He lost an appeal against that sentence and the ICC is yet to decide on any new jail term, with the possibility of a maximum of five years.
The president Muhamodu Bohari led administration has being describe as steadily transforming Nigeria through measures that are yielding positive results.
Speaking during the 2018 ‘Africa Together Conference’ at the University of Cambridge in the UK, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Muhamed said investment in people, changing the business environment and building national infrastructure as some of the areas in which the Administration has made a great impact.
He said the Home-Grown School Feeding programme has yielded other results, including the employment of 80,000 cooks and a ready-made market for food crop farmers.
The Minister said skill shortages in the labour pool are being addressed through several measures, including the four-pronged N-Power programme that is providing employment and vocational training for graduates and others, access to loans for medium and small business as well as conditional cash transfers to the most vulnerable members of the society.
He said the Administration is also changing the business environment for good, focusing especially on removing the red tape that makes it cumbersome for business and stifles innovation.
”Much of our programme has honed-in on business reform. Nigeria has moved up 24 places on the World Bank Ranking of Ease of Doing Business index – putting it amongst the top 10 global reformers, along with Zambia, Malawi and Djibouti. The two areas we have prioritised are starting a business and access to credit.
”In Nigeria, registering a business used to take months. Now it takes 24-48 hours. Unwrapping the bureaucracy and streamlining processes encourage an uptick in new official enterprises. We have introduced online registration, with features such as the electronic stamping of documents. And to ensure this brings with it the maximum benefit, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises clinics have been deployed across a variety of states to provide regulators a contact point with informal business and budding entrepreneurs to clarify any issues,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
He noted that the challenge of access to credit is also being frontally addressed by making it possible for MSMEs to register their movable assets, such as vehicles and equipment, and use them as collateral to raise loans and finance, thus removing the need for traditional assets (such as real estate, offices and factories).
The Minister told his audience that the two most critical impediments against business, decent transport connections and a reliable power supply, are also been tackled by ensuring better roads and train networks, so that goods and services can be moved around more cheaply and efficiently, and businesses can plan for the future, knowing they will not be hampered by energy outages.
”For instance, Nigeria earmarks 30% of its annual national budgets for capital expenditure. That means 2.7 trillion Naira has gone towards our infrastructure in the last 2 years -unprecedented in our history. Power generation has climbed to 7000MW (from just over 2500MW), to which we hope to add another 2000MW by the end of the year. We have also laid down thousands of kilometres of road.
Kinshasa (AFP) – Former Democratic Republic of Congo vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba “can return” home if he wants to, following his acquittal on appeal of war crimes, Kinshasa said Sunday.
Foreign minister Leonard She Okitundu did not however specify whether the one-time rebel leader will face prosecution by DR Congo authorities.
“Jean-Pierre Bemba left of his own will. If he wants to return, he can return,” Okitundu told the French language ‘Internationales’ television programme.
“I am not able to answer you. I have not been informed that Jean-Pierre Bemba has a judicial record here,” Okitundu added, referring to a possible arrest warrant.
Bemba, who had already spent a decade behind bars, was “released provisionally under specific conditions,” the Hague-based International Criminal Court said on Friday.
In a surprise decision, judges last week overturned the 2016 verdict against Bemba and quashed his 18-year prison sentence, saying he could not be held criminally liable for crimes committed by his troops in the Central African Republic in 2002-2003.
Bemba’s wife and children are believed to be living in a villa in the suburb of Rhode-Saint-Genese, 15 kilometres south of Brussels, where he was originally arrested in May 2008 at the ICC’s request.
Judges had initially found Bemba guilty on five counts of warcrimes and crimes against humanity committed by his private army during a five-month rampage in the neighbouring CAR where they committed murder, rape and looting.
Bemba’s interim release relates to a separate case in which he was handed a one-year jail sentence and fined 300,000 euros ($350,000) in 2017 for bribing witnesses during his main war crimes trial.
He lost an appeal against that sentence and the ICC is yet to decide on any new jail term, with the possibility of a maximum of five years.
Amba Fighters: Power Respects Power
By Solomon Ngu*
In The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin, the legendary African-American novelist, says the police in America (and white supremacists) were cautious in attacking members of the Nation of Islam (NOI). Members of this black (or Negro as it was called in those days) movement were not ready to turn the other cheek in the face of police/white supremacist violence against black people in America. They believed in a tooth for tooth and an eye for an eye. These Muslims were encouraged to arm themselves, not to attack their rivals but that if attacked, they should fight back with a maximum force. For them, it was better to die standing. Malcolm X, a leading figure in the Nation of Island once said the only thing that power respects is power. Events in Anglophone Cameroon in recent months are undeniably validating Mr X’s viewpoint.
There was virtually no armed resistance to the militarization and Francophonization of Anglophone Cameroon before Mr Biya declared war on them in November 2017. Messages circulated on social media stating that the government was out to massacre the population. Images of troops in military cars –some of them photoshopped – heading to the two Regions were a frightful sight. The government had cut off internet in the two Anglophone Regions but people found a way to send images on social media by going to the francophone side of the country. We all suspected mayhem. And mayhem it was particularly in the home village of the interim Ambozonian president, Tabe Sisuku Ayuk. In fact the local administrator in this area told citizens to vacate their homes. This, they did. Most of them fled into Nigeria and have remained there ever since.
