Seychelles’ President expresses gratitude to UAE for continuous support in socio-economic development

Seychelles’ President Wavel Ramkalawan held discussions with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan Al Nahyan, in New York on Sunday.

President Ramkalawan is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

According to a press release from State House, President Ramkalawan and Sheikh Nahyan Al Nahyan spoke about the ways that Seychelles and the UAE “can continue to foster and develop mutual relations, whilst continuing to strengthen cooperation in various fields, and supporting the common interests of both peoples.”

Furthermore, Ramkalawan “acknowledged and extended his gratitude to the UAE for the continuous support to the Seychellois nation particularly in its contribution towards the socio-economic development of the country.”

During the meeting, they reviewed key projects in Seychelles such as the West Coast Road, the Drug Rehabilitation Centre, the IECD Centre, the Anse Royale Sports Complex and the Barbarons Housing project.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

Planned Baynes Dam will generate more than 800 megawatts

The planed hydroelectric dam, to be built in the Cunene River basin, will generate 860 megawatts of installed power, said the project coordinator, Manuel Catumbela.

Speaking to ANGOP at the end of the visit of the Minister of Public Works, Urbanism and Housing, Carlos Alberto dos Santos, to the section that will connect the planned Baynes Dam, the project coordinator said it is in the study update stage, and subsequently follow the evaluation models for the start phase, scheduled for 2024.

Manuel Catumbela said that the multisectoral visit to the section, which will connect Moçâmedes to the Baynes dam, in the municipality of Tômbwa, in a route of about 300 kilometers, aimed to assess, on the spot, the technical issues to have a safe construction of the energy infrastructure.

“With this section all intervened, in terms of road, we will thus be able to have ease in transporting all the equipment for the construction of the Baynes dam, which will arrive via the Port of Namibe, to the mouth of the Cunene River and allow the works, in due time, to run smoothly,” he said.

According to the official, the project, in addition to producing electricity for Angola and Namibia, will also create jobs.

Manuel Catumbela pointed out that the project includes a compacted concrete dam of 200 meters, with an installed capacity for the production of 860 megawatts, generated from four generator sets of 215 megawatts each.

To fill the Baynes’ operating regime, according to the coordinator’s explanation, the construction of a second dam will be planned, to carry out the flow discharges, which will be observed at peak hours.

“These discharges will have a negative environmental impact and for this, a regularization dam was designed to mitigate these loads,” he said.

In this regularization dam will also be installed a plant with three units of six megawatts, making a total of 18 megawatts, which will join the 860, thus totaling 876 megawatts of power for this Baynes dam, according to the official.

Source: Angola Press News Agency

President of the Republic meets National Security Council

The President of the Republic, João Lourenço on Monday will chair the second ordinary meeting of the National Security Council, in Luanda, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief.

According to a press release to which ANGOP had access on Sunday, the meeting will address the country’s political-military, public security and human rights situation.

The meeting agenda also includes the consideration of the National Security Bill, among other issues linked to the Intelligence and State Security Services.

The National Security Council is made up of 23 members, namely the Vice-President of the Republic, the presidents of the National Assembly, the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Military Court, the Attorney General of the Republic, the Minister of State and Chief of the Military House of the President of the Republic.

Also included are the ministers of State and head of the Civil House of the President of the Republic, for Economic Coordination and the Social Area, as well as the ministers of National Defense, Former Combatants and Veterans of the Country, Interior, Foreign Relations, Finance, Territorial Administration and Justice and Human Rights.

The council also includes the chief of the General Staff of the Angolan Armed Forces, general commander of the National Police, head of the State Information and Security Service, head of the Military Intelligence and Security Service, General Director of the External Intelligence Service, inspector general of the State Administration and the director general of the Criminal Investigation Service.

Guest members and a technical group made up of other entities involved in the area of national security also participate in the meeting.

Source: Angola Press News Agency

Regional conference to build capacity of African SMEs opens on Sept 27 in Accra

The Centre for Regional Integration in Africa (CRIA) and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) are organising the 2023 Regional Integration Issues Forum (RIIF) conference for African SMEs in Accra.

The conference in collaboration with the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) will be on the theme: ‘Breaking Business Barriers for AfCFTA Acceleration’ with support from Afreximbank and endorsement from the AfCFTA.

A statement issused in Accra by the organizers said the event would be held on September 27 to 28, 2023.

It said the RIIF was a sensitization mechanism and an interface platform for stakeholders involved in regional integration and continental trade initiatives.

The 2023 RIIF aims at increasing awareness of the AfCFTA and its benefits for SMEs, as well as to strengthen SMEs’ capacity to engage in intra-African trade.

The statement said the conference would bring together about 150 participants from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Togo, and Zimbabwe, among other countries.

They include business owners of SMEs, private sector executives, international and African trade experts, AfCFTA Secretariat representatives, regional business councils, academics, research institutions and think tanks, development institutions, financial institutions, African thought leaders and business influencers, and the media.

It said the Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat would deliver the keynote address coupled by interactive panel discussions, breakout sessions, networking segments, training sessions, and company site visits.

The statenent said the 2023 RIIF SME conference would showcase practical ways in which AfCFTA provides opportunities to mobilise resources and stakeholders, build capacity, scale-up businesses, develop inclusivity for intra-African trade, create jobs,

expand national economies, and develop a sustainable continental market and ecosystem that effectively meets the needs of African people.

‘The conference is in support of the African Unions theme for 2023: Year of AfCFTA: Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation,’ it added.

It said additional RIIF conferences and training initiatives would be planned in other regions of the continent to build the capacity of business leaders to understand the AfCFTA and gain access to intra-African cross-border trade.

