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Rwandan appointed as East African Business Council Executive Director
June 19, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

John Bosco Kalisa – New EABC CEO -Executive Director

The Board of Directors of the East African Business Council (EABC) on Friday appointed Mr. John Bosco Kalisa as the new Executive Director / CEO of the EABC, the apex body of private sector associations and corporates in the East African Community.

Prior to this appointment, Kalisa served as the Country Director of South Sudan for Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA).

According to the statement released on Saturday, Kalisa brings a wealth of experience in promoting private sector development and competitiveness in the East African region, having spent over 20 years in various roles championing the business community involvement in the EAC region integration agenda.

“The new EABC CEO, John Bosco KALISA is an economist by profession with extensive experience in research & analysis and private sector development matters,” reads the statement in part.

“He has an in-depth understanding of the international, continental and regional trade agreements. He is an expert in taxation, commerce, international trade policy & law and economics having studied at leading universities in Pretoria, South Africa and Kigali, Rwanda,” it adds.

Kalisa has extensive knowledge in global trade negotiations and deep networks with international development partners including USAID, Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) African Development Bank and World Bank, Trademark East Africa, among others.

He also has a good rapport and network with the Government and industry captains in East Africa and beyond having previously worked with the Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF-Rwanda) and Rwanda Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

 Kalisa brings on board rich experience and knowledge vital to steer the East Africa private sector agenda to higher heights in a bid to drive socio-economic resilience and growth EAC region, according to the statement.

“As the new Executive Director, he will lead the EABC Secretariat team to implement the strategic plan in close collaboration with EABC National Focal Points, members, and the business the community at large and in close partnership with East African Community Secretariat Organs and Institutions,” EABC said.

 Kalisa will also spearhead resource mobilization and high-level advocacy at the Heads of State and Ministerial level to push forward the EABC’s purpose and vision of a borderless East Africa for increased business and investment.

Kalisa replaces  Dr. Peter Mathuki who was appointed as the Secretary-General of the East African Community  recently by the 21st EAC Heads of States.

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South Sudan President Kiir Warns of Environment Degradation
June 19, 2021 | 0 Comments
President Kiir

By Deng Machol

Juba – South Sudan President Salva Kiir has admitted the East Africa’s youngest nation’s environment is degrading at a rapid rate. 

Speaking at a belated World Environment Day celebration on Thursday in Juba, President Kiir says some human activities in the country are causing one of the most worrying environmental degradation.  
The World Environment Day is celebrated annually on June 5 to create awareness and action to preserve the environment, under the theme is: “Reimagine. Recreate. Restore” and its focal point is ecosystem restoration.

“I can sadly admit that our Environment is degrading at a rapid rate”, said Kiir. “This environmental degradation comes partly from human activities such as charcoal burning, other contributing factors include disregard from the public about the proper waste disposal methods”, he said. 

On the same event, Ms. Josephine Napwon, minister of the environment said armed groups are also to blame for deforestation; decried illegal logging of trees by armed groups.
“All the groups that rebelled against the government use the forest to generate income to support the rebellion,” said Napwon.

Following 2013 war, it is not only human who have been displaced in South Sudan, Kiir says animals are also fleeing the country in large numbers into neighbouring countries because of the environment is no longer safe for them. 

“Even animals that were staying in our forests are now disappearing and this is not good”, said Kiir. “Let us protect our animals, forests, let us protect our environment. This is the only way.”
Plastic bottles harming Nile ecosystem. President Kiir used the occasion to also rebuke disposal of waste such as plastic bottles into the Nile. 

“For those of you who had a chance to sit along the River Nile, you would have seen massive plastic bottles floating in the River. These plastic bottles waste poses a serious harm to River Nile ecosystem especially upstream including the Sudd mud land, he said”.

President Kiir stressed that the Nile is a source of South Sudan’s livelihood and calls upon the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to work closely with the Juba City Council to address the issue of waste disposal into the Nile.  
“Please use all administrative tools at your disposal to address this issue of plastic bottles and other waste in the Nile once and for all”, Kiir ordered. 
Environment Audit

However, Minister Napwon further called upon president Kiir to put an end to the country’s oil companies “blockade” of the country’s pending environment and social audit
The Minister stated that the oil operating companies have often refused to allow her team to review their mode of operation and activities in the country.

“Your Excellency, we should not make money at the expense of the people,” Napwon told Kiir during the belated commemoration of World Environment Day. “These people are not adhering to the environmental aspects, especially in the oilfields.”

Napwon’s appeal comes nearly two months after she threatened to take legal action against oil companies over negligence to protect the oil-producing areas against pollution.
She urged President Kiir to assist her in compelling the oil companies to cooperate with the ministry of environment.

In April, the Minister of Petroleum launched the auditing of the oil firms. But so far, no reports have been made public.
Climate change is considered a long-term change in the average weather patterns.
She had also said the companies would lose their licenses if they did not protect the environment and people there.
There have been reports of oil spillage and deformed child-births, mostly in Ruweng Administrative Area.  The impact of climate change is being witnessed by the extreme heat, drought and insect outbreaks in South Sudan.

Major parts of the country witnessed serious flash floods in 2020 after months of drought.
The country has also witnessed locust invasion last year. This has reportedly resulted in nearly 8.3 million people being food insecure in fragile nation. 

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Sierra Leone: Government imposes mandatory use of face mask in all public places and transportation over third wave of COVID-19.
June 19, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

The Sierra Leone government has on Thursday 17th June introduced several new measures to curb the spread of Covid -19  as it experiences a third wave of the global pandemic in the country .

The West African nation has recently recorded a spike in the virus with over 300 positive cases with three deaths after over four months without any death reports.

According to the public notice from the country’s National Covid-19 Response Centre (NaCOVERC) effectively 17th June wearing of face mask in all public places and transportation is compulsory, including social distancing,  hand-washing among others are  latest new measures introduced the government for a month subject to review .

“In view of our commitment to protecting the lives and livelihoods of our citizens and in response of growing national and international public health concerns, the Presidential Task Force has approved the announcement of the following measures, as proposed by NaCOVERC, for nationwide application with immediate effect, for a period of one month, subject to review,’’ the public notice reads.

The public notice noted that the new measures is as a result of the country’s witnessing a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic adding that this assessment has been informed by the WHO alert as well as a thorough examination of the epidemiological data particularly for the last one month, which strongly indicates not only exponential rise in COVID-19 confirmed cases, but also increased positivity rates, hospitalization and deaths.

“We are further informed by available data that a significant number of positive cases are from samples obtained from patients in health facilities. These are predominantly in the Western Area. In the current instance, many of the cases are symptomatic unlike the initial one year of the outbreak in the first and second waves,’’ the notice added.

NaCOVERC urged that services in places of worship not to exceed ninety (90) minutes, with full enforcement of face mask, social distancing and hand-washing protocols whilst also banning night clubs and cinemas for one month with immediate effect in the country.

“With effect from Tuesday 22nd June 2021, Government ministries, departments and agencies will only be accessed by employees and members of the public with proof of at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccination. Full dose vaccination is highly recommended. National Sports Authority designated-activities and competitions shall be held behind closed doors without spectators. Only footballers and officials with proof of vaccination will be allowed into the venue,’’

NaCOVERC believed that social gatherings, including weddings, funerals, receptions, naming ceremonies and the likes should not exceed fifty (50) people, with mandatory face mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing/use of hand sanitizer to be observed; with Large-scale entertainment activities or any super-spreader events are banned for the period of one month.

“NaCOVERC will be enforcing wearing of face mask at shops and at indoor and outdoor markets and crowded stalls. Educational institutions shall comply with mandatory face mask, hand-washing and social distance protocols. Government and private health facilities to incorporate COVID-19 screening for cases matching case definition for COVID-19; and corpses with suspicious case definitions to be swabbed within 12 hours of death,’’ NaCOVERC urged. 

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Sierra Leone: NRM urges APC to set up interim body to adopt new constitution.
June 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

The National Reformation Movement (NRM) has urged stakeholders in the All Peoples Congress (APC) party to facilitate the setting up of an interim body that will conduct elections for the delegate who are to adopt the new constitution of their party thus calling for the “defunct leadership to stop wasting the party’s time and to comply with the recent court orders’’. 

