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LOME, Togo (PAMACC News) - The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved a dual-currency Trade Finance Line of Credit for ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) comprising $50 million and EUR 50 million. An additional co-financing of $30 million for the credit line will come through the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF) from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). EBID will use the three-and-a-half-year facility to provide direct financing to local corporates. Part of the facility will also be channelled through select local banks for on-lending to key sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure, and transport. The ultimate beneficiaries will be Small and Medium-sized Enterprises(SMEs), local enterprises cooperatives and farmers in the West Africa region. Speaking soon after the Board approval, the Deputy Director General for the West Africa Region, Joseph Ribeiro noted that regional development finance institutions like EBID are key partners of the African Development Bank and serve markets and client segments critical to the overall development of the continent. “They play an important role in promoting trade and regional integration. This is the Bank’s first financing support to EBID, and we look forward to an even stronger partnership in the near future,” he said. The Bank’s Head of Trade Finance, Lamin Drammeh, stressed the critical need for such support in the region. “We are excited to work with EBID to increase access to trade finance in the ECOWAS region with a special focus on the agriculture value chain, SMEs and women-owned businesses”, he said. “Regional institutions like EBID complement the Bank’s efforts to bridge the trade finance gap in Africa and serve as an effective conduit for channeling much-needed funds to underserved countries and sectors”, he added. The African Development Bank estimates the annual trade finance gap for Africa to be around $81 billion. Compared to multinational corporates and large local corporates, SMEs and other domestic firms have greater difficulty in accessing trade finance.
DIAMNIADIO, Senegal, (PAMACC News) - The African Development Bank Group will invest $10 billion over the next five years to boost Africa’s efforts to end hunger and become a global breadbasket. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Africa Food Summit in Diamniadio, Senegal, the Bank Group’s President Dr Akinwumi Adesina called on more than 34 heads of state, 70 government ministers, the private sector, farmers, development partners, and corporate executives present at the summit, to work out compacts that would deliver food and agriculture transformation at scale across Africa.. He encouraged them to take collective action to unlock the continent’s agricultural potential to become a global breadbasket. The summit, also known as Dakar 2 – under the theme Feed Africa: food sovereignty and resilience—takes place amid supply chain disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. More than a thousand delegates and dignitaries attended, including the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins. The government of Senegal and the African Development Bank Group are co-hosting the summit, eight years after the inaugural Dakar 1 summit where the then newly elected President Adesina announced the Bank’s Feed Africa strategy. Opening the summit, President Sall—who is also the African Union chairperson—said the time had come for the continent to feed itself by adding value and stepping up the use of technology. “From the farm to the plate, we need full food sovereignty, and we must increase land under cultivation and market access to enhance cross-border trade,” Sall said. Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat said the Dakar summit was timely and would provide innovative solutions to help Africa become less dependent on food imports. “Food sovereignty should be our new weapon of freedom,” Mahamat said. Addressing the audience, he urged development partners to work together within existing structures, such as Agenda 2063 and the African Continental Free Trade Area, for sustainable transformation. Mahamat commended the African Development Bank for rolling out transformative initiatives, including a $1.5 billion emergency food production facility in 2022 to help African countries avert a potential food crisis following Russia’s war in Ukraine. The President of Kenya, William Ruto, said, “It is a shame that 60 years after independence, we are gathered to talk about feeding ourselves. We can and we must do better.” The African Development Bank Group chief said: “Today over 283 million Africans go to bed hungry every day. This is not acceptable. No mother should ever have to struggle with rumbling of the stomach of a hungry child.” “We must raise the bar. We must raise our ambition. We must arise and say to ourselves: it is time to feed Africa. The timing is right, and the moment is now. Feed Africa; we must,” said Adesina. The bank head urged the leaders to turn political will into decisive actions to deliver food security for Africa, “We must strongly support farmers, especially smallholder farmers, majority of whom are women, and get more young people into agriculture. And we…
