Rwanda:Former PM Habumuremyi Under Arrest
July 5, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Maniraguha Ferdinand
Rwanda Investigation Bureau has arrested former Prime Minister, Dr Habumuremyi Pierre Damien over breach of trust and issuing a bounced cheque.
He was arrested on Friday, 3rd July 2020 according to Rwanda Investigation Bureau, while investigation is going on.
Dr Habumuremyi who was Prime Minister from 2011 to 2014, is alleged to have committed such crimes as the Chancellor of Christian University of Rwanda, a college in the capital Kigali which he co-founded.
Christian University which was founded in 2017, has been in the news recently, with staff decrying to spend months without salaries, which paralyzed teaching at the university.
Arrested also is Professor Egide Karuranga, the former Vice chancellor of University of Kibungo which was closed recently due to internal conflicts and mismanagement.
Karuranga is alleged to have misused public funds, nepotism among others.
Gambia CSOs Condemn Arrest of Human Rights Actvist
July 5, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
The Gambia civil society organizations (CSOs) have jointly condemned the arrest of a human rights activist Madi Jobarteh and warned the government to desist from applying all forms of draconian laws inherited from the previous repressive regime.
Jobarteh was arrested by the police on Tuesday and charged with false publication and broadcasting. His arrest came on the heels of his media comment for faulting the police for their failure to investigate the killings of Haruna Jatta, Ousman Darboe and Kebba Secka.
The Association of the Non-Governmental Organization of The Gambia (TANGO) has gathered its member groups including the Action Aid International, Gambia Press Union, Victims Centre, Beakanyang, etc. to release their message to the president.
“Barrow needs to listen to ordinary people. The politicians and not telling him the truth. The civil servants are not telling him the truth. So, he needs to listen to ordinary Gambians…” the executive director of TANGO, Ousman Yabo.
According to him, the president has failed in his promises he made before the international community and the Gambian people regarding his stance for total respect for democracy, rule of law and guaranteeing freedom of expression and ending unlawful arrests. “Unfortunately, never again is here to stay.”
Sheriff Kijera, Chairman of the Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations stressed that Madi Jobarteh has expressed an opinion and the state should only counter it if it is dissatisfied.
“What we are seeing in our current dispensation is so disturbing and disappointing. This victims centre is very concerned,” he said.
“What happened to Madi is the same old tactics of former president Yahya Jammeh to silence the critics to germinate and cement the dictatorship.”
He stressed that the police are not learning lessons from the past, arguing that the nation’s reform agenda including the Security Sector Reform is not making any meaningful changes.
Kijera also warned the government to desist from making any attempt to stifle free speech as it will not achieve any plan of playing tactics of silencing the citizens.
The civil society organizations in The Gambia hold meeting over Madi’s arrest“What happened to Madi is not an isolation. It has been building up. You go to all these government departments and they tell you how dangerous Madi is. That shows that it has been building up. This is a test. It is a rehearsal and we should send a signal loud and clear that this is not going to be condoned.
“This is the only way we can stop this thing from happening to everybody. We will stand with Madi, we will stand with anybody whose freedom of expression has been curtailed, or has been taken away and we want to make this loud and clear.”
He urged journalists to stand with their sources at all times. He stressed that as they turn against the sources, the next victims could be those providing them with the platforms to express themselves.
John Charles Njie, Chairperson of TANGO, said the hope in the Barrow government is dissipating at an alarming pace to all and sundry.
“Madi is charged with the same law that was designed under the previous government to muscle the dissents.”
He said the country has decided not to go back into the dictatorship as “we will not be silent and we can’t be silent. We are confident that Mr Jobarteh’s comment in the media falls within his constitutional and human rights.”
He stated that the civil society will not accept the police action against Madi.
“This has brought back old memories. The freedom of expression is the cornerstone of our democracy. The state as our protector should not use draconian laws inherited by dictatorship to prosecute Madi Jobarteh. The action of the police constitutes blatant abuse of power. Today, we say enough is enough…”
Among the seven-points demand directed to the state for action, the CSOs called on the state to ‘drop all charges against Mr. Madi Jobarteh and offer an unconditional apology to him.
Other points include urging the government to “refrain from ‘inviting’ citizens to question them about their opinions or remarks so long as those opinions do not constitute incitement of violence and hate speech.
“Ensure that the police always act within the law and with professionalism when dealing with citizens and non-citizens in the country,
“A repeal of all the repressive and repugnant laws that negate and dilute the enjoyment of the fundamental rights guaranteed under our constitution;
“Desist from using the same Yahya Jammeh era repressive laws to stifle freedom of expression and association or media freedom;
“Demonstrate transparency and accountability by informing the general public about the state of affairs into the investigation of the murder of Haruna Jatta and Ousman Darboe and trial of suspects in the murder of Kebba Secka among other cases of concern.”
Awards winning DJ People’s Choice Release Debut Single ‘Kumpo’
July 5, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
Awards winning Italian based Gambian prominent DJ People’s Choice, cum artiste has released his debut song called ‘Kumpo’ available in all digital platforms.
