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Civil servants plan protests to pressure govt over wages in South Africa

South African civil servants will march to the National Treasury in the administrative capital Pretoria and in the country’s other eight provinces next Tuesday to pressure the government over a wage dispute.

The largest trade union federation in the country, COSATU, and other federations representing the majority of the more than 1 million public sector workers told a news conference on Thursday that they would continue to protest until the government improves its 3% salary increase offer.

Wage negotiations between unions and the government collapsed in early October, with the government subsequently saying it would unilaterally implement the 3% increase outlined in October’s mid-term budget.

The Treasury has been trying to rein in spending on civil servants’ compensation, which makes up around a third of consolidated spending.

“This is the beginning and it will go on until we declare an indefinite strike. Whether it happens now or early next year will depend on how the government responds on November 22,” December Mavuso, deputy general secretary of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union, told reporters.

If the marches mushroom into a full-blown public sector strike it would be the first major one since 2010, potentially disrupting critical government services in places like hospitals and border posts.

The Public Servants Association (PSA), a union representing 245,000 civil servants, earlier this month held a separate march over the wage issue in Pretoria, handing over a list of demands. Union officials said on Thursday that the government had not yet responded to the PSA’s demands.

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AfricaAfrica AsiaEntertainment

Senegal’s President, Macky Sall, Hosts AFRIMA President, Pledges Support for the ‘Teranga’ Edition

Ahead of the highly anticipated 8th edition of the All-Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) tagged ‘Teranga Edition’ scheduled to hold in Dakar, Senegal on 12-15 January 2023, the President of the Republic of Senegal, His Excellency, President Macky Sall, over the weekend, at his official residence in Dakar, hosted AFRIMA’s Executive Producer/President, Mr Mike Dada, assuring him of the government of Republic of Senegal’s unwavering support towards a successful hosting of AFRIMA in Senegal.

President Sall met with the AFRIMA President, after a world media conference/unveiling ceremony, held at the King Fahd Royal Palace hotel, in Dakar, on November 4, 2022, where Senegal was announced as the official host country by the African Union Commission and the International Committee of AFRIMA.

According to President Macky Sall, who is also the 2022 Chairperson of the African Union (AU) ‘’The present and future of Africa, particularly Senegal in this case, is significant to our government and the youths represent that future. AFRIMA speaks to the empowerment and engagement of young people in the creative economy and the celebration of our continent and global promotion of our cities for tourism benefits, hence the support and partnership from Republic of Senegal. I am very happy and honoured to host the Teranga edition of the biggest music award in Africa, AFRIMA right here in Senegal, the people of Senegal are excited about this historical feat, given that this is the first time the awards will be held in a Francophone country”

In partnership with the African Union Commission, AFRIMA is the pinnacle of African music globally

He assured the AFRIMA team and the rest of the world of premium hospitality rights and support from the Senegalese government and her people, to ensure that the 8th AFRIMA will be an impactful, successful, and laudable affair for visitors and the people of Senegal.

READ ALSO: https://africandevmag.net/2022/03/10/announcement-agrobiz-to-hold-virtual-event-on-womens-economic-thumbprint/

On his part, the AFRIMA’s President and Executive Producer, Mr.Dada thanked His Excellency, President Macky Sall, the government, and the people of the Republic of Senegal for undertaking to partner and host 8th AFRIMA for the benefit of the Music industry in Africa in general and the creative economy in Senegal in particular. He promised on behalf of the International Committee of AFRIMA to ensure that the Teranga edition will go down in history as AFRIMA’s best and biggest edition so far.

As the whole world gears towards the 8th edition of the All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, which will be held from January 12 to 15, 2023, African music lovers are encouraged to keep voting intensively for their desired winners, using the voting portal live at www.AFRIMA.org and take part in the events on social media platforms (IG/TikTok – https://bit.ly/3AjSojU; Facebook – https://bit.ly/3TH2y4T; Twitter – https://bit.ly/3X5UvBG; LinkedIn – AFRIMA). The voting process that determines winners at AFRIMA is audited by a globally renowned auditing firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).

