Africa Investment Forum unveil Unified COVID-19 Response to support Africa’s private sector

- 15 deals in the Africa Investment Forum’s portfolio, valued at $3.79 billion earmarked to address COVID-19 impacts

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, 20 July 2020 – Increased and decisive investment will be the channel for Africa’s economic recovery post COVID-19, partners of the Africa Investment Forum said on Friday, expressing confidence in the continent’s potential to rebound from the ongoing health and economic crises.

“Africa will come out of this pandemic, tough as it is, and will build better and stronger economies. As partners of the Africa Investment Forum, the premier investment platform for Africa, our gaze must be clear; help Africa reboot its economy,” said African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, during a two-day virtual meeting for Africa Investment Forum founding, institutional and knowledge partners.

In a virtual marketplace which mirrored typical sessions of its annual Market-Days, the Africa Investment Forum convened over 190 participants including current and prospective partners, investors and project sponsors. The Forum showcased its Unified COVID-19 Response and provided an update on its activities, as well as opportunities for new partners and investors to engage with the platform.

14th European Union - South Africa Ministerial Political Dialogue

14 July 2020

Joint Press Release: 14th European Union - South Africa Ministerial Political Dialogue, July 2020 (by Video Conference)

The European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Mr Josep Borrell Fontelles; and the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, Dr Naledi Pandor, co-chaired the 14th Session of the Ministerial Political Dialogue in the context of the Strategic Partnership on 14 July 2020, by video-conference. The meeting was also attended by the European Union Commissioner for Trade, Mr Phil Hogan, the European Union Commissioner for International Partnerships, Ms Jutta Urpilainen, the South African Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Ebrahim Patel and the South African Minister of Finance Mr Tito Titus Mboweni.

Both sides discussed how to adapt their strategic partnership within the challenging context of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact, political, social and economic priorities in South Africa and the European Union, and the preparation of the European Union (EU) - African Union (AU) Summit.

Both sides reaffirmed their goal of strengthening the rules-based international order, human rights, universal values and multilateralism. Both sides shared their concern about the impact of COVID-19 on developing countries and least developed countries, the majority of which are in Africa. They underlined the importance of global solidarity and multilateral cooperation in relation to COVID-19 response as demonstrated by the “Team Europe” support package and the EU hosted “Worldwide Vaccine Pledging Marathon” to accelerate development and production of diagnostics, treatments and vaccines against the Coronavirus, and their universal deployment. The appointment by President Cyril Ramaphosa - in his capacity as Chair of the African Union - of Special Envoys to mobilise international economic support for Africa’s efforts to address severe economic challenges that African countries are facing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is an important contribution to fostering coordinated action.

COVID-19 shines the spotlight on injustice

18 July 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone the spotlight on injustice in the world while also exposing risks that have been ignored for decades, says United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres.

“The pandemic demonstrated the fragility of our world. It has laid bare risks we have ignored for decades: inadequate health systems; gaps in social protection; structural inequalities; environmental degradation; [and] the climate crisis,” said Guterres.

The Secretary-General said this as he delivered the 18th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture on what would have been former President Nelson Mandela’s 102nd birthday.

As the world commemorated Nelson Mandela International Day, Guterres noted that regions that were making progress on eradicating poverty and narrowing inequality, have been set back years, in a matter of months.

He said COVID-19poses the greatest risk to the most vulnerable, including those living in poverty, older people, and people with disabilities and pre-existing conditions.

Netherlands donates COVID-19 Test Solution to South Africa

17 July 2020

The Netherlands has provided more than 130,000 vials of GLY solution to the South African government, to be used to ramp up COVID-19 testing.

The GLY solution improves the sensitivity of COVID-19 test results, as tests will be less affected than would be the case if swabs are submitted in a dry state.

Photo: (l-r) Mr Han Peters, Ambassador of the Netherlands to South Africa, Mr Stef Blok, Foreign Minister of Netherlands and Dr Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, at the inaugural meeting of South Africa – Netherlands Joint Commission for Cooperation on 3 February 2020. (photo by Mariska van den Brink)

The donation arrived at OR Tambo International Airport at 16:05 on Thursday 16 July, aboard a cargo flight from Amsterdam. The delivery follows less than two weeks after a request for assistance made by South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr. Naledi Pandor to Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok.

