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Kenya:UDA allies protest Ruto’s Uganda trip cancellation
August 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Relations between Deputy President Ruto and President Kenyatta have gone south

A section of political leaders allied to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) has condemned the government for blocking the Deputy President William Ruto from traveling to Uganda.

On Monday, August 2, William Ruto was forced to abort his private visit to neighbouring Uganda after he was blocked from leaving the country at Wilson Airport in Nairobi.

The second in command is said to have arrived at the airport with his 7-member delegation ready for the trip before the security told him that he needed clearance from above.

However, his entourage was allowed to proceed with the journey. His delegation comprises lawmakers Ndindi Nyoro, Oscar Sudi and Benjamin Tayari, businessman Harun Aydin, David Lagat, Eric Ruto and Elijah Rono.

After waiting for more than two hours to have his documents verified for the trip, he finally gave up and left.

Senior civil servants must seek travel clearance when leaving the country, but it is unclear whether the law applies to the deputy president.

Reports from Ruto’s office said that he was asked to seek clearance from the Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua, who denied issuing such directive when contacted.

MP Nyoro claimed he heard Ruto being told to present his birth certificate or a letter from his area chief for clearance.

“We saw something unprecedented upon arrival at the airport. Those of us who are Members of Parliament were told to seek clearance from the House leadership. Upon seeking the same, Parliament was categorical that we needed no clearance.

“The DP inquired what clearance he was to give and all he was told was that there orders from above. People in Immigration Department told us CS Fred Matiangi issued the instructions. He was contacted and denied giving such directives,” said Nyoro.

According to Senator Aaron Cheruiyot, Ruto’s rising political star gives the government a sleepless night, adding that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration is out to frustrate the Deputy President.

On his side, legislator Caleb Kositany said the government has resorted to revenge after the ruling party was floored in the recent Kiambaa by-elections. UDA’s candidate John Wanjiku trounced Jubilee’s Kariri Njama in a hotly contested mini-poll.

“We understand your pain, jubilee is a shell, Musambweni & Kiambaa results, BBI in ICU, NASA dead, KEMSA heist & the bottom up economic model changing the discussion,” said Kositany.

Following the incident, Ruto expressed his sentiments on Twitter.  He tweeted, “It’s alright..let’s leave it to God.”

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Mozambique: Military Now Beating Terrorists , says Defence Minister
August 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

Mozambican Defence Minister Jaime Neto

The terrorists in Cabo Delgado province are finally being beaten as a result of intense operations by the Mozambican security forces and Rwandan troops, Mozambican Defence Minister Jaime Neto has said.

The exact number that had been killed was unknown, but it was more than 14 as Rwandan military authorities claimed last week, Neto said on the sidelines of a military accreditation ceremony in Maputo.

“If we look at it, it’s the number that was counted by the Rwandan troops. But our air operations, as well as land operations, have been doing a lot of work. Therefore, it is difficult at the moment to say exactly how many were slaughtered,” he said.

There was an intense confrontation between the two forces and insurgents on 30 July, in an area called Nova Família, in Nangade district, that left 13 insurgents dead and three wounded, and led to the recovery of 13 firearms.

The violent attacks in Cabo Delgado have triggered a humanitarian crisis with more than 800,000 internally displaced people.

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Kenya’s Covid-19 positivity rate hit at 15.4 per cent in the last 24 hours.
August 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe

Kenya on Tuesday confirmed 1085 new Covid-19 cases bringing the total number of infections to 205,356, and cumulative tests conducted so far are 2,149,379.

The new cases were from 7067 samples analyzed in the last 24 hours marking a positivity rate of 15.4 per cent.

In a statement to the media houses, the Ministry of Health said that the new patients comprised 1049 Kenyans and 36 foreigners aged between one month and 100 years.

In terms of gender, 550 were females and 535 males.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced 25 more deaths raising the death toll to 3995. One of the patients died in the last 24 hours, while 24 are late deaths reported after conducting facility record audits on diverse dates in the months of August, September, October and November 2020 and March, April and July 2021.

Meanwhile, 403 patients have recovered from the disease, with 305 from the Home-Based Isolation and Care program, while 98 are from various health facilities countrywide.

Total recoveries now stand at 190,095, of whom 151,451 are from the Home Based Care and Isolation program, while 38,644 are from various health facilities countrywide.

As of Tuesday, a total of 1,540 patients are currently admitted to various health facilities countrywide, while 4,112 are under the Home-Based Isolation and Care program.

One hundred ninety patients are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 44 of whom are on ventilatory support and 94 on supplemental, while 52 patients are under observation.

Another 475 patients are separately on supplemental oxygen with437 of them in general wards and 38 in High Dependency Units (HDU).

As of August 2, 2021, a total of 1,734,013 vaccines had been administered across the country. Of these, the total first doses are 1,067,615, while the second doses are 666,398.

The uptake of the second dose among those who received their first dose is at 62.4%, with the majority being males at 55% while females are at 45%. The proportion of adults fully vaccinated is 2.4%.

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Optimism for improved bilateral cooperation as Tanzanian President Suluhu visits Rwanda .
August 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

-Rwanda-Tanzania ties could grow even stronger

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

President Kagame and Samia of Tanzania after a tour of Volkswagen Rwanda at the Kigali Special Economic Zone. Photo courtesy

As Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan started her two-day maiden visit on Monday 3rd August 2021 as the head of State in Rwanda, both countries expressed optimism that the bilateral ties will even grow further and the East African Community will also benefit as a bloc.

Both Rwanda and Tanzania are member States of the six Member East African bloc.

President Suluhu who was accompanied by a delegation from Tanzania was received at the Kigali International Airport by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Dr. Vincent Biruta before she visited the Kigali memorial site where over 250,000 victims of the 1994 Genocide are buried.

There, president Suluhu laid wreaths on the grave and wrote in a visitor’s book that what happened was a tragic story and that African leaders should stand firm to ensure that no such tragedy happens again on the continent.

Shortly after the visit, both the heads of state hold one on one talks before they jointly addressed the media

Both the heads of the state expressed commitment to back a stronger, prosperous East African Community as they strive to the economic recovery after the sector was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As part of the visit, four bilateral Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of information and communication technology, immigration matters, education matters as well as health.

 “We share more than just a border; strong historical ties and a common aspiration to deliver prosperity to our people have always been central to our cooperation,” he said.

“Rwanda stands ready to work closely to work with our brothers and sisters in Tanzania in the context of the East African Community and beyond to speed up our countries’ and region’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The President  said the challenges that the region was faced with can only be addressed by unwavering solidarity and seizing opportunities for mutually beneficial partnerships.

“I look forward to a stronger, prosperous East African Community,” he said.

 “This gives new impetus to key infrastructure projects of mutual benefits particularly the standard gauge railway line, milk production, and improved port logistics,” he said.

Among the envisaged infrastructure projects that Rwanda shares with Tanzania includes a rail line that is seen as key in easing movement of goods across the Central Corridor.

President Suluhu described president Kagame as a brother said that their talks had covered subjects including strengthening economic cooperation, regional integration, cooperation on aspects such as ICT, combating Covid-19 and fostering recovery

“ Our talks focused of fostering cooperation and economy as the main issues to foster development, we also discussed how to work together to advance our regional cooperation, we thanks Rwanda for its strides in boosting ICT and we will work with Rwanda to boost ICT back home,” President Suhulu said.

Suluhu added that going forward, the two countries have an opportunity to build on the historic ties to expand the current areas of cooperation.

It is expected that on the second day of president Suluhu’s maiden visit, both heads of state will tour several companies in various sectors including the Special Economic Zone which is home to 120 companies with activities ranging from manufacturing, agro-processing and education among others.

Tanzania is one of the countries with the majority of companies that set up factories in the Special Economic Zone and one of ten countries with a strong economy in Africa.

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Rhino population in Kenya rise by 11 percent.
August 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Kenya has recorded a surge in the Rhino population thanks to the continuous decline in poaching incidents, announced the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and partners like the IFAW had laid down measures to protect the highly sought animals for their horns.

For example, in 2015, Kenya Wildlife Service put in place a forensic laboratory with a genetic database of rhino and elephant DNA and a monitoring system.

The laboratory’s task is to obtain critical data, which enables scientists to track endangered species.

To aid in the prosecution of wildlife crimes against rhinos and elephants, KWS Law Enforcement Academy incorporated into its curriculum the training of wildlife rangers in forensic investigations.

In a statement on Monday, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Regional Director for East Africa James Isiche said the rhino numbers in the East African nation have risen from  1,441 in 2019 to 1,605 in 2020.

Isiche noted that for the first time in a long time had no rhinos die due to poaching.

“We congratulate all wildlife security partners and agencies for this major achievement in fighting wildlife crime and keeping Kenya’s rhinos safe,” he stated.

“The last eight years have seen a continuous decline in Rhino poaching incidences, which is a testament of the measures put in place to safeguard rhinos. IFAW is glad to have a long-standing partnership with KWS and once again wish to commend the staff that put their lives in harm’s way just to ensure that Kenya’s wildlife heritage is preserved,” Isiche added.

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We Are The Most Neglected Security Agency In Ghana – Prison Commander Peter Afari Mintah.
August 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

The Winneba Prison Commander, ADP Peter Afari Mintah has lamented over the poor state of prisons across the country.

According to him, the Ghana Prisons Service is the most neglected security agency in Ghana even though it plays a very important role in the delivery of justice in the country.

Speaking at a sensitization workshop for vagrants in the Effutu Municipality in the Central Region, ADP Afari Mintah, blamed the situation on the low-value Ghanaians place on the Prison sector. He added that the status quo is disappointing because this institution is critical to the development and transformation of inmates. 

ADP Peter Afari Mintah lamented that, when armed policemen arrest notorious criminals they spend a maximum of 48 hours in their custody and after such people are taken to court and sentenced to 10, 15, 20 years or more, it is the weaponless prisons officers who keep such dangerous criminals until their release but when comes to matters of the prisons very few people talk for better conditions of service for prison officers and for that matter getting state of the art equipment to develop the sector.

He further stated that bad perception about prisoners generally and poor infrastructure is making prions management difficult. Even with the GHC1.80 feeding a day per prisoner, realistically, it is around GHC1.10 pesewas as the money is given to contractors who also take their profits from that amount. So if he is supposed to supply food items worth GHC1.80 at the end of the day he will be able to supply about GHC1.10.

