Ghanaians Must Cherish The Free Press – Former Foreign Minister Hanna Tetteh
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Maxwell Nkansah
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union, Hanna Tetteh has called on Ghanaians to cherish the free press in the oil-producing West African country.
The former Foreign Affairs Minister under the Mahama administration said in a tweet that news and comments from the many TV, radio and online platforms as well as individuals, reflect how Ghanaians just love to debate everything.
It is unclear the context in which she made this tweet however it comes at the period where there is an ongoing debate on whether or not there is culture of silence in Ghana.
She said we must cherish our Free Press because it gives us all the news and leaves us to draw our conclusions. According to her Ghanaians are heavily divided on whether or not there is culture of silence in the country. Whereas some believe it exists in different forms, other also think otherwise. A Lecturer at the Political Science Department at the University of Ghana Professor Ransford Gyampo, refuted claims that there is a culture of silence in the country. He said, where he sits as a political scientist and a citizen within the military regime of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) in Ghana, he cannot agree that there is such a culture in the country.
Dr Gyampo stated that the culture of silence as he knew it under the erstwhile military regime, when one makes any critical comments against the government, he or she will be picked up, brutalized, vanish and even murdered but in the current regime he and countless others are still speaking their minds without fear.
Hence, for fear of being picked up, brutalized, vanished and even be murdered for being vocal against the erstwhile PNDC regime, a lot of people adopted the mute approach by not speaking their minds when their freedom and lives were at stake, which induced the culture of silence in the country.
He however said that, since you are being vocal and critical against somebody, it is a natural reaction to be intimidated or heavily responded to by such individuals. That cannot suffice to be classified as a culture of silence in the right sense of the term.
Odododiodio lawmaker, Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye said there is culture of silence in Ghana under the Akufo-Addo administration. In his view, people are unable to express themselves freely without being insulted or attacked. This situation, he said, smacks of the culture of silence comment that was recently made by businessman Sam Jonah.
According him the cultures of silence really exist in Ghana and you don’t need anyone to tell you. Today, you go on radio stations to speak and you are afraid for your life. “Journalists have been beaten and attacked for doing their work. Caleb Kudah of Citi FM was attacked, what has happened to the killers of Ahmed Suale? A Graphic reported was also attacked recently so you don’t need anyone to tell you there is culture of silence in Ghana.”
He added “Today people who used to go to Sam Jonah to seek knowledge are now sitting on radio insulting him because he has said the obvious truth.”
A former AngloGold Ashanti boss, Sam Jonah KBE ignited this debate at a Rotary Club function. Mr. Sam Jonah said “What is baffling is that those who used to have voices on these things seem to have lost their voices. People speak on issues based on who is in power.
He said in their deafening silence suggesting that they are no longer concerned about issues that they complained about not too long ago, particularly when those issues persist.
NBA Draft 2021: I want to be one of those players from Africa who did something big in the NBA-Jonathan Kuminga
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments
Jonathan Kuminga (Democratic Republic of the Congo) – selected 7th by the Golden State Warriors fields questions after the NBA Draft 2021 .I want to be one of those players from Africa who did something big in the NBA, he says.
You’re playing with the Warriors but how will you use your physical capability, your power inside of that Warriors lineup on offense?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: I’m in a great situation. I see myself as giving out a lot on defense and at the end of the day if they need me on offense, it’s just the way they want me to do it, I’m willing to do it and I feel like I’m capable to
do it. I feel like it’s the right fit for me.
Like Jalen Green, you both got better as the draft approached through G League Ignite. How do you see the future for players who take the same route going to the G League? And you also had one teammate in the Ignite. His name is Kai Sotto, he’s from the Philippines. Do you think Kai can be where you are, making an NBA team?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: Kai for sure, he has a chance to be a great player. At the end of the day Kai works hard, he has the size and ability to be an NBA player and drive. And just going to the G League, I feel like that’s the best route to go out there and just work hard every single day.
I know today is only day one of your NBA career, but what legacy do you want to leave behind when your career is all said and done?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: At the end of the day I just want to be remembered as that guy who brought a team to a
championship, who won a championship. At the end of the day I want to be Hall of Fame, so I want to have a great career where everybody going to be talking about I want to model my game to Jonathan at some point.
The Warriors are obviously in a position to really kind of compete for a title next season. How ready do you think you are to kind of step in and play maybe like a supplementary role on a winning team like right now?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: Like I said, I always thank God, I always pray to God and I was lucky to be in this position, and I feel like that’s the type of competition I’m looking forward to. As long as I grow around Steph Curry, Klay ,Draymond Green, I feel like my game is going to go from the bottom to the top in a couple months. As I get along and get used to them people, because they’re going to always push me, they’re always going to put me in the right situation, and I feel like no matter wherever we end up, we’re ready to compete and win a championship.
I’m sure you’re aware a bunch of African players were drafted last season and one of them I think even won the title with the Milwaukee Bucks. So, when you look at that progression and you look at the great African players that have come before you, where do you think your ceiling is and which African player do you think inspires you the most?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: I would say pretty much all of them. Starting from [Dikembe] Mutombo, going to Giannis who just won a championship, you know. I want to be in that category. I want to be one of those players where coming from Africa and one day do something big in the NBA. So basically I’m looking forward to going to Golden State
and help the team and just be that one African kid that’s going to come out there and do everything that I can do to
help a team to win.
During this process and maybe even over the past year since you were based a little bit in Northern California with the Ignite, had you had any conversations with the Warriors with Bob Myers, Steve Kerr throughout this process? Did you have an idea that maybe this could be a possibility, you going and playing for the Warriors?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: No, you know, I didn’t have any idea. Golden State is just a team — it’s a good team and just me being selected at Golden State I feel like it’s the perfect fit for me and I’m really excited to be a part of it. But going through my Ignite career I never get to talk to anybody, but one thing I’m just surprised and really like
looking forward for is like I’m used to the city so it’s basically going back home again.
Did you talk to Bob Myers or Steve Kerr over the past couple of weeks during the pre-draft process?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: I didn’t talk to Steve Kerr, but I talked to like the owner of the team, because they came in town and I had a workout and we had a dinner and stuff and it went well.
Could you tell us a little bit more about that workout in Miami with the Warriors, what specifically were you able to do for them and what was the interview process like with them that day?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: I would say the day I worked out they came and watched me it went really good. I showed
all the ability that I’m capable of doing, all the little things that I’m capable to bring to the table and help the team to
win. So, I think just from that, that’s where they really picked me. And we went to dinner and it went really good,
they had a great staff, they came out to see me and I enjoyed the time I had with them.
You’re a prospect that has one of the highest ceilings in the draft, potentially out of this world. How do you want to unlock that and make the Warriors right about their draft pick? So what area of your game do you want to attack first and make sure you have that down before you step on a NBA court?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: Pretty much everything. At the end of the day, like I said, I have the most and the highest ceiling in this draft and it’s just my work ethic that I put every day, I’m working on pretty much everything, I don’t
work on one thing. So, basically going to Golden State it’s like I’m already prepared, because I’m not going to be, I’m
not going to be the man of the team, but at the end of the day I’m going to be one of the players on the team that’s
going to help the team to win.
How do you think your training will be affected by playing with Klay, Steph and Draymond? You’re going to have a lot of time to work on your game, you won’t be asked to carry the load at first, so how are you going to attack that for your training behind the scenes where you’re not going to be able to use it in the game right off the bat?
JONATHAN KUMINGA: I just got to bring it out for every time I get in the game. I just got to be the player they need
me to be, listen, learn every single day, work hard and I think everything will go well.
*Interview courtesy of ASAP Sports/APO
Six players with direct ties to Africa selected At NBA Draft 2021.
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments
NBA Draft 2021 presented by State Farm® was held Thursday, July 29 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and reached fans in 215 countries and territories in 25 languages. The Detroit Pistons selected Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham with the first pick in the NBA Draft. This marked the first time in 51 years and third time overall that the Pistons made the top pick.
Eighteen international players from 15 countries were selected: nine in the first round and nine in the second round. Australian Josh Giddey, a graduate of NBA Global Academy in Canberra, Australia, became the first NBA Academy graduate to be drafted into the NBA when he was selected 6th overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
A record 10 former Basketball Without Borders (BWB) campers were drafted, breaking the previous record of eight set in 2019.
Six players with direct ties to Africa have been selected:
· Jonathan Kuminga (Democratic Republic of the Congo) – selected 7th by the Golden State Warriors
· Usman Garuba (Spain/Nigerian parents) – selected 23rd by the Houston Rockets
· JT Thor (USA/South Sudanese parents) – selected 37th by the Detroit Pistons
· Ayo Dosunmu (USA/Nigerian parents) – selected 38th by the Chicago Bulls
· Neemias Queta (Portugal/parents from Guinea-Bissau) – selected 39th by the Sacramento Kings
· Charles Bassey (Nigeria) – selected 53rd by the Philadelphia 76ers
NBA G League Ignite forward Jonathan Kuminga was selected No. 7 overall by the Golden State Warriors, becoming the highest-drafted player from the Democratic Republic of the Congo since Emmanuel Mudiay was also selected No. 7 overall in 2015. Kuminga was ranked by ESPN as the top high school prospect in the Class of 2021 before reclassifying to the Class of 2020 and joining NBA G League Ignite. He moved to the U.S. from his native Democratic Republic of the Congo to pursue basketball in 2016.
Born to Nigerian parents, forward Usman Garuba of Spain, is already considered one of the best young defenders in Europe as a 19-year-old and is a member of the Spain Men’s National Team in the Tokyo Olympics. Garuba helped Spain win gold medals at the 2019 FIBA U18 European Championship, earning All-Star Five honors, and the 2016 FIBA U16 European Championship, where he was named MVP.
Charles Bassey was named an All-Star at Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Global Camp 2017, which was held in New Orleans as part of NBA All-Star 2017, and MVP of BWB Global 2018, which was held in Los Angeles as part NBA All-Star 2018.
“At the end of the day I just want to be remembered as that guy who brought a team to a championship, who won a championship. At the end of the day I want to be Hall of Fame, so I want to have a great career where everybody going to be talking about I want to model my game to Jonathan at some point,” says Jonathan Kuminga
“Starting from [Dikembe] Mutombo, going to Giannis who just won a championship, you know. I want to be in that category. I want to be one of those players where coming from Africa and one day do something big in the NBA. So basically I’m looking forward to going to Golden State and help the team and just be that one African kid that’s going to come out there and do everything that I can do to help a team to win,” affirms Jonathan whose origins are from the Democratic Republic of Congo
Tanzania: Samia Leads Top Govt Officials For First Covid-19 Jabs.
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Michael Sikapundwa
President Samia Suluhu Hassan sought to trash some negative sentiments against Covid-19 vaccines yesterday when she toldTanzanians that being a mother and a grandmother, there was no way that she could put her own life at risk.
Speaking shortly before she received her first jab of the Janssen Covid-19 vaccine to officially launch the nationwide vaccination
exercise, President Hassan said she was a mother of four a grandmother, wife above all else also President and Commander in Chief snd there was no way that she could put lives of Tanzanians at risk.
The start of vaccination comes four days after Tanzania received its 1,058,400 doses of the Janssen Covid-19 vaccine which was received on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in
Dar es Salaam by Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima, her Foreign Affairs counterpart, Liberata Mulamula and US Ambassador to Tanzania Donald Wright.
It also comes against the backdrop of negative sentiments by some influential individuals, emanating from the country’s prior position on Covid-19 vaccines.
By taking the jab, President Hassan is taking a completely different approach from that of her predecessor, the late John Magufuli who had openly expressed doubt about the safety of masks and vaccines.
In line with the past thinking, a cleric-cum politician, Josephat Gwajima castigated the Covid-19 vaccines in a statement that was widely condemned by people across different walks of life.
Addressing worshipers in Dar es Salaam at his Glory of Christ Tanzania Church on Sunday, Mr Gwajima spoke ‘carelessly’, saying developed countries that spearheaded the initiatives had ulterior motives in the program.
He told his unwary followers that he was dedicating this whole week to teaching against the danger of the Covid-19 vaccinations.
And yesterday, President Hassan reiterated that the vaccines would be administered at one’s own will, noting however that the country will import more vaccines through a special arrangement by the African
“We have already pressed an order at the AU through our own funding, that was set aside,” she said.
Among those vaccinated yesterday at the State House include President Hassan, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, Chief Justice Ibrahim Juma, Chief Secretary Hussein Kattanda, Foreign Minister Ambassador Libereta Mulamula and Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima.
