In these days the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the Republic of Uganda are on a state visit in Malabo, visiting and learning tricks from the Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Nguema Obiang, who has used the oil to enrich himself and his loyal subjects. Not build a welfare state, but make sure the family of Obiang get wealthy. Certainly, Uganda is preparing for their own oil production in the Lake Albertine basin, as the pipeline building from the production to the Port Tanga in Tanzania.
This is why President Museveni are visiting Equatorial Guinea to learn the tricks of the trade, as the state of Uganda are still in the dark of the oil-deals between the international companies and the state. We can wonder how the funds will be spoiled and how Museveni plans to use the oil funds for personal gains. If so, he wouldn’t praise President Obiang, who has his whole career to spend the oil profits from his republic. This is what Museveni wants to learn, since his career has been tricking out all sorts of play from Ugandan republic. The petroleum profits can be misspent and hidden just like in the republic of Obiang. Take a look!
President Museveni’s praise:
“We are therefore in Equatorial Guinea for two things: looking at how to support prosperity of one another and how to push for our strategic security. I also congratulate Equatorial Guinea for using it’s oil and gas very well. When I was last here for the AU Summit, I noticed gaps between the airport and the city centre. Today, all these gaps were gone. In their place are new, well-planned buildings. And I see the city is refurbished. Some people say oil is a curse but in Equatorial Guinea it is a blessing” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 26.08.2017)
Business in Equatorial Guinea:
“Since the discovery of the offshore oil deposits, many investors have shown great interest in the country. Foreign direct investment inflows into the country had thus been consistently high for the past years. Nevertheless, in 2016 the FDI inflow amounted to USD 54 million, a sharp decrease from USD 233 million recorded the previous year (and the historical peak of USD 2.73 billion in 2010) . The total stock of FDI in the country is currently at USD 13.4 billion” (…) “Corruption in particular is problematic. In addition, the business climate of the country remains rather unfavourable for investment. Cumbersome procedures and high compliance costs slow licensing and make starting a business more difficult. Weak regulatory and judicial systems may discourage foreign investment as well, along with high credit costs and limited access to financing. The government controls long-term lending through the state-owned development bank. Equatorial Guinea ranked 178th out of 190 countries in the 2017 Doing Business report published by the World Bank, losing three spots compared to the previous year” (Santander Trade, 2017).
Son of the President on trial:
“The corruption trial of Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the son of the president of Equatorial Guinea, ended in Paris on 6 July with the prosecution calling for a three-year jail term, a €30 million (US$34 million) fine and the confiscation of assets. The Tribunal will return a verdict on 27 October. The 48-year-old vice-president of Equatorial Guinea was not in court to hear the prosecution’s claim that he used money stolen from his country’s treasury and laundered through a shell company to fund a lavish lifestyle in France” (Transparency International, 2017).
This was what that is well-known of the Equatorial Guinea corruption and the son of President has also had challenging cases in the United States. Now the son is also having alleged fraud and criminal charges in France. Clearly, the Ugandan President has already known for corruption behavior. Therefore, even a state agency of PPDA has some words, that the government needs strict regulations before procurement and infrastructure development. This will be clearly important when it comes to petroleum industry. Take a look!
PPDA strict regulation on public procurement:
“Public procurement is a key pillar of the public financial management system. The country’s budget and plans are translated into actual services to our people through the public procurement system. It is also the link between the public sector and the private sector as it is the medium through which the private sector does business with Government. Public procurement therefore involves large sums of money and as our budget grows with the priorities of Government remaining infrastructure development, the proportion of the budget earmarked for public procurement remains significant and therefore calls for strict regulation” (PPDA, 2017).
“Audits and investigations by the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets indicate that corruption in the procurement process manifests more in the evaluation of bids, reported to be at 58%. PPDA’s Manager Capacity Building Ronald Tumuhairwe says such corrupt practices lead to awarding of contracts to incompetent individuals hence shoddy works in several government projects” (…) “He adds that the second process where corruption manifests is awarding of contracts at 12.5%, followed by receipt and opening of bids, reviewing evaluation of bids, advertising and signing of contracts” (Sebunya, 2017).
