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August, 2016

CHERRY

AFRICA ...Harnessing Africa’s Potential

Time For Urban Forestry Policy Powered By Development Plan Building Momentum On Ogoniland Clean-up

Economy On Edge

UK : £3.50 USA: $4.99 EURO: €5.00 August 2016 CHERRYAFRICA NIGERIA: ₦1000.00

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Nigeria

With an increased port operational efficiency, decreased port cost and decreased financial burden on government,

Nigerian Ports Authority is becoming

Nigerian Ports Authority

2 August 2016 CHERRYAFRICA MARI T

ERRAQUE SERVIM

US

...To be the Leading Port in Africa... Website: www.nigerianports.org

Email: info@nigerianports.org

Graphics Unit NPA 01/2016

the Hub of International Freighting and Trade in West and Central Africa.


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Contents

Transporters’ Headache PAGE 17 QUOTE “Many African countries are already on track with transforming their economies. The role of governments in Africa is to offer inclusive and sustainable development which is important in addressing climate change and economic growth.”

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6-10

AUGUSTIN MATATA PONYO

South Sudan Again PAGE 22

We Must DownPlay Ethnicity In DESOPADEC

Page 12 Powered By Development Plan PAGE 32

05 Thank you Africa 24 Statement on the Attack on the Terrain Compound in Juba, South Sudan

25 U.S. Humanitarian Assistance for South Sudan 27 Banking In Hard Times

50 Time For Urban Forestry Policy 55 GJazz it up With Ankara 58 60 64 66

Mandela In The Eyes Of Global Poets Africa’s Hunt For Medals Defining Structural Transformation in Africa 2 Moving The Human Resource Function From The Backroom To The Boardroom

Building Momentum On Ogoniland Clean-up PAGE 45 August 2016 CHERRYAFRICA

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CHERRY

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AFRICA

Publisher’s Note

...Harnessing Africa’s Potentials

© 2016 All rights reserved

Africa Finds Its Voice In Unity

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t feels good a great deal that Africa has continued to demonstrate strength and capacity to post positive performances from which other regions of the world could draw inspiration. While centrifugal forces seem to have been unleashed on many other parts of the world leaving divisive tendencies in their wake, Morocco, the only African country that is not an African Union (AU) member has seen reason to return to the Union and work in league with other countries of the pan-African organisation in moving the continent forward. At the meeting of the AU last month in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, one of the major outcomes was the formal request in writing by Morocco to the Union to rejoin the pan-African institution thirty-two years after it left in anger over Western Sahara. Although the country wants this to happen without pre-conditions, a development that may rile the sentiments of some of the members of the union, it is cheery and strongly demonstrates that centripetal forces are at work now on the continent to unite its countries for progress and prosperity. King Mohammed said in a letter to the AU chairman, Chadian President Idriss Deby: “It has been a long time that our friends have been asking Morocco to take back its seat in its natural institutional place (AU), and now the time has come.” Morocco’s withdrawal from the Organization of African Unity (as the AU was then known) in 1984, was in protest over the admission to the OAU of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic as an independent country. Morocco and the SADR claim sovereignty over Western Sahara territory, leading to the conflict. Moroccans regard Western Sahara as their "southern provinces".

Carolyn Isaac Publisher

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Chairman Francis Nyoyoko Editorial Team Publisher Carolyn Isaac publisher@cherryafrica.net Managing Editor Murphy Jones editor@cherryafrica.net Associate Editors Adama Bukari, Morgan Winsor, Iyowuna Obomanu, Patricia Abena-Kissi Contributing Editors Jamie Leigh-Matroos (Cape Town) Athan Tashobya (Kigali) Pascaline Ameyo (Accra) Abdoulie Nget (Banjul) Correspondents Williams Freeman (Accra) Bini Israel (Nigeria) Design and Production Kelechi Okoro – Emmanuels Country Manager Ann Ashiogwu Administration Job Peters, Becky Joseph Marketing Selasi Appiah (Ghana) Akunna Nworgu (Lagos) Frank Air (Accra) advertising@cherryafrica.net Subscription Juliet Joseph subscription@cherryafrica.net Editorial Advisory Board Tony Charles (Chairman) Dare Akpata, Salome Malema, Makwaia Wa Kuhenga, Kede Alhie, Umar Sanni, Peace King Kporvie Office 5, Owukori Crescent, Western Avenue, Alaka, Surulere Lagos Nigeria. Tel: +2349099277714 +2349096640887 info@cherryafrica.net Ghana Bureau: +233267967272, +233244330942 ghanabureau@cherryafrica.net ISSN: 24657107


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Africa 2 THE WORLD

Thank you Africa

CARDIO PAD: Arthur Zang‚ a Cameroonian‚ invented the CardioPad in 2012 when he was just 24 years old. The CardioPad is a touch screen medical tablet that enables heart examinations to be performed from remote areas‚ sparing patients from rural or outlying areas the trouble of travelling to urban centres for medical examinations. This is the first medical tablet invented in Africa. August 2016 CHERRYAFRICA

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COVER

Economy On Edge The honeymoon is over, and businesses now need a bailout if they must successfully claw back to relevance and gain from the predicted economic rebound, writes Collins Hinamundi 6 August 2016 CHERRYAFRICA


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Dr Louis Kasekende, the Bank of Uganda deputy governor, the bailout's fiercest critic

P

atrick Mweheire is a man on a mission; the 46-year-old is the Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic Bank, a Standard Bank subsidiary, which is also Uganda’s largest bank with assets worth more than a billion dollars. Mweheire started his job predicting good times for Uganda; he was seeing untapped opportunities. In an interview with The Report, a New York Times initiative in 2015, Patrick said: “I think Uganda is one of the most exciting stories in Africa. It’s grown about seven per cent in the last decade and remains in the top 25 growing countries in the world. It is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of seven per cent over the next 10 years. It’s the most liberalised country in the region, more so than Kenya or Tanzania. It has a free floating exchange rate, 100 per cent foreign ownership is allowed and we have the demographic dividend because Uganda has the fastest-growing population in Africa, and the third fastest in the world.’’ Now, to say Patrick is a worried man is a gross understatement, and it is for genuine reasons. The bank he leads is operating in an unpredictable econom-

ic environment where the central bank has to deploy interest rates reductions and increases. The Harvard-educated executive with more than 15 years of investment banking at the top level under his belt, 9 of those years spent at Merrill Lynch; Bank of America’s Wealth management division where he rose to the level of Director, is one of those preaching caution in Uganda’s economy at the moment. At a media briefing at the end of 2015, he said that his bank would exercise more caution while lending, because of the general fear that the high-interest rates in the market could lead to defaults by borrowers. Standard Bank hired him to lead its investment division in Uganda as executive director. A position he held for 3 years, transforming a virtually nonexistent investment division into Stanbic’s bank’s most important cash cow tripling revenue from 30 million dollars to 90 million dollars in a period of 3 years. In 2015, he became the bank’s first Ugandan CEO, when Phillip Odera a Kenyan National left. Mweheire’s brief besides the fact that he was bringing his bullish Wall Street vigour to a Ugandan bank, included maintaining the bank’s profitability and its position as the number one bank in Uganda. Currently, apex banks in the East African region are battling with commercial banks to at least peg their interest rates a few percentage points above the Central Banks’ rates. So far, only Tanzania’s Central Bank has managed to have its banks peg average interest rates at 16 per cent just 3 percentage points above the Central Bank’s rate of 13. In Kenya the central bank rate is 10.5 per cent while average lending rates are at 18 per cent. In Rwanda, Central Bank’s rates are at 6 per cent but average lending rates are at 17 per cent while in Uganda, the interest rates average is 23 per cent while the Central Bank’s rate is 15 per cent, indicating a whole 8 percentage points difference. Some of the smaller commercial banks in the country were listening to Mweheire when he said his bank would be exercising caution while lending.

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COVER

Sikander Lalani Roofings Founder They did not just stop at listening, but also took their cues from him. However, it seems that his two biggest competitors, Standard Chartered Bank - Uganda and Crane Bank Uganda were not listening and instead sought to fill the gap the bank was leaving. And last month when a list of companies seeking a 300 million dollar government bailout to repay bank loans and stave off foreclosures was leaked to the media, the two banks which rank second and third respectively on the list of Uganda’s commercial banks, were the most exposed with half of the bailout money being sought by the distressed companies going to the two financial institutions. Who wants a bailout? One of the National champions on the list is the Roofings Group, one of the largest steel companies in East Africa with a footprint in Rwanda and Uganda; it allegedly owes in excess of $60 million to the world Bank’s International Finance Corporation, and Diamond Trust Bank. Others on the list include real estate devel-

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opers who have been behind the impressive high-rise properties in Kampala, logistics companies who betted on the country’s oil and gas sector without accounting for the delays, and a host of flashy Ugandan billionaires whose inclusion on the list provoked public anger. The planned bailout is also the subject of public interest litigation by a private citizen. Mweheire argued at an economic forum in Kampala against the planned bailout saying the initiative would not address the fundamental structural problem of unemployment, indicating his bank Stanbic which accounts for 18 per cent of the total banking assets in the country only employs 2,000 people which are a meagre number in a country with a population of 34 million. So how did Uganda get to this place where banks that rely on their lending units to make most of their money due to the lack of available investment options, now exercise caution while lending? To get the answer to this question probably requires a flashback to 1986 when it all began. This from all indictions, refers to post-war Uganda. Patrick was in his Junior High School at one of Uganda’s best schools at that same time when a group of socialist guerillas led by Yoweri Museveni had


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COVER just captured the country’s capital Kampala and were starting work on building a mixed economy, with both government and private sector participation. The country’s president went on a world tour inviting all the Asian nationals who were expelled by Idi Amin in 1972 to return, promising to return their properties or compensate them. The economy ballooned in growth, expanding at an impressive 7 per cent per annum from $5.3 billion to the current $26 billion according to World Bank’s figures. An African Tiger? President Yoweri Museveni’s ex-biographer and researcher turned critic Timothy Kalyegira has referred to the period between 1986 when the guns went silent in most parts of Uganda, and 2006 as a period of economic recovery for Uganda which went through war and destruction before the time. This destruction started in 1971 when the country’s military chief Idi Amin overthrew the government and became a self-appointed president. Oddly enough Amin poured out the baby with the water by expelling the country’s business savvy Asian community. This accelerated the collapse of the country’s infrastructure that was just beginning to blossom. This destruction went on until 1986 when rebel leader Yoweri Kaguta Museveni led his ragtag group of guerillas to power on January 26 of that year. The World Bank sees the period between 1987 and 2010 in Uganda as one that placed the country among the 15 fastest growing economies in the world. During that period of high growth, policy makers at the country’s finance ministry liked to say they were building a middle-income country, the next African tiger. This was a play on the fast growing 20th-century Asian economies that were referred to as Asian tigers. They included Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. These countries were all able to lift hundreds of millions of their people out of poverty through economic growth. However, for Uganda, the honeymoon is over. To keep the growth, the country will need real structural adjustments and the only person who seems to recognize that is country’s president Yoweri Museveni who early on in his presidency emphasized to the donor community and the African union the need for infrastructure if African economies were to get themselves out of poverty. The country's infrastructure especially its transportation and communications systems, were destroyed by war and neglect and the past 30 years had been spent building roads,

telecommunications networks, internet infra-

structure among others. The country is in the process of embarking on a 10 billion railway project; the project will link Uganda to Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania; 3 dams are being constructed, and these are expected to triple the country’s electricity output to 2000 megawatts; a new express highway to the country’s only airport is nearing completion; another expressway opening up the country’s east is under construction, while the airport is being expanded and 4 more airports are planned across the country. The majority of these developments are being done with Chinese money and built by Chinese companies. The effect of this later arrangement will soon unfold. The World Bank has however questioned the emphasis on infrastructure investment. The Bnk’s Country head Ms Christina Malmberg Calvo, revealed that the investments made in infrastructure are not translating into increased economic activity. She said: “Over the past decade, for every Shilling invested in the development of Uganda’s infrastructure, less than a shilling (only seven-tenths of a shilling) of economic activity has been generated. That is not good, and it will not translate into a transformed middle-income country anytime soon,” On the consumption side, Enock Nyorekwa an Economist with the European Union Delegation says in an opinion article published in a Ugandan newspaper: “the median age of Ugandans is only 15 years and the economic

Patrick Mweheirwe Stanbic Bank CEO. Picture Courtesy of News24 Africa

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COVER

On the export side, the war in south Sudan has also been blamed by some of the companies that are defaulting on their loans as one of the reasons they are no longer able to meet their financial obligations.

characteristics of Uganda are dismal. Only 70 per cent of the working population age is employed and the majority are underemployed in agriculture – 64 per cent of working population are involved in the subsistence agriculture- hand to mouth employment’’ Quoting the 2014 Uganda poverty status report, Nyorekwa also notes that 64 per cent of the population earn less than $65 a month, which puts them just above the $2 poverty line. Less than one million Ugandans earn $300 a month’’. On the export side, the war in south Sudan has also been blamed by some of the companies that are defaulting on their loans as one of the reasons they are no longer able to meet their financial obligations. The Spokesperson of Kampala city traders association the largest lobby group for business people in Uganda, Issa Ssekito says the war in south Sudan and the failure by the south Sudan government to pay for goods that have been delivered, plus the government of Uganda’s borrowing from the same market as businesses for the unstable interest rates. He also says banks would rather lend to the government than to companies and individuals. Dr. Fred Muhumuza an economic consultant with the Uganda government also says Uganda's financial sector is too young and too small to accommodate government borrowing “this spikes interest rates and ought to stop. Government should find al-

10 August 2016 CHERRYAFRICA

ternative ways to raise money, instead of competing with the private sector.’’ he adds. In Uganda, private sector activity is mainly driven by government investment, and some of the businesses that need bailout are also blaming the lack of a local content law for their failure to meet their financial commitments loans. The Chairman of the private sector foundation Patrick Bitature whose Simba group a telecoms, hotel, energy, and mining conglomerate, is one of those on the bailout list with a $90 million loan owed to Crane Bank Uganda, says local businesses are being short-changed on all turnkey projects. Bitature says the infrastructure financing model devised by the government of Uganda with the Chinese government has excluded Ugandan suppliers. The Chinese companies working on projects like power dams, roads and airports in Uganda, are importing everything from iron bars to cement; this means all the money the government of Uganda spends on these infrastructure projects does not go into the local economy to stimulate demand. “This is the environment that companies in Uganda are operating; especially those owned by Ugandan entrepreneurs’’ he says. No Bailout Economists insist the collapse of the 66 companies would not be a national crisis given the fact that 70 per cent of the coun-


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try’s working force is in agriculture and none of the companies on the list is an agriculture company, the Vice Chairperson of the Uganda parliament’s committee on the national economy Dr Lawrence Bategeka who is also a fellow at the Economic Policy Research Centre a government owned think tank at Makerere University says: “There is no guarantee that by putting public money in one company, it would make much difference. I wouldn’t recommend that.” Nyorekwa on the other hand, says the private sector is supposed to promote growth, create jobs and pay taxes and not become a tax burden, he says most of the companies on the list have corporate governance issues and a bailout without governance reforms would be equivalent to pouring water down a hole. Banks have already started foreclosing on some of the companies with the latest being Steel Rolling Mills a company owned by one of the oldest conglomerates in Uganda, the Alam group. Where do we go from here? Mweheire will need a stable economy to grow his bank, and the businessmen will need the government’s support to grow the economy. What is clear, is that the president of Uganda Yoweri Museveni is determined to save the businessmen from going burst, and is coordinating the efforts to save them through his brother Salim Saleh a retired four-star General who is one of the most influential Ugandans living. The Banker’s association has rejected any plan that involves banks giving the businessmen a grace period. The Bank of Uganda insists the fundamentals of the economy are right meaning the banks will not affect the economy. “There are cases where you have very strategic private sector businesses. If you’re to bailout companies, they must be strategic businesses. Some people argue that there was a bailout in the United States in 2008 but we must debate in the circumstances they faced,” Dr. Louis Kasekende, deputy governor of the Bank of Uganda is quoted by the Daily Monitor to have said. The plan on the table is the creation of an Asset Reconstruction Company by the government, to purchase all the non-performing loans from the banks, free up the banks to lend more, and also free up the businessmen and then repackage the loans by preparing favourable repayment plans.

