AFRICAN LEADERSHIP MAGAZINE - MARCH 2022 PERSONS OF THE YEAR EDITION

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Promoting African dignity & opportunities globally

MARCH 2022

AFRICAN PERSONS OF THE YEAR Faces of Hope, Courage, Resilience

Helen Oritsejafor: A Life of Committed to Others

NACA - Towards Safer Skies In Nigeria

US - Africa Relations: Opportunity Lost or Found?



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Promoting African dignity & opportunities globally AFRICA PERSONS OF THE YEAR: Faces of Hope Courage & Resilience NACA - Towards Safer Skies In Nigeria US - Africa Relations: Opportunity Lost or Found?

HELEN ORITSEJAFOR A LIFE COMMITTED TO LIFTING OTHERS


Contents

18. H.E. Dr. Lazarus Chakwera: A President's Commitment To Redefining Political Leadership In Africa

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24. João Figueiredo East Africa's Banking Czar

25. Towards Safer Skies In Nigeria

28. The Winning Strategies of CRDB BANK TANZANIA

32. Man Up Or Go Home

34. The Impact of CLIMATE CHANGE on Africa's Economies

41. Africa on the Brinks: Climate Change and the Gender Question

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43. Bringing Joy To Africa Through Football

46. US - Africa Relations: Opportunity Lost Or Found?

48. Championing Economic Opportunities For Women In Africa

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Rwanda The Dubai of Africa Opens for Business

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Group Managing Editor - Kingsley Okeke editor@africanleadership.co.uk


FROM THE CHAIRMANʼS DESK

Introducing The African Leadership Council – A Global Network of Leaders for Africa's Progress COVID-19 represented. Such leaders move society forward, become positive references for what is possible, help promote self-sufficiency and inspire a generation of upcoming leaders to aim to solve some of humanity's biggest problems. They are the true stakeholders in the Africa project. They are the worthy partners of progress for Africa's future. It is for this kind of leader that we have put together the African Leadership Council (ALC)

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African Leadership Council is therefore founded on the hope to mobilise the critical mass required to galvanise multidimensional change at various levels of leadership in the continent. It is indeed possible to live in an Africa, where the continent is not only solving most if not all of her problems, but contributing her optimal value to the global system, earning the respect of all sections of society, and leading the world in several respects.

From the stables of the African Leadership (UK) Limited - publishers of African Leadership magazine and other leading pan-African titles, I am happy to announce the official launch of the African Leadership Council - a global leadership coalition for enabling excellence, achievement, and development in Africa. The council's formation is centered on the premise that celebrating outstanding achievements and leadership is good for humanity, and especially good for Africa as it has the potential to create a ripple effect in society by inspiring others to aspire to serve humanity for the greater good of all. The council shall, among other things focus on enabling top African achievers and corporate leaders to create more prosperity for stakeholders of the Africa project. These African achievers are already heavily invested in making a difference on the continent through their toils, sweat and blood. They had choices to do other things, but they chose to contribute their quota by exemplifying leadership and achievement. Each of them has their stories to tell, tales that are written with the rigours of arduous work, pain, and discomfort, as most successes anywhere in the world require – for no pain, no gain. These leaders were job creators, wealth generators and servant-leaders who even when unrecognised and uncelebrated still forged forward in helping their communities move forward.

The African Leadership Council is indeed an exclusive platform for political and business leaders, policy titans, opinion leaders, entrepreneurs and executives who are committed to deepening unrivalled African access, developing lifetime relationships and partnerships across the continent, while taking action to grow their global citizenship status as a force for good – enthroning SDG Gol1 1 and Goal 4 by contributing to educational development on the continent and continuing to help in eradicating poverty in Africa. ALC members are provided with pan-African visibility, recognition for their contributions and cementing their thought leadership – all in a bid to enable greater contribution and participation in leapfrogging Africa's development. JOIN THE ALC TODAY As most of the world, and especially Africa is still reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people and businesses, leaders must come together, in networks such as the African Leadership Council, to respond to the challenges head-on for the sake of mother Africa. We must adjust to the unfolding new normal, by staying top-of-mind and continually engage our leadership and influence for the greater good. Hence if you are a person of impact and leader who is making a difference in the community, then you qualify to join this network of great leaders, To become a member of the council, visit www.africanleadershipcouncil.com today. We look forward to welcoming committed African leaders both at home and in the diaspora, partners of Africa, or players on the continent, from across all spheres of influence, who believe that their contributions to African development do make a difference, to join the council today, as the ALC journey begins!

When the coronavirus pandemic, arrived in late December 2019, snowballing into unprecedented proportions with impacts to every aspect of our human life, and affecting every country in the world, it became clearer that it would take spirited and committed leaders to manage the unprecedented times that

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HELEN ORITSEJAFOR A LIFE COMMITTED TO LIFTING OTHERS w w w. a f r i c a n l e a d e r s h i p m a g a z i n e . c o . u k

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It is an unavoidable truth that money and commerce make the world go round. Well, so does giving, with knobs on. Giving does more than simply warm our hearts, but also has a positive impact on the person giving, the person receiving, the community and even the world. Whether donating money or time, giving back has been shown to make a positive impact that goes far beyond the initial act of giving. While both the giver and receiver are impacted, studies have shown that giving is a much more important element of happiness than receiving. Being able to give makes us feel like we're making a big impact on someone's life, encouraging us to do more good and uncover a different perspective of happiness. Little wonder then that our subject for this issue epitomizes happiness. A leading philanthropist and social entrepreneur, Dr Helen Oritseafor has devoted most of her life to reaching out to the needy, hopeless, homeless, and poor in the society; thereby touching lives the world over. In this exclusive interview with African Leadership Magazine UK, Dr. Helen Oritsejafor, Founder, Hand To The Needy Foundation, one of the foremost African philanthropists and social entrepreneur, tells us about her selfless impacts through support for child education, women empowerment, and poverty alleviation. Excerpts;

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We have followed your work in the area of Philanthropy, which is quite commendable. What has been your philosophy? Truly, my philosophy is that life is about the ability and willingness to help raise other people. I find my joy and thick in helping others grow, helping others succeed, discovering potentials so that they can become successful themselves. It is like a rich person amongst the poor, you know you are also poor yourself. So I love giving back and God has been so faithful to me. And I also watched my father while growing up as well. Incidentally, he was also a dynamic man. He loved people. I got inspired by seeing him reach out to a lot of people. He sent many people to school. It was unbelievable. I must have learned something even though it is also a part of me as well to put a smile on someone's face, making them happy, bringing joy and being impactful, and allowing them to become successful is a thing of joy for me. We thought you started with Eagle Flight Microfinance Bank, so it actually runs in the family? Oh, it runs in the family. It has been something I have been doing even before I started Eagle Flight. It has been a part of my life all along. I discovered that what gives me joy is to see someone becoming something. What I understand in life is that someone has to give you a push. No one succeeds alone. You need someone. You need encouragement. I think if we can have this understanding, knowing fully well that we are interdependent, it will go a long way in shaping the destiny even of our nation, Nigeria. For me, I want to be part of other people's success stories. That's joy. That's what makes me happy. Looking at your growing national and global appeal, are there plans to scale your philanthropy and adopt a global approach?

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Yes, definitely. For example, during the advent of COVID-19, I was in the UK at some point and it was at the time I released my newest book “You Too Can Become a Success”; and when I was done writing the book, it dawned on me that several organizations have closed down. It dawned on me that I needed to do something here in the UK because then I was going to launch a new book, and a TV station was so glad to have me on. During that time, I was prepared to help a lot of entrepreneurs who might have been affected due to COVID to see how they can benefit from the book. The income from the launching of the book, over 50% of it went into the venture. We called for submissions of proposals and several people submitted and at the end of the day we reached out and we gave out N500, 000 ($1,000) each to some people and so on, and even more. We had some people from Nigeria but also from outside the country who bought into the idea and became beneficiaries. Also, this was part of the discussion we had with a congresswoman in the US with a need for us to have some kind of a partnership wherein we can see how we can help other women in the United States financially, and possibly organize training and supervise their growth. We don't just want to give money, we also want to see that they can grow through the ladder, and raise others. We could have done this last year, but we couldn't due to COVID. Hopefully, we might be able to do that this year. This is very inspiring. I have had the privilege of reading your story. But for those who will be meeting you for the first time, give us a deep dive into your childhood. You mentioned how you were raised. Were there particular incidences that molded your philosophy in life, that molded you to becoming who you are today? I am from Ado-Ekiti, which is Ekiti State (of Nigeria). My parents were both school Principals. My mum even ended up with two degrees at that time. They used that school, before the government took it over, to give many children “opportunities' through scholarships. I watched that while growing, and although I lost my mother while I was 4 years old, my father became my role model. My father could be

walking through the streets and just see a little child who ought to be in school hawking. He would just stop by the child and after asking the parents of the child if he can take the child home, he would bring that child in and we will have a new brother or sister. My father's benevolence made a mark in my life, and I made up my mind that no matter what I become in the future, I must spend my life lifting people up. Tell us more about Ministry. I have listened to a few of your messages and I was inspired. I see that you also lift men spiritually. A friend of mine had invited me to church in the United Kingdom one day, and whilst I was in the congregation, the man of God who was to minister suddenly left the podium and came to where I sat. He handed the microphone to me and said “you are going to be the one to preach''. I was like “this can't be true” and “what was I going to be saying?” That was my first experience of having to handle the microphone to minister. Well, I walked to the podium and before I knew it, I had preached for 45 minutes, and through this experience, I started preaching. I realized that growing up without a mother, my siblings, and all that made me to start seeking the face of God early, at about age eight. I remember at that time, while others were to eat, I will say to my father that I wasn't going to eat, as I will wait on the Lord. My father was always perplexed as to why a little girl will be fasting.

Dr. Helen Oritsejafor receiving the African Philanthropy of the Year Award from Baroness Sandy Verma of the UK House of Lords at an ALM event at the Dorchester, London

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You emerged through our very rigorous process as the African Philanthropist of the Year, a very revered title that is reserved over the years for leading Africans who have touched lives in no small measure. Can you tell us how it makes you feel and what we should expect- philanthropywise, going forward? I am humbled. Sometimes you go about doing what you love to do without knowing you are being watched. I am humble and excited as well, as it is an encouragement and a call to do more. People are suffering. Even before the advent of COVID, there was poverty. A lot of people are living terrible lives. You see it even in the face of America, not to talk of Africa. There is a lot of work to do for our people. God always touches a willing heart; and also provides. God has been good to me in many ways that

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through very difficult times as you mentioned earlier. How do you handle adversity? How do you climb above the challenges of the day and still make an impact and keep yourself high? We don't run away from adversity. The greatest challenge we have is that we try to hide from adversity, even though it is not going anywhere. So, the best thing to do is to look adversity in the eye and start seeing the challenges of life as opportunities and not something to break you. The only reason why we have a technology like zoom today is because there was a need for it. So whatever it is you are going through now should become a solution to something. Instead of complaining and feeling sorry for yourself, face it headlong and start walking your way towards achieving the solution. That solution you gather for

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You see, I had a life changing encounter. Someone in the neighborhood invited my siblings and I to an occasion. While we were there, the lady of the house approached me and said- “oh, I have your plate of food”. It was a well packed bowl of jollof rice and something bigger. I was excited and reached out to take the food when I heard a voice saying “don't”. When I heard it at first, I was like “who the heck are you” and as I tried to pick the plate up, I discovered that I couldn't move my hand up. I was restricted and I had to leave the food and move to another one. A cousin of mine Dr. Helen Oritsejafor having a fire side chat with Dr. Ken Giami during an ALM event in London who was by me rushed the food and ate it. I am sad to say that sometimes, I sit back and I ask myself if I truly deserve this. I she took my death as the food was poisoned. So that is the also think God wants to use me as a channel to help others God I am talking about here. He saved me at that age. I and touch destinies. I see this award as an opportunity to was 8 years old and I could have been poisoned. You partner with other people who would want to see cities wouldn't have had the opportunity to be talking with me lifted. now. I made up my mind to serve this God who saved me, Women everywhere face real challenges. The challenge of and I grew up with that notion in mind and all that even women everywhere is like the challenge of Africa. Despite all though I didn't have a full understanding of where He was that, you have made way and you are impacting lives, not leading me to. just your family, not just your immediate society, but you are It was whilst I was in London doing the work of God in expanding. What's your word for women leaders my way that God said- “go home”. It was time to go back everywhere, who look at you and want to live the life you to Nigeria. I had my business running in the UK. I was are living and ride on the path you have taken? doing very well. I met my husband a year after returning to Well, first of all, when you wake up, what do you see? Nigeria and the rest is history. All I have ever thought of Okay! Do you see money? Do you see luxury cars? Or do was to see how someone can get to know Christ; this you see men and poverty? Do you see that probably at Christ that saved me. He (Christ) found me at a tender age, some point in your life you were those people? Providence nurtured me, and has made me who I am today. I am so brought you to where you are now. So what are you doing happy and delighted to tell every human being that Jesus with it? It is time to rise and be counted and see to the saves, Jesus restores, Jesus gives life, and of course, development of other women out there who may not have beyond that, Jesus also helps you to fulfill destiny and the courage, and tenacity to say I also want to do more. purpose. Knowing Him is never going to take you away You are made for more. Make your life count. Live for others. from your goals in life, but knowing Him will only make you fulfill it. It is my passion to share this story. COVID has been with us. A lot of people have passed


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There is something you mentioned. You said that even the good things will be challenged. Yes. Anything good on earth will be challenged. This is what strengthens the relationship by the way. The period of adversity is where a character is formed. It is where you get to know yourselves as well; your staying power; and your ability to weather the storm. It is not those who are offered on a platter of gold that can be referred to as great men. There are those people who pay a price.

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I know you have done quite a lot. But if you were to pick one of the things you have done that is very dear to your heart, what would that be?

yourself today will become a solution for somebody tomorrow; and who knows? It could become trillions in your hand because you didn't keep the solutions to yourself alone. Great businesses as always around the world come out of adversity. Some have given up and committed suicide; others have taken the bull by the horn and said something good can come out of it. The greatest challenge we have is that when we start up something, we easily give up during the teething period. Every good thing of life will be challenged, including relationships. Our willingness not to give up is the key. Failure is not fatal and Success is not final. It is the ability to continue that defines a man and makes you who you are on earth. Keep pushing and you will later see the light at the end of the tunnel. And then, of course, at the end of the day, you need Christ. A life without Christ is full of crisis. You need God in your life. We need to stop pretending that we can make everything happen for ourselves. I am also a very independent-minded person. I am a go-getter. I believe I can do it. I will never succumb to a place where I will have the notion that this is not possible. It is when you say I cannot, that I will say I want to do it. I have come to understand that even with my determination and self-will; I still cannot make it without Him. What would it cost you to say I want to partner with you? He is your creator. He made you! You didn't create yourself. It won't cost you anything to say “You are my father and from today I want You to be the Lord of my life”. It gives your life a sense of purpose.

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One thing that easily comes to mind that is a woman that stopped by the bank one time while I was at the office. I could not but help but hear her trying to convince some of the staff on the need to give her a chance. She did not have money even to open an account. She was saying: “bank on me. I will not disappoint you. Just bank on me. Give me a chance” I invited her to my office. And yes, we banked on her. She was given N2,000 ($4) to open an account. This woman today has houses all over the world. There was a day she walked into my office and said: “mama, I just want you to know what your believing in me have been able to produce. She gave me a cheque and when I looked at it, I saw 50 million Naira ($110, 000). She said: “withdraw this money so that you will know what God has used you to do in my life”. I started crying. This is somebody who didn't have N2000 but became a multi-millionaire. I am happy to see that somebody is making something good out of an opportunity. This is another thing again. Some people are given opportunities, but they never utilize them and that is why you have those who are poor and want to remain poor. We also have the active poor, who are very much willing to change their lives, but all it takes is for somebody to believe in them. You recently emerged African Philanthropist of the Year in the African Leadership Persons of the Year. How does this make you feel? Thank you so much. When I heard the news, I was humbled by it and I am grateful to the management for considering me. This is just another encouragement for me to do more for everyone, and society at large. A life without giving is a dead one.

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DR HELEN ORITSEJAFOR TOUCHING LIVES - IN PICTURES

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PERSONS OF THE YEAR

AFRICAN PERSONS OF THE YEAR

FACES OF HOPE, COURAGE, RESILIENCE

His Excellency, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera - President of the Republic of Malawi.

His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta President of Kenya.

HE, Mokgweetsi Masisi - President of Botswana.

Award title: African of the Year

Award Title: African Political Leader of the Year 2021

Award Title: Africa Peace & Security Leader of the Year 2021.

H.E Chakwera was born to a poor rural family in a tiny village outside of the capital, Lilongwe. He is a philosopher, theologian and clergyman by training and studied in Malawi, South Africa and the United States. He became a professor at the Pan-Africa Theological Seminary in 2005. He has authored several publications some of which are: Reach the Nations; Islam and Animism: A Christian Perspective. Graduate Study Guide; Advanced Studies in Biblical Theology of Missions, Doctoral Study Guide.

Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta is the fourth and the current President of Kenya, in office since 9 April 2013. He previously served in the Government of Kenya as Minister for Local Government from 2001 to 2002, and he was leader of the official opposition from 2002 to 2007. Kenyatta was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade in April 2008. In the same year, he was transferred to the Treasury as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, as part of the Grand Coalition Cabinet, where he served up to January 2012.

Mokgweetsi Masisi is the fifth and current President of Botswana, serving since 2018. He was first elected to Parliament in 2009. He was promptly appointed as Assistant Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration in October 2009. on 28 October 2014. Masisi was appointed as Vice President of Botswana by President Ian Khama on 12 November 2014 while remaining in his post as Minister of Education. On October 13, 2018, Masisi received an honorary doctorate from the University of Botswana.

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PERSONS OF THE YEAR

years of experience in banking and finance.

(Zanaco)Plc. She has vast experience spanning over 20 years in various Financial Service Industry roles. As a seasoned banker, Mukwandi has served in senior capacities at multiple banks. She was the first female Managing Director at Access Bank Zambia Ltd. Before joining Zanaco, she

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Dr. Helen Oritsejafor - founder, A Hand to the Needy Foundation, Nigeria Award: African Philanthropist of the Year Award Pastor (Dr.) Helen Oritsejafor is an acclaimed woman of excellence, a business mogul, an inimitable pacesetter, an exceptional philanthropist, a wife, mother, author of the book “YOU TOO CAN BECOME A SUCCESS” and the copastor of Word of Life Bible Church. 'Mama' as she is warmly referred to, is an inspiration to millions around the world.

