Nigeria begin their World Cup campaign against Croatia on June 16 in Kaliningrad, before facing Iceland on June 22 and then Argentina on June 26.
It’s the sixth time Nigeria is competing in the tournament, which makes the Super Eagles a regular World Cup player, only missing out on one tournament since 1994.
While drawing a tough qualifying group, the Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel (30) and midfielder Victor Moses (26) helped the team with wins over Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria but due to poor display in previous years, Nigeria – which is ranked number 50 on the list of international teams – was placed in a weaker pot at the draw held in Russia, and ended up in a group with Croatia, Island and Argentina.
Since Gernot Rohr took charge of the Super Eagles in 2016, the team have progressively grown in team spirit and discipline. The unity fostered in the squad has seen Nigeria adopt a strong mentality that allows them to flourish against the odds. This young team bear the imprint of their manager, who has designed a resilient counterattacking side capable of surprises at the World Cup.
Let’s take a look at Nigeria’s World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know.
Nigeria’s World Cup squad – the 23 names
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba), Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United).
Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor), Tyronne Ebuehi (Den Haag), Elderson Echiejile (Brugge), Bryan Idowu (Amkar Perm), Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes), William Ekong (Bursaspor), Leon Balogun (Brighton), Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa).
Midfielders: John Obi Mikel (Tianjin TEDA), Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester), Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas), John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva), Joel Obi (Torino).
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Leicester), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester), Victor Moses (Chelsea), Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Simeon Nwankwo (Crotone)
If you’re still looking to witness the action live in Russia, you can buy cheap flights from Travelstart your one-stop online travel shop. Although Rohr has tried different formations – including a 3-5-2 used in November’s 4-2 triumph over Argentina – it is clear that he will opt for his trusted 4-2-3-1, based on defensive flexibility and effective counter-attacking football. The strength of the Super Eagles is pinned on the individual brilliance of a few.
The strong and dynamic midfield of the Super Eagles led by captain John Obi Mikel and Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi, paired with the attacking power of Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi, Chelsea’s Victor Moses and Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho, are talented enough to ensure that Nigeria advances from the group stage of the competition.
|Djibouti hopes to reach a rapid and equitable solution that is in accordance with the law|
DJIBOUTI CITY, Djibouti, June 12, 2018/ — On 22 February, the Republic of Djibouti (www.Presidence.dj) terminated the DCT (Doraleh Container Terminal) concession, in which DP World is a shareholder and operator. This decision was taken after numerous unsuccessful attempts to get DP World to renegotiate a contract that was clearly contrary to the fundamental interests of the nation.
This termination is a sovereign decision, part of a legal procedure, and executed at the end of a transparent process. It was instigated by an unfair and unbalanced contract, the clauses of which imposed unacceptable limits on Djibouti’s development policy. The decision is linked to an exceptional and aberrant situation that by no means calls into question the strength or credibility of the signature of the Republic of Djibouti.
The decree terminating the concession, as well as the law governing it, provide for a compensation procedure in accordance with commonly accepted international rules and practices. This compensation procedure will continue, despite the obvious unwillingness of the former partner. Djibouti hopes to reach a rapid and equitable solution that is in accordance with the law.
The termination of the contract has in no way stopped port operators from expressing their confidence and interest in the new public structure that has taken over its management – SGTD (Doraleh Container Terminal Management Company). Singaporean ship-owner PIL signed an agreement in March to triple transshipment traffic handled by the terminal. Numerous discussions are underway with other major players in the sector. The port’s productivity has undergone a marked increased since its operation was placed in the hands of its Djiboutian managers.
Djibouti’s scope and ambition goes way beyond the success of Doraleh port. Major investments are ongoing and the amounts committed attest to the confidence of international partners: the Djibouti-Addis-Ababa railway line, Tadjourah mineral port, Goubet port, Doraleh multipurpose port, the start of construction work on the new Djibouti mega free zone in Khor Ambado and the launch of the Damerjog industrial development free zone, etc. One of the more recent agreements is for an ambitious energy sector project. The first phase provides for the commissioning of a gas pipeline between Ethiopia’s Ogaden Basin natural gas fields and the coast of Djibouti. The second phase concerns the construction and operation of a natural gas liquefaction plant and a gas terminal in the Damerjog area, all privately financed by the mega project’s developer, China’s POLY-GCL Petroleum Group Holdings Limited, to the tune of US$4 billion.
These major projects are being undertaken within a particularly attractive macroeconomic and regulatory framework. Economic growth is expected to remain at high levels – around 7% for 2018 and 2019 – making Djibouti one of Africa’s top ten economies in terms of growth. The Djiboutian Franc is a stable currency, pegged to the US dollar, freely convertible (without restriction) and its exchange rate has remained unchanged since 1973.
The sustainability of these investments is buoyed by the Republic of Djibouti’s ambition and by excellent medium- and long-term prospects, since Djibouti is strategically located at the crossroads of one of the busiest shipping routes in the world, linking Europe, the Far East, the Horn of Africa and the Persian Gulf. Quite naturally, Djibouti positions itself as the main gateway to East Africa, and particularly Ethiopia, an emerging nation of 100 million people and the Republic of Djibouti’s leading strategic partner. While maintaining very close relations with its other traditional partners, Djibouti is linked to China’s big New Silk Road development strategy. In reality, Djibouti is the entry point to a formidable logistics corridor designed to serve an emerging African continent.
Djibouti’s investment ambitions are being rolled out in a context of optimal security. Its solid institutions guarantee stability and visibility in an often difficult regional context. It is a welcoming land where dialogue is key. The country’s respect for its international commitments since its independence has made it a reliable and respected player in the concert of nations. Djibouti is an essential partner for peace, and a stalwart in the fight against terrorism and piracy, hosting on its territory American, Chinese, French, Japanese, European (Operation Atalanta) and Saudi military bases. Thus Djibouti ensures the de facto safety of the world’s main shipping route through which 70% of international traffic passes.
|AIS 2018 focused on innovative and disruptive solutions to the major challenges facing African countries, which include energy access, water, food insecurity, health systems, and governance|
| KIGALI, Rwanda, June 11, 2018/ — The Africa Innovation Summit (AIS) (www.AfricaInnovationSummit.com) closed on Friday with a resonating call to action addressed to innovators, government leaders, private sector, civil society and academia: “Let us throw out the boxes that have caged us”. The overwhelming view of the Summit was that in order to nurture, empower and propel African innovators and their solutions forward, a multi-sectorial and multi-stakeholder approach must be taken to ensure policies, investments and enabling ecosystems are put in place to support African innovation without apology or hesitation.
Some of the Summit’s themes, which were explored in action-oriented workshops from 6-8 June 2018, included the following, to mention a few:
Speaking about the role of government, Mr Carlos Lopes, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), said: “It is not a question of knowing what is right but doing what is right. We need to be tough with our leaders. It is a pre-condition for change. We have a wave of transformation in Africa. There is political will to translate Africa’s dreams into practical tools. We need to harness our negative energy and change it into dynamism.”
From 600 applications of the 44 countries, a selected group of 50 innovators had a unique opportunity to engage stakeholders in discussing potential solutions to some of the blockages that are preventing solutions from going to scale.
Lowell Scarr, one of the 50 innovators at AIS 2018, has been studying and working in the insect industry, and is currently living in Grahamstown in South Africa. His innovation, Nambu, proposes a solution by bridging challenges in the Agriculture and Food Security sector. Nambu transforms food waste into animal feed as “30% of the food is wasted in South Africa” and there is an “increase in animal feed shortage”. Scarr said that the biggest challenges he encountered as an innovator was being able to “overcome fear and getting it done”, adding that it is not always about the lack of financial resources but more about “finding the time to do it and getting into the right mind-set”.
Francis Nderitu Mwangi, top 50 innovator with his solution, Vakava Quickgold, which provides unbreakable cold chains in agriculture from post-harvest to the last mile by storing cold energy in dry ice batteries that do not need to rely on any external power sources, outlined one of the challenges innovators face in Africa: “I feel like there’s some sort of discrimination towards the local innovators. Our own African investors tend to invest in foreign innovations. There are also infrastructure issues, as rural Africa does not have good connectivity and is therefore not able to receive our network.”
AIS 2018 focused on innovative and disruptive solutions to the major challenges facing African countries, which include energy access, water, food insecurity, health systems, and governance. As a platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue and actions, AIS is Africa’s only summit on innovation that seeks to foster action-driven dialogue between African innovators and stakeholders in Government, private sector, civil society and academia to ensure African solutions are concretely given the opportunity to scale in a measurable way. The summit has also created a community of innovators that will not only meet to dialogue on solutions but also create ecosystems that will enable them to share ideas and network beyond the summit.
In his final call to action, Dr. Olugbenga Adesida, co-Director of AIS, calls for a bolder imagination about the future by Africans and a sense of urgency around Africa’s transformation. He noted that innovation is a pre-requisite for Africa’s transformation and that all stakeholders must engage to facilitate greater collaboration. Africa must ensure greater self-reliance by mobilizing domestic funding to promote innovation and support our innovators; The future belongs to them. We must build robust ecosystems for innovation in our respective countries on the continent. Africa cannot simply be consumers, nor can it outsource its development. We all must engage with a new sense of urgency to facilitate change!
The presence of the Top 50 African Innovators in Kigali was made possible by the sponsorship of the European Union Commission. Other key partners and sponsors included the Government of Rwanda, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Government of Luxemburg, NEPAD Agency, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), Afreximbank, the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), YAS (UNDP & Accenture), Usawa.io, BADEA, PATH, International IDEA, OIF Ethiopia Airlines and Turkish Airlines.
The AIS (www.AfricaInnovationSummit.com) is an Africa-wide and home grown initiative aimed at harnessing the innovation potential of the continent. It aims to mobilize people with the ‘power to act’, including investors, innovators, policy makers, researchers and academics, the business community, the youth, as well as thought leaders and thinkers into a coalition for collective action to promote and build an enabling environment for innovation in Africa. The goal is to engage as many people as possible in order to build a broad constituency in support of innovation in Africa.
The AIS platform includes regular Summits to promote dialogue, facilitate exchange of best practices among stakeholders and African countries, showcase what is happening on the continent, and share lessons of experience. The platform also includes engaging with African researchers and scholars to undertake case studies to tease out lessons of experience in order to facilitate learning by stakeholders. The African Innovation Exhibit which is also part of the AIS provides a stage to showcase homegrown innovations and innovators on the continent, while the Hackathons will challenge the people to come up with solutions to specific problems. The exhibitions and hackathons will allow stakeholders to seek ways to scale up potential solutions.
