Call Us Now: (240) 429 2177

congo-rdc

We must imagine and create the Africa we want- Transformunity CEO Arrey Obenson
September 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Joseph Besong

Africa’s greatest problem lies in the mindset of its people, says Arrey Obenson

Faced with a myriad of challenges, Africans must imagine and create the continent they want as a way forward, says Arrey Obenson. In an interview with PAV, Obenson, Co-Founder and CEO of Transformunity, a consulting firm that harnesses opportunities of corporations and organizations to transform the world, says the re-imagination is not feasible only within government and corporate board rooms , but also in the streets and market squares of Africa.

“We have cultured a master-servant mentality in our society that has become so pervasive in the African society. We need a massive mindset shift to accept that every child that is born in Africa deserves the same opportunities as a child that is born in the most advanced economies in the world,” Obenson says.

Founder of I Am Cameroon with a mission to inspire, educate and engage Cameroonians to accept and assume responsibility for the development of Cameroon, Obenson in this interview dwells on efforts he is leading to supplement Africa’s response to COVID-19 , and his stewardship with Junior Chambers International, JCI, where he served in diverse capacities for close to two decades.

PAV: Mr. Obenson, thank you for accepting to grant us an audience for an interview could we start with an introduction of Arrey Obenson in his own words?

Arrey Obenson: I am a global citizen, who is committed to being an actor in the common destiny of humanity as opposed to being a spectator. Born in Cameroon, educated as a lawyer, I am a husband to an incredibly beautiful wife – Queen and father to two awesome boys. I am a Strategic Consultant and CEO of a Consulting Firm called Transformunity with mission to help organization harness their opportunities. I am also Founder of I Am Cameroon with a mission to inspire, educate and engage Cameroonians to accept and assume responsibility for the development of Cameroon. 

I am passionate about finding solutions to complex challenges. I am invested in empowering young people and lately in helping small organization and businesses identify opportunities and develop strategies that will help them achieved their greatest potential.

PAV: Can you shed light on your engagement with the civil society, governments, and   leadership roles?

Arrey Obenson: At the age of 23, I joined an organization called Junior Chamber International (JCI) as founder member of my Local Organization in Limbe Cameroon. This organization gave me the opportunity to get involved in the development of my community. In 1997 serving as its Local President, we were able to raise funds and completely renovate 9 wash houses at the Limbe Regional Hospital, saving lives of thousands of patients who used that hospital.  This experience led me to understand how much power lies in the hands of citizens to will change in their communities. I thereafter resolved to be an actor rather than a spectator in my community. I then took to building the organization, creating more opportunities for other young people to get involved and benefit from the same experience that I had had. In under two years, I traveled thousands of kilometers across Cameroon starting up Local Organizations and growing the membership of JCI Cameroon by over 500%. I was then tapped by the World Headquarters to work as its Director for Growth in Africa. In that capacity we grew Africa’s membership by over 100% in 5 years and expanded the organization to the Middle East. I was the given the opportunity to serve as Executive Director, Deputy Secretary General and eventually Secretary General. 

One of the remarkable achievements which we made at JCI was strategically positioning the organization and its members as solution providers to the complex challenges of our society. The organization became therefore an active player in development by being at the intersection of government, corporations and the civil society. I led the organization through 3 strategic plans, developing a new mission, vision and long-term strategic positioning.  We took on bold initiatives like mobilizing young people around the world to come peace actors with a global peace campaign. We were one of the first global NGOs to embrace and adopt the Sustainable Development Goals and made this the core of projects young people did in over 100 countries. We also developed and copyrighted a framework for the development of communities that eventually has been adopted by several other organizations around the world.

In accomplishing the foregoing, we had to collaborate with all sectors society. I worked closely with the United Nations, engaged with regional organizations, business leaders, countries leaders, community leaders and celebrities to achieve our common goals. I also spent a lot of time traveling, and inspiring young people in over 100 countries.

I am a student of leadership, learning at every opportunity. My style of leadership is essentially giving people the opportunity to share leadership. The best leaders to me are this who can rely on the people around them. You can only do that by building trust, having a clear vision and being a motivator. 

PAV: The COVID-19   pandemic hasn’t spared Africa. What role have you played in helping the continent cope with the pandemic?

Arrey Obenson: I hesitate to say that the pandemic has spared Africa. We have had over 30,000 confirmed deaths which is largely under reported due to the poor state of healthcare in most African countries. That said, based on what was projected Africa has seen less deaths and it is a blessing. We are still to assess though the impact on its economy, and the mental wellbeing of its people. Time will tell. 

I have been playing a role in slowing down the spread of the virus through a project we launched last April called the I Am Cameroon COVID-19 Diaspora Response. As earlier mentioned, I am the Founder of I Am Cameroon and when we saw the devastating impact of the pandemic in Europe, we knew then that we had to do something for Cameroon. We then launched a campaign in amongst the Cameroonian Diaspora to raise money to procure and distribute PPE to healthcare workers in Cameroon, who are in the frontline of fights against COVID-19.  Thanks to sup[port and  efforts of these several associations and contributions of over 150 individuals particularly in the Diaspora succeed in raising of nearly $30,000 (US Dollars) and the distributions of 10,000 surgical masks, 2500 face shields, 10,000 surgical gloves and 100 coveralls. Theses PPE have been distributed in 5 regions of Cameroon reaching at least 15 hospitals. 

We signed a signed Memorandum of Understanding with the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS), Cameroon’s second largest healthcare provider, with 80 hospitals and clinics in all 10 regions of Cameroon. The coalition relies on the CBCHS to facilitate the identification of the areas of need and distribution of PPEs as and when needed. The coalition continues to work with the National Association of Cameroonian Private Doctors in Cameroon and the National Association of Cameroonian Pharmacist for guidance in its action.

