Call Us Now: (240) 429 2177


Cameroon: Human Rights Lawyer Amungwa Tanyi Nicodemus Released.
June 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Barrister Amungwa (second from Right) and Members of the Cameroon bar Association after his bail

Human Rights Lawyer Barrister Amungwa Tanyi Nicodemus who was arrested on May 31 in Cameroon’s political capital Yaounde has been finally released.

Amungwa was arrested at the Groupement Territorial de la Gendarmerie in Cameroon’s capital Yaoundé while he was assisting a client. His arrest led to calls from national and international rights groups for him to be freed.

The Cameroon Bar obtained his release after a ferocious fight to bail him. According to reports, it took three executive members to sign as guarantors – the President of the Bar Claire ATtangana Bikouna; the representative of the President for the Center, South and East regions; Barrister Pierre Robert Fojou, and Barrister Daniel.

“Possessing photographs that provide evidence of abuses in the English-speaking regions is not a crime, far less an act to incite terrorism. Cameroonian authorities should immediately release Amungwa and ensure both his due process rights and his role and privileges as a lawyer is respected,” HRW said.

“His arbitrary detention reveals a system geared towards stifling and undermining the role and activities of lawyers involved in key human rights cases. CHRDA condemns this arrest as it is a direct attack on human rights defenders and call for his immediate release,” a statement from the Centre for Human Ri8ghts and democracy in Africa (CHRDA) read in part.

According to the human rights group, several Anglophones have been arrested and detained and some tried on counts of terrorism for the mere fact that their telephones were arbitrarily searched by military officers and images and other content related to the Anglophone crisis was found in their possession.

Read More
Cameroon: Andre Onana Gets Doping Ban Reduced to 9 months.
June 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Andre Onana has not played a single game since February

Indomitable Lions and Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana has seen his one-year doping ban reduced to nine months. This decision was rendered this Thursday, June 10 by the Court of Arbitration for Sports, CAS.

Onana, 25, was suspended in February 2021, having failed an out-of-competition test for a banned substance the previous October.

“I mistakenly took it for aspirin because the packaging was almost identical, which I greatly regret, Andre Onana said back in February.

“I respect the UEFA Appeals Body, but I do not share their decision in this case. I consider it excessive and disproportionate as it has been acknowledged by UEFA that it was an unintentional mistake.”

The ban for Andre Onana means he has been unable to play or train with Ajax or the Cameroon national team since the suspension was imposed but will now be eligible for the competition from November.

After a four-hour online session, CAS ruled that Onana’s 12-month ban should be reduced to nine months. The suspension shall now end 4 November 2021 and up to that time, it covers all football activities, both national as international.

Onana is allowed to restart his training two months before the end of the suspension which will be on September 4, 2021.

Premier League giant Arsenal is reportedly keen on bringing Andre Onana to the club

This decision to reduce the sentence by three months have been appreciated by the Cameroonian sporting community who are hoping to Onana in the colour of the national team for the upcoming AFCON. This window will give the goalkeeper somewhat enough time to prepare with his national team if he is called up for the World Cup qualifiers and also the AFCON.

Edwin van der Sar, the CEO of Ajax, told the club’s website: “With this ruling of the CAS we have won three months in comparison to the initial suspension. So it was worth it taking this case to the CAS. We stand for a clean sport. I will say again that we are convinced that Andre has taken this substance by accident and certainly not to perform better.

“This is endorsed by all parties, also by the UEFA as is to be concluded from the cases both by the UEFA and the CAS.

“When we told our story, together with Andre and the lawyers from the CAS, I drove off from The Ajax Academy with a good feeling. I have mixed feelings about today’s verdict because our aim was that he would be back playing games this summer.”

Andre Onana now has a big decision to make in the next couple of days or weeks with the transfer window in Europe open. He has been linked with several clubs that are looking at getting his services. Premier League giant Arsenal is reported to be keeping a close eye on Andre Onana and it was reported they were waiting for the CAS decision before tabling a bid for the goalkeeper.

Read More
Former Nigeria President Obasanjo to Serve as Keynote Speaker at ICT University’s 6th Graduation
June 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Olusegun Obasanjo was the 5th and 12th President of Nigeria

Olusegun Matthew Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo, GCFR, former Nigeria President will be the keynote speaker for the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) University’s Graduation Ceremony on July 31, 2021, in Yaounde.

The 6th graduation ceremony will take place at the Palais des Congres in Cameroon’s political capital. A host of guests will be participating at the graduation ceremony such as Cameroon and world football superstar H.E Roger Milla, the world’s best academic mentor Professor Terry Anthony Byrd, Cameroon’s Olympic Gold medalist, Francoise Mbango and representatives from the Cameroon government.

The ICT University operates a purely US-based curriculum to provide quality ICT and Managerial Human Capacity Development specially targeted for Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia, the ICT University is a vibrant institution that aims at imposing itself as a premier destination for research, innovation and training of scholars relevant for the context of developing economies.

Founded in 2010, the ICT University (The American curriculum-based university serving developing nations), has multiple campuses of The ICT University Foundation, USA. Professor Victor Mbarika, Professor of ECU, distinguished International Researcher serves as the President of the Board of Trustees of ICT University.

The headquarters of ICT University’s African campuses is based in Cameroon. Serving more than 15,000 students worldwide via on-site and online programs, the ICT University develops productive and relevant Diploma, Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral level scholars to utilize their research and training in solving the substantial problems in their countries.

Administrators of ICT University and the special guests at the 2020-2021 matriculation ceremony

The University offers a dynamic and flexible learning environment that inspires innovation and creativity and lays emphasis on student access. It also prides itself on offering an intimate, cutting edge campus environment disposing of all resources essential for producing tomorrow’s leading ICT experts, technopreneurs, renewable energy engineers, and business managers. 

Read More
We need to treat Africa’s oil and gas industry as a brand of leadership.
June 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

Following Africa’s Oil Week announcement of moving their flagship Cape Town event to Dubai, H.E Mahaman Laouan Gaya, former APPO SG and former Petroleum Minister of Niger Republic has expressed his dissatisfactory views of the annual industry conference leaving the continent. He criticizes the “humiliating idea” of African Oil Week in Dubai and urges that it sends a wrong message.

“Africans need to know that our dignity should not be given away. This is a clear sign of poor leadership. Africa will not reach its global potential if we continue to see supposedly investment promotion-focused organisations abandoning the continent at the smallest challenge” said, H.E Mahaman Laouan Gaya, Former APPO SG and Former Petroleum Minister of Niger Republic.

“The African Oil Industry is at a crossroads and going into COP26, we need to have an African Agenda on energy transition and energy poverty. These discussions cannot be had in Dubai. African Petroleum Producers and other energy producers should distance themselves from this initiative of taking Africans to Dubai.” He further added.

Gaya encourages the idea of bringing African representatives and its global strategic partners to an African location to debate and find solutions and synergies to address the continent’s challenges and showcase its opportunities. He condemns  AOW’s lack of good leadership. With this in mind, he passionately suggests that governments and organisations alike should enforce a mandate of promotion and development of the oil and gas industry by standing up for it when it is necessary and lead the rest of the world by example.

In a dedicated approach, H.E Mahaman Laouan Gaya rails behind the African Energy Chamber, the Mozambican Oil and Gas Chamber, and many others against the move of the pan-African event and calls on the international community to support this cause.

*African Energy Chamber

Read More
Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa Flexes Muscles on Labour Migration and Disability, Launches Key Policies in a Socio-Economic Development Move Towards 2030
June 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu .

President Emmerson Mnangagwa in his tentative effort to promote inclusivity and participation of every Zimbabwean towards economic growth and development launched two key intertwined strategic policies. The two take a snap-shot to focus on labor migration and disability.

The National Disability Policy and National Labor Migration Policies were jointly launched in Harare at a glamorous ceremony attended by United Nations officials among them Maria Ribeiro UN Country Representative. At Foreign Affairs level recognition were plenipotentiary members of the Diplomatic Corps, Ambassadors.

Also at higher figure representation were Government officials, the President himself chaperoned by Vice President Constantine Chiwenga , Minister of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare Professor Paul Mavima , civil servants from the Labour Ministry , other ministries , top Government officials from related ministries , big number from civil society organizations on disability and media

The National Disability policy calls for inclusivity of all disabled people into total participation at national level for socio-economic development. The policy came to being in 2018 after several discussions with the President.

‘’This lies out with the National Development Strategy 1 . Disabled people must not be taken as charity but as people who are like an citizen. They must be included in national Development. They need total respect, dignity and integrity in-order for them to feel free and participate in socio-economic development.

Diaspora engagement is key and crucial as well . The President reiterated the need for those in the diaspora to  feel free participate in economic development of their country . He added that their contribution to the development of the country is un-questionable.

‘’The journey towards Vision 2030 attainment is of an empowered and prosperous Upper Middle Income Economy. It entails total inclusivity of all Zimbabweans. No-one must be left behind ‘’.

‘’The two policies fulfill , promote and protect workers . These are important in socio-economic development of our country. It then means and tells us a lot about employment opportunities for those seeking outside jobs to feel free to work in countries of their will and choice. At the same time disabled people get these opportunities without any challenges.’’

International Organization for Migration, [IOM] Zimbabwe Chief Mission headed by Mario Lito Malanila said the Labour Migration policy will address good governance in terms of labor migration. He added that this creates workers safety and protection against some malpractices likely to harm them negatively.

