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South Sudan: Kiir On Charm Offensive to South African Investors
April 20, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

President was in South Africa for an official visit

Juba – South Sudan President Salva Kiir has invited and encouraged businessmen and investors in South Africa to invest in the world youngest nation.

President Kiir made the call while meeting with his counterpart president Cyril Ramaphosa in South Africa over the weekend, during a 3-day working visit to Pretoria.

President Kiir returned to Juba a day ago after held extensive talks with President Ramaphosa on a number of issues pertaining to the implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement and ways to strengthen and deepen the bilateral relations between Juba and Pretoria. 

It is not clear, which sectors does the president Kiir want the South Africa’s investors to channel their money to.

According to the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin said Kiir asked Ramaphosa to tell the South African business community that South Sudan was ready for their investment.

Dr. Marial stated that  President Kiir also provided his counterpart with options.

“In their one-on-one discussion, President Kiir was able to brief President Ramaphosa on business and investment opportunities that are available in South Sudan and therefore, inviting the South African government top to partake in those activities,” said Dr Marial.

The two leaders also agreed to work to develop partnership in the trade and investment sectors as well as to the peace and stability in South Sudan.

In 2015, 28 South African Companies showed interest in investing in the mining, electricity and agricultural sectors in South Sudan.

In 2018, the South Africa government pledged to invest $1 billion in South Sudan’s oil sector, including in the construction of a refinery.

But up to date, nothing has been said about these investments in the country.

The country’s five year conflict has taken a heavy toll on the oil – rich nation’s economy and investment, founded 10 years ago after two decades of civil war.

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Lifeline For South African Gold Miners In £280Million Compensation Relief.
April 20, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

A mine worker is seen underground in Gold Fields’ South Deep mine outside Johannesburg. Photo credit : SIPHIWE SIBEKO/REUTERS

Ten-Thousands of South Africa’s former gold miners languishing under silicosis diseases have received a long life relief of financial compensation after lawyers representing them won for them a long-  time protracted legal battle against their labour laws defiant employers .

The recently released report from South Africa posted to the Pan-African media house reveals leniency on the side of thousands of workers who among them ¾ of the total figure amounting to ten thousands not less but exceeding to thrice the figure have been diagnosed silicosis.

Lawyer , Richard Spoor yells a long time battle relief releasing ten thousands of former gold miners out of absolute poverty          pinned to them since time memorial they lost jobs due to illness , old age and some other reasons unexplained .

‘’ It has been a long -time. Its now a huge relief ‘’,  Spoor en-marks his words for the relax moment for mine workers who were channeled to jurisprudence in 2016 after SA Judges key decision  allowed lawyers to stand on behalf  of miners in a labour relations and justice fair manner .

The historic agreement is meant to pull out a big number of some former mine workers who migrated to SA while from other parts of the region like from  neighboring countries Zimbabwe , Malawi , Zambia , Mozambique and some in the SADC .

‘’We are happy,. We are just poor. This will help us somehow, somewhere, ‘’ says Hendrick Mokoena , 57 years old former gold mine worker .

According to a top workers representative Alois Makoi quoted by this media opens up that compensation varies from case to case. Some could get more than others but some will get less,

‘’ What I know is all former workers are relieved but some will get less. Compensation varies from case to case. Some will get less than amount ‘’

The Region is estimated to have more than 500,000 gold- workers   who succumbed to silicosis. The lung infectious disease is caused by silica dust from gold bearing rocks. South-Africa the largest producer of gold in the World has the highest number of gold migrant workers especially from Malawi and Zimbabwe. Most of the workers migrated in the 1960s during the federation and amalgamation of Rhodesia [Zimbabwe] and Nyasaland [Malawi] . During the ensued years, Malawi had serious employment problems. A big number of job seeking young and old Malawians and Zimbabweans travelled to SA Wenela Mines for employment in gold mines.                                                                                                                                                                                                

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Over 11,000 victims of terrorist attacks need urgent help in Palma
April 20, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

Over 11,000 refugees, mostly children, are sheltering in a primary school after the terrorist attack on the nearby town of Palma, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The refugees are at the Quitunda primary school on the Afungi peninsula close to Total’s natural gas project. About one-third of the 1,452 households are sleeping in the open, it added.

The IOM said that the government was providing some help, but that there was an urgent need for food, shelter and clothing in particular. According to the United Nations, insecurity is preventing its agencies from travelling to the site.

Meanwhile, the government has built 21 villages in Cabo Delgado province for the resettlement of 55,000 people fleeing the terrorist attacks in other parts of the province.

The villages provide basic services such as running water, sanitation, healthcare and education, according to the province’s secretary of state, Armindo Ngunga. However, a study by transparency watchdog the Centre for Public Integrity said that the resettlement villages provided “absolutely nothing except for water supplies and plots for housing construction.”

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UNESCO condemns murder of Kenyan journalist Betty Barasa
April 20, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Betty was shot dead on April 7 in her Oloolua home in Ngong, southwest of Nairobi, by unknown assailants shortly after returning from work.

The United Nations, Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has condemned the brutal murder of Kenyan journalist Betty Barasa.

Betty was shot dead on April 7 in her Oloolua home in Ngong, southwest of Nairobi, by unknown assailants shortly after returning from work.

She was accosted by three men armed with AK-47 rifles and G3 rifles at the gate before leading her to the house where they held her family hostage. The gunmen ransacked the premises before killing her.

“I condemn the killing of Betty Barasa. I call on the authorities to investigate this crime and determine whether it was linked to Barasa’s profession as a journalist.” Said Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General, noting that gunpoint censorship must not be allowed to undermine journalists.

The Director-General has called on Kenyan authorities to probe Betty’s death and bring the perpetrators to book.

The killing of the senior Video Editor and Producer at Kenya Broadcasting Cooperation (KBC) was also condemned by the Media Council of Kenya (MCK). The council said the acts of violence meted against journalists and media practitioners are uncalled for and a violation of press freedom.

“The council condemns the violent act that resulted in her untimely death … in Oloolua, Ngong. Accordingly, the council calls for expeditious investigation into the incident, with a view to having the culprits apprehended and prosecuted,” read MCK statement in part.

The post-mortem report revealed that Betty had a single bullet in her head that was fired on the face.

Police alleged the killers were on an elimination mission and not robbery as initially thought because they were in constant communication with unknown people.

Preliminary reports showed that the criminals put on gloves and balaclavas to avoid detection.

Betty was laid to rest on April 14.

Her death came barely two months after another journalist, Jennifer Wambua, was murdered and her body dumped in Kajiado, 107.8 km from Kenya’s capital Nairobi.

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Zimbabwean special forces in Mozambique As SADC reviews terrorists attacks
April 20, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

A technical team from regional body the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has arrived in Mozambique to assess the security situation in Cabo Delgado province and the type of support the body can provide.

The arrival of the team, whose deployment was agreed at SADC’s meeting two weeks ago, is to prepare a report to be presented at SADC’s security summit on 28 and 29 April in Maputo.

Zimbabwean news website TheNewsHawks meanwhile reports that Zimbabwean special forces are secretly operating in Cabo Delgado province to help Mozambican forces fight the terrorists there, citing a security source.

The forces sent to Mozambique were more or less the size of a platoon, which usually numbers up to 50 soldiers, and were operating under Mozambican leadership, the source said.

Regional security chiefs are also working on plans to send in the so-called standby force of SADC, ahead of a meeting of the body’s security ministers on 28 April. A spokesman for the Zimbabwean military denied that special forces had been sent to Mozambique.

Meanwhile, shooting can still be heard almost every day in the town of Palma in Cabo Delgado province, almost three weeks after the insurgent attack on the town. The residents there want to leave but cannot find a way out. Roads have been closed as a result of the insecurity.

A flight from the nearby Afungi peninsula to Pemba, the provincial capital, costs MZN20,000 ($324), and only one boat is available for exit by sea, which requires a lot of effort, luck, influence or spending, to get a place on.

Also, Mozambican refugees are still struggling to cross the border into Tanzania. Tanzanian authorities have been reluctant to allow them entry and, following a screening, are returning refugees to Mozambique through the border crossing of Negomano, in Mueda district.

Nevertheless, people are still attempting the 60 km walk to the border, despite fear of hunger or being kidnapped by the insurgents.

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Philadelphia’s Joel Embid receives march NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kiaser Permanente
April 20, 2021 | 0 Comments

NBA and Kaiser Permanente to Donate $10,000 to Covenant House Pennsylvania

NEW YORK, United States of America, April 19, 2021/ — Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has received the March NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente in recognition of his dedicated efforts to address housing insecurity in Greater Philadelphia, the NBA today announced. Each month the award recognizes a player who best reflects the passion that the league and NBA players share for giving back to their communities.

While Embiid has long been focused on addressing disparities in his local community and impacting the lives of youth and families, the COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the stark inequities present. This March, after being named a 2021 NBA All-Star starter for the fourth consecutive year, Embiid continued his efforts to combat homelessness in Philadelphia with a $100,000 contribution to three Philadelphia-based organizations: Youth Services Inc., Project HOME and Sunday Breakfast Mission. The donation provided 15,000 meals to those in need, 4,000 essential clothing items, medical treatment for 1,000 housing insecure individuals, access to a six-week summer camp for 50 young people experiencing homelessness and shelter for more than 300 teens facing housing insecurity. Embiid extended his support of local community members by assisting five families that had been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, providing each with gifts and clothing, groceries and housing rent relief for the next year. 

Much of Embiid’s community efforts over the last year have focused on COVID-19 relief.  At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Embiid joined 76ers Managing Partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer to donate $1.3 million to Penn Medicine to develop antibody testing of frontline healthcare workers.  As part of his continued support for healthcare workers, he pledged $500,000 through the #FirstRespondersFirst campaign, an initiative of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Thrive Global and the CAA Foundation, to provide PPE to frontline workers.

“I am humbled to be recognized as the recipient of the NBA Cares Community Assist Award,” said Embiid.  “It has always been incredibly important for me to use the platform I have been given to create positive change.  Housing insecurity and homelessness affect so many in our communities, and we need to come together, now more than ever, to support one another.  I am proud to support organizations like Covenant House Pennsylvania that are working every day to provide essential resources and services.”

Embiid was presented with the award during a special virtual ceremony with league, Kaiser Permanente and 76ers officials on Friday, and will also be recognized during the team’s home game tonight against the Golden State Warriors (7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.)  In addition, Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will donate $10,000 on Embiid’s behalf to Covenant House Pennsylvania.

The NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente recognizes an NBA player each month who best reflects the passion that the league and its players share for giving back to their communities.  It honors the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson, who improved the community piece by piece.  At the end of the 2020-21 regular season, the Season-long NBA Cares Community Assist Award winner will be announced.  To learn more, please visit www.CommunityAssist.nba.com/

*National Basketball Association (NBA).

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The American e-education startup Holberton announces a new $20 million round of funding to accelerate its development in Africa
April 20, 2021 | 0 Comments

The funding will allow the Californian-based startup to develop its computer engineering training solutions for universities, training centers, and companies on the African continent.

SAN FRANCISCO, April 19, 2021 – Holberton, making software engineering education affordable and accessible globally, announced today that it has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Redpoint eventures with new investor Pearson Ventures and participation by existing investors DaphniImaginable FuturesReach Capital and Trinity Ventures.

Holberton works with institutes in several African countries including Tunisia, Madagascar, and Morocco, which have trained thousands of learners. The group’s ambition is to help more than 500,000 students in Africa gain access to first-rate education by 2030, directly via its Holberton School Network, or indirectly with education institutions and training centers. To reach that goal, Holberton constantly innovates and expands how it delivers education on a large scale. 

“We have developed technologies, tools, programs, and teaching methods to complement, extend or fill gaps in the training of students or employees. Our solutions have been designed and created to train learners anywhere in the world and at any level of Commuter Science Knowledge, whether they are beginners or familiar with the computer language”, says Julien Barbier, CEO, and co-founder of Holberton.

