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AfDB Group’s Africa50 Fund partner of the BUILD Africa Forum on infrastructure in Africa

Posted by African Press International on December 1, 2013


Infrastructure in Africa: AfDB Group’s Africa50 Fund partner of the BUILD Africa Forum on infrastructure in Africa

The forum will take place on February 5-7, 2014, in Brazzaville, Congo

BRAZZAVILLE, Republic of the Congo, December 2, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The BUILD Africa forum (http://www.buildafricaforum.com) is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with the African Development Bank Group’s Africa50 infrastructure fund.

Held under the High Patronage of Denis Sassou N’Guesso, President of the Republic of the Congo, the BUILD Africa Forum will address Africa’s infrastructure challenges by bringing leading public and private sector stakeholders to the table. The forum will take place on February 5-7, 2014, in Brazzaville, Congo.

Working together, the BUILD Africa forum and Africa50, the AfDB’s single-A infrastructure delivery vehicle, will showcase innovative projects in Africa and develop a structural framework for these and other future projects.

African growth today is hindered by a substantive lack of resource leverage and project coordination. The aim of this partnership is to promote understanding of the various ways in which stakeholders can accelerate the speed and quality of project delivery and increase the number of infrastructure projects that reach bankability in Africa. The BUILD Africa forum together with Africa50 is making today’s financial innovation and regional integration platforms the norm for tomorrow.

Fast facts on Africa’s infrastructure needs (Source: BAD, 2009)

Africa must invest $50 billion annually in infrastructure:

•          40% of the population lacks access to potable water.

•          60% lacks access to proper sanitation.

•          Transportation costs in Africa are among the highest in the world.

•          A mere 30% of the Africans have regular access to electricity.

•          Africa has the lowest rate of penetration globally, of telephone access at 14% (worldwide average 52%).

Quotes on the Africa50 & BUILD Africa forum partnership

Tas Anvaripour, Director of AfDB Africa50: “African infrastructure projects are increasingly capturing the attention of investors worldwide. However, the number of bankable infrastructure projects brought to market is still insufficient, even though they offer an excellent way to diversify investment portfolios and steady, long-term, and above average returns.”

Jean-Jacques Bouya, Minister to the President of the Republic for Spatial Planning and Delegate General for Major Public Works, Republic of the Congo: “The partnership between Africa50 and BUILD Africa illustrates the aim of the forum to boost smart and innovative investment mechanisms, in order to develop infrastructure and to activate a sustainable social and economic development across the African continent.”

………………………..

About BUILD Africa

Held in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo from the 5th to the 7th of February 2014, under the High Patronage of His Excellency President Denis Sassou N’Guesso, the BUILD Africa Forum (http://www.buildafricaforum.com)  will gather more than 500 business & political leaders, who will endeavour to find innovative solutions to Africa’s numerous infrastructure challenges and ambitions.

About Africa50 Fund

Africa50 is a new and innovative vehicle which is re-imagining infrastructure financing and aims to unlock global private capital to close the Africa infrastructure gap. Africa50 will bring to the market much needed financing tools and services, mainly offered through its two sub-vehicles: Project Finance and Project Development. It will be groundbreaking in its design and structure, leveraging infrastructure-financing resources from a diverse set of sources. Africa50 is in the process of raising $10 billion USD to finance infrastructure projects across the continent.

 

SOURCE

Richard Attias & Associates

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AfDB and Namibia sign ZAR 2.9 billion loan agreement

Posted by African Press International on November 12, 2013

WINDHOEK, Namibia, November 11, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) (http://www.afdb.org) and Namibia on Friday, November 8, 2013 signed a ZAR 2.9 billion (US $338 million) sovereign guaranteed loan to Nambia Ports Authority (Namport) to finance the construction of a container terminal at Walvis Bay New Port.

In line with its Ten Year Strategy and focus on infrastructure development and regional integration, the AfDB Group approved the construction of the New Port of Walvis Bay Container Terminal Project in July 2013. The Bank also provided a UA 1.5 million grant (US $2.3 million) to the Government of Namibia for logistics and capacity building complementing the port project loan.

Namibia’s Finance Minister and Governor for the Bank, Sara Kuugongwelwa-Amadhila, signed the loan guarantee and grant agreements on behalf the Government in Windhoek. Namport CEO Bisey Uirab signed the loan agreement on behalf of Namport, while Ebrima Faal, Regional Director of the AfDB’s Southern Africa Resource Center (SARC), signed for the Bank.

In her intervention, Kuugongwelwa-Amadhila stressed the importance of the project and its contribution to one of the key development goals (the logistics pillar) of the National Development Plan which aims to position Namibia as a regional logistics hub by 2017. The Minister also thanked the AfDB for its strong and holistic support to Namport and the Government of Namibia through the loan and grant financing.