Going forward, the I Am Cameroon Diaspora COVID-19 Response has secured two 40 feet containers of sanitary gel (hand sanitizers) from a sponsor company called Saraya Co Ltd form Japan. These donations include 24,000 1L bottles and 220,000 100 ML bottles respectively worth nearly $500,000. Working with local partners, these sanitary gels will be distributed on arrival in Cameroon with 60% going to the CBC network of hospitals and the rest distributed to other healthcare institutions. The task ahead remains colossal, and while the coalition has saved lives, the need largely outweighs the means. As the I Am Cameroon Diaspora COVID-19 Reponse plans its phase two distribution, there continues to be a need for more resources, as well as the need to build resilience in the Cameroonian society. An impact survey conducted shows that healthcare workers are stressed, frightened about the lack of protection as well the lack of awareness in the population. The outcome of the survey tells us we must provide more PPEs, but also support the mental health of healthcare workers as well provide more education or awareness about COVID-19 in Cameroon. 

We are also launching fitness challenge campaign that will mobilize Cameroonians to keep healthy while fundraising to support healthcare workers in Cameroon. (See attached project write up). We have a goal of raising another $50,000 to support healthcare workers in Cameroon.

Obenson has been leading a big effort to support the COVID-19 response in his native Cameroon

PAV: Your success story speaks volume. What are your secrets?

Arrey Obenson: I do not see myself as a success. I strive to be successful at every endeavor. Sometimes I fail woefully, and I learn the most from those failures. My secret is asking the right questions. I like to challenge the status quo and not accept things to be the way they are but the way the can or ought to be. It is a mindset – one that focuses on what is possible rather that what is not. 

PAV: As someone who is in consultation with governments and organizations in Africa, what is Africa’s greatest problem? 

Arrey Obenson: We, the people of Africa are in the way of Africa’s development. It is hard for Africans to imagine an alternative Africa other than what they currently see. Yet we must imagine and create the Africa we want. This re-imagination of Africa cannot happen only in the corridors of government or board rooms of corporations but in the streets and market squares of Africa. We have suffered the hangover of our colonial past for too long that we do not see ourselves as equals.  We have cultured a master-servant mentality in our society that has become so pervasive in the African society. We need a massive mindset shift to accept that every child that is born in Africa deserves the same opportunities as a child that is born in the most advanced economies in the world. That will mean accepting that every human being, every Africa deserves the human dignity that every human being deserves. 

I believe that when we Africans begin to accept ourselves as equals and can accord to each other the dignity that every human being deserves then we will not accept that 400 million people live in extreme poverty, or that children still die of preventable disease or that only person can be leader for 40 years in country full of talented people. 

Africa’s greatest problem lies in the mindset of its people. Ironically that mindset is the greatest opportunity. I am working on the secret to unlock that greatest opportunity – one person, one project at a time. It may not happen in my lifetime, but I am certain that when we can change that mindset, Africa will transform.

PAV: Thanks for granting this interview

Arrey Obenson: Thank you.

0
Read More
S. Sudan Urges International Community to Convince Sudan’s Holdout Groups As D – Day looms
September 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Abdulaziz Al-Hilu, the SPLM-North | Credit | Eric Reeves

Juba – South Sudan has urged the international community to convince Sudan’s holdout groups to join the peace process as the final signing ceremony of Juba peace agreement scheduled on the 3rd of October in Juba draws near.

Sudan peace deal was initiated by President Salva Kiir and has been negotiated and mediated by South Sudan to help his foe country to ending the country’s 17 conflict, following the ousted of former autocracy president Omar al – Bashir, who took power in a coup in 1989, was indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2009 and 2010 for crimes against humanity. Bashir is in jail in Khartoum convicted of corruption, is also now on trial for the 1989 coup in which he grabbed power, and in which hundreds of thousands of people were killed.

Last month, transitional government of Sudan and Sudanese revolutionary movements signed the Juba peace agreement, but groups including SPLM-N led by Abdelaziz al – Hilu and Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid al – Nur opted out.

Deputy Defense Minister, Malek Rueben said the final peace agreement will be finalized in Juba early next month and further invited the international and regional bodies to come and witness, what both Sudanese and mediators described it as a comprehensive and historic deal in Sudan era.

“This agreement is going to be finalized on the 3rd of October here in Juba, the invitation has already been sent by his Excellency the president and many invitation cards have been dispatched to the regional heads of states to come and witness the signing ceremony,” said Ruben, a member of Sudan peace talk’s mediation while addressing the international agencies in Juba on Wednesday.

 Ruben said the groups which remained out of the peace deal that Sudan reached with opposition groups must be convinced to embrace the initiative to ensure holistic peace in the neighbouring country.

He urged support from the international community to fact track the peace process in Sudan, noting that the people of Sudan have witnessed the bitterness of war and therefore, their current peace initiative needs both material and moral support.

“The agreement is owned by the Sudanese people and it will be successfully – we just need your [international community] support/back up in many ways in this peace – you need to give resource, political and moral supports which are very important,” said Ruben. “There is need for them to be brought on board so that the problems are solved once and for all,” he added.

Meanwhile, Deng Dau Deng, deputy minister for foreign affairs said peace and stability in Sudan is also a peace in South Sudan.

“Peace in Sudan will clement the peace in our border towns and this will open up movement of the people and goods between Sudan and South Sudan, hence benefiting the states that are bordering Sudan,” said Deng.

Deng said South Sudan have a huge populations that require support from its foe Sudan.

Ruben, however said it were Sudanese resolved their problems by themselves but their [mediators] roles were just to advice and gave experience.

“This agreement wasn’t enforced to them – they all come to consensus and agreed to have a peaceful Sudan with the new dynamic because they have already felt out the bitterness of the war,” said Ruben.

The Juba peace agreement addresses all the key issues in the resolution of Sudanese conflict, including but not limited to, offers rebels political representation, power sharing, wealth sharing, transitional justice, land ownership, security arrangements or the dismantling of armed forces and the integration of former combatants or forces and the chance of return for internally displaced persons and refugees among others.

