Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank Group: “Accelerating Africa’s industrialization”

Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank Group: “Accelerating Africa’s industrialization”

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, March 23, 2018/ — The 53rd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank and 44th Meeting of the Board of Governors of the African Development Fund, the concessional arm of the Bank Group, are scheduled to take place from May 21-25, 2018 in Busan, Korea.

While Africa has enjoyed strong economic growth for almost two decades, the continent has not seen a commensurate rise in industrialization. On average, African industry generates merely US$700 of GDP per capita, which is barely a fifth in East Asia (US$3,400). In addition, African exports consist of low technology manufactures and unprocessed natural resources, which represent more than 80 percent of exports from Algeria, Angola or Nigeria, for example.

Africa’s rapid industrialization holds the potential for a win-win scenario – for the world, and certainly for the continent. It would also help raise productivity by spurring technological progress and innovation while creating higher-skilled jobs in the formal sector; promote linkages between services and agricultural sectors; between rural and urban economies; and among consumers, intermediates and capital goods industries. Industrialization will also make the prices of manufactured exports less volatile or susceptible to long-term deterioration than those of primary goods, as well as help African countries escape dependence on primary commodity exports.

The theme is generating a lot of interest at a time when Korean and Asian companies are increasingly active in Africa. What lessons can Africa learn from Korea’s development experience? Can relations between both regions, built on a win-win formula, enable Africa claim a more significant share of world trade? Can Afro-Asian commercial and financial ties favor the development of the African private sector? What are the most effective policy levers that could foster structural transformation on the continent? How can the continent learn from the experiences of Korea and leading African nations such as Mauritius, Morocco, Ethiopia, and Rwanda in the industrialization process? These and other questions will be debated during the Busan Annual Meetings.

The Annual Meetings are one of the largest economic gatherings on the continent. Thousands of delegates, Heads of State, public and private sectors stakeholders, development partners and academics, will reflect on Africa’s industrialization − one of the Bank’s High 5 strategic priorities and an avenue to improve the living conditions of Africans.

During the meetings, the Bank will organize a series of knowledge events to generate new ideas for developing and financing Africa’s industrialization. Highlights of the meetings will include a high-level presidential panel on Accelerating African Industrialization: Bringing the future to the present. The panel will be a platform for political leaders from Africa and Korea to present their visions and strategies for industrialization as well as ideas for overcoming implementation challenges.

The Bank will launch the updated version of the African Economic Outlook (AEO) 2018 – the Bank’s flagship economic publication. Several knowledge events are on the programme such as Pathways to Industrialization, where panelists will deliberate on the various trajectories African countries can follow towards sustainable industrialization. A panel on Future of Work and Industrialization will examine how Africa can adapt its educational systems and workers’ skills to suit new economic realities, particularly for industrial development of the continent, among other sessions.

Journalists willing to take part in the Meetings are requested to send to the Bank a designation letter from their news organization at the following address. Upon receipt of the letter, the Bank will send a personal code that will allow online registration. Online registration will close on 13th May 2018. Journalists from countries without Korean diplomatic representation should register early enough in order to get assistance from the Bank in obtaining a visa should they need one.

The African Development Bank will not cover transport and subsistence costs for journalists travelling to Busan.

U.S. Embassy Honors Mensah-Kutin, Debra with MLK Awards

U.S. Embassy Honors Mensah-Kutin, Debra with MLK Awards

ACCRA, Ghana, March 23, 2018/ — In a ceremony held at his residence on March 22, 2018, U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Robert P. Jackson honored Dr. Rose Mensah-Kutin and Mr. Yaw Ofori Debra with the 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Peace and Social Justice. Since 2008, the U.S. Embassy has presented the award annually to one or more Ghanaian citizens who exemplify the spirit of American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Mensah-Kutin was recognized for her indefatigable work as a champion for women’s rights. As director of the West African Regional Office of ABANTU for Development since 2000, Dr. Mensah-Kutin has relentlessly pursued gender equality in public policy. One of her hallmark achievements was the creation of the 2004 Women’s Manifesto for Ghana, which articulated concrete steps to address the disparate treatment women still face in their daily lives. Dr. Mensah-Kutin was a leading advocate for the passage of the Local Governance Act of 2016, which included many gender-specific provisions. In the lead-up to the 2016 elections, Dr. Mensah-Kutin led efforts to ensure women voters were given the tools to make educated choices at the ballot box. She has tirelessly advocated for the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill, and seeks constantly to empower the next generation of women leaders in Ghana.

Mr. Debra was honored for his lifelong fight for the rights of persons with disabilities. As a student leader in the 1980s, Mr. Debra lobbied the government for payment of reading allowances for visually impaired students in tertiary institutions. In January 2005, he became the president of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations. He mobilized disability organizations to effectively advocate for the passage of the Ghana Disability Act and for Ghana’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He was influential in instituting National Disability Day and coordinating media and parliamentary caucuses to endorse disability advocacy. During the 2016 elections, he urged Ghanaians to assist family members to vote if they face accessibility issues and supported the Ghana Blind Union’s work to improve accessibility of polling sites. Mr. Debra played a critical role in ensuring that all citizens could participate in the democratic process and have their votes counted.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador Jackson praised the award winners for courageously taking a stand for justice.