Each AIS will build on the previous ones by deepening the dialogue, engaging a wider number of stakeholders, as well as focusing Africa’s innovation potential to address the challenges facing the continent. The aims are to identify path breaking ideas and disruptive solutions to be developed and/scaled up in Africa as well as build a constituency to help address the fundamental challenges facing the continent.
By Nevson Mpofu
Trade and Economic Development in the African Region must be put on the fore-front through Regional Integration and policy development. Despite the fact of some economic improvements in the African Region, Integration, policy development and Information dissemination gaps must be closed so as to further improve some dark areas especially on Information dissemination that has lagged behind on issues related to Trade and Development and Regional Integration at continental level.
Addressing a pack of 30 Journalists from the African Region recently in South Africa, Cape Town, Trade Law Centre Executive Director Trudi Hartzenburg said it is vital for Journalists who report on Economic issues to dwell on the subject of Trade and Development and far fetch information on Regional Integration.
‘’African Countries are forging ahead with the times in Economic Development , Trade and Law and on Integration issues , but however , there is need for more information to highlight dark areas of gaps which need to be addressed in order to stir more change .
‘’For countries to improve on the development of their economies, more information dissemination is vital throughout the African Region. In addition to that Trade policies, Laws, frameworks and strategies must be articulated correctly.
‘These instruments from the International level, Regional to National level must address core issues for Economic Development. There-fore, media plays a role in fostering economic Development through information dissemination at all levels of concern.
Reporting for Economic Development is key since Africa is still with many developing countries with low Gross Domestic Products and Low Income per-capita due to low levels of Domestic Exports. Many countries in the African Region have seen the green light in Economic Development because of Regional organizations impacts on Trade .
Some of these important organizations are the then Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference [SADCC][ which later was changed to SADC , COMESA , Preferential Trade Agreements [PTA] , Southern Africa Customs Union [SACU] , ECOWAS , East African Community [EAC] and those surrounding Africa like European Union [EU] ,World Trade Organization[WTO] , NATO and African Caribbean and the Pacific [ACP] .
‘’African countries can only see the green light through smart Regional partnerships , however linking on Trade issue with the outside of Africa , help countries to develop themselves . Regional Integration must move further to define itself out of the African box to join with the World Trade Organization. Such partnerships make countries achieve on Sustainable Development Goals in line with poverty reduction through Regional co-operation, Integration and policy development at International levels.
‘’One important critical organization to work with is the International Trade organization WTO]. It is pathetic to note that out of 54 countries in the African Region , only a few have over the recent years been affiliated to World Trade Organization which by then had only 164 countries , some of them , the developed countries of the World .
‘’That is one main reason why we are behind the camera of economic development. African countries shun some of the most important economic activities at the expense of its population. Besides, this is true as well with other countries like in some parts of Asia , Europe and Latin America .
‘’Instead of talking of Regional Integration , we are supposed to talk about Global Integration , looking at how possibly we can shoulder up and grapple challenges of poverty and less growth in Gross and National Domestic Product . As well, we need more of Global Integration, policy development and improvements in Law issues related to Trade so that we can move ahead with the times’’ , Trudi elucidated .
Trudi also touched on issues as well on Preferential Trade Agreements which focus on trade agreements in the area of Trade and Development. Such advantageous preferences are related to zero or low tariffs when countries are in trade issues. A good example is the Generalized Tariffs countries in the developed world grant in form of preferential tariffs so that they may have imports from developing countries.
Professor Gerhard Erasmus added that zero and low tariffs improve on issues in trade there-by facilitating fast development. The link and friendly co-operation of countries according to Professor Gerhard is an advantage to those in the developing world, but there is need for the developed world to work in unison with the developing ones so that economic growth can easily be realized without any difficulties at all.
‘’Agreements in trade are very important as long as they last and bring the desired goals of economic development meant to improve on the lives of the general population in the World. As long countries are in agreements, they foster economic growth to regional levels, and then there is need for further developments ascending to regional and international heights.
‘’Thus why some countries have gone up in short periods of the decades passed. It is because of Trade Agreements meant to foster economic development at national to regional until it’s at international levels ‘’
‘’Economic growth ‘is spearheaded by policy development at all levels with the interventions of frameworks and strategies building up on better relationships. Some countries have focused more on policy, research for economic development aligning relationships and affiliating memberships at regional levels.
‘’At last they made their way into becoming fast developing countries until they became recognized at global levels. But, it needs our effort and strength to stimulate Investments through policy development. Through the African Continental Free Trade Area , some economies have molded to better strength in Trade with their partners.
Giving his echoes in the vibrancy of more sentiments in an exclusive interview in Harare Dr Prosper Chitambira , Labour and Economic Development Research in Zimbabwe [LEDRIZ][ Economic Advisor said Southern Africa Customs Union is a force to reckon with because these states implement a common tariff imports from outside the region. This, he added on, forms a common customs territory under which issues pertaining to their challenges are equally addressed at regional level.
‘’This is a pool of customs and revenue seen also as an anvil to the development of key policies for better economies to be developed through integration and partnerships in Trade and Development .The common policies swim in strategic areas like in Industrial development for economic growth looking specifically 3 main sectors of the economy, Agriculture , Mining , and Manufacturing Industry .
‘’Apart from that , the union removes out signs of un-fair trade practices which hinder economic development for growth at national and regional level .
‘’Countries in the Region must address their thorny issues through Regional integration and economic co-operation. It is vital to merge countries, make them share and remove obstacles which hinder economic development through policy and better economic networks. Economic development is shown by Industrial development descending low absolute poverty levels. From above , high levels of employment indicates social and economic change with time in any part of the region’’, he took head on to a close . .
SACU SOUTHERN AFRICA CUSTOMS UNION is comprised of Southern African countries like South Africa , , Botswana , Namibia , Lesotho and Swaziland .SACU was established in order to enable member states to implement a common external tariff on imports from outside the territory . The four day workshop had media practitioners from South AFRICA , Zimbabwe , Namibia , Ethiopia , Madagascar and Rwanda .
NAIROBI June 11,2018-African continent is likely to be subjected to reliance on the ‘unpredictable’ foreign aid unless its over 50 countries agree on a multi-agency collaboration to investigate and fight illicit financial flows, a taco of fences and other financial crimes training conference in Nairobi has been told.
By Papisdaff Abdullah.
The authority suspended the registration and issuance of the cards on May 28 after a failed roll out, resuming last week to successfully register persons at the Jubilee House – the seat of government.
The exercise was to have begun in parliament today but the MPs who showed up were left stranded as officials of the NIA failed to show up.
Panafricanvisions sources at the NIA, officials who were detailed to the lawmaking chamber to register and issue the cards to the MPs “got a communique from their bosses that today being Monday and the fact that Parliament does not sit on Monday they should hold own and rather show up tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, the Minority members in Parliament have stated that they will boycott the planned registration of Parliamentarians by the NIA for the new Ghana Card.
A statement signed by Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu stated that the decision was taken due to the failure of the NIA to engage Members of Parliament to clarify a number of issues relating to the roll out of the exercise.
The minority is also raising questions about the cost, scope and legality of the project as well as registration requirements.
According to the minority members, until those issues are cleared by the NIA, they will not take part in the planned registration.
By Papisdaff Abdullah.
Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo has challenged members of the Boards of the three newly created Development Authorities to do all within their power to deal with the inequalities and imbalances that have plagued the country’s developmental agenda.
Addressing members of all three Development Authorities and the Board of the Zongo Development fund, after administering the oath of office, and the oath of secrecy, Akufo-Addo said it is unfair that there has been so much disparity when it comes to development in Ghana.
The President therefore urged the new boards to introduce a new paradigm in how the country’s capital expenditure is used to ensure equitable and even distribution of resources for purposes of development across the length and breadth of the Republic.
In his address, President Nana Akufo Addo observed that the sad history and unfortunate outcome of the defunct Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) should be a constant reminder to all the three boards not to repeat the mistakes committed by the managers of SADA.
The three Development Authorities ;Coastal, Middle Belt and Northern Development Authorities – are tasked with the implementation of the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP). The Programme will also be responsible for ensuring the effective disbursement of the equivalent of $1 million per constituency per year, in fulfillment of President Akufo-Addo’s 2016 campaign pledge.
President Akufo-Addo in April 2018, appointed the Chief Executive Officers and Deputy Chief Executive Officers of the Coastal, Middle Belt and Northern Development Authorities. As a follow up, the President has sworn into office the substantive boards for the Authorities. The Authorities are thus ready to kick start their work.
Board Chairpersons/ CEOs of Development Authorities
The Boards of the three Development Authorities have Edmond Annan as the Board Chairman, of the Coastal Development Authority and Samuel Attah-Mensah, as its Chief Executive Officer. The Middle Belt Development Authority has Alex Kwaku Korankye as its Board Chairman and Joe Danquah as its Chief Executive. The Northern Development Authority has Hakeem Ahmed Wemah as its Board Chairman and Dr. Abdul-Majeed Heroin as its Chief Executive. All the three boards have additional eleven members constituting the thirteen member board for each of the three Development Authorities.
From the surprise acceptance of a peace agreement with bitter rival Eritrea, to the opening of major state-owned sectors to private investment, plus the release of thousands of prisoners including opposition figures once sentenced to death, the 42-year-old Abiy Ahmed has kept Africa’s second most populous country buzzing.
On Tuesday alone, Parliament kicked off by lifting the state of emergency imposed in response to the protests demanding greater freedoms that began more than two years ago. It marked the most dramatic change yet under Abiy’s rule.
By nightfall there was bigger news: the prospect of peace with neighboring Eritrea after nearly two decades of border skirmishes and a two-year war.
Almost as an afterthought came word that Ethiopia, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, was opening state-owned enterprises in aviation, telecommunications and more to foreign investment or outright privatization. That opens the door for stakes in globally successful Ethiopian Airlines and Africa’s largest telecom company by subscribers, Ethio Telecom.
“Now I need to take an umbrella when I get into a shower so that I can grab my phone and follow these rounds of breaking news items,” joked one Ethiopian, Firew Megersa, on Facebook.
The new prime minister has dined with opposition leaders, named new army and intelligence chiefs and suggested that his own position should have term limits. He’s visited Saudi Arabia and secured promises that thousands of Ethiopians detained as illegal migrants would be released. He’s made new port agreements with neighbors along one of the world’s busiest shopping lanes.
In a colorful sign of his ambitions, Abiy even hinted that landlocked Ethiopia would revive its navy.
Citizens of the East African nation where the government once shut off social media to dampen criticism now find themselves expressing opinions without fear. The return of stability to a key Western security ally in a region with turbulent neighbors like Somalia and South Sudan has some breathing more easily.