“I am grateful that through the US government we were able to receive the vaccinations while at the same am also happy with the committee in charge of the pandemic that is working day and night to ensure everything goes well,” she said.
She hailed those that had joined her to launch the vaccination, because they would be able to show Tanzanians that it was safe.
Explaining she said that since Tanzania joined the vaccination programme there have been different views about the decision including those that were against it and those that supported it.
“We will continue to educate the people to make informed decisions, but at the moment the challenge is that the number of vaccinations that we have is small compared to needs” she said.
She noted that the decision to be vaccinated was voluntary and also based on one’s faith citing examples of six shots she received in her childhood days that have made her healthy and alive today.
However she urged the public that despite the vaccinations, they should continue taking precautions because among those vaccinated there are those who are not.
“The pandemic is real and only families that have been affected know
its impact, these families are in Moshi, Arusha, Dar es Salaam and other parts of the country, those not affected will not understand” she said.
She said there were other nations living in Tanzania including the Chinese that had requested to import the vaccinations to enable them travel to their countries without having to be quarantined.
On her part, Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender,
Elderly Children, Dorothy Gwajima said following the delivery of the vaccines, the Ministry has put up a plan for the vaccinations including identifying health centers where people will be vaccinated.
“We have also started creating awareness to enable the public to be vaccinated and reach health immunity as well as understand that the Johnson and Johnson are safe and already given to 8 million people in the US,” he said.
She said that there have been false reports that the Johnson and Johnson vaccinations had been rejected, but the reality is that there had been a few mishaps which were cleared on April 28, this year before the consignment was delivered in the country.
She further assured Tanzanians not to be wary of directives that require all those that have opted to be vaccinated to sign a consent form that makes them responsible for any eventuality on grounds that it was the normal health standard procedure.
“This is an historic event where President Hassan has launched vaccinations against Covid-19,”she said.
On his part, Prime Minister Kassim Majalia said being the chairman of the Covid-19, they were following up all issues related to the pandemic including receiving expert information.
He said Tanzania like the rest of the world was also taking action against the pandemic including preparing to start vaccinating its people.
“The Covid-19 committee will meet on July 30 to discuss a number of issues including how the public has received the vaccines and what needs to be done,” he said.
Connecting Africa to the global economy is paramount to strengthening international trade.
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments
By David Eurin*
Connecting Africa to the rest of the world and unleashing its workforce potential may just be the key to catapulting international trade and markets to a whole new level. According to 2019 United Nations Demographic data, 60% of the African population is under the age of 25, giving this developing continent the largest population of young people in the world. These innovative young minds are eager for a seat at the global economic table, but how do we get them there?
Africa (as a whole) desperately needs to leapfrog into the digital future and catch up with the rest of the world. The continent is in need of proper broadband infrastructure and connectivity to the global economy. The sooner the better as each country in Africa is developing digital skills (albeit at different rates) to offer the world.
Liquid Intelligent Technologies recognises Africa’s potential and connects it to the global economy. We created 100,000km of fibre routes to transport data across the length and breadth of the continent and provided access to submarine cables.
Through our vision, we built Africa’s largest independent fibre network, and with the East to West fibre connection, our fibre routes are the most direct digital corridors across the southern hemisphere. We have set a new benchmark helping the organisation achieve historic milestones in its journey to create a more connected Africa.
The fibre connectivity infrastructure corridors offer a low latency path to connect Asia, Africa and the US as an alternative to busier routes via the Middle East. Our growth is a direct result of the increasing demand for infrastructure to support broadband internet on the African continent. Now more than ever before, local businesses need reliable and extensive connectivity to ensure effective digital transformation.
With all of this in place, it is now possible for companies to expand their operations in Africa using a reliable and extensive network with access to over 100,000 kilometres of the fibre network. This includes access to Cloud, Cyber Security, IoT networks, and state-of-the-art data centres in Nairobi (Kenya), Johannesburg and Cape Town (South Africa) and Lomé (Togo), with more being built such as in Lagos (Nigeria) – keeping Africa’s data in Africa and meeting all required data regulations.
This infrastructure not only enables new trade-in and out of Africa, but it also brings a variety of new benefits to a continent that has for far too long been in much need of more global investment, infrastructure and support. This cross-border connectivity with high speed and access to public clouds allows the region to grow via digital services such as internet banking, access to international education, and the platform to connect hospitals to central databases. It also helps bring governments online and bolster service delivery efforts.
Despite some challenges along the way, we connected Africa and continue to grow our footprint in the region. The likes of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft are also investing in Africa. But one of the crucial advantages of Liquid’s infrastructure is the ability to offer network redundancy. This essentially means that a network in Nairobi, for example, has three or four different route options. If one goes down, there are still others that can be used as a backup. Multiple routes are important because you can never be reliant on a single route.
The time for African strength and economic power on the global stage is coming. The question is who is going to be the first to take advantage of this as the continent’s infrastructure quickly catches up to global standards. Who will be the first in line to unleash the potential of African youth?
About the author
*CEO Liquid Sea & Group Strategy Officer Liquid Intelligent Technologies. David Eurin joined Liquid Intelligent Technologies in 2013. He is responsible for leading the Group’s strategy in his role as Group Chief Strategy Officer as well as heading the International Wholesale division.Prior to Liquid he was a Partner and Head of Africa at Analysys Mason, a management consultancy specialising in TMT. David has extensive experience in the fixed and mobile telecommunications industry, gained in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa where he advised senior management teams on strategic, regulatory, financial and commercial issues. He has an MBA from the Collège des Ingénieurs (France), an MSc from the University of British Columbia (Canada), as well as an engineering degree from ParisTech (France). David was born in France and now lives in London.
Arunma Oteh Elected New Chair At The Royal African Society.
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments
The Royal African Society is delighted to announce the election as its new Chair of Ms Arunma Oteh in succession to journalist and broadcaster Zeinab Badawi, who is stepping down after seven years, at the end of her second term.
Ms Oteh is a member of Global Leadership Council at Said Business School at the University of Oxford, and a member of the London Stock Exchange Africa Advisory Group. She was previously Treasurer and Vice President of the World Bank, Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria, and Group Vice President and Treasurer at the African Development Bank.
As Chair, Ms Oteh will be responsible for leading the Council that sets the Society’s strategic direction for the achievement of its mission. She will serve a renewable term of three years.
Ms Oteh said, “This is a tremendous opportunity for me to lead such an eminent Council and contribute to the great work that the Royal African Society has been doing for 120 years. The Society offers so many possibilities to learn about Africa, to influence policy, and to showcase the business & cultural opportunities that Africa offers, and thereby help unleash Africa’s enormous potential. Our work will also help strengthen the relationships and partnerships that African countries and the U.K. need, in order to address the important challenges that the world currently faces”.
The Society’s Director, Dr Nick Westcott, added: “We are delighted that Arunma has agreed to take on the role of Chair. She is a great champion for Africa and will play a key role in connecting the Society with Africans everywhere and in ensuring their voices are heard. Her extensive experience across business, economic, academic, cultural and political spheres will be invaluable.”
Ms. Arunma Oteh OON is an Academic Scholar at St. Antony’s College and an Executive-in-Residence at Saïd Business School (SBS), University of Oxford. Her research areas of focus are capital markets, economic development and financial technology. She is also a member of the London Stock Exchange Africa Advisory Group and a member of Global Leadership Council of SBS. She was previously Treasurer of the World Bank, Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission Nigeria, and Group Vice President and Group Treasurer, African Development Bank Group. She started her career in 1985, at Centre Point Investments Limited, Nigeria. Ms. Oteh holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BSc, First Class Honors from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Ms Oteh has also served on several boards and has received several awards notably Nigeria’s Officer of the Order of Niger (OON) National Honour. She was named one of PowerList’s 2020 top 100 people of Black Heritage in the U.K., and one of Africa’s 50 most influential African women by Forbes Africa in March 2020
The Royal African Society is a membership organisation that provides opportunities for people to connect, celebrate and engage critically with Africa today. Through our events, publications and digital channels we share insight, instigate debate and facilitate mutual understanding between the UK and Africa. We amplify African voices and interests in academia, business, politics, the arts and education, both in the UK and globally, reaching a worldwide network of nearly three million people. The Society is celebrating its 120th Anniversary this year
Driving Regional Energy Growth in Central Africa: African Energy Week in Cape Town Emphasizes Market-Driven Policies, Local Content Development, and an Enabling Environment
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
Through a series of high-level meetings with industry leaders and international oil companies, Leoncio Amada NZE, African Energy Chamber Executive President for the CEMAC region, is driving a strong narrative on the role of regulation and an enabling environment in accelerating investment in Equatorial Guinea.
By promoting African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 in Cape Town South Africa as the ideal platform whereby global and African stakeholders can network and collaborate, he is driving an Africa-focused narrative and pushing for a multi-stakeholder approach to attracting investment and establishing a competitive African market both Equatorial Guinea and the wider CEMAC region.
The CEMAC region – which comprises Cameroon, Chad, the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo – is richly endowed with multiple natural resources, in which a recent oil and gas boom has the potential to accelerate economic growth and alleviate energy poverty throughout the region. Despite comprising one of the richest areas on the continent – with existing production levels at 700,000 barrels of oil per day and 5 million tons of LNG per annum – the CEMAC region also remains one of the most challenging business environments in Africa, with red tape and burdensome regulations creating significant barriers to entry.
Gas from the YoYo/Yolanda field (which straddles the maritime border between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon, operated by Noble Energy on both sides) may also be eventually processed at Punta Europa. In mid-2017, Noble Energy signed an agreement with both governments to develop the fields jointly. Resources for YoYo are estimated at 47 Bcfg and 18 MMbc, whilst resources for Yolanda have been estimated at 27 Bcfg. The delays in approving these deals are not helpful to the citizens of both countries and we urge all players to fast track the process. Whilst the Etinde fields are just 35km away from Punta Europa, we are concerned about the delays in developing this project as well. We hope to see an FID soon and free from regional politics.
The region has been blessed by many companies that exploring for energy like Parenco, New Age, Bowleven, Exxon Mobil, lukoil ,Tower Resources, Chevron, Vaalco, Marathon, Atlas Petroleum, Glencore, Total Energies, BW Offshore, Assala Energy, Royal Gate Energy ENI, Kosmos Energy, Panoro Energy etc. They are creating so many beautiful jobs and must be encouraged. The issues of energy transition are real and we welcome an honest dialogue that starts with making energy poverty history.
While the concerted effort amongst all of the world’s nations is fundamental to curb the effects of climate change, it is paramount to have a clear understanding of what efforts will be most decisive, and which regions of the world are in a better position and have the biggest responsibility to tackle these issues. Demonizing energy companies is not a constructive way forward, and ignoring the structural role that carbon-based fuels have in today’s society distorts the public debate. Bringing energy companies, governments and civil society groups together to find functional solutions will achieve much more. We in Africa must not be dragged into the western hatred of oil companies. You can’t love jobs and hate those who create jobs. We must support our energy companies to ensure jobs and development for our people.
As Dr Martin Luther King Jr., stated in his letter from Birmingham Jail “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” We are tied together with these energy companies, and we must never apologize for supporting them and the so many African workers that work in the energy sectors. Africans are the biggest beneficiaries of their investment and their work.
One of the primary challenges hindering investment in the CEMAC region concerns excessive regulations such as the Bank of Central African States’ (BEAC) newly established foreign exchange (forex) policies. By increasing operational costs and reducing the ease of doing business across the region, such regulations reduce the appeal for foreign investors, rendering the region uncompetitive. With the focus on an effective COVID-19 recovery and accelerated energy sector growth requiring significant amounts of foreign capital, disrupting regulations such as the BEAC’s could significantly hamper any progress made by the region in recent years.
“We at the AEC, continue to believe that the BEAC’s new forex regulations pose a significant threat to domestic economic growth, directly restricting local business participation and disrupting local content development. The work Mr Jude Kearney and Leoncio Amada Nze are doing leading our AEC taskforce is critical” Stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber
“Through adjusted foreign exchange rules, increased tax policies, and restricted capital flow, local businesses will be unable to compete or establish partnerships with international companies, resulting in job losses and associated energy poverty. If the idea of BEAC is to hurt investors, they are not only doing that, but they are also hurting the local companies as well and the bureaucrats of BEAC should not be picking winners and losers. This is against the pro-growth and market driven policies that will ensure economic growth than begging for foreign aid, and we will make it a topic at African Energy Week in Cape Town”. Concluded Ayuk
In response to these challenges, the AEC is focused on a multi-stakeholder approach in eliminating red tape, burdensome regulations, and barriers to investment across Africa. Through meetings with BEAC representatives, Leoncio Amada NZE is advocating for an enabling environment, market-driven policies, and increased local participation in the regions energy sector, promoting AEW 2021 in Cape Town as the best platform to drive this trend. By uniting global and African energy stakeholders and financiers in one comprehensive event program, AEW 2021 will be the best place to discuss how the CEMAC region can create a more inclusive energy sector, attract further investment, and facilitate critical intra-African trade.
