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Zimbabwe’s Strive Masiyiwa, African Union Special Envoy and head of the African COVID-19 Vaccine Acquisition Task Team to address UN Food Systems Summit.
September 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Strive Masiyiwa,Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet and African Union Special Envoy and Head of the African COVID-19 Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT)

Strive Masiyiwa,Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet and African Union Special Envoy and Head of the African COVID-19 Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), is expected to address the United Nations Food Systems summit where at least more than 130 countries are also expected to announce their national commitments next week.

According to a spokesperson, at least 91 world leaders are set to participate in the Summit after the UN Secretary-General called on governments to ‘feed hope for a better future’. 

The event, which is the first of its kind and takes place during the UN General Assembly in New York on September 23, is due to hear from world leaders including President Alberto Fernández (Argentina),Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir (Iceland), and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (Japan).

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (New Zealand), President Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), and Prime Minister Imran Khan (Pakistan) have also confirmed their participation. 

António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, who called for the Food Systems Summit in October 2019, urged world leaders earlier this week to bring to New York “ambitious commitments to feed hope for a better future”. 

“A well-functioning food system can help prevent conflict, protect the environment and provide health and livelihoods for all,” Guterres said in a call for ambition. “It is our moral imperative to keep our promise to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.” 

The Summit follows almost two years of dialogues at community, national and international levels involving more than 40,000 people around the world to share their needs, challenges and ideas for a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive food system.

During the Summit, countries are expected to announce the emerging outcomes of their national dialogues and their pathways for change, while supporting organisations from the private sector, academia, philanthropy and civil society will also make commitments. 

Agnes Kalibata, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Food Systems Summit, is expected to give opening remarks, with contributions from Pau Gasol, UNICEF Global Champion for Nutrition and Zero Childhood Obesity and NBA Champion, José Andres, Chef and Founder of World Central Kitchen, and David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group. 

 Also Melinda Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is also due to address the Summit. 

In light of the ongoing circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Summit will take a fully virtual format, following a hybrid Pre-Summit gathering in Rome, Italy, in July. 

The UN Food Systems Summit was announced by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on World Food Day in October 2019 as a part of the Decade of Action for delivery on the SDGs by 2030. The aim of the Summit is to deliver progress on all 17 of the SDGs through a food systems approach, leveraging the interconnectedness of food systems to global challenges such as hunger, climate change, poverty and inequality. More information about the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit can be found online

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Zimbabwe to benefit from sustainable solutions initiatives.
September 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

On International day of South-South Cooperation (12 September), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) acknowledges the Global south’s important contribution to alleviate food insecurity and malnutrition in Zimbabwe. The Governments of Brazil, China, India and South Africa, have provided tangible transfer of information, resources and expertise to Zimbabwe over the past years, successfully administered through WFP, to support food security and nutrition in Zimbabwe.

The sharing of expertise that connects farmers to technology has been vital to support business development through e-commerce. China-Aid Agricultural Technology and Demonstration Centre led the exchange in partnership with Knowledge Transfer Africa (eMkambo), supporting up to 500 smallholder farmers with marketing and horticulture training. Additionally, several farmers and Agritex officers (government officers within the Ministry of Agriculture) were supported through a trainer programme, to ensure longevity of the project.

India’s recent contribution through the India-UN Development Partnership Fund focuses on climate change mitigation in Zimbabwe. Farmers will be trained on the advantages of growing drought-tolerant crops such as sorghum or millet, including techniques on how to reduce post-harvest losses. The programme aims to assist around 5,200 smallholder farmers in Chiredzi and Mangwe districts over the coming months.

Similarly, the Government of South Africa donated maize meal to assist families affected by Cyclone Idai in 2019. WFP provided warehousing services to facilitate this partnership. “Cyclone Idai was said to be the worst tropical cyclone on record to affect Africa and the Southern Hemisphere. It is in this regard that when Zimbabwe was one of the countries that were affected in our region in March 2019, the Government of South Africa immediately mobilized resources and pledged our joined support to the affected communities.”, said Dr. Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, when handing over food aid to Zimbabwe. “As a close neighbour and regional member, South Africa has focused on supporting a humanitarian response to Zimbabwe in the face of natural disasters“, he added. 

Through WFP’s Centre of Excellence, Brazil provides research and policy support to homegrown school feeding programmes, which harness a range of elements including education, health, social protection and agriculture.

“We aim to work more closely with our partners to build the skills needed, so that Zimbabwe is able to meet its Agenda 2030 commitments “, said Ms. Francesca Erdelmann, WFP Zimbabwe Country Director and Representative. “Specifically, WFP aims to enhance market linkages between smallholder farmers and strengthen the capacity of national authorities. South-South Cooperation is key to this strategy, and we are determined to unlock its full potential,” she added.

In close collaboration with the Government of Zimbabwe, WFP is currently developing its 2022-2027 Country Strategic Plan, which will promote further collaboration with the aim of establishing sustainable, resilient and shock responsive social protection programmes with a food systems lens.

Agriculture accounts for up to seventy percent of the populations’ livelihood activity in Zimbabwe, which makes it critical to find optimal techniques to grow food sustainably and connect local supply to markets. Middle and low-income countries possess a rich trove of knowledge that can be shared and adapted to overcome development challenges.

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The President of Tanzania, Merck Foundation CEO, The Prime Minister of TOGO, and Vice Presidents of Uganda and Benin named as Most Influential African Women.
September 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

The President of Tanzania, SAMIA SULUHU HASSAN; Merck Foundation CEO, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej; The Prime Minister of TOGO, H.E. VICTOIRE TOMEGAH DOGBÉ, The Vice President of Uganda, H.E. JESSICA ROSE EPEL ALUPO and The Vice President of Benin, H.E. MARIAM CHABI TALATA amongst 100 Most Influential African Women 2021; The list of 100 Most Influential African Women 2020, released by Avance Media group as part of ‘Be a Girl’ Initiative to acknowledges their efforts and accomplishments, which continue to inspire young people across the African continent and beyond. 

Senator, Dr. Rasha KelejCEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother has been featured in the list of 100 Most Influential African Women 2021, released by ‘Be a Girl’ Initiative, for the second consecutive year. Avance Media, a leading Rating firm, through its girls’ empowerment project, ‘Be A Girl’, launches this annual publication to highlight and celebrate the astounding accomplishments of 100 women from Africa dubbed.

Merck Foundation CEO, President of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother and Member of Egyptian Senate, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej has been recognized for her efforts to transform patient care in Africa, breaking the infertility stigma through her poignant “More Than a Mother’ campaign and to empower girls in education so that they can reach their potential and pursue their dreams through ‘Educating Linda’ program.

This is for the fourth time, Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej has made it to the list of 100 Most Influential Africans (women and men). She has also been previously recognized by New African Magazine, UK in 2019 & 2020, for empowering women in general and infertile women in particular through the ‘More Than a Mother’ campaign.

Senator, Dr. Rasha is truly a force of nature and one of Africa’s unsung ‘sheroes’ of women empowerment and health advocates.

Speaking about this accolade, Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej emphasized, “I’m truly honored with the recognition and very happy to be included in the list alongside many prestigious and renowned African Women. I congratulate each one of them. This is a huge validation of my journey and my efforts to empower women of my continent, it will certainly motivate me to work even harder and more sincerely towards my goal of transforming patient care for the people of my beloved Africa.”

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej is the brain behind the inspiring ‘More Than A Mother’ campaign – a rallying call against female infertility stigma. The campaign empowers infertile women through access to information, health, change of mindset, and economic empowerment. More than 20 African First Ladies appointed as Ambassadors of “Merck Foundation More than a Mother”, which is very impressive.

Hailed from Egypt, this versatile lady and a style icon is a trailblazer and influential in changing the perception of how fashion, film, music, and media can be utilized to address sensitive social issues through “More Than A Mother’ Fashion, Films, Songs & Media Awards as she strongly believes in the critical role of these fraternities in creating a culture shift.

She has also contributed to the future of hundreds of girls through her ‘Educating Linda’ Program  by supporting the education of many of the high performing girls by providing scholarships and grants that can cover school fees, school uniforms, and other essentials including notebooks, pens, and mathematical instruments, so they can reach their potential and pursue their dreams.

“Empowering women starts with education, to enable them to be healthier, stronger, and independent”, explains Senator, Dr. Rasha.

Moreover, she has been an inspirational pioneer in transforming Patient care in Africa. More than 1300 doctors from 42 countries are benefiting from Merck Foundation scholarships in critical and underserved fields such as Oncology, Diabetes, Preventative Cardiovascular Medicine, Endocrinology, Sexual and Reproductive Medicine, Acute Medicine, Respiratory Medicine, Embryology & Fertility specialty, and many more.

She emphasized, “During Coronavirus pandemic, it has been more important than ever to build capacity and train specialized doctors. In some of these countries, they have never had even one oncologist, for example. They may only have a general practitioner. We simply made history in these countries such as The Gambia, Burundi, Siera Leone, Botswana, Namibia, Chad, Niger, Guinea & Liberia, not only in Oncology but in many of critical and underserved speciality Such as Respiratory, Paediatric, Orthopedic, Psychiatry, Intensive care and more”.

The 2021 list of 100 most Influential African Women has a representation of the most powerful African women from 28 African countries, chosen from various career backgrounds including diplomacy, philanthropy, politics, activism, entrepreneurship, business leadership, and entertainment. It includes many famous names like; H.E. SAMIA SULUHU HASSAN, The President of Tanzania; H.E. MARIAM CHABI TALATA, The Vice President of Benin; H.E. VICTOIRE TOMEGAH DOGBÉ, The Prime Minister of Togo and H.E. JESSICA ROSE EPEL ALUPO, The Vice President of Uganda, amongst others.

