Zimbabwe to host regional training workshop strengthening animal disease surveillance capacity in Southern Africa
November 2, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
Zimbabwe will on 5 November, 2018 host a regional training workshop on strengthening animal disease surveillance capacity in Southern Africa, according to Leonard Makombe, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) National Communications Officer.
It is reported that the workshop will be hosted through the collaboration of the ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), USAID and Mercy Corps Mongolia.
It is reported that early warning of potential disease outbreaks and the ability to forecast the spread of pathogens to new areas is a pre-requisite for effective containment of epidemic diseases, including zoonoses, such as Anthrax, Rabies, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and Rift Valley Fever (RVF), and Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs) threats such as, Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD), Peste des petits ruminants (PPR), African Swine fever (ASF), Newcastle disease, Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP) and, Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP).
It is also added that Participatory epidemiology (PE)/ Participatory Disease Surveillance (PDS) is a complementary approach to the other conventional components of active surveillance. It employs Participatory Epidemiological (PE) tools that enhance active involvement of livestock keepers and the community in the analysis of animal disease constraints, in the design, implementation and evaluation of disease control programmes and policies. The method is quick, cost effective and sensitive for detection of potential disease outbreaks and useful in early warning of animal disease occurrence and spread to new areas.
It is against this background that the FAO Sub regional Office for Southern Africa is carrying out a ten-day PDS training for front line staff in the veterinary services. Participants will comprise 35 veterinarians and animal health technicians selected from SADC Member States, to equip them with appropriate animal disease surveillance skills.
Africans Rising to launch national engagement platform Launch in Maputo, Mozambique
November 2, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
The Africans Rising’s Mozambique National Engagement Platform (NEP) will be launched on November 7th, 2018. The platform will be instituted to help fulfil multiple pledges of the Kilimanjaro Declaration, namely promoting democracy, social and gender equality, transparency and environmental justice.
This National Engagement Platform is expected to bring together, at the country level, different national social groups whose actions are a living testament to the bottom-up change-making.
“As we come together, we are hopeful that the participants will be equipped with the necessary tools to devise and implement a shared progressive action agenda to be referred to as the National Platform for Change,” a spokesperson said.
It is reported that after the National Engagement Platform launches in multiple African Countries, Africans Rising is expected to establish the top priorities of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), movements, artists and young people in each individual country.
“Therefore, in collaboration with the various entities, the movement will create a roadmap to achieve the different objectives after a number of gatherings and initiatives. The goal is to have a fully structured National Engagement Platform and a clear timetable of follow-up activities.
The Kilimanjaro declaration notes:
We, the citizens and descendants of Africa, as part of the Africans Rising Movement, are outraged by the centuries of oppression; we condemn the plunder of our natural and mineral resources and the suppression of our fundamental human rights.
We are determined to foster an Africa-wide solidarity and unity of purpose of the Peoples of Africa to build the Future we want – a right to peace, social inclusion and shared prosperity.
On the 23 and 24 August 2016, two hundred and seventy two representatives from civil society, trade unions, women, young people, men, people living with disabilities, parliamentarians, media organisations and faith-based groups, from across Africa and the African diaspora gathered in Arusha, Tanzania and committed to build a pan-African movement that recognises these rights and freedoms of our People.
The conference declared that:
- Africa is a rich continent. That wealth belongs to all our People, not to a narrow political and economic elite. We need to fight for economic development that is just and embraces social inclusion and environmental care. We have a right to the ‘better life’ our governments have promised.
- Africans have a diverse, rich and powerful heritage that is important to heal ourselves and repair the damage done by neoliberalism to our humanity and environment. Being African, embracing the philosophy of Ubuntu should be a source of our pride.
- African Youth are a critical foundation of building the success in our continent and must play a central role in building Africans Rising.
- Africa’s Diaspora whether displaced through slavery and colonialism or part of modern day migration are part of Africa’s history and future. They are a reservoir of skills, resources and passion that must be harnessed and integrated into our movement.
- We are committed to a decentralised, citizen-owned future that will build support and solidarity for local struggles, empower local leadership and immerse our activists in grassroots work of building social movements from below and beyond borders.
- We are committed to building a citizens movement that is accountable to the constituencies we represent and enforcing the highest standards of ethical behaviour.
