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Cameroon angered by Equatorial Guinea’s Border Wall Plans
August 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Pan African Visions reporter, Amos Fofung covering border crisis between Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea (photo, Amos Fofung)

Pan African Visions reporter, Amos Fofung covering border crisis between Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea (photo, Amos Fofung)

Uneasy calm reigns between Malabo and Yaounde over Equatorial Guinea’s plans to construct a border wall so as to stop Cameroonians and West Africans from illegally entering its territory.

Equatorial Guinea’s announcement comes as officials of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) regional economic bloc, of which Equatorial Guinea is a member, are encouraging the free movement of people and goods to boost economic growth in the region.

Some days ago when news broke that Equatorial Guinea was building the wall and had gone as far as erected milestones on the border near the Cameroon town of Kye-Ossi, Cameroon army chief Lieutenant General Rene Claude Meka visited the border after news spread that the neighboring state was not respecting territorial limits and was encroaching on Cameroon land to erect their wall. He said the Cameroonian army would not tolerate any unlawful intrusion.

Anastasio Asumu Mum Munoz, Equatorial Guinea ambassador to Cameroon, was called up by Cameroon’s Minister of External Relations on Thursday August 8, to respond to the intrusion accusation.

The ambassador, reports hold, said his country plans to build a wall, but that reports that the its military had installed milestones in Cameroon territory are misleading.

Equatorial Guinea has always accused Cameroon of letting its citizens and West Africans enter its territory illegally.

This is not the first time Equatorial Guinea is having problems with Cameroon over border issues. On several occasion, it has often sealed its border with Cameroon, complaining of security threats posed by illegal immigration.

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Kenya’s bid to have Al-Shabaab sanctioned objected
August 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma | @journalist_27

A policeman runs past burning cars at the scene where explosions and gunshots were heard at the Dusit hotel compound, in Nairobi, Kenya Jan. 15, 2019.

A policeman runs past burning cars at the scene where explosions and gunshots were heard at the Dusit hotel compound, in Nairobi, Kenya Jan. 15, 2019.

A group of activists and humanitarians have submitted letters to Donald Trump administration, Cabinet members and leading members of Congress seeking to block Kenya’s proposal to have the Somali based militia group Al-Shabaab be included in the global list of terrorist groups under the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1267 of 199.

They warned of the consequences of such move saying it will interfere with life- saving process in Somalia. The rebels have recently launched deadly attacks in Mogadishu among other towns with an aim to destabilize the Federal Government of Somalia, attacks which have caused several deaths and devastation of property worth millions of shillings. They also argued the listing of the group is irrelevant given that they have already in a different UN sanctions programme.

“The proposal would put the lives of hundreds of thousands at risk without discernible impact on the challenge posed by Al-Shabaab,” said the head of the Refugees International NGO Eric Schwartz.

Kenya last week through Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau submitted its initiative to the UN urging the global body to include the militants in the list that contained Al-Qaeda, Taliban and ISIS saying it posed threat to her residents, East African region, African and entire world. Mr. Kamau said Kenya wants the UN to focus its attention in fighting the group which has terrorized her borders and carried a series of attacks in the East African country with the latest being Riverside Complex attack that consumed 21 lives early this year. The Al-Shabaab had pledged allegiance to both Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

“It has caused serious havoc, not just on Kenya but the region and the world in general. It is important that all global efforts now come together to combat this,” said Kamau.

The proposal which US have put on hold until August 29 risks being dismissed in case one member of the 15-nation UN Security Council formally rejects it.

 

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Burkina Faso: Christians issue SOS over attacks from foreign backed Islamist Groups
August 8, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Scott Morgan

Burkina Faso Bishop Laurent Birfuoré Dabiré (© ACN)

Burkina Faso Bishop Laurent Birfuoré Dabiré (© ACN)

The World was concerned during the month of May 2019 when it seemed that a Church was attacked on a weekly basis in the West African Nation of Burkina Faso. Since January of this year 20 people have been killed and several  Churches have been  destroyed by Islamist Forces that are operating in the region.

Events in the region remain fluid at best. It does appear that some of these attacks were inspired by a video recording made by the head of IS Al-Baghdadi urging attacks against French interests in the Sahel region of Africa. The incidents in Burkina Faso can be acknowledged as part of an effort to locate a new base of operations for the group.