For his part, the Namport CEO acknowledged the positive spirit and enthusiasm of the AfDB in committing to finance the project and its unwavering commitment throughout the project preparation process.

In his statement, Faal emphasized the developmental impact of the project: “This project is important for Namibia and for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. It is critical to fulfilling Namibia’s aspirations to become a world-class logistics hub in the SADC region,” he said.

According to Faal, the project will enhance international and inter-regional trade and regional integration and Namibia will be able to fully exploit its unique geographical location to facilitate trade to and from the region.

“With the high levels of youth unemployment, the Bank’s support to Namport and the Government of Namibia will greatly improve private sector development and youth employment and will especially boost women participation in the logistics sector,” he emphasized.

The Project is expected to enable Namport to triple the container-handling capacity at the Port of Walvis Bay from 350,000 TEUs to 1,050,000 TEUs per annum. It will also finance the purchase of up-to-date port equipment and the training of pilots and operators for the new terminal. The grant component will fund the preparation of the National Logistics Master Plan study, technical support and capacity-building for the Walvis Bay Corridor Group and training of freight forwarders with particular emphasis on female staff.

According to the AfDB Director of Transport and ICT, Amadou Oumarou: “Through this project which potentially serves up to seven major economies in the SADC region, the Bank is assisting in the diversification and distribution of port facilities on the southwest coast of Africa, and provides the much-needed alternative for the region’s landlocked countries.”

The project will stimulate the development and upgrade of multimodal transport corridors linking the port to the hinterland while improving the country’s transport and logistics chains. It will also boost competition among the ports and transport corridors in the region with the ripple effect on reductions in transportation costs and increased economic growth.

The projected project outcomes include improvement in port efficiency and increase in cargo volumes by 70% in 2020 as a result of increased trade in the region. The benefits of the project will include among others, the stimulation of inter-regional trade and regional integration, private sector development, skills transfer and most importantly employment creation, leading to significant economic development and poverty reduction in Namibia, and the SADC region.

 

SOURCE

African Development Bank (AfDB)

 

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Donald Kaberuka named 2013 African of the Year in recognition of his role in spearheading the Africa50 Fund

Posted by African Press International on November 11, 2013

TUNIS, Tunisia, November 8, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ African Development Bank Group President Donald Kaberuka has been named 2013 African of the Year in recognition of his role in spearheading the Africa50 Fund to mobilize the financing of infrastructure projects on the continent.

The $50,000 award was announced Thursday evening in Addis Ababa during the African Media Leaders Forum. The prize is sponsored by Nigeria’s Daily Trust newspaper.

“[This award] is for his bringing to fruition the idea of domestically financed development,” Salim Ahmed Salim, Tanzania’s erstwhile foreign minister and former Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity (current African Union), said at the forum.

The Africa50 Fund seeks to leverage infrastructure financing for transformational development projects from African central bank reserves, pension and sovereign wealth funds; the African diaspora; and high net worth individuals on the continent.

The Fund was endorsed in May 2013 by African Finance Ministers during the Bank’s Annual Meetings in Marrakech, where Kaberuka underscored the critical role of infrastructure in Africa’s development. “The one thing which can really slow down the recent performance in its tracks is infrastructure,” he said. “No country in the world has been able to maintain 7% GPD growth and above (sustainably) unless the infrastructure bottleneck is overcome.”

In July, African institutions including the African Union Commission, UN Economic Commission for Africa, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), regional Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency endorsed the Africa50 Fund as the continent’s vehicle for facilitating large-scale mobilization of resources to unlock international private financing with a view to addressing Africa’s $45-billion infrastructure gap, according to some estimates.

The African Development Bank will play a lead role in the Fund, said Kaberuka: “It will be a vehicle which can build on the AfDB track record and financial strength as investor, financial engineer, attract local and international pools of savings, utilize smart aid and leverage that to up our funding of infrastructure. It will be a strongly rated instrument able to issue a bond of significance – a bond attractive to investors.”

The Africa50 Fund is a game-changer in the delivery of infrastructure, Slim Ahmed said Thursday, adding that Africa must take ownership of its development.

“We are proud to honour an idea whose time has come. Dr. Kaberuka has shown what Africa should do,” he said.

The award will be presented at a ceremony slated for January 15 in Abuja.

Last year’s African of the Year award went to former South African president Thabo Mbeki.

