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Nigeria’s D’Tigress Beat Senegal to Remain African Champions

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The Nigeria women national basketball team, D’Tigress, have successfully defended the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket title they won two years ago.

In a keenly-contested final match played on Sunday at the magnificent Dakar Arena which had as much as 15 thousand fans watching, the Nigeria women beat host Senegal 60-55 to win back-to-back continental titles.

As in previous Senegal games over the past few days, there was a deafening atmosphere at Dakar Arena but D’Tigress held their own.

With Sunday’s feat, D’Tigress became the first team to win back-to-back FIBA Women’s AfroBasket titles since Angola followed up their 2011 triumph with another in 2013.

To make it to the final, Nigeria eased past Mali, 79-58, in Friday’s first semifinal. Hosts Senegal needed to work extra hard to overcome a fearless and determined Mozambique team, 60-57, to return to the championship title game for the third time in a row.

Both Nigeria and Senegal have emerged as the best teams from the 12-team tournament and it has come as no surprise that each reached the final after four wins in as many games.

Nigeria defeated Tunisia (75-26), Cameroon (106-39), DR Congo (79-46) and Mali (79-58) by an average of 42.5 points while Senegal beat Cote d’Ivoire (77-36), Egypt (85-47), Angola (88-54) and Mozambique 60-57 by an average of 29 points.

After losing to Nigeria two years ago – not once but twice in Bamako – 12-time African champions Senegal were hoping to become the first team to win the tournament at home since the D’Tigress claimed the 2005 continental in Abuja.

With D’Tigress successfully completing their mission, attention will now shift to the male team, D’Tigers that are meant to compete at the FIBA World Cup in China once the needed funds are provided.

Senegal

Nigeria: Govt to Extend Electricity Line to Senegal, Ghana, Others

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The Federal Government, Wednesday, disclosed that it was building power transmission line to link up some countries in the West African sub-region.

Speaking in Abuja at the 2019 participants/key stakeholders interactive forum organised by the Market Operator, the Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, Mr. Mohammed Gur Usman, stated that the project will take a 330KV electricity transmission line right from Nigeria up to Senegal.

He said, “In the whole of West Africa we are the only one that has the experience of 330KV but now 330 KV will run from Nigeria unto Senegal.

“Let me be precise, we are going to have a 330KV that will run from Shiroro to, to Parakou, Parakou to Northern Togo, Northern Ghana to Cote deviore.

“Another one will come from Northern Ghana to Senegal to Guinea-Bissau, to Mali to Burkina Faso and it will join Ghana. This is the study that we have launched.”

To this ends, Usman charged the major stakeholders in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, especially, the Market Operator, MO, to be ready to assume the task of regional player in the sector.

He said, “As the Chairman of West Africa Pool, WAP, I made the WAP to draft, the directives which was approved on the 22nd of May and 22nd of December, 2018.

“That is the written of ECOWAS Head of State and Government of 22nf of December 2018. They approved that three directives and what are those directives that we forwarded to ECOWAS for approval are:

“First, All utilities in West Africa must have their revenue requirement. The second directive is that countries that elect not to give the requirement, they should budget for it in a transparent manner.

“This means that if the utilities do not have their course reflective tariff then the countries should budget for it in a transparent manner that is they should provide for it in their national budget.

“We did not stop there, we said that all utilities in west Africa should conduct themselves in such a way that they should do their procurement in a transparent manner- meaning they should adapt competitive procurement of their services and their goods because if we have the budget and we have the money and we apply it in an inefficient manner, it means that cost of energy will soon go up.

“In reality, if it is truly a market is driven by rules and regulation and people have to comply with the rules and there has to be sanction for performance and there has to be a reward of non-performance and a reward for extraordinary performance.

“If a market is existing in such a way that everybody does not performance and can get away with it, there is no way that that market can grow or perform.”

According to him, “TCN may probably cease to exist very soon and then you will have TSP and ISO, ISO will be the one that will be operating the market operator under ISO and everything that I have to do for that transition to take place, I have been doing it daily. Every day I have been doing those things that would lead to those organizations to separate.