All Roads Need Not Lead To China

Beijing has much to lose should it continue down the path of imperial overstretch.

By Parag Khanna July 13, 2020

(Parag Khanna is the founder and managing partner of FutureMap, a data and scenario-based strategic advisory firm. His latest book is “The Future is Asian: Commerce, Conflict and Culture in the 21st Century.”)

This essay was originally published in Noema Magazine.

Photo: Dunhuang, China, on the edge of the Gobi Desert in western China, was once a Silk Road frontier outpost. (Lintao Zhang/Getty)

SINGAPORE — It all starts with roads. Upon the conclusion of China’s civil war in 1949, China began a decades-long campaign to push westward into restive and contested terrain. Roads and railways began to inch westward along the Yellow River and through the narrow Gansu corridor, the ancient northern Silk Road passageway between the more inhospitable Mongolian and Tibetan Plateaus, into Xinjiang, land of the Muslim Uighurs, terrain labeled East Turkestan on many maps that depicted the Anglo-Russian maneuverings of the fabled 19th-century “Great Game.” By the time the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Chinese roads were well positioned to expand across once frozen Cold War borders and reshape the trade relations of the half-dozen newly independent Central Asian republics. China’s plan to win the new Great Game was to build new Silk Roads.  

Throughout China’s turbulent decades under Mao Zedong, the same domestic power play was unfolding in Tibet. When Tibetans resisted the convulsive campaigns of the Great Leap Forward, their 1959 uprising was crushed and the Dalai Lama fled into exile in India. In the 1962 Sino-Indian war, China seized parts of India’s Arunachal Pradesh (which China considers part of “South Tibet”) as well as Aksai Chin, a disputed region in the western Himalayas abutting India’s state of Ladakh.

Arrival of German technical experts to South Africa

17 July 2020

During the lockdown in SA, many businesses had come to a halt. With the easing of the lockdown in certain sectors companies have resumed their operations, albeit on a reduced level. They are now preparing for a further ramp-up of their operations while tackling critical maintenance for important upgrading projects. Many of these projects require special expert knowledge that is not available on the ground.

In close cooperation the Foreign Ministers Naledi Pandor and Heiko Maas supported the efforts of the South-African – German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Lufthansa and the German Embassy together with the relevant South African authorities to enable a solution of the most pressing needs. On Thursday, July 16, a special Lufthansa flight is arrived from Frankfurt/Germany in Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport. On board were engineers, technicians and other experts whose skills are urgently needed to help get the economy going and South African exports rolling again.

Mandela Day: Germany supports food drive of football legends Delron Buckley and Sibusiso Zuma in KZN

17 July 2020

On this year’s Mandela Day the German Embassy partners with Bundesliga legends Delron Buckley and Sibusiso Zuma to honour the legacy of Madiba.

In times of the Covid19 crisis the Embassy decided to support a food drive in Ndwedwe and Hammersdale in KwaZulu-Natal. Together with the former Bafana Bafana stars a small team of the Embassy will distribute over 1000 food parcels and 2000 cloth masks to community members in need in the two townships.

“We hope that we can contribute in the fight against Covid-19 and the negative effects the crisis has on South Africa’s people. We are very proud to support Delron and Sibusiso in their efforts, because we can only overcome the crisis if we work together. What better way to honour Madiba’s legacy than to help the home communities of two of the most famous South African football Ambassadors and celebrate the great friendship of our two countries”, said German Ambassador Martin Schäfer.

Azerbaijani servicemen killed

17 July 2020

On July 12, the armed forces of Armenia attempted to attack, using artillery, in order to seize positions in the direction of Tovuz district along the state border between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The attack of the enemy forces was prevented by retaliatory measures. As a result of the combat, three servicemen of the Azerbaijani army were killed and four were injured.

This provocative act of the Armenian armed forces should be seen as a continuation of the recent actions and statements of the leadership of aggressor state Armenia, which serve to increase tensions in the region.

Armenia, which has reflected its aggressive policy in the country's national security strategy, openly demonstrates that it aims to seize new positions and increase tensions in the region instead of eliminating the consequences of the conflict and withdrawing its occupying forces from the internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan.

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