MEMORANDUM Nº 223/2012 04/12/2012 The EBCAM’s Memoranda are issued with the sole purpose of provide daily basic business and economic information on Africa, to the 4,000 European Companies affiliated with our Members, as well as their business parties in Africa. Should a reader require a copy of the Memoranda, please address the request to the respective National Member. See list of National Members at www.ebcam.org.
SUMMARY: ONE) – AVIATION SAFETY: COMMISSION UPDATES THE EUROPEAN SAFETY LIST OF AIRLINES – Page 2 TWO) – SOUTH AFRICA STILL RULES FDI SCENE, REPORT REVEALS – Page 3 THREE) – NIGERIA: WHY MULTICHOICE WILL INVEST MORE IN THIS COUNTRY- Page 4 FOUR) - ALGERIA TO EXPLOIT CONTROVERSIAL SHALE GAS – Page 7 FIVE) – EGYPT'S INFLATION CONTINUES TO GROW – Page 7 SIX) – CHAOS WILL RESURRECT IF UGANDA LEAVES SOMALIA – Page 8 SEVEN) - VODACOM SEES LIGHT AT END OF AFRICA TUNNEL – Page 10 EIGHT) – AS COAL BOOSTS MOZAMBIQUE, THE RURAL POOR ARE LEFT BEHIND – Page 11 NINE) – GHANA SIGNS $135M FINANCING AGREEMENTS WITH AFDB – Page 13 TEN) – ANGLO, ESKOM SEAL KUSILE DEAL – Page 14 ELEVEN) – NIGERIA: CONTINENTAL INTEGRATION BEDROCK FOR AFRICA'S SURVIVAL – Page 14 TWELVE) – CHINA WOOS BUYERS AT AFRICA TV MART – Page 19 THIRTEEN) – PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT MAURITIUS EUROPEAN UNION – Page 20 FOURTEEN) – ECONOMY: MAURITIUS' ECONOMY TO GROW BY 3.4 PER CENT THIS YEAR – Page 21 FIFTEEN) – AMID SANCTIONS, IRAN TURNS TO AFRICA FOR TRADE – Page 21 EBCAM NEWS -
- NETHERLANDS AFRICAN BUSINESS COUNCIL – Page 23
European Business Council for Africa and the Mediterranean The European Private Sector Organisation for Africa’s Development
2 ONE) â€“ AVIATION SAFETY: COMMISSION UPDATES THE EUROPEAN SAFETY LIST OF AIRLINES The European Commission has adopted today the 20th update of the European list of air carriers which are subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union, better known as "the EU air safety list". Because of important safety concerns, air carriers certified in Eritrea have been added to the list. On the other hand, following improvement in the safety situation in Mauritania, it was possible to remove from the list all air carriers certified in Mauritania. The same was true for the Jordan carrier Jordan Aviation, which was also removed from the list. Progress was also noted in Libya but the Libyan authorities agreed that Libyan carriers would not be permitted to operate to Europe until they are fully recertified to the satisfaction of the Commission. Siim Kallas, Commission Vice-President responsible for transport, said: "The Commission is ready to spare no effort to assist countries affected by the safety list in building technical and administrative capacity to overcome the difficulties in the area of safety as quickly and as efficiently as possible. I am glad that one country and several airlines have been removed from the list. This is important progress. But safety must always come first and we cannot accept any compromise in this area, hence the decision on Eritrea" The new list replaces the previous one established in April 2012 and can be consulted on the Commissionâ€™s website1. All air carriers certified in Mauritania were removed from the list following exceptional progress achieved by the competent authorities and the prospect of an on-site verification visit to be conducted by the Commission soon. This progress was acknowledged by two successful missions conducted on site by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). As this is the first time a full ban affecting all air carriers from a State is removed, Mauritania committed to authorise flights to the Union only under strict conditions. Jordan Aviation certified in Jordan was also removed from the list following the successful resolution of the deficiencies previously identified. Such improvements were evidenced during an on-site assessment carried out by the Commission. In order to prevent risks, an operating ban on all air carriers certified in Eritrea was necessary due to an outstanding safety concern notified by ICAO and to the absence of adequate mitigating measures taken by the competent authorities of Eritrea. Intense consultations were held with the civil aviation authorities of Libya and with the Libyan Minister of Transport. As a result, the Libyan civil aviation authorities agreed to maintain the voluntary restrictions applicable to all air carriers licensed in Libya, which exclude them from flying into the EU until these air carriers are fully recertified in accordance with international safety standards. Implementation of the measures decided by the Libyan authorities remains subject to close monitoring by the Commission. The European air safety list was also updated to remove certain carriers which ceased to exist or to add new carriers recently created in a number of countries: the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Honduras, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines and Rwanda. As a consequence, no carriers of Rwanda and of Honduras are mentioned on the list anymore. Finally, the Commission recognises the efforts of the safety oversight authorities of Aruba, Indonesia, Libya, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Philippines and Russia to reform the civil aviation system and notably to improve safety to guarantee that international safety standards are effectively and consistently applied. The Commission is ready to provide active further support for these reforms in cooperation with ICAO, EU Member States and EASA, in order to help some of these countries to get off the list when the safety situation will have further improved. The Commission remains fully committed to supporting better compliance with international safety standards whenever possible and has mandated the European Aviation Safety Agency EASA to carry out a series of technical assistance missions to support the competent authorities of a number of States in their efforts to enhance safety. Today's Commission decision was based on the unanimous opinion of the Air Safety Committee, composed of representatives of the 27 Members States of the EU, Croatia, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and of EASA. The updated European air safety list includes all carriers certified in 20 States, accounting for 287 known air carriers, whose operations are fully banned in the European Union: Afghanistan, Angola, Benin, Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon (with
3 the exception of three carriers which operate under restrictions and conditions), Indonesia (with the exception of six carriers), Kazakhstan (with the exception of one carrier which operates under restrictions and conditions), Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mozambique, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, Sudan, Swaziland and Zambia. The list also includes three individual carriers: Blue Wing Airlines from Surinam, Meridian Airways from Ghana and Conviasa from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Additionally, the list includes 10 air carriers which are subject to operational restrictions and are thus allowed to operate into the EU under strict conditions: Air Astana from Kazakhstan as well as Afrijet, Gabon Airlines and SN2AG from Gabon as mentioned before, Air Koryo from the Democratic People Republic of Korea, Airlift International from Ghana, Air Service Comores, Iran Air, TAAG Angolan Airlines and Air Madagascar.
TWO) â€“ SOUTH AFRICA STILL RULES FDI SCENE, REPORT REVEALS Amid pervasive gloom about the South African economy, Ernst & Young (E&Y) published a new report this week which challenges the perception that the country is losing ground in terms of its status as a gateway for investment in Africa and in competing for foreign direct investment (FDI). This comes after investment downgrades by two credit agencies and the United Nations Conference of Trade and Development (Unctad) saying FDI into SA dropped 43.6% in the first half of the year compared to the same period last year. E&Y said in its report the cold facts do not support the generally negative headlines about South Africa's attractiveness as an investment destination. "Contrary to perceptions, the trend has been one of strong growth," said Michael Lalor, Africa Business Centre leader at E&Y. According to E&Y's Africa attractiveness survey, released earlier this year, FDI into South Africa grew substantially between 2007 and 2011. The compound growth rate of FDI capital was 24.7% and the growth rate of new FDI projects 28.7%. E&Y said, despite the growth in FDI capital, South Africa ranks only sixth among African countries in terms of total foreign capital investment for the period 2003-11 and fifth for 2007-11, behind Nigeria and some north African countries. "The fact that it is not top of this list is sometimes used as an indicator to support the view that South Africa is losing ground to other African markets as a destination for FDI," E&Y's report said. Lalor said, when measured by the number of FDI projects instead of the capital value, South Africa is still by far the leading African investment destination. According to data from fDi Intelligence and E&Y, South Africa attracted 827 new FDI projects between 2003 and 2011, with Egypt in second place with 563 new projects. "Most of the capital investment in countries like Nigeria, Libya and Angola [countries with high capital value of FDI] is going into the oil and gas sector. "Oil and gas as an investment category is the single worst job creator. The socio-economic effect of that investment is not great. "However, the capital coming into South Africa is far more diverse. While the capital amount is important, the character of that investment is more important." Ajen Sita, Africa managing partner at E&Y, added that South Africa remains the leading destination for FDI projects in sub-Saharan Africa. In the first nine months of the year, the country attracted the most new FDI projects in the region and the third-largest amount of FDI capital. Sita also disputed the notion that South Africa is losing out to other countries in the race into the rest of the continent. It has been the sixth-largest investor into Africa since 2003 and the largest African investor into Africa, he said. "The facts do not support the view that South Africa is losing out to the rest of Africa," said Lalor. "We are increasingly participating in what is a positive growth story and South Africa is attracting, in both global terms and in African terms, more and more FDI.
