Call Us Now: (240) 429 2177

country

Cameroon: Circa FCFA 2.7 Billion Adopted At First-ever South West Regional Council’s Budgetary Session.
June 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

L-R, Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai, President Zacheus Elanga, Vice President Chief Atem Ebako

The first-ever budgetary session of the newly created South West Regional Assembly has taken place in Buea. This session comes after the Divisional delegates and for the South West and North West House of Chiefs were installed to their function December 2020.

This budgetary session of the South West Regional Assembly supervised by Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai is taking place simultaneously like others across the national territory.

During the three days, the Regional Councillors came out with a budget of two billion seven hundred and fifty million (2,750,000,000) FCFA. This budget is expected to be financed with subvention from the state. The state has already made available FCFA 250 million to cater for some needs.

This budget is mainly focused on the implementation of activities deemed to be priorities in the operationalization of the Region at the gestation phase. 43% of the budget, one billion one hundred and eighty-five million (1,185,000,000) FCFA have been allocated for running expenses while one billion five hundred and sixty-five million (1,565,000,000) FCFA being 57% of the budget has been programmed for investment.

According to a draft budget obtained by the Median Newspaper, the priority areas for the running expenses will focus on the need to have human, material, financial resources at very short notice for the accomplishment of the mission of the South West Regional Assembly; the need to allow for the installation and the minimum functioning of the South West Regional Assembly and compliance with the quotas and ratios in the allocation of funds meant for Running expenses.

That for investment purposes will focus on the activities mainly of the governance programmed and local development some of which include the refurbishment of the headquarters building; construction of a water supply for the headquarters building; acquisition and maintenance of transport equipment; capacity building of staff in the Region; assistance and support to population and associations and a host of others.

Zacheus Bakoma Elango, President South West Regional Assembly

The bi-camera session (Divisional Representatives and House of Chiefs) session also came out with standing orders of the Regional Assembly, that of the House of Chiefs and that of the Divisional Representatives. All these were examined and adopted as one document that binds both Houses.

The fields of intervention of the Regional Assembly as defined by law No. 2019/024 of 24 December 2019 concerns aspects of economic, health, social, education, sporting and cultural development, something Governor Okalia Bilai stressed to the Councillors during his opening remarks. He urged the councillors to work in that line and not to go out of their jurisdiction which will warrant him using his powers in shutting them down.

The Regional Councillors should be the first people to believe in the institution. The Regional Council which is a solution should not become a problem,” Governor Okalia Bilai told the Councillors.

“Through some of our actions, we can make it become a problem. This institution was clamoured for by the population and it is of utmost importance to decentralisation. The councillors should continue the sensitization campaign and should produce concrete results that will meet the needs of the population.”

It should be recalled that the Regional Assembly was one of the outcomes of the Major National Dialogue that sought to look for ways to end the violence in the countries North West and South West Regions. The Regional Councillors were elected in 2020 and for the case of the South West and North West Regions; there was the reintroduction of the House of Chiefs.

Ngundo Francis, Chairman of the administrative, Legal Affairs and Standing Orders Committee said everything went on smoothly during the various deliberations that were carried out.

“The budget for this year as far as I see is not for serious investment, it is meant for keeping the house in order and to put certain things in place. The budget that will carry investment that will be visible to the population will come up next year as visibility studies for some projects will be carried out.”

“It is too early to talk about the budget at the moment. What we are doing now is to implant the Regional Assembly and it is not very visible and until that is done next year investment will take place.”

0
Read More
Cameroon: Agbor Oben Scores Late to Pull 2-2 Draw in CUSA V Buea United
June 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Buea United FC is three points behind leaders Continental FA heading into the last group game

Buea United had to come from behind to pull a draw against the Catholic University Sports Academy as matchday nine of the South West Regional League took place across the Region.

The Catholic University SA headed into this encounter after pulling a draw against Continental FA in their last encounter while it was a draw for Buea United against the University of Buea in their encounter.

It was Buea United who began the game on the front foot with several chances created. Oscar Ngembo created the first chance but could not trouble goalkeeper Ofon. Boston Mofa will follow up for Buea United with a freekick but it went above the crossbar.

Mbua Ngembo opened the scoring for Buea United at the 9mins of play after the team had mounted pressure on the CUSA backline.

CUSA found it difficult to penetrate the defence of Buea United and when they did they could not make something out of the chances. That will, however, change at the 23mins with CUSA succeeding in getting an equalizer. Captain Baka Valery stepped up and converted a beautiful freekick a few meters from the box.

Ikose Njuma will come close a few minutes later for CUSA but could not convert. He rounded up the goalkeeper but his effort hit the crossbar as CUSA started mounting pressure against their opponents. 

Elias Lenya will put CUSA ahead at the 30mins after a combination play saw him slot the ball into the net. The goal seemed to reinvigorate the CUSA side that attacked Buea United on every front and defended as a unit as the game headed into the break 2-1 in favour of CUSA.

Agbor Oben of Buea United was the shining glory of his team with beautiful plays and combinations. His touch was one of splendour as he masterminded the play from Buea United at the midfield.

Buea United will enter the game in the second half knowing they needed to avoid a defeat in this encounter. And that was the case with their plays a few minutes into the second segment with Boston Mofa testing the goalkeeper. Oscar Njume will then come close a few minutes later but his shot went wide.

Buea United FC will face Continental FA in the last group game

Buea United will finally equalize at the 80mins with that goal very vital for the team. Agbor Oben who was the marksman for Buea United in the game scored a beautifully taken strike, to the jubilation of all those associated with the team.

The draw for Buea United keeps their hopes alive of topping the group on the final matchday while the chances of CUSA qualifying for the mini interpool have ended. Buea United currently counts 8 points in Pool B and are second, behind leaders Continental FA with 11 points. CUSA is third with four points. The University of Buea is fourth with 2 points while Dynamic was earlier on declared general forfeiture.

The last game will be very crucial as Continental FA will face Buea United, while the Catholic University SA battles the University of Buea FC. The date for the fixtures has yet to be communicated.

0
Read More
Cameroon:Fako Divisional League Knockout Fixtures, Venues Released
June 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Istanbul FA was the only team in the Group stage to go unbeaten

The knockout stage of the Fako Divisional League has been released. The fixtures are scheduled to be played on June 13, at the Limbe Centenary Stadium. The release comes after the conclusion of the group stages a couple of days back.

Six teams will be taking part at the knockout stages comprising winners and second-place teams in Pools A, B and C. EEMSA 22 of Tiko and Option 17 from Pool A will be joined by Vishi Sports Academy and Southwest United from Pool B and Istanbul FA and Al Jazeera SA from Pool C.

Al Jazeera who finished as the only team not to lose a game at the group stages will look to outsmart Option 17. Istanbul dropped just two points in the championship with the rest of the games finishing in a victory. The team defeated Al Jazeera, Fako United, Botafogo AFC on both legs but were held to a draw by Babungo in the second leg after the team won the first leg.

For Al Jazeera, the team will be hoping their fine form to round off the group stages continue when the battle Vishi Sports Academy. Al Jazeera finished second in group B and will face a side in Vishi SA that finished top of Group B. The team had a scare but bounce back to comfortably win their group.

For the complete Fixtures Sunday, June 13

Istanbul FA v Option 17 at the Centenary Stadium (11:00 am)

Vishi SA v Al Jazeera SA at the Centenary Stadium (1:00 pm)

EEMSA 22 v Southwest United at the Centenary Stadium (3 pm)

It should be noted that the victorious teams will qualify for the semi-finals while the best loser will be selected to join the winning teams. These teams will then participate in the semi-finals with the winners advancing to the finals. The victorious team will qualify for the South West Regional League for the next football season.

0
Read More
BirdLife South Africa honours pioneering black scientist, Saul Sithole
June 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Lorato Trok’s The Forgotten Scientist: The Story of Saul Sithole is the story of a pioneering black scientist whose great contribution to the fields of anthropology and ornithology in South Africa has been ignored and largely forgotten. Trok’s book has gone some way in rectifying this by telling Sithole’s story of dedication to his craft and the advancement of our knowledge of birds and fossils through his 62-year career at the Ditsong (previously Transvaal) Natural History Museum.

BirdLife South Africa, with whom the book was launched, has, in honour of Saul Sithole, named their library, probably the most comprehensive collection of ornithological texts in South Africa, the Saul Sithole Memorial Library.

Saul’s grandson, Themba Zitha, attended the announcement at the organisation’s AGM in May 2021 and Trok read a citation that will hang in the library, encapsulating why the work of Saul and others like him is worthy of memorial.
The Forgotten Scientist: The Story of Saul Sithole is available in English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sesotho and Sepedi.   Lorato Trok has written a number of stories in English and Setswana. She also has qualifications in Languages and Literature and Advanced Editing. She has presented papers locally and internationally on children’s literature and is a creative writing facilitator. This is her second biography for young people and forms part of the series about unsung South African heroes and heroines.
+1
Read More
Kenya:President Uhuru Kenyatta’s cherry-picking of Judges sparks uproar
June 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Recently Gazetted judges of the Court of Appeal and various Divisions of the High Court arrive at State House, Nairobi for their Swearing-in Ceremony presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta.Photo credit State House

The appointment of 34 Judges and omission of six others by President Uhuru Kenyatta has elicited protests from political leaders, lawyers, activists, Judges, and Magistrates.

In the gazette notice dated June 3, President Kenyatta appointed 34 out 41 judges recommended by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC)-Judges’ and Magistrates’ employer in 2019.

The President appointed seven Court of Appeal Judges, nine judges in the employment and labour relations court, and 18 in the environment and land court.

 However, he rejected Justices George Odunga and Prof Joel Ngugi, who were part of a five-judge bench that nullified the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) last month. Others included Justices Weldon Korir, Aggrey Muchelule, Makori Evans Kiago, and Judith Omange Cheruiyot.

Hours after Mr. Kenyatta confirmed the appointment, Katiba Institute (KI)  moved to court seeking an order to bar the swearing of the 34 judges terming it unconstitutional and stigmatizing to those left out.

Katiba Institute is a lobby that promotes knowledge and understanding of Kenya’s Constitution and constitutionalism and defends and facilitates the implementation of the constitution.

Through lawyer Dudley Ochiel, KI said President Kenyatta has no power to tinker with the names given to him, noting that his action has the harmful effect of undermining the Judiciary’s functioning and independence.

“That the Court issue a further order of prohibition stopping the Chief Justice and the Judicial Service Commission, their agents or anyone whatsoever from assigning duties to judges appointed from a partial list of the 40 nominees — contrary to the recommendation of the JSC in 2019 and the orders of this court in February 2020, pending hearing of the application and Petition.

“The cherry-picking and selective appointment or swearing-in of judges undermines the functions and powers of the Judicial Service Commission and the functioning of the Judiciary. It also is an improper extension of the role of the Executive and has created a constitutional crisis,” reads the application.

At the same time, Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association accused the Head of State of setting a very bad precedent in Kenya, one of not following the rule of law and disobedience of court orders.

They demanded the names of the six be gazetted with immediate effect, saying the decision to leave them out was surprising, unfounded, and constitutional.

Kenyan-American Law professor Makau Mutua has challenged the newly appointed Chief Justice Martha Koome to protect the independence of the Judiciary; a sentiment also echoed by Senator Kipchumba Murkomen.

“BBI judges Joel Ngugi and George Odunga have been denied elevation to the Court of Appeal. Mr. Kenyatta can’t choose which provisions of the constitution to obey, or disregard,” Professor Mutua said.

“Our eyes are fixed on the liberation warrior, the Prayer warrior, the Chief Justice, and the President of the Supreme Court Justice Martha Koome. This a watershed moment in the history of our Judiciary and will define the legacy of CJ Koome. Over to you Madam CJ,” Senator Murkomen added.

0
Read More
Malawi: Prophet Bushiri’s extradition case to South Africa starts
June 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Joseph Dumbula

Flamboyant Prophet Shepherded Bushiri will remain in Malawi still as the contention for his extradition to South Africa where together with his wife, are wanted in South Africa for fraud, theft and money laundering charges appeared before court today.

In November last year, Bushiri who heads the Enlightened Christian Gathering fled to Malawi in a trip he described as a search for freedom in his native country Malawi.

Today, the state failed to parade its South African witnesses, something that led into a heft contention from the defense.

It was expected that the state would parade its South African witnesses but the witnesses have failed to show up at the court due to what the state said were logistical challenges and travel hiccups due to the Covid19 pandemic.

With this, the state made an application that the witnesses should testify through video conferencing.

Steve Kayuni Director of Public Prosecution, told the court the witnesses are ready to testify but said cannot come to the court physically because of some logistical challenges and Covid19 restrictions.

However, Wapona Kita, lawyer representing the Bushiri’s disputed the application saying it came unawares and that there are no travel restrictions between Malawi and South Africa.

