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Achieving Broadband Access for All in Africa Comes With a $100 Billion Price Tag
October 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

WASHINGTON, October 17, 2019- Across Africa, where less than a third of the population has access to broadband connectivity, achieving universal, affordable, and good quality internet access by 2030 will require an investment of US $100 billion. This is according to a report launched at the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group, which calls for urgent action to close the internet access gap while providing a roadmap to reach this ambitious goal.

The report from The Broadband for All Working Group *gives practical insights and suggestions of what is needed to attain this objective, including an action plan for universal broadband connectivity in Africa. To achieve universal broadband access, African countries will need to bring about 1.1 billion more people online. This will require exceptional and coordinated efforts from governments, the private sector, development partners, and civil society, the report says, but the investment is worth it.

“The digital agenda is first and foremost a growth and jobs agenda,” says Makhtar Diop, the World Bank’s Vice President for Infrastructure. “The working-age population in Africa is expected to increase by some 450 million people between 2015 and 2035. If current trends continue, less than one quarter will find stable jobs. Broadening internet access means creating millions of job opportunities.”

While the number of broadband connections in Africa crossed the 400 million mark in 2018 (nearly twenty times 2010 levels), the regional average broadband penetration -including 3G and 4G connections- is only 25% in 2018. Mobile broadband coverage in Africa is still at 70% of the population. Even in North Africa, there is ample room for growth with 4G networks covering only about 60% of the population. Additional challenges, such as the lack of access to reliable and affordable electricity, make accelerating Africa’s digital transformation journey even more difficult.

According to the report, nearly 80% of all required investments are directly related to the need to roll out and maintain broadband networks. However, connecting the unconnected is about more than just infrastructure: about 20% of required investments consists in building the user skills and local content foundations, and another 2-4% should be allocated to setting up the appropriate regulatory framework, the report notes. While the private sector has driven most successful broadband initiatives, public agencies play a crucial role by implementing effective sector regulation, addressing potential market failures, and creating the conditions for an open, competitive broadband sector.

“In large parts of Africa, we are witnessing a lack of progress in extending access and network coverage. Affordability is also declining in many nations. Promoting greater digital inclusion is going to require more effective and innovative collaboration,” said Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Executive Director of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development and Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau. “We need to leverage our strengths and expertise. Governments can help with policies enabling new technologies, new business models and investment. The right policies will, in turn, provide the private sector with the incentives to build out infrastructure and explore new technologies and applications that will drive demand.”

Connecting the 100 million people in rural and remote areas that live out of reach of traditional cellular mobile networks will require strong private sector involvement, innovative business models, and alternative technologies, such as satellite and Wi-Fi based technical solutions, the report notes.

“Let us be clear: no single actor will be able to meet Africa’s 2030 target and carry the burden of a $100 billion investment funding requirement alone. All stakeholders must work together to make sure that every African has affordable and reliable access to the internet”, says Hafez Ghanem, the World Bank’s Vice President for the Africa Region. This includes: the African Union and regional economic communities; African governments and respective public investment agencies; sector regulators; multilateral development banks and regional development banks; the United Nations and other development agencies; the private sector; and civil society groups and nongovernmental organizations.

* The Working Group on Broadband for All: A Digital Moonshot Infrastructure for Africa, led by the World Bank, was established in 2018 under the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development with the primary objective of identifying investment requirements and policy roadmaps to increase connectivity and to reach full coverage in Africa. This report draws upon the expertise of Broadband Commissioners and experts from around the world.

About the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development: ITU and UNESCO set up the Broadband Commission for Digital Development in 2010 with the aim of boosting the importance of broadband on the international policy agenda and expanding broadband access in every country as key to accelerating progress towards national and international development targets. Following adoption of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015, the Commission was re-launched as the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development to showcase and document the power of ICT and broadband-based technologies for sustainable development. Its members include top CEO and industry leaders, senior policy-makers and government representatives, international agencies, academia and organizations concerned with development.

