travel

Seychelles Hosts Inaugural IFBB Event.

Seychelles will host the 2023 IFBB International Grand Prix for the first time with the participation of over 20 athletes vying for the top prize. 

The competition, which is being done in collaboration between the International Fitness and Bodybuilding Federation (IFBB) and local body Seychelles Elite Pro Amateur Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation, will take place on Saturday, at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Beach Resort.

The chairperson of the Seychelles Elite Pro Amateur Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation, Chantal Pinchon, told SNA that “it was during the IFBB congress last year, that we met with the president, and there the idea of Seychelles hosting an IFBB event came around and was agreed upon.”  

The event will start at 6 p.m. and eight participants from Seychelles, six men, and two women have already confirmed their participation. Savio Larue, Elicks Rapide, Jean-Luc Belle, Andy Anthony, and Derrick Mensah will compete among the ladies, while Shereen Azemia and Lindsay Payet will compete.

Pinchon explained that while this tournament is reserved for amateur bodybuilders, Ziad Meckdachi, who retired as a professional, will not be able to compete.

“There will be seven IFBB pro cards up for grabs, to the winners of each category. Getting an IFBB Pro Card means the bodybuilder becomes part of the elite. At this point you’ve made it, and have the opportunity to follow a genuine career as a professional bodybuilder, earning a decent income by competing and winning,” she said.

There will be six categories for men – bodybuilding, physique, classic physique, classic bodybuilding, junior classic bodybuilding, and junior men’s physique.

The ladies will compete in the bikini fitness, and bikini physique, as well as in the fit model categories.

Pinchon said that one of the advantages of Seychelles hosting the competition is that the participants will not have to deal with the expenses of going abroad.

She said she was hoping to get more local participants.

“I want the athletes to be more serious with the sport, where they have to ensure that they are ready in time for such competitions,” said Pinchon, who revealed that Seychelles will in fact hold a second international competition on June 22, 2024.

Tickets for the competition cost SCR300 ($22) while those wishing to attend the competition and the buffet dinner must pay SCR1200 ($90).

 

World Travels Award 2023: Seychelles Clinches an Award.

Seychelles has yet again shone at the World Travel Awards 2023 claiming the Indian Ocean’s Leading Honeymoon and Cruise Destination awards.

Seychelles won the awards at the World Travel Awards Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony, held on October 15 and 16 at Atlantis The Royal, Dubai.

 According to a press release made by Tourism Seychelles, the marketing branch of the tourism department, winning the two awards reaffirms the island nation’s magnetic appeal to travelers in search of extraordinary and enduring experiences.

“Seychelles, renowned for its unspoiled beaches, verdant landscapes, and thriving marine ecosystems, has consistently garnered international favor among globetrotters. These prestigious accolades, conferred by the World Travel Awards, stand as a testimony to the nation’s unwavering commitment to tourism excellence and the heartfelt warmth of its hospitality,” said Tourism Seychelles.

The destination scooped two additional titles, both won by its national airline, Air Seychelles, namely the Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline – Economy Class 2023 and the Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline Brand 2023.

The island nation’s representative in the Middle East, Ahmed Fathallah, expressed his profound pride and gratitude for these latest achievements.

“We are elated to be the recipients of these prestigious awards and extend our heartfelt gratitude to the World Travel Awards and the numerous supporters who cast their votes in favor of Seychelles. These accolades signify the dedication and tireless efforts of the Seychellois people and the tourism industry at large. We remain committed to delivering exceptional experiences to all our visitors,” he said.

Bernadette Willemin, director general for destination marketing, said she is delighted to see Seychelles continuing to thrive as a destination.

“We are incredibly humbled by this award yet again. We have held the titles for a few years now and couldn’t be happier to reinforce our position as regional leaders. The accolade is a tribute to our country’s hard work, devotion, and enthusiasm. I am grateful to our hotel industry partners for their contributions to local companies, tour operators, and the community at large. Most importantly, we are deeply appreciative of the faith and support that our tourists have shown in our destination,” she added.

Crowned as the Indian Ocean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination underscores Seychelles’ irresistible allure to couples seeking an enchanting and romantic escape.

Tourism Seychelles said that the nation’s “splendid array of luxury resorts and intimate settings make it an idyllic haven for honeymooners looking to celebrate their love amid the natural beauty of the Indian Ocean.”

In its capacity as the “Indian Ocean’s Leading Cruise Destination,” Seychelles continues to captivate cruise lines and operators seeking to offer passengers an unforgettable exploration of these idyllic isles.

Inclusive Tourism in South Africa; Tourism Minister Signs MoU.

Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between her department and Airbnb to support the continued recovery of the tourism sector and build inclusive tourism in South Africa.

“The MoU will see the Department of Tourism work closely with Airbnb to advance tourism services that are aimed at growing tourism in South Africa and creating more jobs in the sector,” Minister De Lille said. The MoU seeks to grow collaboration between the government and the private sector, as it is “a collective responsibility to grow and enhance the tourism sector”.

“As a government, if we want to significantly grow tourism and its contribution to the economy and job creation, collaboration with the private sector is vital. We are delighted to be the first African Ministry of Tourism to sign a collaborative MoU with a successful global company such as Airbnb,” she said.

Airbnb is an American-based company operating an online marketplace for short- and long-term homestays and experiences.

Minister De Lille explained that by leveraging Airbnb’s global reach and understanding of the market, the collaboration seeks to create a positive impact on local communities, travelers, and the tourism industry as a whole.

“The primary goal of this collaboration is to develop a relationship between the Ministry, entity, and Airbnb to harness and drive tourism domestically and internationally.

As part of the MoU, the parties will have regular engagements to evaluate opportunities for strategic collaboration on driving inclusive tourism and ensuring fair and proportionate regulation of short-term rentals.

Velma Corcoran, Regional Lead: Middle East Africa at Airbnb, said they look forward to working with the Department of Tourism to help build a more inclusive and sustainable tourism economy in South Africa.

Corcoran said the Airbnb platform can help anyone, anywhere, to become a tourism entrepreneur, and that they hope to continue to break down systemic barriers to entry and enable more South Africans to participate in the sector.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with the department to develop a clear, proportionate national framework for the regulation of short-term rentals and see huge power in public and private sector collaborations. We also know from our work with the Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy, that together, we can make a tangible difference and enable more people, in more places, to benefit from tourism,” said Corcoran.

The signing of the MoU is in line with the aims of the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, which is key to the country’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

The Tourism Sector Recovery Plan (TSRP) was adopted by the Cabinet in March 2021 to facilitate the recovery of the sector to preserve jobs and livelihoods, facilitate new job opportunities, match demand and supply, and strengthen transformation.  

 

GIS Launches 7-Year Strategic Plan.

The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) recently launched a seven-year strategic plan intended to change the face of migration in the country. The plan, which begins from 2023 to 2029, will provide a roadmap for the GIS to operate efficient, fair, and firm immigration work systems through digitalization.

The initiative, launched in Accra yesterday, was attended by government officials, the Ga Mantse, King Tackie Teiko Tsuru, heads of security agencies, members of the diplomatic corps, civil society organizations, and development partners, among others.

Development of the plan

The Comptroller-General of Immigration, Kwame Asuah Takyi, said since 2011, his outfit had been developing strategic plans to guide its operations and administrative activities.

With the expiration of the 2018–2022 plan, he said the service commenced the development of the new plan with technical assistance from the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) under a project called “Strengthening Border and Migration Management in Ghana” which was funded by the Denmark Government.

Mr. Takyi said the plan was developed through a participatory approach that involved officers at various levels across the GIS regional commands, departments, sections, and units, as well as stakeholders from the government, international organizations, development partners, and civil society representatives.

The process of formulating a new strategic plan, the Comptroller-General added, offered the service the opportunity to take stock of past successes and failures in line with best practices.

He, therefore, said the plan would help the service to position itself strategically in its operational environment by aligning effectively with the changes taking place in its environment.

Mr Asuah Takyi, however, called for more support for the successful implementation of the plan and said “The long-term survival of GIS depends on sound strategic decisions effectively implemented.

“We will, therefore, require all hands on deck to realize our vision”, he added.

The Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery, commended the GIS for the initiative and said the plan was well thought through because it clearly outlined strategies the service would adopt to realize its mandate.

He said he was aware of the extensive consultations in the development of the plan “so we can be assured that the concerns of all relevant stakeholders have been captured”.

Mr Dery, therefore, urged stakeholders in the migration management space to support activities outlined in the plan.

“As we continue our commitment to promote a humane and orderly management of migration, it is necessary for us to collectively maintain a well-coordinated multi-sectoral intervention to aid the process”.

Human rights

The project manager of ICMPD, Ghana, Lulia Jolley Socea, said: “At the center of migration are actual people, individual migrants affected by the work of border agencies such as the GIS which is why respect for human rights and integrity and gender-responsiveness are important themes in this strategic plan”.

Migration governance, she added, was not a one-agency job and, therefore, appealed for further support to implement the “ambitious plan”.

The Danish ambassador in Ghana, Tom Norring, said Denmark placed importance on migration, hence the reason for its continuous support of the GIS initiative. 

Lesotho Defense Force Participate in Military Training Program in South Africa.

Members of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) are in South Africa under a cooperation agreement that is aimed at furthering air arm training.

Ad Astra intern Nondumiso Ndhlela reported that the LDF delegation arrived at South African Air Force Headquarters on 28 August, and will be in South Africa until 1 September.

“The purpose of the visit from the Lesotho Defence Force was to follow up on a cooperation agreement which was signed by the SA National Defence Force, authorizing the Kingdom of Lesotho Defence Force Air Wing to take part in the military training programs,” Ndhlela explained.

SAAF and LDF officials were scheduled to discuss the hosting of LDF Air Wing members in South Africa for courses, and the introduction of joint exercises between the two organizations.

Some members of the Lesotho delegation previously underwent an Officer Forming Course in South Africa and said they were proud products of the SA Air Force.

LDF Colonel Tsukudu said, “We are gladly looking forward to exchanging knowledge on how we are going to maintain and improve our cooperation as well as solutions on the development of aviation. It has been a while since we had our intakes with the SA Air Force, which was in 2009. We are delighted to be here to kickstart our cooperation.”

The LDF Air Wing relies on outside sources for pilot training as it has no capacity of its own. The SAAF has trained numerous pilots from its landlocked neighbor, while others have received training at commercial flying schools.

The LDF has a small Air Wing, whose most modern aircraft are three Airbus Helicopters H125s. Several C212s and a single GA-8 Airvan fixed-wing aircraft are also believed to be in service, along with several Bell 412s, and a couple of BO 105s.

The LDF is mainly tasked with border control and managing internal security issues, such as cattle rustling, as well as search and rescue. It is contributing a company-sized infantry force to the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM), with the Air Wing providing a C212 for light transport duties.

 

Lagos Blue Rail Line Commences Operations.

On the 30th of August, the Lagos State Government announced that the Blue Line Rail will commence on the 4th of September 2023. This rail will move from Marina to Mile 2.

On Tuesday, the Managing Director, of Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority while speaking at the Blue Rail Line Terminal in Marina, said that the Governor of Lagos State was expected to be the first passenger at exactly 9 a.m. on Monday. She also stated that partial passenger operations would begin on Tuesday, the 5th of September from 6:30 am to 10 am, for the morning peak; and the afternoon peak, from 4 pm to 9:30 pm.

The partial operations, according to Akinajo will start with 12 trips for two weeks, which will later be increased to up to 76 trips per day. 

As stated, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu arrived at Blue Line Rail and flagged off its commercial operations in the state. He implored the guests to behave in an orderly manner as well as obey the instructions to make the journey smooth.

He also boarded one of the Blue Line Rail trains at 9:07 a.m. as a signal to the commencement of commercial operations on the state’s intra-city train service.  

Six minutes later, at 9:13 a.m., the train taxied with Sanwo-Olu, his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat; permanent secretaries, political leaders, and some passengers on board the train. 25 minutes later, the train was at the Mile 2 station despite stopping for two minutes each at the National Theatre, Orile, and Alaba train stations.

Sanwo-Olu, who thanked President Bola Tinubu for putting in place the intermodal transportation master plan for the state, which included rail, water, and road infrastructure, said with the completion and kick-off of commercial operations of the Blue Line Rail, the Red Line Rail project would be commissioned by the President.

He said the commissioning would be done before the end of the year. He also disclosed that train stations and bridges built along with the Red Line rail project would be commissioned by the first week of October.

Trans-Kalahari Corridor Significant for Regional Growth.

Works and Transport Minister John Mutorwa said that the erection of the Trans Kalahari Corridor Secretariat offices in Windhoek aims to facilitate trade and propel the development agendas of Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa.

Mutorwa also stated that the transport corridor is extremely significant for the growth of the region, particularly when it comes to the movement of goods and people.

The Trans Kalahari Corridor (TKC) is a tripartite transboundary corridor management institution established with a political and economic vision to pursue or contribute towards deeper regional integration programs of SADC, SACU, and indeed NEPAD.

“In 2007, a hosting agreement was signed to give practical meaning to the establishment of a secretariat office here in Windhoek,” Mutorwa highlighted on Friday at the inauguration of the new offices.

On 3 November 2003, the transport ministers of Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa signed an agreement at the coastal town of Walvis Bay for the development and management of TKC.

In the preamble of the agreement, the three nations committed themselves to the ideals, objectives, and principles which include the common vision of new partnerships for Africa’s development to eradicate poverty and place those countries individually and collectively on a path of sustainable growth and development.

South Africa’s transport minister, Sindisiwe Chikunga said it is the collective interest and that of the region and the continent that this collaboration succeeds in providing invaluable lessons to address similar challenges in the region and elsewhere on the continent.

“Transport is the heartbeat of social development and economic growth. It enables access to infrastructure and amenities for our people and without efficient transport, our respective economies would stagnate,” she said.

Chikunga added that this is a partnership that must be built on as a stepping stone to giving practical expression to the African Continental Free Trade Area.

She said: “The transport sector, particularly the TKC, must lead the charge in dismantling the bottlenecks to the free movement of goods and people between our respective countries and the continent.”

Botswana’s transport minister and chairperson of the TKC, Eric Molale, said he hopes infrastructure development of this nature will not be an opportunity for illegal trade and other unwarranted activities on the continent.

“We have to make sure that the road is safe to use. We have a scourge of human trafficking; we don’t want this road to be associated with that. Another is a scourge of gender-based violence and we don’t want the corridor to be associated with that scourge,” Molale stressed.

The TKC is a road network spanning approximately 1900 kilometers across the territories of Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. It starts in the Gauteng Province in South Africa and continues through Rustenburg and Zeerust in the North-West Province, through Lobatse and Kanye in Botswana, the Mamuno and Trans Kalahari Border Posts, through Gobabis, Windhoek and Okahandja right through to the Port of Walvis Bay.

“Naija to The World” Tour Confirmed.

Organizers of the event “Naija to the World” confirmed today, that ‘Naija To The World’, the innovative pro-Nigeria showcase kicking off with a premiere dedicated to the Niger Delta, will tour multiple cities and venues, over 12 months, in response to feedback on the original announcement for a New York City Apollo debut. 

This was confirmed in a statement today by Efe Omorogbe, CEO of BuckWyld Media. Omorogbe says the tour will span Nigeria, Europe, and the United States of America. A full list of programming is set to be released when the producers convene in New York City for a flag-off media launch on September 16, 2023.

 Naija To The World was created by Buckwyld Media and BHM as a platform to provide an alternative narrative to the stories out there about Nigeria and Nigerians as part of an ongoing initiative to help the world understand and engage better with the country responsible for two of the world’s leading creative industries – music and film. 

 And a Niger Delta debut, organizers say, helps pay tribute to a region mostly known for crude oil, militancy, and protests with most not aware of its tremendous contribution to arts and culture, music, film, and fashion for over 100 years. At least 50 percent of the current crop of leading talents and executives in Nigeria’s creative industry are from the region; with top names including Burna Boy, Rema, and Timaya.

