ASEOWA Guinea – 12 Ebola Survivors at the AU run Ebola Treatment Unit

By Paschal Chem-Langhee

Public Information and Communication Officer,

The African Union Support to Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA),

Conakry, Guinea.

01 ASEOWA and partner clinicans celebrate dispatch of Ebola survivors from Coyah ETU (1)

(ASEOWA & partner clinicians standing behind Ebola Survivors)

Sunday 25th January, 2015 – Twelve persons have been healed of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) following medical care at the African Union run Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) in Coyah, Guinea, so far. According to ASEOWA’s Dr Dalion Muamba, a clinician deployed to Coyah, “Seven other patients have also regained their health. They were however declared non-cases because they tested negative to EVD, although they had previously shown EVD symptoms”.

02 ASEOWA and partner clinicians celebrate dispatch of Ebola survivors from Coyah ETU (1)

On Monday, 19th January, 2015, six EVD survivors and two non-cases were discharged. It was a ceremony of sorts as state authorities, inhabitants of Coyah, the media and others, joined the families of survivors to welcome their loved ones back into the communities. It was also an opportunity to denounce stigmatisation against Ebola survivors, and incidences of reticence and denial perpetrated in some communities.

To underscore the successes registered so far, the Coyah ETU was also visited by the ASEOWA head of mission, General Dr Julius Oketta. His visit coincided with that of the ministers of health and of communication in Guinea, together with Cuba’s ambassador to Guinea.

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(L: Cuba’s Ambassador, M: Minister of Health , R: ASEOWA Head of Mission)

In addition to clinicians and nurses at the ETU, ASEOWA has deployed epidemiologists and other paramedical staff to the Coyah prefecture. According to ASEOWA’s Dr Jacques Monkange, “Together with partners, we have trained four hundred and seventeen (417) youths in community sensitisation, from all four sub-prefectures in Coyah. We have also equipped them with flip charts to inform and to educate the population using the door-to-door mobilisation strategy”. As stated by General Oketta, “EVD begins with the community and ends with the community”, so the positive involvement of everyone is important to end this epidemic.

The Coyah ETU which is jointly run by the African Union Support to Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA), Cuban experts and other partners, opened on 31st December 2014. It is also a training centre. Reiterating the AUC Chairperson, H.E. Dr N.Dlamini Zuma’s goodwill message to all ASEOWA volunteers, General Oketta hinted that discussions are ongoing to transform the ETUs into full hospitals, thereby strengthening the public health system of affected countries in the post Ebola phase.

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L: ASEOWA Team in Coyah     

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R: Head of Mission poses with Clinicians about to start work

Website: http://pages.au.int/ebola

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AUonEbola

Twitter: #AUonEbola, #UnitedAgainstEbola

Addis Ideas

Addis Ideas is a revolutionary mobile application that allows Africans to improve the communities around them. Users can share their development ideas with the world, collaborate with others who share similar interests, and get the attention of potential sponsors — who could turn their project ideas into reality. The ultimate goal of Addis Ideas is to promote information sharing, enhance public participation in African development, and create a collaborative work space for everyday people who would like to see change in their communities… It’s a crowd sourcing solution for African development.

Building better, resilient and safer cities: the Happiness Index

Instruction in youth is like engraving in stones-Berber proverb, North Africa.

Growing up in the urban cities of Mombasa and Nairobi, I thought to a large extent that better livelihoods equated to access to food, education, clean water, good health, clothes and shelter for all with the underlying factor being money. The basic needs as we know them; however there’s more to it. Today, I have come to learn and appreciate certain aspects of life that are easily overlooked; one of them being the happiness index.

The world is slowly shifting public policy from being a mere representation of cold numbers to a more candid reflection of the well being of its citizens. It no longer is about calculating GDP and economic statistics alone,  there is more to life and economic indicators by themselves are a poor representation of a people; people in essence do not eat nor dance with GDP. The happiness index reflects citizens’ actual living conditions and quality of life and inculcates social indicators; the extent to which countries deliver long, happy, sustainable lives for the people that live in them.

Are you smiling more often today? If so can you pin point the ingredients that have cooked this feel good factor?

HappinessIndex

Statistics indicate that urban cities are home to a large number of youth in the African continent and these numbers continue to grow by the day. This brings new issues to the forefront of economic, political and human development both in a positive and negative light. The increase in numbers has inadvertently raised the challenge of addressing inequality caused by rising unemployment which has further exacerbated insecurity in many urban settings. This rapid urbanization is a ticking time bomb if wide arrays of issues are left unabated.