“Because we have not applied the market position in our market tenders, in solar, you cannot say that Nigeria has comparative advantage but, in terms of normal generation that would be done by gas and hydro.

“Nigeria still has comparative advantage across West Africa. Which means there is a demand for electricity from here to the rest of West Africa? What we are doing is to enable that happen. To enable that happen, we are going to build a transition line across West Africa so that we can export energy from here to the rest of Africa.

“I am happy to tell you that the design consultancy and the environmental study for the medium backbone were launched.

VANGUARD

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Rwanda: The 600 Film Premiered in Senegal as Rwandans Celebrate Liberation

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Rwandans in Senegal were on Friday joined by diplomats and friends of Rwanda at the African Renaissance Museum to mark the 25th anniversary of the country’s liberation.

The story of the Rwanda Patriotic Front/Army led struggle was told through, among other methods, the screening of The 600 film.

The event was organised and hosted by the Association of the Rwandan Community in Senegal (ACRS) in partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda, the African Renaissance Museum, and the Institut de la Cinématographie du Sénégal.

The first screening of the movie, outside Rwanda, attracted more 180 viewers including the Chief of Staff of the President of the Republic of Senegal Retired Col. Mamadou Adge and other Senegalese retired military officers who were part of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) as well as members of the Diplomatic Corps and a delegation from the NBA Academy based in Sally, Senegal.

Yvette Nyombayire Rugasaguhunga, the Second counselor of Rwanda’s Embassy in Senegal, said that The 600 film is a reminder of the priceless sacrifices made by men, women and youth to set their country free.

“The film celebrates the ultimate courage, sacrifice and patriotism of Rwandan men; women and youth, under the umbrella of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, who left their families behind, and set aside their personal dreams, to launch the Rwanda’s liberation struggle in 1990, under the able command of H.E. President Paul Kagame,” she said.

Patrick Karamaga, the president of the Association of the Rwanda Community in Senegal, commended the 600 soldiers that broke through the enemy line, leading the RPF in stopping the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

According to retired Col. Mamadou Mbaye, who was a part of the UNAMIR; “It was all memories, though many are of atrocity. I worked at Amahoro Stadium and stayed at Mille Collines hotel. This means I can confirm the veracity of images and facts. Bravo again to the “600”. They are a model for Rwanda and for Africa, a foundation on which unity, peace and development shall be built.”

The event was also marked by cultural performance by Abatangana cultural group and the presentation of two poems “Strength in the Struggle” and “Time is now. So, use it.” written by a Rwandan poetess Malaika Uwamahoro.

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Africa: Want to Put Together a Winning Afcon Team? Here’s the Formula

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The African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament is the most important sporting event on the continent. It attracts media attention, sponsors and draws significant global viewership. Organised every two years, it is also considered one of the most difficult to win based on a large qualification pool.

Since it was first held in 1957, only 14 countries have won the right to be called African champions. What factors could possibly explain this?

There is a shortage of research in this area. So, we set out to understand what factors could explain the successful performance of these national teams in Africa’s premier football tournament.

Unlike normal clubs, national teams don’t have full-time players. Instead they have to draw them from club teams, both domestically and abroad. Given the short time they have available to select and prepare a national team for a major tournament, a huge plus would be knowing what a winning combination looks like. Understanding these factors could also have broader management applications, such as a reliance on teamwork, cohesion, diversity as well as recruiting the right people.

Drawing panel data from AFCON tournaments held between 1990 and 2017, we studied the performance of 38 African countries. We found that team mix, young talent, team experience and the national team’s ranking by FIFA had a significant marginal effect on the performance of teams in the continent’s premier tournament.

Our data analysis showed how active, elite foreign based and local players, a blend of young talents, team experience and familiarity with the terrain and nature of the tournament, and consistent high international ranking by international football governing body FIFA improved a team’s chances of winning tournaments.

Based on our findings we have come up with a proposed framework for composing a national team around four areas: team mix, young talent, team experience and international rankings. This framework applies even at the World Cup level to teams from other regions.

So, what is it about these dimensions of team composition that explains a national team’s chances of winning the African Cup of Nations?

Team mix: players from foreign and local leagues

First, a look at selecting players who have played for top leagues abroad.

