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First Mandela Washington Fellowship Conference Reunites Fellows in Accra
April 25, 2015 | 0 Comments

Barack Obama and YALI Fellows Barack Obama and YALI Fellows[/caption] Over 150 young leaders from 21 West African countries will gather in Accra, Ghana next week to share their expertise and engage on issues they have defined as critical for the future of Africa. In support of President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), USAID and IREX are organizing the 1st Annual West Africa Regional Conference for Mandela Washington Fellows in Accra from April 26-28, 2015. The Fellows include tech and social entrepreneurs, public servants, human rights activists, lawyers, doctors and youth activists who are bringing changes to their home countries and communities with support from USAID and IREX. In addition to this impressive group of Fellows, the conference will bring together leaders from the private sector, the U.S. Government, and international and local organizations. The conference will highlight issues and ideas for promoting entrepreneurship, growth sectors, inclusive development, energy, women in technology, and philanthropy in Africa. Event speakers include Deputy Minister of Education in Ghana, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa; Founder of the Future Africa Project, Chude Jideonwo; CEO of the African Women’s Development Fund, Theo Sowa; U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, Gene A. Cretz; and the Tony Elumelu Foundation. The Mandela Washington Fellowship brings 500 young African professionals from across the continent to U.S. universities for six weeks of leadership training in the areas of business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership, or public management. Competitively selected for this prestigious flagship program, the Fellows represent the continent’s emerging generation of business CEO’s, community leaders, and public officials. The West African Fellows include participants from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Cote D’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, São Tome and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. USAID and IREX support Mandela Washington Fellows with continuing professional development opportunities in Africa. This is done with coordination support from the West Africa Civil Society Institute based in Accra, Ghana. To find out more about the Mandela Washington Fellowship visit: https://www.irex.org/projects/yali/. Participation in the conference is by invitation only. *USAID]]>

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Win the APO Energy Media Awards and travel to Dubai to attend the Africa Energy Forum
April 25, 2015 | 0 Comments

APO will offer transport, accommodation and perdiem for the first-place winner to attend the Africa Energy Forum held in Dubai from 8-11 June 2015 aefdubaiAPO (African Press Organization) , the sole press release wire in Africa and the global leader in media relations relating to Africa, announced today that entry is now open for the 2015 APO Energy Media Awards (#APOEnergyMediaAward). APO will offer transport, accommodation and perdiem for the first-place winner to attend the Africa Energy Forum  held in Dubai from 8-11 June 2015, as well as one year of access to over 600 airport VIP lounges worldwide. The Africa Energy Forum (AEF) is the only international Forum focused on power generation for Africa with attendance restricted to stakeholders (investors, consultants, developers, ministries, utilities, regulators etc.) from the power sector. APO Energy Media Awards celebrates brilliant and inspiring stories about Energy in Africa. The subject matter may comprise a single topic or a variety of subjects, including – but not limited to – oil, gas, electricity, geothermal energy, hydropower, solar energy, wind power, nuclear, coal, biomass and more. APO Energy Media Awards is open to African journalists and bloggers, whether directly employed or freelancers, working in the continent of Africa who have produced a story that has been broadcast or published in English, French, Portuguese or Arabic in the form of a printed publication, a television feature, a radio story, a website or a blog whose primary audience is based in Africa. Stories are judged on content, writing, analysis, creativity, human interest and community impact. Stories must have been broadcast or published between January 1, and April 30, 2015. All stories must be submitted in electronic format: a) Print: upload the scan(s) of the published article. b) Radio: upload the SoundCloud link (SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform that enables its users to upload and share sounds they have created themselves – c) Website: upload the URL. d) TV: upload the YouTube link. TV material must first be uploaded to YouTube and radio material to SoundCloud . If you are not a member of these sites, you will need to sign up in order to upload the video or radio material. Once you have obtained the link, you must enter it in this online entry form when inputting your story details. Online Entry Form is available here: The deadline for entries is 1 May 2015. The finalists will be announced on 6 May 2015. The winners will be announced during the Africa Energy Forum in Dubai. *APO]]>

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S.Africans march against spreading immigrant attacks
April 17, 2015 | 0 Comments

Foreign nationals gesture after clashes broke out between a group of locals and police in Durban on April 14, 2015 (AFP Photo/) Foreign nationals gesture after clashes broke out between a group of locals and police in Durban on April 14, 2015 (AFP Photo/)[/caption] Johannesburg (AFP) – Thousands of people marched through the South African city of Durban on Thursday to protest against anti-immigrant violence that has left six people dead and spread to the economic capital Johannesburg.

Foreign-owned shops in the Jeppestown area of Johannesburg were attacked overnight, the police said as they called for calm over fears that the attacks could trigger widespread unrest fuelled by the country’s economic troubles.

In the past two weeks, shops and homes owned by Somalis, Ethiopians, Malawians and other immigrants in Durban and surrounding townships have been targeted, forcing families to flee to camps protected by armed guards.

About 4,000 people marched through Durban, chanting “Down with xenophobia!” and “A United Africa” at an event attended by residents, students and local religious and political leaders.

Foreign-owned shops in the Jeppestown area of Johannesburg were attacked overnight, the police said as they called for calm over fears that the attacks could trigger widespread unrest fuelled by the country’s economic troubles.

In the past two weeks, shops and homes owned by Somalis, Ethiopians, Malawians and other immigrants in Durban and surrounding townships have been targeted, forcing families to flee to camps protected by armed guards.

About 4,000 people marched through Durban, chanting “Down with xenophobia!” and “A United Africa” at an event attended by residents, students and local religious and political leaders.

Police vowed to quell the wave of violence, which claimed its latest victim on Monday when a 14-year-old boy was killed in KwaMashu, a township north of Durban.

“There are tensions in various parts of the country between some locals and foreign nationals (but) lawlessness will not be tolerated,” National Police Commissioner General Riah Phiyega said in a statement.

“Overnight, there was a flare-up of violent attacks and looting in Jeppestown, Johannesburg,” she added.

“Six male suspects have been arrested for public violence and housebreaking. The suspects allegedly broke into foreigners’ shops.”

Police, who also reported tensions in Pietermaritzburg city, called for community leaders to help reduce tensions and added that false rumours of attacks were increasing fear.

– Job shortage –

Earlier this year, xenophobic violence erupted in Soweto, near Johannesburg, as frustration deepens over lack of opportunities for many young blacks born since the end of apartheid in 1994.

South Africa’s economic growth was just 1.5 percent last year and unemployment is at around 25 percent — soaring to over 50 percent among the young.

Violence against immigrants in South Africa is common, with unemployed locals accusing foreigners of taking their jobs.

In 2008, 62 people were killed in similar violence in Johannesburg townships.

One of the marchers in Durban, Eric Machi, 34, said he rented rooms to Zimbabweans and Malawians until they fled from attackers in recent weeks.

“We are trying to make peace with those people who came here from Africa, but now they are gone,” he said.

[caption id="attachment_17542" align="alignright" width="300"]Foreigners, mostly Ethiopians, stand in front of closed shops owned by foreign nationals in Johannesburg central business district on April 14, 2015 (AFP Photo/Marco Longari) Foreigners, mostly Ethiopians, stand in front of closed shops owned by foreign nationals in Johannesburg central business district on April 14, 2015 (AFP Photo/Marco Longari)[/caption]

“It started late at night. The attackers were shouting and throwing stones, and breaking some houses.”

The marchers were escorted by a heavy police escort, but the march began peacefully.

President Jacob Zuma condemned the attacks and admitted the government had been slow to tackle some issues behind the violence.

“This now must stop, because we cannot continue killing one another,” Zuma said in a public radio and television address late Wednesday.

“We cannot accept that when there are challenges, we then use violence, particularly to our brothers and sisters from the continent.”

He added that “perhaps as (a) government we have not been very quick in addressing these issues.”

Zuma is set to make a further statement to parliament later Thursday on the attacks.

“Anytime (it) can happen now,” said Ali Abdi, a Somalian who runs a clothes shop but is now sleeping in a camp in Durban.

“There is not just one reason. Some of it is foreigner hatred, especially against African foreigners. The other reason would be jealousy.”

Many shops in the centre of Johannesburg were shut on Wednesday and Thursday after threats spread via social networks and phone text messages.

*Source AFP/Yahoo]]>

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Latest News April 1, 2015
April 1, 2015 | 0 Comments

news From All Africa

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Latest News March 31, 2015
March 31, 2015 | 0 Comments

news From All Africa

  • Uganda: Prosecutor in Al Shabab Trial Shot Dead
    [Shabelle] Joan Kagezi, acting assistant director of public prosecution, was murdered by men on a motorbike as she drove home in a suburb of the capital, Kampala police spokesman Patrick Onyango said. “They were trailing her on a motorcycle … They shot her dead.”
  • Rwanda: The Shop Attendant Who Bought Out His Boss
    [New Times] A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step, goes an old adage. It is also those that dare to dream big and work towards achieving their dreams that succeed in life.
  • Tanzania: Delay, Violence Fears as Referendum Nears
    [RFI] Tanzania’s referendum on a new constitution could be delayed due to debate over Islamic courts and practical difficulties, analysts warn, with fears of sectarian violence as President Jakaya Kikwete fears that peace is threatened.
  • South Africa: National Development Starts in the Cradle
    [ISS] Sustained high levels of violence and crime fundamentally threaten South Africa’s development; not least because of the adverse effects on realising human potential. Both the National Development Plan (NDP) and the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF), which the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs released for comment last year, recognise that safety is fundamental to development.
  • Africa: UN Calls for Action on Climate-Resilient Farming
    [SciDev.Net] Research on climate-resilient agriculture must be turned urgently into initiatives to help farmers adapt to deteriorating land conditions, a conference has heard.
  • Kenya: Kenya Struggles With Rising Alcoholism
    [IPS] Nairobi -Despite legislative attempts to curb drinking, Kenya is still facing its greatest threat from alcohol abuse. Calamities associated with excessive intoxication – dementia, seizures, liver disease and early death – have done little to deter users.
  • Africa: UN Caught in Deadly Crossfire
    [IPS] Kuwait City -The deadly five-year-old Syrian military conflict, which has claimed the lives of over 200,000 mostly civilians, including women, children and aid workers, has not spared the United Nations either.
  • South Africa: Eskom Chairman Resigns
    [SAPA] Eskom chairman Zola Tsotsi has resigned, the electricity provider confirmed on Tuesday.
  • Uganda: Lupita at Home in Uganda for Disney Production
    [Independent (Kampala)] After a film about a king of Scotland, Ugandans are getting excited over a new movie about a “queen”, starring Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

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China, Africa Explore Opportunities for Collaboration on Health Care for All
March 27, 2015 | 0 Comments

