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Merkel looks to Africa to cement a legacy shaped by migration
October 30, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Thomas Escritt*

German Chancellor Angela Merkel waits for Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to arrive at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

German Chancellor Angela Merkel waits for Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to arrive at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted African leaders on Tuesday, pledging a new development fund to tackle underdevelopment on the continent that has helped to spur mass migration, shaping the later years of her long premiership.

Merkel announced on Monday she would retire from politics by 2021, sending shockwaves across Europe and starting a race to succeed her.

She needs the Compact with Africa summit to show that progress has been made in addressing the aftermath of one of the defining moments of her 13 years in power: her 2015 decision to open Germany’s doors to more than a million refugees.

The Berlin summit, attended by 12 leaders including South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, is designed to showcase the continent as a stable destination for German investment.

The International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde is also there, along with a host of international development officials.

The aim is to create good jobs for Africans, easing the poverty which along with political instability and violence has encouraged large numbers to head for Europe.

“We Europeans have a great interest in African states having a bright economic outlook,” Merkel said in her opening speech, announcing a fund to help small and medium-sized enterprises from both Europe and Africa to invest on the continent.

Germany has already introduced tax incentives for its companies to set up plants in Africa, reflecting Merkel’s view that state aid must give way to private investment if jobs are to be created in their millions.

If Merkel is to ensure the leadership of her Christian Democrat party passes to a centrist ally, such as current general secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, she needs to show that she has made progress in fixing the conditions that led to her fateful decision three years ago.

Other candidates, including Health Minister Jens Spahn or her old rival, the strongly pro-business Friedrich Merz, are well to her right politically and could be expected to want to challenge much of her legacy.

Merkel presented her decision to open Germany’s borders to refugees fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East as well as Africa as an unavoidable necessity driven by the vast scale of the human tide.

The crisis upturned European politics, revitalizing the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, whose demand that the country shut its borders to migrants helped to fuel its surge into parliament in last year’s election.

But officials around the chancellor believe that migration can only be slowed sustainably by removing the “push” factors of unemployment and instability in Africa, something that will only be exacerbated by climate change.

A successful outcome to the summit may help to strengthen Merkel’s case for remaining chancellor even after stepping down from the party leadership, and could quieten her coalition partners in Bavaria’s conservative CSU and the Social Democrats (SPD).

All three parties have suffered punishing setbacks in regional elections this month, building internal party pressure for them to switch leaders or break up the coalition.

*Reuters

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Gabon president hospitalised ‘due to exhaustion’
October 30, 2018 | 0 Comments
Ali Bongo took over as leader of Gabon in 2009 on the death of his father Omar Bongo, who had ruled since 1967 (AFP Photo/Dominic Lipinski)

Ali Bongo took over as leader of Gabon in 2009 on the death of his father Omar Bongo, who had ruled since 1967 (AFP Photo/Dominic Lipinski)

Libreville (AFP) – Gabonese President Ali Bongo, hospitalised in Saudi Arabia since Wednesday, was taken into medical care after suffering a bout of exhaustion during a trip to Riyadh, his office said Sunday.

The 59-year-old leader was in the Saudi capital for a flagship economic forum when he fell ill, said spokesman Ike Ngouoni in a statement.

“The doctors who assessed him said he is suffering from severe fatigue due to extremely high levels of activity in recent months,” he said.

Bongo is feeling better and has been told to rest, Ngouoni added, while calling for “vigilance” against “fake news” following false reports of his death.

A Cameroon TV station had announced live on air on Saturday that the Gabon president had died, without providing any evidence, he said.

Bongo was scheduled to appear Wednesday on a panel at the Future Investment Initiative forum, but was not seen during the discussion.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited him in Riyadh’s King Faisal hospital that evening, the official Saudi Press Agency said on Thursday.

However in a separate dispatch, SPA said Bongo attended a speech by Prince Mohammed at the conference later Wednesday.

Bongo took over as leader of the oil-rich equatorial African nation in 2009 on the death of his father Omar Bongo, who had ruled since 1967.

In 2016, Ali Bongo was re-elected by just a few thousand votes in a controversial presidential election.

The country went to the polls this month for the first time since that vote, with the second round of legislative elections Saturday seeing Bongo’s party coasting towards victory.

*AFP

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Kenya:I’ll leave when my term expires, said President Kenyatta
October 30, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

President Uhuru Kenyatta has downplayed speculations going around that he is advocating for constitution amendments to extend his tenure which expires in 2022.

