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Kenya:No returning to IEBC, Chebukati tells former commissioners
August 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Wafula Chebukati

Wafula Chebukati

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairperson Wafula Chebukati has told off the former three commissioners that they are not wanted in the electoral body.

Vice Chairperson Consolata Maina, commissioners Paul Kurgat and Margaret Mwachanya resigned in April 16, 2018 citing disunity. The three expressed their concerns over peddling misinformation, brewing mistrust and external meddling in the commissioner’s affairs. They faulted the chairperson for failure to provide leadership.

“The Commission chairperson has failed to be the steady and stable hand that steers the ship in difficult times and give direction when needed,” read the statement.

On Friday, 24 August 2018, Consolata Maina and Margaret Mwachanaya showed up at the polls agency’s offices causing uproar among different individuals. It is alleged they returned to serve the commission after the court ruled that their resignation was unprocedural. Judge Wilfred Okwany failed to recognize their exit saying no evidence to show they resigned. She said the commissioners did not write to President Uhuru Kenyatta as required by the law.

However, Mr. Chebukati has insisted they are not supposed to work at the agency saying they had returned all the assets of the commissions including vehicles, laptops, phones, badges. He added the former IEBC employees wrote to President Kenyatta but failed to copy the commission.

“IEBC does not have offices of former commissioners, as far as we are concerned, they are not supposed to be working here. They came on Friday, we were surprised to learn they had retained some of the keys which they had not handed over but that has now been rectified,” he said.

The commissioners attempt to enter the offices for second time on Monday, August 27, 2018 was thwarted after finding new locks. They suffered another blow when Mr. Chebukati refused to meet them. The chairperson demanded that they put what they want in writing.

This came barely a week after final audit exposed tender rot in the body during last General Elections and repeat presidential election. The audit report revealed that billions of shillings were lost as a result of acquisition of goods and services at exaggerated prices, lack of market survey.

According to the Audit, Kenya Integrated Elections Management System (KIEMS) used during repeat presidential election in October 26, 2017 was over-priced. It costs Ksh.2.5 billion, Ksh.1.5 more than what was spent during August polls. The cost of KIEMS kit preparation and set up which stood at Ksh.831.3 million is also said to have high-priced.

Training costs also increased. During General Elections and fresh presidential elections Ksh.181.9 million and Ksh.264.4 million were spent respectively.

The report further divulged that Airtel Mobile network provider was awarded tender to provide 1,553 Thuraya IP SIM loaded with data bundles even though the company was able to supply 1,000 units. It also emerged that Oracle Technology System Ltd provided oracle database and security solution at Ksh. 273.6 million without signing a contract.

On the provision of consultancy services, IEBC paid Scanad Kenya Ltd Ksh. 413 million above its budget of Ksh.350. The commission also contracted Transcend Media Group Ltd at Ksh. 447.4. A similar occurance was also noted in the tender for installation of primary and secondary data centre equipment. Africa Neurotech was awarded tender at Ksh.249.3 million above its budget of Ksh.130 million.

The audit also noted that Sufran Company Ltd charged IEBC Ksh.443.8 million for Election Day services, Ksh. 201.3 million more of what they charged during August polls.

The report implicates the suspended CEO Ezra Chiloba, the directorates of finance, Supply Chain Management, Legal and public affairs and ICT.

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S.African farmers ‘furious’ over Trump land reform tweet
August 26, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Gregory WALTON*
Donald Trump was widely criticised over his tweet about farmers in South Africa (AFP Photo/GULSHAN KHAN)

Donald Trump was widely criticised over his tweet about farmers in South Africa (AFP Photo/GULSHAN KHAN)

Bela Bela (South Africa) (AFP) – South African farmers have demanded Donald Trump “leave us the hell alone” after the US president criticised the country’s land reform plans, accusing him of trying to deflect attention from his own scandals.

“The people were furious about Trump — and I think they still are,” said Preline Swart, a 37-year-old black woman who farms grain and cattle with her husband east of Cape Town.

“He’s an outsider and he knows nothing about farming,” she said on the sidelines of a summit of farmers, officials and industry players in Bela Bela, 100 miles (160 kilometres) northeast of Johannesburg.

Trump’s Wednesday tweet, posted on the eve of the “Land Solution” gathering, touched on the overwhelmingly white ownership of farmland in South Africa — one of the most sensitive issues in the country’s post-apartheid history.

“I have asked Secretary of State… (Mike) Pompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers,” tweeted Trump to his 54 million followers.

His tweet apparently followed a segment on conservative Fox News about Pretoria’s plan to change the constitution to speed up expropriation of land without compensation to redress racial imbalances in land ownership.

“‘South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers’,” said Trump’s post, which tagged the show’s host, Tucker Carlson, as well as the channel.

“I think Donald Trump must really take his long hair… and leave our people the hell alone,” added Swart.

While many of the farmers at Thursday and Friday’s land summit rejected Trump’s intervention, many are unsure what the government’s plan to expropriate land to fix historical injustices will mean for them.

“The deputy president assured farmers government isn’t going to do anything reckless,” said conference speaker Tshilidzi Matshidzula, 30, a dairy farmer with 1,000 cattle on his ranch in the country’s Eastern Cape province.