 “We want to provide an inaugural event that not only celebrates the incredible talent emerging from the Niger Delta but also captures the essence of its unique stories and heritage,” Omorogbe adds.

Performances and exhibitions will not only showcase the rich cultural heritage and inspiring stories of the Niger Delta but will also take audiences on a transcendent journey that spotlights the region’s unique artistic brilliance.

We are thrilled to announce that ‘Naija To The World’ will embark on a 12-month journey, crisscrossing Nigeria, Europe, and America,” says Efe Omorogbe, Chief Executive Officer, Buckwyld Media Network (BMN), organizers of the event.

 “This extended tour allows us to offer a comprehensive exploration of the Niger Delta’s cultural tapestry to audiences worldwide. It is an opportunity to celebrate the incredible talent emerging from the region and share its unique stories and heritage,” Efe adds.

 The flag-off event, scheduled to take place in New York City, will serve as the inaugural moment of the tour. During this event, organizers will unveil the tour’s itinerary, innovative format, and thrilling surprises. It will be a vibrant celebration of the cultural richness of the Niger Delta and its profound influence on the world stage.

 Over 1,500 lucky fans will witness this historic series of events live, while an additional 10 million viewers worldwide will tune in through broadcast partners spanning North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

 

Afro Nation Announces its Debut in Nigeria.

Afro Nation, an annual three-day music festival produced by Live Nation, Event Horizon, Smade Entertainment, and Memories of Tomorrow is being hosted for the first time in Nigeria and the dates have officially been locked in. 

This event which was founded by Obi Asika, and Smade in association with BBC 1 Xtra in 2013 promises to be a two-day thrilling event set to take place from the 19th of December to the 20th of December 2023.

The location of the event is set to be in Lagos and it is gearing up to showcase an extraordinary lineup of top-tier artists and electrifying performances. 

This event being hosted in Nigeria is very significant as it marks the homecoming of the festival to the birthplace of Afrobeats. This Nigerian edition is poised to become the standout event of 2023 which will unite the diaspora in the heart of Afrobeats.

The thrilling announcement was divulged through the festival’s official social media channels, intensifying the anticipation and enthusiasm among music enthusiasts worldwide. 

Afro Nation Festival, which initially debuted four years ago in Portugal, has been on an expansive journey, including a highly successful U.S. debut in Miami this past May.

Co-founder of Afro Nation, Adesegun Adeosun Jnr, widely known as Smade, expressed his sentiments regarding the decision to bring the festival to Lagos, Nigeria. He remarked, “Nigeria is home to numerous international superstars who have propelled Afrobeats into a globally cherished genre. As someone who grew up in Lagos and later spent years promoting African music in London and beyond, this is a full-circle moment for me. Bringing the Afro Nation show back home to Lagos is a dream come true. We can’t wait to witness the grandest celebration of African music the world has ever seen!”

this event will draw many tourists and increase tourism activities in Nigeria, making an impact on the economy of the nation.

Ethiopia Government, World Bank Sign Corridor Project Agreement.

The Ethiopia Government and the World Bank recently signed a $730 million corridor project agreement, to improve a major route between Addis Ababa and Djibouti.

Ethiopia Ministry of Finance in a statement said the HoA Regional Economic Corridor Project (under Ethio-Djibouti) is trying to enhance the connectivity and logistics performance between the East African countries via the strategic Addis–Djibouti road corridor.

It elaborated that the project will finance the construction of 142 kilometers of road from Miesso to Dire Dawa, improving its quality and safety, reducing time spent traveling and costs, and increasing transport capacity and efficiency.

According to the statement, the route covers more than 90% of Ethiopia’s Maritime trade.

“The project will also support local communities along the road section area by constructing infrastructures to improve access to education, health, and water, as well as linking them to the main corridor by constructing secondary roads.

“The project is part of the HoA Initiative, a regional partnership platform that promotes integration among others, through infrastructure development, linking to one of the priority corridors identified under the Initiatives, Djibouti- Berbera corridor”, the Ministry said.

The Agreement was signed virtually between the Ethiopian Minister of Finance, Ahmed Shide, and the Regional Integration Director of the World Bank, Ms. Boutheina Guermazi.

Shide also expressed gratitude to the World Bank for its bold support and reiterated Ethiopia’s commitment to regional integration.

“As a current Chair of the HoA Initiative and Finance Minister, I strongly believe that infrastructure development is essential for achieving long-term growth and stability in our region”, said Shide.

 

South Sudan: International Airport Under Construction in Akon Village.

According to a local official and a company manager, a new international airport is being built in the Akon Village of Gogrial West County, Warrap State.

Akon is the home village of South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

Gogrial West County Commissioner Victor Wek koordit told Radio Tamazuj over the weekend that the construction of the Akon International Airport is underway, saying Wunkoc Engineering Company, a South Sudanese company, is doing the work.

“The construction of the airport has started. Wunkoc Engineering Company has brought 120 trucks from Juba and has been bringing murram from Malek Alek in Aweil South county of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State,” he explained.

The local official said the new airport, if completed, will improve business and transportation in the greater Bahr el Ghazal region.

“The airport is important because it will provide services to people and improve business in the Bahr el Ghazal region and make air transport easier since people used to go to Kuajok, Aweil, and Wau for air transport,” Commissioner Wek said.

The commissioner, nevertheless, did not disclose the cost of the project. The bidding process and how the contract was awarded to the company remains unclear.

For his part, Malek Riing, the Director of Administration at Wunkoc Engineering Company, confirmed the construction of the new airport in Akon, saying the project will be completed within two years.

“Our work is going well and will take two years to finish. The contract was signed on February 15, 2023. We take murram from Malek Alek town because the community agreed that we take murram from them,” he said.

“We talked to the community of Malek Alek, and the company will build for them a hospital and a bridge because their current bridge used to cut them off from accessing markets,” he added.

The airport construction is the second development project in Akon after the tarmac road construction.

Last month, the residents of Akon were upbeat about witnessing the construction of the first asphalt road in the area and the entire state. The works are being done by African Resources Corporation LTD, which has been contracted by the national government to construct several interstate highways in South Sudan.

Uganda: National Carrier Launches Mobile App to Ease Ticketing.

In a bid to ensure travelers conveniently access the national carrier’s services, Uganda Airlines celebrates and marks the launch of the Uganda Airlines Mobile App on 15th August at the Sheraton Hotel in Uganda. 

The Launch was an important milestone in the airline’s drive to improve its service delivery, ensuring a convenient and user-friendly booking and ticketing process and an overall delightful buyer experience for its customers. It was attended by notable aviation enthusiasts, stakeholders, and the media. The event showcased the airline’s dedication to enhancing the passenger experience through modern technology.

Speaking at the launch, Jennifer Bamuturaki, CEO of Uganda Airlines said that the company is aware that guests rely heavily on their mobile phones for regular activities, including travel, and therefore it’s essential for the company to provide a high level of convenience to all travelers with this new app.

“With this app, we are taking a significant step towards enhancing the overall travel experience for our customers. This app reflects our commitment to providing convenience, simplicity, and efficiency and allowing travelers to seamlessly access our services at their fingertips. As we continue to grow and improve, our focus remains firmly on prioritizing the needs and preferences of our valued passengers,” she said.

Bamuturaki noted that consumers will able to effortlessly book a ticket on the app, pay for the ticket, check-in, and print the boarding pass with the launch of the app. “Normally, a customer would have to call a call center to book a ticket, but now you can interact with only Uganda Airlines and can select the flight and the time you want to fly”, she added.

The app is equipped with a range of features such as flight booking, real-time updates, check-in services, viewing personal flight details, and the ability to access digital boarding passes. Also, safety measures have been put in place as the app has a number of security features to safeguard passenger data, such as robust encryption and authentication measures.

According to Bamuturaki, the mobile app is a reflection of the airline’s dedication to modernizing travel and embracing technological advancements as it aligns with Uganda Airlines’ broader strategy to innovate and improve its services.

The information Technology Manager at Uganda Airlines, Don Mubiru said their top priority with the app is seamlessness and priority. 

The app is a one-stop store for customers as it provides all of Uganda Airlines’ flight information and customer service tools. It is available on iOS and Android smartphones. 

Rise in Tourists Arrival in Tanzania.

TANZANIA has been ranked the second country in Africa for receiving a large number of tourists in the first quarter of this year (January to March).

According to the statistics unveiled by the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) for the period between January and March this year, Tanzania received 409,082 foreign tourists compared to 289,372 tourists received in a similar period last year.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources Dr Hassan Abbasi revealed that yesterday when briefing journalists about the 66th meeting of the UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa (CAF) held last week in Mauritius.

Dr. Abbasi said the success recorded in the country in the first quarter of this year was attributed to the Tanzania Royal Tour documentary featuring President Samia that aimed at marketing the country’s tourism sector.

“The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has named and recognized Tanzania as the second country in Africa for recording a large increase of tourists in the first quarter of this year (January to March), the first country is Ethiopia with Morocco taking the third slot,” Dr. Abbasi pointed out.

In particular, he said the organization also recognized Tanzania as the second country in Africa after Morocco in terms of attracting many foreign investment projects in the tourism sector.

He added: “The recorded success is attributed to the sixth phase of government commitment under President Samia to promote and develop the tourism industry in the country.”

The PS also highlighted another achievement acquired by the country from the 66th UNWTO meeting where Tanzania, for the first time in history, attained various positions in the UNWTO.

“For the first time since joining UNWTO, Tanzania has been able to occupy top positions in the organization through elections held in this meeting, including being elected to the post of Vice-President of the UNWTO General Meeting,” Dr Abbasi said.

Having Tanzania has been elected to the post, Dr. Abbasi said, Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Mohamed Mchengerwa will represent Africa in the position of Vice-President at the General Assembly of the UNWTO.

He added that through this position, Tanzania will be able to market tourism attractions in various tourism platforms in the world through meetings and events organized by UNWTO.

Moreover, he said, the country has been also elected as a member of the UNWTO Executive Council, adding that through the acquired position, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism will represent the country in making decisions on how to develop the tourism sector in the United Nations World Tourism.

“As a member of the UNWTO Executive Council, Tanzania will use the opportunity to attract tourism development projects in the country and Africa in general,” PS added.

UNWTO was formed in 1974 with 160 full members and other associate members who bring together more than 500 tourism stakeholders in the world.

Tanzania attained full membership status in 1975, and since then it has been carrying out its duties and activities of the organization, including paying the annual membership fee, participating in meetings, and implementing guidelines and resolutions provided by UNWTO.

Egypt: Underwater Military Museum to be Established in Red Sea.

The local media reported that the Red Sea Governorate recently announced a new project to establish Egypt’s first underwater military museum by drowning 15 warships.

This project aims to establish the first museum in Egypt and Africa to combine three alternative diving sites in Hurghada, in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Red Sea Reserves and civil society organizations, after years of careful planning and preparation.

The locations of the sites are off the coast of the Red Sea Governorate, where the most crowded sites are located to relieve pressure on natural coral reefs and create new ones.

It aims to provide an unforgettable experience combining history and the natural beauty of the marine environment.

The general secretary of the Red Sea Governorate stated that military equipment consisting of 15 warships, each of which has a unique story and special importance, will be dumped in three locations – Sha`b al-Saqala, Uruq al-Tawil, and Erq Jame` in Magawish, which will create new diving sites in Hurghada.

This move is scheduled to be celebrated on Thursday in Hurghada’s tourist marina, in the presence of Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad and several Arab environment ministers from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.

Uganda: Africa’s Tourism Industry On Rebound.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic crisis that left the tourism industry across the continent on the brink of collapse, the sector is said to be on the rebound, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The latest UNWTO data shows international arrivals across Africa were back to 88% of pre-pandemic levels at the end of the first quarter of this year with North Africa performing particularly strongly. In this particular sub-region, arrivals were 4% higher than the pre-pandemic levels of 2019 in the same period.

At the global level, international tourism receipts reached US$1 billion in 2022, a 50% growth in real terms compared to 2021. Among African destinations with available data, Morocco and Mauritius notably exceeded their 2019 tourism receipts in the first quarter of 2023.

These findings were shared at a recent high-level meeting in Mauritius which was convened from July 26-28 by the UNWTO. The 66th regional meeting which was held under the theme: ‘Rethinking Tourism in Africa’ provided ministers and senior officials from the continent a platform to share knowledge, ideas, and good practices for building a resilient tourism sector.

The UNWTO welcomed delegations from 33 countries, including 22 tourism ministers, two deputy ministers, and four ambassadors to the meeting, the most important annual event for the region’s member states.

Zurab Pololikashvili, the Secretary General of the UNWTO told high-ranking officials that there is a need to rethink and re-align the sector’s role as a driver of development and opportunity across the continent.

“Our vision for African tourism is also one of strong governance, more education, and more and better jobs. To achieve it, we aim to promote innovation, advocate for Brand Africa, facilitate travel, and unlock growth through investment and public-private partnerships,” he said.

Pololikashvili said the UNWTO continues to lead tourism’s shift to greater sustainability, recognizing the impact of extreme weather events, including the potential for heat waves to cut off the lifeline the sector offers for destinations worldwide.

At the same meeting, Patricia Scotland, the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, a voluntary association of 56 independent but, mainly former British colonies, called for more collaboration than ever before, if a resilient tourism sector that works for people, prosperity, and the planet is to be harnessed. She highlighted the intricate vulnerability of the tourism industry and the collective action needed to address it.

The meeting in Mauritius comes at a time when the global tourism industry is on the path to recovery after suffering a crushing blow from the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020 alone, the sector faced a severe setback with 1.1 billion fewer international tourist arrivals and the loss of over 100 million jobs worldwide.

“Despite a strong recovery in 2022, to almost two-thirds of pre-pandemic levels, the world today is tightly bound by a tangled knot of crises spanning global economic, environmental, and security systems, which pose series threats to the tourism sector,” Scotland told the delegates.

She also highlighted the disproportionate impact on small island developing states (SIDS), which are heavily reliant on tourism. In 2020, the SIDS experienced a 9% decline in their gross domestic product, significantly higher than the global average of 3.4%

Given that two-thirds of the world’s small island developing states are part of the Commonwealth, Scotland emphasized the fact that sustainable tourism is a priority for the Commonwealth. She stressed the urgency of addressing these challenges collectively, adding: “We need to leave this meeting with a plan to deliver an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient tourism sector. This is imperative for the economy of each country which depends on it in Africa and beyond.”

Describing the meeting as a pivotal opportunity, Scotland invited countries to work together on an array of innovative legal and financial solutions for the tourism sector. “We already have the knowledge, the ideas, the innovation, and the technology to develop and deliver these solutions… What we need is leadership and a shared commitment not to go alone, but to go together.”

Scotland said she has confidence in Commonwealth Africa’s ability to show that leadership and set the continent on a path of sustainable and resilient tourism industry.

In order to support this effort, she outlined how the Commonwealth’s work could assist countries in addressing tourism challenges through knowledge exchange, data-sharing, and capacity-building. In particular, Scotland spoke about the Commonwealth’s ‘Their Future, Our Action’ project, which has been enhancing the economic resilience of small states.

She highlighted two tools developed through this project which can support the efforts of African countries. The first tool, the ‘Common Pool Asset Structuring Strategy,’ consolidates individual finance applications into country-wide opportunities, while the second tool, the Political-Economic Resilience Index, provides credible data on the economic and vulnerability levels of small states, making inward investments more attractive.

This work, she added, was backed by the Commonwealth’s ongoing advocacy on the reform of global financing rules to make development and climate finance more accessible to small states, enabling them to invest more in sustainable development, climate action, and tourism resilience.

Maintenance: Ubari Airport to Reopen Soon.

