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May 2019



...Harnessing Africa’s Potential

Buhari’s strides in N’Delta Genocide: Rwanda Rises from the Ashes Bolstered! Microsoft Recharges Kenyan Telecoms

Ramaphosa Where are the reforms

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January 2019




...Harnessing Africa’s Potential

Masari takes Katsina to the next level Inside The Mind of Africa’s Richest Amazon Africa’s longserving leaders undermine development

Values of Kagame’s A U Leadership

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January, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA


Buhari’s strides in N'Delta PAGE 23


5-7 Ghana’s six new independents regions

Genocide Rwanda Rises from the Ashes

Page 13 Bolstered! Microsoft Recharges Kenyan Telecoms



25 Turning transport sector into growth engine for economy 31 NIMASA: Championing Nigeria’s blue economic development

35 Massive development strides in the Niger Delta 40 Making Nigeria Self-Sufficient Through Agriculture The Silent Revolution 56 Weah Grapples With Harsh Economic Outlook 58 Why Uganda is missing out on the Cocoa windfall 61 Running two homes is a big challenge to me – Okey Bakassi 64 A new vista for table tennis in Ghana 66 Uganda on spot as WTTD berths in Africa

Boeing 737 Max turns a corner after Ethiopian Accident PAGE 20 May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA




Publisher’s Note

...Harnessing Africa’s Potentials

Time To Destroy Africa’s Yoke For the umpteenth time, news about the despicable state of affairs in Africa has continued to resonate. This time, it is coming from David Malpass who was recently elected President of the World Bank. Malpass, in expressing his thoughts on salient global issues, warned at the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group that Africa could be home to 9 in every 10 extremely poor people by 2030. Malpass explained that this development would jeopardise the World Bank’s goal to end extreme poverty by that time. The World Bank boss also remarked at the meeting that extreme poverty was on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa despite a global drop from levels seen in the 1990s and 2000s. He said: “On current trends, per capita income growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, as a whole, is now projected to stay below 1 per cent until at least 2021, which elevates the risk of a further concentration of extreme poverty on the continent. “This fact is extremely troubling because it jeopardizes the World Bank’s primary goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030. “By 2030, nearly 9 in 10 extremely poor people will be Africans, and half of the world’s poor will be living in fragile and conflict-affected settings. “This calls for urgent action—by countries themselves, and by the global community. “The Bank’s role is particularly important in poorer countries, where the global economic slowdown that began last year hits people the hardest. The World Bank president’s position was neither stray nor incidental. It derived from the deplorable condition of Africans, especially those living in Africa, as many leaders in the countries of the continent remain power-drunk, selfish, greedy, corrupt and retrogressive megalomaniacs in their understanding of governance. For Africa’s leaders, it is a development that should not once be mentioned in the comity of nations that Nigeria overtook India as the country with the highest number of extremely poor people in the world, according to the Brookings Institution report in June 2018. Considering the knock-on effect of this outlandish outlook that casts a slur on the continent’s managerial dexterity, it is expected that the Sixth Africa Think Tank Summit held 24-26 April 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya, convened by the African Capacity Building Foundation under the theme “Tackling Implementation Challenges for Africa’s Sustainable Development” (ACBF) was meticulously addressed. The problem of low implementation of policies has been a serious problem militating against the continent’s development in the post-independence era and now, more than ever before, needs to be frontally tackled by all. It is cheery that the Summit is being organized in partnership with the Government of Kenya and the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA), together with other partners. It also feels good that the 2019 Summit, the sixth in the series, in its main objective, seeks to provide a better understanding of why policies and programmes are not effectively implemented in many African countries, and offer recommendations for enhancing implementation to achieve desirable development outcomes. It is an indictment on Africa’s leaders that about 42 treaties/agreements were signed by the OAU and its successor the AU between 1963 and 2014, but only 25 had been ratified by 2014. Even then there was little implementation on any of them, according to an ACBF August 2013 study titled, “The Digest of OAU-AU Treaties, Conventions and Agreement 1963 to 2014. The study also showed that from 2002 to 2018 (the era of the AU), 51 treaties and agreements were signed. 31 of them (60.8 per cent) are yet to be ratified for implementation. Following this ugly trend, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement – which is expected to boost intra-African trade and enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level - has received the mandatory 22 ratifications and is now ready for implementation. However, it remains to be seen how it will take off if the implementation capacity challenges being faced by leaders at national, regional, and continental levels are not addressed. The vast capacity gaps for implementing the AU Agenda 2063 and the UN 2030 Agenda also remain multi-level and multidimensional and underscore the urgent need for strengthening the implementation capacities, especially in the areas of planning, financing, monitoring, evaluation and statistics. Leaders need to understand these core issues and brace at all times to serve the people, create wealth and secure their future wellbeing.

Carolyn Isaac Publisher


© 2019 All rights reserved

Chairman Air Vice Marshal Francis Nyoyoko (Rtd) Editorial Team Publisher Carolyn Isaac Managing Editor Murphy Jones Associate Editors Athan Tashobya (Kigali) Morgan Winsor, Patricia Abena-Kissi Contributing Editors Nicholas Newman( London), Jamie Leigh-Matroos (Cape Town) Abdoulie Nget (Banjul) Design and Production Jekulla Int'l Country Manager Ann Ashiogwu Administration Job Peters Samuel Asiamah Marketing Selasi Appiah (Ghana) Akunna Nworgu (Lagos) Subscription Juliet Joseph 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: +234 81 7777 7503 Ghana Bureau: 41 Burma Camp Road, Opposite Ghana International Trade Fair, Virtues Trust Building Accra-Ghana +233244677080, +233559791583 ISSN: 24657107



Where are the reforms When the tallying in South Africa’s Election was ongoing, there must have been one worried man down in the Mahlamba Ndlopfu, Pretoria, the South African President’s official palace. This election would mean the difference between his much-cherished reforms, and outright ouster by a resurgent section of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party allied to the man he replaced as President, Jacob Zuma. By Collins Hinamundi


r Cyril Ramaphosa, the skilled negotiator who convinced the white minority government to give way for pluralist politics had come a long way. From organising and mobilising trade unions, to sulking and retreating into business when the ANC chose Thabo Mbeki to replace Nelson Mandela over him; to the Marikana Mine deaths that still plague his legacy; to deputising Jacob Zuma; a man he clearly should have been leading, to this night where he would finally get a personal mandate to lead the new South Africa; over 20 years after Mr Mandela anointed him as an heir. When it was all done, Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC had managed to win 57.5% of the vote, down from almost 70% in 2004. He had also delivered Gauteng province, a province he was expected to deliver according to analysts. “Given his history in business and popularity amongst the business community and middle-class votMay, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA


COVER It would have been better for Ramaphosa if the ANC had achieved 60% or above, I still believe that this result will be a good enough result for him. This is the first election where the ANC's support will fall below 60% ers, it was the province that he was expected to "deliver" for the ANC.” Ms Melanie Verwoerd says. The ANC’s 57.5% share of the vote was its worst result in a parliamentary election since it swept to power at the end of apartheid in 1994, but it was an improvement on a worse showing in local government elections in 2016. The opposition Democratic Alliance lost 2 percent of its votes, managing only 20%, while the radical Economic Freedom Fighters party of former ANC younger wing President Julius Malema doubled its share of the vote to 11 %. According to Ms Melanie Verwoerd a former ANC MP and South African Ambassador to Ireland, this was not the result Mr Ramaphosa needs, but it is a result that may help him keep the wolves at bay. “Although naturally, it would have been better for Ramaphosa if the ANC had achieved 60% or above, I still believe that this result will be a good enough result for him. This is the first election where the ANC's support will fall below 60%. Yet, it will be significantly higher (more than 3%) than their support in the local government elections of 2016. It was always crucial for Ramaphosa's future that


the party's support did not decline below 55%’’ She says. “This, of course, does not mean that the so-called Zuma faction will disappear. The stakes are simply too high for them. I have no doubt that they will continue to mobilise and try to frustrate Ramaphosa and his supporters,” she adds. According to the US Council on Foreign Relations, Mr Ramaphosa biggest challenge is the ANC Factions that are still loyal to his disgraced predecessor Jacob Zuma including his party’s Secretary General Mr Ace Magushule who recently refused to credit Mr Ramaphosa for the ANC’s electoral success. ‘Among the party leadership Ramaphosa faces stiff opposition; among the public, he is more popular’ The Council on Foreign Relations says. FIRST TEST Mr Ramaphosa’s first test will be on the cabinet list, According to Ms Verwoerd, If he reduces Cabinet with the rumoured 10 positions (to be closer in size to the Mbeki and Mandela cabinets), it will be a sign of an emboldened Ramaphosa. “The size of the Cabinet could, therefore, be one of the first and clear-

est signs of how comfortable Ramaphosa feels after this election,” she says. What this means is that Ridding Cabinet of those perceived to be in the Jacob Zuma faction will be one of Ramaphosa’s biggest headaches. The reconfiguration will also be informed by an investigation by Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo, who was tasked by Ramaphosa to look into the matter. According to a political analyst, Ms Amanda Gouws Mr Ramaphosa will need people he can trust in his cabinet. “If he’s committed to a clean government and doing away with the huge salaries, he needs to reduce that Cabinet and he needs to appoint people he can trust.” She says. NEW BEGINNINGS According to Ms Valerie Verwoerd, the results in this election should free Mr Ramaphosa to ‘to focus on his "New Dawn" and in time, bring the country back on track.’ The president's administration is under pressure to create jobs with the latest unemployment figures showing

COVER that over 6 million people are sitting without jobs. Mr Ramaphosa has said that his new cabinet will form the core of his reform plan for the country. “We’ll be seeking to get people, men and women, who have great competence, the great capability to serve the needs of the people of South Africa,” he told investors and business people at a meeting earlier this week. He also told the meeting that he would use a new five-year term to speed up economic reforms and fix ailing state power firm Eskom, a week after his African National Congress party was re-elected with a reduced majority. Analysts have said reforms, like cutting red tape and overhauling Eskom, should be post-election priorities for the ANC, after a decade of slow growth and rising joblessness in Africa’s most advanced economy. The government has pledged a 23 billion rand ($1.6 billion) a year bailout for Eskom over the next three years. The utility had around 29 billion dollars in debt last year. “We have to address the issue of Eskom’s debt, which is precisely what we are doing now with our Treasury, with our lenders, because (Eskom) is too big to fail,” Mr Ramaphosa said. He also emphasised the importance of economic growth, pointing out that the slowdown has everyone worried. “We are in an economy that has not been growing ... in an appreciable way. That troubles us,” Mr Ramaphosa said. South Africa’s economy grew by an estimated 0.8 percent in 2018 after recovering from the recession. Growth is forecast at 1.5 percent this year. Mr Ramaphosa said he would give more details on his reform plans in a state of the nation address scheduled for next month. The Council on Foreign Relations, on the other hand, warns that the results that increased Julius Malema’s share of the vote mean that his calls for Nationalisation of land without compensation will scare off the Foreign Capital that South Africa desperately needs to jumpstart its economy.

We’ll be seeking to get people, men and women, who have great competence, the great capability to serve the needs of the people of South Africa

But on the issue of land, Mr Ramaphosa seems to have gone against the ANC Party resolution that called for Nationalisation of land without compensation, a sign that his new mandate has emboldened him after all. “There is no way we can invite foreign investors to come to our country — we say come and invest — and tomorrow we take your land away, that is not going to happen. That is not sensible,” Mr Ramaphosa said This new bold Ramaphosa will rile the Zuma faction in the ANC, According to Ms Verwoed, It is also likely that they will bitterly criticise him and his faction at the national general council (NGC) next year for not delivering on decisions taken at the ANC's Nasrec conference, such as expropriation without compensation and privatisation of the Reserve Bank, as well as the Eskom crisis. And now that he has made his views on land expropriation without compensation; public, even a leadership challenge is a real possibility. According to Bloomberg’s Misery Index which looks at inflation and unemployment levels, South Africa’s economy ranks third out of 62 countries. Only Venezuela and Argentina were ranked as having a more miserable economy. However, there is a silver lining; Ramaphosa has indicated he will seek

to restore the country’s regional role, which had taken the backseat under Zuma, who curried favour with authoritarian regimes like Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. This regional role will build investor confidence in Africa’s most advanced Economy, as Ramaphosa’s post-Zuma anti-corruption clean up has done for the ANC. Mr Ramaphosa has already attracted some inward investment, as he is seen as a more stable leader determined to rid the government of corruption. This has been reflected in the amount being invested in the country – clearly indicating that outside opinions of South Africa are becoming more favourable. The country received 4.9 billion dollars in foreign direct investment in the first three quarters of 2018 alone, compared with 1.1 bn dollars in the whole of 2017. This is a sign of confidence in his leadership, and it is expected that this will continue, as long as he can keep the ANC’s radical wing at bay. And as the Economist put it in its endorsement of the man Mandela wanted as an heir; - South Africa cannot afford for him to fail; nor can the rest of Africa. Despite the wasted Zuma years, the rainbow nation still has the continent’s most sophisticated economy, vibrant civil society and feisty media. Having overcome apartheid without a civil war, it has long been an inspiration to the world. May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA





Ghana’s six new independents regions A political promise fulfilled, but what are the offerings? Ghana’ political atmosphere prior to the 2016 elections was dominated by promises – promises from the frontrunners of the now governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the largest opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).


ome watchers counted over three hundred promises between the two parties, which included one to have some new regions created out of the ten existing ones. Former president John Mahama of the NDC in September 2016 at a campaign rally in the capital Accra, announced his party when elected would ‘’initiate steps towards creating five more administrative regions to bring to 15, the number of regions in the country.’’ The former president, now Flagbearer of the NDC told the gathering of party faithful, “We currently have 10 regions.

We believe that it is possible to increase the number of regions to 15,” he said, while giving highlights of the National Democratic Congress 2016 manifesto in Accra. His rival, now president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, also made a similar promise… ON THE MOVE! One hundred days in office after the 2016 vote, the Ghanaian Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at a town hall meeting touted a ‘one day; one achievement’ success. That would not include the creation

of new regions, until the president set up a commission of inquiry headed by Justice S. A Brobbey, to collate views and make recommendations for carving out the new regions. The president per constitutional provisions, after receiving petitions from locals and traditional leaders, forwarded same to the council of state. In October 2017, the Ghanaian president set in motion, processes to have the new regions created – inaugurating a nine-member commission, expected to tour the country especially the Volta, Brong Ahafo, Northern and Western regions to gather the necessary information for the landmark exercise. This was after the Council of State had unanimously said there is a substantial demand for the creation of new regions, after studying the petitions for the creation of new regions which were forwarded to the Council… A December 27 date was penciled for a referendum in the areas expected to have new regions carved out of. Despite a court action brought against the country’s election management body, the referendum was to come off. A statement signed by a Deputy Chair of the Ghanaian Electoral Commission in charge of Corporate Services, Bossman Eric Asare, said the referendum will come off as scheduled.



CONTINENTAL ISSUE “…The Commission calls on the general public to disregard that information. All arrangements are in place and the referendum will be held as scheduled.” The Commission also called on “all eligible voters in the affected areas of Bono East, Ahafo, North East, Savanna, Western North and Oti to go out in their numbers to cast their votes on Thursday, 27th December, 2018 from 7:00am – 5:00pm.” Two Ghanaians who reside in the Kadjebi District of the Volta Region, dragged the Electoral Commission and the Attorney General to court seeking an injunction and a postponement of the referendum. According to the applicants – Gabriel Aziaglo and Dan Louis Nikabo – the Electoral Commission had not been fair and transparent in its conduct prior to the referendum, and must be ordered to correct what they describe as “unlawful” acts. Ghana’s minister for Regional Reorganization and Development, Dan Botwe told a press briefing funds had been made available for the organization of the electoral process, with expectation that a fifty percent of the total population in the said regions, would turn up to vote in the referendum, with eighty percent of the people approving the creation of the new region. The president would then be enjoined by Article 5(8) of the 1992 constitution to issue a constitutional instrument (CI) giving effect to the results of the referendum. A total of 2,260,724 voters were expected to vote at 4,798 polling stations of the proposed areas – with 4,978 polling stations in the proposed enclaves. REFERENDUM DAY! Allegations of intimidation rocked some of the areas – especially in part of the Volta region, where the Oti region was expected to be cared out. There were also incidents in the Brong Ahafo Region. Concerns of low turnout of below fifty percent for the vote triggered debates about the credibility of the process. The electoral commission had to fend off widespread criticism over the process, alleged to have been fraught with irregularities and electoral fraud. It’s chairperson, Jean Mensa told a press conference, ‘’all six proposed regions met the threshold of fifty percent voter turnout and eighty percent voting yes.’’ The results summary presented by the EC showed that the NO vote was unable


GHANA 2,260,724 voters were expected to vote at 4,798 polling stations of the proposed areas – with 4,978 polling stations in the proposed enclaves

votes, representing 0.24 per cent, were rejected. The lowest turnout of registered voters (77.69 per cent) was recorded in Western North.

276,763 people, representing 99.68 per cent, voted YES, as against 675, representing 0.24 per cent, which voted NO. Some 225 ballots, representing 0.08 per cent, were rejected


to garner even one percent of the valid votes cast in the respective regions, with OTI recording the highest NO vote of 0.89 percent while Ahafo, with 99.68 percent, edged North East, which had 99.67 percent as the area with the highest percentage of YES votes! SIX NEW REGIONS RESULT DISTRIBUTION!

390,128 turned out to vote, representing 77.69 per cent. Out of the number, 388,235, representing 99.51 per cent, voted YES, while 942, representing 0.24 per cent, voted NO. 951


Out of the 502,185 registered voters in the Western North region, 390,128 turned out to vote, representing 77.69 per cent. Out of the number, 388,235, representing 99.51 per cent, voted YES, while 942, representing 0.24 per cent, voted NO. 951

Comparatively, the highest turnout of registered voters was recorded in Ahafo, where 90.41 per cent registered voters participated in the poll, which translated into 277,663 out of 307,108 voters. A total of 276,763 people, representing 99.68 per cent, voted YES, as against 675, representing 0.24 per cent, which voted NO. Some 225 ballots, representing 0.08 per cent, were rejected.

323,708 representing 88.33 per cent, turned out to vote, out of the 366,481 registered voters with 319,296, representing 98.64 per cent, voting YES, as against 2,878, representing 0.89 per cent, which voted NO


In the Oti area, 323,708, representing 88.33 per cent, turned out to vote, out of the 366,481 registered voters with 319,296, representing 98.64 per cent, voting YES, as against 2,878, representing 0.89 per cent, which voted NO. Some 1,534 ballots, rep-

CONTINENTAL ISSUE resenting 0.47 per cent votes, were rejected. The Oti area recorded the highest number of NO votes of 0.89 per cent (1,534).

525,275 registered voters, 450,812, representing 85.82 per cent, turned out to vote, with 448,545, representing 99.50 per cent, voting YES and 1,384, representing 0.31 per cent, voting NO


Out of the 525,275 registered voters, 450,812, representing 85.82 per cent, turned out to vote, with 448,545, representing 99.50 per cent, voting YES and 1,384, representing 0.31 per cent, voting NO. Eight hundred and eighty-three ballots, representing 0.20 per cent, were rejected.