0
Read More
GLF first-ever digital conference focused on Africa drylands brings experts from FAO to discuss techniques that will help preserve the region.
June 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

Conservation is indispensable for the recovery of Drylands and the maintenance of Sustainable Landscapes. Drought respects no borders.

By Uzman Unis Bah

Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) hosts its maiden digital conference to discuss Africa drylands and how fundamental restoration techniques can help recover the threatened region. Experts from FAO outline the GEF-7 Dryland Sustainable Landscapes Impact Program: Catalyzing transformation – scale – sustainability. 

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is poised to launch the GEF-7 Dryland Sustainable Landscapes Impact Program, which aims at helping salvage the endangered areas of the African region.

Deputy Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization, Maria Helena Semedo, said GEF-7 is an increasingly important partner of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in supporting countries in meeting their priorities in connection of the environment and sustainable development. 

According to Maria, the GEF-7 will focus on intersecting challenges of sustaining production in the natural ecosystem. She said collaboration is a multifocal and integrated initiative that support countries in addressing common drylands management challenge.  

Gustavo Fonseca, the Director of Programs, Global Environment Facility (GEF), drylands are home to more than 2 billion people and contain 44% of the world agricultural land that supports over half of the earth food production. Drylands also host the most fragile ecosystems on the planet, including 25% of all growth biodiversity hotspots.

Gustavo said climate change, growing populations, overgraze of rangelands pose environmental problems, leading to land degradation and affecting the livelihoods of 600 million smallholder farmers. 

He stressed the importance of investment in the sustainable management of drylands. Investment is a good value proposition for the GEF, as dryland areas have a high potential for generating multiple environmental benefits and their importance for improving local livelihoods.    

Ulrich Apel, a Senior Environmental Specialist at GEF, said the essence of the programme is to achieve land neutrality in poverty-stricken and fragile areas. Such as dryland, which is in line UNCCD concept on land degradation restoration; the scheme supports smallholders and medium enterprises that support living in the drylands, reduces the vulnerability of the communities and the ecosystems, he states. 

According to Ulrich, working together, learning together, sharing knowledge in platforms will enhance cost-effective impacts and strengthen the integrated approach in responding to degradation and harnessing the most plausible solutions that mitigate the problems.  

Malawi’s Minister of Forestry and Natural Resource, Nancy Tembo, said the country’s dry landscape faces severe pressure from the rapidly growing population. The population density is 20 people per square kilometre, growing at a rate of 2.6%; the last census conducted in 2018 puts the youth at 51% of the total population expansion of the country. She states that Malawai uses 32,000 hectares of forest cover every year; the GEF-7 dry land sustainable program provides an opportunity in Malawi to reach out for the sustainable goals, she said.  

According to Nancy, Charcoal production in Malawi is high. About 80% of the population depends on charcoal energy for cooking and land encroachment, especially forest reserves. Population growth and the acquisition of lands for agriculture and housing purposes is worsening the situation.

Frank Musukwa, the Chairperson ofZambia National Forest Commodity Association (ZNFCA), said poverty, low agriculture productivity, lack of livelihood opportunity and increasing need for housing influence land degradation. Frank explains that youth are engaged in charcoal burning, an easy source of income, a form of business that requires a low investment that leaves an indelible scar on the surface of our planet. 

The Dryland Sustainable Landscapes Impact Program supports integrated landscape management, focusing on sustainable forest management, restoration of rangelands and livestock production. The program will promote and diversify agroecological food production and creating enabling environment to support these objectives, outlined by the Program Framework. 

This approach will lead to enhanced preservation and maintainable use of biodiversity, repossession and storage of carbon, developed water infiltration and regulation, control of forest fires, pest and viruses disturbing dryland crops and livestock, improved soil condition and improved livelihoods.

The GLF conference hosts experts and journalists in discussing evidence of the successes of dryland restoration and guide practitioners and policymakers ahead of the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a challenge to scale up restoration efforts that will restore the degraded ecosystem. 

0
Read More
Modupe Adeyinka-Oni: Celebrating a Nigerian Education Icon
June 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Our Reporter

When she made the list for the 2021 African DOers awards, it was not a surprise. For discerning observers of trends on the Nigerian education circuit, the response was rather: why did it take so long for her to be recognised and honoured?

Modupe Adeyinka-Oni is a teacher of teachers. And she has been active in the field for as long as four decades. A former long-time player within the prestigious Corona Schools team, she is one who is generally always in search of value. Getting value, adding value and sharing value is first nature for her. That is essentially how she is wired.

24 years ago, when she saw a need to focus more intently on the specific needs of individual readers, she pulled out of the Corona Schools System to start Standard Bearers School, Lekki, Lagos.

Now her sights are set on improving overall capacity in the educational system. And she is working with two principal points of focus: building greater teacher capacity and using technology more powerfully.

Part of her motivation comes from a desire to give back to a system that has been quite generous to and served her through the years. But there is also a strand of her inspiration that comes from her appreciation of the basic reality that Nigeria as a nation and Africa as a continent would only be building a castle of sand if plans are not made to ensure the best educational possibilities for the many in our midst that are deprived and disadvantaged.

This is what has engaged her for almost a decade now, working with other like-minded professionals in helping to raise teacher standard in the less affluent private schools in the Lagos area; those whose children pay fees of about N20-25,000.00 (40 to 50 dollars) a term.

Some of the communities whose schools have benefited from these engagements are in the Ijesha and Ogudu suburbs of Africa’s most populous megacity. And the results have indeed been quite notable.

Currently, she is engaged in using ground-breaking but available technology to reach out to even more communities across Nigeria, and at this time also, to directly engage and teach the students themselves.

Of special interest for her at this time too are children from poor communities and the rising bands of IDP children who are victims of the many conflicts that have broken out across the country in more recent years. A pilot project was undertaken in the Federal Capital Territory a few days ago and all systems are presently being fine-tuned to ensure full deployment in the next few weeks.

Adeyinka-Oni is grateful for the help and support of her many partners, sponsors and associates who are collaborating with her on the field. Appreciating that the task at hand is indeed very daunting, she however believes that because it has to be done, she would not be deterred. ‘We will keep going on. It will all be well.’ Such single minded devotion. Such exemplary demonstration of resolve. May it indeed be well.

0
Read More
Mozambique: Missing journalist to be extradited to Rwanda through Tanzania
June 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

The Rwandan journalist Ntamuhanga Cassien, who has been missing since 23 May after reportedly being abducted, has been handed over to the Rwandan embassy in Maputo, according to multiple unnamed sources.

Media reports say that it is believed that Cassien will be extradited to Rwanda, where he escaped from prison. Mozambique and Rwanda do not have an extradition agreement, so his extradition would be unlawful, according to political analyst Muhamad Yassine.

Command Post reports that Ntamuhanga has been transferred from the police station to one of the safe houses in Maputo as authorities from the two countries finalize plans to have him transferred to Kigali.

It also revealed that the two governments plan to transport him from Mozambique using a road through Tanzania to Rwanda.

Cassien’s abduction is believed to be in response to a request from the Rwandan president, Paul Kagame, to President Filipe Nyusi, in exchange for support in the the fight against the insurgency in Cabo Delgado province.

After his abduction, Cassien was held at the 18th police station in Maputo city until 1 June, when he was handed over to the embassy, reports say.

Rwanda’s ambassador to Mozambique denied to Canalmoz that Cassien had been arrested on Kagame’s orders. The police have also denied knowing of any arrest of a Rwandan citizen. Cassien’s lawyer, Henrique Buque, said that he had not been able to contact his client yet.

0
Read More
Mahamadou Issoufou honoured with 2020 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership
June 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

Former President of Niger describes award as an honour for all Nigeriens

“I was moved and proud to be chosen by the Ibrahim Prize Committee says President Issoufou

London, 3 June 2021 – H.E. Mahamadou Issoufou, the former President of Niger, was honoured today as the recipient of the 2020 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership in a special Leadership Ceremony held during the 2021 Ibrahim Governance Weekend.

Speaking from Niamey to a global audience via MIF.LivePresident Issoufou said: “I was moved and proud to be chosen by the Ibrahim Prize Committee. Through me, all the Nigerien people have been honoured. I thank President Festus Mogae and the members of the Prize Committee for choosing my modest person. I salute and congratulate Mo Ibrahim and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation for the comprehensive support they provide to the development of our continent.”

The Ibrahim Prize is a US$ 5 million award that recognises and celebrates excellence in African leadership. It ensures that the African continent benefits from the experience and wisdom of exceptional leaders once they have left national office, by enabling them to continue to contribute in other civic roles.

Outlining the decision to make President Issoufou an Ibrahim Prize Laureate, H.E. Festus Mogae, Chair of the independent Prize Committee and former President of Botswana, said: “President Issoufou made history in Niger. He paved the way for Niger’s first-ever democratic transition of power. His example shows that those who lead, whatever the challenges, can do so with the greatest reverence for both the citizens they serve and the rule of law.”

President Issoufou was congratulated by leaders from around the world.

H.E. Mohamed Bazoum, President of Niger said: “During his ten years in office, President Issoufou remarkably stabilised the institutions of our Republic, strengthened the foundations of our economy, brought about a reduction in poverty, and provided real opportunities for the future of his country. I would like to say to the members of the Ibrahim Prize Committee that, in addition to the qualities that you have identified through his governance and leadership, President Issoufou’s moral and human qualities also make him an exceptional man.”

António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations said: “The awarding of this prestigious Prize to President Issoufou is a testament to his efforts as a champion of sustainable development, democratic consolidation, peace, stability, human rights and gender equality. Niger’s growing role in the international community, as a valued partner of the United Nations, was built on President Issoufou’s commitment to regional and international cooperation and consensus building.”

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission said: “President Issoufou addressed head-on the complex challenges the region faces. He has been a long-standing friend and valued partner of the European Union. I want to commend President Issoufou specifically on what he has done for gender equality and women’s empowerment. This is a priority for both the European Union and Africa, and an agenda close to my heart.”

H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission said: “Mahamadou Issoufou’s commitment to the development and well-being of his compatriots is known to all. We will remember his relentless fight against terrorism, for peace and stability in the Sahel. We were all impressed by his strong advocacy as a champion for the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area.”

Mo Ibrahim, Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation said: “I am proud to see President Issoufou recognised as an example of exceptional leadership and I hope his legacy will inspire generations of African leaders to come. President Issoufou, I offer you my heartfelt congratulations and a warm welcome to the Foundation family.” 

The Leadership Ceremony is part of the 2021 Ibrahim Governance Weekend, which is usually held in a different African country each year but is being held virtually in 2021 due to COVID restrictions.

At the heart of the weekend is the Ibrahim Forum, which brings together a powerful coalition of African and global leaders to discuss an issue that is critical to the continent’s future. The 2021 Ibrahim Forum is discussing COVID-19 in Africa One Year On: Impact and Prospects, a new report from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation analysing the health, economic, social and political impacts of the pandemic, and highlighting key avenues for the continent’s recovery.

About the Mo Ibrahim Foundation

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation was established in 2006 with a focus on the critical importance of political leadership and public governance in Africa. By providing tools to support progress in leadership and governance, the Foundation aims to promote meaningful change on the continent.

The Foundation, which is a non-grant making organisation, focusses on defining, assessing and enhancing governance and leadership in Africa through five main initiatives:

  • Ibrahim Index of African Governance
  • Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership
  • Ibrahim Governance Weekend
  • Ibrahim Fellowships and Scholarships
  • Now Generation Network

​The Ibrahim Prize

  • Recognises and celebrates African leaders who, under challenging circumstances, have developed their countries, lifted people out of poverty and paved the way for sustainable and equitable prosperity; 
  • Highlights exceptional role models for the continent;
  • Ensures that the African continent continues to benefit from the experience and wisdom of exceptional leaders once they have left national office, by enabling them to continue in other civic roles on the continent;
  • Is an award and a standard for excellence in leadership in Africa, and not a ‘first prize’ – there is not necessarily a Laureate every year.

Criteria

  • Former African Executive Head of State or Government 
  • Left office in the last three years 
  • Democratically elected 
  • Served his/her constitutionally mandated term 
  • Demonstrated exceptional leadership

The Ibrahim Prize is the largest annually awarded prize in the world, consisting of: 

  • US$5 million over ten years

Prize Committee

The winner of the Ibrahim Prize is selected by an independent Prize Committee, appointed by the Foundation Board, comprised of: 

  • President Festus Mogae (Chair) | Former President of Botswana; 2008 Ibrahim Prize Laureate 
  • Aïcha Bah Diallo | President, Network for Education for All in Africa; Former Minister of Education in Guinea; Former Assistant Director General for Education (ADG/ED), UNESCO; Founder and Chair, Business for the Empowerment of Women
  • Mohamed ElBaradei | Director General Emeritus, International Atomic Energy Agency; Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
  • President Horst Köhler | Federal President of Germany 2004-2010
  • Graça Machel | President, Foundation for Community Development; Former Minister of Education in Mozambique; Mo Ibrahim Foundation Board Member
  • Mary Robinson | Chair of The Elders and Adjunct Professor for Climate Justice in Trinity College Dublin; Former UN Special Envoy on the Great Lakes Region of Africa; Former UN Envoy on Climate Change; Former President of Ireland; Mo Ibrahim Foundation Board Member 

*Mo Ibrahim Foundation

0
Read More
Energy Chamber joins 1st High-level Meeting of the OPEC-Africa Energy Dialogue
June 3, 2021 | 0 Comments
HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General

On June 2, 2021, OPEC, in collaboration with the African Energy Commission (“AFREC”), the African Petroleum Producers’ Organization (“APPO”), the African Refiners and Distributors Association (“ARDA”), and the African Energy Chamber (“AEC”) (www.EnergyChamber.org) hosted the first OPEC-Africa Energy Dialogue to promote continent-wide cooperation initiatives.

