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Gambia 2021 Elections: Female Candidate Unveils Interest in Top Job
May 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Marie Sock wants to run as an independent in the next elections

Marie Sock, a developmental expert and business mogul has revealed her interest of been Gambia’s next president come 2021 presidential elections.

Gambia goes to presidential elections in 2021, more political parties and independent candidates are emerging.

Sock told Fatu Network that ‘I’m here to reunited Gambia’ as she on Thursday called on all Gambians to back to her to become the country’s next president.

Sock said: “I feel there are too many political parties right now and it’s catastrophic. So I want to get out of that. This is why I said, ‘no I am not gonna form another political party to be part of, I gonna stand independently’.”

The businesswoman is calling on all Gambians including political parties to endorse her in her grand plan.

She said: “Standing independently doesn’t mean I don’t wanna work with anyone. That’s why I’m standing independent. Of course, it will be great if Gambians can come together regardless of any political party that you are affiliated with, to endorse my candidacy because what I want to do is to bring everybody together as Gambians.

“I’m looking actually for all the parties to endorse me. I cannot predict the future, I can only come out and say I’m standing on my own. For now I can only say I am aspiring candidate and talk to all the people to support me and come onboard as one.

“I’m here to reunite Gambia. If we talk about we want Gambia to be one, I think this is the platform to do so. We put our political affiliations aside, we put our religion aside, we put our tribe aside.”


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Menstrual Hygiene Day: Taboos and traditions a hindrance to menstrual hygiene management in Ghana.
May 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Ahedor Jessica

Ethnic groups in Ghana, like many other African countries, have diverse opinions and thoughts about menstruation. While the natural phenomenon is seen as unclean in some clans’ others also believe that menstrual blood can be used to invoke supernatural forces or bad omen.

In a typical traditional home in Ghana, women and adolescent girls have to leave their homes to sleep in relative house during their menses.  Girls raised in Muslim homes have to stay away from attending the five daily prayers while menstruating. Some Christian sects’ bar women from entering their chapels when they are menstruating.

United Nations Children’s Fund, UNIEF 2016 research on menstrual hygiene management in Ghana, stated that traditions and taboos surrounding menstruation have proven to be one of the major challenges the sector players are fraught with. Especially in homes where traditional religions are based on animist beliefs and tribal Gods, girls are not allowed to cook for the family when they are menstruating. In extreme cases, menstruating females are even forbidden from touching household wares such as buckets, cutlery or plates and bowls.

This situation does not differ from what Faith Adzorke who lives with the parents at Amaoaman, in the Ga West Municipality of Greater Accra Region has to endure every month.  The 20-year-old couldn’t explain why she has to always move to her maternal side whenever she is about to start her menses. “Ever since I started menstruating at age 11, I have been shuffling between my grand mum’s place and that of my parent’s. My father believes I am unclean when it is ‘that time of the month’. I have to move to my maternal home and only return after my menses”. 

Traditionalist, Osofo Yaw believes there is a spiritual connotation to mensuration and can even been traced to the bible. To him the phenomenon has the potency of neutralizing any form of charm meant to serve as a protection for an individual or a household. Sometimes, materials used in ensuring menstrual hygiene once soaked with blood if not properly disposed of can be use as charms against the women and for ritual purposes, he explained.

But a consultant, physician specialist Koma Jehu-Appiah asserts there is the need to distinguish between culture, religion and natural phenomenon that are a part of womanhood. He believes some people gets intoxicated with culture and religion as a result, it impairs education regarding issues that affects human health. “Menstruation is physiological feature that distinguishes women from men”. Cultural and religious restrictions remained the norm of African most societies contributing to the myth around the subject matter but the only way to breakthrough is education; he added.

Ellen Gyekye, the Head of school Health and Education program (SHEP) at the Ghana Education Service called for continuous support for capacity development of SHEP structures at the school level by promoting and collaborating effectively to imbibe in the younger generation menstrual hygiene habits. She added that community sensitization is key to the success of eliminating stereotypes about the natural happening.

Touching on UNICEF’s recommendation report on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) to the government, she maintained MHM be made part of the everyday conversation between teachers and adolescent girls. She is optimistic the new curriculum will rob- in the various policy recommendations made by the sector players on equitable school health policies that favor MHM.

