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Zimbabwe: SAFAIDS Ignites Debate on Universal Health Care
November 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

Diana Mailosi
Diana Mailosi

Harare Zimbabwe-SAFAIDS [Southern Africa AIDS Information Dissemination Services] and a Humanitarian consortium of a number of Civil Society Organisations have joined hands to spark interesting discussions on Universal Health Coverage.

Kicking on in Harare, the dialogue attended by a bunch of several organisations at heart with the HIV and AIDS scourge, the symposium dealt on an objective meant to drive the Health System of Zimbabwe. Diana Mailosi the Moderator coming from the Advocacy Core Team pointed out on main objectives rallying on the need to salvage country populations affected by several diseases that need attention of the medical experts, the Government and Civil Society. This she directs a point to reality needs the existence of the importance of the UHC.

Diana points out quickly on another point that life saving strategies and mechanisms must centre on the lives of all People regardless race, colour or creed. She lastly reiterates on the need for Governments to fetch funding abroad and domestically for Health. She elucidates, health funding mechanisms are a vital action towards eradicating poverty related to Health service delivery. Diana touches as well on best practices in terms of fiscal transparency, driving off corrupt activities in Health and avoiding activities like capital flight that could be a detrimental challenge in pushing forward the Health Sector.

 ‘’UHC, this is time to take it seriously so as to save lives of millions in the country who have no access to medicines, health food and ARV’s. It is pathetic in the Health Sector. Doctors neglect duties. Some have left the country. The situation tightens .Saving lives of those affected by scourge of a number of diseases is a concern of our heart. That is why UHC matters most. Population Health is on the edges as a number of people face Health challenges related to what we focus on most that is HIV and AIDS, Cancers and some other ailments affecting communities at high prevalence rates. Primary Health Care must surface to make Community Health work. This is all linked to UHC.’’

‘’The Health Sector is in doldrums. This is everyone‘s responsibility, role of Civil Society to roll on programs and end the mess of Doctors, drugs shortage and improve on Infrastructure. This comes at a time we have a number of thorny challenges in Health. We are not talking about UHC because we have the problem, it has always been our desire to make it heard by all.’’

‘’Our collective push is towards making the political will work in making Health a central concern during these times of hardships. Governments must stick to UHC principles. Secondly the need to stick to International standards and guidelines in sharpening Health Sector must be accompanied by delivery of drugs , information , access to services at all angles and provision of better Infrastructure and medical and health professionals .

‘’Funding, yes is a challenge but once we have a budget we have to track on monitoring and evaluation. This becomes vital since we will be in a position to stamp out corrupt activities in the whole set-up. Corruption might not be the issue but it creates wave of transparency and accountability. UHC will bring us to the standards and principles and as well helps in the provision of adequate Health services of best practice’’.

Lloyd Dumbure of SAFAIDS adds that Community engagement brings the whole system to accountability and transparency. Community engagement, he says makes communities get sensitised and brings awareness and advocacy on issues related to the importance of Health to them.

‘’SAFAIDS is ready to make Communities get geared towards participation and engagement in a proper way of total community inclusivity. The need for organisations to come together for this cause creates room for tolerance towards proper management of Health systems’’.

 Donald Tobaiwa of Jointed Hands puts a straight point that Political will in every country makes the idea of UHC work without any challenge from the grass-roots. Many Governments lack commitments to political will in line with Health because of the bigger budgets it needs. This Donald attributes to failure of the Health delivery in any country.

‘’Political will is critical as we dwell on Governance and Politics to manage the whole side of the story. Health hinges more on funding sources from outside. Less is from our country in terms of Health taxes extracted from the sale of some commodities. It is all about how we manage our finance, direct it accountably towards Health. This is done by the Government, .Thus why we say political will. Policies as well come in through the Government effort.

‘’Secondly, Democratic Political Accountability makes UHC see reality by the end of the day. Once there are correct measures in the system we win on Goals of Health. There are vital and core additional at the top after preventive and curative medicine, proper infrastructure, health professionals and the lining up and implementation of Health policies.

‘’Thirdly, It is our link to efficiency and efficacy and the access to medicines to serve the country. The whole system is driven by political will that must link UHT. This should be a priority as enunciated in the Abuja Declaration’’.

Other presenters touched on other areas of concern to make UHC a reality. These are areas of Gays HIV and AIDS, Intravenous Drug Users, young people and drug abuse. The status of healthcare delivery in Zimbabwe remains important as the World looks at International Human Rights. One such International protocol is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights .Secondly, addressing Criminalisation of Key-Populations, focus on key populations and commercial sex workers sparked a row debate until to the end.