 In a presser on Wednesday 16th June, at the Sierra Leone Association of Journalist (SLAJ) headquarters on Campbell Street in Freetown, the Chairman NRM, Mohamed Sheridan Kamara Esq., said that as the endless legal defeats have shown, it will be foolish to challenge orders that call for delegate elections and the adoption of a democratic constitution by the party thus they as a body are only seeking reforms in their party although they have been branded badly as ‘rebels’.

“The NRM remains committed to the struggle against the suffocating presence of dictatorship in the APC. We are fully aware that the tenure of the National Advisory Council (NAC) has long come to an end.  We well known that the questionable extension of its mandate has also come to an end on 15 June, 2021,’’ he said.

Lawyer Mohamed Sheridan Kamara said that, they as a group find it beyond being deceptive that the party’s defunct leadership delaying the adoption of a democratic constitution by filing unproductive and pointless appeals stating that it is their view that the only reasons the defunct leadership sticks to this unreasonable position is to buy time, prolong its illegal stay in leadership positions and undermine the party’s chances of winning the next elections.

“It is also not lost on us that the national officers, all without exception, have held offices illegally. The movement has also taken note of the vile plan of the national executive to renew its already illegal mandate through an equally illegal body called NAC. We are further aware of a matter in the court that hinges on the legitimacy of the very executive that plans such an elaborate illegal operation,’’ Lawyer Kamara added.

The NRM chairman further said since the intention behind this elaborate, illegal operation and pointless appeals is to use the handpicked delegates to execute a diabolic plan against the adoption of a democratic constitution; the movement urges the effete leadership out of such unworkable plan that does not coincide with the party’s collective interests.

“We can overstate the futility of any attempt to extend a mandate that has rested on an illegal foundation from the beginning. is it necessary for us to say any more about the futility of attempting to use manufactured delegates , who are manipulated into their positions through a brazen violation of the party’s 1995 constitution , to adopt a democratic constitution ?,’’NRM noted.

The NRM boss however said,  they are particularly pleased to inform the public that they never to be demoralized adding that they have once again mobilized all its splinter factions into a single movement thus stating the  need for collaboration  until a democracy constitution is adopted has subsumed the reform factions under a single umbrella.  

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Kenya to roll out the second phase of polio vaccination on Saturday.
June 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

The second round of vaccination against polio in Kenya is set to kick off tomorrow, Saturday, June 19, 2020, amid a surge in Covid-19 cases.

The exercise begins three weeks after the first round that took place between May 22 and May 26.

Kenya embarked on vaccination against the disease after six polio cases were detected in its Mombasa and Garissa counties.

Out of the six cases, three were discovered from healthy children who had arrived in Somalia, with others detected in sewage, one in Garissa and the remaining two in Mombasa.

The campaign targets over 3.4 million children below five years from 13 counties. The counties are Nairobi, Mombasa, Kajiado, Kilifi, Kiambu, Machakos, Lamu, Tana River, Kitui, wajir, Isiolo, Mandera and Garissa.

The country’s health ministry has urged all parents, guardians, religious leaders, communities, community elders living in the targeted areas to ensure children are vaccinated.

Emmanuel Okunga, head of disease surveillance and epidemic response at the ministry, said some of the outbreaks in the East African nation come from neighbouring countries.

“We intend to get at least 95 per cent of all of all children in the country vaccinated but sometimes because of challenges of the border and other issues, we do not reach that target,” said Okunga.

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Churches suspended in Western Kenya amid an upsurge in Covid-19 infections
June 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe

Worship services have been halted in 13 counties in western Kenya for 30 days to curb the spread of coronavirus in the region.

On Thursday, Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced that Busia, Vihiga, Kisii, Nyamira, Homa Bay, Kisumu, Siaya, Migori, Trans Nzoia, Bomet, Kakamega, Kericho, and Bungoma counties are accounting for 60 percent of total Covid-19 infections in the country.

The government responded by restricting the virus containment measures and urged residents to wear facemasks properly, keep social distance, and regularly wash or sanitize their hands.

Kagwe said the dusk to dawn curfew time had been reviewed from 10 pm to 4 am to 7 pm to 4 am in the 13 counties.

Market days have also been suspended for one month.

Moreover, employees from both the public and private sectors have been directed to work from home, apart from those offering essential services like health care workers, security officers, etc.

All funerals and interment ceremonies must be held within three days of death confirmation, with only 50 people allowed to attend such events.

All cross-border cargo drivers must possess a valid certificate indicating a negative Covid-19 result. The test must have been conducted no more than 48 hours before starting their journey. Cargo trucks are permitted to carry two persons per vehicle.

Public gatherings, including house parties and sporting activities, have also been suspended until further notice.

When the virus first hit the country, Mombasa and Nairobi were the epicentre of the virus. Later, it shifted to Nakuru, Kajiado, Kiambu and Machakos.

The new changes take effect on Friday, June 18.

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Partnership is Important in Ending the COVID-19 – USAID, Africa CDC Bosses Say.
June 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Two of the leading organizations who are involved in the fight to end the ongoing health pandemic on the African continent say there is a need to strengthen the partnership between USAID and the Africa CDC.

The USAID Covid-19 Task Force Executive Director, Jeremy Konyndyk and the Director of the Africa CDC Dr John Nkengasong were speaking during the Digital Press Briefing on the Global Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in African Countries organized by the Africa Regional Media Hub of the US Department of State this June 17.

Last week, President Biden announced that the U.S. will be donating half a billion Pfizer vaccines through the COVAX initiative to the AU and additional low- and middle-income countries that make up part of the COVAX advanced market commitment, the 92 countries in that group.  This is the largest-ever donation of vaccines by any country in history and it further solidifies America’s commitment to saving lives and to helping lead the world out of this pandemic. 

“We’ll work with COVAX in distributing these vaccines and we will consult with partners in Africa and with Dr Nkengasong and his team on our vaccine work on the continent,” Jeremy Konyndyk, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) COVID-19 Task Force Executive Director said in his opening statements.

“We are also actively consulting with the Africa CDC and the AU on the distribution of 80 million vaccine doses that we previously announced, so that will bring so far the total U.S. vaccine dose donations to 580 million doses globally between the sharing of U.S. vaccines and the purchase of the new Pfizer vaccines.  And that builds of course on 2 billion that the U.S. had already announced as a contribution to Gavi, the vaccine alliance for the COVAX platform. “

Jeremy Konyndyk added: “We’re also doing a great deal of other work in African countries to support both the COVID-19 response and some – and address some of the wider non-health impacts of the pandemic.  So, to date, the U.S. has provided $541 million across 45 countries in sub-Saharan Africa to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that is supporting things like strengthening national health institutions, supporting access and distribution of critical support and medicines, supporting risk communication, vaccine readiness, community outreach, improved surveillance, and a range of other things.”

In his opening remarks, the Head of the Africa CDC, Dr John N. Nkengasong began by presenting an overview of the coronavirus on the continent. He said: “As a continent, to date, we have recorded 5 – slightly above – officially, of course, 5 million cases of COVID-19 across the continent with a mortality number of 136,000 people.  What is unique with this pandemic in Africa is that several countries as we speak, about 15 of them are racing towards the third wave, and a couple of them are moving into the fourth wave.”

“I think if you were to ask me to characterize our experience with this pandemic after one year and a half, I would say that it is unprecedented; it is unpredictable; and for Africa, also that it is a volatile situation.  We might be sitting on a volcano here to erupt if we do not do the right things and do them quickly, and that the impact of this pandemic on the continent, effect will be generational in terms of the disruption that it has caused for our economies, our health systems, and schools and other sectors…”

Responding to a question from one of the participants, Dr Nkengasong said he hope and believe that “we’ll get – continue to have the right support from our partners so that the platform becomes even a post-COVID infrastructure for us to fight other diseases, including the ones that burden us every day: the HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis.”

Speaking on vaccine distribution, Dr John Nkengasong said: “The African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team – in abbreviation, AVATT – has been established which through that platform we have secured 220 million doses of Johnson & Johnson and with an option to go up to 400 million.  So I think countries can go straight to that platform, the AMSP platform, to secure whatever amounts of vaccines that they will need for Johnson & Johnson.”

