African Countries and Places

Lesotho: Ministry of Education and Training celebrates Best Performers.

The Ministry of Education and Training hosted a grand prize-giving ceremony to honor the outstanding winners of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientist International Science Fair and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Essay Writing Competition.

In the Eskom Expo for Young Scientist International Science Fair, all participating students received Bronze medals for their remarkable projects. The room resonated.

When presenting the prices, the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Training, Mr. Ratšiu Majara commended the students for their dedication to the fields of science and essay writing. He encouraged them never to stop reaching for the stars and to keep striving for excellence in their academic pursuits.

Mr. Majara said it is important that the learners know more about their region’s economic growth, noting that the National Strategic Development Plan  II (NSDP II) supports the enhancement of inclusive and sustainable economic growth through curricula that cater to all learners.

He said the Ministry of Education and Training recognized the existence of the Lesotho Science and Mathematics Teachers Association (LSMTA) since it is one of the associations established to complement the ministry to promote the teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics, hence the reasons for fully supporting LSMTA, adding that he appreciates the support that the Department of Science and Technology has been giving LSMTA.

However, Mr. Majara said he hopes that the SADC essay writing competition broadens the learner’s knowledge of the role and activities of SADC, saying it should be through this competition that the youth as future leaders are given a platform to come up with innovations and solutions.

The first-place winner was awarded a prize of 500 US dollars, a substantial reward for their hard work. The second-place winner, not far behind, received 300 US dollars and the third-place winner was also presented with 200 US dollars.

The prize money was a token of appreciation and an encouragement for these bright minds to continue their academic journey with enthusiasm and determination.

Also speaking, on behalf of the Director of the Department of Science and Technology,  Mr. Sello Sello spoke about the importance of nurturing scientific talent and encouraging students to explore the realms of knowledge, emphasizing the significance of the subjects celebrated on this day.

Mr. Sello noted that their Department will continue to support such innovations, urging all students across the country to grab such opportunities which will foster their creativity.

The event was not only a celebration of academic excellence but also a reminder of the importance of fostering a love for science and technology among the youth.

It served as a motivation for the students to continue their educational journeys with renewed enthusiasm, and for the Ministry of Education and Training, it was a testament to their commitment to promoting education and celebrating the achievements of the future leaders of the nation.

The 2024 SADC essay competition topic is ‘How can Human and financial capital drive industrial development in the SADC region.’

Ruto to Award Most Promising Innovators on Jamhuri Day.

It has been suggested that innovators nationwide submit their goods to be honored on Jamhuri Day, during the first Presidential Innovation Award ceremony. According to President William Ruto, the government launched the awards on Monday, emphasizing innovation as a key component of its development plan and directing its goals and tactics accordingly.

He noted that on December 12, during Jamhuri Day celebrations, the most promising innovations will be recognized with awards. “This year’s edition will be the pilot phase of the award and will consider submissions from all counties in the areas of food security and agriculture, digital transformation, healthcare, entertainment and gaming, climate action, and green energy,” added the president.

‘Innovating to Unlock Our Common Wealth’ was the focus of his speech at the Kenya National Innovation Week – Commonwealth Edition at the College of Insurance in Nairobi.

“I welcome participation from inventors and wish everyone the best of luck with their creations and pitches. On Jamhuri Day, I’ll see you,” he added.

The President acknowledged the youth at the ceremony as the country’s most innovative force, recognizing their companies for raising $700 million (Sh106.8 billion) in 2022, making Kenya a premier location for investment in Africa. He claimed that innovations are what will open doors to jobs for Kenyan youth, who make up the majority of the country’s unemployed population of millions. 

“As a young nation with a vision of an economically secure posterity, we have no choice except to recognise innovation as a highly promising instrument for unlocking the doors of unprecedented opportunity,” he stated.

In light of the part innovation plays in the nation’s economic transformation, the President declared that the government is taking steps to increase funding to the national innovation agenda from 0.8% of GDP to 2% of GDP.

The Kenya National Innovation Masterplan was launched by the government during Innovation Week, which Patricia Scotland, the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, also attended.

This 10-year program aims to strongly encourage innovation, value creation, and competitive advantage as essential elements of the nation’s growth plan.

“To achieve these objectives, the master plan therefore focuses on policy enhancement, infrastructure upgrades, the enhancement of skills, market growth and a start-up ecosystem,” Ruto stated.

The President stated that the government is very deliberate in encouraging the innovative mindset, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, from a young age through the competence-based curriculum, all the way up to the higher education level, in an effort to facilitate the rapid development of globally competitive innovators. 

He claimed that in order to further integrate innovation into Kenyan policy, the Innovation Masterplan will work in tandem with the Kenya National Innovation Agency.

A Ministerial Roundtable on Science, Technology, and Innovation will be held on Tuesday, according to the President, who stated that he will organize it as part of this endeavor in light of the public sector’s exceptional ability to support market-driven initiatives and the private sector.

Museveni to Commission First Diagnostics Manufacturing Plant.

President Museveni is scheduled to inaugurate tomorrow a diagnostic test kit manufacturing facility, the first of its kind in the Great Lakes region. This would probably prevent the nation from having to import test kits, which currently cost over $100 million yearly.


The state-of-the-art facility in Ntinda will assist Uganda and the surrounding health sectors in building local manufacturing capacity to enhance and maintain the demands of the medical supply chain. The main source of imports for Uganda and all the Great Lake Region nations is comparable diagnostic test kits and other associated medications.

Owned by Microhaem Scientifics (MHS), a private company that works closely with the Ugandan government, the facility has finished construction and equipment of the first state-of-the-art manufacturing facility to produce essential test kits, including HIV and malaria, at a reasonable price. It is supported by its technology transfer partners, Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech Co., Ltd. (China) and Deseret Laboratories Inc. (US Based).


The managing director and owner, Dr. Cedric Akwesigye, stated, “The manufacturing plant has been constructed in accordance with the World Health Organization’s Standards, ISO 13485 and cGMP, and has been inspected and supported by the Uganda National Drug Authority (NDA)”.


Dr. Akwesigye continued, “The facility marks a significant step toward advancing Uganda’s National Development Plan III commitment to enhance industrialization and import substitution, as well as Africa’s new public health agenda of reducing health product importation from 99% to 40% by 2040.”


He clarified that the start of manufacturing will mark a significant turning point for the medical industry in the area because it will result in lower prices for diagnostic test kits and other relevant medications. 


Modern equipment has been installed in this expansive facility to enable the production of a variety of test kits for HIV drug monitoring, HIV Early Infant Diagnosis (EID), HIV Viral Load Test, and Molecular and Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT).


The MD and founder of Microhaem Scientifics stated that test kits would be produced and distributed right away by the plant, which is the first of its type in Uganda. According to him, the nation’s ability to produce inexpensive, high-quality, and easily accessible diagnostic test kits will allow for a prompt reaction to any epidemics and lessen the anxiety and desperation that come with relying on outside resources.


According to Dr. Akwesigye, when the facility reaches full capacity, it will generate over 5,000 indirect jobs in addition to over 1500 direct positions. These jobs will involve skill transfer and competency building in areas such as bioprocessing, innovation, research and development, and quality assurance.


Million-dose orders from pharmaceutical companies were placed by a number of developed nations, including the United States, Britain, and the European Union bloc, long before the now-approved COVID-19 vaccines had completed the full cycle of clinical trials. Ugandans, along with many other poor nations, were shocked to see how the West hoarded its own vaccinations, preventing millions of doses from reaching needy countries in Africa.


President Museveni stated during one of the presentations, “We call for more action to ensure that at the center of a global recovery is equitable access to effective and affordable vaccines,” adding that this should also include pharmaceuticals and diagnostics that aid in treatment in the event that vaccines are not available.


He promised to help regional businesses increase their capacity so they could create resilient local solutions in the event of future outbreaks.


According to data from Uganda’s Ministry of Health, clinically diagnosed malaria is the primary cause of both morbidity and mortality rates, accounting for 30–50% of outpatient visits to medical facilities, 15-20% of all hospital admissions, and up to 20% of most hospital deaths. Over 90% of people are affected by malaria, which is endemic in about 95% of the nation.


With over 16 million cases reported in 2013, 13.4 million in 2019, and 10,500 deaths reported annually from malaria, Uganda has the third-highest annual mortality toll from the disease both in Africa and globally. The new factory will meet the most pressing needs for African health by enabling Uganda and the surrounding area to take care of their needs by utilizing the most cutting-edge technologies.


Botswana Supports Batswana Companies in Energy Sector.

The government is committed to supporting capable Batswana companies and their contribution to the development of the energy sector, Minister of Minerals and Energy, Mr Lefoko Moagi has said.

Speaking at the commissioning of Bobonong three megawatts (3MW) solar PV plant on Friday developed by Sturdee Energy, he said the government had reserved 10 remaining small-scale grid-tied solar PV projects for citizen-owned enterprises to enable meaningful participation in the energy sector by Batswana.

“The award of the sites is expected before the end of December,” the minister said.

He said the ministry was also in the process of procuring 10 additional sites across the country for solar PV projects in Molepolole, Lobatse, Maun, Ghanzi, Serowe, Tsabong, Charlesshill, Kasane, Tutume and Kang.

He indicated that in addition to the 12 small-scale grid-tied solar PV projects, Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) had signed a 25-year power purchase agreement for a utility-scale grid-connected 50MW solar PV plant to be developed in Selebi-Phikwe.

“To promote citizen participation in utility-scale grid-connected solar PV projects, the government has made it mandatory for a minimum of 40 percent shareholding in these projects to be held by Botswana entities,” Mr. Moagi said.

He further said the ministry had launched a rooftop solar PV program in 2020 in line with government efforts to combat climate change while also fulfilling the country’s international commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“This will not only contribute to our renewable energy target but also align our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2030, based on 2010 levels,” Mr. Moagi said, adding the ministry had added 30MW to industrial, commercial, and residential customers through rooftop solar program.

Also, he said as part of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), the ministry had identified the development of a 200MW dispatchable concentrated solar plant, which was currently under procurement.

Additionally, he said the ministry was looking into more solar PV plants, and wind and battery energy storage projects within the next three to five years.

“These projects will contribute towards achieving our target of 50 percent contribution to power generation from renewable energy sources by 2036,” he added. For his part, BPC chief executive officer, Mr David Kgoboko said the completion of the Bobonong plant resonated with the corporation’s commitment to achieving a balanced and sustainable energy mix.

Mr Kgoboko said there was a need to drive for the adoption of greener sources to move away from the global concerns about the adverse impact of greenhouse gas emissions.

He said the cost of solar PV equipment had reduced significantly over the past 10 years, making it possible for countries with abundant solar resources to invest in large-scale solar plants.

“We also anticipate that the cost of energy storage will continue to decline, making dispatchable utility-scale solar PV energy sources affordable,” he said.

Kgosi Joel Masilo expressed expectations of fewer power cuts and improved business activities. He said with electricity, his people felt safer than during dark nights.


Turkiye, Algeria Sign Twelve Different Agreements, Boost bilateral relationship.

Türkiye and Algeria signed 12 agreements on Tuesday in various fields during a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan and his Algerian counterpart, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, co-chaired the second meeting of the Türkiye-Algeria High-Level Cooperation Council in the capital, Algiers.

Afterward, the leaders joined a signing ceremony for the agreements.

Addressing trade between the two countries, Erdogan said: “Last year, our trade volume reached a record of $5.3 billion, and we expect it to reach $6 billion by the end of this year.

“With the efforts we will increase, we hope to reach the target of $10 billion in trade volume that we set with my brother Tebboune in a short time,” he said.

Erdogan shared his appreciation for Algeria’s efforts to evaluate its economic potential under the leadership of Tebboune.

“We closely follow the efforts of around 1,400 Turkish companies supporting this process. We take pride in our companies being the largest investors and job providers in non-hydrocarbon sectors in Algeria,” he said. “We will strive to increase these investments even further. We are pleased with Algeria’s investments in our country.”

Türkiye desires to diversify and enhance relations in energy and renewable energy through new partnerships with Algeria, added Erdogan.

Tebboune said Erdogan’s visit, despite the “special and exceptional” conditions at the regional and international levels, is a significant success for relations.

Considering the sincere will on both sides, Türkiye-Algeria relations are strong and have open horizons for further cooperation, said Tebboune, adding Algeria has become Türkiye’s second-largest trading partner in Africa.

Erdogan and Tebboune also signed a joint statement on the second meeting of the High-Level Cooperation Council between Türkiye and Algeria.

Meanwhile, Türkiye’s global news agency, Anadolu, and Algeria Press Service signed the cooperation agreement.

World Bank Boosts Kenya with $12 Billion Financing Plan.

The World Bank has committed to providing Kenya with a substantial financial package to assist its development strategy. Over the next three fiscal years, the country’s projects are expected to get an injection of almost $12 billion. A significant amount of this attention is devoted to quick payout activities.

Kenya anticipates receiving a substantial amount of cash from the World Bank Group, contingent upon approval from the World Bank Executive Directors and staying within the institution’s lending capacity limits. The country is on pace to receive approximately $2 billion in concessional finance yearly. The country already has a strong strategic engagement with the World Bank, with a $8.3 billion commitment of which $4.4 billion is available for payment.

Through $1.2 billion in investments, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a division of the World Bank Group, fortifies this collaboration in Kenya. Furthermore, $424 million in guarantees from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) are provided to these projects in critical industries like energy, transportation, financial services, and tourism.

Kenya aspires to become an upper-middle-income nation by 2030, and this financial help is essential to making that happen. About $4.5 billion of the World Bank Group’s anticipated investment comes from the International Development Association’s (IDA) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (IBRD) current commitments.

Kenya’s economic prospects are expected to be further enhanced as a result of an agreement reached on Thursday, November 16, 2023, at the IMF staff level. The country is expected to receive an expanded funding package from the IMF worth $938 million. With this deal, you can access a $682.3 million tranche right away. The IMF Executive Board will review it in January 2024.

International financial institutions’ coordinated commitment demonstrates how much they believe in Kenya’s capacity for expansion and long-term development.

2023 Billboard Awards: Burna Boy, Rema Clinch Inaugural Afrobeat Categories.

The inaugural Afrobeat categories at the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, which took place on Sunday, November 19, 2023, were won by Burna Boy and Rema.

Burna Boy was named the Top Afrobeats Artiste, and Rema‘s remix of “Calm Down,” which included Selena Gomez, took home the title of “Top Afrobeats Song.”