The deal covered five negotiation tracks of Darfur, eastern Sudan, northern Sudan, central Sudan and South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

The armed groups that has signed the initial deal with Khartoum regime are the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Minni Minawi’s Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), both of the western region of Darfur, and a wing of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) led by Malik Agar, present in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

Sudan’s rebels are largely drawn from non-Arab minority groups that long railed against Arab’s domination of the government in Khartoum under ousted Bashir.

Of recently, Ambassador of Democratic Republic of Congo to South Sudan, described it as “peace in Sudan, mean a peace in South Sudan and a peace in South Sudan, mean a peace in the region. “We all in Africa, we need only a peace – we don’t need more war and conflict so that we give our people’s hope for bright future.”

Mannase Lomule, Chairperson of Relief Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) said “this agreement is a landmark for transformation of the region – it is also consistent with the commitment of the African Union (AU) that the problem of African should be resolved by African themselves – African must find solution to their own problems and to make sure that silence of guns is observed in this continent.”

The deal would grant self-rule for the southern states of Kordofan and Blue Nile. The deal also includes a six-month deadline for achieving peace in Sudan, which ran out in February.

The agreement stipulated extension of the transitional period in Sudan for extra 39 months, to begin starting September 1, 2020.

Omer Asalm, Sudanese Musician told the Pan African Visions that “We have opened a new page in our life and then we will go together to build a future for development in Sudan.”

0
Read More
Zimbabwe:Sustainable Development Goals 1,3 and 5 Faces Tight Battle Versus Covid-19
September 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

A coronavirus awareness billboard at a highway in Harare [Aaron Ufumeli/EPA]
A coronavirus awareness billboard at a highway in Harare [Aaron Ufumeli/EPA]

Three [3] Sustainable Development Goals , SDGs Goal 1 on No Poverty , 3 on Zero Hunger and 5 on Gender Equality face a tight rope pass through to succession by the year 2030 . The three[3] are hanging in doubt to bring sustainability due to several factors related to lock-down , covid-19 restrictios and other factors to note .

Taking a snap-shot on the effects to the Informal Traders , Women Bureau Programmes Manager  Memory Muchenga said the up-surge of corona-virus known as covid-19 is a threat to the In-Formal Traders Sector  of which its people , families and the business on the ground has gone down in terms of in-come generation , productivity and total output from families .

” Sustainable Development Goals on No poverty , goal 1 , Zero Hunger Goal 3 and Gender Equality Goal 5 are  difficult to win a country reduce extreme poverty , hunger and bring gender equality in a World of equal society at par-level in terms of gender-balance .

”The target is under the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations of which these are far away from winning because of several issues at hand .

”There are a number of challenges faced already of which we have no control over. These have reduced the effort on the ground of Informal traders who make the country generate income for its economic growth . Therefore at the same time the economic and social welbeing of women is affected ”.

”The up-surge of covid-19 has come with a threat to the liveli-hoods of many people in the country who many of them are  in the In-Formal Sector . Most of these are cross-boarder traders who fend for their families through  several means of tactical survival .

Zimbabwe Women Bureau notes with concern that  many families have been thrown into poverty . This it notes further makes it difficult to win on Goal number 1 one on No Poverty . Secondly , the fact that restrictions were put in place after 21 days of lock-down makes it as well difficult to eradicate hunger . This is Zero Hunger . The last one is Goal 5 on Gender Equality which is still not to be won after many families , marriages split because of conflicts .

Prisca Mudondo Zimbabwe Women Bureau Board Memmber pointed out that several forms of poverty have come to surface since the start of covid-19 . She adds that because of  restrictions that were put in place after 21 days lock-down , many families were exposed to extreme poverty , absolute and in-come poverty .

”Families were exposed to all forms of poverty , worse still to in-come poverty . This was due to restrictions put in place after 21 days of lock-down . This extended to hunger in families as income depreciated . Due to confinement at home  ,many divorces took place .Divorces occured and familuies split .”

It is now a doubt to see Zimbabwe winning on Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations after the effects of the corona-virus . Besides , survey on ground puts it straight that drought has contributed more , perhaps more than the virus itself . This has as well forced women to force crossing boardesrs at their expense .  Overall from country , Regional to Global level , it is a disturbing force to Agenda 2030 of the United Nations and Agenda 2063  of the African Union.

0
Read More
Burundi’s President rejects international disrespect on his country
September 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

President of Burundi Evariste Ndayishimiye, Tchandrou Nitanga AFP via Getty Images

President of Burundi, General Ndayishimiye Evariste has expressed anger over the disrespect his country is subjected to on international scene, for ‘political reasons and  selfish interests of certain powers’.

Ndayishimiye testified this during ongoing UN Generally assembly which is happening virtually due to coronavirus pandemic.

In June this year, Ndayishimye swore in as new president of Burundi, replacing Nkurunziza Pierre who died mysteriously in the beginning of that month.

Burundi has been on spotlight internationally since 2015, during presidential elections that was marred by violence, and a failed coup which triggered thousands to flee their country over security of their lives.

Ndayishimiye told UN General assembly that some refugees have been repatriated, which shows that Burundi is now more  peaceful than before.

He however expressed segregation and disrespect his country is still facing on international scene.

“Burundi is arbitrarily on the agenda of the Security Council for political reasons and selfish interests of certain powers, which disregard the well-being of the Burundian people, which in no way constitutes a threat to international peace and security”, he said

President Ndayishimiye said that some countries especially from the ‘South’ are being used to destabilize his country, after having implicated themselves into a failed coup in 205.

“we firmly reject the unjustified politico-diplomatic aggression against Burundi and its people by foreign governments, some of which were illustrated in the attempt to change the regime in 2015 through unconstitutional means.”