In driving this narrative, Leoncio Amada NZE has conducted productive meetings with industry leaders in Equatorial Guinea, initiating a valuable dialogue on the role of an enabling environment. Notably, meetings with H.E. Bindang Ndong Okiri, Secretary of State of Planning of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, emphasized how the adoption of fiscal policies that attract Foreign Direct Investment can create a competitive energy sector. Additionally, a meeting with representatives from Marathon Oil – an exploration and production company that has been at the core of Equatorial Guinea’s economic transformation – generated an insightful discussion on sustainable oil and gas operations. By emphasizing the need for regulatory reform, in which ease of doing business and investor-friendly policies are a focus, both Leoncio Amada NZE and the AEC are focused on driving investment in Africa.
What’s more, in a bid to promote AEW 2021 and invite international participation at Africa’s premier energy event, Leoncio Amada NZE met with Jesus Alfonso Osa and representatives from ExxonMobil’s Malabo team to discuss how the oil and gas industry can drive an economic transformation in the CEMAC region. With a firm presence and active participation in Equatorial Guinea for almost three decades, ExxonMobil has been a major contributor to energy sector and GDP growth. In addition to expanding their own operations in the country, ExxonMobil, through the implementation of local content programs, has transformed the local business sector, driving job creation and economic growth. Through events such as AEW 2021 in Cape Town, ExxonMobil can enhance partnerships and promote growth across the CEMAC region.
Finally, Leoncio Amada NZE’s meeting with Mr. Juan Antonio Ndong Ondo, CEO of Sonagas GE – the national gas company of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea –, further advanced the discussion on the role of the local business sector and National Oil Companies (NOC) in driving energy sector growth and success. By focusing on regional expansion as well as the value of local content and business-friendly regulation, both Leoncio Amada NZE and Mr. Ndong Ondo emphasized investment and intra-African partnerships, both of which will be facilitated at AEW 2021 in Cape Town.
Equatorial Guinea and the wider CEMAC region have significant potential, and AEW 2021 serves to enable the realization of economic growth, increased investment, and local business enhancement by emphasizing the risks pertaining to the BEAC forex regulations. Africa needs energy as well as productive partnerships to accelerate economic growth, all of which are driven by market-driven policies, productive regulation, and multi-stakeholder integration. AEW 2021 presents the most suitable platform to network with stakeholders, drive investment, and promote sector-advancing regulation.
For more information about Africa’s premier energy event, visit www.aew2021.com or energychamber.org and/or email Amina Williams at email@example.com
For registration-related inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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*Source African Energy Chamber
Oil and Gas Discoveries and Activity in Southwest Africa Set to Open New Basins for Development and Trigger Big Investments in Namibia, Angola and South Africa.
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
By NJ Ayuk*
Last spring, the Maersk Voyager, an ultra-deepwater drillship under contract by French supermajor Total, drilled a wildcat well in the deepest water ever – 3,628 meters (11,903 feet) in Block 48, a massive area with potentially huge oil reserves in the Congo basin offshore Angola.
The record-setting achievement wasn’t a success just for Maersk and Total. It also represented a victory for Angola and state oil company Sonangol in their search for new oil, part of a campaign to reverse a recent trend of production declines. The high-impact concept well was long anticipated, and it didn’t take long for other global players, including Qatar Petroleum (QP), to buy in. As part of its bid to expand its exploration portfolio, QP acquired a 30% stake in Block 48 in August, its first venture into Angola’s promising deepwater acreage.
If Angola were the only southwestern African nation making oil and gas news, that would still be a pretty good story. But the fact is, Africa’s southwestern coast is home to perhaps the most globally anticipated wildcats of 2020 and 2021 – exploration that continues despite the added challenges of COVID-19, which has constrained operating and capital budgets. As the African Energy Chamber noted in our 2021 outlook, if successful, prospects in Angola, Namibia, and South Africa, could “open new basins for development and trigger big investments towards the latter half of the 2020s.”
That’s headline-making, indeed.
Combined with Block 48, the Venus-1 prospect in Namibia, and South Africa’s Brulpadda and Luiperd, the region holds world-class resource potential. The key is translating that potential into real benefits for all Africans.
Production is Building Momentum in Angola
For nearly 70 years, oil has been a mainstay of the Angolan economy, contributing about 50% of the nation’s gross domestic product and around 89% of exports. The country holds the continent’s second-largest proven oil reserves and is behind only Nigeria in terms of production. (Angola also has Africa’s fourth-largest proven natural gas reserves, although historically it hasn’t produced much commercially.)
In recent years, though, the drop in oil prices scared off foreign investment, putting pressure on Angola’s well-established oil and gas industry as well as its oil-based economy. Despite its vast resources, not only was production on the downturn, there had not been a major new discovery since 2011. Without fresh finds, consultants Rystad Energy, S.A. said, volumes could drop below 1 million barrels per day by 2025, far below capacity and less than half the 2008’s daily output.
That forecast was more than enough to spur Angolan President João Lourenço into action.
Following his election in 2017, he promised Angola an “economic miracle” and immediately began incentivizing participation in the nation’s oil and gas industry as part of his turnaround plan.
Lourenço’s lures, including better contract terms that would make foreign investment more profitable, paid off. With reforms such as tax relief and a standalone oil industry regulator in place, Total – which has been operating in Angola for six decades – moved quickly in 2018 to take over Block 48 and was awarded Block 29 in the Namibe basin earlier this year; Italy’s Eni was awarded neighboring Block 28 about the same time. Angola also awarded several offshore blocks to Norway’s Equinor and BP. (There are approximately 50 blocks in the Namibe basin, but whether they will all be put into play remains to be seen.) Eni and its partners also began production at Agogo-1, pumping a modest 10,000 barrels per day. While that may sound small, it contributes to a much larger sum: Taken together, Rystad said, production from new Angolan projects – that is, those begun just in the last five years – should yield 549,000 barrels per day by 2025.
Fiscal Regime Sets Stage for Success in Namibia
If early seismic data is to be believed, compared to Angola there is equal, if not even more, promise in new discoveries offshore Namibia. Altogether, more than 11 billion barrels in oil reserves have been found off the Namibian coast, and scientists compare Namibia’s geology favorably to the pre-salt fields offshore Brazil, which hold 16 billion barrels of crude reserves. Yet Namibia’s basins are considered underexplored, meaning there’s ample opportunity for foreign and domestic investment. The possibility of high-impact discoveries has attracted the likes of Total, ExxonMobil, QP, and Kosmos Energy, which has had significant wildcat success in Africa over the past dozen years.
Currently, all eyes are on Total’s possibly play-opening Venus 1- prospect, which may turn out to be the largest discovery in Africa in a decade. An ultra-deepwater well in the Orange Basin, which straddles the border with South Africa, Venus-1 is thought to have at least 2 billion barrels of oil in place. If Venus-1 is successful, it’s like to attract even more attention to the area. Fortunately, the Namibian government’s oil-friendly policies make it easy for foreign companies to do business there. The fiscal regime is positive, and the state-owned oil company, the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR), is a cooperative partner. It also helps that Namibia is politically stable and has some of the best-developed infrastructure on the continent, including a modern electricity distribution grid.
We’re Seeing Growing Excitement in South Africa
Like its neighbors to the west, South Africa has been the site of considerable excitement over frontier discoveries, including Total’s Brulpadda, which opened up the Outeniqua basin in 2019. Brulpadda is considered a world-class oil and gas play that holds as much as 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent of gas and condensate light oil.
Brulpadda is considered an antidote to the cascade of ailments South Africa – like many countries with petroleum resources – has experienced in recent years: a drop in oil and gas exploration following a decline in commodity prices. It is likely that PetroSA’s gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant will provide a ready domestic market for Brulpadda, as will the nearby petrochemical and industrial facilities. It is also possible the discovery will help South Africa accelerate the use of gas for electricity.
Total continues to explore other parts of the Outeniqua basin and just last month discovered gas condensate on the Luiperd prospect, where it is a joint venture partner with QP, CNR International, and an African consortium called Main Street. In an announcement, Total said that the Luiperd well was drilled to a total depth of about 3,400 meters and encountered 73 meters of net gas condensate pay, making it even larger than the main reservoir at Brulpadda. Total and its partners have decided to commercialize the Luiperd gas rather than drill another exploration well in the program.
Africans Must Realize the Benefits
There’s no question that these discoveries have made southwestern Africa an exploration hot spot.
Neither is there any doubt that the governments of Angola, Namibia, and South Africa have facilitated and even accelerated the discovery and development processes by making it easy to do business there. (In the case of South Africa, its fiscal terms for oil and gas companies are described as “very generous.”)
What remains uncertain is to what degree each country will continue working to ensure its natural resources, whether newfound or long-established, are used to lift people out of poverty. True, African involvement in joint ventures leads us to assume that the best interests of every citizen are being considered.
But this is a time for the oil and gas companies that are involved in these mega-opportunities to redouble their efforts to support local communities and people. These companies are our guests in Africa, but the price of a welcome to our resource riches can’t be merely contractual, a handshake between governments and businessmen. The more they profit, the more Africans should benefit.
This idea is at the heart of the concept of Shared Value, which has been defined as “a framework for creating economic value while simultaneously addressing societal needs and challenges,” and as the “practice of profit in a way that creates value for society.” Shared Value doesn’t suggest that businesses should act as philanthropies or charities, giving handouts to those who exhibit need. It goes beyond the idea of corporate social responsibility, which is often based on volunteerism and one-off donations. Perhaps most important, Shared Value recognizes that companies can only stay in business if they are making money. As consultants FSG described it, the value companies and the community are sharing is “worth,” that is, economic value on a financial sheet and societal value in the form of progress on social issues.
Shared Value recognizes that companies have a responsibility to take on social challenges through the business itself. It is in their economic interest to do this. In Africa, one way they can do that is by supporting capacity-building. As the Shared Value Initiative noted, despite the substantial economic output of the oil and gas industry, it has “not always translated into societal improvements in host countries and communities… companies are losing billions of dollars a year to community strife,” much of it due to underemployment.
As more companies are attracted to southwestern Africa and these exciting new developments, we can only hope that they will recognize that where opportunity exists for them it should exist for everyone. And they have the power to make it so.
That would be really big news.
* NJ Ayuk is Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber
Namibia objects to Israel’s AU observer status .
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Andreas Thomas
Windhoek – Namibia, like her neighbour South Africa, has on Thursday expressed its objection to the decision by the African Union (AU) Commission to grant Israel observer status in the continental union.
The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation Executive Director, Penda Naanda said in a statement that the Namibian government is deeply concerned and disappointed that the AU Commission received credentials from the Ambassador of Israel.
“Granting observer status to an occupying power is contrary to the principles and objectives of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, particularly at a time when the State of Israel is increasing its acts of oppression in total violation of international law and disregard for the human rights of the Palestinian people.
“It is also contrary to the firm and solid commitment of the Heads of State and Government of the AU to support the Palestinian cause, as evidenced in the various declarations adopted at each Ordinary Session of the Assembly. Namibia believes in the two states as a solution to the issues between the State of Israel and Palestine.
“Namibia, therefore, disassociates itself from granting observer status to the State of Israel, while the reason for Israel loss of the observer status in 2002 remains unchanged. Namibia maintains that Israel can only re-gain observer status at the AU on condition that it ceases to occupy Palestine, and grants its people the right to self-determination,” Naanda said.
Naanda stressed that Namibia will officially submit its reservation to the Chairperson of the AU Commission, in due course.
Namibia’s objection came a day after South Africa also objected to a similar decision by the AU Commission. In a statement issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, the South African government described the decision as “unjust and unwarranted.” Pretoria further accused the AU Commission of taking the decision unilaterally without consultations with its members.
“It is therefore incomprehensible that the AU Commission chooses to reward Israel at a time when its oppression of Palestinians has been demonstrably more brutal. The South African government will as the Chairperson of the Commission provide a briefing to all member states on this decision which we hope, will be discussed by the executive council and the assembly of heads of states and government,” read the statement.
