IBM has announced a US$70 million initiative to provide free digital skills training for 25 million African youth over five years, in a bid to create a tech-savvy workforce and nurture innovation on the continent. The “IBM Digital – Nation Africa” initiative will see free skills training provided over a cloud-based platform; offering a range of programmes from basic IT literacy to highly sought-after advanced IT skills including social engagement, digital privacy, and cyber protection. “IBM sees effective, high quality IT education as a key driver of economic vitality in Africa. Through access to open standards, best practices, IBM tools, and course materials, the broad scope of this initiative will enable vital skills development,” says Hamilton Ratshefola, country general manager for IBM South Africa. IBM says it aims to equip 25 million Africans with digital skills over five years through the programme.
Future leaders to emerge from ex-child soldiersFrom HASSAN ONYANGO in Kampala, UgandaKAMPALA, (CAJ News) – IN a volatile region that continues suffering the prevalence of child soldiers, it is critical that stakeholders teach, train and empower the next generation of leaders to build a bright future for themselves and their countries. Years after the demise of Amin’s rule in 1979 after eight years at the helm (he died in 2003), the problem of child soldiers persists in Uganda where armed groups are forcibly recruiting. Sessions at the workshop focused on the development of new enterprises and local economic development, conflict resolution, international law, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), right to education and accountability and the role of the ICC. As they grow in confidence and experience, I feel that I receive more and more from them,” said Whitaker. The Qatar monarch also established PEIC in 2009 to promote and protect the rights to education in areas affected by crisis, conflict and insecurity.
The Big 5 Construct North Africa 2017 extends support to MoroccoMonday, 13 February 2017 07:51Construction, one of the most dynamic and strategic Moroccan sectors, will soon receive a strong impetus. Moroccan companies such as Mall Zellij, Vicaima Africa, Chaoui Bois, Le Comptoir and Patmas Afrique have already announced their participation in The Big 5 Construct North Africa 2017. “The event will facilitate future opportunities for regional and global distribution by welcoming construction stakeholders from around the world to ultimately support Moroccan exports,” Pert added. The Big 5 Construct North Africa will not be an exception,” stated Pert. The educational programme will address some of the most pressing challenges faced by Moroccan construction professionals, from health and safety to sustainability.
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) has continued to play a leading role in supporting African countries to strengthen regional infrastructure connectivity, promote Africa’s integration and industrialization efforts. in 2016 NEPAD-IPPF sustained the provision of grants for project preparation and development for complex, cross-border regional infrastructure projects in energy, transport, ICT and trans-boundary water. In East Africa, NEPAD-IPPF funded the Uganda-Tanzania Refined Oil Products Pipeline Project with oversight from the East African Community Secretariat. Project preparation and development work undertaken by NEPAD-IPPF has had a major impact in generating bankable projects, which have attracted financing for implementation. Under its current Strategic Business Plan (SBP) for the five-year period, 2016-2020, NEPAD-IPPF requires funding of about US $250 million to prepare 80 to 100 regional infrastructure projects expected to generate US $25 billion in infrastructure investments.
MENA (MNN) — The appellate court struck down President Trump’s travel ban from seven countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). SAT-7, a Christian satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, works in 25 countries — including six of the seven countries on Trump’s travel ban. That said, obviously we and they are influenced by what governments do, both our own and other Western powers in the Middle East. It’ll have educational programs for the millions of displaced kids in the Middle East and North Africa who are getting little to no education. Roughly 98 percent of people in the Middle East have access to satellite television.
Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde lauded Morocco for the efforts it undertook to restructure its economy. In an interview with weekly magazine, Jeune Afrique, Lagarde said Morocco is leading successful restructuring of its economy without depending on oil or agricultural commodities. She recalled that the credibility of Morocco’s reform earned it an approval from the IMF of a third liquidity line. The IMF Executive Board commended Moroccan authorities for conducting sound macroeconomic policies and reforms, which strengthened the national economy in the face of external vulnerabilities. On monetary policy, the IMF expressed support for the authorities’ intention to move gradually to a more flexible exchange rate regime and a new monetary policy framework, which will help preserve competitiveness and better insulate the economy against shocks.
In an effort to diversify the visitor source market, Morocco is launching a charm offensive to attract African tourist to the Kingdom with the opening of a branch of Morocco’s tourism promotion office (ONMT) in Senegal’s capital, Dakar. The inauguration of the ONMT office in Dakar took place during the launch of the Moroccan gastronomical week in the Senegalese capital. The office aims at showcasing the kingdom’s tourist attraction to tourists from Senegal and west Africa and to boost ties with tourist operators in the region. Attracting tourists from Africa is part of a diversification strategy adopted by the ONMT. With $5.8 billion in tourism revenues, Morocco stands out as the country with the largest tourism market in Africa.