‘’Labour migration and sustainable development remains crucial. This is made easier by craft of good policies which safe-guard, protect and up-keep on the rights of all workers. The policy improves governance systems around labor migration. Workers throughout times have contributed to disposable incomes and sustainability of community livelihoods through meaningful inclusivity and participation’’, he said

Read More
US Offers Medical Trainining To Mozambican Troops
June 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

The United States government has trained 40 Mozambican soldiers in emergency lifesaving techniques, the US embassy in Maputo has announced. In a statement seen by Pan Afruan Visions, the embassy said that 26 medical staff and 14 soldiers from all branches of the military had received training in providing medical help to soldiers injured on the battlefield.

The techniques will allow them to treat injuries and prevent massive bleeding, which the statement said was the major preventable cause of death on the battlefield.

The training has been funded by the US Department of State, which has provided $730,000-worth of training equipment to help newly certified Mozambican trainers replicate the training programme across the country, the statement added.

The training programme is a clear message that America has increased its presence in Mozambique.

Recently, the US designated the Islamic State group’s Mozambican branch, also known as Al-Shabab and Ansar al-Sunna, as a terrorist organisation together with its leader, a Tanzanian named Abu Yasir Hassan.

The designation requires banks to freeze their assets and bans any US citizen from dealing with them.

Isis in Mozambique has killed over 1,500 civilians since October 2017, and is responsible for orchestrating a series of large scale and sophisticated attacks resulting in the capture of the strategic port of Mocimboa da Praia.

Read More
Supreme Court Of Ghana quashes High Court order that barred-FixTheCountry demonstration.
June 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

The Supreme Court has quashed a High Court order that blocked the fix the country campaigners from embarking on a demonstration.

The youth of Ghana has over the months been talking about the leaders fixing the headship in the country. For the fast months the youth has taken the #FixTheCountry onto social media to voice out their issues. It has been most discussed points in the country for month which they wanted to protest but the police have stopped the demonstration by filing motion in court.

The apex court presided over by Justice Yaw Appau said on Tuesday June 8 that the High Court’s order was an error.

The Ghana Police Service on Thursday, May 6 secured a restraining order from an Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Ruby Aryeetey, to stop the planned protest.

The restraining order followed an affidavit filed by the police against the conveners of the protest march pursuant to Section 1 (6) of the Public Order Act, 1994 (Act 491).

The #FixTheCountry campaign started on social media by some youth who are demanding good governance from the Akufo-Addo-led government.

Notable personalities added their voices to the campaign, expressing concerns about how the country is being governed currently.

Some raised concerns the cost of living in Ghana is becoming too high as a result of mismanagement of the economy. These concerns were, however, responded to by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Facebook.

“We are four months into our four year mandate. The job of government is to fix problems. This is what we have been doing since 2017.

He further said the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down the global economy and caused increases in prices of commodities such as oil, cement and iron rods as well as overall cost of shipping.

According to the Vice President, it is very important to place the performance of their government over the last four years after inheriting an economy with “no meat on the bone” as a record.  He then said their government listens and cares so the facts and data speak for themselves.  He edges us to trust the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for taking the country into the next level a promised.

Read More
Covid-19 Killed 9 Ghanaian Doctors In A Year– GMA
June 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has revealed that a  total of nine (9) doctors have lost their lives to the COVID- 19 pandemic in the last 12 months.

The doctors died because they came into contact with patients who have contracted the virus in the course of treating them.

So far five hundred and forty (540) doctors have also contracted the virus over the same period.

According to the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) if government thinks it has vaccinated enough people and so can lift the protocols it should make public the figures but the data on the ground doesn’t show that Ghana is out of the woods yet.

Deputy General Secretary of the GMA, Dr. Titus Beyuo said the recent event at the Funeral of the Former General Secretary of the NPP, Sir John shows that the numbers were huge and physical distancing disregarded.

According to him, the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) “called for the heads” of the leaders of the Christ Embassy after their massive outreach programme and therefore the GMA would not stop at calling on the police to arrest the organizers

The GMA has further urged the Inspector General of Police IGP, to arrest and prosecute the participants of the event.

Ghana Medical Association said the consequences are not too difficult for us to imagine. The GMA is very disappointed and so they want to see some prosecution taken place.

The said as for them as medical doctors it will be disservice to their colleagues who have paid the ultimate price to sit back and keep quiet about this. They further said it would not have honored the heroes who have fallen victims to this disease. From its latest analysis they have lost 9 doctors in 12 months of various categories, highly trained so they won’t sit down for this to happen.

Read More
Ghana-Nana Akufo- Addo unveils 500 waste trucks as government partners A private Company-Jospong
June 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

The President, Nana Akufo-Addo, has announced that the next phase of Ghana’s waste management is to convert trash to energy. He indicated this will add to Ghana’s energy capacity and also ensure the realization of clean Ghana agenda.

According to him, the government has provided an enabling environment through the Public Private Partnership to make this work. The President said the country currently generates some 7,517,540 metric tonnes of waste.

This situation, he said, presented enormous investment opportunities for which the private sector can take advantage of. He said he will therefore reiterate his invitation for more private sector companies to collaborate with government in creating business opportunities in the waste management space such as waste to energy, recycling and composting.

President Akufo-Addo maintained that rapid population growth with its consequent increase in human activities meant that waste management generation activities still continued to be a challenge in the country. In this regard, he underscored that the procurement of this additional fleet by Zoomlion will go a long way to address the waste management problems in the country.

President Akufo-Addo made the announcement during the unveiling of 100 state-of-the-art waste management trucks and 25 disinfection equipment secured by waste management company, Zoomlion Ghana Limited, at a brief and colorful unveiling ceremony at the Independence Square in Accra, on Tuesday.

The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey, said the unveiling of this fleet of waste trucks confirmed the need for the government to continue to engage with the private sector.

His pledge is to resolute commitment of the Regional Coordinating Council and all Metropolitan and Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to ensure these trucks are put to judicious use while strictly adhering to maintenance regimes for a longer life span.

Henry Quartey stressed that his ministry will continue to collaborate with Zoomlion and its affiliates and the Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA) to provide quality service to the communities, especially with the Greater Accra Region.

However, he called on the citizenry to also play their role and avoid littering indiscriminately after the waste has been collected. “Accra can and must indeed work again. Every one of us has a role in achieving this,” the regional minister averred.

The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Mrs. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, commended the President for his unwavering commitment to ensure that Ghana becomes the cleanest country in Africa.  She noted that, her Ministry has had some excellent working relations with stakeholders in the sanitation sector, thereby commending Zoomlion for its enormous role in the sector.

In a brief remark, the Executive Chairman of Jospong Group of Companies (JGC), Dr Joseph Siaw-Agyepong, disclosed that his outfit was unveiling 100 state-of-the-art trucks with modern technology and well-trained drivers to boost their already existing fleet.

He said this was part of a total consignment of five hundred (500) new waste trucks acquired by his group. “It is expected that the remaining trucks should arrive by the end of the third quarter of this year,”

Additionally, he revealed that JGC was on the verge of receiving over 5,000 motorized tricycles. These tricycles, he said, will be distributed across the country to support the haulage of solid waste in the cities and communities. He used the opportunity to announce that a new phase has been added to his company’s operations. “Our drivers have been taken through rigorous training on discipline, defensive driving and customer service to ensure that they deliver service at an optimum standard,” he said.

Dr Siaw-Agyepong thanked the Akufo-Addo administration for enabling the private sector to thrive and contribute to the social and economic development of the country.

Read More
Cameroon’s Women’s Rugby team wins the test match against Burkina Faso
June 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

This is the first match since Cameroon returned to African and international rugby bodies after almost a decade of absence
Cameroonian team celebrating their victory in front of supporters from Burkina Faso

On the sidelines of the Rugby Africa Cup repechage held in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon triumphed, on the morning of 9th, 2021 at the August 4 stadium, against the Stallions of Burkina Faso by the score of 37 to 0.

Scheduled for 08:00AM GMT, the women’s test match between Burkina Faso and Cameroon kicked off at 09:00AM GMT due to the rain that soaked the pitch. In the first half, the Cameroonian team showed endurance and mastery of the oval ball. After No. 08 Prisco Rosine N’Dingo opened the scoring in the second minute, the Lionesses scoredthree unconverted tries bringing the score to 15 in their favor. In the 26th minute, Prisco Rosine N’Dingo received a yellow card for a high tackle.

Greetings to the Burkina Faso team

After the 10-minute half-time of this 60-minute competition, Cameroon scoredfour tries including a singleconversion. Tis added 22 points in the second halfand brought the total to 37. Burkina Faso could not scoreany points in this test match.

Velhyr Dabiré, coach of the Burkina Faso women’s team, admitted that the opposing team were technically up to the task and have international experience. Her colt and team captain, Yvette Sawadogo, remains confident in all sportiness for a victory in the second leg. Cameroonian coach Jacques NGomsu Tchon Lahui said the score could have been higher if the Burkina Faso team were not so strong. For captain Gertrude Prombove, the opponent gavethem a hard time.

President of Rugby Africa – Khaled Babbou

This is the first match since Cameroon returned to African and international rugby bodies after almost a decade of absence. This women’s competition is part of Rugby Africa’s plan to develop 15-way competitions in the period 2021-2025.

*SOURCE Rugby Africa

Read More
World food Safety day: how safe is your food?
June 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Ahedor Jessica

Foodborne diseases resulting from adulteration, contamination, mishandling and poor conditions under which food is prepared and served remains a public health threat in many countries and Ghana is no exception. Especially in an era where young Ghanaians aged between 15-45 years depend on street foods with males and single women dominating fast food sales points in urban Ghana.