It is recorded at Atomizer Records available in YouTube and Spotify. Kumpo is a Senegambia cultural traditional masquerade blend with African cultural and historical backgrounds in Mandinka language with house music making waves international.
He is been the first person to blend house music and Afro-House in a African grand style which is well-known and accepted across the globe in live music scene.
DJ People’s Choice said he is currently on another song in the studio entitled ‘Manneh’ aim at blend the African tradition with house music.
“I am determined to sells our African culture to West to know that our culture is beautiful so that it can be an inter cultural exchange, dialogue and diversity across the globe,” he added.
He has colloborated with Gambia’s finest artiste ENC, in a song and Joe Nevix, a vateran music producer making waves across the globe.
Open for colloboration
The young determined DJ cum artiste calls on all artistes, Djs and promoters to come on board and work for the betterment of the industry across the globe.
He called on all Gambians and non to come and work with him.
Below the link of song:https://youtu.be/DL2TezW1soA
Honoris United Universities Welcomes Nile University of Nigeria to its Pan-African Network
July 3, 2020 | 0 Comments
|Expansion into Nigeria marks a major milestone in Honoris’ mission to provide Education for Impact across the continent.|
Honoris United Universities , Africa’s first and largest pan-African network of private higher education institutions, today announced its expansion into West Africa by welcoming Nile University of Nigeria, known for its strong academic credentials and best-in-class faculties, into the network.
Established in 2009, Nile University of Nigeria is a fully accredited university that offers a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the Arts and Social Sciences, Engineering, Law, Management Sciences, Natural and Applied Sciences, and Medical & Health Sciences. Committed to the best development experiences for its students, the university’s campus located in Abuja provides modern learning environments and high-quality facilities, including outstanding sports amenities as well as secure hostel accommodation.
With the largest population and economy in Africa, Nigeria is poised to lead a new generation of African leaders and professionals. As high-quality education in public and private institutions increases in demand, Honoris is partnering with Nile University of Nigeria to support access, quality, and outcomes while extending its world-class African human talent mandates.
With Honoris United Universities, Nile University of Nigeria students will have access to diverse experiences across the entire network, including 21st century physical and digital learning environments using state-of-the-art professional technologies. Additionally, they will benefit from Honoris’ regional and international network of partners, providing opportunities for student and faculty exchanges and research programs. These experiences will support the growth of highly competitive graduates as well as contribute to the development efforts of Nigerian communities throughout the country.
As Honoris United Universities marks its third anniversary, the addition of Nile University of Nigeria to the Honoris network is a major milestone in its pan-African expansion. With a footprint that extends from Casablanca to Cape Town, and from Abuja to Tunis, the Honoris network now consists of 11 institutions in 10 countries and 32 cities, amassing significant expertise in contact, distance and online education. Its institutions are well established authorities within the disciplines of Medical & Health Sciences, Engineering, IT, Business, Law, Architecture, Creative Arts & Design, Media, Political Science and Education.
Commenting, CEO of Honoris United Universities, Luis Lopez, said, “As we welcome Nile University of Nigeria to the Honoris family of higher education institutions, we are undertaking an important step forward in our pan-African goal of widening access to quality higher education for young people in the continent. In light of Nigeria’s strategic importance to the development of Africa, we are pleased to be making this investment in the educational system of the country. Moreover, the high standards and the accomplishments of Nile University of Nigeria add significant collaborative intelligence and pedagogical capabilities to our network. I look forward to the contributions Honoris United Universities and Nile University of Nigeria will bring to our communities throughout Nigeria.”
Of note, Nile University of Nigeria’s medical school further strengthens the network’s health sciences vertical and complements the Honoris Medical Simulation Centre in Tunis, which trains more than 3,500 students and upskills health professionals within the wider medical community. Together, these programs highlight Honoris’ focus on professions and skills relevant to the students and to the communities they will impact.
About Honoris United Universities:
Honoris United Universities is the first and largest pan-African private higher education network committed to educating the next generation of African leaders and professionals able to impact regionally in a globalized world. Collaborative intelligence, cultural agility and mobile mind-sets and skills are at the heart of Honoris’ vision of higher education. Honoris United Universities joins the expertise of its member institutions to develop world-class African Human capital that is competitive in today’s fast-paced, demanding and increasingly digitized labour and start-up markets.
Honoris United Universities gathers a community of 45,000 students on 60 campuses, learning centres and via on-line, in 10 countries and 32 cities. The network counts 11 institutions: multidisciplinary universities, specialized schools, technical and vocational institutes, contact, distance and online institutions. Students have an opportunity to experience exclusive partnerships and exchange programs in more than 60 universities across Europe and the United States. Over 280 degrees are offered in Medicine, Health Sciences, Engineering, IT, Business, Law, Architecture, Creative Arts and Design, Media, Political Science and Education.
About Nile University of Nigeria:
Nile University of Nigeria is a private multidisciplinary university that offers undergraduate and postgraduate students a wide portfolio of programs across six faculties – Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Management Sciences, Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences and Faculty of Law.
