Posts tagged as: international

Togo: Yobo Studios Pioneers Short-Format Series Content for Broadcast and Online

London — If you’re a regular visitor to Discop Africa (the largest TV trade show in Africa), you may have noticed her. Or maybe you know ‘Zem’, her mini-TV series that was a hit in Africa and with the african diaspora.

Half Togolese on her father’s side and half from Guadeloupe on her mother’s side, Angela Aquereburu Rabatel founded the company YoBo Studios with her partner Jean-Luc Rabatel in 2009 (the year of the first Discop Africa’s edition). She explains her career and describes her productions to Sylvain Béletre/BalancingAct – April 2017.

Based in Lomé, Togo, YoBo Studios is an audiovisual production company – now one of the largest production companies in the country – whose “objective is to provide original and exportable content”. The other ambition of her team: to bring a different perspective on Africa today.

Q. Before becoming a producer, what was your background? Have you done other things?

A. I went through the ESCP (Ecole Supérieure de Commerce) in Paris to obtain my specialized Master in Entrepreneurship. I worked in measuring instruments and then in an HR consulting firm before turning to the audiovisual sector. I trained on the job: I read a lot of books and viewed many tutorials to learn the trade. Moving to Togo quickly became obvious.

Q. How did you land in the television sector? And why did you choose Togo to establish yourself?

A. My father is already a ‘television dinosaur’ in Togo, as he was one of the first to set up satellite dishes in the region for Canal + Horizon and CFI. My partner, Jean-Luc, was a comedian in Paris and had full-on projects. My father said to us: “Why do you waste your time in France when here the sector is damaged! Look at the mediocre content on television, which does not look like us! “That’s how we decided to do the Zem pilot.

My family lives in Togo and has developed facilities that I can benefit for my productions. Without this family base in Togo, I think we would have had a harder time getting started in audio-visual production …

Q. What were or are your biggest challenges? And your biggest hits?

A. Our greatest popular success: ZEM. Our ‘challenge’? The financing of our productions, our financial margins.

A. Tell us more about YoBo Studios.

Q. We produce fun, entertaining and aesthetic content: TV series, commercials, 3D animation and soon feature films. The company was called Caring International. We then changed our name to something more authentic. The Yo comes from the mina (Togolese dialect), the yovo which means ‘person with white skin’. And the Bo comes from the word ameyibo which means ‘a person with black skin’. A nod to our partnership – Jean-Luc and me – and on cinema … black & white.

Q.What are your main production projects today?

A. This year, we produce Zem Season 3, and “Oasis”, a new drama for Cote Ouest. In 2018, we plan to shoot the “EXPAT” series, which is currently under development, and another series project for the moment confidential. Beginning in 2019, we would like to produce long feature films that cross borders … broadcast on television and in cinemas.

Q. Please tell us more about these new projects.

A. Oasis and Expat are series projects under development. Oasis is a fictional 20-minute episode of 26 minutes in development for Cote Ouest, which has obtained support from the OIF. The series tells the story of a woman who integrates a real estate complex to do industrial espionage, but whose mission will be compromised when she goes back to a knowledge watch. Expat is a ‘drama’ of 10 episodes of 26 minutes that tells the story of a French couple who believes they are leaving in ‘expatriation’, while they land in Porto Novo, Benin …

Q. How would you define ZEM, this series which was the first success of your company?

A. ZEM is a short format series (3 minutes), whose purpose is to establish a humorous dialogue between several motorcycle taxi drivers and their entourage. I think this series was a success because it was the first time at the time that we showed on television in 2009 a short African format shot in HD with actors who had a smooth and fast rapport.

The pilot first made a buzz on Dailymotion France with more than 50,000 views on the first day (at the time it was a lot for African content!). It was also the first time that Canal + Overseas made co-production on a series. Season 1 of ZEM has 26 episodes, Season 2 is 50 episodes and Season 3 has 60 episodes (in preparation). The Season 1 was broadcast on January 4, 2010 on Canal + Afrique and on July 4, 2010 on Comédie (France), Ma Chaine Etudiante (France) and TV5monde in 2012, then the A+ channel in 2016. The Season 2 appeared to the public 12 September 2016 on TV5monde. Zem received a special prize at the Festival Vues d’Afrique in Montreal in 2012.