The other plan being floated is the refinancing of the Uganda development bank to the same tune that the businessmen are asking for $300 million, and then have the businessmen apply for the money legally, instead of the back door deal whose exposure is the source of public anger. David Bakibinga, Professor and an expert on corporate finance and commercial law at Makerere University, says that the available legal regime can sufficiently deal with the ailing companies instead of taxpayers shouldering the burden. “Have the options of raising equity on the stock market, guided by the Capital Markets Authority, been exhausted? Third, have the options under the Insolvency Act, 2011 and the Companies Act, 2012, including restructuring, amalgamation and takeover been exhausted?” Bakibinga asked. Or if they can’t pay debts, he said, they should be put under administration as provided for by the Insolvency Act. The Act provides for how indebted companies can be rescued without being wound up. For instance, administration entails reorganisation of the businesses so they can be steered back to being an efficient going concern. The World Bank predicts the Ugandan economy is on the path to recovery. It also predicts a return to the much loved 7 per cent growth rate for the financial year 2017/2018. The companies and the banks may be seeing the last of the hard times as an economic recovery phase beckons.

Roofings founder Sikander Lalani with Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni on the day he open the largest steel factory in East Africa

The Bank of Uganda insists the fundamentals of the economy are right meaning the banks will not affect the economy. August 2016 CHERRYAFRICA

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INTERVIEW

We Must Down-Play Ethnicity In DESOPADEC

Chief Pius Ovbije is one of the three members in the Board of DESOPADEC representing the Urhobo Ethnic nationality. Popularly known as P.O.C., Chief Ovbije in this interview with CherryAfrica demonstrated an uncommon frankness when he spoke to our correspondence, Bini Israel at his company’s office in Ughelli .Excerpts: 12 August 2016 CHERRYAFRICA


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INTERVIEW

W

hat considerations by your community led to the chieftaincy title conferred on you? I have just been made a Chief but I like calling myself Pius Ovbije. I have been avoiding it from my community for what I have done with personal funds but after much pressure and when His Excellency the Governor now made me a member of the DESOPADEC Board, they invited me for the title. So, from today I am Chief Pius Ovbije – the Ovwa of Ughelli Kingdom. You know the meaning of Ovwa – the bride of Orogun and Ughelli Kingdom. What has the new title conferred on you in terms of responsibilities? You have the bride and bridegroom. The bride is somebody that is pampered and respected. Today, I am the bride of the two kingdoms. The P.O.C. is a business name. I have touched lives in Delta central in particular and beyond with personal funds from the business world because I don’t see my fellow neighbour suffering when you have the means to assist. I think God has blessed me and when God blesses you it is not because you are the most hardworking person but for you to bless others. Not to keep it to yourself. That is me. Not that I have millions in my private business but with the little I have I like to assist in order to create a good atmosphere that is conducive around my people. Did your appointment come as a surprise to you?

No. As a matter of fact, it was never a surprise to me because as far back as 2011, I got to know the man Okowa closely. All through when he was Local Government Chairman, Commissioner and all that I knew him at a distance but in 2011, something brought us together and we became friends. I looked at him and saw the same qualities that I appreciate in my life in him – a simple lifestyle. He thinks of others and he is a man of his words. He was a man I could work with and that was why in 2011 – 2012, we started this program that culminated into his being the Governor today. We started as Committee of Friends and later metamorphosed into Crusaders. From Crusaders we became Delta Political Vanguard. Today Delta Political Vanguard is the primary constituency of Okowa because that is the platform that delivered him at the primaries. After winning the PDP primary he became the candidate of the party. So, within the period I was in-charge of Delta Central, of course you know what that means, I had so much difficulty as there were Urhobo candidates in the race. There was a heap of pressure, but for the quality I saw in him I refused to bow. We fought it and we won. Today he decided to reward me by appointing me into DESOPADEC Board. I appreciate him. He is a man I love all the time. Our friendship remains forever. What experience are you bringing to DESOPADEC? A lot. I am very experienced in the business world and also in the public service. It will interest you to know that I was a level 17 officer as a Director of Finance at the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEP) before this appointment. So, when you talk from the service angle, I am well vast having been to the level of Permanent Secretary in the civil service. I started from level 08 after being a graduate in 1988. I worked in the private sector with the Ibru organisation at Mosogar; I also worked on my own by establishing my own companies. I was an exporter of rubber, earning dollars for this country. Today, I won the popular POC Table Waters covAugust 2016 CHERRYAFRICA

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INTERVIEW earlier we stop it the better for all of us. Let the funds be distributed according to oil bearing local government areas as the name indicates and not based on nationalities. Why I am worried is that it will snowball if not checked because we are talking about ten years’ time. How would you link projects to the S.M.A.R.T Agenda? The S.M.A.R.T. Agenda is to get the people engaged and involved in the governance project. My first priority project is to get the skill acquisition centre at Afiesere running. This is a project government has put in place and has spent a lot of money to establish that is now wasting away.

ering Delta, Bayelsa, Anambra and Edo State. So, from both worlds I have a lot of experience. It is also these put together that I am bringing to bear on DESOPADEC. The area I am representing is where I was brought up. I know the area; there is no well head that I do not know. I know all the communities producing oil in my mandate area. I am a grassroot man; even when I was not member of DESOPADEC Board I have touched lives in many of these places. My governor has instructed that projects should be generated from the communities. That is the way to go because I cannot sit down here in my office and design projects. What is your vision of DESOPADEC in the next ten years? DESOPADEC will move very far if the issue of ethnicity is wiped off. If not, it is going to bear on our political lives in time to come. It appears like child’s play now but it will bear on our political life in this state. The

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On the second week of my being sworn-in, I got to the place, the roof was blown off and machines were wasting away. I didn’t wait for the Board. I immediately ordered for the repair of the place. Some people just look at it as government prosperity. No. today people are afraid of security challenges because the youths are not engaged. If that place is running, a lot of youths will be engaged. There are about 14 workshops ranging from hair dressing to fabrication in that place. If you pick about 100, at least 60 should be able to do something for themselves and others. I am very happy that when I presented it to the Board it was accepted. The Commission is taking it as a pet project and scoping has started and between now and end of the year, that place will be commissioned. If my governor comes to commission that project that will be my first achievement in DESOPADEC. Apart from that project, what other projects will you like to initiate? A lot of things are coming. When I looked at the budget, I saw things like schools, street lights, and transformers. These are not the priority of the people. You are voting money for street lights; meanwhile the road to the place is impassable. There are no roads. Again, you look at the budget for a kilometer road, you see N8 million


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INTERVIEW

voted for it. What you will have is that the contractor will abandon the road without doing anything after collecting the N8 million. I will not do that. If it is one road I can do I will complete it. Today, Kokori is a major oil producing community but the oil producing community but the oil is located at Ereke. Between Kokori and Ereke there is no road now as we speak. Even from Agbarha to access Ereke is a problem. You think I will leave that kind of project and think of street light just because you want to make quick, lazy money? No. you must execute projects that will touch the lives of the people. Projects that people will say POC did this at the end of my tenure and I will be proud that that was my pet project which I completed. The Afiesere Civic centre will take off under my tenure and I will monitor it to train people. It will key into the S.M.A.R.T. Agenda of His Excellency, Governor Okowa. While the governor is training 10,000 we should be able to train about 500 at our level. Look at the Agbarha-Orogun-Abe-Abraka Road. The road is cut off. That is the shortest road for people coming from Abuja trying to link Ughelli to Bayelsa. How will you do all these amid paucity of funds? That is why we have to place our priority right. You cannot tell me the people need electricity when they cannot move their goods to the city. Road infrastructure is so important that people will leave the city to the village once good roads are in place. So, road is first before health care, schools and others will follow. What is your assessment of abandoned projects? To be fair, this Board does not want a situation where projects will be abandoned but where such projects are abandoned, provision will be made to complete them. It is not fair to award new contracts when there are so many abandoned projects. We will look at the viability of projects and encourage them to be completed. If a project is viable I will present it before the Board

for approval because resources are very meagre now. We must use them wisely. Will the new structure of DECOPADEC bring about efficiency? I will say yes in the sense that the former was designed as a private business of the Chairman and Secretary, or something of the sort. But it cannot be so for now. It was a private business between the two of them and they called meetings at their convenience. For instance, we are having our Board meetings fortnightly. It is what the Board decides that the executive implements. So, the power does not belong to one section. It does not rest on the Managing Director or the Executive Directors. The power lies with the Board. As the Governor told us, if we find any of the EDs wanting, the Board has the power to remove such an ED. There is check and balAugust 2016 CHERRYAFRICA

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INTERVIEW ance within the system unlike what the Executive Chairman was doing with the secretary then. It is not as if this new structure is flaw-proof, notwithstanding, we are in a learning process and gradually things will be corrected.

The over bloated workforce is something of concern. In the first instance, the Commission was not run as a government structure but like a private company – just throwing away government money with reckless abandon

In terms of welfare, should staff expect the kind of package at the NDDC? We will look at it but not now. Not now because we have so many so many challenges as regards the staff. The over bloated workforce is something of concern. In the first instance, the Commission was not run as a government structure but like a private company – just throwing away government money with reckless abandon! Whereas the money was meant for the oil producing communities, we were behaving like Father Christmas. When the issue of staff welfare comes to the Board we will look at it. We have about 2,986 staff and the handover note given to us says that about 75 per cent of these are not working. There is over centralisation of work at the Head Office. As for those who are not coming to work, it is not their fault because you have not meaningfully and gainfully engaged them. That is enough welfare for those people because it is affecting those who are working. For some of us who are coming from the civil service we see a lot of things in DESOPADEC as questionable. DESOPADEC started in 2007 and you have many people on level 17 for that long, why? On what level were you employed? If you are employed and for example you are a professional, the maximum you will get is level 09 and if you are promoted you should be on level 10 but how come so many staff on level 17? Even the Interim Management Committee that should know better could not alter this glaring aberration. If I have cause to look into it we will reverse all of them. It is very wrong. Are the Urhobo having a fair deal in DESOPADEC? No. Not because I am an Urhobo man but because the derivation fund is released by the federal govern-

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ment to oil bearing states not to nationalities. They did not release the money because you are an Ibibio or Isoko ethnic nationality. So, when it comes to the state, ideally it should be released to oil bearing local government areas and not based on ethnicity. It is not done anywhere. Even the name DESOPADEC does not connote ethnicity. The constitution supersedes any law made by state that is in conflict with federal law. The federal government did not say the money should be disbursed based on ethnicity. Even the NDDC we are copying disburses its funds based on oil producing states and not on ethnicity. So, where do we copy our own from? The House of Assembly should look at it. This is not a political matter whether you are PDP or APC but facts that are germane to move the state forward. The question that should be asked is, is this money released by way of ethnicity? The answer is capital no. it is released to Delta State as oil bearing state. Therefore, Delta State should release their money to oil bearing local government areas. We say we are one but when you bring ethnicity to divide us in DESOPADEC by saying this is Urhobo, Ijaw or Isoko, it is not helping matters. The thing will expand and engulf the nationalities. It will get to a point where we will not be talking about Delta State anymore but on ethnicity. So the earlier they reverse it, the better for all of us. What will you be remembered for after three years? I will do things that will project my good name. The projects that I will do will be lasting projects. I am not after what I will put in my pocket because I am not hungry. That is the truth. Most of the people on the Board today are not hungry people but people with integrity. They have in one way or the other been tested. So, they are not coming to grab and grab for themselves. We will leave a landmark. I don’t think the past two Boards can beat us even with the lean resources. This is an integrity race! We should pray for the Governor and show more understanding and support. The sky will be our limit.


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CONTINENTAL ISSUE

NIGERIA

Transporters’ Headache Operators in the Nigerian haulage and logistics industry have called for collaborations among stakeholders in order to find solutions to the challenges confronting the industry.

