The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTFA) launched

African nations launched the “operational phase” of a landmark free trade accord at the African Union (AU) Summit in Nigerien capital, Niamey on the 7th July 2019: the world’s largest free trade area. Around 4,500 delegates and guests –– including 32 heads of state and more than 100 ministers –– attended the AU summit in Niamey.


H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma with H.E. Albert M. Muchange, African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry

AU officials announced the launch of five “operational instruments” of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with African nations agreeing to shared “rules of origin, the monitoring and elimination of non-tariff barriers, a unified digital payments system and an African trade observatory dashboard”.

H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma was in the program as a Discussant. The West African Solar Pack is committed to support the implementation of the AfCFTA.

The AU estimates that the agreement –– which cuts tariffs between African nations –– will lead to a 60-percent boost in intra-African trade by 2022.


H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma with H.E. Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Niger and current (2019-2020) Chairman of the ECOWAS

Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou hailed it as “the greatest historical event for the African continent since the creation of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963,” referring to the AU’s predecessor.

European Development Days 2019

June 2019

Organised by the European Commission, the European Development Days (EDD) bring the development community together each year to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges

EDD2019’s overarching title was “Addressing inequalities: building a world which leaves no one behind”.


H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma speaking at EDD2019 with European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel 

H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma participated in 2 panels:

– Bridging the digital divide: Digitalisation and technology for inclusive growth: taking full advantage of the digital transformation of the economy and society. See session report and full video recording here.

– New Africa – Europe Digital Economy Partnership Presentation and discussion on the report of the Africa – EU Digital Economy Task Force. See session report here.

The European Commission and African Union Commission welcome the Digital Economy Task Force report

June 2019

The EU-AU Digital Economy Task Force (DETF) unveiled its final report

The report has been adopted by European Commissioners Mariya Gabriel and Neven Mimica, and Minister of Communications of Ghana, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, at the Digital Assembly 2019 in Bucharest. A preliminary version of the report was earlier presented in May at the 2019 Transform Africa Summit in Kigali.


The Digital Economy Task Force and Sherpa’s at the launch of the final report at the Digital Assembly in Bucharest, including H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma, European Commissioners Mariya Gabriel and Neven Mimica, Minister of Communications of Ghana, Ursula Owusu-Ekufuland and Sherpa Anton Martens

The EU-AU Digital Economy Task Force (DETF) draws policy recommendations and proposes concrete actions to address the principal barriers faced by the African continent.  The DETF set out four main goals:

  • Accelerating universal access to affordable broadband;
  • Guaranteeing essential skills for all to enable citizens to thrive in the digital age;
  • Improving the business environment and facilitating access to finance and business support services to boost digitally enabled entrepreneurship;
  • Accelerating the adoption of eServices and the further development of the digital economy for achieving the Sustainable Development Goal

The report can be found here and on the website of the European Union.

West African Solar Pack.

The West African Solar Pack is launched officially by H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma, Chair of the H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma Foundation and Special Envoy of the President of Burkina Faso for SDG’s and Climate Change, at the High Level closing session of the UNFCCC Regional Forum: the Africa Climate Week in Ghana 2019 under the High Patronage of H.E. Luis Alfonso de Alba UNSG Special Envoy for the Climate Summit September 2019.

The West African Solar Pack is part of the delivery mechanism of the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), led and hosted by ECREEE under the umbrella of MAMA-LIGHT® Initiative for Sustainable Energy. Based on the consolidated demand in the ECOWAS member states it offers a portfolio of selected solar products and solutions from trusted suppliers against competitive prices in combination with implementation support and technology transfer.


H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma with Mahama Kappiah, Executive Director of the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) 

For more information and/or to get involved for business partnerships and for impact investments take a look here at the website of ECREEE.

H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma key-note speaker at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2019 and at the Start Up Energy Transition 8-12 April 2019.

Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue

In the past years the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD) has become a leading international forum for key stakeholders of the energy sector. High-level policymakers, industry, science and civil society are given the opportunity to share their experiences and ideas on a safe, affordable and environmentally responsible global energy transition.

H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma was one of the keynote speakers. In her speech she highlighted the potential and added value of the African Youth, African Women and African (Small) Businesses and invited international companies to come and to do business together.

H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma giving her keynote speech at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue April 2019. Please click on the picture to watch her full speech

Start Up Energy Transition

The Start Up Energy Transition (SET) is an international platform supporting innovation in energy transition. The initiative brings together the most outstanding international start-ups in the field of energy together with key stakeholders in the energy sector.

The topic of the keynote of H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma was: “Shining a Light on Empowerment: Quality Access & SDG-7”.


H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma speaking at the Start Up Energy Transition in Berlin April 2019

The MAMA-LIGHT Initiative for Sustainable Energy recorded as immediately scalable project at the Africa Climate Week, March 2019 Accra.

