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It’s abnormal as no business can survive in Nigeria without generators- Akinwumi Adesina

Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), says the lack of reliable power supply is affecting the growth of industries in Nigeria.

Adesina said this on Tuesday while speaking at the 49th annual general meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Abuja. reports

Quoting a report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Adesina said the country loses $29 billion annually, which is about 5.8 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) due to a lack of reliable power supply.

He also added that Nigerians spend $14 billion yearly on generators and fuel.

“Today, no business can survive in Nigeria without generators. Consequently, the abnormal has become normal,” Adesina said.

“Traveling on a road one day in Lagos, I saw an advertisement on a billboard which caught my attention. It was advertising generators, with the bold statement “we are the nation’s number one reliable power supplier!”

Adesina said the manufacturing sector in Nigeria is faced with numerous challenges; chief among them is power supply.

“To be a manufacturer in Nigeria is not an easy business. You succeed not because of the ease of doing business, but by surmounting several constraints that limit industrial manufacturing,” he said.

“Today, the major challenge facing Nigeria’s manufacturing is the very high cost and unreliability of electricity supplies. Load shedding and the inconsistent availability of electrical power have resulted in high and uncompetitive manufacturing costs.”

Noting that Nigeria focuses on the model of import substitution, he lamented that the manufacturing sector represents only three percent of total revenue from exports, but accounts for 50 percent of imports.

He advised the country to create wealth through a greater export market and value diversification.

The AfDB president further said that unless Nigeria decisively tackles its energy deficiency and reliability, its industries will always remain uncompetitive.

“There should be massive investments in variable energy mixes, including gas, hydropower resources, and large scale solar systems to ensure stable baseload power for industries, to direct power preferentially to industries, and to support industrial mini-grids to concentrate power in industrial zones,” he added.

“In addition, we should develop more efficient utilities, reducing technical and non-technical losses in power generation, transmission and distribution systems.”

Adesina explained that the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) presented a huge opportunity for Nigeria to drive an export-driven industrial manufacturing pathway.

He said Nigeria should respect the rule of law for illegal imports not to happen.

“The size of the free trade zone, with a collective GDP of 3.3 trillion dollars, makes it the largest free trade zone in the world by the number of countries,” he said.

“We must be ready to seize the opportunity and become a key player based on our massive potential.”


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Nigerian Press Council urges lawmakers to regulate, license journalists

The Nigerian Press Council (NPC) has asked the house of representatives to enact laws to empower the council licence journalists.

Francis Nwosu, executive secretary of NPC, made the demand on Wednesday when he appeared before the house of representatives committee on information, national orientation, ethics, and values as reported by

Nwosu said this will also enable the council to generate revenue for the federal government and curb unprofessionalism in the industry.

“We appreciate the effort of this committee to help have a good footing in the Nigerian media space. As you can understand, there is no way we can earn any revenue except we have an act to regulate the media industry,” he said.

“Aside from the rooting implementation of credible media space in Nigeria to help the government to check fake news and disinformation in the society, we are also trying for our players to understand the need to draw a line between journalism practice and journalism business.

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Over 60,000 Burundian refugees ready to return home

A convoy carrying 343 Burundian refugees returned to the country from Uganda on Monday. This brings the number of refugees who have voluntarily returned to Burundi this year to more than 60,000. Roughly half of that total have returned from Tanzania, with the rest coming from Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya and, since the beginning of October, from Uganda.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is assisting the returns and has conducted assessments to ensure the decision to return is voluntary, free and informed and that repatriation takes place in safety and dignity. Each week, convoys arrive in Burundi with around 1,500 people.

On arrival at one of five reception centres, returning families are given household items and cash assistance to help them restart their lives. However, more support is needed to achieve sustainable reintegration for the individuals returning as well as for communities in Burundi receiving them. Often the required social and economic infrastructure is lacking.

On arrival at one of five reception centres, returning families are given household items and cash assistance to help them restart their lives

There are many situations of protracted international displacement around the world. Burundi is a rare example in which significant numbers of refugees are returning home. However, without meaningful investment in the return areas to support reintegration, the cycle of displacement could be repeated.

