Togo among top 15 African countries under 2019 Doing Business

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In the 2019 Doing Business, Togo is the 11th African nation where launching a business is easy. The country made remarkable achievements, coming before most member States of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with a greater revenue. Indeed, in terms of procedures and delays needed to formalize a business, Togo is far above average recorded in sub-Saharan Africa and OECD’s 36 member States.

While according to the Doing Business, four procedures and 5.5 days are needed in Togo to make a business formal, the report states that it takes about 7.3 procedures and more than 23 days in sub-Saharan Africa to do so, and 4.9 procedures and 9.3 days in OECD.

In WAEMU, Togo which is the third country under the Doing Business, behind Côte d’Ivoire and Benin, is also the nation in the region to have implemented the most reforms over the period reviewed.

Togo aims to become leading “blue” touristic destination in West Africa by 2022

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Aiming for the country to turn into a perfect location for seaside, cultural, sport, business, ecologic and agricultural tourism, the government plans to develop structuring project and provide Togo a new touristic identity.

Hence, emulating Rwanda’s ‘Visit Rwanda’ program, Togo’s authorities plan to adopt the “Go to Togo” slogan to become a tourism hub in the sub-region.

To achieve this goal, Lomé intends to diversify, boost, valorize its touristic and hospitality offer (focusing on culture, craftsmanship, economic and social sectors) via systematic labelling and rating ; facilitate investment in tourism and hospitality, in addition to improving both the legal and structural frameworks of the sector.

Presently, Togo is refining its strategy to unlock the potential of its tourism industry given that it is one of its economic drivers.

Clearly stated, the nation aims to “increase tourism’s contribution to GDP to 6.2% in 2022, from 4% in 2015”. In the same framework, it expects “number of visitors per 100 people to reach 5 by 2022, from 3.2 in 2015, and revenue per visitor to reach $700 in 2022, from $520 in 2015”.

This dynamism should result in the creation of at least 10,000 decent jobs by 2022.

Puntland Minister slammed for releasing “copied” report from Somaliland

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Earlier, Puntland Council of Ministers have endorsed the report despite it indicated provinces and role of agencies under Somaliland administration, according to the report obtained by GO.

“Parliamentarians were surprised that Minister Abdirashid Hirsi Mohamed, has failed to present a study based on a genuine assessment in Puntland regions. But unfortunately Puntland state, which has been existed for 18 years, has resorted to duplicate it from Somaliland. It contained provinces under Somaliland,” said Puntland MP who spoke to GO under a condition of anonymity.

The book called “Urban Master Planning” and in its page 9, article 1.2.2 it stated: “National City Planning Committee and regional governors are responsible to present plans for the six regions; Maroodi-Jeeh, Togdheer, Sanag Awdal, Sool and Saahil. They are also responsible to review the plan once every 10 years.”

Also in page 12, article 1.3 the book pointed out the role of several agencies that is not relevant to the structure of Puntland administration, such as Ministry of Posts and Communication, Ministry of Minerals and Water, Ministry of Rural Development and National Planning committees.

This has stirred a debate within Puntland Parliament, who some called for a motion against the Minister, whereas others blamed the Council of Ministers for endorsing it without verifying its contents, according to close sources.

Consequently, Puntland MPs agreed to dismiss the report back to the Ministry for a review, and opted to hold further discussions in the forthcoming sessions of the Parliament.

Puntland Parliament has resumed its 39th sessions in last October, but it was reported the ongoing sessions were hindered due to continuous interference from Puntland leadership.

Minister Mohamed, who is in Galkayo city, was blamed earlier to be the mastermind behind the construction of livestock market in Galkyo city that flared up fighting between rivals Galmudug and Puntland recently, however, the Minister hasn’t release any statement in connection to the allegation of “scam” report released by his Ministry

Jean Ping challenges Gabon election result in court

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Gabon opposition leader Jean Ping has lodged a challenge with the country’s Constitutional Court, contesting the result of a presidential vote whose validity has been questioned at home and abroad.

Election results announced last week showed incumbent Ali Bongo beating Ping by a slender margin of fewer than 6,000 votes, sparking days of deadly riots in the capital, Libreville.

Jean Gaspard Ntoutoume Ayi, president of Ping’s communication team, said on Thursday that the opposition leader had asked the court to authorise a recount of the votes in a southeastern province, where Bongo won 95.5 percent of the vote.

“Ping’s demand is for a recount of the votes in the province of Haut-Ogooue, voting bureau by voting bureau,” Ayi told reporters

Results from the province, which is a heartland of Bongo, showed a turnout of more than 99 percent, compared with a nationwide turnout of 59.46 percent.

Having previously expressed doubts about the court’s independence, Ping was “very reluctant” to lodge the complaint, Al Jazeera’s Catherine Soi, reporting from Libreville, said.

“But he says he has to follow the law,” our correspondent added. “The government [also told him], ‘if you have a complaint you need to go to court. Without that we cannot move forward’.

“Now the judges have 15 days to either throw out the case or invalidate the results.”

Clear anomaly

“An analysis of the number of non-voters as well as blank and disqualified votes reveals a clear anomaly in the final results in Haut-Ogooue,” Mariya Gabriel, the head of the EU observation mission in Gabon, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The integrity of the provisional results in this province is consequently compromised.”

Bongo, whose family has ruled Gabon for nealy half a century, hit back at the EU criticism on Wednesday, accusing the observation mission of bias.

“I would also have liked them to have noted some anomalies in the fiefdom of Mr Ping. If we are raising anomalies, we have to be clear, balanced and raise all the anomalies that have been noted,” Bongo told France’s RTL radio, in an interview broadcast on Wednesday.

Post-election clashes

Ping has previously described the election as fraudulent and has demanded a recount – a call echoed by Manuel Valls, prime minister of Gabon’s former colonial power, France.

Bongo has also accused Ping of “committing fraud” and said that only the Constitutional Court could order a recount.

Post-election clashes between Ping’s supporters and security forces resulted in the deaths of between 50 and 100 people, Ping said on Tuesday. The government’s official casualty count stands at three dead.

The parliament in the capital, Libreville, was also torched in protests over the result.

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SADC Gender and Development Monitor 2016

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The SADC Gender and Development Monitor 2016 is very significant to the SADC region as it emphasises the commitment of SADC Member States to align and harmonise their laws, policies and programmes with global, continental and regional instruments. It also assesses how SADC commitments are translated from policy into practice.

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