The event is scheduled to commence on Thursday January 12, 2023, with a host Country Tour, Courtesy Visit to the President of the Host Country, school visit and gift presentation (as part of AFRIMA’s Corporate Social Responsibility), as well as welcome Soiree will be held on the same day at Hotel Terroui -Bi, Dakar. The 4-day event continues Friday January 13, 2023, with the Africa Music Business Summit at Centre International de Conference Abdou Diouf (CICAD) and the AFRIMA Urban Music Fest at Grand Theatre; while the main rehearsals, media engagements and nominees exclusive party will be held on Saturday January 14, 2023; the event will climax on Sunday January 15, 2023, at the 15000 capacity Dakar Arena with the live Awards ceremony broadcast by 104 TV Stations to over 84 countries around the world.

In partnership with the African Union Commission, AFRIMA is the pinnacle of African music globally.

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AfricaAfrica AsiaPoliticsReport

Women Peacekeepers Play a Unique and Critical Role in DRC- MONUSCO

Veiled by the heated sun and surrounded by the lush green landscape of Kiwanja Valley in North-Kivu, thirty-one Moroccan peacekeepers stood to attention in a seamless line, as they awaited to receive their Medals of Honor. As birdsong entwined with the chorus of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s national anthem, a sentiment of pride, courage and honor filled the air of that day in September 2022.

Amongst the line of young and well-experienced men, two women’s salutes gathered the attention of onlookers, for they reflected hope in a relentless joint pursuit of men and women across the world to ensure women’s representation in peace and security.

As of December 2021, women constitute 7.8 percent of all uniformed military, police, justice and corrections personnel in United Nations field missions: an increase of 6.8 percent since 1993. Despite the progress, the UN is still far behind the targets of 20 percent women for individual police officer positions and 30 percent for justice and corrections government‐provided personnel.

READ ALSO:https://africandevmag.net/2022/03/10/announcement-agrobiz-to-hold-virtual-event-on-womens-economic-thumbprint/

Major Soumia Badi, Head of the Female Engagement Team (FET) of the Moroccan Rapid Deployment Base (MORRDB), shared a bright smile as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of MONUSCO, Ms Bintou Keita, placed a medal of honor on her apparel: one which recognized her bravery and sacrifice.

It’s very important for women to serve in the UN, to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

“It was a great honor and a proud moment for me and my country when I was awarded an appreciation certificate [and medal] from the SRSG,” Major Badi stated. Previously a social worker in Agadir, Morocco, and an Assistant Officer in the Hassan II Foundation for Retirees, Major Badi brought with her a significant knowledge, experience and skills in social issues and working with people.

“As a social worker, I must assist vulnerable people regardless of their origin, color, religion or nationality. Serving outside my country has been a great experience,” she continued.

Women are essential to the effectiveness of peacekeeping: they have greater access to communities through women and children, they help in promoting human rights and the protection of civilians and encourage women to become a part of peace and political processes. Through women’s diverse sets of skills in decision-making and planning and results, as well as their ability to build trust and confidence within communities, women are paramount to successful peacekeeping.

However, there are indeed obstacles to overcome to ensure the effectiveness of women’s expertise in peacekeeping, particularly in the Congolese context: “Communication with the local population can be difficult, especially with those who do not speak French. In such cases, a male linguistic assistant provides help, as we don’t have a female translator. However, when it comes to sensitive subjects such as cases of sexual violence, for example, the victim [often] feels uncomfortable speaking to a man. In addition, during the anti-MONUSCO protests, most of our activities were haltered due to the deteriorating security situation in the region” she added.