 

SOURCE

African Development Bank (AfDB)

 

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SUPPORT EFFORTS FOR WELL-COORDINATED SOLUTIONS

Posted by African Press International on November 10, 2013

NEW YORK, November 7, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks to the National Assembly of Niger, in Niamey, 6 November:

It is a distinct privilege to address the Members of the National Assembly of Niger. It is particularly meaningful to do so with Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, and Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group. We are joined by Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank, Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner for Development of the European Union, and my Special Envoy for the Sahel, Romano Prodi.

Together, we are on a journey of solidarity with the people of the Sahel. We are here to listen — and we are here to act.

Our message is simple and clear. It is drawn from many years of experience around the world. Peace is not sustainable without development. Development is not sustainable without peace. The two challenges must go hand in hand. And so, we have come to Niger to join hands with you.

The United Nations is proud to have worked with the people of Niger over the years to forge sustainable solutions. We are teaming up to accelerate progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals — including through the ambitious agricultural transformation plan, the 3N Initiative — Nigeriens Feeding Nigeriens.

We are committed to assisting in your efforts to advance good governance and build effective, trustworthy institutions. We are partnering to support your initiatives to expand opportunities and sustainable livelihoods, particularly for young people. We are resolved to do all we can to open doors for the women and girls of Niger — to quality schools, good jobs, safe communities, decent health care and greater political participation, including here in this parliament.

Earlier today, I was pleased to join President [Mahamadou] Issoufou’s call to action on demographic issues. I am doing my part at the United Nations to empower women. For the first time in history, five UN peacekeeping operations are led by women. I selected a distinguished daughter of Niger, Aïchatou Mindaoudou Souleymane, to head our mission in Côte d’Ivoire — one of the largest in the world. She is doing an outstanding job. I am proud of her and I know you are, too.

Niger is contributing to global peace and security in so many other ways. I pay tribute to the almost 2,000 brave Nigerien citizens serving in United Nations peacekeeping operations — from Mali to Haiti, from the Democratic Republic of Congo and beyond. I honour the memory of the 19 who lost their lives serving under the UN flag. I also appreciate Niger’s continued assistance to thousands of Malians who have taken refuge in your country.

Throughout the Sahel, we see instability and unrest, more people being displaced, rising food and fuel prices, severe drought and people sacrificing everything to migrate for greater opportunity.

I extend my deepest sympathies to the families of those who so tragically perished in the Sahara last week. Even had they survived the desert crossing, we know their journey would have remained treacherous. Their hopes for a better life may have remained simply a mirage.

Our debt to them must be a solemn commitment to prosecute the human smugglers who stole their lives, to address the food crises that plague Niger, to improve conditions in the communities from which they came so that others do not feel compelled to leave, and to create safe opportunities for willing migrants to work abroad. The United Nations is devoted to protecting human rights, and the rights of migrants are of urgent concern to me.

Across these complex and difficult challenges, the people of Niger and the Sahel are teaching the world something very important. You are proving that problems can no longer be confined within borders, and so solutions must also rise above dividing lines — across borders and bureaucracies, across communities and cultures, across politics and parties.

This is our twenty-first century test. We must dig deeper to get at the root causes of conflict. In the Sahel, those roots can be traced to scarcities of water and food, pressures on land, the lack of development and rampant insecurity. We must deal with these issues in a comprehensive way — not merely as isolated, unrelated problems of armed conflict, political instability or economic development.

That is why our United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel is based on identifying crucial connections — and supporting your efforts to drive hard at them with well-coordinated solutions.

As representatives closest to the people of Niger, you are essential to success. You are the crucial link between the local and global. As part of our strategy, we are working to establish a regional platform of parliamentary committees to share experiences, discuss common challenges and define common priorities. We want to help strengthen parliaments and empower all political parties to build a culture of peace across the Sahel. We invite your active engagement.

No country or organization can do it alone. We must work together so that we hear all voices, take in all political views and build peace and stability that lasts. That is the twenty-first century test that Niger and the Sahel are putting forward to the world. Together, let us join forces and pass this test. Together, let us take strength from your great country’s motto: “Fraternité, Travail, Progrès”. Thank you.

 

SOURCE

UNITED NATIONS

 

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A high-level political meeting on increased domestic funding for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, in Addis Ababa from November 11-12, 2013

Posted by African Press International on November 10, 2013

 

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 8, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and the African Development Bank (AfDB) will convene a high-level political meeting on increased domestic funding for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, in Addis Ababa from November 11-12, 2013.

The meeting will advocate for increased innovative domestic resource mobilization following renewed commitments in Abuja by Heads of State and Government this year in July and pledges to support the Global Fund’s fourth replenishment.

