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ABH 2021 Top 50 finalists reflect the face of Africa
August 5, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Five regions of Africa, North, West, South, East and Central, are all represented in the currently announced top 50 finalists for the 2021 Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) competition prize competition.

The Africa’s Business Heroes prize competition is the flagship philanthropic initiative run by the Jack Ma Foundation, aimed at identifying, supporting, and inspiring the next generation of African entrepreneurs across all sectors who make a difference in their local communities through solving the most pressing problems, building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future of the continent.

In this year’s top 50 finalists, the East Africa region produced six countries more than any other region. The entrepreneurs are from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Rwanda.

After East, there is West and Southern Africa with four countries each. The former is represented by entrepreneurs from Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, and Cote d’Ivoire, while the latter has South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar.

Two entrepreneurs from Egypt represent the northern part of the continent. The two are Amena Elsaie of Helm Ltd and Khadija Mohamed Elbedwe (PraxiLab).

The central Africa region is represented by one entrepreneur from the DRC. Daniel Makombe, 23, the founder of the Valorigo company, is known for producing sanitary pads using grown bamboo.

These 50 African entrepreneurs are running to win a share of USD 1.5 million in grant funding and gain invaluable networking and learning opportunities throughout their ABH journey.

“In the face of incredibly difficult conditions over the past year, Africa’s entrepreneurs have shown incredible resilience and innovation. The top 50 of the 2021 ABH competition are a true testament to this, and we are excited to support these talented entrepreneurs as they continue to grow and generate positive impact,” said Jason Pau, the Executive Director of International, Jack Ma Foundation.

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Nigeria Ranks First in Top 50 finalists of ABH 2021 Prize competition .
August 5, 2021 | 0 Comments

Samuel Ouma

Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH), the flagship philanthropic programme established by the Jack Ma Foundation in Africa, on Wednesday, July 21, announced the top 50 finalists for its 2021 prize competition.

The 50 Africa entrepreneurs were from 16 African countries across the continent, with 10 percent being Francophone. They were selected from over 12,000 applications.

The ABH Prize Competition, a programme aiming at spotlighting and celebrating Africa’s entrepreneurial talent, opened its 2021 application process in March and ended on June 21.

Entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries, across every sector, age group, and gender, were encouraged to submit their applications either in English or French.

The 50 applications sail through after the entrepreneurs convinced a pool of 233 judges that their businesses can provide innovative, robust solutions to problems in their communities. The top fifty finalists were invited to participate in an ABH virtual bootcamp to engage with and learn from business leaders and previous ABH winners. The aim of bootcamp is to prepare them for the next round of interviews with the Round 2 judges, after which the Top 20 will be identified and announced in August.

The Top 10 will be announced in late September before they go on to the grand finale to win a share of USD 1.5 million in grant funding.

Sixteen different sectors have been presented in this year’s top 50 selection: agriculture, beauty & wellness, construction, consulting, education & training, energy, environmental protection, financial services, healthcare, ICT, logistics, manufacturing, food and beverages, media & entertainment, retail, and transportation.

Out of the Top 50 outstanding entrepreneurs this year, 12 are Nigerians, which is equivalent to 24 percent representation. Others include South Africa (10), Kenya (6), Uganda (5), Ethiopia (2), Tanzania (2), Egypt (2), Cote D’Ivoire (2). Rwanda (2), Botswana (1), Ghana (1), DRC (1), Madagascar (1), Togo (1), Eritrea (1) and Zimbabwe (1).

The 12 Nigerians include Leslie Emenalo of Kobopay, Abiodun Adereni (HelpMum), Yetunde Oyalowo (Market Doctors-Social Enterprise), Godwin Benson (Tuteria), Olorunishola Aje (IDEAS IN FUSION LIMITED), Adebowale Odulana (Doctoora E-Health Ltd), Ige Atiba (Laughkord Consult and Resources Limited), Ikenna Nzewi (Releaf Marketplace Nigeria Limited), OLAGOKE BALOGUN (Oghenetega Iortim), Ebinabo Ofre (GeroCare Solutions), and Chidi Nwaog (Publisee).

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Top 50 finalists for Jack Ma Foundation’s Africa’s Business Heroes Prize 2021 competition announced
August 5, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

The 2021 Africa’s Business Heroes, a flagship philanthropic program run by the Jack Ma Foundation’s Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI), has shortlisted its top 50 finalists this year.

The 50 entrepreneurs were selected from more than 12000 applications across Africa by 233 judges. These fifty finalists attended a n ABH exclusive virtual bootcamp to network and learn from business leaders and previous ABH winners.

After the boot camp, they will heed to the next round of interviews where the top 20 will be identified and revealed in August. The top 10 finalists who will go on to the grand finale to win a share of USD 1.5 million will be named in late September.

“In the face of incredibly difficult conditions over the past year, Africa’s entrepreneurs have shown incredible resilience and innovation. The top 50 of the 2021 ABH competition are a true testament to this, and we are excited to support these talented entrepreneurs as they continue to grow and generate positive impact,” said the Executive Director of International of the Jack Ma Foundation, Jason Pau.

Sixteen countries are represented in this year’s top 50. These are Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda are among the countries with the largest cohorts with 12, 6, and 5, respectively. Encouragingly for women, 38 percent of them have appeared in the top 50.

Sixteen different sectors are also represented. The sectors are agriculture, beauty & wellness, construction, consulting, education & training, energy, environmental protection, financial services, healthcare, ICT, logistics, manufacturing, food and beverages, media & entertainment, retail, and transportation.

Lesan Chebet, the Bright Green Renewable Energy founder in Nairobi, scooped the overall 2020 winner’s cash prize as she took home $300,000. The 1st Runner up was Oluwasoga Oni of MDaaS Global, Nigeria who walked away with $250,000, and the Ethel Mupambwa with of MoneyMart Finance, Zimbabwe who received $150,000 as 2nd Runner up. Other 7 Top 10 finalists each received $100,000.

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EABC calls for air transport services liberalization to cut doing business cost .
August 5, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

John Bosco Kalisa EABC CEO

The East African Business Council (EABC) has urged the East African Partner States to fast-track the finalization and implementation of EAC Regulations on Liberalization of Air Transport Services, a move set to lower flight costs and in turn reduce the cost of doing business in the region.

According to findings from the latest policy paper by EABC, Costs and Benefits of ‘Open Skies’ in the East African Community, air-transport liberalization is set to lower flight costs by 9% and see a 41% increase in flight frequencies.

The paper outlines that, despite the commitments of the EAC Partner States at the international level specifically on the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD) on liberalization of access to air transport markets in Africa and EAC integration efforts through the Common Market, the domestic air transport sector remains protected, reducing accessibility and increasing air transport cost at the expense of potential users.

“Liberalization of air services in the region is set to increase traffic volumes, improve connectivity and lower air transport fares. This will in turn increase trade and tourism, inward investment and productivity growth,” John Bosco Kalisa EABC CEO said on Wednesday at Arusha’s city of Tanzania.

Kalisa  urged the EAC Partner States to waive landing fees, excise duty on aviation fuel, navigation, landing, parking and COVID-19 related fees to see a reduction in operating costs.

“To encourage imports by air, EAC Partner States should waive all import duties and Value Added Tax (VAT) by air during the COVID crisis,” he said.

The policy paper also recommended for the EAC Partner States to provide subsidies for the aviation industry in the form of direct financial support; loan guarantees, corporate bonds and tax reliefs.

EAC Partner States, according to Kalisa should  grant each other the free exercise of the rights of the first, second, third, fourth and fifth freedoms of the air on scheduled passenger, and non-scheduled passenger, cargo and/or mail flights performed by an Eligible Airline to/from their respective territories.

“By removing foreign restrictions, EAC Partner States will be able to attract private sector investment. This will open up access to capital and avail investment in infrastructure upgrades and capacity expansion for regional airports,”  Kalisa stressed..

Covid-19 has seen a drop in the tourism sector. In 2020, EAC received about 2.16 million international tourists compared to about 7.05 million in 2019. International tourist receipts dropped from USD 6.1 billion in 2019 to about USD 1.9 billion in 2020.

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South Sudanese Activists On The Run As State Security Hunts
August 5, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Abraham Awolich

Juba – Abraham Awolich, a South Sudanese analyst with the Juba-based Sudd Institute is on run as the country’s national security hunts.

The crackdown by the security agents came after analyst Awolich and other activists under the umbrella “The People’s Coalition for Civil Action” issued a strong statement condemning governance failure in the last ten years and called for the change in the country.

On Monday, analyst Awolich, South Sudanese – American citizen, shared a message of his escape on his Facebook page, captioned “I am on the run.”

“Friends, relatives, and colleagues, the government of South Sudan is pursuing me with the intention to arrest me,” Awolich said, a managing director of Sudd institute. “This is because we made a declaration on Friday (last week) to challenge the government’s poor performance.”

On Monday, the National Security Services (NSS) officials stormed his office and closed it down.

“My office, the office of the Sudd Institute, was stormed this morning (Monday) and my staff was arrested and taken to the Blue House. Their crime is that they work with me,” Awolich said. “They said unless I surrender, the Sudd Institute shall remain closed,” he added.