By the end of 2017 however, young men began to arm themselves. Hunters started using their rifles to defend unarmed villagers. And there was nothing the government could do about it. A few gendarmes were killed sending shock waves into the spine of political leadership and the soldiers. This was unexpected in a country where the military and the police are always above the law. There were online genocidal messages by Francophones, their journalists included, calling on the government to annihilate the Anmbazombies and Anglofools. The minister of communication cried foul and insisted that it was intolerable to allow terrorists to kill gendarmes. This incident, he said, further justified why Ambazonia needed to be militarized.
What Mr Issa Tchiroma did not realize at this point was that these soldiers on a mission to kill unarmed civilians unexpectedly clashed with another force that was bent on retaliating the death of the villagers. It did not for once occur to the minister and the soldiers that they were not the sole armed force in what was becoming a battlefield. Prior to their death, this group of gendarmes had killed unarmed civilians in the invaded village. Those lives did not matter in the eyes of the government, so to speak. The army had and still has the weapons as well as soldiers trained to fight the enemy, the Anglophones. Those defending their dignity have two things: courage and knowledge of the war terrain. In a nutshell, the scoundrel soldiers who had hitherto not encountered any resistance now knew there was power on the other side; and the only thing their power fear is this power that has not restrained from exercising itself through ambushes and other guerilla tactics.
Ironically by Feb 2018, the minister of communication stopped announcing the death of soldiers who die in the battlefield. Private TV stations and digital media footages captured by private citizens have revealed dead and dying soldiers. Some of them, facing threats of death, have defected; others have sold their weapons to the Fighters while some have simply escaped into neighboring countries. In early April 2018, I witnessed three military trucks that were purportedly carrying corpses of soldiers killed in the front line. It is well-known in Buea that the mortuaries are filled up with the corpses of the military men killed in the combat zone. Here is the thing though: the government conceals the death of these soldiers from the Francophones, fearing that parents may questions why their children are sent to die in a senseless war.
This strategy of not announcing the death of the soldiers on the public media is surely intended to deceive the bereaved families, making them think the death of their son or daughter is an isolated, rare and unfortunate occurrence. This strategy has no precedence in Cameroon where the military people who die in action are sent off in a solemn public ceremony with flags and medals adorning their coffins.
But how has this power evolved over time? As mentioned earlier, there wasn’t any resistance when the government sent rogue soldiers to teach Anglophones a lesson during and after the Anglophones celebrated their independence day on Oct 1st 2017. Soldiers chased, beat and shot the unarmed civilians. In the Anglophone capital city of Buea, helicopter gunships sprayed bullets on people from the air. No one for sure knows the death too. Some neighborhoods became aware of deaths in their vicinity only through the stench of decomposed corpses. It is believed some of the corpses were dropped from the helicopters. In all this, the soldiers were winning – their sense of victory was emboldened by fearful citizens fleeing life bullets. The government media institutions celebrated the triumph of brutality against unarmed civilians. Little did they know they just provoked an embittered population amongst them, the kids that were into a second year of not attending school.
Out of nowhere, we started witnessing armed and masked young men threatening to resist the marauding soldiers. They became known as Amba Fighters/Amba Restoration Forces/Amba Boys or just Amba. These Fighters do not have a central commander but all aim at fighting/sending away what they see as the colonial forces of La Republique. So far, they have been putting up a strong resistance and have become confident to the extent that they do not mask their faces anymore when delivering threats to the government and its soldiers. A few weeks ago I watched a video, in which the young people sang songs, displayed their guns, introduced their hierarchy and talked about liberating their homeland. There was this kid, not more than 15 years old, who threatened to take as booty, the sliced testicles of the president of Cameroun. This is what he said in pidgin: ‘We go kill you Popol. Me I want na that your canas’ (we will kill you Polpol [Paul Biya]. I want those testicles of yours’).
The gun has undeniably emboldened the resolve of these young people to speak without fear. Has this power been useful so far? Well, the government soldiers have not launched any military attach to free arrested/kidnapped soldiers or administrator of the regime, perhaps for fear of counter fire. In those cases where the kidnapped/arrested officials have been released, a bounty has been paid to the kidnappers.
In my next article, I still focus on Amba Fighters: how they are perceived by the Anglophone public?
*This is part of the series Life in a War Zone:30 Days in Ambazonia by Solomon Ngu for PAV under the blog Kamer Blues
BY AMEDEE MWARABU
KINSHASA (Reuters) – Democratic Republic of Congo’s parliament will, at President Joseph Kabila’s request, hold a special session to consider legislation providing legal protection for former presidents, lawmakers said.
It stipulates that former presidents and their aides will not be liable for arrest for common law violations committed in the exercise of presidential functions. It also provides for bodyguards for ex-presidents and increases in their pension.
By KEVIN J. KELLEY*
President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the State Department’s Africa Bureau told US senators on Thursday that leaders who extend their terms in office should be viewed as “corrupt dinosaurs.”
But the former US envoy to Ethiopia and Guinea did declare that US interests in Africa are best served by helping develop opportunities for young Africans, not by abetting aging autocratic rulers.
Speaking at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on his nomination, Ambassador Nagy specifically condemned misrule in South Sudan.
If confirmed as the top US diplomat for Africa, Ambassador Nagy pledged to “look for every pressure point possible, including ones not yet pushed, to make sure that those who are complicit in these tragedies have to pay.”