Despite the whirlwind of change, many wonder just how far reforms can go in a country where the ruling coalition still holds every seat in Parliament and opposition has been punished.
“The language the prime minister is using is very conducive for coming closer, to listen to each other. But for an actual political engagement in the country you need a number of practical things to happen,” said Andargachew Tsige, an Ethiopia-born Briton and opposition leader who was snatched by Ethiopian intelligence agents in Yemen in 2014 and sent to death row.
Andargachew’s freedom last month, along with the release of a photo showing him and Abiy in the prime minister’s office, captivated many Ethiopians.
Despite his turn of fortune, Andargachew told The Associated Press: “We need to see on-the-ground concrete measures, not only releasing political prisoners, not only making good speeches.” Ethiopia needs independent institutions, he said.
While Abiy’s rise to power has led to a dramatic decrease in protests, critics say what he has done so far is simply “putting out fires.”
“Up until now I haven’t seen any policy direction from the new leader on how to solve Ethiopia’s chronic problems, like setting up an equal, competing space for all political parties and directions regarding the country’s macro- and microeconomic path,” said opposition politician Yilikal Getnet. Ethiopia suffers from massive debt and faces an acute foreign exchange crisis after exports fell short of targets.
Even the new prime minister’s popularity could turn out to be risky in a country with a history of long-ruling authoritarian leaders, Yilikal said.
“I agree his speeches are conciliatory but at the same time I see a tendency of slipping back into dictatorship, with both state and private media delving into creating a cult of personality around the new leader,” Yilikal said.
For now, some observers once alarmed by Ethiopia’s unrest have started to soften their tone.
“We are encouraged by recent developments,” said U.S. Embassy spokesman Nick Barnett, adding the U.S. is ready to support all efforts to build a “more representative political system.” Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the U.N. human rights office, said she had witnessed “tremendous hope” among civil society activists, traditional leaders and others.
The new prime minister “can’t change every individual’s life, but he is setting up the ground for changes to happen and create a national consensus among all Ethiopians,” said Seyoum Teshome, a prominent blogger who was arrested twice under the state of emergency.
By Lauren Zumbach
A flight scheduled to arrive at O’Hare International Airport on Monday will mark the start of the first direct flights between Chicago and Africa.
The Chicago Department of Aviation and Ethiopian Airlines announced the new thrice-weekly nonstop flights between O’Hare and Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, in the East African country’s capital city, earlier this year.
“We believe that the flight will further boost the growing relations between the USA and Africa in general, and Ethiopia in particular, by enabling greater flow of trade, investment and tourism,” Nigusu Worku, U.S. regional director at Ethiopian Airlines, said in an emailed statement.
When Air New Zealand begins flights between O’Hare and Auckland in November — another new service announced in March — Chicago will join the ranks of just five cities that have nonstop passenger flights to all six major inhabited regions of the world, according to Department of Aviation spokeswoman Lauren Huffman.
|The Summit’s speakers and guests represent the leading angel networks, VC funds, impact investors, accelerators, corporate venture divisions, industry associations, and public sector agencies
This year, the Africa Early Stage Investor Summit is set to kick off Cape Town’s Global Entrepreneurship Week, encompassing a number of leading industry events and numerous networking opportunities. The Summit organizers Venture Capital for Africa (VC4A) (https://VC4A.com) and the African Business Angels Network (ABAN) (https://ABANangels.org) have partnered with AfricaCom (https://goo.gl/TcU3jh) and AfricArena (http://AfricArena2018.com) to offer a full-week VIP Investor Pass giving access to all three events as well as Investor Cocktail, Industry Leaders Dinner and an Innovation Tour.
The Summit’s speakers and guests represent the leading angel networks, VC funds, impact investors, accelerators, corporate venture divisions, industry associations, and public sector agencies. Headlining the Summit are renown international and local investors from Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Morocco, Kenya, Liberia, Senegal, Ivory Coast, France, US, UK and The Netherlands, amongst many other countries.
The 2017 edition brought together over 300 investors from prominent African angel networks and VC funds, such as Singularity Investments, Accion, Blue Haven, 4Di Capital, Lagos Angel Network, SABAN, AngelHub Ventures, Teranga Capital, Outlierz, Algebra Ventures, Grey Elephant Ventures, Ringier, GSMA, Orange Digital Ventures. Among the attendees were international organizations and policy makers, such as IFC, the World Bank Group and the European Commission. Following a rigorous due diligence process, the event showcased 20 African digitally-enabled scale-ups from across the continent, resulting in a number of series A deals totaling over $12mln. The 5th anniversary event promises to further raise the bar, featuring renowned investors from overseas and stellar entrepreneurial talent from the continent.
Industry leaders explain the reasons they participate in this annual conference:
“The Africa Early Stage Investor Summit brings together a diverse network of people with a common interest of starting and building sustainable companies that solve real problems on the continent. The status of the partners on board and profiles of the speakers ensure that the event is thought provoking, educational and fun!” says Keet van Zyl, Partner at Knife Capital.
“I found the Africa Early Stage Investor Summit to be a great opportunity to network and learn from other investors from around the continent. The sessions were useful and provided great pan-African perspective of the investment landscape. I will highly recommend it” comments Kola Aina, CEO and Founder of Ventures Platform.
Ido Sum, Partner at TLCom Capital, comments further: “Being a regular participant in many such conferences, it was a unique collection of very high quality companies as well as the early stage tech focused African investors community. This intersection of top notch investors and founders led to a few great relationships and investment opportunities we looked in more depth into. I would highly recommend to anyone interested in the space to take part in the 2018 summit.”
Not only the pool of entrepreneurial talent across the continent is growing, but also the quality of ventures is improving. The pipeline of African innovative businesses has never been so investible. And where talent leads the way, money closely follows. More than 60 angel networks have been set up across the continent and a growing class of Africa-focused VC investors are backing and scaling the best of these high-growth startups. VC4A and ABAN co-host the Summit, specifically to create an annual meeting point for this growing investor community.
As in the previous years, the participants can expect a highly focused yet varied program consisting of workshops and masterclasses for investors by investors, rich networking experience, exclusive co-investment opportunities, as well as the latest trends, insights and industry research.
VC4A (https://VC4A.com) is an ecosystem builder that leverages its infrastructure, network and expertise for the programs that contribute to Africa’s startup movement. Since 2008, the organization designs, structures and implements successful entrepreneurship programs on the continent. VC4A runs an online platform, VC4A.COM, featuring the world’s largest database of African startups and connecting local entrepreneurs to learning resources, mentors, investors and partner programs.
The African Business Angel Network (ABAN) (https://ABANangels.org) is a Pan-African non-profit association. ABAN was founded in early 2015 to support the development of early stage investor networks across the continent and to grow the cohort of early stage investors excited about the opportunities in Africa.
|The International Center for Tropical Agriculture, established by the government to oversee phytosanitary inspections, received US $5 million in funding from the African Development Fund|
SAO TOME, Sao Tome and Principe, June 8, 2018/ — African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) President, Akinwumi Adesina, met with São Tomé and Príncipe President Evaristo Carvalho on Wednesday, just as the Bank’s Board of Directors in Abidjan approved the island nation’s new Country Strategy Paper 2018-2022.
“We have long been a supporter of your country and have great hopes and expectations for it. You have a clear vision for the country. A new Country Strategy Paper was approved, defining our new collaboration. Together we will focus on agriculture, the blue economy, employment for women and youth, and the financial sector.”
Carvalho said, “I will do everything possible to make our partnership better than ever. I will make sure that our country maintains its current performance.”
Earlier in the day, President Adesina visited two Bank-financed centres, part of the first phase of the Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Food Security Support Project.
The International Center for Tropical Agriculture, established by the government to oversee phytosanitary inspections, received US $5 million in funding from the African Development Fund (ADF) for rehabilitation, new laboratory equipment and staff training to strengthen quality control procedures for products and services offered to farmers. Paquete Idalina, an entomologist at the centre, said, “the technical and financial support we have received allows us to help 1,586 maize farmers today.”
The Advanced Agro-Pastoral Training Center is the only facility in São Tomé and Príncipe to offer technical training in agriculture and promote agricultural entrepreneurship. The centre received US $47.19 million in funding from the ADF, making it possible to increase the number of students from other parts of the island. Adesina told students, “Agriculture must be seen as a business, a source of wealth. I encourage you to become entrepreneurs to contribute to wealth creation in your country.”
The second phase of the Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Food Security Support Project is already underway and is promoting the development of fishing and farming infrastructure to facilitate production, storage, processing, distribution and capacity-building in both sectors.
The project is expected to boost food production for local consumption from agriculture and fishing. Agricultural products for the local market are expected to increase from an average of 58,000 tons in 2009-2011 to 75,000 tons in 2020, while fishing products are anticipated to grow from an average of 4,800 tons in 2009-2011 to 6,200 tons in 2020. Local products are expected to comprise a larger percentage of the supply, rising from 58% in 2012 to 75% in 2020.
Bank support for the education sector in São Tomé and Príncipe dates back to the 1990s when US $19.4 million in ADF funding went to the Teaching Facilities Rehabilitation Project to improve teacher qualifications and expand access to high-quality teaching.
At the Higher Polytechnic Institute of São Tomé, another Bank-financed facility, Adesina encouraged students: “You are the future leaders of this country. You must release the potential of São Tomé and Príncipe by aiming high, by keeping abreast of labour market needs and by preparing for the careers of the future.”
The polytechnic has more than 2,000 students today compared with 118 when it first opened about 20 years ago, and offers courses in 16 subjects, including biology, mathematics, economics, tourism, agronomy, electronics, ITC, public relations and communications. “I believe in you,” he said. “Be entrepreneurs and become the country’s multi-millionaires!”
Adesina also held meetings with Agripalma Ltd., an affiliate of the Socfinaf Group that has owned and planted 5,000 hectares of oil palms in the south of the island since 2009, and with Claudio Corallo, one of the world’s leading chocolatiers, who employs about 300 people and processes nearly 1.5 tons of cacao every month.
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) (www.AfDB.org) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 41 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 53 regional member states.
Rwandans would like to wean themselves from American hand-me-downs, and the United States wants to punish them for it. Last week, the Trump administration suspended duty-free access to U.S. markets for Rwandan clothing. This may sound like inconsequential news, compared with the prospect of a trade war with China, the European Union or our Canadian neighbors, but the move follows a dangerous trend of disregard for Africa. And it’s not just Africans who will suffer: Neglecting the continent will foreclose trade opportunities, harm U.S. companies and, ultimately, cost U.S. jobs.
