African Network of Germany Frowns at Anti-Black Racism
June 7, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
The African Network of Germany (TANG) has strongly condemn Anti-Black racism and urged federal government to act quickly to eradicate the menance.
TANG is currently carrying out a campaign against anti-Black racism on social media. The organisation explains in this press statement why Germany must act decisively now against discrimination against people of African descent in the country
Following the death of the African-American George Floyd after a brutal police operation in Minneapolis on 25 May, the world currently focuses its attention on racism in the United States. But there is also racism against Black people in Germany.
This is indicated by the action #beiunsauch, a campaign on social media initiated by The African Network of Germany e.V. (TANG) in collaboration with the Turkish Community of Germany (Türkische Gemeinde Deutschland or TGD), Each One Teach One (EOTO eV), the Federation of Immigrant Associations (Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Immigrantenverbände or BAGIV), the educational initiative German Dream, the Kurdish community of Germany and more than 120 other migrant organisations.
Together they call on the federal government to focus on racism against Black people and to finally fight it decisively.
Dr Sylvie Nantcha, President of TANG calls on the federal government to fight racism against people of African descent in Germany decisively. One hundred personalities in the Black community have already posted their statements on #beiunsauch.
“For example, the federal government does not mention racism against Black people in Germany in its recent 22-page report on the work of the Cabinet Committee against Right-Wing Extremism and Racism,” criticises Sylvie Nantcha, President of TANG.
When the “UN Decade for People of African Descent” was mentioned in the same paper, the term “People of African Descent” was simply omitted.
“More than 1 million people of African descent live in Germany. As a visible minority, Black people are particularly exposed to racism. They experience racial profiling, they find it difficult to find a place to live and work, are disadvantaged in schools and ignored by political decision makers,” says Dr Nantcha, describing the everyday experiences of racism in Germany.
The representative study “Second European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey” by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights of 2017 shows that 14 percent of Black people in Germany have experienced racial profiling in the previous five years.
“Black people also experience multiple discrimination in Germany. This issue must finally be taken seriously. We must continue to fight Martin Luther King’s fight until his dream becomes a reality worldwide! I have a dream!”
One hundred personalities of the Black community have already posted their statements on #beiunsauch.
“Anti-Black racism must also be named and fought in Germany,” writes Aminata Touré, vice president of the state parliament of Schleswig-Holstein, for example.
Numerous migrant associations support the campaign. “We can’t just look at the United States when it comes to racism. Racist police violence towards people of colour, especially Black people of colour, and racial profiling are also part of the everyday life of Black people in Germany,” says Göcay Gökay Sofuoglu, President of the Turkish Community of Germany (TGD).
“Anyone who ‘only’ criticizes racism against Blacks in other countries but remains silent about racism against Blacks here is lying. Racism against Blacks within immigrant communities must also be relentlessly named and fought by us,” says Ali Ertan Toprak, President of the Federation of Immigrant Associations (BAGIV).
Under the hashtag #auchbeiuns, the associations and groups call on their members to describe their racist experiences in Germany on social media. This call was viewed by more than 48,000 people in one day.
With more than 800 member associations and individual members, TANG is the largest federal network of African associations in Germany. TANG informs, advises, strengthens and networks African associations so that they can develop their full potential for shaping the future of our society.
The focus of TANG’s work is to help shape German integration and Africa policy through participation in expert forums and discussion platforms such as the Forum against Racism or the review of the National Action Plan for Integration. TANG also carries out numerous projects with the support of the federal ministries.
Côte d’Ivoire :Report on the fight Against Child Labor rejected
June 3, 2020 | 0 Comments
The First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire Dominique Ouattara has dismissed the eligibility of the findings from the draft report by NORC on progress in the country’s fight against child labor terming the report as “illegible and misleading”
The 2018-2019 survey carried out by NORC is pending publication come June 29, 2020 and it is about child labor in Cocoa plantations in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.
The report soughts to draw conclusions from the previous surveys carried out on the prevalence of child labor in both countries.
Looking at the previous surveys carried out by the university of Tulane in 20008-2009 and in 2013-2014, the NORC cited there was a huge progress over the years.
The draft of the report noted that there was “a sharp drop in the number of hours children from households involved in cocoa growing used to spend in cocoa plantations while the number of those attending school significantly increased,”
Much as NORC may be getting ready to publish its report in June, the National committee in charge of fighting Child Labor (CNS) in French acronym has expressed its concerns about the report’s eligibility and relevance.
The committee chaired by the first lady Dominique Ouattara cited some shortcomings, gaps and methods in previous findings by the 2013-2014 Tulane surveys that NORC referred to.
Such gaps are in relation with the sampling methods and data collections periods, the first lady’s team noted.