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WiLDAF Commends Akufo Addo for nominating three female justices to Ghana’s High court.
November 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ahedor Jessica

President Akufo  Addo
President Akufo Addo

Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF Ghana) has commended the President of the republic of Ghana Nana Akuffo Addo for replacing the three retiring female Justices due for retirement with another set of female Justices at the Ghana’s high court. A move WiLDAF’s says is worth pointing out but maintained Government must make conscious efforts to have deserving women occupy their positions to build Ghana.

The commendation comes at the back of the president’s nomination of the three, Ladyships Justices Mariama Owusu, Lovelace Johnson and Gertrude Tokornoo onto the highest Court of the land.

Speaking to the Communications and Advocacy Officer for WiLDAF Ghana, Abigail Edem Hunu she called on the justices to use their position to advance access to justice for abused women and girls and the less privileged out there who have lost their voice due to societal pressure.

‘’It is our hope the Justices will use their new position to advance access to justice for women and girls, and when they are approved by Parliament, will continue to serve as positive role models to women and girls across the country’’.

WiLDAF Ghana she added is also using the opportunity to appeal to the government of Ghana to speed up the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill into Law. Ghana has committed to Affirmative Action by signing and endorsing the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Beijing Platform for Action, the SDGs and the Commonwealth Plan of Action on Gender Equality which set a minimum target of 30% of women in decision making position by 2015, the African Union (AU) Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa and AU Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality which targets 50% representation of men and women in public and political offices in Member States.

 Unfortunately, in the Ghanaian parliament, female representation is just 13.8%; only 23 women out of 124 ministers are representing just 18.55%; less than 10% women representation in all District Assemblies, this clearly demonstrated that despite the provisions under the constitution and the ratification of various international human rights laws, these laws can only be useful if an Affirmative Action Law is  passed and implemented to create an environment which is gender inclusive and gender responsive.

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Commonwealth young champion named among TIME Magazine 100 leaders of tomorrow
November 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

Time magazine has named Commonwealth Young Person of the Year Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi among its 100 world rising stars who are shaping the future.

Nigerian women’s rights activist Osowobi is one of 53 women on a list of 100 names Time has dubbed “the world’s most ascendant leaders” who are “rising stars in their fields”.

In March, she won the title of Commonwealth Young Person of the Year 2019 after helping thousands of sexual and domestic abuse victims in Nigeria.

Osowobi, who is a survivor of sexual violence, set up the Stand to End Rape initiative to provide support to women, men and young people who have experienced any form of gender-based abuse.

Speaking with the Commonwealth, she said this recognition reinforces her belief in young people’s potential to create change.

She continued: “As young people, our relationship must surpass government collaboration on financial relations, rather, we must collectively protect the human rights of those within our community, especially vulnerable women and girls, persons with disabilities and LGBTQI people across the Commonwealth.”

Founded in 2014, her initiative works to advance women’s sexual reproductive health rights, advocate against gender-based violence and provide medical, legal and psychological support to survivors of sexual and domestic violence.

Advising the survivors of gender-based violence, Osowobi said: “Don’t stay silent. There is no judgement or condemnation as nobody owns the rights to your story or healing.

“My advice to you is first to stop blaming yourself and seek mental, legal and health support.”

Layne Robinson, the Commonwealth’s Head of Social Policy Development, said: “The Commonwealth Youth Awards, particularly the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year, shines a spotlight on the unsung efforts of our young people who have made a major impact in transforming our communities.

“We are happy our Commonwealth Person of the Year, Osowobi, is being recognised for her outstanding work beyond the Commonwealth.”

Time magazine unveiled its first annual collection of the next generation of world’s 100 young leaders today in New York City.

Every year, the Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work recognise the exceptional contribution of young people from across the Commonwealth’s member countries who are leading initiatives to help deliver sustainable development goals.

*Commonwealth

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Cameroon:At Nkafu event Entrepreneurs urged to understand their environment, know the needs of their clients
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Participants were trained on three key moduls- Business Management, Tax registration and declaration procedures and Access to finance
Participants were trained on three key moduls- Business Management, Tax registration and declaration procedures and Access to finance

(Yaounde, Cameroon) Entrepreneurs have been encouraged to understand the environment they operate in and to equally know the needs of their clients in order to foster the growth of their business. Shouame Cyrille Researcher, Vice President of SOS Espoir et Émergence was speaking at the Mansel Hotel in Yaounde November 12, 2019 at the Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Skills training organized by the Nkafu Policy Institute.

To him, every entrepreneur is a client because they need the services of others in their work and they should not provide the kind of services that they will not accept from others.

Speaking on the Business Management, He said that, as small business owner, entrepreneurs need to understand the economic situation of their country.