Rwanda and several of its neighbors recently introduced tariffs on used clothing in an attempt to bolster the local apparel industry. In response, a U.S. trade group filed a complaint, claiming that the new tariffs violate the terms of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which requires participating countries to reduce trade barriers for U.S. goods. Unlike its neighbors, Rwanda stayed the course. The administration has every right to retaliate under the terms of the act — but the move is inconsistent and shortsighted.
For a start, the administration can hardly claim to be acting on principle. More than 100 countries benefit from U.S. trade preference programs without returning the favor. Florie Liser, former assistant U.S. trade representative for Africa, notes that countries like India and Brazil, which are major exporters to the United States under the program known as the Generalized System of Preferences, “ship a lot more to us than Rwanda, yet have significant barriers to U.S. trade.” The selective decision to retaliate against Rwanda not only adds to the general trade turmoil damaging U.S. standing overseas but also is seen as a particular snub of Africa, where President Trump’s derogatory comments about its countries have not been forgotten.
The administration can’t claim to be protecting a vital American industry, either. The complaints of the used-clothing association — that Rwandan tariffs would have a negative impact on up to 40,000 U.S. jobs — are unsubstantiated. Rwanda, a country of approximately 12.5 million people, imported $17 million in used clothing in 2016, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development. The clothes are primarily donations to organizations like the Salvation Army and Goodwill, bought by members of the trade group that lodged the complaint, the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association, and resold in Africa. Rwandan vendors sell them in market stalls.
Rwanda’s motivations are as much about dignity as they are about economics. Just as China recently banned imports of “foreign garbage” that it used to buy and recycle, Rwanda is taking a stand against the perceived indignity of buying clothes that others have worn and discarded. It would be a different story if Rwandans were rejecting icons of American ingenuity and enterprise, like cutting-edge medical devices or mobile technologies. But they’re not; they’re rejecting our hand-me-downs. The White House fails to grasp that, as well as the bigger picture for the United States. It’s not just Rwanda — the president is picking fights with trading partners old and new over relatively small amounts of U.S. imports and exports and with little regard for the long-term consequences. As relationships fray — even longtime allies feel under duress — the price to the United States rises; the country will pay not just in self-inflicted economic harm but also in diminished global leadership and reduced support for its national security priorities.
Banning used clothes is not enough to build Rwanda’s domestic textile and apparel industry, especially given competition from cheap Chinese imports of ready-made clothing. But there is a certain irony in Trump punishing Rwanda for protecting domestic manufacturing in what really is a Rwandan version of “America First.” More to the point, the United States ought to be supporting countries that pursue economic growth and development plans — not just because it is the right thing to do but also because the vitality of the U.S. economy depends on whether we have markets for our goods and services.
Until recently, supporting African economic growth was a key piece of U.S.-Africa policy. For instance, building on the African Growth and Opportunity Act’s strong legacy of bipartisan support, President Barack Obama launched the Trade Africa initiative to support regional economic integration and work toward a more reciprocal trade relationship. But the suspension of access for Rwandan apparel reinforces the sad truth that the Trump administration has no vision for trade with Africa. And there is no question that U.S. businesses will suffer as a result. Africa represents the last frontier for America’s export-driven economy, with consumer and business spending predicted to reach $6.7 trillion by 2030. A U.S. government report released last week cited motor vehicles, poultry and refined petroleum products among various sectors, as well as a range of services, with the potential for greater American exports to sub-Saharan Africa.
The United States misses a larger opportunity by engaging in petty trade squabbles and generally neglecting the continent. While it is true that the Trump administration maintains that it supports more reciprocal trade relationships with African states and has been studying trade and investment potential in certain African markets, advancing a strategic economic partnership with Africa requires more than talk. Actions — like threatening the funding of government agencies that support U.S. companies investing in Africa, leaving key ambassadorships vacant and deprioritizing trade programs — speak louder than words.
Meanwhile, other economies are making aggressive commercial plays in Africa. China has been Africa’s leading trade partner for the last nine years; trade scuffles like this one with Rwanda can only further drive African states into China’s open arms. Nor is it just China — the European Union has been actively traveling the region, signing two-way trade agreements that will disadvantage American companies far more than any tariffs on secondhand clothing.
It would be misguided to dismiss this row with Rwanda as a small issue with a small country. The larger economic picture is much more worrying.
After Fleeing from the Marauders – Refugee Stories
By Solomon Ngu*
Why the Biya government decided to launch war in the countryside, I suspect, was because he feared a Maoist-style revolution whereby villages mobilize enough fighters who eventually move en masse to capture the cities. Whether the government is succeeding in this or not is questionable. What we know is that some of the villages in the countryside have, through guerrilla tactics, put up strong and unbelievable resistance to the government forces. The Fighters are currently talking of cruising into Buea irrespective of whether they control the countryside or not. I must stress that the government forces barely occupy deserted portions of the villages; they haven’t captured any territory through combat. Those in the occupied parts of the countryside are living in the forests, have fled to unaffected villages or the city.
Photos and videos depicting the living conditions of Anglophone refugees in Nigeria and those living in the forests in Cameroon circulate daily on social media. Despite their condition, they – especially those living in the forests in Cameroon – go an extra length to take videos and photos within a setting where they do not have access to electricity to charge their phones. I recently got a call from one of my childhood friends, a farmer living in the burnt farming village of Munyenge and he said they have found a way to charge their phones by sneaking into those houses that have not been burnt down.
Villagers in the war zone, especially those in the thick forests region, do monitor the moves and location of the soldiers. They know which paths and routes to take if they want to leave the countryside. This task is further made easier by the Amba Fighters located in the villages. I met several people whose escape to Anglophone cities and to the Francophone side of the country was facilitated by these Fighters. These escapes are sudden and those fleeing have just a small window of opportunity to pick up a handful of their belongings.
To get a deeper understanding of the experiences of those who fled the countryside, I decided in mid April to visit some of the families hosting refugees. I talked with the refugees and must say their ordeal, courage and resolve to run for their lives in the face of advancing soldiers are worth commending. Take for example, the horrifying experience of Agnes (a pseudonym) who escaped into the forest for two days, leaving behind her very sick mother. She was too old to run with the others into the forest. Luckily, the grandma was still alive when Agnes returned from the forest. In less than an hour, she picked up her few belongings and was already on the run again to a neighboring village. The compound they fled into hosted more than 25 people. They all slept on the floor. She eventually reached Buea thanks to transportation money sent to her by her sister. In her words:
“We were told that there had been confrontations between the Fighters and the La Repubique [government] soldiers in a neighboring village which is about one day trekking from our village. We didn’t know the fight would reach us so soon. But events unfolded so quickly. I was on my way from the farm when I heard the sound of the guns. It sounded like the end of the world. Bullets rained on our roof. One of the falling bullets pierced through my new jacket.”
Agnes showed me scars of the wounds she sustained on her legs and arms as she ran through the forests with her children and mother. Amidst the commotion, she had forgotten to take money. She took another risk of returning to her house alone. She came face to face with the Fighters who were all dressed in Cameroon military uniform. The uniforms and weapons had been taken from killed and capitulated government soldiers. To her surprise, one of the Fighters called her by her name and instructed her to leave the village as soon as possible. This, she did.
Another story is that of a woman who is in her early 60s. Transport services into and out of her village were completely cut off after the government forces attacked. She took into the forest, trekking for more than 50km. It took her two days before she finally got to the Francophone town of Dschang from where she took a bus to Buea.
But here comes another problem, the challenge of living in the city. With tears in her eyes, Agnes described how life in Buea is strange and unfriendly. She had thought her refugee status would last only a few days but two weeks after getting to Buea, her village, including a semi-urban settlement around it, was completely deserted by mid April 2018. Agnes had lost her freedom and privacy and needed money to survive in the new place. She was a farmer, a money-lender and a trader in the countryside. She left the village at the beginning of the planting season meaning that there is a possibility she may starve next year if she returned to the village. In my recent communication with her, she wasn’t sure if she would ever return to her house.
During my stay in Cameroon, I traveled to a few border towns hosting refugees. I spent two days in Dschang where the car parks serving Anglophone passengers were scanty. Listening to the hardship of those hosting the refugees was heartbreaking. Nearly everyone I met in Dschang was hosting refugees from Lebialem. There is this friend of mine whose five relatives fled the village to live with her in late March. As of the time of writing this article, the number has increased to six. She has a two-bedroom apartment. She avoids loss of privacy and stress at home by spending most of her free time in the church and farm.
The government has refused to recognize the Anglophone refugee disaster. Talk less of any conversation about the Anglophone Crisis at the national parliament. Responding to my first post on this series, someone insinuated that ‘this mad war [has been] initiated by desperately power hungry Cameroon diaspora’. What he failed to mention was that the war was declared on Anglophones, the ‘terrorists’, by the president in November 2017. The Anglophone diaspora started supporting the Fighters after they realized that the soldiers were killing Anglophones indiscriminately. The minister of defense actually praised the soldiers for massacres in villages in Manyu Division where people resorted to fleeing to Nigeria. It is estimated that between 40.000 and 50.000 Anglophones have sought refuge in Nigeria.
The narrative put forth by the government surrogate such as the one who commented on my first post specifically aims at excusing the government of war against people it sees as despicable. How do I know this? How the Cameroon government choose to treat – or choose not to treat – its citizens who happen to be refugees tells a lot about who is considered a true Cameroonian. We have all seen how the government provides humanitarian relief to Francophone refugees fleeing Boko Haram attacks. They have been treated as unfortunate people whose humanity is being destroyed by terrorists. The Anglophone refugees, to quote Franz Fanon, live in a zone of non-being; a zone where people are not recognized as full humans and their lives are less valued.
In my next post I will focus on the Amba Fighters – how they are perceived in Anglophone Cameroon. Part of my argument will be that they do no longer want to condone the dehumanization they experience daily in their country.
*This is part of the series Life in a War Zone:30 Days in Ambazonia by Solomon Ngu for PAV under the blog Kamer Blues
The United States Government has announced 102 million dollars (about 3.7 billion naira) in additional humanitarian assistance for Nigeria to address the sufferings of people affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.
The U.S. Department of State said the fund would be used to address the shelter, health and food security needs of populations in the northeast still struggling with the effects of the Boko Haram insurgency.
These fund for Nigeria represents the vast majority of the U.S. government’s new 112 million dollars infusion for the Lake Chad region.
The assistance would be administered primarily through the U.S. Agency for International Development’s offices of Food for Peace, and Foreign Disaster Assistance, as well as the U.S. State Department’s Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration. “Nearly a decade of conflict perpetuated by Boko Haram and its offshoot ISIS-West Africa has triggered a humanitarian crisis in the region. “More than two million people remain uprooted by the violence, and nearly 11 million people need lassistance to survive. “The funding in today’s announcement will provide life-saving aid to hundreds of thousands of people, including emergency food, nutrition treatment, shelter, health care, safe drinking water, services for survivors of sexual violence, and support to children separated from their families.