The Chairperson of the AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat on July 22, 2021, received credentials from Aleli Admasu, Ambassador of the State of Israel to Ethiopia.
Mahamat noted in a statement that the conflict between the State of Palestine and Israel has been a cause of great concern for over seventy years with various regional and international actors having participated in the search for peace between the two nations.
He noted that a lasting solution was required to ensure the co-existence of both nations and to allow their people to live in a state of peace and stability.
Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity of Alberta, Canada, Hon. Dale Nally Confirms Participation at African Energy Week 2021.
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
A speaker commitment by Hon. Dale Nally will further African Energy Week’s agenda regarding the role of natural gas in the global energy transition.
African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 is proud to host Hon. Dale Nally, Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity, Alberta, Canada, as a speaker at the four-day interactive conference and networking event on the 9th-12th of November 2021. Representing Canada at Africa’s premier energy event, Hon. Dale Nally will drive a discussion on natural gas and Africa’s energy transition and the value of gas-to-power solutions, emphasizing Africa-Canada relations and the role that Canadian service providers have to play in Africa.
Having served as the Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity in Alberta since 2019, Hon. Nally has placed natural gas and associated gas-to-power solutions as top of the agenda in Canada’s energy development. Under his leadership, the government has established a more business friendly regulatory environment for natural gas companies in Alberta, fast tracking growth across the sector. Prioritizing the global climate agenda and the utilization of cleaner sources of fuel, Hon. Nally promotes natural gas as the ideal energy solution, not only for Canada, but for the global economy. Accordingly, Hon. Nally will bring a unique set of skills and decades of experience to AEW 2021 in Cape Town, promoting the role of natural gas in facilitating a transition to cleaner fuel sources, while emphasizing the role that energy plays in accelerating socio-economic growth.
Meanwhile, Hon. Nally is a strong advocate for gas-to-power solutions, maintaining that natural gas offers the best environmental energy alternative compared to traditional coal-fired power plants. As many African countries turn to natural gas as a power generation solution – driven by the continent’s power challenges whereby 620 million lack access to electricity – Hon. Nally offers fundamental solutions and technological models for the transition from coal to natural gas, and will promote such at AEW 2021. Additionally, Hon. Nally will promote the utilization of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) as a cleaner source of fuel. By showcasing Canadian technology and its integration with LNG, Hon. Nally will introduce methods of making clean energy even cleaner, introducing valuable insights into the role of both small- and large-scale LNG in Africa. As Alberta begins to expand LNG development and utilization, Hon. Nally will share strategies for the adoption of LNG in Africa at AEW 2021, promoting development across the continent.
“AEW 2021 is committed to making energy poverty history by 2030. We are honored to host Hon. Nally as a speaker and eager to hear his viewpoints on the role of natural gas and gas-to-power in accelerating electricity access and alleviating energy poverty. As Africa progresses into an energy transition, AEW 2021 aims to promote the role of natural gas in the transition and Hon. Nally’s participation will only further this agenda, as well as promote the role of Canadian service providers in African markets,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman, the AEC.
“African states and the Oil and Gas industry can learn a lot from the Province of Alberta, Canada. Alberta, under Hon. Jason Kenney, Hon. Sonya Savage, and Hon. Nally has shown real courage in defending the role the oil and Natural gas industry plays in the economy of Alberta, Canada. They have promoted free market and pro-growth policies and Africans can learn a lot of from their bold policies for the Oil and Gas Industry. Hon Nally and his team have put in place policies that encouraged new drilling and provide relief to mature oil fields. It has improved investor confidence and created jobs for Albertans. Africans will embrace Alberta and its key institutions like the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology that has trained so many Africans working offshore and onshore. These relationships need to be strengthened and prepared for a strong Canada-Africa energy investment,” concluded Ayuk
Canada already has a foothold in Africa with companies such as Reconnaissance Energy Africa (Recon) working with both the Namibian and Botswana governments to drive exploration and production within the Kavango Basin. Recently, in a three-stage drilling campaign in Namibia, Recon has indicated the potential of billions of barrels of oil, further cementing Canada’s footprint in African markets. With the third stage about to be implemented, the world eagerly awaits the results. Additionally, Canadian-based Africa Energy Corp., an oil and gas company with exploration assets offshore South Africa and Namibia, is actively exploring offshore prospects and advancing upstream activities in Southern Africa. With working interests in Block 2B and Blocks 11B/12B in South Africa, and PEL 37 in Namibia, Africa Energy Corp. is working with major oil companies Total Energies and Tullow to explore African oil and gas opportunities. By participating at AEW 2021, Hon. Nally will further promote the role that Canadian service providers such as Recon and Africa Energy Corp. have to play in emerging African markets. Canada is set to be a key driver of African upstream growth, with Hon. Nally’s participation only enhances this trend.
Hon. Nally brings with him decades of private sector experience and will, therefore, promote the increased penetration of Canadian service providers and the private sector in African markets, initiating sectoral and economic growth continent wide. By emphasizing the role that companies such as Recon and Africa Energy Corp. play in Africa, as well as the opportunities available for such companies, Hon. Nally is focused on expanding Africa-Canada relations in a bid to reaffirm partnerships, introduce Canadian companies to African opportunities, and drive energy sector development in both Alberta and Africa as a whole.
Both Hon. Nally and the African Energy Chamber believe in the advantages of natural gas in spurring electricity access, industrialization, and economic growth. Hon. Nally’s position on natural gas is clear: that it is the best resource to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and end energy poverty. By promoting this message at AEW 2021 in Cape Town, Hon. Nally aligns with the African Energy Chamber’s agenda to make energy poverty history by 2030.
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Rwanda denies allegations it uses Pegasus to spy on critics
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti
The Rwanda Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Vincent Biruta has denied allegations that Rwanda uses the Israel-made software to spy on targets describing them as ways to undermine the judicial system with the intention to influence the courts’ decision.
Addressing the press conference on Thursday, Minister Biruta who is also the government Spokesperson described the allegations also as “Politically motivated”.
Rwanda has been listed among the list of countries that use Pegasus to spy on people who are seen as critics of the government including exiled Rwandans, journalists, lawyers as well as politicians.
According to the recently released list of people being spied on through Pegasus, Carine Kanimba, the daughter of the terror suspect Paul Rusesabagina was one of them.
Rusesabagina is accused of nine counts, including forming an illegal armed group, financing terror activities, murder as an act of terror, kidnap as an act of terror, arson as an act of terror, among others
“I would like to literate that Rwanda does not use this software system, we don’t possess those technical capabilities in any form” he said
“It is also important to note the dubious methodology used in coming up with these accusations: only 0.1 percent of the phone numbers on their list have been forensically examined, and only half of those had traces of Pegasus,” he added.
He stressed that no one knows where the list comes from and what being enlisted there means.
Biruta said that the accusations were one of the ways in the ongoing campaign to cause tensions between Rwanda and other countries while sowing disinformation about Rwanda domestically and internationally.
The Pegasus campaign, Biruta noted, is the pressure and tentative’ meddling with court proceedings from those who tend to teach Rwanda about equitable justice as well as courts’ independence.
“Those who accuse you of not respecting the right to a fair trial are the ones dictating you on how the court should read its verdict. This is simply racism and condescendence,” he said.
Zimbabwe:Chirundu border post fuel transit scam busted .
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) officials have reported here that they have intercepted three transit fuel trucks at Chirundu border post that are accused of smuggling fuel into Zimbabwe which was meant to be transported to Zambia potentially prejudicing the country of potential revenues through organized crime.
It is reported that during the period from 17 July 2021 to 23 July 2021, three tankers that had declared fuel at Forbes Border Post en route to Zambia were intercepted at Chirundu One Stop Border Post all loaded with water instead of fuel as per the declarations made at Forbes Border Post. The tankers had respectively declared 44 924 litres of diesel, 39 932 litres of diesel and 45 800 litres of petrol destined for Zambia, however the three tankers after physical inspections turned out to be carrying water.
“The three fuel tankers were flagged for physical inspection and with the assistance of police, two drivers were arrested and have already appeared in court. The driver of the third tanker is still at large as he disappeared during the physical inspection of the vehicle. The Authority is currently capacitating the intelligence management unit and will continue leveraging on technology and data matching to fish out fuel smugglers”, explained ZIMRA’s Head Corporate Communications, Francis Chimanda.
The arrested drivers for the two fuel tankers, Godfrey Nyamukondiwa and Joseph Guveya, who appeared in court on Monday the 26th of July were granted bail worth $30,000 each and are set to reappear in court on the 24th of August 2021. The bond for the Clearing Agent involved has been recommended for suspension until the duty due for the fuel has been secured.
“Intelligence at hand points to possible connivance between transporters and their drivers as well as some unscrupulous agents. The transit fuel does not exit Zimbabwe and is consumed locally against customs regulations. The smugglers off-load and sell the fuel in Zimbabwe. Thereafter they load the trucks with water and proceed to Chirundu for the acquittal process. Once acquitted, they enter Zambia where they drain the water and buy cheaper fuel for delivery to their customers. This ensures that they make a hefty profit in Zimbabwe since they would have brought the fuel into Zimbabwe duty-free,” said Mr. Chimanda.
Transit shipment of fuel occurs when transporters ship fuel from outside Zimbabwe, which passes through the country destined for another country. Since this fuel is not for local consumption, no duty is paid on importation. The fuel trucks are sealed at the port of entry and the seals are removed at the exit point after the acquittal process.
Sealed fuel trucks that transit through Zimbabwe, are monitored by an Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) operated by ZIMRA’s Customs and Excise Division. The trucks use dedicated routes and any departure from these routes attracts a fine of US$2 000.00. Removal of seals is a serious offence, which also attracts a hefty fine.
Africa’s 2021 solar awards entries now open .
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
The African Solar Industry Association (AFSIA) Solar Awards entries for 2021 have opened for submission, according to a statement by the organizers.
According to AFSIA, the awards are the industry’s leading awards ceremony.
It is also reported that the event is held to honor the excellence of all professionals of the African solar industry for their activities and contribution to the sector.
“It is a testament to the competence, ingenuity, and vision of its participants recognizing and celebrating their undisputable accomplishments,” the organizers said.
“The AFSIA Solar Awards will once again recognize excellence in innovation, professionalism, industry best practices and HSE standards. This ceremony aims at celebrating the brightest and the best that the African solar industry has to offer. But it will also underline the incredible growth and development currently experienced by the solar industry in Africa.” said Ines Dushime, Manager of the AFSIA Solar Awards.
AFSIA and EnergyNet, the organizer of the Africa Energy Forum, are have also announced their collaboration once again for the 2nd edition of the AFSIA Awards.
AEF is the marquis event of the African energy industry and has been uniting top public and private sector decision-makers in one location for more than 20 years.
This year, AEF will take place in London from November 15th until 17th.
“AFSIA is thrilled to be part of this prestigious event and to reveal the laureates during the hybrid live and online ceremony on the 16th of November,” the organizers said.
It is areported that applications to the AFSIA Solar Awards will be assessed by some of the best experts of the African solar industry. They will review every application independently and will nominate the outstanding ones in each category.
This year the jury is composed of Demi Edosomwan from TotalEnergies Ventures, Catherine Mukobo from ACERD, Tony Tiyou from Renewables in Africa, Wale Shonibare from AfDB, Ujunwa Ojemeni from the Ministry of Energy & Natural Resources – Lagos State Government, Salma Okonkwo from UBI Group and Wikus Kruger from the Power Futures Lab at the University of Cape Town.
“As a major player in the solar industry, this is your unique opportunity to shine and be recognized as a true leader in the industry covering all areas from small solar home systems to grid-connected large-scale systems,” the organizers said.
Past winners of the 2020 AFSIA Solar Awards are CrossBoundary Energy, Sterling & Wilson Solar, Africa GreenTec, d.light, Munyax Eco, ANKA Madagascar, Pawame, Solar Box Gabon, Synergy Consulting, Eversheds-Sutherland, Suntrace, African Development Bank, Olaedo Osoka, Phaesun, African Minigrids.
AFSIA is now accepting nominations for the 2nd edition of the Awards for the following 16 categories. Participants in this competition must submit projects completed in the last 12 months,Utility Scale Solar Project of the Year,C&I Solar Project of the Year,Mini-grid Solar Project of the Year,SHS Solar Project of the Year,Residential Solar Project of the Year,African Solar Company of the Year,African solar entrepreneur/SME of the year,Financial Advisor / Consultant of the Year,Legal Advisor / Consultant of the Year,Technical Consultant of the Year,DFI of the Year,Woman in solar of the Year,Solar Innovation of the Year,Solar Picture of the Year,Solar Video of the Year and the Life-time achievement award.
