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Gambia : Three-years Jotna Protest Rescheduled after Dialogue with Gov’t and Civil Society
January 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Amidst fear in country operation three-years Years Jotna, a pro-democracy group  have postponed its plan protest to January 26th after consultative dialogue with Gambia Government and Civil society.

Three Years Jotna, intended to demonstrate against President Adama Barrow respect the coalition three-years agreement of transition government and step down.

Even though the Gambian constitution guarantees a term limit of five, the president agreed with his coalition partners before his election that he will only serve three years and then organised fresh election in which he will not take part.

However, he has since changed his mind by openly declaring that he will follow the constitutional mandate instead of the agreement. This has caused uproar between him and some political parties. But it is this movement that took it upon themselves to protest by forcing him honor the campaign promises.

They previously held one procession in December where they submitted a petition, calling on the president to resign and organise fresh election. They stated in the petition that on the 19th January, which marks exactly 3 years since Barrow took over, they will demonstrate even without a permit.

The fear continues in the country as the weekend approaches as the defiant movement insisted that it will continue to protest despite the police rejecting their permit to hold their demonstration.

But on Friday night, the dialogue initiated by the civil society between the government and the movement came to fruition.

The dialogue took four hours attracted Inspector General of Police, Minister of Internal security, Director of the State Intelligence Service, Deputy Chief of Defence staff, civil society and executive members of the three-years Jotna. 

The operation 3 years Jotna and The Gambia Goverment in a joint statement said after consultative dialogue mediated by The Gambia civil society, and in the interests of entrenching our democracy, enhancing our National peace, the proposed 3 years Jotna demonstrations have been postponed from 19th to the 26th January 2020.

The Gambia Goverment commits itself to grant a permit for a peaceful procession. Accordingly the 3years Jotna movement confirms that they have no intention of uprooting the President of the Republic and assures all that they are not affiliated to any political party.

Below the joint statement reads…

A joint statement signed by the Gambia government, civil society and the Three Years ‘Jotna’ Movement states that the  pro-democracy group has agreed to postpone its Sunday, January 19th demonstration.

“The Gambian civil society after due consultation with the Gambia government, international partners and the 3 Years Jotna Movement, we are pleased to announce to the general public that we have now reached common ground in the best interest of our dear motherland.

“Taking into consideration the security concerns raised by the government, recognised and appreciated by the Three Years Jotna Movement and civil society alike, noting the commitment of the Three Years Jotna to the peaceful conduct of demonstration, procession and assembly as demonstrated during their December 16th peaceful procession, the parties during the consultative dialogue negotiated by civil society in the interest of entrenching our democracy, enhancing our national peace, fostering our social harmony, reconciliation January and healing, respecting the rule of law and the rights of citizens, hereby commit themselves the following.

“The proposed Three Years Jotna demonstration slated for Sunday, the 19th of has now been postponed.”

However, they agreed that the government will grant the permit for a peaceful procession to be held on Sunday 26th of January 2020. The police and other security services are also tasked to provide security and protection for the planned Three Years Jotna procession.

The government through the Police force and other security services further reassures that it will continue to uphold and protect the rights of all.

“Accordingly, the Three Years Jotna Movement confirms that they have no intention of uprooting the president of the republic of the Gambia and hereby categorically condemn and disassociate itself from any negative audio and written comment or materials in circulation that are found to be abusive, threatening to persons, peace and stability of our nation.”


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Gambia: Three Jotna to Proceed with Protest Despite Police Ban
January 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Gambia Inspector General of Police – Mamour Jobe

The Gambian Police Force has denied Operation three-years Jotna a pro-democracy group a permit to hold a peaceful protest in demanding President Adama Barrow to honor coalition three-years transition agreement and step down.

However, the leadership of the group is determine to go out on the 19th January, 2020 to protest with or without police permit.

In a press release from the police said that: “The Office of the Inspector General of Police wishes to inform members of public that following meticulous security assessment, monitoring and intelligence gathering, it has decided to withhold the granting of permit to the ‘Operation Three-years Years Jotna Movement’ due to compelling National Security and Public Safety concerns”

“In this regard, the Office of the Inspector General of Police acting in accordance with Section 178 of the 1997 Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia, will continue to deliver on its mandate of protecting Life and properties as well as maintaining Law and Order”

The public is assured of the highest sense of security, peace and tranquility at all times.