UNHCR is calling for more funding for the 2021 Joint Refugee Return and Reintegration Plan launched at the beginning of the year, which outlines the requirements of 19 humanitarian and development partners to support the returns, sustainable reintegration and community resilience. As an example of our efforts to support communities, UNHCR broke ground last week on Burundi’s first National COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment Centre located in Cankuzo Province, where many refugees are returning in the east of the country.

Of the US$104.3 million, only some 10 per cent of the funding needed to support return and reintegration in Burundi has been committed, despite the increased numbers going home.

Since 2017, when the assisted voluntary return programme began, over 180,000 Burundian refugees have returned home with a notable increase in returns since July 2020 after the country’s national elections.

Nearly 270,000 Burundian refugees remain in exile, generously hosted by Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, DRC, Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, South Africa and Zambia.

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Sudan’s Military takes over government, declares state of emergency

Sudan’s top general declared a state of emergency, dissolved the authorities leading country’s democratic transition, and announced the formation of a new government after soldiers detained civilian leaders Monday in what activists denounced as a “coup”.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s announcement in a televised address came after armed forces detained figures of the government in charge of leading the transition to democracy since the April 2019 ouster of President Omar al-Bashir.

“To rectify the revolution’s course, we have decided to declare a state of emergency nationwide… dissolve the transitional sovereign council, and dissolve the cabinet,” Burhan said.

His statement came as clashes erupted in the capital Khartoum, with soldiers firing live rounds at people who took to the streets to protest against the power grab.

The violence was largely centered outside the army headquarters in the capital hours after soldiers detained Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, ministers in his government, and civilian members of Sudan’s ruling council, the information ministry said.

They were taken away after “refusing to support the coup”, it said on Facebook.

Internet services were cut across the country around dawn and the main roads and bridges into Khartoum shut, before soldiers stormed the headquarters of Sudan’s state broadcaster in the capital’s twin city of Omdurman, the ministry said.

People took to the streets soon after, setting tyres ablaze and piling rows of bricks across roads to block them in protest against the military move, an AFP correspondent reported.

“Military forces have fired live bullets on protesters rejecting the military coup outside the army headquarters,” the information ministry said.

Around a dozen people have so far been wounded in the clashes, according to the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors, an independent medics union.

International concern

The power grab, which comes after weeks of tensions between the military and civilian figures sharing power since Bashir’s ouster, was condemned by the international community.

The European Union called for the release of the civilian leadership and insisted “violence and bloodshed must be avoided”.

“The EU is very concerned about Sudan’s military forces reportedly putting Prime Minister Hamdok under house arrest, as well as detaining other members of the civilian leadership, and we urge for their fast release,” said European Commission spokeswoman Nabila Massrali.

America’s Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman said “the US is deeply alarmed at reports of a military takeover of the transitional government”.

“Any changes to the transitional government by force put at risk US assistance,” he said on Twitter.

The UN described the detentions as “unacceptable”.

“I call on the security forces to immediately release those who have been unlawfully detained or placed under house arrest,” said Volker Perthes, its special representative to Sudan.

The African Union and Arab League also expressed concern.

‘Military coup’

The Sudanese Professionals Association, an umbrella group of trade unions that were key in leading the 2019 anti-Bashir protests, denounced what it called a “military coup” and urged demonstrators “to fiercely resist” it.

The developments come two days after a Sudanese faction calling for a transfer of power to civilian rule warned of a “creeping coup”, at a news conference that was attacked by an unidentified mob.

Bashir, who ruled Sudan with an iron fist for three decades, is behind bars in Khartoum’s high-security Kober prison.

The ex-president is wanted by the International Criminal Court over charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s Darfur region.

Since August 2019, the country has been led by a civilian-military administration tasked with overseeing the transition to full civilian rule.

But the main civilian bloc — the Forces for Freedom and Change — which led the anti-Bashir protests in 2019, has splintered into two opposing factions.

“The crisis at hand is engineered — and is in the shape of a creeping coup,” mainstream FFC leader Yasser Arman told Saturday’s news conference in Khartoum.

“We renew our confidence in the government, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, and reforming transitional institutions — but without dictations or imposition,” Arman added.

Sudan’s bankers’ association and doctors’ union on Monday declared campaigns of “civil disobedience”.

Protesters marched through the streets of Khartoum carrying the Sudanese flag.

