|Africa Trade and Investment Global Summit 2018|
|“Driving Trade, Unleashing Investment and Enhancing Economic Development”|
|WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, October 19, 2017/ — Prominent African and international business executives and investors to explore business opportunities at the Africa Trade and Investment Global Summit (ATIGS) (www.ATIGS2018.com); a prestigious biennial conference and exhibition to be held on June 24-26, 2018 in Washington, DC, USA.
Organized by GAA Exhibitions & Conferences (www.GaAdvancement.com), the 2018 ATIGS edition will gather 2000-plus key economic players from more than 70 countries including government delegations, high-profile African leaders, project developers and international investors on June 24, 25 and 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. Designed to promote and facilitate international trade between Americas, Asia, Europe, United Arab Emirates and Africa, the 3-days event will provide a unique platform to gain strategic knowledge about local investment opportunities and business networking.
“Sub-Saharan African trade volumes are expected to quadruple by 2030. African markets are firmly on the radar of major investors and international trade as they hold many untapped opportunities for investors, exporters and companies. ATIGS aims to create an environment conducive to exchanges. It will allow participants to connect with key players to get their projects off the ground and expand their activities in Africa.” said Bako Ambianda, Director, GAA Exhibitions & Conferences.
Over 150 speakers, 160 exhibitors and 350-plus global investors and deal making will top the agenda at ATIGS 2018, covering 16 economic sectors particularly manufacturing, agribusiness, power, construction, transportation, IT, tourism, telecoms, and natural resources sectors. High-potential projects in Africa will be presented to international investors. Featured agenda items will include projects showcase, deal marketplace, exhibition, country presentations, and among others.
ATIGS consists of 13 specific events including bilateral events, US-Africa Manufacturing Forum, UAE-Africa Business Forum, Africa-China Economic Forum, EU-Africa International Business Congress, and more under the umbrella of World Business Week on Africa, strategically positioned between the 27th World Gas Conference with over 12,000 delegates, and the 2018 Select USA Investment Summit – with over 1,200 global business investors, given ATIGS delegates more opportunity in June 2018.
Interested companies are invited to register to attend or exhibit, and receive regular information via the following website www.ATIGS2018.com.
|According to the AfDB President, so huge is the potential of African savannahs that the World Bank called the Guinea savanna zone “one of the major underutilised resources in Africa|
|DES MOINES, United States of America, October 19, 2017/ — The savannahs of Africa cover a mind-boggling 600 million hectares, of which 400 million hectares are cultivable, the President of the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org), Akinwumi Adesina, has said.
But just 10% of this is cultivated, a mere 40 million hectares, Adesina said Wednesday, while speaking at a session titled “Transformation of the African Savannah Initiative (http://APO.af/vSoKvu)” at the 2017 World Food Prize-Borlaug Dialogue (http://APO.af/EXgmf3) symposium in Des Moines, Iowa.
According to the AfDB President, so huge is the potential of African savannahs that the World Bank called the Guinea savanna zone “one of the major underutilised resources in Africa.”
He noted that Africa’s savannahs were better than the savannahs of Brazil, a country notable for turning its savannahs into agricultural wealth, saying Africa’s soils were not acidic and therefore did not need liming which had to be done at massive scales in Brazil.
“The initiative will start by bringing approximately two million hectares of savannah in eight African countries — Ghana, Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, and Mozambique under the cultivation of maize, soybean, and livestock production in optimum conditions.” The goal: to double production in those eight countries.
“Africa must learn from the experiences that have worked elsewhere, while tailoring the interventions to the specific realities of Africa. We must ensure that small, medium-scale and large-scale commercial farmers co-exist in a way that allows opportunities for all,” Adesina said.
Some of them, he said, included the Brazilian Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), the Agricultural Corporation of Brazil (CAMPO), as well as others with long experience in conservation agriculture, including the Argentine Association of Zero-tillage (AAPRESID), and the Argentine Agricultural Research Institute.
“They will work very closely with universities and the national agricultural research systems across the savannahs of Africa,” he noted.
The AfDB Vice-President of Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Jennifer Blanke, also explained that the Bank was determined to increase productivity so that Africa would become a net producer and exporter of agricultural produce.
