Can the African Super League Succeed when the European Super League Failed?
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor*
On April 18, the global sporting world was united against the proposed European Super League which will involve a select few participating years in year out. European governing body, UEFA was against the idea and even FIFA’s President Gianni Infantino was against the idea.
Within a couple of hours, the majority of the clubs involved in the proposed league backtracked and the competition died an untimely death. Football breathes a sigh of relief not knowing that this same idea had been proposed to the African continent by a man who was against the ESL idea, Gianni Infantino.
This, therefore, begs the question of what the motive Gianni Infantino has on the continent and if he had a share of the cake with the European Super League he would have a campaign against it.
A close-shop like the European Super League
Infantino raised the idea first in 2019 saying it would comprise 20 permanent member clubs plus others that would qualify via regional competitions, predicting the Super League with a payment of $20m every year over five years would have the potential to generate a revenue of $3 billion over a five-year cycle.
The creation of an African Super League could make it one of the top ten football competitions in the world, changing the financial reality of football on the continent, according to the FIFA President.
“We have had some serious problems in Africa and it has to change. It has to change the way of how to do business, it has to take on board the basic elements of good governance,” he said.
“There needs to be proper competition infrastructure. I think it is fair to say that the competitions in Africa are 30-to-40 times less successful than in Europe,” he said on Monday.
The criteria for selecting the 20 clubs have yet to be made known which beg the question Will it be based on the CAF club coefficient? On historical performance? On club profile and followership? And what will happen to the CAF Confederations Cup and CAF Champions League?
Al Ahly, reigning African champions and the most successful club in the continent’s history, is reportedly vehemently opposed to the idea. However, other clubs have already jumped on the bag wagon and campaigning for a place in the proposed new competition.
Simba CEO Barbara Gonzalez after the election of the new CAF President promptly tweeted to the effect that plans to execute the Super League were underway.
“It was great catching up with FIFA President, Gianni Infantino on the sidelines of the CAF Elections 2021. The rollout of the African Super League with 20 permanent member clubs is underway. We look forward to having Simba SC Tanzania participate soon.”
CAF President Patrice Motsepe in Support of African Super League
The hand of Infantino is impossible to miss in the politics of the continent’s football, and so it was that, upon the confirmation of Motsepe, he was present. FIFA president was seen as a close ally of the former CAF President Ahmad Ahmad who was banned from football-related activities due to mismanagement.
And it seems the new CAF President Patrice Motsepe is looking to be an ally of Infantino with the CAF President already loving the idea saying it was needed to improve the game on the continent and make it financially viable.
“We are assessing and in preliminary discussions to start an inclusive and broadly supported and beneficial CAF African Super League,” he said in a statement. “We have been following the attempts by some top European clubs to form a Euro Super League and will learn from their experience and pitfalls.”
Motsepe said CAF, which is African football’s controlling body, must consider new competitions to generate additional income for itself and its member associations and “also contribute to African football becoming globally competitive and self-sustaining.”
Motsepe, who took on the job in March, also said that CAF’s image needed improving. “There is a poor perception of CAF concerning its adherence to governance, auditing, ethical, and financial and management good practices,” he said.
Dr Patrice Motsepe added: “These negative perceptions may, to some extent, be confirmed by the incriminating and damning audit which identified irregular, unethical and improper transactions and conduct.”
“CAF should be seen as a body that adheres to good governance, ethics and financial and management best practices. It is also important that the quality of [our] competitions are globally competitive and appealing to spectators, viewers and interested parties in Africa and globally.”
Why is the world silent about the African Super League?
On April 18, the birth of the European Super League was announced by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to the dissatisfaction of managers, players and European and World Football governing bodies.
“I can only say my personal opinion. I do not like it and hopefully, it does not happen,” Liverpool player James Milner said about the proposition of the ESL.
“I fell in love with popular football, with the football of the fans, with the dream of seeing the team of my heart compete against the greatest,” PSG Player Ander Herrera wrote on Twitter.
“If this European Super League advances, those dreams are over, the illusions of the fans of the teams that are not giants of being able to win on the field competing in the best competition will end.”
The world seems to be silent on this idea being proposed by FIFA President on the African continent. The voices who were against the ESL seemingly have forgotten about that being proposed to Africa.
“What this accurately conveys is that, for all that the proposed profit margins are heady and exciting; the demand for an African Super League is pretty much nil. It is an idea that, in its current guise, benefits no agenda but Fifa’s,” Solace Chukwu wrote in a piece for Goal.
Suspension Of DWB Deprives Cameroon’s NW’s Most Vulnerable Citizens Of Free Healthcare Amid Deadly Armed Conflict.
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Andrew Nsoseka*
Locals in Cameroon’s Northwest region, who have had their lives distorted in the last couple of years by an ongoing war against cessation, which has displaced hundreds of thousands internally, and forced others to flee as refugees, now have another big challenge – access to healthcare.
When the crisis erupted and protests gradually morphed into an armed resistance and the war that ensued, many institutions folded, including healthcare institutions. Many healthcare institutions and professionals, soon became targets, as they were accused of treating belligerents in the armed conflict. Several Doctors and practitioners are today, serving jail terms or languishing in pre-trial detention on such charges.
The situation, was however, was mitigated when Doctors Without Borders, DWB an international NGOs rendering health services to those affected by the war came in. However, it was short-lived, when DWB was like several medical care providers, accused of also treating armed fighters and aiding them. The accusation of aiding the fighters has been rejected by the organisation.
Unfortunately, Cameroon’s Northwest regional Governor, Adolphe Lele Lafrique in December of 2020, issued an order, banning activities of DWB in the region, leaving thousands of those who relied on the outfit for medical care, stranded, with no option. Many now rely on local remedies, prayers, or risk going to hospitals, and if treated, held hostage till the money is paid.
On its May 28, 2021 weekender edition, The Post reported a pathetic story of a family running away from the incessant raids in Bui Division, of Cameroon’s Northwest Region. The news article by Chris Mbunwe narrated the sad story of a teacher, Oliver Lankar who, in escaping from the turbulent Division, lost his one-year-old baby due to the heavy rains and cold.
Though one could be incorrect to say that the refuge-seeking man would have sought medical help from community volunteers working with an organisation like Doctors Without Borders – providing free medical assistance to those in dire need, Lankar’s family did not have that option – it was ripped from people like him and a multitude of others, when DWB, had its activities suspended.
On December 8, 2020, Governor Adolphe Lele Lafrique issued a prefectorial order, suspending activities of Doctors Without Borders, a front-line organisations providing free healthcare services to thousands of victims and those affected in one way or the other by the Anglophone crisis in the two crisis-hit regions.
In article (I) of the Governor’s Decision suspending the activities of DWB, the Governor said, “The partnership between Doctors Without Borders (DWB, MSF) and Saint Maria Soledad Catholic Hospital Bamenda as well as similar partnerships with other health facilities in the Northwest Region are with effect from the date of signature of this Decision, suspended, pending definition of the framework of activities for Doctors Without Borders (DWB, MSF) by the Ministry of Health.”
Locals in the region, especially those displaced by war, and who now live under precarious conditions are the main beneficiaries of health services offered by DWB. This category of persons, are the region’s most vulnerable. The right to health has been denied, especially to those in distress situations who struggle to feed and can barely afford their needs, especially health needs which are expensive.
DWB often prioritises providence of its services to hard-to-reach communities, and with the current Anglophone crisis in Cameroon, many communities are without health facilities especially as many owners of private clinics were hunted down on accusations that they treat or sell medicaments to separatists too.
In 2020, DWB reported that it provided over 120,000 free medical consultations in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon – the two regions gripped by an over four war of secession. Unfortunately, with the Governor’s Decision, hundreds of thousands of patients in the Northwest who relied on this free health services can’t access it anymore, even though the armed conflict is rather deteriorating, leaving more people in need.
The Governor said the organisation’s framework of activities are to be defined by the Ministry of Public Health, a process which has taken several months, with no sign that the organisation will be given the go-ahead, to continue to render services to the region’s most vulnerable, caught between an active war, and now the COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Health Organisation, to which Cameroon is a member, in its Constitution (1946) envisages “…the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental right of every human being.”
Speaking in relation to access to health in the Northwest region, the Director of the Bamenda regional Hospital, Dr Denis Nsame regretted that that the hospital keeps losing money because many patients can’t afford to pay their bills after treatment. This of course, is the category that because of the war situation and its effect on their livelihoods, previously depended on free services offered by organisations like DWB.
Dr Denis Nsame revealed that just in the first quarter of 2021, his hospital alone has lost FCFA Nine million, because many patients are unable to pay bills. The situation now puts the regional hospital, as well as other health facilities in financial distress.
On the part of the community, many who now do not have the option to receive free quality healthcare are now left with the option of either trying untested home remedies, taking a chance to be treated and held back by the hospital, or just hoping to get well someday. Many others who have seemingly lost hope, now resort to cuing up in churches that advertise miracle healings, as they hope for miracles to come their way.
One of the community leaders who recently took an initiative to address the situation, is the Mayor of Bamenda II Council, Peter Chenwi, who said his office has been flooded of recent by appeals for assistance to pay health bills. “The request for assistance from patients keep rising every day. That is why the Council decided to undertake this visit and see the situation of patients at the Bamenda regional hospital” the Mayor said. He reveals that so far, the council has paid FCFA one million, covering the hospital bills of 64 patients who could not leave the hospital because of unpaid bills. Amongst the beneficiaries were women who had put to birth, but could not pay their hospital bills.
A Community Health Worker, talking of the ban on DWB’s activities in the Northwest said, “Since the suspension, many children have died in my community, due to the lack of medication. People don’t have the money to go to the hospital. They keep asking me; when will they (DWB) come back” He recounts. Other community workers who served the community under DWB regret that the suspension has left them with no means to assist the people, who depend on such services.
“People keep calling me for help, but there is no means to help them anymore. They go back, and later on you hear that some of them died. It is terrible.” Another community health worker in the region regrets.
Though not mentioned publicly, government sources claim that DWB’s activities in the region are suspended due to allegations that it also treats wounded separatists, and actively supports them by transporting arms and ammunition. In a statement released On July 5, in relation to claims that the organisation was supporting separatist fighters, DWB said they “categorically reject the allegation of having provided support for separatist fighters in the Northwest.”
“We affirm as an absolute that we have never facilitated the transport of arms, ammunition, or armed combatants, and have never provided logistical or financial support to any of the parties to the ongoing crisis”. It furthered.
Information from DWB’s data however show that just about five percent of its patients bring cases that are directly linked to violence. The statistics rather show that most of the patients are children with malaria, pregnant women, accidents, and sexual violence victims.
In a statement released recently after three weeks of meeting with government officials to end the suspension, DWB in a statement regretted that the suspension was not still lifted.
DWB’s Director General, Stephen Cornish, remarked that “While our visit to Cameroon was an opportunity to address key points, no agreement was unfortunately reached to immediately restart our lifesaving medical services in the Northwest region. This is disappointing, but we remain hopeful that the lifting of our suspension can be reached in the coming days. Discussions will go on as all stakeholders understand that our operations cannot remain on hold indefinitely. Every extra day of suspension is another day that we cannot assist the population in dire need of health care services. An agreement will undeniably change the situation for the better in the provision of essential care in the Northwest. We are confident that such agreement is still attainable and will allow us to provide essential medical services in Northwest just as we do elsewhere in the country.”
Rhino Poaching Worsens in Africa
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments
… gory images of crudely de-horned carcasses littered in most parts of the continent continue – a threat to biodiversity.
By Peter Kayula
Poaching has risen sharply in the recent years across Africa, fueled by rising demand in Asia for ivory and rhino horns, coveted as traditional medicine and a status symbol and acquisition and adaptation of advanced technologies in the fight against poachers is not yielding the desired results.
