28 Oct

Why east Africa is ripe for industrialisation

Investors may be wary of the twin deficits and rising debt ratios of east Africa, but they share many of the characteristics of emerging market (EM) swans such as Korea or Taiwan back in the 1960s. We believe east Africa is ripe for industrialisation.

When the biggest African economies exhibit little or no growth, and acute exchange rate tensions, many might overlook the continued boom in east Africa, with Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda all still expected to grow by 5-8% in 2016-2017, according to the IMF.

But some are concerned that this growth is coming at too great a cost in terms of large fiscal and current account deficits. They question the sustainability of this growth, pointing to the lack of manufacturing, the reliance on agriculture or foreign aid, and wonder how enough jobs can be created to keep the lid on potential political instability.

East Africa looks like Korea in 1960

All of the above could also be said of Korea in 1960, when manufacturing was small, agriculture represented 40% of GDP and exports were a feeble 3-5% of GDP. Yet crucially, 27.5% of children were attending secondary school, which allowed Korea to escape poverty within a generation. All bar nine countries in Africa exceed that level today.

Demographics were positive like Africa today. The government was committed to boosting investment, but probably had not reached the 29% of GDP level that is the (unweighted) current average of Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Yes, Korea was running a large current account deficit during the 1960s, as it had too few domestic savings, but during their initial growth surge, deficits of around 10% of GDP were normal for all the most successful middle income countries. Investment-led growth is an ugly duckling before it matures.

But where is the industrialisation?

Much of Africa (but especially east Africa) is ripe for industrialisation, and there are signs it has begun. In 2012, just four of the 14 sub-Saharan African countries we focus on were self-sufficient in cement. Today we think it is at least 10. Twelve of the 14 countries have seen electricity production rise by 30-131% over 2008-2013 against population growth of 15-21% and further capacity is under construction. New rail lines are connecting Nairobi and Addis Ababa to the ports of Mombasa and Djibouti respectively.

What we need to see next is a shift into low technology manufacturing such as textiles. Exports of these represent just 1% of GDP for Kenya or Côte d’Ivoire and 0% for another 12 countries (curiously, the value of Kenya textile exports is double that of Ethiopia). But Bangladesh exports textiles worth 14% of its GDP, and sells more in a month than all 14 African countries combined can export in a year. Yet in the coming five years, we think sub-Saharan Africa will compete with south Asia to capture market share from Vietnam as it moves up the valued-added curve, gradually discarding a US$44bn export generating sector.

Distributed by How We Made It In Africa

27 Oct

International Colloquium of Rabat to study links between trade, investment and sustainable development

This year’s edition of the colloquium will take place under the theme “Trade, Investment and Sustainable Development” and will take place from Thursday 27 to Saturday 29 October at the Faculty of Legal, Economic and Social Science of the Mohammed V University of Rabat (Morocco)

The Economic Commission for Africa is organizing, in partnership with the WTO Chair of the Mohammed V University of Rabat and LEAD (University of Toulon Laboratory for Applied Economic Research in Development) the Tenth International Colloquium of Rabat.

This year’s edition of the colloquium will take place under the theme “Trade, Investment and Sustainable Development” and will take place from Thursday 27 to Saturday 29 October at the Faculty of Legal, Economic and Social Science of the Mohammed V University of Rabat (Morocco).

This event is taking place as Morocco is preparing to host the Twenty-Second Conference of Parties (COP22); it will provide participants with an opportunity to discuss topics such as:

  • Financing sustainable development
  • Climate change and the mobility of goods and people
  • Optimal economic management of natural resources
  • Public policies for sustainable economic development
  • Green economy as a new growth niche for Mediterranean countries
  • From COP21 to COP22 : commitments made and their implications for the development of countries
  • The trade of environmental goods and services
  • Dispute settlement and climate change
  • Environment economics
  • The stakes of climate negotiations
  • Non-Trade WTO objectives
  • The complementarity between WTO rules and Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)

Event: Tenth edition of the International Colloquium of Rabat, under the theme “Trade, Investment and Sustainable Development”

Date: 27-28 October 2016

Place: Faculty of Legal, Economic and Social Science, Mohammed V University of Rabat (Morocco)

Event: Doctoral school of the International Colloquium of Rabat

Date: 29 October 2016

Place: Faculty of Legal, Economic and Social Science, Mohammed V University of Rabat (Morocco)

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa ( UNECA ).