Blanke said, “The idea is to have more job creation and create the next generation of agripreneurs. We can’t do everything. So, we’ve broken it down to certain number of value chains that we are going to tackle in Africa.
“If you look at the savannah, it has massive potential. In fact, it spans about 400 million hectares and only about 10% of it is utilised. It covers about 25 countries and about 240 million people are depending on agriculture in these areas and about half of them are living in poverty.”
The AfDB Vice-President highlighted that the savanna initiative, which begins in November, will use the best technology in order to transform the savanna based on the experience of Brazil.
Brazil has a history of building their own savannah, which is their cerrados, with these kinds of technologies, Blanke added.
“It was about driving farms that were producing a new variety of soya beans. It was very difficult and we know that, but amazing things happened,” she said.
The Former Minister of Agriculture of Brazil, Chairman of CAMPO and 1996 World Food Prize Laureate, Dr. Alysson Paulinelli, in his address, noted that in the 1970s, Brazil was suffering a lot, like Africa today.
Paulinelli said, “We imported two-thirds of what we consumed. Brazilian families had to use about 42% of net income to feed themselves. We had to decide how to save Brazil. It was doomed to bankruptcy.
“So, we made a decision to drive a change in agriculture. The first thing we did was to realise that Brazilian agriculture was not different from colder climates. Brazil, the way things were, could not be self-sufficient, so we had to change our production system.
“The government needed to change first, but the Government was not ready. So, we put together a group of experts and they convinced the Government. After the Government, the farmers had to change and we believed it would benefit them.”
Today, Brazil exports US $100 billion in food items, Paulinelli added.
He explained that the feat was not that difficult, saying that those who want innovation must believe in the benefit of science.
“Now, we are reaching Africa. And, on the request of the AfDB, we will start work in Ghana,” he said.
“The support from Japan was crucial to our success. Those who were doing the work in the fields received all the information from the institutions.”
Meanwhile, the Ghanaian Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Sagre Bambangi, underscored the biological, socioeconomic and political dimensions to consider.
According to Bambangi, the Government of Ghana initiated a campaign that ensures availability of food in the country, thereby creating job opportunities.
“We in Ghana are delighted to have been chosen to host the TASI pilot programme,” he said.
Wife of the Ogun State Governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Olufunso Amosun has called on youths to explore the potentials and opportunities in the environment sector to earn a living for themselves.
Mrs. Amosun made the call while speaking during the 11th National Council on Environment, with the theme, Unlocking the Investment Opportunities in the Environment Sector Towards Nigeria’s Economic Recovery, Diversification, Growth and Sustainable Development, held in Abeokuta.
Encouraging the youths to embrace the waste to wealth programme, Mrs. Amosun assured that her Green Education for the Youths (GEFTY) Foundation, will not relent in uplifting the status and welfare of the youths and the environment at large.
Speaking on climate change, as a result of continued damage to the ozone layer, thereby endanging the lives of people living within the water basins, the wife of the governor called for concerted efforts towards ensuring the protection and sustenance of the environment.
She called for the breeding of the next set of environmentalists, through proper orientation to sustain the environment and cushion the effects of global warming and climate change.
By Ossom Raphael
The Corporation was adjudged as “an outstanding public service provider” with sterling performance which stood high above its peers in effective leadership and accomplishments.
According to the organisers, the Award Committee which was made up of eminent Nigerians, reviewed the pragmatic and tangible transformations which the Corporation brought into management and execution of its core mandate including mitigation of corruption, insider abuse as well as containing non-performing loans in the nation’s financial system.
The Committee said that the NDIC “ has also pursued the observance of corporate governance principles in the Nigeria’s financial system”, with declaration that this contribution and other milestone achievements earned the Corporation the public recognition.”
They noted that NDIC had implemented good institutional transformation policies which had resulted in friendly business environment, expansion of opportunities and a huge contribution towards economic development.
The Managing Director & Chief Executive, NDIC, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim who received the Award said the gesture would further spur the Corporation to raise the bar of excellent performance on the discharge of its mandate.
The Managing Director recalled the rebranding of the Corporation in 2013 which gave rise to the overhaul of its processes, procedures, systems and methods of operation in line with global best practices in deposit insurance.
He expressed delight that Management’s initiatives were paying off with recognitions coming from home and abroad.