Application is free of charge and open to all. Details may be found at http://afsiasolar.com/afsia-solar-awards/process/
Malawi: Chakwera justifies job creation strategy.
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Joseph Dumbula
President Lazarus Chakwera has rallied behind his 1 million job creation ideology, despite a backlash that the campaign promise is not making worthwhile strides.
Before assuming the office of the President, Chakwera and nine other leaders of other political parties came to full popularity at the back of a promise to create more jobs for the youths, who form the country’s largest population.
But a year down the line, government through the ministry of labour has previously said a policy to regulate the initiative is only being developed.
Speaking to BBC Hard Talk, Chakwera insists young more and others have been employed through the Affordable Input Program,- an agricultural subsidy program.
He said his belief is that there is need to empower people so that jobs are created.
Asked on issues of nepotism, against a report that he had appointed his daughter to diplomatic works in Brussels, Chakwera was quick to dismiss the reports.
This contradicts what state house press secretary told the media last week that the president’s daughter deserved the appointment because she is qualified.
Chakwera also defended his entourage saying each had a different role.
Meanwhile, a statement signed by Information Gospel Kazako has clarified that Sean Kampondeni, (Chakwera’s son in law) travelled because he is the assistant to the President while Violet travelled because she is the First Lady’s assistant.
There has been a massive backlash over Chakwera’s interview on BBC with others stating on social media that he underperformed while some feeling he was at his best.
Court awards $30000 to Kenyan employee whipped in a Chinese restaurant.
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
A Kenyan court has directed a Chinese restaurant based in Nairobi to compensate its former employee $30000 for violating his rights.
Chez Wou Restaurant was on the spot last year after a Chinese national, Deng Hailan, was caught on camera whipping a Kenyan employee identified as Simon Oseko and later dismissed him without proper explanation or explanation.
Following his dismissal, the complainant went to court seeking damages of $50000 from the management of the Chinese restaurant and Hailan for assault and unfair dismissal.
In a judgement delivered on Thursday by the Employment and labour relations court, Justice Mathews Nderi found the restaurant lost his employment prospects and lost his source of income as a result of indignity meted on him by the restaurant.
Justice Nderi also awarded Oseko $720 as compensation for illegal dismissal.
“It is the court finding that the Chinese restaurant used unlawful and unconstitutional methods to punish staff including the petitioner. The court awards the claimant general damages to a sum of $30000 for the human rights and fundamental freedom violations,” ruled the judge.
The complainant told the court that Hailan physically assaulted him after he refused his sexual advances. He noted that he worked for his ex-employer for three months, and within that period, he faced sexual, verbal and physical abuse.
‘The victim suffered extreme cruelty, humiliations, psychological, trauma; pain and suffering loss of self-esteem due to the continuous sexual harassment, corporal punishment, verbal abuse and confinement whilst being humiliated in front of co-workers. The petitioner has hallucinations and nightmares as a result thereof,” Justice Nderi added.
Cameroon: Witness testimony and satellite images reveal the scale of devastation in Anglophone regions.
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
New research by Amnesty International has revealed the devastating scale of destruction caused by the ongoing conflict in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions.
Fighting between various armed groups and the Cameroonian armed forces has continued unabated for the past three years, with civilians bearing the brunt of unlawful killings, kidnappings, and widespread destruction of houses and villages. Government intervention has been limited, and there has been near-complete silence from the international community.
Violence between government forces and the Anglophone armed separatist groups-who are themselves divided-erupted in 2017, when protests against discrimination and marginalization were repressed by the authorities.
Based on eyewitness testimonies and analysis of satellite images, Amnesty International documented how dozens of civilians have been killed and multiple villages destroyed since 2019.
All parties to the conflict in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions have committed human rights violations and abuses, and civilians are caught in the middle. In one particularly appalling case, armed separatists shot dead two elderly women with barrage rifles; in another, Fulani vigilantes burned hundreds of houses and killed four people in a terrifying attack. Fabien Offner, Amnesty International’s Central Africa Researcher.
“All parties to the conflict in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions have committed human rights violations and abuses, and civilians are caught in the middle. In one particularly appalling case, armed separatists shot dead two elderly women with barrage rifles; in another, Fulani vigilantes burned hundreds of houses and killed four people in a terrifying attack,” said Fabien Offner, Amnesty International’s Central Africa Researcher.
“It is difficult to obtain accurate information about the human rights crisis unfolding in these regions, which are hard to reach by road and have poor telecommunications networks. But this is no excuse to look away – without strong action by the authorities and the international community, civilians will continue to bear the brunt of the crisis.”
The Anglophone regions of Cameroon – the South-West and North-West – make up approximately 20% of the country’s population. Violence has recently intensified in parts of the North-West.
According to the UN, at least 22 civilians were killed in Ngarbuh in the night of 13 to 14 February 2020, including 15 children and two pregnant women, following a military operation. A government inquiry found that during the same incident, “the detachment commander decided to enlist 17 members of a local vigilante committee”. Several sources also reported that members of that “local vigilante committee” were Fulani armed groups.
The situation has heightened tensions with armed separatists who have long accused the Fulanis of cooperating with the authorities.
Between June and July 2021, at least four policemen were killed in an ambush near the town of Bali Nyonga in the North-West region. Two gendarmes were beheaded in the town of Babadjou in the West region, bordering the North-West in an attack attributed to armed separatists by officials. Other examples include the killing by the army in Bamenda 3 subdivision of civilian man driving a car, and the kidnapping of six local officials in the town of Ekondo Titi in the South-West region.
Nwa subdivision particularly hard hit by violence
Nwa subdivision, located along Cameroon’s border with Nigeria, has been particularly hard hit by the recent violence. Between 22 and 26 February 2021, at least 4,200 people were displaced from seven villages in Nwa, following attacks by Fulani vigilante groups in which at least eight people were killed. According to the Centre for human rights and democracy in Africa (CHRDA), the Fulani herders “have carried out over a dozen raids against the natives in the villages of Nwa in less than a month”.
Satellite images analysed by Amnesty International show some villages that have been destroyed or burned down in Nwa in February 2021. It is unclear whether Fulani vigilante groups attacked the villages or whether the destruction took place during clashes with armed separatist groups, but the images suggest that the destruction was fairly recent.
For example, imagery taken from the village of Sih on 5 March 2021 shows large areas of blackened vegetation, indicating it was recently burned.
Like many areas in the North-West region, villages in Nwa subdivision are poorly mapped, meaning not all locations could be verified.
The village of Ntong was also heavily impacted as shown by imagery from 11 February and 5 March 2021.
Imagery from 3 April 2021 shows multiple areas where structures in the village of Ntim appear damaged or no longer existing.
Mbororo communities paying a heavy price
Attacks by armed separatist groups have particularly targeted Mbororo communities-a subgroup of the Fulanis-
According to unofficial figures Amnesty International received from Mbororo groups, in the absence of official data from the authorities, since 2017, in the seven divisions of the North-West region:
- 162 Mbororo have been killed
- Approximately 300 homes have been burned
- 2,500 cattle have been killed or seized
- 102 people have been kidnapped, resulting in the payment of almost 270,000 euros in ransom.
One Mbororo traditional leader in Nwa subdivision told Amnesty International:
“Armed separatists came to attack me six times. They destroyed my compound, burned down my brother’s houses. Seven people were killed in my compound. They gathered them in a house, locked the house and burned it. “
Testimonies, documents and satellite imagery reviewed by Amnesty International showed that armed separatists attacked a Mbororo community in the town of Mbem on 16 February 2020.
Four members of one family, aged between 15 and 80, were killed, and three others were injured, including two elderly women who were shot in the forehead, legs and thighs with barrage rifles. The attackers also set fire to 30 homes, the mosque, and looted property, including motorcycles.
A victim and eyewitness whose identity has been verified by Amnesty International said:
“We were coming out of the mosque after prayer, when armed separatists came on three motorcycles and attacked us. They burned all our houses. Two hundred people could not sleep because their homes were razed.”
During the night of 30 to 31 May 2019, around a hundred armed separatist groups carrying guns and knives attacked Upkwa resettlement camp near Lake Nyos, burning down dozens of Mbororos’ homes and killing cattle.
In October 2019, Amnesty International researchers met two people, one of them who used to work as a motorbike taxi driver, said:
“The armed groups were looking for me because I was a motorcycle driver, and they think the motorcycle drivers are informants for the military. They told us to go back to where we came from.”
Leaders of separatist groups, and participants of the media networks they manage, have also targeted Mbororo communities in aggressive speeches broadcast online.
Some of these speeches could constitute incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence, according to Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Advocacy of hatred escalated after the Ngarbuh massacre in February 2020. On 19 February 2020, an online TV channel belonging to an Anglophone separatist group broadcast a call from a speaker who said:
“These people [Mbororos] are immigrants and it seems their time is over (…) The earlier they will leave, the better…or they will pay the price like any other ‘La République’ citizen that is in the Southern Cameroon (…) All of them if they don’t want to leave, they will die.”
“Hundreds of houses were burnt”
Fulani armed groups have also committed multiple serious human rights abuses.
Between 30 January and 7 July 2020, five people were killed, 600 houses were burned down, and at least 4,500 people were displaced from Koshin, Fangs and Bu-u villages (North-West). These violations took place during attacks perpetrated by about 200 members of Fulani vigilante groups, according to reports by OCHA.
A resident of Koshin who is now displaced told Amnesty International that the village was attacked on three occasions in February 2019, February 2020 and June 2020.
“The Fulanis came twice. In February 2019 they killed four people and in February 2020 they killed two people and burnt many houses. Then in June 2020, the state security forces also came in search of non-state armed groups and destroyed the village. They killed one civilian. Hundreds of houses were burnt. There are about 3,000 people [displaced] in the bushes now. They need food, shelter, health services, education, water,” he said.
“Bodies spreading all over… “
According to a report by OCHA, an estimated 350 people fled the village of Kimbi (Boyo Division), following clashes between armed separatist groups and Fulani vigilante groups on 25 and 28 January 2020.
Kimbi was also attacked on 12 December 2019 by Fulani vigilante groups, some of whom were wearing army uniforms and armed with guns, who burned houses and killed people, according to eyewitnesses.
One witness told Amnesty International:
“They went ahead burning palm plantations all over Kimbi, harassing the population, looting people’s clothes, collecting money from people…On 16 December some armed separatists came, and clashes started with Fulanis. There were bodies spreading all over here in Kimbi.”
“The Cameroonian authorities must deliver on their responsibility to protect the entire population indiscriminately, and they should accept the fact-finding mission the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has been calling since almost three years, “said Fabien Offner. The international community must ensure that the humanitarian response aimed at addressing the needs of those affected by the violence, including refugees and internally displaced, is adequately funded. Fabien Offner
“The international community must publicly call on the Cameroonian authorities to urgently initiate thorough, independent, impartial investigations into allegations of human rights violations and, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, prosecute those suspected of criminal responsibility in fair trials before ordinary civilian courts without recourse to the death penalty. In addition, the international community must ensure that the humanitarian response aimed at addressing the needs of those affected by the violence, including refugees and internally displaced, is adequately funded.”
EARTHDAY.ORG Releases All-New Africa Climate Ambassador Toolkit
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
Washington, D.C. — EARTHDAY.ORG, the global organizer of Earth Day, today released the Africa Climate Ambassador Toolkit in partnership with a cohort of Sub-Saharan, youth-led organizations including Liberian Youth for Climate Actions, Environment Savers Zambia, The Ianna Mallayka Foundation, Kichini Gardeners, and Renew Our Earth Inc. The interactive toolkit enables teachers, government officials, members of civil society, and parents to educate youth on the local impacts of climate change and inspire the next generation of environmental activism.
The free online guide includes a variety of interactive exercises, lesson ideas, and more that teach youth how they can engage in climate restoration in their communities. This resource breaks down the causes and impacts of climate change in Africa as well as the necessary actions for mitigation. From tree planting to waste management to climate literacy, a handful of young climate activists share their stories and best practices on a variety of climate topics.