After a month of relative quiet in Burkina Faso the alarm bells for the country have started ringing yet again. On the first of August 2019 Bishop Laurent Dabire who currently is the President of the Bishops Conference for Niger and Burkina Faso issued a call for the World to step in and stop what he called the massacres against Christians in Burkina Faso by Foreign Backed Islamist Groups. These attacks have been gradually increasing in scope since the ouster of former President Blaise Comparie in 2014. It should be noted that in his remarks that the Bishop claimed that the Islamist Militants are better armed than the Security Forces are.

The Government of Burkina Faso is doing what they can to protect Christians. On July 12th the Vatican signed an accord with the Burkinbe Government which guarantees the legal status of the Church in the country  and to collaborate on the moral, spiritual and material well being of the human person and for the promotion of the common good. Currently it is estimated that one out of every five persons of the population of 16.5 million describe themselves as being a member of the Catholic Church.

Also during a Press Conference that was held on July 31st remarks were made by the President of Burkina Faso Marc Christian Kabore that  praised the actions of his immediate neighbors in assisting in the efforts to combat terrorism that appears to be running rampant in the region. . However in a more somber statement he did say that Burkina Faso was “paying a heavy tribute” for the attacks which he stated were impeding “efforts at National Construction.” Just like in several other nations in the area Burkina Faso does suffer from High Youth Unemployment lack of Opportunity and other factors that lead to radicalization.

The situation in Burkina Faso has not been ignored by Washington either. Earlier this year the African Country was linked to the National Guard of the District of Columbia under the State Partnership Program to assist in fighting terrorism. The Country already receives assistance from the United States under the auspices of the TSCTI (Trans Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative) program.This move is just another  of several steps that are currently being undertaken by the Trump Administration to address the acute security crisis in the region.

During the week of August 6th the White House issued a Press Release stating that the President sent the name of Sandra E Clark to the United States Senate to be nominated for the position of Ambassador to Burkina Faso. Filling this position is a positive signal from the White House showing that it is aware of the situation in the Sahel and will take the necessary steps to show those on the ground that they are not ignoring the situation in the region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Amos Fofung: Freedom of press starts with the government
August 7, 2019 | 0 Comments
Amos Fofung

Amos Fofung

Cameroonian journalist Amos Fofung was nominated for our Newcomer of the Year award during Free Press Live 2018. News which only reached him months after because he was in the midst of fleeing Cameroon for his own safety. Now, almost a year later he lives in the United States and shares with us his story and ideas on press freedom in Cameroon and the rest of the world.

Passion for journalism

Amos started his career as a journalist during his second year University in 2014. “I have always been fascinated with journalism because journalists don’t just tell stories, they actually make a difference and have a positive impact by telling these stories.” However practicing a passion for journalism and investigative reporting is far from easy in a country like Cameroon where there are many restrictions and threats to journalists. Amos confirms: “In my country it is common for journalists to deal with threats, intimidation and aggression on a daily basis, I actually consider that as normal here. So I definitely knew what I was getting myself in to but it didn’t scare me away at the time. If you know that what you are fighting for, it is worth it.”

Detained without charges

On February 9, 2017 the situation took a more serious turn when Amos was called down by the police to make a statement together with two other journalists. They were told they could go home after the statements but once they arrived to the station the story changed, “the police just arrested us without any official complaint or explanation” Amos explains. The next day he and the other two journalists were moved to the political capital of Cameroon Yaoundé where they would stay in a high security prison for 6 months. Amos is convinced that his extensive reporting on the Anglophone crisis, which has seen an escalation of violence in the past year, was the reason behind his arrest. “I was kept in prison for 6 months and one day they just let me go like that. No charges, nothing, only a warning to stop my reporting on the Anglophone crisis.”

Press freedom in Cameroon

Unfortunately, Amos’ story is one of many that reflect the decrease of press freedom in Cameroon. According to a report released by Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) the Cameroonian government uses an ‘anti-terror’ law installed in 2014 to constantly harass, intimidate and silence the media. If as a journalist you are charged under the 2014 ‘anti-terror’ law you can face up to 10 years or more in prison. “A colleague journalist Thomas Awah was sentenced to 11 years in prison under this law. And unfortunately there are many more who have been arrested, released, threatened and intimidated since” Amos confirms.