Q. Hospital IT (pronounced ‘Hospitalité’ in French) is about the medical world, correct?

A. This series of fiction describes a facet of the medical world in Africa. It shows the ambivalence between traditional medicine and Western medicine. The series is coming out this year.

Q. Who distributes your programs globally?

A. Zem and Palabres belong to YoBo Studios, we distribute them. Mi Temps is distributed by Canal+. The rights of Hospital IT and Oasis belong to Cote Ouest which distributes them.

Q. Is brand placement important to the survival of your company? What percentage of the total budget?

A: Yes, it is important funding for some of our productions; today, our partnering channels deal with the placement of trademarks in our productions, when our content has been pre-purchased by a channel that is linked to an ad planning agency (e.g. Canal+ Advertising, FTP). Product or brand placement represents today about 5% of the budget of our productions, at best.

Q. Do you think that the development of the audiovisual sector is important for Africans, and if so why? (In comparison with other sectors and infrastructures – health, water, electricity …)

A. For us it is as important as the rest, but for governments it is not an urgent priority. However, audiovisual programs make it possible to pass on many messages to the population, and not only in an autocratic way. The development of the audiovisual sector is essential: Watching television is the only entertainment that exists for the big mass, outside drink… As a result, the audiovisual sector is a decisive tool to convey strong messages of health, ecology, democracy … In short, we can inform and educate the populations through audiovisual programmes. But it would require a real political will to improve this sector.

Q. How do you think the African audiovisual sector has evolved since 2009?

A. It is a sector in full evolution: I see programs of better quality with more variety. Financing and margins remain the weak point.

Q. What are the current trends in terms of audiences across Africa right now?

A. Mobile TV is growing all over Africa. African people watch a lot of videos on their mobile phones. Some – the most connected – subscribe to VoD services: iROKO, Netflix, etc.

Q. What challenges do you see in the sector? And how do we deal with them?

A. Financing is key. To make exportable and cost-effective content, a minimum investment is required.

Q. Who do you think are the main leaders of the sector in French-speaking Africa? Those who really invest …

A. Local producers and broadcasters, Cote Ouest, Bolloré / Canal+, OIF, TV5Monde, RTI … There are not enough, at least on the French-speaking side. TV5monde has a genuine investment policy on African productions, they also make local ‘coups’ with real action points. RTI (Radio TV Cote d’Ivoire) can be very aggressive in its content acquisition policy but focuses mainly on Ivorian productions when it comes to pre-purchase; The Canal+ group with Canal+ Afrique, the A+ channel, NollywoodTV are key buyers in the sector… And finally Cote Ouest, which has always been a leader in distribution in Africa, but for the last 2 years has started (co-)production.

Legislators Call for Clarification On Standard Gauge Railway Funds

Photo: Daily News

President John Magufuli inspects a section of the Standard Gauge Railway project after laying the foundation stone at Pugu Station on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam.

By Athuman Mtulya

The government’s decision to allocate Sh900 billion from domestic revenue for the construction of the standard gauge railway (SGR) in the 2017/18 fiscal year has prompted the Opposition to demand an explanation over the fate of loan agreements that the country entered with foreign banks.

Tabling his docket’s 2017/18 budget proposals yesterday, the Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Prof Makame Mbarawa, said the government has allocated Sh900 billion for the SGR project.

According to the Prof Mbarawa, all the funds will come from the government and there is no single cent that will come from foreign donors. “To continue with the SGR construction project from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma, a sum of Sh900 billion has been allocated for the next financial year,” he said.

In the 2016/17 financial year the government allocated Sh1 trillion to fund the first phase of the project starting from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro (300km) the total cost of which is put at Sh2.5 trillion.

However, the opposition camp charged that the government was sending mixed signals over the funding of the SGR for the central railways line and wanted the government to clarify.

Opposition Spokesperson David Silinde (Momba-Chadema) noted that officials in the former President Jakaya Kikwete’s administration had said that SGR would be constructed with financial assistance from China.

And in fact, President Magufuli went ahead and entered into a long-term loan agreement with the Exim Bank of China worth Sh17.5 trillion.

“President (John) Magufuli has said in the past that the Sh2.5 trillion for the Dar es Salaam-Morogoro phase would be locally funded. But he has also been quoted saying that there would be financial assistance from Turkey. We would like to know who is paying what for that phase one,” he said adding, “We would also like to know what happened to the Exim Bank deal, and what happened to the Chinese companies who had shown interest in the first place.”