The international community, prominent leaders, the civil society and experts involved in the fight against rhino poaching have also continued to raise their views on the likely consequences of a situation where more than 35, 000 elements are killed across Africa annually for their tusks amid concerns that African governments are not doing enough to stem the crisis.
The heavy rains that fall, especially across Southern Africa from November to March annually, provide cover for many poaching syndicates that take advantage of full-moon nights to invade game areas as they navigate the clogged waterways.
On another hand, a demand for meat from wild terrestrial or semi-terrestrial animals, termed “bush meat”, a significant source of animal protein and a crucial component of food security and livelihoods in rural areas in many African countries, has also heightened.
In the Congo Basin, many communities derive tangible benefits from bush meat as a major source of livelihood and an estimated consumption across the basin range between one million tonnes and five million tonnes with annual harvest rates estimation ranging from 23 to 897 kg/km. This dimension is arguably far worse in the Gabon and the Equatorial Guinea.
A practical experience in Cameroun’s capital Yaounde is alarming as an inventory done in 1995-96 of the four main markets estimated sales between 840 and 1,080 tonnes of bush meat per year, while estimate consumption in Bangui, the Central African Republic (CAR) capital, is 9,500 tonnes per year.
The trade in ivory starts mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo, through the Central African Republic and South Sudan, using Ugandan as a transit point, this prompted Ugandan president Yoweri to call for a probe into the theft of ivory worth more than $1million in November 2014. He ordered an investigation into a reported possible collusion between the country’s wildlife agency and foreigners in the trafficking of ivory, according to updates from the news agency, AFP published in a local newspaper in June 2017.
Successful experience of the acquisition and adaptation of advanced technologies are limited to some countries. While it is hoped that they would change the landscape in the fight against rhino poachers, the incapacity of most countries in Africa to develop better biodiversity policies has in fact, prevented them from taking advantage of this privileged access to technology.
Uganda secured funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNPD) to procure surveillance drones that it has been a central focus will man parts of its protected areas, which are not routinely patrolled by rangers, and camera traps that will help identify poachers and intruders at porous entrances to game parks. the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has announced, according to AFP.
The country started training a team of 28 digital forensic experts in April, eight of them from the UWA, to track online, illicit trade of wildlife and suspect communications. Sadly, enough, a 2020 report on illicit financial flows in Africa revealed that Uganda loses between $7 billion and $23 billion per year because of illegal wildlife trade. Tourism is Uganda’s biggest foreign exchange earner at about $1.6 billion annually, according to AFP.
Poaching incidents around the country went up in March last year when the country went into a total lockdown over Covid-19 although authorities are yet to tell the extent of the loss but say the incidents have since drastically reduced.
In comparison to Uganda, up to 2014, Botswana was globally considered a “safe haven” for wildlife but unfortunately rhino poaching in the country is getting far worse, according to a local journalist Oscar Nkala.
The government of President Mokgweetsi Masisi–in power since 2018–acknowledges the seriousness of the crisis explaining that at the rate at which the black rhino population is depleting, the country ‘s iconic species would be out by the end of the year.
“At the rate at which the black rhino population is depleting, I’m afraid our iconic species will be out by the end of 2021. There is a serious problem with poaching in this country and this must be stopped,” said President Masisi, as quoted by Lifegate, a sustainable development outfit.
According to Oscar Nkala, by 2015, Botswana had imported over 100 rhinos from Zimbabwe and South Africa, mostly to Mombo, a high security sanctuary in the Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta. The facility, owned by Rhino Conservation Botswana (RCB), was chosen for its difficult terrain that can only be accessed by horse, boat or helicopter.
In a study entitled “Poaching as a security threat for Botswana and the region” published by the United States Naval Post Graduate School in September 2018, researcher, Kopano Baruti, attributed Botswana’s high vulnerability to poaching to weak law enforcement, long and porous borders and the existence of ungoverned spaces in its own territory neighbouring countries.
In Zambia, a parliament Conservation Causes praised the Government’s commitment towards wildlife conservation. The Zambian parliament Conservation Causes (ZPCC) vice-chairperson Anthony Kasandwe said the Government’s decision to launch blueprints on wildlife demonstrated its willingness to conserve the country’s wildlife, local newspaper reported.
The Times of Zambia article of April 22 2019, revealed that the country’s Tourism and Arts Minister Charles Banda launched the 2018 National Parks and Wildlife Policy, the 2019-2023 Strategic Rhino Conservation and Management Plan and the 2019-2023 National Conservation Action Plan for Cheetah and African Wild Dog for Zambia.
“I must admit on behalf of the Parliamentary Conservation Caucus that the political will from the Government is immeasurable in Connection with conservation,” Mr Kasendwe, a former Bangweulu Member of Parliament (MP) said.
He explained that protection of wild life depended on effective stakeholder collaboration, stressing that the objectives of the wildlife conservation and management initiatives would only be achieved through sustained engagements, the paper reported.
It is clear that the fight against rhino poaching in Africa may create losers and winners within individual countries, regions and between regions. Thus, tensions over the gory images of crudely de-horned carcasses should be expected to increase. Constructive responses should be responsibly planned-for in accordance with current national and regional objectives.
The Covid-19 Vaccine Fiasco In Malawi
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Joseph Dumbula.
It is 8 am in the morning in Blantyre, Malawi’s commercial capital, and one Jimmy Kondwani, has had to abscond work to look for the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which apparently, he just cannot find in hospitals, just like thousands of others.
The news now is clear that the vaccines are no longer in stock at all across hospitals.
As other nations across the world are grappling with the third wave of the Covid19 pandemic, Malawi is seeing a wave after another but of controversies to do with the pandemic.
Although the mainstay has been how decisions are made and how infamously money amounting to 6.2 billion kwacha was lost in management of the pandemic, now it is about the vaccines.
Thus far thousands of people have not yet been able to receive the second dose as the AstraZeneca doses run out in public hospitals.
A consignment of 900,000 doses the country was expected to be in Malawi at the end of May through the COVAX vaccine-sharing facility but that has not been the case.
However, authorities cited the delay on recent worsening of the pandemic in India, a major manufacturer of vaccines.
Initially, Malawi received its first consignment of 360,000 doses from the COVAX facility in March, followed by 102,000 doses from the African Union, and 50,000 doses from the Indian government.
But Kondwani tells Pan African Visions that ‘’ I feel deceived. What government is doing is to make a daylight lie to us. What does this mean for our health?’’
But, according to deccanherald.com, recent studies say pushing the gap further to 12 weeks for the AstraZeneca vaccine does not affect the efficacy. Another British study has said, a single dose of the vaccine can reduce the infection rate by 65 per cent.
Now, solace is found in the fact that the World Bank approved $30 million in additional financing to support Malawi in the acquisition and deployment of safe, affordable and effective COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccines.
The rollout is however yet to start.
‘’This is an additional financing for the existing Malawi’s COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness project bringing the World Bank contributions to the country’s health sector COVID-19 response and vaccination efforts to a total of $37 million.
The additional financing will mostly go towards the procurement and deployment of eligible COVID-19 vaccines to cover an estimated eight percent of the population by December 2023. The additional funds will accelerate the Government of Malawi’s ongoing efforts to deploy COVID-19 vaccines and strengthen the national systems for public health preparedness.’’ A statement from the World Bank reads.
This coincided with the torching of Vaccines, which is against the order that the WHO meted out to nations.
Malawi destroyed nearly 20,000 doses that had expired in April – partly because of vaccine hesitancy.
Health Secretary Charles Mwansambo justified the decision saying authorities were forced to incinerate the doses to reassure Malawians that vaccines being used were effective.
“The burning was of course regrettable, but we got those doses very late, they only had a very short shelf life. In fact, I am happy that we did that because we got back the confidence from the people. That’s why we are seeing what we are seeing now.” He said.
So, the debacle now, has to be solved as soon as possible, if the country is also to eliminate myths as Kondwani says ‘’What has happened is a recipe for more and more conspiracy theories that are associated with the pandemic and the vaccine’’.
Currently, the Southern African nation has slightly above 2 thousand active infections, and thus far there have been over one thousand deaths with successfully recoveries at over 33 thousand.
Statistics of health also says the current positivity rates have been revolving at slightly below 15, %, a status Khumbize Chiponda, Malawi’s health minister says is a cause for worry but has bank on staunch preventive measures.
Third COVID-19 wave takes a devastating toll on Namibia
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments
–…..as several national leaders fall to the virus
By Andreas Thomas
Windhoek- COVID-19 is currently out of control in Namibia, where the third wave of the virulent respiratory virus has been sweeping across the southern African nation. Since the beginning of June, Namibia has been experiencing a record-breaking spike in new coronavirus infections that has hospitalized many and lost their lives. In recent weeks, major hospitals around the country have been overwhelmed with the highest number of patients’ hospitalization in history. Hospital beds including intensive care units are full in both public and private hospitals across the country. Funeral homes were also struggling to keep up as more people succumb to coronavirus-related complications. The surge in cases was exerting tremendous pressure on the country’s fragile health infrastructures that have suffered years of neglect. The number of new infections per day has more than tripled, since the first week of June, from an average of 507 cases per day to an average of 1,798 cases per day. Over the last 15 days up to June 30, the country has recorded 513 deaths, which brought to a total of 1626 deaths as of July 4. These are devastating numbers for a country with a small population of fewer than three million people. As of June 29, Namibia ranked third in Africa after Gabon and South Africa, with a testing coverage of 207 people tested per 1,000 population. Authorities have indicated that the recent spike in COVID-19 cases might be driven by the more aggressive Delta variant that has been reported in neighbouring South Africa. However, local scientists were yet to confirm the existence of the new, deadly variant in Namibia. Experts are projecting that the rising incidence curve, during the third wave is expected to peak around mid-August. President Hage Geingob has since cautioned the nation that “The darkest hour of the night, comes just before day-break. It is expected to get worse before it becomes better. We must therefore do everything in our power to suppress the rate of transmission. Only you and I can stop the further spread of this virus from ravaging our homes and communities.”
Major hospitals mostly in Windhoek have resorted to prioritizing severed cases of COVID-19 patients after the surge in new infections left them with a critical shortage of beds and oxygen supply. Health and Social Services Minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula has said steps have been taken to improve the supply of life-saving oxygen to health facilities. These include the installation of freestanding oxygen generating systems and bulk oxygen tanks and refillable portable oxygen cylinders at public hospitals. A 20-ton bulk oxygen tank has been installed to provide oxygen to the 76-bed respiratory unit at Katutura Intermediate Hospital in Windhoek, where COVID-19 patients are admitted. Shangula added that a 13-ton bulk oxygen tank was expected to be installed at Oshakati State Hospital. He noted that the existing bulk oxygen tanks at Tsumeb and Walvis Bay State Hospitals, with the capacity of 6.5 tons each will also be supplied to ensure adequate care. A new gas generating unit with a capacity of producing 370 litres of oxygen per minute has been installed at the Windhoek Central Hospital. It will supply the dedicated 15-bed COVID-19 intensive and high care units at the Windhoek Central Hospital. “Government is also pursuing the option of procuring oxygen concentrators to be distributed to various public health facilities around the country as part of the intervention. The concentrators can play a significant role in assisting patients in respiratory distress, but do not require high flow oxygen,” the minister said.
President Geingob on June 30 announced new restrictive measures meant to curb the wide community transmission of coronavirus. The 14-days restriction has banned travel between all the regions except essential service providers and emergency medical cases. This follows an earlier restriction of movement into and out of Windhoek, Okahandja, and Rehoboth that were deemed the epicentre of the third wave of the coronavirus. As part of the new measures, public gatherings have been limited to 10 persons, and a nationwide daily curfew between 21:00 to 04:00. Schools from pre-primary up to lower primary are on special winter holidays until July 26. Classes for grades 10, 11 and 12 have been suspended countrywide until July 16. The sale of alcohol is banned from Friday to Sunday while all food establishments are to serve food on a take-way basis only. “I have always reiterated that the health of Namibians remains the priority and a balance must therefore be found in protecting life and livelihoods. While a full social and economic lockdown is proven to be effective in slowing transmission rates, it must be used sparingly, as it also spurs adverse effects to the economy, business jobs and livelihoods. Under the current circumstances facing our country, this difficult step must be taken,” Geingob said when he announced the news measured in Windhoek.