207,343 voters, representing 81.77 per cent, turned out to vote. Out of that, 206,350, representing 99.52 per cent, voted YES, as against 647, representing 0.31 per cent, who voted NO


In the Savannah, out of a registered voter population of 253,566, some 207,343 voters, representing 81.77 per cent, turned out to vote. Out of that, 206,350, representing 99.52 per cent, voted YES, as against 647, representing 0.31 per cent, who voted NO. Some 340 ballots, representing 0.17 per cent, were rejected.

GHANA 205,804 voters, representing 80.95 per cent, turning out to vote, out of which 205,121, representing 99.67 per cent, voted YES, as against 447, representing 0.22 per cent, who voted NO


A voter population of 254,243, had 205,804 voters, representing 80.95 per cent, turning out to vote, out of which 205,121, representing 99.67 per cent, voted YES, as against 447, representing 0.22 per cent, who voted NO. Two hundred and thirty-six ballots, representing 0.11 per cent, were rejected. ALLEGED MALPRACTICES A social media storm shortly after the announcement of results, triggered a response from the electoral commission. Videos of some alleged electoral officers thumb-printing multiple times on ballot papers and other malpractices went viral - though the location and identities of the persons in the said videos were difficult to ascertain. Responding to allegations the EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa said the allegations, had come to the attention of the commission and that investigations were underway. Mrs Mensa said the EC was not going to shield any member of staff, permanent or temporary, found to have violated the law in the process. She said “we are not familiar with these officers, investigations are going on and we are also calling on members of the public to present any evidence that they may have to the commission and the police.” NEW REGIONAL CAPITALS! Intense lobbying – call it canvassing or even campaigning; traditional authorities were on rampage, to have their favourite named capitals of their respective regions. Spontaneous riots broke out in Salaga after Damango was named capital of the

newly created Savannah region. Irate youth of the area, believed to be followers and sympathizers of the governing New Patriotic Party went on rampage, torching the party’s office and destroying other properties. The youth also tore down billboards and campaign posts of the NPP – on protest. They believed Salaga should have been named capital. Police in the region moved in to calm tensions and arrested some troublemakers. In other regions, the announcement of the capitals, sparked off delirious celebrations! REGIONAL OFFERINGS! OTI President Akufo-Addo must be thinking and wondering, what Paramount Chief of the Krachie Traditional Area, Nana Mprah Besemuna III meant when he told a durbar of chiefs and people in the region, they would reward him appropriately for granting their long-held wish. In plain unambiguous terms, the traditional ruler said, ‘we are most grateful to you and assure that your name would be engraved in letters of gold in the annals of the Oti region.’ He would not end there. Nana Nana Mprah Besemuna III further stated, ‘we shall never forget you, we shall appreciate you appropriately and reward you.’ The May 15, 2019 durbar was part of the president’s tour of the region, and its capital – Dambai. He handed over eight vehicles and motorbikes to the regional coordinating council, while he cut sod for the construction of the Jasikan – Dodi Pepesu road project captured under the list of projects to be completed through the two-billion dollar Sinohydro bauxite barter deal. The capital Dambai – located on the Eastern coast of the Volta lake, provides fertile land and ample water. Its strategic location means the existence of a variety of animals and plants. Rich in tourism value, the outskirts of the regional capital, with so many wild lions, elephants and other big mammals as well as marine and land snakes, makes for a great wildlife reserve! Fish in the Volta lake - tilapia, cat fish, oysters and clams as well as several crocMay, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA





odile types, make aquatic life here some picturesque! Tourism connoisseurs predict, this enclave, if properly developed and deliberately preserved, its value may shoot up and boost the local economy. This would mean jobs for the youth and an environment safeguarded from poachers and wildlife hunters! The Vibrant market days – Tuesdays and Mondays sees several residents and market buyers from across the Krachie East district and neighboring Togo. BONO EAST REGION Its regional minister appointed by the president would have a tough ride with Ghana’s parliament appointment committee. Her approval was suspended following controversies about her asset declaration, the credibility of her doctorate degree and some alleged misappropriation of funds, while she was District Chief Executive. Mrs. Evelyn Ama Kumi – Richardson denied any wrongdoing as she cited reasons why there appeared inconsistencies in documents she provided during the vetting. The minority in parliament would not vote to approve her, prompting the house to carry out a secret ballot which saw her sail through, despite a large number of MPs voting against her approval. Techiman - the regional capital, is a leading market town in Southern Ghana. As the most populated town in the


region, with a total of 251, 284 people, Techiman has one of the largest markets in West Africa – yes – and it serves as the economic hub for the region! Food stuffs in that part of the country are thought to be cheap – no wonder it is referred to as the proverbial food basket. Of course there is an economic index that puts Techiman as one of the most viable places for businesses. There currently are fifteen major commercial banks and over thirty non-bank financial service institutions including savings and loans firms. The Bono East capital is a nodal town with direct and indirect routes – easily accessible to all major transport companies – and the railway. Feasibility studies have been conducted on a land parcel for an ultra-light air strip by the Civil Aviation Authority and a land earmarked for a proposed airport. These, when operationalized will add to the over ninety-five hotels and guest houses with four popular tourist sites (Tanoboase Sacred grove and Monastery; Buoyem caves and Bats Colony; Our lady of Fatima Calvary Grotto – Asueyi and Forikrom Boten caves) and shoot the tourism offerings in this part of the country up, several notches higher. Three major football clubs, eleven wonders, Ampem Darko Ladies and Techiman City are hoisting the flag of the town, ten commercial radio stations to strengthen citizen involvement in governance, three major mission hospitals,

with a total of 251,284 people, Techiman has one of the largest markets in West Africa – yes – and it serves as the economic hub for the region

a polyclinic and six private hospitals – Techiman is the model capital. We invite you over, and when next you are in Ghana, you know where to go to get what. AHAFO REGION Goaso, the capital of the Asunafo North municipality is the capital for the newly created Ahafo Region and located between three major towns; Mim, Kukuom and Hwidiem. It has got a very rich vegetative cover, and boasts as one of the food baskets, predominant with citizens who are mainly into cocoa and food crop farming. Food production at Goaso is very high and it was no surprise the government chose the city to launch its flagship agriculture programme, ‘Planting for Food and Jobs.’’ The dominant vegetation type here is the semi-deciduous forest – characterized by tall trees, with evergreen undergrowth and abundant economic trees. Great examples include Kyenkyen, Dahoma, Kusia, Sapale, Odum and other valuable timber species for furniture and construction. Goaso has five forest reserves, covering a wide expanse of land mass – Abonyere, Bonsambepo, Ayum and Bonkoni reserves.


GENOCIDE Rwanda Rises from the Ashes

PRESIDENT Paul Kagame and his wife stepped forward, laid wreaths and lit a flame at the mass burial ground of 250,000 victims at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, signaling the beginning of the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the genocide that ravaged the country in 1994, leaving close to a million people dead in its wake.


peaking at the event, Kagame told the world that 25 years after the start of its genocide, Rwanda was rebuilding with hope and shines with a new light, adding that Rwandans would never turn against each other again. "Our bodies and minds bear amputations and scars, but none of us is alone. We Rwandans have granted ourselves a new beginning. We exist in a state of per-

manent commemoration, every day, in all that we do ... Today, light radiates from this place," Kagame said at the ceremony attended by several heads of state. In attendance at the ceremony were world leaders from Chad, the Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Niger, Belgium, Canada, Ethiopia, the African Union, and the European Union, among others. And one after the other, they made moving speeches: "I am moved beyond words at this memorial to tragedy," said Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission. Time can never erase the darkest hours in our history. It is our duty to remember." Songs, poems and plays about the rebirth of Rwanda after the genocide were later performed at the Kigali convention centre. Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said, "The duty of remembrance must be a sacred requirement." Belgian peacekeepers were among those killed in Rwanda during the genocide. The Ethiopia's prime minister exMay, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA



pressed solidarity with Rwandans and said under Kagame's leadership, seeds of unity and never again had been sowed. Then followed a procession through the capital to Kigali's National Stadium where are many as 30,000 participated in an evening candlelight ceremony. "Twenty-five years ago, Rwanda fell into a deep ditch due to bad leadership. Today, we are a country of hope and a nation elevated," Agnes Mutamba, 25, a teacher who was born during the genocide said in Kigali. "Today, the government has united all Rwandans as one people with the same culture and history and is speeding up economic transformation," said Oliver Nduhungihere, Rwanda's state foreign affairs minister. The mass killing of Rwanda's Tutsi minority was ignited on April 6 1994, when a plane carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana was shot down and crashed in Kigali, killing the leader who, like the majority of Rwandans, was an ethnic Hutu.


The mass killing of Rwanda's Tutsi minority was ignited on April 6 1994, when a plane carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana was shot down and crashed in Kigali, killing the leader The Tutsi minority was blamed for downing the plane and the bands of Hutu extremists began slaughtering the Tutsi, with support from the army, police, and militias. Kagame's government had previously accused Hutu-led government of 1994 of being responsible for shooting down the plane and has

blamed the French government for turning a blind eye to the genocide. Sometime this year, the French President, Emmanuel Macron ordered a government study into the country's role in Rwanda before and during its 1994 genocide. Macron ordered a commission of researchers and historians to investigate the "role and involvement of France" in Rwanda from 1990-1994. It is to make conclusions within two years. Kagame has, however, won praise for ending that violence and making advances in economic development and health care. Ethnic reconciliation is a cornerstone of the rule of Kagame, Rwanda's de facto leader since the genocide ended in 1994 and the country's president since 2000. He is credited with bringing Rwanda stability, economic growth, and improved health and education. Meanwhile, a quarter-century after the genocide, bodies of victims are still being found. Last year, authorities in Rwanda discovered mass


graves they said contain 5,400 bodies of genocide victims. HOW THE GENOCIDE BEGAN In just 100 days in 1994, about 800,000 people were slaughtered in Rwanda by ethnic Hutu extremists. They were targeting members of the minority Tutsi community, as well as their political opponents, irrespective of their ethnic origin. About 85 per cent of Rwandans are Hutus but the Tutsi minority has long dominated the country. In 1959, the Hutus overthrew the Tutsi monarchy and tens of thousands of Tutsis fled to neighbouring countries, including Uganda. A group of Tutsi exiles formed a rebel group, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), which invaded Rwanda in 1990 and fighting continued until a 1993 peace deal was agreed. On the night of April 6, 1994 a plane carrying then-President Juvenal Habyarimana, and his counterpart Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi - both Hutus - was shot down, killing everyone on board. May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA



Hutu extremists blamed the RPF and immediately started a well-organised campaign of slaughter. The RPF said the plane had been shot down by Hutus to provide an excuse for the genocide. Whoever was responsible, within hours a campaign of violence spread from the capital throughout the country, and did not subside until three months later. But the death of the president was by no means the only cause of Africa's largest genocide in modern times. HISTORY OF VIOLENCE Ethnic tension in Rwanda is nothing new. There have always been disagreements between the majority Hutus and minority Tutsis, but the animosity between them grew substantially since the colonial period. The two ethnic groups are actually very similar - they speak the same language, inhabit the same areas and follow the same traditions. However, Tutsis are often taller and


thinner than Hutus, with some saying their origins lie in Ethiopia. During the genocide, the bodies of Tutsis were thrown into rivers, with their killers saying they were being sent back to Ethiopia. When the Belgian colonists arrived in 1916, they produced identity cards classifying people according to their ethnicity. The Belgians considered the Tutsis to be superior to the Hutus. Not surprisingly, the Tutsis welcomed this idea, and for the next 20 years they enjoyed better jobs and educational opportunities than their neighbours. Resentment among the Hutus gradually built up, culminating in a series of riots in 1959. More than 20,000 Tutsis were killed, and many more fled to the neighbouring countries of Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda. When Belgium relinquished power and granted Rwanda independence in 1962, the Hutus took their place. Over subsequent decades, the Tutsis

were portrayed as the scapegoats for every crisis. BUILD UP TO GENOCIDE This was still the case in the years before the genocide. The economic situation worsened and the incumbent president, Juvenal Habyarimana, began losing popularity. At the same time, Tutsi refugees in Uganda - supported by some moderate Hutus - were forming the RPF, led by Kagame. Their aim was to overthrow Habyarimana and secure their right to return to their homeland. Habyarimana chose to exploit this threat as a way to bring dissident Hutus back to his side, and Tutsis inside Rwanda were accused of being RPF collaborators. In August 1993, after several attacks and months of negotiation, a peace accord was signed between Habyarimana and the RPF, but it did little to stop the continued unrest. When Habyarimana's plane was shot down at the beginning of April


1994, it was the final nail in the coffin. Exactly who killed the president - and with him the president of Burundi and many chief members of staff - has not been established. Whoever was behind the killing its effect was both instantaneous and catastrophic. THE EXECUTION In Kigali, the presidential guard immediately initiated a campaign of retribution. Leaders of the political opposition were murdered, and almost immediately, the slaughter of Tutsis and moderate Hutus began. Within hours, recruits were dispatched all over the country to carry out a wave of slaughter. The early organisers included military officials, politicians and businessmen, but soon many others joined in the mayhem. Organised gangs of government soldiers and militias hacked their way through the Tutsi population

with machetes, or blew them up in churches where they had taken refuge. The extremist ethnic Hutu regime in office in 1994 appeared genuinely to believe that the only way it could hang on to power was by wiping out the ethnic Tutsis completely. Encouraged by the presidential

guard and radio propaganda, an unofficial militia group called the Interahamwe (meaning those who attack together) was mobilised. At its peak, this group was 30,000-strong. With meticulous organization, lists of government opponents were handed out to militias who went and killed them, along with all of their May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA



families. Neighbours killed neighbours and some husbands even killed their Tutsi wives, saying they would be killed if they refused. At the time, ID cards had people's ethnic group on them, so militias set up roadblocks where Tutsis were slaughtered, often with machetes, which most Rwandans kept around the house. Rwanda has always been a tightly controlled society, organised like a pyramid from each district up to the top of government. The then-governing party, MRND, had a youth wing called the Interahamwe, which was turned into a militia to carry out the slaughter. Weapons and hit lists were handed out to local groups, who knew exactly where to find their targets. The Hutu extremists set up a radio station, RTLM, and newspapers which circulated hate propaganda, urging people to "weed out the cockroaches" meaning kill the Tutsis. The names of prominent people to be killed were read out on radio. Even priests and nuns have been


convicted of killing people, including some who sought shelter in churches. Why the genocide was not stopped The UN and Belgium had forces in Rwanda but the UN mission was not given a mandate to stop the killing. A year after US troops were killed in Somalia, the US was determined not to get involved in another African conflict. The Belgians and most UN peacekeepers pulled out after 10 Belgian soldiers were killed. The French, who were allies of the Hutu government, sent a special force to evacuate their citizens and later set up a supposedly safe zone but were accused of not doing enough to stop the slaughter in that area. President Kagame has accused France of backing those who carried out the massacres - a charge denied by Paris. THE END The well-organised RPF, backed by Uganda's army, gradually seized more territory, until July 4, 1994, when its forces marched into the capital, Kigali.

Some two million Hutus - both civilians and some of those involved in the genocide - then fled across the border into the Democratic Republic of Congo, at the time called Zaire, fearing revenge attacks. Others went to neighbouring Tanzania and Burundi. Human rights groups say RPF fighters killed thousands of Hutu civilians as they took power - and more after they went into DR Congo to pursue the Interahamwe. The RPF denies this. Meanwhile, in DR Congo, the RPF, now in power in Rwanda, embraced militias fighting both the Hutu militias and the Congolese army, which was aligned with the Hutus. The Rwanda-backed rebel groups eventually marched on DR Congo's capital, Kinshasa, and overthrew the government of Mobutu Sese Seko, installing Laurent Kabila as president. An estimated five million people died as a result of the conflict, which lasted until 2003, with some armed groups active until now in the areas


near Rwanda's border. SEARCH FOR JUSTICE The International Criminal Court was set up in 2002 long after the genocide, so it could not put on trial those responsible. Instead, the UN Security Council established the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in the Tanzanian town of Arusha to prosecute the ringleaders. A total of 93 people were indicted and after lengthy and expensive trials, dozens of senior officials in the former regime were convicted of genocide - all of them Hutus. Within Rwanda, community courts, known as gacaca, were created to speed up the prosecution of hundreds of thousands of genocide suspects awaiting trial. Reports say up to 10,000 people died in prison before they could be brought to justice. For a decade until 2012, 12,000 gacaca courts met once a week in villages across the country, often outdoors in a marketplace or under a tree, try-

ing more than 1.2 million cases. Their aim was to achieve truth, justice and reconciliation among Rwandans as "gacaca" means to sit down and discuss an issue. RWANDA TODAY President Kagame has been hailed for transforming the tiny, devastated country he took over through policies, which encouraged rapid economic growth. He has also tried to turn Rwanda into a technological hub and is very active on Twitter. But his critics say he does not tolerate dissent and several opponents have met unexplained deaths, both in the country and abroad. The genocide is obviously still a hugely sensitive issue in Rwanda, and it is illegal to talk about ethnicity. The government says this is to prevent hate speech and more bloodshed but some say it prevents true reconciliation. Charges of stirring up ethnic hatred have been leveled against some of Kagame’s critics, which they say is a way of sidelining them.