“Civilian rule is the people’s choice,” and “No to military rule”, some of them chanted.

“We will not accept military rule and we are ready to give our lives for the democratic transition in Sudan,” said demonstrator Haitham Mohamed.

“We will not leave the streets until the civilian government is back and the transition is back,” said Sawsan Bashir, another protester.


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Jacksonite PD to hold seminar for media practitioners, communication experts on November 10, 2021

Jacksonites Professional Development Series (JPDS), has announced that it will be organizing a seminar focusing on how communication professionals can better respond to crisis in the social media and internet age where information spreads rapidly and widely with the potential to cause massive damage to an organization’s image.

This was contained in a press release by organisers and received by African Development Magazine (ADM), the statement read in parts that the discussion will be on crisis communication, points to paths for effective response in the internet age.

The seminar titled Crisis Survival in Today’s Viral World: The Communications Conundrum will be hosted on Zoom ( ) and will hold on November 10, 2021, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. (GMT +), with hundreds of participants from the academia and communications industry expected to tune in to follow robust discussions led by an experienced speaker.

“The tendency for information to go viral is both an opportunity and a challenge for communication professionals and presentation from our widely experienced speaker will provide  participants with the knowledge and skills to be able to anticipate, prepare, respond, and stave off crisis so as to  reduce untold harm on clients,” said Chinedu Mba,

The Steering Committee Chair of Jacksonites Professional Development Series (JPDS), an initiative of the alumni of the University of Nigeria’s Department of Mass Communication, Obi Emekekwue. President of DelReeve Konsult Limited, which provides Africa-focused strategic communications and business advisory services, will lead discussions in the seminar.

Emekekwue will bring his extensive experience in corporate strategic communications, media, public relations, international civil service, and event management to the session to spark vital discussions around the topic.

“In today’s internet and social media-driven environment, the impact of a crisis can go viral within a very short time, greatly magnifying the damage; it is, therefore, important to communicate effectively in order to minimize negative consequences,” said Emekekwue,

 Obi Emekekwue was recently the Director and Global Head of Communications and Events Management at the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).

A 1982 graduate of the Department of Mass Communication of UNN, he holds a Master’s in International Relations and a postgraduate diploma in International Law and Diplomacy from St. John’s University, New York. He is also a graduate of the Executive Education programs of Harvard and IMD Business Schools.

Among other expected to join the event are; Marcel Mbamalu (Ph.D.), the Editor-in-Chief/Publisher of Prime Business Africa, an online newspaper platform poised to change the digital journalism space, will moderate the seminar.

Mbamalu holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Masters’s in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos (UNILAG), and a doctorate degree in Journalism from UNN.








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Humanitarian Partners, UNMISS, and Government Representatives Attend Joyous UN Day Event

United Nations Day in Juba, South Sudan, wasn’t a typical celebration this year. It was a heartfelt coming together of UN personnel, government representatives, civil society organizations after a year that saw this young nation grappling with subnational violence and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conversations, cultural performances, and catchy beats ensured that this sunlit day was exactly what it was supposed to be—a festivity shared by all stakeholders who have built partnerships for peace and development to enable South Sudanese communities to shape a brighter future for themselves.

Addressing the event, Vice President Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior, Gender and Youth Cluster spoke eloquently of the ongoing support given by the UN as South Sudan starts drafting a permanent constitution, aiming to usher in a new era of democracy, development, and durable peace.

On this special day – United Nations Day – let’s seize this opportunity to redouble our efforts to support South Sudanese in rebuilding the peaceful and prosperous future

“Ten years ago, when our flag was raised in the UN it was a joyous time, even more than when we raised the flag here in Juba. To become a member of the global community is very important and a beautiful thing,” she said. “We, as South Sudanese, often create our own problems; we kill ourselves, we harm ourselves. It is time now that we make things right and open a new page.”

The Vice President thanked the UN for its consistent support to all communities across the country, by protecting civilians and saving lives through humanitarian assistance. “In 2013, everything went wrong in our country and for those scars to be fully healed, we need patience. Most importantly, we need to engage young people in developing their country,” she stated.

For his part, Guang Cong, the UNMISS Deputy Special Representative-Political (DSRSG), commended South Sudan for taking concrete steps towards building a sustained peace, including the reconstitution of the Parliament, the historic appointment of the first female Speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly, the drafting of a bill on the constitution-making process, and efforts to progress economic reforms.

