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Cameroon: Internally Displaced Persons receive Humanitarian aids
July 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

IDPs receive fourth consignment of relief materials

Some 200 internally displaced persons residing in Buea, Fako Division have been handed humanitarian relief materials. The materials are part of the Head of State’s Humanitarian assistance plan for victims of the on-going crisis in the South West and North West Regions of Cameroon. The materials which consisted of toiletries, groundnut oil, bags of rice, washing soap, blankets, mattresses and others were handed to the IDPs, July 23, at the Buea council chamber.

Speaking to the press, Mayor Ekema Patrick Esunge said he is more concerned with the community he has put in place to distribute the items. Discipline beings from within. We have cautioned that no council staff should be part of this distribution because their salaries are already ready.

The fourth consignment sent by the Minister of Territorial Administration Paul Atanga Nji was destined to 100 displaced persons but according to Mayor Ekema Patrick, they decided to raise the number to 200. “We have a sharing culture and we think it is important to share and that’s why the number has been increased with the little input put in place by the council, Mayor Ekema indicated”

To the recipients, Mayor Ekema Patrick said “the main advice is that these materials should serve the purpose for which they have been intended. Nobody should exchange the items for money or any form of exchange. We appeal to the population to remain calm, vigilant and be very corporative with the council and the state as a whole.”

To 37 years-old Simon Otta, for the past three years, things have not been easy. “I had to leave Bamuka, Ndop, North West Region, to Buea and with the academic level I had, no job. I have been working in the construction site to keep myself engaged.

“I have a family under me and the situation we are in is not easy. I had to be sleeping on the floor, while my wife, kids and sister sleep on the bed. It has really not been easy. With these materials, it will go a long way in alleviating our situation but more needs to be done, while not the additional part of finance”.

On going back to school, he pleaded with the government to provide not only money but mattresses which will help some of them who have kids to go back to school. There is hope while we live so I can’t say there is no hope”.

33 year-old Njembe Theresia Limunga, mother of 3 children said she has been surviving through other people or the church. “I had to leave my area, Muyuka as where I was leaving had continuous gunshots. I could not stay there with my kids as when the shooting starts, everyone will be on the floor which was disturbing the children. There were numerous houses burnt around my area and when you see such things you become scared”.

“Presently life is not easy here in Buea couple with the cold. In my area in Muyuka is not that cold as Buea which makes my children to get sick. The means is not there to survive but when we were in Muyuka, it was better. “These materials will be helpful as before they were sleeping on the floor but now they can sleep on the mattress.”

My situation has been very dire since I left my parents in Tombel to come to Buea in 2016, said Esange Donald. “There is basically no hope for me to go back to my village at the moment as no one is safe. If I go back to the village I would be force to join the fight. We were presented with bag of rice, sardines and mattresses and I had to chose the mattress since I have a room and my younger one, it will be very good than the rice and other materials.”

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Kenya’s finance officials deny corruption charges
July 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma | @journalist_27

Former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich

Former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich

Kenya’s Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich on Tuesday pleaded not guilty before a Nairobi Court to graft charges over fraud linked to two dams’ projects.

Rotich, his Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge and eight others were arraigned a day after spending behind the bars. They are among the 28 people whom the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) issued their arrest warrants on Monday, July 22 following the outcome of a comprehensive investigations carried out by a multi-agency team presided by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti.

The suspects are alleged to have defrauded the government billion of money in the dam projects run by the Italian construction company CMC di Ravenna.

It has been reported that US$446 million was earmarked for the completion of Arror and Kimwarer dam projects in the Kenyan Rift Valley but the treasury had inflated the amount to US$610 million.

The DPP further revealed that US$6 million was paid out for the resettlement of people living in areas the projects were to be undertaken but there is information about the acquisition of land.

They were charged with 24 counts among them willful failures to comply with applicable procedures relating to procurement, engaging in a project without prior planning, conspiracy to defraud, and abuse of office, neglect of official duty, issuing of misleading information, fraudulent acquisition of public property and committing an offence of financial misconduct.

The investigative agencies have hinted at seeking repatriation of CMC di Ravenna director Paolo Porcelli to face graft charges.

“We have the Italian individual, he has not managed to present himself so we will be seeking his extradition to come and face the charges here in Kenya. We will also issue an international arrest warrant,” said Noordin Haji.

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South Sudan faction troops given a week to report to cantonment sites
July 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Juba – the South Sudan’s Joint Defense Board (JDB) has instructed all faction troops to report to their assigned cantonment sites and barracks for possible integration by July 31st, in bid to end  years of brutal conflict in the horn of Africa.

The directive is contained in a letter addressed to sector and division cadres of the government SSPDF, the SPLA-IO and forces of the South Sudan Opposition Alliances.

The decision was reached at the 8th meeting of the Joint Defense Board held in Juba last week.

The letter signed by JDB chairperson, Gen. Gabriel Jok Riak; Co-chairs, Lt Gen. Yiey Dak Wei of the SPLA-IO and the SSOA Gen. Salam Alhaj Babala, stated that all movement must start immediately. The decision was reached at the 8th meeting of the Joint Defense Board held in Juba last week.

It covers the military, police, national security and other organized forces of government, the SPLA-IO and the opposition alliance.

The JDB gave government and opposition forces till the July 31st to assemble at verified barracks and cantonment sites ahead of training and possible integration.

The SSPDF stated that it ordered its soldiers to go to barracks so that the integration process should be executed in accordance with the revitalized peace deal.

The SSPDF spokesperson Major Gen. Lul Ruai says food has been prepositioned and the troops are assembling at more than 20 barracks across the country.

Major Gen. Lul is confident and optimistic that the army will complete the process within the one-week deadline and further warns that any soldier who deliberately defies the marching orders will face disciplinary action.

Gov’t funds encampment

Meanwhile, the government says it has remitted $5 million into the account of the Joint Defense Board (JDB); to expedite the implementation of security arrangements as enshrined in the revitalized peace agreement. The amount is meant to facilitate the cantonment of forces, especially training of soldiers.

The training, according to the peace deal, shall be conducted by the Joint Transitional Security Committee or JTSC.

In May, the government pledged 100 million dollars to support the peace process and allocate the required funds for the successful implementation of the pre-transitional tasks.

“We provided the JDB $5 million for operationalization of the cantonment, and as we understand the JDB and the leadership has confirmed that 30th [July] to be the D-Day for movement of forces,” Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro, Secretary of the National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC), said quoted by local radio in Juba.

Dr. Elia also noted that the amount of money given of course is not enough for the operations of the cantonment and for training, but the money given is part of the $100 million dollars that has been pledged by the government.

Dr. Elia further said the money was remitted to the JDB account earlier this week, adding that the government will use oil and non-oil revenues to fund the peace process.

The JDB is formed at the level of chiefs of staff and directors’ general of organized forces. The body is tasked with command and control over all forces during the pre-transitional period.

The country two years after independence plunged into civil war that has killed nearly 400,000 people and uprooted four million people from their homes and it was until late 2018 that great level of peace was achieved following a ceasefire and peace deal signed in September 2018 by President Kiir and key opposition groups, including Dr. Machar.

The plans to form a power-sharing in May, this year were delayed after there was no funding to disarm, establish cantonments, rehabilitate and integrate militias and rebels across the country to November 12, this year.

 

 

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Sierra Leone: ACC signs over $100,000 grant with OSIWA
July 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

Francis Ben Kaifala

Francis Ben Kaifala

The Head of Sierra Leone’s Anti -graft body Francis Ben Kaifala Esq on Monday 22nd July 2019, signed a grant agreement for funding with the Open Society for West Africa (OSIWA) worth over One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (USD 110,000).

According to a press statement released by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC)  on Tuesday, the agreement is an approval for the funding for various departments of the Commission and is in response to a proposal submitted to OSIWA under the heading ‘’Changing the Game plan in the Fight Against Corruption in Sierra Leone’’

‘’ The main objective of the funding is to operationalize and mainstream public and social accountability mechanism in the fight against corruption through enforcement and compliance to systems, procedures and grievances redress systems in Ministries, Department and Agencies,’’ the release stated.