President Museveni clearly has own agencies saying it is important with strict regulations on procurement and infrastructure developments like the ones needed for oil industry in the republic. The regulation of oil industry is lax, to make sure the state isn’t transparent with its profits and taxation of the industry. This is what Museveni wants, that the state and the public doesn’t know the contracts or the agreements between the parties involved. That is something President Obiang surely have the capacity to teach Museveni. And how to make sure his family is earning from the state resource, instead of the public and the state itself. Peace.
Transparency International – ‘ON TRIAL FOR CORRUPTION: FRENCH PROSECUTORS DEMAND JAIL TERM AND €30 MILLION FINE FOR OBIANG’ (11.07.2017) link: https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/on_trial_for_corruption_french_prosecutors_demand_jail_term_and_30_million
Santander Trade – ‘EQUATORIAL GUINEA: FOREIGN INVESTMENT’ (August 2017) link: https://en.portal.santandertrade.com/establish-overseas/equatorial-guinea/investing-3
Sebunya, Wycliffe – ‘Corruption manifests most in the procurement process – IG’ (25.08.2017) link:http://radioonefm90.com/corruption-manifests-most-in-the-procurement-process-ig/
PPDA – ‘EVALUATING INNOVATIVE ANTI CORRUPTION POLICIES IN PUBLIC PROCUREMENT IN UGANDA’ (02.08.2017) link: https://www.ppda.go.ug/evaluating-innovative-anti-corruption-policies-in-public-procurement-in-uganda/
Isn’t this strange how the Ethiopian government get accolades and honors, the latest was this week in Niamey in Niger. What is special is that this one is about perception and about the profession of media. A profession that is dangerous to have in Ethiopia. In a country where journalists who writes articles are detained, editors detained and bloggers jailed. Two TV-Channels banned in 2016 during the ‘State of Emergency’ and other acts against the freedom of expression in Ethiopia. With this in mind, all of the detained journalists and bloggers in Ethiopia, the knowledge of this should been known by leadership and committee of Council of African Political Parties (CAPP). But they doesn’t seem to care, because if they did. The CAPP would know of the countless innocent citizens writing and spelling out the oppressive behavior of their government. Would see the light of day and not be incommunicado. The amounts of journalists who has been trialed and taken to serve time in prison. Also, the modern day bloggers who has gotten same ill-treatment. That is why this news of getting the lead in the Media Forum of CAPP. Just take a look!
Press Statement from ENA on CAPP:
“Addis Ababa July 13/2017 The Constitutive Meeting of the Media Forum of the Council of African Political Parties (CAPP) held in Niamey, Niger, has elected the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) to lead the Media Forum. Council of African Political Parties (CAPP) is a non-governmental organization established by 47 African political parties representing 35 African countries in the constitutive conference held in Khartoum, Sudan, in April 2013. According to a press statement issued by EPRDF, the party’s representative at the meeting, Kebede Kassa, commended the confidence the political parties have shown on Ethiopia and its ruling party” (…) “The Media Forum is an organization for the media cadres of the African Political Parties to advance their profession through updated technologies, discussions on issues of interest and exchange of experiences, it was learned. On the occasion, Secretary General of Council of African Political Parties (CAPP), Dr. Nafie Ali Nafie explained the need for the establishment of the Media Forum to realize the objectives of the council. According to him, “the Media Forum should play to correctly introduce Africa instead of the negative perception regularly viewed in particular by the western media.” (ENA, 2017).
The government in Ethiopia cracks down on the media and wants it’s fist on it. They are repressive against uprisings and freedom of expressions. Therefore, the Ethiopian government and the EPRDF is not fit to lead the Party. The Media Forum of CAPP will not help the troubles and the ones in need in jail. That the Council of African Political Parties (CAPP) are not considering the implications of their leaders and heads of their Forums, since they have elected one that can easily silence and oppress its own. So it is like having tobacco producers to run cancer studies and efforts for better health, when everyone knows the causes of the extensive use of tobacco.