4 "However, we do believe South Africa should be attracting twice as much if not triple as much FDI given how well we benchmark against some other emerging economies." Sita said there is more that could and should be done to reposition the country as a blue-chip investment destination. This includes providing policy certainty, prioritising regional integration and bridging the regional infrastructure deficit, he said. "In Asian countries, intra-Asia trade makes up about 50% of their trade. In South America, the equivalent percentage is around 30%. In sub-Sahara-African intra-African trade accounts for only 12-13% of countries' trade." Sita said the government and business in South Africa should enhance their relationship and make investments together. Social cohesion, which includes skills, services and schooling, should be improved. (Sunday Times)
THREE) â€“ NIGERIA: WHY MULTICHOICE WILL INVEST MORE IN THIS COUNTRY It's been one year since you've been at the head of the business of MultiChoice Nigeria. How much of your set vision has been achieved? My vision was in line with that of the company, which is to be the source of entertainment and the leader. That's what I sat down to do. In the last one year, we've pioneered, we kept ahead, we've always brought innovation first. We really do not see things launching in other places before Africa; and when you talk Africa, you talk Nigeria. So, we've stayed ahead of innovations around the world. What would you say are the highlights of the last year, especially given that you came to be the first Nigerian head of the company? It's been a very fast year for us. From introducing the new Walka 7 mobile hand-held TV, to the High Drifta, to the introduction of the Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards, and also, most importantly, to the introduction of the 10 per cent discount - which is a first for us at MultiChoice, weâ€™ve always given back to the subscribers in different ways, but we went out to give our biggest yet by putting in the 10 per cent discount for our subscribers who pay their subscription on time. It's been our biggest initiative to date. We are proud, even if it means losing some money in introducing such initiative. But it tells you what we are here to do, which is to continue to invest in growing the business, growing Nigeria, and local content out of Nigeria. How has your background and experience in MultiChoice impacted your work during the one year of being in the saddle? One good thing is I've been around the MultiChoice group for about 14 years. My general technology background has also been very helpful because a lot of what we do links back to technology and innovation in technology. So, my background has been quite very helpful. But also as a Nigerian, it means I understand the Nigerian environment very well and I'm able to connect with our subscribers. Nigeria is a huge market. A lot of people feel the level of what you company is currently doing, for instance the subscription base, is still like a drop in the ocean. How much more of the potential do you plan to tap? We see a lot of potentials in Nigeria, and we believe there's a lot of growth still to come out. Nigeria is at the moment trying to fix a lot of infrastructure challenge, for instance the on-going power privatisation exercise. I believe when that is concluded, this economy will jump. So, a lot of these policies that have been put in place will all encourage growth. Definitely we see a lot of growth coming from Nigeria and, as a company that has consistently invested in the country, we're happy that we are here for the long run. We never look at reaping the rewards in a short time, but we take a long time view of everything we do. Do you have specific targets as to your growth projections? Definitely we are looking at growth in the market. But you can't separate one product from the macroeconomic realities in every economy. We believe, with the GDP growing and the non-oil part of the economy growing, we'll see our business grow with the country. How has MultiChoice, since starting out here in 1993, impacted the Nigerian economy generally?
5 In the area of employment. And it's not just people who are working for us. If you look at people who have worked for us and where they are in the industry, you'll see that they are quite big players. We also have entrepreneurs we've developed as part of our Super Dealers initiative. We have over 40 of them with over 100 offices nationwide. They employ thousands of people who have a lot more people depending on them. These are big businesses that have been set up by the instance of the encouragement and investment from us. They support large staff complement. Also, we've paid over N15 billion in taxes and we'll continue to be a good corporate citizen. Over the years too, we've invested over $200 million in local content, which has a direct impact on the economy. We were the first to set up an uplink factory to take Nigerian stations out and put them on satellite. If you go around Africa, there's a lot of information about Nigeria that wasn't there. Such is now freely available. The impact has been massive. Nollywood has been greatly impacted by the investment from our sister company, M-Net, and Africa Magic, which, to a large extent, you could almost call 'Nigeria Magic', given the amount of Nigerian content on it. With regards to content, there are issues of, sometimes poor quality films and repetition of programmes. How's that being addressed? One thing we continue to do is development. We have a scriptwriting workshop where we develop scriptwriters. Recently, we had a content masterclass at the Africast Conference, where we did a lot of training on content, production, directing, lighting, etc. So we continue to train and invest in those and that goes directly into the skills that are available in the market. We also work quite a bit with the press. We have the yearly MultiChoice-CNN Awards, and we also run a training programme with MultiChoice and CNN, in-country, to develop skills in the media. We also invest quite well in sports. The Nigerian Premier League, we ensure those matches go live, and you can see the quality of the league is improving. There's also basketball. We sponsor the Basketball League and also ensure all the matches are seen live. We saw that there was a decline in Nigerian basketball and we decided to do an intervention. For the last three years, we've sponsored the DSTV basketball league. There's been noticeable growth so there's a lot more emphasis on basketball, and, for the first time ever, we qualified for the Olympics basketball event. Beaming the Premier League and the basketball league live costs us millions for every game that is played, but we think it's an investment in the future and our people. We believe there is a lot of growth potential for the future of Nigerian sports and we are ready to support and work with the administrators to ensure Nigeria is at the forefront of that growth. Aside sports, what other areas are you investing in? We have a programme that we sponsor. It is in collaboration with the University of Wits in South Africa and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The programme, being run by our sister company, Supersport, trains our administrators on sports administration. I believe that's one of the interventions needed to ensure that we become better managers of our football clubs and our national teams. There's a lot of this kind of initiative that are not known to many, but which we continue to do. What's your investment in the community, talking of CSR? From the community perspective, we support the Sickle Cell Foundation. We have a programme we're organising with them in the next month or so. We also support the Lagos State Government in the Adopted Schools Programme. Igbobi College is one of the schools on our programme. Earlier in the year, when they had their 80th anniversary celebrations, we commissioned a new Science Laboratory for the school. Another project close to our heart is the MultiChoice Resource Centre, where we have resource centre in schools. We have over 200 of this running nationwide and we continuously grow that so we can give quality education to the kids at the very early age. They can get visual stimulation through watching stations like Discovery. It's a lot of education not just entertainment, things that expose them to different parts of the world. In the area of technology transfer, how has MultiChoice helped the industry in Nigeria, transferring knowledge and technology from other climes? If you look at one of our older programmes, New Directions, which was an investment into content and productions, some of the people that participated then own TV stations today. A lot of training, direction and mentorship went into producing that. So there's been a lot of transfer of skills. When we started with sports production in the country, we had to bring in professionals from around the world to cover football matches. Today we've got a full Nigerian crew, in-country, who not only direct and put content from Nigeria on air but are also hot cakes around Africa for matches and other sports content. And what we have here are full HD studios. Through the building of our own full HD studios for shooting programmes like Tinsel, we have the best of equipment locally, and Nigerians have been trained to handle this equipment.