The response to AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria over the last three decades has mobilized unprecedented resources, commitment and action at the national, regional and global levels. However the results achieved and the progress made over the years in responding to these epidemics is not sustainable. African countries have relied heavily on external financing, leaving them vulnerable to the unpredictability of donor funds and often considerably weakening national ownership. Sub-Saharan Africa’s dependency on international funding has been especially stark, with over 60 per cent of investment coming from external sources. More innovative domestic resource mobilization is vital in effectively implementing the African Union Roadmap for Shared Responsibility and Global Solidarity on AIDS, TB and malaria (2012-2015) and related continental commitments.

The commitment of implementing countries to the fight against the diseases in the form of investing increasing amounts of domestic resources in their national health and disease programs is crucial for demonstrating country ownership and for the long-term sustainability of programs. It also demonstrates accountability and sends a strong message to donors that implementing countries are taking action to address their countries health and development challenges.

Pledges from African Union Member States can provide an opportunity to help secure a fully funded Global Fund, which in turn is a guarantee for implementing countries to receive sufficient and predictable funding in order to reach the Millennium Development Goals and win the fight against the three pandemics.

These commitments are all the more crucial as we stand at a key historic moment: it is now within our grasp to turn the three epidemics into low-level epidemics, virtually control them, and remove them as threats to public health if we intensify our efforts. The global community has secured the science, acquired the requisite experience and understands the high impact interventions that will sustain the results.

The African Union spearheads Africa’s development and integration in close collaboration with African Union Member States, the Regional Economic Communities and African citizens. AU Vision: An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena. 

The Global Fund is a unique global public/private partnership dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. This partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities represents a new approach to international health financing. The Global Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organisations to supplement existing efforts in dealing with the three diseases.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) spurs sustainable economic development and social progress in its 54 regional member countries (RMCs), thus contributing to poverty reduction through mobilizing and allocating resources for investment in RMCs; and providing policy advice and technical assistance to support development efforts. The AfDB’s Human Development Department supports RMCs in areas of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Health, Social Protection and Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship. The AfDB recently approved a new Strategy for 2013-2022.

SOURCE

African Development Bank (AfDB)

 

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Liberia Sanitation Project Selected by UNFCCC as one of 2013 Outstanding Climate Innovations

Posted by African Press International on November 8, 2013

BONN, Germany, November 8, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ The United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) announced Wednesday the selection of the Monrovia Fostering Innovative Sanitation and Hygiene (FISH) project as one of the 17 Lighthouse Activities to be showcased at the November 2013 UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw, Poland.

Lighthouse Activities projects are selected based on their innovative and transformative qualities, and are recognized for the value of the solutions they propose to address both climate change and wider economic, social and environmental challenges.

The 2013 Lighthouse Activities were selected by a 16-member, international advisory panel (http://unfccc.int/secretariat/momentum_for_change/items/6648.php) as part of the secretariat’s Momentum for Change initiative (http://unfccc.int/secretariat/momentum_for_change/items/6214.php), which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, and operates in partnership with the World Economic Forum.

“The 2013 Lighthouse Activities are true beacons of hope, demonstrating what happens when innovation and passion come together to address the biggest challenge of our time,” UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said. “There are thousands of examples of people taking action to address climate change all over the world. The Lighthouse Activities highlight some of the most practical, scalable and replicable examples of what people, businesses, governments and industries are doing to tackle climate change, which I hope will inspire others to do the same.”

The FISH project was designed to enhance Monrovia city’s capacity for sustainable city-wide fecal sludge management. The project complements efforts by the Government of Liberia and development partners to improve sanitation service access rates and reduce the vulnerability of the urban poor to diseases caused by water contamination resulting from open defecation and septic tank overflows.

Earlier this year, the project had received a €1.2 million grant from the African Water Facility (AWF) to cover 86 per cent of the financing needed for its implementation.

“The selection of the Monrovia project is a much-deserved recognition of Liberia’s leadership in promoting innovation to deal more effectively with issues affecting peoples’ lives and build resilience to climate change,” said Akissa Bahri, Coordinator of the African Water Facility. “This also goes to show that improving sanitation services is a must-have component of any city’s resilience strategy, and that it is possible for fragile states to overcome sanitation challenges through the adoption of creative ideas meant to optimize resources recovery. The FISH project is a remarkable example to follow.”

The 17 Lighthouse Activities will be showcased at special events during the UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw, Poland, November 11-22. Interested stakeholders can interact with the activity representatives during two social media discussions ahead of the climate conference.