Libya’s Airports Authority reported in April the progress of the work on the maintenance of the Ubari Airport Runway. 

In that April, the implementation of the works of the first layer that connects the entire runway and the connecting corridor had been completed. Preparations were already underway for paving the second layer.

Recently, The Director of the Media Office at the Tripoli-based Libyan government’s Ministry of Transport, Siraj Al-Hamal, said that the maintenance project for the main runway, the taxiway, and the aircraft apron at Ubari airport (southwest Libya) is close to completion, as its technical completion rate reached 94 percent, which included asphalt paving works for the entire runway.

Currently, he added, it is being painted with special paint for the airstrips, and the ground lighting for the runway will be maintained later, along with the maintenance of the lighting of the spaces, so that the airport returns to work as soon as possible to facilitate the movement of citizens to and from the rest of Libyan cities.

The Director of the Media Office, Al-Hamal also pointed out that the Ministry of Transport, through the Airports Authority, imposed on the company carrying out the maintenance to implement international standards in the maintenance of the runway, using reinforcements in the maintenance of airports runways in the southern region, which gives them a longer life with resistance to weather factors and prevents the occurrence of cracks.


Al-Hamal stressed that the maintenance of several service facilities inside the airport had been completed, including the administrative building and a security fence around the airport. There is also the provision of equipment and devices for inspection and metal detection by the requirements of security and safety of civil aviation imposed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Regarding the opening date of the airport to receive flights, Al-Hamal affirmed that preparations for the resumption of domestic flights to and from Ubari Airport will take place ‘‘in the coming weeks’’.

The Ubari airport maintenance project is part of the Libyan Airports Authority’s overall plan to maintain and upgrade airports across the country. This will facilitate passenger travel and commerce.

 

South Africa Sees Huge Leap in Tourism Sector.

After COVID-19, South Africa’s tourism industry has continued to rebound strongly, with more than 4 million visitors arriving during the first half of 2023. Compared to the 2.3 million tourists that arrived between January and June of 2022, this is a huge rise.

When compared to the same time in 2022, the total number of tourists arriving in South Africa between January and June 2023 increased by 78.2%.

According to the Minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille, “There has also been a substantial increase across all regions in the same period. Although the current growth demonstrates signs of recovery, we are still operating at 80% of our pre-pandemic capacity. She continued saying that South Africa in 2019 welcomed more than 5 million tourists between January and June”.

According to De Lille, the majority of foreign visitors to the nation continue to come from the African continent. She said, “We are thrilled with the number of travelers from the rest of Africa that our nation continues to welcome. This is evidence of the marketing strategies we have used to draw guests from this area.”

Adding that, “Africa continues to be a significant source market for us, and the tourism industry is committed to working together to ensure that we welcome tourists from this area and that we meet their wants and preferences.”

De Lille also disclosed that South Africa has received more tourists beyond the African continent and the increasing figures exhibit South Africa’s charm and attractiveness as well as the work put into marketing South Africa as a tourist destination of choice. 

She attributed the robust increase, particularly from Australasia and Asia to the global trend towards post-pandemic travel recovery. “We are growing stronger each day and we are determined to pass pre-COVID-19 arrival numbers. South Africa is open for tourism, and we are ready to welcome more tourists from across Africa and the globe to experience our diverse cultures and heritage,” she noted.

The minister appreciated travelers who chose to explore the country and contribution to the tourism sector’s growth and the country’s economy. She appraised the support of both domestic and international travelers which has played a pivotal role in revitalizing the tourism sector.

She also expressed her gratitude to the nation’s private tourism industry for all of its efforts to expand its tourism offerings, market South Africa as a must-visit location, and provide outstanding hospitality to foreign tourists.

South Africa was recently named the “Best Country” by Telegraph Travel readers in the UK, and Cape Town won the coveted award of “Best City in the World”.

 

Zanzibar Considers Direct Flight to Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Arabian government has been asked by Zanzibar to take into account starting direct flights from Riyadh to the Isles.

A direct flight from the nation to Zanzibar will be a significant chance to increase trade and fortify relationships, according to Zanzibar State Minister, Office of the President (Constitution, Legal Affairs, Public Service and Good Governance), Mr. Haroun Ali Suleiman.

Mr. Suleiman explained this when he welcomed the Acting Saudi Arabian ambassador to Tanzania, Mr. Fahad Al Harb, who paid him a visit at his office in Mazizini. He further noted that the move will also ease transporting pilgrims to and from Mecca. 

During the meeting which focused on developing cooperation between the two countries, Mr. Suleiman pointed out that Saudi Arabia Airlines’ direct flight is much needed, especially, during pilgrimages to ease transportation to people wishing to perform the holy journey. 

He said, “We can prepare in advance effective strategies for the transportation of pilgrims and other citizens. This will to a greater extent help to minimize the inconvenience of travelers from Tanzania to Mecca.”

According to the Minister, most of the Tanzanian pilgrims going to Mecca are from Zanzibar, in which this year a total of 2,500 pilgrims out of more than 3,000 who traveled were from Zanzibar, necessitating a direct flight. 

“Normally, when pilgrims and citizens book to Saudi Arabia they have to go to Dar es Salaam. It is a necessity that we have a direct flight from Saudi Arabia to Zanzibar. This will make it easier for our travelers to end connecting multiple flights through Qatar-Doha to Oman-Muscat and other places,” he added. 

He revealed that the request has already been submitted to the respective ministry of the Saudi Arabia government as they look forward to a positive response. 

Sheikh Fahad Al Harb, the acting Saudi Arabian ambassador to Tanzania, stated that the Saudi government will continue to work with Zanzibar to promote many fields such as health and education. The representative declared, “We will keep working together for the benefit of citizens of Saudi Arabia and Zanzibar.”

In a similar development, Amb. Al Harb gave the Zanzibar government more than a thousand dates to give to disadvantaged populations.

 

“Seven Reasons to Vacation in Egypt”, Daily Mail Emphasize.

In a photo report listing seven reasons to vacation in Egypt, the Daily Mail highlighted Egypt’s most prominent tourist attractions. The report painted a picture of Egypt as a “time machine” where visitors travel forwards and backward through the tourist and archaeological sites across thousands of years. The writer said, “One moment, I was gazing in awe at the oldest pyramid in the world, built 4,600 years ago, while the next, I was immersed in the very modern roar of Cairo’s insane traffic, where horns are switched permanently to ‘on’ and road markings are redundant.”

The reporter also noted that Egypt is a vibrant tourist destination with sunny weather all year round. The author of the report, Sarah Bridge, referred to her visit to the Great Pyramid and her tour of the vibrant city of Cairo. She also recounted her visit to the royal mummies at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, expressing her admiration for the magnificence of her tour to Egypt, which has been one of her wishes for years.

The Pyramids are among the main reasons to choose Egypt for spending a holiday, and it is impossible to visit Egypt without seeing a pyramid or two, she wrote.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world that remains, Bridge said and noted the monuments of Abu Sir and Saqqara with its huge archaeological group of tombs, pyramids, and temples.

The writer discussed the Nile River, which she dreamed of visiting, and the many large islands in it. The author added that she took a cruise at night along the Nile River, giving her a unique view of the landmarks on the river’s banks, including international hotels full of vitality, shops, and cafes.

The Cairo Tower is designed in the shape of a lotus flower, she observed, making it yet another tourist attraction in vibrant Cairo. The author also talked about her visit to the city of Luxor, where she boarded a boat to tour the Nile River throughout the day, which she called a wonderful experience as she watched the flying air balloons in the early morning rise over the Valley of the Kings.

She touched on the nation’s museums, which are rich in artifacts reflecting its heritage. This includes the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, which is the first museum in the Arab world to focus entirely on one civilization from prehistoric times to the present time.

The most prominent feature of the museum is the royal mummies, she said, which were transferred from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square in a majestic procession.

She also mentioned that the Grand Egyptian Museum is scheduled to open soon, and will contain a large number of artifacts, including the complete collection of King Tutankhamun’s treasures.

The writer discussed the ancient tombs, calling Luxor vital to learning about the riches of ancient Egypt, especially at the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, and other temples in Luxor. She also discussed her visit to the Red Sea, referring to the luxury resorts in the cities of Sharm el-Sheikh, Dahab, and Hurghada, which attract tens of thousands of tourists every year to enjoy the sun, clear waters, luxury hotels, marine activities, bazaars, and restaurants.

 

Government Doubles Budget for Uganda Tourism.

For the advancement of tourism in Uganda, the Ugandan government has doubled the budget for tourism.

Some of the challenges faced in the aspect of tourism in Uganda are the inability to access the tourist destinations due to insufficient, damaged, or inaccessible roads, and poor facilities around the tourist attractions. The doubled tourism budget will fix some of these challenges.

 

The increase in budget was announced by the Ministry of Finance, planning, and economic development budget for 2023-2024. According to the Ministry, the tourism sector has been given more funding to improve the tourist attractions in Uganda, and their marketing strategies such as the roads, facilities, and advertising.

 

According to reliable sources like CNN, Uganda ranks top 10 countries with fascinating tourist attractions. However, as a country, its yet to be classified as a top tourist destination due to the much-needed effort for improvement in the sector.

 

Advice was sought from some Ugandan Tourism consultants and according to them, some of the major challenges that have caused this unattractive direction for the tourism industry are the inability to access the tourism destinations due to bad, damaged, or inaccessible roads, poor facilities around the tourist attractions and so on but all these can be changed with the doubled budget for the tourism industry.

They, however, encouraged the government to promote laws and actively prohibit activities threatening the sustainable development of fascinating tourist attractions like national parks, lakes, and beautiful forests home to wildlife.

 

They reiterated how they appreciated the resources offered by the government in the form of financial aid and how it will be of great help.

Tourism: Savior of Tunisia Economy.

Tunisia is set for a strong tourist season with visitor numbers nearing pre-pandemic levels, a government official told Reuters, this is a welcomed development to boost the finances of the state.

Tourism typically accounted for around 7 percent of Tunisia’s gross domestic product but visitor numbers collapsed during the COVID pandemic, and this put an extra strain on the economy.

However, authorities now expect about 8.5 million tourists this year, 90 percent of the 9.4 million in 2019, the last year before the pandemic, and a big jump from the 6.4 million last year, Tourism Ministry official Lotfi Mani said.

“Indications suggest a good season, with an increase in the number of reservations,” he said. Tourism revenue to the end of May was about 1.7 billion dinars ($550 million), a 57 percent increase from the same period last year.

The tourism season will slightly help alleviate Tunisia’s public finances decline. This decline has led to shortages of some foods and medicine, they are looking into their outputs to strengthen the overall economy of the state.

Foreign currency reserves have fallen to 91 days of exports from 123 days a year ago and credit ratings agency Fitch has graded Tunisian sovereign debt as junk, signaling market fears it may default on foreign loans.

Donors are waging a last-ditch effort to persuade President Kais Saied to agree terms with the International Monetary Fund for a bailout, but it is far from clear if any agreement can be reached.

Though Tunisia has a wealth of historic heritage from ancient civilizations, Berber tribes, Islamic dynasties, and Mediterranean naval powers, tourism there is mostly focused on beach resorts and short-stop cruise ships.

“It’s a very beautiful place,” said Polish tourist Anna Glan in the whitewashed village of Sidi Bou Said overlooking the glittering blue bay of Tunis.

For the village’s many businesses that cater to tourists, their return is good news, even if Tunisia’s overall economic outlook is increasingly bleak.

“We’re eagerly awaiting a good tourism season and we’re very optimistic because the signs are positive,” said Tawfik el-Hakil, frying traditional donuts for visitors in Sidi Bou Said. “Tour ships are coming and hotel reservations are full.”

 

Air Seychelles, Qatar Airways Sign Codeshare Agreement.

Air Seychelles has stated that the airline has struck a codeshare deal with Qatar Airways, although no other details were disclosed. 

 

Qatar Airways has established a codeshare arrangement with Air Seychelles, the national airline of the archipelago of Seychelles in the western Indian Ocean, according to a Gulf Times piece from Monday.

 

Through the new codeshare arrangement, Qatar Airways will display its code on Air Seychelles-operated flights between Mahe, the major island, and Praslin, the second-most populous island. This will allow travelers to use a single booking to continue their journey.

 

According to the publication, this cooperation will enable smooth travel between both networks’ users and one of the world’s most exotic and distinctive locations.

 

The Air Seychelles acting chief executive, Captain Sandy Benoiton, said: “This new partnership will provide passengers with new connection opportunities and access to unique destinations from both networks,” said the article.

 

As a result of the arrangement, passengers flying with Qatar Airways from more than 160 international locations would be able to connect to Seychelles via Doha’s International Airport.

 

According to the Gulf Times, in a press release from the airline, Qatar Airways group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said, “Our strategy of facilitating connectivity to African markets through partnerships is in line with this enhanced cooperation with Air Seychelles. Our two airlines are pleased to work together to benefit passengers with more travel choices and to support the tourism industry in Seychelles.”

 

The agreement was reached when Qatar Airways and Antony Derjacques, the transport minister for the Seychelles, signed a cooperation pact the previous year. During the 41st International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly, which took place in Montreal from September 27 to October 7, the agreement was signed. 

 

Derjacques claimed that the agreement with Qatar “will enhance cooperation between the two countries, especially where it concerns technical and training for civil aviation staff.” 



RwandAir, Qatar Airways Launches New African Cargo Hub.

  • The new cargo hub will boost exports and imports around Africa.

  • Kigali cargo hub will create a strong foundation to expand a future-oriented African air cargo network.

Through a partnership with Qatar Airways Cargo, RwandAir has launched the Kigali Cargo Hub, a new major African cargo hub. It is part of a long-term strategic plan for the cargo division of RwandAir, which has seen cargo carry rise by almost 26% in the last five years.

The official launch of the new cargo facility was marked with the arrival of a Qatar Airways Cargo Boeing 777x freighter at the airline’s home hub in Kigali. The initiative will boost exports and imports around Africa and strengthens links with key overseas markets, developing Kigali into a regional cargo powerhouse. 

The airline’s geographic location at the heart of Africa has given it a unique position to reach every part of Africa, providing seamless connectivity, promoting trade, and strengthening its relations with countries both in the continent and around the world.

Cargo operations have been an integral component of RwandAir, it has grown in conjunction with the airline. The pandemic also created an importance of cargo, particularly for the airline. RwandAir will continue to offer customers reliable, high-quality cargo services across Africa due to the launch of the new cargo hub. 

Those who were present to witness the aircraft land include the CEO of RwandAir, Yvonne Makolo, Qatar Airways Cargo’s Chief Officer, Guillaume Halleux, along with local dignitaries, freight forwarders, partners, and customers. “We are very proud to partner with Qatar Airways Cargo to launch today the brand-new Kigali Cargo Hub, which will open up new cargo opportunities across Africa”, Yvonne Makolo remarked.

She added that “Africa is home to a hugely diverse economy, with businesses and entrepreneurs looking for better connections to create new markets and expand inward investment, noting that together have created a fantastic new facility to meet this growing demand across Africa”.

With the launch of the new cargo hub, new freighter services to RwandAir’s key destinations across Africa and the Middle East have been facilitated and supported by the entry into service of its dedicated freighter aircraft – a Boeing 737 and 800. These destinations include Johannesburg, Lagos, Lusaka, Brazzaville, Harare, Maputo, Entebbe, Nairobi, and Sharjah in the UAE.

According to Qatar Airways Cargo’s Chief Officer, Guillaume Halleux, Africa is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, however, it needs investment in logistics and infrastructures to attain its full potential. He noted that with the long bilateral trade relationship between both countries, it was a logical step for Qatar Airways Cargo to support RwandAir’s cargo ambitions.

