West Africa Times | Serving The Community Since 2001 | Page 13
the Union maintains its humanitarian aid to the country, while financing projects that directly benefit the population without government intervention. T h e a r r i v a l i n power of President Ndayishimiye was seen by many international organizations such as the EU as a sign of the country’s opening up and a certain break from the former president’s methods. According to the Burundian authorities, P r e s i d e n t E va r i s t e N d a y i s h i m i y e ’ s appeasing speech and his policy of openness, which constitute a bedrock for the resumption of good cooperation between the European Union and Burundi in a mutually beneficial partnership dynamic were welcomed by the EU. It should be noted that while no deadline has yet been announced, negotiations seem to be moving towards a future lifting of the institution’s sanctions on the East African country. “The moment is well chosen given the situation of peace and security which prevails in the country, the massive return of the refugees, good relations w i t h Rw a n d a , t h e withdrawal of Burundi from the political agenda of the UN Security Council,” reads the statement. Before the suspension of its aid, the EU contributed 20% to B u r u n d i ’s n at i o n a l budget and is considered the country’s main donor. SUPREME COURT OF THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS SEIZES ISABEL DOS SANTO’S SHARES IN VIDATEL - Isabel dos Santos, daughter of for mer A n g o l a n P r e s i d e n t Eduardo dos Santos, has just suffered another financial blow. She loses control of Vidatel, a telecom operator registered in the British Virgin Islands. Through Vidatel, the
Angolan businesswoman held a 25% stake in the Angolan mobile operator Unitel. These shares had been placed under judicial supervision by Angola after investigations were opened against her. T h e s h a r e s w e r e c o n f i s c at e d by t h e Supreme Court of the British Virgin Islands. The institution appointed court administrators to manage these assets and all related bank accounts. They will also control Vidatel’s interest in Unitel, including the rights inherent to such interest, namely Vidatel’s voting and representation rights at Unitel’s shareholders’ meetings and Vidatel’s right to receive past dividends and futures contracts. The loss of control of Vidatel by Isabel dos Santos occurred after the freezing of her bank accounts in Angola in January 2020, followed one month later by the freezing of her bank accounts in Portugal. I n Ap r i l 2 0 2 0 , t h e businesswoman lost her shares in the Portuguese telecom operator NOS, which were seized by the courts. GOVERNMENT REVIEWS BILL TO DEVELOP AND PROTECT THE COASTLINE (Togo First) - The Togolese government is working on a plan to develop the coastline a n d c o a s t a l a r e a . A draft bill on the development, protection and enhancement of the coastline was reviewed by the Council of Ministers gathered on December 08, 2020. Beyond developing the economic and tourist potential of the coastal strip (which spans about 50km), the authorities want to improve its management. T h i s r e q u i r e s “adapting environmental management rules to changes in the governance of coastal areas” and also “protecting and enhancing the coastline” - ambitions which will materialize through the adoption of the
Master Plan for Coastal Development (SDAL). The latter is a bill that “aims to develop the Togolese coast’s economic potential, in accordance w i t h s u s t a i n a b l e development standards,” Lomé indicated. To p r e s e r ve a n d develop its coastal area, the country is supported by institutions such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), which also backed a project to rehabilitate the LoméCotonou road, linking the two neighboring countries.
TOGOLESE WOMEN AMONG TOP 50 FINALISTS FOR THE 2019 AFRICA NETPRENEUR PRIZE
(Togo First) - Over t h e f i f t y f i n a l i s t s selected for the 2019 Africa Netpreneur Prize initiative, two Togolose women were selected. They are namely, A i m é e A b r a Te n u Lawani, promoter of the Kari Kari soap, and Ahoefa Allah-Assogba, founder of Togossime, an e-commerce platform that deals in made-inTogo products. The next step, to get closer to winning the prize, for the two entre preneur s is to be among the top 10 finalists. The winning “netpreneur” will get a $1 million grant, according to a statement relased by the Jack Ma foundation. The nine other finalists will also get a grant, of a lesser amount, and will have access to the community of African netpreneurs, benefiting from their expertise and learn about the best practices prevailing in this community.
