Safaricom Ethiopia wins the World Bank Group’s Partnerships Award 2022

The Ethiopian Telecom License holder Safaricom Ethiopia, wins the World Bank Group’s Partnerships Award 2022 in the Best Utilities Project category. The Partnerships Awards selects the industry’s best based on impact on the country’s development, diligence, & transparency. Safaricom is part of the Global Partnerships for Ethiopia (GPE), consisting of Vodafone, Vodacom, Safaricom PLC, Sumitomo Group, and CDC Group PLC.

The GPE granted the telecom license to Safaricom Ethiopia to provide quality services for its residents and boost the Ethiopian economy. In addition, the GPE preferred Safaricom for its vast experience in the sector. GPE aims to increase the sector’s investment to $8 billion and provide 1.5 million jobs for locals.

The Partnerships Award selected Safaricom for its contribution through job creation and enhanced telecommunications services. It also created competition in the telecommunication service sector, increased internet usage, digital transformations, and socio-economic growth. It’s promoting investments with a minimum of $8.5 billion over ten years, the greatest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country’s history. Safaricom’s strategy consists of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and allows quick mobile penetration to support Ethiopia’s education, education, agriculture, health, trade, and industry sector.

Ethiopian Investment Holdings joins the International Sovereign Wealth Fund as an associate member.

Ethiopian Investment Holdings is the largest in Africa, with assets worth over $150 billion under management and additional dividend income inflow. The EIH is the country’s strategic arm and will integrate public resources within one institution & form administrative systems for state-owned companies’ high returns. It aims to use professional management & adopt international best practices to expand state-owned assets’ value. EIH is preparing portfolio management to identify which enterprises to take on during the first phase of operations.

International Sovereign Wealth Fund is a voluntary organization aiming to spread the sovereign wealth fund model throughout Africa and encourage institutions to adopt international best governance practices. It is working to reinforce the community through dialogue, research, and self-assessment. It recently welcomed the Ethiopian Investment Holdings as an associate member for three years. Together with the IFSWF, EIH aims to become a fully-fledged sovereign wealth fund to attract international private capital into Ethiopia.

Nardos Bekele, the first woman CEO of the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD.

The African Union Development Agency–New Partnership for Africa’s Development is the world’s only continental development agency covering 55 African countries. It is AU’s socio-economic program aiming to promote growth, end poverty, end Africa’s operation, and enhance the AU’s impact and operational efficiency. The organization elected Nardos Bekele as its first woman CEO in the Thirty-Fifth Ordinary Session of the African Union. She will be replacing Ibrahim Mayak who is the previous UN Resident Coordinator in South Africa.

Nardos has vast multilateralism experience and dedication to Africa’s human development. Nardos Bekele is bilingual in French & English and the author of several papers & monographs. She has vast experience working in the UN with positions such as Senior Director of the Office of the UN Secretary-General, Resident Coordinator for the UN in South Africa, Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative in Kenya & Benin, and the Deputy Resident Representative in Kenya.

She is also an expert as a Private Sector Policy Adviser promoting trade and investment in multiple African countries through private/public sector partnerships in the United States. In addition, she has experience in a technical and advisory capacity, assisting in introducing and forming the Social Dimensions of Development’s pro-poor programme.

Kenyan nurse Anna Qabale Duba wins the 1st Aster Guardian Global Nursing Award and receives $250,000.

Kenyan nurse Anna Qabale Duba wins the 1st Aster Guardian Global Nursing Award and receives $250,000. She was among ten finalists shortlisted from 24,000 nominee nurses globally. The remaining nine received financial rewards of $5,000 each. The Aster Guardian International Nursing Award appreciates the unwavering humanitarian care nurses provide worldwide. It was created in 2021 to acknowledge the nurses that dedicated their time and energy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anna has advocated for menstrual hygiene and education improvement in Marsabit County, Kenya. She founded the Qabale Duba Foundation and created the PAPA Project, a project that supplies sanitary towels and panties to girls in school. The project helped over 3,000 girls continue their education without skipping because of the period. In addition to advocating for girls’ education in Marsabit County, Ms. Anna aims to be an ambassador for girls’ education for the whole continent of Africa.

Egypt’s Canal Sugar Company begins operations of the world’s largest sugar plant with investments from the UAE.