KAMPALA, Uganda (PAMACC News) - Over 70 Ugandan and Congolese civil society organisations (CSOs) as well as their partners are calling on the Ugandan government, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and TotalEnergies to prioritise the economic well-being of Ugandans, biodiversity conservation and climate action by investing in clean energy instead of climate-wrecking projects such as the Kingfisher, Tilenga and East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) ones. The CSOs made the call today at a time when the launch of drilling for the Kingfisher oil project in Kikuube district is expected to take place. The Ugandan president, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, is expected to officiate at the launch ceremony. The Kingfisher project, which is operated by CNOOC (U) Ltd, will involve the drilling of 31 wells. The wells will be drilled within Lake Albert. Per Uganda’s Ministry of Energy, the deepest Kingfisher oil project well is 7km deep. CNOOC (U) Ltd is working alongside its joint venture partners that include the Ugandan government and TotalEnergies. These partners also plan to develop the Tilenga and EACOP oil projects. “Ugandans, East Africans and indeed all global citizens of goodwill should be concerned about the Kingfisher, Tilenga and EACOP oil projects. The projects are located in one of the last frontiers for biodiversity conservation -the Albertine Graben- in Uganda. The Graben is home to forests, 70% of Uganda’s national parks, major lakes such as Albert, River Nile and others. These ecosystems and biodiversity support Uganda’s major economic activities such as agriculture, fishing, tourism and business. By endangering biodiversity therefore, the joint venture partners are risking the majority of Ugandans’ economic well-being,” Mr. Dickens Kamugisha, the CEO of Africa Institute for Energy Governance, says. It should also be recalled that the world is faced with the climate change crisis characterised by unpredictable weather patterns, prolonged dry seasons, wetter-than-usual wet seasons and others in Uganda. The Kingfisher, Tilenga and EACOP oil projects will result in the production of millions of tonnes of carbon per year. They are also driving deforestation and forest degradation in Uganda’s Albertine Graben, actions that exacerbate climate change impacts. “The climate crisis poses a major threat to Uganda’s main economic activities. In the Updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of September 2022, Uganda’s Ministry of Water and Environment identified ecosystems, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, business and other economic sectors as being the most at risk of climate change impacts. The agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors employ 61.4% of Uganda’s labourforce, per the 2021 Uganda Labourforce Survey by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS). With their Kingfisher, Tilenga and EACOP oil projects, CNOOC (U) Ltd, TotalEnergies and the Ugandan government are imperiling the livelihoods of the 61.4% of Uganda’s labourforce, not to mention their dependents that include children and youth,” Ms. Norah Luyiga, the Communications Officer of Youth for Green Communities (YGC), says. The drilling of wells under Lake Albert has also raised concerns amongst fishing communities. “Fishing is a major economic activity where I come from in Buliisa. It is also important nationally…
NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - For a period of three months leading to the 27th round of negotiations at the UN Conference of Parties on climate change, fossil fuel-linked entities spent close to $4 million on social media adverts, to promote key messages that belittled the fight against climate change, a new report has revealed. According to the report released on Thursday 19, the phrase ‘energy independence’ was most common and found verbatim in 1925 paid adverts on Meta’s Ad Library – a company that owns Facebook, Instagram , Messenger and WhatsApp among others, followed by ‘American energy’ (1558 adverts) between September and November when the UN climate summit took place in Egypt. This came after the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report had warned that “vested interests had generated rhetoric and misinformation that undermines climate science and disregards risk and urgency.” And now, the environment civil society and nongovernmental organisations particularly form Africa and Asia are even more worried because Sultan Al-Jaber, a pro fossil fuel enthusiast, who is the Chief Executive Officer for a globally leading Gas and Oil firm has already been appointed as the President-designate for the 28th round of climate negotiations (COP 28). “This is the textbook definition of impunity and conflict of interest. Addressing the climate crisis requires deep cuts in the production and use of fossil fuels. That course of action is squarely at variance with Al-Jaber’s business interests,” said Mithika Mwenda, the Executive Director of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA). “You wouldn’t invite arm dealers to lead peace talks. So why let oil executives lead climate talks? Burning fossil fuels is the single largest cause of the climate crisis, and the single biggest threat to solving it,” said Alice Harrison, Fossil Fuels Campaign Leader at Global Witness – an international environmental non-governmental organisation. Authors of the new report titled ‘Deny, Deceive, Delay’, which was spearheaded by the Climate Action Against Disinformation (CAAD) are also faulting the social media providers for deliberately supporting climate misinformation and disinformation. “During COP, Twitter’s search engine pushed #ClimateScam as a top result without any justification for the data behind it,” said Erika Seiber, climate disinformation spokesperson at Friends of the Earth U.S. “Until governments hold social media and ad companies accountable, and companies hold professional disinformers accountable, crucial conversations around the climate crisis are going to be put in jeopardy,” said Seiber, pointing out that Twitter should be held accountable to explain how the inexcusable climate denial trend came to be. During the climate negotiations, conspiracies surrounding the ‘Great Reset’ and ‘New World Order’ were rife, presenting climate action as part of a plot by ‘global elites’ to exert control and, conversely, claiming that climate change has been ‘engineered’ to destroy capitalism. At the same time, the climate deniers framed negotiations around ‘Loss and Damage’ as an unfair transfer of wealth to the ‘developing world’, contrasting Loss and Damage to austerity measures and heating bills in the UK, where most high-traction attacks originated…
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