President Kagame has been hailed for transforming the tiny, devastated country he took over through policies, which encouraged rapid economic growth. He has also tried to turn Rwanda into a technological hub and is very active on Twitter




Boeing 737 Max turns a corner after Ethiopian Accident By Collins Hinamundi


n a video posted online and a statement made available to CherryAfrica, Mr. Dennis A. Muilenburg, The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Boeing Company apologized to the families of the victims who lost their lives in the Lion Air Flight 610 and the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accidents. In his apology, Mr. Muilenburg also promised that his company would put in the hours


to earn people’s trust again. “Together as a One Boeing team, we’ll work to earn and re-earn people’s trust and create a stronger company and industry for generations to come’’ He said. The apology came 6 months after the Lion Air Crash in Indonesia, and 2 months since the Ethiopian Airlines Crash. An investigation blamed the Ethiopian accident on the 737 Max’s faulty Angle of Attack sensors. But Mr. Muilenburg, the Boeing Company CEO, in the same statement, rejected this investigation, insisting the Angle of Attack sensors were part of a chain of events that led to the accidents and told the press the company takes safety seriously. “We don’t make safety features optional,” Mr. Muilenburg, said at the company’s annual meeting. “Every one of our aeroplanes includes all of the safety features necessary for safe flight.” “In this case again, as in most accidents, there is a chain of events that occurred. It is not correct to attribute that to any single item,” Mr. Muilenburg adds. And amidst accusations that the company emphasized profits over


safety, Mr. Muilenburg also emphasized that the safety of the people who work at Boeing has always been a priority. “Internally, we've reduced workplace injuries by roughly 40 percent while production has increased by 25 percent through 2018 since launching our company-wide safety initiative in 2013.” He says. After the Ethiopian accident, Airlines around the world responded by grounding their own fleets, while Aviation regulators including China and the EU responded by Banning the 737 Max from their Airspace. In response to Airlines around the world grounding the world’s fastest-selling Aero plane, Boeing and its engineers went to work. According to Mr. Muilenburg, Boeing worked with the US Federal Aviation Administration to ensure such accidents never happens again. ‘’From the days immediately following the Lion Air accident, our top engineers and technical experts have been working tirelessly in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration and our

customers to finalize and implement a software update that will ensure accidents like these never happen again’’ He said. The update according to Mr. Muilenburg, will prevent erroneous angle of attack sensor readings from triggering the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, something that initial investigation reports indicate occurred in both MAX accidents, as one link in a longer chain of events. ‘We know we can break this link in the chain. It’s our responsibility to eliminate this risk.’ He adds. Boeing has also been testing its software update internally and with some of the Airlines that had already acquired the 737 Max. ‘Overall, our talented test pilots have made 146 737 MAX flights totaling roughly 246 hours of air time with the updated software, and nearly 90 percent of our 50-plus MAX operators around the globe have experienced that software update themselves during one of our simulator sessions’’ He says. According to Boeing, when the certified software update implemented,

the 737 MAX will be one of the safest aero planes ever to fly. The Acting head of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Mr. Daniel Elwell said the FAA expects to receive a Boeing software update and pilot training plan to fix the problem "in the next week or so." The FAA has also scheduled a May 23 meeting with its worldwide counterparts. Experts have been worried that the two accidents that dented the company’s record as the Gold standard in Aviation safety may have everlasting damage considering the fact that almost 80% of the Airlines that fly or ordered the Boeing 737 Max are outside the United States of America. The trust has also fallen for the US Federal Aviation Administration with a Department of Transport Inspector General Mr. Calvin Scovel telling a Senate hearing that "Clearly confidence in the FAA as the gold standard in aviation safety has been shaken, “But the company may have got itself another chance with its response to the two accidents, spending May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA


BOEING over 1 billion dollars, to ensure that such accidents never happen again. Airlines were listening. Ethiopian Airlines’ CEO Mr. Tewolde Gebremariam recently told America’s NBC Network that he still has confidence in Boeing, and pointed to his company’s 60-year-old relationship with the Aeroplane Manufacturer. "We still have very strong confidence in Boeing, but we want them to do the right thing without rushing to make sure this aeroplane is safe and clear confidence in all of us before it returns back to air." He added. The company currently has pending orders for 63 more airplanes from Boeing, 29 of which are Boeing 737 Max 8s. In Nigeria, Air Peace which had last year ordered 10 Boeing 737 Max for its operations has maintained its order, with the Chairman and CEO of the Airline, Mr. Allen Onyema told the Punch Nigeria website, that none of the airlines that had ordered the aircraft had cancelled their orders but rather, they were all waiting for the investigation and action that would be taken by Boeing. He, however, added that like many other countries, Nigeria had banned the aircraft in its airspace. Mr. Onyema said, “Air Peace does not have the aircraft in its fleet, so I wonder why Nigerians are attacking the airline, while nobody had attacked the carriers that have the aircraft and are operating the equipment before the accidents.” He stated that the aircraft were scheduled to arrive in Nigeria in 2023. In Kenya, the Kenya Airways CEO Mr says they will move forward with the decision to purchase of 10 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in a move to bolster its operations and cut costs. Other African Airlines that have orders for Boeing 737 Max 8 include; • South Africa’s Comair, which operates a British Airways franchise and a low-cost carrier service, and has a pending order for 8 Aircraft. • Morocco’s Royal Air Maroc which has a pending order for 4 Air Craft. • Mauritania Airlines, which was the first in Africa to receive the Max 8 model of the 737, in 201. Boeing is still working on confidence building with her clients, and

22 January, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA

2,900,737 aeroplanes on average are in the air with nearly half a million people on board at any given time

with an eye on these clients, Mr. Muilenburg reminded the public in his news release, about the importance Boeing attaches to safety. ‘There is nothing more important to us than the safety of our airline customers and their passengers. Every day, 5.3 million people fly safely on Boeing aeroplanes,’ he also added that ‘more than 2,900 737 aeroplanes on average are in the air with nearly half a million people on board at any given time, and one 737 takes off or lands around the world every oneand-a-half seconds’. As part of its confidence building, Boeing has also taken steps to invest in Pilot training, and according to Mr. Muilenburg, the industry will need 790,000 new civil aviation pilots and 754,000 new maintenance technicians to fly and maintain the world fleet safely over the next 20 years. “Meeting this significant demand requires ongoing cross-industry collaboration among operators, equipment manufacturers, governments and educators” He says. “Boeing has an important role to play in advancing training efforts that

support safe operations, and we’re committed to going above and beyond,” he adds. To ensure that this happens, Mr Muilenburg announcedment a 3 million dollar grant to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to help students learn with greater efficiency and perform more effectively once on the job. “This is just the beginning,” he says. ABOUT THE 737 MAX The Boeing 737 Max is the latest version of Boeing’s 737 Aeroplane, a plane that has been flying since the 60s. There are four kinds of Maxes in the fleet, numbered 7, 8, 9 and 10. The 8 series, which was involved in the crash in Indonesia, has been flying the longest; the first one entered service in May of 2017. Max 9s are also now flying passengers, but the 7s and 10s are still in development phases. There are over 5000 orders for the single-aisle workhorse plane. It is mostly used for short- and medium-distance flights, this is because it is more fuel efficient and has a longer range than earlier versions of the 737. The Other thing that makes the 737 Max popular, is the fact that pilots who have been flying Boeing’s 737 Aeroplanes do not need to train for long in order to transition to the 737. This is the perfect Aircraft for African countries that are working on reviving their National Airlines, and because of the Nature of African Airspace where 54 countries; most of which are an average of 2 to 8 hours apart, need agreements in order to fly over eachothers’ Airsspace, the workhorse plane will play a key role in the operations of any Airline that wants to be around when the African Union’s open skies policy is finally operationalised.





Buhari’s strides in N'Delta


ince President Muhammadu Buhari came to power on May 29, 2015, it has been an era dedicated to the improvement of the welfare of the people of the oil-bearing Niger Delta. With nimble steps, using foot soldiers such as the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Niger Delta Usani Uguru Usani, Nsima Ekere, former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dakuku Peterside, Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Senator Victor Ndoma Egba, former chairman of the Commission, and Nelson Brambaifa, a professor and Acting Chairman of the Commission, he has embarked on delivering quick-win projects as spring-board. The development has seen the team play significant roles through the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in the construction of blocks of six classrooms in the nine States and Health Centres in four states (Cross-River, Delta, Ondo and Rivers States) as conceptualised by the ministry’s Department of Housing and Urban Development in pursuance of its statutory mandate to develop and improve the lives of the people of the Niger Delta Region through provision of infrastructure. The scope of works for the construction of Block of Classrooms included six (6) classrooms Principal/Head Teacher’s Office Staff room, stores, conveniences ‘for Staff and Students, a generating set and drilling of borehole and surface/overhead water storage. The scope of construction of Health Centres also includes one block health centre building, gatehouse and perimeter fence, generator house, generating set, drilling of borehole and surface/ overhead water storage. Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is also helping in reviving the communities with the completion of life-changing projects.


Through the Commission’s 4R initiative defined by restructuring the balance sheet, reforming the governance protocols, restoring the core mandate, and reaffirming commitment to doing what is right and proper, there has been a sea change in performance and projects delivery. The Federal Government has not lost any steam in its implementation of programmes and projects aimed to give authentic sense of belonging to the people of the region. Just recently, the take-off of the Maritime University in Delta State, Ogoni Clean-up, and approval of modular refineries were named as some of its achievements in Niger Delta, adding that the continuation of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), and investments in infrastructure and others, were in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision in Niger Delta. The government further buttressed this with the explanation that Buhari’s Niger Delta New Vision (NDNV) was designed to develop a prosperous Niger Delta through partnerships with states, the private sector and local communities. Mr. Arukaino Umukoro, Special assistant to the President (Communication Projects/Niger Delta), Office of the Vice-President, said in a statement that the projects underscored the government’s renewed zeal to correct wrongs of the past in the oil-producing region. His word: “President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had approved an increase in the takeoff grant for the Maritime University from the N2 billion earlier announced to N5 billion.” According to the statement, training of Ogoni graduates in Environmental Sciences to develop capacity for the clean-up, and the demonstration of technologies in some oil-impacted areas in Ogoniland – Bodo, K-Dere, B-Dere, Korokoro, Kwawa, Nsisioken were among the projects. These only constitute some of the numerous achievements of the team that have positively touched lives and endeared their principal to the hearts of the people of the region.


Turning transport sector into growth engine for economy STRATEGIC TRANSFORMATION OF NIGERIA’S TRANSPORT SPACE

Prior to President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the country suffered massive infrastructure deficit and the economy was the worse for it. Of course, the transport sector, for a long spell, had not received the needed attention in terms of investment and development.


rom road, rail, air to water transport sub-sectors, available infrastructure were decrepit and in need of overhaul. In some cases, there was outright need for new facilities. For instance, from about 36,000km of road belonging to the Federal government, over 70 per cent were in bad condition. Railways were almost non-existent; and where they existed, they were under-functioning and in need of upgrade. Airports were shadows of what obtained in saner climes. The maritime sector had no good tales to be told. The transport sector, which should be the fulcrum of the economy, was simply in comatose. It was in this near-death state of the transport sector that President Buhari took over. And with Rt. Honorable Rotimi Amaechi as the arrowhead of the president’s intervention in the sector, the Ministry of Transportation has brought a new lease of life to the sector with massive investment and turn-around in virtually all areas and across all regions of the country. With huge investment, today, the rail tracks are

working again and getting busier while new railways are being built. More than ever before, major roads have been upgraded while work is on-going on several new roads across the country. A number of airports have been upgraded to meet international standard. And the maritime sub-sector is not left out of the change that has swept through the transport landscape. In doing all these, more efficient, convenient and safe modes of transportation are being created, decongesting the roads in the process while also creating hundreds of thousands of employment in the sector. RAIL SUB SECTOR Abuja (Idu)- Kaduna (Addendum 1 of the Lagos-Kano Rail Modernisation Project) The project, which has attained substantial completion, began commercial operation after successful flag-off by President Buhari on July 26, 2016. It marked the country’s entry into the era of modern railway operation and came with numerous advantages and opportunities for both the government and people in general. The project’s percentage of completion as at June 2018 was 92.18 per cent. Lagos to Ibadan with extension to Apapa Port in Lagos (Addendum 2 of the Lagos –Kano Rail Modernisation Project) The groundbreaking was done by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo on March 7, 2017, and construction commenced on May 5, 2017. The scope of the contract includes survey, design, procurement, manufacture, construction, installation, testing, training, pre-operation and maintenance of: • 156.65Km Standard Gauge Double Track from Lagos to Ibadan and 6.5Km Standard Gauge Single Track from Ebute –Meta to Apapa Port Complex and 16.4km station lines including extension of 2.24km from Apapa bay to Lagos Port Complex at Apapa. • 10 Railway Stations at Apapa, Ebute Meta, Agege, Agbado, Kajola, Papalanto, Abeokuta, Omi- Adio, Olodo and Ibadan. • Railway bridges and road bridges in accordance to design • Power supply, communication and signaling May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA


SPECIAL REPORT • Locomotive and Rolling Stock Workshop and Protective Works. ITAKPE-AJAOKUTA-ORE RAIL LINE PROJECT This rail line, which was started and abandoned long ago by previous administrations, has been resuscitated and fully funded by the Buhari administration. FEASIBILITY STUDIES To encourage participation of the private sector in the financing of the projects, construction, development, operations and maintenance of railway infrastructure through concession or contractual arrangement with the government, the ministry embarked on feasibility studies to ascertain the viability and cost benefit of some selected railway routes. The projects have reached final stage of completion with the submission of draft final report. The projects status is as follows: LIST OF COMPLETED AND ONGOING FEASIBILITY STUDIES BEING EXECUTED 1. Benin–Agbor–Onitsha–Nnewi–Owerri–Aba with an additional line from Onitsha–Enugu–Abakaliki (500 Km) 2. Lagos–Shagamu–Ijebu – Ode – Ore – Benin City (300 Km) 3. Zaria–Funtua–Gusau–Kaura Namoda–Sokoto– Illela–Birnin Koni (520Km) 4. (High Speed): Lagos–Ibadan–Osogbo–Baro– Abuja (615 Km) 5. Eganyi (Near Ajaokuta) –Jakura–Baro–Abuja with additional line from Ajaokuta–Otukpo (533km) 6. Coastal Rail Line Route Benin City–Sapele–Warri–Yenagoa–Port Harcourt–Aba–Uyo–Calabar– Akamkpa–Ikom– Obudu Cattle Ranch (673km) 7. Eganyi (Near Ajaokuta)–Lokoja–Abaji–Abuja (Idu) 280km 8 Ilela-Sokoto–Jega–Yauri–Makera (408km Approx) 9. Kano–Dayi–Kastina–Jibiya (354km Approx.) 10 Aba–Ikot Ikpene–Ibiono–Itu (Spur Uyo) Odukpani–Calabar (340km Approx.) 11. Calabar–Ikom–Obudu–Ogoja–Wukari–Yola– Maiduguri (1,069Km) 12. Kano – Nguru – Gashua – Damaturu – Ngala (707Km) 13.Port Harcourt – Aba – Umuahia – Enugu – Makurdi – Lafia – Kuru – Bauchi – Gombe – Biu – Maiduguri (1,522Km) PRIORITY PROJECTS IN THE RAIL TRANSPORT SECTOR The President has approved the following projects for fund sourcing and immediate execution. They are: 1. Port Harcourt - Maiduguri with all associated branch lines - Branch to Yola and Damaturu (1,408Km).


2. Kano Dambatta - Kazaure- Kastina -Jimbiya-Maradi (248Km). 3. Bonny Deep Sea port 4. Port Harcourt Railway Industrial Park. 5. Costal Rail line and Associated Branch Line. Lagos – Shagamu – Ijebu – Ode – Ore – Benin City-Benin –Agbor –Onitsha – Nnewi – Owerri – Aba with additional line from Onitsha – Enugu – Abakaliki, Benin City – Sapele – Warri – Yenagoa – Port Harcourt – Aba – Uyo – Calabar – Akampa – Ikom – Obudu Cattle Ranch (1,473Km). 6. Lagos -Kano and Associated branch Lines. Ibadan - Ilorin- Minna- Abuja, Kaduna-Kano (960Km). AVIATION SUB-SECTOR Implementation of Public Private Partnership projects in the aviation sector roadmap The implementation of the Aviation Sector Roadmap is in advanced stage. The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission has issued Certificates of Compliance for the Outline Business Cases in re-


spect of the National Carrier, Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Centre as well as an Aviation Leasing Company. The projects are in the procurement phase where strategic investment partners are being sourced. In respect of the National Carrier, the logo, name and livery of the Airline, ‘Nigeria Air’ were unveiled on July 18, 2018 at the Farnborough Air show held in Hampshire, United Kingdom. The Federal Executive Council has, however, put further activities on hold. Meanwhile, the preparation of the Outline Business Cases for the Concession of four international Airports (Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt), Agro Cargo Terminals and Aerotropolis are in advanced stages AVIATION SAFETY AND SECURITY a. Airport certification: The Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA) Ikeja, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, (NAIA) Abuja have been certified in line with the guide-

lines and procedures stipulated by ICAO, while the certification processes in the other international airports are ongoing b. Strengthening of aviation oversight activities: The ministry has continued to implement and strengthen its oversight activities and setting standards in the areas of flight operations and training in the Nigerian Air Transport Industry c. Review of civil aviation regulations: The Nigeria Civil Aviation regulations was reviewed and gazetted on December 14, 2015 but officially took effect from July 1, 2016. d. State safety programmes: Nigeria aviation sector attained Level 3 out of 4 levels in State Safety Programmes, thereby moving Nigeria from red to green on the ICAO Dashboard e. ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP): Nigeria passed the ICAO Security Audit undertaken by ICAO in June 2015 with a score of 96.45 per cent. As a follow-up, in November 2015, the country passed ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit with a May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA


SPECIAL REPORT DVOR/DME, ILS/DME were replaced in Kano, Lagos, Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Jos, Minna and Maiduguri to improve operations, especially during the hours of darkness and inclement weather score of 67.36 per cent, which is above the global average of 63.54 per cent f. Reconstruction of Abuja runway: The runway, taxiway and apron at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja were reconstructed, including complete remarking of the entire pavement and installation of associated airfield lighting system g. Installation of solar airfield lighting: solar Airfield lighting fittings were installed at 10 airports – Akure, Port Harcourt, Sokoto, Yola, Kaduna, Minna, Enugu, Maiduguri, Jos and Ibadan h. Construction of Control Towers: Construction of control towers with technical buildings were completed at Ilorin, Kaduna, Maiduguri, Akure, Ibadan, Enugu and Benin airports. i. Rehabilitation of apron and marking of the entire pavement at MMA: The apron and the entire pavement at MMA were rehabilitated and remarked to improve safety and conform to internationally acceptable standard. j. Security infrastructure renewal: Global increase in terrorism and terrorist activities underscored the need to holistically upgrade security infrastructure in the aviation sector. Therefore, various projects were embarked upon to enhance the security and safety of


airport users and facilities. Some of the recently-installed equipment and facilities include cargo screening machines, body and carry-on baggage scanners, fire tenders, bomb detectors/containment vessels, CCTV, construction of perimeter and operational fencing, operational and access roads k. Air Navigation Systems and Infrastructure: To improve air navigation, the Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC/ADS-C) was deployed in Lagos and Kano Area Control Centres in August 2015. Generally, the airports in the country have extensive deployment and upgrade of navigational aids while DVOR/DME, ILS/DME were replaced in Kano, Lagos, Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Jos, Minna and Maiduguri to improve operations, especially during the hours of darkness and inclement weather. The automated Air Traffic Management systems and automated meteorological systems were also installed and deployed for full operations in Kano on July 27, 2015. l. Calibration of Navigational Facilities at Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Bauchi, Minna, Maiduguri, Jos, Calabar, Benin, Ibadan Kaduna Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Port Harcourt and Enugu Airports in line with safety requirements and best practices. It was aimed at ensuring the highest level of accuracy and reliability for navigational equipment as well improve accessibility and safety even under severe weather conditions m. Automatic Dependent Surveillance Systems with capacity for long-range

surveillance and air–ground data communication covering the entire Nigerian airspace and beyond that would back up the TRACON Radar system have been completed at Lagos and Kano. The project enhances safety through accurate and efficient communication between ATC and flight crew. It has capacity for playback and replay of recorded ADS-C and CPDLC data. The project has eliminated air–ground communication blind spots within the country’s airspace and provided effective coverage over the oceanic airspace. n. Completion of Kano Safe Tower: The Kano Safe Tower automated Air Traffic Management and Metrological systems were completed in 2015 to cap the transformation of the Visual Control Rooms in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt. o. Installation of VHF Radios: The installation of 10-Watts Digital Very High Frequency Radios for Aerodrome and approach air-ground communication has been completed in 21 Airports nationwide. p. Establishment of Surface Movement and Ground Control at Lagos and Abuja: The ministry established Surface Movement and Ground Control services at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja in 2015 with the deployment of a mobile control tower to supplement the field of vision of the fixed aerodrome control tower. q. Certification of professional licenses undertaken to ensure that all professional license holders in the country had valid and up-to-date license in