Rt. Reverend Patricia Sappor President, Chartered Institute of Bankers, Ghana Award Title: Lifetime Achievement Award in Banking Rev. Mrs. Patricia Sappor is currently the President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIB), Ghana. She is a proactive and result oriented professional with over 33

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Capt. Musa Nuhu - DirectorGeneral, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Nigeria Award Title: African Aviation Personality of the Year Award Capt. Musa Shuaibu Nuhu is Director General and Chief Executive Officer (DG/CEO, NCAA) who, until his appointment, was Nigeria's Permanent Representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Capt. Nuhu is an Airline Pilot, a Safety expert, a quality assurance Lead Auditor, and an Artificial Intelligence expert.

Stella Fubara - Director of International Operations with the Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM) (Nigeria). Award Title: African Female Leader of the Year 2021 (Winner) Stella Fubara-Obinwa is a Director of International operations with the Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing; the principal authority for the planning, supervision, development and marketing of Dubai's tourism sector. As an accomplished leader in business and finance management, Stella has over two decades of impressive executive management. She is responsible for the operations of Dubai Tourism in Africa in line with the ultimate vision of positioning Dubai as the world's leading tourism destination and commercial hub.

Mukwandi Chibesakunda - Chief Executive Officer, Zambia Commercial Bank (ZANACO) Plc. Award title: African Female Leader of the Year Award Mukwandi Chibesakunda is the Chief Executive Officer of Zambia National Commercial Bank

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Professor Barnabas Nawangwe Chancellor, Makarere University, Uganda. Award Title: African Educationist of the Year 2021 (Winner) Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe is currently the Vice Chancellor, Makerere University. Before that he served as the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Makerere University in charge of Finance and Administration from September 2013 to August 2017. Prof. Nawangwe is a Registered Professional Architect and has worked widely as a consulting Architect in Uganda and beyond. He also served as acting Principal, of the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) from January 2011 to August 2013. Prior to that, he was the Dean of Faculty of Technology (2002-2009) and Head of the Department of Architecture from its inception in 1989 to 2002. He has chaired several University committees, including the University Research, Administrative and Financial Reforms Committee.

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Mo Salah - Football Star, Egypt Award Tilte: ALM Young Person of the Year 2021. Mohamed Salah is an Egyptian footballer who plays as a forward for the Egyptian national team as well as the Premier League club 'Liverpool.' Born and brought up in Gharbia, Egypt, he is a gifted footballer since his childhood. He started his career with the youth team of the Egyptian club 'El Mokawloon.' Soon, his transition happened to the club's senior team in the 'Egyptian Premier League' in 2010. In 2012, he transferred to the Swiss football club, 'FC Basel'. He played an important role in Basel's victory in the 2012-13 'Swiss

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Tabitha Karanja is founder and CEO of Keroche Breweries. She is one of Kenya's leading entrepreneurs, a remarkable trailblazer and an example of a woman made good against all the odds. Tabitha chose to venture where none before her had dared. She took on an 87-yearold business monopoly and entered an industry with a deeply entrenched male gender stereotype. Tabitha broke the mould to become Kenya's first home-grown beer and alcoholic drink manufacturer. Today, her company's state-of-the-art production facility is targeting 20% of the Kenyan market.

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Award Title: African Industrialist of the Year 2021

Championship' and the 2013 'Uhren cup.' In January 2014, he transferred to 'Chelsea,' becoming the first ever Egyptian player to play with Chelsea. Subsequently, he played for 'Roma' and 'Fiorentina' (on loan) before signing a new contract with 'Liverpool' in 2017.

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Tabitha Karanja - Founder and CEO, Keroche Breweries, Kenya.

Abdulmajid Mussa Nsekela is a career banker and business leader; with more than two decades of professional experience in investment, business, retail, wealth management and private banking in East Africa. He has vast experience in Transformational Leadership, Business Turnaround and Strategic Management. In the first decade of his career, Nsekela served in various positions, covering business functions, bank operations, control functions and people management. He later served in diverse strategic leadership positions, spanning Financial and Strategic Planning, Risk, Governance, Auditing and Compliance. Mr Nsekela was appointed Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Managing Director of CRDB Bank Plc in October 2018. As Group CEO & Managing Director of CRDB Bank Plc, Nsekela is credited with instituting strategic reforms at the Country's largest commercial bank by assets. He is passionate about leadership, economic empowerment, financial inclusion, and sustainable development.

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Some African countries have been fed the 'fruits' of democracy without change for far too long. Series of elections have only succeeded in producing bitter harvests. This no doubt negates the very essence of democracy, as it often fails to bring the desired change. President Lazarus Chakwera is on a mission to change the narrative in Malawi.

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The president recently set up a new body in the president's office named the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU). The unit is a critical step designed to drive change through the government. This small, handpicked team from across the civil service is already focusing on delivering his administration's core priorities – and using relationships across government and the political authority of State House on managing their implementation. By gathering and analysing a stream of performance data and conducting regular stocktakes with implementing ministries, departments, and agencies, the PDU identifies which priorities are off-track or delayed and why. By pinpointing issues and bottlenecks, it will subsequently bring resources to support those necessary arms of government to unblock obstacles, using his executive prerogative as head of state and government to drive through change. Where there is bad governance, elections may bring deliverance, but Africa needs good governance focused on delivery beyond that. According to the President, "I fully expect this to amount to nothing short of a delivery revolution for Malawi, not least as the PDU is not some ephemeral concept – but a tried and tested method of administrative change-making, which is already in operation in 30 other governments of the world."

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Continuing, the president, while inaugurating the body, maintained, "My priority for our Delivery Unit is to accelerate the development of the agribusiness sector – building upon Malawi's agricultural economy."

"As we can see from recent elections where ballots were cast in favour of policy priorities, upending previous patterns of voting along geographical and ethnic lines, the voters are already ahead of us politicians. Put simply; they demand action. More than that, they demand results. Should that not be delivered, we will rue the day we did not try. There are other examples of governance across the world where citizens' economic advancement has been made without democracy," he asserted. As shown by the recent African Leadership persons of the Year Polls, Malawians benefit from purpose-driven leadership. Little wonder, President Lazarus Chakwera was voted African of the Year in the 10th African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year.

As we can see from recent elections where ballots were cast in favour of policy priorities, upending previous patterns of voting along geographical and ethnic lines, the voters are already ahead of us politicians

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Further reaffirming his belief in promoting talent over mediocrity, the president stated, "We must be honest with ourselves and realise that when successive leaders have used public appointments as a means of patronage, then the effectiveness of those with talent is necessarily curtailed. Because of this, when Malawi's political elites have put forward policy priorities, the implementation of them has been lethargic at best."

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"As with all methods of rapid development, there will be those whose cosy roles in government administration will feel pressured by the creation of the PDU. This is not to suggest there are not many talented civil servants across ministries and within government agencies, "he said.


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A PROFILE OF IMPACT:

DR. HELEN ORITSEJAFOR

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Pastor Helen Oritsejafor was born in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria and by the special grace of God is married to an anointed man of God, Papa Ayodele Joseph Oritsejafor, a one-time CAN and PFN President in Nigeria. Their union is blessed with three amazing children; Ayodeta, Ayodeji and Ayodele Oritsejafor. Her husband Papa Ayo refers to her as the actualizer. She is a mentor to millions of people around the world. Being a woman of faith who believes firmly in hard work and dedication- she surrendered everything to God while registering her name in the kingdom of God and telling all that God is the source of everything we own, everything we long or seek, that is why she dropped her wealth and political status to help her husband in the fulfilment of God's call and purpose for his life and ministry; Word of life Bible Church International Gospel Centre, Ajamimogha, Warri, Delta State, Nigeria. Mama Helen is an inspiration to many, a motivational speaker, a teacher, preacher, a prolific writer, an astute banker, a philanthropist, a maker and developer of human capacity building, with virtues such as integrity, selfless service, generosity, wisdom, courage, resourcefulness, temperance and devotion to God. queer

standard platform to grow academically. She is also the Chairman of Eagle Flight Micro Finance Bank Limited; Chairman of Eagle Bureau de Change Limited; and the Founder and CEO of Dr. Helen, “A Hand to the Needy Foundation”, among others. She is a woman of vast knowledge and experience in the world of Business both locally and internationally for over 30 years and a one-time director of a bank in Nigeria, she also owned a road construction company and has also worked with international companies and NGOs. Dr. Helen effectively carries the responsibilities of a mother as she reaches out to the needy, hopeless, homeless, poor and affects their lives with the love of Jesus. She has empowered people through the poverty Alleviation program, a yearly program where cars, tricycles, grinding machines, sewing machines are given out free. Over the years, this great woman of God has impacted the lives of people all over the world and her service to humanitarian growth has been awarded from all spheres of life.

of 2019, she organized an empowerment scheme where over 500 persons were trained on various enterprises ranging from Poultry, fishery, fashion design etcetera both theoretically and practically and Financially empowered them with Millions of Naira as a startup Capital to enable them purchase starter packs for their various enterprises. In April 2021, through her foundation, Dr. Helen “A hand to the needy Foundation” she provided financial support to small and medium scale enterprises which were grossly affected by the corona virus pandemic with startup capital ranging from N300,000 to N500,000 respectively. In October 2021, she started by empowering about 500 widows with cash and food items and is presently still empowering over 3000 market women in Warri, Delta state Nigeria to keep them mobilized on the social strata and help boost their trade and income. In December 2021, as a means to extend her hand of love and to put a smile on the faces of the less privileged despite the struggles triggered by the economic challenges, she reached out to both individuals and families in dire need in the remote parts of the society and empowered them with food items and cash donations to support them and ensure they will celebrate the festive season with a joyful heart. Indeed, her leadership qualities and exceptional understanding of human needs is a force to reckon with. Of a truth, some people write history, others read history but Mama Helen Oritsejafor has made history in her time and generations to come.

As a first-class entrepreneur and philanthropist, the multitalented Mama Helen Oritsejafor has gone out of her way to see that every individual in the society stands a chance to build a solid foundation towards achieving their potentials and She is a graduate of Mass having a meaningful life, both communication and holds a young and old as she has Master in Business sponsored several children Administration (MBA) and Marketing from the University of through primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. Many more Liverpool. are currently beneficiaries of her Dr. Oritsejafor stands to the benevolence through the Eagle Chairman of Eagle Heights Hand International Foundation. International Schools, giving children around the world a For example, In the first half

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Rt Rev. Mrs Patricia Sappor is the First Female and current President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Ghana, in the 43-year history of the Institute and a member of the Board of Directors of the Ghana Deposit Protection Corporation. She retired from Ecobank in 2018 as Assistant Vice President of Ecobank Ghana and Regional Head, Corporate Communications, Ecobank Foundation, Anglophone West Africa (AWA) Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gambia, and Guinea. With over 33 years banking experience and 22 years in Ecobank in various roles and capacities, Rt. Rev. Pat initiated several activities and programmes in Ecobank Ghana and the Ecobank Group in customer service and other areas of the bank, positioning Ecobank Ghana as a customer-centric institution and leading the Bank to winning numerous awards. She was awarded a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (Ghana) in 2008 after obtaining her Associate Banker status with the Institute of Banking and Financial Services in the UK in 1995, having schooled at City Banking College UK. She is also an alumnus of the University of Leicester, U.K, where she graduated with MBA (Finance Option). Rt Rev Mrs. Patricia Sappor has been a member of Action Chapel International ACI, (Ghana, Accra) under the dynamic leadership of Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams for over 37 years. She is currently the National President of the 'Women of Action and the Regional Bishop of Region overseeing four of the branches of ACI. In line with her vision, she has mentored many young ladies, supported, and empowered them to discover and live purpose driven lives. She has to her credit a book titled, 'The Christian Woman' (Secrets To Enjoying Your Marriage), which aims at guiding couples, especially women on how to have a happy and lasting marriage. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Directors, Ghana, and a Fellow of the Boardroom Institute under the Accra Business School. She was in August 2017, adjudged 'The Most outstanding Professional Woman' of the Year 2016 by the Business Executive Magazine under the Feminine Achievement Award. In March 2018, she was mentioned as one the most outstanding women in Banking by Women in Banking and Finance Magazine. In August 2018, she was awarded for her outstanding contribution to society by the West Africa International Press Ltd, and in March 2020, she was also awarded at the 5th

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SAPPOR: A WOMAN OF MANY FIRSTS Ghana Women of Excellence Award by the Top Brass Ghana, under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection. She has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential women in Ghana. Also was in October 2020 honoured for upholding the virtues of honesty, integrity, and accountability by The West African Nobles forum. As a Certified Member of the John Maxwell Team, Rt Rev. Pat offers leadership and management training and workshops on Change/Time Management, Strategic Management, Customer Service, among others. As a coach and a mentor, Bishop. Pat continues to be a role model to many. She is married to Mr. Frederick Sappor a Chartered Accountant, and they are blessed with three children and a Granddaughter, Kaliyah.

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INNOCENT C. Mr. Innocent C. Ike is currently the Managing Director/CEO of Polaris Bank Limited, where he leads the Bank through a corporate transformation journey of becoming the leading digitally-enabled retail Bank in Nigeria.

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Until his appointment as the MD/CEO, he was the Executive Director, Technology and Services, charged with transforming the technology and service delivery processes of the Bank. He was also responsible for overseeing the South-South/South East Directorate of the Bank. Innocent, is a seasoned banker with decades of outstanding career achievements in leading commercial banks in Nigeria. He has leveraged in-depth industry

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He has also led one of the most ambitious enterprise transformation initiatives, which has accelerated growth across the bank's Retail, Small and Medium Enterprise (SME), Commercial and Corporate banking segments. Innocent's digital leadership acumen has helped to position Polaris Bank as a digitally-enabled Bank leading to the launch of the Bank's flagship Digital Banking platform, VULTe, which won the prestigious BusinessDay Banks & Other Financial Institutions (BAFI); Digital Bank of the Year Award 2021. This feat has been widely acknowledged as a testimony to visionary leadership, diligent planning and strategy execution. In his effort to build a sustainable enterprise, he has continued to raise the brand visibility of Polaris Bank and drive loyalty and patronage from all key sectors of the economy, as well as making Polaris, a Bank of choice for the young generation of banking employees and customers.

Innocent has acquired sound professional training and exposure in some of Nigeria's most reputable financial institutions. He worked in the erstwhile Fortune International Bank Plc., as well as GT Bank Plc. where he spent most of the early years of his career in several key and sensitive positions in Treasury, Currency Trading, Commercial Banking; as well as Banking Operations Units. He equally trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in the international accounting firm of Deloitte, where he handled key audit and consulting assignments.

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Through investment in people, technology, and processes, he has as the MD/CEO, ensured that Polaris Bank sustains a profit growth trajectory since taking over leadership in the 2020 Financial Year. This is in the face of the global economic challenges of the COVID19 pandemic era.

over a period of ten years, he held various key positions in Commercial and Corporate Banking segments and rose to General Manager level. He was at various times responsible for the Federal Capital Territory and the South-South Regions of the Bank.

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knowledge to lead teams in developing and executing cutting-edge strategies and innovations, leading to major corporate transformation and turnaround projects in the nation's financial services industry.

Also, as part of his preparation for corporate leadership, Innocent had earned enviable professional and academic qualifications in globally reputable institutions covering such areas as corporate governance, enterprise innovation, digital transformation, business sustainability, strategic execution and change management. Innocent has held various Board positions. He has served as Chairman of Skye Bank Gambia Limited and currently serves as a Director of MainOne Cable Company Limited, Unified Payments Systems Limited, and Pay Attitude Global Limited.

He graduated with a BSc Hons in Accounting from the University of Lagos, Innocent's career history underscores where he emerged as the Best Graduating his persona as a thoroughbred Student in 1988. He is a Fellow of the professional who rose through the Institute of Chartered Accountants of hierarchy and fully prepared him for his Nigeria (ICAN), a Certified IFRS expert, and current role as MD/CEO. Before his an Honorary Senior Member of the appointment on the Board of Skye Bank in Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria 2016 following the regulatory intervention, (CIBN). He holds an Executive Certificate in he was an Executive Director in Keystone Strategy & Innovation from MIT Sloan Bank Limited, where he recorded School of Management, Boston, and has at outstanding contributions and various times attended global management achievements resulting in the successful and leadership programs in world-class turnaround, repositioning and eventual institutions, including Harvard Business divestment of the Bank by the Assets School, Wharton Business School, and Management Corporation of Nigeria International Management Development (AMCON). Institute (IMD) Switzerland. He is also a Member of the Institute of Directors (IOD). Before joining the Board of Keystone Bank in August 2014, Innocent had played critical roles in the growth and transformation of Access Bank Plc., where

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Moza Banco with the mission of "rescuing" the financial institution and avoiding systemic risk in the face of the sharp degradation of the main financial and prudential indicators that had been taking place, a challenge that once again he led successfully: He managed to avoid the mass exodus of customers and, more importantly, has been managing to recover the levels of trust in the institution.

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In 2019, he led the project process for the merger, by incorporation, of Banco Terra Moçambique (BTM) into Moza Banco marking another decisive step towards the construction and consolidation not only of Moza Banco but of the Mozambican Financial System itself.

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FIGUEIREDO EAST AFRICA'S BANKING CZAR João Figueiredo was born in Beira City, in 1959. He graduated in Business Organisation and Management from Economics and Business Management Faculty – Technical University of Lisbon, in 1985. He began his career in the financial sector at Totta & Açores bank in 1980 and then moved to London, where he managed a branch for about two years, and later, between 1993 and 1997, as General Manager in Macau. He returned to Mozambique in 1998 to become Managing Director of Banco Standard Totta de Moçambique. Later he joined Banco Internacional de Moçambique (BIM), now Millennium BIM, where he was CEO between 2001 and 2010 and led the merger with Banco Comercial de Moçambique. He is the founder of Banco Único, a project he started in mid-2010, where he was CEO and Chairman of the bank for about four years, during which time he catapulted the bank to becoming a frontrunner nationally. As CEO of this institution he was named the African Banker of the Year, in 2013 at the African Bank Awards and was therefore the first Mozambican CEO to achieve this status. He has twice been recognised as the best CEO in Mozambique. On 30 September 2016, he was appointed by the Central Bank to the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee at

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In 2020, under João Figueiredo's leadership, Moza Banco achieved a net profit of 146 million meticais, thus exceeding Break Even point, just three and a half years after the operation of deep operational restructuring, financial reorganisation and reconfiguration of the capital structure, carried out following the intervention it was subject to by the Central Bank. In March 2021 it conducted an operation to issue a bond loan, by private subscription in the amount of USD 7,500,000 (seven million, five hundred thousand US dollars), with a variable coupon indexed to the 6month LIBOR USD plus a spread of 5.5%, maturing in 2025 and fully subscribed for by ARISE BV. With this operation, Moza Banco became the first Bank in the domestic financial market to issue bonds in foreign currency, under the regulatory context that guides the issuance of securities in Mozambique. As a result of his outstanding performance at the helm of Moza Banco, he was nominated in two consecutive years (2019 and 2020) for African Banker of the Year, CEO of the Year, by the African Banker magazine. He is currently (non-executive) Chairman of the Board of Directors at Moza Banco. Since 2011, he has been a member of the international Advisory Board at Fundação Dom Cabral, the largest Postgraduate Business School in Latin America. He has been President of the Mozambique/Portugal Chamber of Commerce since 2017

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Speaking further, he stated, "Last year, we grounded about 16 private jets of the rich and the powerful because they violated our regulations. Every day we're fining people left, right and Centre, believe me, irrespective of who they are. We have received the full support of our Minister, who is very passionate about our work."