To economic analysts, knowing the economic situation will make it easy for an entrepreneur to survive in a particular business as the purchasing power of customers is very important. Equally, the political instability of a country makes it very difficult for a particular business to operate.

Shouame Cyrille added that entrepreneurs need to understand their finances well, and understand where most of their income goes so as to better plan while educating the various participants on the different opportunities offered by the Ministry of Small and Medium Size Enterprises to small business owners in Cameroon.

In her introductory words, the Program Manager Agathe Djomeghu indicated that the mission of the SBEC is to provide entrepreneurs with organizational skills, and today’s session is part of a long series of six training sessions.

Ngueteu Nganga, Founder of MARON & Associates SARL and Accountant edified participants on tax requirements, registration and declaration procedures, while equally advancing some importance of moving from the informal to a formal sector.

Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Skills training is part of a long series of six training sessions
Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Skills training is part of a long series of six training sessions

Ngueteu Nganga added that “Cameroon is under the OHADA accounting system and practices accrual accounting. Small Businesses should be able to calculate and declare their turnovers themselves”, while adding that “this should not be done by the tax collectors, as explained by Foretia foundation”

According to an accountant, Taxes should not be the reason why entrepreneurs fail. Tax is an end product, it is on entrepreneur’s profit and not capital. Cameroon has one of the best tax systems as it is a declarative system – it is the entrepreneur who declares what he has earned for the month, calculates and pays. But the issue is that people do not even know how to calculate as some cheat the system.  

Access to finance is a key factor to the growth of SMEs but notwithstanding, because of the difficulties faced by financial institutions in obtaining information on the borrowers-solvency, lack of reliable financial statement of SMEs, absence of guarantee or inadequate collateral and lack of detailed business plan, they (financial institutions) become reluctant to award loans to these SMEs.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Small and Medium Size Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts, there are more than 400,000 companies in the informal sector and out of these, 99 per cent are SMEs. In an economy, firms can obtain funds from the stock exchange or indirectly from financial intermediaries like banks, microfinance institutions and other non-financial institutions. A 2009 IMF study indicated that heavy taxes and 15 per cent interest ceiling on loans to SMEs also discourage these institutions from financing the sector.

The Small Business Training under the theme, “Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Skills” falls within the framework of the prime purpose of the Small Business and Entrepreneur Centre (SBEC) – to spur economic growth in Cameroon through the provision of tools to establish, expand and sustain private sector business in partnership with Global Affairs Canada.

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Jordan Princess Mired lauds Kigali on leading City Cancer Challenge
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mugabo

Her Royal Highness Princess of Jordan and UICC President Dina Mired hands a cancer control document to Kigali City Mayor Pudence Rubingisa, yesterday. Photo courtesy.
Her Royal Highness Princess of Jordan and UICC President Dina Mired hands a cancer control document to Kigali City Mayor Pudence Rubingisa, yesterday. Photo courtesy.

Royal Princess of Jordan and the President of Union International for Cancer Control (UICC), Dina Mired, has commended Rwanda’s efforts in fighting cancer and called for more concerted efforts to tackle to global threat.

Princess Mired was talking in Kigali on Monday during the discussions she and her delegation from the City Cancer Challenge Foundation held with the City of Kigali Executive Committee and stakeholders from public and private institutions involved in the cancer care.

Princess Mired said that cancer is a comprehensive threat that must be dealt with comprehensively. She thanked Rwanda, and Kigali City in particular, for the comprehensive approaches that have been initiated towards providing cancer care solutions.

“Rwanda is an example of how the political will, realistic planning, prioritization and appropriate resources can work together towards the implementation of concrete measures to reduce the national cancer burden,” said the Princess.

Kigali signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the foundation in March 2019, making Kigali the first to join the City Cancer Challenge in Africa while Ghana’s City of Kumasi joined City Cancer (C/Can) initiative as the Key Learning City in November, 2017.

Pudence Rubingisa, the City of Kigali Mayor, said the city completed in August the needs assessment which indicated 52 actions required for the cancer control in Kigali but the city has selected five priorities to be implemented first.

“In order to address the key needs, the City of Kigali has committed to creating a platform for communication and information sharing between different institutions involved in cancer care; improving access to quality and affordable cancer medicines; standardizing clinical management of prioritized cancers in all institutions providing cancer care; providing comprehensive support to cancer patients and training to improve human resources in all disciplines related to cancer care,” he said.

Mayor Rubingisa said the target is to shift from the narrative of 10,700 people diagnosed with cancer in Rwanda in 2018 to a good number of cancer patients being successfully treated in the next few years.