With much support being provided to Major Soumia and the FET in their work, a sense of empowerment filtered through the Moroccan Base. “I have been able to succeed in my mission because of the advice and directive of the Colonel and the close collaboration I’ve shared with the members of the contingent,” Major Badi explained; “My greatest achievement is winning the trust of the population and encouraging women to break the silence and talk about their problems and dreams. It’s very important for women to serve in the UN, to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”

The UN is working to ensure the deployment of more women in uniformed functions through the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, the UN Security Council resolution 1325 (UNSCR1325), which advocates for the equal participation of women in all sectors of peacekeeping operations, and the Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) Declaration of Shared Commitments, through which the UN has called for an expansion of the role and contribution of women in its operations. However, the responsibility for the deployment of women in the police and military ultimately lies with the willingness and proactivity of Member States.

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AfricaAfrica AsiaAPO-GROUPAPO-OPAPolitics

Towards a Common Women Agenda- UNITAMS

Supporting women’s meaningful participation in politics, decision making and peace processes is an integral part of the work of the United Nations as mandated by several Security Council resolutions

Since the coup of 2021, UNITAMS has been providing a platform to diverse groups of women to foster solidarity around common priorities and concerns across political divides with the hope of laying the foundation for a common agenda for all Sudanese women.

Supporting women’s meaningful participation in politics, decision making and peace processes is an integral part of the work of the United Nations as mandated by several Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2524 which established UNITAMS. In Sudan, unique challenges confront women in their quest to partake in deciding the future of their country.

The coup of 25 October 2021, brought with it an intensification in political polarization, rapid economic deterioration, and flare-ups of violence in the regions with particularly harsh impacts on women including harassment, intimidation, and other forms of Violence Against Women. Against this backdrop, women’s groups have been struggling to find channels to ensure women’s priorities are reflected in the national conversation and the many initiatives focused on finding ways to end the political impasse.

In response to the political crisis, UNITAMS convened a consultative process in early 2022 with over 800 Sudanese stakeholders who mapped a framework to guide any political solution with one key finding stressing that “Sudanese women and men must own the processes for determining the future of the transition and of their country.”

Our objective is to provide Sudanese women with the platform and the tools they need to bridge political differences and think collectively

Most recently, UNITAMS facilitated a series of dialogues for women from different regions and backgrounds in Sudan together with UN Women and UNDP between July and August 2022. The dialogues brought together a total of 170 women from Khartoum, the East, the North, Kordofan, the Blue Nile and Darfur. They also included women from different political parties and with affiliation to the Juba Peace Agreement signatory armed movements. National and international experts helped facilitate the dialogues and discussed examples of women’s movements in Sudan and elsewhere.

The dialogues allowed women from across the political spectrum to think together of ways to foster solidarity between women’s groups around unified priorities. Themes of the discussion also included the incidence of violence in the regions and women’s leadership role in combating hate speech and supporting peaceful co-existence. Women participants also exchanged experiences about gender-based violence, including sexual violence, and ways to leverage women’s solidarity in support of survivors, as well as more strategic plans to curb violence against women and improve accountability in this regard.

“Our objective is to provide Sudanese women with the platform and the tools they need to bridge political differences and think collectively as women of ways where they can work together to ensure their ability to meaningfully participate in shaping the future of Sudan,” said Christina Shaheen, UNITAMS’s senior Gender Adviser, “This participation and the overall agenda of gender equality are integral parts of a credible transition towards sustainable democratic governance in Sudan.”

In September, UNITAMS, in collaboration with UNDP and UN Women, convened a diverse group of women politicians, activists, scholars, and experts who formulated a unified gender-responsive constitutional vision and presented it to various Sudanese stakeholders, including political parties, armed movements, and civil society, as well as the Trilateral Mechanism and representatives of the international community.

UNITAMS, together with the National Democratic Institute and the Office of Transition Initiative (OTI), is also planning to launch a series of dialogues in all of Sudan’s 18 states to build on the six dialogues of July and August and continue the work of supporting women from across Sudan to create and advocate for a unified women’s agenda for the transition and beyond.

