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Mozambique’s Gas Projects Enter Implementation Phase
October 14, 2019 | 0 Comments

With a second FID in just 2 years, Mozambique has officially positioned itself as a key player in the global gas and LNG market for years to come. The latest FID on the US$20 billion Mozambique LNG project, makes it the largest sanction ever in sub-Saharan Africa oil and gas. Described by His Excellency President Nyusi as “one of the most important and transformational projects in the country’s history”, Mozambique LNG is set to be a game-changer for this East African nation of 31 million people. 

According to Wood Mac, from the early 2030s state revenue from Mozambique LNG alone will reach US$3 billion per annum, single-handedly doubling today’s revenue as calculated by the IMF and World Bank.

And this is not the only mega-LNG project on the drawing board. ExxonMobil’s Rovuma LNG project, which envisages a 15 million tpa two-train facility taking gas from its offshore area 4 block, is also lined up to take FID. Meanwhile, Italy’s ENI is already moving ahead with its 3.4 million tpa floating LNG facility, which will draw on 5 TCF of gas in waters more than 2,000 metres deep with first gas due in mid-2022.

“With strong LNG demand growth out of Asia, now is Mozambique’s time,” said Jon Lawrence, an analyst with Wood Mackenzie’s sub-Saharan Africa upstream team, as news broke of the Anadarko FID.

With FIDs signed, the projects are now moving from the planning into the implementation phase. Hundreds of contracts are expected to be tendered for the construction, infrastructure and services needed to build and develop the megaprojects.

More recently, on October 8th, Mozambique Rovuma Venture (MRV) Area 4 operator decided to move ahead with the midstream and upstream project activities of over US $500 million as initial investments. These investments include activities such as the construction of the pioneer camp, the development of resettlement activities, the construction of the airstrip and access roads, as well as the start of detailed LNG facility engineering project.

It makes this the ideal time to participate at the 6th Mozambique Gas Summit & Exhibition, in partnership with ENH, taking place on 13-14 November in Maputo. The event is the official platform to hear from key decision-makers in this fast-emerging LNG hotspot, including key Government figures, policy-makers and all the major project stakeholders who will be in attendance. This edition is taking place at a time of exciting change including; the construction of FLNG, the progress in drilling activities in Cabo Delgado and Angoche, and the infrastructure development in Pemba Logistics Base. The event is organised in partnership with ENH, with support from MIREME, INP and industry stakeholders ExxonMobil, Total Mozambique LNG, TechnipFMC, FNB, Sasol, Baker Hughes, Standard Bank and G4S.

More information at:

About ENH:

The National Hydrocarbon Company represents the state in oil operations. It is a business group with competence to participate in all petroleum operations and in the respective phases of the exploration, exploration, production, refining, transportation, storage and marketing activities of hydrocarbons and their derivatives, including LNG and GTL inside and outside the country. Established in 1981, headquartered in Maputo and branches in Pemba and Vilankulo, ENH has adjusted its business structure to the needs of industry and the national and international market. ENH’s activities, as an integrated group, also take place through partnerships that it has established in the last years, in particular, that have allowed the main activity, Upstream, with actions focused on Oil and Gas research, development and production, achieve the goals of increasing discovery probabilities in the research phase and optimizing resource recovery in the production phase.

At the downstream level, ENH develops activities in the hydrocarbon value chain with the aim of diversifying and enhancing the gas use in Mozambique.

About CWC:

Headquartered in London, CWC Group has an impressive 22 years’ track record in delivering conferences, exhibitions and professional training globally that focus on oil, gas and infrastructure. With established relationships with over 60 of the world’s governments and national oil companies (NOCs), CWC has produced over 600 events and more than 400 training courses in the last two decades. CWC Group won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – International Trade twice, recognising its continued contribution to international trade. This is one of the most coveted awards in the UK industry and it’s awarded by H.M. the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister, assisted by an Advisory Committee.

More information here:

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UN SG Rep Ibn Chambas ‘satisfied’ with Gambia’s Ongoing Reforms
October 13, 2019 | 0 Comments
Dr. Ibn Chambas

By Bakary Ceesay

Dr. Muhammed Ibn Chambas, The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, said the United Nations is pleased with the Barrow government’s commitment to the ongoing reforms processes in The Gambia.

