Protesting Climate Change, Young People call at World Leaders to take action
September 21, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Mohammed M.Mupenda
Worried about their future on a hotter planet, calling the world leaders for taking action to arrest the crisis, hundreds of thousands of young and adults people marched into the streets on Friday for a day of global climate protest.
About three hundreds youths including sierrans club in St.Louis gathered friday to demand action on climate change, as part of global movement of youngsters demanding politicians and government act toa halt environment catastrophe.
They all gathered at St.Louis City hall, coming from different areas of Missouri State, some had to bike, walk, ride and park their cars 200 miles away and foot to begin their strike with placards citing the climate change effects and the call to the government to tackle the issues.
“Floods are getting worse” 16 -year-old activist Olivia Thomson Wrote on her poster “ the concerned bodies should take action.”
Strikes were planned in each of the 50 United States. By late morning, protesters across the Eastern, Western, Southern and northern of St.Louis were moving out of schools and office buildings, pooling around steps of local city halls.
Another placard by a 80 year-old walking on a stick read “Climate change is the issue if we don’t do something nothing else will matter, “
In the neighbouring States including Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, around 400 protesters such as youth and adults with signs gathered outside the State Capitol under a cloudless sky, sweat rolling down their faces as temperatures hovered around 84 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 28 Celsius to take part in what are set to be the largest global climate protests in history .
In Kampala, Uganda early morning the protest was also attended by most high -profile young activist leah Namugerwa,15, who created waves when she began her own solitary school in february before others joined her. Adult climate activities and environmental groups also took part.
As morning arrived farther west, banners in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, ranged from serious to humorous. One read, “Climate Emergency Now.” Another said, “This planet is getting hotter than my imaginary boyfriend.”
An early test of the student protests will come on Monday when world leaders assemble at United Nations headquarters to demonstrate what they are willing to do to avert a crisis. Their speeches are unlikely to assuage the youth strikers, but whether the youth protests will peter out or become more confrontational in the coming weeks and months remains to be seen. More protests are planned for Monday in several cities.
16 coaches from Africa shortlisted as “Future Stars” by Arsenal and WorldRemit
September 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
The coaches will be rewarded for their contributions to their communities with Arsenal youth shirts for their team
LONDON, United Kingdom, September 19, 2019/ — Today, WorldRemit (www.WorldRemit.com) announces that 16 applicants from Africa have been shortlisted for its Future Stars programme. Of these 16 coaches, eight are women.
WorldRemit and Arsenal launched the second edition of the Future Stars programme in August to recognise the valuable contributions that grassroots youth football coaches make to their communities by teaching the children they train life skills on and off the pitch.
Through the programme, WorldRemit will sponsor two winners – one male and one female – to fly to London for a personalised training session with Arsenal Football Development coaches.
Entries for Future Stars closed on 4 September, and the programme received over 1,400 entries from coaches from across Africa and the Americas.
A panel of judges from WorldRemit and Arsenal Football Development reviewed the applications and selected 20 semi-finalists, including 16 coaches from Africa, based on the following criteria:
In recognition of their commitment to using football to bring their communities together, the 20 semi-finalists will receive Arsenal shirts for their youth squad.
What’s next for the semi-finalists?
From the 20 semi-finalists, the judging panel will select eight coaches – four male and four female – as finalists. Their stories will be shared on www.FutureStars.WorldRemit.com in late October and the two winners will be chosen based on a public vote on the website.
Andrew Stewart, Managing Director for Africa and the Middle East, said: “Congratulations to the 16 African semi-finalists!
“Our business is all about connecting communities, no matter where they are in the world. We developed Future Stars to celebrate the amazing work that football coaches do to support young people and have been so impressed by the quality and diversity of the applications this year.”
Simon McManus, Head Coach at Arsenal Football Development, added: “Arsenal is thrilled to partner with WorldRemit to recognise coaches who use the power of football to inspire and support young people across the globe.
“We have one of the most successful women’s sides in the world and are committed to encouraging greater participation in the sport among women. Through this edition of Future Stars, we hope to further amplify the positive impact that female coaches have on their communities.”
Coaches in the Future Stars shortlist from Africa
Uzoma Kingsley Akanador, Coach at Unity International Charity Organisation in Lagos.
Ademilokun Oluwaseun David, Coach at XPR Football in Lagos.
Chinasa Ukanda, Coach at Help The Talent Academy in Lagos.
Towobola Grace Iyanuoluwa, Head Coach at Hostel Football Team and Assistant Coach at CityBoys Football Club in Ibadan.
Modupe Marilyn Jiwalde Pusmut, Coach at Future Stars FC Sabon Barki in Jos.
Feisal Abdi Hassan, Coach in Nairobi
Beldine Lilian Achieng Odemba, Coach at Kariobangi Sharks Academy in Nairobi.
Susan Wanjiru Njoki, Coach at Kahawa Sportive Soccer Academy in Nairobi.
