APO Group has been appointed by World Rugby’s African Association as the Official Partner of Rugby Africa in a release issued by the association.

As part of his official visit to Washington DC, H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), on 15 November 2017, met with Rep. Karen Bass and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in Washington DC before addressing the representatives of the African Diaspora and African American community.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, World Bank Group, and European Commission has launched the WB-EU Partnership for Evidence-Based Policy Making in Agriculture.

 

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, has deployed the first batch of election observers of the African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) to Kenya.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Brazil-Africa Institute (BAI) have launched the Youth Technical Training Program (YTTP) - an initiative that aims to train young African professionals in research and technology transfer, contributing to local capacity development.

SOUTH AFRICA – Absa Bank Limited (www.Absa.co.za), a subsidiary of the Barclays Africa Group (BAGL) (www.BarclaysAfrica.com), has successfully concluded a five year $100 million Special Facility Agreement with the China Development Bank (CDB). 

Conflict, violence and disasters have caused more than 9 million new internal displacements globally in the first half of 2017, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).

POLAND – The World Heritage Committee meeting in Krakow has inscribed Hebron / Al Khalil Old town (Palestine) and W-Arly-Pendjari Complex (Benin, Burkina Faso) on the World Heritage List during its morning session. The Committee simultaneously added the site of Hebron / Al Khalil to the List of World Heritage in Danger.

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Cape Town — One of every four children under five years old in southern Africa suffers from stunted growth in that they are too short for their age, often as a result of inadequate nutrition.

This was revealed at the southern African launch of the 2017 Global Nutrition Report in Johannesburg this week.

"The indicators for nutrition are... alarming," said a press release from the Graça Machel Trust and the World Food Programme.

"Twenty-eight percent of children under the age of five in Southern Africa suffer from stunting, six percent from wasting and one percent from severe wasting. Additionally, 12 percent of children under 5 are underweight.

"At the same time, there is widespread micronutrient deficiency, and obesity is on the increase."

Civil society activist Graça Machel said countries grouped in the Southern African Development Community had made significant progress in reducing levels of malnutrition.

Despite this, "malnutrition remains stubbornly high, with two-thirds of countries in the region showing levels of stunting above 30 percent".

She added: "These stark findings give a very clear and unambiguous message that governments need to work together with the private sector, civil society and communities in much smarter and collaborative ways to eradicate the scourge of malnutrition."

Both mothers and children needed better nutrition, she said, since "the lack of adequate nutrition, especially for pregnant women and children in the first 24 months of their lives, is often a key contributor to the high levels of child mortality, stunting and the associated loss of human capital".

The United Nations Children Funds (UNICEF) says Nigeria is ranked third among the countries of the world where people still practise open defaecation.

Mr Zaid Jurji, the UNICEF Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Nigeria, made this known on Wednesday in Katsina when he paid courtesy visit to Gov. Aminu Masari.

"The situation of sanitation in Nigeria is alarming. Nigeria is third worldwide when it comes to open defaecation, one-third of the population practise it.

"Nigeria is a heavy weight country, not only in Africa, but worldwide.

"It does not go well to know that open defaecation is being practised widely in various communities in a strong country like Nigeria.

"So, we need to do something about that beyond the traditional approach to improve on the situation," he said.

Jurji said UNICEF would continue to provide funds that would be merged with counterpart funds from state governments to render the much needed services.

He urged leaders and other stakeholders to intensify efforts toward enlightening people on the dangers associated with the ugly trend.

"We believe that Nigerians listen to their leaders, and may be a couple of statements from you, on many occasions as appropriate, will start making a difference.

"Our role to is see that happening, but changing people's attitudes by making them to know that open defaecation is something Nigerians cannot stand anymore," he said.

Jurji said that eradicating open defaecation would also assist to improve sanitation, being one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He stressed the need for every household to ensure installation of a standard pit latrine.

In his remarks, Masari said that the state government was making efforts to provide pit latrines in public places like schools, market and motor parks.

Masari said that his administration would provide the latrines on ownership basis to ensure their proper maintenance.

Masari said that RUWASSSA had constructed 110 pit latrines in primary schools, while the State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB) constructed another 118 latrines in some schools across the state.

He said that improving sanitation and eradicating open defecation would assist to reduce diseases by about 50 per cent.

NAN

press release

Bangui — Following a violent armed robbery on Monday 20 November that threatened the lives of its workers, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has evacuated all 58 national and international staff, and suspended medical operations from Bangassou, a town in southeastern Central African Republic. The town is largely under the control of various armed groups affiliated to the anti-Balaka factions.

"We had the will and the means to stay in those areas. But we cannot put the lives of our staff on the line when our staff and the medical structures where we work are threatened", says Frederic Lai Manantsoa, MSF's country director.

In the Bangassou region, half a million people were relying almost entirely on MSF's services to access healthcare. Following attacks, most health centres in the area not supported by the organisation were left empty, lacking staff and the most basic drugs and medical supplies.

"Today, the 30 children under five who were in intensive care in the Bangassou hospital will not be seen by doctors or nurses. The 26 patients in urgent need of surgery will be left in their beds", says Frédéric Lai Manantsoa. "The only outside witnesses of what is happening on the ground in the area are UN troops and some missionaries. The Bangassou population has already started leaving the city, including critically ill patients from the hospital."

"Facing such huge, desperate needs, an international humanitarian organisation like ours should try to remain in the area as long as possible", Frédéric Lai Manantsoa continues. "Leaving the population utterly abandoned is a painful admission that we are unable to bring humanitarian relief to one of the most severe humanitarian crises in the world today because of attacks on our staff."

The OYO Dance Troupe will present a dance showcase to commemorate World AIDS day and raise awareness, on 1 December at FNCC at 19:00 with tickets at N$50 in advance and N$70 at the door.

The event will premiere 'to take or not to take' during the evening a piece with beautiful duets dealing with your relationships to others once living with HIV. It will also present of its repertoire piece, delighting the audience with its unique use of physical theatre and its story telling power.

The Group will also showcase 'what is love?' a piece about a teenage girl living with the virus and falling in love for the first time and 'Thiasus' which is about alcohol, peer pressure and how life can quickly take an unexpected turn.

The choreographer for the Troupe is Philippe Talavera and the dancer are Monray Garoeb, Jessica Augustus, Desmond Kamerika, Divine Naibas, Osyrin Puteho, Sydney Farao, Joe Nakapela, Mary Jane Andreas, Kassi Hausiku and Livy Naseb

World AIDS Day takes place on the 1 December each year and it was founded in 1988 and was the first ever global health day. The day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS related illness.

By Lily Kampani-Mana

First Lady Gertrude Mutharika has beenin Global Health by the Peking University School of Public Health (PKUSPH) in recognition of her commitment towards advancing public health issues in Malawi and Africa.

Madam Mutharika received the award Tuesday at Golden Peacock in Lilongwe during the unveiling ceremony of the Malawi Participatory Rural Development Organisation (PRDO) health research and training collaborating centre.

In her remarks, the first lady dedicated the award to all health workers in the country saying they are the people making public health services tick.

"This Professorship is not just about me. It is about all those people who dedicate their life to make public health work in our country. I want to celebrate with all Malawians who work tirelessly in the fight against HIV and AIDS, maternal and child mortality and cancers," Mutharika said.

She further stated that the launch of the health research and training collaborating centre will help in combating public health challenges in Malawi.

"I am confident that this event today is a door that has opened increased opportunities and benefits for both China and Malawi. Our partnership with Peking University will be a platform for more exchange programmes in capacity building and human resource development," she said.

Chinese Ambassador to Malawi Shi Ting Wang applauded the first lady for her devotion to education, sanitation, public health for the well being of all Malawians and for standing out as a role model.

"In pursuing a health and clean Malawi, Her Excellency spares no effort in improving the medical and health conditions in Malawi, especially for the vulnerable people" Wang said.

He further said that the establishment of the collaboration center indicates the determination and dedication China has in helping Malawi in the public health sector.

"We are sure with this joint effort, more Malawians will have access to quality health care thereby injecting a fresh momentum into the social and economic development of Malawi" Wang said.

Minister of Health and Population Atupele Muluzi applauded the Chinese government for being a shining example of resilient health systems and assured them that his ministry will work closely to improve health management particularly in health care development.

The Malawi collaborating center is the first overseas health research and teaching center by Peking University.

Life threatening diseases like HIV, Ebola and Monkey Pox may be mild compared to other diseases outbreak that may occur in future if adequate expertise is not applied to wild conservation and management, a don has said.

This was the submission of George Ogunjemite while delivering the 92nd Inaugural Lecture at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA.

Speaking on the topic 'Monkeys and Apes: Man in Its Reminiscence' the professor of primate community ecology said man must handle primates and other mammals in his environment with utmost care in order to maintain quality of life and the peaceful co-existence of all living things and prevent catastrophic diseases and plaques that can debilitate the human race.

He said most of the infectious agents affecting apes can affect humans and vice versa. According to him, the remarkable genetic and physiological similarities between chimpanzee and humans explain why they may be easily affected by the same disease causative agents. He cited the example of the HIV-1 and HIV-2 which are of zoonotic origin with their closest relatives in chimpanzee and related species. He also stressed that the newly emerged threat of 'Ebola' and 'monkey pox' diseases are often products of disturbances of ecological balance in the environment.

Mr. Ogunjemite further said for humans not to encounter a far deadlier disease than the prevailing ones, all and sundry must develop strong commitment and love for the conservation of all other living resources.

He declared that non-human primates provide an important data source for understanding many aspects of human behaviour and physiology. He said important advances in medicine and drug effects have come from the experimental use of monkeys and apes. Mr. Ogunjemite said it is evident that man has always profited from his natural environment in maintaining his health and that man will continue to depend on these animals to improve upon his health conditions. The lecturer defined primates as a mammalian order to which humans belong and one of the dominant species of animals in the West African sub-region. He said primates are mostly forest dwelling animals that are very important tropical biodiversity essential for various ecological processes, functions and services.