H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma was rapporteur at the concluding High-Level Panel Session of the Africa Climate Week (18-22 March 2019 in Accra), together with H.E. Luis Alfonso de Alba, Special Envoy for the 2019 UN SG Climate Summit.


H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma speaking passionate at the concluding High-Level Panel Session of the Africa Climate Week in Accra from 18-22 March 2019

During the concluding High-Level Panel Session, H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma made two very important announcements:
1.) The establishment of the “Africa Carbone Tax and Credit Leadership Coalition”, that Her Highness proposed at COP24 in Katowice and got supported by the Ministers of Environment of Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea Bissau and many others including Ministers of Finances and including the African Development Bank;
2.) The establishment of the “West Africa Solar Pack” led by the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) to aggregate solar programs determined by the 15 members states of ECOWAS.
Both Secretariats are hosted by ECREEE and H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma is the coordinator.

The “Africa Carbone Tax and Credit Leadership Coalition” and the “West Africa Solar Pack” will help to accelerate concrete progress in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the SDG’s as well as facilitate large investments from ICIEC and partners.

The H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma Foundation is proud that the MAMA-LIGHT Initiative for Sustainable Energy, which is part of the “West Africa Solar Pack”, has been recorded in Accra as an immediately scalable project for the UN Secretary General Climate Summit September 2019 in New York.

H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma appointed as member of the EU-AU Digital Economy Taskforce

The digital economy has become one of the pillars of the global economy.
The last decade has witnessed a digital revolution in Africa. Pushed by the youngest population on the planet, Africa has more than 82% mobile penetration and has become a global leader in mobile payments. Mobile in Africa represents more than 9% of GDP.
In the EU, the Digital Single Market is creating a space of competitiveness and innovation and a common market for more than 500 million people.
The EU-AU Digital Economy Task Force (DETF) will examines how Europe and Africa can build a partnership to draw mutual benefits from the digital transformation of economy and society. The objective is to identify concrete projects under the Africa-Europe Investment and Jobs Alliance in the area of digital economy.

For more information visit the website of the EU and click here.

H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma attended COP24, the annual Climate Conference

This year the annual Climate Conference, COP24, was organized in Katowice, the heart of the Polish mining industry.  At the conference, Governments have adopted a robust set of guidelines for implementing the landmark 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.
H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma was the deputy head of the delegation of Burkina Faso. Next to numerous formal and informal meetings she participated in many formal sessions and roundtables. for a detailed overview see H.R.H. Princess Abze at COP24.

Interview with H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma on National TV in Burkina Faso

Interview with H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma on RTB TV in Burkina Faso, July 2018.

Sur la Brèche is a weekly one-hour interview with a prominent guest at prime time (Sunday evening 19.00-20.00) on National TV in Burkina Faso. On the 15 July 2018 H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma got interviewed in Sur la Brèche by Jérémi Sié Koulibaly, journalist at RTB Télévision du Burkina.
Click on the picture above to watch the full interview.

Of the world’s 7.6 billion people, more than 4 billion are at a disadvantage in terms of health, education or economic opportunities only because they are young, a woman or both. This is everyone’s loss: the economic, social and legal obstacles hindering their well-being also limit their contribution to making the world a better place for all.
During the Forum, high-level representatives from governments, businesses, foundations and international organizations, met and shared ideas on concrete ways to achieve greater prosperity for all.

H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma speaking at the OECD Forum for Global Development April 2018 in Paris.
Click on 
the picture and go to 1:41:20, 2;23:06 and 2:31:06 to listen to her contributions

Her Royal Highness Princess Abze Djigma of Burkina Faso spoke about how technology can mitigate conflicts and support access to finance thereby creating opportunities for women and young people. A few of her statements during the forum:
– “Women are the first to pay back loans. To me this is AAA, but they do not benefit on the rate of AAA. How do you bring businesswomen on board if you do not change the banking system?”
– “Blockchain technology is there for small businesses. With this there is no corruption because it checks where the money goes with a rate upfront that we agreed upon, and it also checks whether the goods and services are delivered” said Princess Abze Djigma.

A very good example of the impact of the work of H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma and her Foundation can be found in village of Kalembouly. Kalembouly is a village in Burkina Fase more than 200 km  south from the capital Ouagadougou. There is no electricity in the village itself nor in the direct environment. 2 years ago all children in the village got a solar lamp.

The impact of one light per family both for the children and for the families is huge and demonstrated in a report of Deutsche Welle below.

Click here for more information.

Centre-Sud Kamba-2017 project. 

The ENGIE Foundation and the H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma Foundation worked together to empower 2000 schoolkids and their families in the rural areas of region Centre-Sud in Burkina Faso. For more information click here

RESHAPING GLOBALISATION

The International Economic Forum of the Americas (IEFA) organised the 1st edition of the Conference of Paris, “Reshaping Globalisation, Managing Disruption”, on December 7-8, 2017 at the OECD Conference Centre.