These players offer experience that translates into high performance. Foreign clubs have better training facilities which enable migrant players to develop their talents and improve their performance.

But players from national teams bring their own set of strengths. Those who have played in a domestic league are familiar with the African terrain and adapt better to terrain changes.

There’s more to the team mix than this: a national team increases its winning chances if it can establish a unique identity that transcends the assembly of star players.

And then there’s the age factor. The consideration of what we label young talent is also imperative to overall success. This refers to a team’s average age. A team with an average age of 22 can be described as youthful. These players offer physical strength but they are inexperienced. A mature team is one with an average age of 26. These players have strength and stamina to ensure high performance. The third category in the mix is the experienced group, built around players aged 27 years and older. This category has experience but may lack strength on the pitch.

Ideally, a team should have a blend of all three.

Team experience is also crucial. This refers to the number of appearances made in the tournament, which can help guarantee familiarity with tournaments. A good level of team experience is participating on average at least nine times. Beyond this, a team stands an improved chance of thriving in continental tournaments.

The fact that team experience matters is supported by other studies that have found a similar outcome of experience which tends to affect performance.

FIFA rankings also matter. Highly ranked teams have better medal winning potential in tournaments than lower ranked teams. FIFA ranking is a strong determinant to grouping national teams for tournaments. This ensures that these teams are seeded in international competitions due to their sporting success.

The danger is that high rankings lead to complacency which in turn can ruin a team’s potential.

We also identified an added ingredient: a team’s ability to integrate individual talent within the limited time available for preparation increased the likelihood of a better performance in the tournament.

A good balanced team

Our framework for a national team’s composition provides useful information on elements to consider when putting together a national team. This formula can be used by team managers, performance analysts and match pundits. Our framework does not shoot down the role of motivation in team performance but points to a neglected area – team composition.

A team composed of more professional players from elite leagues abroad provides a good balanced team capable of achieving desirable results. This new discovery contributes to theory and practice alongside the concepts of teamwork, team building and diversity to achieve performance goals.

Ernest Yeboah Acheampong, Lecturer, Health,Physical Education,Recreation and Sport (HPERS), University of Education and Ellis Kofi Akwaa-Sekyi, Lecturer, Economics and Business Administration, Catholic University College of Ghana

AllAfrica Editors’ note: Click through to the original article to see the statistics table associated with this report.

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Senegal: Orange Digital Ventures’ Marieme Diop On Investing in Start-Ups With Potential to Scale and Creating Dakar Network Angels to Overcome Francophone Growth Issues

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Marieme Diop is in a really interesting position. As one of the people behind Orange Digital Ventures she has a really good view of the big three African investment countries. But coming from Senegal, she’s been a moving force behind setting up Dakar Network Angels to address growth issues in Francophone Africa.

Orange Digital Ventures was spun out of Orange’s global Vice President fund in 2016 After a few years, with increasing VC investment in Africa, the company decided to create a fund specifically focused on Africa and Diop was part of the team that set it up.

The move was part of Orange’s commitment to Open Innovation and other changes to its business model including: setting up a bank and financial services in Europe, and in Africa distributing energy products and mobile for development products in areas like agriculture and health. Since Orange sees Africa as one of its growth drivers, it made sense to invest in Francophone Africa where most of its subsidiaries operate.

However, given the shortage of investible companies in the less mature markets of Francophone Africa, it has started life investing in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. It looks at early stage and series A and B. Typical investments can go up to 3 million euros and it is focused on tech and tech-enabled companies:”We’re very broad and sector agnostic but we like to invest in areas that are adjacent to Orange’s existing business areas.” Its total investment capital is 60 million euros.

Two examples of its investments are Africa’s Talking and Yoco. Kenya-based Africa’s Talking is an API provider to telcos and it also sells and distributes them to developers:”It’s scaling fast and is already in 17 countries. It enables developers to grow the ecosystem as it enables them to plug straight in to mobile operators. This is relatively easy in East Africa but is a generally difficult process elsewhere in Africa.”

Yoco is a Point-of-Sale (PoS) player in the fintech space similar in business model terms to Quest in the USA:”It has achieved product/market fit and has an impressive team. It’s available on smartphones, PoS devices and software for merchants.”

