In May, a month dedicated to women’s rugby in Africa

In May, a month dedicated to women’s rugby in Africa

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, April 10, 2018/ — At its last General Assembly in London in November 2017, World Rugby launched a new global strategy to promote women’s rugby for the period 2017 to 2025. Now it’s up to Rugby Africa to follow this example and formulate its own strategic plan adapted to take account of the geographical, economic and cultural needs and realities of the African continent to promote the practice of rugby among young girls and women.

With this in mind, the association for the continent has made May Women’s Rugby Month in Africa. A two-day forum on women’s leadership in rugby will be held in Gaborone, Botswana, on May 22-23 just before the opening of the Women’s Rugby Sevens African tournament organised for May 26-27, 2018. The choice of dates and venues was not accidental as Rugby Africa seeks to capitalize on the forum, the International Working Group on Women and Sport, taking place from 17 to 20 May in Gaborone.

At the centre of the debate is the growth of women’s rugby and the increase of the number of African female players but in addition, it will explore the role of women in our sport more generally, from their work in the technical support of the teams to their involvement in the management structures of rugby in Africa. It has to be acknowledged that Africa is lagging behind the rest of the world in women’s rugby since, for the time being, it has no team representing the continent at the Women’s Rugby World Cup and only South Africa is sending a team to participate in the Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco in July. Fair enough, but at the urging of Katie Sadleir, director for women’s rugby at World Rugby, the management team of Rugby Africa intends to change this situation and plans to work with the most motivated federations to create centres of growth for women’s rugby in Africa and to establish as quickly as possible role models to be emulated. The president of the rugby federation of Burkina Faso, Mrs. Rolande Boro, and the general director of the Tunisian rugby federation, Mrs. Maha Zaoui, will carry the torch for this African initiative and their efforts have already resulted in the establishment of a progress scholarship by World Rugby. It should also be noted that the all-inclusive Get Into Rugby program is very popular with young African girls with a participation rate of 46% and 412,841 girls registered in 2017, a good portent for the future.

For Katie Sadleir this exceptional week for women’s rugby in Africa is an opportunity not to be missed: “The increasing involvement of women in rugby presents the single greatest opportunity for our sport in the next decade. It is critical to World Rugby’s vision of a ‘sport for all, true to its values’ and its mission to grow the global family … Women’s rugby is experiencing unprecedented growth and participation levels are at an all-time high. Women’s rugby in Africa is leading the way in terms of numbers of female players registered globally. This important conference hosted by the Botswana Rugby Union will enable the leaders of the region to take the next step in accelerating the development of women in rugby in Africa.”

As for the competition, the competing teams will approach this tournament with a view to preparing for the qualifications for the Olympic Games to be held next year. Teams from South Africa, Kenya, Mauritius, Madagascar, Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Uganda and the host, Botswana, are expected in Gaborone. Mr Dave Gilbert, President of the Botswana Rugby Federation, is delighted to host the event: “It is wonderful for Botswana Rugby to showcase Women’s Rugby and be part of the future pathway for these female athletes. The Botswana Rugby Union and the Botswana National Sports Commission are very excited to be organizing and hosting this event which is the first of its kind in Rugby in Africa “.

These events are an opportunity to develop women’s rugby in Africa, an issue close to the heart of the president of Rugby Africa, Abdelaziz Bougja, who sees this as a strategic priority for the continent and the sport: “Women’s rugby is a real challenge in terms of development and competitions. We look forward to discussing this with the most active federations on the continent and to bringing women’s rugby up to the next level. Women’s rugby is without doubt top of Rugby Africa’s priorities for the years to come, since without women we will not be able to develop rugby, attract new fans and new players.”

In May, a month dedicated to women’s rugby in Africa

In May, a month dedicated to women’s rugby in Africa. (Source: Aop Group on behalf of Rugby Africa

APO Group on behalf of Rugby Africa

In May, a month dedicated to women’s rugby in Africa. (Source: APO Group on behalf of Rugby Africa

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.

New World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Agenda for Africa moves ahead in Berlin

New World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Agenda for Africa moves ahead in Berlin

BERLIN, Germany, March 13, 2018/ — An African ministerial working meeting conveyed by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) during this year’s Berlin International Tourism Fair ITB (8 March) agreed to move ahead with a new ten-point UNWTO Agenda for Africa. The final document will be adopted at the UNWTO Commission meeting for Africa, taking place in Nigeria in June this year.