Government leads the way

In Cameroon threats to journalists often come but are not limited to the government. Amos believes the problem is that journalists are viewed as anti-government and spreader of fake news instead of a source of unbiased information. But an overall change in attitude towards journalists will only happen if the government leads the way. “In order for journalism to thrive the government needs to openly protect and respect it’s independent media.” Amos explains. “A good example of this we can even see in a developed country like the United States of America, where an executive openly attacked the media creating an environment where people will go as far as creating a bomb scare to media offices.” Journalists are not enemies of the government they are agents of development and “my hope is that one day journalists everywhere will be given the respect and place they deserve in society” Amos concludes.

*Source Free Press Unlimited

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Climate Change would cause losses to Agriculture, African Union Official warns
August 7, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Mohammed M.Mupenda
Josefa Sacko, AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union

Josefa Sacko, AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union

Agriculture in Africa is likely to experience significant production losses as the planet warms due to effects of climate change ,unless farmers practice climate smart agriculture, an African Union (AU) official said on Monday.
Increase in global temperatures and rainfall reduction due to climate change poses a serious threat to agriculture production in Africa as many farmers in Africa still practice traditional subsistence farming, Josefa Sacko, AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union, said at the Africa Food Security Leadership Dialogue in Rwandan capital Kigali.
Africa is more vulnerable to climate change’s disastrous effects than others because of its high dependency on agriculture as a means of survival, said Sacko.
Actionable collaboration among farmers, policy makers, development partners and government leaders is needed for adapting African agriculture to climate change, she said.

 

According to her, much is needed to drive climate smart agriculture agenda and highlight its importance in achieving increased agricultural yield and productivity on the continent.

 

AU is working with different countries to reduce agriculture production loss along the value chains and waste to adhere to the Paris Agreement on climate change, she said.

 

The meeting that runs through Tuesday seeks to find a solid action towards adaptation of Africa’s agriculture and food systems to climate change.

 

The two-day event brings together ministers of agriculture and finance, heads of international institutions and Regional Economic Commissions, Nobel laureates, and eminent scientists to catalyze actions and financing to help address Africa’s worsening food security crisis under climate change

 

About 95 percent of the food grown in Africa is very vulnerable to adverse weather conditions such as droughts and irregular rainfall, according to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

 

Africa is the most food-insecure region with about 20% of the population or 256 million people undernourished, according to the joint report by Regional Office for Africa of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and the United Nations for Economic Commissions for Africa.
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Sudan, South Sudan police sign cooperation ties
August 7, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

[Left - Right] Sudan's Deputy Ambassador to Juba, Isam Idris Ibrahim, Sudan's Director-General of the Police Force, Gen. Adil Mohammed Ahmed Bashir, Inspector General of South Sudan Police, Gen. Majak Akech in Juba on Friday August 2, 2019. PHOTO: South Sudan National Police Service/facebook.com/police2456/

[Left – Right] Sudan’s Deputy Ambassador to Juba, Isam Idris Ibrahim, Sudan’s Director-General of the Police Force, Gen. Adil Mohammed Ahmed Bashir, Inspector General of South Sudan Police, Gen. Majak Akech in Juba on Friday August 2, 2019. PHOTO: South Sudan National Police Service/facebook.com/police2456/

Juba – South Sudan and its foe Sudan have agreed to boost bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries’ police forces, following the Sudan political turmoil.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement signed on Monday by the police chiefs of both sisterly countries seeks to enhancing cooperation in the police service, capacity building, intelligence sharing and visa on arrival at airports and all points of entries to both citizens of the two countries.

“This is the beginning and good gesture between South Sudan police and Sudan police force,” said South Sudan police chief Gen. Majak Akech. “For us, we are very delighted and privileged to have you and it will be long lasting relationships that will actually path way for other generations to come,” he added.

The agreement also covers exchange of security information on organized and transnational crimes and coordination and enhancing the provision of logistical support.

Sudan police delegations arrived in Juba a week ago for a three-day visit, in bid to restore the dwindle bilateral relations and cooperation.

