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Total, NWSC Partner To Launch 20th African Water Association Congress

Total Uganda and National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) have launched their partnership in hosting the 20th African Water Association (AfWA) Congress and Exhibition at the Total Head Office on plot 4 8th street.

The bi-annual Congress held by the African Water Association as part of a mechanism to enhance exchange of ideas and seek for innovative solutions related to the water and sanitation sector.

The Congress is organised by AfWA in collaboration with the Ministry of Water and Environment and National Water and Sewerage Corporation on behalf of the Government of Uganda.

The AfWA Congress which will be officiated over by the President of Uganda, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, will focus on the new breakthrough solutions and innovations to address the current water and sanitation challenges in Africa.

It will be held at the Kampala Serena Hotel from 24th -27th February under the theme; “Breaking New Grounds to Accelerate Access to Water and Sanitation for all in Africa”.

Total Uganda has contributed €25,000 towards the activities and preparations of the AfWA Confress and will be hosting various activities (networking, exhibitions, CEO Forum, a technical tour and a football match) for over 2,000 delegates and exhibitors.

Speaking during the launch, Mr Obi IMEMBA, Total Uganda’s Managing Director said; "The importance of water and sanitation cannot be overemphasized. Total Uganda is guided by its goals to improve water and sanitation as a top priority in the communities we operate in.

Our partnership with NWSC shows our commitment to enhance the lives of people in our communities and ensure sustainable development. One of our main key focus areas is environmental sustainability and we believe that through our efforts, we can turn water and sanitation into a critical line of defence against climate change."

Dr. Silver Mugisha, the Managing Director of NWSC said; “This partnership with Total goes to show that the concern in ensuring that there’s clean safe water for all is not only a government concern but that shared by the private sector too. This makes the drive to achieve the sustainable development goals come 2030 even more attainable.”

In the past, Total Uganda has been at the forefront of promoting health and sanitation in its areas of operation with donations to boost the fight against Cholera in Hoima and Buliisa, aiding community health through donations of garbage bunkers and bins to Pakwach and Anaka towns and the rehabilitation of sanitary blocks destroyed by a storm at Kirama primary school in Buliisa district.

Africa Energy Forum To Address SDG Goal On Energy, Impact Of Energy Investment

The 2020 Africa Energy Forum (aef) will welcome Chairwoman Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) and Co-Chair of UN-Energy, to officiate the opening sessions.

Mrs. Ogunbiyi said: “Africa is a region full of promise and economic opportunity. Yet as we begin the final decade to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7, over 573 million people across Africa still do not have access to electricity which affects the region’s economic potential, health outcomes and prosperity.

Now is the time we must all come together to increase investment, make bold commitments and create new partnerships that can deliver affordable, reliable, modern and sustainable energy for all Africans.”

The 2020 programme

Taking place in Barcelona, Spain from 30th June – 3rd July, the 2020 agenda introduces dynamic sessions prioritising interactivity between panellists and delegates. Session formats include interactive Q&As, deep dives, roundtables and hard-hitting debates.

In line with the SDG7 goal of ensuring “access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all,” aef will host a stream dedicated to unpacking Africa’s role in achieving SDG7, debating how the continent can meet energy demands in light of global sustainability goals.

The Tech & Tools stream will examine how the 4th Industrial Revolution is set to play out for Africa, discussing the future of battery storage, disruptive technologies and artificial intelligence in 2020 and beyond.

A special Project signing session on the opening day will see partners and sponsors sign power projects with public & private sector partners in front of a live aef audience.

The EnergyNet Student Engagement Initiative returns to invite promising finance, law and engineering students from Africa and host country Spain to meet Energy Ministers, participate in workshops and learn about the opportunities for energy development in their respective countries.

Networking highlights

The Africa Challenge Cup will return to aef this June – a football tournament raising money for charity while providing an outstanding networking opportunity for sponsors and delegates. Barcelona is the ideal city to build on the success of the 2019 tournament and exceed our charitable contribution.

New for 2020, aef will host an Industry Quiz for teams of sponsors and delegates. Quiz rounds will take place throughout the agenda on the exhibition floor over the course of the 3 days. The wining team will be recognised with an awards ceremony and prize at the aef 2020 closing ceremony.

Over 2,000 decision-makers from the public and private sector are expected to attend the 22nd Africa Energy Forum this June. 

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Makerere I.T Students To Represent Uganda In The Huawei Global ICT Skills Competition

Three Makerere University Students have been chosen to represent Uganda in the Huawei ICT global competition which is at its regional final stage in South Africa.

These top three students who were chosen on merit excelled in the preliminary and national final exams of the competition which was carried between October and December 2019.  

This is the second edition of the Huawei ICT Competition in Uganda with over 2500 students who registered to participate and out of those 100 excelled to the national final exam.

With the theme “Connection, Glory, Future”, the Huawei 2019-2020 Global ICT competition aims to provide a platform for global ICT talents to showcase their ability, compete and communicate, encouraging ICT-related study and drive the growth of a robust ICT talent ecosystem.

The 2500 competition participants from Makerere, Kyambogo, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Nkozi, Mbarara, Kabale, Lira, Gulu, Muni, UCU and MUBS accessed learning material free of charge on the Huawei online learning platform in the various courses such as Network and Cloud track.

