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Arcadia Cameroon Equips Young Entrepreneurs with Inimitable Business and Personal Development Skills
July 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

The young entrepreneurs and prospects during the Arcadia workshop were urged to set goals that they can achieve
The young entrepreneurs and prospects during the Arcadia workshop were urged to set goals that they can achieve

The 6th edition of the Arcadia workshop series has been organized with young Cameroonian entrepreneurs and prospects drilled on business and personal development skills.

The Arcadia Cameroon workshop is the brainchild of Pamela Happi, popularly known as Miss P, in partnership with the Miss P show and other sponsors were under the theme “Business and Personal Development”. The époque-making event this July 11, 2020, was spiced with great discussions on various topics such as “The Stand out strategy”, “Growth strategy”, and “Financial strategy”.

Speaking to the youths, the CEO of COSDEF Group Javnyuy Joybert said the right mindset requires deliberate practice. To him, practice is very important because one does not get up and is successful. “Succeeding takes a process, you learn, upskill, you succeed and people backstab you, many things happen,” He said. 

“For you to become a phenomenal expert in your field you need to go to work. The intense practice is good and for you to become an expert in your field you have to put in at least ten thousand hours. So we need to respect the basic practices of time, patience and hope.”

It is very important for young people to not only look at the industries that are booming now but should look at industries that will start booming in two or three years now. Many people are missing that, and there are industries by 2022 we are not going to see them. As COVID-19 is ending it is going to take away many industries.”

“… You need to look at what will change and what is going to stay the same, and how do I upskill in that direction… we need to look at what can I build to fill the gap, that is where foresight comes in, and creativity comes in.”

“Youths should have that mental strength, that massive action attitude that no matter what happens today there is a better tomorrow and I can take actions today that can give me the right success I want to see.”

With the present health pandemic, many businesses have gone out of business, while others are struggling to survive. One of the things to do to succeed in this present time is to be very agile, very dynamic and most of all very observant. “We are not going to go back to the way we were functioning because COVID-19 has destroyed many things and has also led to innovations. Some people will never again go to the physical office; they are going to work from home until they retire. As entrepreneurs we should always be observant, agile, create new ways of serving our customers.”

Speaking on the Growth Strategy with focus on goals setting, Marja Motanga, of Dunamis Safety Net told the young entrepreneurs and prospect that before they set goals they need to first understand the beliefs system in which they harbour coming from external influences. “You need to identify the things you are doing now because other people had told you it was right to do but it not what is helping you grow. You need to reverse those things and rewrite your own story,” She said.

“Goal setting is a process, it is not a one-day thing and there are so many characteristics you should take into consideration when you are going goal setting. You have to know. You need to know why you are setting it, who is holding you accountable, you need timelines, and you need to know what you are going to be doing to achieve those goals.”

She added: “Having an accountability partner and right mentors is very important, and your goals will always be defined by your vision and purpose in life. There are so many things around goal setting but the first thing is at least have that target because if you do not have the target you will end up anywhere.”

Nzima Yengue Landry, a participant said: “I came to the workshop to learn how to grow myself and develop my skills as I am into making videos on YouTube. This programme has changed my mindset. I believe in success and achieving your goals. I believe you can start small and you grow big.”

Participants at the 6th edition of the Arcadia workshop with theme Business and Personal Development
Participants at the 6th edition of the Arcadia workshop with theme Business and Personal Development

Netongo Ndolo Remy a school councillor and participant said the reason why she came to the workshop is that it was geared towards business and personal development since she is into that area. “What I have learnt is not something I knew but they have a different kind of insight they gave. I can say it was enriching and it has added to the knowledge I already had,” She said.

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Cameroon: Makoge Collins, Biggy237 Contestant “Extraordinaire”
July 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

The King of “Talk and Do” has the prime objective of winning the competition and giving back to his community.

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

25-year-old Makoge Collins was born in Kumba and is a Journalist and sales representative

The inaugural version of a reality show termed “Biggy237” is set to hit TV screens across the country this August 1, 2020. Biggy237 was set to begin in January 2020, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was pushed forward.