On the other hand, his colleague, Kuel Aguer Kuel, former caretaker governor of the country’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, who was the one of signatories on the “People’s Coalition” was reported arrested by the state security.
However, many activists, like analyst Awolich are also on run from the country’s security crackdown.

“My colleagues and I are determined to challenge the state no matter the cost. Our people fought a dignified war to realize a country of their own. We cannot accept or tolerate the establishment of a dictatorship in our country,” said Awolich.

“Our people are rising up to fire the dictators and murderers and I am proud to stand with them. The time has come to bring down the failed, yet dangerous regime,” he wrote on his page.
The policy analyst, who didn’t disclose his location promised to address the nation on Wednesday regarding the crackdown.

Through these actions, the observers say the Juba regime demonstrates that it is a totalitarian, politically bankrupt, and failed institution that does not tolerate or value civil discourse.  ​The People’s Coalition, therefore appeal to the people of South Sudan, to use mass mobilization to bring down this authoritarian, tyrannical, corrupt, and deadly government of cliques. 

“The People’s Coalition should not be underestimated in terms of its ability to confront the government and organize the South Sudanese people. As a nonviolent political action group, we caution the state against a harsh start to this process,” said in the statement.

The People’s Coalition further condemns these unlawful act on its members. The Juba government is yet to comment on this issues.

After signing of the revitalized peace deal and followed by the establishment of the peace government, there were glimpse hopes that there will be absolutely freedom of expression and mark the end of dictatorship rule, but it’s dent.

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10.000 Ghana Cedis To Anyone Who Assist In Arrest Of Police Killer- Samuel Abu Jinapor Minister For Lands Pledges.
August 5, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

The Savannah Regional Security Council has given an assurance that the police administration is tracking the whereabouts of the alleged killer of Police Constable Sandra Aseidu.

The Regional Police Commander DCOP Enoch Adutwum Bediako told journalists in Damongo that investigations into the gruesome murder of a police officer Constable Sandra Aseidu in Damongo are underway.

The Savannah Regional Minister and Chairman of the Savannah Regional Security Council Saeed Muazu Jibril has also on behalf of the Member of Parliament for Damongo, Samuel Abu Jinapor, announced a reward of 10,000 cedis for anyone with useful information that will lead to the arrest of the suspect in the murder of a police Constable Sandra Aseidu in Damongo..

Residents say before the police constable’s death, a misunderstanding ensued between the boyfriend and another man believed to be a military officer whom the former suspects of having an amorous affair with.

Savannah Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Inspector Agyekum Owusu said When they entered the room of the constable, they  saw an inscription written on the wall with the blood of the lady that we love together and we will die together.

Secondly that Sunday evening, the boyfriend told other tenants in the house that he is travelling with the lady to Kumasi and that the lady has gone to town to buy certain items and he is following suit.

 Another clue is that the person who killed the lady tried hanging himself unfortunately; the ceiling fan detached from the ceiling so all these elements go to show it was the boyfriend who committed the crime, as it was revealed.

According to the police account, after the crime was committed the murderer locked the door to the room. Other tenants, mostly student nurses, were not around at the time.

However, Inspector Agyekum Owusu said one other tenant who was around the house witnessed an unusual behaviour of the boyfriend but did not expect the man would murder the girlfriend.

 

 

 

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Ghana:Alleged Covid-19 Tests At Kia By Woman Fake – Former Minister Of Health, Dr Okoe Boye
August 5, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

The Former minister of health, Dr Okoe Boye debunks woman alleging Covid 19 tests at Kotoka International Airport (KIA). According to the former lawmaker, Ghana is a sovereign country and government of Ghana knows how to contain the spread of the virus.

In respond to a video circulating on the social media about fake covid test at the airport, Dr Okoe said, once upon a time the airport was closed due to the high spread of the virus which was brought into the country by travellers. He further stated that due to request of Ghanaian wanting to return to the country, government of Ghana then decided to re-open the airport for citizens who are willing to return into the country.  According to him, agreement was made for the covid task force at the airport to put measures in place to be able to test everybody who comes into the country.

He lamented that the testing practice since has been in existence for more than one year, and so anyone who tested negative before boarding doesn’t mean he or he may not test positive on arrival.

In a post on Facebook he said, “I just saw the video of the lady, whose outburst about Ghana’s COVID-19 protocols went viral a few days ago, apologizing for what she did. Some asked me to demand a personal apology, others suggest I sue her. As a person who follows Christ and believes in the Omnipotence of God, I immediately let go of ALL my reservations about a fellow human being once he or she says sorry. Remember there is none righteous, no, not even one; for he who claims infallibility knows not the Lord. What I gave back to my sister is the smile, knowing that as public servants, we ought to keep listening, reflecting and most importantly smiling no matter how sweet or sour the comments are. This COVID-19 too shall pass sooner than…”

Dr Oko Boye therefore asked people not to take the said in the video seriously and therefor asked them to learn how to respect and stop making such false allegations. He then condemns the claims of people benefiting from the covid-19 test at the airport.

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Let’s Put Our Shoulders To The Wheel – Akufo-Addo To Ghanaians On Founders’ Day.
August 5, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has charged Ghanaians to free themselves from economic arrangements designed by the former colonial masters in order to honor the country’s forbears.

In his message to mark Founders’ Day on Wednesday, President Akufo-Addo said those arrangements, which were to serve a purpose at that time, appear to continue to bind us.

According to the president, we must make concerted efforts to break away from the neo-colonial structure of the raw material producing and exporting economy, which has, largely, been our lot.

He further stated that we should all put our shoulders to the wheel, and drive our nation to its destination, a united, developed, prosperous, free, democratic and independent Ghanaian nation.

The Day has been set aside to commemorate the pioneers of Ghana’s struggle for independence. It coincides with the date the first political party of the country – the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) – was founded.

Founders Day, as celebrated now, was introduced by President Akufo-Addo in 2019. But before then, it was ‘Founder’s Day’ celebrated on September 21 to mark the birth of Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. That day, introduced by the late Former President John Evan Atta Mills, is currently marked as Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day after the changes in 2019.

 

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Kenya:Hopes high as Faith Kipyegon cruises to 1500m final.
August 5, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Faith Kipyegon

Kenyans have ailed Olympic champions Faith Kipyegon after qualifying for the 15oo0m race final slated for Friday, August 6.

Faith comfortably qualified after she finished on top in her heat, clocking 3:56:80 ahead of the second-placed Ethiopian Freweyi Gebreezibher, who took 3:57:54. Gabriela Stafford of Canada emerged third in 3:58:28, Australia’ Jessica Hull came fourth in 3:58:81, and Tanaka Nozomi of Japan finished fifth in 3:59:19.

Faith compatriot Winny Chebet finished last in 4:11:62.

Sifan Hassan of Netherlands won the second heat in 4:00:23. Great Britain’s Laura Muir finished second in 4:00:73, Australia’s Linden Hall came third in 4:01:37, Winnie Nanyondo of Uganda emerged fourth in 4:01:64, and Spain’s Perez Marta grabbed the final spot in 4:01:69.

These were reactions from Kenyans after Faith’s win.

“Such a great champion.The only hope of our gold medal besides breaking the world record,” said Jarilly Kirui.

“This might be the only sure gold medal to Kenya this time round in Olympic,” said Joakim Kemboi.

“Faith will give us Gold am sure , have watched the way she finishes the last lap, still show that she is still has more energy for more lap again,” added Gor Bonny.

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Kenya:Jambojet to launch flights to Goma in September.
August 5, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

As part of its expansion program, Kenyan low-cost airline Jambojet will unveil Nairobi-Goma direct flights on September 10, 2021.

Goma is the capital of North Kivu province in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The airline said it will start with two frequencies weekly, expected to grow to 4 frequencies weekly, flying on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

“Three years ago, we embarked on an expansion plan that would see us expand our network across the region as well as grow our fleet. We had to put on hold some of the plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Vincent Rague, Chairman, Jambojet Board of Directors.

At the same time, Vincent Rague announced that the airline will also begin operations to Lamu in the coastal region on September 15. This new route will enable its customers to move from Nairobi to Lamu and Mombasa to Lamu.

“We are excited to launch these two new routes, and look forward to what is to come,” chair Rague added.

The move to launch the new routes has been triggered by the rising demand for air connectivity in the region and the African market’s huge opportunity.

“There is a growing demand for air transport across the continent, with the International Air Transport Association projecting that Africa will become one of the fastest-growing aviation regions within the next 20 years, with an average annual expansion rate of almost 5percent. We, as Jambojet, are keen to be part of this growth,” he said.

It currently flies to 6 destinations: Mombasa, Diani, Eldoret, Kisumu, and Malindi from Nairobi. Jambojet also operates a direct flight from Mombasa to Kisumu and Eldoret.

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Fans go berserk after Kenya wins first gold medal in Tokyo Olympics.
August 5, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Emmanuel Kipkurui Korir of Team Kenya celebrates winning the gold medal in the Men’s 800m Final on day twelve of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 04, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Kenya finally won a gold medal after a 13-day of wait in the ongoing Tokyo Olympic Games that kicked off on July 23.

African Silver medalist Emmanuel Korir won Kenya’s first gold in the global event on Wednesday, August 4, 2021, after finishing first in the men’s 800m final.

Korir clocked 1:45:6 ahead of his compatriot Ferguson Rotich who came second in 1:45:23. Patryk Dobek of Poland came third, clocking 1:45:39.