Speaking to CNN on Monday 29, the Head of State divulged he will not seek presidency again even if he is granted a chance.

“I’m not interested in serving another term. I will not take up the chance even if everyone wanted me to,” said Kenyatta.

He maintained he is keen in achieving his development agenda affected by the last year’s elections. He decried over chaotic scenario which hamper the nation’s economic growth after every election. According to Amnesty International, Human Rights watch, a hundreds of people were killed following disputed presidential results.

“Kenya is always gentle and loving country except for when there is an election. This is the belief we are trying to come out of,” he added.

On the referendum, Kenyatta said the proponents of the plebiscite are seeking to a few sections of the supreme laws in order to reduce the cost of running government and cost of living which has made Kenyans to dig deeper into the pockets to meet high cost of life. In September the government increased by 8 per cent value added tax on petroleum products and fuel.

“People are talking about constitutional change not necessarily that they are desirous for the president to seek a third term but because of issues related to the cost of running this constitution,” he said.

In current constitution, the National Assembly has 290 elected members each representing a constituency, 47 women representative and 12 members nominated to represent women, youth and marginalized.

The Senate comprised of 47 elected Senators, 16 women nominated for gender balance and four representatives of the youth and the disabled.

Moreover, there are 47 governors, 1,450 elected Members of County Assembly and 774 nominated ones.

At the same time the Head of State defended the country’s huge debt to China saying the money has been used in infrastructure development.

“What would worry me if the debt that we have incurred has gone to recurrent expenditure like salaries. But we have utilized that debts to close the infrastructure gap and anyone coming to Nairobi after 10 years will be able to know,” reiterated Kenyatta.

He questioned why people are mainly concerned about the country’s to China but forgetting US, Japan, France and other international lenders saying France has lent the country for electricity projects while Japan is the  biggest lender to the country’s port projects.

“As far as I am concerned we have a very healthy mix of debt from the multi-lateral lenders who are the World Bank and African Development Bank to bilateral lending from Japan, France and all are working with us to help us achieve our agenda,” he maintained.

 

 

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Running without charging: Hanergy Offers New Solar-powered Express Delivery Cars to China’s Top Delivery Companies
October 30, 2018 | 0 Comments
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Oranto Petroleum inks Agreement, Prepares to Enter Niger Republic
October 30, 2018 | 0 Comments
After a satisfactory review of the technical data, Oranto Petroleum will be granted the blocks under the terms outlined in the country’s petroleum code and as determined by the Ministry of Petroleum
ABUJA, Nigeria, October 30, 2018/ — The Ministry of Petroleum of Niger to Grant Blocks R5, R6, Dibella and Dallol to Oranto; The blocks are located in the Agadem Rift Basin; Oranto Petroleum to receive technical data.

Nigeria-based Oranto Petroleum (atlas-Oranto.com) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry Petroleum of the Republic of Niger, outlining its intention to sign production sharing contracts on Blocks R5, R6, Dibella and Dallol in the Tenere and Agadem Basins in Niger.

According to the agreement signed in September between Prince Arthur Eze, Chairman of Oranto Petroleum, and H.E. Foumakoye Gado, Minister of Petroleum of Niger, Oranto Petroleum is to receive all technical data on the blocks. After a satisfactory review of the technical data, Oranto Petroleum will be granted the blocks under the terms outlined in the country’s petroleum code and as determined by the Ministry of Petroleum.

Blocks R5 and R6 border Savannah Petroleum’s Blocks R1 and R2, which have boasted several discoveries of oil in recent years. The Agadem Rift Basin, in southeast Niger, was explored by the China National Petroleum Corporation, which made 97 discoveries from 127 exploration wells throughout the area.

“We greatly look forward to working with the government of Niger Republic as the country seeks to build its oil and gas portfolio. As a leading African independent with an expertise in frontier exploration, we believe the potential of Blocks R5, R6, Dibella and Dallol has yet to be fully explored, and we are eager to get to work,” said Eze.

Atlas Petroleum International and Oranto Petroleum (atlas-Oranto.com) represent Africa’s largest privately-held, Africa-focused exploration and production group. Its extensive footprint across the African continent includes 21 oil and gas licenses in 12 jurisdictions, including producing assets in Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea and numerous Atlas/Oranto-operated blocks. Operating as sister companies in the West Africa region since 1991, Atlas and Oranto now operate throughout Africa.

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Zimbabwe: Parliament At Work with stringent legislation against child abuse
October 30, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu.

UNICEF, The magnitude of sexual violation prevalence in the World continues to increase.  In total other forms of abuse like child labor , child economic exploitation , neglect  , physical abuse, trafficking and child pornography also continue to prevail in a World dominated by HIV and AIDS .Shocking  statistics of children facing several forms of abuse center more on sexual abuse and child trafficking.

In many countries which are still developing, this is alarming. Zimbabwe ranks among those countries which are still in challenges related to the above mentioned abuses. A lot of these issues resonate on culture, tradition and religion. These African social issues impedes on the development of the Girl Child in many countries in practice.

 

Owing attention to this, in-order to come to the reality of children’s rights, Parliament of Zimbabwe is working out on 30 pieces of legislation related to the Children’s Act which need to be aligned to the Constitution .Children laws are to be stricter regarding protection and safe-guarding  children, especially the girl child. The Government will come out with the strategy of sexual offenders’ registration so as to get correct statistics and be able to deal with the issue.

Addressing Journalists attending the Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children, Taylor Nyanhete  , Director of the organization added that 150 million girls are  forced into  unprotected sex .  These end up vulnerable and thrown into several forms of poverty in life like absolute poverty .He also said that boys are also at risk .Worse still , he cited that 1,2 million children are trafficked annually . This, he added is pushing the Government become censorious so as to protect children in general.

‘’Looking at 1,4 million Zimbabweans infected by HIV , the big number belong to young people who constitutes 60% of the total population . Out of the 7 billion World population, 2 billion clock to adolescents population. Young people are at tight blow.

‘’The Law will at a time in the future make it 40 years for any rape case to a minor . More years will be for those who sexually abuse those with disability especially if those abused are still children.

‘’The fact on ground is, there is high increase in school drop- out. This is much affecting the girl child mainly because they are taking more responsibilities at home.

‘’Sexual exploitation and vulnerability is increasing on a daily basis with the kind of remorse and embarrassment which exposes the girl child in the community.

‘’At last we face challenges related to child headed families which face economic problems which we need to address as a nation’’.

Taylor Nyanhete also cited on aspects of Faith Based Churches and some religious sects which are a contributing factor which fuel escalating challenges in hand. This, he said is mainly in Africa and the developing World.

‘’Yes, Africa is at loss because of child marriage.  Despite, let us focus more on our own children. They were born in a volatile world of African culture, tradition and religion. We need not to hide the fact that these are part of the challenges we experiences as we move forward. How-ever, let us not be found behind.’’

‘’The tradition of gender in-equalities has been the main problem debilitating on the girls. Over the past decades because of male domination, a number of young girls were married before finishing their school. We understand, some fail to get school fees, but still they need to complete their schooling ‘’.

 

Commenting on the same issue, a Child Rights Expert with the same civil society, Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children, Maxim Murungweni said a number of girls around the country are still faced with problems related to forced sex.  Rape is leading challenge. It is followed by child trafficking which leads to forced prostitution. Most young girls in Sub Saharan Africa are vulnerable. They face mounting problems which force them to forced sex, pornography and all sorts of mischief is practiced on them.

‘’It’s  pathetic , young women are forced into prostitution , because sometimes they have no option , but just to accept impossibilities and later they get exposed to HIV and AIDS , child marriage , unwanted pregnancies and transmission of some opportunistic infections’’ .

’Governments must be custodian of children’s rights as cherished by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of Children.

‘’Investments in children’s future creates for them a just World where everyone has his or her rights as echoed by the convention’’, said the Expert.

An HIV and AIDS Program Manager with the National AIDS Council Tendai Mbengeranwa said the optimism of the organization is to end AIDS by 2030. She indicated that National AIDS Council is following guide-lines, regulations and mandates of UNAIDS at International level.

 

‘’Ending AIDS by 2030 can just be a story of success because we have gone long a way in the fight against HIV and AIDS in the country.  Initiatives and programs like those on young people Sexual Reproductive Health , sex and sexuality , young for real and Rivers flow of NAC and SAFAIDS have done much to eradicate HIV and AIDS’’ .

‘’We have targets with those like UNAIDS does. Our optimism is that AIDS can be elimination by 2030. This is accompanied by the Universal talk closing the tap of new HIV INFECTIONS. Countries are currently looking at the 90, 90 , 90 targets to end HIV by 2030 .The targets look at suppressing the viral load , knowing your status and initiation of ART…  They are also looking at ending pediatric HIV , that is in babies’’,  she concluded.

Speaking at the same occasion, Shamwari YeMwanasikana Director Ekeniah Chifamba defined child marriage as a formal marriage or an informal union in which at least one of the parties is a child.

‘’A child is a person under the age of 18 years. The Law now does not accept a situation whereby someone under the age of 18 gets into marriage. By that time, age , they will be still in school. Let us bear it in mind that they also want to learn and pursue Tertiary careers.

‘’When then do they become like those who excel in their education?. Let us make and see those becoming Leaders tomorrow. At the same time, there is the age of consent which is 16 years. As long as a girl is below 16, she is not ready for sex. At 16 and above, she may consent to, but if not then forced into sex , then its totally rape’’ .

Child marriage is a Global problem. Approximately 15 million girls get married before the age of 18 years .At least we are talking of 41 000 girls married every-day. In the developing World, 1 in 3 girls are married by the age of 18 and 1 in 9 by the age of 15 years. Some are married as young as 8 or 9 years in some other burdened countries .

In a study carried by UNICEF, Ending Child Marriage.. Progress and Prospects , 2014 State of the World’s Children , 30 to 34% of women in Zimbabwe aged between 20 and 24 years were married or in union before they were 18 years old .

 

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Big milestone as KQ makes a direct flight to US
October 30, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

President Uhuru Kenyatta flags off the inaugural Kenya Airways (KQ) direct flight from Nairobi to New York. PHOTO| PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta flags off the inaugural Kenya Airways (KQ) direct flight from Nairobi to New York. PHOTO| PSCU

The long awaited historic direct flight by Kenya Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner to the United States of America was accomplished on Monday, October 29, after it touched down at John F Kennedy International airport at 6:45am (1:30am Kenyan time).

The plane christened “Magical Kenya) left Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Sunday at 10:45pm (local time) after the inauguration led by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

It covered 11,800km in an estimated 15-hour journey cruising at a speed of 888km/hour.

On board were CNN’s Richard Quest, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma, Kenya Airways chief executive Sebastian Mikosz and Chairman Michael Joseph.

The journey was commissioned by the four pilot crews led by 65-year-old old Captain Joseph Kinuthia. The plane was met with the prestigious water salute, a renowned airport tradition meant to recognize and pay respect to military events, new airlines, key events at the airport and anniversaries.

Non-stop flights between the two countries is a big milestone as normal flights from Kenya to US takes upto 22 hours and now this has been reduced by 7 hours. Out of 234 passengers, 204 will be in economy class. The charges are Ksh.89, 900 ($899) for an economy class and Ksh.260.000 ($2600) for business class.

The plane has 4 pilots and 12 attendants. It will consume 85,000 litres of fuel in a one-way trip.

The inaugural flight to New York will give Kenya increased access to the large US economy. More US corporation in Kenyan market is also expected to increase plus high number of tourist.

“These flights are set to provide a seamless experience for business and leisure travellers alike. It will allow the world to taste Kenya’s diverse cultures and hospitality,” reiterated President Kenya during the inauguration.

The move will also cement Nairobi’s position as one of Africa’s biggest economic movers. Eastern and Central Africa will also reap economically from the latest milestone.

Kenya now joins Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Ethiopia, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Cape Verde as African countries that which have direct flights to the US.

 

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Seychelles launches World’s First Sovereign Blue Bond
October 29, 2018 | 0 Comments
Bond will support sustainable marine and fisheries projects
Danny Faure, President of Seychelles (State House)

Danny Faure, President of Seychelles (State House)

THE REPUBLIC OF SEYCHELLES/ WASHINGTON/ BALI, OCTOBER 29 –The Republic of Seychelles has launched the world’s first sovereign blue bond-a pioneering financial instrument designed to support sustainable marine and fisheries projects.

The bond, which raised US$15 million from international investors, demonstrates the potential for countries to harness capital markets for financing the sustainable use of marine resources. The World Bank assisted in developing the blue bond and reaching out to the three investors: Calvert Impact Capital, Nuveen, and Prudential.
 
“We are honored to be the first nation to pioneer such a novel financing instrument. The blue bond, which is part of an initiative that combines public and private investment to mobilize resources for empowering local communities and businesses, will greatly assist Seychelles in achieving a transition to sustainable fisheries and safeguarding our oceans while we sustainably develop our blue economy,” said Vincent Meriton, Vice-President of the Republic of Seychelles, who announced the bond at the Our Ocean Conference in Bali.

Proceeds from the bond will include support for the expansion of marine protected areas, improved governance of priority fisheries and the development of the Seychelles’ blue economy. Grants and loans will be provided through the Blue Grants Fund and Blue Investment Fund, managed respectively by the Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) and the Development Bank of Seychelles (DBS).

“The World Bank is excited to be involved in the launch of this sovereign blue bond and believes it can serve as a model for other small island developing states and coastal countries. It is a powerful signal that investors are increasingly interested in supporting the sustainable management and development of our oceans for generations to come,” said Laura Tuck, Vice President of Sustainable Development at the World Bank.

Seychelles is an archipelagic nation consisting of 115 granite and coral islands. It has a land area of 455 km2 spread across an Exclusive Economic Zone of approximately 1.4 million km2. As one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, Seychelles is balancing the need to both develop economically and protect its natural endowment.

Marine resources are critical to the country’s economic growth. After tourism, the fisheries sector is the country’s most important industry, contributing significantly to annual GDP and employing 17% of the population. Fish products make up around 95% of the total value of domestic exports.

“The Seychelles blue bond is a significant milestone in our long-standing support for ocean conservation, and the GEF is proud to invest in developing national blue economies that protect the rich marine ecosystem while supporting economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs,” said Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
The Seychelles blue bond is partially guaranteed by a US$5 million guarantee from the World Bank (IBRD) and further supported by a US$5 million concessional loan from the GEF which will partially cover interest payments for the bond. Proceeds from the bond will also contribute to the World Bank’s South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Governance and Shared Growth Program, which supports countries in the region to sustainably manage their fisheries and increase economic benefits from their fisheries sectors.
 
A World Bank team comprising experts from its Treasury, Legal, Environmental and Finance groups worked with investors, structured the blue bond and assisted the Government in setting up a platform for channeling its proceeds. The business case for a sovereign blue bond was initially identified through support to Seychelles from HRH Prince of Wales’ Charities International Sustainability Unit. Standard Chartered acted as placement agent for the bond and Latham & Watkins LLP advised the World Bank as external counsel. Clifford Chance LLP acted as transaction counse
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Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla to Visit Nigeria in 2 Weeks
October 29, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Clara Obi

File picture.Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall met models in traditional Zulu attire as they visited Soweto. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

File picture.Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall met models in traditional Zulu attire as they visited Soweto.
Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

We all love the Royal family. We love their culture, their clothing, their chinaware, cities, monuments and all of what England has to offer. But what we especially love is their interest in society, charities and actual contributions in making the world a better place. Now, this entire family doesn’t take all these responsibilities lightly, and yet again even in their advanced ages, they are planning a visit to the African continent in 2 weeks. The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, who by the way is the heir apparent to the throne of England, and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess Camilla are set to embark on a royal trip of nine days to Africa. England’s number 2 couple is said to follow in the footsteps of May, the British Prime Minister, who had just visited South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya in August.

When does it start?

The royal trip to Sub-Saharan Africa begins on the 31st of October, with Nigeria being the royal couple’s first stop. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall are expected to arrive Nigeria on the 6th of November 2018, which is two weeks from today. They will embark on this journey on the same day the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Prince Harry and Meghan Markle) will be expected to arrive in England from their tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and the Kingdom of Tonga which lasted 2 weeks. So it’s very likely that they miss each other.

As part of their 9 day tour of Africa, it is also required of them by the British government to also visit Ghana and The Gambia. This information was relayed by the British High Commissioner in Nigeria in the person of Paul Tarkwright. The High commissioner’s statement was made in Abuja, Nigeria capital city on Wednesday the 24th of October. He further added that he’s looking forward to the welcoming ‘Their Royal Highnesses’ to an experience of wealth and cultural diversity that is embedded in Nigeria.

What is the purpose of the visit?

Unlike Theresa May, whose purpose was to reinforce Britain’s fortunes from its exit from the United Kingdom (Brexit fortunes), the royal couple, as stated by the British High Commissioner, is on a mandate to celebrate the dynamics of the United Kingdom in Africa. Also, this royal tour is about laying foundations for future partnerships with these three Commonwealth member countries on a leveled ground of mutual interests. The royal couple is also expected to visit some slavery sites and acknowledge slavery in these African continents, and really see its impact on the African society. After all, it is these three countries that were synonymous with selling off people as slaves to the British and American citizens. Even the royal family was actively involved in this practice, from Elizabeth the 1st who commended and supported John Hawkins, one of the first slave traders in Britain to King William the 4th who was a strong opposition to slavery abolition.

Who will they meet?

First of all, the Prince of Wales and his wife, Duchess Camilla will be warmly received by the president himself, President Muhammad Buhari at the presidential villa in Aso Rock immediately they arrive in Nigeria. The United Kingdom Mission Senior Communications Officer, Mrs Tinu Adelegan said that during the visit, the royal couple is expected to meet some of Nigeria’s dynamic youths. They will also meet the traditional leaders, the Nigerian armed forces, some artists, fashion, the Nigerian business hub and lastly some noticeable charity inclined sectors.

This visit is also supposed to shed light on the important themes in the UK – Nigeria relationship as well as solidify the country’s Commonwealth links, literacy, youth opportunities, women and girl child education, the country’s defense strategies and possible co-operations, it’s religious, ethnic as well as cultural diversity and other related opportunities. Their 2 day visit to Nigeria will involve a series of engagements in Abuja and Lagos. The aim of this is to tighten the UK-Nigeria cooperation across all its sectors, even in art, music, medical research, fashion and film.

During their visit the Prince and the Duchess will also partake in commemorative activities and events as a means to acknowledge the soldiers in Nigeria, The Gambia and Ghana who sacrificed so much during the war times. These fallen soldiers sacrificed their lives and properties during the first and second world wars and also during the recent international peacekeeping missions. The Deputy Private Secretary to the Prince of Wales, Scott Furssedonn-Wood added that ‘their tour will also highlight the people-to-people links between our countries and the invaluable contributions they make to our shared prosperity and security.’ This is the major significance of the royal Sub-Saharan African tour.

When will they leave?

This royal tour is set to kick off by the 31st of October. The Tour is 9 days long for the Prince and 7 days long for the Duchess. Their 2 day visit to Nigeria will elapse on the 9th of November 2018 after which the royal couple will move on to visit Ghana and The Gambia. In Ghana, the Prince will visit Christiansburg Castle which was built in the 17th century. This castle was previously a Danish slave fort, but after the abolition of slave trade, it was possessed and owned by the United Kingdom. This fort is found in Accra, Ghana’s capital city and up until a few years back, it was their seat of Governance. The Prince even stayed in this building during his 1977 visit to the country.

Lastly, the royal couple is expected to make it back to England before the Prince’s birthday which is on the 14th of November. The prince will be turning 70, and this celebration will continue throughout the year.

Its always an honor to receive the Royal Family in Nigeria, and yet again the heir apparent to the throne of England and his wife are embarking on a tour of Africa, where they will visit Nigeria, The Gambia and Ghana. Their visit is meant to tighten the UK-Nigeria relationship and cooperation across diverse sectors like health, culture, education, art etc. This is great news and as Nigerians, we are ecstatic to receive and host Prince Charles and his wife, Duchess Camilla during their visit.

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Nigeria is the strongest and most profitable economy in Africa, Kachikwu tells investors
October 29, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Teslim Olawore

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Emmanuel Kachikwu declared that Nigeria has the most profitable and strongest economy in Africa. He also said Nigeria is the most profitable investment destination in the world. He said this in Atlanta at ‘The Nigerian Oil and Gas Core Strategic Investors’ meeting, aimed at presenting the various investment opportunities in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry to the United States investors.

The minister said Nigeria looked to the Diasporas of Africa to see where they could form permanent partnership that would invest in very critical areas in the country, where they could break even in three years. Kachikwu said: “Infrastructure is key, the oil sector alone has infrastructure deficit of over 30 billion dollars to get us to where we should be.

“We need to be able to supply gas sufficiently to power the entire country, and if we succeed in doing that over the next 10 year-period, we would have a very booming economy. “Nigeria still has the strongest economy in Africa but we could double that, we could become quite frankly what America is to the entire American diasporas for Africa”.

The minister invited investors to come and invest in Nigeria, assuring that their investments are protected and safe. “So I invite you to a country that has its challenges but has huge opportunities probably the only country in the world where the average returns on investment is in excess of 25 per cent a year.”

“It is now time quite frankly for a lot of us who sit here as investors, as players, to begin to look to the country of the future – Nigeria.” He said since 2016, Nigeria started major policies called the ‘7 Big Wins’ focusing on gas, infrastructure growth, and trying to refine the country’s petroleum products locally.

The minister said Africa could not continue to be a continent dependent on aid, but that Africa had got to create trade, opportunities and mixes that would help the region stand on its feet. Executive Directors of the ministry and heads of its subsidiaries also added to what the minister said on the investment opportunities and attractiveness in the Nigerian oil and gas sector awaiting investors.

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Nigeria: Overstaying Foreigners to pay fine of $4000
October 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Teslim Olawore

The federal government of Nigeria has introduced strict measure against foreigners who overstay their visa approved days in the country. Depending on the number of days, foreigners who overstayed their visa deadline may pay from $200 to $4000 or its naira equivalent as a fine for attempting to beat the system.

Inside Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) sources confirmed that this policy has been implemented by the Ministry of Interiors, which also expects to generate revenues for the federal government.

For effective implementation of the policy, the federal government has ceded to Concec Limited the concession to generate money from this policy and since the implementation was approved, foreigners travelling outside the country and those still staying within have paid to legalise their stay in Nigeria.

“This policy has been implemented and it is not a secret. It is even on the notice for everyone to see. But Nigerian Immigration Service is not directly in charge; a company known as Concec Services Limited is in charge, though it is under Immigration. So this is punitive measure but if you wish to regularise your stay, you pay for it. It is stated in clear terms,” an immigration officer said.

So government through the Ministry of Interior is using this new regime to monitor the movement of foreigners, but the new policy does not affect visitors from ECOWAS nations. A document recently signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior and made available to newsmen indicated that a foreigner would be adjudged to have overstayed in the country if he exceeded the number of days approved for him in the visa he obtained from Nigeria.

The document, which was obtained from the Ministry, indicated that a non-ECOWAS visitor who intended to stay in Nigeria for a period exceeding 56 days, but not beyond 90 days aggregate would be sanctioned with a fine of $200 or the naira equivalent. or a non-ECOWAS visitor who stayed in Nigeria beyond 90 days, but not exceeding 180 days aggregate would be sanctioned with the sum of $1000 or its naira equivalent. Any non-ECOWAS visitor who intended to stay in Nigeria or who stayed for a period exceeding 180 days, but not beyond 365 days aggregate in the country would pay to the government the sum of $2000 or its equivalent.

Also, any non-ECOWAS visitor who overstayed in the country without authorisation or regularisation would pay penalty equivalent of $4000. An informed source confirmed that several foreigners especially from China, Malaysia and Indonesia had been sanctioned by the government for violating the orders.

The official who spoke to newsmen said, “The federal government had to introduce this new regime in order to monitor foreigners who abuse visas granted to them by the government. It was discovered that some of them intentionally overstay in Nigeria without regularising their papers. The government will not agree with this and will do everything humanly possible to stop such abuse.

However, in order to prevent corruption or leakages in the system, the federal government awarded the concession to a firm, Concec Services Limited, which liaises with officials of Immigration at various points for the remittance of the sanction fee.

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Cyber crime in Africa, studies and facts
October 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Khaled Mohamadi

The cost of cybercrime in 2017 has been estimated by the Center for Strategic and International Studies to be around $600 billion and has increased 22% since 2016. Africa, shares a $3.5 Billion of the total as a victim of cybercrime in 2017 – ISS

As business opportunities in Africa according to the Economist are booming in billions of dollars and are on the rise, ever increasingly available online services in banking and telecoms, offer interactions that require storage and access to user data. However, once data is online it has become vulnerable and available. It is not a published kind of availability, but crime is as professional and scientific as organizations have become. Both crime and protection are advancing in competition.

A cybercrime is simply any illegal activity carried out using a computer over the internet or wide network. Generally a computer is used to connect to another computer, server or network device. However, it is not a simple task to access a server on the other end as there are layers of security that challenge a criminal to breach.

Security Awareness in the African continent is on the rise but it seems insufficient in terms of keeping pace with development of cybercriminals from within and outside. It was reported that in 2014 cybercrime in Africa was increasing at a higher rate than anywhere in the world.

Africa has long been considered a fertile environment to commit criminal acts as awareness in governmental institutions has just started to pick. And in response there are countries speeding up like Egypt with its CBE (Central Bank of Egypt) enforcing strict regulations on the banking sector regarding user privacy and data protection, hence a general implementation of information security governance. This includes highly qualified individuals who possess information security know how.

Unfortunately, it has been reported by the Digital Guardian that increasing rate of cybersecurity talent shortage will amount to 3.5 million in 2021.

“The economic impact of inadequate cybersecurity is colossal. The Norton Cybercrime Report 2012 indicated that direct financial losses totaled an average of $197 per victim worldwide, while globally a grand $110 billion in direct financial loss was recorded.”

It has been indicated in a report developed by Data Group Connect focused on an economic correlation that focused on South Africa, Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria stated that cybersecurity directly affects an economies rate of growth.

IT and Information Security are two departments in any organization that work hand in hand along with other stakeholders to ensure that all 7 layers are secure using the latest technologies available.

Companies invest millions and billions of dollars on security devices and software and more to serve all the layers and make sure they are secure.

But it seems that on a yearly basis, security breaches and hacking incidents are a phenomenon that never cease to exist. On the contrary they are relentless, endless and unlikely to stop.

FACTS: The number of internet users in Africa has been reported to be 330,9 million (according to scidev.net) and the number of internet penetrations is 28,6% of all transactions. The number of cyberattacks neutralized by Kaspersky in 2014 in Africa were 49 million attacks.

Today planet earth has literally become a global village. It is one connected platform that offers instant communication, fast paced transactions of finances and information. Alas, the faster the widespread of technology the more we are vulnerable to attacks. Most services if not all, require input of one’s personal information including location. Especially social media, telecoms and banks are required to protect user information not only from the outside but also from the inside.

We are not only talking about organizations but also individuals are targets. Phishing emails target both worlds. Phishing is a type of social engineering attack. A very common word coined to describe malicious emails or communications that aim to collect sensitive information about a user such as username, password and credit card details. One of the methods of phishing is email. Where you receive a fake message imitating a known social media platform, requesting password reset. Or direct you to a fake login page of social media. In this case, if you are doubtful or as a method of precaution, always enter a fake password and if you appear to be signed in then you are definitely on a phishing website.

This not only about Africa and how it is vulnerable aside from the rest of the world. In the UK almost 50% of reported crimes are cyber related. It was identified that cybercrime is simply any criminal activity that is taking place in cyberspace. Same as robbing a bank or stealing valuable documents from a business. It is literally a parallel dimension where people connect and interact. But anonymity is the one characteristic of this realm that authorities, governments, enterprises and financial sectors are fighting. All entities are working simultaneously on identifying all individuals that connect or interact with them.

Businesses and institutions lose confidential information and intellectual property as they lack practice of proper protection methods. The increase in cybercrime and analysis of loss urge governments to apply new legislations. On the other hand businesses realize the threat when they are exposed to an attack or witness a market under siege.

“Cath Hackett, VP of Product Portfolio at Becrypt, commented: “Cyber risk is fast emerging as one of the most significant risks to most businesses. The proliferation of mobile devices means that organisations can no longer point to their data center as the repository of all their data. Data is everywhere and therefore harder to control. Should your company’s confidential information be disclosed to your competitors the impact could be significant and include lost sales, lost customers and lower profit margins.” – Business Matters

In the second half of 2018 Facebook had its security department hit by a comet. After being under heavy scrutiny for user information privacy breach and dissemination with third parties, a stronger slap on the face came as a surprise. Over 50 million accounts were compromised

It is no secret that no one is immune to cyber-attacks. In the past few years many organizations fell victim to attacks. Sony Pictures, Hacking Team (Cyber Security)…

In short, cybercrime is inevitable. Try not to share your private information. Don’t use other people’s phones to make any transactions. Create complex passwords. Back up your data. Practice safe clicking (do not download any attachments or click on any links). Lock your devices with password, finger prints and face/ voice recognition.

To some people, living off grid seems to be more relaxing and hassle free. Others enjoy the world of IOT (internet of things). Connecting all your devices and home appliances to your network for automation and to the internet for updates and communication is the trend of all trends – But you are definitely open to prying eyes and attackers. Today cars and watches have been added to the equation IOT everything is connected to a cloud (server that can be breached).

Cyber-awareness should be the message of this era!

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