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APRIL 14, FORTY YEARS AGO: THE EVENTFUL JOURNEY OF A HUMBLE CHAIN BREAKER.
April 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

   By Chief Charles A. Taku

Erudite Lawyer Charles Taku is a leading crusader for justice across Africa today

On April 14, day, 40 years ago, the chain of systemic prejudice and cultural genocide broke loose and I was authorized to do pupillage to practice law in the Chambers of  the legendary lawyer and politician Hon B.T.B Foretia in Victoria. I was the first in several regards.  The most important  was being  a chain breaker, a role I have played with determination, faith, humility and fortitude. I am grateful to God for the journey I have travelled so far.  Today, in this occasion, I faithfully recommit my determination to serve God, the Merciful, the Liberator, the Truth, the Life, the Light  and  the Saviour with all the strength in me.

This event in my life came with a mission and a commission to  defend, protect, free  and give  strength to the weak, the poor and the oppressed. I have been faithful to the mission and the commission. This  is a mission and a commission of honour.  These are the very essence of life which is  humanity at its best and closer to God.  God, we know, breathed the spirit of life so that we may live and serve him in humility and in faith. Yes, in humility and faith; for these are the true attributes of greatness.

 Each time, that  I reflect on these attributes, I remember the emphatic gestures with which my secondary teacher explained to us, the parable of the rich fool.   Despite the reality of this parable,  the butchery of the innocent lives of the weak, the poor and the oppressed; the thievery by the rich from the poor, primitive accumulation of wealth and the genocide of innocent people to satisfy the power ambition of a few, continue unabated.  I dedicated these 40 years leading the fight to protect the majority poor, the weak and oppressed victims from these  criminal kingpins; leaving the ultimate victory to God.

I have dedicated more than two decades of this eventful career in  international practice in many  international courts and tribunals  which were established by the international community to fight impunity. During this time, I visited battlefields in different countries and witnessed unimaginable human suffering.  I went in  as a lawyer but was blessed with the human value of sharing the pain and suffering of persons at risk and in dire need. This provided me an opportunity to share the values of love and sharing which were implanted in me by my  mother by contributing to give back to the suffering people,  the  true essence of humanity which they  deserve. I have found the joy in recognizing in these children, women and men, dead or alive  through my humanitarian engagements and the several trials in which I have participated, the face of humanity to which we are all connected.

This occasion falls in the month of April, which is the mythical month of the Saints in my family, from Fontem Asonganyi and his first son Asabanchi Fontem, Fontem Defang, Mama Helen Atabong Asaba Fontem, Fontem Njifua and several others too many to name. This  occasion 40 years ago, was not an innocent co-incidence. It occurred because it is the month when these Saints pay greater attention and are united in prayers and supplication to the living God for me, the family they left behind and all persons world-wide who are engaged in the worthy mission and commission in which I am engaged.  I am grateful to  them and their fighting spirits which live on through their blood which is flowing in my living veins. The history books and the museums in imperial Germany kept  records of the bravery of Fontem Asonganyi which have prolonged the battle for freedom and justice long enough for me to come on board to lead a world-wide crusade for the restitution of all the works of art which were looted during the German incursion more than a century ago.  These arts are  today in museums in Germany, USA, France and the Netherlands.  The blessing of these 40 years, helped me to focus my attention on the search for these arts and their lost cultural significance in our lives and in our time.

The 40 years provided me an opportunity to train and mentor young colleagues from all legal cultures, races from all the continents who are today, leading lawyers in their respective countries and in international practice. We remain professional connected. This closeness is what the beauty of this profession is about.  I am fascinated by the sense of enquiry, curiosity and mental alertness of my interns. I call them the offspring of modern technology because of the remarkable contributions they have brought to workplace during these changing times.  Many of them  are today, successful academics and lawyers in many parts of the world. 

During this period, my peers, elected me as member of the Cameroon Bar Council for many years; President of the International Criminal Court Bar Association and a member for life of  the governing council of the African Bar Association.  I am grateful to my colleagues in different courts and tribunals for giving me an opportunity to serve and to contribute to the enthronement of the culture and the cause of the rule of law.  I am particularly grateful to the distinguished lawyers of Taku Chambers for their professionalism and the outstanding successes they continue to record in courtrooms  and professional environments around the world.  The most distinguished Hon B.T.B Foretia was an astounding lawyer and a fearless crusader for justice. He put me on my feet during my first appearance with him in Court. From thence, I have not relented these forty years.

Two decades of Chief Taku’s eventful career have been in international practice in many international courts and tribunals

I am grateful to the women and men  with whom I have been engaged in all the aspects of the administration of justice and the struggle for a just, free and peaceful  world. Although we play different roles we are united in a common objective, in which  justice is the sole winner.I am grateful to my family and the entire Taku and Fontem families.  Mbe Taku was a hero and a warrior while his wife Mama Helen Atabong Asaba Fontem was a distinguished community leader, education advocate, politician, development agent, philanthropist and an extraordinary crusader for justice.  My wife Antonia, my children Kelvin, Barbara, Ngwing and Atabong are my best friends of all times.  Above all, there is a time in one’s life when a sister is everything in one’s life. My sister Bibiana Taku was a class and bench mate, a friend and a manifestation of the endless love of God to me and humanity. Miss Anne Bustarret 

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The Abdul Samad Rabiu Initiative Launches the 100 Million Dollars Annual Africa Fund for Social Development & Renewal
March 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Abdul Samad Rabiu*

Over the course of the year, I expect to also announce funding opportunities of USD$50million for the rest of Africa, says Abdul Samad Rabiu
Over the course of the year, I expect to also announce funding opportunities of USD$50million for the rest of Africa, says Abdul Samad Rabiu

It is with the blessings of the Almighty, my family, colleagues, the support of my community and the backing of my conscience, that I announce the launch of the Abdul Samad Rabiu Initiative, with an Africa Fund endowment of USD100million every year starting from this year, 2021; USD$50million to Nigeria and USD$50million to the rest of our beloved continent.

Over the years as a corporate, and through the BUA Foundation, we have been actively involved in corporate philanthropy in various sectors – from health, education, community development, water & sanitation, sports, and even more recently, our work on COVID-19.

However, with the Abdul Samad Rabiu Initiative and its annual USD$100million Africa Fund for Social Development, we are specifically extending this work to the Education, Health and Social Development sectors, starting with infrastructure and capacity development in these areas and supporting the efforts of various governments in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Our broad focus is equipping facilities, our researchers, healthcare practitioners and community-level service providers, with the aim of providing sustainable solutions for generations to come. 

They say life begins at 50; what they never tell you is that a pandemic can change your life at 60.

In that year 2020, when I turned 60, at least two million others turned into memories, taken by this deadly virus. I watched millions become numbers in a global death toll and ancestors in the world beyond. The same pandemic that forced us humans to slow down, now forces our humaneness to square up. The plans I once took time to construct, now take up all my time.

The challenges are manifold in various areas of our lives, from education, on to healthcare, and throughout social development.

Therefore, based on the results of extensive deliberation over the course of a year, our first cohort for Nigeria will be NGN1billion each in grants to 6 universities in the 6 geopolitical zones in Nigeria, towards the initiation and upgrading of infrastructure, where applicable. The universities in the first phase include Ahmadu Bello University, University of Maiduguri, University of Nigeria, University of Benin, University of Ilorin, and University of Ibadan. These grants will be directed towards projects that will be delivered by the Abdul Samad Rabiu Initiative for the project duration.

For accountability, we will present annual reports, with all activities overseen by a sterling board of trustees. More importantly, I am counting on you as beneficiaries, end-users and therefore custodians of these projects to hold the Abdul Samad Rabiu Initiative to account; contact, commend, recommend or complain to us on asrafrica.org.

Over the course of the year, I expect to also announce funding opportunities of USD$50million for the rest of Africa – we are currently in talks with our stakeholders and other partners and announcements will be duly made.

As the world tries to claw its way back to business as usual, the Abdul Samad Rabiu Initiative’s Africa Fund for Social Development & Renewal aims to be a modest reminder to us all that until our health, education and other development issues are fixed, business as usual in these times, means business as brutal. We pledge to continue to do what we can to support ongoing efforts by various governments to bridge the development divide across Africa.

This is my promise. This is the goal of ASR AFRICA.

*ASR Africa

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Senator Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation named among Most Influential African Woman in the world, as “African Woman of the year 2020”, for the third time
December 30, 2020 | 0 Comments

  • NAW: Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, is truly a force of nature and one of Africa’s unsung ‘sheroes’ of women’s empowerment and health advocates. Here at the NAW, we will be right behind this inspirational woman, all the way.
  • -SENATE APPOINTMENT in December 2020: Dr Rasha Kelej appointed as a Senator, member of the Egyptian Senate (2020-2025) by President of Egypt, H.E. Mr. ABDEL FATTAH AL-SISI
Dr Rasha Kelej, the CEO of the Merck Foundation, is the brain behind the inspiring ‘More Than A Mother’ campaign

Cairo, Egypt: Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and Member of Egyptian Senate (2020-2025) has been named one of the most influential African women in the world for 2020, for the third time. She has been nominated this year as the “African Woman of the Year 2020” by the New African Woman Magazine UK, and most influential African woman 2020, by Avance Media, for her efforts to advocate for women empowerment and healthcare capacity building especially during these challenging times of Coronavirus pandemic. Senator Dr. Kelej has been previously recognized as One of 100 Most Influential Africans – 2019 by New African Magazine in UK for creating historic campaign “Merck More than a Mother” to break stigma around infertile and childless women in Africa and beyond.

Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej is PROLIFIC WOMEN AND HEALTH RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER:

Dr Rasha Kelej, the CEO of the Merck Foundation, is the brain behind the inspiring ‘More Than A Mother’ campaign – rallying call against female infertility stigma – for which she was recognized as one of the Most Influential Africans of 2019. The campaign, one of the most successful causes that have been taken forward by Merck Foundation, empowers childless and infertile women through access to information, health, change of mindset, and economic empowerment. More than 18 First Ladies rallied behind the campaign as ambassadors of Merck more than a Mother campaign, which is very impressive.

Some of Its and innovative initiatives include: Health Media Training, Media Recognition Awards, Fashion Awards, and Film Awards. Dr Kelej has also worked closely with local artists to develop local songs to break the stigma of infertility in their communities. More than 18 songs have been developed so far.

But that’s not all! Dr Kelej has in her capacity as CEO of Merck Foundation, also developed many other impactful programs such as the Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative (MFFLI), Merck Capacity Advancement Program, Merck Cancer Access Program, Merck Foundation Diabetes Blue Points Program, and Merck STEM for women and youth. These programs are focused on building healthcare capacity and improving access to health and empowering women and girls through education in Africa and other developing countries.