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About the African Water Facility (AWF): The AWF (http://www.africanwaterfacility.org) is an initiative of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB), established in 2004 as a Special Water Fund to help African countries achieve the objectives of the Africa Water Vision 2025. The AWF offers grants from €50,000 to €5 million to support projects aligned with its mission and strategy to a wide range of institutions and organizations operating in Africa. Its three strategic priority activities are (1) preparing investment projects to mobilize investment funds for projects supported by AWF; (2) enhancing water governance to create an environment conducive for effective and sustainable investments; (3) promoting water knowledge for the preparation of viable projects and informed governance leading to effective and sustainable investments. Since 2006, AWF has funded 84 national and regional projects in 51 countries, including in Africa’s most vulnerable states. It has mobilized more than €935 million as a result of its project preparation activities, which constitute 70 percent of its portfolio. On average, each €1 contributed by the AWF has attracted €20 in additional follow-up investments. The AWF is entirely funded by Algeria, Australia, Austria, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Burkina Faso, Canada, Denmark, the European Commission, France, Norway, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the African Development Bank. The AWF is governed by a Governing Council representing its 15 donors, UN-Water Africa, the AU via NEPAD, AMCOW and the AfDB. For more information:http://www.africanwaterfacility.org

SOURCE

African Development Bank (AfDB)

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WHEN WOMEN DETERMINE THEIR OWN FUTURE, THEY ADVANCE DEVELOPMENT FOR ALL

Posted by African Press International on November 7, 2013

NEW YORK, November 7, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, at the launch of the call to action on demographic issues in the Sahel region, in Niamey, Niger, 6 November:

Good afternoon. Thank you for coming together today. This call to action on demographic issues is based on sound statistics. But it is not about numbers. It is about people. When we give women the education they deserve, society becomes stronger. When we protect women’s human rights, society becomes more just. And when we allow women to determine their own future, they will advance development for all. Throughout my visit to the Sahel, I am calling on leaders to listen to girls and women. Hear their needs and concerns. Give women a voice in decision-making.

I also have a special message for the men: speak out for gender equality. To benefit from the demographic dividend, we need many concrete steps. We need to invest in young people to unleash their full potential. We need better health care for women and girls. We need to increase access to family planning. We need to raise the marriage age. We need more girls in school. We need to address HIV/AIDS.

These steps are important — but they are not enough. We also need to change mindsets. Women should be able to demand their rights. But I also want men to join this call. Help us create conditions where your daughters, your sisters and your wives have full equality. Help us create a society where women never have to fear violence at the hands of men. Help us create families where mothers and fathers decide together how many children they want to have. The time to do this is now.

I have full confidence that the men of Niger and the Sahel can support the women here, and that together you can open a new future. The United Nations is your dedicated partner as you advance along this path to progress. Thank you.

 

SOURCE

UNITED NATIONS

 

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New Norwegian funding to secure tax revenues in developing countries

Posted by African Press International on September 2, 2013

Norway will support African countries in the negotiation of fair agreements with international companies that are exploiting their natural resouces,”said Minister of International Development Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås. Mr Holmås met the President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka,in Oslo this week to sign an agreement on an additional NOK 30 million in support. 

Many developing countries are rich in natural resources but their populations remain very poor. One of the reasons for this is that multinational companies have negotiated unfair agreements with national authorities on the exploitation of natural resources such as minerals, oil and gas. This has led to conflicts and continued poverty.

“Norway is seeking to help turn Africa’s ‘resource curse’ into a ‘resource blessing’ by supporting the negotiation of better contract terms. The aim is for the countries to strengthen their own revenues and economies, and in the long term for them to be able to manage without aid,” said Mr Holmås.

Whereas the authorities in many African countries lack the legal expertise they need, multinational companies have their own experts in tax law and commercial law. Norway has now agreed to provide NOK 30 million over a period of two years to strengthen the negotiating capacity of African countries. This work will be carried out through the African Legal Support Facility, which is hosted by the African Development Bank, and which provides legal assistance in the negotiation of contracts and in settling disputes between multinational companies and the authorities in African countries.

“This work also enhances financial transparency surrounding contracts which is crucial to be able to uncover and stop illicit financial flows. Every year ten times as much money disappears out of developing countries through illicit financial flows as is received in the form of aid and development support,” Mr Holmås stressed.

Norway provided NOK 768 million in support to the African Development Bank in 2012. Inclusive growth and the transition to green growth are the two main objectives of the Bank’s Strategy for 2013–2022, which also identifies fragile states, agriculture and food security and gender as areas of special emphasis. The strategy is consistent with Norway’s development policy priorities, as set out in the recent white paper on fair distribution, Sharing for prosperity.

 

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Some Donors stopped all development funding in Guinea-Bissau following the 12 April 2012 coup d’état

Posted by African Press International on May 15, 2013

BISSAU/DAKAR,  – The World Food Programme (WFP) has not received the money it needs to run basic nutrition and food security schemes in Guinea-Bissau, leaving projects in jeopardy or at a standstill. 