NDIC had in 2014 won the International Association of Deposit Insurers (IADI) award as the Best Deposit Insurance Organisation of the Year under Category 2 of the IADI Core Principles on Compliance and International Collaboration. And in 2016, the MD/CE was re-elected unopposed into the Executive Committee of the IADI for a term of three years in view of his outstanding performance in his first term between 2013 and 2016.
NEW GRIME KING STORMZY LEADS THE PACK WITH 5 NOMINATIONS – INCLUDING BEST MALE, BEST ALBUM AND BEST GRIME ACT
RAP TITAN J HUS SCORES 4 NOMINATIONS – INCLUDING BEST MALE, BEST ALBUM AND BEST SONG
JORJA SMITH AND STEFFLON DON PICK UP 3 NOMINATIONS EACH – INCLUDING BEST FEMALE AND BEST NEWCOMER
SAMPHA EARNS NODS FOR BEST MALE, BEST ALBUM and BEST R&B/SOUL ACT
Jill Scott announces nominees for Best R&B/Soul Award https://twitter.com/missjillscott/status/920074251171794944
Sadiq Khan announces nominees for Best Male Act https://twitter.com/MayorofLondon/status/920197939670257664
MOBO AWARDS 2017 TAKES PLACE AT LEEDS FIRST DIRECT ARENA ON WEDNESDAY 29 NOVEMBER
Tickets now on sale at www.mobo.com
Tuesday 17 October 2017 London, United Kingdom – New Grime king Stormzy leads the 2017 MOBO Awards nominations, which was announced today at YouTube Space London. The 24-year old South London MC picked up a whopping five nominations for Best Male, Best Grime Act, Best Album for “Gang Signs & Prayer”, Best Song and Best Video for ‘Big For Your Boots’.
Stormzy has been on a steady crescendo of success since picking up the MOBO Award for Best Grime Act in 2014 and 2015, and Best Male in 2015. The MC references the moment he saw Krept & Konan win Best Newcomer at the 2013 MOBO Awards as the tipping point that pushed him to quit his job at an oil refinery and pursue a full-time career in music. He tweeted, ‘Krept & Konan just won a MOBO, I’m going studio.’
Fast forward four years from that moment and Stormzy’s debut album “Gang Signs & Prayer” has topped the UK Album Chart – becoming the first Grime album in history to reach #1. According to the OfficialCharts.com, it is also the biggest independent album of 2017 so far with over 220,000 sales. Stormzy has to date clocked up over 197 million views on his YouTube channel, 37 million of which are for the ‘Big For Your Boots’ music video directed by Daps.
While Grime may have well and truly captured the mainstream’s attention now, MOBO has been championing talents in this genre since 2001 when So Solid Crew put on a landmark performance at the Awards. With the movement teeming with unsung talent and demonstrating increasing cultural significance, MOBO formally recognised Grime as an award category in 2010.
After two years of solid underground appeal, East London rapper J Hus has broken through in a big way, picking up four nominations for Best Male, Best Album for “Common Sense”, Best Song for ‘Did You See’ and Best Video for ‘Spirit’. The 21-year old MC hit MOBO’s radar two years ago, which earned him a prestigious nomination in the Best Newcomer category and he followed up last year with a Best Song nod for ‘Friendly’. “Common Sense” – J Hus’ debut album – reached #6 on the UK Album Charts earlier this year and features the Top 10 hit ‘Did You See’, which has also amassed over 42 million views on YouTube.
Hotly tipped R&B singer Jorja Smith picks up three prestigious nominations for Best Female, Best R&B/Soul Act and Best Newcomer. In the last 12 months, the 20-year old singer-songwriter from Walsall has featured on Drake’s hit album “More Life” and even supported him on his UK tour. Her recent garage-infused banger with Preditah ‘On My Mind’ earned her rave reviews from music press far and wide.
Rising rap star Stefflon Don makes her MOBO debut with three nods in major categories for Best Female, Best Hip Hop Act and Best Newcomer. Mercury Prize winner Sampha receives three nominations for Best Male, Best R&B/Soul Act and Best Album for his critically acclaimed debut “Process”.
Elsewhere, the always front-running MOBO Best Newcomer category is brimming with 10 of the industry’s hottest future stars. Poised for a big night at the awards in Leeds next month is South London rapper Loyle Carner, who is also nominated for Best Hip Hop and Best Video for ‘The Isle of Arran’.