Chinese and African global health leaders call for strengthened partnership around universal health coverage and access to essential medicines ghs-1More than 350 health leaders from China and Africa — including government officials, academics, and representatives from the private sector and international organizations — convened in Beijing this week at the 5th International Roundtable on China-Africa Health Collaboration. The meeting explored how Chinese and African resources and experiences can be leveraged to mutually support greater health development. Today, meeting participants officially published the Beijing Policy Recommendations, a document outlining how intercontinental cooperation can be strengthened to drive sustainable impact, with a focus on the theme, “Contributing to Universal Health Coverage, Expanding Access to Essential Medicines.” Drawing on decades of joint health efforts, the Policy Recommendations called for deepened dialogue between Chinese, African and international stakeholders, increased investments in health, and alignment with African regional and national strategies. The Recommendations emphasized commitments to a variety of issues including universal health coverage (UHC) and access to safe, high-quality drugs and vaccines, as well as the need for improved government accountability through better monitoring and evaluation. “China and Africa have a long history of health cooperation going back more than 50 years. Our partnership with Africa is focused on mutually beneficial collaboration that meets the needs of African countries while also contributing to China’s health and development,” said Dr. Ren Minghui, Director General of the Department of International Cooperation at China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC). “China has a unique role to play in supporting Africa’s health progress, thanks to our advances in R&D and production of high-quality, low-cost medicines and vaccines. These lifesaving innovations have tremendous opportunity to make a positive impact in the developing world.” The Roundtable comes at a crucial time, as China develops its integrated strategy toward other developing countries for the next 5-10 years. The meeting provides a platform for high-level consultation between China and Africa on specific health priorities of mutual interest. China-Africa collaboration on health is an important complement to investments made by African governments and aid from traditional donors, and reflects growing South-South cooperation in a number of sectors. “More than ever before, African countries and China have the opportunity to work together on issues ranging from infectious disease control to strong, sustainable health systems,” said H.E. Dr. Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, Commissioner of Social Affairs of the African Union. “As we build on progress made across the continent and work to achieve our post-2015 health goals, international cooperation with countries like China can amplify investments being made by African countries for greater impact.” Building on commitments made by China and African governments in the 2013 Beijing Declaration, the Roundtable focused new attention on exploring effective tactics to achieve universal health coverage, and ensuring that all people are able to obtain the health services they need without falling into poverty. Participants reflected on innovative policies for UHC in several African countries, as well as China’s domestic health reform, and explored new paths for making universal coverage a reality. Meeting participants also discussed a cross-section of other issues in which China and African cooperation have unique potential to make an impact. For example, presentations focused on increasing access to health commodities, including through public-private joint ventures and technology transfer agreements. A special session was also held on immunization, recognizing China’s growing role as a worldwide supplier of vaccines and its recent $5 million USD commitment to Gavi, the vaccine alliance. The Ebola outbreak provided context for conversations on health systems and building African health capacity. China provided $120 million USD in Ebola aid and deployed nearly 1,000 medical workers to affected areas. “China has the experience and capacity to be a key partner in African efforts to expand health access and provide life-saving medicines and vaccines to those in need,” said Mark Suzman, President of Global Policy, Advocacy, and Country Programs for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We’re excited to be working closely with China and African countries to identify and invest in health and development solutions that have the potential to improve the lives of millions of people. The Roundtable is an important part of our ongoing efforts to identify shared priorities for collaboration, ensuring that all partners’ needs and capacities are reflected in future policies.” The Roundtable and the Policy Recommendations will lay the groundwork for the Ministerial Forum of China-Africa Health Development, part of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), to be held later this year. “This meeting is an opportunity for us to share expertise, discuss new forms of cooperation and chart a common course forward. The policy recommendations released today will inform upcoming conversations between health ministers and will help shape the future of China and African countries’ bilateral engagement on health,” said Professor Cheng Feng from the Tsinghua University Research Center for Public Health, who is the co-chair of the Roundtable. The Roundtable is co-hosted by the Tsinghua University Research Center for Public Health and the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicines and Health Products (CCCMHPIE) under the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM). Planning of the meeting was run by a Task Force that included representation from NHFPC, MOFCOM, the China Alliance for South-South Health Cooperation Research, the Ethiopian and South African Embassies in Beijing, the World Health Organization (WHO), U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Joint U.N. Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), U.N. Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), U.K. Department for International Development (DFID), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. *APO]]>

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Sierra Leone’s vice president in quarantine for Ebola
March 3, 2015 | 0 Comments

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone’s vice president has put himself in quarantine following the death from Ebola of one of his security guards.

In this photo taken on Sept. 25, 2014, Chinese Ambassador Zhao Yanbo, center left, stands next to Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma, center, and Sierra Leone's Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana, centre right, during the opening ceremony of the China Friendship Hospital catering for Ebola virus patience in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone's vice president has put himself in quarantine following the death from Ebola of one of his security guards. Sam-Sumana voluntarily decided to quarantine himself for 21 days following the death from Ebola last Tuesday Feb. 24, 2015, of one of his security personnel, according to a report issued late Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, by the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation. (AP Photo/ Michael Duff)

In this photo taken on Sept. 25, 2014, Chinese Ambassador Zhao Yanbo, center left, stands next to Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma, center, and Sierra Leone’s Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana, centre right, during the opening ceremony of the China Friendship Hospital catering for Ebola virus patience in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone’s vice president has put himself in quarantine following the death from Ebola of one of his security guards. Sam-Sumana voluntarily decided to quarantine himself for 21 days following the death from Ebola last Tuesday Feb. 24, 2015, of one of his security personnel, according to a report issued late Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, by the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation. (AP Photo/ Michael Duff)

Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana is set to become acting president later Sunday when President Ernest Bai Koroma leaves Sierra Leone to attend a European Union conference on Ebola in Belgium. Sam-Sumana will carry out his presidential duties from his home.

He is the highest ranking African official to be in quarantine in this Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which is fast approaching a death toll of 10,000. The news highlights the rise of new cases in Sierra Leone, which has experienced a setback in curbing the spread of Ebola.

Sam-Sumana voluntarily decided to quarantine himself for 21 days following the death from Ebola last Tuesday of one of his security personnel.

“This virus has affected thousands of our people and has nearly brought our country to its knees,” said Sam-Sumana in a statement on Sunday. “We all have a collective responsibility to break the chains of transmission by isolating the sick and reporting all known contacts, by not touching the dead … We cannot be complacent. We must work together as a nation to end Ebola now.”

Sam-Sumana’s dramatic quarantine comes as President Ernest Bai Koroma reinstated restrictions on public movement on Saturday, in response the rise in new cases.

Sierra Leone recorded 18 new cases of Ebola in the week ending Saturday, up from 16 new cases last week. This breaks the trend of declining cases in the country.

Many of the new clusters are related to the capital’s fishing industry. In one case a fisherman died at sea in early February and the boat returned his body to shore in Freetown, the capital. Some of the fishermen on the boat then returned to their homes in the shantytown surrounding the fishing wharf, causing new infections.

President Koroma had recently lifted travel restrictions in order to stimulate economic activity, a relaxation criticized as too early by some officials. In response to the rise in new cases, Koroma on Saturday re-imposed restrictions including a nighttime ban on all boats launching from shore and on commercial vehicles off-loading goods in western market areas. Naval vessels will enforce the measures by patrolling the wharves and coastline.

In addition there will be restrictions on ferries and health checkpoints by the police will be strengthened. Public transportation restrictions will be reinstated which limit the numbers of passengers in taxis to two in cars and four at the back of large taxi vans to reduce physical contact between passengers.

The death toll for the current Ebola outbreak has risen to more than 9,600 from more than 23,800 infections mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to World Health Organization figures released Friday.

Liberia, which has had the highest number of deaths, has succeeded in bringing its number of confirmed cases to just a handful and has reopened schools.

Ebola is currently spreading fastest in Sierra Leone. In addition to battling Ebola, Sierra Leone’s government last week launched an investigation after an audit showed that nearly one-third of the money it received to fight Ebola, about $5.7 million, was used without necessary receipts.

*Source AP

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Sierra Leone's vice president in quarantine for Ebola
March 3, 2015 | 0 Comments

In this photo taken on Sept. 25, 2014, Chinese Ambassador Zhao Yanbo, center left, stands next to Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma, center, and Sierra Leone's Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana, centre right, during the opening ceremony of the China Friendship Hospital catering for Ebola virus patience in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone's vice president has put himself in quarantine following the death from Ebola of one of his security guards. Sam-Sumana voluntarily decided to quarantine himself for 21 days following the death from Ebola last Tuesday Feb. 24, 2015, of one of his security personnel, according to a report issued late Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, by the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation. (AP Photo/ Michael Duff) In this photo taken on Sept. 25, 2014, Chinese Ambassador Zhao Yanbo, center left, stands next to Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma, center, and Sierra Leone’s Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana, centre right, during the opening ceremony of the China Friendship Hospital catering for Ebola virus patience in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone’s vice president has put himself in quarantine following the death from Ebola of one of his security guards. Sam-Sumana voluntarily decided to quarantine himself for 21 days following the death from Ebola last Tuesday Feb. 24, 2015, of one of his security personnel, according to a report issued late Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, by the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation. (AP Photo/ Michael Duff)[/caption]

Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana is set to become acting president later Sunday when President Ernest Bai Koroma leaves Sierra Leone to attend a European Union conference on Ebola in Belgium. Sam-Sumana will carry out his presidential duties from his home.

He is the highest ranking African official to be in quarantine in this Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which is fast approaching a death toll of 10,000. The news highlights the rise of new cases in Sierra Leone, which has experienced a setback in curbing the spread of Ebola.

Sam-Sumana voluntarily decided to quarantine himself for 21 days following the death from Ebola last Tuesday of one of his security personnel.

“This virus has affected thousands of our people and has nearly brought our country to its knees,” said Sam-Sumana in a statement on Sunday. “We all have a collective responsibility to break the chains of transmission by isolating the sick and reporting all known contacts, by not touching the dead … We cannot be complacent. We must work together as a nation to end Ebola now.”

Sam-Sumana’s dramatic quarantine comes as President Ernest Bai Koroma reinstated restrictions on public movement on Saturday, in response the rise in new cases.

Sierra Leone recorded 18 new cases of Ebola in the week ending Saturday, up from 16 new cases last week. This breaks the trend of declining cases in the country.

Many of the new clusters are related to the capital’s fishing industry. In one case a fisherman died at sea in early February and the boat returned his body to shore in Freetown, the capital. Some of the fishermen on the boat then returned to their homes in the shantytown surrounding the fishing wharf, causing new infections.

President Koroma had recently lifted travel restrictions in order to stimulate economic activity, a relaxation criticized as too early by some officials. In response to the rise in new cases, Koroma on Saturday re-imposed restrictions including a nighttime ban on all boats launching from shore and on commercial vehicles off-loading goods in western market areas. Naval vessels will enforce the measures by patrolling the wharves and coastline.

In addition there will be restrictions on ferries and health checkpoints by the police will be strengthened. Public transportation restrictions will be reinstated which limit the numbers of passengers in taxis to two in cars and four at the back of large taxi vans to reduce physical contact between passengers.

The death toll for the current Ebola outbreak has risen to more than 9,600 from more than 23,800 infections mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to World Health Organization figures released Friday.

Liberia, which has had the highest number of deaths, has succeeded in bringing its number of confirmed cases to just a handful and has reopened schools.

Ebola is currently spreading fastest in Sierra Leone. In addition to battling Ebola, Sierra Leone’s government last week launched an investigation after an audit showed that nearly one-third of the money it received to fight Ebola, about $5.7 million, was used without necessary receipts.