The first phase will begin in West Africa, where the Pan African Payment Settlement System (PAPSS) has been piloted to ensure financial ease of doing business across African borders and markets.

‘We have been convening the RIIF in partnership with ACBF since 2017 and, this year, GIMPA has joined us in organizing the 2023 RIIF SME conference. The initiative has also attracted strategic support from Afreximbank and the AfCFTA Secretariat,’ Professor Lehlohonolo Tlou, Executive Director of CRIA.

She said regional integration and intra-African trade were key strategies for transforming our economies and no single entity can do it all.

‘The conference is an important opportunity to join forces in building the capacity of SMEs to engage in intra-African trade and to contribute to the success of the AfCFTA. We believe working together can create a prosperous future for all Africans,’ she added.

The Executive Director said AfCFTA provided tremendous opportunities for African SMEs and RIIF 2023 conference was designed to help SMEs understand and leverage these opportunities, and to overcome barriers that they may face.

Mr M. Mamadou Biteye, Executive Secretary of ACBF said, ‘Capacity building plays a vital role in addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by the AfCFTA and breaking the business barriers for its acceleration, and this Conference is contributing to such efforts.’

‘ACBF recognizes that without the necessary capacities, African countries and businesses, SMEs in particular, may struggle to fully leverage the benefits of AfCFTA,’ he added.

The ACBF Strategic Plan 2023-2027 includes Trade as an Engine of Economic Development as one of four key impact areas that we will focus our work on over the next five years.

‘We will provide targeted capacity building support to governments, policymakers, institutions, private sector entities, SMEs and individuals involved in the AfCFTA implementation process,’ it added.

Source: Ghana News Agency

We need a sound financial management system – Dormelevo

Mr Daniel Yao Dormelevo, former Auditor General, has called for a sound financial management system for the country.

He said the nation’s debt stockpile crossed rescuable levels and required a bean counting financial management structure.

The former Auditor General made the call at the second anticorruption day celebration of the Asogli State’s Yam Festival Celebration.

‘We need a sound financial management system. A system which can ensure that resources are used for the intended purposes. A system which will ensure the strategic allocation of resources and fiscal discipline.’

He went on to state how a sound financial management system would produce more effective public service and improve leadership for the country.

‘We need public service which delivers efficient service to us. We need to move as a country under sound leadership.’

Mr Dormelevo also called for fiscal decentralisation as a measure to limit corruption, adding that localising financial control would best serve the needs of the people.

He said the fight against corruption deserved to be commercialised to enable individuals and organisations to pursue rot in society for a fee.

Other speakers including Emmanuel Wilson Jr, Mensah Thompson, and Eric Ahianyo, all known anticorruption campaigners, called on stakeholders to address growing concerns over the state of the nation’s economy.

This year’s Yam Festival marks 20 years of the reign of Togbe Afede XIV, the Agbogbomefia, and who was present at the event.

In a remark, he was hopeful that through patriotic leadership and perseverance, the nation could make a turnaround for the better.

‘We can turn the country around through honesty, hard work, and genuine love for our nation. But it requires leadership that will encourage us to work together and do things differently. Leadership that respects the truth, eschews divisiveness.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

The growing frustration among the youth is frightening – Togbe Afede

Togbe Afede XIV, the Agbogbomefia of Asogli, has noted youth desperation in the country and called for quality leadership.

He said rising economic challenges drove the youth to the brink and should become a concern for stakeholders.

Togbe Afede was addressing an anti-corruption day celebration that forms part of the Asogli Yam Festival celebration, and said corruption remained the root cause of troubled youth.

‘Our economy is indeed in a mess, and the growing frustration and sense of helplessness and hopelessness among the youth is frightening. I know what suffering is like, so I share the pain of our youth.’

Togbe Afede would blame bad governance, which he said had bedeviled the country since the collapse of the independence regime, and that the growing corruption stockpiled unemployment and desperate survival among the youth.

‘Making matters worse for me, personally, is the frightening rate of unemployment. So, we see that frustration is leading our people to pursue hazardous journeys in search of greener pastures. We see misery in their faces, and of course the suicide rate has been on the increase,’ he said.

The Agbogbomefia said the long custody of corruption must be broken, as it remained the ‘main culprit’ in reinforcing the nation’s ‘chaotic economic situation.’

Togbe Afede, an avid anti-corruption champion, said that hope, however, lay in the fact that the nation had the resources to transform negative outlook, and would require leadership commitment.

‘We can turn her around through honesty, hard work, and genuine love for our nation. But it requires leadership. Leadership encourages us to work together and do things differently. Leadership that respects the truth, eschews divisiveness.

‘Leadership that works hard to make us all do away with greed inspired and violence-backed democratic dispensation that we are witnessing now. Leadership that has transparency and accountability. They are things that we need to sail through, turn the tide and restore Ghana to its place of respectability in Africa and the world.’

The anti-corruption event has become major feature of the popular yam festival of the people of the Volta Regional capital, and this year had Mr Daniel Yao Dormelevo, former Auditor General as guest speaker.

The top accounting official, who also is a favourite integrity icon, called for a ‘sound’ public financial management system, strict asset declaration regime, and fiscal decentralisation for end to established corruption.

He also called to ‘commercialise the prosecution of corruption,’ to allow individuals to own stakes in the fight against the canker.

Dr Nyaho Nyano-Tamakloe, a statesman who also was a guest speaker, said prominent in the country needed to speak up against raging corruption and abuse of power.

The event also had major anti-corruption champions such as Emmanuel Wilson Jr, Mensah Thompson, and Eric Ahianyo as speakers.

This Year’s Yam Festival also marks the 20th anniversary of the instalment of Togbe Afede.

Source: Ghana News Agency