Egypt’s Canal Sugar Company begins operations of the world’s largest sugar plant with investments from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Currently, the company produces 900,000 tons of beet sugar. It aims to develop and reclaim 181,000 acres of desert land using groundwater. The plant will produce 2.5 million tons of sugar beet, 216,000 tons of beet pulp, and 243,000 tons of molasses annually. The new plant includes a silo for storing sugar, which is the largest in the world. The silo has a storage capacity of nearly 417,000 tons, which will create 1,500 direct jobs and almost 50,000 indirect jobs for individuals & farmers.

Egypt’s annual sugar consumption is 3.4 million tons, while production is 2.3 million tons of beet and sugarcane. With the new plant, the country aims to increase its production & close 75% of the gap between sugar production and consumption, 1.1 million tons annually. It also aims to be able to export to earn foreign currency. Canal Sugar Company has several sponsors that support technical and financial aspects of production. The end goal is to contribute to Egypt’s to Egypt’s 2030 vision of achieving self-sufficiency in basic and strategic commodities.

Dr. Mesfin A. Lemma performs the world’s first-ever minimal invasive spine surgery with an Intelligent Imaging System.

Dr. Mesfin Aklilu Lemma is the son of a renowned Ethiopian pathobiologist, Professor Aklilu Lemma. Professor Aklilu’s research focused on endod, a trailing shrub used as a soap, shampoo, poison to stun fish, and lethal to snails. He established the Institute of Pathobiology at Addis Ababa University in 1966. Professor Aklilu received the Right Livelihood Award for discovering and campaigning relentlessly for an affordable preventative against bilharzia in1989. He also established the Endod Foundation with his colleagues to support all endod-related work.

Dr. Mesfin is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in the surgical treatment of cervical, thoracic, & lumbar spine disorders. He began his career as a mechanical engineer. He then completed his residency and fellowship training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He served as division chief of Johns Hopkins Orthopaedic and Spine Surgery at Good Samaritan Hospital before joining the MedStar Orthopaedic Institute in 2014.

Dr. Mesfin A. Lemma performs the world’s first-ever minimal invasive spine surgery with an Intelligent Imaging System. He used the Excelsius3D 3-in-1 Intelligent Imaging System to eliminate the need for multiple imagining devices by combining cone-beam CT, fluoroscopy, and digital radiography into one device. Dr. Mesfin uses tubular retractors instead of conventional open surgery, state-of-the-art technologies, and computer-assisted navigation to save time during procedures and reduces patients’ time under surgery. He also focuses on treating spinal problems in the elderly, rheumatoid arthritis of the spine, spinal deformity, and revision spinal surgery.

Dr. Mesfin is currently serving as division chief of spine surgery and director of minimally invasive surgery at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. He has received numerous recognitions for his work, including being named the Top Doctor by Baltimore magazine and selected among the Top 100 Spine Surgeons in the U.S. by Becker’s Healthcare. He was also among the ‘Top Doctors in the U.S.’ list by U.S. News & World Report’s and Castle Connolly.

The DBE approves ETB 14 billion to train 32,000 Small and Medium Enterprises operators in 20 towns across Ethiopia.

The Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) approves ETB 14 billion to train 32,000 Small and Medium Enterprise operators in 20 towns across Ethiopia. The five-day training is in partnership with the World Bank. It consists of the collateral-based loan disbursement and the wisdom of doing business to turn ideas into reality. DBE aims to support SMEs with several technical and financial packages to increase their access to loans. This is the first time DBE is financing business ideas.

The DBE is Ethiopia’s only policy bank and continuously supports industrial transformation. Ethiopia has untapped business startup opportunities hence why the government primarily focuses on manufacturers and manufacturing enterprises. DBE President Yohannes Ayalew (Ph.D.) mentioned that the bank is researching ways to create a feasible legal framework that will govern how loans are granted and administered.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) launches Digital Transformation Centers Initiative in Ethiopia.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) launches Digital Transformation Centers Initiative (DTC) to boost digital skills in Ethiopia. The ITU and Cisco collaborated to create DTC 3 years ago to help citizens and institutions develop their digital capabilities with international standards. The initiative will strengthen the connection between job seekers and employees while it serves as a platform for collaboration between government, academicians, civil society, and development partners. The targeted groups include youth, policymakers, startups, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and entrepreneurs.