Everline Achieng Onyango, Coach at Mukuru Starlets in Nairobi.
Samuel Taylor, Coach at EM Sporting Club, Accra
Alhassan Iddi Manzah, Coach at Northern Women’s Football Clubs Association in Tamale-Dalun
Bakit Isaac Agogo, Coach at Watoto Sports Academy in Gulu.
Andrew Amanya, Coach at Kigezi Soccer Academy in Kabale.
Nabisenke Joan, Coach in Kampala
Titus Tongesai Sanagurai, Coach at Big Stuff Youth Soccer Academy in Harare.
Winnet Muranganwa, Coach at Zengeza Busters Soccer Academy in Chitungwiza.
Mo Ibrahim Foundation to launch first ‘African Governance Report’ in 2019
September 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
The report uses data from the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) to further governance analysis in Africa
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of the first comprehensive African Governance Report. The report will be published online at mo.ibrahim.foundation on 15 October 2019.
Based on IIAG data, the report will focus on: Governance and Africa’s implementation of the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It will highlight the importance of using data to analyse the growing governance challenges and opportunities that must be addressed to drive sustainable development in Africa.
In this report, the Foundation will highlight gaps in the availability of sound data to track and measure progress. It will issue a call for national and international players to work together to urgently address these gaps, which will be critical to encouraging and directing development progress across the continent.
The African Governance Report will:
1) Examine the governance environments needed to achieve progress towards Agenda 2063 and the SDGs and the links between these, highlighting common areas and major challenges
2) Identify progress in these areas and data gaps, both in terms of national statistical offices but also vital statistics and civil registration
A new report in response to new challenges
Africa is at a critical turning point. While governance across the continent has continued to improve, new challenges and needs from stakeholders and citizens have changed this landscape.
The scope of public governance has expanded to include new challenges for existing topics, and new needs, such as access to quality healthcare and environmental sustainability. Meanwhile, transformative frameworks, such as the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), now pave the way for Africa’s development agenda, and contribute to defining policy priorities towards political, social, environmental and economic progress.
In response to these developments, the Foundation will publish the African Governance Report with unique insights around these frameworks, challenges and opportunities.
Strengthening the use of our data
As the largest source of data on African governance, the IIAG is a key tool for African countries to measure the environment around achieving transformative frameworks, such as the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the SDGs.
Good governance remains at the core of Africa’s development and the report. The Foundation holds the most comprehensive assessment and collection of data on African governance ever undertaken using 90 indicators and 150,000 data points across 54 countries to assess performance.
With a view of continually improving the IIAG, expanding its scope to include new challenges and data, and making use of its wealth of information and growing dataset, the Foundation will release new data with updated scores, ranks and trends every two years, with the next iteration in 2020.
Between the biennial updates of the IIAG dataset, the Foundation will publish additional data-driven research publications and tools to support Africa’s stakeholders with resources for evidence-based decision making and policy debates, alongside the comprehensive African Governance Report, based on the IIAG.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation was established in 2006 with a focus on the critical importance of leadership and governance in Africa, by providing tools to assess and support progress in leadership and governance.
The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) provides an annual assessment of the quality of governance in African countries and is the most comprehensive collection of data on African governance.
With over ten years of data to draw from, the IIAG is uniquely positioned to measure trends in governance, providing in-depth analysis on how the quality of governance has changed, and what has or could be key to Africa’s transformation.
In every iteration, MIF – assisted by the IIAG’s Advisory Council – looks at improving the structure, components and methodology of the IIAG. Due to this revision, MIF recalculates all scores in the Index for each iteration.
Previous iterations of the IIAG covered data from 2000 onwards. The 2018 IIAG, for the first time, provided comparable governance data for the last decade only, to strengthen the robustness of the findings.
In 2018, an assessment of youth inclusion was also made part of the IIAG. Through the indicator Promotion of Socio-economic Integration of Youth (provided by Global Integrity), the Index assessed whether there is a government policy/strategy to increase the socioeconomic integration if youth.
The IIAG contains analysis across 102 indicators from 35 independent African and global data institutions to cover all 54 African counties in the areas of Safety & Rule of Law, Participation & Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development.
The IIAG Data Portal is a user-friendly interface that offers a bespoke analysis of governance ranks, scores and trends for each country. Users can create printable charts and graphics from the data.
Access the IIAG Data Portal directly: http://iiag.online/
Russia Spreading Its Tentacles Across Africa
September 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Scott Morgan*
When it comes to special operations in Central Africa initiated by the Russians most thoughts and conversations focus on the operations conducted within the Central African Republic over the last two years as either a point of contention or outright fear in some Capitals. But once again history is again repeating itself in Africa.
There have been allegations that after the 2016 Presidential Elections in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) that the incumbent President Soussou-Nguesso reportedly hired a Russian Private Military Company to put down the unrest in the vital town of Pointe Noir that occurred after the controversial polls. There was virtually no coverage of the influence in this election. It should be noted that when President Soussou-Nguesso was President for the first time Brazzaville was considered to be an ally of what was then the Soviet Union.
