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  •  Russian forces reached the outskirts of Kiev on Friday as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said invading troops were attacking civilians and explosions could be heard in the besieged capital The predawn explosions in Kiev set off a second day of violence after Russian President Vladimir Putin defied Western warnings to unleash a large scale ground invasion and airstrike on Thursday that quickly claimed dozens of lives and displaced the less than 100 000 people The United States and its allies responded with a barrage of sanctions but Russian forces looked to press their advantage after a series of key strategic victories on day one Dreadful Russian rocket attacks in Kiev Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba posted on Twitter after the initial explosions were heard in the capital on Friday morning The last time our capital experienced something like this was in 1941 when it was attacked by Nazi Germany Ukraine defeated that evil and will defeat this one Zelensky then delivered a video message criticizing Russian troops They say civilian property is not a target for them But this is another lie from them They don t really distinguish between the areas in which they operate Zelensky said Ukrainian air defense systems are defending our skies he said Ukrainians are showing heroism At least 137 heroes were killed during the first day of fighting Zelensky said Thursday as he called for conscripts and reservists across the country Zelensky said there was now a new iron curtain between Russia and the rest of the world adding in a later speech that his nation had been left alone Who is ready to fight alongside us I do not see anyone And as the United States moved to impose sanctions on Russian elites and banks it emphasized that US forces would not fight in Ukraine NATO said it had activated defense plans for allied countries But NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said there was no plan to send alliance forces to Ukraine War in Europe Among the highest profile strategic developments on Thursday Ukraine said Russian forces had seized the Chernobyl nuclear power plant sparking concern from international nuclear watchdogs Zelensky called the attack on Chernobyl a declaration of war on all of Europe while 18 people were killed at a military base near the Black Sea port of Odessa in the deadliest single attack reported by Kiev Witnesses also told AFP that Russian paratroopers took control of the strategic Gostomel airfield on the northwestern outskirts of Kiev The helicopters arrived and then the battles began They were firing machine guns grenade launchers said resident Sergiy Storozhuk Russian ground forces had initially moved into Ukraine from the north south and east forcing many Ukrainians to flee their homes as the sound of shelling rang out Moscow s Defense Ministry said Thursday that its forces had successfully completed their objectives for the day earlier claiming to have destroyed more than 70 Ukrainian military targets including 11 airfields Western intelligence confirmed that Moscow had established complete air superiority over Ukraine Ukrainian forces said they had killed around 50 Russian occupiers while fending off an attack on a town on the front line with Moscow backed rebels which could not be immediately confirmed by AFP Ukraine also said a military plane with 14 people on board had crashed south of Kiev and authorities are still determining how many people were killed while a transport plane crashed in Russia killing the crew Olena Kurilo was among 20 people injured by flying glass shards after an explosion in the eastern Ukrainian city of Chugiv I will never under any conditions submit to Putin It is better to die said the 52 year old teacher her face covered in bandages In the Ukrainian village of Starognativka near the front lines where separatists have clashed with Kiev s forces official Vladimir Vesyelkin said missiles had rained down since Friday morning and there was no electricity They are trying to wipe the town off the face of the earth he said sanctionsWeeks of diplomacy failed to deter Putin who massed more than 150 000 troops on Ukraine s borders in what the West said was Europe s largest military buildup since World War II Western allies initially imposed some sanctions on Russia in an effort to deter Putin and then on Thursday vowed to hit Russia hard economically US President Joe Biden announced export controls against Russia to cut off more than half of the country s high tech imports along with sanctions on Russian elites he called corrupt billionaires and banks He will meet with other NATO leaders in an extraordinary virtual summit on Friday to discuss the security situation in and around Ukraine later The EU moved to impose massive sanctions on Russia s energy and finance sectors while French President Emmanuel Macron called on Putin to demand an immediate end to the offensive but said the door must be held open for dialogue The fight spooked global financial markets with stocks falling and oil prices rising above 100 IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said the unrest carries a significant economic risk to the world but Putin insisted he was not seeking to undermine the global economic system Demonstrations across EuropeIn a televised speech the Russian president justified the assault as a defense of the self proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics in eastern Ukraine The Kremlin said earlier that the leaders of the two breakaway territories had asked Moscow for military help against Kiev after Putin recognized their independence on Monday A conflict between separatists and government forces has dragged on since 2014 killing more than 14 000 people on both sides Russia has also long demanded that Ukraine be barred from joining NATO and that US troops be withdrawn from Eastern Europe Protesters took to the streets of European capitals to condemn the Kremlin but a small anti war protest in Moscow was quickly stopped by police with more than 1 700 people arrested at demonstrations across Russia Source Credit TheGuardian
    Invading Russian forces press deep into Ukraine
     Russian forces reached the outskirts of Kiev on Friday as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said invading troops were attacking civilians and explosions could be heard in the besieged capital The predawn explosions in Kiev set off a second day of violence after Russian President Vladimir Putin defied Western warnings to unleash a large scale ground invasion and airstrike on Thursday that quickly claimed dozens of lives and displaced the less than 100 000 people The United States and its allies responded with a barrage of sanctions but Russian forces looked to press their advantage after a series of key strategic victories on day one Dreadful Russian rocket attacks in Kiev Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba posted on Twitter after the initial explosions were heard in the capital on Friday morning The last time our capital experienced something like this was in 1941 when it was attacked by Nazi Germany Ukraine defeated that evil and will defeat this one Zelensky then delivered a video message criticizing Russian troops They say civilian property is not a target for them But this is another lie from them They don t really distinguish between the areas in which they operate Zelensky said Ukrainian air defense systems are defending our skies he said Ukrainians are showing heroism At least 137 heroes were killed during the first day of fighting Zelensky said Thursday as he called for conscripts and reservists across the country Zelensky said there was now a new iron curtain between Russia and the rest of the world adding in a later speech that his nation had been left alone Who is ready to fight alongside us I do not see anyone And as the United States moved to impose sanctions on Russian elites and banks it emphasized that US forces would not fight in Ukraine NATO said it had activated defense plans for allied countries But NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said there was no plan to send alliance forces to Ukraine War in Europe Among the highest profile strategic developments on Thursday Ukraine said Russian forces had seized the Chernobyl nuclear power plant sparking concern from international nuclear watchdogs Zelensky called the attack on Chernobyl a declaration of war on all of Europe while 18 people were killed at a military base near the Black Sea port of Odessa in the deadliest single attack reported by Kiev Witnesses also told AFP that Russian paratroopers took control of the strategic Gostomel airfield on the northwestern outskirts of Kiev The helicopters arrived and then the battles began They were firing machine guns grenade launchers said resident Sergiy Storozhuk Russian ground forces had initially moved into Ukraine from the north south and east forcing many Ukrainians to flee their homes as the sound of shelling rang out Moscow s Defense Ministry said Thursday that its forces had successfully completed their objectives for the day earlier claiming to have destroyed more than 70 Ukrainian military targets including 11 airfields Western intelligence confirmed that Moscow had established complete air superiority over Ukraine Ukrainian forces said they had killed around 50 Russian occupiers while fending off an attack on a town on the front line with Moscow backed rebels which could not be immediately confirmed by AFP Ukraine also said a military plane with 14 people on board had crashed south of Kiev and authorities are still determining how many people were killed while a transport plane crashed in Russia killing the crew Olena Kurilo was among 20 people injured by flying glass shards after an explosion in the eastern Ukrainian city of Chugiv I will never under any conditions submit to Putin It is better to die said the 52 year old teacher her face covered in bandages In the Ukrainian village of Starognativka near the front lines where separatists have clashed with Kiev s forces official Vladimir Vesyelkin said missiles had rained down since Friday morning and there was no electricity They are trying to wipe the town off the face of the earth he said sanctionsWeeks of diplomacy failed to deter Putin who massed more than 150 000 troops on Ukraine s borders in what the West said was Europe s largest military buildup since World War II Western allies initially imposed some sanctions on Russia in an effort to deter Putin and then on Thursday vowed to hit Russia hard economically US President Joe Biden announced export controls against Russia to cut off more than half of the country s high tech imports along with sanctions on Russian elites he called corrupt billionaires and banks He will meet with other NATO leaders in an extraordinary virtual summit on Friday to discuss the security situation in and around Ukraine later The EU moved to impose massive sanctions on Russia s energy and finance sectors while French President Emmanuel Macron called on Putin to demand an immediate end to the offensive but said the door must be held open for dialogue The fight spooked global financial markets with stocks falling and oil prices rising above 100 IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said the unrest carries a significant economic risk to the world but Putin insisted he was not seeking to undermine the global economic system Demonstrations across EuropeIn a televised speech the Russian president justified the assault as a defense of the self proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics in eastern Ukraine The Kremlin said earlier that the leaders of the two breakaway territories had asked Moscow for military help against Kiev after Putin recognized their independence on Monday A conflict between separatists and government forces has dragged on since 2014 killing more than 14 000 people on both sides Russia has also long demanded that Ukraine be barred from joining NATO and that US troops be withdrawn from Eastern Europe Protesters took to the streets of European capitals to condemn the Kremlin but a small anti war protest in Moscow was quickly stopped by police with more than 1 700 people arrested at demonstrations across Russia Source Credit TheGuardian
    Invading Russian forces press deep into Ukraine
    Foreign11 months ago

    Invading Russian forces press deep into Ukraine

    Russian forces reached the outskirts of Kiev on Friday as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said invading troops were attacking civilians and explosions could be heard in the besieged capital.

    The predawn explosions in Kiev set off a second day of violence after Russian President Vladimir Putin defied Western warnings to unleash a large-scale ground invasion and airstrike on Thursday that quickly claimed dozens of lives and displaced the less than 100,000 people.

    The United States and its allies responded with a barrage of sanctions, but Russian forces looked to press their advantage after a series of key strategic victories on day one.

    “Dreadful Russian rocket attacks in Kiev,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba posted on Twitter after the initial explosions were heard in the capital on Friday morning.

    “The last time our capital experienced something like this was in 1941 when it was attacked by Nazi Germany. Ukraine defeated that evil and will defeat this one.”

    Zelensky then delivered a video message criticizing Russian troops.

    “They say civilian property is not a target for them. But this is another lie from them. They don't really distinguish between the areas in which they operate,” Zelensky said.

    "Ukrainian air defense systems are defending our skies," he said. "Ukrainians are showing heroism."

    At least 137 "heroes" were killed during the first day of fighting, Zelensky said Thursday, as he called for conscripts and reservists across the country.

    Zelensky said there was now a "new iron curtain" between Russia and the rest of the world, adding in a later speech that his nation had been "left alone."

    “Who is ready to fight alongside us? I do not see anyone.

    And as the United States moved to impose sanctions on Russian elites and banks, it emphasized that US forces would not fight in Ukraine.

    NATO said it had activated "defense plans" for allied countries.

    But NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said there was no plan to send alliance forces to Ukraine.

    'War in Europe'
    Among the highest-profile strategic developments on Thursday, Ukraine said Russian forces had seized the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, sparking concern from international nuclear watchdogs.

    Zelensky called the attack on Chernobyl "a declaration of war on all of Europe", while 18 people were killed at a military base near the Black Sea port of Odessa, in the deadliest single attack reported by Kiev.

    Witnesses also told AFP that Russian paratroopers took control of the strategic Gostomel airfield, on the northwestern outskirts of Kiev.

    “The helicopters arrived and then the battles began. They were firing machine guns, grenade launchers,” said resident Sergiy Storozhuk.

    Russian ground forces had initially moved into Ukraine from the north, south and east, forcing many Ukrainians to flee their homes as the sound of shelling rang out.

    Moscow's Defense Ministry said Thursday that its forces had "successfully completed" their objectives for the day, earlier claiming to have destroyed more than 70 Ukrainian military targets, including 11 airfields.

    Western intelligence confirmed that Moscow had established "complete air superiority" over Ukraine.

    Ukrainian forces said they had killed "around 50 Russian occupiers" while fending off an attack on a town on the front line with Moscow-backed rebels, which could not be immediately confirmed by AFP.

    Ukraine also said a military plane with 14 people on board had crashed south of Kiev and authorities are still determining how many people were killed, while a transport plane crashed in Russia killing the crew.

    Olena Kurilo was among 20 people injured by flying glass shards after an explosion in the eastern Ukrainian city of Chugiv.

    “I will never, under any conditions, submit to Putin. It is better to die,” said the 52-year-old teacher, her face covered in bandages.

    In the Ukrainian village of Starognativka, near the front lines where separatists have clashed with Kiev's forces, official Vladimir Vesyelkin said missiles had rained down since Friday morning and there was no electricity.

    “They are trying to wipe the town off the face of the earth,” he said.

    sanctions
    Weeks of diplomacy failed to deter Putin, who massed more than 150,000 troops on Ukraine's borders in what the West said was Europe's largest military buildup since World War II.

    Western allies initially imposed some sanctions on Russia in an effort to deter Putin, and then on Thursday vowed to hit Russia hard economically.

    US President Joe Biden announced export controls against Russia to cut off more than half of the country's high-tech imports, along with sanctions on Russian elites he called "corrupt billionaires" and banks.

    He will meet with other NATO leaders in an extraordinary virtual summit on Friday to discuss the security situation in and around Ukraine later.

    The EU moved to impose "massive" sanctions on Russia's energy and finance sectors, while French President Emmanuel Macron called on Putin to "demand an immediate end" to the offensive but said the door must be held. open for dialogue.

