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  •  Artificial Intelligence AI and Analytics Accelerating the Development of Africa s Hydrocarbons Sector
    Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Analytics: Accelerating the Development of Africa’s Hydrocarbons Sector
     Artificial Intelligence AI and Analytics Accelerating the Development of Africa s Hydrocarbons Sector
    Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Analytics: Accelerating the Development of Africa’s Hydrocarbons Sector
    Africa10 hours ago

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Analytics: Accelerating the Development of Africa’s Hydrocarbons Sector

    With Africa pursuing the exploitation of its hydrocarbon reserves to address growing energy poverty and fuel industrialization, artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics technologies present a tremendous opportunity for the continent to accelerate the development of oil and gas resources.

    gas.

    As such, the continent's premier event for the oil and gas sector, the African Energy Week (AEW) (www.AECWeek.com), taking place from 18-21 October 2022 in Cape Town, will host high-level discussion panels.

    and meetings to discuss the critical role AI and analytics play in improving the production, storage, transportation and exploitation of hydrocarbons to make energy poverty history across the African continent by 2030.

    While Africa has had massive oil and gas discoveries in recent years, including the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim off the coast of Senegal and Mauritania, Luiperd and Brulpadda in South Africa, and the Rovuma Basin discoveries off the coast of Mozambique, among others: the development it has been slow due in large part to restricted investment, the impacts of COVID-19, and a lack of modern digital solutions.

    With more than 600 million living without access to electricity in Africa, Africa's accelerated oil and gas development is key to making energy poverty history.

    Now, with the rise of AI and analytics in the oil and gas sector, an opportunity has arisen for Africa to drive modern and sustainable energy growth for years to come.

    With oil and gas production in Africa declining due to the natural decline of legacy projects, increasing the use of AI and analytics in the upstream segment could help streamline drilling activities, revitalize the sector and expand oil reserves.

    mainland hydrocarbons for energy reliability, saving project developers, operators and owners time and resources.

    Furthermore, as African hydrocarbon-producing countries such as Nigeria lose billions in revenue due to theft and vandalism of infrastructure, a condition that holds back the expansion of Africa's oil and gas sector, intelligence tools Artificial intelligence and analytics can help optimize industry growth by improving infrastructure maintenance and safety across the oil and gas value chain, helping to reduce energy and revenue loss and, in the process, stimulates investment in the entire oil and gas sector.

    Furthermore, despite the fact that Africa accounts for less than 3% of all carbon emissions, policies related to the global energy transition are hindering the deployment of the necessary investments to boost the continent's hydrocarbon sector.

    However, by applying artificial intelligence and analytics, African hydrocarbon-producing countries and companies have an opportunity to track carbon footprints and improve energy and environmental sustainability while maximizing oil and gas production, and in the process , attract the investments needed to boost energy production and drive economic growth.

    Finally, with spending on digital solutions including AI and analytics within the global oil and gas sector set to increase by 7.5% from $17.7 billion in 2020 to $17.17 billion in 2025 as companies streamline processes trade, Africa's hydrocarbon industry is well positioned to drive socio-economic transformation.

    through job creation and the establishment of a modern, next-generation workforce in energy.

    “The digital transformation of African oil and gas operations is key for Africa to achieve its energy access and sustainability goals.

    By accelerating the adoption of AI and analytics tools, Africa's oil and gas sector will help create demand for digital tools, putting Africa at the forefront of the digital revolution by fostering technological development and job creation and in the process, boosting socio-economic growth,” said NJ Ayuk, the chief executive of the African Energy Chamber (AEC), adding that, “Representing the continent's official meeting place for energy stakeholders, AEW 2022 will be the place to promote new technologies, invest in current and future energy projects, and drive developments that will make energy poverty history in Africa by 2030.” The ACS, as the voice of the African energy sector, believes that the application of AI and analytics in the African oil and gas industry is critical to addressing the barriers to growth in the industry.

    Accordingly, AEW 2022 will host one-on-one interviews and panel discussions with oil and gas and technology industry leaders to explore the role of digitalization in Africa's oil and gas sector.

