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The Remarkable Story of Anthony, President Akinwumi Adesina’s Adoptive Son from Madagascar
July 6, 2019 | 0 Comments
For President Adesina, Anthony’s story is one of hope
President Akinwumi A Adesina and his Malagasy adoptive son Anthony

President Akinwumi A Adesina and his Malagasy adoptive son Anthony

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, July 5, 2019/ — Three years ago, Anthony, then 11, showed signs of stunted growth as observed by African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) President Akinwumi Adesina during a visit to Madagascar’s Bas Mangoky region. To the Bank chief, the boy looked no more than 5 years of age.

“I was transfixed by one of the children attracted by my helicopter landing. He was so small that I was convinced he could be no more than 5 years old,” recalls President Adesina.

“I asked him his name and he told me it was Anthony. But his voice was not that of a 5-year-old child. I was shocked to discover that he was 11. He was suffering from severe malnutrition.”

This was on 2 August 2016 and the story could have ended there. President Adesina could have continued his tour of the region, where rice production had tripled, from two to six tonnes per hectare, thanks to the decisive intervention of the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional window of the African Development Bank. He could have continued his rounds, proud of the Fund’s intervention, which had enabled the region to record a 141% increase in its agricultural income.

This, however, would have gone against his convictions and his personal efforts to help curb malnutrition. “Anthony said his dream was to become a doctor,” he recalls, visibly moved when he reunited with Anthony this week on the sidelines of the ADF-15 replenishment meeting in Antananarivo. The President of the African Development Bank thus decided, in agreement with his wife, to adopt Anthony and provide him with the means to live a dignified life, alongside his family, in his home environment.

And even then, Anthony’s incredible story did not end there. “I saw him again, the day before yesterday. Our son, Anthony, is growing normally. He is fine and well-fed,” Adesina says. “He is doing well in school and is one of the best in his class. I really hope that one day he will achieve his dream of becoming a doctor.” Barely half the height of his adoptive father in 2016, Anthony now seems well on track to overtake him.

Senior representatives of ADF donors are currently meeting in Madagascar to discuss the 15th Replenishment of the Fund. ADF has invested some $48 billion in low-income African countries.

For President Adesina, Anthony’s story is one of hope. Just like this young Malagasy boy, the continent can overcome its weaknesses. “Fragility is not inevitable. It can be overcome,” Adesina said in his opening speech at the second consultative meeting of the replenishment of the Fund.

“We believe in Africa! We believe in a prosperous future. We believe in its destiny!” he declared.

“The African Development Fund can continue to create hope among the least developed populations, offer opportunities to those who have nothing, and restore pride and determination,” he said, calling on donor countries to maintain their strong commitment to the continent.

President Adesina cited Cote d’Ivoire as one of numerous successful stories of ADF’s intervention.

“Côte d’Ivoire’s GDP plummeted following the political, economic and social turbulence it suffered a few years back. Thanks to the timely and decisive action of the African Development Fund, this country now has one of the most impressive growth rates in Africa, even the world.”

Just like Anthony, who is now racing ahead of the other pupils in his class.

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African Union Commission calls for further financial input for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) Special Fund
July 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
The African Development Bank approved in June 2019 the allocation of UA 3 million from its 2018 Net Income to NEPAD-IPPF

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, July 5, 2019/ — The 29th Oversight Committee (OC) meeting of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) Special Fund held at the headquarters of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has ended with calls for increased investments to accelerate the closure of Africa’s infrastructure gap.

The meeting, held on 28 June 2019, was hosted by the AUC and chaired by KfW Development Bank (Germany). Topics discussed included the NEPAD-IPPF Independent Review report, the introduction of reimbursable grants as part of the new business model, the mid-year progress report, updates on continental infrastructure initiatives, and adoption of a proposed joint AUC/AUDA/AfDB Domestic Resource Mobilization Strategy.

Michael Andres, the Oversight Committee Chairman, commended the achievements of NEPAD-IPPF and noted that more resources are required given the increasing demands being made on the fund.

“The NEPAD-IPPF Special Fund must continue to focus on key priorities, such as PIDA Projects to support the African 2063 Agenda.” Andres said.

While speaking on the Fund’s progress in the first semester of 2019, African Development Bank Director for Infrastructure and Urban Development Amadou Oumarou urged participants to consider the continent’s enormous infrastructure needs.