He assured national counterparts that the UN family here remains committed to the ideals of peace, unity and development.

“On this special day – United Nations Day – let’s seize this opportunity to redouble our efforts to support South Sudanese in rebuilding the peaceful and prosperous future they deserve,” averred the DSRSG.

The event concluded with a rousing peace song performed by popular local singer, WJ Deking, which had the attendees on their feet, cheering and swaying to the rhythm.

UN Day is annually commemorated on 24 October.


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Benin Lawmakers votes to legalise abortion

Benin has become one of the few countries in Africa to authorize abortions after parliamentarians voted on a law that has divided public opinion in the coastal nation.

Abortions were previously authorized in the country if pursing the pregnancy “threatened the life of the mother”, was “the result of a rape or incest” or when “the unborn child has a particularly severe affection”.

After a heated debate in parliament late on Wednesday, with some lawmakers strongly opposed to legalising abortion further, the amendment finally passed.

Several countries in Africa have total bans on abortion, including Congo-Brazzaville, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal.

In Benin, “nearly 200 women die each year as the result of abortion complications,” said health minister Benjamin Hounkpatin in a statement Thursday.

“This measure will be a relief for many women who face undesired pregnancies, and are forced to put their lives in danger with botched abortions,” he added.

The minister said that complications from abortions were the cause of 20 percent of maternal deaths in the country.

“It is because of this public health threat that the government has taken its responsibilities by submitting a text that lawmakers have passed,” said Hounkpatin.

He said the new measure’s “unique goal” was to “save human lives” and that “voluntary termination of pregnancies will remain a last resort”.

The influential Episcopal Conference of Benin said it was “highly preoccupied with the proposed law to legalise abortions”.

“Abortion not only destroys the life of the foetus but also that of the mother, in many aspects,” the religious group said in a statement, adding that “honest and reliable alternatives” exist.

Opinions were divided after the vote.

Feminist activist Faustine Adjagba, 35, said it was a good move.

“We have to let women choose freely whether or not to have a child,” she said.

“And we have to protect women from all these charlatans and fake abortion providers that flourish in our towns and villages.”

But Alphonsine Goudalo, 41, who heads a non-profit organisation, said she was outraged and “very disappointed that an entire parliament came to such a conclusion”.

“Our religious leaders should step up and force lawmakers to change their vote,” she said.

Abortion laws vary wildly around the world, but only a minority of countries have outright bans.

Women from Europe, North America, and Oceania benefit from the most liberal legislation, in some cases acquired only recently.

On Wednesday, El Salvador’s Congress voted to uphold the country’s complete abortion ban, even on terminations in exceptional circumstances.

New Zealand only decriminalized abortion in March 2020. Up to then, it was punishable with a 14-year prison term.

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Top 26 Young Entrepreneurs in Africa Selected for New Three-Year Anzisha Prize Fellowships

The Anzisha Prize ( has revealed its top 26 entrepreneurs for 2021. The entrepreneurs, who are between the ages of 18 and 22, will each receive more than US$5,000 in funding and more than US$15,000 worth of venture building support services over three years, which are aligned with the prestigious fellowship’s new structure of enabling young people to receive the financial and mentoring support they need to succeed.

“We’ve seen clearly that a transition from secondary or tertiary education directly into sustainable entrepreneurship requires both financial and learning support,” comments Josh Adler, Executive Director of the Anzisha Prize. “Through our long-term partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, we’re thrilled to not only announce an increase in the number of fellowships we can offer each year but also in the monetary support each venture will receive.”

The 2021 Anzisha Fellows were selected from hundreds of applications across Africa and passed multiple stages of vetting and evaluation. Applicants were from countries such as Mali, Togo, South Africa, and Madagascar and running businesses in education, health, agriculture, manufacturing, energy, and beauty. These young Africans are demonstrating how it’s possible to pursue entrepreneurship as a career in the face of the pandemic.

Increased support for the top 26 entrepreneurs

In selecting 26 fellows this year, the annual Anzisha Prize fellowship has more than doubled in size since its first selection process, which included 12 innovative, young, African entrepreneurs in 2011. In that time, Anzisha’s venture-building support team has worked closely with over 150 early-age entrepreneurs in over 30 African countries. We have developed a pioneering approach to coaching, skills development, and business support that has now been packaged into a three-year learning journey.

