Protesting Climate Change, Young People call at World Leaders to take action
September 21, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Mohammed M.Mupenda
Worried about their future on a hotter planet, calling the world leaders for taking action to arrest the crisis, hundreds of thousands of young and adults people marched into the streets on Friday for a day of global climate protest.
About three hundreds youths including sierrans club in St.Louis gathered friday to demand action on climate change, as part of global movement of youngsters demanding politicians and government act toa halt environment catastrophe.
They all gathered at St.Louis City hall, coming from different areas of Missouri State, some had to bike, walk, ride and park their cars 200 miles away and foot to begin their strike with placards citing the climate change effects and the call to the government to tackle the issues.
“Floods are getting worse” 16 -year-old activist Olivia Thomson Wrote on her poster “ the concerned bodies should take action.”
Strikes were planned in each of the 50 United States. By late morning, protesters across the Eastern, Western, Southern and northern of St.Louis were moving out of schools and office buildings, pooling around steps of local city halls.
Another placard by a 80 year-old walking on a stick read “Climate change is the issue if we don’t do something nothing else will matter, “
In the neighbouring States including Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, around 400 protesters such as youth and adults with signs gathered outside the State Capitol under a cloudless sky, sweat rolling down their faces as temperatures hovered around 84 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 28 Celsius to take part in what are set to be the largest global climate protests in history .
In Kampala, Uganda early morning the protest was also attended by most high -profile young activist leah Namugerwa,15, who created waves when she began her own solitary school in february before others joined her. Adult climate activities and environmental groups also took part.
As morning arrived farther west, banners in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, ranged from serious to humorous. One read, “Climate Emergency Now.” Another said, “This planet is getting hotter than my imaginary boyfriend.”
An early test of the student protests will come on Monday when world leaders assemble at United Nations headquarters to demonstrate what they are willing to do to avert a crisis. Their speeches are unlikely to assuage the youth strikers, but whether the youth protests will peter out or become more confrontational in the coming weeks and months remains to be seen. More protests are planned for Monday in several cities.
16 coaches from Africa shortlisted as “Future Stars” by Arsenal and WorldRemit
September 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
The coaches will be rewarded for their contributions to their communities with Arsenal youth shirts for their team
LONDON, United Kingdom, September 19, 2019/ — Today, WorldRemit (www.WorldRemit.com) announces that 16 applicants from Africa have been shortlisted for its Future Stars programme. Of these 16 coaches, eight are women.
WorldRemit and Arsenal launched the second edition of the Future Stars programme in August to recognise the valuable contributions that grassroots youth football coaches make to their communities by teaching the children they train life skills on and off the pitch.
Through the programme, WorldRemit will sponsor two winners – one male and one female – to fly to London for a personalised training session with Arsenal Football Development coaches.
Entries for Future Stars closed on 4 September, and the programme received over 1,400 entries from coaches from across Africa and the Americas.
A panel of judges from WorldRemit and Arsenal Football Development reviewed the applications and selected 20 semi-finalists, including 16 coaches from Africa, based on the following criteria:
In recognition of their commitment to using football to bring their communities together, the 20 semi-finalists will receive Arsenal shirts for their youth squad.
What’s next for the semi-finalists?
From the 20 semi-finalists, the judging panel will select eight coaches – four male and four female – as finalists. Their stories will be shared on www.FutureStars.WorldRemit.com in late October and the two winners will be chosen based on a public vote on the website.
Andrew Stewart, Managing Director for Africa and the Middle East, said: “Congratulations to the 16 African semi-finalists!
“Our business is all about connecting communities, no matter where they are in the world. We developed Future Stars to celebrate the amazing work that football coaches do to support young people and have been so impressed by the quality and diversity of the applications this year.”
Simon McManus, Head Coach at Arsenal Football Development, added: “Arsenal is thrilled to partner with WorldRemit to recognise coaches who use the power of football to inspire and support young people across the globe.
“We have one of the most successful women’s sides in the world and are committed to encouraging greater participation in the sport among women. Through this edition of Future Stars, we hope to further amplify the positive impact that female coaches have on their communities.”
Coaches in the Future Stars shortlist from Africa
Uzoma Kingsley Akanador, Coach at Unity International Charity Organisation in Lagos.
Ademilokun Oluwaseun David, Coach at XPR Football in Lagos.
Chinasa Ukanda, Coach at Help The Talent Academy in Lagos.