“Youths have not fully understood climate change as a crisis because they have not understood the urgency of the issue. Therefore, informally and formally educating citizens about the science, solutions and how citizens can participate is key to achieving the Paris Climate Agreement,” said Ezekial Nyanfor, Founder of Liberian Youth for Climate Actions and Creator of the toolkit. “Education is crucial to promote climate action because it helps people understand and address the impact of the climate crisis and empowers people with the knowledge skills, values, and attitudes needed to become an agent of change.”
“This toolkit is incredibly important because it is created by sub-Saharan youth for sub-Saharan youth. There is a huge need for material written in an African context to address the lacking presence of climate education amongst youth and the larger general population. We are hoping that this toolkit will be the first in a series of educational materials aimed to share stories, spread knowledge, and inspire others through best practices to make real change in their communities,” said Matthew Lefler, EARTHDAY.ORG-Africa Manager.
Download the Climate Civics Toolkit here: https://bit.ly/3y7Z815
Ezekiel Nyanfor, Liberian Youth for Climate Actions
Enock Mwewa, Environment Savers Zambia
Ianna Mallayka, The Ianna Mallayka Foundation
Irene Nagudi, Kichini Gardeners
Dr. Ugoji Adanma Eze, Renew Our Earth Inc.
Yundeh Alfreda Butler, Liberian Youth for Climate Actions
Kadiatu A. Sheriff, Liberian Youth for Climate Actions
EARTHDAY.ORG’s mission is to diversify, educate, and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Growing out of the first Earth Day (1970), EARTHDAY.ORG is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 150,000 partners in nearly 192 countries to build environmental democracy. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.
ABA honors Nigerian lawyer with international human rights award.
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
WASHINGTON, July 29, 2021 — Adeola Austin Oyinlade, a Nigerian lawyer, human rights advocate and international law expert also known for providing pro bono legal services to those in need in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa, has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 ABA International Human Rights Award.
The award was established to honor an individual or organization that has made an exceptional contribution to the advancement of human rights outside of the United States. One of the association’s top human rights honors, the award is given on behalf of five ABA entities — the Center for Human Rights, the International Law Section, the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, the Litigation Section and the Rule of Law Initiative.
Oyinlade has “advanced solutions to human rights issues across Africa, including the South Sudan political crisis, the Central African Republic crisis, the Congo Democratic Republic armed conflict and the Libyan peace talks,” ABA President Patricia Lee Refo said. She also praised his contribution to the African Union on the implementation of the African Youth Charter.
In 2008, Oyinlade began hosting a human rights empowerment radio program that educates Nigerians on the scope of their constitutional rights. The radio program simplifies listeners’ understanding of the law and assists to seek justice for human rights abuses. He also is a founder of Constitutional Rights Awareness and Liberty Initiative, an organization that works toward expanding the frontiers of human rights and democracy in Nigeria by educating people about their rights and responsibilities and by providing legal assistance.
In 2016, Oyinlade unveiled “Know Your Rights Nigeria,” the first-ever human rights empowerment app, which simplifies human rights and constitutional safeguards in several languages, including English, Pidgin and other major regional languages. Users have the option to chat with Oyinlade and a team of 50 lawyers for free legal support on human rights issues and to report human rights abuses.
The virtual award presentation will take place during the ABA Hybrid Annual Meeting on Thursday, August 5 at 11:30 a.m. CDT.
The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law
President Biden nominates Peter Hendrick for Ambassador in Mozambique.
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Jorge Joaquim
President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday his intent to nominate Peter Hendrick for Ambassador in Mozambique in replacement of Dennis W. Hearne,in Mozambique since December 2018.
Peter Hendrick Vrooman, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, is the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Rwanda.
Vrooman recently served as the Chargé d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Prior to that he served as the spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi; Director for Iraq on the staff of the National Security Council in Washington, D.C.; and Deputy Political Counselor in Tel Aviv and at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.
He also worked at the U.S. embassies in Baghdad, Beirut, and Djibouti, as well as the U.S. Liaison Office in Mogadishu, Somalia. In Washington, he was a Watch Officer in the Department of State’s Operations Center and the Desk Officer for Algeria in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.
A native of New York, Ambassador Vrooman graduated from Harvard College with a B.A. in Social Studies and earned an M.S. in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces, now known as the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he worked as the special assistant to the President of the American University in Cairo.
Chronic diseases rampant among Kenyans below age 40.
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Cancers, heart diseases, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases are the most prevalent Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) in Kenya.
The Ministry of Health said the diseases affect mostly young Kenyans below 40 years as they account for 53 percent of all NCDs patients.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Mercy Mwangangi said NCDs are now contributing to 39 percent of all deaths, attributing the growing burden among young people to poor lifestyle choices and a polluted environment.
Dr. Mwangangi spoke during the launch of the 2022-2026 Kenya National Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable diseases in Nairobi. The strategy put more weight on prevention and control measures, as well as strengthening health systems.
Dr. Gladwell Gathecha from the non-communicable diseases department, during the event named tobacco use, consumption of unhealthy diets, insufficient physical activity, and harmful use of alcohol as risk factors.
She further noted that 19 percent of Kenyans are either obese or overweight. Only 17.5 percent of men are overweight compared to 38.5 percent of women. On the other hand, 13.7 percent of those who are obese are women, whereas 4.7 percent are men.
NCD Alliance-Kenya, a local non-profit organization, chair Dr. Zipporah Ali asked the government to provide free treatment to NCDs patients.
“Most people with NCDs cannot access essential medicines, so a strategy is just one thing. We also need to look at control of food because many cannot afford special diets,” stated Dr. Zipporah.
NCDs are causing a negative economic impact on families, said Dr. Mwangangi.
Children Are Targeted in Anglophone Cameroon Violence.
July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Rebecca Tinsley*
A new report describes how schools are being targeted in arson attacks across Cameroon’s English-speaking regions in the country’s increasingly violent Anglophone Crisis. Children are deliberately mutilated, abducted and killed as armed separatist groups and government soldiers terrorise civilians.
The independent investigation by Bellingcat verified 13 recent attacks using satellite images. It is thought that two hundred schools have been attacked or set on fire since 2018. Armed separatist groups use violence to enforce a ‘school boycott,’ while government security forces punish those keeping children from school, trying to convince the international community that normalcy has returned.
The investigation draws on initial research by the Cameroon Anglophone Crisis Database of Atrocities, working with the Berkeley Human Rights Center in one case. Bellingcat is an independent international collective of researchers, investigators and citizen journalists. Its report, “How Schoolchildren Became Pawns in Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis,” is based on videos posted on social media by civilians, soldiers and armed groups, and open-source material and satellite imagery.
Among the incidents catalogued in the report are two attacks in 2018 on a Presbyterian school near Bamenda during which almost 100 teachers and children were abducted, interrogated and held for ransom. They were eventually released unharmed.
In October 2020, men on motorcycles armed with machetes and guns killed seven children and wounded a dozen at Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy in Kumba. In November 2020, students and teachers at Kulu Memorial College in Limbe were forced to strip and then run away before the building was burned. More recently, in February 2021, the wing of a Catholic school in Nkambe was burned.
The school boycott originated as a temporary protest measure. In 2016, lawyers and then teachers peacefully protested against the Francophone-dominated central government’s placement of French-speaking judges and teachers in English-speaking courts and schools, including a systematic erosion of Anglophone Common Law procedures. “This…prompted the shutting down of almost all schools across the region in order to raise awareness of the damage such a move would bring to our education system” .
The Biya government responded to the 2016 protests with what human rights groups described as disproportionate force, arresting peaceful protest leaders and shutting down the internet for three months. In October 2017, some Anglophones unilaterally declared the regions to be an independent country called ‘Ambazonia,’ prompting more crackdowns. As the violence intensified, armed pro-Ambazonia groups emerged, enforcing “ghost towns” that shuttered the economy, and maintaining the school boycott.
Four years later, most schools have not reopened. A warning from the “Ambazonia Defence Forces” appeared on Facebook in August 2019, telling parents to continue the boycott and not send their children to school, saying, “You will have only yourselves to blame.” Although the Biya government has signed the Safe Schools Declaration, it has not kept schools safe. Government officials have urged a return to school, but parents lack confidence because there are insufficient security measures.
UNICEF estimates that more than one million youngsters (out of a total Anglophone population of six million adults and children) have been out of school for almost four years. The Cameroon Ministries of Basic and Secondary Education recently announced that 70,000 children have now returned and 400 schools have reopened. However, it is understood that those schools are in towns and cities, whereas institutions in more remote areas are reluctant to reopen for fear of attack. Cho Ayaba of the “Ambazonia Governing Council” claims that children could attend school, but only in areas controlled by his armed group, and only learning from an Ambazonian curriculum.
The Bellingcat report quotes teachers who “walk a thin line” between the armed separatists enforcing the boycott and the government security services trying to end the ban. In addition, teachers say they are harassed by not only the warring parties but also by criminal gangs extorting money. Voices in civil society express concern that the school boycott is self-defeating, producing a generation of illiterate youth and deterring any international allies from supporting legitimate Anglophone grievances.
Before he died earlier this year, Cardinal Christian Tumi warned that violently enforcing the school boycott was turning the Anglophone population against the separatists. He mentioned a girl whose hand was amputated by separatists as she went to sit her exams. Cardinal Tumi was kidnapped and interrogated by an armed Anglophone group in November 2020. He was later released unharmed but died in April 2021, age 90.
Ambazonian leaders believe the boycott demonstrates their control over the Anglophone population and their leverage over the Biya regime, although only Anglophone children and their communities are suffering. Many parents keep children home while those who are wealthy enough send them to schools in the Francophone regions (where, paradoxically, they learn in French), forcing education in the Anglophone regions to largely cease. Before the conflict began, Anglophone schools had a reputation for such high standards that Francophones would send their children to school there.
Most separatist leaders live overseas, where their children are not missing school. They refuse to back down unless they are seen to win concessions from the government. In a Newsy video accompanying the Bellingcat report, Ebenezer Akwanga, leader of the Southern Cameroons Defence Forces (SOCADEF) separatist group, says that the boycott could compel the government to come to the table, although there is no evidence this tactic is working.
The prominent barrister Felix Agbor Nkongho of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (CHRDA), co-led the first peaceful protests in 2016 that started the Anglophone Crisis. He was imprisoned for eight months by the Cameroonian government. He says, “Perhaps at a time the school boycott was good, but a school boycott cannot run for long. And you cannot sacrifice the well-being of kids for political reasons.”
Meanwhile the Swiss Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue continues to offer to host inclusive peace talks. Both the government and some armed separatist groups have declined to participate. Meanwhile, a million Anglophone children live in fear of violence today and unemployment in the future.
*Rebecca Tinsley is a human rights activist and journalist. She is the founder of Network for Africa, and her most recent novel, When the Stars Fall to Earth, is set in Darfur. Stars Fall to Earth, is about Darfur and is available in English and Arabic
Nigeria: State Sponsored Terrorism Against The Yoruba People Must Stop- -Attorney Ade Omojola On ICC Case Against President Buhari .
July 28, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Ajong Mbapndah L
State sponsored terrorism against the Yoruba people in Nigeria has reached alarming levels and must be stopped at all costs, says Aderemilekun “Ade” Omojola, ., a U.S based Attorney in New Jersey who recently filed a complaint at the International Criminal Court ,ICC against Nigerian officials.
The complaint accuses multiple members of the Nigerian government of genocide, torture, and crimes against humanity amongst other charges. Officials listed in the complaint include Muhammadu Buhari, President; Hameed Ibrahim Ali, Comptroller-General, Customs; Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, Police, Former Inspector General; Mohammed Adamu, Police, Former Inspector General; Usman Alkali Baba, Police, Current Inspector General; Tukur Yusuf Burutai, Former Chief of Army Staff; Farouk Yahaha, current Chief of Army Staff; Sadik Abubakar, Air Force, Former Chief of Air Staff; Ahmed Abubakar Audi, Former Commandant General, Security & Civil Defense Corps; Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu, current Commandant General, Security & Civil Defense Corps; Muhammed Babandede, Comptroller General, Immigration Service; Abubakar Malami, Lawyer,
Minister of Justice, Attorney General.
“We filed the Submission at the ICC, because we cannot secure justice for the Yoruba people within Nigeria, due to the hijacking of the federal government, by agents of Fulani identity, who are promoting the Fulani agenda,” says Ade Omojola in an exclusive interview with Pan African Visions.
To Omojola, a reasonable outcome from the ICC, would be to launch a thorough investigation, and to ultimately prosecute and punish as many individuals as are found to have been complicit or active in facilitating the evil that is befalling the Yoruba people.
Could you start by giving us some background and context into the case you have filed against Nigerian leaders at the ICC?