In order to be considered for Series B funding, start-ups it looks at must have the following: have product/market fit; have scaled in 2-3 markets outside their initial markets; be generating revenues; know how to create a profit; and have the right people/team.

Diop says that there are major issues with pricing because the small number of investible companies at scale has forced up prices:”Some are overvalued. Scaleability is really important for Africa. You have to demonstrate scaleability in markets that are big enough.”

She points to the recurring debate around two questions: are there enough exists? Is there enough scale to IPO? She thinks the investment dynamics are very different from other regions that sets the bar lower. You can define a good late stage company in Africa as having an exit price of US$150-200 million.

This raises significant challenges for Francophone entrepreneurs. Their markets are relatively small and very fragmented:”Many are just focusing on their home market. Francophone entrepreneurs are not interacting with the rest of the world”.

“This is a problem as most foreign investors are focused on Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Language is an issue but business culture is also very important. Many entrepreneurs graduate from places like Stanford and Harvard and it also means that they have a business language in common. Francophone entrepreneurs need to start thinking bigger. For example, there are (only) 10 investible start-ups in Mali. They need more mentoring and support. If nothing was done, nothing would change.”

She also thinks that that there is an “investment illiteracy”:”Start-up founders are not very well informed about when to engage with investors and this is an issue.”

Not content to sit by and just analyze the difficulties faced by Francophone entrepreneurs, she has been a moving force behind creating Dakar Network Angels. The members are all either investment professionals or have investment experience:”It’s not about making money. Angels always have big wins or big losses. It’s about promoting relationships with entrepreneurs. All the angels are hands-on”.

“It’s very educational for the investors and they learn a lot through the process. It gives a structure for getting more insights. We’ve also set up an educational platform for entrepreneurs, which can connect them with mentors and other entrepreneurs. There are not enough role models for those who want to go to the next level so we are connecting them with entrepreneurs in other markets.”

Investments decisions are made through conference calls with prospective entrepreneurs and then they discuss it amongst themselves. They try and find individuals who match the profile of the potential investment. They invest between US$25,000 up to US$100-150,000:”We want to bring business support resources to build the foundations for growth and get the fundamentals right to scale. We can open doors and make them fundable at the next level.”

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Kenya: Lionesses Cry Out for Help in Dakar Jungle

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Nairobi — The national women’s basketball team currently in Dakar, Senegal for the FIBA Afrobasket has now asked the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) and the government to release funds that were meant to cater for their allowances.

In a video statement released together and read out by skipper Hilda Indasi, the ladies have admitted they are in dire straits in Dakar and have now called on the Federation’s women’s commission to help add a voice to their cry.

“We have experienced very poor standards and we have only been paid Sh10,000 so far for this assignment. We are being forced to play an international tournament with only 10 players and one coach while being expected to perform at high level which puts us at a great disadvantage,” Indasi said, reading the statement on behalf of her teammates.

There had been uncertainty over whether or not the team would travel for the tournament, their first since 2013 after KBF failed to get funding from the government with the PS Kirimi Kaberia apparently out of office.

The federation then made the decision to send a smaller team to Dakar off their own coffers while waiting for the government’s funding, according to Secretary general Peter Orero.

They have put on that jersey with a lot of pride ,where are the women reps

Where is the government

Its a sad state of affairs in Senegal

The ladies need support and they need it right now

Thats not a lot to ask #Afrobasketwomen2019#AfroBasketWomen #KOT pic.twitter.com/NnCkxqUrDw

— Team Morans (@Teammorans) August 12, 2019

The Lionesses had to drop two players and travel with 10 while only one coaching member travelled, head coach Ronnie Owino.

The Lionesses have lost their first two matches of the tournament, going down to Mozambique and Cape Verde and are scheduled to play against top seeds Angola on Wednesday.

“We are asking the leadership of the women’s commission to push the Federation and the Government to release funds as per the budget that was sent immediately we qualified for the Afrobasket,”

“We understand that the budget was 50USD (Sh5,000) per player per day and more from the Federation. We would like a solution for this as we prepare for our next game against Angola,” the girls further stated.

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