In a challenging year that was 2020, Dr Kelej remained steadfast in her work, and led the Merck Foundation COVID -19 response in Africa in partnership with 18 African First Ladies and Miniseries of health, education and media and communication of more than 45 countries, with focus on four major areas: community support; online education for health-care providers in six different fields (diabetes, cardiovascular, sexual and reproductive health, endocrinology, respiratory and acute medicines); community awareness through “Stay at Home“ Media Recognition Awards; and community awareness through a children’s storybook The Right Choice.

Transforming Public healthcare sector and TRAINING DOCTORS:

In the midst of the pandemic, Senator Dr Rasha Kelej has also spearheaded an online training of more than 600 doctors from 25 African countries and 10 developing countries in Asia and Latin America – an important impact in a challenging time.

It has been more important than ever to build capacity and training of specialized doctors. In some of these countries, they have never had not even one oncologist, for example. They may have the general practitioner, but they don’t have specialized doctors, they simply made history in these countries such as The Gambia, Burundi, Guinea & Liberia.

During this difficult period, we have therefore provided a one year online Diploma and two year master degree in Respiratory Medicine, Acute Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes & Cardiovascular health and Sexual & Reproductive health,” she explains.

“Our strategy and our program have been crystal clear – to invest in professional healthcare capacity building through providing scholarship for health care providers. And helping train skilled doctors in the midst of this pandemic, has made a big difference,” she adds.

In the meantime, Dr. Kelej also produced and directed an inspiring pan- African song called My White Army’ as her personal contribution to thank the doctors and nurses fighting on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle. The song, featuring singers from 11 African countries in three languages Arabic, English, and French has been received to high acclaim across the continent.

SENATE APPOINTMENT:

In December 2020, Dr Rasha was among 100 Egyptian experts appointed to the Senate House by President of Egypt, H.E. Mr. Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. She will be one of the advisers on economic, social and health development and partnership between Egypt and the rest of Africa.

HOW DOES SHE DO IT ALL?:

“I think one of the most important factors that keeps the Merck Foundation strong and continuing with our programs even during this pandemic is that we establish very strong partnerships, and trust levels with our partners. And this has been the case long before COVID-19,” she says adding: “On a personal level, I can say that I transform under pressure, no matter the challenge. That is just my personality. I don’t break, I transform and I have this work/life fusion, in which my life and work are totally fused. With any challenge I face, I just keep the same energy levels. I transform to a different shape and mode. And for me, new challenges give me an opportunity to be innovative and be different. COVID-19 was unexpected and unpredicted, but it helped us to transform to a stronger mode and prepare ourselves to be innovative out of our comfort zone.”

As we enter into an uncertain 2021, Dr Kelej remains characteristically optimistic and hopeful, as she looks forward to breaking new ground. “I’m very optimistic. And with my new position in the Egyptian Senate and what great job our President El- Sisi is doing for  Egypt and Africa , I am hopeful that, while I continue with my work, I can utilize and capitalize on this opportunity of doing my job successfully as CEO of Merck Foundation and as a Senator  and continued making  an impact. There are lots of opportunities for bringing the Egyptian and rest of African youth together for achieving the sustainable development goals of our beautiful African continent, and I want to explore these opportunities with them, this coming year.”

“I am honored to be nominated the African Woman of the year 2020 by New African Woman Magazine, UK to acknowledge my efforts and dedication to advocate for women empowerment and healthcare capacity building specially during these challenging times of Coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to those who believed in me. I am also very honored to be appointed by The President of Egypt, H.E. Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, as a member of Egyptian Senate ( 2020-2025) to help strengthening  collaboration and partnership  between Egypt and rest of Africa with the aim to continue our contribution to the social , economic and health development of our beautiful  continent. Moreover, I will continue my mission to empower other women and improve access to equitable and quality healthcare in Africa and developing countries. It is my personal commitment”, said Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej CEO of Merck Foundation, Member of Egyptian Senate ( 2020-2025), Most Influential African (2019& 2020) and African Woman of The Year 2020.





Dr Rasha Kelej was recently appointed as a Senator by President Sisi of Egypt

The New African Woman (NAW) has listed 30 strong African women as Women of the Year 2020, chosen from various career backgrounds. The list includes many famous names like; Amina J. Mohamed: Deputy Secretary-General At United Nations; Fadji Maina: Earth scientist at NASA; Bozoma Saint John: Global Chief Marketing Officer of Netflix; Michaela Coel: Producer, Actor, Director; Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, amongst others.

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Honoris Board Director, Professor Yusuf Karodia, named African Education Person of the Year
March 4, 2020 | 0 Comments

Prof. Karodia, the founder of MANCOSA and of REGENT Business School, is recognized as an African impact leader in education

Left to right: Dr Ken Giami, Founder and CEO of African Leadership Magazine; Professor Karodia, the founder of distance learning institutions MANCOSA and REGENT Business School – member institutions of Honoris United Universities; Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President African Development Bank Group and David Mabuza, Deputy President, Republic of South Africa

Johannesburg, 3rd March 2020: Professor Yusuf Karodia, founder of two member institutions of Honoris United Universities, Africa’s first and largest private higher education network, has been named African Person of the Year 2019 by African Leadership Magazine, in the category Development of Education.

Professor Karodia, Founder of MANCOSA and of REGENT Business School, received the award for his contribution to the advancement of education and the transmission of knowledge in Africa. During the ceremony, held on 29 February in Sandton, Johannesburg, he was named ‘The Greatest Visionary in Africa for the Development of Higher Education’, underscoring his commitment to developing education in Africa over the past four decades.

In an emotional speech, he said, “I would like to salute the students, staff and graduates of the Honoris United Universities network and the outstanding work of all teachers and actors who are helping to train future African leaders”. He also spoke of the impact of the fourth industrial revolution, which he said makes traditional approaches to higher education less and less relevant.

“The fourth industrial revolution will render a large part of the current system obsolete in the coming decades. Artificial intelligence will be the driving force behind the fourth industrial revolution, and it will eradicate from the labour market many tasks that are currently performed by humans. The fusion of man and machine will require a rethink of education to meet the challenges of the future.” 

He also spoke of the importance of lifelong learning and the ability to quickly acquire new skills, comments mirrored by the CEO of Honoris United Universities, Luis Lopez“I am very proud to have Prof. Karodia as a director of Honoris United Universities. His knowledge and foresight are invaluable to our pan-African vision of Education for Impact. This recognition is the culmination of more than four decades of commitment to the development of quality and accessible private higher education. A pioneer and visionary, he has made MANCOSA and REGENT Business School leading academic institutions. His core belief of supporting world-class African human capital, encapsulated by Honoris, is an inspiration to us and to those who know him.”

Honoris United Universities, the first pan-African private higher education network, stretches from Casablanca to Cape Town and from Tunis to Johannesburg. The network brings together a community of 11 institutions in 10 countries and 32 cities, on-campus, remote and online. Its institutions provide degrees in the fields of health sciences, engineering, computer science, commerce, law, architecture, arts and design, media, education and political science.

About Professor Karodia

Professor Karodia began his career in 1973 as a school teacher. In 1988, after obtaining a master’s degree in Education at the University of South Africa, he taught education management and comparative education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). He later received his Ph.D. from the University of Pretoria. His talents and abilities have been recognized by various awards during his career. These include the British Council, Fulbright and Educational Opportunities Council scholarships. He has published many books.

As a young teacher in a difficult socio-economic context, Professor Karodia quickly realized that promising black students were denied access to university education under apartheid. The injustices he witnessed and experienced led him to work for change. With time and a massive act of faith, he created two private higher education institutions that would widen access to quality education, especially those previously denied access. He has also worked to make a significant impact in the implementation of quality distance education.

Also a philanthropist and passionate in his belief that reading is an essential ingredient in improving children’s literacy levels, he launched, through the Yusuf Karodia Foundation, the Million Books Project, aimed at providing more than one million books to school children in underprivileged areas of South Africa through mobile libraries.

He has forged numerous links and networks with educational institutions, both locally and internationally, and has helped define the purpose and role of management education through his work with the Association of Business Schools, the Association of African Business Schools and the Association of BUSINESS Schools BRICS, whose headquarters are located within REGENT Business School.

About Honoris United Universities

Honoris United Universities is the first private pan-African higher education network committed to preparing and educating the next generation of African leaders and professionals able to impact regionally in a globalized world.  Collaborative intelligence, cultural agility and mobile mindsets and skills are at the heart of Honoris’ vision of higher education. Honoris United Universities joins the expertise of its member institutions to prepare pan-regional profile graduates that are competitive in today’s fast-paced and demanding labour markets.

Honoris United Universities gathers a community of 45,000 students on 60 campuses, learning centres and via on-line, in 10 countries and 32 cities across Africa. The network counts 11 institutions: multidisciplinary universities, specialized schools, technical and vocational institutes, contact distance and online institutions. Students have an opportunity to experience exclusive partnerships and exchange programs in more than 60 universities across Europe, Asia and the United States. Over 280 degrees are offered in Health Science, Engineering, IT, Business, Law, Architecture, Arts and Design, Media, Education and Political Science.

Honoris United Universities. Education for ImpactÒ. www.honoris.net 

Prof Karodia at the African Leadership Awards

About MANCOSA

Founded in 1995 as a post-apartheid empowerment institution in South Africa, MANCOSA has grown to become one of the largest and leading private higher education institutions in South Africa. As a provider of high-quality distance learning, MANCOSA offers accredited, accessible and affordable education. A distinguished portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes is delivered through MANCOSA’s Graduate School of Business, School of Education, School of Public Administration and School of Economics and Finance.  www.mancosa.co.za 

About REGENT Business School

REGENT Business School is a premium management education institution established in 1998 to shape leaders for business and society in South Africa. This dynamic institution offers globally recognised affordable and accessible business and management education programmes. These programmes cover the areas of business administration, commerce, management and leadership, finance, entrepreneurship, local government, educational management and range from Higher Certificates to Postgraduate Degrees.

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Gambia’s Truth Commission Secretary Resigns from U.S University Job
February 7, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Dr. Baba Galleh Jallow, Executive Secretary TRRC

Dr. Baba Galleh Jallow,  Executive Secretary of the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC)  last week resigned from his teaching job at La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Until his resignation, Dr. Jallow was an assistant professor of African and World history at La Salle.

Prior to joining the La Salle faculty in 2015, Dr. Jallow taught African history and was director of the African Studies Program at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

Upon his invitation to come home and serve as Executive Secretary of the TRRC back in the fall of 2017, Dr. Jallow sought and was granted a two-year leave of absence by La Salle University to enable him to take up the position.

However, in a recent communication, the University explained that it would not be able to extend Dr. Jallow’s leave of absence beyond fall (September) 2020 when it expires.

Part of Dr. Jallow’s letter of resignation to La Salle University’s Dean of Arts and Sciences reads: “As per the terms of my leave of absence, I was supposed to return to La Salle University in fall 2020.