Vaccines remain an important weapon in Namibia’s fight against coronavirus. The country started with nationwide vaccination on April 19. So far, Namibia has received 197, 200 doses through COVAX, and donations from China and India. However, this stock is almost depleted with many regions having suspended the campaigns. The available doses will now be used to vaccinate those receiving the first dose as well as identified persons considered to be at the highest risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death, Shangula explained. The minister has also acknowledged the delay in the delivery of vaccines to the country. “We are working day and night engaging manufacturers and through diplomatic channels to get the vaccines soonest,” he said. Shangula noted that Namibia has paid up in full for 108 000 doses of Astra Zeneca via the COVAX facility of which 67 200 doses have been delivered. “We expect the balance of 40 800 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to reach our country during July 2021. We have also finalized orders for doses of Sinopharm, Astra Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. We await delivery of these vaccines in the coming weeks and months,” Shangula said. Meanwhile, the minister arrayed public fears regarding the adverse effects of delaying the second dose due to the delayed arrival of vaccines. “According to guidance from the World Health Organisation, a delayed administration of the second dose of the vaccine will not have adverse effects on individuals. The administration of the second dose may be delayed for up to six weeks,” he said.
The marauding coronavirus pandemic is proving to be a sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of national leaders, who many have already succumbed to the virus. During the past month, several leaders lost their lives to COVID-19-related complications. The Paramount Chief of the OvaHerero Traditional Authority, Advocate Vekuii Rukoro (66) died few days after testing positive for coronavirus on 18 June in Windhoek. Rukoro has dedicated his life to the cause of justice for the Ovaherero people. He has been at the forefront calling for Germany to pay reparations for atrocities committed during the 1904-1908 genocide of Ovaherero and Nama people. Dr Zedekia Ngavirue (88) who led Namibia’s Negotiations on Genocide, Apology and Reparations with Germany also lost his life to coronavirus on 24 June. The pandemic has also robbed Namibia of Professor Mburumba Kerina (89) who gave the country its name from the former South West Africa. Kerina died in Windhoek on 14 June. He was one of the first Namibians to petition the United Nations calling for Namibia’s liberation from former South Africa’s Apartheid colonial region. Other prominent Namibians who succumbed to the virus in June include former environment minister Willem Konjore (76); former justice minister Dr Ngarikutuke Tjiriange (77); former chiefs of Namibian Defence Force, retired Lieutenant General John Mutwa (61) and retired Lieutenant General Lucas Hangula who was also the director-general of the Namibia Central Intelligence Services. “Unfortunately, as in any war, many lives have been lost. I, therefore, offer my sincere condolences to the Namibian nation and specifically to the families of those who have lost their lives due to COVID-19,” said President Geingob who also took a moment “to pay tribute to towering national leaders who have lost their lives to COVID-19.”President Geingob and First Lady Monica Geingos are among the leaders who recovered from coronavirus. “Having recovered from COVID-19 myself, I am fully aware of the importance of being vaccinated against the disease,” said Geingob who is yet to get vaccinated.
Optimism As Rwanda Get Closer To Having Health Posts In All Its Cells.
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti
Emmeline Uwimana used to trek more than 7 kilometers whenever she sought health services either for herself or for her children.
“I was born here and grew up here, my parents used to take me to the hospital whenever I felt sick and it was hard because the nearest hospital was in about seven kilometers,” says Uwimana, now a mother of three.
The resident of Musha sector in Rwamagana district, Eastern Province says, it was always hard for her and other citizens to get medical services.
“Sometimes you felt sick but you could not get to the hospital because you were scared of the long-distance,” she says. “We ended up using traditional herbs or illegal medicine as a resort,” she adds.
However, Uwimana’s worries are no more. The government has constructed a health post nearby her home where she gets health care services without trekking longer distances.
“Now we can get treatment for some diseases here, we only go to the hospital whenever referred to that hospital,” she adds.
Uwimana says she also received antenatal care services for her new born baby from the health facility.
“I got antenatal health services from the health post and just went to the hospital when it was time to give birth,” she said.
The health post, she says helps the local community to get basic services and patients are not finding it hard to get treatment.
“Now more people are treated unlike previously when it was hard, we used to depend on buying medicine to pharmacies while others opted for herbs,” she added.
The health post-Uwimana get services from is one of the hundreds facilities set up by the government in a bid to avail health facilities to citizens.
According to the ministry of health, the plan is to have each health post in all the cells across the country.
A cell is the second small entity in local government administration and the country has 2140 cells.According to the minister of health Dr. Daniel Ngamije, the country nears having at least one health post in every cell of the country.
“In the whole country, cells that don’t have a health post are not many. Currently, the number of cells that don’t have these services don’t exceed 50.”
“What we want to do now is putting more effort in making sure those that don’t have such services will get them. For those that already have these facilities, we want to ensure that they provide a full package of primary healthcare services,” he added.
The health posts, which are just below health centres, are expected to deliver basic medical services, including non-complicated births and other primary healthcare services.
In its Strategic Plan unveiled in 2018, the ministry said it wanted to put focus on having at least a health post in every cell by 2024, in order to improve citizens’ access to health services.
“We always have more citizens who access treatment from health posts. It is clear that there is a need for us to remember the lives of children, parents, and all people in general so that we bring near them primary healthcare services,” he said.
Ngamije said that the government got support from partners such as S.C Johnson Inc, an American multinational company that manufactures household cleaning supplies and other consumer chemicals.
SC Johnson has been an important partner in the ministry of health’s efforts to improve and equipping of health posts, in a bid to advance universal health coverage.
With collaboration from SC Johnson, a total of 64 health posts have been constructed and equipped, of which 10 are of the second generation (offering maternity services and dental and ophthalmology services).
Rwandans have access to affordable health care services, thanks to the community-based health insurance (Mutuelle de Santé) where every household subscribes to it and gets medical services from all the health facilities.
Professor Nkandu Luo On Way To Becoming Zambia’s First Woman President?
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Peter Kayula
Zambia’s Patriotic Front (PF) Party owes a measure of its inspiration to the presence a female microbiology professor as a potent force in the Southern African country’s politics. It is important therefore to explore her political life, works and the historical strain of an influential voice in President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s presidential campaign and subsequently his running mate.
The former lawyer who leads the race, President Lungu early last month officially announced the appointment of Professor Nkandu Luo as his running mate in the 2021 crucial presidential elections just weeks away, opening up an unexpected debate about the professor’s possible future role as the second woman vice-president of Zambia.
A trusted democrat with a proven record of being fiscally modest and (she) believes in freedom to prosper, she turned out to be the most experienced Cabinet minister, President Lungu has ever had, diminishing reported contenders to the vice-presidency such as opposition party leader, Edith Nawakwi, former Lands Minister, Jean Kapata and former First Lady and wife of the late Zambian president Michael Chilufya Sata.
Nkandu Luo, is arguably among the few ministers in President Lungu’s administration who has never been summoned by the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
While her reputation has at one time faced heady days over her decision to withdraw meal allowances for the students at the two Government Universities, the University of Zambia and the Copperbelt University (which is believed to have been a Cabinet decision), she is still well liked by many Zambians and nearly universally known.
Her backing for President Lungu could help insulate him against any unexpected governance deficiencies allegations. At the least, she could add more crowd-drawing power to a Lungu campaign, having occupied various ministerial positions such as in the former president and late Fredrick Chiluba’s administration, the late President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa administration, former President Rupiah Banda administration and late President Michael Sata and President Lungu administrations.
Professor Nkandu Luo did not immediately respond to requests for an interview. She has previously been difficult to engage in any form of Press interview suggestion she is too involved in the campaign activities.
Born in Chinsali in 1951 Professor Nkandu Luo attended Roma Girls Secondary School and the Dominican Convent. She later attended the Moscow State University in Russia graduating with a Master of Science in Microbiology and later on obtained another Master of Science degree and a PhD in Immunology from Brunei University.
She was elected to Parliament representing the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) in the Mandevu Constituency in 1996. She served as Deputy Minister of Health from 1997 to 1999 and Health Minister in 1999 but lost her seat in the 2001 elections.
Professor Luo was elected as the Patriotic Front the representative for Munali Constituency in 2011. She was appointed as Minister of Local Government and Housing by then President Michael Sata, serving from 2011 to 2014, and then became Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs from 2014 to 2015.
She was sworn in as Minister of Gender by President Edgar Lungu in February 2015. In March 2016, Luo was adopted as President of the Women Parliamentary caucus at the 134th Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference in Lusaka. In September 2016, she became Zambia’s Higher Education Minister and later Minister of Fisheries and Livestock, the position she held until President Lungu dissolved Parliament early this year.
It is believed that Professor Nkandu Luo ‘s personality has been an active factor in the shaping of the Patriotic Front Party’s political character. Highly intelligent, proud and acutely sensitive about her status and rank, she responds mildly to most expressed criticism about her and accompanying these traits are considerable reserves of personal charm, including an infallible memory for people with aspirations for higher education in life, that has won her a devoted following.
In February 2018, a society of local researchers, the Zambia Association of Junior Researchers (ZAJR) made her the woman of the year, praising her as an eloquent lieutenant for the country’s scholars and researchers.
This followed her favourable response when the association sought her services as a matron of the researchers’ body. Despite her busy schedule, Professor Nkandu Luo responded in a letter dated February 5, 2018:
“I am pleased to inform you that I have accepted to be your Matron to help you realize the vision of your society with the will to help Zambia combat poverty through the promotion of innovative research projects of entrepreneurial nature.’’
The researchers group is composed of university academicians with a novel task to support and encourage the development of high quality research in every field of study that has a bias towards the eradication of poverty in Zambia in particular and Africa in general.
Accompanying Nkandu Luo‘s faith in the progressive character of the country’s educational sector has arguably been well demonstrated in her display of mass sentiments about research.
If one was to ask her how it felt to be a country-trotting minister in a country where the clamor for accountability and honesty in public offices are high … I am sure she would just frown and frown about it.
However, this is probably the time to put up a strong case for a woman likely to go down in history as the person who has rattled, busy as she is, all corners more than any other figure in Zambia, exposing the growing issues and the contributing a political revolutionary that fights for an equal society for all, and who is slowly rising from a former minister to a potential president of Zambia and arguably an international global leader.
To some, it is perhaps surprising that Professor Nkandu Luo, has spent several years in her role of thinking and building a feminism that struggles against inequality poverty, poor governance and ignorance, among other vices of the society.
Chris Hayes, newly appointed director of the All Africa Alliance, a governance non-governmental Organization (NGO) in East Africa, has described her as ‘’Africa’s most upcoming revolutionary who is going to inspire hope for better service delivery in millions of citizens in the country.
With the crucial Zambia elections just a few weeks away – the 18th time elections since independence in 1964 – the stakes for the ruling Patriotic Front Party are higher than ever.
For now, or later, Professor Nkandu Luo has to get ready to pay much attention to a number of biographies expected to be published soon of her as one of Africa ‘s topmost ‘’extraordinary women’’ and as always is the case, she may still have to go up to disapprove some of the opinion to be written about her.
Burundi: A Year in Office For President Ndayishimiye.
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments
-Despite positive gestures, rights organizations want him to do more
By Jean-Pierre Afadhali
After one year at the helm of Burundi, President Evariste Ndayishimiye is seen by some as a progressive leader who seeks to turn around a country that was isolated by the international community following his predecessor ‘s controversial third term marred by violence, but Human rights organizations and activists are calling for more changes and reforms.