Mr. Ogunjemite said primates are the next set of animals to man and the mirror with which we observe ourselves on the evolutionary history. He pointed out that they live in organised communities and have government of their own with the greatest differences between homo and the great apes relatives being the fact that humans have developed a sophisticated spoken, written and electronic language that enables them to plan far into the future and ability to learn from the past. This human highly evolved intellect, according to him, gives humans the ability to make decisions regarding the life and death of the entire specie.

On the way forward, Mr. Ogunjemite proposed that primate based ecotourism should be encouraged for tourist enjoyment, thereby promoting opportunities to admire and support conservation of the species and other animals living within the forest. He also suggested that saving reserves such as the one in Ifon, Ondo State, should be pursued because of its strategic location as an Ecotone for the forest and savannah ecologies of South-west Nigeria. He said the reserve harbours a high number of primate species of rainforest and savannah ecosystem of the region.

Introducing the lecturer, the Chairman at the event and Vice Chancellor, Joseph Fuwape, described him as a vibrant academic who has served the university in various capacities and contributed positively to learning and research and human capacity development in his area of specialisation.

By Yeukai Karengezeka-Chisepo

Zimdancehall chanter Alban Nyatsambo aka Terminator dropped his first gospel album entitled "Re Birth" recently. The artiste rose to stardom with his hit song "Tinofamba naMwari" in 2014. The new album is fast gaining popularity with some of the songs already competing in several radio chart shows. In an interview with this publication, the singer said he was happy with the response the album has received so far in the market. "I am elated that already my new project is doing well and I thank all music lovers for supporting my album that narrates how God has transformed my life tremendously," he said.

"This album is the true definition of me and I will continue entertaining people as well as preaching the word of God through songs." The new album carries 12 tracks which seek to uplift hearts of believers. Some of the songs include "Kunamata", "Mbiri kuna Jesu", "Zvapera", "Daira", "Show Me Your Ways", and "Born Again". He is upbeat about his latest offering. "The song 'Mbiri Kuna Jesu' has high tempo and I am sure music lovers will be on their toes throughout the song. It has a dancehall feel and house beat," Terminator said.

"In the song 'Kunamata' I am encouraging people to submit their lives to God in these trying times. We should acknowledge the presence of God always be it in good or bad times." The album was recorded by different producers among them DJ Tamuka, Legendary Music and Osikid.

Meanwhile, he has filmed an accompanying video of the song "Jesu Ndimambo" featuring Jonex to complement the audio. Apart from this album he has dropped new tracks "Buditsa Badness", "Nobody" and "Garaineni". The youthful chanter's first album was titled "Rwendo Rweupenyu".

analysis By Adam De Paor-Evans, University of Central Lancashire

Since the inception of hip-hop culture, the DJ has been its cornerstone. The culture's starting point is widely accepted as the birthday party Kool DJ Herc threw for his sister at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, The Bronx on August 11, 1973.

Kool Herc's selection spanned the funk genre, and using two copies of the same record, he extended the break (typically a breakdown followed by a series of drum-only or drum and bass patterns). This pioneering DJ method set the tone for what became the core of hip-hop DJing for the past 45 years.

For the rest of that decade and throughout the 1980s the DJ was the first maker of hip-hop and the linchpin of experimentation. The practice of of scratching, mixing and cutting evolved through their various iterations and experienced many paradigm shifts thanks to DJs like Grandmaster Flowers, Grandmaster Flash and Grandwizard Theodore and, later, DJ Cheese, DJ Jazzy Jeff and DJ Cash Money.

The Disco Mix Club (DMC), initiated in 1983, has organised world mixing championships for 31 years. These celebrate hip hop DJs' skills and talents. This year's winner, Japan's 12-year-old DJ Rena, is the youngest champion ever.

The artistry of hip hop DJing is truly a worldwide discipline. From the incredible teamwork of the UK's Scratch Perverts to the multidisciplinary approaches of South Africa's Grand Master Ready D, mix DJs have revolutionised the broader field of dance music, and they've influenced other music genres too. But there's now a huge, awkward elephant in hip-hop culture's room: the ghost of the DJ.

Huge, awkward elephant

On 7 November 2017, DMC World DJ Champion of 1988, DJ Cash Money (Jerome Hewlett), announced his retirement on Facebook, posting in caps:

IT'S OFFICIAL I'M OUT OF THE GAME!!

It's a shockwave the hip hop nation is still feeling, and one that's raised some questions. DJ Cash Money has toured consistently and successfully since 1988. In his retirement post he stated that, for him, the music business has become negative. Dealing with overbearing promoters and agents was too problematic. A barrage of people have agreed with him.

The most common issue DJs as independent artists face is promoters' unrealistic expectations. Coupled with reductions in how much the artist earns, it is understandable that DJs like Cash Money are looking outside hip hop to further their careers.

But there's more than just money at stake. There's a greater complex problem within hip hop culture itself: the DJ no longer takes a central creative role with shared responsibility for the overall sound, the design of the cuts and scratches in dialogue with the raps, and the live performance.

Run DMC's Jam Master Jay was an exemplar of these methodologies. During the 1980s - when Run DMC were one of the most celebrated hip-hop crews - the DJ's input was clearly prominent within hip-hop's representations. Most hip-hop albums of the time contained an ode to the DJ - a sole track boasting the DJ's skills - such as "Moe Luv's Theme" by Ultramagnetic MCs, "DJ K La Boss" by EPMD and Cash Money & Marvelous's "The Mighty Hard Rocker".

The exposure gained from success in the DMC Championships also helped their crew's publicity. But at some point in the 1990s the DJ's presence seemed to fade from hip hop, which I believe links to the embracing of the sampler, a piece of digital hardware enabling the breakbeats to be extended without the DJ.

Beautifully produced albums such as "Uptown Saturday Night" (1997) by Camp Lo contain little evidence of DJ practice. It illustrated this increased trend as emcee-producers (rappers who produce their own music) MF Doom, Q-Tip and Lord Finesse set the tone for the arrival of the superstar rapper-producer. Cue: Kanye West.

The theory of "habitus" as presented by philosopher Pierre Bourdieu can help us understand the evolution and position of the DJ within hip hop. In "Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste" Bourdieu explains the "habitus" as an embodiment of cultural capital evident within skills, disposition and attitude of members of a culture.

This evolution away from the DJ led to a shift in the mainstream construct of the habitus in the hip-hop production canon; yet outside this canon the underground maintains solid links to the DJ's position evident in the sounds of America's Jurassic 5 and South Africa's Brasse Vannie Kaap.

Drawing on Bourdieu's notion there is a dislocation within the habitus of hip-hop. The underground habitus values skills, creativity and practice based on life experience, while the commercial habitus values the monetary gain that can be accrued from consolidation of such skills.

In the underground scene, DJs are clearly present in the final product, although all too often cuts and scratches are farmed out to DJs. These additions become decoration rather than an integral part of the song's concept, which can drastically weaken the narrative.

Return to the crew

Hip-hop may benefit from a return to the crew and collective mentality, where the DJ once again is valued and plays a central creative role. This repositioning could rejuvenate the dynamic that has been gradually engineered out of hip-hop music. It can offer a counterpoint to the non-practicing promoters, agents and industry representatives who continue to drive the culture.

Hip-hop needs to reflect on its own origins in order to project into the future, working once again from the ground up. DJ Cash Money's retirement should send a critical message to hip-hop practitioners worldwide.

The bottom line is hip-hop music cannot be sustained with rappers and producers only, nor can it continue to elevate without its original musician - the DJ - at its core.

Beyond ringback tones, music downloading and streaming services in Africa have been a slow burn. Digital music label and aggregator Africori sits at the crossroads of tomorrow's market so we spoke to Founder Yoel Kenan about what's happening in the market and why.

Africori has become the leading digital music aggregator in Africa (with around 100,000 tracks) and is getting 60 million views a month on video platforms, mainly You Tube. The latter is now generating a significant income stream:"We've increased our expertise and capacity and have built better relationships with all of the DSPs."

Over the last year it has on-boarded a number of new clients including Chocolate City and Gallo: "They're appreciating an African company focused on African music. We understand their struggles and their objectives. We're very responsive. So we've decided to move towards being a boutique distribution company."

This last move is very significant as it takes Africori closer to becoming the digital music label of the future. Most aggregators globally distribute large numbers of tracks for many clients, in some cases 1000-4000 clients. In these circumstances, the aggregator has so many new releases, it's impossible to promote any of them effectively. Also African releases get lost among the many international releases:"It's hard to get successful in this way. We know which platforms are best for African music."

"As a boutique aggregator, we get up to 40 requests a week from artists wanting distribution. We prefer to work with labels, producers and artists that are serious about their work and who have talent. It's not just big artists but also younger developing artists as well."

So Africori has also become a music service company with a developing network of people able to support artists. For example, it has developed a network of radio and media pluggers in 27 countries:"If you're a client and you want to be pushed in particular countries, we can co-ordinate it. We will also be adding social media packages to reach audiences outside Africa."

It has also signed a deal with BMAT in Barcelona which will "maximize our ability to collect revenues from the collecting societies. It has the reference information service and will administer the metadata. It's important that African music is well administered. We're also working with an analytics company who can provide uable data to artists and labels. Anyone can do distribution but African artists need to expect more from their partners."

Music streaming and download services are slowly growing but have not been quick to take off. Why?: "There are a number of reasons: the cost of data - you just don't know how much data will cost you; the user experience is not intuitive; and the pricing model is not yet right." Nevertheless his digital revenues are up 340% from last year fuelled by having stronger clients and the growth of the streaming business in South Africa: "We will see this kind of growth in 5-6 countries next year and it will begin to change the business."

The first video off of their forthcoming LP #AfrikanSauce - a continuation of the #LiveandDieinAfrika theme - Kenyan group Sauti Sol released Melanin, on Monday.

The LP will feature the biggest names in African music and the Kenyan group will be making a release monthly for the next 12 months.

Melanin was written & performed by Sauti Sol & Patoranking, co-written by Nviiri Sande, and was directed by Clarence Peters.