However, due to the fact that my work here requires at least an additional year of service to The Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, I will not be in a position to do so. For that reason, and because you have indicated in a recent email that my leave will not be extended . . . please allow me to tender my resignation from my teaching position at La Salle University’s Department of History and the School of Arts and Sciences with immediate effect.  . . . Please also allow me to extend my very sincere gratitude to La Salle University and in particular my colleagues at the Department of History for all the kind support they have rendered me during my period at the University.”

Dr. Jallow says while he will miss La Salle University, he has no regrets at all over his resignation.

“In the absence of an extension of my leave, there really is no other option for me. I can’t leave the TRRC to resume my teaching at La Salle at this point. I also perfectly understand that the university needs to move on with hiring another full time African history professor. And so I am happy to resign and concentrate on completing the national assignment entrusted to me to the best of my ability. No regrets at all.”

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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala named the next Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School
February 4, 2020 | 0 Comments
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former finance minister of Nigeria and former managing director of the World Bank, has been named the next Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School. The announcement was made today by Harvard Kennedy School Dean Douglas Elmendorf. Okonjo-Iweala begins her fellowship this month.

“Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will bring to the Kennedy School a wealth of practical experience and insights into the development challenges and achievements in Africa and across the developing world,” Elmendorf said. “As the longest-serving finance minister in Nigeria and a leader at the World Bank for more than two decades, she engineered successful new approaches to fostering sustained and inclusive growth in developing countries. She will enrich our campus conversation on the public policy choices needed for effective governance that serves societies.”

In October 2019, Okonjo-Iweala delivered the Robert S. McNamara Lecture on War and Peacein the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at the Kennedy School. “I am honored to be able to return to the Kennedy School as the Angelopoulos Fellow, and to work with students and faculty who are wrestling every day with the world’s most complex development problems,” she said.

Okonjo-Iweala was the longest-serving finance minister in her native Nigeria and the first woman to hold that position. She was also the first female foreign minister. Okonjo-Iweala drove systemic financial reforms and strengthened fiscal transparency to fight corruption, tripling the country’s growth rate. She also negotiated a $30 billion reduction in Nigeria’s external debt. In her 25-year career at the World Bank, she rose to the No. 2 position of managing director of operations and oversaw the development portfolio for South Asia, Africa, Europe, and Central Asia.

A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University (1976), Okonjo-Iweala earned her doctorate from MIT and has been awarded 15 honorary degrees. She was recognized as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world by Forbes magazine for four years in a row, and by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2019. Currently, Okonjo-Iweala is chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which has immunized 760 million children in the developing world against infectious diseases. She is also co-chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.

The Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Program was established with support from Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, president of the Athens 2004 Olympics, former ambassador of Greece, lawyer, and recently appointed committee chair of “Greece 2021.” The program provides opportunities for high-profile public leaders who are transitioning from office or other leadership roles to spend time in residence at Harvard Kennedy School reflecting, teaching, learning, and conducting research. During her time at the Kennedy School, Okonjo-Iweala will meet with students and scholars as well as lecture, write, and participate in public discussions and forums.

Okonjo-Iweala becomes the fifth Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Fellow since the program’s inception in 2011. Previous fellows are Juan Manuel Santos, former president of Colombia; Ban Ki-moon, former secretary-general of the United Nations; Tarja Halonen, former president of Finland; and Felipe Calderon, former president of Mexico.

*Source Harvard Kennedy School

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Memphis surgeon’s partnerships create better health, better doctors
January 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Jane Roberts*

Dr. Denis Foretia, assistant professor of general surgery at UTHSC, stands outside of his Midtown office Jan. 23, 2020. Foretia will soon head to Africa to build connections between the university’s Global Surgery Institute and West African College of Surgeons. (Patrick Lantrip/Daily Memphian)

Between his teaching and surgery schedule at Methodist University Hospital, Dr. Denis Foretia has carved out a week in February for the kind of work that feeds his soul.

He’s headed to Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, to work out formal agreements with the University of Nigeria Medical Centre and a host of hospitals in the region interested in partnering with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s 2-year-old Global Surgery Institute.

He is its assistant director.

In many respects, Foretia, who grew up in Cameroon and is executive chairman of the Nkafu Policy Institute, a leading think tank there, is going home. In major ways, he is always there.

As much as he planned to be a cardiothoracic surgeon after he finished medical school at Vanderbilt University, he couldn’t stop thinking about the crushing weight of the medical needs he saw all around him as a child.

“I realized that I could not be really happy in life if I didn’t take surgery abroad, outside the U.S., where we could strengthen assistance to deliver surgical care at a higher level,” Foretia said.

When he returns to Memphis, he hopes to have the beginning of a memorandum of understanding between UTHSC and the University of Nigeria Medical Centre, including ties to the West African College of Surgeons.

“It creates an opportunity for students to travel internationally and see how health care is being practiced in areas outside Memphis,” he said, ticking off the benefits, not the least of which is learning to practice medicine in the absence of sophisticated diagnostic equipment or even electricity.

“We have lost a little bit of our physical examination and history-taking skills because we can easily get a CAT scan, and we don’t need to really examine the patient,” he said. “But when our students are there, it sharpens their physical exam skills for them to become just great clinicians, where they need to sit and talk with their patients and really figure out what is happening and be able to diagnose before even getting a CAT scan.”

UTHSC has working agreements with hospitals in the Philippines and Honduras. Foretia has another in the works with Levy Mwanawasa Hospital in Zambia, a university teaching hospital in Lusaka, the capital.

The sites offer a network of placements abroad for medical students who want international experience.

Surveys of incoming freshmen medical students at UTHSC show more than 70% do. More than 50% of current students say international experience would help them.

UTHSC has nearly 3,000 students in Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga and Nashville, plus 1,200 medical residents and fellows in training.

Nathan Manley, now a fourth-year surgery resident, started medical school at UTHSC in Memphis after several years of public health work in Zambia and Zimbabwe. He also served in the Peace Corps in Botswana.

Stepping into surgical suites in the Philippines last fall renewed what he calls the “idealism” of medicine and the reason why he chose it in the first place.

“Working in international health, it’s all about adapting to your environment. We have a lot of resources here. There, things aren’t available,” Manley said. “You have to learn how to apply the same standards we have here but in more creative ways.

“I don’t mean that to sound funny. Really, an older technology will do the same thing.”

The time he spent in the Philippines put him in touch with the kind of training that physicians whom he admires received a generation or two ago when there were fewer “gadgets” in the operating room.

The 10 days he worked in operating rooms there changed him in ways he struggles a little to explain.

“I hadn’t been out of U.S. since 2011. It rekindled a lot of feelings of idealism that tend to get knocked out of you in life,” he said. “My thing is service, especially international service. That’s why I joined the Peace Corps. I didn’t get into medicine to make money. I love serving people where they are, and I am doing this because I enjoy it.”

Dr. Denise Wong also worked in the Philippines through UTHSC, which she says describes as an “eye-opening experience” that changed her as a physician.

“It definitely makes me very grateful for the resources we do have and that we are able to share with others,” she said. “But it also makes me more conscientious about resource management. We are not as careful as we could be.”

Wong spent a week in the Philippines; Manley nearly two.

Foretia says even a short time is enough to change a doctor’s perspective. Under the agreements he’s working on, students would spend a month in a foreign placement in their senior year of medical school.

For Dr. James Netterville, Mark C. Smith Professor of Head & Neck Oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, it is a “joy” to see so many young medical students with that glimmer in their eyes. 

“Thank goodness for this generation coming now and their passion and heart for making a difference in the world,” said Netterville, a UTHSC-trained physician who is a member of Vanderbilt’s global surgery center.

Because the most talented can go to any medical school in the country, universities, he said, are responding with programs that appeal to their idealism. 

In earlier generations of medical outreach, Netterville said, “well-meaning surgeons would go and spend time treating a few patients and come home knowing they had done a little good.

“But no one knows what the outcomes were,” he said. “No one followed up on the patients, and no one was really educated in the process.”

The new goal, Netterville said, is to identify gaps in care, find the people who are the medical educators in that country and work out a joint plan to serve. 

“We plan with them so we can bring the right kind of physicians and the right kind of equipment. Our medical students don’t go to operate; they go to teach. It’s far better to go over and teach their doctors and let their doctors do the surgeries.”

UTHSC’s Global Surgery Institute started in 2017 as a way to capture and formalize the dozens of medical mission trips UT professors and physicians were already leading.

“The year we surveyed them, they had spent a total of 58 weeks abroad — doing health care abroad — which is amazingly high,” said Foretia, who has made seven trips in 30 months to sub-Saharan Africa for the university.

The hospitals in West Africa offer rich experience, perhaps counter-intuitively, for forcing doctors to see the level of medical waste in the United States, where about 20% of the federal budget goes to health care and the average American spends $8,000 to $9,000 a year on care.

The next highest spender is Germany at $4,000

“In Nigeria, it’s about $300,” said Foretia.

To illustrate the weight of the imbalance, he uses the example of the simple operating room stapler, indispensable for cordoning off sections of tissue in surgery. One costs $500.

Reviews of surgeries show surgeons may use four in one procedure, he said.

Surgeons in less developed countries use ties at a fraction of the price.

“Because the we have the staplers available, we just call for the next one,” Foretia says.

What makes university global partnerships possible is that many of their projects touch on key research projects and are funded by the U.S. government’s National Institutes of Health, “one of the most generous philanthropic organizations in the world,” said Netterville, who has made 24 trips to Africa and a similar number to Central America as a Vanderbilt physician.

Without it, countrywide and continentwide medical efforts couldn’t happen, he said.

The amount of grant money universities receive helps determine their national ranking. UTHSC, which is working toward being in the top 25% of medical schools in the country, needs $150 million in annual grants to meet a critical benchmark.  In 2019, it achieved $100 million for the first time after five years of concerted work.

Besides opportunities to help nations improve medical capacity, its global ties offer UTHSC a natural interface to community groups, including faith groups, doing their own mission work overseas.

Foretia is collecting supplies for a surgeon who does skin grafts on burn patients in Zambia, including equipment that is inexpensive in the U.S., but cost prohibitive there, for making grafts. He is interested in hearing from groups with other supplies. 

He is also organizing the institute’s first multicultural/global health symposium, a chance for UTHSC faculty, staff and students here and from clinical partner teaching hospitals in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Nashville to discuss their international work and goals.

“UTHSC is offering a lot to the world and transferring a lot back,” he said.

“Our endeavors around the world are providing real knowledge in the places we are going and also helping us become really good doctors, knowing how to better deal with our patients, especially in areas where we don’t necessarily have access.”

*Source Daily Memphian. Longtime journalist Jane Roberts is a Minnesotan by birth and a Memphian by choice. She’s lived and reported in the city more than two decades.


