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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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South Sudanese surgeon wins UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award
September 25, 2018 | 0 Comments
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Secretary-General appoints Mr. Victor Kisob of Cameroon as Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
July 26, 2018 | 0 Comments
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The Initiative for Global Development’s Board of Directors Names Leila Ndiaye As President & CEO
July 12, 2018 | 0 Comments

Ndiaye, an African affairs expert and accomplished senior policy and business strategist, will assume President & CEO position on August 1

Leila Ndiaye

Leila Ndiaye

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 12, 2018 – The Initiative for Global Development’s Board of Directors announced today that Leila Ndiaye will be promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IGD. She succeeds Dr. Mima S. Nedelcovych, who will remain close to the organization in his new role of President Emeritus and Senior Advisor.

Ndiaye, who joined IGD as Executive Vice-President in March, will assume her new role on August 1, 2018. The Initiative for Global Development (IGD) is a Washington-based network of African and global business leaders who are committed to advancing sustainable development and inclusive growth through business investment.

A native of Côte d’Ivoire and a US resident, Ndiaye brings more than 20 years of experience as an accomplished senior policy and business strategist with a proven track record in policy design and implementation at the highest level of African governments and the private sector.

As President and CEO, Ndiaye will be the driving force in transforming the organization into an engaging and influential platform that fosters greater investment of U.S. and African small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in Africa. Through her strategic vision and leadership, IGD will be positioned to be the leading voice and advocate for SMEs investing in Africa to fuel the continent’s economic progress.

She will be responsible for leading the strategic direction for IGD’s exceptional programming and policy engagements to advance a business-driven development agenda, overseeing the growth of the Frontier Leader Network, and building strategic alliances with key stakeholders to advance organizational priorities.

“The IGD Board of Directors is delighted to appoint Leila Ndiaye to the position of CEO and President of IGD. Leila is clearly a proven leader who can take IGD into the future,” said Rob Mosbacher, IGD Board Chair and Chairman of Mosbacher Energy Company.

“I’m deeply passionate about addressing key development issues in Africa by harnessing the power of the private sector to create jobs and economic prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic,” Ndiaye said. “I look forward to this opportunity to continue the momentum and build on IGD’s current progress to take the organization to the next level.”

Board Chair Mosbacher expressed a deep appreciation for the leadership of outgoing president Mima S. Nedelcovych. Nedelcovych spearheaded the rapid expansion of African companies into IGD’s Frontier Leader Network for the last four years.

“On behalf of the entire Board, I want to thank Mima for his dedication and leadership at IGD,” said Mosbacher. “Given his new role as President Emeritus and Senior Advisor, the board is confident IGD is on the right path to drive forward its continued success.”

Nedelcovych said as IGD continues to grow into a thriving organization, Ndiaye’s leadership qualities, skills and professional relations were a perfect fit for the organization.

“Leila Ndiaye recently joined IGD and has already demonstrated strategic and decisive thinking and a strong ability to lead,” said Nedelcovych. “I have known Leila a long time and can assure you that her deep experience and broad connections will ensure IGD’s continued success into the future.”

Prior to joining IGD, she served as the Senior Director of Policy for African Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In that position, she developed, promoted and executed the US-Africa Business Center’s program of work relating to trade policy and investment between the United States and African countries. She initiated and managed the US-ECOWAS Business Initiative and spearheaded the Chamber’s program in Western and Central Sub-Saharan Africa, from Angola to Mauritania.

Previously, she worked with the government of Côte d’Ivoire as special adviser to the former Head of State, where she advised the Head of State on a range of policy, national security and economic issues to ensure that all duties were carried out in the best interest of the country as a whole.

Ndiaye is an Advisor to McLarty Associates, where she advises clients on trade and investment in West Africa. McLarty Associates is an international strategic advisory firm headquartered in Washington, DC, that delivers diplomatic solutions and advises many emerging companies venturing abroad.