61 contestants from across the country are set to enter the inaugural show. One of the contestants set to thrill viewers is Makoge Collins, Biggy contestant No.18. A graduate from the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, 25-year-old Makoge Collins was born in Kumba, into a family of six children, being the last child, is a journalist at HiTV Cameroon, a sales representative at Colgate-Palmolive Distribution Company.

In an exclusive interview with Pan African Visions Cameroon correspondent this July 13, 2020, the self-styled king of “Talk and Do” say through Biggy 237 he intends to be one of the best Cameroonian entertainment journalists and also plan to become a creative Director.

PAV: How did you get involved in Biggy 237?

Makoge Collins: I saw the ad on Facebook but I was not interested because I was like it is another competition in Cameroon that things will go sideways. When it comes to competitions in Cameroon they always give it to the wrong persons, focusing on like, votes, and shares which for me is not a good way to say somebody merits an award. I was persuaded by my friend to go in for it, and I sat I thought what do I have to lose if go in for it? I did an audition video and send, and everything just exploded from there. With time, I knew that I needed the exposure, for people to see what I can do, and to see entertainment at its core.

Collins Makoge, contestant No. 18 for the inaugural Biggy 237 competition

PAV: What are some of the tasks you have been able to achieve so far?

Makoge Collins: We had four tasks that were presented and voted on. The first task was selling our location since as I am from Buea I sold it to tourists to make them interested to come to Buea. We had other tasks like how will you protect the environment; show how you care about your family and do an advert. All these things were very easy for me because it is something I love doing. It was a fun exercise.

They (organizers) told us that the winners will get a prize or something as it was based on votes and likes. There were many contestants whose tasks were not good at all based on quality and content. The panel knew that but since the contestants were popular hey had more views, likes and shares and votes because they could afford it. That is the only issue I faced with the assigned tasks.

PAV: What makes you stand out from the other 60 contestants competing?

Makoge Collins: What you see is what you get. I will not go there and be fake but I am going to be myself. I am confident and if I know I can’t do something I say it. With me Collins I am the king of talk and do. Even if it means I might fail or not always the winner it won’t stop me because I will work hard next time so I do better. I will not let anything stand in my way, I am a fighter. It is all about impressing people, creating awareness of what I can do. Many contestants will be like I can do this and that but with what I have seen, not all can do what they say they can do. What I see is just a brand but it is empty, it does not come with a package.

PAV: So what is your ambition?

Makoge Collins: I want to be one of the best entertainment journalists in Cameroon. With this (Biggy 237), it will give me great exposure. I also intend to become a creative Director. I like coming up with unique ideas, something different because with entertainment or fashion, unique or something different stands out more. I intend owning a business as it is my plan B. Apart from journalism, I want to be a great business person because have that mindset.

PAV: What are your telling your supporters and fans?

Makoge Collins: I am telling them that that thank you very much for standing by Collins, for being on this journey, for the push, for believing in me even when I did not fully believe in myself because what they tell me I feel like I can do more. I want to do more, not just for myself, my family but for them. If I end up winning, it is not just for me because it is always good to give back to society. I will make sure that they get a token of my prize, it might not be much but just to say thank you. I want to make them know that they are under the right flag, they are supporting the right person and we are going to fight till the end.

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Japan donates over $600,000 to combat terrorism in Mozambique
July 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Jorge dos Santos

The government of Japan will disburse $643,000 to combat terrorism through development projects aimed at promoting peace among vulnerable groups directly affected by armed attacks in Cabo Delgado province, extreme north of Mozambique.

With the project, the Japanese government hopes to promote peace mechanisms, social cohesion and conflict prevention by strengthening institutional capacity, awareness, community involvement and livelihoods in Cabo Delgado.

“Poverty and marginalisation are some of the risk factors that may increase instability in the province. Therefore, our government has decided to support mainly displaced population groups and communities with existing tensions due to violent conflicts,” said the Japanese Ambassador in Mozambique, Kimura Hajime.

He noted that the initiative will improve awareness of violence prevention and livelihood capacity in Cabo Delgado, saying “through this project we will support about 3,200 families, about 16,000 people”.

The implementation of the project will be coordinated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the Ministry of Interior; the Police of the Republic of Mozambique (PRM); and the Ministry of State Administration and Public Service (MAEFP).