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Cameroon:Barrister Ajong Stanislaus Appointed Chairman/ Country Co-ordinator of the African Bar Association
January 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Barrister Ajong has been tasked with co-ordinating all the activities of the African Bar Association in Cameroon, mobilize and recruit members of the Afba and effectively bring information to, and from the association

Renowned Human Rights Lawyer Barrister Ajong Stanislaus, who has over twenty years of experience in the law profession, has been appointed as the Chairman/country Co-ordinator of the prestigious African Bar Association.

His appointment is contained in a document signed by the President of the African Bar Association, Hannibal Uwaifo on December 27, 2019.

Holder of an LL.M in Human Rights Law from the University of Aberdeen- Scotland, Stanislaus Ajong is a Chevening Scholar and an International Human Rights Lawyer with wide experience in Cameroon, and Africa. Called to the Cameroon Bar in 1999, he founded and is presently Managing Partner of Security Law Firm situated in Tiko, South West Region of Cameroon.

According to the letter , a copy of which was seen by Pan African Visions, Barrister Ajong has been tasked with co-coordinating all the activities of the African Bar Association in Cameroon, mobilize and recruit members of the Afba and effectively bring information to, and from the association. He is equally called upon to represent Cameroon in the Governing and Executive Councils, and to solicit for funding support and resource persons for Afba.

Ajong Stanislaus has handled a number of Communications before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights against the Republic of Cameroon and the Federal Republic of Nigeria on behalf of the people of Southern Cameroons in their quest for the respect of the right to self-determination.

A Lecturer of Human Rights and Development at graduate and undergraduate level in the Pan African Institute for Development in Africa – PAID-WA between 2010 -2013, he equally facilitated two legal clinics in Kenya on the right to Education and Employment in Africa.

He previously took the University of Buea to court to challenge the admission procedures which he considered unfavorable to Anglophone applicants.

He was President of the Fako Lawyers Association (FAKLA) — the Umbrella organization for Lawyers of the Cameroon Bar Association resident in Fako Division from 2010-2015. The Association partnered with other bodies during this time to fight for the respect of the rights of vulnerable persons, particularly, instituting proceedings on behalf of persons detained indefinitely awaiting trial and also for the decriminalization of journalistic offenses.

“I attended BGS Buea and I went through a bilingual system, and I know the strong points of the Anglophone system of education and know some in the Fancophone system of education and when I saw the admission procedures where Anglophones were denied the right to gain admission to the University of Buea because of lack of O-Level English and the fact that Francophones were given the opportunity to have an intensive English class for six weeks, and have direct admission to Buea, I cried foul; And at the time, admissions were not uniform,” He said in an interview with The Sun Newspaper in 2015. 

“… My action was dismissed but today the University of Buea has undergone some reformation. I have been in this for quite some time, and I was happy because it was no longer an individual fight but a collective one. We can count over 95% of Anglophone lawyers following this course and we think the plight of the English-speaking Cameroonian will no longer be the same again after May, 9, 2015.”

The renowned human rights lawyer who is equally an author had his secondary education in the Bilingual Grammar School, Molyko -Buea before proceeding to the University of Yaounde where he obtained the First Degree in Law. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) awarded him the highly prestigious Chevening Scholarship in 2015.

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Rwandan named UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for 2021 Food Systems Summit
December 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

Agnes Kalibata

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres has appointed Agnes Kalibata of Rwanda as his Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit.

In 2021, the Secretary-General will host a Food Systems Summit with the aim of maximizing the co-benefits of a food systems approach across the entire 2030 Agenda and meet the challenges of climate change.

As a key contribution to the Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, the objectives of the Food Systems Summit are to generate momentum, expand the knowledge and share experience and approaches worldwide to help countries and stakeholders unleash the benefits of food systems for all people.

The Summit will also offer a catalytic moment for global public mobilization and actionable commitments to invest in diverse ways to make food systems inclusive, climate adapted and resilient, and support sustainable peace.

The Special Envoy, working with the United Nations system and key partners, will provide leadership, guidance and strategic direction towards the Summit.

According to the UN announcement,  Ms. Kalibata will be responsible for outreach and cooperation with key leaders, including governments, and other strategic stakeholder groups, to galvanize action and leadership for the Summit. She will also support the various global and regional consultative events focused on food system transformation, planned during 2020 and 2021.

Currently  Kalibata is the President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) since 2014. She leads the organization’s efforts with public and private partners to ensure a food secure and prosperous Africa through rapid, inclusive, sustainable agricultural growth, improving the productivity and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers in Africa.

Prior to joining AGRA, Ms. Kalibata was Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources from 2008 to 2014, where she drove programs that moved her country to food security, helping to lift more than a million Rwandans out of poverty.

She has records of accomplishments as an agricultural scientist, policy maker and thought leader, awarded the Yara Prize, now the Africa Food Prize, in 2012. She was the 2019 recipient of the National Academy of Sciences prestigious Public Welfare Medal for her work to drive Africa’s agricultural transformation through modern sciences and effective policy, thereby improving livelihoods of stallholder farmers.

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At Pre-Launch Of African Diaspora Development Institute In Maryland-USA, Ambassador Arikana Receives Award For Promoting Pan-Africanism
December 15, 2019 | 0 Comments
Ambassador Arikana receives award for promoting Pan-Africanism (photo: Amos Fofung for Pan African Visions)
Ambassador Arikana receives award for promoting Pan-Africanism (photo: Amos Fofung for Pan African Visions)

Ambassador Arikana Chihombori-Quao former African Union Ambassador to the United States of America has been honored with an award for her firm stand on promoting the Pan-African spirit and driving socio-economic development to the African continent.

She received recognition from Prince Adekoye, Chief Executive Officer of Africa400years.org, a New Jersey-based organization that commemorates and celebrates Africa and Africans in remembrance of 400 years of slavery.  

Ambassador Arikana served as the AU ambassador to the US from 2017 right up to October 2019 when she got terminated purportedly due to her strong stance on France occupation hold over its former African colonies, which she shared publicly.

Speaking as she receives the recognition which she dedicated to Pan-African legends before her, the medical doctor and activist reputed for her grasp of public speaking, thanked the African diaspora who turned out for the pre-launch of the African Diaspora Development Institute, ADDI, a body which she added will henceforth be the go-to place for development initiatives in Africa.

Addressing attendees at the soft launch of ADDI a brainchild of hers, the renowned public speaker and educationist cum entrepreneur urged the diaspora to come together and invest in building #TheAfricaWeWant or sit back and watch foreigners do so while ripping millions off their continent.

And to build this Africa, she said it was important they do so via the ADDI, an umbrella African diaspora organization where all Africans in the diaspora ought to convene to build #TheAfricaWeWant by driving healthcare, education and socio-economic development to the continent.

Registered and based in the United States, the institute African office will be situated in South Africa and will also include the putting in place of an African diaspora center of excellence and a Pan-African fund to raise money and invest in the African continent.

“I will not rest unless all Africans raise up to drive our development – the continental agenda of Africa must be driven by children of the continent,” she said categorically as she enjoined all to turn out in February 2020 for the official launching of the continental institute.

Ambassador Arikana dedicated the award to Pan-African legends (photo: Amos Fofung for Pan African Visions)
Ambassador Arikana dedicated the award to Pan-African legends (photo: Amos Fofung for Pan African Visions)

Prior to her appointment, Ambassador Arikana Chihombori-Quao was a renowned family medicine doctor in Murfreesboro, Tennessee where she has been practicing medicine for the last 25 years. Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao is known internationally for her diligent efforts to improve healthcare systems, particularly in countries in Africa, and to promote women’s rights around the globe.

Addressing attendees at the pre-launch (photo: Amos Fofung for Pan African Visions)
Addressing attendees at the pre-launch (photo: Amos Fofung for Pan African Visions)

Nearly 20 years ago, at a conference organized by then-Africa Resources, Presidents Nelson Mandela and Robert Mugabe presented the noted philanthropist with an Achievement Award. This was her first major distinction.

Since 2012, she was the Chair of the African Union-African Diaspora Health Initiative (AU-ADHI) where she was involved in mobilizing the African Diaspora health professionals to assist in addressing the healthcare crisis on the continent of Africa.

In 2015 at the 25th AU Summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dr. Chihombori-Quao was one of the fifteen women who received the “Women of Excellence Award” alongside President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Mrs. Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi, and Mrs. Winnie Mandela, the former first lady of South Africa, as well as several other prominent and remarkable African women.

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Nj Ayuk Makes Top 100 Most Influential Africans List
December 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
Described as an “energy broker”, the listing highlights Nj Ayuk’s voice in offering remedies for the continents’ resource curse and praises his best-seller on Amazon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, December 5, 2019/ — Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org/) and CEO of the Centurion Law Group, has been named as one of the top 100 most influential Africans in 2019 by NewAfrican Magazine.

Providing a rapid review of some of the major events and developments across Africa, the Most Influential Africans (MIA) listing highlights key achievements of African individuals across geographies and industries this year.

The listing notably includes personalities and executives from sports such as Siya Kolisi, key politicians such as President Nana Akufo-Addo or Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and movers and shakers of the business world such as Aliko Dangote and Ibukun Awosika.

Described as an “energy broker”, the listing highlights Nj Ayuk’s voice in offering remedies for the continents’ resource curse and praises his best-seller on Amazon, Billions At Play: The African Energy and Doing Deals (https://amzn.to/33T0gWx), for offering a comprehensive road map for Africa to do a better job at using its vast natural resources to fuel economic growth and improve the lives of millions of Africans.

“It is humbling, to be honored but in my heart, I know you did not buy into our message just for me, you did because you believe in what Africa and Africans can be. We should never apologise for being Pan African and Pro Africa,” declared NJ Ayuk. “This is proof that the message of the African Energy Chamber and Billions At Play: The African Energy and Doing Deals that energy must work better for Africans is being heard,” he added.


Others featured on the list include Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank; Marcia Ashong, Founder and CEO of The Boardroom Africa; Trevor Noah, Comedian and Political Commentator; Mark Bristow, CEO of Randgold Resources; Strive Masiyiwa, Businessman and Philanthropist and Tonye Cole, co-founder and former Group Executive Director of Sahara Group; Benedict Oramah, President of Afrieximbank to name a few.

Learn more about NJ Ayuk, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals and the African Energy Chamber here:

*African Energy Chamber
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Awarding Wining Gambia’s Afro-Pop singer Makes History For Highest sold out Concert
November 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Jizzle, multiple awarding wining Gambia’s afro-pop artiste has makes history as he filled the stadium of 30,000 capacities during his Finally album concert on 23rd  November, 2019 at Independence stadium.

 The Finally concert dubbed as ‘#Fessal #Estade’ meaning fill up the stadium has featured Gambia’s finest artistes and Senegalese finest artistes.

Finally, is Jizzle debut album was released on 9th August, 2019 comprised of of twelve tracks representing the sounds of Afro pop, Afrobeat, and Afro-fuzion with elements of Hip Hop.