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AfricaAfrica AsiaAgrictechAgricultureFood

Amid Food and Climate Crises, Investing in Sustainable Food Cold Chains Crucial- UNEP Report

More than 3 billion people can’t afford a healthy diet; Lack of adequate refrigeration directly results in the loss of 526 million tons of food production or 12 per cent of the global total; Developing countries could save 144 million tonnes of food annually if they reached the same level of food cold chain infrastructure as developed countries

As food insecurity and global warming rise, governments, international development partners and industry should invest in sustainable food cold chains to decrease hunger, provide livelihoods to communities, and adapt to climate change, the UN said today.

Launched today at the 27th Climate Change Conference, the Sustainable Food Cold Chains report, from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), finds that food cold chains are critical to meeting the challenge of feeding an additional two billion people by 2050 and harnessing rural communities’ resilience while avoiding increased greenhouse gas emissions.

The report was developed in the framework of the UNEP-led Cool Coalition in partnership with FAO, the Ozone Secretariat, the UNEP OzonAction Programme, and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

“At a time when the international community must act to address the climate and food crises, sustainable food cold chains can make a massive difference,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP. “They allow us to reduce food loss, improve food security, slow greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs, reduce poverty and build resilience – all in one fell swoop.”

Food insecurity on the rise

The number of people affected by hunger in the world rose to 828 million in 2021, a year-on-year rise of 46 million.

Almost 3.1 billion people could not afford a healthy diet in 2020, up 112 million from 2019, as the economic impacts of the Covid pandemic drove up inflation. This year, meanwhile, the conflict in Ukraine has raised the prices of basic grains threatening food security.

All of this comes while an estimated 14 per cent of all food produced for human consumption is lost before it reaches the consumer. The lack of an effective cold chain to maintain the quality, nutritional value and safety of food is one of the major contributors to food loss.

According to the report, developing countries could save 144 million tonnes of food annually if they reached the same level of food cold chain infrastructure as developed countries.

Post-harvest food loss reduces the income of 470 million small-scale farmers by 15 per cent, mainly in developing countries.  Investing in sustainable food cold chains would help lift these farm families out of poverty.

Sustainable food cold chains can make an important difference in our collective efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

“Sustainable food cold chains can make an important difference in our collective efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. All stakeholders can help implement the findings of this report, to transform agri-food systems to be more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient and more sustainable – for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all, leaving no one behind” said QU Dongyu, Director-General of FAO.

Climate impact

The food cold chain has serious implications for climate change and the environment. Emissions from food loss and waste due to lack of refrigeration totalled an estimated 1 gigatonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent in 2017 – about 2 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions.

In particular, it contributes to emissions of methane, a potent but short-lived climate pollutant. Taking action now would contribute to reducing atmospheric concentrations of methane this decade.

Overall, the food cold chain is responsible for around four percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions – when emissions from cold chain technologies and food loss caused by lack of refrigeration are included.

Lost food also damages the natural world by driving the unnecessary conversion of land for agricultural purposes and using resources such as water, fossil fuels and energy.

Reducing food loss and waste could make a positive impact on climate change, but only if the new cooling-related infrastructure is designed to use gases with low global warming potential, be energy efficient and run on renewable energy.

The adoption of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol and the Rome Declaration on “the contribution of the Montreal Protocol to sustainable cold chain development for food waste reduction” provides a unique opportunity to accelerate the deployment of sustainable food cold chains.

Progress being made

Projects around the world show that sustainable food cold chains are already making a difference. In India, a food cold chain pilot project reduced losses of kiwi fruit by 76 per cent while reducing emissions through the expansion of the use of refrigerated transport.

In Nigeria, a project to install 54 operational ColdHubs prevented the spoilage of 42,024 tonnes of food and increased the household income of 5,240 small-scale farmers, retailers and wholesalers by 50 per cent.

But these projects, which are illustrated among many other case studies in the new report, are still the exception rather than the norm.

