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Banking on Africa: the examples of Kaberuka and Sinon

The goal of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group is to create sustainable economic development and social progress in its regional member countries (RMCs), thereby helping to reduce poverty. This is achieved by mobilizing and allocating resources for investment in RMCs & providing policy advice and technical assistance to support development efforts.



Donald Kaberuka, president of the African Development Bank. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Donald Kaberuka, president of the African Development Bank. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Banking on Africa: the examples of Kaberuka and Sinon

By Raynard Jackson

Special to USAfrica, and The Black Business Journal, Houston

The overwhelming images most Americans see on U.S. media about Africa is that of famine, war, or other tragedies.  But, with a little effort, another view of Africa begins to emerge.

Before the final weekend of September 2009, I had the honor of spending a few days with the Peter Sinon, Executive Director of the African Development Bank.  You can hear my interview with him on my radio show (

The goal of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group is to create sustainable economic development and social progress in its regional member countries (RMCs), thereby helping to reduce poverty.  This is achieved by mobilizing and allocating resources for investment in RMCs & providing policy advice and technical assistance to support development efforts.

The bank contributes to the financing of road construction, building of dams, or the financing of mining projects.  The bank also helps to fund the operational budget of a particular country.  The bank might also partner with the World Bank to promote trade and investment liberalization and the privatization of state-owned companies, thereby creating local jobs.

According to the bank’s website, “The major rating agencies Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and the Japanese Credit Rating Agency have assigned a triple-A rating on AfDB long term senior debt and double A-plus on its subordinated debt. The outlook on all the ratings are stable and reflect the Bank’s strong membership support, healthy capital adequacy, preferred creditor status and strong financial condition.”  How many stories about this have you seen on the U.S. news?  I understand that the AfDB is still  considered a small player on the continent in the area of finance (they provide about 6% of total development assistance on the continent, about U.S. $ 3 billion annually).  But, their goal is not to compete with the World Bank (one of the dominant players on the continent).

Interviewing Mr. Sinon made me more aware of the role and mission of the bank and optimistic about Africa’s future.  He is more than just another highly trained economist.  He clearly understands that economic theories must be practical and able to provide measurable change in the lives of people.

Mr. Sinon also sang the praises of the bank’s president, Mr. Donald Kaberuka, the former Finance Minister of Rwanda.  He was elected president in 2005 and is up for reelection next year (he is expected to win another 5 year term).  He has brought much needed vision and focus to the bank and under his leadership, the bank is playing a much larger role on the continent.

Under Mr. Kaberuka’s leadership, the bank expects its investments in 2009 to double with commitments amounting to around US $ 11 billion from US $ 5.8 billion last year.

Last Monday he rang the closing bell on Wall Street.  Afterword he gave the keynote address at the Africa Investor Index Series Summit and Awards at the exchange.  He also attended the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative; spoke at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, and participated in a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

I think Mr. Kaberuka and the bank should plan a program in the U.S. that would allow him to educate Americans about the bank and its role in the development of Africa.  This program should have a media component with majority & ethnic newspapers, TV programs, radio programs and include several speeches at universities and professional financial organizations such as the National Associating of Black Money Managers.

Mr. Kaberuka has a great story to tell.  Under his leadership, that bank is investing larger amounts on the continent, becoming more influential, becoming more focused, and being recognized as a well run organization. He can’t expect the images coming out of Africa to change on its own.  He must become more aggressive about championing the successes of his bank.  That will require him to become more media savvy.

With Keberuka and Sinon, I think their organization is something that the continent of African can bank on.

•Raynard Jackson, contributing writer for,  is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-based political consulting/government affairs firm. Published on on October 1, 2009

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USAfrica: Buhari to debate Atiku, Moghalu on January 19; rising Sowore not listed



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As the countdown to the February 2019 presidential elections in Africa’s most populated country continues, Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) have announced the “names of political parties” that they have pre-qualified to participate in the 2019 vice presidential and presidential debates.

The Executive Secretary of the NEDG, Eddie Emesiri, listed the parties as the following: Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Young Progressives Party (YPP).

The Presidential debate will hold on Saturday, January 19, 2019 while the VP debate will be in Abuja on Friday, December 14, 2018.