“New contributions from Spain (Euro 3 million) and the African Development Bank (UA 3 million) are indications of confidence in the Fund’s ability to successfully fulfil its mandate, and also recognition that the NEPAD-IPPF is playing a critical role in infrastructure development in Africa. It is therefore expedient for (the Fund) to be further strengthened with the necessary resources to enable it to meet its objectives and mandate,” Oumarou said.

The meeting convened over 30 participants including donors providing financial support to the NEPAD-IPPF Special Fund, representatives from the African Development Bank, the African Union Commission, the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), River Basin organizations and regional corridors authorities.

For AUC Director for Infrastructure and Energy, Cheikh Bedda, “The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), and Africa’s infrastructure priorities cannot be implemented without adequate resources committed to the NEPAD-IPPF, a critical instrument to prepare high quality bankable regional infrastructure projects across Africa”.

Providing updates on the Fund’s operational performance NEPAD-IPPF Fund Manager Mike Salawou, stated that cumulative contributions by donor partners including the African Development Bank amounted to $102 million, out of which $96.1 million had been committed to approve 91 projects. As at June 2019, 60 studies have been completed, 9 cancelled and 22 are on-going, he noted.

The African Development Bank approved in June 2019 the allocation of UA 3 million from its 2018 Net Income to NEPAD-IPPF. In addition, the Spanish Government announced a new contribution of EUR 3 million to NEPAD-IPPF in May 2019.

Among the studies completed by the Facility, 30 have so far reached financial close and attracted financing of $24.2 billion for physical implementation of power plants, bridges, ports, roads, hydropower schemes, and ICT projects. Of these successful projects, 17 have been constructed, 11 are under construction and two are yet to commence.

“While disbursements of committed funds on supported projects have reached a record, beyond that and without any new contributions to the Fund, NEPAD-IPPF will not be in position to support additional project preparation activities, therefore, there is a need for urgent replenishment of the Special Fund,”  Salawou stressed.

About the African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) (www.AfDB.org) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 44 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information: j.mp/AfDB_Media

About NEPAD-IPPF:
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) Special Fund, hosted by the African Development Bank, is a leading project preparation facility in Africa, which plays a catalytic role in mobilizing resources for preparation of regional projects and programs such as the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa. It’s a multi-donor Fund established in 2005 to assist African countries, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Infrastructure related institutions for: (i) preparing high quality and viable regional/continental infrastructure projects with a view to requesting financing from public and private sources; (ii) developing a consensus and partnership for project implementation; and (iii) promoting infrastructure projects and programs aimed at enhancing regional integration. The Fund supports projects in transport, energy, ICT, and water sectors. The special fund is currently supported by the Bank as host institution, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, and Spain. Participation in the special fund is open to donors, institutional funds and other special infrastructure funds.

*AFDB

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Nigeria: $40 million worth of jewellery, gold iPhone seized from ex-minister
July 5, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Teslim Olawore

Diezani Alison Madueke

Diezani Alison Madueke

A Nigerian court has ordered the imminent seizure of $40 million (£32 million) worth of jewellery and a customised gold iPhone belonging to former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, the country’s anti-graft agency said on Friday.

The items, including hundreds of bangles, rings, earrings, necklaces and watches, were found at a property owned by Alison-Madueke, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said in a statement.

Alison-Madueke, who ran the petroleum ministry from 2011 to 2015, was charged by the EFCC in absentia with money laundering in 2017. Her whereabouts are unknown, and a London-based lawyer who has represented her did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The order gives the EFCC 14 days to print the charges in any national newspaper and allow for her or “anyone interested in the items” to show why they should not be permanently forfeited to the federal government. In 2017, a court allowed the government to permanently seize a $37.5 million apartment block she owned in an upscale Lagos neighbourhood.

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Boeing Pledges Support to Families, Communities Affected by Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Accidents
July 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg

CHICAGO, July 4th, 2019 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Ahead of Independence Day in the U.S., Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced $100 million in funds to address family and community needs of those affected by the tragic accidents of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. These funds will support education, hardship and living expenses for impacted families, community programs, and economic development in impacted communities. Boeing will partner with local governments and non-profit organizations to address these needs. This initial investment will be made over multiple years.

“We at Boeing are sorry for the tragic loss of lives in both of these accidents and these lives lost will continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and on our minds for years to come. The families and loved ones of those on board have our deepest sympathies, and we hope this initial outreach can help bring them comfort,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, president and CEO.

