Change is the only constant

Dear Friends,

Greetings from the secretariat of the Africa Progress Panel (APP). Welcome to our first newsletter of 2017.

It’s often said that change is the only constant. While that maxim may not suit every organisation, it’s certainly one that has driven the dynamism of the APP since its inception.

It is also within that same spirit that we highlight several new APP changes in this edition. Among the most notable is the departure of Executive Director, Caroline Kende-Robb, who has been the leading force behind the evolution of the APP Secretariat over the past five years.

Under Caroline’s innovative leadership the secretariat has consistently applied new means to enhance APP’s research and analysis as well as the impact of the high profile advocacy work of the APP’s Chair, Kofi Annan, and panel members. Her service has been greatly appreciated and we wish her all the very best in her new endeavours.

In addition to Caroline’s farewell letter, in this edition we preview our new “Power People” podcast series, provide an update on the changes to the APP website and highlight some of our achievements of 2016. These include the very strong growth in APP’s social media engagement over the past twelve months and wins at the 2016 Digital Impact Awards. Your partnership is essential to this success and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you again for your interest in the APP.

We very much look forward to your feedback on the information shared in this newsletter and your continued support.

Warmest regards,

Max Bankole Jarrett



Executive Director Caroline Kende-RobbI write to you my last newsletter as I am leaving the APP after an incredible five years.

I would like to express my deep gratitude to you all for your kindness, support and outstanding commitment. It has been an amazing journey to partner with you to transform the great continent of Africa. We believe that Africa’s leaders, government officials, social movements, business leaders, religious leaders of all faiths and those with influence across the continent and beyond can create an irresistible force for change to transform Africa. And a transformed Africa will change the world.

Leaving the APP was a very difficult decision to make. I have enjoyed leading such a remarkable organization and am thankful for the opportunity to work with Mr Annan and all the Panel Members. It has been a unique learning experience and truly rewarding.

I have benefited from a team of outstanding professionals at the APP Secretariat who work tirelessly and I thank them all for their hard work and never-ending commitment to Africa.

The honour and privilege of having served the APP will always be a highlight of my career.

I will be joining the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity, as the Chief Advisor. This is an exciting organization, led by Gordon Brown, which is reinvigorating the case for investing in education. I hope very much that we can continue to work together. Getting education right will be fundamental for Africa’s transformation to happen.

With warm wishes to you all,

Caroline Kende-Robb


New Podcast Series

Max Bankole Jarrett recording a podcastThe APP has launched a new podcast series presented by Director-in-charge and former BBC broadcaster Max Bankole Jarrett. The series, entitled “Power People”, explores a range of issues related to the energy transformation that Africa needs. Power People focuses on the opportunities and potential of energy in Africa through interviews with a dynamic cross section of experts from around the globe.

The first episode features an interview with former APP Executive Director Caroline Kende-Robb.

Listen to the first episode


Panel News

Kofi Annan at meetingUrgent Action Needed to Avoid Famine in North-East Nigeria, says Kofi Annan

One of the world’s gravest but least visible humanitarian emergencies in unfolding in north east Nigeria. Nigerian leaders and aid agencies are warning the region is drifting towards famine conditions in some areas.


Panel member Strive Masiyiwa in cap headshotStrive Masiyiwa: COP22 – Green investments is the only bet

In every sphere of life, Africans are great innovators and entrepreneurs. You only have to step into an African market to see and hear that ingenuity.



Head shot of Michel CamdessusMichel Camdessus: Climate action is more urgent than ever, and we know what to do

It’s clear what countries have to do this week in Morocco at COP22, the latest global climate talks. They have to turn the Paris pledges into immediate action.



Headshot of Peter EigenPeter Eigen: Protect fish stocks to build climate resilience along African coasts

The fishing communities dotted along Africa’s often inhospitable coastline have overcome many challenges before. But they now face some of their most difficult challenges ever.



Panel member Linah MohohloLinah Mohohlo: At COP22, it is important to ensure that climate finance meets Africa’s needs

Climate change is the biggest problem we have ever had to face, as communities, countries and the planet. This means it is an expensive problem given that adjusting economies to limit greenhouse gas emissions costs money.


APP News

Digital Impact AwardsAPP wins two silver awards at the 2016 Digital Impact Awards

The APP in collaboration with its digital agency Torchbox, won two silver awards at the 2016 Digital Impact Awards in the categories of Best use of digital to aid a corporate responsibility campaign, and Best use of online video. The APP faced tough completion in these categories from the likes of Cathay Pacific, 20th Century Fox, and Aviva among others. The awards, organized by Communicate magazine, were presented in London on 18 October.

APP website homepageAPP website has a new look

Significant changes were made to the Africa Progress Panel website in 2016. The first step was to completely redesign the website’s homepage, which was unveiled in July. In December, further changes were applied to the rest of the website including a more modern and mobile-friendly design, increased font size, and an improved publications section.


One million followers Facebook postSocial media milestone: Over one million Facebook followers

The APP has been performing very well on its various social media channels. The number of followers across the different channels is steadily increasing and the engagement rate is high. Facebook remains the APP’s most popular channel with over 1,063,000 million followers and an above average engagement rate.


APP team during a Facebook Live sessionFacebook Live discussions

Members of our secretariat answered your questions on a variety of issues during our Facebook Live discussions. You can watch the video from those sessions below:


Low-Carbon Development in Africa | COP22, Climate Change and Africa | Energy in Africa