“Our fellowship offering has essentially been reframed as an alternative or accompaniment to university education for entrepreneurs in this age group,” adds Adler. “The grand prizes, which recognized achievement prior to selection as a fellow, will now recognize excellence from young entrepreneurs who role model job creation, venture growth, storytelling, and process improvements during their fellowship.”

The selected top 26 entrepreneurs represent 17 countries with 30% being Francophone. They include Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Mali, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Nigeria has the largest cohort with four in the top 26. Young women are well represented, making up 10 of the 26 entrepreneurs.

“Young African entrepreneurs have continuously shown that they can rise to the challenge when given an opportunity. And what a challenging 19 months it has been for our world. Yet the caliber of innovators we consistently see apply to this program, proving that the rebuilding and reimagining of economies can be entrusted to young people. We are committed to supporting the growth of the Anzisha Prize and betting on the potential of young entrepreneurs to drive transformation,” says Philip Cotton, Director of Human Capital Development at the Mastercard Foundation.

After the selection process, the entrepreneurs will participate in a virtual induction boot camp for 10 days where they will engage with business leaders and past winners of the prize. The boot camp will prepare them for what lies ahead over the next three years.

To find out more about how the top 26 were selected this year, watch The Quest ( – a four-part series that follows the Anzisha Prize team and their search for Africa’s youngest, most exciting entrepreneurs.

Anzisha Prize applications for the 2022 cohort of young business owners open on 20 October 2021. Eligible entrepreneurs are advised to download the application guide or apply for the prize at

The 2021 Anzisha Prize Fellows are:

Constant Ayihounoun, Benin, 21 – Constant is the founder of Agreco Sarl, a company that produces organic fertilizers and pesticides. Link to full profile here (

Sergio Tabe Ashu, Cameroon, 21 – Sergio is the founder of Excel Academy, which provides private home tutoring services to K-12 students and national exam preparatory classes for senior secondary school students. Link to full profile here (

Hebrey Issa Abraham, Cameroon, 21 – Hebrey is the founder of DATA, which produces and sells vegetables. Link to full profile here (

Krys Elfried Digbehi, Côte D’Ivoire, 18 – Krys is the founder of Yeyiba Restaurants. The venture cooks and sells African and European dishes to local colleges, high schools, and universities. Link to full profile here (

Victoire Bakunzi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), 21 – Victoire is the founder of Basuyi business that produces African-style jackets and tunics. Link to full profile here (

Oumar Diogo Sow, Guinea, 22 – Oumar is the founder of Felian Trading Limited. The business cultivates rice and cassava. Link to full profile here (

Martin Sure Ondiwa, Kenya, 21 – Martin is the founder of Green farms, a company that produces and sells fresh fruits to consumers and vendors. Link to full profile here (

Tsantatiana Fideranaharilala Rakotoarimanga, Madagascar, 22 – Tsantatiana is the founder of Dream Study Agency. The agency helps students in Madagascar apply to universities abroad. Link to full profile here (

Our fellowship offering has essentially been reframed as an alternative or accompaniment to university education for entrepreneurs in this age group

Mahefarivo Thierry Andrianarinoa, Madagascar, 21 – Mahefarivo and two of his friends founded Coufé Madagascar. Coufé is a fashion brand that specializes in embroidered, customizable t-shirts that are handmade by women detained in prison. Link to full profile here (

Martin Masiya, Malawi, 21 – Martin is the founder of Sollys Energy, which distributes solar lamps and solar lanterns using a Pay-As-You-Go model for customers in semi-urban and rural areas. Link to full profile here (

Adama Kanté, Mali, 22 – Adama is the founder of Food Sante, which is a production and processing company for agrifood products. Link to full profile here (

Ali Ould Mohamed, Mali, 18 – Ali is the founder of Créa-Couture, a clothing company that sells a variety of products such as pants, skirts, shirts, and suits for men and women. Link to full profile here (

Renata Silva, Namibia, 19  Renata is the founder of RS Clothing Brand, which sells trendy clothes to young people between the ages of 15-25. Link to full profile here (