“The tendency of certain states, which use subtle and illegal means to regulate geopolitics in the countries of the South and to take the place of the international community to oppress other countries by imposing unilateral coercive measures on them, must stop”, he adds

Though he did not name the country, Burundi has been accusing Rwanda in the south of housing opposition elements that want to overthrow Bujumbura regime since 2015. Rwanda denies wrongdoing.

However, international organizations still show that nothing changed in Burundi since Ndayishimiye is elected, especially in matters regarding human rights.

Early this month , UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi issued fresh warnings about ongoing rights violations and impunity in the country since the death of former President Pierre Nkurunziza.

Commission highlighted serious human rights violations during this year’s elections, including summary executions, torture and sexual violence.

0
Read More
Kenya:Relief for MPs as High Court suspends Maraga’s advisory on dissolution of parliament
September 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Chief Justice Maraga
Chief Justice Maraga

The High Court has temporarily halted Chief Justice David Maraga’s advisory to President Uhuru Kenyatta on the dissolution of parliament.

Two petitioners, Leina Konchella and Abdul Munasar went to court on Wednesday seeking an order to stop the implementation of the advisory to dissolve the parliament for failing to pass the two-third gender rule.

“In the circumstances of this case, I, therefore, find the petitioners’ notice of motion dated September 23 merited. I allow it in terms of prayer so that a conservatory order issued for the preservation of the status quo of the Advice of the Chief Justice dated September 21 to the president pending inters parties hearing and determination of the petition,” ruled Justice Weldon Korir on Thursday.

The petitioners argued that written advice was not judicial and there were no proceedings followed before the decision was made.

“The Chief Justice has mischievously attempted to shield his act by fashioning the advisory as a judicial decision while no such proceedings can competently exist in the Kenyan court system,” noted the petitioners.

They called Maraga’s action irrational and unreasonable saying he acted beyond his authority.

The two described the two-thirds gender rule as discriminatory noting it will create more seats for women adding that it can only be implemented through extensive amendments to the Constitution.

On Monday, September 21, Maraga wrote to the Head of State advising his to dissolve the parliament over its failure to implement the said gender rule.

“It is incontestable that Parliament has not complied with the High Court order, As such, for over 9 years now, Parliament has not enacted the legislation required to implement the two-thirds gender rule which, as the court of Appeal observed in its said judgment, it is a clear testimony of Parliament’s lackadaisical attitude and conduct in this matter. Consequently, it is my constitutional duty to advise Your Excellency to dissolve Parliament under Article 261 (7) of the Constitution,” noted Maraga.

According to the President of the Supreme Court, several petitions had been raised challenging Parliament to enact the law.

The move came three years after Maraga led the Supreme Court in annulling the 2017 presidential election.

0
Read More
Thousands across Africa take to the streets calling for urgent solutions to the multiple crises of climate change and COVID-19
September 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

Africa-wide — Thousands took part in multiple actions across the continent calling on its leaders to urgently address the multiple crises of climate change, COVID-19, recession, unemployment, inequality and poverty plaguing the continent.

This was in response to the call from youth climate strikers for a Global Day of Climate Action on September 25th. Extreme weather events, such as floods and droughts driven by the climate crises are still common across the continent and the strikes are a reminder to those in power that the climate crisis has not gone away even as we fight COVID-19.

Last year, thousands of people took to the streets across the country to demand climate action. Politicians and the media congratulated the youth and portrayed them as beacons of hope. However, with those same leaders’ inaction, there has been little to celebrate. 

Climate science is clear that we are on the brink of climate breakdown, and urgent action is required such as turning away from polluting and harmful fossil fuels. Unfortunately, it is not a reality that is being taken seriously by African leaders who continue pushing for large investments in oil, coal and gas; putting profit for the few over the well-being of the many as they have many times before.

Quotes from key spokespeople

“Just this year, millions of people across the continent have had to abandon their homes due to floods and it is also anticipated that 2020 will be one of the hottest years on record. COVID-19 is still here with us but so is the climate crisis, leaders across Africa need to take this opportunity to build back better. Today, Africa’s youths are once again calling for climate justice consisting of transitioning away from fossil fuels and building climate resilient economies powered by renewables before it’s too late.They are demanding a new normal that puts the wellbeing of people and climate action first, building a socially and environmentally just, zero carbon future.” – Landry Ninteretse, Africa Team Leader, 350.org

“Young people and school children around the world have been striking from school demanding climate justice. Demanding that their future not be condemned to the ravages of climate chaos. We shall not relent, we call on our African leaders to accelerate plans for making Africa free of oil coal and gas. Taking advantage of technological advancements that now make wind and solar far cheaper alternatives with the ability to create even more jobs for the youth.” – Andre Moliro, Climate Justice Activist from Kinshasa, DRC

“COVID-19 is linked to the ecological crisis, as ecological degradation and climate change make pandemics more likely. It is therefore vital for decision-makers across the continent to ensure that the response to the pandemic also addresses the climate crisis and the existing inequalities that many Africans face especially women in rural areas. It is imperative that we leverage this moment to ensure a just recovery that builds resilience to crises and equality across the continent.” – Irene Asuwa, Woman Climate Champion with deCOALonize campaign in Lamu, Kenya

The climate youth movement was sparked by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s solo protest in August 2018. Now is a year on from the biggest climate mobilisation ever last September. The 25th will be the movement’s first major street protest of 2020 in many countries, and Fridays For Future have announced protests in over 3000 locations around the world.

*350Africa.org

0
Read More
Egypt joins global climate strikes with calls for Environmental Education to fight climate change
September 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Asmaa Hanafi

Back At the beginning of 2020 just before Covid-19 the world went highly polluted after stormy weather and heavy rain in Alexandria, Egypt. The bad weather has caused flooding in a number of streets in the Mediterranean city, especially in eastern districts. Alexandria governorate issued warnings to residents,
including asking people to avoid leaving their homes except in case of emergency, and to avoid standing under balconies or beside lampposts. I feel like it’s time to speak out climate Justices, climate change is a real and so close to everyone.