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Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) Awards 2020 call for nominations announced
May 26, 2020 | 0 Comments
L-R Genet Kebede - AWIEF Creative Industry Award winner 2019, Arunma Oteh - former VP & Treasurer, World Bank and Abby Ikomi, AWIEF Creative Industry Award Finalist 2019
L-R Genet Kebede – AWIEF Creative Industry Award winner 2019, Arunma Oteh – former VP & Treasurer, World Bank and Abby Ikomi, AWIEF Creative Industry Award Finalist 2019
AWIEF Awards are Africa’s top honours for female founders and entrepreneurs designed to recognise and celebrate their contribution to the growth of Africa’s economy

The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) (www.AWIEForum.org) is pleased to announce the call for nominations for AWIEF Awards 2020.

This year marks the fourth edition of the highly-anticipated AWIEF Awards which serves as the premier platform to highlight achievements in women entrepreneurship across Africa. AWIEF Awards are Africa’s top honours for female founders and entrepreneurs designed to recognise and celebrate their contribution to the growth of Africa’s economy.

This year a new award category, the Energy Entrepreneur Award, has been created to recognise excellence in the power, oil & gas, and renewable energy sector.

According to Irene Ochem, AWIEF founder and chief executive officer, “AWIEF Awards is a recognition of excellence in female entrepreneurship across Africa and we have seen an exponential growth in both the quality and number of nominations over the three previous editions. We have an obligation, now more than ever, to recognise and showcase those women founders and entrepreneurs who are building solutions and driving change in the African economy.”

Past AWIEF Awards winners have included: Stella Okolie (Nigeria), Wendy Luhabe (South Africa), Jennifer Riria (Kenya), Soraya da Piedade (Angola); Temie Giwa-Tubosun (Nigeria); Caroline Pomeyie (Ghana).

Nominations can be submitted for the following eight (8) categories. Nominees can either be nominated by a third party or be self-nominated.

Young Entrepreneur Award
Tech Entrepreneur Award
Agri Entrepreneur Award

Creative Industry Award
Energy Entrepreneur Award

Social Entrepreneur Award
Empowerment Award
Lifetime Achievement Award

To submit nominations for the AWIEF Awards, please follow this link: https://bit.ly/2ZAO6TA

Nominations close on Tuesday, 30th June 2020 at 23:59 GMT.

Last year, the APO Group African Women in Media Award was launched to recognise the support of female journalists for African women’s entrepreneurship. The call for entries for the 2020 edition of this prestigious award given each year by APO Group during the AWIEF Awards will be announced by APO Group at a later date.
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Nigeria:ABCHealth Announces New CEO
May 17, 2020 | 0 Comments
Mories Atoki
The African Business Coalition for Health is a not-for-profit advocacy driven organization founded by the Aliko Dangote Foundation and the Global Business Coalition for Health

The African Business Coalition for Health (ABCHealth) today announced the appointment of Mories Atoki as Chief Executive Officer following the unanimous agreement of its Board of Directors.

Mories brings to our Coalition years of experience as senior manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers where she pioneered and led the firm’s Sustainability & Climate Change practice. With an extensive track record in the field of development and as a recognized sustainability expert, she is a member of the Advisory Board of Partners for Review (P4R), a United Nations supported initiative to standardise sustainable development reporting. Mories is also an alumnus of Harvard Business School (HBS) as well as the London School of Business & Finance.

Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Chairman of ABCHealth and Co Chairman of Global Business Coalition for Health (GBCHealth), said “Mories’ appointment comes at a critical moment for ABCHealth.  We have just finalized a rigorous strategic planning process aimed at transforming Africa’s Health landscape. Our theory of change now needs to be implemented and Mories has a mandate to successfully drive its implementation”.

Zouera Youssoufou, CEO of Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) and Board member of ABCHealth commented that “Mories has a strong track record for execution, she has good communications skills and great leadership capabilities. Her understanding of Africa’s health landscape provides a balanced perspective in our organisation’s mandate of transforming the continent’s health landscape.’

“I am honored and excited to lead ABCHealth” Mories Atoki said. “I believe that my appointment as the CEO of ABCHealth has come at a time when Africa clearly needs a strong convener of all stakeholders in Africa’s public and private sectors to facilitate deep partnerships and collaboration all with one end in sight – improving the continent’s health outcomes.”