Therefore, we resolve that our work should build a local, national, continental and global campaign that is:
- Expanding space for civic and political action
- Fighting for women’s rights and freedoms across society
- Focussing our struggles on the right to Equity and Dignity
- Demanding good governance as we fight corruption and impunity
- Demanding climate and environmental justice
Call on our people and activists to:
Join this Africans Rising Movement and mobilise our people around this shared vision; organise and connect local struggles under this umbrella; galvanise solidarity with all African struggles. This movement is committed to peace and non-violent action. We assert our inherent rights as Africans and invite our governments, leaders, other stakeholders and institutions to join us in pursuing the Future We Want to leave our future generations.
We commit to mobilising our people in Africa to launch this Movement on the 25th May, 2017, when we deepen the meaning of African Liberation Day and call on all sectors of our society to mobilise and organise events in every African country that will build the momentum towards the genuine liberation of our beautiful continent.
President Kiir’s administration frees Rebel Machar’s spokesperson, adviser to reinforce peace deal
November 2, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Deng Machol
Juba – South Sudan on Friday freed rebel leader Riek Machar’s former spokesperson and adviser, aiming to strength the revitalized peace deal to end almost five years of civil war.
On peace celebration day, President Salva Kiir on Wednesday ordered the release of retired South African colonel William Endley, an adviser to Machar, and James Gatdet Dak, Machar’s spokesman, in an attempt to reinforce the deal signed on September 12 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The two men were recently sentenced to death by hanging as a gesture for goodwill and readiness to implement the new peace accord, they were freed.
Endley was sentenced to death in February for trying to bring down the government, while Gatdet was sentenced to death in the same month on charges of treason and incitement against the government. Gatdet was summarily extradited from Kenya and handed over to Juba, exactly two years ago, on 2nd November 2016.
At the prison where Endley and Gatdet were held for a year, seeing the two guys being asked to go and put on their civilian clothes after being brought out of their cell.
“We are here to implement the orders of the president. Their release comes as part of the peace process. They are now free,” Interior Minister Michael Chiangjiek said after signing paperwork confirming their release. “Gatdet will be going to Khartoum and William John will be going to South Africa.”
East Africa’s youngest nation returned into conflict in 2013, just two years of her independence from Sudan after Kiir sacked his longest –served Dr. Machar as vice president.
The power struggling war, saw a troops loyal to both leaders clashed for all past five years, which eventually shutting down oil fields and forcing millions of people to fled their homes, while hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in fighting or died as a result of war, damage to health facilities or lack of food.
However, ahead of the release, the opposition leader Machar’s associates had expressed excitement at their looming freedom.
Gatdet described the day as looks promising since he is releasing today after two years in the detention, adding that he hopes to see peace in South Sudan.
“I want to express my happiness that I am free again after 2 years in detention and in prison. Accidentally, I think this the same day I was arrested in Nairobi on 2 November 2016 and today is 2 of November 2018,” Gatdet said.
Gatdet, further thanked President Kiir for ordering his release said he is happy now he will see his family. “I want to thank his Excellency the president for ordering my release; I am very happy that this will enable to reunite with family members and my friends after a long period.”
For his part, the South African retired army colonel, William Endley, was also sentenced to death by hanging for his alleged role in supporting Opposition during the civil war, thanked the president and the entire Prison Service staffs including prisoners for the time spent in Juba Central Prison.
“I would like to firstly also thank President Salva Kiir, I also like to thank the minister for his time to be here today. And for everybody inside the Juba Central prison, the prison services and the approaches towards myself and to James Gadet,” Endley said.
The men were handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
“The pardoning of Gatdet and Endley comes as a relief to all who cherish human rights and abhor the death penalty, but more needs to be done,” Amnesty International’s regional director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes Joan Nyanyuki, said in a statement. “The South Sudanese authorities must commute all death sentences and get on the right side of history by abolishing this ultimate cruel form of punishment,” it added.
Dr. Machar, the leader of the country’s biggest coalition of rebel fighters, SPLM-IO returned to Juba for the first time since 2016 to take part in a peace ceremony. He fled to neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo in 2016 under a hail of gunfire when an earlier peace deal collapsed. He later traveled to South Africa, where he was held under house arrest until mid this year, where his house arrest was exclusion.