“The United States is the largest donor for the humanitarian response in the Lake Chad region, having provided nearly 761 million dollars since Fiscal Year 2017.
“While the United States remains committed to helping the people affected by this conflict, a comprehensive political and security solution is ultimately the only way to end their suffering and bring peace to the region.
“The United States calls on other donors to step up to address the basic life-saving needs of those displaced and the communities that host them,” the Department said. As of May 2018, an estimated 2.3 million people in the northeast experienced extreme food insecurity, largely due to widespread insecurity, protracted displacement, depleted assets, and the interruption of agricultural production throughout the region.
Overall, an estimated 7.7 million people in the northeast require urgent humanitarian assistance. “Even as the Nigerian security personnel make progress, access to those most in need remains tenuous in many areas and the operating environment is highly volatile,” the U.S. said. (NAN) Related Boko Haram victims get $500m U.S support.
By Papisdaff Abdullah.
A group of lawyers is calling on president Akufo-Addo to sack the head of Ghana’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) following the leakage of a caution statement written by the GFA boss.
Kwasi Nyantakyi’s statement to the police flooded social media in a case reported by President Akufo-Addo over allegation of false pretense.
The group known as Lawyers in Search of Democracy (LINDOD) described the situation as “disgraceful” which should warrant a resignation by the CID head Tiwaah Addo Danquah or outright dismissal.
“The blame for this disgraceful leakage must be squarely placed at the doorstep of the Director General of CID Madam Tiwaah Addo Danquah. We hasten to say that unless Madam Tiwaah Addo Danquah comes clear on this embarrassing situation or show that the document leaked is fake, and does not ernanate from her outfit, she has no moral right to remain in office, even for one more day and must honourably resign in order to restore the sinking image of that office.
“We are calling on the President without hesitation to sack Madam Tiwaah Addo Danquah immediately and cause the IGP to purge that office of all disgraceful characters who are gradually dragging his office into an irredeemable abyss,” spokesperson for the group George Loh said in a statement.
They have given the presidency a 72-hour ultimatum to act else they will pursue the matter in court.
“If we do not see any action taken on this matter within 72 hours of this release, we shall have no option than to take other lawful measures to enforce our legitimate demand as citizens of Ghana,” the statement added.
Below is the full statement:
Lawyers In Search OF Democracy (LINSOD) have read with shock and trepidation the leakage of the document purporting to be the investigative caution statement written by Mr. Kwasi Nyantakyi on demand and handed over to the Police CID on 23rd May 2018.
As practicing lawyers, we wonder how come a piece of evidence which the police gathers in the course of investigation, which even criminal defence lawyers are unable to obtain before trial in order to prepare adequately for their cases, has become part of media publication and commentary.
This to us is mind boggling indeed.
With the awareness that there are currently pending constitutional cases before the Supreme Court by citizens seeking to get clarity on their constitutional right to access such evidence made to the Police by clients facing criminal prosecution yet to be adjudicated upon, it shows the extent to which the police hold tenaciously to these caution statements.
The blame for this disgraceful leakage must be squarely placed at the doorstep of the Director General of CID Madam Tiwaah Addo Danquah.
We hasten to say that unless Madam Tiwaah Addo Danquah comes clear on this embarrassing situation or show that the document leaked is fake, and does not emanate from her outfit, she has no moral right to remain in office, even for one more day and must honourably resign in order to restore the sinking image of that office.
We are calling on the President without hesitation to sack Madam Tiwaah Addo Danquah immediately and cause the IGP to purge that office of all disgraceful characters who are gradually dragging his office into an irredeemable abyss.
If we do not see any action taken on this matter within 72 hours of this release, we shall have no option than to take other lawful measures to enforce our legitimate demand as citizens of Ghana.
By Papisdaff Abdullah
The Government of Ghana has dissolved the Ghana Football Association(GFA) following corrupt activities exposed in a video by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
A statement by Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid on Thursday stated that government is “shocked and outraged at the contents” in the investigative piece.
The statement added that “having regard to the widespread nature of the apparent rot involving top GFA officials, top NSA officials, match commissioners, football administrators and referees, Government has decided to take immediate steps to have the GFA dissolved.”
The secret filming that saw the President of Ghana Football Association Kwesi Nyantakyi and many other crucial football officials taking bribes has angered many Ghanaians, with football lovers asking for the resignation of the GFA boss.
Mr. Nyantakyi is currently on a police enquiry bail after he used the name of President Akufo-Addo fraudulently in the Anas video.
Below is the full statement
GOVERNMENT TO TAKE STEPS TO DISSOLVE THE GHANA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
Government is shocked and outraged at the contents of the recently-aired video documentary, which captures the investigation conducted into football administration by the journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, titled “Number 12, When Misconduct and Greed become the Norm.” The documentary exposes the gross mal-functioning of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), characterized by widespread fraud, corruption, and bribery. As a result of the pervasive nature of the rot within GFA, Government has decided as follows:
1. the conduct of all officials of the GFA, together with that of the suspended Acting Director General of the National Sports Authority (NSA), Robed Sarfo Mensah, shown in the documentary to be involved in questionable, potentially criminal acts, is, forthwith, referred to the Police for further investigation and appropriate action. The Police are to take all such relevant measures as are necessary to ensure that the contents of the documentary are rapidly and thoroughly investigated;
2. having regard to the widespread nature of the apparent rot involving top GFA officials, top NSA officials, match commissioners, football administrators and referees, Government has decided to take immediate steps to have the GFA dissolved. Government will shortly, thereafter, announce provisional measures to govern football activity in the country, until a new body is duly formed; and
3. Government will communicate these decisions to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), and engage with been on these developments to chart a way forward for Ghana football.
Government will see to it that the necessary reforms are urgently undertaken to sanitize football administration in the country.
By Papisdaff Abdullah
The Parliament of Ghana has waded into the explosive revelations on the country’s Football Association by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas in his latest work.
The secret filming that saw the President of Ghana Football Association (GFA) Kwesi Nyantakyi and many other crucial football officials taking bribes has angered many Ghanaians, with football lovers asking for the resignation of the GFA boss.
Mr. Nyantakyi is currently on a police enquiry bail after he is alleged to have used the name of President Akufo-Addo fraudulently in the Anas video.
Reacting to a call by members of the House for their intervention in the matter, the Speaker Professor Mike Ocquaye said Ghana’s constitution grants the legislature the power to investigate any person or institutions in the country and therefore deems it appropriate to initiate a probe into the content of the video.
“Parliament has the power to make laws to regulate professional, trade and business organisations. That is a very strong authority. If we have the power to regulate you, one of the criteria we are being told to look is whether you are acting democratically, and if fraud or corruption is alleged, that cannot be democratic, for that matter we are entitled to look into that matter. And that is what our special committee does.
“Everyone knows we are in an era where we all agree that we are fighting corruption and parliament must be the authority that is most interested in view of its being representative body of the entire of Ghana. Since no person, body or institution can assume an immunity from parliamentary investigation, I ask that we form a special committee right now, we will quickly look at the matter and then we will show what recommendations we should make,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Football Association has given the assurance that there will be no cover-ups at the football organization following the revelations of ill-conduct by some officials in the investigative piece put together by journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
The FA however says it was not given the opportunity to view the video ahead of the Wednesday premiering even though they are a major part of its content.
“The GFA wishes to place on record that, there will be no attempt of a cover-up or shield any of our members caught in alleged acts of corruption. The GFA wishes to assure all that as an institution it does not condone any manner of corrupt practices,” the FA said in a statement.
-Women, delegates have chance to win $1,000
By Wallace Mawire
The African Women in the Media 2018 Conference, an event organised by award-winning journalist, Dr Yemisi Akinbobola, has Visibility as its theme and promises to empower delegates through panels, workshops and networking.
It is reported that attendees will experience keynote presentations, industry panels with leading names like Eugenia Abu, Lola Shoneyin, Stephanie Busari, Kunle Afoayan and much more, as well as academic panels and numerous training workshops.
“There are three tracks running simultaneously at any one time during the conference”, said Dr Akinbobola. “We don’t want to just talk about the issues, but through the workshops, pitch zone and networking opportunities, we are putting actions into place to empower attendees”.
The African Women in the Media group aims to impact positively the way media functions in relation to women, both in the industry and media’s representation of gender issues.
“Action is key here and we are so grateful to all our sponsors for their support”, adds Dr Akinbobola. “We are particularly excited to launch the AWIM/NRGI Award which comes with a $1,000 cash prize.”
AWIM18 Conference Highlights include CNN’s Nima Elbagir as Keynote Speaker,Prof Abigail Ogwezzy as academic Keynote Speaker.Three industry panels: Gender, Security and Election Coverage; Women in Media Leadership; Role of Fictional Content on Society’s Perspective of Women in Leadership.
Three academic panels: Break the Silence: Health, Violence and Media; Women Behind and In-Front of Camera; Women in Media: Participation, Advocacy and Youth
10 Training workshops: Data Journalism, Digital Marketing, Reporting in Conflict Zones, Newsroom Leadership, Vlogging for Change, to listen, engage and tell stories on social media to grow female audiences
Pitch Zone: Hosted by BBC and the Natural Resource Governance Institute who is funding the AWIM/NRGI Award where delegates can win £1,000 to produce their gender focused natural resources story Dinner parties and networking on both nights Roundtable discussions with speakers
African Women in the Media (AWiM) is a Facebook group that convenes annually. The first convening event took place in Birmingham, UK with panels from both academia and industry. The AWiM17 keynote speaker was Minna Salami. The group wants to challenge the way media functions in relation to African women, and seeks to inspire, support and empower its members.
Dr Yemisi Akinbobola is an award-winning journalist, academic, and media entrepreneur. A Nigerian living in UK, her work is Africa focused, covering stories from rape culture in Nigeria, to an investigative and data story on the trafficking of young West African football hopefuls by fake agents. The latter won the CNN African Journalist Award 2016 (Sports Reporting). Yemisi holds a PhD in Media and Cultural Studies from Birmingham City University where she is the Course Director for MA Global Media Management, and her research interest is in digital journalism and African feminism.
She is the founder of Stringers Africa, which connects freelance journalists in African countries with newsrooms worldwide, and she runs the African Women in the Media group. Founder also of IQ4News, a multimedia production company, she has freelanced for publications including the UN Africa Renewal magazine. Yemisi she has several years’ experience in communication management for charities.