Traditionally, the MOBO Best Newcomer category has been the industry’s best foreteller of black music excellence. As an aspirational touchstone, winning this highly coveted award became the first step on the ladder for many artists who have forged a successful career, including Craig David (2000), Estelle (2004), Kano (2005), Chip (2008), Tinie Tempah (2010), Jessie J (2011), Rita Ora (2012) and Krept & Konan (2013).
This year’s MOBO Awards, supported by Leeds City Council and LeedsBID, will be hosted at Leeds’ First Direct Arena on 29 November. Performers and broadcast partners will be announced shortly. The third annual Pre-MOBO Awards Show – specially devoted to jazz, gospel, R&B/Soul categories – will be hosted in London. More details to come.
MOBO AWARDS 2017 NOMINEES
J Hus – Common Sense
Nines – One Foot Out
Sampha – Process
Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer
Wretch 32 – Growing Over Life
J Hus “Did You See”
(Produced by JAE5)
Kojo Funds Feat. Abra Cadabra “Dun Talkin’”
(Produced by GA)
Not3s “Addison Lee”
(Produced by Malv On The Track)
Stormzy “Big For Your Boots”
(Produced by Sir Spyro & Fraser T Smith)
Yungen Feat. Yxng Bane “Bestie)
(Produced by ADP)
Bossman Birdie “Walk The Walk”
(Directed by Luke Davies)
J Hus “Spirit”
(Directed by Hugo Jenkins)
Loyle Carner “The Isle Of Arran”
(Directed by Georgia Hudson)
Mist “Hot Property”
(Directed by Oliver Jennings)
Stormzy “Big For Your Boots”
(Directed by Daps)
BEST HIP HOP ACT
BEST GRIME ACT
BEST R&B/SOUL ACT
Supported by Mi-Soul
BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT
BEST AFRICAN ACT
BEST REGGAE ACT
BEST JAZZ ACT
Supported by Jazz FM
BEST GOSPEL ACT
Supported by Premier Gospel
Volney Morgan & New-Ye
The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde; a former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and key global experts have advised Nigeria, Argentina and other top countries battling corruption to use tools that can help reduce procurement costs by about 60 per cent.
They urged the countries to strengthen institutions, provide incentives against corruption and deploy more technology in order to overcome the hydra-headed problem of corruption.
They spoke during a panel discussion tagged, “Fighting corruption’’ at the World Bank/IMF headquarters in Washington DC, United States on Sunday.
Lagarde said, “We can ask finance ministers to use certain tools that will help them to save 60 per cent of the cost of projects.”
The IMF MD also said, “Nobody should give up on the people, no matter how corrupt a place is. They must take stand against it. At the IMF, we have had to take steps when we identified corruption. Unfortunately, we had to suspend programmes because documents indicated that we were not receiving the truth on the accounts and statistics.”
Okonjo-Iweala, in her remarks, said corruption was not peculiar to any culture, adding that institutions and incentives could help shape the behaviour of people.
She said, “In terms of the fight against corruption, incentives and institutions matter. My experience has been that people in one place are no more corrupt than the other; but if the institutions are not there or they are very weak, then the incentive to be corrupt is stronger. So, if you have a financial management system that is still cash-based, you open the door for people to manipulate or be able to intrude into the system.
“If you can introduce more technology, if you can have systems and processes that guide government, if you can make e-procurement,
the more of that you can build institutionally, and strengthen the institutions and then have the institutions of the rule of law alongside that, I think the more you will be able to fight corruption. We really need a systematic plan about fighting corruption.
She added, “The bid stories about scandals about corruption are really what people want to read. But actually, fighting corruption
and putting those systems in place are very ‘unsexy’; it takes time. It took us 10 years to try and build the Government Integrated Financial Management System in Nigeria, to get way from cash-based transactions. When you say the Government Integrated Financial Management System, it is so boring; nobody wants to hear. But that is what needs to be done. So, that is my one mantra. I think it is all about strengthening institutions.
