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African Union Chairperson Shares His 2019 Roadmap And Here Is What It Includes

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African Union Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat shared the 2019 roadmap for the African Union in his 2018 end of year address. He recapped achievements, acknowledging the work done and emphasizing the importance of the journey ahead.

'It cannot be stressed enough how crucial integration is for the development of the continent and the fulfillment of its people’s aspiration to well-being. ' - Moussa Faki Click To Tweet

Some Highlights from his speech and the plan ahead are below

The African Passport

Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Chadian President Idriss Déby, flanked by African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, show off their new pan-African passports at the AU summit in Kigali in July 2016. Photo: African Union

” The Commission will continue to pay particular attention to the free movement of persons, as the persisting obstacles to our citizens’ movement within their own continent are simply unacceptable. I congratulate those Member States that have taken measures to ease the procedures for the entry of African nationals into their territories and urge those that have not yet done so to join this growing momentum.  

I am pleased to stress that, in February 2019, in Addis Ababa, at the 32nd Summit of our Union, the Commission will present, for adoption, guidelines on the design, production and issuance of the African passport, the materialization of which will take us one step closer to the long-held dream of complete free movement across the continent. “

Food Safety

” In February 2019, the AU, together with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), will organize the first ever international food safety conference in Addis Ababa, against the backdrop of significant progress in the implementation of the 2014 Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation in Africa.”

Peace and Security

“The quest for peace and security has been a major priority for our Union in 2018. It is all the more so as our leaders have solemnly pledged to do everything possible to silence the guns by 2020, by ending the wars and other acts of violence that continue to afflict different parts of our continent and cause untold suffering. Clearly, achieving this goal requires renewed efforts on the part of all our Member States, civil society and other actors: peace is a global undertaking that requires the involvement of all.”

Multilateralism 

The year 2018 was marked by repeated attacks against multilateralism and the institutions that emanate from it. Africa has consistently expressed its concern over this situation, which is undermining the ability of the international community to meet the complex and multidimensional challenges it faces. The struggle for a more just world and greater solidarity, based on the scrupulous respect for international law, will remain a key priority for the continent.

I welcome the continued deepening of the partnership between the AU and the United Nations, as demonstrated by the signing, in January 2018, of a Memorandum of Understanding on the implementation of Agendas 2063 and 2030, which complements the agreement concluded in April 2017 in the area of peace and security, as well as by the joint actions undertaken in the field by the AU Commission and the United Nations Secretariat. Likewise, I welcome the progress made in the relationship with the EU as part of the follow-up to the November 2017 Abidjan Summit, and look forward to the successful holding of the Afro-Arab Summit in 2019 in Saudi Arabia.

At the same time, the AU will remain resolute in the fight against xenophobia and racism, which are manifest in migration policies in some parts of the world and whose rise is one of the facets of unilateralism. In this regard, the AU reaffirms its full support for the Global Compact on Migration agreed to in Marrakesh, Morocco, this month.

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Business and Development

Kenyan President Tells Local Assemblers to Produce Affordable Vehicles for Kenyans

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President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged local motor vehicle assemblers to innovate ways of producing quality vehicles that are affordable for Kenyans. The President said this will discourage the buying of imported used vehicles which are being sold at lower prices than those assembled locally.

ALSO READ: Is Kenya Becoming The New Dubai?

“We have to think outside the box. I encourage you to come up with real solutions in the motor vehicle industry that will benefit Kenyans,” he said.

The President spoke on Wednesday at State House in Mombasa when he met members of the Kenya Manufacturers Association.

They discussed the national automotive policy that is geared towards promoting the sector.

Manufacturing is one of the key pillars of the Big Four agenda through which the government aims to create jobs for the youth.

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Business and Development

Loans Help Kenyan Women Turn Idle Land Into Gold

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For the women of Tuluroba village’s self-help group, the goal was simple: use their combined savings to buy cattle, fatten them and sell them to the beef industry for slaughter.

But there was a problem.

“We had no land to graze the cattle. Nor could we obtain a loan from a bank to buy land, because as women we do not own title deeds,” said Fatuma Wario, who chairs the 13-strong group.

That is common. Few women in Kenya have land title documents, and few are getting them: since 2013, less than 2 percent of issued titles have gone to women, the Kenya Land Alliance, a non-profit, said in March 2018.

And because getting a loan from a mainstream bank requires collateral – typically in the form of a land title document – most women are locked out of the chance to start a business.

ALSO READ: 46 Year Old Woman Makes History in Kenya’s Pokot County Assembly

In the end, the women of the HoriJabesa group borrowed money from an institution that loans money to women’s groups without requiring a land title. Instead, the cash from their savings underwrites the loan.

In Wario’s case, that meant switching their savings account to the bank that was prepared to extend a $1,000 loan. Using that money and some of their savings, “we bought cattle and hired land to graze our stock”.

That was in 2017. Doing so meant the group could rent 10 acres (4 hectares) of pasture at a cost of 30,000 Kenyan shillings ($300) annually.

Interest on the loan is 12 percent per year. In their first year they earned $10,000 from their investment – with each fattened head of cattle bringing in a $30 profit.

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Arusha Sets More Land For New Industries

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At least 806 acres have been allocated for new industries set to be established in Arusha city.

The new industrial sites include Oljoro, Olmoti and Terrat suburbs on the southern fringes of the 272 square kilometer metropolitan.

The three areas are among those earmarked for industrial development under the Arusha 2035 Master Plan prepared by consultants from Singapore.

ALSO READ: Tanzania Government Has a Free Offer for Investors

Besides land allocation, the city authorities have started to put in place, requisite infrastructure for this purpose.

The city has just completed a survey of 300 plots for public use in various suburbs. These include eleven plots earmarked for the small scale industries.

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