The ‘African Giant’ singer made history by becoming the first-ever winner of the newly-created ‘Top Afrobeats Artiste’ category, defeating fierce opposition from Wizkid, Rema, Tems, and Cameroonian star, Libianca.


The awards honor outstanding contributions to the music industry, taking into account several metrics such as album and digital song sales, streaming volume, radio airplay, tour success, and social interaction.

“Big up, Billboard Music Awards,” Burna Boy said in his acceptance speech that, “Big up to everyone involved. This is dedicated to Africa and every artist coming out of Africa now, you get me. This is for you and yeah, man, the future’s bright. You guys are gonna see the vision. This is just the tip of the iceberg but you’re gonna see the whole vision soon.”

The Nigerian pop idols’ successful headline performances as a part of their individual world tours preceded their Billboard recognition. On November 14, Burna Boy made a stop at the Toyota Center in Houston, US, as part of a 16-city marathon in support of his new album “I Told Them,” while Rema became the latest Afrobeats musician to sell out the 20,000-capacity O2 Arena in London, UK.

With 11 wins, US musician Morgan Wallen was the night’s top recipient; among female artists, Taylor Swift took home the most awards with 10 wins, including the coveted “Top Artist” Award.


Tanzanian Government Kicks Against Arbitrary Use of Antibiotics.

Since the system inflames antimicrobial resistance, the Tanzanian government has frowned against pharmacies and drug dispensing outlets selling antibiotics to patients without a doctor’s prescription. 

Improper use of antibiotics, according to Chief Pharmacist Daudi Msasi stands as a threat to public health, calling on stakeholders to help spread education on the proper usage. He noted that the government has already authorized Pharmacy (Prescription Handling and Control) Regulations since June last year in handling antimicrobial resistance.

Mr. Msasi further explained that the respective authorities had started holding accountable pharmacists who go against the laws, as he outlined the penalties in the regulations which included fines, facing a jail term, or closing down their businesses by revoking their licenses, among others.

While he presided over a meeting to discuss the problem ahead of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, Mr. Msasi said, antimicrobial resistance is costly because when diseases are responding to the drugs, it will force the government to look for others which might be expensive”.

The meeting was organized by the Roll Back Antimicrobial Resistance Initiative (RBA Initiative). It is a non-governmental organization with the aim to fight back antimicrobial resistance. It supervises both rural and urban communities as critical players in addressing antimicrobial resistance. 

Mr. Msasi lauded the organization for a job well done in Dodoma and Bahi districts, stating that the initiatives ought to be rolled out in the whole region and country at large.

According to him, the regulations governing pharmacies have been approved by the government, as well as other drug dispensing outlets to ensure that they abide by the laws while conducting business. He said these regulations are also focused on safeguarding public health by making sure that all dispensing outlets adhere to the regulations.

The World Antimicrobial Awareness Week is aimed at increasing awareness among the public on antimicrobial resistance and encouraging only the appropriate use of drugs. The chief pharmacist noted that appropriate use of medical drugs includes sticking to only doctor’s prescriptions, where to get them, and the duration of the patient’s medication among others.

“However, people should use antibiotics according to their doctors’ prescriptions and avoid buying such drugs without being recommended by any medical personnel,” he pointed out.

He also explained how antimicrobial resistance varies and is dependent on the drug of choice, mentioning that the nation, for example, was treating malaria with chloroquine. Nevertheless, it developed a 50% resistance rate and had to be stopped. Suphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP), which was also stopped since it was not working as intended, took its place. The Chief Pharmacist added that medications are removed from treating certain diseases when they exhibit a 50% resistance to the drug since patients will no longer respond to it.

According to Thereza Evarist, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government (Po-RALG), antibiotic usage and abuse in humans and farm animals exacerbates antimicrobial resistance.

She stated that a new study demonstrates the evolution of resistance to artemisinin, an antibacterial used in the treatment of malaria, despite the paucity of data in the African region.

She noted that the African region is more severely impacted than any other region of the world by the estimated one in ten medicines that are thought to be substandard or fabricated internationally.

In addition, she urged all parties involved to collaborate in order to ensure that future generations have access to safe, effective antibiotics. This included making investments in infrastructure related to water, sanitation, and hygiene as well as restricting the use of antibiotics in livestock and aquafarming.



UNDP, World Bank Support Kenya’s Investment Promotion Plan.

The United Nations Development Programme, World Bank, and Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) have partnered to develop and implement an Investment Facilitation Framework and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Attraction Strategy.

The framework is aimed at creating a transparent, predictable, efficient, and trusted mechanism for effective investment facilitation.

Speaking during the launch of the partnership in Nairobi, Investments, Trade and Industry CS Rebecca Miano lauded the partnership saying it will make it easier for investors to invest, conduct their business, and expand their operations in Kenya.

Through the partnership, Kenya will streamline procedures related to domestic and foreign investor attraction and also improve coordination and cooperation among actors in the investment cycle, the CS noted.

She lauded the role played by the National Investment Council (NIC), a body mandated with providing an overarching coordination mechanism to support the growth of investment in Kenya. 

The government has set a target to attract Foreign Direct Investment to the tune of $10 billion (Sh1.52 trillion).

To unlock FDIs and position Kenya as a competitive investment destination, the National Investment Council through its Secretariat, Kenya Investment Authority, has developed an Investment Facilitation Framework with a view to creating a transparent, predictable, efficient, and trusted mechanism, the CS noted.

Through the partnership, the government will leverage UNDP’s global network to implement the framework as well as work with them as a project manager, to support key priority areas.

These include legislative and regulatory reforms to remove barriers to investment attraction; investment facilitation framework, including design and operationalization of an Investor Facilitation Platform; and institutional capacity development including organization review and development of a strategy to strengthen Kenya Investment Authority.

UNDP Resident Representative Anthony Ngororano said: “As a key partner in Kenya’s development journey, we are gearing up for a collaboration with KenInvest. Together, we aim to remove barriers to investment and strengthen the investment facilitation journey.”

World Bank Senior Private Sector Development Specialist Elizabeth Kibaki-Obiero, said the global lender will support the government through Kenya Investment Authority, to provide practical measures aimed at improving transparency and predictability in the investment climate. 

CS Miano said the ministry is looking to review the legal framework to support investments.  

“We are keen to review some of the laws and policies that have been overtaken by the changing times to make it easier for investors both foreign and domestic to tap the various business opportunities that we have across Kenya, for both the benefit of our economy and the interest of investors,” Miano said.

Some of the legislations on investment promotion were enacted in 2004 and need to be aligned with the 2010 Constitution, she noted,  that established the devolved system of governance and did away with local authorities.

“We have kicked off the review of the Investment Promotion Act 2004 to align with the Constitution and to make it responsive to the dynamic nature of the globe, as well as the domestic investment environment that continues to present new challenges”, Miano added.

Kenya Investment Authority CEO June Chepkemei indicated that the partnership will be supported by a robust strategic plan under development.

“We have made progress with regard to our strategy development covering our next growth cycle of 2023/24 – 2027/28, “Chepkemei said.

According to KenInvest, the Investment Facilitation Framework will be a great enabler for sustainable development, by facilitating the attraction and retention of FDIs.

It will also help in enhancing the quality of FDIs in the light of national strategies; growing Domestic Direct Investments (DDI); and enhancing international cooperation.

AfDB Grants Seychelles $33 Million Loan to Sustain Inclusive Green Growth.

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group approved a loan of USD 33 million to Seychelles on 17 November 2023 to implement Phase III of the Governance and Economic Reforms Support Program.

Following Phases I and II, the results are considered satisfactory, the third phase will focus on consolidating and deepening the reforms to strengthen the country’s economic resilience and help it tackle climate change. It will strengthen budget sustainability by improving tax revenue collection and governance in the public sector, including state-owned enterprises (SOEs), and strengthening the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism (AML/CFT) financing framework.

The program will help to create greater and better quality opportunities for the population of Seychelles by supporting budgetary consolidation efforts and contributing to reducing debt vulnerability. This will translate into reforms aimed at removing constraints associated with the business environment and allow local microbusinesses and SMEs to participate more effectively in international trade while encouraging renewable energy production and better waste management practices.

The program plans to upgrade the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) which involves Express Courier; e-Manifest (for Express Courier); and Excise Tax Modules. It will also enable staff training to help them use the new modules. 

In addition, the program will support measures aimed at strengthening Seychelles’ response to climate change and the transition to clean energy. This will include cabinet approval of the regulations on decentralized energy production systems and independent energy producers to encourage the development of renewable energy installations by using standalone generator units.

The population of Seychelles will be the program’s primary beneficiary based on the scale of the reform program and its impact on public administration, economic growth, and environmental and climate resilience.

Ethiopia Opens up More Sectors as Exchange Readies for Launch.

Ethiopia is getting ready to introduce its local currency securities exchange platform the following year, therefore it intends to loosen its regulations limiting foreign participation in its domestic financial markets.

Over the past two years, the nation has allowed foreign companies to participate in its banking and telecommunications sectors, enabling Kenyan banks KCB and Safaricom to establish operations.

The only people permitted to invest in or run enterprises in other areas are locals and members of the Ethiopian diaspora. This restriction has significantly reduced the amount of foreign engagement in the nation’s financial markets.

Following the opening of the banking and telecommunications sectors, Ethiopia is currently working on liberalizing “many other different sectors,” according to Brook Taye, Director-General of the Ethiopian Capital Markets Authority (ECMA), who was speaking to journalists.

“The entire economic policy of the country has been governed in the past five years with a very progressive and forward-looking approach, which has resulted in very significant improvements,” Dr. Taye stated on Wednesday during a press conference held on the sidelines of the Africa Financial Industry Summit in Lome, Togo.

The forthcoming Ethiopia Securities Exchange (ESX), which is scheduled to launch next year in an effort to “increase access to local currency finance” for the government and enterprises in the country, is anticipated to welcome foreign participation as a result of the deregulation.

Despite having one of the biggest economies in Africa, Ethiopia still lacks a stock exchange platform, and the majority of equity and stock transactions take place directly between investors and companies.

Despite the absence of an exchange, there are currently 350,000 equity investors in Ethiopia’s 30 banks and 18 insurance firms, which suggests that the time is right for a bourse, according to Dr. Taye.

Dr. Taye claims that the Ethiopia Securities Exchange, which is being established in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), will greatly increase the government’s and Ethiopia’s small- and medium-sized businesses (mostly domestic) access to financing.

“A local currency bond market with a strong participation from domestic institutional and retail investors has a significant impact on government finance and serves as an alternative source of finance for corporate entities,” Dr Taye said.

Under the terms of the agreement, IFC would act as an anchor investor in the IPOs at the soon-to-be ESX, where state-owned enterprises in Ethiopia and a few private companies whose IPO readiness is still being assessed will be the first to list.

The new exchange will “help allocate investment more efficiently and allow for better risk sharing while providing an alternative funding source to complement bank financing,” according to Aliou Maiga, Regional Director for the financial institutions group at IFC’s Africa office.

During the news conference on Wednesday in Lome, Mr. Maiga stated, “Liquid, diverse, and well-regulated capital markets are an essential source of local-currency financing for the government, financial sector participants, and for end users such as small businesses.”

Kenya Grants Holiday To Planting 100 Million seedlings

A special holiday has been allocated for Kenyans to plant 100 million trees, contributing to the government’s aim of planting 15 billion trees within a decade.

According to Environment Minister Soipan Tuya, the holiday empowers “every Kenyan to take ownership of the initiative

Encouragement is given for every Kenyan to plant a minimum of two seedlings, contributing to the achievement of the 100-million target.

The purpose of the initiative is to combat climate change.

Trees aid in addressing global warming by absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and simultaneously releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.

Approximately 150 million seedlings are being made accessible in public nurseries by the government.

The government is distributing the seedlings at no cost in its forest agency centers, encouraging Kenyans to plant them in designated public areas.

Additionally, the government has urged Kenyans to purchase a minimum of two seedlings for planting on their private land.

President William Ruto spearheaded the initiative in the eastern part of the country, while cabinet ministers were dispatched to lead the process in various regions, collaborating with county governors and other officials.

Near the origin of Kenya’s second-longest river, the Athi, a site witnessed the presence of numerous individuals, including soldiers, residents, and some with their families.

Student Wycliffe Kamau expressed, “I’ve gathered with my colleagues, and I’m delighted to be here, demonstrating my love for the environment,” in an interview with the BBC.

Local resident Stephen Chelulei stated, “I’ve come to plant trees here because our water levels have been declining. Even at the source of the river, the levels are very low, and trees have been cleared.

It’s essential to reverse climate change so that our children have a habitable environment when we are no longer present.

Nevertheless, a considerable number of individuals, particularly in urban areas, are unlikely to participate and may simply view it as an additional holiday opportunity.

The tree-planting efforts will be tracked via an internet app, enabling individuals and organizations to document activities such as plant species, quantity, and planting dates.

According to the environment ministry, the Jaza Miti app will assist people in planting suitable seedlings by matching the site with the appropriate species.

Ms. Tuya reported on Sunday night to local Citizen TV that the response had been “remarkable,” with the app already receiving two million registrations by that day.

She mentioned that tree planting would not take place in the northeastern region due to ongoing floods.

The nation is currently dealing with substantial El Niño rains, resulting in the loss of numerous lives, displacement of thousands, and damage to infrastructure—particularly impacting the northern region.

The tree-planting initiative in Kenya has been widely embraced, though some challenges have been acknowledged by the public.

Environmental advocate Teresa Muthoni informed the BBC that while the initiative was a “very good idea,” the execution lacked organization to ensure universal participation in tree planting.

She mentioned, “Many individuals have to persist with their jobs to provide for their families… it is happening during a period when our economy is underperforming, causing financial struggles for many.




Namibia Begins Export for New Table Grape Season.

The first exports of the Southern African table grape season this year were scheduled to depart the port of Cape Town last weekend. Early table grape types are already being harvested in Namibia. The Orange River is predicted to start flowing this week in the northern part of South Africa, and it will take roughly ten days for it to do so.

According to sources, Namibia anticipates exporting around the same amount as the previous year, with early signs of a high-quality harvest. The Early Sweet variety will be the main focus of the early packaging. Namibia exported almost 10.5 million cartons overall last year. In contrast, the crop in South Africa is projected to be roughly 73.0 million cartons (or 4.5 kg equivalent).

Early in the campaign, a lot of attention will be paid to the new types that Namibian growers have recently planted.