Nigeria’s federal government is now dominated by the Fulani, along with the security agencies; we allege that they are complicit and actively supporting Fulani terrorism against the Yoruba People, in an attempt to take the land, and subjugate them into a political minority and permanent underclass.
What are the issues between the Yoruba tribes and the Federal government?
The federal government, or I should say, the Fulani government, has become a lever in the hands of the Fulani, who have hijacked it, and are using its powers and resources to crack open the society, for Fulani from across Africa, who aren’t even Nigerian, to dominate Yoruba ancestral lands, and to subjugate the Yoruba People as a permanent underclass. Violence and terrorism are their principal tools, for which Fulani terrorists have been imported; the federal government is allegedly complicit and actively facilitating through a supply chain, this the violent terrorism of the Yoruba People. They are doing the same to our brothers in the Middle-Belt and the South East.
The crimes took place in Nigeria, why are you suing at the ICC and what competence or jurisdiction does it have over crimes of that nature perpetrated in Nigeria?
We filed the Submission at the ICC, because we cannot secure justice for the Yoruba people within Nigeria, due to the hijacking of the federal government, by agents of Fulani identity, who are promoting the Fulani agenda. Those facilitating this evil are the ones running the Nigerian government. Abubakar Malami, for example, is the supposedly the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, but he has become a minister of injustice, in purposefully failing to protect the Yoruba People, by refusing to enforce the law via prosecution of government officials, who are complicit or actively facilitating these crimes.
Whereas, under the Rome Statute, to which Nigeria became a state party on June 1, 2000, the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction over acts of genocide and crimes against humanity, in cases where the government refuses to do anything meaningful about the situation.
Is there any precedence for the kind of justice or case you have lodged against Nigerian authorities?
- On November 22, 2017 the ICC, through the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia convicted Ratko Mladic of the former Yugoslavia, of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide; the court went on to sentence him to life imprisonment.
- In April 2012, the ICC, through the Special Court for Sierra Leone, convicted Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia of Liberia of terror, murder, and rape; the Court went on to sentence him to 50 years in prison.
The images are pretty shocking and traumatizing for the human conscience, how were this obtained?
We issued a call for our People to send to us evidence of the atrocities, and we received hundreds of still and motion images, some of which were included in the Submission.
Nigeria is a deeply polarized country, we see a so many high profile authorities listed, what about the local authorities in whose jurisdictions the atrocities took place?
It is impractical to list local government officials, because the incidents occur across several local government jurisdictions throughout Yoruba land. Whereas the purpose of the Submission is to trigger an initial review by the ICC prosecutor, and a subsequent investigation by the ICC. We have every confidence that when the ICC launches a full-scale investigation, many other individuals who are not listed in the submission will also be brought before the Court.
With many of the accused persons from the Northern part of the country, are you concerned your team may be criticized for wading into the sectarian political fights of Nigeria?
The very essence, the foundation, and the roots of what the Yoruba are facing is ethnic, or as you put it, “sectarian” in nature, in that the Fulani seek to dominate Yoruba ancestral lands and subjugate the Yoruba as a permanent underclass. As the fruit is subject to the roots, the claims, and most likely the ultimate solutions will, by nature, have a heavy ethnic or “sectarian” element.
Do you intend to use just the documents you have available or are there plans to have some of the victims testify in person?
We will follow the lead of the ICC, cooperate with them in the investigation, and facilitate whatever is necessary to secure justice for the victims.
What kind of reaction have you received from the public and the Nigerian government on the case?
News of the filing went viral, particularly in Nigeria and among Yoruba Civic Organizations, who ensured that the Nigerian news media gave it due attention. Yoruba People have been elated about the Submission; someone even wondered why it took so long for someone to file such a submission with the ICC, while another person contacted me to confirm if the Submission were real or a rumor circulating on social media.
With regard to the Nigerian government, shortly after the Nigerian news media broke the news of the filing, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) ordered television and radio stations not to disclose “details” of the activities of bandits, terrorists and kidnappers in daily Newspaper Reviews” as reported by the Daily Trust and several other news outlets. We believe news of the ICC filing caused the government to target the media houses with this order, because when the ICC decides to investigate, they could likely begin their investigation with information documented in the archives of the news organizations, who report these stories.
From gathering evidence, and hiring lawyers , running such a case should require considerable resources, where are the funds coming from or everything is pro bono?
The greatest expense thus far, has been the time spent in producing the Submission to the ICC, which I have offered pro bono to our beloved Yoruba People, as a sacrifice, in our pursuit of justice for the unfortunate victims, many of whom have perished, thereby paying a much greater price.
What will be considered a reasonable outcome for you and the victims you represent in this case?
A reasonable outcome from the ICC, would be for the for the ICC to launch a thorough investigation, and to ultimately prosecute and punish as many individuals as are found to have been complicit or active in facilitating the evil that is befalling our People.
If the case does not go in your favor, how far are you willing to go to get justice?
We have filed our Submission, at the appropriate venue, in accordance with the rule of law, and we have every confidence that justice will be served.
Microinsurance can mirror mobile money boom in Africa – if the conditions are right
July 28, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Marius Botha*
When it comes to mobile money, there’s no doubt that Africa leads the world. From humble beginnings as a peer-to-peer money transfer system back in 2007, it has boomed to nearly $500bn in transactions in 2020, with more than 560 million users across the continent.
According to the GSMA’s State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money 2021, global daily mobile money transactions exceeded $2 billion for the first time last year, and are expected to pass $3 billion a day by the end of 2022. And there’s still more growth where that came from. According to the Wall Street Journal, only 45% of the continent’s population has an active mobile phone.
What’s interesting is that customers are not only using their accounts more frequently, they are also using them for new and more advanced use cases. Many of the socio-economic and development challenges arising from the pandemic are being tackled with mobile money solutions. This suggests that more people are moving away from the margins of financial systems and are leading increasingly digital lives, the report said.
This is particularly good news for the microinsurance sector, which is growing steadily across Africa on the back of mobile network expansion, and is covering millions of people against financial shocks caused by unexpected life events.
Will microinsurance’s growth mirror that of the mobile money space in Africa? It’s hard to say at this stage. Right now, there are 130 mobile-enabled insurance services in 28 countries, with over half offering coverage for life and funeral or health and hospitalisation services. According to the GMSA report, 43 million policies were issued in 2020, two-thirds (29 million) of which were life and health insurance policies.
For microinsurance to show MoMo-like growth a few things have to happen:
First, a shift in existing perceptions of insurance as something that’s expensive, reserved for the middle class, or not to be trusted. This shift is slowly gathering momentum, largely through word of mouth. The more people experience the tangible benefits of microinsurance, the more they talk about it in their community, which drives greater trust – and ultimately, greater uptake.
Secondly, we need greater diversification of product and benefit options. While some insurance providers have already expanded their offerings from life and health insurance to income protection, education and even house insurance, life and health coverage remain the prevailing offerings.
Thirdly, it’s vital to have enabling insurance and telco regulations across the continent. For example, tax on the use of airtime as a premium collection method in some markets will have to be exempted in some countries. In others, restrictions on mobile money premium collections will have to be amended. The challenge is to build in consumer protection mechanisms to prevent over-charging of customer airtime or mobile money wallets from multiple products, and to ensure sufficient balances remain for other spending needs. We certainly don’t want to see outcomes similar to over-indebted consumers burdened with additional debit order or payroll collections for insurance, as has happened in some markets in the past.
Finally, we need to ensure profitable business models for all product providers in the value chain. While mobile channels reduce the marginal costs of accessing information and participating in financial service activities, the industry still relies on driving sufficiently high volumes of transactions at low costs, and low-cost distribution models. Many consumers still demand some level of face-to-face intermediation, which adds a layer of costs to the equation.
The stage is set for microinsurance to boom in Africa – and hopefully follow the mobile money growth trajectory. And that will be good for everyone, most of all consumers who are currently underserved and under-covered. Let the growth begin.
*Group CEO of African Insurtech aYo Holdings
COP26 President Meets Kenyan President, highlights need for Developed Nations to honor climate finance pledges.
July 28, 2021 | 0 Comments
Africa–On Tuesday, COP26 President Alok Sharma held talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in London, ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in November. The two presidents discussed the upcoming climate conference and the need for developed nations to honor their pledges towards climate finance to developing countries, in Africa and beyond. Developed countries had pledged to mobilize $100 billion a year in climate financing to developing countries, by 2020.
The climate finance pledges include resources to support developing countries in building resilience to climate impacts, protecting ecosystems, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and aligning their development pathways to net-zero carbon futures.
Charity Migwi, 350Africa.org Regional Campaigner said:
“Progress on delivering the climate financing promised to developing countries has been slow. Developing countries in Africa and elsewhere continue to suffer from the disproportionate effects of climate change. Climate impacts such as drought and flooding currently being experienced in parts of Africa are a testament to the devastating effects of climate change. This support is required to fund adaptation measures to protect communities and habitats, investment in renewable energy and phasing out of dirty energy. Africa cannot address climate change without the developing nations honoring their commitments regarding climate action.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta also witnessed the signing of an agreement for Kenya to join the Adaptation Action Coalition (AAC). The coalition, which was formed in January 2021 is aimed at supporting action to adapt and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. The two presidents also attended a session showcasing climate mitigation and adaptation technologies developed by African scientists.
COP26 is the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference that will take place in Glasgow, UK in November 2021. The conference will bring together 190 world leaders to hold deliberations geared towards reaching an agreement on how to tackle climate change.
The Paris Agreement which was adopted by 196 parties at COP21 in Paris in 2015, affirms that developed countries should take the lead in providing financial assistance to countries that are less endowed and more vulnerable, while encouraging voluntary contributions by other parties.
Gender-lens investing and the post-COVID19 economic recovery in Africa.
July 28, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Lindeka Dzedze*
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and intensified the already deep inequalities across Africa as unemployment has risen. According to research conducted by McKinsey, women in Africa currently account for more than half of the population, but only generate a third of the continent’s GDP, as of 2018. In addition, 40% of SMEs in sub-Saharan Africa are women owned, but only 20% of these have access to institutional finance, leaving a funding gap of about $42 billion in often overlooked sectors and industries where women are economically active.
A recent IFC report revealed that gender-balanced teams in private equity generate a 20% higher net internal rate of return and according to McKinsey’s research, advancing women’s equality in the workplace would add $28 trillion to annual global GDP, equivalent to the economies of China and the USA combined. The business case for gender lens investing and gender-smart strategies is compelling in the private sector.
While we see significant progress and change taking place as a result of the accelerated interest in economic, social and governance (ESG) investments since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there is a need for more emphasis on the social element, and gender in particular. The investment opportunity for capital allocators is significant.
Progress in gender-lens initiatives seem to have stalled since the onset of the pandemic, and at the current pace, it will take an estimated 140 years to see gender parity in Africa. To speed this up, strategic partnerships and continued multi-stakeholder action is needed to deploy gender-lens capital at scale.
It is for this reason that the Standard Bank Group joined forces with the United Nations (UN) Women HeForShe movement in 2018, with CEO, Sim Tshabalala standing up as a thematic champion of the movement. HeForShe invites men and women to stand in solidarity with gender equality and promote women’s empowerment.
Standard Bank has been intentional and has taken deliberate action in this regard, implementing socially impactful projects that target and empower women across of the continent to be the drivers of Africa’s growth and sustainability.
In 2020 we launched the African Women Impact Fund Initiative (AWIF) in partnership with the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) with the aim of creating a sustainable investment platform to grow the number of women asset managers on the continent. Women currently manage less than 6% of the funds in Africa and typically only get funding for micro type initiatives. We are effectively looking to move women from small-scale money management to making large sustainable capital allocation decisions.
Through the AWIF, we set ourselves an ambitious target to raise $1 billion over ten years for women-owned and managed asset management firms. They will in turn be invested in high-impact businesses and projects across the continent, driving female entrepreneurship.
We are harnessing the power of finance to promote inclusive and sustainable development in Africa. Working in partnership with UN Women, we have collaborated with stakeholders to empower 50 000 women farmers in Malawi, Uganda, Nigeria and South Africa, through modern, climate-smart agricultural practices. This includes working to negotiate equitable market terms and to establish business and social contracts with sustainability-focused retailers.
For over a decade we have also worked with Lionesses of Africa, an established network of over one million female entrepreneurs across the continent, and through this vehicle supported their businesses as they grow from strength to strength.