*Source AP]]>

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Uganda advised to maximise oil industry by involving private sector
February 1, 2015 | 0 Comments

uganda480x255xxThe discovery of oil in Uganda offers immense potential to stimulate private sector development, a recent World Bank study entitled, “Leveraging oil and gas industry for the development of a competitive private sector in Uganda”, says.

Exploitation, according to the report, should capitalise on opportunities for local suppliers to integrate with oil and gas supply chains. The findings of the study, presented at a workshop, on Wednesday, considered how best to boost national content in the oil and gas sector and yield maximum benefits for Uganda and its people. Acting World Bank country manager for Uganda, Sajjad Shah said the discovery of oil resources offers a unique opportunity to develop the Ugandan economy. “Oil revenues can be used to finance priority domestic investments crucial for diversified growth,” he said. “Even before oil production commences, and oil revenues come in, local enterprises can participate in supplying the industry and start growing their business and the national economy in general.” Uganda’s principal geologist and head of the regulatory unit, Fred Kabanda said there is need to fast-track the development of skills and expertise and ensure national participation in the sector for which the national content policy provides the key framework. A statement issued by World Bank publicist, Sheila Gashishiri said, “The World Bank is engaged in the oil sector in Uganda through a number of interventions, including the Albertine sustainable project, where it has injected $145 million, skills development projects, where it has injected $100 million and competitiveness and enterprises development project, where it has invested $100 million”.
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Jacob Zuma calls for end to South Africa's xenophobic violence
January 24, 2015 | 0 Comments

Crystal Oderson in Cape Town* [caption id="attachment_15841" align="alignleft" width="300"]South Africa's President Jacob Zuma South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma[/caption] South African President Jacob Zuma has instructed the security forces to work with the local political leadership in the commercial capital of Johannesburg to end xenophobic violence. Zuma’s plea followed days of violence with l shops belonging foreign nationals were looted in the Soweto township.

Visuals beamed across the country showed foreign nationals fleeing for their lives, some hiding on rooftops, others hurriedly packing up the last few remaining items and mobs of people looting local shops. Foreigners said locals had robbed them and chased them away. Two people have died in the attacks The violence was sparked by the shooting to death to death of a teenager who tried to rob a store owned by Somalian national. The Somalian has since appeared in court and the matter was postponed because there was no translator. A second person was shot dead during looting in Zola on Wednesday night and police said the man was a foreign national. More than 100 people have been arrested this week following the deaths. They were arrested on charges including murder, robbery, public violence, and illegal possession of firearms. Eight of them were foreign nationals allegedly found in possession of unlicensed firearms. One was a policeman who was allegedly caught on camera taking part in the looting. “The actions are pure criminality. For now we won’t declare it xenophobic attacks,” Gauteng safety member of the executive council Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane told reporters in Johannesburg. An operations centre has been set up to co-ordinate the police’s operations in the area. The Confederation of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) urged South Africans to respect human rights. “If South Africans see foreigners as scapegoats, the country will be on a slippery slope towards the destruction of the unity we have built in the trade unions and community organisations,” COSATU said. “Human rights are not just for South Africans but for all people, regardless of where they have come from. “We must never forget that many of those who risked their lives in our liberation struggle and built our trade unions were migrant workers from all over the world.”
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Jacob Zuma calls for end to South Africa’s xenophobic violence
January 24, 2015 | 0 Comments

By Crystal Oderson in Cape Town*

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma

South African President Jacob Zuma has instructed the security forces to work with the local political leadership in the commercial capital of Johannesburg to end xenophobic violence.

Zuma’s plea followed days of violence with l shops belonging foreign nationals were looted in the Soweto township.

Visuals beamed across the country showed foreign nationals fleeing for their lives, some hiding on rooftops, others hurriedly packing up the last few remaining items and mobs of people looting local shops.

Foreigners said locals had robbed them and chased them away. Two people have died in the attacks

The violence was sparked by the shooting to death to death of a teenager who tried to rob a store owned by Somalian national.

The Somalian has since appeared in court and the matter was postponed because there was no translator.

A second person was shot dead during looting in Zola on Wednesday night and police said the man was a foreign national.

More than 100 people have been arrested this week following the deaths.

They were arrested on charges including murder, robbery, public violence, and illegal possession of firearms.

Eight of them were foreign nationals allegedly found in possession of unlicensed firearms.

One was a policeman who was allegedly caught on camera taking part in the looting.

“The actions are pure criminality. For now we won’t declare it xenophobic attacks,” Gauteng safety member of the executive council Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane told reporters in Johannesburg.

An operations centre has been set up to co-ordinate the police’s operations in the area.

The Confederation of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) urged South Africans to respect human rights.

“If South Africans see foreigners as scapegoats, the country will be on a slippery slope towards the destruction of the unity we have built in the trade unions and community organisations,” COSATU said.

“Human rights are not just for South Africans but for all people, regardless of where they have come from.

“We must never forget that many of those who risked their lives in our liberation struggle and built our trade unions were migrant workers from all over the world.”

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Foreigners to Apply for Ugandan Citizenship
January 22, 2015 | 0 Comments

Minister Aronda launched the exercise on Friday Minister Aronda launched the exercise on Friday[/caption] The Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, has flagged off a countrywide exercise in which non-citizens, who have resided in Uganda for an aggregate period of more than twenty years, will apply for citizenship by naturalization. The naturalization exercise will commence tomorrow Monday 19th January 2015, and end on 18th February 2015, and shall target eligible persons who are spread out in at least eighty (80) districts of Uganda. The flagging off ceremony took place on Friday 16th January 2015, at Kololo, Kampala, and was witnessed by officials from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, members of the National Citizenship and Immigration Control Board, and officials of the National Security Information System (NSIS) Project. Gen. Aronda explained that naturalization is a legal process by which a non-citizen can apply to become a citizen of Uganda, and emphasized that citizenship will be granted to applicants who meet the conditions set out in the laws of Uganda. The process is provided for under Article 12 of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and Section 16 of the Uganda Citizenship and Immigration Control Act, Cap 66. Gen Aronda emphasized that applicants for citizenship by naturalization will have to fulfill all the five conditions stated in the laws. Hence an applicant must have lived in Uganda for 20 years, and must be a resident in Uganda continuously for a period of two years prior to the date of application. “The law also requires the applicant to have knowledge of a local language or English and be of good character. An applicant will also have to prove that once naturalized, he/she intends to reside permanently in Uganda,” he said The Minister further explained that the naturalization exercise will be based at the sub county and eligible persons will access and fill out the mandatory forms. He assured the target communities, that the National Citizenship and Immigration Board had designated immigration officers to verify the applications and approve those who qualify to be granted citizenship by naturalization. Processing of the application will be done on the same day and qualifying persons will be issued with certificate of naturalization as a citizen of Uganda, under Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and Section 16 of the Uganda Citizenship and Immigration Control Act, CAP 66. Gen. Aronda warned persons who wish to apply for citizenship by naturalization to desist from declaring false information regarding their eligibility. He particularly clarified that refugees are not eligible to apply for citizenship by naturalization, and should not attempt to participate in the exercise. During the exercise of registering Ugandan citizens for the National Identity Card, registration officials rejected a number of applications in various parts of Uganda, on grounds that the applicants were non-citizens. This includes people like the Maragoli who settled in Kiryandongo District and have resided in Uganda since 1956. This exercise is hoped to enable several other non-citizens, like the Maragoli, who have resided in Uganda for more than twenty years, to acquire Ugandan citizenship by naturalization. *Source chimpreports  ]]>

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DR Congo rocked by anti-government protests
January 20, 2015 | 0 Comments

Activists urging president to resign clash with police in capital, resulting in four deaths, including officers. 665003303001_3999257881001_201511923332394734-20At least four people, including two policemen, have been killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital Kinshasa, after security forces clashed with thousands protesting moves that will pave the way for President Joseph Kabila to extend his hold on power, police say. At least 10 protesters were also injured after police fired live bullets to break up the rallies in some parts of the capital on Monday, witnesses said. Officers also used tear gas to disperse groups of rock-hurling youths as tyres burned at several main intersections and a police helicopter flew overhead. “Two policemen were killed by bullets,” government spokesman Lambert Mende said, adding that “two looters” had also died. According to hospital sources, about 10 demonstrators were admitted to hospital with gunshot wounds. The protesters had been called into the streets by opposition leaders outraged by proposed electoral legislation that would delay presidential and parliamentary polls beyond late 2016, when Kabila is meant to step down. Shots rang out from several places, including near the University of Kinshasa after police warned they would open fire if protesting students failed to leave, an AFP correspondent saw. Demonstrators called for Kabila “to leave at the end of his term”, while some carried signs saying: “Don’t touch the constitution”. Several cars were torched and witnesses said some looting had occurred on the fringes of the clashes. ‘Impounding democracy’ Streets were deserted in several parts of Kinshasa on Monday, with public transport interrupted and many children kept home from school. From 0700GMT, police and elite troops of the Republican Guard sealed off the parliament building, where the lower house passed the controversial bill on Saturday. Police also surrounded the headquarters of the third biggest opposition party, the Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC), after members of all leading opposition parties urged Kinshasa residents “massively to occupy” parliament on Monday to hamper the debate. “It is impounding of democracy by the political allies of Mr Kabila,” UNC president Vital Kamerhe said of the police presence around his headquarters. As darkness fell, calm returned to the capital. Kabila has ruled over the vast and troubled central African country since he was catapulted into office as a young soldier by Kinshasa politicians in 2001, days after his father, then president Laurent-Desire Kabila, was assassinated. In 2006, three years after multiple peace deals ended a bloody war which embroiled troops from at least six foreign countries, Kabila won the first free, democratic presidential poll since independence from Belgium in 1960. Elections that year were enabled by a large UN peacekeeping force first deployed during conflict. The results were considered largely fair, but when Kabila won a second and final five-year term in 2011, his victory was disputed by domestic and foreign observers. The opposition accuses Kabila of trying to delay elections by insisting that a new census must first take place – a process that analysts say would take as long as three years. *Source Aljazeera]]>

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Cameroon army frees Boko Haram hostages
January 20, 2015 | 0 Comments

Boko Haram has been blamed for the deaths of at least 13,000 people since 2009 [AFP] Boko Haram has been blamed for the deaths of at least 13,000 people since 2009 [AFP][/caption]Cameroon’s army has freed 24 hostages kidnapped during a cross-border attack by suspected Boko Haram fighters based in neighbouring Nigeria, government officials said. In their latest cross-border raid on Sunday, the Nigeria-based Boko Haram fighters seized at least 80 people in northern Cameroon, most of them women and children. Cameroon Information Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakari told Al Jazeera that the Cameroon army was able to free at least 24 of the hostages on Monday. “They were freed as defence forces pursued the attackers who were heading back to Nigeria,” defence ministry spokesman Colonel Didier Badjeck said. The attack on Sunday occurred in the village of Mabass, in the Far North region, Bakary said. He said 80 houses were destroyed. “We are dealing with barbaric people, lawless people,” Bakary said. “Nothing can prevent them from assassinating.” The raid came a day after neighbouring Chad deployed troops to combat Boko Haram in Cameroon and Nigeria, as part of a regional bid to combat the group. Concern is growing that Boko Haram is expanding its operations into neighbouring countries. Cameroon came under attack last Monday when it said its troops repelled a raid by Boko Haram on a northern military base. The group has been recruiting fighters in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger, and recently issued a video threatening Paul Biya, Cameroon’s president. Brutal raids, massacres, suicide bomb attacks and kidnappings blamed on Boko Haram – which seeks to establish an Islamic state in northern Nigeria – have claimed at least 13,000 lives since 2009 and driven an estimated 1.5 million people from their homes. In Nigeria on Sunday, a suicide bomber killed five people and injured 35 others in the northeast town of Potiskum. The latest violence come as Chadian troops are seeking to recapture the strategic town of Baga on the shores of Lake Chad, which straddles the borders of Chad, Nigeria, Niger, and Cameroon and which fell to Boko Haram early this month. The assault on Baga could be Boko Haram’s deadliest yet. Satellite pictures released by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch showed widespread destruction with around 3,700 buildings in Baga and nearby Doro Gowon damaged or destroyed. Amnesty says as many as 2,000 civilians may have been massacred, but Nigeria’s army objected to the “sensational” claims and said that the death toll in Baga was about 150. *Source Aljazeera  ]]>