According to Fruitnet, Jenifer Sanchez, vice president of marketing at Sun World, the company has agreements with a number of Namibian producers to test, cultivate, and distribute a number of the breeder’s types there.

Among them is Sugrathirtyfive, also known as AutumnCrisp, which is in great demand from retailers and customers all over the world. Sanchez stated, “In addition to these plantings, Sun World will be testing a number of promising early red seedless pipeline varieties, such as the Sugrafiftythree variety, which was recently introduced in the Ruby Rush brand.”

This year, the nation should also see new developments in the Arra breeding program. TopFruit, a renowned cultivar management organization in charge of promoting Arra varietals throughout Southern Africa, stated, “There are reports of a good season ahead with the imminent start of the table grape season in Southern Africa.”

Table grape manager at TopFruit AJ Jansen van Vuuren stated, “Growers have long been cautious about the unpredictability of weather patterns in both South Africa and Namibia.” But now that they have the right tools, they can significantly reduce this danger. Recently introduced Arra cultivators can rest easy knowing that future climate events are unpredictable.

Europe will be anxiously awaiting the first arrivals from Southern Africa, which are scheduled to arrive two weeks after shipment from Cape Town. Owing to recent global weather occurrences, a robust market is anticipated.

Better Cotton Launches Sustainable Programme in Cote D’Ivoire.

The largest cotton sustainability effort in the world, Better Cotton, has announced the launch of a new program in Cote d’Ivoire and pledged to assist 200,000 local cotton farmers during the program’s first five years.


According to a news release from Better Cotton, the new field-level program will provide resources and training to agricultural communities all around the nation as a first step toward assisting them in producing more sustainably farmed cotton.


As Better Cotton’s strategic partner for Cote d’Ivoire, the Professional Association of Cotton Companies of Cote d’Ivoire (APROCOT-CI) will manage initiatives to enhance the economic prospects and climatic resilience of farming communities.

With CIDT, Ivoire Coton, Global Cotton SA, CO.I.C-SA, SICOSA 2.0, and Seco SA as its six member organizations, APROCOT-CI protects the interests of cotton companies throughout the nation, from farms to gins. These organizations will work with the Better Cotton initiative as partners, giving cotton communities resources and training to support social and environmental improvements.


A declaration of interest detailing national interest in initiating a Better Cotton program was submitted by APROCOT-CI to Better Cotton last year. In order to gauge the potential impact before launching a program, Better Cotton organized a multistakeholder gathering in Abidjan in March of this year.


In order to help smallholder farmers in Africa reduce their carbon footprint and embrace sustainable agriculture practices that prioritize ongoing improvement, Better Cotton is dedicated to expanding its footprint throughout the continent. Better Cotton is positioned strategically to fulfill growing demand with a membership network that extends from farm to store and brand level.


According to the President of APROCOT-CI, Jean François Toure, the partnership underscores our organization’s shared commitment to creating a positive impact in the cotton industry, primarily focusing on improving the livelihoods of smallholder cotton farmers”. 


“By integrating Better Cotton’s sustainable farming practices and APROCOT-CI’s local expertise, we aim to enhance cotton yields, reduce environmental impact, and improve social and economic outcomes for farmers in the region”.


“Starting a new program in Cote d’Ivoire is a thrilling move for Better Cotton as it expands its footprint throughout the continent. In order for local cotton farmers to benefit from more sustainable cotton production on both an environmental and financial level, our relationship with APROCOT-CI will be essential to the way we carry out our work in the nation. Alan McClay, CEO of Better Cotton, stated, “We are appreciative of APROCOT-CI’s backing and the dedication they have demonstrated to our cause.


Better Cotton Initiative is a non-profit, multistakeholder governance group that aims to promote better standards in cotton farming with operations in over 21 countries. In 2017, 14% of the world’s cotton production was accounted for by Better Cotton. During the 2016–2017 cotton season, 3.3 million metric tonnes of Better Cotton lint were generated by 1.3 million licensed BCI Farmers, making it possible for a record amount of more sustainably produced cotton to join the global supply chain.


Botswana to Promote Manufacturing to Alleviate Poverty.

According to SADC Executive Secretary Mr. Elias Magosi, promoting manufacturing through agro-processing and mineral beneficiation activities might boost business service development, eradicate poverty and inequality, and close the large wealth gap.

On the fringes of the 29th meeting of the Southern African Intergovernmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts (ICSOE), which took place in Gaborone on November 8–9, he made this statement.

Mr. Magosi claimed this move will open doors for SMMEs, which account for the majority of newly created jobs. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which is a component of the larger continental integration agenda, will be implemented on a strong foundation provided by the SADC Free Trade Area, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East Africa Community, and the SADC tripartite agreements, he added. MSMEs would greatly benefit from these regional and continental trade agreements.

“The AfCFTA has been soundly embraced by our individual member states through signing into and ratification of this continental trade agreement. Indeed, the AfCFTA gives us hope that we will reach our sustainable industrialization goals,” he said.

Notably, Mr. Magosi claimed that poverty and inequality will be reduced by more manufacturing and deeper trade inside and outside of the African continent.

“From a SADC perspective, it has been the aim to push for regional integration including through creating and maintaining free trade that guaranteed free movement of goods, services and investments within the region.”

According to Mr. Magosi, this kind of unrestricted mobility would help the member states’ long-term development and prosperity.

He stated that the market integration outlined in the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plans of SADC was making headway in enhancing the region’s industrialization, economic expansion, and technological advancements on both a national and regional scale. He said that this was in line with both the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the UN’s Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr. Magosi restated SADC’s commitment to putting into practice each of the components encapsulated in the 2023 ICSOE theme.

In doing so, he said that they will keep collaborating with all partners who share their values in order to accomplish socioeconomic development objectives and ultimately eradicate poverty and injustice throughout the area.

In the meantime, Ms. Chileshe Kapwepwe, Secretary General of COMESA, stated that her organization was instrumental in laying out the tripartite FTA instruments that were incorporated into the AfCFTA framework.

She mentioned the online reporting and monitoring system, tariff liberalization offers, and origin rules. The tripartite’s three pillars—market integration, infrastructure development, and industrial/value chain—were essential for strengthening integration, according to her.


Rwanda’s Aviation Center for Excellence Receives $23.6 Million Funding.

On November 13, the Rwandan lower house of Parliament gave its approval to a financing deal worth $23.6 million (about Rwf29 billion) for the establishment of a Center of Excellence for Aviation Skills (CEAS).

According to officials, it will function as a training hub for aviation academies to address the industry’s need for skilled labor.

According to Uzziel Ndagijimana, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, it will accomplish this by producing aviation personnel, such as pilots and experts, with international accreditation, such as that from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.

The African Development Bank (AfDB), which pledged the funds, and the Rwandan government signed the loan deal on October 16.

According to Ndagijimana, there is a 10-year grace period before repayment begins, and there is a one-percent interest rate. The repayment period is 40 years.

According to him, the project is in line with supporting Rwanda’s aviation industry.

The African Development Bank Group stated on October 19, 2023, that the loan previously specified for the building and furnishing of a new aviation training facility in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, had been approved by its Board of Directors on September 29 of that same year.

It further stated that the project’s components are connected to Kigali International Airport’s current services and facilities by the proximity of the proposed location to other associated structures.

According to the AfDB, it is anticipated to support Rwanda’s aspirations to establish itself as a regional aviation hub and attract foreign investment from the aviation sector. It also fits with Rwanda’s Vision 2050 to enhance human capital through the provision of top-notch training, labor upskilling, and workforce transformation for increased productivity.

The AfDB estimates that when the Center partially opens for business in 2025, it will be able to accommodate up to 500 students.

The facility will provide maintenance, cabin crew, and pilot training. In addition, it will offer repeated training in flight simulators, advanced pilot training for specialty missions, and instruction in drone operation.

According to industry observers, Africa will require approximately 50,000 aviation professionals over the next 20 years, including 15,000 pilots, 17,000 technicians, and 23,000 cabin crew personnel, as noted by the AfDB.

The Bank’s Director General for East Africa, Nnenna Nwabufo, stated that the Center will make it possible for young people in Rwanda and throughout East Africa to have access to opportunities for skill development.

“Overall, the project aligns with the Bank’s Skills for Employability and Productivity in Africa Action Plan, which stipulates ways of elevating the skills level of Africa’s workforce,” Nwabufo observed.

The ability for Rwanda to teach aviation professionals domestically is a welcome development, according to MP Pierre-Claver Rwaka. He noted that it was expensive to transfer them overseas to obtain the necessary training.

John Ruku-Rwabyoma, an MP from “the project symbolizes Rwanda’s uniqueness and it is not only coming to support Rwanda alone but also to bring a change to the current situation in Africa.” He said it fits well with RwandAir’s strategy to link Africa.

According to Ndagijimana, the project is crucial. “As we are a landlocked country, building capacity in air transport is crucial,” he said, pointing out it is strategic and helpful to do that through airport expansion or construction, increasing flights and routes as well as having a hub to train competent aviation staff.

An Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) study on the Aircraft Hangar and Center of Excellence Aviation Training Center Project, prepared by Akagera Aviation and dated May 2023, indicated that the project was anticipated to carry a $53.5 million price tag.

The $23.6 million in funding that has been acquired, according to Minister Ndagijimana, The New Times, is sufficient to support the planned operations, which include building construction, providing equipment, and creating curricula and programs that adhere to international standards.

The government would seek further money for the center, he added, if it grows.


Ethiopia: 404 Megawatts of Electricity Generated from Wind Power.

Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) announced that the country has generated 404 megawatts of electricity from wind power.

EEP Corporate Communications Director Moges Mekonen told the Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA) that the country has reached a total production of 404 MW of electric power from Wind power.

He noted that many citizens are getting electricity from the wind power plants that have been built so far.

Accordingly, the combined generating capacity of Ashegoda, Adama I and II, and Aysha II wind power plants has reached 404 megawatts, he added.

A feasibility study has been completed for the construction of 18 wind power projects with a capacity to generate 2,700 megawatts, the Director expressed.

Moges added that Gode, Kabribeyah, Tulu Guled, and Adigala are among the places where the planned projects will be carried out.

He stated that Ethiopia is paying special attention to the development of renewable energy so that the natural resources are being utilized with new technologies using wind energy.

Encouraged by the already attained results in renewable energy exploitation, the government is exerting extra efforts to generate more power this fiscal year, Moges mentioned.

Wind power is more reliable and cost-effective than hydro-power generation since the water level of dams decreases during dry seasons, he noted.

Moges said that generating adequate power enables the country to witness sustainable economic growth while getting its citizens out of poverty and darkness.

According to him, Ethiopia has the capacity to produce energy up to 1.3 gigawatts from wind, 45,000 MW from hydropower, and 10,000 MW from geothermal.

Kenya Targets Regional Markets for Milk Exports.

According to Cabinet Secretary for Cooperatives and Micro and Small Enterprises Simon Chelugui, Kenya is looking for outside markets for milk. He the nation currently produces more milk than the people live in, with an annual production of roughly 5.2 billion liters.

The CS stated that Kenyan farmers stand to gain from these markets as nations like the DRC are facing a shortage of milk. The 96 million-person Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) imports milk from France, he claimed, although Kenya is closer and a member of the same trading group (EAC).

According to Chelugui, the 120 million-person nation of Ethiopia has likewise had difficulty meeting its dairy needs. Ethiopia’s population is expected to reach 150 million by 2050, and the country produced 4.96 billion liters of milk in 2021, with a comparatively low production per cow.

A normal cow yields one to two liters of milk per day, which is either consumed at home or sold through unofficial market networks, according to the CS. The country’s primary milk suppliers include Saudi Arabia, France, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, and Denmark.

Chelugui says, the administration intends to apply its bottom-up economic strategy, which includes milk export. He said that he would call a consultative gathering of dairy industry stakeholders to talk about ways to support farmers after the strong output brought on by good weather.

The meeting will cover matters related to pricing and milk collection, with the aim of devising strategies to increase farmers’ access to the milk supply. “We should not punish farmers who have worked hard to produce milk. We don’t want any farmer to pour their milk or be desperate because there is an overproduction”, he stated.

According to the CS in Murang’a County on Monday, the consultative forum would also create a federation that will handle milk-related matters nationwide.

In order to give local milk more value, the county government founded Murang’a Co-operative Creameries (MCC), a milk processing facility, and he promised to support it. “We will collaborate with you through KCC to support farmers, and we support the consolidation of farmers through co-ops,” Chelugui declared.

The county government intends to assist in raising the volume of milk processed through the factory from the current 20,000 liters to 35,000 liters per day, according to Deputy Governor Stephen Munania.

Farmers are going to take over the factory that was closed by the devolved unit last year and reopened this year.

The CS clarified that farmers will receive payment of Sh40 per kilogram when their produce is delivered to the cooperatives, as part of the Sh4 billion that the government made available last year to protect coffee growers from low prices. Once the coffee gets to a miller, another Sh40 will be paid, and if it sells for more than Sh80 per kilogram, the extra cash will also go to the farmers.

He clarified that the Coffee Board of Kenya and the Coffee Research Foundation, which are based in Ruiru, will be able to resume marketing the produce with the support of the Co-ops Bill, which was just approved by Cabinet, and the Coffee Bill that is presently pending in the Senate.

“Coffee is becoming more popular. It will command high prices, and farmers will prosper.  Formerly among the top producers of coffee, Murang’a is currently trailing behind, he claimed.


Harare-Beitbridge highway Nears Completion.

The rehabilitation of the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway is about 80 percent complete with 470 km out of the total 580 km of the road now opened to traffic, a move hailed by motorists.


Yesterday, the Government opened a 5.4km stretch in Mvuma which was recently reconstructed.

The rehabilitation of the Harare-Beitbridge highway and modernization of the Beitbridge Border Post to bring in efficient systems aimed at reducing or eliminating delays are some of the signature projects of President Mnangagwa’s administration.


Beitbridge Border Post has already been commissioned by the President and users of the busiest land border in the SADC region have commended the speed with which they are being cleared.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona yesterday led a delegation on a tour of the highway where he opened the 5,4km part of the road in Mvuma, starting from the Gweru turnoff.


In an interview, Minister Mhona said he was happy with the progress made so far along the highway.


“I am happy as the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development standing here to demonstrate that we are in the Second Republic and you don’t see us in offices.


“Just to mirror what our iconic leader His Excellency Dr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is doing, we now have to walk the talk and we have opened today, a 5.4km stretch which was the outstanding stretch between Harare and Masvingo.