 Yesterday at his residence  together with other executive members, Abdou Njie, National Chairman of the Operation Three-years Jotna  told journalists that the police have the right not to give a permit on the condition that they cannot guarantee the safety and protection of tens of thousands of peaceful protesters that are  coming out on Sunday 19th January 2020 in a protest march.

He said one applies a permit if you are going to use public addressing system in a protest but  where you are not using that the constitution gives you the  right to go out and express your dissatisfaction to the president to fufil his promises and step down as a president to discourage self perpetuating rule that the Gambians suffered under both previous regimes.

Chairman Njie noted that there is no amount of intimidation from the security forces that will scare the executive and peaceful protesters even if they display all their weapons at the protest ground because they are peaceful and the executive members of operation three-years Jotna will lead tens of thousands of peaceful protesters just like their previous one.

“Am hereby warning people especially the supporters of president Barrow and any other persons including the foreigners not to appear at the protest ground to provoke the peaceful protesters like we have experienced the last protest where Barrow supporters came there to cause provocation because we have hundreds of our own securities who will handle trouble makers”, said Abdou Njie.

On his part the founder of  operation three-years years “Jotna” Kingsport  said president Barrow has belittle Gambians and his organization by not even responding to their several letters including a  petition handed over to him on the 16th December 2019.

He  urges Gambians to come out in large numbers more than the last protest .

Kingsport said him and the national executive have wrote letters to the international communities including UN, ECOWAS, AU,EU IOC including the presidents of Senegal And Nigeria that their purpose of the protest is to discourage incumbent president from self perpetuating rule in the Gambia that happened under the two previous governments and a threat to democracy.

Kingsport said if Gambians have allowed president Barrow to continue till 2021 election, even he lose election the next coming president can easily follow the same old system of governance like Jammeh did for 22.5 years which is a threat to our new democracy.

Mr. Sheriff Ceesay, deputy leader of Operations Three-years years Jotna said IGP’s rejection of permit does not mean that peaceful protesters cannot go out because they are not using public addressing system and also call on tens of thousands of people to participate in the protest.

“We are going out in tens of  thousands of peaceful protesters and since the IGP chose not to give us permit means we can be out in a protest every day  starting from the 19th January since public addressing system will not be used which requires a permit”, he said.

He said 2019 alone five world leaders were out of power through anti government demonstration  ( Sudan, Algeria, Lebanon, Bolivia and Iraq)  because power belongs to the citizens and if a leader is not afraid of the citizens he or she will never delivers and corruption, nepotism and instability will become the order of the day.

He urged the security forces to distance themselves from acting on illegal orders from the authorities that will harm citizens in the country and  one day put you in trouble  as we all have witnessed at the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission sitting .

“If any senior or ordinary securities are sacked because of refusing to execute an illegal order from president Barrow, be rest assure that you will be reinstated as soon as Barrow government is collapsed and vise viser for those that cooperate with him to harm the  peaceful citizens in the name of maintaining peace, said Mr. Ceesay


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NHRC Express Concerns on Matters Affecting Public Order in Gambia
January 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

NHRC chairman Daniel Joof

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) ushers in the New Year with a renewed commitment to promote and protect human rights in The Gambia. Several issues relating to and affecting human rights have been and continue to be monitored by the NHRC.

Amidst tension and heat exchange of words between Gambians on three years transition agreement of coalition government and five years Constitutional mandate, the chairman of the NHRC Emmaneul Daniel Joof said key concerns include civil society engagement with law enforcement and respect for the rights guaranteed by the constitution, such as the right to assembly, freedom of expression and rule of law.

As our country transitions to a more democratic society, our law enforcement agencies will be faced with situations which would oblige them to uphold standards that do not compromise human rights and freedoms, while maintaining order, security and peace.
 
The NHRC is aware of interactions between The Gambia Police Force and 3 Years Jotna Concerned Citizens which, if not properly addressed, may lead to misunderstanding and disruption of public order. Consequently, on Wednesday 8th January 2020, the Commission initiated a separate dialogue with both the Inspector General of Police and Executive members of the 3 Years Jotna Concerned Citizens.

The meetings were neither supportive, nor dismissive of the demands and concerns of 3 Years Jotna Concerned Citizens, or convened to castigate or admonish the police. It was a dialogue to hear the concerns of the parties, encourage the nurturing of peace and order, and emphasize respect for and protection of constitutional and fundamental human rights by all and sundry.