Earlier in her career, Ndiaye held positions in the lobbying arena with Bayh, Connaughton, Fernsteinhem and Malone, law firm of former Senator Birch Bayh, in Washington, D.C. where she developed and managed the Africa portfolio, and at the World Bank as a consultant.

Ndiaye was decorated by the Republic of Burkina Faso in June 2018 as Knight of the National Order of Merit of the Republic of Burkina Faso.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce presented Ms. Ndiaye with the “US-Africa Business Center Outstanding Leaders’ Award 2018” in recognition of her exemplary leadership in US-Africa relations.

She is a recipient of the 2016 Excellence Award by the Women Ambassadors Foundation in Washington DC and was nominated in 2008 as one of the 50 most influential people of Côte d’Ivoire by the magazine l’Intelligent d’Abidjan and received the same year the Women’s Private Sector Initiative Award in Côte d’Ivoire.

In 1990, she was the first Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar from Côte d’Ivoire to South Africa during apartheid.  Leila Ndiaye is a member of the African Leadership Network, a membership community of the most dynamic and influential new-generation leaders in Africa.

She received a certificate from the Thayer Leaders Development Group (TLDG) at West Point for the “Women Leading from the Front Lines” Leadership Academy in August 2017.

Leila Ndiaye holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the School of International Service (SIS), at The American University in Washington DC, earned a Master of Arts in Diplomacy with merit from the Diplomatic Academy of London at the University of Westminster, and a PhD degree in International Relations and Diplomacy, from the Centre d’Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques (CEDS), Paris.

MEDIA CONTACT: Shanta Bryant Gyan * sbryant@igdleaders.org * (202) 412-4603

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ICC picks Ghana’s Marietta Brew
June 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Papisdaff Abdullah.

Marietta -Brew

Marietta -Brew

Ghana’s former Attorney General Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong has been appointed as a member of the International Court of Arbitration.

Her appointment takes effect from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2021, the appointment letter signed by Alexis Mourre, President
 of ICC International Court of Arbitration said.

“I am delighted that you have agreed to serve as part of the 1 July 2018 – 30 June 2021 term of office; the inauguration of this revitalized and fully gender-balanced Court opens a promising new chapter in the Court’s history with its largest, most regionally and generationally diverse network of members to date,” the letter read in part.

Below is the appointment letter:

Dear colleague,

Paris, 27 June 2018

I am writing to congratulate you upon your appointment as a member of the International Court of Arbitration following the ICC World Council meeting which took place in Paris on 21 June 2018.

I am delighted that you have agreed to serve as part of the 1 July 2018 – 30 June 2021 term of office; the inauguration of this revitalized and fully gender-balanced Court opens a promising new chapter in the Court’s history with its largest, most regionally and generationally diverse network of members to date.

In line with the Court’s decision not to permit members to serve for more than two consecutive full terms, close to half of the Court members are new entrants. The new Court is a unique group of outstanding professionals, and it will be a privilege and an honour for me to work with all of you over the next three years. We look to our renewed members to carry forward the Court’s unparalleled institutional knowledge and experience from the current term of office, as well as counting on incoming members to bring fresh enthusiasm and a broad range of new perspectives to the essential work of the Court.

The Court must continue on the path set by its outgoing members, to whom the Court is indebted for their invaluable expertise and input throughout the years, and continue striving to offer global excellence to users worldwide, in particular with respect to the Court’s signature service of award scrutiny. You will have ample opportunity throughout this term of office to contribute first-hand to this unique service by participating in the sessions of the Court and I look forward to counting on your active engagement in this regard. The Court’s success rests on the immense dedication of its members and I am confident that the Court will continue to provide users with a service of the highest quality, helping to secure ICC’s position as the parties’ preferred institution in every continent.

The ICC International Court of Arbitration is a unique organization. It is in fact the only truly global arbitral institution, administering arbitrations from its offices located in Paris, Hong Kong, New York, Sao Paolo and Singapore, with a Secretariat able to work in more than 20 different languages and Court members from over 110 different countries.

Before the next term begins, I would like to draw your attention to a change in ICC’s practice with regard to reimbursements for Court members. Up to and including the current term, reimbursements were made biannually to Court members. Please note that as of 1 July 2018 reimbursements will be discontinued due to internal operational reasons.

Court members remain responsible for making their own travel arrangements and any related expenses are not defrayed by ICC. A list of hotels with which ICC has negotiated rates for its members is attached for your reference. We do not offer video link participation for plenary sessions, however remote participation can be arranged for the weekly and special committee meetings of the Court, meaning that members need not systematically travel to Paris in order to be active in the role. Similarly, you are welcome to participate from the Hong Kong, New York, Sao Paolo and Singapore offices whenever convenient.

I attach the 2018 and 2019 Court schedules for your perusal and encourage you to attend regularly. In particular, I draw your attention to the importance of the Working Session which sees the full Court united in Paris once annually. Please mark your diaries as the Working Session provides a unique opportunity for the Court as a whole to discuss matters of ICC Court practice and policy.

In order to schedule your participation in any sessions of the Court, you are invited to contact Francesca Hill Caucat who will be delighted to provide you with all necessary information in relation to the organizational side of your new role and answer any questions you may have in this regard.

If you have not already done so, please verify that you have completed the administrative formalities requested at the stage of your nomination, in particular ensuring that your curriculum vitae and a signed copy of the non-disclosure agreement have been returned to the Secretariat before 1 July 2018.

I look forward to a fruitful collaboration in the coming three-year term and trust that you will make the most of this opportunity both to represent your region at ICC and also to promote ICC in your region.

Yours sincerely,

Alexis Mourre
, President, 
ICC International Court of Arbitration.

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Chike Ukaegbu Announces Candidacy for Nigerian President
June 28, 2018 | 0 Comments
Chike Ukaegbu

Chike Ukaegbu

Today, Chike Ukaegbu announced his candidacy for President of Nigeria – a country with over 60% of the population between the ages of 18 and 35. At the age of 35, Chike aspires to become the youngest civilian president of the youthful African nation.

Chike said, “greatness is born of vision; of seeing the invisible and making it a reality. Nigeria needs a visionary leader now more than ever. This is our time and I am the right choice to lead our nation.”

Recently named one of the UN’s 100 most influential people of African descent under 40, Chike was born in Owerri, Imo State to now retired civil servants. He is a technology entrepreneur living in New York City. He went to school in Nigeria from kindergarten through his second year at University of Lagos before heading to the United States where he studied biomedical engineering at City College of New York, Executive Leadership and Management at Cornell University, took MBA courses at University of Pennsylvania, and studied Venture Capital and Investments at Stanford University. Chike taught Math for seven years at City College of New York and entrepreneurship for two, while also serving as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. As a second year student in college, Chike was named a Fellow to the prestigious Colin Powell Fellowship in Leadership and Public Policy, which sparked an interest that led to research in youth disconnection and engaging disenfranchised communities. As a Fellow, he developed the HEROES Model for effective youth engagement. HEROES is an acronym for Heritage, Education, Relationships, Opportunities, Entrepreneurship and Service; six pivotal areas crucial for effectively empowering children and youth. Disconnection is a term used to define youths who are out of school and out of work between the ages of 15 and 25. Nigeria has about 15 million disconnected youths.

Chike has spoken at several prestigious institutions and conferences including The US-Nigeria Investment Summit, Africa Trade Investment Global Summit, The White House, TEDx, Tech and Venture Capital conferences, Harvard, NYU, Columbia, CCNY, University of Rochester, the Africa Investment Summit in Marrakech, Morocco among others. His speeches covered Strategies on engaging untapped communities through technology, education and entrepreneurship, Building out tech ecosystems and investments in Nigeria and Africa, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Afrofuturism, Diversity and Inclusion, and more.

Before thirty, Chike’s passion to change and empower youth lives led him to become a certified foster parent as well as cofound Re:LIFE Inc, the first Harlem based non profit organization focused on empowering at-risk and disconnected youth through education, entrepreneurship and technology. In 2014, he established the Entrepreneurship and Education Leadership Fund, which provided academic grants, seed capital and training to Nigerian youths. In 2015, Chike also launched Startup52. Startup52 is NYC’s first and award-winning diversity focused startup accelerator with a mission to increase diversity in tech and entrepreneurship by creating better access to resources, support and capital to founders from untapped communities. In its first three years, Startup52’s portfolio boasts more than thirty startups as it plans to launch Startup52Nigeria. Startup52 has been recognized by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and also named one of America’s Best Entrepreneurial Businesses by Entrepreneur Magazine.

A strong and compassionate leader, Chike has been a champion for marginalized, underserved and untapped populations, staying at the forefront of disrupting tech and entrepreneurial spaces through inclusive diversity in technology, education and entrepreneurship.

As a lover of the Arts, Cultures and Humanities, Chike minored in musical theater and performed in plays and musicals across New York City. He is also using media and the arts to tell the brilliant stories of founders and talents from untapped communities as a way to create better exposure for them.

Some Accomplishments:

·      Chike has been recognized by the UN as One of 100 Most Influential People of African Descent in the diaspora for his work with Re:LIFE and Startup52.

·      He was invited to the White House to do a briefing on initiatives and strategies to empower underserved and underrepresented communities via technology, education and entrepreneurship.

·      He was invited by the NY State governor to speak on increasing access to tech and entrepreneurship in underserved communities at the Minority and Women Business Enterprise Summit.

·      He was recognized by NYC’s Mayor for increasing diversity and inclusion in the NYC tech ecosystem.

·      He was awarded the highly coveted US Permanent Residency under the National Interest Waiver category for his work with Re:LIFE and Startup52.

Chike was named an honoree for the prestigious forty under 40 award by The Network Journal.

.      Chike was recognized as One of Ten Nigerian-Americans Making Waves in Tech by UrbanGeekz

·      He was an honoree of Black Enterprise’s 100 Modern Men of Distinction award, which referred to  him as ‘The Tech Accelerator’.

·      Chike was named a NYC Rising Star by Pave

·      Named a Patron of Progress by CuriosityLab

·      Called one of 20 African Americans Impacting The World Through Social Impact and Social Innovation by Causeartist

·     Selected by US Department of State to represent the US in China and Zambia as an entrepreneurship evangelist

Chike has consulted with more than 15 foreign delegations on how to build diverse, inclusive and engaged tech and entrepreneurial communities in their respective cities or countries.

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Lawyer Francis Ben Kaifala Is Sierra Leone’s New And Youngest Anti Corruption Commission Boss
June 22, 2018 | 0 Comments
Francis Kaifala

Francis Kaifala

On wednesday the 20th of June 2018 the Sierra  Leone’s Government  of Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio  dismissed the head of the Anti Corruption commission Ady Macaulay. This  dismissal came immediately after he was sent on leave.

The new Anti Corruption Boss is a Young  Sierra Leonean-British-American trained lawyer, Francis Ben Kaifala appointed by  President Julius Maada Bio. Mr. Ben Mr. Kaifala is the youngest person to be appointed to this all important post. He is very strict and meticulous when it comes to legal matters. Crooks and rogues have to think 100 times before attempting to eat any haramu.

Kaifala returned to Sierra Leone recently after completing his second LLM degree in USA.

Lawyer Francis Kaifala is the youngest person to be appointed as head of the Anti Corruption commission ever since the commission came to existence. He is very strict and meticulous when it comes to legal matters. Crooks and rogues will definitely need to watch out as Lawyer Kaifala is  a no  nonsense man

With the announcement of his appointment the public is prepared for the great and challenging task ahead of him and the  innate ability to deliver beyond expectation.

 

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Priscilla Mutembwa joins USAFCG as Vice President, Cybersecurity Policy and Development
May 30, 2018 | 0 Comments
Priscilla Mutembwa

Priscilla Mutembwa

Ambassador Omar Arouna, Managing Partner of US-Africa Cybersecurity Group, has appointed Priscilla Mutembwa as Vice President,   Cybersecurity Policy and Development.

Further to the appointment, Ambassador Arouna commented: “I’m delighted that Priscilla Mutembwa is joining the Group. Over the past years she has done an outstanding job in various capacity on the African continent. Her work as a member of the ITU Focus Group on Digital Financial Services for Financial Inclusion and her keen interest in the security issues surrounding mobile money in Africa will be essential to our growth.”

Priscilla Mutembwa holds a Master of Business Administration from University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg. She is currently enrolled in a Master in Cybersecurity, Management and Policy from University of Maryland University College. Before joining US-Africa Cybersecurity Group, she has held various management and financial roles at Unicef, British American Tobacco, Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group and Cargill. In 2006 she was appointed CEO at Cargill in Zimbabwe for seven years. Priscilla Mutembwa was named the 2011 CIMA Businesswoman of the Year.

In 2015 she joined the Corporate Council on Africa as Director ICT. She was responsible for the development and implementation of the ICT program of the association and was a member of the ITU Focus Group on Digital Financial Services for Financial Inclusion and developed interest in the security issues surrounding mobile money in Africa. She currently is a Commissioner on the Judicial Services Commission of Zimbabwe.

Her career has spanned 33 years, across 3 continents and now seeking to develop and implement cybersecurity policies and procedures in Africa.

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‘Spiderman’ of Paris: folk hero fresh off migrant trail
May 29, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Myriam LEMETAYER & Laurence BENHAMOU*
22-year old Mamoudou Gassama won global acclaim for rescuing a boy dangling from a balcony in France

22-year old Mamoudou Gassama won global acclaim for rescuing a boy dangling from a balcony in France

Paris (AFP) – Mamoudou Gassama, the young Malian hailed as a hero in France for scaling a multi-storey building to rescue a child hanging from a balcony, is no stranger to danger.

The 22-year-old “Spiderman”, who was honoured by President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace and offered French citizenship, braved the Sahara desert, Libyan gangs and the Mediterranean Sea during his long odyssey to Europe.

In 2013, the shy youth from the southwestern Malian town of Yaguine hit the migrant trail which claims thousands of lives each year.

“I had no means to live and no-one to help me”, Gassama, who followed an older brother to France, explained to Macron.

He travelled through Burkina Faso and Niger north to Libya, the main launching pad for clandestine crossings to Europe.

He spent a year working in Libya, where armed gangs prey on migrants, routinely kidnapping them for ransom and even sometimes enslaving them.

“I suffered a lot,” he said. “We were caught and beaten but I did not lose hope.”

A year later, he sailed to Italy in one of the packed migrant boats that regularly sink. “It was terrible. There were a lot of people,” he told France’s BFM news channel.

From there he continued on last year to France, where he joined relatives in the eastern Paris suburb of Montreuil, nicknamed “Little Bamako” after its large Malian population.

His home, which he shares with relatives, is a cramped 15-square-metre room in a migrant workers’ hostel, with a mattress on the floor for a bed.

Gassama, who did not seek asylum in France, making him an economic migrant at risk of deportation, has been doing odd jobs in construction.

But his life changed dramatically Saturday, when he came to the rescue of a four-year-old boy who was spotted dangling from a balcony on the fourth-floor of a building in northern Paris.

“I did not think twice,” Gassama, who happened to be walking by, told Macron, adding “I went straight up.”

– An example for millions –

The video of him pulling himself up from balcony to balcony with supreme ease has been viewed millions of times on social media, propelling him to stardom.

On Monday morning he was ferried to the Elysee Palace for an audience with the president, who listened smiling to his account of the rescue and presented him with a medal for his bravery.

“I’m pleased because it’s the first time I’ve received a trophy like that,” Gassama said afterwards.

“We proud of him,” his older brother Birama, 54, told AFP, describing his sibling, a keen footballer, as someone who “likes to help others”.

French President Emmanuel Macron meets 22-year-old Mamoudou Gassama, the real life Spiderman.