The win is a reprieve for Korir, who was on Monday eliminated from the preliminary round of the men’s 400m after a false start.

After the race, Kenyans from different walks of life flooded the social media platforms to celebrate the long-awaited victory.

“Yes. What a tactical run and strong finish, congratulations Emmanuel Korir on winning the 800m Olympic Gold Medal and Ferguson Rotich on taking the Silver Medal. The Entire Nation is proud of you both. Well in!” tweeted former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

“Congratulations our heroes! Thank you Emmanuel Korir and Ferguson Rotich for making us proud. We are happy,” said Senator James Orengo.

“Just when specks in #TokyoOlympics2020 appeared to veil nostalgia of #beijing2008 & #London2012 sparkles, a rekindle of Kenya’s hopes as Emmanuel Korir and Ferguson Rotich dash for a resilient 1-2 finish in men’s 800m. Kudos! Cheers!” said former lawmaker Kabando was Kabando.

Former National Assembly Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen said, “Congratulations Emmanuel Korir (Gold) Ferguson Rotich (Silver) in the Olympics men’s 800m. You have brightened our gloomy faces and lightened our hearts.”

So far, Kenya has bagged five medals, one gold, two silvers, and two bronzes.

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Zimbabwe govt should ensure service providers are capable of delivering.
August 5, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Dr Alex Magaisa

It is vital that service-providers / contractors who carry out work for government are qualified and equipped to do so, and being able to challenge sub-par and unprofessional work should be encouraged to ensure the integrity and accountability of government and politicians.

Welcoming constitutional expert Dr Alex Magaisa’s analysis of the administrative function in Zimbabwe, former National Social Security Agency (NSSA) chairperson Robin Vela says being able to interrogate the competency, credibility and calibre of contractors who work for the government is vital.

“I welcome Dr Magaisa’s comments not just because it provides a constitutional perspective on my legal tussle with the Auditor-General and BDO Zimbabwe Chartered Accountants, but because it goes to the very heart of why I have pursued this action at great cost to myself: to ensure the integrity and professionalism of government and the contractors it retains.

“I made several representations (supported by voluminous objective written evidence such as board and committee minutes) to BDO Zimbabwe Chartered Accountants while they were undertaking their forensic audit into NSSA, which they either completely ignored or simply cherry-picked ‘facts’ which they skewed to represent me negatively. I wanted them to get to the truth of the matter, which is that there was no fraud or wrongdoing on my part or that of my board during my tenure. I welcomed the probe because it was important that taxpayers had confidence in the integrity of NSSA and its office bearers. I still believe the conduct of anyone and everyone who manage public funds should be carefully scrutinised and monitored. But using sub-par contractors to conduct hatchet jobs or for political expediency so as to remove honest public servants, politicians and office-bearers at parastatals because they stand in the way of looting and stealing simply cannot and should not be condoned,” he says.

Vela is opposing an appeal by the Auditor-General (AG) and BDO Zimbabwe Chartered Accountants against a High Court judgment that adverse findings and conclusions relating to him in a forensic audit report into NSSA between 1 January 2015 and 28 February 2018 were biased, malicious, inaccurate, untrue and incompetent.

The AG and BDO Zimbabwe Chartered Accountants maintain the audit report cannot be reviewed as it was just a report of findings and did not constitute an administrative decision. Vela was widely panned in the report which has subsequently been discredited by High Court Judge Chinamora and subsequently, under independent review, by South Africa’s leading forensics services firm, Nexus Forensic Services.

Judgment in the matter is expected shortly.

Vela points out that retaining ill-equipped or unscrupulous contractors not only does untold damage to innocent victims, it also discourages highly-competent Zimbabweans from offering their vital skills to government and parastatals.

“BDO Zimbabwe Chartered Accountant’s report – which was found by the High Court to be biased, malicious, inaccurate, untrue and incompetent – has seriously harmed my professional reputation. I have lost deals and income because of an unprofessional, untrue and malicious report that in no way meets the standards of a forensic investigation. Other highly-qualified Zimbabweans and expatriates see how I have been treated and don’t want to experience that, even though they can play a vital role in helping Zimbabwe rebuild. The damage that BDO Zimbabwe Chartered Accountants has done is incalculable and they need to be held accountable for this,” he says, adding he will leave no stone unturned to achieve this objective

In his column in The Big Saturday Read, Dr Magaisa – a prominent professor of law at the University of Kent in the UK – pointed out that the law regarding “administrative function” was not settled in Zimbabwe, but that it was important for the exercise of public power. He said while the AG was an important bulwark against corruption and mismanagement, it was also important that “the exercise of public power be carefully watched because of the potential for abuse”.

Magaisa said he was analysing the legal action taken by Vela (which seems to have made the AG more cautious with subsequent reports) in the hope that it will “contribute to the construction of guidance for not only the AG but also other public authorities that perform public functions directly or through private entities”.

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Equity emerges as the best bank in East Africa
August 5, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

The award is a testament to the success of our digital strategy and regional presence as we continue to drive financial integration, inclusive banking and play a catalytic role in championing the socio-economic prosperity of the people of Africa, says Equity CEO James Mwangi

The African Banker Awards has named Equity the best regional bank in East Africa due to its strong and consistent financial performance.

The financial institution emerged victorious as the best bank in Financial Inclusion Award category. In a statement released on Monday, Equity was reported to be playing a significant role in delivering financial products and services to all in society, including those at the bottom of the pyramid.

Apart from providing financial services, it also drives economic growth in the larger East African region.

Regardless of the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Equity is said to have demonstrated strong and consistent financial performances in all of its subsidiary countries with improvements in revenue, profits, capital, assets and market share.

Group Publisher of African Banker Omar Ben Yedder stated, “What will be fundamental to our recovery is the support of the real economy, especially SMEs, and also a focus on more equity investments and investments in general. For that, as our African Banker Icon suggested, we will also need to increase our savings rate across the continent.”

Yedder said all the institutions recognized in the 2021 African Banker Awards ceremony had strong gender programmes, both in terms of supporting women-led businesses and strong programmes to promote women and have women leaders within their organizations.

Equity CEO James Mwangi said the award is a testament to the success of their digital strategy and regional presence as they continue to drive financial integration, inclusive banking and play a catalytic role in championing the socio-economic prosperity of the people of Africa.

“Our operations in the six East and Central African countries that we operate in have been standardized to reflect the One Equity brand, providing inclusive financial services and cementing our positioning as a local bank with a strong regional presence,” said CEO James Mwangi.

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Cameroon: Thousands at risk as Doctors Without Borders Withdraws from the North West .
August 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

MSF-DWB Personnel have been one of the only international humanitarian organization operating in the troubled region

The international humanitarian organization Doctors without Borders (DWB/MSF) is pulling out its team from the North West Region after the Cameroon authorities have refused to suspend the ban placed on the organization, a ban that has been in place since December last year.

Doctors Without Borders is taking this drastic step after talks with the government have yet to bear fruits. The organization despite withdrawing from the Region still plans to “keep a small liaison office in Bamenda, the regional capital, to continue our dialogue with the authorities.” 

“We cannot stay any longer in a region where we are not allowed to provide care to people here,” says Emmanuel Lampaert, MSF’s operations coordinator for Central Africa in a communiqué sent out by the organization.

“Unfortunately, we cannot keep our staff on standby any longer, so we have no choice but to withdraw our teams. However, we will keep a small liaison office in Bamenda, the regional capital, to continue our dialogue with the authorities.” 

“This suspension significantly reduces access to medical services in an area where communities are badly affected by armed violence,” Lampaert continues. “We hope that the provision of medical humanitarian assistance to everyone, without distinction, will still be possible. The people are paying a very heavy price for this situation. If the authorities decide to lift our suspension, we will resume our medical activities as soon as possible.” 

On December 8, 2020, MSF was suspended from working in the North-West region as Cameroonian authorities accused the NGO of being too close to non-state armed groups in the area. Despite months of discussions to respond to these allegations, MSF has been unable to restart its operations, leaving tens of thousands of people without access to lifesaving free healthcare.

For the past four years, violence has been going on in the two English-speaking regions of the country as separatist fighters look to establish a state of their own. This has resulted in many being killed, maimed, others kidnapped for ransom and many fleeing their villages or areas of residence.

_Each year, thousands of patients benefited from our support in a region where access to care has been reduced by armed violence in the North West. Pic credit DWB

Since the ongoing crisis in the country’s North West and South West Regions degenerated, Doctors without Borders has been the few international NGO offering free medical care to communities in the North West, DWB reported.

The emergency medical humanitarian organization is thus appealing to other organization to step up and continue providing life-saving assistance that is badly needed by the population in the area.

According to the latest UN figures, the flare-up of violence in the Anglophone Regions of Cameroon has pushed more than 700,000 people to flee their homes, while over 60,000 have fled to neighbouring Nigeria. Today, people’s living conditions are massively affected by the crisis and over 1.4 million people are considered in need of humanitarian support in North West and South West Cameroon.

“It is essential that other organisations step in to provide additional support to the Ministry of Health to ensure the provision of care for vulnerable people,” Emmanuel Lampaert added. “This must be done with absolute respect for health facilities, staff and patients.”