Nile University of Nigeria was founded in 2009 to provide the country’s fast-growing number of secondary school leavers with a high-quality university education. It is well-known for its academic credentials and best-in-class faculties offering 26 undergraduate programs and 36 postgraduate programs to over 3,500 students. Its 113-hectare campus, based in Abuja, offers state-of-the art learning spaces, outstanding sports facilities (including basketball, tennis, football, volleyball and table tennis) as well as quality, secure hostels, all in a peaceful and safe environment.
Nile University of Nigeria degrees are accredited by Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) and professional authorities such as ICAN, COREN, Council of Legal Education and Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN).
Since inception, Nile University of Nigeria has worked to provide students with the skills and competencies they need to face the challenges of a globalized and digital world. The University has signed MoUs with 25 international universities in Africa, Asia, Europe, United Kingdom and the United States and is a Member of the Association of African Universities and West African Universities. 1,700 alumni demonstrate the high quality of the institution and its academic excellence and discipline.
*SOURCE Honoris United Universities.
European Travel Bans are counter-productive and hurting the Oil & Gas Sector’s ability to support Africa’s Economic Recovery
July 3, 2020 | 0 Comments
|Restrictions of visa issuance are de facto preventing a lot of projects to move forward and to successfully contribute to the recovery of the continent.|
The continuation of travel restrictions and suspension of visas and travel between Africa and Europe is heavily restraining the oil & gas industry’s recovery efforts. Because of its international nature, the oil & gas sector relies on global value-chains and successful cooperation and movement of people, goods and services between foreign and local contractors. The ongoing travel bans and restrictions of visa issuance are de facto preventing a lot of projects to move forward and to successfully contribute to the recovery of the continent.
Major international oil companies such as Total, BP, Shell, Eni, ExxonMobil, Chevron or Equinor and independents such as Kosmos Energy, BW Energy, Maurel & Prom or Tullow Oil that operate a major share of Africa’s daily oil and gas production are currently unable to operate fully and safely because of such travel restrictions. Similarly, they directly impact the operations of the major international services and EPC companies supposed to work on major projects, such as Saipem, TechnipFMC, Schlumberger or Halliburton.
“We cannot base our recovery narrative and hopes on the oil & gas sector and at the same time forbid the movement and travel of the workers and employees supposed to make that recovery happen,” declared Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber. “We are urgently calling for pragmatism and the adoption of realistic measures that put workers’ safety and economic recovery at the center of public and travel policies priorities,” he added.
From West to Southern Africa, landmark energy projects worth billions of dollars have been delayed because of the ongoing pandemic of Covid-19 and its subsequent lockdowns and travel restrictions. However, and as economies gradually reopen, a new wave of travel restrictions, especially on the issuance of visas between Europe and Africa, is adding up to the list of challenges the industry faces to play its key role in the continent’s economic recovery. Such restrictions are threatening the efficient operations of global value-chains whose functioning is critical to enable Africa’s energy projects to move forward.
*African Energy Chamber
Gambia new Justice Minister takes Oath, Barrow Calls for Unity
July 3, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
President Adama Barrow has appealed for unity in preserving peace and stability of the country, as the new Attorney General and Minister of Justice took the oath of office today.
The President said maintaining peace and stability in the country hinges on respect for the rule of law and allowing the law enforcement officers to perform their duties without hindrance.
“Once again, I appeal to all Gambians to unite and be law-abiding citizens. Let us remain united. Unity fosters peace and prevents crime and disorder,” urges President Barrow.
He described Gambians as “a diverse people”, maintaining that such diversity should not breed hate or hostility. “Instead,” he said, “it should be a source of inspiration, pride and strength in building peace and strengthening social cohesion. Therefore, let us stand united as proud Gambians.”
The President recalled that in February 2017, he presided over the swearing-in ceremony of the members of his first Cabinet. Among them was Honourable Abubacarr Marie Tambadou.
“As a team, we pledged to execute relevant institutional and legal reforms, and committed ourselves to transforming The Gambia into a fully-fledged democracy for the overall development of the people,” he recounted.
Today, he expressed pride that Mr. Tambadou does not only leave behind an indelible mark on The Gambia’s legal reform programme but also made a name for himself.
“This occasion affords me the opportunity to thank him for his selfless service to the nation. Despite the many challenges that confronted us from the outset, we have been able to weather the storm this far. On behalf of the entire nation, I thank Honourable Tambadou and wish him luck in his endeavours,” he added.
To Dawda Jallow who just swore as Minister of Justice, President Barrow said his appointment comes at a time when his government is solidifying the democratic foundations built to establish a just and peaceful nation. Such foundations are also marked by the rule of law, respect for human rights and human dignity.
He noted that the Justice and Judiciary sector have been playing a lead role in this direction. However, in spite of the progress made so far, he noted that more needs to be done to complete the legal reform process that begun within this vital sector.
“It is a common belief that good governance in any democratic environment must always be grounded in equal rights, justice and the rule of law. This is not attainable in the absence of a strong judicial and justice system, staffed by competent professionals under impartial and upright leadership,” the President argued.
He expressed trust that Honourable Jallow will build on the work of his predecessor, and contribute to strengthening the Justice sector for the realisation of government reform objectives and national goals.