The DTC aims to enhance digital literacy in the teaching, education, social, economic, and tourism sectors. It will also enable people to receive life-changing opportunities by creating a digital society. Its goals contribute to Ethiopia’s 2025 digital strategy in education and employment. The initiative focuses on enhancing the digital literacy of marginalized people, especially individuals with disabilities and women & girls in the rural community. It provides training to improve efficiency, employability, administration, and research.

ETHIOPIA TAMRIT, a national manufacturing industry movement, launches to boost the sector’s competitiveness.

The Ethiopian government has been focusing on five priority sectors to increase the country’s economy, namely mining, ICT, agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing. ETHIOPIA TAMRIT was launched to enhance the manufacturing industry and achieve success like the agricultural sector initiatives. The movement will reduce imports by meeting local demands, improve working culture, enhance the economy’s structural transformation, boost private sector engagement, and upgrade product quality, type, & competitiveness. In addition, it aims to improve the collaboration between regional governments and manufacturers.

The government aims to collaborate with the private sector to increase exports. During the launch program, 81 industrialists received awards for contributing to the country’s economy through foreign exchange, creating jobs, substituting imports, and paying taxes. The government plans to increase the current manufacturing industry sector output. By 2030, it aims to increase annual growth from 6.8% to 17.2%, the production capacity from 50% to 85%, and foreign trade revenue from $400 million to $9billion.

Yalemzerf Yehualaw wins the Haspa Marathon with a time of 2:17:23, the fastest ever women’s marathon debut.

Yalemzerf Yehualaw is a 22-year-old Ethiopian long-distance runner. She began running when she was 12 years old at her school where she won a 3000m race. She continued to compete and win in cross-country, track, and road in the Amhara region. Her talent was recognized and the Ethiopian Athletics Federation Academy system in Addis Ababa recruited her for training.

She won the Haspa Marathon in Hamburg with a time of 2:17:23, making her the fastest ever in a women’s marathon debut. She also broke the Ethiopian record, German all-comers’ record, and ranked sixth in the women’s world marathon all-time list. In addition, she is the 10K World Record Holder with a time of 29:14 in Castellon in February 2022.

She also won the 2022 Great Ethiopian Run in January. Yalemzerf is the second-fastest in the women’s marathon with a time of 1:03:51 for the Medio Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso EDP, Valencia, in 2021. She came in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in half marathons and 10K races in Morocco, Poland, India, China, Spain, Turkey, Ireland, Ethiopia, and Germany.

Netflix creates a new collection ‘From Cape to Cairo’ presenting African talent and stories to the world.

Africa has a rich heritage with many stories told by 1.2 billion Africans in 54 countries who speak over 2,000 languages. Netflix is dedicated to publicizing African talent through content creation and capacity-building initiatives. Through the “From Cape to Cairo” collection released in May, Netflix wants to enhance Africa’s stories and cultures for its global audience.

The collection aims to change Africa’s narratives and create visibility for those in front & behind the camera. The featured stories include music, culture, history, award winners, African women behind the camera, African Diaspora stories, and more. It will also have major African international films and series such as Meet the Adebanjos, African Doctor, and Shine Your Eyes.

In addition, the company will launch a podcast, Never Late | African Time, on May 4, 2022. The 5-episode podcast will feature several famous African films and TV talent to discuss Africa’s creative industry’s wide range of aspects and how it has impacted their lives. The podcast will be available on the AfricaOnNetflix official YouTube page, Spotify, and Apple iTunes.

Italy signs an agreement to grant €1.5 million to implement Ethiopia’s Food Safety Project.

The lack of appropriate food safety assurance systems is the central issue that prevents the country’s economic development and public health safety. Several projects have been dedicated to developing and implementing Ethiopia’s food safety management systems. Ethiopia is constantly trying to strengthen its food safety by encouraging investments.

On April 28, 2022, Italy signed an agreement to grant €1.5 million, nearly 82.53 million ETB, to implement Ethiopia’s Food Safety Project. The signing took place at a ceremony in the Embassy of Italy in Ethiopia. The signing parties were H.E. Mrs. Semereta Sewasew, State Minister of the Ministry of Finance, and H.E. Mr. Agostino, Ambassador of Italy to Ethiopia. The project’s primary aim is to enhance Ethiopia’s food safety status.