On the vaccine passport or certificate being talked about around the world, the Director of the Africa CDC said: “Our position as the African Union is clear that we are not encouraging yet the imposition of vaccine certificates for travel.  I mean, we have engaged with the European Union on that.  It’s a very – it’s a clear, specific position and the rationale is simple: that we just don’t have access to vaccines.  So how do we – how do you penalize somebody that they should have their vaccine certificate where they are looking for those vaccines to get themselves immunized and conform?

“One track is accelerating vaccine availability and vaccine readiness, and that is the – that is the support that in the long run, or hopefully in the medium run, will ultimately bring an end to the acute phase of this pandemic,” Jeremy Konyndyk said responding to a question on What strategies should be adopted to streamline the global response to the pandemic as a collaborative mechanism by all nations?”

“But we also know that that is not going to be an immediate process, and so while we are increasing our investments in vaccine availability and vaccine readiness, we are also increasing our investments in frontline crisis response support and frontline system support so that health systems that are facing surges or health systems that are – that may someday face surges are more ready to do that. “

During the press briefing, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) COVID-19 Task Force Executive Director Jeremy Konyndyk announced more than $91 million to provide urgently needed food assistance, health care, water, and psychosocial support for people across Africa, to address urgent humanitarian needs caused by the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, USAID has provided more than $1 billion in humanitarian assistance to help millions impacted by the virus across the world.

According to a press release from USAID, the money will go to some 12 countries such as $7.5 million for Burkina Faso to provide vital food assistance, protection for children and survivors of gender-based violence by expanding access to basic services, and logistics support to ensure humanitarian assistance and workers reach communities affected by conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic.

$7.5 million for Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania to provide food assistance for refugees, people who have returned to their communities, and other vulnerable community members to recover from the pandemic’s economic impacts; and $9 million for Chad to provide food assistance, including school meals, for vulnerable people and nutrition assistance to children.

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Zimbabwe: President and Vice President At Odds Over COVID 19 Restrictions.
June 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

Vice President Chiwenga and President Mnangagwa

Political scuffles in latent shadows muzzle Zimbabwe as President Mnangagwa violates covid-19Regulations by his vice President Constantine Chiwenga who stands as well as Minister of Heath and Child Care.

Vice President announced hard lockdown measures on Saturday 12 June following an increase in Corona cases. KweKwe one of Zimbabwe’s cities was put on serious hard lockdown including tourists Towns like Kariba and Victoria Falls north of the country. The 1 month lockdown in the Midlands Province came as a result of corona B.1.617 variant brought from India which killed one person.

In resistant to this vested with powers on his shoulders President Emmerson Mnangawa gathered thousands of people after the announcement in the same hinterland of the city of Kwekwe where he addressed people who attended a cultural event.

President Mnangagwa is believed to have instructed Army and Police Chiefs to take a back-seat and ignore manning road blocks managing the movement of people like how it happens when HE President Mnangagwa announces it .

MDC Alliance President Nelson Chamisa asked to comment by PAV said the outlook of everything is like there must be no lock-down . HE feels it that the nation must not be in such situations pathetic to say because already people are under hard times .

” What is a concern is the situation under which people are in , there have been lockdowns before , people’s livelihoods get disturbed in an already down economy. Why lockdown under such hard times.

It looks like a panic mode not planning’’, comments leader of opposition. A political commentator wo hid his identity said the country is in leadership confusion. he adds on that the two leaders seem to be in a wrangle of leadership confusion and misunderstanding .

” There is a confusion and misunderstanding because of what is happening. The vice President is the Minister of Health. He has the power to declare on what the position of covid-19 is in the country. The President failing to take hid of this is another story I can- not comment on ”, he hanged in air shutting down the interview .

There is still confusion with the leaders then the nation seems not to take heed to the announcement made by Vice President. To the people it looks like just restrictions not lockdown. What is making it light is that Ministers are not giving comments to this, same to the Police Chief and Army Chief like they do when its President Mnangagwa

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Cameroon: Media Practitioners Told to Fight against Hate Speech, Xenophobia
June 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Members of the Bilingualism Commission and Journalists after the session on hate speech and xenophobia

Media managers, journalists have been educated on the need to fight against hate speech and xenophobia in society. This meeting with journalists as part of the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism’s (NCPBM) communication campaign against Hate Speech and Xenophobia took place from June 15 to 18 2021 in Buea.

The campaign did not only focus on journalists but other actors on the field from Civil Society Organizations, Church Leaders, Traditional authorities and others. This campaign was launched back in March in Yaounde and aims at knowing the causes, manifestations, consequences and recommendations from people across the country. 

Speaking to the journalists were two members of the Commission in Benjamin Itoe (former Minister of Transport, Justice and Tourism) and George Ngwane (Head of the working group on Bilingualism).

“The meeting is to intensify the combat against hate speech and xenophobia. No country even if it is mini-cultural can tolerate hate speech” Benjamin Itoe, Member of the NCPBM said. 

“We need to consolidate our diversity by fighting against hate speech. If we allow it to go then the country will disintegrate and will no longer leave in peace and harmony that it needs to develop. Xenophobia and hate speech is perpetrated by individuals for their gains and the personal gains of their ethnic origins.”

From qualifying some tribes as more beautiful or intelligent than the others, the lack of resources to the frequent appointments of the same persons to the government or from one tribe were all avenues that the journalists brought forward as causes of the rise of hate speech in the country.

After taking part in a group exercise, the journalists brought out some vital points that should be implemented such as the education of the population and even the implantation of subjects from the primary school on hate speech and xenophobia.

Others looked at the need for sensitization campaigns to be carried out in villages to educate the population on the need to shun the practice of hate speech; the creation of programmes to address this issue, and addressing the root causes of people’s problems in the country.

Hate speech has continuously promoted conflicts in the communities despite the national and international instruments put in place to limits its effects. “Anglo-fool”, “Franco-fool”, “Bami”, and “Graffi” are all words that are being extensive use in the Cameroonian milieu.

In the past, it might have been looked at as a way of making fun but today, they are all regarded as derogatory words, words that instead cause divide than uniting the population together.

“We need to look at the policies and laws that were put that have resulted in hate speech. Hate speech is in various dimensions and we need to address the root causes of the problems and solve them. If not we will continue (having hate speech),” Dr Kingsley Ngange, Associate Professor and Head of the Journalism Department in the University of Buea said.

The use of hate speeches and many other derogatory statements are part of the causes of the ongoing Anglophone crisis that has been for the past four years and entering the fifth year. Many Anglophones feel that their Francophone brothers west of the Mungo “do not like them” or “do not understand the problems that they are going to.”

It is common to hear someone being referred to as “blackleg”, “ekelebe”, “Larrisa”, all being used in connection to the Anglophone crisis. When these slangs are used it only goes a long way to increase social tension in the country, observers have noted.

Mwalimu George Ngwane talks to journalists about hate speech and Xenophobia

This rise in hate speech has equally been compounded by the extensive use of various social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and others. Time without number individuals in the country and those in the Diaspora have been noted to have sent various derogatory messages to individuals especially as people have taken sides in the ongoing crisis.

The journalists have taken the firm commitment to become volunteers for a coalition against Hate Speech and Xenophobia. They have also called on the authorities to strictly implement the law on hate speech as a means to mitigate or curb the rise of hate speech across the country.

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OPEC Secretary General, three major oil ministers, confirm presence at African Energy Week 2021.
June 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

Mohammed Barkindo, OPEC General Secretary, has confirmed his presence at Africa’s Energy Chamber’s landmark event in Cape Town

The landmark event has drawn an unprecedented level of support from across the continent within less than a week after it was first announced.

Mohammed Barkindo, OPEC General Secretary, has confirmed his presence at Africa’s Energy Chamber’s landmark event in Cape Town. AEW’s commitment to take place on African soil has gathered wide support from industry players and the general public alike

The Angolan, Congolese and Equatoguinean oil ministers have already confirmed their attendance, among other high-level figures.

The Honourable Secretary General of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammed Barkindo, has just confirmed his presence at the African Energy Week (AEW) set to take place on 9th – 12th November 2021 in Cape Town, South Africa, in a demonstration of the high-level support this event has already gathered across the industry.