President Kiir, Machar signed the revitalized peace deal a months ago under a stick and carrot pressure from the IGAD, and from United Nations and Western donors, which designate Machar as a first vice president.
Machar returned to Khartoum after peace celebration, is due to return in about May 2019 to assume his role as a first vice president, according to the accord.
Expulsion of Congolese from Angola aggravates dire crisis in Kasai
November 2, 2018 | 0 Comments
During the month of October, an estimated 360,000 Congolese have poured across the nine border crossings that the Democratic Republic of Congo shares with Angola
OSLO, Norway, November 1, 2018/ — An estimated 360,000 Congolese have crossed the border from Angola and back into DR Congo during October. Most of them are arriving to Kasai, where the influx aggravates an already dire humanitarian crisis and risks fuelling new conflicts, warned the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). “The expulsion of Congolese from Angola over the course of the last month is truly shocking and risk further destabilizing the situation in Kasai,” said Ulrika Blom, NRC DR Congo Country Director. “Several hundred thousand people flooding across the border to Congo puts an even greater strain on an already dire humanitarian situation.”
During the month of October, an estimated 360,000 Congolese have poured across the nine border crossings that the Democratic Republic of Congo shares with Angola. The people coming across the border are a mixed population of longstanding migrant workers, as well as the thousands of refugees who had fled Congo when the Kasai regional conflict broke out in the latter half of 2016 and into 2017.
An expulsion of unprotected Congolese citizens in such large numbers over a short period, poses a massive threat to the already fragile and unstable context in the Greater Kasai Region. At least 2 million people in the region have returned to their places of origin while 1.3 million remain displaced. With the funding of the Congo Humanitarian Response Plan well under 50 per cent and with a thin humanitarian presence in the region, there is a very serious risk that this latest influx of people in need could fuel conflict and cause hundreds of thousands of people in need to battle over the meagre assistance available.
“Lacklustre donor response to the overall humanitarian crisis in DR Congo has come to haunt us with this latest emergency at the Congo-Angola border,” said Blom. “The 2018 humanitarian budget is basically obsolete because of the sheer number of crises and setbacks we have experienced across the country over the last three months.”
The conditions that the expelled face once they return to Congo are shocking.
Food prices for staple foods such as rice, flour and oil have tripled because Angolan merchants that normally crossed the border to sell their produce are too afraid to do so, thus paralysing the economy of Congolese border communities.
“Hundreds of thousands of people have been robbed of their right to a dignified existence,” said Blom. “This is not a crisis that is about to begin, it is a full-blown emergency. The international community must urgently increase the funding for humanitarian assistance.”
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is addressing some of the humanitarian challenges arising from Congolese expulsion with rapid response interventions in the affected areas. The agency will provide water, shelter and cash, and will work to improve the sanitation facilities in consortium with the French humanitarian organisation, Solidarités International, with funding from UNICEF and the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Operations agency (ECHO). NRC has already assisted over 300,000 people in need across the Greater Kasai Region with cash, shelter, household items, education and food since May 2017.
About NRC in DR Congo
The Norwegian Refugee Council is an aid organization working in over 30 countries globally. It set up in DR Congo in 2001, and today helps communities in South Kivu, North Kivu, Ituri, Tanganyika and Kasaï-Central. We provide assistance in education, land rights and civil documentation, food, household items and rapid response to people who are displaced, to those returning from displacement and to host communities across the country.
Zimbabwe ‘excited to drill for oil’ after new survey
November 2, 2018 | 0 Comments
Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has announced the discovery of potential oil and gas deposits in the north of the country.
Australian mining firm Invictus Energy, in partnership with the government, is to determine whether commercial drilling is feasible.
An exploration well would be sunk by Invictus in Muzarabani district within two years, the president said.
Zimbabwe is experiencing its worst economic crisis in a decade.
Fuel shortages are a frequent problem and there are many power cuts.
“We have since been advised by Invictus that the findings are positive and point to oil and gas deposits in the area,” Mr Mnangagwa said.
“The result as communicated by Invictus is an exciting development for our country.”