    The fight spooked global financial markets, with stocks falling and oil prices rising above $100.

    IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said the unrest carries a "significant economic risk" to the world, but Putin insisted he was not seeking to undermine the global economic system.

    Demonstrations across Europe
    In a televised speech, the Russian president justified the assault as a defense of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics in eastern Ukraine.

    The Kremlin said earlier that the leaders of the two breakaway territories had asked Moscow for military help against Kiev after Putin recognized their independence on Monday.

    A conflict between separatists and government forces has dragged on since 2014, killing more than 14,000 people on both sides.

    Russia has also long demanded that Ukraine be barred from joining NATO and that US troops be withdrawn from Eastern Europe.

    Protesters took to the streets of European capitals to condemn the Kremlin, but a small anti-war protest in Moscow was quickly stopped by police, with more than 1,700 people arrested at demonstrations across Russia.

    Source Credit: TheGuardian

  •   Strengthening value chains between Africa and the European Union EU is a priority objective for sustainable growth and decent employment on both continents Recent market imbalances and disparities involving supply chain disruptions and inattention to social and environmental impacts on vulnerable groups indicate the importance of business collaboration and impact investing to address challenges and leverage common opportunities Africa is home to more than a billion people 60 of whom are under 25 years of age The continent is experiencing steady economic growth with a projected GDP increase of 3 8 in 2022 and the fastest growing middle class in the world Until now the EU has been Africa s largest trading and investment partner accounting for a third of Africa s commodity exports in 2018 Most of it is primary goods including raw materials and agricultural products Proximity and strong historical and cultural ties add value to the Africa EU trade relationship Furthermore textiles and clothing is a fast growing industry in several African countries In fact the apparel and footwear industry in sub Saharan Africa amounts to US 31 billion and is expected to grow by 5 until 2024 Currently the African continent is responsible for 5 8 of the world s production of cotton and employs more than 450 000 people While China and India have been the biggest producers in the garment industry made in Africa is gaining momentum Trends of proximity to African regions by apparel and footwear players are emerging as an opportunity to better address value chain disruptions and bottlenecks However the EU regulatory environment and the growing demand for sustainable business models in the textile industry risk hampering business operations While there are noble goals behind promoting sustainable business practices through compliance with environmental social and governance ESG criteria such initiatives can also pose challenges for African exports by incurring costs related to the need for better human resources managerial skills and technological skills Advanced technologies and new requirements in the EU risk widening the knowledge gap between different actors in the supply chain especially affecting vulnerable actors located in remote areas Mobilizing resources for compliance with due diligence policy and legislation Building the traceability of sustainable value chains in the two continents with the support of blockchain technology was the central theme of recent discussions at a side event organized by the UNECE ITC initiative to improve transparency and traceability of sustainable value chains in clothing and footwear with OACPS the Egyptian Garment Export Council and the Bishara Group Filming Spa Hugo Boss and UNIDO Egypt It was part of the 7th EU Africa Business Forum 2022 jointly organized by the African Union AU Commission the EU and European business organisations bringing together more than 15 000 experts government representatives international organizations and stakeholders Increasing sustainability measures in the EU requires education access to technical knowledge and increased assistance in the Global South Affordable medium and long term financing is needed to achieve integration into global value chains and compliance with changing legislation Instead of individual actions we need greater collaboration between the Global North and the Global South especially through public private partnerships to avoid trade barriers in the future highlighted Mr Escipi n J Oliveira G mez Deputy Secretary General of the OACPS Participants discussed the importance of traceability in fashion and apparel value chains through advanced technologies such as blockchain as a key driver for ESG compliance and due diligence as well as promoting business models sustainable Increasing consumer interest in transparent supply chains calls for more traceable actions at the business end Blockchain is a crucial mechanism for enabling visibility and capturing trusted information throughout the supply chain from cotton growers to consumers However we need a standard approach to implement the technology and make it accessible to all particularly as traceability is a key success factor for more responsible business and consumption patterns stressed Ms Elisabeth Tuerk Director of Economic Cooperation and Trade Division at UNECE UNECE with the UN CEFACT blockchain pilots seeks to implement universal standards that can be widely adopted in the garment industry to bridge the digital divide she concludes Declaration calls for innovative financial instruments and technical support to accelerate sustainable value chains To deliver results the Forum launched the EU Africa Joint Business Statement to influence policy making and business activities and reconcile concrete actions for a sustainable fashion and textile industry of the future Support for the transition of SMEs towards sustainable business models by financing measures in production processes and reducing trade barriers Greater investment to achieve the economic integration of MSMEs and take advantage of the full potential of advanced technologies for the traceability of sustainability performance Capacity building to accelerate MSME compliance with ESG requirements Implementation of Textile Industry Centers in Africa based on the experience of the African Cotton and Textile Industry Federation ACTIF Trade incentives in the form of tariffs access to finance and trade facilitation Prevention and monitoring of the transfer of costs to providers of sustainability compliance measures by international organizations or EU agencies The statement calls for a concrete business outcome to establish an EU Africa Fund for Ethical Fashion and Apparel to Window I Technology transfer and ESG support for capacity building and enhancing partnerships between value chain actors to promote compliance with ESG standards and technology and knowledge transfer and harness the potential of advanced technologies and digital solutions for performance traceability and sustainability credentials for small and vulnerable actors Window II Green Textiles Green Garments and Ethical Fashion in Africa and Europe to support SMEs in the overall green transition towards sustainable value and supply chains for those that are not yet ready Looking ahead we must respond to the needs of African MSMEs to better integrate them into global markets While external factors are reshaping the industry UNECE together with its partners calls for action to promote sustainable trade in an inclusive manner especially through advanced technologies
    UNECE and partners call for concrete action for a sustainable garment sector at EU-Africa Business Forum 2022
      Strengthening value chains between Africa and the European Union EU is a priority objective for sustainable growth and decent employment on both continents Recent market imbalances and disparities involving supply chain disruptions and inattention to social and environmental impacts on vulnerable groups indicate the importance of business collaboration and impact investing to address challenges and leverage common opportunities Africa is home to more than a billion people 60 of whom are under 25 years of age The continent is experiencing steady economic growth with a projected GDP increase of 3 8 in 2022 and the fastest growing middle class in the world Until now the EU has been Africa s largest trading and investment partner accounting for a third of Africa s commodity exports in 2018 Most of it is primary goods including raw materials and agricultural products Proximity and strong historical and cultural ties add value to the Africa EU trade relationship Furthermore textiles and clothing is a fast growing industry in several African countries In fact the apparel and footwear industry in sub Saharan Africa amounts to US 31 billion and is expected to grow by 5 until 2024 Currently the African continent is responsible for 5 8 of the world s production of cotton and employs more than 450 000 people While China and India have been the biggest producers in the garment industry made in Africa is gaining momentum Trends of proximity to African regions by apparel and footwear players are emerging as an opportunity to better address value chain disruptions and bottlenecks However the EU regulatory environment and the growing demand for sustainable business models in the textile industry risk hampering business operations While there are noble goals behind promoting sustainable business practices through compliance with environmental social and governance ESG criteria such initiatives can also pose challenges for African exports by incurring costs related to the need for better human resources managerial skills and technological skills Advanced technologies and new requirements in the EU risk widening the knowledge gap between different actors in the supply chain especially affecting vulnerable actors located in remote areas Mobilizing resources for compliance with due diligence policy and legislation Building the traceability of sustainable value chains in the two continents with the support of blockchain technology was the central theme of recent discussions at a side event organized by the UNECE ITC initiative to improve transparency and traceability of sustainable value chains in clothing and footwear with OACPS the Egyptian Garment Export Council and the Bishara Group Filming Spa Hugo Boss and UNIDO Egypt It was part of the 7th EU Africa Business Forum 2022 jointly organized by the African Union AU Commission the EU and European business organisations bringing together more than 15 000 experts government representatives international organizations and stakeholders Increasing sustainability measures in the EU requires education access to technical knowledge and increased assistance in the Global South Affordable medium and long term financing is needed to achieve integration into global value chains and compliance with changing legislation Instead of individual actions we need greater collaboration between the Global North and the Global South especially through public private partnerships to avoid trade barriers in the future highlighted Mr Escipi n J Oliveira G mez Deputy Secretary General of the OACPS Participants discussed the importance of traceability in fashion and apparel value chains through advanced technologies such as blockchain as a key driver for ESG compliance and due diligence as well as promoting business models sustainable Increasing consumer interest in transparent supply chains calls for more traceable actions at the business end Blockchain is a crucial mechanism for enabling visibility and capturing trusted information throughout the supply chain from cotton growers to consumers However we need a standard approach to implement the technology and make it accessible to all particularly as traceability is a key success factor for more responsible business and consumption patterns stressed Ms Elisabeth Tuerk Director of Economic Cooperation and Trade Division at UNECE UNECE with the UN CEFACT blockchain pilots seeks to implement universal standards that can be widely adopted in the garment industry to bridge the digital divide she concludes Declaration calls for innovative financial instruments and technical support to accelerate sustainable value chains To deliver results the Forum launched the EU Africa Joint Business Statement to influence policy making and business activities and reconcile concrete actions for a sustainable fashion and textile industry of the future Support for the transition of SMEs towards sustainable business models by financing measures in production processes and reducing trade barriers Greater investment to achieve the economic integration of MSMEs and take advantage of the full potential of advanced technologies for the traceability of sustainability performance Capacity building to accelerate MSME compliance with ESG requirements Implementation of Textile Industry Centers in Africa based on the experience of the African Cotton and Textile Industry Federation ACTIF Trade incentives in the form of tariffs access to finance and trade facilitation Prevention and monitoring of the transfer of costs to providers of sustainability compliance measures by international organizations or EU agencies The statement calls for a concrete business outcome to establish an EU Africa Fund for Ethical Fashion and Apparel to Window I Technology transfer and ESG support for capacity building and enhancing partnerships between value chain actors to promote compliance with ESG standards and technology and knowledge transfer and harness the potential of advanced technologies and digital solutions for performance traceability and sustainability credentials for small and vulnerable actors Window II Green Textiles Green Garments and Ethical Fashion in Africa and Europe to support SMEs in the overall green transition towards sustainable value and supply chains for those that are not yet ready Looking ahead we must respond to the needs of African MSMEs to better integrate them into global markets While external factors are reshaping the industry UNECE together with its partners calls for action to promote sustainable trade in an inclusive manner especially through advanced technologies
    UNECE and partners call for concrete action for a sustainable garment sector at EU-Africa Business Forum 2022
    Africa11 months ago

    UNECE and partners call for concrete action for a sustainable garment sector at EU-Africa Business Forum 2022

    Strengthening value chains between Africa and the European Union (EU) is a priority objective for sustainable growth and decent employment on both continents. Recent market imbalances and disparities, involving supply chain disruptions and inattention to social and environmental impacts on vulnerable groups, indicate the importance of business collaboration and impact investing to address challenges and leverage common opportunities.

    Africa is home to more than a billion people, 60% of whom are under 25 years of age. The continent is experiencing steady economic growth, with a projected GDP increase of 3.8% in 2022, and the fastest growing middle class in the world. Until now, the EU has been Africa's largest trading and investment partner, accounting for a third of Africa's commodity exports in 2018. Most of it is primary goods, including raw materials and agricultural products. Proximity and strong historical and cultural ties add value to the Africa-EU trade relationship.

    Furthermore, textiles and clothing is a fast-growing industry in several African countries. In fact, the apparel and footwear industry in sub-Saharan Africa amounts to US$31 billion and is expected to grow by 5% until 2024. Currently, the African continent is responsible for 5.8% of the world's production of cotton and employs more than 450,000 people. While China and India have been the biggest producers in the garment industry, “made in Africa” is gaining momentum. Trends of proximity to African regions by apparel and footwear players are emerging as an opportunity to better address value chain disruptions and bottlenecks.

    However, the EU regulatory environment and the growing demand for sustainable business models in the textile industry risk hampering business operations. While there are noble goals behind promoting sustainable business practices through compliance with environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria, such initiatives can also pose challenges for African exports by incurring costs related to the need for better human resources, managerial skills and technological skills. Advanced technologies and new requirements in the EU risk widening the knowledge gap between different actors in the supply chain, especially affecting vulnerable actors located in remote areas.

    Mobilizing resources for compliance with due diligence policy and legislation

    “Building the traceability of sustainable value chains in the two continents with the support of blockchain technology” was the central theme of recent discussions at a side event organized by the UNECE-ITC initiative to improve transparency and traceability of sustainable value chains in clothing and footwear. , with OACPS; the Egyptian Garment Export Council and the Bishara Group; Filming Spa; Hugo Boss; and UNIDO Egypt. It was part of the 7th EU-Africa Business Forum 2022, jointly organized by the African Union (AU) Commission, the EU and European business organisations, bringing together more than 15,000 experts, government representatives, international organizations and stakeholders.

    “Increasing sustainability measures in the EU requires education, access to technical knowledge and increased assistance in the Global South. Affordable medium- and long-term financing is needed to achieve integration into global value chains and compliance with changing legislation. Instead of individual actions, we need greater collaboration between the Global North and the Global South, especially through public-private partnerships, to avoid trade barriers in the future”, highlighted Mr. Escipión J. Oliveira Gómez, Deputy Secretary General of the OACPS.