At the AEC we are proud and humbled to have been invited to such a magnificent conversation, where both public and private players were able to voice out their ideas, concerns, and solutions for the problems our energy industry is facing today.

In the first installment of the OPEC-Africa Dialogue, the high-level participants addressed issues of great importance to Africa’s energy industry, such as energy poverty, energy transition and the financing of projects during the highly accelerated transition to a lower carbon future. The key points highlighted during the OPEC-Africa Dialogue included:

  • Energy poverty continues to be one of the major challenges African countries face to this date, and it is expected to grow exponentially in the following years. A sudden swift to a zero-carbon future will only exacerbate such problem, leaving many Africans without access to power, consequently affecting health systems, industries, economies, and the lives of millions of Africans. On this matter, Secretary General Barkindo noted that energy stakeholders should work together to ensure an equitable distribution of energy that leaves no one behind.
  • All sources of energy are required to address energy poverty and to boost African economies. Secretary General Barkindo noted that the OPEC will continue to advocate for a balanced and inclusive energy transition that promotes all energy sources and prioritizes the investment needs in Africa.
  • A finance plan for the continent’s energy sector is required to continue developing energy projects. Considering the recent position of major institutional and non-institutional investors, Africa needs a plan to look for other sources of funding.

Our Executive Chairman noted the importance of allowing African countries to exploit their carbon neutral gas resources to tackle energy poverty. It is unfair to prohibit African countries from exploiting their resources when they have only been responsible for less than 2% of the world’s carbon emissions. “The idea that western nations and the IEA believe that every African will drive a Tesla by 2030 is not in any way connected to a sense of reality. I am worried this is the thinking that defines energy policy. Africans need electricity to power our homes, hospitals, create jobs and opportunities for so many young people. Foreign aid, grants and handouts will not get us to Net Zero”. Stated NJ Ayuk. “We need to work on a strong African position and narrative on energy transition. Oil and natural gas are part of our future and the calls for divestment against oil and gas companies are worse than the calls for divestment against Apartheid. We must defend our natural resource industry and oil and gas companies. Africa is blessed to have H.E. Barkindo leading and speaking for our industry during these critical times” Concluded Ayuk.

Mr. Anibor Kragha of ARDA added that “ARDA, along with AFREC and APPO, is fully committed to this laudable OPEC initiative and that it will ultimately ensure that Africa’s full energy potential is realized and our citizens’ future energy demands are met with cleaner petroleum products, especially low-sulfur fuels and LPG for clean cooking in the near term.”

In closing the videoconference, OPEC Secretary General, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo said: “Africa will continue to be an integral and essential player in the oil and gas industry’s long-term efforts to meet the rising energy needs of the world’s rapidly growing population”.

At the AEC we believe that this first OPEC-Africa Dialogue is a good step on the right direction. It is very positive that the private sector was invited to the discussions, as they will continue to form a crucial part of Africa’s efforts to address energy poverty with the new challenges presented by the accelerated Energy Transition.

The AEC is determined to help African countries implementing strategies to exploit their natural resources in a sustainable manner and to boost their energy sectors in the benefit of their population. The AEC and our board members are strong proponents of well thought and carefully designed strategies for African countries to transition to a lower carbon future without leaving their citizens and resources behind. We are committed in assisting African public and private stakeholders in addressing the issues our industry is facing today, and we are looking forward to working closely with the OPEC in achieving these results.

*African Energy Chamber

0
Read More
Ghana Supreme Court Awards GHS GHc14, 689.74 Judgment Debt Against State
June 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

The Ghana Supreme Court in a unanimous decision has awarded 14,689 cedi’s judgment debt against the state.

The five member panel presided over by the Chief Justice, Justice Anin-Yeboah, said the state should pay interest at the prevailing rate from November 28, 2014 to the date of payment to NDK. According to the Chief Justice, reasons for the decision of the Court would be made available before June

Earlier, the apex court appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers Ghana – an accounting firm – to ascertain the veracity of the over GH¢1.2 billion claims being made by NDK Financial Services Limited against the government through the Ministry of Energy.

The state represented by the Attorney-General and the private firm was then ordered by the court to prepare legal accounts for the auditing firm to work with.

That auditing was to verify how much the state has been able to pay through the Bank of Ghana and whether NDK is still entitled to more payments amounting to some GH¢1,273,000,000 as judgment debt.

The apex Court’s order followed an application by the Attorney-General insisting that the state had fulfilled all financial obligations to NDK with regard to certain payments and interests based on the court’s order.

The court in its judgment on Wednesday, June 2, said the state should pay NDK GHc14, 689.74 instead of the over GHc1.2 billion it was claiming.

In March 2019, when the parties appeared before the court, then-Deputy Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame told the court that as far as the government is concerned, it has already complied with the judgment of the Supreme Court, but NDK continues to make ‘unsubstantiated’ claims for more money.

According to him, “NDK through a process of categorizing the judgment debt into ‘ascertained’ and ‘unascertained’ parts, has been persistently making claims for humongous sums from the applicant herein, albeit totally unjustified.”

Mr Dame argued that “in the view of the state implies that the sum of GH¢867,441.5 plus interest at the agreed rate of 6.5% per month calculated at the close of each day and payable at the end of every month from 1st April 2009, at the end of every month from 1st April 2009 till the date of final payment”.

He said, “Payment of any sums made in contravention of the letters of undertaking cast a burden on the respondent to produce evidence of such payment in contravention of the letters of undertaking by the Ministry of Energy.”

But, Alfred Bannerman Williams, counsel for NDK opposed the application which he said: “seeks to truncate the execution of the court’s order.”

Counsel also challenged the ‘inherent jurisdiction of the Supreme Court based on which the AG had filed the application.

Counsel was, however, unable to tell the court how much money the AG owed them but said there were ‘unascertained’ payments.

Other members of the panel are Justice Jones Dotse, Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Justice Nene Amegatcher and Justice Sule Gbedegbe.

0
Read More
Govt Will Partner Telecom Sector Players To Leapfrog Digitalization Of Economy — Akufo-Addo
June 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

The President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo has said government will partner private sector players in the telecommunications sector to deploy technology that will progress the digitalization and transformation of the economy.

He said this at the launch of MTN Ghana’s 25th Anniversary Celebration, in Accra, he said the government was employing digital technology to stimulate economic growth and ensure efficiency in the delivery of public services.

Thus, the President called for better telecommunications services from the service providers, emphasizing that the provision of quality, affordable and reliable telecom services was critical in driving innovation and accelerating economic growth.

Whilst commending MTN, Ghana for sustaining its investment in the country, and for consistently creating and deploying innovative technologies, products, and services over the years, the President urged the company to” strive even harder” to address the concerns of the public who wanted improved services.

He applauded the telecommunications giant for taking the lead in the transformation and expansion of the country’s telecommunications industry and urged the company and other players in the private sector to support the government to achieve its digitization agenda.

The President said the Government would collaborate with industry players to remove all barriers that stifled digital competition, noting that a healthy competition in the telecommunications sector was what would engender innovation and better service to the Ghanaian people.

MTN Ghana’s entry into the Ghanaian telecom market, he said, had proven that “we must all act collectively to ensure competition thrives in an atmosphere of fairness and equity.

Currently, MTN is investing some 150 million dollars to improve the rural network and another $25 million funds to support the development of the country’s digital ecosystem and an IT hub in the country.

Board Chairman of MTN Ghana, Mr. Ishmael Yamson said, the anniversary afforded the company the opportunity to take stock and plan to continue its leading role in improving customers’ experience and developing the country’s digital ecosystem.

He emphasized that developing a robust digital environment was prerequisite in harnessing the full potential of the African Intercontinental Free Trade Area.

0
Read More
Ghana warned over illegal fishing-European Commission
June 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

The Commission, leading the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing worldwide, has issued a warning, so-called yellow card, to the Republic of Ghana that it risks being identified as a non-cooperating country in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. This warning, according to the Commission, is based on various shortcomings in Ghana’s ability to comply with its duties under international law as flag, port, coastal or market State.

Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said: “The Commission stands for zero tolerance for IUU fishing. Ghana plays an important role in fisheries governance in West Africa. Therefore, we stand ready to work with Ghana to address the threats IUU fishing poses to the sustainability of fish stocks, coastal communities, food security and the profits of those fishermen and – women who follow the rules. Sustainable fisheries are key to better ocean governance.”

Ghana is encouraged to take the necessary actions in order to abide by its international obligations in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

The identified shortcomings include illegal transshipments at sea of large quantities of undersized juvenile pelagic species between industrial trawl vessels and canoes in Ghanaian waters, deficiencies in the monitoring, control and surveillance of the fleet and a legal framework that is not aligned with the relevant international obligations Ghana has signed up to. The sanctions imposed by Ghana to vessels engaging in or supporting IUU fishing activities are not effective and not an adequate deterrent.

Ghana should ensure effective monitoring and control of the activities of its fishing vessels and an adequate implementation of its enforcement and sanctioning system. It should also ensure a sound fisheries management system in order to prevent fish stemming from IUU fishing activities from reaching its market or others, including the European one.

The yellow card is a warning and offers Ghana the opportunity to react and take measures to rectify the situation within a reasonable time. At this stage, the decision does not entail any measures affecting trade.

However, in cases of prolonged and continued non-compliance countries can ultimately face a procedure of identification (a so-called red card), which entails sanctions such as the prohibition to export their fishery products to the EU market.

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is jeopardizing the very foundation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the EU’s international efforts to promote better ocean governance. Under the European Green Deal and pursuing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal for conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, sea and marine resources, the Commission has committed to a zero-tolerance approach to IUU fishing.

The fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is also an important aspect of the EU Biodiversity Strategy’s objective to protect the marine environment. The Strategy for Africa highlights the fight against IUU fishing as one of the key issues to address with our African partners. The Republic of Ghana had already received a yellow card in November 2013, which was then lifted in October 2015, after Ghana addressed the shortcomings.

The EU is the world’s biggest importer of fisheries products. The global value of IUU fishing is estimated at 10-20 billion euros per year. Between 11 and 26 million tonnes of fish are caught illegally every year, corresponding to at least 15% of world catches.

Today’s Commission Decision is based on the EU’s ‘IUU Regulation’, which entered into force in 2010. One of the pillars of this Regulation is the catch certification scheme that ensures that only legally caught fisheries products can access the EU market.

The Regulation also provides for specific dialogue mechanisms with the countries that are not complying with their obligations as flag, coastal, port and market State under international law. While failure to cooperate in the framework of the dialogue can lead to an identification of the country, the IUU dialogues are based on cooperation and support to countries and are an important step in tackling IUU fishing, with sanctions, including trade prohibition being only a last resort measure.

Since November 2012, the Commission entered in formal dialogues with 27 third countries, i.e. officially warned them of the need to take effective action to fight IUU fishing. In most cases, significant progress was observed and therefore the Commission could satisfactorily close the formal Dialogue phase and lift the yellow card. Only a few countries have not shown the necessary commitment to reforms until now. The EU is working to support Ghanaian population on the ground with several capacity building projects. 

0
Read More
Liquid Intelligent Technologies achieves 100,000 km of fibre
June 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Liquid Intelligent Technologies, a digital solution provider, has achieved 100,000 km of fibre, increasing from 89,989 km at the beginning of 2021, announced the Pan-African technology group.

During a virtual press conference held on Wednesday, June 2, the organization disclosed that the new network milestone has now positioned it as the largest independent fibre network provider in emerging markets globally.

Now more than 100 million people across 643 towns and cities in Africa can now access the internet, enabling them to explore opportunities in Africa and across the US, Asian and European markets.

The organization said it recently expanded its operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, ringing its world-class fibre network and digital services to a country that previously relied only on expensive mobile broadband.

As a result, now 2.7 million people of Mbuji-Mayi in the DRC will have access to fibre connectivity, and it is believed, creating an environment for economic growth.

Liquid Intelligent Technologies CEO Nic Rudnick attributed the progress to extensive effort and drive that followed their initial vision and growth plan.