Mines Minister Winston Chitando said the well, situated about 240km (150 miles) north of the capital, Harare, would be sunk at a cost of $20m (£15m), the Reuters news agency reports.
The mineral-rich country currently has no oil or gas production.
Will Zimbabwe strike it rich?
By Shingai Nyoka, BBC Africa, Harare
Twenty-five years after oil giant Mobil carried out tests and left disappointed, advanced technology appears to show that there are oil deposits in northern Zimbabwe, near the border with Mozambique.
The exploration is still in its early stages, but the cash-strapped government is anxious to raise the hopes of the nation enduring a serious economic crisis. Discontent is rising amidst widespread corruption and poverty.
Invictus is expected to carry out exploration drilling over the next few years to confirm its initial findings. It will enter into a production-sharing agreement with the government.
Even if commercial drilling goes ahead, it cannot be assumed that the riches will reach everyone. Zimbabwe is rich in platinum and diamonds but little of that wealth has trickled down to ordinary Zimbabweans.
This comes down to a combination of corruption and poor policies, which saw minerals leave the country in a raw form. Under Robert Mugabe, who was forced to resign as president last year after 37 years in power, a policy to introduce processing plants to increase local jobs failed to take off.
South Africa corruption: Ramaphosa says ‘dark period’ ending
November 2, 2018 | 0 Comments
South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the corruption that has engulfed the country in recent years as “an amoeba” with “tentacles all over”.
But he insisted South Africa’s “very dark period” under his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, was coming to an end.
Mr Ramaphosa confirmed he would give evidence in a judge-led inquiry into allegations that top officials looted from the state on a grand scale.
Mr Ramaphosa served as then-President Zuma’s deputy.
Mr Zuma was charged last April with fraud and racketeering linked to a 1999 arms deal. Much of his nine-year tenure as president was dogged by corruption allegations, while the country struggled with ballooning national debt and high levels of unemployment.
President Ramaphosa is not prone to dramatic outbursts, but at a news conference he launched an extraordinary attack on the corruption that has engulfed the country, reports the BBC’s Andrew Harding who was there.
He acknowledged that South Africans were angry and needed to see senior government officials tried and sent to prison. He even compared the current situation to a rape victim forced to watch her attacker go unpunished, our correspondent notes.
An official inquiry is being held to investigate the claims of what is known in South Africa as “state capture”, and Mr Ramaphosa confirmed he would appear before it.
“I will give an account to the commission about what I knew and what I didn’t know,” he said.
He spoke of his hope that South Africans would regain trust in the ruling African National Congress (ANC) – the party that has governed South Africa since Nelson Mandela led it to power after apartheid ended in 1994.
“The shine that had been tarnished is coming back and people are realising this. We are in a new period now – we are no longer in a period where we were just sliding downwards,” Mr Ramaphosa said.
“Many people are looking anew at the ANC. They have a sense that we are now beginning to deal with corruption.”
Zwrcn, Women Economic And Social Rights Non-Governmental Organisation Comes To The Rescue Of In-Formal Traders..
November 1, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Nevson Mpofu
Harare-In fulfillment of the desire to make a difference for women in terms of economic and social justice, Zimbabwe Women Resource Centre and Network [ZWRCN] has taken the full responsibility to stand by the rights of vendors. Recently the Government of Zimbabwe evicted thousands of vendors from the streets throughout the country. The move has received hot-chilling emotions from a bevy of women and the general public in the Informal sector.
Although the acrimony between vendors and Government is in crescendo, the Women organization has arbitrarily mediated with supremacy and diplomacy. This , it has been noted by many civil societies is a move by ZWRCN to maintain tranquility .The organization dashes a silent stance to thwart the shadows of poverty likely to descend on women who are fully fledged to support their immediate families with basic needs .
Speaking with a voice shared vision of families survival in hard times hitting the country currently, the Director of ZWRCN Dorothy Hove urged women to strike a peaceful motion in addressing their concerns at heart. She reiterated that women need to rise and shine with the mind of building up on the gaps of the problems. This she pointed out clearly, is not a battle meant to destroy, but a talk to mend on thorny issues at heart.