“The stretch is in a wetland so it took time for the contractor (Fossil Contracting) to work on the particular stretch. What I like about the Second Republic is that we are building our nation in line with the President’s mantra “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo” and we are using our resources.


“We have done close to 470km and if we talk of Harare to Masvingo which is close to 296km, the only missing link is the Manyame Bridge and also at Fairfields where we have a 1km stretch.


“Why that is the missing link is because we are going build a road over the rail bridge and we are also working at Manyame Bridge so that the connectivity now between Harare and Masvingo, the 296km will be complete,” he said.

The government would also work on other feeder roads such as from Mvuma to Gweru and Mvuma going to Kwekwe.


These would offload the burden from Harare-Bulawayo Road so that those who want to go to Gweru would also come through Chivhu, Mvuma then to Gweru.


“But the exciting thing about this movement we are running with as a Ministry is the idea to pursue and run with stalled projects. You have seen across the country, in cities we are busy attending to the stalled projects and a number of these projects are being completed just before the advent of the rains.


“We have said to the rural district councils, in particular Chirumanzu, that we also need to move with speed so that we rehabilitate our rural roads that had been neglected for some time,” the Minister said.


On the Harare-Chirundu Road, Minister Mhona said the ministry had already engaged the contractors and they would soon start from Beitbridge going to Bulawayo and then Victoria Falls.


Fossil Contracting general manager Engineer Kudzaishe Magodoro said: “We want to thank the Second Republic for giving us this opportunity to do this road. So far, we have done 116km in total and today we are opening 5,4km of part of the road and we are so happy.”


Motorists interviewed by The Herald along the highway thanked the Government for attending to and reconstructing the country’s major roads which were in a bad state.


Mr Tawanda Gandawa said he was happy that the stretch had finally been opened and hoped the Government would soon complete the project. He urged other motorists not to get over-excited and speed along the highway as this would cost lives.


Another motorist Mr Stephen Sithole called on law enforcement agents to increase visibility on the roads to curb road carnage.


Mr Givemore Nsingo said: “We are happy that the road has finally been opened to traffic as we were finding it difficult to drive through some of the detours near this stretch. We should abide by the speed limits and obey traffic rules and regulations”.


The entire north-south corridor has been divided into three sections: the 580km Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge highway together with eight toll plazas, the 342km Harare-Chirundu highway with six toll plazas, and the 59km Harare Ring Road with three toll plazas.


These tolls are aimed at paying for the rehabilitation and maintenance of roads.

Libya, Morocco Discuss Boost in Joint Industrial Collaboration.

On Friday in the Moroccan Ministry’s office, Ahmed Abu Hissa, the Minister of Industry and Minerals in the Government of National Unity (GNU), spoke with Riad Mazour, the Minister of Industry and Trade in Morocco, about bolstering economic collaboration between the two nations.

A partnership between the Libyan Iron and Steel Company and Moroccan companies that specialize in car body manufacturing was established during the meeting, according to information released by the Libyan Ministry of Industry. The meeting also discussed ways to capitalize on Morocco’s experience in setting up and managing industrial zones and establishing and managing technologies.

Mohammed Al-Huweij, the minister of economy and trade, attended the meeting, which took place on the fringes of the Moroccan-Libyan Business Forum, which was held in Tangier under the theme “Investment boosts development and economic integration.”

Al-Huweij demanded the opening of air and sea routes between Tangier and Tripoli during his speech at the Forum on Wednesday in order to facilitate trade and boost the volume of goods exchanged.

Al-Huweij emphasized the significant role Morocco would play in Libya by reopening the Moroccan embassy in Tripoli and the General Consulate in Benghazi, which will aid in streamlining the visa application process for Libyan nationals and business owners.

Memoranda of understanding were signed by the Moroccan and Libyan representatives outside the forum. With the involvement of 20 Moroccan businesses, over 90 Libyan businesspeople, and 17 Libyan institutions and corporations, the forum’s accompanying exhibition was also inaugurated.

Tanzanian Startups Wins Competition, Trip to Germany.

During a German-Tanzania competition, which included eight startups who pitched their ideas to a panel, participants, and audience, three of the startups won a trip to Germany. The winning startups include Smart Darasa Company Limited, Dawa Mkononi, and Mipango Fintech.

At the opening of the East Africa Regional Digitalization Conference, which focused on the future of the digital economy and emerging technologies for sustainable development, the companies presented their ideas to the jury and the audience. Following their presentations, the winners were announced.

The conference’s objective is to explore and exchange perspectives on a range of issues regarding East Africa’s future in the digital economy and emerging technologies, with a particular emphasis on long-term political solutions.

The German Tanzania Chamber of Commerce’s Country Director, Mr. Fabian Zittlau, commented on the competition and stated that his organization supports and represents German businesses in Tanzania. He mentioned that it was their first time participating in the competition and that they had successfully selected creative businesses for Tanzania and Germany.

According to Zittlau, “The winners will have the opportunity to network with investors and engage in thought-provoking conversations on critical issues like youth, employment, digitalization, and climate change.”

One of the successful entrepreneurs is Kusiluka Aginiwa, the Chief Strategy Officer of Smartdarasa. The goal of Smart Darasa is to help students study geography, chemistry, and physics online. He anticipates learning from and exchanging ideas with others who are performing similar tasks to him, but those who are performing them earlier are more experienced.

Co-founder of Mipango Fintech Agnes Mollel specializes in educating women on money management techniques. “With the trip, I will be able to mingle and learn through one-on-one sessions and learn new ideas on how we can make our startup more sustainable,” said Mollel.

The three-day regional conference on digitalization convened specialists from Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.


Namibia: Africa’s First Green Hydrogen-powered Iron Plant.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on 6 November for the HyIron Oshivela green iron project in Namibia.

The €30 million (US$32 million) plant is being built near the Valencia mine, close to Arandis, in the Erongo region by HyIron, a Namibian-German joint venture.

It will use green hydrogen instead of coal for the reduction of iron ore. 

The investment is being facilitated by the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) and Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

Production is set to commence by the end of 2024.

The plant will have a capacity of 15,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of direct reduced iron in its first phase, helping to avoid 27,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year, which is equivalent to 50% of the carbon emissions of Namibia’s power industry.

A feasibility study is being conducted to evaluate a mid-term capacity expansion to 1 million t/y, which would reduce annual CO2 emissions by 1.8 million.

The Oshivela plant will be driven by solar and wind energy. In the first phase, a 20MW solar photovoltaic installation will supply carbon-free electricity to the plant. For the first scaled-up production phase, an additional 18MW of wind energy and 140MW of solar are planned.

The power plant will mainly supply energy for the water electrolysis process to produce hydrogen. The hydrogen will then be transported into the furnace, where it reacts with the oxygen of the iron ore at ambient pressure to become water again. This water is then reused in the process.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Rainer Baake, special envoy for German-Namibian energy and climate cooperation, said the Oshivela plant places Namibia at the forefront of the green industrial transition. 

“The sponge iron produced here can also be used as a preliminary product in steel production in Germany to manufacture green steel for the production of wind turbines or vehicles,” Baake said. 

According to HyIron, global demand for iron is projected to increase from 1.9 billion t/y currently to 2.2 billion by 2030. To satisfy this rising demand, an additional production capacity of 50 million tonnes has to be added each year.

In December 2022, Germany’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Protection agreed to fund the HyIron project with more than €13 million over the next two years.

Moroccan Investors Express Interest to Establish Partnership With Libyan Counterparts.

Moroccan investors recently expressed their desire to establish partnerships with their Libyan counterparts and invest in the Libyan market to strengthen the economic partnership between the two countries.

This announcement came in a meeting for the Minister of Economy and Trade of the Government of National Unity, Mohammed Al-Huweij, and leading Moroccan businesspeople and investors in all fields on the sidelines of the Moroccan-Libyan Business Forum in Tangier, according to a Ministry statement on Monday.

“The visit of the Prime Minister to Morocco and his meeting with the Moroccan government paves the way for improving our partnerships. It strengthens the distinguished relations between the two peoples through holding meetings of the joint supreme committee.” Al-Huweij said.

He added that Libyan-Moroccan relations were further strengthened during that visit in terms of developing memoranda of understanding, expressing his confidence that more cooperation opportunities between businesspeople from the two countries would take place, wishing to increase the levels of joint trade exchange in the coming period. He also reiterated the importance of inaugurating air and sea routes between the two countries to overcome the difficulties faced by businesspeople. 

Last Saturday, the Head of the Moroccan Exporters Association, Hassan Al-Santisi Al-Idrissi, announced that they will soon organize a forum bringing together investors, importers, and exporters in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. Meanwhile, 17 Libyan companies and institutions, 20 Moroccan companies, and more than 90 Libyan businesspeople participated in the Tangier Forum and Exhibition.

Kenya’s Edwin Kiptoo Wins 40th Athens Marathon.

Edwin Kiptoo of Kenya won the 40th Athens Marathon with a time that set a course record of two hours, ten minutes, and thirty-four seconds.

Over the course of the race’s second half, the 30-year-old Edwin Kiptoo steadily pulled away from his main rivals, the majority of whom were his fellow countrymen, finishing the final 10 kilometers by himself.

About a hundred individuals in the Panathenaic stadium in Athens waved Palestinian flags and unfurled a banner that said “Free Palestine” as Kiptoo crossed the finish line. Along the way, a few people carried and waved Palestinian flags.

Rhonzai Lokitam Kilimo of Kenya finished second at 2:12:36, while Felicien Muhitira of Rwanda finished third, his late charge just missing Lokitam’s victory.

Since 2001, 17 Kenyan runners have won the race, including Felix Kandie, who in 2014 set the previous record of 2:10:37.

The women’s race was won by Soukaina Atanane of Morocco in 2:31:52, placing her 19th overall; Caroline Jepchirchir of Kenya finished second in 2:32:19, and Gloria Privileggio of Greece placed third in 2:43:20.

The course of the Athens Marathon is mountainous, with nearly continuous climbing between kilometers 17 and 32 before a majority descent. Although British runner Bill Adcocks just missed the then-record by roughly a minute and a half, in 1969, he ran 2:11:07, which is not even close to the world’s best time due to this characteristic. Up until Italy’s Stefano Baldini ran 2:10:57 at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, his time remained unaltered. The next record holder was Kandie.

The marathon begins close to the spot where, in 490 BC, Athenians and their allies defeated a much bigger Persian army. According to legend, a messenger who traveled to Athens to declare the triumph perished on his way there.

The race concludes at the Panathenaic Stadium, a reconstructed ancient arena in the shape of a U made of marble that can hold up to 80,000 spectators and served as the site of the track events of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

In the hamlet of Marathon, a record 20,322 racers registered to begin, surpassing the previous record of 20,041 established in 2019. In the first two races following the coronavirus epidemic, in 2021 and 2022, attendance had fallen by over 50%. The 2020 iteration was withdrawn.

Ethiopian Investor Discusses Business Opportunities in Rwanda.

After spending a week in Rwanda in November 2020, Yared Gebremichael‘s perspective on investing in Africa was transformed. The 32-year-old Ethiopian national’s intentions to build his companies in the Middle East were derailed by his stay in Rwanda. He had investments in both his own country and the United Arab Emirates.

In an interview with The New Times, Gebremichael stated, “I liked the country, the people, and the environment here. It’s a very friendly environment. So, I decided that I had to invest in this country. Now, this is my third year.”

He initially opened a furniture store in Kigali with a friend in order to gauge the state of the local economy. He founded an agriculture company that exported red kidney beans after he realized that business might succeed in Rwanda.

“We already operated agro-processing companies in Ethiopia and served a sizable Middle Eastern clientele. Because there was so much room for profit, we chose to increase our real estate and agricultural assets in Rwanda,” he stated.

In the Eastern Province, YDH Agro Limited, the business of Gebremichael, collaborates with tens of thousands of outgrowers and farmer cooperatives. In Rugende, Gasabo District, it also has a cleaning and sorting plant that it uses to service other exporters of agricultural products.

According to Gebremichael, each enterprise has an investment of over $2 million, or roughly Rwf2.4 billion. The companies employ more than 70 temporary workers (up to 120 during harvest season) in addition to about 40 permanent staff members.

The company shipped more than 1,400 tonnes of beans between June and August.

“The business climate in Rwanda is favorable. There is relatively little red tape and minimal bureaucracy when starting a business. The majority of government services are available online.”

In addition to growing his real estate holdings, he intends to begin exporting additional income crops like coffee beans, sesame seeds, and chia seeds. He had trouble securing a loan at first, but he was able to acquire one recently from a nearby commercial bank that took his machines and warehouse as security.

He advises Rwandan banks to adopt novel approaches to obtaining collateral. Export businesses with reliable purchasers might use their contracts as collateral to obtain bank loans in other nations. According to him, if Rwandan banks took such contracts as collateral, they could promote the expansion of businesses.

Gebremichael has also observed that fresh investments in the nation have a limited lifespan. He claimed that while it is relatively simple to launch a business in Rwanda, maintaining one for more than two years is difficult.

He recommends that government organizations in charge of luring capital, in particular the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), should follow up with the companies to find out what problems they are facing with an equally rigorous effort. That, he claimed, would be a surefire approach to identify answers and stop the companies from suffering in quiet.

By choosing to invest in Rwanda, Gebremichael became more interested in other African nations. Since then, he has been looking into chances in nations like Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, and Kenya.

“I formerly believed that the opportunities only existed on our continent. However, here in Africa are the best chances,” he stated.

He thinks that the greatest way for Africa to prosper is for more Africans to invest there. He hosted a delegation of potential Ethiopian investors in Rwanda around the end of August.

“We truly need to connect with one another and think big as African brothers and sisters. 1.4 billion people live in Africa; that is a much larger market than 14 million people in a single nation. Africa has greater potential, he stated.


Angola Inaugurates New $3 Billion Luanda International Airport.

The new international airport in Angola named Dr. Antonio Agostinho Neto International Airport (AIAAN) has been officially inaugurated by the Angolan government. The new airport will serve as the country’s main hub for passenger and cargo services and will eventually replace Luanda’s Quatro de Fevereiro Airport (LAD).

The new facility occupies a 19 sq mi (50 sq km) sector and is situated around 40 km east of central Luanda. It is 522 feet (159 meters) above sea level and features two asphalt runways. 12 467 feet (3,800 meters) long and 196 feet (60 meters) wide is the southern runway; 13,779 feet (4,200 meters) long and 196 feet (60 meters) wide is the northern runway.