O

BAYO AMODU PERATORS in the Nigerian haulage industry have reiterated the need for an agreement to strike a balance among factors driving the Nigerian haulage industry as many transport companies were failing and many banks were getting their fingers burnt due to inability to repay loans. Industry stakeholders explain that issues of bank financing, regular contracts need to be fixed if the Nigerian haulage and logistics sector must work. ‘‘For an economy

to work goods and services need to be delivered and the companies that produce these goods and services, they need transporters to be able to take the goods to the customers. But in recent times, so many of the transport companies have been failing and a lot of banks are getting their fingers burnt; they are not able to pay their loan. ‘‘So, we need the transporters themselves; we need the manufacturing companies, their principal and the banks to be able to sit down together, to be able to identify what the problem is and resolve it. If it is a problem of contracts not being adequate, they August 2016 CHERRYAFRICA

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NIGERIA

need to identify it and resolve it. If it is a problem of the operators, that is the transporters not being faithful to the business, they need to identify it and resolve it. So, that is what we are trying to do,’’ he said. At an event in Lagos, recently, the Transport Manager, Lafarge, Mr Segun Idowu, said banks had continued to have problems financing haulage business because of the harsh operational environment. He urged operators to establish alliances, which had become an attraction to foreign investors. According to him, operators should understand the importance of service delivery as the heart of competition for their business to grow, adding that sourcing finance and collaboration with government agencies was equally important. Similarly, the Regional Head of Logistics at Lafarge, Mr Bonaventure Achugwo, urged haulage operators to take issues of safety and loan repayment seriously. He also mentioned the need for professionalism and technical competence for performance standards. Also, Chief Elvis Okonji, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GPC Energy and Logistics Ltd says the Logistics industry in Nigeria is in a state of crisis. ‘‘One can hardly read

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the newspapers these days without coming across screaming headlines about the industry. One certainly does not have to look far to see that there has been a lot of instability lately giving rise to a situation that can very well be described as a crisis. ‘‘Any serious logistics outfit has to have considered a few things before starting out before commencement of their operations. There are some core concerns that one must have thought about and have been convinced enough about addressing before starting any business venture and specifically one in the logistics industry before even registering a business name or renting an office space.” He further stated: ‘‘You must certainly be convinced that you can run your business safely, profitably, professionally and efficiently. I will briefly discuss these key concerns, the pressures affecting them today, their contribution to the current situation of the Industry and suggest a few changes to the status quo that could usher in a new and better reality.’’ According to him, safety must be the prime priority of any responsible business because safety is very important in haulage. He said lack


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CONTINENTAL ISSUE of adequate road safety' is one of the most important issues in the Haulage Industry in Nigeria today. ‘‘Everywhere you turn, there is a report of accident after accident and the death arising from Haulage Activities keeps rising. There has been a naive call in many quarters to varying degrees to limit the commercial activities of Haulage Operators,’’ he added. Also, a member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (CILT) Nigeria, Chigozie Chikere, says there is need for government to declare a state of emergency in the haulage industry until un-roadworthy trucks are fished out completely and weeded out. But before then, government must create an enabling environment for operators of haulage trucks either by reducing import duty for trucks and Lorries or subsidizing the cost of spare parts, preferably at zero duty, the way it did in 2012 for the airline industry. ‘‘Government should prioritise policies that promote jobs creation at least to absorb young prospective entrepreneurs to enable them gain work experience and raise capital before entering into business. This would save them the trouble of entering the haulage business with substandard and rickety trucks. Jobs creation will also provide a soft landing for those already in the industry but who may lose their trucks when they are impounded and marked off the road. ‘‘Many remedies, such as regular roadworthiness checks for every truck and issuing of certificates whether computerized or manual, take time. However, it is good news to know that Nigeria has endorsed computerized roadworthiness checks but that only makes it all the more shocking that politicians have done so little owing to the fact that even Ghana started computerized checks as far back as 2008,’’ he said. Chikere is disturbed by the scale of neglect to roadworthiness in

NIGERIA Nigeria’s trucking sector. He said: ‘‘If the 61,090 people who lost their lives in 14,087 road crashes nationwide between 2006 and 2014 lived in one community, its population would be similar to Lagos of 1872 when it became a British colony. Lagos itself, which records annually the highest number of road crashes and fatalities, is home to the largest fleet of articulated vehicles in Nigeria as it registers an average of 12,000 trucks every year. In 2011, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) reported that Nigeria has an average of 5,000 tankers involved in wet cargo haulage, and 2,500 trailers in dry cargo plying Nigeria’s roads daily.’’ FRSC records also reveal that between 2007 and June 2010, a total of 4,017 tanker/trailer crashes were recorded on Nigerian roads, with a yearly average of 1,148 crashes and a total of 4,076 persons killed in such crashes involving tankers and trailers. Evidently, the figure has increased since then. Apart from usual road crashes, there are also cases of unlatched and therefore falling freight containers, which account for hundreds of fatalities every year. ‘‘Granted, trucking like all other aspects of road transport service is purely entrepreneurial and private sector driven but the absence of a statutory regulatory agency that must spell out and enforce safety regulations, standards for carrying units, standards of training for handlers, and other operational technicalities makes a muddle of the entire setup. ‘‘Regardless of countless FRSC and Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO) talk shops about road safety and roadworthiness, the number of aging trucks keep increasing and the rate at which freight containers fall on our highways is still alarmingly high. More so, fears mount that the situation may worsen considering the fact that the new auto policy of government has raised the price of all vehicles including trucks,’’ he said.

FRSC records also reveal that between 2007 and June 2010, a total of 4,017 tanker/trailer crashes were recorded on Nigerian roads, with a yearly average of 1,148 crashes and a total of 4,076 persons killed in such crashes involving tankers and trailers.

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SUDAN

South Sudan Again Tens of thousands of people have fled South Sudan since renewed violence erupted in the capital Juba writes Morgan Winsor.

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Salva Kiir, President of South Sudan

ome 60,000 people have left war-torn South Sudan in northeast Africa for neighbouring countries, since new clashes between rival forces broke out in and around Juba on July 7. Most of the refugees have poured into Uganda, while the rest have trickled into Kenya and Sudan. Many are arriving with malnourished children, according to the UNHCR. The world’s youngest nation plunged into civil war more than two years ago after President Salva Kiir sacked his then-deputy Riek Machar and accused him of plotting to overthrow the government. The personal rivalry ignited ethnically charged fighting between forces loyal to the president and rebels allied with Machar in December 2013. The conflict has deepened fault lines between two of South Sudan’s largest ethnic groups — Kiir’s dominant Dinka and Machar’s Nuer people. Under immense pressure from the international community and facing sanctions, the warring sides signed a

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power-sharing agreement in August of last year brokered by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, an East African bloc that mediated the peace talks. The deal gives Kiir’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement the positions of president and vice president, a majority in the legislature and 53 per cent of ministerial positions in the transitional government. Machar, in turn, was given the newly created post of first vice president, alongside the current vice president, until the conclusion of the transition period. His faction will have the second-largest number of seats in the National Assembly, along with 33 per cent of ministerial portfolios. In the Upper Nile, which hosts the country's lucrative oil fields and has been hit hardest by war, the rebels will select the powerful post of governor and get 40 per cent of minister positions in the region. The remaining parliamentary seats and ministerial portfolios would be shared among other opposition groups in the new unity government. The agreement also requires elec-


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tions to be held 60 days before the end of the transitional government's mandate and the completion of a permanent constitution no later than 18 months following the start of the transitional period. Machar returned to the capital Juba in April under the terms of the peace deal. Kiir welcomed his new deputy, whom he even called “brother,” during the swearing-in ceremony. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power described Machar's arrival as "the best hope that South Sudan has had in a very long time.” But Machar left again last month when fresh fighting broke out between his forces and Kiir’s. According to the UNHCR, the renewed violence has brought the overall number of South Sudanese refugees in neighboring nations since December 2013 to almost 900,000. U.N. officials said local militias have been exploiting the chaos in South Sudan, where over 2.6 million of its citizens are forcibly displaced. “The refugees bring disturbing reports that armed groups operating on roads to Uganda are preventing people from fleeing South Sudan. Armed groups operating across different parts of South Sudan are looting villages, murdering civilians and forcibly re-

SUDAN

cruiting young men and boys into their ranks,” UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming told reporters during a briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, on August 2. The humanitarian crisis is exacerbated by a cholera outbreak that the World Health Organization (WHO) says is spreading in South Sudan. At least 271 cases, including 14 deaths, have been reported across the country since July 12, according to Abdulmumini Usman, WHO representative to South Sudan. South Sudanese government spokesman Michael Makuei Lueth has flatly denied the reports of fresh violence between Kiir’s supporters and Machar’s. In a statement issued on August 2, Lueth said that the troubled peace deal signed last year remained intact. “The media has been abuzz with news of fighting throughout the country; however, we want to assure the region and the whole world that the ceasefire, which was recently ordered by the president, is firmly holding, and that all those reports are false and baseless,” the statement read in part.

Soldiers line up at a cantonment site at Jebel Makor, about 30km outside Juba

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Attack on the Terrain Compound in Juba, South Sudan

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he United States is outraged by reports of assaults and rapes of civilians, including humanitarian aid workers and journalists, by South Sudanese soldiers in Juba at the Terrain Compound last month. Attacks against brave individuals attempting to help the people of South Sudan are attacks against humanity itself. All innocent civilians deserve protection. It is especially reprehensible that the perpetrators appear to have targeted those who came to South Sudan despite risks to their own personal safety to help the country and its people – thereby depriving the South Sudanese people of urgently needed assistance and compounding this man-made humanitarian crisis. Throughout this three-year conflict, the Government of South Sudan has routinely allowed impunity for murder and sexual violence. This must end. South Sudan’s leaders must investigate this incident and hold accountable the individuals responsible for these cowardly and brutal assaults. During the fighting throughout the city, the U.S. embassy in South Sudan

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responded to distress calls from the compound and urgently contacted South Sudanese government officials, who sent a response force to the site to stop the attack. We are deeply concerned that United Nations peacekeepers were apparently either incapable of or unwilling to respond to calls for help. We have requested and are awaiting the outcome of an investigation by the United Nations and demand swift corrective action in the event that these allegations are substantiated. This horrific incident further underscores the need for an enhanced, assertive, and more robust international peacekeeping presence in Juba in order to better prevent crimes against civilians and the further deterioration of security in the capital. Last week, the UN Security Council mandated the creation of a robust unit of 4,000 peacekeepers to respond swiftly to security challenges in South Sudan. The parties to the conflict must immediately cease attacks against innocent civilians and recommit to settle the conflict and leave the South Sudanese to live in peace at last. U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs

South Sudan’s leaders must investigate this incident and hold accountable the individuals responsible for these cowardly and brutal assaults.


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ecretary Kerry announced nearly $138 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help the South Sudanese people, who have suffered through almost three years of senseless, brutal fighting. He made the announcement following today’s meeting with regional foreign ministers in Nairobi. A recent outbreak of violence in Juba, broader insecurity throughout the country, and severe economic decline have conspired to worsen an already dire humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. Warring parties have terrorized and abused innocent civilians, especially women and girls. More than 2.5 million people have fled their homes – internally and to neighboring countries. Forty percent of the population now faces life-threatening hunger, with some people on the brink of starvation. Food security conditions are at their worst since South Sudan gained independence in 2011. The new funding, provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), includes nearly 58,000 metric tons of food aid and specialty nutrition products, along with emergency health and nutrition services, safe drinking water,

SUDAN

U.S. Humanitarian Assistance for South Sudan hygiene supplies, and cholera treatment and prevention messaging to stem the current outbreak. USAID’s partners have also expanded medical and psychosocial support services for survivors of gender-based violence. To deliver this aid, our UN and non-governmental partners must overcome significant obstacles. We commend their courage and dedication. We also demand that all parties stop attacking civilians, allow humanitarians unfettered access to those in need, and cease violations of humanitarian principles. The United States continues to stand by the people of South Sudan and remains the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance, providing more than $1.7 billion since the conflict began in December 2013. In

addition, we also support community level peace-building programs and provide long-term development assistance such as basic education and health services. Despite the tremendous efforts of aid workers, no amount of humanitarian aid will end the violence or provide lasting solutions to this man-made crisis. We strongly urge the country’s leaders to prioritize the needs of their people by protecting the population and ensuring the delivery of vital humanitarian assistance. For more information about the announced humanitarian assistance, please visit www.usaid.gov/crisis/ south-sudan. U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs

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GHANA

Coalition of Domestic Election Observers

24 August 2016 CHERRYAFRICA


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NIGERIA

Banking In Hard Times The Nigerian banking industry is being hit hard by declining deposits, rising non-performing loans and uncertainties, in response to shocks in the economy. Bayo Amodu writes that banks need to adjust if they must be relevant in these hard times

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hese are not the best of times for Nigerian banks. Before now, banks had access to inflow of easy money. Huge deposits from federal government agencies and top politicians left the banking space awash with liquidity and banks regaled in this with glee. Unfortunately, the tide has changed drastically in response to the harsh economic environment and other niggling factors in the country, and the banks are now grappling with dwindling deposits, non-performing loans. For instance, the introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Biometric Verification Number (BVN) has sent signals to the banks that the era of easy money in the banks seems to have gone, at least for now. OďŹƒcial pronouncements say the era is gone forever and banks and indeed financial institutions that aim to go the long haul urgently need to adjust, roll up their sleeves and put on their thinking caps as Government policies in recent times continue to negatively tell on the inflow of deposits to banks. The singular act of introducing the TSA has sucked over N2 trillion from the banking system. Also, with the introduction of the BVN, regulato-

ry agencies now have a bird’s eye view of who is doing what, making it diďŹƒcult for banks to conceal shady transactions. The global crude oil crisis, which has steeply cut revenue to the banks, has not helped the sector. Recently, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir bachir Lawal confirmed that Nigeria's earning is down by a whopping 40 per cent. This has in turn, n, dovetailed to a massive reduction in funds available to the banking industry for lending. g non-perThe CBN recently warned that rising forming loans, NPLs, in the oil and gass sector poses serious threat to stability in the Nigerian banking system. The apex bank, in a report de oil also disclosed that the collapse of crude prices and the impact on governmentt revenues and foreign reserves portend risks to banking system stability through increase in default rates, reduction in solvency levels and volatility in exchange rates. According to the CBN, non-performing loans rose by 3.36 per cent to N649.63 billion at end-December 2015, from N628.54 billion at end-June 2015, represent-

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BANKING

ing a 78.8 per cent increase from N363.31 billion recorded at end-December 2014. The NPL ratio, the CBN said, although remained within the prudential ceiling of 5.0 per cent, trended closer to the upper limit, as it rose to 4.86 per cent from 4.65 per cent. The apex bank also disclosed that a few banks have non-performing loans ratio above the regulatory maximum limit of 5.0 per cent, noting, however, that this would not pose significant risks to the banking industry. According to the apex bank, the Nigerian banking sector remains sound, maintaining capital levels well in excess of minimum prudential requirements. Furthermore, the CBN warned that the banking system’s credit risk was expected to increase due to threats of further rise in NPLs in the oil and gas sector. To guide against the envisaged crisis, the regulator said it “increased the requirement for general provisioning on performing facilities from one per cent to two per cent with effect from November 11, 2015, while banks were also required to maintain capital buffers above their minimum prudential requirements.” Specifically, it said: “In the reporting period, the Nigerian economy continued to witness a slowdown in growth as the persistent decline in the international price of oil led to the decline in government revenue. The decline also impacted the quality of bank assets owing to their exposure to the oil and gas sector. “To ensure that the banking system remained

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safe and sound, regulatory actions were taken so that systemically important institutions operated in a manner that would limit contagion. While capital adequacy requirements were increased to provide a buffer for banks in the prevailing unfavourable economic climate, they were required to develop their various recovery and resolution plans. “This would help ensure that in the event of a crisis, each bank would have in place an easy-to-implement recovery plan which would see it safely through the crisis.” The CBN report also noted that activities in the oil sector witnessed challenges arising from falling oil prices during the second half of 2015, despite average daily production of crude oil rising to 1.96 million barrels per day (mb/d) in the second half of 2015, from 1.92 mb/d in the first half. Banking transactions are also closely monitored in the new dispensation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). So, there is maximum caution in the industry as the fear of not going near financial crime by banks and their workers. The arrest of some banks' chief executive officers recently is still fresh in the minds of the bankers. Recently, the acting chairman of the anti-graft agency, Ibrahim Magu expressed concern on the activities of some Nigerian banks in money laundering, pointing out that the use of what the bankers call ‘private banking’ has provided a favourable window for top politicians to launder huge sums of public funds. He said he had already taken up the matter with the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele and other bankers with a view to ending it. He said: “We had a discussion with the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and I insisted that this so-called private banking should be stopped. It is illegal. It is wrong.’’ With the huge 'loss' of deposit by the banking industry, holes that were covered by government funds are beginning to show in some banks. The Central Bank of Nigeria was proactive in stifling a growing crisis in one of the banks recently. Fears are rife in some quarters that the implementation of the TSA will make banks to device innovative means of mobilising funds from the private sector.