SPECIAL REPORT Nigeria currently has Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASAs) with 89 countries

compliance with regulatory standards. r. Improvement in Weather and Climate Services Delivery: NiMet successfully went through the Quality Management Systems (QMS) Audit and retained its ISO 9001:2008 certifications for the Aeronautical Meteorological Services provided to airlines. The recertification boosted the confidence of all airlines (domestic and international) in the Nigerian airspace. s. Weather-related safety infrastructure: The ministry acquired modern equipment for effective management of weather services to ensure safety and prevent weather-related accidents and incidents across the nation. t. E-clearance system: An e-clearance system to facilitate technical operation and administrative processing of flight plans, NOTAMs and Aircraft Over flight and landing permits, for non-scheduled aircraft operators was introduced. This system provides a network for effective collaboration between relevant military and civil stakeholders such as diplomatic missions and security agencies u. Publication of performance-based navigation approaches/routes: In line with the ministry’s vision of transiting from ground-based navigation systems to satellite-based, it developed and published Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) Approach Procedures for 18 domestic airports. Six new PBN Regional Routes were also published in collaboration with ICAO Regional Office in October 2015. The routes are: - From Lagos direct to Guinea Conakry (UT 467) - From Nairobi direct to Abuja (UT 475)

- From Garoua (Cameroon) direct to Niamey (Niger) through Kano (UT 459) - From Abuja direct to Tamarranset (Algeria) (UT 416) - From OXILO (Cameroon) direct to Lagos (UT 457) - From Bangui (Central African Republic) direct to Tamale (Ghana) (UT458) through Nigerian airspace v. Construction of Accident Rescue Centre: Accident Rescue Centres were constructed in Abuja and Lagos Airports as part of efforts to create safe and reliable air transportation in Nigeria in line with internationally acceptable standards. w. Air Accident Investigation: The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) had released 10 Final Reports of Air Accidents, published the first Safety Bulletin in AIB’s history and a total of 39 Safety Recommendations issued. The AIB Nigeria mobile app was also launched in November 2017, to ease reporting of air accidents and serious incidents, and to enhance access by the public. x. Wreckage Hangar: Erection of the wreckage hangar and equipping of the mini- material laboratory, which will be used for metallurgical testing of aircraft parts involved in accident investigation. This is an ongoing project. y. Multi-story Car Park: A1300 multi-story car park was completed and commissioned at the International Terminal MMA through Public Private Partnership. CAPACITY AND MANPOWER DEVELOPMENT a. Authorised Training Centre (ATC):

The Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) became an International Air Transport Association (IATA) Authorised Training Centre (ATC) and earned the awards from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on May 11, 2016 and April 12, 2017. b. Upgrading of courses: NCAT obtained the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) full accreditation for Higher National Diploma (HND) in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Technology (Avionics), interim accreditation for HND in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Technology (Airframe/Power plant) and National Diploma (ND) in Electrical/Electronic Engineering. c. ICAO Trainair Plus Status: NCAT Zaria has been accredited as an ICAO TRAINAIR Plus Institution and is currently processing for ICAO Regional Training Centre of Excellence Certification. GROWING DOMESTIC AVIATION IN NIGERIA i. Import duties waiver: The ministry in collaboration with relevant MDAs took steps towards rapid growth in the industry by introducing import duties waiver on aircraft engine and spares ii. Construction of five new international airport terminals and four cargo terminals: Five new international terminals at Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu airports are at various completion stages. The projects, except the Enugu Terminal building, are being funded through the China-EXIM bank loan of $500m and a counterpart fund facility of US$100m sourced from the Debt Management Office. iii. Bilateral Air Service Agreement May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA


S fl i w Th m s i c m a

1 d o C o i m t



(BASA): Nigeria currently has Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASAs) with 89 countries. The BASAs have been reviewed to bring them up to date on current issues and create opportunities for domestic carriers to fly international routes. Most of the BASAs were sealed during the days of Nigeria Airways. Currently, Nigerian domestic airlines have been designated on over 190 International Routes with only Arik, Aero Contractors, Medview Airlines operating about 10 routes, mostly to West African countries iv. IATA certification: The ministry, through its relevant Agency, guided domestic airlines in the country to attain certification in IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). v. ICAO USOAP Audit Result: The March 2016 ICAO USOAP CMA results for AIB were commended to be an improvement of the last audit of February 2007. The 2016 preliminary audit results showed that the Bureau got 82.41 per cent as against 77.08 per cent it got in 2007. MARITIME SUB-SECTOR NIGERIAN PORTS AUTHORITY • Rehabilitation and expansion of NPA Headquarters in 2016. • Rehabilitation of rail networks in Port Harcourt began in 2017. • Supply and installation of Marine Fenders in Zones 1, 2 & 3 of the Nigerian Ports (All Ports) in 2016 • Expansion and rehabilitation of Tin Can Island Port Service lane in 2016. • Development of Port Facilities at Bull-


Nigerian flagged vessels registration has enjoyed significant growth, from 262 vessels with a total tonnage of over 232,000 metric tons in 2015, to almost double in 2016 at 370 vessels with a total tonnage of almost 420,000 metric tons nose, Lagos Port Complex, Apapa in 2016. • Phase 4B Port Facilities Development at Onne Port Complex • Increased internally generated revenue. • Port infrastructure improvement in some areas such as: - Rehabilitation of Tin Can Island Port Quay Wall & Apron. - Ongoing construction of Apapa-Wharf Road. - Subsisting MOU with Messrs Dangote for construction of Apapa-Oshodi transport corridor. - Rehabilitation of Wharf 3 Jetty, Apapa. - Rehabilitation of road network and

water supply in Port Harcourt Port. - Fencing of Warri Port. - Feasibility study and design for Escravos breakwaters prelude to dredging of the channel. - Provision of enabling environment for local assemblage of FPSO by Messrs SAMSUNG in LADOL facility, adjudged to be the first of its kind in Africa. - New Ventures/Greenfield Development (Lekki Deep Sea Port project, Ibom Deep Sea Port Project, Lagos Channel Management and Bonny Channel Management). NIGERIAN MARITIME ADMINISTRATION AND SAFETY AGENCY (NIMASA) To ensure safety, security as well as boost the economy through trade in the Maritime sector, President Buhari’s administration awarded contracts for integrated surveillance, protection and security of water, which is currently being implemented. This has increased the number of vessels calling into the ports and increase revenue to customs and the maritime industry. Some of the initiatives that have since taken foot in the sub-sector are Survey, Inspection & Certification Transformation Programme, Certificate of Competency Examinations (COC); Successful conduct of the International Maritime Organisation Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS); Environment, Security, Emergency Search & Rescue Transformation Initiatives; Maritime Security Infrastructure and strategy Projects, creation of the Regional Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Center (RMRCC); signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Armed Force; and the establishment of Search and Rescue Marshals in Coastal Areas of Nigeria.

NIMASA It was in line with this fact that the Food and Agricultural Organisation FAO, a special organ of the United Nations UN, in a recent report identified the blue economy as a major tool for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals SGDs


Championing Nigeria’s blue economic development Nigeria has huge maritime endowments, which needs to be developed with the right institutional and policy framework that will enable her utilize these resources to the benefit of her citizens, reports FRED FRANK.


or the first time in Nigeria’s maritime history, adequate attention is being given to the need to develop both institutional and policy framework that would facilitate the development and harness the country’s rich but largely untapped blue economic potential.

The blue economy, also known as marine economy, does not exist in land locked countries and it is used to describe maritime endowments among maritime nations such as vast coastlines, which promote water transportation, fisheries, aquatic life, oil and gas and other mineral deposits beneath the seabed. According to experts, this also covers agriculture, tourism and oceans energy, among several others. These experts believe however that the oceans and seas are central to the concept of blue economy and would therefore remain important tools for achieving sustainable development in any nation since it is widely believed that over 70 per cent of the world wealth are embedded in the belly of the seas. It was in line with this fact that the Food and Agricultural Organisation FAO, a special organ of the United Nations UN, in a recent report identified the blue economy as a major tool for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals SGDs. This is mainly because if these resources are fully tapped in an economically and environmentally suitable way, would contribute to human development and wellbeing. The current management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA led by its Director General/CEO, Dr. Dakuku Peterside had on assumption of duty about three years ago taken up the challenge of championing development of this May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA



Part of the committee’s mandate is to draw a roadmap and come up with strategies to develop and harness the nation’s rich blue economic potential strategic but neglected segment of the economy not only in Nigeria but also across the African continent. The DG strongly believes that fashioning out framework for fully developing and utilising the vast resources embedded in the nation’s vast seabed would greatly boost Federal Government’s efforts to create jobs and build wealth in the country. While addressing stakeholders at the last edition of the Africa Day of the Seas and Oceans ADSO, with the theme: Partnership, key to Sustainable Blue World, which held in Lagos, Dr. Peterside, had insisted that there was urgent need to develop and harness the abundant blue economic potential not only in Nigeria but also across Africa. The event was in tandem with the 2015 adoption of the Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy, also called AIMS 2050 by the 22nd Ordinary Session of Heads of States and Governments of the African Union AU. This is in recognition of the fact that Africa’s seas and oceans represent major assets to accelerate the development of the continent’s economies. Part of the objectives of the theme, it was gathered, was to raise awareness of the campaign for better waste management on land to aid the recovery of Nigeria’s seas and oceans, to popularise the strategic importance of National Maritime Strategy, to reopen the discourse


on the National Maritime Transport Policy for sustainable development and to understand the agency’s roles beyond annual celebrations and partnership strategies to ensure sustainable implementation of resolutions. Another objective includes developing a roadmap for building a sustainable interest and passion for the maritime industry in young Nigerians, among several others. As part of efforts to achieve these objectives, the agency set up a 13-man committee of stakeholders headed by the chairman, governing board of NIMASA, Major General Jonathan Garba rtd. Other members are drawn from the Federal Ministry of Transport, private operators, ship owners and legal practitioners, terminal operators, the armed forces, especially the Nigerian Navy and shipping companies. Part of the committee’s mandate is to draw a roadmap and come up with strategies to develop and harness the nation’s rich

blue economic potential. According to the DG, the attention being given to the development and harnessing of the blue economy by the agency is informed by the strong belief that the maritime domain if properly harnessed could provide a veritable tool that would put Nigeria’s economy on a fast track of growth and development. He also noted that it has become expedient for stakeholders in the maritime industry whether public or private sector to partner and synergise towards adequate protection and optimal exploitation of the nation’s rich maritime potential. a development that also informed the convening of the conference. This was the primary reason the agency did not invite only government agencies such as the Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigerian Ports Authority but also invited private sector operators because it needed


to feel the pulse of the entire industry. “As a regulatory agency, you have three options in effectively regulating the industry, which includes setting the rules and watch the stakeholders to regulate themselves, adopting the traditional compliance option, which is to punish deviants and offenders of the rules and regulations and the third is to synergise with the stakeholders, agree with them on the best way to punish deviants. We have chosen the last option and in doing this, we will ensure that the maritime space is safe and optimally exploited. “Our quest to ensure the development and optimum exploitation of Nigeria’s huge maritime potential, the question we always ask ourselves is how can we do it better, we should come up with better ways of doing things in shipping development, etc. so that we maximise the benefits of the nation’s blue economy. NIMASA has a Memorandum

Our quest to ensure the development and optimum exploitation of Nigeria’s huge maritime potential, the question we always ask ourselves is how can we do it better of Understanding with the Nigerian Navy, why do we still have piracy attacks? Did we in any way abdicate our responsibilities in terms of maritime security, among several other questions? So we need to be told the basic truth, not praises. “We do not have all the answers to these questions and that is the real essence and reason for this forum. We need to change the landscape of the Nigeria’s maritime domain so as to maximally tap the vast potential therein”, the DG also said. He therefore assured that the present

management under his watch would continue to partner the stakeholders in identifying the hindrances or mistakes that have before now forestalled optimal tapping of the nation’s maritime potential be it in the area of Coastal and Inland Shipping Cabotage Act enforcement or in terms of shipping development, port and flag state control regulatory functions of the agency. It was in recognition of the efforts of the agency in developing and harnessing the blue economic potential of not only Nigeria but also other coastal African nations that the Association of African Maritime Administrations AAMA last year decided to reelect Dr. Peterside as the chairman of the continental body for another term of two years. The DG was elected for the first time in April 2016, after successfully hosting the third annual conference of the association in Abuja in collaboration with the International Maritime Organisation IMO with the theme: “Sustainable use of Africa’s Oceans and Seas”. which the outgoing chairman of AAMA and then CEO of South African Maritime and Safety Agency SAMSA, Sobantu Tilayi, described as the best in the history of the association, having hosted the last conference. Peterside had on assumption as chairman of the association, pledged to spearhead the revival of Africa’s maritime industry by changing its current narrative for the economic benefit of the continent. This resolve follows the United Nations Conference on Trade and DeMay, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA



velopment UNCTAD 2016 review of maritime transport, which said that in the share of vessel ownership by country grouping, developing countries in Africa own only 1.23 per cent while their counterparts in Asia own 36.24 per cent. The report also indicated that out of the 35 top ship-owning countries in the world, which make up approximately 95 per cent of world ship tonnage, none is an African country even as other world maritime trade statistics show that African countries marginally represent only 0.9 per cent of shipbuilding yards and marine equipment industries, an indication that the continent is lagging behind both in terms of share of global shipping tonnage, shipbuilding and related equipment industries. The DG had consistently argued that the best way to change this ugly narrative is to develop and optimally harness the huge maritime potential in the continent beginning from Nigeria, since charity begins at home. It was in the light of this that the DG on assumption of office introduced reforms, especially within the apex maritime regulatory agency designed to enhance efficiency, reduce cost and by so doing increase shipping activities in the country To this effect, the management introduced a decentralisation policy under which it modified the operational framework of the agency by devolving more powers to the zones as against the centralisation of powers at the headquarters in Lagos, which does not make for speedy response to issues. This came after a careful study of the structure of the agency in relation to its core functions and mandates and the realisation that bulk of the maritime administration services happen within the zones. For instance, before the decentralisation policy, a Port Harcourt or Warri-based ship owner would need to travel to Lagos to do some documentations or certifications for his vessels. This is therefore a clear departure from the former practice whereby most operational activities of the agency such as issuance of Sailing Certificates, payment of bills by stakeholders were centralised and therefore coordinated completely from Lagos. This was no doubt cumbersome, thus leading to loss of valuable business time and therefore


It was also in line with this that the Federal Government through the support of the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, approved new maritime security architecture now being implemented by the agency.

counterproductive. The belief is also that in this era of Information Communication Technology ICT, a semi- autonomous zonal structure will enhance operational efficiency. In the light of this, most zones are now headed by substantive directors to ensure that more powers and responsibilities are ceded to the zones. Part of the aim is to enhance ease of doing business while reducing transaction time, thus promoting efficiency. The Peterside-led management has also made giant strides in enhancing security in the nation’s maritime domain, which is one of its core mandates.

To this effect, the Regional Search and Rescue Committee, made up of nine member countries under Nigeria’s SAR Region, comprising Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe and Togo was inactive and therefore lacked cohesion for nearly 10 years until the current management reactivated it. This culminated in the successful hosting of two sub-regional Technical Committee meetings, thus helping to build a formidable regional network, a development that has increased the level of alertness and capacity to respond to distress calls. The endpoint of this is the drastic reduction in piracy in the Gulf of Guinea as indicated by the first quarter piracy report of International Maritime Bureau IMB, a unit in the International Chamber of Commerce ICC. The management has also forwarded the Anti-Piracy Bill to the National Assembly, which will further boost security in Nigeria’s maritime domain. It was also in line with this that the Federal Government through the support of the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, approved new maritime security architecture now being implemented by the agency. This is in addition to President Buhari’s recent approval for the acquisition of assets that will be deployed at strategic locations to further enhance the agency’s capacity to enhance the safety of vessels within Nigeria’s maritime territory. Only last year, the agency came up with the Annual Maritime Industry Forecast AMIF, through which the agency tries to attract private investments both local and foreign to develop the maritime industry. The 2018, which was the maiden edition projected a five per cent growth for the industry and achieved 4.5 per cent real growth while the 2019 edition released in February projected a 10 per cent real growth and 10 per cent contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product GDP. With these and many other reforms carried out by the agency, one can confidently say that things are really looking up for Nigeria’s maritime industry, which is now poised to take its pride of place as the second highest revenue earner for the country after the oil and gas sector.