Developing countries like Rwanda face a growing cancer burden. WHO and IARC forecast that Rwanda will have 10,112 cancer incidence and mortality by 2025 including 4,479 and 5,633 deaths among men and women respectively.

Statistics indicate that 18.1 million new cancer cases and 9.5 million cancer deaths were recorded worldwide in 2018, making cancer the leading cause of death. Considering 14.1 million new cases and 8.2 million deaths recorded in 2012, it is obvious that cancer burden is on the increase.

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General Electric Appoints Selam Amare as Country Leader for Ethiopia
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
Selam Amare
Selam Amare
In this role, Selam will oversee General Electric’s (GE) operations in the country and strengthen our businesses presence in the market
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 11, 2019/ — General Electric (GE) (http://www.GE.com) has announced the appointment of Selam Amare as the Country Leader for Ethiopia. In this role, Selam will oversee GE’s operations in the country and strengthen our businesses presence in the market. She will also play a crucial role in implementing GE’s growth strategy for Ethiopia and leading the company’s public and private sector initiatives.

Prior to her appointment, Selam was GE Healthcare’s Life Care Solutions (LCS) Sales Manager for East Africa, responsible for defining strategy, growing the business through direct & indirect markets and driving clinical awareness for the LCS products for stakeholders in both public and private sectors.

Commenting on the appointment, Farid Fezoua, President and CEO, General Electric Africa said, “Ethiopia is a key country for GE. With projects in Healthcare, Aviation and Power, there is a huge potential to grow GE’s business. Selam’s experience, performance and reputation makes her the right person to continue our vision for the market, working closely with our government and private sector partners.” he said.

Selam joined GE in 2012 as the Product Manager for Interventional Radiology in Buc, France. She held several Global and Regional Product marketing roles in GE Healthcare while based in France and Turkey before moving to Ethiopia as the East Africa Sales Specialist for Maternal and Infant Care. She holds degrees in Electronic Engineering and Biomedical Engineering from Universite Claude Bernard Lyon, France. She also holds a degree in Medical Devices & Pharma Marketing from IAE de Nantes, France.

“I am excited about the appointment and the opportunity to work closely with our public, private and NGO sector partners to deliver solutions that help move, power, and cure the people of Ethiopia.” Selam said. “This appointment is also a testament of GE’s commitment to diversity and inclusion to drive true localization”.

GE has been doing business in Africa for 120 years plus and in Ethiopia for over 10 years investing in the healthcare, aviation and power sectors and driving capability and capacity building for local talent. This commitment is in line with the country’s five-year growth and transformation plan that aims to move the country towards middle-income status by 2025 by sustaining accelerated growth and speeding up structural transformation.
GE (http://www.GE.com) drives the world forward by tackling its biggest challenges: Energy, health, transportation—the essentials of modern life. By combining world class engineering with software and analytics, GE helps the world work more efficiently, reliably, and safely. For more than 125 years, GE has invented the future of industry, and today it leads new paradigms in additive manufacturing, materials science, and data analytics. GE people are global, diverse and dedicated, operating with the highest integrity and passion to fulfill GE’s mission and deliver for our customers.
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Kenyan Journalist Among Honorees at ICFJ Awards
November 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ben Bangoura*

ICFJ Awards Dinner,Photo Ben Bangoura AlloAfrica News
ICFJ Awards Dinner,Photo Ben Bangoura AlloAfrica News

The ICFJ 35th Anniversary Awards Dinner to honor the achievements of outstanding journalists around the world was held on Thursday November 7, in Washington, DC. The evening was emceed by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron, accepted a top award in a key address. In an interview afterward with AlloAfricaNews’ Ben Bangoura, he reminded journalists about the First amendment of the Constitution of the United States which, he insisted, remains the foundation for journalism in this country.

“The idea is that there should be an institution outside that would hold accountable the government. Unfortunately, the Freedom of Press in US is under threat which is coming from the White House”, Baron said.

He called on journalists to execute the mission of truth telling.

Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron
Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron

“That is what we do everyday at Washington Post,” the editor lauded the legendary newspaper that uncovered the details of the Watergate scandal, leading to President Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974.

Other awardees include a features reporter with Kenya’s NTV and the 2019 ICFJ Knight International Journalism Award Winner Rose Wangui.

Speaking to reporter Ben Bangoura, Wangui said she was honored to be rewarded and recognized for her work tackling tough issues such as sexual bondage of young girls. She also shed some light on challenges facing journalists particularly in Africa.

Rose Wangui.
Rose Wangui.

ICFJ was founded in 1984 to support journalists abroad, especially those in countries with poor or non-existent free press systems. Founders include Tom Winship, Jim Ewing, and George Krimsky, three prominent U.S. journalists. 