27 Oct

Ecobank launches Ecobank Mobile App to transform Banking in Africa

The new mobile App enables customers to open a new digital account with no more than a few clicks, with no paper references

LAGOS, Nigeria, October 25, 2016/APO/ —

Ecobank (Ecobank.com) has launched the Ecobank Mobile App, an instant and convenient way of banking via the mobile phone. It is the first unified app delivered by any institution for use in 33 countries. Group CEO, Ade Ayeyemi unveiled the new App at a large product launch in Lagos, which brought together a wide range of customers, including students, various professionals, traders and transporters. Ecobank board members, shareholders, staff and media were also present at the event.

The Ecobank Mobile App uniquely leverages the power of digital to deliver real convenience to customers. The App gives Ecobank the scale and capacity to achieve its target of attaining 100 million customers in a profitable and sustainable way.

The new App enables customers to open a new digital account with no more than a few clicks, with no paper references.

Ade Ayeyemi said: “The Ecobank Mobile App opens up opportunities for customers by allowing them to shop, transact and do business without cash. At scale, this will be transformational for Africa. Through its purchasing power and Ecobank’s partnerships with Visa and Mastercard, the Ecobank Mobile App will be an accepted means of payment. With its removal of barriers to entry and affordable price points, the Ecobank Mobile App will empower the consumer to be on the move.”

Ecobank’s Group Executive for Consumer Banking, Patrick Akinwuntan, said: “This product launch fulfils our promise to create relevant solutions for consumers. With the Ecobank Mobile App, Ecobank customers can now make and receive instant payments across 33 African countries on their mobile devices. They can also pay in store with their mobile phones. This is genuine convenience delivered to our consumers.”

At the launch, Mr. Akinwuntan demonstrated how to make a payment, how to send funds, and how to receive money from merchants using Ecobank Masterpass QR technology. He also showed that opening an XpressAccount was an instant and easy transaction.

Ecobank Nigeria’s Managing Director, Charles Kié, said: “Nigeria is a leading hub for entrepreneurship and technology for Ecobank. This is why we chose Lagos as the venue to launch the Ecobank Mobile App. This new product will allow customers in Nigeria and other affiliates across our vast network, to grow their businesses by giving them a convenient and secure way of banking.”

The innovative new platform reduces the need to carry cash. It gives customers the opportunity to deposit money through a mobile transfer.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Ecobank.

26 Oct

Off-grid solar could be as transformational for Africa as mobile phones

The World Bank estimates that 24% of the sub-Saharan African population doesn’t have access to electricity, with the installed generation capacity for the region (excluding South Africa) being equivalent to that of Argentina.

As a result, over 600 million people are reliant on kerosene, generators and other non-renewable energy sources to light and power their homes. These options are often expensive and can have harmful health effects, releasing toxic fumes, for example, as is the case with kerosene lighting and coal-fuelled cooking stoves.

However, a number of renewable energy companies have been popping up to address these problems – and one of these has just clinched the biggest round of equity financing in the off-grid solar industry, according to Bloomberg.

Mobisol, which launched in 2010, is a Berlin-based company that develops rooftop solar systems that can power key appliances in homes not connected to the grid. The company has installed more than 60,000 systems in Tanzania and Rwanda, and has recently expanded to Kenya. Its growth – 80% year-on-year in 2016 – caught the attention of Investec Asset Management. The firm’s African private equity arm announced this week that it has bought a “significant shareholding” in Mobisol, although its management is keeping mum when it comes to the deal’s financial specifics.

According to Mark Jennings, investment principal in private equity at Investec Asset Management, the off-grid solar industry (valued at US$700m in 2015 by Bloomberg New Energy Finance) could be as significant for Africa as mobile phones have been.

“It is of course different, but in some ways reminiscent of what happened in the cell phone sector where 20 years ago… very few people were connected to fixed landlines, and mobile phones just transformed the ability of people across the African continent to have access to communication,” he told How we made it in Africa.

“We think a similar thing is starting to happen in the off-grid solar sector. This is transformational.”

“There is just a huge demand out there.”

Innovative techniques

A big part of Mobisol’s success is a result of making its solar solutions financially accessible to low-income consumers, says Jennings. For example, households are allowed to make repayments over a period of three years, meaning that the amount they pay per month is no more than they would fork out for traditional lighting and energy solutions such as kerosene.

“Very few households would be able to afford a cash payment upfront that would pay for the full cost of the system. That is why the company provides this three-year payment plan – which is effectively granting credit,” notes Jennings.