The socio-political crisis that has seen many displaced has equally extended to health personnel who continue to be accused by both parties of the conflict of taking sides something the organization has strongly denied.

“Since 2018, we have witnessed numerous attacks and acts of intimidation against healthcare facilities, and MSF was not spared from this. While we are now forced to withdraw our teams, we call on all parties to the crisis to respect healthcare providers, whether they are members of non-governmental organisations or the Ministry of Health. Any threats or violence against them or their patients is unacceptable, Emmanuel Lampaert concluded”

According to the latest UN figures, the flare-up of violence in the Anglophone Regions of Cameroon has pushed more than 700,000 people to flee their homes, while over 60,000 have fled to neighbouring Nigeria. Today, people’s living conditions are massively affected by the crisis and over 1.4 million people are considered in need of humanitarian support in North West and South West Cameroon.

MSF Officials Providing support to an injured

According to the organization, until the suspension of its operations on 8 December 2020, the staff of DWB in the North West came to the assistance of 180 survivors of sexual violence, provided 1,725 mental health consultations, performed 3,272 surgeries, and transported 4,407 patients by ambulance, more than 1,000 of whom were women about to give birth.

With the crisis showing no signs of concluding any time soon, the loss of Doctors Without Borders in the North West Region is expected to be felt by the population in the coming months. It is hoped by many that the government will uplift the ban soon so the organization can continue providing the much-needed health assistance.

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Russia and China: Geopolitical Rivals and Competitors in Africa.
August 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Kester Kenn Klomegah*

The growth of neo-colonial tendencies, the current geopolitical developments and the scramble for its resources by external countries in Africa: these are some of the issues researcher and business analyst Lipton Matthews recently discussed with Kester Kenn Klomegah for InDepthNews (IDN). Matthews is associated with Merion West, The Federalist, American Thinker, Intellectual Takeout, Mises Institute, and Imaginative Conservative.

In particular, Matthews gives in-depth views on China’s valuable contribution to various economic sectors especially infrastructure development spanning three decades and on the possible implications of Russia-China collaboration in Africa.

Matthews talks also on the positive prospects and significance of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and advises both African leaders and corporate business leaders to collaborate in strengthening trade networks within the continent, take up the emerging challenges and seize the opportunity to build a better Africa. Here are the interview excerpts:

What do you think of China’s and Russia’s engagement with Africa in general? What would you say comparatively about these two foreign players in Africa?

Matthews: African experts like Peter Kagwanja and Rahamtalla Mohamed Osman have rubbished the claim that China is colonizing Africa. In general, African leaders perceive China to be the driving force behind modernization in the region. For example, during 2001-2002, China’s Foreign Direct Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa increased by 53% yearly, dwarfing American investment that grew by a mere 14%. Moreover, neither were African countries among those at the UN rebuking China for its treatment of the primarily Muslim Uyghur population in 2020.

Nevertheless, reports deriding China’s influence in Africa are pervasive in the West, but in reality, Africans are appreciative of China’s role in the region. Since the days of the Cold War, developing countries have viewed China as an ally. Therefore, the ascent of China is perceived favourably by African policymakers because it represents the aspirations of the developing world.

Meanwhile, China has greater legitimacy in Africa considering that it did not possess a colonial empire in the region. Likewise, Russia had an empire in Europe, but not in Africa, so the Russians are positioned to portray themselves as liberators. Furthermore, Russians were never a part of the political West and during the Cold War, they collaborated with Africans against Western hegemony. So, consequently, Africans are likely to embrace Russia as an ally and not construe her interference in the region as an act of imperialism.

Though Russia’s investment in Africa is not on the scale of China, it appears that Russian players have identified the region as a source of raw materials and are exploiting the opportunities offered by the continent. Western pundits fail to recognize that Russia and China are harnessing their distinctiveness from the West to acquire political mileage in Africa. The West is losing the battle for dominance in Africa due to ideological reasons. For instance, Westerners preach classical liberalism, whereas Russia and China champion a statist approach to development. Because the doctrines of these powers are consonant with the left-leaning philosophy of Africa, their actions are less likely to invite contempt.

Do you also think there is an emerging rivalry in geopolitics, consistent confrontation against the United States and Europe (especially France) in Africa and what if China and Russia team up together?

Matthews: There is always rivalry in geopolitics, but the tactics of Russia and China have been misunderstood. Both countries are playing a spoiler role in Western politics. They intend to foment chaos in Western democracies to accelerate tensions, and in the era of social media, they have been able to do so on a grand scale. Unlike the West, Russia and China are led by brilliant strategists. The Russians and Chinese duped Western strategists into thinking that they want to challenge Western hegemony.

However, they only aim to create spheres of influence that are divorced from Western interference. Russia wants to contain America’s presence in Eastern Europe and China envisions creating a Sino-Centric Order in Asia. For Americans and the broader Western community to deter the rise of China and Russia, they must leverage soft power to obtain the favour of developing countries. Developing countries value the non-interference stance of Russia and China, so if Western countries were to affirm a less moralistic foreign policy they could shift the balance of power in their favour.

Compared to America, China and Russia are technological laggards and paper tigers, but they understand the primacy of ideas. Westerners think that they are fighting a geopolitical war, when they are actually competing for ideological supremacy. For example, Russia is popular in Mali, unlike France, because the former can deploy propaganda to present herself as a victim of Western imperialism, even though Russia was an imperial power and today exerts its clout in Eastern Europe.

Another issue is that, in this case, the colonial power was France and not Russia, so the latter can always project legitimacy. Conversely, Russia and China acknowledge that war is not required to undermine the West, because Western countries no longer believe in themselves. Throughout the West, white people are assaulting Western history and since demoralized people are not motivated to fight wars, China and Russia have already won the battle.

Lastly, China and Russia are unwilling to team up in order to defeat the West, since this is not a necessity. It is obvious that the West is the architect of its demise. Similarly, Russia and China are competing for influence, so it is more feasible for either partner to associate with the West to constrain the potential of her rival. To forestall the rise of her adversaries, West leaders need to employ foreign policy strategists who actually understand ideas and history.

Is it appropriate when we use the term “neo-colonialism” referring to a number of foreign players in Africa? What countries are the neo-colonizers, in your view?

Matthews: First, we need to acknowledge that colonialism is not a new phenomenon and neither is it unique to Europeans. History also documents examples of Europeans colonizing predominantly white territories in Europe. For example, Sweden once had an empire in Europe. However, colonization is an expensive endeavour and the association between economic growth and empire is actually negative, according to the late Paul Bairoch.

In fact, many countries have recorded astounding growth without possessing empires. On the other hand, we must disabuse ourselves of the notion that colonialism is inherently exploitative. Most people would prefer sovereignty to colonial rule, but the truth is that colonial status does not impede economic growth and some colonies in Africa experienced faster growth during the colonial era. We should give greater priority to good governance than national sovereignty. It is better to be under the rule of benevolent colonizers than to be the subject of a dictator.

Additionally, in relation to the issue of neo-colonialism concerns are misplaced. China is in the business of maximizing the potential of Africa’s resources, not empire-building. The problem is that governance structures in Africa are weak, so it is easy for China to evade regulations. The perception that China is colonizing Africa is a consequence of Africa’s history of defective governance. In actuality, China through its infrastructural projects is presiding over the modernization of Africa, similar to what Europeans and Americans did in the developing world years ago.

However, the difference is that the Chinese are not imposing their standards on Africans. Yet this could be a disadvantage because linking investment to the implementation of higher standards could result in ameliorating governance structures in Africa thereby increasing the region’s propensity to attract investment. But African leaders appreciate that Chinese investments are not wedded to reforms. Though overall, China’s influence in Africa has been positive.

According to scholars based at John Hopkins University and Boston University, during 2000-2015, China lent $95.5 billion to Africa and 40 per cent of the loans financed power generation and transmission, and the remaining 30 per cent modernized Africa’s dilapidated infrastructure.

Further, despite the narrative that Chinese investments are allotted to extractive sectors, they account for one-third of the total Chinese investment in Africa, according to Dollar et al (2015). The study also notes that China’s share of foreign investment is higher in weak governance states, and as a result, Africa is a prime target since governance is less effective in the region. Therefore, Africa is susceptible to exploitation by China, since several countries failed to improve governance.

Do you think, with the adoption of African Continental Free Trade (AfCFTA), offers a window of hope for attaining economic independence for Africa? What role Russia can play in this or of what significance is it for potential Russian investors?

Matthews: First. The relationship between trade openness and economic growth in Africa is positive. Further, the World Bank estimates that by 2035, this project will rescue 68 million people from poverty and increase gross domestic product by $450 billion.

By removing barriers to trade in the region, the agreement will create new entrepreneurial activities and spur innovations in technology. The free trade agreement will even be more beneficial if Africa’s policymakers ensure that intellectual property is not over-regulated. Innovations can occur without intellectual property laws and society is more likely to benefit when ideas are freely released into the public domain.

In order to aid Africa, Russia should assist Africa in transitioning to a knowledge-based economy by promoting technology transfer agreements. Russians must also invest in more R&D collaborations with their African partners. This agreement will revolutionize. Africa’s economy and a richer Africa is a positive for Russian investors. If African is properly managed, then the continent should succeed. [….]