Towobola Grace Iyanuoluwa, Head Coach at Hostel Football Team and Assistant Coach at CityBoys Football Club in Ibadan.
Modupe Marilyn Jiwalde Pusmut, Coach at Future Stars FC Sabon Barki in Jos.
Feisal Abdi Hassan, Coach in Nairobi
Beldine Lilian Achieng Odemba, Coach at Kariobangi Sharks Academy in Nairobi.
Susan Wanjiru Njoki, Coach at Kahawa Sportive Soccer Academy in Nairobi.
Everline Achieng Onyango, Coach at Mukuru Starlets in Nairobi.
Samuel Taylor, Coach at EM Sporting Club, Accra
Alhassan Iddi Manzah, Coach at Northern Women’s Football Clubs Association in Tamale-Dalun
Bakit Isaac Agogo, Coach at Watoto Sports Academy in Gulu.
Andrew Amanya, Coach at Kigezi Soccer Academy in Kabale.
Nabisenke Joan, Coach in Kampala
Titus Tongesai Sanagurai, Coach at Big Stuff Youth Soccer Academy in Harare.
Winnet Muranganwa, Coach at Zengeza Busters Soccer Academy in Chitungwiza.
Mo Ibrahim Foundation to launch first ‘African Governance Report’ in 2019
September 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
The report uses data from the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) to further governance analysis in Africa
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of the first comprehensive African Governance Report. The report will be published online at mo.ibrahim.foundation on 15 October 2019.
Based on IIAG data, the report will focus on: Governance and Africa’s implementation of the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It will highlight the importance of using data to analyse the growing governance challenges and opportunities that must be addressed to drive sustainable development in Africa.
In this report, the Foundation will highlight gaps in the availability of sound data to track and measure progress. It will issue a call for national and international players to work together to urgently address these gaps, which will be critical to encouraging and directing development progress across the continent.
The African Governance Report will:
1) Examine the governance environments needed to achieve progress towards Agenda 2063 and the SDGs and the links between these, highlighting common areas and major challenges
2) Identify progress in these areas and data gaps, both in terms of national statistical offices but also vital statistics and civil registration
A new report in response to new challenges
Africa is at a critical turning point. While governance across the continent has continued to improve, new challenges and needs from stakeholders and citizens have changed this landscape.
The scope of public governance has expanded to include new challenges for existing topics, and new needs, such as access to quality healthcare and environmental sustainability. Meanwhile, transformative frameworks, such as the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), now pave the way for Africa’s development agenda, and contribute to defining policy priorities towards political, social, environmental and economic progress.
In response to these developments, the Foundation will publish the African Governance Report with unique insights around these frameworks, challenges and opportunities.
Strengthening the use of our data
As the largest source of data on African governance, the IIAG is a key tool for African countries to measure the environment around achieving transformative frameworks, such as the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the SDGs.
Good governance remains at the core of Africa’s development and the report. The Foundation holds the most comprehensive assessment and collection of data on African governance ever undertaken using 90 indicators and 150,000 data points across 54 countries to assess performance.
With a view of continually improving the IIAG, expanding its scope to include new challenges and data, and making use of its wealth of information and growing dataset, the Foundation will release new data with updated scores, ranks and trends every two years, with the next iteration in 2020.
Between the biennial updates of the IIAG dataset, the Foundation will publish additional data-driven research publications and tools to support Africa’s stakeholders with resources for evidence-based decision making and policy debates, alongside the comprehensive African Governance Report, based on the IIAG.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation was established in 2006 with a focus on the critical importance of leadership and governance in Africa, by providing tools to assess and support progress in leadership and governance.
The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) provides an annual assessment of the quality of governance in African countries and is the most comprehensive collection of data on African governance.
With over ten years of data to draw from, the IIAG is uniquely positioned to measure trends in governance, providing in-depth analysis on how the quality of governance has changed, and what has or could be key to Africa’s transformation.
In every iteration, MIF – assisted by the IIAG’s Advisory Council – looks at improving the structure, components and methodology of the IIAG. Due to this revision, MIF recalculates all scores in the Index for each iteration.
Previous iterations of the IIAG covered data from 2000 onwards. The 2018 IIAG, for the first time, provided comparable governance data for the last decade only, to strengthen the robustness of the findings.