President Ndayishimiye won elections in May 2020 and replaced President Pierre Nkurunziza who plunged the small east African into social, political violence for extending his rule to a third contested term in 2015. Crackdown on opposition, killings, international sanctions and other human rights violations that pushed about 400,000 people to flee to neighboring countries characterized Mr. Nkurunziza’s third term.
The new president was sworn in mid-2020 after a sudden death of his predecessor and elections held during Covid-19 pandemic that his predecessor had downplayed. Mr. Ndayishimiye, a former military general who has also been a secretary general of the ruling CNDD-FDD has taken a different path that appears to bring back Burundi on international scene by strengthening diplomatic relations with African countries, neighboring Rwanda and multinational partners who had cut ties with the Great lakes nation following the 2015 political crisis.
While the country’s president appears to turn the page, some remain cautiously optimistic saying a lot needs to be done to turn around Burundi and restore the once vibrant civil society and all public freedoms.
In late June the country held a mass to mark one-year-anniversary of president Ndayishimiye’s administration at a catholic church in the capital Gitega, in the centre of the country. During the mass that was attended by government officials, the president apologized for human rights violations his government is accused of. “We have violated the rights of our compatriots, others have been harassed, we have sowed hatred, we do not practice brotherly love, some authorities have failed in their responsibility, we ask forgiveness because we do not deserve to come before you,” said the president in the recent mass.
The country’s multilateral partners such as European Union (EU) had imposed sanctions on Burundi by stopping direct financial support to the government while the Organization of French speaking countries- La Francophonie suspended the country. The new president has made some changes welcomed by Human rights organizations and Burundi’s partners but they are calling on the new leader to do more by fighting impunity, initiating reconciliation process among others.
In addition to the amnesty of about 5,000 prisoners, the president has pardoned four journalists working with a private media outlet who were arrested in 2019, a gesture welcomed by campaign organizations. Regarding press freedom, one of private radio stations that were closed during the 2015 crisis called ‘Bonesha FM’ has been allowed to re-open by the country’s media regulator known as ‘National Communication Council’. Many journalists fled Burundi during 2015 crisis and authorities subsequently closed BBC and The Voice of America, a move that was seen by press freedom watchdogs as a media control tactic.
Improved International cooperation
In addition to the decreased human rights violations, the new head of state has ushered in a new era in diplomacy as he tries to improve political and economic cooperation with various African countries. This was done mainly through the signed bilateral agreements. Ms. Carina Teritsakian, a researcher at the Human Rights Initiative for Burundi (IDHB), a human rights organization said recently that in the past year in power, president Ndayishimiye initiated positive changes on diplomacy and international cooperation.
“Regarding international relations, President Ndayishimiye is certainly more open than his predecessor towards international partners. He knows what these partners expect from him, he has made efforts to renew dialogue with several countries, which will undoubtedly help Burundi to emerge from its isolation,” the human rights researcher was quoted as saying.
EU has started the process to lift sanctions that were imposed on Burundi in 2016 following political crisis and violence. The move that will boost the country’s economy as the European block plan to finance agriculture and the port of Bujumbura.
One of the recent state-visits to strengthen ties with several countries was in Kenya in early June at the time the East Africa’s leading economy was celebrating its self-rule locally known as ‘Madaraka Day’. The two countries signed several deals to boost their trade and development cooperation. President Ndayishimiye was quoted as saying: “Burundi fully appreciates the state of cooperation between the two countries and is hopeful that the agreements signed will effectively be implemented for mutual benefit,”.
Meanwhile Burundi remains one of the poorest countries in the world according to various reports. The 2015 political crisis affected the country’s economy due partly to international sanctions. The frosty relations with neighboring Rwanda worsened the situation as trade between two sister-countries stalled. Commenting on economic situation the main opposition politician inside the country Mr. Agathon Rwasa told the BBC that economic hardship continues to bite the population as many basic commodities are scarce. “It’s rare to find on the market the sugar produced in Burundi,” Mr. Rwasa who challenged Ndayishimiye in the last elections commented.
As the relations between Kigali and Gitega normalizes some expect it will boost trade relations. Rwanda’s prime minister Dr. Edouard Nigerente graced the ceremonies to mark the 59 years of Burundi’s independence making him the first senior government official from Rwanda to visit the neighboring country since 2015. Burundi accused Rwanda of having a hand the failed coup, but the latter denied any interference in its neighbors’ affairs.
While the new administration is keen on improving international cooperation, security remains a big challenge amid continued armed attacks in the country. The latest happened in late June in Muramvya province, Central Burundi in which dozens of people were killed in a roadside ambush. A similar attack had happened in the same province in May.
Human rights groups are calling on government for more political reforms and justice for the crimes committed in the 2015 crisis and a more control of ruling party’s youth league locally known as ‘Imbonerakure’ that were involved in several human rights incidents under Ndayishimiye’s predecessor and to some extent in the current government as they harass the population in rural areas. Rights groups also are saying the lack of dialogue with exiled political opponents hold back the country’s democratic gains.
Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial And A Roadmap For Enduring Peace In Nigeria’s South East
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Richard Mammah
The recent arrest and return to trial of the leader of the Independent People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has understandably raised the tempo and temper of discussions on the relations between Nigerians of Igbo descent and the mainstream Federal Government in the country.
Kanu, who had been undergoing trial in the country and was granted bail by the Federal High Court on medical grounds in April 2017 had before his current incarceration been living outside the country, following his flight to exile in the aftermath of a raid by the Nigerian military on his ancestral home in Abia State on September 14, 2017.
As the country awaits the resumption of his trial on July 26, the interval is being taken up by questions of how and where he was apprehended as well as his current state of health. However, the bigger issue remains: what is the potential effect of his trial on the South East question?
Indeed, in recent months, the Nigerian polity has been further inflamed by acts of insecurity related to the South Eastern part of the country.
Hitherto considered as one of the most peaceful regions in the country, it has however come to experience some of the extenuating crisis of insecurity that has sadly now almost become the standard fare across the country.
While the federal authorities are pointing almost every finger in the direction of Nnamdi Kanu and the Independent People of Biafra, along with their associated Eastern Security Network, ESN, other rounded observers and commentators say that the origins and dimensions of the crisis are indeed much deeper and broader, and proceeding from this they equally canvass that a rounded bouquet of solutions should be put on the table.
According to Abia Onyike of the Ala Igbo Foundation, the roots of the crisis clearly lie above the surface and as such its resolution should also be more than ankle-deep. His first charge is for the formal elected political authority in the region.
‘The South East Governors should be sincere in their commitment to the security of their region. Unfortunately, the Chairman of the Governors Forum, Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi state has not demonstrated such sincerity of purpose. People see him as talking from both sides of his mouth. For instance, he claims that there are laws banning open grazing in the South East. That is false. Only in Imo State was the law made during the Government of former Governor Achike Udenwa. But the law is rendered comatose as it is not being implemented. The other four states in the South-East, namely Abia, Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi have no such laws as their State Houses of Assembly are yet to pass such laws. Passing the anti-open grazing law will help to checkmate the murderous activities of the FULANI Herdsmen in the South East, where the forests of over 700 villages are currently occupied by the AK-47 wielding Herdsmen.’
Going beyond the governors and appreciating the practical reality that the Nigerian constitutional and political structure today literally vests about all practical security functions at the federal tier of governance, Onyike then directs his attention to that tier:
‘The Federal Government headed by PMB should adopt the path of dialogue in dealing with the IPOB and other self-determination groups in the zone. After all, it was Buhari’s separatist style of governance and his anti-Igbo policies that gave rise to the renewed agitation for the restoration of Biafra since 2015. The youths can be assuaged if the Government can engage the leaders of these groups like Nnamdi Kanu of MASSOB and Uwazurike of MASSOB.’
Not done, the former aide of the Ebonyi State Governor, also appreciates the need for attention to yet be placed on one particular banana peel scenario that is related to the crisis:
‘The internal political conflict in Imo State which led to the imposition of Hope Uzodinma as the Governor of Imo State by the Supreme Court is at the heart of the security crisis in Igboland today. That is why it would appear that Imo State is a major flashpoint of the crises. There should be a way of resolving the problem, otherwise the youths seem hell-bent on resisting the Government of Uzodinma.’
Some other commentators have linked the crisis to the agitation for a President of Igbo extraction in the forthcoming 2023 polls. While everything could be said to be somewhat contextually inter-linked in the current Nigerian political playfield, the continued insistence by IPOB that its sights are set on a referendum to initiate the excision of the South East from the present Nigeria to bring into birth the State of Biafra continues to delegitimize this link. Indeed, the same IPOB has also been known to canvass the boycott of several lower level elections within the South East.
What is however not in doubt at the moment however is that a lot of attention continues to be placed on the Nnamdi Kanu challenge. Since his arrest for example, the nation has come to be seemingly divided between those who see him as the problem and therefore desire his expeditious trial and sentencing and those who caution that beyond Kanu, the nation does have a basket of problems to resolve and that any attempts to reduce the myriad of challenges in the country to a Kanu challenge would very clearly not achieve much. But it remains to be seen if good and better sense would prevail at the end of the day.
Cameroonian Born Priest Honored In Nigeria.
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Joseph Besong
Catholic priesthood is a mystery to many especially to those who are impede in materialism. The world quest of today doesn’t stop young men to say yes to the call of God all over the world. There’s a story of a Cameroonian who took the risk to journey into Nigeria in order to serve God as a priest.
More than two decades ago, Monsignor Paul Besong Enow left Cameroon for Nigeria to answer God’s call to become a Catholic priest. While in Nigeria, he visited the Archdiocese of Benin City and spoke to the then Archbishop of Benin City, Emeritus His Grace Patrick Epku. Bishop Epku was shocked to see a young man with a good accounting job who want to surrender it all for the priesthood in a foreign land. Emeritus archbishop Patrick Epku asked the young Paul to think about it and then to resign his job as an accountant. At this time, Monsignor Paul Besong Enow has made up his mind to respond to God’s call.
Following his resignation from the job, the future Monsignor was accepted under the Archdiocese of Benin City. He was sent to the formation program and later admitted at the Saint Peter and Paul Major Seminary Ibadan-Nigeria where he studied for the Catholic priesthood. He was later ordained a Catholic priest by the Emeritus Archbishop Patrick Epku.
Monsignor Paul Besong Enow has been a dedicated servant of God.He loves his work more than you think. To arm him with knowledge, He was sent to the Catholic Institute of West Africa Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He was been a lecturer at the Saint Paul’s Minor Seminary-Benin City and also held position at the Holy Cross Cathedral Airport road Benin City. Here Monsignor proved to be a true servant of God. Many there knows him as a the father for all children. He added meaning to the lives of many youths and the Christians of the Holy Cross Cathedral. It’s common to hear people say “papa for all pikin” referring to the fatherly concern of this man of God. He is a charitable priest to all children irrespective of your creed, race, tribe or status in society.
As the first child in his family,Monsignor Paul Enow faced challenges in his journey into the priesthood. He attended Bishop Rogan College Provincial Minor Seminary ,Small Soppo Cameroon briefly because his mother thought doing that will prevent him from achieving his desire to become a priest. Monsignor’s mom like every African mother wishes their offspring to be successful in their careers in fields like engineering, medical field,law, accountancy etc and finally to get married and have children. His case was even complicated because he was the first child in the family. His father was more tolerance and encouraging. The mother later became a champion and defender of his decision to serve God. Everyone in Cameroon called her ‘mama fada” Monsignor Completed his secondary school in Cameroon at the prestigious Saint Joseph’s College Sasse where he obtained his ordinary and advanced levels before heading to Nigeria. There in Nigeria, he went to the Calabar polytechnic where he did accountancy and as explained above, he picked up a lucrative job in Nigeria as an accountant. This is the journey of a man who was guided and protected by God in a foreign land for His greater glory.
