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Unstoppable Africa 2023: Shaping a Future of Prosperity and Innovation

Unstoppable Africa 2023 has concluded, leaving a profound mark on the African continent. The two-day Global Africa Business Initiative (GABI) event aims to boost Africa’s standing in the global economy and establish the continent as the foremost destination for business, trade, and investment. This transformative gathering on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly has not only chartered the course for economic growth but has also solidified GABI’s pivotal role as a catalyst for change and progress.

On the second day of the event, Caroline Wanga, CEO of Essence Ventures, emphasized the importance of authentically portraying African narratives. She highlighted that the continent’s rich heritage has traditionally been expressed through its unique storytelling methods. Wanga stated, “In discussing Africa, it’s vital to engage in genuine dialogue. We’ve celebrated our heritage through our distinct method of storytelling, which the world is longing for now more than ever. As the overseer of Essence Ventures and other platforms, I am committed to ensuring our tales are told from a position of strength and authenticity.”

The final day featured a chorus of leading private sector voices. Notably, leaders from the business and media world such as Jeff Wong, EY Global Chief Innovation Officer; Niraj Varia, CEO of iProcure Ventures; Lakeshia Ford, Founder of Ford Communications; Claudia Kwarteng–Lumor, Founder of Kollage Media, producers of GLITZ AFRICA Magazine; Somachi Chris-Asoluka and CEO of The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF). Complementing these luminaries were esteemed figures from government and international organizations, including President Masisi, H.E. Felix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Adebayo Olawale Edun, Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister of the Economy for Nigeria, Joy Basu, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs at the US Department of State.

Also speaking were NBA stars Bismack Biyombo and Gorgui Dieng from the sports world and Senegalese singer Baaba Maal. Assistant Secretary-General Sanda Ojiambo, CEO of the United Nations Global Compact, the entity that coordinates GABI, underlined the critical importance of unleashing Africa’s green potential. Ojiambo’s message stressed the urgent need for businesses to expedite and amplify their efforts toward achieving “just, inclusive, and sustainable growth.”

Assistant Secretary-General Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre extended an invitation to businesses to participate in the ITC SheTrades network. This flagship program for women’s economic empowerment has already made a substantial impact, offering vital support to over 200,000 women entrepreneurs since its inception in 2015. The ITC SheTrades initiative plays a pivotal role in maximizing the boundless opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

With over a thousand attendees, GABI’s influence is gaining momentum across Africa, setting the stage for a future defined by opportunity and sustainable development. The vibrant exchange of ideas, the engaging, thought-provoking discussions, and the connections forged during the event solidify its position as a premier convening for those invested in Africa’s growth and economic future.

UNDP’s Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator, and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa, announced the Timbuktoo initiative, an ambitious movement dedicated to harnessing Africa’s rich heritage of innovation and knowledge. Ms. Eziakonwa stated, “Inspired by the historical heartland of civilization, ‘Timbuktu’ is our commitment to bridge the gap between the burgeoning talent in Africa and global opportunities that await. We envision tearing down barriers that have historically limited Africa’s vast potential, creating a future where the continent’s talent seamlessly connects with global prosperity.”

The event concluded with inspiring remarks from UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed, highlighting the importance of collective action in realizing Africa’s potential and achieving sustainable development. She called for unity and support from the global community and the private sector. She closed by emphasizing that this is just the beginning of a new chapter in Africa’s story, one marked by sustainable economic growth, empowerment, and the realization of the continent’s full potential.

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Unstoppable Africa: Igniting Transformation and Bold Collaborations

Leaders from global business, investment, government, sports, and the arts gathered in New York on Thursday, 21st September to mark the commencement of “Unstoppable Africa”.

The event by the Global Africa Business Initiative (GABI) seeks to elevate Africa’s prominence in the global economy and position the continent as the premier destination for business, trade, and investment.

In a press statement received by African Development Magazine, It was noted that the two-day event is co-convened by the United Nations Deputy Secretary General, Amina J. Mohamed and the Chairperson of the African Union H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. GABI, coordinated by the UN Global Compact, serves as a pivotal forum for Heads of State and Government, CEOs, investors, policymakers, industry experts, and U.N. leaders to discuss and strategize the way forward for Africa’s dynamic business landscape. “Unstoppable Africa” is a powerful affirmation of GABI’s unwavering commitment to redefining Africa’s economic narrative.