The project’s primary activities include creating a national surveillance system on food safety hazards such as food adulteration & food hygiene practices and enhancing human & laboratory capacity on food safety. The project also supports agro-processors, food marketers, and catering service providers. It will be implemented in 25 major cities where many agro-food processing & catering services are found, where most food products are destined, and where people acquire their food through purchase.

Rwanda receives two loans from AfDB and AGTF totaling $180 million for its energy project, the Financing for the Transmission System Reinforcement and Last Mile Connectivity project.

The Financing for the Transmission System Reinforcement and Last Mile Connectivity project receives two loans amounting to $180 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Africa Growing Together Fund. AfDB sovereign window provided $140 million and its resources while the Africa Growing Together Fund provided $40 million. Rwanda plans to use this funding to achieve its 100% electricity access goal by 2024. The project aims to provide electricity to rural communities and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

The construction required includes building medium voltage lines that is more than 1,000 km long, low voltage lines reaching 3,300 km, high voltage lines up to 137 km, and 6 substations needed to reinforce the grid. In addition, over 1,200 distribution transformers and related infrastructure will be installed or upgraded. The project will connect 77,470 households to the electricity network for the first time. It will also connect 75 schools, 8 health centers, and 65 administration centers.

In addition, it will have hydropower plants that release 125MW clean energy. It will also create 455 permanent jobs and 760 part-time jobs, 30% for women. The project will improve the quality of life by enhancing education, health, and promoting private sector growth, which will play a part in Rwanda’s social and economic transformation agenda. This agenda aims to move Rwanda from a developing country to a middle-income country by 2035.

Dashen Bank and EagleLion System Technology introduce Dube Pay, a buy-now-pay-later payment method, to be launched soon.

Dashen Bank is the first private bank in Ethiopia, established in 1995, and one of the most reputable banks in the Ethiopian banking market. EagleLion System Technology is an Ethiopian private company delivering easy and user-friendly financial solutions to the local market. It produced CashGo, GuzoGo, GetRooms, isitmydam, and more up to global standards. Dashen Bank and EagleLion System Technology introduce Dube Pay using a buy-now-pay-later payment method.

Dube is coined from the Amharic word Dube referring to a buy-now-pay-later scheme. Dube pay functions similar to a credit card, allowing customers to purchase goods and services on credit. Users get credit from suppliers enrolled on the platform to buy flight tickets, electronic equipment, and more. Buy-now-pay-pater (BNPL) allows customers to pay in installments with minimal or no additional costs. The service is short-term financing aimed at helping people dealing with cash shortages. Dube Pay app is available for Android and iOS users in five languages.

Buyers create an account and can review their credit amount, minimum monthly payment, payment due date, payment summary, credit increment request, payment alternatives, and more. Merchants also create an account and can collect fees and review their transaction history. The bank anticipates changing the financial sector with this new payment service.

Dinaw Mengestu

All Our Names (Knopf, 2014), How To Read the Air (Riverhead, 2010), and The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (Riverhead, 2010) are Dinaw Mengestu’s three books, all of which were named New York Times Notable Books (Riverhead, 2007). Mengestu is an Ethiopian native who moved to the United States with his family when he was two years old. He is also a freelance writer who has covered Darfur, northern Uganda, and eastern Congo. His work has appeared in the New York Times, New Yorker, Harper’s, Granta, Jane, and Rolling Stone, among other publications. He is a 2012 MacArthur Fellow and the winner of the Lannan Literary Fellowship for Fiction, the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Award, the Guardian First Book Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

He has received a Lannan Literary Fellowship for Fiction, the National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Award, the Guardian First Book Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among other awards. In 2010, he was also named on The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” list. “You can’t turn the pages fast enough, and when you’re done, your first impulse is to go back to the beginning and start over,” the New York Times Book Review wrote on the cover of All Our Names. While race, ethnicity, and place of origin certainly appear frequently in Mengestu’s work, they are only the raw ingredients with which he so deftly—but never didactically—kindles disruptive, distressing stories probing the human condition.

Dinaw Mengestu is among ten artists honored in the Fiction category of The Guggenheim Foundation fellow program. It’s expected that Dinaw Mengestu will receive up to $43,000. Meaza Mengiste is also one of these selectees to receive the fellowship award. We are so happy for our literature jewels. We don’t hesitate they will keep rising above in the sector.