  •  United States Recognizes Top Mozambican Exporters at Second Annual Exporter Awards Ceremony
    United States Recognizes Top Mozambican Exporters at Second Annual Exporter Awards Ceremony
     United States Recognizes Top Mozambican Exporters at Second Annual Exporter Awards Ceremony
    United States Recognizes Top Mozambican Exporters at Second Annual Exporter Awards Ceremony
    Africa10 hours ago

    United States Recognizes Top Mozambican Exporters at Second Annual Exporter Awards Ceremony

    On August 11, USAID Mission Director Helen Pataki, along with His Excellency the Minister of Industry and Commerce Silvino Augusto José Moreno, His Excellency the Governor of the Province of Maputo Júlio Parruque, and other partners recognized the continued successes of Mozambican exporters in 2022.

    This was at the second edition of the Annual Exporter Awards, a collaboration between the US Government, the Agency for the Promotion of Investments and Exports (APIEX) and the Confederation of Economic Associations of Mozambique ( CTA).

    The Exporter Awards 2022 event also served at the same time as the official launch of the 57th edition of the Maputo International Trade Fair (FACIM 2022).

    The winners of this year's Exporter Award ceremony are: Exporter of the Year: Nova Sun Limitada Exporter of the Year Finalist: Beluzi Bananas Lda Best Exporter to the South African Market: Murrimo Macadâmia Best Exporter to the US Market: Award Breakthrough Chá de Magoma (for social impact through community development): Sunshine Nuts The award winners, who export agricultural products such as nuts, bananas and tea, underlined the need to diversify the Mozambican export sector.

    This award incentivizes and encourages Mozambican exporting companies to continue exploring innovative ways to improve their regional export competitiveness and to export their products worldwide and to the US market using the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

    .

    USAID Mission Director Pataki praised the continued collaboration between the United States and Mozambique to support the private sector, the results of which the award winners illustrate.

    “The US government shares a vision with all of our partners to promote the role of private sector-led economic growth,” said Director Pataki.

    “USAID and the US government at large are committed to promoting inclusive, sustained and resilient economic growth in developing countries, including Mozambique.” The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) leads the United States government's international development and disaster assistance through partnerships and investments that save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people out of humanitarian crises.

    For more information on USAID's work, visit www.usaid.gov

  •  President Ramaphosa will participate in the 42nd Ordinary Summit of the Southern African Development Community SADC
    President Ramaphosa will participate in the 42nd Ordinary Summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
     President Ramaphosa will participate in the 42nd Ordinary Summit of the Southern African Development Community SADC
    President Ramaphosa will participate in the 42nd Ordinary Summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
    Africa19 hours ago

    President Ramaphosa will participate in the 42nd Ordinary Summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)

    President Cyril Ramaphosa will pay a working visit to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Tuesday, August 16, 2022, to participate in the 42nd Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Development Community Southern (SADC).

    The regional leaders will deliberate on the development of the region under the theme "Promoting industrialization through agricultural processing, mineral processing and regional value chains for inclusive and resilient economic growth."

    The theme highlights efforts to strengthen the implementation of the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030.

    South Africa uses SADC as its main foreign policy vehicle to achieve regional development and integration in southern Africa.

    At the same time, SADC is guided by the SADC Vision 2050 and the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) (2020-2030), the Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap, and the Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan. The SADC Summit will take place on 17-18 August 2022 at the Palais du Peuple (Parliament Building) and SADC Member States will receive an update on the progress made in implementing these strategic policies and decisions.

    of the previous Summit, since the last meeting in August 2021 held in Lilongwe Malawi.

    Given the frequency of natural disasters in the region, the Summit is expected to adopt a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment and operation of the SADC Emergency and Humanitarian Operations Center (SHOC) to be hosted in Mozambique.

    Recognizing the role played by non-state actors in this sector, the Summit will consider a proposal for a SADC Mechanism for the engagement of non-state actors.

    This year's Summit will also consider the status of ratification, accession and implementation of SADC Agreements and Protocols by member states.

    The Summit will also deliberate on a proposed amendment to a protocol on the development of tourism in the region, as well as an amendment to the Southern African Development Community Treaty involving the recognition of the SADC Parliament as a SADC Institution.