In 2018, an assessment of youth inclusion was also made part of the IIAG. Through the indicator Promotion of Socio-economic Integration of Youth (provided by Global Integrity), the Index assessed whether there is a government policy/strategy to increase the socioeconomic integration if youth.
The IIAG contains analysis across 102 indicators from 35 independent African and global data institutions to cover all 54 African counties in the areas of Safety & Rule of Law, Participation & Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development.
The IIAG Data Portal is a user-friendly interface that offers a bespoke analysis of governance ranks, scores and trends for each country. Users can create printable charts and graphics from the data.
Access the IIAG Data Portal directly: http://iiag.online/
Russia Spreading Its Tentacles Across Africa
September 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Scott Morgan*
When it comes to special operations in Central Africa initiated by the Russians most thoughts and conversations focus on the operations conducted within the Central African Republic over the last two years as either a point of contention or outright fear in some Capitals. But once again history is again repeating itself in Africa.
There have been allegations that after the 2016 Presidential Elections in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) that the incumbent President Soussou-Nguesso reportedly hired a Russian Private Military Company to put down the unrest in the vital town of Pointe Noir that occurred after the controversial polls. There was virtually no coverage of the influence in this election. It should be noted that when President Soussou-Nguesso was President for the first time Brazzaville was considered to be an ally of what was then the Soviet Union.
Also when it comes to Russian Operations in Central Africa even though it is not considered being part of Central Africa, the role of Sudan cannot be ignored. Khartoum has been used as a transit and logistics hub for its Operations in CAR. The Change of leadership that recently took place within Sudan will have an impact on Russian Operations in Central Africa. Russia was one of the countries that was coaching the Military in how to react during the final days of the Bashir regime. It would be wonderful if this dynamic was looked into. For the near future it should be taken as a fait accompli that whatever projects are launched in the region by the Kremlin it will have some form of presence in Sudan.
Another aspect that has been proving to be interesting regarding Russian Activities in the region is the media coverage regarding them or the efforts by the Putin Government and their allies to manipulate their coverage of the activities. One needs to recall the incident where four journalists for a Russian Opposition news site were ambushed and killed in the Central African Republic. That only occurs when a party wants an activity to be shielded from public view and scrutiny.
Another action taken by the Russians to spin events into their worldview has to be the deals to provide content to some African Media Outlets by either Sputnik or RT (Russia Today). A perfect example happens to be the deals reached with RTNC (National Radio and Television Corporation) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. RT was the first entity to reach a deal with the Congolese in November 2018, Sputnik has reached a similar deal in May of 2019. This effort in the DRC has been a success for Moscow. When Russia celebrated the fifth anniversary of the annexation of the Crimea , one of the largest events was actually held in Kinshasa.
Another tactic that Russia is using ties between the Duma and local legislatures on the ground. Once again the topic focuses on the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There is already a Russia-DRC Friendship Group already in the Parliament of the DRC. This is a simple and easy way for Russia to not only to promote its agenda in Africa it can be done in such a way that most other powers that have interests in the region such as the former colonial powers of France and Belgium and even the United States could find themselves be left on the outside without realizing what they allowed to Happen has indeed taken place without their ability to properly address the situation.
*The author is President of Red Eagle Enterprises and the views expressed are his.
Mozambique: New armed group claims responsibility for lorry attacks
September 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Arnaldo Cuamba
The leader of the self-styled Renamo Military Junta, Major-General Mariano Nhongo, has taken responsibility for the two attacks on lorries in Manica province on Tuesday, and has warned that attacks will continue unless the elections scheduled for 15 october are suspended.
“Junta Militar is not the same as the late Renamo president [Afonso Dhlakama], who was patient. Those who do not hear us will get shot, which can hit anyone, journalist, administrator, governor and others,” Nhongo told journalists on Thursday in Beira by phone.
Nhongo added that, when peace negotiations had been ongoing, he had warned an ambassador not to endorse the deal, particularly the part that dealt with disarmament and reintegration of Renamo fighters into the security and defence forces.
The spokesperson for the General Command of the Mozambican police, Orlando Mudumune, says the defence and security forces are hunting down the gunmen involved and hope to bring them to justice.
The Junta was formed by Renamo dissidents who describe the Renamo leader and presidential candidate, Ossufo Momade, as “a traitor”, and do not recognise the peace agreement he signed with President Filipe Nyusi on 6 August.
The Tuesday attacks occurred in the Zepinga area of Gondola district. There were no fatalities, but five people were injured and the two trucks were damaged.