The African Business Coalition for Health is a not-for-profit advocacy driven organization founded by the Aliko Dangote Foundation and the Global Business Coalition for Health as an African-led coalition of business leaders and companies to improve the health and wellbeing of the African population.

ABC Health was launched in February 2019 on the margins of the 32nd African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during the Africa Business; Health Forum convened in partnership with UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to mobilise leaders from governments and businesses towards improving Africa’s health outcomes.

ABCHealth is registered in Nigeria, with plans to expand to additional business hubs in Africa over the next three to five years. The vision is to create a unified African business community acting as a force for good, transforming workplace and community health through impactful health programs, and shaping policy outcomes regionally and globally.
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Board Members Appointed for the New Global Independent ‘Oversight Board’ for Facebook and Instagram Content
May 7, 2020 | 0 Comments
Julie Owono,from Cameroon is a Digital rights advocate who serves as the Executive Director of Internet Sans Frontières, a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, a Non-Resident Fellow at the Digital Civil Society Lab at Stanford.
Board Includes Three Members From Africa and Will Make Binding and Transparent Decisions on Content

Today, Julie Owono, a digital rights advocate and Executive Director of Internet Sans Frontières from Cameroon, Maina Kiai, a human rights activist and Director of Human Rights Watch’s Global Alliances and Partnerships program from Kenya, and Afia Asantewaa Asare-Kyei, a human rights lawyer and Program Manager at the Open Society Initiative for West Africa from Senegal, Ghana and South Africa were appointed as Board Members to the newly created Oversight Board. The Oversight Board will review certain content decisions by Facebook and Instagram and make binding decisions based on respect for freedom of expression and human rights.

The Oversight Board will tackle increasingly complex and contentious debates about what types of content should and should not be permitted on Facebook and Instagram and who should decide. The Board will prioritize cases that potentially impact many users, are of critical importance to public discourse, or raise questions about Facebook’s policies. Decisions made by the Board must be implemented by Facebook, as long as they do not violate the law. Oversight Board Members are independent from the company, funded by an independent trust and cannot be removed by Facebook based on their decisions.

“Preserving the free flow of information is a major issue in our contemporary societies,” said Julie Owono. “I come from Cameroon, I grew up in Russia, studied in France, I am currently in the USA, this journey has reinforced my conviction that without freedom, without the right to express oneself, to receive or impart information, there can’t be true and profound progress. It is an honor for me to serve this cause, within the Oversight Board.”

“We have been talking for a long time about creating some kind of independent governance structure for making big companies more accountable on some of the most important decisions they make,” said Maina Kiai. State regulation is important, and I think we need to make progress there too, but I think the Board is an exciting experiment and I’m excited to be part of it,” Kiai added.

“The very act of creating this Board shows Facebook has taken the criticism leveled against it seriously and I hope my membership can help address some of these criticisms,” said Afia Asantewaa Asare-Kyei. I am particularly focused on the Board’s role in improving transparency and accountability, and creating an appeal process where people can bring their content issues. I feel strongly that the Board needs to be truly representative, not just in terms of geography, but age, subject matter and breadth of issues covered as well,” added Asare-Kyei.

Owono, Kiai and Asare-Kyei will work in collaboration with 17 other Members who speak over 27 languages and have diverse professional, cultural, political, and religious backgrounds and viewpoints. Over time the Board will grow to around 40 Members. While no one can claim to represent everyone, Members are confident that the global composition will underpin, strengthen and guide decision-making.

The Board was designed with transparency in mind
All decisions will be made public, and Facebook must respond publicly to them. All Board decisions will be published on its website, while protecting the identity and privacy of those involved. Additionally, the Board will issue a public annual report on its work to evaluate how the Board is fulfilling its purpose and whether Members believe Facebook is living up to its commitments.

Members are independent from Facebook
Members contract directly with the Oversight Board, are not Facebook employees and cannot be removed by Facebook. Members will serve for a maximum of three 3-year terms and case panels will be confidential and assigned at random; no Member can choose the panel they sit on, and all opinions will be anonymous. The Board’s financial independence is also guaranteed by the establishment of a $130 million trust fund that is completely independent of Facebook, which will fund its operations and cannot be revoked.