Edited by Winnie Botha from ‘For Africa’ Media

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For more information on Merck Foundation, please visit:

To view the list of 100 Most Influential African Women 2021, please visit:

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September 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Alice Chisanga

World Leaders are expected to gather at United Nations Headquarters next week to make Sustainable Development Goals Moment and inspire critical ambitions aimed at ending COVID-19 Pandemic.

The SDG’s Moment is planned to take place at the beginning of the United Nations General Assembly High Level Week.

The event comes at a time when the world experiences a deeply uneven response to COVID-19 Pandemic, which risks creating a two – tier recovery with significant implications for the advancement of the SDG’s, especially in developing countries.

And UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says the moment will provide world leaders with platform to showcase the bold plan, actions and solutions that are needed to end COVID-19 Pandemic.
Mr. Guterres notes that this will set the world on course towards archieving the SDG’s.

The event will attract more than 30 Heads of States, key debate with UN leaders on COVID-19 Pandemic, Envoy for Future Generation and Culture of the President of the Republic of Korea.
In the last 18 months, COVID-19 Pandemic has disrupted economies and livelihoods, deepened inequalities and risks sending over 70 million people into extreme poverty according to UN information.

Recognising this urgency, the UN will launch a new new campaign, dubbed keeping the promise ahead of the SDG Moment.

The digital campaign will call on people around the world to make a promise to take action for better future for all.

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Nigeria could soon lift the ban on Twitter
September 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jean-Pierre Afadhali

Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed

Nigeria has said it would lift the ban on Twitter in a ‘few days’ more than three months after the West African country blocked the social media platform.

The country’s Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed said on Wednesday that the government would soon lift the ban without giving a specific time. This is the second time in recent months Nigeria’s official stated the country would unblock the platform that is used by many to express themselves on the country’s affairs and that has promoted freedom of expression.

“I think even Twitter itself two days ago gave what I will call a progress report on our talks with them, and I think if I want to quote them rightly it has been productive and quite respectful.” Mr. Mohammed was quoted as saying on Wednesday after a cabinet meeting.

Authorities banned Twitter on June 4, a move that angered many Nigerians in the most populous country in Africa, with a huge presence on the microblogging platform. The decision followed the removal of President Muhammadu Buhari’s controversial tweet the platform said it violated its rules that prohibit content that incite or threaten violence.

In that tweet, the President had threatened to deal with those causingtrouble in the country using “the language they understand,”. Mr. Buhari was referring to the experience of the 1967-1970 civil war where millions of Nigerians got killed

The Federal Government accused the global social media giant of threatening what it termed “the country’s corporate existence”.

According to media reports, Mr. Mohammed further said while answering questions from State House journalists that Nigerian authorities and Twitter officials had to “dot the I’s and cross the T’s… it’s just going to be very, very soon, just take my word for that,” before reaching a final agreement.

The block of access to Twitter has hindered Nigerian businesses and has been widely condemned for undermining freedom of expression. Various local and international human rights criticized the decision saying it denied Nigerian people access to information, freedom of expression and press freedom.

After blocking Twitter, the country’s communication authorities banned local media houses from using the microblogging website saying it was “unpatriotic” amid increasing use of VPN, an online tool that allows users to bypass the blockage of online platforms.

Press freedom advocates and Human Rights Organizations condemned the directive saying it was illegal and an attack on press freedom, however local media reported that major media outlets quit Twitter to comply with the order.

“On Friday, 4 June, the Nigerian authorities announced a ban on Twitter in Nigeria and directed Internet Service Providers in Nigeria to block access to Twitter. Media houses also had to deactivate their Twitter accounts. These actions are clear violations of the right to freedom of expression, access to information, and freedom of the press.” Stated Amnesty International in a recent call of action against the ban on Twitter.

Following the ban on twitter Nigeria’s Federal Government ordered social media companies to register with local authorities before they can operate, a rare regulation around the world that could be seen as a measure to control the powerful platforms that allow many to express themselves freely.

“These actions are the latest symptoms of the alarming backsliding on human rights across Nigeria. Social media platforms have helped Nigerians get information, communicate, hold useful dialogues and conversations, and demand accountability from the Nigerian authorities, particularly during the #EndSARS protests last year.” said Amnesty International in its recent call to action.

Many Nigerians and civic group as well as international community condemned the ban on Twitter, a decision the federal government vehemently defended.

Some analysts said the ban on Twitter could have wider implication on the country’s economy in terms of investments into tech sector. The social media giant has set up its Africa headquarters in Accra, Ghana, a decision some observers said it did not please Nigeria, the biggest economy in Africa.

In a recent brief titled ‘Nigeria’s Twitter Ban is Misplaced Priority’ published by Africa Growth Institute, a US-based research institute that studies Africa’s development challenges, authors stated that the move to ban Twitter has led to “damage” of Nigeria’s image on the World stage as its key diplomatic and economic allies like EU and US condemned the ban.

“The ban can also harm Nigeria’s growth as foreign investors pivot business and funding to other African countries, jeopardizing Nigeria’s role as the unofficial tech hub of Africa,” the brief read.

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The International Organization for Migration is calling on Journalists to enter the inaugural West and Central Africa Migration Journalism Award 2021.
September 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

MaM Volunteers participate on a hands-on workshop where they put into practice their skills on video interviewing and learned how to edit videos on smartphones. The four days workshop took place in Tambacounda, Senegal.

Dakar, 15 September 2021: The first edition of the West and Central Africa Migration Journalism Award is now open for entries from journalists who have brought attention to the many facets of migration in West and Central Africa.  

Hosted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), entries are now open for free from today, 15 September, until 15 October 2021. Entries, in English or French, can be submitted to The Award will recognise eight winners with rewards of up to USD 1,250 each in prize money. The winning Journalists will also receive a plaque of recognition and will be invited to a virtual Award ceremony that will be broadcast on IOM’s social media platforms. The winning submissions may be republished on a media partner’s platform.  

Aimed at fostering quality reporting on migration, the Award is set to recognise outstanding stories from the region that shed light on migration from various perspectives, including safe migration, migration and climate change, and returning migrant reintegration. It will also focus on environmental migration and irregular migration, and work that debunks false and discriminatory narratives about migration and promotes balanced, evidence-based reporting. 

Christopher Gascon, IOM Regional Director for West and Central Africa, said the competition aimed to celebrate journalists who shone a light on migration and its impact. 

MaM content Creation Workshop in Nigeria. Photo: Amanda Nero / IOM 2021

“Migration issues are multidimensional and are often subject to misunderstanding. The support of journalists is the best way to unpack these complexities and give a clear understanding of all sides of the dynamics of migration. Effective reporting on migration ensures that people are presented with a more complete view of these issues which can provide a true understanding. We look to migration stories being reported in a balanced way to help ensure that migrants can make informed decisions and that the public at large receive objective information.” 

Those journalists who can enter the Award should be nationals of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone or Togo.   

 The competition is open for journalists who cover migration and irregular migration; alternatives to irregular migration; stories of migrant reintegration; awareness raising about migration and migration in the context of disasters, climate change and environmental degradation.  

MaM Volunteers participate in a hands-on workshop where they put into practice their skills on video interviewing and learned how to edit videos on smartphones. Photo: Amanda Nero /IOM 2021

 The journalistic works entered must have been published on radio or television, or in traditional media or digital platforms, between 1 September 2020, and 31 August 2021. Articles should not exceed 5,000 characters while video or audio/radio reports should not exceed three minutes. Only entries in which the applicant is the primary author or the co-author of the submitted piece will be accepted. 

Requirements for entries include: 

  • Must meet journalistic principles and basic requirements, strictly adhering to professional ethics and standards.   
  • Mustbe an original body of work without alterations.    
  • Must bepreviously published. Submitted entries that have not been previously published will immediately be disqualified without notice.  

The winning submissions will be selected by a jury made up of IOM, media and specialists from the four thematic areas:  

1) Migration, Environment and Climate Change  

2) Reintegration   

3) Awareness raising about irregular migration   

4) Alternatives to irregular migration


For more information, terms and conditions, and rules of entry please visit:  

For more information, please contact Alpha Seydi BA from the Regional Communications and Media Unit, at, +221 77 345 74 54. 

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South Sudan receives 152,000 doses of J&J COVID-19 vaccines.
September 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Minister of health, Elizabeth Achuei receiving the COVID-19 vaccine

Juba – South Sudan has received a first consignment of 152,950 does of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines donated by the United States of America.

The single dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, arrived on Tuesday are the third batch of vaccine shipments to South Sudan through the COVAX Facility, a global partnership established to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.

The vaccines compliments efforts in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Minister of health, Elizabeth Achuei, commended the US government for the generous support to fight the pandemic. 

She further stressed the need for more civic education for effective uptake of the vaccine

“Thanks to the United States government, the vaccines will ramp up the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination programme to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 18 years of age and older,” said Achuei in Juba.

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the second vaccine in South Sudan’s programme, while the double-dose AstraZeneca vaccines have already been administered in the country.”

Speaking at the same event, Charge’ De Affairs of the US Embassy to South Sudan, David Renz, said the vaccines have arrived on time to rescue communities across South Sudan.

Renz said the donation of the vaccines will strengthens the relationship between the people of the United States and South Sudan and comes at a critical time in South Sudan’s efforts against COVID-19. 