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Latest News January 17, 2015
January 17, 2015 | 0 Comments

news From All Africa

  • Malawi: Floods – 176 People Killed, 200,000 Displaced
    [Malawi24]At least 176 people have died in flash floods ravaging Malawi and 200,000 others displaced, Vice President Saulos Chilima said on Friday.
  • Zimbabwe: Mutasa Booted Out of Zanu-PF
    [Zimbabwe Independent]OUSTED Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa has been booted out of the party by the Manicaland provincial coordinating committee (PCC), following his hard-hitting statement on Monday denouncing the December congress and the appointments of Vice-Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko.
  • Sudan: 'Troops Killed Its Military Commander'
    [Sudan Tribune]Khartoum -The rebel Sudan Liberation Movement -Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) Friday admitted that its operations’ general commander had been killed by the Sudanese army in North Darfur states.
  • Nigeria: 'Baga Killings Don't Bother Jonathan'
    [Daily Trust]Secretary of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Prof Ango Abdullahi, said yesterday that President Goodluck Jonathan was not paying attention to the killings in Baga and other parts of the north because he has nothing to do with the region or the wellbeing of its people.
  • Somalia: Prime Minister Dissolves Cabinet
    [Dalsan Radio]Somali PM Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke has dismissed his newly formed cabinet.
  • Zimbabwe: Axed VP to Challenge Mugabe
    [New Zimbabwe]Ousted former Vice President Joice Mujuru will challenge President Robert Mugabe or whoever will represent Zanu PF in the 2018 general elections, NewZimbabwe.com has heard.
  • Libya: Factions Declare Ceasefire
    [Deutsche Welle]After two days of peace talks in Geneva, a tentative ceasefire has been called in the restive North African country. Although they sent no representatives to Switzerland, Islamists have agreed to halt the fighting.
  • Cape Verde/Tunisia: Rejuvenated Tunisians Join Afcon Favourites
    [allAfrica]Tunisia have emerged as one of the form sides on the continent as they prepare to face Cape Verde in their African Nations Cup Group B opener at the Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyín in Ebebiyín, Equatorial Guinea on Sunday (kick-off 19h00 GMT).
  • Zambia: Five Million Voters Elect a New President Next Week
    [AEP]5.1 million Zambians will go to the polls on 20 January to elect a new leader to complete the late president sata term as the constitution demands. They join the list of Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) members to organize elections in the last 6 months after Botswana, Mozambique and Namibia.

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Latest News December 31, 2014
December 31, 2014 | 0 Comments

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#ISurvivedEbola Campaign Goes On-Air in Liberia, Expands to Sierra Leone
December 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

Ebola survivor videos, call-in shows and serial dramas deliver life-saving message tackleebolaPCI Media Impact and Vulcan Productions announced on December 22, in collaboration with UNICEF, an expansion of radio and video programming of the West African multimedia project #ISurvivedEbola  across Liberia and Sierra Leone. Call-in radio broadcasts that provide life-saving health information about Ebola prevention and transmission will reach more than a million listeners in Liberia, across both the UN Mission in Liberia radio station and the national Liberian Broadcasting Service. As part of the initiative, #ISurvivedEbola has also expanded its Ebola survivor video programming, currently available in Liberia, to reflect the stories and serve the population of Sierra Leone. The #ISurvivedEbola multimedia campaign embeds critical health information about Ebola within compelling stories that engage people in a dialogue about life-saving behavior modification. The new radio series “Ebola Is Real” is designed to reinforce life-saving health information about Ebola through compelling story-telling and interactive discussion sessions with listeners. The five-part series will air in Simple Liberian English across Liberia, and will be translated into four local languages spoken in Ebola hot spots. The program is expected to reach at least one quarter of the country’s population of four million people. “Ebola Is Real” was commissioned and funded by Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions in response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, as part of the #TackleEbola initiative  and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation’s commitment of up to $100 million for Ebola relief. “Ebola Is Real” is the latest component of the #ISurvivedEbola campaign, and is produced and distributed by PCI Media Impact  in collaboration with UNICEF.   http://vimeo.com/115059579   Carole Tomko, General Manager and Creative Director of Vulcan Productions, states, “This outbreak has taught us that easy access to critical and actionable life-saving health information is an absolutely essential component of the Ebola relief effort. Paul Allen has been a leader in Ebola relief since the early days of the crisis, and we are constantly looking to identify gaps in the international response with urgency by putting resources and programs into the hands of the people who need them most. Behavior modification can be the most impactful way of slowing the spread of the disease, and we know from past outbreaks that with a swift, tightly coordinated response, Ebola can be stopped. ‘Ebola Is Real‘ is going to provide rapid access to the information people need to clearly understand the steps they need to take to prevent transmission of the virus.” Sean Southey, CEO of PCI Media Impact states, “The #ISurvivedEbola campaign uses every communication outlet available to reach people living in Ebola-affected countries and teach them how to protect themselves and their families. With the launch of ‘Ebola Is Real‘, we have added the most powerful form of mass communication in Liberia to this effort: radio. We look forward to rolling out similar radio programs in Sierra Leone and Guinea, and we’ve just launched our first Ebola survivor video in Sierra Leone.” The “Ebola Is Real” radio dramas feature realistic fictional characters who embody the everyday life experiences of Liberians. The call-in audience vicariously interacts with the characters as they face difficult decisions about Ebola. The characters are shaped by their behaviors and the consequences thereafter.  Each episode is followed by an additional call-in session with listeners during which a trained host guides a dialogue. Listeners can call in using basic, widely available mobile phone technology. The call-in segments also feature interviews with Ebola experts and key opinion leaders who share accurate information and address misperceptions about Ebola and its survivors.   http://vimeo.com/115082561 Adolphus Scott, a Liberian national who serves as a Communications for Development Specialist at UNICEF Liberia, says, “Radio dramas provide an excellent way to capture the public’s attention in Liberia. Not many of our people have access to television or the Internet, but at least one-third can hear a radio. The drama format is particularly well-liked, as it entertains in the same way as a television soap opera.” #ISurvivedEbola Video Initiative #ISurvivedEbola launched its video programming initiative with a survivor story video  out of Liberia in early December. On December 22, two new videos about survivors from Sierra Leone and Liberia, respectively, were launched, including the story of Abdul Rahman Sanu, the first Sierra Leonean to appear in the campaign. Like so many healthcare workers in the region, Abdul became infected with Ebola. He is now utilizing the story of his experience to educate others about the disease. While progress in ending the Ebola outbreak has advanced since it was declared in mid-March, much work remains needed to halt the epidemic and assist those who have been directly impacted by it. To help reach these goals, #ISurvivedEbola will continue to roll out new survivor stories and programs in the coming weeks, including the upcoming release of the first survivor video story from Guinea. *APO]]>

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Keep Religion Out of 2015 Elections-Bola Tinubu
December 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

By Bola Tinubu tinubu1I am a Nigerian who loves his country and am hopeful about what it can become. I have seen and conducted myself as a patriot long before I thought of myself as a politician.  I shall always walk this line and no other.

After all the political calculations are made and the dust of competition has settled, it must be this nation and its people who stand first and foremost. The question becomes whether we stand strong, able to shape ourselves into our best future or will we stand frail and trembling, burdened by the abject failure to surmount the multiple problems confronting us.

It against this backdrop that I assess any action I take. Here I come to my name being placed in consideration as the Vice Presidential candidate for our party, the APC.  I have labored hard to move this party from being merely an idea in the minds of a few into being a political organization that might win this election and govern the nation in way that gives the people the hope and opportunity they seek. Nothing is more important to me than to realize this dream not for myself but for the people of this land I so love. I helped to build this party, giving no thought to seeking an elected office because of it. My contribution to the party was never based on the expectation of a later political handout. Nigeria is in trouble and we are well past the moment for such narrow, selfish games. There came a time during the course of the events when our Presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari offered the Vice Presidential slot to me.  Being a normal human being, I was deeply moved and honored that he would consider me for the position. Being a patriot, I had to weigh my potential candidacy in all of its dimensions. I have concluded that the interest of the party, our campaign and of the nation are better served if I retain my position as the National leader of the APC, allowing me to be a bridge builder across all divides.  Although, I declined the position, I want to thank General Buhari for extending the honor to me. Despite all the noise and opposition around my possible selection, he stood firm and steadfast. He showed the traits of a leader in holding to a decision he believed was right despite the errant plots against it. When my name was raised, the political hatchet men tried to chop it down with rumor and lies. Over the years, I have developed a thick skin. The personal attacks did not bother me. I am used to them. While I have a thick skin, I don’t have a thick mind.  There has been one form of attack that has troubled me. That is the attack based on religion. The PDP and others have stoked fear of a Muslim- Muslim ticket. I have removed myself from consideration so what I now say cannot be seen as self-serving.  I plead with the people of this nation to never allow the power lust of cynical politicians to set brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor. If you look at those politicians who raise this issue the most, they are the least devout and faithful to any religion other their self-interests. Nigeria has too many secular problems – insecurity,  economic collapse, poverty , corruption and misgovernance – to allow inept people to use religion to keep us from solving these challenges for the benefit of all. Those who exploit religion should be wary. For there really is a God and he does not like it when you play with his people or use His name to do the opposite of what He intends. I ask the people to remove religion from the electoral equation now that the tickets of both parties are mixed.  I ask you to select the ticket best able to end the downward slide that Nigeria has endured since this government took over. I ask you to remember that too many Christians and Muslims are poor. Most of all, I ask you to remember that the true religion of the PDP is poverty,  APC come to bring prosperity to the people.  Please vote for that. The Nigeria I see is a nation that shall overcome. The Nigeria I see is a nation ready to sweep aside the broken ways of our recent past and the government and politicians who impose distress upon us. The Nigeria I see and seek is one where each person, every man, woman and child may live free of terrorism, free of the despair of poverty and free of the fear that the government meant to serve and protect them has turned its back to them  in cold and utter indifference. I see and seek a Nigeria where progressive democratic governance creates the political and economic space needed for each of us to contribute to rescuing and retooling this nation.  And, in the process of this benign endeavor, may each and every one of us share in the sound promise and good prosperity that shall describe the architecture of our national revival. However, not everyone that shouts the name of Nigeria believes in this vision. There are many who would have you laid low and our future tossed asunder that they may persist in reaping the unjust reward of their selfish ways. There are wolves in sheep clothing and even jackals in wolf’s clothing. I have seen them but not as residents in some strange zoo. They populate the halls of this diminished government and the party from which this government was born. We have come to the field of fateful choice. We have been brought to test the scales of weighty decision. Shall we lift this nation upward so that from its higher vantage point we may clearly see the road to our better destiny? Or shall we continue to march the march of fools into the dark of darkness. The current path has but one end. It shall take us into the den of national collapse. We have gone far enough down this wicked avenue to be aware of what its continuance portends. We must awaken of our own accord, my dear people, before the bell of doom rings upon us. If we wait until that moment, we would have waited too long. Our future, our fate, our destiny would have been cast into the snare of utter misfortune. This is not the song of greatness. It is the poetics of ruin. For me, political ambition will never triumph over patriotic conviction. This delicate moment affords no space for emotion to intrude to blind us from what is best. The APC is the best and only vehicle to enact the progressive and broad change this nation cries for.  I eagerly lend myself to this fine cause without me having to be on the ticket. This is a time for cohesion and an overriding sense of mission. We must defeat the foe before us and resist all temptations intended to entice us to fight among ourselves. I sincerely commit myself to the rescue agenda of General Buhari and Professor Osinbajo. I declare to you, I will work and dedicate myself so that our ticket succeeds and wins the 2015 election — not for his good, not for my good, not even for the party’s good but for the good of the nation we inhabit. Some may call what I have done a sacrifice. I call it otherwise. It is my patriotic contribution and duty. I do so with a happy and uplifted heart and clear conscience because I have committed myself to seeking the best for this nation before seeking what is good for myself. This is the creed of statesmanship I chose to follow. May this be the creed of our party as General Buhari leads us to historic victory in the 2015 elections. May the light of a bright future always shine on you and on our beloved nation, the Federal Republic of Nigeria. -Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu December 17th, 2014]]>