In a further major demonstration of support, H.E. Diamantino Azevedo of Angola, H.E. Bruno Itoua of the Congo and H.E. Gabriel Obiang Lima of Equatorial Guinea, namely the industry leaders of the second, third and fifth biggest of oil producers in Sub-Saharan Africa, have also just confirmed their presence at the African Energy Chamber’s first pan-African event.

AEW continues to gather what can only be described as an overwhelming wave of support just a week after it was first announced. Committed to organizing a pan-African energy event in 2021 on African soil, the AEW promises to be the definitive venue of the year for energy leaders from across the continent to gather and discuss the future of the continent’s oil industry, the paths and solutions for Africa’s energy transition and the promotion of further sector cooperation amongst the continent’s biggest energy players.

“It is truly a thing of wonder to see how the industry has taken on this initiative and rallied around an international event, focused on African energy, hosted on African grounds, to discuss African opportunities and our energy future in the face of mounting pressure on our continent and energy investors and producers”, said Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.

AEW comes at a crucial time for the continent’s energy sector as the place of oil production in Africa’s economy is at the centre of heated debates, a post-covid recovery is underway and the narrative of the energy transition continues to dominate news cycles. The early confirmations of the presences of such high-level figures of the African and the globe’s energy landscape is expressive of how much weight is being put on this novel initiative, which threatens to rearrange the African energy event calendar for good.

“It’s never been this important to discuss the role and future of oil and gas in the African context, and we are just so glad to be able to gather such paramount figures of the industry at our event to foster cooperation, understanding and positive future solutions for Africa’s energy-rich future, ” Ayuk concluded.

The AEW will take place at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront on 9th – 12th November 2021 and will follow strict COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of all attendees.

For more information about this transformative event, visit www.aew2021.com or www.EnergyChamber.org and/or email Amina Williams at amina.williams@energychamber.org.

For registration related enquiries contact: registration@aew2021.com
For sales related enquires contact: sales@aew2021.com
For media related enquires contact: media@aew2021.com
For speaker opportunity related enquires contact: speakers@aew2021.com

*SOURCE African Energy Chamber

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aYo Ghana looks to secure wellbeing of customers
June 17, 2021 | 0 Comments
Francis Gota

Consumer anxieties around Covid-19 and its related economic challenges have raised awareness of the need for protection in the event of either loss of life or hospitalisation, says microinsurer aYo Intermediaries Ghana Limited CEO, Francis Gota.

aYo has seen a strong increase in its customer base since the start of the pandemic, with more than 5.5 million customers on its books by 31 May. The company offers Hospitalisation and Life Insurance Cover through its two insurance products, ‘Send with Care’ and ‘Recharge with Care’.

Last year, the company paid claims of GH¢2,421,787 to more than 8,000 customers. In all, aYo Ghana has paid out GH¢5,050,715.00 over its four years in existence.

“The pandemic has had a major effect on all sectors of Ghana’s economy. Despite these difficult times, we are committed to securing the financial wellbeing of our customers, and ultimately see a future where everyone uses insurance because technology makes insurance relevant, accessible, and easy to use,” said Mr Gota.

Microinsurance is widely regarded as a powerful enabler of financial inclusion in African markets, providing a much-needed social safety net that helps vulnerable people and particularly people with low incomes to stay afloat when the unexpected happens.

Nearly 5 million subscribers are currently using aYo’s Recharge with Care product, which offers life and hospital insurance cover every time customers recharge their MTN airtime. Customers can receive up to GH¢100 for each night they are admitted to hospital, and up to GH¢6,000 life cover for themselves and one family member who is registered on the policy.

How to sign up

For Recharge with Care, subscribers sign up by dialling *296#, selecting option 1 and following the prompts. They have the option to sign up for either MyLife Cover, MyHospital Cover, or both. The insurance cover is valid for 30days for a premium of GH¢4.00.

Subscribers can file claims using the same process (*296#, option 1, option 7, and follow the prompts.) Alternatively visit https://app.ayo4u.com/ to files claims. Valid claims are paid directly to the claimant’s mobile money wallet.

MTN MoMo subscribers can send MoMo through aYo Send with Care by dialling *170#, select option 1 (transfer money) and then option 3 (Send with Care) on the mobile money menu to get up to GH¢30,000.00 hospital and life insurance cover and up to GH¢3,000.00 life cover for their family members (receiver of the MoMo).

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Mozambique:Maputo prison management suspended over alleged sexual abuse of female inmates
June 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

The Justice Minister has suspended all the management of the Maputo women’s prison pending an investigation into allegations of pimping out the inmates.

Helena Kida also announced the creation of a commission of inquiry to investigate the case — but hopes are not high for an honest and transparent procedure after her performance at the prison yesterday.

Journalists were invited to cover her visit to the prison at 10am, only to be told just after midday that she had done her visit at 8am. Kida then appeared, and gave a press conference promising an independent investigation that would report back within 10-15 days.

Khida also announced that a similar investigation would be conducted in every prison across the country.

The minister guaranteed that should prison guards be found to be involved in forced prostitution, they would be held accountable and disciplined or prosecuted. Action would also be taken against the clients who paid for sex with the prisoners.

Following the press conference, journalists were invited in to speak with prisoners — but after a number of prisoners said they were willing to speak, they were then taken aside by members of Kida’s team and prison guards, apparently to discuss what they were going to tell the journalists. The journalists then left without speaking to the prisoners.

The allegation that prison guards are forcing female inmates to prostitute themselves was made by transparency watchdog CIP, which investigated the Cadeia Feminina de Ndlavela women’s prison in Maputo.

According to CIP, prison guards can receive around €40-€400 ($48-$480) for each inmate, in what they call a lucrative business only available to the well-off in Maputo. CIP called for the creation of an independent commission of inquiry involving different state bodies and institutions to investigate the case.

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Canon partners with Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt to develop creative collaboration.
June 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Canon Central and North Africa have announced a new partnership with communities in Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt to ensure people are connected in Africa.

The new collaborations included those with SYNC School in Cairo, Egypt, Peexoo, a Nigerian photography hub, and the Photographers’ Association of Kenya (PAK).

 Canon, a long-standing supporter of film and photography education groups, aims to inspire and enrich the next generation of image-makers.

“Our mission is to empower people to see the bigger picture, on a grandyet local level,” explainsAmine Djouahra, sales, and marketing director for Canon Central & North Africa. “In this rapidly changing, image-based culture, we want to explore new and innovative ideas with a wider audience.”

They noted such collaborations would provide a forum for sharing Canon expertise, knowledge, and technology, with regular masterclasses, training opportunities, photo booths, and competitions.

Community members will also gain exclusive access to masterclasses with Canon ambassadors through the collaborations, including Emmanuel Oyeleke and YagaziEmezi.

There will also be regular competitions to challenge and inspire with exciting prizes such as Canon’s mini phone-to-printer Zoemini, the portable Selphy, G-Series printers, and a compact Powershot SX720 mirrorless M50 cameras.

According to Canon, the collaborations have realized tremendous progress with SYNC school in Egypt having 94000 photographers, filmmakers, and content creators.

Peexoo, on the other hand, has brought together more than 20,000 photographers and videographers from across Nigeria.

“We change perceptions through film and photography,” said PeexooCo-Founder,

techpreneu r Steven Kelechi Nwadike.

Also, in Kenya, the Association of Kenya (PAK) is now the leading photographic society representing professionals, amateurs, and hobbyists.

It further disclosed that interest in developing and recognizing excellence in amateur and professional photographers goes beyond Hands-on ‘touch and try’ sessions with cutting-edge Canon R system technology.

Canon said its Future Focus programme for students is in its fifth year, and the inaugural Redline Challenge for amateur photographers received tremendous response in entries from the African region.

“We believe in enriching local creatives and welcome the opportunity to connect and support the next generation of visual storytellers. By investing expertise, technology and opportunities in them, we hope to enhance their art, skills and future careers,” said Amine Djouahra

Therefore,  filmmakers and photographers across Africa to connect and collaborate.  