‘’I simply urge women to make a peaceful campaign in their endeavor to solve problems but not to destroy our nation. We know it is painful, but it must not result in destroying our image as women. Let us come together and talk like we do always to stand for rights of the people, especially women who need empowerment in the community.’’
‘’We are of the objective to present women with a safe environment to freely express their views not emotions. Let us share ideas as we discuss relevant matters of concern at heart together as a nation. There-fore our talk is to focus on positive discussions looking at the implications of the recent evictions .These evictions have affected Informal Traders. Among them are women who take care of families in need of daily basic needs’’.
Taking the topic to a further high pitch, Charity Mandishona , ZCIEA ,Zimbabwe Chamber of In-Formal Economic Associations Chairperson said the Small to Medium Enterprise Act is not protecting Informal Traders . She pointed out that the Law is only protecting those who are registered in the country.
‘’The SMEs Law is only protecting those who are registered. What about those not registered? It is really a challenge for them to support their families. They also find it hard to stand up and voice for themselves because they are not protected at all .
Secondly, Charity spoke vividly about the City of Harare’s SI.159 By-Laws which are out-dated. The By-Laws were reviewed in 2014. Experts in the In-formal Traders business want these to be reviewed now so as to catch up with moving times.
‘’The fact is that By-Laws SI.159 of the City of HARARE are out-dated. We need them to be reviewed. If that is not done then we as a country, we lag behind at the expense of In-Formal Traders more hard hit and affected at most women.
‘’Women are the custodians of the family, children who need to survive according to their rights as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The survival of children hinges on the roles and responsibilities of women who over the years have been the one to take care, support and protect.’’
Giving solutions, way-forward and explaining what they are doing as organizations for In-Formal Traders, Charity pointed out that they are working with the International Labor -Organization Recommendation 204.
‘’What we are saying is , let us not collect tax , but let us grow first , then we collect tax from the In-Formal traders . If they have not yet grown in business and tax is collected from them, how then do they grow? Secondly, Then how do they contribute to Economic Growth and foster development?’’
One of the ideas which evaded the atmosphere of the discussion was of a coalition of these In-Formal Traders. Discussants concluded that Politics was derailing efforts for sundry In-Formal groupings to step ahead and develop themselves. This they view arises from protection of their rights. These at last contribute to Growth resulting in Economic development.
President of Senegal, H.E. MACKY SALL presides Merck Foundation conference “Merck Africa Asia Luminary” to build Healthcare capacity in Africa and Asia
November 1, 2018 | 0 Comments
Merck foundation also celebrated 350th Anniversary of Merck and the 1st anniversary of Merck Foundation during their Luminary
DAKAR, Senegal, November 1, 2018/ — 5th Edition of “Merck Africa Asia Luminary” was conducted under the patronage of The President of Senegal, H.E. MACKY SALL; Merck foundation (www.Merck-Foundation.com) also celebrated 350th Anniversary of Merck and the 1st anniversary of Merck Foundation during their Luminary; 09 African First Ladies, 12 Ministers of Health and More than 500 African healthcare providers from Africa and Asia benefited from several medical education sessions.
Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck Germany conducted the 5th Edition of “Merck Africa Asia Luminary” under the patronage of The President of The Republic of Senegal, H.E. MACKY SALL and The First Lady of Senegal, H.E. MARIEME FAYE SALL, and in partnership with the Ministry of Health of Senegal.
During his closing speech, The President of Senegal, H.E. MACKY SALL emphasized “I am very glad to be hosting this important conference in Senegal, as it will help explore many partnership opportunities and introduce new frameworks for health capacity building in collaboration with our Ministry of health and Merck Foundation and other ministries of health and healthcare societies & institutions across the world. I personally urge African Governments to prioritize investing on healthcare capacity building.”
Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board and Family Board of E-Merck KG emphasized, “Merck is a value driven company and that is one of the reasons why Merck through its foundation is committed to support the social and economic development of Africa, Asia and developing countries by building healthcare capacity and improving access to innovative and equitable healthcare in the continent.”
Merck Foundation CEO, Dr. Rasha Kelej welcomed the First Ladies as Merck Foundation Partners and Ambassadors of Merck More Than a Mother to empower infertile women and build healthcare capacity in their countries.