Estimations show that by the year 2050, 7 in 10 people will be urban dwellers and that 60% of all urban dwellers are expected to be under the age of 18 by 2030.

Naturally, before you can fix something you’ve got to analyze and quantify it and urbanization in and of itself requires a reintroduction of lasting solutions which among them includes bringing youth on board as partners to find legitimate and inclusive ways to enhance the sustainability and quality of life for all people living in cities; ultimately supporting the realization of sustainable urbanization and decent housing for all as espoused in UN-HABITAT’s mandate.

Youth, especially those living in informal settlements will tell you that among their most prized possessions are open spaces which bring them together with their friends and family. Some of these spaces measure 40×20 metres, others much smaller. These spaces are utilized for sporting activities such as football and volleyball which are quite popular or for community barazas to discuss issues affecting the larger society which creates a sense of belonging.

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(Pic courtesy of theguardian.com)

“Life can be quite tough, a sense of belonging gives us sanity,” one of the youth in Mathare tells me. Some people have argued that a stronger sense of community and culture often gives them a naturally more upbeat and cheerful outlook on the world, some argue that it doesn’t. The evidence is blatant nonetheless.

These public spaces are not only venues for recreation and social interaction, but are also critical for innovation and entrepreneurship which supports economic development. These dynamics are well known however why is it that we still do not create these spaces especially in informal settlements? In today’s world, any space means money and this economic opportunity means more concrete jungles. Accessing these open spaces in informal settlements where even an acute space originally planned for a toilet will be exchanged for habitation is indeed a dirty fight for the youth.

The team at UN-HABITAT is working diligently with grass root organizations, local and national governments to actualize these public spaces. Such like organizations in Kenya are Sisi ni Amani, One Stop Youth Resource Centre, Kibera Soweto Resource Centre which are located in Mathare and Kibera respectively and the Kimisagara One Stop Youth employment and productive centre in Rwanda among many others. Their collaborative efforts have transformed garbage and burnt spaces into environmental, health and recreational centres where youth especially those from informal settlements are interacting with one another and with youth serving agencies. The groups work hand in hand with the larger community gaining their buy in and support in the projects which has made it community owned and sustainable.

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(Dance group at the Kimisagara centre. Pic courtesy of http://www.nyc.gov.rw)

“We are happier, more active, more united.You’d be surprised what an open space can do,” Kaka, coordinator of the Mathare Environmental slum soccer initiative.

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(The slum soccer initiative by Mathare Environmental youth, Sisi ni Amani and One Stop Youth Resource Centre)

Shining Hope

It was exactly a year ago, January 2014, when I first came to know of Kennedy Odede, a fellow Kenyan like myself who was causing ripples across the world and for all the right reasons. Unfortunately, it wasn’t through local channels that I had come to know of him but through a gripping piece that he had written for the New York Times which had highlighted on the intrinsic link between terrorism and urban poverty. He had laid the facts bare, the article was true and indeed  uncomfortable. Many a times we do want to judge and furtively give our opinionated views on this perdition known as terrorism without wanting to constructively discuss or tackle its root causes and exacerbating agents. To read more on the article kindly see it here http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/09/opinion/terrorisms-fertile-ground.html?_r=0

Nonetheless, I am not writing to judge but to tell a story.

At four years of age, young Kennedy Odede had grown to know and understand that he was poor, that his family was poor, extended family as well as his late family. He was old enough to absorb the environment surrounding him and at six years when of age to walk around, he took to the streets to sell peanuts. Maybe it was by his own volition I thought to begin with,  but no, it was because of the fact that he needed to make some extra money for the family. His mother worked odd jobs to make ends meet for him and his siblings.

Growing up in Kibera slums however, the city streets and lights offered an added sense of adventure and excitement to young Kennedy. This was not to last and growing resentment took over. As he sold his peanuts to people in cars or to walking pedestrians, Kennedy began to realize the glaring disparity between his home in Kibera and the lifestyles of these people. The big cars, the clean clothes, the good shoes, it was all too painful. “I hate rich people,” the little boy said amidst throwing whatever he had with him at the cars. On several occasions, feeling jaded and exhausted from the day’s work, Kennedy headed home only to find the house fully occupied by neighbours’ kids who had come to partake of their already small portioned meals. “Mum, these neighbours have to go, I am hungry, we are all hungry, how do we even begin to share,” young Kennedy ranted in between short breaths. But his mum was deaf to this and with each passing day she reminded him that it was only through sharing, through humanity that one keeps hope alive.

