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Telecel Zimbabwe adopts five year strategic plan to address recapitalisation issues
January 20, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Telecel Zimbabwe (Pvt) has revealed that it has formulated and adopted a five year strategic plan to address recapitalisation issues affecting the company.

 The company has revealed that it would like to assure all its stakeholders and customers, that while the it is facing some challenges, the company is not on the brink of collapse and continues to offer quality service to its customers.

 It is reported that like all other local organisations, Telecel Zimbabwe’s operations have been affected by a host of factors, both macro and micro economic, but attributed mainly to limited funding for the company over a long period of time, in the face of challenging economic conditions in Zimbabwe.

  It is reported that specifically, rapid depreciation of the local currency and the levels of tariffs increases approved, which continue to lag behind inflation, have affected the ability to meet the foreign currency denominated obligations, especially spares for equipment and Service Level Agreements and support.

 It is added that this limited vendor support has resulted in some network disruptions during the festive season, which have since been rectified.

 The company says that in order to mitigate the challenges, the company has been on a very aggressive import substitution and local skills transfer initiative.

  It is areported that the company’s main switching centres are in the industrial area and have been subjected to prolonged power outages which have resulted in the company’s technology operating costs ballooning due to the use of alternative power, particularly diesel, and has in turn affected base station availability in other parts of the country.

 “The Company is in advanced discussions with the power authorities and government officials in the ministry of Energy to ensure a dedicated power line to the switching centres and in addition the company is investing in alternative power solutions such as Tesla solar batteries for its base stations,” the company said in a statement.

 It is added that the company and other industry stakeholders continue to engage all the relevant authorities to ensure that the tariffs are adjusted in line with the cost movement of other basic operational costs.

 It is added that the Telecel board and shareholders are aware of the ongoing challenges.

 It is added that the finalisation of all  outstanding financial statements is on course and it will open avenues for new funding from financial institutions.

 It is reported that the business continues to focus on ensuring that it offers the most affordable service to its customers in light of the depressed consumer disposable incomes.

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Kenyan bank to spend million dollars on needy students’ education
January 20, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma|@journalist_27

Gideon Muriuki

Co-operative Bank of Kenya has announced that it will pay school fees to over 600 needy and gifted form one students.

According to the Bank’s Managing Director Gideon Muriuki, the institution has set aside $1.55 million for the programme under the Co-operative Bank Foundation Scholarship Scheme in 2020. Mr. Muriuki revealed that 420 beneficiaries have been identified by the bank’s Regional Delegates’ Forums and the remaining scholarships were awarded to 5 students per county across the country which brings the total number of beneficiaries to 655. The scholarship with cater for their secondary education.

1,088,986 students sat for 2019 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and all of them are expected to join form to pursue their secondary education latest by January 24 in line with the government’s new policy of 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school.

Announcing KCPE results in November last year, Kenya’s Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha warned parents against failing to take their children to school.

He said, “We shall go after parents and they will tell us why the children are not in school. If we find the children, we will take them to school ourselves and we will do if forcibly.”

 “We will go for parents of children who have been married off and forcibly take the children to school to ensure that all class eight candidates transit to secondary school,” added the tough-talking Magoha.

The 100 per cent transition may not be realized going by the reports by the local media of poverty stricken students whose parents cannot afford secondary school fees. Many students are yet to report to their respective schools as the deadline looms.

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Zimbabwe Civil Society Organisations Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance calls on govt to make SMART commitments in preparation for the 2020 Japan Nutrition for Growth summit
January 20, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Zimbabwe Civil Society Organisations Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance (ZCSOSUNA) formed  in July 2013 with the aim of providing a platform for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Zimbabwe to contribute to the global Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) initiatives  is concerned that there is no substantial report to provide information on the progress that has so far been made on nutrition issues in the country.

  According to Kudakwashe Zombe, ZCSOSUNA National Coordinator, according to the  Global Nutrition Report 2019, Zimbabwe has made progress in meeting its 2013 commitments but there were challenges in assessing the progress due to language which was not clear and specific and also the tracking systems and capacity to track the progress was poor.