The UNDP Representative in Mozambique, Francisco Roquette, said that the project should help young people and women, having as main focus three pillars namely resilience, socio-economic integration and social cohesion.

“We want to empower and promote opportunities above all for young people and women who, despite being the most vulnerable to conflict, have the greatest potential to promote significant and lasting impact changes in Cabo Delgado province,” he said.

The permanent secretary of the Interior Ministry, Zefanias Muhate, acknowledged that Cabo Delgado has been the scene of terrorist actions that undermine the country’s development. He expressed his appreciation for the initiative saying it adds value to the government’s peacekeeping efforts in the province.

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African Development Bank Group Appoints Dr. Rabah Arezki as Chief Economist and Vice President, Economic Governance and Knowledge Management
July 13, 2020 | 0 Comments
Dr Rabah Arezki, a citizen of Algeria, is currently the Chief Economist for Middle East and North Africa Region at the World Bank, a role he has held since 2017.

The African Development Bank Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Rabah Arezki as Chief Economist and Vice President, Economic Governance and Knowledge Management, effective 1st October 2020.

Dr Rabah Arezki, a citizen of Algeria, is currently the Chief Economist for Middle East and North Africa Region at the World Bank, a role he has held since 2017.

At the World Bank, he led the development of the Bank’s “moonshot approach” for the Middle East and Africa which aims to achieve full internet and digital payment connectivity. He championed the agenda on fair competition, data and transparency to empower and unlock the potential of the region’s youth.

Prior to joining the World Bank, Dr Arezki worked at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 2006 to 2017. He started his career at the IMF as an Economist and became the Chief of the Commodities and Environment Unit in the Research Department. He provided leadership on IMF’s rapid response to the historical collapse in oil prices that started in 2014. He advised authorities all around the world on risk mitigation policies.

Dr Arezki is a senior fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, an external Research Associate at the Oxford University, UK, a research fellow at the CESifo, a global independent research network. Dr. Arezki is also a resource person for the African Economic Research Consortium and a Research Fellow at the Economic Research Forum. He has been a non-resident Fellow at the Brookings Institute, USA.

He has published extensively both in top academic journals and policy-oriented outlets and is a co-editor and co-author of five books including Shifting Commodity Markets in a Globalized World. Many of his research papers have been cited extensively in academic circles and in prominent media outlets. 

“The African Development Bank is making excellent progress in accelerating Africa’s development. I am excited with the opportunity to work with President Adesina and the Bank’s leadership and teams to further provide top notch policy, knowledge and capacity building support for African countries, ” Dr Arezki said about his appointment.

Dr Arezki holds a Masters in Economics and Statistics from Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l’Administration Economique (ENSAE) – France (2003), and a PhD in Economics from the European University Institute – Italy (2006). He is multilingual and fluent in French, English, and Arabic.

“I am delighted that Dr. Rabah Arezki is joining the African Development Bank Group following an impactful career at the World Bank and the IMF. Rabah is an outstanding researcher and policy expert with extensive experience in research, policy and reforms,” President of the African Development Bank Group Akinwumi Adesina said.

“His leadership will be especially important as the Bank designs and deploys policy-based operations to address COVID-19, advances policy reforms, and supports African countries growth recovery efforts from the pandemic,” Adesina added.
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African Energy Chamber Salutes the Bank of Central African States (BEAC)’s Authorization to Open Foreign Currency-labelled Escrow Accounts
July 13, 2020 | 0 Comments
The Chamber notes the leadership of the BEAC in taking initiatives that will preserve jobs, encourage local content and help the oil & gas sector recover.

In its Ordinary Meeting held on July 2nd, 2020, the Board of Directors of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) has allowed the opening of foreign currency escrow accounts by petroleum and mining operators. The authorization was given within the implementation framework of key dispositions of Regulation No. 02/18/CEMAC/UMAC pertaining to foreign currency exchanges within the CEMAC region. 

The African Energy Chamber wishes to salute such pragmatism and notes the BEAC’s willingness to offer the best enabling environment for the oil & gas industry in the wake of the ongoing crisis. Earlier this year, the Chamber had joined several industry stakeholders in calling on the BEAC to relax its currency controls rules adopted in June 2019.

“We applaud the BEAC for listening to the private sector concerns and for adopting a pragmatic approach to foreign currency regulations in the wake of the ongoing crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the historic crash in oil prices. Such a move falls in line with the African Energy Chamber’s commonsense agenda to help Africa recover from the Covid 19 pandemic,” declared Leoncio Amada NZE, President for the CEMAC region at the African Energy Chamber. “This is good for our local industry and for staying competitive. The measure will be a significant boost to local content development, and ultimately local jobs creation across Central Africa,” he concluded.

In its latest Commonsense Energy Agenda, the African Energy Chamber notably called on financial institutions and central banks to set up stronger dialogue mechanisms with the private sector and industry stakeholders to address current industry challenges. The Chamber notes the leadership of the BEAC in taking initiatives that will preserve jobs, encourage local content and help the oil & gas sector recover.

The Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) is made up of six states: Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, the Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea.
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Sierra Leone:MSSL Programme boss calls on government to Overhaul reproductive rights of women
July 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

The Programme and Operations Director , Marie Stopes Sierra Leone, (MSSL)  Madam Emerica King
Emerica King , Programme Director Marie Stopes Sierra Leone speaking during PARHA’s press briefing on last Wednesday

The Programme and Operations Director , Marie Stopes Sierra Leone, (MSSL)  Madam Emerica King ,  has called on the government to guarantee women access to contraceptive information and services so as to guarantee reproductive autonomy of all women in the country.

Madam Emerica King made the above statement on Wednesday 8th July during the People Alliance for Reproductive Health Advocacy (PARHA) press briefing on the need for a law reform for the protection and promotion of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Sierra Leone at the Civil Service Training College, Tower Hill in Freetown.

“Address gender stereotypes and socialized gender roles  that inhibit women’s access to reproductive health services . Take all necessary measures to guarantee all women confidential access to a wide range  of contraceptive methods,’ ’she said.

Madam King said as an institution that has been working in the country for over 32 years providing quality sexual reproductive Health services to women and girls , and also providing Post Abortion Care (PAC) in their  centres in all 14 districts in the country.

“ MSSL has trained over 232 service providers in PAC in the public sector of which 91% are level one , in addition to our outreach and centre  teams who provides daily services to our women and girls . we are presently in close discussions with SLUDI on the provision of SRH services to women and girls living with disabilities . As I speak , the Rainy Season Koba Klos promotion is presently on,’’ Madam King said, adding that women and girls are encouraged to come forth and benefit from LARC and STI counselling services .

Madam King added that unsafe abortion has long and short-term complication which can lead to upper genital tract , infertility , risk of ectopic pregnancies , spontaneous abortion in subsequent pregnancies among other impacts which can be very dangerous to the health of women and girls in the country.

“ In conclusion , although PAC is a legal and lifesaving that it does not go far enough given one in 4 women will access abortion care in their life time and the high rates of maternal mortality caused by unsafe abortion particularly for adolescents,’’ MSSL programme director said.

The Programme and Operations Director went on to say that 15- 19-year-old pregnancy and child birth complications are the leading cause of death globally adding that adolescents are more likely to use unsafe methods and the consequences can be devastating , lifelong and even fatal thus 70% of hospitalisations due to unsafe abortion are among girls below 20 years of age.

 Speaking about PARHA , Fodie Paul Oneil Kamara , said , PARHA is a Coalition of Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) advocates in the country adding that the membership ranges from among NGOs ,CSOs, Faith leaders, community Based Organisations and individuals working around SRHR issues.

He said the thought of establishing the PARHA coalition  took inspiration from the several appalling data  reported on maternal death, teenage pregnancy ,sexually transmitted infections , HIV/AIDS , sexual & Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and other human rights abuses /violations presented by both the Government of Sierra Leone  and her development partners.

 “The work of PARHA focuses on four broad activities  like advocacy , research , trainings and empowerment and participation, ‘’Fodie said.

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AATF explores digital agriculture solutions that could impact livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Africa
July 13, 2020 | 0 Comments
Dr. Emmanuel Okogbenin, the Director of Technical Operations at AATF

Access to market and increase in agricultural productivity have been identified as the most viable areas where adoption of digital agriculture solutions has the greatest potential to positively impact the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), according to agricultural experts.

The experts, including key stakeholders from the public and private sectors, met during a 2-day workshop on Digital Agriculture convened by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) in Nairobi.

The aim of the workshop was to identify key opportunities, blockages and challenges along the agriculture value chain and to evaluate which existing digital solutions are most scalable in SSA and if adopted by smallholder farmers would cause the greatest impact on their livelihoods.

Access to markets was identified as a  critical area for digital agriculture solutions to enhance linkages between producers and key value chain actors and as a result increase revenue for farmers by enhancing their direct bargaining power in the value chain during trade.

The participants suggested different digital solutions already in existence that could be scaled to link farmers to markets through aggregated distribution; cooperative or aggregated selling and mobile price information. The opportunities identified to enhance market access included certification and quality assurance, seed trade facilitation and quality management.

Further, the experts noted that for farmers to increase productivity value, they need to increase their yields or produce high quality produce. To this end, farmers must purchase and use certified seeds and fertilizers which are often expensive for individual smallholder farmers. Thus, aggregating demand and purchases might make critical inputs more accessible for farmers to increase their productivity.

“From the workshop deliberations, the above two opportunities were considered likely most impactful for value chain transformation with biggest benefits on small-holder farmers and stakeholders,” said Dr. Emmanuel Okogbenin, the Director of Technical Operations at AATF.

He added that AATF, in alignment with its new strategy (2018 – 2022), will seek to promote digitization of the value chains to rapidly reach and deliver production technologies to small-holder farmers with the required information needed to adequately guide their application for better productivity and improved access to markets.

“Digital technologies for precision agriculture will be used to strengthen productive systems to optimize resource use management, explore economies of scale to advantage and stimulate low costs. AATF will need to ensure the right digital technologies are targeted and facilitated to reach farmers to ensure strong impact including creating a functional environment with necessary regulatory frameworks and policies to support deployment, capacity building (e-literacy, and digital skills) for small holder farmers and youths in the rural areas,” said Dr. Okogbenin.

AATF is empowering smallholder farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa with a wide choice of agricultural innovations that generate wealth and health for their families and communities.

Digital technologies and innovations have been identified as key solutions to revolutionizing processes crucial for improving farmer productivity power at low cost, support data-enabled farming, increase access to information, knowledge, input and markets to generate more social, economic and environmental benefits for farmers.

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Covid-19: Kenya rolls out contact tracing app
July 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mutahi Kagwe

The Ministry of Health on Monday disclosed that the government has rolled out a new-web based for contact tracing and surveillance.

Addressing the reporters during daily press briefs on Covid-19, Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mutahi Kagwe said the application was developed in collaboration with development partners saying the new method of tracing the Coronavirus patients is reliable in comparison to phone calls the Ministry previously relied on.

The Minister averred that a team of 229 have been dispatched to the counties to boost the process. He also witnessed the hand-over of vehicles to 13 Counties to aid contact tracing program.

“We are receiving a major boost with rapid response vehicles to various counties. These vehicles have been procured by the Covid-19 health emergency response team at a cost of Sh200 million,” he said.

At the same time he announced 12 more Covid-19 related deaths in the country raising the number of fatalities to 195.  Three died at home while the rest in the hospital, said Kagwe.

The latest figures are the highest number of deaths the country has recorded in a single day since the first case was reported.

The CS also confirmed 189 new cases bringing the total number of positive cases in the African nation to 10,294. The new cases were detected from 1,205 samples analyzed in the last 24 hours.

In terms of gender, 106 were males and 83 females aged between 5 to 71 years.

The cases were spread across the country as follows: Nairobi (147), Kiambu (20), Machakos (11), Kajiado (5), Mombasa (2), Uasin Gishu, Kisumu, Laikipia and Kericho have one (1) case each.

On a positive note, 65 patients have been discharged raising the number of recoveries to 2,946.

Total number of samples tested so far is 216,242.

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European Union steps up support to COVID-19 response in Zimbabwe
July 13, 2020 | 0 Comments
EU Ambassador Timo Olkkonen
EU Ambassador Timo Olkkonen

The European Union has granted another EUR 6.5 million (USD 7.33 million) to step up the COVID-19 response in Zimbabwe.

The funds are a top-up for the EU’s existing support to the multi-donor Health Development Fund (HDF). The additional support will contribute to the supply of essentials commodities (PPE, diagnostic tests among others). Additionally, training of all frontline health workers will be conducted as well as for community health workers on Infection Prevention and Case Management. As part of the preventive measures, the grant will assist in developing innovative communication tools to maintain a high level of alert in the country.

Finally, the funds will contribute to a better coordination among all partners supporting the health sector with the guidance of the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC).

Announcing the additional grant, EU Ambassador Timo Olkkonen said: “A global health threat needs a global response with timely and coordinated measures and solidarity. In view of the current rising epicurve which shows daily new COVID-19 positive cases, this timely support is appropriate to improving ongoing activities, which are part of an urgent response to shared priorities.

 The EU will continue supporting the people of Zimbabwe, monitoring the work of our trusted partner UNICEF to ensure the needs of the most vulnerable are met. We trust this will contribute to mitigate at medium terms, part of the triple crisis of socio-economic challenges, drought and COVID-19 that Zimbabwe is currently facing.”

In support to the National COVID-19 Response plan, Health Development Fund (HDF) funding partners (DFID, Irish Aid, SIDA, GAVI, EU) had already contributed to the immediate response in order to reinforce the basic and critical health services at all levels of care as well as using flexible procedures to support the early national response in March/April 2020. Support to the Health sector is one of the key support areas of the European Union in Zimbabwe under the 11th European Development Fund. Since 2016, the EU has provided over 108.26 million EUR (about USD 122.23 million) to the HDF and is one of the biggest donors to the sector.

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Sierra Leone : Abdul Aziz Islamic Foundation ends feasibility studies for the construction of hospital in Lutti Kambia district
July 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

From L-R Project coordinator , Abdul Charming Kamara , sheik Abdul Rashid Kamara and traditional leaders during the official handing over of the land to the Foundation , Lutti, Kambia district .
From L-R Project coordinator , Abdul Charming Kamara , sheik Abdul Rashid Kamara and traditional leaders during the official handing over of the land to the Foundation , Lutti, Kambia district .

The Abdul Aziz Islamic Foundation For the Poor and Needy , a charitable and non-profitable organisation registered in the United States of America has on  Friday 10th July ended  its final feasibility studies for the construction of a state-of-the-art hospital for the people of Lutti Gbana , Rosinor and its surroundings in Samu Chiefdom , Kambia district, Northern Sierra Leone.

In his statement , Chairman Kambia District Council , Mohamed Yayah Bangura ,  welcomed the construction of the hospital for the people of Lutti and its environs adding it would benefit the people  living in those  river line areas as they are mostly struggling with health issues and other challenges like clean water.

“First of all, we want to register our appreciation to the foundation. Alhamdulillah, we know that they are people that are supporting communities  to overcome lots of  obstacles especially in   Kambia district , Samu Chiefdom to be specific . We have a whole lot of problem in those river line areas. There are so many health issues especially in the dry season. They struggle to get water  and their health systems is very , very poor ,’’he said.

He added that the move is timely and as a council they  appreciate the kind of support the foundation is  bringing  to the inhabitants of Samu Chiefdom thus assuring  the organization of their support as the project will benefit the people of Kambia district.

In his statement ,  Chief Administrator Kambia district council, Dr. Edward Alpha said, the move by the Foundation was laudable as they are complementing the efforts of the government and thus the need to support them .

“  This is laudable because Other people have money, but they prefer  doing with it the other way , but if this foundation decided to construct a health centre or state of the art peripheral health Unit, its laudable and  it will help to a very large extent  to address public health services in the district and I think as a council, we would be the greatest beneficiary. What they are doing is what we are supposed to do,’’ he said.

Dr. Alpha expressed optimism and hope for the successful implementation of  the project thus calling on other people to emulate such kind gesture.

Head of the delegation Abdul Aziz Foundation in Lutti, Sheik Abdul Rashid Kamara said the organisation stands to help the poor and needy stating that since its inception it has been working on helping the poor and needy there  by providing food during the month of Ramadan to hundreds of people in the country, donating carpets to different mosques across the country  among many other interventions.

He said the building of the hospital was as a result of a feasibility studies that was done by the foundation adding that among the many challenges the village felt they needed was the need for a good health facility as the nearby health post was a bit far as women struggle whenever they wanted to give birth.

“The building of this hospital will bring a huge smile to all the inhabitants of Lutti Gbana, Rosinor and its environs and I want to urge you people to accept this project , own it , support it as it would be of benefit to and your children . Please take your kids to school , educate them so that they could medical doctors , and nurses and in turn they will be able to work in this hospital’’

Town Chief of Lutti , Pa Adikalie Sankoh on his part express happiness for the project in his community as the township is grappling with so many health challenges adding that  whenever pregnant women  wanted to deliver they have to go a long distance which sometimes  even cause them to give birth in the banks of the river or on their way to the health post.

“I am happy 100% . My people need this hospital , we have a hospital at Rosinor but its too distance . If we have hospital here at Lutti  it is really welcoming . We have over one hundred houses here  and the  surrounding town like Mafisor , Lutti Lol is a large place . The population is over two to three thousand people . we are glad ,we will be having a hospital from the Abdul Aziz Foundation,’’ he said.

Pa Sankoh said the land that would be used for the construction of the state-of-the-art hospital was donated by him and his mother so as to bring development to his community and its environs adding that they have been suffering for too long and the coming in of the foundation will be a saviour to them.

“we plan to hand over the land to the community and the Abdul Aziz Islamic Foundation . As a Town Chief of Lutti that wanted development in my life time that’s why I asked  my mother for us to hand over this piece of land for the construction of a health facility,’’

One of the inhabitants of Lutti , N’thuma M. Kamara  expressed delight for the construction of a hospital in her home town by the foundation , thus praying for a quick start of the project as women are really suffering whenever they are pregnant and ready to give birth.

“we want sober nurses and doctors to man this hospital when it would have been constructed . It will help so much as inhabitants and people from other surroundings will also enjoy the facility. May God bless the Foundation’’

The final feasibility studies were climaxed with the signing of a memorandum of understanding by the Abdul Aziz Islamic Foundation and the local authorities and the  official handing over of the land to the organisation.

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East Africa holds its ground as Africa’s fastest growing region, despite COVID-19 disruption
July 12, 2020 | 0 Comments
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the region’s economic growth was projected at more than 5 percent, well above continent’s average of 3.3 percent and global average of 2.9 percent.

COVID-19 curbs East Africa’s growth, but still the strongest in the continent; Report calls for transition to higher value-added activities to build resilience to shocks.

Economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed East Africa’s growth projection for 2020 down to 1.2 percent, a rate that outstrips other African regions and is forecast to rebound to 3.7 percent in 2021, according to the African Development Bank’s (www.AfDB.org) East Africa Regional Economic Outlook 2020. The projection is under the baseline scenario that assumes the virus is contained by the third quarter of this year.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the region’s economic growth was projected at more than 5 percent, well above continent’s average of 3.3 percent and global average of 2.9 percent. However, COVID-19-induced shocks and a locust invasion have contributed to job losses, increased humanitarian needs and will aggravate poverty and income inequality.

In the worse-case scenario, in which the pandemic persists until the end of 2020, growth is projected at 0.2 percent, still above Africa’s predicted average of -1.7 percent and -3.4 percent under the two scenarios.

At the launch of the report held in Nairobi on Wednesday, Simon Kiprono Chelugui, Cabinet Secretary of Kenya’s Ministry of Labour, said East African countries could overcome the effects of COVID-19 and turn their economies around by mitigating the external and domestic risks.

“We need to implement a decisive and coordinated response to contain the spread of COVID-19; mitigate its health and socio-economic effects; accelerate structural transformation; improve the investment climate, and maintain the peace and security of our region,” he said.

The Regional Economic Outlook indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic will affect East African economies in many ways, such as falling commodity prices and trade, and restrictions on travel with a consequent negative impact on tourism. Waning financial flows have affected the region’s fiscal and current account balances, while disruptions in supply chains have hurt food production and distribution. With schools closed, an estimated 90 million learners have been excluded from the classroom.

Nnenna Nwabufo, the Director General of the Bank’s East Africa Regional Office, pledged Bank support to steer the region out of the crisis.

“Our ambition is to address the adverse effects of COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that social and economic development across the continent is accelerated, including through the creation of an African workforce of the future,” she said.

She noted that the Bank had responded swiftly to provide urgently needed support to address the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including support of $212 million to Kenya, $165 million to Ethiopia, $4 million to South Sudan and $10 million to the Seychelles.

Nwabufo called for a collective effort to address the development challenges such as COVID-19, rising public debt, and the locust invasion, in order to re-direct the nations towards a sustainable development pathway.  

The report’s authors called for urgent policy measures to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“East African countries should accelerate a real structural transformation by transitioning from low value-added production to higher value-added activities that could mitigate vulnerabilities to domestic and external shocks,” said Dr Marcellin Ndong Ntah, a Bank Lead Economist.

As well as investigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the region, this year’s report placed particular emphasis on “Developing East Africa’s Workforce for the Future”. To nurture skills for the future workforce, there is an urgent need for broad reforms in education, investment in education technology, addressing factors that stop children from attending school and establishing linkages between academia and industry, said Edward Sennoga, a Bank Lead Economist, and another of the report’s authors.

Julius Mukunda, Executive Director of the Civil Society Advocacy Group in Uganda, said in order to nurture growth, East African nations must stamp out corruption, and invest in areas in which the region has unique strengths, such as food production, not only to provide food, but also income for farmers to help them to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.

*AFDB
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UK Accused of Allowing Billions in Crypto Fraud in its Indian Ocean Colony
July 11, 2020 | 0 Comments

Chagos Islanders Seek Restitution of Popular .IO Domain

A beach on Diego Garcia, one of the Chagos Islands. Photo credit Stephen P. Mallory/Shutterstock
A beach on Diego Garcia, one of the Chagos Islands. Photo credit Stephen P. Mallory/Shutterstock

London (July 9, 2020): British Indian Ocean Territory is best known for the secretive US naval base on Diego Garcia Island but is also home to the top level domain .IO that is popular with crypto asset and technology companies.

The United Nations General Assembly, African Union, and International Court of Justice have found that Britain’s deportation of the Chagos Islanders a generation ago and continued occupation of the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory) is unlawful and a serious violation of international law.

According to the Complaint the British have stubbornly refused  to vacate the Chagos Archipelago not only due to the presence of the US naval base but because billions of dollars in covert financial transactions are at stake.

In 1997 a secret agreement with the British Crown resulted in the creation of the top level domain country code .IO (ccTLD .IO).  .IO was a relatively low key alternative domain until about 2016 when its popularity exploded in connection with the rise of cryptocurrency.  In 2017, the company administering .IO was sold for $70 million to internet giant Afilias Ltd. which is the world’s second largest Internet domain name registry.

The Chagos Islanders are now seeking restitution and return of .IO which has made the Chagos Archipelago one of the world’s least known but largest offshore financial centers by daily dollar volume. 

A complaint has been filed with the African Commission of Human & Peoples’ Rights (the Banjul Court) which has jurisdiction over the Chagos Islands and the issues of recovery and restitution.

According to Dr. Jonathan Levy, the international lawyer representing the Chagos islanders, while .IO is utilized by legitimate companies, it is also remarkable for crypto asset based criminal operations: Ponzi and pyramid schemes, High Yield Investment Platforms, and fraudulent Initial Coin and Token offerings.  Dr. Levy explains: “The criminals know there is zero law enforcement in the British Indian Ocean Territory, they use only cryptocurrency, they need no address besides a .IO domain and crypto wallet to commit crimes like fraud, money laundering and extortion.”  Dr. Levy estimates tens of billions of dollars a day in unregulated crypto asset transactions take place in .IO involving hacking, tax evasion, money laundering, fraudulent investment schemes, gambling, terrorism and organized crime financing including the well-known crypto scams OneCoin and USITech.

A link to the case is here:   https://tinyurl.com/IOdomain

For more information contact:Dr. Jonathan Levy, Attorney & Solicitor info@jlevy.co

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