Like reports in mid-July the Government wrote to all media and ordered them if they we’re to mention the deceased Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in a sentence either as “Great/Visionary”. So this is a state who orders the news and controls the messages. If it doesn’t fit the EPRDF it will be silenced or detained. Therefore, how come these sort of people shall introduce the world to Africa, which is just wrong. CAPP should had the possibility to pick someone with a little less oppressive track-record on the media among their member parties. Peace.
Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) – ‘EPRDF Elected President of CAPP Media Forum’ (13.07.2017) link:http://www.ena.gov.et/en/index.php/politics/item/3483-eprdf-elected-president-of-capp-media-forum
“Action without thought is empty. Thought without action is blind.” – Kwame Nkrumah
You should expect by a man blessed and gotten the support by the Christian Conservative in the United States of America, to care a little about the ones who has less and needs support. You would expect of a man who claims to be a Christian and a man of faith to support charity and good causes. But President Donald J. Trump isn’t like any other Christian Conservative, I know, as he has used his own Foundation to buy statutes of himself and also use it on his real-estate, as well as reports of buying celebrity memorabilia.
Well, why do I start with this? Because it was released yesterday the remarkable “Financial Year 2018 Control Levels by state bureau, operating unit and Account”, this are the planned budget for the AEECA, DA, ESF, GHP-State and GHP-USAID. This United States Government document is dated not further back than the 6th April of 2017. The effects of the planned cuts in some of the regional aid projects, development aid and economic support funds, is as astonishing as the Presidency itself. It is a disgrace to anything of humanitarian understanding and belief of goodness in the Trump Administration at all. This sort of acts of disregard of humanitarian assistance, proves that the Trump Administration is a selfish, disgusting and belittling state. Who cannot afford to help the ones in need or the continue to finish the projects they have put forward abroad. The development projects overseas will now fail over night. Just take a look!
The “Economic Support funds” and “Development Assistance”, who are slashed a total of 100% from 2017 to 2018 are in Burundi, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the African Union! Also the own offices and planning regional development all over the continent like the: USAID African Regional, USAID Central African Regional, USAID East African Regional, USAID Sahel Regional, USAID Southern Regional and the USAID West Africa Regional as well. That is 20 African countries being directly dropped by the Trump Administration and cutting needed funding of running expenses by these government. This happens without any consideration of finding alternative sources or taxing to cover the dropped direct support. That is apparent the act of the Christian Conservative President Trump, who is supposed to be a charitable and caring character. Clearly, he wants to send the African nations a message, that he doesn’t give two shits about their fate or their sustainability.
What is the meaning behind the ESF: “Economic Support Funds (ESF) is economic aid designated to promote economic or political stability in areas where the United States has special strategic interests. Authorized under Chapter 4, Part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, ESF is a flexible assistance tool that can be structured to meet a diverse range of foreign policy and economic development objectives. The makeup of ESF programs are made on a country-specific basis, while the nature of ESF assistance to a particular country is determined by a combination of the needs of the recipient and U.S. foreign policy objectives. Among ESF’s diverse applications are the following programs (among others): advancing peace and stability, building accountable and transparent institutions, creating economic and educational opportunities for youth, countering extremist ideology, counter-terrorism and counternarcotics, governance, economic growth, anti-corruption, trade capacity building and democratic strengthening. The executive branch is responsible for policy decisions and justifications for ESF use, including country eligibility and funding levels” (Security Assistance Monitor).
What is the meaning behind the “Development Assistance”: “ … [for] sustained support of the people of developing countries in their efforts to acquire the knowledge and resources essential to development and to build the economic, political, and social institutions which will improve the quality of their lives.” (USAID, 2005).
So the Trump Administration apparently doesn’t see any Foreign Policy or Economic Development Objectives inside 20 African Nations in Financial Year of 2018. This is only in the African States and Republics, not all over the world. Clearly the values of quality of life, building economic, political and social institutions doesn’t matter to Trump. The monies saved are surely going to more ‘Mothers of All Bombs” or to expensive carriers to fight an unnecessary war. Since, President Trump is caring or considering about the acts of his time in office.