“(But) as a farmer, although I’m black, expropriation is a serious concern. The sooner we get formal clarity on how it will be handled, the better.”

– ‘Alarmist, false, inaccurate’ –

As he spoke, other black delegates congratulated Matshidzula for the speech he had just given on how to resolve land inequality.

According to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who himself farms cattle on a 5,100 hectare ranch, the white community that makes up eight percent of the population “possess 72 percent of farms”.

In contrast, “only four percent” of farms are in the hands of black people who make up four-fifths of the population.

The stark disparity stems from purchases and seizures during the colonial era that were then enshrined in law during apartheid.

“I’m worried about the politicians and the politics in our country if they don’t get (land reform) right,” said Andre Smith, 49, who grows pecans and other crops on 100 hectares in the Northern Cape province.

“We don’t love Donald Trump and his outspokenness.”

South Africa’s government reacted angrily to the tweet with officials telling their American counterparts Trump’s comments were “alarmist, false, inaccurate and misinformed”.

– ‘Let Donald Trump do his thing’ –

“He doesn’t understand the South Africa situation. We have to inform him, we have to invite him to visit us,” added Smith, overlooking the conference venue’s car park, full of the white Toyota pickup trucks beloved of South African farmers.

Trump has a long history of sparking controversy on Twitter.

“Donald Trump was hot-headed — and not for the first time!,” laughed Whiskey Kgabo, a farmer of more than 30 years who grows mangoes on his rented 888-hectare plot in northeastern Limpopo province.

“I don’t have anything against Donald Trump… but he should first check that this is the position,” said Kgabo who spoke to AFP surrounded by hay bales.

Swart added that Trump, rocked by his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen pleading guilty to felonies and his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort being convicted of federal crimes, “just wants something new to talk about”.

Jannie de Villiers, 56, chief executive of the Grain SA industry trade body, rejected the Fox News segment’s suggestion that South Africa was following the same path as Zimbabwe’s disastrous Robert Mugabe-era seizures of white-owned farms.

 “I don’t think we’re there, and I definitely don’t think we’re heading for that. It’s definitely not the Zimbabwe solution.”

Agricultural production collapsed and the economy almost halved in size following the seizures that started in 2000.

“But we do need to address the past and that’s not an easy process. We’ve got a non-racial consensus that we’ve messed up land reform so far,” added De Villiers.

Conference speaker Riedewaan Marcus, 24, a farmer in the Western Cape province backed by the Agri Dwala foundation which supports emerging black agriculture said he was “not a fan of Donald Trump”.

“There’s a lot going on in America, and there’s a lot going on in South Africa,” he said. “Let Donald Trump do his thing. And we’ll do our thing.”

 *AFP

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Emmerson Mnangagwa sworn in as president of Zimbabwe
August 26, 2018 | 0 Comments
Fanuel JONGWE and Reagan MASHAVAVE*
Emmerson Mnangagwa's victory in the July 30 Zimbabwe polls was challenged by the main opposition (AFP Photo/Jekesai NJIKIZANA)

Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory in the July 30 Zimbabwe polls was challenged by the main opposition (AFP Photo/Jekesai NJIKIZANA)

Harare (AFP) – Emmerson Mnangagwa was officially sworn in as president of Zimbabwe on Sunday after winning a bitterly-contested election which was the country’s first since the ousting of strongman Robert Mugabe.

Mnangagwa, whose victory in the July 30 polls was challenged by the main opposition, pledged to “protect and promote the rights of Zimbabweans” at an inauguration ceremony attended by thousands of supporters at a stadium in Harare.

“I Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa swear that as president of the republic of Zimbabwe I will be faithful to Zimbabwe (and) will obey uphold and defend the constitution of Zimbabwe,” he said to thunderous applause from a crowd that also included several African heads of state.

“We must now focus on addressing the economic challenges facing our nation,” he said. “We are all Zimbabweans, what unites us is greater than what could ever divide us.

Since independence from Britain in 1980, Zimbabwe has known only two presidents — Mugabe, who ruled with an iron fist for 37 years, and his erstwhile right-hand man Mnangagwa.

Nicknamed “The Crocodile”, Mnangagwa was appointed after Mugabe was forced out by the military in November last year.

The newly-minted leader on Sunday hailed his victory as a new “dawn” for Zimbabwe after years of repression and economic mismanagement which left the country burdened by shattered public services, mass poverty and unemployment.

But his promises of reform and pledges to entice back investors were marred by the army opening fire on protesters, killing six shortly after the poll, as well as allegations of vote-rigging and a violent crackdown on opposition activists.

At the inauguration, Mnangagwa vowed to open a probe into the violence, which he called “regrettable and most unacceptable”.

Supporters, many wearing caps and T-shirts emblazoned with Mnangagwa’s image, filed into the stadium on Sunday under banners proclaiming “Celebrating a new Zimbabwe” and “Unity takes us forward, peace keeps us going.”

“We were stressed with what was happening with the court procedures but we are happy now because everything has been finalised and we want people to unite and work together,” said supporter Malvern Makoni of the opposition’s legal appeals over the vote.