“This donation, coordinated with key international partners, including Gavi, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization, underscores our collective resolve in responding to the global challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Renz said in an emailed statement in Juba

The first batch of Astra Zeneca vaccines were shipped through the COVAX facility to South Sudan on 25 March 2021 and the second batch of 59,520 Astra Zeneca vaccines donated by France arrived on 31 August 2021.

Roll out of this new consignment is expected to start within the next two weeks. 

A donation from Sweden is also slated for arrival soon.

Latest update on Tuesday, Ministry of Health has reported confirmed 37 new COVID-19 cases and one death case. 

The number of cumulative cases had hit 11, 755 in the East Africa’s youngest nation, as of Tuesday as a total of 11,195 had recovered and 121 cumulative death cases.

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Vincent Aboubakar Strikes to fire Al Nassr into Asian Champions League quarter-finals
September 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Vincent Aboubakar scores his first goal for Al Nassr

Indomitable Lions striker Vincent Aboubakar scored the lone goal for his side Al Nassr to send the team into the quarter-finals of the Asian Champions League.

It took just 12mins for Vincent Aboubakar to find the net as his team defeated the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Tractors Sports Club 1-0 at the Khalifa International Stadium with Aboubakar also picking up the man of the match award.

The Cameroonian played the entire minutes of the game in a dominant showing of their might against Tractors.

Vincent Aboubakar missed the first big chance of the game at the 10 minute mark, when Uzbek winger Jaloliddin Masharipov went down on the left flank, with teammate Abdulfattah Asiri picking the loose ball up and playing the Cameroonian forward in, only for him to spurn his chance from inside the area.

Aboubakar will make amends a few minutes later and opened the scoring for the Riyadh-based side as well as scoring his first goal in Asian football with a beautifully constructed counter-attacks, which was concluded by a threaded pass from Anderson Talisca to the former FC Porto player who expertly chipped the keeper from close range to make it 1-0.

It has been an outstanding few weeks for Aboubakar who was with his national side for the FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifiers. Aboubakar scored one of the two goals as Cameroon defeated Malawi 2-0 in the first qualifiers. Unfortunately, the spark that he showed in the game against Malawi was not there as Ivory Coast dispatched Cameroon 2-1.

The Saudi Pro League side joins fellow Riyadh side Al Hilal SFC, Islamic Republic of Iran’s Persepolis FC and Al Wahda FSC in the West zone’s quarter-finals with the draw to be held on Friday.

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Mozambique:Former transport minister jailed for 10 years over Embraer corruption
September 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

Former transport minister Paulo Zucula has been sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for money laundering in connection with payments made by Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer, which the company admits helped it secure sales to state-owned airline LAM.

Another defendant, businessman Mateus Zimba, was also sentenced to 10 years in jail. A third defendant, the then LAM chairman Jose Viegas, was freed, as the statute of limitations for his charge had expired.

Zucula and Zimba, who are expected to remain at liberty while they appeal the verdict, were also fined MZN70m ($1.1m) each.

According to Embraer, Zimba acted as a consultant on a deal in May 2008 to sell two aircraft to LAM for $32m each. Zimba asked Embraer for “a ‘gesture’ when delivering the first plane,” Embraer said. Embraer offered Zimba $50,000 per plane, but Zimba insisted on $800,000, suggesting they raise the price charged to LAM to cover the cost.

In September 2008, LAM signed an agreement to buy two planes for $32.7 million each, more than the $32m originally suggested by Embraer. Following the delivery of each aircraft, a company set up by Zimba submitted two invoices to Embraer for $400,000 each, which were paid in 2009. Zimba went on to share the money with Zucula.

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Africa Trade Conference (ATC) 2021 to kick off in Nairobi in November.
September 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

This year’s Africa Trade Conference will occur in Nairobi, Kenya, virtually from November 11-12, 2021.

It is an annual conference that seeks to play an important role in facilitating dialogue, networking, advancing knowledge and information about Trade in Africa and Trade with Africa.

Under the theme “Empowering Africans to participate in Intra Africa Trade and Global Trade post COVID-19”, the conference’s ultimate goal is Trade and Investments by Africans that enables Africa Economic Development.

It has been organized by Regal Africa, an organization that focuses on assisting people to “Create Wealth” through trade and investment.

Regal Africa also focuses on Transforming Families by enabling them to create generational wealth, Transforming Communities through family businesses, and Impacting Nations through participation in international trade.

The participants from African countries, the African Diaspora, the Global Business community, and Global Trade experts are expected to grace the event.

The conference will be structured into four sessions: the “Trade in Africa” Session to be held on 11th November from 9:00 am EAT, and the discussion will be on Intra Africa Trade.

 “Trade with Africa” Session will be held on 11th November from 2:00 pm EAT. Panelists and attendees will deliberate on Global Trade.

“Digital Trade” Session will be held on 12th November from 9:00 am EAT, and digital trade opportunities and solutions for corporates and MSMEs in Africa will be the topics of discussion.

The last session is the “Africa Trade Exhibition” that will be held on 12th November from 2:00 pm EAT. During this session, African brands and companies that do business in Africa will be showcased.

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Kenya to host the Africa Digital Finance Summit 2022.
September 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Next year, Kenya will host the second annual Africa Digital Finance Summit (ADFS) from February 22 to February 24, 2022.

The three-day event under the theme “The Future of Finance in Africa; our pathway to financial freedom” will see experts from various fields converge in the Eastern African country deliberate and forge a pathway towards the future of finance in Africa.

Participants will be government officials, central banks throughout Africa, exceptional executives representing Fintech global operators, startups, professionals, and decision-makers worldwide in the financial, economic, technological, fintech industry, and blockchain.

The summit aims to position Africa as the continent where innovative solutions in digital and decentralized finance will be found and implemented successfully.

Some of the topics to be discussed during the summit include understanding blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies, Implementation of Defi in Africa, Policies governing disruption in finance, Introduction of central bank digital currencies in Africa and the introduction of NFTs for art. The ADFS 2021 will also be represented and released to the public.

Mary Njoki, Organizer and CEO of Glass House PR, said, “The Africa Digital Finance Summit 2022 (ADFS) will provide Africa with an opportunity to leapfrog the mistakes of the West by reimagining entire systems of production, financial services, and governance fueled by financial innovations & blockchain technologies thus positioning herself as the continent where solutions in Finance will be implemented successfully.”

Also to take place during the summit is an award ceremony. The Africa digital finance summit awards recognizing various players in the African Digital and Decentralized Finance industry to champion for and encourage new innovations and celebrate the startups/ companies that have contributed to the industry’s growth in Africa.

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Rwandan refugees in Mozambique “terrified” after businessman killed
September 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

All Rwandan refugees living in Mozambique are “terrified” after the recent killing of Rwandan businessman Revocat Karemangingo, the president of the Association of Rwandan Refugees in Mozambique has said.

Karemangingo was shot dead while returning by car to his home from his warehouse, according to the police.

Cleophas Habiyareme, the association’s president, said that Karemangingo had been targeted by the Rwandan government since an assassination attempt on him in 2016. There was an idea that he financed groups opposed to the Rwandan government, Habiyareme added.

“Since the Rwandan force in Cabo Delgado [province] arrived, we’ve been living in a situation of insecurity,” Cleophas Habiyareme said. “We were expecting this to happen at any moment.”

Karemangingo had been prominent in calling for fellow Rwandan political exile Cassien Ntamuhanga to be released. Ntamuhanga was abducted in Maputo in May, apparently by police, and has not been heard of since. The Mozambican police deny knowledge of the case.

This is the third incident this year involving Rwandan refugees in Mozambique, after the abduction of Ntamuhanga in, and an attempt to kill the association’s secretary and his brother less than a month ago.

“The Mozambican state will not accept that this situation continues”, Habiyareme said, expressing confidence that Mozambique would protect Rwandan refugees.

However, he added that he was “completely down” and that Rwandans would continue to flee if they could not be protected there.

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Kenyan ex-sports minister to be sentenced tomorrow for graft scandal.
September 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

former Principal Secretary Richard Ekai,

Kenya’s anti-corruption court today found the former sports minister Hassan Wario guilty of embezzlement of public funds and abuse of office over the Rio 2016 Olympic Games financial scandal.

The court’s Magistrate Elizabeth Juma on Wednesday said that it has sufficient  evidence linking Wario and ex-National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) official Stephen Soi to the loss of ksh88.6 million ($886000) during the global event.

Their co-accused, former Principal Secretary Richard Ekai, Haron Komen, Francis Paul and Patrick Kimathi Nkabu were acquitted by the court due to the lack of evidence.

While convicting Wario, the Magistrate said he took advantage of his position and added three people in the list of Team Kenya  and had them paid allowances yet he had no mandate to do so.

“The additional names were included after they closed the accreditation. Clearly this was an indicator that the three were not part of the team Kenya,”ruled the court.

However, the Nairobi-based court acquitted the ex-minister from the count of engaging in a project without a prior planning as there was no evidence.

The two are detained at Gigiri Police Post pending sentencing tomorrow.

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Empowering Africa’s Youth: The Launching of the African Energy Chamber’s Energy Pioneers Program
September 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

The AEC is taking hands with it’s members, partners and affiliates to support and encourage our youth in their professional development.

By Leon van der Merwe*

The leap from University to the working environment can be somewhat intimidating. The purpose of Academia is not to prepare you with all the skills needed to effectively and efficiently contribute at the workplace. It is, in my view, to assist scholastically in executing practical challenges in your specific profession. 