The organization needs US$7 million immediately to cover its food security and nutrition programme targeting 278,000 people for 2013; and a further $8 million to extend the project through 2014. The project involves school-feeding, preventing moderate and acute malnutrition, and boosting rice production, and was supposed to start in February this year.

WFP head of programmes Fatimata Sow-Sidibé told IRIN the money is lacking because traditional donors suspended all development cooperation following the April 2012 coup.

“We have some promises [from donors],” said Sow-Sidibé, “but the programme was supposed to start in February and we have no resources to buy the food we need.”

Traditional donors more or less stopped all development funding in Guinea-Bissau following the 12 April 2012 coup d’état, leaving infrastructure projects and basic services at a standstill across the country, but humanitarian funding was supposedly untouched. LINK The problem for WFP is that their project spans development and emergency activities and thus is not just eligible for humanitarian funding.

The African Development Bank also suspended its funding for rural agricultural development projects, following the coup. The cuts “are having a direct impact on food security in Guinea-Bissau, where we already have severe cereal deficits due to inadequate local production,” said a civil servant in the Ministry of Agriculture who preferred anonymity.

Food insecurity in Guinea-Bissau is driven mainly by an inability of people to access food because prices are beyond their reach. Most Bissau Guineans rely on imported rice as they grow mainly cash crops (cashews) and not grains.

Food prices have risen year on year since 2008 (imported rice is currently U$1.20 per kg), and the most recent countryside hunger assessment (2011) cited high prices as the biggest barrier for vulnerable households to access food.

The coup put off a planned countrywide food security assessment in 2012 but a rapid assessment in the regions of Biombo, Oio and Quinara in June 2012 revealed one in five people were food insecure (regions in the east were not included in the survey). Some 65 percent of households at the time had under one month’s supply of food stocks and more people were resigned to further indebtedness, selling animals and producing wine from the cashew fruit, to get by.

Cashew crisis

People’s ability to buy food has been severely hampered by a crisis in the cashew industry: 80-95 percent of Bissau-Guineans depend on cashew sales to purchase food as well as meet other household expenses. Terms of trade for cashews have been deteriorating since 2011: In a good year 1kg of rice can be roughly exchanged for 1kg of cashews; this shifted to 1.5kg of cashews to buy 1kg of rice in 2012, and to 2kgs of cashews for 1kg of rice in 2013, according to Ministry of Agriculture and WFP research. “Everything here is linked to cashews,” said Sow-Sidibé.

The poor terms of trade are linked to a poor 2012 cashew crop, and plummeting cashew prices following the coup (from 80 US cents per kg in May 2012 to 50 US cents one month later), and also linked to low fixed prices on international markets.

Cashew farmers are further stymied by exorbitant petrol prices (US$1.50 per litre) which makes it increasingly expensive for them to get their crop to market.

Ongoing projects

WFP continues to run food assistance programmes where it can. In two districts in Gabu, eastern Guinea-Bissau (Mancadndje Dara, Madina Madinga), and in two districts of Bafata (Djabicunda and Sare Biro), the organization helps villagers improve their farming techniques to boost rice production, including giving them improved seeds and helping them rent animals to get their crops to market. It also helps villagers grow market gardens to improve their food diversity and boost household income.

Mutaro Indjai, head of the village committee of rice producers in Saucunda village in Gabu, told IRIN: “This project helped us improve our production to last through four months, whereas before we only produced enough for one month.”

If the project comes to an end, they will continue to use improved techniques of production, but they would lack the seeds needed to plant next year. “We won’t have access to improved seeds, nor to the animals we need to speed up planting and to help us transport our harvest to nearby villages,” he told IRIN.

Nutrition

Nutrition programmes have also been affected. WFP pushes food diversity, given that feeding practices are a key component of high chronic malnutrition levels in Guinea-Bissau.

The organization tries to push a more varied diet (than the starch-dominated fare given to most infants) including fish soup, peas, carrots, tomatoes, and millet-based cereal. They also support local NGOs to make regular visits to health centres and villages on vaccination days to talk about how to prepare nutrient-rich meals for infants made out of corn flour, peanut powder, bean powder, oil and sugar, among others. Programmes target children in their first 1,000 days of life.

Some 17 percent of children under-five are underweight, and 27 percent are stunted due to inadequate nutrition, according to a December 2012 UNICEF-Ministry of Health nutrition survey.

Hunger specialists fear chronic malnutrition levels will rise if prevention is not stepped up.

UNICEF supports the Ministry of Health to set up nutrition treatment centres; provides therapeutic food for severely malnourished children; and helped update the government’s strategy to manage acute malnutrition, in February 2013. “Lack of funding, very few partners in nutrition, and limited human resources trained in nutrition” are the major challenges facing UNICEF, said Victor Suhfube Ngongalah, head of child survival there. UNICEF needs US$750,000 to implement its projects in 2013 and 2014.