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IBRAF intermediates project to boost rice production chain in Ghana, with MoU between CAMPO and Intervalle
June 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

The Brazil Africa Institute is the facilitator for an agreement that will boost the rice production and value chain in Ghana, West Africa, opening doors for technology transfer and new business opportunities with Brazil.

On Tuesday (15), representatives of Campo Group and Intervalle Group, two of the largest companies in the agricultural sector in Brazil and Ghana respectively, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for three development projects focused on the modernization and mechanization of the supply and value chain of rice, with transfer of Brazilian technologies, participation of experts and monitoring of the local Ghanaian production chain.

“We will start with the project in the southern region of Ghana and also further north, on the border with Burkina Faso. We are prepared to provide all the technical support and transfer all the technology and knowledge about irrigated rice production that we have, using the best and most sustainable practices for tropical agriculture. We are prepared to provide this support and create this exchange. And we are going to learn a lot, as we are now within an effective production project”, says the Project Coordinator of Campo Group, Cézar Rizzi.

For the CEO of Intervalle Group, Njack Kane, the project marks a transforming moment for the country.

“The momentum is so perfect as Ghana is embarking in these new transformative projects. The big interest of this new partnership is that from day one will be able to jointly demonstrate on something concrete, and being on the basis of this partnership, being able to execute together such a project”, says Intervalle CEO.

Negotiations between the two companies have been taking place for about a year, initiated by the Brazil Africa Institute, which identified the potential for convergence for the initiative.

“The signing of the MoU is just the beginning, as I understand that we have something in front of us with unique possibilities. This project opens doors for governments, the private sector and civil society to engage. I am confident that Campo, for the work it is already doing in Brazil and Africa, and Intervalle, for its vast network and capacity to transform ideas into actions, will have a long life together, with IBRAF being the third arm of this initiative”, says the President of the Brazil Africa Institute. Prof. João Bosco Monte.

The calendar foresees that within a month the two companies will sign the formal contract.

“We were keen on returning to work in Ghana, an organized country, with a land that has the possibility of developing good agricultural work, so the expectation is very good. Even more so with the participation of Professor João Bosco in coordinating this work. We’ve been talking to him for years and now this opportunity arises. I thank IBRAF”, says Emiliano Botelho, CEO of Campo Group.

The Brazil Africa Institute will continue to facilitate the initiative, fostering dialogue with other stakeholders.

“This is a very special moment for the Brazil Africa Institute. We started the materialization of a project that, I hope, will be very intense for the next three, four years”, states IBRAF’s President.

*IBRAF

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FORMER PRESIDENT JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA TALK ABOUT GHANA MEDIA
June 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

Former President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama

The former President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama said, he thinks is populism, a certain group has taken control of the media in Ghana and it makes it difficult for people to discern the truth. He says as much as you are putting out the information, it is either being blocked or distorted.

According to the former President we have 300 FM stations in the country, and have seventy newspapers with all kinds of media. All kinds of media raises allegations against office holders. He stated that it cannot be on the basis that every allegation that is being raised should take action. It means he will change his cabinet so many times if he has to act on every single allegation against officers.

He further says for every allegation that was made against him, he had to consider the accusation seriously, to investigate and if those allegations are substantial that requires that he take action against a Minister, he will do so. John Mahama said he has done that in several cases, which led to change of Ministers.

The former President said when in power, he heard a lot of complaints and it is the very reason that he did everything to make people live a better life under his regime. According to him, unemployment building of infrastructure will get worse because there should be certain foundation upon which the economy can grow and create the jobs.

He says all the things the government did in his tunnel is what has grown the economy.  ”When investor’s comes into the country and are unable to send their children to school, with no good roads, and bad hospitals for their staff’s the investor may go elsewhere” he said. According to him, we need social infrastructure to act as a kind of stimulus that would create jobs and put money in people’s pockets.

The fact shows it is absolutely untrue that we are incurring debt because post HIPC, Ghana had a debt write off. But if you look at the period from 2006 until 2008, under the NPP government, they virtually doubled the debt again after it had been written off. He then releases what the debt figures were from independence till now; its shows the structure that our debt profile is currently $24 billion and in total, that is dollar and cedi debt, GHc104 billion.

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SANITATION IN GHANA: HOW CAN WE GET OUT OF THE QUAGMIRE?
June 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

One out of every five Ghanaian defecates in the open and about 90% of all our excreta end up in streams and rivers the same place drinking water comes from. If Accra, the national capital, had to dump human excreta into the sea for several years, then one can only imagine what happens in other towns and cities across the country.

 Solid waste management, on the other hand, is nothing to write home about although private sector involvement has caused some improvement. Our streets and gutters are still littered with waste and unpleasant sights of pest-infested, stinking and overflowing waste collection containers are not uncommon in our market centers and suburbs.

The result being annual outbreak of Cholera and other preventable diseases in the country. Sadly enough, sanitation-related diseases have over the years been among the top ten diseases reported at Out-Patients Departments (OPDs) in health centers costing the nation huge sums of money annually.

Estimates show that, Ghana loses close to US$300million every year due to poor sanitation – money that can be used to construct a grade 35 concrete road from Takoradi to Paga (about 900km). Yet, poor sanitation remains an unseen emergency to the public and decision makers because its effects are not as sudden as an earthquake or tsunami which claims thousands of lives within a short period.

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Ghana:AMEND LAW TO PREVENT CITIZENS FROM GIVING ALMS TO STREET BEGGARS- MP-FREDA PREMPEH
June 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

Former Minister for Gender, children and social protection, Freda Prempeh

The former Minister for Gender, children and social protection, Freda Prempeh says there should be an amendment of law which will prevent people from giving alms to those on the street.

Freda Prempeh responded to an investigation made by Ghana’s ace investigator Anas Aremeyew Anas said the government must amend a law which will prevent citizens from giving alms to beggars of the street

According to her we have some of the street beggars who can work to gain money to take care of themselves or school.She further explained that the ministry has taken monitoring and evaluation of
orphanages seriously and then the ministry will ensure that agonizing of children in orphanages will not repeat itself.

She stated that Orphanages are homes for children whose parents are dead or unbolt cater for them.The minister said apart from the fact that owners of orphanages are helping to cater for other children, others set up orphanages for their own selfish gains.

She says the ministry will ensure that the right thing is done in the case of the Echoing Hill Village since it cannot be closed down. She urged all Ghanaians to partake in catering for children in orphanages because it is a collective duty not that of government only.

The beggar’s on the street are nowadays becoming more dangerous due to the recent activities of personal attack on vehicles in traffic. The issue of robbery is getting out of hands. We as Ghanaians and foreigners should be careful in traffic when the red light is on because they will come close to your car in the name of asking for money but would rather be searching on how to attack you.

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Mozambique: Prison Guards Trading Female Inmates for Sex at Maputo’s women’s prison .
June 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

Inmates at Maputo’s women’s prison are being sold for sex by prison guards, an investigation by the transparency NGO CIP has found.

Using hidden cameras and posing as clients, CIP researchers paid for meetings with women who testified that they were regularly taken out of the prison to have sex with clients — or beaten up by guards if they refused.

During the day, the women serving sentences in this prison undertake various activities, including training in courses such as dressmaking, breeding chickens and food cultivation. At night, they are prostitutes.

“Little doves”, “bunnies” are some of the terms used by the prison guards to refer to the female prisoners during interaction with the clients. Guards charged CIP researchers MZN15,000 ($240) for two hours with an inmate.

Normally the prisoners are taken out on the days when the guard with whom the deal was negotiated is on duty at the prison. Generally, the inmates are taken out at the weekends and on public holidays. But in some cases, they are taken out in the middle of the week. The day is chosen largely in accordance with the availability of both the guard and of the client. The inmate is treated merely as merchandise. Even in the middle of the week, a way is arranged to take the inmates out

According to CIP, there are inmates who leave 3 or 4 times a week to have sexual relations with people they say they do not know.

Reports say that the sexual exploitation of inmates is a phenomenon that has been happening for many years in the Maputo Women’s Special Prison and has remained hidden from the government authorities and from the organisations that defend human rights and the rights of prisoners.

The guards, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the prisoners and of the power they possess, push them into the world of prostitution in exchange for money. In addition, the inmates are sexually harassed and abused by the guards.