Ghana’s prisons system is undoubtedly one of the most deplorable in Africa as majority of all the prisons in Ghana were handed over by colonial masters that were primarily not meant for humans. Meanwhile the prison inmates who are packed like sardines usually live in inhumane conditions as the prisons are overpopulated.

One of the biggest prisons in Ghana is the Nsawam Prison which is meant to house up to 700 inmates has now have over 4,000 of them living there. As a result of the shameful situation across the country, an NGO, Crime Check Foundation (CCF) in partnership with the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) have begun a sensitization programe named; Decriminalizing Vagrancy Laws And Advocacy (DVLA) to help decongest the prisons. 

The project aims at educating the poor on assembly by-laws to reduce the rate at which petty offenders get jailed for breaking the laws due to their economic conditions.

It is also increasing citizens’ knowledge on the bye-laws of the MMDAs and other relevant penal codes to reduce violations, arrests, fines, and imprisonment of citizens under the laws.

When achieved, the objective will foster an enabling environment for vagrants; consisting of the homeless, street hawkers, head porters, vendors, truck pushers, market women, artisans, and other identifiable and vulnerable groups to know, claim and exercise their rights and responsibilities in Ghana.


Besides, the CCF and OSIWA are also calling on the government to put in place a non-custodial law that will allow such offenders to offer community service instead of being jailed at the expense of the taxpayer.  In view of the DVLA project objectives, the Winneba Prison Commander, ADP Peter Afari Mintah welcomed the move, saying the enactment of a non-custodial law will drastically reduce the huge numbers at the prisons particularly petty offenders and suspects who are kept on remand for years.

ADP Peter Afari Mintah also commended the Crime Check Foundation saying the NGO has been very instrumental in the reintegration of ex-convicts into society. The Prison Commander further took the vagrants through the prison system in Ghana stating that they’re unfit for purpose. He, therefore, cautioned them against flouting the laws.


He also appealed to corporate bodies and philanthropists to come to the aid of the agency. The Attorney General, Godfred Dame in May this year gave an assurance that government is in the process of enacting a non-custodial sentencing law and was positive the bill will be passed into law before the current Parliament expires.

According to Attorney General  there are to first have to seek policy approval for the enactment of a law and when the approval is given, we have to come back to draft it. After drafting, we have to submit it for stakeholder consultation, and that process is very long. After the stakeholder consultation, they will submit it to the cabinet.

Cabinet will then also consider the bill and changes will be made before the Attorney General forwards it to Parliament for consideration and passage. The one-year project is being rolled out in 12 metropolitan assemblies in three regions: Greater Accra, Ashanti, and Central. It has already sensitized 1200 vagrants about their rights and responsibilities to prevent any misunderstandings with the assemblies.

 

 

 

 

 

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Don’t Give Subscribers’ Mobile Money Details To Government– Court Orders Telcos.
August 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah.

The High Court in Accra General Jurisdiction presided over by Justice Rebecca Sitties has ordered Ghana Telecommunications Company Limited and Stratcom (MTN Ghana Limited) and all network service providers not to release subscribers Mobile Money details to government.

A private legal practitioner, Francis Kwarteng Arthur, went to the High Court to challenge the President’s order contained in Executive Instrument (EI) Number 63 and the manner in which the order was being implemented.

Through the EI 63, government through Kelni GVG made a request to the telecommunication networks and service providers to hand over the personal information of all customers and subscribers to the President to conduct contact tracing to control the spread of the deadly covid-19.

Mr Arthur through his Lawyer Justice Srem Sai sued the Ghana Telecommunications Network (1st, Statcom (MTN) (2nd), Kelni GVG (3rd), the National Communications Authority (4th) and the Attorney General (5th Respondents) for interference and invasion of privacy.

In a 115-page ruling delivered on July 24, the court ordered the National Communication Authority to supervise the clearing of already released data from both electronic and manual systems from today, July 30, 2021.

“It is hereby ordered that 1st and 2nd Respondents and all other telecommunications Network and service providers be and are hereby restrained from providing the President, the Government, 3rd and 4th Respondents their agents, assigns or workmen however described with the details and unhashed details of Applicant’s mobile money and that of all other mobile money subscribers as 3rd Respondent requested in the email correspondence of 27th March 2020 to 1st and 2nd Respondents and Ugochukwu Uzoka of Glomobile Ghana and any other Telecommunication Network and service provider with effect from the date of the ruling.

“It is further ordered that all the mobile money details and unlashed mobile money details of Applicant and that of all other mobile money subscribers which 1st and 2nd Respondents and other Telecommunication Network and service providers have already provided to the President, the Government, 3rd and 4th Respondents or their agents, assigns or workmen however described per the request of 3rd respondent’s communication dated 27th March 2020 be retrieved and cleared from all manual and electronic records of the President, the government, 3rd and 4th Respondents, their agents, assigns or workmen however described under the supervision of 4th Respondent within 14 days from July 30, 2021,” the court-ordered.

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Ghana’s Economy Entered Into Covid-19 Pandemic With Favorable Outlook – IMF.
August 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

The International Monetary Fund has brought to an end the argument that Ghana’s economy was experiencing challenges prior to Covid-19, saying, the country entered the Covid-19 pandemic with a favorable economic outlook.

It said in a detailed Article IV Consultation Document that before the pandemic hit, the economy had been expected to grow at 5.8% in 2020. The authorities had maintained macroeconomic stability following the successful completion of the Extended Credit Facility programme in 2019.

The Fund emphasized that an extensive banking sector cleanup, together with an improved supervisory and regulatory framework, had laid the foundations for financial stability. It further said that the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic helped save lives and safeguard livelihoods.

According to the IMF to contain the spread of Covid-19, the government implemented social distancing restrictions, including a partial lockdown in April 2020 and school and border closures. Growth slowed, food prices spiked, and exports were affected by a large decline in oil prices. However, a major monetary and fiscal policy relaxation cushioned the pandemic impact on economic activity.

The Bretton Wood institution also said an economic recovery is underway, but fiscal rigidities and debt vulnerabilities have increased, saying, the rebound in activity coincided with the gradual easing of social distancing restrictions and the launch of an ambitious vaccination campaign.

The Government policies contributed to a record 2020 fiscal deficit, a sharp increase in public sector debt, and rising debt service costs. The 2021 budget undertook a difficult but important shift towards medium-term fiscal consolidation. The economic impact of the pandemic is fueling social demands on the government to reverse the decline in living standards and address youth unemployment.

Growth slowed from 6.5% in 2019 to 0.4% in 2020, due to lower mining production and the impact of Covid-19 restrictions, equivalent to an income per capita decline of 1.7%.

The Fund to this end said poverty increased, and half of all households reduced food spending during the partial lockdown. However, the economy avoided the contractions seen across the region.

The growth should rebound to 4.7% in 2021, supported by a strong cocoa season and a recovery in mining and services, although the government fight against illegal mining may affect small-scale gold production while delayed well-drilling will continue to affect oil production this year.

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Rugby Africa Targets Women’s Rugby in all Unions – Women’s Rugby Advisory Committee President Paulina Lanco
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Paulina Lanco, President of the Women’s Rugby Advisory Committee

The president of the Women’s Rugby Advisory Committee Paulina Lanco has said she sees a bright future ahead for Women’s Rugby on the African continent as efforts have been redoubled to advance the women’s game to about 40 per cent registered players being women by 2025.

“I hope for a genderless sport, one with equal opportunity, equal exposure, equal pay and based on merit,” Madam Paulina Lanco told Pan African Visions. 

In an exclusive interview, the President who is also a Rugby Africa Exco member detailed the strides made in the advancement of women’s rugby on the continent, the challenges and the future of the game in the next ten years.

According to Paulina Lanco, there is also a lack of pathway development and elite competition at the U20 level. “This is currently a priority agenda in which we are lobbying accordingly with the hope of launching a pilot in 2022,” she said.

Pan African Visions: Could we start this interview by getting an introduction of the Rugby Africa’s Women’s Advisory Committee (WRAC) that you lead?

Paulina Lanco: In line with our strategic plan at Rugby Africa (RA) and in noting that women’s rugby is a growing and performance-driven sport, and one that aims to attract investments and empower women at all levels and in all structures of the game, women’s rugby represents a key strategic area of growth for RA. In line with this commitment, WRAC was approved by the Rugby Africa (RA) EXCO in August 2020 and I was duly nominated as its founding President.

Our mandate is to take lead in the development of Gender Inclusion and Women’s Rugby in the region. To do so I have a 7-member committee and in line with our women strategic plan, we have four (4) subcommittees i.e. Communication and PR, Competition and Finance, Player Welfare and Participation and last but not least, Leadership Training and Conferences.

Pan African Visions: In what shape is women’s rugby in the African continent today, and what kind of changes have taken place since you took over leadership of the committee?

Paulina Lanco: Due to the ongoing pandemic, a number of scheduled activities and tournaments were and have been greatly interfered with in the last year. Despite this however, WRAC continues to lead from the front and one of the most notable changes has been the streamlining of our Women’s Rugby leadership (with the formation of WRAC), strengthening the management through the appointment of a Women’s Rugby Manager and introducing an enhanced Women’s competition program. We also saw the the launch of the Africa Women’s Rugby Network, the launch of the regional Unstoppables Campaign in partnership with World Rugby and the eventual appointment of 12 Women’s Rugby ambassadors across Africa. Last but not least, virtual training and speaking engagements were launched for both technical teams and women in rugby and we are soon looking to launch the first ever Virtual Training Management Program for women in rugby management.

Pan African Visions: Can we get some more statistics or figures on the growth or state of women’s rugby, and in which parts of the continent have you seen progress?

Paulina Lanco: Growth has been steady and in reference to data provided by World Rugby, in 2012 we stood at 47,600; 2018 at 261, 300 and the latest data as at October, 2020 stood at 386,000+.

Our strategic ambition is to have 40% of registered players being women by 2025. We currently stand at 27.2%.

Unfortunately, the October 2020 statistics do not provide a breakdown in order of countries however if the 2018 data is anything to go by, it would appear that the leading African Nations are South Africa with 200,00+ players followed by Kenya, Madagascar and Tunisia. Additionally, and excitingly so, we have seen the emergence of Women’s Rugby in countries like Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa and we are looking to see more nations in that region rise up!

Pan African Visions: What are some of the big challenges facing your leadership and women’s rugby across the continent?