 “It is against this background that we as the civil society are calling on the government to seize this perfect opportunity presented by Japan Nutrition for Growth 2020 Summit to make commitments which are Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART) and rejuvenate the fight against malnutrition,” Zombe said.

  The alliance is made up of several international, regional, national and community based organisations and networks working in various areas including nutrition sensitive programs, WASH programs, livelihoods, small-holder farmers, human rights defenders, women’s groups, humanitarian aid assistance agencies, advocacy and research entities, consumer groups and many others.

  According to ZCSOSUNA, the year 2020 presents a perfect opportunity for the Zimbabwe  government to renew its commitment towards the fight against malnutrition in all its forms.

  It is reported that in December this year, governments of several nations with support from the Japan government will convene and take stock of previous Nutrition For Growth  (N4G) commitments and the same platform will be used to renew and make new commitments towards improving the nutrition status of citizens.

  It is added that the Tokyo N4G summit provides a historic opportunity to transform the way the world tackles malnutrition. The summit signals the beginning of a new race toward a healthier, better-nourished future, a race to end malnutrition in all its forms in all countries and Zimbabwe cannot be left out, according to ZCSOSUNA.

  It is added that this comes at a critical time, with only five years to achieve the World Health Assembly targets on Maternal, Infant and Young Child nutrition and 10 years to reach the SDGs.

  It is reported that the commitments to be made at the summit will focus on the following core areas, health, food, resilience, promoting data-driven accountability, securing new investment and driving innovation in nutrition.

  “As the country’s Civil Society Alliance in Scaling Up Nutrition, we applaud the government of Zimbabwe for making a commitment during the 2013 London Nutrition for Growth Summit, the commitment was aimed at putting nutrition at the centre of the country’s development agenda and making good nutrition one of the top political priorities as a way of facilitating increased domestic financing for nutrition,” Zombe said.

   The government has been urged to formulate SMART commitments which are in line with the summit’s core areas namely health, food, resilience, promoting data-driven accountability, securing new investment and driving innovation in nutrition and  to periodically report on progress made in honouring the 2020 commitments. 

  ZCSOSUNA says that good nutrition is a basic need for everyone, everywhere.

  The alliance also adds that imagine a world where all women and children have the nutrition they need to live healthy, productive lives, nurturing their families and communities and putting the world on a path towards greater economic prosperity.

  It is added that nutrition fuels  ambitions such as  for children to go to school ready to learn, stay in school, and go on to better jobs. Nutrition fuels  health, providing the foundation for the well-being and that of future generations. Nutrition also  fuels  progress, investing in  collective brainpower meaning a more productive workforce and thriving economies.

  It is also added that nutrition fuels the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), averting malnutrition will help achieve at least 12 of the 17 SDGs and help create a healthy, prosperous, and stable world in which no one is left behind.

 ZCSOSUNA says that investing in nutrition is also one of the best buys in global health and development: for every $1 invested in nutrition, $16 is returned to the local economy.

  The alliance adds that the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit provides a historic opportunity to transform the way the world tackles the global challenge of malnutrition. The Summit continues the N4G legacy and signals the beginning of a new race towards a healthier, better-nourished future, a race towards ending malnutrition in all its forms in all countries.

  “This requires ensuring that all people, including the most vulnerable, have access to safe, affordable and nutritious food by 2030, as called for by the SDGs,” ZCSOSUNA said.

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Centurion Law Group leads market entry of Turkish Airlines in Equatorial Guinea
January 20, 2020 | 0 Comments
As part of its mission to open new routes and expand its fleet in 2020, Turkish Airlines has added Malabo, Equatorial Guinea to its route network

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, January 20, 2020/ — Pan-African law firm Centurion Law Group (www.CenturionLG.com), leads the entry of Turkish Airlines into Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; Operations on the new route will commence 7 February 2020; The entry of Turkish Airlines into Equatorial Guinea supports the objectives of the Year of Investment Initiative led by the Ministry of Mines and Hyrocarbons.