The release further stated that, in addition to its core mandate to supress and eliminate corruption in Sierra Leone, the ACC is also responsible for ensuring accountability and transparency in public institutions, as well as guaranteeing that these entities mainstream anti-corruption measures and policies in their workplaces.

‘’The Commission wishes to thank OSIWA for this support and the confidence reposed in the ACC as we work together to ensure the transparency and accountability in the governance architecture of Sierra Leone, the ACC released ended.

 

 

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Sierra Leone: Police put Le10m reward to anyone providing information leading to the arrest of person over Justice Biobele burglary
July 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

The residence of Commission Of Inquiry Judge Justice Biobele Georgewill, was attacked

The residence of Commission Of Inquiry Judge Justice Biobele Georgewill, was attacked

Police in Sierra Leone have placed a reward of Ten Million Leones (about $1,000) to anyone who provide any useful information that could lead to the arrest of person or persons over the alleged burglary at the Nigerian Judge Justice Biobele Georgewill residence on Monday.

The reward came after the theft incident on Monday 22nd July 2019 in which thief or thieves broke and entered the premises of Justice Biobele Georgewill and carted away with his grey, medium -sized Dell Laptop and few other items.

‘’A handsome reward of Le 10,000,000.00(Ten Million Leones) will be offered to anyone who provides any useful information that could lead to the success of the investigation and subsequent prosecution, ‘’ a Police statement said.

The Nigerian judge is one of three judges in the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI) hired by the government of Sierra Leone to look into the activities of former Ernest Bai Koroma administration.

According to a statement from the Head of the Media Mohamed Sulaiman Massaquoi, said the exact circumstances that led to the burglary have not been ascertained adding that the judge himself was not hurt and was not aware  of the incident until he woke up in which his laptops computers and few other items were carted away by the thieves.

‘’Mean while the proceedings of the Commission of inquiry will continue unabated. Justice Biobele Georgewill will continue sittings at commission 64 on Wednesday July 24. The public is assured of the continuation of the commission of Inquiry,’’ said Mohamed Sulaiman Massaquoi, Head of media Commissions of Inquiry.

However, Police have mounted investigations and has assured the public that the outcome of the investigation would be accordingly made public.

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Ghana’s PANAFEST –gov’t slashes visa fees for Jamaica and Guyana to return home
July 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ahedor Jessica

Akwasi Agyemang, Chief Executive Officer of GTA

Akwasi Agyemang, Chief Executive Officer of GTA

The Chief Executive of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr Kwasi Agyeman, has stated that by the end of the year, all hindrances to visa processes to Ghana will be resolved. Addressing the media at a press conference in Accra, as part of activities lined up for this year’s celebration of biennial Pan African Historical Festival (PANAFEST) and the Year of Return, he said the programs secretariat is also working with the Foreign Affairs Ministry to ensure that it left behind an e-visa system as a Year of Return legacy initiative to remove the barriers and hustles diaspora face with visa acquisition.

According to him, the measures include slashing visa fees for people from the Diaspora who are coming from countries whose citizens require visa to gain entry into Ghana from $150 to $ 75. It has also done some reforms to the cumbersome visa application processes and applying visa waivers in selected Caribbean countries such as Jamaica and Guyana. Mr Agyeman, says even though some milestones has been chalked in the countries on visa processes there are still some bureaucratic bottlenecks affecting its implementation.

PANAFEST is an annual home coming celebration birthed by the late Efua Sutherland Addy in the mid-1980s as a cultural vehicle to bring Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora together in Ghana. In the last 25 years, the platform has attracted patrons from across the world, particularly in the Diaspora,. Some of the participants observe it as a mission to rediscover their roots and identity.

Hosting this year’s celebration under the theme PANAFEST and Emancipation Day celebrations as part of the Year of Return. Speaking to the chairperson of PANAFEST Foundation, Professor Esi Sutherland-Addy, she says besides the sense of identity for which diaspora appreciated PANAFEST for, it has also provided them the opportunity to reconnect with their cultural heritage. With widespread castles, forts and other footprints of colonialism and slavery in the Central Region, one of the many achievements PANAFEST has spotlighted the region as a tourism hub.

She said the springing up of hotels, hosting of activities at the Cape Coast Centre for National Culture, including trade in artifacts and organic products, are all tangible benefits of PANAFEST in the area. As part of program line up, the celebration of Year of Return include providing opportunity for the participants to relive the experiences of their ancestors who went through the horrifying ordeal of slavery in Cape Coast through the door of no return and ending up at the Elmina Castle on July 26, 2019.

Buses would be provided to convey people from Accra to Cape Coast, Elmina, Assin Manso and Assin Praso; communities that would play key roles in the celebrations for free. The event which started on Juyl 20, 2019, with the crossing of the Prah, a durbar at Assin Praso and a pre-slave route pilgrimage atonement which ends on August 2, 2019. Other highlights are a wreath-laying ceremony to pay tribute to pioneers of Pan Africanism at the W.E.B Dubois Centre, George Padmore Memorial Library and the Nkrumah Mausoleum, all in Accra on July 24, 2019; the opening of One Africa Walls of Remembrance at One Africa Health Resort in Elmina; international variety night at the Cape Coast Stadium on July 27 and an inter-faith dialogue at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium. There will also be a colloquium for people of Africa descent and reparation at the University of Cape Coast on July 29, which will be followed by a Women’s Day on July 30 and musical performances on August 3, 2019.

 

 

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Cameroon gets additional 44 billion FCFA from IMF
July 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Mitsuhiro Furusawa, IMF Deputy Managing Director and acting Chair

Mitsuhiro Furusawa, IMF Deputy Managing Director and acting Chair

The International Monetary Fund, IMF, has concluded another review mission to Yaounde, after which it approved the sum of 76.2 million dollars (44 billion FCFA) as loan for the government of Cameroon.

The Executive Board of the IMF completed the fourth review of the arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility, ECF, for Cameroon on July 17.

According to the Fund’s officials, completion of the review enables the disbursement of SDR 55.2 million (about US$76.2 million), bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to SDR 372.6 million (about US$514.5 million).

The Executive Board also approved the authorities’ request for a waiver for the non-observance of the performance criteria pertaining to the external arrears’ accumulation and the ceiling on net BEAC financing, based on the corrective actions taken by the authorities. Cameroon’s three-year arrangement was approved on June 26, 2017 for SDR 483 million (about US$666.9million, or 175 percent of Cameroon’s quota.

The arrangement aims at supporting the country’s efforts to restore external and fiscal sustainability and to lay the foundations for a more sustainable, inclusive and private sector-led growth. Following the Executive Board discussion, Mitsuhiro Furusawa, who is presently IMF Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, stated that Cameroon’s performance under the ECF-supported program has improved from a year ago, adding that most end December 2018 targets including those on the fiscal deficit have been met, and structural reforms were advancing.

The Executive Board noted that Cameroon continues to play a leadership role in the rebuilding of fiscal and external buffers of member states of the Central African Economic and Monetary Union, CEMAC. Going forward, the Cameroonian authorities’ continued support of the implementation of the foreign exchange regulations stipulated by the Bank of Central African States, BEAC, will be essential to ensure full repatriation of foreign exchange receipts, IMF experts stated.

They advised that enhanced fiscal discipline is key to reaching the end-2019 programme targets and mitigating risks from external shocks and security challenges.

Reducing recourse to exceptional spending procedures and completing the Treasury Single Account reform will support the steadfast implementation of the 2019 budget while improving cash management and the transparency of budget execution.

Too, refraining from new non-concessional borrowing and strictly adhering to the disbursement plan for contracted-but undisbursed loans are essential to preserving debt sustainability. Further project prioritization and enhanced investment efficiency will help address developmental needs while supporting prudent debt management.

Improving the financial viability of key public enterprises through performance contracts and targeted reforms of administered prices will reduce reliance on subsidies and mitigate risks from contingent liabilities.

Above all, enhancing financial inclusion, the business climate, and governance remain central to promoting private sector development and boosting competitiveness.