Thunderstorms packing heavy rains and lightning caused widespread flooding across Egypt at March 2020, killing at least fifteen people. Authorities shut down Luxor International Airport, a key hub for tourists, and three seaports — the Mediterranean port of Alexandria and the Red Sea ports of Sharm el-Sheikh and
Hurghada. Nile River cruises between the southern cities of Luxor and Aswan, which harbor most of ancient Egypt’s monuments, were suspended and several key highways were closed.

In Egypt, schools, nurseries and other recreational venues are closed since the middle of March 2020 due to Covid-19 pandemic. Children are often kept away from friends and loved ones. Families faced unprecedented economic, social and
psychological challenges. To address this anxiety, the stress and the boredom, Green society team shared dozens of advice, tips and resources for parents and children to be able to face these difficult times.

Through campaigns on social media and videos on YouTube celebrating Earth day 2020, the 50th anniversary, Africa day, World Environmental day and finally global climate strikes day.

When the lockdown started, we aimed at keeping all engaged in climate change crisis, feel the difference between polluted Air, hunting animals, cutting trees, movements of cars, burning fossil fuels and improves air quality and encourages wild animals to come out and explore the cities.

It’s time for igniting climate literacy and inspire all our family members to be involved in climate change movements that’s make us create such amazing stop motion video art taking a story line and illustrate impacts of climate change the problem of fossil fuels from industrial revolution era ending by the solution of plant trees, recycling, upcycling and move to renewable energy. It was a challengeable time to demonstrate every single second of doing this project

0
Read More
Centurion Law Group’s Oneyka Cindy Ojogbo receives African Legal Awards’ Private Practice Rising Star award
September 24, 2020 | 0 Comments
Oneyka Cindy Ojogbo
Oneyka Cindy Ojogbo
Presented by Legal Week, the annual ceremony aims to celebrate Africa’s legal talent and recognize the legal community’s achievements each year.

South Africa, September 24, 2020/ — Centurion Law Group (Centurion) was also nominated in the categories International Law Firm of the Year and In-House Rising Star; Centurion attorneys have previously received awards and been nominated by the African Legal Awards.

Last week Centurion Law Groups (Centurion) Senior Attorney and Business Lead, Oneyka Ojogbo was named the Private Practice Rising Star by the African Legal Awards (ALA) 2020.

Presented by Legal Week, the annual ceremony aims to celebrate Africa’s legal talent and recognize the legal community’s achievements each year through presenting categories such as International Law Firm of the Year, African Law Firm of the Year, General Counsel of the Year and Legal Department of the Year.

“I am honored to be recognized in this category with the other nominees who are by all account heavy hitters. I am grateful for a firm that really allows one discover themselves and grow and for the most supportive team ever; they make all things possible. I can only hope to continue the good work that has brought us this far,” said Ojogbo.

“We are delighted once again to have one of our attorneys be recognized by the ALA, with a prestigious recognition” said NJ Ayuk, CEO of Centurion Law Group. “ While I am not surprised, this is yet another testament to the work Oneyka and her team does on a daily basis, we are extremely proud of Oneyka and I can’t wait to see where she will be in five years,” he added.

Oneyka Ojogbo is a Senior Associate Attorney at Centurion’s Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and South Africa offices with significant experience in banking, energy, infrastructure and projects financing. She holds an LL.M. from the Columbia Law School and an LL.B. From the University of Ibadan.

View the full list of awards at The African Legal Award here 
About Centurion:
Headquartered in Johannesburg with offices in Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Cameroon and Mauritius, Centurion is an all-African law firm transforming the way law is done on the continent.

Our internationally trained lawyers (the UK and the US) are renowned for advising governments, foreign investors, local companies, other law firms and the private sector, and are able to draft and negotiate deals in English, Spanish, French and German.

Our team has unrivaled oil and gas expertise across Africa – advising on a number of first-of-a-kind deals in our core jurisdictions and with our affiliate firms in South Sudan, Uganda, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Angola, Nigeria, Zambia, Gabon and Senegal.

Ask us about services: info@centurionlg.com
*SOURCE Centurion
0
Read More
Gambian Rapper’s Album Motivates Youths to Move Higher
September 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Sadiq, a rising Gambia’s rap artiste has strongly advised the young folks that in life giving up shouldn’t be an option use the negatives as a motivation to keep pushing into waking up the people and reshaping the norms for the future generations.

‘Stages’ is Sadiq debut album  available in all digital platforms worldwide. It  consist of nine tracks recorded at ‘The Playroom’ in Gambia, all beats produced by “The Misfit” all tracks mixed and mastered by Sidy Talla (2Be Musik) Senegal Dakar, Executive producer Retsam.

The album depcit friendship, Money, Girls, Sex & Drugs; a few of the stages people go through growing up.

Sadiq explained that: “Most of the time we drown in our sorrows due to the way society is wired and that leaves us not knowing how to express emotions”

He added that: “As tough as it is growing up in a society where your every move is questioned and support is limited, giving up shouldn’t be an option use the negatives as a motivation to keep pushing into waking up the people and reshaping the norms for the future generations”

“Although I haven’t experienced as much as I’ve put in the project, I try to use the “what if” narrative in the most positive way to make it more relatable and captivating to the ears of the listener” the rising sensational artiste said.

‘STAGES’- available now in all digital platforms:stream/Download here https://sadiqstages.fanlink.to/dKrs

About Sadiq

Habib commonly known as Momo by his peers and Sadiq on stage, is a Gambian Hip Hop recording artist. He has been working under Chambaii Music (www.chambaiigroup.com).
Sadiq, the younger brother of the Rapper, Entrepreneur and Activist Retsam of Grandiz Kroo/Chambaii Music .