Also when it comes to Russian Operations in Central Africa even though it is not considered being part of Central Africa, the role of Sudan cannot be ignored. Khartoum has been used as a transit and logistics hub for its Operations in CAR. The Change of leadership that recently took place within Sudan will have an impact on Russian Operations in Central Africa. Russia was one of the countries that was coaching the Military in how to react during the final days of the Bashir regime. It would be wonderful if this dynamic was looked into. For the near future it should be taken as a fait accompli that whatever projects are launched in the region by the Kremlin it will have some form of presence in Sudan.
Another aspect that has been proving to be interesting regarding Russian Activities in the region is the media coverage regarding them or the efforts by the Putin Government and their allies to manipulate their coverage of the activities. One needs to recall the incident where four journalists for a Russian Opposition news site were ambushed and killed in the Central African Republic. That only occurs when a party wants an activity to be shielded from public view and scrutiny.
Another action taken by the Russians to spin events into their worldview has to be the deals to provide content to some African Media Outlets by either Sputnik or RT (Russia Today). A perfect example happens to be the deals reached with RTNC (National Radio and Television Corporation) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. RT was the first entity to reach a deal with the Congolese in November 2018, Sputnik has reached a similar deal in May of 2019. This effort in the DRC has been a success for Moscow. When Russia celebrated the fifth anniversary of the annexation of the Crimea , one of the largest events was actually held in Kinshasa.
Another tactic that Russia is using ties between the Duma and local legislatures on the ground. Once again the topic focuses on the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There is already a Russia-DRC Friendship Group already in the Parliament of the DRC. This is a simple and easy way for Russia to not only to promote its agenda in Africa it can be done in such a way that most other powers that have interests in the region such as the former colonial powers of France and Belgium and even the United States could find themselves be left on the outside without realizing what they allowed to Happen has indeed taken place without their ability to properly address the situation.
*The author is President of Red Eagle Enterprises and the views expressed are his.
Towards a new era of US-Zimbabwe Relations
September 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Scott Morgan
Has Zimbabwe entered a new era? The post Mugabe ZANU-PF (Zimbabwean African National Union- Patriotic Front) wishes to convince the population of that very fact. They have decided that relations with the United States are crucial.
A series of events that began with the controversial 2002 reelection of President Mugabe and the controversial and poorly executed land reform program which virtually brought the economy to a halt compelled the Administration of George W Bush and allies to levy sanctions against Zimbabwe and specific persons for their roles in the issues that plagued the country for more than a decade.
One of the moves that they have made is to retain the services of lobbying firm based on K St here in Washington. The firm that they have contracted to represent them has been a source of controversy over the last three years.
Mercury Public Affairs first came to light as a company to be concerned with due to its ties with Paul Manafort. Prior to his taking over the campaign of President Trump in 2016 he was in charge of the Mercury program dealing with Ukraine. His name came up in a ledger that was discovered by Ukranian Police in 2015 that listed individuals that were suspected of accepting payoffs. Concerns about whether or not Mr. Manafort was still working on Ukraine issues for Mercury while guiding Mr. Trump through the nomination at the Republican National Committee Meeting in 2016 have proven to be murky.
Another recent client is Cameroon. The Country is facing some of the challenges of other African Countries. A long entrenched leader who managed to win reelection despite a young population, An insurgency that has begun after a decision to force an ethnic minority that speaks English to learn and speak French are just some of the issues plaguing this Country. Reports indicate that this contract was ended after a poor performance by the Cameroonian Ambassador to the United Nations earlier this year.
One of the main motivations for this PR effort is to have the rest of the long standing sanctions against Zimbabwe finally lifted. Recent statements by South African President Ramaphosa and a proposal made at the recent G7 summit in France by current AU chair and Rwandan President Paul Kagame supported these calls. It is felt that these sanctions and not the policies of the Zimbabwean Government are the reason for why the Zimbabwean Government is still struggling.
At this time there are 141 entities and individuals currently under Sanctions including President Mnangagwa and several state-owned enterprises. Earlier this year Congress passed a bill that instructs the Secretary of the Treasury to request that the executive directors of major financial institutions to vote against any extensions of loans or grants to Zimbabwe except for to meet basic human needs or to promote democracy. This act also prevents any US funds to assist Zimbabwe unless they are to be used for health and education unless the Secretary of State approves a review the ensure that Zimbabwe is operating with transparent fiscal policies.
Clearly there are some benchmarks that Zimbabwe has to meet in order to comply with the desires of the United States. It could probably have reached out to a better lobbying firm here in Washington. However the population is demanding change and that in itself is an excellent motivator.
*The author is President of Red Eagle Enterprises and the views expressed are his.