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BANKING

According to analysts, this might include the return of aggressive marketing for deposits in the industry. A publication by Iprojects says: ‘‘We see a return of the era when women were employed by banks specifically for deposit mobilisation and tacitly encouraged to use any means necessary to get funds. We see increase in deposit interest rates as a major means of inducing customers and most importantly we see a drop in lending and in the profitability of banks, at least, in the short to medium term until they fully come to terms with the impact of the policy and begin to properly position themselves for true banking business. ‘‘Ultimately, we see the share price of these banks falling as investors attempt to price in the policy impact. However, the implementation of this programme is a critical step towards curbing corruption in public finance. This is a tool to combat corrupt practices, eliminate indiscipline in public finance and ensure adequate fund flow that will be channeled to critical sectors of the economy to catalyze development.’’ Similarly, analysts say the introduction of the BVN has to a large extent checked financial crimes, especially money laundering and reduced the number of loan defaulters. Categorically, it has helped to identify people who opened more than one account in different names, birth dates and with fake certificates.

The BVN led to the recovering of the nation’s foreign exchange reserves, thus helping the government in plugging leakages. But, to some operators in the financial sector, it is bad business. According to Emefiele, the BVN requirement for transactions cut down the number of BDCs that requested for forex as the stringent requirement cut off suspicious demands. Indeed, the banking industry in the country has a huge task to contend with as the rising level of non-performing loans, NPLs, in their portfolio is not encouraging. A total of more than N649 billion, which represents about five per cent of regulatory threshold, was recorded as non-performing loans in the banking industry for the year ended December 31, 2015. This debt overhang, in the form of NPLs, has impacted negatively on the balance sheets of most of the deposit money banks (DMBs). In last assessment of the balance sheets of most of these banks, the central bank observed that energy companies in the country are indebted to commercial banks to the tune of about N3.673 trillion. The lure for dollar of shadowed banks in spite of warnings by the economic analysts and regulatory bodies, based on declining fortune of crude oil in the international market. A breakdown of the figures by the apex bank indicated that in the industrial segment, oil and gas firms’ aggregate credit stood at N2.153 trillion as

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BANKING at March 2015, compared to N2.3 trillion in February 2015 and N2.047 trillion as at December 2014. This huge exposure played out in their bottom line, as most of the banks' profits reduced remarkably. According to Economic Confidential, the uncertainties in the Nigerian economy have had a telling effect on many sectors, with five of the 22 banks in the country losing N54 billion from their previous year’s profits in the 2015 financial year. Bad loans, naira volatility and other economic headwinds have made these banks to post a combined 80 per cent decline in their annual profits. The 2015 financial results of the five banks released in March this year showed that the profit before tax tumbled by 69 per cent to N77.65 billion from N131.19 billion in 2014. Similarly, the combined profit after tax of the five banks fell from N107.279 billion in 2014 to N59.73 billion in 2015, indicating a decline of 79.59 per cent. The N53.54 billion dip in profit was attributed by many of the banks’ chief executive officers to high impairment charges on bad loans, foreign exchange volatility and other challenges facing the economy following the significant drop in the nation’s oil revenue due to the sharp fall in oil prices. Analysts speculate that there is no doubt that the economic crisis facing the country has industry affected the banking in Out of the 15 significantly. Ou quoted on the banks quot Nigerian Stock Exchange, 10 had chan released their re 2015 annual 2 financial sstatements as at March a 31, 2016 31 regulatory reg deadline set dea by tthe Central Bank of Nigeria for the submission of the sstatements. According to the Acco reports on the rep NSE website, NS out of the 10 ou banks that ba released their re results, five resu decline in posted sharp dec profi departure fitts, a major j d t ffrom tthe consistent rise in profits posted by almost all the banks in

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the country after the 2010 banking crisis. Ecobank posted a profit before tax (PBT) of N40 billion in the 2015 financial year; Union Bank, N18.1 billion; FCMB, N2.5 billion; Fidelity Bank, N14 billion; and Wema Bank, N3.046 billion. However, the five other banks that released their 2015 annual reports in March this year outperformed the market, posting increases in both their profit before tax and profit after tax. This is despite the huge provisions for bad loans that most of them made in the 2015 financial year. These are Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Access Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, and Zenith Bank Plc. Sterling Bank’s PBT rose from N10.7 billion in the previous year to N11 billion in 2015, while its profit after tax (PAT) rose from N9 billion to N10.3 billion; UBA’s PBT rose from N42.4 billion to N50.8 billion, while its PAT rose from N40 billion to N47.6 billion; and Zenith Bank’s PBT rose from N107 billion to N115 billion, while the PAT increased from N92.5bn to N98 billion. GTBank’s PBT rose from N120.7 billion to N116.4 billion, while its PAT moved up from N94.4 billion to N99.4 billion; and Access Bank’s PBT rose from N46.1 billion to N65.2 billion, while its PAT increased from N39.9 billion to N58.9 billion. The unfolding scenario certainly demands much more from banks if they must continue to be relevant in the scheme of the country’s economic strides.

The CBN recently warned that rising non-performing loans, NPLs, in the oil and gas sector poses serious threat to stability in the Nigerian banking system.


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LIBERIA

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Ethiopia’s development plan revs up tourism industry that is set to explode in the next decade. Cees Harmon writes

30 August 2016 CHERRYAFRICA

ETHIOPIA

Powered By Development Plan

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he Tourism Industry in Ethiopia has received a boost from government and stakeholders in recent years. There is no gainsaying the fact that the face of Ethiopia’s Tourism is changing for the better and commanding increasing attention internationally. Ethiopia was named the world's best destination for tourists in 2015 by the European Council on Tourism and Trade. What makes the country unique? Ethiopia is home to nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Semien National Park. Massive erosion over the years on the Ethiopian plateau has created one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world, with jagged mountain peaks, deep

valleys and sharp precipices dropping some 1,500 meters. The country has been praised for its outstanding natural beauty, dramatic landscapes and ancient culture, as well as a 3,000 year-old archeological history leading the European Council on Tourism and Trade to select it out of 31 countries as this year's top holiday spot. Visitor numbers in the country have increased by 10 per cent over the last decade. Tourism contributed an estimated 4.5 per cent to the country's GDP last year, generating nearly a million jobs and over two billion dollars in revenue, according to the World Bank. What contributed to that stride? Noticeable changes started five years ago when Ethiopia embarked


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on an audacious journey of growth and transformation. The preparation and launch of the First Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP I) marked a key point of departure on the road of Ethiopia’s growth and transformation. Its vision, bold targets and the design of relevant polices and strategies to realize those goals galvanized and inspired the nation. Prominent on the list of Ethiopia’s development agenda is culture and tourism. In this sector, the country has spelled its strategic direction s ensuring public benefit, especially the youth and women from culture and tourism development, protection and development of cultural diversities and values, increase in income generated from the sector and creation of job opportunities. The development plan also expects to ensure the standard of the sector’s tangible and intangible heritages to be registered as world heritages, undertake the country’s image building and promote the tourist attractions to enhance the sector’s contribution to foreign exchange earnings. These constitute the strategic directions of

ETHIOPIA

culture and tourism during second GTP period. The government hopes to accomplish this by aggressively promoting Ethiopia to fully exploit the potential of the sector, conserving and working towards improving two wild life conservation parks and natural tourist attraction sites to be registered as world heritages. It also aims to set-up and organise one folklore museum, which represents a symbol of nationality of Ethiopia; increase tourist inflow significantly and thereby increase revenue generation, increase the number of certified and standardized tourism service providing institutions, increase the number of hotels that have international brand. The country’s implementation strategies would work in coordinated and integrated manner with stakeholders, through the Tourism Transformation Council to generate more information about the sector by enhancing awareness through educational institutions and mass media, support and follow-up educational institutions and research centres to provide the skilled manpower required by sector.

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ETHIOPIA

Kretinga rural tourism Many would agree that Ethiopia by nature has many of the resources that would fertilise a vibrant industry other countries lack. Sadly, the country’s potential in times past has not been nearly adequately explored. According to Getachew Gebre-Hiwot, General Manager for Splendor Ethiopia Tours and the founder of Turmi Lodge, who has worked for the National Tourism Organization (NTO) in 1970s, during the Derge and the times prior to it, foreigners avoided the country, let alone to invest in a range of sectors. The bad image the country had also contributed a lot to its low level of tourist inflow. Even the hotels were finger counted with no standard facility. However, currently, the sector is witnessing a dynamic change; basic facilities for boosting the tourism sector are being built as there are standard hotels which are capable of hosting conference tourism and other grand event. “Thanks to the Federal Government of Ethiopia, currently there are 400 tour operators across the country; all of them determined to promote the country

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as though serving as ambassadors of their homeland. The other thing is that in times past people had no right to go anywhere out of Ethiopia regarding tourism. But these days, if one wants to do something in relation to tourism, they can easily go anywhere with no restriction. This is a clear manifestation of the commitment of the government to boost the tourism sector," says Getachew. As the government has been capitalizing on various sectors during the GTPI period and has attained remarkable scores, it is also doing the same on tourism as witnessed so far. "During the GTP I period, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MoCT) made a positive impact on the sector. For instance, the Ethiopian Sustainable Tourism Development Project has improved public welfare by bringing tremendous changes in developing tourist attraction areas," according to sources from MoCT. The project has gone operational over the past five years in Lalibella, Axum, Addis Ababa and its environs. It has also given high emphasis to developing tourist destinations and fostering market access as well as building capacity of human resource. In Axum, so far, the construction of pavements of cobblestone, restoration of roundabout, the maintenance of Axum Zion Church and modernization of a museum have been carried out. Besides, traditional houses have been restored for the purpose of sector development. A tourist centre is also in the pipeline, according to Jemal Kedir, Project National Coordinator with the Ministry. According to Culture and Tourism Minister, Amin Abdulkadir, the government has allocated budget to oer capacity building training for six states. Besides, the ministry has been purchasing various materials and transferred to three emerging states. Over the last two decades, the government has been constructing various buildings, theatre halls, cultural and art centre, museums, libraries and others to benefit the public from the sector. Additionally, the private sector has been playing greater role in developing the sector, the minister said. During the last GTP I period, it was


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CONTINENTAL ISSUE planned at national level, to register 7 non movable heritages, 14 intangible heritages and 802 movable heritages. The plan thus has been achieved even beyond. The performance registered was 173, some 79 and 4567 for non-movable heritages, intangible heritages and moveable heritages respectively. It was also planned to create some 886,000 job opportunities and the performance registered is 783,638. In the budget year, it was also planned to collect income from different services of the sectors amounting Birr 80,400,000 and the performance is Birr 213,910,205. It was planned to provide certificate for 600 tourism service providers in the fiscal year but the performance is 900 and 1 language profile document is published according the plan. It was planned to conduct research on 10 folklore arts and the performance is 19. At international level, it was planned to participate in 31 tourism trade fair, exposes and festivals and the performance is 28. It was planned to participate in domestic tourism trade fair and the performance is 10. It was planned during the GTP I period to maintain the existing road network of 4,183 KM in all parks and the performance is 3,868 KM. It was also planned

ETHIOPIA to construct 17 Scout houses and the performance is 13. It was also planned to construct 83 tourist destinations in all national parks and the performance is 65. "Tourism is not solely trekking to a certain area or paying visit to somewhere; but it incorporates a number of aspects. Wherever fate takes people in the Hotel Industry, for example, the entire world is figuratively open to them because in every country, city, town and village of this world there are hotels. In simple terms, tourism in general and hotel industry in particular know no boundary," says Gezahegn Abate, Public and International Relations Director with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Analysts say that Ethiopian Airlines, the country’s national airline, Africa’s most outstanding, which has been in operation for decades, gives invaluable support to Ethiopia’s burgeoning tourism industry. Coupled with the friendly people, the will of the Ethiopian Government to support that sector, the title of being Africa’s political capital and the perceived glory of being the cradle of humanity, the explosion of Ethiopia’s tourism industry over the next decade could be atomic.

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LIBERIA

Profile

The Economy Needs Immediate Redemption Jallah Allen Barbu, presidential candidate in the forthcoming election in Liberia discusses salient issues affecting the country and Africa with Cherryfrica’s Cees Harmon

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Jallah Allen Barbu, a natural born citizen of the Republic of Liberia. He belongs to the Loma ethnic group from Lofa County, northern Liberia. His father, Joseph Korvah Barbu hailed from Vezala Town and my Mother, Vahgwalah Corvah Barbu is from Zaiwordamai Town, both in Voinjama District. He is the third of sixteen children. He is by profession an accountant and a lawyer, but now focuses on law practice as opposed to accounting. He is a member of the faculty of Liberia’s only law school, the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law where he currently teaches constitutional law, court room practice (moot court), and admiralty/maritime law. He is the father of four girls and three boys, married to Yah-Yeplah Nenlay Dolo-Barbu, a Liberian lady from Nimba County who is also a lawyer. He is a Christian, in particular a Catholic. As to education, he holds four university degrees in addition to a diploma in machinery and certificates of achievement in other areas: bachelor of business administration in accounting, bachelor of law, master of law and doctor of juridical science; with specialization in constitutional law. Allen is a former public servant having served the Government of Liberia in several capacities, the latest being Vice Chairman of the Law Reform Commission (2 years) and Chairperson of the same Commission (5 years). Currently he is the chief executive officer and senior partner of Barbu & Howard, Inc., a law office in Liberia. Away from his professional life, he is a politician aiming at becoming Liberia’s President in 2018. That being the case, he is the eminent partisan of the Liberian National Union, one of Liberia’s standing political parties since 19 years. He is also a Sunday School teacher, a marriage counseling team member and an inspirational speaker in his Church in Liberia.


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ou have decided to run for president in the forthcoming presidential election in Liberia, what inspired that decision? In deed I have and I certainly will by the Grace of God. Several factors propelled my decision to contest to be President of Liberia; I wish I could state all now but we have our own resource limitations, even as to time so please permit me to state some cardinal ones. First and foremost, I am a lawyer and I have made enviable progress in the practice. I can say for the record that my records in law practice are exemplary and my character cannot be successfully questioned by anyone as to honesty and credibility. Now, by law, I meet the minimum requirement to run for President of Liberia. But I get my inspiration more from my public and private sector experiences as well as

LIBERIA my knowledge about governance in the Republic of Liberia since 1847. I see that the ordinary people are neglected and this is terribly wrong. I see that Liberia’s natural resources can lift the country if managed and utilized consistent with the mandate of the constitution which is not currently the case. I see that nationalism is not a characteristic of most leaders because they strive to please external agents rather than internal stakeholders. I am steadfast and I do not allow people to twist my arms to do what is not right. I know the country, I understand the issues and I have the passion to do the right thing for my country. This is why I chose to return home to serve after my graduate studies and this is why I teach, I farm and I take care of old people and youths and I am a friend to the weak. How would you rate the Johnson Sirleaf administration over the past 10 years?

