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Professor named National Academy of Inventors Fellow
December 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
Valentine Nzengung, right, receives the Academic Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2016 from Derek Eberhart, associate vice president for research. (UGA file photo)
Valentine Nzengung, right, receives the Academic Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2016 from Derek Eberhart, associate vice president for research. (UGA file photo)

Valentine Nzengung, professor of environmental geochemistry in the Franklin College Department of Geology, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, becoming the eighth UGA faculty member to receive the honor, all since 2013.

Nzengung is the founder and CEO of MuniRem Environmental, which provides remediation products and services for soils and physical sites that have been contaminated by residues from munitions and also for the neutralization and destruction of explosives in support of demilitarization. He has developed multiple sustainable remediation technologies that MuniRem employs in its services. In October 2019, Georgia Trend magazine picked MuniRem as “a trendsetter and planet protector.”

The NAI Fellows program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. Election to NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors. To date, NAI Fellows hold more than 41,500 issued U.S. patents, which the organization says have generated more than 11,000 licensed technologies and companies and created more than 36 million jobs. According to NAI, $1.6 trillion in revenue has been generated based on NAI Fellow discoveries.

“This is a humbling endorsement of the applied research I have focused on as a faculty member at the University of Georgia,” Nzengung said. “I never thought of the solutions to environmental problems that I have developed as deserving of this very high level of recognition. My focus has been and remains developing and applying innovative solutions that benefit human health and our environment.”

The 2019 Fellow class represents 136 research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutes worldwide and collectively hold over 3,500 issued U.S. patents. Among the 2019 Fellows are six recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology & Innovation or U.S. National Medal of Science and four Nobel Laureates, as well as other honors and distinctions. Their collective body of research covers a range of scientific disciplines including neurobehavioral sciences, horticulture, photonics and nanomedicine.

“Valentine’s selection as an NAI Fellow is a testament both to his ingenuity and dedication as a scientist and to UGA’s commitment to innovation that benefits the broader world,” said David Lee, vice president for research. “I congratulate him on this honor, and my hope is that he and our other NAI Fellows serve as inspirations to their fellow investigators at UGA.”

“My election happened in part because of the enabling environment created by UGA’s administration to foster innovation and academic inventions by its students and faculty,” Nzengung said. “The years ahead at UGA look even more promising for faculty and students engaged in applied research.”

The new NAI Fellows will be formally inducted at a ceremony during the NAI annual meeting, to be held April 10, 2020, in Phoenix, Arizona. Laura Peter, deputy undersecretary of commerce and deputy director at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, will keynote the event.

A complete list of NAI Fellows is available on the NAI website.

*Source UGA Today

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IATF2020 Advisory Council Holds Fourth Meeting in Addis Ababa
December 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
A moment during the meeting of the IATF2020 Advisory Council in Addis Ababa. In the picture (L-R): Kanayo Awani, Managing Director, Intra-African Trade Initiative, Afreximbank; Soraya Hakuziyaremye, Minister of Trade and Industry of Rwanda; Olusegun Obasanjo, Advisory Council Chairman and Former President of Nigerian; Jean-Louis Ekra, Council Vice Chairman and former President of Afreximbank; and Albert Muchanga, African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry.Photo credit Afreximbank
A moment during the meeting of the IATF2020 Advisory Council in Addis Ababa. In the picture (L-R): Kanayo Awani, Managing Director, Intra-African Trade Initiative, Afreximbank; Soraya Hakuziyaremye, Minister of Trade and Industry of Rwanda; Olusegun Obasanjo, Advisory Council Chairman and Former President of Nigerian; Jean-Louis Ekra, Council Vice Chairman and former President of Afreximbank; and Albert Muchanga, African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry.Photo credit Afreximbank

The Advisory Council for the second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2020) has held its fourth meeting in preparation for the continental trade exhibition scheduled to take place in Kigali from 1 to 7 September 2020, with Rwanda restating its commitment to ensuring that the necessary infrastructure is in place for the successful hosting of the event.

Advisory Council Chairman Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the former President of Nigeria, presided over the meeting which took place at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa on 26 November.

The Trade Fair is being organised by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in collaboration with the African Union Commission and is hosted by the Government of Rwanda.

Louise Kanyonga, Chief Strategy and Compliance Officer of the Rwanda Development Board, and representative of the Government of Rwanda on the Advisory Council, told the meeting that the government had concluded plans with relevant contractors for the construction work on the trade fair venue and that some activities had started.

She said that trade fair participants should expect worry-fee entry into the country as Rwanda had already implemented a visa-on-arrival policy for most African countries. In addition, discussions were ongoing with the customs authorities to ensure efficient and speedy processing of goods shipped into the country by exhibitors for use during the trade fair.

Chief Obasanjo commended the progress that had been made toward the holding of the trade fair and stressed the need for continued commitment on all sides.

The meeting reviewed the work plan for the trade fair, including the arrangements for the Trade Fair Conference, which is expected to attract several thousand participants.

It also heard updates from the various agencies engaged to support the hosting of the trade fair.

Also participating in the meeting were Jean-Louis Ekra, Deputy Chairman and former President of Afreximbank; Amb. Albert Muchanga, African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry; Kanayo Awani, Managing Director, Intra-African Trade Initiative, Afreximbank; Soraya Hakuziyaremye, Minister of Trade and Industry of Rwanda; Kebour Ghena, Executive Director of the Pan-African Chamber of Commerce; Ando Mensah, Manager, Industrialisation, Trade and Investment Climate, at the African development Bank; Dr. Edem Adzogenu, Chair of the AfroChampions Initiative; Hossam Elshafei, Director of Trade and Investment, Ministry of Trade and Industry of Egypt; Amadou Cire Sall, Senior Associate, Trade at the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation; Carol Weaving, Managing Director, Reed Exhibitions; and Terhas Berhe, Managing Director, Brand Communications.

*Source Afreximbank

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Canada, Gambia and Netherlands to form tripartite group on Rohinyga case filed at the International Court of Justice
December 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

By Bakary Ceesay

The Gambia filed a lawsuit at The Hague demanding accountability on the systematic violations of the rights of minority Rohinyga Muslims by the Government of Myanmar.

Following The Gambia’s filing of the Rohingya case at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Canada, Gambia and Netherlands have agreed to form a tripartite joint working group to pursue the case.  

The Honourable Minister of Foreign Minister, Dr. Mamadou Tangara, who returned from Jeddah where he attended the 50th anniversary of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, reported that The Gambia was highly praised by OIC member countries for its acceptance to pursue the case on behalf of the OIC.

While in Jeddah, Dr. Tangara held discussions with many of his counterparts all of whom renewed their countries’ steadfastness and support for The Gambia with a view to ensuring accountability for the potential crimes against the Rohinyga population.  

The Honourable Bob Rae, Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar, raised the need for accountability and Canada’s unflinching support to The Gambia in ensuring justice for the victims. The Indonesian Economic Affairs Minister, Mr. Darmin Nasution, also expressed his country’s support for Gambia’s bid to bring accountability for the Rohinyga minority.  

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud, assured Dr. Tangara that Saudi Arabia will continue working with The Gambia Government to pursue the case to its logical conclusion. Prince Faisal also revealed his country’s plan to open an Embassy in Banjul in the near future.  

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After Arsenal, Rwanda enters in partnership with French club PSG to advertise its tourism
December 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

Rwanda entered in partnership with Paris Saint Germain, a french football club
Rwanda entered in partnership with Paris Saint Germain, a french football club

Rwanda has announced that it is entering in partnership with a French club, Paris Saint Germain Football Club to  attract more tourists coming in Rwanda  around the world.

This partnership comes a year after Rwanda signed another partnership with British football club, Arsenal in which Visit Rwanda brand was highlighted on Arsenal jersey, and Rwanda tourism being shown on Arsenal stadium and on its online platforms.

Through Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Rwanda announced that this partnership with   Paris Saint-Germain Football Club will attract more French investors.

“Today Rwanda and PSG announce a unique and innovative partnership inviting the world to be part of the country’s inspiring transformation. The partnership will convey Rwanda’s openness to welcome business partnerships from France and across the world and share the country’s many opportunities for investment” the announcement reads on Twitter.

“For three seasons, the  Paris Saint-Germain Football Club   community and the world will have a unique opportunity to experience Rwanda’s breath-taking beauty, creative culture, innovative environment, and modern and distinctive” it adds.

Rwanda’s partnership with Arsenal brought controversy, with Netherlands members of Parliament asking their government to stop aiding Rwanda, emphasizing that they can’t accept that people’s money be used to advertise with a football club.

Money Rwanda pays Arsenal has not been disclosed, however  in June this year, Rwanda Development Board told journalists that so far Rwanda has benefitted  more than USD 38 million from that partnership.

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ARIPO hosts sub-regional IP conference on geographical indicators in Zimbabwe
December 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

A two-day subregional IP conference on geographical indicators has opened today at the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) headquarters in Harare, Zimbabwe.

 The Sub-Regional IP Conference on Geographical Indication is jointly organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) to coincide with the Master’s in Intellectual Property (MIP), which takes place at the ARIPO Headquarters in December each year.  Since 2014, the objective of these IP conferences has been to provide a platform for MIP students and participants from ARIPO Member States to be exposed to emerging issues in Intellectual Property and existing opportunities in the strategic use of the IP system.  The 2019 IP Conference will take place under the theme “Geographical Indications in Africa: Territorial Development, Economic Integration and International Trade”

Geographical Indications (GIs) are used to identify products as originating in the territory of a country, region or locality where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the products is essentially attributable to that geographical origin.  Similar to trade names and trademarks, GIs are designed to enable consumers to distinguish between products, but more importantly, they enable producers to protect the reputation of those products developed around specific characteristics and often over many years and thanks to great effort.  In addition, GIs are considered as a mean to strengthen the potential of products’ places of origin to attract investors, consumers and tourists as well as to guarantee them local quality products and services specifically linked to local resources.

  It is reported that the Member States of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) are replete with traditional agricultural and craft products whose quality and origin can be usefully promoted through GIs and other collective quality schemes, thereby contributing to the development of local and rural communities.  In a bid to support such efforts, in 2017, the African Union adopted the Continental Strategy for the Development of Geographical Indications in Africa.  ARIPO is a key actor of its implementation.

The sub-Regional IP Conference is meant to be part of that continental and regional process.  It is intended to be an important step to raise the awareness of policymakers responsible for GIs and students of the need to be empowered with national, regional and international instruments to protect and promote origin products, but also to consider the development and effective implementation of national and regional projects and policies on GIs.

The overall aim of the 2019 IP Conference is to provide a platform for the participants to understand the importance of the strategic use of GIs for socio-economic development and wealth creation in Africa, while deepening their understanding of the IP rights available to protect brands for origin products (geographical indications and trademarks) as well as the exceptions and limitations to that protection (in particular generic terms and prior trademarks).

The specific objectives of the sub-Regional IP Conference are to obtain updated information on current systems of protection of GIs in Africa at national, regional and continental levels, to learn about recent developments in the field of GIs at WIPO and at the international level, to discuss with international experts specific experience and issues related to the development and implementation of GIs with a focus on key factors for a successful GIs and their effects on local development; the role of producers’ associations and the establishment of control and certification schemes bring together institutional representatives from ARIPO and its member States who are responsible for GI protection in their countries or are interested in instituting such procedures, as well as students from ARIPO member States interesting in studying more about the development and implementation of GI schemes in Africa,to serve as a place to share and build knowledge on the issues, benefits and challenges related to the recognition, protection and promotion of GIs.

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Zimbabwe : More headache for Mnangagwa with Food crisis
December 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu Munhumutapa

The food crisis in Zimbabwe is attracting global attention. Photo Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP
The food crisis in Zimbabwe is attracting global attention. Photo Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP

Zimbabwe—-Fast rising bounty of thorny challenges continue to cling Mnangagwa’s wings o victory over Zimbabwe’s economic challenges. In place as of now, at least 4,1 million people are in severe hunger out of 5,I million who need urgent food aid by next year .

Prior to mid-2019 before beginning of November, Inflation had risen to Hyper-Inflation forcing a strong push on the increase of bread which now costs ZW 15 dollars / bonds. Fuel rose to ZW 18 dollars/ bonds. Other basic commodities rose up suddenly with a surprise bang pushing the family food monthly basket to ZW 3000 dollars/ bonds.

One such new challenge of millions of people in need of food compelled ED Mnangagwa to make U-Turn on scrapping grain subsidies.

‘’We can-not no-longer remove grain subsidies. I am restoring it so that price of mealie-meal is reduced. Mnangagwa briefly said to the Public Media a Week ago.

Economic Experts note if these subsidies would have been removed, the price of mealie meal would have quite gone higher than ever.  He even touched on other basic commodities. The Expert further says leadership of the country is now completely lost.

‘’The price of 10kg of mealie-meal could have risen to ZW$ 100 bond/dollars. The country is in serious crisis. The situation is making people go suffer continue without a halt. By beginning 2020, the Economy will have crumbled by 6, 5%. People had pinned hope on ED Mnangagwa , alas its disastrous. ‘’

‘’Mnangagwa Government is quite truly in wave of new crisis owing attention to situations on ground. Everything is collapsing to shambles. Prices have gone higher ever. Poverty Indexes are not even known as we talk. Vulnerability assessments are long back forgotten. Inflation is high every day. The figure are confusing. Basic commodities, not reachable, there is real crisis ‘’, he concludes.

UN Promises Rescue…

World Food Program Country Representative notes that the country is in crisis with the increase of people in need of food aid.

‘’At least 4, 1 million people are in need of food aid. UN is promising to disburse 240 tons of food. Maize from Tanzania and some food as well from Mexico and the Black Sea Region.

Hilal Elver a visiting UN Human-Rights Expert pointed out before leaving the country last week. The once bread-basket of SADC is in quite a real crisis, drought, hunger, flood, inflation.

‘’ The once bread-basket of SADC -, Zimbabwe is on the brink of man-made starvation.’’ She observed.

Pan-African-Visions caught up with the UN Expert who added that there are almost 5,5 million people in need of food aid . She further pointed out that the figure by next year will be much higher on top of other burning challenges disintegrating the Economy.

‘’This means we have to rely on a strong budget.  Our partners have to come together as one to over-see on the crisis hitting the country. This is new crisis on top of challenges’, she said.

Mnangagwa faces daunting challenges he and his Ministers can-not restore. This has made his name lose touch with confidence of the people. Pinning hope continues to fall as the country turns its civilians to harsh, painful and thorn challenges, poverty and vulnerability. New on top of inflation drought and hunger cascading to famine is hard to swallow.

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Credit platform Migo raises $20 Million Series B
December 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

Valor Leads Round as Fintech Startup Expands to Brazil

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. (December 3, 2019) — Migo (formerly Mines.io), a startup reinventing the way people access and use credit in emerging markets, has completed a Series B equity round of $20 million led by Valor Capital Group, a Brazil-focused venture capital firm. Existing investors, The Rise Fund (managed by TPG Growth) and Velocity Capital, also joined the funding round. This financing will support talent acquisition and Migo’s launch into the Brazilian market, as well as its continued growth in Nigeria.

Migo is a cloud-based platform that enables companies to offer credit to their customers, augmenting traditional bank and payment card infrastructure. Companies like banks, telecommunications operators and merchants integrate Migo in their apps and Migo underwrites customers to provide them with a digital account and credit line. The customers can use this credit line to make purchases from a merchant or withdraw cash without the need for point-of-sale hardware or plastic cards. Migo serves underbanked customers who are not typically covered by credit bureaus, having underwritten more than seven million of these customers to date. An estimated 90 million adults in Nigeria and 100 million adults in Brazil have no access to credit, and this is a massive area of untapped growth for emerging market banking ecosystems.

“Our mission is to drive commerce around the world by injecting liquidity into the last-mile retail sector,” explains Migo CEO, Ekechi Nwokah. “We believe the best way to achieve this goal is to build digital infrastructure to empower local enterprises that already serve millions of consumers and small businesses.” 

Migo offers a simple API so its partners can offer co-branded credit services in their own apps and websites, increasing customer engagement and serving customer segments they were not previously able to serve. Migo is particularly attractive for merchants and payment gateways since it can grow merchant revenue due to increased customer purchasing power and transaction completion rate.

As part of the financing, Antoine Colaco from Valor Capital has joined the Migo Board of Directors. “Migo combines world-class technology with a deep understanding of the needs of consumers and small businesses in emerging markets. We are excited to partner with them in Brazil and beyond,” Colaco said.

Migo enables some of the largest retail enterprises in Africa—from mobile operators like 9mobile and MTN to payment companies Interswitch and Flutterwave to banks like Bank of Industry and Fidelity Bank.  Migo is now expanding to Brazil and partnering with some of the largest retail enterprises in Latin America. “The typical Silicon Valley approach of move-fast-and-break-things doesn’t work well in emerging markets. To create durable solutions, it is important to combine the audacity of cutting-edge technology with humility to the nuances of local markets” says VP of Growth, Adia Sowho.

Migo started out as a research project on high-performance artificial intelligence led by Migo Chief Scientist, Kunle Olukotun, a professor of computer engineering at Stanford University. This project came to life after a chance meeting between Olukotun and Nwokah, a computer scientist working on big data projects at Amazon Web Services. Following their meeting, the pair teamed up to direct the technology toward solving credit in emerging markets. This big data approach is one of the company’s key advantages, as it aggregates massive amounts of data across all of its partners to improve population coverage and credit decisions over time.

About Migo

Migo is a cloud-based platform that enables companies to offer credit to their customers, augmenting traditional bank and payment card infrastructure. Companies like banks, telecommunications operators and merchants integrate Migo in their apps and Migo underwrites customers to provide them with a digital account and credit line. The customers can use this credit line to make purchases from a merchant or withdraw cash without the need for point-of-sale hardware or plastic cards. Migo is headquartered in San Francisco, California.


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SuperEagles Defender, William Ekong Leads Charge Against Neglected Tropical Diseases That Affect Over 120 Million Nigerians
December 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

.the Super Eagles defender is campaigning in partnership with the END Fund and Common Goal

LAGOS, Nigeria, December, 3rd, 2019 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Nigeria national team defender William Ekong has started a campaign to draw attention to neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that affect more than 120 million Nigerians. In partnership with the END Fund and Common Goal, William appears in a public service announcement where he calls on affected Nigerians to seek free treatment.
Neglected tropical diseases are a group of parasitic and bacterial infectious diseases that affect more than 1.7 billion of the world’s most impoverished people, including 1 billion children. They include intestinal worms, schistosomiasis (bilharzia), river blindness, trachoma, and lymphatic filariasis.

Translated in pidgin, the public service announcement sheds light on how NTDs affect all aspects of life. Thus, calling upon Nigerians to take advantage of the ongoing mass administration of medication (MAM) efforts being led by community health workers all throughout the country.

Please visit your local health center for more information on how to get treatment in your local government area in Nigeria.

*AMA

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Cameroon: STEM Prize Finalists trained on Project writing, Project Management Skills
December 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Agathe Djomeghu Director of Programs at D&L
Agathe Djomeghu Director of Programs at D&L

(Yaounde, Cameroon) Finalists for the 2019 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Prize have in a two-day workshop trained on project writing by the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation. The aim is to educate the participants on how to get their project implemented which will attract funding.

Vera Kum, Economist and Research Fellow at the Nkafu Policy Institute, and one of the trainers edified participants on writing a research proposal, project visibility, communicating a project, marketing a project, and the importance of networking. 

To her, the finalists of the STEM Prize were trained so that when the funds are made available to them they can be able to make use of it, “to come up with more powerful proposals than what they submitted us. It will make their projects more visible, and attractive to many donors.

She added that. “Like the project on plastic bottles, it requires about FCFA 6.7 million, but the foundation is not giving them up to that, so the training on project visibility will help to boost them, so they can apply for many more funding, and be able to better implement that project.”

With respect to the evaluation of the projects submitted, Vera Kum said that, “One thing the evaluators do is to look at the content and the impact that project has for the community and beyond. There were about five evaluators who were charged with the evaluation of each project anonymously.”

During the training, the finalists were drilled on how to become an entrepreneur, and giving tips for survival in an entrepreneurial world. They were equally taught on how to translate their education into opportunities with a visit to the Technical Department of the national media, CRTV.

At the end, participants were awarded certificates for participating in 2019 edition of the STEM competition.

To Loni Tande Miriam, “The training on project writing which was giving to us was very helpful because I learned a lot of things which I did not even know. Like when writing a project you have to include your future goals, and with respect to being a finalist I need to go back am improved with the money we won during the competition.” “My team, and I are surely going to invest it in a business so, it can generate more income to realize our project.”

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Nkafu Policy Institute trains Peace Advocates on Peaceful Resolution of Conflicts in Cameroon
December 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Mbeng Primus - Individuals should advocate peace
Mbeng Primus – Individuals should advocate peace

(Buea, Cameroon) Since 2016, with the emergence of the current armed conflicts in the South West and North West Regions, the image of the country as an avenue of peace, among many troubled countries and Cameroonians as “tolerant and peace-loving people” has changed for the worst.

In joining voices and to move the talk for the need for a peaceful resolution to the current violent conflicts in two English-speaking regions of the country, and across the national territory, the Nkafu Policy Institute of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation has December 3, 2019, at Hotel Mermoz in Buea, South West Region of Cameroon trained peace advocates on the peaceful resolution of conflicts in the country.

The training is inline with a recently instituted project titled “promoting lasting peace in Cameroon.” Within this project, the Nkafu policy institute is hosting two leadership and capacity-building workshop for peace advocates.

To Emile Sundjo, Lecturer at the Department of International Relations and conflict resolution at the University of Buea noted that peace means embracing people  for who they are and not trying to change them. “Peace is not the absence of war, but it means social cohesion,” He said.

“The peace advocates should become a positive change to their communities. We should welcome diversity, differences and accept people’s differences, and if we do that the conflicts in our country will be reduced. We can reduce conflicts with tolerance, but we cannot completely eradicate it.” “…We should learn to share resources in the country. We need to be tolerant and share resources in the country.”

Mbeng Primus, Lecturer at the Department of International Relations and Conflict Resolution, Founder of Young Initiative for Peace Building, and Conflict Resolution speaking on practical conflict prevention, management, resolution, transformation and settlement indicated that the government cannot solve the present problem in the Anglophone region without first identifying the root causes of the problem. “The government must recognize there are two cultures in Cameroon (Anglophones, and Francophones)” He said.

To him, reconciliation cannot be mentioned without a ceasefire, and normalization. The last stage of every conflict is reconciliation. However, the government has skipped all the stages and just landed on the last stage which involves reconciliation.

He added that the denial factor exists at the moment that is why the present crisis is yet to be resolved. “You must face the problems to resolve the present crisis,” he noted. “Conflicts doesn’t come from the blues. There are early warnings which are involved. The government has failed to recognize the problem that’s why we are where we are.”

“Peace makes us to accept diversity. We must embrace diversity and tolerance,” He noted. “Once we start saying one culture is bigger than the other, we start getting to diversity issues. Hate speech should equally not be part our peace advocates’work.”

Participants pose at the end of the peace seminar

Speaking to PAV, Mbeng Primus  indicated that conflict prevention is the best way for sustainable peace. “If we want to sustain peace in our country, we must first prevent conflict. There is no need resolving a crisis when you can prevent it — that is stopping the conflict from occurring is better than providing solution to the conflict.”

“The advocates must go back to the communities and be the changes that they want the country to be. We are leaving in a very difficult moment, and it is only a peace advocate that can savor this situation that we are.”

“We have as a responsibility to go back to our various communities, and try to seek for means to preach the most desired peace that we expect in this country,” Tarhyang Tabe, participant and Publisher of The Advocate Newspaper noted while adding that we have to see where we have not been able to effect change and see how we can be able to do the new things we have learned. “Now it is a matter of approach. Our approach may be different, but the result is the same — the solving of the crisis in Cameroon.”

During the training, two major modules were x-rayed which included the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of peace, conflicts, and violence/war, and practical conflict prevention, management, resolution and transformation.

The training brought together individuals from diverse backgrounds, civil society organizations, peace and development experts interested in contributing to peaceful and sustainable solutions to the current destructive conflict in the Anglophone Regions, and Cameroon at large.

According to a communiqué, the foundation believes that this diverse groups of advocates (some 50) will be able to bridge Cameroon’s tribal, cultural, political, and linguistic divides and promote peace in their communities.

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Cameroon: Faculty of Mines and Oil Industries, Maroua Wins 2019 STEM Prize Competition
December 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Winners of STEM Prize 2019
Winners of STEM Prize 2019

(Yaounde, Cameroon) The 2019 edition of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) competition organized by the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation has been won by the Faculty of Mines and Oil Industries, Maroua.

Kapche Christian, Mekoulou Ondigui, Andela Jessica and Dissake Olivier with a project on Production of diesel fuel paraffinic from neem oil was crowned winners during the award ceremony November 30, 2019, at the Muna Foundation in Yaounde.

“We are so happy that we won the STEM prize as all our efforts have been rewarded. We had a fix objective to transform our economy, especially that of the extreme North. Cameroonians should not give up — when you have projects just continue to work on it,” Mekoulou Odigui Daniel explained.

They equally went home with a cash prize of FCFA 1. 5M, with the second place going home with FCFA 1M, and the third with FCFA 75, 000. FCFA 500, 000 each was awarded to the fourth and fifth positions.

Second position was won by L’institut Universitaire de Technologie Fotso Victor (IUT-FV), third position occupied by Institut des Sciences Économiques et des Technique Appliquées (ISET), University of Buea came in the fourth place while the University of Yaounde 1 came in the fifth place.

To Odette Kibu, Health Policy Analyst, and Coordinator of the STEM Prize, “What we expected from the team is that they should implement their projects that they proposed to the foundation. We are expecting them to use the funds giving them to implement their projects, so they can see how to positively impact their communities,” She said while adding that, “Every three months, we will be following them up to see how far they have implemented the project because we don’t want to give money, and not to follow them up.”

To her, the foundation received 63, applications this year as compared to 48 last year. “In addition, 93 girls entered the competition compared to 82 last year. Applications were received from eight regions of the country, but we are hoping that next year’s edition will feature applications from all the ten regions of the country.”

“We have already working on the project we presented (HAS 2.0). We were just looking for how we can get funds for the project to continue but giving the outcome, we are going to look for funds elsewhere as we were trained on how to attract funds for our projects,” noted Durell Dogmo, team member UB.

Various teams equally did a brief demonstration of their projects to the watching of those in attendance. Some projects include, the Home Automation Systems (HAS) proposed by those from University of Buea, LANDPAD – a tablet with a set of applications to digitalize agricultural plantations and optimize production from students at the University of Yaounde 1, Plastic waste bottles turned building blocks to construct eco-friendly residential houses by 2020 in Foumbot, by students from Institut des Sciences Économiques et des Technique Appliquées (ISET).

Fosi Jasmine from Institut des Sciences Économiques et des Technique Appliquées (ISET), was giving an individual award for being the youngest participant at this year’s event at 13-years-old, while Wadjom Eunice was equally honored for being the most dynamic person during the training. 

Previous Winners

Students from Quality international who had a project on “Hemo Android mobile application” won first position for the 2018 STEM competition, and equally went home with a cash prize of FCFA 1.5 million.

Students from Government Bilingual Grammar School Kumbo won the second prize with a project title, “Fighting Deforestation by substituting wood with mini biogas plants in restaurants by 2019 in Kumbo, North West Region of Cameroon.” The students went home with 1 million FCFA to help them in achieving their project.

ICT University came in third position winning FCFA 7, 50,000. They had a project called “Mediquick: Mobile application to ease access to healthcare information.”

Extreme North bags first prize at 2019 STEM
Extreme North bags first prize at 2019 STEM

The STEM Prize Competition was established to encourage young Cameroonians, especially girls and young women to pursue careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. From many applications received in this year’s edition, five (5) teams of  motivated young men and women  aged between 13 to 21 have been selected as Finalists.  These young Cameroonians are working on innovative projects to improve the living conditions in their communities and the entire country.

“Our goal here is simple: Unleash the potential of our people to be able to tackle many challenges to economic prosperity by creating wealth for themselves and the community. History has taught us that this can only be done through science, technology and innovation.” Dr. Denis Foretia, CO-CHAIR, Foretia Foundation

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Lux Afrique Boutique Now Offers International Luxury Brands a Way into 54 Countries in Africa Through Their Online Luxury Shopping Platform
December 3, 2019 | 0 Comments
Alexander Amosu, CEO of Lux Afrique Boutique
Alexander Amosu, CEO of Lux Afrique Boutique

Brands like Louis XIII, David Morris, Yoko London, Montegrappa, Boadicea, Stephen Webster are just a some of the brands already signed up to the shopping platform
LONDON, United Kingdom, December 3, 2019/ — Lux Afrique Boutique (LAB) , is the first luxury online shopping platform that offers its VIP clients an opportunity to purchase and take delivery of luxury goods anywhere in Africa.

Strong ambitions

Historically, luxury brands have traditionally been associated with developed nations, as a result of this, it became common practice for both Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) & High Net Worth (HNW) markets of African nations to dominate well known international luxury retailers such as Harrods, Saks, Harvey Nicholls and other respected retailers. Subsequently with the growing trend of online buying, luxury retailers entered the same market.

For example, Net-A-Porter first made its appearance in the year 2000 and has now firmly solidified itself as one of the market leaders in Europe for online luxury brands. This too can be said for FarFetched, Lane Crawford in Asia Pacific, and Nordstrom for North & South America.

What remains to be explored is a market leader for the continent of Africa. This is where the expertise of Lux Afrique has a clear benefit and advantage to partnering brands.

Brands like Louis XIII, David Morris, Yoko London, Montegrappa, Boadicea, Stephen Webster are just a some of the brands already signed up to the shopping platform, with more joining on a daily basis. The online shopping platform offers its HNW clients across the African continent an opportunity to shop at the same prices as retail outlets in Paris, London or Milan from the comfort of their homes.

The growing world of luxury constantly draws in new consumers and in fact, according to a recent study published by Bain & Company , the market is expected to grow by 5% in 2019. This growth is due in particular to the developing digital world, and to Generation Z, Millennials – who will represent around 55% of the market in 2025 and will contribute 130% growth during this period – and the increase in a new-found demand of customers in emerging countries.

Alexander Amosu, CEO of Lux Afrique Boutique states: “We already have great experience with the requirements of the African HNW market, a classic example is a client in Lagos, Nigeria going to an event in 48hrs and needing the perfect ensemble right through from cocktail dress, to matching shoes and accessories. As soon as she placed her order, LAB got it on a plane for our client to receive it the very next day. LAB offers a variety of logistic services, however in this case what was required was the pinnacle, being an expedited white glove delivery service. Essentially, African luxury consumers now have a company they can rely on to deliver all their favourite luxury brands to their homes or office anywhere on the continent.”

Trendy products


Luxury brands will continue to capture the imagination and set trends, even in an environment of dynamic financial conditions, typical of emerging markets. Additionally, the global luxury market is constantly looking to reach untapped markets, especially in Africa. LAB already offers a selection of luxury products that correspond to current trends and are aligned with the expectations of HNW customers. “LAB’s unique advantage is that Through its client base, it can support the growth of its luxury brand partners on the African continent in any market where they wish to strengthen their presence. With the rise of new forms of commerce linked to the digital economy, this is an opportunity for LAB and we are better placed to meet consumer demand in Africa,” Amosu adds.

Made in Africa

Lux Afrique Boutique is delighted to and will offer a selection of Africa’s most talented and respected designers as part of our ‘Made in Africa’ range.

Elegant and luxurious creations from across the continent will be featured on the online platform, side by side, with traditional western luxury creators.


Lux Afrique Boutique , is part of the Lux Afrique Group that offers a lifestyle and concierge services cantering to UHNW across Africa, as well as a luxury multimedia platform for marketing and promoting luxury brands, targeting an audience on the African continent. It introduces luxury-focused brands to the high net-worth consumer markets growing throughout Africa, through a number of means, including high-profile events, such as the Lux Afrique Annual Polo Day.
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