    President Ramaphosa, in his capacity as outgoing Chair of the SADC Body on Political, Defense and Security Cooperation and Facilitator of the Lesotho Peace Process, will lead the Troika Summit discussions of the SADC Body, which is responsible to promote peace and security in the region.

    .

    The Summit will be preceded by meetings of the Standing Committee of Senior Officials and the Finance Committee; the Council of Ministers, as well as a SADC Public Conference and Organ Troika Summit.

    During the Summit, President Felix Tshisekedi Tshilombo of the DRC will take over the SADC chairmanship from President Lazarus Chakwera of the Republic of Malawi.

    Malawi assumed the Presidency on August 17, 2021 during the 41st SADC Summit held in Lilongwe, Malawi.

    President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr. Naledi Pandor; Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele and Deputy Minister of Defense and Military Veterans Thabang Makwetla.

  •  ACTIF2022 African participants to benefit from Barbados visa waiver
    ACTIF2022: African participants to benefit from Barbados visa waiver 
     ACTIF2022 African participants to benefit from Barbados visa waiver
    ACTIF2022: African participants to benefit from Barbados visa waiver 
    Economy4 days ago

    ACTIF2022: African participants to benefit from Barbados visa waiver 

    African participants in the first-ever AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2022) taking place in Bridgetown, Barbados, from Sept. 1 to Sept 3, 2022, would enjoy visa waiver requirements for passport holders from 24 African countries.

    The development was contained in a statement signed by Deborah Ross, Senior Public Relations Director, BrandComms, on Thursday.

    According to the statement, the benefitting countries would have otherwise needed visas to enter Barbados.

    It said that citizens of the remaining African countries do not require visas to travel to Barbados.

    It added that citizens of the 24 countries who register to participate in ACTIF2022, would be eligible for the visa waiver programme which allows covered visitors to enter Barbados without visas and to stay for up to 90 days.

    “ACTIF2022, which is being held under the theme “One People, One Destiny: Uniting and Reimagining Our Future”, is being hosted by the Government of Barbados and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).

    “The 24 African countries to which the visa waiver decision applies are: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Cape Verde, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti.

    “Others are Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Sao Tomé and Principe, Sudan, South Sudan and Togo,” it said.

    The statement quoted Kay Sealy, acting Permanent Secretary, Barbadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, who said that the move to add these countries to Barbados’ visa waiver list was to enhance business and investment opportunities.

    She added that the visa waiver, also being extended to 19 non-African countries would facilitate the ease of travel for tourists.

    “Participants in ACTIF2022 will include African and Caribbean heads of state and government, senior government representatives, business leaders, representatives of business associations, development agencies, multilateral finance institutions, think-tanks and research institutions from Africa and the Caribbean.

    “ACTIF2022 is being held in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat, the Africa Business Council, the CARICOM Secretariat, and the Caribbean Export Development Agency.

    “It is co-managed by Invest Barbados and Export Barbados,” she said.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  In Mozambique home screening keeps families malaria free
    In Mozambique, home screening keeps families malaria-free
     In Mozambique home screening keeps families malaria free
    In Mozambique, home screening keeps families malaria-free
    Africa6 days ago

    In Mozambique, home screening keeps families malaria-free

    Stefina Mocuvele watches her grandson Nolege happily play with his siblings.

    It is a far cry from his condition three years ago, when a bout of malaria landed the then-six-year-old in hospital, 10 kilometers from his home in Matuba town in the Chókwè district of Gaza province, Mozambique.

    "He spent three days in the hospital," she recalls Stefina, 62 years old.

    “It was a big concern for us.

    We had to go back and forth, bringing him food and clothes.

    “Before they put the mosquito nets on the door and window of the house, my grandchildren were always sick with malaria,” adds the 12-year-old grandmother.

    “But thank God, with the arrival of this project in 2019, not a single child in our house she has been ill with malaria.

    Nolege's family is among 400 families to benefit from a home screening project in areas where insecticide-treated nets are conventionally used for malaria control.

    The project is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO).

    Domestic protection (placing nets on doors and windows) has been shown to be effective in protecting against vectors that rest and bite indoors.