As part of its mission to open new routes and expand its fleet in 2020, Turkish Airlines has added Malabo, Equatorial Guinea to its route network.

Represented by pan-African law firm Centurion Law Group in its entry into Central Africa, the airline continues to offer more destinations than any other in the world. Operations are set to commence on 7 February 2020, offering the Malabo route three times a week.

“Centurion Law Group is proud to have lead the market entry of Turkish Airlines in Equatorial Guinea. It is yet another show of our commitment to the development of Africa through facilitating strategic deals with positive externalities both in-country and on a regional scale,” said Zion Adeoye, Managing Director at Centurion Law Group. “This particular deal is also of great significance to us as it supports the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons’ objectives as represented in the Year of Investment initiative, which is aimed at directing foreign investment into key industries in Equatorial Guinea,” he added.

“This partnership withTurkish Airlines will open the country up to new opportunities not only in the aviation sector but to other industries as well. It is also another way for Equatorial Guinea to attract new business and investment while offering the people of Equatorial Guinea a direct route to the beautiful country of Turkey,” Santiago Olo Lima, Director at Centurion Law Group, Equatorial Guinea. “Our partnership truly speaks to the direction Africa is headed.”

The new service will link to the existing Nigeria, Port Harcourt route and will operate in the rotation: Istanbul – Port Harcourt  – Malabo  – Istanbul, building on the airlines’ already attractive logistical positioning.

“We are thrilled to have been part of this, it is a noteworthy achievement for Equatorial Guinea and us at Centurion as it allows us to once again utilize our expertise in the aviation industry,” said Manuel Oliveira, Senior Associate Attorney at Centurion Law Group.

Beyond its oil and gas offerings, Centurion Law Group has been active in Equatorial Guinea’s aviation industry, having previously represented Lufthansa Airlines.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Centurion Law Group.
About Centurion Law Group:
Centurion (www.CenturionLG.com) is a pan-African corporate law conglomerate. Operating at the cutting edge of business practices today, Centurion stands ready to provide outsourced legal representation and a full suite of legal services to new, expanding and established corporations.

Across Africa, Centurion provides a service tailored to your operating environment, the nature and structure of your business, your level of risk tolerance, and your overall objectives. Our alternative billing arrangements provide our clients with a greater degree of certainty about their legal costs.

Centurion is committed to the highest ethical standards and we recognize that our firm must take a leadership role in the legal profession in Africa.
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Executive appointment: Tarek El Nahas to join Mashreq as Head of International Banking
January 20, 2020 | 0 Comments

Tarek spent 25 years at Citibank, most recently as the Head of Corporate and Investment Banking for North Africa, Egypt and Levant, managing teams across 6 countries in the MENA region

Tarek El Nahas .Source Mashreq Bank

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, January 20, 2020/ — Mashreq (https://www.Mashreqbank.com/), one of the leading financial institutions in the UAE, has appointed Tarek El Nahas as its new Head of International Banking Group.

Tarek spent 25 years at Citibank, most recently as the Head of Corporate and Investment Banking for North Africa, Egypt and Levant, managing teams across 6 countries in the MENA region. He has held several senior roles in Egypt, Algeria and the UAE and has extensive experience across a wide range of disciplines, including corporate finance, investment banking, derivatives and structured products, commercial banking and corporate banking. Tarek’s wholesale banking experience extended to working with large corporates, financial institutions, sovereigns and the public sector. Tarek has a BA in economics and political science from the American University in Cairo and a MSc in economics from the London School of Economics.

Commenting on the appointment, Ahmed Abdelaal, CEO, Mashreq Bank, said, “I am delighted to welcome Tarek to the Mashreq family. Our legacy has been built upon a commitment to developing our leadership capabilities and as we look to grow our international presence Tarek’s experience will be invaluable.

