Daily Archives: August 8, 2017

Un millier de jeunes leaders africains se sont réunis à Washington ...

WASHINGTON, 8 août 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Un millier de jeunes leaders africains se sont réunis à Washington, D.C. la semaine dernière pour le Sommet 2017 du Mandela Washington Fellowship. Représentant 48 pays en Afrique sub-saharienne, le groupe diversifié de leaders s’est absorbé dans des activités pour renforcer leurs compétences en leadership et pour établir des liens entre eux et avec les leaders des États-Unis provenant des secteurs public, privé et sans but lucratif.

Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders logo

Le Sommet, qui a eu lieu du 31 juillet au 2 août et qui a été organisé par le Bureau des affaires culturelles et éducatives du Département d’État des États-Unis avec le soutien de l’IREX, a marqué l’apogée des instituts d’études et de leadership d’une durée de six semaines pour les boursiers dans les collèges et universités à travers les États-Unis. Les boursiers rentrent maintenant chez eux pour appliquer les compétences qu’ils ont acquis et pour utiliser les réseaux qu’ils ont créés pour renforcer la paix et la sécurité, pour stimuler la croissance économique et pour renforcer les institutions démocratiques au profit de l’Afrique et des États-Unis.

Le boursier Mandela Washington Peo Pinkie Sebotho du Botswana a commenté sur la collaboration avec les autres boursiers. « Nous avons été ravis de partager nos expériences et nos rêves pour l’Afrique. J’ai fait des amis, j’ai fait des partenaires commerciaux. On planifiait ce que l’on ferait ensemble à l’avenir ».

Mark Taplin, à ce moment secrétaire d’État adjoint par intérim pour les affaires culturelles et éducatives, a déclaré : « je ne considère pas ceci juste comme un Sommet de boursiers Mandela Washington. C’est peut-être le plus grand rassemblement de toute l’année ici dans le D.C. des émergents, des leaders et des créateurs, des rêveurs et des faiseurs, des partageurs et des soucieux. Vous êtes l’avenir dans les affaires et l’esprit d’entreprise, de la société civile et de la gouvernance du continent le plus prometteur du monde ».

Wade Warren, à ce moment l’administrateur par intérim de l’Agence des États-Unis pour le développement international, s’est également adressé aux boursiers, les invitant à exploiter toute la puissance des réseaux que la bourse (Fellowship) a contribué à forger pour eux et à transformer les défis en opportunités.

Mercredi a mis en évidence les perspectives africaines et américaines sur le leadership avec des remarques de Tony Elumelu, président de Heirs Holdings et fondateur de la Fondation Tony Elumelu ; le Dr Helene Gayle, PDG de la McKinsey Social Initiative ; Norman Moyo, auteur et PDG de New Enterprise Business DPA & CUMII chez ECONET et le général (à la retraite) Richard Myers, président de l’université d’État du Kansas et 15e président du Comité des chefs d’état-major.

« J’ai étudié la raison pour laquelle les leaders ont du succès et j’ai observé un dénominateur commun : l’héritage. Donc, en tant que jeunes leaders, notre devoir à nous est de réfléchir à notre héritage. Notre devoir est de réfléchir à long terme. L’ère que vous créez est l’ère de l’autonomie et responsabilisation », a déclaré Elumelu.

Dans son allocution, le général Myers a souligné le courage et la prise de risque. « Si vous essayez de faire la différence, il faut persévérer. Il ne suffit pas d’avoir un leader héroïque pour faire la différence, il faut chacun d’entre nous », a exhorté Myers.

Mercredi a également présenté un forum congressionnel sur l’investissement dans la prochaine génération de l’Afrique avec le sénateur des États-Unis du Delaware Chris Coons, qui a discuté de la défense des intérêts, de l’esprit d’entreprise, de l’engagement citoyen, des droits de l’homme et des relations entre les États-Unis et l’Afrique.