    It is a valuable addition to the malaria vector control toolbox, serving as an alternative to indoor residual spraying and reducing reliance on chemical insecticides.

    This year, WHO commemorated World Malaria Day under the theme "Harnessing innovation to reduce the burden of malaria and save lives".

    The theme reflects the urgent need to increase innovation and the availability of new tools in the fight against malaria, while expanding access to malaria prevention and treatment as part of more resilient health systems.

    According to the WHO World Malaria Report 2021, about 95% of the estimated 228 million malaria-related cases and 600,000 deaths last year occurred in the African region.

    Furthermore, 55% of all cases and 50% of deaths globally are attributable to just six countries in the region, including Mozambique.

    The Mozambican scientific community played a major role in the development of a new malaria vaccine, announced in 2021.

    And thanks to targeted awareness campaigns, the country saw an 11% year-on-year drop in malaria cases since 2020 (plus of 11.3 million).

    ) to 2021 (10.6 million).

    But Mozambique remains in the top four of 11 countries considered high burden to high impact with regard to malaria.

    Challenges persist in the correct use of mosquito nets and the acceptance by the population of indoor residual spraying.

    Dr. Sónia Trigo, Public Health and Environment Officer and project focal point at WHO Mozambique, notes that before the COVID-19 pandemic, the project had been gaining ground in communities like Chókwè.

    “It was going well,” she says.

    “But the pandemic stopped implementation for about a year.” With this project, Mozambique is replicating a Gambian trial.

    The results of the Mozambique project are expected to significantly improve the evidence base for this intervention.

    So far, the success is evident in the health of Nolege and her siblings, who have not visited a malaria ward in the three years since the project began.

    For authorities like Alexandre Macuvele, the local chief of Matuba, the signs are promising.

    “As a leader, I welcome this initiative, because we get evidence that it works,” he says.

    “Our youngest children do not suffer from malaria as much as before.

    “Although not all households in this locality have participated in the project, some heads of families whose houses were not selected have voluntarily begun to improve their own homes with materials from the area,” he adds.

    WHO Mozambique has been supporting the National Malaria Control Program with the collaboration of the Chókwè Health Research and Training Center and technical support from the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology in Kenya AFRO II Project, with funding from the Program of the United Nations for the Environment.

  •  United States Food Security Assistance for Sub Saharan Africa
    United States Food Security Assistance for Sub-Saharan Africa
     United States Food Security Assistance for Sub Saharan Africa
    United States Food Security Assistance for Sub-Saharan Africa
    Africa7 days ago

    United States Food Security Assistance for Sub-Saharan Africa

    Secretary Blinken is traveling to South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda this week, where the United States has been deploying resources and working in partnership with African governments, institutions, businesses, scientists, and other leaders to prevent hunger and combat the global hunger crisis.

    food security and, at the same time, address the rising rates of malnutrition, which has hit the African continent the hardest.

    At the G7 summit in June, President Biden and the G7 leaders announced more than $4.5 billion to address global food security, more than half of which will come from the United States.

    This $2.76 billion in funding from the US government will help protect the world's most vulnerable populations and mitigate the impacts of growing food insecurity and malnutrition, including from Russia's war in Ukraine, by building more resilient agricultural and food production and systems around the world, and responding to immediate emergency food needs.

    We have recognized the need for immediate action to avert far-reaching consequences, and we are responding with targeted support for Africa's own plans for food security and food systems transformation.

    Of this $2.76 billion, $760 million will go to short-term sustainable food assistance to help mitigate further increases in poverty, hunger and malnutrition in vulnerable countries affected by high food, fertilizer and fuel prices.

    Of this amount, we are working with Congress to appropriate $336.5 million for bilateral programs for countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe and regional programs in Southern Africa, West Africa, and the Sahel.

    Also of this $2.76 billion, USAID is programming $2 billion in emergency food security assistance over the next three months.

    As of August 8, 2022, the US has provided nearly $1 billion specifically to countries in Africa for this $2 billion commitment, including the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali , Mozambique, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan and Uganda.

    In addition to the President's G7 commitment, the US has announced the reduction of the balance of the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Fund, an effort in coordination with the US Department of Agriculture that will provide an additional $670 million in food assistance to respond to historical levels of acute food insecurity around the world.