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Namibians bask in Olympics glory
August 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Andreas Thomas

Christine Mboma

Windhoek – President Hage Geingob has joined other Namibians in congratulating sprinting sensations Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi for their electric performance at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Mboma sprinted herself into the history of the Olympic Games by winning a silver medal on Tuesday. 

The 18-year old eased to second place clocking a sensational 21.81 behind Jamaican great, Elaine Thompson-Herah. 

She also broke the World U20 record. Mboma powered into the final after running 21.97 seconds in the women’s 200m semi-finals on Monday. 

Her compatriot Beatrice Masilingi, also 18-years old – came sixth at 22.28, setting a new personal best.  

In his congratulatory message, the Namibian leader exclaimed, “Wow, silver for Christine Mboma! I wish to congratulate Christine for her brilliant achievement during the 200m finals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. As a country, we are extremely proud. An outstanding ambassador of our country, you have flown the Namibian flag very high. 

“Béatrice Masilingi, you have done us proud. You put up a brave performance in the 200m finals at the Olympics. Even if you didn’t walk away with a medal, the future is bright for you and we are proud of you.” Mboma became the second Namibian and first female to win the silver medal at the Olympics after four-time silver medalist, Frank Fredericks. 

This was a great feat for the Namibian youngsters who switched to the 200m race from their preferred 400m just before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

Beatrice Masilingi

The World Athletics barred the duo from competing in the 400m due to their hyperandrogenism conditions. 

According to the World Athletics rules, they were not eligible to participate in the track events from 400m to 1600m.

The duo gained international limelight after they dominated the 400m track events in Europe this year. 

Earlier in June, Mboma won the women’s 400m by 48.54 seconds at the Irena Szewinska Memorial meeting in Poland, setting a new World U20 record.

President Geingob has also praised and thanked Mboma and Misilingi’s trainer and coach, Henk Botho ”for nurturing these exceptional talents.” Also, many Namibians have expressed on social media for Botha to be declared coach of the year for his effort.

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African Energy Week in Cape Town to Inject Critical Capital into Local Economy, Create Jobs, Boost COVID-19 Recovery.
August 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

By taking place in Cape Town, African Energy Week prioritizes local business development, recovery, and growth, ensuring that event activities translate into a domino effect of positive economic impacts. 

Since the start of the global pandemic, global economies have experienced significant impacts in which South Africa was not exempt. With COVID-19 restricting business operations, hindering economic growth, and increasing job losses – the country’s employment rate decreased from 46% to 36% and the country recorded a negative growth rate of -5.4%. The need for an accelerated economic boost has never been more prominent. With South Africa recently entering into an adjusted level three lockdown whereby events, businesses, restaurants, and social gatherings are permitted under imposed restrictions, the opportunity for an economic recovery begins to take flight in which the role of African-hosted energy events is emphasized. 

When the African Energy Chamber (AEC) launched African Energy Week (AEW) 2021, taking place in Cape Town on the 9th-12th of November, the objective was to keep Africa-focused events in Africa. The AEC has and continues to maintain a strong position on the value and role of African narratives, emphasizing that any discussion on Africa’s energy future must take place in Africa. However, the reasoning for ensuring that AEW 2021 takes place in Africa goes beyond the value of a narrative, and extends into the economic impacts that events of this magnitude generate. Large-scale events not only bring in significant revenue for the event itself, but initiate multiple financial benefits for the wider economy in which the event is held. 

It is within this context that the role of AEW 2021 emerges. Representing Africa’s premier energy event, and a conference that hosts government representatives, industry leaders and private sector executives from around the world, AEW 2021 is set to generate significant revenue, facilitating impressive capital expenditure within the local economy. By taking place at the V&A Waterfront, one of Africa’s most attractive tourism destinations, and across multiple venues including museums, restaurants, the aquarium, a golf course, conference halls, and art galleries, AEW 2021 ensures that economic impacts extend across multiple sectors within the South African economy. As the world progresses into a post-COVID-19 recovery, and countries such as South Africa aggressively pursue an economic revitalization, events such as AEW 2021 have a valuable role to play in stimulating business, spurring job creation, and injecting critical capital into a desperate economy.  

By contracting external suppliers and businesses within the local economy, AEW 2021 automatically creates a multiplier effect of revenue that would be reinvested into the economy by each company along the value chain, creating jobs at every level. An event such as AEW 2021 has the potential to inject hundred of millions of rand into the local economy, without even taking into account additional spending by delegates such as deals signed at the event, hotel stays, transportation, restaurants and much more. 

When considering the economic impact of AEW 2021, the value of keeping Africa-focused events in Africa is only further emphasized. Events such as Africa Oil Week, which has chosen to abandon the continent during such an economically critical time, have not only taken away the African narrative from Africa, but have essentially stolen any opportunity for an economic recovery. Abandoning the continent for international conference venues takes away millions of rands of reinvestment into Africa’s economy, not only impacting the energy industry but leaving a lasting imprint on multiple sectors. Accordingly, AEW 2021 refuses to accept that African venues are ill-equipped and incapable of hosting a conference in 2021 and will, therefore, keep African narratives in Africa, generate millions of rand for reinvestment in the African economy, and contribute to the continent’s COVID-19 recovery. 

For more information about Africa’s premier energy event, visit www.aew2021.com or energychamber.org and/or email Amina Williams at amina.williams@energychamber.org  

For registration-related inquiries, please contact registration@aew2021.com    

For sales-related inquiries, please contact sales@aew2021.com   

For media-related inquiries, please contact media@aew2021.com   

For speaker-related inquiries, please contact speakers@aew2021.com

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Kenya:UDA allies protest Ruto’s Uganda trip cancellation
August 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Relations between Deputy President Ruto and President Kenyatta have gone south

A section of political leaders allied to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) has condemned the government for blocking the Deputy President William Ruto from traveling to Uganda.

On Monday, August 2, William Ruto was forced to abort his private visit to neighbouring Uganda after he was blocked from leaving the country at Wilson Airport in Nairobi.

The second in command is said to have arrived at the airport with his 7-member delegation ready for the trip before the security told him that he needed clearance from above.

However, his entourage was allowed to proceed with the journey. His delegation comprises lawmakers Ndindi Nyoro, Oscar Sudi and Benjamin Tayari, businessman Harun Aydin, David Lagat, Eric Ruto and Elijah Rono.

After waiting for more than two hours to have his documents verified for the trip, he finally gave up and left.

Senior civil servants must seek travel clearance when leaving the country, but it is unclear whether the law applies to the deputy president.

Reports from Ruto’s office said that he was asked to seek clearance from the Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua, who denied issuing such directive when contacted.

MP Nyoro claimed he heard Ruto being told to present his birth certificate or a letter from his area chief for clearance.

“We saw something unprecedented upon arrival at the airport. Those of us who are Members of Parliament were told to seek clearance from the House leadership. Upon seeking the same, Parliament was categorical that we needed no clearance.

“The DP inquired what clearance he was to give and all he was told was that there orders from above. People in Immigration Department told us CS Fred Matiangi issued the instructions. He was contacted and denied giving such directives,” said Nyoro.

According to Senator Aaron Cheruiyot, Ruto’s rising political star gives the government a sleepless night, adding that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration is out to frustrate the Deputy President.

On his side, legislator Caleb Kositany said the government has resorted to revenge after the ruling party was floored in the recent Kiambaa by-elections. UDA’s candidate John Wanjiku trounced Jubilee’s Kariri Njama in a hotly contested mini-poll.

“We understand your pain, jubilee is a shell, Musambweni & Kiambaa results, BBI in ICU, NASA dead, KEMSA heist & the bottom up economic model changing the discussion,” said Kositany.

Following the incident, Ruto expressed his sentiments on Twitter.  He tweeted, “It’s alright..let’s leave it to God.”

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Mozambique: Military Now Beating Terrorists , says Defence Minister
August 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

Mozambican Defence Minister Jaime Neto

The terrorists in Cabo Delgado province are finally being beaten as a result of intense operations by the Mozambican security forces and Rwandan troops, Mozambican Defence Minister Jaime Neto has said.

The exact number that had been killed was unknown, but it was more than 14 as Rwandan military authorities claimed last week, Neto said on the sidelines of a military accreditation ceremony in Maputo.

“If we look at it, it’s the number that was counted by the Rwandan troops. But our air operations, as well as land operations, have been doing a lot of work. Therefore, it is difficult at the moment to say exactly how many were slaughtered,” he said.

There was an intense confrontation between the two forces and insurgents on 30 July, in an area called Nova Família, in Nangade district, that left 13 insurgents dead and three wounded, and led to the recovery of 13 firearms.

The violent attacks in Cabo Delgado have triggered a humanitarian crisis with more than 800,000 internally displaced people.

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Kenya’s Covid-19 positivity rate hit at 15.4 per cent in the last 24 hours.
August 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe

Kenya on Tuesday confirmed 1085 new Covid-19 cases bringing the total number of infections to 205,356, and cumulative tests conducted so far are 2,149,379.

The new cases were from 7067 samples analyzed in the last 24 hours marking a positivity rate of 15.4 per cent.

In a statement to the media houses, the Ministry of Health said that the new patients comprised 1049 Kenyans and 36 foreigners aged between one month and 100 years.