With its partners, Holberton has provided education to thousands of students around the world,  creating new tools, processes, programs, and methods needed to send students into high-paying jobs at top technology companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, LinkedIn, Tesla, and more. Holberton has created a new concept that it calls the “OS of Education”. Customers use what they need to either build entire new schools or supplement their current education delivery.

“Since our founding in Silicon Valley in 2015, we have had a vision of making software engineering education affordable and accessible to everybody around the world,” said Julien Barbier. “Africa is a continent with a considerable nursery of young people to train. Our solutions enable public and private institutions to offer modern, tailored education that meets the needs of the job market on the continent.”

Holberton’s offering includes a complete off-the-shelf franchise model, as well as tailored curricula, auto-graded projects, and tools. Customers — who best understand their student needs, job market requirements, and unique accessibility challenges — use what they want or need to fulfill their educational mission. And thus contribute to filling a national pool of highly qualified software engineers.

“Holberton’s OS of Education concept opens up the company’s proven tools to a broader education market,” said Manoel Lemos, managing partner at Redpoint eventures. “They’ve proven successful in breaking down barriers of cost and access while delivering a world-class curriculum. With the concept of ‘OS of Education’ as a service, they provide customers with all the tools they need for success. Customers can be non-profit impact investors who want to improve local economies, education institutions who want to fill gaps in how they teach in a post-COVID learning environment or corporations who want to provide the best training possible as education providers themselves or as employee development programs.”

About Holberton

Founded in Silicon Valley in 2015, Holberton’s innovative and flexible delivery of the “OS of Education” provides a unique portfolio of tools, auto-graded tailored curricula and teaching methods to help its customers – education institutions, universities, corporations and franchisees – successfully train the next generation of digital talent at scale.

About Redpoint eventures

Redpoint eventures is a venture capital firm investing in Latin American startups. The firm partners with visionary founders using technology to create new markets and solve big problems in existing ones. With an experienced team in Brazil and in close partnership with two Silicon Valley firms (e.ventures and Redpoint), the firm helps founders secure the capital, talent and growth to succeed further, faster.

Founded in 2012, Redpoint eventures invests across seed, early and growth stages. It manages over $300 million and has more than 40 companies in its portfolio, including Creditas, Gympass, Minuto Seguros, Olist, Pipefy, Rappi and Resultados Digitais. As part of its mission to support the Brazilian ecosystem, the firm co-founded Cubo , the second largest innovation hub in the world, based in Sao Paulo, where it’s headquartered. For more information, please visit www.rpev.com.br.

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New report highlights COVID-19 impact on African trade finance
April 20, 2021 | 0 Comments
Dr Hippolyte Fofack

Cairo, 19 April 2021: – African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Making Finance Work for Africa Partnership (MFW4A) released on 15 April 2021 the African Trade Finance Survey Report which provides a better understanding of the trade finance landscape across Africa and how it has evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report is the first of its kind, surveying 185 banks from across Africa, representing more than 58% of total assets held by African banks.

In his opening remarks, Professor Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, highlighted how the tightening global financial conditions triggered massive capital outflows from Africa, exceeding $5 billion in the first quarter of 2020. “These massive capital outflows strained African banks, many of which recorded sharp drops in their net foreign assets. This further exacerbated liquidity constraints and undermined the capacity of banks to finance African trade”, said Professor Oramah.

As a result of the pandemic and inherent tightening financing conditions, heightening balance of payment pressures and liquidity constraints, the supply of trade finance was affected between January and April 2020, the period covered by the survey. According to the report, the number of correspondent banking relationships fell across the region, and the rejection of L/C requests increased, with about 38% of local/privately-owned banks and 30% of foreign banks reporting an increase in rejection rates, respectively.

Dr Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary at the ECA, commended Afreximbank for the counter-cyclical measures it took to help countries deal with the economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The Bank has also played a major role in putting together a $2 billion facility to help African member states purchase up to 400 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines”, she added.

Dr Songwe also urged African leaders, especially Central Bank Governors and Ministers of Finance and other development partners to further support institutions such as Afreximbank through capital increases as such banks can leverage this capital five or six times and deploy more resources towards Africa’s recovery.

The report highlighted the role trade finance can play in overcoming the social and economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic to quicken the process of economic recovery through trade and investment growth.

For H.E. Mr Ebson Uanguta, Deputy Governor of Bank of Namibia, the crisis was deep and government interventions needed to be bold and swift to help banks support businesses and limit insolvencies. “Most sectors of the economies were severely impacted, and we took several measures to support the broader economy and trade finance in particular, including easing of monetary policy, relaxation of regulatory requirements and institution of loan repayment moratoriums to the tune of $619 million”, said Mr Uanguta. 

According to Ms Mervat Soltan, Chairperson and Managing Director at the Export Development Bank of Egypt, the bank had seen a big uptake in its digital services during the pandemic downturn. Egypt is one of the few countries where output expanded in the face of a synchronized global downturn. “Digitalisation which sustained business and trade growth during the pandemic offers a great opportunity to help reduce costs and increase the use of trade finance facilities and should become an integral part of the strategy to boost African trade post-COVID-19”, she added.

The report pointed out that African trade amounts to $1,077 billion but that banks intermediate $417 billion of this, approximately 40%, whilst the global average is 80%. Ms Bola Adesola, Senior Vice Chairman for Africa at Standard Chartered stressed the need to increase businesses on the continent, to help drive trade both extra- and intra-African trade and banks’ intermediation. The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), she added, can provide a platform to help drive greater businesses.

Mr Amr Kamel, Executive Vice President, Business Development and Corporate Banking at Afreximbank, highlighted the role of Development Finance Institutions during downturns, pointing out that “Afreximbank’s Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA) has provided timely support to banks, helping to clear payments falling due and avert payment defaults.” He also shared some of the key initiatives the Bank is pushing through to address the challenges of liquidity constraints and boost African trade such as the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) and Afreximbank Trade Finance and Trade Facilitation (AFTRAF) programme to increase the provision of correspondent banking services to African banks.

One of the Bank’s longstanding partners, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) reiterated the importance of international collaboration even if the initial instinct in a crisis is to look inwards. Their response in Africa to the crisis has been anchored on three Rs: assist to help Respond to the pandemic; help with the Recovery; and contribute to Restart the economy.

The report made numerous recommendations. These include: a greater engagement between central banks and industry; push for increased digitalisation and take up of technologies; and better data, which will help better understand and price risk.

In his closing remarks, Dr Hippolyte Fofack, Chief Economist at Afreximbank, reiterated the need to sustainably grow the supply of trade finance across the region. “Trade finance is the lifeblood of commerce and will play a key role in the recovery and structural transformation of African economies to better prepare the region to future global crises”, he added.

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote extra-and intra-African trade. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa.

The Making Finance Work for Africa Partnership (MFW4A) is a unique platform hosted at the AfDB for African financial sector development research, advocacy, knowledge management and networking. Our partners (AfDB, AFD, EIB, GIZ and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs) share a common vision of innovative, robust and competitive African financial systems, providing near-universal access to financial services by 2030, and offering a full range of products and services for the continent.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is one of the UN’s five regional commissions and has a mandate to promote the economic and social development of its member states, foster intra-regional integration and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development.

Download the Report

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Kenya rattles Chinese firm Wu Yi over the unfinished expansion of 25km road
April 19, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Kenya’s Transport Cabinet Secretary (CS) James Macharia is not happy with the delays on the Chinese end

China-based construction firm Wu Yi has found itself on the wrong side with the Kenyan government after it failed to complete the expansion of a Nairobi road on time.

The firm was awarded $158 million in 2016 to expand the 25km James Gichuru-Rironi road stretch along Waiyaki way into a superhighway.

The work began in 2017, and the two parties struck a deal to have the work be done by December 2020. However, the firm is yet to fulfill its promise, a move that angered Kenya’s Transport Cabinet Secretary (CS) James Macharia.

Macharia has given Wu Yi an ultimatum for the road to be completed by the end of July 2021, saying delays were becoming frequent.

“That’s not what we agreed on. You told us December 2020, then it was February 2021, then April and now you want December? It can’t work like that. We’ve been helping you with everything that you have asked and now you want more time?” asked CS.

He continued, “I thought we’re coming to prepare for the commissioning, but now it cannot be done because you’re saying three kilometers are not ready. What we want now is to get a firm commitment that the road will be completed in the next two months.”

The firm’s Engineer Sanjay Kumar, in defense, blamed unavoidable circumstances for the delays saying the work is 85 percent complete.

Kumar vowed to have the 3km stretch completed in due time.

The East African nation resolved to expand its roads, particularly in Nairobi, to reduce traffic jams.

The modernization of the country’s infrastructure will also ensure the achievement of the vision 2030 to create a globally competitive and prosperous nation with a high quality of life for all its citizens.

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Pressure growing on the Kenyan government to allow the resumption of sports activities
April 19, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Kenya Sevens head coach Innocent Simiyu

Kenya Sevens head coach Innocent Simiyu has joined the list of growing individuals calling for the return of sporting activities in the country.

Simiyu pleaded with the government to heed to their requests promising to practice the Covid-19 protocols put in place by the Ministry of Health.

He narrated the players’ woos, saying they are struggling to meet their daily needs citing sports as their full-time job.

“Currently most of the players earn their living through sports and many more at the rugby grassroots depend on rugby to earn their living.”

“There are a lot of players who’re not in the national team, so our prayer to the government is to find a solution so that the players can resume and earn a living out of the game,” noted Simiyu.

The same was echoed by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Women Premier League clubs.

“Football is a source of livelihood for us, it’s a way of life and our identity. Therefore, we would like to plead with the government to allow the safe resumption of football,” said Fauzia Kaunjeri, who plies her trade Mathare United.

FKF boss Nick Mwendwa also revealed to Goal that the federation had written to the government seeking to have the league resumed under the tight Covid-19 rules.

“I am sure it will not take time, the league will return soon, all they want us to do is what we have been doing before, we are ready to improve where we failed and our intentions are to have action back,” the Goal quoted Mwendwa.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, on March 26, banned all sporting activities until further notice to avert the third wave of the Covid-19 in the country.

The directive recently forced the FKF to call off a friendly match between Kenyan queens Harambee Starlets Zambia’s Copper Queens. The game was scheduled to take place on April 24 in Lusaka.

Starlets were set to use the match for preparation ahead of the upcoming AWCON 2022 and FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers, whereas Zambia is now preparing for Tokyo Olympics.

“Regrettably, sir, we wish to inform you that we are yet to receive the greenlight from the government/Ministry of Sports to resume training in preparation for the friendly match and in view of the aforementioned and coupled with the travel restrictions outside the country placed on the national teams by the Ministry of Sports, we wish to request for the cancellation of the planned friendly match,” FKF said in its letter to the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ).

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Chinese firm wins road construction project in Kenya
April 19, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

KeNHA Director General Eng. Peter Mundinia and the General Manager M/S China Communication Construction Company Limited sign a tender award agreement. Image: KeNHA

Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has awarded the China Communication Construction Company a $157 million tender to construct the Lamu-Ijara-Garissa highway.

The Chinese firm will upgrade the 196km road to all-weather gravel standards for three years.

“Kenha Director General Eng. Peter Mundinia and the General Manager M/S China Communication Construction Company Limited have today signed a tender award agreement for stage construction of the LAPSSET Development Project: Lamu – Ijara – Garissa (A10) Road and associated spur roads,” said the authority.

The other sections that will be constructed simultaneously are the country’s 113 kilometers of the Hindi – Bodhei – Basuba – Kiunga road and the Ijara – Sangailu -Hulugho road.

Meanwhile, KeNHA further revealed that the 114km Garsen-Witu-Lamu road project is 87 percent complete, and it will be commissioned in the next sixty days.

The construction of the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor Project is underway and is expected to transform the region’s economy.

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Cameroon Receives First Batch of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine
April 19, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Cameroon receives AstraZeneca Vaccine

The plane carrying over 391,100 doses of the British vaccine touched down at the Nsimalen International Airport last Saturday around 7.15 pm local time. The Minister of Public Health, Dr Malachie Manaouda, several ambassadors and representatives of the United Nations Systems in Cameroon were on hand to receive the vaccines.