On his part, Director-General of Sudan Police Force Adil Mohammed Ahmed said the pact shows sturdy commitment towards fighting crime in the two foe sisterly countries.

Sudan has offered to help the South Sudan National Police Service with the training of the joint integrated police as its contribution toward the Khartoum – backing up 11th months old revitalized peace agreement.

South Sudan is in the process of reorganizing the armed forces through reforms adopted in the revitalized peace agreement. A unified force including the army and the police will be trained to protect all demilitarized areas.

The MoU will also address the payment of pensions to South Sudanese police personnel who previously served in Sudan before the country separated in 2011, leaved many not received their pension benefits for the last 8th years. With this deal, former police officers, including those who have retired are expected to receive their benefits and pension.

The Sudan police chief also said deal is to focus on areas of security and cooperation at the border points as part of the 2012 agreement.

In aftermath of the secession, South Sudan and Sudan agreed to extend the Cooperation Agreements between the two countries signed in 2012. The cooperation deals are specifically on oil, border issues, citizenship rights, and the division of debts and assets, among others, which were supposed to last for three and a half years since 2012.

However, South Sudan is due to form the transitional government in November 12, to put an end the five-plus years’ bloody conflict in the East Africa country.

 

 

Sudan Exodus

Sudan is also currently engaged in talks to reform its security sector which has been accused of committing atrocities and crimes against the civil population in Sudan over the years under the tyranny rule of President Omar al Bashir.

Months of protests that started in late 2018 led to the deposed of President Bashir in April this year and put the future of the country in the hands of the protestors and a ruling elite of military generals.

The protesters recently forced the change of notorious Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services.

The Transitional Military Council agreed to restructure it into a body that focuses on combating terrorism and espionage, preventing human trafficking and fighting corruption and money laundering.

This will be under the supervision of the sovereignty council and the Council of Ministers in Sudan throughout the 3 years transition of a civilian-military rule.

 

 

 

 

 

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Kenya:Where are abducted Cuban doctors?
August 7, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma | @journalist_27

Doctors Assel Herera Corea, a general practitioner, and Landy Rodriguez, a surgeon, on April 12 2019 were kidnapped at Northern Kenya by suspected Alshabaab militia and were driven to neighboring Somalia. They were abducted in a daring road ambush on their way to work in which the attackers shot and killed one of the two police officers who were providing security to them.

Immediately after the incident a multi-agency team was formed to hunt down the attackers in a bid to free the medics. The team consisted of the best-trained commandos from the Long Range Surveillance unit, the police and other Kenya Defence Forces soldiers. Police also inspected vehicles suspected to be fitted with fake registration numbers and military helicopter surveyed the area to search for the whereabouts of the duo.

Kenyan Somali elders also joined the rescue team. At least 10 of them crossed the border to negotiate the release of the two with their counterparts in Somalia. After days of negotiations in remote areas in Buale and El-Aide Somalia, the elders revealed that the kidnappers are demanding a ransom of USD$1.5 million confirming that the Dr. Corea and Dr. Rodriguez are alive and healthy.

“They seem to be under care and offering Medicare services to the locals,” said a source from the elders’ team.

However, the government ruled out the possibility of paying the ransom saying the operations to free the embattled doctors will be successful. Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma said, “We believe that we will secure their release in the ongoing security operation but as a matter of policy, the government does not negotiate a ransom. We are hopeful that we shall retrieve the doctors safely back home.”

Since then a little is known about the well-being of the two Cubans despite reports from the intelligence in July that disclosed that they were converted to Islam and were relocated to another area. Kenya’s Inspector of General Police Hillary Mutyambai’s confession is not far from the truth. Mr. Mutyambai said police are not involved in the search and rescue mission noting that they have no power to carry out operations beyond the border.

“Our work as police ends at the border…I am not in a good position to account for the fate of Cuban doctors but we have a team working on it,” said the Inspector General.

Nevertheless, he hinted at the government’s undying effort to rescue and bring back the doctors home. He said police had made a number of arrests and suspects arraigned in court concerning the matter.

 

Dr. Corea and Dr. Rodriguez are among 100 Cuban doctors who came to the country last year in a deal that saw 50 Kenyan doctors switched to Cuban for further training. They were deployed to 47 counties to boost health services mainly in the rural area and ease congestion on the few referral hospitals.