International Center for Journalists is located in Washington, DC.

The 35th anniversary event was held at Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center and attracted hundreds of journalists and editors. Educators, press freedom advocates and business leaders were also in attendance.

*AlloAfrica News

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Zimbabwean Women Gear Up For Dubai 2020
November 5, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

Reverend Dr Abigail Magwenzi Founder and Director of Red Lipstick Revolution
Reverend Dr Abigail Magwenzi Founder and Director of Red Lipstick Revolution

Zimbabwean Women are action packed to take to Dubai next year in March 2020. The unique, great and well-orchestrated summit on women leaders theme will attract thousands of women from around the Globe .They will discuss areas of entrepreneurship skills development.

In an interview earlier on this week in Harare, Reverend Dr Abigail Magwenzi Founder and Director of Red Lipstick Revolution expounded on the need for women to make it happen come 2020 in Dubai. She notes that key issues of discussions they are currently working on centre on imparting more cohesive skills in Business skills training, technical and operational skills, social and life skills training.

‘’As women our goal is to train women so that they become leaders in Business. We want to see a number of women in equality, empowerment, and collective action for development. This sustains livelihoods in all communities where women must be leaders in the Business Sector ranging from Small to Medium Enterprises, home manufacturers of quality food stuffs and also as decision markers.

‘’Women have reached levels of equality but more needs to be done in all sectors of the economy. There is need to get into extreme marginalised women areas. There is need to empower them with all the skills they need. Satisfying women needs and wants starts with us here.

‘’Dubai is close by 2020 to cherish the need to nurture, impart and indoctrinate unique quality skills in women who must lead by example in communities. We are a step ahead for Dubai come 2020. There are mainly those values we want to carry like a flag. These are equality, empowerment, collective action, working together and sustainability.

Contacted for brief comment to buttress Abigail Magwenzi ‘s points  Ambassador Mary Mubi Zimbabwe Commissioner General to Expo 2020 in Dubai said the time for women has come again to make them rise high , climb the ladder and be in the skies .

She likens the Dubai up-coming conference to Beijing Platform for Action of 1995. After that big symposium women climbed higher than ever before guided by International instruments like the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against Women [CEDAW] of 1979.

‘’It is big time event for women to rise and shine. Zimbabwe is already geared to show-case its entrepreneurial talents in all areas of development. We are there-fore to lead by example, teach, train n impart skills in others. We are already far in terms of equality and empowerment. What is left is to reach our goals, vision and mission just close to us’’, says Mary Mubi .

The Global Women Leadership Summit will bring together Global Leaders, professionals, entrepreneurs, business women and women leaders. They will share and explore new areas of research and development and some emerging issues of impact to women. The main aim will be networking and devising innovative strategies that will make a huge difference to women involved in today’s competitive Global business.

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Inside Rwanda’s street life: Juveniles as crime partners of respected adults
November 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Jean d’Amour Mugabo

Marembo Centre hosts former delinquents girls and helps them with rehabilitation and reintegration into their or foster families. Photo Mugabo

Early September in Nyabugogo area of Kigali City, a lady in her 20s was assaulted by four street girls who qualify themselves as “marine” to mean the toughest among delinquents.

For onlookers, the act seemed as a usual attack aimed at stealing the lady’s handbag or revenge over something bad she did to the delinquent girls but the gang took nothing from her nor did they even have any grudges with the victim who received heavy punches and sticks. The delinquents did it in seconds and ran away to disappear in Nyabugogo swamps after having made what they term “good cash” without revealing the exact amount.

A month later, Pan African Visions’ (PAV) reporter based in Kigali caught up with two of the delinquent girls who were involved in the assault. They briefly recounted the deal which led up to assault without going into details for fear of retribution.

“A woman recently came and gave us cash to beat a girl with whom her husband was going out.  Some men also give us money to buy illicit drinks for them because they fear to go to buy the drinks for themselves. For us, we are fearless; we do not fear jail; we feel like our life is worthless,” said an 18-year delinquent girl who preferred anonymity.

The delinquent from Huye District in Southern Rwanda said she has taken part in many similar deals over the last three years she has spent on Kigali streets after a spell in Nyamata city in Bugesera District.

“If one pays us for beating someone, we do it. I have done those deals with many non-delinquent people. Some people pay us to beat others with whom they have conflicts. We do it as a group of delinquents; we surround the person we want to beat, beat them, and then run away,” she said, adding that she has also been doing prostitution to earn a living since she got on streets at 15 years of age.

Prostitution is not a crime under Rwandan law but having sex with any person below 18 years of age is a child defilement crime.