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Women hold up their voter's cards for the photographer as they wait to vote during a presidential election at a polling station

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LIBERIA

Well, frankly, I do not bring people or leaders down; as a professional and a traditionalist, I look for the positive things that people do, while striving to right the wrongs. Nonetheless, public figures are subject to public scrutiny and I am a part of the public tribunal. In my opinion President Sirleaf has done her part as best as she knows. I must say that my answer to this question is not theoretical; it is based on my experience while in public service and experiences I have gained from traveling around the Country for the last several months. The administration has achieved in some areas: free speech and much more independent press, international recognition though mostly of the President than the country, and involvement of young people in government (not necessarily as to their qualifications). But the administration has had opportunities to do better in several areas. It is unbelievable that roads are so impassable in many parts of the country; for example, Ganta - Harper; Buchanan – Sinoe; Buchanan-Rivercess; Gbarnga-Voinjama to as far as Foya;

and Bomi –Gbarpolu. The administration could have done better than it has with the educational system especially as the President has described it as being a “mess.” The embarrassing recent mass failure in the West African Examinations affirms the system’s weakness. The general economy is in bad shape at the moment especially as employment is a serious problem – thousands of college graduates ready and willing to work have sought jobs to no avail even though concession agreements and investments are said to be on the rise. The health system is broken. I can speak without any fear of contradiction from honest Liberians that health facilities around the country lack basic drugs and services, and this has led to serious medical complications for many people, including even deaths of pregnant women and children because deliveries are being done using torch lights to brighten delivery rooms; I mean even the question of women and children’s rights is on the back burner. Let me say that the administration has not done as well as it could have with the country


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CONTINENTAL ISSUE because of non-commitment to the merit system, to standing up against impunity, to prioritising useful and needed projects and programs, to decentralization. On the scale of 1 to 10 with 10 as the highest mark, the administration lands at 5. If elected president of Liberia today, in what ways would your administration be better than past administrations? This question suggests to me to evaluate each administration since at least the inception of the Republic but I am not sure this is what you want because it would require producing a volume. I believe you are speaking of very recent ones including the current administration or at best, generalizing the way all past administrations have handled the country. Either way, let me say that the past administrations have simply failed to sustain the rule of law and promote mass participation in governance. What they have done is neglect a substantial portion of the population, administer the Country on a sharply centralized basis, and allow Monrovia to be in practical terms, Liberia. If elected President of Liberia today, I guess you know that I will avoid the missteps I have mentioned above. But there are so many things I will do besides missing up on the issues I have just outlined. I will not be a desk president – I will be a president working with the people. I cannot allow power to overtake me as an employee of the people. I will be there, humbling myself, getting first-hand knowledge of both the problems and the answers we are dealing with. If the leader is not on top of the process, how does he or she make informed decisions? So if I have to decentralize for example, I must ensure that the Liberian Constitution allows the approach I adopt rather than encourage the enactment of a law on decentralization or local government that is, in so many words, grossly inconsistent with the Constitution and therefore

LIBERIA not enforceable. To be a successful leader, you must have a blueprint of your national program before assuming leadership, not developing one when you get there. My team and I have developed an exhaustive national program that is continuously under scrutiny to ensure that it meets current situations and long-term necessities. For example, we speak of health not on the basis solely of providing health centres with drugs and equipment, but more on the basis of public health. We will encourage sound health and hygiene practices so that the number of sick people and disease agents reduces. This is the key to a healthy nation especially in an underdeveloped country like Liberia. I will advocate and lead the campaign for a manageable government and by the end of my tenure, expect that the private sector, not the government, will be the larger employee. So our national program focuses on the merit system embedded in a robust and dignified civil service. We have inscribed in the program sound anti-corruption and accountability regime; mass but quality education; women and girls’ capacity building and involvement in national governance; infrastructure development; sound fiscal policy including avoiding waste of national resources which I will explain later; youth development and the creation of opportunities for education and employment; realistic involvement of persons with disabilities in national programs; income generation and self-sustainability in food production with emphasis on exportation rather than importation of basic commodities especially rice; a beneficial retirement program so that our elders and those who have tirelessly and honourably served the country will not be hesitant to retire because they have no assurance of survival when unemployed; and of course, unwavering respect for the rule of law.

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LIBERIA In your opinion, what is Liberia not doing right? In my opinion, several things but let me state few. First, Liberia is not utilising its human resources right. There is too much reliance on external consultants and that deprives the country of institutional memory on the one hand and growth on the other. Second, Liberia, and I mean the administration begs for anything and everything even when we should maintain our pride. For example, we beg the United Nations Development Program in Liberia, thanks to the UNDP anyways, to purchase for our immigration service 1,000 rain coats and rain boots and lately, our President appealed to the President of Ghana to send us teachers to teach our people to prepare grade school curriculum. I think that is something we can aord; our government can spend US$10,000 to purchase 1,000 sets of raincoats and boots and we have teacher training institutes in the country in addition to the education department at the University of Liberia; I believe they do quality curriculum programs as integral part of their training programs; if not, there is no need to keep them inexistence. Third, Liberia is certainly not

moving decentralization in the right direction and therefore the country will remain centralized. We missed a wonderful opportunity to amend our constitution to allow realistic local governance and local empowerment. Despite the very high cost of the constitutional review process, the result is most discouraging as no one can state in real terms what the status of the review is. So what we have is a stalemate in a political game between the executive and legislative branches of the government. Fourth, Liberia is not addressing crime and the rule of law appropriately. Our prosecutors are subject to tremendous presidential control rather than being independent; it is important to allow the law to be applicable to everyone irrespective of status but I must argue that when the President pronounces public that she has explicit confidence in a public oďŹƒcial alleged to have committed say a corrupt act, there is little incentive to prosecute that person since the prosecutors work at the will and pleasure of the President. Just to mention one more that hammers the point deeply, I see that Liberia is not, oh yes, Liberians, are still not fully getting the message on leadership and they need to be aware of their power to elect good leaders. We need to go beyond personality in choosing our leaders because electing leaders should never be a game of deep pockets, mere popularity or immediate gains. It ought to be about our future and most importantly, the future of our children. Corruption in Liberia has been described as hydra-headed. What would you do to tackle the menace if elected president? First and foremost, I will work with the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission to derive a proper meaning corruption in Liberia. I listened to a radio interview of two oďŹƒcials from the LACC directly involved with corruption investigation few weeks ago and the question of what constitutes corruption was asked by the host. The question beat the two

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CONTINENTAL ISSUE experts to the extent that they were in sharp disagreement with each other. So then there is need to bring home what is really realistic. But let us go further than corruption which I promise remains the main issue under this question, to talk about crime because corruption is one form of crime. Corruption is systemic in Liberia; everybody wants something extra for doing nothing more than what she or he is paid to do. So we need to adopt a holistic approach. Let’s see here: institute proactive rather than reactive anti-corruption laws; make prosecution of corruption speedy; carry out profiling of prisoners generally to create a databank, for example fingerprinting; extend this to government employees and gradually to the private sector. Ok now back to corruption. When the government reduces the incentives for public servants to engage incorrupt practices, it is easy to deal with the rest of the population because private persons have direct stakes in their own affairs. So we must employ the merit system, pa people well but also ensure that people account not only for monies and other assets but even their time. People should be made to provide government the appropriate time they are paid for so instituting for example, time clocks rather than attendance books that can be manipulated will help solve the problem of using government office hours for private purposes. Are you satisfied with security in Liberia? Can one ever be satisfied with the provision of such critical need? I cannot say. But I believe one can be confident that it is minimally acceptable or hopeful. So hopeful, yes because the Liberian people themselves seem to be weary with violence so they may not really accept the kind of civil war or uprising we experienced from 1989 to 2003. But confident, absolutely not. This is because there is not a settled position

LIBERIA by the government itself on whether we can handle our own security especially as we go elections soon. Our long-serving Minister of Defense has explained that the Armed Forces of Liberia is capable of taking on the security of the country but he needs 100 million United States dollars to complete preparedness. To date the government, according to him, has provided 10 million of that amount and 5 million to the entire security apparatus. When will the balance come to allow full preparation? Then there is acute shortage and sometimes absence of police and other security agencies and personnel in large parts of the country. More than that, even in Monrovia, response time in emergencies including armed robbery situations, is poor. You will appreciate the difficult security situation of the country when you reflect on the position of our experienced diplomat now Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Majon Kamara who asserts that there is need for continuous UNMIL presence in Liberia considering that there is not the requisite confidence and relationship between the security and the civilians, the request by President Sirleaf for continuous AU presence in Liberia and the decision of the Ivorian President at the Council of Chiefs and Elders meeting in Gigloe, Ivory Coast in January that he will insist to the UN Secretary General to maintain UNMIL troops in Liberia until the elections are held. All of these and the fact that people are angry in Liberia about their living conditions clearly early warning signs of potential security problems and inadequacy of the security capacity. Are you satisfied with unity in the country? No. There is yet so much to be done. In earnest, the vast majority of the population is abandoned and they are displeased. There are places my team and I visited recently and were told that since their exisAugust 2016 CHERRYAFRICA

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LIBERIA that mean we sell our souls? No. So my decision would be to look towards the West while not closing the doors to others.

tence, they have never had a presidential candidate or an official of government visit them, much more to inform them of their intention to contest public office. Moreover, it is no secret that there is still ethnic tension at least between the Americo-Liberians and Indigenous Liberians, just listening to people speak on national issues. We cannot, as a nation, pretend that the country is united otherwise why would the senior government officials or the UNMIL authorities be concerned about reconciliation? Liberia seems to be looking towards the East for development partners such as China as an alternative to the West, such as the USA. Which direction would you go if you were elected president? Let me say one parable about survival my elders have taught me and why I should always be mindful of the welfare of other people: “A child dying of hunger cares not about where the food comes from or about it contents. But when he is revived, he exercises choice on what to eat.” Liberia is in dire need of relief from the claws of poverty and underdevelopment. How can a leader at this stage choose where help comes from or what the help is? It is simply not advisable. But howbeit, does

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Why that choice? I believe as a lawyer in the rule of law. Our laws are based on those of the West, the United States and those laws encapsulate our entire national life – fundamental rights, development, property ownership, etc. How will we easily adjust when we speak of accountability, the right to representation, confrontation of one’s accuser, etc.? Moreover, I see development assistance from these blocks as qualitative as to the West and quantitative as to the East; I stand to be corrected. By qualitative here I mean the development assistance is directed in restricted ways while quantitatively, the assistance is generally fluid and left to discretion which may not be good in-so-far as result-focused programs are concerned. Which sectors do you think are lagging in Liberia’s economic drive? In Liberia, everything is a priority and therefore every sector is truly lagging. Energy (electricity) is virtually non-existent and where it is, quite unreliable; infrastructure in terms of roads and public buildings – at present the country is locked down as people cannot travel to many parts because the rains have shut most roads; several government offices are housed in leased buildings at high cost; education as I indicated earlier is at its lowest ebb just as the health system which requires even safe drinking water that is in very little supply and available to few people. Would you like to briefly share your economic plan for Liberia if you had the privilege of service as president for a single term of six years? Oh yes, oh yes I am happy to share and perhaps it may help the current administration to do what people call “a strong finish.” When by the Grace of God I be-


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CONTINENTAL ISSUE come President of Liberia even for one term, the administration’s economic focus will be running Liberia as an enterprise that seeks profit except that the profit will be to maximize service benefits; I will be the manager leading a team that works for the shareholders whose interest is value for money. So few points: (1) Tackle unemployment by encouraging private sector growth through assurance of remedy and redress under a reliable rule of law system; (2) streamline government expenditure and eliminate waste, for example by avoiding unnecessary foreign travels, substituting the supply of vehicles, especially the expensive vehicles driven by officials of government with transportation allowance across the board, except for the President, Vice President, Speaker and President Pro-Tempore and the Chief Justice which will ultimately reduce spending in terms of vehicle purchase, maintenance, drivers’ compensation, and more. The savings will be available for improving public transportation and other projects. (3) The administration will have a standing policy never to seek credit for operational cost especially personnel cost, therefore we will separate our operational budget from our capital budget; the capital budget, kept in an escrow account will service our collaboration program with donors by proposing matching funds for projects. To build confidence in donors and avoid misapplication of their monies, the administration will pre-finance projects and then apply for refunds from the donors upon certification by the latter. (4) The administration will focus also on internal revenue generation through the collection of taxes through income tax filing tax refund benefits. (5) Agriculture will be a major component of the administration’s economic program; small scale improved agriculture programs through the use of easy-to-use machines, quality seed supply, and the creation of markets for agriculture produce are settled policies of the proposed economic plan.

LIBERIA name my first teacher in my life Mr. Ernest B. Barbu, Reverend Fathers and Jose Valiplacka, Lionel Xavier; pay homage to the Late Arch-Bishop Michael K. Francis; my dean in law school in Liberia Prof. David A.B. Jallah; my professor in graduate school Professor David C. Williams, Dr. D. Elwood Dunn my mother, and last but not least, my best friend - my wife. Any final word? Yes thanks. In Liberia there is currently voter apathy. I appeal to my fellow Liberians who have decided not to participate in the ensuing elections because they have lost confidence in their leaders to please reconsider their decision and chose to actively engage in the process and to vote. To those who have not made up their minds please do not sit on the fence. Anyone elected President will be your President. If you fail to vote you fail to do for our country what no person from another country can do for it. Finally let me thank you again for affording me this opportunity to speak with my African fathers, mothers, elders, sisters, brothers and children.