The Central African Republic becomes the 1st African country to accept bitcoin as an official currency.

The Central African Republic has been suffering for years due to conflict that destroyed its economy and is now one of the world’s poorest countries. CAR’s National Assembly passed a bill to accept bitcoin as an official currency within its borders as a last resort to boost economic recovery. Its Ministry of Finance & Digital Economy set up a regulatory framework to facilitate cryptocurrencies.

Citizens can use bitcoin in all financial operations to make local purchases, pay taxes, and more. CAR is the second in the world, the first being El Salvador. CAR will use bitcoin to advance the country’s domestic cryptocurrency industry. It plans to use the new payment method to encourage more tourist visits and boost investments.

The country’s goal is to involve blockchain technology in several economic sectors. CAR is on new development and economic performance path to encourage the world’s most prominent financial players to invest in its economy. This will tremendously change the country’s digital infrastructure by using blockchain technology innovation needed to execute several projects.

Canada provides $73.55 million in funding for drought-stricken countries in the Horn of Africa.

The Horn of Africa has suffered from severe drought conditions due to insufficient rainfall for two years. The affected people in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenyans rely heavily on crops and livestock for food and livelihood. To help with the drought, Canada offers $73.55 million finding for these regions. $63.75 million of the funding will be used for gender-responsive humanitarian assistance and $9.8 million for development funding.

The $73.55 million funding supports over 20 million people across Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia needing emergency food assistance. UN agencies, the IRC & Red Crescent Movement, and other NGOs will receive the funding to address needs. The NGOs will receive continuous support from Canada to address hunger, acute malnutrition, and the different critical needs of crisis-affected populations in the regions.

The $9.8 million development funding will be used for five humanitarian initiatives and support the long-term resilience of affected regions in Ethiopia, especially for women and girls empowerment. The initiatives will use a joint approach to tackle the immediate humanitarian needs and provide assistance with water, sanitation, hygiene, protection, women’s economic development & empowerment, education, climate action, and livelihoods.

World Economic Forum chooses 13 Africans to be part of its 2022 class of WEF’s 100 Young Global Leaders.

World Economic Forum chooses 13 Africans to be part of its 2022 class of WEF’s 100 Young Global Leaders. The individuals under 40 years of age are from different categories, including the Academia/Think-tank, Arts & Culture, Business, Public Figure, Social Entrepreneur, and Civil Society. The members come from 42 countries and will participate in a 3-year leadership development program to help them reach their next level of impact.

The list featured 4 South Africans, 3 Kenyans, two Ghanaians, an Algerian, Namibian, Egyptian, and Somalian. The WEF selected these leaders for paving the way on global issues and presenting exceptional ingenuity & vision across their fields. They were also chosen for leading by example and solving complex problems with innovative approaches.

The 13 young African leaders are:
o South Africa: Lesley Ndlovu, Chief Executive Officer, African Risk Capacity “ARC” Ltd
o South Africa: Zuriel Naiker, Managing Director, Sales and Distribution, Africa, Marsh & McLennan Companies
o South Africa: Esha Mansingh, Executive Vice-President, Corporate Affairs and Investor Relations, Imperial Logistics Limited
o South Africa: Sumayya Vally, Founder and Principal, Counterspace, (South Africa).
o Kenya: Dominic Wadongo, Group Head of Operational Risk, Equity Group Holdings Plc
o Kenya: Eva Otieno, Principal, Africa Strategy, Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Ltd.
o Kenya: Nasreen Ali Mohamed, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Cherehani Africa
o Ghana: James Kwame Mensah, Senior Lecturer, University of Ghana
o Ghana: Françoise Moudouthe, Chief Executive Officer, African Women’s Development Fund
o Algeria: Soraya Djermoun, Author, Geopolitical expert
o Namibia: James Mnyupe, Presidential Economic Adviser; Green Hydrogen Commissioner, Office of the President of Namibia
o Egypt: Sahar Albazar, Parliament Member & Deputy Chair of Foreign Affairs Committee, Egyptian Parliament
o Somalia: Ilwad Elman, Chief Operating Officer, Elman Peace HRC

Edo state government, southern Nigeria, offers over 4,000 residents a five-day free medical care services.