In particular, further strengthening EITI compliance and the AML/CFT framework are essential to promoting private sector-led growth and attracting foreign investment.

The experts concluded that Cameroon’s program continues to be supported by the implementation of supportive policies and reforms by the regional institutions in the areas of foreign exchange regulations and monetary policy framework and to support an increase in regional net foreign assets, which are critical to the program’s success.

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Cameroon: Human Rights Lawyer Agbor Balla advocates back-to-school
July 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Felix Agbor Balla-Human rights defender addressing participants during the International Nelson Mandela Day in Yaounde

Felix Agbor Balla-Human rights defender addressing participants during the International Nelson Mandela Day in Yaounde

Renowned Human rights advocate and leader of the outlawed Anglophone Civil Society Consortium Barrister Felix Nkongho Agbor “Balla” has stepped up his campaign for children in the restive Anglophone Regions to go back to school.  The lawyer who is also the Founder/CEO of the Centre for Democracy in Africa, CHRDA was a guest speaker at the International Nelson Mandela Day organized by Nakfu Policy Institute under the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation, July 17, 2019, in Yaounde.

As it is a tradition every year, the Foretia Foundation celebrates the International Nelson Mandela Day with focus on the life of Nelson Mandela and what Cameroon can learn from the life of the ex-South African President, who gave his life for the fight for justice and peace, respect for human rights in his country.

During the panel discussion on “Nelson Mandela’s fight for justice-what lessons for the peace process in Cameroon”, Barrister Felix Agbor Nkongho proposed various measures Cameroon should put in place to bring a long-lasting solution o the Anglophone crisis. According to him, an all-inclusive dialogue should be implemented.

He added: “never again will one group of people marginalized and oppress another. The fear now however those who were oppressed are becoming the oppressors. We gave to abandon our individual goal for a general one, while peace is something very important”.

Barrister Balla further indicated that children should be allowed to go back to school in areas where security is much better. He, however, did not regret calling for school boycott but said however the school boycott has turned out is not what they had earlier wanted.

“It is a laudable imitative that has to be supported as education is very important. It is fundamental human rights and we need to encourage our children to go back to school. I understand that the security situation is worrisome but then there are places where children can go back to school”. “To have a million uneducated children, let us have at least 500 hundred thousand. Let us start working towards it. It is going to be a gradual process and it will not be done today. Let us at least not prevent them from going back to school”.

He went on to say those who are saying children should not go to school some of them have gone to school. “No matter how imperfect the educational system might be, basic education is helpful because if they don’t then they will end up tormenting the society with all the deviant behaviour. During Mandela’s period of Apartheid, children were going to school, in Syria, Afghanistan children are going to school.”

For his proposed All-inclusive dialogue, Barrister Balla said it depends now on the Head of State who should activate the dialogue. “Something has started in Switzerland and we hope that it will be inclusive. All-inclusive means everyone should be part of it, not necessarily those who have arms but should include the clergy, civil society and others, to find a long-lasting solution to the conflict” He said.

He has however called for the Separatist leaders to rethink their strategy. Giving his personal opinion, he said “I might still maintain the position of separation but hoping the negotiation which is a give and take-they (separatist) have to forgo something and the government too. Probably we have a two-State Federation and we move from there to a part way of independence. But insisting that independence or nothing means we are not going to come out of the conflict.”

Barrister Balla says children should not to be stopped from going to school

Barrister Balla says children should not to be stopped from going to school

Barrister Balla’s message to the youths was simple and clear: “youths should be active in politics by registering to vote and changing their country and should not be social media politicians-those who spend most of their time criticizing social media but can’t even register and vote.”

A report by CHRDA notes that the consequences of the prolonged school boycott, since for three years and counting now are more than catastrophic. Before October 2016, more than 6 thousand schools were operational in the North West and South-West Regions. As at December 2018, less than 1 hundred schools were operational in these regions, meaning that 5900 schools had shut their doors, with over 600 thousand students out of school and at least 40 schools burnt. In a UNICEF 2019 report, at least 600 thousand students are out of school in the North West and South-West Regions.

 

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Nigeria: Unemployed Nigerians rises to 21 million
July 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Teslim Olawore

Joseph Ari, the Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has said that the number of unemployed Nigerians rose from 17.6 to 20.9 million between the last quarter of 2017 and the third quarter of last year.

Ari while speaking at a news briefing on Thursday in Abuja, said the unemployment record was sourced from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

He said, “Despite the fact that the number of people in employment increased from 68.4 million in the third quarter of 2015 to 68.72 million in the third quarter of 2016 to 69.09 million in the third quarter of 2017 and 69.53 million in the third quarter of 2018.

“The statistics are scary and staggering and should not only be a source of worry for any administration that is as committed to the welfare of Nigerians as the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari but indeed all patriotic Nigerians.

“This administration has made tremendous efforts to create jobs as could be seen in the increase in the number of people employed as cited by the NBS report.

“There are countless reasons for us to worry as government, as institutions vested with the arduous task of equipping Nigerians with life skills for employability and entrepreneurship we will do all we can, there is no doubt that unemployment has wrought a terrible damage on all facets of our national life.

“No reasonable analysis will divorce unemployment from the needless incidence of violence that has claimed thousands of lives across the nation. It will equally be difficult to separate rising criminality and harmful social vices that are being perpetrated by Nigerians because of unemployment and the attendant poverty. Consequently our population that should be a resource has become an albatross because we cannot provide a greater proportion of our population with a source of livelihood.

“ITF outlined 11 implementable programmes for 2019 which are: National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP); Women Skills Empowerment Programme (WOSEP); air-conditioning and refrigerator (training on wheels); design and garment making; training on wheels for Nigerian youths under passion to profession programme; skills training and empowerment programme for the physically challenge (Step C); aquaculture fish farming; manure production; crop production and greenhouse technology; poultry farming and training programme development on international marketing and test running.”

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Mombouli and Lowey Talk US -Africa Ties
July 19, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Ben Bangoura*
Ambassador Mombouli and Chairwoman Lowey.

Ambassador Mombouli and Chairwoman Lowey.

The Ambassador of the Republic of Congo and Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps, Serge Mombouli, met on Wednesday, July 17, 2019, with Nita M. Lowey, Chairwoman of House Appropriations Committee in Washington.

The discussions focused on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the key role of the African Development Bank to achieve these goals.

During the meeting, Ambassador Mombouli -speaking on behalf of his colleagues in the diplomatic corps-, stressed the importance of relations  between the United States and Africa. With this in mind, he called on the partnership of chairwoman Lowey in making a strong advocacy with her fellow congressmen, as well as within the Administration, to ensure a successful 7th General Capital Increase for the African Development Bank, and 15th replenishment of the African Development Fund.

According to Ambassador Mombouli, the institutional and policy reforms implemented since the 6th General Capital Increase in 2010 have enabled the Bank to substantially increase its delivery capacity, making it the best financial body to help accelerate Africa’s transformation agenda.

 

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Abu Dhabi ‘Ready’ to Invest in Gambia
July 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Barrow speaks upon arrival

Barrow speaks upon arrival

President Adama Barrow has said that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) stands ready to support Gambia through exploring investment opportunities available in the country, as well as implementing various partnership agreements reached during his two days’ state visit.

The President returned from an official visit which he undertook on the invitation of the government and Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This was the first time in the history of The Gambia that a president is invited in an official capacity to visit the UAE, especially as a member of the OIC.

“They are ready to come to Gambia, and have assigned a technical team to come down to Banjul and engage with our government in order to best explore the opportunities we have to offer,” President Barrow told reporters upon return from the trip early Wednesday morning.

He and his delegation discussed the OIC as an organization, and the hosting of the summit in Banjul come 2022. They also discussed investment [opportunities] knowing very well the capacity of the Emirate country to invest in The Gambia.

The President’s delegation also held several meetings with authorities of the Abu Dhabi Fund. High on their agenda included the 2022 OIC Heads of States Summit to be hosted in the Gambia.