Recommendations for decision-makers

To expand sustainable food cold chains globally, the report issues a series of recommendations for governments and stakeholders, including:

  • Take a holistic systems approach to food cold chain provision, recognizing that the provision of cooling technologies alone is not enough.
  • Quantify and benchmark the energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in existing food cold chains and identify opportunities for reductions.
  • Collaborate and undertake food cold chain needs assessments and develop costed and sequenced National Cooling Action Plans, backed with specific actions and financing.
  • Implement and enforce ambitious minimum efficiency standards, and monitoring and enforcement to prevent illegal imports of inefficient food cold chain equipment and refrigerants.
  • Run large-scale system demonstrations to show the positive impacts of sustainable cold chains, and how interventions can create sustainable and resilient solutions for scaling.
  • Institute multidisciplinary centres for food cold chain development at the national or regional level.
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AfricaAfrica AsiaEconomyInvestment

AU Member-States Commit to Implementation of Africa’s Asset Recovery Agenda

An extended Common African Position on Asset Recovery (CAPAR) Working Group with more African Union (AU) member-states including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Nigeria, and Senegal have joined pan-African institutions mandated by the AU Assembly to actively further the implementation of the CAPAR.

The commitment of AU member-states to the implementation of Africa’s Asset Recovery Agenda, the CAPAR, is one of the major outcomes of the high-level technical meeting on the frameworks for its implementation held on the 3rd and 4th November, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

At the meeting which had top government officials and heads of anti-corruption and asset recovery agencies, the aforementioned countries agreed through their respective missions and representatives to propagate the CAPAR, unify its messaging, and deliver necessary political support to its implementation frameworks, as well as its proposed protocol and model agreements.

The high-level meeting, which was jointly organized by the African Union and the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA), reviewed strategy documents that focused on the legal framework for the recovery of African assets and the proposal for the setting up of an escrow account for African assets.

Discussions focused on experience sharing while ensuring that the frameworks for asset recovery by African States maintained a comprehensive approach in a holistic and economically beneficial way. The meeting also made valid proposals to address key legal issues that African States face in recovering illicit financial outflows and stolen assets.

Participants at the meeting agreed that its outcomes should feed into the updates of the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, the AU Champion on Anti-Corruption, and report of the AU Commissioner of the Political Affairs, Peace and Security to the Assembly of AU Heads of State and Government at its next summit to be held in February, 2023 in view of the nexus between corruption and peace and security.  This is towards greater galvanization of CAPAR’s implementation by all AU member-states and the need to strengthen implementation of the CAPAR at national, sub-regional, and regional levels.

On the escrow account, the African Union committed to facilitating necessary consultations with relevant regional banks to establish escrow accounts to mitigate the losses being experienced by African countries as negotiations drag on too long for the recovery and return of sovereign assets illicitly removed from AU Member-States. It was further agreed that the extended CAPAR Working Group would reconvene in future meetings with the view of engaging additional AU Member-States and advancing the processes to implement the frameworks.

The Secretariat of the AU High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa – Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA) constituted the CAPAR Working Group that guides the necessary actions for the successful popularization and implementation of the CAPAR. In addition to the AU and CoDA, the group is composed of AU Member-States – Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Nigeria, and Senegal, as well as relevant African institutions including the African Development Bank (AfDB), African Export-Import  Bank (AFREXIMBANK), ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU), and the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF).

CAPAR seeks to assist African Union Member States to identify, repatriate and effectively manage these assets in a manner that respects their sovereignty. It outlines Africa’s priorities for asset recovery in four pillars: detection and identification of illicitly removed assets; recovery and return of illicitly removed assets; management of recovered assets; and cooperation and partnerships to harmonize the process of identification and recovery.

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AfricaAfrica AsiaInternational

AU Chairman Macky Sall to attend G20 summit – officials

African Union Chairman and Senegal President Macky Sall plan to attend an upcoming G20 summit in Bali, two government officials said on Friday, as Africa looks to hold wealthier nations to account for their climate pledges.