The Opposition also raised concern on how the project is currently financed, saying it will take too long, rendering it economically non-viable.

“The Minister of Finance, Dr Philip Mpango, told this august House last year that for the project to become viable, then its sections should be built simultaneously. We share the same view, and we would like to see how the government is poised to execute that,” said Mr Silinde.

Earlier, Prof Mbarawa tabled a Sh4.5 trillion budget out of which Sh2.5 trillion will go to the Transport sector, Sh1.9 trillion to Works and Sh18 billion to Communications.

In the Transport sector, Sh2.4 trillion is allocated for development projects. The government is going to inject Sh2.2 trillion for various projects the largest being the SGR. Prof Mbarawa also said the government has allocated Sh500 billion for buying new planes for Air Tanzania Company Ltd (see story on page 10).

The government will also embark on two new feasibility studies for SGR line for Mtwara-Mbambabay (Sh2 billion) and Arusha-Musoma (Sh1 billion).

Donors will contribute Sh250 billion, out of which Sh200 billion by World Bank to rehabilitate the existing meter gauge central railway line.

In the construction sector, Sh1.8 trillion has been allocated for development projects. Sh1.3 trillion will come from local sources while donors will inject Sh545 billion.

Some of the major projects earmarked in this sector are, Sh917 billion for the roads fund, construction of Msalato Airport in Dodoma (Sh5.5 billion), rehabilitation of Kilimanjaro International Airport (Sh32 billion), rehabilitation of Mtwara Airport (Sh4.5 billion) and construction of Terminal III Building of the Julius Nyerere International Airport (Sh35 billion).

In the communications sector, Sh14 billion has been earmarked for development projects, all coming from the local sources.

“In the next fiscal year, we have tried to allocate more local funds for the development projects. It is upon us to propel the development wheel on our very own blood and sweat,” said Prof Mbarawa.

Compared to the fiscal year 2016/17 budget, the proposed 2017/18 estimates for the ministry has raised by Sh326 billion.

President Magufuli flagged off the first phase of the SGR project on April 12 this year. He urged the contractor to finish the project within 30 months. The project is being undertaken by contractors from Turkey and Portugal.

Yesterday, Prof Mbarawa said the tenders for construction of Morogoro-Makutupora section (336km), Makutupora-Tabora (294km),Tabora-Isaka (133km) and Isaka-Mwanza(249km) were advertised in November 2016, and opened Wednesday last Week (April,2017).

The SGR which is to use electricity full-time is designed for a maximum speed of 160km/h for passenger trains and 120km/h for freight.

It links the Dar es Salaam Port with DR Congo and the land-locked countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia and Malawi.

Africa: Microsoft 4Afrika Hands Its Intellectual Property Hub Over to Comesa

Photo: Elekes Andor/Wikipedia

Microsoft European HQ in Paris (file photo).

Microsoft 4Afrika has transferred full ownership and management of its IP Hub to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), expanding its reach to more African countries in an effort to enable more cross-border trade.

The IP Hub, which Microsoft 4Afrika developed and launched in 2014, is an online learning resource designed to drive awareness around intellectual property (IP) rights.

Through a series of modules, it educates innovators on the ins and outs of copyright, trademarks, patents and general IP protection.

The COMESA IP Hub is now live and accessible at http://iphub.comesa.int/.

“The COMESA IP Hub is a concerted effort between the public and private sector for the development of a regional platform that can contribute to a strengthened national IP protection system, in a manner that promotes innovation, business development and trade,” Sindiso Ngwenya, the COMESA secretary-general, said in a statement.

“The value of IP and IP protection has not yet been fully utilised within the region. This day marks a shift in our direction as the COMESA region, towards the realisation of the need to protect IP, with copyright protection being the initial step.”

Louis Otieno, corporate affairs director at Microsoft 4Afrika, said: “We developed the IP Hub with the promise to pilot it and then hand it over to local governments and authorities. This is therefore an exciting milestone for us, especially as we commemorate the 17th annual World IP Day.”

This year’s World IP Day, marked on Tuesday, focused on how IP systems can support innovation that improves lives.