Check out the video

Koroga Festival

See Sauti Sol live this weekend at the 20th edition of Koroga Festival! Featuring Heavy K and Freshlyground, don’t miss the biggest Koroga Festival yet! You can get tickets here.

By Rahim Kamwana

Lilongwe — The award winning artist, Fredokiss, real name Penjani Kalua, has dedicated his artist-of-the-year award to all the ghetto youth in the country.

Speaking in an interview with Malawi News Agency at the UMP awards in Lilongwe on Saturday night, Fredokiss said all the youth in the country deserve the award because without them there is no Fredokiss.

"I urge them to continue supporting me as I will be always their mouthpiece. I should thank the Almighty God for giving me this wonderful chance for winning this artist-of -the-year [award] and I feel blessed.

"I thank all my fans for voting for me and I want to dedicate this award to them because without them the ghetto cannot be the ghetto. If this award was food, I could have shared it among all the youth, achina freedo, because we are many. I do take all the ghetto youths as myself," Fredokiss said.

Fredokiss came out with three awards on the day, winning the Best Live Act, Best Rap/ Hip Hop and the artist of the year award.

In his final remarks, Fredokiss urged all the youth to aim high and look forward to their future.

"As youth we have to look forward to our careers and without forgetting God, because with him everything is possible. Let us rock the ghetto to say simple, my journey in 2017 has not been simple, it has been guided by God because of so many ups and downs. All in all I do thank God," Fredokiss added.

In other categories on the night, Song-of-the-Year award was Apse Mtima by Malceba, Album of the year was 'Jesus is my boss' by Gwamba, BFB received producer of the year award, and music video of the year was Gwetsa by Nathan Tunez and Hazel Mak.

Music director of the year award was awarded to Sukez, best new artist was Waxy K, best RnB artist was Kell Kay, best female artist was awarded to Sangie, best group/duo was awarded to Bossaro Music Group, best music band went to Mizu Band while best dance hall/reggae artist was Malinga Mafia and Gwamba grabbed the best gospel artist.

Police have arrested two of the five suspects allegedly involved in a robbery that took place during the production of a music video at Elisenheim on the outskirts of Windhoek last Friday.

The Namibian yesterday reported that five people were robbed of equipment and items worth N$500 000 while recording a video for a South African musician, including Namibian blues artist Riaan Smit, who was severely injured during the robbery.

Police chief inspector Kauna Shikwambi yesterday said the two suspects were arrested yesterday afternoon at around14h00 at Okuryangava after an intelligence-led investigation.

"One of the suspects was found in possession of a wallet of one of the victim's. All stolen items were also recovered. The suspects are expected to appear in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court on Wednesday (tomorrow)," said Shikwambi.

Meanwhile, police yesterday arrested a 46-year-old man who was found dealing in 11 458 Mandrax tablets with a street value of N$1 374 969.

Shikwambi said the arrest was made after a police search at the Trans-Kalahari border post.

"The suspect was coming from Johannesburg through Botswana on a cargo truck. He is expected to appear in the Gobabis Magistrate's Court soon", she added.

Candidates from top private schools took most of the best positions in class eight examination results.

Top in the city was Oduor Nicole Mary of Lakewood Schools, who scored 446 marks to spark celebrations at the institution.

At Makini School, it was a joyous moment for Oduor Amy Angel Akinyi who scored 444 marks.

The school's executive director Mary Okelo said that they had performed better than last year when they had 40 students with over 400 marks.

Ms Okelo said Tuesday's announcement of the results caught the institution by surprise. She however said the school's performance has remained consistence.

"We are happy with the results as over 80 students got over 400 marks compared to last year's exams. We really performed well," she said.

Shawntel Njeri Muthee of Happyland Preparatory school got 443 marks followed by Geogina Nduta (440 marks), Abigail Njoki (433), and Cecily Mutheu (431) - both from Marion preparatory school in Kahawa West. Njogu Valentine Wanjiru of St Mary's School, Ruaraka got 430 marks.

HIGHEST NUMBER

Newlight Junior Academy, Tender Care Academy and Rock Field Academies produced the highest number of candidates with more than 400 marks in the city. A total of 52 students at the school scored 400 marks and above.

Also from the school, Winnie Irene scored 411 marks while, Namulungu Dorothy Nabwile, Gichana Raphael Ongaro, and Kimani Glenn Gregory each managed 428.

The school's director, Mr Samuel Kimamo, praised this year's candidates, saying they had performed better than last year's lot when the school only had 15 students scoring above 400 marks.

Newlight Junior Academy, also produced one of the highest number of students with over 400 Marks. Abiyah Melanie Nelima and Nzyoki Tephanie Mutheu, who scored 436, topped the list in the school which had 50 students with over 400 marks.

At Tendercare Academy in Komarock, the top student Bruce Githaiga Mithamo scored 441 marks to lead in his school.

The school had 25 students who scored above 400 marks. Although fewer pupils than last year's scored more than 400 marks in the school, its aggregate improved.

At Infil Academy, Mumo Purity June scored 420 marks while Muriuki Sidney Baraka, also from the same school, scored 417 marks.

RACE FOR TOP POSITION

The school manager Julia Thitai said they were back in the race for top positions. "We are happy with the results and hope to do better next year," said Ms Thitai.

At Marion Preparatory School in Kahawa West, at least 12 students, out of the 51 candidates registered for this year's KCPE, scored 400 marks and above. The school also had 37 candidates who scored 300 marks and above, while three students got 250 marks and above.

Headteacher, Mrs Grace Mwazemba, attributed the good performance to God and hard work by students and teachers.

"We are very excited and give glory to God. This is the best of results we had expected this year. We could not ask for more," she said.

At St Scholastica Catholic Primary School in Ruaraka, Nairobi, 34 students scored 400 marks and above, one of the best results the school had recorded, according to the administration.

HIGHEST SCORE

The highest score at the institution was 434 by Marube Dan-Laban Nyakweba, followed by Nyakweba Mark Birundu who scored 432 marks and Katiba Honour Khalusi who scored 428 marks.

At Moi Educational Centre in Nairobi out of the 174 candidates who sat the exam, 67 of them scored more than 400 marks. The first candidate, Mercy Muiruri scored 443 marks. Purity Mueni and Joseph Kyalo scored 442 and 432 marks respectively. Natasha Chepkurui and Nicole Cheruto were fourth and fifth with 431 and 430 marks in that order.

Carmel Catholic School posted a mean score of 380.44 marks, an improvement from last year's 377.78 marks. The headteacher, Ms Pratima Kerkette, said Perpetual Moraa was the second best candidate with 433 marks. Moraa said she was hoping to join Kenya High School and later study information technology.

Her father, Mr Douglas Okerio, described her as a hardworking, God-fearing and dedicated girl.

By Janeth Muhizi

Dar es Salaam — The government has set aside over Sh600 billion to facilitate higher education sector in Tanzania, a cabinet minister said yesterday, reaffirming a resolve by President John Magufuli's administration to lift the country's standard of education.

The Minister of State in the President's Office (Regional Administration and Local Government), Mr Suleiman Jaffo, said by improving education standards, the government will increasing the chances of achieving its ambitious industrialisation goals.

Tanzania envisions to become a middle income semi-industrialised nation by 2025.

Gracing an open debate, which was organised by the University of Dar es Salaam and Hakielimu in the city yesterday, Mr Jaffo said through education, the country will gain the much-needed ideas and skills to improve its (Tanzania's) economic growth endeavours.

The two-day debate is centred on improving education system so it can have a positive effect on industrialisation and self reliance.

"From this symposium, we will gain innovative ideas from different experts from various universities that have direct impact on youth development and bring about self reliance among youth" said Mr Jaffo.

He said the government would work on the recommendations that would be highlighted at the symposium, noting that education and industrialisation were inseparable.

"There is a close relationship between quality education and industrial development. This is the right time to identify the importance of relating our education system and the national economy in its current status," he said, noting that there was a wide gap between what the education system produces and the country's industrialisation aspirations.

Photo: Daily Nation

A section of Masinde Muliro University which was closed on November 22, 2017.

By Benson Amadala

Masinde Muliro University has been closed indefinitely after the ongoing strike by lecturers disrupted learning at the institution.

The decision to close the university was reached by the Senate on Tuesday after considering a report from students.

Students were asked to vacate the institution by Wednesday morning.

A memo signed by acting registrar for Academic Affairs Prof Caroline Onyancha said reports from student representatives indicated that there was minimal learning going on in all campuses.

LOST TIME

The don said reopening dates will be communicated to students.

The administration said lost learning time will be recovered when the institution reopens.

"Any shortfall in contact hours resulting from non-attendance study sessions by staff shall be bridged through makeup sessions and all lecturers shall be required to meet students for a minimum of twelve lecture sessions before the start of end semester exams," the memo read.

International students will be allowed to stay in the university hostels during the closure, the memo indicated.

By Benson Amadala

Goldalyn Kakuya of St Anne Junior Lubao in Kakamega County has emerged the top candidate in the 2017 Standard 8 national exams.

Kakuya beat all odds that come with albinism to score 455 out the possible 500 marks.

SONG, DANCE

Her teachers on Tuesday told the Nation that she braved long spells of poor health due to her condition to remain a top performer throughout her primary education.

Kakuya has been leading her class since she joined the school for her Early Child Development Education.

Teachers and parents at the school broke into song and dance after learning of her impressive performance.

The school's head-teacher Mukoya Nambande said the ever cheerful girl had done the school proud.

"We knew she would score highly in KCPE because of her consistent performance. She has always topped," said Mr Nambande.

Teachers, who describer her as very disciplined, hard working and a role model, said the girl is a gifted dancer and handball player.

Her father is a manager at West Kenya Sugar while the mother is a lecturer at Kibabi University.

Kakuya, who is a good public speaker, told the Nation that her dream is to become a neurosurgeon.

Asmara — Amberbeb Share Company has graduated 74 employees including 16 females following courses on the Japanese Automaker Toyota standard. The training was aimed at keeping up with the technological advance of the Toyota Company.