The Oversight Board is focused on addressing some of the most significant content moderation decisions on Facebook and Instagram that are referred by both users and Facebook
The Oversight Board will begin hearing cases in the coming months. Initially, users will be able to appeal to the Board in cases where Facebook has removed their content. Over the following months, the Board will also be able to review appeals from users who want Facebook to remove content, including advertising. The Board will not be able to make decisions on all of the many thousands of appeals from users that it anticipates receiving, but it will prioritise cases that potentially impact many users, are of critical importance to public discourse or that raise questions about Facebook’s policies.

Afia Asantewaa Asare-Kyei, Senegal, Ghana and South Africa
Program Manager at the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, where she focuses on human rights, women’s rights, criminal justice, access to information and media freedom issues, and previously worked at Save the Children and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Afia Asantewaa Asare-Kyei is a human rights lawyer and development professional with extensive experience in strategy development, program design, grant management, research and stakeholder engagement in Southern, Western and Central Africa. Of Ghanaian and South African citizenship, she has a varied background in supporting and developing transformational social programs and advocacy strategies through the provision of technical advice and input into policy and programming of civil society organizations on issues like access to information, freedom of expression, human rights and substantive justice, especially as they relate to the inclusion, equality of opportunity and empowerment of vulnerable and under-represented groups such as women, children, persons with disabilities and LGBTIQs. Asare-Kyei has also worked for a number of international development and philanthropic organizations in different capacities in Africa. She is passionate about Africa, its development and has a working knowledge of African regional mechanisms and institutions. She is a graduate of the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Her research interests include women, children and disability rights, critical race feminism and socioeconomic rights of the poor.

Julie Owono, Cameroon
Digital rights advocate who serves as the Executive Director of Internet Sans Frontières, a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, a Non-Resident Fellow at the Digital Civil Society Lab at Stanford.

Julie Owono is an expert in digital rights and an advocate for Business and Human Rights principles in the technology industry. She is Executive Director of Internet Without Borders, an organization which defends digital rights and access to the internet. She is also a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, a Digital Civil Society Fellow at Stanford University, a member of UNESCO’s Ad Hoc Expert Group (AHEG) for the Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence and a Member of the Expert Committee on Digital Inclusion of the World Benchmarking Alliance.

Maina Kiai, Kenya
Director of Human Rights Watch’s Global Alliances and Partnerships Program, a former UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, and the former head of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and the Kenya Human Rights Commission.

Maina Kiai is the Director of the Global Alliances and Partnerships at Human Rights Watch. Previously, he was the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Assembly and Association and a founding co-director at InformAction, a Kenyan human rights NGO that advanced human rights through documentary film and community-based debate and mobilizing. He also served as the founding executive chair of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, an independent state body, and as the founding executive director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission, Kenya’s leading human rights NGO. Throughout his career, Kiai has served in leadership roles in prominent national and international human rights organizations, received many fellowships and published widely. He has been a columnist with Nation Media Group and the Standard Group. He is the recipient of the George Kirkland Human Rights Award from AFL-CIO, the Freedom Award from Freedom House, the Leo Navas Award from UN Foundation of USA and the Public Servant Award from the Gay and Lesbians Coalition of Kenya, among other honors.
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Sən Rise
May 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Renée Dugué-Strother*

Renée & René Dugué, Mother, Son, and Father, Terence “Sporty T” Vine, deceased. c. 2010-18

Giver of light

Sən Rise

Giver of life

Sən Rise

The source we need 

Sən Rise

To feed our seed

Sən Rise

Illuminator of the soul

Sən Rise

Without you here the world is cold

Sən Rise

To the world magnificent

Sən Rise

To the world, you are a gift

Sən Rise

All life needs you

Sən Rise

You are the truth

Sən Rise

Without you Sən this world would not be

There would be nothing to see

Everyday open your eyes

Everyday Sən rise

Twenty-two orbits ago today

You sent you to shine the way

The light, the match, you were the spark

The flame, the fire, light in the dark

Sən rise, Sən shine, Sən dance, Sən sing

Sən lead, Sən follow, Sən take, Sən bring

Sən laugh, Sən cry, Sən love, Sən feel

Sən beam, Sən grown, Sən burn, Sən heal

Twenty-two times you’ve circled you

On your journey for the truth

Stay the course and you will see

You possess the light you seek

~Renée Dugué-Strother

Author: Mrs. Renée Dugué-Strother is a Healer, Artist, Writer, Humanitarian, Co-Founder, and Executive Director of Reborn And Rising, a nonprofit based in Houston, TX, USA.