The Emirate of Abu Dhabi pledged to assist the Gambia with the. VIP vehicles for the Heads of States attending the Summit in the Gambia; provide some airport ground handling equipment for the Banjul International Airport, and construction of an aircraft parking apron at the Banjul International Airport that will accommodate aircrafts flying in for the summit.

On agreements that were reached, including the legal protection for Gambian workers in Abu Dhabi, he said despite signing such agreements, it has to still go through ratification by people’s representatives at the National Assembly.

“Anything we do in this country have to follow the due process. We will follow the due process to make sure we ratify it and move on,” he assured, advising that everybody in this country follow the due process in order to consolidate the gains of the new democracy.

The president said the Prince of Abu Dhabi had asked him what they could do in The Gambia. In response, he outlined all the prospects available in The Gambia. “The most important of them all is the environment [for business]… the sky is the limit for The Gambia,” President Barrow added.

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African Energy Chamber’s Angola President to Lead Angolan Services Companies’ African Outreach at Upcoming Oil & Gas Meeting Day in Malabo
July 17, 2019 | 0 Comments
The growth of Africa’s oil & gas sector presents the continent’s services companies with tremendous opportunities for partnerships and regional expansion

LUANDA, Angola, July 17, 2019/ — Angolan and Mozambican services companies are answering to Equatorial Guinea’s call to cooperation and will be participating in the Oil & Gas Meeting Day in Malabo on October 1st and 2nd, 2019. The delegation will be led by President of the African Energy Chamber in Angola, Sergio Pugliese.

The growth of Africa’s oil & gas sector presents the continent’s services companies with tremendous opportunities for partnerships and regional expansion. As Africa’s second largest oil producer and thanks to its strong local content efforts, Angola is now home to countless services companies with the necessary capacities to expand across sub-Saharan Africa.

“Angola is known for having strong local services companies,” said Sergio Pugliese. “The growth of our local content is now accelerating thanks to the reforms made by President João Lourenço and his administration. We now have Angolan companies that developed strong capabilities and are ready to expand beyond Angola. They are seeking partnerships and deals with other African and international services and technology companies, to serve both their regional expansion plans but also to further support the growth of the Angolan industry at home. The Oil & Gas Meeting Day provides the perfect platform to seal such deals.”

The African Energy Chamber  (https://EnergyChamber.org/)strongly supports the Oil & Gas Meeting Day, a Year of Energy event organsied by Equatorial Guinea’s National Alliance of Hydrocarbons Service Companies (NAHSCO). Malabo has positioned itself as the hub for services companies to engage in meaningful conversations on how to build the next-generation of African oil & gas leaders and companies. The services industry is a massive job creator and a strong pillar of the global oil & gas industry. As cooperation amongst African oil markets increases, the need for services companies to step up their game and pursue an aggressive outreach has become a necessity.

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President Barrow Holds Bilateral Talks with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi
July 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Barrow with UAE Crown Prince

Barrow with UAE Crown Prince

President Adama Barrow has on Monday held bilateral talks with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the United Arab Emirates Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi Recently.

The two leaders discussed a wide range of bilateral issues, including the potential increase of support in the areas of vision and eye care services in The Gambia through the Sheikh Zayed Eye Care Center, which is providing various services in West Africa. Giving that Abu Dhabi was one of the countries that pledged to support The Gambia’s National Development Plan 2018-2021, the bilateral discussion couldn’t have come at a better time.

The talks gave the two leaders an opportunity to consult on areas that would strengthen the cordial relationship that exist between the two countries for the benefit of their peoples. While espousing the great investment potentials of The Gambia in the hope of forging a closer partnership, President Barrow thanked the Crown Prince for his wonderful hospitality.

Leaders in business, politics, and society from across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi were in attendance to meet and greet the president and his delegation.

Following the meeting with the Crown Prince, President Barrow was also taken on a conducted tour of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center – the largest mosque in Abu Dhabi with a capacity of 51, 000 people.

 

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Oil Executives Join African Energy Chamber in visit to the Famous Slave Hub of Goree Island, Senegal
July 15, 2019 | 0 Comments
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Zimbabwe Invests in Young People through UNFPA..
July 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Nevson  Mpofu

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Harare-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed to support the International Conference on Population and Development goals through the support of UNFPA to young people in the country. He said initiatives that improve life like what UNFPA does can -not be ignored or looked down upon.

On Thursday 11 July on World Population Day, the President officially opened a clinic in Harare South at a severely poverty stricken community called Hopley , 10 kilometres outside the city  centre of Harare .

‘’My Government renews its commitments to the International Conference on Population and Development Agenda. We support initiatives that improve the quality of life of our young people.

‘’The quality of life of any individual is undoubtedly important. There-fore the work of the UNFPA is important as we address concerns of young people World-Wide today.

‘’At ICPD in Cairo , 179 countries adopted a forward looking 20 year programme of action that continues to serve as a comprehensive guide to people centred development program .

The Clinic comes to official launch together with the youth centre in the community. The area has a total of 200,000 people of which 65,000 of them are young people. The clinic and youth centre was built by the City of Harare with much support from UNFPA. A local company Lafarge provided cement at the site.

The centre provides Industry skills to young people. Among them at most is cobble stone technology, brick laying, electrical work and plumbing. Out of the total number of those empowered 56% of them are young women. Young women train on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights.

‘’We have like always given full financial support. The core main reason is that we are into these issues. We need to see to it and get assured that young people explore for better opportunities especially young girls in terms of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights. They later in life explore better Health Life-Lines for better communities.’’

‘’Youth Friendly Health Services will serve many young people in the area in line with Health issues related to HIV and AIDS , STIs and elimination of Reproductive Tract Infections like those related to cervical cancers . It meant a lot about eliminating HIV and AIDS.’’ says Esther Muia , UNFPA Zimbabwe Country Representative .

Sweden is a strong advocate to the above mentioned issues.  Martin Johnrud  Charge d Affairs at  Swedish  Embassy in Harare said services at the centre will reduce unwanted pregnancies , sexual transmitted diseases , HIV and some communicable illnesses .

‘’This clinic goes a long way in achieving development goals of the United Nations. It is interesting that we address thorny Health problems at a time we move to eliminate HIV and AIDS,.

‘’I am impressed as this comes at a time the World is looking at Sustainable Development Goals. Today as we also commemorate World Population Day, the message is sent everywhere’’, he said

 

 

 

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South Sudan President Kiir pardons 15 prisoners without Biar & Kerbino
July 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir Mayardit

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit

Juba – South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has pardoned and ordered the release of 15 prisoners on the occasion of the 8th independence anniversary of the restive country in the Horn of Africa.

President Kiir announced the release of the detainees during his address to the nation at the Presidential Palace J1 on Tuesday.

The inmates to be released were detained in Juba, Wau, and Yambio among other towns.

“Because of this occasion of celebrating 8th independence anniversary, I have pardoned and released 15 inmates and their name will be read out by comrade Makuei,” said President Kiir.

But an entrepreneur Kerubino Wol Agok and a political activist, London based economist Peter Biar Ajak are not part of those pardoned by the president.

However, the country’s Information Minister Michael Makuei, who is also the government spokesperson, read out the names of those pardoned by the president, saying the prisoners would be released from various prisons in the country.

“In Juba central prison, you have Delta Justine Kenyi, Jackson Anip David, John Bosco Losimi, and Silah James Kumunan,” said the minister of information.

“In Wau Central Prison, you have Santino Chol Yai, Ayian Deng Athem, Marko Dut David, Yel Yel Mawein, Daniel Yol and David Dut Pualino.”

In Yambio Central Prison, there is only one person and that is James Anyiri John. In Twic State, you have Ayian Abiel, Ring Magok, Ayian Agok Magieth Deng and Ring Mabior Yom,” said Makuei.

Minister Makuei further asked the prison authorities to act on the presidential order.

“We say congratulation to them. Prison authorities should take necessary action for the release of these people,” said Makuei.

Perhaps, president Kiir’s moved was welcomed by South Sudanese, civil society organizations, observers and analysts, including the defense lawyers of Dr. Biar and Wol, but they are calling on president Kiir to extends further.