In terms of gender, 550 were females and 535 males.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced 25 more deaths raising the death toll to 3995. One of the patients died in the last 24 hours, while 24 are late deaths reported after conducting facility record audits on diverse dates in the months of August, September, October and November 2020 and March, April and July 2021.

Meanwhile, 403 patients have recovered from the disease, with 305 from the Home-Based Isolation and Care program, while 98 are from various health facilities countrywide.

Total recoveries now stand at 190,095, of whom 151,451 are from the Home Based Care and Isolation program, while 38,644 are from various health facilities countrywide.

As of Tuesday, a total of 1,540 patients are currently admitted to various health facilities countrywide, while 4,112 are under the Home-Based Isolation and Care program.

One hundred ninety patients are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 44 of whom are on ventilatory support and 94 on supplemental, while 52 patients are under observation.

Another 475 patients are separately on supplemental oxygen with437 of them in general wards and 38 in High Dependency Units (HDU).

As of August 2, 2021, a total of 1,734,013 vaccines had been administered across the country. Of these, the total first doses are 1,067,615, while the second doses are 666,398.

The uptake of the second dose among those who received their first dose is at 62.4%, with the majority being males at 55% while females are at 45%. The proportion of adults fully vaccinated is 2.4%.

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Optimism for improved bilateral cooperation as Tanzanian President Suluhu visits Rwanda .
August 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

-Rwanda-Tanzania ties could grow even stronger

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

President Kagame and Samia of Tanzania after a tour of Volkswagen Rwanda at the Kigali Special Economic Zone. Photo courtesy

As Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan started her two-day maiden visit on Monday 3rd August 2021 as the head of State in Rwanda, both countries expressed optimism that the bilateral ties will even grow further and the East African Community will also benefit as a bloc.

Both Rwanda and Tanzania are member States of the six Member East African bloc.

President Suluhu who was accompanied by a delegation from Tanzania was received at the Kigali International Airport by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Dr. Vincent Biruta before she visited the Kigali memorial site where over 250,000 victims of the 1994 Genocide are buried.

There, president Suluhu laid wreaths on the grave and wrote in a visitor’s book that what happened was a tragic story and that African leaders should stand firm to ensure that no such tragedy happens again on the continent.

Shortly after the visit, both the heads of state hold one on one talks before they jointly addressed the media

Both the heads of the state expressed commitment to back a stronger, prosperous East African Community as they strive to the economic recovery after the sector was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As part of the visit, four bilateral Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of information and communication technology, immigration matters, education matters as well as health.

 “We share more than just a border; strong historical ties and a common aspiration to deliver prosperity to our people have always been central to our cooperation,” he said.

“Rwanda stands ready to work closely to work with our brothers and sisters in Tanzania in the context of the East African Community and beyond to speed up our countries’ and region’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The President  said the challenges that the region was faced with can only be addressed by unwavering solidarity and seizing opportunities for mutually beneficial partnerships.

“I look forward to a stronger, prosperous East African Community,” he said.

 “This gives new impetus to key infrastructure projects of mutual benefits particularly the standard gauge railway line, milk production, and improved port logistics,” he said.

Among the envisaged infrastructure projects that Rwanda shares with Tanzania includes a rail line that is seen as key in easing movement of goods across the Central Corridor.

President Suluhu described president Kagame as a brother said that their talks had covered subjects including strengthening economic cooperation, regional integration, cooperation on aspects such as ICT, combating Covid-19 and fostering recovery

“ Our talks focused of fostering cooperation and economy as the main issues to foster development, we also discussed how to work together to advance our regional cooperation, we thanks Rwanda for its strides in boosting ICT and we will work with Rwanda to boost ICT back home,” President Suhulu said.

Suluhu added that going forward, the two countries have an opportunity to build on the historic ties to expand the current areas of cooperation.

It is expected that on the second day of president Suluhu’s maiden visit, both heads of state will tour several companies in various sectors including the Special Economic Zone which is home to 120 companies with activities ranging from manufacturing, agro-processing and education among others.

Tanzania is one of the countries with the majority of companies that set up factories in the Special Economic Zone and one of ten countries with a strong economy in Africa.

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Rhino population in Kenya rise by 11 percent.
August 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Kenya has recorded a surge in the Rhino population thanks to the continuous decline in poaching incidents, announced the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and partners like the IFAW had laid down measures to protect the highly sought animals for their horns.

For example, in 2015, Kenya Wildlife Service put in place a forensic laboratory with a genetic database of rhino and elephant DNA and a monitoring system.

The laboratory’s task is to obtain critical data, which enables scientists to track endangered species.

To aid in the prosecution of wildlife crimes against rhinos and elephants, KWS Law Enforcement Academy incorporated into its curriculum the training of wildlife rangers in forensic investigations.

In a statement on Monday, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Regional Director for East Africa James Isiche said the rhino numbers in the East African nation have risen from  1,441 in 2019 to 1,605 in 2020.

Isiche noted that for the first time in a long time had no rhinos die due to poaching.

“We congratulate all wildlife security partners and agencies for this major achievement in fighting wildlife crime and keeping Kenya’s rhinos safe,” he stated.

“The last eight years have seen a continuous decline in Rhino poaching incidences, which is a testament of the measures put in place to safeguard rhinos. IFAW is glad to have a long-standing partnership with KWS and once again wish to commend the staff that put their lives in harm’s way just to ensure that Kenya’s wildlife heritage is preserved,” Isiche added.

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We Are The Most Neglected Security Agency In Ghana – Prison Commander Peter Afari Mintah.
August 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

The Winneba Prison Commander, ADP Peter Afari Mintah has lamented over the poor state of prisons across the country.

According to him, the Ghana Prisons Service is the most neglected security agency in Ghana even though it plays a very important role in the delivery of justice in the country.

Speaking at a sensitization workshop for vagrants in the Effutu Municipality in the Central Region, ADP Afari Mintah, blamed the situation on the low-value Ghanaians place on the Prison sector. He added that the status quo is disappointing because this institution is critical to the development and transformation of inmates. 

ADP Peter Afari Mintah lamented that, when armed policemen arrest notorious criminals they spend a maximum of 48 hours in their custody and after such people are taken to court and sentenced to 10, 15, 20 years or more, it is the weaponless prisons officers who keep such dangerous criminals until their release but when comes to matters of the prisons very few people talk for better conditions of service for prison officers and for that matter getting state of the art equipment to develop the sector.

He further stated that bad perception about prisoners generally and poor infrastructure is making prions management difficult. Even with the GHC1.80 feeding a day per prisoner, realistically, it is around GHC1.10 pesewas as the money is given to contractors who also take their profits from that amount. So if he is supposed to supply food items worth GHC1.80 at the end of the day he will be able to supply about GHC1.10.

Ghana’s prisons system is undoubtedly one of the most deplorable in Africa as majority of all the prisons in Ghana were handed over by colonial masters that were primarily not meant for humans. Meanwhile the prison inmates who are packed like sardines usually live in inhumane conditions as the prisons are overpopulated.

One of the biggest prisons in Ghana is the Nsawam Prison which is meant to house up to 700 inmates has now have over 4,000 of them living there. As a result of the shameful situation across the country, an NGO, Crime Check Foundation (CCF) in partnership with the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) have begun a sensitization programe named; Decriminalizing Vagrancy Laws And Advocacy (DVLA) to help decongest the prisons. 

The project aims at educating the poor on assembly by-laws to reduce the rate at which petty offenders get jailed for breaking the laws due to their economic conditions.

It is also increasing citizens’ knowledge on the bye-laws of the MMDAs and other relevant penal codes to reduce violations, arrests, fines, and imprisonment of citizens under the laws.

When achieved, the objective will foster an enabling environment for vagrants; consisting of the homeless, street hawkers, head porters, vendors, truck pushers, market women, artisans, and other identifiable and vulnerable groups to know, claim and exercise their rights and responsibilities in Ghana.


Besides, the CCF and OSIWA are also calling on the government to put in place a non-custodial law that will allow such offenders to offer community service instead of being jailed at the expense of the taxpayer.  In view of the DVLA project objectives, the Winneba Prison Commander, ADP Peter Afari Mintah welcomed the move, saying the enactment of a non-custodial law will drastically reduce the huge numbers at the prisons particularly petty offenders and suspects who are kept on remand for years.

ADP Peter Afari Mintah also commended the Crime Check Foundation saying the NGO has been very instrumental in the reintegration of ex-convicts into society. The Prison Commander further took the vagrants through the prison system in Ghana stating that they’re unfit for purpose. He, therefore, cautioned them against flouting the laws.


He also appealed to corporate bodies and philanthropists to come to the aid of the agency. The Attorney General, Godfred Dame in May this year gave an assurance that government is in the process of enacting a non-custodial sentencing law and was positive the bill will be passed into law before the current Parliament expires.

According to Attorney General  there are to first have to seek policy approval for the enactment of a law and when the approval is given, we have to come back to draft it. After drafting, we have to submit it for stakeholder consultation, and that process is very long. After the stakeholder consultation, they will submit it to the cabinet.

Cabinet will then also consider the bill and changes will be made before the Attorney General forwards it to Parliament for consideration and passage. The one-year project is being rolled out in 12 metropolitan assemblies in three regions: Greater Accra, Ashanti, and Central. It has already sensitized 1200 vagrants about their rights and responsibilities to prevent any misunderstandings with the assemblies.