Change begins at home, and we are also committed to reaching gender parity in executive positions across our operations. Aligned to this we have set ourselves a number of targets and are steadily working towards their realisation. One such target is for 33% representation of women on our board by the end of 2021. Women in executive positions across the group in Africa are now up to 33.6% and we are confident of reaching our target of 40% by 2023. In South Africa, women already make up 36.3% of executive positions and here too, we plan to reach our target of 40% by the end of this year.
Standard Bank’s employees are the biggest champions of this cause and we want to visibly lead in this space, making an impact that is real and valuable to women across the continent. We aim to be even more visible and purposeful in championing gender issues because we recognise that for Africa to emerge out of this pandemic stronger, women must be placed at the centre of economic recovery plans on the continent.
* Standard Bank Group Executive Head of Institutional Clients and Global Markets
Former U.S President Barrack Obama joins NBA Africa as a strategic partner.
July 28, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Former US President Barrack Obama has joined the National Basketball Association (NBA) Africa as a strategic partner to help advance social responsibility efforts across the continent, announced the association on Tuesday.
He will be the minority stakeholder in the organization, a position he intends to use in the future to fund Obama Foundation youth and leadership programs across Africa.
“By investing in communities, promoting gender equality, and cultivating the love of the game of basketball, I believe that NBA Africa can make a difference for so many of Africa’s young people,” said Obama.
In the release, the ex-POTUS highlighted his love for the sport during his tenure. He noted that his father, a Kenyan, made him love the game when he gave him his first basketball at age 10.
“The NBA has always been a great ambassador for the United States—using the game to create deeper connections around the world, and in Africa, basketball has the power to promote opportunity, wellness, equality, and empowerment across the continent,” he stated.
NBA Africa is making tremendous progress in Africa, including running Basket Africa League, inaugurated in May 2021 featuring 12 teams. It also expands the NBA’s presence in priority African markets, deepening the league’s engagement with players and fans across the continent and growing Africa’s basketball ecosystem through programs like the Jr. NBA, Basketball Without Borders (BWB) and NBA Academy Africa.
“I’ve been impressed by the league’s commitment to Africa, including the leadership shown by so many African players who want to give back to their own countries and communities. That’s why I’m proud to join the team at NBA Africa and look forward to a partnership that benefits the youth of so many countries.”
“The NBA has always been a great ambassador for the United States—using the game to create deeper connections around the world, and in Africa,” he added.
THIS EGYPTIAN SENATOR, AFRICAN WOMAN CEO, FASHION ICON, EMPOWERS FASHION WITH PURPOSE IN AFRICA.
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments
Senator Rasha Kelej is the first African woman to be Merck Foundation CEO, one of the world’s most important foundations, who has kept her efforts going for the last ten years.
Rasha Kelej is the brain behind the inspiring ‘More Than A Mother’ campaign – a rallying call against female infertility stigma – for which she was recognized as one of the Most Inﬂuential Africans of 2019 & 2020. The campaign, one of the most successful causes that have been taken forward by Merck Foundation, empowers childless and infertile women through access to information, health, change of mindset, and economic empowerment. More than 20 First Ladies rallied behind the campaign as Ambassadors of “Merck Foundation More than a Mother” campaign, which is very impressive.
Hailed from Egypt and based in Dubai, this versatile lady and a style icon is a trailblazer and is influential in changing the perception of how fashion, film, music, and media can be utilized to address sensitive social and health issues such as breaking infertility stigma in Africa. This has been exemplified with the launch of “More Than A Mother’ Fashion, Films, Songs & Media Awards as she strongly believes in the critical role art, media, and fashion play in creating a culture shift, addressing sensitive issues and health matters in our communities.
ENATOR DR. RASHA KELEJ IS A PROLIFIC WOMAN AND HEALTH RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER:
Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej has been appointed by The President of The Arab Republic of Egypt as a member of the Egyptian Senate in 2020.
Called ‘Mama Africa’, Senator Kelej is an inspirational pioneer in the transformation of Patient care in Africa. More than 1000 doctors from 42 countries have benefited from Merck Foundation scholarships of specialties training in critical fields.
She emphasized, “During Coronavirus pandemic, it has been more important than ever to build capacity and training of specialized doctors. In some of these countries, they have never had even one oncologist, for example. They may have a general practitioner, but they did not have specialized doctors. We simply made history in these countries such as The Gambia, Burundi, Guinea & Liberia.”
“Our strategy and our program have been crystal clear – to invest in professional healthcare capacity building, and by helping train skilled doctors in the midst of this pandemic, has made a big diﬀerence,” she adds.
She is truly a force of nature and one of Africa’s unsung ‘sheroes’ of women empowerment and health advocates.
A Style icon and a champion to empower Fashion with Purpose in Africa
It is worth noting that Senator Rasha Kelej pays great attention to her looks and has a special and unique style that mixes international and African fashion. She never abandons the look of the outgoing, creative businesswoman who keeps pace with all international fashion trends, but rather mixes them with elegant touches of the African looks, which highlights the talent and creativity of many African fashion designers. Dr. Rasha Kelej is a truly African fashion icon and a champion of empowering fashion with purpose in Africa through supporting and mentoring potential new African fashion designers. She launches an annual competition through the Merck Foundation for the best design that carries messages that address sensitive social and health issues. She explained to us “My vision is to develop a community of young African fashion designers in order to catalyze a movement whose reach extends far beyond just fashion. But to create a culture shift and be the voice of the voiceless in their communities.“
“Fashion industry has already got enough flakes for being superficial. Let’s change this perception and create a meaningful fashion trend aiming to educate our communities. I love fashion and I strongly believe that designs can make Men and Women proud to wear to show their contribution toward their communities, villages, cities, across Africa ”
She added, “I will pay more attention to helping and supporting new fashion designers and talents in Africa to start their lines and professional journey in their countries, at the same time I am committing to raising awareness to correct misconceptions and wrong habits through their work and designs. I will also start two very important projects, I am planning for production of a TV program directed to African countries to unleash these talents, and also the start my own fashion line targeting Africa, through which I will cooperate with new talented designers from time to time to spread community awareness in rural African communities. It is not only my hobby, but it is also part of my personal contribution towards my beloved Africa.”
We can see what is unique about Senator Rasha… it is her appreciation for art, fashion, and media as critical partners in Merck Foundation’s journey of transforming patient care, sensitizing our communities, and addressing sensitive issues such as breaking infertility stigma, supporting girl education and stopping GBV. She is also cementing her position in African pop culture, capitalizing on her experience in TV production via releasing 20 songs with popular African musicians. She has developed concepts, produced, and sometimes directs their video clips herself. She also produced and directed an inspiring pan- African song called ‘My White Army’ as her personal contribution to thank the doctors and nurses ﬁghting on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle. The song, featuring singers from 11 African countries in three languages Arabic, English, and French, has received high acclaim from the continent.
She is the first and perhaps the only one to utilize fashion and art to break infertility stigma in Africa.
“I’d like to invite all fashion designers, singers, filmmakers, media representatives, and young talents to apply for these important awards and become health and social champions to become the voice of the voiceless in their communities. Kindly share in entries through an email at Submit@merck foundation.com”, she added.
To know more about Rasha Kelej’ s journey in creating a culture shift and leading Merck Foundation efforts in transforming patient care in Africa, please visit www.merck-foundation.com
*Courtesy of Forbes Africa
Ghana:We’ve Never Seen Computer Mouse – Bece Candidates Frustrated
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Maxwell Nkansah
With a few weeks to the commencement of the 2021 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), final year pupils of the Ata Ne Ata Basic School in the Shama District of the Western Region say the odds are stuck against them.
The BECE candidates of the school are raising serious academic and infrastructural concerns which they strongly believe may cause them to perform poorly in the final exam.
The thought of writing subjects they have little knowledge about sends constant shivers down their spines. Some major concerns raised by the distressed students are the lack of computers at an empty room labeled as ‘ICT Lab’, lack of textbooks, and a library.
Sadly, most of the students have never seen even a computer mouse before. The students said they had not even seen a computer before.
However, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is one of the subjects they will be assessed in during BECE to be conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC).
There are no story books for us to read so we can’t speak good English. We don’t have computer lab. We have never touched any part of a computer before. We only see them on paper, most at times too our teachers use their mobile phones to teach us, but we’ll be writing ICT. Isn’t this unfair?” a final year student who spoke (in Akan) on behalf of her colleagues lamented.
The headmaster himself doesn’t have an office. According to him they are not happy about this. If they are able to touch and feel a computer, they we’ll be happy and encouraged to study hard.
Taking a keen look at their classrooms, they don’t have electricity, fixed doors and windows so anytime it’s about to rain, they have to run back home to avoid getting wet.
The uncemented floors make the rooms slippery any time it rains and it is sad to dress neatly to school in the morning and come back home with dirty clothes due to the dust. They were asking answers into why government has abandoned them? They asked the question if they we not part of Ghana?
Though it is quite late to come to their rescue, the aggrieved students have appealed to the government, non-governmental organizations and philanthropists to have mercy on their school and donate some reading materials and laptops to save their juniors from failing in the future.
“I know that in some schools in [the urban areas] plenty computers are there which are not being used, but we are unfortunate to have none. So please I beg can you give us some?” a student appealed.
Former School Management Committee Chairman Lordson Alan K Akili poured out his frustration about the poor state of facilities in the school, including the headmaster’s office and staff common room.
There is no headmaster’s office and a staff common room, forcing teachers to find solace under trees on the compound.
He further stated that when it is about to rain, they move the tables and chairs to the uncompleted classrooms and at times close down and leave for the children to go home.
Mr. Akili also joined the students to make a passionate appeal to the government and well-meaning individuals or groups to come to their aid and donate some computers, text and story books, and furniture to improve teaching and learning in the school.
Bank Of Ghana Keeps Policy Rate At 13.5%
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Maxwell Nkansah
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of Ghana has kept the policy rate at 13.5 per cent,
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison said headline inflation has eased sharply and reverted within the medium-term target band, driven mainly by the tight monetary policy stance and some base drift effects.
The latest forecast remains broadly unchanged with inflation projected to remain within band and around the central path in the forecast horizon barring any upside risks from fiscal pressures.
On fiscal operations, the budget deficit exceeded its target in the first five months mainly on the back of revenue underperformance.
Going forward, he said expenditure has to be aligned to revenue performance to support the fiscal consolidation efforts.
At 76.6 percent of GDP in May 2021, the level of public debt raises debt sustainability concerns and the Committee reiterated the importance and urgency of fiscal consolidation efforts.
Greater efficiency in debt management would be required, especially in the face of potential further tightening of global financing conditions which could heighten rollover risks and access to new financing in the outlook.
This calls for strong vigilance and complementarity in fiscal and monetary policies to signal to the markets a strong commitment to consolidation.
“On the whole, the Committee assessed that the risks to inflation and growth were broadly balanced and decided to keep the policy rate at 13.5 percent,” he stated.
SADC stand by force has not yet arrived in Mozambique
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Jorge Joaquim
The SADC stand by force has not yet arrived in Mozambique, despite the mandate envisaged that the deployment of the force should happen as from 15 July, defence ministry spokesman Omar Saranga said yesterday.
An advance team has arrived, as well as security analysts. Pictures of a South African military transport plane have been circulating, apparently at the airport of Pemba in Cabo Delgado.
“So from 15 July to now activities have been undertaken in order to receive this force, which is rather substantial. Steps are being taken so that it can be received and carry out its work. That means there are advance teams which are working with our troops on the ground to receive the force,” Saranga said.
South African defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told members of parliament on Sunday that an advance party would determine if the full SADC force was needed; the size has not been revealed, but military experts advised SADC in April to send almost 3,000 troops plus helicopters, aeroplanes, patrol ships and a submarine.
Meanwhile, Rwandan troops, who have already arrived in Mozambique, have begun to engage the insurgents. They reportedly killed 30 insurgents, who were retreating towards the Tanzanian border, after encountering them at the village of Quionga.
President Filipe Nyusi has said that no other country supplying troops to fight terrorism in Cabo Delgado province has asked for anything in return, calling the help an “act of solidarity”.
Nyusi said that the situation had improved overall in the region compared to a few months ago, but he admitted that there were still areas controlled by insurgents, including Awasse, where intense fighting continues for an area that was under terrorist control until recently.
The president also reiterated that Mozambique was in charge of the foreign troops deployed to the country and that Mozambicans should not fear their presence.
According to the Ministry of Defence, besides South Africa and Botswana, Tanzania and Angola have also confirmed that they will send forces.