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Kenya to send 231 soldiers to DRC
June 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

General Robert Kibochi Tuesday handed over the Kenyan flag to the Quick Reaction Force (QRF) proceeding to MONUSCO at Embakasi Garrison. Photo credit Kenya Defence Forces

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) has released 231 troops to be deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo as part of a peacekeeping mission.

The soldiers will be working under the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) to restore peace in the violence-rocked villages in the Eastern DRC.

The team had completed their training at the KDF Kangaita Camp in Mt Kenya and were handed over Kenya’s flag at an event in Nairobi on Tuesday, June 15.

Speaking during the handover of the flag, the Chief of Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi called on the troops to be peace ambassadors in the central African county.

He also urged them to remain disciplined during the exercise.

He said, “You are joining a mission similar to Amisom because you will be fighting their own people. This is not a peace keeping mission and you are lucky as some of you have served in Amisom and know what it is.”

“Be professional in your mission and ensure you are safe. Know it is not an easy task but with the training you will make it,” he added.

The deployment comes two months after President Uhuru Kenyatta and his DRC counterpart Felix Tshisekedi signed a deal on defence cooperation to promote peace, stability, and security in the region. The agreement was signed during President Kenyatta’s official visit to DRC in April.

Kenyan troops will be working alongside soldiers from Nepal, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Brazil, Malawi, Ghana, Uruguay, and Morocco.

An earlier had report indicated that the KDF contingent would be deployed in the provinces of Ituri, North and South Kivu to fight against the armed group in the eastern part of the nation.

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Opposition Chides Chakwera For Tainting Image of Malawi.
June 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Prince Kurupati

President Chakwera is accused by the opposition of tainting the image of Malawi

Malawian diplomats serving in South Africa were a few days back embarrassingly declared persona non grata by the South African government and ordered to leave the country. The incident forced the hands of the Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera to issue a response directly to South Africa. However, Chakwera’s response has since divided the nation with some castigating him for tainting Malawi’s image before the eyes of the world.

In his response to the incident of the expelled Malawian diplomats serving in South Africa, President Chakwera expressed regret over the conduct of the implicated individuals. He went on to state that “even before the unfortunate incident, all the bad apples in the foreign missions had already been served with letters of recall to come back home.” The President went on to state that the move to recall and replace the diplomats came after the realization that Malawian foreign missions deployed across the globe were “bad apples”.

The “bad apples” remarks made by Chakwera have since caused huge fiery debates in Malawi. On one side of the spectrum is the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which has accused Chakwera of tainting the image of the country on the global stage via the remarks. In a statement, DPP’s national organizing secretary Chimwemwe Chipungu said “it is completely unprecedented and inconceivable in diplomacy for the President of a country to publicly demean and undermine the country’s diplomats while they serve our country abroad.”

Chipungu further castigated the President stating that even though the foreign mission serving in South Africa was implicated for wrongdoing, the President needed to have the decorum to protect them in the time they were still in a foreign land and only institute any disciplinary proceedings once they landed in Malawi.

“Although motivated by the desire to appease and please the South African Government, the President must remain mindful of the fact that the diplomats are his own citizens towards whom he owes a fundamental duty under our Constitution. The diplomats, while still in South Africa, therefore deserve the protection of their President and their own government. A demure and restrained expression of regret would have been a fitting response by our President towards his South African counterpart,” Chipungu said.

Though castigating President Chakwera for being a people-pleaser to South Africa, Chipungu said the decision taken by South Africa bearing the circumstances in mind cannot be faulted. “We acknowledge that it was within the powers and rights of the South African Government, under the law governing international relations (Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations), to declare the Malawi diplomats persona non grata,” he said.

In his apology to South Africa, President Chakwera also stated that his administration is already undertaking the selection process to identify the new diplomats to be deployed to South Africa as well as other missions across the globe. On this front, President Chakwera said the selection process they are conducting is “thorough, legal, meticulous and objective”. He said that this marks a “departure from past practice of filling out embassies with cronies sent without due process or due diligence.”

It is completely unprecedented and inconceivable in diplomacy for the President of a country to publicly demean and undermine the country’s diplomats while they serve our country abroad, says DPP National Organizing Secretary Chimwemwe Chipungu

DPP’s Chipungu however rubbished the remarks saying instead of “removing rubble”, Chakwera was actually “gathering rubble”. He said it is the President who is actually “trying to fill the embassies with his cronies, regardless of their conduct”.

In his concluding remarks, Chipungu said Chakwera is not an emblem of a corruption-fighter something which is trying to insinuate through the recalling and replacement of foreign missions – he is actually the opposite. “President Chakwera must know by now that he is not standing on any moral high ground in so far as fighting corruption is concerned. In fact, President Chakwera is on ground zero. President Chakwera had lots of undeserved goodwill at the start of his term. He has, unfortunately, squandered it all before the end of the year,” Chipungu said.

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COVID-19 Triggers Financial Crisis in Kenya.
June 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Treasury Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ukur Yatani

The Kenyan government has disclosed that it faces severe financial challenges that have affected operations across ministries, agencies and departments.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ukur Yatani said the crisis is a result of the coronavirus, which has taken a heavy toll on revenue performance.

Mr. Yatani spoke when he appeared before   the Senate Finance and Budget Committee to shed light on the delayed release of funds to county governments.

Governors on Monday threatened to shut down counties over lack of funds, accusing the Treasury of delaying to disburse funds amounting to sh102 billion ($1.02). According to the county bosses, the delay has interfered with delivery of services, payment of salaries and clearing of pending bills.

The CS told the committee that the Ministry will release ksh39 billion ($390 million) on Friday to curb the June 24 shutdown.

The committee castigated Yatani for treating counties like “step children” while disbursing national government funds on time.

“If you look at what is going on at national government, it is business as usual; military is working, Treasury and Parliament are working but counties are under severe stress,” said Senator Moses Wetangula.

However, he denied the favouritism allegations and attributed the delay to financial crisis facing the East African nation at the moment.

“Just because we are giving priority to Parliament and Parliamentary Service Commission, you can think that the rest are also smiling. We have serious issues.

“There is no preferential treatment. It is a challenge of revenue performance as a result of slowed down economic activities,” said CS Yatani.

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EG Petroleum Minister announces truancy from Africa Oil Week in Dubai and urges African leaders to work more towards financing oil and gas.
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

Minister Gabriel will engage in an aggressive investment drive over the next six months and will be in Cape Town, Houston, Doha, and other cities to promote investment opportunities in Equatorial Guinea

Republic of Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons Gabriel M. Obiang Lima

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons HE Gabriel M. Obiang Lima in a meeting held today in Malabo announced his ministry’s withdrawal of this Year’s edition of Africa Oil Week, due to be held in Dubai. The minister expressed his disappointment, that the organizers of this erstwhile for Africa critical event, London Based Hyve group had decided to move the event away from Africa.

Minister Obiang Lima further stated, that he will send a letter to all IOCs and service companies operating in Equatorial Guinea, strongly encouraging them not to go Africa Oil Week in Dubai. He urged fellow ministers and other industry stakeholders to not participate in the Dubai initiative.

The minister reminded the meeting about the story of President Obiang hosting the Africa Nation’s Football Cup with two months’ notice when Morocco declined to do so as previously agreed due to fears of the Ebola crisis, rather than let Qatar host the cup. This is not the time to abandon Cape Town, South Africa and Africa. In addition to this, the minister looks forward to seeing Gwede Mantashe, Minister of Mineral Resources in Cape Town to further promote the African energy agenda through development and deal-making participation.

According to HE Gabriel Obiang, Duncan Clarke’s vision and love for Africa and it’s oil industry should not be forgotten. He credits Duncan Clarke for helping so many countries showcase their resources and attract investments and urged the African Energy Chamber to continue that legacy as it more critical now than ever.

“Our work to support the African Oil and Gas sector, will lead to a lot of changes on how Africa is viewed and how we respect this continent and it’s people.”

Minister Gabriel will engage in an aggressive investment drive over the next six months and will be in Cape Town, Houston, Doha, and other cities to promote investment opportunities in Equatorial Guinea. He pledged to work with other ministers from the CEMAC region and the African Energy Chamber on finding solutions concerning the Central Bank’s (BEAC) new currency regulations. According to him, IOCs and Independents have to be welcomed in the region and we must create and enabling environment.