He promised to ensure that culpable South Sudanese “don’t have places to park their money, don’t have places where they can go and enjoy their vacations and go shopping while their people are dying, women are being raped, people are going hungry and chased from their homes.”
In general, however, Ambassador Nagy was upbeat in his assessment of Africa’s present and future.
He said conditions on the continent “have changed dramatically, mostly for the better,” since he last appeared before the Senate panel 20 years ago.
Responding to one senator’s request for an assessment of recent developments in Ethiopia, Ambassador Nagy said he is “extremely optimistic” about the country’s political direction.
Recently installed Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed may prove to be the first Ethiopian leader to “actually allow himself to be voted out of office,” the long-tenured diplomat added.
Education in many African countries has become more accessible, especially for girls, while HIV infection rates have been reduced, along with corruption and instability, Ambassador Nagy said.
At the same time, “terrorism and violent extremism have increased in scope and intensity,” Ambassador Nagy added.
Senators taking part in Thursday’s hearing welcomed Mr Trump’s choice of an experienced Africa specialist to direct relations with a continent that has received scant positive attention from the White House.
Ambassador Nagy appears certain to win confirmation in the coming weeks as assistant secretary of state for Africa.
The Democratic Republic of Congo plans to start work this year on the frequently delayed Inga 3 hydropower project, after receiving a joint bid from two previously competing consortia of investors.One group led by China Three Gorges Corp. and another including Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA of Spain submitted a joint bid on June 6 for the project that will produce 11,000 megawatts and is predicted to cost $13.9 billion, Bruno Kapandji, director of the Agency for the Development and Promotion of the Grand Inga Project, said at a conference Wednesday in Lubumbashi in southeast Congo.
Construction on Inga 3 will take as long as seven years, Kapandji said.
Congo’s government last year asked the competing consortia to work together and submit a joint offer to build and manage Inga 3. Once a concessionaire company has been established, the developers “will commit themselves to mobilizing the funds to complete the project and operate it,” Kapandji said.
The next phase of Grand Inga was initially supposed to produce 4,800 megawatts.
“The project has changed because the demand has changed,” said Kapandji. The mining industry’s energy deficit has increased from about 500 megawatts to 1,300 megawatts in the intervening years since the project was conceived, he said.
By Nevson Mpofu
Yes, there is necessity to be formidable against Climate Change and stay below 1,5 degrees of warming . This is done for the betterment of human livelihoods and for survival sake , being environmentally and Agriculturally sustainable , Health and well-being , free out of natural and human induced catastrophes destroying this Earth .The World population at 7,5 billion people to date face risks , poverty , vulnerabilities and get plunged in sundry challenges socially , economically and politically .
Most countries are seriously hit by absolute poverty which is lack of basic needs, situational and in-come poverty, especially in Africa with a total population of 1 billion people. Its entire population is extremely affected by poverty because of climate change caused by Global Warming which leads to 90% induced anthropogenic disasters which have led to severe metrological and hydrological droughts. This is because, we are above 1,5 degrees of warming .
The above mentioned catastrophes have drastically impacted more on communities, in Africa, small island countries, banana republics and in some countries failing to cope up with mitigation and adaptation of climate change. This is because of several factors among them, lack of climate finance social cohesion of political will and the International community not in mutual agreements.
Owing attention to climate change effects in many affected developing countries of the World struggling to cope up with climate change , the thorny issue has turned inflammatory , hence the reason why the Paris Agreement called for the necessity to stay below 1,5 degrees of warming .
Yes, it is necessary to stay below 1,5 degrees of warming because there is need to cherish the good of Health for all , have no poverty and drought , create a sustainable globe supported by a nourished environment for a Green Economy .
It is therefore a priority to for the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to foster policy development so as to forecast on climate change mitigation and adaptation through Bio-Diversity protection, research and development programs. Secondly, the implementation of BECCS Technologies to reduce climate change is important. Also, there is need to create other technologies which are conducive to a pollution free, disease free and an environmentally stable and manageable livable and sustainable community.
The necessity to stay below 1,5 degrees of warming is indisputably vital so that the World cannot be affected by instability in rainfall , sea level rise , disasters like floods and drought and the subsequent scarcity of water and basic natural resources . These when not afforded and accessed leads to sundry challenges of immense impact to human lives.
An Expert in the field of Environment and Agriculture, Professor Sheunesu Mupepereki of the University of Zimbabwe contacted for comment said if countries stay below 1,5 degrees of warming there are greater chances of stability in rainfall and this can result in good harvests . The input part comes with bumper output of harvest and the outcome is adequate food supply that is Food Security leading to an Impact of a NO HUNGER COMMUNITY, NO POVERTY, HIGH EDUCATION and HEALTH SERVICE DELIVERY.
‘’For countries to win on the Sustainable Development Goals like the two on ending poverty and hunger , there is great need to work out on environmental sustainable policies especially on Afforestation and environmental and water sustainability , do mitigation and adaptation so that we can achieve a Green Economy in a Sustainable World free from poverty and hunger .
‘’This is only achievable through unison of the Globe sticking to agreements like those already in place like the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreements which have a bit of relief to our changing world . Of- course climate has been changing but 90% of this is attributable to human forces, working towards destroying the Universe’’, he said.
Taking the heated discussion up the ladder, Environmental Management Agency Chief Communications Officer Steady Kangata an Environmentalist as well pointed out that, to stay below 1,5 degrees of warming is not easy as long richer nations fail to agree among themselves and then sit down on the table to take it up with those most affected like African states and the small island countries which are only contributing a little at most not at all .
‘’Richer States have to come together and weave social cohesion ideas meant to reduce effects of climate change so that we are at ease as far as this is concerned . Staying below 1,5 degrees of warming is possible in the long run if the burning of fossil fuels is taken action against . In fact natural solutions will work for us as we get to zero fossil fuel use. The influence of fossil fuels like coal has had diverse vested influence on the change of climate.
‘’There is need to reduce the use of coal , avoid deforestation , concentration of gases like carbon- dioxide in the atmosphere , methane and nitrous oxide which are the main emissions contributing to global warming which is almost above the normal figure I,5 degrees of warming .
‘’Carbon dioxide trapping heat in the atmosphere could be a problem as long there are no measures like policies in place to reduce this , However , countries under the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change have taken stance against this , though much needs to be done’’ , he said .
Another Expert, an Agronomist by profession Professor Mushonjowa pointed out that there is need to stay below 1,5 degrees of warming so as to create conducive environment in Agricultural activities which have been mainly impacted by climate change . He said, the issue of Food Security is not a reality as long countries are not staying below 1,5 degrees Celsius because this leads to food in- security which leads to increase in poverty .
‘’Poverty still continues because we are failing to mitigate and adapt to climate change , but however we need to adopt policies and strategies which might one day pull us out of absolute poverty as countries are eager to win on sustainable development goals like on no poverty and hunger .
Taking a breath, he said additional effects on water supply , rising temperatures , sea level rise , less predictable weather , drought , floods , storms , changing temperatures and rainfall pattern effects on crops , pests , pollinators and disease organisms are high .This impacts communities socio , economically and politically .
‘’The risk is on long term economic growth challenges which are a big blow in many countries still struggling to be out of poverty and hunger . Let us take note that, ‘’climate is changing, food and Agriculture must change too’’. There is all mighty need to stick to drought resistant crops like sorghum and millet and resort to short season crops like pulses which resists prolonged drought.
‘’Taking a strong look at this, there is need to stay below 1,5 degrees of warming so that we are kept beyond poverty and hunger . In order to keep ourselves away from this , it is important for Africa to invest in Renewable Energy , turn Agriculture to food and Industrial development and support knowledge economy for Innovation and Industrial development in Africa’’ , he added .
According to the World Health Organization, Climate Change has caused 140,000 death due to hunger, water-borne and vector-born ailments .Speaking on the sidelines of Health, Doctor Portia Manangazira who works in the Department of Epidemiology, Ministry of Health and Child Care said the increase in water borne diseases has also been the issue of climate change in many countries mainly hit by devastating floods.
‘’Water-borne diseases are set to increase as long climate lives. The greater increase is due to the issue of climate change which has arose with high incessant rains and sometimes low rainfall compromising on the strong sharp increase in communicable diseases related to vector borne and water borne ones like malaria and cholera respectively .
‘’Although cholera is a result of failure to handle and manage food issues and proper water and sanitation health well, the sharp increase in climate change could give another big blow as we move forward. It is now all of us our task to look ahead and manage these issues through global dialogue, syllogism and policy change’’. She concluded.
The question of climate justice still hangs in air as some countries like America continue polluting at the expense of the developing countries. The increase in vulnerable people in communities is adversely exacerbated by climate change which is causing these people not to live below 1,5 degrees of warming .However , though there is this need nonetheless , lack of resources in basic need , lack of climate finance and battle lines drawn between the rich and the poor countries stirs great controversy at a time there is increase in vulnerable people because of HIV and AIDS and climate change death .
In the Agriculture sector 2 degrees increase in temperature reduces maize by 5 to 22% , wheat 10 to 17% and sorghum by 15 to 17% . This leads to food vulnerability leading to high malnutrition and nutrition in-security, poverty and lack of human development .Such is the problem which led to high death rates of 260,000 people in Somalia in 2010 to 2012.
Climate vulnerability in Africa continues as climate change bites with severe pang of pain, but there is need to focus on the rights of people around the world who need stay below 1,5 degrees of warming by enforcing policies which focus on Global Carbon Budget . In financial costs, Africa will spend almost 7 to 15 billion by 2020.
This could contribute to continuation of poverty later turning to be of harsh effects to women who have 60% big role in rural Agriculture. Because of these issues, women are failing to do their activities because they are much prone to drought, floods and some disasters. Women and children affected most, this constitutes vulnerability and there is likelihood of high maternal, neo-natal and infant mortality in Africa, up-surge rise of pulmonary and cardio-vascular diseases because the bigger percentage relies on fossil fuels .
Contacted for comment, Pamela Mhlanga, Director of Zimbabwe Women Resource Centre and Network said staying below 1, 5 degrees of warming could mold the girl-child of today to be a mother who contributes far more than men in building a better economy without poverty and hunger, but however, it is sad to note that women voices in climate change issues were so low over the recent years because of lack of equality and equity.
‘’Women participation is always low at all levels but on climate change , let us take the equal front and equip ourselves because we are the ones at the forefront of being mainly affected when disasters come .We need advocacy , sensitization and awareness , awakening women voices in climate change issues to stay below 1,5 degrees of warming . Besides, let us capacity build women on 100% Energy technical support, empowering women with clean, efficient modern stoves’’, she elucidated.
Taking sides, Women Coalition of Zimbabwe Co-coordinator, Sally Dura ignited on the strong issue of Women and 100% Renewable Energy. Renewable Energy is related to solar , geothermal , wave , hydro and wind , but alas , it is sad to note that 70% of people in Africa have no access to this source which is safe , cheap ,reliable , efficient and easy to use .
‘’Staying below 1,5 must start with women in front and it should be buttressed by the need to develop our planet through shared knowledge and the understanding that Renewable energy counts more than any form of energy these days where injustices are caused by climate change . Still at worst inequalities are worsening because we are now at most affected by climate itself’’, she echoed.
Reduction in emissions creates a free from pollution world if solar is used by all countries of the world which need support as far as finance is related. This will lead to reduction in carbon emissions, therefore reversing ozone layer depletion which results in Global Warming.
HUNDRED, 100 % RENEWABLE ENERGY is supported by policy frameworks implemented for the advantage of every human being but mostly we need Education on these issues so that we remain vigilant as we move towards building better economies. Speaking to this Journalist, Gloria Magombo Zimbabwe ENERGY Regulatory Authority Director said in Zimbabwe access to energy is only 40% of which there is need to develop solar so as to reach high levels of economic development.
‘’ It’s much more to talk about 100% Renewable Energy for us to stay as well below 1,5 degrees of warming . Energy budgets, policy development and more education are supposed to be stand together issues of moral concern for us to win also the sustainable development goal on Energy. The more we put focus on the environment we dwell on energy issues promoting a Greener Economy ‘’.
‘’ A greener is Economy is supported by new clean , smart technologies which are against use of fossil fuels and those green-house gases which deplete the ozone layer . Thus why we as SADC we are promoting the use of Solar –Powered vehicles and the use of Diesel 50’’
‘’However some developed countries are already using Diesel 1o but still us as SADC we are behind. It means then we are polluting by using archaic models of cars which use Diesel 100 which is no-longer recommended .This is a solution to curb use of fossil fuels which are not Environmentally friendly .’’
‘’ If 40% of Zimbabweans only have access to energy , then clean energy use is far less as expected , then at a global level we still have a long way to achieve staying below 1,5 degrees warming , but then a 100 % global shift towards Renewable Energy is the only close and immediate solution .’’ she said.
The truth on ground lies on strategizing achievable mitigations and correct lined adaptations in order to conquer challenges we face today. The fact is that before the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century there were 280 parts per million of carbon emissions doubling to 400 parts per million, the world becoming 3 to 4 degrees warmer, this leading to high sea-levels tells a success story of climate change victory. Today we are almost a bit below that because of several measures in addition to climate resilience, governance and political will. We need more effort, support, mentorship and education regarding the necessity of staying below 1,5 degrees warmer. Yes,
*NEVSON MPOFU is a multi-Awarded Media Practitioner . Currently, he is a Lecturer of Community Development, HIV and AIDS. email:email@example.com
By Nevson Mpofu
Sub-Saharan Africa, South East and Pacific Asia which are Energy poverty impacted Regions need at least 49, 4 billion annually to finance their overall Energy projects and the current spending rotating in these Regions is 9 billion. World Bank has over the past years since 2007 financed 31 billion worth Energy projects in developing countries especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In order to monitor the reduction of absolute poverty in the World, there is need to focus strongly on Energy financing in order to develop various energy projects, reduce poverty and win on Sustainable Development Goals particularly Goal number 7 on Energy by 2030.Africa has the big challenge . One of its Investor , African Renewable Energy Fund finances small projects in Hydro-Power , Wind , Solar , Geo-Thermal , Gas and Biomass .It has 10 to 30 million size of Investments , 200 million total fund size with target return of 20% .
Experts in the Energy sector in Zimbabwe have taken a strong move to work towards sustaining energy projects through sourcing finance and calling for Investments to boost the sector. The prevalent rate of climate change in the countries felt elsewhere in the World is fast reducing BIOFUEL ENERGY relied on by 60% of the rural population mainly in developing countries struggling to grapple with solar energy which is cheap, efficient, though insufficient, it is reliable with those who have used it .The strong fact is Solar is renewable, therefore it is of less cost once purchased.
CLEAN ENERGY FOR ALL programs organized by Business Council for Sustainable Development , Practical Action and ZERA[Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority ] held since issues of energy took Centre stage have since short time memorial brought change in the country which is only 40% solar energy dominated according to recent ZERA information on the ground . Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority Chief Executive Officer, said that adequate financial funding is needed to run Sustainable Energy projects in many countries of the World so as to promote a GREEN REVOLUTION which has special focus on clean energy which does not have effects on human lives as far as pollution is concerned.
Air pollution has over the past years affected communities especially in coal mining areas where a number of people have had problems of respiratory and cardio-vascular diseases. .These challenges have as well been experienced in urban areas where after hydro-power blackout is experienced, dwellers pursue alternative energy sources which lead to destruction of the natural environment and turn to massive use of coal which emits unfriendly pollutants affecting people and the atmosphere.
Experts have summed that, though the need for Green Energy for a Green Revolution, funding is not adequate to promote a GREEN REVOLUTION flourish. Glued in the exclusive interview, the expert said Zimbabwe power shortages are indicated by a deficit of 60% .By February 2016 the country was measured producing only 845 mw against a projected national demand 2,200 megawatts and installed capacity of 1,940 megawatts .
‘’There is need for adequate funding buttressed by competent Investors who support the Energy sector which is under-trodden and submerged by anthropogenic factors contributing to climate change and subsequently affecting the earth which now is heavily compromised in terms of its naturalness, beauty, esthetics and bounty wealth of bio-fuel .The urgent need for regeneration of the energy sector through the support of Investors is no doubt a fact on the ground ‘’.
’’Countries of the world still taking development steps in response to Sustainable Development Goals targets need more funding than the current amount so that they can run sustainable projects which can make developing countries in Africa, Asia and some parts of the World see the light of development in a changing world in which clean energy is the right path to go for in a modern World.’’
‘’Clean Energy is environmentally friendly since it does not lead to air pollution which does have negative impacts on the health of the general public. Many forms of energy have led to changes in climate of which resultant adverse effects there-after have led to depletion of the ozone layer. Clean energy solutions today lead us to a habitable disease free world.’ ’posed the Expert .
Further on ,she cited that high cost financing of Infrastructure amounting from 12 billion to 13 billion to lift up Energy project financing in developing countries is vital .She continued that, for these countries to grow, they need to lure Investments from the developed World through implementation of sound policies meant to reduce energy poverty in the developing world.
‘’Funding for the purpose of Economic development is vital because they is need to promote GREEN ECONOMY. Therefore, we need to support GREEN ENERGY projects on the ground so that we can reach targets of GLOBAL ENERGY growth and achieve Sustainable Development Goals of the UNITED NATIONS’’, ’she concluded.
Commenting on the same issue , Patson Mbiriri , Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development , said , Energy financing was as well delayed by lack of political will in many developing countries like in those where civil strife reduce communities to abject poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa , East and Pacific Asia and in some parts of the World .He added also that lack of expertise and the issue of brain drain has much impacted .
‘’Lack of this political will has much trodden developing countries which even up to now need strong financial support to lift themselves out of absolute poverty . Sustainable Development Goals will lift people in many countries out of poverty like how they have done in developed countries like China, Japan, America and others’’.
‘’Access to energy finance stands vital, hence the reason why Sustainable Development Goals are important. Energy developments over the past decades slackened because Energy was not part of the Millennium Development Goals .The c current Sustainable Development Goals are giving a new image to Energy sources like solar which is are affordable and accessible.
‘’One main important aspect is that of brain drain of African professionals giving their knowledge to greener pastures. The problem is leaving blind spots making management of energy projects a challenge to digest. Also those in leadership at top need more expertise, sensitization and awareness on the importance of energy link to the environment. A green revolution is possible close home if these experts help us with their skills and push for Africa to get Investors. In other words, we are moving slowly towards a GREEN REVOLUTION’’, he said.
Talking on Investor incentives to sustain Energy projects, another Expert in the ENERGY SECTOR, Sustain Ziuke said, incentives are important because Zimbabwe is only 40% covered by solar energy. All in all 80% of energy is urban and 19% is rural. We still have a long way to go . Access to electricity is estimated @ 52% of the total population.
Approximately, 200,000 urban house-holds and 1,2 million rural do not have access to electricity . He expanded by highlighting that there is need to work towards financing of solar since it is cheap and easy to maintain and for developing countries to research and access other Energy types especially in rural areas so that bio-fuel can be saved .
Africa as a whole has those challenges related to energy shortage .There are dangers to the natural environment caused by lack of energy sources. The environment gets deforested without any afforestation, this leading to desertification. Most issues in origin of what is climate change are a result of massive cutting down of trees . This leads to denudation, mass wasting and serious erosion during rainy season, communities later affected by food –insecurity.
‘’Access to Energy types is the challenge in developing countries. Worse still, wood is 80% to 90% in rural areas and 15 to 30% in African urban areas. For Energy development to take place at fast rate in these countries, there is need for GREEN FUNDING, what we call SMART ENERGY for the sustainability of a GREEN WORLD in which humanity is not affected by POLLUTION, especially AIR POLLUTION which result in Respiratory and Cardio-Vascular Diseases, related to heart and Lung cancer ailments, ’he said.
Zimbabwe which still lags behind in Energy development has fuel wood at 60%, liquid fuel 18%, electricity 13% and coal 8%. Although the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio- Economic Transformation promotes Energy projects sustainability so as to reduce poverty, more than half of its population is living in Energy poverty and needs funding to run such projects.
Many Energy organizations in energy poverty countries have come out with projects which needs sustainable funding . Energy projects in Zimbabwe are run under the theme, CLIMATE FINANCE FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT. Some of them touched on the issue of diesel -50 and how countries can move towards the use of diesel 10 and the use of solar powered vehicles in the future. The issue of climate change brings in today gender dimensions which call the involvement of women in energy issues because they matter most when it comes to sourcing energy in both rural and urban communities.
By Wallace Mawire
Member countries of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) have met in Harare, Zimbabwe at a two day symposium on copyright and related rights on 12 to 14 June, 2018 to find common ground on combating piracy and shaping copyright and related rights systems on the continent.
The symposium was held under the theme: “Shaping the Copyright and Related Rights System in Africa.”
The Symposium discussed critical copyright issues affecting Africa and explored ways to address copyright in the digital environment for the benefit of the right holders, users, and other stakeholders.
It was attended by at least 65 delegates from 30 countries including experts on Intellectual Property from international organizations like the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) .
Also an Exhibition by the 19 ARIPO member states showcased what is happening in their countries on copyright and related rights.
Officially opening the symposium, Zimbabwe’s Deputy Attorney General, Mr Kumbirai Hodzi a similar symposium was held in 2017 under the same theme and the 2018 symposium sought to take stock on progress that had been made on copyright and related rights systems in Africa.
Mr Hodzi said that intellectual property played a very critical role in the protection and dissemination of knowledge and creative industries have assumed major economic significance that contribute significantly to economies.
He also added that the music industry had potential to contribute meaningfully to African economies buts its protection was lax and piracy was very rampant in most of the countries.
“Although some countries have laws prohibiting infringement, copyright infringement is the order of the day,” Hodzi said.
He cited the example of Zimbabwe, where recently one of the country’s musicians, Alick Macheso released a new album that was launched on 8 June, 2018.
Hodzi said that what was concerning was that before the launch of the album, copies of the musician’s music were already awash in the streets of Harare.
“People do not seem to think twice about sharing the music, yet to Alick Macheso, these are bread and butter issues and he needs to survive, pay his bills and his band together with its management,” Hodzi said.
Hodzi lamented how the same scenario has become the order of the day especially in Africa.
He urged African member states to measure progress on copyright and related rights issues and any change of attitudes following their meetings. He added that the issues of copyright and related rights in Africa need a concerted effort from everyone to include copyright offices, collective management organisations, academics, entrepreneurs and the victims themselves who include artists, among other players.
Hodzi urged member states of the ARIPO to study how developed countries had done it to be successful in protecting copyright and related rights.
“Computer software, multi-media products, music, books and other literary works have made the players rich, created employment and contributed meaningfully to the economies of those countries,” Hodzi said.
According to Hodzi, in 2011, a research was undertaken by Dick Kawooya and others and they published a book on Access to knowledge in Africa: The role of copyright. He said that the research revealed that in all the eight countries were the study was undertaken, all countries had copyright laws that meet and in many cases exceed the minimum international standards reflected in applicable international instruments and agreements.
He also added that findings also revealed that no country studied takes advantage of all, or even most of, the flexibilities that exist in relevant international agreements.
The study is also reported to have highlighted a disconnect between national copyright laws and on the ground practices in all the countries studied. It found that laws and policies governing copyright in most African countries are typically not grounded in the realities of African societies and are largely crafted without sufficient empirical evidence.
“Unfortunately, these findings might be true to this day. It is well known that the copyright environments in our countries is not conducive and currently it doesn’t maximise access and protection of knowledge. But l believe we are capable of changing our situations in order to improve both access and protection of our copyrights,” Hodzi said.
BY PAUL NIGHT
MOYO-The leaders of South Sudanese refugee at Morobi zone II in Palorinya Refugee settlement in Moyo district have implicated the officials of World Vision one of the implementing partners over bribes and harassments at food distribution Points.
The complaint was presented to His Excellency Joel Boukome, the UNHCR Country Representative in Uganda during his visit on Monday where he met with different stakeholders of Development partners, hosting communities and refugee leaders respectively.
In the same visit he also reached out the Verification Centre where he was received with warmly welcome from the refugees and proceed to meet the people of Obongi County
Mr Moses Mogga, the Secretary General Refugees Welfare Committee (RWC II) Morobi while presenting Memo to the UNHCR Country Representative said World vision Uganda has failed its mandates for handling refugees especially in the areas of food distribution much as they are good Non-governmental organization providing services in the settlements. We have also found some challenges that the officials are harassing and extorting our People at the distribution centres which is worrying and we fill badly for that. Some of them (World Vision Officials) we real got them with ration cards and sometimes they steal food items meant for refugees through coupons which we feel is not a good practice and we don’t encouraged to happen anymore”, Mr Mogga said
He said much as world vision is been contracted to conduct food distribution for the refugees it does not take actions to address some of the issues as expected by the refugee. “World food programme (WFP) is good at lobbying for food and we appreciate their efforts regarding that. But they are not doing enough in supervising the implementing agency (World Vision) so we filled they should be supervised and we should not promote selling of relief items in the market”, he said
Ms Ester Gune, one of the South Sudanese refugee and mother of four Children found said that they (Mothers) are worried because some officials of World Vision are found of selling them food coupons at the distribution points. “As you can imagine life in a Refugee settlement is not easy coupled with challenges faced from some of the Implementing partners more especially officials of World Vision. There was a time my ration card got lost and I was forced to pay some money which she didn’t revealed how much was it for replacement”, she said
She added: “Life for those who can’t afford to pay is bleak. Because I don’t have my ration card I stay at home so that I can be safe from harassment and disappointments over food and authorities like some of the staff of World Vision haven’t helped without the ability to be bribed”. Ms Gune said
Ms Tinah Mukunda, the Interim national director ,World Vision Uganda said the organization has been distributing Food to South Sudan Refugees since 2013 and right now they do food distribution in five settlements. “The allegations that have been put forward by refugee leaders have really not reached to World Vision. I would like to assure you that World Vision has controls in place and a zero tolerance policy to harassment and frauds including all other forms of staff misconduct”, Ms Mukunda said
She added: “That said now that these allegations have come through we shall swing into action and carry out thorough investigations and guided by zero tolerance policy. We will hold people accountable should the allegations be substantiated”, She said
Uganda is hosting the largest population of refugees ever recorded in its history but the product of continual influxes over past two years. During that period the West Nile region has experienced a mass influx of refugees as conflict that broke out in Juba, South Sudan’s Capital in mid-2016 spread across the greater Equatoria region.
Mr Hassan Kaps Fungaroo, the Obongi County legislator said that the visit of UNHCR Country representative to meet with Refugees and host communities is one of the good imitative. “This has given an opportunity as citizens (Hosting Communities) and the refugees to air out issues facing them. The refugees were being complaining and I also received many complaints from them and today they have spoken in front of Country representative (UNHCR) and OPM officials including some of the leaders of implementing partners”, Mr Fungaroo said.
He noted that the issues of some implementing partners (IPs) not handling things well need to be addressed. The issue of harassing people especially issues of food coupons at distribution points in the settlement. We also had cases of complains from refuges regarding materials given to refugees sometimes get lost and also issues of sexual harassment resulting to increase cases of pregnancy among the young girls under aged and some staff f implementing partners are implicated for that so this is a turning moment for the refugees and the communities. We need to address the issues affecting service delivery to the refugees and the host communities to address the issue of how we work. The framework for coordination to should ensure to be clearly because such thing were lacking in the past.
His Excellency Joel Boukome, the UNHCR Country Representative in Uganda addressing Refugee leaders during his visit on Monday encouraged the Refugee to use the complaint mechanisms put in place in the settlements like toll free line calls or the suggestion boxes initiated any NGOs for effective communication follow. “If such thing you have seen happening and whoever from implementing partners put it up for actions and we need to follow that one out but it should not be seen as ways of many accusations and there should be no tolerance about such matters of concerns”, Mr Boukome said
By Andreas Thomas
Windhoek – The focus of African youth, with regard to their participation in the political arena is gaining momentum, with recent calls to abolish restrictive laws that are marginalizing young people from fully participating in democratic process.
Young people are vastly under-represented in political decision-making. Although 51% of the world’s population is under 30, young people fewer than 30 accounts for a mere 1.9 per cent of lawmakers worldwide. This is largely due to laws that do not allow young people – although they have the right to vote – to have the right to run for office, according to Inter-Parliamentary Union.
The situation is worse in Africa, where formal political institutions are dominated by elders. Most countries in the continent use archaic legislations that prohibit people under 30 to run for political offices including parliaments.
But the tide is turning in favour of young people. Delegates at the Africa Regional Conference on Financing of Electoral Processes held in Windhoek last week from 6-8 June, have called on countries to re-consider these prohibitive laws.
They said by lowering the minimum age of people to take up political office, will encourage the youth to fully engage in politics and decision making processes.
The conference that was held under the “Inclusive Democracy for Sustainable Development” was attended by representatives from electoral management bodies from 16 African countries.
“We heard from some countries where they have actually reduced the ages for allowing the youth to become members of parliament. And I think one of the question, which was raised here is how electoral management bodies make sure that youth are now more included in the electoral process. Because we see that the youth participation is not always at optimum level, although you find that on the lection registers, on voters roll, probably 40 percent and in some countries you find that 50 percent or even above are youth,” said the ECN Chairperson, Advocate Notemba Tjipueja said on the sideline of the conference.
Former Liberian president Ellen Jonson-Sirleaf also wants to see African countries adopting non-age discriminatory laws. Jonson-Sirleaf noted that some countries in Africa are heading the call, and considering age reduction legislation as most young people taking up leadership roles.
Nigeria has taken a big leap with regard to inclusive political participation, after President Muhammad Buhari signed the ‘Not Too Young To Run Bill into law on May 29, that was hailed in the West African country as a welcoming development.
The law that was passed by the Senate last year, reduces age requirement to run for presidency from 40 to 35, State Governor from 35 to 30, Senator from 35 to 30; House of representatives from 30 to 25 and State House of Assembly from 30 to 25.
While addressing the Namibian Parliamentary Women Caucus and the Standing Committee for Gender Equality, Social Development and Family Affairs in Windhoek on June 5, Johnson-Sirleaf has cautioned African leadership against neglecting its young.
More than 60% of Africa’s population is under 35, and this segment, Johnson-Sirleaf warned that is running out of patience. She said young people are demanding to be part of decision-making process and to benefit from the continent’s immeasurable mineral resources.
“Our continent is young. On average, 60 per cent of our population is 35 years and under, with school leaving increasing the numbers of those that are ready for jobs and job opportunities that are not expanding fast enough to be able to absorb them. That is an issue that is facing different degrees in most of our countries,” the Nobel Peace laureate has cautioned.
“How are they going to be patient enough as we prepare them for leadership and how will some of them respond because they don’t have that patience and want to see themselves progress as they believe the nation should provide them the opportunity?”
Johnson-Sirleaf challenged parliaments to devise strategies that provide solutions issues affecting the youth in Africa.
Johnson-Sirleaf has also encouraged African youth to pull up their sleeves and try improve their conditions.
“The youth must also have responsibility to be on par of the positive changes in societies. To pursue the best education they can, to become excellence in what they do, whether in school, the work they do, to be able to aspire toward what they want to be and to work hard for it,” she advised.