“Tarek will take over from Jan-Willem Sudmann later this month. Jan played a pivotal role in the success of Mashreq’s international banking story for the last 4 years. We wish Jan good luck and gratitude for his service to Mashreq.”

Tarek El Nahas, added: “I am excited to be joining Mashreq. Mashreq is recognized for innovation and service excellence and with my regional experience, I look forward to collaborating closely with my new colleagues to enhance the banks customer experience and creating further inroads to the international business group for Mashreq.”

About Mashreq:
One of the UAE’s best performing banks for five decades, Mashreq (https://www.Mashreqbank.com/) is a leading financial institution with an expanding footprint across the Middle East. We have international offices across Europe, Asia, Africa and the US, and a strong presence in all the financial capitals of the world.

As the oldest bank in the UAE, our 51-year old journey can be traced back to humble beginnings in 1967, followed by periods of rapid growth and strategic expansion. Throughout our history, Mashreq has differentiated itself by pioneering new-to-market concepts and launching unique products and services.

Our innovative approach sets us truly apart. It also continues to win us numerous awards and accolades in all the fields of banking we operate in – Digital, Corporate, Retail, International, Treasury and Islamic, and across the multiple banking channels we deploy – mobile, digital, online, traditional and telephony.

Mashreq is proud to be the only institution in the UAE to be awarded the Gallup Great Workplace Award for six consecutive years from 2014 to 2019.

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Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons visits the Waltersmith Modular Refinery
January 20, 2020 | 0 Comments

The refinery is on schedule for inauguration in May 2020

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, January 20, 2020/ — The leadership of Waltersmith Petroman carried out a site visit of the Watersmith Modular Refinery being constructed in southeastern Nigeria with H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea as its guest.

Developed by Waltersmith Petroman Oil in partnership with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, the modular refinery embodies Africa’s efforts to generate local value by refining its own oil at home. The refinery is on schedule for inauguration in May 2020, time when its phase 2 will start to boost refining capacity from 5,000 bopd to 30,000 bopd.

The refinery is also a path opener for many Nigerian operators of marginal fields, demonstrating how the exploitation of smaller assets such as Waltersmith’s Ibigwe field can generate value from upstream to downstream and help African nations meet their energy security agenda.

“I am truly impressed by the nature and advancement of this project,” declared H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima during his visit of the site. “I share our industry’s belief that it is high time for Africans to start refining and processing our own crude at home to maximize our energy security, create local jobs and add value to our economies. Creating the right public-private partnerships will be of great benefit to all of countries and business leaders. I salute Waltersmith Petroman for the work they do here.”

Equatorial Guinea is currently rolling out its Year of Investment initiative, which is attracting investment across several projects from upstream to downstream. These notably include a goal of building two refineries on Bioko island and in Bata (Mainland) to serve the domestic and regional market.

During his visit, H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima also confirmed his participation and attendance at the upcoming Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, set to take place in Abuja on February 9-12, 2020.

*Africa Energy Chamber

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Equatorial Guinea Speeds Up Year of Investment Drive with Nigerian Investors
January 20, 2020 | 0 Comments

The delegation from Equatorial Guinea met with several Nigerian executives from the Africa Finance Corporation, Polaris Bank, Sterling Bank, First Bank, UBA and Zenith Bank

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, January 20, 2020/ — In line with its commitment to attract regional capital investment into the country, H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, met with high-level Nigerian investors, bankers and financiers to discuss the opportunities offered by the country’s Year of Investment initiative.

The delegation from Equatorial Guinea met with several Nigerian executives from the Africa Finance Corporation, Polaris Bank, Sterling Bank, First Bank, UBA and Zenith Bank but also captains of the industry such as Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.

Such discussions with all the leading figures who have been a true engine of growth for the Nigerian economy is essential as Nigeria continues to be Africa’s largest economy. Minister Obiang Lima presented key opportunities for them to expand their portfolio by investing in Equatorial Guinea. The Equatorial Guinea delegation also listened to their expectations on investing in Equatorial Guinea, while advising Nigerian businesses on the latest development and opportunities offered to African investors within the country’s rapidly developing oil and mining sectors.