Other supporters also expressed an appetite for reform.

“Our country is now going to develop with president Mnangagwa now in charge. Mnangagwa is the right man to lead Zimbabwe to prosperity,” said 41-year-old Blessing Muvirimi.

“We want Zimbabweans to work together.”

Mugabe did not attend the swearing-in but was represented by his daughter Bonu, who had previously called Mnangagwa a “traitor” after her father’s ousting.

– ‘Peace and unity’? –

Mnangagwa of the ruling ZANU-PF party won the election with 50.8 percent of the vote — just enough to meet the 50 percent threshold to avoid a run-off against his main opposition challenger Nelson Chamisa, who scored 44.3 percent.

International observers said the polls were largely free of the violence which characterised previous votes in Zimbabwe.

However, the European Union earlier expressed concern that Mnangagwa had benefited from heavy state media coverage.

Similarly, US monitors said Sunday that Zimbabwe had “not yet demonstrated that it has established a tolerant, democratic culture”.

The country’s top court on Friday dismissed Chamisa’s bid to have the results annulled on grounds they were rigged.

But the opposition leader has rejected that ruling and vowed to lead “peaceful protests”.

“I have a legitimate claim that I am supposed to lead the people of Zimbabwe,” Chamisa, who heads the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, said Saturday.

“The court’s decision is not the people’s decision. The people who voted do not believe in (Mnangagwa). We have got a clear majority.”

Mnangagwa has sought to turn the page on the issue, calling for “peace and unity” in a televised address after the court decision.

“Let us put whatever differences we might have behind us. It is time to build our nation and move forward together.”

*AFP

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Constitutional Court Declares Emmerson Mnangagwa The President Of Zimbabwe
August 25, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

Emmerson Mnangagwa

Emmerson Mnangagwa

Constitutional Court HIGH COURT Judge Luke Malaba has declared Emmerson Dambidzo Mnangagwa as the winner of the 30 July 2018 Election. This election became tragic after MDC Alliance boycotted its perceived outcome that ZANU PF would be the ultimate winner.

This however led to political violence by MDC Alliance members who then threatened to burn Zimbabwe Electoral Commission before election announcement .According to the constitution, the results are announced in a period of 5 days after the last day of elections.

MDC Alliance boycotted this showing its lack of respect, dignity and integrity. The President Elect his Excellency Emmerson Mnangagwa listened to the concerns of MDC Alliance after they sent their petition to Constitutional Court a few days after his election victory.

In his ruling after dismissing the petition filed by MDC Alliance , Judge Malaba cited that MDC Alliance had no Primary evidence but in-fact they had secondary evidence .

‘’The Complaint in this respect, MDC Alliance had secondary evidence not Primary evidence. We rely on primary evidence as Constitutional Court . Primary evidence gives full details in practice.

‘’In-fact in truth there is no evidence that the election was rigged. Its only that MDC Alliance was working on information picked up from the people who gave them what they heard as well .

High Court Judge Malaba also elucidated that it is not the duty of the accused person that is Emmerson Mnangagwa to produce evidence of the stolen election in respect to such cases .This has been the nag of MDC Alliance in their complaint.

‘’It is not the duty of the accused that is Emmerson Mnangagwa to produce evidence of the stolen election. The only sitting to do this is the court , he said

However, Judge Malaba urged people to remain calm and in the atmosphere of peace. He said the nation must go on as usual .European Union in its statement today said all the political stakeholders must sit down and talk on Electoral Reforms and best how the country must be run .

‘’As the European Union, we urge the people to remain calm in peace and traquility. We want all parties to be engaged for peace talks and move into the path of business.

‘’Democracy, social justice and peace must prevail in the country. Let us see to it that there is a new Zimbabwe built by people who have a piece of peace in mind. He said.

EU is still in the country. It is represented by France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania , Spain , Sweden and UK .

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Africa And The Developing World Urged To Fund The Green Energy Revolution Model.
August 25, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

Mbiriri  Patson

Mbiriri Patson

AFRICA and the Developing World which are Energy poverty impacted Regions have been urged to fund the Green Energy Revolution model. Africa and the developing World need at least 49, 4 billion annually to finance their overall Energy projects and the current spending rotating in these Regions is 9 billion. World Bank has over the past years since 2007 financed 31 billion worth Energy projects in developing countries especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In order to monitor the reduction of absolute poverty in the World, there is need to focus strongly on Energy financing .This is done to develop various energy projects, reduce poverty and win on Sustainable Development Goals particularly Goal number 7 on Energy by 2030.Africa has the big challenge. One of its Investors , African Renewable Energy Fund finances small projects in Hydro-Power , Wind , Solar , Geo-Thermal , Gas and Biomass .It has 10 to 30 million size of Investments , 200 million total fund size with target return of 20% .

Experts in the Energy sector in Zimbabwe have taken a strong move to work towards sustaining energy projects through sourcing finance and calling for Investments to boost the sector. The prevalent rate of climate change in the World is fast reducing BIOFUEL ENERGY .This relied on by 60% of the rural population mainly in developing countries struggling to grapple with solar energy which is cheap, efficient. However, it is reliable with those who have used it .The strong fact is Solar is renewable, therefore it is of less cost once purchased.