At the tender age of ten, Kennedy was a homeless boy roaming the streets of Nairobi. The pain had become too much to bear and so he decided to run away from home. At the age of fifteen, ‘luck’ befell him and he got a job at a factory where he made Ksh 100 ($ 1. 2) a day after 10 hours of labour. It was also then that he had begun to read on Martin Luther King Jr. “Each day I cried and cried. This could not be life. Was I born to live this way? Is poverty bound to flow through my veins till I die? Is it genetic? My grand dad was a poor fisherman, his father too…this just cannot be life.”

Fast forward to 2015 and I am seated across this gentleman known as Kennedy. He tells me about the countless number of friends that he lost along this journey called life. The pain is palpable and I could see it through his eyes as he spoke fondly of them. Some committed suicide, while others were killed by the police. “It was crazy, I was crazy. I had lost all hope, I was violent. “

“It was on one of these long days after working at the factory that I began to question myself and question God. Flooded with tears, I told him that he could not bring me into this world to know such hard living. Hard pressed against the wall I could only bounce back. So I decided to buy a football from that day’s earning and called my friends together. I told them that there had to be more to life. Some thought I was mad but this football brought us together. I told them that we had to transform the society by ourselves,” Kennedy narrates. His words ring true and remind me of Victor Frankl’s words in his revolutionary book, ‘Man’s search for meaning’ where he writes of his experiences in the Nazi gas camps. He states that man when questioning his existence should not ask what he expects from life but what life expects from him.

Today Kennedy is a success story, he is one of the leading social entrepreneurs in the world and has transformed Kibera and Mathare through the organization that he started back then at fifteen years of age, ‘Shining Hope for Communities.’ A community based and owned organization that is anchored on providing quality education, health care, water and sanitation and economic empowerment to society. Today the organization is serving over 70,000 people.

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(Large water tank serving the community with clean water)

Library

(The kids enjoying their Saturday morning watching Sesame street while the young adults indulge in some leisure reading at one of the Shofco Libraries)

What was most inspiring to see was the love for wellness of society amongst the staff members and community. During the post election violence that rocked Kenya in 2007-8, the community armed with pangas and machetes stood watch over the organization’s building and projects to protect them from vandalism. “It is there work, they take so much pride in it,” Kennedy says amidst a big smile across his face.

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(The Kibera School for Girls play area)

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One particular individual who struck me on one of my visits to Shofco (Shining Hope for Communities) is Paul (name changed) who focuses on assisting families that are dealing with sexual and gender based violence. His story is both heart-wrenching and inspiring at the same time. Paul was a cab driver who worked long hours especially during the night shift when his four year old daughter was raped by a neighbour. It was then that he decided to sensitize and empower the community on these issues and joined Shofco.

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(Kennedy Odede)

This brings me to my kind appeal to you; we do not need to know pain nor humble beginnings to change the world. It’s okay to just be and to give of our gifts and time to better society. Our founding fathers fought for liberation, it is now our time to propel transformation. It no longer is about politics as we know it where several individuals suffer delusions of grandeur, but about the grassroots and the roles that we are playing there. I would love to hear more on your amazing stories as well as share them. In a world that is facing the ubiquity of suffering with heartbreaking news sprawled across our screens on a daily basis; it’s all too easy to fall into the bottomless pit of hopelessness. We do have the ability to transcend this predicament and influence in a different way, African youth tell me your story nwmaina2015@gmail.com

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.Martin Luther King, Jr.

The African Union Summit Process in 10 Questions

assodesire

 

  • What is the African Union Summit?

The African Union Ordinary Summit is the gathering of all policy organs of the African union. Two ordinary Summits are held every year and each Summit consists of three 2-day meetings that always take place in the same sequence. Usually, there are 1 or 2 days breaks between these meetings. The Permanent Representatives Committee (all ambassadors representing their countries to the AU) meets first, followed by the Executive Council (Ministers of Foreign Affairs) and then the Assembly of Heads of State and Government.

  • When are the AU Summits Organized?

As a rule, the January Summit takes place at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The June – July Summit is held in a different Member State each year. The AU can also convene extraordinary Summits at the request of the Chairperson or a Member State with approval by a two-thirds majority of…

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Governance Ahead: Understanding the African Union’s African Governance Architecture, African Peace and Security Architecture and the linkages between them.