AIAAN can accommodate 15 million passengers a year, of which 10 million are foreign and 5 million are local. In terms of cargo capacity, it can handle up to 286.6 million pounds (130,000 tonnes) yearly in the first phase and up to 970 million pounds (440,000 tonnes) annually in the expansion phase.

According to Angola’s Minister of Transport, Ricardo Viegas D’Abreu, the airport is a public investment fully funded by the government which is estiamated to have cost more than $3 billion, including the supporting infrastructure. The minister said the funds will be recovered through the concession of the airport’s management, development of the airport city, and engagement of the private sector to unlock the full potential of the new facilities.

There are twelve aircraft finger docks in the 1.7 million square foot (160,000 square meter) passenger terminal complex. Additional amenities including lodgings, workplaces, hangars, and retail stores. In addition to check-in counters and contemporary luggage carousels, the terminal building soon will have lounges and eateries.

Ranking by passenger capacity, AIAAN will be among the biggest airports in Africa. It will act as a vital hub on a regional and global scale to support the continued growth of Angola’s transportation and tourism industries. The new airport will be a major hub for trade as the government works to diversify the economy of the nation, since other industries are developing swiftly.

Its advantageous location facilitates the development of a strong logistics hub to increase both domestic and foreign trade. Angola believes that the growth of other industries can be aided by its aviation industry. It has created a brand-new, cutting-edge hub for civil aviation that will be essential to linking Africa to the rest of the globe and fostering the growth of local economies. 

Dr Ricardo Viegas D’Abreu added, “I must emphasize that with this new airport, we intend to create an international civil aviation hub in Luanda, which will play a crucial role in connecting Africa and the other continents. It truly contributes to the development of our region’s economies in a logic of ever greater integration and creation of added value for all.”

“Africa needs to be linked to Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Why? Because passengers increasingly need to move and because air transport is increasingly necessary to shorten distances and satisfy the needs of various sectors of the world economy.”

Expanding the center will also help the government’s goal of increasing Angolan tourism. In the upcoming years, AIAAN, as the primary gateway for foreign visitors, is anticipated to present Angola and welcome a significant influx of tourists. 

Additionally, it is now much simpler to enter Angola because the country in Southern Africa recently passed a resolution granting foreign nationals from at least 98 nations a 90-day visa-free stay. It is only for tourists and includes, among others, citizens of the US, UK, China, Brazil, and Morocco.


Uganda, Tanzania Sign Gas Pipeline Agreement.

Uganda and Tanzania recently signed a bilateral agreement to construct a natural gas pipeline that will boost both countries’ energy security and economic growth. Natural gas will be transported through this pipeline from Tanzania’s southern regions to Uganda where it will be used to power factories and generate electricity. 

The agreement which is expected to create jobs and attract foreign investment was signed on behalf of Tanzania by Deputy Prime Minister Doto Biteko and Uganda by Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Ruth Nankabirwa.

During the signing event, Biteko stated that the project will enhance gas output in Tanzania’s Lindi and Mtwara regions and raise demand for natural gas. He added that natural gas from Tanzania has piqued the interest of Kenya and Botswana.

Biteko invited investors to participate in the natural gas industry, pointing out that the amount of gas processed daily has reached 250 million cubic feet, of which 80% is used to generate electricity and the remaining 20% is used for transportation, industry, and residential purposes.

Biteko stated that the two nations will collaborate on a feasibility assessment to evaluate the project’s architecture, gas demand, pipeline size, and other crucial variables. The agreement is based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the two nations in August 2018.

In addition, Biteko reported that Tanzania has found a significant amount of natural gas—roughly 57.54 trillion cubic feet—and that the government is still looking for further supplies in places including the deep sea, Lake Tanganyika, Songosongo West, Eyasi Wembere, and Mnazi Bay North.

According to Ugandan Minister Nankabirwa, her nation is dedicated to accelerating the project and acknowledges its significance. She asked the Joint Implementation Committee to move quickly to complete the feasibility study and hire a lead consultant.

Additionally, Nankabirwa mentioned that the two nations had already worked together on energy-related projects, including the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project, the Masaka Mutukula to Mwanza power transmission project, and the 14-megawatt Kikagati hydropower project.

In East Africa’s efforts to integrate its energy resources, the Tanzania-Uganda gas pipeline project represents a noteworthy turning point. It will draw in foreign investment, generate jobs, and support economic growth and energy security in both nations.

Ethiopia Takes Lead in Coffee Expertise.

According to the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority (ECTA), the introduction of a coffee training program is essential to close the knowledge gap and develop specialized skills, establishing Ethiopia as a leader in the commodity’s expertise.

In an interview with The Ethiopian Herald, Sahlemariam Gebremedhn, the director of ECTA Public Relations and Communication, said that the program not only helps regional experts but also trains future coffee experts from other African nations. It is thought that the program will improve the quality of coffee, cut down on waste, and increase the industry’s total potential.

Since the previous Ethiopian fiscal year, the authority has been actively working to expand the service beyond Addis Ababa and Dre Dawa by constructing new coffee quality and certification centers in Jimma and Hawassa. In an effort to guarantee that people have access to basic services, this expansion will continue to other regional states.

According to the director, technical developments have also completely transformed the sector, especially in the fight against illicit coffee trading activities. As a result, the government’s comprehensive strategy has considerably reduced illegal coffee smuggling. Additionally, states, federal agencies, academic institutions, and non-governmental groups have joined forces to assist farmers in using contemporary methods of producing coffee and promoting sustainable development.

Sahlemariam went on to say that in order to ensure the greatest caliber of coffee production, stronger cooperation with research facilities and academic institutions is essential. Additionally, cooperative initiatives are being carried out to improve coffee quality, give farmers access to better coffee types, and solve marketing-related issues.

Dilla University has developed an online education program to provide industry participants with fundamental knowledge on foreign marketing, coffee quality, and related topics. This curriculum is a manifestation of the aforementioned.

Ethiopia has demonstrated its commitment to environmental stewardship, innovation, and quality via the coffee industry’s impressive growth. He said the nation is ready to lead the globe in the coffee market through technology, conservation efforts, and training, and it will serve as a model for the rest of the world.

Rwandan-Born Honored with Laureate Award for Cervical Cancer Fight.

Grace Mutesi, a Rwandan-born woman, was recognized on Thursday, November 9, along with the other 2023 prize winners Laureates by UNESCO and Fondation L’Oréal for her scientific contributions to the prevention of cervical cancer.

Mutesi, a Ph.D. candidate in the Life and Environmental Sciences, received recognition for her efforts to advance women’s health in Kenya by increasing the country’s rate of HPV vaccination.

Investigating the obstacles and enablers to HPV vaccination, evaluating the acceptability of a single-dose vaccination strategy among Kenyan healthcare providers, and ultimately offering insightful information to guide tactics for fostering improved stakeholder engagement, raising vaccine awareness, and boosting HPV vaccination coverage are all part of her efforts to prevent cervical cancer.

At the 14th edition of the For Women in Science (FWIS) Young Talents Program for Sub-Saharan Africa, which is being held in Kasane, Botswana, she is one of thirty young talents who have been honored.

Their backgrounds include biochemistry, epidemiology, ecology, artificial intelligence, and public health. They are dedicated to employing novel methods to discover sustainable solutions for Africa’s many problems.

The CEO of the Foundation L’Oreal, Alexandra Palt said “Enabling women scientists to emerge in the public arena and be recognized for the quality of their work requires urgent action. It’s everyone’s responsibility, institutions, companies, and civil society. Neither Africa nor the world can successfully respond to the environmental, societal, and health crises of our time by depriving itself of half of humanity.”

In addition to receiving financing of €10,000, each Ph.D. laureate has the chance to further their professional and personal development by participating in leadership training.

The cohort will become a part of a community that was established in 2010 and comprises over 200 African researchers who have received recognition and assistance.

The Foundation L’Oréal, which focuses on three main areas: scientific research, inclusive beauty, and climate action, encourages and inspires women to take charge of their lives and change society.

The L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science program was launched in 1998 with the goal of enabling more women scientists to overcome obstacles to advancement and take part in solving major problems that will benefit all people. It has been encouraging younger generations of women to choose science as a career and awarding scientific success for 25 years by providing support to over 4,100 female researchers from over 110 nations.

Abidjan-Lagos Highway Corridor Attracts Huge Investment Interest.

The Abidjan-Lagos highway corridor has secured a $15.5 billion dollar investment interest according to the African Development Bank (AfDB). The President of the Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina disclosed this while welcoming participants at the 2023 Africa Investment Forum (AIF), Market Days in Marrakech, Morocco on Wednesday. The event was themed “Unlocking Africa’s Value Chains”.

According to Dr. Adesina, the corridor will transform the entire West African region and speed up regional integration, sustainable economic development, and trade.

”In 2022, investment interests were secured for 3.6 billion dollars for the East Africa Railway Corridor, linking Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi. We are delighted that the AIF has so far closed on deals’ investment gaps worth 11 billion dollars. This ranged from liquefied natural gas, renewable energy, agribusiness, industrial manufacturing, creative industry, housing, and transport. It is time again for investment action, it is time to do it again”, he noted.

He says that investors should pay attention to the potential of the African continent since its economies provide some of the most exciting investment prospects in the world.

“As investors, put your money where the future is. The future is in Africa and investors should see Africa not from what they hear, but from what the facts say. Moody’s Analytics shows Africa’s default rate is the lowest in the world at 2.1 percent compared to Eastern Europe, well over 10 percent, and Asia well over 8 percent.

“Africa is not as risky as you perceive. Private equity and venture capital in Africa soared year over year to 7.70 billion dollars. The number of deals increased from 211 in 2018 to 404 in 2022, an increase of 91 percent. The total transaction value expanded from 4.65 billion dollars in 2018 to 7.70 billion dollars in 2022, an increase of 66 percent. Invest in Africa and reap high risk-adjusted returns”, he said.

His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco had earlier said that the country’s goal of achieving cross-border community development and regional economic integration included the Morocco-Nigeria Gas Pipeline Project.

“This project will enable all countries along the pipeline route to have access to reliable energy supplies. I welcome the interest expressed by bilateral and multilateral partners in this project, and in particular, regional and international financial institutions. To provide effective support for the implantation of this strategic project”, he added.

AIF is the venue where investors and bankable projects in Africa come together. In investment board rooms, investors engage with heads of state and government. The forum is a multi-stakeholder platform that was established in 2018 and has grown to be the leading investment platform on the continent. It is the Islamic Development Bank’s (AfDB) main project.

The European Development Bank, Trade and Development Bank, Afrexim Bank, Development Bank of Southern Africa, Africa Finance Cooperation, and Africa 50 are among its founding partners.


Sudan: UN, Italy Sign Grant to Improve Kassala Healthcare.

In order to bolster the quality of healthcare services in Kassala Sudan, a €4.2 million agreement has been inked between the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS). The project is aimed at increasing the accessibility and caliber of healthcare services and creating a secure atmosphere in which people with disabilities can get such services. 

The UN in Sudan in an official statement said that UNOPS will build the two main roads at Kassala Hospital in Sudan that connect the general surgery unit, maternity hospital, blood bank, and diagnostic center. 

The project will also involve renovating and paving the exterior spaces that connect the new pediatric unit, the diagnostic center, and the blood bank. Furthermore, UNOPS will construct the second section of the general surgery unit’s first phase, occupying 2,750 square meters of total building space.

According to the UN statement, the project will be centered on gender and equity, with 2.8 million individuals expected to profit. 

Michele Tommasi, the Italian ambassador to Sudan, noted that Italy ranks among the top providers of money given to Sudan to support its many sectors. Health, social inclusion, disability, gender equality, economic advancement, agriculture, and cultural and archeological heritage protection are some of these fields.  The construction of the Kassala Health Citadel is one of Italy’s most significant projects.

The Italian organization has been steadfast in its support of Sudan, according to Michele Morana, Director of AICS Khartoum: “We have intensified our support and localized it in the eastern states of the country, where the Italian cooperation has a long-lasting presence and strong relationships with the Sudanese authorities, based on mutual trust and collaboration.”

The Sudan’s war that broke out in mid-April terribly impacted all aspects of healthcare across Sudan and due to a critical shortage of necessary supplies, the Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) suspended its support to surgical operations at Bashayes Teaching Hospital in southern Khartoum. 

However, the Sudanese healthcare system has delayed making decisions concerning healthcare services. In September, UNICEF and the World Health Organization warned that more than 10,000 children will die by the end of this year as a result of attacks and disruptions to health and nutrition services in Sudan. 

Millions of children are at risk of contracting cholera, dengue, measles, malaria, and other diseases as a result of the six-month fighting in Sudan, according to a joint statement from the two groups. They also noted that organizations are facing growing difficulties as a result of limitations on access, resources, safety, and security.

According to the statement, UNICEF and the WHO note that over 70% of hospitals in areas affected by war are not operating. As of now, the WHO has confirmed 58 attacks on healthcare facilities, which have left patients and medical staff injured and 31 people dead.

According to the statement, the rainy season fosters an environment that is conducive to the spread of vector and waterborne illnesses. He observed that there is a fast-rising danger of death from maternal complications, low immunization rates, illness outbreaks, and hunger.

Approximately 700,000 kids are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, and another 100,000 kids require life-saving care for acute malnutrition combined with medical problems. According to Mandeep O’Brien, UNICEF representative in Sudan, “maternal, newborn, and infant health and nutrition services – a lifeline in a country where nearly 14 million children need urgent humanitarian support – have been destroyed in some areas.” “Pay for healthcare staff has been delayed for several months. All the supplies are used up. Attacks on critical infrastructure are still ongoing.”


Ethiopia Halts Import on Malted Barley.

According to the Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC), Ethiopia has become self-sufficient in malting barley, which it has been importing for years to suit the demands of the brewing industry.

According to reports, the nation has been spending millions of dollars importing 70% of the cereals needed by its breweries. The government’s initiatives have allowed Ethiopia to become self-sufficient with sufficient domestic products, so much so that the country has ceased importing barley, according to Fitsum Ketema, Chief of Staff and Transformation Head of IPDC.

He claims that by giving more than 60,000 smallholder farmers direct access to the market, a malting barley-producing enterprise located in Bole Lemmi Industry Park has aided in the increase of barley production. Fitsum and the agro-processing businesses of Debre Berhan and Jimma are also benefiting from this kind of market connection.