The visit, his first to a G20 summit, will follow his attendance at the COP27 UN climate meeting in Egypt where he was one of the leading advocates for rich countries to contribute more cash to help Africa adapt to climate change.

The summit in Bali takes place on Nov. 15-16, overlapping the second week of the COP27 conference.

Sall would have “two hats” at the meeting, representing both the African Union and Senegal, one of the officials said.

Senegal is in discussions with G20 members about a deal to support its transition to low-carbon energy.

The so-called Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETP) was pioneered by South Africa’s deal last year with countries including the United States, Britain, Germany and France providing funding to speed up its transition away from coal power.

One of the items he will want to discuss with G20 members is the Senegal JETP which was being negotiated at COP27, the official said.

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AfricaAfrica AsiaNews

After official visit to South Sudan, UN Peace Chief Roots for Lasting Peace

The United Nations head of peacekeeping operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, has wrapped up a visit to South Sudan where he called for greater efforts to stabilize the war-torn country. South Sudan is struggling with the impact of climate change in addition to inter-communal conflicts, all of which have led to a growing need for humanitarian aid.

During his official visit, Lacroix traveled to the town of Bor in Jonglei state, where communities have been gravely impacted by cattle raids, flooding, and a lack of basic resources.

Lacroix met with U.N. personnel, humanitarian partners, and the donor community and said he hopes to encourage more progress in South Sudan’s ongoing peace process.

“There are many urgent humanitarian crises around the world, but the political and financial resources that are available to cope with this crisis are by definition limited. And therefore, our advocacy will be strong,” Lacroix said.

He added that “We do recognize there is an expectation from the international community to support South Sudan, that there has to be a sense that there is a way forward. The ultimate solution is political. We have recognized several positive steps in the revitalized agreement, and we realize that a lot needs to be done.”

Climate shocks have made South Sudan’s dire humanitarian situation worse as the country deals with some of the worst flooding in nearly a century.

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AFRICA: New directive could put us at greater risk- Somali journalists cries out

How to describe a militant group? It’s a question in Somalia where for years the government and media have tussled over how to refer to al-Shabab.

In its latest order, issued Sunday, the government directed journalists to replace the word “al-Shabab” with “khawarij,” which means “a deviation from Islam.”

Deputy Information Minister Abdirahman Yusuf Adala said the directive is a government policy based on the advice of Islamic scholars.

“We are Muslim people,” said Adala. “After these men (al-Shabab) claimed to be Muslims and tried to use Islam wrongly, the Somali scholars reached a decision and concluded that the culture of these men is the culture of khawarij, and therefore they are recognized as khawarij.”

Order puts journalists at greater risk

Samia Ali, a freelance journalist in Mogadishu, said the directive could put journalists who already work in a dangerous environment at even greater risk.

Ali said the term “khawarij” could endanger the lives of journalists who do not have protection or bodyguards and are not using bulletproof vehicles.

“As the media is neutral, we urge the Somali government not to force the media to use the word and rescind its directive,” she said.

The minister said the directive is not aimed at suppressing freedom of expression.

“Journalists are, of course, guided by rules, regulations, and journalistic ethics,” said Adala. “We stand to encourage freedom of opinion, encourage democracy, and encourage freedom of speech. And journalists are required to report what is right, so the correct definition of those men is that (khawarij). What we stand for is to protect the lives of journalists. Of course, every journalist is an enemy of these men (al-Shabab), and that is why they kill journalists and harass them.”

“It will put Somali journalists in great danger”

Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries for media, with rights groups saying militants are responsible for many media killings. A bombing in late October killed one journalist and injured two others, including a contributor to VOA’s Somali service.

Maryan Seylac, the executive director and founder of the Somali Media Women Association, said such attempts to change how media refer to al-Shabab are not fruitful.

“With this issue in place, if the government orders the use of the word ‘khawarij’ and directs the media to use it, it will put Somali journalists in great danger,” said Seylac. “It will cause fear and unrest, and it will increase the number of journalist killings because al-Shabab will directly target independent media, which they will see it to have sided with the government.”