According to the new 2017 US Chamber International IP Index, economies with robust IP protection see 80 per cent more knowledge-based, technological and creative outputs, and are 68 per cent more likely to have supportive business climates.

In addition to handing over the IP Hub, Microsoft 4Afrika continues to collaborate with IP authorities in COMESA member states to automate their IP registration processes.

Microsoft and COMESA are also working together to enable the creation of new IP.

By promoting a trusted cloud infrastructure – underpinned by relevant policies around cybersecurity and data privacy – the two organisations hope to encourage more people to use cloud technology, develop their own IP and ultimately participate in trade and e-commerce across borders.

Africa

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Ethiopian First Lady Tips Women to Lead Family and Communities

Photo: The New Times

Prime Minister Desalegn and First Lady Tesfaye alight from their plane at Kigali International Airport.

By Athan Tashobya

Ethiopia’s First Lady Romane Tesfaye has encouraged women to be at the heart of their families’ well-being by championing peace and reconciliation.

Mrs Tesfaye said women give life (through birth) and so they are the very people who would be the first to understand the pain caused by conflicts, hence putting them in a strategic position of being the pioneers of peace and stability in their communities.

The Ethiopian First Lady said this, yesterday, while visiting the Women to Women Opportunity Centre in Kayonza District, Eastern Province.

The centre hosts women survivors of the 1994 Genocide agaisnt Tutsi, wives of Genocide convicts, as well as those who returned to Rwanda from exile.

“Women, wherever we are, share the same values; we give life and give meaning to life. Since we give life, we need to be the first people to understand the weight of conflicts and do all we can to prevent it in our communities,” Mrs Tesfaye said.

“It doesn’t matter who we are or where we come from. We can and must come together in bringing about peace.”

Just like the mother organisation-Women for Women International-The Women for Women Centre in Kayonza supports the most marginalised women to earn and save money, improve health and well-being, influence decisions in their home and community, and connect them to networks for support.

More on This

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hails Rwanda’s Village Housing Project


Ethiopian Prime Minister and First Lady On 3-Day State VisitEthiopia Prime Minister Visits RwandaRwanda, Ethiopia Expand Areas of Cooperation

The centre, established in June 2013 in honour of the former Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Aloisia Inyumba, utilises skills, knowledge, and resources, for not only women but for men as well who they are able to work with in creating sustainable change for themselves, their family, and community.To men, Mrs Tesfaye said “men and women, we must co-exist; in harmony, in love because we complement each other and all we do must reflect exactly that.””What we need for peaceful families, homes and communities are men who understand women’s feelings, fear and pain,” she added.Mrs Tesfaye arrived in Kigali yesterday accompanying Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn for a three-day state visit.She hailed the Government’s efforts in empowering women, an act she pledged to emulate back home.”Back home, we do all these things trying to empower women. We also do art and encourage women to innovate many artistic things. We could share experiences; maybe you could come teach our women some of these things and some of our women would come here as well just to share knowledge and experiences,” she told the women artisans.Mrs Tesfaye was accompanied by the Minister for Gender and Family Promotion, Esperance Nyirasafari, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and East African Community Affairs, Rosemary Mbabazi; Sandrine Umutoni, director-general of Imbuto Foundation, among others.Premier Desalegn and First Lady Tesfaye were hosted to a state banquet by President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame last night.

Small Business Owners to Benefit From Rwf843 Million Mastercard Grant

Small business operators are set to benefit from a $1 million (about Rwf843 million) grant from the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth to support their growth. The grant will be rolled out over a period of three years in partnership with the African Entrepreneur Collective (AEC), locally known as Inkomoko, the organisation said in a statement.

Inkomoko develops and grooms entrepreneurs in the sectors of technology, agriculture and energy, three of East Africa’s biggest and fastest growing sectors, and priorities in Rwanda.

MasterCard committed to supporting Rwanda’s vision of financially empowering its citizens during the 2016 World Economic Forum on Africa (WEF Africa) in Kigali and the grant was established to help achieve this goal. This also supports government efforts aimed at job-creation and poverty reduction, as well as ensuring gender equality through equal access to opportunities, and delivering decent work prospects to drive economic growth.

The SME sector is the key driver of the local economy, making up about 98 per cent of the private sector in the country.

The one-year programme by Inkomoko will help remove the barriers local entrepreneurs face in the areas of skills development, networks, and financing through providing mentoring, technical support, capacity building, and direct access to affordable capital, according to the statement.