    Participants discussed the importance of traceability in fashion and apparel value chains through advanced technologies, such as blockchain, as a key driver for ESG compliance and due diligence, as well as promoting business models. sustainable.

    “Increasing consumer interest in transparent supply chains calls for more traceable actions at the business end. Blockchain is a crucial mechanism for enabling visibility and capturing trusted information throughout the supply chain, from cotton growers to consumers. However, we need a standard approach to implement the technology and make it accessible to all, particularly as traceability is a key success factor for more responsible business and consumption patterns”, stressed Ms. Elisabeth Tuerk, Director of Economic Cooperation and Trade . Division at UNECE. “UNECE, with the UN/CEFACT blockchain pilots, seeks to implement universal standards that can be widely adopted in the garment industry to bridge the digital divide,” she concludes.

    Declaration calls for innovative financial instruments and technical support to accelerate sustainable value chains

    To deliver results, the Forum launched the EU-Africa Joint Business Statement to influence policy-making and business activities, and reconcile concrete actions for a sustainable fashion and textile industry of the future:

    Support for the transition of SMEs towards sustainable business models by financing measures in production processes and reducing trade barriers.

    Greater investment to achieve the economic integration of MSMEs and take advantage of the full potential of advanced technologies for the traceability of sustainability performance.

    Capacity building to accelerate MSME compliance with ESG requirements.

    Implementation of Textile Industry Centers in Africa, based on the experience of the African Cotton and Textile Industry Federation (ACTIF).

    Trade incentives in the form of tariffs, access to finance and trade facilitation.

    Prevention and monitoring of the transfer of costs to providers of sustainability compliance measures by international organizations or EU agencies.

    The statement calls for a concrete business outcome: to establish an "EU-Africa Fund for Ethical Fashion and Apparel" to:

    Window I: "Technology transfer and ESG support for capacity building and enhancing partnerships between value chain actors" to promote compliance with ESG standards and technology and knowledge transfer, and harness the potential of advanced technologies and digital solutions for performance traceability and sustainability credentials. , for small and vulnerable actors.

    Window II: "Green Textiles, Green Garments and Ethical Fashion in Africa and Europe", to support SMEs in the overall green transition towards sustainable value and supply chains, for those that are not yet ready.

    Looking ahead, we must respond to the needs of African MSMEs to better integrate them into global markets. While external factors are reshaping the industry, UNECE, together with its partners, calls for action to promote sustainable trade in an inclusive manner, especially through advanced technologies.

  •   London s Heathrow airport announced on Wednesday that it slightly reduced annual losses in 2021 despite the reopening of global air travel blaming what it said were tighter passenger restrictions in Britain compared to the neighboring EU Heathrow posted pre tax losses totaling 1 8 billion 2 4 billion last year it said in a statement Passenger numbers fell 12 3 percent to 19 4 million the lowest annual total since 1972 The airport one of the world s busiest hubs had already suffered a 2bn loss in 2020 as the pandemic canceled flights around the world Heathrow was the only European hub to see a reduction in traffic last year due to tighter travel restrictions than EU countries the airport said The UK aviation sector had heavily criticized the British government for its long running travel restrictions that hit the tourism industry particularly hard However Prime Minister Boris Johnson has decided to remove all pandemic legal restrictions in England from Thursday urging a shift from government intervention to personal responsibility Heathrow said that despite a slower start to the new year due to the appearance of the Omicron variant in late 2021 the group was sticking to its forecast of a big rebound in annual passenger numbers to 45 5 million Heathrow received 81 million passengers in 2019 before the start of the pandemic The total plummeted to 22 million in 2020 mirroring huge drops elsewhere forcing airlines to cut tens of thousands of jobs The aviation sector has gradually recovered as skies reopen and economies emerge from lockdowns Source Credit TheGuardian
    Heathrow airport posts big loss on UK Covid curbs
      London s Heathrow airport announced on Wednesday that it slightly reduced annual losses in 2021 despite the reopening of global air travel blaming what it said were tighter passenger restrictions in Britain compared to the neighboring EU Heathrow posted pre tax losses totaling 1 8 billion 2 4 billion last year it said in a statement Passenger numbers fell 12 3 percent to 19 4 million the lowest annual total since 1972 The airport one of the world s busiest hubs had already suffered a 2bn loss in 2020 as the pandemic canceled flights around the world Heathrow was the only European hub to see a reduction in traffic last year due to tighter travel restrictions than EU countries the airport said The UK aviation sector had heavily criticized the British government for its long running travel restrictions that hit the tourism industry particularly hard However Prime Minister Boris Johnson has decided to remove all pandemic legal restrictions in England from Thursday urging a shift from government intervention to personal responsibility Heathrow said that despite a slower start to the new year due to the appearance of the Omicron variant in late 2021 the group was sticking to its forecast of a big rebound in annual passenger numbers to 45 5 million Heathrow received 81 million passengers in 2019 before the start of the pandemic The total plummeted to 22 million in 2020 mirroring huge drops elsewhere forcing airlines to cut tens of thousands of jobs The aviation sector has gradually recovered as skies reopen and economies emerge from lockdowns Source Credit TheGuardian
    Heathrow airport posts big loss on UK Covid curbs
    Foreign11 months ago

    Heathrow airport posts big loss on UK Covid curbs

    London's Heathrow airport announced on Wednesday that it slightly reduced annual losses in 2021 despite the reopening of global air travel, blaming what it said were tighter passenger restrictions in Britain compared to the neighboring EU.

    Heathrow posted pre-tax losses totaling £1.8 billion ($2.4 billion) last year, it said in a statement.

    Passenger numbers fell 12.3 percent to 19.4 million, the lowest annual total since 1972.

    The airport, one of the world's busiest hubs, had already suffered a £2bn loss in 2020 as the pandemic canceled flights around the world.

    "Heathrow was the only European hub to see a reduction in traffic last year, due to tighter travel restrictions than EU countries," the airport said.

    The UK aviation sector had heavily criticized the British government for its long-running travel restrictions that hit the tourism industry particularly hard.

    However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has decided to remove all pandemic legal restrictions in England from Thursday, urging a shift from government intervention to personal responsibility.

    Heathrow said that despite a "slower start" to the new year due to the appearance of the Omicron variant in late 2021, the group was sticking to its forecast of a big rebound in annual passenger numbers to 45.5 million. .

    Heathrow received 81 million passengers in 2019 before the start of the pandemic.

    The total plummeted to 22 million in 2020, mirroring huge drops elsewhere, forcing airlines to cut tens of thousands of jobs.

    The aviation sector has gradually recovered as skies reopen and economies emerge from lockdowns.

    Source Credit: TheGuardian

  •   There was no direct mention of China and Russia during the two day EU Africa Summit in Brussels Belgium on February 17 18 but the country that currently wields the most strategic and diplomatic influence on the continent African was on everyone s mind China to a certain extent Russia has found through its Belt and Road initiative BRI a route to the African hearts to close the infrastructure gaps in many countries roads bridges railways energy water and even projects agricultural China is today the biggest name in African infrastructure This was not the case a decade ago In 2013 Europe was responsible for 37 of major African infrastructure projects while China was responsible for 12 By 2020 China had jumped to 31 and Europe walked away with just 12 To make up for lost space Europe is now planning a 300 billion global investment fund with a regional plan for Africa taking 150 billion which is exactly half of what is spent in the public and private sectors Called the Global Gateway Project this is Europe s response to the BRI to provide alternative loans from China In this context the 6th EU Africa took off with a focus on investment security health and migration issues The structure of the summit unlike the previous ones did not have the format of a plenary After opening ceremonies and Family Pictures leaders entered focused deliberations at thematic roundtables seven of them with each leader African or European expected to choose just two meetings to sit in Each round table was co chaired by one or two African leader s and one or two European leader s For President Muhammadu Buhari naturally the first option he had to take was to co chair the panel on Peace Security and Governance These are some of the existential challenges facing Nigeria The second round table he chose was on health issues and vaccine production Before this summit in Brussels the World Health Organization WHO had selected four countries to facilitate the production of vaccines on the continent The selected countries obviously arising from the considered influence of their former European colonial masters were Kenya Rwanda South Africa and Senegal The Buhari administration was convinced that these were unfair elections Like many other countries on the continent Nigeria had suffered from vaccine nationalism during peak periods of the Covid 19 pandemic Vaccines were not available for sale and when it came to donations we were given too little too late or in some cases expired vaccines that had to be destroyed shortly after reaching our shores In addition to this Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa We have the largest bank of professional and trained men and women In terms of population size one in five Africans is Nigerian Before the start of the summit where a formal pronouncement on the choice of these countries was expected the Nigerian Minister of Health Dr Osagie Ehanire had taken Nigeria s protest against its exclusion to all those who mattered and they were helped by the fact that we had our citizens in key places where it mattered in multilateral organizations such as the United Nations with Amina Mohammed the Deputy Secretary General and the World Trade Organization WTO where Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has influence If the account is correct the Director General of the WTO is said to have told the WHO that his organization would have nothing to do with Africa s vaccine platforms if Nigeria the most populous country was not on the same list The election of the President of this round table went against his desire to make the last launch and to promote the preparation for the selection of the countries for the production of the Vaccines And Nigeria won In the end six countries were chosen Nigeria Egypt Kenya Senegal South Africa and Tunisia In Brussels at this summit the first meeting of the Group of Four G4 of the African Union was held on the sidelines The group is made up of Nigeria South Africa Ethiopia Algeria and Senegal and another co opted member and is regarded as the African equivalent of the G8 now G7 in global affairs with a mandate to resolve various issues facing the African continent continent The G4 leaders took the opportunity to discuss crisis areas in the continent with a view to finding practical and effective solutions Hopefully this will be a very influential and large group for Nigeria as a platform to bring African countries together proactively coordinate actions and reactions for the continent and discuss how decisions could be better implemented During his stay in Brussels President Buhari wrote an op ed in the widely read and influential magazine Politico criticizing unfair trade relations between Europe and Africa For example the president noted that the Economic Partnership Agreements give Europe greater access to African markets At the lower end of the value chain these so called free trade agreements ensure that agricultural subsidies deal another blow to African farmers Artificially depreciated products flood markets undermining their domestic competitors At the top end of the valve chain premature trade liberalization required manufacturers such as textiles or agricultural processing to close In other cases industries simply won t materialize because there are no incentives to enter the market As a result the jobs needed to satisfy the millions of young Africans who enter the labor market each year are not created In a major speech addressing concern over the return of coups in Africa President Buhari called for strong sanctions for unconstitutional leadership changes Noting that the African Union has often responded to these challenges by isolating such regimes and imposing sanctions the President called on the EU and the rest of the world to go beyond condemning coups and imposing strong sanctions to countries that participate in unconstitutional changes of governments as well as in the manipulation of constitutions in favor of term limits Another important message from the present is that while Nigeria in particular upholds democratic principles and institutions within ECOWAS and the AU To ensure security in the sub region and contain the spread of terrorist organisations the necessary efforts and resources are important and the time has come for the EU and other global partners to become more involved The meeting in Belgium was expected to be a show of friendship camaraderie and equality between the two continents and with what we have seen in its results the EU Africa Summit will gain seriousness Garba Shehu is the senior special assistant to the president
    A look at Takeaways from President Buhari’s visit to Belgium – Garba Shehu
      There was no direct mention of China and Russia during the two day EU Africa Summit in Brussels Belgium on February 17 18 but the country that currently wields the most strategic and diplomatic influence on the continent African was on everyone s mind China to a certain extent Russia has found through its Belt and Road initiative BRI a route to the African hearts to close the infrastructure gaps in many countries roads bridges railways energy water and even projects agricultural China is today the biggest name in African infrastructure This was not the case a decade ago In 2013 Europe was responsible for 37 of major African infrastructure projects while China was responsible for 12 By 2020 China had jumped to 31 and Europe walked away with just 12 To make up for lost space Europe is now planning a 300 billion global investment fund with a regional plan for Africa taking 150 billion which is exactly half of what is spent in the public and private sectors Called the Global Gateway Project this is Europe s response to the BRI to provide alternative loans from China In this context the 6th EU Africa took off with a focus on investment security health and migration issues The structure of the summit unlike the previous ones did not have the format of a plenary After opening ceremonies and Family Pictures leaders entered focused deliberations at thematic roundtables seven of them with each leader African or European expected to choose just two meetings to sit in Each round table was co chaired by one or two African leader s and one or two European leader s For President Muhammadu Buhari naturally the first option he had to take was to co chair the panel on Peace Security and Governance These are some of the existential challenges facing Nigeria The second round table he chose was on health issues and vaccine production Before this summit in Brussels the World Health Organization WHO had selected four countries to facilitate the production of vaccines on the continent The selected countries obviously arising from the considered influence of their former European colonial masters were Kenya Rwanda South Africa and Senegal The Buhari administration was convinced that these were unfair elections Like many other countries on the continent Nigeria had suffered from vaccine nationalism during peak periods of the Covid 19 pandemic Vaccines were not available for sale and when it came to donations we were given too little too late or in some cases expired vaccines that had to be destroyed shortly after reaching our shores In addition to this Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa We have the largest bank of professional and trained men and women In terms of population size one in five Africans is Nigerian Before the start of the summit where a formal pronouncement on the choice of these countries was expected the Nigerian Minister of Health Dr Osagie Ehanire had taken Nigeria s protest against its exclusion to all those who mattered and they were helped by the fact that we had our citizens in key places where it mattered in multilateral organizations such as the United Nations with Amina Mohammed the Deputy Secretary General and the World Trade Organization WTO where Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has influence If the account is correct the Director General of the WTO is said to have told the WHO that his organization would have nothing to do with Africa s vaccine platforms if Nigeria the most populous country was not on the same list The election of the President of this round table went against his desire to make the last launch and to promote the preparation for the selection of the countries for the production of the Vaccines And Nigeria won In the end six countries were chosen Nigeria Egypt Kenya Senegal South Africa and Tunisia In Brussels at this summit the first meeting of the Group of Four G4 of the African Union was held on the sidelines The group is made up of Nigeria South Africa Ethiopia Algeria and Senegal and another co opted member and is regarded as the African equivalent of the G8 now G7 in global affairs with a mandate to resolve various issues facing the African continent continent The G4 leaders took the opportunity to discuss crisis areas in the continent with a view to finding practical and effective solutions Hopefully this will be a very influential and large group for Nigeria as a platform to bring African countries together proactively coordinate actions and reactions for the continent and discuss how decisions could be better implemented During his stay in Brussels President Buhari wrote an op ed in the widely read and influential magazine Politico criticizing unfair trade relations between Europe and Africa For example the president noted that the Economic Partnership Agreements give Europe greater access to African markets At the lower end of the value chain these so called free trade agreements ensure that agricultural subsidies deal another blow to African farmers Artificially depreciated products flood markets undermining their domestic competitors At the top end of the valve chain premature trade liberalization required manufacturers such as textiles or agricultural processing to close In other cases industries simply won t materialize because there are no incentives to enter the market As a result the jobs needed to satisfy the millions of young Africans who enter the labor market each year are not created In a major speech addressing concern over the return of coups in Africa President Buhari called for strong sanctions for unconstitutional leadership changes Noting that the African Union has often responded to these challenges by isolating such regimes and imposing sanctions the President called on the EU and the rest of the world to go beyond condemning coups and imposing strong sanctions to countries that participate in unconstitutional changes of governments as well as in the manipulation of constitutions in favor of term limits Another important message from the present is that while Nigeria in particular upholds democratic principles and institutions within ECOWAS and the AU To ensure security in the sub region and contain the spread of terrorist organisations the necessary efforts and resources are important and the time has come for the EU and other global partners to become more involved The meeting in Belgium was expected to be a show of friendship camaraderie and equality between the two continents and with what we have seen in its results the EU Africa Summit will gain seriousness Garba Shehu is the senior special assistant to the president
    A look at Takeaways from President Buhari’s visit to Belgium – Garba Shehu
    General news11 months ago