Elizabeth Twum, a 23 year old who usually patronizes ‘Abena’ a popular fast food joints in Abelemkpe, Accra affirms, her work schedule as a sales person does not permit her to have time to prepare homemade meal. “I stay alone and I am a shop attendant I hardly get time to cook before and after work. Unfortunately, I stay far from where I work so if I get anything to quench my hunger I am good to go for the day; she stated.

Just like Elizabeth, many of Ghana’s working class is in this dilemma of having to work hard but eating anything that ‘quench hunger’ without recourse to health implications or safety. It is estimated that every one out of 40 persons in Ghana suffers foodborne illness. Also in a recent review, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), has found that contamination and adulteration levels of food were very high in street food outlets in Ghana, and poor hygiene practices were often adopted, increasing the risk of developing foodborne diseases among the population.

As such, scientists are cautioning street food lovers to be weary of the dangers in eating at eateries outside home. As the over 250 foodborne diseases are of growing public health concern worldwide. Food scientist, Edward Essuman, Department of Dietetics, University of Allied Health Sciences Ho, says, over half of foodborne illnesses can be traced directly back to food handlers and improper hygiene and a few personal hygiene rules on the part of food handlers within the food value chain and a care look at this can help minimize food safety problems.  “The bigger picture of food safety is that it is incumbent on everyone, right from the production to the consumer, everyone has a role to play to ensure food safety”.

Available literature by Benjamin Osei Tutu et al at the Department of Food Safety Management, Food and Drugs Authority reveals that the Grater Accra Regional Hospital sees a seasonal peak of typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera and viral hepatitis at the beginning of every rainy season in Ghana. Warning that, the advent of chemical fertilizer application on farm produce to improved yields, pest control, and food additives to enhance food products and its preservations are causing more harm than good to human health.

Checks in recent review articles in Ghana have it that, the most common clinical presentation of foodborne disease takes the form of gastrointestinal symptoms where other systems of the body can also be affected and represents a considerable burden of disability as well as mortality. Thus experts are worried the non- availability of a sentinel site or surveillance system for foodborne diseases is making efforts to curb the trend challenging.

Although the Ghana Health Service together with its partners have attempted strengthening  community-based surveillance to facilitate early detection and rapid reporting of health events of all origins, augmenting efforts of government by individuals, private sector and member states, within the sub-region will help improve the situation. Meanwhile, recognizing the global burden of foodborne diseases, which affect individuals of all ages, in particular children under-5 and persons living in low-income countries United Nations General Assembly in 2018 proclaimed that every 7 June be marked World Food Safety Day. With a further adoption by the World Health Assembly in 2020 to strengthen efforts on food safety to reduce the burden of foodborne disease in collaboration with Member States and other relevant organizations.

Read More
Food Safety; poisonous grasscutter endangers hundreds of lives in Africa.
June 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Ahedor Jessica

In Ghana and other parts of West Africa, the greater cane rat popularly known as grasscutter is a highly patronized delicacy for many due to its great taste and protein content, but now researchers and scientists are warning that consuming grasscutter poisoned with either yellow oleander root power or carbofuran could be detrimental to human health.

Grasscutter is usually sold dried or fresh by hunters on highways and various markets in West Africa. The game animal is either killed by a gun or poisoned through baiting by hunters.  Researchers say the meat is consumed widely and is reported to have contributed to over 80% of animal protein consumed in some countries in Africa. The carcasses of the grasscutters is reported to have contributed about 75% by weight of game meat sales in “Kantamanto”- market in Accra, Ghana, for a period of 25 years.

Over the years, the high patronage of grasscutter meat resulted in the inclusion of grasscutter on the export trade of Ghana by the Ghana Export Promotion Council (GEPC) since 1974. In a recent survey to ascertain the level of animal protein consumption by the Ghanaian public indicated that 50 percent of Ghanaians prefer grasscutter to other game animals.

But the use of poisonous substances in hunting bushmeats does not only pose danger to the animals but also poses serious health problems to the unsuspecting public.

Published in Veterinary Medicine and Science journal Wiley in March 2020, by the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho in Ghana, the use of Furadan 3GR and carbofuran in capturing grasscutter causes abdominal pain and blur vision in humans. The paper which surveyed 200 hunters saw 55 per cent of them confirming the usage of these poisonous baits in hunting game animals due to scarcity of wild animals as a result of deforestation of many natural habitations.

Speaking to Edward Essuman a food scientist at the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ho and a co-author of the paper, says these chemicals used in catching bush meats are endangering many lives especially the section of the public that eat in “chop bars” – eateries outside home.  “No amount of heat applied to these chemicals can reduced the level of potency of the chemical used in trapping the meat” he stated.

Checks from some local eateries in Accra to ascertain consumers level of knowledge on safety of what they consume almost daily, reveals most of them do eat the game because of its great taste and protein content. “I eat grasscutter because of the great taste and protein content. I don’t have any idea about how it is trapped” Marvin Oduro asserts, as he had just finished eating some.

Anthony Azaglo, a grasscutter farmer at Somanya,- a suburb of Eastern Region of Ghana says, the use of poison in capturing game animals is rife in rural Ghana because  the public have less knowledge about the trends of hunting. Adding, the primitive methods are not fetching the desired results the hunters’ wants as the depletion of the country’s forest covers continued. For him, many grasscutter lovers who are cautious on their health will prefer buying from the farmers themselves for consumption.

Available literature by opara et tal in 2010, suggests some local market in Ghana had about 73 tons of grasscutter meat sold within a year. Indicating, a ‘mad rush’ for the game although many consumers of grass cutter are falling prey to food poisons but could not relate it to the exact food that contained the harmful substances.

Reginald Annan a lecturer in Nutrition at the department of biochemistry and biotechnology, collage of sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of science and Technology in Kumasi, says the game meat aside its high protein content also serves as a source of income for many rural dwellers. Hence, to protect the contribution made by bushmeat to the human diets and also reduce poverty and malnutrition in rural areas, rigorous education must be done to curb unscrupulous methods of meat hunting.  “To step up the production of some non-traditional animals such as grasscutters due to its high patronage as a delicacy and contribution to the rural folks more education need to be done”.

Read More
S. Sudan Kiir Directs NPTC to Mobilize Funds for Graduation of Unifying Forces
June 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

President Kiir

Juba – The South Sudanese Presidency has directed the National Transitional Committee (NPTC) to mobilize the necessary resources needed to establish the unified security forces in effort to accelerate the fragile peace deal.

The NPTC, is  a body established to oversee the implementation of the 2018 revitalized peace deal.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, President Salva Kiir and his deputies instructed heads of the NTC, Tut Gatluak to accelerate the process of graduating the unified forces and developing a unified command.

The meeting was attended by President Salva Kiir, First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar, and Vice Presidents Dr. James Wani Igga, Rebecca Nyandeng, Taban Deng Gai, and Hussein Abdelbagi.

“To accelerate the process of graduating the unified forces and developing a unified command; To relocate both government and opposition forces to the cantonment sites for further training,” said presidency.

There are thousands of SSPDF, SPLA-IO, and Opposition Alliance troops at various training camps across the country.

They have been at the cantonment sites for nearly two years, hundreds of soldiers reportedly deserted the camps over lack of food, shelter, and medication.

But Kiir’s government claimed it does not have weapons to give to the unified forces. 

Juba also claims it does not have the necessary funds for logistics.

Due to lack of funds has resulted to the postponement for the graduation of more than 600 police trainees scheduled on 9th June until further notice in order to further prepare the necessary requirements for their graduation

The presidency further instructed former government and opposition forces to relocate to the cantonment sites for further training.

The revitalized peace deal expects the unity government to graduate 83,000 Necessary Unified Forces, unification of their command, and redeploy the forces to provide security and safeguard the gains of the peace deal.

In May, the UN Security Council set the conditions necessary for lifting the arms embargo on South Sudan; include the completion by the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity such as the swearing in of the national parliamentarians, appointment of the Council of States and state legislatures.

It also demands the completion of the country’s strategic defense and security review; the formation of a unified command structure.

Something that Juba government failed to honor, which resulted to extension of armed embargo sanction.

However, the presidency has now decided “to capacitate the transitional government in order to strengthen the country’s unity irrespective of people’s political affiliations,” created by the country’s five year conflict.

According to the 2018 peace deal, the unified forces – composed of oppositions and government forces were supposed to be graduated before the end of the pre-transitional period which ended in February 2020 with the appointment of Dr. Machar as First Vice President.

Read More
Africa Local Content Fund to catalyze Research & Development and drive Local Content Initiative – Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Exc Sec., Wabote
June 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

First African Local Content Roundtable held at the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Towers, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on Wednesday, June 3, 2021.

YENAGOA, Nigeria, June 9, 2021/ — Poised to take full advantage of emerging opportunities in local content administration, key stakeholders and policy leaders in Africa’s Oil and Gas, and other related sectors, yesterday met in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, and have unanimously advocated for a new local content strategy for Africa with a focus on adequate regulatory framework, funding, human capacity development and strategic Research and Development (R&D) with effective gaps analysis to positively drive the local content narrative as an imperative for domestication and sustainable growth of Africa’s hydrocarbon resources.

The stakeholders who gathered at the maiden edition of the African Local Content Roundtable in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on Thursday, June 3, 2021, jointly agreed that funding is critical to driving local content, especially with the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which has had very negative consequences on the economy of most Africa countries.

Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, FNSE, while setting the context at the Pan-African engagement, harped on the need for a strong regulatory framework as part of the efforts by the Nigerian government to make local content a core part of the national energy policy framework. He said funding and incentives are critical to implementing “local content programmes, develop infrastructure, attract new investments, and keep existing businesses afloat” adding that the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF) has earmarked a $350 million intervention fund in partnership with the Bank of Industry (BOI).