The brother to Producer MAB-The Last One (HeartCold Records). He was born in September 1999 in The Gambia.

The name was given to him at his tender age by Retsam who thought that his brother was a both a friend (in Arabic “Sadiq”) and jokingly a sadist (in French “sadique”).

At the age of 11, Sadiq recorded his first song which was a remix of “Coming Home” by Puff Daddy. In the same vein, he had his first amateur video clip uploaded on Youtube (search Sadiq-Mo “Coming Home” remix or follow this link:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHgm8qNy1lM).

Sadiq grew up in different neighbourhoods, from Kotu, Pipeline, Kanifing and Bakau and later relocated to Madrid, Spain before returning to The Gambia in 2013.

In 2016, Sadiq recorded various songs such as “Respect”, “We On It” and “Payback” with schoolmates. Since his graduation from High School, he began to build more interest in making music and released a remix of “Panda” by Desiigner which attracted a lot of attention.

He was advised to take his time and work on himself and his craft. During that period, Sadiq was unheard, as he was recording tracks and planning to release an EP as his first studio project. But still, he has been interacting and acquainting himself with the people and his environment.

Sadiq has performed in few events such as the Brotherhood, Killa Ace, Abaking of Grandiz Kroo and The Cypher concerts.
Sadiq has chosen to put his worries, anger, thoughts and dreams into music. He takes his time to dig deep into his soul for lyrics that characterize his generation.

Sadiq is a brilliant artist that has passion for success. He has worked on a piece of art that makes him the next big thing. His tracks are soulful and relatable.

The EP “Say This” which is a collection of 11 tracks that reflect the subconscious anxiety of growing up in a chaotic environment and living life to the fullest, is scheduled to be released for free on the 25th April 2018 at www.chambaiigroup.com and CDs will be distributed to local radios and other media platform.

0
Read More
Actions across Africa calling for urgent solutions to the dual crises of climate change and COVID-19
September 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

Africa-wide — Youth climate strikers under the banner of Fridays for Future have called for a Global Day of Climate Action on September 25th.

In response to this call youth leaders, civil society groups and grassroots movements are organizing actions across the continent to send a powerful message to the leaders that there is need for a just recovery

Key Activities by Country:

KENYA

  • On September 25th and 26th, there will be graffiti installation in Mathare, Nairobi, followed by a community dialogue on climate impacts and its mitigation. Press contact: Ndereva Mutua Mwendenderevamutua884@gmail.com, +254 790 657087
  • On September 25th, there will be a live virtual concert to launch the Afrika Vuka song by local artists aimed at mobilizing young climate activists to join the climate movement. Press contact: Steeve Kezamutima kezamutimas@gmail.com  +254 700 576154
  • On September 25th, there will be a march and virtual strike targeted towards the Ministry of Trade and US Embassy in light of the recent US – Kenya trade deals posing to rekindle the once banned plastic use in Kenya to ensure that the plastic ban stays in place. Press contact: Eric Damien ericdnjuguna@gmail.com +254 719 555133

UGANDA

  • On September 25th, there will be a film screening in Kasese highlighting oil exploration and its impacts. Press contact: Edwin Mumbere  edwinfantam@gmail.com  +256 773 558257
  • On September 27th, the Uganda Little Hands Go Green will be hosting a virtual Green Kids Festival to bring together all the young green ambassadors to speak about the conservation of Bugoma forest and the environment as a whole. Press contact: Joseph Masembe masembe@littlegreenhands.org +256 756 249000

BURUNDI

  • On September 25th, a march followed by a music concert will take place in Gitega by Espoir Scout Burundi. Press contact: Jean Claude scoutespoirmagarama@gmail.com +257 79 91 47 19
  • On September 25th, over 900 students will come together in Kinindo, Bujumbura to raise awareness on climate change impacts and renewable energy. Press contact: Audrey Habonimana audrey.habonimana@rutareinitiative.org +257 69 86 88 00 

EGYPT

  • On September 25th, the Green Society Alexandria will unveil an animated video to create awareness of the climate crisis in Egypt as well as push the message for a need to build back better after the crisis. Press contact: Asmaa Hanafi asmaahanafi22@gmail.com +20 102 230 1723

DRC

  • On September 25th, in Kinshasa, painters will join youth activists to draw and design posters with Just Recovery messages while calling for a stop to oil exploration in Virunga. The artwork will then be shared on social media during a twitter storm and delivered to the President of the Republic and Minister of Energy. Press contact: Andre Moliro andremoliro2@gmail.com, +243 811 607 726
  • On September 26th, an open day for climate action will take place in Goma, bringing together youth, civil society will be held to call for a stop to oil exploration in Virunga. Press contact: Ephrem Bwishe ephrb@yahoo.fr, +250 786 772 165

CAMEROON

  • On September 25th, a film screening will take place at the University of Yaounde to raise awareness on climate change impacts focusing on the  vulnerability of women and renewable energy as an alternative. Press contact: Félicité Djoukouofelicite.djoukouo@gmail.com +237 75787046

GHANA

  • On September 25th, the group 350 GROC will be organizing a virtual debate on renewable energy in Ghana and a just recovery post COVID. Press contact: Portia Adu Mensah 350groc@gmail.com +233 26 268 5618

TOGO

  • On September 25th, there will be a movie screening in Lome to showcase the effects of coal and renewable energy opportunities in Togo. Press contact: Esso Pedessi essoklnam@gmail.com  +228 90 96 32 91

BENIN

  • On September 25th, a Women’s March for Climate will take place in Lalo to raise awareness on climate justice and the potential of renewable energy. Press contact: Maimouna Adamouongjupd@gmail.com +229 99992562

The climate youth movement was sparked by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s solo protest in August 2018. Now is a year on from the biggest climate mobilisation ever last September. The 25th will be the movement’s first major street protest of 2020 in many countries, and Fridays For Future have announced protests in over 3000 locations around the world.

