Africa Internet Summit (AIS) 2013, formerly the joint African Network Operators’ Group (AfNOG) and the African Network Information Centre (AFRNIC) Meeting is pleased to announce that the Africa Internet Summit 2013 would be held in Lusaka, Zambia from 9 to 21 June 2013. Every year, hundreds of people from across the African and Global ICT industry attend the AIS Event.
" While AIS fuels the rapid growth of Internet in Africa with trained technical capacity, our content has been determined by the needs of the community. In so doing AIS's output training capacity has multiplied in the past decade and the community flourished " Dr. Nii Quaynor.
The two-week event includes several training sessions, meetings and plenaries. AfNOG is holding its Workshop on Network Technology, several full-day Advanced Tutorials (10 - 14 June), a Unix Boots Camp (9 June), Africa Internet Standards Workshop (15 June). AFRINIC will be conducting an IPv6 (15 - 17 June) and Internet Resource Management Training (15 June)in addition to its three-day Meeting that includes two-day plenaries and an African Operators Day (19 June). The AIS will also have a day dedicated to Cybersecurity (the CERT cybersecurity Day on 15 June).
The AfNOG Meeting will be held on 18 June and the AFRINIC public policy meetings on 20 and 21 June 2013.
In addition, several side meetings and workshops will be hosted in collaboration with other AF* organisations.
China’s new president Xi Jinping will feel as he returns from an eventful maiden overseas trip that he has done his bit to reassure African countries about China’s intentions in the continent. Essential to the future success of China-Africa ties was the need to show that Beijing was interested in more than just natural resources and opening up new markets for Chinese goods. China dare not be seen as a neo-colonial power disguised as a Communist emerging nation, and Mr Xi’s effusive rhetoric during his visit underlined this.
“The development of China-Africa ties can only be in present continuous tense, and never in present perfect tense,” Mr Xi told African leaders during his visit, which included Tanzania, South Africa, where he attended a summit of the world’s leading developing nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the so-called Brics, and finally the Republic of Congo.
“We are ready to work with African countries to push our ties to a higher level and expand them to a broader area,” Mr Xi enthused. At the start of the trip, Mr Xi had been in Russia, where he was feted by the Putin government. This was very much a visit aimed at showing that there was a group of powerful nations not allied to the US or other western powers. China overtook the US and Europe as Africa’s largest trading partner in 2009 and has maintained its leading place in the following years. China now accounts for 20 per cent of Africa’s exports.
Sino-African trade with Africa has been expanding with the trade volume for 2012 reaching €154 billion, while China's cumulative direct investment in Africa exceeded €11.5 billion. In Africa, China has put itself forward as an alternative to western partners, offering trade deals and infrastructure loans without preconditions involving human rights or governance reform.
Friendship and solidarity
China resents western claims that its swelling foreign investment in Africa is driven by its interest in the continent’s rich natural resources, saying it helps poorer countries out of friendship and solidarity. Mr Xi told Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete that China’s involvement in Africa would help the continent grow wealthier, without interfering in domestic politics. “China will continue to offer, as always, necessary assistance to Africa with no political strings attached,” Mr Xi said to applause. “We get on well and treat each others as equals.”
Mr Xi was able to underline his words with some useful financial packages, promising to make good on a promise of $20 billion (€15 billion) of credit to Africa within three years, and keep up infrastructure development, both transnational and transregional.
The Chinese message focused on the 18,000 Chinese medical personnel who have worked in African countries, treating 250 million patients.
China’s relationship with African countries comes without the baggage of western colonialism, but some African countries point out that China benefits a lot more than it contributes. There have been complaints about trade imbalances, abuse of workers by Chinese employers in Zimbabwe and corruption charges in Zambia, and mining conditions are often held up for scrutiny.
In the interest of restoring balance, Mr Xi said China would train 30,000 African professionals, offer 18,000 scholarships to African students and “increase technology transfer and experience”. Mr Xi’s African tour ended in Republic of Congo, from where China imported 5.4 billion tonnes of oil last year, just 2 per cent of its total oil imports, but potentially the source of a lot more.
A broader platform for the China-Africa relationship was the Brics meeting, held in Durban this year. While these five countries probably disagree on more than they agree, what they do share is a feeling that the big developing nations are underrepresented on international organisations and lack co-ordinated muscle when it comes to dealing with global financial crises, that often affect their populations particularly acutely.
The Brics agreed to create a development bank to help fund their $4.5 trillion infrastructure plans, which amounts to a direct challenge to the World Bank, which developing countries have long accused of western bias.
MEETS AFRICA'S INTELLECTUAL: Tony O. Elumelu, MFR, Founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, in Washington, DC this week, told groups of philanthropy, business, and development leaders that Africa’s private sector must be the leading player in contributing to the continent’s economic transformation.
“We are now the world’s fastest growing region,” said Mr. Elumelu, who is also the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, an African proprietary investment company with a long-term investment horizon. “There is a social and economic impact to be derived, but it needs to be done with the right approach – with African leadership and with the private sector, rather than from a charitable orientation.”
The former Group CEO of United Bank for Africa (UBA), a pan-African financial institution with a presence in 19 countries and 3 continents, was in the United States capital to deliver a lecture to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), as well as to deliver a keynote speech, and participate in a plenary panel at the Global Philanthropy Forum. Mr. Elumelu was also in Washington, DC to honour the invitation of World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick to participate in a meeting of his Advisory Council of Global Foundation Leaders.
The business leader introduced the audience to Africapitalism, an economic philosophy that embodies the private sector’s commitment to the economic transformation of Africa through long-term investments that create both economic prosperity and social wealth.
“Investment in Africa needs a different perspective,” Mr. Elumelu told senior management and invited guests of the IFC on Monday. “For Africa’s economic growth, the private sector needs to take the lead, invest long term, and focus on making both economic and social gains. In my experience, we have made great profits, but we have also touched lives.”
Delivering a keynote at the Global Philanthropy Forum’s annual conference on Tuesday, Mr. Elumelu argued that old assumptions about how Africa would develop were changing quickly, with headlines about the continent becoming more positive. He described for the audience consisting mostly of global philanthropic leaders how The Tony Elumelu Foundation saw the need to partner with the private and public sectors to achieve the catalytic economic transformation it was seeking.
Using his past experience as a banker as an example, Mr. Elumelu said, "We wanted to democratise banking – at the time, it was an economic, not a social act. But we learned quickly that as we enhanced access to banking, the communities prospered. And as the communities prospered, we also did. The lesson for us is that, indeed, corporations can do well and do good simultaneously. If you integrate both, it can create even more wealth."
The event’s moderator, Mark Kramer – who along with renowned Harvard University Professor of Strategy and TEF Founding Patron Michael Porter, co-founded FSG – commended the Foundation’s efforts in the areas of impact investing and business leadership development.
“Tony has made a compelling case for using the private sector for impact that is traditionally seen as only happening through philanthropy."
Jane Wales, president and CEO of the Global Philanthropy Forum, added: “Tony Elumelu represents what we are seeing emerge as the future of global philanthropy. He is a successful business leader from Africa who has proven that you can do well while doing good, and is now developing innovations in African philanthropy that Western philanthropy can also learn and benefit from.”
On Wednesday, Mr. Elumelu met with other global philanthropy leaders as part of the World Bank Group Advisory Council of Global Foundation Leaders, hosted by the Group’s president, Robert Zoellick. The invited participants included founders and foundation presidents from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, and other leading philanthropies in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
The Advisory Council discussed a number of key issues for global philanthropy, including a discussion led by Mr. Elumelu focused on how foundations in fast growing emerging economies can partner with the World Bank and other developing world foundations to build their domestic philanthropic sectors through introducing legislation and setting high standards. He stated, “We have an emerging affluent class in Africa. Unfortunately, the institution of giving has not been professionalised. We need the legal structures in place to really leverage Africa’s own wealth to set the continent’s development agenda from within. Reacting to Mr. Elumelu’s comments on the importance of institutional philanthropy for African-led development, Mr. Zoellick added a discussion on African philanthropy to the agenda for a meeting later in the day with African finance ministers and bank governors.
An arrest warrant has been issued against the Chief Executive Officer of the largest mobile telecom network in Ghana MTN, Michael Ikpoki, together with two of his subordinates, Jemima Kotei, Customer Relations Executive, and John Hoffman, Chief Technical Officer, by an Accra Fast Track High Court.
The warrant was issued against the MTN boss based on the fact that he failed to appear in person in court in a case between MTN Ghana and Dr. Raymond Atuguba.
Ikpoki was expected to appear in court on Thursday to answer questions as to why MTN has not complied with the directives of the court to fix communication services for Dr Atuguba.
There are two standard methods of measuring the wealth of countries and how rich or poor its inhabitants are. The measure most often used is Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which represents the size of a country’s economy.The rankings below were published in Wikipedia from International Monetary Fund’s 2011 gross domestic product per capita (GDP per capita) report and reflecting the countries with the lowest purchasing power parity (PPP). Since 1970, there has been encouraging news emerging from developing countries.
According to the UN’s 2010 Human Development Report, life expectancy in developing countries has increased from 59 years in 1970 to 70 years in 2010. School enrollment climbed from 55% to 70% of all primary and secondary school-age children. Also, in the last forty years, per capita GDP doubled to more than ten thousand U.S. dollars. Poor countries are catching up with the wealthier countries, but not all countries are making fast progress.
For example, some countries in Sub-Sahara Africa have little or no progress, largely due to the HIV epidemic and civil wars.
The 10 Poorest African Countries:
#1. Congo, Democratic Republic of the
GDP Per Capita: $348 (As of 2011)
Not to be mixed with the neighboring Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has become the poorest country in the world as of 2010. Democratic Republic of the Congo was known as Zaire until 1997. Congo is the largest country in the world that has French as an official language – the population of D.R Congo is about six million larger than the population of France (71 million people in D.R Congo vs 65 million in France). The Second Congo War beginning in 1998 has devastated the country. The war that involves at least 7 foreign armies is the deadliest conflict in the world since World War II – by 2008 the Second Congo War and its aftermath had killed 5.4 million people.
GDP Per Capita: $456 (As of 2011)
Liberia is one of the few countries in Africa that have not been colonized by Europe. Instead, Liberia was founded and colonized by freed slaves from America. These slaves made up the elite of the country and they established a government that closely resembled that of the United States of America. In 1980 the president of Liberia was overthrown and a period of instability and civil war followed. After the killings of hundreds of thousands, a 2003 peace deal was led to democratic elections in 2005. Today, Liberia is recovering from the lingering effects of the civil war and related economic dislocation, with about 85% of the population lives below $1 a day.
GDP Per Capita: $487 (As of 2011)
The government of Zimbabwe released its largest bank note 100 trillion dollar bill issued on January 2009. In addition to the economic problems the life expectancy of Zimbabwe is the lowest in the world – 37 years for men and just 34 for women. One of the problems for the early deaths are the 20.1% of the population with HIV and AIDS. The health issues aren’t seeing any improvement.
GDP Per Capita: $615 (As of 2011)
Burundi is known for its tribal and civil wars. Burundi have never really had any peaceful time between the everlasting civil wars as a result its the fourth poorest country. Owing in part to its landlocked geography, poor legal system, lack of economic freedom, lack of access to education, and the proliferation of HIV and AIDS. Approximately 80% of Burundians live in poverty and according to the World Food Programme 57% of children under 5 years suffer from chronic malnutrition; 93% of Burundi’s exports revenues come from selling coffee.
GDP Per Capita: $735 (As of 2011)
Affected by the Italian colonizers of the 19th century. Eritrea’s advantage of controlling the sea route through the Suez Canal made the italians to colonized it just a year after the opening of the canal in 1869 and same reason the British conquered it in 1941. The present Eritrea’s economic conditions have not improved and real gross domestic product growth averaged 1.2 percent between 2005 and 2008; in 2009 GDP growth was estimated at 2.0 percent.
#6. Central African Republic
GDP Per Capita: $768 (As of 2011)
Despite its significant mineral resources; uranium reserves in Bakouma, crude oil, gold, diamonds, lumber, hydropower and its arable land, it remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Diamonds constitute the most important export of the Central Africans Republic, accounting for 40–55% of export revenues. The 2010 UNDP Human Development Report ranks CAR near the bottom of its Human Development Index (159th out of 162 countries) and unlikely to meet its MDG goals. The proportion of Central Africans living on $1 a day has decreased slightly to 62% but it needs to be half of that in order to reach the 2015 goal.
GDP Per Capita: $771 (As of 2011)
With over 80% of its land is covered by the giant desert of Sahara, Niger has a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in Parity Purchasing Power (PPP) terms of US$771 as of 2011, one of the lowest in Africa. Niger’s poverty is exacerbated by political instability, extreme vulnerability to exogenous shocks and inequality which affects girls, women and children disproportionately. In January 2000, Niger’s newly elected government inherited serious financial and economic problems including a virtually empty treasury and was qualified for enhanced debt relief under the International Monetary Fund program for Highly Indebted Poor Countries.
#8. Sierra Leone
GDP Per Capita: $849 (As of 2011)
A West African country with English as its official language, Sierra Leone has relied on mining, especially diamonds, for its economic base and home to the third largest natural harbour in the world where shipping from all over the globe berth at Freetown’s famous Queen Elizabeth II Quay. It is among the top diamond producing nations in the world, and mineral exports remain the main foreign currency earner and also among the largest producers of titanium and bauxite, and a major producer of gold. Despite this natural wealth, 70% of its people live in poverty. If you have seen the movie Blood Diamond you should know that it is based on Sierra Leone.
GDP Per Capita: $860 (As of 2011)
Malawi has one of the lowest per capita incomes in the world, with 53% (2004) living under the poverty line. In December 2000, the IMF stopped aid disbursements due to corruption concerns, and many individual donors followed suit, resulting in an almost 80% drop in Malawi’s development budget. In 2006, Malawi was approved for relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) program. In December 2007, the US granted Malawi eligibility status to receive financial support within the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) initiative. Agriculture accounts for 35% of GDP, industry for 19% and services for the remaining 46%. In addition, some setbacks have been experienced, and Malawi has lost some of its ability to pay for imports due to a general shortage of foreign exchange, as investment fell 23% in 2009.
GDP Per Capita: $899 (As of 2011)
This small, sub-Saharan economy suffers from anemic economic growth and depends heavily on both commercial and subsistence agriculture, which provides employment for a significant share of the labor force. Cocoa, coffee, and cotton generate about 40% of export earnings with cotton being the most important cash crop. Togo is among the world’s largest producers of phosphate. Approximately one half of the population lives below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.
GDP (gross domestic product) is the sum of the gross value added by all resident producers in the economy plus any product taxes and minus any subsidies not included in the value of the products. It is calculated without deductions for depreciation of fabricated assets or for depletion and degradation of natural resources.
GDP PPP (purchasing power parity) is gross domestic product converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates. An international dollar has the same purchasing power over GDP as a U.S. dollar has in the United States. Purchasing power parities (PPPs) are the rates of currency conversion that eliminate the differences in price levels between countries.
GDP (PPP) per capita is GDP on a purchasing power parity basis divided by population. Please note: Whereas PPP estimates for OECD countries are quite reliable, PPP estimates for developing countries are often rough approximations..