Pope Francis recently honored Rev.Fr.Paul Besong with the title of Monsignor. Monsignor title isn’t given to all priests. This is a title to acknowledge a priest’s hard work as a priest of God. Everyone is shouting and thanking Rome for finally gracing this selfless priest who despite his difficult journey into the priesthood has offered his all in making sure who ever comes across him leaves with a positive tone of priesthood and Catholicism. On August 7,2021, all roads will be leading to Saint Paul’s Catholic Church for the official Investiture of Monsignor Paul Besong Enow. It should be noted that Monsignor Paul Besong Enow is the second priest from his division in Cameroon. Manyu today can boost of many priests and religious coming from the local villages which is evidence that his call to priesthood has opened more vocations in the area. May the Holy Spirit protect Monsignor Paul Enow in his new role as a Monsignor of the Catholic Church. Journey mercies to those who will be travelling from Cameroon, Europe, US, and others who will be travelling across Nigeria for this August occasion.
New market for Kenya’s avocado in South Korea
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Kenya will start exporting avocados to South Korea effective March 2022, announced Kenya Health Plant Health Inspectorate Service managing director Theophilus Mutui.
Mr. Theophilus Mutui said last week a delegation from Kenya led by the Trade and Enterprise Development CS Betty Maina held discussions with their South Korean counterpart during the Coffee Expo in the Asian country.
“In the meeting, it was agreed that we are going to fast track the issue for pest risk analyses for avocados, and possibly by February-March next year, Kenya will be able to export avocados to South Korea.
“As you are aware, the European Union is our major market for flowers, fruits, vegetables and herbs. Currently, we are working to open up other markets for our produce. Just recently, we were in South Korea where we discussed about enhancing exports of our produce to the Asian nation. This includes crops such as avocado,” said Mr. Mutui.
Apart from avocados, Kenya will also export pineapples, dried pepper, and sim sim to South Korea said Mutui. This will be in addition to coffee, copper paste, tobacco, apparel and clothing accessories, cut flowers, broccoli, and unripe bananas.
Mutui was speaking during a journalists’ awareness workshop programme organized by the Market Access Upgrade Program Kenya.
The $ 4 million Market Access Upgrade Kenya programme seeks to support counties to improve market access of agro-food products to the EU and regional and local markets.
It is supported by the European Union and implemented by United Nations Industrial Development Organisation in partnership with the Kenyan government, county governments, and private sector.
Arrest of two Kenyan judges condemned
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Lawyers have protested the arrest of two Kenyan judges Aggrey Muchelule and Said Chitembwe, accusing the government of mischief.
The two High Court Judges were arrested on the afternoon of Thursday, July 22, during a raid of their offices by sleuths from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
They were nabbed alongside their drivers and secretaries and transferred to the DCI headquarters, where they were interrogated for two hours before being set free.
Judges Muchelule and Chitembwe are alleged to have accepted bribes for the various cases they were assigned. One of the judges is purported to have received a piece of land related to a case he determined, and the other is accused of pocketing $50000 in a case that was to be determined on July 22.
Following the incident, Kenya Judges and Magistrate Association rushed to court on Friday morning, July 23, seeking an order to bar the DCI from arraigning and prosecuting them.
The association, through its lawyers, also wants the court to stop any planned re-arrest of the two judges.
Lawyers Cliff Ombeta, Danstan Omari, and Shadrack Wambui condemned the arrest and interrogation of the justices, saying it amounts to interference with the Judiciary’s independence.
They also condemned how they were arrested, arguing that the detectives did not produce an arrest warrant.
“The due process was not followed, if there are issues, you first inform the JSC not proceed to arrest them,” said lawyer Omari.
Meanwhile, Kenya’s Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Noordin Haji has distanced himself from speculations that he sanctioned the arrest and grilling of the two.
Haji noted his office “is not aware of circumstances that led to the arrest or questioning of the two Judges; neither has his office received any investigation files on the matter.”
Responding to the arrest, Chief Justice Martha Koome said she did not receive a formal report as the Head of Judiciary or the Chairperson of the Judicial Service Commission on the arrest of judges.
She pledged to issue a statement after the findings of the investigations.
“The arrest of the two Judges has caused anxiety among Judges and Judicial Officers. I assure all Judges and Judicial officers that the independence of the Judiciary and their constitutional duties protected by the Constitution,” she said.
The two are among six judges President Uhuru Kenyatta failed to promote to the Court of Appeal over alleged integrity issues.
Kenya: Uhuru meets Irish minister in Mombasa.
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
On Friday, July 23, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta held bilateral and multilateral talks with the visiting Foreigner Affairs Minister of the Republic of Ireland, Simon Coveney.
Agriculture and technology transfer top the agenda of their discussion.
President Kenyatta lauded the Government of Ireland for its financing of the $10000 Irish potato value-chain project. The project, located in Nyandarua County, central Kenya, is implemented by the International Fertiliser Development Centre (IFDC).
Kenya’s Head of State welcomed Ireland’s decision to support Kenya’s dairy sector and encouraged the European nation to extend the same assistance to the beef sub-sector.
“We would appreciate help in this field (beef sub-sector) as it will go a long way in creating food stability amongst our people besides boosting meat exports from our livestock,” said President Kenyatta.
Uhuru said the country will continue partnering with Ireland through the Young Scientists Kenya organization on technology transfer.
Kenyatta noted YSK had given Kenyan youth a platform to incubate and exhibit their innovations through the annual national science and technology contest.
“Technology is one area where we are keen on improving as our youth are quite tech savvy. We have invested heavily and collaboration in this field will be of mutual benefit to both our countries. I see tremendous opportunities with your help in the technology world,” added Kenyatta.
On his part, Minister Coveney thanked the President for the Kenya Government’s commitment to building strong relations with his country, noting that the potato project in Nyandarua County was a significant success.
He expressed Ireland’s desire to expand its support to other Kenyan economic sectors, saying the European nation’s cooperation support for science and technology projects laid a firm foundation for the country’s economic prosperity.
“Cooperation through the Young Scientists Kenya (YSK) is also picking momentum and some of the members were able to come to Ireland and participate in some science events and competitions,” Mr. Coveney said.
Nigeria:PDP Congratulates Jonathan on Appointment as ISCP-Africa Chair
July 23, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Kola Ologbondiyan*
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) congratulates former President Goodluck Jonathan on his appointment as Chairman, International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP)-Africa.
Former President Jonathan’s appointment as ISCP-Africa, an association of incumbent and former heads of state and their deputies, established in 2019 by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) which is an organization in general consultative status with the United Nations (UN), is in recognition of his leadership qualities as democrat as well as his resounding success in peace keeping efforts across the world.
Our party is assured that former President Jonathan, will deploy his wealth of experience strengthened by the democratic tenets and principles of our great party, in his new mandate of providing direction for the essentials of peace, security and development in Africa.
The party also congratulates President Jonathan on his appointment as the Chancellor of Cavendish University, Uganda (CUU). The PDP is elated that former President Jonathan is so honoured to hold the position previously held by late President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia as well as late President Benjamin Mkapa of the Republic of Tanzania, because of his commitment to education and human capital development, in line with the ideals of the PDP.
Our party congratulates Dr. Jonathan and urged him to use the positions to further the advancement of peace and development in Africa and world at large.
*National Publicity Secretary
Montel Swaray Embarks on a Mission to Transform African Lives
July 23, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Prince Kurupati
Popular Liberian American actor, writer, producer and entrepreneur Montel Swaray has embarked on a mission to transform the lives of underprivileged Africans on the continent. Through his foundation founded in 2018, Swaray says he wants to see wholesome transformation on the continent. As such, his Montel Swaray Foundation aims at “encouraging, supporting, funding, guiding and empowering different communities to develop in ways that secure their future into seeing a greater economy”.
In its mission to transform the lives of Africans on the continent, the Montel Swaray Foundation aims at working with local communities and community leaders. In its formative years, the Foundation states that it will focus more in uplifting the lives of Liberians – “Working in collaboration with government officials, and community leaders, we ensure that the appropriate infrastructure, food, water and educational sectors are in place to guarantee the long-term development and growth of Liberia”.
Though the Montel Swaray Foundation in its formative years will primarily focus in uplifting the lives of Liberians, it states that with time, it will move to influence and transform the lives of Africans in different countries from Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Nigeria and all other African countries.
In its mission to transform African lives, the Montel Swaray Foundation has earmarked specific sectors of interest. First up is the healthcare sector. On this front, the Foundation is aiming to improve the healthcare infrastructure while at the same time improving the welfare of healthcare workers. The Foundation states that it aims at working “with the communities to help the Department of Health to facilitate the innovative construction and improvement of the rural clinic facilities”.
The challenge of access to clean water has been an age long problem in Africa. Various reports have been drafted all coming to the same conclusion that millions of Africans do not have access to safe clean water. To help on this front, the Montel Swaray Foundation states that it’s looking to work “with communities to find the best solutions to improve access to water”. Some of the strategies that the Foundation is contemplating in its drive to address the challenge of lack of access to clean water is “creating water dams, installing boreholes and rainwater collection systems, and establishing community water stations for the rural and cities areas in Liberia”.
With many humanitarian reports on Africa Liberia included coming to the same conclusion that over half of the continent’s population is not adequately fed, the Montel Swaray Foundation is taking it upon itself to change this narrative in Liberia. The Foundation has teamed “up with local official and community leaders to ensure that all Liberians in need of help support and nourishment will receive that aid immediately”.
To future generations, the Montel Swaray Foundation is embarking on a drive to digitalize schools. The hope and intention is to provide all Liberian school going children with top quality education and an education that puts them at par with all other students from across the globe. This will in turn mean they will compete for the same opportunities in life thus helping them to uplift themselves and at the same time their communities. In a statement, the Foundation said it will help by providing “unlimited school supplies, laptops, notebooks, school uniforms and shoes – anything that our Liberian children need to be successful in class”.
Recognizing that school however is not everything that children and young adults need as they grow up, the Foundation also founded the Swaray United Sports Teams. The sports teams inhibit children and young adults from becoming idle all day and resorting to different vices in a bid to spend free time. The sports teams also provide children and young adults with an opportunity to develop their sports careers and even get noticed by sporting scouts of different professional sports teams. Some of the sports offered include soccer, basketball, volleyball and tennis.
Not only does the Montel Swaray Foundation aim at transforming the lives of Africans firstly Liberians, it also aims at transforming Liberia as a whole. The Foundation aims at working closely with “city leaders and construction companies to gain contracts that will help with the modernization of the Republic of Liberia”.
Reforming Secondary And Higher Education Curriculum In Africa
July 23, 2021 | 0 Comments
By John Nkemnji, Ph.D.*
In a previous issue of Pan African Visions, “RECONSTRUCTING PRIMARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM IN AFRICA,” asserted that Indigenous curriculum contributed to the coercion and development of Africa. Colonial education encouraged Africans to study imperialistic concepts, which destroyed African society and compounded existing problems. A Eurocentric curriculum breeds low morale and a lack of civility amongst Africans. Modern African schools need a new inclusive Indigenous curriculum that educates all genders and covers the continent’s challenges.
Africa needs educated youths to develop and transform the continent. Currently, the elderly leaders impede development as they indebt the continent with borrowing, and are seemingly accomplices of foreign interests. Female’s nurturing roles make them poised to lead and transform society. Educated female’s unique attributes provide great potential to move families out of poverty and away from early marriages and teen truancy. Properly educated Africans would also reduce inter-family, inter-tribal, and inter-state rivalries that stall harmony, coexistence, and development. Educated youths would be new leaders who speak and act on behalf of people.
