Month: November 2009

European Union to train Somali troops

The more involvement by the international community, the better.  Lack of interest and concern has run its course, especially these last few years.

The European Union is expected to endorse plans to send troops to help train up to 2,000 Somali troops, according to an EU official.

Under the plan, up to 200 EU troops will train Somali military personnel in Uganda in a bid to broaden engagement in the crisis-hit state.

The move comes on the heels of a request by the Somali government to help build a 6,000-strong police force.

Somalia has been gripped by fierce fighting since 2007 and the country has not had a strong central government since 1991.

More than 1.5 million people have been uprooted by the fighting which has claimed nearly 20,000 lives.

Western countries have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to help the country develop its security forces and help restore order.

The EU is also running an anti-piracy mission in the water of the Gulf of Aden in a bid to clamp down on the number of attacks made by pirates over the last year.

Here is full link.

Back ground info on the EU  Atalanta mission.

Operation Commander of EUNAVFOR Atalanta Rear-Admiral Philip CNN interview.

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Microsoft expands foot print in Uganda

A crisis that has become an opportunity.

Software giant Microsoft Corp has hired a Ugandan law firm to help it fight piracy in the country after it discovered that it was losing millions of dollars in sales. Kampala Associated Advocates has been hired by the software company to help it clamp down on illegal internet downloads, counterfeiting and “unauthorised manufacture and distribution of software.

Green computing in Uganda.  Progress begins with small steps.


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$93 Billion needed for Infrastrucure in Africa

World Bank recently released a report that stated the $93 billion is needed Infrastructure in Africa.

The World Bank said yesterday that the amount needed to fix infrastructure in Africa is twice what was previously estimated. It put the new figure at $93 billion half of which, it noted, should go into boosting power supply.

A joint study just released by the bank from Washington cited examples of infrastructural challenges in the continent. African consumers pay twice as much for basic services as people elsewhere in the world.

A monthly basket of prepaid mobile telephone services costs $12 in Africa but only $2 in South Asia.

Resource-rich countries like Nigeria and Zambia can manage funding gap of four percent of GDP. For much of the rest of the continent, the task ahead is daunting.

The poor state of infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa cuts back national economic growth by two percentage points every year. Bank study team which assessed the state of infrastructure in 24 countries across the continent also discovered that poor electricity, water, roads and information and communications technology (ICT) reduces productivity by as much as 40 percent.

“Modern infrastructure is the backbone of an economy and the lack of it inhibits economic growth,” says Obiageli Ezekwesili, World Bank.

This would be a good opportunity for American companies in construction, management, chemicals and telecommunications to grow their exports.

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Construction ‘To Become World’s Fastest Growing’ in Nigeria

Africa’s second biggest economy is poised to lead world growth in construction for next decade.

Construction growth in Nigeria will be the fastest of all markets, according to the latest 10-year forecast from Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics.

The new study says China will overtake the US as the world’s biggest construction market by 2018, but that the fastest growth will happen in Nigeria.

The survey said infrastructure is the hottest sector to be in and that “it is set to grow in emerging markets by a staggering 128 per cent from now to 2020, compared with just 18 percent over the same period in developed countries”.

The report, which named Nigeria “global hotspot from here to 2020” says the nation’s construction growth is even faster than India’s, reflecting increased wealth and urbanisation resulting from the country’s oil production.

“Its population of approximately 154 million is urbanising at one of the fastest rates in the world, but construction is now only 3.2 percent of GDP,” it said.

This might be surprising to some especially given the amount the U.S (biggest economy) and China ( 2nd biggest economy) are going to spend hundreds of billions of dollars in infastructure.

Read whole article here.

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Entrpreneurship in Africa

Quick read on entrepreneurship in Africa. Good incite and look from years ago. I think this is a solid point to begin the objective that i have set out to do with regards to economic development on the continent.

On that note, the global finacial crisis might have affected Africa, but due to its raw materials, economic growth and progress might be within reach.

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