In September, 2019 has embarked on a three-week European tour in Sweden, Italy, and Germany to promote finally album.  All of his shows display his dynamic stage presence and performance.

The album features a number of West African Artists, Dip Doundou Guiss, Samba, Peuzzi, Bm Jaay, and Hakill from Senegal.  Shaydee represents Nigeria and Gee from The Gambia. 

  It was the most surreal moment for the Gambian music industry, no concert at the stadium from Davido to Chronixx to Movado to even Youssou Ndour has received the type of crowd that Jizzle received on Saturday, November 23rd.

As happiness exuded from him, an emotional Jizzle told the crowd, “This is not my show; this show is for the Gambian music industry. All of us as artists.  When one shines, we all shine. There is no competition and we must have love and support for each other. When one of us wins, we all win.”

Jizzle called on Gambians to believe in Gambian music by supporting the local artists to stardom.
He commended his fans for their huge turnout at the stadium. “This is Gambia. We have abundant talent; let’s support them”.

Jizzle also commended his sponsors and the international artists who came all the way from Senegal and Europe to grace the show.

A number of singles have been released from the album accompanied by video like Finally, Joanna, Just In Case.  However, it was Turn By Turn that became number one on Apple Top 100 Gambia for five weeks.  The album was also number 1 on Apple Music Gambia.

Jizzle has worked very hard and has proven that his craft is ready to compete and shine on the world stage.  His entrance on the stage at the Finally Concert was one in a million. Covered in a white cashmere robe, he was dressed in white with a silver face mask; the crowd went into frenzy. 

Finally, the album was released three months ago on all digital platforms.  Since its release, it has definitely proven to be the hottest album on the streets of the Gambia. There is no car, shop, or community that you go into that is not blasting Jizzle’s album.  The country has uplifted him to the highest level and everyone is proud of him.

One of Jizzle’s wonders is that he sings in three major West African languages – Fula, Mandingo and Wolof – and an international language, English, making him a marketable brand, both at home and abroad.  His stage presence, energy, and delivery are impeccable. 

He has received the highest accolades in the Gambian music industry for his singles and videos. He also did his first European tour over the summer starting with the Selam Festival in Sweden then to other European countries. He will continue to do international shows in December and throughout 2020.

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Centurion Senior Associate Zion Adeoye Wins ESQ 40 Under 40 Award
November 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
Zion Adeoye
Zion Adeoye
Zion oversees a growing team of African lawyers working on the most complex energy transactions shaping Africa’s modern energy industry
LAGOS, Nigeria, November 20, 2019/ — Centurion’s Senior Associate Zion Adeoye has been recognized as an ESQ 40 under 40 Lawyer at the Nigerian Rising Stars Award last week. The ESQ 40 under 40 award recognizes distinguished Nigerian lawyers under the age of 40, who will shape the future of the legal profession in Nigeria and on the continent.

Since joining Centurion (https://CenturionLG.com/), Zion has earned himself a strong reputation among its peers and the firm’s leading clients from across the continent. In his role as Senior Associate, Zion oversees a growing team of African lawyers working on the most complex energy transactions shaping Africa’s modern energy industry.

“I am truly honored for this recognition and thank Centurion for providing me with the right environment to grow as a lawyer and as a person,” declared Zion Adeoye. “This is a demonstration of what young Nigerian legal talent can achieve when given the opportunity to work and contribute to the growth of Africa.”

“At Centurion we believe in young African talent and pride ourselves in hiring and training the next generation of African lawyers and energy leaders,” said Nj Ayuk, CEO of Centurion Law Group. “We are delighted that Zion’s work is getting such esteemed recognition, which is only the reflection of how hard he works and the level of dedication he gives to the firm and its clients.”
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Halima Aliko Dangote Takes charge of Dangote Group Commercial Operations
November 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
Halima Aliko Dangote
Halima Aliko Dangote
Dangote Industries Appoints Halima Aliko Dangote as GED Commercial Operations
LAGOS, Nigeria, November 11, 2019/ — Halima Aliko Dangote has been appointed as the Group Executive Director, Commercial Operations of Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) (www.Dangote.com), one of Africa’s largest and most diversified business conglomerates.

According to a release by the company, Halima Aliko Dangote is returning to the Group after serving on secondment in several capacities across two of its Business Units over the last five years. She is also a Trustee of the Aliko Dangote Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the conglomerate. 

In her most recent role, Halima served as Executive Director of Dangote Flour Mills. Remarkably, she led the turnaround of the business from loss in turnover to a profitable status; a feat derived from consistent high performance over time.

Previously, she served as Executive Director of NASCON, a manufacturer of salt, seasonings and related consumer products, which are enjoying huge patronage among consumers. She continues to serve as a Non-Executive Director of NASCON.

Halima is the president of the Board of The Africa Center in New York, a uniquely focused center providing a forward-looking gateway for engagement with Africa, while encompassing policy, business and culture. She is a Board member of Endeavour Nigeria, and is also a member of the Women Corporate Directors (WCD).

She has over 12 years of professional experience and has held several executive management roles. In her new role, Halima will be responsible for leading the development and implementation of the Dangote Group’s customer strategy to drive customer growth, improve customer relationship management, enhance customer experience and increase long term customer value, according to the release.

She will also be responsible for the implementation of the Group’s shared services strategy with specific oversight for the following functions; Commercial, Strategic procurement, Administration and Branding & Communications.

Halima, who has a strong passion for women empowerment, holds a Bachelors’ Degree in Marketing from the American Intercontinental University, London, United Kingdom and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Webster Business School, United Kingdom.

She has attended a number of high profile leadership development programmes including: the Programme for Leadership Development (PLD) at Harvard Business School; Executive Development Programme at Kellogg School of Management; Finance and Accounting for Non-Financial Executives at Columbia Business School.

The Dangote Group, which recently emerged as the Most Admired African Brand and the Most Valuable Brand in Nigeria for the second consecutive year (2018 – 2019) is actively involved in manufacturing cement, sugar, salt, flour, poly-products as well as logistics, oil & gas and real estate.
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Patrick Njoroge wins Africa’s best Central Bank Governor Award
October 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma |@journalist_27

Central Bank Governor Dr Patrick Njoroge. Photo credit Standard Media

Kenya’s Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge has won the 2019 Global Markets Award recognizing him the as best governor in Sub-Saharan Africa.

He was feted for successfully leading the demonetization of the old 1000 notes without affecting the country’s economy. The process of doing away with the old notes began in June and ended on October 1 in a bid to tame illicit financial flow, terrorism financing and money laundering. The event was held on the sidelines of World Bank/IMF meetings in Washington DC.

In his acceptance speech, Dr. Njoroge dedicated the award to the African youths whom he said need opportunities to grow.

“I would, therefore, want to dedicate this award to the youth of Africa who obviously need a lot more opportunities and which our actions collectively will provide for their benefits,” said Njoroge.

The award ceremony was preceded by the Global Capital meetings where the applicants were given forum to present the achievements of their companies in the last one year and the editorial panel settled on Governor Njoroge.

“Some 120 pitches were heard in total and all contained stories of excellence. An editorial panel then decided the winners of the awards. As ever, we were looking for the stories of innovation, going the extra mile for clients and industry advocacy that have powered the improvement of the global derivatives markets,” stated the Global Markets statement.

The Kenya’s governor won the award for the first time in 2016 for controlling inflation and cleaning up Kenya’s banking sector whereas the 2018 award was scooped by Nigeria’s Central Governor Godwin Emefiele for promoting economic stability, boosting investors’ confidence, promoting inward capital inflow and inventing long term solutions to curb inflation.

He took the office in 2015 and his tenure was to end three months ago before Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta extended his term for four years.

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Funmi Iyanda’s adaptation of ‘Walking with Shadows’ premieres at the BFI London Film Festival
October 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
Cast and Crew with Folake Abdulrazaq

Veteran journalist and talk show host, Funmi Iyanda yesterday brought ‘Walking with Shadows’, a novel by Jude Dibia, to the big screen, with the movie enjoying a 2-day showing at the British Film Institute (BFI) London Film Festival.

Speaking on the premiere, Iyanda said, “It is an honour to premiere this movie at one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. We are definitely thrilled by the opportunity to share this thought-provoking story with the international community and hope they are inspired by it as much as we are”.

Nana Otedola, Funmi Iyanda & Aoife (Film Director)

The film spotlights the life of lead character, Ebele Njoko, whose search for acceptance led him to create an alternate personality – one more pleasing and acceptable to society. However, as his secrets come to light, he is faced with the difficult choice to either keeping his family or accept a life of possible loneliness and rejection.

Iyanda explained that the movie is a timely appraisal of pressing societal issues, as it promotes the importance of love and self-acceptance in a cultural and religiously-charged environment.

At the BFI London Film Festival

Directed by Adife O’Kelly, ‘Walking with Shadows’ – which is set to premiere in Nigerian cinemas soon – features a sterling cast of actors including Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi, Wale Ojo, Ozzy Agu, Zainab Balogun, and Funsho Adeolu.

Notable personalities who attended the BFI London Film Festival movie premiere include Nana Otedola, Folake Abdulrazaq, Christopher Schlaefer, and others.

About Walking with Shadows

In Lagos, Nigeria, Ebele Njoko has been running all his life. A search for acceptance and love from his family, has led him to recreate himself as Adrian Njoko, respected father, husband, and brother. Suddenly, Adrian’s past and secrets have caught up with him and his world soon begins to crumble as he frantically tries to control the growing ripple effect of a revelation.

Walking with Shadows is adapted from Jude Dibia’s 2005 book of the same title, which was awarded Sweden’s Natur och Kultur Prize.

Iyanda and Whittmey Aboyeji

*Courtesy of NigeriaPresslog , a media amplification and press release distribution platform connecting forward-looking brands to target audiences. It provides a gateway for brands with the goal of making inroads and establishing presence in the Nigerian media space and beyond.

NigeriaPresslog has worked with and delivered excellent service for local and international partners including Heinrich Boll Stiftung, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Lagos Business School, Response Architects UK and others.

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Roland Achenjang’s soul-searching book; “Who and Why You Are” hits the stands
September 3, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

The Self-exploring book now available worldwide (photo: Facebook @ Roland Achenjang)

The Self-exploring book now available worldwide (photo: Facebook @ Roland Achenjang)

As humans struggle to comprehend the evolution of our time on earth and how to maximize our experiences with a better understanding of who they are, Roland Achenjang has in his latest book titled; Who and Why You Are provides answers to some of these questions.

In his first book, Roland Achenjang summarizes what he says is who we truly are and why we are here each having an Earth life experience.

Spurred to write the book due to his search and understandings of the “Universal Truths, the author says; “I refer to the information as Universal Truths, because they equally apply to everyone throughout the planet, including you! I wrote the book because of how liberating and empowering the information (Universal Truths) I remembered is. It changed my entire perspective on everything.”