Le président et PDG de l’IREX Kristin M. Lord fait remarquer que : « la Mandela Washington Fellowship crée un réseau de leaders qui font progresser la paix, la prospérité et une gouvernance plus efficace, qui est favorable non seulement au peuple du continent africain, mais forge des relations interpersonnelles et intergouvernementales qui bénéficient à la fois les États-Unis et l’Afrique ».

Photos et vidéos du sommet sont disponibles en ligne.

La  Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders  est un programme du gouvernement des États-Unis qui est soutenu dans sa mise en œuvre par l’ IREX .

Alex Cole, directeur des communications stratégiques, IREX
acole@irex.org
202-628-8188

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One Thousand Young African Leaders Convene in Washington to ...

WASHINGTON, Aug. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — One thousand young African leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., last week for the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit. Representing 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, the diverse group of leaders immersed themselves in activities to strengthen their leadership skills and to build connections with each other and U.S. leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders logo

Held July 31 – August 2 and hosted by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs with support from IREX, the Summit marked the culmination of the Fellows’ six-week Academic and Leadership Institutes at colleges and universities across the United States. Fellows now return home to apply the skills they have gained and utilize the networks they have created to enhance peace and security, spur economic growth, and strengthen democratic institutions to the benefit of Africa and the United States.

Mandela Washington Fellow Peo Pinkie Sebotho from Botswana commented on collaborating with other Fellows. “We were excited to share our experiences and our dreams for Africa. I made friends, I made business partners. We were planning what we would do together in the future.”

Mark Taplin, then Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, said: “I don’t think of this as just a Mandela Washington Fellows Summit. This may be the biggest gathering all year here in D.C. of the up-and-coming, the leading and creating, the dreaming and doing, the sharing and caring. You are the future in business and entrepreneurship, in civil society and governance of the world’s most up-and-coming continent.”

Wade Warren, then Acting Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development, also addressed the Fellows, calling on them to use the full power of the networks the Fellowship has helped them forge, and to think of challenges as opportunities.

Wednesday highlighted U.S. and African perspectives on leadership with remarks from Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings and Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation; Dr. Helene Gayle, CEO of McKinsey Social Initiative; Norman Moyo, Author and CEO of New Enterprise Business DPA & CUMII at ECONET; and General (Retired) Richard Myers, President of Kansas State University and 15th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“I’ve studied why leaders are successful and I’ve seen a common thread: legacy. So as young leaders, you must think legacy. You must think long-term. The age you’re creating is the age of empowerment,” Elumelu declared.

In his address, General Myers emphasized courage and risk-taking. “If you’re trying to make a difference, you have to persevere. It takes more than a heroic leader to make a difference, it takes all of us,” urged Myers.

Wednesday also featured a Congressional forum on investing in the next generation of Africa with U.S. Senator from Delaware Chris Coons discussing advocacy, entrepreneurship, civic engagement, human rights, and U.S.-Africa relations.

IREX President and CEO Kristin M. Lord notes: “The Mandela Washington Fellowship creates a network of leaders advancing peace, prosperity, and more effective governance. That benefits not only people on the African continent, but forges people-to-people and government-to-government relationships that benefit both the United States and Africa.”

Photos and videos of the Summit are available online.

The  Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders  is a program of the U.S. government and is supported in its implementation by IREX.

Alex Cole, Director of Strategic Communications, IREX
acole@irex.org
202-628-8188

Logo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/150532/irex_mandela_washington_fellowship_logo.jpg

YPO Global Pulse: Economic confidence across Africa rebounds slightly ...

Economic sentiment in South Africa remains subdued

JOHANNESBURG, 8 August 2017 YPO, the premier chief executive leadership organisation in the world, reported today that confidence among business leaders in Africa improved marginally in the second quarter of 2017 (2Q 2017).

The YPO Global Pulse Confidence Index for Africa climbed 1.9 points to 56.3, its highest level for two years, although Africa remains the second-least confident region globally, trailing the Index’s global composite score of 62.0 by 5.7 points.