Paulina Lanco: Funding remains a major challenge with the Men’s game still receiving a bigger percentage of available funding. In this regard we are working to strengthen our women’s product so as to attract more funding.

Lack of enough competitions and exposure: We are working towards improved, better and more diverse competitions if we are to compete strongly at the world stage. There is also the lack of a pathway development and elite competition at U20 level. This is currently a priority agenda in which we are lobbying accordingly with the hope of launching a pilot in 2022.

There is also a lack of strong domestic women’s leagues at member union level. We are in constant discussion with the unions and are looking to support where effort is evident and as we can.

Pan African Visions: May we know the steps being taken to ensure that the game is supported primarily for women?

Paulina Lanco: The most notable commitment and support in this time of the global pandemic has been the big communication and marketing effort largely through the Unstoppable campaign in which 75% of all content posted on Rugby Africa’s networks during the first semester of 2021 relates to women’s rugby. The primary objective and aim is to be Visible, Viable and Unstoppable! The objective of the campaign is about changing perceptions, creating an appeal, telling the inspiring stories and encouraging more girls and women to join and stay in rugby.

Additionally, a women specific grant was availed to respective RA member unions in support of Return to Play among other activities.

Pan African Visions: Who are some of the big names in corporate and individual actors that are supporting you in the development and growth of women’s rugby in Africa?

Paulina Lanco: Société Générale is an official sponsor of women’s rugby. Corporates are interested to support the growth of the women’s game and that’s why we are trying to create attractive products like a new 15 a side competition, more sevens tournaments in regions, and an U20 girls’ competition. World Rugby is definitely pushing and supporting us in this mission and we have great support from the RA President Khaled Babbou and members of EXCO.

Pan African Visions: What are some of the major competitions for women’s rugby in Africa today?

Paulina Lanco: Africa Women’s Sevens tournament is the top continental tournament to qualify African Representatives for Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and the 7s Rugby World Cup. The next 7s Rugby World Cup is happening in Cape Town, South Africa in September 2022.

Women’s 15s: World Rugby recently announced the launch of a yearly W15 global competition divided into three tiers. This is fantastic news as it creates an aspiration for teams and an incentive for unions to invest more into their women’s rugby program. Rugby Africa will build an adequate qualification competition for this event starting in 2022. Right now, and for the first time ever in Africa, we organized through the recently concluded Rugby Africa Cup (RAC) tournaments, a series of test matches across the continent to feature as many women’s teams as possible and evaluate their levels.

We started in Ouagadougou where Burkina Faso and Cameroon played two matches and Cameroon emerged stronger.

We continued in Nairobi with two matches between Kenya and Madagascar, in Kampala with two matches between Uganda and Zimbabwe and had scheduled one in Tunisia with a three team tournament between Tunisia, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal; however due to Covid-19 the last one was disrupted.

This means a total of 6 matches, which is unprecedented in Women’s 15s continental rugby. We were positively impressed by the enthusiastic response from Unions when we launched this initiative and their commitment to get ready and compete despite the difficult times we are in with the pandemic.

Women’s Rugby Advisory Committee President Paulina Lanco presents the winner’s trophy to Madagascar Captain during the RAC tournament held in Kenya

Pan African Visions: We understand there is the #AfricaAsOne campaign coming up; could you shed some light on this for us?

Paulina Lanco: This campaign is to embody the strength in our diversity and our ability to communicate through sports despite the language barrier; It showcases our ability when we are down to reach back, give a hand and rise together as one when the moment calls for it and importantly it is a call for unification, a moment to stand As Africa, As One for we are stronger together!

Pan African Visions: South Africa will participate in the next women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2022 and Kenya’s women are due to compete in rugby sevens at this summer’s scheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics, how significant are these developments to you?

Paulina Lanco: They are great faith builders and milestones for us and I commend both the unions and players concerned. Indeed, they prove that our strategy is on the right path. This is more so, noting that we aim to have at least 4 African teams in the top 30 worldwide, 2 teams competing in the Women’s Rugby World Cup and in the World Series. 

Pan African Visions: Let us focus a bit on my home country, Cameroon, the country was suspended from Rugby and was eventually brought back, how will you rate the country’s participation so far?

Paulina Lanco: It is good to acknowledge that Cameroon was only reinstated as a full World Rugby member in November, 2020. As such and noting the strong performance by the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon Women’s 15 A Side team at the RAC in June duly hosted by Burkina Faso, I truly commend their President, Marc Essono for that great outcome and would urge that he builds upon it even as he looks to support their male counterparts who unfortunately fell at the hands of the host.

Paulina Lanco with a few players from Zimbabwe 15s team taken at the conclusion of the RAC tournament hosted in Zimbabwe

Pan African Visions: What do you advise Cameroon to do to attract more females and males to the game looking at the limited following Rugby has within the country?

Paulina Lanco: Cameroon has great athletic potential and there is a noted existing and growing passion for Rugby. We also continue to see great media exposure and coverage more so on social media platforms. As such and with the known dedication of their President who is himself a rugby man and with the assured support of Rugby Africa, it is my belief that Cameroon with further exposure and a vibrant domestic league, will in days to come be a rugby powerhouse in Africa. Of course, you too can help (as you are now) by giving them continued exposure and more so a platform to be seen and heard.

Pan African Visions: Lastly, how do you see the development of Women’s rugby on the African continent in the next 10 years?

Paulina Lanco: I hope for a genderless sport, one with equal opportunity, equal exposure, and equal pay and based on merit.

Additionally, our aim and ambition as Rugby Africa is to see women’s rugby well established in all our unions, to see each men and boys competition matched with a women and girls’ competition. We aim to have more teams and more competitive teams qualify to play in international events such as World Series and Women 15s global competition. We believe we can bridge the gap between Africa and the rest of the world with women’s rugby, as the athletic and youth potential on our continent is unparalleled.

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Kenya’s wait for medals in the Tokyo Olympic games ends
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

World champion Hellen Obiri won a silver medal after emerging second in women’s 5000m

On Monday, August 2, 2021, Lackluster Kenya bagged two medals in the ongoing Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

World champion Hellen Obiri won a silver medal after emerging second in women’s 5000m, and she clocked 14:38:36. The gold medal went to the winner Dutch Sifan Hassan who clocked 14:36:79.

Elsewhere, Benjamin Kigen bagged a bronze medal after finishing third in the men’s 3000m steeplechase. Kigen, the African champion, finished behind the winner Soufiane El Bakkali of Morroco and second-placed Lamecha Girma of Ethiopia.

El Bakkali clocked 8:08:90, Girma 8:10:38 and Kigen 8:10:45.

The Moroccan ended Kenya’s dominance in the race, which has lasted for 36 years. The last time Kenya lost in 3000m steeplechase was in 1984.

However, the country’s quest for the gold medal at the global event continues as Ferguson Rotich and Emmanuel Korir head to 800m men’s finals on Wednesday, August 4, 2021.

The two emerged first and second place in the 800m semi-final held on Sunday, August 1.

Kenya is currently in position 62 with two medals.

China leads the log with 62 medals, 29 gold, 17 silver, and bronze, followed by the US with a total of 64,  gold 22, silver 25, and bronze 17.  The host Japan close the third-best bracket with 33 medals, 17 of them being gold, silver 16, and bronze 10.

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Relief as Emirates Airline introduces easy payment options for Kenyan travelers.
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

On Monday, August 2, Emirates Airlines announced the introduction of convenient payment methods for Kenyan travellers to offer them a better real-time user experience on the airline’s website and app when planning their travel.

In a statement, the airline said customers can now purchase their flight tickets using local debit, and credit cards, mobile money or through mobile banking and have their ticket issued within minutes.

According to Emirates Kenya Manager Christophe Leloup, the new options provide greater convenience for customers by switching from cash to online bank transfers from 12 local banks or three mobile wallet providers.

He said despite the currency, location, bank, or card; travellers will find a payment solution that suits them when booking.

“We have worked very hard to provide them with a secure and frictionless experience through more local banking partners, mobile money providers and a host of other options to facilitate payments,” said Leloup.

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Police gun down two suspects in carjacking ordeal in Nairobi.
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Police on Sunday night shot dead two thugs in a botched carjacking in Nairobi’s Kilimani areas.

 Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), in a statement on Monday, said the duo, armed with a Russian-made pistol and two other handguns,  subdued a taxi driver and his client at Kilimani’s Chania Avenue, before robbing them of their mobile phones and taking over their Toyota Vitz.

DCI detectives who responded to a distress call by the victims blocked the robbers as they attempted to escape. They were ordered to surrender, but they started shooting at the officers as they tried to flee on foot.

The police officers responded with quick shots, killing the robbers.

Four mobile phones, including the two stolen from the victims, were recovered alongside three guns with six unspent rounds.

The incident comes amid a surge in robbery and mugging cases in Nairobi Central Business District and its environs.

DCI boss George Kinoti had appealed to public members to report mugging cases to the police instead of sharing such cases on social media.

Kinoti said sharing mugging cases on social media is good for sensitization but encouraged public members to file formal complaints to help the police and the prosecution build water-tight cases against perpetrators once arrests are made.

“Many are scenarios when suspected muggers go scot-free even after they have been arrested along various Streets and Walks within the CBD, as the few who report at the station fail to pursue their cases or never turn up for hearings,” said the DCI boss.

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Mozambique: Terrorists attacks could spread to other provinces, warns ex- guerilla.
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

The arrival of regional troops from neighbouring countries to fight terrorism in Cabo Delgado province could cause the insurgency to spread, a former guerrilla commander has warned.

Hermínio Morais, who led guerrillas for opposition party Renamo when it was at war with the government, said: “I remember that when the Zimbabwean forces came to support the Mozambican government in fighting Renamo, the revolutionaries began to spread out and split into groups that were then fed by the massive recruitment of young people; this could happen with terrorism in Cabo Delgado”.

The insurgency could spread to the adjacent provinces of Niassa and Nampula, he warned, adding that the regional force needed to have a joint command, to prevent atrocities and looting.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) force has begun arriving in Mozambique, where troops from South Africa and 296 from Botswana are already in place, while a contingent from Zimbabwe is on standby and ready to travel to Cabo Delgado.

Last week Angola’s parliament agreed to send 20 soldiers as military advisers to help fight terrorism in Cabo Delgado province, as part of the SADC’s military force.

The officers will start a three-month mission on 6 August, but will not be involved in combat.