‘’On Friday, we leave The Gambia very satisfied that the commitment is there on the side of the government and the people of The Gambia to move ahead with these reforms.’’

The UN Special Envoy also briefed the President on the consultations the team had with different stakeholders like political parties, Civil Society Organisations, and development partners, all of whom, he said, underscored the importance of moving forward with the reform process in The Gambia.

He went further to explain that the 2016 elections ushered in a new era in The Gambia, which saw various reforms programmes like the Constitutional Review Commission, the Truth and Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission, and the Security Sector Reform enjoys strong support from the Gambian people.

‘’We remain engaged, we remain committed, so on an occasion like this, we would like to reiterate that the President and The Gambian community can continue to rely on the UN and the International Community, which is still ready and willing to accompany Gambia through these reforms.’’

Dr. Ibn Chambas, who was accompanied by the UN country representative, said these remarks after an audience with President Adama Barrow at the State House in Banjul.

He was at the Presidency to express the UN’s gratitude to President Barrow for hosting this year’s West African Sahel Women’s Open Day on Peace and Security.

‘’We appreciate all the facilities and the excellent hospitality extended to us from the UN but also to the delegations from the different ECOWAS countries and the Sahel who were here to discuss on the role of women in peace and security and development in our sub region,” UNOWAS boss stated.

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A Focus on Corporate Social Responsibility For The Africa Gas Association
October 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Destiny Kwenchia

Anne Etoke Fotue

As the year comes to an end, the Africa Gas Association is catching up with its corporate Social Responsibilities with projects to give back to the less fortunate in African communities. With this in mind, TAGA is hosting a black and white event for its members and patrons to have some fun and raise funds for humanitarian initiatives. Working in partnership with the Serah Rebecca Foundation, the event will a mixture of business  and fun says Anne Etoke Fotue CEO of TAGA. While it may have been a low keyed year for Taga, Anne Etoke Fotue says plans are been fine tuned for a series of high profile events in 2020.

The Africa Gas association is hosting a black and white event, can you tell us more about it?

Thanks so much for reaching out to us. Yes, the Africa Gas Association will be hosting a black and white event on Saturday October 18th . At the African Gas Association, it is not all about work, and every now and then it is imperative that we offer our members the opportunity relax and network with others in the community in a relaxed atmosphere. The Black and White event is themed to be an evening of fun, an evening of relaxation, an evening of reflection, networking and raising funds to support some community projects that we have in mind to cap our year.

How does the event tie in the vision or objectives of the Africa Gas association?

As I mentioned early there are projects that we have in mind at the end of the year. We do take our corporate social responsibilities very seriously, we do love to give back to the community. Our focus this year will be to support a number of orphanages that we have identified. The evening will not be just about fun, but also a little bit of stock taking, offering new partners the opportunities to meet with some of the movers and shakers in our community and , most importantly raise some funds to help us embark on these community projects that we have identified.

Who are some of the guests expected at the event?

Definitely a number of TAGA members resident in the USA will be there. A significant number of diplomatic missions in Washington have expressed the intent to be present at Ambassadorial level and here I will cite Mauritius and Cote D’Ivoire. There will be others in from the business community, the civil society, women groups, leaders of organizations doing work in Africa and more.  A Few names Dag Hansen CEO  oil & has Techni Norway ,Richard Sentile CEO SEPE Washington DC,Dr  Ngwen Anyagwe. Professor Howard University, you see how diverse the list is.

 I just cannot give you an exhaustive run down but it will be a very high powered event and our guest list is meticulously selected to help us attain the objectives we have set for ourselves and also to make sure anyone who shows up goes back with something, something learned, a good network or contact for a prospective opportunity or any other useful opportunity.

And on the evening, itself, how will it look like?

Well for the evening itself, there will be dinner the served, few speeches, a presentation from the Serah Rebecca Foundation which is partnering with us for the event. Of course, we want our guests to have fun, and you can count on good music, ample time to dance, with the appearance of a number of artists to spice up the evening for the guests. There will also be the presentation of awards to some distinct organizations in the community.

You have the Serah & Rebecca’s  Foundation as partner, what does the Foundation do and how does this partnership fit in the goals of your association?