    A look at Takeaways from President Buhari’s visit to Belgium – Garba Shehu

    There was no direct mention of China (and Russia) during the two-day EU-Africa Summit in Brussels, Belgium on February 17-18, but the country that currently wields the most strategic and diplomatic influence on the continent African was on everyone's mind.

    China (to a certain extent, Russia) has found, through its Belt and Road initiative, BRI, a route to the African hearts to close the infrastructure gaps in many countries: roads, bridges, railways, energy, water and even projects. agricultural. China is today the biggest name in African infrastructure. This was not the case a decade ago. In 2013, Europe was responsible for 37% of major African infrastructure projects, while China was responsible for 12%. By 2020, China had jumped to 31% and Europe walked away with just 12%.

    To make up for lost space, Europe is now planning a €300 billion global investment fund with a regional plan for Africa taking €150 billion, which is exactly half of what is spent in the public and private sectors. . Called the “Global Gateway Project”, this is Europe's response to the BRI, to provide alternative loans from China.

    In this context, the 6th EU-Africa took off with a focus on investment, security, health and migration issues.

    The structure of the summit, unlike the previous ones, did not have the format of a plenary. After opening ceremonies and “Family Pictures,” leaders entered focused deliberations at thematic roundtables (seven of them) with each leader, African or European, expected to choose just two meetings to sit in. Each round table was co-chaired by one (or two) African leader(s) and one (or two) European leader(s).

    For President Muhammadu Buhari, naturally, the first option he had to take was to co-chair the panel on Peace, Security and Governance. These are some of the existential challenges facing Nigeria.

    The second round table he chose was on health issues and vaccine production.

    Before this summit in Brussels, the World Health Organization (WHO) had selected four countries to facilitate the production of vaccines on the continent. The selected countries -obviously arising from the considered influence of their former European colonial masters- were Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa and Senegal.

    The Buhari administration was convinced that these were unfair elections. Like many other countries on the continent, Nigeria had suffered from vaccine nationalism during peak periods of the Covid-19 pandemic. Vaccines were not available for sale, and when it came to donations, we were given too little, too late or, in some cases, expired vaccines that had to be destroyed shortly after reaching our shores.

    In addition to this, Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa. We have the largest bank of professional and trained men and women. In terms of population size, one in five Africans is Nigerian.

    Before the start of the summit, where a formal pronouncement on the choice of these countries was expected, the Nigerian Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, had taken Nigeria's protest against its exclusion to all those who mattered and they were helped by the fact that we had our citizens. in key places where it mattered in multilateral organizations such as the United Nations with Amina Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary General and the World Trade Organization, WTO, where Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has influence.

    If the account is correct, the Director-General of the WTO is said to have told the WHO that his organization would have nothing to do with Africa's vaccine platforms if Nigeria, the most populous country, was not on the same list.

    The election of the President of this round table went against his desire to make the last launch and to promote the preparation for the selection of the countries for the production of the Vaccines. And Nigeria won. In the end, six countries were chosen: Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia.

    In Brussels, at this summit, the first meeting of the "Group of Four (G4)" of the African Union was held on the sidelines. The group is made up of Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Algeria (and Senegal and another co-opted member) and is regarded as the African equivalent of the G8 (now G7) in global affairs with a mandate to resolve various issues facing the African continent. continent.

    The G4 leaders took the opportunity to discuss crisis areas in the continent with a view to finding practical and effective solutions.

    Hopefully this will be a very influential and large group for Nigeria as a platform to bring African countries together, proactively coordinate actions and reactions for the continent and discuss how decisions could be better implemented.

    During his stay in Brussels, President Buhari wrote an op-ed in the widely read and influential magazine Politico, criticizing unfair trade relations between Europe and Africa.

    For example, the president noted that the Economic Partnership Agreements give Europe greater access to African markets. At the lower end of the value chain, these so-called free trade agreements ensure that agricultural subsidies deal another blow to African farmers. Artificially depreciated products flood markets, undermining their domestic competitors.

    “At the top end of the valve chain, premature trade liberalization required manufacturers, such as textiles or agricultural processing, to close. In other cases, industries simply won't materialize because there are no incentives to enter the market. As a result, the jobs needed to satisfy the millions of young Africans who enter the labor market each year are not created.”

    In a major speech addressing concern over the return of coups in Africa, President Buhari called for strong sanctions for unconstitutional leadership changes.

    Noting that the African Union has often responded to these challenges by isolating such regimes and imposing sanctions, the President called on the EU and the rest of the world to go beyond condemning coups and imposing strong sanctions to countries that participate in unconstitutional changes of governments, as well as in the manipulation of constitutions in favor of term limits.

    Another important message from the present is that while Nigeria in particular upholds democratic principles and institutions within ECOWAS and the AU; To ensure security in the sub-region and contain the spread of terrorist organisations, the necessary efforts and resources are important and the time has come for the EU and other global partners to become more involved.

    The meeting in Belgium was expected to be a show of friendship, camaraderie and equality between the two continents and, with what we have seen in its results, the EU-Africa Summit will gain seriousness.

    Garba Shehu is the senior special assistant to the president

  •  The latest First Capital Bank partner to join the Team Europe Kulima Access to Finance agricultural finance initiative in Malawi New agricultural finance to transform access to long term finance Impact reinforced by technical assistance to identify evaluate and monitor investment in the agri food value chain and develop new financial products The European Investment Bank EIB and the European Union today confirmed new cooperation with First Capital Bank to transform access to finance for agricultural businesses in Malawi The impact of the new EIB financing of EUR 12 5 million for First Capital Bank will be reinforced by specialized technical assistance on best agricultural investment practices and the European Union contribution of EUR 5 million to support increased agricultural financing to the long term This will allow a greater contribution of small farmers to national agricultural production and exports The new funding initiative was launched to address specific challenges holding back agricultural investment and is part of the broader Kulima Promoting Agriculture in Malawi program developed by the European Union and the Government of Malawi First Capital Bank joins ECOBANK Malawi and together the two leading local institutions will provide a total of 50 million of new financing for agricultural investments Farm value chain businesses in Malawi will be able to access loans with maturities of up to 7 years longer than is commonly available in the market to expand upgrade and modernize their equipment and unlock new business opportunities Increasing high impact agricultural investment is crucial for Malawi This new partnership between First Capital Bank the European Investment Bank and the European Union will benefit thousands of small farmers across our country and unlock economic opportunities from sustainable agriculture for years to come said Agness Jazza First Capital Bank Deputy Chief Executive Officer The European Investment Bank recognizes the importance of agriculture for both economic activity and social development This latest partnership with First Capital Bank will unlock investment from smallholder farmers in Malawi facing the challenges of climate change and the COVID 19 pandemic The EIB is pleased to support this visionary initiative by Team Europe Kulima that tackles barriers to agricultural investment said Thomas stros vice president of the European Investment Bank Team Europe is working with partners in Malawi to transform opportunities in rural communities Today First Capital Bank the EU and the EIB are joining forces to boost agricultural investment in a pioneering initiative that is a model for Africa said Aur lie Valtat Charg d Affaires of the European Union Delegation in Malawi The new access of agriculture to financial cooperation was confirmed in Brussels by the President of the EIB Werner Hoyer before the EU Africa Summit nbsp
    EIB, FB partner to provide EUR 12. 5 million investment boost for agric across Malawi
     The latest First Capital Bank partner to join the Team Europe Kulima Access to Finance agricultural finance initiative in Malawi New agricultural finance to transform access to long term finance Impact reinforced by technical assistance to identify evaluate and monitor investment in the agri food value chain and develop new financial products The European Investment Bank EIB and the European Union today confirmed new cooperation with First Capital Bank to transform access to finance for agricultural businesses in Malawi The impact of the new EIB financing of EUR 12 5 million for First Capital Bank will be reinforced by specialized technical assistance on best agricultural investment practices and the European Union contribution of EUR 5 million to support increased agricultural financing to the long term This will allow a greater contribution of small farmers to national agricultural production and exports The new funding initiative was launched to address specific challenges holding back agricultural investment and is part of the broader Kulima Promoting Agriculture in Malawi program developed by the European Union and the Government of Malawi First Capital Bank joins ECOBANK Malawi and together the two leading local institutions will provide a total of 50 million of new financing for agricultural investments Farm value chain businesses in Malawi will be able to access loans with maturities of up to 7 years longer than is commonly available in the market to expand upgrade and modernize their equipment and unlock new business opportunities Increasing high impact agricultural investment is crucial for Malawi This new partnership between First Capital Bank the European Investment Bank and the European Union will benefit thousands of small farmers across our country and unlock economic opportunities from sustainable agriculture for years to come said Agness Jazza First Capital Bank Deputy Chief Executive Officer The European Investment Bank recognizes the importance of agriculture for both economic activity and social development This latest partnership with First Capital Bank will unlock investment from smallholder farmers in Malawi facing the challenges of climate change and the COVID 19 pandemic The EIB is pleased to support this visionary initiative by Team Europe Kulima that tackles barriers to agricultural investment said Thomas stros vice president of the European Investment Bank Team Europe is working with partners in Malawi to transform opportunities in rural communities Today First Capital Bank the EU and the EIB are joining forces to boost agricultural investment in a pioneering initiative that is a model for Africa said Aur lie Valtat Charg d Affaires of the European Union Delegation in Malawi The new access of agriculture to financial cooperation was confirmed in Brussels by the President of the EIB Werner Hoyer before the EU Africa Summit nbsp
    EIB, FB partner to provide EUR 12. 5 million investment boost for agric across Malawi
    Africa11 months ago

    EIB, FB partner to provide EUR 12. 5 million investment boost for agric across Malawi

    The latest First Capital Bank partner to join the Team Europe Kulima Access to Finance agricultural finance initiative in Malawi; New agricultural finance to transform access to long-term finance; Impact reinforced by technical assistance to identify, evaluate and monitor investment in the agri-food value chain and develop new financial products. The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Union today confirmed new cooperation with First Capital Bank to transform access to finance for agricultural businesses in Malawi. The impact of the new EIB financing of EUR 12.5 million for First Capital Bank will be reinforced by specialized technical assistance on best agricultural investment practices and the European Union contribution of EUR 5 million to support increased agricultural financing to the long term. This will allow a greater contribution of small farmers to national agricultural production and exports. The new funding initiative was launched to address specific challenges holding back agricultural investment and is part of the broader "Kulima: Promoting Agriculture in Malawi" program developed by the European Union and the Government of Malawi. First Capital Bank joins ECOBANK Malawi, and together the two leading local institutions will provide a total of €50 million of new financing for agricultural investments. Farm value chain businesses in Malawi will be able to access loans with maturities of up to 7 years, longer than is commonly available in the market to expand, upgrade and modernize their equipment, and unlock new business opportunities. “Increasing high-impact agricultural investment is crucial for Malawi. This new partnership between First Capital Bank, the European Investment Bank and the European Union will benefit thousands of small farmers across our country and unlock economic opportunities from sustainable agriculture for years to come.” said Agness Jazza First Capital Bank, Deputy Chief Executive Officer. “The European Investment Bank recognizes the importance of agriculture for both economic activity and social development. This latest partnership with First Capital Bank will unlock investment from smallholder farmers in Malawi facing the challenges of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. The EIB is pleased to support this visionary initiative by Team Europe Kulima that tackles barriers to agricultural investment.” said Thomas Östros, vice president of the European Investment Bank. “Team Europe is working with partners in Malawi to transform opportunities in rural communities. Today, First Capital Bank, the EU and the EIB are joining forces to boost agricultural investment in a pioneering initiative that is a model for Africa.” said Aurélie Valtat, Chargé d'Affaires of the European Union Delegation in Malawi. The new access of agriculture to financial cooperation was confirmed in Brussels by the President of the EIB, Werner Hoyer, before the EU-Africa Summit.  