6 How much of technology are you employing now in your payment systems, especially the cashless policy of the Central Bank? We were one of the companies that had full support for the cashless initiative. Right now, you can't even walk into any bank and pay cash for your DSTV subscription. But more importantly is our adoption of mobile technology, mobile payment, which now allows you to pay for your subscription from your couch while watching TV. We recently introduced a DSTV application on Blackberry, Android and on the iPhone and iPad. These applications were developed specifically to allow subscribers pay, check highlights, reactivate your accounts if disconnected and fix any problems right on your couch. So, we believe in using technology to solve problems and we've always demonstrated that. We pioneered quite a lot of this and also support federal government initiatives. Still talking of pioneering technology, what efforts are being made in the area of digital technology? We always tell people that the flagship of our products, DSTV, is actually digital satellite television. With the digital migration, we started it a long time ago. We started from satellite and we are proud to be the second satellite provider in the world to migrate to digital technology. So we have a lot of experience with digital technology. More so, we are pioneering digital terrestrial technology around Africa with our GOtv brand. You'll see that in a lot of African countries. We are providing an easier route to digital migration in Africa. We are helping to ensure that Africa doesn't miss the deadline for digital migration. It's better its adopted early because there's a lot of gains which the government will see from digital migration. And not just the government, but the subscriber who is for once assured of a clear TV signal to his home. What informed the introduction of your newest brand, Gotv? GOtv in Africa is a digital terrestrial product, which now offers an alternative to accessing our digital services, but without a dish. As I said earlier, it's a product that gives Africa an easier route to digital migration. It is innovative, and there's a lot of pioneering technology behind this offering. We are happy for us to ensure that the reach of digital services is expanded to a lot more people than just the DSTV product. Recently, MultiChoice sponsored the Digital Dialogue Conference in South Africa. What informed your involvement? We, as a company that operates around Africa, felt there was not enough discussion around digital migration. What is the impact, what are the gains? The average man on the street doesn't know what it means and hasn't shown his support for it. So, we felt by bringing the media around Africa together, it will ensure that people get involved. We brought different issues that had to be addressed and we felt people will get a lot of information about the impact and gains of digital migration. It's purely from our altruistic point of view but we wanted the information to be out there, we wanted people to be informed. And who best could do that than the media? So we brought together the media all over the continent to build those relationships and ensure that the continent is not forgotten. How much of effort is also made to strengthen customer service channels and treat subscriber complaints? In the last one year, we've made some of the biggest strides in customer service. The DSTV application on Blackberry, Android, iPad and the rest, that I mentioned earlier, is a case in point. The service allows you to, without talking to any customer service agent, just sit on your couch and pay for your subscriptions, fix any error on your TV screen, and check programme details. It's revolutionary, as you don't need to wait for any one - it's self service. Also, about three months ago, we opened a new call centre, with a bigger command of staff to handle customer complaints and resolve service issues. We also opened up new offices nationwide. We have offices in all the geo-political zones and these outlets are even owned by entrepreneurs, who work hand-in-hand with us to provide services. So, customer service has been key in our agenda - how do we make people happy? And we've worked to introduce quite a few innovations to ensure people are happy with our services. In the days and months ahead, what more innovations should your subscribers look forward to? They should expect better quality of entertainment and more local content on their TV. There's lot more innovations coming, which we've lined up for next year. As we like to say here, with DSTV, nothing else matters. We'll ensure we stay true to this. John Ugbe, Managing Director, MultiChoice Nigeria (Vanguard)
7 FOUR) - ALGERIA TO EXPLOIT CONTROVERSIAL SHALE GAS Algeria, the world's fourth-largest gas exporter, has decided to develop its shale gas potential as well, but experts fear this could cause severe environmental problems. Officials say the country's shale gas reserves are 17 trillion cubic metres, or around four times greater than its current known gas reserves. Algeria may be the world's eighth-largest natural gas producer in 2011, according to the BP Statistical Review of Energy, but domestic consumption is surging. Official forecasts say that, from 2019, local demand will eat up all the country's production. At present, 50 years after it gained independence, the country remains almost totally dependant on hydrocarbons, which account for 90 per cent of its exports. So as long as it fails to diversify its export base, it has no alternative than to develop shale gas, an unconventional fossil fuel, to secure its energy future, experts say. A new hydrocarbons bill, to be introduced in parliament in the coming weeks, encourages the exploration of unconventional gas and oil resources. However, the effect on the environment of the production of shale gas is of great concern to ecologists. Chems Eddine Chitour, director of fossil energy development at Algiers' Ecole Polytechnique, is concerned that the method used for obtaining the fuel trapped in formations of shale rock could be geologically dangerous and also put a strain on the largely desert country's water supplies. Induced hydraulic "fracturing weakens the ground and the subsoil, making earthquakes more likely," he said. "It mobilizes vast quantities of water and will permanently destroy the ecosystem of the Sahara. Injecting 15,000 cubic metres per well, with a well every 100 metres, is catastrophic for a country with such water scarcity." Chitour, like many ecologists, also said the chemicals used in the injection risked polluting the water table. But former Sonatrach CEO Abdelmadjid Attar countered that "conventional hydrocarbon exploitation carries the same environmental risks." Algiers says safeguards will ensure environmental protection, but Chitour is not convinced. "The absence of debate on the energy future of the country is a mistake," he said, adding that this would have adverse effects for generations. There must be a "comprehensive strategy (to ensure) that shale gas will comprise only a very small amount of the energy supply." The costs of shale gas exploitation are also high, Energy and Mines Minister Youcef Yousfi said, and "exporters and importers will have to share the risk". And Yousfi's predecessor, Nordine Ait Laoussine, said "there is still much left to do on the conventional side, not only in unexplored areas but also in those already in production." To develop its shale gas potential, Algeria's hydrocarbons company Sonatrach has signed agreements with the Anglo-Dutch oil group Shell, Italian Eni and Canadian Talisman. In 2011, Sonatrach drilled its first shale gas wells in the Ahnet basin near Tamanrasset, about 2,000 kilometres south of Algiers. Sonatrach announced a new gas discovery in the southeast, near Illizi, and will also begin offshore exploration in 2014. (AFP)
FIVE) – EGYPT'S INFLATION CONTINUES TO GROW Egypt’s inflation rate grew to seven per cent in the 12 months to October 2012, marking a significant rise on September’s rate, official data showed Saturday. Local prices rose 6.2 per cent in the 12 months to September. The increase in natural gas and butane prices were the main driver behind the rise in inflation, increasing 57.8 per cent in October 2012 over September 2012, and a whopping 175 per cent over October 2011. On an annual basis, vegetables saw the second largest increase in prices, growing 18.5 per cent in the year to October 2012. Inflation had eased to levels below seven per cent in the third quarter of 2012, mainly due to lower prices in the same quarter a year earlier.
8 Figures from state statistics agency, CAPMAS, showed Egypt's food inflation at an annual 8.2 per cent rate in October, down from 9.1 per cent the month before, reflecting an easing in global food prices. The drop is due to a monthly decline in vegetable prices by 8.4 per cent. (Ahramonline)
SIX) – CHAOS WILL RESURRECT IF UGANDA LEAVES SOMALIA "I hope that is just a bad dream that will come to pass,” says Abdunor Ahmed, a Somali based in Kisenyi, Uganda, on his view about Uganda’s intention to withdraw her forces from Somalia. This is the wish of nearly every Somali, obviously apart from the militant al-Shabaab group. For the last two weeks, Uganda has been threatening to withdraw from Somalia if a leaked UN report blaming Uganda for supporting the M23 rebel outfit in DRC is published. Uganda vehemently denies supporting the rebel outfit. But in the event that Uganda leaves, the likely scenario is that AMISOM will cease to exist in the short run and Somalia will once again plunge into chaos. Composition of the mission Uganda took the lead in the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia. As they were deploying in 2007, Ethiopian forces were withdrawing just after a year in Somalia. The Ethiopians had chased away the Islamic Courts rule in Somalia, but had in return created a situation that led to the birth of al-Shabaab. The mandate that authorised the AMISOM force deployment barred countries neighbouring Somalia from contributing to AMISOM. The first Ugandan troops landed in 2007 to a barrage of mortar shells. The unit had 1,500 troops, supported by 12 tanks and APCs. When the mission was set by IGAD and the African Union, the agreed troop deployment was 8,000. In late 2007, Burundi followed with a battalion of about 800 troops. It has been very difficult to get countries to deploy to Somalia and that is why a withdraw by any of the deployed countries may lead to the collapse of the mission. The current deployment stands at around 17,600 troops, of which 6,700 are Ugandan, 4,700 are Kenyan while 4,400 are from Burundi. Others include Djibouti with 300 out of a promised 800. Nigeria has deployed mainly policemen, just like Malawi, Senegal, Ghana, Zambia and Cameroon that have less than five soldiers each-mainly as liaison officers. The deployments show that Uganda has got at least 2,000 troops more than any other country in Somalia. “Uganda is the highest contributor of troops to AMISOM,” says UPDF spokesman Col. Felix Kulayigye. When they were first deployed in 2007, they had a defensive mandate of securing at least five key installations within Mogadishu, including State House, the sea-port, K-4 junction, parliament and the airport. “We achieved this objective in the first few years,” Ugandan contingent commander Brig. Micheal Ondoga says.
9 For the first three years — 2007 to 2010, only Uganda and Burundi had troops on the ground. By July 2010, the total deployment was around 4,500 of which Uganda had 3,000. However, after the militants attacked Kampala in July 2010, the AU/UN agreed to Uganda’s demands that more troops be deployed to Somalia. Subsequently, Uganda added another half brigade of around 1,700 soldiers while Burundi added two more battalions. Promises of troops from Sierra-Leone (800) are yet to materialise. It was not until early 2011 when the initial 2007 agreed troop strength of 8,000 was achieved. However, by that time according to commanders, the requirement had risen to at least 20,000 troops. “We are now moving out of Mogadishu and we need soldiers to move forward and take care of our rear,” then Ugandan contingent commander Brig. Paul Lokech said. Again, it was Uganda and Burundi that agreed to add more troops into Somalia. Other countries continued to pay lip service. In Uganda, among others veterans were mobilised, re-oriented and deployed as part of UGABAG IX+. It is because of these deployments that AMISOM forces finally moved out of Mogadishu, captured Afgooye in May 2012, Balad, Marka and are now poised outside Baidoa in central Somalia. In October 2011, Kenya entered Somalia and by February 2012, they had been admitted into AMISOM. However, Kenya’s main role is in the south of Somalia-around 500km away from Mogadishu. Neighbours step in In September 2011, militants started a kidnapping spree across the border with Kenya, apparently targeting westerners and those affiliated to western organisations there. Some analysts believed al-Shabaab were involved because the militants controlled much of the area along the Kenya-Somalia border. But it will be a difficult task for the Kenyans to move up north to replace the withdrawing Ugandans. With around 40,000 troops, the KDF will obviously be over stretched. In fact, the Kenyan strategy right from the start in October 2011 was to create a buffer area between main land Kenya and chaotic Somalia. Rather than go up north to Mogadishu, the withdraw of the Ugandans will give Kenyans the reason to concentrate on creating this buffer region, than get mirred up in Mogadishu. “Our initial objective was to create a buffer zone between Kenya and Somalia. If AMISOM collapses with the pull out of Uganda, we shall revert to our original mission of creating this buffer,” a Kenyan officer said. Kenya is now in charge of Sector II in southern Somalia. Getting troops to quickly replace the Ugandans will be a very difficult task. When the mission was launched over nine years ago, several other countries including Nigeria, South-Africa and Senegal agreed to send troops to Somalia. However, they have not met their promise to date. Sierra-Leone has been preparing a battalion for the last one year, but they are yet to be deployed in the war-torn African country. Ethiopia has been making sojourns into Somalia since 2006. However, like Kenya, they are also more concerned about their own border security rather than peace across Somalia.