The Serah Rebecca’s Foundation is 501(c)(3) tax exempt, non-profit organization.  It has been doing a lot of work in education and health and has a the lofty ambition of building orphanages across Africa to give opportunities to the down trodden and forgotten in our communities. The Serah Rebecca Foundation is one of the organizations which will benefit from the proceeds of the evening.

You also have guest artists to grace the event, may who the artists answering present?

We are keeping the names of the guest artists as a surprise but rest assured they will be household names, and our guests will definitely not be disappointed.

For those who read this interview and are interested in coming,how can they be part of the evening?

I do not if we have tickets left or how many are still left , but those interested could inquire by sending an email , and, again there is no guarantee there will be tickets, but no harm in checking.

Besides the gala, what has the Africa gas association been up to this year and any other projects coming up?

We have kept a relatively low profile this year in anticipation of huge projects and strong agenda we are working on for next year. Individual our members participated in a number of forums across Africa and the world, I did participate in a number of them myself, we served as partners in some as well. But as I said, we do have very big plans for 2020, included two or three huge events. We will keep you updated as things unfold.

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Mixed Reactions Trail Sack Of AU Ambassador to The USA
October 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

The decision to remove Ambassador Arikana has divided opinions.

By Ajong Mbapndah L

A few months shy of a third year in office, Ambassador Arikana Chihombori-Quao was notified by the African Union Chairman Moussa Faki that her stint had come to an end.

“In line with the terms and conditions of service covering your appointment as permanent Representative of the AU to the USA, I have decided to terminate your appointment with effect from 1st Nov 2019,” read the letter from Chairman Faki to Ambassador Arikana.

Sent from the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa on 7 October, the letter expresses appreciation to Ambassador Arikana for her constant commitment to African causes, and the great contribution she has made to the continental organization.

In the letter, Chairman Faki expresses confidence that Ambassador Arikana will continue to render services to Mother Africa in future endeavors.

While the decision from Chairman Faki may appear as a routine change considering that others have previously served before Ambassador Arikana, tongues are wagging in Washington,DC , and the decision has not gone down well with some of her partisans.

So furious are her partisans that the unprecedented move of creating on an online petition on Change.Org. Initiated by Prof. Apollos Nwauwa who  signed as Secretary of the African Diaspora Union, the petition is calling on the African Union to reinstate Ambassador Arikana.

“Dr. Chihombori-Quao has spoken globally to sensitize and empower all peoples of African Descent to come together and build the “Africa We Want” as adopted in African Union Agenda 2063,” the petition read.

“Not everyone is embracing her bold but honest discourses for effecting change for the betterment of Africa.  On October 7th, 2019, Ambassador Quao was relieved of her position as the “Permanent Ambassador” in a unilateral decision made by the African Union Commission Chairman without any hearing or explanation, and yet presented as representing the opinions of all 55 countries.”

The petition goes further to ask a series of questions surrounding her ouster. “why was she dismissed, or better, who benefits from her removal? Were African heads of states and governments consulted? Who called the shot? Or is Africa, and peoples of African descent, still facing the debilitating effects of modern colonialism or neocolonialism?”

Though no reason was given for the removal of Arikana nor were reasons always given for the departure of some of her predecessors, some of her supporters believe that it may not be unrelated to her hyper activism ,and blunt critique of the colonial legacy that still holds Africa hostage.

Making allusion to a widely circulated video in which she lashed out at the Berlin conference, and fingered the French for its monetary policies that have continued colonization of Africa in a different form, supporters of Arikana believe that AU Chair Moussa Faki may have been pressured by outside forces to terminate her appointment.They point to the fact that the video which was previously posted on the AU website was inexplicably pulled down within three weeks despite the excitement it generated.

Arikana who has not issued a formal statement, was viewed by some Washington players as blurring the line between activism and diplomacy. You are either one or the other, said a source.  While he lauded Ambassador Arikana for bringing more vibrancy to the AU Mission in Washington,DC, the source said the activist part of Ambassador was bound to ruffle feathers,in Washington and beyond,  and her departure was bound to come sooner or later. Still, the source said he will not like to read so much meaning into the decision to relieve Ambassador Arikana of her duties. Ambassadors come and go, and there is no reason for her to be an exception he went on.Citing the letter from Faki and the dynamism of Ambassador Arikana, the source said there definitely will be plenty of opportunities out there for her to be of high profile service to Africa especially in capacities where diplomatic niceties will not be a burden to her.