  •   The EIB s www EIB org partnership with Commercial Bank Cameroon dedicated to helping local businesses overcome COVID challenges builds on previous cooperation First credit line in Cameroon under the EIB s response to COVID 19 in West and Central Africa The European Investment Bank has agreed to support 12 million of new long term financing for entrepreneurs and businesses across Cameroon with leading local partner Commercial Bank The enhanced partnership between the European Investment Bank the world s largest international public bank and Commercial Bank Cameroun will increase access to long term finance for businesses across the country and strengthen economic resilience to the challenges of the COVID 19 pandemic This builds on close cooperation in recent years to support private sector investment across the country The new private sector financing will help companies affected by COVID 19 and is part of the EIB s rapid response in Africa to strengthen economic resilience to the pandemic The new trade financing will support investment by manufacturing agricultural service and commercial companies across the country The new EIB Commercial Bank cooperation to support business investment in Cameroon was formally announced today in Brussels and Yaound ahead of the EU Africa Summit at the EU Africa Business Forum Businesses across Cameroon have been affected by the COVID 19 pandemic Commercial Bank is supporting private sector investment across our country and enabling our corporate commercial and agricultural clients to invest for the future and create economic opportunity The new EUR 12 million from the European Investment Bank and EU support for Commercial Bank will unlock new private sector financing that our branches across the country will provide to private companies The close cooperation between the Commercial Bank and the EIB s financial experts in recent months will unlock access to longer term loans essential for businesses to grow in difficult times and ensure that Cameroon benefits from the EIB s rapid response to strengthen the economic resilience to COVID in Africa said L andre Djummo General Manager of Commercial Bank Ensuring access to finance for entrepreneurs and businesses is critical to overcoming business uncertainties and economic challenges fueled by COVID 19 As part of Team Europe the European Investment Bank is pleased to provide 12 million of new dedicated financing to Commercial Bank to unlock new private sector financing essential to strengthen private sector investment create jobs and accelerate recovery Cameroon post pandemic Today s new agreement demonstrates how Team Europe and African partners are joining forces to beat COVID and ensure private sector companies can create jobs and grow said Thomas Ostros vice president of the European Investment Bank The European Union is committed to supporting the private sector in Africa Team Europe s cooperation with Commercial Bank will increase access to targeted business finance for companies across Cameroon By helping the resilience of the private sector to the new 12 million financing plan it will create jobs unlock business growth and help alleviate poverty for years to come said Ambassador Philippe Van Damme Head of the European Union Delegation in Cameroon Supporting business investment across Cameroon during challenging times The EUR 12 million 7 year EIB loan to Commercial will enable new financing to be provided to private companies in particular SMEs throughout Cameroon The European Commission will also support the initiative to further reduce the borrowing costs of loans granted under the scheme The new financing will allow for longer average loan terms for business loans and allow businesses to better reflect the economic life of the new investment Ensuring Cameroon benefits from a rapid EIB response to strengthen economic resilience to COVID The new EIB Commercial Bank cooperation represents the EIB s first specific support for business investment in Cameroon The scheme is part of the EIB s broader commitment across Africa to ensure that companies can continue to access finance when facing unprecedented business trade and health challenges related to COVID 19 approved by the finance ministers of the European Union in April 2020 a few weeks after launch recognition of the impact of the pandemic The European Investment Bank is the world s largest international public bank owned directly by the 27 member states of the European Union Since the pandemic the EIB has provided more than 8 billion for public and private investment in Africa
    Commercial Bank Cameroun and European Investment Bank unveil EUR 12 million COVID resilience business financing initiative
      The EIB s www EIB org partnership with Commercial Bank Cameroon dedicated to helping local businesses overcome COVID challenges builds on previous cooperation First credit line in Cameroon under the EIB s response to COVID 19 in West and Central Africa The European Investment Bank has agreed to support 12 million of new long term financing for entrepreneurs and businesses across Cameroon with leading local partner Commercial Bank The enhanced partnership between the European Investment Bank the world s largest international public bank and Commercial Bank Cameroun will increase access to long term finance for businesses across the country and strengthen economic resilience to the challenges of the COVID 19 pandemic This builds on close cooperation in recent years to support private sector investment across the country The new private sector financing will help companies affected by COVID 19 and is part of the EIB s rapid response in Africa to strengthen economic resilience to the pandemic The new trade financing will support investment by manufacturing agricultural service and commercial companies across the country The new EIB Commercial Bank cooperation to support business investment in Cameroon was formally announced today in Brussels and Yaound ahead of the EU Africa Summit at the EU Africa Business Forum Businesses across Cameroon have been affected by the COVID 19 pandemic Commercial Bank is supporting private sector investment across our country and enabling our corporate commercial and agricultural clients to invest for the future and create economic opportunity The new EUR 12 million from the European Investment Bank and EU support for Commercial Bank will unlock new private sector financing that our branches across the country will provide to private companies The close cooperation between the Commercial Bank and the EIB s financial experts in recent months will unlock access to longer term loans essential for businesses to grow in difficult times and ensure that Cameroon benefits from the EIB s rapid response to strengthen the economic resilience to COVID in Africa said L andre Djummo General Manager of Commercial Bank Ensuring access to finance for entrepreneurs and businesses is critical to overcoming business uncertainties and economic challenges fueled by COVID 19 As part of Team Europe the European Investment Bank is pleased to provide 12 million of new dedicated financing to Commercial Bank to unlock new private sector financing essential to strengthen private sector investment create jobs and accelerate recovery Cameroon post pandemic Today s new agreement demonstrates how Team Europe and African partners are joining forces to beat COVID and ensure private sector companies can create jobs and grow said Thomas Ostros vice president of the European Investment Bank The European Union is committed to supporting the private sector in Africa Team Europe s cooperation with Commercial Bank will increase access to targeted business finance for companies across Cameroon By helping the resilience of the private sector to the new 12 million financing plan it will create jobs unlock business growth and help alleviate poverty for years to come said Ambassador Philippe Van Damme Head of the European Union Delegation in Cameroon Supporting business investment across Cameroon during challenging times The EUR 12 million 7 year EIB loan to Commercial will enable new financing to be provided to private companies in particular SMEs throughout Cameroon The European Commission will also support the initiative to further reduce the borrowing costs of loans granted under the scheme The new financing will allow for longer average loan terms for business loans and allow businesses to better reflect the economic life of the new investment Ensuring Cameroon benefits from a rapid EIB response to strengthen economic resilience to COVID The new EIB Commercial Bank cooperation represents the EIB s first specific support for business investment in Cameroon The scheme is part of the EIB s broader commitment across Africa to ensure that companies can continue to access finance when facing unprecedented business trade and health challenges related to COVID 19 approved by the finance ministers of the European Union in April 2020 a few weeks after launch recognition of the impact of the pandemic The European Investment Bank is the world s largest international public bank owned directly by the 27 member states of the European Union Since the pandemic the EIB has provided more than 8 billion for public and private investment in Africa
    Commercial Bank Cameroun and European Investment Bank unveil EUR 12 million COVID resilience business financing initiative
    Africa11 months ago

    Commercial Bank Cameroun and European Investment Bank unveil EUR 12 million COVID resilience business financing initiative

    The EIB's (www.EIB.org) partnership with Commercial Bank Cameroon dedicated to helping local businesses overcome COVID challenges builds on previous cooperation; First credit line in Cameroon under the EIB's response to COVID-19 in West and Central Africa

    The European Investment Bank has agreed to support €12 million of new long-term financing for entrepreneurs and businesses across Cameroon with leading local partner Commercial Bank. The enhanced partnership between the European Investment Bank, the world's largest international public bank, and Commercial Bank Cameroun, will increase access to long-term finance for businesses across the country and strengthen economic resilience to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. This builds on close cooperation in recent years to support private sector investment across the country.

    The new private sector financing will help companies affected by COVID-19 and is part of the EIB's rapid response in Africa to strengthen economic resilience to the pandemic.

    The new trade financing will support investment by manufacturing, agricultural, service and commercial companies across the country.

    The new EIB-Commercial Bank cooperation to support business investment in Cameroon was formally announced today in Brussels and Yaoundé ahead of the EU-Africa Summit at the EU-Africa Business Forum.

    “Businesses across Cameroon have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Commercial Bank is supporting private sector investment across our country and enabling our corporate, commercial and agricultural clients to invest for the future and create economic opportunity. The new EUR 12 million from the European Investment Bank and EU support for Commercial Bank will unlock new private sector financing that our branches across the country will provide to private companies. The close cooperation between the Commercial Bank and the EIB's financial experts in recent months will unlock access to longer-term loans essential for businesses to grow in difficult times and ensure that Cameroon benefits from the EIB's rapid response to strengthen the economic resilience to COVID in Africa”. said Léandre Djummo, General Manager of Commercial Bank.

    “Ensuring access to finance for entrepreneurs and businesses is critical to overcoming business uncertainties and economic challenges fueled by COVID-19. As part of Team Europe, the European Investment Bank is pleased to provide €12 million of new dedicated financing to Commercial Bank to unlock new private sector financing essential to strengthen private sector investment, create jobs and accelerate recovery. Cameroon post-pandemic. Today's new agreement demonstrates how Team Europe and African partners are joining forces to beat COVID and ensure private sector companies can create jobs and grow." said Thomas Ostros, vice president of the European Investment Bank.

    “The European Union is committed to supporting the private sector in Africa. Team Europe's cooperation with Commercial Bank will increase access to targeted business finance for companies across Cameroon. By helping the resilience of the private sector to the new €12 million financing plan, it will create jobs, unlock business growth and help alleviate poverty for years to come.” said Ambassador Philippe Van Damme, Head of the European Union Delegation in Cameroon.

    Supporting business investment across Cameroon during challenging times

    The EUR 12 million 7-year EIB loan to Commercial will enable new financing to be provided to private companies, in particular SMEs, throughout Cameroon. The European Commission will also support the initiative to further reduce the borrowing costs of loans granted under the scheme.

    The new financing will allow for longer average loan terms for business loans and allow businesses to better reflect the economic life of the new investment.

    Ensuring Cameroon benefits from a rapid EIB response to strengthen economic resilience to COVID

    The new EIB-Commercial Bank cooperation represents the EIB's first specific support for business investment in Cameroon.

    The scheme is part of the EIB's broader commitment across Africa to ensure that companies can continue to access finance when facing unprecedented business, trade and health challenges related to COVID-19, approved by the finance ministers of the European Union in April 2020, a few weeks after launch. recognition of the impact of the pandemic.

    The European Investment Bank is the world's largest international public bank, owned directly by the 27 member states of the European Union.

    Since the pandemic, the EIB has provided more than €8 billion for public and private investment in Africa.