Protests, among other forms of civil engagement, are fundamental features of a functioning democracy. The Gambia Police Force performs the critical and challenging role of creating both a conducive environment, while maintaining order, and the protection of people and properties.

It should be emphasized that the State, however, bears the primary obligation to respect, protect and fulfil the fundamental rights of everyone living within its jurisdiction without discrimination or any other considerations. Civil society organisations are encouraged to employ avenues that are governed by the laws of The Gambia and to act responsibly in their engagements and exercise of fundamental human rights.

The NHRC urges the Government and the populace to draw lessons from the revelations of the ongoing Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) to build a society that is founded on fundamental rights and freedoms, the rule of law, constitutionalism and due process.

The National Human Rights Commission is an independent institution established by an Act of National Assembly in 2017 to protect and promote human rights in The Gambia. The Commission is open to the general public and can receive, yum investigate and provide human rights redress to complainants.


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Gambia: ECOWAS Condemns Any Attempt to Remove an Elected Gov’t
January 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

File Picture.Group photograph of the Heads of States and Government of ECOWAS during Fifty-Fifth Ordinary Session in Abuja, 29th June 2019.

The ECOWAS Mission In the Gambia  stressed that it is totally against any group or party that seeks to undermine the constitution of The Gambia and by extension any group that seeks to forcefully demand the removal of any constitutionally and democratically elected government, which contravenes the provisions of the ECOWAS 2001 Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.

The ECOWAS Permanent Mission in The Gambia has been monitoring the various protests being held in the country by the 3-Years-JOTNA, 5-Years-JOTAGUL, the APRC and other intended protests by the 3-Years-JOTNA again on 19 January 2020 and the Gambian Victims Centre in Banjul on 23 January 2020. 

In a press release signed by  Vabah K. Gayflor Special Representative of the President of ECOWAS to The Gambia noted that though these protests have so far been peaceful, but it will not allow any unconstitutional means to undermine democratically elected government.

The ECOWAS mandate requires the Mission to facilitate dialogue and initiatives that will ensure peace, security and stability in the country. The Mission’s engagement with civil society groups, religious groups and other stakeholders in respect of the current developmentshave all been geared towards this direction.

Deliberate misinformation, distortions and falsehoods about the true and otherwise positive overtures by the Mission aimed at sowing seeds of discord between ECOWAS and Gambian stakeholders and other relevant actors, must be ignored.

The ECOWAS Mission will thus not give credence to any group that seeks to be a source of instability. Therefore, any distortions by some actors in respect of previous engagements by ECOWAS must be ignored.

The Mission once again wishes to assure Gambian stakeholders and citizens at large that it will continue to facilitate dialogue, peaceful co-existence and stability and put in the necessary measures to enhance a stable and secure environment for national development. 

The Mission therefore remains seized within its mandate to work with the Government of The Gambia, Development Partners, Civil SocietyOrganisations, and other relevant stakeholders to peacefully resolve any issues that have the potential to undermine the peace, security and stability in the country.


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Gambia: Victims Centre Slams APRC’s Protest For Jammeh’s Return
January 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

 

The Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations wishes to express its dissatisfaction regarding the issue of a permit allowing Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) to stage a protest on the 16th of January 2020 demanding the return of former President Jammeh.

In a press release signed by it Chairman Sheriff Kijera said considering the fact that The Gambia is going through a truth seeking and reconciliation process, the APRC protest demanding the return of former president Jammeh is a mockery of all victims of the 22- year Jammeh rule. Furthermore, it is highly inconsiderate and insensitive to the suffering that victims went through during the Jammeh regime.

By giving the APRC a permit to demand the return of Jammeh, they have been allowed to undermine and trivialize all the Transitional Justice processes.

While we recognize their right to protest, we believe that it is not done in good faith and it is geared towards mocking a nation. This party is demanding the return of a man who tried to stifle the voices of Gambians at all cost; who has brutalized, maimed, killed, sexually abused, tortured and victimized Gambians and non-Gambians in many ways.

Thus, we have also requested for a permit to stage a peaceful protest on the 23rd of January 2020 from the ARCH 22 to the Police Headquarters in Banjul, to express our dissatisfaction with the issuance of the permit to APRC.

The slogan for the Transitional Justice Process is Never Again, and this party is protesting to take us back, which triggers not only the victims but the entire Gambian citizenry.

The Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Rights Violations will continue to work with relevant partners to facilitate justice for victims, through national, regional and international mechanisms to ensure that peace continues to prevail in the country.