 

 

 

 

 

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Don’t Give Subscribers’ Mobile Money Details To Government– Court Orders Telcos.
August 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah.

The High Court in Accra General Jurisdiction presided over by Justice Rebecca Sitties has ordered Ghana Telecommunications Company Limited and Stratcom (MTN Ghana Limited) and all network service providers not to release subscribers Mobile Money details to government.

A private legal practitioner, Francis Kwarteng Arthur, went to the High Court to challenge the President’s order contained in Executive Instrument (EI) Number 63 and the manner in which the order was being implemented.

Through the EI 63, government through Kelni GVG made a request to the telecommunication networks and service providers to hand over the personal information of all customers and subscribers to the President to conduct contact tracing to control the spread of the deadly covid-19.

Mr Arthur through his Lawyer Justice Srem Sai sued the Ghana Telecommunications Network (1st, Statcom (MTN) (2nd), Kelni GVG (3rd), the National Communications Authority (4th) and the Attorney General (5th Respondents) for interference and invasion of privacy.

In a 115-page ruling delivered on July 24, the court ordered the National Communication Authority to supervise the clearing of already released data from both electronic and manual systems from today, July 30, 2021.

“It is hereby ordered that 1st and 2nd Respondents and all other telecommunications Network and service providers be and are hereby restrained from providing the President, the Government, 3rd and 4th Respondents their agents, assigns or workmen however described with the details and unhashed details of Applicant’s mobile money and that of all other mobile money subscribers as 3rd Respondent requested in the email correspondence of 27th March 2020 to 1st and 2nd Respondents and Ugochukwu Uzoka of Glomobile Ghana and any other Telecommunication Network and service provider with effect from the date of the ruling.

“It is further ordered that all the mobile money details and unlashed mobile money details of Applicant and that of all other mobile money subscribers which 1st and 2nd Respondents and other Telecommunication Network and service providers have already provided to the President, the Government, 3rd and 4th Respondents or their agents, assigns or workmen however described per the request of 3rd respondent’s communication dated 27th March 2020 be retrieved and cleared from all manual and electronic records of the President, the government, 3rd and 4th Respondents, their agents, assigns or workmen however described under the supervision of 4th Respondent within 14 days from July 30, 2021,” the court-ordered.

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Ghana’s Economy Entered Into Covid-19 Pandemic With Favorable Outlook – IMF.
August 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

The International Monetary Fund has brought to an end the argument that Ghana’s economy was experiencing challenges prior to Covid-19, saying, the country entered the Covid-19 pandemic with a favorable economic outlook.

It said in a detailed Article IV Consultation Document that before the pandemic hit, the economy had been expected to grow at 5.8% in 2020. The authorities had maintained macroeconomic stability following the successful completion of the Extended Credit Facility programme in 2019.

The Fund emphasized that an extensive banking sector cleanup, together with an improved supervisory and regulatory framework, had laid the foundations for financial stability. It further said that the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic helped save lives and safeguard livelihoods.

According to the IMF to contain the spread of Covid-19, the government implemented social distancing restrictions, including a partial lockdown in April 2020 and school and border closures. Growth slowed, food prices spiked, and exports were affected by a large decline in oil prices. However, a major monetary and fiscal policy relaxation cushioned the pandemic impact on economic activity.

The Bretton Wood institution also said an economic recovery is underway, but fiscal rigidities and debt vulnerabilities have increased, saying, the rebound in activity coincided with the gradual easing of social distancing restrictions and the launch of an ambitious vaccination campaign.

The Government policies contributed to a record 2020 fiscal deficit, a sharp increase in public sector debt, and rising debt service costs. The 2021 budget undertook a difficult but important shift towards medium-term fiscal consolidation. The economic impact of the pandemic is fueling social demands on the government to reverse the decline in living standards and address youth unemployment.

Growth slowed from 6.5% in 2019 to 0.4% in 2020, due to lower mining production and the impact of Covid-19 restrictions, equivalent to an income per capita decline of 1.7%.

The Fund to this end said poverty increased, and half of all households reduced food spending during the partial lockdown. However, the economy avoided the contractions seen across the region.

The growth should rebound to 4.7% in 2021, supported by a strong cocoa season and a recovery in mining and services, although the government fight against illegal mining may affect small-scale gold production while delayed well-drilling will continue to affect oil production this year.

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Rugby Africa Targets Women’s Rugby in all Unions – Women’s Rugby Advisory Committee President Paulina Lanco
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Paulina Lanco, President of the Women’s Rugby Advisory Committee

The president of the Women’s Rugby Advisory Committee Paulina Lanco has said she sees a bright future ahead for Women’s Rugby on the African continent as efforts have been redoubled to advance the women’s game to about 40 per cent registered players being women by 2025.

“I hope for a genderless sport, one with equal opportunity, equal exposure, equal pay and based on merit,” Madam Paulina Lanco told Pan African Visions. 

In an exclusive interview, the President who is also a Rugby Africa Exco member detailed the strides made in the advancement of women’s rugby on the continent, the challenges and the future of the game in the next ten years.

According to Paulina Lanco, there is also a lack of pathway development and elite competition at the U20 level. “This is currently a priority agenda in which we are lobbying accordingly with the hope of launching a pilot in 2022,” she said.

Pan African Visions: Could we start this interview by getting an introduction of the Rugby Africa’s Women’s Advisory Committee (WRAC) that you lead?

Paulina Lanco: In line with our strategic plan at Rugby Africa (RA) and in noting that women’s rugby is a growing and performance-driven sport, and one that aims to attract investments and empower women at all levels and in all structures of the game, women’s rugby represents a key strategic area of growth for RA. In line with this commitment, WRAC was approved by the Rugby Africa (RA) EXCO in August 2020 and I was duly nominated as its founding President.

Our mandate is to take lead in the development of Gender Inclusion and Women’s Rugby in the region. To do so I have a 7-member committee and in line with our women strategic plan, we have four (4) subcommittees i.e. Communication and PR, Competition and Finance, Player Welfare and Participation and last but not least, Leadership Training and Conferences.

Pan African Visions: In what shape is women’s rugby in the African continent today, and what kind of changes have taken place since you took over leadership of the committee?

Paulina Lanco: Due to the ongoing pandemic, a number of scheduled activities and tournaments were and have been greatly interfered with in the last year. Despite this however, WRAC continues to lead from the front and one of the most notable changes has been the streamlining of our Women’s Rugby leadership (with the formation of WRAC), strengthening the management through the appointment of a Women’s Rugby Manager and introducing an enhanced Women’s competition program. We also saw the the launch of the Africa Women’s Rugby Network, the launch of the regional Unstoppables Campaign in partnership with World Rugby and the eventual appointment of 12 Women’s Rugby ambassadors across Africa. Last but not least, virtual training and speaking engagements were launched for both technical teams and women in rugby and we are soon looking to launch the first ever Virtual Training Management Program for women in rugby management.

Pan African Visions: Can we get some more statistics or figures on the growth or state of women’s rugby, and in which parts of the continent have you seen progress?

Paulina Lanco: Growth has been steady and in reference to data provided by World Rugby, in 2012 we stood at 47,600; 2018 at 261, 300 and the latest data as at October, 2020 stood at 386,000+.

Our strategic ambition is to have 40% of registered players being women by 2025. We currently stand at 27.2%.

Unfortunately, the October 2020 statistics do not provide a breakdown in order of countries however if the 2018 data is anything to go by, it would appear that the leading African Nations are South Africa with 200,00+ players followed by Kenya, Madagascar and Tunisia. Additionally, and excitingly so, we have seen the emergence of Women’s Rugby in countries like Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa and we are looking to see more nations in that region rise up!

Pan African Visions: What are some of the big challenges facing your leadership and women’s rugby across the continent?

Paulina Lanco: Funding remains a major challenge with the Men’s game still receiving a bigger percentage of available funding. In this regard we are working to strengthen our women’s product so as to attract more funding.

Lack of enough competitions and exposure: We are working towards improved, better and more diverse competitions if we are to compete strongly at the world stage. There is also the lack of a pathway development and elite competition at U20 level. This is currently a priority agenda in which we are lobbying accordingly with the hope of launching a pilot in 2022.

There is also a lack of strong domestic women’s leagues at member union level. We are in constant discussion with the unions and are looking to support where effort is evident and as we can.

Pan African Visions: May we know the steps being taken to ensure that the game is supported primarily for women?

Paulina Lanco: The most notable commitment and support in this time of the global pandemic has been the big communication and marketing effort largely through the Unstoppable campaign in which 75% of all content posted on Rugby Africa’s networks during the first semester of 2021 relates to women’s rugby. The primary objective and aim is to be Visible, Viable and Unstoppable! The objective of the campaign is about changing perceptions, creating an appeal, telling the inspiring stories and encouraging more girls and women to join and stay in rugby.

Additionally, a women specific grant was availed to respective RA member unions in support of Return to Play among other activities.

Pan African Visions: Who are some of the big names in corporate and individual actors that are supporting you in the development and growth of women’s rugby in Africa?

Paulina Lanco: Société Générale is an official sponsor of women’s rugby. Corporates are interested to support the growth of the women’s game and that’s why we are trying to create attractive products like a new 15 a side competition, more sevens tournaments in regions, and an U20 girls’ competition. World Rugby is definitely pushing and supporting us in this mission and we have great support from the RA President Khaled Babbou and members of EXCO.