In an exclusive chat with Pan African Visions, the visionary who attributes his spiritual awakening  to a four-year meditation experience said he “firmly believes there are many souls currently experiencing life on Earth who would benefit from reading this book and being aware of this information, like I did. And besides, my wife was getting annoyed with me talking about it to her alone.”

“I woke up that lovely Tuesday morning and immediately had a strong urge to meditate. During the session, I adopted a yoga posture that caused a rush of energy to move from the base of my spine to the top of my head in three consecutive waves. With each movement, ‘I remembered’ the Universal Truths I write about in my book. That day and the proceeding seven days were blissful for me, and they marked the beginning of the rest of my life. Nothing about me has been the same since,” he said.

Quizzed on how spiritual awakening changed his life and why he’s now, via his book, campaigning for others to follow suit, he retorted; “the experience itself was humbling and I consider it a tremendous blessing. As far as what changed, honestly, my beliefs and understanding about everything, who we are, and the Earth life experience changed; particularly my attitude towards fear. It is as thought the experience provided me the last piece to a puzzle that revealed a new level of Truth and understanding of the (Earth life) experience; the information is empowering and blissful.”

Urging all to grab paperback copies of the book on Amazon and Amazon Prime for just $22 the enthusiastic author whose book has already hit an e-reading platform said autographed paperback copies could be gotten via his website; rolandachenjang.com.

Roland Achenjang, is an alumnus of Belmont University where he obtained an MBA in Healthcare Management. Motivated during his school days, Roland began meditating to cope with the stress of being both a business school student and the sole overnight clinical pharmacist at a large hospital in Nashville. As a result, his life transformed from a fear-based experience to one filled with creative expressions.

At the Sunrise Festival of the Arts 2019 with Pre-Launch autographed copies of Who & Why You

At the Sunrise Festival of the Arts 2019 with Pre-Launch autographed copies of Who & Why You

In “Who and Why You Are: All You Need to Remember,” Achenjang discusses his passion for helping others remember, experience and express what he says is the ultimate benefit to effective meditating – bliss.

“By recognizing and understanding these universal truths, you can break free from the endless, self-imposed, creative limitations impeding you from living a purposeful life, expressing joy and experiencing bliss while here on Earth, he said.

Born and raised in Cameroon before relocating to the United States in 2000, Achenjang has always been fascinated with finding, or remembering, meanings and purposes to life on Earth.

Your first book Who and Why You Are: All you need to remember just hit the stands; can you give us a synopsis?

Gladly. The book summarizes what I remember about who we truly are and why we are here each having an Earth life experience. I refer to the information as Universal Truths, because they equally apply to everyone throughout the planet, including you!

What prompted you to come up with the book and what is the message you seek to share?

Great question. I wrote the book because of how liberating and empowering the information (Universal Truths) I remembered is. It changed my entire perspective on EVERYTHING!

I firmly believe there are many souls currently experiencing life on Earth who would benefit from reading this book and being aware of this information, like I did. And besides, my wife was getting annoyed with me talking about it to her alone.

From information about the author, we gathered that after over four years of meditating daily as a means to cope with work and school stress, you had a spiritual awakening on August 21st, 2018, can you walk us through this experience?

With joy . I woke up that lovely Tuesday morning and immediately had a strong urge to meditate. During the session, I adopted a yoga posture that caused a rush of energy to move from the base of my spine to the top of my head in three consecutive waves. With each movement, ‘I remembered’ the Universal Truths I write about in my book. That day and the proceeding seven days were blissful for me, and they marked the beginning of the rest of my life. Nothing about me has been the same since.

How was this spiritual awakening like, what changed for you after you after that?

The experience itself was humbling and I consider it a tremendous blessing. As far as what changed, honestly, my beliefs and understanding about everything, who we are, and the Earth life experience changed; particularly my attitude towards fear. It is as thought the experience provided me the last piece to a puzzle that revealed a new level of Truth and understanding of the (Earth life) experience; the information is empowering and blissful.

In what way did the spiritual awakening impact your religious beliefs?

Great question. The change in perspective the awakening experience offers affects EVERYTHING – this includes religious beliefs, too. The experience changed my beliefs and significantly improved my understanding of them as well. And the process is still on-going.

The book has so far received favorable reviews

The book has so far received favorable reviews

Just how important is it for people to meditate, for you who did it over a year, what recommendations do you give for those who may be curious about it?

I am biased of course, but I believe it’s extremely important that everyone meditates (effectively). Meditating (effectively) is my most trusted and go-to-activity for when I feel out of balance, which could mean feeling sick, stressed, tired or what have you. It’s a free and healing practice that reconnects you directly with the ‘Higher-Being’ you believe in! No middleman needed and the benefits are infinite! What could be better?

I commend anyone curious about meditating and invite them to begin by visiting www.rolandachenjang.com  to get a copy of 6 Proven Paths to Effective Meditating. It’s a free guide that puts you on the right track to personalizing the practice and making it enjoyable.

What are some of the challenges you faced in writing the book?

Great question . With my new perspective, I view challenges as our minds’ illusionary creations designed to teach us more about ourselves; they (challenges) are great learning opportunities. So what did I learn in writing the book? That I truly am infinitely creative, and I have everything available to me to create anything I am passionate about while here on Earth. This is true for you too!

Could you make a pitch to the public on the merits of grabbing a copy of this book, from the horses own mouth, from the author, what are some of the reasons people should rush for their copies?

As humans, we are always in search for empowerment, autonomy, and bliss. From this state of being, we become free to express our infinitely creative selves. Our heroes and idols know this. Truth is, these abilities aren’t reserved for just them. We each are capable of being great, much more so than we can even imagine. This book is a reminder of this Truth and much more.

Read it. Remember how amazing you are. Regain control of your life!

 

The book is a reminder of the infinite possibilities of greatness says Roland Achenjang

The book is a reminder of the infinite possibilities of greatness says Roland Achenjang

How much is the book and where can people procure copies?

The paperback is $22. It is available at Amazon and Amazon Prime.

Autographed paperback copies will be available through rolandachenjang.com for additional costs soon

The electronic version is available through any of your favorite e-reading platforms.

 

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NJ Ayuk in Billions at Play Explains How Energy Underpins the African Dream
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
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Gambia:Sheikh Omar Faye is New Defence Minister
August 23, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

File Picture.President Adama Barrow with Sheikh Omar Faye

File Picture.President Adama Barrow with Sheikh Omar Faye

In a cabinet shakeup in Gambia, President Adama Barrow has appointed Sheikh Omar Faye as Minister of Defence. Omar Faye a former Ambassador of the Gambia to the USA was until his appointment Consul General in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Acting under sections 71 (3), 71 (4), 167, and 168 of the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia has made the following changes in his Cabinet with effect from Thursday, 22nd August, 2019 , the shakeup saw the departure of Ebrima M.Mballow as Minister of Interior. He was redeployed to the Foreign Service. Former Inspector General of the Gambia Police Force Yankuba Sonko is the new Minister of Interior

The Permanent Secretary at the Office of the President Muhammed B.S. Jallow was appointed as the new Secretary General and Head of the Civil service in replacement of Ebrima O.Camara redeployed to the Foreign Service.

The new Defence Minister Sheikh Omar Faye served his country with brio in the tumultuous transition period. He was the first high profile Diplomat to publicly urged President former President Yaya Jammeh to peacefully hand over to Adama Barrow who had been proclaimed as the winner of the 2016 elections. For this, Faye was fired by Jammeh before been reinstated.

Gambians and friends of Gambia gave Faye great credit for the tact and patriotism that guided his actions during chequered transition period. His stint as Ambassador saw the acquisition of a building to host the Gambian Embassy, and a more vibrant relationship with Gambians in the USA.

 

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Universal Music Nigeria releases Jizzle’s Debut Album, ‘Finally’
August 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Jizzle

By: Bakary Ceesay
Jizzle

 Finally, Universal Music Nigeria releases Gambia’s afro pop artiste  Jizzle’s 1st album, Finally.  There have been many months of anticipation for the album, from the Biggest In The Game artist. 

 The album is made up of twelve tracks representing the sounds of Afro pop, Afrobeat, and Afrofuzion with elements of Hip Hop.

The lyrics are very catchy with a sing along type of vibrations with topics that all elements of his fans can identify with.  As a multi-talented artist, Jizzle has produced five songs on the album with the production from top Gambian producers Shyboy, Endy Official, and J Live Music. Machine Man Tim from the UK and J Masta from Sweden also make hot beats on the album.

Jizzle is dubbed as the artist in the Gambia that can take Gambian music to an international market and make it successfully on the mainstream platform.  “My main goal with my music is to take Gambian music to the next level.  Finally means the world to me and I put a lot of myself in it for the world to love and enjoy,” expresses Jizzle.

He features a number of West African Artists, Dip Doundou Guiss, Samba, Peuzzi, Bm Jaay, and Hakill from Senegal.  Shaydee represents Nigeria and Gee from The Gambia.  Jizzle is a very unique type of artist and his style is very different compared to a lot of artists. He is able to capture his audience through a variation of different languages from English to Mandinka, Fula, and Wolof.

 “I am very happy with the response that I have been getting from my first album, Finally.  I feel like the whole world loves this project. The outpour of love and support for my first album has been breathtaking. I am humbled by my fans and ask that continue to buy my music,” explains Jizzle in jubilation.

 Jizzle does not take for granted his natural musical ability and quality. He employs both exuberance and brainpower to pull off conscious, sweet songs viable in today’s pop-culture. Finally, is a testament to Jizzle’s love for music and natural star quality.

 He  is currently embarking on a three-week European Tour in Sweden, Italy, and Germany to promote Finally.  All of his shows will display his dynamic stage presence and performance. ALBUM DOWNLOAD LINK: https://umgafrica.lnk.to/finally

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Cameroonian Creates Solar Drone to Fight Boko Haram
August 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Borel Teguia working on his protype drone

Borel Teguia working on his protype drone

A prototype of a drone to monitor northern Cameroon’s borders has been created in Cameroon. Borel Teguia, a 25-years-old renewable energy engineer from Cameroon has created the device to assist the country monitor its Northern borders where attack on civilians by Islamist sect Boko Haram has been rampant in recent months.

As reported by Sputniknews, the young inventor described the advantages of this light “solar” drone over usual drones, especially in terms of its independence and flying time (from 1 to 2 hours compared to typical drones whose flying time amounts to half an hour).

“I studied in northern Cameroon, and saw many families forced to leave their homes because of the war; I told myself that something had to be done. There is nothing more horrible than war, and nothing more valuable than human life. I started working on this miniature device that could fly, make real-time videos and better monitor the Cameroonian borders. I wanted, so to speak, to give the Cameroonian sky an eye that would watch over its borders”, he noted.