Halleux added that through the Kigali hub, customers will benefits from both a reliable intra-African network which will enhance service levels and cost synergies. He also appreciated Bollore who supported in developing Kigali International Airport as Qatar Airways Cargos’s African hub.

RwandAir’s recent announcement of the launch of direct flights to Paris in June and the arrival of its wide-body aircraft – Airbus A330-200 will ensure that Rwanda has greater cargo connectivity not just regionally but internationally across Europe, the Middle East, China, and beyond.

The Qatar Airways Boeing 777x will fly twice a week from Doha to Kigali with a scheduled onward service to Entebbe, Nairobi, and Liege afterward back to Doha via Oslo/Lyon. More destinations in Africa will be added to the joint airline network at a later stage.

The cargo hub will also create a strong foundation on which to expand a future-oriented African air cargo network and meet the 3-5% annual economic growth forecast for the continent over the next decade.

12 years a musician: Nigerian singer Davido, fans celebrate timelessness after ‘Back When’.

  • Award-winning African Afrobeats singer, Davido, has remained in the news for different reasons lately.
  • African News, especially the entertainment beat, is still agog with news about Davido’s Timeless Album.
  • While that buzz is still on, the Nigerian Musician went online to celebrate his 12th year since he started music professionally.

On the 7th of May 2023, fans, friends, and family of Nigerian Award-winning Afrobeats singer, David Adeleke, popular as Davido, celebrated his first 12 years of making music professionally. The commemoration took the world back to when his debut song, ‘Back When, which features the rave of that era – Naeto C, was released as the prime single heralding his first album. ‘Back When’, a song from his 2012 debut album ‘Omo Baba Olowo’, was produced in London by Davido himself while popular African music video director, Clarence Peters, shot and directed the video that was first uploaded online on the 9th of May 2011. The song rose to become one of the biggest hit songs from Africa at that time, marking his full induction into the entertainment industry.

Davido and a vixen; shot from his music video. Credit: Youtube.

Through a post shared on his Twitter handle, Davido expressed his appreciation to God for the 12-year ride, he described himself as God’s child. “12 years ago, today I dropped my first single. God’s child”, he wrote, stating how happy he is that people still accepted the album Timeless, which has been breaking records since its release, even after 12 years of putting out music.

 

While on tour recently, to sell his new Album, a brief chat he had with someone showed up online where the singer showed how happy he is to see people the world over accepting his new work of art, according to him, when compared to the previous Albums, Timeless got a good reception. He also mentioned that he has always felt people’s indifference to his earlier albums but Timeless rose to a different level. He said: “I’m happy that people accepted Timeless and I feel they always doubted my album. It’s a different feel for me because people have never accepted my album, so this is a fresh one for me…I haven’t felt this before”. The singer, and father, who had stayed away from social media for a while, just after the loss of his son, expressed satisfaction and optimism about his music and social media comeback.

London, United Kingdom. January 27, 2019. Davido performs live on stage at The O2 Arena. Credit: Michael Tubi / Alamy Live News

He mentioned that the responses and positive reactions he has been receiving since TIMELESS dropped have been quite encouraging. Davido disclosed that he is just getting started, even though he admits that the journey has, so far, been heavy with breath-taking adventures. “This journey has been crazy, but we’re just getting started”: he says. He rose to prominence and popularity after he released ‘Dami Duro’, the second single from his debut studio album. With global prominence, an avalanche of awards, honorary mentions across different quarters, and worldwide recognition of his art, the singer has earned respect and recognition as one of the iconic names in the African music landscape.

 

Davido has remained a key source of entertainment news globally. He won the popular ‘next rated’ award category at The Headies In 2012. The 30-year-old father, in the last decade, has released hundreds of chart-topping songs like ‘Skelewu’, ‘Gobe’, ‘Aye’, ‘One of a Kind’, ‘Owo Ni Koko’, ‘Fall’, ‘If’, ‘Fia’Assurance’ and several other African hits. In 2019 he dropped A Good Time’, an Album that preceded ‘A Better Time’ which he released in 2020. ‘Timeless’, his 17-track fourth album was released on the 31st of March 2023, and it has continued to garner millions of streams across music platforms.

LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 24: Davido accepts The Best International Act Award onstage at the 2018 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 24, 2018, in Los Angeles, California. Credit: Leon Bennett/Getty Images/AFP

The album also set a new record for the first-day streaming for an African album on Apple Music in the same month of March. Davido stands out as one of the most-followed African artists on social media. His frequent global tours are almost always sold-out events. A lot of fans believe that these first 12 years are only the beginning, just like the artist has emphasized. Considering his antecedents, do you feel Davido can comfortably remain on top of the African Music space for the next 12 years? Kindly share your thoughts in the comment section.

 

 

Jebet, Naibet win as African, world athletes partake in maiden Abuja International Marathon.

  • Again, Kenya’s Emmanuel Naibet has won a marathon in Nigeria. His first was in Lagos, and the Abuja International Marathon is his second.
  • Ruth Jebet, a Bahrain runner of Kenyan ancestry, defied previous career challenges to win her first international full marathon.
  • Other elite runners and fun seekers from other African cities and the rest of the world converged to take part in the inaugural and historic Abuja International Marathon; they left with prizes and happiness.

On the 29th of April 2023, Kenya’s Emmanuel Naibet and Bahrain runner Ruth Jebet emerged inaugural winners of the men’s and women’s respective categories of the first international full marathon in the FCT, the historic Abuja International Marathon, backed by the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, with routes calculated and calibrated by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races, AIMS, and approved by World Athletics, with the theme ‘Celebrating the Best of FCT’.

 

Ruth Jebet, winner of the women’s full marathon. Source: www.eurosport.com

 

According to the Race Director, Olukayode Thomas, “About 50 foreign elite runners and 120 local elites registered to participate in the race’’. They were joined by thousands of Nigerian runners that registered to participate in the three categories. The race, a first of its kind in Abuja, was earlier slated for the 17th of December 2022 but was later rescheduled to hold on the 29th of April 2023, with the weather showing kindness to the notable event.  The lovely city of Abuja typically experiences torrential rainfall in April but on the 29th, the city offered the ideal weather making it more convenient for Kenya’s Naibet as well as Jebet, Kenyan-born long-distance runner and steeplechase specialist who competes internationally for the Asian country Bahrain, to win the two categories respectively.

 

Emmanuel Naibet, winner of the men’s full marathon. Source: www.naijanews.com.

 

Naibet won with a time of 2:13:45, a winning time considered the best ever documented in any first edition of Marathon races in Nigeria. This is his second marathon win in Nigeria having also won the 2021 edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon. “It was a great race for me though a bit challenging with some hilly parts on the routes, but overall, I am happy to win this race and add it to my achievements,” the animated titleholder said in a chat with journalists. Benard Sang finished in second position with a time of 2:13:49 while Ezekiel Koech secured his third place to seal up the win for Kenyans in the men’s category with a time of 2:13:51.

 

Athletes from around the world gather in Abuja for the maiden Abuja International Marathon. Photo by Light Oriye. Source: www.premiumtimes.ng

 

In the women’s category, though her first attempt at the full marathon after dominating in other long-distance races, Ruth Jebet from Bahrain dwarfed other runners to grab the number one spot with a time of 2.36.08, Mercy Kwambai from Kenya finished second with a time of 2:38:17, while Ethiopia’s Dida Negasa held on to the third place with a time of 2:40: 16. An excited Jebet says, “I can never forget the Abuja International Marathon, it is my first full marathon and I won it, I hope to be back next year to defend my title”.

 

Three different races took place in Abuja. Apart from the elite runners who took part in the full marathon that spanned about 42.195 kilometres, students from across the Abuja metropolis as well as fun contenders also keenly competed for prizes in the 5-kilometre and 10-kilometre races. Thomas, the race director, pointed out that one of the big ideas behind the racing event is the establishment of an elite athletes’ development program to groom exceptional local athletes. “What makes the race unique is that it is the first race that will give local athletes recognition not just in terms of appearance fee or bonuses, but we are trying to set up elite athletes development program because we believe that Nigerians have what it takes to do what the Kenyans and Ethiopians are doing,” he said. All finishers of the Abuja International Marathon got medals and certificates signed by the FCT Minister of State.

 

Cross section of runners at the Abuja International Marathon. Source: www.gazettengr.com

 

Also, the Managing Director of Abuja International Marathon, Mrs.  Zsuzsanna Ogunmiloyo mentioned the available incentives for young participants. She said “We also want to encourage the culture of running because the youths have to be encouraged. Sports bring the community together. It is something we want embedded in the youths to know that hard work and determination count.”

 

Activities that led to the Saturday Marathon began on Friday with an expo at The Pavillion, beside the International Conference Centre, opposite Radio House, Abuja. According to Race Director, Olukayode Thomas, the Marathon Expo, with the theme ‘Showcasing the best of FCT,’ prepped the participants for the event. There was refreshment, entertainment from the FCT Arts and Culture Department, and prizes for participants. Visitors were also treated to a city-wide tour. “For those interested in FCT landmarks and tourist attraction centres, officials of the FCT Tourism Department will be on ground to take them around the FCT with tour guides that will answer their questions.”

 

Route Calibration by Norrie Williamson of the World Athletics/AIMS A Grade South Africa, together with his team. Source: www.abujainternationalmarathon.com

 

Thomas highlighted the gains of the Abuja Marathon pointing out that they outweigh the few road closures and other inconveniences that came with the event. He said, just before the event, that: “We need to start telling our stories with activities like Abuja International Marathon. Abuja is a beautiful city, no doubt, but how many times have we showcased the city to the world? This is probably the first time that Abuja will be beamed to the world for four hours. This race will show the best part of Abuja and its landmarks to the world for hours so let us all work with the FCTA to make the epoch event a huge success.’’

 

A week-long Marathon Expo preceded the race with numerous lead-up activities, including the unveiling of the Marathon Logo, the High School that won in the production of the theme song for the Abuja International Marathon, and the presentation of race ambassadors. The event attracted stakeholders in the industry including fun runners, FCTA officials, sponsors, and elite runners abroad and at home. Abuja International Marathon seeks to be the first race in the world to win the prestigious World Athletics Label after its first edition. The majority of elite runners officially invited for the race are Gold Label Runners.

 

Participants at the maiden Abuja International Marathon. Source: www.gazettengr.com

 

Abuja, a stunning city with an excellent network of roads, while playing host to the international marathon, did a good job showcasing her beauty to the world. Another big idea behind the Abuja International Marathon (AIM) is to make the FCT more beautiful and tourist-friendly, even as it presents new and thrilling experiences to both fun and elite runners, in and outside Nigeria.  Abuja International Marathon (AIM) aims to become a qualifier for the Olympics Games, World Athletics Championships, and the Abbott World Marathon Majors (Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago Tokyo and New York City), within three years. The National Hospital Abuja and other prominent hospitals partnered as reference centers for the race. African News media have kept up with updates before, during, and after the event. It would seem like Kenyans are built for races seeing that they sweep key prizes anywhere races are organized in the continent, and indeed around the word. What do you think? Share with us in the comment section.

 

 

Mr Eazi’s Zagadat Capital benefits from $1 billion Vydia sale deal.

  • African news platforms have continued to steam from the record-breaking deal involving Mr Eazi’s portfolio company, Zagadat Capital.
  • In March 2023, the multifaced artiste got recognized as the first Nigerian artiste to win a Latin Grammy Award.
  • Mr Eazi has established his influence in both music, tech, and business, in Africa and globally.

Oluwatosin Ajibade, famously known as Mr Eazi, has recently stirred African News media and the rest of the world, with the recent sale of Vydia, the portfolio company in partnership with his venture capital fund, Zagadat Capital, for an astonishing $1 billion. The digital video and audio distribution company was acquired by American firm, Gamma, in an unprecedented transaction regarded by many as the biggest in Afrobeats, so far.

 

Gamma is a music and technology firm owned by former Apple Music Executive, Larry Jackson, who believes that Gamma’s vision is in seamless harmony with Vydia’s potential and capabilities, he is enthusiastic about the acquisition. He says “Vydia epitomizes the vision of Gamma as an ideas company.” Entertainment brands that have worked with Vydia include artists like Kanye West, Akon, Mr Eazi, and Anuel.

 

Source: www.nydjlive.com

 

Jackson said about the acquisition: “Gamma is built with the flexibility and aptitude that creators need to connect with fans on all formats and across all channels – with transparency and no restriction. We are a progressive media company powered by the best-in-class content distribution and analytics software by way of our Vydia acquisition.”

 

Beyond a rewarding career in Music, Mr Eazi’s influence in the business world has continued to grow. He set up and runs the music distribution platform emPawa, to promote Afro-music. The platform has worked with several artists including Namenj, Fave, Joeboy, Bella Alubo, and Mr. Eazi himself.

 

Source: www.nydjlive.com

 

Zagadat Capital, established in 2021, has speedily built a reputation for its strategic investments in different tech companies. The companies include home services provider Eden Life, remittance-based loaning firm Paisa, African fintech company Pawapay, and, newly, the South African basketball team, CapeTown Tigers. Zagadat Capital’s portfolio shows that Mr Eazi is committed to the promotion of innovation and advancement in the African tech network. Zagadat Capital’s early investments centred on music tech companies. The companies include ticketing platform SHOOBS, Mr Eazi’s enterprise emPawa, and American music distribution service Vydia.

 

Remarkably, emPawa used the services of Vydia before Mr Eazi made any financial investments into the platform, indicating that, from the onset, he was quite confident in Vydia’s potential. The success of this notable deal reinforces Mr Eazi’s status as a dominant figure in music, tech, and the business world. His impact on the global entertainment scene, as a many-sided entrepreneur, is undisputed. The acquisition of Vydia by Gamma will reform the music distribution scene, giving artists quality platforms and gears to reach new markets as they enlarge their careers.

 

Mr Eazi and his girlfriend, Temi Otedola. Source: www.gltrends.com.ng

 

As the digital age continues to alter the music creation, distribution, and consumption processes, Gamma’s vision mixed finely with Vydia’s infrastructure could be a possible harbinger of a new era of innovation in music. Mr Eazi’s accomplishments with Zagadat Capital and emPawa point to the tremendous potential for growth in the African tech and entertainment sectors. As more investors look towards the continent, we are likely to see more ground-breaking collaborations, offers, and deals that will all add up to push economic growth and enhance a flourishing creative network.

 

Mr Eazi, who recently made history by becoming the first Nigerian artiste to win a Latin Grammy Award, is set to become an in-law to one of Africa’s leading businesspersons, Femi Otedola.

 

Ethiopian Airlines, Seychelles Sign Agreement.

  • Kassahun Terefa met with Sherin Francis and the director general for destination marketing last week.
  • The importance of making Seychelles more accessible to potential visitors worldwide was highlighted. 
  • The agreement was signed, effective immediately for twelve months, after which it will be reviewed.

Kassahun Terefa met with Sherin Francis and the director general for destination marketing last week.

The new local head of the airlines, Kassahun Terefa, met with Seychelles’ principal secretary for tourism, Sherin Francis, and the director general for destination marketing, Bernadette Willemin last week.

A recent visit made by Francis Francis and Willemin to the airline’s headquarters in Addis Ababa in March to discuss areas of cooperation and the signing of a potential memorandum of understanding preceded this meeting. During the meeting, Francis stressed the importance of the two parties joining forces to make Seychelles visible and enhance sales for the airline that began its flight to the island nation in 2013. Ethiopian Airlines is currently making daily flights to Seychelles. 

“We have had several successful collaborations with Ethiopian Airlines, and they have proven to be extremely reliable and service-oriented. Ethiopia is an important hub with excellent connections, and we look forward to expanding our relationship with the airline,” said Francis.  

The importance of making Seychelles more accessible to potential visitors worldwide was highlighted. 