Eneyi Oshi, Nigeria, 19 – Eneyi is the founder of Maatalous Nasah. The business farms chickens, fish, and eggs to sell to urban dwellers through an e-commerce web application called Farmisphere. Link to full profile here (

Esther Akin-Ajayi, Nigeria, 19 – Esther is the founder of Jemai Interiors, which sells furniture pieces and architectural materials. They also render interior designs and offer 3D visualization services to other architectural companies and individuals. Link to full profile here (

Oluwadamilola Akinosun, Nigeria, 22 – Damilola is one of the founders of Grant Master, an online marketplace that connects ambitious organizations that are in need of debt-free and equity-free funding. The organizations in need are connected with grant writers. Link to full profile here (

Grace Okezie, Nigeria, 22 – Grace is the founder of Royal Graced Baking Company, which bakes and sells healthy snacks and foods to customers. Link to full profile here (

Rebecca Samuella Kalokoh, Sierra Leone, 20 – Rebecca is the founder of Grace Venture Natural Products, which extracts oils from seeds, herbs, and fruits to produce natural cosmetics that are sold in the local markets of Sierra Leone. Link to full profile here (

Amadu Deen Bah, Sierra Leone, 21 – Amadu is the founder of Caballay Investment, which produces paper bags and bags for packaging that are sold to local businesses. Link to full profile here (

Masello Mokhoro, South Africa, 22 – Masello is the founder of Starlicious Enterprises. She grows day-old broiler chicks and pigs and sells them to individuals in her community. Link to full profile here (

Doroles Mihanjo, Tanzania, 20 – Dolores is the founder of Maktaba. The business sells educational documents such as past papers, notes, and online content books to parents, schools, and teachers. Link to full profile here (

Rebecca Taboukouna, Togo, 22 – Rebecca is the founder of RBK Pearls, which manufactures and sells beaded accessories. Link to full profile here (

Jovia Nassuna Kintu, Uganda, 21 – Jovia manufactures and sells affordable organic shampoo, conditioner, and other hair products. She founded Kia Cosmetics to provide women with an alternative to haircare products containing chemical additives. Link to full profile here (

Viola Kataike, Uganda, 21 – Viola founded her venture in 2020 to impact the lives of refugee communities. A Hand for a Refugee trains members of Kyangwali refugee camp in growing and harvesting passion fruit. Link to full profile here (

Munyaradzi Makosa, Zimbabwe, 21 – Munyaradzi Makosa is the founder of Farmhut Africa, an online marketplace designed to connect farmers in rural Zimbabwe directly to the market. Link to full profile here (

Tafadzwa Chikwereti, Zimbabwe, 21 – Tafadzwa launched Murimi Electronic Agriculture using artificial intelligence and machine learning. The business helps financial institutions to process loans faster, and farmers to ascertain their financial health. Link to full profile here (

For more information on the Anzisha Prize, or to apply or nominate an entrepreneur, please visit the Anzisha Prize website:

➢ Website:

➢ Website:

➢ Facebook:

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Sports News: Saheed Osupa, Small Doctor Light-Up Ekiti For ODEP Inter LG Tourney Final

Top Fuji Star, Saheed Osupa and hip-pop sensation, Small Doctor will be on the bandstand at Oluyemi Kayode Stadium Ado Ekiti to entertain the soccer fans during the closing ceremony and final match of the ODEP Inter Local Government Soccer Tournament.

The cup final is scheduled for Friday 22nd of October, according to Olanrewaju Agiri who is coordinating the tournament will also witness a novelty match between the football legends and the ODEP Team as the donor of the cup; Otunba Demola Popoola will lead his team against ex-football stars from the south/west.

Chief Segun Odegbami will lead the football legends that comprise Dr. Felix Owolabi, Idowu Otubusen who was popularly known as Slow-poison during his playing days, Chief Zion Ogunfeyimin, former Eagles and Shooting Stars goalkeeper, Dimeji Lawal, Peter Rufai, Ike Shorumun, Mutiu Adepoju, Duke Udi others.

Speaking ahead of the cup final, Otunba Demola Popoola said he is using football as a popular sport among our youths to invest in the lives of the Ekiti Youths, while not forgetting our heroes that had done the nation proud in the round leather game because it is of importance to celebrate soccer legend while alive than spending millions posthumously, as dinner will be held in honour of the ex-football stars after the final match.