  •   By allowing Europe to tap into West Africa s abundant natural gas supplies the Trans Saharan Pipeline is expected to boost exploration in the Republic of Niger and expand its energy industry With a length of 4 128 km and an annual capacity of 30 000 million cubic meters of natural gas the Trans Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline will link the Warri region in southern Nigeria passing through the Republic of Niger to the town of Hassi R Mel in northern Algeria from where it will connect to the existing Trans Mediterranean Maghreb Europe Medgaz and Galsi pipelines allowing Europe to take advantage of West Africa s abundant natural gas reserves and thus diversify its supply and expand critical revenue for West Africa Oil and gas industry The development of the multi million dollar pipeline began this year following the signing of the Niamey Declaration by the Minister of Petroleum Energy and Renewable Energy of the Republic of Niger HE Mahamane Sani Mahamadou the Minister of Energy and Mines of Algeria HE Mohamed Arkab and Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources HE Timipre Sylva during the third edition of the Economic Communities of West African States Oil and Mining Forum in Niamey the capital of the Republic of Niger on February 16 The Trans Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline is being developed through a partnership between the Nigerian National Oil Company NOC the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC and the Algerian NOC Sonatrach which has a combined share value of 90 and the Government of the Republic of Niger which will have the remaining 10 With much of the estimated 13 billion investment to be spent in the Republic of Niger and through which 841 km will be built the pipeline is expected to boost the West African landlocked country s energy sector which will allow it to monetize its enormous natural gas resources and promote economic development With recoverable natural gas reserves estimated at 24 billion cubic meters in the country the pipeline will allow the Republic of Niger to increase its domestic gas supply and expand its petrochemical sector which will serve to boost its agricultural industry an important employer in the country As the voice of the African energy industry the African Chamber of Energy supports the development of energy related projects on the continent Positioning the Republic of Niger and the West African Region to benefit from its abundant natural resources the Trans Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline will serve as a tremendous opportunity for public and private stakeholders throughout Africa further facilitating the potential of the continent to operate its energy industry independently throughout the entire value chain With developments like these Africa is really positioning itself to benefit from its own resources without becoming too dependent on other countries to develop its energy sector says NJ Ayuk CEO of the African Chamber of Energy adding A Through investment in their own oil and gas industry local companies will be able to drive project development and position the continent as a net exporter of hydrocarbons creating critical opportunities to further develop the industry and stimulate African growth With the aim of becoming a regional hub for hydrocarbons petrochemicals and associated products the Government of the Republic of Niger has stated its commitment to take advantage of the pipeline to boost the country s natural gas sector with the stated goal that the sector The hydrocarbons industry will account for approximately 35 of its GDP 45 of tax revenues and 68 of exports by 2025 The Government will also use the pipeline to facilitate the development of a skilled working class so a minimum 50 of all technical jobs in the energy industry will be filled by Nigerians over the next decade Home to about 8 of the world s natural gas reserves and with relatively low domestic gas consumption the African continent is seen as having considerable export potential and has been seen by Europe as a way to diversify the supply of its gas imports natural gas Due to Algeria s strategic position along the Mediterranean coast and through connections to existing pipelines or already under construction in Spain and Italy the Trans Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline is expected to serve as an option of additional long term supply for the European Union EU The EU s main gas suppliers are Norway Great Britain the Netherlands and Russia with most of its gas supply coming from Russia which currently accounts for about 38 of total natural gas imports to the continent It has been estimated that Russia could supply the EU with up to 70 of its natural gas imports by 2050 with the Russian natural gas multinational Gazprom having negotiated with Nigeria for its possible participation in the Trans Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline Following the EU s announcement to label natural gas projects as green investments the Trans Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline is seen as an opportunity for the EU to not only diversify its energy mix but to address the current energy crisis of the continent with rising natural gas prices increasing demand and compromising its supply As one of the most promising frontiers on the African continent for hydrocarbon exploration and development and with one of the most stable democracies in the region the Republic of Niger is poised to become a regional hub for hydrocarbons petrochemicals and gas with Trans The Saharan natural gas pipeline serves to facilitate this development improving the country s energy industry and promoting socioeconomic development
    Niger Set to Monetize Massive Gas Reserves through Trans-Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline
      By allowing Europe to tap into West Africa s abundant natural gas supplies the Trans Saharan Pipeline is expected to boost exploration in the Republic of Niger and expand its energy industry With a length of 4 128 km and an annual capacity of 30 000 million cubic meters of natural gas the Trans Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline will link the Warri region in southern Nigeria passing through the Republic of Niger to the town of Hassi R Mel in northern Algeria from where it will connect to the existing Trans Mediterranean Maghreb Europe Medgaz and Galsi pipelines allowing Europe to take advantage of West Africa s abundant natural gas reserves and thus diversify its supply and expand critical revenue for West Africa Oil and gas industry The development of the multi million dollar pipeline began this year following the signing of the Niamey Declaration by the Minister of Petroleum Energy and Renewable Energy of the Republic of Niger HE Mahamane Sani Mahamadou the Minister of Energy and Mines of Algeria HE Mohamed Arkab and Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources HE Timipre Sylva during the third edition of the Economic Communities of West African States Oil and Mining Forum in Niamey the capital of the Republic of Niger on February 16 The Trans Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline is being developed through a partnership between the Nigerian National Oil Company NOC the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC and the Algerian NOC Sonatrach which has a combined share value of 90 and the Government of the Republic of Niger which will have the remaining 10 With much of the estimated 13 billion investment to be spent in the Republic of Niger and through which 841 km will be built the pipeline is expected to boost the West African landlocked country s energy sector which will allow it to monetize its enormous natural gas resources and promote economic development With recoverable natural gas reserves estimated at 24 billion cubic meters in the country the pipeline will allow the Republic of Niger to increase its domestic gas supply and expand its petrochemical sector which will serve to boost its agricultural industry an important employer in the country As the voice of the African energy industry the African Chamber of Energy supports the development of energy related projects on the continent Positioning the Republic of Niger and the West African Region to benefit from its abundant natural resources the Trans Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline will serve as a tremendous opportunity for public and private stakeholders throughout Africa further facilitating the potential of the continent to operate its energy industry independently throughout the entire value chain With developments like these Africa is really positioning itself to benefit from its own resources without becoming too dependent on other countries to develop its energy sector says NJ Ayuk CEO of the African Chamber of Energy adding A Through investment in their own oil and gas industry local companies will be able to drive project development and position the continent as a net exporter of hydrocarbons creating critical opportunities to further develop the industry and stimulate African growth With the aim of becoming a regional hub for hydrocarbons petrochemicals and associated products the Government of the Republic of Niger has stated its commitment to take advantage of the pipeline to boost the country s natural gas sector with the stated goal that the sector The hydrocarbons industry will account for approximately 35 of its GDP 45 of tax revenues and 68 of exports by 2025 The Government will also use the pipeline to facilitate the development of a skilled working class so a minimum 50 of all technical jobs in the energy industry will be filled by Nigerians over the next decade Home to about 8 of the world s natural gas reserves and with relatively low domestic gas consumption the African continent is seen as having considerable export potential and has been seen by Europe as a way to diversify the supply of its gas imports natural gas Due to Algeria s strategic position along the Mediterranean coast and through connections to existing pipelines or already under construction in Spain and Italy the Trans Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline is expected to serve as an option of additional long term supply for the European Union EU The EU s main gas suppliers are Norway Great Britain the Netherlands and Russia with most of its gas supply coming from Russia which currently accounts for about 38 of total natural gas imports to the continent It has been estimated that Russia could supply the EU with up to 70 of its natural gas imports by 2050 with the Russian natural gas multinational Gazprom having negotiated with Nigeria for its possible participation in the Trans Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline Following the EU s announcement to label natural gas projects as green investments the Trans Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline is seen as an opportunity for the EU to not only diversify its energy mix but to address the current energy crisis of the continent with rising natural gas prices increasing demand and compromising its supply As one of the most promising frontiers on the African continent for hydrocarbon exploration and development and with one of the most stable democracies in the region the Republic of Niger is poised to become a regional hub for hydrocarbons petrochemicals and gas with Trans The Saharan natural gas pipeline serves to facilitate this development improving the country s energy industry and promoting socioeconomic development
    Niger Set to Monetize Massive Gas Reserves through Trans-Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline
    Africa11 months ago

    Niger Set to Monetize Massive Gas Reserves through Trans-Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline

    By allowing Europe to tap into West Africa's abundant natural gas supplies, the Trans-Saharan Pipeline is expected to boost exploration in the Republic of Niger and expand its energy industry. With a length of 4,128 km and an annual capacity of 30,000 million cubic meters of natural gas, the Trans-Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline will link the Warri region, in southern Nigeria, passing through the Republic of Niger, to the town of Hassi R'. Mel in northern Algeria, from where it will connect to the existing Trans-Mediterranean, Maghreb-Europe, Medgaz and Galsi pipelines, allowing Europe to take advantage of West Africa's abundant natural gas reserves and thus diversify its supply and expand critical revenue for West Africa. Oil and gas industry.

    The development of the multi-million dollar pipeline began this year, following the signing of the Niamey Declaration by the Minister of Petroleum, Energy and Renewable Energy of the Republic of Niger, HE Mahamane Sani Mahamadou; the Minister of Energy and Mines of Algeria, HE Mohamed Arkab; and Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, HE Timipre Sylva during the third edition of the Economic Communities of West African States Oil and Mining Forum in Niamey, the capital of the Republic of Niger, on February 16.

    The Trans-Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline is being developed through a partnership between the Nigerian National Oil Company (NOC), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Algerian NOC, Sonatrach, which has a combined share value of 90%, and the Government of the Republic of Niger, which will have the remaining 10%. With much of the estimated $13 billion investment to be spent in the Republic of Niger, and through which 841 km will be built, the pipeline is expected to boost the West African landlocked country's energy sector, which will allow it to monetize its enormous natural gas. resources and promote economic development. With recoverable natural gas reserves estimated at 24 billion cubic meters in the country, the pipeline will allow the Republic of Niger to increase its domestic gas supply and expand its petrochemical sector, which will serve to boost its agricultural industry, an important employer in the country. .

    As the voice of the African energy industry, the African Chamber of Energy supports the development of energy-related projects on the continent. Positioning the Republic of Niger and the West African Region to benefit from its abundant natural resources, the Trans-Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline will serve as a tremendous opportunity for public and private stakeholders throughout Africa, further facilitating the potential of the continent to operate its energy industry. independently throughout the entire value chain.

    “With developments like these, Africa is really positioning itself to benefit from its own resources, without becoming too dependent on other countries to develop its energy sector,” says NJ Ayuk, CEO of the African Chamber of Energy, adding: “A Through investment in their own oil and gas industry, local companies will be able to drive project development and position the continent as a net exporter of hydrocarbons, creating critical opportunities to further develop the industry and stimulate African growth.”

    With the aim of becoming a regional hub for hydrocarbons, petrochemicals and associated products, the Government of the Republic of Niger has stated its commitment to take advantage of the pipeline to boost the country's natural gas sector, with the stated goal that the sector The hydrocarbons industry will account for approximately 35% of its GDP, 45% of tax revenues and 68% of exports by 2025. The Government will also use the pipeline to facilitate the development of a skilled working class, so a minimum 50% of all technical jobs in the energy industry will be filled by Nigerians over the next decade.

    Home to about 8% of the world's natural gas reserves and with relatively low domestic gas consumption, the African continent is seen as having considerable export potential and has been seen by Europe as a way to diversify the supply of its gas imports. natural gas. Due to Algeria's strategic position along the Mediterranean coast, and through connections to existing pipelines - or already under construction - in Spain and Italy, the Trans-Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline is expected to serve as an option of additional long-term supply for the European Union (EU).

    The EU's main gas suppliers are Norway, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Russia, with most of its gas supply coming from Russia, which currently accounts for about 38% of total natural gas imports to the continent. It has been estimated that Russia could supply the EU with up to 70% of its natural gas imports by 2050, with the Russian natural gas multinational Gazprom having negotiated with Nigeria for its possible participation in the Trans-Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline.

    Following the EU's announcement to label natural gas projects as "green" investments, the Trans-Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline is seen as an opportunity for the EU to not only diversify its energy mix, but to address the current energy crisis. of the continent. with rising natural gas prices increasing demand and compromising its supply.

    As one of the most promising frontiers on the African continent for hydrocarbon exploration and development, and with one of the most stable democracies in the region, the Republic of Niger is poised to become a regional hub for hydrocarbons, petrochemicals and gas, with Trans- The Saharan natural gas pipeline serves to facilitate this development, improving the country's energy industry and promoting socioeconomic development.