Massive development strides in the Niger Delta Following sustained agitation by people of the Niger Delta region with regards to perceived exclusion in terms of development, environmental degradation, entrenched poverty and unemployment among its population, the federal government in 2008, created the Niger Delta Affairs ministry to promote and coordinate policies for the development, peace and security of the region.


ith a mandate to serve as the channel for the execution of government’s plans and programmes for the region’s rapid socio-economic development, the ministry’s task was therefore that of formulating and executing plans, programmes and other initiatives, and coordinating the activities of

agencies, communities, donors and other relevant stakeholders, all with a view to developing the Niger Delta holistically. The region is made up of nine states, namely, Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Abia. Others include Cross River, Edo, Ondo and Imo. When President Buhari swore-in the Honourable Minister, Pastor Usani Uguru in November 2015, the charge to the minister was to follow through with the Niger Delta Master Plan in accomplishing desired development targets for the region. A look at the administration’s four years in the saddle reveals that the ministry has carried out wide-ranging development projects covering road construction, erosion control, housing and electricity. Other aspects are water and sanitation, food processing, economic empowerment and a few other miscellaneous interventions. To put it succinctly, no area in the region has been left out of the ministry’s massive development strides. A. Road Construction 1. Engineering Consultancy Services for the re-design of East-West Road (Section V) - Oron to Calabar. 2. Engineering Design for the construction of the following infrastructure in Bayelsa State: Emohua-AbuaKolo-Nembe-Brass Road in Bayelsa; Water Project in Otuoke, and Jetties in Kaiama, Brass, Nembe, Torugnene, Degema and Amasoma. 3. Construction of Okoyong-Usang-Abasi-Liberty Road, Odukpani, Cross River State. 4. Internal Concrete Road Construction of (2km) Sampou Internal Road, Kolokuma, Bayelsa State. 5. Construction and Asphalting of Iviekpe - Egori- Agenebode Road, Etsako East LGA, Edo North Senatorial District, Edo State. 6. Construction of 2km Road Akuna Akuna (Ogoja) Cross River State. 7. Construction of Wooden Foot Bridges in Riverine Communities of Ilaje/ Ese-Odo, Ondo State. 8. Construction of Ikot Akpan/Iffe Town Road 1.5km in Mpat Enin LGA Akwa Ibom State. 9. Construction of Internal Road Network in Nko, Yakurr, Cross River May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA



State. 10. Construction of 2km Road at Uhu Orji Road off Orji-Uratta Expressway, Imo State. 11. Construction of Aleagauma Primary School Road to Oise Street Road Uzebba, Owan West, Edo State (11/2km). 12. Construction of Iruekpe General Hospital Road, Iruekpen Ekpoma, Essan West LGA, Edo State. 13. Construction of Chief Nwajeli Uzoka Road Delta State. 14. Construction of Obeko Kowen Road, Cross River State. 15. Construction of borehole with Stanchion, Tanks, Supply lines and a generating set at Ukpato community, Ugboko ward, Orhionmwon L.G.A, Edo South Senatorial District, Edo State. 16. Construction of Adim-Abriba Road, Biase, Cross River State. 17. Construction of borehole with stanchion, tanks, supply lines and a generating set at Oke-Aimufia Ward 6, Uhunmwode L.G.A, Edo South Senatorial District, Edo State. 18. Construction of borehole with stanchion, tanks, supply lines and a generating set at Evbareke Spare part Market Egor L.G.A, Edo South Senatorial District, Edo State. 19. Construction of Obeko Kowen Road, Cross River State. 20. Construction of borehole with stanchion, tanks, supply lines and a generating set at Ward 2 Oredo L.G.A, Edo South Senatorial District, Edo


Construction of 3 high concrete water flow rings bridge at Ozima stream, Iyekogba L.G.A Edo South Senatorial District State. 21. Construction of borehole with stanchion, tanks, supply lines and a generating set at Akoyovo Iyekogba L.G.A Edo South Senatorial District, Edo State. 22. Construction of internal road network, Bendeghe Iso, Boki, Cross River. 23. Construction of borehole with stanchion, tanks, supply lines and a generating set at Idunogbon Iyekogba L.G.A Edo South Senatorial District, Edo State. 24. Construction of borehole with stanchion, tanks, supply lines and a generating set at Ogiza Iyekogba L.G.A Edo South Senatorial District, Edo State. 25. Construction of borehole with stanchion, tanks, supply lines and a generating set at Oredo L.G.A,Ward 2, Ekae Community, Edo South Sena-

torial District, Edo State. 26. Construction of 1km access road with surface dressing (without asphalt), Nyanya, Bekwarra, Cross River State. 27. Construction of borehole with stanchion, tanks, supply lines and a generating set at Evboneka Town Ward 8 Ovia North East, Edo South Senatorial District, Edo State. 28. Construction of 3 high concrete water flow rings bridge at Ozima stream, Iyekogba L.G.A Edo South Senatorial District, Edo State. 29. Construction of 3 high concrete water flow rings bridge at Ugogogin stream, Iyekogba L.G.A Edo South Senatorial District, Edo State. 30. Construction of 3 high concrete water flow rings bridge at Ovia stream, Iyekogba L.G.A Edo South Senatorial District, Edo State. 31. Construction of 3 high concrete water flow rings bridge at Odinenisi stream, Iyekogba L.G.A Edo South Senatorial District, Edo State. 32. Construction of 20F x 40F standard concrete bridge with galvanized rods and handrails at Ovbo stream, Iyekogba L.G.A Edo South Senatorial District, Edo State. 33. Construction of 20F x 40F standard concrete bridge with galvanized rods and handrails at Ikiza stream, Iyekogba L.G.A Edo South Senatorial District, Edo State. 34. Rehabilitation of Nogheghasa/Iyobosa Road, Benin City, Edo South Senatorial District, Edo State. 35. Rehabilitation and re-construction of Otuo-Ikhin road In Owan East L.G.A Edo State. (Phase I). 36. Rehabilitation and re-construction of Otuo-Ikhin road In Owan East L.G.A Edo State. (Phase II). 37. Complete rehabilitation and re-construction of Otuo-Afuze Road with a spur to Anchorage road, Otuo, in Owan East L.G.A, Edo State. Phase I. 38. Rehabilitation of the 2km Ikot Effangha road in Cross River State. 39. Complete rehabilitation and re-construction of Otuo-Afuze Road with a spur to Anchorage road, Otuo, in Owan East L.G.A, Edo State. Phase II Edo State. 40. Construction of road at Utomwen

NIGER DELTA Construction of one block of 6 (Six) classrooms with offices thoroughly furnished with toilets, desks, computers and other office equipment in Government Secondary School, Odi, Kolokuma/Opokuma, Bayelsa Street off Omoragbon Agho (1km) Benin City, Edo State. 41. Construction of Akpet-Iko-Esai road, Akamkpa, Cross River State. 42. 43. Construction of U and I road in IkotEwang village of Ikot-Ekpene LGA in Akwa-Ibom State (2km). 44. Construction of Igbokoda-Zion road, Ilaje LGA,Ondo State. 45. Construction of New Owerri internal road - Goddy Esom Obodo road with drainage (3km) Imo State. 46. Construction of road at Omoragbon Agho Street, off Etete Street (1km) Benin City, Edo State. 47. Construction of 3km Ring Road at Ovwodokpokpor-Ogor in Ughelli

North LGA Delta State. 48. Construction of Ikot Effanga Road2km, Cross-River State. Internal concrete road construction of (2km) Sampou Internal Road, Kolokuma, Bayelsa State 49. Construction and asphalting of Iviekpe - Egori- Agenebode Road, Etsako East LGA, Edo North Senatorial District, Edo State. 50. Construction of 2km road Akuna Akuna (Ogoja) Cross River State. 51. Construction of wooden foot bridges in riverine communities of Ilaje/ Ese-Odo, Ondo State. 52. Construction of Ikot Akpan/Iffe town road 1.5km in Mpat Enin LGA, Akwa Ibom State. 53. Construction of internal road network in Bendeghe Iso, Boki LGA, Cross River State. 54. Construction of Orie-Ngodo-La-

mara road in Umunnochi LGA, Abia State and the rehabilitation of Broad Street, Ode-Aye, Okitipupa LGA, Ondo State. 55. Rehabilitation of Atimbo-Akpabuyo Road, Cross River State. 56. Construction of 2km road at Uhu Orji Road, off Orji-Uratta Expressway, Imo State. 57. Construction of Eke Nguru Eziala-Ihitte 4km road, Imo East Senatorial District, Imo State. 58. Construction of Aleagauma Primary School road to Oise Street road, Uzebba, Owan West, Edo State (11/2km). 59. Construction of Iruekpe General Hospital road, Iruekpen Ekpoma, Essan West LGA, Edo State. 60. Construction of Ode-Aye-Igbotako road, Okitipupa LGA. Ondo State. 61. Construction of Mbom-AmekeOlokoro Umaikae roads in Umuahia North LGA, Abia/Akwa Ibom State. 62. Construction of Chief Nwajeli Uzoka road, Delta State. B. Erosion Control 1. Flood Control of Okoyong-Usang-Abasi-Liberty Road, Odukpani, Cross River State. C. Housing 1. Construction of one block of 6 (Six) classrooms with offices thoroughly furnished with toilets, desks, computers and other office equipment in Ossah Community School Umuahia, Abia State. May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA


NIGER DELTA 2. Construction of one block of 6 (Six) classrooms with offices thoroughly furnished with toilets, desks, computers and other office equipment in Methodist Primary School Edemaya, Ikot-Abasi, Akwa Ibom State. 3. Construction of one block of 6 (Six) classrooms with offices thoroughly furnished with toilets, desks, computers and other office equipment in Comprehensive Secondary School, Nko, Yakurr, Cross River State. 4. Construction of one block of 6 (Six) classrooms with offices thoroughly furnished with toilets, desks, computers and other office equipment in Government Secondary School, Odi, Kolokuma/Opokuma, Bayelsa. 5. Construction of one block of 6 (Six) classrooms with offices thoroughly furnished with toilets, desks, computers and other office equipment in Adagwe Grammar School, Eruemukohwarien, Ughelli North, Delta State. 6. Construction of one block of 6 (Six) classrooms with offices thoroughly furnished with toilets, desks, computers and other office equipment in Egbuoma Secondary School, Egbuoma, Oguta, Imo State. Construction of one block of 6 (Six) classrooms with offices thoroughly furnished with toilets, desks, computers and other office equipment in in Alaghodaro Primary School, Izikhiri, Uhunmwode, Edo State. 7. Construction of Psychiatric Hospital in Osisioma, Ngwa, Abia State. 8. Construction of 8 bedroom flats for use as principal and staff quarters in Community Secondary School, Ikot Uko, Essien Udim, Akwa Ibom State. 9. Construction of Computer Centre, Mbak, Ohio Itam, Akwa Ibom State. 10. Building and equipping of an Information and Communication Centre in Ogbia, Bayelsa State. 11. Renovation of two classroom blocks in Federal Government College, Ikom, Cross River State. 12. Construction of fence in Federal Science College, Ogoja, Cross River State. 13. Construction of Youth Development Centre (to include conference room and Information and Communication Centre) in Ogoja, Cross River State.


Supply and installation of transformer and accessories (500KVA) in Ekurede, Warri South LGA, Delta State 14. Construction of hospital facility block in General Hospital in Jesse Township, Ethiope West, Delta State. 15. Construction and equipping of Skills Acquisition Centre in Koko, Warri North, Delta State. 16. Upgrading of Madagho Civic Centre in Madagho Community, Warri North, Delta State. 17. Construction of Ogheye Eghoroke Community Town Hall with solar power in Ogheye Eghoroke Community, Warri South-West, Delta State. 18. Renovation and furnishing of a block of six classrooms in Afasio, Estako West, Edo State.

D. Electricity 1. Electrification project in Khana, Rivers State. 2. Electrification project Permabiri-Ogbokiri, Bayelsa State. 3. Electrification Project in Eleme, Rivers State. 4. Electrification project at Otueke, Bayelsa State. 5. Electrification project at Ogbagbene, Delta State. 6. Electrification project at Okrika in Rivers State. 7. Supply and installation of 33KVA transformers in Ohoba Omuagwo Abacheke Agwa Nkehi Abacheke Agwa Nkweshi Ibiasiegbe Aji and Egwe/Egbuoma in Ohaji/Egbema/ Oguta/Oru/ West, Imo State. 8. Electrification project in Erei, Biase, Cross River State. 9. Provision of 33kva transformers in the Niger Delta States of Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Rivers States. 10. Supply and installation of transformer and accessories (500KVA) in Ekurede, Warri South LGA, Delta State. 11. Installation of solar powered street light at Abacheke Osuiche, Ndionyemodi Egbuoma Ubullu Oruetekwuru Oguta in Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta/Oru

NIGER DELTA The Ministry carried out a Technical Audit and verification of all 427 projects embarked on from inception in 2008 to 2015 to ascertain what the Ministry has done visà -vis what it ought to do to achieve its full mandate West Federal Constituency, Imo State. 12. Construction of solar streetlight at Ode-Aye in Okitipupa LGA, Ondo State. 13. Electrification project in Otueke, Bayelsa State. 14. Supply and installation of transformer and accessories (500KVA) in Ekurede, Warri South LGA, Delta State. 15. Installation of solar powered streetlight at Abacheke Osuiche, Ndionyemodi Egbuoma Ubullu Oruetekwuru Oguta in Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta/ Oru West Federal Constituency, Imo State. 16. Provision of solar powered borehole and streetlights in Ndokwa/Ukwuani Delta State. 17. Provision of 33KVA transformers in the following communities: i. Ohambele Ikweke East Ward, Ukwa East, Local Government Area. ii. Okputu Village, Obiaku Ndoki Local Government Area. iii. Umuopara Village, Mgboko Omeni Autonomous Community, Obi Ngwa Local Government Area. iv. Ihite Ude, Ohuhu, Umuahia North Local Government Area. v. Afaha Uffot Village, Etinan Local Government Area. vi. Mbere Ebe Obio, Akwa Ibom State. vii. Udobong Street, Ikot Abasi Urban, Ikot Abasi Local Government Area. viii. Erin Okpoyo Avenue, Ewet Housing Estate, Uyo Local Government Area. ix. Agudama Epie New Market,

Yenagoa Local Government Area. x. Okutuku Community, Yenagoa Local Government Area. xi. Okomasi, Nko, Yakurr Local Government Area. xii. Mma Victoria Ricketts Street, Obioko Ijiman, Ugep, Yakurr Local Government Area. xiii. Emor Ekparo Village, IdumMbube, Ogoja Local Government Area. xiv. Watt Market, Calabar South Local Government Area. xv. Akim Community, Calabar Municipality Local Government Area. xvi. Charleston Warehouse Road, NPA Express, Ekpang Ovia Local Government Area. xvii. Ineneh Community, Ughelli, Ughelli North Local Government Area. xviii. Jones Erue Crescent, Emede, Isoko South Local Government Area. xix. Idum Ogbele Quarters, Ogbe Obi Village, Onicha Olona, Onicha Local Government Area. xx. Uruogba Community, Isoko North Local Government Area. xxi. Ikoha/Ugbogui Community, Ovia South-West Local Government Area. xxii. School for the Handicapped, Ivbiore Street, Oredo Local Government Area. xxiii. Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Esan West Local Government Area xxiv. Obinihu Village, Nkwere Local Government Area.

xxv. Umuhunachi Umuezup, Ahiazu Local Government Area. xxvi. Ogwa, Mbaitoli Local Government Area. xxvii. Ode-Aye, Okitipupa Local Government Area. xxviii. Igbokoda, Ilaje Local Government Area. xxix. Ode-Irele, Irele Local Government Area. xxx. Ode-Erinje, Okitipupa Local Government Area. xxxi. CPM Road Ogboro Town, Andoni Local Government Area. xxxii. Baptist School, Buguma Local Government Area. xxxiii. Anozie Street by Lumumba, Mile 2, Diobu, Port Harcourt Local Government Area. xxxiv. Flag Avenue, Off Alcer Road, Rumuolimini, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area. E. Water and Sanitation 1. Construction of Idoro-Eaten-Itam water project, Akwa Ibom State. 2. Construction of Owerri Urban water scheme, Imo State. 3. Construction of Ubane Utanga water project, Cross River State. 4. Construction of water project at Ukparam, Ondo State. 5. Provision of solar powered borehole and streetlights in Ndokwa/Ukwuani, Delta State. 6. Installation of 5 (five) solar-powered boreholes in Mfum, Igede, Ugaga, Ooh and Abakpa in Ogoja, Cross River State. May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA



Making Nigeria SelfSufficient Through Agriculture

THE SILENT REVOLUTION With the Nigerian economy almost solely dependent on oil, the imperative of a diversification was key if the country was to maintain buoyancy. Fittingly, President Muhammadu Buhari, on assumption of office and in his resolve to diversify the economy, decided to make the agriculture sector the nucleus of that drive.


o jumpstart the move away from total dependence on oil, the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP), also known as the Green Alternative Policy, was formulated.


The focus of the policy was to reform and strengthen the nation’s agricultural sector to make the country self-sufficient in food production and achieve national food security. With four pillars - food security, export substitution, job creation and

economic diversification, the policy sought to redress Nigeria’s dependence on imports to feed its bourgeoning population, through promotion of local food production that will make it attain its national food security objective, provide raw materials for industries and enhance the potentials to export surplus produce, to earn foreign exchange. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development divided the country into ecological zonal belts where crops most suitable to each zone, based on comparative advantage, were identified and made available to local farmers, willing organisations and potential investors in agriculture and its value chains. In partnership with State Governments, the ministry prioritised crop farming by focusing on expanding production of rice, cassava, wheat, maize, soya beans and vegetables. For exports, attention was on cocoa, cassava, oil palm, sesame, cashew, gum arabic, and ginger. In collaboration with various research institutes responsible for genetic improvement of crops, the ministry succeeded in the production of breeder and foundation seeds for multiplica-

AGRICULTURE To make farmers embrace mechanisation, processing equipment such as multi-purpose threshers, rice mills and groundnut oil extractors were equally acquired in large quantities and sold to individual farmers as well as cooperatives at subsidised rates – 50 per cent cost of market prices tion into certified seeds for planting, just as budgetary provisions for seeds production improved. These contributed greatly to the development of the seed industry, which has improved productivity by farmers while many seed companies are flourishing. Herbicides, insecticides and other associated agrochemicals critical to enhancing farmers’ food production were bought in large quantities and sold to the farmers at subsidised rate of about 50per cent cost of market value. To promote mechanisation, the ministry collaborated with the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) in a PublicPrivate Partnership (PPP) to establish the Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprises (AEHE). This enabled associations and agricultural cooperatives with bankable business plans to access vital agricultural equipment such as tractors and implements. With the Federal Department of Agriculture as facilitators, the ministry also entered into a pact with the Bank of Industry (BOI), under which cottage crops processing factories were

built for selected investors. To make farmers embrace mechanisation, processing equipment such as multi-purpose threshers, rice mills and groundnut oil extractors were equally acquired in large quantities and sold to individual farmers as well as cooperatives at subsidised rates – 50 per cent cost of market prices. Other simple equipment acquired in large quantities and made available at subsidised rates include reapers, power tillers, winnowers cargo tricycles, planters and weeders. The Agricultural Implements and Mechanisation Scheme (AIMS) is another intervention programme designed to appoint and register agro-dealers and service providers in all local government areas of Nigeria. The scheme which focuses on agricultural mechanisation and provision of farm implements based on a PPP arrangement is to assist both the big and small holder farmers to enable them hire and own tractors as well as stabilise agro inputs in seed, chemicals and mechanisation to local farmers in a way to promote and enhance traceability of sources of these vital inputs and accountability. The Handy Harvesters’ Programme is another scheme targeted at youths in rural areas nationwide, to equip them with modern agricultural implements such as agro harvesters, reapers, trenchers, cassava planters, harvesters, yam heap tools to ease the burden of traditional ways of harvesting in farms. The scheme is designed to inculcate mechanisation practice in youths to enhance their interest in agriculture by providing them affordable and accessible handy harvester implements.

Biodegradable packaging materials for various crops were also bought and sold to farmers at subsidised rates in line with global best practice to prevent health hazards and maintain right quality of products while handling such agricultural produce. To increase production and post-harvest losses, at least one million small-scale farmers were trained in the last three years in Good Agronomic Practices (GAP) and post-harvest handling of crops. The fisheries/aquaculture sector was not left out of the Buhari impact. Growth enhancement support was given to artisanal fishermen and fish farmers nationwide through which fishermen redeem fishing nets, hooks and ice boxes at 50 per cent subsidy while fish farmers redeem fingerlings free and fish feed at 50 per cent subsidy. In like manner, fish farm clusters were established for young graduates and women in each geopolitical zone just as smoking kilns were procured and distributed nationwide to farmers to reduce post-harvest losses In 2017, the ministry introduced the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise (LIFE), an integrated programme meant to take meaningful life to rural dwellers by promoting community-based on-farm and off-farm businesses. It was specifically designed as a model for job and wealth creation among women and youths between 18 and 40 years in rural and sub-urban households, and discouragement of rural-urban migration. Add to these incentives the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) and the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP). Indeed, May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA



2017 signposted Nigeria’s Agricultural Revolution. GAINS Without gainsaying, the ideas and initiatives of the Buhari administration have enhanced food production immensely in the country. Under four years, the administration has moved Nigeria closer to self-sufficiency in rice production, more than any administration before it and in barely a year away from meeting its target of production of 6 million tonnes (MT) of milled rice. Within this period, the number of rice farmers increased from 5 million to over 11 million; importation reduced by 92 per cent and rice import bills of $1.65billion reduced yearly by 90 per cent, the highest ever of such decline. Local farmers and young persons who have taken to rice cultivation have experienced good fortune even as local production continues to rise with States such as Kebbi, Ebonyi, and Kano leading the pack in local production and mobilisation of young farmers and women.