Edo state government, southern Nigeria, offers over 4,000 residents a five-day free medical care services. The mission is to provide high-quality medical services to all Edo citizens. The free services include treatments and surgeries for heart, kidney, eye, teeth, and other ailments. The Association of Nigeria Physicians in the Americas (ANPA) supports this service and will continue the partnership through telemedicine.

Godwin Obaseki, Edo State Governor, ensured that the government aims to provide essential medical services and sustain a resilient and impartial health system. He added that The government encourages citizens to take advantage of this offer and receive lifesaving diagnoses and treatment. Prof. Obehi Akoria, Edo State Commissioner for Health, reported that 65 highly qualified specialists are already in the state to team up with 200 volunteers, including clinical and non-clinical volunteers.

The Ministry of Health inaugurates a newly renovated cardiac care center in Tikur Anbessa Hospital.

The Ministry of Health inaugurates a newly renovated cardiac care center in Tikur Anbessa Hospital. The €2.6 mil center seeks to tackle the limited cardiology services & bring sustainable cardiac care to Ethiopia. It has an open-heart surgery operation room, a catheterization laboratory, an Intensive Care Unit, and other essential facilities.

This center is the first phase of a seven-year agreement made in May 2018 to build Ethiopia’s first specialized Cardiac Care Center. It also aims to tackle cardiology services access in East Africa. The governments of Ethiopia and the Netherland fund the project.

The second phase is building an advanced cardiac center with complete cardiovascular diagnostic and treatment services. It will have the capacity to perform 500 surgeries, 1,600 catheterization lab diagnoses, and 500 catheterization lab interventions. It is estimated to cost €40 million with Royal Philips, an international health technology company responsible for designing, constructing, equipping, and commissioning the center.

Kenya launches its first sign language app, assistALL, to benefit 260,000 people with hearing impairments.

Kenya launches its first sign language app, assistALL, to benefit 260,000 people with hearing impairments. It was developed by Sign Media Kenya Limited, a company dedicated to educating, informing, and entertaining in sign language with voice overrides. Sign Media produced assistALL to create a welcoming environment for people with hearing disabilities. The mobile app is accessible globally and bills $0.3 per minute for an interpreter.

assistALL aims to close the communication gap and simplify interaction with people in the health, education, judicial system, and government services & finance. It will also generate employment opportunities for sign language interpreters who can use the app to get consistent income and brings them closer to their customer base without having to travel. The company plans to expand to other African countries and become an assistive technology platform for all by creating more products and services.

Maureen Mbaka, Broadcasting Chief Administrative Secretary, stated that the app would reduce the communication difficulties of medical professionals. Healthcare workers can now diagnose illness and administer medication using the app. This will significantly improve healthcare delivery to people with hearing impairment.

Gold mining activities begin on 8 hectares of land in the Konso zone of the SNNP regional state.

Gold mining activities begin on 8 hectares of land in the Konso zone of the Southern Nations Nationalities and People’s (SNNP) regional state. The operation will employ and train nearly 100 youths. It will also contribute to the regional development of the two cooperative unions in Lehayite Kebele, Karat Woreda. The land contains the presence of gold, granite, and precious metals.

Gelgelo Gelsho, Deputy Administrator and Head of Trade & Market Development Department of Konso Zone, stated that the operation aims to create employment for local youth, strengthen gold mines, and supply gold to the global market. He added that it would rebrand the background of the Konso people in mining activities.

UN Women launches its third Strategic Plan in Uganda

UN Women is an international organization that focuses on ending violence against women and girls (VAWG) and creating Gender Equality & Women Empowerment. It collaborates with several local & international organizations and private & government sectors to increase its reach and influence. It launched its third Strategic Plan to support Uganda’s Gender Equality and Women Empowerment.

The 2022-2025 plan aims to raise awareness, engage government & private sectors, and attract new donors & partners. Uganda’s National Development Plan III (NPD III) lists six target outcomes to accomplish in 4 years. These plans are:

o Inclusive and Accountable Governance and Women’s Access to Justice
o Women’s Rights, Gender Responsive Peace and Security
o Women have increased productivity, income, and access to resources
o Vulnerable women have the capacity to mitigate and adapt to Climate Change & Disaster Reductions
o Women & Girls Enjoy Quality Basic Social and Protection Services
o Gender Equality and Women Rights Fulfilled in a Culturally Responsive Environment

The plan aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework Guidance (UNSDCF), a planning and implementation instrument for the UN’s country-level development activities that helps execute the Sustainable Development 2030 Agenda. Uganda has been working on increasing women’s engagement in key government positions and education. It currently has 46% female representation in its Cabinet and 34% in parliament.