Supporting refugees

Under the programme, Inkomoko will also support some of the 160,000 refugees currently living in Rwanda in collaboration with the United Nations Agency on Refugees (UNHCR), the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs and Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, to foster the social and economic independence of refugees in the country.

With a large population of refugees, the role of private and public partnerships remains crucial to the inclusive growth and development of all those displaced.

“Connecting entrepreneurs, especially women and refugees, to the networks that power the modern world, like financial services, unlocks their economic potential and accelerates a cycle of equitable and sustainable economic growth,” said Shamina Singh, the president of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.

The entrepreneurship programme by Inkomoko aims to restore the dignity of refugees living in Rwanda by empowering these small business owners with vital support to grow their businesses.

The programme will work with 4,000 refugees in Rwanda over the next three years.

“The intention is to connect refugees with the tools and skills necessary to enable them to become self-sufficient and independent entrepreneurs to improve their own livelihoods, create jobs for others in their communities, and contribute to Rwanda’s larger economic development.

“Rwanda’s refugee camps and host communities are places of vibrant social and economic activity with bustling markets, shops, restaurants, and industries,” said Julienne Oyler, the executive director of African Entrepreneur Collective, in the statement. “Supporting and developing entrepreneurs in these areas will have tremendous impact on the communities themselves and the country at large.”

Equipping next generation of entrepreneurs

The programme targets high potential local entrepreneurs to drive broad-based economic growth by equipping the country’s next generation of business owners with the right tools to hone their financial literacy and lay a strong foundation for financial inclusion and growth.

The support provided under the grant falls within the country’s Vision 2020 strategy to create a knowledge-based and cashless economy with 90 per cent financial inclusion, and will enable Rwanda to meet its Sustainable Development Goals, notably, eradicating poverty and driving gender equality through empowerment and entrepreneurship.

Singh said: facilitating inclusive growth is an important way to build social and economic development, and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth remains committed to working with partners in both the public and private spheres to drive that development.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn accompanied by the First Lady Roman Tesfaye arrive at Kigali International Airport.

Nigeria: CBN Offers $100 Million Forex to Dealers

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday said it had offered 100 million dollars to authorised dealers as its intervention to stabilise the foreign exchange market.

Mr Isaac Okorafor, Acting Director of the Corporate Communications Department of CBN. disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

Okorafor, however, said that no intervention was made in the retail window in Thursday’s auction.

He said that the bank continued its weekly sale of foreign exchange to the Bureau de Change (BDC) segment to meet the needs of low-end users.

The CBN spokesman further said that the bank had observed that quite a good number of dealers were adhering to the forex guidelines.

Okorafor said the CBN would continue to monitor activities of authorised dealers to ensure that no outfit or individual circumvented laid down forex rules.

He urged all concerned to put the Nigerian economy first, adding that the CBN was determined to guarantee the international value of the naira.

Nigeria

There’s No Boko Haram Resurgence, Nigerian Military Assures

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Voters Need to Resist Allure of Voting for Usual Suspects

analysisBy Yvonne Rowa Woods, University of Adelaide

Fledgling democracies in Africa tend to experience cyclical radical shifts between democratic booms and the doldrums. This suggests that the democratisation process in some parts of the continent is erratic.

However, there are elements of democracy even in authoritarian states. The reverse is also true – there are elements of authoritarianism in democratic states. Proof of this can be seen in the current democratic struggles in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Uganda and South Africa, just to mention a few.

Kenyans refer nostalgically to the gold standard that the 2002 polls set for successive elections. This period in the country’s history signalled a new political dispensation, paving the way for major reforms that culminated in the promulgation of a new constitution in 2010.

A poll conducted by Gallup International in 2003 ranked Kenyans as the most optimistic people in the world. But this euphoria was short lived.

In 2008, Kenya rolled back its democratic gains when parts of the country descended into chaos following contested election results. Over 1 000 people died and more than half a million were displaced. In the 2013 elections the government successfully contained an impending political crisis even though the elections were marred by electoral malpractices.

The opposition claimed that in both 2007 and 2013, the election results didn’t reflect the will of the people, a situation that’s since left the country sharply polarised.

Another chance for change

Fifteen years post-2002, Kenya is on the cusp of yet another democratic revival ahead of the upcoming August 2017 elections.