Honourable Dawda Jallow in his statement thanked the president for appointing him to serve the country and the government. He assured him of his “absolute and diligent dedication to duty at all times.”
“I therefore take this opportunity to assure all stakeholders in the transitional justice process, especially the victims that the Ministry of Justice will continue to support and provide the necessary leadership to ensure that the transitional justice process reaches its logical conclusion,” he said.
Gambia: Former Justice Minister Gets UN Appointment
July 3, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Abubacarr Marie Tambadou of the Republic of the Gambia as the Registrar of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT).
Mr. Tambadou succeeds Olufemi Elias of Nigeria, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedicated service to the Residual Mechanism and international criminal justice.
Until recently, Mr. Tambadou was serving as the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the Republic of the Gambia, a position he held since 2017. Mr. Tambadou brings over 14 years of experience in the area of international criminal justice, including through his role as Special Assistant to the Prosecutor of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals and Trial Attorney and later Appeals Counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Prior to those positions, he worked as a prosecutor in the Gambia and, later, as a Private Legal Practitioner. He has also served as the Chair of the African Union Specialized Technical Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs.
Mr. Tambadou holds a Master of Laws in International Human Rights Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Warwick. He was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn in the United Kingdom, and as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of the Gambia, in 1999. He is proficient in English with working knowledge of French.
The War Economy, Impunity And The Crisis Of Primitive Accumulation
July 3, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Chief Charles A. Taku*
The persistent call by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and significant peace advocates, among them, Nobel Peace prize laureates for a cease-fire in the ongoing war of attrition and genocide in the Southern Cameroons, to allow peace efforts to be explored and access to victims in dire need of humanitarian assistance during the covic-19 pandemic has been ignored by the Government of Cameroun. What brazen insensitivity and impunity!
It is left to be seen how the international community will react to the impunity with which the rampaging hordes of assassins have been unleashed to perpetrate genocide, to loot, rape, pillage and swim in the blood of the innocent victims; women, children men of all ages. I have incessantly called on the civilized world to put an end to the carnage, genocide and impunity, lest the blood of the innocent blur the collective conscience of humanity, in our time, and on our watch.
The question is worth asking: What emboldens the masterminds of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes to disregard the calls for a ceasefire, to get to the negotiation table to address the root causes of the crisis without preconditions requested by the international community? And how come it that there has so far been no consequences for this blazon impunity?
The answer to these questions may among several reasons reside on the influence and impunity of reckless primitive capitalist accumulation in the war economy. Borrowing from the distinguished Professor Ekor Toyor, the international community needs to understand the essence, processes, contradictions, historical pressures and cultural emanations of primitive capitalist accumulation to understand the politics underpinning the politics and the impunity of the genocidal predators.
The Southern Cameroons case crystalizes around the interpretation of United Nations Resolution 1608 (XV). A British Minister in the Commonwealth and Foreign Office very recently made bold to anchor the case of his government on a flawed interpretation of Resolution 1608(XV) in a widely publicized letter to a Member of the House of Commons.
An enduring resolution of the Southern Cameroons/Ambazonia conflict, rests on the accurate interpretation of this UNGA Resolution and the consequences of non-compliance, the violations of the sacred trust embedded in the UN Charter and the sanctity of universal erga omnes obligations towards the people the Southern Cameroons.
If since October 1, 1961, the matter was as simply a a matter of the interpretation of the UNGA Resolution 1608 (XV) as the Hon Minister now purports, why then has Great Britain the Trust Administering Power, LRC , the colonising power or the UN not taken up the matter to obtain expert interpretation to ascertain if the intendment of the resolution and UN Charter obligations were respected and implemented? Why vacillate for over 59 years during which period genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes claiming the precious lives of over 13000 and the deportation of hundreds of thousands to Nigeria and many countries in West Africa has occurred with impunity; and for economic gain, and the corruption of the consciences and gratification of the economic interests of colonial and neo-colonial interests ? Why have they not activated the mechanism for the resolution of conflicts through the international rule of law enshrined in the UN Charter to interpret the Resolution; provide a comprehensive solution to the conflict, abate the genocide and crimes and hold the masterminds accountable pursuant to founding objectives for which the UN was founded?
I cannot at this point in time conclude that the UN will do nothing or will act in a manner that will encourage tacitly endorse or encourage the ongoing genocide and impunity. The UN internal mechanisms have been activated and the competent organs are constantly briefed while some of its personnel and ancillary organs are engaged; each at its own pace, although the intensity of the carnage warrants an urgent and robust intervention.
However, the impunity and reluctance of LRC to hasten to respect the call of the civilized world to abate the slaughter and impunity has been aggravated by the devastation of the covid-19 pandemic. The benefits to its war economy has demotivated Cameroun from respecting the request for a ceasefire and calling its forces back to barracks to allow humanitarian and healthcare assistance to war victims in the forests and bushes of the Southern Cameroons. Cameroun and its colonial master have benefited from the spoils of annexation and colonisation of the Southern Cameroons since the night of September 30, 1961 and finds it hard to disengage from a territory and people it has exploited for almost six decades with impunity.