    The funds announced in July and August 2022 will be used to purchase food products from the US to bolster existing emergency food operations in countries facing severe food insecurity.

    The resources will be delivered to: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.

    President Biden also announced that the United States is expanding sustainable food production in Africa through the US government's flagship global food security initiative to eight additional African countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia.

    This expansion brings the number of priority countries globally to 20 and delivers on President Biden's commitment in September 2021 to work with Congress to provide $5 billion through Feed the Future to end hunger and malnutrition.

    in the world and build sustainable, resilient and inclusive food systems abroad.

    Finally, the US government will also contribute to international efforts to support livelihoods and nutrition and help vulnerable countries build resilience to shocks, including food price volatility, supply chain issues, climate impacts and other long-term threats.

    Subject to notification from Congress, the US plans to provide $120 million for the following efforts: The African Development Bank's (AfDB) African Emergency Food Production Fund (AEFPF) to increase production of wheat, maize, climate-adapted rice and soybeans for the next four growing seasons in Africa.

    The Crisis Response Initiative (CRI) of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to help protect livelihoods and build resilience in rural communities.

    The Africa Adaptation Initiative (AAI) to develop a portfolio of bankable projects in Africa, to leverage private capital.

    The Africa Risk Capacity (ARC) Africa Disaster Risk Financing Program (ADRiFi) to help African governments respond to food system crises by increasing access to risk insurance products.

    A fertilizer efficiency and innovation program to improve the efficiency of fertilizer use in countries where fertilizers tend to be over-applied.

    Support to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will fund multi-country mapping of soils to provide insights that enable smarter water use, greater fertilizer conservation and better climate resilience impacts .

  •  Mozambique Another man potentially cured of Human Immunodeficiency Virus HIV
    Mozambique: Another man potentially cured of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
     Mozambique Another man potentially cured of Human Immunodeficiency Virus HIV
    Mozambique: Another man potentially cured of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
    Africa7 days ago

    Mozambique: Another man potentially cured of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

    A 66-year-old man living with HIV since the 1980s could be the fourth person cured of the HIV virus that causes AIDS since this global epidemic was discovered.

    The story of this man who did not want to reveal his identity was one of the news items shared at the International AIDS Conference, which ended last week in Montreal, Canada.

    According to medical sources, the individual known as "the patient from the City of Hope" - alluding to the hospital where he received his antiretroviral treatment - has not contained the virus in his body for more than 17 months, and has already stopped taking it.

    antiretroviral drugs.

    Doctors explain that the patient underwent a risky treatment for his leukemia that coincidentally eradicated HIV from his body.

    “When I was diagnosed with HIV in 1988, like many others, I thought it was a death sentence,” said the patient.

    “I never thought I would live to see the day when I no longer had HIV.

    I am beyond grateful,” he added.

    This case joins three others registered in the past, which represents hope for the scientific community that continues to work to find a cure for this global epidemic.

    While cures are rare, HIV treatment is available and, with consistent adherence, millions of lives have been saved.

    In Mozambique, the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has supported the government's response to HIV and AIDS since 2004.

    Since then, nearly $5 billion has been invested in prevention, care and HIV treatment, both clinically and community-based.

    based on approaches, which has prevented millions of AIDS deaths.

    Today, more than 1.7 million Mozambicans are receiving antiretroviral treatment and are able to lead healthy lives.

    PEPFAR and various stakeholders in the national response strive to achieve the UNAIDS target 95 95 95 of controlling the HIV epidemic by 2030.

  •  Rwanda Human rights must be a priority on Blinken Trip
    Rwanda: Human rights must be a priority on Blinken Trip
     Rwanda Human rights must be a priority on Blinken Trip
    Rwanda: Human rights must be a priority on Blinken Trip
    Africa1 week ago

    Rwanda: Human rights must be a priority on Blinken Trip

    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's planned visit to Rwanda on August 10-12, 2022 will come amid heightened concern that the armed group M23 is once again receiving Rwandan support for operations.

    in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Human Rights Watch said today.

    Blinken will also visit Congo, where M23 has expanded its control in North Kivu province in the eastern part of the country, targeting civilians with summary executions.