Download the full report:

*Source World Bank

https://www.broadbandcommission.org/Documents/working-groups/DigitalMoonshotforAfrica_Report.pdf
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President Bio opens new King Harman Maternal and Child Hospital in Freetown
October 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Uzman Unis Bah

Freetown, Sierra Leone, President Julius Maada Bio has formally opened the new King Harman Maternal and Child Hospital at Brookfields, which will chiefly cater for the west of the capital city, and save the pressure on the Cottage Hospital in the east.    

The Government of Sierra Leone in partnership funded the construction of the new hospital with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), with funds from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID), under the “Saving Lives Programme”. 

President Julius Maada Bio, in his keynote address, said, “I feel so gratified to commission the King Harman Maternal and Child Hospital as a Center of Excellence for the delivery of quality healthcare services.”

“This Government has made significant contributions to improving our health sector. We have tackled head-on the gross inadequate human resource in health by increasing the present number of health staff by 4,000. We have increased the national budget allocation to health from 8.9 to 11.6%,” the president said.

President Bio affirmed that his government had also commissioned the National Emergency Medical Services in all districts in the country with over 4,000 medical appointment to date. He said Government is increasing access to quality health services for all the population, largely mothers, children and the ageing.

Country Representative for the UNFPA, Dr. Kim Dickson, said, she was honored to witness the official commissioning of the recently constructed Maternal and Child Health Hospital, adding that President Bio’s presence for the ceremony was a proof of his commitment to transforming the health sector of the country. 

The British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Simon Mustard, said he was glad that the strong corporation between the Government of Sierra Leone and the UK was built on shared history and deep connections. He said he was happy that the partnership had led to the commissioning of that facility, adding that on a daily basis the hospital would save lives of mothers and their children. 

Minister of Health and Sanitation, Professor Alpha Tejan Wurie, said that the occasion was inline to getting a dependable health system that would be capable of providing excellence healthcare delivery to the people of Sierra Leone. He commended the President for the gains achieved so far in the health sector.

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Investments in rail transport essential for the success of Africa’s free-trade area
October 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Aubrey Lekwane *

Aubrey Lekwane is Managing Director, South Africa, Bombardier Transportation

Africa is on the cusp of launching a free-trade zone that could meaningfully boost economic growth and unlock the continent’s vast potential.

Perhaps the most pressing requirement to improve economy in the region is the need for better transportation links between African states, particularly in the form of rail networks.

The establishment of a continent-wide trade bloc is an ambitious project, and one that could move the needle in terms of reducing poverty and promoting Africa’s industrialisation. Other regions, including the European Union (EU), offer good case studies on the benefits of economic integration, trade liberalisation, customs efficiencies, and the seamless movement of capital, goods and people across borders.

With its strong road, rail and air-transport links, the EU model reflects just how important it is to remove non-tariff barriers to trade. According to a May 2019 report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), non-tariff barriers in Africa are high “and represent a critical obstacle to trade”. The IMF says a reduction in ground transportation costs is “especially critical” to encouraging intra-regional trade and making a success of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The development of a comprehensive African rail network is the single biggest opportunity in that regard.

A reliable rail network would allow for the efficient movement of goods, businesspeople and tourists across the continent, while also improving Africa’s links to the rest of the world, particularly the continent’s landlocked nations. Rail is also a sustainable solution given that it is far more environmentally friendly than road and air transport – Africa’s natural environment is one of its greatest assets, and it must be protected. Rail investments stimulate economies while reducing carbon emissions and urban congestion – a major issue and growth impediment in many African cities.

As Africa is making investments in rail industry, green transportation and sustainable mobility should be a priority. Backed by new regulations and environmental groups, the global trend towards greener forms of transport is affecting multiple industries including the rail industry.

Several alternatives to diesel trains are currently being developed worldwide including:

  • Hydrogen fuel cells in trains: work by generating power through an onboard fuel cell that combines hydrogen and oxygen
  • Battery-powered locomotives: battery system that can be recharged by overhead wires on electrified tracks or by charging stations on non-electrified routes
  • Liquefied natural gas: (LNG) is being used in the rail industry as an option for dual-fuel locomotives

These investments will help develop a zero-emission, energy-efficient and cost-effective alternative to diesel trains. Deploying fuel cell and battery technology for rail transportation will usher in a new era for non-electrified routes.