10 This is why for many years, they have kept a close eye over areas near them like Bakool, Bay, Lower and Middle Shabelle. Other areas of Somalia like Punt-land will also move on and become independent countries. (New Vision Uganda)
SEVEN) - VODACOM SEES LIGHT AT END OF AFRICA TUNNEL Vodacom’s performance on the African continent has always been lacklustre compared to that of its main rival MTN. But Johann Dennelind, the CEO of the international division, said this situation is slowly turning around. Ahead of the release of Vodacom’s interim results tomorrow, Dennelind said international operations continue to grow as a percentage of total group growth. By June 2012, service revenue from the international division accounted for 21% of group service revenue, compared to 14.5% two years ago. For the financial year to March, Vodacom reported a cash-positive position for the first time in its international operations. To clean up the international division, Vodacom also offloaded certain supplier agreements and the assets of Gateway Carrier Services to a Hong Kong telecoms company for R22.96-billion. Gateway provides wholesale carrier services to telecommunications operators and other companies needing to connect across and into Africa. Vodacom operates in four other African countries besides South Africa, where it remains market leader. It has operations in Tanzania, Mozambique, Lesotho and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Dennelind said it is in the number one position in all markets except Mozambique, where it is second. Tanzania, which is Vodacom’s biggest market outside South Africa, has been challenged by intense competition with the authorities in the country licensing four more players. “A couple of years ago we were under intense price pressure in a lot of our markets and it was because of increased competition, especially the bringing of Indian mobile into Africa, but the pricing has now become rational,” said Dennelind. He said in Tanzania the big three operators - Vodacom, Airtel and Tigo - operate alongside the smaller ones, describing it as a good competitive environment with stable pricing. The growth of m-pesa, a mobile money initiative, in Tanzania has cemented Vodacom’s position and by the end of June it had 3.6million active customers. Vodacom has had its fingers burnt in some of its expansion efforts, notably in the DRC where it has been mired in a legal dispute. A claim was brought against Vodacom by Namemco Energy for about R356.7-million, reduced later to R182.7-million by the Congolese Commercial Tribunal, as a consulting fee for helping Vodacom in the Congo. The tribunal ruled that, should the debt not be paid, a public sale and auction of Vodacom’s shares would take place on June 3. Vodacom was able to prevent the auction from taking place. At Vodacom’s annual general meeting earlier this year, chairman Peter Moyo admitted it had problems with minority interest shareholder Congo Wireless Network, which owns 49% and was looking at ways to resolve this. Moyo said it was hoping the case would be heard in a South African court before the appeal is decided on in the Congo. But Moyo is adamant that Vodacom will not leave the Congo. Dennelind said Vodacom is committed to investment in the Congo and that the division is doing well. He also said it has changed its operating style and made an effort to include local talent instead of just using South Africans. “We now have more diverse management teams and we bring in expertise to help develop the local talent. We didn’t really operate African style, and our formula wasn’t right,” said Dennelind. The association with Vodafone will also help bolster its credibility through a larger pool of resources, said Dennelind. “We want to make sure that we reach out to more people and we want to increase penetration and coverage and we are investing in the internet technology to make sure we have better capacity,” he said.
11 “We have spent the last two years trying to prove to ourselves, first of all, that we can operate in Africa, learn from our mistakes in the past and we have learnt that we need to operate with a different mind-set. We have a new operational model and formula,” he said. (Sunday Times)
EIGHT) – AS COAL BOOSTS MOZAMBIQUE, THE RURAL POOR ARE LEFT BEHIND When Augusto Conselho Chachoka and his neighbors heard that the world’s biggest coal mine was to be built on their land, a tantalizing new future floated before them. Instead of scraping by as subsistence farmers, they would earn wages as miners, they thought. The mining company would build them sturdy new houses, it seemed. Finally, a slice of the wealth that has propelled Mozambique from its war-addled past to its newfound status as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies would be theirs. Instead, they ended up being moved 25 miles away from the mine, living in crumbling, leaky houses, farming barren plots of land, far from any kind of jobs that the mine might create and farther than ever from Mozambique’s growth miracle. “Development is coming, but the development is going to certain areas and certain people,” Mr. Chachoka said, taking a break from trying to coax enough food from his scraggly field to feed his six children. Mozambique is one of the poorest nations in the world, broken by a brutal colonial legacy, a 16-year civil war and failed experiments with Marxist economic policy. But it is also one of the so-called African Lions: countries that are growing at well above 6 percent annually, even amid the global downturn. Mozambique is poised for a long economic boom, driven by its vast deposits of coal and natural gas. Vale, the Brazilian mining company, is planning to invest $6 billion in its coal operation near here, and other coal giants like Rio Tinto will soon begin producing coal in the Tete region of northern Mozambique. Gas projects could bring in far more, as much as $70 billion, according to World Bank estimates. Mozambique’s location on Africa’s southeastern coast means it is perfectly positioned to feed hungry markets in southern and eastern Asia. These investments mean that income from natural resources could easily outstrip the outsized contribution foreign aid makes to its $5 billion annual budget. The country has been growing at a rapid clip for the past two decades, in fact, since the end of its brutal civil war. Yet, after a substantial drop in the first postwar decade, gains against poverty have slowed substantially, analysts say, leaving millions stuck below the poverty line and raising tough questions about whether Africa’s resource boom can effectively raise the standard of living of its people. “You get these rich countries with poor people,” said the economist Joseph Stiglitz, who recently visited Mozambique and has written on the struggle of resource-rich countries to develop. “You have all this money flowing in, but you don’t have real job creation and you don’t have sustained growth.” It is a problem in resource-rich countries across Africa. In a largely upbeat assessment of Africa’s growth prospects, the World Bank said in October that rapidly growing economies powered by oil, gas and minerals have seen poverty levels fall more slowly than countries without those resources. In some nations, like Gabon and Angola, the percentage of people living in extreme poverty has even increased as growth has spiked. Most of Mozambique’s people live in rural areas, and almost all of them depend on farming. Since commercial farming scarcely exists — 99 percent of farmers are smallholders — this means small-scale, family-based agriculture is the main, and in many cases the only, source of income for the vast majority of Mozambicans. But the new gas and coal deals are wrapped up in multibillion-dollar megaprojects that rarely create large numbers of jobs or foster local entrepreneurship, according to an analysis by the United States Agency for International Development.
12 “The effects of megaprojects on living standards were found to be very modest,” the report said. “These projects, over all, have created few jobs. And linkages to the public budget via tax revenues have also been small because of tax exemptions.” The plight of the people of this tiny, new village helps illustrate why Mozambique’s rural poor have been left behind. Far from the centers of economic power, dependent on rain-fed agriculture and ignored by the government, the rural poor languish even as the country surges. The coal deposits in Moatize represent one of the biggest untapped reserves in the world, and the Brazilian mining company Vale has placed a big bet on it. But to get to the coal, hundreds of villagers living atop it had to be moved. The company held a series of meetings with community members and government officials, laying out its plans to build tidy new bungalows for each family and upgrade public services. As the prospect of huge new investments in their rural corner of the world beckoned, villagers anticipated a whole new life: jobs, houses, education, and even free food. Things didn’t work out that way. The houses were poorly built and leaked when it rained. The promised water taps and electricity never arrived. Cateme is too far from the mine for anyone here to get a job there. The new fields are dusty and barren — coaxing anything from them is hard. Before he moved, Mr. Chachoka made a tidy living. He had a small vegetable patch, his wife made bricks from mud to sell in a nearby town, and he could pick up occasional work as a laborer. Mr. Chachoka’s move from peri-urban striver who salted away extra cash to struggling rural farmer who can barely feed his family is emblematic of a problem facing Mozambique and many other resource-rich but still deeply poor nations. Strong economic growth almost completely bypasses the rural poor, and in some ways can leave them even worse off. “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer,” Mr. Chachoka said. “That is what is happening here.” Some resource-rich countries in Africa have managed to turn mineral wealth into broad-based development. Ghana, which recently discovered oil, has won praise for its careful planning for poverty alleviation. Botswana’s diamonds have turned what was one of the world’s most impoverished nations into a middle-income country. Mozambique says it hopes to do the same, striking a balance between exploiting its mineral wealth and improving rural farming so that all Mozambicans benefit. “We are very optimistic,” said Abdul Razak, deputy minister of mines and the man in charge of bringing Mozambique into compliance with international standards for transparency. “The level of poverty is going to be lower and the level of well-being is going to be higher.” The government has signed up to be part of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, a program set up by Britain and supported by the World Bank to ensure that governments and companies are honest about revenues. The government also says it plans to invest the proceeds of mining into antipoverty programs and to help rural farmers. But Mozambique’s experience also shows how hard it will be to get there. Even after two decades of strong growth, the country remains near dead last on the Human Development Index, just above Burundi, Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo. By some measures, median income has actually shrunk, not grown, since its boom began. The events that unfolded in Cateme explain why this is the case. Earlier this year, the people of Cateme sent a letter to local government officials and Vale demanding that their complaints about the resettlement process be addressed, threatening to block the railway line that passes through their village carrying coal to the port. When they received no reply, they occupied the rail line. The police descended upon them, chasing them away and roughing up those who resisted removal. Eventually, contractors came to begin repairs and install electricity. The buzz of handsaws and hammers replaced the whir of cicadas, and new public buses made the markets of Moatize more accessible.