“I do not know how the letter that was supposed to be meant for Ambassador Arikana went viral,” said another source from the African -American Community in Washington, DC. She had great passion for Africa and we hope her replacement builds on her successes, he said.

On the profile of the ideal replacement, he said, Chairman Faki could appoint another female Ambassador, someone equally dynamic, with a better understanding of how Africa and Washington work. Washington has its dynamics, and the AU will be better served with the appointment of someone who has a through mastery of these dynamics ,he said.

Meanwhile as of press time, the petition on Change.Org had garnered some 2000 signatures.

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Centurion Moderates Discussion on Africa’s Downstream Sector at Africa Oil & Power
October 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
Zion Adeoye
The discussion centered on ways to make energy access more reliable and affordable for Africans and how to better balance supply and demand for key commodities
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, October 12, 2019/ — Centurion Law ( animated and moderated an industry discussion on Africa’s downstream sector and the continent’s shifting trade routes at the Africa Oil & Power Conference in Cape Town today. Led by Senior Associate Zion Adeoye, the discussion centered on ways to make energy access more reliable and affordable for Africans and how to better balance supply and demand for key commodities such as oil, natural gas and petroleum products.

The conversation was joined by leading African energy executives such as Mohsin Seedat, interim CEO at iGas, Eghosa Oriaikni Mabhena, Head of Africa at Puma Energy, Muzi W. Mkhize, Regulator Member for Petroleum Pipelines at the South African National Energy Regulator, SAR Managing Director Serigne Mboup, and Igho Charles Sanomi, CEO at the Taleveras Group.

Reminding the audience that Africa’s downstream sector is marked by outdated refineries and lack of refining capacities, Zion Adeoye led the participants to provide a detailed assessment of the continent’s current supply and demand scenario. “The market reach is diversifying,” declared Mohin Seedat. “Oil & gas is becoming more accessible and the retail segment is also evolving.”

Most African oil nations are either revamping and expanding their existing refineries, or building and planning new ones. Such additional capacity will be transforming current industry dynamics, and the panel highlighted the opportunities that will be coming in terms of rebalancing fiscal deficits for big importers of petroleum products, and of further diversifying into petrochemicals and value added products. “Maintaining the balancing of demand and supply for traders is key to shifting Africa’s trade routes,” said Eghosa Oriaikhi Mabhena.

Concluding the discussion, the panelists were all in agreement that a downstream master plan for the whole of Africa is urgently needed to ensure that infrastructure efforts are not inefficiently duplicated, especially on a regional basis. 
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Sierra Leone:UNDP launches Accelerator Lab
October 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has on Thursday 10th October launched the Accelerator Lab at the Golden Tulip , Hotel, Aberdeen in Freetown.

The Accelerator Lab established by the UNDP in Sierra Leone  is part of 60 Accelerator Labs serving 78 countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean to build the largest and fastest global learning network to address the many increasingly complex and dynamic development challenges.

Speaking at the launching of the Accelerator Lab, UN  Resident Coordinator Mr. Sunil Saigal, said  the world has eleven years left to achieve the 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adding that is what leaders have committed to. 

“At the same time, scientists tell us that it is now even more urgent than we knew before to address the changing climate if we are to prevent the effects of it from becoming irreversible. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the accompanying SDGs represented a paradigm shift for development when they were introduced in 2015.  Building on the earlier Millennium Development Goals, the 2030 Agenda represent a greater recognition of the interconnectedness and the interdependence of the Goals, and it recognizes that the development challenges of today are fundamentally different in terms of complexity and the speed with which they emerge from what we have known earlier,’’ he said. 

He said  the world  must  respond to development differently today from how they  have done it earlier thus stating , we must not only worry about eliminating poverty in all its forms, but we must also ensure that people do not fall back into it.

‘’we must work to reduce inequalities within and between countries, to decarbonize economies, and to change the way we produce and consume; and we must work to build peaceful and inclusive societies at a time of growing polarization and alienation.  But time is running short.  We must act!,’’ Sunil Saigal stressed.