Willemin also expressed her satisfaction with the visit while highlighting the importance of making Seychelles more accessible to potential visitors worldwide. “This meeting cements what was discussed in Addis. We are now signing an MOU with Ethiopian Airlines to advance to the next level,” she said.

On Terefa’s part, he expressed his dedication to promoting Seychelles as a critical market for their network. He said: “We are pleased to cooperate with our local partners and continue to promote Seychelles.”

The agreement was signed, effective immediately for twelve months, after which it will be reviewed.

 

The agreement was signed at the STA at La Misère on Monday by the academy’s principal Flavien Joubert and Meseret Tekalign, the area manager of Ethiopian Airline in Seychelles.

 

The Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St Ange was present to witness the signing, as principal secretary for tourism Anne Lafortune, STA managerial staff members, and the airline’s partners, among other guests.

Ethiopian Airlines will provide Seychelles Tourism Academy with a discounted fare on airline tickets and will be provided with an incentive scheme as per provisions. Ethiopian Airline is willing to provide a discounted fare and other privileges to the STA on terms and conditions outlined in the agreement, while STA has agreed to use Ethiopian Airlines for its passenger transportation services.

The agreement is effective immediately for twelve months, after which the MoU will be reviewed.

 

Ethiopian Airlines is anticipating a second daily flight to Seychelles to boost the island nation’s visibility as a destination, Tourism Seychelles – the marketing arm of the Department of Tourism – said on Tuesday.

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Cancer treatment: Ugandan joins African scientists improving cancer care in Africa.

  • Cancer care in Africa has received a shot in the arm after an indigenous invention sprang up in Uganda.
  • African scientists should be proud of their Ugandan colleagues who put together this health innovation.
  • Dr William Wasswa says the components of this machine are mostly sourced from the African continent.

 

In the western Ugandan city of Mbarara, the second largest city in Uganda after Kampala, Dr William Wasswa, an African scientist from Mbarara University of Science and Technology, commonly known as Mbarara University, has contributed to the newest treatments for cancer by manufacturing an automated digital microscope for the uncovering of cervical cancer to check the rising number of death cases.

 

Arial view of the western Ugandan city of Mbarara. Source: www.lakemburoparkuganda.com

 

Last month, in a chat with an online medium, Dr Wasswa mentioned that the affordable machine has several software and hardware inventions that make cancer diagnosis and patient record management quicker and more effective. According to a report published by a scientific journal, the innovative machine has an accuracy of around 97 per cent in detecting cervical cancer from body samples. According to Dr Wasswa, cancer samples in the country are currently analysed manually, and this, he said, is time-consuming, error-prone and has to be done by a trained cytopathologist – an expert in analysing body cells to diagnose disease. “This new technology can take five minutes for you to get the test results”, he said.

 

Explaining how the machine works, Dr Wasswa said, “You load the pap smear (tissue sample from the body) for cervical cancer test under the microscope and the computer does the analysis and gives you the results.” Dr Nixon Niyonzima who is the head of research at the Uganda Cancer Institute, UCI, said that he knows about the invention but is yet to use it to see how well it works. The World Health Organization estimates that in 2014 approximately 3,915 Ugandan women were diagnosed with cervical cancer and that 2,160, representing 55 per cent, died from the disease.

 

Sophisticated radiotherapy machine in a hospital in Uganda. Source: www.monitor.co.ug

 

The microscope is made up of main components including the camera for digitizing the sample’s image, the lead array for lighting, motors for driving the stage, which is where the sample is put, and electronics. “The software for analyzing the sample is the core part which takes most of the work,” Dr Wasswa said. He also mentioned that he put five years into developing the technology. “It was part of my PhD project, and I started a company out of it,” he said, adding, “The new tech also has software which keeps track of all patient’s details, sending them reminders. I have six of them [the microscopes] at the moment. But I am still improving the accuracy. The sensitivity is at 94 per cent and specificity is at 96 per cent.” Sensitivity here refers to the capacity to designate an individual with the disease as positive, while specificity is its ability to designate a person who does not have the disease as negative.

 

Also, artificial intelligence technology forms a part of the new device; the more tests it performs the more it trains itself to achieve more accuracy. “We are making the machine locally. All these things [parts] are 3d printed, and the electronics are assembled locally, so we just get a few motors and a camera. You do most of the work on the software,” Dr Wasswa said. He also pointed out that they are still in the primary phase of the clinical trial. “The trial is being sponsored by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UK Royal Academy of Engineering. We got some funds from USAID that was the first batch for piloting the platform, the software part,” he said. He went on: “But then we are working with the Royal Academy to improve the microscope. We have Shs32m for the trial [so far]. I have tried to approach the government but I have received good feedback.”

 

Cancer care machine. Source: www.independent.co.ug

 

As soon as the new tech passes all three stages of clinical trial and is approved by the National Drug Authority, NDA, it could be more affordable for hospitals in different parts of the country to begin cancer screening and diagnosis in their facilities. “My machine costs around $300 (Shs1.1m) to $500 (Shs1.8m). The current (imported) microscope they use is about $21,000 (Shs78.1m). The new machine will be five to seven times cheaper than the current microscopes,” Dr Wasswa clarified.  With this innovation, not only Dr Wasswa put his name on the health map, but he also solved a significant African healthcare problem.

 

Zimbabwe: Air Flight Numbers Leaps as Tourism Recovers.

  • Zimbabwe recorded an increase of 52.3 percent in both domestic and international flights in 2022.

The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) stated on Monday that Zimbabwe recorded an increase of 52.3 percent in the number of both domestic and international flights in 2022 compared to the previous year, saying that the tourism sector continues to recover from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Between 2018 and 2022, ZIMSTAT transport stats reported that the number of flights increased to 50,640, up from 33,245 flights registered in 2021. The national agency said, “For the period 2018 to 2022, the year 2020 recorded the lowest number of both domestic (8,013) and international flights (9,005)”.

ZIMSTAT also noted that the number of air transport passengers recovered in 2021 after consistently declining from 2018 to 2020, with the country’s main airport, Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare the country’s capital recording a 97.3 percent increase in air passengers in 2022 compared to 2021.

The country’s second-largest airport Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport in the city of Bulawayo recorded an increase of 82.6 percent in the number of passengers in 2022 compared to the previous year.

According to the national agency, international air passengers accounted for more than 80 percent of the total travelers during the period 2018 to 2022.

RwandAir to Launch Flights to the ‘City of Light’.

  • RwandAir will begin direct flights to Paris in June 2023, with three times operations in a week.

  • The airline’s new flights will connect the continents of Africa and Europe through its main hub in Kigali.

Rwanda’s national flag carrier, RwandAir has announced the launching of a direct flight to Paris on June 27th, 2023 as customers will be able to fly with RwandAir on the only direct service between Rwanda and France. The airline will expand its network by adding a 25th destination, accelerating its rapid expansion plan.

The flight will provide customers convenient access to one of Europe’s most fashionable and exciting cities and link France with Kigali, in the heart of Africa. According to a statement from the airline, the new flights will operate three times per week.

RwandAir CEO, Yvonne Makolo said the launch of our first-ever flights to Paris is an exciting development in RwandAir’s continuing expansion and a testament to the importance of French-Rwandan relations”. 

According to the statement “Flight WB700 departs Kigali each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 12:30 am, arriving at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport at 9:30 am the same morning. The returning flight WB701 leaves Paris at 9:30 pm each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, arriving at RwandAir’s home hub at 6:00 am the following morning”.

Makolo explained that with this new direct route to Paris, one of the world’s top tourist attractions, RwandAir connects the continents of Africa and Europe through its main hub in Kigali. “France is a major market for RwandAir”, she said, noting that French travelers can look forward to a warm welcome onboard on “our inaugural flight today and for many more years to come as we deepen the ties of friendship and fraternity between France and Rwanda”.

Passengers taking flights from Africa to France can now travel less than eight hours and thirty minutes to Paris through Kigali, providing them more time to see the city’s fantastic ambiance, amazing culture, and iconic attractions. Travelers from France will also have easier access thanks to the new three-times-weekly service to central Africa’s stunning scenery and animals, including Rwanda’s stunning national parks and famed mountain gorillas.

 

StreetNet International Congress gathers African informal traders, street vendors in Kigali.

  • Roadside traders and other informal economy workers around the world are to converge in Kigali, Rwanda, to address peculiar issues.
  • The congress advocates for recognition and inclusion of street businesses in Africa especially.
  • AfriSQuare’s African News focuses briefly on the varied expectations from the Conference.

StreetNet International, a global coalition of street vendors and informal traders, holds its 7th International Congress in May 2023. This event features over 150 workers from the informal economy, activists, street vendors, and invited visitors from several other trade unions drawn from more than 50 countries, from about four continents, who will all converge in Kigali, Rwanda, from the first day of May to the sixth, to deliberate on tactics on how to defend these workers’ right to decent work, recognition, and social protection as well as pertinent matters such as climate change.  It also delivers to the participants an opportunity to be a part of the May 1st International Workers’ Day celebrations.

 

African roadside vendors. Source: includeplatform.net

 

Oksana Abboud, International Coordinator, says “StreetNet International Congress is the biggest event for StreetNet family, as it is exactly the most crucial space to get together for all StreetNet members from around the globe, listen to them, collect their views and suggestions, share experience and knowledge, analyze and criticize as well as to adopt new policies and strategies on continuous institutional growth in building collective actions towards empowerment and strengthening StreetNet at different levels, especially to amplify the voice and influence of informal street and market vendors in their own countries and cities while advocating for their rights and all types of protection.”

 

For more than twenty years, StreetNet has built solidarity among workers in the informal economy around the world, creating a bond and uniting them behind a joint front recognized by multilateral establishments such as the United Nations’ Agency, International Labour Organization. StreetNet has been promoting basic labour rights of street vendors in Africa; it is also pushing for an expansion in its scope and coverage such that it can also cater for members across different nations of the world. Most informal traders, and several other informal economy workers, typically do not have enough access to social protection and are ignored or neglected during social dialogues and collective negotiations even though informal economy workers are vital contributors to all countries’ economies.

 

Street vendors in Zimbabwe, the country with the 2nd largest vendor population in the world. Source: www.zimbabwesituation.com

 

The President of StreetNet, Lorraine Sibanda, says “recognition for the workers in the informal economy is critical for the growth of any country. This will also facilitate the access to decent work for informal economy workers, a condition that is not met in many countries. There needs to be access to social dialogue, so that workers in the informal economy are at the table of negotiations, being in the position to articulate their own issues, as well as guide the national strategies on formalization processes and the extension of social protection. Workers in the informal economy are as legitimate as their counterparts in the formal economy”.

 

A vegetable vendor and his customer, in Kigali. Source www.jacarandafm.com

 

The 7th Congress is expected to set the agenda for, and pace of, continued development of global alliances in the next four years. The Congress is bent on continuing the fight for acknowledgement and demand for necessary rights. The Universal Congress will also have the stakeholders elect a new four-year term leadership, even as they debate, propose, and adopt fresh policies and resolves.  The Congress is built to be the utmost governing body of StreetNet, saddled with the principal responsibility of making key decisions.

 

Can this development be sustained? How wide and far can it spread? Kindly share your thoughts in the comment section below. Also, do share with your friends.

AMVCA 2023: RMD, Brotherhood, others eye best movie, actor as full nominees list emerges.

Source: https://www.dstv.com/africamagic/en-ng/home
  • The full list of nominees for the 9th edition of the AMVCA has since been generating a lot of reactions from lovers of entertainment and the screen.
  • The organizers of the event, the contenders, and the voters or viewers are all hyped up for the big day.
  • The voting categories are open to the public on AMVCA (dstv.com).

 

Stars headlining nominations for the highly awaited 9th Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards, AMVCA, 2023 include Chidi Mokeme, Tobi Bakare, Bimbo Ademoye, and others. MultiChoice, the organizers of the awards, on the evening of Sunday, April 16, 2023, released a comprehensive list detailing the various categories and the nominees ahead of the significant event, and different African news platforms have since been stirred.

 

Chidi Mokeme in Shanty Town. Source: www.pulse.ng

 

AfriSQuare gathered that digital content creators in Nollywood, and in Africa generally, have also earned recognition; this shows an expansion in the annual event’s scope, which traditionally recognizes outstanding performances in film, television, and entertainment.  The nominees are spread across more than 30 award categories, some of the categories, about ten of them, are open to the public; voters from the general public can choose their preferred nominees, while some other categories are to be decided by a panel of judges set up by the organizers. The event itself is scheduled to hold from the 18th to the 20th of May 2023, in Lagos State, Nigeria, and will be broadcast live on Africa Magic channels.

Source: AMVCA (dstv.com)

 

The AMVCA has grown into a premium event that acknowledges outstanding accomplishments in African television and film. This year, numerous talented actors and actresses across Africa, all contending for awards in different categories, will feature. The list of nominees contains talented film makers as well as prominent actors and actresses such as Nkem Owoh, Mercy Johnson, Chinedu Ikedieze, Chidi Mokeme, Richard Mofe Damijo, and several others. A number of movies and television series have also been nominated for awards, including ‘Brotherhood’ directed by Jade Osiberu, ‘Ile Owo’ directed by Kayode Kasum, among others.

 

According to the organizers, talented Big Brother Naija alumnus, Bisola Aiyeola and Ghanaian actor, Adjetey Anang, will be the main hosts for this year’s award show. There are several ways to vote for nominees of different categories. Members of the public are encouraged to cast their votes for their favorites as this could make them big winners of any of the public voting categories on awards night. To vote, one must register first before they can get behind their favorite nominees for the ninth edition of the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards.

Adjetey Anang and Bisola Aiyeola, the event’s hosts. Source: AMVCA (dstv.com)  

 

To see the full list of nominees, as well as to register and vote for your favorites, the AMVCA site AMVCA (dstv.com) will come in handy. Feel free to visit. Also, share with us, here in the comment section under this post, who you think should win what awards. Is anyone on the nominees list who should not be there? Is there someone who should have been on the list? What do you think of the nominees and the categories? What do you think about the inclusion of online content makers in the mix? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section, even as you share the post with your friends.

 

 

Healthcare in South Africa progresses as Diabetes management enjoys technological boost.

  • While Diabetes keeps raging in most parts of the world, the Department of Health in South Africa as well as private health establishments are working assiduously to better the lives of people living with the ailment in the country.
  • Technology has proven invaluable in Diabetes management in the country.
  • While the ailment may be chronic, with sustained technological efforts it can be handled effectively.

Diabetes has long been classified as a chronic disease; it is a known source of challenges for patients and, if poorly managed, a known cause of blindness, renal failure, heart attack, and even death. According to the International Diabetes Federation, IDF, cited in www.africa.com, 24 million adults in Africa are currently living and dealing with diabetes, and by 2045, the number is likely to swell up to 55 million. In South Africa, healthcare is administered by the Department of Health. However, South Africa does not have a system of universal healthcare; a private healthcare system runs together with a public healthcare system and the systems have faced Diabetes headlong.

 

Source http://stock.adobe.com                  Source https://www.samagame.org

Source https://www.samagame.org                                               Source www.unsplash.com

The International Diabetes Federation also recently revealed in a report that roughly 4.5 million people live with diabetes in South Africa. The good news is that the 2020 Global Healthcare Index, puts South Africa’s healthcare system at number 49 out of 89 countries; also, the treatment range for managing the ailment has advanced speedily in recent times, with new and expanded technological inventions adding up to the development of new methods of dealing with diabetes, including the development of pills and other medications that lower glucose, as well as a broad list of insulin provisions that manage both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes more efficiently.

 

With this expansive list of effective glucose-lowering agents, remarkable progress has been made in diabetes technology. Diabetes technologies help people with diabetes manage blood glucose levels, avoid complications, improve patients’ quality of life, as well as lighten the load of living with diabetes. People living with diabetes used injectable animal-based insulin for years, but advancement in treatment have been made recently. Diabetes technology has come a long way. Devices are easier, from blood glucose meters and continuous glucose monitoring, CGM, to state-of-the-art insulin pumps.