Seylac told VOA that journalists are not a party to any conflicts and should be allowed to operate independently.

“The media knows what is legal and what is not,” said Seylac, “so in my opinion, I don’t expect the term khawarij can be implemented.”

The directive comes weeks after Somali media protested a separate order on coverage of al-Shabab. Authorities later arrested the secretary general of the Somali Journalists Syndicate, Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, on what they say are security-related charges.

Journalists have decried the directives, saying the actions put them in harm’s way.

Ahmed Mohamed in Mogadishu for VOA News))

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COP27: Wind power can deliver a sustainable future for Africa- Report

We are in the middle of a global energy crisis and a climate change emergency. It is, therefore, more pressing than ever to seriously commit to action plans that will avoid the long-term lock-in of fossil fuel-based energy generation. Instead, greater focus should be placed on increasing renewable contributions within the global energy mix.

This is particularly important for Africa has been more severely hit by climate-change-related events than other regions, and where 43% of the total population lack access to electricity, most of them in sub‐Saharan Africa. The continent is rich in renewable energy sources, particularly solar and wind, and decreasing costs are bringing renewables increasingly within reach, making energy independence achievable.

To attain a successful and just energy transition there needs to be an acceleration of the implementation process. This can happen if partnerships between public stakeholders, and public and private together, are further strengthened, and if steps are taken to safeguard the wind industry supply chain, among other proactive actions. If this is prioritized, then there should be sufficient capacity to help the continent achieve its climate pledges through the implementation of sustainable, renewable green energy.

Climate change is putting Africa’s energy systems at risk of disruption

According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Africa Energy Outlook 2022, “three-fifths of the continent’s thermal power plants are at high, or very high risk of disruption by water stress, and one-sixth of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) capacity is vulnerable to coastal flooding.” To ensure greater resilience there will need to be a significant investment in climate adaptation.

To mitigate the ongoing volatility in the supply and cost of fossil-fuel energy, and the dangers of accelerating climate change, African governments must focus on scaling up higher volumes of renewable energy – in particular wind power — as part of their sustainable energy mixes.

The photo-shoot shows different wind farms: KFW, JICA, FIEM, and BOO Ras Ghareb
The photo-shoot shows different wind farms: KFW, JICA, FIEM, and BOO Ras Ghareb

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) energy progress report of 2021 estimates that 75% of the world’s population without access to electricity is based in Sub-Saharan Africa. It states that to achieve sustainable development goal (SDG) 7.1 — universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy services — Sub-Saharan Africa alone will need to connect approximately 85 million people each year through 2030.

Africa currently accounts for less than 3% of the world’s energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and it experiences a disproportionate number of negative effects of climate change. According to the IEA, by 2050, North Africa is facing a rise in median temperature of 2.7 degrees Celsius in comparison with the global average rise of 2 degrees Celsius. If not addressed, this could result is a reduction of African gross domestic product (GDP) by around 8 percent in 2050. In East Africa, this figure would be closer to 15 percent.

Wind power as a driver of socio-economic growth in Africa

By increasing renewable energy production targets, national economies stand to benefit from the growing demand for people to work in the green sectors thereby addressing the continent’s unemployment challenges. Nations can also expect augmented investment because of a more stable energy grid and due to cost savings realised by a more competitive energy mix.

The wind industry is of strategic importance. It can provide the world with energy security and independence through domestic, clean, and competitive sources. As different countries consider increasing the percentage of renewable energy in their energy mix, they can take insights from the lessons already learned in Africa and Europe. They can also see the tangible positive impact the wind industry has already had across both continents. These can be studied, and relevant insights applied within their specific environment.

The wind industry started in Northern Europe and Spain in the 1980s, and since then, has burgeoned across the continent. Today, the European Union’s wind energy sector has a significant impact on the EU’s economy, supporting more than 300,000 jobs, contributing €37 billion to the EU’s GDP, and generating €5 billion in local taxes every year. In fact, with each new wind turbine installed in Europe, a further €10 million of economic activity is added.