The Angola mission comprises 11 officers to advise the FDS and 9 air force crew members for an Ilyushin-76 transport plane, which will be be included as part of the mission. The initial cost of sending the troops would be $675,000, Francisco Pereira Furtado, Angola’s head of the president’s security office, said.

The total budget for the SADC mission is $12.9m, of which Angola will contribute just over $1m.

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TotalEnergies Exploration & Production President Arnaud Breuillac Commits to African Energy Week in Cape Town, Drives African Exploration Narrative.
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

As a confirmed speaker and participant at African Energy Week in Cape Town, Arnaud Breuillac will promote African exploration and production, leading a constructive discussion on the role of oil and gas in Africa’s energy future.

Arnaud Breuillac, President – Exploration & Production, TotalEnergies, has confirmed his attendance and participation at African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 taking place in Cape Town on the 9th-12th of November. Representing one of the seven supermajor oil companies worldwide, and one of Africa’s most active oil and gas explorers and producers, Breuillac’s participation at AEW 2021 is significant and speaks to the caliber of the event as Africa’s premier energy conference. By networking and participating in AEW 2021’s comprehensive event program, Breuillac will promote the role of oil and gas in Africa’s energy future, showcase some of TotalEnergies greatest achievements, and emphasize the value of an Africa-centric energy transition in which natural gas plays a major role.

Active in more than 130 countries worldwide and with an extensive footprint across the African continent, TotalEnergies is one of Africa’s top oil explorers and producers – producing more than 900,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2019. TotalEnergies remains committed to exploring Africa with several large-scale E&P projects, and Breuillac’s participation at AEW 2021 will only enhance the company’s objectives in this area. Notably, the French oil major’s production in sub-Saharan Africa predominantly focuses on Angola, Nigeria, the Congo and Gabon – the Gulf of Guinea makes up 25% of the company’s production. With existing exploration stakes in the Gulf of Guinea, the company has redirected its attention to exploration within West Africa – through stakes in Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea and Côte d’ivoire – as well in Southern Africa with stakes in Namibia and South Africa. If early seismic data is to be believed, compared to Angola there is equal, if not even more, promise in new discoveries offshore Namibia. Currently, all eyes are on Total’s possibly play-opening Venus 1- prospect, which may turn out to be the largest discovery in Africa in a decade. An ultra-deepwater well in the Orange Basin, which straddles the border with South Africa, Venus-1 is thought to have at least 2 billion barrels of oil in place. If Venus-1 is successful, it’s like to attract even more attention to the area. Fortunately, the Namibian government’s oil-friendly policies make it easy for foreign companies to do business there. The fiscal regime is positive, and the state-owned oil company, the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR), is a cooperative partner. It also helps that Namibia is politically stable and has some of the best-developed infrastructure on the continent, including a modern electricity distribution grid. Like its neighbors to the west, South Africa has been the site of considerable excitement over frontier discoveries, including Total’s Brulpadda, which opened up the Outeniqua basin in 2019. Brulpadda is considered a world-class oil and gas play that holds as much as 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent of gas and condensate light oil.

In line with AEW 2021’s oil and gas agenda, Breuillac’s participation will enhance a discussion on African E&P, showcasing the company’s achievements and future objectives.

Meanwhile, in addition to being one of Africa’s biggest oil explorers, TotalEnergies has turned a focus to natural gas, recognizing the role of the resource as an intermediary in the energy transition and capitalizing on the vast opportunities present in African markets. Notably, some of TotalEnergies most significant natural gas projects in Africa include the $20 billion Mozambique Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) project; the $4 billion Nigeria LNG Train 7 project; and the $12 billion integrated LNG project in Soyo, Angola. By emphasizing the value of these projects, and initiating a discussion on the role of natural gas in Africa, Breuillac will drive the discussion on the role of natural gas.

“Breuillac’s participation at AEW 2021 in Cape Town emphasizes that oil and gas continue to have a significant role to play in Africa’s energy future. We are proud to host representatives from one of the world’s supermajors, and are excited for the valuable input and dialogue that Breuillac will present at AEW 2021. The African Energy Chamber (AEC) is a strong advocate for both oil and natural gas, and by providing a platform whereby a discussion on the integration, rather than elimination, of oil and gas can be presented, AEW 2021 aims to drive investment and associated economic growth across Africa,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.

Despite being a strong advocate for oil and gas, TotalEnergies has placed sustainable performance, environmental safeguarding, and Corporate Social Responsibility at the heart of its operations. With an ambition to become a world leader in the energy transition, and the uptake of renewable energy developments comprising a significant part of the company’s portfolio, TotalEnergies intends to manage its operations with the aim of working in a sustainable, active and positive manner in all host countries. By incorporating clean energy into its portfolio, and redirecting a focus on renewable energy opportunities in Africa, TotalEnergies aims to address the two-fold challenge prevalent in Africa today: satisfying the energy needs of an ever-growing world population while reducing global warming.

In realizing the company’s ambitious target of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050, TotalEnergies has executed a series of initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at its operations while ensuring development and associated economic benefits in host countries are not at risk. By improving energy efficiency, eliminating routine flaring, electrifying its processes and reducing methane emissions, TotalEnergies is not abandoning oil and gas for renewables, but is focusing on an integrated approach to energy.

By promoting the utilization of oil – ensuring operations are environmentally friendly and efficient – as well as the role of natural gas in providing a cleaner and more reliable energy source in the long-term, TotalEnergies emphasizes an adapted energy transition vital for Africa’s economic growth. Breuillac’s participation at AEW 2021 will only further promote Africa’s energy transition by emphasizing the role that oil and gas continues to play in Africa’s energy future.

For more information about Africa’s premier energy event, visit www.aew2021.com or energychamber.org and/or email Amina Williams at amina.williams@energychamber.org

For registration-related inquiries, please contact registration@aew2021.com  

For sales-related inquiries, please contact sales@aew2021.com 

For media-related inquiries, please contact media@aew2021.com 

For speaker-related inquiries, please contact speakers@aew2021.com

*African Energy Week

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Free Markets and an Enabling Environment: Ghana’s Petroleum Commission to Demonstrate How Pragmatic Regulation Drives Investment at African Energy Week in Cape Town.
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments
Petroleum Commission CEO Egbert Faibille

Petroleum Commission CEO Egbert Faibille will drive a strong narrative on the value of market-driven policies and progressive regulation in attracting investment, increasing private sector participation, and accelerating economic growth. 

Egbert Faibille, CEO of the Petroleum Commission of Ghana, has confirmed his attendance and participation at African Energy Week (AEW) 2021, taking place in Cape Town on the 9th-12th of November. Confirmed to deliver a keynote address at the event, Faibille will attend AEW 2021 with a delegation of industry leaders and executives from Ghana, including Hon. Minister Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempher and representatives from the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC). Representing one of Africa’s most promising natural gas sectors, and the agency responsible for Ghana’s upstream oil and gas sector, Faibille will drive a discussion on Africa’s gas miracle, pushing a strong narrative on the role of effective regulation and upstream oil and gas activities in driving continent wide energy sector and economic growth. 

As CEO of the Petroleum Commission, the Ghanaian state agency responsible for the regulation, management and coordination of all upstream oil and gas activities, Faibille plays a fundamental role in expanding the country’s oil and gas industry. Despite having only been established in 2011, in response to the discovery of significant commercial hydrocarbon deposits, the Petroleum Commission has accelerated energy sector growth, and positioned the country as an attractive investment destination through productive, industry focused regulation. Under the auspices of the Minister of Energy, and built against a backdrop of reformed market-driven policies, the Commission has positioned Ghana as a highly competitive destination for upstream investment, leading to the rapid increase in oil and gas exploration and development. 

Notably, one of the Commissions primary achievements has been the creation and implementation of one of the most transparent, modern, and industry-focused regulatory frameworks in Africa, leading to an influx of private sector participation and international investment. Having restructured its energy sector from the ground up, enforcing legislature that prioritizes women inclusivity, local content, and the increasing ease of doing business for all stakeholders, Ghana has positioned itself as the go-to market for investment. What’s more, the Commission has created an impressive benchmark for other African nations seeking investment and the increase in domestic exploration and production. Ghana is a prime example of how regulation can drive energy sector success and AEW 2021 aims to emphasize this. 

Accordingly, both the Ministry and the Commission have kick-started Ghana’s energy sector, driving new exploration and associated oil and natural gas developments. Some of the most noteworthy oil and gas achievements in the country include the billion-dollar discovery made by local company Springfield E&P Ltd. in the West Cape Three Points Block 2 area; the 150,000 barrels per day Jubilee oil field; the 3.4 million-ton Tema Liquified Natural Gas terminal; the 1,000MW Sankofa gas-to-power project; and the West African Gas Pipeline project. By ensuring an investor friendly business climate, Ghana now boasts the participation of some of the world’s most significant oil majors. Notable actors include Aker Energy, Camal Energy, Sahara Group, and Swiss African Petroleum with major oil and gas operators including Tullow, Kosmos Energy, Eni, ExxonMobil, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Hess Ghana Limited, Springfield E&P, and GNPC. By focusing on creating an enabling environment for investors, the Commission has driven progress in the sector. 

“Ghana represents one of Africa’s most successful new markets with world-class projects establishing the country as a regional oil, gas, and power hub. The Commission has done an exceptional job in establishing an enabling environment, pushing through market-driven policies and progressive legislature that has accelerated growth and interest in the oil and gas sector. By participating at AEW 2021 in Cape Town, Ghana will showcase the value and role of regulation, driving a strong narrative that emphasizes reform and transformation. We look forward to hearing Faibille’s insights and aim to further promote Ghana’s energy sector at AEW 2021,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. 

For more information about Africa’s premier energy event, visit www.aew2021.com or energychamber.org and/or email Amina Williams at amina.williams@energychamber.org  

For registration-related inquiries, please contact registration@aew2021.com    

For sales-related inquiries, please contact sales@aew2021.com   

For media-related inquiries, please contact media@aew2021.com   

For speaker-related inquiries, please contact speakers@aew2021.com

*African Energy Chamber

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Cameroon:Women Want Greater Role in the Peace Process.
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Women peace activists and others say women should be considered in the peace process

Speaking with one voice and with their eyes firmly fixed on the objective of peace, women from across the country have enjoined all key stakeholders to the conflicts to undertake concrete and immediate actions to end the ongoing hostilities while making women part of the peace process.

The women made the call after the conclusion of the first National Women’s Convention for Peace that took place on July 29, 30 and 31 at the Palais des Congres in Yaounde.