Bombardier Transportation, which designed and supplied a fleet of 96 rail vehicles for South Africa’s world-class Gautrain system, sees a golden era ahead for Africa’s rail sector, which has suffered from chronic under-investment in recent decades.   

Today, African freight and passenger transport is heavily reliant on road infrastructure. In South Africa, the continent’s most advanced economy, nearly 90% of freight is moved by road, for example. That is a staggering proportion, and this overreliance means that our roads need to be constantly repaired while traffic congestion worsens in the face of urbanisation. Worse still, the lack of focus on rail until recently has placed a drag on South Africa’s exports.

Thankfully, the South African government is re-investing in the country’s rail links – a move that Bombardier Transportation fully supports. Going forward, these efforts need to be increasingly coordinated with the country’s neighbours. 

South Africa also has an opportunity to become a major rail manufacturing hub as the continent invests in railway infrastructure, including new trains, signalling systems and general maintenance. Rail will play an important role in Africa’s future, and Bombardier Transportation is keen to apply its global expertise and solutions to propel the continent forward.

Ultimately, rail’s contribution towards an integrated transport network will help Africa to attract investment and to be competitive in the global trade arena.  Rail is the only sustainable transportation solution to many of today’s environmental, social and economic challenges and Bombardier is looking forward to moving millions daily safely in the African region

*Managing Director, South Africa, Bombardier Transportation

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President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, brings African vision to the 17th Rhodes Forum of the Dialogue of Civilizations
October 18, 2019 | 0 Comments
President Issoufou
President Mahamadou Issoufou took the floor as a Special Guest to conclude the debates of a panel dedicated to partnership between Africa and the rest of the world
RHODES, Greece, October 15, 2019/ — The President of Niger, His Excellency Mahamadou Issoufou , took part in the 17th Rhodes Forum on the 11th and 12th of October 2019, organised by the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute (https://DOC-Research.org/), to discuss several national and regional issues and offer Africa’s vision on major international issues.

During the special session on the 11th of October, President Mahamadou Issoufou spoke with Stefan Grobe of Euronews Brussels in front of participants from more than 55 countries, presenting his vision for Africa and Niger. He also advocated for multilateralism, drew attention to the security situation in the Sahel region and Lake Chad Basin, the situation in Libya and support of the international community to combat terrorism in West Africa, and warned against the problems posed by climate change and illegal migration. The other points concerned the role that Niger will play as a non-permanent member of the Security Council from January 2020, tackling the market for fake medicines in Africa, reforms in global political and economic governance and win-win cooperation between countries.

On the 12th of October, President Mahamadou Issoufou took the floor as a Special Guest to conclude the debates of a panel dedicated to partnership between Africa and the rest of the world, led by Hannane Ferdjani of Africanews. Participants included the Founder of Transparency International, Africa Progress Panel Co-Chair Mr Peter Eigen (Germany), Founder and President of the Brazzaville Foundation Mr Jean Yves Olivier (France), former Prime Minister of Guinea Mr Kabiné Komara, Director of Education Projects of ABO Capital Mr Jaimie Graça (Angola) and South African Industrialist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist Mr Ivor Ichikovitz.

In his speech, President Issoufou raised all the issues related to this theme and clarified his vision for the development of Africa. His Excellency Mahamadou Issoufou emphasised the challenges and prospects inherent in the development of the African continent, recalling the situation of Africa in various fields and underlining the efforts led by its leaders through, inter alia, Agenda 2063 and its various Plans and Projects, including ZLECAf.