Mozambique: New armed group claims responsibility for lorry attacks
September 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Arnaldo Cuamba
The leader of the self-styled Renamo Military Junta, Major-General Mariano Nhongo, has taken responsibility for the two attacks on lorries in Manica province on Tuesday, and has warned that attacks will continue unless the elections scheduled for 15 october are suspended.
“Junta Militar is not the same as the late Renamo president [Afonso Dhlakama], who was patient. Those who do not hear us will get shot, which can hit anyone, journalist, administrator, governor and others,” Nhongo told journalists on Thursday in Beira by phone.
Nhongo added that, when peace negotiations had been ongoing, he had warned an ambassador not to endorse the deal, particularly the part that dealt with disarmament and reintegration of Renamo fighters into the security and defence forces.
The spokesperson for the General Command of the Mozambican police, Orlando Mudumune, says the defence and security forces are hunting down the gunmen involved and hope to bring them to justice.
The Junta was formed by Renamo dissidents who describe the Renamo leader and presidential candidate, Ossufo Momade, as “a traitor”, and do not recognise the peace agreement he signed with President Filipe Nyusi on 6 August.
The Tuesday attacks occurred in the Zepinga area of Gondola district. There were no fatalities, but five people were injured and the two trucks were damaged.
Malawi: Protests against planned erection of Mahtma Ghandi statue resume
September 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Joseph Dumbula, Blantyre Malawi
There would be a spate of protests at the Indian consulate, should the Indian government continues with the plan to erect a statue for popular figure Mahtma Ghandi in Blantyre, the grouping that protests the move has warned.
Earlier this week, media reports had suggested that the Indian government was reportedly working towards financing and purchasing some equipment for the statue. However, the matter is in court as previous protests saw the organisers scrapp off the construction of the statue in the Commercial city of Blantyre. The grouping managed to obtain a court injunction against the erection and the site remained notably ready for the erection.
Initially, the grouping known as Citizens for Progressive Action, had led masses into protesting against the move as they described Ghandi as being racist and not having any impact in his dealings over Malawi.
But in reacting to the recent reports the grouping states that the move potrays the government as being receptive to manipulation stating that it would not relent to stop the move.
It is our demand therefore, that the government of India rescinds its decision to do the same in Malawi. It is our appeal to them to respect our sovereignty and not to impose upon us what we do not want. We are giving the government of India 7 days from today, the 16th of September, 2019 to come out and tell Malawians that they will not be erecting such a statue anywhere in Malawi. If they fail to do so, we will be planning vigils that will be held outside their consulate in Malawi till they rescind the decision.
” The government of India has so many needs in its country that it should be addressing instead of going around causing havoc. The Indian people are suffering from economic injustice which would be something for them to focus on instead of spending huge sums of money trying to impose statues of Gandhi on other countries. They have a horrible caste system which abuses and segregates against minorities in India. Instead of going around promoting racist Gandhi, perhaps India should divert its attention to healing such wounds of division.”reads s statement that the grouping has issued.
It adds:” Let the government of India be warned that what we have is strong will power and we will not relent in our quest to have a Malawi that is sovereign. We extend a hand of friendship to India on the condition that this friendship will be mutually beneficial where no one has selfish agenda of their own.”
Gandhi was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist, who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India’s independence from British Rule, and in turn inspire movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.
However, he is christened as being racists due to his dealings in South Africa where he worked as an expatriate lawyer, a supposition that has stimulated ernomous debate over his legacy.
Murdoch to help empower 1,000 entrepreneurs across Africa by 2022
September 19, 2019 | 0 Comments
|Murdoch hosted Kingdom Business Network (KBN) Chief Executive Officer Joarina Matthys and four of its entrepreneurs to participate in a panel at the 9th Annual Africa Australia Research Forum|
PERTH, Australia, September 11, 2019/ — A new partnership between Murdoch University (www.Murdoch.edu.au) in Western Australia and the South African-based Kingdom Business Network (KBN) took a first step towards formation after a visit to Perth for Africa Week by a delegation of five of its members.
The KBN is a programme created and funded by the South-African diversified investment company, the Beryl Group, to inspire entrepreneurs to create and acquire sustainable wealth, enabling them resources and training to build and develop their communities and positively impact their generation.
Murdoch hosted KBN Chief Executive Officer Joarina Matthys and four of its entrepreneurs to participate in a panel at the 9th Annual Africa Australia Research Forum and meet with Murdoch Alumni, members of the Perth African diaspora and entrepreneurial community.
The KBN was founded 10 years ago by Neverl and Beryl Kambasha and has a goal to empower 1,000 entrepreneurs across Africa by 2022.
“We are passionate about developing quality entrepreneurs who will have a positive impact on their communities,” Ms Matthys said.
“After 10 years of operation in South Africa we have made the decision to expand our reach, to other parts of Africa and to seek partnerships within Australia, including with Murdoch.”