CLEAN ENERGY FOR ALL programs organized by Business Council for Sustainable Development , Practical Action  and ZERA[Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority ]   held  since issues of energy took Centre stage have since in short time memorial brought change in the country . Zimbabwe is only 40% solar energy dominated according to recent ZERA information on the ground. Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority Chief Executive Officer Gloria Magombo said that adequate funding is needed to run Sustainable Energy projects. This, she said must touch the whole World so as to promote a GREEN REVOLUTION. The World has special focus on clean energy which does not have effects on human lives as far as Air; Land and Water pollution is concerned.

Air pollution has over the past years affected communities especially in coal mining areas where a number of people have had problems of respiratory and cardio-vascular diseases. .These challenges have as well been experienced in urban areas. After hydro-power blackout is experienced, dwellers pursue alternative energy sources which lead to destruction of the natural environment. Some turn to massive use of coal which emits unfriendly pollutants affecting people and the atmosphere.

Experts have summed that, though the need for Green Energy for a Green Economy, funding is not adequate to promote a GREEN REVOLUTION flourish. Glued in the exclusive interview, the expert said Zimbabwe power shortages are indicated by a deficit of 60% .By February 2016 the country was measured producing only 845 mw against a projected national demand 2,200 mw and installed capacity of 1,940 megawatts.

‘’There is need for adequate funding mechanisms in form of grants and concessional loans buttressed by competent Investors who must support the Energy sector. This is under-trodden and submerged by anthropogenic factors contributing to climate change .Climate-Change affects the earth which now is heavily compromised in terms of its naturalness, beauty, esthetics and bounty wealth of bio-fuel .The urgent need for regeneration of the energy sector through the support of Investors is no doubt a fact on the ground . The Green Climate Fund must come to this rescue in form of Bilateral and Multi-Lateral Funding ‘’.

’’Countries of the world still taking development steps in response to Sustainable Development Goals targets need more funding. It must be more than the current amount so that they can run sustainable projects. This can make developing countries in Africa, Asia and some parts of the World see the light in a changing world in which clean energy is the right path.’’

‘’Clean Energy is environmentally friendly since it does not lead to air pollution which does have negative impacts on the health of the general public. Many forms of energy have led to changes in climate of which resultant adverse effects there-after have led to depletion of the ozone layer. Clean energy solutions today lead us to a habitable disease free world.’ ’Said the Expert.

Further on ,she cited that high cost financing of Infrastructure amounting from 12 billion to 13 billion to lift up Energy project funding in developing countries is vital .She continued that, for these countries to grow, they need to lure Investments from the developed World through implementation of sound policies meant to reduce energy poverty in the developing world.

‘’Funding for the purpose of Economic development is vital because there is need to promote a GREEN ECONOMY. Therefore, we need to support GREEN ENERGY projects on the ground so that we can reach targets of GLOBAL ENERGY growth and achieve Sustainable Development Goals of the UNITED NATIONS’’, she concluded.

Commenting on the same issue, Patson Mbiriri , Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development , said , Energy financing was as well delayed by lack of political will in many developing countries . Lack of National Renewable Energy policies reduce communities to abject poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa , East and Pacific Asia and in some parts of the World .He added also that lack of expertise and  the issue of brain drain has much impacted Africa .

‘’Lack of this political will  has much trodden  developing countries which even up to now need strong financial support to lift themselves out of absolute poverty . Sustainable Development Goals will lift people in many countries out of poverty like how they have done in developed countries like China, Japan, America and others’’.

‘’Access to energy finance stands vital, hence the reason why Sustainable Development Goals are important. Energy developments over the past decades slackened because Energy was not part of the Millennium Development Goals .The current Sustainable Development Goals are giving a new image to Energy sources like solar which is affordable and accessible.

‘’One main important aspect is that of brain drain of African professionals giving their knowledge to greener pastures. The problem is leaving blind spots making management of energy projects a challenge to digest. Also those in leadership at top need more expertise, sensitization and awareness on the importance of energy link to the environment. A Green Revolution is possible close home if these experts help us with their skills and push for Africa to get Investors. In other words, Africa is towards a GREEN REVOLUTION’’, he said.

Talking on Investor incentives to sustain Energy projects, another Expert in the ENERGY SECTOR, Sustain Ziuke said, incentives are important because Zimbabwe is only 40% covered by solar energy. All in all 80% of energy is urban and 19% is rural. We still have a long way to go. Access to electricity is estimated @ 52% of the total population.

Approximately, 200,000 urban house-holds and 1, 2 million rural do not have access to electricity. He expanded by highlighting that there is need to work towards financing of solar since it is cheap and easy to maintain. There is need for developing countries to research and access other Energy types especially in rural areas so that bio-fuel can be saved.

Africa as a whole has those challenges related to energy shortage .There is danger to the natural environment caused by lack of energy sources. The environment gets deforested without any afforestation, this leading to desertification. Most issues in origin of what is climate change are a result of massive cutting down of trees, poor mitigation and adaptation. This leads to denudation, mass wasting and serious erosion during rainy season. Communities are later affected by food –insecurity which leads to Malnutrition.