 

Wearable technology has been introduced to ease the tracking of blood glucose levels over time and they are considered the most effective options for diabetes management. The CGM system is made up of a sensor, which is a small wire catheter inserted under the skin on the patient’s arm or abdomen, and a handheld receiver or smartphone that displays your glucose data in real-time.  Real-time CGM has become reliable and has demonstrated effectiveness in diabetes management, and daily monitoring of glucose levels.

                  Source www.hopkinsmedicine.org  Source www.hopkinsmedicine.org

 

The improvement in CGM system technology is evident in the Dexcom G7, recently launched in South Africa for diabetic two-year olds. This product’s launch signifies another milestone in the revolutionary diabetes management technology in South Africa. The Dexcom G7 is Dexcom’s most accurate CGM system ever developed. It has the fastest CGM in the market, a 30-minute sensor warm-up, and an improved alert settings for enhanced discretion, among several other features. The availability of Healthtech innovations like the Dexcom G7 will allow people with diabetes to live better lives despite their health conditions.

Source www.weforum.org Source www.weforum.org

Law student and a diabetes activist Thapi Semenya, has lived with the disease for more than 17 years, she is one of the benefitiaries of this technology in diabetes management. Her journey battling diabetes has been quite bumpy, like it has been for many. She has endured severe pains from needles. She sporadically experiences very high and low glucose levels without knowing. But now, with the availability of CGM, Thapi is living her life normally because she can monitor her glucose levels better. Indeed, an improvement in CGM, is still an integral part of diabetes management, in a world where the number of people with diabetes is rising.

There is little worry that South Africa may not surmount the possible health crises posed by diabetes. The country has seen substantive health sector reforms, and, yes South Africa boasts of the highest standard of healthcare in Africa with more than 200 private hospitals across the country. It is also a hugely famous destination for tourists and expats too, hence, South Africa’s healthcare system is regularly tested.

 

 

 

 

Rwanda Ranks Second Safest Country for Female Solo Travelers

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), after deliberating with Georgetown University’s Women’s Peace and Security Index, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap report, and the Institute for Economics and Peace Global Peace Index, Rwanda has been listed as the second safest country for solo female travelers because of its dedication to women’s participation and safety, as well as its warm and inviting hospitality.

In order to learn what made them feel safe, and get their personal travel tips, BBC spoke to women who have traveled alone to top-ranking countries, and to also find out the best things to see and do as a solo adventurer. 

According to the Women’s Peace and Security Index, Rwanda’s parliament is 60% made up of women representatives and it ranks first place in the world for gender equality in parliament. Also, it ranks highly in the index’s perception of community safety. It is listed at number six on Global Gender Gap Index in the world, which shows how unprejudiced a country is regarding economics, education, healthcare, and political involvement.

The Rwandan government still maintains the notion that women are the overwhelming force powering the development and transformation journey in Rwanda. 

                                                         

Furthermore, women still encounter unique challenges when they venture abroad alone in spite of the growing trend of solo travel. They still face discrimination and safety concerns in every part of the world even though everywhere in the world should be safe for women to travel. However, many countries have put a concerted effort into improving safety for women and measuring attitudes that female residents have towards safety in their country.

The BBC Travel article, in addition to Rwanda, also stated other countries that made it to the top of the list, including, Slovenia, UAE, Japan, and Norway. These top five countries share several common factors such as women’s financial inclusion, absence of legal discrimination, women’s community safety, low rates of violent crime, and a low number of external or internal conflicts. 

 

Davido’s ‘Timeless’ debuts remarkably on Billboard 200, streaming platforms.

Source www.thetimes.co.uk
  • Davido’s ‘Timeless’ album lends credence to his talent and mastery of the art.
  • After several losses, he has stamped his feet solidly on the path to recovery with this new body of work.
  • Teeming fans hope that the Album’s name will speak; they hope to see it stand the test of time.

On the 31st of March 2023, Nigerian ace afrobeats musician, Davido, stirred global and African news platforms with the release of his keenly expected fourth album, titled ‘Timeless’. In the week of release, the album achieved ground-breaking triumph; it broke several records within the continent and internationally. ‘Timeless’ recently debuted on United States’ Album chart, Billboard 200. Different reactions have since trailed the Album’s progress so far.

 

After early commercial profits, ‘Timeless’ got tipped for a debut in the upper part of the chart, and, in the latest episode of the Billboard Chart dated April 15, 2023, Davido’s ‘Timeless’ unveiled itself at number 37 making it the second topmost Nigerian album to ever debut on the chart next to Burna Boy’s ‘Love, Damini’ which made an entrance at number 14. ‘Timeless’, so far, has crushed multiple records, in Nigeria, Africa, and globally, across major streaming platforms. On Spotify, ‘Timeless’ set a fresh all-time record for the biggest entrance of any album in Spotify Nigeria history; the Album tallied 14.5 million streams during its release week, March 31st — April 6th, exceeding the preceding record of 4.89M streams by Burna Boy’s ‘Love, Damini’.

 

Source www.bellanaija.comSource www.bellanaija.com

 

On Apple Music Nigeria, Davido’s ‘Timeless’ broke the previously existing record of the biggest debut week for any album on Apple Music Nigeria, and while breaking one record, it equally, set a new record for the most streams on a debut day for an African album on Apple Music globally. Davido’s ‘Timeless’, on Audiomack, had more than 12 million streams in its first 24 hours, more than any other album in Audiomack’s history. Also, its release week is the biggest release week on record for any African album in the history of Audiomack. Similarly, the album also set a new record on Boomplay Nigeria, it created the biggest debut week ever on Boomplay Nigeria, four days after release ‘Timeless’ amassed more than 22 million streams on the platform surpassing the previously existing highest record of 18.8 million streams by ‘Love, Damini’, from July 8th to July 14th, 2022.

 

Source www.bellanaija.com Source www.bellanaija.com

 

Even on YouTube, ‘Timeless’ carved a new record; with 4.10 million streams, it created the biggest debut week for any album on YouTube Nigeria. The Album waxed powerful in its release week, reinforcing Davido’s place as one of Africa’s contemporary music greats. The album showed off an impressive performance as well as Davido’s commercial dexterity which are both evident in the way it is being received and consumed by teeming lovers of Afro Music. In addition to making a significant entry into the respected Billboard 200, ‘Timeless’ also made a resounding statement on major streaming platforms, continentally and globally.

 

The buzz from the Album has got people asking: ‘how can an African album make such a global impact on streaming platforms in such a short while? Clearly, the album’s US success is not accidental as it has also ranked 1st in the UK Apple music top albums chart; it has ranked 14th in Germany, 12th in Italy, 17th in France, and 24th in Switzerland. ‘Timeless’ sits comfortably on each of the mentioned country’s lists of top 200 albums.

 

 

LAUNCH OF ZIMBABWEAN CHAT PLATFORM.

A chat platform for Zimbabwe has been invented. This platform will offer a one-stop shop for businesses and individuals alike to connect seamlessly from any part of the world.

 

 

This platform is called Talk Chart and it was developed by Prevail International. The platform will be launched this month and will enable Zimbabweans to connect with the outside world at a faster speed.

 

 

Prevail International Group CEO, Mr Tempter Paul Tungwarara said the new app will be a one-stop shop as it connects people and will, going forward, allow users to transact as there are plans to have a payment gateway linked to banks and other financial institutions on the platform. “As we build on the mantra – Zimbabwe is open for business – we want not only Zimbabweans to connect with each other but the outside world as well. The application is available for download on Play Store,” he said. He also said, collaboration and communication are the foundation of building a successful work environment, investment, strong family bonds, and corporate ties.

 

 

On the platform, one can send and receive text messages, photos, videos, voice messages, and transact. Whether chatting one-on-one or in a group chat, the app allows one to express oneself and stay connected with other people. Talk Chart is a fast, reliable, and secure chat app that lets people stay connected. The app uses state-of-the-art encryption to keep messages safe and private, so users can confidently chat knowing that their conversations are secure.

 

 

The developer, Prevail Group Dubai, says the app’s privacy practices also include handling data in a professional manner. 

Mobile apps are leading the market with improved branding, customization, and user interaction. Since their inception, they have been disrupting the entire way people have accessed internet services.

 

 

Especially, Commerce has found its thriving ground once it moved into an app-centric strategy. Over half of the internet traffic is coming from mobile devices and most of them are from mobile apps.

 

 

Tungwarara said the advantages of using mobile applications such as Talk Chart’ are that they are faster than mobile websites. ”Even a well-groomed and optimized responsive mobile website cannot match the speed of an app. Businesses are all about giving the service as fast as possible today. A slight lag can cause massive loss and that leads to customer discontent.” he said.

 

 

He also said  ‘Talk Chart’ can leverage the features of native devices seamlessly. This opens a great opportunity to engage with the users’ productivity. For businesses, mobile apps are a great way to reduce costs with assured productivity. As apps can connect vendors and customers through a single direct channel, it reduces the extra marketing expenses.

 

Tanzanian undergraduates to receive Sh10,000 daily.

  • An assurance of what to eat will make a student at ease.
  • The government of Tanzania has given that assurance to the undergraduates in the country.
  • A specified sum of money will be given to the students daily to cater for their feeding and aid learning.

From the following fiscal year, undergraduates drawn from different tertiary Schools in Tanzania will begin to collect 10, 000 Tanzanian Shillings daily to cater for their meals. The allowance, an increase from the previous 8, 500 shillings, was announced in Parliament Dodoma, on the 5th of April 2023, by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa while delivering budgetary estimations for his office for the 2023/24 financial year.

 

The Samia Scholarship has also helped the government provide money to female students, numbering 244, who excelled in the form six examinations and are admitted to study courses in the disciplines of engineering, medicine, technology, and mathematics. “The government has also continued to provide loans, increase the scope of access to higher education loans, and at the same time improve the higher education institution infrastructure in the year 2022/23, Sh654 billion was allocated for student loans, an increase from Sh570 billion which was allocated in 2021/22, with a number of beneficiaries increasing from 177,605 in 2021/22 to 202,877 in 2022/23,” Prime Minister Majaliwa said.

             

To cushion the burden of some students who may skip meals due to financial constraints, consequently losing concentration in school or left with the option of running indecent enterprises so as to survive, a leader of the Tanzania Higher Learning Institutions Students’ Organization (Tahliso), Mr Frank Mkinda, on the 11th of February, called on the government to increase the amount: “Due to the rising cost of living, we kindly ask for your consideration by raising the daily allowances to at least Sh10, 000 or more.”  Mkinda had made this request in a meeting, at the State House Dodoma, between the students’ organization and the first female President of Tanzania, President Samia Suluhu Hassan. She declared that the stipend would improve; she directed the minister of education to commence work on the subject.

           

The President said, “I understand that one has to survive on a single meal when he or she finishes his or her daily food allowance. I will start with at least Sh10,000. So, the minister for education will work on the matter, come next academic year.”

 

Africa’s biggest food exhibition attracts stakeholders from over 30 countries.

  • From African delicacies to intercontinental dishes, the Continent of Africa hardly runs out of food options.
  • A leading food exhibition company has gone ahead to expand the brand.
  • This year, an unprecedented number of delegates is expected at the Food & Beverage West Africa exhibition.

 

The Food & Beverage West Africa, a leading exhibition event devoted to the food and beverage industry and considered the largest food and drink trade exhibition in the continent, has concluded plans to expand into a new location at the Landmark Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, in June with exhibitors from more than 30 countries already confirmed.

 

The event which gives attendees the golden opportunity to showcase their new drink and food products as they develop or increase business connections across the catering, grocery, and general food and beverage industry not just in Nigeria but across the world, has been in high demand, prompting the event organizers to work on adding a fourth exhibition hall to the event.

 

The display is scheduled to run from June 13th to 15th and will attract exhibitors from over 30 countries. Ten country stands will feature for the first time; the stands will have foods, drinks, equipment and services from Russia, India, Dubai, and others, also, the United Nation’s International Trade Centre organization will be sending a delegation of West African producers from countries like Liberia and Gambia. A delegation is also expected from Indonesia.

The Food & Beverage West Africa exhibition is put together by BtoB Events, and the expansion the Food & Beverage event has made the company Africa’s largest trade event organizer. In a statement, the Food & Beverage West Africa stated that the show has the potential to practically double its floor area size since they held the event last year during which they sold out the two present exhibition halls. The stretching of the venue last year suggests that a significant expansion is imminent this year, “…a third hall has opened, and now a fourth semi-permanent marquee-type hall is being constructed,’’ the statement read.

 

Jamie Hill the Managing Director of BtoB Events, said “I am delighted to see demand growing for more exhibition space. The show’s expansion reflects the confidence in Nigeria’s economic landscape – people are ready for Nigeria to do business and the Food & Beverage exhibition is now at a truly international scale. We anticipate there will be more than 5,000 visitors representing food retailing, production and distribution, as well as the hospitality sector, who will be keen to see the latest developments and business opportunities from more than 300 exhibitors.”

                

The Restaurant & Food Service Proprietors Association of Nigeria, REFSPAN, is one of the partners for this event. One of the spokespersons for the association said: “Food & Beverage West Africa gives REFSPAN members a bouquet of opportunities to meet with key players in major parts of the world that are beneficial to the dynamism and the growth REFSPAN desire, in order to promote more and expand the QSR [quick-service restaurant] business in Nigeria.”

 

Companies and food brands interested in owning stands at the exhibition event are expected to contact the exhibition Manager since an additional exhibition space allows the planners to take more bookings.

 

 

 

Lesotho: Prime Minister Commemorates National Tree Planting Day

During National Tree Planting Day which is usually held annually on March 21 to fight land degradation and improve the wild environment, Lesotho Prime Minister, Mr. Samuel Ntsokoane Matekane preceded the planting of 6000 indigenous trees at Thaba-Chitja in Thabana-Morena on Friday.

 

 

 

During the commemoration of the Nation Tree Planting Day, Mr. Matekane, addressing residents of the community said trees are essential for various activities to people thus the need to plant them in great numbers across the country.

 

 

 

According to him, planting trees will help address the issue of high temperatures brought on by climate change by, among other things, giving shade to the herders and children as they travel from their houses to various locations. He urged members of the community to work with the local authority in the area to protect the trees since they are the first people to benefit after three years of maturity.

 

 

 

Giving his remark on the occasion, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s office, Mr. Limpho Tau appreciated members of the community for taking part in planting trees, noting that they are taking up the responsibility for protecting the environment while at the same time enhancing community livelihoods.

 

 

 

In order for the country to serve as a source of fruits for the global market, Mr. Tau recommended that fruit trees be planted in all open spaces, especially throughout the nation. This is in contrast to the existing scenario where trees are only sporadically planted, he added. According to the minister, if the nation can plant more trees, it will be able to create a variety of goods, including paper and timber for creating furniture and wood, and cease importing unnecessary wood products.

 

 

 

Also speaking, Mr. Selibe Mochoboroane Health Minister for Thabana-Morena said through the production of fruit trees, unemployed community members will get jobs near homes while at the same time producing food for consumption. He stated that trees are essential for the survival of both human beings and livestock since they provide oxygen.

 

 

 

Olive, Beefwood, and grass trees are a few of the planted trees.

 

IFC INVESTS IN ALLEYROAD IN DEVELOPMENTAL PROJECT

  • IFC has announced an investment to support South African residential property developer, Alleyroad in order to improve access to affordable housing.

 

  • The project will help reduce the housing gap in Johannesburg’s affordable housing market.

 

  • The apartments will be designed to meet IFC’s EDGE Advanced green building standards.

 

IFC has announced an investment to support South African residential property developer, Alleyroads, to build over 1,000 rental apartment units in the Johannesburg area in order to improve access to affordable sustainable residential housing in South Africa.