25 year-old Borel Teguia creates drone to help fight Boko Haram

25 year-old Borel Teguia creates drone to help fight Boko Haram

Borel founded his own company, Тagus Drone and devoted himself exclusively to the development of his project, after working for several branches of the Electricity Development Corporation, EDC,

“I realised that there was a huge control issue all over the African continent. Drones could be a solution. Today, drones are involved in agriculture, telecommunications, health, cinematography, construction, art and culture. This is a boon for our company”.

“The drone weighs 700 grammes; it’s quite stable, which makes it easier to control it. It reaches a speed of 10 metres per second and can fly 150 metres above the ground. This solar drone can solve the problem related to the autonomy of existing models. Existing civilian drones have a relatively short flying time of between 30 and 45 minutes, limiting their scope in several areas. Our solar drone will be able to recharge during a flight from the Sun’s energy, thus allowing for 1 to 2 hours of flying time”, he explained.

To develop his project and sell the drone in the local and African markets, Borel Teguia launched a fundraising campaign in May 2019. At the moment, it is necessary to raise 500 million FCFA. “This crowd funding works very well because there are many investors interested in this innovative project. Over two months we have found more than 2,000 potential investors from more than 34 countries”, the Cameroonian engineer said.

“We have a strong demand on the continent, but there are very few manufacturers. In the end, Africans are forced to import drones and buy them at huge costs because the cost of transport and customs are added to the purchase price. The drone market is booming and we need to take advantage of it to develop local models.”

The Islamist sect Boko Haram has repeatedly conducted several deadly attacks in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria, where they are mostly based. Of the 2.3 million people displaced by the conflict since May 2013, at least 250,000 have left Nigeria and fled to Cameroon, Chad or Niger. The group killed over 6,600 in 2014. The group has carried out mass abduction including the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok, in April of 2014.

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Gyan unhappy with ‘unconstructive criticisms’ from Ghanaians
November 25, 2018 | 0 Comments

The Black Stars skipper claims he is being wrongly chastised by Ghanaians despite his sacrifices

The Black Stars skipper claims he is being wrongly chastised by Ghanaians despite his sacrifices

Asamoah Gyan has called on Ghanaians to stop fabricating stories about his career and private life meant to tarnish his image.

The 33-year-old has not played with the Black Stars since September 2017 due to injury concerns and thus has been absent from the team’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign so far.

His recent off-field incidents sparked an angry backlash from a section of Ghanaians who believe time is due for him to leave the team.

“Ghanaians can criticise me but it should be constructive,” Gyan told Adom TV.

“I’m not happy because about 99 per cent of the stories, rumours and other things about me are false and it is unfortunate. People just create their own stories either to promote their media or run me down which is very worrisome. I believe such things must end,” he added.

Gyan is yet to overcome his infamous penalty miss against Uruguay, which could’ve seen Ghana in the semi-finals of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa.

“I wish that day could come again for me to retake the penalty differently,” the former Sunderland striker said.

“I am still haunted by that penalty miss but I have to move on and hope to help the country win the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations title to repair the damage. Ghanaians should pray for us,” he added.

Gyan has scored 51 goals for Ghana in 106 appearances since 2003.

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Solar Project in Senegal wins Phanes Group’s second Solar Incubator
November 12, 2018 | 0 Comments

International evaluation panel selected winning project for commercial and technical support from global solar company

Winner of the 2018 Phanes Group Solar Incubator

Winner of the 2018 Phanes Group Solar Incubator

Kigali, Rwanda – November 12, 2018: Phanes Group, an international end-to-end solar provider headquartered in Dubai, UAE, has announced Mr. Mbaye Hadj and his Gossas Solar Farm Project (30 MW) as the winner of the second edition of its Solar Incubator. The announcement was made at the “Unlocking Solar Capital: Africa” conference in Kigali, Rwanda, where three finalists presented their proposal to a panel of international industry experts from responsAbility, ECREEE, Hogan Lovells, Phanes Group, RINA, and African Development Bank.

“We are proud to announce Mr. Hadj as the winner of this year’s Solar Incubator. It was a difficult decision as we received a strong response of project proposals with the potential to positively impact their communities. Our experience now in the second year of the incubator encourages us to continue with this initiative because there is a great deal of local talent on the continent who have the potential to benefit from such a platform,” said Andrea Haupts, COO of Phanes Group.

Maintaining a long-term stake in the project, Mr. Hadj and Phanes Group will work collaboratively, aiming to bring the solar energy project to financial close. The Solar Incubator phase will kick off with an intensive face-to-face workshop for Mr. Hadj in Dubai, UAE, where he will work with Phanes Group’s team and its incubator partners to set the foundations to deliver a bankable project. During that phase,  Mr. Hadj will gain access to commercial and technical know-how covered by experts from project finance, project development and execution, legal and CSR, followed by further remote mentoring sessions in the succeeding months.

“Ultimately, Mr. Hadj’s project convinced the evaluation panel not only with its strong CSR component but also with his knowledge and commitment to the region where he hails from. We believe in Mr. Hadj’s determination to bring his project to life in a challenging market environment, where our expertise and training can make a difference,” Mrs. Haupts added. “We look forward to welcoming him to Dubai, and want to encourage the other candidates to keep persevering in bringing their proposals to fruition, as everyone would have deserved to win.”

The goal of the Phanes Group Solar Incubator, held under the theme, “Your Project, Our Expertise, For a Sustainable Future,” is to provide access to commercial and technical knowledge, and eventually funding, to promising PV projects in sub-Saharan Africa, and to help entrepreneurs overcome obstacles that could prevent solar initiatives from reaching fruition.

More About Phanes Group

Phanes Group is an international solar energy developer, investment and asset manager, strategically headquartered in Dubai with a local footprint in sub-Saharan Africa, through its office in Nigeria, the region’s largest economy. Cumulatively, the company’s global clean power contribution is in excess of 70 MW, with a further 1.5 GW in different development stages – including 227.5 MW of grid connected PV solar in Nigeria across three different projects.

Two of the three Nigerian projects are backed by among the Nigerian government’s 14 first solar PPAs. In addition, the group is developing off-grid solar solutions to ensure communities across the region have access to a stable and clean energy supply.

Established in 2012, Phanes Group’s integrated approach, combining financial and engineering expertise, enables the company to deliver end-to-end solar energy solutions. The group has a growing portfolio of solar investments and developments spanning multiple geographies with a distinct focus on emerging markets, especially Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia (MENA ‘plus’) and sub-Saharan Africa. In the Middle East, Phanes Group is delivering the region’s largest distributed solar project (DP World Solar Power Programme) and completed phase I (33.4 MW) of the largest solar project in the Caribbean (Monte Plata).

More about Phanes Group’s Solar Incubator

Phanes Group’s Solar Incubator, held under the theme of “Your Project, Our Expertise, For a Sustainable Future”, is supported by top-tier international partners such as ECREEE, responsAbility, Hogan Lovells, RINA, and Solarplaza. The initiative aims to select and develop PV project opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa that haven’t been able to gain access to funding and necessary know-how. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an integral part of this initiative; along with the project details a solid CSR concept must be submitted and will be jointly developed with Phanes Group during the incubator phase, and implemented in parallel with execution of the PV project.

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Dangote ranked sixth most charitable person in the world.
October 25, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Teslim Olawore

The President of Dangote Group of Companies, Aliko Dangote, was recognised and highlighted by Richtopia, A complete media brand covering effective leadership, emerging technologies, global economics, inspirational people and smart investing based in the United Kingdom (UK), yesterday as the richest man in Africa. Dangote was also named the sixth most charitable man in the world.

He recently flourished his foundation to the tune of $1.25 billion. Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and J.K. Rowlings occupied the first, second and third positions while Oprah Winfrey and Elon Musk were in the fourth and fifth spot respectively. Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Tony Elumelu was 11th on the list making it the only two Nigerians on the list.

Aliko Dangote started his Foundation, Aliko Dangote Foundation, in the year1981 with a mission to enhance opportunities for social change through strategic investments that improve health and well-being, promote quality education and broaden economic empowerment opportunities. The Foundation was, however, incorporated as a charity group in Lagos, Nigeria in the year 1994.

Twenty years later, it became the largest private Foundation in sub-Saharan Africa with the largest endowment by a single African donor. The primary objective of Aliko Dangote Foundation is health and nutrition, supported by wrap-around interventions in education, empowerment and humanitarian relief. Among many others, it would be recalled that the foundation gave out a whopping sum of N2.5 billion, the same amount the Federal Government also donated for the purpose of ameliorating the sufferings of the flood victims during President Goodluck Jonathan era.

The Foundation, in line with its mandate to provide relief in times of disaster, spread its philanthropic works beyond the shores of Nigeria with a donation of $1 million to the government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. The gesture was meant to support the government’s efforts in providing relief to the victims of the earthquakes that occurred in the country. The Foundation also recently came to the aid of victims of the communal clash between Yoruba and Hausa traders and residents in Ile-Ife, Osun State.

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Meet Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili, seeking to be Nigeria’s first female President.
October 24, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Teslim Olawore

If elected Oby Ezekwesili will be the first female President of Nigeria

If elected Oby Ezekwesili will be the first female President of Nigeria

Since Nigeria got her independence from the British in 1960, Nigeria has never had a female president or vice–president. Oby Ezekwesili, a former World Bank Vice President, anti-corruption campaigner and one of the Nigerian status quo’s fiercest critics, is setting out to break the iceberg and occupy the highest office.

A seasoned public servant and fearless campaigner, Madam Katryn Ezekwesili, or ‘Aunty Oby’ as she is fondly called by most people, was born on April 23, 1963 in the eastern state of Anambra . From her earliest stages, she seemed to enjoy an education that primed her for a life of public service.

After bagging a Bachelor’s Degree from the famed University of Nigeria, Nsukka. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos, as well as a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

She started her career as a chartered accountant and was the co-founder of Transparency International, a global anti-corruption group, before working with Professor Jeffrey Sachs at the Centre for International Development at Harvard.

Before joining the World Bank in the year 2007, Ezekwesili worked and held several positions within the Country. She was Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence, Minister of Mineral Resources and later Minister for Education. It was during this time she earned the moniker ‘Madam Due Process’ for her dedication to cleaning up the process of public procurement and contracting at the federal level, a feature that has never been a strong point of successive Nigerian governments.

As a former vice-president of the World Bank’s Africa Region, Ezekwesili recently acted as Senior Advisor on Africa Economic Development Policy at the Open Society Foundations in New York, assisting the Mano River governments with economic policy reforms. Ezekwesili is one of the federal government’s most feared critics who uses every opportunity to criticise governments wrongdoing. She is never quiet on policy issues of public importance, corruption or human rights abuses. As co-founder of the advocacy group Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG), she drew global attention to the rescue of the remaining Chibok schoolgirls who were kidnapped in April 2014 by members of the terrorist group Boko Haram.

