African leaders share their vision for an integrated continent
The leaders spoke during a high-level presidential dialogue on day two of the African Development Bank’s 2019 Annual Meetings
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, June 12, 2019/ — Leaders from four African countries on Wednesday shared their vision for an integrated and borderless Africa that would foster economic growth and development.
The leaders spoke during a high-level presidential dialogue on day two of the African Development Bank’s (www.AfDB.org) 2019 Annual Meetings.
The panelists – President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, President Felix Tshsekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Prime Minister of eSwatini Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini and his majesty King Letsie III of Lesotho – were joined by African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina for the panel titled: Boosting Africa’s Economic Integration.
The theme of the Annual Meetings this year is “Regional Integration for Africa’s Economic Prosperity” and the panelists were to share their views on progress in regional integration initiatives and ideas to move the process forward.
President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo said the country had managed to successfully integrate with its neighbours, despite the linguistic barriers that come with being the sole Spanish-speaking country in Africa. Weighing in as the most senior of the statesmen, President he said his nation’s journey to integration had begun in the 1980s, leading it to join the central African franc zone.
Opening borders could not be done on a massive scale without training the police and other security and law-enforcement bodies, President Mbagaso said.
The meeting comes after the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement received the key 22nd ratification in April. The ambition of the AfCFTA is to create the world’s largest free trade zone.
The leaders said integration required greater security, connectivity, political will and fostering linguistic and cultural ties.
“We strongly believe that the future is in Africa when it comes to trade but intra-African trade is very low,” Dlamin said. His comments were echoed by Tshsekedi, who underlines the place of energy and industrialization in boosting the continent’s capacity and in building the much-needed infrastructure to connect Africa.
“We need to do away with barriers but, to promote integration to African countries, we need to get organised. I don’t believe it can be done at a continental level all at once, we must begin at the regional level,” Tshisekedi said.
The African Development Bank last year launched a Lusophone compact to leverage about $5 billion as part of its plan to ensure that African capital markets are being integrated, Adesina said in response to a question from the moderator.
“We have to build the capacity of our institutions,” he said, adding that 70% of Africa’s population engaged in informal business activities and needed free access to movement, most particularly women.
Research shows that the most open African countries attract the greatest investment and economic growth, Adesina said, citing Togo, Benin, Seychelles and Rwanda as examples.
Lesotho leader King Letsie acknowledged the importance of greater integration, particularly for small landlocked countries. He said “grey matter” infrastructure was equally important. “If we do not pay enough attention to developing and building the human being – mentally and physically– we cannot develop,” he said.
Cultural icon and celebrity talking drummer Ayan De First is to host the first-ever African Cultural Gala Night (ACGN) at the Palm Hotel in London on Saturday October 19 2019.
Put together to showcase African culture before a global audience, ACGN will be promoting the significance of the diverse and opulent African heritage through cultural dance and music.
It will demonstrate the importance of dance and music as a medium for social engagement and communication to address key contemporary issues.
Organised by African cultural icon and celebrity Talking drummer Ayan De First, ACGN will involve the playing of melodious and mesmerising rhythms associated with African dance and music is fundamental to the African culture. These embody traditional African beliefs, values and norms and serve as a means of communicating knowledge and traditions from generation to generation.
Starting at 5pm, the event will feature a variety of dance troops and entertainers from across the African continent to entertain, educate and facilitate the appreciation of African people.
Involving a gala dinner, the event is expected to attract about 400 people from across the UK, including diplomatic staff, politicians, entertainers, community leaders and showbiz
personalities and reach out to about 200,000 worldwide via conventional and social media.
Ayan De First himself will be performing on the day, highlighting what has made him a multi award-winning artist who has appeared on all British national newspapers as well as in
British national newspapers. He brands himself to be a regular entertainer in places such as Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall and performed for Prince Charles and ,Her Majesty
The Queen and Royal Family at St James’s Palace and Buckingham Palace.
Numerous countries will be putting in a presence on the night including Burkina Faso, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Ghana, South Africa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, alongside with friends of
Africa from Trinidad & Tobago and India.
WorldRemit launches new product for business payments to Nigeria
Through the WorldRemit website and app small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can now quickly and securely transfer money to pay employees and contractors in 140 countries including Nigeria
LONDON, United Kingdom, June 13, 2019/ — Leading digital money transfer company WorldRemit (www.WorldRemit.com) has launched WorldRemit for Business, a new service that enables small and medium-sized business owners to quickly pay employees and contractors in 140 countries worldwide, including fast-growing markets such as Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. The platform will first be available to U.K.-registered businesses.
WorldRemit’s low fees and exchange rates are shown up-front and customers can send money easily via the company’s website and app. By extending its money transfer service to SMEs, WorldRemit will save businesses time and money when they make international payments.
Each year, the UK imports $2 billion in goods and services from Nigeria, where SMEs account (https://pwc.to/2Re1abj) for 96% of businesses and 84% of employment. WorldRemit for Business will make it easier individuals to receive payment by UK-based partners via bank transfer to GT Bank accounts. While some banks can take up to one week to process payments, WorldRemit transfers to Nigeria are processed instantly.
Customers sending funds abroad can easily track their transfers in real-time on the WorldRemit app and opt-in to receive daily exchange notifications to send money abroad at the optimal time.
Ismail Ahmed, Founder and Executive Chairman at WorldRemit, comments: “When I first started WorldRemit, I was frustrated with the high charges and long delays in sending money abroad both as a business owner and consumer. Over the past 9 years, we’ve made it easier for 4 million people around the globe to send and receive money.
Today, we’re pleased to extend that service offering to businesses, and put an end to the steep fees that many businesses have to pay, especially when sending to Nigeria. We’re committed to making it quick, safe and easy for you to pay individuals across borders, leaving you to focus on growing your own business.”
Shane Lennox, Senior Product Manager for Business, comments: “With more people moving and settling across borders, the nature of business is becoming increasingly global. This new product offering is catering for those in need of a digital service that solves a number of pain points faced by SMEs with international staff and contractors. This new product launch will enable millions of SMEs to benefit from our award-winning convenient service.”
WorldRemit customers complete over 1.4 million transfers every month from over 50 countries to over 140 destinations using its app or website and remains committed to providing innovative solutions to meet money transfer needs across the world. In addition to partnering with Nigerian Banks including First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Access Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc for instant digital money transfers. In April 2019 the company launched international transfers to Paga mobile money accounts.
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