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Latest News November 23, 2014
November 23, 2014 | 0 Comments

news From All Africa

  • Nigeria: PVC – Inec Frustrates Nigerians' Desire to Vote in 2015 – Group
    [Independent (Lagos)]Lagos -A group, Voters’ Awareness Initiative (VAI), on Saturday lamented the shoddy manner in which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducted the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) distributions and the Continuous Voters Register (CVR) across the country, especially in Lagos State.
  • Nigeria: PVC – How Prepared Is Inec for 2015 Polls?
    [Independent (Lagos)]Abuja -With the reports of confusion trailing the distribution of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) from almost every part of the country there are a of doubts on the preparedness and sincerity of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free and fair elections in 2015.
  • Zimbabwe: Goche Is a Rhodesian Thief – Mutsvangwa
    [New Zimbabwe]DEPUTY Foreign Affairs Minister Chris Mutsvangwa on Friday labelled Labour Minister Nicholas Goche a “Rhodesian thief” and “chancer” in yet another illustration of the bitter fall-out within the ruling Zanu PF party.
  • Zimbabwe: Temporary Reprieve for Harare Businessman
    [New Zimbabwe]HARARE businessman, Genius Kadungure, who is facing a R1.5 million fraud charge, breathed a sigh of relief when he was given his passport back to allow him to travel over the festive season.
  • Nigeria: Lagos Lawmaker Calls for Jonathan's Impeachment
    [Independent (Lagos)]Lagos -Spokesperson of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Segun Olulade, has advised members of the National Assembly to commence the impeachment process against President Goodluck Jonathan, noting that it is one of the strong option open to the lawmakers at this time.
  • Nigeria: T.B Joshua Asks Court to Stop Coroner's Inquest
    [Independent (Lagos)]Lagos -Founder of Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN), Prophet Temitope Joshua, on Friday asked a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja to stop forthwith the coroner’s inquest into the September 12 building collapse that killed about 116 persons.
  • Nigeria: Violence in 2015 Elections Inevitable
    [Vanguard]Ikot -EKPENE – Commissioner of Police (CP), Akwa-Ibom State, Mr Gabriel Achon has warned that violence in the 2015 general elections in the country would be inevitable if politicians do not obey the rules governing electoral process.
  • Tunisia: International Observers Arrive
    [Tunis Afrique Presse]Tunis -National Constituent Assembly (NCA) President Mustapha Ben Jaafar received, Saturday, several delegations of international observers on visit to Tunisia to attend the presidential election.
  • Malawi: Opposition Blasts Govt over Appointments
    [Malawi24]Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) President, Lazarus Chakwera has questioned the Peter Mutharika led government on recent appointments describing them as being many and not going in tandem with the lean government the administration promised.

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From a Rwandan Dump to the Halls of Harvard
November 6, 2014 | 0 Comments

* [caption id="attachment_13812" align="alignleft" width="675"]Justus Uwayesu, rescued at 9 from the streets of Rwanda, is enrolled as a freshman at Harvard. Credit Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist for The New York Times Justus Uwayesu, rescued at 9 from the streets of Rwanda, is enrolled as a freshman at Harvard. Credit Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist for The New York Times[/caption]

BOSTON — Nine years old and orphaned by ethnic genocide, he was living in a burned-out car in a Rwandan garbage dump where he scavenged for food and clothes. Daytimes, he was a street beggar. He had not bathed in more than a year.

When an American charity worker, Clare Effiong, visited the dump one Sunday, other children scattered. Filthy and hungry, Justus Uwayesu stayed put, and she asked him why.

“I want to go to school,” he replied.

Well, he got his wish.

This autumn, Mr. Uwayesu enrolled as a freshman at Harvard University on a full-scholarship, studying math, economics and human rights, and aiming for an advanced science degree. Now about 22 — his birthday is unknown — he could be, in jeans, a sweater and sneakers, just another of the 1,667 first-year students here.

But of course, he is not. He is an example of the potential buried even in humanity’s most hopeless haunts, and a sobering reminder of how seldom it is mined.

Over the 13 years since his escape from the smoldering trash heap that was his home, Mr. Uwayesu did not simply rise through his nation’s top academic ranks. As a student in Rwanda, he learned English, French, Swahili and Lingala. He oversaw his high school’s student tutoring program. And he helped found a youth charity that spread to high schools nationwide, buying health insurance for poor students and giving medical and scholastic aid to others.

He is nonetheless amazed and amused by the habits and quirks of a strange land.

“I tried lobster, and I thought it was a big fight,” he said. “You have to work for it to get to the meat.” And the taste? “I’m not sure I like it,” he said.

Fresh from a land dominated by two ethnic groups — the majority Hutu and the Tutsi, who died en masse with some moderate Hutu in the 1994 conflict — he says he is delighted by Harvard’s stew of nationalities and lifestyles. He was pleasantly taken aback by the blasé acceptance of openly gay students — “that’s not something we hear about in Rwanda”— and disturbed to find homeless beggars in a nation otherwise so wealthy that “you can’t tell who is rich and who isn’t.”

He says his four suitemates, hailing from Connecticut, Hawaii and spots in between, have helped him adjust to Boston life. But he is still trying to figure out an American culture that is more frenetic and obstreperous than in his homeland.

“People work hard for everything,” he said. “They do things fast, and they move fast. They tell you the truth; they tell you their experiences and their reservations. In Rwanda, we have a different way of talking to adults. We don’t shout. We don’t be rowdy. But here, you think independently.”

Born in rural eastern Rwanda, Mr. Uwayesu was only 3 when his parents, both illiterate farmers, died in a politically driven slaughter that killed some 800,000 people in 100 days. Red Cross workers rescued him with a brother and two sisters — four other children survived elsewhere — and cared for them until 1998, when the growing tide of parentless children forced workers to return them to their village.

They arrived as a drought, and then famine, began to grip their home province. “I was malnourished,” Mr. Uwayesu said. “My brother would tell me, ‘I’m going out to look for food,’ and then he would come back without it. There were times we did not cook the whole day.”

In 2000, young Justus and his brother walked to Kigali, Rwanda’s capital and a city of about one million, in search of food and help. Instead, they wound up at Ruviri, a sprawling garbage dump on the city’s outskirts that was home to hundreds of orphans and herds of pigs.

Justus found a home with two other children in an abandoned car, its smashed-out windows and floor covered with cardboard. For the next year and a half, he said, all but the search for food and shelter fell by the wayside. “There was no shower, no bathing at all,” he said. “The only thing was to keep something warm for the night, something really warm.”

He learned to spot trucks from hotels and bakeries that carried the tastiest castoffs, and to leap atop them to grab his share before they discharged their loads to less nimble orphans.

For days when there was nothing to eat — no trucks came on Sundays, and bigger children claimed most edible garbage — he hoarded food in discarded cooking-oil tins, sunk into trash-fire embers to keep their contents warm.

Mr. Uwayesu said he was hobbled in a fall from one moving trash truck, and once nearly buried alive by a bulldozer pushing mounds of garbage into a pit.

Just 9, he spent nights in terror that a tiger said to roam the dump would attack him (there are no tigers in Africa). In the daytime, begging on the streets, he saw a world that was beyond him. “At noon,” he said, “kids would be coming back from school in their uniforms, running and playing in the road. Sometimes they would call me nayibobo” — literally, forgotten child. “They knew how different we were from them.”

“It was a really dark time, because I couldn’t see a future,” he said. “I couldn’t see how life could be better, or how I could come out of that.”

Purely by chance, Ms. Effiong proved the boy’s savior.

The charity that Ms. Effiong founded, in New Rochelle, N.Y., Esther’s Aid, decided in 2000 to center its efforts on helping Rwanda’s throngs of orphans. One Sunday in 2001, after delivering a shipping container of food and clothing, she took a taxi to the dump, spotted a scrum of orphans and, after some conversation, offered to take them to a safe place.

All but Justus refused. “I took him to where I was, cleaned him up, changed his clothes, dressed the wounds on his body and eventually sent him to primary school,” she said.

In first grade, he finished at the top of his class. It was a sign of grades to come: straight A’s in high school, followed by a seat in a senior high school specializing in the sciences.

Mr. Uwayesu moved into an orphanage run by Esther’s Aid, then, with two sisters, into the compound where Ms. Effiong lives while in Kigali. Throughout his schooling, he worked at the charity, which since has opened a cooking school for girls and is building a campus for orphans.

“My life changed because of her,” he said.

He would not have been able to compete for a spot in an American university without outside help, however. After high school, he applied for and won a seat in a yearlong scholars program, Bridge2Rwanda, run by a charity in Little Rock, Ark., that prepares talented students for the college-application process.

For roughly the past decade, Harvard’s international admissions director has personally scoured Africa for potential applicants each year.

Like most top universities, Harvard chooses its freshmen without regard to their ability to pay tuition. But until this year, the Cambridge campus had only one Rwandan student, Juliette Musabeyezu, a sophomore.

No more. Of the 25 or so African applicants who made this year’s cut, three are from Rwanda, including a second Bridge2Rwanda scholar.

Not bad for a little country that is home to barely 1 percent of Africa’s billion-plus population. A photograph of Rwanda’s Harvard contingent appears on Ms. Musabeyezu’s Facebook page.