The Conference of Paris gathered major international stakeholders and discusses and reassessed globalization with a particular focus on the role Europe can play. Among the distinguished speakers were the Presidents of Niger and Mauritius; ministers Canada, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, France, Senegal, Madagascar; the Director General of Unesco, The Secretary General of the OECD, the CEO’s from ENGIE, Mitsubishi, Power Corporation of Canada, BNP Paribas, Allianz, Amundi, Oreal, Cogeco, Total, Mmakau, Repsol Innogy and many more.

H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma participated in three different sessions.


H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma speaking at the Opening Diner of the Conference of Paris


Plenary session 3: “Accelerating the Ecological Transition; with or without the United States”. From left to right: Josu Jon Imaz, CEO Repsol, Philippe Sauquet, total, Géraldine Amiel (moderato), Bloomberg, Mansoor Hamayun, CEO BBOXX, H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma, Peter Terium, CEO Innogy, Bridgette Radebe, Executive Chairperson Mmakau Mining, and Cedrik Neike, Member of the Managing Board, Siemens.


Round table 4: TOWARDS A NEW UNIVERSAL HUMANISM in collaboration with the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF), with from left to right Gerard Mestrallet, Chair of ENGIE, H.R.H. Princess Abze, H.E. M. Cheikh Kanté
, Minister of Senegal Amadou Kone, Minister of Ivory Coast, (H.E. Benjamina Ramanantsoa Ramarcel, minister of Madagascar is not on the picture).

During the conference H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma got interviewed by Anne-Marie Bissada of Radio France Internationale (RFI).

H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma was the opening key note speaker at the World Efficiency Solutions Summit in Paris December 2017.


H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma speaking at the opening of the World Efficiency Solutions in Paris

World Efficiency Solutions, a premier international meeting for the low- carbon and resource-efficient economy, offered a comprehensive platform for accelerating the deployment of all stakeholders involved:  Cities and territories; Companies of all sizes; Engineering and consultancy firms; Institutions/NGOs; Professional organisations; Research bodies and others

The summit in Paris was held under the High Patronage of the President of the French Republic, Mr Emmanuel Macron and with the support of the French Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Nicolas Hulot.

The UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn

The United Nations Climate Change Conferences are yearly conferences held in the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They serve as the formal meeting of the UNFCCC Parties to assess progress in dealing with climate change. This year the 23rd conference was held in Bonn.

H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma, as deputy leader of the Burkina Faso delegation, attended again this year the annual conference. She participated in many formal and informal meetings. Below are pictures of some of the meetings. More pictures can be found in the Photo Gallery.


H.R.H. Princess Abze djigma at the opening of the Climate Summit of Local and Regional Leaders at COP23 with Armin Laschet, Minister-President. State of North Rhine Westphalia Germany, Ashok Sridharan, Lord Mayor Bonn Germany and ICLEI First Vice President, and  Park Won-soon, Mayor of Seoul and President of ICLEI.


H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma with Patricia Espinosa (M), Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and Dr. Tania Rodiger-Vorwerk, Deputy Director General Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)


The Opening of the World Climate Summit with from left to right  Elizabeth Press, Director Irena, H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma, Envoy of the President of Burkina Faso for SDG’s and Climate Change, Jens-Peter Saul, Group CEO, Ramboll, Group CEO Ramboll, Thorsten Herdan, Director-General, Energy Policy, Heating and Efficiency, Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy Germany, Naoko Ishii, CEO and President Global Environmental Facility. and Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public & Government Affairs Philips Lighting


H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma at the Austrian Welcome Reception with Patrick Sagmeister Deputy DG Advantage Austria, Mr. Andrä Rupprechter, Austrian Federal Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, Mrs. Ulrike Rabmer-Koller, Vice President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, and Mr. Ashok- Alexander Sridharan, Mayor of Bonn

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Can Business Save the Climate?

H.R.H. Princess Abze was one of the guests of in the Global Talk during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn together with Prof. Dr. Christof Erhart, Communications and Corporate Responsibility Deutsche Post DHL, Michael Hoelter, Deutsche Bank Asset Management and Dr. Felix Matthes of the Oeko Institut.

The Global Talk was presented by Deutsche Welle anchor Sarah Kelly.

For more details and to watch the Global Talk click on the picture below.

The Global Talk with from left to right: H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma, Michael Hoelter, Sarah Kelly, Dr. Felix Matthes and Prof. Dr. Christof Erhart

Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international public news and information service, broadcasts its 24-hour information TV programs on six channels around the world and distributes multimedia services in 30 languages online. The programs are aimed at an international audience, especially international decision makers and opinion leaders. They can be received worldwide via satellite and online.