Africa has made considerable strides in striving towards democratic and participatory governance. Today, African leaders are convinced, more than ever before, that democratic governance and durable peace are a fundamental sine qua non for sustainable human development. All major Organization of African Unity (OAU)/African Union (AU) normative frameworks bear testimony to this firm conviction by African leaders including the 2000 Solemn Declaration on the Conference on Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation in Africa (CSSDCA), the 2000 Constitutive Act of the African Union and the 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. The AU has undergone a paradigm shift from the old OAU doctrine of non-interference to the new doctrine of non-indifference to human rights abuses, mass atrocity and crimes against humanity within its Member States. However, while we have made tremendous progress, existential threats of democracy persist. This is the context within which the African Governance Architecture (AGA) was established.

The African Governance Architecture in a nutshell

The AGA is a direct by-product of the AU Shared Values Agenda. In February 2010, the 14th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly endorsed a decision taken earlier by the Executive Council (EX.CL/Dec.525(XVI), recommending the theme of the 16th Ordinary Summit to be on Shared Values, while also putting in place a Pan-African Architecture on Governance. Subsequently, in January 2011, the 18th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council endorsed the strengthening of the AGA, through the launch of the African Governance Platform as an informal and non-decision making mechanism to foster exchange of information, facilitate the elaboration of common positions on governance, and strengthen the capacity of Africa to speak with one voice.

The AGA and its Platform became operational in 2012, the very year declared by AU policy organs as the Year of Shared Values. The AGA was established to translate the objectives of the legal and policy pronouncements on AU Shared Values, as the implementation framework for the promotion and sustenance of democracy, human rights and governance in Africa. By AU Shared Values, we mean those values, norms and standards as enshrined in the Union’s various instruments such as freedom, human rights and the rule of law, tolerance, respect, community spirit, gender equality, youth empowerment, unity in diversity, constitutionalism, democratic governance, peace, security stability, development, environmental protection, popular participation, accountability and transparency, strong democratic institutions, anti-corruption, improved service delivery, equality, credible and democratic elections, durable solutions to humanitarian crises and free movement of African citizens across borders of AU member states.

The principal goals of the AGA are to connect, empower and build capacities of AU Organs, Regional Economic Communities and relevant stakeholders, including civil society, in order to enhance good governance and democracy in Africa. Through the AGA, the Union is facilitating the implementation, support and complementing the efforts of AU Member States to achieve the above commitments enshrined in the AU Constitutive Act and other relevant standards and norms. To ensure coordination and synergy amongst all the various organs, institutions and the RECs on governance, democracy and human rights issues, the Africa Governance Platform serves as the dialogue and information-sharing forum for the achievement of the goals of the AGA. It provides an avenue for consultations, coordination, dialogue and collective action among the various AU Organs and Institutions for lesson learning and experience-sharing on how best to deepen democratic and participatory governance on the continent.

How complementary are the AGA and the APSA?

The AGA cannot succeed without a strong complementarity with the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). One of the specific objectives of the AGA indeed is to ‘facilitate joint engagement in preventive diplomacy, conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction and development associated with governance challenges in Africa’.(1) Thus both the AGA and APSA are supposed to address the structural root causes of crisis and conflict in Africa. It is only when democratic and participatory governance is institutionalised and peace and political stability prevail that Africa stands a better chance for sustainable human development and prosperity for its citizens. This is also the vision of the AU elaborated in the Africa Agenda 2063 and the Common African Position on Post-2015 Development Agenda.

We are mindful that while inter-state conflicts have subsided in Africa, intra-state conflicts have persisted even in the post-Cold War situation. These conflicts continue to derail our development goals, postpone democratic gains and generate humanitarian crises in different ways;

(i) weak state institutions are unable to exercise authority over their territorial jurisdictions;

(ii) given weak institutions, provision of development and services to the people suffers thereby generating crisis of legitimacy of the state;

(iii) a militarisation of society and establishment of military formations contest space with the formal security establishment thereby generating disorder and near-anarchy;

(iv) mismanagement of diversity through, inter-alia, politicisation of ethnic identity and ethnicisation of politics which triggers intra-state conflict;

(v) mismanagement of and contestation over natural resources;

(vi) environmental degradation and climate change which in turn exerts pressure on rural communities resulting in violent conflicts between pastoralists and farmers, and

(vii) socio-economic exclusion, inequality, unemployment and marginalisation. These are the structural root causes that propel violent conflicts and instability in Africa with devastating impacts on peace, democracy and development. Failure to address these root causes will confine all our responses to mere symptoms of the problem.

The AGA is designed as the comprehensive, overarching and consolidated framework for addressing issues of governance and governance related challenges aimed at addressing structural causes of political instability and crisis through inter alia, preventive diplomacy, mediation, negotiated settlement of conflicts, humanitarian assistance and durable solutions, reconciliation and post-conflict reconstruction and development. The AGA addresses the governance and democracy mandate of the AU, the APSA addresses the peace and security agenda and New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) deals with the developmental agenda of the continent.

Strengthening the institutional linkages between the AGA and the APSA

There are various Shared Values instruments that facilitate cooperation between the AGA and the APSA. These include most notably the 2000 AU Constitutive Act, the 2000 Solemn Declaration on the Conference on Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation in Africa (CSSDCA), the 2003 Protocol Establishing the Peace and Security Council, the 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and the 2009 Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development Policy Framework. More recently, the Africa Agenda 2063, which is to be adopted during the Summit of Heads of State and Government in January 2015, and the Common African Position on Post-2015 Development Agenda are additional policy frameworks which underline the need for cooperation between and among the AGA, APSA and the AU development architecture.

In practice, however, the AGA and APSA do not yet have strong institutional connections. The main arenas that provide glue between the two AU architectures are the technical and political meetings of the AGA and the operations of the Peace and Security Council. APSA institutions, such as the Peace and Security Council, are supposed to take part in the AGA technical and political meetings. The technical meetings are attended by technical staff of the AGA member institutions while the political meetings are attended by the political heads of the institutions. The other arena relates to the workings of the Peace and Security Council. AGA Clusters regularly provide situational analysis to members of the Peace and Security Council on various issues including

(i) elections in Africa,

(ii) human rights situation in Africa, and on the

(iii) humanitarian situation in Africa.

A great opportunity for further strengthening the linkages between the AGA and APSA can be found in the African Union Post-Conflict Recovery and Development (PCRD) policy framework, and the African Solidarity Initiative (ASI). The African Solidarity Initiative was launched by AU Ministers of Foreign Affairs/External Relations on 13th July 2012 with the view to mobilising support from within Africa for post-conflict reconstruction and development in those countries emerging from protracted violent conflict. The main objective of the ASI is to promote African solidarity, mutual assistance and regional integration, and propel the continent to a higher level of development and self-confidence, driven by the motto: ‘Africa helping Africa’.

A more comprehensive approach tested in Central African Republic

(Pic courtesy of aljazeera.com)

One concrete example of collaboration between the AGA and APSA is the initiative in Central African Republic (CAR) where the Department of Political Affairs  and the Department of Peace and Security work together to assist the country in implementing a post-conflict reconstruction and development programme. This intervention is guided by the AU Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development Policy Framework.

The initiative focuses, partly, on rebuilding CAR’s governance system. Specifically, the initiative prioritised the following areas of governance reforms in CAR:

  • The drafting of a new Constitution
  • The electoral process
  • The public sector reform
  • Inclusion and management of the diversity

The long-term plan is to replicate PCRD interventions in CAR in other countries. Resources permitting, we aim to do so in the seven other pilot countries of the African Solidarity Initiative, namely Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan and South sudan, as well as Mali and Madagascar.

Annual High Level Dialogue which focuses on the nexus between governance and conflict

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(Dr. Khabele Matlosa, Director for Political Affairs at the Department of Political Affairs at the 2014 High Level Dialogue in Dakar, Senegal)

Finally, a good opportunity for further strengthening the synergy between the AGA and APSA can be found in the Annual High Level Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance, which is one of the key flagship initiatives of the AGA that started in 2012. This forum is one of the knowledge generation and dialogue series which has proved extremely useful in providing a frank, open and inclusive platform for Member States, AU Organs and Institutions, RECs, African citizens, think tanks, civil society, media, private sector, philanthropists, and development actors to engage and share comparable experiences and lessons on how to improve governance, consolidate democracy and foster effective realisation of human and peoples’ rights on the continent.

The 2014 High Level Dialogue had its theme as ‘Silencing the Guns: Improving Governance for Preventing, Managing and Resolving Conflicts in Africa’. This provided a platform for exploration of how democratic and participatory governance could be leveraged to silence Africa’s blazing guns in line with the agenda of the Peace and Security Council. A pre-forum to interrogate issues around the contribution of young Africans to building a culture of democracy and peace in Africa was held in Nairobi on 15-17thSeptember 2014, while the Nairobi Forum focused on the role of youth in this process of ending wars on our continent, on 7-10th October 2014, another forum aimed at exploring the specific role for women in this drive towards inculcating a culture of peace and democracy. The outcomes of these preparatory meetings were fed into the High Level Dialogue on 30-31 October 2014 in Dakar, Senegal. This provided another impetus to further strengthen the synergies between AGA and APSA.