The training focused on scientific maintenance procedures of Toyota automobile engines, administration, purchasing, restoring and distributing of vehicle spare parts in addition to auto-painting.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Mr. Girmai Abrehe, Managing Director of the Company, explained that Anberbeb Share Company is an agent for three Japanese automobile companies including

Toyota, Yamaha and Komatsu. He further pointed out that the companies, in a bid to providing after-sale service to customers, have organized training regarding new automobile technologies for their representatives of which Anberbeb is a beneficiary.

A representative of the graduating group, Eng. Abraham Daniel, said that the training gave priority to teamwork, customer satisfaction and safety.

A program highlighting the process of computerized surveillance and repair of automobiles featured in the exhibition.

Photo: UNICEF

Nigerian children.

By Senator Iroegbu

Abuja — A new survey released by the United Nations Children and Education Fund (UNICEF) has identified poor education, violence against children and terrorism among the biggest concerns for children in Nigeria.

In commemoration of this year's World Children's Day, UNICEF carried out the survey in 14 countries across the world and it involved more than 11,000 nine to 18-year-old children.

In Nigeria, the online survey carried out among 500 children revealed that eight in 10 children admitted worrying a lot about poor education affecting children across the world, and seven in 10 children worry a lot about being personally affected by poverty. The results also indicate that 59 per cent of children do not trust their country's leaders.

"It is clear that children are acutely aware of the challenges their peers face across the world and they are afraid of being affected by these issues themselves," said Mohamed Fall, Representative of UNICEF Nigeria.

"The fact that our young people are telling us they do not think their opinion is heard or it does not have any impact reflects that they feel powerless and disenfranchised."

According to the Communication and External Relations, UNICEF Nigeria, Mr. Geoffery Njoku, the findings revealed that Nigerian children are most likely to worry about poor education, violence against children, and terrorism affecting their peers.

Njoku said they also worry about being personally affected by these issues and poverty and they wanted world leaders to take action

As part of the activities lined up to mark the day, UNICEF Nigeria organised a programme tagged 'Children Takeover', which is a high-profile moment in the media, politics, business, sports, music and entertainment to raise awareness on the most vulnerable and hardest to reach children.

Through the event, children were expected to raise their voices in solidarity with the world's most disadvantaged children and will shine a spotlight on the most pressing challenges faced by their generation.

Eight pupils of the Model Primary School, Maitama, Abuja demonstrated leadership skills by manning the strategic position at the prestigious Transcorp Hilton Hotel in consonance with the ideals of UNICEF Nigeria.

Talking to journalists at the fun-filled event, the Chief of Communication, UNICEF Nigeria, Doune Porter, said the global body decided to mark this year's World Children's Day in a special way by having children take over leadership roles in businesses, offices, establishments and electronic media houses across the country.

"UNICEF is commemorating World Children's Day, which marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, with children's 'take-overs' to give children their own platform to help save children's lives, fight for their rights and fulfil their potential. It is a day for children, by children. In Nigeria, these activities include children's takeovers of media houses across the country amongst other local initiatives.

"UNICEF hopes World Children's Day will inspire governments, businesses and communities across the world to listen to children and incorporate their opinions in decision-making processes that affect them."

She said the event will help children to express themselves, to build self-confidence and esteem, prepare themselves for future leadership roles and especially to invest in their future.

We intend to build a more dynamic generation of future leaders, she added.

The General Manager, Transcorp Hilton, Mr. Etienne Gaillier, said his organisation was delighted to have the children pass through such a wonderful leadership experience, adding that the experience will shape the children's orientation to career development and help them to explore the world of the job.

He called on government and parent to give the children quality education, which he described as the best gift to children. "Education with values and discipline will shape their minds towards personal and academic and professional development."

Eight-year-old Emmanuel Ikechukwu, a primary five pupil of the school, who acted as a front desk officer said his role was to check in guests into the hotel, give them desirable accommodation and attend to their needs while staying in the hotel.

Ikechukwu said he would like the government to give the less privileged children right to education so that every child will develop at the same pace irrespective of social or status differences.

UNICEF worked with global research leader, Kantar and its data insights agency, Lightspeed to poll more than 11,000 children aged between nine and 18 years old in 14 countries about their concerns and attitudes on global issues including bullying, conflict/war, poverty, terrorism and violence against children. The countries surveyed were: Brazil, India, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

opinion By Ibrahima Kane

The draft protocol on the free movement of persons in Africa, once adopted by the Assembly of the Union in January 2018, will be a powerful tool in the hands of Africans to accelerate the integration process of the continent as reflected in Aspiration 2 of the African Union Agenda 2063.

From 16 to 21 October 2017 experts and ministers of member states of the Africa Union in charge of immigration and forced displacement (refugees, repatriates and displaced persons) met in Kigali (Rwanda) to examine, in the capacity of a technical committee (TC) on migration, refugees and persons, the draft Protocol to the Treaty Instituting the African Economic Community on the free movement of people in Africa.

As the AU 2063 Agenda's flagship project, the draft protocol is meant to materialize the commitments made by the member states to speed up the mobility and the integration of the continent. Despite the adoption and the enactment of the Abuja Treaty in 1991 instituting the AEC, the integration across the free movement of people has not achieved much progress in the continent, notably due to lack of political will both at the national and regional levels. In fact, Africans are still experiencing serious challenges in exercising their right to free movement provided for in the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights because of strict visa regulations, tough migration policies and xenophobic attitudes observed in certain regions of the continent.

The decision of the AU Executive Committee (EC) [EX.CL/Dec.908 (XXVIII)], which mandated the AU to elaborate a draft convention about the free movement of people before January 2008, focused therefore on harmonizing different national and regional policies in the domains of visa regulations, resident permits, and the right to settlement with the aim of offering African citizens the legal means to freely move from one country to another without any restrictions.

With the support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the AU Commission held four meetings [two meetings with independent consultants and two others targeting member state experts] to obtain a consensus document accompanied by an explanatory statement, signs of time, a draft implementation plan, which was studied by the CT.

The draft itself is a document containing thirty-five articles preceded by a preamble explaining in-depth reasons behind the development of the said Treaty. The seven chapters that form the treaty articulate the importance of the proposals, which were contained in the AU decision on the Protocol.

This is how, for example, it reckons all arguments relative to the development of tourism, intra-African investments, commerce, cooperation between the population as well as the movement and utilizations of skills on the continent, notably by providing for entry into the territory of a particular state «without visa restrictions» [Art.6 (1)], the establishment of an African passport [Art.10], the freedom of movement for students and researchers [Art.13] and of workers [art.14], the mutual recognition of qualifications [Art.18] the rights of residency [Art.16] and establishment [Art.17], the portability of social security benefits [Art.19], the protection of property acquired in the Host Country [Art.22], the transfer of funds (remittances) [Art.23] and the procedure for movement of specific groups (pastoralists, asylum seekers, refugees, victims of human trafficking, etc. [Art.24]

On the contrary, the project does not seem to take into consideration the progress already achieved in terms of protection of the rights of African citizens while omitting the fundamental principles of the treaty the respect of rights in line with the treaties ratified by the member states and the movement of people in the Regional Economic Communities as they focus on the «Progressive» implementation [Article 5] of the free movement of persons. In more than half of the RECs, the three phases mentioned have already been franchised by the states. The drafting of this article appears, therefore, awkward with respect to what has already been accomplished on the continent. It doesn't at all appear to protect the rights of the worker [Art.14 (2) and Art. 16(2)] and the right to be accompanied by one's spouse, a right that many African states recognized while ratifying the International Convention on the Protection of rights of all the migrant workers and members of their family.

Experts seem to have sidelined the possibility of an immediate enactment of the text just after its adoption by the deliberating organizations of the AU as had been requested by the EC since a provision on ratification [Art.32] was inserted in the section relating to the final provisions of the treaty.

We wish to point out, deploring it, the very limited participation of the African civil society in the drafting process of a text that is supposed to promote continental integration. As a matter of fact, only half a dozen experts derived from the African civil society participated in the first meeting organized by the AU Commission in Victoria (Seychelles) to examine the draft zero of the said project.

Overall, the draft protocol on the free movement of persons in Africa will be, once adopted by the Assembly of the Union in January 2018, a powerful tool in the hands of Africans to accelerate the integration process of the continent as reflected in Aspiration 2 of the African Union Agenda 2063.

 IBRAHIMA KANE who is Director of the African Union Advocacy Programme at Open Society Foundations.

The Ministry of Finance must be getting ready to give his budget speech to inform the Gambian people, how the economy of the country is faring and what benefits it would give to the people in terms of employment, salary increases and improved services.

Agriculture and Tourism are often identified as the key sectors which have been driving growth. Hence, they are key sectors to watch. Foroyaa has so far been following the agricultural sector very closely and as the trade season comes closer, we would be able to gauge whether the country has a bumper harvest or a diminished one. The tourism sector is also being followed very closely as Gambia benefits from its peaceful change dividend.

It is absolutely essential for the Government to gather the facts and give a proper forecast on growth. The people have large expectations and should be accurately informed so that their expectations of salary increment would be guarded by a knowledge of the true state of the Gambian economy.

Warsaw — Morocco will take part on Nov. 23-25 in the 25th edition of the International Travel Show TT Warsaw, one of the most important fairs in Eastern Europe.

A delegation of Moroccan hotel industry professionals, tour operators and travel agencies' representatives, will participate in this event, the Moroccan Tourism Office (ONMT) said on Tuesday in a press release.

This fair is the opportunity for Moroccan tourism professionals to forge links with their Polish and international counterparts to boast the cultural wealth and diversity of the Kingdom and boost its attractiveness as a destination.

Morocco will have an ONMT-run stand, offering visitors detailed information about the Moroccan destination and showcasing the Kingdom's multiple cultural and tourism assets, the source underlined, adding that the Office will hold meetings with leading tour operators in Eastern Europe.

According to the ONMT data, Polish tourist arrivals to Morocco increased by 68% since Feb. 2017 year on year.