French President Emmanuel Macron meets 22-year-old Mamoudou Gassama, the real life Spiderman.

Not only will Gassama receive a French passport, Macron offered the plucky youth with preternatural agility a job with the fire service.

“You have become an example because millions of people have seen you. It is only right that the nation be grateful,” Macron told him.

In a statement the fire department said Gassama embodied the values of the service, adding: “We are ready to welcome him on board!”

*AFP

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Liberian ex-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf dedicates $5M prize to women’s empowerment
April 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Bethlehem Feleke*

Former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf reacts with the medal after receiving the Ibrahim Prize, the world's biggest individual prize for Achievement in African Leadership, during 2018 Ibrahim Governance Weekend at Kigali Convention Centre in Kigali, Rwanda late April 27, 2018. She is the first woman who receives the award as 5th laureate since 2007. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. / AFP PHOTO / Cyril NDEGEYACYRIL NDEGEYA/AFP/Getty Images

Former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf reacts with the medal after receiving the Ibrahim Prize, the world’s biggest individual prize for Achievement in African Leadership, during 2018 Ibrahim Governance Weekend at Kigali Convention Centre in Kigali, Rwanda late April 27, 2018.
She is the first woman who receives the award as 5th laureate since 2007. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. / AFP PHOTO / Cyril NDEGEYACYRIL NDEGEYA/AFP/Getty Images

(CNN)Former Liberian President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Friday accepted a $5 million prize for excellence in African leadership — and said she’ll use it to establish a center for the empowerment of women.

Sirleaf, the first woman to be awarded the Mo Ibrahim Prize, gave her acceptance speech on the opening night of the Ibrahim Governance Weekend in Kigali, Rwanda.
Sirleaf, 79, stepped down early this year after two terms as Liberia’s president. The prize recognizes her role in the West African nation’s recovery from years of devastating civil war, the prize committee has said.
She plans to use the prize money to establish the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development, which she said is “designed to support women as agents of change, makers of peace, and drivers of progress.”
Sirleaf made women’s progress a key focus of her speech.
“We must tackle the historical disadvantages which have made women political outsiders,” said Sirleaf, who was Africa’s first democratically elected woman president. “It is my hope that women and girls across Africa will be inspired to break through barriers and to push back the frontiers of possibilities.”
She was met with a standing ovation from leaders across Africa, who will spend the rest of the weekend in discussions about how to tackle the continent’s challenges as part of the Ibrahim Forum. This year’s forum focuses on public service.
The London-based Mo Ibrahim Foundation launched the humanitarian award in 2007 to celebrate democratically elected African presidents and prime ministers who have developed their countries and followed their constitutional term mandates. Former South African President Nelson Mandela is among its laureates.
Ibrahim, a Sudanese-born telecommunications businessman and billionaire, created the foundation bearing his name in 2006. It uses 88 criteria to rate the governance of African countries.
The $5 million prize is distributed over 10 years, and winners receive $200,000 every year for life thereafter.
The prize had not been awarded since 2014 because no eligible or worthy candidate was identified. The last one was given to former Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba. Five people, including Sirleaf, have won the prize.
*CNN
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Louis Vuitton names Ghanaian-American as new creative boss
March 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

Virgil Abloh, the founder of streetwear brand Off-White and Kanye West’s creative director, has been named the new menswear designer for French fashion label Louis Vuitton.

“I feel elated,” the 37-year-old , saying the opportunity was “always a goal in my wildest dreams”.

The news site says Abloh is one of the few black designers at the helm of a major French fashion house.

Others include Olivier Rousteing – the creative director at Balmain, and British designer Ozwald Boateng who led Givenchy men’s wear from 2003 to 2007.

Abloh will present his first menswear collection for Louis Vuitton in June at Paris Fashion Week.

Louis Vuitton chief executive Michael Burke praised the designer’s “sensibility towards luxury and savoir-faire” adding he would be “instrumental in taking Louis Vuitton’s menswear into the future”.

*BBC

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