13 “There were some problems after the relocation,” said Vale’s country manager, Ricardo Saad, adding that the company was trying to fix them. Local people, he said, should not think that mining would bring instant prosperity. “One of the things that we have to manage very carefully are the expectations,” Mr. Saad said. Yet all the scaffolding and newly erected electricity poles aren’t enough for many residents of Cateme. The underlying lack of access to good land and water persist. Hopes that farmers would be able to sell their produce to feed the boom in this mining area have so far not been met: much of the food is flown in. The local chapter of the national farmers’ union is working with farmers to teach new methods that can improve their crops. But that will take time, said Charlene McKoin, an expert on farming who has been working on American-financed agribusiness projects in Mozambique for the past seven years. “Farmers are used to burning land, throwing down seeds and praying for rain,” Ms. McKoin said. “The length of time to take someone from subsistence to commercial farming can take up to a generation.”(NYT)
NINE) – GHANA SIGNS $135M FINANCING AGREEMENTS WITH AFDB Ghana and the African Development Bank on Wednesday signed two financing agreements totaling $135 million, to enhance the capacity of private sector institutions and to promote technical skills development. An amount of about $120 million will be used for technical based skills training while $14.5 million will go into institutional support projects. Dr Kwabena Duffuor, Finance and Economic Planning Minister signed for Ghana and Ms Marie-Laure AkinOlugbade, Resident Representative of the African Development Bank in Ghana initialed on behalf of her organisation. Dr Duffuor said government recognized the development of relevant technical skills as important to improving productivity and enhancing the country’s competitiveness. He said the development of job related competencies in Technical and Vocational skills was a catalyst for the development of small and medium scale enterprises, which represented a significant proportion of the country’s economy. The project, he said, would contribute to address the key issue of human capital development through increasing the capacity of the country to produce high calibre technical and vocational skills to facilitate readiness for technological change and meet the demands of industry. Specifically, the project aims to expand equitable access to public institutions, targeting females and the rural poor, improving the relevance and quality of Technical and Vocational Education training delivery and improving management of TVET at the coordination and school based institutional levels. On the institutional support project, Dr Duffuor said it would help strengthen the non-tax revenue mobilization framework, enhance the capacity of the Private Enterprise Foundation, National Board of Small Scale Industries and the Ghana Stock Exchange to support small and medium enterprise and enhance capacity in Financial sector policy formulation. In addition, the project will help in the development of an online Aid Management Information System to provide an automated platform to monitor and report on donor assisted activities thereby helping planners and policy makers to easily determine which donor is doing what, where and when. Ms Akin-Olugbade said the signing of the two agreements was a demonstration of the Bank’s continued engagement in Ghana and the beginning of the implementation of the Country Strategy Paper (CSP) approved in June this year. The CSP is the blueprint of the Bank Group operation spanning the period 2012-2016 and targets improving productivity in Ghanaian enterprises and supporting economic and structural reform aimed at improving the business environment. Ms Akin-Olugbade said the development of vocational skills would contribute to the provision of quality intermediate level, technical and vocational training skills needed to foster increased productivity and economic growth to reduce poverty. (GNA)
14 TEN) – ANGLO, ESKOM SEAL KUSILE DEAL Anglo American Thermal Coal and Eskom this week pledged to get the first unit of the six-unit Kusile power station on stream by 2014 and the rest of the units running by the scheduled 2018 date. Eskom’s main contract is with Anglo Coal. Anglo Coal’s planned New Largo colliery, 5km from the power station, is committed to supply coal for 40 years of the plant’s 60-year life. Eskom said the balance will come from Anglo Coal’s Zibulo reserve near Ogies. Anglo Coal is in talks with other mines in the vicinity of Kusile, owned by African Exploration, BHP Billiton and Xtrata, to supplement the company’s reserves. “Initially we will be supplying Kusile through our Zibulo mine, which is already in operation,” said Anglo Coal spokesman Moeketsi Mofokeng. “The power station will be commissioned in phases, so the timing of the construction of the mine coincides with Eskom’s commissioning timetable.” Mr Mofokeng said construction of the New Largo mine is scheduled to begin once the relevant approval and permitting processes, within Anglo Coal, Eskom and regulatory authorities, have been completed and will match the ramp-up profile of Eskom. The farm on which Eskom intends to build the New Largo mine has previously been used for agricultural purposes but has been acquired for mining. “More than 80% of the land required for the life of the project has been acquired. The current practice is to lease land not required immediately back to the farmers. The land will be made available to us as and when required,” Mr Mofokeng said. Once completed, Kusile will be the world’s fourth largest coal-fired power station, expected to meet about 11% of South Africa’s electricity needs with a total capacity of 4,800MW. Eskom has been working on the $161bn project with Black & Veatch as implementing agents, with about 58 contractors on site. The biggest contractors are Hitachi Power Europe, responsible for erecting the boiler, and Alstom, which is working on the station’s turbine. (Sunday Times)
ELEVEN) – NIGERIA: CONTINENTAL INTEGRATION BEDROCK FOR AFRICA'S SURVIVAL Honourable Bethel Amadi is the third president of the pan African Parliament What is Pan African Parliament? The Pan African Parliament is the legislative arm of the African Union. It was initially envisaged by our leaders, the visionary leaders of the African Union to be a platform for African people and their grassroots organisations to enable them make an input into the decision making process of the African Union towards finding solutions to the challenges facing the continent. You know that the African Union organs prior to the formation of the Pan African Parliament or mostly organs that were mostly part of the executive of the national governments. The Summit comprised of the Heads of Government themselves, the Executive Council was made up of the foreign Ministers of member States and the Permanent Representative Committee (PRP) was made up of the ambassadors of the AU member States in the Addis Ababa headquarters of the African Union. It was envisaged that with the African Union transforming from the OAU that it was to the AU required that it had all the other bodies and compliments that would ensure that the Union was truly a union of African people. So in 2004 the Pan African Parliament was established and all member States of the African Union who had parliaments were to send five members of their national parliament to represent them. The five members will be composed of the various political configurations that a sitting parliament has, the joint parties, the opposition parties and of course there was also the issue of gender. The five person delegation must have a woman as member, so that was how the Pan African Parliament started, drawing from members of the national parliament to come together and provide a legislative input. We started as a consultative and advisory body with a view that after the first five years of its existence, the protocol establishing the Pan African Parliament would be reviewed to enable it be given additional functions and powers. That five years came to pass in 2009 and the review process started with the African Union Head of States decision in Sirte, Libya, that the African Union Commission should start the review process of the Protocol
15 establishing the Pan African Parliament and over the last three years a reviewed document has undergone various meetings and finally, a draft reviewed protocol was approved by African Union member States Attorney-General and Minister of Justice. It was now sent to the African Union to be tabled before the summit and by January 2013 Summit the reviewed protocol will be up for adoption and if adopted will begin the process of having member States ratify it. It will require 28 ratifications from member States before the amended protocol will come into force. Do you feel the Pan African Parliament as presently constituted can address the concerns? We are providing the legislative framework within which integration can be enhanced, to enhance interAfrican trade, to enhance the free movement of people, goods and services. We are providing a platform where African people can come together, so it is the main institution where African legislators, those who make laws in various African countries come together to look at the problems of Africa and provide a platform for African people and their grassroots organisations to make an input. In our last session in October, which was the first session of the third parliament, we held a dialogue with civil societies and various NGOs and groups on Millennium Development Goals and we realised quite sadly that Africa will not meet any of the Millennium Development Goal targets come 2015. Only about three countries would meet some of the key Millennium Development Goals target and why is it so? It is because we are having a situation where a resource rich continent like Africa has not taken time to ensure that resource application is focused on key areas to achieve required results. That the issue of governance has continued to delay the African renaissance; so the Pan African Parliament is the only continental institution that has the capacity to look at these issues in-depth and go back to take these issues to the national parliament because really, at the end of the day the national parliament has a role to demand accountability, transparency from the national government in the utilisation of available resources. You mean that Africa's developmental challenges are framework based? The problem of our continent is governance and governance issues need to be addressed and those governance issues point to what really causes a lot of the crisis on the continent; and governance issues start from the process of the elections of those who take decisions in our member States, the electoral process. The constitutions, do they provide level playing field for political actors and in the end of the process do people come out satisfied that there has been a free and fair process? That is why we are pushing through the Pan African Parliament for the domestication of the now ratified African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. That charter embodies the core values of democratic practice and we are convinced that if member states embody this charter into their laws it will cover a whole range of issues that have continued to plague the governance process. There will be true electoral Commissions, there will be independent judiciary to adjudicate, that security agencies must remain impartial, that a level playing field be provided for all the political groupings. Freedom of association and to form political parties and of course to ensure that the ruling party provides a free and fair environment for competition and of course most importantly, it condemns in unequivocal terms that there should be zero tolerance for unconstitutional change of government. The Pan African Parliament is just like the world court without an enforcement arm and any member strong enough can ignore its directives or resolutions. Are your resolutions binding and how do you beat member nations who violate the charter back into line? I agree we do not have legislative powers as you understand it in the national laws of member States, but we have the power of moral persuasion and the Pan African Parliament is in transformation. The European parliament took 50-years before they got legislative powers but that does not mean that we need to go through that whole process to re-invent the wheel because we can see today the advantages of having a European parliament with legislative powers to sanction member States who do not comply. So it is a process we believe will happen but until that happens, we must continue to carry out our functions to say to the member States, these are issues they must deal with to provide governance and better standard of living for the African citizen. When a small country like Niger changes government by unconstitutional means, it is easy to beat them back to line, but what happens when a big and strong country like Nigeria and South Africa with the power, resources and all that to breath down their neck to do the right thing?