A clear consensus came out of the discussions that only Africans can fully develop Africa while working with other partners coming from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America.

“Equatorial Guinea’s mission is to cut the dependence on foreign imports. It is important to boost local entrepreneurship, energy security and using our products to grow the local economy while engaging the regional market,” declared Minister Obiang Lima.

As such, H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima committed to using Nigerian expertise to develop local content in Equatorial Guinea and also work with Nigeria on gas-related matters, oil market stabilization with OPEC, and industry coordination through APPO. “The great relationship that has existed between H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari and H.E. President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has really opened many doors for us. We don’t take this engagement lightly and we must deliver. More than before, I am optimistic that we are going to have better collaboration and sign deals that will improve the lives of Nigerians and Equatorial Guineans and ensure our relationship reaches new heights,” added H.E. Gabriel Obiang Lima.

In that regard, Minister Obiang Lima confirmed his participation and attendance at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, set to take place in Abuja on February 9-12, 2020.

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Gambia Embarks on Zero Tolerance Policy in Human Trafficking
January 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Dr. Isatou Touray, Vice President of Gambia

The government of The Gambia is pursuing a new “zero tolerance” policy against Trafficking in Persons (TIP), following the formulation of aggressive counter measures to combat the menace in the country.

Dr. Isatou Touray, Vice President last week formally presided over a two-day high level meeting that brought together various government departments and non-state actors to review the Gambia’s situational ranking under the 2019 TIP Report published by the US State Department.  

“His Excellency, President Adama Barrow recognizes trafficking in persons as a grave violation of human rights and therefore gave directives for a zero tolerance policy on it. It is the responsibility of the State as a primary duty bearer to create the right environment for combating trafficking in persons in all its forms,” she told the meeting on Tuesday.

Following the downgrading of The Gambia to Tier 3 from Tier 2 ranking in the 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report, President Barrow assigned the Department for Strategic Policy and Delivery (DSPD) at the Office of the President the responsibility of coordinating responses to the recommendations of the report.

Since then, this said Department, in collaboration with the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons (NAATIP), had worked with relevant stakeholders to come up with concrete actions to address the issues highlighted in the 2019 TIP Report.

A number of action points have already been taken, including the assigning of more investigators to NAATIP, creation of NAATIP focal points at major border entry points throughout the country; documentation of all TIP cases reported, and the improvement of Safety measures at Bakoteh Shelter for victims.

The Solicitor General at the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Cherno Marenah, described human trafficking as “a major threat” to the maintenance of the rule of law and public order. However, at the most basic level, he added, it is one of the worst forms of the violation of human rights. Like other forms of trans-national organised crimes, human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry.

“The factors and circumstances of human trafficking and exploitation in The Gambia are varied and complex. Firstly, Gambia’s geographical location along the west coast and our open borders has for a long time made the country a transit zone for migrants mainly from West African countries enroute to Europe and the United States,” he explained.

The booming tourism industry of the country also serves a magnet for economic migrants and exploiters of persons.  Similarly, The Gambia is also a source of, and destination for the exploitation of children sent to study in religious schools commonly referred to as the “Almudos”. In a number of cases, these children ultimately find themselves as beggars in our streets as well as being engaged in domestic servitude for their masters.

The Director General of the Department of Strategic Policy Delivery, Mr. Alhagie Nyangado said the two days’ meeting served the purpose even if not for the issue of the rating by the US State Department. For the Office of the President, It is a national issue and the earlier the country fights against it, the better for it.

During the review process, a set of questionnaires were used to guide deliberations so as to come up with comprehensive answers to The Gambia’s situation.

So far, nine new cases have been identified for investigations and the government assigned three investigators from the Immigrations, state intelligence and the Police to further capacitise the NAATIP’s investigation capabilities.