Sanda Ojiambo onstage during UNSTOPPABLE AFRICA Presented By Global African Business Initiative New York, USA. Thursday September 22, 2023. Photo Credit : Jennifer

On day one, the flagship event attracted an impressive array of speakers and participants, including the Presidents of Ghana, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Kenya, H.E. William Samoe Ruto, Senegal, H.E Macky Sall, Poland H.E Andrzej Duda and H.E Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados. In addition to government ministers, “Unstoppable Africa” welcomed a who’s who of renowned business titans such as Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese-British businessman and philanthropist, Phumzile Langeni, Deputy Chairman of Imperial Logistics; Non-Executive Director of DP World Group, James Manyika, Senior Vice-President of Research, Technology and Society at Google-Alphabet, and Brad Smith, President of Microsoft among others. Senegalese artist Baaba Maal set the tone for the event with a captivating performance calling for peace and prosperity in Africa while actor Arsema Thomas engaged in an insightful interview conducted by the event’s host Folly Bah Thibault from Al Jazeera English.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres opened the two-day forum making a compelling call for the “delivery of justice” – a theme central to the continent’s sustainable development. The UN Secretary-General stated that “justice means reforming outdated, unfair and dysfunctional global financial systems and ensuring African representation at every multilateral table”.

H.E. Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados emphasized the difference between ambition and meaningful action, in the context of Africa. Recognizing the emerging unity and collaborative efforts across the continent, she highlighted the imperative for accelerated progress in Africa. Her message underscored the urgency for nations to move from plans to concrete actions that catalyze transformative change on the continent.

During a major event announcement, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), announced a transformative partnership with Google, creating a Centre of Excellence for coding in Africa.

Other announcements on the day included The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) commitment to positioning the country high-up in the batteries and electric vehicles value chains, unveiling a new 1,000-hectare space in Kolwezi, with special economic zone status. DRC’s Minister of Industry, H.E. Julien Paluku, appealed to global investors to join these initiatives in addressing climate change while advancing economic growth. Further, President of Ghana, H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo launched Ghana’s Energy Blue Zone Initiative, heralding a major stride in the country’s energy transition and investment plans.

The “Unstoppable Africa” event promises to continue its momentum into the second day, where further thought-provoking discussions, innovative solutions, and collaborative endeavors are set to shape Africa’s role in the global economy. Leaders from various sectors, including business, government, and civil society, will come together to exchange ideas, forge partnerships, and chart a course toward a more prosperous and sustainable future for Africa and the world.

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Investment in Cultural Tourism will Expand Economic Opportunities- Ruto

The Government is keen on promoting cultural tourism to generate more tourism revenues.

President William Ruto said the Government will exploit Kenya’s rich cultural heritage to diversify tourist attractions.

He argued that tourism is no longer just about sights and sounds but also about the people.

He noted that the Government will partner with Counties to support cultural preservation initiatives.

He cited the provision of funds for Maa Cultural Festival which will be celebrated annually.

“Today’s tourist is drawn to authentic cultural experiences; therefore, today’s tourism must meet a higher standard,” he said.

Today’s tourist is drawn to authentic cultural experiences; therefore, today’s tourism must meet a higher standard

He made the remarks on Tuesday during the Maasai Cultural Festival at Sekenanie Gate, Narok County.

He was accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Peninah Malonza (Tourism) and Soipan Tuya (Environment), Governors Patrick ole Ntutu (Narok), Joseph Lenku (Kajiado), and Jonathan Lati Leliliit (Samburu), and a host MPs.

He noted that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation has identified induction of boys ahead of initiation, shaving of morans and meat-eating ceremony that marks entry into adulthood as Intangible Cultural Items.

“I extend my gratitude to the Maasai community for their unwavering commitment to the preservation of Maa traditions and culture. Your resilience has given Kenya a global identity and enriched our nation’s cultural mosaic,” he said.

The President said Government will start ceding 50 percent of revenues from national parks to host communities as part of efforts to transform their lives.

He said the move was aimed at benefiting host communities, through projects aimed at uplifting their lives.

“I have directed that all revenues from our national parks and game reserves should be divided equally between the host counties and the national government,” he said.

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UN Chief of Staff applauds Nigeria on impressive integrated health delivery services

The Chief of Staff to the United Nations Secretary-General (COS), Mr Earle Courtenay Rattray, has applauded Nigeria on impressive integrated health delivery services adopted by the country in delivering essential healthcare services to its citizens.

Mr Rattray also appreciated the commitment of UN staff in serving the course of sustainable development and health security in Nigeria.

