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Construction of ACDG’s First Lodge in Gabon Under Way
January 19, 2021 | 0 Comments
The beautiful Petit Loango Bay was selected as the site of ACDG’s first safari-lodge.Photo ACDG

Libreville, 12th January 2021. Despite uncertainties around global tourism recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, construction work has commenced on ACDG’s first lodge situated on the coast within Loango National Park. The lodge is being developed by The African Conservation Development Group (ACDG) under concession from the National Parks Agency of Gabon (ANPN).

In November 2020, the leadership team of ACDG (formerly known as SFM Africa) took advantage of the gradual opening of African air traffic to travel to Gabon. This mission enabled ACDG to recommit to its development programmes in southern Gabon with the support of Government and institutional stakeholders.

Gabonese workers constructing staff housing at the new Petit Loango Lodge.Photo ACDG

With the appointment of an experienced on-site management team and the local recruitment of qualified workers, the decision was taken to accelerate the construction of the lodge at Petit Loango, located at the heart of Loango National Park. More than two hundred tons of timber, plywood, equipment, and supplies needed for construction of the back-of-house infrastructure was brought onto site in December.

The 24-bed luxury lodge aims to set a benchmark for nature-based tourism in Equatorial Africa. The lodge has been designed by award-winning architects Sylvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, who have crafted some of Africa’s most exclusive safari lodges. All timber and plywood being used for construction has been sourced from Gabonese sustainable forestry concessions.

Alan Bernstein, the chairman and founder of ACDG, said tourism was an extremely important strategic imperative for Gabon. “Our team, which has more than 30 years’ experience in developing high-end eco-tourism in Africa, is committed to contributing to Gabon’s diversification strategy. The first ACDG safari-lodge will be a flagship in Africa and will help position Gabon as a world-class destination for sustainable tourism.”

Forest elephant on the beach in Loango National Park, one of Gabon’s flagship national parks. Photo ACDG

“In the current economic environment, which remains very difficult for the tourism sector, our decision to accelerate construction work on the lodge is proof of our confidence in Gabon’s nature-based tourism potential” added Bernstein.

ACDG plans to establish a network of lodges in Gabon’s national parks, starting in Loango National Park, one of the most beautiful and biodiversity-rich protected areas in Africa.

*African Conservation Development Group

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It’s Time to Rethink Licensing Rounds: For Africa’s Oil- and Gas-Producing Countries, Negotiating the Current Environment May Require…Negotiation
January 19, 2021 | 0 Comments

By NJ Ayuk*

While the details vary by country, the licensing round process has, in general, become too prone to delays and uncertainty.

In late 2019, as the African oil and gas industry was looking to the future with optimism, Offshore Engineer wrote that the continent was had reason to expect a “more productive 2020.” Instead, the unforeseen happened, and the COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on the oil and gas industry in Africa and around the world.

But even at the end of last year, during a fairly strong period for oil and gas, the publication mentioned that “delays and hiccups” were impacting licensing rounds — that is, the processes by which investors can seek oil and gas exploration licenses from the government – and argued that improvements would have to be made going forward.

This is correct. Licensing process improvements were already needed in late 2019, and now that the oil and gas industry is in the survival mode, it’s more urgent than ever to streamline licensing.

While the details vary by country, the licensing round process has, in general, become too prone to delays and uncertainty. All too often, exploration and production (E&P) companies have to wait one or two years before the exploration projects they propose are sanctioned. These practices, which help protect the interests of oil-producing nations, made sense when crude sold for $100 a barrel. But they don’t make sense now.

After all, conditions are still uncertain. True, crude pricing forecasts for 2021 are cautiously optimistic at the moment, and Goldman Sachs has said Brent oil prices could reach $65 per barrel by this summer, up from the $50-range we’re seeing now. But the outlook for Africa’s petroleum market remains shaky at best.

And it’s not just Africa: The global oil and gas industry continues to feel the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which dramatically lowered demand for petroleum products. As a result, oil and gas companies have made dramatic cuts to their capital spending programs, resulting in the postponement and cancellation of numerous exploration and production (E&P) projects around the world.

Under these circumstances, it’s up to African oil and gas producers to do everything possible to encourage as much E&P activity as possible, particularly by international oil companies (IOCs). In the long term, of course, African producer states do need to lessen their reliance on oil and gas revenue. But for now, a number of them rely on it for much of their budgets. And as long as they do, they ought to ask for more. They should lobby for knowledge transfers, training, gas monetization programs, and other significant opportunities so that their strategically managed oil and gas operations can create pathways for economic growth and diversification.

I’ve made a case for the importance of strategic fiscal policies, from revised production sharing contract (PSC) requirements to reduced tax and royalty requirements. Some of my friends in government have strongly criticized me for this and called me a sellout and a whiteboy. I disagree with them and I still love them, but resource nationalism is not the way to go and it is actually dangerous. I truly believe that these changes are necessary to give IOCs an incentive to explore in Africa during the current downturn. But we can’t stop there. We need to consider other pain points that discourage foreign operations in Africa and find ways to eliminate those challenges as well.

The licensing round process is one of those challenges. So why not remove this hurdle? Not all countries use licensing rounds; some use direct negotiation to approve exploration and production rights. I believe it’s time for more African oil and gas-producing states to choose this route. Negotiating with trusted explorers would help them avoid unnecessary delays and bureaucratic red tape. Making these changes would still allow them to emphasize their own priorities – and it might also make IOCs more likely to keep exploring within their borders.

Licensing Rounds Sound Good In Theory

Generally, during licensing rounds, companies submit bids or grants to issuing governments in hopes of being awarded an exploration license – that is, the right to search for commercially feasible petroleum deposits. In the case of bids, the highest ones get a license. Grant approvals, by contrast, are based on prospective explorers’ experience and capabilities. Licenses are awarded for set periods of time, and if commercially viable amounts of oil or gas are discovered, the explorers can negotiate contracts with the government for the right to extract what they find.

The licensing round process does have benefits. For participating countries, it helps make sure interested companies have the necessary financial resources and technical capacity to explore successfully. It ensures that projects are completed in a timely manner. It also helps E&P companies, since the process lays out their rights.

But again, even with their strengths, licensing rounds can create unacceptable hardships for oil companies: Countries tend to take a long time to make their licensing decisions. And when capex budgets have been slashed, waiting one (or even two) years to learn if an exploration project has the green light just won’t cut it. In today’s economic environment, it just isn’t realistic to insist on putting much-needed resources aside on the chance that they’ll be needed in a year or two.

And if we’re going to be honest with ourselves, we have to admit that we’re seeing more and more examples of licensing rounds gone wrong, from extended delays in getting the bidding process started to instances of little to no company participation.

Licensing Rounds Yielding Disappointing Results

Consider Algeria, where oil and gas production rates were already declining in 2019, before the pandemic, largely because of repeated project delays caused by, among other challenges, slow government approval. During four licensing rounds, Algeria saw minimal interest from investors.

Nigeria, too, is known for the less than speedy pace at which it sanctions exploration projects. Even before COVID-19, its slow movement on this front contributed to a decline in oil production over a 10-year period.

And in 2019, as I mentioned, there were licensing round mishaps in multiple countries. “Some rounds, for example, Ghana’s First Licensing Round, have seen limited successes, while others have suffered delays or suspension,” GlobalData Upstream Oil & Gas Analyst Toya Latham told Offshore Magazine. “Gabon’s 12th Licensing Round and Somalia’s First Offshore Licensing Round have been extended in 2020 (in part due to delays in enacting pivotal legislation), whilst Madagascar’s long overdue licensing round has been suspended.”

And we saw licensing rounds go wrong before that. In early 2018, for example, only one company responded to Cameroon’s licensing round, in which eight blocks had been available. Think about it, just one and the bureaucrats still think all is right. These issues haven’t been limited to Africa, by the way. In 2017, only one bidder responded to an opportunity to explore five offshore blocks in Lebanon. Brazil had a couple of licensing rounds fizzle in late 2019: the Transfer of Rights Surplus Round, which only brought in two bids, and the Sixth Production-Sharing Bid Round, which only attracted one bid.

We Must Consider Investors’ Perspectives

Fast forward to the oil and gas industry of 2021. In today’s reality, delayed licensing round starts and long waits for decisions are more likely than ever to dim companies’ interest. These challenges aren’t trivial, since operating in Africa already represents significant risks and expenses for IOCs. Companies must, for example, factor in the possibilities of security concerns and lapses in infrastructure along with the risks that come with every exploration project, including the failure to find commercially viable petroleum stores. Then there are the additional expenses of operating overseas, complying with local content policies, supply costs, and a myriad of taxes and fees, among others.

I’ll be the first to trumpet the opportunities for IOCs in Africa, from our vast stores of oil and gas to large swaths of unexplored territory. But we have to be realistic about how businesses work. Companies need to be able to make a reasonable profit in order to justify their outlays. And when the oil and gas industry is in the midst of a downturn, as it is now, excessive risks and expenses are the last things IOCs can consider. So we have to work with IOCs and do what we can to help them profit in order to convince them to choose African sites over other options.

Direct Negotiations Could Be a Win-Win

That’s why I think a transition from licensing rounds to direct negotiations makes sense for African countries. For one thing, negotiation periods would not be tied to rigid opening and closing schedules as licensing rounds are, minimizing the risk of unreasonably long waits for a decision. Even better, direct negotiations would allow E&P companies to work with countries to discuss, and possibly adjust, the major terms of their production contracts.

With that kind of flexibility, companies with concerns about a country — whether they have questions about tax laws or local content requirements — might be willing to pursue exploration opportunities that they would have turned down, had they been required to participate in the bidding process.

We Can Make This Work

True, even with a different licensing scheme, African countries will have other unique risk factors to address – factors that could make IOCs hesitant to invest in Africa. High on that list are concerns about corruption. That’s why the African Energy Chamber pushes so strongly for meaningful transparency measures.

And again, we can’t overemphasize the importance of creating fiscal regimes more favorable to IOCs. Those measures should include, along with fairer tax and royalty requirements, the creation of natural gas-specific production-sharing contracts, rather than relying on crude oil PSCs as a one-size-fits-all template. A lot of countries have a difficult time working with companies to get to FID on natural gas discoveries. Not only will gas PSCs help make it easier for companies to conduct profitable gas projects, they also could help prevent problems and lengthy negotiations when explorers find gas, rather than crude.

IOCs are, and can continue to be, invaluable allies to African nations. Their E&P activities contribute revenue that many oil and gas-producing countries rely on now, but we also can work with them to foster economic growth and diversification for tomorrow. African countries need IOCs to create job and business opportunities today, but we also can work with them to achieve capacity building and technological know-how that will pave the way for a better future. It only makes sense to do everything possible to give explorers the certainty, predictability, and incentives they need to be competitive in Africa.

*NJ Ayuk is Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, CEO of Centurion Law Group, and the author of several books about the oil and gas industry in Africa, including Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals.

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Cyclone Eloise to hit Mozambique this week, one month after Cyclone Chalane
January 19, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

The low pressure system forming in the Indian Ocean has now become Tropical Storm Eloise – and is forecast to hit the Mozambican coast on 23-24 January.

According to Mozambique’s meteorological institute, it will affect the provinces of Zambezia, Sofala, and Inhambane.

At 8:00 monday, the storm was 730km from the coast of Madagascar, and was expected to hit Madagascar on Wednesday, 20 January, before entering the Mozambique Channel on Thursday, 21 January – potentially affecting maritime traffic.

This comes barely a month after another cyclone, Chalane had hit Mozambique and Zimbabwe although the effects were not grave compared to Cyclone Idai that swept the Southern parts of Africa in 2019.

In Manicaland, Cyclone Chalane reportedly left a trail of destruction after several electricity poles reportedly fell down because of the strong winds.

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Africa Free Trade Agreement: President Adesina receives award for strong leadership and support
January 19, 2021 | 0 Comments

African Development Bank President Akinwumi A. Adesina and 10 African Heads of State and Government were on Friday honoured  for their leadership in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) process.

The AfCFTA, the largest free trade area in the world, began trading on 1 January 2021 and is expected to speed up the recovery of the continent and enhance its resilience by increasing the level of intra-African trade in goods and services.

The award was organised by AeTrade Group in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the African Business Council, the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and the East African Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture.

“As Africans, we are proud of the extraordinary effort made by our leaders towards the success of the AfCFTA,” said former Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Boshe at an event held at the Addis Ababa headquarters of the African Union and joined virtually  by many participants.

Boshe, a patron of the AeTrade Group, thanked the awardees for their strong leadership in the process that led to the AfCFTA coming into force.