My vision for education investments in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
September 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Amini Kajunju*
Early in 2019 during a maiden visit to neighboring countries, a newly-elected President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi announced in Brazzaville that his government will provide free primary education to all Congolese children starting the beginning of the next school. This is great news—in a country with so much untapped wealth, parents should not have to pay for public primary education fees.
The budget allocation would be $2.6B about 40% of the country’s budget of about $7B with 50,000 state primary schools possibly receiving $52,000 per capita. Many schools are in total physical decay and academically inadequate. For President Tshisekedi’s offer to have any real value, his government must further commit to fundamental reforms and pledge a significant financial investment.
The DRC is famous for its vast wealth of natural resources including minerals, timber, and rivers. But the new government has a responsibility to turn its focus to another untapped resource: its human capital.
From the age of three to 30 years of age, young citizens are a captive audience, eager to learn and to innovate. We need to give them a good start for their future so that the country can experience high productivity and wealth creation through massive investment.
If one is looking for an excellent example of how investments in education transformed a poor country into a wealthy one, we need only look to South Korea. In the 50s, South Korea was a poor country. Through visionary leaders and actions, it made education, industrialization, manufacturing, and trade the pillars of their economy. At the height of this investment, the country spent 22% of its budget on education. These investments paid off. Today, South Korea has one of the most educated populaces and the 11th largest economy in the world and currently spends about $20.9B on education about 5% of the country’s budget. DRC’s economy is ranked number 99 today.
Despite DRC’s struggling economy, there is hope. Citizens are ready for a government that is committed to undoing a history of economic disinvestment and mismanagement, to restoring democracy, and to the provision of public goods. To assist with these aspirations, I propose seven fundamental reforms that will create thousands of jobs, accelerate economic development, and meaningfully reduce poverty. It is important to note that these actions will be doubly successful if coupled with substantial investments in energy, water, healthcare, transportation, and agriculture. The following seven reforms are the building blocks of a successful educational system:
DRC’s one number asset is its people and the strong and productive institutions that it creates and sustains
a. Every government has three key jobs: collect enough taxes and fees to fund public goods, protect the citizens from internal and external threats and create an enabling environment for prosperity.
b. Currently, the DRC government collects about $5.6B to $7B per year to fund its operations for a country with a population of 85M people.
c. No real impact can be made from this low tax base to educate millions of youth
d. The individual and collective efforts of Congolese nationals working in the education is important and valuable and must be celebrated.
e. And, we will not be able to educate the masses without government investment and vision.
f. Bring in the private sector as partners and investors in the training and the preparation of the world of work.
g. No country has ever made it into the G20 or the G7 without a productive government and an educated populace.
Train teachers for the 21st-century classroom to increase the quality of learning in elementary and secondary schools.
a. Teachers are the backbone of any educational system. Without adequate training , professional development and pay, teachers will not have the motivation or skills to teach.
b. Build and maintain at least two teacher training colleges in every province of DRC
c. Disseminate these newly trained teachers in all elementary and secondary schools
Implement a 21st-century curriculum from primary to university.
a. A 21st-century curriculum is rooted in the following principles: technology, upgraded learning tools and concepts, a culture of inquiry and research, and the development of problem-solvers and leaders among all participants within the system
b. Set the standards and focus on achieving the required competencies and learning at every grade level
c. Upgrade and increase STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) education
d. At the university level, fund R&D and entrepreneurial investments with the aim of eradicating tropical diseases such as malaria
e. Increase learning and action around climate change and environmental studies as Congo is known as the 2nd lung of the world
f. Upgrade and increase access to learning materials by securing the latest books, online resources, and other educational tools
g. Increase history, civic education, and social responsibility courses
h. Replace rote learning with dialogue, inquiry, and critical thinking at every grade
i. Introduce key soft skills like teamwork, initiative, and ethical leadership
Infuse technology into every aspect of the education system.
a. Every public school from primary to university should have the most updated computer labs for experimentation and learning
b. Provide free 24-hour internet service to all public schools from primary to university
Require age-appropriate entrepreneurial education for every student.
a. Small businesses are the backbone of a thriving economy and the creators of jobs
b. Providing entrepreneurial education will motivate those who are inclined to use this education to found companies and create jobs
Renovate and expand the physical facilities of all existing public education institutions from primary to university.