President Issoufou again thanked the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute and in particular its Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr. Vladimir Yakunin and Executive Director Mr. Jean-Christophe Bas, ‘for having provided him, as a Special Guest, at this 17th Rhodes Forum, a privileged place of reflection and analysis to help in the decision-making of political and economic world leaders.’
* DOC Research Institute

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Eurasia Center Open To Partnership Prospects With Africa
October 17, 2019 | 0 Comments
Ambassador Serge Mombouli with Dr. Jenco

Ambassador of the Republic of Congo and Dean of African Diplomatic Corps in the United States Serge Mombouli met on Tuesday with the President of The Eurasia Center Dr. Gerry Jenco.

This was a courtesy visit by Dr. Jenco designed to introduce his organization and its new program Uplifting Africa. During the meeting which took place at the chancery of Congo, he expressed interest in exploring partnership opportunities with leaders from Africa in building world peace and prosperity.


Dr. Jenco also extended a special invitation to Ambassador Mombouli to deliver a keynote address on panel Africa Rising as part of The Silk Road Summit – 3rd Annual Conference slated for November 4, 2019 in Washington.


In return, Mr. Mombouli -the most senior african Ambassador to the United States, congratulated Dr. Jenco for his initiative in creating Uplifting Africa program which, he said, would have a positive impact on US-Africa relationship. He invited Dr. Jenco to address the African Diplomatic Corps late next month.


The newly appointed Director of Uplifting Africa Program in the United States journalist Ben Bangoura participated in the meeting.


About The Eurasia Center


The Eurasia Center was founded to educate not only the American public but also the world community about the important relationship of America has with Eurasia (Europe and Asia) as well as Africa. It seeks to enhance American awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the European and Asian (Eurasian) countries, especially during these changing times.


Through its Nine Programs for Eurasia and its important Conferences and activities, The Eurasia Center builds positive relations in areas and with peoples that are important for world peace and economic progress and development.


The Eurasia Center is a resource center which has provide US Presidents and many world leaders with current analysis that have helped them shape their knowledge of issues of importance regarding US-Eurasian relations. Many have lauded our efforts to seek solutions to issues where those in the bureaucracies of nations cannot. This Mission of the Eurasia Center serves to strengthen and expand positive relations throughout Eurasia and has greater impact for future generations.

*Courtesy of AlloAfricaNews

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Oil Industry and Civil Society Congratulate “Africa Oil Man of the Year” Macky Sall on Taking Bold Steps to Develop Senegal’s Hydrocarbons Industry
October 16, 2019 | 0 Comments
The award is a recognition of Macky Sall’s work and the efforts of his government to boost the development of Senegal’s economy
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, October 15, 2019/ — The African and global energy sector is rallying behind Macky Sall’s efforts to develop his country’s oil & gas industry, which are positioning Senegal as a new energy hub in Africa. Such efforts and achievements are being celebrated this week as the President of Senegal receives the Africa Oil Man of the Year from Africa Oil & Power.

The award is a recognition of Macky Sall’s work and the efforts of his government to boost the development of Senegal’s economy, create an enabling environment for investors and ensure that future oil & gas extracted from Senegal generate jobs and growth opportunities for Senegalese companies.

“Under President Macky Sall, Senegal continues to show its commitment to transparency, to engaging with those who disagree with him, to finding consensus on extractive industry matters, and to taking all necessary actions to avoid the natural resources curse,” said Akere Muna, former Vice President of Transparency International and former Chairman of the International Anti-Corruption Conference Council. “The Senegalese people understand what is at stake with these resources coming out of the ground and their President is showing a definite engagement to ensure a transparent distribution of revenues and resources for the benefits of the Senegalese economy and its citizens. The President should use this award to make Senegal a place where Africans can be proud of the natural resource sector,” added Muna.

“As Senegal gets closer to producing first gas and increase its production of oil, we congratulate its President Macky Sall and its government on adding yet another African nation to the list of global hydrocarbons producers,” added Mahaman Laouan Gaya, Secretary General of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation (APPO). “African producers stand ready to cooperate with Senegal to support its economic development, and we truly look forward to following the country on its renewed journey to prosperity.”

