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in Markets, Policy, Women & Girls

AfDB Puts Gender Equality at Center of Energy Agenda

African Development Bank is using this year’s Sustainable Energy for All Africa conference to push forward its renewable energy agenda for Africa as well as raise awareness among African countries and development partners about ensuring gender equality.

During a three-day meeting held last week in Abidjan, AfDB’s Acting First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Charles Boamah told a group of more than 100 international and domestic business, government, and civil society leaders that an expeditious improvement of access to renewable energy has become a top priority of many African countries and leaders, and that the Bank plans to “ramp up its investments- equity, loans, grants and guarantees along with co-financing and syndication,” under the New Deal on Energy for Africa.

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in Columns/OP-ED

Unlocking Africa’s Trade Potential

Africa’s rise challenges the imagination. During the last decade, Sub-Saharan Africa was home to six of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies. During the next five years, the region’s GDP is expected to grow 30% faster than that of the rest of the world. And, during the next 35 years, the continent will account for more than half of the world’s population growth, according to the United Nations. Earlier this summer, the US Congress, recognizing these gains and underscoring the strength of America’s commitment to Africa, overwhelmingly approved legislation to reauthorize AGOA for another ten years. Even as we consider how to make the most of AGOA’s historic renewal, we need to look beyond 2025 and imagine what a deeper, more mature economic partnership might entail.

As President Obama made clear at the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington, DC, a year ago, the US is not new to Africa. We have been engaged in Africa for decades, not as a colonial power, but as a partner. And that partnership is based not on extracting resources from the region, but on unlocking growth for all. As representatives from across Africa gather in Libreville, Gabon, this week for this year’s AGOA Forum, we have an opportunity and an obligation to take that partnership to the next level.

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in Blogs, Columns/OP-ED

On Governance, Leadership and Citizenry in Africa: Time is of Essence, Let’s not Waste it

In this march to strengthen democracy and governance we also need to close the gap between young people and their leaders. Africa’s greatest resource is the energy and talents of its youth. The young generation is becoming the overwhelming majority, the one that is going to vote… or not. We must not let it lose faith in “democracy.” We need to find ways of listening to our young people, our citizens’ majority. It is their potential, after all, which will decide our continent’s future.  Let’s not waste it.

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in Women & Girls

Addressing Women’s Rights Issues, Girls’ Education Should be Top Agenda for World Leaders, says Chelsea Clinton

“If we look at Rwanda, for example, which is often viewed through the prism of President Kagame, 50 percent of its parliament are women. The country has made important, radical budgetary decisions both that are importance in terms of investing in women’s education but also in long term investments – over 10 years horizon,” she said. And having more women engaged, “Chancellor Merkel has also passed law for women to be included on board,” said Clinton.

These barriers and issues, said Clinton and her co-speaker, Anju Maholtra, UNICEF Principal Advisor for Gender and Development, including ending early child marriage, childbirth mortality and women inequality, should be discussed in less simulacrum ways.

They urged the international community and world leaders to add these issues to their top priority list for this year’s upcoming UN General Assembly meeting where new sustainable development goals will be discussed and set to replace the old Millennium goals that was set 15 years ago.

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