 Sunil Saigal further stressed that the world must therefore take a fresh look at development practices, at what works and what does not, sharing best practices across regions and countries, and indeed within countries and communities, to identify what truly adds value for people. 

The UN Rep went to say given these imperatives, the UN system promotes innovation in a multitude of ways across its agencies and programmes adding  that every UN entity engaged in sustainable development is looking to find new ways of becoming more effective in what it does and more efficient in how it does it.

 ‘’The Acceleration Lab, which UNDP has now established in Sierra Leone, and which is one of 60 laboratories being established worldwide, inscribes itself in this framework and it is part of this drive to find new and better ways of achieving sustainable development.  Its establishment recognizes that the UN must be at the forefront of innovation in turn to help enable the Government to lead the national development process’’ 

 In his statement,  the UNDP Resident Representative  Dr. Samuel Doe said,  as part of the organisation strategic plan 2018-2021 which embraces the complexity of development, the UNDP  commits itself  to helping countries find faster, more durable solutions to achieve Agenda 2030 adding that UNDP has an exciting opportunity to transform collective approach by introducing new protocols, backed by evidence and practice, which accelerate the testing and dissemination of solutions within and across countries.

‘’This will enable the global community to collectively learn from local knowledge and ingenuity at a speed and at a scale that our societies and planet requires. To achieve this, UNDP has established a network of 60 Accelerator Labs serving 78 countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean. These 60 labs are established to build the largest and fastest global learning network to address the many increasingly complex and dynamic development challenges. The network will surface and reinforce locally sourced solutions at scale while mobilizing a wide and dynamic partnership of actors contributing knowledge, resources and experience,’’ he said.

He said the Laboratory cycle of the network is built around five (5) protocols, Analysis of the relevance of interventions, exploration  experimentation and development or scaling up stating  this cycle is not linear but allows and offer the possibility of testing one of the protocols according to the need, opportunities, and the type of problems and challenges.

 “The need for UNDP to invest in grass root solutions through the accelerator Lab

in Sierra Leone is clear. The emerging demands from Government and partners show both the changing nature of issues they must grapple with and the need to go beyond incremental or sector-specific approaches. Examples of such demand in Sierra Leone include but not limited to poverty, technology, clean and safe drinking water, hygiene, waste management, gender, education, unemployment, recycling, agriculture, and climate change,’’ he said , adding that  these demands are still emergent and are soon to lead to a strategic relevance gap between what UNDP has traditionally delivered and the changing nature of development policy and programming needs.

 The UNDP Resident Representative  went to say they strongly believed  that in a world of increasing demand to accelerate solution, a single individual, person or organization does not possess the specialized skills to develop and commercialize a complex innovation from conception to implementation thus everyone needs to rely on other actors in their innovation to build an ecosystem-wide value of proposition that materializes when the individual contributions of different actors are combined. 

 ‘’For this reason, the UNDP Accelerator Lab in Sierra Leone will work with government, development partners and the private sector to reimagine development for the 21st century. Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the imagination of development for which the Accelerator Lab is launched today will be achieved by: Building on locally-sourced solutions, finding things that work and expanding on them; Rapid testing and iteration to implement what works and go beyond the obvious solutions; Combining the best understanding, ideas and expertise to generate collective knowledge; Accelerating progress by bringing expertise, creativity and collective intelligence to bear’’.

 On his part, the deputy Representative United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Wilberforce Tengey, applaud UNDP for the bold step  of placing innovation at the centrepiece of development work and for finding innovative solutions to the evolving challenges in the development field stressing that the focus on innovation strategies to enable achievement of all the 17 SDGs.

“Distinguished guests , At UNICEF, we have seen the value of adopting innovative ways to support our work in Sierra Leone during times of emergencies and in regular programming. When Ebola struck in 2014, we used U-Report-our social messaging tool-to not only provide live saving information to people and communities but also generated important data that were useful in supporting the response,’’ he said.

He added that through the U- Report they were also able to support the Ministry of Education with relevant data on over 3,000 schools across the country on their preparedness for the re-opening of schools stating that this helped the Government and development partners in responding to emerging needs in time for the re-opening of schools.