“We know every person who steps aboard one of our airplanes places their trust in us. We are focused on re-earning that trust and confidence from our customers and the flying public in the months ahead.”

Boeing will release additional information in the near future.

Consistent with Boeing’s regular process for employee charitable donations, company employees will also have the opportunity to make donations in support of the families and communities impacted by the accidents. Boeing will match these employee donations through December 31, 2019.

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US report highlights Mozambique’s ‘heavy-handed’ response in Cabo Delgado
July 5, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Arnaldo Cuamba

A US government report into religious freedom in Mozambique has highlighted media and NGO claims of the Mozambique government’s heavy-handed response to the Cabo Delgado insurgency, which has contributed to a ꞌꞌgrowing cycle of grievance and revengeꞌꞌ between militant Islamists and security forces.

Violent attacks by Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaah continued throughout the year in

northern Cabo Delgado Province. The group, which claimed ties to the al-Shabaab

terrorist group and was characterized by the government and the media as jihadist,

was composed primarily of Muslims who followed what observers said was a strict

version of Islam. The attacks, which began in October 2017, included killings of

security force members and beheading of civilians.

In response to the attacks, government officials stated they arrested more than 280

attackers, whom they termed suspected jihadists, and at year’s end were

prosecuting 189 of those individuals, including 152 Mozambicans, 26 Tanzanians,

and three Somali nationals.

The US International Religious Freedom Report – Mozambique 2018 says the government is reported to have ꞌꞌarbitrarily detained men, women, and children based on appearing to be Muslimꞌꞌ charging them with crimes including first degree murder, use of banned weapons, membership in a criminal association, and instigating collective disobedience against public order.

The government, the report adds, continued to state publicly that ꞌꞌsecurity forces had the situation under controlꞌꞌ, despite the persistence of the attacks and killings.

In light of the violence, the US Ambassador has engaged Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and the minister of justice on the continued importance of religious tolerance to promote peace and security, the report said.

Others informations point that Mozambique has authorised US intelligence services to spy on Maputo’s mosques, in search of intel on how the northern insurgency is being financed, according to Carta de Moçambique — who say that the quid pro quo is that the US has agreed not to contest Manuel Chang’s extradition to Mozambique, citing an anonymous US intelligence source.

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AU Summit: President Adesina to lead African Development Bank’s delegation, Continental Free Trade Area talks to top summit agenda
July 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
The Bank will also participate in the meetings of the 37th NEPAD Heads of state and Government Orientation Committee
Adesina

Adesina

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, July 5, 2019/ — African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) President Akinwumi Adesina will next week lead a delegation of top Bank officials to the extraordinary summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) in Niger’s capital, Niamey.

High on the agenda of the July 7-8 summit are discussions on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). President Adesina will meet African leaders to review the continent’s development issues, and hold talks on the effective implementation of the AfCFTA.

As a member of the continental Task Force, the Bank will participate in several executive discussions, including the deliberations of the 8th meeting of African Trade Ministers, as well as a meeting of the 37th Steering Committee of Heads of Commerce.

The Bank will also participate in the meetings of the 37th NEPAD Heads of state and Government Orientation Committee, as well as in the 1st mid-year coordination meeting of the AU and Regional Economic Communities.

President Adesina will share the Bank’s vision on empowering African women, and on the AFAWA (Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa) initiative.

On the sidelines, there will be discussions between the Bank and major African private sector representatives on the AU’s 2063 vision of an integrated, inclusive and prosperous continent.

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Zim’s ban of multi-currencies challenged in court
July 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Reserve Bank Governor John Mangudya

Reserve Bank Governor John Mangudya

A Zimbabwean lawyer has on Tuesday 2 July 2019 filed an application in the
High Court seeking an order to set aside and declare the decision by
government to ban the multi-currency system in the country as grossly
unreasonable and unconstitutional.

Government on 24 June 2019 and without notice published regulations
known as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Legal Tender) Regulations S.I.
142 of 2019 which purportedly outlawed the basket of foreign
currencies as legal tender in any transactions in Zimbabwe and
declared as sole legal tender the Zimbabwe Dollar.

This directive confirmed the discontinuation of the multi-currency
system and further confirmed the Zimbabwe dollar as the sole currency
to be used in domestic transactions.