By Benjamin Opiyo

Tucked away in Nairobi is a small heaven, rich with heritage and offering a perfect venue for a rest, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Uhuru Gardens Memorial Park is located on Langata road, just after the Uchumi Hyper shopping centre. It borders Carnivore grounds to the left.

The park has monuments, a fountain and lush garden that provide an ideal place for rest and meditation.

On a weekday, you will notice a few people streaming into the park after lunch hours to enjoy the ambience, probably after a long day of work.

During weekends, the park is turned into family 'business'. Parents throng the spark with their children to enjoy fun activities in the lush fields.

THE BEST PART...

The best part is that it's just a 20 minute-drive from the CBD.

The gardens are a major staple for corporate events in Nairobi. Safaricom Jazz Festival and Kenya peace concert are some of the events that have been held at the grounds.

Despite being situated next to the busy Langata road, the park is quiet , a rare characteristic for most recreational facilities in Nairobi. It is an ideal site for picnic lovers and adventurous people.

The trees provide shades plus the well-bred grass offer can comfortable experience for people who want to have a rest.

The park has provided seats for adorable beings who are allergic to grass.

Planes landing at the nearby Wilson airport every five minutes provide an exhilarating experience for visitors. It is often a free show for children.

Interestingly, some people have turned the site into a praying venue. Because of the vast grounds that the park offers, it is common to see men and women praying loudly under trees.

The environment is also conducive for meditation and mind relaxation.

Injury gardens has a monument, fountain and a mugumo tree that offers a rich insight into Kenya's history.

A monument erected to commemorate the 20 th anniversary of Kenya's independence stands stall at the park.

The monument, unveiled by former president Daniel Moi, has a carving of people raising the flag of Kenya, a dove signifying peace, a heart signifying love, clasped hands signifying unity and a human sculpture signifying strength. Metres away stands a mugumo tree that was planted at the exact location of the Union jack, the flag of the colony of Kenya.

A fountain that has now become obsolete was erected to celebrate 25 years of Uhuru (independence)".

It costs nothing to access the park if coming by public means, you will only avail an identification card at the gate. The entrance fee per car is Sh300.

A miniature bar and hotel is also located at the park.

For a little fee of none, you get to enjoy the ambience provided by the lush gardens, a taste of Kenya's heritage and a free view of the nearby Wilson Airport and landing planes.

By Editor

Taxify, a fast-growing ride-sharing app platform in Europe and Africa launches in Abuja with hundreds of driver-partners signed up to the platform and ready to accept rides all across the city. To celebrate, Taxify is offering a 40 per cent discount to riders during the month of November.

Taxify's Operations Manager, Uche Okafor, comments: "Abuja is an exciting and thriving market with an outgoing population for private urban transport. We're very excited to launch here and have a solid team on ground. We are confident that Taxify can effectively contribute to healthy competition by improving the quality of service and lowering the prices for the end customer."

Taxify takes only 15 per cent commission from its drivers, compared to the 25 per cent that competitors take. The lower commission allows Taxify to offer lower prices for riders and ensure that drivers still keep more money in their pockets.

Taxify treats our drivers better so that they can in turn treat our riders better. Taxify does this by ensuring that drivers are able to earn more driving on our platform than on any other platform. This combined with our end to end support ensures that our drivers are happier driving on Taxify and are ultimately able to provide better quality service for riders. Taxify also believes in providing exemplary customer service to riders, with a local customer support team that offers real time over the phone support.

Taxify is an international urban ride-sharing platform founded and headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia. Taxify is operating in 20 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Central America. Taxify has a global team of over 300 employees, and is considered one of the fastest-growing ride-sharing platforms in Europe and Africa.

In August 2017, Taxify announced a strategic partnership with Didi Chuxing, the world's leading mobile transportation platform. The Taxify app is available on iOS and Android.

By Chinedu Eze

The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) tuesday grounded the operations of Dana Air Limited over the management's refusal to allow technical personnel, including engineers and pilots, to join unions.

The unions picketed the airline's operations at the Murtala Muhammed Airport domestic terminal (MMA2), preventing any of its flights from taking off and leaving many passengers stranded with a huge loss of revenue to the airline.

Angry passengers who could not be airlifted by the airline instead of expressing their anger against Dana Air management, told THISDAY that they were angry with the unions "because this is the way Nigerians frustrate investors who commit their funds in businesses in Nigeria."

One of the passengers angrily told THISDAY: "How can you talk about the ease of doing business when a group of people who call themselves members of the union can ground your activities and you lose huge revenues. Nothing can be harsher than this and government must find a way to check the excesses of these unions. Now, many of us are stranded here just because some people, who I am sure did not exhaust discussions before embarking on picketing the airline just decided that the airline will not fly today."

The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) was joined in solidarity by all affiliates of the United Labour Congress (UCL) to carry out the picketing exercise over the refusal of Dana Air to allow their staff to join the unions.

NAAPE in support of other unions alleged that Dana Air engages in casualisation and that it refused its workers to join the unions, but in a statement signed by its spokesman, Kingsley Ezenwa, the airline said it does not have casual workers and that its personnel do not want to be members of the unions and it cannot force it to join.

One of the union leaders, Abdulrazaq Saidu told journalists that the strike was total, noting that no pilot or engineer with Dana would resume duty until their demands are resolved.

He said the era of anti-labour practices by any airline operator was gone, saying the exercise started with Arik Air recently and same would be replicated with other airlines in no distant time.

However, a source with the airline wondered why the unions took the action to shut down the carrier's operation, saying talks are ongoing to resolve the issue.

It was learnt that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Nigerian Police, Airport Command among other stakeholders have intervened in the dispute.

In stopping the airline from operating, members of the union stationed at the premises of the domestic terminal (MMA2) with a loud Public Address System singing and dancing.

Many passengers of Dana Air are currently stranded as most of them were seen at the departure hall sitting on top of their luggage amid uncertainty surrounding their flights.

However, operations of other airlines operating at the terminal continue unhindered.

Reacting to the allegations of casualisation of its operations, Dana Air said they were not true.

The airline said it resumed flights after the earlier disruption of its operations.

"We wish to apologise to our guests for the slight delays experienced today, November 21 2017, as result of the illegal disruption of our flight operations by NAAPE.

"We wish to also state clearly that reason given by the union for their illegal action this morning is entirely is entirely false, baseless and malicious as there is no such thing as 'casualization' of staff at Dana Air.

"We have also advised the union times without number, that we are a law abiding, and liberal corporate citizen and are not against their activities or the activities of our staff members in these unions. We also cannot foist unionism on our staffs. We understand what freedom of association means, and we expect the unions to know better," the airline said.

Photo: Supplied

Cover of The President's Keepers by Jacques Pauw.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has told Parliament that he is reading veteran journalist Jacques Pauw's book, The President's Keepers .

Ramaphosa appeared in the National Assembly on Thursday for his last question session of the year when the buzz around the popular book was raised in supplementary questions.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen asked Ramaphosa what he made of the State Security Agency's attempts to stop further publication of Pauw's book.

"I am reading the book," Ramaphosa admitted.

"And it's possible that the honourable chief whip is way ahead, because I think he uses it for bedtime reading, and it has possibly even taken the place of the Bible because he holds it in his hand all the time," he joked.

"I am finding there are quite a number of allegations being made and I want to get to the point where Mr Steenhuisen has gotten to, so one is able [to make a judgement]."

Ramaphosa did not answer whether the attempt to stop further publication of the book was credible, but said it was always better when the media was not curbed.

'Media should not be muzzled'

"I want to go into the depth of this book and be able to make a judgement whether it is a credible move to try and stop the book.

"I've learnt you must never muzzle the media. The media in terms of our Constitution should be free and fair," he said to applause from some in the opposition benches.

Before the question, Steenhuisen revived an old joke between himself and Ramaphosa and held up a small match box, saying Ramaphosa could use it to "fit his credibility in" if he was sacked from the Cabinet.

The jibe was a throwback to a previous question session, where Steenhuisen volunteered to help Ramaphosa pack his office, amid rumours that he was also set to be reshuffled by President Jacob Zuma.

"I thought matchboxes were not allowed in Parliament. I don't know what he wants to do with a matchbox. I don't know him as a smoker," Ramaphosa hit back smiling.

"I would like to caution Mr Steenhuisen about bringing matches into Parliament, because he may find that someone else has brought a bottle full of petrol.

"It's also possible that your reputation can fit into the head of one of the matches," he said as the ANC caucus broke into laughter.

Both Steenhuisen and Ramaphosa could be seen laughing and pointing fingers after the exchange.

Source: News24

analysis By Eve Dmochowska

There is a very simple way the publishers of The President's Keepers can stop the illegal download of the .pdf version: make the version legal. They should have done so from the start.

You don't have to look far to get The President's Keepers for free, and you don't have to look much farther to find public opinion on the irony of illegally distributing a book that in itself is all about lawlessness. That dilemma could have been avoided all together had the publisher released an online version of the book under an appropriate Creative Commons licence, thus not only allowing but actually encouraging the book's free, non commercial, distribution. It seems a bit disingenuous to publish an explosive book about how key members of our government are breaking the law, but not anticipate and prevent the inevitable irony of an outraged audience reading illegal versions of the book. With a legal online version, readers can be unrepentant for putting it in the hands of as many people as we are able, all threats of censure would be moot... and the money would flow anyway.

It was inevitable that illegal copies of the book would become available almost immediately on...

By Joaquin M. Sendolo

A large consignment of textbooks on various academic subjects was received last Friday by the University of Liberia (UL). The books include the latest editions of textbooks on law, political, social and natural sciences and English literature.

The UL administration has already dispatched some of the books to the Straz-Sinje Technical and Vocational College in Sinje, Garwula District, Grand Cape Mount County.

Mrs. Thelma C. Doe, UL Director of Libraries, told the Daily Observer that the textbooks were donated through the agency of the Kofi Annan Institute of Conflict Resolution, a graduate program specialized in training students in conflict management.