“Over the years we have been successfully connecting countries through our high-speed connectivity and digital services. Our successful partnerships with customers ensured that today we are recognized as a technology company that has brought local businesses access to Cloud capabilities, world-class Cyber Security solutions in addition to our existing telecoms and connectivity capability,” said CEO Rudnick.

The extensive network will enhance Africa’s economic growth and enable small businesses, enterprises, and government entities to increase their competitiveness through the many digital solutions catering to their individual needs.

“The internet offers unprecedented opportunities for economic growth in developing countries. By providing access to information, connecting people to businesses everywhere, and opening up new markets, the internet can act as an enabler of economic activity and an engine for information sharing. Economic development is not about choosing between access to the internet and basic necessities, they need to work together to allow societies to flourish,” he added.

Liquid Intelligent Technologies was established in 2005, and with its fibre network, it is connecting 14 in Sub-Saharan Africa. Under its new brand identity, Liquid Intelligent Technologies has eight business units, namely: Liquid Networks, Liquid Business, Liquid Sea, Liquid Cloud, Liquid Cyber Security, Liquid Home, Liquid Innovation and Liquid Satellite.

 It now operates state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi, Harare and Kigali, with a combined potential 19,000 square metres of rack space and 74 MW of power.

0
Read More
Cameroon: CHRDA Statement On The Arbitrary Arrest And Detention Of Barrister Amungwa Tanyi Nicodemus At SED
June 3, 2021 | 0 Comments
Barrister AMUNGWA TANYI NICODEMUS, arrested on May 31st 2021

CHRDA has been reliably informed of the arbitrary arrest and detention of Barrister AMUNGWA TANYI NICODEMUS, arrested on May 31st 2021, by elements of the National Gendarmerie and detained at Secretariat d’Etat a la Defense (SED) in Yaoundé.

He is a Yaoundé based Lawyer and member of the Cameroon Bar Association, and a Defense lawyer for Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe and several other Anglophones detained in connection with the Anglophone crisis.

He was arrested at Groupement Territorial de la Gendarmarie at about 4 p.m. while representing his client. He was arrested on allegations that content and information related to the Anglophone crisis was found on his telephone after an arbitrary search by a gendarme officer.

According to Barrister Amungwa, he was arrested by gendarmes because he was vehemently contesting the arbitrary nature of their investigations and arrest of his client. Whereas, the report of the gendarmes who arrested him is to the effect that he took photos, an act which prompted the gendarme officers to seize his phone and in the course of searching for such photos, they found other content and post related to Anglophone struggle and killings of military officers.

This alleged findings of the gendarmes led to his arbitrary arrest and at about 5pm, he was transferred to the Service Central des Recherches Judiciaires at SED where he is currently in Custody and accused of Inciting Acts of Terrorism.

CHRDA condemns this arrest as it is a direct attack on human rights defenders and call for his immediate release. The telephone of a lawyer as well as journalist and other human rights defenders is not subjected to any arbitrary search without a warrant. By dint of the fact that such persons deal with information which is obtained from all sources including social media, the presence of such information in their keeping must not be subjected to any criminal prosecution.

Generally, messages are forwarded via WhatsApp groups without the consent of the recipient, and possession thereof does not suffice to make one a criminal unless there is evidence that he shared same. Several Anglophones have been arrested and detained and some tried on counts of terrorism for the mere fact that their telephones were arbitrarily searched by military officers and images and other content related to the Anglophone crisis was found in their possession. We therefore condemn this attitude of the military and call for the immediate release of Barrister Amungwa and all persons arrested under similar circumstances.

*Source CHRDA

0
Read More
African Energy Chamber Condemns Africa Oil Week’s decision to shun Cape Town conferencing hub for a non-African venue.
June 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

The African Energy Chamber is aghast at Africa Oil Week’s decision to relocate the conference venue for its flagship event from Cape Town, South Africa to the United Arab Emirates.

As the voice of Africa’s energy sector, the African Energy Chamber fully supports and commits to conferences of African nature being held on African terrain. With this in mind, the Chamber acknowledges the increased difficulties of the Covid-19 restrictions and governmental guidelines imposed on Africa and the rest of the world during this time. 

In the same manner, mothballing a conference in South Africa, an African nation that has handled the Covid-19 pandemic remarkably well, is a clear sign of opportunism and detachment from the pledge to support African venues and our continent.

“While Dubai is a fabulous venue in its own right, we do believe that events of African nature should show strong commitment to African communities, cities and the local workforce. An event of the magnitude of Africa Oil Week is a big local employer. Reneging on its long-standing partner, the African people and the continent, is a truly unfortunate sign of disinterest in African values of trust, loyalty and companionship, and is in fact very unscrupulous in nature,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chair of the African Energy Chamber.

“Keeping to Covid-19 travel restrictions and how they have particularly strenuous burden on the conferencing industry, there are smart ways to hold hybrid conferences of both online and offline nature. Further, vaccination rates are increasing rapidly across the Northern hemisphere, which would allow business travellers to visit South Africa in a safe manner by November”, he added.

The African Energy Chamber expresses its discontent with the decision made, and continues to support both local and international conferencing operators willing to prioritize African venues for African events.

Given the relentless attack that the oil and gas industry is facing, there is no better time for the oil and gas industry to stand with Africa but now. The Chamber will continue to push for a discussion on energy transition, fiscal responsibility, free markets, upstream, midstream, downstream, renewables and petrochemicals in Africa. 

As a first step, the Chamber will encourage, advocate and provide support for an energy event in October or November this year with African ministries, entrepreneurs, NOC’s, IOC’s, Civil society and possibly four African heads of States. The Chamber will continue to be the voice of the sector and work towards building bridges that brings together governments and companies in the African energy industry to find a common ground.

*Africa Energy Chamber

0
Read More
Rwandan former journalist abducted in Mozambique
June 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

The former Rwandan journalist, Ntamuhanga Cassien, was kidnapped on 23 May on the island of Inhaca in the Bay of Maputo by eight individuals claiming to be Mozambican police agents, accompanied by a man who was supposedly a Rwandan official.

According to a statement from the association for Rwandan refugees in Mozambique seen by Pan African Visions, the organization has petitioned the Public Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the disappearance of the missing journalist.

Cassien escaped from prison in Rwanda in 2017, two years after being sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment for various crimes.

Human rights organisations contested the sentence, and Cassien said that the regime of president Paul Kagame was persecuting him as a political opponent. He made his way to Mozambique where he has been living as a refugee.

Cassien’s disappearance came shortly after a meeting between the Rwandan and Mozambican presidents.

The think tank Centre for Democracy and Development said that the meeting might have encouraged the Mozambican government to extradite Rwandan refugees in exchange for Rwanda’s support in fighting terrorism in Cabo Delgado province.

0
Read More
Time for an Exceptional Summer Well Spent with an Exclusive Global Offer from Jumeirah
June 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

Book before 30 June for stays up until 25 December 2021 and save up to 15% for three nights or more along with exclusive privileges.

Savings, flexible booking and endless adventure with Jumeirah Summer Escapes; Book before 30 June for stays up until 25 December 2021 and save up to 15% for three nights or more along with exclusive privileges and further rewards on wellness and dining experiences; Kids 11 and below stay and dine for free.

If you’re looking for a unique and world class retreat to soak up the sun, explore a new city or simply switch off this summer, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts is here to help you plan the ultimate escape and make it one to remember.

With a diverse collection of luxury hotels in sought after locations around the world, ranging from exquisite beachside resorts to extraordinary city chic destinations, a summer of unforgettable dining, personalised experiences and service beyond expectations awaits. Ensuring a summer exceptionally well spent for guests around the world, Jumeirah has launched an exclusive global promotion to help travelers make the most of their time away and spend precious moments with those that matter most. Through Jumeirah Summer Escapes, anyone who books before 30th June 2021 for stays up until 25th December 2021 can save up to 15% when staying three nights or more, along with exclusive privileges and further discounts on wellness and dining. Furthermore, children 11 years old and below stay for free and eat with the hotels’ compliments at select restaurants.

Eligible across its global portfolio spanning the Middle East, China, the UK and Europe, guests are invited to experience Jumeirah’s renowned hospitality and exceptional service. From sophisticated luxury at The Carlton Tower Jumeirah, its prestigious hotel in the heart of London’s fashionable Knightsbridge that recently underwent a complete transformation, to the Italian Dolce Vita at the exquisite Capri Palace Jumeirah or a sun-soaked Mediterranean escape at the stunning Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa in Mallorca, there’s no shortage of amazing destinations to choose from. Guests can also opt for one of Jumeirah’s beachside properties in the UAE, several of which have undergone major renovations and product enhancements such as incredible new pools, as well as introduced innovative dining concepts. These include the introduction of SAL, a hugely popular beach club and restaurant on the Terrace at the iconic Burj Al Arab Jumeirah as well as new Royal Penthouse suite accommodations and a high-end boutique style fitness centre at Jumeirah Al Naseem. Jumeirah Al Qasr has also renovated and refurbished a number of its dining destinations including the stunning Pierchic that sits resplendent on the end of the hotel’s private pier, in addition to launching French Riviera, a poolside sea-facing restaurant that offers mouthwatering flavours of the South of France. Last but not least, guests at Jumeirah Mina A’Salam can enjoy a brand-new family pool.

The Jumeirah Summer Escapes offer includes the following:

  • Up to 15% off our Jumeirah Flexible Rate when staying for three nights or more
  • Kids 11 and below stay for free and dine with the hotels’ compliments (select restaurants) when accompanied by their parents.
  • Resort credit and exclusive Beach Club access when staying in a suite (select hotels)
  • Access to private temperature-controlled pools
  • Unlimited access to Wild Wadi Waterpark™ (located in Dubai and valid for select hotels)
  • Use of wellness facilities at Talise Spa and the J-Club (located in Dubai)
  • Sinbad’s Kids Club access for junior guests
  • Daily breakfast when booking Jumeirah Summer Escapes with Breakfast
  • Daily breakfast and lunch or dinner when booking Jumeirah Summer Escapes with Half Board
  • Complimentary wi-fi to share your special moments
  • Jumeirah One  members can elevate their Jumeirah Summer Escape with an extra 5% off their stay, a complimentary upgrade and late check-out at 2pm

Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts understands that flexibility is key when faced with changing travel restrictions during these uncertain times. With the Jumeirah Summer Escapes promotion, guests are given the option to change or cancel their reservation free of charge, up to 24 hours prior to arrival if the reason is due to COVID-19 restrictions. These include a positive PCR test, cancelled flights or travel ban if you are within your cancellation period. Amendments will be based on the room rate and availability on the new date requested. Confirmation of flight cancellation and positive PCR test will need to be provided. Full details for the cancellation policy are available before you make your reservation.

To find out more about this exclusive global offer, visit www.Jumeirah.com/summerescapes and book your summer retreat at these participating hotels:

  • Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai
  • Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai
  • Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Dubai
  • Jumeirah Al Naseem, Dubai
  • Jumeirah Al Qasr, Dubai
  • Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf, Dubai
  • Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, Dubai
  • Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Dubai
  • Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai
  • Jumeirah Living World Trade Centre Residence, Dubai
  • Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens, Dubai
  • Jumeirah Living Marina Gate, Dubai
  • Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi
  • Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa, Kuwait
  • The Carlton Tower Jumeirah, London UK
  • Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel, London UK
  • Jumeirah Frankfurt, Germany
  • Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa, Mallorca
  • Capri Palace Jumeirah, Italy
  • Jumeirah Guangzhou, China
  • Jumeirah Living Guangzhou, China
  • Jumeirah Nanjing, China
  • Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel, China
0
Read More
Liquid Intelligent Technologies achieves 100,000 km of fibre, making them the largest independent network provider in Africa and other emerging markets
June 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

The organisation’s fibre infrastructure impacts more than 100 million people across 643 towns and cities on the continent.

GCEO, Liquid Intelligent Technologies Image: Liquid Intelligent Technologies achieves 100,000 km of fibre, making them the largest independent network provider in Africa and other emerging markets

Digital solutions provider Liquid Intelligent Technologies (Liquid.tech) achieves the 100,000 km fibre network milestone, positioning the organisation as the largest independent fibre network provider in emerging markets globally.

Liquid has been manoeuvring steadily through Africa, investing in increasing its reach, which it has successfully done, moving the dial from 89,989 km at the beginning of 2021 to reach this new milestone now.  With its additional fibre network connecting 14 countries, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa, customers can now explore opportunities in Africa and across the US, Asian and European markets.

The organisation’s fibre infrastructure impacts more than 100 million people across 643 towns and cities on the continent. This extensive network will create new opportunities by making digital inclusion a reality for businesses and individuals across the continent and ultimately accelerating the ongoing digital transformation in Africa.