As a lawyer and part time lecturer, it is my submission that the lack of practical challenges or modules formulated to demonstration “real-world” scenarios are of concern. Time and time again, I have seen how final year students struggle when I task them with practical case studies.

I am not ashamed to admit that the first year or two of commencing employment, it felt like my degree was of no use or purpose! Learning the academics of Law and practicing it are poles apart. What you read about in your academic literature as student suddenly becomes real life situations, loaded with emotions and perils. I was not mentally prepared for the reality of defending a rapist, custody battles or liquidating a 100-year-old family business.

Other skills needed to be a top tier lawyer, engineer, energy expert and many alike, includes administrative, time management, people management, business development and people development skills to name but a few. A lot of these ingredients required, do not form part of your training at University.

Yes, experience comes with practice, but I do believe organisations can do more to reveal to students the actual operations in a specific sector. Specifically, the vast opportunities in the energy sector. Some form of prior practical experience is essential, not only for your personal and professional development, but also to determine if this is a profession and/or an industry you want to dedicate your life to.

I strongly believe that some form of internship programme would have benefited me tremendously. It would have greatly contributed in not only advancing but preparing me for the real-world.

With that said, the African Energy Chamber clearly understand the need and value of internship programmes. They do not only invest in young African professionals but play a crucial role in adding much needed elements in preparing the youth to be the leaders of the future.

It goes without saying that we all have different ambitions and goals in life. My concern is that the so called “big” companies frequently overlook potential interns and candidates who couldn’t afford to obtain their degrees at top ranked international universities. This internship programme will assure that all candidates with the desired qualification will be considered, irrespective of where they obtained their degrees.

The AEC is taking hands with their members, partners and affiliates to support and encourage our youth in their professional development. This is an opportunity that potential candidates must grasp with both hands, as I know I would have.

*African Energy Chamber.Leon van der Merwe is EPP Coordinator

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Successful Conferences in Angola, Nigeria, South Sudan, and South Africa Demonstrate that Africa is not Closed for Business.
September 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

With the first day of the SAOGA-hosted Southern Africa Oil & Gas Exploration conference underway, the African Energy Chamber is reiterating that any discussion on Africa’s energy future must take place in Africa. 

The Southern African Oil & Gas Alliance (SAOGA), and the Petroleum Agency of South Africa (PASA) are hosting the Southern Africa Oil & Gas Exploration conference on the 15th & 16th of September in Cape Town, South Africa. SAOGA and PASA’s success in doing this challenges the ongoing anti-African dialogue by Africa Oil Week (AOW) in Dubai that the continent is incapable of hosting events in a post-COVID-19 context. 

Oil and gas conferences such as SAOGA’s – hosted in partnership with the PASA- provide a collaborative platform for discussions on upstream oil and gas opportunities in southern Africa. The African Energy Chamber (AEC) not only supports this important event, but will maintain its momentum at African Energy Week (AEW) 2021, extending the African narrative and further emphasizing the value of African-hosted discussions.

Meanwhile, SAOGA’s conference is not the only successful energy event to take place in Africa this year. African-focused conferences hosted in Nigeria, Angola – whereby the national oil company announced its transformative plans for the oil and gas industry -, South Sudan and South Africa all demonstrate that Africa is ready and open for business. With planned events taking place in Senegal and Libya during Q4 of 2021, stakeholders are not only challenging, but abolishing the false narrative that African events cannot take place on the continent. 

“It is wrong to say that energy events cannot take place in Africa. AOW in Dubai and the Hyve group have spent a big part of 2021 building an anti-African narrative, promoting that no conference can take place in Africa in 2021. At the Chamber, and in collaboration with SAOGA, we are showing that any discussion on Africa’s energy future can and must take place in Africa. Simply looking at how many conferences are taking place on the continent disrupts the naïve false narrative about Africa. In my country Angola, we just hosted a massively successful Oil and Gas conference in which Sonangol announced major changes and we will see a lot of Oil and Gas industry players in Cape Town in November,” stated Sergio Pugliese, former BP and Equinor Exec and President of AEC Angola.

With South Africa making significant progress regarding its vaccination rollout, the country is open for business and needs large-scale energy events such as SAOGA’s and AEW 2021 to drive an economic recovery. The country is seeing the reopening of a range of conferences and events across multiple sectors, all contributing to the continent’s economic future. Dedicated to Africa, AEW 2021 has invited the entire African energy industry to Cape Town, with the Ministers and industry executives all committing to the Cape Town hosted event. AEW 2021 will drive a strong discussion on the future of the African energy industry, and has placed Africa at the forefront of the events agenda. 

“AEW 2021 is happening in Cape Town in November. With South Africa reopening the economy, driving successful vaccination rollouts, and reducing gathering restrictions, the country is ready for large-scale energy conferences. It is a shame that some organizations are willing to desert Africa to make a few dollars in Dubai when Africa has been good to them. In addition to this, it is a shame that AOW in Dubai have resorted to misrepresentations, stating that African Ministers are going to Dubai, when in fact, they are coming to Cape Town. They have no written confirmations to that and are misleading the industry. AEW 2021 is not going anywhere. The conference will be in Cape Town every year, driving a strong African Oil and Gas and Energy Industry narrative, giving many Africans and energy investors a voice, pushing for major deal signings, advocating for a just transition, demanding governments to support the oil and gas sector, and making major steps to make energy poverty history by 2030,” continued Pugliese. 

By taking place in Cape Town on the 9th-12th of November, AEW 2021 unites African stakeholders, global financiers, and industry leaders to its interactive conference and networking event. AEW 2021 will remain committed to Africa, and considers the 2021 event only the start of a string of successful energy events in years to come. 

For more information about Africa’s premier energy event, visit or and/or email Amina Williams at  

For registration related enquiries contact    

For sales related enquires contact   

For media related enquires contact   

For speaker opportunity related enquires contact

*African Energy Chamber

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COVID Compliance and Mitigation: African Energy Week 2021 in Cape Town Implements Measures to Ensure the Health and Safety of all Attendees
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

Working closely with the government, venues and global health organizations, African Energy Week has prioritized the health and safety of all staff and delegates.

With Africa’s vaccination drive progressing rapidly, and as COVID-19 regulations begin to gradually ease, South Africa is ready to welcome regional and international delegates to the highly anticipated African Energy Week (AEW) 2021, which takes place in Cape Town on the 9th-12th of November. The event is paving the way for new forms of adapted large-scale events by implementing revolutionary measures that not only ensure the safety of delegates, but actually enable increased audience participation. In light of this, AEW 2021 has placed COVID-19 and the safety of attendees as a key focus, and through a strategic design, strict and consistent event monitoring, and partnerships with global health organizations, the event will be transformative for Africa.

Complying with COVID-19 regulations, AEW 2021 has taken on a hybrid format in a bid to drive attendance while complying with social distancing and gathering restrictions. The event will utilize both in-person and online options, enabling increased international participation while reducing gatherings. Before delegates arrive at the conference, they will be requested to pre-register online, reducing the possibility of crowding. Upon arrival, through the utilization of the Health Passport Worldwide – an AEW 2021 partner – delegates will be directed towards the COVID testing tent whereby strict social distancing and mask wearing protocols will be in place. Thereafter, upon receiving a negative test, delegates can walk to the conference venue of their choosing.

What is unique about AEW 2021 is that delegates will not only be able to use online forums to attend events, but will be able to see whether or not venues are at capacity using the event microsite. The AEW 2021 microsite will mitigate social distancing challenges, while enabling an increased choice regarding functions. Accordingly, AEW 2021 is focused on implementing the right protocols to ensure a safe and socially distanced event. The AEW 2021 microsite will provide a detailed map of the venues and V&A precinct, with delegates being able to take a walk down the AEW Walkway – starting from the One&Only Hotel, passing through the Avenue, Exhibition Marquees and Workshop venues and ending at the Zeitz MOCAA. In addition to other modes of transport such as the Red City Bus and Water Taxi, the AEW Walkway directly links conference venues while ensuring ease of movement for delegates.

Representing Africa’s premier energy event, AEW 2021 is expected to host between 400 and 600 VIP delegates in November – including Ministers from Nigeria, Ghana, Niger, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Angola, Senegal, Equatorial Guinea, the Republic of Congo, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, and Namibia, as well as the OPEC, GECF and APPO Secretary Generals. In ensuring all COVID-19 social distancing and venue capacity regulations are adhered to, AEW 2021 has introduced the crafted African Energy Village concept, thus enabling substantial audience participation while complying with COVID-19 regulations and venue size protocols. Additionally, AEW 2021 will provide meeting venues that will be used for VIP meetings, deal signing and engagement with key stakeholders. By splitting delegates across multiple venues, and providing a myriad of functions within one conference, AEW 2021 has placed COVID-19 mitigation at the center of the event.

“AEW 2021 will require all delegates to wear a face mask (KN95 or equivalent) to be worn over mouth and nose, both indoors and outdoors and at all times. The event will provide sanitization facilities which will be available at every point of the event, with strategic COVID regulations advertised, and social distancing enforced at all times. To enforce these regulations, AEW 2021 has designated COVID marshals, responsible for ensuring all protocols are adhered to by all delegates. These marshals will be placed across the entire V&A precinct and will be strictly monitoring the event. We have partnered with Health Passport Worldwide for the rapid testing of all delegates each day of the event and have organized for the sanitization of all venues, equipment and public areas between each use and at the end and beginning of each day,” stated Katie Briant, Operations and Event Director for AEW 2021.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s vaccination program has been progressing faster than initially projected with government having moved to the next vaccination age group over a week earlier than initially expected. The Western Cape specifically has been pushing a strong, mass vaccination process, driven by the area’s appeal as a tourist destination and the move to reopen the economy to international travelers. AEW 2021 applauds the Western Cape Government on its efforts and speed, and will offer a discount to delegates who are vaccinated, therefore, working hand in hand with local authorities to ensure safety. What’s more, with the country gradually opening to international tourists with the resumption in flights by global airlines such as Ethiopian Airlines and Emirates, large-scale events have opted to take place in South Africa in 2021. In addition to AEW 2021 in Cape Town, Durban is set to host the Intra-African Trade Fair in November, reaffirming the value and capability of African venue destinations.