 

 

The 325 million South African rand loan granted to Alleyroads will help the company finance construction of the apartments, which are aimed at lower-to-middle-income households with an average annual salary of about ZAR238,000. The apartments will consist of two bedrooms with an average size of 62m², and will be built near hospitals, schools, and markets, and will provide green spaces and play areas for children.

 

 

This project will help reduce the housing gap in Johannesburg’s affordable housing market, which faces a significant shortage, particularly in the ZAR4,000 to 6,000 per month rental segment. It will support economic activity by creating 860 jobs during the construction phase, and 45 jobs during the operating phase. Project completion is scheduled for 2023.

 

 

The Managing Director of the Alleyroads Group, Ivan Pretorius said, “The Group is extremely thankful to IFC for having the confidence in our ability to deliver these much-needed housing units to this sector of the residential market. The team is ready to roll up their sleeves and ensure the timely delivery of excellent quality units,” 

The IFC Country Manager for South Africa, Adamou Labara said, “Affordable rental housing is essential for improving quality of life in South Africa, particularly for younger people and those that do not qualify for or cannot afford a mortgage. IFC’s investment in Alleyroads will improve access to good-quality, affordable residential housing in South Africa, which is positively linked to social benefits like better education and health outcomes.

 

 

The apartments will be designed to meet IFC’s EDGE Advanced green building standards, this means they will be zero carbon ready and among the first residential units to achieve such a high resource efficiency in sub-Saharan Africa. Alleyroads will install on-site solar panels to supply about 30 percent of the development’s energy needs.

 

 

Since its establishment in 2009, Alleyroads has become a leading affordable housing developer in the build-to-rent and green building spaces. The company is helping South Africa meet the rising demand for affordable rental housing, which is driven by population growth and rapid urbanization. 

 

 

“The transaction represents a significant milestone in the evolution of the Alleyroads Group and signals the intention of the company to be one of the pre-eminent leaders in the affordable residential housing market. We look forward to a continued partnership with Alleyroads and IFC”, said Mesh Pillay, Chief Executive of YW Capital, exclusive advisor to Alleyroads.

 

 

 

Alleyroads is a locally owned level 2 black economic empowerment (BEE) company. IFC is committed to supporting the government of South Africa’s economic transformation agenda and increasing the financial participation of historically disadvantaged citizens.

 

 

As part of its support to South Africa’s housing market, IFC is working with partners in the country to improve access to affordable housing and student accommodation.

SOUTH AFRICA: JUWI PROJECT REACHES FINANCIAL CLOSE

JUWI Renewable Energies, leading global solar, wind, and hybrid project developer EPC and operations and maintenance (O&M) company, today announced that the 84 Megawatt (MW) Wolf Wind Project in the Eastern Cape has reached financial close.

 

 

The demand for large-scale renewables from both public and private has been off the charts, this has led to the rapid expansion of the clean energy leader’s footprint across the country, with over 1.5 GW of wind, 2 GW of solar, and 500 MW of hybrid projects incorporating storage in development for private and public energy users.

 

 

This Wolf Wind Project, located two hours from the city of Gqeberha, was successfully bid by Red Rocket in Round 5 of the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REI4P).

 

 

Richard Doyle, Managing Director, JUWI South Africa, while explaining said, “JUWI is committed to developing projects that help South Africa address the energy crisis and achieve the clean energy transition, and therefore the progress in rolling out REI4P projects is very encouraging. Concurrently, it is heartening to see the exponential growth in demand from the public and private sectors for large-scale renewable projects, and for hybrid projects that integrate battery storage. To support this demand, we plan to initiate the development of a further combined 1 GW of wind, solar and hybrid projects in 2023. Construction has started and the facility is projected to begin generating electricity for the South African grid by Q1 2024. It is the second wind project developed by JUWI to reach financial close under the REI4P – the first being the 138 MW Garob Wind Project that was successful in the previous REI4P bid round and which reached commercial operation in 2021.”

 

 

“As a South African company and an independent power producer, we’ve been investing in solutions to address the energy crisis for over ten years. We’re proud to have partnered with JUWI on this project and pleased to have started construction on this and other large wind projects,” said Matteo Brambilla, CEO, of Red Rocket.

 

 

“The Wolf Wind Project will be generating more than 360 GWh of clean electricity for the South African grid per year, offsetting 374,400 tonnes of CO2 each year and the project will bring over 200-million-rand community investment over 20 years through local social projects.”

 

 

“A key barrier to bringing large projects like Wolf online is grid capacity,” said Chris Bellingham, Head of Project Development, JUWI South Africa.

 

 

“Whilst we’re working on ways to overcome the challenges imposed on many of our projects by the Cape grid constraints, to meet the significant and growing demand for clean reliable power, we’re also actively developing a large portfolio of new and regionally diverse projects in unconstrained areas of the country’s grid.”

 

 

Recently, the energy regulator published an update on the lists of projects from private developers in the C and I sector where the number of projects registered by the regulator in South Africa in just the first two months of this year was already over 1000MW. This confirms that the demand for large solar, wind, and battery storage is growing nicely there.

 

 

This project is the second wind project developed by JUWI to reach financial close under the REI4P, the first was the 138MW Garob Wind Project which was successful in the previous REI4P bid round and which reached commercial operation in 2021.

 

Rwanda soars as female solo sojourners’ second safest country.

  • Rwanda has earned global recognition for standing out on the subject of gender equity.
  • Women who decide to travel alone to Rwanda will have little to worry about as the country has scored high in the protection of women.
  • Rwandese women’s participation in politics, governance, and nation building in quite significant.

The British Broadcasting Corporation – BBC, on the 3rd of April, revealed through a ranking, after due consultations with the internationally renowned Global Peace Index – GPI, the Georgetown University’s Women’s Peace and Security Index, the Institute for Economics and Peace – IEP, and the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap report, that Rwanda, in East Africa, is the second safest country for any female who is travelling solo; this is credited to its steadfast hospitality and visible interest in women’s safety and protection.

Also, the BBC, in trying to understand what made female travelers feel safe, pick travel tips from them, as well as find out the best exploration ideas for solo adventurers, found, after a chat with women who have single-handedly toured top-standing countries, that Rwanda ticks the right boxes when the question of inclusion for women is raised.

               

Globally, according to the Women’s Peace and Security Index, Rwanda sits on the number one spot on the list of countries with gender equality in parliament; there is no surprise because its parliament boasts of more than 60 per cent of female representatives. According to the index, the East African country is also graded highly in community safety awareness and is ranked sixth in the world according to the Global Gender Gap index, which weighs how much attention a country pays to equity when it comes to education, healthcare, economics, and political participation. Even the government of the country agrees that its women are a force to reckon with in fueling its progress, expansion, and transformation.

Even though situations recurrently require a woman to travel alone, especially now that the trend of lone travels seem to be catching on, women are still prone to unique challenges when they move solo. It is also believed in some quarters that a woman travelling solo might be characteristically dangerous. Ideally, every part of the world should be secure enough for women to get to; but in reality, women still deal with safety and security concerns in different parts of the world. Based on the foregoing issues, many countries of the world have focused their efforts on improving the safety of women, even as most countries regularly review female inhabitants’ behavior towards the subject of safety in their country.

                         

 

According to the BBC, Rwanda shares this enviable position with other countries making up the top five list including Norway, Slovenia, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates. These countries share several factors like a low number of conflicts – internal or external, absence of legal discrimination, women’s financial inclusion, women’s community safety, and a minimally reduced rate of violent crime. In their cities, walks at night are quite safe, which makes it relaxed as well as comfortable for women to explore and feel secured while doing so. These countries have put in significant amounts of work to ensure safety for women, and they are getting duly recognized for these great traits.

 

                             

According to Toronto-born tourist, Lydia Klemensowicz, with some precaution, and courage to look beyond misconceptions and stereotypes, one can easily tell a dangerous city from the ones where it is safe for women to move around solo. She visited Rwanda as a lone female traveler and she talked about how secured, empowered, and assured she felt as she confidently moved around the beautiful country. Many female tourists consider Europe first when looking to sojourn solo, however, in East Africa, in Rwanda to be precise, a touring female will find warmth. Based on her Observations, Klemensowicz, who has also been to Tanzania, outlines reasons the whole world should see Rwanda as the next best destination for unaccompanied female travelers.

Top on her list are the friendly locals. Rwandans, according to the Canadian tourist, are unbelievably friendly. The tour guides, bus drivers, and passing natives are all hasty in offering help or guidance. She enjoyed warmth in Kigali as the neighbors shared food, danced under the stars, and exchanged pleasant banters.  Also, there are activities good enough for solo travelers including seeing the famous mountain gorillas, learning more about women’s social enterprises or Rwandan history, and generally touring the city. She references the Nyamirambo Women’s Center where classes are offered, and tours are utterly run by the natives.

                   

Rwanda, even with French, English, and Kinyarwanda as its official languages, English is extensively understood and spoken thinning out the barriers that communication might pose to tourists. When travelling alone, especially as a woman, it is undoubtedly helpful to have little or no communication barriers because a traveler might ask questions or take local transport and unavoidably rapport with locals. French speakers are also in luck as some locals speak French. Also, because the ground to cover is not overwhelming, chiefly because the country is not intimidatingly massive, travelling within the country is a lot more comfortable and safer for tourists. It will typically take about four hours to move from Kigali to any part, hence, traveling to different locations around the country within a short period of time becomes an easy fun activity.

 

Transportation is quite essential to travelling and touring, and Rwanda has operative local and international transportation options, including buses. The international airport sits prominently in Kigali, the capital city, while the main bus station in the capital connects centers across the country with reasonably priced buses frequently crisscrossing various destinations. The sparkly lakes, mountainous arrays, and picturesque rivers are enough to entice tourists into trips. Traveling round this country alone, according to Klemensowicz, becomes even more special with heightened awareness. Foreign expats and travelers have found the country welcoming enough which explains why there are numerous foreigners in Rwanda who travel to the country alone but are hardly alone, especially in Kigali, where there is a display of famous social events in restaurants, bars, and other conducive atmospheres for relaxation and networking.

                      

Another interesting social feature of the country is the culture of coffee shops. These spots provide food for solo travelers as well as food for thought for the soul; it presents nice spaces to refresh as well as relax. The Coffee culture is not so much of a surprise because Rwanda grows enjoyable coffee beans, even as coffee franchises, chains, and cafés grow in the country which is reliably and rapidly recovering in spite of the historic imprint from the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. The country has gone ahead to pave paths to economic growth, government conscientiousness, educational expansion, and protection of women’s rights.

Tourism and Coffee are two big deals in Rwanda that visitors can explore. Rwanda has something for every solo female traveler. There is an abundance of activities, experiences, and even food for different budgets and interests as well, but more importantly solo female travelers have minimal worries in Rwanda. Kigali is widely regarded as the cleanest and safest city in Africa.

Ugandan Government Makes Move to Boost Tourism

  • The president revealed this while meeting with investors and trade representatives at the forum.

According to Ugandan President Museveni, the government pointed out one of the methods to increase tourism in Uganda which is to construct a number of upcountry airfields that will benefit travelers in general as well as visitors. 

The President referred to Uganda’s climate as the best and most favorable for tourists worldwide while speaking to investors and trade representatives at the annual Trade Representative Forum (TRF) at the State House in Entebbe organized by the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID). Museveni said, “We used to experience unrest, but that has long stopped. Promotion is now the only problem”.

While giving his speech, he said “I have already told the government that we need to build more airfields near the national parks. This is because some rich people do not have time to come and land at Entebbe and drive 500 miles to Kidepo national park. Only small people can manage to do that but the rich people want to come in their private jets, land in the national park, and then fly out. So, we shall have to build more hard surface airports in Kidepo, Kasese, Kihihi, Gulu, and so on”.

According to Daudi Migereko, the Chairman of the Uganda Tourism Board, tourism was Ugand’s top source of foreign exchange before the Covid pandemic, bringing $1.6 million dollars for the country. It was also predicted that between 2020 and 2026, Uganda would be among the 10 destinations with the fastest growth rates for leisure, travel, and spending.

Ethiopia, Djibouti Agree to Complete Road Links.

  • The completion of the road will boost transportation between the two countries.

 

  • The agreement guarantees that the Galamo-Moloud road will be completed within a year.

 

 

An agreement has been reached between Ethiopia and Djibouti on completing a road that will link both countries. A 35-kilometer road between Galamo and Moloud will enable the smooth circulation of vehicles and cargo, boosting transportation between the two countries. 

 

 

 

The deal was achieved in February during Alemu Simie’s (PhD), Ethiopia’s Minister of Transport and Logistics, visit and meeting with Ismail Omar Guelleh, the President of Djibouti. Alemu Simie is currently in Djibouti to supervise the agreement’s execution.

 

 

In order to expedite road construction, Alemu Simie met with Abubakar Omar Hadi, President of the Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority, and his team.

 

 

 

The agreement guarantees that the 35-kilometer Galamo-Moloud road will be finished within a year and that the Ethiopian Construction Works Company (ECWC)

 will get the necessary payment.

 

 

Also, from March 20–23, 2023, a delegation from the Ethiopian Customs Commission under the direction of Commissioner Debele Kabeta paid an official visit to Djibouti. They met with their colleagues in Djibouti’s customs authority to discuss various customs-related issues.

 

 

 

The customs officials talked about a number of issues relating to customs, including HS Codification, Custom Values, TIN Number Guarantee, Ethiopian Bill of Loadings, Facilitation of Train Processes, Export Procedures, and Regional COMESA Transport Guarantee Bonds (RCTG). An agreed-upon minute was signed to offer suggestions to boost customs efficiency after three days of negotiations.

 

 

 

These recent events show that Ethiopia and Djibouti are committed to cooperating to improve trade and transportation, including the agreement on the Galamo-Moloud road and the resolution of customs-related issues.

KENYA TO BENEFIT FROM HOSTING SUMMIT.

The climate action summit is scheduled from September 4th to September 6th in Nairobi. This summit intends to advance a green economic upswing and green industrial revolution and foster agreement on critical climate problems. It also seeks to encourage enhanced financial support for climate action in Africa and make the most of already established continental platforms like the African Continental Free Trade Area. This gathering will unite world leaders to discuss crucial climate change-related concerns. The decision for Kenya to host was decided during the 2023 African Union Summit held last month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, President William Ruto made the announcement.

 

 

Currently, President Ruto is the leader of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change. For Kenya, hosting the summit is more than just the prestige, it offers them the unique chance to highlight the nation’s initiatives to address climate change and promote sustainable development. It will put the nation at the forefront of discussions about the financing of climate action.  The country, viewed as one of the leaders in combating climate change, has accomplished a big deal in climate change response and its standing and influence globally are anticipated to grow as a result.

 

 

This will also allow Kenya to showcase its successes in putting sustainability policies and practices to the test, which the country has already achieved considerable advancements in this area. There have been programs like Climate Smart Agriculture and the ambitious National Climate Change Action Plan.

 

 

Its ability to host the summit will strengthen its position as a leader in the battle against climate change while highlighting its dedication to building a sustainable future.

 

 

 

The summit will provide decision-makers such as governments and the private sector with a platform to discuss important climate change-related topics like loss and damage, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and switching to a low-carbon economy. 

 

 

Kenya will play a significant role in these debates given its experience coping with the implications of climate change in areas like agriculture, water resources, and wildlife conservation. President Ruto has already mentioned the need for African countries to join the call for reforms in the inequitable and inadequate global economic and financial system. The summit may also draw new investments in green technologies and clean energy, which will lead to new jobs and promote Kenya’s sustainable development objectives.

 

 

Additionally, delegates worldwide will require accommodation, transportation, and other services during their stay. Therefore, the event is anticipated to boost the nation’s economy.  Overall, the summit presents a unique opportunity for Kenya and the Global South to lead the way in climate action and forge innovative partnerships with the private sector. This can boost the country’s economy through new investments in green technologies and clean energy. 

 

CONSTRUCTION OF MODERN REHABILITATION CENTER IN UGANDA

  • Construction of a modern rehabilitation center is being done in Mukono District.

 

  • The project is funded by business proprietors from New Zealand and Australia  from the Business Entrepreneurial school.

 

  • The facility will create a safe space for children who have been traumatized and also support advocacy and awareness creation on child sacrifice and trafficking.

 

 

There is an air of excitement in Mukono District over the construction of a modern rehabilitation center for victims of sexual abuse, child sacrifice, and trafficking.

 

 

 

This facility will provide physical and psychosocial trauma therapy. This center will help reduce the stigma and suffering among victims, this was emphasized on Wednesday by Mr. Peter Sewakiryanga, the executive director of KCM while commissioning the construction works of the Shs8 billion facility at Kyampisi child care ministries (KCM) offices in Kyampisi Sub-county. 

 

 

 

He said, “The rehabilitation facility would not only cater for the big number of victims in East Africa but also provide a center where they (victims) will get treatment, counseling, reception, play and entertainment facilities, plus facilities to be used by victims with special needs such as those that were mutilated.”

 

 

 

This project is being funded by business proprietors from New Zealand and Australia from the Business Entrepreneurial School, a company that coaches business owners and entrepreneurs, through personal and systemic obstacles to grow, succeed, and thrive.

 

 

 

The vision of this facility is to create a safe space for children who have been traumatized and also support advocacy and awareness creation on child sacrifice and trafficking. Mr. Bruce Campbell, the chief executive officer of Business Entrepreneurial School, said, “We are doing advocacy at a global level and to shine some light from a global perspective that we are supporting and advocating that this vice or atrocity has to stop immediately.” 

 

 

 

He added, “Through mission abundance, we are going to support a new program for surveillance, capture, and assisting in prosecution to have the offenders taken to courts of law.”

Egyptian craftsmen remain mosaic tradition custodians.

  • Craftsmen have continued to keep ancient Egyptian arts alive.
  • Mosaic designs are an integral part of the time-tested civilization of Egypt.
  • From tables to chess boards, beautiful everyday items keep emerging from seashells.

In the Egyptian town of Sakiet Al-Mankadi, little wrecks of seashells turn into beautiful works of art after groups of creative men go through hassles to collect small shards of the seashells, and artistically employ them in the making of decorative materials. After years of diligently making arts from seashell, the town of Sakiet Al-Mankadi has become well-known for this seemingly growing seashell industry because numerous items produced in this town from seashells are stocked up in shops in the Khan Khalili bazaar in Cairo, and even sent out of Egypt to patrons from beyond the shores.

 

The shells eventually end up as embellishments on boards that are used to decorate walls. The craftsmen are an essential factor in the making of these beautiful arts. In sourcing the shred of shells, they develop an eye for aesthetics; they know what shell works best. Then they deploy the requisite skillset to transform the wrecked shells into artistic masterpieces.

 

                   

 

But, beyond skill, another quality is essential: “you have to be patient so that you can create the design, a design can take an hour while another can take a day or even a month,” Kareem Saeed said. His workshop has continued to stand tall as one of the 40 workshops in the village where the craft is not only held high but also handed down from one generation to the next. Saeed went further: “you could say I was born here; I grew up here in my father’s workshop, in here I learnt all from A to Z.”

 

Designing in this type of craft has many stages that demand skills of cutting, designing and making the shell materials. The shells are collected and assembled from different countries including Oman, Australia, and sometimes Japan. The wood is from Domyat, or Damietta, a port city and capital of the Damietta Governorate in Egypt. A craftsman, Ahmed Ali, using a specific type of machine, cuts the shells into usable pieces for the designers: “I am an expert here on this machine, I cut the seashells for the workers in all the different sizes and shapes we need, “Ali explains.

 

A lot comes from this raw material. Among other things, furniture, chess boards, tables, and gift boxes are just some of the marketable items that can be made. The tools and other items used to make this traditional craft are not cheap.

 

                         

 

Ammar, a craftsman who has worked in the industry for more than 40 years, is optimistic that the trade will get more recognition soon; he hopes for better acknowledgement of the craft pointing out that things had been tougher since COVID-19 and the attendant lull in tourism. “This craft is beautiful, I wish that the government and even the governorate would take more interest in it – especially the Menoufia governorate, because this industry here is considered a treasure in this governorate,” he says.

 

Creations from these pearls and shells are major items to be sold in Cairo shops. The craft is believed to be a durable type of décor, and this is gradually drawing people in from Dubai, Saudi Arabia, France, and Germany. The craftsmen also sell bespoke material designed based on preorder.

Sobriety, solemnity as African Christians, Muslims mark holy season.

  • With hundreds of millions of Christians and Muslims scattered across Africa, this period certainly is a solemn one for the continent.
  • The sacred month of Ramadan is running concurrently with the Holy season for Christians.
  • Muslim faithful draw close to The Almighty through fasting, prayers, almsgiving, and abstinence; Christians, similarly, honor the Supreme Being through prayers, Palm Sunday, the Holy Week, and Easter.

 

Across major cities of Africa, from the tail of this year’s first quarter to the beginning, through to the middle, of the second quarter, devout Muslims and Christians have been neck-deep into religious activities believed to help keep worshipers pious and bring them a tad closer to their Maker.

 

The traditionalists, seemingly out of season, are not necessarily left out as there have been reports of religious precessions from various traditional religious groups in different parts of Africa recently. But, in Africa, prominent this season are the Islamic and Christian respective observances – Ramadan for the Muslims, Palm Sunday and the Holy Week for the Christians.

 

                   

 

In the southern Nigerian City of Lagos, one of the most populated African cities with about 20,384,299 people living in it, the 13,249,749 Muslims in the city are purportedly observing the Islamic rite of Ramadan while over five million Christians are supposedly involved in activities building up to the Easter Celebration.

 

Since Nigeria is shared nearly equally between Christians, largely in the southern part, and Muslims chiefly in the north, many Nigerians are either fasting or prepping for Easter. Like Lagos, other big cities in Nigeria, and even across Africa, are in similar situation with Christian and Muslim faithful seeking religious refuge through series of outlined activities. Thousands were involved in Palm Sunday processions in different blocs across the city on Sunday to herald the Holy Week for Christians, while Muslims held fast to the month-long daily Ramadan fast.

 

                     

 

In Kampala, the largest Ugandan City, top clerics, religious leaders of different rights, and Preacher after Preacher dwelled on different messages drawn from the significance of Palm Sunday. At the Catholic church in Rubaga, Kampala, the occasion was an opportunity to reprimand rich politicians who used their influence exploitatively rather than for problem solving. Rev Father Pius Male, the Chief celebrant, said: “Judas got money and betrayed Jesus. How do we get our money? Do we get it through the right ways? You have a big house with many rooms, but you go to the poor to take their iron sheets.” The Priest asked that Christians should follow Jesus’ paths, and serving the poor rather than stealing from them is a major step on that Holy path. He highlighted Christ’s meekness displayed when he travelled on a donkey, instead of a healthy horse, during his triumphant entry into Jerusalem.

 

Also, Rev Canon Patrick Mutalwa, while preaching to Christians at St James Church in Jinja, admonished Christians to think deeply on their shortcomings during this season.  He said Christians in the African country must let go of the bitter rifts against one another and seek repentance during the Holy Week. In Soroti City, Rev Emanuel Elianu, during a sermon at St Peter’s Cathedral, admonished the congregation to practice the spirit of love without attaching strings to it. At Uganda Martyrs Cathedral Nyangole in Tororo District, Rev William Ojulo, the parish priest, counseled Christians on friendship: “Some of them may end up betraying you as Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus,” he said.

 

         

 

Sighting a crescent moon kicked off the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims and sent many of the world’s nearly 1.9 billion Muslims into a monthlong dawn to dusk fast. Ramadan, the ninth and most sacred month on the Islamic calendar, is when Muslims accept as true that the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

 

The fast is seen as a very comforting time for Muslims rather than a period of deprivation or turure; it is a period of charity, self-reflection, and gratitude. During this period, Muslims believe in drawing near to God not by abstinence from food and drink from dawn to dusk alone, but by also staying away from things like gossip, sexual activities, swearing, arguing, lying and similar vices. 29-year-old Amr Murad, who has been fasting since he was nine, says: “Ramadan and fasting’s main objective are to achieve taqwa, which is getting closer to God spiritually, secondarily, it’s to practice patience, self-control and discipline. Then, comes to feel for the less fortunate’’.

 

Back in Lagos, Tolu Piero, an art Curator who was part of the procession around the city said, “Palm Sunday means love. Palm Sunday for me also means willingness to be used.” This was his own version of the central message from Pope Francis who led Mass in St Peter’s Square on Sunday, kicking off the year’s Easter services, just a day after leaving hospital. “The Pope is like a father, maybe grandfather to all Catholics. And so, if you have a father who has been in hospital for ill health, and then he is discharged to go home, naturally it will bring joy that he’s getting better. That is why he is able to leave the hospital and go home. So naturally this news brings about joy. It also helps us to understand that we are humans after all.” Rwandan Reverend Father Raymond Emedo, said.

 

                        

 

Palm Sunday honors the story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem only a few days before Jesus would be betrayed by Judas. Jesus’ death and resurrection followed. According to Gospels of Christians, people flanked the streets saluting him, waving palm branches and praising him. Christians the world over mark the day in different ways. Many Christians celebrate this holy occasion simply by attending a church service. Similarly, church worshipers usually carry with them crosses made out of palm fronds which they eventually affix somewhere in their homes. During Palm Sundays, it is also common for churches, especially in Catholicism, to burn the palm leaves and keep the ashes for Ash Wednesday.

Palm Sunday is always celebrated on the Sunday before Easter but, just like Ramadan, the date each year is different. This year’s Palm Sunday was observed on the 2nd of April 2023., while Ramadan started, in most African cities, on the 23rd of March 2023.

 

Native African trees replenish natural habitats for Rwandese.

 

  • A wildlife conservation body has delved headlong into the restoration of natural habitats in Rwanda.
  • Trees are important natural elements, and this organization has chosen to massively plant Rwandese indigenous tree species.
  • Natives are working closely with this organization on this rigorous tree-planting program.

 

Since 2017, the Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association (RWCA) has been vigorously executing strategic tree-planting episodes across numerous sites in the east African country of Rwanda, and fundamentally, emphasis has been placed on planting native trees to preserve the region’s biodiversity.

 

The non-governmental body, on this vital mission to restore the country’s native trees, in addition to its reforestation efforts, is also championing a conservation initiative targeted at the protection of the Grey Crowned Crane and other vanishing wildlife spaces in Rwanda. The organization, through this program, is working towards protecting and restoring natural territories.

 

               

 

The organization, on the 29th of March, marked five years of re-establishing habitats for wildlife and people alike. The event took place at Umusambi Village, Masaka, and involved a visit to RWCA’s indigenous tree nursery and seed storage facility at the place and a restoration site situated in Rwamagana District, adjacent to Lake Muhazi. The site is 8 hectares of land and was restored in 2018 in partnership with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

 

According to the Habitat Restoration Manager at RWCA, Cecile Kayitanirwa, the site had been used as farmlands previously, though, the land’s occupants were interested in working with RWCA to plant assorted native trees to avert their extinction. Kayitanirwa mentioned that the neighboring community cooperated with RWCA in planting and taking care of the trees. This collaborative effort has profited the community by providing employment for different individuals and also enhancing the growth of trees, indigenous trees especially.

 

                 

 

At RWCA, the attention concentrates on growing trees rather than just planting them. The body identifies the importance of cultivating, nourishing and nursing the trees as they progress, while also promoting community ownership. Expanding on the program’s essence Kayitanirwa said “we prioritize planting indigenous trees because they are unique to Rwanda and are currently facing threats of extinction. Therefore, our goal is to restore these trees so that future generations can witness their natural beauty and potential uses. Moreover, indigenous trees play a vital role in providing a habitat for animal species and serving as a source of food and medicinal benefits for the community. These trees are also crucial in preventing soil degradation by holding the soil in place.”

 

So far, RWCA has successfully restored about 60 hectares of land, including 35 hectares of forest and 25 hectares of wetland. The organization has employed over 500 casual workers and about 14 guards at their sites. They have planted about 75,000 trees from over 40 different species.

 

ALGERIA, UGANDA SIGN TRADE AGREEMENTS

 

  • The president of Uganda went on a 3-day visit to Algiers, during which two agreements and five MoUs were signed.
  • Algeria had shown a willingness to buy powdered milk worth $500 million and Uganda in turn will buy animal health drugs and others.
  • There will be improvements in production and quality of products to match the market requirements.

 

The president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni was in Algiers for a 3-day visit, and during his meeting with the delegations, it was revealed that at least 150 Algerian representatives of private and public organizations are to visit Uganda soon to explore available business opportunities. During the course of the visit, two agreements and five memoranda of understanding were signed between the two countries.

 

 

 

In light of partnering together and growing the resources of Africa, the two countries have decided to partner up. Museveni said “We discussed issues on growing the prosperity of Africa; agreed to work together in the areas of trade, energy, education, agriculture, and counter-terrorism where they have experience in this, just like us.

 

We are looking at powdered milk which is already coming here, coffee, tea, and then products from Algeria of petroleum and petrochemicals.” Uganda is hoping to increase its agricultural exports to Algeria.

 

 

Algeria had also shown a willingness to buy powdered milk worth $500 million from Uganda, this was announced late last year after a meeting with the Algerian ambassador to Uganda.

 

Frank Tumwebaze, the minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries said apart from milk, the MoUs signed cover several other items, like education, animal health, oil and gas, tourism, and trade. “They will buy our powdered milk and coffee and later bananas. We shall in turn buy from them animal health drugs and others,” he said.

 

 

There will also be improvements in production and the quality of products in order to match the requirements of the market, this was confirmed by Tumwebaze. He further stated “Worry not anymore about the market for our dairy. The only condition is to perfect our value chain standards which so far have been approved!”

CAF Announces Dates for AFCON Cote d’Ivoire 2023

  • This will be the 34th edition of the tournament.

 

The CAF has officially confirmed the dates of the Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023, with the opening match scheduled to take place on January 13th, 2024 at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Ebimpe, Abidjan. On February 11th, the four-week competition between the top 24 countries in Africa will be concluded.

 

 

The competition will be in its 34th year. After taking place there for the first time in 1984, when Cameroon won for the first time, the month-long competition returns to Cote d’Ivoire. The route to Cote D’Ivoire is progressively taking shape as the world prepares for Africa’s largest football show as the Afcon qualifiers near their conclusion.

 

 

Following the spectacular qualifying round this past weekend, six nations joined the hosts, Cote d’Ivoire, in the competition. They are Senegal, the reigning African champions, South Africa, Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Morocco, and Morocco. Also, Veron Mosengo-Omba, general secretary of the CAF, added that the bi-annual assignment’s final draw will take place in September of this year.

 

In due course, the time and location will be determined.

The African football governing body anticipates record global TV audiences and stadium attendances for next year’s edition of its flagship competition, which also currently holds the record as being Africa’s biggest event. This is due to the rapidly growing global interest in CAF competitions that have been recorded in the last few months.

 

 

With the introduction of cutting-edge broadcast technology and digital engagement, CAF has made significant strides in enhancing the viewing and stadium attendance experience of its competitions, as is evident in the recently concluded CAF competitions. This has led to the creation of a world-class product that is consumed in real-time across the globe.

 

 

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) is the governing authority of beach soccer, futsal, and association football in Africa. It was founded on February 8th, 1957 at Khartoum Sudan’s Grand Hotel by the national football associations of Egypt, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Sudan.