Agbana Football Academy from Ikole Ekiti will battle Salem City FC from Oye Ekiti local government for the top prizes on Friday while Shadrack FC from Emure local government will trade tackles with Ifaki United from Ido-Osi local government for the third prize.

A fifty million youth empowerment scheme initiated by the cup donor who has signified interest to via for Ekiti State Governorship under APC will also be shared with the beneficiaries during the event according to Otunba Popoola.

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‘I see change in the lives of the people’: King Letsie III of Lesotho commends FAO work in Lesotho

His Majesty King Letsie III of Lesotho, FAO Special Goodwill Ambassador for Nutrition, toured several project sites in Lesotho’s Mafeteng and Thaba-Tseka districts where the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is implementing activities to restore ecosystem services and improve food and nutrition security.

“I am happy with the work of FAO in the communities. I see a change in the lives of the people where the project was implemented, and the testimonies from the farmers themselves are a confirmation. Better nutrition has improved relations in households. I wish the achievements of the project could spread to the whole country,” King Letsie III said. “I am proud to have a special relationship with FAO”

The project “Strengthening Capacity for Climate Change Adaptation through Support to Integrated Watershed Management in Lesotho” was funded by the Global Environment Fund (GEF) through the Least Developed Countries Fund.

The project has strengthened climate change adaptation through improved watershed management. Implemented since 2015, it has promoted the protection of land and water resources through an integrated approach and strengthened and diversified the livelihoods of the most vulnerable people so that they can better respond to climate change impacts.

It has benefited local communities in the most vulnerable livelihood zones by rehabilitating their rangelands and water sources and making them realize notable and progressive improvement in their production systems, especially in homestead vegetable production. As a result, communities produce enough fodder and have access to water both for their livestock and household use. Nutrition has improved, and they have been supported to engage in other income-generating activities to diversify their livelihoods.

During the visit, King Letsie III inaugurated water storage reservoirs and animal drinking points constructed under the project to facilitate access to water for communities and their livestock owners. He commended FAO work in improving the lives of the communities and urged the communities to sustain the gains.

Availing water to reduce vulnerability

I see change in the lives of the people where the project was implemented, and the testimonies from the farmers themselves is a confirmation

Lesotho faces fragile and substantially degraded soils and disappearing vegetation. Farmers rely on rainfall for food production and for their livestock. FAO built infrastructure to help vulnerable communities access to water through simple and appropriate water harvesting technologies such as groundwater dams, roof water tanks, earth dams, and animal drinking points.

The farmers now have access to water to grow fodder for their livestock which has improved productivity.

“Conserving the rangelands has helped water recharge, and catchments have enough water for livestock and households. We now have healthy springs. We were trained to manage the rangeland including removing invasive shrubs that outcompeted the growth of desirable and palatable grass species,” said Serobanyane Matete, Linakeng village Chief in Thaba-Tseka.

Better nutrition for healthy households

The benefiting households received chicken, rabbits, pigs, and assorted vegetable varieties to improve the household’s dietary composition.

“We were trained to grow diverse varieties of vegetables in keyhole gardens and under shade, net covers all year round. Our families now eat a balanced diet – eggs, meat, and vegetables. Conflict in households has reduced drastically,” said ‘Mamokeretla Sebeta of Matlatseng village in Thaba-Tseka. “Our husbands and youth no longer want to move to urban areas to look for work because the project introduced us to income-generating activities that are more profitable,” she added.

In a bid to reduce the burden on the environment, farmers were equipped with skills to engage in other income-generating activities such as beekeeping. Beekeepers received essential equipment used in their work such as beehives, protective gear, a swarm catcher with a telescopic handle, bee smokers, draining sieves, a bee brush, and honey extractors.

The project also strengthened the technical capacity of national and district-level staff and institutions on sustainable land and water management and climate-resilient livelihood strategies.

The 4-year project worked with partners in the country including the Ministry of Forestry, Range and Soil Conservation, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Ministry of Energy and Meteorology, Ministry of Water Affairs, Ministry of Local Government, and Chieftainship, Department of Environment, and the National University of Lesotho.

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