*issues 12-point resolution on state of the nation
The joint Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has drawn the battle line with President Muhammadu Buhari as it, yesterday, charged him to address threats to the lives of the citizenry and the country’s democracy, failing which it would initiate constitutional actions against him.
The impeachment of the president was, implicit in the latest face-off between the two arms of government.
The National Assembly vowed to press the international community to help secure the country’s democracy which the legislature said is now at risk. The legislators summarised the risks to the lives of Nigerians and the country’s democracy in what they alleged as the incompetence of the Police and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris. In its resolution, the National Assembly reiterated its vote of no confidence in Idris as earlier passed by the Senate. The Assembly at the same time passed a unanimous vote of confidence in its leadership. Senior officers of the administration and Buhari’s top 2019 presidential campaign officials drew back from joining the fray when contacted yesterday.
There were, however, mixed reactions from the civil society community, with President Buhari’s former lawyer, Chief Mike Ahamba, SAN, calling on the President to urgently deal with the issues addressed to him. Unusual joint session of NASS The resolution of the National Assembly came at the end of an unprecedented joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives in the chamber of the House of Representatives. It was the first time the National Assembly would sit in a joint session on matters besides receiving the budget or a foreign dignitary since the return to democratic rule in 1999. Yesterday’s three-hour closed session commenced at 12.35 p.m. and ended at 3.35 p.m, following which Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who presided at the session read out the resolution which was agreed. With Speaker Dogara seated beside him, Senator Saraki said: “The National Assembly held a joint Executive Session today, Tuesday, June 5, 2018 (yesterday), where lawmakers agreed on 12 resolutions as follows: lThe Security Agencies must be given marching orders to curtail the sustained killings of Nigerians across the country and protect lives and properties of Nigerians as this is the primary duty of any responsible government. lThe systematic harassment and humiliation by the Executive of perceived political opponents, people with contrary opinions including Legislators and Judiciary by the police and other security agencies must stop. lThere must be strict adherence to the Rule of Law and protection for all citizens by the President and his appointees. lThe President must be held accountable for the actions of his appointees and must be ready to sanction those that carry out any act which will ridicule or endanger our country and democracy. lThe government should show sincerity in the fight against corruption by not being selective and also prosecute current appointees that have cases pending against them. lThe sanctity of the National Assembly should be protected and preserved by the Federal Government of Nigeria by not interfering in its business and prosecuting those who invaded the Senate to seize the Mace.
National Assembly should liaise with International Communities through the IPU, APU, ECOWAS, CPA, Pan African Parliament, EU, UN, US Congress and UK Parliament to secure our democracy. lDemocratic elections must be competitive and inclusive by removing the present reign of fear and intimidation particularly as we approach the forthcoming 2019 elections.
The National Assembly will work closely with Civil Society Organisations, Trade Unions and NGOs to further deepen and protect our democracy. The President must take immediate steps to contain the growing level of unemployment and poverty in Nigeria especially now that we have advantage of the oil price having risen to $80 per barrel. lBoth chambers of the National Assembly hereby pass a vote of confidence on the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the entire leadership of the National Assembly. lWe reaffirm our earlier resolution of vote of no confidence on the Inspector- General of Police who does nothing other than preside over the killing of innocent Nigerians and consistent framing up of perceived political opponents of the President and outright disregard for constitutional authority, both executive and legislative. Finally, the National Assembly will not hesitate to invoke its Constitutional powers if nothing is done to address the above resolutions passed today (yesterday).’’
Address the issues — Ahamba Responding to the National Assembly resolution,
Ahamba urged the President to look at the issues raised by the legislators, even if they were not innocent in the handling of the problems of the country. He said: “They (lawmakers) have power under the constitution to pass resolutions, but those resolutions are not binding on the president. “Everybody in Nigeria knows that democracy is in danger. Strictly speaking, they cannot run away from the fact that they are part of endangering democracy by their conduct, but if they have passed a resolution touching on the presidency, I expect the President to look at it and decide to implement or not. “I haven’t seen their resolutions and the reasons for them, but they have endangered democracy because of some of the legislation they have passed like the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA. “There are some sections in that Act that are incongruent with the rule of law and which the security agencies are using to humiliate Nigerians.”
It’s nPDP resolution — Jibrin
The resolution at the joint session was, however, last night debunked by a member of the House of Representatives, Abdulmumin Jibrin who recently returned to the House after suspension. Jibrin, who claimed to be speaking on behalf of the Parliamentary Support Group for Buhari, alleged that the resolution was conceived by legislators of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP extraction. He said: “Almost all the senators that spoke at the Executive Session are of the PDP, while members of the APC declined joining the discussion to avoid a rowdy confrontation as the entire session could easily pass for a PDP Executive Session. “It is commendable that the Speaker tactically refused to make any comment at the session even after the Senate President took time to explain the issues which are mostly personal. “It is disturbing and raised many questions of pre-determined intentions that a known ally of the Senate President from Kwara State, Hon Rasak Atunwa drafted what was adopted as the resolution and without voting, against standard parliamentary practice. “Most of the issues raised concerning the fight against corruption, insecurity and the rule of law have been severally discussed in the Senate and the House and various resolutions passed. “We commend the efforts of Mr President in the fight against corruption, tackling of the insecurity challenges and respect for rule of law and democratic institutions. Mr President is known for his non-interference policy.
In a statement signed by President Buhari, winner of the presumed freeest election in Nigeria Late MKO Abiola is honoured with a post-humously honoured with the nation’s highest award, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, GCFR conferred on all Presidents/Heads of State.
President Buhari further added that late human rights lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi will also be awarded the country’s second highest award of the Grand Commander of the Niger, GCON in honour of his role towards actualising the June 12 presidential election. Abiola’s running mate, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe will also get a GCON award.
According to the President: “For the past 18 years, Nigerians have been celebrating May 29th, as Democracy Day. That was the date when for the second time in our history, an elected civilian administration took over from a military government. The first time this happened was on October 1st, 1979.”
“But in the view of Nigerians, as shared by this Administration, June 12th, 1993, was far more symbolic of Democracy in the Nigerian context than May 29th or even the October 1st. Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi,SAN”
“June 12th, 1993 was the day when Nigerians in millions expressed their democratic will in what was undisputedly the freest, fairest and most peaceful elections since our Independence. The fact that the outcome of that election was not upheld by the then Military Government does not distract from the democratic credentials of that process.”
“Accordingly, after due consultations, the Federal Government has decided that henceforth, June 12th will be celebrated as Democracy Day. Therefore, Government has decided to award post-humously the highest honour of the land, GCFR, to late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12th, 1993 cancelled elections. His running mate as Vice President, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, is also to be invested with a GCON. Furthermore, the tireless fighter for human rights and the actualisation of the June 12th election and indeed for Democracy in general, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, is to be awarded a GCON posthumously.”
“The commemoration and investiture will take place on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, a date which in future years will replace May 29th as a National Public Holiday in celebration of Nigeria Democracy Day.” Buhari stated.
The announcement was received with much excitement across the country yesterday from friends and family of the late Abiola.
This has brought the significance of June 12 — Hafsat His daughter,
Hafsat Abiola-Costello, said: ‘’This has just validated the victory of my father. He didn’t just fight for democracy alone; he fought for Nigeria. May 29 was never the Democracy Day; it’s June 12. And President Buhari has just shown that he is an honourable man. This development has brought to life the significance of June 12.”
Buhari has proved himself to be inclined of the desires of Nigerians –, Abike Dabiri-
Erewa said that President Buhari has shown himself to be inclined to the desires of Nigerians and has done the right thing.
We’ve waited for this—Mohammed Fawehinmi
It is a welcome development. This is what we have been waiting for over the years. Good Nigerians have made several calls for Chief M K O Abiola to be recognised as a Nigerian President. For this government to have done this, it is a welcome gesture. It is a good news that M K O Abiola is going to be awarded GCFR honour and Babagana Kingibe to be awarded GCON, It is clear that Abiola was elected the president of this country, the mere fact that he was not sworn in does not mean he was not elected. This has vindicated Abiola.
A welcome development, but… — Adebanjo Reacting, Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo
Adebanjo said: “It is a welcome development. We have always told them that, (and) he now realises this. We have told them that without June 12 there is no Democracy Day. June 12 is Democracy Day, but May 29 is Civilian Day. I want to urge him to restructure Nigeria because all he is doing are palliatives.
Belated, but welcome—Falae
Also reacting, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Chief Olu Falae described the decision as “belated but welcome.
Right thinking Democrat should support it—Babatope A former Minister of Transport,
Chief Ebenezer Babatope, said: ‘’That is very good. It is a positive development, and every right-thinking democrat should support that. The timing may be wrong, but it is a good development that should be hailed.
Though it came a bit late — Senator Jonathan Zwingina,
Director-General of Abiola’s Hope 93 Campaign Organisation, said: I commend the declaration even though it came a bit late, but better late than never.
It’s commendable—Balarabe Musa
A former governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa commended the President’s action said recognising June 12 as a Democracy Day, is proper. In the context of Nigeria, June 12 signifies Democracy Day in the first place because it was a day that Nigerians set aside their differences and united the country for progress.
By Papisdaff Abdullah
President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Danqua Akufo Addo has dismissed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital Dr. Felix Anyaa and five others.
Dr. Anyaa was supposedly not approved by the Public Services Commission after he interviewed for the job.
The dismissal comes in the wake of the seeming wave of dismissals of Chief Executives of state agencies by President Akufo-Addo.
Already, the Managing Director of the Bulk Oil and Storage Transport (BOST) Alfred Obeng Boateng, CEO of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority Gifty Klenam, her two deputies and the MD of the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority Paul Ansah have all been sacked in a action by the President on the same day.
The move is seen as part of efforts by President Akufo Addo to rid government agencies of what seems to be a cycle of boardroom wrangling between chief executives of state agencies and their boards.
By Papisdaff Abdullah
After several postponements and missed deadlines, Ghana’s National Identity card exercise has finally taken off with over 500 Ghanaians obtaining their Ghana Card from the countries National Identification Authority, (NIA).
The Executive Director of the NIA, Professor Ken Agyemang Attafuah said the pilot phase of the issuance of the new national ID card is going on smoothly since it started at the seat of the Presidency, Jubilee House.
Over 100 Ghanaians working at the Jubilee House have secured their cards after they were taken through the process by officials of the NIA.
Addressing the media after taking the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, through the process, Prof. Attafuah said over 500 new digital Ghana cards have been issued while several others are still going through the procedure to have their cards.
In a conversation with Prof. Attafuah, President Akufo-Addo said Ghanaians are relieved to know that the process has finally started.
The exercise which was scheduled to take off last week Monday failed to commence for the third time after officials of NIA failed to show up.