a. It is very difficult to learn in classrooms and buildings that are collapsing or destroyed
b. Public educational facilities and buildings must represent the goals and dreams of a nation
c. A 21st-century curriculum requires upgraded and functioning physical facilities
Build 26 technical institutions—one in each province.
a. Manufacturing and industrialization are requirements of a modern economy
b. Technical colleges teach the competencies and skills required for industrialization and manufacturing
c. A modern economy needs electricians, plumbers, and health technicians as well as experts in HVAC, aviation, construction, automation, technology, tourism and much more
For a country to advance and reach its full potential, the education system must aspire to improve and join the 21st century. Congo should use its resource-rich environment to propel its economy forward. However, the most valuable of all of Congo’s resources is its people. Therefore, the single most important area for the country to invest in is education. Free primary education is a great place to start, but now is the time to commit to more.
*Ms. Kajunju, a Congolese national, is the executive director of the IUGB Foundation and formerly the President and CEO of Africa-America Institute.Culled from LinkedIn
Kenya cuts 2019/2020 budget amid crisis
September 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma | @journalist_27
In less than four months since the former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich unveiled the budget for the 2019/2020 fiscal year, the government has chopped the financial plan by 2.1 per cent which is equivalent to $445 million (Ksh.46.2 billion).
Announcing the changes on Thursday, the acting Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani said the cuts aim at non-essential matters such as foreign travel, trainings, communication supplies, printing and advertising and purchase of furniture. Other expenses to face the chop are use of government vehicles and general supplies. The cut will also cut across hiring, salary increase and restriction on new development projects.
Yattani noted the government has been forced to take the move due to drop in revenue collection caused by trade-offs and reallocations of the existing budgetary provisions. The government had resorted to borrowing to plug the budget deficit increasing the public debt to 55 per cent of GDP from 42 per cent since 2013.
On June 13 this year Rotich announced $302 billion (Ksh.3.02 trillion) June/July budget, higher than previous years’, drawing criticism from people of different walks. He was castigated for subjecting struggling Kenyans to additional taxes. The ex-Treasury boss was shown the door by President Uhuru Kenyatta after he was implicated in the multi-billion dam projects scandal.
Malawi: Protests against planned erection of Mahtma Ghandi statue resume
September 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Joseph Dumbula, Blantyre Malawi
There would be a spate of protests at the Indian consulate, should the Indian government continues with the plan to erect a statue for popular figure Mahtma Ghandi in Blantyre, the grouping that protests the move has warned.
Earlier this week, media reports had suggested that the Indian government was reportedly working towards financing and purchasing some equipment for the statue. However, the matter is in court as previous protests saw the organisers scrapp off the construction of the statue in the Commercial city of Blantyre. The grouping managed to obtain a court injunction against the erection and the site remained notably ready for the erection.
Initially, the grouping known as Citizens for Progressive Action, had led masses into protesting against the move as they described Ghandi as being racist and not having any impact in his dealings over Malawi.
But in reacting to the recent reports the grouping states that the move potrays the government as being receptive to manipulation stating that it would not relent to stop the move.
It is our demand therefore, that the government of India rescinds its decision to do the same in Malawi. It is our appeal to them to respect our sovereignty and not to impose upon us what we do not want. We are giving the government of India 7 days from today, the 16th of September, 2019 to come out and tell Malawians that they will not be erecting such a statue anywhere in Malawi. If they fail to do so, we will be planning vigils that will be held outside their consulate in Malawi till they rescind the decision.
” The government of India has so many needs in its country that it should be addressing instead of going around causing havoc. The Indian people are suffering from economic injustice which would be something for them to focus on instead of spending huge sums of money trying to impose statues of Gandhi on other countries. They have a horrible caste system which abuses and segregates against minorities in India. Instead of going around promoting racist Gandhi, perhaps India should divert its attention to healing such wounds of division.”reads s statement that the grouping has issued.
It adds:” Let the government of India be warned that what we have is strong will power and we will not relent in our quest to have a Malawi that is sovereign. We extend a hand of friendship to India on the condition that this friendship will be mutually beneficial where no one has selfish agenda of their own.”
Gandhi was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist, who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India’s independence from British Rule, and in turn inspire movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.
However, he is christened as being racists due to his dealings in South Africa where he worked as an expatriate lawyer, a supposition that has stimulated ernomous debate over his legacy.