The USAID operations on the African continent is clearly sending a message, that he does not think off or has anything to offer them. That the U.S. plans to be their uncle or sugar-daddy, that their instead thinking of leaving them behind. The wealth of United States rather goes to building war-ships and bombers, than being used on Humanitarian projects building institutions abroad. Therefore, the United States as a power-player on the African continent is gone with this. As their forged relationship and patronage is gone with this sort of budget. The significant relationship between their development projects in the 20 nations who suddenly get brash cuts and stopped all funding off. Peace.
Security Assistance Monitor – ‘Economic Support Funds’ link: http://securityassistance.org/south-asia/content/economic%20support%20fund
USAID – ‘U.S. Foreign Assistance Reference Guide’ (2005) link: http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/Pnadc240.pdf
““African Quality” is the industry term for fuels that are destined for African markets. They are characterised primarily by their high sulphur content, though the term also refers to fuels with other low-quality aspects such as a high olefinic or aromatic content. In short, this definition of African Quality matches the type of fuels that we found at petrol stations owned by Swiss trading companies in Africa” (Public Eye, P: 100, 2016).
There are viciousness and malice attempts all over the globe, there warlords killing for selling luxurious minerals and keeping resources in their hands to sell to get ammunition. Then there are not as vicious as them, but still worth condoning; the ones that knows that they are selling an off-brand product that they are not allowed elsewhere, but selling “African Quality”, low-level gasoline with blended high toxic and filled with metals, with levels higher than sulphur, PAHs and other chemicals that can be dangerous at certain extent.
Switzerland are a prosperous and business companies that are profitable abroad, like the ones mentioned in the report of Public Eye, that shows to what extent they go to earn fortunes. As they uses both connections to various regimes; they are using connections in Netherlands to blend and mix diesel and gasoline to the African market. That would be fine if it wasn’t an inferior product, but we’re a product that could be following standards of the same quality sold in Denmark or United Kingdom, instead it filled dangerous toxins and metals that can make the air-quality lower and make the car quickly destroyed. These acts should not go unnoticed.
Mixing and making cheap Gasoline in Abidjan, Ivory Coast:
“How was this waste produced? Every month for 16 months, between January 2006 and April 2007, Trafigura bought batches of coker naphtha created at a Mexican refinery, with the intention of turning them into blendstocks for gasoline. This coker naphtha is one of the lowest qualities of gasoline blendstocks and it is created during oil refining from the “bottom of the barrel”. It has two specificities: first, it contains very high levels of toxic substances, namely sulphur and mercaptan sulphur, and second, as a direct consequence, it is very cheap. In other words, it is an opportunity for (almost) any creative trader. “As cheap as anyone can imagine”. James McNicol, a trader from Trafigura, wrote in an email to his colleagues in December 2005, “[this] should make serious dollars”. Trafigura’s sole motivation for experimenting with the production process was profit. Company executives had estimated that buying and selling the coker naphtha would generate profit to the tune of US$7 million per cargo. But before “making serious dollars”, Trafigura had to convert the product into a suitable ingredient for African gasoline: it had to find a way to lower drastically the mercaptan sulphur content, otherwise its odour would be unbearably strong” (Public Eye, P: 17, 2016).
Abidjan – Minton Report on African Quality gasoline:
“Based on the Minton report and an internal Trafigura document we conclude that the total sulphur still in the washed naphtha was between 608 and 680 tons – equaling between 7,156 and 8,000 ppm. The Minton report noted that “the process had achieved a 47 percent reduction of the mercaptans [in the sense of transforming into other Sulphur components] and that some ended up in the aqueous waste phase and some in the oily product, but that the conversion rate was not known.“ An internal Trafigura memorandum dated 23rd September 2006 summarizes in paragraphs 1–3 how much coker naphtha was unloaded to the Probo Koala by three different vessels and the mercaptan Sulphur content of it before and after the washings: (1) 11 April 2006 M/T Seapurha: 28,829 mt, mercaptan sulphur level of 1,700 ppm and after washings 950 ppm. (2) 19 May 2006 M/T Moselle: 28,130 mt, mercaptan sulphur level of 2,014 ppm and after washings 950 ppm. (3) 18 June 2006 M/T Seavinha 28,284 mt, mercaptan sulphur level of 1,700 ppm and after washings 950 ppm. We can make an even more precise estimation: Based on Trafigura’s reply to the BBC that gives a summary of the composition of the waste as estimated by the claimants in a group litigation case – and based on analysis of the Netherlands Forensic Institute – the total sulphur content of the waste dumped in Abidjan was around 66 tons” (Public Eye, P: 149, 2016).