Others, the First Lady’s team said are the comparison of data from the previous Tulane university and those from NORC’s survey which the committee termed as a “misleading comparison’
“Several workshops were held over the past months in Abidjan and in Washington , DC and we raised concerns and USDOL as regards to shortcomings of 2018-2019 survey methodologies,” reads a statement from CNS.
“Much as errors were acknowledged, NORC remained reluctant to make any corrections,” it added.
As a result, the First Lady who also doubles as CNS President has stressed that her country would not approve the findings from the 2018-2019 survey.
“Côte d’Ivoire cannot approve the current version of 2018-2019 survey as it has some flaws,” the Frst Lady Dominique Ouattara said.
Côte d’Ivoire it is worth noting has made significant progress in fighting child labor spearheaded by CNS as witnessed in the Child Labor Report Book 2018.
The country also ranks among top 12 countries that have put in more efforts to fight child labor worldwide, according to the report by the United States of America on Child Labor.
The American report says that “Côte d’Ivoire got the highest ranks and emerged among the top 12 countries out of 134 countries that were assessed, adding that the African country has held such position for the last successive years.”
The United States’ Trade and Development Act of 2000 states that all countries across the world should demonstrate their commitment to remove any form of child labor if they are to be eligible as beneficiaries of various services.
Côte d’Ivoire is the world’s leading producer of cocoa and it has passed the target of producing two million tonnes in 2019.
The price of Cocoa stands at 825 CFA per kilogram, and the country has committed itself to intensify productivity in a sustainable way geared towards meeting the growing demand while maintaining its global perfomance.
*Ivory Coast Embassy,Washington,DC
Cameroon: Fako Heart Celebrates 1st Anniversary with “Zero Mortality”
June 3, 2020 | 0 Comments
The Centre that went operational on June 1, 2019, is to start an Erectile Dysfunction clinic and Weight-loss Clinic
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
Fako Heart, a centre of excellence for stroke prevention, has marked its first anniversary with “zero mortality” recorded at the centre. During the celebration, June 2, 2020, patients consulted at the Centre for free. This free consultation is expected to run until June 30, 2020.
The Fako Heart Centre located in Buea, the chief town of the South West Region of Cameroon is as purpose-built Cardiac Hospital and it specializes in Heart and Lung diseases.
Since its launch in June of 2019, Fako Heart Centre has had 1,366 clinic-based consultations (808 females, 558 males) and 804 outreach consultations (391 females, and 413 male). A total of 2,170 persons were consulted with 319 patients admitted by Fako Heart Centre during the past 12 months with no deaths recorded (zero mortality). The predominant conditions are high blood pressure (Hypertension) Diabetes, and Heart Failure.
The majority of persons who consulted came from the South West (1,010) and the North West Regions (270). Some of the patients came in from distant places including the South Region (Ebolowa), Extreme North (Mayo Tsanaga), Adamawa (Ngaoundere), Nigeria (Imo State) and the Central African Republic (Bangui).
“Heart failure is a long term disease. One thing we have to know with a cardiac patient is that when it set in we can only slow it down; you cannot reset the person like where the heart was before. The heart failure comes with age and there are very few children who are born with effect. The other heart illness is something we acquire as we age and our lifestyle too,” Mrs Irene Naloua Kemah, Owner/CEO of Fako Heart Centre told reporters.
“Once it (heart issues) reaches 10% the only thing that can save you is a heart transplant which is practically impossible here with so many people even in Europe travelling, some are on the waiting list for even 10 years. And when you are on the waiting list they look at the age and how you can contribute to the society for them to give you a heart.”
“We are hoping to get to that stage where people will take their health seriously. We do not want people to neglect their health. Everyone thinks that they always have Malaria and Typhoid which is not always the case… Consultation at Fako Heart involves a mandatory Kidney function test,” She added.
The CEO has called on everyone to look after their body as if it is not properly taken care of, it might degenerate to something else. She said: “When you have a fever or anything you have to go to the hospital and do not assume that it might be malaria or just going to the pharmacy to get some medications. I had one of my staff who was complaining that madam my son is always sick and I ask have you had any blood works on him. No, he came here and the child was Aememic. When you are anaemic you are weak and cannot do certain things. We gave the son some medication, and two weeks ago the staff said the child is like a newborn baby.”
The Only Centre with a Tilt Table Test
Fako Heart Centre is the only Centre in Cameroon that offers a tilt table test. “This is a test designed to establish the diagnosis in patients presenting with collapse after blood works, ECG and echocardiogram are unremarkable,” Dr Perry Kemah, UK-based Consultant Cardiologist said in an earlier interview.