Rwanda’s main rebel leader killed in DRC
September 19, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Ferdinand Maniraguha
Democratic Republic of Congo’s army, FARDC, has killed Sylvestre Mudacumura, a military wing commander of Democratic Forces for Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) who was on the list of those who are hunted by International Criminal Court.
FARDC said Mudacumura, 65 and some of his close lieutenants were killed in an offensive led by national army operating in Northern Kivu.
“The 34th military region of North Kivu confirms the death of Sylvestre Mudacumura, commander of FDLR who was killed with his close lieutenants by FARDC during the night of Tuesday to Wednesday in Rutshuru territory”, said FARDC tweet
FDLR has been in Eastern Congo for about two decades. It is made up of mainly ex Rwanda’s army who are accused of committing Genocide against the tutsi.
This rebel group had coordinated many attacks on Rwanda from Congo. The recent one was launched in October last year in Rubavu district of western Rwanda, and claimed the lives of some rebels and about three Rwandan soldiers.
FARDC said that Mudacumura’s death is good news to the whole Congolese army as he was spearheading radical group which destabilize the Eastern Congo.
“This neutralization is a big signal to other rebels”, FARDC added.
Originally from Gisenyi of Western Rwanda, Mudacumura was deputy commander of the Presidential Guard of the Rwandan Armed Forces during the 1994 genocide.
He fled to former Zaire (now DRC) after the victory of Rwanda Patriotic Army in July 1994.
In 2012 hhe prosecutor of the International Criminal Court sought an arrest warrant against him, alleging responsibility for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in 2009-10 in the Kivus.
In May this year in Kinshasa, DRC a summit was held that brought together President of DRC, Felix Tshisekedi, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and João Lourenço of Angola to discuss security issues in the region.
The tripartite meeting agreed to join hands in eradicating negative forces that spoil peace and security in the region.
Murdoch to help empower 1,000 entrepreneurs across Africa by 2022
September 19, 2019 | 0 Comments
|Murdoch hosted Kingdom Business Network (KBN) Chief Executive Officer Joarina Matthys and four of its entrepreneurs to participate in a panel at the 9th Annual Africa Australia Research Forum|
PERTH, Australia, September 11, 2019/ — A new partnership between Murdoch University (www.Murdoch.edu.au) in Western Australia and the South African-based Kingdom Business Network (KBN) took a first step towards formation after a visit to Perth for Africa Week by a delegation of five of its members.
The KBN is a programme created and funded by the South-African diversified investment company, the Beryl Group, to inspire entrepreneurs to create and acquire sustainable wealth, enabling them resources and training to build and develop their communities and positively impact their generation.
Murdoch hosted KBN Chief Executive Officer Joarina Matthys and four of its entrepreneurs to participate in a panel at the 9th Annual Africa Australia Research Forum and meet with Murdoch Alumni, members of the Perth African diaspora and entrepreneurial community.
The KBN was founded 10 years ago by Neverl and Beryl Kambasha and has a goal to empower 1,000 entrepreneurs across Africa by 2022.
“We are passionate about developing quality entrepreneurs who will have a positive impact on their communities,” Ms Matthys said.
“After 10 years of operation in South Africa we have made the decision to expand our reach, to other parts of Africa and to seek partnerships within Australia, including with Murdoch.”
Murdoch University Africa Research Group Chair David Doepel said Murdoch was keen to understand what structures facilitated creative and innovative thinking, and to harness the formidable African brain power globally.
“This is absolutely critical to Africa’s participation in the creation of the 4th Industrial revolution,” Mr Doepel said.
“Our digital interconnectedness holds great promise, but it only works if we have the human networks formed to leverage the digital ones.
“We have been exploring how we can be more embedded with each other to ensure the success of this burgeoning phenomena on the continent.”
Mr Doepel said there were 314 tech hubs in Africa in 2016, which had grown to more than 618 in 2018.
“More than 50 per cent of those tech hubs have incubators with in-kind support for idea and early stage start-ups, developing innovations in agtech, healthtech and fintech focused on African solutions for African opportunities.
“Coming together to ensure the success of these entrepreneurs, and finding ways to straddle continents with ideas that lead to businesses that solve problems, exploit opportunities, create jobs and deliver inclusive growth, is the work we must support.”
Ms Matthys said the KBN could also provide a trusted partner for companies interested in investing in African companies or your partners in Africa.