Repayments can be made via mobile phones using mobile money – which has been heavily adopted in east Africa. All potential customers also undergo Mobisol’s vigorous credit vetting process, and the company can also remotely disable solar systems if a customer misses a repayment.

“This is a very powerful incentive for the household to get up-to-date on payments, to ensure their home system is turned back on.”

Mobisol is also experimenting with the drone delivery of parts – which would lower distribution costs – although nothing has been commercialised yet.

Possible exits

While Jennings would not reveal the kind of returns Investec hopes to make on its investment in Mobisol, he says the company will likely hold the investment for around five years.

“We think there are several attractive exit options for a business like this. There could be a listing, and we would also expect interest from strategic buyers or investors.”

26 Oct

New UK support for jobs, trade and investment to boost economic development in Africa

As the first Cabinet Minister to visit Africa since the UK voted to leave the European Union, the International Development Secretary set out her vision for UK aid in the continent and announced new support to boost economic development.

With Africa now home to the world’s fastest growing population, Ms Patel set out the importance of generating productive jobs and sustainable livelihoods, opening up markets, stimulating economic growth and increasing business opportunities to make the most of a young, vibrant working population. This provides a better alternative to risking the dangerous journey to Europe or turning to extremism, therefore tackling migration and instability, which is firmly in the UK’s interests.

New support includes:

  • Launching a new Invest Africa programme to encourage at least £400 million of foreign direct investment into the most productive sectors – such as manufacturing – to create 90,000 direct and indirect jobs in Kenya and other African countries over the next decade. This builds on the UK’s role as the largest European investor into Africa.
  • Providing £95 million over the next four years to increase Kenya’s trade by £1.3bn, building on the success of TradeMark East Africa – founded by UK aid – in breaking down the barriers to trade. This will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, stimulate further growth and generate additional revenue for the Kenyan authorities that provide basic services for those in need.
  • Providing £35 million to help go beyond meeting the basic needs of refugees – focusing on creating trading opportunities and sustainable livelihoods closer to home. This support benefits not only those who have been displaced by conflict and persecution but also host communities, encouraging greater integration and stability.

International Development Secretary Priti Patel said:

“No country can defeat poverty without sustained economic growth and in Kenya I saw how UK support is creating job and trade opportunities for the many, not the few.

As we redefine our place in the world following the EU Referendum, it is vital that the UK deepens existing relationships with African countries and establishes new trade, investment and economic links that deliver in our national interests, by bringing new opportunities for British businesses and creating our trading partners of the future.”

Ms Patel visited Mombasa Port – the biggest port in East Africa serving 200million people – where she saw how the UK is breaking down the barriers to trade and yielding results. This has contributed to a 75% reduction in the amount of time that it takes to move goods from Mombasa to neighbouring countries, a 10% increase in Kenya’s exports, hundreds of millions of pounds worth of increased trade and a reduction in corruption through greater transparency and accountability.

In Northern Kenya, Ms Patel visited Kalobeyei settlement near Kakuma refugee camp, where new UK support is driving forward the Government of Kenya’s progressive new approach to helping refugees access trading and livelihood opportunities. While still in its early stages, for the first time Kenya’s local communities are better integrating with refugees and sharing the benefits of greater trade.

This builds on landmark agreements at the UN General Assembly last month, including £20 million increase in UK support to help Somali refugees in Kenya safely and voluntarily return to livelihoods at home, building stability and security in the region.

Ms Patel also met local communities in the arid lands of Northern Kenya, where 94% of people are living in extreme poverty to see how the UK is leading the way in delivering smart, efficient and cost-effective aid for the poorest. By using innovative digital technology and providing regular payments directly into bank accounts, the UK is helping people purchase what they need, giving them economic empowerment and creating trading opportunities.

In the last 5 years, UK aid in Kenya has:

  • enabled 550,000 children to access primary education
  • provided 450,000 women with family planning services
  • helped 1.1 million people cope with the effects of climate change
  • improved access to clean energy for 476,000 people; and
  • distributed over 12.2 million bed nets to prevent malaria.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Department for International Development (DFID).

26 Oct

Good Entrepreneurial Base, Key to Africa’s Bright Future – Chikonde

Zambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom His Excellency Mr. Muyeba Chikonde says the key to Africa’s bright future is having a good entrepreneurial base that takes advantage of emerging young entrepreneurial spirit that has embraced information technology.

And Rwanda High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Her Excellency Ms. Yamina Karitanyi has said Africans have the power to create the Africa of their own dreams if they started building their own economies through strengthening local entrepreneurs in their various countries.