Murdoch University Africa Research Group Chair David Doepel said Murdoch was keen to understand what structures facilitated creative and innovative thinking, and to harness the formidable African brain power globally.
“This is absolutely critical to Africa’s participation in the creation of the 4th Industrial revolution,” Mr Doepel said.
“Our digital interconnectedness holds great promise, but it only works if we have the human networks formed to leverage the digital ones.
“We have been exploring how we can be more embedded with each other to ensure the success of this burgeoning phenomena on the continent.”
Mr Doepel said there were 314 tech hubs in Africa in 2016, which had grown to more than 618 in 2018.
“More than 50 per cent of those tech hubs have incubators with in-kind support for idea and early stage start-ups, developing innovations in agtech, healthtech and fintech focused on African solutions for African opportunities.
“Coming together to ensure the success of these entrepreneurs, and finding ways to straddle continents with ideas that lead to businesses that solve problems, exploit opportunities, create jobs and deliver inclusive growth, is the work we must support.”
Ms Matthys said the KBN could also provide a trusted partner for companies interested in investing in African companies or your partners in Africa.
“A key role we play is developing and maintaining strategic partnerships to create a web of networks for our entrepreneurs as well as for people looking for opportunities in South Africa and Africa generally.
“We understand how government and local systems work; if you don’t know who to trust we are the place to come to.
Merck Foundation provides their first ‘Health Media Training’ in partnership with the First Lady of Zimbabwe
September 17, 2019 | 0 Comments
Merck Foundation Calls for Applications for Media Recognition Awards to break infertility stigma
HARARE, Zimbabwe, September 16, 2019/ — Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com) , the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany organized their first “Merck Foundation Health Media Training” on 16th September 2019 in Harare, Zimbabwe in partnership with H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother together with Ministries of Health and Information to break the stigma around infertility in Zimbabwe and rest of Africa.
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck more than a Mother emphasized “It is an honor to appoint the First lady of Zimbabwe, H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, the Ambassador of Merck more than a Mother. After our committee meeting in March 2019 at Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative (MFFLI) Summit, our programs have started in partnership with Zimbabwe government and we have already enrolled many doctors to our specialty training programs for Two Year Oncology Master and Fellowship, One Year Online Diabetes Diploma and Fertility Specialist Training. Moreover, we are conducing today, the first health media training in Zimbabwe to educate media how to break the stigma of infertility through their valuable work”.
The training program is a part of ‘Merck More than a Mother’ community awareness Program and was organized for the first time in Zimbabwe for local media representatives and media students.
H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGW, The First Lady of Zimbabwe and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “We welcome this important initiative of Merck Foundation in our country. Media, if guided properly can bring about a huge change in the current scenario where women solely blamed for infertility. I urge or media partners to work together for this cause to make a difference.”
“I am delighted to initiate this important training as I strongly believe that media plays a significant role to influence our society to create a cultural shift. It has the capacity and ability to break the stigma around infertility in the community” Rasha Kelej added.
The training was addressed by the First Lady of Zimbabwe, stalwarts of media industry, including international faculty and infertility experts.
Moreover, it provided a great opportunity for the journalists to meet the experts and also to network with each other and work as a unit to eradicate the stigma around infertility in Zimbabwe and rest of Africa. It was attended by journalists working for Print, TV, Radio and Online media and journalism students.
“The Merck Health Media Training program focused on the international standards and media ethics for reporting sensitive issues like infertility in Africa. It was designed to benefit the journalists in understanding the infertility issues in African communities and to learn the best media practices to cover such issues” added Dr. Rasha Kelej.
Merck Foundation also announced Call for Application for “Merck More than a Mother” ‘Media Recognition Awards’ for Zimbabwe and rest of Africa. The “Merck More than a Mother” ‘Media Recognition Awards’ were launched in 2017 with the aim to emphasize the role of media in enhancing the public engagement and understanding of infertility stigma and the need to change its social perception in African communities.
The applications are invited by media professionals to showcase their work to raise awareness about infertility prevention and breaking infertility stigma in Zimbabwe and rest of Africa.
Who can apply? Journalists from print, online, radio and multimedia platforms from Zimbabwe and rest of Africa.
Last date of submission: Entries can be submitted till 31st December 2019.
How to apply? Entries can be submitted via email to
Categories and prize money for winners:
Join Merck Foundation online community to exchange experience and information with other healthcare providers, researchers, students, policy makers and community members in Africa and beyond. Merck-Foundation.com free registration
About ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign;
With “Merck More than a mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility on all levels: By improving awareness, training the skills of local experts, building advocacy in cooperation with decision makers and by supporting childless women in starting their own small business. It’s all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to live a fulfilling life, with or without a child.
The Ambassadors of “Merck More Than a Mother” are: H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana; H.E DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The First Lady of Burundi; H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic; H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad; H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo; H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana; H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia; H.E. CONDÉ DJENE, The First Lady of Guinea Conakry; H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Republic of Liberia; H.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The First Lady of Malawi; H.E. DR. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique; H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADO, The First Lady of Niger; H.E FATIMA MAADA, The First Lady of Sierra Leone; H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGW, The First Lady of Zimbabwe; H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia.