 

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Kagame says dialogue among Africans cannot be imposed from outside
August 7, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

Presidents Kagame (Center) holding hands with President Nyusi of Mozambique (left) and Ossufo Momade of Renamo

Presidents Kagame (Center) holding hands with President Nyusi of Mozambique (left) and Ossufo Momade of Renamo

President of Rwanda Paul Kagame said that dialogue and inclusion cannot be imposed from outside because that way cannot bear good results.

He was speaking this Tuesday during a Peace and Reconciliation accord  signing ceremony between government of Mozambique and a rebel group Renamo.

The agreement came to end decades of hostility and war between two parties that saw more than million victims.

President Kagame who was among other dignitaries attended the event in Maputo, said this successful agreement shows potentials that lie among Africans themselves.

“This achievement matters to all of us in Africa. It shows that we can find solutions to our problems, no matter how protracted and difficult. Dialogue and inclusion cannot be imposed from outside. And once consensus is reached, it can only be sustained from Within”, he said

It is not the first time that Mozambique had an agreement with Renamo. The agreement was signed in 1992 and led to multi party elections of 1994 in which Renamo participated.

Agreement failed in 2013 when Renamo was accusing government forces to attack its base in central region.

Kagame said though the first agreement didn’t work, there is no loss into trying again.

“For the people of Mozambique, today brings the promise of an end to decades of conflict and uncertainty, and the renewal of national unity and cohesion. Even if previous efforts have not succeeded, it is never a waste to give a shot to peace one more time”, he added

More than five thousands Renamo rebels will be integrated into national Army, Police  others will be reintegrated in society.

Talks between two parties come ahead of general elections in October in which Renamo will participate as a political party.

 

 

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Some of Rwanda’s big institutions to be relocated from the capital
August 7, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

Muhanga City is one of the second cities in Rwanda

Muhanga City is one of the second cities in Rwanda

Some  Rwanda’s big institutions are going to be relocated from main capital Kigali, to the second cities around the country.

It is one of the decisions that were taken this Monday during a cabinet meeting chaired by President Kagame.

The reason behind the relocation, is to increase  development in every corner of the country and to scale up decentralization program.

Among the institutions to be relocated are Rwanda Agricultural Board which moving from Kigali to Huye, a city in the southern  West of the country. Huye is going to house other big institutions like University of Rwanda, High Education Council and The Institute of National Museum of Rwanda.

Rwanda Management Institute, and Rwanda Cooperative Agency were moved from Kigali to Muhanga in the central region while National  Commission for Unity and Reconciliation together with Commission in charge of demobilization were relocated to Musanze, a city situated in Northern Rwanda.

Commenting on these changes, Minister of Infrastructure, Claver Gatete told a press conference on Tuesday that relocation will improve service delivery.

“People don’t have to travel from Huye (south) to Kigali to consult another company and even sharing research and other things, that’s why education institutions were put together. If they are together,  it becomes much easier . It is going to become easier in terms of service delivery but it contribute significantly to development of  these cities outside of Kigali.”

Gatete added that relocating government’s institutions is in line with the country’s vision, where development has to spread all over.

“If you concentrate everything here, it becomes a problem to services because everyone will be wanting to come to Kigali, and when you look at the future, we want to develop the whole country not necessarily Kigali” Gatete added

Some of institutions moved, have had branches and infrastructure in the cities in which they are relocated,  others will be renting offices.

Gatete assured that  even renting will not be as expensive as in Kigali, thus reducing  government spending.

By December this year, some institutions will have begun to move to their new destinations.

 

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Kigali: 14 African scholars teams win Mastercard Foundation support
August 6, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mugabo

Edith Naisubi explains the AgriSan project during the 2019 Social Venture Challenge in Kigali, Thursday

Edith Naisubi explains the AgriSan project during the 2019 Social Venture Challenge in Kigali, Thursday

Africa’s 14 scholars teams and one Lebanese team have emerged winners of the 2019 Mastercard Foundation Social Venture Challenge.

The 15 teams are from 10 countries as Uganda shines with three winning teams. Each of Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe won with two teams while Cameroon, Gambia, Lebanon, Malawi, Rwanda and Senegal got one winning team each.