“A key role we play is developing and maintaining strategic partnerships to create a web of networks for our entrepreneurs as well as for people looking for opportunities in South Africa and Africa generally.
“We understand how government and local systems work; if you don’t know who to trust we are the place to come to.
Kenya rolls out landmark malaria vaccine introduction
September 19, 2019 | 0 Comments
The malaria vaccine pilot programme is now fully underway in Africa, as Kenya joins Ghana and Malawi to introduce the landmark vaccine
HOMA BAY, Kenya, September 16, 2019/ — The World Health Organization (WHO) congratulates the Government of Kenya for launching the world’s first malaria vaccine today in Homa Bay County, western Kenya.
The malaria vaccine pilot programme is now fully underway in Africa, as Kenya joins Ghana and Malawi to introduce the landmark vaccine as a tool against a disease that continues to affect millions of children in Africa.
The vaccine, known as RTS,S, will be available to children from 6 months of age in selected areas of the country in a phased pilot introduction. It is the first and only vaccine to significantly reduce malaria in children, including life-threatening malaria.
Malaria claims the life of one child every two minutes. The disease is a leading killer of children younger than 5 years in Kenya.
“Africa has witnessed a recent surge in the number of malaria cases and deaths. This threatens the gains in the fight against malaria made in the past two decades,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “The ongoing pilots will provide the key information and data to inform a WHO policy on the broader use of the vaccine in sub-Saharan Africa. If introduced widely, the vaccine has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives.”
First vaccination: a day to celebrate
Distinguished health officials, community leaders and health advocates gathered in Homa Bay County – one of eight counties in Kenya where the vaccine will be introduced in selected areas – to mark this historic moment with declarations of support for the promising new malaria prevention tool and to demonstrate a ceremonial first vaccination of a 6-month-old child.
Speaking at the event, WHO Representative to Kenya Dr Rudi Eggers said: “Vaccines are powerful tools that effectively reach and better protect the health of children who may not have immediate access to the doctors, nurses and health facilities they need to save them when severe illness comes. This is a day to celebrate as we begin to learn more about what this vaccine can do to change the trajectory of malaria though childhood vaccination.”
Thirty years in the making, the vaccine is a complementary malaria control tool – to be added to the core package of WHO-recommended measures for malaria prevention, including the routine use of insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor spraying with insecticides and timely access to malaria testing and treatment.
Malaria vaccine implementation in Kenya
The Ministry of Health, through the National Vaccines and Immunization Programme, is leading the phased vaccine introduction in areas of high malaria transmission, where the vaccine can have the greatest impact.
The aim is to vaccinate about 120 000 children per year in Kenya across the selected introduction areas, including Homa Bay, Kisumu, Migori, Siaya, Busia, Bungoma, Vihiga and Kakamega counties. Within the eight counties, some sub-counties will introduce the vaccine into immunization schedules while others are expected to introduce the vaccine later.
More about the vaccine pilot programme
The WHO-coordinated pilot programme is a collaboration with the ministries of health in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi and a range of in-country and international partners, including PATH, a non-profit organization, and GSK, the vaccine developer and manufacturer, which is donating up to 10 million vaccine doses for this pilot.
Financing for the pilot programme has been mobilized through an unprecedented collaboration among three key global health funding bodies: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and Unitaid.
Merck Foundation provides their first ‘Health Media Training’ in partnership with the First Lady of Zimbabwe
September 17, 2019 | 0 Comments
Merck Foundation Calls for Applications for Media Recognition Awards to break infertility stigma
HARARE, Zimbabwe, September 16, 2019/ — Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com) , the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany organized their first “Merck Foundation Health Media Training” on 16th September 2019 in Harare, Zimbabwe in partnership with H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother together with Ministries of Health and Information to break the stigma around infertility in Zimbabwe and rest of Africa.
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck more than a Mother emphasized “It is an honor to appoint the First lady of Zimbabwe, H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, the Ambassador of Merck more than a Mother. After our committee meeting in March 2019 at Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative (MFFLI) Summit, our programs have started in partnership with Zimbabwe government and we have already enrolled many doctors to our specialty training programs for Two Year Oncology Master and Fellowship, One Year Online Diabetes Diploma and Fertility Specialist Training. Moreover, we are conducing today, the first health media training in Zimbabwe to educate media how to break the stigma of infertility through their valuable work”.
