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Africa Economic Conference 2018 focusses on Africa Visa Openness and integration APO Group – Africa-Newsroom: latest news releases related to Africa

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African Development Bank to play bigger role in African economies by investing in infrastructure private equity APO Group - Africa-Newsroom: latest news releases related to Africa

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KIGALI, Rwanda, December 3, 2018/APO Group/ —

For millions of ordinary travellers, inter-African travel is still too often a nightmare. Be it border hassles, lack of road or air routes linking key cities, or the frustrations of being refused entry to a country because of visas, the end result is to curtail the free movement of people, viewed by the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) as one of the pillars of regional integration.

That freedom of movement is inextricably tied to the Bank’s vision to create the next global market in Africa. As the Africa Economic Conference opens in the Rwandan capital Kigali, the theme this year:  Regional and Continental Integration for Africa’s development,” also aligns with another major Bank priority – placing infrastructure development at the centre of Africa’s regional integration efforts.

Host nation Rwanda has taken bold leadership steps to champion regional integration, announcing at the beginning of this year an entry visa on arrival for travelers from all African countries.

The third edition of the Bank’s Visa Openess Index, to be launched on day two of the meeting, will be an important opportunity to measure which countries are making improvements that support free movement of people across Africa.

 “The Index has helped raise awareness and drive visa policy reforms across the continent to ease movement of people, unlocking opportunities for intra-African tourism, trade and investment.  In so doing, the Bank is directly contributing to the objectives of the AU initiative for a Single African passport,” Gabriel Negatu, Bank Director General, East Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office said in his remarks during the opening plenary.

Speaking on behalf of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Hon. Claudine Uwera, Minister of State in charge of Economic Planning said the conference addressed a theme “close to our hearts.” “This conference is important to charting the way for inclusive integration…that would benefit all,” Uwera said.

“Governance will determine the development path for our countries,” Uwera added, noting the equally important role of political will and commitment from African leaders.

The annual Africa Economic Conference is the continent’s leading forum fostering dialogue and knowledge exchange in the search for solutions to the development challenges of Africa. It brings together leading academics, high ranking government representatives and development practitioners from across the globe.

AEC 2018 will highlight “transformative initiatives for accelerating progress in infrastructure integration that are inclusive and promote equity, including the removal of barriers for movement of people, goods, and services across borders.”

Other convening partners to the Conference, the United Nations Development Programme UNDP) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), commended Rwanda’s role as a front-runner for integration efforts in Africa and spoke on the urgent need to build on the momentum for an inclusive and equitable integration.

“The government of Rwanda is walking the talk and continues to set the pace,” Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Bureau for Africa, said.

Also speaking at the plenary, Giovanie Biha, Deputy Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), said while there were still major steps ahead, “we are moving in the right direction.”

Highlighting the Bank’s emphasis on research and knowledge management as important drivers of policy dialogue, good policy planning and implementation, participation this year’s AEC is being organized under the leadership of the Bank’s Research Department and Regional Integration Complex.

Sessions over the three-day meeting will examine the social, cultural and political frameworks for successful integration, building on the landmark signing this year of the Africa Free Trade Agreement the world’s potentially biggest free trade agreement, which aims to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments across Africa.

Participants will also look at the role of the private sector and civil society institutions.

Given the urgency of regional integration – “no longer a choice,” according to its organizers, this year’s meeting is a must attend for those interested in Africa’s Development agenda.

“Important pages of our continent’s development history are being written,” Uwera said. “Let’s take this opportunity to move the continent ahead.”

The 2018 Africa Economic Conference is taking place at the Marriot Hotel in Kigali, from 3-5 December.



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Buhari appoints Amokachi as SA on sports

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Buhari appoints Amokachi as SA on sports

Former Super Eagles player and Nigerian Football Ambassador, Daniel Amokachi, has been appointed as Special Assistant on Sports to President Muhammadu Buhari.

“I am pleased to inform you that Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has approved your appointment as Special Assistant on Sports,” the appointment letter dated August 17, 2020, and signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Mr. Boss Mustapha, reads in part.

As special assistant on sports, Amokachi is expected to advise the President on all sports matters.

The former Everton of England forward, who was earlier in the year named Nigeria’s Football Ambassador, is expected to mentor youngsters and promote the game at the grassroots.

Nicknamed “The Bull”, Amokachi began his career in Kaduna with Ranchers Bees Football Club of Kaduna, played for Club Brugge of Belgium, Besiktas of Turkey, Everton of England and Colorado Rapids.

He played in two World Cup finals, USA 1994 and France 1998. He was a member of Nigeria’s 1994 African Cup of Nations winning team and won the 2013 edition in South Africa as assistant to the late Coach Stephen Keshi.

Amockachi also won Gold with team Nigeria in the Football event of the Atlanta 1996 Olympics.

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Tennis: Djokovic confirms US Open participation

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Tennis: Djokovic confirms US Open participation

Novak Djokovic confirmed on Thursday he will play at the US Open, ending speculation about his presence at the first Grand Slam tournament since the season restarted following the coronavirus-enforced shutdown.

“I’m happy to confirm that I’ll participate at #CincyTennis and #USOpen this year,” the 33-year-old world number one tweeted.

“It was not an easy decision to make with all the obstacles and challenges on many sides, but the prospect of competing again makes me really excited,” added the 17-time Grand Slam champion.

The US Open gets underway behind closed doors in New York on Monday August 31, with Djokovic arriving in the United States on Saturday to tune up in the Western and Southern Open, which is normally played in Cincinnati but has been moved to New York this year.

His decision to take part is a major boost for the US Open after a host of headline names pulled out.

Djokovic makes his competitive return after being heavily criticized for hosting a charity tennis event in the Balkans in June at which he and a raft of players tested positive for COVID-19.

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Sam Okwaraji: NFF begins process to retire Eagles No.6 jersey

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Sam Okwaraji: NFF begins process to retire Eagles No.6 jersey

The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) is pondering a move to retire the Super Eagles No.6 jersey previously worn by the late Sam Okwaraji, The PUNCH reports.

NFF President Amaju Pinnick made this known during an interview on a radio programme Sports Salsa, which was aired on Kennis 104.1 FM on Wednesday.

Okwaraji died of congestive heart failure minutes after he slumped during a 1990 World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Angola on August 12, 1989, inside the main-bowl of the National Stadium, Lagos.

The game ended 1-0 in favour of the Eagles.

“Someone made a proposal about retiring the jersey (No.6) at the start of the year and I think it is not too much for us to do that,” Pinnick said.

“I will forward the proposal to the executive committee for implementation because it has been said already. So, we will see how we can retire that shirt in honour of a great patriot (Samuel) Okwaraji.

“His (Okwaraji) death was very tragic because he was a player who showed dexterity, professionalism and maturity each time he played for the Eagles.”

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