‘’Access to Energy types is the challenge in developing countries. Worse still, wood is 80% to 90% in rural areas and 15 to 30% in African urban areas. For Energy development to take place at fast rate in these countries there is need for GREEN FUNDING, what we call SMART ENERGY for the sustainability of a GREEN WORLD.  Humanity wont be affected by POLLUTION, especially AIR POLLUTION which results in Respiratory and Cardio-Vascular Diseases, related to heart and Lung cancer ailments’’, ’he said.

Zimbabwe which still lags behind in Energy development has fuel wood at 60%, liquid fuel 18%, electricity 13% and coal 8%. Although the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio- Economic Transformation promotes Energy projects sustainability so as to reduce poverty, more than half of its population is living in Energy poverty and needs funding to run such projects.

Many Energy organizations in energy poverty countries have come out with projects which need sustainable funding. Energy projects in Zimbabwe are run under the theme, CLIMATE FINANCE FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT. Some of them touched on the issue of diesel -50 and how countries can move towards the use of diesel 10 and the use of solar powered vehicles in the future. The issue of climate change brings in today gender dimensions which call the involvement of women in energy issues because they matter most when it comes to sourcing energy in both rural and urban communities .

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Africa’s Economic Growth Prospects Amongst the World’s Brightest
August 24, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Ayodele Odusola *

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The Government of Uganda promotes oil and gas projects at Africa Oil Week 2018
August 24, 2018 | 0 Comments
Uganda offers opportunities for companies looking to explore, develop and utilise its petroleum assets
Ernest Rubondo, Executive Director of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda

Ernest Rubondo, Executive Director of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda

LONDON, United Kingdom, August 23, 2018/ — Hon Irene Muloni, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, in the Republic of Uganda will lead a delegation of private and public-sector players from Uganda’s oil and gas sector to the Africa Oil Week 2018 (http://www.Africa-OilWeek.com), which will be held between 5 – 9 November, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. Hon Muloni said, “Uganda is open for business and we will be looking forward to promoting the country`s highly progressive and lucrative hydrocarbon sector during the Africa Oil Week. Over the course of the week, we will announce a roadmap for Uganda’s next licensing round and offer insights into our country’s potential and operating environment.”

Uganda is committed to developing its petroleum sector across the entire value chain, and clear strides to move the country’s key assets from the exploration phase into the development phase have been made. Uganda offers opportunities for companies looking to explore, develop and utilise its petroleum assets. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development Robert Kasande said, “During the Africa Oil Week, we will host private meetings with the global private sector with a view to successfully attract capital in every stage of our oil and gas value chain.”

Ernest Rubondo, Executive Director of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda went on to say, “As the regulator of Uganda’s oil and gas sector, Africa Oil Week offers the Authority an exciting platform to provide insight into the regulatory environment in the country and how this has been structured to position the country as a sound investment destination. We encourage operators, investors and service companies to attend the Oil Week and meet with officials from the Government of Uganda and the private sector. Uganda welcomes you to partner in what we believe is one of the most commercially viable and prospective oil and gas environments in the world.”

The Africa Oil Week is an important event which continues to drive new business opportunities for E&P companies in Africa. It presents an exclusive and dynamic network of Oil and Gas operators in Africa. Former UK Foreign & Commonwealth office Minister with responsibilities for Africa, the Caribbean, UK Overseas Territories, International Energy and Conflict Prevention Rt. Hon. Mark Simmonds added, “The commitment of the Ugandan Government to Oil Week reflects a country on the move in the petroleum sector. Africa Oil Week will focus on the country’s oil and gas sector during the week.”

Dr Josephine Wapakabulo, Chief Executive Officer for Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) also added that, “UNOC is responsible for the State’s commercial interests in Uganda’s oil and gas sector and we see the country’s participation at Africa Oil Week as a clear opportunity to engage with the most prestigious global operators. UNOC will arrive at Africa Oil Week looking for strategic partners who have the appetite, financing, technology and capabilities to deliver equitable and profitable projects in Uganda’s oil and gas sector.” These projects have been identified and will be on display during the week.

Conference Director Mr. Paul Sinclair said, “On top of the 13 confirmed ministers who will lead delegations to Africa Oil Week, we now have a partnership with the Government of Uganda to host a huge opportunity for the global private sector to exclusively engage and hold private meetings regarding oil and gas opportunities at Africa Oil Week.” This comes fast on the back of the governments of Ghana and Congo announcing their own bidding rounds at Africa Oil Week in November 2018. Africa Oil Week remains the only true industry event for the Africa’s upstream Oil and Gas sector.

 

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NEW MINING INDUSTRY BODY TO CONTINUE DRIVE FOR DRC MINING SECTOR AND CODE IMPROVEMENT
August 24, 2018 | 0 Comments
Mining companies in the D.R.Congo are still up in arms against the new mining code

Mining companies in the D.R.Congo are still up in arms against the new mining code

Kinshasa, DRC, 23 August 2018    Mining companies accounting for 80% of copper and cobalt production and 90% of gold production in the Democratic Republic of Congo have established a new body, the Mining Promotion Initiative (MPI), to engage with the government on industry concerns about the country’s new mining code and any other material issue concerning the mining industry in the DRC.

MPI General Secretary Richard Robinson says the industry’s main issue remains the application of the 2018 Mining Code.  This code compromises those investors who have invested in the country individually and alongside state companies, on terms guaranteed by the government through legislation, specific guarantees and bilateral trade agreements.  Furthermore, should some of the key issues in the new code not be addressed it would discourage further investment in large and small sustainable projects, which is crucial for the DRC economy as well as the mining sector.

“That is why we are committed to continue working with the government to seek a mutually agreeable solution and improve the legal framework for current and new investments,” he said.

He said MPI’s members sought a sustainable outcome for all DRC stakeholders, which respected the laws of the country and the preservation of acquired rights.  At the same time, individual member companies were also engaging with the authorities with regard to the effect and implementation of the 2018 code.

FOUNDING MEMBERS: Alphamin Bisie Mining; CMOC International/Tenke Fungurume Mining; Glencore/KCC/MUMI; Ivanhoe Mines/Kamoa-Kakula/Kipushi; MMG; Randgold Resources/Kibali.

 

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Keny: Deputy President Ruto at loggerheads with IPSOS synovate for naming him corrupt
August 24, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Deputy President William Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto

Deputy president William Ruto has defied IPSOS Synovate opinion polls indicating that he is the most corrupt leader in Kenya noting that the opinions were concocted by his adversaries.

On Wednesday, August 22, 2018 IPSOS Synovate researcher Tom Wolf when he divulged that 33% of Kenyans perceive the deputy president is leading in corruption while 31% chose Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru. The research conducted between July and August rated former president Daniel Moi at 17%, President Uhuru Kenyatta at 11%, former president Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga at 5% each.

The survey further revealed that 51% of those who were surveyed have confidence on the ongoing crackdown on graft while 71% are casting their doubts whether those complicated in corruption. They believe that fight on graft is targeting the minor suspects while the big fishes are walking free.

Addressing residents of Ogembo, in Kisii County (Western part of the country), Ruto said he will not be dissuaded from pursuing his aspirations despite intensive effort to destroy his reputation. He vowed to gear towards achieving the Big Four Agenda which include Manufacturing, Universal healthcare, affordable housing and food security.

“I want to give them free advice-let them prepare very well. Once they are done in publishing fake polls and fake news, they can come so that we can compete on issues that concern the common people and I will tutor them,” said Ruto.

Ruto’s response came barely a day after his press secretary David Mugonyi rubbished the survey. Mugonyi linked the polls to political rivalry and corruption perception to produce distorted opinions to malign the deputy president’s name by sponsors. He said those pushing for the amendments of Constitution to bar Ruto from contesting for presidency in 2022 are behind the reports.

“At a time when people are so desperate that they want to amend the constitution to bar him from running for presidency, it should not shock anyone that a survey like this would be concocted,” read his statement.

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, who was linked with a loss of sh.791 million at National Youth Service who was ranked the second most corrupt by the reports promised to sue the firm. He challenged anybody with evidence to present to it the Ethics Anti- Corruption Commission.

“I think they are advancing a political agenda; there can be nothing other than that. If they have any evidence let them take it the Directorate of Criminal Investigations or the Director of Public Prosecutions so that action can be taken!” She said.

Meanwhile, Tom Wolf, IPOSOS Synovate researcher, defended his reports saying they reflect the true perception of Kenyans. He added that the survey report was not based on his own perceptions instead on Kenyans views on what is affecting the country.

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Liberians divided over Weah honouring former coaches
August 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Zoom Dosso*

George Weah has had glittering success in two careers -- football and politics (AFP Photo/Paul DEFOSSEUX)

George Weah has had glittering success in two careers — football and politics (AFP Photo/Paul DEFOSSEUX)

Monrovia (AFP) – Liberian football star-turned-president George Weah has won world headlines by conferring his country’s top honour on his former boss Arsene Wenger — but back home, not everyone is happy.

On Friday, Weah will award Arsene Wenger and Claude Le Roy, the two French coaches who gave his football career an early boost, with Liberia’s highest distinction.

But over the past week, debate in Liberian newspapers and radio shows has mounted over whether the award — usually reserved for individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to Liberia — is right.

“This Knight Grand Commander of the Humane Order of African Redemption title, which the nation can bestow upon Liberian and non-Liberian alike, should not be about the personal connection between the President and Wenger or Le Roy,” Liberian newspaper Front Page Africa wrote in an editorial.

In the streets of Monrovia, some Liberians questioned the timing of such a ceremony, as the poor West African nation grapples with runaway inflation and a host of other economic woes.

“This honouring should not have been prioritised now,” said George Sackie, a 35-year-old teacher.

“Such titles should be given to someone who has served the nation in a distinguished manner,” said Daniel Neufville, an analyst at Ataryee community centre in Monrovia.

The government maintains, though, that both men helped Liberia through helping Weah.

“If Arsene Wenger and Le Roy had not exposed George Weah he would not have been the pride of an entire nation today,” said Andy Quamie, deputy minister of youths and sports.

“They helped Liberia in a distinguished way by helping someone who has become president of our nation… Consequently, Arsene Wenger and Claude Le Roy contributed highly to our nation’s pride.”

Wenger signed Weah, then aged 22 and playing in the backwater of Cameroonian football, when he was in charge of AS Monaco in 1988.

After four seasons in Monaco, Weah moved to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and then to AC Milan in 1995 — the year he became the only African player to win the coveted Ballon d’Or for the top player in a European club football.

He was feared as a quick, rangy and versatile forward who was deadly from long range and devastating in front of goal.

In an interview with AFP in 2014, Weah described Wenger as “My coach, my mentor, my father figure.” Weah’s wife Clar is an ardent Arsenal fan.

After Weah was elected president in January, he invited Wenger to his inauguration, but the Frenchman, in what turned out to be his last season as Arsenal manager, was unable to attend.

“Maybe if I’m suspended I’ll have time to go,” Wenger joked.

Weah’s odyssey “is an unbelievable story,” Wenger added. “But it’s down to the fact that one thing that was common in George’s attitude is being strong mentally, absolutely unbelievably convinced that he has a mission.”

Le Roy met the young Weah while managing Cameroon’s national side.

“He had signed to Tonnerre Yaounde and came to Cameroon national squad training even though he was a Liberian. I was dazzled by his talent and called Arsene,” Le Roy, who is currently coaching Togo’s national team, told AFP.

Among other Liberians — including many young people who help propel the soccer legend to the presidency in January’s elections — the event is a source of pride and excitement, placing the impoverished country on the world map.

Hundreds gathered in the capital Monrovia on Wednesday, hours before the Frenchmen’s expected arrival.

“For me the president is right to give such honour to the man who made him to be the only African to handle the world’s best title,” Patrick Harris, 23, told AFP.

*AFP

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South Africa hits out at Trump’s ‘narrow and divisive’ tweets on land seizures
August 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Adrian Blomfield*

Cyril Ramaphosasaid South Africa 'totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation' - AFP

Cyril Ramaphosasaid South Africa ‘totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation’ – AFP

South Africa’s government accused Donald Trump of hysteria on Thursday after he questioned its plans to seize white-owned agricultural land and asserted that white farmers were being murdered on a “large scale”.

Stirred into action after watching a television programme on land reform in South Africa, the US president instructed his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to study both the killing of farmers and “farm seizures and expropriations”.

Mr Trump did not disclose what action he might take should the State Department report negatively. His comments prompted a fall in South Africa’s currency, the rand.

The instruction, made on Twitter rather than through a formal channel, came after Fox News, the cable television channel, incorrectly reported that white-owned farmland had already been seized, an error the president repeated.

However, Cyril Ramaphosa, the South African president, is introducing legislation that would allow agricultural land to be taken from white farmers without compensation.

The president’s tweet was strongly condemned by politicians in South Africa, while the government — which said it would issue a protest “through diplomatic channels” — said it could undermine confidence in the land reforms.

“Hysterical comments and statements do not assist the process,” Khusela Diko, Mr Rampahosa’s spokeswoman, told CNN. “The majority of South Africans want to see land reform. The majority of our farmers, white and black, want to be part of this initiative.”

Mr Ramaphosa , under pressure to initiate land reforms from radical opposition groups and the left of the ruling African National Congress, has justified the proposal as an attempt to redress an Apartheid legacy that left most farmland in the hands of whites.

A voluntary programme of land redistribution on a “willing buyer, willing seller” basis has seen ten percent of white owned-farm land transferred to black South Africans since the end of white-minority rule in 1994. However, white South Africans still control 72 percent of all agricultural land despite making up only nine percent of the population.

The American State Department has said it would support the process. But domestic critics have cautioned against a policy they say would undermine investor confidence at a time of economic fragility.

The seizure of white-owned farms is credited with causing Zimbabwe’s economic collapse. South Africa’s economy is bigger and more diverse, but could still be hurt should Zimbabwe’s fall in food production be replicated.

Mr Trump was also criticised for appearing to give credence to claims of a racist pogrom against white South African farmers.

The killing of white farmers — some 1,500 of whom are believed to have been murdered since 1998 — has become a deeply politicised issue inside and outside South Africa.

Right-wing politicians in the West have claimed that white farmers in South Africa are suffering persecution.

The Kremlin has invited white farmers to move to Russia and Australia’s home affairs minister and possible next prime minister, Peter Dutton, has called for “civilised” countries to assist them on humanitarian grounds.

In contrast, left-wing politicians have played down racial motivation in the murders, despite some black South African politicians portraying white farmers as murderers and rapists. Julius Malema, a prominent opposition politician, used to lead students in singing the Apartheid-era protest song “Kill the Boer” until 2012.

Statistics are varied and incomplete, used by both sides to advance their claims. Some suggest a white farmer is three times more likely to be murdered than a normal South African, while others find no difference.

South Africa is one of the world’s most crime-ridden countries — a South African is 30 times more likely to be murdered than a Briton — and some analysts said that killings on isolated farms are more likely to be motivated by thuggery than race.

They also point out that the annual number of farm killings— black and white — has fallen to 47, the lowest in 20 years, although this may be due to improved security measures taken by farmers to protect themselves. The number of violent attacks on farms is rising, with more than 500 incidents in the year to March, although the rate is still half what it was in 2001.

 *The Telegraph
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Pepfar Takes The Aids And Arts Marketing Strategy To Make An End To Hiv /Aids In Zimbabwe..
August 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

Jennifer Savage

Jennifer Savage

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA EMBASSY CHARGE d’ Affairs Jennifer Savage has made the end to HIV and AIDS be close to its final stage. Zimbabwe is currently getting reached every of its corner by PEPFAR‘s HIV and AIDS Programs.

People, countries and organizations preach in the word is to end the spread of HIV which progresses to AIDS. Through the AIDS and ARTS initiative, the great first of its kind, USA is behind HIV and AIDS Programs in the country. Jennifer delivered her words in aftermath of the program on HIV and AIDS currently in Mashonaland central, in Mazoe area, Mvurwi and Glendale.

In the part of the province ARTS ENTERTAINERS Albert Nyathi and Derreck Mpofu were engaged by the organization to spread the word of the spread of the epidemic HIV and AIDS through ARTS performance  in the communities. The track of education and entertainment is ranging from taking community people especially school children on question and answer giving session, quiz, dance, poetry and music. Prices won are in form of books, CDs, stationery and t-shirts.

Contacted for an Interview, Jennifer said USA is working on this project to end the epidemic of HIV and AIDS. She pointed out that though there are challenges, gaps left and more communities to be reached, the Embassy of US has gone far in these programs.

‘’We are not only in Zimbabwe , but in many countries .We need to move forward and cover marginalized deep hidden under resourced communities . The idea of ARTS as a message is to keep audience who then turn to take effort to test.

‘’A big number has tested. It means we are moving on as a country but still we need to kick off with other programs to eliminate HIV by 2030 according to targets set. We are closing the net of AIDS like as you see and know there are few cases of AIDS than HIV.

‘’HIV and AIDS before the advent access to treatment was more in Africa and some parts. However the prevalence and Incidence rate is now low ever than before. NEW HIV infections have gone low due to a number of programs and interventions.

PEPFAR early this year took to the streets offering free HIV testing and counseling. One such event was attended by a round of thousands of Harare residents who got free services along First Street. Adding to  Adesanyu Fanmi who works for PEPFAR said the Free HIV and AIDS program was not only for cities and towns but also for rural areas, farming and mining communities.

‘’We target the whole country as PEPFAR. The fact that this is free, many people attend for the services because they might be impacted by no access to services due to lack of enough money for such services.

‘’Everywhere, we talk of Ending HIV with the need to reach everyone. This program will reach many communities in the country. The target is for 2030 to end the epidemic not in Zimbabwe alone but throughout the World .Even around the World, the epidemic is going down’’, she said

AIDS and ARTS Foundation Director Emmanuel Gasa said ARTS in Zimbabwe could be a solution because it is fast reachable in its amplified voices. Apart from that he pointed out that ARTS is performed by many  people.

‘’ARTS linked to AIDS can be the answer in Zimbabwe because the voice is widely taken in communities, schools and colleges. Young people must be the big target for AIDS to get down .Young people are the leaders tomorrow so they need to be reached in big number in the country , ‘’

Derreck Mpofu who sided with the idea of reaching the young generation said young generations cherish celebrities. Apart from this they is need for conservations which young people favor.

‘’This will reach millions if not more because young people are close to works of celebrities. If it is through like the likes of music of these young urban grooves we reach all

‘’ARTS are audio-visual .This takes hearts of the young generation in the country. At the same time let us do discussions with themes affecting the young generations like on issues here with us , HIV and AIDS impact , ‘’

‘’Albert Nyathi said there is need for Artists to come with Art delivery with touch of the people. Themes must centered on ending problems affecting them every day .At the helm of discussions if they are there must be between the young people and the older generations with examples of life experiences of the older people through their way to the impact of HIV and AIDS, said Albert Nyathi .

Many programs on the theme of HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe have been with special focus on the young people. Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision has reached close to 300,000. Close to 2,5 million people received HIV testing and counseling services free of charge .

PEPFAR [PRESIDEN’S EMERGENCY PLAN FOR AIDS RELIEF] has reached 880 adults and children the past months with free Anti-Retroviral through- out the country. The International Organization availed US 150 million dollars in response to HIV at national level. The commitment is towards achieving the 95, 95, 95 targets by 2030.

The targets are bent towards making people get tested, know their status and be in a position to eliminate HIV which when not managed well progresses to AIDS . There have several changes in the last 15 years in the spread of HIV .  Death rate has gone down and life expectance is now above 50 years .

Zimbabwe as a country has come out with policies , strategies through National AIDS Council . The country working with PEPFAR worked to reduce the spread by making communities reachable with Anti-Retrovirals . PEPFAR by end of this year is expected to reach  a million people by end of 2020.

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