*Source 350.Org

0
Read More
South Sudan government officials embezzled $36m in last four year: UN panel says
September 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

President Salva Kiir recently fired his Finance Minister

Juba – The United Nations Human Rights Commission has said South Sudan’s high – ranking politicians and bureaucrats siphoned off at least $36 million in public funds since 2016.

Wednesday’s report by the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan came six days after President Salva Kiir fired the country’s finance minister, the acting head of the National Revenue Authority, as well as the director of the state-owned oil company.

The September 17 reshuffle at the financial institutions came after South Sudan’s reserves of foreign currency crashed, prompting a 37 percent slump in the value of the South Sudanese pound against the US dollar.

Yasmin Sooka, Chairperson for UN Human Rights Commission explained that their findings revealed illicit financial flow from two key institutions in the world youngest nation.

“Our Commission has uncovered brazen embezzlement by senior politicians and government officials, together with a number of entities linked to the government,” Yasmin Sooka told the UN panels during the teleconference on Wednesday. “We can reveal the misappropriation of a staggering $36m since 2016. It is worth noting this is just what we were able to trace and may not reflect the whole picture.”

The amount is what the institution was able to trace for the last 4 years, according to the commission’s chairperson, adding that much more remains unaccounted for.

Sooka added that the figure relates to illegal financial movements from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and from the National Revenue Authority.

“Shockingly, these South Sudanese bodies have been aided and abetted in these crimes by a number of international corporations and multinational banks. Some of this money has been laundered through the purchase of properties abroad. Indeed, those properties may well be in your countries.”

The Juba government is yet to respond this UN report.

But earlier this month, the national revenue authority had informed a South Sudan parliamentary committee that the country lost -to tax exemptions – almost 40 billion South Sudanese Pounds in just three months alone.

Similarly, the Economic Crises Management Committee set up by president Salva Kiir discovered that $3.1 million had disappeared at the Directorate of Nationalities, Passport and Immigration.

The traffic police headquarters has also been accused of not accounting for funds collected through the issuance of number plates, licenses, and the logbooks.

However, the UN Human Rights commission, set up in 2016, has previously accused South Sudan politicians of pocketing state funds and – believes that some of these revenues have been stashed abroad.

“South Sudan is a country where lives are being destroyed by financial corruption on an epic scale,” Sooka said. “Looting and pillage aren’t just offshoots of war, they are arguably the main drivers of the conflict.

South Sudan, turned ninth year old in July 9, is struggling to cope with the aftermath of a six-year civil war that killed nearly 380,000 people and uprooted four million people both internally and externally, before it crippled the output of crude oil, which accounts for more than 90 percent of the state revenue.

Sooka further said “at one end of the spectrum, South Sudan’s political elites are fighting for control of the country’s oil and mineral resources, in the process stealing their people’s future. At the other, the soldiers in this conflict over resources are offered the chance to abduct and rape women in lieu of salaries. The eight-year-old girl gang-raped in front of her parents is the collateral damage.”

Several reports carried out by campaign groups such as The Sentry, Global Witness and Transparency International showed that the leaders have stolen hundreds of millions of dollars with the help of foreign businesspeople – all attributed on lack of financial accountability and transparency coupled with impunity.

On corruption also, of recently, the United States department of the treasury’s office of foreign assets control (OFAC) imposed more economic sanctions on Nabah Ltd, a company owned by Sudanese businessman Ashraf Seed Ahmed Al-Cardinal for reportedly depositing and holding funds for South Sudanese officials outside of the world’s youngest nation in an attempt to avoid sanctions.

0
Read More
New Report on COVID-19 In Africa Highlights Need for Increased Access to Health Care Services and Protections for Health Care Workers
September 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

More than 24,000 adults in 18 AU Member States provide insight into indirect impacts of virus.

People living in Lagos State in Nigeria, simulate sneezing into their elbows during a coronavirus prevention campaign. Photo UNICEF/Ojo

Most African Union (AU) Member States swiftly implemented public health and social measures (PHSMs) to contain COVID-19; these measures likely slowed the spread of the virus, and caseloads in Africa have remained lower than projected. Though many governments have since loosened restrictions, allowing some economic activity to resume, new research from the Partnership for Evidence-Based COVID-19 Response (PERC) highlights substantial indirect burdens of the virus across Africa and offers recommendations to governments as countries scale up or scale down PHSMs to control the pandemic.

Almost half of people surveyed reported to have skipped routine care during the pandemic, according to PERC’s latest report —the second in its “Using Data to Find a Balance” series—which draws from a survey of more than 24,000 adults in 18 AU Member States, as well as social, economic and epidemiological data from a range of sources. Up to 70% respondents reported problems accessing food in the past week, and just as many survey respondents reported earning less money compared to the same time last year. Still, support for PHSMs remained strong, and 85% of respondents reported wearing a face mask in the previous seven days. 

“African Union Member States have responded decisively to COVID-19,” said Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. “The data presented in PERC’s new report will allow decision makers to go beyond COVID-19 caseloads alone and instead consider a fuller picture of health and wellbeing,  and tailor response measures accordingly.”

Governments and international aid organizations need to act quickly to restore access to health services for care unrelated to COVID-19 and to build back public demand for services. 

Of survey participants who have needed health care during the pandemic, almost half reported skipping or delaying care; among those who needed medications, almost half reported increased difficulty in obtaining them. The most commonly delayed or skipped health care services were routine checkups, followed by care for malaria, diabetes, cardiovascular issues, antenatal care, and care for children under 5 years old.

“As in past outbreaks, we are seeing a high cost from missed and delayed health care,” said Dr Zabulon Yoti, Acting Regional Director, Emergency Preparedness and Response Cluster, World Health Organization.  “Even routine check-ups are critical for screening and treating people for both communicable and noncommunicable diseases. We must protect access to health care by making sure that facilities are equipped to handle COVID-19 infections, and that health workers are protected.”

