African Press International on August 16, 2014

  • By Sulay B. Conteh

    Goodbye Alhiji Osu Boi Kamara. May God pay you back for the millions of people you have put into untold suffering in Sierra Leone.

    We have always professed that whosoever betrays the Alma-mater SLPP Party to the APC Party is bound to have an embarrassing end. The SLPP Party built Kabbah into the Father of the Nation he never dreamed off. Kabbah later turned out to be the worst-ever betrayer of the SLPP Party and his life ended the way all of us know today. Kabbah forced the deaths of almost all those SLPP elders/heavyweights who imposed him over the rightful Flagbearer, Charles Margai. But also Charles Margai over-reacted by splitting his Alma-mater SLPP Party vote in favor of the opposition APC Party, and thus he is today the less-than-a-comedian we all know. Tom Nyuma, who the Alma-mater SLPP Party built into the respectable figure he was, also betrayed the party to APC and ended up the way we all know too. There are several instances of such epic betrayers in Sierra Leone today, to all of which we are still living eyewitnesses.

    Alhaji Osu Boi Kamara was the Director of the Ministry of Mineral Resources all throughout Kabbah’s rule. Osu Boi grew into the person he is today because of the recognition and exposure the Alma-mater SLPP Party gave him. Instead of staying loyal to the party and fighting to free the party support base from the marginalization and suffering in the hands of APC, Boi traded the secrets of the party for the position he today holds in the APC Government. Now the curse of the so loyal and innocent suffering people has come back to haunt Boi in an extraordinary way.

    What dose it profit a man to gain the whole the world and lose his soul? It is too late for Osu Boi to repent. But before he finally packs off, we want Boi to know our frustrations about the life he lived and the monumental manner in which he betrayed his Alma-mater SLPP Party and, of course by extension, all the SLPP Party bases and supporters in Sierra Leone and the Diaspora. Boi and his likes are like the snake which bits to death the people who rescue it.

    God never sleeps and ever protects and fights on behalf of His chosen people.

    This is another strong reminder of the warning we have repeatedly issued for all those who have deserted/betrayed or contemplating to desert/betray the Alma-mater SLPP Party. As it is better late than never, we think there is still space for these people to repent and return to the Alma-mater SLPP Party or else they will have to face the brutality of the doomsday. The curse of the people will continue to weigh on you until it eventually strikes you out.

    So Goodbye Alhaji Osu Boi Kamara. We Hope We Can Met Again In The Yonder World!

    May God Continue Bless Sierra Leone!

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