Ambassador Albert Muchanga, African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry, noted that the AfCFTA had generated strong support in Africa and the Diaspora, “and we are proud to acknowledge our champions who have been at the forefront of this process.”

He took the opportunity to thank the heads of state and governments whose countries have ratified the Free Trade Agreement and invited others to follow suit.

“We are also celebrating the key milestones achieved from when we laid the foundation for the initiative to the official start of trading on January 1. I would like to call on governments and the private sector to take advantage of the opportunities created by the continental initiative to make Africa more prosperous,” added Muchanga.

The Chairman of the AeTrade Group, Mulualem Syoum, thanked the African Development Bank, under the leadership of Dr. Adesina, for its outstanding technical guidance and financial support to the process.

“Moving forward, we want the private sector to speak with one voice.  The AfCFTA has shown the way. To ensure effective implementation, it is time for the private sector to play its role. The Africa that we want can only be achieved through working together,” Syoum said. “We are confident that there is no need for Africa to depend on aid. We can spur domestic mobilization of resources and synergies.”

Dr. Amany Asfour, Interim Chair of the African Business Council, emphasized the role of the private sector in implementing the AfCFTA. “We in the private sector are committed to the implementation of this initiative. We will support Africa to actualise the free trade area.”

Hajiya Saratu Aliyu, President of the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and Charles Kahuthu, CEO of the East African Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, echoed Asfour’s sentiments.

“Jobs have to be restored and livelihoods and economies revived,” Kahuthu said. “We also need to come together to promote products made in Africa to effectively implement the AfCFTA.”

The awardees included Felix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo and incoming Chairperson of the African Union; Egyptian President Ahmed Fattah Al-Sisi; His Majesty King Mswati III, Ngwenyama of Eswatini; Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia; Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana; Alpha Conde, President of Guinea; Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Niger; Muhamadu Buhari, President of Nigeria; Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, and Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa, Chairperson of the African Union.

Two former heads of state, Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, and Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, were also honoured.

AeTrade Group is a multi-stakeholder group of African Diaspora professionals and businesspeople, with affiliation to the African Union Commission.

*Source AfDB

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How Optimized Energy Management Delivers Reliability, Efficiency and Sustainability at the Fekola Gold Mine
January 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Luke Witmer*

Since B2Gold first acquired the Fekola gold mine, located in a remote corner of southwest Mali, exploration studies revealed the deposits to be almost double the initial estimates. A recent site expansion has just been completed, and while the existing power units provide enough power to support the increase in production, the company sought to reduce its energy costs, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and increase power reliability. The addition of a 35MWp solar photovoltaic (PV) plant and 17MW/15MWh of energy storage to the existing 64MW thermal engine plant was decided. This new energy mix is anticipated to save over 13 million litres of fuel, reduce carbon emissions by thirty-nine thousand tons per year, and generate a payback in just over four years.

Such an elaborate hybrid configuration needs a powerful brain to deliver on all its potential: Wärtsilä’s GEMS, an advanced energy management system, has been set up to control the energy across the fleet of power sources, thermal, renewable, and battery storage. The integration, control, and optimization capabilities provided by GEMS allow the thermal units to be run at the most efficient rate and enable the battery storage to handle the large load step changes and volatility of the solar PV generation assets.

Integrated Hybrid Energy Solution  

In the context of the Fekola mine, which is an off-grid electrical island, the battery is performing a lot of different services simultaneously, including frequency response, voltage support, shifting solar energy, and providing spinning reserves. The energy load is very flat, with a steady consumption rate around 40MW as the mining equipment is operating consistently, 24/7. However, if an engine trips offline and fails, the battery serves as an emergency backstop. The controls reserve enough battery energy capacity to fill the power gap for the time it takes to get another engine started, and the software inside each inverter enables the battery to respond instantaneously to any frequency deviation.

The reciprocating engines operate most efficiently at 85-90 percent of their capacity, this is their “sweet spot”. But if there is a sudden spike in demand, if a little more power is needed, or if mining equipment is coming online, then another engine needs to be run to meet the extra load. With the battery providing spinning reserves, the engines can be kept running at their sweet spot, reducing the overall cost per kilowatt hour. Moreover, with the solar plant providing power during the day, three to four engines can be shut down over this period, providing a quiet time to carry out preventive maintenance. This really helps the maintenance cycle, ensuring that the engines operate in a more efficient manner.

Solar PV volatility can be intense. On a bright day with puffy clouds passing by a solar farm of this size can easily see ramps of 25MW over a couple of minutes. This requires intelligent controls, dynamically checking the amount of solar that can be let into the grid without causing an issue for the engine loadings or without overloading the battery.  

Conducting the Orchestra

The GEMS intelligent software provides the optimization layer that controls all the power sources to ensure that they work together in harmony. The user interface (UI) gives access to all the data and presents it in a user-friendly way. Accessible remotely, all operations are simulated on a digital twin in the cloud to verify the system controls and simulate the most efficient operating scenarios to lower the cost of energy. This is an important software feature, both during and after commissioning as it allows operators to train on the platform ahead of time and familiarise themselves with the automated controls and dynamic curtailment of renewables. The UI provides the forecast for renewables and the battery charge status at any given moment, it can provide push email or phone notifications for alerts; telling operators when to turn off an engine and when to turn it back on.

The software is constantly analysing the data and running the math to solve the economic dispatch requirements and unit commitment constraints to ensure grid reliability and high engine efficiency. Load forecasting integrates the different trends and patterns that are detectable in historic data as well as satellite based solar forecasting to provide a holistic approach to dispatching power. The Fekola site has a sky imager, or cloud tracking camera with a fisheye lens, that provides solar forecasts for the next half hour in high temporal resolution.

To ensure that operators really understand the platform, and have visibility over the advanced controls, the UI provides probability distributions of the solar forecast. Tracking the forecast errors enables operators to see whether the solar is overproducing or underproducing what the forecast was expecting at the time and provides visibility to the operators on the key performance indicators. This feedback is an important part of the machine/human interface and provides operators with insight if an engine is required to be turned on at short notice.

Automated curtailment enables the optimization of the system providing a reactivity that people cannot match. By continually monitoring the engine loadings and battery, the system is ready to clamp down on solar if it gets too volatile or exceeds some spinning reserve requirement. For example, if a large, unexpected cloud arrives, the battery is dispatched to fill the gap while the engines ramp up. Once the cloud disappears however, the engines remain committed to operating for a few hours, and the solar power is transferred to recharge the battery.

Over time, as load patterns shift, the load forecasting algorithm will also be dynamically updating to match the changing realities of the load. As mining equipment hits layers of harder rock, increasing the power load, the system will adjust and dispatch the engines accordingly.

Hybrid solutions will become the new gold standard for off-grid heavy energy users

The Fekola mine project incorporates the largest off-grid hybrid power solution in the world, demonstrating the growing case for clean energy and its sustainable and economic potential for mines in Africa and beyond.

As the cost of batteries and solar panels continues to become more competitive, hybrid solutions are proving to be a realistic and effective means for increasing energy reliability and lowering operating costs in any context, thus freeing up resources to improve the human condition; whether through cheaper materials and gainful employment, or by providing broader access to reliable electricity for healthcare, education, and improved quality of life. 

*General Manager, Data Science, Wärtsilä Energy Storage and Optimization

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Kenya: Prominent Leaders Trade Barbs Over Land Grabbing
January 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Deputy President (DP) William Ruto and former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.Photo courtesy
Deputy President (DP) William Ruto and former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.Photo courtesy

Deputy President (DP) William Ruto and former vice president Kalonzo Musyoka have been involved in the heated verbal exchange over land grabbing allegations.

The dispute between the duo was elicited by Kalonzo’s claims that Ruto ignored other communities in his 50 per cent share of the top government positions. Instead, he awarded the posts to men and women from his community.

“Who doesn’t know that Uhuru got 50 per cent of the government and Ruto 50 per cent, to the exclusion of everybody else. At least, Uhuru took his 50 per cent as a national leader and gave out some slots to other communities,” said Kalonzo.

In rejoinder, the second in command hit back at the Wiper party leader, claiming the only legacy he left behind after serving as the vice president and in the various government dockets is the grabbing of 200 acres of National Youth Service (NYS) land in Yatta, Machakos county.

Address the press on Monday, January 18, 2021, Kalonzo denied claims that he grabbed the government land. He accused Ruto of disparaging his reputation and asked the investigative agencies to move in and conduct investigations distancing himself from the deputy president’s allegations.

“I have nothing to hide and I today challenge the authorities to open an investigation into this matter. I am today presenting myself for a thorough investigation by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation as well as the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. I want the matter settled once and for all. Indeed, this is the time to separate the truth from lies and malicious propaganda,” he said.

In retaliation, Kalonzo branded Ruto a chief land grabber listing several scandals which he claimed have been linked to the DP.

Some of the scandals listed include the Weston Hotel land saga, attempted land grabbing of Lang’ata Road primary school, more than 100 acres belonging to the late Adrian Muteshi, and land belonging to Joseph Murumbi, Kenya’s first vice president, among many others.

Kalonzo challenged Ruto to present himself for probe concerning numerous graft allegations, calling himself a person of high moral and ethical standards.

He further accused the former agriculture minister of inciting Kenyans and causing divisions ahead of 2022 polls.

“DP Ruto has been fomenting bitter division and a class war instead of preaching unity and cohesiveness. As a disrupter of law and order, he is easily comparable to outgoing US President Donald Trump. People like DP Ruto must not be given the chance to wreak havoc through manipulation. They must be stopped on their tracks,” he added.

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Insight Into The Lucrative Bride Price Business in Kenya
January 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Photo courtesy

Kenyans were left reeling in shock when the news about a 63-year-old man who turned down millions of shillings offered as a bride price for his daughter emerged. The report indicated Hussein Maro hailing from Tana River County, a coastal region of the East African state, only asked for Ksh7, leaving the groom’s entourage puzzled.

“My fellow elders, it is a great joy to have my daughter married to a good family. Therefore, as my daughter and I had already agreed, we shall take seven shillings,” he told the Nation media. The old man’s move elicited mixed reactions given the hefty amount, which Bride’s parents usually demand. While some made fun of Hussein, others praised him, calling him the “wisest man on earth.”

 “The Bride is not a commodity for sale. He is the wisest man on earth. Let bridegroom appreciates the in laws and respect and love their daughter for she is a precious jewel with no price tag,” said Rossie Omwamba.

“A peaceful marriage is better than money, this Mzee (old man) could be old but very wise. This is a powerful message to the families who use their daughters to solicit and milk cash from poor brides. Kudos to Mzee (old man)!” added James Odhiambo.

Bride price, also known as dowry or bridewealth, is a long-standing customary practice in the African culture. It is the gift given by the groom to the kindred of his prospective wife before marriage.  In Tanzania, it is called Mahari. The Shona community of Zimbabwe calls it Roora, and the Yoruba of Nigeria calls it Iyawo.  The practice was meant to bring two families together. It was treated like a gift, not a price; it serves as a token of appreciation to the lady’s parents for bringing her up and further proves that the man can take care of his wife.

Bride price among Kenyan communities

Forty-two (42) Kenyan tribes have not been an exception in dowry payment. Traditionally, it was a high-esteemed norm that was celebrated in all communities. Besides being a token of appreciation, it also adds value to a woman, legalizes customary marriage, and validates children born in the new union. Each community has a local name for dowry. Luo community calls it Ayie; in Agikuyu, it is known as Ruracio, Kambas call it Ngasya, and in Kalenjin, it is called Koito.

The dowry payment varies from one community to the other. For example, traditionally, a man seeking to marry a lady from the Abaluhya community was required to pay thirteen cattle heads. The Maasai, Kalenjin, Luo communities, etc., also accepted dowry in the form of cattle. Agikuyu, it’s composed of goats, traditional brews, honey, and cows. In most communities, dowry is not paid once; it is given in phases or installments to create strong ties between the groom and the Bride’s family.

Society’s role in dowry payment

Dowry payment used to be a society affair. After a man had proposed to a lady and agreed to marry him, he was supposed to approach his parents or guardians and inform them about his intention to get married. The parents would research the lady’s background information, and once satisfied, they would go ahead and notify the extended family and the clan. Once every relative was informed, a select committee consisting of reputable elders was established to facilitate dowry payment and probably marriage.

The Bride also approaches her parents or guardians and notifies them about her decision to get married. Like the groom’s side, they inquire more about the man, his clan, and his community and then inform the entire clan before forming a select committee of elders. The elders would meet and agree on what to be paid to the Bride’s family as a gift paving the way for the wedding.