16 The same standards will apply to all and whether you are thinking about it in terms of the ability of the African Union as an institution to put pressure to bear, it is collective. The collective weight of the African Union encompasses the entire membership and as such there is no easy solution to that kind of situation but it is something that must be faced up to each time it happens. We must stand firm at all times to condemn all acts of unconstitutional change of government wherever it may be. Be it in Niger, Mali, Guinea, and Ivory Coast or even be it in one of the big populous African countries, it doesn't matter where it is but the issue is the same statement would be made. But most of them are engendered from outside of the continent? And we indeed also contribute to the process. We cannot divorce ourselves and the roles that we play in that process. We are used as pawns in the process and we are saying no to that. A lot of them of course are engineered from outside, we know, but that is also because they are looking for opportunities to take from our continent's resources. You cannot remove the situation in the Congo from the interest in the wealth that exist in the Congo, but why must we allow it. Don't we have a responsibility as leaders to ensure that the resources of our continent and our various member States are used for the benefit of our citizens. We know the roles that have been played by multinational companies needs to be reviewed. The new found interest in procuring large portions of land in Africa by land speculators to the detriment of our local farmers, to the detriment of food production on our continent is all being engineered for a purpose. Africa spends billions of dollars to import food and we have the Maputo Declaration where our Heads of government signed that they will invest 10 per cent of the national budget in agriculture to enhance food production, but that is not happening. We would rather spend money to import food instead of producing food and yet 70 per cent of African population is farmers. Our problem is not that we don't have the manpower or the farmers to farm the land; our problem is that they have no support whatsoever in terms of implements, fertiliser, tools, even new farm techniques, improved seedlings and access to land. You know that majority of the rural populations that are farmers are also women and in most of our societies women do not own land across the continent. There is also the cultural dimension to the process that. We must not overlook whereby we have over the years developed taste for foreign foods. The mass importation into Africa of the three cereals, rice wheat and Barley has continued unabated and is growing to the detriment of indigenous cereals like maize, sorghum, millet and even other indigenous foods like cassava, potatoes. The ones we can grow ourselves have been abandoned so that we can import more rice, wheat, barley and so the process of neo colonialism has not abated in anyway and it is apparent in all the things that we are doing. Today 90 per cent of funding for HIV/AIDS on the continent comes from outside the continent and with the economic downturn and the recession especially in those donor countries, our development partners are cutting back on the funding for HIV AIDS. In the last 10 years, Africa made substantial progress in the management of HIV/AIDS, reducing new infections, reducing HIV related deaths, reducing mother to child transmission and those substantial strides that have been made are now endangered. We stand the danger of resurgence in new infections in mother to child transmission due to lack of funding. Now we are talking about funding, how does the parliament get its own funding? The parliament is funded by the African Union member States through the African Union Commission. We have a budget because it is a dual membership where we are all members of our national parliament. National parliaments are expected to pay for us to attend; so it is the African Union that pays for the secretariat, salaries of the secretariat staff; then the host country South Africa provides the facilities and the member States pay for the attendants of their delegations. The President said Nigeria would no longer enter into any protocol that does not offer benefits to the country. What does Nigeria gain from being a member of the Pan African Parliament? For Nigeria the issues of continental integration are critical for our development. Nigeria is the most populous country on the continent and Nigerians are the most travelled of all Africans. You find Nigerians in every nooks and crannies of this continent. I have been in a remote isolated part of Angola, ravaged by war for 35 years. When I went to Angola after the death of Savimbi and the war ended, I went for election observation work in Angola in 2008 and we drove for seven hours out of Luanda into the hinterland and we had a mechanical malfunction on the vehicle and the only people who we could find to buy spare parts from in a remote village were Nigerians and they had been there for years even when the war was on. So you find that a country like Nigeria has a lot to benefit from the integration of the continent.
17 I give you a clear example, on the ECOWAS region where there has been substantial progress in terms of integration as a citizen of ECOWAS carrying ECOWAS passport, I can move from one ECOWAS country to another without visa and without any restrictions. You find that all the way down the West African region there are Nigerian traders able to trade despite the customs and immigration problems that are not official, despite the red tape of bureaucracy that exist in those border posts, but still, you find made in Nigeria goods in those countries. The market that exist in the continent would be available for this industrious hard working people the opportunities that exist will be available. Nigerians now live and work in many African countries. How did you become the President of the Pan African Parliament; where did you meet it and where do you plan to take the parliament? I was elected on May 28, 2012 as the third President of the Pan African Parliament and I have tenure of three years. I was elected alongside with four Vice Presidents from the other four regions of the continent. We believe that the an African Parliament as presently constituted with advisory and legislative powers is in dire need for transformation into a legislative body that would provide for Africa and Africans a loud voice in the scheme of governance for the continent; that will be a voice for the voiceless millions of Africans. So we have a vision of using our advisory and consultative powers to the fullest to ensure that the Pan African Parliament has a visibility that is required for it to attain its goals as a veritable platform for African people and grassroots organisations to make an input into decision-making processes. Decisions would no longer be the decisions by governments taking into consideration the inputs of African people and so we are championing the ratification of very important charters that will help enhance governance. We succeeded after three years of campaign to have the charter on democracy, election and governance ratified, now we are pushing for the charter on civil service. We think that the civil service or public service in our continent has a big role to play and there must be standards and that the level of corruption, misuse and misapplication of African resources cannot be removed from the level of our public service. They must begin to imbibe core values and standards across the continent and the role the public service plays in implementation of decisions across the continent must be taken with all seriousness. So we are pushing for that charter to be ratified so that those who not complying with what should be the standard norms, and core values of public service will be sanctioned. Talking about public service my, understanding is that it excludes the lawmakers who whether real or imagined have been mired in controversies that border on corruption. Do you think the national lawmakers and the Pan African parliament have the moral standing to talk about or legislate on anything that call the public servants corrupt especially when it appears more money is being guzzled by the lawmakers? We are talking of two different things so I will take it from two different angles. I am convinced and I believe that no citizen of any country should be above the laws of that country and that any citizen of any country who for whatever reason is found wanting in terms of the laws of the land, he should bear the full brunt of that judicial process without undue preference being given to that individual. The culture of impunity that pervades our continent is all as a result of the tendency to give different standards for different people and different institutions. We are pushing for a civil service charter that will be signed by member states that will develop core values for public service does not in any way exonerate any other group; be they the executive or the legislative arm of governance and I think that governance issues need to be looked at from very clear perspectives as there are individuals who have lived by standards below what should be expected of them in office does not in any way mean that the process of change will not continue and that we must not continue to push for it even in Europe and America. Last week a court sentenced the former Prime Minister of Italy Berlusconi. There is no way people who hold high office have been completely found to be saints, but the issue is that when they are found culpable, they should be punished and the same standard that applies to the civil servants should be applied to the legislators, should apply to the governors, should apply to whoever it is that has breached public trust and that is where I think our problem is. The problem is that because we want to point fingers, we forget the fact that as a nation we must continue to push at all times irrespective of what is going on, that there should be standards for those who are in public service. We continue to say that okay because some legislators have been found wanting and as such the whole process of legislation should be thrown to the dogs; we can't run a society like that. We cannot say because