“The tilt table test helps to establish vasovagal causes of collapse… Fako Heart is the only Cardiac Centre right now in the region delivering acute cardiac care. That is at the point of entry we assess you and prior to discharge, you undergo a cardiac rehabilitation programme that gives the patient fitness to go back to community life.”
“…As we celebrate our first anniversary, we are offering heart screening with a view of identifying healthy people in the community with potential risk factors of cardiovascular diseases,” Dr Perry Kemah added.
He went further that: “Fako Heart has a track record so far with zero mortality in 12 months. This is based on good medical practice and that involves working within our capacity and communicating clearly with our patients about the critical situations patients find themselves in…”
Fako Heart Centre Buea is a purpose-built specialist Cardiac Hospital and a Centre of Excellence for Stroke Prevention. It specializes in Lung and Heart diseases. Its key mission is to reduce the burden of Heart Disease and Stroke on a national scale. The alarming number of patients with cardiovascular conditions consulted so far attests to the fact that cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a severe problem across Cameroon.
The vision bearers of Fako Heart are Mrs Irene Naloua Kemah, Owner/CEO, and Dr Fred Perry Kemah, UK-based consultant cardiologist.
The Centre offers the following services: Electrocardiogram (ECG), Holter 24hr ECG Monitor, Exercise Tolerance Test, Stress Test, Tilt Table Test, Echo Stress Test, Six Minute Walking Test, and much more.
Kenyan Senator clinches Deputy Speaker seat unopposed
June 3, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Uasin Gishu Senator Margaret Kamar on Tuesday was sworn in as the Deputy Speaker in the Senate.
Prof. Kamar secured the seat unopposed after his competitors bowed out of the race.
“Accordingly, I hereby declare Senator Prof Margaret Kamar as the duly elected deputy speaker of the Senate,” Ken Lusaka, Speaker of the Senate said.
Five candidates had been cleared to contest for the seat. They were Isaac Mwaura (nominated – Jubilee), Judith Pareno (nominated – ODM), Steward Madzayo (Kilifi – ODM) and Charles Kibiru (Kirinyaga – Independent).
Judith Pareno was the last candidate to pull out of the race few hours before the elections began. The vote was slated for Tuesday at 2pm (local time).
“Following consultations with the leadership of my party, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), I hereby give notice of my withdrawal as candidate for election as Deputy Speaker of the Senate. Thank you,” reads the statement addressed to the speaker.
“Everybody has withdrawn so we are leaving it to her so that we don’t seem to be scrambling over the position. We are a handshake team and we don’t want to fight,” she added.
Pareno’s move came hours after Isaac Mwaura had announced withdrawal of his candidature following the decision by his party to endorse Kamar for the seat. Kirinyaga Senator Charles Kibiru who was perceived as the front runner was the first contestant to bow out of the race on Monday.
“When party does so, we have no option but to support, we will toe the party line,” Mwaura said.
On his part, Senator Madzayo said he threw in the towel following a wide consultation with his supporters and party officials.
“My decision is premised majorly on the need to continue supporting the political coherence currently being advanced by H.E Raila Amollo Odinga and H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta. I also believe my decision to no longer run for the post of Senate Deputy Speaker, will advance gender equity; a spirit I passionately subscribe to,” he said.
The seat fell vacant after the holder Prof. Kithure Kindiki was impeached in May, 2020, over allegations of insubordination. Tharaka Nithi Senator was among the Jubilee leaders who boycotted Senate Parliamentary Group meeting held in the State House on May 11. The meeting was chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The African Energy Chamber welcomes the appointment of Taelo Mojapelo as new CEO of BP Southern Africa
June 1, 2020 | 0 Comments
|Mojapelo succeeds Priscillah Mabelane who was notably the first woman in South Africa’s oil history to head up a multinational company|
he African Energy Chamber welcomes the new appointment of BP Southern Africa’s new CEO, Taelo Mojapelo.
Mojapelo succeeds Priscillah Mabelane who was notably the first woman in South Africa’s oil history to head up a multinational company.
The appointment is an encouraging step towards promoting the inclusion of women in leadership positions in the oil sector, a move strongly supported by the Chamber which is a signatory of Equal by 30, a commitment by public and private sector organizations to work towards equal pay, leadership and opportunities for women in the sector by 2030.
“The appointment of Taelo Mojapelo is a motivating move by BP Southern Africa,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. “At the Chamber, we have been extremely vocal about the increased participation of women in the oil and gas sector, particularly in leadership positions. We applaud BP for its continued commitment to supporting this move and we look forward to seeing other oil companies follow suit.”
Prior to being elected as the new CEO of BP Southern Africa, Mojapelo was the head of optimization and supply at the company and previously held several leadership roles in multinational companies including, Mondelez International, Kellog’s and DHL.