Minister Manaouda Malachie lauded the efforts of the government and its partners in their fight against the health pandemic. To him, the vaccines will be immediately dispatched to the various Regions to add to that of the Sinopharm Vaccine that was sent in the week.

Some 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine were made available to the country by the Chinese government as they looked to help their partner in its fight. More of this vaccine is expected in the weeks ahead. 

The Resident Representative of the World Health Organization in Cameroon Fabien Nsabimana said they will continue to work closely with the government to ensure the vaccination exercise meets its target.

At the moment, health practitioners, those above 50, those with pre-existing conditions, teachers, and bike riders are the priority targets of the vaccine with officials hoping to acquire more vaccines to carter for the entire population.

Cameroon is set to make use of four different kinds of coronavirus vaccines in their efforts to roll back the spread of the virus in the country, according to Cameroon’s National Scientific Council and National Immunization Technical Board.

AstraZeneca vaccine

Sinopharm, AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson, and Sputnik V have all been approved by the country after it launched the first phase of the vaccination against COVID19 on April 13, few hours after the arrival of 200,000 doses of the Chinese donated vaccine, Sinophram.

4,000,000 doses of Johnson and Johnson, the vaccine produced by the American multinational corporation are expected in Cameroon anytime soon. It is 66% effective, lower than other vaccines with 95% efficacy. 

However, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration has called the use of the vaccine to be halted following reports of blood clots, similar to those reported by several European countries after the use of AstraZeneca. It is yet to be seen whether Cameroon will review its use after doing so with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

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Advocacy Groups Urges U.S. to End Arms Sale, Military Assistance to Cameroon Government
April 19, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

US Secretary of State Tony Blinken speaks during his Senate Confirmation hearing. Photo Graeme Jennings/Pool via REUTERS

With the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon already in its fifth year with no sign of its being resolved any time soon, the Department of State and the Biden Administration have been called upon to lead efforts to bring this conflict to an immediate end.

In an Open Letter to United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the “Anglophone Crisis” in Cameroon, the human rights, civil liberties, social justice, and faith leaders, experts, scholars, and organizations, say attempts by the government of Cameroon to resolve the crisis have failed because of its unwillingness to address head-on the root causes and its resort to military force to address otherwise political grievances of citizens.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Situation Report No. 25 of 30 November 2020, three million people are affected, which is approximately 50 per cent of the entire Anglophone population of the country; and 1.4 million are in need immediate humanitarian assistance. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees reported over 70,000 refugees has fled to neighbouring Nigeria, and over 711,000 IDPs now live in other regions of the country as of November 2020.

“Thousands of civilians have been killed, and more than 300 villages have been burnt. As a result of the ongoing conflict, Anglophone Cameroonians have become the leading asylum seekers from Africa at the U.S. Southern border with Mexico,” the letter read in part.

The armed conflict is stressing a region already facing violent extremism in the Lake Chad basin and, if allowed to fester, would seriously jeopardize ongoing international efforts to curtail cross-border terrorism and combat Boko Haram and ISWAP. It also has the potential of threatening regional peace and security in the Gulf of Guinea

Thousands of people have been displaced since the crisis broke out in 2016

The letter was signed by the Cameroon Humanitarian Relief Initiative; Coalition for Dialogue and Negotiations; Consortium of Ethiopian Human Rights Organizations; JuventudesXLaPaz; Nuestra Agenda/Our Agenda; Presbyterian Church (USA); Refugee Council of Australia; Sam Soya Center for Democracy and Human Rights; The Global Campaign for Peace & Justice in Cameroon; Torture Abolition And Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC International) and World Council of Churches (WCC)

In a historic show of bipartisanship, the US Senate recently adopted Resolution 684 on January 1, 2021, calling on the government of Cameroon and the armed separatist groups to end all violence; respect the human rights of all Cameroonians and pursue inclusive dialogue to end the conflict. The Resolution further stipulates that “attempts at conflict resolution have failed to bring all parties to the table, as high levels of deaths, brutality, and suffering continue”.

According to the organizations, Peace can be achieved if the U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken put in place the nine (9) measures that they are suggesting which involve:

1. Name a Special Envoy to facilitate the State Department’s lead within the inter-agency process and its efforts to engage all international and local stakeholders whose contributions are needed to bring an end to the conflict, as laid out in Resolution 684.

2. Impress upon the warring parties to negotiate, without any preconditions, for an end to the conflict and engage allies of the United States, notably France, to play a more constructive role in ending the conflict.

3. Engage more firmly the African Union and agencies of the United Nations system to assist Cameroon to address the root causes of the conflict and to uphold freedoms and universal rights.

4. Initiate an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to allow unfettered access for humanitarian assistance, and protect humanitarian workers and the Anglophone civilian population who desperately need assistance. We ask that the US lead efforts by the international donor community to increase humanitarian support to meet the urgent and growing needs of IDPs and refugees.

5. Demand an independent international investigation by the United Nations Human Rights Council of massacres, atrocities and gross human rights abuses in Anglophone Cameroon to account for and hold perpetrators of rights abuse accountable, and to prevent a culture of impunity that breeds more abuses to the civilian population.

6. Champion an interagency response to sanction perpetrators of gross human rights abuses to curb impunity and curtail ongoing atrocities by both sides.

Cameroon’s defence forces and separatist fighters have both been accused of carrying out human rights abuses

7. End arms sale and military assistance to the Government of Cameroon, as there is ample evidence that military equipment provided by the US has been used to commit atrocities to the civilian population in Anglophone Cameroon.

8. Grant Temporary Protection Status (TPS) for Anglophone Cameroonians currently resident in the US. This community represents the highest number of Africans fleeing violence, torture and persecution from a majority Francophone government and reliable information confirms that many of the individuals deported by the previous Administration are currently in detention and facing abuses.

9. Capitalize on the provisions of Senate Resolution 684 of January 1, 2021, the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act of 2018 and other tools at your disposal to bring the civil war in Anglophone Cameroon to a negotiated end.

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Cameroon: Dire Situation of Anglophone Refugees fuels urgency for a negotiated end of the conflict-Dr Chris Fomunyoh
April 19, 2021 | 1 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

The dire situation of refugees fuels the urgency for a negotiated end to the conflict so people can return home and regain their humanity ,says Dr Fomunyoh

Fresh off a surprise visit to Nigeria where he spent Easter with refugees of the Cameroon Anglophone crisis, Dr Christopher Fomunyoh, Founder and President of the Fomunyoh Foundation says the dire situation he saw fuels the urgency for a negotiated end to the conflict so people can return home, regain their humanity and a sense of normalcy.

The Senior Associate for Africa and Regional Director at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) delivered food supplies to the refugees as he saw firsthand the precarious state of pain and suffering of a people bearing the brunt of a crisis not of their making.

“Life is extremely difficult for these refugees.  Even those that are formally registered with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) have seen their monthly stipends drop from approximately $22 to $15, and now approximately $7,” Fomunyoh told PAV in an exclusive interview.

To Dr Fomunyoh, there is no way the conflict can be resolved militarily. A military option only causes more death, destruction, further hate and resentment and is not a tenable option to resolve the conflict that has impacted millions in the four years of warfare, he said.

“Despite the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ pledge after the Rwandan genocide in 1994, despite the adoption of the Responsibility to Protect, the passivity and indifference of some major international partners is mind norming,” Dr Fomunyoh said in the interview which also discusses the role of the international community, expectations from the Biden administration and more.

Could we start with getting some context on your Easter trip to refugees of the Cameroon Anglophone crisis in Nigeria, what prompted the Fomunyoh Foundation and partners to undertake the visit at this time?

Many of us in the Cameroonian community been extremely concerned not just with the deaths and destruction from the ongoing armed conflict in the North West and South West regions or the territory of what used to be Southern Cameroons prior to reunification in 1961, but also that our brothers and sisters who escaped the armed conflict into foreign lands, notably the tens of thousands of refugees in neighboring Nigeria, do not seem to be on most people’s list of top priorities.  Fleeing armed conflict in one’s home country and finding refuge in a foreign land with not much means of survival is hard enough; it is even doubly so when one is a refugee because of one of the world’s most underreported or neglected conflicts. 

I wanted to go see for myself the state of wellbeing of these refugees, and decided to partner with the Community Refugee Relief Initiative (CRRI), one of many Cameroonian-led NGOs that has been providing assistance to the refugees these past years in food drives, anti-COVID 19 supplies and capacity building training in basic livelihood skills. TFF and CRRI decided that the Easter season as a period of renewal and hope would be the best time to visit and commune with our refugees and provide them relief in food supplies as hunger remains one of their most acute predicaments.    Part of us also hoped that the trip would draw more national and international attention to the plight of these refugees and hence, generate more efforts to ameliorate their conditions and work towards an end of the war so they could safely return to their respective homes and normal way of life.  The partnership worked beautifully and staff and volunteers of both organizations are very pleased to have made the trip.

What parts of Nigeria did you visit and what was the reaction you got from the refugees?

We visited areas in South Eastern Nigeria, close to the border with the conflict areas of Cameroon — 12 stops in total, concentrated in Benue and Cross River states as well as in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.  We couldn’t get to Taraba and Akwa Ibom states which we understand also host tens of thousands of Anglophone Cameroonian refugees.  Our teams visited the localities of Adagom 1 & Adagom 3 (around Ogoja), Agborkim Waterfalls,  Ajassor, Bashua, Biajua, Caabar, Ikom, Ikyogen, Oban, Okende, and the Federal Capital City of Abuja.  In some cases, refugees are in settlements or camps; and in others, they’re squatting around with families and host communities.  Overall, the conditions are extremely difficult.

The reactions of the refugees brought out a real clash of emotions:  on the one hand, as a woman settlement leader said in Adagom 3, they were very happy to see us, and some even shed tears of joy and appreciation for our physical presence as well as for the food; at the same time, it was heartbreaking to see the masses of innocent populations that are now victims of this senseless war, and to listen to their personal testimonies and life stories.  We had children dancing happily to the music that played at each event site, seemingly oblivious to the precarity of their situation; and, at the same time, you saw so many children less than five years old, meaning they were born in the refugee camps.  Some of the girls carrying young kids on their backs told us they were the mothers; yet they looked so underaged and fragile. The situation is not good at all, and deserves greater attention.  Most importantly, it adds a sense of urgency for a negotiated end of the conflict so, among other things, these refugees can return home, regain their humanity and sense of normalcy.

. I have serious doubts that the powers that be and those commandeering and prosecuting this war fully grasp the magnitude of the consequences of their decisions and actions, says Dr Fomunyoh after spending Easter with refugees in Nigeria

From the experiences and interactions you had, how is life like for these people away from their homes, how are they surviving in Nigeria?

Life is extremely difficult for these refugees.  Even those that are formally registered with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) have seen their monthly stipends drop from approximately $22 to $15, and now approximately $7.  It breaks your heart when an elderly woman on a wheelchair tells you she’s lost all her relatives and is in the camp all by herself, and another refugee mother says she escaped the conflict with one of her three children as gun fights raged in her village, and till today doesn’t know the whereabouts of her other two children.  And we learned that these are even the  lighter cases.  Many other refugees are not yet registered with UNHCR and so are extremely vulnerable as they squat around and scrub by, however best they can.  The circumstances of their daily survival are very hard and could be traumatizing for the fainthearted.

From your discussions with some of the refugees, what will it take for them to return to Cameroon?

To a person, when asked, the refugees said they would love for the armed conflict to end and for peace and justice to prevail, so they don’t have to again face the same circumstances that provoked their departure from their homes, villages, towns or cities of origin.  It again reminded me of how much political will and commitment would be needed to restore a sense of safety and security for each of these individuals, and how  much physical and human rebuilding would be needed to repair a broken people.  I have serious doubts that the powers that be and those commandeering and prosecuting this war fully grasp the magnitude of the consequences of their decisions and actions.

How concerned are the refugees about their own security and were you able to discuss with any Nigerian authorities during the visit?