Meanwhile Paul Obserchneider a successful entrepreneur and a millionaire who is interested in setting up investments and strengthen entrepreneurs in Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda and Tanzania says Africa is full of successful stories and entrepreneurs in Africa are the driving force for the continent’s growth.

During an exclusive dinner hosted by Paul Obserchneider, at the Royal Automobile Club on the Pall Mall in London recently, High Commissioner Chikonde said Africans needed to step up and take charge if the continent is to develop.

He said Governments alone cannot manage to provide jobs to all its citizens but with a good entrepreneurial base in place, unemployment can be a thing of the past in Africa.

The High Commissioner said Zambia and Africa have a cadre of young and innovative entrepreneurs who are ready to take Africa to higher heights but that they lacked capital and mentorship.

He said entrepreneurship involves developing innovative ideas, taking risk and managing the business in a sound manner and that young entrepreneurs are fortunate to have technology which has created opportunities for dreams to be turned into reality and has broken barriers preventing exchange of best business practices within African countries.

“Africa’s wealth is in its people and not its minerals. Africans can bring economic prosperity to their own continent through entrepreneurs. This is why the Zambian Government has taken entrepreneurs seriously. In these stormy times and with an increasingly competitive global market, it is fundamental for Africa to have a good entrepreneurial base which can contribute to wealth creation and to the continents’ economic development,” he said.

High Commissioner Chikonde said it is crucial that more local businesses in Africa engage in economic sectors such as Agriculture, Manufacturing, Construction and Tourism in order to effectively contribute to the continent’s economic development adding that this can only be possible through innovation by indigenous companies with the potential to grow and succeed not only in Zambia and Africa but also in international markets.

And High Commissioner Karitanyi said she believed that Africa can achieve a lot if all African entrepreneurs had good and strong business adding that the innovation among young entrepreneurs in Africa is amazing and that there were great opportunities in Africa but what African entrepreneurs were currently lacking are resources.

“Remember it is not about where you are located; it is about attitude. Let us change our mindset about how we think about our continent. Things are changing in Africa. We need people who are going to talk good things about Africa. African Governments are going to support any meaningful good entrepreneur or business partners that are going to bring about Development in Africa,” she said.

High Commissioner Karitanyi said entrepreneurship can play a central role in assisting the continent meet the various challenges that it is facing today, she further said entrepreneurship can assist in addressing the challenges starting from: Low levels of employment, social exclusion, low levels of competitive products and services in the African economies and urbanisation and rural poverty.

Meanwhile Mr. Obserchneider said he is interested in investing and strengthening entrepreneurs in Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda and Tanzania and intends to produce a documentary on entrepreneurial spirit in the five countries in order to portray a positive image of the African continent to the global audience.

He said he has chosen to invest in Africa because it reminds him of the exciting opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe that allowed him to start from nothing and build a great portfolio of companies. He calls Africa blue sky markets’ — markets where there is relatively little competition and the tide can carry one to riches.

“Just get out there and try. When my friends were starting banks in 1992 in Central and Eastern Europe, no one really knew what they were doing. But they did it. If you have to wait until you know everything and everything is perfect, it will be too late. You need to rise with the tide in the morning, and not just sit there on the beach! One step at a time, and eventually people will show up that will help you. In my opinion, entrepreneurs in Africa will be the driving force for the continent’s growth,” he said.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Zambia High Commission in the United Kingdom.

24 Oct

FAO and NEPAD team up to boost rural youth employment in Benin, Cameroon, Malawi and Niger

FAO and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) have joined forces to increase job and business opportunities for young people in rural areas of Benin, Cameroon, Malawi and Niger through a $4 million grant made available by the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund.

The agreement signed today by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva and NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency (NPCA) Chief Executive Officer, Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, will help the four countries involved draw up and implement policies that seek to boost the development of enterprises in rural areas, including through the transfer of knowledge and skills.

“This joint effort seeks to promote decent rural youth employment and entrepreneurship in agriculture and agribusiness, and it represents another important example of an Africa-led cooperation initiative that seeks to safeguard food security and livelihoods in the continent,” Graziano da Silva said.

“Attaining Africa’s Agenda 2063 aspirations to a large extent depends on the transformation of rural areas supported by capacitated young entrepreneurs along the food chain,” Mayaki said.

Project funds will be used over a three year period, and will serve to ensure that young people, in particular women, gain greater access to the rural economy. This includes the creation of decent jobs, both in the farming and non-farming sectors through public-private investments.