The network track consists of Router & Switch, Security and Wireless Lan while Cloud track consists of Artificial intelligence, Big Data, Cloud Computing and Storage.

These studied and were subjected to preliminary and national exams of which the top three students emerged all coming from Makerere University. These are Magola Kenneth, Okello Stephen and Mudulo Gerald

These are expected to go to South Africa on 22nd March 2020 to participate in the regional final with other African countries and later in May to China, Shenzhen in the global final amongst the rest of the world.

Mr. Liaoshuangquan, the Huawei Uganda Human Resource Director noted that the competition is very relevant to every ICT student and professional because it’s a comprehensive approach of skills development for employment, enhanced productivity and growth.

“The Huawei ICT Competition and Academy is a comprehensive approach of skills development for employment, enhanced productivity and growth. Training contents in this program has been aligned with skills requirements in the job market.

That is why we re-dedicate ourselves to working even more closely with universities across the country to better equip students with the next generation of technologies and create the platform for the Ugandan students to demonstrate they are capable of maturing into world-class experts,” said Mr. Liaoshuangquan.

The second edition of this skilling competition began in October 2019 with several roadshows in the earlier mentioned universities and also a boot camp training to prepare the competition participants to do the exams.

Mr. Liaoshuangquan, The Huawei Human Resource Director continued to note that the top 11 students among the 100 national finalists shall be awarded in a ceremony to happen in March, with Huawei Professional certificates, Huawei gift devices and job/internship opportunities at Huawei.

Through the continued initiative to bridge the ICT skills gap and fostering ICT talent pool needed for national social-economic development, Huawei Uganda has been working with government and academic partners since May 2019 to open up its academies in the various universities of Uganda. So far, six academies have been opened in Makerere, MUBS, Soroti, Muni, Nkozi, Mbarara

and Kabale university.

Niger’s Application To rRe-join EITI Approved

Following the country’s withdrawal from the EITI process in October 2017, the Government of Niger has committed to fully implement the 2019 EITI Standard. Its candidature was approved by the EITI Board today, making it the 53rd country implementing the EITI Standard, and the 26th in Africa.

Opportunities for EITI implementation

Helen Clark, Chair of the EITI, said: “Niger has played a role in the development of the EITI Standard and in efforts to improve extractive industry governance over the years. We welcome them back as an implementing country and look forward to the EITI contributing to public debate in Niger.”

Niger first became an EITI candidate country in 2007. The country implemented the EITI for 10 years, producing EITI Reports covering fiscal years 2005 to 2014. Niger’s decade of EITI implementation spurred tangible public finance reforms, including annual audits by the Cour des Comptes (auditor general) of the government’s extractives revenue collection.

Niger’s re-admission to the EITI is timely. EITI reporting provides an opportunity to improve public understanding of the way in which subnational transfers are allocated and to track the amounts due to each local government.

EITI implementation can also support the publication of contracts in the official gazette (Journal Officiel), as provided for by the country’s 2010 Constitution provisions (Article 150).

The EITI could provide a way of tracking those contracts not yet disclosed. Three extractives products in Niger – uranium, oil and gold – currently account for 8% of GDP and approximately 50% of the country’s export receipts.

Evaluating EITI implementation in Niger

Niger was first evaluated against the EITI Rules, which preceded the EITI Standard, and was deemed compliant in 2011. Niger’s Validation under the 2016 EITI Standard began in November 2016.

On 26 October 2017, the Board assessed that Niger had made inadequate progress overall in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard, and that it had not made satisfactory progress on civil society engagement.

As a result, the country was suspended from the EITI process. The Government of Niger announced its withdrawal from the EITI on 25 October 2017.

Pathway to implementing the 2019 EITI Standard

During the country’s withdrawal, the EITI has continued to work with government, companies and civil society in the country. In January 2019, Prime Minister of the Republic of Niger Brigi Rafini publicly announced the Government of Niger’s intention “to resume its place within the International EITI and to play, fully and responsibly, as it has always done, its role in the governance of the extractive industries.” On 11th October 2019, the government submitted its candidature application to the Board to re-join the EITI.

EITI implementation in Niger

Niger’s multi-stakeholder group (MSG) was reconstituted on 19 November 2018. It is composed of 30 members, 10 government representatives, one local government representative, nine mining companies and 10 civil society members.

EITI-Niger National Coordinator, Abdelkarim Aksar, said: “The EITI in Niger aims to provide up-to-date relevant information on the extractive industries in Niger in accordance with Articles 149 and 150 of Niger’s constitution. We are working towards transparency at the source. We will continue to support mechanisms to fully integrate transparency within government and company reporting systems".

The World Bank supported the selection of civil society representatives to the MSG. A three-pronged methodology was applied, namely: civil society mapping of active and recognised civil society organisations; the creation of an Action Platform for Civil Society Organisations involved in the Extractive Industries; and the nomination process for civil society representatives to the MSG.

Ali Idrissa, head of civil society organisation ROTAB in Niger, stated: “Local civil society supports Niger’s reintegration into the EITI process and had no objections to the process led by technical and financial partners to support the selection of civil society representatives to the MSG. We intend to hold government accountable for its commitments under the EITI.”

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