BELOW: Referendum Voting Amidst Rising Tensions in Liberia

Who is/are your mentor(s)? I follow my heart largely and look to God for direction. I have had several persons impacting my life in particular ways. Without describing their roles let me

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Indicators Flash Point: The top six power generating companies, GenCos, made up of (Egbin Power Limited, Transcorp Power, Shiroro, Kainji/Jebba, Sapele, and Geregu) recently threatened to shut down their power plants operations if the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET), fails to pay the N156 billion debt to them. Self inflicted woes “The catalyst to Nigeria’s crisis may have been the sharp dip in oil prices but it is deeper than that. An exchange rate peg imposed by the government did little to ease the impact of the fall in commodity prices instead, it cost the country dearly as investors pulled out amidst man-made uncertainties. The policy has since been reversed as the country’s reserves continued to dwindle but investors still remain wary. The militancy in the Niger Delta has reduced oil production capacity by over 700,000 barrels to 1.56 million barrels per day and domestic gas supply this year from 1,400 millions of standard cubic feet (mmscf) to 550 mmscf. In the unlikely event that commodity prices bounce back to over $100 per barrel, Nigeria is not positioned to take full advantage of the rise.” – Michael Nwakalor/Ventures Africa “When the U S economy was at the brink of depression the country dug into its past to recast models of what had worked in the past. The first thing they did was to protect the weakest people who had no jobs, those who had no safety nets, no homes, no medical insurance cover. Then they issued rescue loans to the automobile industry, the grand source of American mobility and pride. They retrieved the fuel guzzlers and worked on fuel efficiency. In Nigeria the reverse has been the case. Government turned on the people. Hiked prices of even private sector controlled commodities. Devalued the currency instead of raising tariff on unwanted imports that kill jobs. Many Cabinet Ministers never shop in Nigeria so they never

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could feel the rising adverse impacts of government policies on the people.” –Emmanuel Usanga Power Sector Operational Summary (Nigeria) • Power sent out at the beginning of the week of 14/08/2016 was 3,162 MWh/hour (down by 13 MWh/ hour from the reported average of 3,175 MWh/hour sent out at the beginning of last week) • The reported gas constraint to power generation at the beginning of the week was 3,142 MW (down by 825 MW from the average of 3,967 MW reported last week)

• On August 18, 2016, the reported average power sent out was 3,649 MWh/hour (up by 61 MWh/ hour) with gas constraint of 3,301 MW, line constraint of 334 MW and water management constraint of 121 MW. • The power sector lost the estimated equivalent of N 1,803,000,000 on August 18, 2016 due to the shortage of gas to the thermal power stations as well as electricity cable theft and vandalism. Source: Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry Stats/Nigeria Electricity Hub


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NIGERIA

Building Momentum On Ogoniland Clean-up Work on Ogoniland clean-up gains momentum aimed at restoring the livelihoods and well being of future Ogoni generations. Timing remains central to achieving this, Murphy Jones writes

W

hen in 2011 the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited Joint Venture (SPDC JV) initiated action and made progress to clean up Ogoniland, it was neither stray nor incidental. That action which preceeded all others was spurred by the company’s compliance with recommendations by Nairobi, Kenya based United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) commissioned in 2006 by the Federal Government of Nigeria to carry out an environmental assessment of Ogoniland. From August 2011when UNEP delivered its report to the government to 2013, SPDC JV had raised the tempo of activities in the footwork towards implementing all recommendations directed to it. The company’s commitment was further stretched as it provided funding in 2014 under the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) model to support unarmed community patrols which report incursions and

suspicious activity along the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) in Ogoniland directly to the security forces. That’s not all. SPDC continued in 2015 to undertake the initiatives to prevent and minimise the impact of theft and sabotage in Ogoniland, including community –based pipeline surveillance, awareness campaigns and alternative livelihood programmes. With the Buhari-led government giving priority to implementation of the UNEP recommendations since it came to power, a roadmap was agreed in August 2015 between the government, UNEP and SPDC JV, which included a governance model and funding framework for the Ogoni Restoration Fund recommended by the UNEP. These activities had been supported by SPDC JV notwithstanding the cessation of its operations in Ogoniland since 1993 following the escalation of violence, threats to staff and contractors as well as attacks on the company’s facilities. The company says: “The SPDC JV has produced no oil or gas in Ogoniland since then.” Cher-

ryAfrica leant that the SPDC JV has five non-producing fields and a network of about 100 wells and infrastructure in the region some of which have been vandalized by third parties. In demonstration of its good corporate citizenship, the company supported and financed the report commissioned by the Federal Government as part of a wider Ogoni reconciliation process and supplied data to ensure its success. The UNEP report highlighted noteworthy environmental impacts from oil pollution in parts of Ogoniland arising from a variety of historical sources and continuing crude oil theft and illegitimate refining activity. The report further identified some emergency measures requiring urgent action, especially in the area of provision of potable water to impacted communities. Overall, UNEP called on government, industry and communities to take action to put an end to all forms of ongoing oil contamination (including crude oil theft and illegal refining) and to begin a comprehensive clean

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CONTINENTAL ISSUE up of the region without delay. CherryAfrica gathered that most of UNEP’s recommendations – including the creation of an Ogoniland Environmental Restoration Authority and an Environmental Restoration Fund for Ogoniland – were directed at the Federal Government. The recommendations also require government to take the lead on coordinating the activities of the many stakeholders involved. The report did not also fail to highlight a number of findings explicitly involving SPDC practices and performance as the operator of the SPDC JV. Shell confirms: “The 15 SPDC JV sites specifically mentioned in the UNEP report have been reassessed; and where further remediation was required due to re-pollution incidents, such sites have been remediated and certified by regulators.” It adds: “SPDC has completed an inventory and physical verification of assets forde-commissioning and has performed a comprehensive review of the remediation techniques, and made a number of changes in line with industry best practice. SPDC JV has also shown leadership by delivering the emergency measures identified in the report related to drinking water in collaboration with Rivers State Government.” President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday August 3, 2016, approved a number of actions to fast-track the long-delayed implementation of the UNEP report on the environmental restitution of Ogoniland. Although the UNEP report was released in August 2011, immediate past government was not convincing on its implementation. In a statement, Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity said: “The actions approved by President Buhari, based on

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NIGERIA

Excerpts of the address by Mr Osagie Okunbo Companies in Nigeria and Managing Director Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SP On behalf of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd operated Joint Venture, I would like to express appreciation to the Federal Government for the opportunity for renewed action on the implementation of the UNEP Report. My schedule as MD of SPDC and Country Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria in the past year has been partly dominated by workshops and consultations on the implementation of this important report. Needless to say, my schedule became even busier since Mr. President assumed office in May last year. You can therefore imagine my joy and relief that these efforts have come to fruition today. The NNPC/ SPDC Joint Venture welcomes the leadership shown by Mr. President in prioritising the implementation of the UNEP Report’s recommendations. These include actions taken in the

last six months as spearheaded by the Honourable Minister of Environment. I recall that the Honourable Minister has held wide ranging consultations and visited Ogoni land several times to pave the way for today’s event. We are encouraged by the positive and constructive response from representatives of the communities, NGOs and civil society during recent stakeholder engagements initiated by the Minister. These and other engagements and consultations are in recognition of the Federal Government’s role as lead multi-stakeholder coordinator to implement the UNEP Report’s recommendations. Although the NNPC/SPDC JV has not produced oil or gas in Ogoni land since 1993, it remains committed to actively participating along with other stakeholders to ensure that the cleanup is embarked upon as soon as possible.


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Mr Osagie Okunbor

or, Country Chair, Shell of The Shell Petroleum PDC) Mr. President, the NNPC/SPDC JV also remains committed to contributing its share of the Environmental Restoration Fund (ERF), and will work with other stakeholders to finalise the appropriate governance and funding structures. This is in keeping with our belief that the UNEP Report offers a good opportunity for all stakeholders – government, communities, NGOs and IOCs – to work together and drive real change on environmental issues in Ogoni land and the wider Niger Delta. This collaboration is key to the realisation of the ideals of the report as UNEP itself acknowledged in 2011. I would like to end these brief remarks by reiterating that the NNPC/SPDC Joint Venture looks forward to working with all stakeholders on the UNEP Report’s recommendations and wish to thank the Federal Government for its efforts in bringing us on this important journey thus far.

recommendations to him by the executive director of UNEP, the UNEP special representative for Ogoniland, permanent secretaries of the federal ministries of environment and petroleum resources, and other stakeholders, include the amendment of the official gazette establishing the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) to reflect a new governance framework comprising a governing council, a board of trustees and project management.” He added: “The president further approved that the HYPREP Governing Council should be composed as follows: Ministry of petroleum resources – one representative; federal ministry of environment – one representative; Impacted States (Rivers) – one representative; Oil Companies & NNPC – 4 representatives; Ogoniland – 2 representatives; United Nations System – one representative; Secretariat – headed by project manager. “He also approved the composition of a board of trustees for the HYPREP Trust Fund as follows: Federal government – one representative; NNPC – one representative;

international oil companies – one representative; Ogoniland – one representative; United Nations System – one representative. “Following a meeting held on the directive of President Buhari, it was also agreed that a contribution deposit of 10 million United States dollars will be made by stakeholders within 30 days of the appointment of members of the board of trustees for the trust fund who will be responsible for collecting and managing funds from contributors and donors. “A new implementation template has also been evolved at the instance of President Buhari, and the environmental clean-up of Ogoniland will commence in earnest with the president’s inauguration of the HYPREP Governing Council and the board of trustees for the trust fund .” Further demonstration of SPDC JV’s commitment to the wellbeing of Ogoniland also came in 2015, when the company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Bodo community to restart the clean-up of the Bodo creeks which had been affected by operational

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CONTINENTAL ISSUE spills in 2008. Details of the clean-up arrangement show that it would be overseen by an independent project director appointed by the Bodo Mediation Team. Contractors already engaged for the first phase of the cleanup were deployed in 2015; it is also on record that the training of 400 youths on clean-up techniques had been concluded with demonstration of field practice. Unfortunately, it has been reported that contractor clean-up crews were denied access by the community. Even with these efforts at addressing critical issues affecting the community, crude oil theft and illegal refining has continued to be a major challenge with visible evidence of repeated re-contamination of sites that have already been remediated. Preventing and minimising the impact of theft and sabotage in Ogoniland, SPDC JV says, ranks high among a range of initiatives that include community-based pipeline surveillance, awareness campaigns and alternative livelihood programmes by the company. Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the launch of the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on the clean-up of Ogoniland and impacted areas of the Niger Delta sternly stated the federal government’s zero tolerance for oil theft and unlawful refineries in the region. He told a crowd at Bodo Town in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State that gathered to witness the event that oil exploration and production in Ogoniland and the Niger Delta region had disapprovingly affected the ecosystem. Osinbajo said while delivering the President’s speech: “I recall the time as a military Head of State when I visited Bodo Town in Ogoniland. During that visit, I commissioned a large fishpond and planted a tree as a sign of government’s concern for the environment. “Unfortunately, since then, the degradation of land, water and air has done huge damage to the fragile ecosystem of the Niger Delta, especially Ogoniland.

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NIGERIA UNEP Recommendations for Oil Industry Operators • SPDC procedures for oil spill clean-up and remediation need to be fully reviewed and overhauled so as to achieve the desired level of environmental restoration. In addition to procedures and clean-up methods, contracting and supervision also need to be improved. • SPDC should conduct a comprehensive review of its assets in Ogoniland and develop an ‘Asset Integrity Management Plan for Ogoniland’ and a decommissioning plan. These plans should be communicated to the Ogoni people. It is UNEP’s hope that the findings can catalyze significant environmental and social improvements in the region • It is recommended that SPDC works with the Nigerian regulators to clarify the paradox of remedial intervention and target values being the same. The parties should also agree on a consultative approach to setting site-specific clean-up values. • In the event that a decision is made to restart oil exploration and production activities in Ogoniland, the region should be treated as a greenfield site of high environmental and social sensitivity. This would mean applying the latest technologies and environmental guidelines, such as re-evaluating pipeline routes to minimise environmental damage and allocating a percentage of all project costs for environmental and sustainable development initiatives in Ogoniland.

“Oil exploration and production have been going on in Nigeria for six decades. Oil has given a boost to the Nigerian economy, but the ecosystem of the Niger Delta has been severely damaged. Fishing and agriculture have been badly affected. “There are Acts, enactment, laws, guidelines and regulations to govern the operators of the oil industry. However, either because of lack of will or willful non-compliance with environmental laws, the environment has been put in jeopardy.” He added: “The various communities in the Niger Delta region, noting the negative impact of oil production and lack of consideration for best practices, quite rightly commenced the struggle for justice and fair play in the conduct of business by oil industry operators.

“This, unfortunately, led to the loss of lives and property. International concern was raised while past governments were urged to take decisive steps to address the issue.” “We are determined to right the wrongs of the past, where the people of this land were treated unfairly and their environment unduly degraded.” The message is now clearer than ever before that the move to clean up Ogoniland has gathered steam. With greater commitment on the parts of the various parties and support by all well-meaning groups, more concrete results are bound to be witnessed not long from now, nad this would contribute immensely to assuaging frayed nerves in the Niger Delta area of the country.


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CONTINENTAL ISSUE

NIGERIA

Recommendations for Government • The report recommends that the Government of Nigeria establishes an Ogoniland Environmental Restoration Authority to oversee implementation of this study’s recommendations. With a fixed initial lifespan of 10 years, the Authority will have a separate budget which will accrue from an Ogoniland Environmental Restoration Fund and its staff will largely be seconded from relevant national and state institutions. • The overall cost of the clean-up should not be an obstacle to its implementation. Therefore, an Environmental Restoration Fund for Ogoniland should be set up with an initial capital injection of USD 1 billion contributed by the oil industry and the Government. Monitoring sector Monitoring approach Frequency Preventive surveillance Aerial scouting Weekly Surveillance from boats Weekly Surveillance of facilities and incident sites Weekly Groundwater Household visits in impacted communities One-off Wells around impacted sites and facilities Monthly Water bodies Surface water Monthly, Sediments Quarterly, Fish Quarterly, Benthic organisms Quarterly Vegetation Transects in creeks and oilfield sites, once a year Mangrove fauna, once a year, Analysis of satellite imagery once a year Air quality Particulate measurements, hydrocarbons monthly

Recommendations for the Ogoniland Community • The Ogoni community should take full advantage of the employment, skills development and other opportunities that will be created by the clean-up operation which is aimed at improving their living conditions and livelihoods. • Community members should avoid protracted negotiations over access by oil spill response teams as this means that responses to spills are delayed, resulting in a far greater environmental impact. • The community should take a proactive stand against individuals or groups who engage in illegal activities such as bunkering and artisanal refining.

Public health Cohort registry of highly exposed communities yearly Public health registry of entire Ogoniland community yearly To be managed by the Authority, the Fund should be used only for activities concerning the environmental restoration of Ogoniland, including capacity building, skills transfer and conflict resolution. • A Centre of Excellence for Environmental Restoration should be established in Ogoniland to promote learning in other areas impacted by oil contamination, in the Niger Delta and elsewhere in the world. Offering a range of activities and services, the Centre could run training courses in environmental monitoring and restoration and ultimately become a model for environmental restoration, attracting international attention. • Build the capacity of government agencies to enable them to fulfill their mandates, through such actions as increasing human resources and equipment, and improving the technical skills of staff. • A public awareness campaign should be mounted to improve the community’s understanding of the environmental and health impacts arising from hydrocarbon contamination in Ogoniland. This should include a formal education component in the academic curricula in the Niger Delta.

The way forward Restoring the livelihoods and well being of future Ogoni generations is within reach but timing is crucial. Given the dynamic nature of oil pollution and the extent of contamination revealed in UNEP’s study, failure to begin addressing urgent public health concerns and commencing a cleanup will only exacerbate and unnecessarily prolong the Ogoni people’s suffering. A Transition Phase is recommended to maintain momentum and begin detailed planning in the intervening period between the release of UNEP’s environmental assessment and the commencement of a clean-up operation guided by an Ogoniland Environmental Restoration Authority. August 2016 CHERRYAFRICA

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RWANDA

Time For Urban Forestry Policy African environmentalists discuss boosting forest cover, writes Athan Tashobya

M

ore than 50 environment leaders and experts met in Kigali, from July 23 to 24, to share lessons and experiences as they look at ways to considerably boost forest landscape restoration (FLR) across the region. The two-day meeting involved two parallel events: the Africa High Level Bonn Challenge Roundtable, and the international knowledge sharing workshop on FLR. The sessions brought together leaders in government from more than 20 African countries that demonstrated leadership on forest landscape restoration, as well as delegates from international organizations supporting these endeavours. Dr. Vincent Biruta, Minister of Natural Resources, said leaders now have the opportunity and responsibility to “harness this momentum and multiply it” by working together.