The African Energy Chamber thanked the Minister for his strong support for South Africa and Africa.

“Many Africans got into Oil and Gas because of Duncan Clarke. He opened doors for so many. That legacy must be respected and preserved.” Stated Leoncio Amada Nze, President of the African Energy Chamber, CEMAC Region.

“When you’re dealing with an issue like this, you don’t need everyone. You just need to be effective and we thank Minister Gabriel Obiang for his effective advocacy for Africa in times of crisis.” Added Mr Amada Nze.

“Our work to support the African Oil and Gas sector, will lead to a lot of changes on how Africa is viewed and how we respect this continent and it’s people. We must be patient, whatever temporary inconvenience there may be, in the long run it will be better for everybody.” Concluded Mr Amada Nze.

*Africa Energy Chamber

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GHANA: PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKER PLEDGES COMMITMENT TO PRIORITISE UN SDG GOALS.
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has re-affirmed the commitment of the 8th Parliament to priorities issues of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ensures that committed Members of Parliament are recruited to champion these goals.

According to him, Parliament will soon approve amendments being made to the current standing orders so as to open the standing committees up for broader engagements.

The Speaker was addressing 15 resident heads of the United Nations Agencies in Ghana, led by Charles Abani, the UN Resident Coordinator, when they paid a courtesy call on him in Parliament.

The delegation had called on the Speaker to, among other things, discuss Parliament’s role in serving as a catalyst to achieving the SDGs as well as priorities for shaping new cooperation framework.

The UN Resident Coordinator stated that the COVID-19 pandemic had taught the world an important lesson of network multilateralism required to achieving the SGDs and peace.

He pledged the support of the UN systems in Ghana at working closely with the current Parliament to address the many challenges confronting the Ghanaian people, particularly, issues of protection for the marginalized and vulnerable.

He stated that the UN stands ready to support with the principal objective of enabling Ghana realize its ambition of a prosperous inclusive, democratic and egalitarian state, building forward positively and confidently.

Mr. Bagbin announced Parliament’s readiness this year to pass into law the Affirmative Action Bill which is currently before Cabinet. He, however, cautioned that passing the law alone will not be enough to achieving the recommended 30% representation of women in governance and reiterated the need for further education to change the mindset of the people.

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BANK OF GHANA TO USE HELICOPTERS TO CIRCULATE CASH OVER ATTACKS ON BULLION VANS- DR. ERNEST ADDISON
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

Last year the Governor of the Bank of Ghana Dr. Ernest Addison said the Vice Air Marshal was supporting the central bank to use helicopters to transport cash to banks around the country in order to prevent robbery attacks.

He explained that this followed the robbery attacks by criminals on bullion vans in the country. Answering a question regarding the measures that the central bank has put in place to deal with the recent attacks on bullion vans, while speaking at the Monetary Policy Committee press conference in Accra on Monday September 28 2020, Dr. Addison said the Bank Of Ghana had taken note of the attacks and steps have accordingly been taken to deal with the menace.

Dr. Addison said all of them are using these Nissan pickup trucks that have been converted into bullion vans. It is a matter that the Bank of Ghana has taken seriously look at it. He said last week, Securities met with the banks to decide on the way forward.

He stated that they have quite a good fleet of bullion vans and are asking them to see how they collaborate with the banks so that they will have a more secure way of transporting money around the country.

Further says he had met with the Air vice Marshall and he has offered to assist the bank with lifting of currency around the country using some of the aircraft that they have. So there is a lot of work being done to improve carrying currencies around the country.

Nine months after Dr. Addison announced this; there has been a gruesome attack on a bullion van leading to the death of a Police officer and one other person on Monday June 14, 2021. Following this attack, the Inspector General of Police, James Oppong-Buanoh has given banks up to the end of June this year to provide fortified armored vehicles for carrying currencies.

He threatened that the Police will withdraw its officers if the banks fail to comply with his order. The IGP in a statement reminded the Association of Bankers to provide fortified armored vehicles for carting currencies by the close of June 2021 as earlier agreed between them and the [Ghana] Police Service, lest the Police withdraw its officers for escort duties.

He further directed the Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service to take over investigations into the attacks.

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Rage as Malawi communications board spends $ 57,000 in Dubai.
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Joseph Dumbula

There has not been much to laugh about with Malawi plagued by scandals and crisis since President Chakwera took office

At a time when Malawi is sailing through economic turmoil, tensions are rising for President Lazarus to fire the board of Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) which spent MK 46 Million ($57,000) during a two week training in the United Arab Emirates.

MACRA, is a statutory body established under the Communications Act, 1998 to regulate the provision of services in the communications sector in Malawi comprising telecommunications, posts and broadcasting.

A recent media report has revealed that five board members and two management officers travelled to Dubai for training on corporate governance and regulatory masterclass on Information Communication and Technology (ICT) at Pinnacle Training Institute.

Although MACRA Communications Officer, Clara Ngwira has justified the training, saying it was already budgeted for in the institutions budget, human rights groupings are describing as ‘wasteful’.

‘’We can’t be making such expenditures at this time. That is why we want the Presidency to dissolve this board as soon as possible’’ says a statement buy vocal human rights grouping, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition.

Meanwhile, the matter has seen a skyrocketing social media storm which has reminded people of a failed inquiry into the expenditure of Covid19 funds.

At the moment, the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) is grappling to meet its tax collection as most institutions have not been as functional due to the effects of the Coivid19 pandemic.

Currently, the MRA is still required to collect MK1. 116 trillion in tax revenues in the 2020/21 financial year. There has not been any immediate comment from government

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DP WORLD MAPUTO LAUNCHES FIRST DEDICATED LOGISTICS RAIL SERVICE BETWEEN MAPUTO AND HARARE.
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

  • First dedicated logistics rail service between Maputo and Harare launched from DP World Maputo
  • The rail service’s operations will be expanded in coming months, and is key to DP World’s vision in connecting Maputo with Zimbabwe, South Africa and Swaziland by rail
  • The landmark service will reduce transit times for customers in Zimbabwe
LEFT TO RIGHT: Vinay Maharaj, Mark Pretorius, Mark Neel (DP World), Christian Roeder (DP World)

MAPUTO (MOZAMBIQUE) JUNE 14, 2021 – DP World Maputo, which has the concession to manage, develop and operate the Maputo container terminal, last Friday handled the first dedicated container train service connecting Maputo and Harare, Zimbabwe. The new service is part of the company’s continued focus to expand its logistics and supply chain offering in the region, and key to its vision to connect several countries in Southern Africa – namely Maputo with South Africa, Zimbabwe and Swaziland – by rail.

This new offering presents a multitude of new business opportunities for customers in Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Not only will this help enhance DP World Maputo’s position as a gateway to Zimbabwe, the service offers significantly better transit times for customers in Zimbabwe. In the past, transit goods on their way to Harare would often have to be transported far greater distances by sea and road, but this route will give customers a new, direct and faster option for delivery.

Following the launch of the bi-weekly rail service, DP World Maputo will continue to work with all the stakeholders involved to make this a weekly train service between the two cities, to allow even greater cost saving and planning opportunities for businesses and individuals who need reliable, efficient transportation of goods.

Christian Roeder, CEO of DP World Maputo said: “This rail service between Maputo and Harare is key to reopening the route between these markets to drive more efficient logistics in the region. Through this service, which we will facilitate and handle all port and border documentation, we can cut down transit times, give our customers better service and improve the connections between cities.” 

The rail service also follows the recent announcement of DP World Komatipoort in South Africa, handling its first transit import via Maputo, demonstrating that the Maputo Port can be seamlessly used as a gateway to South Africa’s hinterland using DP World Komatipoort. International container imports landed in Maputo port and destined for the South African hinterland, can now be moved under bond to Komatipoort, where full customs clearance can be provided and made ready for delivery across South Africa.

DP World will continue to develop the Maputo Corridor, a vital trade route in Southern Africa, through investing in new infrastructure to meet local demand, while DP World Maputo’s container terminal capacity will also be enhanced, having already doubled in size between 2016 and 2018.