“Events such as AEW 2021 are important to attracting tourists, driving investment, and supporting economic recovery in the Western Cape. By utilizing a multi-platform, hybrid approach, and implementing ample and strict COVID-19 measures across the event’s locations, AEW 2021 and its organizers are leading the way in business conferencing and showcasing the fact that we are ready to welcome business travelers back to the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape,” stated David Maynier, Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities.

“AEW 2021 and the African Energy Chamber are committed to ensuring the safety of our delegates. We do not take COVID-19 lightly and are going above and beyond to ensure all regulations are adhered to, and all attendees are safe and healthy during the entire event. We are working closely with government and are adapting the function accordingly. We have introduced pre-registration options for delegates, provided daily tests and limited capacity at each venue. Despite AEW 2021 comprising a large-scale event, the separation and limited capacity of venues ensures each function is COVID-19 compliant,” continued Briant.

For more information regarding health and safety and the various measures being undertaken to ensure COVID-19 regulations are complied with, visit For information about AEW 2021 visit or and/or email Amina Williams at

For registration-related inquiries, please contact    

For sales-related inquiries, please contact   

For media-related inquiries, please contact   

For speaker-related inquiries, please contact

*Africa Energy Chamber

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ReconAfrica Delegation to Attend African Energy Week in Cape Town – Committed to Promoting Namibian Frontier Exploration.
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

Leading a ReconAfrica delegation including Senior Vice-President Communications and Stakeholder Relations to Cape Town in November, CEO Scot Evans is committed to promoting Namibia’s upstream potential and women in leadership.

Scot Evans, CEO of Reconnaissance Energy Africa (ReconAfrica), has confirmed his attendance and participation at African Energy Week (AEW) taking place in Cape Town on the 9th-12th of November. Both Evans and Diana McQueen, Senior Vice-President Communications and Stakeholder Relations, will come to Cape Town, not only to lead a discussion on Namibia’s hydrocarbon potential, but also to host a Women in Leadership Brunch at Africa’s premier energy event.  

ReconAfrica is a Canadian oil and gas company focused on hydrocarbon exploration and development in Namibia and Botswana. The company has a 90% interest in a petroleum exploration license in NE Namibia, covering the entire Kavango sedimentary basin, as well as a 100% interest in petroleum exploration rights in NW Botswana over the entire Kavango basin in the country. In collaboration with the government, ReconAfrica is committed to exploring the oil and gas potential in the Kavango Basin, with the company currently acquiring high-resolution aeromagnetic surveys of the license area, as well as detailed analysis of the resulting data.

With over 11 billion barrels of oil and 2.2 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves in Namibia, international oil companies have been focused on exploiting the country’s significant hydrocarbon potential. Notably, ReconAfrica has made impressive progress in a short space of time regarding exploration, particularly in Namibia. The company is drilling three conventional exploratory stratigraphic wells, intended to provide a complete picture of the geological formation. In April 2021, ReconAfrica announced preliminary results from the first well, with the discovery of a working petroleum system in the Kavango Basin. Thereafter, in June 2021, drilling of the second well correspondingly showed similar characteristics to that of the first, with clear evidence of a working conventional petroleum system.

With the complete evaluation of the first well drilled in the Kavango Basin, the complete drilling of wells three and four, 450km conducted of 2D seismic data, and the introduction of joint venture negotiations expected by the end of 2021, ReconAfrica is positioning itself as a leading Namibian hydrocarbons explorer and producer. At AEW 2021 in Cape Town, ReconAfrica will promote its exploratory success in the Kavango basin, emphasize future plans and commitments, and further position itself as the preferred developer in the prospect.

“ReconAfrica represents the future of independent energy explorers in Africa that will play a significant role in meeting Namibia, Africa and the world’s energy needs through the safe, efficient and sustainable production of hydrocarbons. With a dedicated world class team, backed by technology, they stand to produce hydrocarbons in Namibia while taking action to reduce emissions and aligning with the global ambitions of Net Zero carbon that are growing ever more important,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.

Meanwhile, ReconAfrica will host a Women in Leadership networking brunch at AEW 2021 in Cape Town, whereby the company aims to promote the role of women and emphasize the value of women in leadership positions. Geared towards having a conversation on women in leadership, and creating the ideal engagement platform for an enhanced discussion, ReconAfrica is committed to AEW 2021’s broader agenda of placing women at the forefront of Africa’s energy future.

“We are even more pleased that ReconAfrica will host this years’ women in leadership brunch, emphasizing how gender equality and inclusivity in leadership positions will help drive Africa’s energy development. Their approach in driving meaningful dialogue through their on the ground actions in Namibia and developing respectful local relationships and partnerships can only help Namibia and Africa’s energy sector see mutual benefits and a strong shared future for so many that are seeking empowerment,” concluded Ayuk.

For more information about Africa’s premier energy event, visit or and/or email Amina Williams at

For registration-related inquiries, please contact  

For sales-related inquiries, please contact 

For media-related inquiries, please contact 

For speaker-related inquiries, please contact

*African Energy Chamber

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Kenya launches September Amnesty Month for surrendering of illicit arms.
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Kenya’s Interior Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i, on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, unveiled the September Amnesty Month for the surrender of illicit arms.

The exercise will be coordinated by the National Police Service and Regional County Commissioners in line with the African Union roadmap.

The roadmap prepared in 2016 aims to help regions and states to achieve the goal of silencing guns in Africa.

Dr. Matiang’i asked the public to use the amnesty period to return the illegal arms.

“Members of the public have an obligation to cooperate with security agencies in the course of this nationwide activity. This is the only way we can end the trend of some of the ravages that such arms have visited some parts of our country,” said Matiang’i.

Three months ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta set ablaze 5144 illegal weapons collected during amnesty month in 2020.

Some were confiscated by security offers, while others were voluntarily surrendered to agencies collecting illegal arms and light weapons.

“By publicly destroying illicit weapons, Kenya once again openly demonstrates that we are determined and ready to face the challenges posed by small arms and light weapons,” said President Kenyatta on June 9, 2021.

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Kenya’s two airports win global awards for excellent customer service.
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and Moi International Airport  (MIA) bagged the best airports by size and region awards.

JKIA won the 2020 Best Airport by Size and Region in the 5 – 15 million passengers per year category, while MIA won the 2020 Best Airport by Size and Region in the under 2 million passengers per year category.

This is based on the results of ACI’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Survey. The survey captures passengers’ experience at all airport passenger contact points and attracts the participation of more than 300 airports worldwide.

Kenya Airports Authority Managing Director Alex Gitari received the awards at a ceremony held at the just concluded 3rd Airports Council International (ACI) Customer Experience Global Summit held in Montreal, Canada.

The ACI Customer Experience Global Summit is the leading platform for airports worldwide to share their experiences, best practices, and lessons learned, address challenges and trends, and build on the foundations of a successful airport community.

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Kenyan Government to deworm 4 million children this week.
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

The government of Kenya has rolled out a deworming campaign targeting four million children aged 2-14 years in 14 counties.

The three-day event, a joint initiative of the Ministry of Education and Health, runs from today to Thursday, September 16, 2021.

According to the Ministry of Education, Worm infections, if left untreated, interfere with nutrient intake and can lead to anemia, malnourishment, and impaired mental and physical development.

In March 2021, the National School-Based Deworming Program (NSBD) dewormed 2.6 million across seven counties in Western Kenya.

NSBD every year treats at least 6 million children within the 2-14 age bracket in areas at risk of worm infection.

A study conducted by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in 2012 and 2018 showed that the program had been highly effective in reducing worm infections, with the prevalence of Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH) decreasing by 62 percent among children sampled.

The 14 counties are Taita Taveta, Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu, Homa Bay, Kisumu, Siaya, Busia, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira and Narok.

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Cameroon: Separatist Fighters Conflicted over Fifteen Days Lockdown
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris E.N

The Anglophone crisis has been going on since 2016 with no end in the horizon

Separatist fighters in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon who have been fighting for autonomy for the last four years are in disagreement over a supposedly fifteen (15) days lockdown across the Anglophone Regions.

In audios circulating on social media, and heard by this reporter, the fighters are counteracting each other and accusing one another of trying to go against the “lockdowns.”

The supposedly fifteen days lockdown across the North West and South West Regions was purportedly made by the Ground Zero spokesperson and it is to start on September 15 to end on October 2. Just a day after October 1; a day when the fighters claim it is their independence day from “French Cameroun” or “La Republic.”

Two camps have sprung up with one supporting the call for the lockdown while another is completely against it. General Sagad, Colonel Shogi, and GrandPa, all of Fako and one General from Meme (Joker) are all reportedly opposed to the lockdown calls while Field Marshal from Lebialem and others are in support of it.

In audio on September 12, one of Generals Gabonese said there will not be any lockdown inside “Ambazonia” territory for now. “If that will be, we will still come on air and make our people know. But for now, we do not have any lockdown…,” He said, though this reporter could not ascertain his full identity.