“Dr. King taught us that the greatness of a nation is not defined and shaped by its government,” Jackson said. “A nation is defined and shaped by its people. People who aren’t afraid to stand up and say, ‘I deserve equal access to my democracy. I deserve equal access to education. I deserve equal access to opportunity.’”

Previous recipients of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Peace and Social Justice include:

2017: Professor Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, Executive Director, Center for Democratic Development (CDD)
2016: Sheikh Dr. Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu, National Chief Imam of Ghana
2015: Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director, Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG)
2014: Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, National Peace Council Head and Presiding Bishop, Methodist Church of Ghana
2013: Ms. Afi Azaratu Yakubu, Executive Director, Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA)
2012: Dr. David Abdulai Fuseini, Founder, Shekhinah Clinic
2011: Mr. George Achibra, Director, Partners in Community Development Programme (PACODEP) and Touch a Life Foundation
2010: Mrs. Janet Adama Mohammed, Executive Director, Human Rights and Democratization Project
2009: Mrs. Angela Dwamena-Aboagye, Executive Director, Ark Foundation
2008: The Right Reverend Vincent Boi-Nai, Bishop of Yendi; and Alhaji Alhussein, Director, Community Development and Youth Advisory Center (CODEYAC).

Virtual Reality Zones to transform the indoor theme park experience in Africa

Virtual Reality Zones to transform the indoor theme park experience in Africa

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, March 23, 2018/ — Remember how you thought wearing flimsy 3D glasses in theatres would never catch on, now get ready to spend an entire day wearing VR goggles for your next adventure. Experts believe that the next big thing for entertainment and leisure industry especially in the Middle East and neighbouring region would be driven by virtual reality technology. Amusement Services International (ASI) will also unveil Industry’s first ever operator-free VR attraction at the Dubai Entertainment Amusement and Leisure show 2018.

African millennials are changing their consumer spending patterns, from markets to malls, where they can eat, socialize and get entertained at Family Entertainment Centers (FEC)s apart from shopping.

Virtual Reality (VR) the next big thing in electronic entertainment is all set to invade your favourite theme park. Technology in the contemporary world has amassed heights only seemed possible in the motion pictures. Soon theme park enthusiasts strapped with VR paraphernalia, will enter worlds that were literally impossible to recreate. Africa’s population is set to grow to 2.3 billion by 2050. In contrast to the rest of the world, however, its booming population is getting younger.

Sharif Rahman, CEO of International Expo Consults (IEC), organisers of the region’s largest entertainment and leisure show DEAL 2018 and an expert in the industry stated that, “Virtual reality isn’t just for gamers, geeks and technophiles. Globally the number of theme parks adopting VR technology as part of their offerings to increase attendance is rising. While VR tech is still unfamiliar to most of the stakeholders in this industry, the paradigm shift is inevitable”.

VR and associated concepts of augmented reality and modified reality have gone beyond just the headset. With the utilization of haptic feedback suits and laser aiming controllers in the middle of a physical location a user can experience a fully immersive experience. Such VR parks in Africa can attract people around the African region and the VR concept is fast catching up within the other countries.

Especially in the Middle East and northern Africa market, footfalls at indoor theme parks and family entertainment centers at the malls increase during the summer months. VR parks would enjoy a similar popularity not only because of the cyclical and weather dependent nature of the outdoor theme parks in the region but also because of the intensive and immersive experience offered. Such parks would allow for round-the-year operations since they aren’t guided by an uncontrollable factor-the climate. Theme parks in other parts of the world aren’t affected by such issues.

“Virtual reality (VR) has been widely spoken about as the next big thing in the industry. We have now seen a full-fledged VR Park in Dubai and we will also see VR attractions adorn FECs in the coming days. In addition to VR, arcade games and simulators will still attract consumers. We have few new adventure and escape concepts that we are showcasing at DEAL 2018. These concepts will bring in another level of family engagement,” said Prakash Vivekanand, Managing Director, Amusement Services International LLC.

“With the help of VR technology, we can recreate imagery and create situations which we couldn’t before. VR parks or VR based rides in theme parks have emerged all over the world including North America, Europe and Asia. Even in Dubai, there are many options for VR based rides in Hub Zero, Sega Republic, Magic Planet among others, but an exclusive VR based theme park like the recently launched project by Emaar in Dubai Mall would prove to be a game changer,” concluded Mr. Rahman.

Virtual Reality Zones to transform the indoor themepark experience in Africa

Globally the number of theme parks adopting VR technology as part of their offerings to increase attendance is rising. (Source: APO Group for DEAL 2018 (Dubai Entertainment Amusement and Leisure).

Virtual Reality Zones to transform the indoor themepark experience in Africa

Globally the number of theme parks adopting VR technology as part of their offerings to increase attendance is rising. (Source: APO Group for DEAL 2018 (Dubai Entertainment Amusement and Leisure).