“In 2015, Trafigura had revenues of US$ 14.4 billion from Africa, making the continent its second largest market after Europe. Its competitor, Vitol, also operates widely on the continent. Thought to be the world’s largest commodity trader, Vitol might be expected to give some information about its activities if only in the public interest, but the company does not disclose its annual results. Many other Swiss companies also supply fuels to Africa” (Public Eye, P: 30, 2016).
Using Oil Deposits to blend into African Quality:
“Oil depots offer the opportunity to blend petroleum products according to the fuel quality required by the country (see chapters 9 and 10). With that respect, an advisor close to the BP-Puma transaction assumed Puma Energy was, among other reasons, buying petrol stations in order “to sell surplus of dirty products in Africa.” He was not the only one. A market analyst from Petroleum Intelligence Weekly also mentioned the “compromise” in fuel quality that could occur with the arrival of the traders.13 Weak regulation on fuel quality standards (particularly for sulphur) is a crucial factor in any analysis of the economic potential of petrol stations in Africa. As we show below, many high sulphur, low-quality intermediate products are available that can be blended into “African Quality” diesel and gasoline. Playing with qualities is a lucrative strategy and nothing else than a form of regulatory arbitrage” (Public Eye, P: 31, 2016).
Republic of Congo demand of Petroleum:
“Congo’s demand for petroleum products is satisfied by two sources. The first source is the state-owned refinery, Coraf, which is run by the President’s son Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso, nicknamed “Kiki”. This refinery gets its oil from the State and provides diesel and gasoline to the local market. Coraf’s dodgy deals with a Swiss front company, Philia, have been the subject of a previous report by Public Eye” (…) “Tacoma and its Congolese subsidiary X-Oil have both been paying “consulting fees” to an offshore shell company belonging to Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso, the Congolese President’s son and head of trading operations at SNPC, according to a 2006 Hong Kong court judgment.32 The shell company, Long Beach Limited (Anguilla), was part of a broader scheme set up by Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso to syphon off part of Congo’s oil wealth to private coffers, in collusion with Denis Gokana’s AOGC” (Public Eye, P: 43, 2016).
Difference between Europe and African levels of PAHs:
“So the actual gap between the African and European samples is even wider. Indeed, a study showed that the level of PAHs contained in diesel sold in Germany had an average of 2.73 percent of mass in 2013. So Vitol’s diesel, as sold in Senegal, has more than five times more PAHs than the diesel sold in Germany. Worldwide, the average of PAH in diesel is estimated to be 3.7 percent of mass, according to CONCAWE. This is certainly lower than what we found in Africa. Only two of our samples, found at Oryx in Zambia and Trafigura in Côte d’Ivoire, are lower than the global mean” (…) “The reason why African diesel fuels have high aromatic and polyaromatic content can easily be explained: almost no sub-Saharan African country regulates them. And so the trading companies who import these fuels are tempted to use cheaper, lower quality, high aromatic blendstocks for diesel in the African markets. This tactic might have commercial advantages, but for the people and for the environment where these fuels are sold, this “blend-dumping” is a very unhealthy practice” (Public Eye, P: 55, 2016).
Difference between Europe and African levels of sulphur:
“But if we compare the average sulphur levels in European gasoline (7 ppm) with the highest sulphur sample of gasoline from a station in Ghana belonging to UBI, a subsidiary of Puma Energy, then that discrepancy increases to a factor of 103. More generally, we found the highest levels of sulphur in Ghana and Mali. In Ghana, we found between 275 and 718 ppm sulphur in the four gasoline samples. This is within the legal limit, but the limit itself is very high (1,000 ppm), one hundred times higher than the European legal limit. Many of our samples show much higher sulphur contents than what refineries in West Africa often produce. The Tema refinery in Ghana produces an average 127 ppm gasoline” (Public Eye, P: 56, 2016).