Fon Gorgi Dinka termed the deal which led to the annexation and colonisation of the Southern Cameroons the Mc McLeod slave deal. By this deal, Her Majesty’s Government in the night of September 30, 1961 folded the Union Jack and handed over the instruments of sovereignty over the Southern Cameroons to a war criminal Ahmadou Ahidjo . At the time, he was intensifying the slaughter of nationalists in his own country, LRC. Britain knew that the war criminal would slaughter, jail and plunder the Southern Cameroons in enforcing the slave deal; as indeed he did, and his successor has intensified with sadistic impunity.
Ambazonia however kept the international legality of surrounding its fate and date with history, on October 1, 196. On October 1, 1961, it was its elected government that was in place and all symbols of state and UNGA Resolution 1608(XV) have survived the thievery for posterity to plead and defend its case and sovereignty until the last man standing. The impunity and complicity in the Alibaba booty was explained by Ahmadou Ahidjo in a speech to the National Assembly of LRC on August 11, 1961. He discounted the usefulness of signifying a treaty of union with the Southern Cameroons after it attained independence on October 1, because for him, the Southern Cameroons was merely returning to LRC’s motherland. He intended to adjust LRCs constitution of 4th March 1960 to accommodate its territory to the LRC motherland. It is this arrogance of impunity and the fulfilment of the criminal qui pro quo that took place at the Tiko Airport in the night of September 30, 1961 that led this criminal mastermind to make the fundamental mistake of believing that through terror of impunity he would annex and colonise the Southern Cameroons with no consequences. History has proved that he was wrong and will always be wrong.
There concealment of the spoils of the slave deal were wrapped in deception and shameful lies. The British argued that the Southern Cameroons was poor and could not survive economically on its own. This shameful status-evaluation was false. History has proved that the British and the French knew about the extensive mineral and natural resources potential of the Southern Cameroons. The British managed the CDC, PAMOL, exploited the Southern Cameroons Maritime Economy. Britain exploited the strategic and regional security potential of the Southern Cameroons. The Southern Cameroons had significant hydro-electric potential, Sea Ports and Airports.
Lately a British Firm signed an oil exploitation deal in the territory at the heart of the genocide to help LRC in its genocidal war efforts. An official British Government statement announced and praised the deal. An attempt by LRC to auction extensive forest and agrarian ancestral lands covering almost half of the territory of the Southern Zone of Ambazonia with the complicity of puppet chiefs and fringe power elites was strongly resisted by the people. The internationalisation of the protest forced the land grabbers to withdraw but the land grabbing crusade of the invaders remains unabated.
The peaceful resistance, resilience and gallantry in the fight against the plunder led to the declaration of a vicious war against the armless civilian population by President Paul Biya of LRC. This led to the ongoing slaughter and genocide; the prosecution of which has led to the exponential increase of the benefit derived from its the war economy.
The bourgeoisie class of colonial puppets to whom power was handed over in LRC after the slaughter of pro-independence nationalists in that country, sustained colonial power overseers over French colonial vassal and neo-colonial war economy. To sustain the war economy and exact maximum benefits, through systemic terror, asphyxiation of the so-called power elite, supposed academic and faculty opportunists, mystical initiations, systemic corruption, masturbation of the intellect etc, allegiances are compelled and human consciences subdued. Houses of worship and clerics are freely rented to perform rituals and praise worshipping to glorify not the living God but the god of their pecuniary desires.
The spoils of the war economy recruited some clergy on the side of those who are baying for and wasting the precious lives of people whom God created in his image and for whom these supposed anointed ones were commissioned to lead in their salvific sojourn towards the Kingdom of God. I am consoled by the fact that the Church of God is holy. It must not be abused and conflated with cursed Alibaba caves of earthly treasure that some are showcasing in the context of the war economy. Christians and persons of faith in the Lord must therefore, intensify prayers and leave Alibaba treasure seekers to play their acquired roles in the circus of earthly power and primitive capitalist accumulation.
The apparent senselessness and futility of the unwinnable war and genocide in the Southern Cameroons by LRC would reasonably have led to a withdrawal of its troops from the territory to the barracks and sought a negotiated settlement. The history of armed conflicts in Africa requires a respectable decision to stop the genocide, the carnage, looting, rape and indignities to victims. The war in Sierra Leone went on for 10 years, ending in the Lomé Peace Accord. A combined force of the Sierra Leone Army, ECOMOG, UNAMSIL, Executive Outcomes mercenaries brought by the Government of Sierra Leone did not defeat the Revolutionary United Front for Sierra Leone in the battlefield. Cameroun cannot win this senseless war of choice in the battlefield. It must end in an international negotiation table where internationally recognized experts, will examine the root causes of the conflict without pre-conditions has an overwhelming majority of international opinion has stated.
This reality is not lost on Cameroun’s leaders, its civilian and military commanders but the gain derived from the war economy is driving their urge to continue the war, regardless of the consequences and loss of human life. This is what is driving the impunity and urge to continue a losing war with the magnitude of the genocide, crimes against humanity and the ferocity of the war crimes.