“Now, coming to the private sector; yes, the private sector is part of the problem; there is no doubt about it. The World Economic Forum estimated that bribery adds about 10 per cent to the cost of doing business. So, they are undoubtedly part of it. But I also want to say that the private sector is beginning to see that they are part of the solution, and that the world has changed. There are responsible private sector people and organisations that want to be part of the solution and part of that change.”
A professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University in the US, Susan Rose-Ackerman, in her remarks at the panel, said, “People have to decide to make a difference in every society regardless of how corrupt they are. We have had historical situations of highly corrupt countries that people made a difference. It has to do with how values are placed.”
The Secretary of Public Ethics, Transparency, and Fight Against Corruption, Argentina, Laura Alonso, said, “It took us 10 years to build a new society of people who are ready to fight corruption in Argentina.”
|Calls for land tax for unused agricultural land or underutilized agricultural land|
|DES MOINES, United States of America, October 17, 2017/ — Africa holds the key for feeding the nine billion people that will inhabit this planet by 2050, the President of the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) and 2017 World Food Prize Laureate, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said during his Norman Borlaug Lecture delivered on World Food Day.
The Laureate also called for land tax for unused agricultural land or underutilized agricultural land to provide incentives for faster commercialization of agriculture and unlocking its potential in Africa.
In a lecture titled “Betting on Africa to Feed the World,” delivered on Monday, October 16 before a large international audience at Iowa State University in Des Moines, Iowa, Adesina stressed why, more than ever before, the world must help Africa to rapidly modernize its agriculture and unlock its full potential.
“Africa sits on 65% of the uncultivated arable land left in the world, so what Africa does with agriculture will determine the future of food in the world,” he emphasized. “African farmers need more than a helping hand. They need a policy lift,” Adesina said.
He also highlighted how the challenge of addressing global food security is greatest in Africa where close to 300 million are malnourished. It is also the only region of the world where the proportion of the population that is food insecure has increased, he said.
The AfDB President paid tribute to Dr. Norman Borlaug, whom the lecture series was named after, and recalled how Africa was the last frontier for the late Borlaug.
Borlaug, the Founder of the World Food Prize, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for a lifetime of work to feed a hungry world.
Adesina stressed that despite the progress globally in food production (including in Africa, Latin America and Asia), the world still has 700 million people languishing in extreme poverty. This, he added, includes 800 million with chronic hunger, 2 billion people with micronutrient deficiency, and 150 million children under 5 years of age who are suffering from stunting.
He described the challenge of feeding the world as immense, with need for rapid increases in global food, feed and biofuel production to feed a global population of 9 billion people by 2050.
“If Dr. Borlaug alone could feed one billion people, we definitely can feed 800 million people globally and we definitely can feed 300 million Africans. Dr. Borlaug would be disappointed if we couldn’t and with all technologies and innovations, from gene revolution to ICT revolution, at our disposal, we won’t be able to face him and say we didn’t.”
Adesina decried the current situation where Africa spends US $35 billion annually on food imports, describing it as unacceptable. By his estimates, if the current trend continues, Africa is estimated to spend US $110 billion by 2030 on food imports.
“There is therefore absolutely no reason for Africa to be a food-importing region. Africa has huge potential in agriculture, but, as Dr. Borlaug used to say, nobody eats potential!”
Unlocking that potential must start with the savannas of Africa which covers “a mind-boggling 600 million hectares of which 400 million hectares are cultivable,” Adesina said.
Africa’s savannas, he said, are better than the savannas of Brazil, because their soils are not acidic and therefore do not need liming, which had to be done at massive scales in Brazil.
“Yet, while the savannas of Brazil feed the world, those of Africa cannot even feed the farmers there,” he lamented. He further highlighted how technologies, innovations, research and development, mechanization, modernization of agriculture, policy support and massive investments in infrastructure made the difference to turn the savannas of Brazil and those of Northern Thailand into a food powerhouse.
To transform its agriculture, Africa needs to make a decision to develop new agrarian systems − one that combines smallholder farmers with a new dynamic generation of medium and large commercial farmers.
He also canvassed land tenure systems that make it easier to get access to land, and for smallholder farmers and their communities to have secured land rights.
A top priority must be to mechanize agriculture in Africa, he added.
Over 1,200 people from more than 65 countries will address cutting-edge issues related to global food security and nutrition at the 2017 Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium, October 18-20, 2017.