The COS made the remark after the expedition on the sideline of his mission to attend the inauguration ceremony of Nigeria’s new President, His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu on 29 May 2023 in Abuja.

The COS conducted field visits within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and engaged with government officials, stakeholders, and frontline health workers to witness first-hand, some interventions by WHO, UNICEF, and other UN agencies to support the Nigerian Government and how these investments are strengthening global health security and pandemic preparedness.

During the tour, he visited the Wupa sewage treatment plant and the Family Health Clinic, where he got valuable insights related to WHO’s funding and technical assistance to capacity building, integrated disease surveillance, outbreak response, delivery of integrated health services and how clients receive a continuum of preventive and curative care according to their needs over time.

While at the WUPA site, Dr Nwachukwu Theresa, the FCT Epidemiologist, informed the COS that, “WHO tremendously contributes to disease surveillance in Nigeria by providing transport logistics, technical and normative guidance, capacity building and training of sample collectors, mentorship, and supportive supervision”.

The goal is zero tolerance against polio and ensuring no child is affected by the disease

Environmental surveillance monitors poliovirus transmission in human populations by examining wastewater/sewage supposedly contaminated by human feces.

The WUPA sewage treatment plant located at the Idu settlement of Abuja Municipal Area Council, is one of three environmental sample sites in FCT.

Demonstrating sewage collection for testing, the plant Manager, Mr Abubakar Lapai, described the operations and functionality of the mimic panel, the process of environmental sample collection, laboratory testing, and chambers (inlet to outlet) for water pre-treatment based on the WHO standards.

Similarly, at the Family Health Clinic, Mr Rattray was given a tour of the various health service delivery units of the facility, which include registry, triage, non-communicable disease screening maternal, new-born, child health, and community management of malnutrition, cold chain, COVID-19 vaccination, routine immunization, health facility surveillance, community audio-visual acute flaccid paralysis detection and reporting (AVADAR).

After the tour, Mr. Rattray says, “I am impressed by the level of disease surveillance. The goal is zero tolerance against polio and ensuring no child is affected by the disease.

The UN is assisting the Government of Nigeria with funding and providing expertise across the UN family. The officials and people I have interacted with at the facilities appreciate the expertise shared by WHO through capacity building and on-the-job training,” he says.

Expatiating on the aim of the excursion, the WHO Representative and Head of Mission in Nigeria, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, says the field visits by the COS were to give him first-hand experience of activities on the field which will generate high-level advocacy towards accelerating health using digital technology innovation and lessons learned during COVID-19 and polio eradication efforts to build on expertise towards the last mile, seen in the soon-to-be-endorsed pandemic treaty.

The FCT won the second runner-up among the North Central States in the Leadership Challenge award for improving primary healthcare services. It was a joint project of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Dangote Foundation, UNICEF, and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.

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Africa Day 2023: ‘Let’s put our resources at risk behind Africa’s young people’ – Adesina

Delegates attending the 2023 African Development Bank Group’s Annual Meetings in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, celebrated Africa Day on Thursday amid hopes for better prospects for the continent and its youth.

The commemoration, which marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the African Union, allowed for retrospection by member countries on how the continent can surmount its challenges toward achieving prosperity.

The Bank’s Secretary General Vincent Nmehielle presided over the event.

The audience included Egyptian government ministers and businesspeople who joined the Bank Group’s governors to celebrate the milestone.

Addressing the event, African Development Bank President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said the occasion must provide the impetus for the continent to rise, challenges notwithstanding.

“Africa should lift itself economically, financially, and politically to surmount every hurdle in its way,” Adesina said, stressing that the continent has abundant resources that, if well-managed, can help move it forward.

“We have great sunshine; we have water… we have 65% of the arable land left to feed 9 billion people worldwide by 2050. We have minerals and metals – 80% of the world’s platinum is in Africa, 50% of the world’s cobalt is in Africa, 40% of the world’s nickel is in Africa,” the Bank chief reiterated.

He said there must be consistent efforts to bolster peace and security to attract foreign investment and expand trade.

He called on political and business leaders to put resources at risk behind Africa’s young people, who he said, are very innovative.

“Africa has young people that can grow bigger than Bill Gates; that can grow bigger than (Mark) Zuckerberg,” Adesina said, adding that the youth’s potential is evident in the fintech industry, which young people dominate.

Adesina cited various human capital support programs being implemented by the Bank to prop up startups. These include its YouthAdapt program, initiated jointly with the Global Center for Adaptation.