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Capt. Musa Shuaibu Nuhu

TOWARDS SAFER SKIES IN NIGERIA The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, under the leadership of Captain Musa Nuhu, is prioritizing safety, security and strict adherence to best practices in the management of the aviation sector. In an interview with African Leadership Magazine UK, the Director-General maintained that he is committed to ensuring that people comply with the laws as it relates to safety and other components in the sector. In his words, "we recently grounded an airline because we felt they were not complying with the requirements necessary to operate. We grounded them for two months." "We did a thorough audit of their organization in all facets, and we identified all the problems. They had to resolve them before we eventually allowed them to resume flight. We are ready, without fear or favour, to prosecute anyone who violates the stipulated requirements," he said.

"Over the years, the consumer has not gotten the protection we would like them to have. NCAA has been weak on that side, but we're working on something with the consumer protection agency," he said. He, however, maintained that "the problem is, I think there's need for more enlightenment of the travelling public to become more aware of their rights." Continuing, he stated, "maybe, we need to be more aggressive in enlightening and educating people for their rights and where they can go and lay their complaints when they have issues. So we're working on that, and if any customer has an objection, we work on it as soon as possible to encourage people to give more criticism." He also added that "consumer protection is a two-way stretch. The airline has a responsibility, and the customer also has his part to play." He further explained, "A lot of people think that "as a customer, I've paid the money I can do whatever I want to do." However, that is not the case. I've seen cases where people go twenty minutes before flights and want to check-in after the counter has closed. And they begin to make all kinds of noise. If you look at the tickets, there are terms and conditions. As a customer, you need to comply with such terms. It's a contract between two parties, and everybody has their obligation that people needs comply with." "There have been issues of flight delays and cancellations. Flight delays happen everywhere worldwide, but the difference is what the airlines do with the passengers when we have flight delays. Are the passengers duly informed on time, are they been taken care of? What are the options available? We have all that in our regulations," he said.

Continuing, Capt. Nuhu maintained that "any operator that does not meet the criteria will be grounded irrespective of who owns the airline."

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Captain Musa Nuhu also spoke about the agency's desire to improve the flying experience of air travellers in Nigeria. To enhance customer experience, the agency partnered with the Federal Consumer and Competition Protection Council of Nigeria, FCCPC. While highlighting the benefits of the partnership, the Director-General stated, "There's a lot of synergy between us and the FCCPC, and I think we must benefit from the excellent relationship to protect the consumer."


PERSONS OF THE YEAR

NBS BANK MALAWI INJECTS CAPITAL IN AGRICULTURE

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In Malawi, the economic backbone remains agriculture and, in the years to come, that is likely to remain the reality. The NBS bank wants to be part of this transition in the agricultural value chains by working with the public and private sectors to create an enabling environment for a solid and resilient agriculture sector. Therefore, a key aspect in the strategy is to focus on value chain strengthening and financing a diverse set of agriculture value chain players from producers to processors and from small and medium enterprises to corporates. We want to establish longterm relationships with strong actors in the value chain. In this exclusive interview with African Leadership Magazine UK, Kwanele Ngwenya – CEO – NBS Bank, shares her economic improvement strategy beyond agrorevolution in Malawi.

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Experts have described SMEs as the engine room for economic growth and sustainable development. How is the Bank supporting the growth of SMEs in Malawi? The Bank has different products and services to SMEs to support their transaction and payment needs. We also provide credit facilities to different businesses starting from micro, small and medium enterprises to support their working capital or asset financing needs. The main aim of the Bank is to help businesses to achieve their economic needs or

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Globally financial institutions are adopting IT solutions to solve major banking-related challenges. How is the Bank adopting IT for solving prevailing difficulties in the sector?

At NBS Bank, our technological journey is split into three facets. Product: where we focus on the automation of products such as a recent development that allows for instant loans in the retail segment. Given the massive infrastructure Channel: We focus on digitizing development opportunities on the channels such as EazyMobile322, which economic landscape of Malawi, NBS is our used mobile banking platform. Bank has repositioned itself for various Finally, processes: such as full online opportunities in the transport sector, account opening, which is the first of its energy and mining sector, tourism kind in Malawi. We embarked on this sector, and water resources. The Bank is journey for about 17 years but have ready to partner with the private and recently escalated effort to enhance our public sectors to finance more flagship customers' experience by providing infrastructure projects in these various more convenience and accessibility sectors. This is our way of playing a through digitalization. crucial role in the economic development of Malawi. NBS Bank set How is the Bank helping to support the pace by being the lead bank to Agro-revolution in Malawi? issue a K11 billion Roads Bond Facility Over the years, the main crops for with the Roads Fund Administration the country have been tobacco, tea, (RFA) to finance the rehabilitation and sugarcane, and maize. The Bank has construction of the first interchange also identified other nontraditional road in Lilongwe between 2018 to products for support and financing. We 2020. are currently working on structured Last year, a world Bank Report said that solutions that will support farmers that only about 40% of adults in Malawi are are into rice farming, groundnuts, sweet currently unbanked. What is the Bank potatoes, and legumes. These are crops doing to Bank the unbanked in the that offer high returns to a farmer, and country? if the value chain is managed correctly, it offers better returns than the The Bank has always been traditional products. passionate about supporting and onboarding the unbanked. Our agency As mentioned earlier, the Bank also banking model allows the Bank to serve supports SMEs with an Agri-business customers, both urban and rural, at focus. Going forward, the solutions affordable prices due to the agents offered will consider the importance of recruited to serve on behalf of the digital banking and provide solutions Bank. NBS Bank was the first to that can assist farmers in harvesting introduce agency banking in Malawi better yield to honour their financing obligations whilst reaping the benefits Africa's infrastructure financing has been a major thrust of the NBS. Can you share some of the Bank's activities in this regard?

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As a Bank, we believe supporting this sector is a foundation of developing an economy. Can you also share with us what are your most challenging moment leading such a great bank over these years? The most challenging part of leading such a great Bank is to consistently maintain the confidence of the market. This means our employees and customers first and foremost, but also all other stakeholders who support and make it possible for the Bank to achieve its objectives. My journey with NBS Bank started five years ago, and I could not have achieved so much if it wasn't for my management team and all employees who rallied behind and bought into the five-year vision we had. Recently, NBS Bank, under your leadership, has been nominated for an award of "SMEs Support and Development Bank of the Year". How do you receive this news? I received the news with great joy, realizing that the efforts we have been making to support the Malawi nation's agenda to grow SMEs have been recognized. It is an honor to receive such accolades on behalf of NBS Bank and myself.

NBS Bank set the pace by being the lead bank to issue a K11 billion Roads Bond Facility with the Roads Fund Administration (RFA) to finance the rehabilitation and construction of the first interchange road in Lilongwe between 2018 to 2020

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and has gone further to partner with various organization to make this business model a success. We can reach more Malawians with the financial solutions we offer through Agency Banking.

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mitigate any economic challenges, especially now that the country and the whole world are battling covid-19 and its effects. The strategy of the Bank is to support SME growth into corporates and, in so doing, support industrialization in Malawi. We are aware that there are so many SMEs, and as a Bank, we go beyond just offering financial assistance but also supporting them in their business management, offering advisory services, and also offering them a platform where they can collaborate and partner with other SMEs or corporate companies. We believe in value chain financing and ecosystem banking that mutually benefits the whole value chain of the business.


PERSONS OF THE YEAR

The Winning Strategies of

CRDB BANK TANZANIA COVID-19's economic impacts have contributed to a sharp rise in defaults of corporate and household debt that is eroding the asset quality of banks across countries. 22 28

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As the pandemic continues, banks could face a substantial increase in non-performing loans (NPLs) due to the rise in household and company defaults. It is thus critical for banking supervisors to come up with strategies that will help their banks mitigate the effect of this development. Interestingly, some banks have been able to adapt strategies that has brought increased profit even with a pandemic. In this interview with African Leadership Magazine, the CEO of CRDB Bank Tanzania, Mr Abdulmajid Mussa Nsekela talks about the strategies of CRDB Bank Tanzania. Excerpts;

In addition to the excellent performance, we have claimed our space as a sustainability champion, following the Group's accreditation by the United Nation's Green Climate Fund (GCF) as a financial intermediary in green financing in Tanzania

Despite the Covid-19 disruption, CRDB has continued to deliver a strong balance sheet underlined by solid growth in net interest and non-funded incomes. Did you implement any new strategies to overcome COVID-19 related challenges to maintain positive figures? We embarked on 2021 with a simple strategy – to support our customers' recovery. We had the benefit of hindsight, drawing lessons from the successes of 2020 and continuing to adapt our short term strategies to the shifting business landscape. A key win for us was forging closer relationships with our customers, which enabled us to understand their unique situations and support them in the context of their challenges. Similarly, our investments in technology, especially system upgrades and integrations, gave us a solid anchorage, allowing us to scale services efficiently.

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At the height of the pandemic in 2020, we expanded our alternative channels to give customers a wide range of options in accessing our services. This continued in 2021 with sustained improvements on our alterative media, sceptically digital mobile and internet banking platforms. Our focus was on improving our customers' experience accessing services and simplifying onboarding new ones. By the end of the 2021 financial year, our customer numbers had grown by 0ver 57%, signalling a huge success. In addition to enhancing access through digital channels, we continued to innovate solutions that respond to the changing needs. We saw an opportunity in our customers' challenges and applied ourselves to create solutions.

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How big is a priority promoting financial inclusion within Tanzania to you? Many citizens are not using banking facilities; what measures are you taking to ensure that your products and services reach the unbanked and the underbanked within the country? Financial inclusion is a core element in our strategy because, as a Group, we believe that the future of our business hinges on it. Right from the beginning, our Group was established (as a cooperative movement) with a vision to include the rural population into the financial system. We have never faltered on this, and all our initiatives are geared towards enhancing access to financial services, especially to the underserved population. Over the years, we have continued to develop products and solutions, targeting the underserved segments of the market such as women, youth and rural populations. To illustrate, we have the most comprehensive proposition for women in the market called Malkia Account. Malkia account is designed to empower women, both in business and employed, to access affordable credit. In 2021 we expanded the proposition, revising collateral requirements to accommodate smallholder businesswomen and entrepreneurs. The expansion of our delivery channels, especially the investments in digital media such as mobile banking, is intended to deepen access. We have simplified customer onboarding through our digital channels, allowing customers to open bank accounts through their mobile devices. As a result of these innovations, we have seen our customers increase with more than 57% growth in customer numbers in 2021 alone. Our agency banking model has also returned good tiding with increased transactions. We have had a clear strategy to grow the agency banking network to provide services to our customers even beyond the stipulated banking hours. We also appreciate that whereas mobile penetration is high, customers are slow adopters and trust in-person banking. This is where the agents come in and provide a solid avenue for

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Covid-19 has undoubtedly brought new growth and development prospects for the banking sectors, especially in technology application. So, would you say that CRDB Tanzania is sufficiently prepared to capitalise on that growth? Our success in 2021 is attributed to our ability to serve our customers, despite the challenges occasioned by the pandemic. This was made possible by the strategic investments in technology to ensure efficient and reliable services. As mentioned earlier, the assets in technology shored our capacity to serve, giving our customers the flexibility to interact with the bank at their convenience. The Group's medium-term strategy identified investments in technology as a priority and earmarked a roadmap to technology maturity. The COVID-19 pandemic only served to accelerate the bank's digital technology projects, paving the way for faster delivery. We are prepared to capitalise on the growth resulting from the innovation during the pandemic. Over the last couple of years, we have made significant investments in upgrading our ICT capabilities as a Group, including commissioning a new data centre and a disaster recovery site. We also upgraded our core banking system and completed more than 100 integrations with external parties in the public and private sectors. We are doing this to ensure we are adequately prepared to face the future. What success stories and milestones have you achieved since you took over as CEO of CRDB in Tanzania? Our journey continues in earnest, and I am happy that we have achieved a lot during my short tenure as a team. We still have more ground to cover, but briefly, I see the turnaround in performance as one of the most significant milestones. When I

Our recent success story is the accreditation by GCF and subsequent approval of the Tanzania Agriculture Climate Adaptation Technology Deployment Programme (TCATDP), unlocking a $250 million fund to support climate-resilient agriculture in Tanzania

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Our strategy embraces a broad definition of financial inclusion from seeking to improve access; ensure quality and actual usage of financial products and services, including credit, insurance, payments, remittances, and savings. As a Group, we're focused on making sure technology transforms financial services in a way that works for everyone.

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The close relationship with customers, alongside other portfolio quality management strategies, helped the group to maintain its asset quality. Understanding the challenges that our customers faced, we were able to monitor facilities closely and make interventions in good time, especially for clients still reeling from the shockwaves of the pandemic.

onboarding customers. Our agents offer essential transaction services, including customer onboarding, bill payments, utility purchase, motor insurance purchase, and Govt Taxes. Today, the bank has more than 20,000 agents spread across the country.

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We continued to diversify the business according to our sustainability strategy, focusing on sectors we previously weren't keen on. As a result, we unlocked vast opportunities in various sectors, including mining and energy. Our inroads in the energy sector yielded good deposits from cash-rich Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs).


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took over the reins in late 2018, the Group's performance was a concern amongst a wide range of stakeholders, who were keen to turn it around. I commissioned a health check exercise on the enterprise and established systemic issues requiring urgent review and adjustments. Thanks to the interventions, the Group's performance has continued to improve yearly with successive growth in profit. In 2021, we achieved the highest profit in the bank's history, which is indicative of the reforms initiated under my watch.

Financial service providers would identify opportunities and develop products and solutions for each sector with clearer visibility of the entire practical value chain. Our Strategy focuses on value chain financing, which gives us the flexibility to engage customers at different levels.

We have also made it our business to understand the credit price challenge – especially for individual borrowers and the Agri sector. We recently reviewed our prices, allowing farmers to access loans at 9%, the cheapest in the market. We have also In addition to the excellent reviewed our loan pricing from 18% to performance, we have claimed our 13% for all salaried employee loans, space as a sustainability champion, pensioners, mortgages and personal following the Group's accreditation by the United Nation's Green Climate Fund secured loans by cash. These changes were also made possible by recent (GCF) as a financial intermediary in green financing in Tanzania. Our Group changes implemented by the central bank (Bank of Tanzania) to ensure was the first commercial entity enough liquidity in the market to accredited by GCF, reinforcing our support the growth of credit to farmers commitment to play a leading role in and ordinary consumers. climate action and the broader SDG agenda. In 2021, CRDB Bank became On the MSME side, we have the first Direct Access Entity of GCF to partnered with the Government of obtain funding to transform the Zanzibar to issue Zero Interest Micro agriculture sector. credit to entrepreneurs in the Trading Courtesy of the reforms being and Agriculture sector. We also give undertaken, CRDB Bank is an industry micro credit up to TZS5 million to nonleader in portfolio quality with the registered businesses (entrepreneurs lowest NPL in the market at 3.3%, with no business license or Tax against the industry cap of 5%. This, Identification Number TIN). To reach alongside sustained growth in the more farmers, we have partnered with Return on Investment (ROI) and growth farmers' cooperatives (AMCOS) to in shareholders' funds. We have also create a more structured way of reduced our operations costs from offering agricultural credit. We also about 77% in 2018 to 55.3% at the end provide financial literacy training to of 2021. We did this without laying off traders and farmers across the country staff and realigning resources to drive to ensure that we're maintaining productivity. We still have more to portfolio quality. achieve, especially in productivity and All of the above changes in price people. and product enhancement are also Looking at financial inclusion, access to supported by the bank's digital credit remains a challenge, with interest platforms, where customers can easily rates averaging 16% in Tanzania. What access loans via SimBanking (App & USSD), including Salary advance, does it take to unlock credit to Pensioners' advance and Boom advance Tanzania's productive sectors? What is (instant digital loan for university CRDB's strategy in this regard, and students). Innovations are underway to which products and services are you ensure that more customer groups can developing to scale up financial access digital loans instantly. inclusion? Tanzania has immense potential in then productive sectors, and in my opinion, mapping the value chains is a critical step in unlocking credit.