Mrs. Doe said the books are very useful, to the extent that the UL authorities think they will enhance the reading culture among students.

She said in order to promote the culture of reading and research at the university, the student body receives regular orientation on the use of the library and its significance to their studies.

The textbooks, said Mrs. Doe, contain up-to-date research materials useful to the students.

More than 3,200 of the books were donated by the office of Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai for use by the Sinje Technical Vocational College, and contain materials on nursing, agricultural extension, general agriculture, electrical engineering, education, business and public administration.

Dr. Kailefala Bility, former Deputy Education Minister for Planning, Research and Development, who made the formal presentation, said VP Boakai is highly interested in molding the minds of the younger generation, "and to do this, there should be books in relation to their careers that the students can read."

He quoted the Vice President as saying that the transformation of Liberia depends on the younger generation; and to have the capacity to do this, they must be well educated.

Dr. John Sellou, Dean of the Sinje College, said "the books meet one of the most essential needs of the UL."

He said enrollment at the Sinje Technical and Vocational College has been overwhelming, adding that the books came at the right time.

As a result of an awareness carried out by the school in the local community, Sellou said the college currently has an enrollment of 450 students.

analysis By Verna Kale, Pennsylvania State University

When he published "The Sun Also Rises" in 1926, Ernest Hemingway was well-known among the expatriate literati of Paris and to cosmopolitan literary circles in New York and Chicago. But it was "A Farewell to Arms," published in October 1929, that made him a celebrity.

With this newfound fame, Hemingway learned, came fan mail. Lots of it. And he wasn't really sure how to deal with the attention.

At the Hemingway Letters Project, I've had the privilege of working with Hemingway's approximately 6,000 outgoing letters. The latest edition, "The Letters of Ernest Hemingway, Volume 4 (1929-1931)" - edited by Sandra Spanier and Miriam B. Mandel - brings to light 430 annotated letters, 85 percent of which will be published for the first time. They offer a glimpse at how Hemingway handled his growing celebrity, shedding new light on the author's influences and his relationships with other writers.

Mutual admiration

The success of "A Farewell to Arms" surprised even Hemingway's own publisher. Robert W. Trogdon, a Hemingway scholar and member of the Letters Project's editorial team, traces the author's relationship with Scribner's and notes that while it ordered an initial printing of over 31,000 copies - six times as many as the first printing of "The Sun Also Rises" - the publisher still underestimated the demand for the book.

Additional print runs brought the total edition to over 101,000 copies before the year was out - and that was after the devastating 1929 stock market crash.

In response to the many fan letters he received, Hemingway was typically gracious. Sometimes he offered writerly advice, and even went so far as to send - upon request and at his own expense - several of his books to a prisoner at St. Quentin.

At the same time, writing to novelist Hugh Walpole in December 1929, Hemingway lamented the amount of effort - and postage - required to answer all those letters:

"When 'The Sun Also Rises' came out there were only letters from a few old ladies who wanted to make a home for me and said my disability would be no drawback and drunks who claimed we had met places. 'Men Without Women' brought no letters at all. What are you supposed to do when you really start to get letters?"

Among the fan mail he received was a letter from David Garnett, an English novelist from a literary family with connections to the Bloomsbury Group, a network of writers, artists and intellectuals that included Virginia Woolf.

Though we don't have Garnett's letter to Hemingway, Garnett appears to have predicted, rightly, that "A Farewell to Arms" would be more than a fleeting success.

"I hope to god what you say about the book will be true," Hemingway replies, "though how we are to know whether they last I don't know - But anyway you were fine to say it would."

He then goes on to praise Garnett's 1925 novel, "The Sailor's Return":

"... all I did was to go around wishing to god I could have written it. It is still the only book I would like to have written of all the books since our father's and mother's times." (Garnett was seven years older than Hemingway; Hemingway greatly admired the translations of Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy by Constance Garnett, David's mother.)

An overlooked influence

Hemingway's response to Garnett - written the same day as his letter to Walpole - is notable for several reasons.

First, it complicates the popular portrait of Hemingway as an antagonist to other writers.

It's a reputation that's not entirely undeserved - after all, one of Hemingway's earliest publications was a tribute to Joseph Conrad in which Hemingway expressed a desire to run T.S. Eliot through a sausage grinder. "The Torrents of Spring" (1926), his first published novel, was a parody of his own mentors, Sherwood Anderson and Gertrude Stein and "all the rest of the pretensious [sic] faking bastards," as he put it in a 1925 letter to Ezra Pound.

But in the letter to Garnett we see another side of Hemingway: an avid reader overcome with boyish excitement.

"You have meant very much to me as a writer," he declares, "and now that you have written me that letter I should feel very fine - But instead all that happens is I don't believe it."

The letter also suggests that Garnett has been overlooked as one of Hemingway's influences.

It's easy to see why Hemingway liked "The Sailor's Return" (so well, it appears, that he checked it out from Sylvia Beach's Shakespeare & Co. lending library and never returned it).

A reviewer for the New York Herald Tribune praised Garnett's "simple but extremely lucid English" and his "power of making fiction appear to be fact," qualities that are the hallmark of Hemingway's own distinctive style. The book also has a certain understated wit - as do "The Sun Also Rises" and "A Farewell to Arms."

Garnett's book would have appealed to Hemingway on a personal level as well. Though it's set entirely in England, the portrait of Africa that exists in the background is the same sort of exotic wilderness that captured the imagination of Hemingway the boy and that Hemingway the young man still longed explore.

Imagining Africa

But Hemingway's praise of Garnett leads to other, unsettling questions.

From its frontispiece to its devastating conclusion, Garnett's book relies on racial stereotypes of an exoticized, infantilized Other. Its main character, an African woman, brought to England by her white husband, is meant to command the reader's sympathy - indeed, the choice she makes in the end, to send her mixed-race child back to his African family, hearkens to an earlier era of sentimental literature and decries the parochial prejudices of English society.

However, that message is drowned out by the narrator's assumptions about inherent differences between the races. Garnett's biographer Sarah Knights suggests that Garnett was "neither susceptible to casual racism nor prone to imperialist arrogance," yet Garnett's 1933 introduction to the Cape edition of Hemingway's "The Torrents of Spring" claims "it is the privilege of civilized town-dwellers to sentimentalize primitive peoples." In "The Torrents of Spring," Hemingway mocked the primitivism of Sherwood Anderson (cringe-worthy even by 1925 standards), but as Garnett's comment indicates, Hemingway imitated Anderson's reliance on racial stereotypes as much as he criticized it.

What, then, can we glean about Hemingway's views on race from his exuberant praise of "The Sailor's Return"? Hemingway had a lifelong fascination with Africa, and his letters show that in 1929 he was already making plans for an African safari. He would take the trip in 1933 and publish his nonfiction memoir, "Green Hills of Africa," in 1935. The work is experimental and modernistic, but the local people are secondary to Hemingway's descriptions of "country."

Late in life, however, Hemingway's views on Africa would shift, and his second safari, in 1953-4, brought what scholar of American literature and African diaspora studies Nghana tamu Lewis describes as "a crisis of consciousness" that "engendered a new commitment to understanding African peoples' struggles against oppression as part, rather than in isolation, of changing ecological conditions."

But back in 1929, when Hemingway was wondering what to do with an ever-growing pile of mail, that trip - along with another world war, a Nobel Prize and the debilitating effects of his strenuous life - were part of an unknowable future.

In "The Letters 1929-1931" we see a younger Hemingway, his social conscience yet to mature, trying to figure out his new role as professional author and celebrity.

book review By Kole Omotoso

This book is conceived as a sequel, follow up to A LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, not just because the title is taken from the last page of that book, but also the crying need to close the Nelson Mandela account as rendered by him. But Mandela was not able to complete the book. What he wrote and the notes he made towards completing the book provided my friend Mandla Langa with ammunition to complete the book. Graça Machel, widow of Nelson Mandela provides a prologue to the book.

Nelson Mandela set himself the personal duty to liberate not only the oppressed but also the oppressor. This would mean dragging the oppressed from the yoke of oppression but also convince the oppressor as well as the newly liberated oppressed that oppressing is bad for both the oppressed and the oppressor. The African National Congress set itself the duty of reconstructing by expanding the infrastructure that the racist regime had restricted to whites only and developing the country for the benefit of everybody in the country, black and white. Sad to say both Mandela and the African National Congress have failed to do these duties. They failed with reasons.

To take the easier to explain failure of the reconstruction and development programme, the RDP. South African readers of a certain age are familiar with the Freedom Charter, that optimistic document of 1955 that claims that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black or white. It also proclaims that the people shall govern and the gates of learning shall be open to all. Of course it also insists that the people shall control the commanding heights of the economy. "If we fail to implement this programme," proclaims the president of the African National Congress and of the country Nelson Mandela, "that will be a betrayal of the trust which the people of South Africa have vested in us."

The vehicle that would drive the RDP was the control of the commanding heights of the economy through nationalise of land, mines and banks. And nationalisation was the first thing that the African National Congress was advised against by the Chinese and the Japanese and everybody they ran into in DAVOS or at the World Bank and the IMF. And they took the advice not to nationalise. The Star newspaper warned, "that South African leaders were on trial. Africa was watching to see whether South Africa, with its vast reserves of human talent, its rich natural resources and sound infrastructure, could succeed where most of the continent had failed."

Two years into the government of national unity we are told: "Reality called for certain re-configurations, mainly the dissolution of the reconstruction and development programme office (RDP), one of the main planks of the ANC's manifesto." There was a debate whether the RDP should be a stand-alone structure or have its functions spread across various government ministries and departments. The second option was taken driven by the Congress of South African Trade Unions. Says Mandela explaining this change of tactic: "As a result of the evolution of policy affecting all departments of the state and the implementation of some institutional changes to give us the necessary capacity to implement those policies, the possibility has increased greatly to implement the programme of Reconstruction and Development within the area of its mandate."

At the end of his presidency Mandela itemised the challenges at the overall goals the government had set itself: . . . to overcome the legacy of poverty, division and inequity. To the extent that we still have to reconcile and heal our nation, to the extent that the consequences of apartheid still permeates our society and define the lives of millions of South Africans As lives of deprivation, these challenges are unchanged."