She shared with PAV that her son inspired this piece, and it was included in a letter written to him while in Buea, Cameroon on her organization’s first mission trip. She revealed that her son, also named René, is currently incarcerated in Houston, Texas, USA and that her departure date from Africa was strategically chosen to at least be in the same city as she and her family wished him a Happy Birthday on February 6, and celebrated Our Creator’s grace and mercy in allowing him to see another year, even if behind bars. 

Mrs. Renée reminded PAV of the mission and vision of Reborn And Rising, born out of the pain experienced when her son’s father was murdered. He was only ten years old, and they have struggled desperately to move forward without his Dad. While there were organizations that offered grief counseling throughout the grieving period, there were none that had any programs in place to address the combination of issues Lil René faced, with regard to the loss of a parent due to homicide, specifically providing the unique psychological needs of a “Black” boy in America growing up without his father and extended programs in place to ensure developed and sustained healing. Reborn And Rising acknowledges all of these as absolutely critical to treat the acute trauma experienced and to foster a sustained recovery. This one of a kind nonprofit offers a holistic approach to healing and recovery through mentorship by people who look like the youth we support and will work with them to establish a meaningful connection and share how they survived what these children are struggling to grasp, let alone having to overcome. Crucial to Reborn And Rising’s program is providing psychological treatment by professionals experienced in African psychology methodology as developed by Dr. Wade Nobles and support by a “Village” who embrace traditional African wisdom traditions.

“We know too well that nothing can erase the pain of losing a parent this way or any other. Our desire is to empower youth to find strength in their shared experiences and rise above the pain to choose life.”

~Renée Dugué-Strother

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Sierra Leone : SWSG ,Beauties with Brains partnership donates sanitary pads to girls in Kroo Bay Community
April 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

Strong Women Strong Girls Sierra Leone (SWSG-SL) , in collaboration with Beauties with Brains Organisation,  has on Saturday 25th April embarked on a sensitization and donation of sanitary pads to young girls in the Kroo Bay community in Freetown.

 The donated items include  60pads, perfume, shaving sticks and pants and pads disposal bags was distributed to young girls between the age of 10 and 19yrs.

Speaking during the engagement and donation ceremony, Mariatu Kabba Co-Founder and Executive Director of SWSG-SL said her organisation together with Beauty with brain decided to embark on the sensitization and distribution of sanitary pads around the Kroo Bay community was to reach out to girls , to teach them about the effect of early sex and the negative effect of teenage pregnancy stating that   as it is Coronavirus time girls are at   home and that  they are vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence thus the need to reach out to them.

“we have to give them some talk on how they can prevent themselves on teenage pregnancy as well as help them by giving out to them sanitary pads because these are some of the small things that men used to lure them and do bad things against them,’’ she said.

She added that during the sensitization , they didn’t only talk to the young girls but also to their care givers , as to their roles in making sure  that their girl child was  safe from COVID-19 and teenage pregnancy.

“This is  very timely , under normal circumstances,  girl child goes through a lot , the resources aren’t really available for them . Girl child usually finds it difficult to purchase or buy sanitary pads and instead resorts to using old piece of clothes which is not hygienic for them which they can contract diseases from, ’’Mariatu explained.

Kabba went to on to say , even under normal circumstances , they are liable to sexual and gender-based violence(SGBV) thus stating that not to talk of the present health situation, compounded with the economic and social stress it will be difficult for them to cope hence  the need for the sensitization and to give out  to them what they can afford.

The SWSG founder further said as a youth-female led organization in the country their aim is  strengthening the socioeconomic status of women and girls and providing them with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in life through mentorship, skills training and awareness raising campaigns.

“This would aid them to contribute meaningfully to social change and build a sustainable and healthy society,’’ the SWSG founder lamented.

On her part , Janet Hawa Koroma , Managing Director of Beauties With Brains Organisation said her organisation has been working in slum communities and in the streets with their monthly  girls on period campaign,  a campaign they have been doing in slum communities for adolescent girls  in the country adding they were partnering with SWSG to do the sanitary pads donations in the Kroo Bay Community.

She encouraged the young girls to take care of themselves especially during their menstrual cycle and to take care of their menstrual pads and to dispose them off to an appropriate place safely.