Guinea Bissau is ranked 176 out of 187 countries assessed in the UN Development Programme’s Human Development Report. Political instability has also marred development. Since 1994 no elected president in Guinea-Bissau has finished his mandate.

aj/dab/cb  source http://www.irinnews.org

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WFP needs money to run basic nutrition and food security schemes in Guinea-Bissau

Posted by African Press International on May 14, 2013

Farmers in Bafata preparing the land to plant rice seedlings (file photo)

BISSAU/DAKAR,  – The World Food Programme (WFP) has not received the money it needs to run basic nutrition and food security schemes in Guinea-Bissau, leaving projects in jeopardy or at a standstill.

The organization needs US$7 million immediately to cover its food security and nutrition programme targeting 278,000 people for 2013; and a further $8 million to extend the project through 2014. The project involves school-feeding, preventing moderate and acute malnutrition, and boosting rice production, and was supposed to start in February this year.

WFP head of programmes Fatimata Sow-Sidibé told IRIN the money is lacking because traditional donors suspended all development cooperation following the April 2012 coup.

“We have some promises [from donors],” said Sow-Sidibé, “but the programme was supposed to start in February and we have no resources to buy the food we need.”

Traditional donors more or less stopped all development funding in Guinea-Bissau following the 12 April 2012 coup d’état, leaving infrastructure projects and basic services at a standstill across the country, but humanitarian funding was supposedly untouched. LINK The problem for WFP is that their project spans development and emergency activities and thus is not just eligible for humanitarian funding.

The African Development Bank also suspended its funding for rural agricultural development projects, following the coup. The cuts “are having a direct impact on food security in Guinea-Bissau, where we already have severe cereal deficits due to inadequate local production,” said a civil servant in the Ministry of Agriculture who preferred anonymity.

Food insecurity in Guinea-Bissau is driven mainly by an inability of people to access food because prices are beyond their reach. Most Bissau Guineans rely on imported rice as they grow mainly cash crops (cashews) and not grains.

Food prices have risen year on year since 2008 (imported rice is currently U$1.20 per kg), and the most recent countryside hunger assessment (2011) cited high prices as the biggest barrier for vulnerable households to access food.

The coup put off a planned countrywide food security assessment in 2012 but a rapid assessment in the regions of Biombo, Oio and Quinara in June 2012 revealed one in five people were food insecure (regions in the east were not included in the survey). Some 65 percent of households at the time had under one month’s supply of food stocks and more people were resigned to further indebtedness, selling animals and producing wine from the cashew fruit, to get by.

Cashew crisis

People’s ability to buy food has been severely hampered by a crisis in the cashew industry: 80-95 percent of Bissau-Guineans depend on cashew sales to purchase food as well as meet other household expenses. Terms of trade for cashews have been deteriorating since 2011: In a good year 1kg of rice can be roughly exchanged for 1kg of cashews; this shifted to 1.5kg of cashews to buy 1kg of rice in 2012, and to 2kgs of cashews for 1kg of rice in 2013, according to Ministry of Agriculture and WFP research. “Everything here is linked to cashews,” said Sow-Sidibé.

The poor terms of trade are linked to a poor 2012 cashew crop, and plummeting cashew prices following the coup (from 80 US cents per kg in May 2012 to 50 US cents one month later), and also linked to low fixed prices on international markets.

Cashew farmers are further stymied by exorbitant petrol prices (US$1.50 per litre) which makes it increasingly expensive for them to get their crop to market.

Ongoing projects

WFP continues to run food assistance programmes where it can. In two districts in Gabu, eastern Guinea-Bissau (Mancadndje Dara, Madina Madinga), and in two districts of Bafata (Djabicunda and Sare Biro), the organization helps villagers improve their farming techniques to boost rice production, including giving them improved seeds and helping them rent animals to get their crops to market. It also helps villagers grow market gardens to improve their food diversity and boost household income.

Mutaro Indjai, head of the village committee of rice producers in Saucunda village in Gabu, told IRIN: “This project helped us improve our production to last through four months, whereas before we only produced enough for one month.”

If the project comes to an end, they will continue to use improved techniques of production, but they would lack the seeds needed to plant next year. “We won’t have access to improved seeds, nor to the animals we need to speed up planting and to help us transport our harvest to nearby villages,” he told IRIN.

Nutrition

Nutrition programmes have also been affected. WFP pushes food diversity, given that feeding practices are a key component of high chronic malnutrition levels in Guinea-Bissau.