Voters have a crucial role to play in the electoral process by ensuring that the leaders they elect are committed to the values of good governance. If these ideals have been compromised, the process should empower voters to elect different leaders. But voting patterns in Kenya have demonstrated this is often not the case.

Kenyan voters are aware of their central role in the electoral process and yet they tend to limit their choices within the spectrum of tribalism, kleptocracy and personality cultism.

Tribalism props up kleptocracy particularly when citizens claim that their communities are being victimised when their political kin are implicated in graft. Ethnic loyalties to tainted populists undermine the fight against corruption and ensure the survival of corrupt politicians.

While Kenyans have been willing to welcome change at the grassroots by rejecting some preferred party nominees at the ballot box, voters seem to have settled into a comfort zone that has in turn created a governance gap.

As a result, leaders have been able to re-engineer their political DNA to gain re-election by gullible voters. This has, in turn, led to politicians’ impressive capacity to revive their political careers.

Recycling leaders

The incumbent Jubilee government score card reports a mixed bag of results. There is a raft of significant achievements that President Uhuru Kenyatta outlined in his final state of the nation address, but these achievements notwithstanding, Kenya is in limbo with many promises unfulfilled including the creation of one million jobs for the youth and the realisation of universal health care.

A section of Kenyans blame politicians for this state of affairs. Others argue that the electorate must urgently move beyond ethnocentrism and engage with issues in their quest for the right leadership.

Surprisingly, the high level of political consciousness and vibrant civic engagement belies the fact that Kenyans continue to recycle the same brand of politicians. Even so, as the August 8th general election approaches, Kenyans feel that both the government and opposition offer little by way of rattling the status quo.

Kenyans are cynical about the lack of suitable candidates on both sides of the political divide as well as the risk that electoral irregularities may favour a predetermined winner.

Yet on election day, there’s a high likelihood they will once again defy logic and demonstrate the uncanny ability to turn out in droves to vote along ethnic lines. Admittedly, the dominance of select political parties can limit choice and impede democratic progress.

Are Kenyans ready to break with tradition?

All things considered, is there a possibility that Kenyans could be galvanised to cast their votes for a little known political lightweight? Possibly, but some of these political unknowns can come across as elitist, bland and anti-tribal establishment. They therefore have little appeal to most Kenyans.

Kenyans need a leader with chemistry, someone who can dance with the people, but also be in tune with their aspirations. But some of the less influential leaders abandon their supporters when they fail.

In this scenario, ethnic dynamics cut both ways. Leaders who embrace patriotic ideals are held hostage by tribal voters and compelled to abandon not only their non-tribal political base, but the principles they uphold as well. This unpredictability pushes both leaders and voters back to the safety of traditional, ethnocentric voting patterns.

In reality, even at this momentous crossroads, the prediction of a win for the usual suspects in either government or the main opposition is not far off.

The Kenyan experience demonstrates that the electoral process can be disruptive to democratic progress. As an instrument for legitimising governance, elections have at times presented Kenya with moments of democratic breakthroughs, which have been short lived.

While there are multiple structural factors responsible for the current democratic slump, blaming politicians will not fix the politics. There needs to be a shift in mindset. Kenyans need to resist the allure and comfort of prevailing political norms.

Perhaps interrogating and re-calibrating basic individual democratic values will help reclaim the 2002 gold standard and put Kenya back on track. Until that happens, Kenyans and the politicians they elect will continue to be strange bedfellows.

Disclosure statement

Yvonne Rowa Woods does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.

We produce knowledge-based, ethical journalism. Please donate and help us thrive. Tax deductible.

Ethiopia: Enterprise, Agents Advancing Shipping, Logistics Services

By Homa Mulisa

Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise along with its agents worldwide is upgrading its services to higher quality and standards with new global achievements in covering worldwide ports, says Mesfin Arega, Enterprise Acting CEO.

The Enterprise is holding its annual meeting here with its over 40 agents worldwide, that are selected to operate with the Enterprise in accordance with the Nation’s trade flow. According to Mesfin, the meeting is a platform for the Enterprise and the Agents to renew commitments in a bid to continuously upgrade services as per the needs of the global market.