This well-earned achievement has not come without the extensive effort and drive that followed Liquid’s initial vision and growth plan, as noted by Nic Rudnick, Group Chief Executive Officer, Liquid Intelligent Technologies. “Over the years we have been successfully connecting countries through our high-speed connectivity and digital services. Our successful partnerships with customers ensured that today we are recognised as a technology company that has brought local businesses access to Cloud capabilities, world-class Cyber Security solutions in addition to our existing telecoms and connectivity capability”.

Accomplishing one achievement after the next, Liquid recently expanded its operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, bringing its world-class fibre network and digital services to a country that previously relied only on expensive mobile broadband. For the first time, 2.7 million people of Mbuji-Mayi in the DRC will have access to fibre connectivity, creating an environment that stimulates exciting new sector growth opportunities.

Knowing that connectivity is vital for Africa’s economic growth, the extended penetration will also enable small businesses, enterprises, and government entities to increase their competitiveness through the many digital solutions catering to their individual needs.

Rudnick said, “The internet offers unprecedented opportunities for economic growth in developing countries. By providing access to information, connecting people to businesses everywhere, and opening up new markets, the internet can act as an enabler of economic activity and an engine for information sharing. Economic development is not about choosing between access to the internet and basic necessities, they need to work together to allow societies to flourish”.

According to Deloitte, it is estimated that by extending internet penetration, another 640 million children may access the internet and the wealth of information it makes available while they study. With only a 20% internet penetration in Africa, the internet plays a pivotal role in extending access to educational resources and accelerating knowledge sharing among students and teachers. It improves the quality of offline education, resulting in better school performance with online learning resources. As a result of education improvement, young people are more employable, and improved literacy promotes social inclusion and benefits the economy.

About Liquid Intelligent Technologies:

Liquid Intelligent Technologies is a pan-African technology group with capabilities across 14 countries, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa. Established in 2005, Liquid has firmly established itself as the leading pan-African digital infrastructure provider. Liquid Intelligent Technologies is redefining Network, Cloud and Cyber Security offerings through strategic partnerships with leading global players, innovative business applications, intelligent cloud services and world-class security to the African continent. Under its new brand identity, Liquid Intelligent Technologies has eight business units, namely: Liquid Networks, Liquid Business, Liquid Sea, Liquid Cloud, Liquid Cyber Security, Liquid Home, Liquid Innovation and Liquid Satellite. Liquid Intelligent Technologies is now a full one-stop-shop technology group that provides tailor-made digital solutions to businesses in the public and private sectors across the continent. The Group also operates state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi, Harare and Kigali, with a combined potential 19,000 square metres of rack space and 74 MW of power.


*Stats and figures as per the Deloitte paper prepared around Value of Connectivity: Economic and social benefits of expanding internet access.

0
Read More
APO Group appoints Lynne Krawchuk as Vice President of Digital, Public Relations (PR), and Media Relations.
June 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

Lynne Krawchuk, Vice President of Digital, PR, and Media Relations, APO Group

Lynne’s vast experience in global digital and Public Relations roles will help APO Group in its continuing mission to build strong connections between multinational companies and African media.

APO Group , the leading Pan-African communications consultancy and press release distribution service, today announced the appointment of Lynne Krawchuk as Vice President of Digital, PR, and Media Relations.

Lynne will lead APO Group’s consultancy division, helping multinational companies thrive in Africa. In particular, Lynne will focus on building digital strategies and leading creative campaigns that connect APO Group’s customers with media all over Africa and beyond.

Public Relations in Africa is traditionally challenging. There are 54 individual countries with vastly different cultures and media landscapes. APO Group is in the unique position of being able to build a bridge between international business and this diverse African media community.   

Not even the largest global PR Agencies can match APO Group’s reach or depth of contacts in every African country. APO Group has a database of over 450.000 journalists and distributes more than eight million press release emails in Africa every month. In 2020, content distributed by APO Group appeared on more than a million online African news pages. 

Lynne brings huge experience in all areas of Public Relations and digital marketing, and she is excited by the prospect of working with the many multinational organizations who look to APO Group to establish and develop their presence in African markets. 

“Journalists in Africa know APO Group better than any PR or digital agency,” Lynne says. “But the opportunities for our clients go far beyond traditional PR and press release distribution. Our role is to make integrated communications in Africa easier for multinational companies and help them utilize the special relationship APO Group has with African media.” 

Born in Cape Town and residing in Johannesburg, Lynne has more than 20 years’ experience in PR and digital marketing. She has worked across the African continent, and throughout Europe, spending much of her early career in the event management space in the UK. Over the last decade, she has worked in key leadership roles within the Digital, Public Relations and Traditional Agency sectors.

Lynne has developed strategic brand solutions for a number of award-winning agencies, notably TBWA Group and, most recently, Clockwork Media, where she worked as Executive Head of Client Service and was responsible for major accounts including BMW, Emirates, La Liga, Standard Bank, Exxaro, E! Entertainment, Oracle, Seacom, and many others.

Lynne’s experience with these major international companies will play an important role in promoting APO Group’s ongoing mission to change the narrative about Africa. 

“Brands prosper when they engage in continuous conversations with people in a relevant and meaningful way,” Lynne says. “At APO Group we can make those conversations happen, building lasting relationships that open new doors for multinational organizations, and generate positive stories about Africa that can be told all around the world. If the biggest companies are thriving in Africa, the whole continent benefits.” 

As well as working towards challenging international perceptions of Africa, Lynne is passionate about making a difference in people’s lives, with a particular interest in promoting equality and developing women leaders on the continent.  

“Lynne is a perfect fit for this unique role within African PR and media relations,” says Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard Founder and Chairman of APO Group. “APO Group is the only consultancy with the reputation and knowhow to help multinational companies build integrated, digital media strategies across the whole of Africa. Lynne’s experience working with some of the biggest international brands will help our clients make even deeper connections with the African media. We are thrilled to welcome her to APO Group.”

About APO Group:
Founded in 2007, APO Group is the leading pan-African communications consultancy and press release distribution service. We assist private and public organisations in sharpening their reputation and increasing their brand equity in target countries across Africa. Our role as a trusted partner is to leverage the power of media and build bespoke strategies that enable organisations to produce a real, measurable impact in Africa and beyond. The trust and recognition granted to APO Group by global and multinational companies, governments, and NGOs inspires us to continuously enhance our value proposition within Africa to better cater to our clients’ needs. Among our prestigious clients: Facebook, Dangote Group, Nestle, GE, NBA, Canon, Coca-Cola, DHL, Marriott Group, Ecobank, Siemens, Standard Chartered, Orange, Jack Ma Foundation, African Development Bank, World Health Organization, Islamic Development Bank, Liquid Telecom, Rotary International, Kaspersky, Greenpeace…
 
Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland | Offices in Senegal, Dubai and Hong Kong

0
Read More
Africa’s Case for Energy Transition, A Choice and A Chance
June 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By NJ Ayuk*

NJ Ayuk, the Executive Chairman of the Africa Energy Chamber

Last month, the International Energy Agency proclaimed that the time for new oil and gas investments is behind us. In its report “Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector,” the agency’s guide for tackling the climate crisis, the IEA argued that if the world has any hope of achieving neutral greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050 and limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, then the world must make a radical shift away from fossil fuels.

Immediately.

The IEA’s roadmap to Net Zero by 2050 is hardly the first time there have been calls to usher in the world’s transition from petroleum energy sources to renewable ones as soon as possible. This momentum has been building for years, and it has made funding African oil and gas projects more challenging.

Consider the international environmental group Friends of the Earth. After threatening last year to initiate a legal challenge against the UK’s decision to provide $1 billion in funding for the Mozambique LNG project, Friends of the Earth has also taken aim at the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project.

It’s joined more than 260 environmental groups in asking commercial banks not to fund this pipeline, which will run from Uganda to Tanzania. We’ve also seen decreasing support for African fossil fuel production from international organizations, including the World Bank, and private investors, under pressure from environmental groups.

Then there was last year’s joint statement by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the IEA: They described the low oil prices caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as a “golden opportunity” for governments to phase-out fossil fuel support and usher in an era of renewable energy.

Certainly, countries around the globe should be working together to prevent the most catastrophic impacts of global warming, from extreme weather and drought to widespread political instability. And, of course, those concerned efforts must include commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

I also understand that these objectives are aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement. And that more than 125 countries have adopted, or are considering, net zero targets, including many African Countries.

However, a global mandate for an immediate shift away from fossil fuels is not the way to go. The path that will get African countries to net zero emissions should not, cannot, and must not be the same as the path that European countries travel.

Africa’s best hope for a successful energy transition…

A pragmatic approach that addresses African countries’ economic and energy needs, must harness natural gas.

Why do I say that?

Let’s start with energy poverty: More than 800 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lack electricity. Either they don’t have it, or they don’t have enough of it. It only makes sense to harness Africa’s abundant gas resources to help alleviate this problem.

Then there’s natural gas’ potential to breathe new life into struggling African economies that are still reeling from the brutal economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Natural gas, affordable and abundant in Africa, has the power to spark significant job creation and capacity-building opportunities, economic diversification and growth.

Why shouldn’t African countries capitalize on those opportunities?

Especially since a rapid move away from oil and gas in African countries  would not even pack the same environmental punch, so to speak,  as it would in developed regions of the world. If you were to combine the carbon dioxide that all African nations emitted in 2019, you’d find it was seven times less that the volumes emitted in China and four times less than in the U.S.

I am not saying that African nations should continue oil and gas operations indefinitely, with no movement toward renewable energy sources. I am saying that we should be setting the timetable for our own transition, and we should be deciding how it’s carried out.

What I’d like to see, instead of Western pressure to bring African oil and gas activities to an abrupt halt, is a cooperative effort.

Partnerships. What does that look like?

Relationships rooted in respect, open communication, and empathy. It begins with the belief that when African leaders, businesses, and organizations say the timing is not right to end our fossil fuel operations, that we have a point. That when we’re discussing our own countries, we know what we’re talking about.

In that scenario, governments, organizations and finance institutions such as, the EU, the UK, Germany, Denmark, Swedfund, CDC Group, European Investment Bank, Investment Fund for Developing Countries and others would reconsider their departures from African natural gas investments.

We know that investments in fossil fuels continue to take place around the globe:

Suriname, Guyana and Brazil, for example, are all oil and gas hot spots these days. Investments are also continuing, as they should, in North America, Europe, and Australia. And they should continue in Africa as well to ensure a just, equitable, and inclusive global energy transition,  one that protects, rather than disregards, African needs and economies.

Folks, Energy Poverty Is Real

I’d like to take a closer look at the realities on the ground in Africa, that we must consider when we talk about the continent’s energy transition. Let’s start with something I mentioned earlier: energy poverty. If you’re one of the hundreds of millions of Africans without reliable electricity, you cook your food and warm your home by burning wood, charcoal, or maybe even animal waste.

As a result, you’re regularly exposed to indoor air pollution that increases your risk of respiratory infections and other chronic conditions. If you need to go to the hospital, you’ll get treatment by lantern light  or, worse yet, in the dark.

You won’t have any access to life-saving equipment that requires electricity, like MRI machines and ventilators. And that doesn’t even touch on how the lack of electricity impacts your children’s education or holds back businesses and economies and limits your employment opportunities.

Energy poverty breeds suffering. It holds people back. Gas all the way Baby.

That’s why a comprehensive approach to battling energy poverty, one that includes gas-to-power initiatives, is absolutely necessary. And we’re seeing movement in that direction. More than a dozen African countries are already using natural gas they produce themselves or import from other countries to generate electricity. And new projects are on the way. Ghana, for example, is preparing to launch sub-Saharan Africa’s first LNG-to-power plant before the end of the year.

Cameroon plans to convert an oil-fired power plant at Limbé to a natural gas-fired facility and expand production capacity. And in Côte d’Ivoire, a new combined cycle power plant is coming to Jacqueville.

These projects will change African lives for the better. Reversing direction now would be a serious mistake. Yes, renewable energy can help meet Africa’s power needs, too. Solar and wind power in particular have great potential in Africa. South Africa, for example, has eight of the 10 largest solar plants in Africa; the continent’s largest is in Morocco.

At the same time, we’ve also seen advances in bringing off-grid, home scale solar systems to rural villages in sub-Saharan Africa.

That’s exciting!

But because wind and solar energy are intermittent power sources, they require backup to ensure a steady flow of electricity to the grid. What’s more, Africa’s population, and its power needs, are expected to surge in coming decades. Africa countries’ ability to scale up solar power infrastructure in time to meet those needs is questionable.

The IEA, in its “Net Zero by 2050” report, says its guidelines will, among other things, set the stage for universal energy access by 2030. Which is another objective in the Paris Agreement. But for African countries, ending energy power for nearly 800 million Africans in less than a decade is a very tall order. Remove natural gas from the equation, and it gets even harder.

Economy

While Africa’s energy poverty is a major consideration, it’s not the only concern. Let’s talk about African states’ economic realities. For far too long, Africa, from the global community’s point of view, has been a charity case. It’s a viewpoint rooted, most likely in compassion,  but not necessarily in respect. I have, in previous presentations, described what happens when you do a Google search for “Help Africa.”