Soon after discovering oil and gas in 2014 and 2016, Senegal engaged in a nation-wide dialogue with the private sector, foreign investors and the civil society on the next steps to develop the industry. This resulted in the creation of new entities such as the Strategic Orientation Committee for Petroleum and Gas (COS-Petrogaz) but also in a brand new Petroleum Code in 2019 and new local content regulations to ensure the creation of local jobs and the procurement of local goods and services from the industry. As a result, foreign investments increased and several international majors, national oil companies and independents entered the market.

“What Senegal and its President Macky Sall have proven is that the power of political will and leadership cannot be underestimated in this industry,” said Prince Arthur Eze, Chairman of Atlas Oranto Petroleum, currently exploring in Senegal. “Sound regulations, good governance and a political leadership aligned towards a common target of economic development and of making energy work for the people is what is making Senegal a new African success story, I salute the President and the people of Senegal, the entire Africa is praying for you” he added. 

 Senegal is notably making headlines for fast-tracking the development of its industry and not loosing time on getting resources out of the ground. The industry is notably saluting the country’s authorities for the short time it took between the first discoveries of oil and gas in Senegal and the taking of relevant final investment decisions, which is remarkable for industry standards. As a result, Senegal is set to become a global gas exporter in the near future alongside African countries like those of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, including Algeria, Egypt, Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania Equatorial Guinea, Libya, and Nigeria.

“This proves the willingness of the Senegalese government to develop these resources and the industry at large,” declared Jude Kearney, former Deputy Assistant Secretary during the Clinton Administration and current President of Kearney Africa Advisors. “More importantly, doing so has not resulted in any detriment to good governance practices and developing a sound regulatory framework,” added Kearney.

“Senegal’s President Macky Sall has established strong relations with the world, including Germany, which will be very beneficial when it comes to attracting the right capital and technology to develop its energy sector,” added Sebastian Wagner, CEO of the Germany Africa Business Forum (GABF).

The African Energy Chamber under the leadership our executive Chairman NJ Ayuk, joins the industry in congratulating President Macky Sall for taking the right steps to develop Senegal’s oil & gas sector and make energy work for all Senegalese citizens. With its partners, the Chamber will continue to assist Senegal in promoting good governance, attracting investments and building domestic capacity across the value-chain.
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Gambia: Tourism Officials Receive Maiden Tourists Flight For 2019/20 Season
October 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Officials of The Gambia Tourism Board (GTBoard) have received the first tourists flight at the Banjul International Airport marking the beginning of the 2019/20 tourists season. The maiden flight that brought one hundred and forty one (141) tourists from Holland was ferried into the shores of the country by Correndon Tour Operators.

Speaking to the team of waiting journalists at the foot of the maiden flight, Abdoulie Hydara, Director General of Gambia Tourism Board described the arrival of one hundred and forty one (141) tourists into The Gambia as a very good start for the tourists’ season, adding the country is expecting to receive fifty one (51) flights per week as the 2019/20 tourists’ season progresses.

“I can confirm that Correndon will be doing four flights per weeks plus other weekly flights by other operators. I can also authoritatively confirm that we (GTBoard) will be receiving Fifty one (51) flights per week as far as the 2019/20 tourists season is concern,” said DG Hydara.

He disclosed that last year with the involvement of Thomas Cook Group the country receives fifty seven (57) weekly flights from Europe and Scandinavia, adding that efforts are on course to speedily fill the gap left by Thomas Cook through the engagement of other tour operators.

“We (GTBoard) are very optimistic at this point in time because we are hopeful we will soon confirm additional three flights that will obviously reduce the gap left by Thomas Cook Group. As at now we are not much concern at the number of tourists’ flights but the frequency of flights landing in the country,” DG Hydara disclosed.

According to him, it is not only the chartered flights that bring in tourists into the country but equally scheduled flights, adding that with the presence of the SN Brussels, Arik, Royal Air Moroc, and Turkish Airline among others tourism is bound to stay attractive and booming.

The GTBoard Director General also confirmed that Gambia Experience a leading Tour Operating Company in the Country has increase their number of flights to seven weekly flights as well as SN Brussels that also promised to increase their flight numbers to five, adding that Gambia may not lose as much tourists as anticipated by the populace due largely to these interventions.