African Development Bank’s 2023 Annual meetings delegates celebrate Africa Day in pageantry
 African Development Bank’s 2023 Annual meetings delegates celebrate Africa Day in pageantry

Adesina said the Bank is also setting up youth entrepreneurship investment banks across Africa to support young people’s businesses. “Africa can have youth-based wealth, and to have that youth-based wealth, we need financial institutions around them.”

Africa should lift itself economically, financially, and politically to surmount every hurdle in its way

He mentioned some celebrated African professionals who have excelled abroad in diverse areas, saying the African diaspora is replete with talent that must be attracted to play a role in the continent’s transformation agenda.

In his opening speech, Dr. Albert Muchanga, African Union Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry, and Minerals, paid tribute to African heroes who sacrificed to see the continent progress.

He noted that the continent’s progress over the 60 years has been mixed.

“As we look at the road traveled 60 years ago, we can celebrate some achievements, and one key achievement is continental unity; we can also not deny that there have been setbacks, and one of the key setbacks is unconstitutional changes of government,” Muchanga said.

He said all is not lost, adding that there are high hopes for the new generation to drive the continent’s future. “The youth are the innovators, and they are able to take advantage of emerging technologies.”

He said the AU had instituted schemes across all its departments, including a Junior Professional Program to equip young graduates. It also has a start-up program that complements youth initiatives implemented by partner organizations such as the African Development Bank.

Dr. Muchanga mentioned the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area to foster trade policy harmonization and eventually transform the agreement into a common market that will lead to adopting a single currency union.

The event featured a panel of selected youth entrepreneurs from the continent who shared their experiences about their challenges while seeking financial support for their startups.

Thursday’s celebration showcased rich African culture through music and dance as proceedings were interspersed with traditional and pan-African pop music, drawing attendees, including scores of youth, to the floor.

In an illustration, Egypt’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Ashraf Sobhy, shared the successes of various initiatives implemented by his government to build the capacity of the youth. These include leadership programs involving the youth across the continent in partnership with the African Development Bank and Egypt’s central bank.

Sobhy called for further feasibility studies to assess the needs of the youth to provide the right environment for them to initiate critical projects for the continent’s transformation.

He said the Bank Group’s 2023 Annual Meeting recommendations would be essential to carving a path for the youth, whom he described as “the tree of life for our continent.”

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Will Chat GPT impact critical thinking skills for the youth?

ChatGPT has had more airtime than the world’s most renowned celebrity. Its arrival has sparked questions and concerns that some did not even think to ask, including if it is a threat to our critical thinking skills.

Write this essay. Complete this analysis. Unpack the meaning behind this excerpt. These are all sentences that bring horror to those who do homework – lengthy essays about things that students are not sure they care about, and that many do not see the point in doing in the first place. This homework is not designed to be terrifying; it is designed to ignite the mind and critical thinking; to challenge students to form their own opinions and then using research and cognitive thinking to back them up. Currently, this is being threatened by tools like ChatGPT.

Yet, artificial intelligence (AI) tools are here to stay so instead of seeing it as a threat, it should be seen as an asset, but one that supports cognitive growth and memory function rather than replacing it, says Anna Collard, SVP Content Strategy & Evangelist at KnowBe4 AFRICA.

“Research by George Millar in 1956 found that the average person can only keep around seven items in their working memory,” she explains. “Miller’s Law of seven plus-minus two means up to nine or as little as five items are the limit of a human’s processing abilities. Today, that number has gone down to four ( This research, along with other academic papers and analyses (, points to reduced memory due to an over-reliance on technology also called the Google effect,” explains Collard.

This is a concern, one that has grown increasingly vocal over the past year as educators and researchers have pondered the impact of technology, and now AI, on cognitive behaviour and memory retention. However, it is also balanced by research that has pointed out that actually, human beings have been outsourcing their memory to various materials and solutions for centuries. Paper, parchment, papyrus, and wood are some prime examples. Modern technology is no different. It can be a tool to bolster memory and make it far easier for humans to manage lives that are deluged by information, noise, and digital clutter.

Do not ban it, rather teach students how to use it within practical guidelines and policies that help them to enhance their understanding of AI and this type of tool

“The research goes in both directions, suggesting that technology is both an enabler and an inhibitor of human memory,” says Collard. “This points to the fact that actually, the impact does not lie in using it, but in how it is used or, in the case of ChatGPT, abused. The latter can be a handy tool that supports students in their research and studies, but if it becomes the sole source of information and does all the writing for them, that is where the problems start.”