In 2017, the ministry introduced the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise (LIFE), an integrated programme meant to take meaningful life to rural dwellers by promoting community-based on-farm and off-farm businesses In 2017, 10 million 50kg bags of fertiliser were sold at a low price of N5, 500. The feat enabled the country to make yearly savings of $200million in foreign exchange and N60billion yearly in budgetary provision for fertiliser subsidies. At least a dozen comatose fertiliser-blending plants have been revived and are boosting local fertiliser supply.

Today, Nigeria is the largest world producer of cassava, with a total of 42 MT harvested from 3.13 million ha, and an average yield of 25 t ha1. With the Cassava Change Agenda agricultural policy, the ministry’s objective is that, by 2020, the country would have developed an efficient value-added chain for High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF), Dried Chips, Starch, Sweeteners and Ethanol, not only enough to meet local industries’ demands but also to earn foreign exchange for the country from exports. The ministry has also been doing a lot to bring about improvement in animal production. To this end, a lease programme involving 14 livestock breeding and multiplication centres across the 36 states of the federation are being run in line with public private partnership arrangement. In the same vein, 80 cattle breeders in Adamawa, Niger and Oyo States have been introduced to a cattle breed improvement programme using artificial insemination method in which 230 cattle were inseminated..


‘Education for All’ Beyond Platitude It is often said that education is the bedrock of development in any nation. In seeming alignment with this aphorism, the Muhammadu Buhari Administration has exhibited not only the required political will but has committed huge resources to guarantee improved outcomes in education across all levels.


pecifically, the Ministry of Education, through a pivotal transformational framework document – Education for Change: A Ministerial Strategic Plan, which aligns with Sustainable Development Goals 4, has been working in the four years under review to ensure inclusive, equitable, quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for the citizenry. By increasing access to equitable and quality basic education through advocacy and sensitisation, and enforcement of the implementation for the free, compulsory basic education in collaboration with state,

local government levels and development partners, the ministry has succeeded in reducing, considerably, the incidence of outof-school children through increased focus on Almajiri, the disadvantaged and vulnerable groups including girls and women as well as internally displaced persons Improved funding, enhanced educational facilities and improved commitment to teacher quality and classroom delivery have enabled access to education. There has also being improved enrolment and retention through the implementation of the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme while also enhancing quality of teachers and education managers at all levels through improved education and training, systematic capacity development as well as the launch and effective implementation of National Teacher Education Policy. Part of the government effort has seen it recruit, train and deploy 500,000 teachers, unemployed graduates and NCE teachers. Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) has also been revitalised for skills acquisition in formal and non-formal school session. In line with best practices, the ministry is encouraging Nigeria’s institutionalisation of open learning. The Open Distance Learning platform is improving access and the Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN) has proved to be a valuable service to higher education in the country. Tailored efforts have been channeled towards teacher capacity development, developing guidelines for the implementation of Model Cluster Schools for teacher professional development and periodic reviews on the modalities for its implementation for effective service delivery. To support UBEC’s efforts at the basic education level, the Federal Government has invested at least N7billion into the UBE Professional Teacher Development Programme, culminating in the training of no fewer than 31,520 teachers across Nigeria and the improvement of teaching proficiency in our basic education institutions. To improve the teaching-learning process, among other things, copies of the revised Basic Education with 34 Trade subjects and the new Senior Secondary Education curricula were distributed to schools nationwide and the e-curriculum launched to increase easy access to the document. Financial literacy is also being infused into the curriculum in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria. The training of May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA



Gender issues are among major concerns, which have been prioritised by the Buhari Administration. The ministry’s Gender Education initiative is aimed at eliminating gender disparities in education especially at the primary and secondary levels and ensuring full and equal access to quality education for both girls and boys in all parts of the country


teachers in the use of the curriculum is being cascaded by the States. For efficiency in teaching delivery in tertiary institutions, the National Teacher Education Policy (NTEP) was introduced, while at the Basic Education level, massive monitoring of projects including the Almajiri schools have been carried out. Schools for the girl-child under construction are nearing completion. Within the framework of promoting non-formal education, 32 schools for the nomads have been rehabilitated and three vocational schools were established for training in fashion design, as well as honey and Shea butter production. Sensitisation and advocacy have been carried out in the States to garner support and commitment to ensure the payment of facilitators within the framework of the Revitalising Adult and Youth Literacy programme. OTHER EFFORTS AND INITIATIVES OF GOVERNMENT IN THE SECTOR INCLUDE: - Developing and maintaining a robust and credible National Education Data Management Information System (NEMIS) - Strengthening Education Quality Assurance of schools through effective inspection and supervision in collaboration with states and local government; - Resuscitating robust and sustainable Scholarship Support Scheme to deserving students for tertiary education - Improving infrastructure and provision of learning facilities at all levels of education for enhancement of quality education delivery - Conducting Monitoring Learning Achievement (MLA) on annual basis - Review of functional curriculum at all levels of education system for quality and functional education - Developed a 10-Year Strategic Plan for the Education Sector and - Increase enrolment into Polytechnic Education by removing the existing dichotomy in remuneration and status between the B.Sc. Degree and HND certificate holders.

- Construction and rehabilitation of classrooms complemented with the provision of furniture. Whole school construction as part of UBEC direct intervention in the basic education sub- sector. - Fast-tracking the implementation of Pre-Primary Education and the establishment of Community Based Early Childcare Centres (CBECC) to enhance their transition to the Basic Education, as well as reduce the incidences of Out-of-School Children and cost of childcare for working parents. - A National Enrolment Drive Framework developed. Special education equipment for the National Educational Diagnostic and Assessment Centre for children and adults with Special Needs procured.

EDUCATION HISTORY AND GIRL-CHILD EDUCATION The Ministry reintroduced Nigerian History into school curricula. In this regard, the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) supervised the disarticulation, enrichment and printing of History Curriculum for Basic Education as well as the development and printing of Teacher’s Guide for the implementation of the new curriculum. Gender issues are among major concerns, which have been prioritised by the Buhari Administration. The ministry’s Gender Education initiative is aimed at eliminating gender disparities in education especially at the primary and secondary levels and ensuring full and equal access to quality education for both girls and boys in all parts of the country. During the period under review, 390 persons including teachers, par-

ents, Gender Desk officers, pupils and students were trained on Institutionalisation students’ Tutoring, Mentoring and Counselling (STUMEC) in States with high gender disparity. In addition, fifty Mothers’ Associations and Community-Based-Organisation members were trained on income-generating activities to enable them allow their girls (who are used for economic activities) to attend schools. QUALITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION As it is in other levels of education, quality remains the major focus of the ministry in its tertiary education interventions. The National Universities Commission (NUC), the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) and the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) carried out accreditations aimed at streamlining programmes as well as

inducing quality assurance in Universities, Colleges of Education and Polytechnics. The e-curriculum for undergraduates was launched and the postgraduate programme streamlined. STRENGTHENING THE SYSTEM Evidence abounds that the Buhari Administration has created an enabling environment for effective education service administration and sustainable education system improvement. Through the President’s visionary leadership, key initiatives have been entrenched in strengthening the sector and improving the education system’s capacity to self-manage its resources and ensure global competitiveness in all aspects of service delivery. To obtain credible data for educational planning, the ministry has, with the support of UNICEF, reviewed Annual School Census Completion Manual and conducted 2015/2016 Annual School Census in 36 States and FCT; for statistics on out-ofschool children, infrastructure, enrolment, retention and completion rates. At the basic education sub-sector, the Ministry has provided the required leadership leading to the entrenchment of strategic planning as a foundation for UBE implementation at the State level. Furthermore, efforts are being made to generate reliable data for planning at this level through the National Personnel Audit of all UBE institutions targeting both privately-operated and public-owned establishments. May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA




PROF. NELSON BRAMBAIFA’S PROFILE A Prodigy by Any Metric Since his appointment as Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nelson Brambaifa, a professor of Pharmacology has pursued his cherished vision and mission -For a Better Niger Delta Region- with vigour. 46 May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA

orn on November 4, 1952, the man from Agbere Community in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State is still full of energy and vivaciously committed to his duties with same verve, spirit of excellence, probity, diligence, compassion and credibility as was manifest in his earlier years. For these sterling qualities that are not easily found in many public office holders of his ilk, he has also been honoured in several ways. In his forty-four-year career trajectory, the man has continued to stand tall as a paragon of brilliance, humility, focus and distinction as was the case when he was appointed as Graduate Assistant in Biochemistry at the Free University, Berlin, in the old West Germany. Prof. Brambaifa had left his teachers and peers, transiting seamlessly after graduation in 1974 with a degree in Vor-diplom’ Biochemie and earned the first of many higher degrees, Diplom Biochemie’ in ‘Oral Examination in Biochemistry, Clinical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry and Pharmacy, graduating with Distinction from the same university four years later. This was quickly followed by his Doktor der Naturwisseshaften (Dr.rer.nat) in ‘Oral Examination in Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Clinical Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry in 1982. In the process he progressed to Research Assistant in the Research Laboratories of Schering AG, and Research Fellow in Schering Central Research, both in Berlin, and as Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at UCLAF in the Loire Valley, in France. He has worked as Team Leader in Schering Central Research, Department of Neuroendocrinology and Neuropsychopharmacology (1982 to 1984), was Senior Lecturer and Head of Department, University of Port Harcourt (1984 to 1993), and has been Professor of Biochemical Pharmacology (1996 to date). Gutsy Brambaifa therefore comes across as a scientist, teacher and scholar of immense mental zest and capacity. These were vivid and visible in his era as Dean of Student Affairs (1992 to 1996), as well as pioneer Dean of the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences (1999 to 2000) of the same university. They were even

NDDC more so when he served as the pioneer Provost, College of Health Sciences, Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Bayelsa State, from 2000 to 2004. Professor Brambaifa’s sixty-two published scientific articles and delivered numerous public lectures delivered on health, the environment and crafting a workable roadmap to the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region speaks volumes. This is unsurprising to the league of his admirers who see him as a child of the creeks and a true son of the Niger Delta region with a firm vision of a “Niger Delta which must satisfy the deepest yearnings of her people and fulfil their dreams.” For him, the true meaning of the Niger Delta will only come can “when we build on constructive, rather than destructive, work, for a better Niger Delta.” Now more than ever before, the vision is becoming increasingly more glaring as he is the helmsman at the Niger Delta Development Commission. Prior to this time he served as the Commissioner representing Bayelsa State on the Governing Board. On account of his excellent performamce he was elevated, following the dissolution of that Board, to the Commission’s Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer by President Muhammadu Buhari, whose vision is to change the fortunes of the Niger

Delta. His word: “for building a rapidly growing economy which will eliminate prevailing extreme poverty and foster prosperity in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner throughout the region. We have shed enough blood to call attention to the plight of the Niger Delta region and her people. Now is the time to shed the necessary sweat, working together, with determination and vision, to build a better Niger Delta, a region to which we must all pledge our enduring commitment and energy.” Professor Brambaifa has been honoured, indeed, with the KAAD Award for Brilliant Foreign Student three years in a row, from 1974 to 1976, DAAD Award and Fellowship for Young Researchers (1977 and 1978), both at the Free University of Berlin, as well as the C-Pfizer Travel Fellowship (1980) in Free University, Berlin, and in University of Port Harcourt (1984/1985). He also received the Alexander von Hombolt Senior Research Fellow in Pharmacology, tenable in West Germany at the Research Labortories of Scherling AG Berlin/ Bergkamen, Department of Pharmacology (1987, 1992 and 1994). He has also served over the years in various professional and public organisations in such capacities as Chairman,

Board of Directors of Delta Rubber Company, Port Harcourt (1984 to 1990). He has also served as Chairman, Board of Directors, University of Port Harcourt Demonstration Primary School (1992 to 1995), pioneer Secretary, Movement for the Creation of Bayelsa State from Rivers State (1992 to 1996), and as Chairman, National Council for Arts and Culture, Abuja (2014 to 2015). He has, since 1984, also served his university community in several academic, professional and social positions. Professor Brambaifa is a member of several professional bodies, including Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management, Fellow, New York Academy of Sciences, Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Sciences, member, Endocrinological Society of Germany, member, Pharmacological Society of Germany and member, West African Society of Pharmacology. A Knight of Saint John and Justice of the Peace, swimming, jogging and music constitute his hobbies. Prof. Brambaifa loves the folkloric tradition and dance drama of the Ijaw people, in particular, and the Niger Delta, in general. He is blessed with a wife, Dr. Anna Preye Brambaifa (nee Osuma), and four children.

The Achievements of Professor Brambaifa


ince February 2, 2019 when Nelson Brambaifa was appointed Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has rolled up his sleeves to work and make a clear difference. He had been involved in the system as representative of Bayelsa State on the Board of the Development Agency and so has full grasp of how things work in the system.

Without wasting time, he made it clear that his would be an era of strictly following the prescriptions and mandate of the Commission as contained in the NDDC establishment Act. Although the challenges were intimidating, the professor of Pharmacology also braved the odds to achieve what has now come to be regarded by many as “ground-breaking and awe-inspiring success.” Under his watch, NDDC has been re-

branded. Before his regime, a few individuals had formed a cartel that determined what prevailed in the Commission and what its funds were used for. The few privileged individuals diverted the benefits of the Commission to themselves to the detriment of the oil-bearing Niger Delta. Staff attitude to work also became poor. The situation was so bad that many began to live with the general impression that that NDDC had become a file-carrying agency as contractors and May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA


NDDC Brambaifa’s coming has now changed all of that, and the Commission is once more on track to deliver development and service to the greater number of Niger Deltans and development partners

other partners needed to travel to the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt to push their files for legitimate payments after execution of contracts awarded by the Commission. There was also the problem of access to the Commission, which always left crowd and clusters outside the main gate of the commission bewildered and suspicious of the goings-on in the agency. In some extreme cases poor experiences of visitors degenerated into scuffles between them and the Commission’s security personnel. However, Brambaifa’s coming has now changed all of that, and the Commission is once more on track to deliver development and service to the greater number of Niger Deltans and development partners. Under the new policy introduced and implemented by him, contractors who have executed their jobs for the Commission can now get their payments even in the comfort of their homes, as commitment is made with a new template to ensure all backlog of payments are made with a benchmark of N10 million and below. This is to be later graduated to accommodate higher contract sums. Rules guiding access into the Commission have


also been relaxed making it easier for development partners, contractors and visitors to gain entry into and out of the Commission to conduct lawful businesses. Under his stewardship, the Commission has regained its status as an interventionist agency of Government concerned with the development of the Niger Delta. Aside asserting its political neutrality the agency has now moved away from the image of an elite enrichment Commission to become the truly interventionist agency it was created to be, with wholesome restructuring, strict adherence to the cardinal objectives of the Commission as stated in its enabling act, and a total rebranding and face-lifting programme. One other area his intervention is felt is inspection/revalidation of contracts for the construction of the ongoing permanent headquarters complex of the Commission where he has already ordered immediate release of funds to ensure the completion of the project. Under the new regime, he has demonstrated his desire to make education a key focal point of his administration. The num-

ber of persons to benefit from the annul NDDC Scholarship programme has increased astronomically from a dismal 200 to 2000, and the system structured to allow for greater transparency. Some tertiary institutions in the United Kingdom have already been visited to cut partnership agreements and to make case for the absorption of more NDDC sponsored scholars. Prof Brambaifa has taken the challenge of providing quality infrastructure to the next level. He has embarked on revalidation of existing contracts that are yet to be executed, re-awarded abandoned projects, and awarded fresh contracts in the light of making life more meaningful for the people of the Niger Delta region. This includes the award of emergency contracts to meet urgent needs of the communities as illustrated in emergency shore protection, rural/urban electrification, road repairs/rehabilitation/ construction, desilting of waterways, solar powered water projects, and school/hospital repairs and building projects, which have been awarded under the emergency programme list. On human capital development, various training programmes and empowerment schemes have been initiated and lined up for implementation with the aim of complementing education and other platforms to develop the human capacity and building of capital in the region. This has meant that vocational and training materials have also been provided to the Port Harcourt prisons and inmates in the form of sewing machines, electric generators, clippers, and other such items to foster inmates’ voca-

NDDC Existing programmes of the Commission have also either been introduced and reactivated or reorganized to curb insecurity and foster the security of life and properties and critical national infrastructure tional abilities and prepare them for proper reintegration into society upon completion of their various terms. Existing programmes of the Commission have also either been introduced and reactivated or reorganized to curb insecurity and foster the security of life and properties and critical national infrastructure. What’s more? The new man at the helm of affairs at NDDC has revisited the various empowerment programmes of the Commission including those that have been unimplemented for years under previous administrations. The Commission under the new regime has reviewed and restructured the Water hyacinth clearing programme which aims to clear the Niger Delta’s maze of river ways, streams, and rivulets of dangerous floating debris, weeds, and wreckages. Under the rebranded programme, about 7000 wholly Niger Delta based companies and associations have been mobilised to various sites across the region, and is expected to benefit a further 15,000 persons across the region. The long abandoned NDDC Volunteer Scheme has now been dusted up from the bins of history, with the aim of empowering the youth of the Niger Delta. The number of beneficiaries currently stands at about 12,000, with more coming. Under a new direction the essence of which is to alleviate poverty, empower the people and inspire them to make positive impact in the development of the region young entrepreneurs are being empowered and encouraged. Under Professor Brambaifa’s watch, con-

tractors’ confidence which had waned before now has risen, and new partnerships are being formed to foster development of the Niger Delta, with meetings held and agreements that seek to create wealth for the people of the region worked out. That’s not all, as other areas such as staff and workers welfare, fight against bribery and corruption have also received attention under Brambaifa’s tenure. This is in addition to value generating efforts also

being made in the sphere s of consultation and peace building with traditional rulers across the region, the Niger Delta ex-agitators forum, the forum of Ijaw Elders in Delta State, the Ijaw Youth Council, the Coalition of Niger Delta Ethnic Nationalities, and the Bayelsa Elders Consultative Forum. These have all been achieved in his less than five months tenure as Acting Managing Director and serve as pointers to greater things to come. May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA



Pictures showing some of the women recently sponsored by NDDC to African Women in Leadership Confrence held in Kigali, Rwanda




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

Nigerian Ports Authority is becoming

Nigerian Ports Authority




...To be the Leading Port in Africa...