The project objectives are in line with the 2014 Malabo Declaration through which African Union leaders pledged to achieve a set of goals in the agriculture sector by 2025. One of these is to increase youth employment in Africa’s rural areas by 30 percent, especially through the strengthening of agriculture value chains, while another was to prioritize and support livelihood and income generating opportunities for women and the rural youth.

Concrete outcomes

The project will ensure that Benin, Cameroon, Malawi and Niger have in place national action plans on youth employment and skills development in rural economic value chains. In addition each country will pilot a set of Youth Capacity Development Projects.

Another wider objective is to improve policy dialogue among countries, regional organizations, development and resource partners to forge a coordinated approach to decent youth employment and entrepreneurship in Africa.

Africans for Africans

The Africa Solidarity Trust Fund was launched in 2013 as a unique Africa-led initiative to improve agriculture and food security across the continent. It includes contributions from Equatorial Guinea ($30 million), Angola ($10 million) and a symbolic contribution by civil society organizations in the Republic of the Congo.

Since its inception, the Fund has already provided financing for 16 projects in 38 countries including building resilience for conflict affected rural communities, reducing rural poverty through youth employment opportunities and building best practices to increase crop and livestock production.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

24 Oct

Intra-Africa Trade and Investment Key to the Growth of Africa

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, October 21, 2016/APO/ —

The future for a sustainable growth and development of Africa depends on increasing the levels of intra-Africa trade and investment within the African continent. This was said by the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Trade Invest Africa (TIA), Ms Lerato Mataboge during a seminar hosted by TIA, an entity of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), and the Gauteng Growth Development Agency (GGDA) in Johannesburg today.

According to Mataboge, TIA is South African government’s response to address the increase in levels of intra-Africa trade and investment within the African continent. She added that there was much progress made in the Southern African Development Community region in terms of intra-trade and investments. However, she said, more still needed to be done on trade initiatives driven towards the East, Central and Northern African countries to address trade imbalance.

“We need to increase trade efforts with the rest of Africa beyond SADC. This should entail increased South African investments to the rest of Africa as part of the efforts. Part of the take- away from this session is the importance of establishing good working relationships in fellow African countries and understanding the local business etiquette,” added Mataboge.

She also encouraged businesses to embrace the Guidelines for Good Business Practice in doing business in Africa. Mataboge said TIA was working with various institutions to facilitate access to financial and non-financial support for businesses.

The MEC for Economic, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development in Gauteng, Mr Lebogang Maile said that intra-Africa trade stood at 14% of Africa’s total trade at present. That meant that around 86% of Africa’s trade consisted of trade with the rest the world.  Maile said this was a call for action for businesses to collaborate and work together to increase intra-Africa trade and investment.

He further said that trade as a driver of Africa’s growth would come mainly from regional trade consequent on increased regional integration and the development of free trade zones, that will enhance consumer demand for large scale infrastructure projects.

Maile said the province was encouraged by initiatives such as the TIA that work to promote mutually beneficial trade and investment relations with the rest of the continent.

The seminar was part of TIA’s roadshow aimed at informing the Gauteng business community about the support services offered by TIA in facilitating trade and investment with the rest of Africa. The workshop also motivated the Gauteng business community around the huge economic frontier which is the African continent.

Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

21 Oct

The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) is having positive effects toward greater food and nutrition security in countries that have implemented the process

The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) is having a positive impact on food and nutrition security in countries that are implementing it, according to the just released 2015 Annual Trends and Outlook Report (ATOR).

The ATOR, was released yesterday by the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS), a program facilitated by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), during the opening of the 2016 ReSAKSS Annual Conference in Accra, organized by IFPRI in partnership with the African Union Commission.

The 2015 ATOR examines the current status of nutrition in Africa, including progress in meeting the 2014 AU Malabo nutrition targets, and highlights the importance of dietary quality and diversity. It further stresses the importance of strengthening capacities for nutrition mainstreaming, monitoring and evaluation.

It stated that, “Undernourishment is lowest among countries that have not yet adopted the CAADP process,” and that, “The rates of reduction in undernourishment are faster in CAADP countries especially those that have been in the process the longest and those that have gone through most of the stages of the process.”

Officially opening the 2016 ReSAKSS annual conference, AUC Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, H.E Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, represented by Dr. Janet Edeme, Acting Director for the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA), said achieving a nutrition revolution would require informed plans and investments coupled with leadership for effective implementation.