“We are very proud to have the support of H.E. MACKY SALL to enable us to realize our vision to change the landscape of Cancer care in Senegal and rest of Africa“, Dr. Kelej added.
The First Lady of Senegal, H.E. MARIEME FAYE SALL delivered the keynote speech at the Luminary and welcomed the partnership with Merck Foundation to build healthcare capacity, along with
H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana;
H.E. DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The First Lady of the Republic of Burundi;
H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central Africa Republic;
H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad;
H.E. REBECCA NAA OKAIKOR AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana;
H.E. AISSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU, The First Lady of Niger;
H.E. FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone and
H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia
They have also announced their acceptance to be appointed as Ambassadors of Merck More Than a Mother campaign to empower infertile women and break the stigma of infertility in their countries.
During the conference, Merck Foundation also celebrated two important occasions; the 350th Anniversary of Merck and the 1st Anniversary of Merck Foundation.
A high level Ministerial panel also took place.
During the panel ministers of health discussed “Building Fertility and cancer care capacity and breaking the Infertility Stigma in Africa and Asia”. The panel discussion involved Hon. Abdoulaye Diouf SARR, Minister of Health and Social Action, of Sénégal; Hon. Sarah Opendi, Minister of State for Health of Uganda; Hon Dr Alfred Madigele – Minister of Health and Wellness, the Republic of Botswana, Hon. Dr. Idi Illiassou Maïnassara, Minister of Public Health, of the Niger; Hon. Aziz Mahamat Saleh Ahmat, Minister of Public Health, of Chad; Hon. Dr. Pierre Somse, Minister of Health and Population, Central African Republic; Hon. Dr. Alpha Tejan Wurie, Minister of Health and Sanitation, of Sierra Leone; Hon. Dr. Isatou Touray, Minister for Health and Social Welfare, of The Gambia, Hon. Mariama Sylla, Minister of Social Action, Child and Women promotion, Guinee, Hon. Aboubakar Assidikh Tchoroma, Minister of National Education and Civic Promotion, Chad and Hon. Julieta Kavetuna, Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, of Namibia .
More than 58 countries participated in the Luminary, the list included: Angola, Benin, Burkina Fuso, Bangladesh, Botswana, Burundi, Canada, Cameroon, Cambodia, Chad, Central African Republic, Cote D’Ivoire, DR Congo, Congo, Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Egypt, France, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Conakry, Gabon, Ghana, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia Mali, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Malaysia, Nigeria, Niger, Nepal Philippines, Rwanda, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Togo, UAE, Uganda, USA, UK, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Nigeria set to host Africa Trade Forum 2018 – ECA
November 1, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Teslim Olawore
The communication section of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), said that Nigeria is set to host the Africa Trade Forum 2018 in a statement posted on its website, adding that the forum would hold between November 2 and November 3 in Lagos.
It also said that the forum was being organised by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, and co-organised by the ECA, The Rockefeller Foundation and the African Union Commission (AUC).
According to the commission, the forum will bring together stakeholders from across the continent, political and governance spheres, the private sector and entrepreneurs, philanthropists, academia, researchers and development partners. The statement added that the forum was aimed at discussing the process for realising the AfCFTA.
The AfCFTA that was signed in March 2018 by 44 African countries and if ratified, would become one of the world’s largest trading blocs. The agreement aims to provide improved competition and lower business costs among members.
The ECA said that the forum’s purpose was to take a deep look into the challenges and opportunities of the AfCFTA in individual African states. It is also to better understand how AfCFTA can drive economic development and prosperity on the continent for all African citizens.
The statement also quoted the Executive Secretary, ECA, Ms Vera Songwe as saying “in an age of trade wars, Africa is sending a strong message”.
“In order to ensure the AfCFTA has a game-changing impact on African economies, we must now develop clear strategies for product diversification and inclusive implementation,” she said.
Mr Mamadou Biteye, the Managing Director, Africa, The Rockefeller Foundation added that the foundation was delighted to support the ECA and AUC. He also said the forum was an opportunity to work together to address challenges, discuss solutions and increase awareness about the agreement’s ability to be a transformative tool that improves the lives of millions of Africans, especially the most vulnerable.