While the overall picture for Africa was one of a slight improvement in confidence, there were significantly different trends within the continent’s major economies.

South Africa, which has the highest weighting in the region, slipped 0.4 point to 54.7, its lowest level since July 2009. This came on the back of a sharp 5.1-point decline in the first quarter of this year. Having consistently scored in the mid- to high 60s between 2012 and 2014, South Africa’s outlook has steadily declined over the past two years, faced with the twin challenges of weak growth and high unemployment.

Conversely, Nigeria, the largest economy in the region, reported a 2.3-point increase in confidence, up from 54.6 to 56.9, its highest level since April 2014. This comes on the heels of a gradual recovery in global oil prices.

Elsewhere, Kenya soared an impressive 12.2 points to 63.4, its highest level for two years, and Zimbabwe moved into positive territory, increasing 10.5 points to 56.2, its highest level since July 2013.

“Although business leaders in these three countries seem to be reporting a significant improvement in confidence, the overall sentiment across Africa remains one of concern,” said YPO member Redda Ben Geloune, CEO of AITEK Group.

“Executives will be approaching decision making and risk with caution in the coming months, amid growing uncertainty about the direction of the regional economy and the stability of the wider global economy.”

Key findings in Africa

Sales and fixed investment forecasts improve, while hiring outlook worsens

It was a mixed picture in Africa when it came to the three key indicators of the YPO Global Pulse Index, which track sales, employment and fixed investment.

The YPO Sales Confidence Index for Africa jumped 3.7 points from 63.9 to 67.6, its highest level since July 2015. More than two-thirds (68%) of chief executives expected to increase turnover within their organisation in the next 12 months, up from 61% in the first quarter of 2017. Only 5% predicted a decline in revenues in the coming year, compared with 12% in the previous quarter.

However, the YPO Employment Confidence Index fell 1.5 points from 53.7 to 52.2, its lowest level since April 2016, suggesting that high unemployment will remain a major challenge for African economies over the next 12 months. Less than a quarter (22%) of business leaders expected to increase the size of their workforce in the coming year, down from 31% in the previous quarter’s study. The majority (70%) of respondents predicted that headcount would remain flat, while 8% expected to cut jobs.

The YPO Fixed Investment Confidence Index for Africa edged up 1.9 points to 59.2. More than a third of chief executives (39%) predicted an increase in fixed investment spending in the next year, versus only 3% that expected to cut investment levels.

Business leaders split on short-term economic climate

When asked to assess whether business and economic conditions would improve or worsen during the second half of the year, business leaders in Africa were split, with the same proportion (31%) predicting an improvement as those predicting a deterioration. The remaining 38% felt that conditions would remain relatively unchanged.

Global review

Globally, the YPO Global Pulse Confidence Index slipped 0.5 point to 62.0 over the second quarter, while executives in Australasia proved to be the most optimistic, and their confidence increased 3.6 points to 67.0.

In Asia, confidence declined 1.8 points to 61.5, reversing the gains made in the first quarter of the year. Confidence in the United States remained firmly in positive territory, with a slight decline of 1.6 points to 63.3; while Canada’s confidence rose 0.8 point to 62.9.

In the European Union (EU), confidence climbed 2.1 points to 63.0, its highest level in the eight-year history of the YPO study; while executives in non-EU Europe countries indicated a dramatic improvement, with confidence up 8.5 points to 60.3, largely due to a complete reversal in Swiss sentiment, which was the main detractor in the region last quarter.

Elsewhere, confidence in Latin America climbed 2.1 points to 59.2, its highest level since January 2014; while the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, confidence slid 4.5 points to 50.7, its lowest rating ever, making it the least confident region in the world.