Refugees registered with UNHCR and living in settlements or camps feel pretty secure; but they are tens of thousands of others, including young girls, women and children in host communities or in big cities like Abuja, Calabar, and Uyo, whose vulnerabilities are aggravated just by who they are, and that is extremely dangerous.  We met representatives of host communities in some of the settlements and thanked them profusely for their hospitality and humanism, and for facilitating peaceful coexistence between the refugees and host communities who, incidentally, also have material needs of their own.  We ran into a few officials from the Emergency Management Agency at the state level (SEMA), and I do plan on the next trip to meet state governors and other higher ups, first to appreciate what they’ve done so thus far, and then to see what more could be done to alleviate the suffering and dire needs of the refugees.

Has the trip changed your perception about the crisis and what needs to be done to get a lasting solution?

This trip only reinforced my position expressed on multiple occasions since the beginning of the crisis that has now morphed into an armed conflict, which is: that the grievances raised by Anglophones or the people of the North West and South West regions, or of the former Southern Cameroons, are legitimate and need to be addressed and tackled politically.  This conflict will not be resolved militarily; on the contrary, a military approach only causes more death and destruction and further hatred and resentment.  On top of the legitimate grievances that existed prior to 2016, we now see superimposed, the pain and suffering and other hardship of the millions impacted by four years of warfare, either because they’ve lost loved ones and / or property, or have become internally displaced persons or refugees.

Many continue to wonder why the international community remains so aloof, why the Cameroon Anglophone crisis is being trivialized when the consequences are so devastating?

Countries such as the United States and Canada have been outspoken about the need to end the fighting and find a negotiated resolution of the conflict, and should be commended for their stance.  Others haven’t seen fit to urge the government of Cameroon to do more to end the killings and atrocities and address the grievances raised, and that’s disheartening but not surprising.  World history is replete with names of leaders who passively sat on the fence in the face of killings and mass atrocities.  Despite the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ pledge after the Rwandan genocide in 1994, despite the adoption of the Responsibility to Protect, the passivity and indifference of some major international partners is mind norming.  It is extremely painful to see some of such leaders hide behind bureaucracies and short term personal privileged relationships as a pretext not to act in the face of ongoing killings, atrocities and sheer injustice.  History will not judge them kindly.

With the Biden/Harris administration now in charge in the United States, how could their approach to the Anglophone crisis be different from the Trump years?

I believe that when US President Joe Biden states that human rights and democracy will be central pillars of his foreign policy, including towards Africa, that entails paying closer attention to the ongoing conflict and finding ways to contribute to an end of the fighting and to obtain a negotiated resolution of the root causes.  President Joe Biden’s nomination of a new ambassador (pending Senate confirmation) who knows Cameroon well is a good start.  Moreover, the United States Senate by a bipartisan Resolution 684 adopted January 1, 2021, also took a tough stance in appealing to the international community to work collaboratively to bring the conflict to an end.  The Senate resolution also calls for targeted sanctions against perpetrators of violence and other measures that can help bring an end to the conflict.  There’s reason to be hopeful now that greater attention would be paid to this conflict from both the Biden administration and the US Congress.  They must act quickly and boldly to stop more lives being lost and further aggravation of the conflict.

We all, including international partners, have a vested interest in negotiating a peaceful resolution to this conflict, sooner rather than later, says Dr Fomunyoh interacting with kids at a refugee camp in Nigeria

How complicated could things be going forward with the absence of key Anglophone voices such as Chief Mukete and Cardinal Tumi?

Irrespective of their political inclinations, Anglophone Cameroonians have lost two icons in Chief Mukete and Cardinal Tumi.  It is very sad to see them transition to eternity while this conflict rages on, with the Anglophone minority that willingly joined the Republic of Cameroon in 1961, now confronted with an existential threat for present and future generations.  May their souls rest in perfect peace.

As you are aware, the ongoing conflict touches on the very foundation of today’s Cameroon, and personalities such as Chief Vfon Mukete and Cardinal Christian Tumi who had played some role in the reunification process in the late 1950s / 1960s developed, on top of everything else, a sentimental attachment to the resulting nation-state.They were therefore moderating voices par excellence, and their passing from the scene leaves behind a younger generation of Anglophones who may be less inclined to embrace a nation they did not help conceive or deliver, and in which they don’t see a future for themselves.  Similarly, as more senior Francophone leaders of Paul Biya’s generation exit the scene, we could be left in the not-too-distant future with a younger generation on both sides with little or no attachment to a union whose iniquities have been exacerbated by decades of marginalization and four years of brutality and war.  We all, including international partners, have a vested interest in negotiating a peaceful resolution to this conflict, sooner rather than later.

Does the Fomunyoh foundation have any plans for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Cameroon?

So far, the Foundation, through its offices in Bamenda and Kumba, has made humanitarian contributions to various vulnerable groups, and will strive to do more in the months ahead.  Given the approximately 800,000 IDPs generated by the conflict, one of the greatest things the Foundation can do is continue to lend its voice to those advocating for an end to the conflict and mediated support in addressing the root causes so millions of impacted citizens can regain their lives and sense of normalcy, with peace and social justice, and a future that inspires hope and dignity.  I plan to continue to do that.

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Greenpeace and Western Anti Africa Energy Groups Take the Wrong Approach to East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) in Uganda and Tanzania
April 19, 2021 | 0 Comments

By NJ Ayuk*

If someone were to put me on the spot and ask me to name an environmentalist group, I’d probably blurt out the first thing that comes to mind, Greenpeace. There are obvious reasons for this: Greenpeace has been around for more than 50 years, and it has done a masterful job of bringing environmental concerns to the world’s attention and keeping them there. The group has a strong track record when it comes to advocacy and awareness, and it has a global reach. It’s truly one of the most visible non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the world.

And that’s why I see it as significant that Greenpeace’s African division has come out swinging for a major new oil pipeline slated for construction in Uganda and Tanzania. Let me explain what I mean.

What’s at Stake

On April 14, Greenpeace issued a statement expressing dismay about the signing of a new agreement on the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), a midstream project involving Uganda, Tanzania, the French major Total, and China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC).

The agreement serves to remove one of the final obstacles to the building of the pipeline, which will transport crude oil from fields in western Uganda, near Lake Albert, to a port on the Tanzanian coast. As such, it also clears the way for Total and CNOOC to set a concrete schedule for development of the upstream assets that will fill the line — and for investors to start pumping more than $5 billion into East Africa.

Greenpeace believes that Uganda and Tanzania ought to turn down this foreign direct investment (FDI). They explained their position by pointing out that EACOP poses environmental risks — which is hardly surprising, given their record on all seven continents. But they also argued that there were hard economic and political reasons to ditch the pipeline. Specifically, Greenpeace asserted that the building of the pipeline would have the following negative effects:

  • It would stymie the development of renewable energy and the creation of so-called green jobs.
  • It would benefit large multi-national corporations and not local communities.
  • It would involve Uganda and Tanzania in “neo-colonial projects.”

These are strong words to use, and they deserve a strong — and serious — response from Africans.

I have one: Greenpeace and Western Anti African energy groups, you’re wrong.

Oil vs. Renewables: “Both-And,” Not “Either-Or”

First, you’re wrong to predict that renewables will be crowded out if an oil pipeline is built. That’s not true.

EACOP is an export-oriented project, in that it’s designed to pump 216,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil, or about 83% of peak output from Uganda’s Kingfisher and Tilenga fields, to the Tanzanian coast so that it can be loaded onto tankers and sold on the world market. In other words, most of Uganda’s oil won’t be going to refineries so that it can be processed into fuel for local power plants.

As a result, EACOP won’t help Uganda or Tanzania overcome their domestic energy deficits, which are considerable. These two countries will still need more electricity to support industrialization initiatives and improve citizens’ quality of life after the pipeline is built. They’ll still need power plants — and they should try to meet that need by building solar farms, wind parks, and hydroelectric dams. I happen to think they should also build natural gas-fired thermal power plants (TPPs), which boast lower emissions than facilities that burn petroleum products, but my point is: There’s nothing about building an oil pipeline that takes renewable energy off the table. (In fact, small-scale, locally-oriented renewable facilities may also have the advantage of not being subject to the deficiencies of East Africa’s transmission networks.)

So it’s wrong to describe this as an “either-or” situation, in which a binary choice must be made. It’s a “both-and” situation. Tanzania and Uganda stand to benefit from pursuing both renewables and an oil pipeline. Let’s not stand in their way by framing the matter incorrectly.

Local Impact and Local Content

Second, you’re wrong to conclude that EACOP overlooks the interests of Ugandan and Tanzanian citizens and the communities along the pipeline route.

Yes, Total and other corporations involved stand to benefit from this project. (If they didn’t, they’d never agree to pump billions of dollars into it, and they might have a hard time convincing reputable service providers to sign contracts.) Greenpeace has never invested in any country and has never created a job. Okay they create a few jobs for drivers of the western aid workers in Africa.

But Uganda and Tanzania will benefit, too from Total’s investment. These two countries will earn revenues from oil flows through the pipeline and from oil sales. (Uganda alone may bring in as much as US$2 billion per annum over a period of at least 20 years.) Their governments will collect taxes from the local contractors that see their income rise as a result of their involvement in the project. Their businesses will profit from dealings with Total and CNOOC, which will have to hire local contractors in order to comply with local-content regulations and uphold their own contractual commitments. Their people will reap the rewards of the social welfare and infrastructure development projects these companies plan to carry out. Their societies as a whole will benefit from the construction of new infrastructure facilities such as roads, airports, hotels, and communications networks.

What’s more, ordinary Ugandans and Tanzanians will have a better chance of finding work once Total starts building the pipeline, for this project promises to create jobs — tens of thousands of them, and perhaps more than 100,000 of them overall. Samia Suluhu Hassan, the president of Tanzania, said on April 11 that she expected EACOP to create at least 10,000 jobs.

Mary Goretti Kitutu, the energy minister of Uganda, went into more detail, saying on the same day that she expected around 14,000 men and women to be hired directly by Total and CNOOC. About 57% of these people will be local workers, she added. She also stated that the upstream and midstream projects were likely to create many more jobs indirectly, with contractors to Total and CNOOC hiring around 45,000 people and businesses in other sectors taking on perhaps another 105,000 employees to handle the extra activity arising from oil operations. Facts and truth can be stubborn for those who believe foreign aid, begging and immigration to Europe should be the only way out for African youth.

Of course, these jobs won’t all last forever. Many of them will involve construction or related activities, and these will naturally come to an end once the construction projects are finished. While they exist, though, they will give tens of thousands of Africans the chance to earn larger salaries — and, potentially, gain more experience and obtain more training than they had before and start a sustainable business. As such, they have the potential to improve tens of thousands of lives in Africa — not just by increasing wages, but by creating opportunities for local workers to pick up skills they can still use after the pipeline is finished.

So it’s wrong for Greenpeace and the anti-African energy crowd to say these projects merely pay lip service to local communities. Officials in Uganda and Tanzania have worked hard to ensure that the EACOP project has a far-reaching and positive impact, and they have established new laws and policies to guard their citizens’ interests.

Take Up the NGO’s Burden: Who Are the Real Neo-Colonialists?

Finally, Greenpeace and the western anti-African energy crowd are wrong to describe EACOP as a “neo-colonial” endeavor. Come on this gives Chutzpah a new meaning.

Yes, there are foreign companies involved – Total, based in France, a former colonial power, and CNOOC, a company based in China, a rising power that stands ready to assist less-developed countries, provided that they agree to loan terms that are sometimes predatory. And yes, the largest portion of the EACOP consortium has been assigned to Total, which holds a stake of 72%. (CNOOC, meanwhile, has 8%.) But these foreign companies aren’t working alone. EACOP will also include Uganda National Oil Co. (UNOC), with 15%, and Tanzania Petroleum Development Corp. (TPDC), with 5%.

Take a close look at those numbers Greenpeace. You’ll see that both transit states have an equity stake in the pipeline — and that one of them has a larger stake than Total’s Chinese partner. Let me also point out that even if Total does have the largest stake, it is also serving as operator of the project and will assume most of the risk. As such, it stands to lose much more than UNOC, TPDC, or CNOOC if EACOP fails. That is how free markets works. You can’t love jobs and hate those who create jobs. Let’s face it, we in Africa need more free markets than communism. Free markets are still our best path to prosperity.