He went further to state: “The population should carry out their activities without any fear of anybody. We are out to protect you people and your property and we are out to stand for the people…”

In another audio reportedly to be from Field Marshal, presents a different message. He went further to reiterate that the fifteen days lockdown that has been imposed stays and the dates have been maintained.

“The lockdown starts on September 15 and nothing will change for that. Everyone should stand their ground and nothing will change,” Field Marshal said in the audio heard by this reporter. The veracity of the audios cannot, however, be confirmed independently.

Lockdowns biting Anglophones and not “La Republic”

The outright goal of the separatist fighters is to make sure that things do not function in the English-speaking Regions to make “Yaounde” sit up and take action. But for the past years that lockdowns have been in place, one thing is clear, the local inhabitants in the North West and South West Regions are the ones suffering while things in other parts of the country go on unperturbed.

Move across the North West and South West Regions and the other parts of the country like Littoral and Centre Regions and you will see a completely different picture; it is like night and day especially on the so-called “ghost town” days.

The hustle and buzzing are the other of day in the other Region and inhabitants go about their daily activity trying to put food on their table. Cars, businesses and nightclubs are opened every hour of the day with no signs of any problem.

That is a stark difference from the case witness in the North West and South West Regions where most businesses are almost completely shut down. Shops and businesses are closed with the businesses person fearing reprisals from the fighters. The economy of the Region that was on the upward trajectory has been battered and in other Regions is completely broken.

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WFP says to cut food aid to South Sudan over funding crunch
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Juba – The World Food Program (WFP) warned that it will suspend food assistance for more than 100,000 displaced people in parts of South Sudan for three months from October due to funding shortages this year.

The UN food agency said while generous contributions from donors have enabled WFP to reach millions in need with lifesaving assistance, many vulnerable people living in crisis areas continue to suffer from the highest levels of food insecurity and cannot survive without sustained food assistance. 

Over 106,000 people displaced in camps in Wau, Juba and Bor South will not receive monthly food rations due to funding crunch for the next three months and until the new year, according to the WFP.

The agency further said it will resume its monthly food assistance for internally displaced people in those camps from January to September 2022.

“Drastic times call for drastic measures. We are forced to take these painful decisions and stretch our limited resources to meet the critical needs of people who were on the brink of starvation and now risk slipping back into catastrophe if their access to food diminishes,” said Matthew Hollingworth, Representative and Country Director of WFP in South Sudan, in the press statement issued in Juba on Monday.

He said the UN food agency requires an additional 154 million U.S. dollars to provide food assistance in sufficient quantities. 

“If funding levels continue to drop, we may have no choice but to make further cuts as the needs of vulnerable communities continue to outpace available resources,” said Hollingworth.

The WFP representative said the three-month suspension is part of a broader reduction in food assistance that the WFP announced in April across all camps that affects 700,000 refugees and internally displaced people who now receive half the caloric contents of a WFP food ration.

Food insecurity in South Sudan has increased in the last few years and now affects more than 60 percent of the country’s population, according to the UN.

This situation was blighted by the current conflict and climate change (floods) in the restive country.

The revitalized peace agreement signed by the warring parties September 2018 has marked the three years without unified forces, not ending the 2013 political conflict which has killed nearly 400,000 people and uprooted four million people from their homes, before ruined the economy in the East Africa’s youngest nation.

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Impact of COVID-19 on food security: the plight of Ghanaian female farmers.
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jessica Ahedor

File Picture. Women farmers at work in Northern Ghana (Photo: Eileen Bogweh Nchanji).

Women contribute about 70% of Ghana’s agricultural production, marketing and processing, yet they face diverse challenges. With the ongoing pandemic affecting every sphere of life, the woes of women in agriculture are deepening in addition to the existing challenges. 

In Ghana, gender inequalities in agricultural work exist in land possession, access to seedlings, modern inputs, seeds, training and education, financial and extension services, and more. These discrepancies hinder the productivity and earnings of Ghanaian women in agriculture.

Available literature by the Ghana statistical service shows that during the 1st and 2nd waves of the pandemic, 2 out of every 100 persons in Ghana as of June 2020 were either severely or moderately food insecure. These people are aged between 15 years and older, and are forced to reduce the number of meals taken in a day due to scarcity of food and money. The report also indicated that 1 out of every 10 people suffers severe food insecurity in households across the country.

“Some 47.7% of the population in Ghana as of June 2020 was affected by moderate or severe food insecurity. This corresponds to individuals living in households where at least one individual aged 15 or more was very likely forced, at times during the 30-day lockdown period, to reduce the quality of their diet, due to lack of money or other resources. This figure includes 9.5% estimated to be affected by severe food insecurity”.

Although there were regional disparities of food insecurity, the biggest decline in access to food in estimated food insecurity was observed in Northern Region, one of the largest staple foods producers of the country.

Farmer group, Agrisolve Ghana, with a women workforce of about 10,000 in production, processing and marketing of maize and soya beans across the five Northern regions, says the impact of the pandemic is so evidenced in this year’s farming season. As a result, there is decline in production mainly due to difficulties in accessing finance from institutions as they are skeptical about financing agribusiness as a result of the pandemic.

According to an Agrisolve Ghana official, “Access to credit is critical to every sector, and so as it is for agribusinesses. So with COVID affecting everything financial firms are reluctant in funding for our activities. This year, things are really tough for us”

Additionally, the astronomical increment in prices of farm inputs – fertilizer and pesticides, among others, tripled causing hikes in production costs, the official said.
Elorm Goh, Executive Director of Agrisolve, said not only did the pandemic affect production but transportation and hauling of the produce to various markets was badly affected thereby pushing demand for food items.

 “We rely mostly on trucks from Burkina-Faso to transport the goods from the North to the South, but the restriction, and closure of the borders is affecting the movement of trucks from the North to the South. The bad nature of the roads in the North is affecting transportation of the wares to the various markets in the South,” Goh said.

“We at Agrisolve produce about 10,000 metric tons of maize annually but if we produce this much and we don’t have the means of storage, couple with the challenge of bad roads when transporting it to the markets it has a direct bearing on food prices,” she stated.
Ghana imports 98 per cent of her farm inputs, hence during the pandemic when COVID restrictions were in full force (and as is still the case in some countries), demand for inputs went higher reflecting on prices in the markets.

Kojo Queyson is a middle man who owns and retails fertilizer and agro-chemicals at Assin Fosu a suburb of Central Region. He said the 25 kilos fertilizer cost 53 cedis last year with government subsidy but that this year, there is no subsidy from government due to non-payment and liquidity issues. As a result, open-market sales stand at 192 cedis while retail price stand at 110 cedis.

Clearly, there is an increment of 100 percent in fertilizer price in less than 12 month and this is having dire consequence on food prices in general, he maintained. 
Adjoa Arhin, a farmer at Abura – Aseibu, says aside the climate change issues, the pandemic affected the timely provision of farm inputs and the seeds to farmers. “Because government’s interventions of farm inputs delays, we could not plant within the stipulated time to get the right results. Food prices had gone up this year and there is no money to buy them as well,” Arhin explained. 

Ernest Teye of the department of Agricultural Engineering, University of Cape Coast, says the pandemic has and is continually hitting hard on many smallholder farmers who are mostly women because storage as part a food chain channel has been affected resulting in panic buying.

“Storage facility as a part of the food chain has been challenged and for many decades nothing is being done about it. The result is the post -harvest loses we see annually. There is no means to haul proceeds and we are not doing processing as we ought to. So, during the restriction there was panic buying for the little available food items shoring up prices,” Teye laments.

In our part of the world, we have little regards for research, talk less of implementing its findings. Even though we saw an opportunity as well as a limitation, many Ghanaians could not take advantage of it,” he bemoaned.

This suggests that locally made dried foods like cassava floor, flakes and other food items can be preserved with the available sunlight for emergency situation so as not to hit the food insecurity threshold.n

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Being D deficient in abundance of sunlight – the fate of Africans
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jessica Ahedor

Africa is known to be one of the continents that bask in a chunk of the world’s sunshine annually. This, experts say, is because most African countries are located on the equator where sunlight abounds. However, factors like lifestyle, culture, diet, skin pigmentation, variation in the ozone layer and geographical area, influence the full utilization of vitamin D among its populations on the continent.

Also known as “sunshine” vitamin, Vitamin D is a steroid hormone that is essential for the normal functioning of the body including the intestine, skin, bone, parathyroid glands, immune system, pancreas, and even the healthy growth of a developing fetus. It is produced through skin exposure to sunlight and also from diets which are enriched with Vitamin D, like sea fatty fish or egg yolk.

But according to experts, Vitamin D status is gained mostly by exposure of the skin to sunlight for 10 -15 minutes, twice a week than from dietary intake of vitamin D sources. This is because food sources are limited, particularly when the food supply is not fortified with vitamin D.

However, vitamin D toxicity can as well compromise human health especially when the body cannot regulate the excess amount of vitamin D. As such, it is estimated that up to one billion healthy individuals are living with hypovitaminosis D globally.

Available literature by Reagan M. Mogire et al, of Kenyan Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Centre for Geographic Medicine, shows that many children in sub-Saharan Africa have a high burden of rickets and infectious diseases as a result of vitamin D deficiency. This means, one out of every 7 children living in Africa is vitamin D deficient.