One of the beneficiaries,   Kadiatu Bundu , said the sanitary pads were good to protect them as women during their menstrual cycle, thus expressing  appreciation to SWSG and Beauty for their timely donation and sensitization on teenage pregnancy during this Covid-19 period.

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Covid- 19 : A Clarion Call On Child Protection From First Lady Dominique Ouattara in Cote d’Ivoire
April 23, 2020 | 0 Comments
First Lady  Dominique OUATTARA,  is President of The National Committee for Monitoring Actions against Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labour
First Lady Dominique OUATTARA, is President of The National Committee for Monitoring Actions against Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labour

Like many countries around the world, Côte d’Ivoire is affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

To face up to this unprecedented health crisis, the President of the Republic and the Government have taken rigorous measures, including the temporary closure of primary, secondary schools and universities, in order to halt the spread of the virus and to protect our children from potential contamination and preserve their health.

Unfortunately, we have noticed that some parents are taking advantage of this situation to engage children into hazardous activities and all forms of labour and exploitation.

I would therefore like to call on parents: child labour is prohibited and punishable by law. No one has the right to engage a child into any activity that endangers him/ her or affects his/ her health, growth, safety and morals.

The current cocoa middle haversting season and the temporary closure of schools must not be used as an excuse for violating children’s rights.

The National Committee for Monitoring Actions against Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labour reaffirms its firm commitment to further its efforts to eliminate child labour in our country.

Together, let us protect our children, they are our future.

Mrs. Dominique OUATTARA, First Lady, President of The National Committee for Monitoring Actions against Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labour (CNS)

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Merck foundation together with First Lady of Mozambique announce ‘Stay at Home’ Media Recognition Awards
April 10, 2020 | 0 Comments
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation with H.E. Dr. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, First Lady of Mozambique
Merck Foundation marks World Health Day together with Mozambique First Lady to raise awareness on Coronavirus

MAPUTO, Mozambique, April 9, 2020/ — Merck Foundation (www.Merck-Foundation.com), the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany together with First Lady of Mozambique, H.E. Dr. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, announced the call for applications for their ‘Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards in Mozambique. The theme of the awards is ‘Raising Awareness on how to Stay Safe and keep Physically and Mentally Healthy during Coronavirus Lockdown’.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation explains, “This is how we mark World Health Day. The ‘Stay at Home’ Media Recognition Award will encourage media to sensitize our communities. Raising awareness about corona virus in our communities will contribute to supporting health workers who are at the forefront of COVID-19 response – providing high quality, respectful treatment and care, it will also enhance their great efforts in leading community dialogue to address fears and questions. Our hearts and thoughts are with them”.

“This unsettling period due to the coronavirus scare is difficult for everyone – both physically and mentally. While most countries are under complete lockdown or restricted movement, people do not know how to handle this situation. Social Distancing is our Social Responsibility and the only way to kill Coronavirus, however, it will take a lot of courage and discipline to practice it. Taking good care of your mental and physical health is important during this period. Therefore, we decided to initiate these awards in order to reward the journalists who are raising awareness in most effective and creative way on how to keep safe and keep physically & mentally healthy during this phase”, added Dr. Rasha Kelej.

The awards are open to all the journalists from Print, Online, Radio and Multimedia Platforms from Mozambique and other Portuguese speaking countries along with English speaking, French speaking and Arabic speaking African countries. The most creative and influential media work aiming to raise awareness and sensitizing communities about this alarming topic at a regular basis will be eligible to win these awards.

Merck Foundation will extend the awards to include Middle Eastern, Latin American and Asian Countries in the next few days to involve all media across the global South. 

“Since most of the people are confined to their homes, they are spending a lot of time reading and listening to news through different platforms. Media professionals, it is your time to help the people to take care good care of their mental & physical health during these disturbing times, through your creative, informational and motivational work. You can guide them to adjust to their new and different routine & rhythm of life”, emphasized Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Details of the Merck Foundation “Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards

Who can Apply:

Journalists from Print, Online, Radio and Multimedia Platforms from Mozambique and other Portuguese speaking; English speaking; French speaking and Arabic speaking African countries

Last date of submission:

Entries can be submitted till 30th June 2020

How to apply?