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To what extent have you been able to boost investor confidence in the bank bearing in mind that the operating environment has been anything but

favourable to the banks in recent times? On the contrary, it has been quite favourable for the banking sector; CRDB Group recorded a 62% YoY PAT growth. The operating environment has been challenging for most sectors globally; this was not a sector-specific or country-specific phenomenon. With such operating dynamics, communication is critical. Stakeholder engagement is a pertinent part of our operations. Our management team holds various investor engagements, which allows us to share updates on the implementation of our strategy, our performance to date and our outlook for the future. Investors also get the opportunity to ask questions and seek clarity. Looking at our performance over the last couple of years, I'd say we have been able to deliver and, in some cases, exceed the promises we made, which has dramatically increased their confidence in the Group. We understand you have doubled your attention on IT. So, it is something that you're incredibly focused on. How do you choose or decide which customers you want to go to? As mentioned earlier, our growth strategy considers ICT as a critical enabler, especially concerning service delivery and even customer acquisition. We are keen on building our IT capabilities to ensure that we can compete favourably in the global space and serve our customers efficiently and reliably. In terms of the customers we go to, our business looks at all opportunities in the market, guided by data. We have invested in robust research and development, and our products are developed using market data. The same principle applies to the segmentation of our customers and clientele. We see data analytics as a critical ingredient in our operations. As part of its sustainability strategy, the bank highlights its commitment towards sustainable societies and a green environment by “promoting responsible citizenship, sustainability

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PERSONS OF THE YEAR

Our Group has robust Environmental and Social Management Systems (ESMS) with a set of policies, procedures, tools, and a dedicated unit to ensure correct implementation to ensure adequate environmental and social management. We have integrated Environmental and Social Management Systems into our systems to provide a solid commitment to every lending staff that aligns to ecological and social concerns before the loan appraisal gets to the subsequent approval stages. Furthermore, we periodically undertake Environmental and Social due diligence to its clients, qualifying for projects loans based on national and international best practices to ensure the working environment to its employees is a safe, healthy, and clean environment. Our recent success story is the accreditation by GCF and subsequent approval of the Tanzania Agriculture Climate Adaptation Technology Deployment Programme (TCATDP), unlocking a $250 million fund to support climate-resilient agriculture in Tanzania. The Project, which focuses on helping smallholder farmers with limited access to finance and improve their livelihoods, is expected to benefit more than 6 million citizens over the next five years. Tell us about your Africa expansion plans and the role technology and partnership play. We dream of being a Pan-African Bank, powering the continent's growth in the next decade. Our expansion is strategic and follows the value chains that we finance in the productive sectors while at the same time ensuring our customers have convenient access to our services. We have set our eyes on 14 countries (Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, Angola, South Africa, Comoros, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Botswana, DRC, and Namibia). We have started engagements with officials in some countries to set the foundation for the bank's entry. We expect to expand our footprints to these countries through strategic entry approaches where in some cases, we partner with existing service providers through a brownfield entry (Merge & Acquire). In contrast, we will establish presence through greenfield entry (establishing a subsidiary) in some others.

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Well, the pandemic has ushered in a new age in business. We are increasingly witnessing changes in how our customers consume banking services and serve them. In my opinion, the changes happening in the social space will have a long-term impact on how banks organise themselves to help. In our case, the pandemic has pushed us to restructure our human resources, automating most of the back-end processes and moving staff previously doing back-end work into the frontend. This has resulted in increased productivity and efficiency, as demonstrated in the financial performance. Because of this adjustment, we could devote more time to understanding clients' unique challenges and innovating along those lines. In the future, I foresee the Group exploring more partnerships, especially with FinTechs and other technology companies, in building a broader ecosystem of financial services, leveraging digital technology. We see Innovation and digital adoption as critical ingredients for our growth as a bank. We will also continue implementing our digital transformation agenda, emphasising automation, digitisation, and innovation. As we implement various initiatives, we will enhance collaboration with other services providers (financial and non-financial), the government and regulators in implementing new initiatives. Is there any particular product or service that has been rolled out as part of the bank's digital transformation — or is soon to be rolled out — that you would like to take this opportunity to highlight? Frankly, most of our products have been transformed into digital services to give our customers the versatility to interact with their bank. We upgraded our platforms and enhanced their services during the last financial year, including introducing instant loans through our SimBanking platform. In addition, we integrated SDK with our core banking system to enable customers to manage all of their accounts in one place. We also rolled out a digital account opening service with 24/7 access and choice of channel, i.e., SimBanking, Wakala or Direct sales agent. Similarly, we integrated our money transfer services with multiple players to enable direct wire of money from any country directly to a CRDB account (without manual intervention)

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CRDB Bank has a broad social investment agenda to foster sustainable societies and environmental conservation. We are currently the financial intermediary in green financing under the United Nations' Green Climate Fund, consistent with our growth strategy. Our Corporate Social Investment programs focus on four pillars: Education, Environment, Health & Wellness, and Youth & Sports. We see these four pillars as integral in building sustainable societies. For us, sustainability is how we manage and operate our business to serve our customers best, care for the environment, secure profits and drive long-term prosperity.

Technology will play a critical role in enhancing our cross-border expansion in Africa. We will easily integrate our systems to ensure that our customers get a seamless experience for our products and services across the bank's footprints through technology. This is key for the banks business sustainability. But with the expansion, we cannot go alone; we need partners. In this case, partners will play an essential role in supporting the growth. Some partners will sustain us through capital ventures, while others will provide platforms for banking services. This will ensure that the bank's expansion will go smoothly as planned.

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and social consciousness" Can you provide a recent example of the bank demonstrating its support for sustainable societies in line with the above description?


PERSONS OF THE YEAR

MAN UP OR GO HOME

Mukwandi Chibesakunda, CEO of Zambia National Commercial Bank Discusses the Burden of Female Leadership in the Banking Sector

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According to an IMF report, greater inclusion of women as users, providers, and regulators of financial services would benefit beyond addressing gender inequality. It fosters greater stability in the banking system, enhances economic growth, and contributes to more effective monetary fiscal policy. In spite of this business case for inclusion in the financial sector, the industry has been sluggish in its commitment to enhancing gender equality, prompting criticism from different quarters. An IMF report of 2018 states that Women occupied less than 2 percent of bank CEOs positions, and less than 20 percent of the board seats across banks in the world and, on average, are paid 40 percent less than men across the industry. Interestingly, it was also discovered that low-and middle-income countries have a higher share of women in bank boards and banking supervision agency boards compared to advanced economies. However, despite the fundamental challenges associated with female leadership in the banking sector, some women have shown unusual determination and courage and have in a manner of speaking 'manned up rather than gone home. Mukwandi Chibesakund, is the CEO of Zambia National Commercial Bank. In this interview with our team, she talks about the burden of female leadership in the banking sector and how she deals with them. Excerpts;

Our team focuses on attaining 50% of women in leadership roles in the Bank, and we have developed programs including mentorship for our women to help us achieve this.

You are a woman of many firsts, with a distinguished career in the male-dominated banking industry. For those who will be meeting you for the first time, please tell us about some of your experiences growing up as a girl. Were there particular incidences that molded you to becoming who you are today? Well, Firstly, I grew up in a family of all girls, like most fathers; I'm sure mine wanted a son but ended up with six girls. Growing up, my father was keen on ensuring that we all got educated and gave the best to everything that we did. I remember my dad once sitting all of us girls down and saying to us "you are all I've got so make it work" And so, living on a farm, each of us was given a piece of land to grow something and from this, I learned the importance of hard work and discipline, which has shaped me into the person that I am today. From Access Bank to NATSAVE and now Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO)PLC, what are some of the challenges you have experienced, especially as a woman in a male-dominated banking

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PERSONS OF THE YEAR

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The bank initiated a forwardinglooking strategy that was approved in 2018, with much of the strategy There have been several focusing on Zanaco becoming a digital challenges, sometimes I have bank. This digital-first strategy was encountered individuals that still have absolutely crucial for us and the not adjusted to the reality that more pandemic proved its viability. With the women are now in leadership positions. onset of the pandemic and the shift by My lesson has been to always put my our customers to our digital channels, best foot forward, to keep striving to our strategy allowed us to reap the do my best in everything and ensure benefits sooner than anticipated. In that I bring value to the table. fact, it was at the end of our 2020 financial year that we recorded our first As CEO of ZANACO, a bank that has highest profit, as a result of this built a strong legacy and rich history strategy. since it's establishment in 1969, what would you say are your biggest What are some of the initiatives of your achievements? bank aimed at empowering women? My biggest achievement is the Our team focuses on attaining 50% milestone that we have just attained in of women in leadership roles in the our 2021 prudential results, of one Bank, and we have developed billion Kwacha profit. It is a first for the programs including mentorship for our Bank and a first for our Zambian women to help us achieve this. For our banking sector. customers, we have a Women's Banking ZANACO's performance continued on a proposition which is built to support women with access to finance, access strong growth trajectory under your to networking and opportunities and leadership, in spite of the disruptions capacity building programs through our and financial crisis brought about by partnership with the World Bank and COVID-19. How were you able to AFAWA under the African Development accomplish this in a time when most Bank. people were experiencing difficulties? industry, and the lessons learned in your rise to the top?

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Your leadership demonstrates a quality that can only be defined as a love-mark in a financial field that is frequently labeled as "cutthroat", as a "mother hen" or a "lioness to her cubs" by thousands of banking professionals who have had the luxury of being led by you. What advice would you provide to young women who wish to work in the financial industry? My advice is don't feel you deserve a role because of your gender. It must always be about the value that you are able to bring to the table. More importantly, always aim to give your best by working hard and being consistent. You have emerged a joint-winner of the African Leadership Magazine African Female Leader of the Year 2021. How does this make you feel? It's truly humbling. It is not an achievement I have attained all on my own. I have had great teams that I have worked with and more importantly people from my country that showed great patronage and voted for me.

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CLIMATE CHANGE

The Impact of CLIMATE CHANGE on Africa's Economies By Meresia Aloo

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According to the World Bank, Africa's average annual temperature is expected to rise by 3-4 degrees by 2099. Climate Change is also expected to half the amount of rainfall in agricultural areas bringing water shortages to up to 250 million people, says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. These stark warnings paint a grim picture for our continent - and it seems, as ever, that the poorest amongst us will bear the heaviest burden. I understand that the African Continent has contributed the least towards this, but I believe that we can still do much better and find a solution

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as a continent. The point is that as a continent, we are currently at the fork in the road, and the only sure way to address the two underlying issues of Climate Change and its economic impact is by going back to the drawing board and asking the hard questions. The African economy needs to be harnessed. Once this is accomplished, even individuals who live on the minimal necessities will refrain from activities that are harmful to the environment. Some of them even do them innocently.

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CLIMATE CHANGE

population expansion in Africa will make it difficult for the food supply to keep up with demand.

Likewise, during the rainy season, I would sometimes find her cleaning the gutters so that she could have some clean water to drink in case it rained. What will she do when the rains don't come anymore? Has climate change triggered migration to the city? According to OECD research, Africa's rapid urbanization since 1990 has been fueled by significant population growth and the reclassification of rural settlements. In 1960 only a quarter of the people resided in cities. The current rate is about 47%, and by 2050, it is predicted to reach 60%, which has ramifications for climate change. Relocation is boosted as crops fail and overcrowding in the city drive the bulk of people into slum. Poor land use and building material choices in some areas trap heat and contribute to flooding and the urban heat island effect, resulting in strong heat waves and related health risks. Efforts from the international community. According to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), it's now accepted that climate change will lead to greater temperatures and mixed rainfall by 2050, resulting in changes in crop yields and agricultural sector growth. That means higher food prices, less food availability, and increasing child malnutrition. Harsh weather events are predicted, leading to more tropical diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. SubSaharan Africa is anticipated to heat faster than the rest of the world, and many parts of the landmass will get less rain. Low rainfall will be highly detrimental in areas where agricultural output is strongly reliant on rain. The rate of

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The point is that as a continent, we are currently at the fork in the road, and the only sure way to address the two underlying issues of Climate Change and its economic impact is by going back to the drawing board and asking the hard questions.

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Climate change is a major development concern in Africa, potentially hindering progress on all eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The poor, particularly women, will be hit the hardest from Morocco to Mozambique. While If she had known that smoke from firewood emits short- African nations bear some responsibility for addressing lived climate pollutants, then she would not have released it these issues, climate justice will necessitate worldwide cooperation to combat this mortal challenge. into the air. She would not have cut trees if she knew that such actions would contribute to climate change and affect In collaboration with the international community, her health. Soot, of which black carbon is a significant African governments should commit to long-term action to component, is a significant contributor to global climate minimize the impact of climate change, particularly on the change, closely followed by methane. most vulnerable people in their country. But my grandmother is not to blame for the global To sum up, I believe that by working together, the climate crisis - we must stop the blame and end the charade African continent can achieve better. Returning to the of who did what or who is to blame as far as climate change drawing board will allow both the government and society is concerned. African governments must find solutions to understand the gap. because until then, people like my grandmother will go on burning firewood even in the twenty-first century, where It is between you, me, and my grandmother and her modern technologies have replaced traditional methods. village to end climate change.

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For instance, I was fortunate enough to be raised by my grandmother in the Kenyan community of Gem Akala. While I was there, I observed her cooking using firewood and other women her age did the same. Trees surrounded her homestead, and she would collect firewood from her trees 90% of the time rather than going to the forest to get it.


INTERVIEW

RESHAPING AFRICA Through Technology

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Mr Adetutu Stephen Oniya is one of Africa's fast rising Tech moguls and the CEO/Founder of Softcity Ltd. Mr. Oniya is a highly experienced digital expert and a computer scientist with over 15 + years of experience providing businesses and conglomerates with technology solutions. He is well read and vast in knowledge pertaining to automation and digitalized processes Softcity is a Tech-based organization that provides web and mobile application design and development, social media marketing and engineering, cyber vulnerability testing and protection. Softcity Ltd has been cheered for providing tailor suit and industry specific solutions to its client. Being a locally founded yet internationally established business, shows that Africa has the potential and ability to drive tremendous breakthroughs and innovation in the science and technology industry at globally acceptable standards. The solutions offered by Softcity is geared towards creating a more integrated and seamless approach to business operations and data protection in the work place. In an interview with our editor, Mr Oniya throws some light on his business and the choices that informed getting into technology business. a lot of opportunities.

We already have an idea of who you are. But for people who will read this, can you tell us about yourself? I am Adetutu Stephen Oniya, a computer scientist with expert knowledge of implementing software solutions and integrating hardware components. I am the Founder and CEO of Softcity Group, a 13 years old technology company headquartered in Nigeria, with focus on enterprise and mid-level market solutions. We also give a special attention to startups with ideas that need technology to scale and evolve. I am a Chartered Information Technology Professional with proven expertise in software development, data science, security, networked systems and more. I am a member of the IEEE computational intelligence society, a professional member of the Association for Computing Machinery, a senior professional member of the Institute of Information Management (Africa), and a member of the Computer Professional Registration Council Nigeria. In my 17 years computing career, I have led dynamic teams of technology professionals in implementing technology solutions for agencies and sectors in government, banking, and several other private institutions. You had your first degree in pharmacy and decided to get a second degree in computer science. What a switch! What motivated you into making that choice of dropping the pharmaceutical world? Because I know that is a big industry with

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Great question here, I must state that I love the pharmacy industry and I will always love and appreciate the team of professionals that gave me the highestlevel of professional training I needed to build the foundation of my career. My non-practice of the pharmacy profession is a decision to be a part of this great industry indirectly, not actually a complete abandon of this group of professionals. I simply pursued a more pressing interest that can allow me contribute more to a wider sector of the evolving global work practice. It is worthy of note that I have worked with some pharmacy departments in the government sector to automate processes and improve performance. I still consider myself a pharmacist, though I'll rather be seen as a computer scientist. Now letʼs talk about your brain child, your poster child “Softcity”. Tell us about Softcity and what you do. Softcity Group is a group of companies I founded to create value for humanity and use technology as a driver of growth, development and resilience. Currently, the group has registered entities in Nigeria, South Africa and in the United States of America. We are continually improving our network to sell trust in the service of humanity. We hope to expand into Europe and other parts of the globe in next few years. The primary services offered by our dynamic team

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INTERVIEW

I do not think we can ever be prepared enough. We need to keep learning, unlearning and relearning. The Our customer relationship global market is not the same as the preference is the building a long-lasting African market, though they share relationship, which is why we always similar characteristics, the business We pride ourselves as a one-stop guarantee our customer base that we requirements of the different markets technology powerhouse with proven will own the technology domain on are unique. capacity to interpret client their behalf, while they focus on the requirements, understand the detailed business domain without any Our ability to retain a team of problem domain and deploy our distraction. professionals that can catch up with the resources to guarantee customer rapidly evolving knowledgebase of satisfaction. Our good works is what is speaking technology is a key advantage for us. for us with all the reviews, as we have Where did you get the Softcity dream Our 'people' know what it is to gained the trust of a huge customer from? What motivated you to set up forecast and predict the possible base who consider those reviews a Softcity? direction of innovation, and we at the good gesture in return of our highly top management are committed to Softcity is God's calling for my Life level of professionalism and empowering the team with strategic and I make bold to say I never commitment to quality. objectives that do not only foster personally conceived Softcity like a There is a lot of talk about the tech company growth but also regular business idea, but I was moved space taking over the world. Everything institutionalizes self-development. to pursue and apply the knowledge of is moving digital. How will Softcity computing in laying a foundation for a Starting up a company is not easy in position to take advantage of this global focused technology company technological revolution that is already this part of the world. I'm sure you that will not only solve problems, but encountered many challenges and occurring and will only ramp up in the also provide an opportunity for young hurdles on your way up; what are some near future? aspiring technology enthusiasts to learn of the biggest challenges you have and be mentored. There is no tech space without faced so far? people because technology is only a I had been a technology freelancer You are very correct that birthing tool in the hands professionals that for 4 years before founding the and sustaining a business in this part of knows how to use them. company 13 years ago. I am daily the world is not child's play. The motivated to prove diligence in service The evolution of technology economic instability and unpredictable and exceed the expectations of our adoption across the world is a great policies are the major challenges here. customers in alignment with industry one and we at Softcity Group are best practices. focused on the 'people' component and the 'innovation' component when it Many positive recommendations and comes to our positioning in the global five-star ratings come from the market place. community of people you and your group have worked and collaborated Our plan is to continue to scale with; What will you say you do unique and expand our technical capacity or different from other competitors that beyond the boundaries of Africa and bring those positive reviews? promote the adoption of innovative Our good works is what is technologies that can solve the peculiar speaking for us with all the Our approach to problem solving is problems we have in Africa. reviews, as we have gained straight forward and it is an internal the trust of a huge customer policy that every member of the We are well equipped for the long Softcity team holds above everything base who consider those term and we have clarity as to the else. reviews a good gesture in direction of technological evolution on the global scale. We are positioned to return of our highly level of Like I said above, we are in the ensure Africa does not miss out of the professionalism and business of selling trust; we pay fourth industrial revolution which is commitment to quality. attention to our customers' problem popularly called Industry 4.0. domain, then we 'own' it. Our ability to take ownership of a customer's Softcity currently has teams and problem allows us to go beyond limits registered entities in Nigeria, South

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We take our time to work with the customer through requirements engineering, documentation, implementation, testing and acceptance, deployment and post implementation support.

Africa, India and the United States of America. How prepared are you for the larger market, especially in Africa, beyond the countries you are registered?

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in solving these problems.

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of professionals are, software development, digitized safety systems, automated fire suppression systems, telematics and fixed camera surveillance systems, private data and voice networks, access control systems, smart automation systems and other turnkey solutions that might require bespoke implementation based on the uniqueness of the problem at hand.


INTERVIEW

The above has not only contributed to a brain drain situation where talents are no longer sharing a long-term vision with most organizations, instead they will rather pursue a future outside the country in order secure and guarantee a future for themselves.