The reconstructed primary school curriculum should cover the study of the people, places, and things in the locality, while modern secondary and higher education should prepare students to thrive in today’s world. The secondary program should continue where the primary teaching ends. The programs should broaden intellectual curiosity and transition students out of their locality to the national territory, the continent, and the world, thus building strength, stability, and self-reliance.
Despite the affirmation that Africa was the cradle for learning and civilization, scholars find more publications about Africa in libraries outside the continent. Due to lack of resources, poor internet services, and other hurdles, scholars in African institutions of higher learning sometimes write to colleagues abroad to send them literature and publications on Africa to aid their research efforts, since Africa’s publishing industry is not well-developed and there is a lack of educational materials. Education is a powerful tool for liberation or oppression; it should be structured to liberate and harness Africa’s potential.
Foreign languages of instruction like French, English, Arabic, Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish hinder authentic learning and comprehension for the nonnative speaker. This reality extinguishes indigenous languages. Nonetheless, that is not the most problematic educational issue facing the continent. Euro-centric curriculum and the educational philosophy need to be reformed to include a quality secondary education covering the breadth and depth of the people’s culture. This would serve as the key driver for reducing poverty and greed; fostering economic growth, and guaranteeing personal and professional development with egalitarian participation regardless of gender or age. Such reform would educate and decolonize the continent while encouraging lifelong learning. Schools in Africa would rely on indigenous/traditional ways of learning and knowing. It used to be that the entire village was involved in the education of its children, with students having sovereignty, voice, and integrity.
African philosophy was communal, communitarian, and based on the holistic nurturing of the community. That philosophy determined student’s and teacher’s roles; however, that is no longer taught or adhered to. In education, like in life, a guiding philosophy directs daily actions and outcomes. Indigenous educational philosophy was based on the people’s heritage, experiences, and aspirations. Given the developmental crisis on the continent, I suggest a return to the golden age – a reconstructive and progressive philosophy of education guided by a curriculum that addresses the needs of students, society, and the continent. Such a curriculum would result in the self-reliance and creativity needed to overcome the continent’s under-development.
Currently, some parents are not involved in their children’s education. They have been conditioned to think that good students merely pass exams and obtain certificates. The well-to-do parents employ teachers for after-school tutoring to help their children do well on exams. Students also play a lagging role, serving as passive learners who do not reflect on what is taught and how such learning can change them and their society. Students currently study to pass examinations, and in many cases, they mindlessly memorize what is taught. The student’s goal is to obtain a certificate, and what they learn may not be interesting, relevant, or real-life problem-solving. That, too, has to change with the plight of mass unemployment and brain drain.
A reformed secondary and higher education curriculum can equip learners with the tools and mindset to solve the continent’s problems. A curriculum guided by a new pragmatic philosophy would define a more explicit role for students, teachers, parents, and society. The new curriculum based on local realities and indigenous educational philosophy would produce inquisitive students, active learners, critical thinkers, and problem solvers. The new curriculum would also create better teachers and a better society. At such a time, Africa would cut down corruption, mediocrity, and incompetence.
There is a misguided mindset that Africa is cursed and will remain permanently underdeveloped. The geopolitical experience of Africans must force each citizen to free themselves from such a deceitful mindset, knowing that African education is education about the people, by the people, and for the people. Let us avoid the blame game as no individual can solve the dreadful problems in the content. Given that Africa is the cradle of civilization, 21st-century African scholars must strive to unite and change the status. Let Africa form international alliances and collaborate with benevolent international institutions to educate and develop the continent. That would be a giant step in the right direction, and Africa would change from a destitute continent to one that genuinely creates knowledge, wealth, happiness, and prosperity.
*Culled from July Issue of PAV Magazine. Dr. John Nkemnji is Professor Emeritus, Educational Technology. He is an educational consultant and a proponent of life-long learning. The author expresses gratitude to those educators and students who commented on this call for Action to help restructure education for development in Africa. More helpful comments will be appreciated.
Babadi Kamara Named Team Manager Of Leone Stars.
July 23, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Lamrana Barrie
On Thursday 22nd July the executive committee of the Sierra Leone football Association appointed the chairman of Bo Rangers Babadi Kamara as the new team manager of Leone Stars.
A press release by the Sierra Leone football Association states that the appointment came as a result of preparation for the 2022 African cup Nation. The committee approved the appointment of Babadi Kamara as the new team manager of Sierra Leone National Men’s Team Leone Stars.
Furthermore SLFA is expecting Kamara to commence work in his new office immediately as his contract is subject to renewal, which will come to an end on the 31st July 2023.
Babadi Kamara has been an active member in Sierra Leone football .He was with the team that traveled to Guinea and is also the chairman for Bo Rangers football club.
The Sierra Leone Football Association encourages the General public to contact Babadi Kamara on any issues related to Leone Stars with effect from today Thursday 22nd July 2022.
Rwanda Finance And Africa Legal Release A Joint Report On Realising And Facilitating Pan-African Investment
July 22, 2021 | 0 Comments
Kigali, Rwanda – 21.07.2021 – Rwanda Finance Limited and Africa Legal are delighted to announce the launch of their second research collaboration which highlights the current realities and future opportunities for capital deployment into African markets.
The report, titled ‘Realising and Facilitating pan-African Investment’, combines unique data analysis and insights sourced through a global research survey with interviews and commentary from leading voices from the African investment landscape.
This research depicts the growth trends in pan-African capital deployment, by further exploring the sectors and jurisdictions attracting the most significant investment while introducing the facilitators, advisors and structures supporting such financing.
Despite significant sums of money flowing in through Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), this groundbreaking report shows how little of this is processed or facilitated by African lawyers, accountants and financiers – with most international investors relying on non-African entities to support their capital deployment.
The report also demonstrates the growing importance of Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) as, following recent G8 commitments, these organisations are primed to be the force behind capital flows into African markets over the next five years. The report is the second in a three-part collaborative series between KIFC and Africa Legal, which is looking into the importance of international financial centres in accelerating development in Africa.
Commenting on this collaboration, Hortense Mudenge, Chief Operating Officer of Rwanda Finance Limited, said:
“As we embarked on this research journey, we knew it would be full of great insights and would allow for a fresh and new perspective of Africa. In this second edition of our research series, we are bringing to light key players involved in capital deployment and disclosing barriers and solutions to pan-African capital flow. Thanks to our trusted partner Africa Legal, our readers will be in for a treat.”
Scott Cowan, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of the Africa Professional Services Group (incorporating Africa Legal) added:
“When we entered this long-term collaboration with Rwanda Finance Limited and the Kigali International Financial Centre we were all excited by the prospect of supporting a true African success story and seizing another opportunity to showcase the aptitude, excellence and passion of our pan-African legal community. With this second report we have access to even more robust data which showcases not only the current investment landscape but also provides insight into where lawyers, financiers and funders need to be positioning themselves to ensure future relevance and the realisation of opportunity.”
To read the full report ‘Realising and Facilitating Pan-African Investment’ – click here. To read the first report in the series, titled ‘A Modern Africa. A Modern IFC’ – click here.
About Kigali International Financial Centre (KIFC)Kigali International Financial Centre is a financial centre facilitating international investment and cross-border transactions in Africa. KIFC positions Rwanda as a preferred financial jurisdiction for investments into Africa and by providing an attractive destination for international investors with a legal and regulatory framework fully compliant with international best practices.
About Rwanda Finance Limited (RFL)
Rwanda Finance Limited is the agency tasked with leading the development of Rwanda as a preferred destination for international investment and cross-border transactions in Africa. RFL is working with key stakeholders to develop and support the Kigali International Financial Centre through investment promotion, policy advocacy and sector upskilling.
Good Relations With The United States Of America (U.S.A) Earns Zambia Free Covid 19 Vaccines
July 22, 2021 | 0 Comments
–U.S.A has provided over $28 Millon dollars to Zambia in fight against Covid 19
By Kelvin Mbewe
The United States of America says Zambia will soon receive another donation of 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine in an effort to fight the covid 19 pandemic.
Zambia yesterday received a total of 151,200 does of the Johnson and Johnson single dose covid 19 vaccine.
And the United States says it has provided more than $28 million to fight COVID-19 in Zambia since the pandemic began.
U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires David Young said this morning when he held virtual meeting with journalists that belong to the Media Science café (Mesica) adding that the donations are free of charge.
“The United States is committed to leading the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerating global vaccine distribution as the world’s single largest donor to COVAX. All countries, regardless of income status, need vaccines that meet rigorous standards for safety and effectiveness,” he said.
Mr Young said the US will continue aiding Zambia to ensure that covid 19 is put to an end.
“We lament the loss of life in Zambia due to COVID-19, especially during this tragic third wave and the delta variant. We will continue working together to put an end to the pandemic’s high toll on life, livelihoods, and secondary social and economic impacts,” he said.
He said the US is sharing the vaccines to save lives.
“Our vaccines do not come with strings attached. We are doing this with the singular objective of saving lives sharing these vaccines also serve as another example of the strength of our partnership and our commitment to Zambia,” he said.
Dr Young said the President of the USA Joe Biden is committed to bringing the same urgency to international vaccination efforts that we have demonstrated at home.
“The vaccines were made available through the African Union COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility and are part of the U.S. pledge to provide at least 25 million of 80 million doses globally to Africa. The U.S. government coordinated closely with the African Union and Africa Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) on the country allocations, “he said.
He said the donation will help protect the Zambian people from the ravages of the COVID-19 virus and begin to reduce the barriers to building back the Zambian economy.
And Dr Young expressed optimism at this latest stage of the U.S.-Zambian relationship, reassuring U.S. support to assist Zambia to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The United States is proud to strengthen our friendship through the donation of these life-saving vaccines. The third wave of COVID-19 has been especially difficult in Zambia. Through these vaccines, and the additional U.S. shipments to come, we partner to save lives,” he said.
He said the 151,200 doses are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to share the U.S. vaccine supply with the world
“As we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic at home and work to end the pandemic worldwide, President Biden promised that the United States will be an arsenal of vaccines for the world,” he said.
PRESIDENT KENYATTA LAUNCHES YOUTH ARMY TO FIGHT MALARIA IN KENYA
July 22, 2021 | 0 Comments
Kilifi,Kenya 22nd July 2021 – His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, Thursday launched the Kenya Malaria Youth Army, a social movement that brings together young people from all the 47 counties of Kenya to champion malaria control and elimination in the country. The Kenya Malaria Youth Army will support advocacy, communication, innovation, and community efforts geared towards ending malaria, improving maternal and child health, and advancing access to universal healthcare.
The unveiling of the Kenya Malaria Youth Army (KeMYA) builds upon the bold and ambitious agenda by H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta – the chair of African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) – to eliminate malaria in Africa. In his four-point agenda, HE President Kenyatta envisioned an ‘ALMA youth army’ which will ensure that at the continental, regional and national levels, young people are mobilised through existing structures into a ‘youth army’ movement to contribute to ending malaria and expanding Universal Health Coverage.
“Now is the time to leverage the potential of young people to eliminate malaria by 2030, and work with them for faster and more effective delivery of health services at all levels,” said President Kenyatta. “ Young people constitute the majority of our population, partnering with youth was a missing link in our concerted efforts as leaders to defeat malaria,” he added.
The Kenya Malaria Youth Army will consist of young people aged 15 – 35, and will draw its membership from existing youth platforms, including youth groups, youth alliances, youth councils, youth societies and youth associations in Kenya. The army will be open to diverse cadres of young people, including: students, , young professionals, young leaders in political realm, public service and private sectors, and any other young persons willing to volunteer their time towards the malaria fight.