Progress is also being made across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, recording in 2021 its best year ever in wind power installations. According to the Global Wind Energy Council, over the next five years (2022 – 2026), MEA is expected to add a total of 14 GW of new wind capacity, primarily driven by growth from South Africa (5.4 GW), Egypt (2.2 GW), Morocco (1.8 GW), and Saudi Arabia (1.3 GW).

IRENA’s modeling reveals that when accompanied by the right policies, shifting towards a renewable energy system could lead to a 6.4% higher GDP, 3.5% more economy-wide jobs, and a 25.4% higher welfare index throughout the outlook period of 2020 to 2050.

Partnerships must drive Africa’s energy transition

Although blessed with abundant renewable sources, like wind and solar, as well as land availability, Africa is only tapping into 0.01% of its wind power potential. Unlocking the potential of wind and solar will also trigger the development of green hydrogen projects in the continent. This will enable the transferring of the benefits of renewables beyond the electricity sector, to achieve a fully decarbonized economy, while enabling energy export capacities.

Uncertainty on wind-enabling frameworks is jeopardizing the full potential that wind can play in accelerating the energy transition while providing clean and competitive energy security. Partnerships, both among public stakeholders as well as between the public and the private sector, can create stability and strengthen the wind energy sector and allow it to contribute to climate crisis mitigation efforts, continue innovating, and provide energy security across the continent.

According to the IEA Africa Energy Outlook report, “Achieving full access to modern energy in Africa by 2030 would require an investment of USD 25 billion per year – equal to around a quarter of total energy investment in Africa prior to the pandemic – but just slightly above 1% of total energy investment globally and comparable to the cost of just one large LNG terminal investment. Almost half of this investment would be in just five countries – DRC, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda.”

When you consider that 46 of Africa’s 54 countries are classed as low-income or lower-middle-income according to the World Bank, it makes sense that for a successful transition to renewable energy to occur, partnerships are the most feasible way forward, as it would be difficult for governments, or the private sector to bear these costs alone.  The role of power pools in Africa and, thus, the collaboration between countries and regions, is essential to unleashing the full potential that wind can bring to combat climate change and bring prosperity based on a decarbonized economy. These partnerships can pave the way for a just energy transition enabling people coming from fossil-fuel-based energy sectors to be re-skilled and secure their rights and livelihoods in the shift to sustainable energy production.

While ambitious global political targets have been set, there is a significant mismatch between stated targets and actual wind capacity installation figures which are substantially lower. By accelerating the approval of wind power plant permits, governments could close the gap between the targets and actual production, improving energy independence and geopolitical stability, while alleviating the pressure that the wind supply chain suffers from due to a lack of projects.

Partnerships between governments and the wind industry are crucial in our fight against the climate crisis. To succeed in a just energy transition, governments must continue to attract international investment, and for that, they need to deliver visible project pipelines for wind energy installations, especially in the MEA region. This means investors require stable and predictable frameworks and a clear implementation pace so that manufacturers and suppliers can load existing factories and plan in advance for new capacities.

This would create greater stability in the industry and increase its ability to hire and upskill teams. While there will be challenges to overcome to ensure a just energy transition, wind power has the distinct ability to deliver sustainably for both people and the planet. By focusing on the development of cohesive and inclusive policies, streamlining permitting schemes, fostering multilateral renewable energy partnerships and trade agreements, and investing in the acceleration of renewable electricity grid construction, African governments can move closer to achieving more than just SDG7. In doing so, they could reap the socio-economic benefits that wind energy offers, while increasing their country’s energy security, and contributing to global efforts to combat climate change.

The COP27 Climate Change Conference taking place in Egypt in November 2022 provides a golden opportunity for global leaders to collaborate on workable solutions that will drive important climate change mitigation. The time to act is now.

 

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