“Distinguished guests , with the establishment of a Directorate of Science and Technology (DSTI) at State House and the unprecedented level of investment in education , UNICEF is proud to be a key partner of government in driving innovation solutions for women  and children in Sierra Leone, particularly in the education and health sectors. Today some  of our work with DSTI include Data for Decision Making and Drone for Social Good,’’ Wilberforce Tengey said.

Head of the Directorate of Science Technology and Innovation (DSTI) Dr. David Sengeh on his part said the time is now for innovation and that Sierra Leone is the right place and in the right state of mind to innovate thus calling on Sierra Leoneans to be an evangelist that the country is ready to take up innovation.

‘’Innovation is essential for development, and it represent the SDG’s , you know always the President always talks about feed your mind and take care of your body  and feed your tummy very body has heard that before. what he is saying to the development partners is everybody care about food security ,and quality education, ‘’he said, adding that the president has created the Directorate of industry and infrastructure , and the             Directorate of Science Technology and innovation  within  in the office of the President thus stating that this level of vision and commitment gives hope to the country.

The DSTI boss said, the Directorate has two goals which is to support the National Development Plan to support government implement the education for development in addition to support the innovation and entrepreneurial eco-system adding that one way they are doing this is by supporting working with UNDP.

“It is tremendous pleasure, and I would like other people to join me in congratulating our UNDP Sierra Leone again ; because it is not a coincident that Sierra Leone is one of 60 countries in the world. There are not 60 countries in the world ,there are more than 190 countries in the world and Sierra Leone is one of 60. It is precisely because of the leadership UNDP Sierra Leone and the readiness of Sierra Leone ,’’ Dr. David  Sengeh said.

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Cameroon contributes FCFA 3 Billion for HIV, TB, Malaria global fund
October 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

France’s President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with Cameroon President Paul Biya, left, at the Lyon’s city hall, central France, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, during the meeting of international lawmakers, health leaders and people affected by HIV, Tuberculosis and malaria. Lyon is hosting the two day Global Fund event aimed at raising money to help in the global fight against the epidemics.Photo Laurent Cipriani Gazettextra

Cameroon’s President Paul Biya has disclosed that the country has contributed 3Billion francs CFA to the Global Fund for the fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He made the disclosure at the 6th Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria holding in France.

In an exchange with the media in Lyon, France after meeting with French counterpart Emmanuel Macron at day-two of conference Biya stated that “we have contributed to the tune of 3Billion frs CFA to the Global Fund since we also benefit from this fund in the fight against these epidemics.”

The discussions at the Lyon Replenishment Conference were aimed at raising 8,000 Billion Francs to fund the fight against HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria epidemics in the different countries involved, Cameroon being part of it.

At the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron, President Paul Biya and wife Chantal Biya travelled to France Tuesday October 08, 2019 to take part in this Conference attended by four other African Head of States and other delegations.

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At lease five students and a parent abducted in Cameroon’s troubled Anglophone regions in one week
October 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Schools is Cameroon’s English-speaking regions remain highly deserted amid insecurity and growing instability

In two separate instances, five students and a parent were last week abducted by alleged separatist fighters from the armed groups fighting for the secession of Cameroon’s English-speaking regions (Anglophone regions).

On Wednesday, two female students and their father were abducted in the South West region, according to local authorities.

Separatists confirmed the abduction on social media, saying they have been “arrested for disrespecting school boycott” imposed by the separatists.

Government officials said, security forces are conducting a search and rescue mission of the captives.

Two days on with no information as to the whereabout of the trio, three students on their way to school on Friday October 11 at Below Foncha, a neighbourhood in Bamenda, North West region, were also kidnapped and whisked to an unknown location.

According to eyewitness account, the three students were taken while walking in groups with other school mates by gunmen.  One of the students who escaped been napped recounted to local media that they were questioned on why they are going to school.

Insecurity has left more than 4,400 schools forcibly closed in the two English-speaking regions of Northwest and Southwest, affecting more than 600,000 children, according to a UNICEF report released in August.

This is not the first-time students are abducted on their way to school in Bamenda or the English-speaking region as a whole. A phenomenon attributed to separatist fighters and loyalists.

For three years now, separatist fighters have imposed total school boycott in the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon, North West and South West, using it as a bargaining chip for political gains.

They have sometimes implored extreme actions such as kidnappings and torture of students to force the school boycott agenda down the throat of those who disobey them.