Lilian Sallah, Director at Africa Adventure Tours responsible for Correndon Affairs in The Gambia discloses that Correndon will be bring three flights per week as of this month and by November through end of the season this figures will be increase to four flights per week, adding that Correndon will continue to work with Gambia tourism authorities in a bid to expand its shares of the Gambian market.

Madam sallah observes that Gambia tourism authorities must find the right balance between the Chartered flights and the Scheduled flights in a bid to minimizing future damages, adding that with the right balance even if tour operators failed to bring in the tourists Scheduled flights can still be available at their disposal.

Sryianar is among the first batch of tourists who arrives in the country to spend a one week holidays with her family, she told Chronicle that this is her first time in the country and is expecting to make series of visits to attraction sites available in the country.

“Am very happy to come here for holidays, I hope to enjoy the nice weather and my little ones are eager to see monkeys and birds available in the country. My friends told me this is a nice country for holidaying and we hope to have a very memorable stay so that we can continue to come here many more times,” Sryianar told Pan African Visions.  

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US Congressional Delegation Meets President Barrow
October 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

President Adama Barrow on Monday morning received in audience a group of Representatives of the United States Congress at the State House in Banjul.

According to the leader of the parliamentary delegation known as the “House Democracy Partnership”, Congressman David Price of North Carolina, their discussions with the President was “very productive’’.

The group’s mission is to promote responsive, effective government and to strengthen democratic institutions by assisting legislatures in emerging democracies.

“We are here to show support, to learn and to express solidarity that our country feels with The Gambia as they take this path forward,” Congressman Price told waiting State House Press Corps.

President Barrow, on his part, said The Gambia cherished its longstanding friendship with the United States. He said his government appreciates the support given by the United States during the transition program.

“The reforms are still ongoing with the start of many important projects, such as the constitutional review, truth and reconciliation, civil service and security sector reforms. We are focused on the goals,” President Barrow told the delegation.  

They discussed democratic reforms aimed at transforming The Gambia into a full-fledged member of the comity of democratic nations in the world.

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Much Ado About Nothing?- AU Pours Cold Water On Furor After Arikana Recall
October 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

-Her successor will build on the solid foundation she has laid- AU Chair Faki

By Ajong Mbapndah L

The replacement was normal diplomatic practice for political appointees, says AU Commission Chair Moussa Faki

After suffering a week of acerbic  criticisms over the decision to end the tenure of Ambassador Chimbori Arikana as Ambassador to the USA, African Union Chairman Moussa Faki has dismissed as “patently untrue” insinuations that her pronouncements,and opinions predicated the decision.

“Dr Chihombori has maintained a public presence freely without fear or prejudice to voice her opinions,” Ebba Kalondo, Spokesperson for Chairman Faki in a statement issued today.

 “Political appointees at the African Union, including Dr Chihombori, are appointed at the discretion of the appointing authority. The duration of such political appointments is also determined at the discretion of that appointing authority,” Kalondo said in the statement.

According to Kalondo, in the course of her three year tenure, the AU Commission never found any reason to sanction Ambassador Arikana over any of her public presence.

“Dr Chihombori has maintained a public presence freely without fear or prejudice to voice her opinions. Therefore to state or suggest that Ambassador Chihombori’s termination of service is due to any pronouncements she has made, or opinions she may have held during her three-year tenure, is patently untrue,” Kalondo said.

The replacement of Ambassador Arikana was normal diplomatic practice for political appointees everywhere, said Faki’s spokesperson, while expressing hope that her successor will build on the solid foundation she has laid.

The decision to replace Arikana triggered a fire storm and some harsh words from her supporters towards AU Chairman Moussa Faki.While some seasoned professionals and Washington connoisseurs were not surprised with the decision to replace the outgoing Ambassador, her partisans thought the decision was engineered by the French government which did not appreciate her straight talk.

While the statement from Chairman Faki may put the controversy to rest, a Change.org petition to reinstate Arikana has so far garnered some 30,000 signatures.