Zimbabwe Prophet Claims US Companies Out To Pay Him Millions For HIV Drug Government Does Not Want
October 31, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Nevson Mpofu
Harare,A Zimbabwean prophet Walter Magaya of Prophetic Healing and Deliverance claims that the Aguma drug he discovered will go a long way in the treatment of HIV. The challenge he faces is that the Ministry of Health and Child Care is resisting the ‘’dark-sided Innovation. HIV progresses to AIDS if not managed well. Magaya claims that his drug will suppress the virus in the body of an infected person.
‘’The drug is suitable for those who are HIV positive. Especially those with low CD4 Count may witness how effective the drug is . The drug raises the falling CD4 to high levels, . This leads to virus suppression in the body.
‘’Once you take it, in 14 days you will be done and thus all. It will go a long way in the treatment of HIV. My team is working on it as well. I have partners with Indians who own Aretha Medical. The company will be established in the country.
‘’To those who will use the drug, the CD4 count will have gone up by 200%, suppressing the virulent virus that affects the body . The moment you use it it vanishes forever ‘’, he claimed as he reiterated to Journalists in Harare on Sunday 27 October.
Magaya also said a USA company was ready to offer him US 56 Million. He said he refused the offer because he wants to work on related programs.
‘’A USA company offered me US 56 million but I refused. They still want me to show them the plant from which I got the drug. Already the drug is ours because we have Intellectual Rights. In addition, I have planned to build a big plant in Africa.
‘’The plant will be a Pharmaceutical company to serve Zimbabwe, Africa and the World. This will serve millions who have this ailment, HIV and AIDS’’, Magaya boasts .
According to echoes at Parliament this week, Magaya faced the challenge. Wellington Chikomo Glenora MDC T Legislator asked Dr Gwinji Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care if the Ministry was happy about the discovery.
In response , Dr Gwinji appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Health chaired by Entumbane Member of Parliament , he said it was good to have innovation but with follow up on medical procedures in terms of registration ,
‘’We can’t say we do not want innovations, The problem is , no processes were legally followed by Magaya . We want the right procedures and protocols to be followed right straight from the start of the whole deal .Secondly the drug must sound efficacy and safe for use,’’
Key Issues That Will Play a Huge Role in the Upcoming D.R.Congo Presidential Elections
October 31, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Prince Kurupati
On 20 December 2016, DRC was supposed to hold a presidential election as per the country’s constitution. However, that was not the case. Instead, the executive announced that the presidential election would be conducted in the near future in the upcoming year. As fate would have it, the country once again failed to conduct the presidential election. This time around, the executive failed to give a timeline on when the elections will be conducted. It was only after the intervention of church groups spearheaded by the Catholic Church that the executive in negotiations with the main opposition political parties decided to set 23 December 2018 as the next Election Day.
While the whole of the Democratic Republic of Congo eagerly awaits for December 23, it’s not really a certainty that they will be able to cast their votes on that day considering past vacillations on the part of the executive. Be that as it may, the hope is that this time around, DRC is finally going to hold the presidential election.
Past postponements have already affected the ‘quantity’ element when it comes to elections. However, Joseph Kabila and his administration can still fulfil the ‘quality’ element if they manage to let the elections be conducted in a stable and fair environment.
Suppose all things are normal and the environment is stable in preparation for Election Day, the following are the main factors which will play a huge role in determining who among the presidential candidates will be elected as the next DRC leader.
Rhetoric on the Ebola Crisis
Earlier this year, DRC was affected by another Ebola outbreak, the 17th recorded Ebola outbreak in the country. On the good side, Kabila’s administration managed to welcome international partners such as the World Health Organization in combating the outbreak before it spread to different parts of the country. Despite the rapid response, some lives were however lost. On the bad side, the Ebola crisis is now being used as a political tool mainly by the ruling party as a way of discrediting the opposition. Due to this, the Ebola crisis is likely going to be a key factor in the build-up to the election and as such, it can single-handedly determine who wins the election and who loses. Let’s look at how the Ebola crisis can be used for the benefit (and detriment) of the ruling party and also the opposition.