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“By taking stock of the progress of the Bonn Challenge and sharing experiences and opportunities for financing investment we can match technical know-how with policy that delivers for our people and the planet,” Dr. Biruta said. He added: “Rwanda faces landscape and forestry management challenges. For Rwanda, forest landscape restoration is no longer a choice but a necessity, to safeguard our development and protect our people.” In 2011, Rwanda committed to restoring two million hectares by 2020, an “ambitious but essential target,” that government is determined to achieve. Rwanda’s commitment is part of the Bonn Challenge; a global aspiration to restore 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded lands by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030. Africa alone has pledged nearly 45 million hectares. “I am glad to note that collaborating


with the Rwanda government on this programme since its inception early this year, pilot activities have been initiated in two districts as well as hosting of this regional hub for the forest landscape restoration here in Kigali,” said Luther Bois Anukur, Regional Director of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Rwanda – a leader in forest restoration in the region – recently established one of Africa’s newest national parks, Gishwati-Mukura Forest, which is being rehabilitated under the principles of the Bonn Challenge commitment. Jesca Eriyo, the East African Community (EAC) Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, is happy that most countries in the region are working with countries like Brazil, Argentina, Papua New Guinea, DR Congo in conserving forests. She said: “Restoration of our forests will contribute to good quality of our water and it will contribute to the survival of insects

and the productivity of our agriculture. Agro forestry is one of the initiatives we are promoting in the east African region, working together with farmers and those who are interested in investing in forestry.” Sharing experiences from home, Nii Osah Mills, Ghana’s Minister of Lands and Mineral Resources, said Ghana is losing forest cover at an “alarming” rate of two per cent per year but it is committed to restoring two million hectares. Mills said: “This summit couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time than this. According to the FAO, Africa loses an estimated 3.4 million hectares of forest every year. This, clearly, is unacceptable. We must resolve to stem the tide of deforestation with its adverse environmental and socio-economic consequences.” Ghana, he said, plans to restore one million hectares of degraded lands by 2030, as earlier pledged and, “this is a commitment we intend to achieve and even exceed, with the support of key strategic partners.” By 2030, Ghana expects to have restored 2.7 million hectares, he maintained. In the Kigali Declaration, participating countries committed to encourage fellow African governments to mainstream restoration into their national development policies; strengthen continental capacity for restoration; and reinforce the collaboration on forest landscape restoration across the August 2016 CHERRYAFRICA

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CONTINENTAL ISSUE

RWANDA

region and south-south collaboration. Set to Unveil Urban Forestry Policy With Random species of trees being planted across Rwanda’s Capital, Kigali and other towns around the country—with less regard to international standards for urban forestry, officials say, it’s high time the government embarked on formulating a policy. The Policy, Vincent Biruta, the Minister for Natural Resources, says will complement Kigali City Master plan and the national green-growth agenda—so that property developers also get to plan for urban afforestation, while putting into consideration specific species of trees to grow in cities and towns. Minister Biruta explains that as Rwanda strives to increase Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) across the country, the government is equally mindful about mitigating carbon emission in urban areas, hence looking at urban forestry as key leverage to meet this target. Biruta made the remarks during deliberations on policies and opportunities for sustainable economies, at a two-day Africa High Level Bonn Challenge Roundtable meeting, which concluded in Kigali, last July. Biruta’s comments were echoed by Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA’s) acting director general Colleta Ruhamya, an Engineer who noted that a policy to streamline urban forestry is being worked on, and is expected to come into force in the near future.

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“The new procedure originates from the study that was conducted which shows what would be planted in urban areas,” Ruhamya told The New Times, in an interview. “We have been planting just any kind of trees; everybody plants tree species they are interested in but we need to know the appropriate trees to be planted in urban areas, at which length and, of course, their benefits,” Ruhamya added. Ruhamya said the new campaign to promote specific trees in urban areas, is aimed at producing more oxygen, which would meet high carbon emission in urban centres. However, the already planted trees would not be uprooted, but rather new guidelines will not allow further planting of trees considered unfit for urban forestry, according to REMA’s Ruhamya. Dr Emmanuel Nkurunziza, Director General, Rwanda Natural Resources Authority, said that after coming up with the tree planting guidelines, the proposals would be forwarded to Cabinet to be considered as an urban forestry regulation. “In urban areas we have more carbon that needs to be absorbed than in rural areas. We need trees (in urban areas) for environmental purposes and beauty, protection of infrastructure and many more,” he said. “In the past, nobody has been willing to give a small part of their plot of land for tree planting; instead they want to build on their entire plot. But in the Kigali master plan, there has been an attempt to reserve some areas for afforestation. The challenge has been lack of expertise to know the right species for urban afforestation.” The trees being considered under the proposed guidelines, are those that would not interfere with the city infrastructure, including utility lines, whose roots won’t destroy roads and houses, according to Nkurunziza. “We hired a consultant to give us a new plan, on the way we can change the urban forestry. Once we get this tool, we will be more systematic in our urban afforestation plan,” he said. CherryAfrica understands that some of the proposed trees have recently been planted along all streets in Kigali.


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STYLE

Jazz it up With

Ankara There is no better way to look sophisticated, than to feel sophisticated in what you wear. Dress, in particular, can make a simple jewellery look gorgeous. Beautiful dress has always been a source of fascination for ladies, especially the expensive ones. These days, the African print fabric, has taken the trend of fashion.

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STYLE

A

Chika Oguine frican print popularly known as Ankara is the name that describes a type of printed colourful printed fabric that is inspired by African

fashion. Interestingly, not many know that Ankara, that is now manufactured by Nigerians, formally known as Dutch wax print, was originally manufactured by the Dutch for the Indonesian textile market. The prints however, strayed into the West African market and garnered significantly more interest. Recognising this, the Dutch decided to focus on West Africa, and changed the prints to

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reflect more of the African culture and lifestyle. The ubiquity of the fabric in African fashion and style attests clearly to its huge success in the continent. Everyone now makes their own version of the Ankara prints. Nevertheless, it has become a worldwide trend seen on catwalks and fashion parades throughout the world. The Ankara is a versatile fabric and as such used for not just cloth making, but also for items such as hats, earrings, shoes, hair fascinators, bags, chair covers, blazers. Since 2010 the Ankara has gained popularity in the global fashion scene. The material which is associated with Africans because of its tribe focused patterns and motifs has gained more popularity in Nigeria to be precise.


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STYLE Companies have most recently included Ankara prints on chiffons for clothing such as kaftans and socks, the Ankara is been combined with other material to make uniforms for many corporate organisations and institutions. The recent combination of Ankara and chiffon by designers to create masterpiece outfits could give one a sophisticated look; women can embellish every look with its style. The versatile fabric can also be designed in an English form of a suit, or in the normal native style ranging from shirt and blouse, trouser and tops, to buba and wrapper. Meet Afeeze Hassan Babatunde, a thirty-five year old owner of fashion house, whose specialty is on female outfit. He can also create spectacular designs for men. Babatunde tells says of his love for the Ankara fabric: ‘’ I love fashion, I must tell you; I create mind-blowing designs using any fabric, but I love making use of the Ankara’’. He said when asked why he chose the female gender mindful that he is a man: ‘’ I love challenges and working for women can be very challenging. I also love art work and the shapes of women are more or less like the work of art’’. Afeeze told CherryAfrica that he prefers the African print especially now that the Ankara can be combined with different fabrics. ‘’ I can do colour blocking, colour contrasting, I can manipulate the Ankara in so many ways, he added.’’ He said, using the Ankara he can make different things like swimming trunks, pants and bras, shirts for corporate outfit, bridal train wears, suits, blazers and so many other things. The fashion designer who has been in business for more than a decade now, said sawing with the African prints can be challenging but very interesting as well. He further stated: ‘’When I want to make any cloth with the Ankara, the first thing I do is to look at is the pattern of the fabric then I tell my client what would suit the fabric’’, ‘’when I started making cloths for people they were telling me what to do for them, but then I found out that as a designer, you should let you clients know what suits the fabric. Making spectacular designs with Ankara can be very expensive, this is because for most of the prints, one has to work on it that is to separate the prints from the fabric and add some other things to take it away from the everyday Ankara’’.

The fabric which shares its name with the capital of Turkey, is widely used by Nigerians for different purposes such as ‘’aso ebi’’ for weddings, ‘’aso ebi’’ for burials, ‘’aso ebi’’ for virtually every occasion, traditional wedding dress, just to add colour to the day. These days Nigerians use the Ankara to make interior decorations like throw pillows, bed covers, and even curtains. Gloria Okeke, also a fashion designer said for every Ankara she has there is a new design to go with. ‘’I love the Ankara fabric so much because of their prints; they make me feel like am holding the symbol of Africa anytime I hold them. I can make any kind of design using the Ankara; in fact any print of Ankara I see tells me what to make out of it; hopefully one day I will do a wedding gown with Ankara’’ she gleefully told CherryAfrica. Gloria who also makes other items with the Ankara fabric said, she could make about five Ankara bags in a day. ‘’I make jewellery and other accessories using the Ankara. So, to me Ankara is not just for the African continent but has gone global,’’ she said. In as much as the African print was not originated by Africans, it is now used mostly by Africans for different purposes which the originators probably never envisaged. The use of the African print (Ankara) has dominated the dress codes of many Nigerians and has taken over the market, as it’s been used and sampled in every occasion, worn by both the old, young. Celebrities even wear it when they go for unique red carpet occasions. With the unique ways Nigerian designers combine the Ankara with different fabrics to craft masterpiece designs the wow effect is easily glaring even on simple accessories. August 2016 CHERRYAFRICA

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BOOK REVIEW

Mandela In The Eyes Of Global Poets Poets across the world, through a collection of new anthology, tell the extraordinary story of the life and times of the late Nelson Mandela, the South African freedom fighter and, later, President, who became, in recent time, the world’s most revered statesman.

I

Agozino Agozino

t has been a recurrent issue that the late South African President, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, was a man who lived ahead of his time. He loved freedom and wanted it for all humanity, a move that later made him the world’s favorite elder statesman, affectionately referred to as the ‘granddady’ of the planet. Although, he was not a contributor to this new collection, some of which were written during his lifetime, his life reverberates throughout the pages. His is the complement that most of the poets latched onto, in appreciating the influence of a man acknowledged as the symbol of anti-apartheid struggle. The sign of high approval rating that sweeps through the poems in the anthology came from the foreword by Nadine Gordimer, a veteran writer who wrote: “The poems in this collection confirm all Mandela had been and is, his relevance at home in South Africa and the world, where conflict proliferates.’’ Halala Madiba: Nelson Mandela in Poetry, a new anthology on the life of Mandela edited by Richard

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Bartlett and Morakabe Seakhoa, are poems on the life of Mandela, who died on December 5, 2013 at the age of 95. The veritable literary heavyweights from Africa, Europe and America and across the world, contributed in the new anthology and set the stage in capturing what Mandela represented in his lifetime and for humanity today. Three Nigerian poets, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, John Pepper-Clark and Dr. Jekwu Ikeme, were among the privileged contributors and paid glowing tributes in their poems. Soyinka for example, sets the stage in capturing what Mandela clearly represented in his poem entitled: Your Logic Frightens Me, Mandela. “Your logic frightens me, Mandela/ Your logic frightens me/ Those years of dreams, of time accelerated in visionary hopes, of savouring the task anew/ The call, the tempo primed/ To burst in supernovae round a ‘brave new world’!/ Then stillness, silence/ The world close round/ Your sole reality, the rest is…dreams", Soyinka states. On page 131, Pepper-Clark, whose piece reminds one of how Mandela spent his days in a piece enti-


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BOOK REVIEW tled: Mandela, writes “How does the old man spend his day/ In the cage they kept him/ Knowing the wife he left behind/ When bride and bridegroom embraced a flag/ It is no freer beyond the statutory steps/ That take her to him, when twice in a year/ They allow her past her garden in Soweto". When Mandela Goes on page 269, by Jekwu Ikeme, looks into the enigmatic icon. A remarkable tribute on Mandela, whose memory remains evergreen, Ikeme states: “ When you go chosen soldier in the crusade of dreams our tears shall not cloud your journey home, we shall receive regret with the tears of triumph, recall yesterday’s summons to distant and strange lands, revive heroic cries in the white quarry of cruel islands, where initiation ceremonies marked farewell to lethargy, where oaths were taken as dusk and conscience stood witness, where blood was split to curb the bad omen of untimely loss, when love for this land saw stars vanish in the fullness of uncertain night”. The tone of the anthology tells the reader much about Mandela, the great personality that symbolised global freedom to people, even in death, let alone when he was alive as presented in the book. The anthology of 96 poems focuses on Mandela's exploits against apartheid in South Africa. It tells the story of a country and those who supported its struggle for justice. Using poetry to paint the picture of the struggle, especially, sharing the pains, while the freedom fighter was incarcerated, shows that distance is not a barrier when it comes to the ‘emancipation of mental slavery,’ apologies to Bob Marley, the reggae icon. The diversity of the themes in the poems is manifest in the approaches adopted by the poets, which shows how each of them sees Mandela. For them, Nelson Mandela is a ‘world figure’ as his name reverberates all over the world signifying what he stood for. Readers of the anthology will adduce the fact that his face, name and story have been disseminated

in different languages to the nooks and crannies of the world. An accomplished figure, he is depicted as a star in terms of his kind resolve, personal sacrifice and integrity required in times of social and political crisis. Although, this is not the first book of poems dedicated to him, Halala Madiba: Nelson Mandela in Poetry is quite distinctive, because it gathers poems written over half a century ago by poets from different countries, covering both his life and times. Although, it took more than ten years from conception to production, thematically, the relation between politics and poetry as reflected in the collection is quite daunting, even as it opens an aspect of the icon’s life that many do not know. Albeit, the selection of poems is not only for the name, Mandela, it also boils down to the fact that it evokes thought-provoking appraisals on poetic standards adopted by the poets to drive home their messages. All those poets who drafted Free Mandela into their art were part of the wider movement and all the poems combine to create a narrative of the struggle to free, not just one man, but all South Africans. The anthology is not about one man, as it tells the story of a whole country and those who supported its fight for justice. The collection is also a historical document recording how the Mandela prison ordeals at the Robben Island changed the story of South Africa and how he became a symbol of political struggle and eventual victory to every political prisoner throughout the world. A verse from the poem by Maximed Xaashi Dhamae ‘Gararriye’ goes thus: “Because he once said ‘No!’ ‘No!’ to the Prosecutor, ‘No!’ to the judges and jury, ‘No!’ to injustice, No!’ to indignity and oppression,’’ invokes the cry of the oppressed being maltreated by the State. These atrocities still resound in some parts of the world. The 35 contributors to the anthology included Nobel laureates and other renowned writers from different parts of the world. Their slice on Mandela gives the reader a holistic view of the man, who had come to be globally recognised as the, unarguably, symbol of modern world freedom. Unique as his personality is, he had etched his name in the sands of time. This anthology cannot treat the subject exhaustively but it presents poems as a primary historical document.