T h e A f r i c a Netpreneur Initiative is led by the Jack Ma fo u n d at i o n a n d i t s African partner Nailab, a Kenya-based business incubator founded by Kenyan Sam Gichuru. By 2030, the Jack Ma foundation should, under this program, grant $10 million to 100 young African entrepreneurs and women. For this edition, about 10,000 applications were submitted.
AKUFO-ADDO PRESIDENT FOR ANOTHER 4 YEARS?
Cont’d from 11
The party now controls three regions out of the five in the northern part of the country.
The Rawlings Factor; the influence of the
the Former President at death did not in any way influence the election. There were no sympathy votes for neither the NDC nor the former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings of the National Democratic Party (NDP). Rawlings oversaw the return of multiparty
politics. He died at the age of 73 at the Cardio Centre of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in the capital, Accra, on 12 November after a short illness. Nana Konadu with 0.02% of the votes, placed 11th in the presidential race ahead of independent candidate Alfred Kwame Asiedu.
Mo Ibrahim: Why Africa Must Emerge More Resilient From The COVID Crisis
New Atlanticist By David A. Wemer
T h e C O V I D - 1 9 pandemic has stressed economies and societies around the world, and in Africa the crisis risks reversing the governance a n d d e v e l o p m e n t successes of the last few decades.
That’s the message Dr. Mo Ibrahim, a SudaneseBritish entrepreneur, philanthropist, and founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, conveyed during an Atlantic Council Front Page event on December 8.
A well-known Afroo p t i m i s t , I b r a h i m has invested in the continent’s democratic progress and has focused on tackling practical g ove r n a n c e i s s u e s .
While the pandemic has exposed such problems across the world, he noted, one of its lessons is that Africa must be “more self-sufficient” and “resilient.” Ibrahim warned that 2020 has brought not only the COVID crisis to Africa, but also worrying signs about the state of governance on the continent.
He repor ted that his foundation’s latest Ibrahim Index of African Gover nance (IIAG) report showed a decline in its measures of good gover nance for the first time in a decade, even alongside optimism about places such as Sudan that are undergoing democratic revivals. Here’s a brief recap of what Ibrahim said about the decline in governance, the challenges of COVID,
and why there are also reasons for hope in the region: A COVID wake-up call •Building strength at home: The scramble to protect economies and supply chains from the shock of coronavirus has offered Africa a tough lesson on the importance o f s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y, Ibrahim argued. As global supply chains faltered, African leaders found solutions within Africa severely l a c k i n g . I b r a h i m explained that when leaders attempted to “buy food from a neighbor,” they realized that “there was no road” set up to adequately transport the goods. I b r a h i m h o p e s African leaders will use the crisis to jump-start regional-integration talks that can bolster Africa’s continental economy and build its resiliency. • N o p r e m a t u r e victory: As markets rejoice at the positive news of coronavirus vaccines, the first doses of which were being administered in the United Kingdom as Ibrahim spoke, the philanthropist warned that Africa will “need some access to the vaccine and also some ability to distribute the vaccine”
with the help of Western resources. While Western leaders may be tempted to focus on just their own domestic situations, “this pandemic is global,” Ibrahim argued, “you cannot deal with it in silos.” If Africa is not able to benefit from vaccines, coronavirus will not be stopped, he insisted: “You can only declare victory locally when we declare victory globally.” • M o r e e c o n o m i c solidarity: Ibrahim also lamented the lack of international solidarity in response to the economic crisis. “There has been a lot of talk, but not much has been done,” he explained, pointing to African leader s’ disappointment at failed debt-relief talks and vague Western stimulus proposals. Unlike their Western counterparts, in Africa “governments don’t have the fiscal space to support businesses. They are left on their own.” Worrying trends in governance •Twenty years of p r o g r e s s : I b r a h i m e x p l a i n e d t h at h i s foundation’s governance index rests on four key areas of governance: security and safety; h u m a n r i g h t s a n d democratic participation; t h e e c o n o m y ; a n d human-development issues such as healthcare and education. Over the last twenty years, “governance in general in Africa has been improving,” he noted, as
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