President Buhari, a retired army general who does not warm up to contrary even if helpful views, USAfrica notes, will have the opportunity of counterpoint exchanges with his 2015 former ally Atiku Abubakar, and especially from the  former deputy Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank Prof. Kingsley Moghalu. 

Significantly, the debate excludes Omoyele Sowore, the activist-journalist and young candidate who is among the top canvassers and most travelled candidates (inside and outside Nigeria) in search of votes. By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica [Houston] and



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Global Terrorism Index ranks Nigeria, Somalia and Egypt among the worst hit.




The Global Terrorism Index for 2018 has been released by the Institute for Economics and Peace, which recorded 3 African countries of Nigeria, Somalia  and Egypt among the worst hit. Iraq’s almost daily blasts placed it at the top, followed by Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria, and Pakistan. 

The GTI found that “the global impact from terrorism is on the decline, it also shows that terrorism is still widespread, and even getting worse in some regions.”

The United States is at number 20. 

The Index ranked 138 countries based on the severity of terror attacks throughout 2017, and found that “The total number of deaths fell by 27 percent between 2016 and 2017, with the largest falls occurring in Iraq and Syria. The overall trend of a decline in the number of deaths caused by acts of terror reflects the increased emphasis placed on countering terrorism around the world since the surge in violence in 2013.”

“In the Maghreb and Sahel regions of Northern Africa, there has been a resurgence of terrorist activity in the past two years, most notably of al-Qa’ida. As of March 2018 there were more than 9,000 members of terrorist groups active in the region, mostly concentrated in Libya and Algeria,” it noted.

The GTI assessed the total global economic impact of terrorism at almost $52 billion. notes that the attacks by Nigeria’s Boko Haram and its affiliates mainly in the north east and exponential rise in the violence unleashed by the Fulani herdsmen negatively affected the country. By Chido Nwangwu @Chido247

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Nigerian army posts Trump video to justify shooting muslim Shiites




Nigeria’s army (has) posted a video of US President Donald Trump saying soldiers would shoot migrants throwing stones to justify opening fire on a Shiite group (last) week.

In the video, Trump warns that soldiers deployed to the Mexican border could shoot Central American migrants who throw stones at them while attempting to cross illegally.

“We’re not going to put up with that. They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back,” said Trump in remarks made on Thursday.

“I told them (troops) consider it (a rock) a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexican military and police, I say consider it a rifle.”

Nigeria’s defence spokesman John Agim told AFP that the army posted the video in response to criticism that its security forces had acted unlawfully.

The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) said 49 of its members were killed after the army and police fired live bullets at crowds who marched near and in the capital Abuja. The army’s official death toll was six.

Amnesty International said Wednesday it had “strong evidence” that police and soldiers used automatic weapons against IMN members and killed about 45 people in an “unconscionable use of deadly force by soldiers and police”.

The United States embassy in Nigeria said Thursday it was “concerned” and called for an investigation.

“The video was posted in reaction to the Amnesty International report accusing the army of using weapons against pacifist Shiite protesters…. Not only did they use stones but they were carrying petrol bombs, machetes and knives, so yes, we consider them as being armed,” said Agim.

“We intervened only because the IMN members are trying to harm our people, they are always meeting us…at security check points and trying to provoke us, they even burned a police vehicle.”

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, is almost evenly split between a mostly Muslim north — which is predominantly Sunni — and a largely Christian south.

Experts have warned the government that a heavy-handed response to the group risks sparking conflict in a volatile region where poverty is widespread.

IMN leader Ibrahim Zakzaky has been in custody since 2015, when an army crackdown killed 300 of his supporters who were buried in mass graves, according to rights groups.

Zakzaky is facing a culpable homicide charge in connection with the 2015 violence. He remains in jail despite a court order granting him bail.

On Thursday, 120 of 400 IMN members arrested by police on Monday were  charged with “rioting, disturbance of public peace and causing hurt,” said a court official in Abuja on Friday.

According to court documents seen by AFP, the IMN members had been ordered to disperse but they “refused and started throwing stones at the police officers and other members of the public and thereby caused them bodily harm”.

All the suspects pleaded not guilty and were granted bail with the court hearing to resume on December 5.

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