Swiss trading in Ghana:
“In 2014, 4 of the 8 deliveries from Swiss trading companies fluctuated between 2,800 ppm and 3,200 ppm, highlighting a possible strategy to stick as close as possible to the legal limit. That same year, both Vitol and Trafigura delivered diesel with sulphur content so high that the product could not be sold at the pump. The product would have been further blended in the depot to lower its sulphur level, unless it ended up being sold off-spec (i.e. illegally) to consumers. Asked to comment about those of their cargoes containing higher sulphur content than allowed at the pump, Trafigura declined to do so while Vitol specified that it “does not comment on specific cargoes as a matter of policy.” (Public Eye, P: 75, 2016). “While the subsidies drained the public treasury, the BDCs benefited from them systemically delivering lower quality products than planned (<1,000 ppm). Indeed, our findings revealed sulphur levels in diesel that were on average much higher than 1,000 ppm both at the moment of import and at the pump. The price calculated by the government to subsidise the importers therefore didn’t correspond with the quality of products imported. In a totally legal manner, as they were respecting Ghana’s national standards, the importers profited from a system to the detriment of the government (public finances) and the consumers, not to mention Ghanaian health” (Public Eye, P: 79, 2016).
Money before People:
“Simply put, Swiss commodity trading companies put profits before anything else, even before the health of the population, while claiming, as Vivo does for instance in Côte d’Ivoire, that “it uses all the means and tools necessary to ensure the latest international standards of quality […] so that Ivorian consumers benefit from what is best in terms of fuel when going to a Shell petrol stations”. Our findings contravene these glossy CSR-statements. In a corporate video, Trafigura says that “Across Africa and other developing regions, our supply of affordable high-quality fuel products empowers local businesses.” Vivo Energy is the same, saying that “Our commitment to achieving and maintaining the highest international Health, Safety, Security and the Environment (HSSE) standards is at the heart of our business and is a key differentiator (…) in Africa.” Not to repeat a similar promise made by Oryx Energies, that “Our commitment (…) for Africa means that we take every precaution to minimise the potential impact our products and services may have on the environment.” Commenting on Oryx’s development in Mali, the chairman of the group, Jean Claude Gandur said: “This enables us to supply high-quality fuels (…) to an increasing number of clients.” The reality is quite different. Just to take Mali as an example, Oryx’s diesel in the land-locked country was the worst we found among 25 samples collected in 8 countries, with 380 times more sulphur than allowed by the European limit” (Public Eye, P: 126 , 2016).
We can easily see how the Swiss Corporations are earning fortunes on selling lower-quality petroleum to the African market as their loose regulation and easy market are acceptable for the degraded gasoline. This indicates how the European Corporation are doing what they can to earn monies on dangerous products that would not accept on their own shores. It’s disgraceful how these “African quality” gasoline and diesel are sold in different nations around on the African Continent.
It is not only bad for the cars and for the engines. It is harmful to the environment and the people who inhale the toxins and chemicals blends that come after the use of the gasoline. This pollution is man-made toxic blend that creates more harm than good. Still, it’s a legal product and allowed to sell without any questions. As the Governments are giving way to the Oil Companies and Holding Companies that are selling these there. This should not be acceptable.
Here is just one some samples of the bad business practices, there might be even more and worse than what the Public Eye found and what other companies do on the continent. To what extent they go to earn profits without consequences. This here proves the ability these companies have to be hazardous and be rough with nature and humanity while earning high profits on low-quality products. This should be sanctioned and stopped if it matter’s what people are inhaling and the damage it does to our bodies, secondly what these toxins do to our nature and surroundings as it might be in our food, waters and pollute our air. Certainly the initial findings prove the toxins and the ways of blending are reasons for itself to stop the manufacturing process of making it in general. Especially knowing how much better by just doing it proper and follow guidelines of European laws on gasoline and diesel would harm the environment less. The people should also not get polluted and get toxins because the corporations sell them a disgraceful product.
Last remark, when some of this by blending on ships or at facilities that produce already the European Standard gasoline or diesel, it is insulting that on the same refinery that they create worse product’s to sell leftovers to a continent; because they can and will to make as much profit as they can. This is our world and it’s not ideal, therefore we have to put a lid on it so it can change! Peace.