Daylight Africa

Africa Union Day-Sunday, September 9, 2018
at Bronx Community College

MMC & AUDF Will Be Launching
‘Daylight Africa’ Campaign
In partnership With Bronx Community College

The instructive pedagogical nuances embedded in Africa’s oral traditions assert that Africa has informed and inspired the dawn of civilization in diverse regions and cultures throughout the world. While it is indispensably evident that today’s world civilizations can be traced back to the banks of the river Nile in Egypt, current historical underpinnings are presenting Africa to be the habitat for barbaric fundamentalism and extremism that is sponsored by the enemies of Africa’s rich past, present and future. In recent memory, Africa has made headlines in sponsored terrorism, human trafficking, corruption, extreme poverty and foreign ideologies surrounding religious wars.

Notwithstanding the conversations propagating in the social media from around the world regarding Africa, Africans in the Diaspora still contend that Africa’s origin still provides a beacon of hope to the fast changing global community and whatever has happened in recent memory, Africans are saying ‘Not My Africa’.

Therefore, the response from Africans in the Diaspora has changed the tenor of the conversation in the media and in public; Not My Africa. Against this backdrop of media injustice to the African continent, the Africans in the Diaspora, under the leadership of African Union Day Foundation, Muslim Media Corporation and people of goodwill, have launched a new international image building campaign, Daylight Africa.’ This campaign shall counter against the prevailing intentional portrayal of a dark and gloomy continent by the media, as well as the trending sponsored barbaric fundamentalism and extremism surrounding Africa today.

Daylight Africa

Daylight Africa by Muslim Media Corporation

Top 5 Luxury Trains in the World

Top 5 Luxury Trains in the World

By Jagdish Prajapat, Article Cube

Venice-Simplon Orient Express, Europe

Mark your journey from beautiful Paris to gorgeous Istanbul in one of most incredible trains in the world. Experience stepping into the elegance of the early 18th century with the surrounding exquisite ancient décor art. Eat some of the best delicacies in any of the three dining-cars while sitting comfortable armchair seats complemented by the unsurpassable personal service. There is endless music, merry-making and full-fledged entertainment for the passengers in the bar car of the train. You can also get souvenirs for your loved ones from a small shop on board.

Rovos Rail, Africa

Begin an unforgettable journey from the Edwardian-styled departure room and spent some of the best life moments while traveling in the luxurious Rovos Rail. Experience the grandeur of Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, Victoria Falls, Dar es Salaam and Swakopmund with all the modern conveniences. From 24-hour room service to devouring food delicacies with the freshest of the ingredients, everything here is extraordinary. Go back in time while noticing the incredible interiors and classic wood paneling in the opulent Royal suites, Deluxe suites, and Pullman suites in the train. You can always suit yourself with the spectacular scenic beauty of the natural landscapes.

Rocky Mountaineer, Canada

Visit one of the friendliest countries in the world with first-class hospitality and over-the-top luxury and comfort in the Rocky Mountaineer. You can choose any of the 4 routes –  the GoldLeaf Service, SilverLeaf Service, or RedLeaf Service and Whistler –  this train travel provides you one of the most dreamy journeys possible. The GoldLeaf Service provides luxe accommodation, exclusive dining room, piping hot meals, complimentary beverages and snacks mark this service as the most popular. With SilverLeaf Service, you can enjoy the natural scenery through the windows of the custom-designed, single level glass dome coach.

Get delicious gourmet servings and excellent food service right at your seat during breakfast and lunch. Along with this, you also get complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. Even the RedLeaf Service is special with its live commentary by Host and guests enjoying delish meals comfortably. The Whistler Service is an unforgettable rail experience with the access to Heritage Observation Car and complimentary non-alcoholic beverages at breakfast or afternoon snack.

Maharajas Express, India

Voted as “The World’s Leading Luxury Train” at The World Travel Awards, 2012, The Maharaja Train will weave one of the most unbelievable train journeys for you. Don’t be worried about space as the train has 14 guest carriages which are categorized as 20 Deluxe Cabins, 18 Junior Suites, 4 Suites and a lavish Presidential Suite. It can accommodate 88 guests and provide world-class dining facilities, service, and off-train excursion program.

Tickle your taste buds with lip-smacking food at the divine restaurants “Mayur Mahal” and “Rang Mahal”. Enjoy your leisure time at ‘The Rajah Club’, a lounge bar or the ‘Safari Bar’, a thematic bar with the finest range of spirits and wines.

Golden Eagle Trans Siberian Express, Russia

Spend an exotic time on this luxury train that connects east and west Moscow over the Urals. Feel like a part of the magnificent and endless steppe or the shore of the largest freshwater lake in the world while traveling. There are two restaurants that can accommodate up to 64 guests. Enjoy elaborate lighting at the and the classic woodwork at the Gold restaurant car and soft shades of cream and white at the White restaurant car. It also features the Ornate Bar Car which is for the social exchange among the guests.

Hope this helps you plan your next happening luxury-filled journey.