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Ex- Norwegian Gambian Appointed Manager of Canadian Premier League Side Pacific FC
January 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Pa Modou Kah, former Norwegian Gambian footballer has been appointed manager of Canadian Premier League side Pacific FC .

Kah,who was born in Banjul but later moved to Norway with his parents, aged eight (8), has landed his first managerial job on Friday, when he was announced PFC manager, having had previous experience as assistant coach for FC Cincinnati and Vancouver Whitecaps FC2, with whom he also played for and ultimately finished his playing career with their second team as player coach before announcing his retirement in February 2017.

The 39 year-old former defender, who played alongside Scorpion defender Futty Danso in the Major Soccer League (MLS) for Oregon based Portland Timbers, was eligible to represent the Gambia but instead opted to play for his adopted home, Norway, for whom he was capped ten (10) fimes  between 2001 and 2008. However, Pa later refuted claims he snubbed Gambia to play for Norway.

He said he had always wanted to play for The Gambia but it happened that he was never approached by the Gambian football chiefs at the time before he decided to play for Norway.

He said it would have been a great honour to represent Gambia as his both parents did, both his father Ebrima Kah and Mum Ajie Njie represented the Gambia in Football and Basketball respectively.

The widely traveled defender, who has previously played in at least seven different countries including Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, U.S. and Canada amassed over 400 career games. No wonder he is reported to speak at least seven different languages.

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Gambia: Minister of Interior Warns Three-years Jotna of Protest without Permit
January 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Minister of Interior Yankuba Sonko

Gambia’s Interior Minister, Yankuba Sonko, has warned Operation Three-years Jotna, a pro-democracy group of protesting without police permit on 19 January, 2020.

Operation three-years Jotna, a pro democracy group advocating for President Adama Barrow to honor coalition three-years transition agreement and step down want to hold a mass protest to put pressure on Barrow to leave office after on 19 January where his three-years mandate expires.

But they were denied by permit to hold the protest by the police citing security reasons, however the group were determined to go ahead with the protest with or without police permit. They called on all Gambians to come out in their large numbers to hold Barrow accountable in fulfilling his campaign promises.

This prompted, Minister of Internal security issued  a statement today called on Operation 3 Years Jotna to comply with the decision of the Inspector General of Police.

Sonko said the violation of the police decision by any person(s) “shall be deemed as a flagrant violation of both the constitution and the Public Order Act and a direct affront to not the peace, security and public safety as well as economic well-being of The Gambia and it’s people”.


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The Africa Forum sets the Date and Location for the Symposium on Cameroon
January 18, 2020 | 0 Comments
President Thabo Mbeki is part of the Africa Forum
President Thabo Mbeki is part of the Africa Forum

The Africa Forum has set the date and venue for the Symposium as April 2020 in Kenya
YAOUNDE, Cameroon, January 17, 2020/ — On July 02, 2019, the Africa Forum (the Forum) (http://www.AfricaForum.org/), a grouping of former African Heads of State and Government and other African leaders issued a communiqué in which it announced its intention to convene a Symposium on Cameroon. The objective of the Symposium, as stated in that communiqué, is to inform the Forum on the ongoing challenges facing the country and to lend its support to the peaceful resolution of those challenges.

The Africa Forum has set the date and venue for the Symposium as April 2020 in Kenya. Five hundred (500) Cameroonians will be invited to participate in the Symposium, representing a variety of stakeholders, including opinion leaders, civil society, the government of Cameroon, political parties, traditional authorities, religious bodies, different groups, youth leaders, the Cameroonian Diaspora and more. The Forum will count on the goodwill of the invited participants to have an open and honest dialogue which will be the building block on which a lasting solution to the crisis in Cameroon may be attained.

On August 28, 2019, The Africa Forum launched a website for the Symposium (http://bit.ly/2RvRQAq), as a platform for Cameroonians to contribute by sharing their perspectives on the causes and potential solutions to the crises currently affecting Cameroon.

The Africa Forum thanks those who have shared their views through the Symposium website and encourages other Cameroonians to do the same so that all perspectives may be taken into consideration at the Symposium. Further, the Forum calls on Cameroonians who are interested in participating in the Symposium to visit the website and fill out the appropriate form.