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37-year-old Cameroonian dies in US immigration custody
October 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Refugees and migrants wait at the El Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, hoping to enter the US [Walker Dawson/Al Jazeera]

A Cameroonian immigrant identified by news reports as Nebane Abienwi who was en route to the United States to experience the American dream has died while in custody of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE.

His death at an immigration facility in San Diego, California, has sparked outrage pushing a coalition of black immigration rights organizations to demand an explanation into the circumstances leading to his demise.

  The Cameroon American Council, CAC, on Monday, held a vigil to mourn Abienwi, who was seeking asylum in the U.S. after fleeing from his Cameroon.

According to Face2Face Africa, he died October 1, after being treated for a brain hemorrhage at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center.

ICE said Abienwi had been in detention at the Otay Mesa Detention Center.

In a statement wherein they describing the death of Abienwi as “devastating”, the black immigrant rights organization condemned the use of detention centers to “imprison our people.” It also demanded more information on the circumstances which led to his death.

“We demand to know the circumstances under which Nebane lost his life. Black immigrants, in particular, report horrific experiences of anti-Blackness, abuse, and harassment while in detention,” the organization said in a statement on October 3.

ICE says it is “firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is undertaking a comprehensive agency-wide review of this incident, as it does in all such cases.”

In a news release, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency which oversees immigration-related issues particularly in the Southern borders no said Abienwi did not have “proper entry documents” when he crossed through the port of entry.

The coalition, insisting he should not have been detained in the first place.

“No one should be locked up for seeking safety and wanting a better life,” the alliance said. “Black immigrants, in particular, report horrific experiences of anti-blackness, abuse, and harassment while in detention,” the group also said.

Death toll of immigrants in ICE custody continues to make headlines raising questions as to possible detention situation in the facilities. 

The number of Cameroonians applying for asylum to the U.S. increased from about 600 in 2012 to more than 1,300 in 2016, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees per latest data.

Since 2016 with the escalation of civil unrest in its English-speaking regions that has claimed the lives of hundreds, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees estimates that more than 30.000 Cameroonians have fled their home.

Most of them are said to be in neighboring Nigeria. Hundreds have made the painstaking journey via the Amazon forest in an attempt to cross over to the US through Mexico.

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Senegal University wins fourth International architectural prizes
October 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

view of the building (photo: IDOM)

A University in Senegal Bambey townhood has risen to fame after a makeover and sustainable extension of its infrastructure. 

The Alioune Diop University in Bambey, Senegal, established since 2007 has in recent years been ripping international awards and recognition after its transformation in 2012.

Established at the heart of the Sahara Desert which does not shy from blessing its inhabitants with immense radiation of the sun rising temperatures above 45°C, the 2012 works at the campus whose design is conceived as a tree is nothing short of an architectural marvel. 

The architecture 

Designed by IDOM, the new block at the University of Bambey features a double roof and a double skin that provide shelter and coolness without any energy consumption guaranteeing students with two basic assets in the desert-region; Shadow and water. 

The extension was built as a large tree to provide shelter, coolness, and comfort for students, without any energy consumption.

With a large roof and a second skin of blocks with triangular perforations, the direct radiation of the sun rays is avoided, allowing air circulation instead. The double roof and the double skin generate voids of one and three meters respectively. 

The heat is concentrated on the external facade and disperses from the roof, favored by the inclination of the latter. To further refresh the air and avoid the presence of malaria-bearing mosquitoes, citronella has been planted in the interstitial spaces. The constant flow of air reduces the temperature by 10-15°C compared to the external one – usually 40-45°C.

Regional and International awards

Impossible for such work of art to unnoticed, the Alioune Diop University has since the opening of its new extension made international headlines while bagging coveted awards the world over.

Recently it was awarded the highest honors at the “Aga KHAN” architecture award ceremony in Kazan, Russia. The prestigious architecture award given once every three years is awarded to projects that set new standards of excellence in architecture, planning practices, historic preservation, and landscape architecture.

Due to its self-sufficient infrastructure, the teaching and research department of the Senegal-based University emerged as one of the 5 Laureates of 2019 for setting new standards of excellence in architecture making it entitled to the cash prize of one million US dollars shared between the laureates.