The government organizes programs such as the youth livelihood program and parish development model to promote women empowerment and address gender inequality. Uganda has assistance with financial support and partnership for its agenda from a few developmental partners, including the Government of Sweden, Government of Norway, Government of Austria, and European Union. Women empowerment is a key flagship area for the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework. The UN will continue to work on it until gender-based violence has been eradicated globally.

Shints Garment constructs residential houses in Bole Lemi Industrial Park, a first for Ethiopia

Shint Garment is a South Korean-owned company that is part of Shin Textile Solutions, a leading manufacturing company in the garment industry. It is located in Bole Lemi Industrial Park in Addis Ababa. The manufacturing company began operations in Ethiopia over a year ago and exports textiles to the U.S.A, Europe, and other countries. Its brand new residential houses cost $10 million and aim to tackle employees’ housing difficulties.

The 2,700 residential houses are the first of their kind in Ethiopia. The company wanted to create a friendly environment for its employees and encourage other industrial companies in the area to follow suit. Ethiopia’s government is prioritizing the manufacturing sector to boost the country’s economic development and job opportunities. It aims to have a 20.6% growth by 2030 and 1.3 million new jobs every year. Companies like Shint Garment contribute to the country’s economy and job creation by building manufacturing buildings and improving their employees’ living condition.

Tsion Haileselassie – Photographer

As young professionals in the creative industry, it is usual to see people exploring their talents and their true passions through time, regardless of what they have learned in the past few years. Some people stop learning, some do it while learning and others do it after finishing what they have started. Tsion’s experience fits in one of these boxes as she started to explore what she’s truly passionate about four years ago. She has been a phenomenon photographer capturing the essence of her city and her country.

Tsion Haileselassie is a self-taught photographer living in Addis Ababa. Tsion started watching the world with lenses four years ago. She began this journey with her deep interest in capturing the street life. It is often neglected to observe the phenomena happening in the streets as we go about our days. Tsion had a different view of how she wants to observe the city and inturn the country. She has an academic background in general psychology and digital marketing. As photographers have a way of looking at the world in different perspectives, Tsion had to explore other fields to widen her angles of living in the creative industry. She has mentioned on African Women Photography platform that capturing daily lives of people and sharing their stories has helped her become successful in her photography career. 

After she joined photography as a career, it has been the most prominent part of her life. It has helped her visualize the “Addis Ababa” she thinks of using her camera one photo at a time. Tsion is currently a member of African Woman Photography under the East African Phorographers section. We’re happy to see black women evolve through the creative industry being built from ground up. Keep creating.

Oracle opens its new research and development facility, Oracle Labs, in Morocco

Oracle opens its new research and development facility, Oracle Labs, in Casablanca, Morocco. Oracle Labs is an organization that focuses on actual results to create technologies to contribute to the growth of technology and society. The new Oracle R&D center can provide up to 100 researchers access to the latest technologies to help them solve the most pressing problem in business, science, and the public sector. The facility’s team will work with the country’s technology sector through activities that engage the locals. These activities include recruitment programs for interns & graduates, joint research activities with Oracle’s researchers & local universities, and partnering with local startups to boost the country’s technological advancement.

The new facility enables researchers to use Oracle’s cloud, AI, and machine learning technologies to tackle issues. Oracle aims to access the country’s talent pool, increase economic ties, and identify new cutting-edge technologies. This allows locals to help create technological solutions that can help the world, not just Morocco. The lab plans to work with Morocco’s engineers due to their technology skillset, ability to talk in 3 languages, and creativity with an open-minded approach in their work. Oracle anticipates growing the world’s technology with ideal team members like these engineers.

Morocco’s Oracle center is part of the company’s global R&D innovation network, where researchers test new ideas using cloud-based technologies. The center allows for research, consultation, and product incubation for most projects done by interns from 50 universities globally. In addition, the center encourages researchers to focus on automated Machine Learning & Explainability, the PGX Parallel Graph Accelerator solution, and Oracle’s MySQL Heatwave ML.