The Executive Secretary also highlighted that on research and development R&D “initiatives requires dedicated source of funding” and “will provide a good platform for the academia, researchers, product developers, and inventors to showcase their break-through for development and commercialization.”

Wabote recalled that the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content (NOGICD Act) 2010 as established, makes the NCDMB the sole regulator of Oil and Gas in Nigeria. He said the Board to promote local content, ensuring that the construction of its 17-story Towers in Yenagoa was done by indigenous engineers.

He said “A sustainable local content practice requires that the right regulatory framework is put in place, regular gap analysis and the setting of targets for gap closure. The right resources including funding and incentives are required to build capacities and capabilities. R&D is the key drivers to bring innovation and avoid obsolescence”

Similarly, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, opined that Africa must now come up with policies that will further deepen the conversations on local content administration, adding that the success story of the NCDMB as the champion of local content practice in Africa has led to the extension of local content services to other sectors in Nigeria and Africa at large.

The Honorable Minister, Sylva, regretted that decades of exploration of hydrocarbon in Nigeria have not translated into sustainable growth, stressing that the African Local Content Roundtable will henceforth be a “signatory event”. He said Nigeria must also look to explore its 303billion cubic feet of gas reserves.

Lending his voice to the local content narrative, Omar Farouk Ibrahim, Secretary-General of African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO) ( stressed the need to put resources together before it is late to harness Africa’s oil products, adding that the time has come for countries in Africa to “close its eyes to the challenges of boundaries.”

Secretary-General Omar Farouk Ibrahim regretted that government of APPO member countries is heavily dependent on Oil and Gas revenue to meet the demands of their citizens. The implication, Omar said, is that in the next few years, the advancement of new technologies and financing would be halted as the focus will shift to renewable energy options.

He further stated that as a result of the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization is now committed to ensuring that hydrocarbon emissions are curtailed, as well as the continents’ over-dependence on oil, stressing that it has become paramount for every nation to have its refinery and gas plants.

Expressing his concern about the emerging realities, Omar said “We need to understand the dangers posed by the so-called energy transition. We have 600 people who do not have access to modern energy. We cannot continue to deny them this privilege. APPO is going to work with OPEC and other oil agencies between now and November,” he said.

Madam Massout Samia, APPO Executive Board Member, Algeria, posited that Africa must introduce facilitation and document activities to augment resources related to local content. She said aside from the regulation of hydrocarbon and the revenue that comes in from oil, benefits from technological advancement must also be pursued.

She said Africa must further develop the quality of its local content capacity to meet required standards, and hydrocarbon should be considered as the engine and backbone of the continent.

In the same vein, Chairman, Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) Mr. Nicholas Odinuwe called on African governments to develop mechanisms for independent start-ups, as policies alone are not enough to drive local content in Africa.  He said the legislation remains essential.

He highlighted that the capacity of PETAN and other stakeholders has grown since the passing of the NOGICD Act in 2010, as PETAN now has over 200 members across the sector. He acknowledged that the breakthrough is traceable to the NCDMB’s engagement with local capacity. He advised that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) must also create regional relationships for hydrocarbon trade with a private sector-driven initiative.

While stating that PETAN will partner with the NCDMB to expand this initiative to other stakeholders and regional markets, he lamented the situation where Africa exports its crude and imports the finished products, saying it cannot guarantee the needed progress.

Similarly, Mr. Sediko Douka Commissioner, Energy, And Mines (ECOWAS) listed some of the challenges impeding the local content initiative as the absence of well-established institutions, lowly motivated staff, lack of private sector participation, low level of value addition, licensing, and climate change.

The ECOWAS rep emphasized the need to improve on regional cooperation and development of the extractive industry with a call for improved infrastructure to promote an investment-friendly climate and the establishment of institutions to drive the local content narrative in Africa.

He also prescribed the promotion of the advancement of human capabilities through training and enhancement as a panacea for integrated guidelines for social corporate responsibility. He further stressed the need to have local content as the backbone for development in Africa and urged member countries to ensure that its oil facilities are open to member countries.

Mr. Francis Anatogu, Executive Secretary, National Action Committee on AfCFTA, observed that for any product to be considered as local content, it must meet a minimum local content standard.  He said “We must do local content to protect our currency and grow it. Africa records over $500billion of products per annum,” he noted.

According to the AfCFTA Exec Secretary, the local content initiative is capable of lifting 30 million Africans out of extreme poverty, boost the incomes of nearly 68 million others who live on less than $5.50 a day, increase Africa’s exports by $560 billion, mostly in manufacturing, and boost Africa’s income by $450 billion by 2035 (a gain of 7%).

Read More
The Institut Choiseul Reinvents its Choiseul 100 Africa Ranking by Offering Young African Leaders the Opportunity to Apply.
June 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

The application campaign is open between June 1st and July 7th 2021

From 2021, young leaders from the continent who would like to be part of the Choiseul 100 Africa ranking (to be disclosed in September) and the Choiseul Africa network are invited to apply. The application campaign is open between June 1st and July 7th 2021.

The reference ranking of young African leaders

Launched in 2014, the Choiseul 100 Africa is an annual study conducted independently by the Institut Choiseul that identifies and ranks the 100 young African leaders aged 40 and below who are playing or expected to play an important role in Africa’s development in the near future.

By honouring business and institutional leaders, entrepreneurs and innovative project leaders, the Choiseul 100 Africa aims to highlight the dynamism of the African decision-makers’ young generation and the renewal they em- body for the continent.

What’s new in 2021: the opening of online applications

In order to continue to be as close as possible to the territories, the Institut Choiseul is opening up this year to young African leaders the possibility of applying online on the Choiseul Africa to be part of the ranking.

The candidates selected by the selection committee will join the Choiseul Africa family, which today includes laureates and about 200 alumni (former laureates who have passed the 40-year limit) in 47 out of the 54 countries on the continent.

The application campaign is open between 1st June and 7th July 2021 for a publication of the ranking in September 2021.

Choiseul Africa, the initiative that highlights the excellence and diversity of the continent

Operating in 16 business sectors that underpin African growth, the Choiseul 100 Africa laureates represent the diversity and dynamism of a forward-looking continent.

Through the studies it publishes and the events it organises (Choiseul Africa Summit, Choiseul Africa Business Forum), the Institut Choiseul aims to bring together a large spectrum of visions about governance and development issues in Africa, but also to promote a new kind of business dialogue between the continent and Europe.

Sectors represented in the Choiseul 100 Africa

Finance, telecoms, ICT, banking, energy, education, transport/logistics, agribusiness, industry, commerce, services, real estate/construction, health/care, cultural industries/media, institutions, sport business

About Institut Choiseul :
The Institut Choiseul is an independent and non-partisan think tank dedicated to the analysis of international strategic issues and major economic and societal challenges, as well as to the identification of talent. By organising prestigious events and informal mee- tings between the most influential political, institutional or economic leaders in Europe, the Mediterranean area and Africa, and by distributing its publications to decision-makers and opinion leaders, the Institut Choiseul contributes to fertilising debate on contem- porary issues.

*SOURCE L’Institut Choiseul

Read More
Merck Foundation and African First Ladies announce “More Than a Mother” Africa Song Awards 2021 to support girl education.
June 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

In partnership with African First Ladies, other awards have also been announced such as; ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Film Awards, Fashion Awards and Media Recognition Awards.

Merck Foundation , the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany introduced their new award, the Merck Foundation Africa Song Award  ‘More Than a Mother’ 2021 in partnership with African First Ladies who are also  the Ambassadors of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother, for All African Singers, Musical Artists and emerging talents, to create a song with the aim to raise awareness about Empowering  Girls and Women through Education at all levels.

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother expressed, “This is the first time we have launched the Merck Foundation Africa Song Award ‘More Than a Mother’. I am very excited to introduce this award in partnership with my dear sisters African First Ladies. The continent is known for its versatile music artists and talents who have been instrumental in communicating messages and spreading awareness on various issues. Music and Art have the capacity and influence to make the problem felt, which further stimulates emotions and leads to engagement and action. Hence we used this medium and introduced these awards to encourage the music composers and singers to create songs to raise awareness on the importance of girl education and empowering girls and women at all levels”.

“I strongly believe that Music has the power to touch the hearts of people. Music has the ability to bind communities and bring about a cultural shift in the society. We have produced and launched more than 20 songs with famous singers from Burundi, Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Gambia to raise awareness about male infertility and to break the Stigma around Infertility in Africa. Moreover, it is also an honor for us to have The President of Liberia, H.E. GEORGE WEAH and the Former First Lady of Burundi do their own songs for our Merck Foundation More Than a Mother campaign. Through the Song Awards, we aim to spread awareness on important issues of girl education and women empowerment in the African continent”, added Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej. Merck Foundation strongly believes that Education is one of the most critical areas of women empowerment. Merck Foundation’s ‘Educating Linda’ program helps young girls who are unprivileged but brilliant to continue their education. The spirit of the project is to provide an opportunity to such girls to pursue their dreams and reach their potential through access to education. It has been seen that many girls drop out of school due to lack of necessities such as fees and uniform.

Merck Foundation Educating Linda program has contributed to the future of 100’s of girls in partnership with the African First Ladies as part of ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ campaign.

Please click on the links below to listen to songs created by Merck Foundation:

Details about Merck Foundation Africa Song Awards ‘More Than a Mother’ 2021

Who can apply?

All African Singers and Musical Artists are invited to create and share a SONG on MP3 with the aim to Empower Girls and Women through Education and at all levels.

Last Date of Submission

30th August 2021

How to Apply?