Commercialization of bride price

Dowry, once a noble tradition, has been contorted in the recent past. What was supposed to be a uniting factor between families has become a business venture. Parents perceive their daughters as an investment that should fetch much gain when they get married. Unlike in the past, when virginity was the determinant factor during the dowry payment, it is education level, social class, and career in the modern era. A highly educated lady is expected to earn millions of shillings for her family.

Traditionally, the man and his family had the right to settle on what and how much to pay for the Bride’s family. However, things have changed. Today, such freedom does not exist. The Bride’s family set the price, and two families must negotiate. Moreover, some ladies also conspire with their family to fleece her future husband his hard-earned money, a behaviour that should be condemned by society.

The unreasonable demand for dowry is now causing what we did not expect. Marriages are ending, relationships are breaking, and weddings are being called off, but no-one is taking responsibility; instead, we blame the devil. The number of single motherhood and young couples who have chosen to cohabit to avoid dowry has hit a high record. Overpriced bride prices have also seen women being seen as acquired property that a man can mistreat the way he wants.

It does not end there; some families have plunged into crippling debts as they were forced to take loans to raise the required amount of dowry. Some men have also been exposed to harassment and mistreatment by their wives and in-laws simply because they cannot pay dowry. It is high time the Kenyan government regulates dowry payment to save vulnerable means from the hands of greedy parents who are out to use bride price as a gateway to riches.

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Ghana: From ‘trotro’ mate to millionaire-The Story of Yoks Investment Founder Seth Yeboah Ocran
January 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

Hard work, they say, brings success but often, one needs to add some level of smartness in order to succeed.  Seth Yeboah Ocran, is the Founder/Executive Chairman of Yoks Investment Limited. With Subsidiries such as Yorks Rent A Car. Yoks Travel, Tours,Tourists Watch Limited.Seth went into business soon after finishing school i.e trotro mate. He traded in stationary, Jewelry and Textiles. He left his private business to work with Vane/Europcar as a driver and sale representative with a seed capital of 500 Gh.

Seth returned to his private business, where he set up Yoks Investment Limited in 2001 as a sole proprietorship with just one car. Throughout his career, Seth has demonstrated continuous leadership in business excellence, strategic thinking and project execution. He is an award winning entrepreneur, he believes in Integrity, Humility and believing in oneself. Mr. Seth has featured in public speaking engagement aimed at promoting “thoughtful” leadership, and also inspiring the youth to take their destiny into their own hands.

Seth drove and managed Yoks with a single minded vision to become the reliable car rental Company in the country. Today, after over a decade, Yoks investment limited is now in an enviable position as the most reliable car rental and transportation management company, with its industry in Ghana; with a highly recognized brand that equals and rivals any of the known international brands. Seth, ambition is to continue to build a world class business that is at par with any global company. The business mogul recounted his journey from grass to grace. Mr. Ocran had a challenging childhood, having lost both his mother and father by the age of 14.

However, he kept his hopes up and continued to strive for a better future. The lack of support also meant that he had to drop out of school.

He dropped out of school and did not have any SHS certificate,” He picked up a menial job as a commercial bus conductor (mate). According to him, his textbook business dwindled when an English teacher joined the business and caused his earnings to reduce. He was forced to ditch the textbook business and began a textiles and jewelries business. Mr. Ocran used to travel to neighboring Togo to buy his goods and returns to sell them at the Makola market in Accra. But, unfortunately, his business came crashing on its knees when the Makola market was gutted by fire and he lost his investment.

He said; if we have one person in our lives who totally accepts us, totally believes in us, totally loves us and totally supports us, we can certainly achieve what we want to reach and where we want to go.  Mr. Ocran said. ”Therefore, surround yourself with people who believe in you and accept you totally regardless of your success or failure, and also be that person of someone”! 

Having once worked as a driver’s mate, Mr. Ocran is a business mogul today, serving as the CEO of YOKS Investments Limited.

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South Sudan announces environmental audit of oil fields in move to curtail immense pollution
January 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Petroleum Minister Puot Kang Chol with President Salva Kiir
Petroleum Minister Puot Kang Chol with President Salva Kiir

Juba – South Sudan Thursday announced a comprehensive environmental audit of all its oil – producing fields in a bid to reduce pollution following years of negligence and witlessness.

Petroleum Minister Puot Kang Chol said comprehensive environmental audit of all the country’s producing oilfields is to inspect the impact of pollution on the people and the land.

Minister said his ministry formed the committee that comprised of all agencies of the government and include the civil society to do the selection of the firms to carry out environment audit. Currently, 11 tenders are in its finale scrutinizing from the committee – both are international tenders or companies.

 “I am pleased to announce the full environment audit in all the oil fields of the Republic of South Sudan – the audit will come in the current oil fields of block 3 & 7, block 1, 2 & 4 and block 5 A,” Kang said.

Tender for audit comes amid efforts to reduce pollution affecting communities living in oil-producing areas in South Sudan.

This audit will allow the country to put systems in place to prevent further damage and pollution as the country looks to ramp up production.

In August 2019, President Salva Kiir warned that his government would be taking a stronger stance against pollution in oil-producing areas. He warned: “I will not tolerate irresponsible activities in the oil sector.”

The lack of environmental standards and guidelines to safeguard the exploration and exploitation in the extractive industry has led to pollution in the oilfields and in the surrounding areas.

Despite the 2012 Petroleum Act that imposed high health and safety standards on oil production activities.

This had caused losses of properties and livestock, losses of grazing land, as well as deforestation, soil and water contamination and health issues in and around oil-producing areas resulted a human deformation, infant deformities, miscarriage and death.

“We are here to please the law, not individual and I would want the committee to make sure whether they do, they do it within a parameter of the law, not the minister or individual,” said Kang.

Kang said the whole world and our citizens were being looking after us, they were condemned us that something need to done about our environment.

“It is time to save the life of our people and to save our environment. “I say lives of people first – this oil can deplete tomorrow but our land should not deplete – the land must remain there because is the first resource that our people have, not the oil,” Kang told the press in Juba. “We need to protect the lives of our people and we should not give them any reason to think that oil is the problem to them but instead to be blessed to them, particularly to the oil – producing communities. So, whatever we do let have it at the back of our minds that the people living in land and that land come first before the oil itself, therefore we must save lives and the land,” he added.

Oil is the dominant source of revenue for the East African’s youngest nation, which has boosted output to stand at about 170,000 barrels per day, as it struggles to rebuild an economy shattered by six years of civil war that killed nearly 400,000 people and uprooted four million people from their homes.

Mary Ayen, Acting Speaker of the Council States acknowledged that the oil pollution has caused uncalled damages on the locals, which need urgently bold decision to mitigate the suffering on time.

“What is taking place is not a joke,” said Ayen, seeing that human being is deformity – we witnessed kids are deformities – this is not the nation we want, we want everyone to enjoys free, have a dignify life, healthy and enjoys all the basic rights,” she added.

Ayen further said the life of the people and environment is a most better because at the end we want resources to enhance our lives.

She urges the oil companies to cooperate with the government and do the best practice to the oil – producing communities.

Last year, the SUDD Institute documented 13 cases of babies born with deformities in Melut, Ruweng and Rubkona in the country’s northern part.

Also, a research conducted by a German organization, Sign of Hope, years ago found that more than 180,000 locals who live near oil fields use water that is contaminated by the oil companies.

The actual work of the full environment audit will kick on after the finalization of tender process that due to commence at the end of March and to continue for the period of six (6) months.

The audit exercise is expected to reveal the environmental damage that may have been caused by the oil activities over the years since the start of oil production in then Sudan in the late 1990.

“We don’t want to assume the findings but we believe whatever they come up with, being the government and partners should be ready to accept and implement whatever they recommend for us to do and also to mitigate any further pollution of the environment,” the minister said.

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Cameroon: Donation from Fomunyoh and Partner to Physically Challenged in Kumba
January 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Dr Christopher Fomunyoh
Dr Christopher Fomunyoh

More than 20 Persons living with disability in Kumba, the chief town of Meme Division of the South West Region have benefited from financial support and start-up capital to help them start-up small businesses.

Dr Christopher Fomunyoh, Senior Associate and Regional Director for Central Africa Programs at NDI and a philanthropist and partner Madam Robison made available cash envelopes and other items (groundnut oil, soap and others) to make the persons living with disability to be financially independent.

The physically challenged were encouraged to use the money provided to them with care which will encourage the donors, Dr Christopher Fomunyoh and madam Robison to do more for them.

Toko Virginie, a bridge between the donors and the physically challenged said: “I want to appreciate and thank Dr Fomunyoh and Sister Robinson. We are so happy and that could be seen on the faces of the physically challenged who benefited.”

“With this money that has been provided to me I am heading straight to the market,” Tayong Anna, another beneficiary stated.

“I want to thank our sister for what she has done to think about us,” one of the beneficiaries said.

To another, he said: “This money will help to empower me in the small business I have been carrying out.”

Dr Christopher Fomunyoh is an expert on democratization in Africa and also a former adjunct professor of African politics and government at Georgetown University.

It should be noted that another huge package from The Fomunyoh Foundation is to be made available to internally displaced persons, IDPs of the Anglophone crisis.

Beneficiaries of the aid from Dr Christopher Fomunyoh and Madam Robison
Beneficiaries of the aid from Dr Christopher Fomunyoh and Madam Robison

For the past four years, separatist fighters have been battling government forces in the North West and South West regions. The former is looking to establish an independent state of “Ambazonia”. The conflict started in 2016 has seen thousands of people who have been killed, maimed, kidnapped and others forced to flee their homes for shelter in neighbouring Nigeria and other parts of the country.

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Cameroon: Security Beefed up Ahead of CHAN Tournament
January 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Security forces patrolling Muyuka, a town in the South West Region of Cameroon, as they try to battle separatist fighters

Barely a day to the start of the Africa Nations Champions, CHAN in Cameroon, security forces have been heavily deployed to the South West Region to protect the various teams, fans who are scheduled to watch the games.

Games for the CHAN, a competition for locally-based players will be played in Limbe, Douala and Yaounde.

Separatist fighters had earlier warned people not to go and watch games and the fighters had cautioned the teams taking part not to go to the Region. That decision has, however, not been adhered to as the Zambians and Tanzanians made their way to Buea and Limbe but under tight security.

The separatist fighters seemed to have lied up to their bidding as they are reported to have set ablaze some vehicles closer to the middle farms’ stadium in Limbe – the middle farms’ stadium serves as a training facility to some of the teams.

Breaking this January 15 gunshots were heard in Likomba with reports of the main transformer at the Tiko market set ablaze. 2 separatist fighters were killed by Cameroon’s security forces that have been stationed along the roadside.

Local authorities and CAF officials have assured the players of their safety in the Region as they said security dispensation have been stepped up. Zambia received a letter from CAF indicating that their security is assured as the Cameroon government has put all measure to guarantee their safety.

It promises to be an exciting Africa Nations Championship in the country. Cameroon gets the competition underway on January 16 against Zimbabwe, who came to the country with some 23 players to participate in the competition. The second game that comes up at 8 pm local time will see Mali facing Burkina Faso. Both teams are already in the country and carrying out various training sessions.

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Cameroon: Nkafu Policy Institute Publishes Report on the Effect of BEAC’s Monetary policy
January 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Officials of Foretia Foundation during the launch of the report on BEAC's monetary policy
Officials of Foretia Foundation during the launch of the report on BEAC’s monetary policy

The Nkafu Policy Institute, a think-tank at the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation has published a report detailing the effect of BEAC’s monetary policy in Cameroon brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The report was made public during a press conference January 13 at the Foundation’s headquarters in Yaounde. It had as panellists Dr Jean Cédric KOUAM – Economic Policy Analyst, Head of Fiscal and Monetary Policy Sub-Section at the Nkafu Policy Institute; and Mr Ulrich D’POLA – Senior Economic Policy Analyst, Co-Coordinator of the Nkafu Policy Institute.

Cameroon’s Monetary Policy Report published by the Nkafu Policy Institute was born out of the need to evaluate the decisions taken by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) on the activities of economic agents (firms, households) and the general price level. These are reflected in three main transmission mechanisms, namely: interest rates (interest rate channel), stock prices (other asset price channel) and the number of loans offered by commercial banks (credit channel).

Opening the press conference, Fri Asanga, Chief Operating Officer of Foretia Foundation said: “We hope that the operational recommendations in this report will be widely disseminated to inspire decision-makers to propose policies and reforms that will effectively transform Cameroon’s potential for the benefit of its citizens.

“The report is structured around five key inter-related thematic parts as follows While Part I examines the socio-economic situation in Cameroon before Covid-19 Part II focuses on the economic and social repercussions of the pandemic on the economic conjuncture in 2020 Part III then, presents BEAC’s responses to this gloomy economic conjuncture while part IV brings forth the reactions of the Cameroonian economy to BEAC’s monetary policy decisions in 2020. Finally, part V proposes some monetary policy options to decision-makers (V). 

The objective of the report is to analyze the contribution of the monetary policy conducted by the Bank of Central African States in strengthening the resilience of the Cameroonian economy in 2020. More specifically, it examines whether the monetary policy decisions taken by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) have influenced the general price level, the average overall effective rates practised by financial institutions and their deposit and credit operations, as well as the contribution of monetary aggregates to growth.

A host of key recommendations were taken from the Monetary Policy Report. One of them called on BEAC through the banking commission in central Africa should multiply its efforts to encourage commercial banks to easily grant credit to individuals and SMEs. 

The second key recommendation indicates that BEAC should ensure that their lending and deposit rates from secondary banks reflect the interest rate on call for tenders to improve the functioning of the interest rate channel.

BEAC should consider a policy of inflation targeting to the detriment of price-level targeting. By setting expectations on price developments, inflation targeting would enable BEAC to provide greater incentives for banks to facilitate access to credit and encourage consumers to spend while guaranteeing financial and microeconomic stability.

Ulrich D’POLA KAMDEM, Senior Economist at the Nkafu Policy Institute and Coordinator of the Nkafu Policy Institute

About the Nkafu policy institute and the Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation

The Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation was created to catalyze Africa’s economic transformation by focusing on social entrepreneurship, science and technology, innovation, public health, and progressive policies that create and expand economic opportunities for all.  

The Nkafu Policy Institute is a Think Tank within the Foundation that focuses on using the independent analysis to inform public debate. Its mission is to advance public policies that help all Africans prosper in free, fair, and democratic economies. The Institute has distinguished itself as a leading research centre in Cameroon, committed to promoting open debate that builds consensus toward a democratic future. 

Note: the full report of the Nkafu Policy Institute Report on the Effect of BEAC’s Monetary policy can be downloaded on the websites of the Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation and the Nkafu Policy Institute; as well as on the foundation’s various social networks.

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What happened to Turkana oil exploration, Kenyans ask amid hike in Fuel prices
January 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

The news about oil discovery in Kenya’s northwestern Turkana region in 2012 was met with celebrations.

The discovery was made following exploratory drilling by Anglo-Irish firm Tullow Oil, and the then Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki termed it a breakthrough.

In August 2019, the East African nation made one step ahead by exporting the first oil shipment to a British-based Chinese firm.

President Uhuru Kenyatta flagged off the country’s first shipment of oil, above 200,000 crude oil barrels raising citizens’ expectations.

Since then, there has been no much information about oil.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), on January 14, 2021, announced the increment in the prices of petroleum products, and Kenyans did not hesitate to inquire about the Turkana Oil exploration.

“What happened to our Turkana oil exploration? “Asked John Nthiga.

In its latest review, the diesel, kerosene, and super petrol prices have gone up by Ksh4.57, Ksh3.56, and Ksh0.17, respectively.

This means a litre of diesel will be sold at ksh96.40, Kerosene ksh87.72, and super petrol ksh106.99 in Nairobi.

In Mombasa, a litre of diesel, kerosene, and super petrol will cost ksh94.01, ksh84.75 and ksh104.60, respectively.

The changes will take effect on January 15 run until February 14.

“The changes in January’s prices are as a consequence of the average landed cost of imported Super Petrol increasing by 1.51 % from the US $ 318.71 per cubic metre in November 2020 to the US $ 323.52 per cubic metre in December 2020,” EPRA said.

EPRA noted that the prices were inclusive of the eight percent Value Added Tax (VAT) in line with the Finance Act provisions.

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OUT NOW! 2nd Edition of “Billions At Play” charts recovery path for African Oil & Gas Sector
January 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

Loyal to his upbeat approach and straightforwardness, NJ Ayuk offers pragmatic answers and solutions to the historic challenges the industry has faced throughout 2020.

Talking about oil & gas isn’t easy, especially at a time of widespread anxiety about the link between fossil fuels and climate change. But NJ Ayuk, the experienced oil and gas dealmaker who heads the Pan-African legal conglomerate Centurion Law Group  and serves as Executive Chairman of the, African Energy Chamber  has never been one to shy away from difficult conversations. Instead, he embraces opportunities to approach thorny questions head-on, with a spirit of optimism about the future.

Following the widely acclaimed release of his second book, Billions At Play: The Future of African Energy and Making Deals, Nj Ayuk has now released a 2nd edition of the best-seller that takes into account new market realities in a post-Covid19 era. Loyal to his upbeat approach and straightforwardness, he offers pragmatic answers and solutions to the historic challenges the industry has faced throughout 2020, detailing how a recovery can rely on better gas monetization, wider energy cooperation, stronger capacity building, an a more sustainable development of African natural resources.

This second edition opens once again on a foreword by H.E. Mohamed Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and features a new chapter dedicated to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on African oil markets. It is now available on Amazon  and has for the first time been narrated by Adera Gandy and Boet Schouwinck as an audiobook also available on Audible  and Barnes and Noble’s Nook .

The book is also available through leading retailers including Exclusivebooks.com , TakeAlot.com , Google Books , eBooks.com , Kindle  and many more!

In Billions At Play, Ayuk places the energy sector at the center of the continent’s economic growth and argues that the oil and gas sector is well-positioned to turn the African narrative around. Billions At Play became number one on Amazon in several categories only a few days after its initial release in 2019, making it one of Africa’s energy best-seller.

The book’s critical solutions to key issues such as investment deals negotiations, electricity shortage or technology have earned it the support and praise of several leading industry executives from North America, Europe and Africa. At a time when the continent tries to position itself within the global energy transition debate, this second edition will be offering a comprehensive road map for Africa to do a better job at using its vast natural resources to fuel economic growth and improve the lives of hundreds of millions of Africans.

*SOURCE African Energy Chamber

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The 60th Anniversary of the Murder of Patrice Emery Lumumba
January 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

Dr. Gary K. Busch*

Sixty years ago today the leading nationalist figure of the Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) Patrice Emery Lumumba was murdered by the Belgians.

The parallels with today’s Africa are so stark that perhaps a fuller description is necessary.

The Belgians, who had just recently been compelled to allow its colony to reach independence in June 1960, continued to demand a strong and decisive role in Congolese affairs despite this independence; or, if that was not possible, to separate the mineral-rich region of Katanga from the rest of the Congo to remain under Belgian control through its puppet Moise Tshombe.

The main protagonist in the struggle for independence was Patrice Lumumba, who became head of the MNC (Mouvement National Congolais) and then, at independence, the first Prime Minister of the new state. The Belgian point of view was made clear when Lumumba was not invited to participate in the Independence celebrations. The Belgians insisted on keeping many of its colonial officers in charge of key positions in the Congolese administration. Most of the officers in the Army were still Belgians after independence. At independence there were only eight African college graduates in the whole of the Congo. It was a General Jannsens who announced to the troops that their pay would not increase after independence and that they would remain under Belgian officers. The army revolted and civil disorder spread across the land, fostered and armed by the Belgians. This disorder had the required effect and on the 11th of July 1960 Katanga seceded from the Congo. The Belgians and their giant mining complex, Union Miniere, adopted Tshombe as their own.

The United Nations sent its first peacekeeping mission to Africa; to the Congo, but it was ineffectual. It refused to intervene in the Katanga secession so Lumumba was powerless to seek the re-unification of the province. Unable to garner Western or UN support he turned to the Soviet Union to send weapons, airplanes, trucks and medicines to the Congolese forces opposing Katanga. This triggered off a major Cold War crisis. The US and the UK joined with Belgium to support Katangan secession and the ouster of Lumumba.

In a series of documentaries by the BBC in London in 2000 the records of their intervention were exposed. Ludo de Witte  uncovered documents in the Belgian archives showing that Moise Tshombe, who led the secession, acted on orders from the Belgian government, which has always claimed that it only sent troops into Katanga to protect Belgian lives and property. De Witte’s researches have shown that the Belgians plotted to dismember the Congo. US Documents released August 2000 revealed that President Eisenhower directly ordered the CIA to assassinate Lumumba. Minutes of an August 1960 National Security Council meeting confirm that Eisenhower told CIA chief Allen Dulles to “eliminate” Lumumba. The official note taker, Robert H. Johnson, had told the Senate Intelligence Committee this in 1975, but no documentary evidence was previously available to back up his statement. A British Foreign Office document from September 1960 notes the opinion of a top ranking official, who later became the head of MI5, that, “I see only two possible solutions to the [Lumumba] problem. The first is the simple one of ensuring [his] removal from the scene by killing him.”

Their first step was to promote a military coup in the Congo. On 14 September 1960 Col. Joseph Desiree Mobuto, with the active assistance of the US and the UN, overthrew the Kasavubu-Lumumba government and took power. Lumumba was placed under house arrest but escaped to Stanleyville. Mobutu’s troops captured him on 1 December 1960 and Lumumba was flown back to Leopoldville (now Kinshasa) where he was placed in prison. The Russians raised the issue in the Security Council and asked for the immediate release of Lumumba, the jailing of Mobutu and the evacuation of the Belgians from the Congo. The UN refused as it said this would cause severe problems in the Congo.

Their problem was resolved with the forced flight of Lumumba, in chains to Elizabethville (Lubumbashi) on 17 January 1961. According to the documentaries, he was conducted under arrest to Brouwez House and held there bound and gagged. Later that night, Lumumba was driven to an isolated spot where three firing squads had been assembled. According to David Akerman, Ludo de Witte and Kris Hollington, the firing squads were commanded by a Belgian, Captain Julien Gat, and another Belgian, Police Commissioner Verscheure, had overall command of the execution site. Lumumba was killed that night.

*  Dr. Gary K. Busch is the editor and publisher of the web-based news journal of international relations www.ocnus.net and the distance-learning educational website www.worldtrade.ac. He speaks and reads 12 languages and has written six books and published 58 specialist studies. His articles have appeared in the Economist Intelligence Unit, Wall Street Journal, WPROST (a leading Polish weekly news magazine), Pravda and several other major international news journals

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WHO DG, TEDROS GHEBREYESUS, GHANA’S PRESIDENT, AKUFO-ADDO, MO IBRAHIM, GRACA MACHEL, OTHERS, EMERGE WINNERS IN THE ALM PERSONS OF THE YEAR 2020 AWARDS
January 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

PORTSMOUTH, United Kingdom, January 13, 2020 — The African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Awards committee has unveiled the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the African of the year 2020; the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, as the African Political leader of the year 2020; Graca Michel as the African Climate Champion of the year 2020, alongside 10 other distinguished Africans in a keenly contested poll.  The poll attracted over 120,000 votes on the ALM website; over 7 million active online engagement during the voting period; and over 5000 votes via email.

The winners shall be decorated and presented with honour instruments on February 26th, 2021, during the annual African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Award ceremony. This year, the event is billed to hold virtually and set to host influential Africans in business, politics, and all spheres of African leadership spectrum. As has been the tradition, the winners were unveiled by the Publisher of the Magazine, Dr Ken Giami, at the U.K. Head Office of the group. The announcement of the winners was preceded by the awards committee working with the editorial team to collate online and offline votes and submissions from the over 1 million subscribers/followership base of the publication.  The full list of winners as below:

African of the Year 2020: 
1.    Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, – Winner
2.    Strive Masiyiwa, Founder & Executive Chairman, Econet Group, Zimbabwe – Runner-up 

African Political Leader of the Year 2020: 
1.    H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana – Winner
2.    H.E. John Magufuli, President of Tanzania – Runner-up    

African Female Leader of the Year 2020: 
1.    Tiguidanke Camara, Chairman & CEO, TMG Group, Guinea – Winner
2.    Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Africa – Runner-up           

African Educationist of the Year 2020 
1.    Professor Samuel Edoumiekumo, Vice-Chancellor, Niger Delta University, Nigeria – Winner
2.    Dr Patrick Awuah Jr. Founder & President, Ashesi University, Ghana – Runner-up     

African Industrialist of the Year 2020
1.    Nicky Oppenheimer, Chairman, Oppenheimer Generations, South Africa – Winner 
2.    Abdulsamad Rabiu, Chairman, BUA Group, Nigeria – Runner-up  

 African Philanthropist of the Year 2020 
1.    Mo Ibrahim, Founder, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Sudan – Winner 
2.    Ayo & Helen Oritsejafor, Founders, Eagle Hand Foundation, Nigeria – Runner-up 

ALM Young Person of the Year 2020 
1.    Sadio Mane, Footballer, Senegal – Winner 
2.    Eder pale, Founder & CEO, Mozhandlings, Mozambique – Runner-up    

African Agricultural Champion of the Year 2020
1.    Onyeka Akumah, Co-founder, FarmCrowdy, Nigeria – Winner 
2.    Noel Doyle, Chief Executive, Tiger Brand, South Africa – Runner-up  

African Climate Champion of the Year 2020 
1.    Graca Machel, the former first lady and climate activist, Mozambique – Winner
2.    Agnes Matilda Kalibata, President, Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa – Runner-up      

Africa Peace & Security Leader of the Year 2020 
1.    H.E. Goodluck Jonathan, former president of Nigeria – Winner
2.    General Vincent Nundwe, Army Commander, Malawi – Runner-up 

African Energy Leader of the Year 2020 
1.    Kwameh Kyei, MD/CEO, Unity Oil Company Ltd, Ghana – Winner 
2.    Nkechi Obi, MD/CEO, Techno Oil, Nigeria – Runner-up 

African Public Health Champion of the Year 2020
1.     Dr John Nkengasong, Director General, Africa CDC, Cameroon – Winner 
2.    Jean-Jacques Muvembe, Ebola Vaccine, Congo – Runner-up  

Africa Disruptor of the Year 2020 
1.    Kamal Yakub, Founder, Uber for Tractors, Ghana – Winner 
2.    Ken Njoroge, Co-founder & Group CEO, Cellulant Corporation, Kenya – Runner-up  

The African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Awards, which has become the leading vote-based third-party endorsement in the continent, recorded an upsurge of over 50% votes from the previous year, mainly from Africans within and the Diaspora.  

The Publisher, Dr Giami, maintained that 2020 had been a very turbulent year, with the COVID-19 pandemic stretching Africa’s fragile health systems and exacerbating poverty in the continent. However, he stressed that certain Africans contributed towards minimizing the impact of the pandemic on the continent and helped in inspiring hope for the future. These Africans are deserving of a special commendation. In his words, “all the nominees for this year’s persons of the year have contributed in no small measure towards minimizing the impact of the pandemic on the continent through their work and are deserving of the crown.” Continuing, he stated that, “the nominees have demonstrated great faith in the Africa project, and are ‘walking their talk’ in their communities, helping in changing the negative narratives about Africa globally.    They all are true lovers of Africa, determinedly contributing, sometimes amidst challenging circumstances but undoubtedly making Africa and the world a better place for all.” 

The African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year which is in its 9th year is an annual award reserved for distinguished Africans, who have blazed the trail in the year under review. A shortlist of nominees are selected from results gathered via a Call for the nomination – traditionally promoted via a paid online and offline campaigns across the continent, Europe, and the Americas. The call for nomination is the first step in a multi-phased process. 

This year, the selection committee expanded the categories to cover other key themes that are critical to Africa’s future ambition and sustainability aspirations. It included subjects that resonated with the continent in the year 2020, including – individual, institution and group contribution to the fight to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa. Other themes included – Africans whose activities, policies and actions have contributed to ‘Investments in Africa’s young people, jobs & wealth creation; promotion of sustainable peace & development, delivering democratic values; & the promotion of Africa’s image globally.  

About African Leadership Magazine: 
The African Leadership magazine is published by African Leadership (U.K.) Limited, a company registered in the United Kingdom. The magazine focuses on bringing Africa’s best to a global audience, telling the African story from an African perspective; while evolving solutions to peculiar challenges being faced by the continent today.Since its maiden edition, African Leadership Magazine has grown to become a leading pan-African flagship leadership-focused publication read by over 1, 200, 000 targeted international investors, business executives, government policymakers, and multilateral agencies Africa, the Middle East and Asia, Europe, and the U.S. It is distributed at major international and African Leadership events around the world. The magazine has over 1 000,000 subscribers/Followers on Facebook and a virile readership on other social media platforms. It is a niche and unbiased African voice born out of a desire to tell the African story from an African perspective by focusing on individuals and corporates known for their legacy-based approach to leadership. 

*Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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Uganda the 15th country in Africa to restrict social media due to elections
January 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

The study conducted by the privacy protection company Surfshark shows that Uganda became the 15th country in Africa that has restricted social media access due to elections since 2015. Cutting off social media access is a common practice in African countries, especially during elections, protests, demonstrations, or exams. The researchers revealed that at least 27 countries in Africa blocked or heavily restricted social media access over five years.

Over five years, Burundi, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Togo, Tanzania, Benin, DRC, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Sierra Leone have also restricted access to social media due to elections.

“Social media has established itself as a key political player of its own. However, as its influence grows, so does the governments’ desire to censor it by introducing new laws, restricting access, or blocking social media altogether,” says Gabrielle Racai, Communications manager at Surfshark. 

“What’s especially concerning is the increasing number of countries worldwide that block or censor the internet amid the elections. Governments in Belarus, Tongo, Burundi, and Tanzania have already shut down social media during elections in 2020, whereas Uganda becomes the first country to do so in 2021”.

About the social media censorship report:

Privacy protection company Surfshark analyzed 185 countries and their social media blocking practices from 2015 to the present day, seeking to evaluate the extent of social media censorship. The research shows that 62 out of the 185 analyzed countries blocked or heavily restricted social media access in the past five years. 

The data was collected through open-source information from Freedom House, Netblocks, and reputable news reports from 2015 to the present day. Social media was conceptualized as social networking sites (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, etc.) and communication apps, including VoIP apps (i.e., Skype, WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber). Both local and national social media blockings have been taken into account in the study. 

The final social media censorship report with regional deep-dives can be found here:

Surfshark, a Gold medalist at 2020 Info Security Excellence awards as Hot Security Technology of the Year, is a privacy protection toolset developed to provide its users with the ability to control their online presence seamlessly. The core premise of Surfshark is to humanize online privacy protection and develop tools that protect users’ privacy beyond the realm of a virtual private network. Surfshark is one of very few VPNs which have been audited by independent security experts.

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UK bans travel from 11 African countries, including Mozambique
January 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge dos Santos

The United Kingdom will ban passengers from Mozambique and 10 other African countries from entering the country, the British government announced last week, extending the measure that it applied to South Africa on 24 December to curb a new strain of covid-19 identified in that country.

The restriction went into effect on 9 January, and will stay for at least two weeks, the British Department for Transport said, also affecting people who have been in Angola, Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the Seychelles or Mauritius in the past 10 days.

British and Irish citizens and foreigners resident in the United Kingdom will be able to enter the country, but will have to isolate for 10 days. The new, more virulent strain of covid-19 from South Africa is already present in the UK, and is similar to the new strain first detected in the British county of Kent.

Meanwhile, more than 130 people in Mozambique were hospitalised with covid-19 in just eight days and 2,000 new cases were recorded in that time, which is a record, according to data from the health authorities. There were also 15 deaths in the period.

The increase in cases was related to the Christmas celebrations and the end of the year when people relaxed, the national director for medical assistance, Ussene Issa, said.

Added to this is the arrival of Mozambicans working in neighbouring South Africa, the country with the highest incidence of covid-19 in Africa, where a new variant of the virus has appeared. Issa warned that this meant that efforts to reduce the number of deaths and protect Mozambique’s health system could be overturned. Mozambique has already sent samples to South Africa and the United Kingdom for verification of new coronavirus variants.

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EIB to support for high-impact investment in 11 Sahel countries under Great Green Wall initiative
January 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

  • President Hoyer reaffirms EIB commitment to Sahel and climate vulnerable regions in Africa as part of Team Europe
  • EIB to strengthen financial and technical support for sustainable agriculture, clean energy, water, infrastructure and microfinance to create jobs and resilience
  • Biodiversity investment in Africa to benefit from pioneering EIB Sustainable Awareness Bonds
EIB President Werner Hoyer
EIB President Werner Hoyer

The European Investment Bank today announced that it aims to provide new financial and technical support to back sustainable agriculture, clean energy, water, infrastructure and private sector financing in 11 Sahel countries most vulnerable to a changing climate by 2025.

The EIB financing and technical support will enhance the impact of the Great Green Wall initiative to improve biodiversity in the Sahel and better tackle climate and environmental challenges facing the region. Targeted high-impact investment will enable more inclusive economic growth and strengthen resilience in the region to foster peace and stability.

EIB President Werner Hoyer outlined the expected strengthened engagement to back high-impact investment essential to create jobs, improve economic opportunities and increase access to clean energy and water during the One Planet Summit for Biodiversity hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris earlier today.

“Communities across the Sahel are threatened by climate change, increasingly frequent droughts and floods, and unreliable and limited access to energy, water and food. The European Investment Bank, as part of Team Europe and member of the Sahel Alliance, recognises the need to scale up investment that tackles these challenges, delivers sustainable development and improves stability in the region. The EU Bank is pleased to join African and international partners in ensuring that the Great Green Wall biodiversity initiative improves lives and opportunities across the Sahel. Looking ahead, the EIB expects to back transformational public and private sector investment in 11 Sahel states most vulnerable to climate change as part of our commitment to accelerate high-impact investment across Africa. This will complement our broader strategic engagement across Africa and 58 year track record of backing transformational investment on the continent.“ said Werner Hoyer, European Investment Bank President.

President Hoyer addressed the One Planet Summit for Biodiversity alongside the Prince of Wales, President of the African Union Commission and heads of the French Development Agency, African Development Bank, UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

Working with African partners to unlock high-impact investment across the Sahel

During his address to the One Planet Summit for Biodiversity President Hoyer highlighted the impact of recent EIB support for water investment in Mali and Niger, clean energy across West Africa and private sector support with local microfinance and banking partners.

The EIB is currently supporting projects to address land degradation and enhance access to finance by rural communities and small holders in Mali and Ethiopia, and to redress and prevent soil erosion in Nigeria, all initiatives that provide a model for successful biodiversity investment elsewhere in Africa.

EIB harnessing global capital markets to support biodiversity investment

Future EIB investment for sustainable agriculture and environmental projects across Africa will benefit from the EIB being the first international financial institution to issue bonds to support biodiversity investment.

This week the EIB, the world’s largest supranational bond issuer and pioneering of green bonds, will include biodiversity in the eligibility of the established EIB Sustainable Awareness Bonds.

Supporting the Great Green Wall initiative to improve lives and opportunities in the Sahel

The Great Green Wall initiative aims to restore Africa’s degraded landscapes and transform the lives of people living in the Sahel. The 11 countries  selected as intervention zoned for the Great Green Wall are Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan

The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and owned directly by the 27 European Union member states.  

Background information

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union and is owned by the EU Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals both in Europe and beyond. The European Investment Bank is active in around 160 countries and is the world’s largest multilateral lender for climate action projects.

The EIB Group has recently adopted its Climate Bank Roadmap to deliver on its ambitious agenda to support €1 trillion of climate action and environmental sustainability investments in the decade to 2030 and to deliver more than 50% of EIB finance for climate action and environmental sustainability by 2025. As part of the Roadmap, all new EIB Group operations will also be aligned with the goals and principles of the Paris Agreement from the start of 2021.

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Cameroon: CHRDA Condemns Killing of 8 Civilian in Mautu, Calls for Investigation
January 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Security forces patrolling Muyuka, a town in the South West Region of Cameroon, as they try to rid the area of separatist fighters
Security forces patrolling Muyuka, a town in the South West Region of Cameroon, as they try to rid the area of separatist fighters

The Centre for Human Rights and democracy in Africa, one of the leading human rights organizations in Cameroon has condemned the recent killings of 8 civilians including a mother and grandson in Mautu, a small community in the restive South West Region.

While extending its condolences to the bereaved families, CHRDA notes that the recent attacks on the civilian population in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon has become rampant in the first 10 days of 2021.

“On Sunday 10 January 2021, CHRDA received with dismay, reports about the killing of at least eight civilians in Maotu village. Alleged members of the State Defence and Security forces reportedly invaded Mautu village in the Muyuka Subdivision, South West region and committed the act,” a communiqué from CHRDA stated.

Images circulated online showed a gory scene with dead bodies lying on the ground, and a mother shot on the leg and supporting her grandson.

Sources revealed that there was a military invasion in the village that kept everyone running for safety. “So many people were killed including a grandmother and her grandchild, we do not know what that old woman and the innocent child did to deserve death” an eyewitness recounted to CHRDA.

“The persons killed included women and children, who are classified under the group of vulnerable persons. Young and unarmed boys were also killed. This attack brings back to the minds of Cameroonians the Ngarbuh and Kumba Massacres, which occurred in 2020,” the communiqué read in part.

CHRDA has called on the state authorities to investigate this heinous act and let justice be served for the victims. “We also call on all combatants to fully respect International Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.”

For the past four years, separatist fighters have been battling government forces in the North West and South West regions. The former is looking to establish an independent state of “Ambazonia”. The conflict started in 2016 with lawyers and teachers and degenerated into a full-blown war in 2016.

Thousands of people have been killed, maimed, kidnapped and others forced to flee their homes for shelter in neighbouring Nigeria and other parts of the country. Both government and separatist fighters have been accused of extrajudicial killings of civilians.

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Pray for Nature:Young Kenyan Artists Release New Music Video To Stop Deforestation
January 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

NEW YORK, NY, January 11, 2021: Kenya’s rising rap stars, Anderson Mwakazi (aka Harshkid Luckystah) and fellow artists Benard Kaisa (aka Benkaizah) and Simon Mwanjala (aka Popsodah) released ‘Pray for Nature,’ a new music video with an urgent message for the world about the Climate Crisis and the critical need to stop forest destruction.

Deforestation is the second largest contributor to the Climate Crisis. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change – warns that deforestation intensifies the effects of climate change, such as water scarcity, drought and food shortages. Billions of people will be adversely affected and especially those living in rural parts of the world who depend on farming to feed their families.

Anderson Mwakazi lives in the Kasigau Corridor, a severe drought region in SE Kenya, located between Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks – a vital wildlife corridor. Anderson’s family and neighbors are subsistence farmers. He knows first-hand how burning and cutting trees to clear land for farming and for charcoal production has a direct negative impact on the rain and farming conditions. Thus, his new song and music video seeks to inspire environmental activism.

“My generation is increasingly anxious about the climate crisis- we don’t know if our lives will be cut short or if current harsh conditions will get even worse. It is overwhelming and causing young people serious depression. Climate scientists have been warning our leaders since before I was born but unfortunately for us, they have not acted. I wrote this song as a wakeup call for young people to stand up and demand that corporate and political leaders take immediate action to do what’s right for the children of the world before it’s really too late,” said Anderson Mwakazi.

The Kasigau Corridor is also home to Wildlife Works, a leading conservation business focused on protecting forests, wildlife and sustainable development for local forest communities. The company with its 350 local employees and with the cooperation of 120k community members, protect the entire 200k hectare corridor.

Wildlife Works far reaching community engagement activities include youth education on environmental issues held at local schools, many of which have been built or refurbished by Wildlife Works and where thousands of children have and continue to receive scholarships covering their school fees. Anderson first learned about climate change and the importance of protecting trees from the community outreach leaders at Wildlife Works.

“Deforestation causes a direct threat to our survival in rural Kenya but it’s not only a local problem, we all share the atmosphere that doesn’t care where emissions from burning forests come from so this is also a serious problem for everyone in the world. I hope our song Pray for Nature will help people remember to have more respect for nature” said Anderson Mwakazi

Wildlife Works and its business development partner Everland sponsored Anderson to write and record “Pray for Nature.”

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Fisherman’s Diary Puts Cameroon Film Industry on Global Map With Oscars Representation
January 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Cameroonian Movie The Fisherman's Diary picks up from where it left in 2020
Cameroonian Movie The Fisherman’s Diary picks up from where it left in 2020

Picking up from where it left behind in 2020, Cameroonian movie The Fisherman’s Diary is going full steam ahead in 2021. The movie fronted by Kang Quintus and Faith Fidel and Directed by Enah Johnscott has been accepted to represent Cameroon at the 93rd edition of the Oscars.

“The movie becomes the 1st ever Cameroon film to achieve this milestone. Thank you to the Cameroon Oscars committee and CFI,” Kang Quintus posted.

“It is a statement that the Cameroonian film industry is doing a lot of work. We have stepped up the game a little bit and it is quite a humble experience that the Fisherman’s Diary is the first-ever Cameroonian film to be accepted into the Oscars to represent Cameroon,” Kang Quintus told Pan African Visions in a telephone interview. 

“I am very humble and it tells us that whatever we are doing here we are doing the right thing and a lot of work is to be done. I can tell you that this is the beginning of many great films as we are heading to August and we are open to partway for that to be possible.”

With the Fisherman’s Diary already making headways, Kang Quintus is already envisaging the production of a new movie before the year ends. “The Fisherman’s Diary is the beginning of many films to come from Kang Quintus Films,” Kang Quintus said.

“As soon as we are done with the marketing and distribution of this film we are getting to preproduction for the next film and all of that is in the pipeline. We have to put all energy behind the Fisherman’s Diary right now because it has to get all the attention it deserves.”

“There are many awards that we have submitted this film to and as soon as the good news comes in we are going to make it public,” Kang Quintus, the Best actor of the 2020 Golden Movie Awards said. 

Last year the Fisherman’s Diary was one of the major success stories for the Cameroonian movie industry picking up awards in the country and beyond. At the Golden Movie Awards in Ghana and the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) in Nigeria, the Film snapped up 10 awards, adding to awards in Instanbul, Cameroon, and a host of other countries.

The movie fronted by Kang Quintus and Faith Fidel has won big at the Golden Movie Awards in Ghana and the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) in Nigeria.
The movie fronted by Kang Quintus and Faith Fidel has won big at the Golden Movie Awards in Ghana and the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) in Nigeria.

An insight into The Fisherman’s Diary

The movie directed by Enah Johnscott and produced by Kang Quintus is a storey of a 12-year-old Ekah (Faith Fidel) who got inspired by Malala Yousalzai, the youngest noble prize winner.

She is determined to go to school in a village of fishermen where it is considered as taboo. He drives to break this adage gets her embroiled with her father Solomon (Kang Quintus) experience with girl child education, critiqsite reported.

The film features other actors such as Ramses Nouah, Onyama Laura, Neba Godwill, Mayohchu and Daphne Njie.

The film has won best film in India and New York, picking up Best director, best film, best soundtrack and best production nominations at the prestigious PAMA in Paris, France.

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South Sudan: JEDCO to cut off power supply in Juba capital
January 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Juba – The Juba Electricity Distribution Company has announced plans to cut off power supply starting Tuesday in South Sudan’s capital city of Juba’s capital of the East African’s youngest nation.

The city is going back to darkness as the management of the company (JEDCO) announces total blackout, says the power halt will start Tuesday until further notice.

In a public statement released on Sunday, the electricity distributor claims that the South Sudan government has “not been able to provide the foreign currency required to make long-overdue payments for the bulk energy” they get from Ezra Construction and Development Group.

Ezra Group of companies built a first electricity power and is operating the 100 Megawatts Power Plant in Juba.This was a first electricity power built in Juba since the country gained her independence from Sudan in July 2011.
The government of South Sudan is expected to take over the power plant in the future according to the agreement.

The Juba City Power Distribution System was constructed with the support of the African Development Bank which provided $38 million.
While launching the power plant a year ago, President Salva Kiir said South Sudan shall be connected to a 400 KV line interconnecting Karuma in Uganda and Juba by 2023. Kiir further said the country will also develop its hydropower resources –mainly in Fulla in Nimule.

“Juba Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (JEDCO) regrets to inform all its customers that it has been forced to halt electricity supplies starting the morning of Tuesday, January 12, 2021, until further notice,” the statement said.

Despite that, JEDCO says it is working with stakeholders to resolve the problem to resume normal services.The electricity distribution company has so far connected 9,990 households, 3,550 businesses, and 200 governmental institutions to the grid.The company says it will resume supplying electricity once the issue of foreign currency has been resolved.

The Juba government is yet to respond to this matter, but the observers also call on the government to release some foreign currency to the company so that the city wouldn’t go back total darkness.

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Understanding the psychological madness of successive mandates
January 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Kadar Abdi Ibrahim*

It is necessary to identify, along the way, the reasons inherent in the self, which, if not combated, largely explain the psychological madness of successive terms of office, attachment and longevity to power. All boiling down to one and the same question: what will be done tomorrow?

  1. Anxiety derived from inaction: the anxiety of boredom These dictators all have a leitmotif in common. That of only existing for one activity: to exercise only power. Leaving the “armchair” creates a relaxation in them which is a prelude to inaction, leading to an anxiety that makes them feel like they are of absolutely no use. Scientifically called “the anxiety of boredom” by psychiatrists, it is generally manifested by feelings of helplessness, inanity, maladjustment, despair, which, taken to the extreme, turns into an anxiety of dead. They are bored and therefore vegetate far from power, from the decision-making sphere and above all from the tumultuous life they led among the big boys.
  • Fear of the end : fear of death The idea of postponing each time their departure to the next term, is reminiscent of these dictators, this fear that every human being has of the End, the supreme being death, physical law, inflexible, imposed on the man and which happens most often when we do not expect it. Few are the people who, aware of this appalling programmed fatality of the human being, agree to resign themselves. On the contrary. “The fear of death is not natural” said Jean Jacques Rousseau. In fact, one could not find a better parallel between the fear of death, the ultimate, and this frenzy of the fear of leaving the armchair which absorbs them and loses them to infatuation. And besides, do we not always learn of their death, a few months after the end of their reign? If we are to believe that they themselves have a presentiment that the end of their reign inevitably corresponds to that of their life. It is therefore, in their depressing logic, a vicious cycle: they leave power, become inactive, stop living, and finally die slowly.
  • Fear of disgrace: the scissor effect This fear stems particularly from the “chisel effect” theory: on the one hand, the blade of the opposition and on the other, the edge of the Western powers. Indeed, the faults committed during their reign generate a strong feeling of hostility between those in power at the height of their reign, stinking of glory, abusing the spittoon, which no rule stops and criminalized opponents, ensnared for crimes of opinions, tortured in jails and any political manifestation of which is bloodily suppressed. Not surprisingly, then, a bitter, mistrustful relationship has developed between dictators and opponents. It is certain that no longer enjoying immunity without their positions as president “for life”, dictators believe that opponents, clogged with the emery, once they come to power, will in turn inflict snub to them. The fear of these tyrants, which has become a chronic wound that gnaws at them, is not to fall under the ax of the rule of “each in turn” led by an immature opposition, with the blade in hand, freshly installed in power. activating in a very beautiful way to bring them down in flames. Without forgetting, of course, the cutting edge of the Western countries, their allies of yesterday, who saw them as indispensable ramparts against communism or against Islamism, for whom, today, they are becoming embarrassing and are forced to hang out in multiple political and financial trials. So let us no longer be surprised, among these dictators, that this obsession with constantly having the knife under the throat, this fixed idea of being stuck in machinations and cabals, this nightmarish fear of falling into disgrace without few people are moved by it, pushing them to stay indefinitely at the post.
  • Nostalgia for the past: the end of the “traveling bank account” The vacancy causes the loss of privileges of former Heads of State. It is known, money is the fuel of dictatorships which buy in the strongest sense of the word the political elite! A gap then widens between their past as President-predators, confusing the State coffers with his own, justifying the expression of Bernard Kouchner’s “traveling bank account”, bathed in a flood of full power, which makes them dizzy, in which they seem more haughty, leading a senator’s train without concealing the pleasure they take, and their future, which, for its part, is anchored more in the experience of ordinary people and whose success lies behind .

 A radical change of status whose awareness refers to nostalgia for the past, a sensation taking place in three (3) stages. First of all, by a refusal. Refusal to accept that what was will be no more. In other words, nothing will be the same for them. The refusal, giving way, then, to a dissatisfaction with their situation far from suiting them. And finally, when it is impossible to make the slightest change, discontent ends in resignation which plunges them into deep dismay.

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Kenya prisoners protest over colleague’s death.
January 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Operations at Manyani Maximum Prison in Kenya’s coast on Friday, January 8, 2021, came to a standstill after prisoners at the facility staged demonstrations protesting their colleague’s death.

The deceased, identified as Stephen Mwangi Kabanzu, is alleged to have breathed his last after a short illness.

The irate inmates accused the facility of negligence, claiming their pleas to wardens to take Stephen to hospital fell into deaf ears.

However, Manyani Maximum Prison Commander in charge, Bison Madegwa, dismissed the claims that the inmate died within the facility, saying he passed on in the hospital.

“I want to say this, the prisoner did not die in prison…he died at Moi Referral Hospital in Voi after he was taken in ill…he did not die at Manyani, those are just but rumours,” he reiterated.

Manyani Maximum Prison has been in the limelight over the mistreatment of prisoners allegations. On December 14, 2020, two inmates at the facility protested against what they termed as torture by the officers. The duo climbed on the top of the institution’s rooftop, reportedly weeping, asking for help from passersby.

The institution denied the allegations insisting they were trying to incite others.

“They just came in the other day after they were transferred from another facility. The matter is being addressed by the officers in charge,” said  Madegwa.

In May 2017, three prisoners who were serving sentences at the facility sued the state over alleged inhuman treatment.

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Housing demolitions by Harare City Council not the solution: says watchdog group
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

A local watchdog group the Harare Residents’ Trust(HRT) has denounced the ongoing demolition of houses by Harare City Council especially in  Budiriro high density suburb saying it is not a solution.

 The trust says that a humanitarian crisis is developing and requires a purely humane response.

 It is reported that on 3 December 2020, the City of Harare, with the help of the police, and armed with demolition orders, demolished 143 houses, leaving an estimated 715 people homeless.

  The trust said that although it  does not support building on illegal land, it opines that demolishing houses is and will never be the solution.

  It is reported that the government, together with the local authority should look at the bigger picture and tackle the root problem of housing shortages.

   “The repeat illegal allocations and demolitions of people’s homes will be with us for a long time to come if local authorities do not address housing delivery and service land. Ultimately, the human rights of the citizens will continue to be violated while the corrupt keep getting away without being punished,” HRT said.

  The trust added that several factors are leading to the never-ending illegal land sales.

 It said that one of the main reasons is citizens’ desperation to acquire housing stands.

 It is also reported that there is a huge housing backlog, which is fuelling desperation among the citizenry and exposing them to land barons and corrupt officials in local authorities and central government.

  “This desperation clouds them and in the end, they do not verify whether the land they will be receiving is legal or not. A few who are aware of the illegalities surrounding the land sales also go into desperation and they receive assurance from political figures that their houses will be regularized,” the trust said.

 It added that it is  insensitive to lay the blame on the vulnerable citizens to the extent of demolishing their houses at a time rains have started falling.The corruption is worse in land allocations as estate agents, land barons, council management, town planners, councillors, and central government officials are using the desperation of home seekers to manipulate systems and make more money for themselves in the process,” they said.

 It is reported that for example, Tembwe Housing Cooperative secured land in Budiriro in 2010 through the council officials, and obtained certificate of incorporation as a housing cooperative.

  They were  allocated land to their members.

 It is however, reported that  in 2014, an identified council Town Planner Priscilla Charumbira allegedly demanded that they pay US$45 000 in order to have their housing stands regularised.

  It is added that council allegedly wrote their names down, and assured the stand owners that their stands would be regularised.

 It is however added , things changed after they refused to pay the US$45 000.

 Charumbira is reported to have  allegedly initiated through identified proxies to establish Events Housing Cooperative and offered it the same land as Tembwe Housing Cooperative.

  Events Housing Cooperative is however reported  not have separate land.

It is reported that the impact of the  conflicted situation is that Tembwe Housing Cooperative members had their houses demolished on a court order issued against Events Housing Cooperative, which however did not have houses on the disputed land.

 The trust said that it urged the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and responsible authorities to fully investigate how the situation obtained.

  It is added that demolition of houses belonging to residents in Budiriro will have severe social, economic and psychological impacts to the victims.

  It is also added a majority of the victims come from very poor socio-economic backgrounds and their social capital is very low.

  It is added that a majority of the houses were built using pension funds, savings and other investments saved over a long time.

  “Demolishing people’s houses without a critical consideration of their position on the sustainable livelihoods scale will make it more difficult for the victims to escape from poverty,” the trust said.

 It is added that following a Human Rights Based Approach, the state is obligated to protect, promote and safeguard the human rights of all its citizens, including those living with disabilities, the sick, children and senior citizens.

  “However, these demotions demonstrate that the state has abandoned its constitutional obligations and is therefore failing to offer security to its vulnerable citizens. Household economies are going to be shattered after the demolitions, and this will put pressure on the already depressed society due to the fluid state of the economy. Stress levels among the affected citizens are going to shoot up, severely damaging the psychological and mental wellbeing of victims,” the trust added.

 It added that demolitions are evidence of the chaotic housing delivery system in the council.

  The trust recommended that the council regularise all the houses not built on wetlands, make the house owners pay the price for not following the law in acquiring their houses, postpone all demolitions until the end of the rainy season, bring to account all known corrupt land dealers, councillors, council managers, land barons, estate agents, central government officials and politicians for their transgressions.

 The City of Harare has been urged to have an electronic housing waiting list to enable transparent land allocations for housing developments.

 They said that only the council should be responsible for selling council land and the land must be serviced.

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Cameroon: Fri Asanga Appointed Interim CEO of D&L Foretia Foundation
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Fri Asanga, D&L Foretia Foundation's new Interim CEO speaks at the Emerging Leaders Programme in Cameroon's Capital Yaounde
Fri Asanga, D&L Foretia Foundation’s new Interim CEO speaks at the Emerging Leaders Programme in Cameroon’s Capital Yaounde

The Board of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation has appointed Madam Fri Asanga, current Chief Operating Officer, to lead the organization as Interim Chief Executive Officer as of 1st March 2021. Dr William Arrey who has been in that position will step down from 1st March 2021.

This information is contained in a document sent to Pan African Visions and authored by Denis Foretia, Co-chair of the D&L Foretia Foundation. “Since joining the Foundation, Mme Asanga has helped further standardize our operations and significantly improve execution efficiency,” Denis Foretia said.

Dr Arrey who has worked tirelessly to see that the mission of the Foundation is taking to higher heights steps down to dedicate more time to policy research. “While Dr Arrey is stepping down he is not leaving the Foundation. He will continue to further the Foundation’s vision as a Senior Fellow at the Nkafu Policy Institute and as an Advisor to the Board. We are extremely grateful for his leadership,” Dr Denis Foretia, Co-chair of the D&L Foretia Foundation said.

Over the past three months, Dr William Arrey has been working with the Board to ensure a smooth transition.

To Dr Denis, during Dr William Arrey’s tenure, he oversaw the Foundation’s success in building critical national and international partnerships, growing Nkafu Policy Institute’s impact in Africa, and developing exceptional talent across all Foundation departments.

According to the Co-chair, the Board will launch a national search for the next CEO shortly and Dr Odette Kibu has been charged to assist the Board in that process and the goal is to have the next CEO by July 2021. “We are incredibly honoured to have had the foresight and leadership of Dr Arrey and are very pleased to have Mme. Asanga leads the Foundation during this process,” Dr Denis Foretia, Executive Chairman of the Nkafu Policy Institute said.

Who is the Incoming CEO, Fri Asanga?

Before joining the Foundation, she was the Coordinator for FinScope and MAP Cameroon where she oversaw the activities of the financial scoping consumer survey in Cameroon on behalf of UNCDF and FinMark Trust.

She has deep expertise in the microfinance sector haven spent more than 15 years working on financial inclusion for the most vulnerable groups in society. Before her work with FinScope and MAP Cameroon, she served as Advisor with the UNCDF Microlead project where she helped established the computerization of networks of CVECA as well as the piloting of branchless banking at some microfinance institutions. She also has broad experience in risk management, micro-insurance schemes, training in financial literacy as well as social accountability.

With her role as Chief Operating Officer Fri Asanga was responsible for the overall operational efficiency with the supervision of grant management processes and human resources.

She holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the United States International University-Africa in Nairobi, Kenya and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Lagos in Nigeria.

Dr. William Hermann Arrey, outgoing CEO of D&L Foretia Foundation
Dr. William Hermann Arrey, outgoing CEO of D&L Foretia Foundation

About the D&L Foretia Foundation

The Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation work to catalyze Africa’s economic transformation through social entrepreneurship, science and technology, innovation, public health and progressive policies that create economic opportunities for all.

The foundation works in partnership with local government, policymakers, private enterprises, civil society organizations as well as development partners to expand the resources available to entrepreneurs, farmers, and small business owners to improve individual livelihoods.

The areas of work include sustainable development, science and technology, health, leadership, education, entrepreneurship, economic and public policy.

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Angolan Legal Reform Shows How Africa Can Use Oil and Gas as a Springboard Towards Job Creation
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

But Only if It Looks Beyond the Obvious Options 

By NJ Ayuk*

President Lourenço

Africa’s oil and gas resources have the potential to accomplish so much good for the continent’s people.


For decades, many of Africa’s oil- and gas-producing states followed a predictable pattern. They treated their oil and gas primarily as raw materials that could be sold abroad for a quick profit, rather than as a means of supporting efforts to make more lasting changes in the economy of the nation as a whole.

This pattern has had unfortunate consequences. It discouraged investment in local capacity, and it fostered the development of arrangements under which most residents of the producing states could not see how the large amounts of money earned from oil and gas exports were improving their lives. In other words, it allowed most hydrocarbon revenues to flow back to the home offices of international oil companies (IOCs) or to go to national oil companies (NOCs) that transferred funds to local governments — and, in many cases, to individual government officials, along with their friends and family members.

Africans already know that focusing on oil exports doesn’t yield the best results. They already know that it ignores the need for long-term investment and fosters corruption.

But corruption isn’t the only issue. Africans also know that the old pattern of focusing on commodity exports doesn’t do enough to put their economies on track for long-term growth and keep them there.

They know, in other words, that the old habits don’t create jobs.

At least, maybe they don’t create large numbers of jobs. Or maybe they don’t create the kind of jobs that last long enough or have enough impact to lead to real change.

And why should it be that way? Africa’s oil and gas resources have the potential to accomplish so much good for the continent’s people – and that includes creating training and job opportunities across multiple sectors, which is one of the keys to sustainable economic growth. This can be accomplished by strategically harnessing oil and gas to monetize value chains and diversify economies. And to do that, we need to create an environment that enables new businesses to launch and thrive.

As the Chamber’s 2021 Africa Energy Outlook says, “Using the stimulus afforded by the natural resources to stimulate jobs in other economic sectors with higher labor intensity is where a significant amount of jobs can be created.”

So it’s time to broaden our view of Africa’s oil and gas resources. Instead of treating them only as a revenue source, we must approach them as a path towards a very important goal: empowering Africans to improve their own lives.

Local Content for Local Jobs

Africans understand the necessity of breaking free of old patterns, and they’ve tried to address the challenge with policy changes. In Angola’s case, they have sought to thwart old oil habits of the past by embarking on a fundamental reform of how the sector works. This entailed taking away regulatory powers for the sector from the national oil company Sonangol and giving those to the newly created National Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANPG). The restructuring of the sector, that resulted in the creation of the ANPG and the reorientation of Sonangol, is arguably one of the greatest achievements of H.E. Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, Angola’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum who was brought in to reform the sector. This enabled Sonangol to embark on its own restructuring, at the core of which is the sale of non-core assets and a withdrawal of what Sonangol is expected to do; be a competent partner to foreign operators, and cost efficiently run its own operations. These changes, though very recent, have already stated bearing fruits. The newly created agency, under the chairmanship of a recognized industry expert Paulino Jeronimo, has moved swiftly, to usher in the implementation of new local content guidelines. They have also refocused their efforts on making new acreage in Angola attractive for investment, in an effort to stop the expected decline in output, mid to long-term.

In more general terms, though, they’ve also introduced policy initiatives that aim to create jobs. In Angola, the government recently rolled out a new legal regime for local content requirements after two years of concertation with the various stakeholders.

President João Lourenço, who introduced the new rules last month, has made the job-creation angle clear. He has described Presidential Decree 271/20 as a way to promote Angolan commercial entities’ participation in the development of the oil and gas sector. He has said he hopes the new measure will encourage IOCs to obtain goods and services (including raw materials) from local providers and to replace foreign experts with local workers.

Presidential Decree 271/20 also stresses the Angolan government’s desire to strengthen “national entrepreneurship.” It states that foreign technical assistance and management contracts must include provisions for the establishment of detailed training and professional development programs and the transfer of expertise and technology.

Training Across Sectors

This all sounds like a good idea — and a plan for concrete action as well. Presidential Decree 271/20 doesn’t just talk about increasing local content; it also replaces all the previous local content measures approved between 2003 and 2009. It offers a more detailed description of the factors that qualify an entity as an Angolan company and outlines the procedures that will allow the government to keep an up-to-date list of the parties that are pre-qualified to bid for contracts with IOCs

But does it really go far enough?

In some ways, it does. And by that, I mean that I’m glad to see that the decree talks about the need to make sure that Angolan workers have access to detailed, effective, and sophisticated training programs— and about the need to include provisions for such training in foreign management and technical assistance contracts.

In other ways, though, I’d like President Lourenço and his government to go further. I’d like them to think about exactly what kind of training might serve Angolans best. For example, what if they decided to prioritize training in information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) skills? Might they find that workers who learn how to operate the control systems used to maximize the efficiency of, say, gas pipelines also turn out to have the skills needed to operate similar equipment in manufacturing plants? And might such workers turn out to have something even more useful, such as the skills needed to set up and promote a new tech hub that could serve as another new source of jobs?

A More Expansive View of Oil and Gas

I also think there’s room for Angola to take a more expansive view of oil and gas. That is, I think the government ought to look further down the value chain so that its new policies don’t emphasize conventional upstream, midstream, and downstream operations (and the ways that Angolan companies can support them) while overlooking other opportunities. Oil and gas aren’t just raw materials to be exported. They can also serve as feedstock for the production of petrochemicals, fertilizers, and other value-added goods. They can be used to power energy-intensive industrial facilities such as manufacturing complexes. They can also fuel power plants that increase domestic electricity supplies to such an extent that life gets better for residential and business customers alike.

In turn, all of these new enterprises will have to hire people. They will need construction workers to build their physical plants, skilled and unskilled workers to keep their facilities running, IT and OT experts to operate and maintain the digital systems that help maximize efficiency, contractors to provide services such as food and transportation, and so on. In short, they will create jobs — and in so doing, they will show that oil and gas amount to something more than exportable raw materials.

Furthermore, if Angola can pull this feat off — if it can use its new policies to lay a foundation for job creation that both includes and transcends oil and gas — it will be in a position to show other countries in Africa how to do the same thing. It will be able to set an example capable of inspiring Africans who want to see the old patterns of hydrocarbon development broken.

Global impact and market stability

Finally, it is important to acknowledge the role that Angola and its current Minister of Mineral Resources, Petroleum and Gas, Diamantino Pedro Azevedo is playing as president of the conference of ministers of OPEC. Without market stability and a realistic price environment for crude globally, all potential benefits from the industry in Angola will be short-lived. OPEC Plus’s January 5th 2021 agreement to allow some of its members to cautiously increase production in February and March in a coordinated manner, is also due to Diamantino’s tact and experience. It is even more encouraging for the global oil markets, that Saudi Arabia is backing the current OPEC Plus deal with additional cuts of its own. This is good for Angola’s oil sector and Angolan jobs.

*SOURCE African Energy Chamber.NJ Ayuk is Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, CEO of Centurion Law Group, and the author of several books about the oil and gas industry in Africa, including Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals.
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Turkish Ambassador set up a spying network in Mozambique – report
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Nordic Monitor

In this 2012 photo, Turkish ambassador Aylin Taşhan is seen next to the US-indicted Turkish Minister Zafer Çağlayan who still remains at large after he was charged by US federal prosecutors on multiple charges

In a breach of the international conventions, Turkish diplomats in the southern African nation of Mozambique spied on critics of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a secret Turkish Foreign Ministry document obtained by Nordic Monitor has revealed.

According to the communiqué, then-Turkish Ambassador to Mozambique Aylin Taşhan, the first ambassador of Turkey in the country, dispatched a cable to headquarters in Ankara that included information collected unlawfully by employees of the Turkish Embassy. The intelligence cable included the names and identities of critics of President Erdoğan as well as institutions and organizations set up by these people.

The people who were spied on are believed to be affiliated with the Gülen movement, a group that is critical of the Turkish government for a number of things, from rampant corruption in the administration to Erdogan’s aiding and abetting of armed jihadist groups in other countries.

The document, dated September 16, 2016, listed the names of 32 individuals as well Willow International School, Ltd., which runs one of the best performing schools in Mozambique. Several firms run by Turks such as DECO Construction Limitada, Turkmall Limitada, Isparta Construction Limitada, Ilhas da Paz and others were also profiled in the intelligence document.

Following a similar pattern seen in other diplomatic missions Turkey maintains in foreign countries, the Turkish Embassy in Maputo shared the list of persons living in the country so that their passports could be canceled by the Turkish Interior Ministry with no administrative or judicial investigation.

The cancellation of passports serves multiple purposes for Erdoğan in his quest to persecute his critics: It limits their free movement, especially to safer countries; prevents applications for extending permits or visas for legal stays; and paves the way for deportations and renditions.

Secret Turkish Foreign Ministry document that reveals extensive spying activities in Mozambique:

According to Article 23 of the Turkish Constitution, freedom of movement can be restricted by law for the purpose of investigation and prosecution of an offense and for the prevention of offenses. Moreover, a Turkish citizen’s freedom to leave the country may be restricted only by the decision of a judge based on a criminal investigation or prosecution. It demonstrates the arbitrary rule in Turkey, which is run by a one-man regime without respect for due process and in blatant violation of fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution.

The classified document reveals how widespread the spying network of Islamist President Erdoğan is and confirms the use of Turkish embassies for intelligence gathering and profiling of his critics and their organizations.

These documents containing information collected by the embassies are later used in criminal indictments of critics and their families on dubious charges of terrorism.

In December 2016 Ambassador Taşhan was assigned as general director of the foreign ministry’s intelligence section, the Directorate General for Research and Security Affairs (Araştırma ve Güvenlik İşleri Genel Müdürü). In her new capacity she continued to run large-scale spying activities using Turkish embassies and consulates around the world to gather intelligence. She was succeeded by Ambassador Zeynep Kızıltan. Earlier in December 2020, Taşhan was appointed ambassador to Slovenia.

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Ambassador Aylin Taşhan

A judicial document previously obtained by Nordic Monitor had confirmed her predecessors in Ljubljana had already engaged in a similar spying campaign.  Turkish educators, academics and representatives of NGOs who had been listed by Turkish diplomats in Ljubljana were later indicted on dubious terrorism charges by a Turkish prosecutor. Those documents exposed clandestine spying activities in Slovenian territory that targeted critics as part of President Erdoğan’s long arm.

The document, pulled from a restricted case file, revealed the extent of spying activity by the Turkish Embassy that targeted critics and organizations in Slovenia. The people and organizations that were spied on by the embassy are believed to be affiliated with a civic group led by Fethullah Gülen, a US-based Muslim cleric who has become a vocal critic of Erdoğan for pervasive corruption in the government and the Turkish regime’s clandestine support for armed jihadist groups including the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaeda.

The Turkish president turned against the Gülen movement after major corruption investigations in December 2013 that incriminated Erdoğan, his family members and his business and political associates. A month later, in January 2014, an exposé of illegal arms shipments by Turkish intelligence to jihadists in Syria in 2014 created further troubles for the Erdoğan government for covertly fueling a civil war in the neighboring country.

The order to spy on Gülen-affiliated people and organizations came in early 2014, and volunteers of the movement were targeted with criminal prosecutions on fabricated charges of terrorism. In July 2016 Erdoğan staged a false flag coup to set up the opposition, including the movement, for mass persecution, pushed the army to invade northern Syria and declared himself the imperial president of the new Turkey.

As a part of Turkey’s global witch-hunt, Turkish diplomats systematically spied on critics of the president, collected information on Turks living abroad and transmitted it to headquarters while enjoying the privileges and immunities described in international conventions. In some countries, Erdoğan’s envoys coordinated the local elements of intelligence operations carried out by the Turkish intelligence agency (MİT) on foreign soil to abduct Turkish nationals.

Moreover, Nordic Monitor revealed how MİT infiltrated refugee camps in Greece in order to spy on opponents who were forced to flee to Greece to escape an unprecedented crackdown in neighboring Turkey.

It is clear that Turkish diplomatic missions violate the domestic laws of receiving states and the principles of international law by conducting unlawful information-gathering campaigns and sweeping intelligence operations.

Turkish embassy building in Maputo, Mozambique.
Turkish embassy building in Maputo, Mozambique.

The immunities and privileges of diplomats and consular staff are governed by international conventions. However, diplomats enjoying the privileges and immunities described in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations are under a duty to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving state and to avoid interfering in its internal affairs as detailed in Article 41. Similarly, the consular staff is granted limited privileges and immunities by the Vienna Convention on Consular Affairs, but the host state authorities can start investigations and prosecute any of the personnel if they perpetrate crimes inside or outside the consulate premises, according to Article 43 of the convention.

Turkish diplomatic missions continue systematic spying on Turkish government critics on foreign soil as confirmed by Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in February 2020. Çavuşoğlu said Turkish diplomats assigned to embassies and consulates have officially been instructed by the government to conduct such activities abroad. “If you look at the definition of a diplomat, it is clear. … Intelligence gathering is the duty of diplomats,” Çavuşoğlu told Turkish journalists on February 16, 2020, following the Munich Security Conference, adding, “Intelligence gathering and information collection are a fact.”

In his interview with The Globe and Mail, Turkish Ambassador to Canada Kerim Uras also admitted to spying on 15 Turkish-Canadians. “Any embassy would focus on the threats targeting their countries. That’s what every Embassy does,” he told The Globe and Mail.

Turkish Ambassador to Uganda Kerem Alp spoke to the state-run Anadolu news agency in March and confirmed that Turkish diplomats collect information on the business activities of Erdoğan critics living abroad and profile their companies as if they were part of a terrorist organization. Alp also revealed how the embassy was gathering information on the medical staff, educators and humanitarian volunteers working for Ugandan institutions. “There were some FETO followers who had sought to hide in Uganda and were working in schools or hospitals. … They have been disguising themselves as humanitarian workers,” he told the news agency. FETO is a derogatory term coined by the Turkish government to refer to the movement.

The crackdown on Erdoğan critics throughout the country intensified in the aftermath of the corruption scandal of December 2013 that incriminated Erdoğan, his family members and his business and political associates. Immediately after the corruption investigation, Erdoğan accused the police officers, judges and prosecutors involved in the case of mounting a coup against his government and claimed they were linked to the Gülen movement, which he branded a “parallel state.”

*Nordic Monitor

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The Most Powerful Resource We All Need Right Now: The Supernatural Power of God
January 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

Denver, CO, January 6, 2021 — Imagine what it would be like to pray for miracles and see them happen right in front of your eyes! When he was just 15 years old, Dr. Andrew Nkoyoyo prayed for a blind man, and before hundreds of witnesses, God gave the man his sight. Is Dr. Nkoyoyo one of the chosen few born with a unique spiritual gift, or is the ability to access and walk in God’s supernatural power something all believers can cultivate?

In Catch and Release God’s Supernatural, author Dr. Andrew Nkoyoyo shows readers how to operate in the power of God despite their spiritual maturity or call, even if they’re a new believer with no prior experience in God’s supernatural. Nkoyoyo believes that we are in a crucial time, and that God is raising up those who desire to go to the next level.

“We choose to be chosen,” Nkoyoyo said during a recent interview with Dr. Francis Myles . “It’s not happening by accident. God is giving us opportunities, and He’s waiting on our response.”

In Catch and Release God’s Supernatural, Nkoyoyo says he will:

  • Show you how the power of God will make a shift in your life so that you can be victorious and transform the lives of others
  • Reveal the simple yet powerful kingdom keys, secrets and methods needed to release God’s supernatural
  • Guide you step by step on how to apply each kingdom key in your life so that you can access heaven and unleash the miracle worker in you
  • Interweave powerful supernatural testimonies and stories he experienced both personally and in ministry to demonstrate each key

Even before you finish the book, Nkoyoyo says your confidence in God’s ability to use you will increase as you become more spiritually equipped to apply these keys to each situation you encounter. You’ll soon find yourself operating in God’s miracles, healing and power, changing people’s lives for Jesus, and catching and releasing the supernatural power of God!

Author Dr. Andrew Nkoyoyo is the founder and president of Kingdom Impact Ministry. He is a revivalist, international speaker, host of the Kingdom Come TV program, apostolic/prophetic minister, author, and missionary from Uganda, East Africa, to the United States. Additionally, Nkoyoyo is a member of Harvest International Ministry, an apostolic network.

His Kingdom Come broadcast program and streaming media reaches people in more than 195 countries every day. He has shared miracle healing and revival stories on Sid Roth’s TV program It’s Supernatural. He has also shared the platform with speakers and Christian recording artists such as The Newsboys, For King and Country, Nick Vujicic, Jaci Velasquez, Sidewalk Prophets, Kutless, The Afters, Uncle Reese and many more.  

Nkoyoyo is also the author of Working the Works of God, a book expounding on the keys to supernatural ministry. He focuses on inspiring the body of Christ and communities toward a great spiritual revival and awakening that has the power to transform society.  With an obvious passion to impact lives with the message of Christ through God’s power, miracles, healing, signs, wonders and prophetic ministry, he equips Christians to catch and release God’s supernatural love and power daily. He and his wife, Mona, have four beautiful children and make their home in Montrose, Colorado.

For more information, please visit www.kingdomimpactministry.org, or connect with the author on Facebook: @kingdomimpactministry; Instagram: kingdomimpacttv; and Twitter: @kingdomimpacttv.

Catch and Release God’s Supernatural: Keys to Operating in God’sMiracles, Healing, and Power

Publisher: Spirit Life Publishing

Release Date: December 1, 2020

ASIN: B08K9FXQ7Y (eBook)                

Available from www.kingdomimpactministry.org/supernaturalGod and Amazon.com

*Courtesy of Ascot Media Group

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