Pan African Visions: What are some of the major competitions for women’s rugby in Africa today?

Paulina Lanco: Africa Women’s Sevens tournament is the top continental tournament to qualify African Representatives for Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and the 7s Rugby World Cup. The next 7s Rugby World Cup is happening in Cape Town, South Africa in September 2022.

Women’s 15s: World Rugby recently announced the launch of a yearly W15 global competition divided into three tiers. This is fantastic news as it creates an aspiration for teams and an incentive for unions to invest more into their women’s rugby program. Rugby Africa will build an adequate qualification competition for this event starting in 2022. Right now, and for the first time ever in Africa, we organized through the recently concluded Rugby Africa Cup (RAC) tournaments, a series of test matches across the continent to feature as many women’s teams as possible and evaluate their levels.

We started in Ouagadougou where Burkina Faso and Cameroon played two matches and Cameroon emerged stronger.

We continued in Nairobi with two matches between Kenya and Madagascar, in Kampala with two matches between Uganda and Zimbabwe and had scheduled one in Tunisia with a three team tournament between Tunisia, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal; however due to Covid-19 the last one was disrupted.

This means a total of 6 matches, which is unprecedented in Women’s 15s continental rugby. We were positively impressed by the enthusiastic response from Unions when we launched this initiative and their commitment to get ready and compete despite the difficult times we are in with the pandemic.

Women’s Rugby Advisory Committee President Paulina Lanco presents the winner’s trophy to Madagascar Captain during the RAC tournament held in Kenya

Pan African Visions: We understand there is the #AfricaAsOne campaign coming up; could you shed some light on this for us?

Paulina Lanco: This campaign is to embody the strength in our diversity and our ability to communicate through sports despite the language barrier; It showcases our ability when we are down to reach back, give a hand and rise together as one when the moment calls for it and importantly it is a call for unification, a moment to stand As Africa, As One for we are stronger together!

Pan African Visions: South Africa will participate in the next women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2022 and Kenya’s women are due to compete in rugby sevens at this summer’s scheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics, how significant are these developments to you?

Paulina Lanco: They are great faith builders and milestones for us and I commend both the unions and players concerned. Indeed, they prove that our strategy is on the right path. This is more so, noting that we aim to have at least 4 African teams in the top 30 worldwide, 2 teams competing in the Women’s Rugby World Cup and in the World Series. 

Pan African Visions: Let us focus a bit on my home country, Cameroon, the country was suspended from Rugby and was eventually brought back, how will you rate the country’s participation so far?

Paulina Lanco: It is good to acknowledge that Cameroon was only reinstated as a full World Rugby member in November, 2020. As such and noting the strong performance by the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon Women’s 15 A Side team at the RAC in June duly hosted by Burkina Faso, I truly commend their President, Marc Essono for that great outcome and would urge that he builds upon it even as he looks to support their male counterparts who unfortunately fell at the hands of the host.

Paulina Lanco with a few players from Zimbabwe 15s team taken at the conclusion of the RAC tournament hosted in Zimbabwe

Pan African Visions: What do you advise Cameroon to do to attract more females and males to the game looking at the limited following Rugby has within the country?

Paulina Lanco: Cameroon has great athletic potential and there is a noted existing and growing passion for Rugby. We also continue to see great media exposure and coverage more so on social media platforms. As such and with the known dedication of their President who is himself a rugby man and with the assured support of Rugby Africa, it is my belief that Cameroon with further exposure and a vibrant domestic league, will in days to come be a rugby powerhouse in Africa. Of course, you too can help (as you are now) by giving them continued exposure and more so a platform to be seen and heard.

Pan African Visions: Lastly, how do you see the development of Women’s rugby on the African continent in the next 10 years?

Paulina Lanco: I hope for a genderless sport, one with equal opportunity, equal exposure, and equal pay and based on merit.

Additionally, our aim and ambition as Rugby Africa is to see women’s rugby well established in all our unions, to see each men and boys competition matched with a women and girls’ competition. We aim to have more teams and more competitive teams qualify to play in international events such as World Series and Women 15s global competition. We believe we can bridge the gap between Africa and the rest of the world with women’s rugby, as the athletic and youth potential on our continent is unparalleled.

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Kenya’s wait for medals in the Tokyo Olympic games ends
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

World champion Hellen Obiri won a silver medal after emerging second in women’s 5000m

On Monday, August 2, 2021, Lackluster Kenya bagged two medals in the ongoing Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

World champion Hellen Obiri won a silver medal after emerging second in women’s 5000m, and she clocked 14:38:36. The gold medal went to the winner Dutch Sifan Hassan who clocked 14:36:79.

Elsewhere, Benjamin Kigen bagged a bronze medal after finishing third in the men’s 3000m steeplechase. Kigen, the African champion, finished behind the winner Soufiane El Bakkali of Morroco and second-placed Lamecha Girma of Ethiopia.

El Bakkali clocked 8:08:90, Girma 8:10:38 and Kigen 8:10:45.

The Moroccan ended Kenya’s dominance in the race, which has lasted for 36 years. The last time Kenya lost in 3000m steeplechase was in 1984.

However, the country’s quest for the gold medal at the global event continues as Ferguson Rotich and Emmanuel Korir head to 800m men’s finals on Wednesday, August 4, 2021.

The two emerged first and second place in the 800m semi-final held on Sunday, August 1.

Kenya is currently in position 62 with two medals.

China leads the log with 62 medals, 29 gold, 17 silver, and bronze, followed by the US with a total of 64,  gold 22, silver 25, and bronze 17.  The host Japan close the third-best bracket with 33 medals, 17 of them being gold, silver 16, and bronze 10.

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Relief as Emirates Airline introduces easy payment options for Kenyan travelers.
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

On Monday, August 2, Emirates Airlines announced the introduction of convenient payment methods for Kenyan travellers to offer them a better real-time user experience on the airline’s website and app when planning their travel.

In a statement, the airline said customers can now purchase their flight tickets using local debit, and credit cards, mobile money or through mobile banking and have their ticket issued within minutes.

According to Emirates Kenya Manager Christophe Leloup, the new options provide greater convenience for customers by switching from cash to online bank transfers from 12 local banks or three mobile wallet providers.

He said despite the currency, location, bank, or card; travellers will find a payment solution that suits them when booking.

“We have worked very hard to provide them with a secure and frictionless experience through more local banking partners, mobile money providers and a host of other options to facilitate payments,” said Leloup.

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Police gun down two suspects in carjacking ordeal in Nairobi.
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Police on Sunday night shot dead two thugs in a botched carjacking in Nairobi’s Kilimani areas.

 Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), in a statement on Monday, said the duo, armed with a Russian-made pistol and two other handguns,  subdued a taxi driver and his client at Kilimani’s Chania Avenue, before robbing them of their mobile phones and taking over their Toyota Vitz.

DCI detectives who responded to a distress call by the victims blocked the robbers as they attempted to escape. They were ordered to surrender, but they started shooting at the officers as they tried to flee on foot.

The police officers responded with quick shots, killing the robbers.

Four mobile phones, including the two stolen from the victims, were recovered alongside three guns with six unspent rounds.

The incident comes amid a surge in robbery and mugging cases in Nairobi Central Business District and its environs.

DCI boss George Kinoti had appealed to public members to report mugging cases to the police instead of sharing such cases on social media.

Kinoti said sharing mugging cases on social media is good for sensitization but encouraged public members to file formal complaints to help the police and the prosecution build water-tight cases against perpetrators once arrests are made.

“Many are scenarios when suspected muggers go scot-free even after they have been arrested along various Streets and Walks within the CBD, as the few who report at the station fail to pursue their cases or never turn up for hearings,” said the DCI boss.

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Mozambique: Terrorists attacks could spread to other provinces, warns ex- guerilla.
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

The arrival of regional troops from neighbouring countries to fight terrorism in Cabo Delgado province could cause the insurgency to spread, a former guerrilla commander has warned.

Hermínio Morais, who led guerrillas for opposition party Renamo when it was at war with the government, said: “I remember that when the Zimbabwean forces came to support the Mozambican government in fighting Renamo, the revolutionaries began to spread out and split into groups that were then fed by the massive recruitment of young people; this could happen with terrorism in Cabo Delgado”.

The insurgency could spread to the adjacent provinces of Niassa and Nampula, he warned, adding that the regional force needed to have a joint command, to prevent atrocities and looting.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) force has begun arriving in Mozambique, where troops from South Africa and 296 from Botswana are already in place, while a contingent from Zimbabwe is on standby and ready to travel to Cabo Delgado.

Last week Angola’s parliament agreed to send 20 soldiers as military advisers to help fight terrorism in Cabo Delgado province, as part of the SADC’s military force.

The officers will start a three-month mission on 6 August, but will not be involved in combat.

The Angola mission comprises 11 officers to advise the FDS and 9 air force crew members for an Ilyushin-76 transport plane, which will be be included as part of the mission. The initial cost of sending the troops would be $675,000, Francisco Pereira Furtado, Angola’s head of the president’s security office, said.

The total budget for the SADC mission is $12.9m, of which Angola will contribute just over $1m.

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