The caption reads: “My people are finally here.”

*Source NY Times

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Latest News October 21, 2014
October 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

news From All Africa

  • Botswana: Campaigns End Ahead of Polls
    [AEP]The political parties contesting in the Botswana general elections slated for this Friday 24 October 2014 ended their campaigns last Saturday ahead of the general elections experts foresee to be the toughest since independence in1966.
  • South Africa: Judge Sends Pistorius to Jail
    [SAPA]Pretoria -Paralympian Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for the culpable homicide killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
  • Somalia: UN Envoy Condemns Attack On African Union Troops in Hiiraan Region
    [UN News]The UN envoy for Somalia condemned today an attack on African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces in Hiiraan region and called for calm as rival clans caused insecurity in the area, which is near the centre of the East African country.
  • South Sudan: Nation At 'Crossroads' As It Seeks to Combat Sexual Violence, Says UN Official
    [UN News]Sexual violence has become a key feature of the continuing conflict in South Sudan, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, has declared, while affirming that the widespread use of rape could ultimately be stopped through greater political and legal efforts by the Government and civil society.
  • Africa: 'Science Must Have a Place the Policy Table,' World Leaders Urge At Special UN Meeting
    [UN News]Science, technology and innovation are central in forging development policy and solving some of the world’s most pressing problems including in education, health care and peace and security, eminent scientists and world leaders said, marking today at United Nations Headquarters the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).
  • Nigeria: Fate of Chibok Girls Still Uncertain
    [Deutsche Welle]Fresh violence in northern Nigeria has dashed hopes of a ceasefire with the militant Islamist sect Boko Haram. Nigerians are doubtful whether the Chibok girls, kidnapped six months ago, will be released.
  • Nigeria: What Boko Haram Ceasefire?
    [Premium Times]Despite claims of a ceasefire between the Nigerian government and extremist sect, Boko Haram, soldiers on Sunday night shot dead 25 members of the sect during an attack on Damboa town of Borno state.
  • Mozambique: Ruling Party Polls Lead Shrinks
    [AIM]Maputo -The parallel count of the votes in last Wednesday’s Mozambican general elections still gives the ruling Frelimo Party and its presidential candidate, Filipe Nyusi, a substantial victory – but their lead over their main rivals, the former rebel movement Renamo, and its candidate, Afonso Dhlakama, has shrunk somewhat.
  • Zambia: Ill Sata Heads Abroad for Treatment
    [Zambia Reports]Earlier today a brief media statement was circulated to media house by the Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations George Chellah announcing that President Michael Sata had last night traveled abroad for medical treatment.

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Mozambique eyes bigger slice of gas windfall
October 10, 2014 | 1 Comments

Gas-rich Mozambique will sell off a new batch of energy concessions later this month, with market watchers predicting the government will demand a greater share of the profits than ever before (AFP Photo/Andrew Burton) Gas-rich Mozambique will sell off a new batch of energy concessions later this month, with market watchers predicting the government will demand a greater share of the profits than ever before (AFP Photo/Andrew Burton)[/caption]

Maputo (AFP) – Gas-rich Mozambique will sell off a new batch of energy concessions later this month, with market watchers predicting the government will demand a greater share of the profits than ever before.

With some of the world’s largest reserves potentially up for grabs, a bidding round for five new concessions spanning the an area the size of Panama or Ireland will start on October 23.

“Fifteen blocks, totalling 76,800 square kilometres will be made available for lease,” Mozambique’s National Petroleum Institute announced this week.

Two of the concessions lie in the deep water Rovuma basin — near the Tanzanian border — where Italian major ENI and Texas-based Anadarko petroleum have, between them, uncovered massive finds and are planning liquefaction plants worth $2 billion each. Other concessions are located in areas not so far explored. The size of Anadarko and ENI’s finds — totalling 200 trillion cubic feet — is a major reason why the government may demand more than a 15 percent stake in any project, according to Colin Waugh of consultancy SCP Africa. “When they started to give these (concessions) out… nobody knew if there was any gas there at all so they couldn’t really turn the screws on international companies,” he said. Firms “weren’t even sure if it was worth coming to Mozambique.” “Now everybody knows there is potentially a whole lot more than they have found so they can probably jack up their demand and still attract buyers” Waugh added. But not all energy companies have hit the jackpot in Mozambique. Norwegian state oil company, Statoil announced earlier this year it had come up empty handed in the Rovuma basin.

But companies are unlikely to want to be left behind in one of the world’s major energy frontiers.

According to US Energy Information Administration Mozambique’s proven reserves lept from 4.5 trillion cubic feet to 100 trillion cubic feet this year.

“Placing the country as the third-largest proved natural gas reserve holder in Africa, after Nigeria and Algeria.”

*Source AFP/Yahoo]]>

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Apartheid’s evictions: Can they be overturned?
October 9, 2014 | 0 Comments

_78097870_redhillruins2Many South Africans are still fighting to reclaim land taken away from them during apartheid. The BBC’s Sophie Ribstein spoke to a family about its ordeal.

It is a beautiful piece of land, a windswept nature reserve just above the bay of Simon’s Town. Walking through lush vegetation, you can see the wild rocky hilltops of the Cape peninsula in the distance.

But the magnificent mountain landscape, bathed in light, has been the theatre of a troubled history.

At the far end of the African continent, Redhill was once a village, home to more than 70 predominantly mixed-race (or coloured, as they are referred to in South Africa) families.

Lily Lawrence and her children have fond memories of their old home

Lily Lawrence and her children have fond memories of their old home

Today, the ruins of their houses are a refuge for baboons. Roofs and windows have been destroyed, blown away by the passing of time.

But stone walls are still standing, reminders of a precious past for those who were forcibly removed in the late 1960s by South Africa’s white minority regime.

They insist that it be given back to them, even though it is in ruins

They insist that it be given back to them, even though it is in ruins

“Here was the lounge and this used to be the kitchen with a fireplace and the small bedroom at the back,” says 78-year-old Lily Lawrence, walking through the old stones which were once her home.

What was apartheid?

 

  • _68148387_apartheid-whites-only-sign_getty_2659675Introduced in 1948 by the Afrikaner-led National Party government
  • Black people regarded as inferior
  • Only white people allowed to vote
  • Races segregated in all aspects of life, including housing and schools
  • Prevented black people from owning land in most of South Africa
  • Reserved most skilled jobs for white people
  • Banned sexual relations between black and white people
  • Scrapped in 1994 with the election of Nelson Mandela as first black president
line

The Group Areas Act, passed in 1950, was a pillar of the brutal apartheid regime.

Among other things, it led to the removal of non-whites from real estate considered desirable by the government. Over the following decades, thousands of families were forced to leave their homes and relocate to barren land.

‘Heirlooms’

The effects of this policy have yet to be reversed. Even in post-apartheid South Africa, much of the most fertile territory is still in the hands of a few thousand white commercial farmers.

The pace of reform has long been criticised as too slow.

President Jacob Zuma has given people an opportunity to lodge land claims

President Jacob Zuma has given people an opportunity to lodge land claims

Just after his re-election to a second term in office in May, South African President Jacob Zuma announced the creation of another window for lodging claims for the restitution of land. Many people had missed the previous window, which expired in 1998.

President Zuma also hailed the progress made so far in returning land to its rightful owners.

However, Mrs Lawrence and her relatives are not among the lucky ones.

In March 1970, the families at Redhill were given seven days’ notice to move. The authorities told them they wanted to build a dam – a project that has never been pursued.

Mrs Lawrence has vivid memories of happy years at Redhill.

South Africa's most fertile land is still owned by a few thousand white commercial farmers

South Africa’s most fertile land is still owned by a few thousand white commercial farmers

“We all loved walking to the mountains, picking flowers and just smelling the aroma of the herbs,” she says. “There were animals – pigs, fowls, horses, milking cows.”

Under the 1950 law, Mrs Lawrence, her husband and their four children had no other choice but to leave their land.

“It was so heartbreaking, tears, tears and tears,” says Mrs Lawrence, recalling the day they left. She says the family had to leave much of their furniture behind – including heirlooms – as it could not be taken up the stairs of the flat they were moving to.

‘Legal journey’

Ocean View, a poetic name for the family’s modest new home, was in reality a crowded apartment block on dry and sandy terrain.

“My husband was so mad. When we went up the stairs with the furniture left [behind], he looked through the window and started shouting: No, no, I don’t want to stay here,” recalls Mrs Lawrence.

Today, two of her children, Margaret and George, are doing everything possible for this past not to be forgotten. They were only eight and 13 years old when they left Redhill.

Racial discrimination was legal when George, in the foreground, grew up in South Africa

Racial discrimination was legal when George, in the foreground, grew up in South Africa

But the trauma of the forced removal remains. Margaret is an archivist at the Simon’s Town Museum. She collects pictures, texts, memories from the coloured community and tries to piece together their history.

She invites her mother to the museum to talk to schoolchildren. Twenty years after the end of apartheid, she wants the new generation to know what happened.

George, her brother, has embarked on a legal journey, trying to get the land back from the South African state. He says he registered the first land claim in 1998 – but since then, has only been to meetings and offered excuses for inaction.

“The only thing I want in my life is to come back to my land. I was born here, my roots are here. It is not so difficult, the government just has to sign the papers.”

Margaret (centre) was 13 years old when they were forced out of their home

Margaret (centre) was 13 years old when they were forced out of their home

Since President Zuma announced another window for the restitution, another 12,500 new claims have been lodged, according to the government-backed Land Claims Commission.

Mrs Lawrence and her family remain hopeful. George travels regularly to Cape Town, 40km away, to follow up the proceedings.

He also visits Redhill every two or three weeks.

With a fresh evening breeze blowing, he lights a fire next to the ruins of his home, makes a barbecue and lays a sheet on the old stones – just to sleep once again on the hill, albeit under an open sky.

*Source BBC

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Apartheid's evictions: Can they be overturned?
October 9, 2014 | 0 Comments

_78097870_redhillruins2Many South Africans are still fighting to reclaim land taken away from them during apartheid. The BBC’s Sophie Ribstein spoke to a family about its ordeal.