Please share your work as an Audio File or YouTube link on:

The Subject line of the mail should mention: Merck Foundation Song Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021

Please specify your name, country and contact details in the mail.

Prize Money:

PositionFirst AwardSecond AwardThird Award
Prize moneyUSD 1000USD 700USD 500

The Ambassadors of “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” are

The First Lady of Botswana
H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The GambiaH.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia
H.E. SIKA KABORE, The First Lady of Burkina FasoH.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of GhanaH.E. AISHA BUHARI, The First Lady of Nigeria

The First Lady of Burundi
H.E. CONDÉ DJENE, The First Lady of Guinea ConakryH.E FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone
H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African RepublicH.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of LiberiaH.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia
H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo BrazzavilleH.E. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of MalawiH.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe
H.E. DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, THE First Lady of Democratic Republic of CongoH.E. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique
The Former First Lady of Burundi, H.E DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The Former First Lady of Chad, H.E. HINDA DÉBY ITNO, The Former First Lady of Malawi, H.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA and The Former First Lady of Niger, H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU have worked successfully with Merck Foundation as Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Ambassadors to break the stigma of infertility and empower infertile women in their countries.

‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Africa Media Recognition Awards and Health Media Training.Merck Foundation launched new innovative initiatives to sensitize local communities about infertility prevention, male infertility with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and empowering infertile women as part of Merck Foundation More than a Mother COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN, such as:

  • ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Africa Media Recognition Awards and Health Media Training.
  • ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Fashion Awards.
  • ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Film Awards.
  • ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Song Awards.
  • Local songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change it.
  • Children storybook, localized for each country.

About Merck Foundation:
The Merck Foundation, established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation Website.  Please visit to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation (; Facebook (, Twitter (, Instagram (, YouTube ( and Flicker (

About ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ campaign:
“Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” is a strong movement that aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and change of mind-sets. This powerful campaign supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe, effective and equitable fertility care solutions. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention, management and male infertility. In partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information, Education & Gender, academia, policymakers, International fertility societies, media and art, the initiative also provides training for fertility specialists and embryologists to build and advance fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries. With “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility at all levels: By improving awareness, training local experts in the fields of fertility care and media, building advocacy in cooperation with African First Ladies and women leaders and by supporting childless women in starting their own small businesses. It’s all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to live a fulfilling life, with or without a child.

Merck Foundation

Read More
Ada Labs Africa and AI Center of Excellence (AICE) lead Next Generation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Innovation in Africa with NVIDIA
June 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

The relationship will strengthen the capability of data science and AI rollouts in Africa as the two organizations collectively work to build capacity to train AI engineers in Africa
John Kamara, Founder at Ada Labs and AICE Africa speaking at the just concluded second inaugural quarterly AI for Leaders Roundtable in Zambia. He reinforced his sentiments on AICE Africa supporting the development of AI engineers in Zambia

Ada Labs ( Africa and AI Center of Excellence (AICE) have today announced an initiative with NVIDIA to contribute to the digitization of the African continent through artificial intelligence (AI) and collaborate on a number of data science and AI projects.

The CEO of Ada Labs Africa, John Kamara, said the relationship will strengthen the capability of data science and AI rollouts in Africa as the two organizations collectively work to build capacity to train AI engineers in Africa. The new initiative will also address the scarcity and cost of skilled AI engineers.

“Our journey in contributing to digitize the African continent has taken another important leap because of this initiative. We have invested heavily in infrastructure and platforms that will enable digitization of some of the key sectors affecting African growth and understand the critical role of AI in achieving our mission efficiently. However, if we do not have enough qualified people to manage AI systems, our efforts will be futile.

“This collaboration will help develop solutions, methodologies and best practices that are mutually beneficial for our companies, clients and market as a whole,” said Kamara.

The AI center for excellence in Nairobi ( has already started training the first cohort of 40 AI engineers as part of this initiative and launched a CEO roundtable series to demystify AI for C-level executives across Africa. The first roundtable in the series was held in January, and another session took place at NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference in April. More sessions are planned for the coming months.

The initiative also aims at strengthening the buildup of the next generation of socially impactful and commercially driven entrepreneurs who will change the world from Africa. Ada Labs Africa and AICE will contribute together to several open-source AI technologies that will help innovators design, develop, deploy and monitor predictive models more quickly and efficiently.  

NVIDIA’s Head of Emerging Areas, Kate Kallot, said, “Bringing together our combined expertise and experience in the market will help provide relevant solutions and contribute to a robust AI industry in Africa. We are looking forward to addressing the opportunities and challenges with AI technologies to benefit people and society across the continent.”

The companies will collaborate to train over 4,000 AI engineers in five cities in Africa, starting with Nairobi, Kenya, over the next three years and will include fostering applied AI research dedicated to solving challenges relevant to local ecosystems. 

The collaboration also aims to strengthen relations with key stakeholders, including policymakers in the technology, computing and innovation ecosystem, and to build a transformational tech space on the continent.

About Ada Labs Africa:
Ada Labs is a smart venture building hub with a mission to build, incubate and launch impact driven  technology companies and entrepreneurs working to solve some of Africa’s  most pertinent challenges.

Ada Labs uses smart technologies (AI and Blockchain) as building blocks to create solutions that are SDG focused, commercially viable and scalable across Africa and other parts of the world. 

Currently Ada Labs has built 13 companies including in AgriTech, HealthTech, WomenTech, FinTech, AdTech, SmeTech and other industries and is headquartered in Nairobi Kenya, with a presence in NIGERIA, ZAMBIA, SOUTH AFRICA, SWAZILAND, TANZANIA AND UNITED KINGDOM.

Artificial Intelligence Centre of Excellence (AICE) Africa champions AI solutions, builds capacity, demystifies Artificial Intelligence in Africa and creates ethical AI solutions that tackles Africa’s challenges.  

AICE is built on the belief that the right education and competencies can unlock human potential and make the world a better place. Driven by the desire to train African AI engineers to solve African problems and create a platform for further collaboration where multi-industry stakeholders from development partners, civil societies, entrepreneurs, academia, government, private sectors, and all industry players can harness the common good of the potential of AI in enhancing health, agriculture, education, good governance, financial independence and general economic growth.

The Centre of Excellence is built on three models; AI Knowledge Sharing & Capacity Building, AI Research & Development that will create opportunities for adoption and utilization of AI across Africa and beyond; and Provision of AI as a Service in Africa.
.*SOURCE Ada Labs

Read More
Cameroon: Persons with Disability at higher Risk of Harm during Fighting
June 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Persons with disabilities find it difficult fleeing violence. Pic credit Global Giving

Human Rights Watch research in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Israel/Palestine, Syria, and South Sudan found that “persons with disabilities faced several difficulties fleeing armed attacks on their communities.”

The problems of these persons with disabilities have been compounded by the ongoing crisis in the North West and South West Regions with many unable to flee the violence.

People who are blind or have low vision may require support from others to flee. Persons with hearing, developmental, or intellectual disabilities often cannot hear, know about, or understand what occurs during attacks, HRW reported.

A 43-year-old man with hearing and intellectual disabilities who lived in the North West Region of Cameroon According to the Human Rights group was killed by Rapid Intervention Battalion soldiers because he did not answer their questions. “He was shot in the head and the chest,” a witness said.

Human Rights Watch research in 2019 in Cameroon also found that older persons with disabilities often would stay behind in villages, including during attacks, due to the risks of fleeing in inaccessible terrain and potentially complicating their family’s or neighbours’ escape attempts.

This has led to many persons with disabilities being left behind by their families as they escape into the bushes.

Persons with disabilities displaced by armed conflict can face serious obstacles to meeting basic needs such as food, sanitation, and health care due to service provision by states, civil society and relief organizations, religious institutions, and local charities that are inaccessible.

In 2019 in Cameroon, Human Rights Watch interviewed displaced persons with disabilities, of whom only 9 of the 45 interviewees received humanitarian assistance.

One UN employee based in the South West Region in Cameroon told Human Rights Watch, “There is a large swathe of the Anglophone regions where the crisis has hit the local population hard, but where aid organizations are yet to deliver anything.”

Note these challenges facing persons with disabilities, Human Rights Watch has urged all states and humanitarian aid agencies to ensure access to basic services for persons with disabilities in internal displacement camps, including by providing priority or separate access to food and sanitation services for displaced persons.

The Human Rights group has also called on states to support and accelerate measures to ensure all public buildings are accessible by building ramps and making toilets and other facilities accessible.

Read More
Cameroon: HRW Calls for “Immediate” Release of Rights Lawyer Amungwa Tanyi
June 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Barrister Amungwa Tanyi Nicodemus. Pic Credit, CHRDA

June 7 marked one week since Cameroonian human rights lawyer, Amungwa Tanyi Nicodemus, was thrown behind bars “on bogus charges of inciting terrorism,” HRW said.

Amungwa was arrested on May 31 at the Groupement Territorial de la Gendarmerie in Cameroon’s capital Yaoundé while he was assisting a client, HRW reported. He is presently being held at the SED.

According to Barrister Amungwa, he was arrested by gendarmes because he was vehemently contesting the arbitrary nature of their investigations and arrest of his client. Whereas the report of the gendarmes who arrested him is to the effect that he took photos, an act which prompted the gendarme officers to seize his phone and in the course of searching for such photos, they found other content and post related to Anglophone struggle and killings of military officers, CHRDA reported.

“Possessing photographs that provide evidence of abuses in the English-speaking regions is not a crime, far less an act to incite terrorism. Cameroonian authorities should immediately release Amungwa and ensure both his due process rights and his role and privileges as a lawyer is respected,” HRW said.

Human Rights Lawyer Amungwa Tanyi is one of the lawyers representing jailed separatist leader Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and a host of others in connection to the ongoing crisis in the North West and South West Regions.

“Amungwa’s arrest is a direct attack on the legal profession,” Ayukotang Ndep Nkongho, one of Amungwa’s lawyers, told HRW.

“His arbitrary detention reveals a system geared towards stifling and undermining the role and activities of lawyers involved in key human rights cases.”

“CHRDA condemns this arrest as it is a direct attack on human rights defenders and call for his immediate release. The telephone of a lawyer as well as journalist and other human rights defenders is not subjected to any arbitrary search without a warrant. By dint of the fact that such persons deal with information which is obtained from all sources including social media, the presence of such information in their keeping must not be subjected to any criminal prosecution.”

According to the human rights group, several Anglophones have been arrested and detained and some tried on counts of terrorism for the mere fact that their telephones were arbitrarily searched by military officers and images and other content related to the Anglophone crisis was found in their possession.

Read More
Kenya:Former Chief Justice David Maraga slams Uhuru for disregarding the law
June 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Retired Kenyan Chief Justice (CJ) David Maraga has launched a scathing attack at President Kenyatta over his failure to appoint six judges who were among 40 recommended by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) judges’ and Magistrates’ employer in 2019.

Last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed 34 out of 40 but rejected the six claiming they have integrity issues.

Among those rejected are Judges George Odunga and Joel Ngugi, who were part of the five-judge bench that nullified the Building Bridges Initiatives (BBI) last month. Others were Weldon Korir, Aggrey Muchelule, Evans Kiago, and Judith Omange.

 Justices Odunga, Ngugi, Korir, and Muchelule were recommended to be appointed as Judges of the Court of Appeal.

In an interview with the local KNT television, the former CJ told off Mr. Kenyatta that his sole responsibility is to appoint judges and then raise concerns with the Judicial Service Commission.

“Article 166 (1b) of the Kenyan law states that the President shall appoint all the Judges in accordance with the recommendations of the JSC subject to the approval by the National Assembly (in the case of the Chief Justice and the Deputy Chief Justice. ) ” the former CJ said.

Maraga argued that Uhuru’s decision is ruining the lives and careers of the judges and that of their families.

“These judges have been condemned unheard, in the eyes of the public, these are the corrupt judges the President was talking about. The President cannot come and say he has intelligence reports that these people have integrity issues and expect that we take his word for it,” stated Maraga

He also disclosed that the names of the appointees first given to the JSC whose integrity were question had changed.

“I confirm that the names have changed. Those who were said to have integrity issues, some have been added to that list some have been removed. For the good of persons concerned I won’t name them,” Maraga he added.

The ex-President of the Judiciary boldly noted that he will remember Uhuru as a President who disregarded the law.

Maraga’s predecessor Dr. Willy Mutunga also accused the Head of State on Tuesday, June 8, of breeding impunity. Dr. Mutunga said Uhuru’s reluctance to appoint the judges was driven by personal resentment and not principle.

He further questioned why the President had to take more than two years to appoint the judges.

Read More
Kenya:Uhuru sets ablaze illegal guns recovered from wrong hands
June 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday led security agencies in destroying  5,144 illegal firearms recovered from wrong hands in 2020.

The event took place at the Regional Police Traffic Training Centre in Ngong, southwest of Nairobi.

Kenya’s Head of State said most of the weapons recovered were made locally, extending an offer to makers of homemade guns-promising to give them steady jobs at the newly launched weapons facility in Ruiru, central Kenya.

“This is to those making illegal guns, come we make legal money and jobs. Come forward and declare you can make a gun and you will get a job. Don’t wait for police to come for you,” said President Kenyatta.

He reminded them that their skills are seriously needed at the facility.

Any individual interested in the offer was directed to contact security officers, reject the past and apply for government jobs.

“Instead of waiting for police bullets, I know you are there come to us and tell us that you have stopped that crime, the skill you have, help us make legal weapons,” he added.

On Tuesday of June 8, 2021, the Interior Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i, said the ministry in the last two years recovered 14,000 firearms held by wrong people.

“Because we’ve become intensely materialistic, people are running money-laundering rackets that have been under cover for a very long time. In two years alone, we have collected close to 14,000 guns and over 400,000 bullets from wrong hands,” said Dr. Matiang’i.

Read More
Cameroon: New Biometric Passports to be Available from July 1
June 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Cameroon to begin production of this new passport from July 1. 2021

The Republic of Cameroon will begin using a new biometric passport from July 1, 2021, according tothe Secretary-General of the General Delegation for National Security, (DGSN) Police Commissioner Dominique Baya.

The new passports are expected to be delivered to the applicants within 48hrs if no mistakes are found in the applications process which will be conducted online.

Dominique Baya told media practitioners on Tuesday, June 8 during a press conference to present the new procedure for the production of biometric passports in Cameroon. The new passports will be produced by the INCM-AUGENTIC consortium with which the DGSN signed a contract on September 17, 2020.

“The commissioning of this passport will thus put an end to the difficulties currently encountered by users in the process of obtaining passports,” He said.

According to officials, the passport production system had to be commissioned at the end of March 2021, but enrollment and production equipment were not delivered on time, owing to the economic and industrial slowdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the meantime, EMI-Immigration stations will continue receiving enrollments till June 23rd 2021, but Diplomatic Missions will stop enrollments on June 15 to prevent transmission delays. The current passport production system will not be interrupted.

The INCM-AUGENTIC Consortium will make use of the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) for 10 years before transferring the system to the state of Cameroon.

The cost of acquiring this new passport has been set at FCFA 110,000, upwards of the 75,000 FCFA for a normal passport. Enrollment for the passport will be done online with new payment methods of credit cards of Mobile Money.

The new production system is equipped with machines that have a daily production of 1500 passports in normal production and 2200 passports in optimal production.

The issuance procedure will take place in four stages such as online pre-enrollment through the DGSN Website from an android phone or internet café; Enrollment in the centre chosen by the applicant which requires the physical presence of the applicant; Passport production; all data of passport applicants will be securely transferred to the severs of the production centre in real-time.

Collection of passports; a notification email and text message will be sent to the applicant for subsequent collection of produced passport.

Read More
Guinea: African Development Bank approves $430,000 grant for Ebola emergency relief project.
June 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a $430,000 grant to Guinea to fight the spread of the Ebola hemorrhagic fever epidemic throughout the country.

Since mid-February 2021, Guinea has been facing a resurgent Ebola-related epidemic, following the major crisis of 2014. This new epidemic comes against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, which poses both health and socio-economic challenges to the West African country. The project was approved on 3 June.

The funding from the African Development Bank will enable Guinea to strengthen the diagnostic and sample management capacity of six regional laboratories. These laboratories will receive sample collection kits, reagents, and infection prevention and control equipment. Four regional laboratories will also receive GeneXPert equipment and genome sequencers, and biologists will be trained in Ebola virus diagnosis.

The project will also provide personal protective equipment and triage, isolation and case management facilities. In total, some 200 pieces of personal protective equipment will be distributed, including to health and community workers. Some 400 health workers and community volunteers will receive refresher training in infection prevention and case management, including survivors, in the affected regions.

The project responds to one of the African Development Bank’s High 5 strategic priorities, namely, Improving the quality of life of African people.


Read More
Mozambique: African Development Bank grants $1.6 million to support national Covid-19 response.
June 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

Mozambique has received a $1.6 million grant from the African Development Bank to purchase emergency health materials in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The grant, which forms part of a $9.7 million grant to support the Covid-19 emergency response and strengthen health systems in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and in São Tomé and Príncipe, was approved by the African Development Bank Group’s Board of Directors last year.

The $1.6 million allocation was used to provide medical supplies to increase testing and screening and acquire equipment, including: adult and pediatric intensive care unit ventilators, and BiPAP devices that work like a mechanical respirator in the treatment of lung diseases. The funding was also used to purchase oxygen masks, personal protective equipment and Covid-19 test kits. Some of the supplies were presented to the government on Wednesday.

The project was implemented by the SADC Secretariat in partnership with the World Health Organization and the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mozambican Minister of Health, Dr. Armindo Tiago, held a formal handover ceremony at the Ministry of Health Office, attended by African Development Bank Country Manager Pietro Toigo and WHO Representative, Dr. Joaquim Saweka.

Mozambique has shown a decrease in Covid-19 infections, but health authorities are on alert due to the threat of new variants and the risk of a third wave.

“Even though vaccination started on 8 March in Mozambique, there is still some way to go. This support comes at the right time, when Mozambique urgently needs to strengthen the health system’s capacity in order to cope with the emerging Covid-19 variant in neighbouring countries,” Minister Tiago said.  

The partnership with WHO will complement the efforts of the African Development Bank and the government to support the private sector and the national budget, the Bank’s Toigo said. “The Bank is deeply committed to supporting Mozambique to put the pandemic behind it, and to protect lives and, crucially, support the economic recovery to put the country back on the development trajectory it deserves,” he said.

Dr. Joaquim Saweka, the WHO Representative in Mozambique, said the donation was part of a long-standing partnership with the African Development Bank. He said it was “an expression of WHO’s commitment to ensure that the government strengthens its capacity” in order to serve those affected by the pandemic and beyond.

Other Bank support to Mozambique to reduce the impact of Covid-19 includes $42 million in emergency budget support to strengthen health systems, expand social security and assist the private sector. The Bank also mobilized $4.5 million from existing projects to support initiatives to protect workers and accelerate border-tracking activities in the transport sector. The funds also subsidized credit to reduce the impact on small agricultural businesses and to support young Mozambican artisans to produce masks.


Read More
Bank-funded project boosts water supply in Zimbabwe’s second-largest city
June 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

Limited investments in water and sanitation infrastructure across Zimbabwe’s urban centers in recent times have largely contributed to poor service provision, which has left citizens scrambling for the precious liquid. Bulawayo, the country’s second-largest city, was not spared. Frequent droughts in nearby regions worsened the water woes. 

“The situation worsened in 2018, where we would go for three weeks without water. It was a difficult period as we had to endure long queues at a nearby borehole just get to enough water for the day,” explained Nothando Maphosa, a 35-year-old mother of two from the Bulawayo suburb, Nketa7. “It was so bad that we had to come up with a time table for flushing the toilet, which is unhygienic,” she said.

Bulawayo experienced severe drought from 2018 to 2020, which led to the introduction of a six-day water shedding program. Before then, the city was already grappling with water pumps installed more than 40 years ago, and were plagued with costly breakdowns, requiring extensive maintenance. The water lifting capacity was low, and used high energy with little output. In addition, many manufacturers no longer had such dated replacement parts available.

To improve water, sewer treatment and pumping capacity, the African Development Bank funded the $33 million Bulawayo Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (BWSSIP) to replace obsolete pumps at Fernhill and Ncema pump stations. The new installations include three pumps at each station, two working in tandem as duty pumps and one standby pump. Funding also supported a supervisory control and data acquisition system, which will control and monitor the new equipment locally and remotely, further supporting the city’s vision of being a leading smart urban center by 2024 through the use of various technologies.

Since the water distribution began through the new pumps in February 2021, Bulawayo has gradually reduced disruptions from six to two days per week, with a gradual plan towards a citywide uninterrupted water supply. The increased pumping capacity has further assisted the replenishing of the raw water reservoir, which had dried up in 2020 due to drought.

The newly installed water pumps have increased the treatment capacity for the City of Bulawayo from 92 megaliters to 145 megaliters a day – exceeding the city’s daily water demand of 135 megaliters a day. The increased raw water capacity from the pumps, coupled with a refurbished water treatment system, is assisting the city to meet the daily water consumption demand of Bulawayo’s 770,000 residents in all its 165 suburbs.

“Since sometime in February 2021, we have been receiving regular water supplies. We now go for as long as three weeks without water rationing and, even when it happens, it does not take one full day [for water to come back],” Maphosa said.

Project implementation began in 2016. It also included strengthening institutional capacity, enhancing service delivery and efficiency, and improving environmental sanitation. The project, administered by the Government of Zimbabwe via the Bulawayo City Council, is expected to be completed in December 2021.


Read More
“We need to build a different Africa”
June 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

2021 Ibrahim Governance Weekend concludes with rallying call from Mo Ibrahim: use pandemic response to build a more self-reliant Africa.

London, 8 June 2021 – Discussing the impact of COVID-19 on Africa, the 2021 Ibrahim Governance Weekend (IGW) heard that Africa has demonstrated strong and coordinated leadership in response to the pandemic, and the continent can now leverage the recovery from the crisis to build lasting change for generations to come.

Held in a virtual format for the first time, the IGW brought together prominent voices from across Africa and beyond, including 100 members of the Now Generation Forum, a network of young African leaders from over 40 countries. Discussions were informed by the Foundation’s latest research: COVID-19 in Africa one year on: impacts and prospects, a comprehensive analysis of how the pandemic has impacted health, politics, society and economics in Africa.

Across the three days, contributors called for urgent action to ensure that Africa is vaccinated as soon as possible, and outlined the opportunities ahead for a sustainable, African-led recovery. Concluding the event, Mo Ibrahim, Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, said: “Crises are useful in understanding what doesn’t work and how we need to change. We cannot continue to rely on old paradigms and empty commitments. We need to build a different Africa. We need to move forward and be self-reliant, leveraging the integration of our continent and the full potential of our youth.”

Mo Ibrahim speaking to panellists during the virtual 2021 Ibrahim Governance Weekend

The first session of the Ibrahim Forum – Lessons from the pandemic: an urgent call to strengthen Africa’s health capacities– explored the impact of COVID-19 on health systems, access to vaccines, and how African nations can address the critical issue of inadequate basic healthcare capacity.

Delivering the keynote address, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organisation, said: “The pandemic has underlined why it’s so important to invest in Universal Health Coverage, based on primary healthcare and strong community engagement. How can we take on a new and deadly virus if we cannot provide care for basics like maternal healthcare and the treatment of diabetes? Global health security begins in our local clinics and health systems.”

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Co-Chair, The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response,said: “How can we prevent it from happening it again? First, we must stop transmission of the current virus. This requires immediate action such as vaccine redistribution, provided in an equitable manner, worldwide. Second, we need to transform the international system of pandemic preparedness and response.”

Addressing the issue of vaccine inequity, Dr John Nkengasong, Director, Africa CDC, said: “I have a message for the leadership of the G7, which is meeting very shortly. We need vaccines now and we need them quickly on the continent. Anyone who has excess doses of vaccines, the time is now to redistribute those doses so that we can vaccinate our people at speed and at scale. If we don’t do that, Africa will definitely move towards the endemicity of this virus on the continent, and that doesn’t bode well for our collective global health security.”

Prof. Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine,said: “The top priority now is to ensure global vaccine equity. This is not only a moral imperative, but also critical for pandemic control everywhere.”

Highlighting the opportunity to boost Africa’s homegrown manufacturing capacity, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organization,said: “Investing in longer-term production capacity is very important. 80% of vaccine exports come from 10 countries, in North America, Europe and South Asia. We’ve seen that that concentration does not work. It is anomalous that a continent like Africa, with 1.3 billion people, imports 99% of its vaccines and 90% of its pharmaceuticals. Production of vaccines and pharmaceuticals ought to be better decentralised.”

Prof Agnes Binagwaho, Vice Chair, Africa Europe Foundation Health Strategy Group, said:“We should trust in the capacity of Africa to innovate and contribute to the solution. Especially now, we should support the African leaders who are struggling to create in Africa the capacity to manufacture vaccines, drugs and medical tools, to stop this pandemic but also to help the continent be ready for the next one.”

Reeta Roy, CEO, Mastercard Foundation, said: “The pandemic is a crisis and an emergency, but it is more than just a public health emergency. It also taps right into some of the underlying economic risks and opportunities here on the continent.”

Gayle Smith, Coordinator for Global COVID response, US State Department, said: The US is looking at investment in local manufacturing both in the short-term – in some places injections of capital could increase production very quickly – but also in the long-term. The latter is important because Africa has a disproportionate dependence on vaccines produced outside the continent.”

Representing the Now Generation Forum, Mandipa Ndlovu, PhD candidate, Leiden University, said: “We really need to push not just for intergenerational conversation, but intergenerational cooperation. There are young people on the ground doing things that people at the top, who have seats at the table, are talking about, but there is just no communication and cooperation.”

Speaking during his one-to-one conversation with Mo IbrahimCharles Michel, President, European Council, said: “We need a global approach in order to address global challenges. This is my personal approach and it’s also the DNA of the European project… Even if sometimes it’s difficult, and sometimes there are frustrations, the multilateral approach is the best tool we have in our hands in order to make progress together.”

In the second session – Managing the fallout: setbacks in democracy and rights, and new triggers of instability – panellists discussed how COVID-19 has impacted the political and social landscape across Africa, with setbacks to recent progress in education and gender equality, and is exacerbating social unrest.

Delivering the keynote address, Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations,said:“The pandemic has reversed many of the development gains we have witnessed in recent years and made our task of achieving the SDGs by 2030 even more difficult. For the first time in two decades, we are seeing a rise in extreme poverty. Many informal workers in Africa, the majority of whom are women, have lost their jobs or experienced a dramatic loss of earnings. School closures and digital divides are jeopardising hard-fought gains in learning. While progress towards gender equality might be pushed back a generation.”

Laurence Chandy, Director of Global Insight and Policy, UNICEF, said:“Of all the least visible effects of the crisis, those on learning come near the top. Although it is relatively easy to observe the number of kids who aren’t going to school, or the number of schools that have shut their doors, it’s much harder to quantify how far children are falling behind on their learning.”

Comfort Ero, Africa Programme Director, International Crisis Group,said:“You can use whatever language you want, but it all boils down to governance. The generation of today doesn’t want to go backwards, doesn’t want a continuation of the past, but is demanding change, and we’re going to see more protest by youth across the board.”

Reflecting on the impact of COVID-19 on democratic processes, Elhadj As Sy, Chair, Kofi Annan Foundation, said: “The paradox is, on the one hand, one will say that democracy is important and we should still move ahead and uphold elections in times of COVID-19. But at the same time, governments are restricting people from gathering, blaming COVID-19. We need to prepare for shocks and hazards, to respond to them and to create an enabling environment for the democratic process to happen, while protecting people at the same time.”

Patrick Youssef, Africa Director, International Committee of the Red Cross,said:“The pandemic has been devastating for areas affected by conflicts and violence, and where healthcare systems are weak. But we can all agree that, beyond the predicted fatalities directed from COVID-19, we are all concerned about the knock-on effects, the secondary reverberating impacts on people’s welfare and security at large.”

Representing the Now Generation Forum, Abiy Shimelis, Co-founder, Addis Sustainable Life, said: “As a young person, I feel let down… Young people are changing how we express frustrations and aspirations. We are not waiting for elections, we do it constantly through social media, protests, and civic activism. Young people try to have healthier ways to express frustration, but they need to feel they are being heard.”

The final session – Looking ahead: a key opportunity to reinvent Africa’s growth model– looked at the opportunity to create more resilient, sustainable and self-sufficient economies, in response to the pandemic laying bare stark vulnerabilities in Africa’s growth model.

Delivering the keynote address, Dr Donald Kaberuka, Special Envoy on COVID-19, African Union,said: “Africa’s demographic momentum is unstoppable. For a long time in the years to come, there will be more African doctors, more African engineers, more African farmers, more African economic actors than from elsewhere in the world. We have to figure out how, within the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, we provide opportunities for our young people.”

Representing Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO, AUDA-NEPAD, Hamady Diop, said: “At the regional level one of the challenges that we have is the issue of coordination. You may have different programmes that seem consistent and coherent at the national level, but when you put them together, they are misaligned.”

Highlighting the importance of investment for Africa’s economic recovery, Dr Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa,said: “Governments need to continue, where possible, on the path of reform of the business sector, to ensure that we can attract more investment. And not just external investment, there is a lot of African investment that can go around.”

Rosa Whitaker, President and CEO, Whitaker Group, said: “This pandemic illustrates how profoundly dependent Africa is on the choices, the blunders, the actions, and even sometimes the self-interest, of others. So, as we look for a post-pandemic recovery, we should look to dismantle Africa’s dependency on western countries. One thing we could start with is vaccine dependency.”

Sandra Kramer, Africa Director, European Commission, said: “The donor-recipient thinking is behind us. What we are talking about here are equal partnerships, with responsibilities on both sides of the equation. We see partnerships as something that is to do with our policy priorities and interests, but obviously also with the interests and policy priorities of our African partners.”

Representing the Now Generation Forum, Ma Soukha Ba, said: “All the challenges Africa is facing are business opportunities for the youth. We are trying to solve each challenge, one at a time. But the problem is, we are facing multiple constraints.”

During the IGW, H.E. Mahamadou Issoufou, Former President of Niger,was honoured as the recipient of the 2020 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in Africa Leadership.Speaking during his one-to-one conversation with Mo Ibrahim at the conclusion of the weekend, President Issoufou said: “I am passionate about African integration and I can see that this is a passion that you, Mo, also share. We will work hand in hand to bring about the Africa we want: a prosperous Africa, a united Africa, a peaceful Africa, and an Africa managed by our children.”

*Mo Ibrahim Foundation

Read More
Gambia:T. Smallz Suso’s ‘Sembo’ Album Hits Digital Platforms
June 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

T-Smallz-Suso, Austria based Gambian International artiste has released his most anticipated album ‘Sembo’ in all Digital platforms.

The All Africa Music Awards nominee in 2016  is expected to release another album called ‘Triumphant’ in October and will do a double album launching concert at Independence Stadium in Gambia on 6th November 2021 celebrating more than 15 years in music across the globe. Accredited as one of the most widely travelled Gambian international artiste T. Smallz toured Africa, Europe and always returned to Gambia to entertain and share love with family and friends in the Gambia.

The ‘Sembo’ master piece which is his fourth album comprising 20 tracks was released in live streamed and geared 24, 286 streams in 5 minutes. The Name of the Album is called ‘Sembo’ which means Mandinka language  (Power). It is produced by different producers across the globe including Peter Pann, Yung Alpha, Juwhiz, JLive, Ras Askia, Skool and Reach. 

After a successful wave of his maiden hit ‘Chono Life’ in 2010, T. Smallz Suso has been one artist who has never got off track until last year when the world became dark and at the same time light for him. T. Smallz smallz lost his beloved Mother who he loved so much and three months later his first son Khalil was also born, a very difficult and joyous moment at same time.

He told Pan African Visions that the album was planned to be released in 2019 but it wasn’t possible because he has to be there for his song, King Khalil and his baby mother.

Little did we know T-Smallz was still holding onto power despite his little absence in the music industry, after listening to the whole album we confirmed YES Kings can’t lose power easily. 

The 20 tracks are as follows:  1. Sembo, 2. Kaya (feat. Young Alpha & Harrysongs, 3. Diiriyankeh, 4. Holidays, 5. Jongoma, 6. Belly Dance, 7. Everyday Hello, 8. Ealfta Nlafta, 9. Respect, 10. Etawa Ngantawa, 11. Ayeeh Wuleeh, 12. Problem (feat. Omaro), 13. Teler, 14. Jambar, 15. King Tang Baa, 16. Neekuya, 17.Fambondi, 18. Kanala, 19. Tamala, 20. Jollof.

Here is links below to stream in your favourite platforms:

Read More
Kenyans stranded in India to be flown back home on Thursday.
June 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Edward Ochieng and his father are among Kenyans who are now struggling to stay afloat, after travelling to India for treatment. Photo courtesy

Kenya Airways (KQ) has provided a special charter flight to evacuate Kenyans stranded in India due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The majority of Kenyans struck in India are patients and their caregivers.

The plane will leave Mumbai for Nairobi on June 10 at 9:30 am and would be expected to touch down at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport fifteen minutes past one during the day.

Only passengers with a negative RT-PCR test report and a QR code will be allowed to board the plane, announced the airline.

“This will be happening on a case by case basis as approved by the government,” said KQ CEO Allan  Kilavuka.

Passengers will be forced to dig deep into their pockets to cater to the hiked transportation fee as each person must pay ksh120,000 ($1200).

A one-way ticket from India before the pandemic outbreak used to cost an individual between ksh31,000 and ksh36000 ($310-360).

In 2020, the carrier charged between ksh90,000 and ksh100,000 ($900-1000).

There are fears that not all stranded Kenyan will manage to fly back to the country on Thursday. The majority told the Nation that they cannot afford the plane ticket.

“The flight is already full … I brought my four-year-old daughter, Ruby Jayne Magati, to this country two months ago for an urgent eye surgery that was very expensive. I am unable to afford tickets back home. My husband too is not in a position to raise money for two tickets,” the Nation quoted Linda Bosibori Magati.

On April 30, 2021, Kenya temporarily suspended passenger flights to and from Mumbai due to an upsurge in coronavirus infections in the South Asian country.

“All passenger flights between India and Kenya are suspended. Only Kenyans and Indians who are residents in Kenya are allowed to travel from India to Kenya, provided they possess a Covid-19 PCR negative test result conducted within 96 hours before travel and submit an antigen test on arrival,” announced Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA)

Statistics show that India has recorded more than 28 million Covid-19 cases and above 350,000 Covid-19 related deaths.

Read More
Zimbabwe’s COVID-19 vaccine cold chain system supported by Japan government.
June 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

The Government of Japan has extended its support to the COVID-19 response through its partnership with UNICEF, by improving the COVID-19 vaccines cold chain, ensuring crucial vaccines can be adequately transported and stored.

 It is reported that the funding aims to assist the government’s capacity to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. The support from Japan includes procurement of cold chain equipment as well as strengthening health facility capacity to manage the equipment for a smoother roll out of the COVID-19 vaccines.

The grant is a continuation of Japan’s support towards UNICEF’s multi-sectoral response action to address the direct impact of the pandemic in Zimbabwe, the Japanese Embassy said in a statement.

The Ambassador of Japan to Zimbabwe, H.E. Mr Satoshi Tanaka, emphasised that “Providing equitable access to vaccines is key to addressing COVID-19. This grant from the people of Japan will help to ensure that the vaccines can reach each and every person in all corners of Zimbabwe as soon as possible, thus helping to contain the pandemic. In this regard, Japan is grateful to rely on the skills and expertise of UNICEF.”

The programme is facilitating the training of 180 health care facility staff in all 63 districts in the management of the vaccine cold chain. In addition, eight Provincial Cold Chain Technicians will be trained in the maintenance and repair of the specialized equipment.

Furthermore, the funds will go to the development of the One Cold Chain Management Strategy and its incorporation into the broader Immunization Supply Chain Strategy. To this effect, coordination, data collection and policy formulation consultations will be held to update the 11 Provincial Cold Chain Maintenance Plans.

“UNICEF is grateful to the Government of Japan for its support in ensuring a robust cold chain is in place and immunization services are strengthened in Zimbabwe,” said Dr Tajudeen Oyewale, UNICEF Representative in Zimbabwe.

“The availability and equitable distribution of vaccines is critical for putting an end to this global pandemic, and for the protection of children from childhood illnesses. The funds provided will be invaluable in helping us to continue supporting the Government with the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines while strengthening the health system,” he said.

It is expected that 10 provincial centres and 50 district centres will receive new cold chain equipment. In addition, 97 health centres can look forward to new Solar Direct Drive refrigerators, 500 vaccine carriers and new cold boxes will be supplied to over 130 health centres.

Zimbabwe began its COVID-19 vaccine campaign in February, starting with prioritized categories of people such as teachers and frontline workers and is now open to everybody.

*UNICEF Zimbabwe

Read More
Okere City, Uganda a People Power Model of Agriculture, Solar, and Social Enterprise.
June 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

AFRICA400/HandRadio on Wednesday, June 9th @2pmEST will host special guest Ojok Okello Founder and Developer of Okere City a village in Otuke District of Northern Uganda.

Okello wanting to reconnect with his identity and ancestral roots discovered a village of 4,500 people waiting to be birth into a sustainable city in a changing African geopolitical landscape.

Founded in 2019 upon his return to Okere City; it now stands as a holistic ecosystem and model which promotes an integrated rural development of generational possibility and potential based upon a participatory cultural process of economic development inclusive of all families.

To volunteer, donate, or travel to Okere City in Northern Uganda visit

Read More
1 2 3 4 5 184