In July of 2018, the extension project was selected out of hundreds of structures worldwide as winner at the Spanish Architecture and Urbanism Biennale prompting the architecture critic Anatxu Zabalbeascoa to commented that; “although it is true that many of the prizewinning buildings share an aesthetic based on the scarcity of means, the fashion of the povera would generate distrust if it were not so entirely sustainable and cost-effective. Drawing on, it indicates that tradition can be associated with technology both in the humblest projects and those signed off by large firms, such as IDOM, in its award-winning extension of the Alioune Diop University in Diourbel.” 

Barely three months later the University was again acknowledged as Best Regenerative Impact Building at the LEAF Awards, in Frankfurt, Germany. With the jury stating that the award was well merited “due to its exceptional contribution in terms of community impact, the sustainability in its construction and how waste was managed…with an elegant architecture rarely seen when using local materials.”

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Gambia:Barrow’s adviser on policy, governance resigns
October 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
Mai Fatty

By Adama Makasuba

Mai Ahmad Fatty presidential adviser on policy and governance has resigned his portfolio describing the decision as ‘his own principles, after feeling useless in holding the position of adviser to the president’.

His resignation came week after some leaders of the coalition extension of President Barrow’s mandate to 5 years amidst the controversial 3 years saga.

Gambia Moral Congress however rejected taking part in the decision made by those coalition leaders the former vice president Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang.

The lawyer-turn politician said in a news conference on Friday at Kairaba beach hotel that: “I made the decision to resign on my own accord, and on my own terms, following thorough reflection, after having consulted my family and the relationship of my party in The Gambia and in the diaspora”

Mr Fatty who is also the leader of Gambia Moral Congress said the reason of his resignation came as a result of feeling being “useless” to continue serving the portfolio of a presidential adviser to Adama Barrow, saying “I didn’t feel useful as a presidential adviser anymore.”

He said nothing has happened between him and the president but that he feels not useful in holding the portfolio, adding that he only made the decision on his principles.

He called on Gambians to unit to archiving developmental goals for the country, saying he and his party are committed to venturing into anything that would contribute to the development of the country.

He said he will now go back to his former profession as a lawyer as well as do his political duties at his law firm to serve what he called “the interest of the people.”

Mr Fatty who was the first interior minister of the post Jammeh regime got sacked by the president Adama Barrow without any reason from the presidency after serving little above a year in office.

He was however reinstated as a presidential adviser to the president this year.

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October 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

President Adama Barrow received three giant fire fighting trucks and a set of firefighting apparatus from the Avon Fire Brigade in the United Kingdom for onward delivery to The Gambia Fire and Rescue Services on 9th October 2019

The Chief Fire Officer of the Avon Brigade, Michael David Crennell said they cherished their partnership with the Gambia Fire and Rescue Services, which began in the 1990s. He expressed commitment to continue supporting and growing the relationship for the mutual benefit of both services. 

‘’We are honoured and privileged to be able to have the partnership and we will continue to support’’, CFO Crennell said describing the partnership as a two-way exchange.

‘‘What we have seen is the level of support grow, and what’s more, is that we have seen the level of the professional of the fire service in The Gambia grow during that period. Very much looking forward to the future because as time goes by it becomes more and more strong as a partnership’’.

He commended President Barrow for being ‘’very supportive to us’’ revealing that the President is quite pleased with the partnership that exists between the two fire brigades.

Lamin Sanyang, Deputy Chief Fire Officer of The Gambia Fire Rescue Service, expressed gratitude on behalf of the service for the assistance stating that it was not the first time of its kind.

‘’We GFRS do receive training manuals, practical training, and equipment. It is based on this partnership that we were able to get them a fire engine fully-equipped like this we cannot buy it.  We are very proud of them.’’ Chief Sanayng disclosed. 

He added that the donation will greatly complement their work and expand their areas of coverage: “With this donation we will operate as far as Wuli in the Upper River Region. We have never thought that we will reach that place and save lives across the country’’.

The presentation ceremony took place at the State House in Banjul in the presence of the UK High Commissioner to The Gambia, H.E. Sharon Wardle, and other senior government officials, including the Deputy Chief Fire Officer of The Gambia, Lamin Sanyang.

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