In order to facilitate commerce in more agricultural products between farmers and consumers, he continued, the nation is likewise attempting to integrate its markets. He pointed out that several industrial parks have been trying to increase the number and range of their products in order to mitigate the impact of Ethiopia’s withdrawal from AGOA advantages.

Fitsum said that this increase covers production in the areas of agro-processing, textiles, medicines, vehicle assembly, and other industries. According to him, the nation is also aiming to build more industry parks and draw in foreign direct investment in order to boost foreign currency profits and generate more jobs. The firm claims that over 100,000 jobs and millions of dollars are being created by Ethiopia’s 13 industry parks.

The year 2018 saw the start of initiatives by the government, international organizations, and the beer business to expand Ethiopia’s barley sector, following statistics that revealed the nation was importing an astounding 70% of the grains required for its burgeoning brewing industry.

Ethiopia is Africa’s fifth-largest producer of barley, therefore experts thought there was a chance to significantly reduce imports.

AGOA Has Created Job Opportunities in Lesotho___ Lesotho Trade Minister.

Lesotho trade minister Mokhethi Shelile said the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) had helped Lesotho to create job opportunities and lift thousands out of poverty and based on his interaction with American buyers at the Agoa Forum in Johannesburg, there is scope for many, many more.

“I spoke to a major South African buyer and they buy 17 million clothes annually, but then I spoke to an American buyer and they were looking to source 100 million, so as much as Agoa has helped Lesotho over the past two decades, there is the potential for much more,” Shelile said.

A major constraint on the further expansion of Lesotho’s clothing exports to the US is that it sources a fair amount of its textiles from China and the US has banned the import of textiles that contain cotton allegedly grown using forced labor.

Three Chinese textile manufacturers have been banned from exporting their goods to the US as international human rights watchdogs have accused the Chinese government of setting up internment camps in the north-western city of Xinjiang to use forced labor from Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities, including Kazakhs and Kyrgyz in growing cotton. These companies were sanctioned under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA).

The Chinese government has for years denied the accusations of minority persecution and the use of forced labor.

“As Lesotho, we now have to certify that the textiles we use in our clothing do not use cotton grown using forced labor, so that adds to our costs,” Shelile said.

Lesotho exports of articles of apparel, knit or crocheted to America was $222.33 million in 2021, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.

In 2020, global exports of textiles and clothing products were valued at $147.6 billion (R2.8 trillion) and $573.5bn representing about 0.9% and 3.3% of the world merchandise trade, respectively, but China dominates this trade with a share of around a third as it is the largest exporter of textiles and clothing products globally.

“We are aiming to diversify our export offering and expand our share of the supply chain. So although we export leather seats to four motor manufacturers in South Africa, we want to do more. That is why we are excited about American investment interest in aquaculture, as Lesotho’s water is amongst the purest in the world,” he said.

Angola: FADA Receives 5 Billion Kwanzas for Agricultural Organizations.

The National Treasury in Angola has given five billion kwanzas to the Agricultural Development Support Fund (FADA) to support community funds inside agricultural cooperatives and organizations. In order to achieve this, it has developed a financial instrument known as Credit for Community Caisses, which entitles recipients to a maximum of 25 million kwanzas.

Felisbela Francisco, the CEO of the FADA, provided the information on Tuesday during a speech marking the signing of a memorandum between the organization and the Institute for Agrarian Development (IDA).

Speaking in an interview conducted off-site at the event, she explained that the agreement essentially aims to improve credit availability for agricultural cooperatives and associations with community banks, while also establishing the general principles of institutional cooperation between the parties in the field of family farming.

In order to reduce the risks associated with improper use of agricultural and animal production techniques and credit default, the agreement also aims to provide capacity building, specialized technical assistance, and training by the IDA to the beneficiaries of this credit.

The official stated that as part of the stimulus measures, FADA was assigned to support the cooperatives that established community banks. These cooperatives, with the help of the IDA, identified all of the cooperatives in Malanje, Bié, Huambo, and Kwanza Sul through the financial product.

“Clarification sessions have already been held on access to funding, given that FADA still has no regional representation. We have the support of the IDA in receiving the proposals and it has sent them to FADA, which makes the final decision at committee level,” she said.

Additionally, she stated that over 194 cooperation requests have been authorized, and payments have already been sent to over ten structured processes. It is anticipated that all of the requests will be funded by November 15th.

She mentioned the legalization of land and cooperatives as the primary challenges faced. According to Felisbela Francisco, there are presently over 2,000 funded projects and over 13 billion kwanzas invested in FADA’s loan portfolio.

The Director General of the IDA, Felismino da Costa, on the other hand, thinks that one of the main obstacles is creating a system for raising family production in rural areas, along with providing inputs and other equipment.

The memorandum of understanding between the Agrarian Development Institute and the Agrarian Development Support Fund sets goals in the agricultural and livestock sector with the aim of increasing national production, according to João da Cunha, Secretary of State for Agriculture and Livestock.

He also acknowledged that initiatives and programs were in place to increase the nation’s export independence, but that in order to achieve noticeable development outcomes in the medium run, more action must be taken.

Felismino da Costa, the director-general of the Agrarian Development Institute (IDA), and Felisbela Francisco from the Agrarian Development Support Fund (FADA) signed the pact. DOJ/ML/AC/DAN


Trade Intelligent Marks its Official Entry into Kenyan Market.

South African retail research business Trade Intelligence has marked its official entry into the Kenyan market with a Retail Trends presentation at the Retail Trade Association of Kenya (Retrak) Forum.

Trade Intelligence, a market intelligence and research firm in the consumer goods sector, recently announced its official entry into the Kenyan market with a Retail Trends presentation by business development lead, Andrea Ellens.

The presentation which was held at the recent Retail Trade Association of Kenya (Retrak) Forum, provided an in-depth analysis of Kenya’s evolving retail landscape, emphasizing the critical role of data-driven decision-making in the sector.

During the session, Ellens delved into a range of topics, including the macro factors shaping the East African FMCG retail trading landscape, emerging global retail trends, and the nuances of Kenyan shopper behavior and preferences. Notably, her discourse shed light on loyalty strategies as a competitive advantage, the rise of convenience in modern trade stores impacting traditional Dukas and kiosks, and the significance of hyper-segmentation to foster shopper-centric experiences.

Ellens herself has a long professional history with FMCG globally and in Kenya, having worked in the market with top international brands a decade ago.

“It’s a changed landscape today,” she says. “Ten years ago, the informal trade was the dominant force in Kenyan retail. With the development of modern retail in Kenya, we’re seeing that entrepreneurial spirit translated into something really special – some of the most innovative and exciting execution at retail we’ve ever seen. We’re excited to share this inspiration with local brands, but also with our clients at home.”

Trade Intelligence collaborated on its Retrak presentation with affiliate company, DataOrbis, which maintains a strong presence in Kenya with Retrak’s CEO, Wambui Mbarire, and other local industry experts.

These partnerships reinforce Trade Intelligence’s commitment to harnessing local expertise and resources, augmenting that with TI’s two decades of experience in retail research to ensure the delivery of accurate and comprehensive research on the Kenyan market.

The Retrak partnership underscores a commitment to fostering enduring relationships within the Kenyan retail sector, emphasizing the dedication of the business to contribute positively to the retail ecosystem of any geography in which it operates.

“Our mission is simple – to foster better and more profitable trading partnerships between retailers and suppliers wherever we operate,” said Ellens. “We are resolutely committed to nurturing relationships with stakeholders, leveraging the profound insights we’ve gathered, and cementing our position as a trusted source of in-depth retail intelligence.”

As Trade Intelligence continues its journey in Kenya, the company remains dedicated to further enriching its understanding of local intricacies, fostering robust partnerships, and delivering unparalleled research insights and commercial capability skills training for both global and Kenyan organizations.

“It’s long been our ambition to explore the Kenyan market,” says Trade Intelligence GM Janene Laas. “We’ve honed our skills in the South African market. But we know that there’s an exciting world of retail innovation out there. We’re a relentlessly curious business, and Kenya has so much to teach us.”


Tanzania, Mozambique Set to Sign Natural Gas Agreement.

The National Institute of Petroleum (INP)-Mozambique and the Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority (Pura) in Tanzania are about to sign an agreement about the equal sharing of the natural gas reserve in the border area.

The proposed unitization agreement, which was made public yesterday during a meeting between media editors and Pura management, is expected to have a significant impact on both countries and change the energy sector in East Africa. 

Unitization is the process by which the holders of each license work together to cooperatively develop an oil or gas reserve that crosses numerous license zones.

The agreement’s fundamental elements, according to Pura Director General Charles Sangweni, are derived from the exceptional geographic location of these gas assets. In this instance, the gas deposits extend over a region that crosses both national borders, in contrast to conventional boundary conflicts where the demarcation is found within the soil.

Given the possibility of a large overlap in the gas reservoirs, both countries have come to the negotiating table over the difficult and delicate subject of resource sharing. Their research has expanded to include the southern region of Tanzania, where blocks 4/1B and 4/1C cross the Mozambican border.

Conversely, Mozambique has already found an astounding 172 trillion cubic feet of gas in blocks 5/A and 5/B of the Northern belt area. It is currently thought that these reservoirs might cross into Tanzanian territory, which calls for more investigation.

In such situations, Mr. Sangweni underlined the international precedent of unitization agreements, whereby nations cooperate to share resources when reservoirs overlap.

He stated, “In order to implement this, we have been in contact with our colleagues through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our ministry (the Ministry of Energy), so that we can now enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will bring cooperation on many things, including entering into a unitisation agreement.”

The upcoming agreement has enormous potential for advancing bilateral collaboration as well as gas exploration.

The director general went into further detail about the agreement’s many facets, pointing out that it is essential that there be mechanisms for technological exchange and shared experience.

According to Mr. Sangweni, Tanzania and Mozambique have formed a team of specialists who are collaborating to quickly conclude the agreement, which is an example of their collaborative attitude.

It is impossible to exaggerate the agreement’s economic consequences. Like many other countries, Tanzania is beginning to realize how crucial natural gas is to supply its energy needs.

Mr Sangweni said, “Gas energy is becoming a global imperative and heralded its role in strengthening Tanzania’s economy. It is anticipated that the availability of gas energy will reduce reliance on imported oil, making it a vital step in achieving energy security.”

He also discussed the agreement’s regional implications, stating that Zambia is well-positioned to play a major role in the provision of natural gas to its neighbors, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, and Zambia.

The potential to use Mozambique’s gas infrastructure to send resources to Kenya illustrates how the agreement might promote further regional cooperation, which will be advantageous to both countries.


NIGERIA: Akwa Ibom Reveals Plans to Commemorate 2023 Christmas Festivities.

In Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State Government has announced its comprehensive schedule for observing the month-long 2023 Christmas and Carol Festival.

During yesterday’s presentation of the scheduled Christmas festival at the Ibom Icon Hotel and Golf Resort in Uyo, Mr. Charles Udoh, the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, announced that the 2023 Christmas Park festivities would take place from December 1, 2023, to January 2, 2024, at Unity Park on Udo Udoma Avenue in Uyo.

Udoh suggested that the 2023 version of the initiative, which commenced seven years prior, has undergone a “rebranding” and a complete infusion of local content to cater predominantly to the younger demographic.

He provided assurance that the event has been meticulously designed to highlight Governor Umo Eno’s entrepreneurial efforts and to enhance the marketability of Akwa Ibom State.

Additionally, he mentioned that the 2023 annual carol festival, scheduled for December 15, will be themed “Arise, Shine, for Thy Light has Come,” inspired by Isaiah 60:1.

As per his statement, the extended month of festivities would grant every local government area the chance to showcase their talents and distinctive characteristics.

The commissioner also emphasized that specific days would be designated for gatherings involving various sectors of the state, including the governor, commissioners, their spouses, the legislature, journalists, ALGON, the elderly, and families, including the Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo communities, as well as the Niger Delta. The program will feature a ‘Happy Hour’ segment, where selected kiosks will be granted an initial sales boost of N100,000 to promote the event.

Additional highlights encompass traditional wrestling, tombola night, pageants, and fashion shows, as well as twin night and a tribute to Bob Marley, among various other events.

The commissioner urged business owners within the state to take advantage of this special occasion by pre-registering and showcasing their businesses and talents.

In a statement, Mr. Ini Ememobong, the Commissioner for Information, affirmed his ministry’s preparedness to collaborate with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and other event stakeholders to guarantee a comprehensive success.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary in his Ministry of Information, Mr. James Edet, Ememebong urged various media platforms to highlight the state positively on a global scale by promoting its local content.

Furthermore, the Commissioner for Power, Mr. Camillius Umoh, as well as his counterparts in the transport sector, Mr. Orman Esin and Mr. Aity Dennis Inyang, all members of the planning committee, pledged their full support in realizing the event’s blueprint and presenting the state’s rich content to a global audience.

Previously, the Director of Administration at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Mr. Anthony Isonguyo, remarked that this year’s celebration would stand out notably due to its abundant local content.

He affirmed that the festival aimed to seek, mentor, and exhibit local talents and the abundant heritage of the state.

Expansion of Guinea’s Dental School in Pioneering.

The dire need to give the people of Guinea access to quality dental care is taking a major step forward with the expansion of the country’s only dental school.

Lack of access to affordable, safe dental and surgical care has been an issue in Guinea, like much of sub-Saharan Africa.

Across 47 countries, Sub-Saharan Africa, as a whole, only had 11 dental schools offering dental training to an undergraduate level in 2000. This number has since increased to 35 dental schools across 16 countries in the region. But despite an increase in dentists, overall population growth has still left nations desperately under-served dental care.

International charity Mercy Ships is funding the expansion project in Guinea as part of its ongoing partnership with University Gamal Abdel Nasser of Conakry (UGANC) to enhance the quality of dental education for generations to come.

The crisis in dental care struck American dentist Dr. David Ugai hard when he first visited Guinea after his graduation while volunteering for Mercy Ships in 2012-13 for ten months.

Despite treating patients, the queue for treatment continued to increase.

He also observed that dental students, entire studies were just theoretical, and unlike his training, there was no practical training for dental students. The first time students treated real-life patients clinically was after they had graduated.

He said: “If you really did a true assessment of the dental need, it’s going to be high, whether that’s access to care, whether that’s the cost for dental treatments, whether that is the access to providers, whether they have enough dentists in-country or not.

“In the U.S. we’re used to, you know, one dentist per 2,000, or 3,000, or 5,000 people. You go to some African countries, you’re at one dentist per 1 million. You can’t start talking about dental care being functional and developed and being able to treat the population because you don’t even have a workforce to start that conversation.”