Graphics Unit NPA 01/2016

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



BOLSTERED! From Microsoft, lifeline for Kenyan Telecoms Grandiose plans, red tape and a consistent lack of funding have left Konza Technopolis — the $14.5 billion Silicon Valley in the Savannah city to be built some 60 km southeast of Nairobi — way behind schedule on its goal of having 20,000 people on site by 2020. By Collins Hinamundi


ubbed the Silicon Savannah, Konza aims to become a smart city — using tech to manage water and electricity efficiently and reduce commuting time — and a solution to the rapid, unplanned urbanization which has plagued existing cities. Konza's dream is to become a top business process outsourcing hub by 2030, with on-site universities training locals to feed into a 200,000-strong tech-savvy workforce providing IT support and call centre services remotely. About 40 per cent of Africa's 1 billion people live in towns and cities and the World Bank predicts the urban population will double over the next 25 years, adding pressure to already stretched infrastructure, and Konza hopes its model will be a benchmark. It is being built on a 5000-acre Cattle ranch that is home to antelope and deer because of the delays. Even the 8-floor building whose construction has been ongoing looks lost on this huge expanse of land. The almost 13-year-old project was launched by then Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, and at the launch, Kibaki, promised that the project already had enough interest to grow its own legs and start the marathon to the top. He also said the project has already captured the interest of many local and

international investors who will begin work on the ground soon after ground-breaking. “We are excited to finally launch this development, though it has come later than we initially expected. This will remove doubts among sceptics who thought Konza was a white elephant. Watch this space in the next five years,” he said. Almost 6 years later, the project has faced numerous delays and amid declining interest from the tech giants had initially planned to move in. Critics have already started questioning the viability of the project 6 years after its launch. “It has taken too long and I think people have moved on,” Josiah Mugambi, a tech entrepreneur and founder of, a Nairobi-based software company, who was initially excited by the government's ambitious project says. “Nobody can wait that long for a city to be built. For a tech entrepreneur, they think about where their startup will be two to three years down the line,” said Mugambi. Some critics say Konza was ill-conceived from the start. “The vision is wrong; the vision is too big," said Aly-Khan Satchu, a Nairobi-based independent financial analyst. “This is miles from anywhere. There are not leveraging the existing infrastructure ... It is assuming that you can bring in academia, you can bring May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA




This investment will likely renew Tech firms’ interest in Kenya, and will create opportunities for Konza City even as it competes for attention with Nigeria’s Eko Atlantic City near Lagos that will house 250,000 people on land

in venture capital, you can bring in corporates." He adds. The Presidency of Kibaki was characterised by huge and futuristic projects in Kenya, and Konza was just one of those many projects, his successor Uhuru Kenyatta has not picked on it, preferring to focus on Anti-corruption and a Standard Gauge Railway, leading to accusations that the government is also frustrating the project. According to the Voice of America, the first serious hurdle arose in 2012 when the National Land Commission (NLC), which manages public land, introduced a cumbersome land acquisition procedure, said Bitange Ndemo, who led a team that conceived Konza Technopolis in 2008. “The NLC was saying we should follow the processes of acquiring public land, which would take years to


complete,” Ndemo, now an associate professor of business at the University of Nairobi, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The delays caused at least one deal with a German university to fall through, he said, as the process was much slower than the old one where investors signed deals directly with government ministries which took care of land leases. To resolve this, the government transferred ownership of the site to the Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA), set up in 2012 to coordinate the development of the new city, which now allocates land to investors on 50-year renewable leases. In its strategic plan, the government promised to fund 10 per cent of Konza, laying the infrastructure, while the private sector would come in with the


KENYA ry Rotich to be fired. Abdu Muwonge a senior economist at the World Bank, says the issue is eliminating challenges for the private sector to do business. "Getting Konza city off the ground will require that we pull in private capital with concessions for them to deliver certain kinds of infrastructure for which the government may not have resources," he says.

rest of the money to build universities, offices, housing and hotels. But the government was slow to contribute its share and has yet to pass a law to create KoTDA as a legal entity which would make it easier to sign contracts with external lenders, said Lawrence Esho, one of Konza's project planners until 2013. “They are way behind schedule partly because the government took time to give Konza money,” he said, adding that no money came in until 2013. “This stopped any work from starting at the site and investors may have developed cold feet as they waited.” KoTDA's chief executive, John Tanui, said the government has committed to invest more than 80 billion shillings ($780 million). “When I say committed does not mean we have absorbed. Our absorp-

tion is less than 10 per cent of that figure,” he said, without elaborating. The government has stepped up funding since 2017, says Abraham Odeng, deputy secretary at Kenya's Information Communications and Technology ministry, without giving figures. Odeng pointed to a 40 billion shilling contract signed in 2017 with an Italian firm to build roads, water and sewerage infrastructure by 2021, funded by the Italian government. “That is a concessional loan, which is a long-term loan that the Kenyan government will pay,” he said. But the loans may also become a halt as Kenya’s debt to GDP ratio is now beyond 60 per cent. The IMF has warned Kenya to go slow on the loans, and within the country, loans are becoming political taboo, with activists calling for the Finance Secretary Hen-

THIS MAY ALREADY BE HAPPENING. Five local investors, including Nairobi-based software developer Craft Silicon and the state-run Kenya Electricity Transmission Company, are expected to build offices, residential buildings and hotels by 2020, KoTDA head Tanui said. On Tuesday last week, Technology Giant Microsoft unveiled a 100 million dollar research and development centre in Nairobi tasked with producing innovative solutions. The facility, dubbed Africa Development Centre (ADC), will help the multinational grow its market share across the continent in the wake of increased technology uptake in various economic sectors. The centre will hire local engineers who will be tasked with working on cutting-edge technology tailored for the local and global markets. It is the seventh globally, with plans underway to open another one in Lagos, Nigeria, later in the year. This investment will likely renew Tech firms’ interest in Kenya, and will create opportunities for Konza City even as it competes for attention with Nigeria’s Eko Atlantic City near Lagos that will house 250,000 people on land reclaimed from the sea, Ghana's Hope City and an Ethiopian city styled as the real Wakanda after the film "Black Panther." “Beyond that, it is an opportunity to engage more with local partners, academia, governments and developers — driving impact and innovation in sectors important to Africa.” Phil Spencer and executive sponsor of the ADC at Microsoft said in a statement. But critics say this will not be enough. "What (investors) have allocated so far is still a drop in the ocean," says Ndemo, the former government technocrat. May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA




Weah Grapples With Harsh Economic Outlook Liberia is doing battle with economic headwinds, which President George Weah's administration is working to overcome, writes Flavius Jensen



t was on a pretty sunny Monday in the West African nation started by free slaves. The elections euphoria of 2017 was all history. Liberia was witnessing the peaceful and democratic transfer of power from one civilian administration to another in nearly a century. Expectations were indeed high amid economic and social dire consequences. The ecstatic aura of campaign turbulence was over. World leaders had descended on Monrovia to watch so historic an occasion for an infant democracy. Liberia’s new President and footballer-turned politician, George Weah was inaugurated as the country’s 25th President. Hopeful of improved livelihood, medicare, education and job-creation,



Liberians’ hopes had soon begun to dwindle after nearly 16 months in power. A sense of despair and uncertainty greeted the faces or ordinary Liberians every single day. Elusive and vague promises have become dismally nothing to write home about while the massive looting of state coffers continues unabated. MACROECONOMIC PERFORMANCE According to the African Economic Outlook (AEO), Liberia’s real GDP growth rebounded to an estimated 3.2 per cent in 2018, from 2.5 per cent in 2017, driven largely by mining and manufacturing. Agriculture, forestry, and fishing dominate the economy, contributing 70.3 per cent of GDP in 2017. A moderate increase in revenues, combined with a decrease in spending, reduced the fiscal deficit to 3.9 per cent in 2018 from 7.9 per cent of GDP in 2017. Liberia remains at a moderate risk of debt distress. Total public debt was 41.3 per cent of GDP in 2017, about 69.6 per cent of which (or 29 per cent of GDP) was external. The Liberian dollar depreciated by 24.5 per cent against the US dollar in 2017 and by 27 per cent by the end of June 2018. The depreciation was caused by deteriorating terms of trade and high demand for foreign exchange for imports. Nevertheless, inflation was an estimated 11.7 per cent in 2018, slightly lower than in 2017, due partly to high dollarization (about 70 per cent of broad money). The country’s current account deficit improved marginally to 22.4 per cent in 2018 from 22.7 per cent in 2017 as exports increased due to gold production and a modest recovery of commodity prices. Gross foreign reserves increased slightly from 3.0 months of imports in 2017 to 3.6 months at the end of June 2018. TAILWINDS AND HEADWINDS The African Economic Outlook (AEO) thinks economic outlook is positive, with real GDP growth projected to increase to 4.7 per cent in 2019 and 4.8 per cent in 2020, underpinned by modest growth in agriculture, fisheries, and services. Inflation is expected to decrease further to 10.5 per cent in 2019 and 9.5 per cent in 2020

because of a stable exchange rate, prudent monetary and fiscal policies, and a modest increase in domestic food production. The current account deficit is expected to remain slightly above 22 per cent in both 2019 and 2020. However, this positive outlook could be overshadowed by the risk of debt distress, which could go from moderate to high if borrowing to meet large public investment needs increases while the output of key export sectors declines. A decline in aid inflows after the 2014–16 Ebola crisis and the 2018 completion of the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia may affect the economic outlook. The shortage of foreign exchange could constrain the highly dollarized banking sector. Dependence on exports of primary commodities (gold and iron ore) and imports of food and fuel make it highly vulnerable to external shocks. In particular, demand for Liberia’s commodity exports could be reduced by a slowdown in the advanced economies or in China, due to recent trade tensions. The infrastructure deficit constrains development, particularly, roads, energy, and water and sanitation. For instance, the country has an estimated 12,000 kilometres of roads, only 7 per cent of which is paved. The country is undertaking various structural reforms toward accelerated, inclusive, and sustainable development. Expanding and improving the road network are priorities, including a plan to pave at least 650 kilometres of primary roads in

The Liberian dollar depreciated by 24.5 per cent against the US dollar in 2017 and by 27 per cent by the end of June 2018. The depreciation was caused by deteriorating terms of trade and high demand for foreign exchange for imports. Nevertheless, inflation was an estimated 11.7 per cent in 2018, slightly lower than in 2017, due partly to high dollarization

the next 5 years. Increasing access to affordable energy and water and sanitation is also at the top of the agenda. Infrastructure development, based on establishing special economic zones, is essential for industrialization. Building young people’s skills will boost their employment. Only time shall tell when the administration of Weah would be able to get what it takes to influence game-changer in place and keep the economy on a sustainable growth trajectory. May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA




Yoweri Museveni

Why Uganda is missing out on the Cocoa windfall On the Campaign Trail in 2016, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni who was campaigning for a 7th term, stopped in Bundibugyo District, Western Uganda. Bundibugyo District is Uganda’s leading Cocoa producer. The president promised the cocoa farmers Government support in the development of the Cocoa value chain from production to marketing. Instead what he has delivered is 1 million seedlings and left the Marketing to private sector middlemen. Why the detached interest? By Collins Hinamundi


n the Rwenzori Mountain Ranges, about 350 Kilometres West of Kampala, Jockus Matte and over 2000 other farmers grow Cocoa in Bundibugyo district. It is a crop that was popularised in Bundibugyo in the year 2000 by Olam Uganda Limited a co-


coa and coffee exporter. Matte, 56, grows Cocoa on 5 acres of land in Bubukwanga Sub-county. He lost more than 4 acres of cocoa when Machete-wielding attackers raided his farm in the 2014 ethnic violence that rocked Bundibugyo district. Like many other cocoa farmers in the district, he started growing Cocoa in the early 2000s. “Before that, I was growing beans, cassava, Maize and other food crops but they were not bringing in enough money, then the men from Olam started teaching us about Cocoa,” he says. “Cocoa fetches more money without necessarily working hard; you harvest every after two weeks’’ Matte adds, revealing for the first time, the windfall that comes with growing Cocoa during a price surge. Swiss Contact, an organisation promoting Cocoa growth in Uganda, says that Cocoa used to be at 500 shillings per kilogramme in 1997, but now costs upwards of 8000 shillings a kilogramme. ORIGINS Cocoa has its Origins in South America but It was a Swedish botanist, Carl Linnaeus, who classified cocoa and renamed it Theobroma Latin to mean food for the gods. Cocoa entered a phase of Mass consumption in 1876 with the creation of Chocolate Milk; the first Cocoa Plant in Uganda was planted at the government-owned Entebbe Botanical Gardens in 1901 by a British Colonial Officer and when it thrived, it was taken to other parts of the country.


According to Mr Joseph Kimera, a Project Officer at the Cocoa Development Project, “Commercial exports started in 1917 but the growing of cocoa was abandoned in 1924 due to a drastic drop in international prices. Pests and diseases also attacked the crop. However, it was reintroduced in 1954 in order to diversify export earnings.” By 1965, 462 Hectares of cocoa had been planted in Mukono, Bundibugyo, and Hoima. In 1972, the Cocoa Development Project was formed in the Ministry of Agriculture with the aim of increasing the amount of cocoa grown in the country. This led to an increase in the Cocoa acreage and as General Idi Amin’s government collapsed around him in 1979, the figures from that year show the acreage on which the plant was grown, had increased by 2700 percent to 13,000 Hectares. Swiss Contact estimates that there are currently over 13,000 farmers growing cocoa in Uganda on about 25,000 Hectares of land. These farmers, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics’ Statistical Abstract for the year 2016, earned the country more than $56m (Ushs180bn) in foreign exchange. This is money that can finance the annual budget of Uganda’s Ministry of Information and ICT, and the Ministry of Science and Innovation. Cocoa is one of the top foreign exchange earners in the Agriculture sector. The crop ranks higher than cotton. According to the latest export statistics, Cotton exported in 2015/16 was valued at $20m and is still considered a strategically important crop. The cotton sector is regulated by the Cotton


Development Organization to oversee the production, marketing and export of coffee whereas Cocoa, which was introduced around the same time as cotton and earns more for the country, has largely been left in the hands of the private sector. The Government’s intervention has largely been limited to supply of seedlings via the Cocoa Development Project and the Ugandan Army’s Operation wealth creation. Mr David Kyeyune, the project manager at Swiss contact, told this reporter on the sidelines of the Cocoa Producers Association launch that for a while now, the cocoa value chain has been disorganised and marginalised despite fetching quite a significant chunk of foreign exchange. “With difficulty, we have been trying to drive and push for the recognition of the cocoa value chain but nobody could listen because the sector was disjointed and lacked a voice from the players,” he said. Mr John Musisi who works with the Cocoa Development Project blames the sidelining of the Cocoa value chain on the lack of information. “Not many Ugandans know that cocoa is grown in the country. The school’s curriculum mentions that cocoa is grown in Ghana and Nigeria and not in Uganda,” he says. Musisi also goes to argue that land fragmentation by Ugandan farmers has made it impossible for Cocoa to grow on a large scale. “Much of the arable land has been divided into small plots as families expand and smaller units are handed down, often leading to ownership disputes,” he

With difficulty, we have been trying to drive and push for the recognition of the cocoa value chain but nobody could listen because the sector was disjointed and lacked a voice from the players says. However, Mr John Bosco Ochira a Cocoa exporter accuses the government of not being interested in the development of cocoa. “The Uganda Government has been left out of the global Cocoa marketing procedures, international cocoa control bodies such as the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO), do not recognize Uganda on the charts of the world cocoa trading terminal in the EU and USA countries, because Uganda as a country of cocoa origin has never bothered to become a member of ICCO by registration, increase Cocoa production, control prices and quality,” he says. He added that Uganda at present production volumes, cannot even meet the supply demands of only one Buyer in Europe, giving the example of ICAM Uganda Limited that is supposed to supply 5000 tonnes of Cocoa beans to ICAM Italy Ltd but can only make 2000 tonnes. MISSED OPPORTUNITIES According to the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO), the annual turnover of Cocoa is $83bn, with the leading producers being Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Ghana. These supply about 70 percent of the world’s cocoa. The May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA


CONTINENTAL ISSUE rest comes from Indonesia, and South America countries like Brazil, the largest markets for the Cocoa is Europe and North America, However, with the demand for chocolate products surging worldwide, particularly in developing countries, the demand for Cocoa has also increased. In 2017, the world consumed more than 4.3 million tonnes of cocoa beans, a 32 percent increase in a decade. Chocolate Sales in Asia are forecast to grow by 23 percent over the next five years, and by almost 31 percent in Latin America, according to London-based research firm Euromonitor International. That compares with growth of 8.3 percent in North America and 4.7 percent in Western Europe over the same period. Those projections offer opportunities for new suppliers to corner the market, unfortunately, Uganda is not ready. “Uganda’s cocoa production is still too low to attract credible investors into value addition. If we are to sell intermediate products like cocoa butter or cocoa powder we would earn three times more than what we earn when we export raw cocoa beans. According to the potential investors, our production levels are still low because their heavy machinery can’t run all year round on just 25,000 metric tonnes,” Mr Musisi says. Adding “A comparison in the export competitiveness of different commodities in Uganda indicates that At 4


UGANDAN COCOA percent contribution to exports, cocoa compares very well with electricity, Arabica coffee and yet these are the commodities considered to be of higher export value in Uganda, we need to change that.” Mr Philip Betts, the managing director at Esco Uganda Ltd, an exporter of organic cocoa and vanilla, says although cocoa production is growing, it is at a rate slower than the growth in global demand. “Cocoa production is increasing. But the demand is growing much faster, resulting in high prices”. The High farm gate prices would be good for Matte and other Cocoa farmers in the Rwenzori sub-region, but is it not sustainable because while Uganda is growing less cocoa, another farmer in another country is trying to meet the demand and prices will fall at some point as supply increases. HOPE RISES ANEW However, all is not lost, there is a concerted effort to increase Uganda’s cocoa exports, The Cocoa Development Project plans to double production levels from the current 25,000 metric tonnes to 50,000 by 2019. “We plan to expand the cocoa growing hectares and also provide farmers with the required resources and technological knowledge in order to boost production levels from the current 25,000 metric tonnes to our target of 50,000 metric tonnes by 2018,” Mr Musisi explains

This is being done through mass distribution of Cocoa seedlings to farmers and according to Musisi, more than 1 million seedlings have so far been distributed by the Cocoa Development Project, through the Army’s Operation Wealth Creation, but in 2 years when some of those 1 million seedlings start bearing fruit, most farmers will learn the harvest and processing process the hard way, they will also have to haggle with middlemen for prices far below the market value of their Cocoa beans. Because the government didn’t do its part and left everything to Farmers and the private sector. A 30-year-old Entrepreneur, says he would like to change all that. Mr Stephen Sembuya a would be heir to an Iron and Steel fortune that collapsed in 2006, wants to turn the $59m Uganda earned from cocoa into 1 billion dollars and to do that, he is setting up a chocolate making factory, is offering to help farmers become artisanal chocolate makers so they can supply his factory, and is promising an above market price for their beans. When I ask Mr Jockus Matte the Cocoa farmer in Bubukwanga village, who is also a member of Bundibugyo Cocoa Farmers Association what he thinks of Sembuya’s offer, he sighs, and betrays the age-old suspicion Older men have of young men and their ambitions, “we were told about his plans at the co-operative, but I hope he can keep his promises”.