Full Letter from Ebba Kalondo,Spokesperson to the Chairperson of the African Union Commission below.

Communiqué on the end of tenure of Ambassador Arikana Chihombori-Quao, AU Permanent Representative to Washington, DC

Addis Abeba, 15 October 2019: The African Union Commission is aware of reports circulating on social media making claims surrounding the circumstances of the recall of the Permanent Representative of the African Union Mission to the United States of America, Dr Arikana Chihombori-Quao.

Political appointees at the African Union, including Dr Chihombori, are appointed at the discretion of the appointing authority. The duration of such political appointments is also determined at the discretion of that appointing authority.

Dr Chihombori received a letter on 7 October 2019 bringing her tour of duty to an end, in line with the terms and conditions governing her contract of appointment, after serving three years as Permanent Representative of the African Union Mission to the United States of America, and appreciating her contribution to the Union during her tenure. This is normal diplomatic practice for political appointees everywhere.

Dr Chihombori has never been sanctioned by the Commission on any public pronouncements she has made during her three-year tenure and nor has the Commission ever thought the need to do so. On the contrary, Dr Chihombori has maintained a public presence freely without fear or prejudice to voice her opinions. Therefore to state or suggest that Ambassador Chihombori’s termination of service is due to any pronouncements she has made, or opinions she may have held during her three-year tenure, is patently untrue.

We wish our esteemed colleague the best in her future endeavours and trust her successor will build on the solid foundation she has laid.

Ebba Kalondo
Spokesperson to the Chairperson of the AfricanUnion Commission
Mobile: +251911510512
Email: KalondoE@africa-union.org

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Gambia: Madam Camara shares her anguish after 19-years
October 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Adama Makasuba

Sainabou Camara-Lowe has shared gory tales of her anguish with the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission after 19 years, as the Commission of Inquiry began public hearings on sexual and gender based violence.

At least 129 witnesses have testified so far among whom 31 were perpetrators and alleged perpetrators and the rest were victims including 21 women.

Meanwhile, Madam Camara-Lowe however told the commission that she can’t remember how she got the wound in her private part but that “may be something was inserted inside my private part but I can’t remember how it happened because I was in comma, and I was bleeding,”

This session focuses on sexual abuses and gender based violence and Madam Camara-Lowe, 39, who was among the student protesters on April 10 and 11 2000, said she experienced wounds and pain in her private part and was in a comma caused by torture from the personnel of the police intervention unit in 2000.

She said while attending medication at Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul that “a pipe was fixed in her in order to enable her urinate “but told the commission that she still feels pain around her private which she said “was not  stitched by the doctors 19 years ago.”

“I couldn’t tell till to date how I got the wound on my private part, all my body was swollen, my face, my thigh, my groins and my private part,” she said

However, she said after her discharged from the hospital that her aunty took care of her health, adding she was using warmed up water  mixed with detergent to heal the wound.

According to her, she insulted the mother of the former president Yahya Jammeh and former vice president Dr Isatou Njie –Saidy in their presence as they paid them a visit at the hospital

 “I can’t do a heavy work, if I am to fetch water I must take a bucket and if I am to launder I had to sit-down because I can’t bend as up till now my groins pain me, my abdominal pains me and when I got pregnant my private part swells and pains me,” she said.

She said the pains were inflicted on her by the personnel of the Police Intervention Unit as she said: “as we were running and because I didn’t know Serekunda, I headed toward their camp. I was slim and, I was very fast in running. But the four of them were chasing after me and when I felt tired and while attempted to jumped over a fence, one of my leg was over the fence and they held on to the other of my leg.”

She said she got brushes as a result of beating inflicted on her by the personnel of the police intervention unit adding that her cheeks were also swollen.

“They were stamping on my body staring from my chest to my private part and down to my leg which is now I couldn’t do a heavy work,” she said, adding that “they tied me from my toe up to my neck and one of them took my workman put it on his ears and told me you people are rude but we will teach you a lesson, and I insulted his mother and the other man slapped me on my face.”

She recalled that one Aunty Njie who she said was a nurse at the time at Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul to have recognized her of not dead after she was taken to the mortuary.