Also, part of the campaign is our Merck Embryology & Fertility Training Program, a three-month hands-on practical course in partnership with IRSI, Indonesia, IIRRH, India and Manipal Academy of Higher Education (Manipal University), India to establish the platform of fertility specialists across Africa and developing countries. Merck Foundation provided for more than 135 candidates, in clinical and practical training for fertility specialists and embryologists in more than 35 countries across Africa and Asia such as: Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, CAR, Cote D’IVOIRE, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malaysia, Liberia, Mali, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Niger, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, The Gambia, Togo, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia & Zimbabwe.
Merck Foundation is making history in many African countries where they never had fertility specialists or specialized fertility clinics before ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ intervention, to train the first fertility specialists such as; in Sierra Leone, Liberia, The Gambia, Niger, Chad, Guinea, Ethiopia and Uganda.
Merck Foundation launched new innovative initiatives to sensitize local communities about infertility prevention, male infertility with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and empowering infertile women as part of Merck more than a Mother such as;
• Merck More than a Mother media recognition award and health media training
• Merck More than a Mother fashion award
• Merck More than a Mother film award
• Local songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change it
About Merck Foundation:
The Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com), established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation Website. Please visit www.merck-foundation.com to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com); Facebook (bit.ly/2MBzsDj), Twitter (bit.ly/2NDqHLR), Instagram (bit.ly/33W9wKI), Youtube (bit.ly/2K3ACZp) and Flicker (bit.ly/2P7AICN).About Merck
Merck ( (MerckGroup.com) is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Almost 52,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. Founded in 1668, Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma.
Mozambique: Elections period clouded by attacks on civil society leaders, activists and journalists
September 17, 2019 | 0 Comments
Amnesty International has today published a human rights briefing for all parties and candidates taking part in the Mozambican election after revealing a shocking catalogue of abuses carried out against human rights defenders, activists, journalists and other members of civil society over the past few years.
The briefing, Turn the page! A human rights manifesto for Mozambican political parties and their candidates, details dozens of examples of prominent civil society activists and journalists facing intimidation, harassment and violence because of their work, ahead of the 15 October election.
“In Mozambique, challenging the government comes with devastating consequences, including abductions, arbitrary detentions and physical attacks. You speak out at your own risk,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa.
“Civil society leaders, journalists, human rights defenders and activists are facing more risks as the country approaches polling day. This briefing is bringing to the fore a pattern of human rights violations that all political parties and candidates must take seriously and stand against as they go to the polls.”
Harassment and intimidation
In the aftermath of the October 2018 municipal elections, civil society leaders, human rights defenders and activists, religious bodies and the media were targeted for harassment and intimidation, including receiving death threats for their role in monitoring and disseminating the results following the vote.
They received threatening messages, warning that they should “be careful” and that their “…days are numbered” simply for doing their work. Some were even threatened with “… disappear[ing] without a trace”. They were blamed for contributing to the defeat of the ruling party, the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO), by organising individuals to monitor polling stations and publish live election results.
Two journalists were threatened for publishing election related information on social media in Tete Province, with the editor of the weekly Malacha newspaper receiving death threats for publishing election results on his paper’s Facebook page.
Extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearance, torture and other ill-treatment
South African businessman, Andre Hanekom, died at a hospital in Pemba in January 2019 after he was shot in the arm and stomach and abducted in August 2018 by four AK’47-armed masked men in Palma district, Cabo Delgado province. He was held by state security forces under mysterious circumstances and denied private visits from family throughout his detention despite a judge ruling that his detention was illegal and ordering his provisional release on bail. During the military detention, Hanekom was allegedly subjected to torture and other ill-treatment.
On 27 March 2018, unknown gunmen abducted Ericino de Salema, a human rights lawyer and political commentator, outside the offices of the Mozambican Union of Journalists in Maputo. The men beat him up, breaking his arms and legs, and later abandoned him on the road, leaving him for dead. Salema, a well-known critical voice in the country, was told by the men that he “talks too much” and that they wanted to teach him a lesson. Before the attack, he had received threatening phone calls from unidentified individuals.
Attacks on people, arbitrary arrests and detentions
Brutal attacks in the Cabo Delgado Province by a local extremist group locally known as ‘Al-Shabab’ has claimed at least 200 lives and forced thousands of others to flee their homes since October 2017.
The attacks have continued despite a heavy military presence in affected areas. The province has become a no-go area for journalists, researchers, scholars and non-governmental organizations, and many who have tried to access the area have been arbitrarily detained by security forces without arrest warrants.
For example, journalist Amade Abubacar spent nearly four months in arbitrary pre-trial detention earlier this year for reporting on the attacks and fleeing residents.