Public Eye – ‘Dirty Diesel – How Swiss Traders Flood Africa with Toxic Fuels’ (September 2016, Ghana)
LOME, Togo, May 20, 2016 – Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) (Ecobank.com), parent company of the Ecobank Group, and Old Mutual Emerging Markets (OMEM) (OldMutual.com), a part of the Old Mutual Group, today announced an enhanced strategic agreement that will strengthen existing ties between the leading pan-African bank and the insurance and asset management giant.
Old Mutual Emerging Markets currently has a bancassurance partnership with the Ecobank Group. This latest agreement will grow the existing strategic alliance by offering seamless insurance services to Ecobank clients across selected countries where the two groups have operations. Clients will benefit mutually though access to a range of financial services that include life insurance, savings and short-term insurance solutions across a greater network on the African continent.
Ecobank Group CEO Ade Ayeyemi said plans for the integrated model include providing access to Old Mutual solutions for Ecobank’s banking operations across selected countries. “This is a productive and valued partnership between two pan-African institutions to provide complete financial services solutions to our customers,” he said.
A productive and valued partnership between two pan-African institutions to provide complete financial services solutions to our customers
Ralph Mupita, CEO of Old Mutual Emerging Markets, said: “It is in our mutual interest to ensure that this alliance grows from strength to strength, as we now look to complement Ecobank’s range of banking services to its customers with Old Mutual’s trusted financial products across the Ecobank network on the continent.”
Signed by both company chief executives at the Ecobank Group’s Lome head office yesterday, the enhanced agreement goes into immediate effect.
“African Ambassadors to Nigeria have expressed solidarity to the unity of African Countries that will actualize the security, growth and prosperity of the continent. The Ambassadors stated this while playing host to the Minister Of Foreign Affairs, Equatorial Guinea, Agapito Mba Mokuy who also declared his candidature for the chairperson of the African Union ” (NTA News, 2016).
“The African Union will send 100 human rights monitors and 100 military monitors to Burundi as the tiny nation faces its worst political crisis since a civil war ended a decade ago. Vincent Makori talks to Carine Kaneza a member of the Burundi Women and Girl’s Movement for Peace and Security and a transitional justice practitioner” (TV2 Africa, 2016)
Nairobi, December 22, 2015–The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in Ethiopia to release news anchor Fikadu Mirkana. Fikadu, who works for the state-run broadcaster Oromia Radio and TV, was arrested at his Addis Ababa home on Saturday morning, according to news reports.
CPJ could not determine the reason for Fikadu’s arrest. It comes as Oromia Radio and TV has, in recent weeks, covered protests against a plan to expand the Ethiopian capital, in a move that campaigners say would displace hundreds of thousands of farmers, according to news reports. Dozens of protesters have been killed during clashes with police during the unrest in the regional state of Oromia, according to a Human Rights Watch report.
“Journalists have a vital role to play in ensuring the flow of information, both from the Ethiopian government and also, critically, from those who will be affected by its decisions,” said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Sue Valentine in New York. “We call on authorities to release Fikadu Mirkana immediately.”
It is not clear where Fikadu is being held and neither his family nor his lawyers have been allowed access to him, an Addis Ababa-based journalist, who has spoken with Fikadu’s family and who requested anonymity for fear of retribution, told CPJ.
The Ethiopian authorities in Addis Ababa and the Ethiopian embassy in Nairobi did not immediately respond to CPJ’s request for details about Fikadu’s arrest.
In recent weeks, the Ethiopian government has used anti-terror rhetoric against campaigners, with the communications minister, Getachew Reda, branding them “terrorists” and “demonic,” according to a column by Awol Allo, a fellow in human rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science, published Saturday on Al-Jazeera‘s website. This language usually presages a crackdown on dissenters, the column said. Protests in Oromia, a region that stretches across central Ethiopia and is home to a third of the country’s population, have affected at least 30 towns and prompted the arrest of more than 500 people since mid-November, according to news reports.
Ethiopia is the third largest jailer of journalists on the African continent, with at least 10 behind bars on December 1, CPJ’s 2015 prison census shows.