In 2018, he returned to Guinea with Mercy Ships and participated in the launch of a new kind of partnership: Mercy Ships’ collaboration with Guinea’s only public dental school at UGANC in Conakry which is training all the dentists for the country.

David said: “Initially, we just renovated the space. They allowed us to use a room for our normal Mercy Ships dental program. And then, during the field service, the Dean at the time asked if we could incorporate some of the students into our program so they could get some experience in the clinic.

“That was kind of the birth of how we slowly started engaging with the dental school, started working more specifically with students, and really started forming a true partnership with the university and the dental department.”

When the ship left in 2019, David decided to stay. Four years later, he remains in Guinea as the Mercy Ships Country Director and Director of dental education and investment. In this role, he oversees the education and clinical experience of the young dentists who work their way through the university’s dental program.

He has been instrumental in the expanded two-floor clinical training building that will more than double the capacity for dental students to study and treat patients to 22 dental chairs. It will also include a greatly expanded radiology department and equipment which will now house 6 intra-oral x-rays, 1 panoramic, and 1 Cone Beam CT with cephalometric.

Dr. Ugai said the upgrade will allow all current and future students access to simulation and clinical training which will greatly improve the quality of teaching and dentists that qualify. The dental school has up to 150 students at any one time.

It is hoped the invested education will not only help Guinea but the neighboring countries as well.

Cameroonian Engineer Creates Machine for Selecting, Husking, and Pressing Egusi Seeds.

In a small workshop in the hilly town of Yaoundé, the capital city of Cameroon, a set of unique machines are active day and night, helping produce one of the region’s favorite dishes. These “robots”, as their inventor calls them, allow operators to select, husk, grind, and press pumpkin seeds, delivering the raw, husked seeds known locally as “egusi”, “ngondo” or “pistachio”.

It took the inventor almost forty years to go from concept to prototype to filing an international patent to finally producing his machines, which are the only made-in-Africa devices of their kind.

“Apart from here, this kind of the machine doesn’t exist anywhere across Africa”, said Samuel Tchofo, a Cameroonian engineer in his sixties, the inventor of “Robot Ngon”, and founder of Sem Production.

To get to the beginning of the origin story, Tchofo had to go back to his early years after graduating as an engineer in 1982. He had noticed how difficult it was to prepare egusi-based foods, common across Africa, because the seeds first needed to be husked, a very tedious task.

“I was a little bit sad to see these old women, mothers, and grandmothers, struggle to manually husk whole baskets of egusi. The task can take a couple of days just to husk a small basket”, he noticed.

He couldn’t help thinking that if pumpkin seeds probably had a similar importance in Western nations, someone in those countries would probably have invented a machine to solve the problem. “If so, why not in Africa?” So he decided to solve the problem himself.

The task, as it turned out, was huge. After being recruited by an oil sector company in 1984, Tchofo already had a good job in the petroleum industry. So he could only use his spare time and holidays to work on the project.

In the end, from the first design of the machines to the prototypes and tests, it took him 27 years.

His very first prototype was made in June 1988 in Lyon, France, and was built during a holiday. However, the prototype was manual and had a very low output. The same year, he upgraded it, but the result was still unsatisfactory. Feeling like he was on the right track, however, he applied for a patent. The draft patent was approved and filed in 1989 with the Maisonnier firm in Lyon, France.

The oil engineer was subsequently posted to Algeria as an operations engineer, working on a 7-week rotation with a 3-week rest in France. From then on, he took advantage of his frequent rest periods to continue his work, he explained.

In 2012, after taking an early retirement after 28 years in the oil and gas sector, he fully committed to his invention. It would take another four years until he was satisfied that his machine could be operated daily to process pumpkin seeds commercially. In 2017, he optimized a machine to process hard-shelled squash seeds.

Under the brand Ngon, the engineer also started selling a variety of products, highlighting the neglected value chain of pumpkin seeds.

“From “egusi”, we make and sell husked seeds, but also, what is less common, food oil, beauty oil, flour, and cream”, he explained.

These products are now represented in hundreds of supermarkets and shops in Cameroon’s urban centers.

Sandra Ngoumou, 45, a teacher and mother of four and a regular consumer of pumpkin seed-based products in Douala, said she had been overjoyed to find a locally-produced source of pumpkin flour and oil.

“I discovered these products when shopping in a supermarket here in Douala. When I make cakes, I like to add some “pistachio” flour to them. Egusi is a protein-rich product. I also regularly use “pistachio” oil in several recipes,” she told Bird.

Tchofo is now working to attract investment to develop serial production of his “robots” to expand their presence across all rural areas in the region.

For small retailers of pumpkin seeds like Sarah Kouekam, the machine would be life-changing.

“I generally buy “pistache” from wholesale suppliers, and I sell it to the market. It takes me a lot of time to husk it with my hands before selling,” she said, hoping the solution would soon be available to the public.

Almost forty years after first thinking he could change lives, Tchofo may finally be doing just that.


Kenya’s MSMEs Seeks Regional Trade Opportunities at Burundi Trade Fair.

Kenya’s small businesses are preparing to take part in the 23rd MSME Exhibition and Trade Fair, which is set to take place in Bujumbura, Burundi from December 5 to 15, in an effort to increase their visibility in the regional market. 


A minimum of 300 micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) from Kenya are expected to participate at the fair, demonstrating the nation’s dedication to exhibiting its products and generating prospects for export. It is anticipated that more than 1,500 local MSMEs will exhibit their latest offerings, creative services, and experiences overcoming financial obstacles.


Simon Chelugui, Cabinet Secretary for Cooperatives and MSMEs, emphasized the significance of this occasion when he appointed the committee in charge of screening the included SMEs.


The Cabinet Secretary encouraged “Kenyan entrepreneurs to leverage this opportunity to share knowledge, forge new business links, launch innovative products and services, conduct test marketing, and enhance the brand and corporate image of products and enterprises from the East African Community (EAC) region”. He further stressed that the committee should ensure representation from all 47 Kenyan counties. 


Every year, MSMEs from partner countries in East Africa have traditionally come together for the East African Community (EAC) Exhibition to broaden their market reach, exchange technology, and strengthen regional integration. A data-driven strategy has been used to choose the 300 MSEs who will take part, according to MSME Authority Chairman James Mureu.


MSME Chairman explained, “We have established robust key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the number of locally made products to be sold during the trade fair, the volume of value-added local products traded, the growth of MSE revenue through product and service sales, and the number of new leads generated from contacts established”.


With the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s recent inclusion in the EAC, the region’s GDP and market size have increased dramatically, increasing its competitiveness and ease of entry to the wider African Continental Free Trade Area. As of September 2022, intraregional commerce within the EAC was valued at $10.17 billion (Sh1.5 trillion), continuing its rising trajectory.


According to the MSME Authority, “the objective of the trade fair, however, resonates with the East African industrialization strategy target to increase intra-regional manufacturing of exports relative to total manufactured imports in the region to at least 25 percent by 2023”.


Chelugui encouraged MSMEs in Kenya to investigate trade and investment opportunities in sectors like education, healthcare, energy, finance, light manufacturing, and construction as well as agro-processing.


The Burundi fair, according to the CS, emphasizes the significance of local sourcing and strengthening value chain frameworks to ensure economic resilience as economies recover from the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. He said the “approach will help industries and organizations identify core competencies, areas for improvement, and business functions that support strategic activities”.


In the end, this program will make it easier for Kenyan companies to reach worldwide markets by raising MSME knowledge, promoting transparency in digital marketplaces and trade, and adhering to international quality standards.

Burundi Becomes 100th Member of FIFA’s Football Schools Programme.

In a ceremony held in a celebratory atmosphere at the Urunani Stadium in Buganda, outside Bujumbura, Burundi has become the 100th country to implement FIFA’s Football for Schools programme. 


The ceremony took place in the presence of FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the Burundi Minister of East African Community Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture, Gervais Abayeho, and the President of the Football Federation of Burundi, Alexandre Muyenge. 


FIFA President expressed his gratitude to the schools’ football project, FIFA, and Burundi for uniting the world. “We are uniting the world with a football project, with an education project, with a project that gives chance and opportunities to the youth, to the boys and girls of this wonderful country, Burundi”, he added.

The FIFA’s delegation consisted of FIFA Chief of Global Football Development, Arsene Wenger and Chairman of FIFA Referees Committee Pierluigi Collina, FIFA Director Member Associations Africa Gelson Fernandes, and FIFA Senior Football Advisor Youri Djorkaeff.


Football for Schools integrates football into the curriculum with the goal of increasing youth access to the game. Through the empowerment of children, the UNESCO-supported program advances the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN.


Since the Football for Schools app’s initial release in Puerto Rico in 2019, almost 1.5 million footballs have been provided, and the software has benefited over 23 million youngsters.


“Education is allowing young people to play football, and FIFA has made significant investments, particularly in Africa.” We have a lot of educational projects in Africa, so it’s a continent that means a lot to us,” Arsène Wenger stated. “Best of luck to every child. To give every young person the opportunity to play football is a massive undertaking. I hope that Burundi will soon host a large number of outstanding athletes.


In order to operationalize Football for Schools, 62 educators and master trainers from Bujumbura and the 18 regions of Burundi were taught by FIFA instructors Antonio Buenaño Sánchez and Melvin Mendy.


“This milestone of 100 FIFA Football For Schools member federations is an excellent opportunity to recognize the hard work, commitment, and selflessness of the entire FIFA team and particularly the Football For Schools team in serving member associations,” said Fatimata Sidibe, FIFA Director of Football for Schools.


“The 100 Burundian schoolchildren present at the celebration brought the stadium to its feet with their shouts of joy as they thanked the President of FIFA. The next step for Football For Schools will be to consolidate what has been achieved to ensure that member associations take ownership of Football For Schools and incorporate life skills into their curricula.” 


Tunisian Tennis Player to Donate Cash Prize to Gaza Children.

Tunisian tennis player, Ons Jabeur who ranks number seven in the world announced that she would donate part of her prize money to the Palestinians after her victory over Marketa Vondrousova in the group stage of the 2023 WTA finals. 

Jabeur spoke about the children of Gaza as she burst into tears in an emotional scene caught on video where she made the announcement about Palestinians who have been suffering from the Israeli’s occupation continued aggression for weeks. 

“I have decided to donate part of my prize money to help the Palestinians,” she said.  

In Israel’s ongoing bombardment of Gaza, thousands of innocent people have been killed with most of them being women and children. 

“I am very happy with the win, but I haven’t been happy lately, to be honest with you”, she said in the video. The situation in the world doesn’t make me happy”, she continued as she was overcome with emotion and was unable to speak further due to the audience’s enthusiasm.

However, she continued by saying “It is very tough seeing children and babies dying every day. It is heartbreaking”. According to Jabeur, this was not a political message, “it is just humanity, i want peace in this world,” she said.

On social media, the tennis player’s speech is captured on camera prompting praises from many of her for taking a brave humanitarian stance and standing with the Palestinians.

In a previous Instagram post, the Tunisian athlete expressed her support for the Palestinian cause and demanded a stop to violence against them. “What Palestinians have been going through for the past 75 years is indescribable. What innocent civilians are going through is indescribable; no matter what their religion is, or what their origin is. We all want to achieve peace. Peace is all we need and deserve. Stop the violence. Free Palestine,” she said.

As was to be expected, Israel took offense at Jabeur’s tweet and asked that the International Tennis Federation and the Women’s Tennis Association penalize the Tunisian champion for her support of the Palestinian people. She was charged with providing support to a “murderous terrorist organization” by the apartheid regime.

Nonetheless, the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Tunisia declared its unwavering support for their tennis champion. In fact, it emphasized in a press release that it fully and unconditionally supports any and all Tunisian athletes who back the Palestinian cause.

When Ons Jabeur defeated Russian Daria Kasatkina in the Birmingham Classic final in June 2021, she became the first Arab woman to win a WTA tournament.

Equatorial Guinea Collaborates With Chinese Firm, Invests in Steel Industry.

The country’s Vice President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mangue said that Equatorial Guinea aims to collaborate with the Chinese firm China Baowu Steel Group Corporation to invest in the steel industry in the Central African nation. 

Obiang said on his social media platforms late Wednesday that this investment has the potential to strengthen the country’s economy. “On my official visit to China, I invited China Baowu Steel Group to invest in Equatorial Guinea. This decision has the potential to create a new industrial plan, generate more national employment, enhance energy consumption, and boost our economy,” Obiang said, highlighting that the investment will also impact the gas and energy sectors.

During a meeting Wednesday to discuss the investment, Obiang directed the administration to take measures to facilitate the company’s entry and establishment in the country.

 Delegates from the Chinese company are anticipated to visit the country later this month for discussions with their counterparts regarding bilateral cooperation, according to the Information and Press Office of Equatorial Guinea.


Mozambique Inaugurates New US$88 Million Bridge.

According to reports, on Wednesday, 1st of November, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi inaugurated a new US$88 million bridge over the Save River, connecting central and southern Mozambique via the provinces of Inhambane and Sofala.

He christened it the 6 August Bridge in honor of the 2019 peace agreement, signed by Nyusi and opposition leader Ossufo Momade, that paved the way for the demobilization and disarmament of the Renamo militia.

The government-funded project began work in 2018 before experiencing a three-year delay in completion due to Covid restrictions and a lack of funds. The finished bridge, built by the China Road and Bridge Corporation, is nearly a kilometer long and 13.5 meters wide and designed to carry trucks of up to 50 tonnes.

The old bridge spanning the Save River was designed under colonial rule in the 1960s and inaugurated in 1972. The 810-meter-long bridge deteriorated significantly in the half-century since, necessitating a reduced weight capacity of 30 tonnes, with heavy trucks having to travel in a single file.

The old bridge was strengthened and re-inaugurated alongside the 6 August Bridge and has now been designated for light trucks. 

Nyusi announced plans to construct an additional bridge over the Save, located much further west near the Zimbabwean border. That bridge will link the provinces of Gaza and Manica, further bolstering connectivity between south and central Mozambique.

Tanzania Takes Home 2023 East and Central All Africa Women’s Golf Tourney.

Tanzania won the 2023 East and Central All Africa Challenge Trophy (EACAACT), a golf competition held in Kigali. They played a fantastic match.

Tanzania defeated six other nations to win the trophy in the five-day golf competition, which has taken place at the Kigali Golf Resort and Villas since October 29. Kenya came in second, Uganda made up the top three, and Zambia came in fourth.

Tanzania won overall, with four players from the top four teams taking home individual medals. Tanzanian player Victoria Elias expressed her satisfaction with her ability to contribute to her team’s victory in winning the championship on her first try as a member.

“I feel very elated and this trophy means so much to me,” Elias told Times Sport in an interview. “It is my first time in the national team and everything went well. Rwanda has a very good golf course and we proved ourselves.”

In addition, Ashley Awuor of Kenya won other individual honors. She was awarded the event’s player of the year, while 14-year-old Bianca Ngecu of Kenya took home the title of youngest player of the tournament. The fan favorite award went to Mauritius’s seasoned Francine Delloye.

During the award ceremony, Aurore Mimosa Munyangaju, the Minister of Sports, thanked the winners and emphasized the advantages of the golf competition. She felt that it provides a platform for women in the sport to be elevated and empowered.

“This tournament has been a celebration of women’s empowerment. Golf is a sport that people of all ages can play and it entails discipline, sportsmanship, and teamwork. It also helps women to develop their leadership skills and confidence,” Munyangaju indicated

“This tournament has been a success on many fronts. It has been a success in terms of showcasing the talent and skills of women golfers. It has also been an avenue for sports tourism and, most importantly, it strengthens the bond between our countries.”

“I am proud of the progress we have made in promoting women’s golf in Rwanda. I am sure that the EAC AACT tournament will continue to inspire and motivate women golfers throughout our region,” she added

Mauritius is scheduled to host the EACAACT women’s golf competition in 2025.

Rwanda Plans to Move all Government Services Online.

As Rwanda seeks to add over 200 e-services to Irembo — an online portal that serves as a gateway to different government services — by mid-next year, at least five million Rwandans need digital literacy to be able to use the platform, according to the Ministry of ICT and Innovation.

Yves Iradukunda, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of ICT and Innovation said digital literacy is the backbone of Rwanda’s digital transformation as technology is an enabler of socio-economic development.

“Digital literacy is a priority. It is one thing to have infrastructure for connectivity and devices, but we need to be able to use these tools to access services. The Government of Rwanda has been digitalizing different services to ease service delivery to citizens. The end goal of different training is to have a digital economy. Our goal is to have all government services digitized by the end of next year end-to-end,” he said.

Irembo platform has over 100 services and, Iradukunda said “200 more will be put online by June next year.” In total, about 400 e-services digitized on Irembo will be available by next year.

More e-services to be added to the platform are being identified across different sectors such as forest services, livestock movement, licenses to open and operate a health facility, import permits, research permits, and various Rwanda Utilities and Regulatory Authority (RURA) licenses.

Others are various documents issued at village, cell, and sector levels, accreditation and inspection services, payment of certain specific services like cemetery fees, cleaning fees, and market fees, and provision of laboratory analysis services at the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), to mention but a few.

The project is estimated to cost over $12 million (approx. Rwf14.8 billion).

Iradukunda mentioned that the government employed ICDL, an international social enterprise organization focused on improving digital skills standards in the workforce, education, and society. They provide computer skills certification to ensure that public servants are adequately equipped with digital literacy. This enables them to efficiently deliver various e-services.

The partnership aims to resolve low computer and digital literacy among citizens. The training and professional certification is based on the labor market’s needs and potential growth. Rwanda aims to achieve a 60 percent digital literacy rate among its citizens by 2024.

The Digital Ambassador Programme (DAP) was implemented to connect five million Rwandans with limited or no internet experience. This initiative, mainly led by young individuals, aims to offer comprehensive training to ordinary citizens on utilizing e-government services.

The programme also aims to transform rural communities into digitally literate and skilled ones through digital literacy training, increased access to information, internet services, ICT infrastructure, and different applications for the provision of online services such as e-health, e-agriculture, e-business, e-commerce, and digital financial inclusion services.

In order to boost the penetration of digital literacy, Iradukunda said the way of teaching digital literacy has been revamped using the ICDL certification scheme. The scheme seeks to standardize digital skills in higher learning institutions in Rwanda.

These can then become digital ambassadors to train citizens on digital literacy so that they get skills to access e-services.

“We are working closely to make sure that as the students learn, they get the skills when they graduate, contrary to current public servants that are catching up,” he said.

In March 2023, the Higher Education Council (HEC) held a meeting with over 26 higher learning institutions in Rwanda to discuss how the institutions could implement the International Computer Driving License (ICDL) programme, with the aim of having all students graduate with internationally recognized digital skills certification.

Rose Mukankomeje, the Director General of HEC, highlighted the importance of providing students with access to digital literacy programmes to enhance their readiness for the job market.

African Basic Education Ministers To Collaborate, Prioritize Foundational Learning.

Representatives of 20 African countries recognize the urgent need to address the learning crisis as a critical enabler for wider development goals.

Ten African Ministers of Education and a similar number of ministerial representatives collectively agreed to champion foundational learning as a priority for the 2024 African Union Year of Education (AUYoE) and beyond. They also resolved to rally their respective Heads of State to be “Champions of Foundational Learning”.

These were part of the resolution made in Lusaka at the end of the 2023 High-Level Policy Dialogue Forum on Foundational Learning organized by the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and hosted by the Ministry of Education in the Republic of Zambia from 31st October to 1st November 2023. 

In a communique issued at the end of the Forum, Ministers, and ministerial representatives from 20 African countries agreed on a foundational learning starter pack model as a resource guide to ensure uniformity, continuity, and sustainability. 

They further resolved to collect relevant data, working with ADEA and partners, to inform policy and decisions on foundational learning, foster dialogue, and peer learning, and share good practices on what works in foundational learning in support of AUYoE. 

The policy and decision-makers agreed to strengthen links between Early Childhood Education and Primary Education, advance the adoption of structured pedagogy, implement age-appropriate teaching methods, and harness the power of technology to increase the number of qualified teachers and enhance teachers’ well-being.

During the Forum, countries showcased innovative and nationally contextualized solutions with concrete results, among them Benin, Botswana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Senegal, and Zambia among others.

During the school visits, a key aspect of the Forum, participants witnessed the nexus between policy and practice as well as the integration of social-emotional skills through play-based learning. 

The Forum was closed by Hon Conrad Sackey, Minister of Education in Sierra Leone, who urged countries to take forward the resolutions emanating from the event. 

Countries present at the event include Angola, Benin, Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, The Gambia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Tanzania to Ban Exportation of Raw Lithium.

Tanzania is to outlaw the export of raw lithium starting in 2024 in an effort to boost revenue from its enormous lithium reserves, which are essential to the production of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).


News source According to a letter to miners cited in the Africa Report, in order for export licenses to be issued, lithium stakeholders must have plants for refining within Tanzania and raise the value of the minerals by a minimum of 5%. The June 8 letter said that the policy would go into force on May 31, 2024.


Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Ghana are among the African nations requesting domestic refining. Tanzania has witnessed an influx of foreign businesses to conduct lithium prospecting.

The chairman of StraMin, Mark van den Arend, was quoted in the Africa Report as saying that requiring lithium value addition is “the right strategy” for Tanzania and that it would not be surprising if the requirement was expanded to include other minerals. StraMin serves as an intermediary buyer of minerals from small and medium-sized (SME) miners in the East African nation.


This year, Van den Arend, a Frankfurt-based executive who formerly worked at Deutsche Bank, founded StraMin. It focuses on purchasing minerals at cost from miners, who then split the profits from resale, including copper, beryllium, nickel, graphite, lithium, cobalt, coltan, and tin. With miners owning seventy-five primary licenses in Tanzania, StraMin has exclusive offtake rights.


According to Van den Arend, “People underestimate the relevance of the SME mine sector.” Aggregating SME output also “empowers” small-scale miners and increases the operations’ appeal to foreign customers and investors. Van den Arend spoke with The Africa Report.


Lithium is regarded as a crucial mineral in the clean energy transition and is a necessary component in the production of contemporary batteries used in cutting-edge technology, such as lithium-ion batteries for electric cars.


Among the foreign businesses that have produced noteworthy lithium discoveries in Tanzania are the US company Titan Lithium Inc. and the Australian multinationals Liontown Resources and Cassius Mining Ltd.


Rwanda Announces Visa-Free Travel for Africans.

Upon implementation, Rwanda has joined Gambia, Benin, Seychelles, and Kenya (once implemented on December 31st) to remove travel restrictions for African people. 

On Thursday 2nd November 2023, Rwanda declared that it will allow Africans to travel visa-free to the country, becoming the latest country on the continent to announce such a measure aimed at boosting the free movement of people and trade to rival Europe’s Schengen zone. 

The announcement was made by the country’s president, Paul Kagame in Rwanda’s capital city, where he pitched the prospect of Africa as “a unified tourism destination” for a continent that still relies on 60% of its tourists from outside Africa, according to data from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. 

Speaking during the 23rd Global Summit of the World Travel and Tourism Council, the President said, “Any African can get on a plane to Rwanda whenever they wish and they will not pay a thing to enter our country”.

Kagame went on to say “We should not lose sight of our continental market. Africans are the future of global tourism as our middle class continues to grow at a fast pace in the decades to come”.

Rwanda will be the fourth African nation to lift travel restrictions for its citizens once they are implemented. The Gambia, Benin, and Seychelles are further nations that have exempted citizens of Africa from needing a visa.

On Monday, President William Ruto of Kenya declared that by December 31, all Africans would be able to enter the country of East Africa without a visa. “Visa restrictions amongst ourselves are working against us. When people cannot travel, business people cannot travel, entrepreneurs cannot travel we all become net losers” said Ruto at an international summit in Congo Brazzaville.

In 2016, an African passport was launched by the African Union with much fanfare, explaining it would compete with the European Union model in “unleashing the potential of the continent”. However, so far, it is just diplomats and AU officials who have been issued the travel document.

According to the African Union (AU) website, the African passport and free movement of people are “aimed at removing restrictions on African ability to travel, work and live within their own continent”.

The African Continental Free Trade Area was also launched, aimed to create a single unified market for the continent’s 1.4 billion people and to boost economic development. The continent-wide free trade area is estimated to be worth $3.4 trillion.

Somalia Welcomes First Foreign Bank in Decades.

The Central Bank of Somalia (CBS) said on Sunday that Ziraat Katilim Bank of Türkiye has established a branch in the nation’s capital, Mogadishu, making it the first foreign bank to do business in the East African nation in over 50 years.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Sunday in Mogadishu, where officials hailed the inauguration as a “historic moment.” In an interview with the governor of Somalia’s central bank, Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi told VOA Somali that “this marks more than 50 years [since] the first international bank that comes to the country”.

According to CBS, the opening of the nation’s first foreign bank will strengthen Somalia’s financial sector by expanding trade and economic prospects with neighboring countries. “We welcome the investment and the establishment of Ziraat Bank,” Abdullahi said. “It will boost our financial sector, it will create jobs, it will attract or facilitate investment.”

“The new Ziraat Katilim Bank branch in Somalia is expected to offer a wide range of corporate banking services to businesses, international institutions, and development partners,” the country’s top bank stated in a statement released from Mogadishu.

After a rigorous application process in July 2022, the CBS awarded two operating licenses to two foreign banks: Egypt’s Banque Misr and Ziraat Katilim Bank.

As a part of the Ziraat Finance Group, a state-owned participation bank with 15 subsidiaries and 27 foreign branches, Ziraat Katilim conducts business throughout 20 nations.

“We are happy to see the operationalization of the Ziraat Katilim branch in Mogadishu. This is a testament to the success of the reforms of Somalia’s financial sector, further enhancing opportunities for investment and development,” CBS Governor Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi said.

According to the CBS governor, the presence of Ziraat Bank will also make it easier for Somalis to conduct transactions outside the country. Officials said on X, formerly known as Twitter that the bank’s operations will focus on corporate financing and trade financing. 

According to Mohamed, CBS is still dedicated to helping Somalia achieve equitable economic growth and establish a strong and stable banking sector. “We anticipate the new bank to add value to the development of Somalia’s financial sector and contribute to the growth of our economy.”


Double Celebration as Oba’s Birthday Coincides with Seventh Coronation Anniversary.

The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II recently celebrated the 7th anniversary of the throne of his forebears in Benin. This royal celebration also doubled as his birthday celebration as his birthday was coincidentally on the same day. 

Every available space at the palace was filled by the friends and well-wishers of the Oba from all walks of life.


The celebration started with two days of free healthcare and ended with Thanksgiving on Saturday at the National Church in Benin.


Omo N’Oba Ewuare on Saturday rose from the inner chambers amidst drumming and praise singing by Iweguae society, waving to the seated audience who responded with a thunderous ovation.


The Friday event ended in the early hours of Saturday before the Thanksgiving service.

The royal father sat on the ancient throne of his ancestors at the Aruo- Ozolua axis of the palace where he received homages.


The traditional homages were paid for by different traditional rulers, dignitaries, palace chiefs and functionaries, native doctors of various classifications, priests, and priestesses of different deities, traditional worshipers, and a host of others.


The Inne Theatre Troupe, Efesoghoba Palace Troupe, Epko-Avbiama, Igbabonelimi from Esan land, and others from different states took turns to perform to the delight of the audience.


Oba Ewuare, who was full of praises to almighty God and ancestors, thanked everyone for celebrating with him. Traditional Chiefs, including Osaro Idah, the Obazelu of Benin Ozigbo Esere, and the Osuma Of Benin, hailed the Benin king for his achievements since ascending the throne of his ancestors.


However, the Benin ruler urged members of the Edo State House of Assembly to consider some important cultural bills that would promote and strengthen cultural norms and value systems in the land.

According to Oba Ewuare, such bills would in no small measure curtail the surging social crimes amongst youths in the country. The royal father made the call when the speaker of Edo House of Assembly Mr Blessing Agbebaku led principal officials of the house to celebrate with Oba at his palace.


He admonished Edo lawmakers to be focused on their legislative business rather than being tied to the apron string of the executive arm of government. Omo N’Oba posited that the independence of the legislature was key to robust democracy, insisting that the lawmakers must live up to the expectations of the people who voted them into power.

Oba Ewuare hailed the assembly’s leadership, just as he pledged palace support for the lawmakers.


The speaker, Agbebaku had told the monarch that they were at his palace to congratulate him on the occasion of his birthday and the 7th coronation anniversary on the throne.


Agbebaku also pledged the Edo assembly’s loyalty and promised to work with the palace for the overall development of the state.