This war is also about a policy of slaughtering civilians to sustain annexation, cultural genocide also called national integration which President Paul Biya confessed in France early this year has failed. The founding underpinning of the war is economic which was the basis of the annexation and colonisation in the first place. Inspired by this ideological orientation and motivation, the war is a cash cow for the enrichment of a colonial bourgeoisie puppetry at the evening of its life; but intent to drawn in the blood of Southern Cameroonians and sink with its natural resources and subsistence economy. These are the dire consequences of the war economy, impunity and the crisis of primitive accumulation.
There are two important obstacles standing between the Southern Cameroons and the unimpeded prosecution of this policy: Resistance, spiritual purity, the strength and the justice of its case around UNGA Resolution 1608 (XV) as well as the fact that the price of impunity will be fully paid now or at some point in time. In this regard, every pin of blood unjustly taken away will be accounted for and every victim, dead or alive will cry for and obtain justice.
*Chief Charles Taku is an International Lawyer and former President of the International Criminal Court Bar Association- ICCBA
Are businesses prepared for the ‘return to work’ security risks?
July 1, 2020 | 0 Comments
Why putting measures in place to keep data safe as employees rejoin their
company’s network, should be a number one top priority.
By Stephen Burke*
As lockdown eases, many businesses are preparing for employees to return to work. But are their corporate networks ready, with adequate security measures in place, to ensure their systems are protected from the increased risk of a cyber attack owing to staff and their equipment working from home.
Cyber criminals are well aware of employee environments, and will target cyber attacks in areas that have become vulnerable. We saw this with the spike of phishing attacks themed around working from home and it will continue to evolve as workforces change their work practice once again.
When remote working descended upon the nation strong and fast earlier this year, some organisations were able to issue company standard devices with regularly patched antivirus security. However, for the majority, there was a frenzy to equip their staff with the required machines to enable a quick and adequate ‘working from home’ set up. As we now raise our heads above the parapet, we are seeing an abundance of employee hardware lacking necessary security and about to connect to their company’s corporate network, risking sensitive data being exposed to a cyber attack.
Computers used for remote working are likely to have confidential company data stored, have been shared with family members possibly visiting insecure websites or installing insecure software for example, with no guarantee that they have been patched and maintained over these recent months. The big question is: can these external devices be trusted back on to the corporate network?
Businesses need carry our risk assessments and put best practices in place before their networks are exposed. Firstly, staff need to share where company data has been saved and under which accounts, work or private credentials. Was it a public cloud environment like google drive, one drive, dropbox? This all needs to be disclosed to minimise risk, ensure data is safe and GDPR compliance is maintained.
Secondly, if employees have been sharing the devices with their house members, have they given away their password? Is the password the same across work accounts and personal accounts? What new software has been installed or removed and by whom? Were there any security warnings such as viruses being detected by anti-virus software? Has any confidential paperwork been printed at home and has it been shredded or dropped in the bin? Where employees have access to sensitive information, questions need to be answered before they rejoin an organisation’s network.
If a company allows all machines back onto their corporate network, they will need to rely on network monitoring and most critically, they will need to monitor the activities of the people within the network. It is the people who pose the greatest business risk if they have not got ongoing support in terms of cybersecurity awareness training. They are operating from within a company’s network on a daily basis, sending and receiving data through a multitude of access points. If left untrained, employees are a hackers haven, an easy access point to the entire network, surpassing any technological measures in place to keep them out. If trained, employees are your greatest line of defence – your Human Firewall.
There are various types of cybersecurity awareness available, but the ideal is to combine interactive cybersecurity awareness training content with a software solution that works hand in hand with your company’s IT infrastructure. Cyber Risk Aware offers “real time” intervention training, which identifies where employees are making mistakes and sends focused training material to help improve their behaviours, saving both money and time. Building a Human Firewall is the biggest defence against cyber attacks.
About Cyber Risk Aware
Operating out of London and Dublin, Cyber Risk Aware is the only company in the world to offer real time cyber security awareness training. Its platform leads the industry helping companies worldwide assess the level of human cyber risk in their business, by running real time simulated phishing attacks and cyber knowledge assessments to see where the risks lie in their business (user, department, office, country). Cyber Risk Aware is Microsoft Azure’s only Security Awareness Training Platform and is fully integrated with MS Azure’s Security Suite and Active Directory Environment.
Cyber Risk Aware also provides highly engaging and interactive CyberSecurity Awareness Training content and enterprise risk and compliance reporting so companies can demonstrate and meet their legal and regulatory compliance requirements in protecting proprietary and personal data, systems and finances. Cyber Risk Aware is the first company in the world to achieve GCHQ accredited security awareness training by the Chartered Institute of Information Security.
Thousands of companies use Cyber Risk Aware to provide a front line of defence against cyber criminals, significantly reducing the material risk of employee error via phishing, ransomware, CEO Fraud and Malware attacks.
About Stephen Burke – CEO and Co-Founder Cyber Risk Aware
Stephen founded Cyber Risk Aware in 2016, after a career spanning over 20 years in technology and security specialising as a CISO. In that time he found that most if not all security incidents are caused by human error at all levels in an organisation, no matter how good the technical defences were. Stephen founded Cyber Risk aware with the mission of making a genuine difference and helping companies and users at home from being victims of cybercrime.