    The visit provides an opportunity to condemn these attacks, including war crimes, and any documented support from Rwanda that enables abusive conduct.

    The visit should also be used to highlight systematic human rights violations, including crackdowns on opponents and civil society, both inside and outside Rwanda's borders.

    Secretary Blinken should pressure authorities to release critics and opponents who have been jailed for exercising basic rights.

    “Secretary of State Blinken should tell some hard truths during his trips to Rwanda and the Congo,” said Lewis Mudge, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

    "Failure to address Rwanda's abysmal human rights record has emboldened Rwandan officials to continue committing abuses, even beyond its borders."

    Rwanda's ruling party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), has waged a brutal campaign against real and perceived critics of the government for years.

    Recently, high-profile critics, including Internet bloggers, have been arrested and threatened.

    Some have recently said that they were tortured in custody.

    Authorities rarely credibly investigate enforced disappearances or suspicious deaths of opponents.

    Arbitrary arrest and ill-treatment in unofficial detention centers is common, especially at high-profile visits or major international events such as the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

    Blinken is ready to raise the case of Paul Rusesabagina, whose arrest and detention in August 2020 falls within well-documented patterns of abuse against critics and raised serious concerns about the politicization of the Rwandan judiciary.

    Rusesabagina, now a Belgian citizen, was living in the US when he traveled from the US to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

    He was subject to enforced disappearance until the Rwanda Bureau of Investigation announced that it was holding Rusesabagina in Kigali.

    Human Rights Watch documented several due process and fair trial violations during Rusesabagina's trial, resulting in a lengthy sentence.

    Blinken should also raise the cases of journalists, commentators and opposition activists jailed for exercising their rights to freedom of association and expression.

    On May 30, a popular detained YouTube commenter, Aimable Karasira, told a judge that he was tortured in custody and denied medical treatment.

    In a court appearance on July 7, he said that he had been punished for revealing the treatment he received during his detention and that he had been beaten again.

    Attacks and threats against Rwandan refugees living abroad, including in Uganda, Mozambique and Kenya, continue unabated.

    The victims are often political opponents or critics of the Rwandan government or President Paul Kagame.

    Commentators, journalists, opposition activists and others who speak out on current issues and criticize public policies in Rwanda have been subjected to enforced disappearance and some have died in suspicious circumstances.

    The Rwandan government systematically fails to effectively investigate allegations of extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, deaths in custody, arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment, or ensure accountability.

    In many of these cases, the evidence points to the participation of state security forces.

    This has created a climate of fear among the population and widespread impunity.

    Among these cases is the suspicious death in police custody of well-known activist and singer Kizito Mihigo, despite calls from international partners, including then Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy. Innocent Bahati, a popular poet who posted his work focusing on human rights and social issues on YouTube, disappeared under suspicious circumstances on February 7, 2021 and is still missing.

    Authorities have made vague and unsubstantiated claims that he has left the country.

    Blinken should request specific updates on the investigations and steps taken by the authorities to deliver justice in these cases, Human Rights Watch said.

    The United States should urgently point out that there will be consequences for government repression and abuse in Rwanda and beyond its borders.

    The M23 was originally made up of Congolese army soldiers who participated in a mutiny in early 2012.

    These soldiers had previously been rebels in a Rwandan-backed armed group, the National Congress for the Defense of the People.

    M23 committed widespread war crimes and took over much of North Kivu province throughout 2012, with the direct support of Rwandan army troops deployed in eastern Congo.

    UN investigators at the time also said Ugandan army commanders had sent troops and weapons to bolster some M23 operations and helped the group with recruitment.

    In 2013, after M23 briefly captured Goma, UN-backed Congolese government troops forced M23 back into Rwanda and Uganda.

    Congolese authorities issued UN-sanctioned arrest warrants for senior M23 commanders in 2013.

    Rwanda and Uganda never acted on these extradition requests.

    As Congo failed to demobilize the group over the past decade, the M23 began recruiting and rebuilding its ranks in 2021.

    Since May, the M23 has demonstrated its ability to overrun UN-backed Congolese forces.

    UN sources and a senior Congolese official have suggested to Human Rights Watch that the group is receiving sustained outside assistance.

    On June 14, the US embassy in the Congo said it was "extremely concerned about the recent fighting in the east [Congo] and the alleged presence of Rwandan forces in [Congo]the territory of '.

    The UN Group of Experts on the Congo, commissioned by the UN Security Council to monitor the implementation of its sanctions regime, confirmed in its June report the presence of men in Rwandan military uniforms in M23 camps.

    On August 4, the media reported that the UN Group of Experts report found “strong evidence” that Rwandan forces were fighting alongside M23 and providing other support.

    The Rwandan government has repeatedly denied its support for the M23.

    As in 2012, the M23 is committing war crimes against civilians, Human Rights Watch said.

    Witnesses described summary executions of at least 29 people, including children, in June and July 2022.

    The US should raise credible reports with Rwanda that it is again supporting abusive M23 behavior in eastern Congo.

    Secretary Blinken should publicly condemn the M23 attacks in the strongest terms and warn of the consequences for Rwanda of any support for M23 in carrying out such abuses.

    Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on July 20 that he would suspend US security assistance to Rwanda in Congress due to concerns about its human rights record and its role in the conflict in the Congo.

    In a letter to Blinken, Menéndez called for a comprehensive review of US policy toward Rwanda.

    “M23 thrives on impunity and cycles of violence fueled by disregard for basic human rights,” said Mudge.

    "Secretary Blinken should not overlook the abuses in both Rwanda and the Congo, but he should put human rights front and center during his visit."

  •  Eswatini s king praises police crackdown on pro democracy protests
    Eswatini’s king praises police crackdown on pro-democracy protests
     Eswatini s king praises police crackdown on pro democracy protests
    Eswatini’s king praises police crackdown on pro-democracy protests
    Foreign1 week ago

    Eswatini’s king praises police crackdown on pro-democracy protests

    The king of Eswatini, Africa’s last absolute monarchy, on Friday praised police who brutally put down last year’s pro-democracy demonstrations in which dozens of protesters were killed.

    At least 37 people were killed and hundreds injured during weeks of anti-monarchy protests that first erupted in June last year, in the worst unrest to hit the usually peaceful former British colony.

    Human Rights Watch put the toll at 46.

    In recent weeks, at least four police officers have been killed in what authorities believe are revenge attacks by suspected anti-government activists.

    “I am very happy that even in present day, after you have been victims of attacks from terrorists, you have not stopped, but continued to uphold the oath that you took when you joined the police service,” King Mswati III said.

    “The high work ethic and level of acumen in your policing approaches should be maintained and continually strengthened,” the monarch said, speaking at an event to celebrate the police force in Eswatini, which was formerly known as Swaziland.

    Eswatini has traditionally stifled dissent and pro-democracy movements and political parties have been banned in the southern African country since 1973.

    Last year’s violence in the country of 1.

    3 million people sandwiched between South Africa and Mozambique drew international condemnation.

  •  The role of Algeria Egypt and Nigeria in Africa s quest for European gas market share by NJ Ayuk
    The role of Algeria, Egypt and Nigeria in Africa’s quest for European gas market share (by NJ Ayuk)
     The role of Algeria Egypt and Nigeria in Africa s quest for European gas market share by NJ Ayuk
    The role of Algeria, Egypt and Nigeria in Africa’s quest for European gas market share (by NJ Ayuk)
    Africa2 weeks ago

    The role of Algeria, Egypt and Nigeria in Africa’s quest for European gas market share (by NJ Ayuk)

    By NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber (www.EnergyChamber.org) Reduced deliveries of Russian natural gas is a source of anxiety for the European Union, and rightly so, given that the bloc has been too dependent for too long weather.

    for a long time at Gazprom, a Russian majority state-owned company that serves as a de facto political instrument for the Kremlin.

    But this anxiety is also a source of potential for African gas producers, as it is driving European consumers to look elsewhere for fuel.

    This search has drawn attention to a number of African gas projects that are likely to help Europe in the future, especially as the EU seeks to permanently move away from reliance on Russian gas.

    Both Tanzania and Mozambique, for example, are planning large-scale offshore development plans that will support liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants capable of shipping large volumes of the fuel to European markets by the end of the decade.

    The Republic of the Congo hopes to accelerate a medium-scale modular project that can start production a few years earlier.

    Meanwhile, other greenfield initiatives are being discussed in Mauritania and Namibia, and several large international companies have come together to bring new fields online to facilitate LNG production in Angola.

    All of these projects are exciting and new.

    For the time being, however, they are not going to have much concrete impact on the European energy balance.

    That's because they can't.

    They are not ready yet.

    The African Gas Timeline These projects have great potential, but their potential has yet to be realized.

    In countries like Tanzania and Mozambique, we know the gas is there because the International Oil Companies (IOCs) have seen, measured, analyzed and tested it; they just don't have time yet to drill all the development wells and build all the infrastructure needed to extract it and convert it into LNG for export.

    In the Republic of Congo, we know the gas is there, and the big Italian company Eni is already extracting it, just not on a scale that can immediately serve buyers in Europe or local power plants.

    These obstacles can be overcome.

    Holes can be filled, wells drilled, pipelines connected, gas liquefaction plants built, tankers chartered.

    But it will take time, years, not weeks or months, to organize the necessary financing, sign the necessary contracts, gather the necessary materials, etc.

    However, this does not mean that Africa cannot play a role in helping the EU wean itself off its dependence on Russian gas in the short term.

    Absolutely not!

    The importance of existing capacity But much of that assistance, at least in the short term, will come from existing capacity, that is, from places in Africa that are already producing gas for export to Europe.

    Above all, it will come from these three countries: Algeria, Egypt and Nigeria, which will account for 80% of African gas production between 2022 and 2025, according to the African Energy Chamber's State of African Energy Q2 2022 report, prepared in consultation with Rystad Energy.

    (Algeria, Egypt and Nigeria will also account for about 60% of the continent's total LNG production capacity during the same period, even as construction of new facilities progresses, the report says.) These three states are already known to be the largest.

    gas producers in Africa.

    According to the 2022 edition of BP's World Energy Statistical Review, they accounted for just over 83% of the 257.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas extracted in Africa in 2021 (for context, that's roughly the equivalent of all the gas consumed by Iran in a year), Algeria contributes 100.8 bcm (or more than 39% of the total), Egypt 67.8 bcm (more than 26%) and Nigeria 45.9 bcm (almost 18% ).

    In addition, they also account for the vast majority of Africa's gas liquefaction capacity of around 75.3 million tonnes per year (mtpa), with Algeria contributing 29.3 mtpa, Nigeria 22.2 mtpa, and Egypt 12.

    .2 mtpa.

    Algeria and Egypt have the only operating LNG plants in North Africa, while Nigeria is home to a plant that accounts for nearly 66% of sub-Saharan Africa's total LNG production capacity of 33.8 mtpa.

    Algeria, for its part, not only has LNG; It also has pipes.

    It is already using two of them, the Medgaz and TransMed systems, to pump fuel directly to Spain and Italy through the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. Together these two pipelines are capable of handling up to 40 bcm per year of gas.

    The good news is that Algeria, Egypt and Nigeria are already supplying a good deal of the gas that Europe has been using to supplement Russian supplies.

    Even better, they also have enough spare capacity to make their plans to ramp up production in the coming years realistic.

    Signs of confidence Italy's Eni — and the Italian government, which has a majority stake in the company — are equally confident in the potential of these countries to help meet Europe's gas needs, as evidenced by the decision to turn to Algeria and Egypt in the search for alternatives to Russian gas.

    Both Italian government officials and Eni executives have traveled to Egypt and Algeria since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in late February to negotiate and sign new supply deals.

    Similarly, French oil major TotalEnergies recently extended its commitment to a project in Algeria's North Berkine basin, in part with the aim of finding ways to export associated gas from its oil fields to Europe.

    They had good reason for making these decisions, and good reason to hope that they would pay off in the short term!

    It is worth noting, of course, that Africa can help make up some of the difference, not all of it.

    It cannot serve as a substitute source for the entire volume of 155 bcm that Russia delivered to the EU in 2021!

    But you can play a key role in this process, and you don't have to wait to start.