It is a beautiful piece of land, a windswept nature reserve just above the bay of Simon’s Town. Walking through lush vegetation, you can see the wild rocky hilltops of the Cape peninsula in the distance. But the magnificent mountain landscape, bathed in light, has been the theatre of a troubled history. At the far end of the African continent, Redhill was once a village, home to more than 70 predominantly mixed-race (or coloured, as they are referred to in South Africa) families. [caption id="attachment_12730" align="alignleft" width="624"]Lily Lawrence and her children have fond memories of their old home Lily Lawrence and her children have fond memories of their old home[/caption] Today, the ruins of their houses are a refuge for baboons. Roofs and windows have been destroyed, blown away by the passing of time. But stone walls are still standing, reminders of a precious past for those who were forcibly removed in the late 1960s by South Africa’s white minority regime. [caption id="attachment_12728" align="alignright" width="624"]They insist that it be given back to them, even though it is in ruins They insist that it be given back to them, even though it is in ruins[/caption] “Here was the lounge and this used to be the kitchen with a fireplace and the small bedroom at the back,” says 78-year-old Lily Lawrence, walking through the old stones which were once her home. What was apartheid?  
  • _68148387_apartheid-whites-only-sign_getty_2659675Introduced in 1948 by the Afrikaner-led National Party government
  • Black people regarded as inferior
  • Only white people allowed to vote
  • Races segregated in all aspects of life, including housing and schools
  • Prevented black people from owning land in most of South Africa
  • Reserved most skilled jobs for white people
  • Banned sexual relations between black and white people
  • Scrapped in 1994 with the election of Nelson Mandela as first black president
line
The Group Areas Act, passed in 1950, was a pillar of the brutal apartheid regime. Among other things, it led to the removal of non-whites from real estate considered desirable by the government. Over the following decades, thousands of families were forced to leave their homes and relocate to barren land. ‘Heirlooms’ The effects of this policy have yet to be reversed. Even in post-apartheid South Africa, much of the most fertile territory is still in the hands of a few thousand white commercial farmers. The pace of reform has long been criticised as too slow.
[caption id="attachment_12734" align="alignleft" width="624"]President Jacob Zuma has given people an opportunity to lodge land claims President Jacob Zuma has given people an opportunity to lodge land claims[/caption] Just after his re-election to a second term in office in May, South African President Jacob Zuma announced the creation of another window for lodging claims for the restitution of land. Many people had missed the previous window, which expired in 1998.

President Zuma also hailed the progress made so far in returning land to its rightful owners.

However, Mrs Lawrence and her relatives are not among the lucky ones. In March 1970, the families at Redhill were given seven days’ notice to move. The authorities told them they wanted to build a dam – a project that has never been pursued. Mrs Lawrence has vivid memories of happy years at Redhill. [caption id="attachment_12735" align="alignleft" width="624"]South Africa's most fertile land is still owned by a few thousand white commercial farmers South Africa’s most fertile land is still owned by a few thousand white commercial farmers[/caption] “We all loved walking to the mountains, picking flowers and just smelling the aroma of the herbs,” she says. “There were animals – pigs, fowls, horses, milking cows.” Under the 1950 law, Mrs Lawrence, her husband and their four children had no other choice but to leave their land. “It was so heartbreaking, tears, tears and tears,” says Mrs Lawrence, recalling the day they left. She says the family had to leave much of their furniture behind – including heirlooms – as it could not be taken up the stairs of the flat they were moving to. ‘Legal journey’ Ocean View, a poetic name for the family’s modest new home, was in reality a crowded apartment block on dry and sandy terrain. “My husband was so mad. When we went up the stairs with the furniture left [behind], he looked through the window and started shouting: No, no, I don’t want to stay here,” recalls Mrs Lawrence. Today, two of her children, Margaret and George, are doing everything possible for this past not to be forgotten. They were only eight and 13 years old when they left Redhill. [caption id="attachment_12737" align="alignleft" width="624"]Racial discrimination was legal when George, in the foreground, grew up in South Africa Racial discrimination was legal when George, in the foreground, grew up in South Africa[/caption] But the trauma of the forced removal remains. Margaret is an archivist at the Simon’s Town Museum. She collects pictures, texts, memories from the coloured community and tries to piece together their history.

She invites her mother to the museum to talk to schoolchildren. Twenty years after the end of apartheid, she wants the new generation to know what happened.

George, her brother, has embarked on a legal journey, trying to get the land back from the South African state. He says he registered the first land claim in 1998 – but since then, has only been to meetings and offered excuses for inaction. “The only thing I want in my life is to come back to my land. I was born here, my roots are here. It is not so difficult, the government just has to sign the papers.” [caption id="attachment_12738" align="alignleft" width="624"]Margaret (centre) was 13 years old when they were forced out of their home Margaret (centre) was 13 years old when they were forced out of their home[/caption] Since President Zuma announced another window for the restitution, another 12,500 new claims have been lodged, according to the government-backed Land Claims Commission. Mrs Lawrence and her family remain hopeful. George travels regularly to Cape Town, 40km away, to follow up the proceedings. He also visits Redhill every two or three weeks. With a fresh evening breeze blowing, he lights a fire next to the ruins of his home, makes a barbecue and lays a sheet on the old stones – just to sleep once again on the hill, albeit under an open sky. *Source BBC
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Latest News October 5, 2014
October 5, 2014 | 0 Comments

news From All Africa

  • Nigeria: Govt Urged to Negotiate with Boko Haram
    [Vanguard]Bishop Leonard Nwoma Umunna is the General Overseer and the Presiding Bishop of Bible Life Church Cathedral (BLCC) which he founded in 1982 with headquarters in Ajegunle area of Lagos.
  • West Africa: French Ebola Patient Cured
    [VOA]The health ministry of France says a French nurse who contracted Ebola in Liberia while working for Doctors Without Borders has recovered.
  • Zimbabwe: Teen Commits Suicide After Losing Calf
    [New Zimbabwe]A CHIPINGE teenager hanged himself in his room following a misunderstanding with his elder brother over a lost calf.
  • South Sudan: Peace Talks Halted to Consult Principal Rivals
    [Sudan Tribune]Addis Ababa -Mediators of the intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) which mediate the 9-month old peace talks between South Sudanese warring parties have adjourned the talks in order to consult with top rival leaders over contentious issues.
  • Zimbabwe: Mimosa Golf Day Tees Off
    [The Herald]THE annual Mimosa Golf Day tees off at Rowland Park golf club with a large field expected this morning.
  • Zimbabwe: Murwira Eyes Changing Film Industry
    [The Herald]Monica Cheru -Urban wear designer, personal coach and self-development expert, certified screenwriter and director, creative and inspirational writer as well as experience in helping set up various businesses, each of the talents would be enough for any ordinary person, but to come in one package surely should be a superlative. But it is not, because Lee Murwira is all that and more.
  • Zambia: Education Minister Says Unza Suicide Case a Wake Up Call
    [Zambia Reports]Education Minister Dr John Phiri says the death of a first year student over is a wakeup call to the ministry and the University of Zambia.
  • Zimbabwe: Cara Through to China Open Finals
    [New Zimbabwe]ZIMBABWE’S Cara Black and Indian partner Sania Mirza continued their recent winning streak as they reached the final of the WTA China Open in Beijing on Friday.
  • Zimbabwe: ZBC Haunted By Salary Cuts
    [The Herald]The decision by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation to unilaterally cut workers’ salaries in January this year has backfired, with the employees now claiming a collective figure of US$1,5 million in salary arrears emanating from the cut.

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Latest News October 1, 2014
October 1, 2014 | 0 Comments

news From All Africa

  • Nigeria: Happy 54th Independence Anniversary
    [Vanguard]TODAY Wednesday, October 1, 2014, marks the 54th anniversary of our independence from our colonial genitors, Great Britain. It is a moment of triumph for both countries.
  • Mozambique: Op-Ed – Progressive New Abortion Law Shows Mozambique's Commitment to Women's Reproductive Rights
    [Daily Maverick]There are only a few countries in Africa where abortion is legal. In the next few weeks, Mozambique will become one of them, with President Armando Guebuza expected to sign a new bill into law. It is a major victory for women’s reproductive rights in Mozambique, and an important legacy for the president as he prepares to step down next month.
  • West Africa: Thousands of Ebola Orphans Shunned by Communities
    [VOA]Geneva -The U.N. Children’s Fund reports thousands of Ebola orphans in West Africa face stigma and rejection from their families and communities for fear of being infected. As a consequence, UNICEF said many of these orphans are abandoned and must fend for themselves.
  • South Sudan: Four South Sudan Soldiers Killed in Pay Dispute
    [VOA]Officials in Central Equatoria state said Tuesday that four soldiers were killed and several more wounded in a shootout at a military barracks in Yei River county, in the south of the country.
  • South Africa: Fringe Festival – Monstrous Tale Reels in All Ages
    [Daily Maverick]In a world where the sea harvest is getting less bountiful by the month, a young boy (Stephen Erasmus) and his perlemoen-poaching granddad (Dylan Esbach) get conscripted as crew on to a terrifying fully-mechanised submarine by a wily pirate (Jason Potgieter). After hearing the pirate talk of the robotic submarine captain’s (Shaun Acker) nefarious capitalist plot to harvest “the bounty of the ocean”, the two come to the horrifying realisation that they were hired solely to be bait for the largest fish o
  • Uganda: Pregnant Student Cries Foul Over Suspension
    [RNW Africa]Several female students from a university in Uganda are crying foul after they were suspended for conceiving from Uganda Christian University (UCU) in the city of Mukono earlier this year. Sylvia Arinaitwe (21), one of 27 students who have been recently suspended, says her dreams have been shattered.
  • Kenya: Teenager Arrested in 'Liz' Gang Rape Case
    [Thomson Reuters Foundation]Nairobi -The arrest of a second youth in a high-profile case in which a 16-year-old girl was gang raped and dumped in a pit latrine, breaking her spine, shows Kenya is starting to tackle its “epidemic” of sexual violence, campaigners said.
  • West Africa: UN Ebola Mission Wants 'Significant Progress' in 60 Days
    [Deutsche Welle]The UN mission to combat Ebola, which opened its headquarters in Ghana, is laying out a strategy to bring the disease under control. Another UN body reports that Ebola orphans are being shunned by suspicious relatives.
  • Congo-Kinshasa: Surrendered Fighters Starve in Camp
    [HRW]Kinshasa -Over 100 demobilized combatants, their wives, and children have died from starvation and disease in a remote military camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo after officials failed to provide adequate food and health care.

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Governance across Africa improving more slowly – Ibrahim survey
September 30, 2014 | 0 Comments

Mo Ibrahim Mo Ibrahim[/caption] Governance in African nations is improving at a slower pace and economic improvements are contributing less to its progress, the Ibrahim Index of African Governance showed on Monday. The most comprehensive survey of its kind on the continent, it rates 52 African nations against criteria including security, human rights, economic stability, just laws, free elections, corruption, infrastructure, poverty, health and education. Mauritius held onto its top spot, followed by Cape Verde, Botswana, South Africa and the Seychelles, but each still recorded deterioration in some aspects, Mo Ibrahim, founder of the Ibrahim Foundation and a leading Sudanese businessman, said. “Even among our best countries, the top five performers, while they continue to improve in general, they slip up in certain categories,” he told a London news conference. Both South Africa – the continent’s No. 2 economy – and Mauritius saw safety and the rule of law deteriorate, while Botswana recorded a fall in economic development opportunities. Overall the index — first published in 2007 and collecting data from more than 30 independent African and global institutions — showed a 0.9 point rise over the past five years, following a 1.2 point increase between 2005-2009. The report showed that the driving force behind gains since 2009 had been a stronger showing in its Participation and Human Rights category, including free and fair elections, gender equality and freedom of expression. In the previous five years, the momentum had come from sustainable economic opportunities, which included a favourable fiscal policy, infrastructure and business environment. Asked if that meant recent enthusiasm about rapidly rising economic growth in some parts of Africa and the continent’s outlook was unfounded, Ibrahim said it was still a good place to do business. “Africa is moving forward, Africa is rising, it has always been rising, but rising slowly — things are improving, but we still have issues, we still have problems.” At the very bottom end of the table was once again Somalia, just below Central African Republic, Eritea, Chad and Guinea-Bisseau. Both Central African Republic and Guinea-Bisseau are among the five most deteriorating countries on the continent. The fastest drop in ranking over the past five years was in Egypt, now under the rule of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who ousted elected Islamist leader Mohamed Mursi last July, and Libya, subject to the worst violence in recent months since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Meanwhile Nigeria, Africa’s No. 1 economy, had seen a deterioration in the rule of law since 2009 as well as a setback in national security and a sharp drop in personal safety. It now ranks 37 out of the 52 nations – an improvement from 41st place last year – but still below average governance across the continent as well as in its region. Speaking of the impact of the Ebola epidemic which has rocked Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea since March and killed more than 3,000 people, Ibrahim said: “It is not coincidence that the three countries that are most affected are all really three fragile countries, that are coming out of conflicts.” He said Africa was a big continent and people should differentiate between countries. “What worries me is the way we are brushing all Africa with this brush of Ebola,” he said. *Source theafricareport]]>

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Latest News September 13, 2014
September 13, 2014 | 0 Comments

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A thriller writer’s challenge: Make U.S. policy in Africa into a page turner
September 5, 2014 | 0 Comments

Richard Leiby*   [caption id="attachment_11694" align="alignleft" width="528"]Moss Moss[/caption]

As he began writing his third book on U.S.-Africa policy and development, Todd Moss, a former State Department official, realized something. It would be boring. Just another text for the shelves of foreign-policy wonks, PhDs and think tank denizens like himself.