The winners were announced at the closing of Mastercard Foundation Scholars Baobab Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, on Saturday. The three-day annual summit brought together more than 250 undergraduate scholars pursuing their studies at different universities around the world under the Mastercard Foundation’s scholarships.

Each team will receive seed funding to scale their projects and a lifetime membership to the Resolution Fellowship that will help them continue getting guidance and membership to grow their projects.

The Mastercard Foundation and The Resolution Project received 125 applications for the 2019 competition but 31 teams bringing together 65 scholars reached the semi-final, according to Ashley Collier, Manager of Youth Engagement and Networks at Mastercard Foundation.

Winners speak out

 Many Scholars are developing projects inspired by challenges they have observed first-hand in their communities. With modest resources, Scholars are activating their ideas for change to make a difference in their societies.

Some of the 2019 winners told media that the scooped Mastercard Foundation’s support will enable them to implement their projects and bring change in their communities.

Nadine Iradukunda, who owns “Healthy Us” project, said she aims to increase the wellbeing of orphans in Kigali through a nutritional awareness program.

young scholars from countries gathered in Kigli from Thursday to Saturday at the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Baobab Summit 2019

young scholars from countries gathered in Kigli from Thursday to Saturday at the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Baobab Summit 2019

“The program will create a kitchen garden in a local orphanage in Masaka, Kicukiro District, to grow fruit and vegetables, especially mushrooms, which are rich in protein and easy to cultivate. The income from the mushroom sales will provide orphaned children with food, toiletries, and school materials,” she said.

Iradukunda co-owns the project with Marie Aimée Nirere, both pursuing their bachelor studies at Ashesi University in Ghana.

Other Ashesi University’s scholars, Edith Naisubi and Amanuel Eshete, scooped an award thanks to their “AgriSan” project which aims to establish a community market garden for underprivileged rural women in the Pallisa District of Uganda.

“Women will grow vegetables as a source of income and use the leftover vegetables to make manure. In addition, the venture will teach the women savings strategies and other financial management skills to ensure their economic security,” said Ms Naisubi.

Edith Naisubi and her fellow Amanuel Eshete scoop an award at the 2019 Mastercard Foundation Social Venture Challenge

Edith Naisubi and her fellow Amanuel Eshete scoop an award at the 2019 Mastercard Foundation Social Venture Challenge

The Mastercard Foundation collaborates with The Resolution Project to host a Resolution Social Venture Challenge, a competition that provides a pathway to action for socially responsible young leaders who want to create change that matters in their communities. In 2016, six teams won the challenge, followed by 10 and 15 winning teams in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

The Canada-based Mastercard Foundation is one of the world’s largest foundations which strives to advance learning and promote financial inclusion for people living in poverty and operates almost exclusively in Africa. The Foundation was established in 2006 by Mastercard International.

 

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Sudan seeks president Kiir’s succor in resolving its political crisis
August 6, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Deputy Head of Sudanese Transitional Military Council, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo meets South Sudanese President Salva Kiir in Juba, South Sudan. PHOTO: REUTERS

Deputy Head of Sudanese Transitional Military Council, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo meets South Sudanese President Salva Kiir in Juba, South Sudan. PHOTO: REUTERS

Juba – Sudan warring leaders convened in Juba over the weekend in a bid to seeks South Sudanese president Salva Kiir’s assistance in resolving years of stalemates in its internal political crisis.

This comes after president Kiir’s move to initiate peace between Sudan rival groups a month ago in an effort to bring peace and stability to his foe Sudan.

Sudan deputy chairman of the Transitional Military Council, Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, formerly known as Hemeti, led delegations to Juba on Saturday, discussed peace with the two Sudanese opposition leaders Gen. Abdel Aziz Al-Hilu of South Kordofan State and SPLM/A-N leader Malik Agar of Blue Nile State, in auspice of president Kiir in the presidential palace.

Gen. Hemeti, who also commands a paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces, is on his first trip to Juba since his appointment as deputy head of Sudan’s military council following the April ouster of president Bashir after months of protests.

The visit comes after members of Sudan’s opposition coalitions reached what they call a ‘political deal’ in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this month.

The peace talks were part of the implementation of the power sharing deal between the protest leaders and the transitional military council signed in Khartoum recently, aimed at establishing how to implement the deal reached by the rivalry parties in Sudan.