  •  President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered Russian troops into two Moscow backed rebel regions of Ukraine defying Western threats of sanctions in a move that could trigger a potentially catastrophic war with Kiev Earlier the Kremlin leader had recognized the independence of two rebel held areas of Ukraine s Donetsk and Lugansk regions paving the way for an operation to deploy part of the potential invasion force he has massed across the country In two official decrees Putin instructed the Defense Ministry to take over the role of peacekeeping in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions In the same documents Putin also ordered his Foreign Ministry to establish diplomatic relations with the republics The recognition of the breakaway republics which have formed an enclave held by Russian backed rebels since 2014 has drawn international condemnation and the promise of targeted sanctions by the United States and the European Union with a broader package of economic punishment to come in the case invasion After a flurry of calls US President Joe Biden France s Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned that Moscow s tactic would not go unanswered The US leader also promised his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky that Washington was committed to the territorial integrity of Ukraine In Kiev Zelensky called a meeting of his national security council and was due to make a speech later that night Earlier in an often angry 65 minute televised national address from his Kremlin office Putin criticized Russia s ex Soviet neighbor Ukraine as a failed state and puppet of the West repeatedly suggesting it was essentially part of Russia He accused the Kiev authorities of persecuting Russian speakers and of preparing a blitzkrieg against the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine As for those who seized and hold power in Kiev we demand an immediate end to their military operations Putin said Otherwise all responsibility for the possible continuation of bloodshed will fall squarely on the conscience of the regime in power in Ukraine Putin said it was necessary to take a long awaited decision to immediately recognize the independence of the two regions EU will react with sanctions The recognition effectively ends an already shaky peace plan in the separatist conflict which has dragged on since 2014 after Moscow annexed Crimea to Ukraine and has left more than 14 000 dead Russia will now deploy troops with the support of separatist officials and Ukraine will now have to accept the loss of a large part of the territory or face an armed conflict against its much more powerful neighbor The move drew immediate condemnation from the West with Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling it a blatant violation of Ukraine s sovereignty and integrity and Foreign Minister Liz Truss declaring Tomorrow we will announce new sanctions against Russia EU chiefs Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel have promised that the bloc will react with sanctions against those involved in this illegal act Putin told his Security Council on Monday that there was no prospect for the 2015 Minsk peace accords aimed at resolving the Ukraine conflict Very big threat to RussiaAnd he made it clear that the stakes were higher than Ukraine whose efforts to join NATO and the European Union have deeply angered Moscow The use of Ukraine as an instrument of confrontation with our country represents a serious and very big threat to us Putin said The dramatic meeting with Putin sitting alone at a desk as his government military and security chiefs took turns addressing him from a podium came after weeks of tensions between Moscow and the West over Ukraine Western leaders are warning that Russia plans to invade its pro Western neighbor after massing more than 150 000 troops on its borders a claim Moscow has repeatedly denied Tensions have spiked in recent days after an outbreak of heavy artillery fire on Ukraine s eastern front line with separatists and a series of reported incidents on the border with Russia Ukrainian officials said two soldiers and one civilian were killed in the shelling of frontline villages on Monday In one of the most potentially dangerous developments Moscow claimed to furious denials from Kiev that its forces had intercepted and killed five Ukrainian saboteurs who had infiltrated Russian territory and accused Ukraine of bombing a border post In recent weeks according to US intelligence Moscow has concentrated an invading force of troops tanks missile batteries and warships around Ukraine s borders in Belarus Russia Crimea and the Black Sea Source Credit TheGuardian
    Defying West, Putin orders troops to Ukraine rebel regions
     President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered Russian troops into two Moscow backed rebel regions of Ukraine defying Western threats of sanctions in a move that could trigger a potentially catastrophic war with Kiev Earlier the Kremlin leader had recognized the independence of two rebel held areas of Ukraine s Donetsk and Lugansk regions paving the way for an operation to deploy part of the potential invasion force he has massed across the country In two official decrees Putin instructed the Defense Ministry to take over the role of peacekeeping in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions In the same documents Putin also ordered his Foreign Ministry to establish diplomatic relations with the republics The recognition of the breakaway republics which have formed an enclave held by Russian backed rebels since 2014 has drawn international condemnation and the promise of targeted sanctions by the United States and the European Union with a broader package of economic punishment to come in the case invasion After a flurry of calls US President Joe Biden France s Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned that Moscow s tactic would not go unanswered The US leader also promised his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky that Washington was committed to the territorial integrity of Ukraine In Kiev Zelensky called a meeting of his national security council and was due to make a speech later that night Earlier in an often angry 65 minute televised national address from his Kremlin office Putin criticized Russia s ex Soviet neighbor Ukraine as a failed state and puppet of the West repeatedly suggesting it was essentially part of Russia He accused the Kiev authorities of persecuting Russian speakers and of preparing a blitzkrieg against the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine As for those who seized and hold power in Kiev we demand an immediate end to their military operations Putin said Otherwise all responsibility for the possible continuation of bloodshed will fall squarely on the conscience of the regime in power in Ukraine Putin said it was necessary to take a long awaited decision to immediately recognize the independence of the two regions EU will react with sanctions The recognition effectively ends an already shaky peace plan in the separatist conflict which has dragged on since 2014 after Moscow annexed Crimea to Ukraine and has left more than 14 000 dead Russia will now deploy troops with the support of separatist officials and Ukraine will now have to accept the loss of a large part of the territory or face an armed conflict against its much more powerful neighbor The move drew immediate condemnation from the West with Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling it a blatant violation of Ukraine s sovereignty and integrity and Foreign Minister Liz Truss declaring Tomorrow we will announce new sanctions against Russia EU chiefs Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel have promised that the bloc will react with sanctions against those involved in this illegal act Putin told his Security Council on Monday that there was no prospect for the 2015 Minsk peace accords aimed at resolving the Ukraine conflict Very big threat to RussiaAnd he made it clear that the stakes were higher than Ukraine whose efforts to join NATO and the European Union have deeply angered Moscow The use of Ukraine as an instrument of confrontation with our country represents a serious and very big threat to us Putin said The dramatic meeting with Putin sitting alone at a desk as his government military and security chiefs took turns addressing him from a podium came after weeks of tensions between Moscow and the West over Ukraine Western leaders are warning that Russia plans to invade its pro Western neighbor after massing more than 150 000 troops on its borders a claim Moscow has repeatedly denied Tensions have spiked in recent days after an outbreak of heavy artillery fire on Ukraine s eastern front line with separatists and a series of reported incidents on the border with Russia Ukrainian officials said two soldiers and one civilian were killed in the shelling of frontline villages on Monday In one of the most potentially dangerous developments Moscow claimed to furious denials from Kiev that its forces had intercepted and killed five Ukrainian saboteurs who had infiltrated Russian territory and accused Ukraine of bombing a border post In recent weeks according to US intelligence Moscow has concentrated an invading force of troops tanks missile batteries and warships around Ukraine s borders in Belarus Russia Crimea and the Black Sea Source Credit TheGuardian
    Defying West, Putin orders troops to Ukraine rebel regions
    Foreign11 months ago

    Defying West, Putin orders troops to Ukraine rebel regions

    President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered Russian troops into two Moscow-backed rebel regions of Ukraine, defying Western threats of sanctions in a move that could trigger a potentially catastrophic war with Kiev.

    Earlier, the Kremlin leader had recognized the independence of two rebel-held areas of Ukraine's Donetsk and Lugansk regions, paving the way for an operation to deploy part of the potential invasion force he has massed across the country.

    In two official decrees, Putin instructed the Defense Ministry to take over "the role of peacekeeping" in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. In the same documents, Putin also ordered his Foreign Ministry to "establish diplomatic relations" with the "republics."

    The recognition of the breakaway republics, which have formed an enclave held by Russian-backed rebels since 2014, has drawn international condemnation and the promise of targeted sanctions by the United States and the European Union, with a broader package of economic punishment. to come in the case. invasion

    After a flurry of calls, US President Joe Biden, France's Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned that Moscow's tactic "would not go unanswered."

    The US leader also promised his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, that Washington was committed to the "territorial integrity" of Ukraine.

    In Kiev, Zelensky called a meeting of his national security council and was due to make a speech later that night.

    Earlier, in an often angry 65-minute televised national address from his Kremlin office, Putin criticized Russia's ex-Soviet neighbor Ukraine as a failed state and "puppet" of the West, repeatedly suggesting it was essentially part of Russia.

    He accused the Kiev authorities of persecuting Russian speakers and of preparing a "blitzkrieg" against the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine.

    "As for those who seized and hold power in Kiev, we demand an immediate end to their military operations," Putin said.

    “Otherwise, all responsibility for the possible continuation of bloodshed will fall squarely on the conscience of the regime in power in Ukraine.”

    Putin said it was necessary to "take a long-awaited decision, to immediately recognize the independence" of the two regions.

    EU 'will react with sanctions'
    The recognition effectively ends an already shaky peace plan in the separatist conflict, which has dragged on since 2014, after Moscow annexed Crimea to Ukraine, and has left more than 14,000 dead.

    Russia will now deploy troops with the support of separatist officials and Ukraine will now have to accept the loss of a large part of the territory or face an armed conflict against its much more powerful neighbor.

    The move drew immediate condemnation from the West, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling it "a blatant violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and integrity" and Foreign Minister Liz Truss declaring: "Tomorrow we will announce new sanctions against Russia."

    EU chiefs Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel have promised that the bloc will "react with sanctions against those involved in this illegal act".

    Putin told his Security Council on Monday that there was "no prospect" for the 2015 Minsk peace accords aimed at resolving the Ukraine conflict.

    'Very big threat' to Russia
    And he made it clear that the stakes were higher than Ukraine, whose efforts to join NATO and the European Union have deeply angered Moscow.

    "The use of Ukraine as an instrument of confrontation with our country represents a serious and very big threat to us," Putin said.

    The dramatic meeting, with Putin sitting alone at a desk as his government, military and security chiefs took turns addressing him from a podium, came after weeks of tensions between Moscow and the West over Ukraine.

    Western leaders are warning that Russia plans to invade its pro-Western neighbor after massing more than 150,000 troops on its borders, a claim Moscow has repeatedly denied.

    Tensions have spiked in recent days after an outbreak of heavy artillery fire on Ukraine's eastern front line with separatists and a series of reported incidents on the border with Russia.

    Ukrainian officials said two soldiers and one civilian were killed in the shelling of frontline villages on Monday.

    In one of the most potentially dangerous developments, Moscow claimed, to furious denials from Kiev, that its forces had intercepted and killed five Ukrainian saboteurs who had infiltrated Russian territory and accused Ukraine of bombing a border post.

    In recent weeks, according to US intelligence, Moscow has concentrated an invading force of troops, tanks, missile batteries and warships around Ukraine's borders in Belarus, Russia, Crimea and the Black Sea.

    Source Credit: TheGuardian

  •  The Kremlin said on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin planned to recognize two rebel regions of Ukraine as independent a move that could trigger a potentially catastrophic conflict with the Western backed government in Kiev In a statement after Putin spoke to the French and German leaders the Kremlin said Putin had informed them of requests from authorities in breakaway regions and Russian lawmakers for Moscow to grant recognition In the near future the president plans to sign the order the statement said adding that France s Emmanuel Macron and Germany s Olaf Scholz expressed disappointment at the decision in phone calls Putin had presided over a lengthy and carefully staged meeting of his powerful Security Council hours earlier listening to top officials say it was time for Russia to recognize the Donetsk People s Republic and the Lugansk People s Republic as independent I have listened to your opinions The decision will be made today she said after the meeting which was broadcast on state television for more than 90 minutes State media have announced a televised statement by Putin later on Monday The recognition will put an end in practice to an already shaky peace plan in the separatist conflict which has lasted since 2014 after Moscow annexed Crimea to Ukraine and has left more than 14 000 dead Russia could now move troops to protect hundreds of thousands of residents in regions that have been issued Russian passports justifying an intervention in defense of its citizens Then Ukraine would have to accept the loss of a large part of the territory or face an armed conflict with its much more powerful neighbor Ukrainian leader President Volodymyr Zelensky said he had convened his own National Security and Defense Council after Putin spoke and also held calls with Macron and Scholz Moscow s sudden and decisive move overshadowed last minute diplomatic attempts to ease weeks of tensions over fears that Russia has been planning an all out invasion of its pro Western neighbor European leaders have been urging Putin to hold a summit with his American counterpart Joe Biden and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Putin at the security council meeting that he would meet with his American counterpart Thursday in Geneva Very big threat to Russia But Putin made clear there was no room for further talks on the separatists telling the security council there was no prospect for the 2015 Minsk peace accords aimed at resolving the Ukraine conflict He made it clear that the stakes were higher than the former Soviet Ukraine whose efforts to join NATO and the European Union have deeply angered Moscow The use of Ukraine as an instrument of confrontation with our country represents a serious and very big threat to us Putin said The dramatic meeting with Putin sitting alone at a desk as his government military and security chiefs took turns addressing him from a podium came after weeks of tensions between Moscow and the West over Ukraine Western leaders are warning that Russia plans to invade its pro Western neighbor after massing more than 150 000 troops on its borders a claim Moscow has repeatedly denied Ukraine on Monday called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting to address the threat citing security guarantees it received in exchange for giving up its nuclear arsenal in 1994 Announcing the request on Twitter Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba cited article six of the Budapest memorandum the landmark 1994 agreement also signed by Russia the United States and Britain Tensions have spiked in recent days after an outbreak of heavy artillery fire on Ukraine s eastern front line with separatists and a series of reported incidents on the border with Russia In one of the most potentially dangerous episodes Moscow claimed to angry denials from Kiev that its forces had intercepted and killed five Ukrainian saboteurs who had infiltrated Russian territory and accused Ukraine of bombing a border post Crush them damage them Kyiv concerned that Russia is constructing a narrative to justify an invasion immediately denied all the allegations which are being widely reported in Russian state media with Kuleba taking to Twitter No Ukraine did NOT attacked Donetsk or Luhansk sent saboteurs or APCs armored personnel carriers over the Russian border bombed Russian territory bombed the Russian border crossing carried out acts of sabotage he said Ukraine does not plan any such actions either Russia stop your factory producing fakes now she wrote Also Monday local officials said shelling in the government controlled village of Novoluganske 35 kilometers 25 miles north of the eastern rebel stronghold of Donetsk had killed one civilian there US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told NBC News that a Russian invasion of his neighbor would be an extremely violent operation followed by a brutal occupation It will be a war waged by Russia against the Ukrainian people to suppress them crush them harm them the White House official said Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said there were no signs of Russian forces withdrawing from the border and Moscow backed rebels continued to bombard Ukrainian positions In recent weeks according to US intelligence Moscow has concentrated an invading force of troops tanks missile batteries and warships around Ukraine s borders in Belarus Russia Crimea and the Black Sea Biden has said that US intelligence believes Putin made the decision to invade Ukraine and that commanders are preparing units to attack within days Western powers have threatened a crippling sanctions package if Russia invades and shortly before Putin s announcement EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said sanctions would also be on the table if Russia recognized separatists Source Credit TheGuardian
    Russia to recognise Ukraine rebel regions as Putin defies West
     The Kremlin said on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin planned to recognize two rebel regions of Ukraine as independent a move that could trigger a potentially catastrophic conflict with the Western backed government in Kiev In a statement after Putin spoke to the French and German leaders the Kremlin said Putin had informed them of requests from authorities in breakaway regions and Russian lawmakers for Moscow to grant recognition In the near future the president plans to sign the order the statement said adding that France s Emmanuel Macron and Germany s Olaf Scholz expressed disappointment at the decision in phone calls Putin had presided over a lengthy and carefully staged meeting of his powerful Security Council hours earlier listening to top officials say it was time for Russia to recognize the Donetsk People s Republic and the Lugansk People s Republic as independent I have listened to your opinions The decision will be made today she said after the meeting which was broadcast on state television for more than 90 minutes State media have announced a televised statement by Putin later on Monday The recognition will put an end in practice to an already shaky peace plan in the separatist conflict which has lasted since 2014 after Moscow annexed Crimea to Ukraine and has left more than 14 000 dead Russia could now move troops to protect hundreds of thousands of residents in regions that have been issued Russian passports justifying an intervention in defense of its citizens Then Ukraine would have to accept the loss of a large part of the territory or face an armed conflict with its much more powerful neighbor Ukrainian leader President Volodymyr Zelensky said he had convened his own National Security and Defense Council after Putin spoke and also held calls with Macron and Scholz Moscow s sudden and decisive move overshadowed last minute diplomatic attempts to ease weeks of tensions over fears that Russia has been planning an all out invasion of its pro Western neighbor European leaders have been urging Putin to hold a summit with his American counterpart Joe Biden and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Putin at the security council meeting that he would meet with his American counterpart Thursday in Geneva Very big threat to Russia But Putin made clear there was no room for further talks on the separatists telling the security council there was no prospect for the 2015 Minsk peace accords aimed at resolving the Ukraine conflict He made it clear that the stakes were higher than the former Soviet Ukraine whose efforts to join NATO and the European Union have deeply angered Moscow The use of Ukraine as an instrument of confrontation with our country represents a serious and very big threat to us Putin said The dramatic meeting with Putin sitting alone at a desk as his government military and security chiefs took turns addressing him from a podium came after weeks of tensions between Moscow and the West over Ukraine Western leaders are warning that Russia plans to invade its pro Western neighbor after massing more than 150 000 troops on its borders a claim Moscow has repeatedly denied Ukraine on Monday called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting to address the threat citing security guarantees it received in exchange for giving up its nuclear arsenal in 1994 Announcing the request on Twitter Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba cited article six of the Budapest memorandum the landmark 1994 agreement also signed by Russia the United States and Britain Tensions have spiked in recent days after an outbreak of heavy artillery fire on Ukraine s eastern front line with separatists and a series of reported incidents on the border with Russia In one of the most potentially dangerous episodes Moscow claimed to angry denials from Kiev that its forces had intercepted and killed five Ukrainian saboteurs who had infiltrated Russian territory and accused Ukraine of bombing a border post Crush them damage them Kyiv concerned that Russia is constructing a narrative to justify an invasion immediately denied all the allegations which are being widely reported in Russian state media with Kuleba taking to Twitter No Ukraine did NOT attacked Donetsk or Luhansk sent saboteurs or APCs armored personnel carriers over the Russian border bombed Russian territory bombed the Russian border crossing carried out acts of sabotage he said Ukraine does not plan any such actions either Russia stop your factory producing fakes now she wrote Also Monday local officials said shelling in the government controlled village of Novoluganske 35 kilometers 25 miles north of the eastern rebel stronghold of Donetsk had killed one civilian there US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told NBC News that a Russian invasion of his neighbor would be an extremely violent operation followed by a brutal occupation It will be a war waged by Russia against the Ukrainian people to suppress them crush them harm them the White House official said Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said there were no signs of Russian forces withdrawing from the border and Moscow backed rebels continued to bombard Ukrainian positions In recent weeks according to US intelligence Moscow has concentrated an invading force of troops tanks missile batteries and warships around Ukraine s borders in Belarus Russia Crimea and the Black Sea Biden has said that US intelligence believes Putin made the decision to invade Ukraine and that commanders are preparing units to attack within days Western powers have threatened a crippling sanctions package if Russia invades and shortly before Putin s announcement EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said sanctions would also be on the table if Russia recognized separatists Source Credit TheGuardian
    Russia to recognise Ukraine rebel regions as Putin defies West
    Foreign11 months ago