The National Women’s Convention for Peace in Cameroon is the first initiative of its kind: a gathering of over 1,000 women (women peace activists, displaced women and girls, victims of war-related violence and others) from all 10 regions of Cameroon, including all 58 divisions and all 360 sub-Divisions – to pledge their knowledge and experience to the peace process, claim their place to contribute meaningfully to ending the security crises and make an unequivocal call for peace now.

The three days session saw presentations on conflict sexual abuse, psychosocial support and trauma healing; the process of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration; the need to Create trauma healing centres in all regions.

According to the women, there should be “equal and permanent involvement of Women peace mediators and negotiators in peace processes at all levels, while enforcing their protection at all times, according to the four pillars of the UN Resolution 1325.”

Women have affirmed their total commitment to work for the return and consolidation of peace

“Women have the credibility, trust and influence earned from years of work at the community level. They are capable of picking up the pieces during the crisis, and use it as leverage during peace-building processes when official responses seem inadequate or slow,” Yvonne Muma, president of the Cameroon Women’s Peace Movement, CAWOPEM.

“Women recognise the importance of linking the discussions at the negotiation table to the communities (Grassroots) so that people who are most affected are consulted and informed.”

The role of women in their strides in preaching peace and bringing about solutions to crisis is well documented. However, women are most at times relegated to the background or are not even consulted in the peace process.

“Despite our intimate knowledge of what obtains, the legitimacy we have as members of the society, the responsibilities we voluntarily take on and the solutions we provide, we are often sidelined to the lowest level of multi-track processes.” She added.

“We are women. We are strong. We have passion. We want to inspire people to recognize humanity. We want people to have the right to live on peace and harmony despise anonymous, politics, race and gender,” Rosa Emilia Salamanca,

Director of Corporación de Investigación y Acción Social y Económia (CIASE), a Colombian peacebuilding organisation with a particular focus on women’s rights and strengthening public policy said.

On her part, the Minister of Women and the Family, Marie Abena Ondoa told the women: “We have received the call for peace and responded by we are ready, just as the light makes the darkness disappear, only peace can make war disappear.”

The National Women’s Convention for Peace in Cameroon sent a strong collective signal that Cameroonian women are longing for peace

She added: “Wherever women’s voices rise in unison the world pays attention. The declaration moved from a paper in our hands to a pledge in our hearts. The women’s convention has not come to an end, it is the start of the beginning.”

In their five points recommendations, the women called for the “immediate end to hostilities, and thus give meaning to African Union’s campaign to ‘Silence the Guns in Africa to achieve a conflict-free Africa, prevent genocide, make peace a reality for all and rid the continent of wars, violent conflicts, human rights violations, and humanitarian disasters.”

They further recommended that stakeholders should pursue a continued and inclusive dialogue that addresses core issues around Peace, Solidarity and shared Humanity in Cameroon; Create additional and reinforce the existing centres for psychosocial support and trauma-healing, and render the existing DDR centres functional and responsive to the existing conflicts.

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At ICT University’s 6th Graduation Ex-Nigerian President Dr Olusegun Obasanjo prescribes Humility, Deftness in Smelling Opportunities
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Dignitaries pose for a pic after the 6th graduation exercise of the ICT University

Former Nigerian President Dr Olusegun Obasanjo has encouraged the 6th graduating batch of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) University Cameroon to be humble and to grab every opportunity that comes their way.

Chief Dr Olusegun Mathew Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo, GCFR, was speaking during the 6th Commencement and graduation ceremony of the ICT University Cameroon that took place Saturday, July 31, 2021, at the Yaounde Conference Centre.

The graduation ceremony was attended by the Minister of State, Minister of Higher Education Prof Fame Ndongo, Prof Nalova Lyonga, Minister of Secondary Education, Professor Jean Emmanuel Pondi, several government Ministers, Ambassadors and the students, some of whom followed online.

In his keynote address titled “The Hidden Processor for Success Beyond ICT Knowledge and Skills” the former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, told the graduating students that “humility comes with the lack of arrogance; it comes with wisdom. You need humility towards one another.”

Dr Obasanjo went on to encourage the graduating students to take advantage of the opportunities that will come their way. To him, the students must be curious to know and mentally prepared. “You have to be deft in smelling opportunities. It will not come easy but you need to continue searching. I hope to come back and hear that some 50% of the graduating students are gainfully employed or are employing others.”

“You need to remain focus and determined. The ride may be tough but commitment will keep you in it. Whatever you do, you need to put your all into it and not a half-hearted something. Take responsibility and it will be well with you,” Dr Olusegun Obasanjo added.

Prof Victor Mbarika, President of the ICT University Board of Trustees bestows a medal on a graduate

“Always remember that Cameroon, your communities and the world needs you; you have been prepared for it and delivery is important.”

Dr Olusegun Obasanjo went on to commend Dr Victor Mbarika for his investment in the education of the students. He said: “You are investing in the graduating students and all the other students that are in this institution. You are investing in their development, you are investing in their today for their family, you are investing in the today of this country and its progress and development.” President Olusegun Obasanjo told Prof Victor Mbarika.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony, Professor Victor Mbarika, President of the Board of Trustees went on to appreciate the enormous support he has gotten from both the Cameroonian and Nigerian governments.

“Nigerians have been very good to us; they have donated to ICT University 100 hectares of land, three-storey buildings in the state of Kaduna,” Professor Victor Mbarika said. “I want to thank the Nigerian government for their support to ICT University and we are about to launch a campus there within the next one year.”

Professor Victor Mbarika added: “I am a product of free education… Thank you Cameroon government for your free education. I believe in public education and that is why we are committed that all my former institutions will receive a multimedia computer lab on behalf of the George Mbarika Foundation. Every school I went to in Cameroon will receive a multimedia lab.”

Prof. Jacques Fame Ndongo, Minister of State, Minister of Higher Education commended the former Nigerian President on the historic peace accord that was struck between the two countries bringing an end to the Bakassi crisis.

Describing the University as the citadel of education, Prof Fame Ndongo said the graduates are now ambassadors of the Cameroonian higher education system and ambassadors of the Cameroon ICT University in Africa and the world.

“There is every indication that you have received a fine education and are now the new gladiators, catalyst and galvanizers of the transformation of your country, Africa and the world.  As you take the journey into the professional world, make your presence felt, make your light shine, make your teachers proud and above all make your country and continent proud.”

The event saw some personalities being given a special award for contribution to peace in Africa and also made a distinguished visiting Professor of the ICT University, something that the distinguished peace advocate takes great pride in it.

“Excellence was the pillar of the training and rewarding excellence was envisaged. They have achieved a high level of performance with at least a 3.5 GPA. They are outstanding and deserved recognition,” Professor Beban Sammy Chumbow, pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the ICT University Cameroon said in respect to the special awards.

Over 300 students from across the African continent received their Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in a ceremony that also involves the award of doctorate degrees to some fifteen students.

“My decision to join clubs and other associations at the ICT University helped me developed a broader community as I met new friends with similar interests. Activities on campus helped me build confidence while developing important leadership and teamwork skills. The ICT University offered me more than a degree. The clubs and activities provided me endless ways to broaden my horizons,” Agbor Austine Abang, Banking and Finance said.

Dr Olusegun Obsanjo (r) receives a special award from the ICT University from Prof Fame Ndongo, Minister of State, Minister of Higher Education

The most remarkable experience I have had with The ICT University is Research. It has been great to be in a university with a huge space for academic research on contemporary business and environmental issues. Research is highly encouraged and supported through research facilities and expert researchers in the field of business,”Maimo Jovanny, IMBA, BMS Department said.

Other special awards were equally awarded such as to Reverend Jimi Titus who was given the endowed professionalship of the ICT University, Professor Robert Stephen (endowed award of professionalship), and Professor Muhammadou Kah (endowered professorship of the ICT University), amongst others.

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Be leaders of today not tomorrow-Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo tasks African Youth
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

H.E Olusegun Obasanjo served two terms as Nigeria’s president from 1976 to 79 and again from 1999 to 2007

Former Nigerian president H.E Olusegun Obasanjo who served two terms as president from 1976 to 79 and again from 1999 to 2007 has encouraged youths to be actively involved in leadership today and not go by the popular saying that “they are the leaders of tomorrow.”

President Olusegun Obasanjo was speaking to Cameroon calling over the national broadcaster to CRTV as he continues his private stay in the county that first saw him as guest speaker for the 6th graduation ceremony of the ICT University last Saturday, July 30.

President Obasanjo went on to recount his stay in Cameroon during the British/French rule and also why peace is very important. Upon his military training out of the country, the former Nigeria President had his first operation in Bamenda, Cameroon. Since then, he has been in and out of Cameroon on several occasions.

“I remember we came through Mamfe and to go up Bamenda you can only go on Monday and come down on Tuesday… The road was narrow then and it is a different case today. Again, there was a tea plantation there and the pace of life was gentle,” Dr Olusegun Obasanjo said when responding to the question of how life was when he first came to Bamenda.

Head of the AU election observation mission, H.E. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, observes the close of polls in Ethiopia

“I was at the border one morning with my troops and some people were passing from the British side to go to the French side of Cameroon and we said they could not go. They asked why can’t go and we said it was the border but they said it is not a border to them because the next village is part of their village.”

“That was my first practical experience of the artificiality of our borders; they do not mean anything to the local people.”

According to the former president, part of the problem with Africa when it comes to conflict or crisis is mismanagement or poor management of diversity. Diversity to him is nature and nature is diversity. “Why should we not understand that diversity is natural and should be managed and treated for what it is,”? He asked.

“I have said when people get frustrated for one thing or the other it could be real or perceived injustice, perception must not be treated with levity because to some people perception is taken as reality. When people feel frustrated either by real or perceived injustice do not just leave it unattended to; do something about it.”

“We did not do that to win a Nobel Peace Prize. We did it because it was necessary for us and our people. If any people see what I have done to influence humanity for good as something that can be rewarded, all well and good but that should not be the purpose for me to do good for my peace,” the former President said as he responded to a question on why he, Koffi Annan and H.E Paul Biya have not been awarded the Noble Peace Prize in recognition for their efforts on bringing the Bakassi Peninsular crisis to an end.

Dr Obasanjo is an ardent lover of agriculture, something many do not see a need to invest in. He jokingly says you can take him out of the village but you cannot take the village out of him. “I feel comfortable, I feel natural and belonging to where I come from when I am in the village. If we are going to get it right in Africa we have to go there (in the village and the soil).”

