AFRICA NEWS BULLETIN @ 20h00
2 February, 2016
Lead Producer: E.K.Bensah Jr
Assistant Producer/Presenter: Joshua Quodja-Mensah
1. FOCUS: Ugandan Agri-business Expert Says Agriculture Can Help Create Jobs and Wealth in Africa
2. EAST AFRICA: RwandAir Selects Ethiopian Airlines as Strategic Partner
3. CENTRAL AFRICA: Newly-introduced Talk-time Tax to Fetch Cameroon CFA10billion
Agribusiness Expert Dr.Alex Ariho believes Africans should begin making profit from Africa’s agriculture.
Ariho is Facility Coordinator of UNIBRAIN, which is a system that brings four actors – human capital; research institutions; private sector; and African governments – to work collectively in an enabling environment that will help make money for Africans working in the agricultural sector.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with E.K.Bensah Jr for “Africa in Focus”, he explained the rationale behind UNIBRAIN, and why Africans must be interested. In his view, “the unique value-proposition of UNIBRAIN is the connection of the key four actors that are required to provide the framework and the transitional path upon which agriculture can cause change in terms of jobs and wealth creation.”
Trying to connect the dots on the conversation of Africa’s agriculture for the last four years has been the Accra-based technical arm of the African Union – Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA). Ariho says people are tired of ideas, and now want action – especially on agriculture. This is where FARA has stepped in.
Ariho says “with support from DANIDA…and the institutional framework and support of the African Union, FARA spearheaded the implementation of this model to be able to create a business case to Africans: how do you create jobs, and how do you create wealth?” To this end, incubators were established in the following countries: Zambia; Uganda; Kenya; Ghana; and Mali in 2012 to provide an opportunity on how this can work in Africa.
Since 2011 to date, UNIBRAIN has been able to chalk successes with the six initial incubators, with 10,000 jobs being created.
Pressed to elaborate on what UNIBRAIN actually is, this is what Dr.Ariho said [AUDIO]:
That was Dr.Alex Ariho speaking exclusively to E.K.Bensah Jr.
2. EAST AFRICA:
The national carrier of Rwanda – RwandAir – has selected Ethiopian Airlines as a strategic partner.
This follows the airline’s decision to sell the 49% stake for a partner to invest in the airline; manage it; and offer technical assistance.
Only two Airlines – Ethiopian Airlines and Ethihad Airways – were among the international airlines that have shown interest in RwandAir’s offer. CEO Tewolde Gebremariam told the Ethiopia Reporter that a fortnight ago, a RwandAir delegation went to Addis Ababa and informed the selection of Ethiopian Airlines as a strategic partner.
This strategic partnership by Ethiopian Airlines with RwandAir makes it the third African airline after ASKY and Malawi Airlines. This development also means that Kigali will also become Ethiopian’s fourth hub after Addis Ababa, Lome and Lilongwe.
3. CENTRAL AFRICA:
A newly-introduced tax on talk-time in the Central African country of Cameroon could fetch a comfortable FCFA10bn (US$16,317) for the country’s internal revenue.
Established by the 2016 Finance Bill, the tax on telephone communications and internet services for which telephone operators and internet access providers are now liable, ought to generate revenue in excess of USD10, 000 during the first year of its enforcement.
The authorities say in addition to binding Cameroon to the regulatory measures which this tax establishes in the CEMAC regional area, the new telephone communications and internet services licence fee will enable the Cameroonian Public Treasury to obtain more benefits from the development of the telco and internet sectors of Cameroon.
4. WEST AFRICA:
Reeling from terrorist attacks in the Sahel, and fearful of his country being one of the next targets, Senegalese President Macky Sall has disclosed to Xinhua news agency that a regional summit will soon bring together ECOWAS States and those of the Economic Community of Central African States(ECCAS).
This meeting will be followed by a tripartite meeting between Africa, China and France to consolidate efforts in the fight against terrorism. Sall disclosed this in a recent interview on the sidelines of the just-ended AU Summit.
This is not the first time both ECOWAS and ECCAS have had a joint summit to tackle mutual concerns. The first time was in June 2013 when the two regions met over maritime insecurity. In 2015, the two regions would meet to discuss Boko Haram.
5. NORTH AFRICA:
The Libyan peace drive has received renewed support with the decision by the African Union to appoint a new task force comprising five heads of State, which sole objective will be to push the political process and the formation of a Government of National Accord.
The just-ended AU Summit ended with a call by the continental organisation saying it was deeply concerned that Islamic State was gaining ground in two-State Libya. While the heads of State in the new Libya Task Force remain unnamed, the AU has appointed a new special envoy to Libya in the name of former Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete. He replaces Djibouti premier Dileita Mohamed Dileita.
Libya has been on the back-burner of international peace and security efforts for a one-State Libya for a while. The former President of Tanzania’s appointment could just give the peace process the visibility it so urgently needs.
Let’s take a quick look at who this new AU Envoy is. Kikwete was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1995 to 2005 under his predecessor Benjamin Mkapa. He also served as Chairperson of the African Union in 2008-2009 and Chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Troika on Peace, Defence and Security in 2012-2013.
As of 4 April 2013, Kikwete was the sixth most followed African leader on Twitter with 57, 626 followers. As of today, he has 386K followers.
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