Mr Nyangado announced that aggressive prosecutions will follow every investigations conducted. Government is also working on establishing a hotline to facilitate public’s reporting of the cases.

The Executive Director of NAATIP, Mrs. Toulaye Jawara described the two-day meeting as an important national assignment that added knowledge on trafficking in persons through information sharing and learning of lessons with best practices.


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Rwanda diabetes patients receive 12 million test strips support by Abbott
January 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mugabo

Rwanda’s diabetes healthcare has got a boost of glucose meters and test strips to advance disease management for people diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in Rwanda for the next four years.

The donation of glucose meters and around 11.7 million test strips was announced yesterday during a press briefing in Kigali, as a result of a partnership between Rwanda’s Ministry of Health and Abbott through Team Type 1 Foundation.

Glucose meters and test strips are important tools to help people manage their diabetes, however, some living with Type 1 diabetes are unable to afford meters or test strips. The FreeStyle Optium Neo glucose meters and 11,680,000 FreeStyle Optium test strips from Abbott will provide access to ongoing diabetes care in Rwanda. The donation is in partnership with Team Type 1 Foundation, a non-profit organisation pursuing a global mission of education, empowerment and equal access to medicine for everyone affected by diabetes.

Receiving the donation, Dr. Patrick Ndimubanzi, Rwanda’s Minister of State in Charge of Primary Healthcare , said the Government of Rwanda has responded to the global call to tackle the increased burden of diabetes by ensuring improved access and quality of care is delivered at all levels of the health system including primary health facilities close to the population.

“The fight against diabetes and other NCDs is a high priority on the agenda of the Ministry of Health and will continue to work with all our partners to mitigate the impact of this deadly disease,” added the Minister.

Rwandan government officials (centre) receive a donation of FreeStyle Optium Neo glucose meters and 11,680,000 FreeStyle Optium test strips from Abbott through Team Type 1 Foundation. Courtesy Photo
Rwandan government officials (centre) receive a donation of FreeStyle Optium Neo glucose meters and 11,680,000 FreeStyle Optium test strips from Abbott through Team Type 1 Foundation. Courtesy Photo

Bernard Brisolier, Business Unit Director for Abbott’s diabetes care business in Africa, said “By working together with the Ministry of Health and Team Type 1 Foundation, we will empower thousands of people living with diabetes in Rwanda to monitor their glucose levels and manage their diabetes, which will help them lead healthier and fuller lives.”

“It is a dream come true to receive this donation from Abbott. Since 2010, the Team Type 1 Foundation has been present in Rwanda through the Tour of Rwanda and our work with the Rwanda Diabetes Association. We have seen the will of the people to succeed against the challenges diabetes presents, which is why Team Type 1 has been so dedicated for the past 10 years to advance access to diabetes care in Rwanda,” Team Type 1 Founder and President Phil Southerland said.

Abbott is an active healthcare provider in Africa in general and in Rwanda in particular. Since the beginning of 2019, the company has collaborated with the Ministry of Health and a leading NGO, on a pilot program including the launch of eight second-generation health posts in the Eastern Rwanda’s Bugesera District. The initiative aims at providing primary healthcare services within a 30-minute walk of all Rwandan homes. Health post workers will test and treat people, including pregnant women and new-born children for multiple infectious and non-communicable diseases.

According to the STEPS Survey 2014, Diabetes prevalence in Rwanda is 3 per cent and 2,000 among the patients have type 1 diabetes.

According to the Health Ministry, Rwanda aims to protect her population from morbidity and mortality related to NCDs including Diabetes. This can be achieved through cooperation with different stakeholders at national and international levels.

Rwanda has put in place different measures to fight diabetes. These include community check-up and sensitization for early detection, decentralization and integration of diabetes care to health centre level, health system strengthening through capacity building and development of normative tools, increase of accessibility and affordability of diabetes commodities, medicine and lab tests, inclusion of diabetes care into medical insurance scheme, among others.