Philip Anyang Ngong, Defense lawyer for Dr. Peter Biar, said he welcomed the president Kiir’s decision to freed 15 prisoners across the country as a purely within his discretion but that should not be limited to only 15 prisoners.

“I want to appeal to the president to also activate his powers and release Peter Biar Ajak as a South Sudanese and an instrument of free press,” Anyang told Pan African Visions.

Month ago, the Juba high court finally sentenced to jail political activist Dr. Biar and entrepreneur Kerbino Wol to 2 and 15 years in prison respectively, following accusation that they threatened the security of the country.

The London based economist Dr. Biar was detained in July 2018, while businessman Kerbino was detained in April the same year. The Juba high court “did not charge Biar and Wol for the reasons they were first arrested but over an incident at the national security prison” last year when detainees allegedly took weapons and demobilized prison guards.

The Juba high court earlier dropped the treason, terrorism, undermining the government activities charges first against Biar and Wol, but convicted Dr. Biar for “breach of the peace” and of campaigning for the exit of president Kiir on foreign media over the peace agreement, whereas Mr. Wol convicted of masterminding subversive activities against president Kiir.

Last month, the defense lawyers of businessman, Kerbino Wol and political activist Peter Biar have made an appealed against the decision of the high court that sentenced their clients to prison.

 

 

 

 

 

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Namibia: Andjamba is the new minister education minister
July 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
Newly appointed Minister of Presidential Affairs, Martin Andjamba

Newly appointed Minister of Presidential Affairs, Martin Andjamba

Windhoek – Namibia President Hage Geingob has on Wednesday appointed Martin Andjamba, the minister of presidential affairs as an acting minister in the portfolio of education, arts and culture.

Andjamba was appointed to the Cabinet portfolio after follow the resignation of the Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa on Tuesday, after she was convicted of corruption this week.

Andjamba’s appointment is in terms of section 4 of the Assignment of Powers Act, 1990, says Presidential press secretary Dr Alfredo Tjiurimo Hengari.

“With seven months left before the end of the term of the current Government, coupled with the rights of Hon. Hanse-Himarwa under Article 47(2)(a) of the Namibian Constitution, President Geingob has decided not to appoint a new Minister in the education, arts and culture portfolio,” said Hengari.

Hengari emphasized that Andjaba will assume all statutory functions of the minister of education, arts and culture in terms of Article 37 of the Namibian Constitution and will be deputized by Anna Nghipondoka.

The former Namibian Ambassador to the United States was served as presidential affairs since April 2018.

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Namibia: President Geingob concludes successful visits to Rwanda and Niger
July 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Andreas Thomas

President Hage Geingob and First Lady Kalondo Monica were guests of President Paul Kagame and Madame Jeannette Kagame on the occasion of Rwanda’s 25 liberation anniversary

President Hage Geingob and First Lady Kalondo Monica were guests of President Paul Kagame and Madame Jeannette Kagame
on the occasion of Rwanda’s 25 liberation anniversary

Windhoek – The Namibian President Hage Geingob has successfully concluded a working visit to Rwanda and Niger, where he attended the 12thExtraordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly in Niamey. The session coincided with the inaugural Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the African Union and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) held from 7-8 July 2019 in Niger’s capital.

President Geingob delivered a statement at the meeting in his capacity as Chairperson of SADC. In his address, the Namibian leader highlighted the achievements made by member states towards regional integration, which include the establishment in 2008 of the SADC Free-Trade Area (FTA), increasing trade in the region from 16% to 22%.

He informed the gathering that SADC had made significant strides in the development of roads and ports that further facilitates trade and promotes economic growth in the region. Applauding the inaugural meeting.

“This AU-REC coordination meeting, therefore, allows us to take a critical look at the progress made in implementing and meeting the objectives of our integration agenda, and provides us with a unique opportunity to take stock of our synergies with the AU Agenda and programmes. I am confident that we will learn from each other, and be able to chart our way forward in positioning ourselves to meet the Continental Agenda,” said the Namibian leader.

The 12th Extraordinary Session served as the formal launch of the entry into force of the African Continental Free-Trade Area (AfCFTA) on 30 May 2019.

So far, 27 countries have ratified the Agreement establishing the AfCFTA, and 54 have signed the agreement.

Trading between African countries under the AfCFTA will commence on 1 July 2020, while Phase Two of the AfCFTA Negotiations on Investment Policy, Competition Policy, and Intellectual Property Rights are set to be concluded in December 2020.

Namibia ratified the Agreement establishing the AfCFTA in February 2019, which paved the way for the Namibian private sector and SMEs to fully participate in intra-Africa trade by taking advantage of the AfCFTA.

The First Mid-Year Coordination meeting discussed the the status of integration in Africa and started preliminary discussions on the division of labour between the AU and RECs with a view to avoiding duplication and overlapping mandates.

Before travelling to Niger Geingob participated at the invitation of President Paul Kagame in the Celebrations of Liberation Day of Rwanda on 4 July. During the visit, the two leaders held several discussions, focusing on bilateral ties, regional integration and international affairs.

In a solemn ceremony on 5 July, President Geingob laid a wreath at the Kigali Memorial Centre.

He stressed unity as a precondition for socio-economic progress in Africa cautioned strongly against tribalism and racism as ills that had no place in society.

“Tribalism and racism are the same things because both involve hatred towards other people”, President Geingob warned, while commendingRwanda for the remarkable progress the country had made since the Genocide 25 years ago.

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Namibia:Africa can benefit from its diamonds if exploited responsibly – Minister Alweendo
July 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Andreas Thomas

From left Minister Tom Alweendo, Edgar Diogo De Carvalho – ADPA’s Executive Secretary and Saadou Nimaga, Deputy Minister of Mines and Geology of Guinea during the official handover of the ADPA Chairmanship by Guinea to Namibia.

From left Minister Tom Alweendo, Edgar Diogo De Carvalho – ADPA’s Executive Secretary and Saadou Nimaga, Deputy Minister of Mines and Geology of Guinea during the official handover of the ADPA Chairmanship by Guinea to Namibia.

Windhoek – The fact that Africa dominate diamond production is an indication that the continent has the potential to capitalise on these natural resources, says Namibian mines and energy minister Tom Alweendo on Tuesday.

Information by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme indicates that African countries such as Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Angola, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Sierra Leone is in the top ten of diamond producing countries in volume and value globally.

In addition, the most expensive diamonds are produced by Cameroon, Namibia, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Lesotho, with a value ranging from US$300 to more than US$500 per carat, in comparison to the global average value of US$315 per carat.

This Minister Alweendo said it “indicates that Africa has the opportunity and potential to capitalise on its diamond resources if exploited in a responsible and sustainable manner.

That way, we will ensure that diamond generated income is channelled towards the building of educational and health institutions, improving road and network infrastructure and meeting other pressing social-economic needs”.

Alweendo was speaking during the 6th Ordinary Meeting of the African Diamond-Producing Countries Association Council of Ministers in Windhoek. The annual session started on Monday with the meeting of senior officials for countries.

The two-day meeting hosted by the Namibian mines and energy ministry deliberated and formulated policies for the functioning of the African Diamond-Producing Countries Association (ADPA), approve its organic structures and internal regulations as well as approve and direct the work of the executive secretariat.

 Namibia also took over the rotational chair of the association from Guinea. ADPA comprised of 18 members countries of which 12 are the effective members, while six are observers. The effective members are the diamond producing nations, while the observer countries are those that have the geological potential of diamonds

The Association of the Diamond Producing Countries was then established in accordance with the Luanda Declaration of 2006 and the ADPA Statute

Since its establishment, Angola, South Africa, and Guinea have chaired the ADPA’s Council of Ministers meeting, with Namibia taking over the Chairmanship for the year 2019.

“ADPA has played a significant role particularly in consolidating views of African producing countries. For example, ADPA has been instrumental in the restoration of the Republic of Zimbabwe back into the Kimberly Process after economic sanctions were imposed against their exportation of rough diamonds. The same support has been extended to the Central African Republic and is ongoing,” Minister Alweendo said.