YPO Global Pulse Confidence Index
The quarterly electronic survey, conducted in the first two weeks of July 2017, gathered answers from 1,161 YPO chief executive officers across the globe, including 74 in Africa. Visit www.ypo.org/globalpulse for more information about the survey methodology and to view the results from around the world.

# # #

About YPO

The premier leadership organization of chief executives in the world.

YPO is the global platform for chief executives to engage, learn and grow. YPO members harness the knowledge, influence and trust of the world’s most influential and innovative business leaders to inspire business, personal, family and community impact.

Today, YPO empowers more than 24,000 members in more than 130 countries, diversified among industries and types of businesses. Altogether, YPO member-run companies employ more than 15 million people and generate USD6 trillion in annual revenues.

Leadership. Learning. Lifelong. For more information, visit YPO.org.

Contact:
YPO
Linda Fisk
Office: +1 972 629 7305 (United States)
Mobile: +1 972 207 4298
press@ypo.org

Government on disruptive incidences in City of Tshwane

Government disappointed by disruptive incidences accompanying opposition marches

Government is disappointed at reports of learners being taken out of schools, damage to public infrastructure, business properties and the disruption of public transport in and around the City of Tshwane. Such acts have no place in our constitutional democracy. These actions undermine the democratic rights of other South Africans.

The Constitution of our country says every person in South Africa has a right to protest, as long it is done in a peaceful manner.

Government respects, protects and promotes the right of every person in South Africa whilst they express their rights to protests. However, any public protest action has to be done in accordance with the strict observance of the law. One of the most fundamental requirements for a lawful protest is that it should be done in a peaceful manner.

It is, therefore, disappointing that today's protests organised by opposition parties have been marred by acts of violence as well as actions that interfere with the rights of other South Africans.

Government urges the organisers of today's marches to call on their members to conduct themselves in accordance with the law. Violence, acts of intimidation and interference with those not participation is in bridge of the law and the rights of those not participating in these protests.

Law enforcement agencies have been deployed throughout the country to ensure that the laws of the country are respected. Government will not allow anyone to conduct themselves in a manner that infringes on the rights of other South Africans.

Source: Government of South Africa

Government condemns disorderly protest conduct

Government has expressed its disappointment at reports of learners being taken out of schools, public infrastructure and business properties being damaged and the disruption of public transport in and around the City of Tshwane.

It is disappointing that today's protests organised by opposition parties have been marred by acts of violence, as well as actions that interfere with the rights of other South Africans, the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) said on Tuesday in a statement.

GCIS said acts of violence have no place in constitutional democracy and those actions undermine the democratic rights of other South Africans.

The Constitution states that every person in South Africa has a right to protest, as long it is done in a peaceful manner.

Government respects, protects and promotes the right of every person in South Africa while they express their rights to protests. However, any public protest action has to be done in accordance with the strict observance of the law. One of the most fundamental requirements for a lawful protest is that it should be done in a peaceful manner, GCIS said.

Government has urged the organisers of Tuesday's marches to call on their members to conduct themselves in accordance with the law.

Violence, acts of intimidation and interference with those not participating is in breach of the law and the rights of those not participating in these protests.

Law enforcement agencies have been deployed throughout the country to ensure that the laws of the country are respected, GCIS said.

Government will not allow anyone to conduct themselves in a manner that infringes on the rights of other South Africans.

Source: South African Government News Agency

ANC CONFIDENT TUESDAY’S MOTION OF NO CONFIDENCE IN PRESIDENT ...

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 8 (NNN-SABC) -- South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) has voiced confidence that the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma to be debated in the National Assembly in Cape Town Tuesday will fail.

The party says it is not surprised by the decision of National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete to allow the vote on the motion to be conducted by secret ballot.

ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu said Monday: We will still vote against this motion by the DA (the Democratic Alliance, the main opposition party) and opposition forces. We said we would support whatever position that the Speaker puts before the nation. We are, therefore, still committed to that. We are welcoming and noting what the Speaker has said with regard to this particular matter.