Approximately 1.7 billion results show up. They say things like “Help children in Africa.”  “African hunger and how to help.” For more than 60 years, the world has poured financial aid into Africa. And where has that gotten us? We still have hunger. We still have poverty. We still have violence, infrastructure deficits the list goes on.

I’d like to gently suggest a better approach to supporting Africa. We don’t need help or quick fixes. We don’t need aid. We need partners and investors. We need free-market solutions that contribute to long-term stability and economic growth. And the thing is, strategically harnessing our oil and gas resources, natural gas in particular, puts those objectives within our reach.

We’re already so close. Some countries, like Senegal, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria, Cameroon, Algeria and Equatorial Guinea have taken steps to monetize their natural resources so that they can raise the funds to help themselves.

We need to give them time to realize the benefits of their strategic efforts. And we need to give other African countries a chance to do the same.

The idea is to use our natural gas as a feedstock to create other value-added products, like petrochemicals, from fertilizers to ammonia. Then we take the revenues to build infrastructure, from pipelines to ports and roadways. And we open the door to economic diversification.

My ideas are far from revolutionary.

Western countries have already seen fossil fuels, including natural gas,

lead to economic growth, stability, and increased lifespans. Worldwide, over the past three decades, natural gas, along with coal, has provided 1.3 billion people with electricity and helped them escape poverty.

The IEA itself wrote in 2020: “Modern energy services are crucial to human well-being (https://bit.ly/3cdnbCT) and to a country’s economic development.  “Access to modern energy is essential for the provision of clean water, sanitation and healthcare and for the provision of reliable and efficient lighting,

heating, cooking, mechanical power, transport and telecommunications services.”

While the IEA sees renewable energy as the solution to meeting those needs, we can’t discount the fact that natural gas has supported, and continues to support, economic stability around the globe very effectively.

In fact, it’s what powers many of the plants that provide backup for areas served by solar and wind facilities. Another thought to consider: Natural gas currently does even more than provide power. In Africa, it also is used for industry, fertilizer manufacturing, and cooking,

for activities that will need more than electricity to weather the transition.

Costs of transition for Africa

There are other issues, too. Money is a significant one. Clearly the continent will require an unprecedented scale of investments to achieve the Net Zero scenario that the IEA is describing. Changing the energy mix to make it compatible with a 1.5°C pathway would require $150 billion to flow into Sub-Saharan Africa annually. This is 15 times an increase on the $10 billion invested in 2018.

Africa needs to invest between $330 billion and $410 billion in U.S. dollars now and an additional $290 billion to $415 billion in U.S. dollars from 2026 to 2030 to make Africa’s energy transition a reality and if we want to ensure Africa’s economic stability and promote the continent’s economic diversification.

How can we even begin to fund that without our fossil fuel revenue? We can’t.

Concluding thoughts

Why not, instead, take a strategic approach to Africa’s energy transition? Why not set aside a portion of fossil fuel revenues to help fund the infrastructure we’ll need? And at the same time, global community. why not continue investing in African oil and gas projects, natural gas projects in particular, to move Africa closer to achieving a successful energy transition?

And why not share your technologies with us, so we can employ solutions like carbon capture, to keep carbon emissions to a minimum. Africa needs an energy transition that takes a pragmatic approach to resolving energy poverty:  by making our natural gas resources part of the solution.

We need a transition that isn’t rushed or carried out on the Western world’s timetable. We need to have a strategy in place for protecting and growing African economies.

We need a transition that factors in African goals, concerns and priorities. I’m not asking for your help to achieve this goal. But I am asking for your cooperation.

Thank you.

*NJ Ayuk is Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. Speech made at At the 14th German Africa Energy Forum

0
Read More
Working with health profession students, Sudan launches country’s first Project ECHO telementoring programme to treat patients with COVID-19 at home
June 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

New partnership builds on campaign led by Sudanese American doctors to reduce COVID-19’s toll on communities and support overwhelmed hospitals and clinics
 

Sanjeev Arora, M.D., founder and director of Project ECHO.

An initiative that deploys volunteer medical students in Sudan to treat COVID-19 patients in their homes will get a boost from a new partnership comprising Project ECHO, the global telementoring initiative based at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque; the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC); the Sudanese American Medical Association (SAMA) and Sudan NextGen (SNG), which are both part of the Coalition of Sudanese Organizations against COVID-19 (the coalition); and the Sudanese Federal Ministry of Health (MoH).

The existing Community Medical Response Team (CMRT) programme, set up during the height of COVID-19 in 2020, will use the ECHO telementoring model to connect medical students, graduates, and trainees with highly experienced providers and other experts in virtual learning communities that share best practices and support for treating patients with COVID-19 in their homes. This will help reduce the virus’s toll on local communities while alleviating the pressure on hospitals and care centers struggling to deal with Sudan’s worsening crisis, which the Ministry of Health has described as “dire.”

“We are privileged and excited to help reduce sickness and suffering in Sudan, where COVID-19 is challenging an already weakened health system, overwhelming the capacity of hospitals and doctors to care for patients,” said Sanjeev Arora, M.D., founder and director of Project ECHO.

“When COVID-19 was declared a worldwide pandemic, my thoughts immediately went to Sudan,” said Nada Fadul, M.D., an infectious disease physician at University of Nebraska. “We had to do something. Today, we are thrilled to be part of a vibrant movement that leverages the passion and energy of medical students and young doctors to help their communities through this terrible time.” 

Dr. Fadul and other Sudanese physicians living overseas—including in Ireland, Canada, Australia, and the United States—began working with the coalition in 2020. The coalition’s efforts during the first wave of the pandemic covered everything from training healthcare providers on proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to pregnancy care during the pandemic, as well as efforts to provide PPE and other medical supplies. The second wave saw a major need for community interventions, so Dr. Fadul and her colleague Reem Ahmed, M.D., from Emory University, co-founded Sudan’s COVID-19 CMRT programme. Over the past four months, they have worked with other Sudanese physicians, including Mohamed Khogali, M.D., in Saudi Arabia, and trained more than 120 medical and healthcare students in over 50 Sudanese neighborhoods to manage patients with COVID-19 in their homes. The CMRT trainings focus on the principles of home management for mild to moderate cases; home isolation and quarantine methods; and identifying life-threatening symptoms that require immediate medical attention.

“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical schools in Sudan have been closed, so many students were just sitting at home,” said Dr. Fadul. “They wanted to do something, but they didn’t know what to do or how do to it safely. In addition to the impact they’re having on patients, students benefit from pursuing their learning in a hands-on way. When they return to their classrooms, they will be better equipped to take on new challenges.”

The CMRT ECHO will build on these early efforts. During phase one of the roll-out, students will be able to join ECHO learning sessions at six sites throughout Sudan that have internet connectivity. Students unable to go to these sites can join the sessions through their smart phones and other personal digital devices.

“I’ve told these students, if you’ve made an impact on one person, and helped manage that patient at home and prevent him or her from going out and spreading the disease, within a month you’ve prevented 400 patients from getting COVID-19,” added Dr. Fadul. The students have so far engaged in visits to local schools, local mosques, and women’s group gatherings, and sent messages via WhatsApp to spread the word about the CMRT programme and COVID-19 prevention.

Beyond the immediate response to COVID-19, phase two of the project will expand Project ECHO’s Sudan network and add needed programs to help revitalize the country’s healthcare system, including programs in healthcare safety and quality management, research monitoring and evaluation, reproductive health, midwifery, and cardiology.

Prior to the recent revolution and transition of power in Sudan, only 2% to 8% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product went to health care, leaving the healthcare infrastructure weak and vulnerable. The transitional government is working to rebuild the country toward democracy but was left with an under-resourced healthcare system.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made an already difficult situation even worse,” said Nuha Ibrahim, M.B.B.S., project manager for UNMC ECHO and part of the leadership team of SAMA and SNG. “With the recent lifting of sanctions against Sudan from the United States, we have an opportunity to contribute our knowledge and expertise to support a response led by Sudanese medical personnel and students who know their communities and are respected by them.”

“We’re confident that Project ECHO will enhance our ongoing programs in Sudan and significantly increase SAMA’s ability to share the knowledge and expertise of specialists with healthcare providers across the country to improve patient care and health outcomes,” said Dr. Nahla Gadalla, Executive Director of SAMA.

0
Read More
Kenya: BBI case hearing dates set
June 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Kenya’s Court of Appeal has announced that the appeal case on Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) will be heard from June 29 to Jul 2.

The courts’ President Justice Daniel Musinga said a seven-judge bench would hear the case.

The case was mentioned on Wednesday in which all involved parties participated in the case management conference.

Appellants have been directed to file written submission within seven days, and the hearing will be heard in an open court at a venue to be arranged in compliance with Covid-19 protocols.

Four applications are challenging the nullification of the Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2020, filed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga, BBI secretariat, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), and the Attorney General.

The court also ordered IEBC to continue discharging its statutory functions except on matters related to BBI.

The High Court had barred the electoral agency from conducting any elections due to lack of quorum. IEBC has only three commissioners after others resigned.

Other directives include:

1. All the appeals shall be heard on a priority basis.

2. All intended appellants who have filed notices of appeal shall be at liberty to file supplementary records of appeal and/or memorandum of appeal as may be appropriate within seven days from the date hereof.

3. Any respondent intending to file a cross-appeal shall be at liberty to do so within seven days of the date hereof.

4. All appellants shall file and serve their respective submissions within seven days of the date hereof.

5. The respondents shall file and serve their respective submissions within 14 days from the date of service of the appellants’ submissions. 

6. The appellant shall be at liberty to file replies within three days of the respondents’ submissions.

7. That the respective submissions shall be limited to 40 pages and;

8. The appellants shall be at liberty to reply to the respondents’ submission limited to 30 minutes.

0
Read More
SIX COUNTRIES IN AFRICA JOIN THE WORLD LOGISTICS PASSPORT (WLP)
June 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

Mike Bhaskaran, CEO of the WLP

Johannesburg – 2 June 2021: The World Logistics Passport (WLP), the world’s first freight loyalty program designed to boost global trade and enhance the efficiency and resilience of global supply chains, is expanding in Africa – with Ethiopia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Burkina Faso and Guinea registering as Gateway countries.

With countries looking to build back global trade volumes, the benefits to businesses in Ethiopia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Burkina Faso and Guinea includes a significant reduction in their supply chain costs and improved speed to market for their exports and imports. This is achieved through the over 130 benefits provided by WLP to traders and freight forwarders who expect to have an annual increase in trade volumes on average of up to 5-10%.

Mike Bhaskaran, CEO of the WLP, said: “We are excited to see so much interest in the WLP initiative from across Africa. The World Logistics Passport promises to help these economies grow and create jobs by enhancing their export competitiveness and the productivity of their national transport and logistics sectors. More efficient supply chains will make their products more competitive, open up access to new markets and trade routes and increase their national economic resilience.”

Countries that are part of the WLP network are classified in one of two categories: Gateways and Hubs. Gateways are top regional contributors to freight trade and have preferential access to the nearest Hub country. There are, at present, two Hub countries in Africa – Senegal and South Africa.

Gateway countries are represented in the WLP network by the leading national freight forward association or chamber of commerce.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s participation is aligned with the Government’s ambitious economic reform program and commitment to upgrade national transport and logistics capabilities, including the recent strategic partnership with DP World to further develop the Berbera Corridor.

Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique

Participation of Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe will help deliver benefits to freight forwarders across Southern Africa, taking full advantage of global trade links through South Africa and ongoing upgrades in key regional infrastructure such as the Kazungula Bridge and strategic transport and logistics routes such as the Maputo Corridor.

Burkina Faso and Guinea

The entry of Burkina Faso and Guinea builds on Senegal’s participation as a key hub for West Africa, opening up new trade routes and markets to Latin America in the west and the Middle East and Asia to the east through Dubai.

Mike Bhaskaran continued: “International trade is of central importance to the global economy, contributing significantly to development, growth and employment. In the context of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the WLP is an integral part of the global response to boost international trade, facilitate access to new markets and increase resilience of the global supply chain.”

On 08 June the WLP will host its inaugural Global Summit, the central objective of which is to further international cooperation in order to offer businesses the right regulatory conditions, information and incentives to unlock the full potential of global trade. Global leaders from business, government, and international organizations will share perspectives on the key trends shaping the freight and logistics industry, as well as take stock of the WLP’s achievements to date.

About the World Logistics Passport:

The World Logistics Passport is the world’s first freight loyalty program. As members of the WLP, traders and freight forwarders access financial and non-financial benefits from key logistics operators such as ports, airports, airlines, and customs. The more a business trades, the more benefits it unlocks, helping to facilitate access to new markets and increase market share in existing ones.