*APO
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African Development Bank’s Akinwumi Adesina heads to UK-Africa investment summit: Revitalizing economic ties top of agenda
January 17, 2020 | 0 Comments
African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina
African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, 16 January 2020 – New opportunities for bi-lateral trade and increasing UK investor appetite in Africa will be the main focus of the UK-Africa summit, convened by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on January 20th.

African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina is expected in London for the milestone investment summit aimed at forging new partnerships under the theme: ‘Partners for prosperity.’ 

A busy agenda awaits President Adesina. Highlights of his UK trip includes a plenary panel discussion on ‘Sustainable Finance and Infrastructure – Unlocking the City of London and UK financial services for growth in Africa,’ alongside Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana. Discussions will focus on increasing access to investments in Africa and pursuing existing and untapped opportunities.

On January 21st, President Adesina will deliver a keynote at the Sustainable Infrastructure Forum, an associated event of the UK Africa Investment Summit, followed by another keynote address at the UK’s All-Party Parliament Group (APPG) Symposium.

The one-day event, co-organized by the Royal African Society and Oxford Brooks University, will see the participation of UK parliamentarians, academics, and policymakers. 

The future trade relationship between the UK and Africa and the African Continental Free Trade Area in the context of Brexit are expected to top discussions.

Speakers at the symposium include Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa; Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD and Ms. Paulina Elago, Executive Secretary of the Southern African Customs Union, SACU.

The Bank’s president will wrap up his engagements with a UK-African Development Bank strategic dialogue. The dialogue with the Department for International Development (DFID) will focus on the President’s vision for Africa and how the Bank can spur the continent’s economic transformation, especially in the areas of infrastructure and regional integration, private sector development and jobs, and women’s economic empowerment. Climate change, energy access, addressing fragility, promoting resilience, and good governance principles will also be discussed.

Africa and the UK are long-standing partners. Trade stood at over £33bn in 2018.  Close to 2,000 British businesses currently operate in Africa.

In 2016, Africa’s exports to the UK accounted for £17 billion, having grown marginally from $16.7 billion in 2015. Africa’s major exporters to the UK, in 2016, included South Africa, which takes the lion’s share with 58%, followed by Nigeria with 7%, Algeria, Morocco and Egypt 5% each.

Over the next decade, Africa is expected to play an increasingly significant global role. The continent’s population is projected to double to 2 billion people by 2050, representing a quarter of the world population.

The UK-Africa Summit is a unique opportunity to expand investment and trade opportunities.


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Mozambique’s Nyusi Begins 2nd Term promising to fight against corruption
January 16, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Jorge dos Santos

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Wednesday promised “to continue to fight against corruption in all its forms”, in the coming five years. He was speaking in Maputo’s Independence Square, immediately after his investiture for a second five year term of office.

“In fighting corruption, we will distance ourselves from those who seek to replace institutional justice with a witch hunt”, he said.

Nyusi told the crowd he would “demand integrity, ethics and professionalism from public officials to consolidate the culture of transparency and accountability”. There would be “no rest” in the fight against corruption, he promised, and there would be no “untouchables”.

He promised “a fast, efficient and impartial system of administration of justice that inspires confidence in the equal enforcement of the law”. This would include “innovative systems for conflict resolution, such as mediation and community courts”.

He also announced that “more than 60 per cent” of the government he is about to announce will consist of “new faces” and promised that most of the Ministers will be young. “The gender balance in the government will improve, promising that governance will be “agile, flexible and sustainable”, with ministers capable of solving the problems in their various sectors.

He would demand “ethics, competence, loyalty, good sense and humility” from all government members, as well as teamwork.

Nyusi promised to work with other political forces, but warned that the concept of “inclusion” did not merely mean giving opportunities to opposition parties. Mozambique needed, not simply opposition, but “a free and healthy confrontation of ideas”.

“Inclusion is much more than accommodating a small group of fellow countrymen, regardless of their origin”, he added. “Inclusion means listening to those who think differently, giving equal opportunities to all, exercising social justice”.

Attended the event the Heads of State of Cape Verde; Rwanda; Zambia; Namibia; Portugal; Angola; Zimbabwe; South Africa; Botswana and Mauritius.

Renamo boycott the event

Whatever, the leader of Mozambique’s main opposition party. Renamo, Ossufo Momade, boycotted the event. He said it would have been “scandalous”, if he had attended the investiture, and “the people would have been confused”.

He declined to describe this attitude as a boycott, and said he had taken the decision “so that the people know I am not allied with him (i.e. with Nyusi). I have already received many messages saying that Ossufo has been bought”.