Meanwhile, the African People's Convention (APC) says it will neither confirm nor deny whether it will abstain from voting.

Party leader Themba Godi said: Even if it was an open ballot, I think for the APC it neither mattered because we had a perspective we are going to put irrespective. But all we are saying is that we would not make a public announcement of how we going to vote, but we are very clear about what we going to do. We have, from time to time, taken decisions on the basis of our analyses of the material conditions, and always saying what is it that's in the best interest of our people.

Civil society organization Outa said it was optimistic that President Zuma could be unseated now that the vote of no confidence in him will be conducted by secret ballot. It said the decision by Mbete removed the possibility of any threat of intimidation which might have played out, if ANC MPs had wanted to vote against the President.

Outa Chairperson Wayne Duvenage said the question now was whether the ANC MPs had the moral courage to do what he described as "the right thing".

We were taken by surprise, but we welcome the decision. Now, whether the moral courage will be high enough to do the right thing the right thing being the view that the millions of South Africans have, about the fact that our President has long passed his sell-by-date; that the corruption levels are far too high; and the motion of no confidence now being held in secret does give a good chance that the President will be voted out. So we're quite optimistic, said Duvenage.

The majority of opposition parties in Parliament have described the decision as a victory for the Constitution and South Africans.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema said his party was convinced that ANC MPs would do the right thing on Tuesday. This is an opportunity for them to demonstrate that they are tired of corruption, he added.

United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa said public representatives needed to be honest to their oath of office, and South Africans in general, irrespective of which political party they belong to.

Four hundred members of the National Assembly will put South Africa first, and vote in favour of the motion. We must also stress that the vote tomorrow (Tuesday) is about saving South Africa from an irredeemably corrupt President," he said.

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) Chief Whip Narend Singh described Mbete's decision as rational, but added that although it was a positive move, a lot of hard work still needed to be done.

Meanwhile, the South African Communist Party's (SACP), which is a member of the Tripartite Alliance alongside the President Zuma's ANC and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has stated that its MPs will not support Zuma in the motion of no confidence.

SACP and Cosatu representatives contest in elections, including for parliament, under the ANC banner.

SACP Deputy General Secretary Solly Mapaile told the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Monday that they would not support President Jacob Zuma in the motion of no confidence against him.

Speaking on the SABC AM Live programme, Mapaila said President Zuma had dragged South Africa down the drain. There will be no support for him. We do not have SACP members of Parliament, therefore that process will only take place on the process internal discussions on the ANC. We have made our call and we repeat this call that President Zuma must step down.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Why Kenyans Are Nervous About Presidential Vote

KAMPALA, UGANDA � Kenyans vote Tuesday in a close presidential election between President Uhuru Kenyatta, who seeks a second term, and Raila Odinga, who lost the last two contests. The East African high-tech and commercial hub of 44 million people is often described as one of the continent's most politically stable countries, but the torture and killing of a top election official has many recalling the disputed 2007 election between the same candidates that left more than 1,000 people dead.

A look at the issues around the vote:

The candidates

Kenyatta and Odinga are from storied political families. Kenyatta is the son of Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya's first president, and Odinga is the son of Jaramogi Odinga Odinga, the country's first vice president. In Tuesday's balloting, which includes other minor candidates, one must win more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff election.

After losing the past two elections, this could be the last chance for the 72-year-old Raila Odinga to claim the seat that eluded his father. Odinga says he wants to restore a strong government, stamp out corruption and improve the lives of the poorest Kenyans.

The 55-year-old Kenyatta wants to avoid becoming the first Kenyan president not to win re-election. He won in 2013 with 50.03 percent of the vote, triggering an unsuccessful legal challenge by Odinga. Kenyatta at the time faced criminal charges at the International Criminal Court over his alleged role in the 2007 election violence. Those charges were dropped due to lack of evidence, with the ICC prosecutor blaming unprecedented witness interference and bribery.