The training program is a part of ‘Merck More than a Mother’ community awareness Program and was organized for the first time in Zimbabwe for local media representatives and media students.
H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGW, The First Lady of Zimbabwe and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother emphasized, “We welcome this important initiative of Merck Foundation in our country. Media, if guided properly can bring about a huge change in the current scenario where women solely blamed for infertility. I urge or media partners to work together for this cause to make a difference.”
“I am delighted to initiate this important training as I strongly believe that media plays a significant role to influence our society to create a cultural shift. It has the capacity and ability to break the stigma around infertility in the community” Rasha Kelej added.
The training was addressed by the First Lady of Zimbabwe, stalwarts of media industry, including international faculty and infertility experts.
Moreover, it provided a great opportunity for the journalists to meet the experts and also to network with each other and work as a unit to eradicate the stigma around infertility in Zimbabwe and rest of Africa. It was attended by journalists working for Print, TV, Radio and Online media and journalism students.
“The Merck Health Media Training program focused on the international standards and media ethics for reporting sensitive issues like infertility in Africa. It was designed to benefit the journalists in understanding the infertility issues in African communities and to learn the best media practices to cover such issues” added Dr. Rasha Kelej.
Merck Foundation also announced Call for Application for “Merck More than a Mother” ‘Media Recognition Awards’ for Zimbabwe and rest of Africa. The “Merck More than a Mother” ‘Media Recognition Awards’ were launched in 2017 with the aim to emphasize the role of media in enhancing the public engagement and understanding of infertility stigma and the need to change its social perception in African communities.
The applications are invited by media professionals to showcase their work to raise awareness about infertility prevention and breaking infertility stigma in Zimbabwe and rest of Africa.
Who can apply? Journalists from print, online, radio and multimedia platforms from Zimbabwe and rest of Africa.
Last date of submission: Entries can be submitted till 31st December 2019.
How to apply? Entries can be submitted via email to
Categories and prize money for winners:
Join Merck Foundation online community to exchange experience and information with other healthcare providers, researchers, students, policy makers and community members in Africa and beyond. Merck-Foundation.com free registration
About ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign;
With “Merck More than a mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility on all levels: By improving awareness, training the skills of local experts, building advocacy in cooperation with decision makers and by supporting childless women in starting their own small business. It’s all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to live a fulfilling life, with or without a child.
The Ambassadors of “Merck More Than a Mother” are: H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana; H.E DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The First Lady of Burundi; H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic; H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad; H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo; H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana; H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia; H.E. CONDÉ DJENE, The First Lady of Guinea Conakry; H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Republic of Liberia; H.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The First Lady of Malawi; H.E. DR. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique; H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADO, The First Lady of Niger; H.E FATIMA MAADA, The First Lady of Sierra Leone; H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGW, The First Lady of Zimbabwe; H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia.
Also, part of the campaign is our Merck Embryology & Fertility Training Program, a three-month hands-on practical course in partnership with IRSI, Indonesia, IIRRH, India and Manipal Academy of Higher Education (Manipal University), India to establish the platform of fertility specialists across Africa and developing countries. Merck Foundation provided for more than 135 candidates, in clinical and practical training for fertility specialists and embryologists in more than 35 countries across Africa and Asia such as: Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, CAR, Cote D’IVOIRE, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malaysia, Liberia, Mali, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Niger, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, The Gambia, Togo, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia & Zimbabwe.
Merck Foundation is making history in many African countries where they never had fertility specialists or specialized fertility clinics before ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ intervention, to train the first fertility specialists such as; in Sierra Leone, Liberia, The Gambia, Niger, Chad, Guinea, Ethiopia and Uganda.
Merck Foundation launched new innovative initiatives to sensitize local communities about infertility prevention, male infertility with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and empowering infertile women as part of Merck more than a Mother such as;
• Merck More than a Mother media recognition award and health media training
• Merck More than a Mother fashion award
• Merck More than a Mother film award
• Local songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change it
About Merck Foundation:
The Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com), established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation Website. Please visit www.merck-foundation.com to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com); Facebook (bit.ly/2MBzsDj), Twitter (bit.ly/2NDqHLR), Instagram (bit.ly/33W9wKI), Youtube (bit.ly/2K3ACZp) and Flicker (bit.ly/2P7AICN).About Merck
Merck ( (MerckGroup.com) is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Almost 52,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. Founded in 1668, Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma.