EIB Global Report: The Impact (https://bit.ly/3n3Oq89) details the results and numbers behind development activities outside the European Union and discusses the many challenges facing the economy and societies worldwide, including climate change, the war in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic; EIB Global Report: The Story (https://bit.ly/3QOXoDU) illustrates the foundations of the European Investment Bank’s (www.EIB.org) new development arm and discusses ways to fill investment gaps in areas such as gender equality, innovation, vaccines and green energy.
The world is beset by crises that are reshaping societies, economies, healthcare systems, transport and workplaces. Many parts of our lives are changing. The greatest challenges, such as COVID-19, climate change, poverty and equality, will require larger investments and more partnerships as this decade progresses. No single institution can meet the world’s needs for innovation and cooperation.
There is a lot of work to be done. Africa needs to increase spending on climate action by several hundred billion a year. The continent is running far behind other parts of the world in COVID-19 vaccinations. In renewable energy in homes and clean drinking water, developing countries are struggling to make big leaps. Hundreds of millions of people in Asia, Latin America and Africa have no power in their homes and no easy access to good water. The EIB Group brought green electricity to 2.6 million households outside of the European Union in 2021 and improved water for 4 million. We helped provide nearly 800 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19 and other diseases. But we need to work together to do much more.
UN humanitarians issued an alert on Tuesday over the deteriorating situation for millions of mainly women and children in northeast Nigeria who continue to be affected by protracted armed conflict, just as the country enters the lean season.
Well over eight million people are in need of assistance in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states, and an estimated 600,000 face emergency levels of food insecurity because of extremist violence centred around the Lake Chad region, that’s now in its 12th year.
Boko Haram still a threat
Although previously dominant Boko Haram militia have been significantly weakened since the group’s leader was killed over a year ago, it continues to carry out indiscriminate attacks, said the UN’s top relief officialOpens in new window in Nigeria, Matthias Schmale. Another extremist offshoot, ISWAP, is also dangerous, although it had also suffered setbacks, he noted.
As in previous years, a staggering one million people are also beyond the reach of international aid teams, said Mr. Schmale, who is the acting UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria.
More than 80 per cent of those in need are women and children, who also face “abductions, rape and abuse”, while indiscriminate attacks in Borno state make it the most “unstable place to be”, he added.
John Hamilton, CEO of independent exploration and production company, Panoro Energy, will be attending and participating at African Energy Week (AEW) (https://AECWeek.com) 2022, Africa’s premier event for the oil and gas sector, which will take place from 18 – 21 October in Cape Town. Representing one of the international majors driving upstream developments across Africa’s leading hydrocarbon producing countries including Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, South Africa and Tunisia, the presence and participation of Hamilton at AEW 2022 will be crucial for the discussion on African oil and gas market challenges and opportunities and the role independents such as Panoro Energy can play in boosting the continent’s hydrocarbon energy developments.
Having spent over 25 years of his career in energy and upstream oil and gas financing, Hamilton will drive AEW 2022 dialogues around how Africa can address inadequate investments across the entire oil and gas value chain, boosting exploration and production. Insights from Hamilton will be vital at AEW 2022 as stakeholders look at developing a blueprint of how the continent can navigate through energy transition and investment-related challenges.
Moreover, with the COVID-19 pandemic posing further challenges to making energy poverty history, Hamilton’s experience regarding African energy makes him an ideal participant regarding high-level discussions and meetings on how Africa can maximize the exploitation of its 125.3 billion barrels of crude oil and 620 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves to address energy poverty, access and affordability issues.
Hamilton has led Panoro Energy in a series of exploration, production and asset acquisitions across Africa. Under the leadership of Hamilton, Panoro Energy has recently secured an extension of exploration and production contract for Block G with the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, was awarded an exploration license offshore Gabon in 2021 and expanded its portfolio with the acquisition of high-quality oil producing assets offshore Equatorial Guinea and Gabon from Tullow Oil.
With oil and gas production in Africa declining due to diminishes in legacy projects in leading markets such as Nigeria, Angola, Algeria and Libya, emerging markets such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) could potentially help revive Africa’s hydrocarbons market. As the DRC government seeks to maximize the exploitation of its hydrocarbon resources to address energy poverty and economic growth issues while also expanding the monetization of these resources through improved trading with international markets, the central African country’s upstream sector is ripe with opportunities for regional and international oil and gas players and investors.
Behind the market readiness for expansion are favorable regulatory improvements and the country’s largely untapped and potentially rich hydrocarbon basins that have led to international firms TotalEnergies and Perenco, and DRC parastatal Cohydro launching exploration activities. With only 4.5% of the DRC’s 180 million barrels of proven crude oil reserves having been developed so far, the launch of a licensing round for exploration in 16 oil blocks in May 2022 will further open up the DRC’s upstream market and unlock the country’s estimated 5 billion barrels of crude oil and 30 billion cubic meters of methane and natural gas reserves for production. In addition, with only one company, Perenco, producing oil in the DRC – at approximately 23,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2020 – more players are set to enter the market, kickstart production and place the DRC on course to achieve its daily production target of between 500,000 and one million barrels of crude oil per day.
With additional tax alleviation and exemptions set to be introduced by H.E. Didier Budimbu Ntubuanga, Minister of Hydrocarbons of the DRC, to attract investments to boost upstream activities, the market is well positioned to be a new destination for oil investment.
What’s more, the government of the DRC is looking at improving cooperation with regional counterparts and leading hydrocarbons producers including Equatorial Guinea, Angola, the Republic of Congo and South Sudan, with the aim of expanding energy exploration and production while creating a regional market and accelerating infrastructure growth.
Farmers in parts of northern Ethiopia are in serious danger of losing the main planting season (June-August) if they do not receive urgent support from the international community to sow their fields, which would further deteriorate the already serious food security situation in the region.
With the rainfall outlook foreseen to be favourable, the season offers a crucial and cost-effective opportunity to improve food availability across the region. Most farmers in Tigray have completed land preparation and are waiting for the onset of the rains. However, limited access to agricultural inputs, particularly fertilizers and seeds, is a major threat to the season.
FAO and its Agriculture Cluster partners are seeking to mobilize $96 million immediately, focusing specifically on the time-sensitive opportunity offered by the Government of Ethiopia to purchase fertilizers at cost price.
Over the last months, FAO and partners have mobilized $11 million, which enables them to meet just 10 percent of needs for fertilizers, leaving a gap of $85 million.
FAO and partners are also exploring avenues to make 60 000 tonnes of fertilizers and locally-produced seed available to farmers (4 000 tonnes of seed, or 8 percent of the total needs). Given the very short window for planting (end-June to August), the first priority should be given to fertilizer, which is applied three to four weeks after planting.
The Zambian government’s recent actions to address the toxic legacy of lead in Kabwe, in central Zambia, brings hope to affected communities, 15 Zambian and international nongovernmental organizations said today.
In March 2022, Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichilema established a new technical committee to tackle extreme levels of lead pollution from a former mine and smelter in Kabwe, and to protect human health and the environment. The committee met for the first time on June 3 at the Ministry of Green Economy and the Environment and will propose a plan for a sustainable solution to the contamination in Kabwe.
“The Zambian government’s willingness to seek a long-term, sustainable solution together with stakeholders is a crucial development for addressing the environmental disaster in Kabwe,” said Namo Chuma, director of the Kabwe-based Environment Africa. “As civil society, we stand ready to support this process.”
The Ministry of Green Economy will oversee the committee, with representatives from the Zambia Environment Management Agency, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the University of Zambia, and civil society organizations. The president has asked nongovernmental organizations to take an active role in the committee’s work, expressing appreciation for their efforts to address lead pollution.
New attacks by armed Arab assailants on civilians in west Darfur since April 2022 have left hundreds dead, thousands displaced, and hundreds of civilian homes scorched, and property looted, Human Rights Watch said today.
The large-scale violence has been carried out particularly against civilians in Kerenik and Kulbus. It underscores the Sudanese government’s failure to fulfill its duty to protect civilians and the urgent need for ramped up United Nations monitoring, protection through its presence, and public reporting on events in Darfur.
“The last two months have shown all too starkly the devastating dividends of withdrawing peacekeepers and ignoring the ongoing need to protect civilians in Darfur,” said Mohamed Osman, Sudan researcher at Human Rights Watch. “It’s hard not to feel like the international community, which watched Darfur with eagle eyes for years, has completely abandoned these victims of ethnic cleansing.”
The joint human rights office in Sudan of both the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) and the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) should prioritize securing regular access to Darfur to investigate and publicly report on abuses; all parts of the UN mission, the UN system, and member states should support their work and increase protection monitoring and reporting capacity, including by deploying a stronger monitoring presence in Darfur.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has welcomed the decision of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to approve three FAO-led projects in five countries, totalling $18 million in funding.
The three new projects – in Nigeria, Venezuela and a regional initiative encompassing Malawi, Mozambique, and Uganda – will improve the management of protected areas, protect biodiversity in lowland forests, and build water security and resilience.
“Resilient and productive land and aquatic ecosystems are the foundation of sustainable agri-food systems transformation,” said FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo. “The approval of these three projects strengthens our ability to help countries move on a path of sustainability that leaves no one behind”.
The biodiversity conservation project in Venezuela will address key barriers to the sustainable use of biodiversity in order to support the effective management of five existing Protected Areas in the Caroni River Basin in the Guiana Massif, one of the most pristine and biodiverse areas on the planet.
Aerial photo taken on June 17, 2022 shows the headquarters building of the New Development Bank (NDB), also known as the BRICS bank, in east China’s Shanghai. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)
As the world grapples with a series of challenges, it is looking forward to listening to the voices of the BRICS countries as well as other emerging economies at the upcoming gathering.
BEIJING, June 21 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to host the 14th BRICS Summit and the High-level Dialogue on Global Development, and attend the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum in virtual format later this week.
As the world grapples with a series of challenges, it is looking forward to listening to the voices of the BRICS countries as well as other emerging economies at the upcoming gathering.
At the opening of the BRICS Business Forum in 2017, the last time China was the BRICS chair, Xi delivered a keynote speech titled, Working Together to Usher in the Second “Golden Decade” of BRICS Cooperation, outlining an optimistic future for BRICS cooperation.
In the first half of the second “golden decade” of BRICS cooperation, China has put forward practical proposals and plans and contributed its wisdom and strength.
Five years have passed since 2017, with China again assuming the BRICS chairmanship.
The medical supplies donated by China arrive at Or Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, April 14, 2020. (Chinese Embassy in South Africa/Handout via Xinhua)
While the COVID-19 pandemic and major changes both unseen in a century pose grave challenges to global security and development, China is promoting a BRICS more focused on high-quality development, opening-up and cooperation, deepening the group’s partnership and working toward a future of equity, justice, peace and prosperity for the world.
Under China’s chairmanship, the international community expects that any consensus reached at the BRICS Summit and other relevant events will be the “golden key” to helping all countries, especially developing ones, better address challenges and bolster development.
“The BRICS countries in the year 2022 become all the more important,” said Herman Tiu Laurel, founder of Philippine BRICS Strategic Studies, stressing that the mechanism allows the BRICS countries “to lead the world out of this quagmire of conflict, and tension, and focus again the attention of the global community on development.”
The international community also expects the mechanism to become more open and inclusive and push for a more just and equitable global governance system.
Photo taken on Nov. 22, 2021 shows wind turbines of the De Aar wind power project in De Aar, South Africa. (Xinhua/Lyu Tianran)
Since the BRICS mechanism was established 16 years ago, cooperation has been vital. Member countries and other developing nations benefited from an expansion in energy infrastructure, green finance and the digital economy.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said that a number of other countries wanting to join in BRICS “speak volumes about the confidence that many of other countries are having in BRICS.”
“People see BRICS as a very attractive bloc,” he noted.
In recent years, the BRICS mechanism has witnessed several achievements, including establishing the New Development Bank and the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement.
In 2021, the total volume of trade in goods of BRICS countries increased 33.4 percent year on year. Launched in December 2020, the BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution Innovation Center has provided more than 120,000 training opportunities in 28 countries and carried out over 100 pilot projects.
Since the beginning of the year, China has continuously promoted the “BRICS Plus” cooperation model, epitomizing China’s adherence to the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation.
The high expectations of China’s chairmanship stem from the international community’s appreciation for China’s global governance philosophy, which emphasizes extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits.
An elderly person receives a dose of China’s COVID-19 vaccine in Brasilia, Brazil, Jan. 22, 2021. (Photo by Lucio Tavora/Xinhua)
Since assuming the BRICS chairmanship earlier this year, China has held more than 70 conferences and activities, covering politics, security, trade and finance, people-to-people exchanges, sustainable development and public health.
China’s continuous contribution to the BRICS, which cover over 40 percent of the world’s population and about a quarter of the global economy, has boosted global confidence in the mechanism.
Kin Phea, director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told Xinhua the next five years of BRICS collaboration could benefit the world.
The ‘BRICS Plus’ and the initiatives China proposed “will be catalysts for global economic growth, sustainable common development and an equitable security system,” Kin said.
BEIJING, June 20 (Xinhua) — The 14th BRICS Summit is slated to be held under China’s chairmanship this week, at a time when the emerging markets and developing countries are coping with an increasingly volatile world.
The summit and two other related high-level events — the High-level Dialogue on Global Development and the BRICS Business Forum, running from Wednesday through Friday, will gather online the leaders of the world’s five prominent emerging markets — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — as well as leaders from other developing countries.
Global watchers will be keeping tabs on the events, as BRICS countries are home to nearly 42 percent of the world’s population and account for about a quarter of the global economy. Their interaction and cooperation play a crucial role in shaping the world’s political and economic landscapes.
Over the years, Chinese President Xi Jinping has used at least three catchphrases to describe BRICS cooperation. These pearls of wisdom may offer some insights into the workings of this mechanism underpinned by five heavyweight developing countries.
– FINGERS AND FIST
During the seventh BRICS Summit in 2015, Xi likened the five BRICS countries to five fingers, different in length when stretched out, but making a clenched fist when drawn together.
Xi’s remarks vividly expound on the respective potential and advantages of the five countries, and the solidarity and synergy that BRICS exudes.
Over the years, BRICS countries have blazed a path of forging partnerships rather than alliances, while upholding mutual respect and common progress.
The closer ties among BRICS countries have been manifested in the joint fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
— NOT A TALKING SHOP, BUT A TASK FORCE
In 2017, Xi pointed out that “BRICS is not a talking shop, but a task force that gets things done.”
BRICS cooperation has been upgraded from a foreign ministers’ meeting mechanism to the mechanism of BRICS leaders’ meeting, and in the meantime established a number of cooperative mechanisms, such as the New Development Bank (NDB), the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, and the BRICS Business Council, to propel pragmatic collaboration in multiple areas.
The goods trade among BRICS countries reached 8.55 trillion U.S. dollars in 2021, up 33.4 percent year on year. The establishment of the NDB is another fine example. Since the beginning of its operations, the bank has approved about 80 projects and handed out 30 billion U.S. dollars in loans.
Earlier this month, BRICS economic and trade ministers pledged to deepen cooperation in fields including digital economy, trade investment and sustainable development, the supply chain and multilateral trade mechanisms.
Deepened cooperation has also been nailed down in areas such as aerospace, information and communications, environment, new energy, and biotechnology.
The BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution will be taken as the starting point to promote BRICS economic cooperation in the next phase. China has been actively leading and boosting the partnership, focusing on cooperation in the digital industry and transforming industries with digital technologies, and setting up an innovation center in Xiamen, east China’s Fujian Province.
— A BIGGER PIE
BRICS cooperation is already about more than the five countries. Since its inception, the cooperative mechanism has closely related its future to the fortunes of the emerging markets and developing countries.
“The development of emerging markets and developing countries is not intended to move the cheese of anyone but to make the pie of the global economy bigger,” Xi said in a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum in 2017.
At the BRICS Xiamen Summit in 2017, the well-received “BRICS Plus” approach was adopted. It is designed to strengthen the unity and coordination among BRICS members for greater cohesion, and to keep broadening the BRICS “circle of friends” in a joint pursuit of shared development and prosperity for all emerging markets and developing countries.
The approach explores cooperation within the United Nations, the G20, and other frameworks to advance the common interests and boost
the common interests and boost the development space for emerging markets and developing countries, thus contributing more to world peace and development through broader partnerships.
The High-level Dialogue on Global Development will be held virtually on Friday. BRICS leaders and leaders of relevant emerging markets and developing countries will attend the meeting on fostering a global development partnership for the new era to jointly implement the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.