The NIA later blamed a “technical hitch” for their failure to get people registered for the new Ghana card.
The Ghana Card will replace the sectoral identity cards in circulation and become the only card to be used in transactions where identification is required as provided by law.
Among other things, it will enable other stakeholders to run their applications on the national identity card.
The roll-out strategy, according to the NIA would be published in detail for everyone to have the opportunity to see where he or she would have to register.
But in the meantime, the NIA has explained that it was undertaking the exercise on regional basis and that after the registration of staff at the Presidency, Parliament, Judicial Service and the security agencies, it would move into the community starting with Greater Accra where it will use three months for the exercise.
By Papisdaff Abdullah
A minister in the President Akufo Addo led government has asked petty traders in his region complaining about the hardship in the country to start selling cocaine if they can’t withstand it. The President’s representative in the Ashanti of Ghana, Simon Osei Mensah says, traders in the Kumasi metropolis are using the hardship in the country as an excuse to break the laws and trade at unauthorized places.
He added that traders refusing to move from unauthorized places in the metropolis will be forcefully ejected. Mr. Osei Mensah said he won’t allow the indiscipline of traders to hamper the development of Ashanti region.
Speaking at an event to re-launch the Keep Kumasi Clean and Green project, the Minister said “the indiscipline is too much. I want to use this opportunity to caution traders who are defying orders to vacate from the pavements around the Suame Roundabout. We have previously told them to relocate in a peaceful manner, but if they refuse to relocate, we will eject them forcefully.
“Those traders who are also selling on the footbridge at the CBD must also vacate because the footbridge is not a place for trading activities. We are not interested in collapsing anybody’s business. When we eject them, they will start saying they voted for us to come into power. We have been voted to bring development and not to encourage lawlessness and indiscipline.”
The unhappy minister added “When we start enforcing the laws, people will be complaining of hardship. If there is hardship, then I will ask that you stop the business and go and sell cocaine for a living.”
The Minister’s comments come after Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) recently asked all traders selling on pavements and unauthorized places to relocate to designated markets.
But some of the traders have defied the orders and are back on the pavements to trade.
By Papisdaff Abdullah
Majority of Ghanaians who thronged the Accra International Conference Centre to view the investigative piece on Ghana Football are calling for the immediate resignation of the President of the Ghana Football Association, Kwasi Nyantakyi.
The Investigative piece, titled Number 12 was put together by controversial journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his Tiger Eye PI team.
The video captures several Ghanaian FA officials including the FA President and referees engaging in corrupt activities.
Some Ghanaians who spoke to panafricanvisions.com said the FA president must step aside to allow a new person takeover the affairs of the FA.
“He must go, he cannot still be the FA president from what we have seen…he must resign,” one of the viewer’s said.
Another one said “Nyantakyi must be sacked by FIFA or resign to save himself from disgrace.”
In the video, Mr. Nyantakyi had a grand plan of ruling Ghana with money. Mr Nyantakyi in a meeting with undercover agents who posed as investors, disclosed how from small beginnings, he and his investor friends could ‘take over’ Ghana with their money
“You can start with something small in your own discretion, then when you get the contract; the big big contract, we can go back and give them more money, then we will take over the whole country,” Mr. Nyantakyi told the ‘investors’ in the video released by Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
Prior to today’s upcoming screening, a four-minute clip from the one-hour, thirty minutes documentary was shown to the President, Nana Akufo-Addo by Anas.
Subsequently, the Presidency revealed at a press conference that the clip shows GFA President, Kwesi Nyantakyi, using the offices of the President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo and his Vice, Mahamudu Bawumia, to extort money from people.
The President urged the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service to invite Mr Nyantakyi for questioning.
Mr Nyantakyi subsequently handed himself to police to assist with investigations after a charge of defrauding by false pretense was leveled against him.
There has been a longstanding perception that Mr Nyantakyi’s stay in office, which has spanned at least 13 years, is the cause of setbacks with Ghana’s football.
By Prince Kurupati
When Cyril Ramaphosa ascended to power a day after Valentine’s this year, a huge wave of euphoria engulfed the entire country of South Africa. However, only a 100 days down the lane, the huge wave of euphoria is slowly waning and the once touted ‘Ramaphoria’ seems to be turning into ‘Ramaphobia’.
Ramaphosa’s ascendency to power was greeted with massive joy by almost all South Africans especially the ordinary South African. However, though still popular, signs of discontent are starting to show among the various groups that once held him as the ‘saviour’. Ordinary South Africans who viewed Ramaphosa’s ascendency to power as a relief following years of economic stagnation and unemployment are fast losing hope as the status quo is showing no signs of changing anytime soon.
While Ramaphosa may no longer be as popular as he was 100 Days ago, his presidency thus can best be described as a mixed bag – there are a lot of positives suggesting the future is bright while at the same time there are worrying signs suggesting the change many people have been waiting for, for so long may take a little longer than anticipated. In not so long a piece, the following showcases Ramaphosa’s first 100 Days in office.
Injected confidence in an economy that was desperate for confidence
In any economic setup, confidence is such a crucial factor for success. While confidence had totally deserted South Africa owing to the many allegations and accusations of corruption levelled upon South Africa’s the then president, Jacob Zuma, many actors in the economic sphere in the country were devoid of confidence in the government administration. This lack of confidence transcended beyond borders to outside investors who were afraid of putting their capital in an economy that could ‘crumble’ at any time. However, the mere change of face of the president was enough to convince economic actors and investors that the country was now on the right path. The fact the Rand rallied over 4 percent in the aftermath of Ramaphosa’s inauguration underlies this.
State enterprises’ reforms
One of the main focus areas for Ramaphosa, as he took power, was reforming state enterprises. Most of South Africa’s state enterprises’ boards during Jacob Zuma’s last days in office were labelled as cronies of Jacob Zuma. These boards were said to have been ‘captured’. As such, there was a need to sanitise the state enterprises’ boards. Ramaphosa took swift action in sanitising the boards of most state enterprises by removing and replacing the boards. Boards of state enterprises such as Eskom (power generation), South African Express (national airline), the South Africa Revenue Service and Denel (aerospace and defence) were replaced.
Putting the right people in the right places
One of the key responsibilities of a president is to identify the right people for the right positions. Ramaphosa thus far has shown that he is competent in this regard as his appointments have got things moving. Pravin Gordhan who was appointed as the public enterprise’s minister spearheaded the state enterprises’ reforms, Nhlanhla Nene has overseen the rise of the Rand and injected a new lease of life at South Africa’s treasury while Lindiwe Sisulu has already started coordinating for important world summits to be held in South Africa.
Focusing on youth empowerment
When he ascended to power, Ramaphosa quickly identified the youth as a group that needed immediate help. This rightly so considering the growing youth unemployment rate in the country. In efforts to empower the youth, Ramaphosa launched the Youth Employment Service in order to create more employment for South Africa’s youth; unemployed youths will be placed in paid internships in state enterprises and also the private sector. In his own capacity, Ramaphosa also pledged to donate half of his salary to the Nelson Mandela Thuma Mina Fund which helps empower youth from impoverished backgrounds.
Making himself approachable
In as much as Zuma’s actions were vilified towards his last days in power, he was still approachable and adored even by the fiercest of critics. Zuma’s down to earth and open personality aptly made him a people’s president, something that prompted then opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille to state that Zuma is “affable, humble and approachable” and that the “personal tone of the presidency is open and friendly”. Cyril Ramaphosa, a rather laid back and reserve guy had to fill Zuma’s boots in all its facets thus had to find a way to make himself approachable too; so far he has succeeded largely due to his #Tummymustfall walks. Ramaphosa’ ‘send me’ rhetoric has also made him a people’s favourite. Ramaphosa also showed that he is a people’s president when he cut short his trip to the United Kingdom to come and manage the rising tensions surrounding the removal of Supra Mahumapelo.
Pushed through a new minimum wage
Ramaphosa moved swiftly to address one of the key areas that the country was found wanting in recent times. According to a report from CNBC, “South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world. According to the World Bank, the poorest 20 percent of South Africans consume less than 3 percent of the country’s total expenditure. Meanwhile, the wealthiest 20 percent account for 65 percent.” In order to address this challenge, Ramaphosa approved Parliament’s decision to set the new minimum wage at 3,500 Rand (around $277).
Land expropriation without compensation proving to be a difficult issue to manage
The land expropriation without compensation was always going to be difficult for any president to handle let alone Ramaphosa. As the issue was raised by his own party, it was a given that Ramaphosa would agree with the view. In his own words, Ramaphosa said: “We are determined that expropriation without compensation should be implemented in a way that increases agricultural production, improves food security and ensures that the land is returned to those from whom it was taken under colonialism and apartheid.” While his position is clear with regards to the issue, Ramaphosa has not backed it with any action thus far. However, at one stage or another, actions not just words will be expected from the president. How he deals with it will prove whether he is a success or not. At this stage, no conclusion can be reached.
Rising taxes and food prices making Ramaphosa unpopular
For the first time in 25 years, South Africa’s VAT increased. According to the Huffington Post SA, “There’s a big gap between the revenue that was budgeted to be collected by government and what was actually collected,” this is in relation to the 2017 fiscal year; however, the same has been happening in recent years too. The gap had been rising gradually year by year and the decision was taken to manage and curtail the rising gap by increasing VAT. While helping the government to balance its books, the decision has had a terrible effect on South Africans especially the poor. Poor South Africans are having to pay more for clothing, medical and even some foodstuffs that are not zero-rated.
In all, Ramaphosa’s first 100 days in office have been alright if popular citizen surveys are anything to go by but he has faced some tough issues especially the land expropriation without compensation issue; however, much is expected in future rather than now, therefore, he has ample time of solidifying his position in the party in preparation for the 2019 presidential elections.
By Papisdaff Abdullah
DRA limited, the company under whose supervision Consar Limited was working is to bare $2 million of the fine in addition to a series of recommendations by the committee tasked to look into the Newmont Ahafo Mines disaster in April this year.
Newmont Ghana is expected to pay $500, 000 while Consar Ghana Limited is to pay an additional fine of US$200,000.
The fatal accident that occurred at the Newmont Ahafo Mine at Kenyasi No 2 in the Brong Ahafo region on Saturday, April 7, 2018 claimed the lives of six workers.
The deceased were identified as Kwadwo Asare, Gideon Amankwaa, Kojo Bismarch, Ben Brako, Agyei Wale and Ebenezer Sarfo.
They were workers of Consar Company Limited, a sub-contracting firm which had been contracted to construct a reclaim tunnel roof at the Ahafo Mill Expansion Project.
They were on the site when the structure collapsed and trapped them.