As to reconciliation with whites and redress for blacks, it was generally seen as reconciliation with whites without redress for the blacks. In fact, Afrikaners interpreted African people's readiness to forgive as weakness and inferiority.

"To illustrate the point, Mandela told a characteristically self-depreciating story about a conversation he'd had with a leading Afrikaans-speaking personality . . . [who] said I had no idea what I had done for their people, the Afrikaners. He felt that this was his country too. According to him, it was not only I who was liberated but that he was liberated too. He was prepared to serve South Africa and this was due to my strength. I was beginning to swell with pride when he turned around and said this was also a sign of a grave weakness on my part. He said that I was concerned with assuring whites and neglecting my own people who put me in power."

This is enough to turn one of the lines of that Percy Shelley poem Ozymandias King of Kings (1818) on its head: "Look on my works ye lowly and despair!" instead of "Look on my works ye mighty and despair!"

Dare Not Linger: The Presidential Years has 13 chapters plus an epilogue covering the challenge of freedom, negotiating democracy, a free and fair election, getting into the union buildings, national unity, the presidency and the constitution, parliament, traditional leadership and democracy, transformation of the state, reconciliation, social and economic transformation, negotiating the media and on the African and world stages. These cover some 290 pages of a book of 360 pages. The rest is made up of supplementary information such as abbreviations for organisation, people, places and events, timeline 1990 - 1999, map of South Africa froze 4 regions and 7 or so bantustans to nine provinces, endnotes, acknowledgements, index, list of illustrations (50), and brief biographies of the authors.

What stayed with this reader is Mandela's humility. I witnessed demonstrations of this overwhelming trait both before he became present as well as when he was president. But the best example still comes from DARE NOT LINGER. 'The men's pornography magazine named Mandela its Arsehole of the Month. Indignant voices called for a distribution ban on the issue. Mandela said, "We should not be banning things."'

The book is an entertaining read. From time to time one encounters sparkles of English prose mediated by wisdom from South African languages especially isi-Zulu the mother tongue of Mandla Langa and isi-Xhosa, Mandela's mother tongue. But one closes the book wanting more and wondering what more Mandela could have added!

By Esnath Kalawe

Lilongwe — As one way of promoting reading culture in Malawi, a Lilongwe based Barefoot Readers Initiative has started a project through a voluntary group to revive a reading culture among the youth.

Barefoot Readers Initiative is a voluntary youth group that provides books to libraries and also introduces book clubs in schools.

The initiative inspires a reading culture among the youth in different communities in Malawi.

Speaking in an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA), the Founder of Barefoot Readers Initiative, Isaac Mafuel, said the initiative is targeting primary and secondary schools in Lilongwe with libraries or permanent structures that have potential to be used as libraries.

"With this initiative we are targeting to reach more primary and secondary schools in Lilongwe with the aim of equipping the youth with a reading habit," Mafuel said.

According to the Barefoot Readers founder, the pilot project will be initiated at Kamkodola Primary School in Lilongwe before expanding to other schools.

"We are currently conducting a pilot project at Kamkodola School and hope to expand to other schools in the near future. We have chosen that school because it has a good library structure that has been lying idle for a long time," he said.

Mafuel disclosed that the initiative has plans of fundraising for money through Poem Anthology to be sold in selected schools and shops which later they will use for purchasing additional books.

Barefoot Readers initiative has no specific number of beneficiaries and is looking forward to recruit more volunteers to aid in literacy.

By The Citizen Reporter

Mwanza — About 600 people in the lake and western zone have benefited from training on family planning provided to nurses.

The training was offered by three non-governmental organisations, namely Jhpiego, Engenderhealth and PATH under the Usaid financed Boresha Afya project being undertaken in the area.

According to the Ukerewe District Reproductive Child Health acting Coordinator, Ms Lucy Mirita, family planning services were on high demand in Islets where women are giving birth to a lot of children contributing population boom.

She noted that many famnilies in those areas have many children whom they cannot take care properly.

"In September, 2017, not less than 980 women gave birth in Ukerewe district, we are trying to counsel them whenever they come to hospital with their spouses and the response has being good so far," she said.

Elaborating, she noted that in the last three months of implementation, 1,236 women in the area opted for long term family planning methods including Intra Uterine Device (IUD) that lasts for five to twelve years and the implant that lasts for three to five years while 2,043 women decided to use short term methods including injection, which lasts for three months and pills which they use on a daily basis.

The Usaid Deputy Chief of Party dealing with Boresha Afya Project, Dr Rita Noronha, said improving access to and availability of family planning as part of integrated RMNCH services in an important component of Usaid project in the lake zone.

"In collaboration with the District Councils and through our committed and dedicated technical teams we bring FP education and services closer to the community focusing on hard to reach areas. Improving access to FP will enable women and young people to make informed choices over their reproductive plan and promote gender equality," she said.

Eugenia Petro, 33, a mother of eight children who has benefited from the services says: "God has blessed me with eight children and I realised that it was enough. I can't add another one due to the economic situation we have with my husband so we had to decide on this in-order to raise these kids well."

The ANC extolled its policies for the prevention of gender-based violence during the yearly debate on gender-based violence on Tuesday morning.

Opposition parties, however, were quick to point out that these policies were failing, as gender-based violence was increasing.

"The ANC, not starting today, has always had clear programmes. The ANC has always continued to fight for women," a spirited Minister of Women in the Presidency Susan Shabangu said as she closed the debate.

"It is the ANC which came up with the Women's Charter! Sexual offences courts are being rolled out by the ANC [government]," she said.

DA MP Denise Robinson raised a point of order, saying Shabangu was misleading the House as the government was in fact closing these courts.

Apart from pointing out the fact that gender-based violence was on the rise, opposition MPs also slammed the Department of Social Development.

Minister of social development slammed

IFP MP Liezl van der Merwe said while the high levels of violence in South Africa were deeply rooted in the country's past, the government's role should also be questioned.

"By Cabinet's own admission, government's integrated plan of action to fight gender-based violence has failed," said Van der Merwe.

"There are many reasons for this, but fundamentally because we have tasked the Department of Social Development to drive and implement this programme. Yet we know the minister of social development has been so busy manufacturing one Sassa (South African Social Security Agency) crisis after the other that this integrated plan of action has received no attention," she said.

Competent people

Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini was attending a joint meeting of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts and the Portfolio Committee on Social Development to deal with the Sassa matter while the debate was taking place.

DA MP Bridget Masango said: "Another day at Sassa, another grants crisis brought to you by the minister of social development".

She said the Department of Social Development should be at the forefront of the fight against gender-based violence, but instead Dlamini fires all the competent people in the department and dodges accountability in Parliament.

ANC harbouring a 'convicted women abuser'

NFP MP Sibusiso Mncwabe said: "It is a national disgrace that we should debate this shame every year and every year the figures are higher."

DA MP Zakhele Mbhele said the ANC lacked the political will to improve policing.

ANC MP and chairperson of the Portfolio Committee Francois Beukman proposed eight measures to combat gender-based violence, including compulsory consequence management for police members at all levels who respond inadequately to complaints relating to violence against women and children and the allocation of more resources to the police's family violence, child protection and sexual offences units.

The ANC was also accused of harbouring a "convicted women abuser", as Van der Merwe put it, in their midst - former deputy minister of higher education and training Mduduzi Manana.

"Manana got away with a slap on the wrist for savagely beating a woman," said EFF MP Sophie Thembekwayo. "What is wrong with our society?"

Shabangu and ANC MP Chana Pilane-Majake attacked the opposition, especially the DA.

"The ANC is ready to fight this war. The question is who will support us if we have an opposition like that," said Pilane-Majake.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen jumped up for a point of order.

"If you talk war, you need to bring troops with you," he said, pointing at the empty ANC benches.

News24

By Jimmey C. Fahngon

Liberian women under the banner, Women's Situation Room, have backed the ongoing legal process by Liberty Party and others regarding alleged irregularities and fraud during the October 10 elections.

In a statement read by Cllr. Yvette Chesson-Wureh, head of the Women's Situation Room at a news conference Tuesday, the women said the legal process is good for Liberia's democracy.

"We Liberians promulgated our Constitution in 1986. We are now involved in testing not only our constitution, but in upholding our rule of law," the statement said.

The women called on the Board of Commissioners at the National Elections Commission (NEC) to expedite the hearing of cases.

"The end of both the current President of Liberia's term and those of the sitting members of the House of Representatives is in January 2018. Our Supreme Court has prioritized the elections cases and will hear them expeditiously. We ask everyone to let us move forward together to bring about a smooth transition of power from the current government to a duly newly elected government in 2018," the women stressed.

They called on the media to present the current national situation in a less heated manner and should not inflame people's feelings about this constitutional process.

The women argued that the constitution was not invented by "these people holding positions now. They are following a process that has been in existence in our constitution since its inception in 1986."

They contended that the fact the aggrieved parties are following the legal procedures, it is important for everyone to be patient and see how the process works out regardless of who it favors.

They called on political parties and politicians to continue to display maturity by keeping their supporters calm.

press release

Minister of Communications to lead the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign in Siyabuswa, Mpumalanga

Minister of Communications Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane together with MEC of Community Safety, Security and Liaison in Mpumalanga Petrus Ngomana , will lead a campaign of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign in Siyabuswa, Mpumalanga on the Saturday the 25th of November 2017.

The government has done a lot to combat abuse against women and children, since 1994, government has developed several pieces of legislation to redress societal ills affecting women and children. These include laws such as the prevention and combating of Trafficking in Persons which is aimed at fighting the trafficking of young girls and women, and also the practice of ukuthwala.

The Department of Communications, through its entity Films and Publications Board (FPB), has recently tabled a bill before parliament that seeks to protect cyber bulling against children.