Nowadays, remembering where you found a fact has become more important than remembering the fact itself. This translates directly into the biggest challenge with ChatGPT – it is vague on its sources and often out of date, which means that it rarely is as accurate as it needs to be.

“ChatGPT uses machine learning to infer information and this introduces inaccuracies,” says Collard. “If you ask ChatGPT what happens if you break a mirror, it replies, ‘ You will have seven years of bad luck’. This is not a fact; it is based on superstition. If users do not constantly check the factual accuracy of ChatGPT, they run the risk of sharing fake news, inaccurate information, and even conspiracy theories.”

The TruthfulQA benchmark test has found that most generative models are only truthful 25% of the time, according to the  2022 Stanford University ( Artificial Intelligence Index Report. This means over-reliance on technology such as ChatGPT is simply going to make the student’s work look stupid. However, that is not enough to stop people from turning to tech when they are tired, overwhelmed or lazy, which means that the best approach is to embrace it.

“Do not ban it, rather teach students how to use it within practical guidelines and policies that help them to enhance their understanding of AI and this type of tool,” concludes Collard. “This will enhance their own critical thinking skills by asking them to question the sources, content, truthfulness, and accuracy of the content that the platform serves up to them, and it will turn the threat into an opportunity.”

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Better migration policies will help boost economic growth, says World Bank

Creating migration policies that are inclusive and developed in a multilateral manner can support economic growth globally, the World Bank says.

This is particularly the case for wealthy and middle-income countries that are coping with ageing populations, as well as lower-income nations that are struggling to create jobs for their youth, the Washington-based lender said in a report on Tuesday.

About 2.5 per cent of the world’s population, or 184 million people — including 37 million refugees — now live outside their country of nationality. The largest share — 43 per cent — live in developing countries.

Populations across the globe are proportionally ageing at an unprecedented pace, making many countries increasingly reliant on migration to realise their long-term growth potential, the multilateral lender said in its World Development Report 2023: Migrants, Refugees, and Societies report.

Wealthy countries as well as a growing number of middle-income countries — traditionally among the main sources of migrants — face diminishing populations, intensifying the global competition for workers and talent.

Meanwhile, most low-income countries are expected to see rapid population growth, putting them under pressure to create more jobs for young people.

“Migration can be a powerful force for prosperity and development,” said World Bank senior managing director Axel van Trotsenburg.

“When it is managed properly, it provides benefits for all people — in origin and destination societies.”

At present, cross-border mobility primarily involves people from developing countries, who make up a large majority of the 295 million people living outside their country of birth, the report said.

Meanwhile, developing countries are also the destination for more than a third of the 260 million economic migrants and more than 85 per cent of the 35 million refugees and asylum seekers worldwide.

Despite the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, some of the long-term drivers of mobility have been strengthening, and they are expected to further intensify in coming decades, the report found.

Diverging demographic trends, stresses caused by climate change, transformational new technologies and rising inequalities within and between countries are among these forces, it said.

Violence and conflict have also led to sudden and large movements, including out of Syria, South Sudan, Myanmar, Venezuela and, most recently, Ukraine.

Better mobility recognises that migrants and refugees are “more than just providers of labour or victims to protect; they are persons with human capital, identities, cultures and preferences”, the report said.

“They are men and women who make often-difficult choices and deserve fair and decent treatment.

“Similarly, destination countries are more than just labour markets or sanctuaries. They are complex societies with diverse and at times conflicting interests, decision-making processes and constituencies,” it added.


The report highlighted four corridors for mobility, including the main one leading to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries — for about 40 million people from high-income countries and about 90 million from middle and low-income nations.

A second set of corridors links developing countries to the GCC countries about 30 million people, mostly from low and middle-income countries in Asia and the Middle East.

Another set of corridors comprises “South-South” movements, covering about 105 million people. These movements typically take place within sub-regions.

The fourth group is composed of refugees fleeing persecution, conflict and violence who are entitled to international protection.

Half of all refugees are children, and many others have been made vulnerable by their experiences. Most refugees are hosted in low or middle-income countries neighbouring their countries of origin, and a growing share lives in protracted situations of exclusion.

The number of refugees has nearly tripled over the past decade, the report said.

The report underscores the urgency of managing migration better.

Current approaches not only fail to maximise the potential development gains of migration, they also cause great suffering for people moving in distress, the World Bank said.