This time, Kenyatta has appeared more confident while campaigning, pointing to major infrastructure projects, many backed by China, and claiming strong economic growth.

The call of tribe

Most political organizing in Kenya is tied to ethnicity. Many voters see Kenyatta as the candidate of the Kikuyu people, the country's largest ethnic group, and Odinga representing the Luo. That the Luo have never produced a head of state adds drama to the election.

Many middle-class Kenyans will, in an instant, go from speaking of globalization and borderless innovation while sipping on their cafe macchiatos to offering blind support to a well-known thug who happens to be from their tribes, journalist Daniel Kalinaki wrote in a recent column for the Daily Monitor newspaper.

Kenyatta's running mate under the Jubilee coalition, Deputy President William Ruto, is expected to marshal the votes of his Kalenjin people. Odinga leads the National Super Alliance, which includes political leaders of the Kamba and Luhya ethnic groups.

But Kenya's political landscape is noted for shifting alliances. Kenyatta's running mate Ruto was an ally of Odinga in 2007. Ruto is now being challenged at home by an influential governor who supports Odinga, which could split the Kalenjin vote that was crucial in Kenyatta's 2013 win.

Corruption, poverty and land

Severe drought conditions in half of Kenya's 47 counties have worsened tensions over land as farmers face invasions from semi-nomadic herders seeking room to graze their cattle. In Laikipia county, more than 30 people have died. Some farmers say politicians have incited the herders with the aim of shifting demographics in their favor and winning elections.

Despite Kenya's expanding middle class and economic growth of 5.6 percent in 2016, according to national figures, poverty remains widespread. More than 40 percent of people live on less than $2 a day. Official corruption also feeds tensions.

Likelihood of violence

The al-Shabab extremist group, based in neighboring Somalia, already has threatened Kenya's elections with a series of deadly attacks in border areas. That strains Kenya's security forces as they seek to keep the vote free of violence.

The torture and killing in late July of Christopher Msando, an official in charge of Kenya's electronic voting system, has fueled concerns that the balloting could be rigged. The biometric system malfunctioned in the 2013 election, leading to opposition claims of vote-tampering.

As election observers, including former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, prepare for the vote, Kenyan officials have said it is unlikely they will shut down the internet � but they might shut down some social media if necessary to calm hate speech and incitement.

Despite the concerns, the International Crisis Group has said Kenya is better prepared to handle any violence. There have been major efforts by security forces, civil society and the business community to try to forestall a crisis, its assessment says. In short, unless there is large-scale failure of electoral equipment on election day or if the defeated candidate refuses to concede, a crisis on the scale of what happened in 2007 is unlikely.

Source: Voice of America

“Work together to deepen the rule of law” in Mauritania ...

Mauritanians need to work together in order to deepen the rule of law, and national unity, said the UN Secretary-General on Tuesday.

Antonio Guterres' call came following a national referendum at the weekend in the North-West African country, which was boycotted by opposition parties.

More details from Liz Scaffidi.

The controversial vote took place on Saturday, amidst protests organized by opposition politicians in the capital, Nouakchott.

The UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) voiced concerns last week that dissenting voices were being supressed, and excessive force was being used against protesters.

According to news reports, government officials reported a turnout of just under 54 per cent, with 85 per cent of voters in favour of abolishing the upper house of the legislature, the senate.

President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz said the move would encourage more local democracy, and he is barred by the constitution from running for a third term.

Here's UN Spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric.

"The Secretary-General encourages all stakeholders to ensure that disagreements are addressed peacefully, within the confines of the law and respect for the rights to freedom of assembly and expression. The Secretary-General calls on all Mauritanians to work together to deepen the rule of law and promote social cohesion and national unity."

News reports said that voters also supported changes to the national flag of Mauritania, which will now feature red bands to honour the blood spilled by those involved in fighting French colonial rule.

Source: United Nations Radio