“The complexity and multi-sectorality of nutrition demand for better coordination of interventions in order to make real and effective impact. By investing in a nutrition revolution, we are reducing malnutrition at all levels of the population including children and women, as spelt out in Africa’s Agenda 2063,” she said.

“Improving food security is not only about making sure people are consuming adequate calories, but ensuring that diets provide adequate nutrients for the healthy growth and development of Africa’s children and the health and wellbeing of all people,” said Ousmane Badiane, IFPRI Director for Africa. “This report shows that policymakers must not only monitor nutrition outcomes but set ambitious targets and design appropriate strategies to achieve these. The first step to reducing poverty and promoting economic growth in Africa is to reduce hunger and malnutrition which rob the continent of its human resource potential.”

According to IFPRI, more key findings of the report include:

Statistics and trends indicate a need for more concerted effort in tackling a triple burden of malnutrition in Africa that includes reducing under-nutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight and obesity.

The potential nutritional impact of existing food policies (including agricultural subsidies) should be reviewed, and reforms should be initiated for those policies that are likely to have adverse effects on people’s dietary quality and body weight.

Comprehensive monitoring and evaluation systems, complete with key nutrition indicators and contextualized evidence, are needed to evaluate the impact of comprehensive investment plans on nutrition and attainment of the international, continental, and national commitments for growth, development, and nutrition.

Overall, the analysis of CAADP indicators shows that countries that have been in the CAADP process the longest and those that have gone through most of the levels of the CAADP process have tended to register better outcomes in most of the indicators reviewed, thus highlighting the positive impact of CAADP.

It is essential to harness the potential for science, technology, and innovation to reduce postharvest losses and food waste; promote product diversification with nutritious foods; improve processing to extend shelf life and make healthy foods easier to prepare; and improve storage and preservation to retain nutritional value, ensure food safety, and extend seasonal availability.

The full report can be accessed from www.ifpri.org

Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

21 Oct

Zambia highlights key essentials to Africa’s development

Zambia made the remarks at the just-concluded Africa-week joint debate on New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), focusing on the progress in implementation and international support as well as on the decade to roll back malaria in developing countries, particularly in Africa

Zambia says sustainable trade, infrastructure development, gender equality and empowerment, peace, health and education are among key prerequisites to the development of Africa.

Zambia made the remarks at the just-concluded Africa-week joint debate on New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), focusing on the progress in implementation and international support as well as on the decade to roll back malaria in developing countries, particularly in Africa.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Assistant Director (International Organisations), Mr. Eliphas Chinyonga said Zambia welcomed the programme for infrastructure development in Africa that NEPAD developed, focusing on transformative regional projects.

“Out of the priority Regional Infrastructure projects identified, Zambia is likely to benefit directly from those that are located or pass through the borders. These include Serenje–Nakonde Road with the total length of 614.71km; Lusaka-Lilongwe ICT Terrestrial Fiber Optic; Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya Transmission Line; and Batoka Gorge Hydro Power Project,” said Mr. Chinyonga at the UN General Assembly meeting. “I am pleased to report that Zambia developed a compendium of climate oriented agriculture technologies in all three of its agro ecological regions. This was facilitated through the support from the NEPAD Climate Change Fund for mainstreaming Climate Smart Agriculture into the National Agriculture Investment Plan.”

He said Zambia is committed to promoting human capital development.

In this regard, Mr. Chinyonga said Zambia will continue to improve the teaching of science and mathematics, which are critical to attaining improvements in technology and innovation for enhanced industrialisation and job creation.

Mr. Chinyonga also said Zambia was focusing on reducing malaria related deaths countrywide and hoped to achieve a malaria-free Zambia by 2020.

Mr. Chinyonga said, so far, malaria prevalence and deaths have steadily decreased, culminating in an impressive 55 percent reduction in all cases of child mortality.

On gender equality and women empowerment, Mr. Chinyonga informed the global body that Zambia enacted the Gender Equity and Equality Act No.  22 of 2015, which has fully domesticated major international and regional instruments including the  Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa and the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.

However, Mr. Chinyonga expressed Zambia’s concern that the process of integrating NEPAD into the African Union structures and processes has been slow, despite the African Union Commission and the NEPAD Agency working towards concluding the matter.

“It is our view that international support to facilitate the inclusion of realistic timelines for concluding the matter would be useful,” said Mr. Chinyonga. “Notwithstanding the foregoing, Zambia still remains fully committed to ensuring that the priority areas of energy, industrialisation, intra-regional trade, food security, health, education, gender equality and adaptation to climate change are fast tracked under NEPAD.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations.