Angola needs US$1 bln to launch ELP – Angola 2050

Angola said it needs to mobilise about US$1 billion to launch the Long-Term Strategy (ELP – Angola 2050).

The intention was announced by minister of Economy and Planning Mário Caetano João on Monday in Luanda.

The minister was speaking to the press on the sidelines of a consultation of International Organisations, Development Agencies and Diplomatic Missions, on ELP – Angola 2050.

He mentioned human capital (education, health and others), infrastructure (production, transport and distribution of electricity) and diversification as priority for the country’s new dimension of economic growth.

Caetano João said the amount will be needed to ensure progress by 2050, and added that such value should be mobilised via foreign direct investment, citizens’ resources and commercial banks.

As for the strategy, the minister said the education should have an impact on the other areas, stating that human capital is crucial for a more participative governance.

In his speech, the official spoke of the need to boost pre-school education, “from zero to five years old. “We have to work on nutrition by allowing proper formation of the cognitive organs and enabling the capacity to absorb the necessary information to occur without interruptions”, he said.

Mário Caetano said that the Government will strengthen the financial products available to the market, micro-credit, PAC, Planagrão, so that it contributes to the natural exodus of those who are in urban areas, towards rural areas, with a focus on agri-business.

He stressed that the objective was to unblock Angola’s economic growth, building a resilient economy that would benefit all citizens, and that it was necessary to invest in infrastructure, as a driving factor for inclusive economic growth, productivity and social development.

The Long-Term Strategy is the basic tool for drafting the National Development Plan (PDN), which presents the country’s long term strategic development options and is worked out based on scenario analysis for national, sector and territorial levels.

The document under discussion predicts that the non-oil Gross Domestic Product (GDP-NP) will grow 3.3 times, from US$84 billion to US$275 billion, by 2050, with an estimated population of 70 million.

The ELP – Angola 2050 also plans that non-oil GDP per capita will rise 1.2 times, from US$3.67 billion to US$4.215 billion, supported by non-oil exports that are expected to grow 13 times more, from US$5 billion to US$64 billion.

GDP, currently at US$122 billion, is expected to reach US$286 billion, which will represent a growth of 2.4 times more and Public Debt will see a reduction of 6 percent, from 66 to 60 percent of GDP.

Estimates show that under Angola 2050, in the next 27 years the life expectancy of Angolans will rise six years, from 62 to 68 years of age.

The mortality rate, between the ages of five, will fall from 56 percent to 19 percent. Unemployment is expected to fall 10 percent from 30 to 20 percent.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Partners suggest investment in foreign languages for ELP – Angola 2050

Debate on the issues such as visa facilitation, use of credit cards and investment in foreign languages aimed to attract more investors were held Monday in Luanda.

The main contributions were presented by the International Organisations, Development Agencies and Diplomatic Missions for the Long-Term Strategy (ELP – Angola 2050).

In order to ensure enhanced visibility in the economy the ambassador and head of the European Union (EU) delegation in Angola, Jeannette Seppen defended investment in foreign languages such as English and French to attract more investors.

Seppen was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the meeting organised by the government.

The ambassador also spoke of the need to focus on environment in order to increase the circular economy, which also contributes to economic and commercial growth.

She also said that the strategy is aligned with the EU programme that supports economic diversification, as well as governance and human capital development issues.

The EU official pointed the country’s population growth for 2050 about reaching 70 million inhabitants as, “on one hand, beneficial, but on the other hand, it can be challenging”.

The representative of the United Nations Children’s Organization (UNICEF), Louise Moreira, on the other hand, said she is pleased with the ELP and is committed to continue to provide assistance to reduce poverty at the national level.

Meanwhile, the Swedish ambassador, Lennart Larsson, said that he will promote Angola abroad, as part of relations and “invite Swedish businessmen to invest in the country, mainly in the southern region.

The Long-Term Strategy (ELP) Angola 2050 aims to obtain the contribution of major public and private, collective and individual players with a high level of experience and knowledge in the different sectors.

According to the Government, the strategy may bring a global vision for Angola and the role at international level in the next 30 years.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Angolan Epolua crowned African bodybuilding champion

The bodybuilder Aquiles Epolua won Sunday in Johannesburg (South Africa), the international bodybuilding tournament “Arnold Classic”, in the category Elite Pro Bodybuilding up to 95 kg.

Aquiles, vice-world champion in the amateur category, beat the competition in his debut in the professional category.

In individual women, Helena Gonçalves won the “wellness fitness” category, after the last stage of the competition called “Overall”, where the winners of all classes compete.

Maria Faria, in the amateur class, “Bodybuilding” category, won the trophy, performing the same feat as her colleague Aquiles Epolua.

Angola national teams, amateur and professional versions, were also champions in the continental competition.

In this international competition, disputed in honour of the world icon of the bodybuilding sport “Arnold Schwarzenegger”, Angola was represented with a delegation that included ten athletes.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

395 diamond stones seized in Lucapa

National Police seized 395 diamond stones of several carats on Sunday in the municipality of Lucapa, eastern Lunda Norte province, ANGO has learnt.

The diamonds were in the possession of two national citizens, aged between 24 and 54 years old, who were detained during a micro-operation conducted in Calonda area.

The citizens were preparing to travel to Lunda Sul province to sell the diamonds.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

President names State Secretary for Urbanism and Housing

Angolan head of State João Lourenço Monday appointed Manuel André da Costa Canguezeze as Secretary of State for Urbanism and Housing, according to a note published on the Presidency’s Facebook page.

Prior to the appointment, the source said, the President João Lourenço sacked Adérito Adelino João Carlos Mohamed from the position of Secretary of State for Urbanism and Housing.

Adérito Mohamed was appointed in September 2022.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

The Horrors and Successes of Obstetric Fistula in Ghana

Accra, May 20, – ‘No baby, no home,’ is Marian Tuffour’s opening statement in recounting the traumatic experiences of her last prency and childbirth, which resulted in an Obstetric Fistula (OBF), and her survival through the awfulness of this ailment.

She is currently 43 years old, a mother of three and a fistula survivor at the Mercy Women’s Catholic Hospital in Mankessim in the Central region, which is Ghana’s major health facility for OBF repairs.

Background

Madam Tuffour said she spent the last five months of her prency on admission at the Trauma Hospital at Winneba, due to a high Blood Pressure (BP) until her baby was delivered at 32 weeks after a difficult labour.

She had to undergo a caesarian session to remove her womb to save her life due to further complications and excessive bleeding.

‘After recovering from the surgery, I woke up from bed one day feeling wet and realised that I was soaked in urine, but after complaining to the doctor, I was given some medication to treat infection and discharged from the hospital’.

She was readmitted into the hospital some months later with serious urine incontinence and urinary tract infection.

‘I was supported with a catheter to prevent me from soiling myself, and then referred to a specialist at the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital, where I was later diagnosed to my horror as suffering from OBF.

WHAT IS OBF?

OBF is one of the most serious and tragic childbirth injuries. It is a hole between the birth canal and bladder and or rectum. It occurs because of prolonged, obstructed labour without timely access to, high-quality emergency obstetric care.

Without emergency intervention, obstructed labour can last for days, resulting in death or severe disability, because the obstruction can cut off blood supply to tissues in the woman’s pelvis, and when the dead tissue falls away it leaves a hole (a fistula) in the birth canal.

BURDEN OF OBF ON WOMEN AND GIRLS

OBF?is associated with devastating lifelong illness with severe medical, social, psychological and economic consequences.

Affected persons uncontrollably leaking urine, faeces or both, and can lead to chronic medical problems such as frequent infections, kidney disease, painful sores, infertility and death if left untreated.

The physical injuries combined with misconceptions about the cause of fistula often results in?spousal abandonment,?societal stigma and discrimination, leading to social isolation, psychological harm and mental health issues including?depression.

Their ill-health and accompanying stench that often announces their presence pushes them deeper into poverty because they are unable to work.

Madam Susana Ankrah, a petty trader at Kasoa in the Central region, says she has undergone four surgeries to repair a fistula that left her leaking faeces for nearly a year and six months after experiencing a difficult childbirth.

‘Three of the surgeries have been unsuccessful because of the multiple holes, but luck smiled at me when I discovered the Mercy Women’s Catholic Hospital through a local television programme on free surgery for the condition,’ she said.

‘I have been branded a witch, bad luck, cursed, and shunned by my husband, family and best friends because of the stench that always accompany my presence, so I stopped attending all public functions and went into hiding,’ Susana said.

SUCCESSES

Both women, on behalf of all other OBF survivors were thankful to the Mercy Women’s Catholic Hospital for their free treatment, applauded the medical personnel for their patience, selfless services, counselling skills, show of love and great expertise.

They also thanked the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for the sustainable care financing and training of specialists to help restore the dignity and human rights of OBF patients.

They pleaded with the government to provide sustainable funding for fistula repairs, skills training for OBF survivors and facilitate their reintegration into their respective societies, so that they can also contribute to the socio-economic and national development.

STATISTICS

UNFPA data shows that there?are half a million women and girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Arab States region, Latin America and the Caribbean living with fistula, with new cases developing each year.

Nevertheless, fistula has almost entirely been eliminated in industrialised countries through the availability of timely, high-quality obstetric care for prolonged and obstructed labour using caesarean section.

SOME CONTRIBUTORY FACTORS TO OBF

OBF occur mostly among the poorest and most marginalised women and girls, especially those living far from medical services and those for whom services are not accessible, affordable or acceptable.

Other research indicates that childbirth in adolescent girls before the pelvis is fully developed, twin prency, breech position of the baby, malnutrition, negative cultural practices like female genital mutilation and child marriages small stature and generally poor health conditions of women, are among the physiological contributory factors, although any woman can experience obstructed labour.

The persistence of OBF in developing countries is a human rights violation reflecting the marginalisation of affected persons and the failure of health systems to meet their needs, while policymakers fail to notice, or little action is taken to prevent their condition. As a result, women and girls suffer needlessly, often for years, with no hope in sight.

AWARENESS

Annually on?May 23, the global community commemorates the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula (IDEOF) and the theme for 2023 is: ‘End Fistula Now,’ to raise awareness about fistula prevention and the need to provide the right medical assistance to improve maternal and child health.

UNFPA SUPPORT

As the leader of the global Campaign to End Fistula, UNFPA provides strategic vision, technical guidance and support, medical supplies, training and capacity building?for specialised healthcare professionals.

It provides funding for fistula prevention, treatment and social reintegration of OBF survivors, as well as spearhead various advocacy and educational programmes for active local level participation.

?

In Ghana UNFPA, has been working fervently with the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, key partners including health-related NGOs, Civil Society Organisations, traditional leaders, communities and survivors to prevent OBF from occurring.

Their engagements among other things are geared towards enhancing education and the importance of timely access to quality emergency obstetric services and strengthening the provision of SRH services for all irrespective of their geographical location, financial, cultural or racial statuses.

Dr Wilfred Ochan, the UNFPA Country Representative, at a recent presentation of equipment to the Mercy Women’s Catholic Hospital, called for the integration of fistula repairs at all regional and district hospitals to enable patients to access all year-round surgical services.

He said the Hospital is currently the major specialised facility for OBF repairs in Ghana aside the Tamale Central Hospital in the Northern region, Korle-bu Teaching Hospital among a few others that provide similar services.

Dr Ochan explained that the 45,000-dollar worth of equipment, forms part of UNFPA’s efforts to enhance the resource capacity of the?Hospital, to ensure efficient service provision to restore the dignity of affected women and girls through free surgeries.

The UNFPA’s gesture is a small contribution that adds up to the pool of things that need to be done to address fistula in Ghana and to support marginalised and dejected women and girls to live meaningful lives, Dr Ochan said.

Prevention

On the prevention side however, it is essential to ensure the presence of trained midwives at every birth, and the continuous enhancement of skills of healthcare professionals for the management of the different complex fistula cases that sometimes need advanced care, he said.

To achieve an integration of fistula care, Dr Ochan, suggested the inclusion of specialists in neighbouring hospitals in the regular UNFPA training at the Mercy Women’s Catholic Hospital to be replicated these repair services within their facilities.

‘In this way we will be able to address the backlog of fistula cases in Ghana’.

Dr Joseph Berko, a Specialist at the Hospital, said fistula is not a spiritual condition nor anything shameful, as sufferers never not ask for it or create it themselves, so they must have the courage to come out for help.

‘We want them to get their lives back and if they feel isolated and stigmatised, we want to motivate them that they are not the only people in this, but several women are going through it,’ he said.

Acknowledgement

Ms Rose Mantey, the Principal Nursing Officer (PNO) in Charge of the fistula Unit at Mankessim facility, acknowledged the UNFPA’s tremendous contributions towards OBF treatment and care in Ghana.

She said the Centre could afford surgery for only one patient among 11 others in 2022 due to the lack of funds, however, they have since been able to raise some small funding to hopefully cater for the surgeries of six more patients this year.

Appeal

The Centre currently has a total of 25 outstanding fistula cases that need urgent repairs and pleads for support from Ghanaians and corporate organisations as government funding alone is inadequate treat the backlog of patients in waiting for their turn and the daily additions.

‘We still have a backlog of patients, with others still being isolated by their societies due to the stench that often accompany their presence, and this causes them to hide from the public,’ Ms Mantey said.

The PNO appeals for continuous public support and collaboration with the Centre to encourage sufferers to come out to access the healthcare and surgery, and for the media to intensify education on OBF and to improve maternal health.

Source: Ghana News Agency

AerCap signs lease agreements with ASKY for two Boeing 737 Max Aircraft

AerCap Holdings N.V. has signed lease agreements for two Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft with ASKY, The Pan-African Airline, headquartered in Togo.

A statement issued in Accra by the Airline said the aircraft were scheduled to be delivered in June through August 2023.

It said in attendance at the signing ceremony were Mr Esayas W. Hailu, CEO of ASKY, Mr Aengus Kelly, the CEO of AerCap, Mr Girma Wake, the Board Chairman of Ethiopian Airlines Group and Aviation Advisor to Togo, Board members of ASKY, and other distinguished guests.

‘We are delighted to welcome ASKY as a new customer to AerCap and particularly pleased to

place the first MAX in Togo,’ Mr Kelly said.

He said ‘AerCap is the largest lessor in Africa with 14 airline customers on the continent, and we are pleased to continue to support the growth and development of African aviation. We wish the ASKY team every success and look forward to working with them as these aircraft deliver.’

‘I consider it an honour to introduce state-of-the-art B737-8 MAX aircraft into the ASKY fleet, which will support our wide regional network in our continuous endeavour to serve our esteemed customers,’ Mr Hailu said.

He said he was confident that the introduction of B737-8 MAX would further enhance ASKY’s brand image before the eyes of the traveling public and the airline felt great to be the region’s leading customer to AerCap, the world’s largest owners of commercial aircraft.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Africa not risky for private sector climate change, green growth investment – AfDB President

– Dr Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina, President, African Development Bank (AfDB) has made a compelling case for investors to put their money in Africa for climate change and green growth.

He said should private sectors provide the $2.7 trillion fund needed annually for climate change, the Bank would use it to ‘support African countries to climate-proof their economies, green the Sahel region, recharge the Lake Chad basin, and insure every African country against catastrophic events.’

Dr Adesina said that the Bank had several ways that it supported the private sector players to invest at a minimum risk, adding that Africa is the second least continent with investment loss globally.

‘Moody’s did an assessment for over a decade looking at the losses for infrastructure globally and found that Africa has the lowest rate of loss to investment and infrastructure in the world,’ he said. ‘So, the issue is not about risk, but how you manage risk because there’s risk in everything. We have partial risk and credit guarantees that we provide that allow us to be there with the private sector to be able to make those investments,’ he added.

Dr Adesina was speaking at a media lunch on Day one of the 2023 Annual Meetings of AfDB at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt of Monday, May 22, as the Bank reach out to private investors to get more funds to meet its climate change and green growth needs.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in its 2021 State of the Climate in Africa report stated that: ‘Africa only accounts for about two to three per cent of global greenhouse emissions but suffers disproportionately from results, including droughts, desertification, floods, tropical cyclones, heat stresses, and water deficits.

‘So far, we’ve not had any challenges at all, and we’re right behind you (private investors),’ Dr Adesina said as he assured private investors of the Bank’s support to make their investment in climate change and green growth profitable.

On the Bank’s effort in mobilising funds for climate change and green growth, he said that AfDB in its 16th replenishment last year by the African Development Fund (AFD), mobilised $8.9bn for countries that were most affected by climate change and unable to access funds.

This was in addition to the Climate Action Window to raise finance for climate adaptation, which raised $429 million to support 20 million farmers to have access to climate-resilient agriculture technologies, and access to weather index insurance to other 20 million people.

He also noted that the Bank had approved a partial credit guarantee of $345 million to allow Egypt raise about $500 million for clean transportation, renewable and energy efficiency. The credit is also to support sustainable water and waste management, financing for MSMSs and essential health services initiatives, all aimed at addressing climate change and its attendant effects.

The AfDB president said that in Kenya, there was strong investor confidence in the country’s strategy for green and economic growth as its third green bond was oversubscribed.

The green bond project is aimed at accelerating the take up of green bonds as a tool for Kenya to tap into both domestic and international capital markets for green projects and assets.

It is to facilitate climate change mitigation and adaptation investments, promote sustainable growth and prosperity and reduce poverty in Kenya through regulatory frameworks for a favourable green bond ecosystem.

Data by AfDB has shown that 131 extreme-weather, climate change-related disasters were recorded on the continent in 2020 and 2021, of which 99 were floods, 16 storms, 14 droughts, and two wildfires.

In particular, the number of floods in Africa has increased five-fold since the 1990s, and floods are more extreme than before, with recent data showing that flooding that occurred in 2020 across many parts of East Africa.

Africa is also estimated to have lost annually about five per cent – 15 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita growth between 1986 – 2015 due to climate change-related hazards.

These and other socio-economic impact on lives and livelihoods have made it crucial for the African Development Bank to increase its efforts in mobilising private sector funds to support public funds to address the myriad climate change issues and spur green growth.

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Source: Ghana News Agency