“If I had participated in those ceremonies, it would have been a scandal, because I cannot separate myself from my people”, he stressed.

Nonetheless, he would continue talking to Nyusi’s government, because “I must respect the principles of my President, the late President Afonso Dhlakama (Momade’s predecessor, who died in May 2018)”.

He remained interested in the search for peace. “We have to put an end to the anxiety of the people, so that we may have peace in Mozambique”.

Momade said that he would not accept any ministerial post or other job offered by Nyusi. “That is not my ambition”, he said.

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Likely trends in 2020 for Ghana as EIU predicts a closely contested election.
January 16, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Ahedor Jessica 

It will be an epic round two  battle between President Nana   Akufo-Addo with NDC flagbearer John Mahama
It will be an epic round two battle between President Nana Akufo-Addo with NDC flagbearer John Mahama

With 11 months to go into the polls, Ghana is at the crossroad to have its democracy tested again. As a country touted to be a beacon of democracy in Africa, many predictions have come to the fore as the country prepares for the elections. As to whether the incumbent will retain power or not is the sole decision of the electorates. 

The latest Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) report has ruled out the possibility of an upset in the 2020 general elections especially with the main opposition party National Democratic Congress (NDC) suffering one million deficits in the 2016 presidential elections. According to the report, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) led by President Nana Akufo-Addo will retain power come to the 2020 polls. 

“Our forecast that the 2020 polls will be won by the NPP government remains unchanged’’ parts of the report read. Using Ghana’s improved macroeconomy as its lenses into the 2020 elections, the EIU says “it will be difficult for the NDC under Mr. John  Dramani Mahama to portray itself as the better custodian of Ghana’s economy” Since handing over a real GDP of 3.5 in 2016 to NPP management, Ghana’s economy has recorded 6.3 in 2018 and is predicted to finish 2018 on 6.4 before dipping to 5.5 in the election year, the EIU predicts.

However, the report mentioned, the weakness in the NPP election machinery, highlighting voter apathy and a disgruntled base who may feel left out on political opportunities as 123 ministers remain the main beneficiaries of these opportunities, creating a course to be worried if the NPP parliamentary primaries are not well managed it may lead to disaster. The report added the NDC needs to present a “coherent opposition” and target the “unfilled campaign promises” of the NPP mainly on jobs, in the effect of a focused opposition, the EIU says is that the general elections “could be closely contested”

But the former president John Dramani Mahama, in his New Year message, stated that the 2020 elections would determine the destiny of the country. He added that Ghanaians deserve a government that does not give excuses but rather gives results. The year 2020 is an election year, and the eyes of the world would continue to be fixed on us, as we go to the polls. We need to meet the high standards set by previous Electoral Commissions and even better it. “I do not say it lightly when I say that the 2020 election will be a pivotal event for our country. It is one that will determine the destiny of our nation. I believe at this critical stage in our nation’s life, Ghanaians deserve more than ever -a government that is honest and truthful with them. A government that takes responsibility and gives them results, not excuses or blame.

The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr John Dramani Mahama, has reproved the Jean Mensa-led Electoral Commission (EC) to maintain the high professionalism given to her by her predecessors as the EC cannot afford to fail. 

On his part, the incumbent President of the Republic of Ghana Nana Akuffo Addo remains resolute and has urged Ghanaians to work hard with determination and embrace the growing sense of confidence repose on the country for greater heights in 2020 and beyond. The optimistic President says 2020 promised to be a year of good fortunes while addressing Ghanaians in his New Year message in Accra.

He asserts the election 2020 will be delivered as usual by the people who have seen the tremendous work of his administration and retain him in power. Pan African Vision’s Jessica Ahedor has been sampling views of Ghanaians ahead of the elections to ascertain the veracity of how they feel about developments. Kofi Tawiah is an artisan at Achimota says from all indications it was clear, Ghanaians are resolved to either change government or not to vote at all because we don’t know who is telling us the truth. On her part, Lucy Twum is a petty trader at Kwame Nkrumah circle in Accra also said things have turn from bad to worse and ‘I will not worry myself to go and vote’’.  They lamented in what they describe as worse of what they had experienced under John Mahama administration.

It was clearly stated by many who share their thoughts that, the previous Mahama government was removed from power in 2016 based on “corruption, unemployment and high cost of living”. Hence, they needed a leader who will put an end to the numerous misappropriations of funds being experienced as a country and also create jobs for the teaming youth.