The long-run dynamic benefits of immigration, even though harder to quantify, include productivity spillovers, promotion of entrepreneurship, innovation and enhanced provision of such critical services as education and healthcare
World Development Report 2023: Migrants, Refugees, and Societies

“The goal of policymakers should be to strengthen the match of migrants’ skills with the demand in destination societies while protecting refugees and reducing the need for distressed movements,” it said.

Origin countries should make labour migration an explicit part of their development strategy, the report recommended.

They should lower remittance costs, facilitate knowledge transfers from their diaspora, build skills that are in high demand globally so that citizens can get better jobs if they migrate, mitigate the adverse effects of “brain drain”, protect their nationals while abroad and support them upon return.


Meanwhile, destination countries should encourage migration where the skills they bring are in high demand, help with the inclusion of migrants and address social effects that raise concerns among their citizens.

They should let refugees move, get jobs and access national services wherever they are available, it said.

In the coming decades, the share of working-age adults will drop sharply in many countries. Spain’s population of 47 million is projected to shrink by more than one-third by 2100, with those above age 65 increasing to 39 per cent of the population from the current 20 per cent.

Countries like Mexico, Thailand, Tunisia and Turkey may also soon need more foreign workers because their population is no longer growing.

“Migrants are a source of economic growth and increased efficiency in destination economies, especially over the long term. By easing labour market constraints, they expand the supply and lower the prices of many services and goods,” the report said.

Low-skilled migrants perform many of the jobs that locals are unwilling to take. Highly skilled migrants, such as nurses, engineers, professional athletes and scientists generate local, sectoral and national efficiency spillovers and boost the productivity of their co-workers.

“The long-run dynamic benefits of immigration, even though harder to quantify, include productivity spillovers, promotion of entrepreneurship, innovation and enhanced provision of such critical services as education and health care,” the report said.

International cooperation is essential to make migration a strong force for development, the World Bank said.

“Multilateral efforts are needed to share the costs of refugee-hosting and to address distressed migration,” it said.

“Voices that are underrepresented in the migration debate must be heard. This includes developing countries, the private sector and other stakeholders, and migrants and refugees themselves.”

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Sports News: African Rugby is Big Business, Let’s Stop Pretending it is not- Herbert Mensah

African Rugby needs to respect itself and behave in a “world-class” fashion before it can be respected by the rest of the world.

African sports have been forgotten by the world.

More so, it seems that African sports have been forgotten by Africans. In the world of rugby, in particular, there are countries across the continent that haven’t had active rugby leagues in more than three years!

Nothing is more demonstrative of this sentiment than the very view that World Rugby, the sport’s global governing body, has of African sports. Last year, World Rugby awarded just $2 million to promote the sport across the whole African continent. This is an absurdly small amount for a whole Continent, but what is more telling is the way it undervalues the African continent more than anything else. We see evidence of this when this same organization is willing to award $5 million, or $6 million dollars per year, to a Rugby Europe country while leaving the entire African continent with scraps to promote Rugby to a population of over 1.2 billion.

This fact alone is telling of how little respect is given to African rugby by the world and it is inevitable that we ask ourselves, if that respect shouldn’t first come from us, Africans. We have the same governing bodies that rich Western nations have, the associations, the managers, the boards, the board meetings, but what is it all for if they are mostly populated by “friends of friends in high places” and if they have no monetary support to act on any of the decisions they might take?

We need to remind ourselves of the power and the value of Sports. It is Big Business ergo Rugby, is Big Business!

I’ve dedicated my life to running various businesses in and outside Africa and if there is one thing that drives any business, it is money. We cannot continue to act like African sport is a charity case in need of aid. I profoundly believe in H.E. The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo’s vision of an Africa Post-Aid, and Post-charity!

That is my vision for African rugby, rugby post-aid.

The path to achieving that is no mystery. We all know it, even if most times we are unwilling to admit it. Rugby is Big Business, and it needs to be run like a business. It is that simple. That is the only way there will be capital to promote the sport and make it grow. Capital generates capital. We need to improve our governance track record across the board, get better managers that will drive the business forward, and raise capital to give them the tools to do their jobs right.


The world of rugby sees Africa as one big poor country. This must end.  The diversity of the continent’s nations is manifested equally in its sports cultures. We need to adjust our tactics to the specificities of each market and each region. We need to brand ourselves and promote ourselves to the world, making ourselves worthy of notice and respect. Only then will we be able to demand from global organizations the respect and capital we deserve?