But in an application filed by Rudo Magundani and Evans Moyo of
Scanlen and Holderness Legal Practitioners, who are members of
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Godfrey Mupanga, a human rights
lawyer, who indicated that he is aggrieved by the government and RBZ
policies, wants the High Court to proclaim that the declaration by the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Legal Tender) Regulations S.I. 142 of 2019
are null and void in that they are in contravention of Section 134(c)
of the Constitution.

Alternatively, Mupanga also wants the court to declare that the
provisions of Section 64 as read with Section 44A of the Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe Act Chapter 22:15 be declared unconstitutional and
therefore null and void to the extent that they are inconsistent with
Section 134(a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and/or for want of
compliance with Section 134 (f) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
In addition, the human rights lawyer, who cited Finance and Economic
Development Minister Mthuli Ncube and the RBZ as respondents, wants
the court to issue an order setting aside the decision by Ncube and
the RBZ to ban the multi-currency system in Zimbabwe prescribed by
Section 44A of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Act Chapter 22:15 as legal
tender on the grounds that it is grossly unreasonable.

It is reported Mupanga argued that the regulations made by Ncube, which purport to
amend the principal legislation through subsidiary legislation are
manifestly inconsistent with the Act of Parliament under which they
are made and this in itself contravenes Section 134 (c) of the
Constitution of Zimbabwe.

The RBZ Act, Mupanga argued, specifically entrenches and still
provides in section 44A (2) the British Pound, Euro, United States
Dollar, South Africa Rand and Botswana Pula as legal tender in
Zimbabwe.

The human rights lawyer argued that Ncube cannot amend a principal
legislation as this is a primary law-making power that can only be
exercised by Parliament and considering that the statutory instrument
would significantly affect the national economy or people’s lives.

Mupanga, who is also a lecturer at University of Zimbabwe charged that
the decision by government is grossly irrational and unreasonable in
that the use of the Zimbabwe dollar as sole legal tender was abandoned
in 2009 because it failed as a currency and that there is no evidence
that there are economic fundamentals in place to support the
introduction of the Zimbabwe Dollar.

Lastly, Mupanga argued that the sudden chopping and changing of
policies by government since the introduction of the bond notes and
coins undermines the trust and confidence of the public as well as the
international community and this in itself will undermine the value of
the Zimbabwe Dollar in the market.

The matter is yet to be set down for hearing by the Registrar of the
High Court.

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African Development Bank to establish Central African headquarters in Cameroon
July 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Akinwumi Adesina, African Development Bank president

Akinwumi Adesina, African Development Bank president

The African Development Bank, AfDB will in the days ahead establish its central headquarters in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde.

This is the substance of an agreement signed this morning at the Ministry of external relations between the government of Cameroon and the African Development Bank.

Signing in for Cameroon was the Minister of external relations Lejeune Mbella Mbella and the Vice President of the African Development Bank, Khaled Sherif signed on behalf of the banking institution.

According to Khaled Sherif, Cameroon was chosen in the central African Sub region as site for the implantation of the ADB regional headquarters because it suits the established criteria, one of which include hospitality.

“The government of Cameroon freely gave us a piece of land and we intend to work here over the long run” Khaled said at the end of the signing ceremony.

 

“The new regional office for development, integration and service delivery in Central Africa, like those established in Southern, Eastern, Northern and Western Africa, aims to bring the Bank closer to its Member States,” a release from the AfDB reads.

 

The signature of this headquarters agreement, which comes almost two months after the approval by the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank, of the Regional Integration Strategy Document for Central Africa (DSIR), approving the Bank’s operations in this region over the 2019-2025 period, will strengthen the institution’s dialogue and support for the process of economic integration in Central Africa.

 

With some 44 active regional projects in the continent, amounting to nearly 632 billion CFA francs, or 1.1 billion US dollars, the AfDB seeks to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in its regional member countries thus contributing to poverty reduction.

 

This new regional office will help improve the efficiency of the Bank’s operations and deepen the dialogue between the Bank and all Central African countries.

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Top 5 medical inventions by Africans that are changing the world
July 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Cardio Pad

Cardio Pad

Long gone are the days when all the African continent was renowned for was its cultural heritage, agricultural prowess, abundant minerals, strong reproductive men, basic societal problems, fetish traditions and a great importer of Western products and technology.

Today, Africa present’s herself as “the future’s” hope and is making considerable strides towards that; with her youths taking on the world.