Dr Olusegun Obsanjo (r) receives a special award from the ICT University from Prof Fame Ndongo, Minister of State, Minister of Higher Education

He added: “Education has always been my passion… What is your life worth if you cannot impact other people for good or in their own life; that is what I do. Even when I was president, I did morning devotion every day and I teach Sunday school in my church.”

The former president then went on to encourage the young people not to take the usual advice that they are the leaders of tomorrow because to him “if you wait for tomorrow, you will not have it because those who are there today are going to make sure that they destroy the tomorrow before you get there.”

Leadership is today; you be part of it today and do not let anybody destroy your tomorrow. I became head of state at 39 at 42 I had finished my term and then went on to become of a farmer…”

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Sierra Leone: UBA opens new branch at Adonkia
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

The United Bank for Africa in Sierra Leone (UBA – SL ) on Thursday 29th June, opened its new branch in the Adonkia community, West of Freetown as part of the Bank’s strive  and expansion to reach in every part of the country. 

Speaking during the official opening of the Adonkia branch of the bank, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of UBA in the country, Usman Isiaka, said, the bank started operations in the country since July 2008 stating that today the bank can boast of having seven (7) full branches and 4 cash points making a total of 11 service points across Freetown, Bo, and Makeni where he said their customers can conduct their transactions.

“Today, we are here to open our 12th Service point, a full fledge Branch in this beautiful Adonkia environment, a strategic location linking Western Urban and Rural Districts. Moving to Adonkia is a deliberate strategic decision to lead in the execution of the Central Bank’s financial inclusion drive in taking banking to the door steps of the Sierra Leonean public ,’’ he said, adding that the Adonkia branch aims to cater for corporate , the retail unbanked and under –banked customers within and beyond the Adonkia community.

Mr. Usman Isiaka said that the bank will be bringing to the Adonkia community area the new UBA customer experience (CX) Initiative launched earlier this year across UBA Group which focuses on ensuring that we do more than is expected and delight their customers at every point of interactions adding that right from the security staff at the entrance and within the bank’s premises, to the customer service officers among others.

“In this regard, the new UBA Adonkia branch will be providing to the delight of all the banking populace in this community and beyond the following services as obtainable in all other branches of UBA to create a new customer a new experience. Account opening for corporate , small and Medium Enterprise and Individuals , remittance services as Africash, Western Union, Money Gram, Ria, and BnB etc.,’’ the CEO UBA in Sierra Leone added.

Deputy Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL), Sheikh Alhaji Yayah Sesay in his statement congratulated the board and management of UBA Sierra Leone Limited for their laudable effort in taking banking services to the door steps of the people of Adonkia, Goderich and its environs.

“This Adonkia branch is truly modern and beautiful which is a manifestation of the United Bank for Africa’s continued investment in Sierra Leone and the desire to serve its esteemed customers in a conducive and modern environment,‘’ he said.

He said that as one the top listed banks in the world, the UBA enjoys an excellent customer base, a diversified business structure and strong innovation capabilities and market competitiveness adding that the bank has continued to play a leading role in the banking sector in the country’s economy for over a decade.

‘’In these uncertain economic times, several of the developed economies are challenged, to bring about growth and job creation while addressing several fundamental weaknesses in their economies and financial systems. This step by UBA is a significant step in the right direction of addressing these underlying issues. Sierra Leone warmly welcomes the continued participation of Nigerian financial institutions in the domestic financial sector,’’ Sheikh Alhaji Yayah Sesay, the BSL deputy Bank Governor added.

Member of Parliament constituency 110, Madam Khadija Davies, on her part thanked the bank for bringing the Bank’s branch in her community and constituency adding that her community has been lagging behind in terms of development and financial services for a very long time thus appreciating the bank as it will boost development in her community.

She said that her constituency is made up of about 60 to 70 % business people and therefore congratulated the bank and its boards for bringing such a development in her community whilst lobbying the bank to provide loans to businesses in her constituency./

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Tanzanian President Suluhu in Rwanda For two day visit.
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

President Suluhu will be in Rwanda for her first visit as Tanzanian President

From Monday, August 2, 2021, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan will be in Rwanda for a two-day State Visit, the first of its kind since she assumed office in March this year.

Upon arriving in Rwandan capital Kigali, she will begin with a tête-à-tête with President Paul Kagame, which will be  followed by bilateral talks. 

The Heads of State will then address members of the press and witness the signing of several bilateral agreements.

Agreements to be signed have not been disclosed before but it is believed that construction of Isaka –Kigali railway will be on agenda.

Other expected agreements are in business sector. Tanzania is Rwanda’s  big economic partner as Dar es Salaam port is a route  to more than 60 percent of goods coming from or going to Rwanda.

In March 2021, goods worth $ 33,75 million entered Rwanda from Tanzania, according to National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda.

On evening of  her first day, President Samia Suluhu will be hosted by President Kagame for a State Banquet at the Kigali Convention Centre.

On her final day of the visit, President Suluhu together with President Kagame will visit several companies in various sectors including the Special Economic Zone which is home to 120 companies with activities ranging from manufacturing, agro-processing and education among others.

To date, the SEZ has generated 800 million USD in exports and created 13,000 jobs.

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Former U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke to Enhance U.S.-Africa Relations at African Energy Week in Cape Town.
August 1, 2021 | 0 Comments

Leading a delegation of American businesses, independent producers, and financiers to African Energy Week in Cape Town, Ryan Zinke will drive inter-continental partnerships and investment into emerging African markets. 

The African Energy Chamber (AEC) is proud to announce that Ryan Zinke, former U.S. Secretary of Interior under former-President Donald Trump, has confirmed his attendance and participation at African Energy Week (AEW) 2021, taking place in Cape Town on the 9th-12th of November 2021. Zinke will lead a delegation of American businesses, independent producers, and financiers to Cape Town, capitalizing on the expanding prospects present in emerging African markets, and introducing a wide network of stakeholders to African natural resource opportunities.  

In his previous position, Zinke was responsible for all oil and gas licenses in the U.S., and was committed to natural resource expansion through the opening up of federal lands for oil, natural gas and mineral exploration and extraction. Zinke has maintained a strong position for the increased exploitation of fossil fuels. As he announced in the Interior Department’s 2018-2022 strategic plan, “our mandate is multiple-use of public lands, and multiple-use also includes the development of natural resources as we seek to leverage American energy for American strength.” A strong advocate for using oil and gas development as a catalyst for wider economic growth, Zinke will drive a discussion on how Africa can fully utilize its significant resource base – driven by productive U.S.-Africa partnerships – to initiate long-term socio-economic growth. 

Meanwhile, Zinke continues to drive a discussion on the role of natural gas as a cleaner-burning fossil fuel. Unopposed to fossil fuel extraction, and yet acknowledging the carbon consequences, Zinke is advocating for the increased development of natural gas, explicating the value of the resource in addressing rising energy demand worldwide. In line with AEW 2021’s agenda regarding the role of natural gas in the energy transition, Zinke is expected to initiate a constructive dialogue on natural gas management, monetization and development, whilst introducing American financiers to African projects. 

“Secretary Ryan Zinke coming to Cape Town is HUGE. He played an important role alongside President Donald J. Trump, in ensuring that the US becomes the world’s largest producer of Oil and natural gas. He cut a lot of red tape and reduce bureaucracy, created an enabling environment for American businesses to thrive in the energy sector. African leaders, businesses and our energy industry will have a good opportunity in Cape Town to interact firsthand with Secretary Zinke and benefit from his network that could help us in our goal to Make Energy Poverty History.” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman, the AEC.  

Under the Trump administration, Zinke was a strong advocate for the ‘American first energy plan’ – an economic, strategic, and foreign policy goal that aimed to exploit the American landscape and establish American energy dominance. In addition to developing U.S. domestic resources, Zinke is committed to promoting energy sector collaboration and continues to be focused on establishing long-term partnerships with various oil and gas stakeholders. Notably, while in office, Zinke emphasized the value of forming partnerships between the Interior department and Oil Corporations, promoting growth through integration. Accordingly, Zinke has also recognized the value of international partnerships, and leading a delegation of stakeholders from the U.S. to Cape Town, is eager to establish investment deals and sustainable partnership agreements between U.S. companies and African markets. 

“American businesses, independent producers, and financiers are coming to African Energy Week in Cape Town, and we thank Secretary Zinke for his resolve in supporting Africa fight energy poverty and for being a voice for why energy matters to Africa. Africa stands to significantly benefit from U.S. partnerships, investment and Secretary Zinke’s delegation will drive deal-making, investment, and collaboration across Africa. By promoting the role of oil and gas in not only Africa’s energy future, but the entire globes, Zinke recognizes these resources value in fast tracking economic growth and driving industrialization worldwide,” Concluded Ayuk.

To take advantage of the valuable networking opportunities present at AEW 2021 in Cape Town, and to directly engage with U.S. energy companies, stakeholders, and financiers, register now at www.aew2021.com or contact amina.williams@energychamber.org

For registration-related inquiries, please contact registration@aew2021.com   

For sales-related inquiries, please contact sales@aew2021.com  

For media-related inquiries, please contact media@aew2021.com  

For speaker-related inquiries, please contact speakers@aew2021.com

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Ethiopian Airlines strongly refutes all the recent baseless and unfounded allegations by some individuals regarding the airlines’ involvement in transporting war armament.
August 1, 2021 | 0 Comments
Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam

We would like to underline that Ethiopian Airlines has not transported any weapons to any parts of Ethiopia and has never been requested to perform such services.

Ethiopian Airlines is a Pan-African Global Commercial Airline connecting Africa with the rest of the world and providing much-needed inter Africa connectivity. As one of the oldest Pan African Airline, it has been serving the continent for the last 75 years serving as an engine to the socio-economic development of Africans. As a result, the airline has developed a very strong brand not only in Africa but also in the rest of the world. During the unprecedented global pandemic crisis, Ethiopian airlines has done well by doing good. It has helped save lives both by transporting PPE and the vaccines for which it has received recognition and appreciation by various countries and heads of governments.

We reiterate that Ethiopian Airlines has never carried any war armament either in its international or domestic network.

Some irresponsible and reckless individuals have used social media to tarnish the high reputation of the airline and defame its brand. They used various Photoshopped and unrelated pictures to defame our airline which is the golden pride of Ethiopia, Africa and the entire black humanity on earth.