Drug trafficking, theft partnership

Moving forward, our investigation found more crimes jointly committed by delinquents and admired people in their surroundings.

Gigi (not real name), a 15-year boy, spends his day on streets and market of Nyabugogo collecting waste foodstuffs and goes back home where he stays with his parents at Yanze in Gatsata Sector of Gasabo District in the evening.

“As I do not spend nights here, nobody has ever asked me to help them in illegal activities here in Nyabugogo. However, some people in our neighbourhood send me to buy some items for them including cigarettes, illicit brew or gin and weed,” said the boy who has been on streets for four years during which he faced detention three times at Kwa Kabuga transit centre in Gikondo, a Kigali suburb.

“I don’t fear police catching me while carrying drugs to those people because police can ask me the person to whom I am taking the product and I can show them that person. They can let me walk free because I would have shown them the adult person who sent me to bring them that illegal product,” the boy innocently added.

He said his parents are aware that he spends a day on streets to work for a living where he makes around Rwf1,000 daily and hands over the money to them for the family’s upkeep.

Gege (not his name), 18-year “marine” boy from Nyagatare District in the Eastern Rwanda, said he has been doing petty theft the three years on streets of Kigali and the theft is sometimes commissioned by non-delinquents especially small retailers.  

“When I step in a place and see someone with stuffs, I keep monitoring that person’s movements and when they shortly get busy, I steal that stuff and run away to sell the stuff and get money to buy food; that is how I earn a living, I can’t lie to you,” he said.

“Non-delinquents commission us on some illegal tasks. There is time, at that place of Kwa Mutangana (at Nyabugogo Market), a man put down a sack of rice while buying other stuffs, then a saleswoman told me to pick the sack and hand it to her for money, I did it and she paid me.”

Gasene, 17, who left home in Mbazi Sector of Huye District four years ago, said he has done a lot of petty theft offenses including grabbing phones from people’s ears or pockets and non-delinquents used to task him on illegal activities but he has changed to running away with the money of whoever tasks him on illegal activities after tasting the wrath of the detention centres.

“Once on Huye streets, a man told me that he knew where his neighbour was keeping the door’s key; he told me to go and pick the key, open the house and steal for him the big tape radio. I did it and he paid me Rwf15,000. Another school teacher man used to pay me Rwf800 when he sent me for buying him chief waragi (an illicit brew); I would see security people and threw away the waragi and ran away; he would lose his money but when I delivered it to him, he had to pay me for the service,” he said.  

“But if one sends me now for drugs, I will run away with their money and not buy them the drugs because I know the consequences I can face if security people catch me carrying drugs. Yeah it happened; a man gave me money to buy him weed but I escaped with the money and ignored him.”

Gasene said he sometimes finds his colleagues being paid for assaulting someone “but I have never done the deal of assaulting anyone for money. I am trying hard to avoid being taken to Kwa Kabuga (a renowned transit centre in Kigali). It’s a hell on earth, that is not a place anyone feels they can go to. There are very bad men detained there who heavily beat us and treat us in harsh conditions.”

Umuna (not her name), a 14-year old girl who live at Marembo Centre in Kigali’s Kicukiro District since August, said she has spent her life rotating from streets to orphanages to families and back to streets. On Kimironko streets in Kigali’s Gasabo District, she used to collaborate with non-delinquents adults as they sent her to buy them illicit drinks.

“When I lived on Kimironko streets, one married woman sent me to buy for her illicit brew called Icyuma (metal). The brew looks like water, I bought it, they wrapped it in an envelope and I delivered it at her home,” she said.

More street teenage girls spoke of doing sex work with adult men who lure them with often Rwf1,000 which the delinquents use to buy meals. Some of them get pregnant and give birth on streets and keep living with their babies on streets. 

Irebe (not her name) lives on Nyabugogo streets and often spends a day in the bamboos on Nyabugogo River where she takes shower and washes clothes of her own and of her five-month baby. She came to streets with a three-month pregnancy when the wife of her former boss, who impregnated Irebe at her 17 years, sacked her from their home in Gatsata Sector where she served as a house maid. Her former boss who allegedly impregnated her escaped from the area after Irebe told him she was pregnant.

Government pledges solution

Modeste Mbabazi, the Spokesperson of Rwanda Investigation Bureau, told PAV last week that the bureau hasn’t categorised the crimes committed by delinquents because once they commit a crime, they are dealt with as any other criminal, adding that a survey might be required to determine the extent of delinquents’ crimes.

Aimé Bosenibamwe, the Director-General of Rwanda Rehabilitation Centre (NRS), told PAV last week that his office in collaboration with security organs have started an operation to take all delinquents out of streets by December, and that NRS has commissioned a survey to determine the magnitude and causes of delinquency whose report is expected to be published early next year.