In his presidential campaign, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary from the ruling party has not condemned the widely held belief by most ordinary citizens in the country that the Ebola crisis is part of a ploy by the ruling party to effect regime change. This belief states that the opposition is working in cohorts with foreign actors to bring about a crisis which will be solely blamed on the ruling party. While this at best can be described as a conspiracy theory, many ordinary citizens are buying it. This, therefore, means that if Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary keeps his silence on the issue as he is doing now, his silence will only add fuel to the fire. In the end, Shadary and the ruling party will win crucial votes as citizens will shy away from voting for an opposition which is staging a ‘war’ on innocent lives.
The onus, therefore, is on the opposition to dispel the Ebola crisis conspiracy theory. Failure of which to do this will mean only one thing, electoral defeat come Election Day.
Armed Skirmishes, Humanitarian Crises and Internal Displacement
Another key factor that will play a huge role in determining who wins the upcoming presidential elections pertains to the civil unrest in the country. In recent times, the DRC has seen an increase in the number of armed conflicts between government forces and rebels. These armed conflicts have necessitated internal displacement and also a humanitarian crisis in some parts of the country. As such, the action or inaction of the ruling party and the opposition to these armed conflicts will be judged. If the ruling party can manage to stabilize the situation at least until Election Day, then it will score huge points with the electorate. However, if it fails to keep the situation in check, then electoral disaster might loom.
For the opposition to capitalize on the current civil unrest, all it needs to do is to propose good policies (in the eyes of the electorate) aimed at calming down the situation and bringing normality to the DRC.
DRC like most other African states has not yet evolved beyond personality politics. As such personality politics will play a huge role in the upcoming elections. Currently, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary leads the personality race among the other confirmed presidential candidates in Vital Kamerhe, the Union for the Congolese Nation leader and Félix Tshisekedi, opposition leader in the Union for Democracy and Social Progress.
However, the personality race might change drastically if popular presidential candidates Jean-Pierre Bemba, a former rebel leader and Moïse Katumbi, former Governor of Katanga Province are removed from the disqualified candidates list. This is however unlikely.
Merkel looks to Africa to cement a legacy shaped by migration
October 30, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Thomas Escritt*
BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted African leaders on Tuesday, pledging a new development fund to tackle underdevelopment on the continent that has helped to spur mass migration, shaping the later years of her long premiership.
Merkel announced on Monday she would retire from politics by 2021, sending shockwaves across Europe and starting a race to succeed her.
She needs the Compact with Africa summit to show that progress has been made in addressing the aftermath of one of the defining moments of her 13 years in power: her 2015 decision to open Germany’s doors to more than a million refugees.
The Berlin summit, attended by 12 leaders including South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, is designed to showcase the continent as a stable destination for German investment.
The International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde is also there, along with a host of international development officials.
The aim is to create good jobs for Africans, easing the poverty which along with political instability and violence has encouraged large numbers to head for Europe.
“We Europeans have a great interest in African states having a bright economic outlook,” Merkel said in her opening speech, announcing a fund to help small and medium-sized enterprises from both Europe and Africa to invest on the continent.
Germany has already introduced tax incentives for its companies to set up plants in Africa, reflecting Merkel’s view that state aid must give way to private investment if jobs are to be created in their millions.
If Merkel is to ensure the leadership of her Christian Democrat party passes to a centrist ally, such as current general secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, she needs to show that she has made progress in fixing the conditions that led to her fateful decision three years ago.
Other candidates, including Health Minister Jens Spahn or her old rival, the strongly pro-business Friedrich Merz, are well to her right politically and could be expected to want to challenge much of her legacy.
Merkel presented her decision to open Germany’s borders to refugees fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East as well as Africa as an unavoidable necessity driven by the vast scale of the human tide.
The crisis upturned European politics, revitalizing the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, whose demand that the country shut its borders to migrants helped to fuel its surge into parliament in last year’s election.
But officials around the chancellor believe that migration can only be slowed sustainably by removing the “push” factors of unemployment and instability in Africa, something that will only be exacerbated by climate change.
A successful outcome to the summit may help to strengthen Merkel’s case for remaining chancellor even after stepping down from the party leadership, and could quieten her coalition partners in Bavaria’s conservative CSU and the Social Democrats (SPD).
All three parties have suffered punishing setbacks in regional elections this month, building internal party pressure for them to switch leaders or break up the coalition.