Tell me, how exactly is this a “neo-colonial” arrangement? Have Uganda and Tanzania really bowed under pressure from powerful external forces, or have they spent years negotiating a deal with two foreign companies that agreed to their conditions?

And speaking of pressure from powerful external forces, is Greenpeace’s approach truly free of “neo-colonial” elements? I didn’t know Greenpeace was a Pan Africanist NGO. Is the NGO using its position as one of the world’s most well-known environmental groups to ensure that local environmental advocates have a bigger bully pulpit? Is its opposition to EACOP rooted in the dreams and desires of ordinary Ugandans and Tanzanians, or is it trying to impose a solution from outside, on the basis of the global environmental movement’s pre-existing animus towards fossil fuels?

It’s wrong to use a historically and emotionally loaded word like “neo-colonialism” in this instance. It’s wrong to imply that Tanzania and Uganda have been coerced into working with foreign corporations, and it’s wrong to invoke colonialism in the hope of convincing Africans to listen to a different group of people who think they know best. Let Africans decide for themselves!

Balancing Environmental Risks with Other Crucial Considerations

Listen, I don’t fault Greenpeace for the concerns it expresses about environmental risks.

The NGO is not wrong to point out that with pipelines, there will always be the danger of spills, leaks, and damage to surrounding ecosystems and habitats. I hope it continues to advocate fiercely for the African landscapes that Greenpeace mentions, such as the Murchison Falls National Park, which is the largest and oldest nature reserve in Uganda. That advocacy is its mission — and frankly, the business community needs to listen to critics as well as cheerleaders so that it can learn, improve, and give back to host communities. (Government officials must do the same so that they protect their constituents even as they guard revenue streams.)

But Greenpeace is wrong to argue that EACOP is not worth pursuing because it will overshadow renewable energy, because it will ignore the interests of the countries involved, or because it represents some type of neo-colonialism. Instead, it’s overstepping — and in the process of doing so, it’s wasting time that could be spent looking for ways to balance environmental protection with other crucial considerations, such as job markets, entrepreneurship, energy poverty, and budget revenues.

So let’s not waste any more time. Let’s strive towards that balance.

Let’s start now.

*Chairman of the African Energy Chamber

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Treachery, A Stock In Trade Of Kenyan Politics
April 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

First Vice President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga with the first President of Kenya Jomo Kenyatta. Photo courtesy

Political betrayal in Kenya is not new; it runs through since the independence in the early 1960s. The seed of political fraud, hoaxes, broken promises, and frustrated ambitions was planted by the first President of the Republic of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta, and has become a norm in modern politics.  We have witnessed unstable political marriages that ended in tears, bitterness, and frustrated dreams. Kenyan political analyst Herman Manyora, a lecturer for political science at the University of Nairobi, noted there is no honor among thieves, which is correct.

Following the fight for independence that pitied Kenyans against white colonialists, Oginga Odinga, Kenya’s first vice president and the father to African Union envoy Raila Odinga, was offered the presidency by the British colonialists. Still, he refused to take the power mantle and instead demanded the release of his colleague Jomo Kenyatta who was in prison. Along with other nationalist leaders, Kenyatta was convicted for leading a revolution against white settlers and the colonial government.

“If I accept your offer, I will be seen as a traitor to my people. The British cannot elect me leader to my people…Kenyatta is around, just here in Lodwar (Kenya’s north-western town). Release him and allow him to lead us; he is already our choice,” Odinga was quoted telling Governor Sir Patrick Renison.

Kenyatta was released in 1961 and became the Prime Minister and later the President. He appointed Odinga to be the Minister of Home Affairs and then the vice president. Their political bromance was short-lived, they were involved in severe ideological differences that prompted Odinga to resign, and he formed a left-wing opposition party, Kenya’s People Union (KPU).  To rub salt into the wound, Kenyatta banned KPU in 1969 and put some of its members, including Odinga, under government detention.

Kenyatta rested with his ancestors in 1978, and then Vice President Daniel Moi beat all odds to ascend to power with the help of the then Attorney-General Charles Njonjo and Finance Minister Mwai Kibaki. He trounced a cabal around Kenyatta who had vowed to stop him from succeeding his boss. Six years later, Moi sacked Njonjo, who was the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs. In retort, Njonjo termed President Moi as a “passing cloud” instigating bitter political rivalry.

It did not take long before Moi demoted Kibaki from vice president to Health Minister, and in 1991 during the multi-party politics, the latter left Moi’s bandwagon.

To increase their chances of winning 2002 polls, the Kenya African National Union (KANU) led by the late President Daniel Moi and the National Development Party (NDP) led by Raila Odinga merged in courtesy of commanding huge followers. However, Moi handpicked Uhuru Kenyatta to be his successor, breaking his promise to endorse Raila. As a result, Raila led the mass exodus from KANU and joined hands with other rebels to form the National Rainbow Coalition (Narc).

The Narc coalition endorsed Mwai Kibaki, and they carried out the day, ending KANU’S 40 year-rule. In the run-up to elections, Raila conducted countrywide campaigns to ensure Kibaki, who was in a wheelchair after being involved in an accident, became President.

“The difficult bit was in boarding the plane. We did not have the control. I remember asking for some seats at Kenya Airways and they were not co-operative. Raila, who was with us, said they could not put their President at the back of the plane and must be put in the first-class cabin…he came with about eight young men who carried the stretcher to the front seats on their knees,” Kibaki’s doctor Dan Gikonyo told the Kenya Television Network (KTN) in 2018 saying Raila played crucial roles to get Kibaki to a London hospital for medication.

Despite Raila’s effort, Kibaki threw their memorandum of understanding to have him serve only one term and leave for Raila under the bus. He sacked him and his allies in 2005 for opposing the constitutional amendments, run for another term, and rigged him out to remain in the office beyond 2007. The rigged 2007 Presidential elections caused post-elections violence that claimed more than a thousand lives and displaced hundreds of thousands from their homes.

The political marriage between Raila Odinga and former President Mwai Kibaki soured over broken pacts. Photo credit Uriel Sinai,Getty Images

Another betrayal emerged in the process of Kibaki’s succession. Facing crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Uhuru Kenyatta and Uhuru Kenyatta agreed to work together. In their quest for power, they anonymously signed a pact with Musalia Mudavadi to have him go for the top seat, only to renege their promise hours later.

“He (devil) came to me and told me that if we are elected, the West will not give Kenya money; that our tea can’t be sold abroad and that Kenyans are not ready for another Kikuyu president, as this will cause more bloodshed. Given that I love peace, then I decided to quit and support Musalia,” Uhuru said after he withdrew his support.

Uhuru and Ruto camp floored Odinga in the 2013 presidential elections despite the rigging allegations. Seeking re-election in 2017, they folded their respective parties, The National Alliance (TNA) and the United Republican Party (URP), to form Jubilee Party. It is the fourth year since their re-elections, and the duo are not sailing in the same boat. Their second and final term has been marred with accusations and counter-accusations from their allies. President Uhuru Kenyatta has broken his promise to rule for ten years and then hand over to his deputy for another ten years. The Head of the State said that his choice would shock people.

Uhuru has accused Ruto of insubordination and challenged him to quit if he is not happy. To show how serious it is, the President purged Ruto allies from key Parliament leadership positions. Feeling unwanted in the Jubilee Party, the second in command staunch supporters formed the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) to strategize 2022 polls. Before the UDA formation, Ruto revealed that Jubilee is not functioning well because it has been hijacked by those he referred to as busybodies, conmen, and brokers.

Recently in an interview with the local radio station, Ruto hinted at the possibility of Jumping to UDA as a new political vehicle, blaming some external forces trying to scuttle his presidential bid.  He also opened up to teaming together with the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

President Uhuru Kenyatta laughs and cheers as opposition leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto share a handshake.Photo courtesy

“If it gets to a point where they do not want us to be there in Jubilee, then we must have a different plan. You cannot wait to hit a wall. Going forward, if there is no agreement, and then we will plan ourselves with UDA. We have built UDA in partnership with Jubilee. It is not us starting afresh. We are just going on with what we already have.”

“Some people think I have problems with Raila. I do not. These differences are political. And there are things I agree with Raila. He has agreed on the need to form national parties and he is facing similar issues (in the opposition) I am facing with regional chieftains. And I want to say this: If anybody wants to partner with us to bring up the hustler, we have no problem. We support, we will work together,” said Ruto, the local media.

In conclusion, treachery is an indispensable tool in Kenyan politics, and both betrayers and opportunists have been betrayed. Betrayal is expected to continue beyond 2021. Political realignments are going on now, including the formation of One Kenya Alliance, bringing together African National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka of Wiper, Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetangula, and KANU chairman Gideon. It is not the first time we witness such political marriages ahead of the polls. The One Kenya alliance is not better than those that crumbled before accomplishing their purposes. It is a matter of when and Kenyans are watching.

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OPEN LETTER TO THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS ACCREDITED IN THE REPUBLIC OF BENIN
April 18, 2021 | 0 Comments
Omar Arouna is a former Ambassador of Benin to the USA

Excellencies members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Benin,

It is with great interest and deep gratitude that we learned on Friday April 16, 2021, the
visit of members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Cotonou to personnel of the
Beninese army, wounded during the civil unrest of 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10, of April 2021 which
preceded the 2021 presidential election in the Republic of Benin. We salute and
congratulate you and the countries that you represent on behalf of the citizens of Benin
for your expression of concern, compassion, empathy and solidarity in these times of
great challenges for Benin. A friend in need is truly a friend and your friendship matters
to the Beninese.

It is filled with this same gratitude that we would like to respectfully urge and encourage
you, in a spirit of equity and justice, to also visit the localities of BANTÈ, DASSA SAVÈ,
TCHAOUROU, PARAKOU and all the other regions where civil demonstrators and
ordinary passers-by were injured and killed on April 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10, 2021 during civil
unrest?

Your delegation could therefore form an independent opinion and a full understanding of
the bigger picture. Your members could engage directly with injured civilians and their
affected families; survey the scenes of the protest in order to assess the extent of the
violence of the repression carried out by the army on the direct order of Mr. Patrice Talon

as revealed to the international community by the Minister of Foreign Affairs during his
press conference of April 10, 2021 – and thus allow the family of the victim to be edified
and to mourn.

Excellencies, members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Benin, you are well aware
of the general socio-political context and the democratic decline in our country since 2016,
which led to the unfortunate post-electoral civil unrest of May 2019. It is this same situation
that is at the root cause of the civil unrest of April 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10, 2021.

In this context, the only expression of democratic right for the Beninese citizen is and
remains civil disobedience to which the population spontaneously committed, — this in
the spirit of article 66 of the constitution of our country — during the recent events which
unfortunately led to clashes between the army and the demonstrators and to the death of
at least two people on the side of the civilian participants.

Ruffin Zomahoun is fa former Ambassador of Benin to Japan

Excellencies members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Benin, as you have already
taken the first step by visiting the wounded army personnel in Cotonou, with the hope that
you will take another step by visiting the wounded civilian populations in Bantè, Dassa,
Savè, Tchaourou, Parakou, we urge you in your noble approach to examine human rights
violations and the issue of Beninese political prisoners including Minister Reckya
Madougou, Madame Mounirath Garya Saka, Professor Joel Aivo, Messrs Alexandre
Hountondji, Joseph Tamegnon, Jules Amoussouga, Thibaut Ogou Elie Djenontin, Emile
Koudjo and countless other people who have been arrested or kidnapped without

justification and whose only crime is to defend their rights, freedom and democracy. But
also, and above all look into the ins and outs of the army shooting against the
demonstrators in May 2019 after the electoral crisis.

The free expression of the will of the people is one of the most fundamental principles
defining credible elections. You can therefore agree with us that the political and security
context in which the 2021 presidential elections took place did not allow for a credible
election.

Mr. Ruffin Zomahoun
Former Ambassador of Benin to Japan

Mr. Omar Arouna
Former Ambassador of Benin to the United States

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America and Europe Diasporas Bring Tourism Investment to Zimbabwe.
April 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

   By Nevson Mpofu

The man behind the development Urbert Angel is the Good-Will Ambassador of Zimbabwe to America and Europe.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa officiated end of this week at a groundbreaking ceremony to mark preliminary beginnings of the construction of an international Centre with a capacity of 6350 delegates and a hippodrome conference center in Harare at a site in Braeside low density suburb. The foreign driven investment project is a brain-child and development strategy of Zimbabwe’s sons and daughters in America and Europe.

‘’This harnesses the diverse strength and competencies of citizens abroad. This spurs economic growth. This comes as we mark 41 years of independence. Let us look into the future. Government will keep on harnessing diverse strength and competencies of all home and abroad to make the economy better.’’

‘’ We achieve objectives of the National Strategy Development and Vision 2030. Zimbabwe as a Tourism destination   continues to reach millions around the world. This goes well with the National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy with regards to Tourism Infrastructural development to meet international standards, public health requirements and improve Tourism as a vital sector’’. , he said.

The man behind the development Uebert Angel is the Good-Will Ambassador of Zimbabwe to America and Europe. He is a Prophet known for his preaching in Britain and in USA.

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Zimbabwe Comes Up With A National Dress.
April 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

’This is to show patriotism, sovereignty of the people of Zimbabwe who cherish their culture, tradition, history and heritage, says President Mnangagwa.Photo courtesy

President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday 16 April endorsed national dress, a pride of the nation with cherish of culture and tradition, history and a heritage exhumed by spiritual inspiration.  This coincides with the Independence of the country on Sunday 18 April this weekend.

‘’This is to show patriotism, sovereignty of the people of Zimbabwe who cherish their culture, tradition, history and heritage.  This goes deep down again to display social and cultural identity. Heritage must be preserved, developed to foster national identity, pride and unity ‘’

He further states that people must be easily identified where there are anywhere anytime. This he points out in vibration of gesticulations that reformation of culture and tradition is shown in cloth material. Let us cultivate this by showing sense of belonging. We belong to an African origin in skin, tribe , stature and creed .

‘’Reformulation of cultural values must be in material objects designed by Zimbabweans who feel sense of  cultural and traditional inspiration  cultivated by sense of belonging  moved through times by patriotism’’,  .

Lastly he points out that culture that cascades to socio and economic development is held by the people who represents their country in unity. Culture must be positioned, preserved and promoted for national growth and development. He feels free as a leader to get identified at African Union meetings dressed in national recognized attire.

‘’Let us position, preserve and promote culture for our socio and economic development. I am now easily identified at African Union meetings. Some leaders are easily identified, take countries like Ghana where they developed their dress long back in cultural history. As a nation too , you are easily identified as well ‘’ , he concluded .

First Lady Auxilliah Chimusoro was flanked and supported by her husband whom he invited to the national dress launch where she highlighted the need for nation to value the work women do as professional designers who develop and promote fashion and fabrics for national growth to sustain the economy.

‘’This is just at provincial level as a first launch but the nation has known. Let us value the work done by women  and  all designers at large who have a job to  promote and support  depiction of culture through display of materials  produced by  designers with the nation at heart .’’

The national dress is endowed with eccentric features of the national flag that includes at most the Zimbabwe bird, chiffons and elements from the flag. Depiction of national identity, geographical area and history is part and parcel that carries the dress that has its originality in supreme quality, this was observed.

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US Gives $95 M Humanitarian Aid to South Sudan
April 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Juba – The United States (US)  has contributed $95 million to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to support the vulnerable people of South Sudan in the face of six year -conflict and floods.

The contribution will be used to assist 7.24 million people likely to face acute hunger this summer.

On Thursday, Ambassador Larry André Jr. told reporters in the capital Juba that the funding will provide critical protection, economic opportunity, shelter, healthcare, emergency food assistance, safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene services to some of the nearly 4 million South Sudanese refugees and internally displaced people in South Sudan.

It also supports refugees and host communities in Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“We are deeply concerned by the increase in the scale, intensity, and geographic spread of local conflicts. “South Sudan is at a critical point for humanitarian assistance.  The humanitarian needs arising from severe acute food insecurity at likely famine levels have been compounded by political and intercommunal violence, and successive years of flooding,” said Andrè.

South Sudan is facing the highest levels of food insecurity and malnutrition since its independence in 2011. 

The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification assessment this year warned that 7.24 million people will face severe acute hunger at the height of the lean season in May to July, while 1.4 million children will be acutely malnourished.

Meanwhile, Mathew Hollingworth, the Country director of WFP in South Sudan, said the WFP welcomed contributions totaling $345 million from the United States through USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance to support WFP food assistance in South Sudan, where rising food insecurity has pushed 60% of the population into hunger and poverty.

“This funding from our biggest donor, USAID, comes at a very critical time when funding is scarce and needs are enormous,” said Hollingworth. “WFP relies on predictable funding, which enables us to plan ahead to prevent the kind of alarming conditions that precede famine by covering the pressing needs of the most food-insecure communities. These funds will also help WFP to pre-position food stocks for the lean season when humanitarian access is more challenging,” he added. 

South Sudanese warring parties signed a peace deal in three years ago but the peace process remains fragile to ends a conflict.

“The peace agreement and humanitarian challenges are closely related….there are key areas of the peace agreement that are yet to be implemented.  If South Sudan’s foreign friends see that the political will is there to move the peace process forward then there may be an opportunity for assistance.”

The persistent insecurity, intercommunal conflict, and deliberate attacks against humanitarian aid workers and assets are exacerbating humanitarian needs and preventing life-saving food and nutrition assistance from reaching the most vulnerable.  

The US Ambassador called on the Government of South Sudan to do everything in its power to protect humanitarian workers, improve humanitarian access, and expedite delivery of urgently-needed food to vulnerable South Sudanese citizens.

The United States is the single largest donor to the South Sudan crisis response, providing nearly $5.6 billion in humanitarian aid to support vulnerable people in South Sudan and South Sudanese refugees in neighboring countries since December 2013.

Despite generous contributions from donors, funding shortages remain a reality in South Sudan, where humanitarian needs outpace the aid response. WFP was forced to cut food rations this April, affecting 700,000 refugees and internally displaced people who now receive 50 percent of a full ration, down from 70 percent.

The impact of COVID-19 and unprecedented floods on the lives of the vulnerable locals, and increased conflicts over the last five years have taken a heavy toll on the East Africa’s youngest nation, founded 10 years ago after two decades of civil war.

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Genocide suspect Beatrice Munyenyezi deported from US
April 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

Munyenyezi was handed over to RIB upon arrival at Kigali International Airport

The United States yesterday deported Beatrice Munyenyezi who was wanted by Rwanda for Genocide related crimes.

Munyenyezi is suspected to have committed the alleged genocide crimes in the former Butare Prefecture, now Huye District in Southern Province.

He settled in US’s New Hampshire in 1998 with her daughters after telling the US that she was facing persecution in Rwanda.

According to Rwanda Investigations Bureau, Munyenyezi faces seven crimes namely murder as a genocide crime, conspiracy to commit genocide, planning of the genocide, complicity in genocide, incitement to commit genocide, extermination, and complicity in rape.

Over one million innocent lives were lost during the 100 days of 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. 

According to accounts, Munyenyezi could stand on roadblocks and check identifications to identify Tutsi and ordered the Interahamwe Militia to kill them.

She is also accused of ordering Interahamwe militia to rape female Tutsi before killing them, according to officials.

 Dr. Thierry B. Murangira, the RIB spokesperson told the media on Friday that Munyenyezi will be formally interrogated and the file will be handed to prosecution.

 “Her deportation means a lot in terms of justice delivery to victims of the genocide against the Tutsi because our case files were already in place,” he said.

He noted that all the charges are supported by various acts wherein, on various occasions, she was seen on a roadblock, participating in checking of national IDs to identify Tutsis to be killed. 

 “Herself she got involved in the shooting, with a pistol, of a Catholic nun after handing her over to Interahamwe for rape,” Murangira said.

Munyenyezi was in the past sentenced to 10 years for fraudulently obtaining US citizenship and entering the United States and securing citizenship by lying about her role in the genocide against the Tutsi.

Munyenyezi also denied affiliation with any political party.

 On one occasion, according to RIB, Munyenyezi commanded Interahamwe to rape one nun whom she later killed using a pistol.

Munyenyezi is the wife of Arsene Ntahobali, who, together with his mother Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, were sentenced to life in prison by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda for their role in the Genocide against the Tutsi.

RIB said the suspect will be detained at Remera RIB station as investigations continue, before sending her case to prosecution.

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Regional procurement bodies urged to embrace digitalization
April 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

Richard Tusabe speaking to participants in the meeting

The East African Procurement Forum (EAPF) that was held in Kigali ended with a call for institutions in charge of Public Procurement to embrace digitalization ways in tendering to ensure fast and transparent services.

The two-day event ended on Friday, April 16, and brought together over 300 participants including heads of Public procurement Institutions, members of the private sector and civil society organizations from Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, South Sudan, Rwanda, and Tanzania.

It was held under the theme “Strengthening integrity and accountability in public procurement for an effective emergency response.”

Speaking during the closure of the meeting, the Minister of State in charge of the National Treasury Richard Tusabe urged delegates to embrace digitalization, harmonize regulations and continue working together and tirelessly to address current and future challenges of the Public Procurement industry.

“COVID-19 pandemic and associated preventive measures affected tendering processes. There is a need to place rights mechanisms that will help confront future calamities by including in our legal frameworks, provisions flexible enough to cater for emergencies,” he said.

Officials also said that public procurement plays a central role in good governance when it is characterized by transparency, integrity, and fairness among other virtues.

They said that all Public expenditures are done through public procurement, literally, the international budget excluding salaries and a few other budget lines.

Such larger amounts of public spending create the temptation to corruption, the reason why there is need proper legal and regulatory frameworks for public procurement and their proper enforcement, according to the officials.

Rwanda has in 2017 adopted the Umucyo {Transparent} –e-procurement System portal through which bidders submit their proposals and quotations, reducing physical interaction between them and procurement officials.

Since then, according to statistics by the Rwanda Public Procurement Authority (RPPA), 19,850 tenders were published, about 85,000 bids processed, and 16,976 contracts were awarded to competent bidders through the portal.

A total of 210 procuring entities used the system.

Richard Tusabe speaking during the closure of a two day forum of members of regional procurement bodies.

Harmonized way of responding to problems

According to Joyeuse Uwingeneye, Director General of RPPA in Rwanda, the meeting served as an opportunity to discuss how to harmonize those initiatives and learn from each other.

 “As EAC, our legal frameworks have to be interconnected,” she told the press.

“The outcomes will shape the way our legal and regulatory framework are improved to cater for emergency procurement under similar circumstances such as Covid-19 and other force majeure,” she added.

The East African Procurement Forum is hosted by EAC member countries on a rotational basis every year. In 2019, it was hosted by Tanzania and due to COVID-19, it could not take place last year.

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Do What You Love Doing – ABH’s Chebet and Christelle Say in “Hero to Hero” Chat
April 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

These two African Heroes run companies that are close to their hearts and what they enjoy doing. Chebet Lesan and Christelle Kwizera, two incredible female entrepreneurs were brought together by the Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) prize competition in an inspiring video-interview series “Hero to Hero” to share their stories and insights.

Chebet Lesan won the 1st prize of the ABH competition in 2020. Her Kenya-based company BrightGreen Renewable Energy is revolutionizing the way people cook across the continent by offering affordable, live-saving fuel solutions.

Christelle Kwizera ranked third in the 2019 edition of the ABH. She had previously won the CISCO Youth Leadership Award at the 2020 Global Citizen Awards, among others. Her business Water Access Rwanda is eradicating water scarcity by providing affordable and reliable safe water solutions. 

Growing up, Chebet witnessed the difficulties of the traditional way of cooking on the continent, which involves the use of firewood and being in smoke-filled rooms for most of the time. Though times have changed, many African homes and mostly in villages still practice this rudimentary way of cooking.

Chebet says this method made use of an “inefficient source of energy.” “For me, I thought this is something that cannot continue when I have a skill set that can do something about it. For me it is all about looking at my society and thinking how we change the story; how do we change the things that are not working for us and how can we be those champions to bring change while telling the stories to the world.”

For me it is all about looking at my society and thinking how we change the story; how do we change the things that are not working for us and how can we be those champions to bring change while telling the stories to the world, says ABH 2020 winner Chebet Lesan

Christelle Kwizera had a tough childhood after being diagnosed with a rare illness called pemphigus in 2011, when she turned 18. It took a long time for her to be diagnosed and she felt she was “going to die”.

“That inspired me and I think if that did not happen I would not have gone on to found a company that is committed to alleviating the pain of African women. It is something that has guided my life,” she said.

With many Africans looking to start businesses despite the challenges that lie ahead, Christelle says it is “already a good situation that you are in. If you start a business for something that you care about you will have an unending source of energy and as an entrepreneur, you need that.”

 “Entrepreneurs should watch out for the pitfalls; being so passionate about the business sometimes it is hard to let go. Businesses sometimes feel like our babies and as you grow you have to let the baby go a bit,” Christelle added when asked about advice to young Africans who want to start a business that is driven by their passion.

“The other thing is that you tend to move fast. In my case, the water crisis is a huge challenge that I want to end it but that will not happen overnight, it is something that will take time. Nobody should still be without water.”

As an entrepreneur, make sure the vision is clear because as a visionary you assume that the people around you can see your vision and they might not. You also need to give them space and room to work, Chebet says as she responded to the question on how one leads others so they can become heroes too.

“The third is that you need to allow them to make mistakes – sometimes as entrepreneurs, you can be rigid with your business since it is your baby and angry when people make mistakes but it is something we need to learn and rise to also be leaders in whatever they are doing.”

Africa is endowed with a lot of resources ranging from minerals, plantations, wood, gold and others but the continent is often seen as one that is “backwards” and always in need of aid. In a continent where many tend to look at the many challenges rather than the opportunities, these two African Heroes and many more of their peers are changing that mindset one successful business venture at a time.

If you start a business for something that you care about you will have an unending source of energy and as an entrepreneur, you need that , says Christelle Kwizera

Looking for inspiring African entrepreneurs who are providing solutions to the most pressing problems and uplifting their communities, the third edition of Africa’s Business Heroes 2021 prize competition has opened applications until 7th June.

Entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries, across every sector, age group, and gender are now welcome to submit their applications, in either French or English, for a chance to become one of the Top 10 finalists and compete for a spot at the Grand Finale. Finalists will not only be rewarded with a share of a US$1.5 million grant, but will also get access to invaluable training and mentorship programmes as they progress through the selection stages.

The ABH is a flagship philanthropic program of the Jack Ma Foundation spotlighting and celebrating Africa’s entrepreneurs. The central theme of this year’s competition, “It’s African Time”, is a bold call to action to all aspiring and seasoned businesswomen and businessmen of the continent, who are already challenging stereotypes and using their skills and competencies to be change-makers.

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APRIL 14, FORTY YEARS AGO: THE EVENTFUL JOURNEY OF A HUMBLE CHAIN BREAKER.
April 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

   By Chief Charles A. Taku

Erudite Lawyer Charles Taku is a leading crusader for justice across Africa today

On April 14, day, 40 years ago, the chain of systemic prejudice and cultural genocide broke loose and I was authorized to do pupillage to practice law in the Chambers of  the legendary lawyer and politician Hon B.T.B Foretia in Victoria. I was the first in several regards.  The most important  was being  a chain breaker, a role I have played with determination, faith, humility and fortitude. I am grateful to God for the journey I have travelled so far.  Today, in this occasion, I faithfully recommit my determination to serve God, the Merciful, the Liberator, the Truth, the Life, the Light  and  the Saviour with all the strength in me.

This event in my life came with a mission and a commission to  defend, protect, free  and give  strength to the weak, the poor and the oppressed. I have been faithful to the mission and the commission. This  is a mission and a commission of honour.  These are the very essence of life which is  humanity at its best and closer to God.  God, we know, breathed the spirit of life so that we may live and serve him in humility and in faith. Yes, in humility and faith; for these are the true attributes of greatness.

 Each time, that  I reflect on these attributes, I remember the emphatic gestures with which my secondary teacher explained to us, the parable of the rich fool.   Despite the reality of this parable,  the butchery of the innocent lives of the weak, the poor and the oppressed; the thievery by the rich from the poor, primitive accumulation of wealth and the genocide of innocent people to satisfy the power ambition of a few, continue unabated.  I dedicated these 40 years leading the fight to protect the majority poor, the weak and oppressed victims from these  criminal kingpins; leaving the ultimate victory to God.

I have dedicated more than two decades of this eventful career in  international practice in many  international courts and tribunals  which were established by the international community to fight impunity. During this time, I visited battlefields in different countries and witnessed unimaginable human suffering.  I went in  as a lawyer but was blessed with the human value of sharing the pain and suffering of persons at risk and in dire need. This provided me an opportunity to share the values of love and sharing which were implanted in me by my  mother by contributing to give back to the suffering people,  the  true essence of humanity which they  deserve. I have found the joy in recognizing in these children, women and men, dead or alive  through my humanitarian engagements and the several trials in which I have participated, the face of humanity to which we are all connected.

This occasion falls in the month of April, which is the mythical month of the Saints in my family, from Fontem Asonganyi and his first son Asabanchi Fontem, Fontem Defang, Mama Helen Atabong Asaba Fontem, Fontem Njifua and several others too many to name. This  occasion 40 years ago, was not an innocent co-incidence. It occurred because it is the month when these Saints pay greater attention and are united in prayers and supplication to the living God for me, the family they left behind and all persons world-wide who are engaged in the worthy mission and commission in which I am engaged.  I am grateful to  them and their fighting spirits which live on through their blood which is flowing in my living veins. The history books and the museums in imperial Germany kept  records of the bravery of Fontem Asonganyi which have prolonged the battle for freedom and justice long enough for me to come on board to lead a world-wide crusade for the restitution of all the works of art which were looted during the German incursion more than a century ago.  These arts are  today in museums in Germany, USA, France and the Netherlands.  The blessing of these 40 years, helped me to focus my attention on the search for these arts and their lost cultural significance in our lives and in our time.

The 40 years provided me an opportunity to train and mentor young colleagues from all legal cultures, races from all the continents who are today, leading lawyers in their respective countries and in international practice. We remain professional connected. This closeness is what the beauty of this profession is about.  I am fascinated by the sense of enquiry, curiosity and mental alertness of my interns. I call them the offspring of modern technology because of the remarkable contributions they have brought to workplace during these changing times.  Many of them  are today, successful academics and lawyers in many parts of the world. 

During this period, my peers, elected me as member of the Cameroon Bar Council for many years; President of the International Criminal Court Bar Association and a member for life of  the governing council of the African Bar Association.  I am grateful to my colleagues in different courts and tribunals for giving me an opportunity to serve and to contribute to the enthronement of the culture and the cause of the rule of law.  I am particularly grateful to the distinguished lawyers of Taku Chambers for their professionalism and the outstanding successes they continue to record in courtrooms  and professional environments around the world.  The most distinguished Hon B.T.B Foretia was an astounding lawyer and a fearless crusader for justice. He put me on my feet during my first appearance with him in Court. From thence, I have not relented these forty years.

Two decades of Chief Taku’s eventful career have been in international practice in many international courts and tribunals

I am grateful to the women and men  with whom I have been engaged in all the aspects of the administration of justice and the struggle for a just, free and peaceful  world. Although we play different roles we are united in a common objective, in which  justice is the sole winner.I am grateful to my family and the entire Taku and Fontem families.  Mbe Taku was a hero and a warrior while his wife Mama Helen Atabong Asaba Fontem was a distinguished community leader, education advocate, politician, development agent, philanthropist and an extraordinary crusader for justice.  My wife Antonia, my children Kelvin, Barbara, Ngwing and Atabong are my best friends of all times.  Above all, there is a time in one’s life when a sister is everything in one’s life. My sister Bibiana Taku was a class and bench mate, a friend and a manifestation of the endless love of God to me and humanity. Miss Anne Bustarret 

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Mozambique: 200,000 jobs lost due to terrorists attacks in Cabo Delgado
April 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

Mozambique has lost a total of $209m and 198,000 jobs since the beginning of the terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado province over three years ago, according to the head of business association CTA.

Agostinho Vuma said that $100m was lost in agrarian production, $95m in capital goods and $14m in cash flow of various supply chains.

The losses do not include the impact of the recent attack on the town of Palma and the suspension of work on the nearby gas project, which has already led South African construction firm Wilson Bayly Holmes Ovcon to dismiss workers building a work camp at the project site.

Vuma also estimated that 1,110 companies had been forced to close due to terrorism, partly due to being located in places attacked by terrorists but mostly due to disruption of supply chains.

According to Gulamo Aboobakar, the head of the Cabo Delgado business council, about $300m of investments in the province have been written off.

Many companies have dismissed thousands of staff in Cabo Delgado after French multinational Total announced it was suspending activities on its natural gas project. President Filipe Nyusi has said that the attacks are a threat to the development of the country.

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Cameroon:Iya Foundation- Kidney Resource Centre Donates Food Items to Kidney Patients
April 16, 2021 | 1 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Iya Bekondo, CEO-Founder of the Iya Foundation

In continuation of its quarterly program, the Kidney Resource Centre of the Iya Foundation has provided some food items on Wednesday, April 14 to close to seventy-eight (78) kidney patients.

The donation exercise is part of the Iya Foundation- Kidney Resource Centre’s Food Security Program and four times every year after every three months. The next distribution exercise has been programmed for July.

The kidney patients were urged to do their dialysis as it is very important and also to practice good dieting. This involves the eating of vegetables and fruits with emphasis also placed on the quality of food. That is why the Iya Foundation provided the patients with some food items that are necessary for them.  

Items provided to the patients includes: 5kg rice/person; 6cups beans/person; 4cubes savon/person; 4packs spaghetti/person; 1tray egg/person; 2kg garri/person and 5litres red oil/person.

“We are making sure that dialysis patients have access to food and good food. We know that for one to be wholesome with their health and wellness nutrition is important and this is part of our Food Security Program,” the Founder and CEO of the Iya Foundation, Iya Bekondo-Granatella told journalists.

“For dialysis patients, they are advised to take low salt and low potassium diet and also fluid restriction. You can only drink four eight-ounce cups of water a day if you are on dialysis. You cannot drink like the average person,” She added.

Kidney patients received food items as part of the Food security Program of the Iya Foundation-Kidney resource Centre

Iya Bekondo who is also a kidney patient has words of encouragement to the patients knowing the problems and difficulties some of them have to go to even to get dialysed.  “We are talking with the government to make dialysis free and for it to be consistent as there are always shortages in it,” Iya Bekondo said.

“We can do that by opening more dialysis clinics and others centres across the country. All these have to be taken into consideration by the government. The patients suffer a lot travelling from afar just to get dialysis, which is another big problem for them. Some do not even have houses where they can stay and do their dialysis.”

Iya Bekondo has begun facing some difficulties with her kidney which she has been living with for the past fifteen (15) years. But despite the issues that are coming up she says she has no sign of stopping as she continues in her effort to make it better for Kidney patients.

The Foundation has called on these patients to continue supporting the Foundation in their activities and to carry out consultation at their Centre with well-qualified staff and machines to do their various tests required.

Some of the beneficiaries applauded the efforts of the Foundation even though persons try to give them a bad name. “I want to say thank you and we are happy that Iya is still putting some force in helping patients of the Dialysis patients in Buea. All I can say is for her not to relent her effort taking into consideration the fact that she too is a patient,” George Tambe, President of the Dialysis Patients in Buea said.

“I am grateful for the efforts that the Foundation has been putting in assisting the patients. I, as a caregiver, will only promise to intensify my efforts in assisting my husband,” Ada Nayongo said.

Iya Bekondo, Founder of Iya Foundation hands a certificate to one Kidney patient

Genesis Fund

The fund was initiated by a guy called Genesis who died because he could not afford his treatment.  The Genesis fund is a patient-assistance fund, financial assistance fund that the Foundation gives to desperate patients in their time of need. It is ongoing and it is activated upon need.

Some four patients are presently benefiting from the fund and it could be added if there are available funds and also when patients approach the Foundation. “It goes both ways; when we have funds we can source patients that need it and also when a patient reaches out to us with their story we can help look for sponsors to help support their care,” Iya Bekondo said about the Genesis Fund.

Iya Bekondo’s story

Iya Bekondo-Granatella was diagnosed with kidney disease at the age of seven and subsequently lost her kidneys ten years later. Through the support and charitable effort of her family, friends, and her community, Iya was able to get a lifesaving renal transplant donated by her mother. Upon receipt of her transplant, Iya has made a commitment to helping low-income uninsured patients who suffer from end-stage renal disease, as well as educate, inform, and create awareness about chronic kidney disease.

About the Iya Foundation

The Iya Foundation, Inc. a New Jersey Non-Profit Organization; aims to save lives by educating and raising awareness on chronic kidney disease as well as raise funds that benefit low-income uninsured End-Stage Renal Disease Patients.

The Iya Foundation, Inc. believes every individual deserves a second lease on life. Through their programs, and with the help of Public and Private Funds, they intend to fight kidney disease through education and awareness; that will encourage early detection; hence subsequently delay or prevent complete renal failure.

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World’s Longest Crude oil pipeline: A Significant Investment for Uganda, Tanzania and Neighbours – AEC’s NJ Ayuk
April 16, 2021 | 1 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

NJ Ayuk, Chairman of the African Energy Chamber speaks to South African Broadcaster, SABC.

The planned East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), with a length of 1,440 kilometres (898 miles), will run from Western Uganda to Tanzania’s Indian Ocean seaport of Tanga. The oil pipeline worth $3.5 billion is expected to be completed within three years.

The two countries signed the deal following the first foreign trip for Tanzania’s President, Samia Suluhu Hassan. In March, Uganda suspended the signing of the deal following the death of then Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli.

The agreement between Tanzania and Uganda is expected to unlock billions of dollars into the economies of both countries. Uganda discovered crude reserves in the Albertine rift basin in the west of the country near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006.

“It is an investment not just for Tanzania or Uganda but for the Region. There have been discussions happening about this for a decade and this is a decade of negotiation finally closing,” NJ Ayuk, Chairman of the African Energy Chamber told South African Broadcaster SABC.

“It is beyond us just having a deal but looking at what this will mean for jobs, local opportunities that will build growth from bottom up. We just have to manage it well and ensure that the hopes and aspirations of Tanzanians, Ugandans and the whole of the East African community should not be held back by a fail promise of oil and this is critical for this.”

Looking at the benefits that will be brought about by this deal the Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber says local businesses and people have to start now. “If you do not have an opportunity you have to start looking for it now. Do not wait till the pipelines kick in; start looking at the possibilities of getting engaged (in terms of jobs). We should not sit at home and wait for that.”

“We need policies that back it. At the Camber we have engaged with both Presidents and the companies as well and got guarantees that say they are going to ensure that policies does back local content empowerment and also back inter-Africa trade so that Africans can inspire other Africans while working on this,” NJ Ayuk, CEO of Centurion Law Group, a pan-African legal and advisory conglomerate with its headquarters in South Africa and offices in Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Cameroon and Mauritius added.

Often with oil companies who have been engaged on the continent, the tendencies are for them to export raw materials while the continent has to import the finished products. The Chairman of the African Energy Chamber says this deal is going to be different as part of the component is building a refinery in the country and it will create a space to serve entire East Africa. Parts of the petroleum resources will be refined and distributed to Uganda, Tanzania and the entire East Africa region as most of them at the moment are importing refined products out of UAE and Saudi Arabia.

“No longer should we be thinking about sending everything to Europe, America and Asia but we should be looking at domestication because our markets that are growing and growing vastly need these resources for us to be able to industrialize and manufacture and create jobs at home,” NJ Ayuk said.

The pipeline has met resistance from environmentalists who argue it will threaten ecologically sensitive areas along its route, including wildlife reserves and water catchment areas for Lake Victoria. To some NGOs, the project is a threat to local communities, water supplies, and biodiversity in Uganda, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya.

And to NJ Ayuk we have to pay so much to the environment and be good stewards so we leave it much better than it was met. “Various measures have been put in place to cater for the environment by both countries. The communities need to be involved because if you do not you will face problems like in Nigeria (the Niger Delta region with vandalism, the pipeline explosion and others).”

NJ Ayuk, is the CEO of Centurion Law Group, a pan-African legal and advisory conglomerate with its headquarters in South Africa and offices in Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Cameroon and Mauritius

He added: “The environment is a sensitive thing; the environment Commissions of both countries have set up monitoring and evaluations that will go throughout the process. We must encourage them to keep those checks and balances but also invite CSOs as part of the process. You cannot ignore them because they might have ideas that could be helpful and ensure we are not building something that ends up destroying the environment. After all, at the end, it becomes a loss to everyone.”

Extraction will begin this 2021 and will take place at two oil fields: the Kingfisher field, which is operated by China National Offshore Oil Corporation Ltd (CNOOC), and the Tilenga field, operated by Total S.A.

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Cameroon: U.S. President Joe Biden Nominates Christopher Lamora as Ambassador
April 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Christopher John Lamora, Joe Biden’s pick as Ambassador to Cameroon

U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday announced that Christopher John Lamora will be the new Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon. The information follows a release from the White House on the President’s decision to fill some vacant positions since he took over office.

“Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate nine career members of the Senior Foreign Service as ambassadors to represent the United States on the world stage,” the release said on Thursday.

Biden nominated Larry Edward Andre to be US ambassador to Somalia, Elizabeth Moore Aubin as ambassador to Algeria, Steven Bondy as Ambassador to Bahrain, Maria Brewer as Ambassador to Lesotho, Marc Evans Knapper as Ambassador to Vietnam and Christopher John Lamora as Ambassador to Cameroon, the White House said.

Christopher Lamora should he be confirmed by the US Senate will take over from Henry Peter Barlerin who was Ambassador to Cameroon from 2017 to 2020. The latter had his final meeting with Cameroon’s President and both personalities took time to review the excellent ties that exist between Cameroon and the USA.

Christopher Lamora is not a new face in the Cameroonian milieu having been part of the Diplomatic mission to the country. Lamora worked at the U.S. Consulate General in Douala, Cameroon and that knowledge acquired will be vital if he is to continue where his predecessor left off and create new partnerships and relationships between the two countries.   

The former Ambassador Peter Barlerin before leaving the country expressed his satisfaction with the current level of cooperation between Yaounde and Washington D.C. – especially in the health sector.

“I am proud of what we have achieved together particularly in the area of health: the fight against HIV/AIDS and malaria,” Henry Peter Barlerin said in the meeting with President Biya.

Cameroon and the U.S. have equally cooperated in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). The Ambassador advised that the impact of COVID-19 should in no way hamper efforts made against other diseases like HIV/AIDS.

“I was concerned although we are helping a lot with the fight against COVID-19, we cannot take away attention from the need to continue to fight against HIV/AIDS,” he cautioned.

President Biya and former US Ambassador to Cameroon Henry Peter Barlerin

Who is the nominated Ambassador to Cameroon, Christopher Lamora?

Christopher Lamora, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, is the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Accra, Ghana. He was previously the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central Africa and African Security Affairs in the Bureau of African Affairs at the State Department and he also served as Director of the Office of Central African Affairs, Deputy Director of the Bureau’s Office of Economic and Regional Affairs, and desk officer for the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

He served overseas at the U.S. embassies in Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Greece and the Central African Republic, and the U.S. Consulate General in Douala, Cameroon.

Lamora earned a B.S. at Georgetown University and speaks French, Spanish, and Modern Greek.

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Cameroon to receive 400,000 Doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine April 17
April 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Vaccination against COVID-19 at the moment is for healthcare practitioners and vulnerable groups

After reviewing the efficacy of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, Cameroon is set to receive some 400,000 doses of the said vaccine for the fight against the coronavirus.

According to the Permanent Secretary of the National Vaccination Program, Joshua Ndoula Shalom, the vaccines are expected in Cameroon on Saturday, April 17.

The arrival of this vaccine presents a boost to the country’s efforts in vaccinating its population against the virus. It will also come a week after the country received its first doses of China’s Sinopham vaccine. 200,000 doses of that vaccine were received by Cameroon’s Prime Minister Dr Dion Ngute and the vaccination exercise has already begun in the country.

Cameroon had earlier suspended the administration of the AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine it was scheduled to receive on March 20 as part of the global vaccines sharing scheme COVAX due to report from countries about blood clot and the suspension by some countries.

The review was submitted by Cameroon’s Minister of Public Health Dr Manaouda Malachie after a flurry of suspensions of the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

In a tweet on March 12, Dr Manaouda Malachie stated: “As the side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine continue to be debated, I would like to make it clear that I have submitted the matter to the Scientific Council and NITAG for advice. The expectation is that we will not use this vaccine while there are still doubts about its effects.”

Dr Shalom Ndoula, Permanent Secretary of Expanded Program on Immunization in the Ministry of Public Health had attested to the effectiveness of the vaccine. “The effectiveness of AstraZeneca has been shown by many studies. From clinical trials, AstraZeneca has shown the effectiveness of about 70%, and more than 89% in preventing severe forms of the virus and death.

At the moment, health personnel are the priority target for the start of the vaccination exercise with negotiations underway to obtain additional doses of the vaccine to achieve substantial vaccination coverage, Joshua Ndoula Shalom added.

AstraZeneca vaccine

Officials across the country have multiplied their efforts in carrying out sensitization about the need for people to be vaccinated when the time comes. This comes at a time when many in the country have been raising doubts about the motive behind the said vaccination campaign.

Despite these doubts which are “unfounded” according to health officials, the positive cases in the country have continued to rise. The country as of April 16 has a total of 61, 731 confirmed coronavirus cases in the country. This is 21, 109 additional cases taking from March 16 to April 16.

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Cameroon: Minister of Public Health Launches Vaccination Exercise in South West
April 16, 2021 | 1 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Cameroon’s Minister of Public Health, Dr Manaouda Malachie supervises vaccination campaign in South West Region of Cameroon

The Minister of Public Health Dr Manaouda Malachie has launched the vaccination exercise in the South West Region as officials grapple to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Prof Ndip, Deputy Vice-chancellor of the University of Buea is amongst the first persons to receive the Chinese Sinopham COVID-19 vaccine at the Buea Regional Hospital as the Minister of Health alongside other officials also went down to Limbe for the same exercise.

Minister Manaouda Malachie’s visit to the South West Region follows a similar exercise undertaken in the nation’s political capital Yaounde. Some 200,000 doses of the Sinopham vaccine were donated by the Chinese government to the country in their effort to help Cameroon. It is expected that more is to follow from the Chinese government.

The priority targets according to government officials are healthcare personnel, vulnerable groups or those with pre-existing health conditions, taxi drivers, and the general public.

This visit by the health boss is also coming at a time when the country is making strides in acquiring vaccines for its populace. Some 400,000 doses of the British Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is expected in the country.

Prof Ndi, Deputy Vice Chancellor in the University of Buea takes a jab of the Chinese Sinopham Vaccine

According to the Permanent Secretary of the National Vaccination Program, Joshua Ndoula Shalom, the vaccines are expected in Cameroon on Saturday, April 17.

“At the moment, health personnel are the priority target for the start of the vaccination exercise with negotiations underway to obtain additional doses of the vaccine to achieve substantial vaccination coverage, Joshua Ndoula Shalom added.

It should be recalled that Cameroon had earlier suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after countries had earlier stopped using it due to fears of a blood clot. Both countries have begun using the vaccine officials in Cameroon too have done a U-turn and indicated that they will use the vaccine.

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