She however couldn’t tell how she got to the hospital in Banjul as she was in faint, adding while at the hospital she was labeled dead number 4 as doctors and nurses labeled the dead’s at the mortuary house.

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Gambia Answers Present At First Ever CAF Safety And Security Workshop
October 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has invited the Gambia amongst 54 member Associations to the first ever CAF Stadium Safety and Security Workshop in Cairo. The program opens on 14th October and will address lots of practices for participants to ensure safety and security at national stadiums during international matches.

The Gambia Football Federation is been represented by its FIFA Security Officer Lt Col Musa Jammeh. The two days land mark workshop aims to also ensure international best practices of safety and security to both lives and properties.

According to Officials at the workshop, security of fans, players and officials is a top priority during and after football matches across the African continent. CAF Secretary General Mouad Hajji said the lives of the thousands of fans who throng the various stadia to share moments of joy with family and friends depend on top levels of security and safety.

He highlighted that the workshop will build on the already solid safety and security foundations laid at CAF following the establishment of its first-ever Safety and Security Department headed by Dr. Christian Emeruwa, in February 2018.

Upon his return, Lt Col Jammeh is expected to share with the football leadership the outcome of the workshop to ensuring more safety and security of our matches at the Independence Stadium. The Scorpions qualification to the Afcon 2021 Group stages meant that the Gambia will host three more international matches beginning November when the Qualifiers proper kicks off.

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Gambia :Scorpions Advance To Afcon Qualifiers
October 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Scorpions

Gambia Scorpions have advanced to the Afcon 2021 Qualifiers proper when they edged out Djibouti on Sunday 13th October, 2019 at the return leg of the preliminaries held at the Independence Stadium in Bakau. This preceded a one all draw at home (2-2) on aggregate at full time for both legs but settled for a 3-2 scoreline that followed for the Scorpions at penalty shootouts.

Djibouti took the lead early into the opening minutes when striker Mahdi Houssein converted a spot kick nine minutes earlier on. The Gambia created the bulk of the chances at first half coming very close to scoring with Ebrima Colley, Alassana Manneh and Abdoulie Jallow is driving in entertaining but vigor to equal the Djibouti lead. It was until moments (brink of stoppage time) that Abdoulie Jallow leveled the scoring for the Scorpions and going into break.

The Scorpions’ dominance continued and even at the edge of their opponent’s area when new found galaxy of stars Ebrima Colley, Alassana Manneh and dimunitive Ablie Jallow all came close even by a fingertip touch but intents went wide and wayward. The drama didnt stop as Fus Rabat forward Muhammed Badamosi in his twinning with Assan Ceesay also came at the closest time and sent the Stadium in wild unbelievable roaring but the former Gamtel FC forward wasn’t at his best tonight although Badamosi would do the most of the aerial attacks.

Second half saw more Scorpions substitutions as Coach Tom Saintfiet intends to finish the business with more goals to avoid any possible shootouts. This didnt go as planned hence no more goals came forth for the home side. The match ended one all and eventually went into kicks from the penalty spot.

FT 1-1.Gambia 3-2 Djibouti (pen) Ablie Jallow converted the winner for the Gambia while Modou Jobe was hailed for his heroic saves at goal.

The Gambia now advances to the Group stages of the Qualifiers Proper to join Angola, DR Congo and Gabon in Group D of the Afcon.

Speaking to reporters after the game in a post match presser, Scorpions Coach Tom Saintfiet noted the fact that his side could have finished the job in regular time if “we had utilized our chances very well”.

He said as a team, ” we created so many chances and we should have finished the game but we couldn’t score more than one. I was expecting a win in both matches but it was difficult because we had one training session before the first leg and one before this game tonight. I am happy that we qualify and we have a chance to play in the next AFCON”, he said.

Djibouti Coach Julien Mette said, he is very happy with the performance of his team and said they put up a great fight over the two legs. “You can see we have a very young team with only one professional but we fought well. I am really proud of the performance of my team”, he concludes.

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