The organization tries to push a more varied diet (than the starch-dominated fare given to most infants) including fish soup, peas, carrots, tomatoes, and millet-based cereal. They also support local NGOs to make regular visits to health centres and villages on vaccination days to talk about how to prepare nutrient-rich meals for infants made out of corn flour, peanut powder, bean powder, oil and sugar, among others. Programmes target children in their first 1,000 days of life.

Some 17 percent of children under-five are underweight, and 27 percent are stunted due to inadequate nutrition, according to a December 2012 UNICEF-Ministry of Health nutrition survey.

Hunger specialists fear chronic malnutrition levels will rise if prevention is not stepped up.

UNICEF supports the Ministry of Health to set up nutrition treatment centres; provides therapeutic food for severely malnourished children; and helped update the government’s strategy to manage acute malnutrition, in February 2013. “Lack of funding, very few partners in nutrition, and limited human resources trained in nutrition” are the major challenges facing UNICEF, said Victor Suhfube Ngongalah, head of child survival there. UNICEF needs US$750,000 to implement its projects in 2013 and 2014.

Guinea Bissau is ranked 176 out of 187 countries assessed in the UN Development Programme’s Human Development Report. Political instability has also marred development. Since 1994 no elected president in Guinea-Bissau has finished his mandate.

aj/dab/cb source http://www.irinnews.org

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Nepad launches initiatives for post-conflict reconstruction in Africa

Posted by African Press International on October 31, 2012

By Thomas Ochieng,  API Kenya  

 

The African Union Commission (AUC) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency are hosting a three-day high-level meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, to draft a Roadmap for the implementation of the African Solidarity Initiative (ASI) for the mobilization of support for post-conflict reconstruction and development in Africa. The forum which runs from 24 to 26 October is sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is chaired by the Former Prime Minister of the Central African Republic, Mr. Anicet Georges Dologuele.

 

In his welcoming address, the Director of the National Office for the Coordination of Peace Missions in South Africa’s Department of International relations and Cooperation, Ms. N.M Dwabayo, commended the African Union Commission for its tireless efforts towards the implementation of AU decisions, including the organization’s policy on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) adopted by African Heads of State in Banjul, Gambia, in June 2006. “Launching the ASI was part of the AU’s endeavor to promote African solidarity and mutual assistance and propel the Continent to a higher level of development and self-confidence, driven by the motto: Africa helping Africa. It is time to turn this motto from a slogan to reality. This Initiative needs to be implemented as soon as yesterday,” Ms. Dwabayo stated.

 

Speaking on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer of the NEPAD, Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, the Special Assistant to the NEPAD CEO, Mr. Ibrahim Gourouza, emphasized the need for participants to be precise and concrete in their proposals. Mr. Gourouza emphasised the need for a paradigm shift in Africa’s development philosophy, adding that Africa has everything it needs to pull itself out of poverty: “The ASI is not about charity. It is an initiative grounded in the African social value of solidarity: neighbors helping neighbours.” As the development vehicle of the African Union, he added, NEPAD will work closely with all relevant AUC departments to achieve this goal.

The AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Amb. Ramtane Lamamra, in his remarks presented on his behalf by the Head of the Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development Unit in the Department of Peace and Security, Mr. Takwa Suifon, stated that though the ASI is an African Union initiative, its development and implementation requires the collaboration of relevant AU Partners, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), AU Liaison Offices, NEPAD, the African Development Bank (AfDB), UNDP and the entire United Nations family, NGOs, Civil Society Organizations, as well as other regional and sub-regional organizations. He urged participants to come up with a clear, practical, and realistic roadmap.

Participants at the workshop include senior government officials from various African countries, representatives of African and non-African cooperation and development agencies, representatives of various AUC departments, AU Liaison Offices, RECs, bilateral and multilateral Partners, and experts on several African countries emerging from conflict including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Central African Republic, DRC, Sudan and South Sudan.

 

The African Solidarity Initiative was launched at the 19th African Union Summit, held in Addis Ababa in July 2012, pursuant to a decision by African Heads of State and Government at the 18th AU Summit in January 2012. The initiative aims to mobilize enhanced support within the Continent for post-conflict reconstruction and development in countries emerging from conflict in Africa, with a view to consolidate peace where it has been achieved. The ASI is premised on the fact that despite the progress made towards the achievement of the common objective of a conflict-free Africa, there is a growing need for renewed efforts towards post-conflict reconstruction and peace building, in order to sustain the hope and gains that accrue from the end of violence, in addition to addressing ongoing conflicts and crises.

 

The workshop, which is expected to propose a Roadmap that formulates key activities for implementation over the next three years and put in motion the groundwork for a major African Solidarity Conference (ASC), ends on Friday.

 

Ends.

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