“I decided, ‘Let me try a novel,’ ” Moss recalls. “I did it for fun. . . . I really did it with very low expectations.” After three years, Moss, 44, birthed “The Golden Hour,” a thriller partly informed by his 18 months in the George W. Bush administration as thedeputy assistant secretary of state and chief U.S. diplomat in West Africa. Moss packed his novel with episodes of bureaucratic squabbling among the CIA, the Department of Defense and various fiefs within the State Department. Thrilled yet?

But Moss also had the good narrative sense to throw in rampaging Islamic radicals, a military coup in Mali (a vital U.S. counterterrorism ally) and a damsel in distress — specifically a U.S. senator’s daughter kidnapped from her Mali posting as a Peace Corps volunteer. The interagency intrigues actually end up heightening the stakes as the clock ticks down.

“It is just about impossible to stop reading this book,” raved best-selling thriller writer Douglas Preston, one of the titans of the genre who blurbed the novel, which comes out Thursday.

His timing as an author was exquisite: Moss was able to get the manuscript in front of a receptive agent who read it in the spring of 2013, while following TV reports of French troops battling jihadis in northern Mali. The French went in to restore stability in their former colony after Mali’s military toppled the country’s democratic government in 2012. The fabled city of Timbuktu also reentered the public consciousness, coming under the control of Islamist extremists who destroyed ancient shrines and libraries. “Fiction became true,” says Moss, a modest sort who still marvels at the coincidences. “For my book I picked Timbuktu deliberately. It’s like the place everybody’s heard of, even if they don’t know where it is or if it’s real.”

downloadMoss’s fiction debut also arrives at a propitious time for writers who plot their espionage and action stories in Africa. “Right now, books set in Africa are hot,” says Neil Nyren, editor in chief of G.P. Putnam’s Sons, and a man with a legendary reputation for cultivating thriller writers.

Besides “The Golden Hour,” Putnam’s has recently issued three other action novels set in Africa: Tom Young’s “Sand and Fire” (Libya), Matthew Palmer’s “The American Mission” (Congo), and Alex Berenson’s “The Night Ranger” (Somalia). The hooks into the public imagination come from the headlines: Somali pirates, assorted terrorists and radical Islamists, including Boko Haram, al-Shabab and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

“It feels like mass chaos, which makes fertile territory for thrillers,’’ say Nyren, who is Moss’s editor.

“He’s tapping into the way we’ve gotten absolutely transfixed by the war on terrorism,” says Chester Crocker, who oversaw African diplomacy in the Reagan administration and has known Moss for a decade. Moss put it in marketing terms: “Africa is sort of sexy now.” More often, though, he sounds like a policy analyst, a sharp and serious one. You can imagine him briefing the nation’s topmost leaders and impressing them. But he has a welcoming, unshowy demeanor that complements his youthful looks.

We meet at the Willard Intercontinental, a favorite hotel, he notes, among African leaders. “Imagine how many shady deals were negotiated here with businessmen and lobbyists,” he muses.

But for Moss, the continent’s notorious corruption and new terrorist scourge is just one side of the story. Now, he says, Africa doesn’t want handouts, it wants private investment, and it wants be a U.S. security partner.

For nearly his entire adult life, Moss has immersed himself in the continent’s cultures, struggles and successes, beginning with a stint living with a family in Harare, Zimbabwe, as a Tufts student in 1990.

In the early ’90s, he and his future wife, Donna, spent eight months backpacking, hitchhiking and traveling by bus and train through Botswana, Zambia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania — including, he says, a 52-hour train journey. Moss ultimately became a doctorate-holding expert in decidedly unsexy topics such as debt restructuring, capital markets and finance. Today, as a senior fellow and chief operating officer at the Washington-based Center for Global Development, he promotes programs to spur African economic growth.

His academic works, with such titles as “African Development: Making Sense of the Issues and Actors,” would no doubt seem impenetrable to laymen. But Moss’s colleagues in the field laud his nonfiction writing as direct and clear — and were not surprised that he pulled off an accessible novel.

 

‘The Golden Hour” pivots on a permutation of the lifesaving approach that aims to get a trauma victim treatment within 60 minutes. Moss learned its medical utility as an emergency medical technician and ambulance driver in Boston during college in 1989 to 1990.

*Source Washington Post]]>

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Hypocrisy of America’s experimental Ebola drug
August 15, 2014 | 1 Comments

By Theophilus Ilevbare*

ebola-labThese days, nothing strikes a bout of panic and paranoia than the thought of Ebola Virus Disease. It’s been decades since a disease or calamity of such proportions threatened our relationships, businesses, sports and our very existence.

In the midst of all the trepidation came a ray of hope – an experimental secret serum, manufactured by California based Biopharmaceutical giant, Mapp. It has been administered to two Americans and a Spanish Priest (first European), all infected in Liberia. The Priest lost the battle against Ebola despite receiving the experimental solution after he was flown back to his country, Spain. However, the health of Dr Kent Brantly and missionary aid worker, Nancy Writebol, has improved tremendously to reinforce the efficacy of the drug, ZMapp. After the malady had claimed the lives of over a 1000 people in Africa with just about the same number presently inflicted with the disease, the American government in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), on compassionate grounds, sent experimental samples to Liberia for trials on Ebola patients.

It is puzzling why over a thousand Africans had to die before talks of a vaccine hit the airwaves. It is safe to conclude that had the two Americans not contracted the virus we won’t be close to any drug of any sort. Before now, the research for a cure has been shrouded in secrecy by the Americans. That the ailment had no cure and is a fast moving outbreak gives a technical knockout to the argument of ethics – that the vaccine should first be tested on compatriots of the researchers and manufacturers in America.

The laboratories of American pharmaceutical companies were not short of promising research experiments of vaccines or drugs. They weren’t eager to develop a vaccine if they aren’t sure who would buy it. With just over a thousand deaths, it’s just a blip compared to the mortality rate of other diseases. For instance, Malaria kills a child every minute. Compare the death rate of Malaria with other deadly diseases you’ll discover why GlaxoSmithKline and other Pharmaceutical giants are making billion dollar investments, researching and working day and night for vaccines for malaria. Ebola is horrifying, but it’s also sporadic — between the big 2001 outbreak and this one, only a few dozen people have gotten sick every year or two. The current outbreak has spread among a handful of poor countries that all have weak health infrastructure. America and the rest of the developed world knew the deadly disease had no known cure but since it has mainly being affecting only Africans in several outbreaks since 1976 it wasn’t worth any serious research investment.

Ebola vaccine not the answer?

But even if any of the drugs on trial works, it would be a stretch to say we could confidently use it to prevent another Ebola outbreak.  The experimental Ebola vaccine, ZMapp, or any other one for that matter, it appears might not even be the answer to the ravaging strain of the virus. A well-funded and researched vaccine would have done the magic like it was the case for smallpox and polio which put an abrupt end to outbreaks.

The exigency of a cure for the scourge has made relevant authorities approve the use of some experiment solutions on compassionate grounds. Anyone receiving a rushed mass vaccine like this is putting an enormous amount of trust in Pharmaceutical companies and the government because there is no way to know the long term effects of the disease. It can’t be easily ascertained at the moment. The fears of its long term effect exist no matter how infinitesimal it might seem. The memory of all the kids, who now suffer from a severe form of narcolepsy due to the swine flu vaccine that was hurriedly created a few years ago, remains evergreen.

Before we can say uhuru, the efficacy of such a drug should cut across the various strains of Ebola. The current outbreak is the Zaire virus, but previous outbreaks were Sudan and Cote d’Ivoire strains. The drugs being bandied about might not be the quintessential Ebola elixir that we crave. Most of the experimental drugs are solutions to fight the Zaire virus strain. These experimental drugs can kill the present virus in the body system and prevent it from infecting others but it does not in any way make us completely immune from the virus, that is, another outbreak.

Containing the scourge would have been much easier with vaccination at the early stage of the outbreak; it is difficult to stop the epidemic in fast moving diseases like Ebola. According to Community Health professionals, most vaccines take a few weeks to provide immunity, and even then, they don’t always control the disease spread. A recent WHO statement submitted that even if any of the drug or vaccine is successful, it will take at least six months to contain the outbreak.

During the early weeks of the pestilence, villagers in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea blocked streets, preventing doctors and health workers from gaining access to Ebola patients. This will pose a problem to vaccination if it eventually becomes available. We heard on good report that at a point, soldiers were deployed to hospitals to prevent locals from forcefully taking away Ebola patients. There are still remote villages and communities in Nigeria that resist polio vaccination. They see it as an unwarranted intrusion from the ‘white man’. Imagine what would happen if we tried to pre-emptively vaccinate thousands of people who not only are skeptical of Western medicine but have never heard of Ebola.

Fighting the epidemic must involve a multi-pronged drug. ZMapp serum, other drugs from Canada and the one by some Nigerian doctors in the diaspora, focuses on eradicating the disease after infection. What the global community needs is a vaccine to prevent the infection from getting into the body, that is the development of antibodies within the subject rather than injecting them from outside the body.

The serum is by no means the end of Ebola but it leads us away from ineffective containment of the deadly virus disease. The use of vaccine or drug might not be the fastest way we bring the spread of this highly infectious malady to a stop. Nevertheless, the Ebola story is not all gloomy as 40 percent of victims are surviving.

For now, Ebola patients will jump at the chance to live free of the virus than worry about any side effects in the long term or another outbreak in the future.

This is hoping that these limited doses of the vaccine will not distract and ultimately derail effort to curb the frenzied outbreak using tried, tested and true methods like rapid identification and isolation of the sick and providing basic supportive care for patients, finding and educating who’s been in contact with them and strict hospital infection control. With these, Ebola can slowly but surely be driven away.

Please follow the writer on twitter @tilevbare.

 

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