Most respondents supported reopening their national economies, but reported anxiety about resuming normal activities was also high. The data suggest that COVID-19 is seen as a serious threat, but for many, economic needs outweigh concern about catching the virus. 

Still, adherence to the “3 W’s”—wearing a mask, washing hands, and watching distance from others—remained high, pointing to a way forward for policymakers. Effective government support for these behavioral measures could mitigate the need for more restrictive measures in the future.

“COVID-19 has threatened progress toward all Sustainable Development Goals, and PERC’s data clearly show the importance of targeted relief measures,” said Dr. Elsie S. Kanza, Head of the Regional Agenda, Africa; Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum, “These are needed to help our economic recovery, to protect health and to prevent inequality from widening.”

The report also highlights gaps in reporting key data, including data on community transmission and adherence to preventive measures, which limits the speed and impact of efforts made to manage local outbreaks, and makes it difficult to calibrate PHSMs.

“Data is essential to our defense against COVID-19, and the more governments in AU Member States can rely on it to support their decisions, the more effective their response will be,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies.           

Key findings in the report include:

  • 44% respondents in need of health care said they or someone in their household had skipped or delayed needed services, and 45% respondents in need of medicine reported the same for accessing medication.
  • 70% of people reported problems accessing food, mainly due to lost income or higher food prices
  • 70% of survey respondents reported earning less money compared to the same time last year
  • Lower income families were more likely to experience a decline in income. About 80% of households with less than US$100 in monthly income saw their income fall, compared to 60% of households with at least US$500 in monthly income
  • Six in 10 respondents agreed that the economy needs to be reopened, and that the health risks of COVID-19 are minimal if social distancing rules are followed
  • 85% of respondents reported wearing a face mask in public in the previous seven days, but as expected given recent relaxing of some PHSMs, a lower share (60%) said they avoided religious gatherings and only half reported staying home instead of going to work, school or other regular activities
  • While more than two-thirds of respondents agreed that many people in their country would be affected by COVID-19, less than one-third (29%) believed their own personal risk of infection was high
  • While most respondents indicated basic knowledge of COVID-19, misinformation about the virus is common, particularly those positing foreign interference in treatments and vaccines. About one in three survey respondents agreed with the assertion that foreigners were discrediting African medicines and testing vaccines on Africans

Recommendations include that governments:

  • Prioritize “boxing in” the virus, by ensuring an adequate supply of testing kits and reagents to identify positive cases, tracing their close contacts, and isolating cases, rather than relying on wide-scale lockdowns
  • Make it as easy as possible for communities to adhere to low-cost personal protective measures, “the 3 W’s”—wearing a mask, washing hands, and watching distance.
  • Protect health care workers by establishing COVID-19 protocols, increasing availability of personal protective equipment and training on infection prevention and control; then encourage people to seek care for health services unrelated to COVID-19 by engaging community leaders
  • Prioritize evidence-based measures to increase food security and economic recovery, including cash transfers and direct food support, with a focus on the lowest income households and vulnerable populations
  • Address misinformation by sharing consistent, evidence-based messages with trusted community members as messages messengers
  • Invest in data collection, analysis and reporting, including core indicators about cases and the public health response, rapid mortality surveillance, data about COVID-19 infections among health workers, and data on utilization of health services.

About the Partnership for Evidence-Based COVID-19 Response (PERC)

The Partnership for Evidence-based Response to COVID-19, a consortium of global public health organizations and private sector firms. PERC member organizations are Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team and the World Economic ForumIpsos andNovetta Mission Analytics bring market research expertise and years of data analytic support to the partnership PERC was created in March 2020 with the objective of providing AU Member States with real-time information and guidance to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the continent. PERC’s first regional report, Responding to COVID-19 in Africa: Using Data to Find the Balance, was published in May of 2020. 

About Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

Africa CDC is a specialized technical institution of the African Union that strengthens the capacity and capability of Africa’s public health institutions as well as partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks, based on data-driven interventions and programmes.

About the World Health Organization 

About Resolve to Save Lives

Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of the global health organization Vital Strategies, focuses on preventing deaths from cardiovascular disease and by preventing epidemics. It is led by Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible. To find out more, please visit www.vitalstrategies.org or Twitter @VitalStrat.

About the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team

The UK-PHRST is funded by UK aid from the Department of Health and Social Care and is a partnership between the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Public Health England (PHE). University of Oxford and King’s College London (KCL) are academic partners. Through the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team (UK-PHRST), the UK has the capacity to respond rapidly to disease outbreaks in low- and middle-income countries around the world and conduct operational research into epidemic preparedness, playing an important role in global health security. The team also works to help countries to build their own capacity for an improved and rapid national response to outbreaks.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the third largest market research company in the world, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people. Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. Our 75 business solutions are based on primary data coming from our surveys, social media monitoring, and qualitative or observational techniques. “Game Changers”—our tagline—summarises our ambition to help our 5,000 clients navigate with confidence our world of rapid change. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since 1 July 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service

About Novetta

Novetta delivers scalable advanced analytic and technical solutions to address challenges of national and global significance. Focused on mission success, Novetta pioneers disruptive technologies in machine learning, data analytics, full-spectrum cyber, open source analytics, cloud engineering, DevSecOps, and multi-INT analytics for Defense, Intelligence Community, and Federal Law Enforcement customers. Novetta is headquartered in McLean, VA with over 1,300 employees across the U.S.

About the World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. In response to the COVID-19 emergency, the World Economic Forum, acting as partner to the World Health Organization (WHO), launched the COVID Action Platform. The platform is intended to catalyse private-sector support for the global public health response to COVID-19, and to do so at the scale and speed required to protect lives and livelihoods, aiming to find ways to help end the global emergency as soon as possible.

*Courtesy of Vital Strategies

0
Read More
1 2 3 277