To fulfil its mandate, the youth army will support awareness raising, community sensitization activities, and dissemination of malaria messages in a bid to drive action towards malaria elimination. The army will advocate for resource mobilization and policy implementation while supporting community level malaria prevention and control efforts. These includes community-facing actions including the distribution of insecticide-treated nets, spraying larvicides at the malaria breeding sites and performing indoor residual spraying of homes in the lake and coastal malaria-prone counties of Kenya. The youth will also take lead in innovating and scaling up the delivery of proven tools that will prevent, diagnose or treat malaria infections in a bid to save lives.
During the launch that took place in Kilifi, President Kenyatta called on young people to amplify their voices to champion for greater accountability from government decision-makers and the private sector, and for strengthening of health systems. He emphasized on the need for young people to advocate for improved malaria surveillance and data sharing, and for malaria decision-making spaces to be more inclusive.
“There has been no better time for the young generation to advocate for their own future – now is the time to own the malaria agenda. I encourage the malaria community to leverage the #KenyaNiMimi youth campaign, the Sawazisha Gumzo by the National Youth Council, and other initiatives for youth dialogue and engagement in social, economic, and leadership processes in the country to contribute to malaria and the broader health and development agenda,” said President Kenyatta.
Upon launching the national malaria youth army, President Kenyatta urged young people to support malaria prevention and control activities at the grassroots level. The youth army will leverage on existing frameworks such as the National Youth Service (NYS) and the Kazi Mtaani initiative to perform indoor residual spraying of homes in malaria-prone counties of Kenya. The newly launched Kenya-Cuba project in the Ministry of Health will also engage young people in spraying larvicides at the malaria breeding sites.
“Every two minutes, malaria claims the life of a child. This deadly disease has been stealing our future for far too long. From today, we shall demonstrate that as young people that if we come together, we are the generation that will eliminate malaria in our lifetime,” said Roy Sasaka Telewa, the Chief Executive Officer at National Youth Council.
During the launch, the President witnessed a demonstration on the use of drone technology in spraying mosquito breeding sites- an initiative of the End Malaria Council. The initiative demonstrates the use of public-private partnership in end-malaria efforts.
Kenya becomes the first country in Africa, and globally, to launch a national malaria youth army. The Kenya Malaria Youth Army has been established upon the premise that while significant progress has been made to combat malaria, action must be taken to accelerate progress, and overcome challenges from COVID-19. The youth army is also built on the idea that meaningful engagement of young people is essential in driving gains towards better health and wellbeing for all.
Malaria remains the leading cause of illness and death in Kenya and accounts for over five million outpatient visits reported in health facilities in the country, with the most at-risk population for malaria being pregnant women and children under the age of five years.
About ALMA Chair’s Agenda
The African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) is a ground-breaking coalition of African Union Heads of State and Government working across 55 African countries with various partners including Regional Economic Communities and development partners to eliminate malaria by 2030. On assuming the Chair of ALMA for the period 2020-2022, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta set his agenda outlining four key results-based priority areas. These are (1) digitalisation to provide real time access to health-related data including sharing of Scorecards for Accountability and Action at country level to facilitate evidence informed policies and programmes; (2) Engagement with Regional Economic Communities as the key pillars to implement AU Malaria commitments; (3) Establishing End Malaria Councils and Funds to boost multisectoral action, accountability, resource mobilisation and accountability and (4) Creating an ALMA Youth Army to create a broader social movement to fight malaria, improve maternal and child health, and improve access to universal health-care.
Zimbabwe’s elections lobby organization dismayed by the failure of Electoral Commission to provide 2018 and 2019 accounts for audit .
July 22, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
Zimbabwe’s Election Resource Centre (ERC) reports that it is dismayed by the failure of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to provide 2018 and 2019 accounts for audit to the Auditor General.
ERC said that they took the opportunity to remind ZEC that the Principles of Public Administration and Leadership under section 195 of the Constitution requires all institutions and agencies of government at all tiers to be accountable to parliament, cooperate with each other and 196 3 and to be accountable to the public for decisions and actions.
The ERC said that the ZEC is not an exception and that the commission must comply with the provisions of the law and best practices.
‘The use of finances by any Election Management Body is governed by principles of election administration of which transparency and accountability are key characteristics to foster trust and confidence. As a public body, ZEC has a responsibility to open itself up to public scrutiny and to account on how it uses public funds,’ ERC said.
It added that Parliament of Zimbabwe, equally, has the responsibility, on behalf of citizens, to hold ZEC to account periodically to foster a culture of transparency that should transcend all other functions of the public body.
It said that if the use of public funds by an election commission is shrouded in secrecy, then chances are high that the management of the elections themselves could also suffer the same fate.
‘We, therefore, encourage the ZEC to fully disclose its budgets and use of public funds as part of its efforts of building public and stakeholder confidence in its work. The ERC insists that in between elections, the prioritization of the use of funds by ZEC should be targeted at enhancing the integrity of the electoral process,’ ERC said.
It added that Zimbabwe cannot afford another disputed election.
In light of the above, ERC said that it recommended ZEC provide its accounts and financials to the Office of the Auditor-General for the years 2018 and 2019 for audit purposes, Parliament of Zimbabwe through the relevant Portfolio Committees summons ZEC to appear and be answerable for the failure to submit the accounts for audit purpose, ZEC to comprehensively consult election stakeholders and also provide its calendar of events and activities to ensure accountability to the citizens of Zimbabwe and to electoral stakeholders.
Vitol, Shoreline Energy, And Springfield Energy Executive To Drive Discussion On Natural Gas, Financing And The Energy Transition At African Energy Week 2021 In Cape Town.
July 22, 2021 | 0 Comments
Recent speaker confirmations by Shoreline Energy International’s Kola Karim, Vitol Senior Investment’s Steven Brann, and Springfield Group’s Kevin Okyere to the upcoming African Energy Week 2021 in Cape Town aim to advance discussions on the role of gas in Africa’s energy future and the value of gas-to-power solutions.
Three new VIP speakers have just been confirmed for the highly anticipated African Energy Week (AEW) 2021, taking place in Cape Town on the 9th-12th of November. Confirmations by Kola Karim, Managing Director and CEO of Shoreline Energy International, Steven Brann, Senior Investment Manager at Vitol, and Kevin Okyere, CEO of Springfield Group further position the conference as Africa’s premier energy event. Serving as key players in the African energy industry and in line with AEW 2021’s agenda to promote the role of Africa in the global energy transition, Karim, Brann and Okyere will drive a productive discussion on the challenges and opportunities present in Africa’s power sector, as well as the role of natural gas and availability offinancing in Africa’s energy transition.
Considered one of Nigeria’s most successful entrepreneurs, Karim is both the founder and CEO of Shoreline Energy International, an indigenous power solutions company focused on power generation and power equipment manufacturing activities, operating throughout sub-Saharan Africa. With extensive experience in construction, commodity trading, oil and gas, engineering and the power sector, Karim is well-versed on Africa’s energy industry and committed to driving investment and growth across Africa’s power and energy sectors. With a focus on developing reliable and sustainable power supplies and creating integrated energy solutions throughout sub-Saharan Africa, Karim’s participation will foster dialogue on Africa’s power sector, addressing key concerns and offering feasible solutions to expanding regional power networks and driving industrialization.
Meanwhile, as Senior Investment Manager at Vitol – an energy and commodities trader involved in exploration and production, refining, terminals and trading – Brann is committed to driving investment in Africa’s impressive oil and gas sector. With a focus on gas and power solutions, Brann will advance discussions on natural gas monetization, challenges associated with the financing of Africa’s large-scale LNG projects and the value of gas as a transitionary resource. Driving a strong narrative that access to power is key to Africa’s industrialization, Brann will promote gas-to-power as a viable alternative power generation solution that can boost socioeconomic growth continent-wide.
In line with AEW 2021’s recognition of the growing role of natural gas, participation from Okyere from Springfield Group – the Ghanaian exploration and production firm responsible for a series of historic discoveries offshore Ghana – will contribute to discussions on natural gas’ place in Africa’s energy future. With a focus on exploring cleaner sources of energy, Springfield is committed to developing its natural gas fields and accelerating gas-to-power developments to fast-track Africa’s industrial revolution and economic transformation. Accordingly, Okyere’s participation proves particularly valuable, as he will be able to provide an Africa-focused narrative on natural gas monetization and utilization, backed by experience and success in Ghana’s sector.
“We are proud to announce that Kola Karim, Steven Brann and Kevin Okyere have all committed to AEW 2021. These industry leaders will contribute to AEW 2021’s natural gas agenda, further promoting the value and benefits of the resource not only in Africa’s energy transition, but in spurring economic growth, promoting energy sector development and alleviating energy poverty by 2030,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.
Karim, Brann and Okyere are all committed to the same objective: transforming Africa’s energy sector to drive industrialization and economic growth. AEW 2021 unites multiple stakeholders from varying industries, providing a valuable platform for discussion regarding Africa’s energy future, against a backdrop of integration and engagement. AEW 2021 believes in unity, partnerships and cooperation as the key to African energy success and is proud to host a variety of VIP speakers under one forward-thinking agenda.
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A Burgeoning Energy Sector: African Energy Week In Cape Town Committed To Promoting Investment In Zimbabwe.
July 21, 2021 | 0 Comments
During a working visit to Zimbabwe, African Energy Chamber Executive Chairman NJ Ayuk met with H.E. President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa to discuss extensive investment opportunities across the country’s renewable, natural gas and mining sectors.
Committed to driving attendance at the upcoming African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 interactive conference and exhibition taking place in Cape Town (November 9-12) – as well as promoting pan-African investment opportunities – NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, conducted a working visit to Zimbabwe to open a dialogue on the country’s promising energy sector. Meeting with H.E. Emmerson Dumbudzo Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe, and presenting his recently published book, ‘Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals,’ Ayuk emphasized how AEW 2021 will position Zimbabwe as a top investment priority in November, driving development across multiple energy sectors.
Ayuk’s meeting with the H.E. President Mnangagwa focused on Zimbabwe’s energy potential and delineated strategies by which this potential can be achieved. Across the country, power generation and transmission remain some of the most critical investment opportunities, as existing coal-fired power stations require upgrades and untapped natural gas and renewable resources lack exploitation. Therefore, Zimbabwe is seeking new investors and projects to increase installed power generation capacity, diversify its domestic energy sector and boost country-wide energy security, in which AEW 2021 will be a key driver.
With approximately 30 billion tons of coal in 21 known deposits that could have a lifespan of over 100 years, Zimbabwe’s coal reserves have the potential to address energy supply challenges and meet demand across the region. Currently, the country’s largest thermal power station, Hwange Thermal Power Plant, has a capacity of 750MW, supplying critical electricity to the population. However, with ageing power plants requiring upgrades and the country opting to reduce its reliance on coal, alternative power generation solutions are being considered and significant investment opportunities have emerged.
Ayuk’s visit initiated a dialogue on one of the country’s most promising sectors: renewable energy. Zimbabwe is home to impressive hydropower potential – estimated at 18,500 GWh per year, of which 17,500 GWh is technically feasible – and aims to drive further investment and associated development to establish domestic energy security and independence. To date, only 19% of the country’s hydropower potential has been exploited, with most of Zimbabwe’s electricity supply produced at the 750MW Kariba Dam Hydroelectric Power Station. With further potential from the Zambezi River, as well as several small-scale prospects across the country, the resource could potentially position the country as a regional renewable competitor.
Furthermore, Zimbabwe holds significant exploration opportunities for stakeholders. Despite the lack of proven oil and natural gas reserves – and the continued dependence on crude imports to supply the nation – Zimbabwe is redirecting its focus on exploration, specifically of natural gas. Having experienced critical electricity shortages for decades, Zimbabwe is seeking alternative power generation solutions, in which natural gas may be a viable alternative. The Southern African nation is pursuing partnerships and investment deals with international stakeholders, focusing on accelerating exploration and driving energy sector diversification and growth.