Gen. Hemeti is the one at the forefront of peace talks with opposition groups in Sudan, but the protest leaders and military council leaders are still yet to sign a ‘constitutional declaration.’

Sudanese opposition groups has been fighting to topple the regime in Khartoum for years in the Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan regions respectively during the deposed president Omar Hassan Al-Bashir

In the joint press, Sudan’s rival groups say they agreed to extend a ceasefire to stop war, as coming together as one people and bring peace and stability.

Gen. Hemeti appreciated president Kiir Mayardit for initiating peace talks process between Sudan’s rival groups.

“We are in our second home. We met with Malik Gar, our meeting went successful – we agreed on key things, [with] God willing, the war will come to end.” “We welcome our brothers who have taken arms against the government of Sudan – their presence and views are very important to us in Sudan, and we really need them to come back home. It’s their home, we really need them for stability,” said Hemeti on Saturday in Juba.

SPLM/A – N leader Malik Agar, said the preliminary discussion had led to concrete decisions in future, as the two parties agreed to extend a ceasefire agreement and open humanitarian corridors to the war affected areas.

“We have reached consensus on humanitarian assistance and interventions in the areas that are affected by war. We have to renew cessation of hostilities and opening the humanitarian corridors,” Agar said. “We have signed several agreements before but they have not been implemented but this time, I hope, everything will go on well.”

The members of SPLM/A – N and other opposition groups are in Juba after forcibly expelled from Khartoum following the wake of a deadly raid on protest sit-in in Khartoum in earlier June, killing over 100 protesters

However, Sudan military council has also pardoned rebels fighting Khartoum regime, including all rebel leaders tried and convicted for treason in absentia.

In spite the separation in 2011 after the decades of scorched – earth conflict, South Sudan and Sudan are still held by pre and post – independence unfinished deals.

As the axiom say, “the birds of same feather flown together,” Khartoum was recently seeing as instrumental mediator on the fragile revitalized peace deal, inked by Juba’s warring parties last year, to ended five-year of civil war that has uprooted four million people from their homes and killed 400,000 people.

 

 

 

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Kenya:LREB summit postponed following the demise of its vice-chair
August 6, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma |@journalist_27

Dr Joyce Laboso.

Dr Joyce Laboso.

Kenya’s Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) has called off its conference due to death of its vice-chairperson Joyce Laboso. She passed on Monday, July 29 at the Nairobi hospital after battling cancer for some years. The summit had been scheduled to kick off between 1st and 2nd August.

Lake Region Economic Bloc is a joint economic growth and development strategy that brings together 14 counties from western Kenya. The block was founded in 2015 by the governors of the respective counties in a bid to empower the region economically. It is driven by a number of pillars which include agriculture, tourism, education, health, financial services, environment, climate change, infrastructure and technology.

The members had agreed to come up with a regional bank to unlock its potential through project funding and financial inclusion of communities in the region. The counties agreed to contribute USD$2 million towards the establishment of the commercial bank. Some of the agricultural sub-sectors set to be revived by the bloc are sugar, cotton, coffee, dairy and fish.

“Our region is strategically placed to serve as a gateway to East and Central Africa and we also share a large water body in Lake Victoria which serves around 44.9 million people in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. The implementation of these projects will include jointly setting aside land for development of industrial cities, modernized workforce and landing bays, development of inter-county road circuits, refurbishing of ports, water hyacinth clearing and dredging Lake Victoria,” said the Chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya.

In a statement delivered to media on Tuesday, the organizers of the event led by the bloc’s chairperson said that the summit will take place in future after the burial of the late governor.  The chair lauded the deceased’s exemplary leadership skills, commitment and compassion.

“Through this conference, she managed to help the bloc set its agenda and our national political leaders to focus on national development and cohesion. We regret any inconvenience caused to our various stakeholders by these untimely changes,” he said.

Governor Laboso had gone to United Kingdom and India for treatment for almost two months and jetted back to the country two weeks ago after which he was admitted to Nairobi Hospital for further treatment where she died. She has joined the list of prominent leaders who succumbed to cancer in the country for the last two years and is the third person to die of the deadly disease in July. Others are Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore and lawmaker Ken Okoth.

 

 

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