For her activism and anti-corruption sitruggles, Ezekwesili was recently shortlisted for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).  In a rather unexpected move, Oby Ezekwesili declared her intention to run for the office of president with the aim of bringing down the old order and building up a new Nigeria.

In her words, she said, “I want to run for and win the 2019 presidential election to serve and put the citizens first by mobilising and taking decisive action on a number of big ideas that will help all of us build an exceptional nation that our future generations will be proud to call their own”. Ezekwesili under the umbrella of, the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, will be seeking to unseat incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.

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Afe Babalola University Confers Honorary Doctorate Degree on African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina
October 22, 2018 | 0 Comments
In his acceptance address, Adesina lauded the Institution as an epitome of academic excellence commended its high standards of discipline
ADO EKITI, Nigeria, October 22, 2018/ — The Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti,  Nigeria, has conferred a Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa on the President of the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org), Akinwumi Adesina in recognition of his immense contributions to socio-economic development on the continent.

John Olachy Momoh, Chairman of Channels Media Group, Nigeria’s multi award-winning television station also received an Honoris Causa at the  6thConvocation ceremony of the University held on Sunday 21 October 2018 at the University Campus in Ado Ekiti.

“The honorary recipients are Nigerian ambassadors who have conquered the world due to the quality and functional education they received,” said Aare  Afe Babalola, Founder of the University.

“They were chosen on the basis of their distinguished reputations, outstanding achievements, exemplary leadership and extraordinary contributions to humanity. This is the highest honour an academic institution can give and today, they are richly-deserved,” he added.

In his acceptance address, Adesina lauded the Institution as an epitome of academic excellence commended its high standards of discipline. To the graduating students,”invest your time and energy in making the right decisions. The story and history of this great institution is one of the right decisions that should be well-studied by those involved in tertiary education globally,” he said.

Afe Babalola University is a private university established in 2010 in Ado Ekiti, Nigeria, with the ambition to address the disconnect between curricular programs and labor market demands.  The University operates through five colleges for undergraduates (Science, Social & Management Sciences, Law, Engineering and Medicine & Health Science) as well as a Post graduate school. In November 2013, it was appointed to mentor the College of Industrial Development (UID), Accra, Ghana thereby becoming the first university in Nigeria to mentor a foreign university. This year, a total of 4013 students graduated, including 43 pioneer medical doctors.

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Desmond Tutu award for HIV prevention research and human rights to be presented to Linda-Gail Bekker at hiv research for prevention (hivr4p 2018)
October 22, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

 

Linda-Gail Bekker is a tireless and innovative leader of efforts to ensure effective HIV prevention for all,” says HIVR4P Co-chair Z Mike Chirenje of the University of Zimbabwe

Linda-Gail Bekker is a tireless and innovative leader of efforts to ensure effective HIV prevention for all,” says HIVR4P Co-chair Z Mike Chirenje of the University of Zimbabwe

Co-chairs of HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P 2018), the world’s only scientific meeting dedicated exclusively to biomedical HIV prevention, have announced that the 2018 Desmond Tutu Award for HIV Prevention Research and Human Rights will be presented to HIV researcher, physician and community advocate Linda-Gail Bekker of Cape Town, South Africa. The presentation will take place at the Opening Plenary of this year’s HIVR4P conference, Monday 22 October in Madrid, Spain.

 

Named in honor of South African cleric Desmond Tutu, one of the leading global advocates for HIV prevention and the dignity of all people, the award is presented every two years to an individual or organization that has worked in an outstanding manner to advance both HIV prevention research and the human rights of people affected by HIV.

 

“Linda-Gail Bekker is a tireless and innovative leader of efforts to ensure effective HIV prevention for all,” said HIVR4P Co-chair Z Mike Chirenje of the University of Zimbabwe. “From her clinics in the impoverished Masiphumelele and New Crossroads townships of Cape Town, to her role as chief operating officer of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation and in her capacity as immediate past president of the International AIDS Society, Linda-Gail’s fearless advocacy and personalized models of care have saved lives and helped to break down barriers of stigma and discrimination in HIV prevention.”

 

Bekker’s famously user-friendly clinics offer models of services that engage and welcome all, including young people, especially young women and girls, men who have sex with men and others traditionally overlooked by healthcare systems. The mobile “Tutu Testers” she has championed bring voluntary HIV testing, counseling and information to communities throughout South Africa. Her clinics have been known to provide services such as babysitting and clothes washing to individuals who could not otherwise keep their appointments, and sports and computer literacy services for young people using their services.

 

At the same time Bekker, who is also professor of medicine at the University of Cape Town, has advanced efforts to integrate the diagnosis, treatment and care of HIV and tuberculosis, the leading global killer of people living with HIV. She has also co-led international research studies to develop innovative new HIV prevention methods including HIV vaccines, vaginal rings for HIV prevention and oral and injectable pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Recently, Bekker used her position as international scientific chair of the AIDS 2018 conference to speak on a global stage in support of increased financial and political support for HIV prevention research.

 

“Linda-Gail Bekker reminds us every day that the goals of stopping HIV and protecting the rights of everyone affected by the epidemic are inextricably linked,” said HIVR4P Co-chair Susan Buchbinder of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. “Her belief in the dignity of all people is the key to her effectiveness – whether she is holding political leaders to account in international policy-making forums or working one-on-one with patients in the clinic.”

 

Previous recipients of the Desmond Tutu Award for HIV Prevention and Human Rights include Archbishop Tutu himself, who received the award in 2014, and Ambassador Deborah Birx, Coordinator of the U.S. Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS and Director of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, who was honored in 2016.

 

“I am both delighted and hugely honored to accept this award,” said Linda-Gail Bekker, “especially following in the footsteps of wonderful people like the Arch and Ambassador Birx. This award reminds us that, ultimately, all the work we do is to improve the lives and wellbeing of men, women and young people – fellow human beings everywhere – and that’s what really matters.”

 

HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P) is the world’s only scientific meeting dedicated exclusively to biomedical HIV prevention, including vaccines, antibodies, microbicides, treatment as prevention, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and new forms of HIV prevention. Founded in 2014 and emerging from the previous AIDS vaccine and microbicide conferences, the biennial HIVR4P meeting responds to a growing consensus that effective HIV prevention requires a combination of approaches and close collaboration between fields of HIV prevention research. Conference funders include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, U.S. National Institutes of Health, Gilead, ViiV Healthcare, anRs (French Agency for Research on AIDS & Viral Hepatitis), Janssen, GSK, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Gobierno de Espana, Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovacion y Universidades, International Partnership for Microbicides, MSD, and the South African Medical Research Council.

 

The conference secretariat is the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise. In 2020, the International AIDS Society will assume the secretariat role for the conference.

 

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Nigerian Defence Academy Confers Honors on African Development President Akinwumi Adesina
October 7, 2018 | 0 Comments
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Nobel Peace Prize winner: Denis Mukwege from DR Congo
October 5, 2018 | 0 Comments

Dr Mukwege says the conflict in DR Congo is being waged to destroy Congolese women

Dr Mukwege says the conflict in DR Congo is being waged to destroy Congolese women

Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege is known as “Doctor Miracle” for his ability to repair through reconstructive surgery the horrific damage inflicted on women who have been raped.

The 63-year-old Congolese gynaecologist set up the Panzi hospital in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo city of Bukavu nearly 20 years ago – shortly after he had his first experience of treating a woman who had been raped and mutilated by armed men.

Dr Mukwege recounted the horrific injury the patient had suffered in a BBC interview, saying the woman had not only been raped but bullets had been fired into her genitals and thighs.

He, along with his colleagues, have since treated tens of thousands of victims.

Panzi hospital now cares for more than 3,500 women a year. Sometimes Dr Mukwege performs as many as 10 operations a day.

‘Rape capital of the world’

“I… started a hospital made from tents. I built a maternity ward with an operating theatre. In 1998, everything was destroyed again. So, I started all over again in 1999,” he told the BBC in 2013.

Denis Mukwege talks to staff and students during a round at the ward for recovering patients on November 2, 2007 in BukavuImage copyrightAFP
Image captionDr Mukwege talks to staff and students during a round at the ward for recovering patients

Panzi hopsital has since grown to become a major health facility in eastern DR Congo. Its website says it has 370 doctors, nurses and support staff.

It serves a population of 400,000 and also treats patients from neighbouring countries.

Eastern DR Congo has been wracked by more than two decades of conflict, with numerous armed groups battling for control of the region’s rich deposits of gold and other precious minerals.

Many different militias have been accused of carrying out the indiscriminate rape of the region’s women.

“The conflict in DR Congo is not between groups of religious fanatics. Nor is it a conflict between states. This is a conflict caused by economic interests – and it is being waged by destroying Congolese women,” Dr Mukwege told the BBC.

In 2010, a top UN official labelled the country “the rape capital of the world”.

Women raised funds for his return

In September 2012, in a speech at the UN, Dr Mukwege criticised President Joseph Kabila’s government and other countries for not doing enough to stop what he called “an unjust war that has used violence against women and rape as a strategy of war”.

The following month he was targeted by gunmen who broke into his home and briefly held his daughters hostage.

According to his organisation’s website, his trusted friend and security guard was killed during the attack.

He later fled with his family to Sweden, then to Belgium.

DR Congo Map

He returned home in 2013 following a campaign by local women who raised funds to pay for his return ticket.

“After that gesture, I couldn’t really say no. And also, I am myself determined to help fight these atrocities, this violence.”

“My life has had to change, since returning. I now live at the hospital and I take a number of security precautions, so I have lost some of my freedom,” he told the BBC’s Outlook programme in 2013.

Dr Mukwege currently lives under the permanent protection of UN peacekeepers at his hospital.

‘I was operating when I heard the news’

He told the Nobel committee in a brief interview that he was in the operating theatre when the news of the prize came through.

“It was when I was operating and I heard people start to cry and it was so, so surprising,” he said.

“I can see in the face of many women how they are happy to be recognised and this is really so touching,” he added.

A picture of Dr Mukwege and the staff of Panzi hospital celebrating the Nobel win has been shared on Twitter:

Crowds gathered at the hospital cheered and ululated to celebrate the prize which Dr Mukwege said was dedicated to the many women who were victims of sexual violence.

Although he has fallen out with DR Congo’s government, its spokesman Lambert Mende congratulated Dr Mukwege.

“We have had differences with [him] every time that he tried to politicise his work, which however is important from a humanitarian standpoint. But now, we are satisfied with the Nobel Academy’s recognition of the work of a compatriot,” Mr Mende told AFP news agency.

Dr Mukwege was born in 1955 in Bukavu. He went to medical school across the border in Burundi and later studied gynaecology and obstetrics at the University of Angers in France.

He was inspired to become a doctor after numerous visits to see the sick with his preacher father.

He has received many other international awards, including the 2008 UN Human Rights Prize. He was named African of the Year in 2009.

*Source BBC

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