Intra-African Trade Fair pre-event roadshow held in Cape Town

From left: MEC for Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs Neville Matjie, Panel Moderator Tsepiso Matwetla, Director Export Development of Afreximbank Oluranti Doherty, Head of Department Economic Development for Tourism and Environmental Affairs Nhlakanipho Nkontwana and CEO of African Association of Automotive Manufacturers Dave Coffey. (Image Source: IATF)The Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021), organised by African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in collaboration with the African Union (AU) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, is being held in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, from 15-21 November 2021

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UAE embraces global innovation with international conferences and events

Mohammed Al TayerThe UAE endeavors to celebrate innovators and bright minds from around the world, attracting and encouraging them to provide innovative and sustainable solutions to global humanitarian and development challenges to ensure a brighter future for humanity


The awards that the UAE offers are a major factor in consolidating its position as an international hub for innovation, an attractive destination for creative minds, and an incubator for innovators from all over the world. 

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (DEWA), said that the numerous awards launched by the UAE show the growing role of the country and its wise leadership in transforming challenges into opportunities.

“The repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic have underlined the need to intensify global efforts to protect our planet. All the countries worldwide share the same fate. Therefore, there is a need for all of us to adopt green and sustainable policies, make smart investment in our natural resources to protect them from depletion, and reduce waste. The UAE has made considerable progress in the expansion of its clean and renewable energy projects, increasing digitisation and the use of the fourth industrial revolution technologies, promoting world-class infrastructure with the highest levels of reliability, efficiency and availability, and achieving leading results in its carbon emission reduction efforts,” added Al Tayer

Many international awards have been launched from the UAE. They have significantly stimulated innovations and led to effective solutions to challenges impeding sustainable growth. Some of the most prominent of these awards are:

Zayed Sustainability Prize

The UAE’s wise leadership launched the Zayed Sustainability Prize in 2008 to honour the legacy and vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to lay a solid foundation for sustainability. The prize honours global small and medium enterprises (SMEs), non-profit organisations, and high schools that present innovative, sustainable solutions capable of making a positive societal impact. The prize consists of five categories: health, food, energy, water, and global high schools. The 2022 winners will be announced during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January 2022.

The World Green Economy Summit

The World Green Economy Summit (WGES), which is organised by DEWA and the World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO), plays a key role in raising awareness on green economy and promoting green projects in the UAE and the region. WGES, which is held this year under the theme ‘Galvanizing Action for a Sustainable Recovery,’  is a strategic platform to support international collaboration to address global challenges, enhance sustainable development and green economy investments, as well as encourage the adoption of effective relevant policies and plans. 

WGES attracts country heads, leaders, and influencers from across the globe. The event also draws thought leaders, specialists and experts in green economy and sustainable development along with CEOs, stakeholders, financial institutions, representatives of global markets, business leaders, and experts in the public and private sectors. The attendees discuss the different effective methods to face challenges and maximise available opportunities to drive the transformation towards green economy.  

The 7th WGES will take place on 6-7 October 2021 at Expo 2020 Dubai. Coinciding with Expo 2020, this year’s summit is expected to have a wider reach compared to previous ones. This will improve WGES’ success in promoting Dubai’s position as a global hub for green economy

The Emirates Energy Award 

The Dubai Supreme Council of Energy launched the Emirates Energy Award (EEA) to encourage individuals and establishments in the Middle East and North Africa to rationalise their energy and resource consumption, as well as highlight best practices in energy efficiency, clean energy, sustainability and environmental conservation. 

Ahmed Buti Al Muhairbi, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Energy, said, “We strive to enhance the position of the EEA by sharing the efforts and innovations of experts and stakeholders with regional and global energy communities. Our goal is also to cement the leading role of Dubai and the UAE in energy efficiency and sustainability. We look forward to offering advanced models and expertise to mark a new beginning for the region’s energy sector.” 

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Nigeria's federal and state governors endorse SAPZ

AdobeStock 273334773 1Nigeria’s Federal and State governments have expressed support for an initiative to create Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) - public-private partnerships aimed at developing priority value chains through developing infrastructure in rural areas, focused on finishing and transforming raw materials and commodities


At a high-level briefing session, Dr Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, minister of finance, budget, and national Planning  who hosted the meeting, reaffirmed the Federal government’s commitment to put in place enabling policies and incentives to attract private sector investment in the Zones, to ensure successful implementation.

Director general of the African Development Bank’s Nigeria Country Department, Lamin Barrow said the zones would be rolled out in 18 African countries, including Nigeria.

The Nigeria Special Agro-industrial Processing Zone programme consists of four mutually reinforcing components - infrastructure development and agro-industrial hubs management; agriculture productivity and production; policy and institutional development; and programme coordination and management.

“The Bank and its development partners are mobilising US$520mn to co-finance the first phase of the program in Nigeria, be implemented in phases across six geo-political zones,” Barrow said.

Ahmed said all 36 States in Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory would be eligible to participate in the SAPZ programme. In addition to the Federal Capital Territory and 7 states - Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Imo, Cross River, Ogun and Oyo - participating in Phase 1, several other states have indicated interest in the SAPZ programme. These include Bauchi, Lagos, Niger, Jigawa, Ekiti, Lagos, Taraba, Benue, Sokoto, Ondo, Nasarawa, Gombe and Kogi.

Oyebanji Oyeleran-Oyeyinka, senior adviser on industrialisation to the president of the African Development Bank, said, “The zone model is an explicit industrialisation strategy to transform poor rural spaces into zones of prosperity, stem rural-urban migration, end human insecurity induced by herder-farmers clashes, and provide employment to Nigerian youth.”

Beth Dunford, vice-president for agriculture, human and social development at African Development Bank Group, said, “In the same manner that SAPZs have worked in other countries, it will create jobs, develop skills, and facilitate agricultural value chains development in Nigeria. Private sector investment is critical to the success of the SAPZs, as well as having the right policies in place. Action is needed now. The African Development Bank is ready to accelerate this action.”

IFAD’s associate vice-president for Programme Management, Donald Brown said, “This flagship project will  enable us to take our relationship with the African Development Bank to another level. Our relationship started 43 years ago, and since then we have worked together on 52 projects. But I think the Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones are the biggest and most high-profile project that IFAD and the Bank will work on together.” 

Special Agro-industrial Processing are a flagship initiative of the Bank’s ‘Feed Africa’ strategic priority. They aim to provide end-to-end solutions and services that de-risk production, processing, and marketing operations of private sector actors as they boost manufacturing and transformation capacity in production areas. The end result is improved livelihoods for millions in the rural areas as well as a reduction in poverty.

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IATF 2021 organisers hosts roadshow in Ghana

imageGhana has hosted a roadshow to raise awareness about the substantial benefits of attending the second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021)

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SES to conduct “Reimagining Satellite Connectivity in Africa” webinar

O3b mPOWER constellation Africa EuropeSES is conducting a webinar “Reimagining Satellite Connectivity in Africa” in partnership with Communications Africa on 7 September, 1pm GMT to discuss the challenges faced by MNO’s and Telcos in Africa to keep pace with consumers’ and industries’ digital transformations

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