Herbert Amponsah Mensah
Herbert Amponsah Mensah

That starts with changing our practices, with implementing World-standards to what we do, rather than African standards. We have forgotten the positive impact sports, and sports events can generate. Sports competitions are not about entertainment and physical prowess. It is a multi-billion-dollar industry that generates advertising revenue, tourism inflows, infrastructure development, and investment in a myriad of different economic sectors. It promotes social growth, and on top of it, showcases a country to the world. Sports help to elevate nations, drawing the spotlight on a country worthy of investment, worthy of visiting, and worthy of doing business with. Sports actively contribute to elevating a nation’s economic development and the lives of its citizens.

This is the true potential value of Rugby, and the potential value of treating it as the Big Business that it is.

We need to change the way the world looks at African rugby, by changing the way we operate, and showing our value and potential for growth. The change must start with us! We cannot go begging rich countries to borrow money to start generating money. We need to lobby, we need to organize, we need to engage the political leadership of each nation and region to engage the continental institutions that can help finance these developments. We need to engage the African Union, Ecowas, African-owned Banks, African Development Bank, and the like.

Once we have professionalized the world of rugby and managed to finance ourselves within ourselves, then, and only then, can we look at demanding more from World Rugby, from global advertisers and sponsors, competing side-by-side to bring major international competitions to Africa.

Treating Rugby as Big Business is not reinventing the wheel. Understanding that image, perception, and branding, is everything when we want to attract capital and visitors is nothing new, and yet it has never been done for African rugby. This has meant a loss of hundreds of millions of Dollars and the direct and indirect benefits that could positively affect hundreds of millions of people across the continent.

That is the vision that I will bring to Rugby Africa if my candidacy for its presidency is successful.

This is the first time that there is competition in the election for the Presidency of Rugby Africa.

Let’s make things differently, let’s make it count.

Let’s Make Rugby Africa a Big Business, for the benefit of all.


 Herbert Amponsah Mensah is a Ghanaian businessman, sports administrator, and the president of the Ghana Rugby Association operating as the Ghana Rugby Football Union and the Candidate for the presidency of World Rugby’s African association, Rugby Africa




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Herbert Mensah announces candidacy for President of Rugby Africa, promise good representation

Herbert Mensah, sports administrator, and President of the Ghana Rugby Football Union, today announced his candidacy for President of the World Rugby’s African association, Rugby Africa, the governing body of rugby in Africa. Rugby Africa will be electing a new president at the Annual General Meeting to be held in Cape Town on 18 March 2023.

The President will be elected for a period of four years commencing immediately after the results are announced by the executive committee on 18 March 2023. This will also be the first time in the history of Rugby Africa that elections will be contested.

The Nigeria Rugby Football Federation nominated Mensah to run for President. Mensah, a current member of the Africa Rugby Executive Committee, is also an accomplished businessman with many years of experience in the business and sports sectors in Africa.

In 2014, Mensah took the helm at the Ghana Rugby Football Union where he significantly increased awareness around the sport while injecting much enthusiasm for players and officials, as well as encouraging the youth to participate in rugby through numerous initiatives and activities. He was instrumental in spearheading the national team’s qualification to the World Series, after they won the West Africa competition, before moving on to the African championship.

Mensah’s vision is to build a positive and strong brand for Rugby Africa and to make rugby more accessible and visible to all Africans, in particular the youth. He would like to see an increase in continental competitions and greater support of member associations in terms of how they are structured and in the economic development of the sport.

Currently, less than 30 percent of rugby players in Africa are women. Mensah’s strategic plan is to broaden the reach and appeal of rugby, raising the profile and image of women rugby players and officials, while ensuring that all structures further reflect the diversity and inclusion of the sport. He also wants to provide greater cohesion between English and French-speaking countries, both in terms of sport and governance.

Commenting on his candidacy Mensah said, “I am extremely humbled to be nominated to run for President, and I am overwhelmed by the good wishes from my colleagues and peers. I am immensely proud as an African, to be given a chance to represent Africa on a global platform. African rugby has historically not received the recognition it deserves, and I look forward to the opportunity to use this platform to create meaningful change, while promoting a better understanding of the game on the continent, and beyond, and to encourage greater support of rugby across the entire African continent. If elected, my tenure will be one marked with service to Africa Rugby and the rugby and sports fraternity at large on the continent.”

2023 Rugby World Cup will be held in France from September to October. Mensah hopes to use this world-class platform to collaborate with leading international rugby bodies and other associations to raise awareness around African Rugby while gaining much-needed support for the sport. Rugby will be one of the first competitions on show at the Olympic Games Paris 2024, where Mensah hopes to see more representation from African teams in the qualifying events.