The shipping and logistic services provided by the Enterprise is dependent on the needs of the market available, according to Mesfin. Hence, a total of 131,000 containers of imported cargo had been transported through port of Djibouti in the last six months. Additionally, the Enterprise served about 40 per cent of the Nation’s exports through the Djibouti corridor.

This year, new agents in the sector from Brazil, Croatia, and Israel have joined in to work with the Enterprise, whereas agents from Morocco are showing interest to Ethiopia, according to Mesfin.

Fitsum Arega, Ethiopian Investment Commission Commissioner also presented the Nation’s vision in becoming the leading manufacturing hub in Africa pointing out the increasing demand in shipping and logistics services in the country and the need to advance the quality of services.

About ten agents have agreed to visit the GERD project site that is believed to help them understand what the logistic services they are providing to this country is accomplishing on the ground.

Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise is the only national enterprise in Africa providing a quality shipping and logistics services according to International Maritime Organization standards.

Ethiopia

Renowned Astrophysicist Dies

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Nigeria: Turkish Air Abandons Nigeria Students At Istanbul

Photo: Turkish Airlines

(file photo).

By Lawani Mikairu

Turkish Airline has abandoned pupils and students of Glisten International College, Abuja, in Istanbul, Turkey, after the airline delayed in arriving from the United States of America, USA, to Turkey for the children to connect the same Turkish Airline flight to Abuja.

The team had boarded Turkish Airlines flight from Abuja to US with a stopover at Istanbul Airport. The problems of the students started on the return leg: US-Istanbul-Abuja.

The school management disclosed that the team, which had gone to US to represent Nigeria in a competition a few weeks ago, was forced to part with $40 each, totalling $880 before they were allowed to sleep in the frozen condition at the airport.

The students, between the ages of 11and 15, were made to sleep at the resting area of the airport terminal over night with just blankets provided for them by the management of the airline instead of hotel accommodation.

The school said: “Our pupils, students and instructors went to the US to represent Nigeria and were supposed to return on Monday, but missed the leg to Nigeria because the flight from US, which is equally Turkish Airlines, delayed their flight for an hour and by the time we got to Istanbul, the flight to Abuja had already departed.

“When that happened, we approached them for accommodation for our team, but the airline said they won’t be responsible for accommodation or feeding of our team. Rather, we were told to sleep at the resting room of the terminal and we had to pay from our purse, which negates the international standards.

“These are children between the ages of 11 and 15 years and were exposed to harsh treatment. Could they have done that with their own citizens? Or, will they allow any Nigerian carrier to do that to their citizens in Nigeria?

“I am begging our government to take up this challenge because these kids went to represent Nigeria in the US.”

Meanwhile, efforts to get a reaction from Turkish Airlines in Nigeria proved abortive as the media consultant of the airline, KunmoCom PR, promised to “get across,” which they had not done at press time.

Nigeria

Truck Crushes Motorcyclist to Death in Lagos

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Uganda Eyes More Chinese Investment – Ambassador

Fuzhou — Uganda seeks to attract more Chinese investment with “the most favorable policies,” said Ugandan Ambassador to China Charles Madibo Wagidoso on Friday.

“Foreign investors will enjoy tax exemption, quick investment examination process, and liberty to transfer capital in and out of Uganda,” said Wagidoso attending an investment promotion conference in Fuzhou, capital of east China’s Fujian Province.

The projects highlighted at the event range from a crude oil pipeline, iron ore processing, airport development and gold and gemstone mining.

China ranks the first place in terms of foreign direct investment in Uganda, totaling 4 billion U.S. dollars, according to the Chinese Embassy in Uganda.

Wagidoso said Uganda is an open and highly liberal market, a good investment destination for both state-owned enterprises and private businesses from China.

In response to the recent protest against Chinese retailers in Uganda’s capital Kampala, Wagidoso reassured investors that their interests will be well protected as always, and that domestic and foreign businesses are treated equally in the country.

“We welcome both large and small businesses from China,” Wagidoso said.

He also stressed the win-win nature of China-Africa economic cooperation. “Guangdong Dongsong, a successful company in Uganda, produces fertilizers which is in dire need for local agriculture and has created 3,000 jobs, generating tax revenue for the local government.”

In recent years, China has launched a series of projects in Uganda, including Entebbe International Airport, an agri-industrial park in the central Ugandan district of Luweero and several hydropower projects.

Uganda

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