18 some journalists have been known to sell their newspaper articles and publish what they have been paid for, and then we should throw away all journalists in the process. We must continue to build stronger institutions that will help us achieve transparency, accountability and ensure that public service is actually in the interest of the people it is supposed to serve. When I say public service this time, I mean all those who are in the service of the people. As you know, even in Nigeria today, despite our many shortcomings, you can see clear progress even in elections. Elections are getting more transparent day by day. People are beginning to speak up; people are beginning to insist that their votes count, so after each election, we see progress in ensuring that the will of the people is paramount. As the President of the Pan African Parliament I am sure you would have known how other parliaments in Africa work, how true is it that Nigerian lawmakers are the highest paid in Africa and across the globe? I don't know what your statistics are, I don't know what information you have about what other members of parliament are paid across the globe, but I think the issues are being mixed up in terms of figures being bandied at different times for a different reason by different people. I think the leadership of the National Assembly and I have always made that point over time, need to educate and make the process of how resources are spent in the National Assembly more transparent so that we do not continue to have this blanket accusation that are being levelled at all times. That the running cost of an individual legislator and his activities as legislator is being mixed up with his salaries and entitlements is the crux of the problem. I think that until that is properly defined, we will continue to have a situation where one paint -brush is used to cut across. If we reason it that way, it means the lawmakers, the ministers and executive are in break neck competition of who will spend most... We are saying that minister has a role, a job to do and if he is say, the Minister of Education he will go visit the university, functions and has a role to play. We are trying to isolate what happens here...there is an iota of selective inquiry being done and I am asking you as a journalist could you help us so that we can put the two in proper perspective. Are you saying the role of the minister is more important than that of a legislator? They have different functions in the process of governance. You think it is okay that one is funded to carry out those function while the other is not funded to carry out his own functions. You believe maybe because they have more resources at their disposal so they are friendlier towards the media and that gives them a better cover. You are trying to push the media in order not to go into the issue... You have been a legislator for several terms and you know the salary you have been taking and now you are the President of the Pan African Parliament which gives you a vista into how other legislators are paid so I am convinced you can say if Nigerian lawmakers are receiving jumbo pay or not Nigeria has the largest number of members of parliament than any other African country I know. We have 469 members of our national parliament. You can't compare it to countries that have 69 members or 100 members or even 200 members which is just like half of what we have. Different countries have different modes of funding their members of parliament and that funding process is strictly dependent on how it is structured. For me I think a lot more of education and openness needs to be done by the leadership in order to put the issues in clear perspective as to what those costs go to and what they are for so it can be easily measured by those who have accused national Assembly of all levels of corruption so it can be measured properly ad if it is too high it can be cut back appropriately. I am not against the fact that the cost of governance in Nigeria is too high and a lot of that fund can be applied to key areas that are crying for funding and for resource application. I told you in the beginning that one of the greatest problems of Africa's development is resource application. We are not applying our resources appropriately in the way it is supposed to be applied. Look at our national budget, most of it go to overhead and that is a problem on its own and that is not helping development of the country. Assuming you are made a consultant to reform Nigeria's national assembly what recommendations would you make for it to become more effective, cost effective and then have a name you can take to the bank? I think that the key to having a name that one can take to the bank and make deposit boils down to how we are able to improve the living standards of our people. How come a country like Nigeria as friend of mine
19 once described, as rich country of poor people. How do we continue to have in our continent, a country so rich in resources as Nigeria hosting the highest number of children of school age who are not getting any education at all. Nine million and counting; why have we not been able to provide adequate access to things like basic education, access for primary healthcare for women and children, food on the table. There is kwashiorkor in some villages, what was last experienced during the civil war is back again in many villages and that is malnutrition, inadequate housing. I think the National Assembly is not very different from the rest of the society that it serves. They are elected from among our populace and so they come from different parts of Nigeria, from different professional backgrounds and as such they cannot be removed from the society in which they operate. I think that while we are dealing with issues of the moment as they arise, there is need for us to look at the larger picture in a longer term. Today, Nigeria in its economic planning as a nation is not following a defined economic plan. We budget every year and we only focus on the expenditure aspect; we are not spending according to a clearly defined national plan that will take into consideration the key sectoral areas and achievements that need to be made in those sectoral areas. There is no detailed national plan on which our budget is based and that is part of the disaster that has been going on for years and has remained unabated and I had hoped that by now we should have, taking all the various plans, whether it is vision 202020, transformation agenda, sat back to clearly define a four year or five year national plans and after each period, sit and review. Just as we review our electoral law four years before an election , so should we be passing first and foremost, a national development plan law every four years or five years and based on that plan, be able to review progress in every sector and not leave it to the whims and caprices of who is minister and what he has dreamt of for the period. If you look at countries like India, they are on their 12th or 13th five year national plan consistently followed and at the end of each five year period, sit back and review intensively what has transpired and what progress has been made and based on that, they approve the next five years. In anticipation of the fact that India like Nigeria and Africa has a very young population, the Indians are aiming at to provide manpower for Europe and America in the next 20 years because they have an aging population in Europe and America and Japan. They are not producing children like we are and many of them are no longer marrying or having families, even when they marry they don't have children and if they do they have one or two so in years to come a lot of those countries will have the need for younger people and what is India doing, they have built close to 3000 special technical schools in the last two years that would train highly skilled manpower for export targeted at Europe, America and Japan, that is planning. You are from Imo State where APGA has formed the State government, what is your assessment of the APGA led government? The government in Imo state today has not lived up to expectations on many fronts. One and half years into office we see a lot of things that were said in the heat of the electoral process not being implemented. Free education was promised to the people of Imo but now that it is time for implementation, we can see that it is almost not achievable. Lots of road contracts were issued and to date 80 - 90 per cent of them remain uncompleted and we don't know actually if the resources to compete them are available. Many new attempts at restructuring the polity with the creation of fourth tier of government when the first, second and third are not even working, you are creating additional administrative structures that would eat into the available resources in the State instead of strengthening the Local government to make them functional, we have had a situation where local governance has been handed over to local administrators while there were elected Local councils and even despite court rulings that the elected Local government councils as envisaged under our constitution be allowed to carry out their functions for times for which they are elected. TWELVE) â€“ CHINA WOOS BUYERS AT AFRICA TV MART At the recently wrapped Discop Africa TV content market, which took place in Johannesburg from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2, it was impossible to miss the bright red pavilion sponsored by the Chinese government, looming in the center of the conference hall like a hungry dragon.
20 If the pavilion reflected China's outsized confidence in the African market, the interest from buyers was more restrained. While drawn to the colorful backdrops of popular Chinese toons like "Shanmao and Jimi," or the swashbuckling screener of the epic series "Three Kingdoms," few departed with anything more than a lollipop with the words "Feeling China" printed on the wrapper. Far from the robust business being done at the nearby stands of Globo TV, Caracol Television and TV Azteca -- Latin American sellers that have longstanding relationships with Africa through their popular telenovelas -- the Chinese contingent seemed to be involved in the awkward flirtations of a first date. "It's just like probing in the darkness," said Saundra Shanhua Tang of Shanghai Media Group, the country's second-largest media company. Last year China injected more than $12 billion of direct investment into the continent's growing economies. With the country already flexing its hard-money muscles across Africa, media groups are now looking to bolster the soft side of Chinese power. In January, satcaster CCTV expanded its Nairobi bureau and announced plans to dramatically increase its coverage of the continent. StarTimes Media's pay TV platform has reached into nine African markets. All the attention seems to be having at least some effect. Last year, Tanzanian pubcaster TBC began broadcasting a Chinese soap dubbed into Swahili -- a first for the continent. As more and more African bizzers engage with their Chinese counterparts, a certain curiosity seems only natural. "They want to know more about how we live our lives," said Shirley Tian, content director for StarTimes. But if curiosity was a theme at Discop, so was caution, according to Shanghai Media's Tang. "In other, more mature markets, (buyers) know what you can offer," she said, describing the dealmaking at marts like MipTV and Mipcom as "smooth." But at Discop, there were more requests for additional screeners, for corporate prospectuses, for follow-up emails and phone calls. "A lot of them begin their conversation with, 'Tell me what do you do. Tell me what you can offer us,' " she said. After only two Chinese companies attended the last Discop, 10 were on hand this year. At a lunch reception on the conference's opening day, the Chinese delegation announced its commitment to building on the business ties that have made the country Africa's largest trade partner. As if to drive that point home, CCTV later announced a major programming deal that will provide South African broadcaster e.tv. with a package of films. But for most of the buyers and sellers at the Chinese pavilion, such dealmaking seemed far off. Apollo Cong, sales manager of CCTV, said there was great interest among African producers for coproductions with the Chinese pubcaster, which has a reputation for deep pockets and an appetite for African content. But when it came to buying, he said there wasn't enough high-quality finished products for CCTV to acquire. Costs were also an issue for many African buyers, who tended to feel that the high cost of dubbing, which is preferred to subtitles in most African markets, should be shouldered by the sellers. Despite such setbacks, the mood was high among the Chinese delegation, which saw the event as something of a first kiss in a slow-blooming romance. As Tang put it, "We see the light. (Variety)