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YouTube Partners AFRIMA, Reiterates Support For African Music and Creative Economy

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, global entertainment service YouTube, has entered into a partnership with AFRIMA, to help provide artist-focused educational sessions and live streaming support for the awards.

AFRIMA, which is the pinnacle of recognition for African music globally is poised to ensure that the annual 4-day festival is broadcasted to music lovers and stakeholders across the globe.

Importantly, YouTube will be conducting workshop sessions for African creatives at the Africa Music Business Summit (one of the events at the 8th AFRIMA) to educate on visibility across the global creative ecosystem on a digital platform.

The global streaming service will also be partnering with the All Africa Music Awards on a special incubator programme dubbed, AFRIMA Creative Academy, which aims to empower one million Africans (and in the diaspora) in the music and creative industry in the next five years.

The YouTube link for live streaming will be available on AFRIMA’s YouTube page Subscribe for free to the channel and catch the African Music Business Summit live on Friday, Jan 13, 2023, from 9.00 am-4.30 pm (WAT); while the AFRIMA Music Village will be live later that day from 6.00 pm – Till dawn (WAT). Finally, the 8th AFRIMA main awards ceremony will be streamed live from the Red Carpet- 4.30 pm (WAT), while the main awards will start at 7.30 pm (WAT).

Speaking on the development, the Head of the Culture Division at the African Union Commission (AUC), Angela Martins said, “It is important that we spread our efforts to promote inclusivity and ensure that the world can see the impact of AFRIMA at the global centre stage. It is easier for people to now follow up with the award ceremony via their smartphone or other devices. It is also vital we continue to create more education for creators to help them thrive in their crafts, and we are happy to align with YouTube on achieving this shared vision.”

On his part, AFRIMA’s President and Executive Producer, Mr Mike Dada, lauded the streaming service for their support of the African creative economy.

He said, “We have all seen the rise in circulation of short-form audio-visual content on these services and how they have helped to promote African music and creators on a global scale. We believe that sharing knowledge will be a veritable means to expand the revenue funnel for our creators at home and also boost foreign direct investment. In the spirit of uplifting the African creative ecosystem, we are excited to work with a driven and innovative team like YouTube.”

We have all seen the rise in circulation of short form audio-visual content on these services and how they have helped to promote African music and creators on a global scale

YouTube’s Head of Music Sub-Saharan Africa, Addy Awofisayo said, “YouTube has been consistent in its support for African creatives over the years and has played an essential role in the discovery and development of African music & culture and exporting it to audiences and listeners worldwide, enabling collaborations both locally and globally.

“We are excited for our partnership with AFRIMA and the African Union to deepen our relationship with the music stakeholders on the continent, provide educational support for African creatives, and to help music fans be a part of some of the most iconic music moments  as they unfold live on YouTube, wherever they are around the globe.”

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 and take part in the events on social media platforms (IG/TikTok – @ afrima.official ; Facebook – Afrimawards; Twitter – @afrimaofficial; LinkedIn – AFRIMA). The voting process that determines winners at AFRIMA is audited by a globally renowned auditing firm, Pricewaterhousecoopers (PWC).

As announced at the conference, the delegates are expected to arrive on January 11, 2023. The AFRIMA ceremony is scheduled to kick-start fully on Thursday, January 12, 2023, with a Host Country TourSchool visit and gift presentation (as part of AFRIMA’s Corporate Social Responsibility), as well as a Welcome Soiree in the evening, in Dakar.

The 4-day event continues on Friday January 13, 2023, with the Africa Music Business Summit (AMBS) at the Grand Theatre, in Dakar. The AMBS is Africa’s largest gathering of creative professionals in the music industry and it features workshops and panel discussions on issues and opportunities within the African music industry.

The 8th AFRIMA will continue with high momentum at the  AFRIMA Music Village at the Grand Theatre, which will be a free-to-enter concert featuring live performances from the biggest music stars across the continent.

On the eve of the awards ceremony, on Saturday January 14, 2023, the events will begin with Main rehearsals, Media engagements and a Courtesy Visit to the President of Senegal. There will also be a live recording booth at the venue for musicians across all five regions of the continent, and in the diaspora, to explore for collaborative recordings.  The day’s activities will climax with a Nominees exclusive party.

Finally, the 8th AFRIMA will wrap up on Sunday January 15, 2023, at the 15-000 capacity Dakar Arena, in Dakar, 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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