Running two homes is a big challenge to me – Okey Bakassi Talking with this naturally gifted comedian will get you cracking at every moment. He remains one of the most creative stand - up comedians in the business of humor merchandize today in Nigeria. His name, Okechukwu Mac -Anthony Onyegbula, popularly known as Okey Bakassi, a name he got because of his jokes on Bakassi, and so, people began to attach Bakassi to his first name and it stuck. By Orji Onyekwere


is jokes are spontaneous and he is not one to hide his feelings concerning the way the country is being run. This year, will make it 26 years, the Imo state born entertainer, has dominated the entertainment industry especially the comedy business and he still continues to wax stronger in the industry. Married to his childhood friend and love of his life Zizi, whom he has known for the past 30 years, the marriage is blessed with three lovely kids, Dera, Fechi, Cheta. His family stays in Canada and this he says has been a herculean task running two homes both in Canada and Nigeria. He revealed that meeting Zizi, is the best thing that ever happened to him. The couple met in the University, while Okey was in his second year at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, where he studied Agricultural Engineering. He speaks more on the challenges of running two homes, “I won’t advice my enemy to keep two homes. It can break your home, but it has May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA


ENTERTINMENT It has opened platform for people not only to find expression but also for people to steal other people’s work. So, you have a situation where people who can’t tell jokes in front of an audience, all they need to do is to go to comedy concerts and video comedians performing, then they go home, and replicate this, on the social media its advantages. The challenge is that most of the time, you are away from the people you love most. It’s very difficult, despite the fact that I still make out time to go spend with the family. You will wish that you were with them. But in this present economy, you have to look at your ability to pay bills because it’s a difficult balance. My luck is that my wife has been my childhood friend. We’ve known ourselves for almost 30 years and this has made it easy”. The marriage was consummated in 2001. Onyegbule’s nag for making people happy started back in his secondary school days. “My first experience was in secondary school when I was opportune to perform in front of a large audience and friends were like, I should come and entertain them. I was reported to the Social Prefect and I was compelled to perform in front of the whole school. It was tough for me, but I did it, and people just liked me. So, when I got into the university, gradually it started evolving and by the time I graduated, I was a known name”. At the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, where he studied Agricultural Engineering, he came together with other students with like


minds to form a group ‘Theatre Kolleagues’, for the purpose of acting and entertaining the university community. He took his acting career to another level when he appeared in TV soap opera ‘’Fortunes’’ in 1993, produced and directed by Zeb Ejiro, where he acted Nick, a bodyguard. Since then, he has featured in over 80 movies, after his exploits with the comedy movie, Yogo Pam Pam. In 2014, he won the “Best Actor in a Leading Role (Igbo)” category at the 2014 edition of the Best of Nollywood Awards for his role in the film Onye Ozi. The comedian is one who does not hide his feelings about the activities going on in his environment. He is one who will always give his best to effect change within his environment, and this he does on ‘It’s okay with Okey, on Lagos Talk FM’, and ‘The Other News with Okey Bakassi’ which airs on pay TV network. The ‘Other News’ highlights on the problem facing the masses in a comical way. Okey says, though he still loves acting, but he now chooses the movies he appears because of content and his schedule. His words,’’ My calendar is so tight; it has become difficult to create space for movies because movies take like several weeks or months to shoot. So, if I go on set, it means there will not be time to attend to other things and it becomes worse if it’s outside Lagos. That means I can’t do any other thing. For me, to actual-

ly squeeze out two weeks to go on set, the money must be worth it. This thing is business, and you have to plan and prioritise. That aside, I have also come to a stage in my career that I don’t just jump or accept any job thrown to me. I don’t just want to appear in any movie. I will not appear in any movie that will not take my career beyond where it is. It’s not about money, but the potentials of that job”. For him, the business of comedy is growing tremendously, but like every other businesses, mediocre and quacks are gradually spoiling business for them in the industry. He said these mediocre comedians now go to events and record jokes by other comedians, which they replicate on the social media, thereby reaping from other people’s sweat. He explains further, “the truth is that I must give credit to my generation because we really worked hard to establish this industry. You will agree with me that comedy business is big in Nigeria and people from other parts of Africa appreciate this. We have impacted seriously in the growth and development of that sector. But a lot still needs to be done. I discovered that comedy has become a lot easier to do with the advent of social media. It has opened platform for people not only to find expression but also for people to steal other people’s work. So, you have a situation where people who can’t tell jokes in front of an audience, all they need to do is to go to comedy concerts and video comedians performing, then they go home, and replicate this, on the social media. This is feeding off on people’s talent and it’s not good, but there is nothing we can do about it. They have made the job of comedians difficult. Some of these established comedians and the talented ones are reluctant to give their best knowing that somebody is in the audience recording their work. Even before you are through with the show, your event is already on the youtube, and people are making money from your sweat”.





A new vista for table tennis in Ghana The last time that Ghana won an international title in table tennis was in 1980 when Esther Lamptey claimed the women’s singles title at the African Championship in Dakar, Senegal. Since then, table tennis nosedived in Ghana and the glorious days of Ghana’s dominance fizzled out. By OLALEKAN OKUSAN



ut 39 years after youngster and Ghana’s future star, Ibrahim Gado Nuhu brought back the glorious days when he dominated the U-13 event of the ITTF World Junior Circuit tagged Ghana Open. The 13-year-old won the only gold medal picked up by Ghana at the fiveday competition sanctioned by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). In the glorious days of Ghana table tennis in the 1960s to 1980s, the likes of Ethel Jacks, Lamptey and the Quayu brothers were force to be reckoned with in Africa. But for more than three decades, Ghana has not been able to rub shoulders in the sport within the continent and this was what promoted the Mawuko Afadzinu -led Ghana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) to host one of the ITTF World Junior Circuits. The tournament received government support through the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia as well as the Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Asiamah. “In Ghana, we want to promote all sports because everybody seems to be focusing on football. Table tennis is one of the major sports in Ghana because as a kid I played table tennis in school. But now I hardly chance to play the game because I see it as a good exercise and full of fun. For the tournaments holding in Ghana, I want you to count on my full support to help promote the sport and we are going to support the staging of the competition,” said the number two citizen in Ghana. And from April 1 to 5, six countries including – Nigeria, Congo DRC, England, Costa Rica, India, Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, Mauritius and host – Ghana, took part in the tournament for cadet and junior players. The ultra-modern Sports Emporium in Bukom, Accra hosted the tournament and for five days, the tournament threw up talents for Ghana with the likes of Ibrahim Gado Nuhu claiming the sole gold medal for the host in the mini-cadet boys’ singles event; at the final hurdle he beat Con-

SPORTS go Democratic’s Naredi Bovoji Mutshu (11-5, 11-5, 13-11), a promising sign for future as Ghana seeks to recover past glories. It was Ghana’s neighbor that carted home most of the gold medals winning the most of the medals while visiting Indian also claimed large chunk of the medals. But 11-year-old fondly called Gado, couldn’t hide his joy for the victory. “I want to thank all Ghanaians for their prayers and support. Our president Mawuko Afadzinu has done well for us by bringing this tournament to us. Our coaches trained us well and our current senior players gave us a lot of support during our camping. “When I was leaving home for national camp, my dad told me not to fear any player and that encouraged me to work hard behind the table to win,” admits Ibrahim Gado Nuhu Coming from Agona Kwanyarko in the central region of Ghana where lots of cadet players are groomed, it is not surprising that he rose to the occasion when his country needed him most. “I want to thank my parents, Coach Kwame Ampofo and the other coaches for helping me reach this far, all the people of Agona Kwanyarko and most especially Ghana Table Tennis Association. This gold medal

GHANA is dedicated to all Ghanaians and it is a sign that we are ready to lift the flag of Ghana high,” said Ibrahim Gado Nuhu. For this feat, the youngster has been invited by the organizing committee of the Africa’s elite table tennis tournament, ITTF Challenge Plus Nigeria Open holding in Lagos, Nigeria on August 7 to 11 this year. For the President of African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, the staging of the tournament would help to restore the lost glory of the country. “We must take into consideration that Ghana used to be one of the superpowers of table tennis in Africa and I know they still have it in their blood. I am also sure that the hosting of this competition will be a turning point to get back on the track. I am convinced beyond any doubt that Ghana has made Africa proud with the staging of the championship.” For Vice President, Western Africa region, Wahid Enitan Oshodi, it was clear that Ghana showed their capabilities in hosting the World Junior Circuit. “I must commend the GTTA especially their President Mawuko Afadzinu for the work they have put into preparing for the junior tournament because hosting major tournaments of this nature

We must take into consideration that Ghana used to be one of the superpowers of table tennis in Africa and I know they still have it in their blood. I am also sure that the hosting of this competition will be a turning point to get back on the track is very tasking and I am quite impressed with what they have done,” Oshodi said. Apart from the World Junior Circuit, Ghana will also be hosting the African Junior and Cadet Championship from April 7 to 13.





Uganda on spot as WTTD berths in Africa Since its inception in 2015, the World Table Tennis Day (WTTD) which is marked on April 6 has never been staged in Africa but the swing changed this year as Uganda becomes the first African nation to host the prestigious event. By OLALEKAN OKUSAN


ith a record-breaking 862 registered events in 104 countries, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)-sanctioned the 2019 edition of WTTD lived up to its billing as a global celebration of sport in society. Being the fifth edition, the annual event revolves round bringing people together from all corners of the world to promote social inclusion through table tennis, in accordance with the vision of the award-winning programme TT4ALL. For this year, it was an unbelievable scene in Uganda as ITTF and the ITTF Foundation, together with Slum Ping Pong, staged the flagship event in Kampala, Uganda, using the sport to break barriers and develop positive messages on children’s, girls’ and women’s rights. Slum Ping Pong, which was also chosen among the projects to receive support from the ITTF Foundation via the TT Dream Building Fund, runs a table tennis club with over 100 children attending regularly. “Slum Ping Pong is now two years old and we thank the ITTF Founda-


tion for giving us the honour to host World Table Tennis Day 2019. I encourage all young children to keep playing table tennis,” said Emmanuel Bale, Slum Ping Pong Founder From the capital to the countryside, celebrations extended across to the Uganda’s Western rural district of Hoima in tandem with the Hoima Network of Child Rights Clubs (HONECRIC), whose project is aimed at developing technical and life skills for children and youth. Reaching out to approximately 8,000 kids in 70 schools across the region, the project is aimed at reducing early school dropout rates and encouraging the inclusion of children with and without disabilities through table tennis. “The children love table tennis. They play it while saying out loud what they want to be when they grow up. This helps to foster discipline and determination,” said Lloyd Birungi, HONECRIC Project Officer Following the motto “Nothing is impossible for those who believe”, Ibrahim Hamadtou, the Para Table Tennis champion and renowned Egyptian athlete who plays without

hands, played an integral role in the site visits across Uganda, rallying with young people at the table tennis tables and encouraging them to pursue their dreams! “I’m the only player in the world who plays with their mouth. I’m Egyptian, but very happy to be here in Uganda, I feel like I belong to this country too. Thank you everyone for this special day and I hope to see a champion emerge from Uganda among these children in the future!,” said Ibrahim Hamadtou, Para Table Tennis Champion In his remarks, Leandro Olvech, ITTF Foundation Director said: “Anyone can play table tennis! We encourage all of you children to keep playing and one day soon you may be representing Uganda in the championships! A big thanks to Slum Ping Pong and Ibrahim for coming all the way from Egypt. On behalf of the ITTF Foundation, I’m very happy with this event and let’s continue celebrating!” According to ITTF, a number of schools across Uganda have noticed positive developments in their respective institutions thanks to the support


offered through the projects held in relation to WTTD. “I’m very happy about the students’ progress so far. Table Tennis is promoting unity and helping the kids, with or without disabilities, to learn how to communicate and build good relationships with one another,” said Sister Maria Goreti, Kitana Primary School “School enrolment is almost up to 400 now and cooperation with other primary schools has been enabled thanks to the table tennis projects,” added Diana Kamuli, Headteacher of Buhanika Primary School For the opportunity given to less-privilege, Caroline Nyamahunge, Headteacher of Kibanjwa Primary School revealed, “St. Michaels International School in Kampala has been able to offer scholarships to three kids because of table tennis.” “The budget allocated to physical education in schools is approximately 5% and the sums of money are negligible. The biggest challenge we face is not only funding, but also changing the negative perceptions from parents, who believe that their kids playing table tennis will hinder their academic progress,” explained Alinde Haruna, Member of the National Primary School Sports Committee Also the Uganda National Primary School Sports Committee is working towards building national teams that

can compete in regional championships. For Jjagwe Robert, Uganda Table Tennis Association (UTTA), table tennis engenders friendship. “Table Tennis offers so many opportunities and parents should always encourage their children to play this sport, which promotes unity and cohesion among youth of different backgrounds and keeps kids in school,” said Jjagwe Robert. Grace Mary Mugasa, Mayor of Hoima, described Ibrahim Hamadtou as an inspiration. “Let everyone


be inspired by Ibrahim Hamadtou that anyone can earn a living through table tennis. Therefore, we are urging parents to encourage their children that nothing is impossible if you believe.” For the giant strides made through the WTTD, the world table tennis ruling body expressed appreciation to Uganda for making the 2019 edition of WTTD a resounding success, while pledging commitment to using table tennis to continue playing a positive role in communities across the globe. May, 2019 CHERRYAFRICA




EXECUTION The Only Thing Left


how me a successful man, and I will show you a man who is good at execution. I have never seen a general win a war by mere planning without execution. I have studied the lives of many successful people and have come to two conclusions – success is no respecter of persons; execution is the only key to success. You may have big dreams, you may have great plans; but until you move from dreaming and from planning to execution, you cannot achieve anything. Execution is indeed critical for our success. I think we have done enough dreaming and wishing. We have done enough folding of the arms, enough sitting down, enough waiting, and enough sleeping. It's time for execution. Success requires execution. Execution is the only path to results – be it an individual, organisation, community or nation. Our dreams will not magically happen; we have to make them happen. Our career goals will not magically happen; we have to make them happen. In fact, the difference between our current state and our desired future is execution. Execution is what engenders change in our status, be it spiritual, physical, economic, career, health, family, etc. So, I urge you to take that important step, make that call, read that book; make that visit, begin that course, take that action, execute that plan. Execution is the discipline of getting things done. It is not just something that does or does not get done. It is a specific set of behaviours and attitudes that individuals must master in order to fulfil their dreams and be successful in life. It is a whole discipline of getting things done no matter the economic status, social background, religious affiliation, relational status, cultural and family background, career status, race, gender, or personality of the individual. Execution is what differentiates


achievers from non-achievers; the successful from the unsuccessful; the rich from the poor. Without execution, nothing gets done. I have come across people who have beautiful dreams and career goals but lack the discipline to execute those dreams and goals. You can live your dreams. You can live your life on purpose determining in advance the outcomes you want to experience. It all begins with execution. Execution is not good intention. Execution is good intention put into action. No matter how good your intentions are, they will not just happen; you have to make them happen. I have not come across any successful person who has succeeded as a result of good intentions only. Many people have good intentions but not many people have cultivated the discipline of execution to put their good intentions into action. That is why we see only a few people achieving their New Year resolutions; as against the majority who give up on their resolutions few weeks into the year. I know you have good intentions, but please move a step further and put your good intentions into action. Sometimes people confuse execution with strategy. Strategy is deciding what to do, and execution is all about making it happen. The strategy is what you want to get done, and execution is the whole discipline of getting it done. The sad truth is that most people stop at the strategy stage and never get to execute their strategy. Only a few people get beyond strategy to execution, and that is why we find only a few people at the top. I believe you can be among the few people at the top; all it takes is execution - the discipline of getting things done. Execution is fundamental to strategy. No worthwhile strategy can be planned without taking into account the ability to execute it. We must understand that execution does not make us oblivious of the realities on the

We must understand that execution does not make us oblivious of the realities on the ground. A Good execution requires that we have a systematic way of exposing and dealing with realities. Beyond strategy, we need resources, people and time to be successful at execution

ground. A Good execution requires that we have a systematic way of exposing and dealing with realities. Beyond strategy, we need resources, people and time to be successful at execution. So, for execution to be successful, you need to answer the following questions: what resources do I need to execute this plan? Who do I need to talk to for advice or support in executing this plan? What time do I have available to commit to the execution of my goals? Remember that if you have a strong will and desire to execute your plan, you will always find ways to make it happen. But whilst doing that, keep your values in view. Again, execution is a continuous process, and the consistency with which you execute your plans or goals determines how successful you will be. Execution should be happening every day, every week, every month, and every year. There is no annual leave in execution. There are no long holidays in execution. There is no break or tiredness in execution. Execution must be done consistently. The story is told of an international speaker who was very success-

ful at what he did. This man was consistently executing his plans until one day he decided he had done enough and needed a break. He packed his luggage and went on a long holiday enjoying himself and his success. He came back a year later to continue where he left off but unfortunately, nobody gave him any speaking engagements. He lost all his clients. Don't let this happen to you. Stay on course and be consistent in your execution. God will help you. Patricia Abena Kissi (Mrs) HR Consultant/Personal & Career Development Coach/Author CEO, SEDAT Consult Ltd +233 (0) 24 4629245 / +233 (0) 50 8913333 / triciaak2000@



Africa honours Ghana’s table tennis legend, Ethel Jacks When Ethel Jacks walked into the venue of the 2019 ITTF Africa Junior and Cadet Championships – Sports Trust Emporium in Accra, Ghana on Wednesday April 10, 2019, not many of the players knew who she was. But some of the older coaches quickly recognized her and started exchanging pleasantries with the former African champion


er call at the venue yesterday was elicited by a special award bestowed on her by the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) in appreciation of her contributions to table tennis. Although she is 76 years old, you could not miss the athleticism in Jacks’ steps and strides. When her profile was read before the presentation, an excited Jacks was welcomed to the stage by ATTF President, Khaled El-Salhy, who was assisted by President, Ghana Table Tennis Association (GTTA), Mawuko Afadzinu. In her remarks, the beaming septuagenarian said: “I am so happy that this long-awaited recognition finally came to me in my lifetime. I am grateful to


the ATTF for this special award and I believe this will also motivate the present players, showing them that their labour will not be in vain.” The occasion must have brought back floods of pleasant memories for Jacks. It certainly brought back a recall of her great exploits with her late doubles’ partner, Ernestina Akuetteh. In 1964 and 1968, Jacks partnered Akuetteh to win the women’s doubles gold medals at the African Championships. Fittingly, Jacks called for a one-minute silence for the great Akuetteh of blessed memory. For the ATTF helmsman, the award was in recognition of Jacks’ immense contributions to the sport. “Ethel Jacks put Ghana on the African map with her performance in the 1960s

and 1970s. She is one of the three players in Africa to have won the African Championship thrice in the history of the tournament. So ATTF believes honouring her would inspire upcoming players in Ghana to aim high and exceed Ethel Jacks’ feat,” the ATTF chief said. In her playing days, Jacks won the women’s singles title thrice at the African Championships commencing in 1964 in Accra, 1968 in Lagos, Nigeria and 1974 in Alexandria, Egypt. Her record has only been equaled by Nigeria’s Bose Kaffo and Olufunke Oshonaike.




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Profile for Francis Toke

Cherry Africa Magazine - May Edition  

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Time To Destroy Africa’s Yoke For the umpteenth time, news about the despicable state of affairs in Africa has continued...

Cherry Africa Magazine - May Edition  

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Time To Destroy Africa’s Yoke For the umpteenth time, news about the despicable state of affairs in Africa has continued...


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