    Russia to recognise Ukraine rebel regions as Putin defies West

    The Kremlin said on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin planned to recognize two rebel regions of Ukraine as independent, a move that could trigger a potentially catastrophic conflict with the Western-backed government in Kiev.

    In a statement after Putin spoke to the French and German leaders, the Kremlin said Putin had informed them of requests from authorities in breakaway regions and Russian lawmakers for Moscow to grant recognition.

    "In the near future, the president plans to sign the order," the statement said, adding that France's Emmanuel Macron and Germany's Olaf Scholz "expressed disappointment" at the decision in phone calls.

    Putin had presided over a lengthy and carefully staged meeting of his powerful Security Council hours earlier, listening to top officials say it was time for Russia to recognize the Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic as independent.

    “I have listened to your opinions. The decision will be made today,” she said after the meeting, which was broadcast on state television for more than 90 minutes.

    State media have announced a televised statement by Putin later on Monday.

    The recognition will put an end in practice to an already shaky peace plan in the separatist conflict, which has lasted since 2014, after Moscow annexed Crimea to Ukraine, and has left more than 14,000 dead.

    Russia could now move troops to protect hundreds of thousands of residents in regions that have been issued Russian passports, justifying an intervention in defense of its citizens.

    Then, Ukraine would have to accept the loss of a large part of the territory or face an armed conflict with its much more powerful neighbor.

    Ukrainian leader President Volodymyr Zelensky said he had convened his own National Security and Defense Council after Putin spoke, and also held calls with Macron and Scholz.

    Moscow's sudden and decisive move overshadowed last-minute diplomatic attempts to ease weeks of tensions over fears that Russia has been planning an all-out invasion of its pro-Western neighbor.

    European leaders have been urging Putin to hold a summit with his American counterpart, Joe Biden, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Putin at the security council meeting that he would meet with his American counterpart. Thursday in Geneva.

    'Very big threat' to Russia
    But Putin made clear there was no room for further talks on the separatists, telling the security council there was "no prospect" for the 2015 Minsk peace accords aimed at resolving the Ukraine conflict.

    He made it clear that the stakes were higher than the former Soviet Ukraine, whose efforts to join NATO and the European Union have deeply angered Moscow.

    "The use of Ukraine as an instrument of confrontation with our country represents a serious and very big threat to us," Putin said.

    The dramatic meeting, with Putin sitting alone at a desk as his government, military and security chiefs took turns addressing him from a podium, came after weeks of tensions between Moscow and the West over Ukraine.

    Western leaders are warning that Russia plans to invade its pro-Western neighbor after massing more than 150,000 troops on its borders, a claim Moscow has repeatedly denied.

    Ukraine on Monday called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting to address the threat, citing security guarantees it received in exchange for giving up its nuclear arsenal in 1994.

    Announcing the request on Twitter, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba cited article six of the Budapest memorandum, the landmark 1994 agreement also signed by Russia, the United States and Britain.

    Tensions have spiked in recent days after an outbreak of heavy artillery fire on Ukraine's eastern front line with separatists and a series of reported incidents on the border with Russia.

    In one of the most potentially dangerous episodes, Moscow claimed, to angry denials from Kiev, that its forces had intercepted and killed five Ukrainian saboteurs who had infiltrated Russian territory and accused Ukraine of bombing a border post.

    'Crush them, damage them'
    Kyiv, concerned that Russia is constructing a narrative to justify an invasion, immediately denied all the allegations, which are being widely reported in Russian state media, with Kuleba taking to Twitter.

    "No, Ukraine did NOT: attacked Donetsk or Luhansk, sent saboteurs or APCs (armored personnel carriers) over the Russian border, bombed Russian territory, bombed the Russian border crossing, carried out acts of sabotage," he said.

    “Ukraine does not plan any such actions either. Russia stop your factory producing fakes now,” she wrote.

    Also Monday, local officials said shelling in the government-controlled village of Novoluganske, 35 kilometers (25 miles) north of the eastern rebel stronghold of Donetsk, had killed one civilian there.

    US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told NBC News that a Russian invasion of his neighbor would be an "extremely violent" operation followed by a brutal occupation.

    “It will be a war waged by Russia against the Ukrainian people to suppress them, crush them, harm them,” the White House official said.

    Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said there were no signs of Russian forces withdrawing from the border and Moscow-backed rebels continued to bombard Ukrainian positions.

    In recent weeks, according to US intelligence, Moscow has concentrated an invading force of troops, tanks, missile batteries and warships around Ukraine's borders in Belarus, Russia, Crimea and the Black Sea.

    Biden has said that US intelligence believes Putin made the decision to invade Ukraine and that commanders are preparing units to attack within days.

    Western powers have threatened a crippling sanctions package if Russia invades and shortly before Putin's announcement, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said sanctions would also be "on the table" if Russia recognized separatists.

    Source Credit: TheGuardian

  •  Senegalese President Macky Sall urged Germany on Monday to keep its troops in Mali amid uncertainty over its future in the fragile Sahelian country after France announced a military withdrawal The call came at a news conference in the Senegalese capital Dakar with German President Frank Walter Steinmeier who was visiting the West African state Mali cannot be abandoned You have to maintain your presence in the Sahel Africa needs it Sall said Germany has 1 170 soldiers deployed as part of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali known as MINUSMA The European state has also contributed 328 troops to the EU military training mission EUTM Mali in the Sahelian country But France announced last week that it would withdraw thousands of troops from Mali casting doubt on the future of Germany s military commitment German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said she is sceptical about continued participation in the EU training mission and questioned whether Germany should continue to engage with MINUSMA without France s support Sall who is also the current president of the African Union said on Monday that we need European forces MINUSMA and Germany in Mali Senegal shares a long border with Mali a vast and ethnically diverse nation of 21 million people Steinmeier told the news conference that Germany must remain present in a way that contributes to the stability of the Sahel But he added that the final decision rests with Germany s parliament which must decide whether to extend the country s participation in MINUSMA and EUTM Mali in May Mali has been struggling to contain a brutal jihadist insurgency that first emerged in 2012 before spreading to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger Thousands of soldiers and civilians have died and two million people have been displaced by the conflict in the Sahel of which Mali remains the epicenter France announced a military withdrawal last week due to a dispute with Mali s military junta which took power in 2020 and has since defied international calls to quickly restore civilian rule Source Credit TheGuardian
    Senegal’s president urges Germany to stay in Mali
     Senegalese President Macky Sall urged Germany on Monday to keep its troops in Mali amid uncertainty over its future in the fragile Sahelian country after France announced a military withdrawal The call came at a news conference in the Senegalese capital Dakar with German President Frank Walter Steinmeier who was visiting the West African state Mali cannot be abandoned You have to maintain your presence in the Sahel Africa needs it Sall said Germany has 1 170 soldiers deployed as part of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali known as MINUSMA The European state has also contributed 328 troops to the EU military training mission EUTM Mali in the Sahelian country But France announced last week that it would withdraw thousands of troops from Mali casting doubt on the future of Germany s military commitment German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said she is sceptical about continued participation in the EU training mission and questioned whether Germany should continue to engage with MINUSMA without France s support Sall who is also the current president of the African Union said on Monday that we need European forces MINUSMA and Germany in Mali Senegal shares a long border with Mali a vast and ethnically diverse nation of 21 million people Steinmeier told the news conference that Germany must remain present in a way that contributes to the stability of the Sahel But he added that the final decision rests with Germany s parliament which must decide whether to extend the country s participation in MINUSMA and EUTM Mali in May Mali has been struggling to contain a brutal jihadist insurgency that first emerged in 2012 before spreading to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger Thousands of soldiers and civilians have died and two million people have been displaced by the conflict in the Sahel of which Mali remains the epicenter France announced a military withdrawal last week due to a dispute with Mali s military junta which took power in 2020 and has since defied international calls to quickly restore civilian rule Source Credit TheGuardian
    Senegal’s president urges Germany to stay in Mali
    Foreign11 months ago

    Senegal’s president urges Germany to stay in Mali

    Senegalese President Macky Sall urged Germany on Monday to keep its troops in Mali, amid uncertainty over its future in the fragile Sahelian country after France announced a military withdrawal.

    The call came at a news conference in the Senegalese capital Dakar with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who was visiting the West African state.

    “Mali cannot be abandoned. You have to maintain your presence in the Sahel. Africa needs it,” Sall said.

    Germany has 1,170 soldiers deployed as part of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali, known as MINUSMA.


    The European state has also contributed 328 troops to the EU military training mission (EUTM Mali) in the Sahelian country.

    But France announced last week that it would withdraw thousands of troops from Mali, casting doubt on the future of Germany's military commitment.

    German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said she is "sceptical" about continued participation in the EU training mission and questioned whether Germany should continue to engage with MINUSMA without France's support.

    Sall, who is also the current president of the African Union, said on Monday that "we need European forces, MINUSMA and Germany in Mali."

    Senegal shares a long border with Mali, a vast and ethnically diverse nation of 21 million people.

    Steinmeier told the news conference that "Germany must remain present in a way that contributes to the stability of the Sahel."

    But he added that the final decision rests with Germany's parliament, which must decide whether to extend the country's participation in MINUSMA and EUTM Mali in May.

    Mali has been struggling to contain a brutal jihadist insurgency that first emerged in 2012, before spreading to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.

    Thousands of soldiers and civilians have died and two million people have been displaced by the conflict in the Sahel, of which Mali remains the epicenter.

    France announced a military withdrawal last week due to a dispute with Mali's military junta, which took power in 2020 and has since defied international calls to quickly restore civilian rule.

    Source Credit: TheGuardian

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