Ethiopia releases the Online Trade Registration and Licensing System

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration launched the Online Trade Registration and Licensing System (OTRLS) to provide several benefits, such as reducing physical registration, saving time, and avoiding confusion with its detailed information for each service. There are five registration services, five license services, and amending, replacing, & canceling trade names. The platform also offers to search existing businesses and company name clearance services.

All OTRLS services are easily accessible to customers through the online platform https://etrade.gov.et/.

These services are:
o Commercial Registration, Amendment, Replacement, and Cancellation
o New Trade License
o Trade License Renewal, Amendment, Replacement, and Cancellation
o Commercial Registration Amendment
o New Trade Name
o Trade Name Amendment, Replacement, and Cancellation
o Search Existing Business
o Company Name Clearance

CBN releases a draft of the Regulatory Framework for Open Banking

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) releases a draft of the Regulatory Framework for Open Banking. The draft is an essential step for creating a standard to show companies how to exchange customer digital financial data. Open banking uses APIs for easy customer data exchange between financial and non-financial companies. The Application Programming Interfaces (API) allow this by acting as digital plugs for requesting and transferring data.

Fintech startups have driven these guidelines to expand financial services and tackle challenges. It will encourage banks, startups, and retailers to share customer data with the customer’s consent. The CBN plans to have consistent APIs, similar to how any debit card can be used on any ATM. Nigeria aims to enhance competition and increase the availability of banking & payment services.

Data are only shared if they are one of the four data levels. These are Product Information & Service Touchpoints (PIST), Market Insight Transactions (MIT), Personal Information & Financial Transaction (PIFT), and Profile, Analytics, & Scoring Transaction (PAST). The draft highlights the necessity of consent from the consumer at critical phases of data exchange. The companies asking for access must abide by the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation and other data ethics requirements.

The Ethiopian government prepares to construct a new national palace

The Ethiopian government will construct a new national palace with ETB 49 billion, the 2nd biggest public project after the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam with ETB 130 billion. The Palace is on a 503-hectare land in Yeka Sub-city. The construction is carried out across five woredas and is part of the government’s ten-year perspective plan.

The Ethiopian Road Administration (ERA) began construction on the 20km road, in which 9 km is completed, estimated to cost ETB 15 billion. In addition, it consists of halls, artificial lakes, housing units, 20km road infrastructures, and converting the Menelik Palace and Grand Jubilee into a national museum with ETB 1 billion.

In the past three years, Ethiopia launched multiple mega projects, such as the Unity Park Project and Meskel Square Project, worth ETB 5 billion and ETB 2.5 billion. Another active project is the Addis Ababa riverside project worth ETB 29 billion. It consists of an underground parking with a 60m tunnel connecting it to Unity Park and the Museum.

Standard Bank names Nonkululeko Nyembezi as its first black woman chair, effective June 1, 2022

Nonkululeko Nyembezi is the first black African woman to chair the Standard Bank Group and Standard Bank of South Africa, substituting Thulani Gcabashe after the annual general meeting on May 31, 2022. The Standard Bank Group (SBG) is South Africa’s major bank and financial service group, headquarters in Johannesburg. It was formed in 1862 to provide financial services to individuals and institutions in Africa and globally. It currently has 1,120 branches and 6,770 ATMs all over the world.

The SB appointed Nonkululeko Nyembezi for her expertise in strategy, planning, execution, governance, and corporate stewardship. She will lead the banking group, its boards, and the directors’ affairs committee. Nonkululeko holds a B.Sc. in electrical engineering from the University Of Manchester Institute Of Science and Technology, a M.Sc. from the Californian Institute of Technology, and an MBA from the Open University (UK.).

She has worked for the SBD since 2020 and served as an independent non-executive Director, where she displayed her outstanding leadership skills in diverse and complex organizations. Nonkululeko also served as the chairperson for Alexander Forbes Group Holdings. She also held multiple positions such as non-executive director, Chief Executive Officer, and represented corporate South Africa for large companies & conferences like ArcelorMittal South Africa, Old Mutual, Standard Bank Namibia, Business Leadership South Africa, World Economic Forum, and SA Tomorrow conference.

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