Micah Mathiang’i, a senior lecturer at the Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Amref International University, Nairobi, Kenya, hinted that the phenomenon is becoming common among the populace in Africa cities. While there are adequate serum Vitamin D levels for improving healthy bones and preventing conditions like rickets among children and reducing the risk of type1diabetes, cardiovascular diseases among adults, children of working-class parents are at a higher risk, he stated. 

In Ghana for instance, the situation is no different. It is the reality of many working mothers waking up early in their quest to go about daily activities to escape systemic hindrances like vehicular traffic among other challenges to keep up the needs of life. As a result, many of them miss on the sunshine vitamin.

Speaking to some Ghanaians to ascertain their level of knowledge about the “sunshine” vitamin reveals many have the general view about an existence of a nutrient that comes from the sun, but they are not aware of the timing and the exact type of vitamin.

Mrs. Nketiah-Brown, in Kasoa – a suburb of Central Region – says she knows there is a vitamin that comes from the sun early morning but she is not sure of the type. “I was told by my grandma the early morning sun is good for the body but I don’t really know what vitamin it gives. But for the time I am told the early morning sun,” she explains.

Although the condition is without isolated symptoms, it is a pre-deposing factor of many communicable and non-communicable diseases, making it difficult to figure out the role it plays in any condition that threatens human lives.
A publication in the Journal of Nutrition and metabolism by Samuel Asamoah Sakyi, et al, confirms a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency of 43.6% among healthy Ghanaian populace despite having access to 4 – 5 hours of sunlight per day.

The lead author of the paper, Samuel Asamoah Sakyi, explains that the sun gives 80 percent of the vitamin D needed by every healthy human in addition to the 20 percent derived from diet. Unfortunately, the result of our study inferred that the depletion of the ozone layer might be one of the determinants affecting the quality of the current vitamin D available and its utilization in persons in Ghana.

“Additionally, the timing of the sunshine vitamin is 9 to 10 am daily but many people miss out on it. So, clearly, we are not getting enough from the source that gives us maximum vitamin D, hence the need for us to add the supplements to stay healthy’’.   

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There Is No Justification For Akufo-Addo’s Refusal To Use Ghana Presidential Jet – Ablakwa.
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

A leading member of the opposition National Democratic Congress, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has fumed again about the cost of the President’s travels.

The Member of Parliament for the North Tongu Constituency bemoaned the ‘wastage’ associated with the President’s external flights and is therefore calling for a national policy on presidential travels to deal with ‘the rape of the public purse’ by President Akufo-Addo. His recent backlash comes on the back of President Akufo-Addo’s recent trip to Germany to negotiate a deal with Pfizer to help in the country’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

In expressing his concerns about the cost involved in the travel, the enraged legislator stated that Akufo-Addo has acquired an insatiable desire for flying in luxurious aircraft, leaving Ghana’s presidential jet, the Dassault Falcon 900-EXE to lie in waste, despite its pristine condition.

The Falcon, according to Okudzeto Ablakwa was used by ex-Presidents Atta-Mills and John Dramani Mahama, and hence he sees no reason why Akufo-Addo will abandon the Falcon, irrespective of its functional state. In his view, this ostentatious preference by the President comes at the expense of the ordinary Ghanaian, and must therefore be curbed immediately.

In expressing his frustrations, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa further argued that Ghana’s official presidential aircraft can embark on similar destinations to Europe and hence he’s unable to fathom why the President willfully abandons the country’s presidential jet for expensive charters that only hurt the public purse.

According to him, following the public outcry that greeted the President’s expensive charter some weeks ago, he would have expected the President to heed to the calls of Ghanaians and flown in the presidential jet, which is comparatively cheaper; but instead, the President threw caution to the wind and went for another top of the range VIP luxury charter, known as the Boeing 737-900ER BBJ3.

He further went on to state that, if the government is dealing directly with the operators of the LX-DIO, then it is costing the Ghanaian taxpayer at least US$14,000 per hour. However, if the government is leasing the aircraft via brokers or middlemen the Ghanaian taxpayer is being billed between US$18,000 and US$22,000 per hour.

Okudzeto Ablakwa also estimated that if the conservative rate of US$14,000 per hour is applied, the two trips to the UK and Germany which require some 28 hours of travel distance in and out plus an additional 13 hours of pick up and drop off time, will cost the taxpayer a whopping US$574,000.00; equivalent to 3.46 million Ghana Cedis.

This according to him is outrageous, the reason for which a national policy on presidential travels should be adopted to curb such ‘needless’ expenditures.

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Credible , fair and free elections in Zimbabwe blocked by Security forces since 1980.
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

Members of the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance (MDC) protest against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, which they accuse of plotting to rig for ruling ZANU-PF party, in Harare, July 11, 2018.Photo credit VOA

On a fair playing ground it has been openly learnt that Security forces inhibit and block free , fair elections in the country . This has been the game since 1980 .This is horrendous to take note of amid reports that these quasi -Judicial people have since Robert Mugabe time intimidated forcefully on voters between 1983 and 1987 , in the year 2000 ,  heavily more in 2008 battling ZAPU PF and  MDC and a small opposition parties born out of ZANU PF .The likes of the inside partises to say were Zimbabwe Union of Democrats , ZUD and Zimbabwe Unity Movement , ZUD respectively by a daughter of the party Margeret Dongo former Member of Parliament and Edgar Tekere former  1980 to 1989 Minister of Economic Development and Man-Power Planning .

Dewa Mavhinga a close source entailed to the Pan-African-Visions this week came up witha report from which a story circulating around was published . It was extracted from a Crisi in Zimbabwe Coalition report . President Mnangagwa is advised to stop security forces from intervening in elections run after every five years in the country .

”The Zimbabwe authorities need to reform security forces completely. There is urgent need to end their involvement in partisan politics. It must be ensured that they are completely professional, act constitutionally in Rights respecting manner”

” For any civil societies and social movements or citizens to campaign , freely in a democratic manner , in order to hold free , credible elections , the elephant in the room of Zimbabwean politics must be removed .”

The intervention of state security in politics started in in 1983 and ended briefly in 1987 . Robert Mugabe the former President deployed section of the army brutally trained to squash the heat of the ZIPRA forces trained under Joshua Nkomo who had sadly lost the 1980 Elections when Mugabe got 57 percent versus Joshua Nkomo 20 percent votes.

Section of the army called fifth brigade was trained by North Korean instructors named  then ” gukurahundi , meaning , sweep the chaff and rubbish off ” . This caused disturbances, abuse of human rights in the Midlands and Matebeleland provinces of which the two were ZAPU PF strong-holds . There was brutal , massive violence which led to the death of 20,000 civillans a case in discussion causing winds in the country under the Gukurahundi massacre. The brigades destroyed ZAPU PF bases in the two provinces until Joshua Nkomo finally joined ZANU PF . In 1987 , Government of National unity was formed on 22 December . He was later swirn as Vice President of Zimbabwe , 1987 to 1998 , when he died .

The Zimbabwean government later called for an amnesty to relieve all those who had been involved in human rights violations . This relieved the Central Intelligence Organisation personnel and soldiers who had committed heinous crimes . More violence was witnessed in 2000 following launch of MDC in 1999 . Joshua Nkomo had recently died in 1998 not a happy man at all , it was learnt that he was duped  by the unity accord which was supoosed to go in favour of him to take power as well after a period of ten years .

The military still has been a resisting force that has deadenned voices of the people , voters of their concerns and grievances at large . Robert Mugabe created a wave of trailling of massive disturbances that led to the death , maim and injuries of civillians . Batch of soldiers were deployed to DRC late 90’s , excombattants payed billions in  net total this leading to problems the country faced , languishing the nation in hunger , poverty and vulnerability . This contributed to the crisis we have .

Scandals were exhumed , soiled up and information destroyed by Mugabe government which was involved in grant massive corruption in  in DRC , Mozambique wars where it sent soldiers to help in military hand . United Nations report notes ,

” The key strategist in DRC activities is President  Mnangagwa who was the Minister of State Security . He won strong support from the military and the central intelligence  for an aggrieve policy in the Democratic Republic of Congo , DRC ”.

Further on unleashing of political violence rocked in 2008 , leading to massive maiming , hands cut short sleeved and long sleeved to those who suppoerted MDC opposition . There were 36,000 displacements , total of 5,000 people severely tortured and 200 killed in 2008 . This is just first hand information . There is more to it than meets the eye .

SADC election observer mission revealed serious injuries occured , fatal incidences , death and brutal torture characterised the election .

” The period leading to run-off  election was characterised by politically motivated violence .This resulted in loss of lives in rural areas of ZANU PF strong-holds where there were a number of settled supporters belonging to the party ”,

it concludes

” Zimbabwe is party to the SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections established to promote  free and fair , transparent , credible and peaceful democratic elections “.

Crisis Coalition report urges Mnangagwa now to move on in a new different direction in coming up with credible , fair elections . The new regime ushered in a new democratic government meant to respect the rule of law , rights of the people and social justice must come with reforms to bring to the people a fearless campaign come 2023 so that people can vote freely , democratically , in a credible , accountable and transparent way .

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Niger: Armed groups are increasingly targeting children in troubled Sahel border area – report.
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jean-Pierre Afadhali

Children are increasingly being killed and recruited by armed groups in the troubled Sahel’s region at Niger’s borders with Mali and Burkina Faso, said Amnesty International in a new report.

The report titled: “‘I Have Nothing Left Except Myself’: The Worsening Impact on Children of Conflict in the Tillabéri Region of Niger” released on Monday 13 Sept. documents the impact of the conflicts in Sahel region amid rising armed violence that involves armed Islamic Groups Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) and the al-Qaida-affiliated Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM).