We would like to inform our esteemed customers, partners, stakeholders and the general public that the false and factually incorrect allegations are misleading and reckless defamations.

*Source Ethiopian Airlines

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Kenya sprinter fails drug test at Tokyo Olympics.
August 1, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Kenyan sprinter Mark Otieno

After testing positive for a banned substance in an out-of-competition test at the ongoing Tokyo Olympic Games, Kenyan sprinter Mark Otieno has been suspended.

The new development came as a massive blow to the 100m sprinter who was set to participate in the preliminaries later on Saturday afternoon.

Otieno’s samples were taken on July 28 (Wednesday) and went into the lab the following day. He told the testing agency that he had taken diclophenac, food supplements, and a cramps blocker, denying any knowledge of the violation, and requested a re-analysis of his B sample.

“We have received communication from the International Testing Agency regarding on our sprinters who has had an adverse analytical finding on his Urine sample he provided on July 28. For now he remains provisionally suspended from participating in his event,” said Team Kenya Chief de Mission Waithaka Kioni.

Kenya is yet to win any medal in the ongoing games, which entered day nine today.

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A Great Economic Opportunity To Enhance The Development Of A Gas Economy Africa-Sunny Oputa On SSA Oil & Gas 2021
August 1, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

SSA Oil & Gas 2021 is a great economic opportunity to enhance the development of a gas economy to trigger economic buoyancy, says Sunny Oputa

Now in its 15th year, the Sub-Saharan Africa Oil and Gas Conference will take place in Houston, Texas, USA from the 12th to the 13th of August 2021. Sunny Oputa , CEO/and Director of Energy and Corporate Africa says the event is a great opportunity to enhance the development of a gas economy to serve as a catalyst for development in Africa.

For the 2021 Conference, the theme is The future of upstream, advancing digitalization, and gas development options, can you shed some light on this?

Sunny Oputa:  Recently, the global mantra and call is decarbonization and enhancing digitization and usage of clean energy. These are impacting the industry in Africa. Africa producing nations require fossil fuel space to catchup with western nations. The application of technology and digitization to optimize processes and reduce cost is very essential for proper growth in the sector. Also, Africa has abundant gas resources. The demand for natural gas, LNG and domestic utilization is increase. This is a great economic opportunity to enhance the development of gas economy to trigger economic buoyancy.

May we know some highlights of the 2021 summit and some of the high-profile participants that you will be expecting?

Sunny Oputa:  There will be ministerial keynotes, industry keynotes, national exploration and production updates, panel sessions and networking receptions. Some of the high profile participants include but not limited to:  His Excellency Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Nigeria, H.E. Hon. Fafa Sanyang, Minister of Petroleum & Energy, The Gambia, Mr. Clay Neff – President, Chevron, Middle East, Africa & South America, Mallam Mele Kyari – Group Managing Director, NNPC, Saifuah-Mai Gray – President , National Oil Company, Liberia,  James Yamoah – Ag. CTO, GNPC, Ghana, NJ Ayuk – Chairman, African Energy Chamber, Foday Mansary – Director General, Directorate of Petroleum Resources, Sierra Leone, Famorou Kourouma – Managing Director, Societe Petrole, Guinea, Conakry, Yusuf Usman – COO (Gas & Power, NNPC, Cany Jobe – E & P Director, GNPC, Gambia and many other.

Considering it is an African themed event, may we know the kind of representation or participation you are expecting from the continent?

Sunny Oputa:  Delegates are coming from various nations in the region. There are participants coming from USA, Europe and Asian countries. It’s going to be great!

The conference will be taking place in the context of COVID 19, what safety measures are been considered?

Sunny Oputa:   Yes, the conference will be taking place within this critical time of global pandemic as the world is trying to rise up from the pangs of COVID-19 amid the few new surprises. We cannot shut down the global economy completely, and we have to create avenues beyond virtual interaction for the industry players to meet – share knowledge and network for business optimization and growth. Therefore, we are mindful of the situation and have set up pertinent safety protocols. Masks will be provided for attendees, we are using the hotel ball room which is spacious enough and airy, sitting arrangement will be the classroom format and it will be 2 people per desk in ensuring social distancing. The hotel has disinfectants in all strategic places. We will also give attendees hand sanitizers, temperatures of attendees will be checked at the registration desk before going inside, microphones will be wiped intermittently. We have it ready and I assure our attendees that their health, safety and security are of high priority.

We cannot shut down the global economy completely, and we have to create avenues beyond virtual interaction for the industry players to meet – share knowledge and network for business optimization and growth. says Sunny Oputa

What is your overall perception of the oil and gas sector in Africa today, how good or bad is it faring?

Sunny Oputa:  Africa is a work in progress. The future of oil/gas industry in the region is great and promising. Africa is an investor’s haven and has great potentials. Despite the global call for decarbonization, Africa is strategically embracing it. Fossil fuel is still relevant to the global economy and will not fade off in the next 20 years.

How can the sector balance its activities with growing concerns from environmental activists?

Sunny Oputa:  Geopolitics affecting the oil and gas industry is humongous. We all agree in climate change and the need to protect the environment. African countries are not big-time pollutants like most western nations. Environmental activists are doing good works. However, Africa is strategically balancing the economy of its nations and gradually embracing the global energy transition. I say it again, Africa will go along but it should be given the space to do it methodically in a way that it doesn’t distort most of its fragile economies.

You live in Texas, a State considered by many as the oil or energy capital of the USA, what are some of the lessons in the functioning of the oil and gas industry out there that Africa could learn from?

Sunny Oputa: Yes, Texas is an energy state and Houston is the energy capital of the world. The energy industry is very functional and progressive. Refineries alone in Houston out numbers the refineries in the entire Africa. The industry is proactive. We need to continue to enhance development of human capital and leadership. That’s the essence of conferences such as ours.

For those who interested in attending the conference after this interview, what do they need to do?

Sunny Oputa:  For inquiries, they may reach us at energycorporateafrica@gmail.com or online at www.energycorporateafrica.com to seek for registration and participation. Thank you immensely for having me.

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Government lifts lockdown in Kigali, eight other districts
July 31, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

The cabinet meeting on Friday lifted the lockdown that was imposed by the government in the capital city of Kigali and either other districts for the last 15 days.

Those districts are Gasabo, Kicukiro, Nyarugenge, Gicumbi, Musanze, Rubavu, Burera, Kamonyii, Rutsiro, Rwamagana and Nyagatare.

The government had placed the districts after they were identified as hotspots of COVID-19 catalysed by the Delta variant that was confirmed early this month.

The lockdown will be removed from August 1, 2021, according to the communique issued by the Prime Minister’s office.

Inter-district movement shall also resume except in fifty sectors that are under a localized lockdown.

 “Movements will be prohibited between 6PM to 4AM as business close at 5PM and all social gatherings are prohibited,” reads the statement in part.

The new measures also say that public transport and private businesses will operate at 50% capacity while private and public offices operate at 15% capacity.

Meetings and conferences should not exceed 30% of the venue capacity and attendants should present a negative Covid-19 test, as per the new restrictions.

All bars, gyms, recreational centers and places of worship will remain closed as restaurants and cafes provide take away services only, according to the communique.

For people who attend a wake or vigil, the number has been limited to 10 persons and those who have weddings both religious and civil will not exceed 30 persons and must have a negative Covid-19 test.

International passengers arriving and departing from the Kigali International Airport must present a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure, according to the statement.

Also, domestic and international tourism activities will resume operations with a strict adherence to Covid-19 preventive measures.

 Businesses upbeat

Business operators whose activities were closed to curb the spread of COVID-19 have hailed the government for lifting the lockdown saying they were ready to reopen their businesses.

“It is a good move that the lockdown is lifted, as drivers, we are happy because we are going to resume transport activities, though the number of passengers was limited to 50%, at least we will be operating. Life was hard in the lockdown and we are hoping that things will change,” John Mazimpaka a taxi driver in the city of Kigali said.

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Rwanda gets new spokesperson
July 31, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

The Cabinet Meeting On Friday 30th July 2021 appointed Mrs. Yalande Makolo as Government Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, a new position created for the first time as a standalone in the country.

Makolo will replace Dr. Vincent Biruta who is the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation who doubled as the Government Spokesperson.

Normally the position of government spokesperson was held by the Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Makolo comes from the office of the President where she served in the communication department.

“The Office of the Prime Minister informs the Cabinet Meeting of 30th July 2021 made the following appointment, Mrs. Yalande Makolo, Government Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation,” reads a communique signed by Prime Minister Dr. Edouard Ngirente on Saturday 31st July 2021.

Makolo is a soft-spoken lady and the social media enthusiast which gives her more chance to perform well in the new position she will be serving for the first time.

The same cabinet meeting appointed Mrs. Stephanie Nyombayire, Press Secretary, Office of the President. Nyombayire was also in the communication department and in the protocol department.  

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Mid-Year Budget Spells Doom For Ghanaians – MP Ato Forson
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Enya Casiel Ato Forson has described the mid-year budget statement presented to Parliament by Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta as cosmetic.He said the budget is empty and has no hope for Ghanaians.

The member of the Finance Committee in Parliament told journalists after the budget reading on Thursday July 29 that “The mid-year review that was just read is nothing but hopeless.

 According to him, the Ghanaian economy is in a bad way in the sense that he would have thought that the government would have learned something and have taken right decisions but sadly, he said if they you look at the statement that was read to them almost every single  revenue item is under performing.

The government revenue has underperformed within the first six months of the year approximately 2billion Ghana cedi’s. The law marker said “apart from the revenue items’ coming down the budget is nothing but cosmetic, cosmetic in the sense that at the end of the year 2021, they will come back and see every single fiscal target being missed”

Casiel Ato Forson lamented that as he speak the government has not commenced the construction of 111 district hospitals. He stated that in the original they projected 1.4 billion cedi’s for that project. Unfortunately, in the mid-year review the government has reduced for over 700Mmillion. He further said he was expecting that the government will rather increase the allocation for agenda 111 instead of increasing the allocation for good and services.

The Finance Minister Mr Ofori Atta in his presentation in parliament has announced the setting up of a scheme to help the youth set up businesses across the country. To be referred to as ‘Youth Banc’, the scheme will be championed by the Enterprise and Youth Support Fund (EYSF).

Addressing members of Parliament (MPs) on Thursday, July 29 as part of the presentation on the mid-year review of the 2021 budget, Kenneth Ofori-Atta admitted that the issue of employment and jobs for the youth has been a worry to the government.