Meanwhile, according to the International Trade Administration, Zimbabwe’s lithium deposits are the largest in Africa. With the rapid increase in global demand given the mineral’s importance to the energy-battery industry, the country has the potential to become a major exporter, while contributing to the global energy transition. To position itself as a clean energy player, Zimbabwe requires significant investment in mining, with additional opportunities available in mining supplies, transportation infrastructure and materials. In a bid to attract further investment, the government has proposed regulatory changes to the Mines and Minerals Act, making its more progressive and investor friendly. With a renewed interest in increasing domestic production, the government is seeking significant capital investments, in which AEW 2021 will play a major role.
“AEW 2021 is committed to promoting Zimbabwe. With established sectors requiring upgrades, and emerging sectors seeking international participation and investment, the country offers significant potential for both regional and international players. By showcasing these opportunities at Africa’s premier energy event, AEW 2021 aims to drive investment in Zimbabwe, initiating energy sector expansion and diversification,” stated Ayuk.
H.E. President Mnangagwa has declared a commitment to developing a robust energy sector in Zimbabwe to meet rising power demand brought about by an increasingly vibrant, productive and resilient economy and people. With significant potential across multiple segments of its energy economy, Zimbabwe hopes to attract both regional and international investment, utilizing its energy sector as a catalyst for wider socioeconomic growth. AEW 2021 aims to further this agenda, placing Zimbabwe as a top priority and showcasing all that the country has to offer.
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Sierra Leone: Suckling Mother Gets Le 100 Million Bail Over Allegation Of Illegally Abstracting Electricity.
July 21, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Lamrana Barrie
Isatu Marrah, a suckling mother was granted Le 100 million bail after she was brought before Magistrate Kekura at the Freetown magistrate court No. 1 in the on-going early investigation on allegations of illegally abstracting electricity.
On the 3rd July, 2021, at black hall road Freetown police alleged that the accursed persons fraudulently used electricity supply from the electricity Distribution and supply Authority. To be diverted to the said house, within Black Hall Road, The accused persons have appeared six times before Magistrate Kekura on one count of using electricity supply contrary to section 68, of the national electricity Act No. 16 of 2011.
Marrah was granted bail after his lawyer Pujeh told Magistrate Kekura that the second accused Isatu Marrah is a suckling mother with a three month old baby and both of them are seriously sick and need proper medication. He said they will only have access to a doctor if Marrah is granted bail, he further said that his client will always be available when needed at court.
Magistrate Kekura said that the surety must be a resident in Freetown and should produce identification card of his or her address and the bail bond should be approved by the Deputy Assistant Register.
Magistrate Kekura granted the bail with Le 100 million plus one surety who must be an elderly person and a responsible citizen. But Ramatu Turay, Mohamed Kamara, Mohamed Santigie Kamara, Abdul Kassim Komeh and Sallieu and Ibrahim kamara with who they were jointly charge to the male and female correctional centre in Freetown.
This matter was prosecuted by ASP Ibrahim S. Mansaray. Magistrate Kekura adjourned the matter to Friday 23rd July 2021 for further hearing.
National Mosque In Ghana Shows Unity In Diversity – Andrew Egyapa Mercer-MP
July 21, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Maxwell Nkansah
Member of Parliament for Sekondi Andrew Egyapa Mercer has observed that the construction of a National Mosque in a Christian dominated country by the Nana Addo-led government is a laudable demonstration that there is unity in diversity.
According to him, he is confident that the National Mosque will serve as a significant reference point for Christians and Muslims that irrespective of their faith, there is no difference.
The commissioning of the National Mosque by the President, his Vice, the National Chief Imam together with leaders of other religious faiths with one accord is ample evidence and demonstration that Ghana occupies a unique place on the face of this earth.
Hundreds of Muslims in Accra and its environs converged at the refurbished Sekondi Methodist Park to mark the Eid prayers. Western Region Chief Imam Dr. Sheikh Ostaz Ali Hassan Ali led the prayers.
Speaking through an interpreter, the regional Chief Imam entreated the gathering to continue to live in harmony with one another. He indicated that all the prayers will be meaningless if they do not allow the teachings of Islam to reflect in their daily activities.
Member of Parliament Andrew Egyapa Mercer, who joined the prayers together with the regional minister, Kwabena Okyere-Darko Mensah, and the Sekondi-Takoradi Mayor, Abdul Issah Mumin, said the peace the country is enjoying should not be taken for granted.
According to him, as government thrives to unite the country, it behooves on every Ghanaian to also play his or her part.
The selection of the Muslim Vice President in itself should tell people that we are a diverse and multi-faith country. And that we should strongly believe in this unique diversity. That we do not discriminate as the Constitution enjoins us to do against people of different faith. He said we are people with common destiny therefore different faiths notwithstanding we can live together for many years.
Sekondi-Takoradi Mayor Abdul Issah Mumin, on his part, encouraged the citizenry to observe protocols on Covid-19. He elaborated that the country is seeing an upsurge in Covid-19 cases across the country. It is important that they take responsibility for their health and safety because the virus is still with us.
Ghana:Economy Recovering Faster – President Akufo-Addo
July 21, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Maxwell Nkansah
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has lauded the measures put in place by his government in putting the country’s economy back on the recovery track.
Despite showing promise in the period prior to the coronavirus, Ghana’s economy was hit by the global pandemic with the gains made receding drastically
However, the president promised in March, 2020 that his government cannot bring lives lost back but knows how to bring the economy back in one of the classical statements made by a head of state during the pandemic.
“We know how to bring the economy back to life. What we do not know is how to bring people back to life,” he stated on Saturday, March 28, 2020.
Addressing Muslims at the National Mosque Complex at Kanda on Tuesday, July 20, President Akufo-Addo stated that the economy is recovering at a faster rate than many countries’ across the world.
H said the country is making a faster economic recovery in comparison to many around the world with the economy expanding by 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2021.
According to the President many economies around the world have been affected of Covid-19, and so governments are finding it difficult to attract the needed investment in the productive areas of their economies. He indicated that Ghana’s situation appears to be different.
The president further stated that investor community continues to cast a vote of confidence in the economy and several companies are making investments in the economy that will create jobs for the young people of Ghana.
The fifth president of the Fourth Republic said the love of the country is still burning hot within him and he will do everything possible to get the youth job opportunities in the country. “We are determined to pursue our agenda of job creation in order to give opportunities to our youths to nurture their talents for the development of our country.”
Kenya Airways partners with TDE Tourism to boost tourism.
July 21, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Kenya Airways has collaborated with American company TDE Tourism to increase the number of tourists in Kenya.
Frontier Marketing has facilitated the partnership, Kenya’s marketing firm to increase the number of visitors on direct flights from New York to Nairobi.
TDE Tourism is run by US-based former Hollywood actress and Broadway theatre veteran Lady Toussaint Duchess popularly known as Lady T.
“Following a year of unprecedented uncertainty, we continue to join arms to catalyse a generation of opportunities and establish a path to a more sustainable business with our customers at the heart of driving our purpose. As you fly with us, I hope you see and feel the commitment we have placed to serve our customers better and meet their rising expectations at every point of their journey, whenever and wherever they travel with us.” Kenya Airways Chief Commercial and Customer Officer Julius Thairu stated.
According to the Managing Director of Frontier Marketing and partner in TDE, Mr. Joseph Kimotho, the partnership was directly inspired by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s clarion call last year during Madaraka Day celebrations for entrepreneurs to reimagine existing business models in the post-COVID economy to spur economic growth and deepen Kenya’s integration in the global economy.
The campaign christened ‘Journey to Africa with Lady T’ targets African American Society, many of whom trace their origin from Africa.
Last week’s report released by the Tourism Research Institute shows that tourist arrivals in Kenya between January and June 2021 reached 305635.
The US emerged top source Market for the East African nation, followed by Tanzania, Uganda, China, UK, India, and Rwanda.
Some visitors came to visit families and friends, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, holidays, transit, education, medical purposes, religious purposes, and sports.
Cape Verde: Down but not out for Alex Saab as fight for his release intensifies
July 21, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
Diplomatic officials, human rights activists and even a former cellmate of former South Africa President Nelson Mandela have all called for the immediate release of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Nain Saab Moran, who has been “illegally” arrested in Cape Verde.
In a video put out by Pangea Risk, a spirited defence is been put up for Mr Saab who was arrested in Cape Verde I June 2020. Officials , his defence team and associates want the Cape Verde government to send him home to Venezuela and not extradited to the USA.
To his team, the arrest of Alex Saab is to intensify pressure on President Nikolas Maduro to step down and that this is how the USA uses its long arm of its law as it tries to do around the world.
Cape Verde which is experiencing the worst economic crisis in 45 years is noted for corruption with human rights abuse and police brutality rife in the country, the report says. In addition, the report says that the country is also battling with organized crime and high rate of money laundering.
Huawei, Kenya partners to enhance ICT development in training institutes
July 21, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd and Kenya’s Ministry of Education have signed a partnership deal to improve the ICT infrastructure within Vocational and Technical Training institutions.
The deal was signed by Dr. Margaret Mwakima, Principal Secretary State Department for Vocational Technical Training, and Fiona Pan, Deputy CEO, Huawei.
The new partnership will also offer support in administering ICT skills surveys to understand better the state and level of ICT skills and better address them.
It also aims to offer job or internship opportunities through the Huawei ICT Academy program and strengthen the competency-based curriculum at the Vocational and Technical Training institutions.
“Ministry has taken note of Huawei initiatives to develop the ICT and digital talent of the youth in the country and beyond. It is for this reason that the ministry will sign a partnership to expand Huawei ICT Academies in our TVET institutions,” said the Principal Secretary, Dr. Margaret Mwakima.
The agreement will see the institutions from across the country partner to enhance capacity building among their 150 trainers and offer industry-level training to more than 1000 students to better prepare them to work in the ICT industry and other related areas.
Cameroon: The Fomunyoh Foundation Women Empowerment Centre Reopens
July 21, 2021 | 0 Comments
–The centre was closed down in 2018 but now operational with three vocational skills like Hairdressing, tailoring and catering
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The Fomunyoh Foundation Women Empowerment Centre (TFF/WEC) which was suspended for some years due to the spiral of violence in the Anglophone Regions has been reopened with training envisaged in the weeks ahead.
The centre was opened and went operational in 2017 after the General Assembly in Bamenda where the outcome was for the creation of a women empowerment centre in both Bamenda and Kumba.
“The two centres had to run simultaneously and were charged to take care of internally displaced persons,” Metuge Evelyne Epole, Director – The Fomunyoh Foundation Women Empowerment Centre, SWR (Kumba) told Pan African Visions during the distribution of some food and non-food items to some internally displaced persons in Kumba on Tuesday, July 20.
“With the crisis, the Centre had to host several displaced persons from the villages and the interiors who had fled violence. The worst part is that when the people came to town they had nothing to do.”
She added: “The centre had over fifty young girls and widows upon going operational. They were trained in hairdressing and tailoring. We carried this project right up to 2018 when the crisis went to an apex where we had to close down temporarily.”
With the situation in the Region improving, officials at the Centre feel like there are still some displaced persons who could benefit from this project and that is why the Kumba Centre was re-launched.
Some additional skills have been added to the training programme like catering, according to the Director. She said: “We hope that by the time you have gone through the training you can earn a living for yourself because where you were before you must have been earning something,” Evelyne Epole added.
“Giving them these vocational training is a lifetime experience which they will always need it. The training will be important not just for themselves but for the family as a whole. We are going to give low-interest loans to a few so they can start their own business; we will help others to have employment connections.”
She went further to encouraged the displaced persons to come and get the training at the centre which is very vital for them. She said the training as before is free and all they need to do is to come to the office and show their willingness to learn any of the trades that are on offer.
The Director said: “You people should be the ones to come to the training centre and not for us to look for you. We will give you training so that after a couple of months you can earn your own money. We believe that if women are empowered, society will be a better place.”