While in detention, Amade was subjected to ill-treatment, including 12 days in incommunicado military detention, denial of family visits and poor medical treatment. He is facing several charges, including “public incitement through electronic media”.
On 30 June 2018, Zimbabwean journalist Pindai Dube, working for eNCA, an independent television news station based in Johannesburg, South Africa, was arrested by police in Pemba while conducting research in Cabo Delgado province. He was accused of spying and released three days later without charge. It is not clear why security forces won’t allow anyone access to the area.
Suppression of freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association
In the past five years, the authorities have escalated their crackdown on the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.
On 18 January 2019, Fátima Mimbire, a human rights defender and researcher with Centre for Public Integrity (CIP), at the time, received intimidating messages and death threats through social media. The attacks began after her organisation launched a campaign denouncing a move by the Mozambican government to repay over USD$2 billion in loans which were secretly and illegally acquired to set up three state-owned companies. Known FRELIMO militants had been advocating violence against her on social media, including Alice Tomás, a member of parliament who called for Fatima “to be raped by 10 strong and energetic men to teach her a lesson.”
On 2 December 2017, a gunman threatened to kill Aunício da Silva, an investigative journalist and editor of IKWELI, a weekly publication in Nampula City in the north of Mozambique. The gunman accused da Silva of publishing articles that tarnished the image of a local politician. Da Silva has continued to receive death threats via phone calls and SMS for his investigations on illegal trafficking of natural resources, people and drugs as well as allegations of corruption, election fraud and land grabbing.
On 23 July 2018, the Council of Ministers issued a decree requiring journalists and media organizations to pay prohibitive accreditation and licensing fees for both local and foreign press wanting to report on the country.
“As Mozambique moves closer to the election in less than a month, political parties and candidates who are contesting it must commit to a culture of respect for human rights and outline a concrete plan to build a rights respecting society,” said Deprose Muchena.
“Full respect for the human rights of everyone should be the new cornerstone of Mozambique post-election. Anything less is not acceptable.”
Mozambique will hold its sixth general election since the end of the civil war in 1992, on 15 October 2019. The vote will combine presidential, legislative and provincial elections.
*Source Amnesty International
Africa Logistics Properties holds Supply Chain Networking Breakfast Forum to tackle current challenges in the East African Region
September 17, 2019 | 0 Comments
The event brought together key stakeholders in the Logistics and Supply Chain sector with the aim of generating industry solutions
|NAIROBI, Kenya, September 17, 2019/ — Africa Logistics Properties (ALP) (http://www.AfricaWareHouses.com/), a modern warehousing solutions company hosted a Supply Chain Networking Breakfast Forum in celebration of it’s second anniversary since the completion of phase one – ALP North at Tatu City’s Industrial Park. The event brought together key stakeholders in the Logistics and Supply Chain sector with the aim of generating industry solutions.
Speaking at the event, Africa Logistics Properties CEO Richard Hough said, “Since setting up operations in Kenya, we as an organisation have noticed various challenges in the East Africa’s Supply Chain ecosystem. We are delighted to have our first supply chain breakfast event as a way of creating dialogue to solve some of the key challenges many business’s experience within the Supply Chain ecosystem as well as align key international best practices that are relevant and can be applicable to the East African Region.”
He further added, “With ALP logistics centres we are able to provide a key part of the solution and improve distribution in Kenya by streamlining the supply chain and logistics processes. Through eliminating shipping and transportation challenges, establishing better ways of storing goods and the effective use of technology.”
Africa Logistics Properties’s flagship project ‘ALP Nairobi North’ is Kenya’s first international standard grade-A logistics and distribution centre. The project consists of 47,000sqm of grade-A international standard warehousing on a 22-acre site. The first two phases of the ALP North park are over 82% leased and the third final phase of 19,600sqm was delivered in May 2019.
ALP Nairobi North won the Best Industrial Project in Africa award at the 2018 Africa Property Awards and also achieved the World Bank’s EDGE building sustainability certification – the very first industrial warehousing complex to achieve this benchmark in Africa.
In addition to ALP Nairobi North, ALP has also commenced construction of its second logistics and industrial project called ALP Nairobi West on a 49-acre site in Western Nairobi. ALP West is situated on the A104 highway towards Limuru, with planning approval for a 100,000 sqm logistics and distribution warehousing complex, the largest in East Africa. This second project aims to attract smaller more modern warehouse units, similar units at ALP North and specialized built to suit options for business’s seeking to move away from traditional land ownership to focusing on their core businesses.
ALP’s strategy is to identify demand-led investment opportunities within Africa that will generate strong returns for its shareholders through the development of industrial real estate projects whilst improving logistics and infrastructure in the markets in which ALP operates, according to Hough, a strategy that saw the company win Best Industrial & Logistics Development in 2018 at the Africa Property Investment Awards (API) held in South Africa.