For governments, the WLP promises increased competitiveness and economic resilience during a time of unprecedented uncertainty. Beyond the boost to headline trade figures, the WLP is helping to create high-quality jobs and attract inward investment from member countries.

A number of countries including Colombia, Brazil, India, and South Africa are a part of the WLP. Most recently, the WLP has welcomed Vietnam and Mexico to this club of trading nations.

0
Read More
2nd Int’l Maritime Defense Exhibition & Conference (IMDEC) gathers pace as African ports attract $50 bn investment
June 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

H.E. Vice President of Ghana Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia will participate at the largest maritime security exhibition and conference in West Africa.

Ghanaian Navy and Air Force will host over 15 Chiefs of Navies, Chiefs of Air Staff and 300 international Senior Officials.

News Highlights

  1. As much as 95 percent of all kidnappings at sea in 2020 occurred in the Gulf of Guinea;
  • Actual and attempted piracy attacks in the West African coast jumped 34 percent to 79 in 2020, up from 59 in 2019;
  • A total of 147 vessels were attacked in 2020 and 149 crew were kidnapped with 27 kidnapped for ransom;
  • By 2020, the African port sector had collectively attracted $50 billion in public and private investments;
  • The 2nd International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference IMDEC) that will address maritime security issues, will take place in Accra, Ghana from July 6-7, 2021.
AVM Frank Hanson, Chief of Air Staff, Ghana Air Force

Maritime security has become a more important issue in West African region in recent times where attacks on ships and crew jumped at an alarming level last year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic – which will be addressed by the 15 Chiefs of Navies and Air Forces along with 300 senior officials attending the 2nd International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference that takes place from 6-8 July, 2020 at Kempinski Hotel in Accra, Ghana.

International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (IMDEC) is the largest maritime security exhibition and conference in West Africa. Held in partnership with Ghana Navy and Ghana Air Force, the IMDEC will be graced by the participation of key government leaders including H.E. Vice President of Ghana Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.

The Gulf of Guinea is a vast and diverse region stretching from Senegal to Angola, covering 6,000 kilometres of coastline. It is an important shipping zone transporting oil and gas, as well as goods to and from central and southern Africa. Around 1,500 fishing vessels, tankers, and cargo ships navigate its waters at any given day. Piracy, armed robbery at sea, kidnapping of seafarers, illegal fishing, smuggling and trafficking, and transnational organised crime pose a major threat to maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and ultimately to the economic development of the entire region. 

The Gulf of Guinea saw 84 attacks on ships, with 135 seafarers kidnaped for ransom in 2020, according to the International Maritime Bureau, nearly 50 percent increase in kidnapping for ransom between 2018 and 2019, and around 10 percent increase between 2019 and 2020. The region now accounts for just over 95 percent of all kidnappings for ransom at sea. The Covid-19 pandemic brought about increased economic hardship resulting in emboldened reliance on illicit, yet lucrative, activities.

A 2020 report published by Africa Risk Compliance, issued about piracy attacks, revealed that a total of 147 vessels were attacked in 2020. The report stated some other alarming figures, noting 149 members of the crew were kidnapped with 27 kidnapped for ransom.

In response, regional Armed Forces are acquiring resources and combining capabilities to effectively address these threats at the 2nd IMDEC, taking place in Ghana. The three-day conference and exhibition including exclusive site visit will see senior officials discuss and address how to continue tackling the issues of securing the increasingly volatile maritime threats facing Africa’s territorial waters.

Commenting on organising IMDEC, the newly appointed Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu, Chief of Naval Staff, Ghana Navy, said, “It is troubling to know that 95 percent of all kidnappings at sea in 2020 occurred in the Gulf of Guinea. Regrettably, the actual and attempted attacks in the region also increased by 34 percent from the 2019 figure of 59 – 79 in the year 2020 despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on all of us.”

Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu continued “These statistics call for urgent and concerted efforts to deal with this menace and that is why I Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakub, Chief of the Naval Staff of Ghana is inviting my colleague chiefs of Navy chiefs of Navies and coastguards, other law enforcement agencies, experts, industry and all other stakeholders in the maritime domain to meet in Accra from the 6 – 8 July, 2021, to develop under the theme maritime security and trade the nexus between a secure maritime domain in a developed blue economy.

“I am hopeful that by the end of this conference we can collectively find innovative ways to curb the rise of criminal activities in the Gulf of Guinea for the benefit of our nations and the people who trade and derive their livelihoods from the sea. Great Minds Event Management and my team hear in Ghana will ensure strict adherence to all Covid protocols to ensure the safety of all.”

The 2nd edition of IMDEC will also welcome greater participation from regional Air Forces, as the Ghana Air Force will be an official event partner to highlight the significance of air-maritime cooperation.

Organised by Great Minds Event Management, a global strategic events management organisation that closely works with governments, IMDEC will address key defence and maritime security issues, showcase new technology for the defence sector where multi-million dollars’ worth of deals would be negotiated. Participating companies will be demonstrating their best products and services that could equip the naval and air forces and enhance their defence capabilities at sea. A snapshot of some of the companies confirmed to participate include Paramount, Israel Shipyards Ltd, Israel Aerospace Industries, MBDA and Airbus and will all be showcasing their latest technologies and services throughout the two-day exhibition.

Commenting on their participation in this edition, AVM Frank Hanson, Chief of The Air Staff, Ghana, said, “For several years the maritime space remains one of the most vital components of our national security and with a coastline of 550 kilometres and an exclusive economic zone of 200 miles, Ghana’s maritime space accounts for more than 80 percent of Ghana’s GDP and that impacts positively on our neighbours in the region. The proximity of the Gulf of Guinea to Europe and North America for the transportation of low oil further raises its importance in the global supply of energy.

“As you’re aware, more than 5.4 million barrels of crude oil is produced from the Gulf of Guinea each year. In recent years it has also become very clear that the force behind maritime security is air power, certainly it is air power that is very smart, flexible and responsible to provide reach for surface forces to dominate the maritime domain.”

AVM Frank Hanson continues “It is therefore not surprising that the key highlights of IMDEC 2021 will feature, for the first time, the role of air power in maritime operations. The strategic objectives of the Ghana Air Force are to redefine the national maritime capability as an economic multiplier to national and sub regional development. This capability is to connect the maritime domain to strategic economic centers of our sub region. I therefore wish to encourage our neighbors to take advantage of IMDEC 2021.

“The Ghana Air Force works very closely with the Ghana Navy and other international partners to develop an integrated maritime and air operations to cover our territorial waters,” he concluded.

Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu -Chief of Naval Staff, Ghana Navy

Investment in African Port Security Infrastructure

Due to the increased security breach onshore, governments of African countries are now focusing on upgrading the ports and maritime infrastructure and security to combat incidents and strengthen the security of commodities – food, energy and other products that are crucial for the rest of the world.

Port development received extensive consideration from governments, with most of the 38 African nations with a coastline having a port development project under way. Despite the pandemic, most of these projects were still in operation, although logistical support was hindered by lockdowns.

By 2020, the African port sector had collectively attracted $50 billion in public and private investments. This has heralded an emergence of world-class ports in Africa spread out in Morocco, South Africa and Egypt. Tangier Med Port was ranked at position 35 in this year’s Lloyd’s List report on the world’s busiest seaports, rubbing shoulders with renowned ports from developed nations such as the UK and USA.

These investments offer massive business opportunities for contractors, suppliers and technology providers who could get a slice of the defence and maritime spending by participating at the IMDEC.

The three-day IMDEC conference and exhibition will also feature exclusive tours of Ghana’s Air and Naval bases and will consist of in-depth walk throughs of the naval dockyard and air base as well as private vessel tours to further display the advanced capabilities of Ghana’s Naval and Air Force fleet.

The latest Chiefs of Naval Staff and VIPs to confirm their attendance as guests and speakers at IMDEC include Rear Admiral Nguessan Kouame, Chief of Naval Staff, Cote d’Ivoire Navy, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff, Nigeria Navy, Rear Admiral Oumar Wade, Chief of Naval Staff, Senegalese Navy, Rear Admiral Jean Mendoua, Chief of Naval Staff, Cameroon Navy. Rear Admiral Carlos Alfredo Mandungal Chief of Naval Staff, Guinea Bissau Navy, , Rear Admiral Jeffrey S. Spivey, Vice Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet, Royal Navy, Rear Admiral Ben Reynolds, Director of Maritime Headquarters U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa / U.S. 6th Fleet, Captain Pedro Santana, Commander of the Coast Guard, Cape Verde, Captain Philip Juana, Commander, Sierra Leone Navy and Dr. Dieng Abdourahmane (Rtd.Col.), Head Regional Security Division, ECOWAS Commission.

About the International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference (IMDEC)

The 2nd International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference (IMDEC), taking place at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra, Ghana from 6-8 July 2021. will feature the largest gathering of Africa’s maritime industry, as we host regional and international Chiefs of Naval Staff to address the principal issues facing maritime security on the continent.

This biennial gathering will feature a notable two-day conference and exhibition in which the gathered regional Armed Forces can deliberate the Increasingly volatile maritime threats facing Africa’s territorial waters. The 2nd edition of IMDEC will also welcome greater participation from regional Air Forces, as the Ghana Air Force will be an official event partner to highlight the significance of air-maritime cooperation.


In-depth panel discussions, breakout sessions and extensive site visits to Ghana’s naval and air bases further highlight this celebration as the premier strategic gathering of Africa’s Navies, Air Forces, Coast Guards, Port and Coastal Authorities, Marine Police and related Ministries.

About Great Minds Event Management

Great Minds Event Management (GM Events) is a Dubai-headquartered global strategic events management organization that partners with the key government entities to deliver world-class events that are of strategic importance of countries.

GM Events has consistently been developing and delivering events of strategic importance to countries and industries and help key industry players benefit from business association, networking opportunities and addressing key issues that are crucial for socio-economic development of a country or an industry.

From events to conferences or corporate events to managed events, the company offers full range of events management services that scale to your needs and budget.

GM Events combines over 20 years of event management experience serving the biggest names across various sectors. It is a leading turnkey event management company offer our clients fully integrated event solutions. With an efficient team of more than 40 experts deliver unparalleled experiences to clients across the Middle East and North Africa with clients ranging from start-ups breaking into the business world to leading government entities and ministries. Leading the way and shaping the region

0
Read More
Pandemic recovery presents an opportunity for Africa to reinvent its growth model.
June 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

2021 Ibrahim Forum Report highlights Africa’s structural weaknesses exposed by the pandemic and identifies avenues towards a more self-sufficient future .

Mo Ibrahim

Dakar and London, 2 June 2021 – The 2021 Ibrahim Forum Report, COVID-19 in Africa One Year On: Impact and Prospects, outlines how recovery from the pandemic provides an opportunity to define and drive a new growth model for the continent. 

Launched by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation ahead of the 2021 Ibrahim Governance Weekend (IGW), the report presents new analysis on Africa’s challenges as exposed by the pandemic, including weak health capacities, setbacks in human development, rising instability and a vulnerable economic growth model. The comprehensive report on the impact of COVID-19 across the continent serves as an urgent wake-up call. It also points to clear avenues where Africa can now build back better. 

Commenting on the launch of today’s report, Mo IbrahimFounder and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, said: “Africa has demonstrated strong leadership in its response to COVID-19. However, the data also shows where we are falling short. We now have an opportunity to harness lessons from the pandemic to build an African-led recovery that champions good governance, strengthens continental integration, and puts young people at its centre. This will be the focus of the 2021 Ibrahim Governance Weekend and I look forward to our discussions, involving voices from across Africa and beyond.”

Using the latest data, the report provides a comprehensive picture of the impact of the pandemic across Africa, highlighting structural weaknesses in its health and economic systems. It also reveals how COVID-19 has deepened existing development and security challenges, and is exacerbating a pre-existing youth unemployment crisis.

However, the report also outlines the continent’s strong and unified response to this crisis, and points to opportunities for African leadership to create lasting change for generations to come. An African-led recovery, underpinned by stronger continental integration, economic diversification, a green strategy and digital leapfrogging, can pave the way for a more self-reliant, self-sufficient Africa.

Key findings include:

  • African countries introduced contact-tracing within two days of the first confirmed COVID-19 case, building on best practices established during previous disease outbreaks like Ebola.
  • Across the continent, 20 countries introduced comprehensive contact-tracing before the first 100 cases of infection, compared to only 14 European Union countries.
  • In 2018, sub-Saharan Africa spent on average only 1.9% of its GDP on public health, the second smallest share globally.
  • Africa’s health capacity is among the lowest in the world with an average of 135 hospital beds, 3 ICU beds and 35 physicians per 100,000 people.
  • The refocusing of limited resources towards the pandemic means combined excess deaths from malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS could now exceed one million if not addressed.
  • School closures across the continent were aggravated by a shortfall in remote learning capacities, with Africa’s growing youth population missing almost seven months of schooling.
  • Women and girls are facing increased vulnerabilities, including rising gender-based violence. 
  • One million girls in sub-Saharan Africa may never return to school after becoming pregnant during school closures.
  • Africa is the only continent where violence rose in 2020 compared to 2019. 
  • Disruptions to democratic practices and restrictions to civic freedoms risk further undermining citizens’ trust in their governments. 
  • While economic growth in Africa had been positive since 1991, the standstill created by COVID-19 in 2020 led to recession on the continent for the first time in 30 years.
  • The pandemic has uncovered structural weaknesses in Africa’s growth model and a system overly reliant on external demand for primary commodities, but also on external supply for key goods such as food and pharmaceuticals. 
  • Africa’s ability to respond to the crisis has been impeded by limited fiscal space and complex debt burdens, with as many as 30 countries spending more on repaying public debt than health before the pandemic.