Youth unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa region is at an "alarming scale" while women's participation in the workforce is low in Arab countries, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Deputy Secretary-General Mari Kiviniemi said, urging governments to change the dynamics. Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai, Kiviniemi outlined the problems facing the region and urged governments to improve the situation for young people and women who she said are "key" for countries to prosper. "We are seeing an alarming scale of youth unemployment, the highest in the world," Kiviniemi said. "Young people express lower levels of trust in government than their parents," Kiviniemi said. "Yet the Arab youth are more educated and connected than ever and represent one of the biggest assets of region."
Qatar Petroleum (QP) said it will lead exploration projects of oil and gas in Morocco and Cyprus as it seeks to compensate for sluggish growth at home by expanding its liquefied natural gas (LNG) assets abroad. “You will see us going internationally with some of the partners we have in Qatar, this year and next year… We are in growth mode,” QP’s chief executive Saad al-Kaabi told reporters at the company’s headquarters in Doha. He added that QP, the world’s largest LNG producer, is looking to expand overseas through joint ventures to make up for the oil slump, which has propelled the company to fire thousands of stuff and earmark a number of assets for divestment. Last August, Qatar Petroleum has taken 30% participating interest from the share of Chevron Morocco Exploration Ltd in three deep-water offshore leases located 200 km to the North West of Agadir’s coast. The offshore lease areas stretch over approximately 29,200 square km with an average water depth ranging from 100 to 4,500 meters.
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Catholic bishops from North Africa urged greater support for church life in their region, where migrants from sub-Saharan Africa now make up a large proportion of Catholic communities. "In North Africa, we are in the heartland where this life-and-death drama is being lived out. Migrants are not just a political issue, but real people," the bishops said. "We emphasize the immense need of migrants to be heard, given the loneliness and interior ordeal so many are living through," said the bishops. In their statement, the bishops said 50-90 percent of Catholic parishes were made up of Africans from the sub-Saharan region to the south.
The latest viral craze to hit African social media is the #CassperNyovestChallenge, also known as the #NyovestChallenge. Sparked by South African rapper Cassper Nyovest posing with his two Bentleys while en route to his hometown Mafikeng in South Africa’s North West Province, it has led to a flood of hilarious memes from users mimicking the rapper. His pose on the cars was inspired by actor Jean-Claude Van Damme’s advert for Volvo, in which he does a split between two Volvo trucks. Check out the funniest ones below:Post your pics and share them with us via @Africa_com.
International tourist arrivals in the African region were highest in sub-Saharan Africa with an average 3% increase from the previous year. Intra Africa travel is relatively popular on the continent; however the majority of visitors traveling to the continent are visitors mainly from North America, Asia and Europe. Intra Africa travel occurs regionally mainly due to the close proximity of countries, and also, visa requirements among regional countries are not as stringent as requirements for nationals outside the specific regional bloc. In South Africa, Africa continues to account for the largest share of arrivals, particularly from Southern African regions. Here are Africa’s Top 10 Travel Destinations that are a must-visit for any avid African traveler:
Former Palestinian Premier Salam Fayyad has been rumoured to replace Martin Kobler at the helm of UN Special Mission in Libya. Fayyad was Palestinian Premier between June 2007 and June 2013. Libya’s internationally recognised parliament House of Representatives (HoR) has lambasted Fayyad’s appointment. HoR member Tariq Geroushi attacked the appointment as violation of Libyan law, similarly rejecting the notion that the appointment of the Secretary-General’s representative to Libya should be the Secretary-General’s own choice, Libya Herald notes. “Nominating a new SRSG in Libya without consulting the constitutional authorities is a violation of Libya’s sovereignty,” he wrote in a tweet.
Eight of the 13 OPEC nations are in the MENA region – Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. OPEC has committed to cut output by 1.2m bbl/day for six months starting January 2017, and freeze production at around 32.5m bbl/day. The country’s economic expansion is expected to weaken further this year to 0.5% as a result of the crude production cut, it said. Reduced global crude production, however, will likely cause energy costs to spike and hurt crude-importing nations in the MENA region, according to FocusEconomics. “An increase in US production could impact an already over-supplied global oil market, with a potential increase in production driving global oil prices lower, impacting GCC government revenues even further,” it said.