THIRTEEN) â€“ PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT MAURITIUS EUROPEAN UNION Mauritian Minister defends Fisheries Partnership Agreement with EU - Mauritian Fisheries Minister Nicolas Von-Mally has defended the signing of a Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) with the European Union in February 2012, saying the country obtains revenue from the resources without the need for investment in the sector which is very huge. Replying to queries of fishersâ€™ movements and associations and local environmentalists on Saturday, the Minister stressed that the FPA provides employment opportunities for Mauritians on vessels, in ports and associated services, as well as boosts exports. 'It also strengthens institutional capacities in the fisheries sector by helping to improve research, and monitoring, control and surveillance activities, as well as training and the viability of the small-scale fishing sector,' the Minister said. Von-Mally also dwelt on the benefits to the fishing community and the stakeholders at large in terms of improved infrastructure, building of fish landing stations, dredging of channels and creation of boat
21 passages, construction of slipways for fishermen, equipment for Fisheries Protection Service, radio telephone network, building of fisheries posts, assistance to Fishermen Welfare Fund and mangrove propagation. He pointed out that although the yearly average catch by EU vessels is around 1,718 tonnes in Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Mauritius, the EU would be paying for 5,500 tonnes amounting to Euro 357,500 per year. The Minister indicated that Mauritius would annually get Euro 660,000 for the 5,500 tonnes of tuna and Euro 302,500 for the support and implementation of a maritime policy, aimed at promoting sustainable fisheries development and management in Mauritius’ waters. As regards provision to avoid any adverse effects on the activities of small scale fishermen, the Minister said that several measures had been taken. According to the Minister, the spillover effects of the FPA on the island’s economy are numerous. The fish processing sector provides 6,000 direct jobs and 10,000 indirect jobs. Some 90,000 tonnes of raw tuna are procured from EU vessels for processing in the seafood hub for export duty free and quota free on the EU market. In addition, some 10,000 tonnes of raw materials are purchased for processing and export of the finished product namely, 3,000 tonnes of preserved tuna and 600 tonnes of tuna loins to the EU market. This FPA establishes the terms and conditions under which vessels registered in and flying the flag of EU may carry out tuna fishing in Mauritius waters in accordance with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other rules of international laws and practices. This agreement will be for a period of six years and renewed for additional periods of three years. (Pana)
FOURTEEN) – ECONOMY: MAURITIUS' ECONOMY TO GROW BY 3.4 PER CENT THIS YEAR Port-Louis, Mauritius - The economy of Mauritius is expected to grow by 3.4 per cent this year, Finance Minister Xavier-Luc Duval, said when he presented the 2013 budget proposals to parliament. This is the same growth rate forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). 'Growth is visible across the country. The number of first time home buyers has increased by 20 per cent. The number of containers imported for the local economy has grown by 6.3 per cent and new cars registered in the first nine months by 32 per cent,' he said. The Minister said inflation had cooled to 4.1 per cent and the debt to GDP ratio would decline to 54.2 per cent. According to him, the new budget proposals would embrace technology and reinforce the island’s Africa Strategy, support growth and create employment, strengthen public services, protect the vulnerable and ensure sound macroeconomic management. Stressing on the rise of Africa, the Finance Minister said Africa was indeed at the dawn of a new era. 'There are genuine and strong foundations for hope - the hope that the continent will be able to firmly engage the path of sustainable development, the hope that millions of men, women and children will find their way out of poverty and the hope of meaningful increases in the standard of living for millions more.' He said the Mauritian responsibility was to share its experience on democracy, governance and development, encourage fast tracking regional integration, enlarge economic opportunities for citizens and acting as a catalyst for investment. 'This is our Africa Strategy and next year, we will pursue this agenda relentlessly,' Duval added. He said Mauritius would further contribute to that effort by launching a new scholarship scheme for 50 deserving African students. Regarding the economic pillars of the island, Duval stressed that the manufacturing sector was one that would 'continue to astound us with its ingenuity'. 'Textile has not just survived but grown stronger and increasingly globally competitive against all odds and in the face of incredible challenges,' he said. The textile industry in Mauritius employs more than 50,000 persons and generates more than 14 billion rupees annually (US$1= 31.9 rupees). (Pana) FIFTEEN) – AMID SANCTIONS, IRAN TURNS TO AFRICA FOR TRADE Talks of a silent war between Iran and Israel seem to be piling by the hour. Israel is adamant Iran will not continue with its nuclear programme.
22 Prices of goods have been reported to be doubling every month following sanctions imposed by the US and EU over the nuclear programme. So debilitating is the situation that non-governmental organizations have said Iran may suffer shortage of basic medicines and currency. However, despite the woes facing the Middle East country, Iran is looking to make economic inroads in Kenya and Africa in general. The Islamic nation is making calculated steps to bolster trade in the continent. Due to the sanctions, Iran’s economy – heavily dependent on oil revenue has suffered and inflation has risen. Iran has been trying to use its crude oil as leverage, but trade with the West has significantly gone down. Now, Iran is looking to Africa to reverse the trend. Iran’s Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, speaking during an international media exhibition in the capital Tehran, said his country was ready to ‘co-operate with Africa’. “We are ready to provide technical and material help, including finances to those countries that need our assistance,” said Rahimi, who is widely touted to take over from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the country’s elections next year. Foreign policy Iran is a leading economic power in the Persian Gulf countries. The country is the second largest producer of natural gas after Russia and has the third highest proven oil reserves after Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Iranian exports to Kenya consist of industrial oil, lubricants, construction materials, and bitumen, amongst others. Kenya’s main export to Iran is tea, which has this year increased by 20 per cent. Kenya is also involved in the construction of Iran’s largest grain silo at the Imam Khomeini Port Complex, southwest of Iran, in a joint investment by the Iranian and Kenyan private sector. Over three trillion rials (around $300 million [about Sh25 billion]) have been invested in the project, in which a Kenyan private investor has made a signifi cant contribution. The silos will have the capacity to store 20 million tons of grains. Iran’s foreign policy attaches signify cance to enhanced ties with African countries, according to its Foreign Affairs spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast, who also voices his country’s readiness to bolster economic cooperation with Kenya. Grants to Kenya “Iran is currently offering Kenya a credit facility of $200 million about Sh17 billion. We can increase the facility to $400 million Sh34 billion, depending on the credibility of projects that the Kenyan Government runs,” Rehmanparast told The Standard On Saturday. Iran signed agreements with Kenya during an offi cial visit by President Ahmadinejad to Nairobi in 2009, which provided frameworks for strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries. The Islamic Republic also provided a credit facility of $5 million –Sh400 million – to Kenya to promote animal health and co-operation. According to the Africa Economic Institute, Kenya’s growing need for energy has encouraged ties with Iran, which has oil and nuclear power as alternative power sources. Iran’s Vice-President Rahimi says his Government was willing to striketrade deals with Africa at affordable rates and at the same time help countries by providing the necessary materials and technology to exploit their natural resources. Addressing the media at the 19th International Press and News Agencies Exhibition at the Imam Khomeini International Complex Centre in Tehran, Iran, he said the Persian Gulf country would also help preserve African culture, adding that there was a lot in common between his country and the continent. Restructuring of revenue Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Dr Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini and other officials accompanied him. Rahimi claimed the West had created militant groups including the Al-Shabaab in East Africa, Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Tuareg rebels in Mali to create economic instability in Africa.
23 Observers in the region say Iran wants to reduce the presence of the West in the Persian Gulf dramatically. Iran further wants a restructuring of oil revenue in the region, by allowing Iranian investment in Arabian oil companies (possibly fi nanced by the host country) and a bigger share of the region’s vast financial resources. Iran’s Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Shamseddin Hosseini said Iran conducted economic transactions with 150 countries in the previous Iranian calendar year (March 2011 to March 2012). About 80 countries transited their products through Iran. He said Iran continues trading with the world at a brisk pace, even though certain countries are trying to create obstacles to hinder the country’s economic progress, the Finance minister said. He was referring to sanctions imposed on Iran by the US and the European Union, which has affected the country’s financial position, particularly on oil – Iran’s main source of revenue – that it exports through the Strait of Hormuz, the trade gateway that links the East, West and Africa. The Western countries have imposed the sanctions amid stalled negotiations and escalating tensions regarding Iran’s nuclear programme, which they claim is intended for military purposes.
Netherlands-Africa Business Council Next and ongoing Events:
ANNUAL AFRICAN AMBASSADORS DINNER - 13 DECEMBER 2012 Thursday 13 December
REGISTER NOW! Note: Registration now open until Monday, 10 December 2012.
NEW YEAR'S RECEPTION - 17 JANUARY 2013 Thursday 17 January
All NABC members are invited to celebrate the beginning of another productive year of doing business in Africa!
ONE DAY CROSS CULTURAL TRAINING - 31 JANUARY 2013 Thursday 31 January
24 Human Resource Boosters & Clever Culture Communication, together with NABC, is organising a workshop to acquire skills to help build successful business relationships in sub-Saharan Africa.
MIDDLE EAST ASSOCIATION TRADE MISSION TO LIBYA FROM 2ND TO 6TH DECEMBER Sunday 02 December 2012
Fernando Matos Rosa Brussels
European Business Council for Africa and the Mediterranean The European Private Sector Organisation for Africa’s Development Rue Montoyer – 24 – Bte 5 1000 Brussels (Belgium) www.ebcam.org