In June 2018, ADPA concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Antwerp World Diamond Center, which Alweendo said will benefit ADPA member states throughout the entire diamond value chain, by the provision of necessary support towards ADPA’s implementation of its strategies and work plan just to mention a few.

This MoU is due for adoption and implementation.

He said ADPA has also formulated the concept document on the ‘Establishment of the Diamond Bourse’ to serve as a centre of rough diamond trading and to assist Alluvial Artisanal and Small-Scale miners in getting fair value for their produce, which is currently undervalued.

The Namibian stressed that most of the minerals in Africa is exported in raw form as concentrated ore without significant value-addition.

“It is therefore important for ADPA member states to explore ways to add value to minerals that are economically viable including diamonds, in order to industrialise their economies,” he said.

The minister also commended the African Union for formulating the Africa Mining Vision, a policy framework calling for the promotion of downstream value addition, with a view to establishing beneficiation industries that could provide stock for local manufacturing and industrialisation.

“This is to promote more fiscal space and responsive taxation to allow countries to better capture revenue gains and encourage the use of revenues for value addition and linkages,” he said.

Therefore, he challenged ADPA to drive the beneficiation “agenda by developing the diamond downstream industry through the exchange of relevant information and expertise in the area of beneficiation and mainstreaming of alluvial artisanal and small-scale miners into the formal economies to mention a few”.

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Niger: African Development Bank President attends historic African Union summit, decries child marriage
July 9, 2019 | 0 Comments
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Sierra Leone: Gov’t pays End of service benefit of Le 33.4 Billion to former officials of the APC administration
July 8, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio

Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio

The government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Finance has  in a press statement said they have disbursed the sum of Le 33, 415,057,270 (33.4 Billion Leones) for the payment of severance benefits, gratuities and arrears of pension to former officials of the last administration which includes the former president , vice president, Ministers and Deputy Ministers and other political appointee.

According to the release, the amount disbursed represents 50% of the total amount due as payment of severance benefits and gratuities while arrears due of the monthly pensions have been paid up to 31st May ,2019 stating that going forward , their monthly pensions from June 2019 will be paid by NASSIT.

‘’The public would recall that in 2017, the IMF suspended its engagement with the then administration due to low domestic revenue collection and slippages in the management of the finances of the state. Upon assumption of the leadership of the state, the new administration prioritized and negotiated a new credible economic programme with the IMF and other development partners which was approved in November 2018. The first review of the good economic track record and performance of Government was successfully completed on June 28th, 2019, resulting to immediate disbursement of about US$ 21.62 million. This immediate disbursement includes direct budget support of US$ 13.9 million,’’ the release stated.

The release added that it is worthy for the general public to know that at the time  the previous Administration prepared the 2018 budget , they did not make provisions for the payment of end of service benefits to ex-president, vice president , Ministers and deputies , diplomats and other political appointment.

‘’Therefore, these payments which are part of the 2019 budget of the new administration have been made possible as a result of the disbursement of the disbursement of the US13.9 million by IMF reflecting the good economic performance of the Sierra Leone government .The balance 50% of the amount due will be paid in due course’’

It could be recalled that the issue of the payment of the end of service benefits to former officials in the last administration was brought to attention of the government by one of the country’s leading human rights organisation called Legal Link which on 1st May wrote a letter to President Julius Maada Bio appealing to  him to speedily settle the end of service benefits of all affected workers in the country during the commemoration of  the  International Labour Day.

‘’After two months of appeal to the President of the republic of Sierra Leone over the payment of the end of service benefits to former employees and civil servants, our appeal has finally yielded result. 50% of the end of service benefits have been agreed to be paid by the Ministry of Finance and the remaining 50% will be paid at a letter date. Glory to God. Bravo to Legal Link,’’ Lawyer Rashid Dumbuya is a statement on social media.

 

 

 

 

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US report highlights Mozambique’s ‘heavy-handed’ response in Cabo Delgado
July 5, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Arnaldo Cuamba

A US government report into religious freedom in Mozambique has highlighted media and NGO claims of the Mozambique government’s heavy-handed response to the Cabo Delgado insurgency, which has contributed to a ꞌꞌgrowing cycle of grievance and revengeꞌꞌ between militant Islamists and security forces.

Violent attacks by Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaah continued throughout the year in

northern Cabo Delgado Province. The group, which claimed ties to the al-Shabaab

terrorist group and was characterized by the government and the media as jihadist,

was composed primarily of Muslims who followed what observers said was a strict

version of Islam. The attacks, which began in October 2017, included killings of

security force members and beheading of civilians.

In response to the attacks, government officials stated they arrested more than 280

attackers, whom they termed suspected jihadists, and at year’s end were

prosecuting 189 of those individuals, including 152 Mozambicans, 26 Tanzanians,

and three Somali nationals.

The US International Religious Freedom Report – Mozambique 2018 says the government is reported to have ꞌꞌarbitrarily detained men, women, and children based on appearing to be Muslimꞌꞌ charging them with crimes including first degree murder, use of banned weapons, membership in a criminal association, and instigating collective disobedience against public order.

The government, the report adds, continued to state publicly that ꞌꞌsecurity forces had the situation under controlꞌꞌ, despite the persistence of the attacks and killings.

In light of the violence, the US Ambassador has engaged Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and the minister of justice on the continued importance of religious tolerance to promote peace and security, the report said.

Others informations point that Mozambique has authorised US intelligence services to spy on Maputo’s mosques, in search of intel on how the northern insurgency is being financed, according to Carta de Moçambique — who say that the quid pro quo is that the US has agreed not to contest Manuel Chang’s extradition to Mozambique, citing an anonymous US intelligence source.

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AU Summit: President Adesina to lead African Development Bank’s delegation, Continental Free Trade Area talks to top summit agenda
July 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
The Bank will also participate in the meetings of the 37th NEPAD Heads of state and Government Orientation Committee
Adesina

Adesina

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, July 5, 2019/ — African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) President Akinwumi Adesina will next week lead a delegation of top Bank officials to the extraordinary summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) in Niger’s capital, Niamey.

High on the agenda of the July 7-8 summit are discussions on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). President Adesina will meet African leaders to review the continent’s development issues, and hold talks on the effective implementation of the AfCFTA.

As a member of the continental Task Force, the Bank will participate in several executive discussions, including the deliberations of the 8th meeting of African Trade Ministers, as well as a meeting of the 37th Steering Committee of Heads of Commerce.

The Bank will also participate in the meetings of the 37th NEPAD Heads of state and Government Orientation Committee, as well as in the 1st mid-year coordination meeting of the AU and Regional Economic Communities.

President Adesina will share the Bank’s vision on empowering African women, and on the AFAWA (Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa) initiative.

On the sidelines, there will be discussions between the Bank and major African private sector representatives on the AU’s 2063 vision of an integrated, inclusive and prosperous continent.

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African Development Bank to establish Central African headquarters in Cameroon
July 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Akinwumi Adesina, African Development Bank president

Akinwumi Adesina, African Development Bank president

The African Development Bank, AfDB will in the days ahead establish its central headquarters in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde.

This is the substance of an agreement signed this morning at the Ministry of external relations between the government of Cameroon and the African Development Bank.

Signing in for Cameroon was the Minister of external relations Lejeune Mbella Mbella and the Vice President of the African Development Bank, Khaled Sherif signed on behalf of the banking institution.

According to Khaled Sherif, Cameroon was chosen in the central African Sub region as site for the implantation of the ADB regional headquarters because it suits the established criteria, one of which include hospitality.

“The government of Cameroon freely gave us a piece of land and we intend to work here over the long run” Khaled said at the end of the signing ceremony.

 

“The new regional office for development, integration and service delivery in Central Africa, like those established in Southern, Eastern, Northern and Western Africa, aims to bring the Bank closer to its Member States,” a release from the AfDB reads.

 

The signature of this headquarters agreement, which comes almost two months after the approval by the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank, of the Regional Integration Strategy Document for Central Africa (DSIR), approving the Bank’s operations in this region over the 2019-2025 period, will strengthen the institution’s dialogue and support for the process of economic integration in Central Africa.