“We want to take them (delinquents) to rehabilitation centres and then reintegrate them back to their families but we are also working with local governments to help in solving the family issues which push children on streets,” he said. Mr. Bosenibamwe said NRS is aware of the threat that delinquents pose to the society and that security organs arrests them and courts try them when they commit crimes.

NRS statistics indicate that there were 4,407 delinquents, including adults and children, in transit and rehabilitation centres in March, 2019 but the National Children Council’s report of May, 2019 indicated there were 2,882 street children in Rwanda including 2,621 boys or 91% and 261 girls or 9%.

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Zimbabwe: A Focus on sustainable economic growth and development for new UN Coordinator
October 31, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu Munhumutapa

Maria Ribeiro with President Mnangagwa

Maria Ribeiro, the new United Nations Country Co-Ordinator presented her credentials to President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Harare yesterday, 30 October. In her words Maria called all the Zimbabweans, development partners and UN Families in Zimbabwe to work together towards Sustainable Human, Economic Growth and development.

Speaking at the glamorous occasion, Ms Maria pledged for more human development financial support to go towards poverty eradication and elimination by 2030. She emphasised that economic growth and development is linked to Human development under which there is need to lift up the general public addressing absolute poverty in the country.

‘’We have been very active in working towards humanitarian development, but what we look close to is economic growth and development.  This is closely related to human development .She thanked the UN for the past work of development which has been done.

‘’Economic Growth and Development is a result of the success of Human Development. This has gone well as a success story in the country. Let us now work towards economic growth. This is what UN is to look at now.

‘’The country has received 51% development partners multi-lateral Aid worth US 240 million under the Revised Humanitarian Appeal. On the other hand UN contributes U$400 million annually. This is for sustainable Humanitarian development. This is part of our National development Plan 2021 to 2025’’.

UN has made strides of success under ZUNDAF, Zimbabwe Unite Nations development Assistance Framework. It gives special attention on HIV and AIDS, Gender equality, Nutrition, Governance and Poverty Reduction.

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Companies Boost Mentorship and Training for Young People in Sub-Saharan Africa
October 31, 2019 | 0 Comments
Nestlé founded Alliance for YOUth five years ago to help prepare young people to enter the professional world
ACCRA, Ghana, October 30, 2019/ — Nestlé (https://www.Nestle.com/) and its regional partners have joined forces to launch the Regional Alliance for Youth in Sub-Saharan Africa to promote employability for young people.

The alliance, which will focus on creating and implementing employability programmes, mentorship and training initiatives designed to equip young people with essential workplace skills, is part of the company’s business-driven movement Alliance for YOUth (http://bit.ly/331EBf1), launched in Europe in 2014.

Today’s youth is the largest the world has ever seen – young people aged 15-24 account for one out of every six people globally, with 20% of the total youth population living in Africa alone (http://bit.ly/2BT6Ws8).

This demographic trend is also exacerbated by the 71 million youth worldwide who are unemployed, while over 500 million are under-employed or stuck in uncertain or precarious jobs. Unemployment among youth in Sub-Saharan Africa reached nearly 30% in 2016 (http://bit.ly/34iGd4z). Without concerted action, it is expected that nearly 50% of youth in the region will be unemployed by 2025 (http://bit.ly/2qZqIQJ).

“We believe that investing in youth is vital for thriving, resilient communities, and helps to build our business too,” said Rémy Ejel, Market Head for Nestlé Central and West Africa. “Young people are the next generation of employees who will keep our company competitive, the farmers who will grow the crops we need, and the entrepreneurs who will help us reach new markets, regardless of their field or level of expertise. This is just the beginning,” he added.

The Regional Alliance for Youth in Sub-Saharan Africa

The alliance was launched in Côte d’Ivoire today, October 30th. It will also be launched in Angola and South Africa on October 31st and November 4th, respectively.

With the support of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire through ‘Agence Emploi Jeunes’, a government agency that promotes youth employability and employment, and the International Labour Organization, the regional members of the alliance in Côte d’Ivoire also include Bolloré, Groupe NSIA, MTN, Nielsen, Publicis and Nestlé.

“Nearly 77% of the Ivorian population is aged under 35, which means that concrete actions must be taken to provide more opportunities and help to integrate these young people into the workplace,” said Zain Reddiar, General Manager for Human Resources at MTN in Côte d’Ivoire. “At MTN, we are ready to effectively contribute to this project, which we are sure will help a large part of that population.”

Similarly in Angola, the alliance will be launched in partnership with the Government of Angola, the Swiss Embassy, ADPP, Nestlé and other private companies from different sectors operating in Angola.