Four others, Musa Sulemana, Seth Kwame, Daniel Dzitor and one other person who got injured during the accident were treated and discharged at the SOS Clinic of the mine.
Below is the full statement
PRESS STATEMENT BY HON. MINISTER FOR LANDS & NATURAL RESOURCES ON ENQUIRY REPORT ON MULTIPLE FATALITY ACCIDENT AT NEWMONT AHAFO MILL EXPANSION (A.M.E.) PROJECT ON 7TH APRIL 2018
On 7th April 2018, in compliance with Regulation 26 of Minerals and Mining (Health Safety and Technical Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2182), Management of Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (Newmont or NGGL) Ahafo Mine, reported an accident which resulted in multiple fatalities (six dead) and various degrees of injuries to four other workers of Consar Limited.
Consar is a contractor working under the supervision of DRA Ghana Limited, an Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Management (EPCM) agent of NGGL, constructing a Reclaim Tunnel as part of the Ahafo Mill Expansion (AME) Project. The employees were reportedly involved in pouring a mixture of concrete at the Reclaim Tunnel when the two-level formwork structure at the west end of the Reclaim Tunnel failed, fatally injuring six men and injuring four others.
On the Sunday 8th April, 2018 the Hon. Minister led a team of Ministry and Mineral Commission officials to visit the accident site at the Ahafo mine in order to ascertain on firsthand the cause and the circumstances leading to the accident. The Hon. Minister and the team also visited the deceased families to commiserate with them as well as the injured.
Pursuant to Regulation 16(1)(c) of L.I. 2182, the Hon. Minister constituted an investigation team under the auspices of the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission to conduct an enquiry into the causes and circumstances leading to the accident.
On 18th May 2018, a copy of the Report of the investigation Team was presented/submitted to the Ministry of Lands & Natural Resources. The investigations which took almost five weeks came up with several findings which bordered on design, operational and managerial failures leading to the fatalities and casualties. The Ministry has been reliably informed that NGGL has already deployed resources to support the injured and the families of the deceased victims.
The investigations team has come out with the following recommendations:
-Newmont Ghana Gold Limited Ahafo Mine shall suspend DRA Ghana Limited from all their activities at NGGL Ahafo Mine for failure to ensure the absolute health, safety and security of their contractor employees and therefore in branch of Regulation 553, LI 2182 of 2012.
-DRA Ghana Limited shall be dismissed from undertaking any construction project management on any mining site in Ghana for their blunt disregard for safety.
III. DRA Ghana Limited shall be fined US$10,000 for operating at the Ahafo site without Mining Services Operation Permit (breach of Regulation 8(4 and 5) LI 2182 of 2012) and for each day that the Company had operated without the Mining Services Operating Permit, an additional fine of US$200 shall be imposed.
-Newmont Ghana Gold Limited shall also be fined US$10,000 for failure to ensure that DRA Ghana Limited obtains a Mining Services Operating Permit prior to commencing operations at the Ahafo Site (breach of Regulation 8(4 and 5) LI 2182 of 2012) and for each day that the Company had operated without the Mine Support Operating Permit, an additional fine of US$200 shall be imposed.
-Newmont Ghana Gold Limited for failure to ensure the safety of contractor employees working at the Ahafo Mine Site shall pay the fatally wounded and the injured employees the appropriate workmen compensation. In addition, the fatally wounded employees should be compensated for their traumatic death, loss of their life and jettisoning of their livelihood.
-NGGL shall be fined US$10,000 for breach of Regulation 23(1), L.I. 2182 of 2012).
VII. Mr. Osei Owusu Adansi (Supervisor of Consar Ltd.) shall be dismissed from working as a supervisor at the A.M.E. Project site, for not ensuring the safety of his workmen (breaches of Regulations 550 and 553, L.I. 2182 of 2012).
VIII. In the event of a major spill of concrete mixture during pouring, Consar Limited shall ensure that pouring of concrete mixture into formworks shall be halted, and a report should be made to the Project Managers for assessment and decision making.
-There shall be no work underneath any erected formworks during the pouring of concrete mixtures. Work can only take place after the concrete mixture had been certified to be cured by a competent person.
-Consar Limited in continuing their work shall develop and implement controls to prevent workers from working beneath suspended load across the entire site with immediate effect.
The designs and construction of all formworks at the A.M.E. Project shall be reviewed immediately to take into consideration the horizontal forces on the haunch/chamfer at the edges of slabs.
XII. Provisions shall be made in all designs and construction of formworks for diagonal or cross and horizontal bracings for all Projects on the Mine.
XIII. Newmont shall immediately review all organograms to ensure that The General Manager has oversight responsibilities over all projects pursuant to Regulation 40 and 55, LI. 2182 of 2012. For this breach NGGL shall be fined US$10,000.
XIV. Further, NGGL shall ensure that Functional Managers have control and oversight responsibilities over the operational activities of all Projects on the Mine.
-NGGL shall immediately review its organizational structure to be consistent with operational responsibilities of the statutorily appointed managers to remedy the breach of the requirements under Regulation 35, LI. 2182 of 2012. For this breach NGGL shall be fined US$10,000.
XVI. General Manager of NGGL, Ahafo Mine shall ensure absolute responsibility of all the activities of Contractors over the life of the A.M.E. Project.
XVII. There shall be a civil supervisor and Safety Officer always present at the site during all operations by all contractors.
XVIII. All props shall be aligned vertically and braced appropriately during all such installations of formwork and supports.
XIX. All formworks designed by a Certified Engineer shall be inspected ad proved by same after installation.
-All Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) of all activities at the A.M.E. Project shall specify responsible and accountable persons for each task.
XXI. Consar Limited shall provide logbooks on site to record instructions, activities etc.
XXII. Consar Limited shall provide details of their Emergency Response Plans to the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission by May 30, 2018. Consar Limited shall be fined US$10,000 each for failure to have site specific emergency response plan.
XXIII. NGGL shall be fined US$10,000 for not ensuring that DRA Ghana Limited and Consar Limited had emergency response plan.
XXIV. Newmont shall review its emergency Reponses Plan to include construction related scenarios by May 30, 2018.
XXV. Consar Limited shall immediately ensure that risk assessment completed for the tasks have adequate controls.
XXVI. All concrete mixing trucks for Consar Limited shall have waybills in them.
XXVII. Consar Limited shall ensure careful supervision and continuous inspection of formwork during erection, concrete placement, and removal of formwork.
XXVIII. Consar Limited shall remove the deformed formwork and iron rods and fix new ones before the concrete slab is recast.
XXIX. All the conveyor support structure, equipment and chutes which had been installed prior to pouring the concrete mixture, shall be removed to enable the appropriate supports to be erected prior to recasting the slab.
XXX. NGGL shall ensure that all agents and contractors working at the Ahafo Mine site identify, label and communicate exclusive zones to workers each day prior to commencement of task.
XXXI. NGGL shall ensure that all contractors on the Mine have Mine Support Services Operating Permits.
XXXII. Henceforth there shall be counterpart Ghanaian Consulting Engineers and Architects for all Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Management activities at all mine sites in fulfillment of Local Content requirements.
DIRECTIVES FROM THE HON. MINISTER ON THE OUTCOME OF THE INVESTIGATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS MADE
Upon receipt of the report, DRA submitted a petition in response in a bid to absolve itself. However, following a review of the said petition, the Hon. Minister has subsequently directed the Minerals Commission to implement to the letter all the recommendations made by the investigation team. Indeed, above recommendations notwithstanding, and without any prejudice to any further action required by law and/or as recommended by the Investigation Report, The Hon. Minister as per the Minerals and Mining Act 2006, Act 703 Section 5(1) hereby directs as follows:
By Papisdaff Abdullah
Ghana’s Former President John Jerry Rawlings says the constant lies being peddled by some members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) about his family makes it difficult for him to criticize President Akufo Addo led administration.
Delivering a durbar to commemorate the 39th anniversary of the June 4 revolution in Accra, Mr. Rawlings said he finds it difficult to believe some of the scandals that are being reported about the Akufo-Addo led government because of the lies that are regularly peddled about him and his wife.
“Some of the little ones are so vicious with their mouths…the kind of sins and nasty evil things that they do but turn around and insult people like Martin Amidu, like my wife, like myself and I wonder if that is my wife they are talking about, I wonder if that is me.
“When you say I don’t criticise Nana Addo or the things he does, to be quite honest I don’t know what to believe or to disbelieve because I know some of the things our people say about Martin Amidu, my wife and myself are false,” the military dictator said.
The former president has been a harsh critic of the party he founded under the late President John Evans Atta Mills and later President John Mahama.
But majority of his party members have accused him for treating the current government with kid gloves despite the many scandals that have rocked the NPP administration in less than 2 years in power.
Background of the June 4 revolution
The revolution sparked when the then military government of the Supreme military Council (SMC II) of General F K. Akuffo put then flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings on public trial for attempting to overthrow the government on May 15th 1979. This happened because Rawlings was a junior soldier in the Ghanaian Army who with other soldiers were refused to be given their salaries.
Rawlings turned the trial against the government by accusing it of massive corruption and requesting that his fellow accused be set free as he was solely responsible for the mutiny. He was incarcerated. His diatribe resonated with the entire nation as there was massive suffering.
In the night of June 3rd 1979, junior military officers including Major Boakye Djan broke into the jail where Rawlings was being held and freed him, and ostensibly marched him to the national radio station to make an announcement. The first time the public heard from Rawlings was a now legendary statement that he Rawlings had been released by the junior officers and that he was under their command. He requested all soldiers to meet with them at the Nicholson Stadium in Burma Camp in Accra.
The entire nation went up in uproar. The soldiers rounded up senior military officers including three former heads of states, General F. K Akuffo, Ignatious Kutu Acheampong and Afrifa for trial. They were subsequently executed by firing squad.
By Papisdaff Abdullah
The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Mental Health Authority (GHA), Dr Akwasi Osei is warning of great calamity in the country’s mental health system in the event the Department for International Development (DFID) withdraws its support of the Authority.
The DFID’s support for the GHA and by extension the country ’s three psychiatric hospitals comes to an end June this year—a situation Dr Osei warned will cripple entire mental health delivery system.
“So, if this support comes to an end then we will really not have any money to fall on. Indeed what DFID is saying is that if we have any monies left unspent we need to return it and again the programme that we have is such that we are not likely to have any monies left.
“So, if the month comes to an end and we do not have any monies to let us continue to survive…to exist we will be forced to shut down and that’s the stark reality,” he lamented.
As a result, he added the hospitals in the next few days will “be forced to decide that either they shut down, in other words, they will not be admitting anybody, or they go back fully into cash and carry”offloading the cost of care to the patients.