Against the backdrop of international tourist arrivals expanding 8% in Africa in 2017, thus outgrowing the world average increase in arrivals, tourism is gaining weight as a development opportunity for the whole continent, with its vast diversity of nature, culture and wildlife its greatest vehicle for development.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili stressed that “tourism has huge potential to generate lasting development opportunities in Africa if we manage it in the right way, which is economic, social and environmental sustainability”.

The participants from 17 countries, including 14 ministers, supported a coordinated approach to seizing the continent’s potential for tourism, a sector that last year attracted more than 62 million international visitors. Issues on the UNWTO Agenda for Africa include, among others, connectivity, the image and brand of Africa, poverty alleviation, climate change, education and skills development, and financing. Delegates underscored the importance of educating other economic sectors on the broad impact of tourism for the benefit of societies and its people, and promoting tourism as a priority in national agendas.

The detailed, four-year UNWTO Agenda for Africa will be approved at the upcoming 61st Regional Commission for Africa – UNWTO’s annual gathering of all its member countries of the continent – in the Nigerian capital of Abuja (4-6 June).

The following countries were represented at the meeting at ITB: Angola, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Seychelles submits written statement to the International Court of Justice

Seychelles submits written statement to the International Court of Justice

VICTORIA, Seychelles, March 5, 2018/ — In June 2017, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a Resolution, initiated by Mauritius, to refer the issue of sovereignty of the Chagos Archipelago to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, for an Advisory Opinion. The Resolution was adopted by a vote of 94 to 15, with 65 abstentions. Seychelles was one of the countries which supported this Resolution in respect of valuing the guidance that may emanate from this prestigious institution on this complex issue.

Following this Resolution, all UN Member States were invited to submit written statements to the ICJ in a view to assisting the Court with its deliberations. On 28th February 2018, following Cabinet approval, the Government of Seychelles through the Department of Foreign Affairs submitted its written contributions to the ICJ.

As noted by Ambassador Barry Faure, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, “Seychelles’ submission requests that the voices and unique perspectives of the Chagossian community in Seychelles be taken into account by the ICJ during its proceedings. As a people who have genuine connections and interests towards the Chagos Archipelago, and who have faced a myriad of indignities and difficulties in a dispute that has spanned over decades, their plight must be taken into account within any international deliberation on this matter.”

The ICJ will be delivering its opinion in mid-2018. Although without binding effect, Advisory Opinions of the Court carries great legal weight and moral authority. They are often an instrument of preventive diplomacy and have peace-keeping virtues. Advisory opinions also, in their own way, contribute to the clarification and development of international law and thereby to the strengthening of peaceful relations between States.

Ghana Rugby appoints Ernest Hanson as Board Member

Ghana Rugby appoints Ernest Hanson as Board Member

ACCRA, Ghana, February 19, 2018/ — The Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) Board approved the appointment of Mr. Ernest Hanson as Board Member on Monday 19 February 2018.

Hanson comes with over 20 years Rugby playing experience. He played schoolboy rugby at Clifton College in the UK and another three years at Gloucester Rugby Academy until the age of 21.

Mr. Herbert Mensah, President and Board Chairman of Ghana Rugby, spearheaded the appointment of Hanson who previously served on the Board of the GRFU.

According to Mensah, Ghana Rugby adopted a new Constitution in 2017 that for the first time in 17 years allowed the Board to appoint Directors in addition to those elected by the Union’s General Meeting.

“The appointment of Ernest Hanson is the first step in a vision I had since taking over as President in 2014,” Mensah said.

Mensah continued to say, “Rugby, as most sporting disciplines, is a business that requires exceptional challenges regarding governance and it is essential to bring resources with a business background into the fold to assist with biggest challenge we face, namely to place the Union on a sustainable funding platform.”

Hanson is currently the MD of Beaufort Properties, a Ghana-based real estate firm. He is passionate about the growth of the game in Ghana and wants others to experience the personal growth and development that comes from playing the sport.

He is also a Level 1 World Rugby Coach and has also played senior rugby for London Nigerians RFC.

Ghana Rugby has a challenging year ahead with three international tournaments planned for May, September and October.

The international circuit kicks off in May when Ghana will be hosting the Rugby Africa Bronze Cup against Lesotho, Mauritius and Rwanda. A win in this competition will see Ghana’s promotion to the Silver Cup and a step closer to Mensah’s mission to take Ghana Rugby to the World Cup.

In September Ghana Rugby plans to organise a Ghana International Sevens tournament against seven other Rugby playing Unions in preparation of the scheduled Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens Tournament in October.