Specialities: Security Education and Awareness Programs, Cyber Insurance, Network Security, Data Governance and Security, Malware Investigator and Incident Response, Risk Management, Security Behaviour Analytics. Security Architecture, Heuristic Security, Security Audit, Digital Forensics, Penetration Testing, Encryption, Wireless security, Security management, , Database as a Service, Internal Cloud Design, SAN Design, RDBMS Virtualisation and Consolidation, Disaster Recovery.
African Development Fund approves $9.52 million to enhance coordinated COVID-19 response in East and Horn of Africa and the Comoros
July 1, 2020 | 0 Comments
The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF) have approved grants totaling $9.52 million to strengthen responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in East Africa and the Horn, and in the Comoros.
The grant, approved on 26 June, is part of the $10 billion COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility (CRF) approved by the Board of Directors in April 2020 and complements the Bank’s direct support to regional member countries across the continent.
The beneficiaries are Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Funding will also go toward the procurement of essential medical supplies, including testing kits and to train health workers.
The funds will be used to bolster health systems and disease surveillance, enhance infection prevention and control, and improve regional coordination by the East African Community (EAC) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to contain cross-border transmissions.
“The overall objective of the operation is to reduce the incidence and mortality in the Eastern African region due to COVID-19 pandemic and other disease outbreaks,” Martha Phiri, Director for Human and Social Development said.
The EAC Secretariat will receive $8.79 million in tranches of $8.16 million and $629,582 while $729, 581 will go to IGAD. The World Health Organization will be the implementing agency for the emergency response activities in the EAC and IGAD member states, and the Comoros, while the RECs will be directly responsible for executing the cross-border interventions.
Countries in Eastern and the Horn of Africa are enforcing stringent border measures to mitigate the cross-border transmissions that have led to disruptions in the movement of people, trade flows and access to essential goods. The project will, therefore, tackle these challenges by improving testing and case detection capacity at border crossings and improving regional coordination. The Project will also support EAC and IGAD to roll out regional COVID-19 digital tracking systems to facilitate cross-border surveillance. This will make the regional bodies better prepared to counter cross-border transmissions during future pandemics.
The grants align with the Bank’s High 5 priority commitments, specifically to improving the quality of life for the people of Africa, and to advancing regional integration. The financing also strongly aligns with the Eastern Africa Regional Strategy Paper, which calls for enhanced cooperation in managing regional public goods.
As of 28 June, total confirmed cases in the 11 mainland countries of the region stood at 42,000, while the island nation of Comoros reported 265 cases out of a population of 800,000.
Our journey to electrify the continent: Five years of the New Deal on Energy for Africa
July 1, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Dr. Kevin Kariuki*
The NDEA called for a substantial increase in investments to realize the Bank’s High 5 priority to “Light Up and Power Africa”
Five years into the African Development Bank’s ambitious New Deal on Energy for Africa (NDEA), the Bank’s investments are set to provide electricity access to around 13 million people and deliver about 55,000 km of distribution lines, and 6,700 km of transmission lines, of which 3,200 km are for regional interconnections.
The NDEA called for a substantial increase in investments to realize the Bank’s High 5 priority to “Light Up and Power Africa,” which aims to mobilize finance and expertise to expand access to reliable, sustainable energy for more than 200 million Africans through investments in power generation, inter-connections, transmission and distribution. This effort is critical to unlocking Africa’s vast economic potential, enabling the growth of value-adding industries and services, and, most importantly, unleashing the ingenuity of the continent’s 1.3 billion people.
The strategy was grounded in the recognition that partnerships are central to its success. In collaboration with African countries, the Bank’s interventions have ranged from setting up the right enabling policy environment, supporting utilities, to increasing the number of bankable energy projects. Additionally, the Bank is accelerating major regional projects and driving integration through the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa, whilst also supporting bottom-of-the-pyramid energy access programs.
Priority was given to investments in low-carbon technologies, set to contribute to over 2 GW of additional generation capacity by harnessing the large, hydro, solar, geothermal and wind resources of the continent. Yet this is only the beginning, as much of the work to date has been centered on setting up the right frameworks to mobilize different partners and alternative forms of capital to tackle the various challenges in the sector at country, sub-regional and regional levels.
Indeed, mobilizing partnerships and rolling out countrywide energy transformation are continuous works in progress. In 2019, as testament to the Bank’s efforts in enhancing dialogue and consensus, the G5 Heads of State endorsed the Bank’s Desert to Power initiative, intended to build the world’s largest solar zone across the Sahel by adding up to 10 GW of solar generation capacity through public and private interventions. The Yeleen Solar Program in Burkina Faso – the first of dozens of similar projects expected to flourish across the Sahel region – will provide energy to 150,000 households in rural areas through solar mini-grids and solar home systems, and an additional 52 MW of grid-connected solar generation, enough to power 30,000 new households.
Achieving the objectives of the New Deal on Energy for Africa will require a significant increase in private sector investments. The Bank catalyzes more private investments into independent power producers and off-grid projects through partnerships with project developers, commercial banks, private equity funds, institutional investors and other development finance institutions. Over the past five years, the Bank’s interventions reached $1.5 billion in private sector operations, corresponding to 1.7 GW additional generation capacity through independent power producers.