The continent regarded foremostly as the “dark continent” has over the last decade stun the world. News about people of African descent flood the media daily due to astonishing achievements in their respective spares.

From top-notch intellectuals to the world highest paid engineers to the African kid coding for Uber, outstanding financial experts, artificial intelligence, sportsmen and women, and dozen others, African youths the world over are actively designing tomorrow and changing the narrative one day and an invention at a time.

As mother Africa expands and grows from a laggard to a challenger, competing with Western economies, these top five inventions by African youths are changing the world providing renewed hope for humankind.

This is the bleeding-edge of African innovations. Below is arguable the top five medical inventions from Africa that has taken on the world.

Mama-Ope – Uganda

The world over, pneumonia is responsible for 16% of all deaths of children under five with the death rate also considerably high among adults. This is largely due to the fact that diagnosing the illness is often very slow.

Faced with this, Uganda inventor Brian Turyabagye took decided to invent the biomedical smart jacket proven to diagnose pneumonia four times than a medical doctor does. The award-winning invention is gaining momentum with additional upgrades added to perfect the life-saving jacket from Uganda.

Brian Turyabagye and his work partner Besufekad Shifferaw showing off the biomedical smart jacket.

Koniku Kore – Nigeria

For Nigerian-born Oshi Agabi, the future remains unknown and is all about now. Creating technologies that solve real-life problems. His invention, the Koniku Kore has the capacity to detect the smell of explosives and cancer cells.

The tech-enthusiast who obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Lagos before furthering his studies in physics and neuroscience in Sweden and Switzerland says his creation can be used for security, agricultural, military, and health situations.

Unveiled in Tanzania in 2017, Oshi expressed hopes that it could be used as a more effective means of airport security to scan numerous guests and also deployed in hospitals as the device is equally adaptable for use to identify different diseases.

Cardio pad – Cameroon

At just 28 years old, Cameroonian Arthur Zang is the inventor of a touchscreen heart-monitoring tablet that has revolutionized medicine in remote areas.

His Cardio pad enables heart patients in remote areas to access healthcare without journeying to the cities where most heart specialists work.

The tablet comes with four electrodes, which are attached to the patient’s chest to determine whether their heart is functioning normally.

The data is then wirelessly transmitted to the tablet and sent, via a mobile phone, to a cardiologist who can interpret the data in under 20 minutes and refer any prescriptions needed to the patient.

The award-winning device is currently deployed in most African countries and Asia as the world continues to embrace it.

Dr. Ndjomo Mba, director of the hospital of Mbankomo and Arthur Zang testing the Cardiopad with patient Jean Abada.

Usalama – Kenya

For this trio Kenyan developers, Marvin Makau, Edwin Inganji, and Kenneth Gachukia, communication could save lives and that is what their Usalama App seeks to achieve.

The app’s panic button sends a distress signal with the shake of a phone to emergency services, the needy person’s next of kin and other Usalama users within 200 meters.

In case of an accident or if confronted with a medical or emergency situation, users of the app can immediately send distress signals by barely shaking the phone three times. This will alert first responders, sharing your live locations so they can come to your rescue.

BeSpecular – South Africa

Commonly regarded as the app “leading eyes to the blind”, South African Chris Venter though blind can now see through the eyes of volunteers the world over who lend their eyes to him and thousands of the BeSpecular blind users.

After losing his sight to a virus, Chris, a former chef was determined to keep cooking and that was when the idea of eyes lending downed on him.

Once a request is submitted via the app, a handful of volunteers (over 10.000 subscribers), or so-called “sightlings”, receive a notification on their smartphones and can from there guide the blind on whatever they want to do.

Be it cooking, crossing the road, walking or any general thing they might need eyes for. With users in over 50 countries the world over, the question of if BeSpecular can help the blind to see it has popped up on several occasions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Visiting US congress delegation reiterates dialogue to resolving Cameroon’s simmering crisis
July 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Congresswoman Karen Bass (L) Cameroon Defense minister(R) during the audience (photo: The Guardian Post)

Congresswoman Karen Bass (L) Cameroon Defense minister(R) during the audience (photo: The Guardian Post)

A delegation from the United States congress has reiterated dialogue without any preconditions as a means to put an end to the ongoing armed conflict that has now claimed over two thousand lives displacing even more from the crisis-thorn North West and South West regions.