“The future can only be built with the next generation, the next sustainable competitive edge, especially on diversifying economies will have to rely on the youth. Young people will be better prepared than ever before for the next challenges, supporting the digital changes of the society we are living in, which at the end of the day will benefit all the stakeholders of the sub-Saharan region. Shaping the young people within our working context, in an inclusive environment, creating new capabilities, allowing within our domain to further develop technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, Smart Data, as many others, shall support the youth to create the world of tomorrow that they will be in. We from our side will support the next generation on this journey, creating the basis for tomorrows challenges”, says Sérgio Filipe, Siemens Angola CEO.

Promoting employability

The alliance will combine the efforts of partner companies on hiring, skilling up and training young people by targeting tier three and four universities and vocational schools in and outside of capital cities.

These will be achieved through CV and interview skills-building workshops, identifying career opportunities and accessibility, and offering career-counselling sessions – reaching about 1,000 youths in Angola by 2020, and 5,000 youths in Côte d’Ivoire by the same period. In addition, about 10,000 youths will be reached every year thereafter in Côte d’Ivoire.

As part of the alliance, a flagship initiative will be identified and be jointly owned and implemented by members.


Join the business-driven movement

Nestlé founded Alliance for YOUth five years ago to help prepare young people to enter the professional world. In 2017, it was launched in Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, and in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay a year later. It was also recently launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2019 with 20 other international organisations.

By joining the Regional Alliance for Youth, companies – irrespective of size or turnover – can help to create a long-lasting impact for young people, while also enhancing their business, staying competitive and reaching more consumers

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Ghana: In Hogbetsotsoza 2019, the Anlo’s look beyond their exodus to foster peace and tranquility
October 31, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ahedor Jessica

Hogbetsotsoza is one of the oldest, well known and the most prestigious festivals of the people of Anlo.  It is celebrated on the first Saturday of the month of November every year. The festival is used by the Anlos to commemorate the exodus and the bravery of their forefathers, who through endurance and sacrifice found a new home for them at their present location when they left Nortsie.

Some school of thought explains the term Hogbetsotso, as been derived from three Ewe words – *Ho* to move, *Gbe* meaning day and *Tsotso* as the crossing over. Thus Hogbetsotso means the long journey of the Ewes through Norrtsie in the Republic of Togo to their present settlements in the Republic of Ghana.

The Hogbetsoso, as a unified commemorative event,  has been celebrated for a few decades now,while many of the processes and sacraments such as Nugbidodo (the grand reconciliation) go far back in pre-history and antiquity. The first Hogbetsotso was celebrated in 1962 during the reign of Awoamefia, Torgbi Adeladzea II. This year’s celebration is christened ‘’historic’’ as the festival is set to witness the visit of the Asantehenhene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II from the Ashanti Region, the first-ever in the history of the Anlo state.

The move has been applauded by many who had known the Ewe and the Asante rivalry, even in modern Ghana. Other dignitaries to grace the occasion are The Ewefiaga Torgbui Agorkli XVI of the ancient Nortsie in the Republic of Togo, President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Akufo Addo, and two former presidents of the Republic of Ghana, HE John Dramani Mahama and HE Jerry John Rawlings and other dignitaries from home and abroad. The Hogbe Institute, organizers of this year’s festival estimate patronage to be more than fifty thousand including locals and foreigners who will throng the area in commemorating this day.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Hogbe Institute, Dr Sylvanus Kwashi Kuwor intimated that, the theme for the festival  “Uniting Anlo through its values for the benefit of its citizens and the Nation at large’’ is a clarion call on all Ewe people to utilize available opportunities in the land for the development of the area. He urges the citizenry to go beyond the celebration and foster peace and cohesion among themselves.   

History 

The Anlos –Ewes in the course of their exodus settled briefly at Notsie, currently within the territory of Togo after migrating from Southern part of Sudan, and crossing the Niger, to their present home in Ghana before the 14th Century and the advent of colonialization.

Available historical documents and oral history have it that the Anlos settled at Ketu in the Republic of Benin and Ile Ife in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Before migrating to live briefly in Notsie in the Republic of Togo. Each state of the journey has its epic story. For example when they were leaving Nortsie, the people had to move backward as they exited Nortsie, to deceive any pursuit. This backward movement is incorporated in a dance style called Husego or Misego in Anlo.

The Anlo-ewes are now widespread and located in different countries in West Africa, Togo, Nigeria, Benin and Ghana. They are the largest homogenous ethnic population in Ghana and Togo. They speak the Ewe language (Ewe: Eʋegbe) which belongs to the Gbe family of languages. 

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