Friday, July 30, 2010

After a long one year hiatus

I am back! From here I will take the direction of this blog from Green iniatives to the broader scope of finance and economics in Africa.

The vision of this blog remains to expose the multitude of great innovations out there, but now I want to focus on providing an appropriate framework for financial and economic prosperity in the region.

So, I'm excited to be back, and look forward to some interesting stuff coming up!

Monday, June 29, 2009

USAID to give $1 million to Africa for Climate Project

Finally! something on topic!!

Big news from USAID - an organization that has received a bad reputation for inefficient donations seems to realize the importance of Green Prosperity in Africa!

Read the article below:

USAID giving $1 million to Africa climate project
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The U.S. development agency said Thursday it has committed $1 million to a project that aims to help people living along southern Africa's Zambezi River cope with worsening natural disasters because of climate change.
The Zambezi River flows from Zambia to Mozambique, passing through places like Botswana and Zimbabwe on its way to the Indian Ocean.
For the 32 million people who live in the Zambezi's basin — some of the world's poorest — the river is a source of transportation, jobs and fertile soil for agriculture. But it also brings misery with a cycle of flood and drought that displaces hundreds of thousands of people annually.
Extreme flooding and dry spells destroy crops and cause food shortages, while receding waters leave cholera, dysentery and malaria.
Climate change is exacerbating the effects of an already precarious situation, according to Red Cross disaster management coordinator Farid Abdulkadir.
"Climate change is real; it is affecting us in Africa and it will get worse over time," he said.
This year's flood season was unusually severe: In Namibia alone, 90 people were killed and more than 276,000 were displaced. Growing concern about the impact of flooding spurred the Red Cross to create the Zambezi River Basin Initiative.
The Red Cross project will coordinate efforts in the seven nations that the river winds through — Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Projects will boost early warning systems and local training for disaster management, as well provide funds for malaria, cholera, and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention projects.
"You're preparing people to adapt to a situation they have to live with for many years to come," Abdulkadir said.
It's the right approach, said Harlan V. Hale, the principal regional adviser for USAID Southern Africa. The agency's $1 million commitment is the first step in funding the $8.6 million three-year initiative. Focusing efforts on prevention and preparedness could save lives, property and disaster response funds.
"It makes good economic sense in the long run," he said.
The Red Cross hopes that the initiative will also highlight the humanitarian impact of climate change in the lead-up to December's climate accord talks in Copenhagen — an event that will coincide with the beginning of another flood season along the Zambezi River.
Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Monday, June 8, 2009

A friend spent a month in Ghana building a church. Very cool - I will be interviewing her shortly about this experience

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Whitaker Group

This group is very interesting.

They are promoting a very similar structured solution to Africa, utilizing components of economic and political enterprise to lead Africa to prosperity. An excerpt of their mission is below. I have focused on the trade and investment component mission as it is most relevant to this blog:

Trade and Investment

TWG strongly believes that Africa’s road to prosperity runs through the global marketplace and that sustainable economic development is a necessary prerequisite to the lasting establishment of democracy and human rights. We bring together African governments and its local private sectors with global corporations, decision-makers and investors in the United States and beyond to grow African economies and enhance business operations on the continent.

To date, we have facilitated over $1 billion in trade, investment and capital flows between the US and Africa. We are recognized as the foremost experts on translating the opportunities offered by the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) into tangible results. Our founder and President, Rosa Whitaker, was one of the hands-on architects of AGOA, which provides duty and quota free access to the US market for essentially all products made in Africa.

TWG is proud to be playing a role in the economic renaissance of several African nations. The partnerships we have helped forge have contributed to sub-Saharan Africa’s average 6% growth rate over the past decade and have been instrumental in delivering skills, jobs, capital, infrastructure and social services. In addition, we have been pleased to open doors in Africa for global corporations seeking to invest or expand there, or to engage African leaders in innovative ways.

Our trade and investment work includes:

Working closely with the Government of Lesotho and manufacturers in Lesotho to grow a sustainable apparel and textile industry that has made the country the top apparel exporter in Africa. This has included facilitating millions of dollars in orders from major US retailers.

Designing and executing multiple trade and investment missions to the United States for African Heads of State, ministers and private sector lenders. In 2007, TWG co-hosted a trade mission with the US Chamber of Commerce that introduced ministers and other government officials from five African nations - Burundi, Ghana, Lesotho, Mauritius and Uganda - to major corporate players on the West Coast. The delegation met with representatives of Levi Strauss, GAP Inc., Starbucks, Costco, Boeing, Coca Cola, Landor, Nexant, Product Red and Google. Coordinating a series of apparel and textile trade roundtables for client nations with the US Association of Importers of Textile and Apparel.

Helping facilitate oil exploration offshore in Ghana, which has resulted in the discovery of significant oil reserves.

Designing and executing comprehensive strategic action plans for expanding trade and investment for the Republics of Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire and the Kingdom of Lesotho.

Developing comprehensive tourism promotion campaigns for Uganda and Ghana.

Co-convening annual AGOA investment summits in Washington, DC, and Africa, attended by global fund managers, US private sector leaders and African ministers. To date, TWG has helped convene five such summits.