The Ibrahim Forum Report will inform discussions around the impact of COVID-19 on Africa’s health, economic and political systems during the Ibrahim Governance Weekend, taking place 3-5 June 2021. 

The IGW brings together leaders, decision-makers and youth voices from across Africa and beyond to discuss issues of critical importance to the continent’s progress. Unpacking the findings of the Forum Report, the 2021 IGW will focus on the impact of COVID-19 on Africa and the path to recovery.

Discussions will be focused around three themes:

  • Health: Thursday, 3 June 13:20-14:50 GMT

Lessons from the pandemic: an urgent call to strengthen Africa’s health capacities

  • Society and Politics: Friday, 4 June, 13:00-14:30 GMT

Managing the fallout: setbacks in democracy and rights, and new triggers of instability

  • Economy: Saturday, 5 June, 13:00-14:30 GMT

Looking ahead: a key opportunity to reinvent Africa’s growth model

Speakers and contributors at the 2021 Ibrahim Governance Weekend include:

  • Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization
  • António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations 
  • H.E. Mahamadou Issoufou, former President of Niger, 2020 Ibrahim Laureate
  • H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia, Co-Chair of the Panel on Pandemic Preparedness and Response
  • Dr Donald Kaberuka, African Union Special Envoy on COVID-19
  • Ursula von der Leyen, President, European Commission 
  • H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson, African Union Commission 
  • Charles Michel, President, European Council 
  • Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations 
  • Dr John Nkengasong, Director, Africa CDC 
  • Dr Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

Register for the 2021 IGW

Registration for media is open at the following link: https://mif.live/igw/media/registration

All registered media will be able to attend a dedicated media Q&A with IGW spokespeople at 09:00 GMT on Saturday 5 June. More details will be released closer to the time.

About the Mo Ibrahim Foundation

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation was established in 2006 with a focus on the critical importance of political leadership and public governance in Africa. By providing tools to support progress in leadership and governance, the Foundation aims to promote meaningful change on the continent.

The Foundation, which is a non-grant making organisation, focusses on defining, assessing and enhancing governance and leadership in Africa through five main initiatives:

  • Ibrahim Index of African Governance
  • Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership
  • Ibrahim Governance Weekend
  • Ibrahim Fellowships and Scholarships
  • Now Generation Network
0
Read More
Nigeria: Pall of insecurity persists as 2023 polls build up continues
June 1, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Richard Mammah

Bola Tinubu and President Buhari have been known to be strong allies

The announcement this week of Professor Kingsley Moghalu’s intention to run for the presidency in Africa’s most populous democracy in 2023 may not have come as a surprise to many.

For those who have followed his political trajectory since his first attempt in 2019, it was quite clear that the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria would be a candidate once again. But as in 2019, the question remains: how far would he go at the end of the day? More so when the field is indeed a very treacherous and slippery slope, that is laden with a lot of guile and plotting.

Nigeria has its next Presidential Elections scheduled to hold in the first quarter of 2023. But many know that the race has indeed started. And even when the aspirants are not in very plain and visible light, a lot of background activity is definitely taking place.

Indeed, some commentators wager that the build-up to the forthcoming contest had indeed not only begun before the 2019 elections, it is clearly getting more intense by the day, with different variables showing up on the cards.

We begin with the issues. What are the big issues that are at play in the contest?

The performance or lack of it of the incumbent administration is a first point of contention. With six clear years behind its belt, many within the Nigerian public are simply no longer in a mood to be told tales about how badly the previous administration has governed. Having seen the spike in insecurity, unemployment, naira exchange rate that have characterised the life of the Buhari administration this far, they are in a foul mood.

Related to this is the challenge of holding the nation together. The past few weeks have seen a spike in separatist agitation and calls for the restructuring of the federation. Even in the formal constitutional amendment process convened by the National Assembly, the clamour for a wholesale restructuring of the federation, and in many cases, for a totally brand new constitution have been on the ascendancy. Across the country, there is a clearly growing consensus that something indeed has to give.

But what may indeed be the most troubling of concerns is the continuing and rising spate of insecurity. With literally no region of the country being spared, and with the security services thinly spread all over the country – and in many cases now being at the receiving end of assailants’ fire – there is a growing worry as to where the nation would be standing when the elections season gets into full drive. Indeed, further proof that the 2003 polls is already being threatened by the growing orgy of violence, arson and destruction can be seen in the fact that aspirants for the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in the South Eastern state of Anambra have literally been frightened off the podium after one of them, the former Central Bank Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, was the victim of a campaign venue attack. And even more ominously for the national polls is the fact that no less than 42 electoral commission offices had been torched.

But politicians being incurable optimists, they continue to push on. This week, one of the leading candidates in the computations of bookmakers, former Lagos Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was engaged in firefights to keep his primary Lagos base under control. It had to do with local council polls and as at the time of going to press, strenuous efforts were still being made to ensure that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC maintains a great degree of internal cohesion.

Professor Kingsley Moghalu

Almost without voicing it himself, evidence of Tinubu’s interest in the 2023 presidential contest proper has long been established. Indeed, almost one year before the 2019 polls, it was evident that the Bola Tinubu-led Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN component of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC was already feeling slighted as to how the CPC component of the alliance had dealt with it. Some rapprochement was made for the purpose of re-electing the incumbent President but it was clear to discerning observers that it was only a temporary truce.

Shortly after ensuring victory for Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in Lagos in the same polls season, Tinubu almost physically relocated to Abuja to commence plans for the 2023 presidency.

Tinubu is pushing on with his campaign but there are obstacles. First is the opposition of many of his heavyweight APC co-travellers from the North. Then there is the fact that as a Muslim, he is a minority in religious terms in the South. There are also questions of his being allegedly tainted by ‘corruption.’ And more recently, his less than salutary handling of the #EndSARS protests has not helped his rating with the youths, the most dominant demographic category overall.

One of Tinubu’s major rivals, Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State is on record as being, alongside Tinubu, one of the core drivers of the APC alliance. He was quite visible in the CPC delegation that held talks with the ACN to kickstart the APC. He has also long being in the wings from the Obasanjo days as a presidential contender. It is not in doubt to close observers that he wants to succeed the incumbent. But he has major challenges: his handling of the ethno-religious issues in Kaduna, his recent brush with labour and the question of power shift to Southern Nigeria which socio-cultural groups like the South Eastern Ohanaeze, the South Western Afenifere and the cross cutting PANDEF and the Southern and Middle Belt Peoples Forum have continued to underscore.

If El-Rufai is caught in the power shift bind, he is not alone as indeed some of the best prepared aspirants in the process today also face that challenge.

One of these is Abubakar Malami, SAN, the serving Attorney General of the Federation, AGF. Presumably the biggest single power broker in the APC system now at the federal level, as  a contender however, he would have to deal with his being Northern as well as some of the decisions and statements that he has been publicly associated with.

There is also Sokoto Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who has also been a contender since 2015, and who is said to be planning to once again run with the ebullient Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike on the PDP side. But his being a Northerner is a primary hurdle to cross.

It is a not too dissimilar situation for the biggest player in the PDP, their 2019 candidate and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar. Big or not, Atiku has drawbacks related to the fact of his being a Northerner and then his age. Like Tinubu also, there is also a subsisting ‘corruption’ tag that also remains here.

Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State

Governor Kayode Fayemi is a South Western APC compromise that the Northern flank has subtly indicated they may be willing to work with. But there are no guarantees.

Also in the radar too is the prospect of several disenchanted individuals and interests from the civil society, labour and ENDSARS groups rooting for a ‘third force’ option. This has failed to materialise now and again in the past but for those who think this is a possibility, they believe that the dismal state of affairs in the nation today may be the biggest factor that could help its emergence this time around.

But should this pan out, who is their likely candidate? Can Moghalu rise to the challenge? Would he be acceptable to the broader mass of the population?

Says the public affairs commentator, Albert Ehigie:

For one, Moghalu has no grassroots base and he is perceived as an aspirant for the elite. Rightly or wrong that is a big disadvantage for him.

Secondly, I really don’t see him as having the capacity to deal with the multiple environmental and sociopolitical diversities of Nigeria. He will have a lot of learning to do on the job to instill confidence around the nation.

I see him as a very effective VP. Devoid of having to deal with political coloration, he will run the economy exceptionally well..

So if he is not the one, who is the anointed?

Meanwhile the nation bleeds on. Sadly.

0
Read More
France ready to provide military help to Mozambique, says Macron
June 1, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

French President Emmanuel Macron and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

French president Emmanuel Macron has said that France is ready to help Mozambique fight terrorism in Cabo Delgado province, if the Mozambican government asks for it and if it is part of the strategy of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Macron met last week with his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa, where they had a lengthy discussion about Mozambique. He said that France had a military presence on the islands of Mayotte and Réunion, so that it could be available quickly if requested. Ramaphosa reiterated that the SADC was ready to help Mozambique fight the insurgency.

However, regional leaders meeting to discuss terrorism in Cabo Delgado province have agreed to hold another summit, but have not issued any decision on whether to send an international military force into the province.

Last week’s summit of heads of SADC was supposed to discuss a proposal to send a force of just over 2,900 troops and staff.

In a communiqué at the end of the summit, the leaders said the “proposed regional response” had been “considered”, and that there would be another summit in Mozambique no later than 20 June.

The SADC’s executive secretary, Stergomena Tax, confirmed that the military intervention plan had been discussed, but did not say what conclusion had been reached.

President Filipe Nyusi said that the summit had agreed on a “comprehensive and multifaceted response” to the insurgency, including strengthening Mozambique’s security borders, increasing border security and cutting off the terrorists’ sources of financing.

0
Read More
Ghana:Legislatures who received double salaries did no wrong – Opposition Party-MP
June 1, 2021 | 0 Comments

According to the lawmaker, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamakpor,  “this is a matter of law properly anchored in the Constitution in Article 71(1) and 71(3) which says…for the purposes of this article, and except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, salaries include allowances, facilities and privileges and retiring benefits or awards.”

He said the Constitution makes provisions for all Article 71 office holders to be entitled to their emoluments even years after leaving office.

The allegation of National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs taking double salaries first surfaced in 2017 after an audit at the Controller and Accountant General’s Department with the invitation of 25 of them. Eighteen were later asked to disregard the invitation.

It only resurfaced on Tuesday, May 25 when the former Special Prosecutor, Martin Alamisi Amidu, alleged in an epistle that President Nana Akufo-Addo used the prosecution of the accused Members of Parliament as leverage to have his Minister-nominees passed.

But Mr Defeamakpor said it is erroneous to assume and equate Article 71 office holder’s emoluments to just salaries because “when you speak of double salaries, it is not only what comes to you at the end of the month. It also includes what is actually paid to your maidservant for instance because those are the facilities attendant upon your office, your driver, that is what the Constitution says”. The legislator argued that the crux of the allegation which hinges on alleged stealing which per the laws of the country constitutes a criminal offence does not fit well into the determination of a crime committed.

He said for there to be an instance of a crime committed, there must be the establishment of the intention to commit a crime which is not apparent in this case.

“Now, the other thing we must look at is how crime is determined in this country. If you want to say somebody has committed a crime, two things must happen; the mens rea [the intent to commit a criminal act] must certainly be established that in committing the actus reus [the criminal act], you form the mens rea [the intention]. Now can we locate men’s rea [the intention] in all these on the part of the persons who are alleged to have received the double salaries? “

Hon Defeamakpor said the structure of elevation or otherwise and the appointment of Members of Parliament as Ministers of State is to blame for what he refers to as the misunderstanding “because the salaries and facilities and those attendants upon the office of a Member of Parliament is lower than that of a Minister of State. The tendency is for Members of Parliament who get the opportunity to serve in the Executive as well, are shifted from the salaries, allowances and privileges that they previously exist on as Members of Parliament to a minister of state properly so called. This shift is made swiftly but the systemic change to move you from the conditions of service as a Member of Parliament to that of a Minister of State doesn’t happen as swiftly as this…so if later calculations are made and determinations are made that this is what you are worth, for the state to pay you, the state doesn’t pay upfront, they stagger the payment and so the payment comes in pieces.

 

0
Read More
1 2 3 4 5 6 174