Entries can be submitted via Email to info@merck-foundation.com
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African Development Bank appoints Mrs. Nafissatou N’diaye Diouf Acting Director for Communications and External Relations
April 6, 2020 | 0 Comments
I look to Nafissatou to steer the Department at this critical moment as the Bank responds to the rapidly changing situation of COVID-19 and to continue the excellent work done to date in the Department, says AFDB President Akinwumi Adesina

Nafissatou, a Senegalese national, is currently a Division Manager in the Communications and External Relations Department of the African Development Bank Group

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, April 6, 2020/ — The African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mrs. Nafissatou N’diaye DIOUF as the Acting Director for Communications and External Relations Department (PCER), effective 1 April 2020.

Nafissatou, a Senegalese national, is currently a Division Manager in the Communications and External Relations Department of the African Development Bank Group. A dedicated and results driven communications professional, Nafissatou brings over twenty (20) years of experience to the role, with a comprehensive background in corporate communications, public relations, journalism, digital and media Development.

Since her appointment as Division Manager in 2018, Nafissatou has fostered agile communication strategies, consistently reflecting cohesion with the Bank’s vision. She has built and led a world-class team of editors, writers, digital and media specialists, resulting in exponential increase in coverage and awareness around the Bank’s strategic objectives and projects.

Prior, Nafissatou had served as a communications consultant with the Bank’s Private Sector and Infrastructure Complex and Trade Department from 2016 to 2018, during which she engaged with Regional Integration and Trade Department Senior Management, streamlining communication and public relations strategies across a variety of platforms.

Before joining the Bank, Nafissatou, the founder and Managing Director of 54 Communications company, in Dakar, Senegal from 2011 to 2017 provided leadership for the cross-functional development and delivery of compelling public relations, branding, communication and event management strategies for a broad spectrum of public and private entities.

Nafissatou also worked as Public Relations Director for Francophone Africa ZK AdvertisingJohannesburg, South Africa during which she demonstrated a keen aptitude for cross-cultural leadership, managing teams of public relations professionals, account managers and country representatives across seven African countries, including Gabon, Niger, Chad, Madagascar, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo. With a creative and collaborative approach to project management within challenging markets, Nafissatou excels in strategic storytelling, content development, capacity building and mentoring.

Prior to her transition into corporate communication, Nafissatou worked as a journalist with the Associated Press (AP), covering international conflicts and crises west and central Africa including Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Mauritania, and the Central African Republic. Many of her breaking news stories were featured in global newspapers such as the Washington Post, USA Today, The Boston Globe and the LA Times. Nafissatou also worked as an Open-Source Officer for the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), a division of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Directorate of Science and Technology.

A native French speaker, Nafissatou holds a Master of Arts degree in Interpreting and Translation from Salford University in the United Kingdom (UK), a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Applied Language Studies from Thames Valley University and a Diploma in Journalism and Newswriting from the London School of Journalism.

Commenting on the appointment, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank said: “Nafissatou is a respected professional in the Communications and External Relations industry. I look to Nafissatou to steer the Department at this critical moment as the Bank responds to the rapidly changing situation of COVID-19 and to continue the excellent work done to date in the Department”.

*AFDB

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Merck Foundation joins hands with First Ladies of Africa to raise awareness about Coronavirus and how to stay safe and healthy
April 6, 2020 | 0 Comments

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation with H.E. CONDÉ DJENE, The First Lady of Guinea Conakry; H.E FATIMA MAADA, The First Lady of Sierra Leone; H.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The First Lady of Malawi; H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia; H.E DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The First Lady of Burundi; H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADO, The First Lady of Niger; H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic; H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana; H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Republic of Liberia; H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo Brazzaville; H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia; H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGW, The First Lady of Zimbabwe; H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana; H.E. DR. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique and Former First Lady of Mauritania
Merck Foundation announces special awards during Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown and movement restriction, “Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards for African Countries to encourage media to be creative and effective in raising awareness and sensitizing Communities on how to stay safe and keep physically and mentally healthy during Coronavirus lockdown

ACCRA, Ghana, April 6, 2020/ — Merck Foundation (www.Merck-Foundation.com), the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany together with African First Ladies of Ghana, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Namibia, Niger, Guinea Conakry, Burundi, Central African Republic (C.A.R.), Chad, Zimbabwe, Zambia, The Gambia, Liberia and Congo Brazzaville, announced the call for applications for their ‘Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards for African countries. The theme of the awards is ‘Raising Awareness on how to Stay Safe and keep Physically and Mentally Healthy during Coronavirus Lockdown’.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation explains, “This unsettling period due to the coronavirus scare is difficult for everyone – both physically and mentally. While most countries are under complete lockdown or restricted movement, people do not know how to handle this situation. Social Distancing is our Social Responsibility and the only way to kill Coronavirus, however, it will take a lot of courage and discipline to practice it. Taking good care of your mental and physical health is important during this period. So, we decided to initiate these awards in order to reward the journalists who are raising awareness in most effective and creative way on how to keep safe and keep physically & mentally healthy during this phase”.