Operational elements of the APSA

The operational elements of the APSA are:

  • The Continental Early Warning System
  • Peace and Security Council
  • Panel of the Wise
  • African Standby Force
  • African Union Commission
  • Regional Economic Communities

In addition, The AU’s work to support post-conflict transition processes is guided by the:

  • Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development Policy (PCRD)

Footnote

[1] AGA Framework Document, June 2014.

Interviewee:Dr. Khabele Matlosa, Director for Political Affairs at the Department of Political Affairs, African Union Commission conducted by Faten Aggad, Head of Africa’s Change Dynamics Programme at ECDPM.

This article was published in GREAT insights Volume 4, Issue 1 (December 2014/January 2015)

2014 Quotes from Africa’s leading economic drivers

2014 was fraught with economic challenges for several  countries in Africa, especially with the oil escapade, naira devaluation, Ebola and other socio-economic challenges. Regardless of these, 2014 was a great year for businesses.

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(Pic courtesy of eclusiveafrica.net)

The year witnessed big mergers and acquisitions across the continent, multiple oil finds in East Africa, global franchises expanding in Africa and new ones joining the African business train. The continent’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, continued his industrialization plan of sub-Saharan Africa, and fellow countryman Tony Elumelu pursuing an entrepreneurial Africa; the Africapitalism proponent set up a $100,000,000 entrepreneurship fund. These business leaders and Africa’s growing entrepreneurs were at the forefront of the continent’s success in 2014.

Ventures Africa takes a look at the year, culling out some of the top quotes from business leaders that epitomizes the success and growth recorded in 2014.

“I enjoy myself a lot but I derive more joy in working. I believe in hard work and one of my business success secrets is hard work. It’s hard to see a youth that will go to bed by 2am and wake up by 5am. I don’t rest until I achieve something.” – Aliko Dangote

“I built a conglomerate and emerged the richest black man in the world in 2008 but it didn’t happen overnight. It took me thirty years to get to where I am today. Youths of today aspire to be like me but they want to achieve it overnight. It’s not going to work. To build a successful business, you must start small and dream big. In the journey of entrepreneurship, tenacity of purpose is supreme.” – Aliko Dangote

“If you don’t have ambition, you shouldn’t be alive”. – Aliko Dangote

“Mobile phone technology can help to bring financial services to the 80 percent of African women who do not have a bank account and bolster the growth of the world’s poorest continent. It’s not just about empowering women, it’s about economic growth. Unless we can make access to finance easier for women in their businesses, we will be missing out on a significant portion of growth within our economies”. – Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

“We are growing, but not creating enough jobs. That is a very big challenge.” – NgoziOkonjoIweala

“Sometimes, when people think of Nigeria, they think of oil. But we have far more than oil. The non-oil sector is even growing far more”. –Nwanze Okidegbe

“Let us focus like a laser beam on the quality of growth and that growth needs to create the jobs for our rural people and our urban people.” -NgoziOkonjo-Iweala

“As you already know, to succeed as a woman in a world largely dominated by men which we live in today requires extra effort, dedication and perseverance to attain. – Jennifer Obayuwana

“I am confident that Egypt is positioned to achieve exceptional economic growth in the years to come, attracting direct investments in key sectors which continue to offer substantial investment opportunities.” – NaseefSawiris

“The Nigerian market is huge. If you can get it right in Nigeria, you don’t even need to go anywhere […] Just in Africa there is a huge market without us now even going out to Europe, specifically England, UK, Paris, those fashion capitals.” – DeolaSagoe

“There is so much beauty in Africa and it’s definitely a one sided story what you see on your television screens especially in the west.” – AkosuaAfriyie-Kumi of AAKS

“Africa is regarded by many developed economies as one of the final remaining frontier markets with significant opportunities … and the GCC countries are very aware of this.” – RassemZok, CEO, Standard Bank Plc

“Political instability is something you have to work around; it is better if it is not there, but it does not rule out opportunities. You have to study a country, see how you can mitigate risk.” – RassemZok

“Leadership style is what differentiates between a business thriving, sinking, or soaring.” – OnyecheTifase, MD/CEO Siemens Nigeriabusinesses

Article crossposted from Ventures-Africa.com

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