Addressing the delegation in an audience Tuesday, the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defence, Joseph Beti Asomo, highlighted some of the security challenges Cameroon is currently facing, including cross border crime, maritime piracy, poaching, organized crime and terrorism. Citing the example of the recent Boko Haram attack in Darak, the Minister Delegate said these challenges the nation is facing have had several negative consequences.

The defence and security forces as well as the Multinational Joint Task Force of the Lake Chad Basin, he said, are however doing their best to bring back peace and stability in the affected regions.

With regards to the ongoing armed conflict in the North West and South West regions, Minister Joseph Beti Assomo stated that the information presented to the US congress by instigators of the crisis was imbalanced.

“The information brought to your attention by the instigators of this crisis is simply biased. The real criminals and terrorists are those who kill people, kidnap them, demand ransom, prevent children from going to school and burn down villages, hospitals and patients,” he said.

These persons whose names appear on the lists forwarded to the US government, he added, “raise funds in Western countries to finance the war in Cameroon”.

The US delegation was later presented a video which the Minister Delegate said depicts the “reality on the ground”.

Talking at the end of the encounter, the head of the United States delegation, Honorable Karen Bass said the US congress has taken the stance of peace and dialogue.

“What you can expect from the US congress is a real call for a dialogue, for peace, for all the parties to come together without preconditions,” she said.

She also reiterated her nation’s commitment in helping Cameroon fight terrorism in the Northern regions of the country.

“The United States support for Cameroon’s effort to address Boko Haram is going to continue. That is a partnership that we have experienced, an example of many. We want to make sure that continues,” she assured.

The US congress delegation’s exchange with the defence ministry officials, it should be said, was one of the several audiences granted the visitors by top regime officials, including Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute.

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Nigeria: Buhari set to sign Africa free trade pact
July 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Teslim Olawore

President Buhari

President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari will sign the landmark African free trade agreement during the upcoming African Union meeting in Niger.

The information was revealed in a tweet that was posted on July 2nd by the office of the presidency.

“Nigeria will sign the #AfCFTA Agreement at the upcoming Extraordinary Summit of the African Union in Niamey, Niger,” the presidency tweeted.

African leaders will meet for the AU meeting in Niamey this weekend.

Nigeria had been a key backer of the plan to progressively reduce trade barriers on the continent since talks on the African Continental Free Trade Area got underway in 2002.

However it abruptly changed course shortly before the deal was signed last year following pressure from local unions and businesses fearful that they would be uncompetitive if trade barriers are dropped.

Last week, a special government panel formed to study the potential impact of joining AfCFTA, recommended that Buhari sign Nigeria up.

The trade deal “provides immense opportunities for Nigeria’s manufacturing and service companies to expand to Africa,” the panel’s chair, Desmond Guobadia, said in a statement after submitting its report.

AfCFTA formally came into force at the end of May, after the required minimum of 22 countries ratified the ambitious plan to boost intra-African trade, which has long suffered by high tariffs.

It hopes the progressive elimination of tariffs will help boost regional trade by 60 percent within three years. At present, only 16 percent of trade by African nations is with continental neighbours.

Nigeria is one of only three of the AU’s 55 member states to not have signed up to AfCFTA, with other African economic heavyweights such as Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Africa having ratified the pact.

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Cameroonian appointed head coach of South Sudan Football team
July 3, 2019 | 0 Comments

From Amos Fofung

Ashu Cyprian Besong (Getty image)

Ashu Cyprian Besong (Getty image)

Cameroonian-born football trainer, Ashu Cyprian Besong was on Monday appointed by the South Sudan Football Association, SSFA as head coach of the country’s national football team.

Initially, Ashu Cyprian Besong, was Cameroon’s U-20 head coach. Taking up his new job, he will replace caretaker coach Ramzi Sebit.

“Ashu Cyprian Besong of Cameroon will be appointed as the coach for South Sudan national team coach. He is confirmed to arrive Juba, tomorrow (Tuesday) to take up his new assignment,” the SSFA said on its official Facebook page.

The coaching position has been vacant since September 2018, following the resignation of Algeria’s Ahcene Ait-Abdelmalek just seven months after his appointment.

Besong becomes South Sudan’s fifth foreign coach following the departure of Ait-Abdelmalek, South Korea’s Lee Sung-Jea, Serbian Zoran Dordevic and Uganda’s Leo Adraa.

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