In addition to mobilizing concessional resources through bilateral and multilateral sources – notably from the European Union, Green Climate Fund and Climate Investment Funds – the Bank hosts the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), one of the largest multi-donor technical assistance and concessional capital funds in the continent, designed to catalyze private sector participation in renewable energy.
In 2019, the Bank converted SEFA into a special trust fund to widen its interventions into green mini-grids to accelerate energy access to underserved populations; green baseload to support clean generation capacity; and energy efficiency to optimize energy systems and reduce energy intensity. SEFA is expected to contribute to the electrification of more than 7 million households by 2030.
The Bank is also actively supporting the mobilization of commercial capital through blended finance solutions. The Facility for Energy Inclusion, which was operationalized in 2019, is a $500 million investment platform organized around two funds – off-grid and on-grid – to provide flexible debt products, including in local currency, to emerging business models in the small-scale renewable energy space. The Facility for Energy Inclusion will contribute to more than 3 million new connections by 2030.
To enhance institutional performance and improve the enabling conditions to attract much needed investments, the Bank has also implemented initiatives such as the Electricity Regulatory Index to monitor and benchmark regulatory performance against best practices, the Sustainable Utilities Transformation Agenda, to build sustainable utilities and energy institutions, and the Africa Energy Portal to provide accurate, up-to-date data on Africa’s energy sector.
In 2019, the African Development Bank reported that an additional 96 million African households had gained access to electricity between 2015 and 2019, with countries like Rwanda on track to achieve universal access by 2025. Despite this encouraging progress, close to 600 million Africans still lack electricity access and achieving universal access goals under SDG7 still requires greater and swifter efforts to meet the demands of Africa’s growing population.
Addressing electricity access remains a costly enterprise, with the International Energy Agency placing the price tag at around $120 billion annually through 2040, four times higher than current levels .
While our direct financial contribution is modest by comparison, we are confident that its judicious application to catalytic power projects, innovative financial structures, sector reform processes and acceleration of decentralized solutions will get us far in our mission.
*Dr. Kevin Kariuki is the Vice President, Power, Energy, Climate Change & Green Growth, at African Development Bank.
Andela Expands Presence to All African Countries
July 1, 2020 | 0 Comments
Global Technology Network to Double Engineering Talent Pool as it Transitions to Fully-Remote Model
Andela, the global talent company that helps companies build remote engineering teams, will now accept engineers from all African countries, in a bid to double its global talent pool and connect an even greater number of specialised engineers with opportunities. The company is accepting pan-African applications for senior engineers with in-demand stack experience such as Node, React, Python and Ruby.
Andela helps its customers, who include Cloudflare, Wellio, ViacomCBS, and Women Who Code, gain access to high-quality software engineers who work as long-term, embedded team members. Today’s news will further enable companies that work with Andela to source the talent they need, when they need it, by opening up to additional talent pools across the continent with an even greater diversity of experiences and technology stacks.
Jeremy Johnson, Andela co-founder and CEO says, “Over the past five years, we have become experts at identifying engineering excellence from nontraditional backgrounds. We know that there are extremely talented engineers across Africa and we believe that opportunity should not be limited by proximity to a major tech hub. Being a remote-first engineering organization allows us to open up access to Andela for engineers across the continent.”
“By removing restrictions on location, we will double our pool of potential talent to the roughly 500,000 engineers in Africa who can now leverage Andela to work with top international engineering teams. Ultimately, our goal is to break down the barriers that prevent talent and opportunity from connecting by providing an easier, more efficient way for companies to scale global engineering teams.”
Launched in 2014, and prior to being a fully remote organization, Andela operated in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. Today, Andela has successfully completed the transition to full-remote, which began with pilots in Ghana in 2018 and Egypt in 2019. Accepting engineers from outside the capital cities in these countries allowed Andela to select and work with a broader range of top tier technical talent, with no reduction in productivity. The company will continue to maintain its rigorous application process, in order to build the strongest talent pool of software engineers on the continent.
In the US, high growth companies continue to need more senior engineering talent, and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, are increasingly open to hiring remote. Johnson concludes, “The world is beginning to realize that remote work is going to be a major catalyst for the democratization of opportunity. Luckily, engineering leaders already know that remote work works if you have the right processes and systems in place, and are at the forefront of this change. By doubling our talent pool, we’re proud to help accelerate their critical work of building the future.”
In addition to enabling experienced engineers to build global careers, Andela continues to invest in the Andela Learning Community, a program that has introduced over 100,000 learners from across the continent to software engineering.
Andela is accepting applications from all countries in Africa.
Andela is an engineering-as-a-service business that helps companies build remote teams quickly and cost-effectively. We have 1,000+ software engineers working as full-time, embedded members of development teams at over 200 leading tech companies.
Andela is headquartered in New York, and has a globally distributed team. They are backed by investors including Spark Capital, Generation Investment Management, Serena Ventures, Chan Zuckerberg Education, and Omidyar Network.