 

With some 44 active regional projects in the continent, amounting to nearly 632 billion CFA francs, or 1.1 billion US dollars, the AfDB seeks to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in its regional member countries thus contributing to poverty reduction.

 

This new regional office will help improve the efficiency of the Bank’s operations and deepen the dialogue between the Bank and all Central African countries.

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Kenyan President urges South Sudan leaders to coalesce peace dividends
July 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

President Kenyatta and Salva Kiir who was in Kenya for a two-day State visit. Photo/PSCU.

President Kenyatta and Salva Kiir who was in Kenya for a two-day State visit. Photo/PSCU.

Juba – Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged South Sudanese leaders to coalesce the peace dividends to accelerate the country’s devastated social and economic growth.

South Sudan split from Sudan in 2011 after decades of scorched-earth conflict, but East Africa’s youngest country returned into another civil war in late 2013 followed a political disagreement between president Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar. The five-year conflict has so far killed 400,000 people and uprooted four million people from their homes, and further devastated the country’s economy.

South Sudan president Salva Kiir travelled to Nairobi on Monday for two – days State visit, lobby for peace implementation’s financial support and political cooperation.

South Sudan just days away to celebrate its 8th Anniversary of the independence, president Kenyatta said that the moment had come for the patriotic men and women of Africa’s youngest nation to secure their place in national, regional, continental and global arena.

“The leadership of South Sudan, across the entire spectrum, have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to forge for lasting peace that provides the internal stability and enabling environment for your country’s take-off, both economically and socially,” President Kenyatta told visiting President Kiir, on Monday evening when he and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta hosted President Kiir and his delegation to a state banquet that was also attended by Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga at State House, Nairobi.

On his part, President Kiir thanked President Kenyatta for inviting him for the State Visit, saying it has strengthened the bond of friendship between the two sisterly countries.

“I want to assure that South Sudanese and the great people of Kenya are one people. We share common borders and we are good neighbours,” said President Kiir. Further assured that South Sudan will never abandon its brothers and sisters in Kenya and underscored the key role that Kenya played in South Sudan’s journey to independence.

However, Kenyan president urged the leadership of South Sudan to flout the pessimists by abandoned their tribal discrepancies and delivering unity, humility, tranquility, peace and security to their country.

“South Sudan, in this moment, can crystallize the optimism and hope that all nations of the world had for it when your nation gained independence on 9th July 2011,” said Kenyatta.

South Sudan has now prioritized the search for a sustainable political solution to the five – year conflict that have beset a country’s progress.

Months ago, President Kiir, designated vice president Machar, including Taban Deng and Ms. Rebecca Garang traveled to Vatican for the ‘spirit retreat,’ aimed to anointed them and forge the heart for forgiveness and reconciliation to implement peace deal. But things fall apart despite the Holiness Pope Francis knelt down and kissed their feet.

“Eminent African and global leaders have pledged their support for South Sudan’s quest for sustained peace, including His Holiness Pope Francis; an indicator of the deep continental and global desire to see a united, peaceful and prosperous South Sudan,” he said. “We are fortunate that the South Sudan of today has bold and dynamic sons and daughters, such as Your Excellency, who have requisite vision and stature that allows them to bring together all sections of South Sudanese society into the common fold,” Kenyatta told Kiir.

Kenya president, however says his government is ever ready and always at hand to play whatever fundamental role to create an all-inclusive transitional mechanisms and institutions that will return South Sudanese people together and provide for the full realization of that nation’s democracy.

Support

Also, Kenyatta says Kenya will continue to provide technical and diplomatic support to facilitate the implementation of the peace process including deployment of military ceasefire monitors as well as technical advisors to various transitional and implementation mechanisms.

“Kenya is cognizant of the fact that the political, security, economic and humanitarian situation in South Sudan will largely be determined by the success in the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS); which was signed by the Parties on 12th September 2018,” President Kenyatta said.

The commitment to the peace deal will allow South Sudan to put aside the yoke of inessential conflict and internal disunity that has limited the East Africa community’s country’s achievement of its full potential, Kenyatta said. “I, therefore, urge all parties to the process to exercise tolerance and political goodwill, so as to move the country forward.”

With permanent peace, cohesion and security in place in the Horn of Africa’s country, its will be able to take advantage of the immense opportunities available on the African continent, including the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) which has opened enormous trade and investment opportunities among African countries and as well as the East African Community, which South Sudan is the youngest member.

President Kiir and key opposition groups, including main opposition leader, ex-rebel Machar signed a fragile ceasefire and revitalized peace deal in September, 2018, auspicious to end the political violence, but plans to form a power-sharing in May, this year were delayed after there was no funding to disarm, establish cantonments, rehabilitate and integrate militias and rebels across the country.

 

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South Sudan: More than 100 civilians killed in fresh violence
July 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

South Sudan President Salva Kiir

South Sudan President Salva Kiir

Juba – The United Nations says that violence had intensified in a Central Equatoria region of South Sudan since a revitalized peace deal was inked, with hundreds of civilians subjected to rape or murdered by warring factions.

In the press release on Wednesday the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said civilians had been “deliberately and brutally targeted” in Central Equatoria since the agreement was inked in September.

At least 104 people had been killed in attacks on villages in the southern region, it said in part.

It says in its latest human rights report that roughly similar number of women and girls were raped or suffered other sexual violence between September and April.

It continue said many were taken captive by armed groups to serve as “wives.”

The surge in violence has forced more than 56,000 civilians to flee their homes, becoming displaced in South Sudan itself, while another 20,000 have crossed the border into Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

South Sudan descended into war in 2013 after two years of her independence from Sudan after a decades of civil war followed a political disagreement between president Salva Kiir and former deputy Riek Machar, accused his former rebel leader Machar of plotting a coup.

The political conflict was being centered on ethnic violence and brutal atrocities, and left about 400,000 dead while uprooted four million from their homes.

UNMISS said overall there had been a “significant decrease” in violence across the country since Kiir and Machar signed the peace deal.

“However, Central Equatoria has been an exception to this trend, particularly in areas surrounding Yei, where attacks against civilians have continued,” the report said.

The report identified government forces, fighters allied to Machar and rebel groups ( the National Salvation Front (NAS), the South Sudan National Movement for Change, SSNMC) who did not sign the peace agreement, as responsible for atrocities in their quest to take territory in Central Equatoria.

In the first phase of fighting, that coincided with the signing of the peace agreement, at least 61 civilians were killed in deliberate attacks or caught in indiscriminate crossfire.

“At least 150 civilians were also held in captivity by these groups, including women and girls taken as ‘wives’ by commanders or raped and beaten by multiple fighters,” the report said.

The second outbreak of violence began in January 2019, when government forces launched military operations to dislodge so called “rebels” from the Central Equatorian region. The government forces carried out a coorfinated campaign to displace civilians from areas perceived to be providing material support to NAS and SSNMC, punishing those believed to be rebel collaborators with “sexual violence as well as looting and destroying homes, churches, schools and health centres.

In responding to the need to protect civilians, UNMISS says it deployed an additional 150 troops to the area, enabling it to intensify patrols within Yei town and to outlying communities to deter violence and enable the safe delivery of humanitarian aid, including actively promoting reconciliation and peacebuilding activities.
In the statement, the UNMISS chief has made a number of visits to the area to engage with political and military leaders about the human rights issues raised in the report, the impact of displacement and the need for reconciliation and peace.

“All parties to the conflict must comply with international human rights law and international humanitarian law.” “UNMISS is also urging the Government of South Sudan to uphold its primary responsibility to protect civilians and to fast-track the implementation of the SSPDF Action Plan to combat conflict-related sexual violence within military ranks, including those deployed in Central Equatoria,” it said.
The revitalized peace deal is latest deal signed by government and key opposition groups, but a plans to form power-sharing government in May, were delayed until November 12, after there was no funding to disarm, establish cantonments, rehabilitate and integrate militias and rebels across the country.

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Liquid Telecom connects South Sudan to “One Africa” broadband network and the world
July 2, 2019 | 0 Comments
Dr. Ladu Wani Kenyi, Director General National Communication Authority, South Sudan addressing the journalists during the inauguration in Capital Juba

Dr. Ladu Wani Kenyi, Director General National Communication Authority, South Sudan addressing the journalists during the inauguration in Capital Juba

Transformative infrastructure will create a foundation for digital innovation and prosperity, while supporting the South Sudan Government’s positive economic growth forecast over the next decade

South Sudan, July 1, 2019 – Leading pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom will implement and operate South Sudan’s first fibre broadband network, connecting the country to the  “One Africa” broadband network, which is approaching 70,000km across 13 African countries and to the rest of the world. This breakthrough foreign direct investment by Liquid Telecom has been recognised by His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of South Sudan. Ministers along with other national VIPs are joining senior executives from Liquid Telecom during a symbolic fibre digging inauguration on Monday 1 July.

With phase one due to be completed before the end of 2019, Liquid Telecom’s network will eventually make reliable and affordable internet connectivity available for nearly 13 million citizens of South Sudan, as well as thousands of businesses, government institutions and non-governmental organisations.  South Sudan will link to Liquid Telecom’s network across the region which covers the East African Community, a regional intergovernmental organisation of six partner states, the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda. The Community connects up to 300 million people and stimulates cross-border investment and trade.

This transformative infrastructure will ultimately create a foundation for digital growth, innovation and prosperity in this young country, while supporting the Government of South Sudan’s positive economic growth forecast over the next ten years.

“Liquid Telecom is immensely proud to bring fibre connectivity to South Sudan for the first time,” says Strive Masiyiwa, Executive Chairman of Econet Global and Liquid Telecom. “This modern ICT infrastructure will help address the most pressing challenges within South Sudan, including the urgent need for peace and state building, job creation and improved livelihoods. South Sudan’s 13 million citizens will be connected to 300 million people across the East African Community. Connecting South Sudan to the ‘One Africa’ broadband network will also champion pan-Africa trade and help build Africa’s digital future.”

His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of South Sudan, commenting on this new partnership, says, “The implementation of this critical fibre infrastructure is a landmark step in the delivery of affordable communications access to the people of South Sudan, the business community, government and civil society. By connecting South Sudan to the global internet, this important infrastructure development will help improve social mobility, enable economic diversification and drive inclusive private sector-led growth and productive employment. The agreement is also ideally timed, coinciding with the signing of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.”

The first phase of the agreement signed between the Government of South Sudan’s National Communication Authority and Liquid Telecom will include a 300km fibre backbone operating from the border of Uganda, through South Sudan, to Juba. Multiple metro clusters will also support the capital city. This first phase is scheduled to go live in the last quarter of 2019. The network will be expanded to other cities in subsequent phases, in time supporting the country’s 13 million citizens.

 About Liquid Telecom

Liquid Telecom is a leading communications solutions provider across 13 countries primarily in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa that serves mobile operators, carriers, enterprise, media and content companies and retail customers with high-speed, reliable connectivity, hosting and co-location and digital services. It has built Africa’s largest independent fibre network, approaching 70,000km, and operates state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Nairobi, with a combined potential 19,000 square metres of rack space and 80 MW of power. This is in addition to offering leading cloud-based services, such as Microsoft Office365 and Microsoft Azure across our fibre footprint. Through this combined offering Liquid Telecom is enhancing customers experience on their digital journey. www.liquidtelecom.com

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Centurion CEO speaks to Chinese Oil and Gas Investors on African opportunities
July 2, 2019 | 0 Comments
Led by CEO Nj Ayuk, the team is meeting with several high-profile Chinese executives and energy companies seeking to invest in sub-Saharan Africa
Centurion CEO NJ Ayuk

Centurion CEO NJ Ayuk

BEIJING, China, July 2, 2019/ — A team of attorneys from Centurion (https://CenturionLG.com) is in China this week to participate in the EG Ronda Licensing Roadshow being held today and tomorrow at the Kempinski Hotel Beijing. Led by CEO Nj Ayuk, the team is meeting with several high-profile Chinese executives and energy companies seeking to invest in sub-Saharan Africa.

The roadshow is organized by the African Energy Chamber on behalf of Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons. With the biggest names amongst the Chinese energy companies attending, including companies such as CNPC, PowerChina Group, Sinopec, Sinochem, CNOOC, Shenergy, CMEC and China Minmetals Corp, Centurion has had the opportunity to discuss considerable deals in several African oil markets.

“Centurion’s presence in China for the EG Ronda Roadshow is a mark of our commitment not only to Equatorial Guinea, but to the promotion of Chinese investments across Africa,” declared Nj Ayuk from Beijing. “China is serious about investing in Africa, and Chinese investors and companies are looking for reliable African legal advisors and partners to efficiently do business in our continent. This represents billions of dollars of investment ready to support the development of the African oil industry.”

Centurion has always been at the forefront of channeling foreign investments into Africa’s oil & gas value chains. The firm has advised on the most recent PSCs being signed in the continent and continues to be part of landmark deals and projects in West and Eastern Africa. The firm has a specific desk dedicated to Chinese companies and investors, and has been increasingly working in diversifying the flow of investments coming into Africa’s extractive industries, working with new partners from Russia, Turkey and the Middle East.

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South Sudan suspends all pre-sales oil contracts
July 2, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

South Sudan President Salva Kiir

South Sudan President Salva Kiir

Juba – South Sudan has suspended all pre-sales oil contracts to boost competition in its petroleum sector and drive up prices after the country was  hit by economic crisis.

The East African country gets almost all of its revenue from oil and has been boosting production as it tussles to rebuild its devastated economy from the wreckage of a five-year civil war, that broke out in late 2013, killed nearly 400,000 people and uprooted four million people from their homes.

The country’s Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth said president Salva Kiir ordered for suspension of all pre-sales oil contracts to create a conducive environment for competition in international arena market.

“The president directed that all pre-sales contracts should be suspended. These pre-sales contracts are not healthy and they are actually destroying the economy,” Makuei, told reporters in Juba after a cabinet meeting on Friday.

The suspension of all pre-sales oil contract also comes after a week the president Kiir ordered for investigation on the pre-sales oil in the country in wake of sacked oil minister.

Minister Makuei further said the move was to boost the price of South Sudan’s oil in the market, without axiom which malpractice in the oil sector companies have secured pre-sales contracts.

“When you sell to a specific company without competition, definitely you agree on certain rates but when it is free competition you give to the highest bidder,” said Minister.

According to the official figures show, South Sudan’s oil production is virtually 180,000 barrels per day (bpd) and the government is keen and working very hard to reach pre-war levels of 350,000 to 400,000 bpd by mid-2020.

A warring party’s leaders in the world youngest country reached a fragile peace deal in September, 2018, promising to end the political violence, but plans to form a power-sharing in May, this year were delayed after there was no funding to disarm, establish cantonments, rehabilitate and integrate militias and rebels across the country.

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Kenya morns the death of telecom giant’s CEO
July 1, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Jean-Pierre Afadhali

Bob Collymore, CEO of  Safaricom PLC

Bob Collymore, CEO of  Safaricom PLC

Bob Collymore, CEO of  Safaricom PLC, Kenya’s largest telecom operator has died at his home in Nairobi, the capital city today in morning, the company said in statement.

Mr. Collymore who died at age of 61 led the East Africa’s biggest telecom listed on Nairobi Stock Exchange since November 2010, spearheading various innovations including the popular mobile money service that was replicated across Africa known as M-Pesa.

According to the Safaricom in 2017 Collymore took medical leave to receive treatment for acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and returned in July 2018 to resume duties.

“He has been undergoing this this condition since then in different hospitals most recently Agha Khan University Hospital in Nairobi.” Read a stamen seen by African Visions

In recent weeks, his condition worsened and he succumbed to the cancer at his home in the early hours of Monday. Safaricom chairman Nicholas Ng’ang’a said in a statement.

The British citizen born in Guyana leaves a wife and four children.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta was among the first leaders to mourn Collymore’s death, saying that the East African country has lost a “distinguished corporate leader”.

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