 In the 2021 budget review the finance minister said, the Enterprise and Youth Support Fund, which aligns with Government’s overall strategy of developing a competitive and viable private sector economy, will Set up a ‘Youth banc’ with the aim of financing youth-led start-up businesses across the country.

He said as part of the initiative, an online investment hub will be established for youth across the country to access information for the purpose of establishing businesses. Under this initiative, it is estimated that over 100,000 jobs will be created for the youth.

Member of Parliament for Old Tafo Ekow Vincent Assafuah has noted that Ghana’s economy is picking up from the shocks of the coronavirus pandemic. Commenting on the mid-year budget statement presented to Parliament by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Thursday July 29, he said focuses on amongst many other things, jobs for the teeming youths of this country.

Mr Ofori Atta told Parliament that for the first time in the history of the fourth republic, the exchange rate did not see a spike after an election year. He explained that cumulatively, from the beginning of the year to date the exchange rate has depreciated by 0.6 per cent against the US dollars and appreciating by 3.6 per cent against the Euro.

He further told the House that he did not come to ask for more money from the House in the mid-year budget. He also said he did not come for more taxes rather; he came to update the House and the country on the performance of the economy during the first half of the year.

A senior lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School Dr Lord Mensah has also said he is satisfied with the statement. He said when you look at the situation on the ground now, The Finance Minister and his team couldn’t have afforded than to maintain the status quo to ensure that we stay within the fiscal appropriation that we called for.

 

 

 

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Ghana:Chief Justice Orders Kasoa Ritual Murder Trial To Be Moved From Ofaakor District Court.
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah has ordered the case involving two teens standing trial for the murder of an 11 year old for ritual purposes, to be transferred from the Ofaakor District Court to the Kaneshie District court, for indictment proceedings to continue.

It follows three months of preliminary hearing of the case. Prosecutor Chief Inspector Ernest Agbo told the Ofaakor District Court, the order from the AG’s office, signed by the Chief Justice was served on the police Thursday morning.

Presiding judge Oheneba Antwi-Boasiako duly transferred the case, after counsel for the accused and juvenile, Samuel Atuah told the court, he has no problem with the order.

Spokesperson for the Mensah Abdallah family, Samed Akalilu says even though their expectation today was to have the case transferred to the High Court for the committal proceedings for proper trial to begin, they hope this translates into expedited trial.

Lawyer for the accused and juvenile, Samuel Atuah says they would have to comply and continue the process at the kaneshie District court.

He says even though no exact date was fixed for the next hearing, he is hopeful they should be back in court in two weeks.

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Ghanaians Must Cherish The Free Press – Former Foreign Minister Hanna Tetteh
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union, Hanna Tetteh

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union, Hanna Tetteh has called on Ghanaians to cherish the free press in the oil-producing West African country.

The former Foreign Affairs Minister under the Mahama administration said in a tweet that news and comments from the many TV, radio and online platforms as well as individuals, reflect how Ghanaians just love to debate everything.

It is unclear the context in which she made this tweet however it comes at the period where there is an ongoing debate on whether or not there is culture of silence in Ghana.

 She said we must cherish our Free Press because it gives us all the news and leaves us to draw our conclusions. According to her Ghanaians are heavily divided on whether or not there is culture of silence in the country. Whereas some believe it exists in different forms, other also think otherwise. A Lecturer at the Political Science Department at the University of Ghana Professor Ransford Gyampo, refuted claims that there is a culture of silence in the country. He said, where he sits as a political scientist and a citizen within the military regime of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) in Ghana, he cannot agree that there is such a culture in the country.

Dr Gyampo stated that the culture of silence as he knew it under the erstwhile military regime, when one makes any critical comments against the government, he or she will be picked up, brutalized, vanish and even murdered but in the current regime he and countless others are still speaking their minds without fear.

Hence, for fear of being picked up, brutalized, vanished and even be murdered for being vocal against the erstwhile PNDC regime, a lot of people adopted the mute approach by not speaking their minds when their freedom and lives were at stake, which induced the culture of silence in the country.

He however said that, since you are being vocal and critical against somebody, it is a natural reaction to be intimidated or heavily responded to by such individuals. That cannot suffice to be classified as a culture of silence in the right sense of the term.

Odododiodio lawmaker, Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye said there is culture of silence in Ghana under the Akufo-Addo administration. In his view, people are unable to express themselves freely without being insulted or attacked. This situation, he said, smacks of the culture of silence comment that was recently made by businessman Sam Jonah.

According him the cultures of silence really exist in Ghana and you don’t need anyone to tell you. Today, you go on radio stations to speak and you are afraid for your life. “Journalists have been beaten and attacked for doing their work. Caleb Kudah of Citi FM was attacked, what has happened to the killers of Ahmed Suale? A Graphic reported was also attacked recently so you don’t need anyone to tell you there is culture of silence in Ghana.”

He added “Today people who used to go to Sam Jonah to seek knowledge are now sitting on radio insulting him because he has said the obvious truth.”

A former AngloGold Ashanti boss, Sam Jonah KBE ignited this debate at a Rotary Club function. Mr. Sam Jonah said “What is baffling is that those who used to have voices on these things seem to have lost their voices. People speak on issues based on who is in power.

He said in their deafening silence suggesting that they are no longer concerned about issues that they complained about not too long ago, particularly when those issues persist.

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NBA Draft 2021: I want to be one of those players from Africa who did something big in the NBA-Jonathan Kuminga
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

Jonathan Kuminga (Democratic Republic of the Congo) – selected 7th by the Golden State Warriors fields questions after the NBA Draft 2021 .I want to be one of those players from Africa who did something big in the NBA, he says.

You’re playing with the Warriors but how will you use your physical capability, your power inside of that Warriors lineup on offense?

JONATHAN KUMINGA: I’m in a great situation. I see myself as giving out a lot on defense and at the end of the day if they need me on offense, it’s just the way they want me to do it, I’m willing to do it and I feel like I’m capable to
do it. I feel like it’s the right fit for me.

Like Jalen Green, you both got better as the draft approached through G League Ignite. How do you see the future for players who take the same route going to the G League? And you also had one teammate in the Ignite. His name is Kai Sotto, he’s from the Philippines. Do you think Kai can be where you are, making an NBA team?

JONATHAN KUMINGA: Kai for sure, he has a chance to be a great player. At the end of the day Kai works hard, he has the size and ability to be an NBA player and drive. And just going to the G League, I feel like that’s the best route to go out there and just work hard every single day.

I know today is only day one of your NBA career, but what legacy do you want to leave behind when your career is all said and done?

JONATHAN KUMINGA: At the end of the day I just want to be remembered as that guy who brought a team to a
championship, who won a championship. At the end of the day I want to be Hall of Fame, so I want to have a great career where everybody going to be talking about I want to model my game to Jonathan at some point.

The Warriors are obviously in a position to really kind of compete for a title next season. How ready do you think you are to kind of step in and play maybe like a supplementary role on a winning team like right now?

JONATHAN KUMINGA: Like I said, I always thank God, I always pray to God and I was lucky to be in this position, and I feel like that’s the type of competition I’m looking forward to. As long as I grow around Steph Curry, Klay ,Draymond Green, I feel like my game is going to go from the bottom to the top in a couple months. As I get along and get used to them people, because they’re going to always push me, they’re always going to put me in the right situation, and I feel like no matter wherever we end up, we’re ready to compete and win a championship.

I’m sure you’re aware a bunch of African players were drafted last season and one of them I think even won the title with the Milwaukee Bucks. So, when you look at that progression and you look at the great African players that have come before you, where do you think your ceiling is and which African player do you think inspires you the most?

JONATHAN KUMINGA: I would say pretty much all of them. Starting from [Dikembe] Mutombo, going to Giannis who just won a championship, you know. I want to be in that category. I want to be one of those players where coming from Africa and one day do something big in the NBA. So basically I’m looking forward to going to Golden State
and help the team and just be that one African kid that’s going to come out there and do everything that I can do to
help a team to win.

During this process and maybe even over the past year since you were based a little bit in Northern California with the Ignite, had you had any conversations with the Warriors with Bob Myers, Steve Kerr throughout this process? Did you have an idea that maybe this could be a possibility, you going and playing for the Warriors?

JONATHAN KUMINGA: No, you know, I didn’t have any idea. Golden State is just a team — it’s a good team and just me being selected at Golden State I feel like it’s the perfect fit for me and I’m really excited to be a part of it. But going through my Ignite career I never get to talk to anybody, but one thing I’m just surprised and really like
looking forward for is like I’m used to the city so it’s basically going back home again.

Did you talk to Bob Myers or Steve Kerr over the past couple of weeks during the pre-draft process?

JONATHAN KUMINGA: I didn’t talk to Steve Kerr, but I talked to like the owner of the team, because they came in town and I had a workout and we had a dinner and stuff and it went well.

Could you tell us a little bit more about that workout in Miami with the Warriors, what specifically were you able to do for them and what was the interview process like with them that day?

JONATHAN KUMINGA: I would say the day I worked out they came and watched me it went really good. I showed
all the ability that I’m capable of doing, all the little things that I’m capable to bring to the table and help the team to
win. So, I think just from that, that’s where they really picked me. And we went to dinner and it went really good,
they had a great staff, they came out to see me and I enjoyed the time I had with them.

You’re a prospect that has one of the highest ceilings in the draft, potentially out of this world. How do you want to unlock that and make the Warriors right about their draft pick? So what area of your game do you want to attack first and make sure you have that down before you step on a NBA court?

JONATHAN KUMINGA: Pretty much everything. At the end of the day, like I said, I have the most and the highest ceiling in this draft and it’s just my work ethic that I put every day, I’m working on pretty much everything, I don’t
work on one thing. So, basically going to Golden State it’s like I’m already prepared, because I’m not going to be, I’m
not going to be the man of the team, but at the end of the day I’m going to be one of the players on the team that’s
going to help the team to win.

How do you think your training will be affected by playing with Klay, Steph and Draymond? You’re going to have a lot of time to work on your game, you won’t be asked to carry the load at first, so how are you going to attack that for your training behind the scenes where you’re not going to be able to use it in the game right off the bat?

JONATHAN KUMINGA: I just got to bring it out for every time I get in the game. I just got to be the player they need
me to be, listen, learn every single day, work hard and I think everything will go well.

*Interview courtesy of ASAP Sports/APO

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