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SPORTS

Africa’s Hunt For Medals Africa’s top ten performing nations in Olympics history go with other countries of the continent to vie for honours at the 31st edition of the Games in Rio De Jenairo in Brazil. Benjamin Nwachukwu reports

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SPORTS

T

he much-awaited 31st edition of the Olympic Games, otherwise called Rio Olympic Games, officially started on Friday, with great expectations. From Africa 50 out of the total 207 countries are vying for honours at the Games with the continent also accounting for 905 out of the 11, 239 sportsmen and women going to Brazil for the Games. Africa has had a history of mixed fortunes at the biggest sporting event in the world, with Kenya being the most successful country from the continent. Of all the African countries, all eyes will be on Kenya, which is so far the best. The East African country is presently the most successful from the continent with overall 86 medals from the Games made up of 25 gold 32 silver and 29 bronze medals. They are ranked 33rd overall best in the world since the inception of the Games. South Africa which are ranked 34th in the world closely follow. The former apartheid enclave is the second best in Africa with an overall 76 medals comprising 23 gold, 26 silver and 27 bronze medals. Ethiopia ranks third on the continent’s overall with 45 medals comprising 21 gold, seven silver and 17 bronze. The next country is Egypt with 26 medals. In the history of the Games, Egypt has won seven gold, nine silver and 10 bronze medals. Team Nigeria are on the fifth position in the continent’s overall success record at the Games with 23 medals comprising three gold, eight silver and 12 bronze. Definitely, there will be huge expectations from these five countries going into the Games, though with stronger hopes pinned on Kenya, South Africa and Ethiopia. This is understandably so given their achievements so far at the Games. For instance, in the last Games in London, South Africa finished 23rd best on the medals table with three gold, two silver and two bronze medals. Ethiopia ended on the 24th spot with three gold, one silver and three bronze medals, while Kenya was on the 28th spot with two gold, four silver and five bronze medals.

They also have tested athletes that are in tune with contemporary realities in their various sports. For instance, Kenya’s Ezekiel Kemboi, who won gold in the 3000m steeplechase at the London Games four years ago, will be hoping to defend his title. The same goes for David Rudisha, who will be relied on to defend his 800m gold medal, which he won in London. The country also parades others like Mutai, Timothy Kitum Vivian Cheruiyo, who all won medals at the last event and will be hoping to replicate same in Rio. The East African giants are in 33rd place in the all-time Olympics table, which is topped by the United States with 2,406 medals. It is no surprise that 79 of Kenya’s medals have come from middle-and long-distance events, with boxing making up the other seven. South Africa won three gold medals in the last event in London. The medals came from rowing and swimming. Cameron van der Burgh, who won gold in 4x100m medley relay in swimming, will fancy his chances of a repeat in Rio. South Africa’s rowing team that won the last Game are still intact and qualified easily for the Games in Rio. Ethiopia also won three gold medals in the last Olympic Games in London and has made a firm promise to go beyond that in Rio de Janeiro. The medals came from Meseret Defar in women’s 5000m, Tirunesh Dibaba in women’s 10,000m and Tiki Gelana in women’s Olympics Race walking (OR). But for Debaba, the other two are not August 2016 CHERRYAFRICA

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SPORTS competing but Ethiopians are known for long distance races and will carry the hope of the continent in the events. They have produced some of the truly greats in long-distance running and Kenenisa Bekele and Dibaba have both won three gold medals each while the former is also the winner of a silver medal and the latter the winner of two bronze gongs. Egypt won two silver medals in the last event in London, which came from Fencing in Men’s Foil, and in Wrestling in men’s Greco-German 84kg. Incidentally, only Alaaeldin Abou (for Fencing) will be going to the Games in Brazil to defend his gold medal, as Karam Gaber (for Wrestling) failed to qualify for the global sporting showpiece. But the country will be relied upon for medals in Weightlifting and Wrestling. This is because nine of their medals (seven gold included) have come in weightlifting and wrestling. Gaber, who won gold in the Men’s Greco-Roman 96 kg in 2004 and silver in 2012, is their most-successful athlete. On Nigeria, a lot would have been expected from Team Nigeria going into the Games, but the country has had the worst of preparations, raising huge questions on the team’s chances to erase the ghost of London Games, where they failed to win a single medal. Atlanta Olympic Games remain Nigeria’s best after winning two gold medals. The major hope for Nigeria in their comparatively-advantaged track and field event remains Blessing Okagbare, but her return of 11.2 second for 100m in Sapele, Delta State, last month during qualifiers, falls abysmally short of podium performance of about 10.5 to 10.7 seconds. In 200m, another of her key event, she returned poorly, finishing at the time of 22.78 seconds, even though she won gold in both events. For 200m, it must be anything in the range of 21.90 to 21. 70 seconds for podium performance. The country is also undone in another of its key sport, boxing, where only one boxer, Efe Ajagba, is going

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to represent the country. But then Morocco and Tunisia have tested pugilists, who will make up for the continent. In football, Nigeria might have won the Olympic gold in 1996 and silver at the 2008 event but the preparation for this year’s event fell short of medal standard, with the team arriving Brazil only hours to their opening match against Japan on June 5. Meanwhile, Morocco’s 22 medals (six gold five silver and 11 bronze), Algeria’s 15 medals (five gold two silver eight bronze), Tunisia’s 10 medals (three gold three silver four bronze), Zimbabwe’s eight medals (three gold four silver one bronze) and Uganda’s seven medals (two gold three silver two bronze) complete Africa’s top ten countries in the Olympic Games. A lot will also be expected of these countries to once again put the continent on the global gold medals table. With this in mind Nigeria’s Okagbare promised to do the country and the continent proud, urging for support while speaking ahead of the Games. “I have no doubt in my abilities, even though I might not have had the best of preparations. I will do my best to put the nation and Africa on a global map,” she said. Kenya’s Kemboi re-echoed Okagbare, saying that the Games would though not be a stroke in the park. He said: “To win is always easy but to defend is not always easy, but I will do my best to ensure that I do not disappoint Kenya and the entire African continent.”

“I have no doubt in my abilities, even though I might not have had the best of preparations. I will do my best to put the nation and Africa on a global map,”


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SPORTS

Making History y August Au A ug ugu gu ust st 2 2016 0116 CH 0 C CHERRYAFRICA HER HER ERRY ERRY RYA RYAF AF FR RIICA CA

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OPINION

Defining Structural Transformation in Africa

A

Carlos

Lopes

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nother example of successful transformation is the United Arab Emirates. UAE operated a structural transformation to diversify its economy essentially based on crude oil sector which accounted for about two thirds of the GDP. This country developed its industrial base and invested its oil wealth in industry-related infrastructures. Furthermore, in 1985, the first free zone in Dubai, Jebel-Ali, was created with appealing incentives to foreign investments of which 100 per cent foreign ownership, no customs duties, unlimited repatriation of funds and exemptions from certain labor laws. The UAE government also promoted a number of manufacturing industries through industrial policy – fertilizer, oil refining, and cement. As of 2010, manufacturing in the UAE accounted for around 10 per cent of GDP, a significant jump from the 0.9 per cent share in 1975 (WorldBank 2013). Between 1957 and early 1990 Malaysia achieved substantive economic transformation with the share of manufacturing inGDP risingfrom 14 per cent in 1971 to 30 per cent in 1993 (Lall 1995). Malaysia’s export to GDP ratio increased from 46 per cent in 1970 to 95 per cent in 1995 (Athukorala and Menon 1999) and the share of manufactures in totalexports ofMalaysia rosefrom 12 per centto 71 per centbetween 1970and 1993 (Lall1995). This period had threedistinct phases of industrial expansion: import substitution 1957-1970; New Economic Policy1970-1985, the NewDevelopment Policyof 1986which moved the country’s industrial policy closer to the type practiced by the East Asian

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Newly Industrialised Economies. How to deal with the transformation challenges Acountry’scapacityto design and implement a successful transformation agenda can be undermined by internal and external factors. Gains can be reversed if there is inconsistent policy implementation or poor perception of new threats. Internal factors include: poor economic management capacities typified by macro-economic instability, poor planning design and implementation capacities, weak institutional and individual capacities, and limited investments in social and economic infrastructure, limited investment in technology and R&D and politicalinstability. On the other hand, external factors include: limited policy space; barriers to trade that undermine export revenuesand constrain exports of manufactured goods; the disproportionate concentration on dealing with ODA focus areas rather than handling it in its real macro dimension; and the concentration of FDI in extractive mineral and gas sectors of the economy with limited investments in value addition. Furthermore, in recent years, climate change has emerged as a threat to development through its destructive impacts. To address these challenges and promote a sustainable and inclusive structural transformation, the role of institutions and of the State is determinant. The emerging consensus is that a developmental state is central to the process of accelerated economic growth and transformation of any country. The state’s role in bailing out the economies in Western countries, following the 2008-2009 global economic crisis, reaffirmstheimportant role thatit can play in sustaining


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OPINION the transformation process and has taken the dust from Keynesian debates. A developmental state is defined as a ‘state that puts economic development as the top priority of government policy, and is able to design effective instruments to promote such a goal’ (UNECA 2011). Morespecifically, adevelopmental Nation-State entails the following (UNECA 2016): • Scaling up public investment and public goods provision. Africa at its stage of development requires a big push in public investment – economy, region and continent- wide – in the coming decades. Without committed public investment, sustained private investment will not be made, causing overall productive investment to fall below the level needed to keep the growth momentum going. • Maintaining macro stability to attract and sustain private investment. In fact macroeconomic stability is essential, as high uncertainty and risks deter private agents from making forward-looking productive investments. At the same time, harsh fiscal retrenchment and overly restrictive monetary policy aimed at attaining the stabilization objective only cannot take the transformation agenda forward. • Coordinating investment and other development policies. Public investment using scarce resources should be made selectively, sequenced and directed to achieving the highest development dividends in the long run. This requires public and private investment to be well coordinated across sectors in a big push with aggregate demand spillovers to facilitate "a move from a bad to a good equilibrium" (Murphy et al. 1989), especially given the well-known market failure of coordination. • Mobilizing resources and reducing aid dependence over time. This requires a solid framework to develop financial institutions (banking and non-banking) and deepen financial markets. • Securing fiscal sustainability by establishing fiscal legitimacy. This call for an urgency to develop the capacity of prudent and efficient public finance management. But this must be the bedrock of a relationship between the government and domestic actors, for fiscal sustainability can only be secured in the medium to long run on such a foundation. • Other development policies critical for structuraltransformation include trade, technology, financial development, oversight regulation and competition, education and health,

and sectors specific policies such as those for industry and agriculture. Why is the Current African Growth not Good Enough? As said before, African current growth has not generated sufficient jobs and has not been inclusive enough to significantly curb poverty. It has been driven for a third by commodities price boom and government related spending. Fluctuations in commodities prices have made such growth vulnerable. This reminds us the imperative for structural transformation that in our case focus on the potential offered by industrialization. Be it through the expansion of commodities value chains. Be it through the positioning for agro- business to act as the pull factor for agricultural to get out of the doldrums. Be it through the capacity to attract low-value manufacturing production facing rising labor costs in Asia. This is not Out Reach. Structural transformation has been experienced for real by many countries in different regions of the world. But will not happen spontaneously but rather as a resultant of deliberate and coherent policies entrenched into a coherent development strategy, enlightened by a transformational leadership. Carlos Lopes is the Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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HR DISCOURSE

WITH TRICIA ABENA KISSI

Moving The Human Resource Function From The Backroom To The Boardroom

T

he latter decades of the twentieth century saw a dynamic wind of change that transitioned the administrative and passive personnel management approach to a more dynamic HRM approach. A critical evaluation of the HR function clearly shows that it has evolved over the years from personnel management to HR management, to what it is today – Strategic HRM. Today, the HR function is that of a strategic business partner. It is said that the main assumptions behind the practice of HR are that people are the organisation’s key assets, and organisational performance largely depends on them. Thus, if an appropriate range of HR policies and processes are developed and implemented effectively, HR will make substantial impact on the performance of organisations. The contribution of the HR function to organisational effectiveness cannot be far-fetched. Research indicates that for every dollar of investment in HR, as compared to machinery, firms get three times return on investment. HR’s contribution to organisational effectiveness can be seen in four main areas namely: HR as Employee Advocate, maximising employee commitment and contribution to organisations; HR as Functional Expert, continuously improving organisational efficiency by re-structuring the HR function and other work processes; HR as Human Capital Developer and Change Agent, actively building and maintaining a corporate culture that embraces people development and delivering organisational transformation; and HR as Strategic Business Partner, contributing to the formulation and effective implementation of business strategies. In theory, the HR function is expected to move away from paper pushing or backroom operations into the board-

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room, shaping strategy. But in practice, this is not always the case. Most HR professionals are still saddled with mundane administrative duties such as leave administration, payroll management, attendance monitoring, etc which mainly focus on documentation, data gathering and record keeping. Most executives and HR practitioners think there is more room for improvement as far as the HR function being a strategic business partner and contributing to boardroom discussions is concerned. Most executives still see the HR function as a quasi-legal professional whose main role is processing the paperwork of compliance. Various reasons have been assigned to why HR is not yet in the boardroom influencing strategy to achieve organisational goals. Major among them are: HR’s inability to appropriately link its strategy to the overall business strategy of organisations; lack of knowledge of the business or business awareness; HR’s inability to demonstrate its contribution to organisational performance in monetary terms; lack of financial acumen on the part of many HR professionals; and HRM being seen as a cost centre. In order for the HR function to move from the backroom to the boardroom, a strategic approach to HRM is imperative. The HR function must align its policies and practices to build critical organisational capabilities that enable an organisation to achieve its goals. HR must champion the implementation of business strategy of their organisations; and ensure that the needed capacity is built to achieve organisational objectives. Furthermore, the HR function must also become talent focused and be concerned with acquiring, retaining, nurturing and multiplying talent which are essential for the achievement of organisational goals. This is confirmed in

PwC’s 2014 global survey of CEOs, where 93% are changing or see the need to change their strategies for attracting or retaining talent; and 63% see the availability of skills as one of the top threats to their business plans. Most HR professionals have been too HR-driven that they are often perceived as not caring enough about the general financial well-being of their organisations. There is the need for the HR function to erase this impression in order to bridge the credibility gap it has in most organisations. This could contribute to helping move the HR function from the backroom to the boardroom. Again, the HR function must perform a transformational role in the business. HRM must position itself as a competent and strategic business partner with substantial knowledge about the business. Lastly, HR Professionals must acknowledge stakeholder expectations and understand the overall business and strategic context of their functions. It is obvious from the discussion so far that the HR function has indeed come a long way from when it was known as personnel management to where it is now. Today, the HR function is considered strategic; and it expected to be a strategic contributor to organisational performance. Indeed, HRM has made tremendous contributions to the achievement of organisational goals. And some scholars have wondered why HRM is still at the backroom performing administrative functions instead of being at the boardroom influencing strategy. The debate to move HRM from the backroom to the boardroom has been a long standing one. But the question on the minds of many business executives is whether HRM is ready for the boardroom. The onus is thus on HR professionals to demonstrate their readiness for the boardroom.


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Cherry Africa Magazine Edition 4 (August 2016)  
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