About Africa Logistics Properties (ALP):
ALP was started by Toby Selman in 2016 to address the lack of modern warehousing and distribution centres across Africa. ALP’s strategy is to identify demand-led investment opportunities within Africa that will generate strong returns for its shareholders through the development of industrial real estate projects whilst improving logistics and infrastructure in the markets in which ALP operates.
The CEO Richard Hough of ALP was part of the founding management team of Raven Russia Plc, a London Stock Exchange listed property company that specialised in bringing modern warehousing infrastructure to Russia https://www.TheRavenPropertyGroup.com
African Leaders converge in Accra for maiden edition of Kofi Annan Peace and Security (KAPS) Forum
September 17, 2019 | 0 Comments
The forum was also organized to honour the sterling achievements of H.E. the late Kofi Annan and to immortalize his memory
ACCRA, Ghana, September 17, 2019/ — The Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) (https://www.KAIPTC.org/) has organized the maiden edition of the Kofi Annan Peace and Security (KAPS) Forum in Accra, Ghana, to facilitate discussions on evolving trends in peace and security in Africa. The forum was also organized to honour the sterling achievements of H.E. the late Kofi Annan and to immortalize his memory.
Under the theme, ‘Peace Operations in the Context of Violent Extremism in Africa’, the forum was held under the Distinguished patronage of H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana and the Chairmanship of H.E. Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and Sahel (UNOWAS).
Among the high level delegates were seven former African Heads of State namely; H.E. Pierre Buyoya, Former President of Burundi and AU High Representative to Mali and Sahel (MISAHEL), H.E Catharine Samba-Panza, Former President of Central African Republic, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Former President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, H.E. Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, Former President of Sierra Leone, Professor Amos Claudius Sawyer, Former President of Liberia, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of Nigeria and H.E. John Dramani Mahama, Former President of Ghana.
Addressing the delegates at the opening ceremony, the Commandant of KAIPTC, Air Vice Marshall Griffiths S. Evans shared the rationale behind the forum;
“The forum seeks to provide a platform for robust engagement on critical peace and security issues affecting the African continent. Our actions are guided by our mission to foster peace and stability through the provision of a globally-recognized capacity and policy support for all actors on African peace and security issues”, he stated.
In his address, the President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, identified key interventions which can be implemented to tackle violent extremism.
“It is important that we promote and develop, on the continent, a system and culture of accountable governance, free of corruption, whereby our people are governed in accordance with the rule of law, respect for individual liberties and human rights, and the principles of democratic accountability”, he stressed.
He also threw more light on Ghana’s counter terrorism policy to combat violent extremism.
“Our Counter Terrorism Policy seeks to prevent acts of terrorism in the country. The Counter Terrorism Policy has led to the setting up of a Counter Terrorism Unit, within the National Security Council Secretariat, to lead and co-ordinate our efforts in the fight. Ghana has adopted a well-coordinated Inter Agency Approach, which encourages the timely sharing of information and intelligence, operational coordination and joint strategy formulation, and has proved essential towards ensuring the efficient execution of the country’s Counter Terrorism Policy”, he explained.
The Kofi Annan Forum brought together over two hundred high-level delegates and diplomats from governmental and intergovernmental organizations (including the African Union and its Regional Economic Communities, United Nations and European Union). Security professionals and representatives from policy and research think tanks, development partners, training institutions and civil society groups were all present to participate in the dialogues.
The forum also seeks to deepen the collaboration between KAIPTC and international organisations such as the United Nations, African Union, Regional Economic Communities, Governments, development partners, civil society organisations and the business community.
About the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre:
The Ghana Ministry of Defence (MoD) established the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) (https://www.KAIPTC.org/) in 1998 and commissioned it in 2004. The purpose was to build upon and share Ghana’s five decades of internationally acclaimed experience and competence in peace operations with other states in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region and the rest of Africa. This was in recognition of the need for training military, police and civilian men and women to meet the changing demands of multidimensional peace operations. The Centre is one of the three (3) Peacekeeping Training Centres of Excellence mandated by the ECOWAS to offer training in peacekeeping and peace support operations (PSO) in Africa.
The Centre delivers training courses in in three thematic areas; Peace Support Operations, Conflict Management and Peace and Security Studies and also runs Masters and PhD programmes in same. The KAIPTC has a world-class research department that undertakes research in the thematic areas in Peace and Security. Located in Accra, Ghana, the KAIPTC is an internationally-recognized institution and has till date trained and tutored over 21, 496 participants and students since its inception.
KAIPTC is a gender sensitive organization and committed to gender equality. Following the launch of its Gender policy in 2014, the Centre has mainstreamed gender into its policies and programmes, and integrates same in its focal areas, namely training, research and post-graduate education. The Centre has developed a Sexual Harassment policy and fully oriented employees on same. It has also provided a Nursing and Childcare Centre and instituted a paternity leave policy, all with the aim to create a conducive work environment at KAIPTC.