According to the human rights organisation both armed groups operating in the West African region have committed war crimes and abuses including the murder of civilians and targeting schools. “Many children are experiencing trauma after witnessing deadly attacks on their villages. In some areas, women and girls have been barred from activities outside the home, and risk abduction or forced marriage to fighters,” the report noted.

Matt Wells, Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Deputy Director, Thematic Issues said in Niger’s Tillaberi region, an entire generation is growing surrounded by death and destruction. “Armed groups have repeatedly attacked schools and food reserves, and are targeting children for recruitment,”

The report is released barely two days after armed men on motorcycles shot and killed 11 civilians in an attack on the village of Gnarba Kouara, in Tillaberi. Six of the victims were from the same family, according to Finger Lakes Times, a news website.

Amnesty International Report says that armed groups have killed more than 60 children in Niger’s Tri-border Area in 2021. The rights body says ISGS, which operates primarily on the border with Mali, could be responsible for most of the large-scale killing.

Children who had narrowly survived attacks on their villages, interviewed by Amnesty International described how masked fighters on motorbikes opened fire targeting mainly men and older boys. “We all are used to hearing gunshots and to seeing [dead] people layered on top of [dead] people.” One boy was quoted as saying in the report released today.

Some children have experienced nightmares as result of rising violence in the troubled tri-border area. “Sometimes I have nightmares being chased by people on motorbike or seeing Wahab pleading with [the attackers] again.” Says a boy who witnessed the murder of his 12-year-old friend who was quoted by Amnesty International researchers.

Meanwhile armed groups continue to recruit children near the border with Burukina Faso. Witnesses said JNIM has targeted younger men and boys aged between 15 and 17, and possibly younger, noted the report.

The Human rights organization is calling on Nigerien government and its international partners to urgently take action and monitor and prevent further abuses and protect the basic rights and protect all affected by the deadly conflict with focus on children.

Amnesty International says an estimated 13.2 million people in the three countries will need humanitarian assistance this year, and around 1.9 million people have been internally displaced.

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Kenya Pavilion handed over at Expo 2020 Dubai.
September 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Kenyan Industrialization, Trade, and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina, on Monday, September 13, 2021, received Kenya Pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai.

Under the theme “Feeling Energy”, the Kenya pavilion reflects the vitality, love, the desire for innovation, and the patriotic energy of the Kenyan people in building the Kenyan brand.

Kenya is one of 192 countries participating in the 2020 Dubai World Expo, which is scheduled to be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), from October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2021.

Kenya will use the expo to showcase trade and investment opportunities in line with the four major development agendas: manufacturing, food security, universal health care, and universal affordable housing.

This East African country will also showcase its tourism opportunities, economic diversification, and potential as a major exporter of goods, services, talent, innovation, and a rich culture to the world.

“This for us is a great opportunity to show the world we are here, and we are forced to reckon with. It is a clear testimony that Kenya is ready to join the league of Nations to collaborate, exhibit, showcase and sell to the world products that are truly and authentically Kenyan,” said Betty Maina, thanking the UAE Government for supporting Kenya’s participation by providing a sponsorship package that catered for the design and construction of the Kenya pavilion.

During the expo, Kenya will also diversify and integrate exports to the UAE and the Middle East.

The main products include horticulture (fruits and vegetables), coffee, tea, meat and meat products, logistics, flowers, edible nuts, tourism and sports services, etc.

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Vice President Of Ghana, Dr Bawumia Loses Mother.
September 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

Hajia Mariama Bawumia, the mom of Ghana’s Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has died in the capital, Accra on Monday 13 September 2021.

She had been hospitalized in a medical facility in Accra over the past few weeks.

A native of Kpasenkpe in the West Mamprusi District, Hajia Mariama was one of the first northern female students to gain admission to the prestigious Wesley Girls High School in Cape Coast in the Central Region.

During her 80th birthday in 2019, Dr. Bawumia in a Facebook post described her as “the pillar of my life.”

“I always thank the Almighty God for giving me such a caring and supportive mother. She has always been there for us. The pillar,” he said in the post.

Hajia Mariama Bawumia was born on September 15, 1939, and died at the age of 81.

She died two days away from her 82nd birthday.

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Mozambique:President Guebuza’s advisers denie receiving bribes from Privinvest
September 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

Former president Armando Gubuza’s chief political adviser says that the $1.7 million he received from the Lebanese shipbuilding group Privinvest was a gesture of “solidarity” from his friend Jean Boustani, the Privinvest salesman accused of paying bribes to Mozambican officials, in response to difficulties the defendant said he was facing at the time.

Renato Matusse is accused by Mozambique’s public prosecutor of having received $2m from Privinvest for his role as a facilitator for Privinvest’s interests in Mozambique, and as an intermediary in the maritime protection project that culminated in the illegal borrowing of $2.2 billion.

Matusse, however, denies the charge. He explained to the court that he received only $1,660,000 from Privinvest in 2013, following a conversation he had with Boustani in 2012 in which he shared the “concerns and difficulties” he was facing.

“He sent this money voluntarily and in solidarity in the context of our friendship,” said Matusse, saying the payment was “totally separate from the maritime project.” The prosecution’s indictment is problematic, Matusse said, because he claims he had no power to influence the former head of state.

The friendship with Boustani, according to Matusse, emerged when the two met in 2012 in President Guebuza’s office. He said he did not know who took Boustani there, and chose not to answer questions regarding the meeting’s agenda. Asked about the current state of their friendship, he said that it “naturally cooled down”, admitting that that happened right after the receipt of the values ​​from Privinvest.

The money received by Matusse was not sent directly to his bank accounts. He identified the goods he intended to purchase and forwarded the vendors’ account details to Boustani, who in turn transferred the respective purchase amounts directly to their accounts.

Asked why this method was used, Matusse replied that it was a “matter of convenience” to avoid receiving it in his account and then sending it to the sellers of the apartments, properties and vehicles he bought. The court also asked whether the assets in question, which he did not register in his name, are the “concerns and difficulties” that he had mentioned. Matusse declined to answer, saying it was a “very intimate matter.”

The prosecution claimed, however, that the financial transactions were intended to hide Matusse’s connection with the money, and to hide its origin.

Asked why the money came from Privinvest if it was a gift from Boustani, Matusse said he could not answer because he had just given Boustani the account numbers of the people and institutions that needed to be paid on his behalf.

When confronted with emails and documents regarding Proindicus sent to his email address by Privinvest, as well as others about financing sent by Andrew Pearse, the Credit Suisse banker structuring the financing, Matusse said he used to ignore them because they didn’t concern him.

He said he felt unable to tell Boustani that he was not interested in receiving the project emails, as he wanted to cultivate a relationship with Boustani as he could be an “important guide” for Mozambique to “penetrate the Arab world.”

President Guebuza’s private secretary admits receiving €750,000

President Armando Guebuza’s private secretary Ines Moiane admitted receiving €750,000 from Privinvest, but denied the money was linked to meetings she arranged between President Guebuza and Privinvest executives, in the context of the maritime protection project that culminated in the illegal contracting of loans worth $2.2bn.

Moiane admitted to the court on Thursday that she arranged, inside and outside Mozambique, roughly six meetings between President Guebuza and senior Privinvest officials, including the group’s head Iskandar Safa, but denied that she received any reward or bribes for the work.

She said that the €750,000 she received through the company created by her long time friend Sergio Namburete referred to the sale of land owned by her to Privinvest, which at the time intended to build an apartment building in Maputo city.

“It was a private deal after a conversation between me and Jean Boustani, in one of the visits he made to President Guebuza’s office” said Moiane. “I had proposed that they build a 20-storey apartment building on my land, and in exchange give me five apartments in the building, but they refused and said they preferred to pay me in cash,” she added.

Asked by the court why the contract for sending the money to Mozambique did not mention her name or the transfer of the land, Moiane said she did not know. The contract in question, for a ‘civil construction project’, was signed in November 2014 between Namburete and Logistics International Abu Dhabi of the Privinvest group, and led Privinvest to send €877,000 to Namburete, of which €750,000 was passed on to Moiane.

The prosecution, meanwhile, showed a series of emails and documents about the marine protection project sent by Boustani to Inês Moiane’s email address, with copy or knowledge of Ndambi Guebuza, who is also a defendant in the trial accused of having received $33m for his role in convincing his father to approve the project. Moiane said she could not answer why Ndambi was included in state affairs, and that only Boustani could answer that.

Prosecutor Sheila Marrengula wanted to know if Ines Moiane sent emails or her affairs to President Guebuza and she replied that she did not remember. The same question was later asked by the Mozambique Bar Association, and Moiane this time answered that she never discussed the project with President Guebuza.

Confronted with some of her statements in the preparatory instruction phase indicating her involvement in the project discussions, she asked the judge not to consider those hearings further allegedly because at the time she responded “under pressure.”

Moiane avoided talking about her connections with Privinvest and her role in the maritime protection project that ended up involving the “hidden debts” companies Proindicus, MAM and Ematum — only answering questions related to her receipt of the money, and what was done with it.

Elias Moiane, Ines Moiane’s nephew, is also a defendant and was briefly questioned on Thursday. He managed the money received from Privinvest on his aunt’s behalf, using it to buy apartments in Maputo. Ines Moiane said at the hearing that she directed her nephew to do that because she was “very busy.” Elias Moiane also confirmed the statements in his brief interrogation.

The apartments were then rented and the amounts were paid to Elias Moiane who, in turn, transferred the money or withdrew it in cash and delivered it to his aunt, Inês Moiane.

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