About the African Energy Chamber:
The African Energy Chamber (AEC) is a leading chamber of successful networks, transactions and partnerships at the helm of Africa’s growing energy industries. The AEC actively promotes the interests of the African continent, its companies and its people.
Partners and members of the African Energy Chamber have the power to shape Africa’s energy future by promoting growth, fostering collaboration, shaping policy, and providing leadership and guidance in the fast-growing energy sector.
Covid-19 & Smart Food Markets for the Future
June 1, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Betty Kibaara*
Nothing excites me more than visiting an open-air market and sampling some succulent, juicy pineapple, or a yellow-ripe sweet banana amidst small chit-chat with the friendly women vendors. These pleasantries are no longer the norm. With all of us wearing masks, I can hardly recognize my vendors and they cannot make out their customers. I don’t taste the fruits until they are washed in soapy water.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that while open markets are a key component of a sustainable food system, they aren’t built for a crisis like this one. Urban food markets in Africa often lack adequate infrastructure, resulting in over-crowded spaces and massive amounts of food waste. Vendors have little or no control over the hygiene practices of their suppliers and customers, making food safety protocols difficult to follow.
The Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Agriculture, has provided guidelines to help secure the food supply during this challenging time. While this is a good short-term measure, we need to be thinking about the long-term changes that will make our markets more resilient for the future. African countries can develop prototypes for “smart” markets fit to our context, designed to ensure health and safety, and equipped to meet our food needs now and into the future. The big question however is, what could an African Smart Market look like?
Firstly, the vast roofs of markets are a perfect place to install solar panels, enabling markets to run on sustainable energy. The power generated could also serve surrounding consumers and businesses.
Secondly, modern African markets provide the perfect opportunity for water harvesting infrastructure. The roofs of the markets could collect water during rains and would help keep the market well-sanitized and supply customers and vendors with clean drinking water.
Good water supply goes well with sanitation facilities. Water, sanitation and hygiene facilities are critical to limiting infection spread and protecting health. Clean facilities, maintained by private sector partners, could offer services such as sorting bays and improve hygiene by sanitizing surfaces for vendors.
Additionally, Kenya generates 8 million tons of waste annually and nearly 40 per cent of it comes from urban areas. Market waste can be sorted and converted to bio-degradable products to generate power. Organic waste could be used to produce alternative proteins for animal feed such as black soldier fly production.
It is also worth noting that markets can be designed with basic food processing infrastructure to convert fruits into fresh juices. This could contribute to reducing food waste.
Food wastage reduction cannot be efficient without a dedicated cold storage infrastructure. Without adequate storage in markets, fruits and vegetables spoil quickly under the hot sun. Cold storage solutions such as ColdHubs, would reduce post-harvest losses. Through the YieldWise Initiative, and in partnership with TechnoServe, The Rockefeller Foundation has already invested in reducing post-harvest losses among smallholder mango farmers in Kenya. With investments in cold storage solutions, the smart market would provide an additional opportunity at the point of sale to reduce post-harvest loss.
To safeguard human health, food safety and traceability must be a priority throughout the food system. While subsistence production, informal distribution channels, and traditional community markets make it difficult to implement large-scale food safety interventions, smart markets could promote a shift in consumer attitudes by designating a section where traders only sell certified and traceable produce. This could be a big step toward creating consumer demand for food safety and traceability and lay the groundwork for future reform.
Therefore, a carefully considered market design is the final piece of the puzzle. For example, traders in the sunniest and windiest spots often cover their stalls in dirty sacks, introducing unnecessary risk of contamination. Markets could be optimized to have clear entries and exits and take into account the direction of the sun and wind, minimizing the need for extra work and unsanitary makeshift solutions.
As we think about designing the markets of the future, we should also explore business models to help markets become self-sustaining.
We must take COVID-19 as an opportunity to think creatively and help our markets evolve to be more hygienic, more sustainable and more resilient to future shocks and disruptions. By doing this, we can help protect our local vendors’ livelihoods and ensure that millions of Africans have secure access healthy, nutritious food.
*Betty Kibaara is the Director, Food Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation
Gambia 2021 Elections: Female Candidate Unveils Interest in Top Job
May 29, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
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.”
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.
Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) Awards 2020 call for nominations announced
May 26, 2020 | 0 Comments
|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
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.
Nigeria:ABCHealth Announces New CEO
May 17, 2020 | 0 Comments
|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.
Board Members Appointed for the New Global Independent ‘Oversight Board’ for Facebook and Instagram Content
May 7, 2020 | 0 Comments
|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.
May 3, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Renée Dugué-Strother*
Giver of light
Giver of life
The source we need
To feed our seed
Illuminator of the soul
Without you here the world is cold
To the world magnificent
To the world, you are a gift
All life needs you
You are the truth
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
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.”