Their decision to change government was thought to be the panacea for the populace as their expectations were gazed at a vibrant economy where things will work for everyone. Three years into the administration of the Nana Addo’s government, many citizens are amazed at the level of corruption, mismanagement and deceit. 

Speaking to Dr Hayford of Caucus for Democratic Governance, Ghana (CDG-GH) he argued that Ghanaians are aware that the current government has killed more jobs than he has created if any at all. “There have been many job losses since they took over in 2017. In May to August 2018, not less than 10,285 job losses were recorded, the highest unemployment rate in the history of Ghana, within that period, Workers with the EIB Network, Group Nduom experienced at least  3000 job lose; Textile Workers 235; BXC Company Limited 200; Rider Steel Company 400; Goldfields Ghana 1,500; Consolidated Bank Ghana; Vodafone Ghana 2,000 and Oil Marketing Companies also to the tune of 4,000 job lost.

Besides about 20,000 people have also lost their jobs directly due to 420 financial institutions that have been shut down.” On corruption, the current NPP government on monthly basis have experienced scandal such as NAM 1, PDS, collapsed Banks, PPA, unemployment and high cost of living etc. The high cost of living – Ghanaians put is as simply as Mahama’s time, a litre of petrol was GHc3.6 but today under Nana Addo we are buying petrol GHc5.2 per litre. Dollar during Mahama’s time was 4.1 but today under Nana Addo, a dollar is 5.47. Things are too hard, Mahama’s time was far better.

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Al-Sumait Prize 2020 Call for Nominations
January 16, 2020 | 0 Comments
Al Sumait Board of Trustees & Staff Nov Meeting
The Prize is to be awarded annually to individuals or institutions within one of the proposed three fields (Food Security, Health and Education)

KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait, January 15, 2020/ — The Amir of the State of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, announced an initiative to the third African Arab Summit hosted by the State of Kuwait. This initiative established an annual award by the State of Kuwait for the advancement of economic, social, human resources, and infrastructure development in the African continent titled the “Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sumait Prize”, after a Kuwaiti physician who spent his lifetime dedicated towards helping the poor in Africa in the field of health and education. The Prize is to be awarded annually to individuals or institutions within one of the proposed three fields (Food Security, Health and Education), and has a value of $1,000,000 (One million US dollars). The Board of Trustees (BOT) for the prize oversees the Prize, The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) (www.KFAS.com) provides administrative and logistic support.

The awarded research/ initiative/ projects should help African nations to overcome poverty, hunger, lack of potable water, injustice or to improve health care, literacy and the allocation of economic resources.

The area for the 2020 prize is Education:

The Prize is to be awarded to individuals or institutions who through their research projects or initiatives have made significant advancement within one or more of the following areas (or other related fields):
Improving peoples access to basic education, vocational & training programs and/or higher education.
Improving literacy among all members of society.
Decreasing the dependence of children’s education on the socio-economical status of their parents.
Conditions and requirements:
The nominated candidates’ research work or projects and initiatives must be innovative and must have achieved high-impact in line with international standards for the Prize.
The submitted work must be of paramount importance in promoting significant economic, social, human resources and infrastructure development in the the African continent within the announced field of the prize. Submitted research work of a nominated candidate should be composed of studies and applied research, published in peer reviewed journals and recognized at a global level within the announced field. The research outcome needs to have been applied after publication in African countries within the past ten years. Adequate supporting evidence needs to be provided including collaboration with African and international NGO’s and institutions.
Nominations are to be accepted from institutions and scientific centers (universities, institutes and centers of scientific research) as well as from competent regional or international and UN organizations and awards and former winners in the field of the prize or former evaluation members. Self-nominations are not acceptable
All submissions must be submitted in English. If the work is carried out in other working UN languages, a comprehensive summary of the nominated work in English must be submitted.
Fill in the prize application form and send it along with the scientific production works electronically in PDF format via CD, DVD, Flash Memory or via the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) Prizes Office email alsumaitprize@kfas.org.kw The nomination form can be obtained from the www.AlSumaitPrize.org/nominations. Applications are addressed to the Director General of the foundation.
The application and submitted works must be received before 30/06/2020

2017 Al Sumait Prize winners African Women Educationalists receive their award from His Highness Deputy Amir Crown Prince Nawaf Al Ahmed Al Sabah
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