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Five Southern African Countries Receive Food Humanitarian Aid From European Union.
January 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

Five Southern African countries Zimbabwe, Eswathini , Madagascan , Swaziland and Zambia will benefit from the 18,7 million humanitarian aid  which will first serve the most affected country Zimbabwe . The aid is directed towards alleviating adverse effects of drought, a result of climate change.

Drought in the Southern African region is a result of floods, less rainfall, lack of inputs leading to Agricultural drought and some other reasons which are basically natural and anthropogenic. Zimbabwe will benefit from the aid resulting in distribution of food to vulnerable affected communities around the country.

According to Janez Lenarcic , EU Commissioner for Crisis Management , Zimbabwe , some  Southern African states and the Indian Ocean countries face enormous challenges related to food crisis . This , already known results from effects of climate change which go hand in hand with Elmina and lamina, very less, sometimes very high rains. These rains cause floods which destroy crops resulting in hydrological drought. Sometimes rains are far less, this leading to meteorological drought.

‘’Many poor house-holds in drought stricken communities in Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Region struggle to get food due to crop failure caused by  massive and harsh drought conditions . This part of the region is highly prone to floods, disasters and hazards. Failure to receive good rain, reduced water and economic crisis cause a number of challenges’’.

Janez highlights that Zimbabwe is more affected hence why it is getting more aid .The remaining amount will go to other countries mentioned above facing the same challenges. There are almost 12 million people facing drought in Zimbabwe. This is because it is the country that receives below average rainfall annually. .It is also severely hit by floods this resulting in food crisis. Since 2019 EU has given humanitarian aid up to 67, 95 million Euro dollars which is 75, 75 US Dollars.

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President Mnangagwa On Leave Commits To Opening First Of Its Kind ICT Assembly Plant..
January 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

President Emmerson Mnangagwa upon request from the Permanent Secretary in his Office Misheck Sibanda absconded one day of his leave to attend opening of the 1st ever Information Communication Technology Assembly Plant a unique Computer Centre in Msasa Industrial Area of Harare on Thursday 16 January .

The centre is a company run by the Zimbabwe Information Technology Company [ZITCO ] It has other consortium of Stakeholders which are TEL-ONE , Zimbabwe Government  and INSPUR a Chinese Company .

Addressing a Press Pack of Journalists, President Mnangagwa pointed out that the first ever kind of Information Communication Technology Company is an eye opener which mirrors development in terms of ICT in the country . He commented that such an event was unique since all the assembling of Computers internally was to give the country new way-forward in terms of Information Communication Technology.

‘’This is simply an eye-opener because we are a way ahead as a country. Such an event is unique because this is 1st of its own kind. ICT is the way to go, so, we have to appreciate this. The spirit of co-operation with China remains vital in our economic growth and development’’.

President Mnangagwa said the growth of ICT promotes Domestic markets which needs to grow so s to foster economic growth and reduce poverty in the country.  He pointed out that this also makes external markets move at par – level with our domestic ones.

‘’Our domestic markets will grow and create new opportunities for our graduates in ICT. Since this means we have to assembly computers as a country, we grow in terms of the Domestic Markets opening up way in job creation.

‘’ I am on leave but I have dedicated my time to be here . Mr Misheck Sibanda is the man who made me be part of this program. Some time back he told me about this. While on leave, he phoned me informing me that I am invited to attend this occasion. I also encouraged the Acting President Mr Constantine Chiwengwa to attend as well.’’  

In his speech TEL-ONE staff, Engineer Munembe said the project is a make-up of several stakeholders in the ICT Industry of Zimbabwe. He said the project was supported by the President’s office. This he said is an idea which stands to show commitments of the Government.

‘’ We thank all stakeholders and the Office of the President which crafted the idea to come up with such a company. We will work with Small to Medium Enterprises to promote Innovation meant for us to procure products to feed in desk tops, laptops and all the other ICT gadgets.’’

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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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