About DP World  

We are the leading provider of worldwide smart end-to-end supply chain logistics, enabling the flow of trade across the globe. Our comprehensive range of products and services covers every link of the integrated supply chain – from maritime and inland terminals to marine services and industrial parks as well as technology-driven customer solutions.   

We deliver these services through an interconnected global network of 148 business units in 60 countries across six continents, with a significant presence both in high-growth and mature markets. Wherever we operate, we integrate sustainability and responsible corporate citizenship into our activities, striving for a positive contribution to the economies and communities where we live and work.  

Our dedicated, diverse and professional team of more than 54,620 employees from 137 nationalities are committed to delivering unrivalled value to our customers and partners. We do this by focusing on mutually beneficial relationships – with governments, shippers, traders, and other stakeholders along the global supply chain – relationships built on a foundation of mutual trust and enduring partnership.  

We think ahead, anticipate change and deploy industry-leading digital technology to further broaden our vision to disrupt world trade and create the smartest, most efficient and innovative solutions, while ensuring a positive and sustainable impact on economies, societies and our planet.  

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Cameroon: Hon. Joshua Osih Escapes “Expulsion” from SDF Party.
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Hon Joshua Osih called for Cohesion and Reconciliation of the Party in his appeal

Honourable Joshua Osih’s stay in the opposition Social Democratic Front (SDF) party will continue after the National Executive Committee (NEC) ruled in his favour.

Meeting this June 12, and chaired by the National President Ni Joh Fru Ndi, the National Executive Committee “settles for a decision to cancel the application of article 8.2 on the 1st National Vice President – Hon Joshua Osih after in-depth debate highlighting the need for party cohesion and reconciliation.”

“Take note of the humble appeal made by the 1st Vice National President for Party cohesion and reconciliation under the current political climate,” the communiqué read in part.

“Rejects the petitions from Douala 1, the Coordination of Mungo South and that of Nkam for lack of quorum and facts and orders that the provision of article 14 (F) that says officers of the executive committee of every level of the Party shall remain in office after the expiry of their mandate until new officers are elected to be respected.” 

The complaint against the Member of Parliament came from the Littoral bureau who dissociated itself from all his acts deemed contrary to the party. The Littoral Bureau had asked NEC to implement article 8.2 which will completely remove Hon. Joshua Osih from the SDF Party.

Joshua Osih, Vice President and MP for Wouri Centre was accused by the SDF Littoral Bureau of anti-party activities such as signing a petition addressed to the American Parliamentarians on the subject of the expulsion of Cameroonians illegally present in the United States, something Jean Michel Nintcheu and Osih have clashed on.

He was also under suspicion of collusion with the regime in power; the poor management of the 2018 Presidential campaign; his rebellion against the NEC resolutions of March 13 through the organization of a media campaign in defiance of the NEC.

While frowning at part of the report, the National Executive Committee went further in calling for the Centre Regional President to “immediately reinstate all the duly elected officials of the Party in the Region.”

Hon. Jean Michel Nintcheu and Hon. Joshua Osih has been having a well-documented fight with accusations and counter-accusations. The saga has been playing out in the open with many factions forming between the two well-known SDF politicians.

Hon Joshua Osih was SDF Presidential candidate in the 2018 Presidential election

It is still uncertain of this decision from the National Executive Committee of the Party will go to resolving the differences the two politicians have as the Party has called for “reconciliation.”

The SDF Party that for long has been regarded as the main opposition party to the ruling CPDM has fallen drastically in recent times even to the extent of losing its second place at the National Assembly in the last elections. The two strongholds of the North West and South West Regions voted overwhelmingly for the ruling CPDM party.

Taking note of this, NEC has instructed the Regional Coordination of the South West, “as soon as it is put in place to re-launch part activities within the Region wherever possible.” 

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Mozambique denies using landmines to combat terrorists
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

The Mozambican defence ministry has denied reports that security forces are using landmines in the fighting with terrorists in Cabo Delgado province, where the battle has left more than 2,500 people dead and 700,000 displaced since the insurgency began in 2017.

The spokesman Colonel Omar Saranga said that the defence forces were committed to acting in line with all the treaties and conventions ratified by the country, adding that if there had been any mine explosions, “they can only be the work of the terrorists”.

Mozambique was declared mine-free in 2015 after a major demining effort.

Although it was heavily mined before the 1992 peace deal between the government and the Renamo rebels, Mozambique ratified the Ottawa treaty on the prohibition of landmines in 1998, and the defence forces destroyed their stocks of landmines.

Colonel Saranga also urged everyone, particularly the media, to preserve Mozambique’s good name and image.

The last major attack in Cabo Delgado was recorded on 24 March in Palma town, which is still partially occupied by terrorists, according to refugees who fled the area to the city of Pemba.

Terrorist attacks in the district are continuing, over two months after the first attack on the town of Palma, and that almost the entire population is fleeing the district.

The town of Palma and several villages in the district had been abandoned, as terrorists were roaming through villages, kidnapping and decapitating people and burning down their houses.

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Kenyan Governors threaten to shut down counties over lack of finances.
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Governor Wambora.

Operations across Kenya’s 47 counties would come to a halt on June 24 should the country’s Treasury fail to disburse the billions owed to devolved units latest by Friday.

The county governments, through the division of Revenue Act 2020, were allocated ksh316 billion  ($3.16 billion), but the Treasury had released ksh214 billion ($2.14 billion), leaving a balance of ksh102 billion ($1.02 billion).

The Chairman of Council of Governors (CoG) has accused the Treasury of violating the law by failing to comply with its cash disbursement schedule.

County Governments Cash Disbursement Schedule for the Financial Year 2020/21 generated by Treasury and approved by Senate states that resources should be disbursed to counties on the 15th day of every month.

“The continued delay in disbursement is eroding gains made in devolved governance and affecting the economic growth in the counties. Treasury has not only failed to comply with the constitution but even with its own document- the Cash Disbursement Schedule, 2020,” said Governor Wambora.

With only two weeks remaining to the end of the 2020/2021 financial year, CoG wants the funds to be released by June 18 to ensure smooth operations at the counties.

The Governors are also racing against time to meet the Controller of Budget’s requirements to clear all pending bills amounting to ksh11.5 billion ($115 million) by June 30.

Mr. Wambora decried over the usual delay of county funds, unlike the national government’s.

“While Kenyans continue to demand services from the County Governments, operations at the National Government continue uninterrupted owing to timely financing from the National Treasury, while those operations in the Counties are slowly grinding to a halt. This should not be tolerated by those who support the success of devolution in Kenya,” he said.

According to the governor, financing of the counties by the Treasury is not a favour but a constitutional obligation.

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Kenyan unionist Francis Atwoli re-elected as member of ILO
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Dr. Francis Atwoli

Kenyan unionist Dr. Francis Atwoli has been elected for a fourth time in a row as a member of the International Labour Organization (ILO) governing body in Geneva, Switzerland.

Kenya’s Central Organization of Trade Unions (Cotu) Secretary General’s re-election was confirmed during the ongoing 109th Virtual Session of the International Labour Conference, ILC.

Firebrand Atwoli was among the candidates who garnered several votes worldwide. He will now be tasked with the responsibility of representing the interests of working men and women on the African Continent for the four years of 2021-2024.

“On behalf of COTU (K)’s Executive Board, and on my own behalf, I would like to congratulate the COTU(K) Secretary General, Dr. Francis Atwoli, for his re-election to this important decision making body. We wish him Godspeed in his role,” said Deputy Secretary-General, Cotu, Benson Okwaro.

“As COTU (K) we take great pride in associating with Atwoli and for his leadership, mentorship and guidance. Indeed, the person of Atwoli commands a lot of reverence and admiration internationally considering his firm leadership and commitment to the plight of the workers globally,” he added.

The ILO is a United Nations agency mandated to promote social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights, pursuing its founding mission that labour peace is essential to prosperity.

It was formed in 1919 as part of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I to reflect the belief that universal and lasting peace can be accomplished only if it’s based on social justice.

Members of the organization meet three times a year in March, June, and November to take decisions on ILO policy, decide the Agenda of the International Labour Conference, adopt the draft programme and budget of the Organisation for submission to the Conference and elect the Director-General of the ILO.

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