All the journalists from Print, Online, Radio and Multimedia Platforms from English speaking, French speaking, Arabic speaking and Portuguese speaking African countries are invited to send their entries for the awards. The most creative and influential media work aiming to raise awareness and sensitizing communities about this alarming topic at a regular basis will be eligible to win these awards.

“We have created four categories for Africa; English, French, Portuguese and Arabic speaking countries”, Dr Kelej added.

Merck Foundation will extend the awards to include Middle Eastern, Latin American and Asian Countries in the next few days to involve all media across the global South. 

“Since most of the people are confined to their homes, they are spending a lot of time reading and listening to news through different platforms. Media professionals, it is your time to help the people to take care good care of their mental & physical health during these disturbing times, through your creative, informational and motivational work. You can guide them to adjust to their new and different routine & rhythm of life”, emphasized Dr. Rasha Kelej.

Details of the Merck Foundation “Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards

Who can Apply:

Journalists from Print, Online, Radio and Multimedia Platforms from English speaking, French speaking, Arabic speaking and Portuguese speaking African countries

Last date of submission:

Entries can be submitted till 30th June 2020

How to apply?

Entries can be submitted via Email to info@merck-foundation.com along with your details (including Name, Gender, Country, Media house, Email address & Mobile Number) and entry as an attachment

Categories and Prize Money:
Category
TV USD 500
Radio USD 500
Print USD 500
Online USD 500
Prize Money USD 500

*Merck Foundation


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African Development Bank Group approves Gender Equality Trust Fund and Risk-Sharing Mechanism to improve women’s economic empowerment in Africa
April 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group have approved a new Gender Equality Trust Fund (GETF) aimed at pushing forward gender equality and women’s empowerment across the continent.

Funded by donors, the GETF will support the delivery and scale-up of the Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) programme and promote gender transformative lending and non-lending operations. It is the first thematic fund on gender in the Bank Group’s history. The Fund will be established for an initial period of 10 years.

AFAWA is the Bank’s flagship pan-African initiative which aims to bridge the $42 billion financing gap facing women in Africa. Through AFAWA, the Bank is spearheading a major push to unlock women’s entrepreneurial capacity and economic participation for maximum development impact.

Also on Tuesday 31 March, the Board of Directors of the Bank approved a Risk-Sharing Mechanism – an innovative financial instrument to de-risk women-empowered businesses, enhance their profile with banks and support them to grow and thrive as entrepreneurs.

Anchor investors in the GETF are the governments of France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

“It’s a great day for us as a Bank. It is a great day for the continent and the women of Africa as this facility provides innovative ways to tackle the access to finance challenges for African women business owners,” said African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina.

The Africa Guarantee Fund (AGF) has been chosen as the first implementing partner to facilitate access to finance for women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). AGF is a pan-African entity that provides financial institutions with guarantees and other financial products to support SMEs in Africa. AGF has a network spread out over 42 African countries and 150-plus financial institutions, which AFAWA will leverage. This first transaction is expected to unlock up to $2 billion in credit for women-empowered businesses across the continent.

Vanessa Moungar, Bank Director, Gender, Women and Civil Society, described the approval as “the largest effort ever to bridge the gap in access to finance for women in Africa’s history” and said the Fund’s resources and the Risk-Sharing Mechanism would prioritize women’s economic empowerment and high-impact women’s initiatives.

Moungar said the partnership with AGF is a starting point for mobilizing other financial institutions and increasing access to finance for women entrepreneurs on the continent.Apart from the G7 donors and the Netherlands, other countries are showing strong interest in contributing to the initiative, including Rwanda and Sweden. The Bank Group will continue to mobilize resources in order to unlock $5 billion worth of financing for women-empowered businesses in Africa. AFAWA is also an implementing partner of the Women Entrepreneurship Finance (We-Fi) Initiative.

*AFDB

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