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Though I don't totally agree with the ideology of exiting and pursuing a green pasture, neither do I blame anyone who gives up on the beautiful land of Nigeria. How have you been able to work your way through this challenge to deliver high premium services to clients? I basically see business as a system of inputs and outputs, so I avoid infusing garbage into the system so as not to end up with garbage out. My approach is to stay conscious of the fact that the system of business requires standard features such proper record keeping, regular stakeholders meeting, external consulting, business continuity and resilience planning, capacity building and many other elements that drives the system. Once you have all the above as part of your system, you will appreciate the grace of God over the organization. We know you have had a lot of success stories. You have worked on major projects and collaborated with major brands; which particular success story or project do you consider your biggest or proudest moment? Without thinking twice, it is automation of the entire pharmacy operations in one of the federal hospitals in Nigeria. I felt privileged to be working alongside pharmacists and joining hands with professionals to improve performance using a combination of custom software and hardware integration. Many young people aspire to go into tech; some already see it as a getting rich industry. What do you have to say to some of these young stars, and what can they expect from a tech career? Well, technology is a great skill to possess and a beautiful career to pursue. That being said, I donot think

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having a 'get rich' mindset is the best way to pursue a career in technology. If any young person is desiring technology because of money, then such person has already laid the foundation of failure.

Other than being a tech power house, what other things do you engage in? I mean you social engagements and what you do for leisure when you are not on computers?

I am gradually improving in this regard and I know very well that I need From my experience as a computer to do more. scientist, I have enjoyed a great career Currently, I visit the gym, invite or with a specialty in technology adoption visit friends for a chat, spend the and implementation, but the journey weekend on family outings, read books was a long one and I was patient through the entire process. I was never and play games. driven by money. Any word from you for what the Technology is a problem solver, continent is to expect from Softcity in and if you don't pursue a career in the coming years? technology because you want to solve For the sake of preventing the problems, then you have no reason to circumvention of our strategic plans, I be in technology. will just summarize that we have plans to lay the foundation for an indigenous My advice to young technology enthusiasts will be to properly evaluate African enterprise that can compete with the global tech giants we all know their capacity viz-a-viz the existing today. problems that can be converted to opportunities in Africa. In few years' times, that foundation would have been successfully laid, then Once they've identified capacity the building blocks of the African and properly matched it to an global technology giant will be laid opportunity, then they have made the faster than anyone can actually first move towards a successful career imagine. in technology. Describe what a normal day is like for you. Oh my God, this is a very big question, as even clients get to ask me questions like "Stephen, do you rest"?

This has been my driving force and it is very doable, and the entire length and breadth of Africa will witness this happen soonest.

Actually, my day starts early around 6am with my morning prayers, then I do some physical exercise before joining the family to prepare the kids for school. Once the above is done and I get to power on my workstation, I am completely lost in a hybrid mix of home and office shuttle depending on the demand for the day. I often hear my wife say the easiest to get my attention in the day is to ensure I don't get to power up my workstation, because once I do that, I'm lost in the matrix of computing.

AFRICANLEADERSHIP MAGA ZINE


FEATURE

FLY WITH US –

Why Africa's Aviation Industry Is Key to Africa's Recovery By Peter Burdin

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The Aviation industry provides seven million jobs in Africa. That includes the Pilots and Air Stewards and the whole supply chain from the airport cleaners to the chefs who cook the in-flight meals. That's why the 5th Africa Business Forum in Addis Ababa this month was dedicated to the Aviation and Tourism sectors as critical players in Africa's post-Covid recovery. Both are intrinsically bound together with improved air travel and better routes making it easier to attract the tourists that makeup around 10% of Africa's GDP.

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We need to develop new business models with digitalisation at the fore, particularly in air travel and tourism. We need to create a single air transport policy for Africa to improve the African Continental Free Trade Area

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FEATURE

Before Covid-19, Africa welcomed around 76 million visitors. It was estimated at the Forum that better air connections could grow to more than 300 million in the next decade. According to Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, the Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission both aviation and tourism sectors need to become more agile if they are to play a role in boosting intra-Africa trade:

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"We need to develop new business models with digitalisation at the fore, particularly in air travel and tourism. We need to create a single air transport policy for Africa to improve the African Continental Free Trade Area". Dr Abou-Zeid's view was reinforced by the President of the Africa Export and Import Bank Benedict Oramah, who said the air transport was a focus for the Bank which has already financed new aircraft deals in Africa worth $2.8 billion in the past few years: "We must invest now to grow our intra-Africa trade, and air transport is one of the quickest ways of doing this. We need more equipment to carry goods around the continent." The Deputy Chair of the African Union Commission, Mamadou Tangara said this expansion is in line with the African Union's 2063 Vision to achieve an integrated and prosperous Africa: "Our 2063 Vision can't be achieved without being integrated. We need to implement the free movement of people, and that needs to be driven by our citizens", she said, "Aviation and Tourism infrastructure is import to make us better interconnected, and the digital infrastructure is key. We have the vision; the next step is implementation".

Meanwhile there are perhaps lessons to be learned from Africa's largest carrier Ethiopian Airlines which customers named last December as "Best African Airline" at the Business Traveller Awards. Ethiopian Airlines employs more than 17,000 people and kept flying throughout the pandemic when it switched its business model from passenger transport to the shipment of cargo and Covidrelated medical supplies. It has its Vision as laid out in a 15-year strategic plan to become one of the world's leading aviation groups. It is already the fourth largest globally in terms of the number of countries it flies to. Suppose other African airlines can follow the example of Ethiopian Airlines, linking up and integrating Africa and boosting intra-African trade. In that case, the aviation industry could be a game-changer. It already supports around seven million jobs in Africa. That's 2.2% of all employment on the continent and 2.7% of Africa's collective GDP. And that drives directly into the Tourism industry as air travel facilitates a substantial amount of tourism across Africa. This provides further prosperity as the tourists spend their money in hotels, lodges, restaurants and shops. Even the street vendors selling African souvenirs benefit from a good air transport system that moves travellers from place to place in large numbers. It's estimated that pre-Covid-19 spending by foreign visitors to Africa contributed some $44 billion to GDP and supported more than six million jobs in the tourism sector. That's a big bonanza that can be built upon and reason enough why work is underway in partnership with the European Union to upgrade African tourism and develop Eco-tourism value chains.

But perhaps before implementation, the African aviation industry is in urgent need of restructuring. As Kenya Airways CEO Allan Kilavuka pointed out, there are some 300 airlines across Africa, and in his opinion, the industry requires consolidation. He suggested that although the industry had a very central role in supporting the African Union's Vision, it would perhaps require potentially radical measures such as airlines sharing skilled manpower and aviation expertise to meet the ambitions that have been placed on it. Mr Kilavuka sits at the sharp end of an industry that has been badly hit during the Covid-19 pandemic. Kenya Airways is about to receive $176 million to restructure its mounting debts, which have grown to in excess of $800 million amid continuing talk that the national carrier may still have to be taken into Kenyan government ownership. Kenya Airways is facing similar pressures to South African Airlines (SAA), which has just emerged from bankruptcy with its fleet reduced to six airplanes from a height of forty-six at the peak of its operations.

Kenya Airways is facing similar pressures to South African Airlines (SAA), which has just emerged from bankruptcy with its fleet reduced to six airplanes from a height of forty-six at the peak of its operations

Numerous new management rescue packages have so far failed to turn around SAA's fortunes.

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AFRICANLEADERSHIP MAGA ZINE


CLIMATE CHANGE

Africa on the Brinks:

Climate Change and the Gender Question By Khadija Yusra Sanusi

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Last month, a group of my Year 7 students asked me what climate change means and why it's a big deal. I did not know how to explain. So, as a realist, I said: “Some human activities – deforestation, car exhaust, fuel consumption, etc – add more carbon dioxide to the environment. When there is much carbon dioxide in the environment and not enough oxygen – because there aren't enough trees to breathe in the carbon dioxide – the climate begins to change by getting hotter because of the high level of carbon dioxide.” This was followed by a series of advice to plant more trees, recycle, going green, etc.

into higher levels of extreme poverty.” They explain that there are several factors that contribute to Africa's vulnerability. In fact, they argue that seven of the 10 countries that are most vulnerable to climate change are African countries.

In 2015, four African countries were reported on the list of the 10 countries most affected by climate change; these were Ghana and Madagascar ( joint 8th position), Malawi (3rd position) and Mozambique (1st position). Al Jazeera also reports that Africa's 54 countries are collectively responsible for less than 4 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, yet the continent (as a whole) is warming up Ironically, according to the African Development Bank Group, Africa is the vulnerable continent for climate change, faster and more than the global average. According to them, research by the World Meteorological Organization despite its relatively low contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. They argue: “Despite having contributed the least observed that the glaciers of Mount Kilimanjaro of Tanzania, Mount Kenya and the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda are to global warming and having the lowest emissions, Africa faces exponential collateral damage, posing systemic risks to shrinking. “Mount Kenya is expected to be deglaciated a decade sooner, which will make it one of the first entire its economies, infrastructure investments, water and food mountain ranges to lose glaciers due to human-induced systems, public health, agriculture, and livelihoods. This climate change,” World Meteorological Organization reports. threatens to undo its modest development gains and slip

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CLIMATE CHANGE

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So, why are African countries disadvantaged when it comes to climate change? According to International Institute for Sustainable Development's Angie Dazé, people experience climate change differently. Daze explained that a person's environment – and possibly even their social and economic standing – affects their experience with climate change. A livestock herder in the Ethiopian lowlands, she argued, has a much different experience of climate change than a civil servant in Addis Ababa, just as a woman in a poor rural household has a different experience of climate change than her husband. According to her, “People have different adaptation needs, depending on where they live, how they sustain their livelihoods, and the roles they play in their families and communities. There are socially determined differences too – in opportunities, responsibilities, and decision-making power – and all of these influence how vulnerable people are to climate change. Without understanding these dynamics – which are often influenced by gender – there is a risk that the people with the greatest need for adaptation will be left out. Effective adaptation considers the different needs of women and men, as well as marginalized groups, to ensure that investments are targeted where they are needed most. The reality in many countries is that women are underrepresented in decision-making in areas relevant to climate change adaptation. For example, in many African countries, the number of women in senior positions in the government is concerningly small and at the household level, decisionmaking power still often rests with men.” Therefore, not only is Africa disadvantaged when it comes to climate change, African women are even more so than African men. Dazé's solution is the inclusion of African women – especially those in environments most affected by climate change – in relevant conversations, on decisionmaking tables and in government positions where they can make significant contributions to the development of their environments. For example, in December 2021, Abdulrahman Abdulrazak, the Governor of Kwara state in North Central Nigeria, introduced the “Political Offices (Gender Composition) Bill”. The law, the first of its kind across the country, orders at least 35 percent of the seats in the state executive council and other classes of political appointments to be given to women indigenes of the state. In addition, under the leadership of President Paul Kagame in 2018, Rwanda was leading the world in the number of women in National Legislature. Women were holding 64 percent of the seats in the lower house of the country's national legislature – followed by 53 percent in Bolivia, 49 percent in Cuba, 44 percent in Seychelles and Sweden. No other African country came close. Apart from gender inclusion in those countries, what else can be done to change the narrative and the status quo? According to Charles A. Ray – a member of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Africa Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute – there are “some priority action items” that should be taken to reduce the impact of Climate Change on Africa's economies. He proposed seven action plans, which are:

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Factor weather-driven migration into the design and construction of urban areas.

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Promote sustainable growth, especially in rural communities.

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Promote climate-friendly agriculture, such as efficient, clean energy and micro-irrigation.

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Provide easy access to weather and climate information, especially to women who make up a large percentage of the agricultural workforce and are the most vulnerable.

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Substantially increase investment in agricultural research. Africa currently has 17 percent of the world's population and is heavily dependent on agriculture, but only receives four percent of investment in agricultural research from all sources, including donors or internal government budgets. An increased investment in research will provide a better understanding of Africa's climate and the impact of climate change. The bulk of this research, though it might be primarily internationally funded, should be done by Africans.

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Provide broad and sustained support for food security and expanded access to health care, with emphasis on the most vulnerable.

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Increase Intra-African cooperation to manage conflict and provide disaster relief.

There is so much to be done by individuals, governments, and communities to help climate change across the world, but it begins with how women are seen and treated in Africa and in the world. The woman who has to wake up at 5am to fetch water for her family is more affected by climate change than the woman who has access to the world with the snap of her fingers. Likewise, the woman in a rural area is more affected by climate change than the woman living in an urban area. So while we can save the world by planting more trees, recycling, contributing less and less to greenhouse gases, we also need to save the world by saving our women, saving ourselves.

According to the African Development Bank Group, Africa is the vulnerable continent for climate change, despite its relatively low contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.

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SPORTS

BRINGING JOY TO AFRICA THROUGH

FOOTBALL By Janet Abena Quainoo

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After weeks of thrilling soccer action, which saw 23 qualifying countries test their strength against each other for the coveted AFCON trophy, the curtains were drawn for the closure last Sunday, with the Teranga Lions of Senegal emerging as the ultimate winners after beating 8-time champions Egypt. Besides keeping football lovers glued to their seats on the continent and beyond for weeks, this year's finale could arguably pass as one to have forced many disappointments down the throat of so-called football powerhouses on the continent. It would be a discussion for another day. Who would have guessed that Egypt would make it to the final after losing to Nigeria? But, I suppose, there are no surprises in football! To be fair, Egypt seemed uneasy right from the start of the tournament. It simply shows how well they mastered performing in the competition and for the final that they made it to the grand finale in the first place. The Egyptian team was a discipline side with so much fluidity to their play, not to mince words. So, their dominance on

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the continent comes with not much surprise to many. Enough said! Before the substantive issue, let's spend time to reflect on the final? What a game that was! By way of comparison, the two teams were miles apart. Egypt, eight-time champions. The closest to them is Cameroon

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SPORTS

at five.

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praise for his years of patience and resilience is Abou Cisse, the head So, obviously, on paper, the coach. His beautiful story could well be Senegalese, who have only mustered appreciated knowing that Cisse was two finals without winning any was a no involved both as a player and as a head match. But from the blast of the whistle, coach during Senegal's two AFCON their desire to win it this time was final appearances (2002 and 2019). glaring for all to see. The road to the AFCON victory The star-studded team with players In Bamako's Stade du 26 Mars, Aliou across almost all the major European Cisse pondered for a long moment leagues did play their hearts out. But before shooting his penalty kick onto for the heroics of 'Gabaski' who had Boukar Alioum's shins to hand saved the day for the Egyptian Cameroon the 2002 Africa Cup of pharaohs, the game would have long Nations. been settled before the first break. Liverpool's Sadio Mane had clearcut scoring opportunities to have buried the game early but missed a couple to the awe of many, including a penalty kick at the fourth minute of the game. This would have now been a distant memory after he showed up when his country needed him most to blast the deciding penalty kick to hand his country their first ever AFCON trophy. The historic victory, as deserving as it were, did send the entire continent, including the people of Senegal, into a rapturous moment of ecstasy for the great feat achieved. Behind it, is one man who had seen it all, both as a player and now coach- Abou Cisse. Behind it all, the one-man worthy of

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Having drawn 0-0 at the end of extra time in the tournament's final in Mali, Senegal had an opportunity to win the continent's most prestigious sporting prize. However, Cisse, the captain botched the outcome with his final attempt at the shootout. Dashing the hopes of the Senegalese national team and nation for a trophy they have had their chances at but to no avail. Cisse expunged those demons and eventually got his hands on the trophy, which he and Senegal had been after for two decades. Cisse would go down in history as the second-youngest coach to win the tournament. After years of having jobs

dominated by European and Latin American ex-pats, he is now a flag bearer for a growing stable of African coaches at the pinnacle of the continent's game. After Sunday's final victory over Egypt, Cisse was in tears and dancing jigs of joy, but not before having to endure the anguish of yet another penalty shootout before ultimately being proclaimed African champions. It was the first view into the emotions roiling within a normally stoic-looking coach, whose media appearances are concise and precise but rarely hint at what lies beneath the surface. That is designated for the team's private quarters, as well as the post-match celebrations. Cisse's rise to the top couldn't have come that easy. He had to wither a barrage of criticism in resilience. Cisse is a no-nonsense disciplinarian, insistent on hard work, good timekeeping, and a focused approach. Frivolity is not one of his strong points. Not to take anything away from him though, but his victory was also a validation of the Senegalese Football Federation's decision to continue with a guy who has faced a barrage of criticism, including from his former teammates, yet has always delivered.

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SPORTS

"I've had the pleasure of playing with great players such as Jay-Jay Okocha and Ronaldinho. Because I was a young player and had the opportunity to play a few games for a large club, I learned a lot " he stated Cisse was welcomed into the national squad by former Senegal coach Bruno Metsu, and he captained the team that surprised World Cup holders France in the tournament's first game in 2002. In Japan and South Korea, that team advanced all the way to the quarter-finals, becoming only the second African country to do so. Following that, he had stints with Birmingham City and Portsmouth, where he had to deal with the devastating death of 12 members of his family in a ferry catastrophe off the coast of West Africa not long after his arrival in England.

He lost to Algeria in the 2019 final and returned to lift the trophy in Cameroon. This could only be a story of resilience and patience in hard work. As often said, patience pays.

Besides keeping football lovers glued to their seats on the continent and beyond for weeks, this year's finale could arguably pass as one to have forced many disappointments down the throat of so-called football powerhouses on the continent

In 2006, Cisse returned to Sedan and concluded his career with Nimes in Ligue 2. He was never a showstopper, preferring to be labeled as "workmanlike." How it Started He took his coaching badges and joined the Senegal federation as an assistant to Olympic coach Karim Sega Diouf for the London 2012 Olympics. Cisse started his career with the national team under Alain Giresse and took over in March 2015 following a disastrous Nations

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Cisse, on the other hand, got his start at Lille's academy and went on to make his professional debut at Sedan. In 1998, he was finally able to join PSG.

Since then, Cisse has gradually carved out a route for himself, winning his first match in charge against Ghana in a friendly in Le Havre and amassing a total of 71 matches under his belt. Senegal has qualified for three Nations Cups in a row, as well as the most recent World Cup in Russia. In the leadership of the Teranga Lions, he has a record of 46 victories, 16 draws, and only nine losses.

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He stated, "I used to go to Parc des Princes as a kid to witness Safet Susic, Valdo, and all the other great players. My ambition had always been to play for Paris St-Germain. Many young people from the suburbs want to enter the youth academy, but I was unable to do so."

Cup performance in Equatorial Guinea, when Senegal was one of the pre-tournament favorites but failed to advance past the first round.

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DIPLOMATIC WATCH

US - AFRICA RELATIONS: OPPORTUNITY LOST OR FOUND? By Janet Abena Quainoo

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"It's great to be back in Abuja" Exclaimed the US secretary of State Anthony Blinken on his visit to Nigeria last November, or to the "Giant of Africa" as he described the West African powerhouse.

around Cold War politics when Africa provided a local for the United States and Soviet Union to act out their global struggle. The period between 1990 and 1998 could be described as the transitional period, as the He found time to praise those great Nigerian icons of U.S. strove to articulate clear African policy objectives Afrobeats, Nollywood, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and jollof rice, and strategies via USAID and international financial and said it was time to start treating Africa as the "major institutions, when President Clinton began a rescue geopolitical player it has become". operation of sorts during his second term by trying to After the Trump Presidency when Africa barely got a mention, it connect U.S. interests with those of Africa. was certainly encouraging that the Secretary of State was putting All too often U.S. policy seems to reduce Africa on the radar in the relatively early days of the Biden situations in Africa to people and states as being Administration. But what does the new US team have in mind in its either good, bad, right or wrong without considering relations with the continent? After all, relations between the U.S. the complexities required when dealing with systems, and Africa have gone through at least three major phases: the Cold institutions and humans. This approach has led to real War, the transitional period from 1990 to 1998, and the post – 1998 life and death consequences with examples evident in period when President Obama launched Power Africa to bring Rwanda, the DRC, Somalia and Libya. While the Trump electricity to the continent and the Young African Leaders Initiative Administration's aid policy was based on the notion (YALI) which has seen hundreds of young people travel to the US that recipients of aid must build their capacity to drive for study programmes aimed at promoting democracy and their own development building a network of future African leaders. The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and The U.S.-Africa relationship between 1950 and 1990 revolved AFRICOM were two entities that were established to

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DIPLOMATIC WATCH

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Helping African countries build their resilience to deal with effects of climate change through technical assistance., stronger health systems and democratic institutions.

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Again, Africa represents an impressive market of 1.2 billion people and a growing middle-class with disposable income worth tapping into. a variety of ways. African cities such as Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg and Dakar are growing at a phenomenal rate, and more growth requires more capital. Africa needs about $80 billion a year to invest in infrastructure for the foreseeable future, and U.S. International Development Finance Corporation with a budget of $58.5 billion per year could be used to support African countries to strengthen the relationship as other countries including China, Japan, Germany, South Korea and Australia are stepping up to fill the demand. Ÿ Africa is more than a potential American consumer market; it has the potential to be a manufacturing centre to meet American consumer needs. With the tensions between China and U.S. put aside, the Chinese manufacturing sector has matured and costs are rising. Africa is the next best place to satisfy the supply-chain needs of the manufacturing sector. Africa has a wealth of young people and poverty which translates into an available and willing workforce. Africa has demonstrated that it has the potential to become the world's next factory with a larger population of people of working age than both China and India. With this, African countries can take advantage of U.S. companies who see this as an opportunity, to invest and build factories that can create employment for its people and alleviate them from poverty and improve standard of living. As during the Clinton administration, when the U.S. passed the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which provided trade preference for commodities and goods from Africa

As Secretary of State Blinken will know from his briefing notes, Nigeria is poised to have a larger population than the US by the end of this decade. Africa matters and that's why his Biden Administration is mulling over suggestions of how to strengthen US ties with the continent. That could include: Ÿ

Improving existing trade agreements and encouraging African states to cement the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

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Continuing to invest in education and building the capacity of Africans to drive their own development, by strengthening educational exchange programs and strengthening African higher education institutions.

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The U.S. can serve as a partner to help Africans build their capacity. But perhaps the time has come to stop seeing the US as Africa's potential saviour. Perhaps the biggest clue comes from a speech President Obama made in Ghana in 2009 when he said "we must start from the simple premise that Africa's future is up to Africans."

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enable America up its game on the African continent. The MCC was started to advance development in democracies around the world. The point was to help young democracies deliver a development dividend that would contribute to stability and progress and mitigate against possibilities of such places becoming breeding grounds for terrorists. African countries benefitted more from grants in the inception of MCC. The establishment of AFRICOM further acknowledged that America and Africa have mutual geopolitical and military interests that required greater cooperation, since it will benefit both continents where Africa will get assistance both economically and military wise. And because America needs to reassert its leadership position in the world against China, Africa is where America has to be.

After the Trump Presidency when Africa barely got a mention, it was certainly encouraging that the Secretary of State was putting Africa on the radar in the relatively early days of the Biden Administration

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GENDER

CHAMPIONING ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN IN AFRICA By Sinalo Goso

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Africa is on a mission to promote gender parity. This is after a research done by McKinsey and Company has proven how the contribution of women in the continent would aid the growth of the economy. Women's impact on the economy has been assessed, and the Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) of the G7 (Group of Seven) countries aim to empower and enhance women's economic empowerment in the continent by launching projects that will help achieve this aim.

female children not to reach their full economic, political and social potential. If women were to participate in the economy identically to men, the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) would increase by the year 2025. This was discovered after long-established research done on women in leadership roles by McKinsey and Company.

Africa, sometimes nicknamed the “Mother Continent”, was reported to be the world's second-fastest-growing economy by the African Development Bank in 2017. While the African continent continues to grow, women and young female children are left behind and will probably be for more than 140 years.

In Africa, most women, whether in urban or rural areas are uneducated, causing them to be illiterate and poor. However, urban women in Africa have worked hard to prove themselves worthy of receiving the economic opportunities available only to men. According to Juliette Ayisi Agyei in African Women: Championing Their Own Development and Empowerment-Case Study, Ghana, educated urban women have made an immense contribution towards developing and empowering women in the continent. To

In Africa, women remain under-represented in leadership, which is a cause of concern. The under-representation of women in Africa is due to gender inequality which is still common even after being labelled as the second-fastest-growing economy. Gender inequality in Africa is caused by various things, such as lack of education, lack of employment, poor medical care and lack of religious freedom, forcing women and young

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Access to finance is one of the various keys to unlock economic opportunities for women, alongside with access to digital technologies. African women's access to digital technologies has progressed over the years and is not far below the global average, which stands at 0.86. Although African women are having access to digital technologies as a form of unlocking economic opportunities, the continent still has the most significant gender gap in mobile ownership. The percentage of women who own mobiles in the African continent stands at 15, and only one in three women have access to the mobile internet in Sub-Saharan Africa. When compared to the mobile internet access that Sub-Saharan men have to women, one in two men have access while women stand at one in three.

Gender parity is the end goal that the African continent hopes to achieve. The 2X Flagship Fund, a part of the 2X Challenge, which is a multilateral initiative launched by the Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) of the G7 (Group of Seven) countries which are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, aims to empower women and enhance their economic empowerment by mobilising $3 billion to support this initiative. Applying a gender lens helps investors unleash the multi-trillion-dollar opportunity women represent in the global economy. It has also been identified by the Development Partners International LLP (DPI) and DFI members of the 2X Challenge that gender parity drives higher performance and increases employee engagement in the private sector. When the gender is balanced in management teams, returns increase by 10 to 20%. As Africa continues to improve its standard of living and the economic issues caused by gender inequality, a noticeable change in getting more women in executive committees and board positions is made. This, nonetheless, does not occur in some regions. Africa is currently leading with the highest female representation at the board level of all its regions at 25% against the global average of 17%, which is a slight increase from the representation on executive committee's average, which currently

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Africa is still a long way from reaching gender parity which is fundamental to the achievement of human rights, but funds have been allocated by the DFI of the G7 countries to projects that will empower and enhance women's economic empowerment in Africa. A noticeable increase in African women in executive committees and board positions have also been detected, which is a step closer to reaching gender parity in the continent. This not only benefits African women as they acquire new skills and reach their full political, social and economic potential, but it also grows the economy because it is said to be that women are great at influencing the decisions made by customers when spending.

As Africa continues to improve its standard of living and the economic issues caused by gender inequality, a noticeable change in getting more women in executive committees and board positions is made.

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It is said that companies with an extensive number of women in leadership positions benefit the economy. This is because women manage risk sufficiently and relate better to their customers. It is also established that women directly influence 70 to 80 percent of global consumer spending decisions, which is estimated to be $40 trillion globally, and are able to generate better ways of working for management teams that enhance decision making. This is proven in the report issued in Women Matter by McKinsey and Company. The ideas which women generate for better ways of working include being open to new perspectives, being able to co-operate and consider the interests of multiple stakeholders, and lastly, women are ethical and promote the making of fair decisions.

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stands at 22%. Although Africa has the highest female representation at the board level, its GDP on women in leadership is below the global average, with a 0.04 difference between the two.

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combat the gender inequality evident in Africa, the contribution of women (those in rural and urban areas) to the economy has to be documented and well represented, just as those of the men. Women also must be provided with similar opportunities to those of men, such as access to education, jobs, and equal remuneration in the workplace, to name a few.


HEALTH

An Advancement to HEALTH COMMUNICATION in Africa By Sinalo Goso

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Health communication in Africa advances in digital media and communication technology and holds significant prospects for addressing major public health and development issues confronting the continent.

interventions in line with specific national health agenda programmes for synergistic implementation and not as fragmentary and uncoordinated branded interventions of individual aid agencies.

Digital technology advances have resulted in the application of new media technologies for diverse health problems. Mobile health, often described as a "gamechanging" technological platform, can unite both the educational and clinical functions of mHealth (mobile health) in one device through mobile telephony. Not only does mobile telephony unite both educational and clinical functions of mHealth, but it can also reach a larger audience with health information, facilitate interactivity, and promote confidentiality of use.

The use of social media for health communication has advantages to it. It offers significant opportunities for health promotion in engaging health professionals with their patients, marshalling new clients, and eradicating some of the inherent limitations of contextuality, interactivity, and mixed media utilisation. However, just like everything has an advantage, a disadvantage is present. The use of social media for health communication could potentially reinforce uneven disparities in society or could not alleviate the situation of the rural poor caused by a digital divide, which is a social, economic, and cultural divide.

It is recommended that social media interventions related to health be grounded in a theory of change that enhances the meaningful participation of critical actors in the development process and address the problem of inequities. Also, health communication programmers must ensure the strategic harmonisation of social media

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In recent years, as digital solutions became deployed for different sectors of society, including health education and communication, the African continent experienced significant progress and transformation in its digital

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HEALTH

Communication with the Nigerian public and the world did not end there. Android Apps, Facebook, Twitter and Google trends were used to identify topics of interest on the Ebola disease and communicate that with the public. A tutorial about Ebola was also developed by Vecna Technologies and Anadach Group and distributed by InStrat to health care workers across Nigeria. This provided Nigerian health care workers with real-time information on the causes of the disease, how it spread, a diagnosis and how it could be treated. While health care workers were on a mission to treat Ebola, the Ebola Alert response device was invented with the aim to provide information on specific aspects of the outbreak of the virus 24/7 by volunteer doctors. The circulation of information on signs and symptoms of Ebola were also done through countless SMS platforms. Social media for health communication was also used in Ghana. It was used to address and tackle the HIV pandemic in the country, which was among Men Who have Sex with Men (MSM). Like many African countries, Ghana has a deeprooted stigma associated with this sexual orientation. It was also recognised that the MSM in the country are not well informed and educated about HIV, how it is spread or how it can be prevented. When compared to the traditional modes of information, education and communication, which included face-to-face outreaches, it was discovered that social networking communities are more effective in targeted mobilisation of vulnerable populations and those perceived as high-risk groups. In 2013, FHI360 initiated a social media campaign with MSM which was aimed to build a relationship with them and share information using existing social media platforms such as Facebook, Badoo and Grindr. It is argued that integrating the virtual and physical space was fundamental to the results attained. This was after findings from the programme demonstrated that 15,440 unique MSM were mobilised and became predisposed to seeking customised services.

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It also keeps clients medical records updated in realtime for health care workers to have adequate information on which services to provide. Stage-based health information on their pregnancy is also incorporated for pregnant women and mothers living with HIV, which sends essential messages on their treatment updates. It is said that over a million women have been reached through various messaging services, and anecdotal feedback suggests that mothers' knowledge on maternal and child health has improved through the mobile health information programme. Increasing levels of internet penetration and the pervasiveness of mobile devices and social networking services led to the burgeoning of E-Health communication in Africa. While advancements of digital media have led to significant enthusiasm on the use of digital technology for health and development communication, different social media tools, platforms and devices for health promotion have been instituted using multiple social media interventions.

Mobile health, often described as a "game-changing" technological platform, can unite both the educational and clinical functions of mHealth (mobile health) in one device through mobile telephony.

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Digital media plays a significant role in society as it keeps the general public and health care workers informed and educated. When the Ebola disease broke out in Nigeria in 2014, digital media was part of the tools used to handle the crisis effectively. When the Ebola disease outbreak took place in Nigeria, social media campaigns were used to disseminate accurate information about the disease and correct any hoax messaging shared to the public. The social media campaigns covered Nigeria and the world through the help of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Diseases Control (CDC). The WHO and CDC assisted with providing accurate information on the situation nationally and internationally and reached influential bloggers and celebrities who joined in on the campaign using their various platforms to educate their networks and constituencies.

Like many African countries, South Africa also uses social media for health communication. South Africa faces a maternal health problem that has gained substantial public and media interest. Annually, 4,300 South African mothers die due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth. In addition to this, annual stillbirths stand at 20 000 while 23 000 babies die in their first month after being born annually. This led to the establishment of MAMA South Africa (a package of E-Health communication) by the health and development partners in 2013, which included a platform named Mom Connect designed to link pregnant women and mothers to health care workers through mobile telephony as well as an interactive question and answer portal.

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systems. It can be argued that social and digital technology has great potential for transforming health education and communication globally.


TECHNOLOGY

IMPACT OF TECH-TRENDS IN AFRICA'S SERVICE INDUSTRY

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Technology is ever-evolving, forcing people to keep up. The introduction of technology to African countries is transforming lives daily in the continent and exposing Africans to the opportunities and threats of technology. Society is impacted by technology, and different inventions and innovations change people's ways of interacting with their environment, with each other and themselves in extension. Africa, a continent rich in culture, consists of 54 countries, each with its unique culture(s). As technology is introduced, new lifestyles are formed in people's lives, resulting in a cultural shift that would not have existed had technology never caught on. Technology is ever-evolving, growing and shaping our world. As we continue exploring and expanding technology, life changes, new habits are created, and new ways of working together are formed. As technology evolves, new elements from within itself are made, and it develops systems that are constantly changing in unpredictable ways. The two critical emerging technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) and drones, are being harnessed in

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numerous African countries. It is assumed that the access and use of new technology in the continent is beyond the control of the state and the ultimate impact of the emergence of technologies depends largely on how governments choose to use them. Emerging technologies such as CCTV cameras with facial recognition systems, drones, robots, and "smart cities" are increasing. As technology continues to evolve in Africa, a powerful impact is evident on the security and stability of its states. Mobile technology in the African continent has been adopted on a large scale over the past few years. Today, at least a quarter of the population has access to the internet and a nearly fifty-fold increase in internet usage since the millennium turn. Equality with the rest of the world when three-quarters of Africans are projected to become internet users is estimated to be achieved by 2030. Internet penetration has rapidly increased, thus causing some African countries to take advantage of it to improve the lives of their citizens. However, there are downwards to the rapid spread of the internet across

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TECHNOLOGY

In Kenya, an average adult is four times more likely to access a mobile phone than a toilet or latrine. This is because mobile phones are cheap as well as broadband. In 2007, Safaricom, a telecom company in Kenya, launched its M-PESA mobile money service to a market that lacked retail banking infrastructure yet had many mobile users. In a short space of two years, M-PESA was winning international tech awards after attaining six million customers and transferring billions annually. It has also shaped the continent's most recognised technological leapfrogging, launching ordinary Africans without bank accounts right over traditional brick-and-mortar finance into the digital economy. The use of drones also became introduced in African societies. The spread of drones and other autonomous systems in Africa highlighted opportunities and risks. Rwanda first offered commercial drone delivery in 2016. Rwanda also partnered with the United States-based Zipline to transport life-saving medical supplies to remote rural areas. In the same year (2016), Nigeria publicly confirmed using a drone to combat a terrorist group, becoming the first African country to do so. With the rise of additive manufacturing, drones and other technologies such as artificial intelligence sensors, robots and rockets are becoming cheaper. The affordability and wide availability of cutting edge technology may allow some African states to build their defence industries. Drone swarms "designed for technology transfer and portable manufacturing

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The low cost and rapid proliferation of artificial intelligence and drones allow African countries to reap economic, political, and security benefits through early adoption. Although it is too early to tell where things are directed, the continent's trajectory will be more precise in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Emerging technology is likely to spread because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cyberattacks in Zimbabwe have increased during the pandemic by as much as fivefold. This was driven by phishing attacks impersonating organisations working on COVID-19 response or using COVID as a lure to deceive unwitting individuals into downloading malicious software. Uganda is another victim of cyberattacks. In their recent elections, the authorities hacked the encrypted communications of opposition leader Bobi Wine. Bobi Wine ran a sophisticated online influence operation, and authorities shut down the internet. This led to incumbent Yoweri Musevei being elected for a sixth term. African countries need to focus on more than the rapid and often reactive adoption of emerging technology to yield peace and prosperity. Risks and externalities should be considered, and increasing internet connectivity should be prioritised along with affordability, cybersecurity and equitable access.

Society is impacted by technology, and different inventions and innovations change people's ways of interacting with their environment, with each other and themselves in extension

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A study done by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed that 13% of all new or modified technology developed to respond to COVID-19 is African. African countries such as Ghana, Tunisia and Zimbabwe have developed new or modified technology to respond to COVID-19. In Ghana, a COVID-19 tracker app was launched by authorities, and Ghanian citizens invented hand-washing stations that are solar-powered. A downward to the use of technology is cyberattacks. Cyberattacks are an attempt to damage or destroy a system or computer network, and hackers perform it. As life has moved increasingly online, cyberattacks have risen across Africa. Zimbabwe is a victim of cyberattacks.

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Only 15 countries use artificial intelligenceenabled surveillance technologies such as algorithmic analysis and CCTV camera-assisted facial recognition to respond to crime in Africa. This is according to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. It is said that most discussions of the origins of Africa's tech movement circle back to Kenya. Between 2007 and 2010, four markets were laid down to inspire the country's Silicon Savannah moniker. Kenya is also recognised as an IT hub. There was a noticeable decline in reported crime in Nairobi, Kenya, between 2014 and 2015, which was the year after installing artificial intelligence surveillance technology.

with partner countries" are also intended to be made in a South African firm manufacturing drones since the 1970s.

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Africa. For example, low-income Africans living in rural areas without affordable internet and reliable power may have no access to the internet. When a country does not address internet issues, it risks limiting opportunities of their citizens, exacerbating already-substantial inequality, and inflaming regional, political and ethnic groups.


SDG

SDG GOAL 9

& Africa's Journey to Greatness By Aarifah Loonat

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Africa's journey to greatness, scarred by the aftermath of colonialism, is a path paved forward by African leaders to ensure the sustainability and success of previously marginalized communities. Time has seen the continent transform from a site of slave labour and oppression into a collective of innovation brought about by thriving African cultures: who, through cultural knowledge and advances in education, have been able to share information about how to better the global community. However, as we arrive in 2022, an era of great technological advancement, there are some side-effects of evolution that threaten humanity's continuation. The United Nations has thus proposed the 17 SDGs to protect the planet and create equal opportunities for every person. The ninth goal dominates this article, where exploring Africa's progress with SDG goal 9 celebrates African greatness while simultaneously highlighting areas that need further attention. In 2015, the United Nations adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, as: "… a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity". The 17 SDGs are interfused, where activity in one area affects the outcomes of the other goals. SDGs were implemented to balance social, economic and environmental sustainability. By exploiting different communities' creativity,

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Time has seen the continent transform from a site of slave labour and oppression into a collective of innovation brought about by thriving African cultures: who, through cultural knowledge and advances in education, have been able to share information about how to better the global community.

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SDG

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Zero hunger

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Good health and well-being

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Quality education

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Gender Equality

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Clean water and sanitation

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Affordable and clean energy

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Decent work and economic growth

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Industry, innovation and infrastructure

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Reduced inequalities

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Sustainable cities and communities

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Responsible consumption and production

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Climate action

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Life below water

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Life on land

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Peace, justice, and strong institutions

Partnerships for the goals According to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the SDGs are necessary due to the increasing social and environmental problems that the world is facing. 2022 has seen our global community evolve into a world of technology. The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has ushered us into the 4th Industrial Revolution. According to the World Economic Forum, the technological advances of the 4th Industrial Evolution are bittersweet because while it brings about opportunities for growth, it also can cause great harm: The planet is facing a climate emergency, making 800 million people vulnerable to extreme weather events. Nature is in trouble, where it is estimated that there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050. Humanity is in trouble because more than 700 million people live in extreme poverty. According to the United Nations secretary-general,

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Time has seen the continent transform from a site of slave labour and oppression into a collective of innovation brought about by thriving African cultures: who, through cultural knowledge and advances in education, have been able to share information about how to better the global community

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No poverty

host communities: A South African case study, was published on many academic and research journal databases. This specific article explains research into South Africa's progress Goal 9 - building resilient with the SDGs, while also offering infrastructure, promoting inclusive and insight regarding how to address any sustainable industrialization, and problems within the level of progress. fostering innovation - is considered the For example, the article mentions that foundation of a successful community. "Whilst overall responsibility lies within Within this goal is to ensure equal and national governments, the SDGs cannot universal access to information and be achieved without a concerted effort financial markets. In doing so, by business and other organizations". communities can create jobs and build The article highlights areas of concern stable systems for exponential growth. within South Africa and its mining The challenge then becomes how to do industry and the communities that exist this in sustainable ways. Sustainable around or as a result of mining areas. operations are vital because there is no The article's conclusion maintains point in creating successful communities if the planet we live on is that the mining industry in South Africa and other countries should contribute dying. While aiming to promote and support economic development, goal 9 to creating sustainable and stable solutions to the communities that these promotes sustainable innovation such mines have influence over. These as recycling plastic through Eco-brick communities are referred to as host projects to build homes and other communities. For example, providing structures. access to electricity, safe and constant The University of Cape Town (UCT) water, and sufficient nutrition to mine in South Africa has recently celebrated employees is a basic necessity within the innovative research of Associate the mining industry; however, Professor Jennifer Broadhurst. Broadhurst and Cole's research According to the University's local news indicates that not all host communities reports, the research looks at the have equal access to these resources. environmental sustainability Another problem arises when performance of primary metal considering the possibility of resource production processes in southern depletion within mines themselves. If Africa. Her research awarded mine workers get retrenched, not all Broadhurst the Exceptional Women in host communities can support or (as Sustainability (e-Wisely) Award 2021. In Broadhurst's article explains) "absorb" 2021 Jennifer Broadhurst and Megan these retrenched workers. Therefore, Cole's article, Measuring the sustainable Broadhurst and Cole's article offers development goals (SDGs0 in mining

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technology, and financial resources, the SDGs are designed to end poverty, hunger, AIDS, and discrimination against women and girls. The 17 goals are:


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insight into how South Africa can further its progress with SDGs, building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation. While the current SDG progress in South Africa appears bleak, many innovative minds, like Jessica Broadhurst, offer us solutions to some of the post-colonial effects that are hindering the SDG progress of African countries.

human capital within Africa will result in global implications such as the issue of climate change.

While there have been plenty of great attempts by local minds to help African countries achieve SDGs, there is a cause for concern in how long it will take the majority of African countries to reach SDG thresholds. Many African countries require financial assistance to create and According to an article by Africa News, Gabon is at the sustain stable infrastructural systems. In paying attention front of the race in protecting oceans. Its statistics show that to goal 9 of the SDGs, African countries will tackle the the protection of Gabonese water has increased from 1 per issues of inequality that hinder their SDG progress. Paying cent to 26 per cent ever since the country's conservation attention to sustainable innovation, infrastructure, and policies have been implemented. While this supports the 14th development ensure a platform for higher education SDG, Life below water, it also promotes goal 9 by creating an standards, higher levels of equality among different racial industry built around aquatic biodiversity conservation. In turn, and gender groups, and higher employment rates. This is Gabon's conservation efforts offer the opportunity for research not to steal from the fact that Africa is making progress in and education while also offering job opportunities and terms of SDGs, specifically goal 9. Gabon's aquatic cleaning up the environment, thus creating opportunities for sustainability and South Africa's research into sustainable stable infrastructure. As stated by Professor Brendan Godley mining innovation indicates that financial investments into from the University of Exeter, "Gabon has made significant SDGs in Africa will reap many benefits. Africa's continental steps to ensure the long-term persistence of its marine size and vast array of resources provide a surplus of biodiversity and fisheries resources, and should be celebrated workers and innovative minds that may aid in the race to as a global exemplar". save the planet and humanity. In a report from the 2020 Africa SDG Index and Dashboards Report, the assessment of SDG progress in the continent comes to a few conclusions. Firstly, North Africa is the best-performing region in terms of SDGs, and Central Africa is considered the worst-performing. Simultaneously, no African country could meet the requirement for even 13 out of the 17 SDGs. This is an indication of how African countries are struggling with inequalities. SDG 9 is proving a great challenge to many African communities. In an article for Brookings, Belay Begashaw explains that SDGs become a challenge due to "… a lack of clarity around ratification, reporting, accountability mechanisms, and roles and responsibilities…". Funding SDG development is also proving a difficult problem for many African countries. As Begashaw proposes, not investing in

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The article's conclusion maintains that the mining industry in South Africa and other countries should contribute to creating sustainable and stable solutions to the communities that these mines have influence over

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TRADE & INVESTMENT

PAN-AFRICAN PAYMENT & SETTLEMENT SYSTEM A GAME CHANGER FOR INTRA-AFRICAN TRADE

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By Walcott Aganu

One can only fantasize about an Africa without borders a continent where trade between nations is unrestricted, and goods and services are traded for without the imposition of complex and often ruinous taxes and customs processes.

facilitation—measures to cut red tape, simplify customs procedures, and make it simpler for African enterprises to join into global supply chains" would account for $292 billion of the $450 billion, according to the report.

The development of a centralized payment and This blooming, free-flowing mosaic of information, goods, settlement infrastructure to facilitate trade in this new and capital will undoubtedly transform African economies, encouraging African governments to reconsider policies, reduce arrangement, now led by Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in conjunction with the AfCFTA Secretariat trade costs, empower workers, and seize new opportunities. and dubbed the Pan-African Payment and Settlement I will like to believe that this is the Africa that the African System, is one such initiative. Payment facilitators across Union envisioned under the African Continental Free Trade Africa, whether banks or burgeoning fintech enterprises, Agreement (AfCFTA). If wholly implemented, a deal would link will be able to use PAPSS to make secure and quick 1.3 billion people spanning 55 countries with a combined GDP payments on behalf of their consumers. of $3.4 trillion. What is PAPSS The World Bank estimated in 2020 that implementing the PAPSS is a continental financial market infrastructure AfCFTA could increase African exports by $560 billion while raising Africa's revenue by $450 billion by 2035. "Stronger trade for commercial banks, payment service providers, card

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TRADE & INVESTMENT

schemes, and other intermediaries, according to the PAPSS website. The system was designed to facilitate cross-border financial transactions in real-time (Real-Time Gross Settlement) and local currency and conduct end-of-day net settlement with all participating central banks. Commercial banks, payment service providers, card schemes, and other intermediaries will link to the PAPSS, which will operate as a payment and settlement system for the continent.

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For example, if a buyer wishes to purchase goods from Lagos, Nigeria, the PAPSS allows the customer to pay in Cedi, and the merchant receives the money in Naira. The technology guarantees that payments will be received in less than 120 seconds and that PAPSS will complete legal and compliance inspections within that time limit. Aside from Instant Payments, which the PAPSS instant payment system will supply, PAPSS will also provide: Ÿ

cross-border direct debit payment services, invoicing, and billing; (Request to Pay "R2P")

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Keeping funds in safe custody until a transaction is completed; (Escrow Services)

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Intra-African remittance; (Remittance Services)

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Using aliases and pseudo names to process payments; (Proxy Addressing)

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Screening transactions against lists of terrorists or individuals that have been sanctioned (Sanctions Screening)

Benefits of PAPSS Various hurdles, such as a lack of infrastructure, regulatory constraints, and so on, hamper Africa's payment systems today. These hurdles can be addressed with the PAPSS, which, if effectively implemented, can revolutionize the way the continent trades. Payments will be cleared and completed in real-time, so customers and traders may no longer have to wait days for confirmation or receipt of funds to facilitate a trade. The issue of currency denominations is another element that slows down the clearing and settlement of money. Due to remittance concerns and weak payment infrastructure, payments are rarely made in local currency. Goods or services are priced in foreign currencies (US dollars or British pounds), which means they must make payments to a foreign payment service provider who must convert the foreign currency to the beneficiary's local currency before sending it to their bank. This lengthy process results in a delay. Instant payments for cross-border transactions without the inconvenience of currency conversion are now feasible thanks to the implementation of PAPSS. The PAPSS would relieve strain on current accounts and demand for foreign exchange liquidity in African countries. It would also boost the openness of cross-border economic activities, allowing for better control of transactions and increased revenue potential.

between African markets. By offering rapid and secure cross-border payment infrastructure, it is a platform that would enable innovation in cross-border trade and access to new African markets. PAPSS allows corporates, SMEs, and individuals to pay for cross-border transactions almost instantly without the burden of currency translation. A developing network of financial intermediaries would also enable access to a variety of payment facilitation options. Another advantage of PAPSS is that if the price of goods and services in foreign currencies falls due to PAPSS, the demand for foreign currency falls, decreasing the pressure on central banks to hold foreign currency and enhancing foreign currency liquidity in different jurisdictions. With the removal of intra-African trade payments barriers through PAPSS, we may witness an increase in purchasing goods made in Africa. PAPSS allows corporates, SMEs, and individuals to pay for cross-border transactions almost instantly without the burden of currency translation. A developing network of financial intermediaries would also enable access to a variety of payment facilitation options. Overall, the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System is expected to address one of the significant obstacles to the AfCFTA's implementation and intraAfrican trade. The infrastructure would allow for the secure flow of cash across Africa, reducing risk and saving multibillions of dollars in payment and settlement fees, promoting intra-Africa trade. While it is ultimately up to African governments to fully implement the AfCFTA, PAPSS is well-positioned to help accelerate and expedite this process. This gives me faith that, even in a post-COVID-19 world, Africa's future will be bright—a path lined with innovation, financial inclusion, prosperity, and economic policy reform.

The World Bank estimated in 2020 that implementing the AfCFTA could increase African exports by $560 billion while raising Africa's revenue by $450 billion by 2035.

PAPSS provides a streamlined method for intermediaries such as commercial banks, payment service providers, and fintech companies, among others, to minimize the costs and complexities of foreign exchange for cross-border transactions

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Afric n Leadership

Forum on

Free Trade Zones ADMINISTRATION & MANAGEMENT Golden Tulip Accra - Ghana

March 22 - 25, 2022 For inquiries call: +44 23 92 658 276 or email: info@africanleadership.co.uk

To participate, visit: events.africanleadership.co.uk


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TAKING THE LID OFF THE DUSTBIN OF HISTORY President Putin's invasion of Ukraine has turned the world on its head and threatens an escalation that could lead to a much wider conflict. The East-West Cold War conflict which was supposed to have been resolved thirty years ago when the Berlin Wall came down and communism and the Soviet Union collapsed has returned with a vengeance – And they fall out of the war in Ukraine will be felt far and wide, in Africa as well as the rest of the world. Just as the Cold War often sparked into a "hot war" in Africa, particularly in countries like Angola and Mozambique, there are genuine fears that the continent could suffer dire consequences in a protracted Russian conflict. Ÿ The brutality of Russia's invasion and its attacks on civilians have shocked the international community. More than a million Ukrainians, many of them women and children,

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have already fled to neighbouring countries to create one of Europe's largest refugee movements since the end of the second world war more than seventy-five years ago. According to aid agencies, this number of refugees could rise to seven million people if the Russian bombardment continues Meanwhile the heavy pounding of Ukraine's major cities and its capital Kyiv goes on. At the time of writing the Russian assault on Ukraine has been going on for more than a week and shows no sign of abating: Ÿ

22 Ukrainians were killed in the northern city of Chernihiv after airstrikes hit residential buildings after days of heavy shelling.

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The southern port city of Mariupol has been surrounded by Russian troops who have cut off the local population's electricity, food, water and heating.

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Ambassador Kimani said Kenya opposed Putin's war and went on to cite Africa's painful colonial past to teach President Putin a lesson from history, comparing Russia's invasion to Africa's colonisation under the British, French and Portuguese Empires: "Kenya and almost every African country were birthed by the ending of empire. Our borders were not of our own drawing. They were drawn in the distant colonial metropoles of London, Paris, and Lisbon with no regard for the ancient nations that they cleaved apart. "Today, across the border of every single African country live our countrymen, with whom we share deep historical, cultural, and linguistic bonds. At independence, had we chosen to pursue states based on ethnic, racial, or religious homogeneity, we would still be waging bloody wars these many decades later. Instead, we agreed that we would settle for the borders that we inherited, but we would pursue continental political, economic, and legal integration". And in reference to President Putin's claim that Ukraine wasn't an independent country but belonged as part of Russia, he warned him of the dangers of trying to re-create what he called "dead empires": "We believe that all states formed from empires that have collapsed or retreated have many peoples in their yearning for integration with peoples in neighbouring states. Kenya rejects such a yearning from being pursued by force. We must complete our recovery from the embers of dead empires in a way that does not plunge us back into new forms of domination and oppression".

As Russian guns blaze in Ukraine, it remains to be seen if President Putin will heed this advice from Africa to pull back or whether he will continue to bombard Ukraine into submission with heavy weapons, kill its citizens and seek to annex it into a new Russian Empire. And what happens after that? An invasion of Poland? Hungary? Romania? The Baltic States? All new democracies but once part of the dead embers of the old Soviet Empire. It was one of Putin's Communist icons Leo Trotsky who promised to throw his opponents into "the dustbin of history". The phrase was re-purposed in 1982 by the former US President Reagan, who declared that "freedom and democracy will leave Marxism and Leninism on the ash heap of history". Now Vladimir Putin has blown the lid off the dustbin of history, and, as in the Cold War, we wait to see whether Russia's authoritarianism or Ukraine's democracy will prevail. The stakes are high. According to the former UK Ambassador to the eastern European capitals of Warsaw, Belgrade, and Sarajevo Charles Crawford of The Ambassador Partnership, an Estonian diplomat recently asked someone from Putin's inner circle where all this Russian aggressive posturing and behaviour were going to end. The reply was stark: "It ends when you stop us". We should not be surprised if the flames in Ukraine today don't spread to Africa tomorrow.

Ambassador Kimani, who is a former Director of Kenya's National Counter-Terrorism and a Doctor of War Studies at Kings College London, said Africa had rejected yearnings for redrawing its often contrived borders in the interests of peace: "Rather than form nations that looked ever backwards into history with a dangerous nostalgia, we chose to look forward to a greatness none of our many nations and peoples had

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Perhaps the most interesting African perspective on the invasion has come from Kenya's UN Ambassador Martin Kimani. He compared President Putin's invasion as the act of a leader "stoking the embers of dead Empires".

On the floor of the United Nations, an African diplomat offered his African wisdom and experience to teach the world the difference between right and wrong and the need to choose diplomacy and peace rather than conflict and war.

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South Africa exports 12% of its apples and pears to Russia and 7% of its citrus fruits, but surely this can't be the reason for South Africa's reticence to speak out against Russia's aggression?

ever known. We chose to follow the rules of the Organisation of African Unity and the United Nations Charter, not because our borders satisfied us, but because we wanted something greater, forged in peace.

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on the tail of a mouse, and you say you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality".


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Several large explosions have rocked the capital Kyiv with its four million residents now living in underground shelters. And in the southern city of Kherson, 200 civilians were killed by Russian missile attacks as the city fell to Russian troops.

According to Russia's President Putin, his invasion is "going according to plan" with more than two thousand Ukrainian civilians killed; clearly, part of his war aims to take over Ukraine and annex it into Russia. At the United Nations, 141 countries voted for Russia to end its invasion and withdraw entirely its Ukraine forces. Only five countries, including Eritrea, voted against, although 17 African countries, including South Africa, abstained, revealing a dangerous fault line in Africa that threatens to thrust the Russia-Ukraine conflict into the heart of the continent. For several years Russia has been deepening its presence in Africa with economic deals, arms sales and military and mercenary collaborations. Trade between Russia and Africa has doubled since 2015. It's now worth around $20 billion a year. Thousands of Russian mercenaries are operating in countries like Mali, Sudan and the Central African Republic – and through them, Russia's influence in Africa is growing. Sudan has already sided with Russia. During the war, its leaders have been in Moscow to negotiate for Russian money and political support to suppress pressures to move to civilian rule. Russian military involvement is a force in the volatile Sahel region where Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger have sought Russian fighters to fight against Islamic extremists. In Mali, the regime is so close to this Russian mercenary presence that it's ceased to collaborate with France, its former colonial power. As a result, France is pulling out its 2,400 troops citing obstructions by the military junta that took power in 2020. Where western powers retreat, Russian mercenaries advance. Russian mercenaries are also fighting in Mozambique and Angola. Private military contractors like the so-called Wagner Group are proliferating on the ground in many of Africa's conflict zones. The Wagner Group is controlled by President Putin's associate Yevgeny Prigozhin, although Putin denies any links with them and calls them "private businesses with private interests tied to extracting energy resources like gold or precious stones". Wagner operatives have also been spotted on the ground in Ukraine. That's very bad news for the civilians of Ukraine, as their track record in Africa has been one of brutality and human rights abuses. According to Joseph Siegle of the Africa Centre for Strategic Studies, the Wagner Group operate in league with the Kremlin in Moscow. They are part of Putin's toolkit to prop up weak African regimes in exchange for economic advantage and the exploitation of Africa's precious mineral

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resources: "Every place we've seen Wagner deployed around the world and in Africa – be it Libya, Sudan, Mozambique, Central African Republic- it has been a destabilising force. What Russia has been doing has been deploying mercenaries, disinformation, election interference, arms-forresources deals, aiming at capturing wider influence". Africa Analysts have often spoken of a "new scramble for Africa" as competing outside powers battle for Africa's resources; this war in Ukraine seems likely to intensify that scramble to exploit the continent again. War or not, Russia is planning a 2nd Russia-Africa Summit in St Petersburg this October, hoping to build on the Sochi summit in 2019 when some sixty African leaders signed deals to provide their countries with military armaments and agricultural products. For its part, the US is also planning an African Leadership Summit this year and is boosting its Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) to promote the values of democracy among a new generation of youth. Meanwhile, Japan and the European Union are making big infrastructure investments in Africa to counter China's dominance on the continent. Undoubtedly some African countries prefer to hedge their bets rather than fall out with Russia. South Africa, a member of the G20, was one of the continent's powers that decided to abstain from the UN vote rather than condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine. It is a decision that caused consternation around the world. As this stark headline the South African News 24 website declared: "History will show South Africa sided with the oppressor". News24 accused South Africa of "misplaced, corrupted loyalty to a dictator who is losing his empire day by day" and went on to quote the late Archbishop Tutu, who once said: "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot

For its part, the US is also planning an African Leadership Summit this year and is boosting its Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) to promote the values of democracy among a new generation of youth

AFRICANLEADERSHIP MAGA ZINE


EDUCATION

AFRICA'S EDUCATIONAL MILESTONES: IS IT WORTH CELEBRATING? By Janet Abena Quainoo

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The African continent had its own sort of education and teaching before colonization and the arrival of western missionaries. Although traditional African teaching structures such as the school existed, the family unit served as possibly the most important framework for knowledge provision. Colonial education hurts these traditional structures as it assumed that Africans had little or no knowledge of their own. Instead, education was viewed by Colonizers as a medium for fostering or promoting western traditions on the African continent to create, in the words of the writer Mcgregor, "moral" upright and honest Christian clerks, traders, translators, and chiefs. Education in Africa has come a long way since the colonial era when French, English, and Latin dominated, and Swahili, an African language was outlawed. Then Western education was intended to instill colonial society ideals and teaching individuals to serve the colonial state. It encouraged the capitalist system, which feeds on humanity's individualistic instincts. This altered

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EDUCATION

traditional African lifestyles of community and mutual support.

different now than they were before and during colonialism as a result of interaction with European civilization. It is important to notice that not just education but also social As Nelson Mandela pointed out in his memoir " Long reality has become institutionalized or schooled. This Walk To Freedom" his first school was determined to convert transformation of Africa's educational system is a strong him into a perfect little English gentleman. It made him wear indicator of the continent's growth. shoes for the first time and even the name Nelson that his teachers gave him was chosen in honour of a British sea Admiral who'd fought at the Battle of Trafalgar.

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The colonialists were unyielding in their demands to replace whatever systems of education that existed on the African continent when they arrived. African history was ignored or denied and African accomplishments minimised. Likewise, the claim was propagated that African communities were illiterate and innumerate at the time of colonization. However, it is now well-known that the so-called 'primitive' African societies had already accomplished the process of absorbing knowledge and passing it on by word of mouth, along with community values and beliefs. African education blended intellectual and manual work, requiring instructors to teach skills that could be used immediately. In pre-colonial Africa, the teacher never ceased studying, implying that the instructor was also a student and reinforcing the Africans' belief that life is a process of learning. As former President Nyerere always used to stress, although there were no schools in pre-colonial Africa in the modern sense, this did not mean that young people and children were not educated: they learned by living and doing, making their education basically practical training. Indigenous education in Africa tends to mirror the values, wisdom, and aspirations of the community or larger society as a whole. The instructor was seen as a keeper of knowledge by those who received his or her instruction, and what was taught was never questioned. This arrangement was intended to emphasize the lack of a tradition of questioning, as well as the need for a top-down conventional culture of compliance before one's superiors. The purpose of the African teacher was to instill dominant ideals in the students, which they were to master and pass on to others younger than them. Modern African cultures have been engulfed in Westernization or have become Eurocentric and Americocentric, and they will never reclaim their prehistoric identities. As a result of globalization, these forces have reached a turning point that can't be simply reversed. While it must be agreed that the African continent benefits much from global technological advancements that globalisation has brought - we must also be receptive to the idea that there is also a new "wind of change" across the continent which is demanding an Africanisation of education, with a melding of western ideas with traditional African indigenous practices and the promotion of vernacular languages in the classroom.

Although traditional African teaching structures such as the school existed, the family unit served as possibly the most important framework for knowledge provision

Many Africans' beliefs and ways of life are entirely

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EDUCATION

Open But Not Accessible; HIGHER EDUCATION In Africa, What Can Be Done?

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Picture two brilliant young people from Kenya, academically gifted and going places; Juma and Marie. Juma is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing at a university in Kenya. He completed his final semester in December last year but still has an internship to finish before graduating in December 2022. Marie, on the other hand, completed high school in 2019. She wants to pursue a Diploma in Business and Information Technology.

the firstborn in a family of four. Apart from his problems, Juma also needs to support his sister, a teenager who is in form three in high school. Recently, his sister was sent home because of a lack of fees. Juma's parents rely on menial jobs to pay their school fees.

Despite Marie's passion for technology, some people believe she is better off undertaking a course in a 'soft' field like hospitality management. Lately, after two years in the Juma is not sure if he will graduate. He has a fee balance village, Marie appears to have had enough of staying at of Sh18,000 (approximately $180). Since he can't stay in home. Early this year, she asked her mother, "When am I campus, Juma currently lives with his friend (another student going to college?" Her mother informed her that she should at a nearby college) as he looks for a job to pay his fees and apply to college. In her heart, Marie's mother is worried. Her sustain himself. concern: How will she pay college fees for Marie and the other three children? He has been moving from house to house, hoping to secure any job that will help him raise his fees. Yet, Common occurrence according to the World Health Organisation, Kenya is Juma and Marie's stories epitomise the challenges that among 57 countries that experience a critical shortage of young people go through in a bid to access college and health care workers. Juma's situation is grim; because he is

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EDUCATION

Effects of COVID-19

Additionally, ESSA is partnering with the Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre at the University of Cambridge to raise the visibility of African education researchers through the African Education Research Database (AERD). The AERD has a collection of evidence to inform policies, practices, and investments in colleges and universities.

According to the World Health Organisation, Kenya is among 57 countries that experience a critical shortage of health care workers.

Female leadership Marie is hopeful that she will attend college this year. When she joins, she will need female mentors and leaders to guide and support her in her academic and career life. However, we need data and evidence to improve practices within universities and colleges to support young women like Marie. Between

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The COVID-19 pandemic has had serious consequences for the quality, relevance, and efficiency of university and college education. For Juma, he had to miss two semesters because of a lack of a laptop, the internet, and electricity at home. He could not either ESSA was founded in 2016 with a mission to work with attend virtual classes or sit for online examinations. universities and colleges, using evidence to drive dramatic Similarly, Marie's dream was shattered. She could not improvements in education for young people. ESSA's vision is that young people in Sub-Saharan Africa receive a high-quality comprehend the whole idea of online learning with no digital skills. To find out what works best in such education that enables them to achieve their ambitions and circumstances, ESSA conducted a study to understand strengthen society. Progress, which has been driven by a the impact of COVID-19 on tertiary education in Submajority African board and team has been swift, as ESSA's 5Saharan Africa. The study found four major issues: that year impact report demonstrates, according to ESSA's founder mental health and the digital divide must be addressed, and Chair, Patrick Dunne. there is a worrying decrease in opportunities to study "As we approach our 6th birthday, we have exciting plans to abroad; and there is an increased need by students for take each of our areas of work to the next level to broaden and alternatives to traditional education when it comes to deepen our impact. There are tremendous opportunities to acquiring skills. build upon each of our areas of work. And this is what we intend to do with the support of our partners and through the Transition to work investment, we continue to make in building our capabilities, Even if Juma and Marie get the financing for their knowledge resources and relationships. An exciting element of education, their troubles are not over. They will have to this and a further demonstration of our commitment to our assertively look for work amid the high graduate local teams will be the establishment of our new African entity unemployment rate. Last year (2021), ESSA partnered in a few months which will also make it easier for additional with Quilt.Al to understand the perceptions of young African organisations to support our work", said Patrick. people regarding tertiary education and work. The study found that students are frustrated with the high cost of High quality university education higher education, a lack of awareness around Juma wants to pursue a Master's degree in Health Science, scholarships and a lack of jobs. Students desire to find while Marie hopes to work for a tech company. These are only multiple opportunities to upskill and reskill. But these possible if they learn what is expected from an entry-level job. opportunities are limited. Inaction by those in authority The quality of tertiary education is dependent on faculty, among other factors. ESSA is conducting a study on the Demographics of African Faculty to understand the scale and nature of the faculty crisis. This research should enable higher education stakeholders to plan and implement effective responses that ensure adequate faculty within universities to help students like Juma and Marie realise their ambitions.

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How can this be remedied so that these young people can attain their goals? Education Sub Saharan Africa (ESSA), a UK and Africa-based charity work with young people like Juma and Marie, alongside policymakers, educators, and employers, to explore solutions that work for young people. In the next five years, ESSA has the ambitious goal of reaching over 1.4 million students in 500 universities and colleges in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia.

2020 and 2021, ESSA reached out to 400 female faculties, students, and early career graduates to understand the barriers preventing them from transitioning into leadership and existing solutions. This work culminated in a ground-breaking “Women Leading Report” to debate women in leadership as informed by evidence and provide actionable recommendations.

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EDUCATION HEALTH

to make higher education affordable and provide jobs has put millions of young people at risk. Evidence to action

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To address the challenge of the unemployment crisis, ESSA is supporting universities and colleges in Sub-Saharan Africa to develop structures and systems to improve graduate employability. The charity is working with Education Collaborative in Ghana and Kepler in Rwanda to partner with African universities to support them in developing their career services and industry engagement strategies. With more funding, ESSA will expand these solutions to reach Juma's university. On students financing, ESSA has created the African Scholarship Hub, an online portal that brings together students and scholarship providers. ESSA has already shared the portal with Juma in the hopes that he, too, will get a scholarship to study health sciences. On to some immediate good news: A well-wisher has offered to clear the $180 fee balance for Juma and guided him in making his resume and cover letter. "The well-wisher has restored positivity and hope in my life," said Juma. He is hopeful that he will get a scholarship in health sciences. On the other hand, Marie, through the guidance of another well-wisher, has been admitted to study for a Diploma in Business, Information and Technology at a college in Kenya. The well-wisher has promised to pay Sh250,000 (approximately $2,500) for Marie to achieve her ambition. Such are the desires of young people in Africa. If you are a leader, employer, funder, educator, policymaker, or young person and want to improve tertiary education in Africa, please visit the ESSA website to find out how you can join the conversation, collaborate, access evidence, and support our work. Izel Kipruto is the Head of Communications, Education Sub Saharan Africa. For feedback, send an email to izel@essa-africa.org

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Access to tertiary education may be open to all, but the cost of attending college is prohibitive, and still out of reach for millions of young men and women on the continent

AFRICANLEADERSHIP MAGA ZINE


AGRICULTURE

CAN AFRICA CASH IN ON ITS CASHEW NUT DOMINATION? By Patrick Nelle

But by exporting the nut in its raw form, African countries have been failing to extract additional value from the commodity. Cashew can be sold either as raw nuts, or as a shelled cashew nut, in which case the nut is separated from the shell and is ready for use. According to ACA, from 2000 to 2019, Africa sold 98% of its harvest as raw cashew nut, missing enormous revenue opportunities. Reports give a glimpse of what Africa has been missing. In 2018, India exported cashew kernel to the European Union at a price that was more than 3 times higher than the price paid to cashew farmers in Ivory Coast. And after additional processing in the European Union, the price of cashew kernels was about 2.5 times higher than when exported from India and about 8.5 times more than when purchased in Ivory Coast. Global market projections for cashew kernel should be a green light for growers and processors, as the market is expected to grow to almost 7 billion US dollars in 2025 from just over 5 billion US dollars in 2019. In a little over ten years, Africa has East Africa accounts for 13 percent of world production. become the global powerhouse producer of cashew nuts. Now the hunt Ivory Coast is by far Africa's biggest is on for greater dividends. cashew harvester. According to figures A booming global demand for the released by commodities markets cashew nut — as a food and for its analysts N'kâlo (nkalo.com) the West medicinal properties — has been good African nation produced 1.123 million for African producers of the South tonnes of cashew in 2021, a American species. The continent's phenomenal 18 per cent leap from output now represents 58 per cent of 2020. In 2022 Ivory is again expected to the global cashew harvest, from 37 per breach the 1-million-ton mark. In 2019, cent in 2008, according to the Africa Ivory Coast was the world's thirdCashew Alliance (ACA). largest producer (with 731,000 tons), after Vietnam (2.6 million tons) and West Africa takes the lion's share of India (786,000 tons). global output with 44 percent, while

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Fortunately, African countries are starting to tackle the issue by investing heavily in cashew processing capacities. Ivory Coast is spearheading the ongoing trend. Through an ambitious program formulated by the government, the goal is to process half of their cashew harvest into cashew kernel by 2026. As a result, the country's cashew kernel output has rapidly increased in the last couple of years, reaching 180,000 tonnes in 2021. The country plans to establish three new processing

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In East Africa, Mozambique (122,000 tons), Tanzania (300,000 tons) and Kenya (6,000 tons) are key regional players.

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units in the country in 2022. For Lucman Diaby, who is Deputy CEO at Cicajou, a cashew processing company that operates in Ivory Coast, this is a big move forward.

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"To date, Ivory Coast has a 14 percent cashew nut processing rate. But a few years ago, we were at less than ten percent and we could only produce 40,000 tons of kernel. We're still far from our 50 percent goal but we are making great progress," he told Bird in an interview.

and tax exemptions. Encouraged by government decisions, 350 000 small farmers have entered cashew farming and the country's processing capacity is following suit. "We now have about 30 cashew processing plants across the country," confirmed Diaby, who also chairs the GTCI, or Ivory Coast Cashew Industry association, which groups cashew processors. Each plant employs between 300 and 800 workers.

“Impressive progress recorded by Ivory Coast demonstrates increased Other West African nations are also mastery of the cashew value chain and doing well. Nigeria now produces industrial processing expertise by 68,000 tonnes of cashew kernel - a 27% private operators as well as responsive increase. In Ghana the production has and well-targeted government policies inflated by 25 per cent, to 15,000 and regulations to support them to tonnes, while in Burkina Faso the trend succeed”, reads the ACA Investment is up by 31 per cent, with 17 000 tonnes guide 2019. of cashew kernel. Guaranteeing supply is Other huge cashew growers like unexpectedly a serious challenge for Benin, Togo, and Senegal are on track local processors across Africa. India and to multiply their processing capacities, Vietnam account for more than 90 per and West Africa has already increased cent of the global cashew kernel its cashew kernel output 3.5-fold. exports, yet represent only 30 per cent of raw nut global output. To secure In East Africa, big players like their own supply, they deal with local Mozambique and Kenya have lower farmers deep in the African outputs than their West African countryside, depriving local plants of counterparts, but they are far more advanced when it comes to the share of raw material. cashew that is processed locally. Kenya tackled the issue by banning the export of raw cashew nuts. In Ivory Mozambique produces around 130,000 tonnes of raw cashew nut, and Coast, the government has set a quota, is able to process 49 per cent of it. The reserving 15% of raw cashew nuts for 6,000 tonnes harvested annually Kenya the local industry. may not place the country in the same Cashew kernel is only one of the category as Ivory Coast or Tanzania, but the country processes 83.3% of its production into kernel.

many products derived from raw cashew nuts. Through additional processing, Africa can produce consumer items including white and roasted kernels, milk, soap, oil and other products. But in order to fully leverage the potential of cashew, Africa will have to improve its production not only in quantity but also in quality. According to Food and Organisation (FAO) 2021 data retrieved by the World Forestry Organisation, between 2000 and 2019 the average market value of shelled cashew from Africa was 3,148 US dollars per ton while the global average during the same period was 5,886 US dollars per ton. The difference could be explained by lower quality kernel than that from other big exporters like Brazil, India and Vietnam. “Kernel exported from Africa is processed by small scale industries and local processors with low capacity and expertise, which can also affect kernel quality” the study states. Whatever the case, Africa's efforts are clearly paying off. “Increasing processing capacity in Africa holds tremendous potential, generating an estimated $280 million USD in added value and creating more than 250,000 new jobs, particularly benefitting women in rural areas” the ACA said in a report released in 2020. Cashing in big-time may well be within Africa's reach.

Among the big producers, Tanzania, the second African largest raw cashew nut producer, is still struggling to revamp its cashew processing capacities. The East African nation transforms only 2% of its 300,000 tonnes annual output. African government policies and incentives to convince investors to pour cash into cashew processing have been decisive in developing the industry. Ivory Coast has set a substantial package of incentives consisting of credit guarantees, subsidies, duty-free importation of processing equipment,

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