Additionally, the government-led 16 Days of Activism For No Violence Against Women and Children is an international awareness-raising campaign. It takes place every year from 25 November to 10 December. South Africa adopted the campaign in 1998 as one of the intervention strategies towards creating a society free of violence. The campaign continues to raise awareness among South Africans about the negative impact of violence against women and children.

Minister Kubayi-Ngubane will also use the opportunity to create awareness about Broadcasting Digital Migration, she will visit Pelonolo a centre for learners with mental challenges with disabilities to donate television set and witness the installation of Set Top Box.

Issued by: Department of Communications

opinion By Lorena Aguilar and Melanne Verveer International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Climate policies must not be gender-blind, as climate change does not affect men and women equally

Last week marked a milestone in the advancement of gender equality and women's empowerment. In Bonn, world leaders at the United Nations climate negotiations (COP23) under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreed and adopted the first ever Gender Action Plan to not only recognize but also strengthen and empower the role of women throughout climate action and policy.

This robust plan is the culmination of 12 years of advocacy that has been led by women from all over the world. From Peru to France and Morocco, and with support from numerous countries in hosting and facilitating international dialogue on pushing this agenda forward, the final text was tabled by a coalition of eight countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

This plan will pave the way for increasing women's involvement in climate action while ensuring gender considerations are incorporated in the implementation of climate policies at all levels.

Climate policies must not be gender-blind, as climate change does not affect men and women equally. Our message to COP23 was clear: for women and men, particularly in the global South, "closing gender gaps - being gender-responsive - is a matter of life and death".

Women bear a disproportionate burden of the impacts of climate change because of their marginalized social, economic and political status in much of the world. Changing temperatures and land erosion require women to travel further to collect natural resources like water and fuel wood, for example, increasing their vulnerability to sexual violence. Extreme weather events are more likely to kill women and also leave them with few resources to rebuild their lives due to their limited legal assets and rights to property.

Too often, women are unable to fully contribute to climate-related planning and implementation. Yet their local knowledge, management of resources, and development of sustainable practices at the household and community level make them critical to successful climate action.

Women in Bangladesh have installed close to a million solar home units. Across villages in India, women are developing cleaner cook stoves. In areas most devastated by land erosion, women are pioneering new methods of conservation.

At a local level, we know that women's leadership has led to improved outcomes of climate-related projects and policies that are responsive to citizens' needs. Conversely, when grassroots and indigenous women are excluded, policies or projects can increase existing inequalities and decrease effectiveness.

Women's participation in climate action has been identified as a priority in the 2030 Agenda. Sustainable Development Goal 13 calls for "urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts" and significantly focuses on the need to elevate the voices of women, youth, and local and marginalized communities.

Over the past decade, the U.N. climate change body has taken more than 60 gender-related climate decisions. Indeed, the Paris Agreement preamble references the connections between gender, the environment, and climate change. These decisions highlight the role of women in local and marginalized communities in climate change planning and management, as well as the need to build their capacity and empower them as key actors in climate action. It is time to turn good intentions into concrete actions; the UNFCCC Gender Action Plan calls for this.

Adopted at COP23, the Gender Action Plan will transform these commitments into a catalyst for equitable change by providing guidance to countries on implementing these decisions, particularly as related to policy-making, sector-specific policy design, financing, and monitoring and evaluation.

- The plan increases access to gender-sensitive education and training, from local to national levels, on all mitigation and adaptation activities implemented under the UNFCCC, including the Paris Agreement.

- It promotes the means and funds to support the participation of women in national delegations, particularly those from local, grassroots, and indigenous communities.

- It builds capacity for participants in the U.N. climate conference on how to integrate gender considerations and meet gender balance goals.

- It emphasizes gender-responsive access to finance as well as gender-responsive budgeting by governments in the implementation of climate action.

Recent headlines should move all of us to a greater sense of urgent action on climate change. In India, the Delhi government ordered all schools to close due to deteriorating air quality. Year-by-year, inch-by-inch, island nations in the Pacific are engulfed by rising sea levels, while the United States and Caribbean continue to grapple with the aftermath of destructive hurricanes exacerbated by global warming.

Climate change represents the greatest global threat we face together: it will require all of us to mobilize and react to ensure we conserve a sustainable future. The Gender Action Plan enables us to ensure that the future is not only sustainable but also equitable and truly advances the rights and needs of ALL people. The empowerment of women and girls in this global response to climate change will result in stronger and better outcomes.

None of us can afford to be on the sidelines and the world cannot shortchange the critical participation of women. We must ensure that the UNFCCC Gender Action Plan will be fully implemented at both domestic and international levels to advance our future and perpetuity - equitably. It is time.

Melanne Verveer is the Executive Director of Georgetown University's Institute for Women, Peace and Security. She previously served as the U.S. Ambassador for Global Women's Issues.

Lorena Aguilar is the Director a.i. for The Global Programme on Governance and Rights, and serves as the Global Senior Gender Advisor for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world's largest and oldest international organization for conservation. She is also currently serving as a negotiator on behalf of her native Costa Rica to the UNFCCC at COP23, working with AILAC (the Independent Association of Latin America and the Caribbean - Asociación Independiente de Latinoamérica y el Caribe).

Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Windhoek — For the first time in the history of the National Assembly of Seychelles, a 13-year-old Seychellois child addressed lawmakers on World Children's Day on a historic Monday in the tropical paradise.

In an impassioned address, the child, Shayane Hoareau, spoke about the challenges, including those related to sexual reproductive health rights that children face growing up in the picturesque island country.

Hoareau said children in Seychelles are involved in sexual intercourse from a very young age and with one or more partners. "The youngest to fall pregnant was aged 10. However, the law does not allow a child to consent to sex before the age of 15. The law prevents access to contraceptives for such children. They have to wait until the age of 18. How many young mothers should be there before the law is revised?," she said.

She expressed concern over children easily accessing alcohol, cigarettes, as well as other drugs. "Before we even reach the age of maturity, at least 14 percent of children between the ages 11 to 16 have tried some kind of substance," said Hoareau. Some children have been exposed to drugs even while in their mothers' wombs, she said.

"Even in the family, children grow up on their own. Parents are busy. Parents work. Parents have separated.

Children suffer. The number of suicide attempts amongst children continues to increase," said Hoareau, who also urged parliamentarians to consider ideas of children, as they may solve some problems, even those created by adults.

"Continue to treat us with respect and dignity, so that we can also grow up with those same values. Yes, we know that having rights also comes with responsibility. We have our part to play. Parents also have theirs. All leaders of this country have a role to play," she said.

Photo: Tea Graphic/Nation

Travel agents and tourist service providers say it is important for African countries to simplify cross-border travel by easing and, in some cases, abolishing visa restrictions.

By Maryanne Gicobi

No African city made it to the Top 100 City Destinations ranking released a week ago by research firm Euromonitor International.

This is because interconnectivity among African cities is poor, as there are few direct flights between countries by the continent's airlines.

For instance, a traveller from East Africa to the North African city of Algiers has at least four African airlines to choose from, but they all have at least one connection with a two-hour layover.

Such travel challenges, coupled with visa restrictions, continue to keep away tourists who would want to tour different parts of the continent on one visit.

In contrast with the United States and Europe, where there is more interconnectivity between cities, Africans need visas to travel to other African states.

African Development Bank's 2017 Africa Visa Openness Report shows that there are just 11 countries that have relaxed visa rules for Africans. These are the Seychelles, Uganda, Djibouti, Somalia, Madagascar, Comoros, Togo, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Mozambique and Benin.

In many cases, it is easier for a citizen of another continent to enter an African country than it is for an African. But some countries like Ghana give visas on arrival for all African Union member states and visa-free entry for members of Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas).

Travel agents and tourist service providers say it is important for African countries to simplify cross-border travel by easing and, in some cases, abolishing visa restrictions.

"In West Africa, we have been lobbying governments to have an Ecowas tourist visa that will give access to all countries in the bloc. Whether it will be implemented is another story, but the principle of open borders is great," said tour services operator, David Oades of Overlanding West Africa.

Top 10

According to Euromonitor International, the top 10 cities in the world that people want to visit are Hong Kong which receives 26.6 million people a year, followed by Bangkok (21.2 million), London (19.2 million), Singapore (16.6 million), Macau (15.4 million), Dubai (14.9 million), Paris (14.4 million), New York (12.7 million), Shenzhen (12.6 million) and Kuala Lumpur (12.3 million).

In the Middle East and Africa category, the only African cities featured are Johannesburg and Cairo, at position 2 and 10 respectively. The report ranks Dubai as the top destination in the category.

South Africa considers tourism part of its economic growth strategy. Johannesburg has a smart access programme through which it aims to provide free WiFi access across the city by 2020.

Internet connections are the holy grail for travellers who need it to find maps for navigation; to load taxi-hailing apps like Uber; for weather forecasts; and finding accommodation.

[embedded content]

document

Message by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 25 November 2017

The initial response to the outpouring of '#MeToo' around the world has been of outrage at the scale of sexual abuse and violence revealed. The millions of people joining the hashtag tide showed us how little they were heard before. They poured through the floodgate, opening up conversations, naming names and bolstering the frailty of individual statements with the robustness of a movement.

This virtual class action has brought strength to those whose stories would otherwise have not been told. Sexual violence in private almost always ends up as one person's word against another, if that word is ever spoken. Even sexual violence in public has been impossible to call out when society does not view rape as a male crime but as a woman's failing, and views that woman as dispensable.

We are seeing the ugly face of violence brought out into the light: the abuses of power that repress reporting and diminish the facts, and that exclude or crush opposition. These acts of power draw from the same roots, whether they concern the murder of a woman human rights defender standing up against big business interests in the Amazon basin, a young refugee girl forced to have sex for food or supplies, or a small business employee in London forced out of her job for being 'difficult', after reporting the sexual misconduct of her supervisor. In each case, and over and over, these acts of abuse have stemmed from a confidence that there will be no significant reprisal, no law invoked, no calling to account.

But everyone has the right to live their life without the threat of violence. This holds for all people, no matter what their gender, age, race, religion, ethnicity or caste, and irrespective of their income level, sexual orientation, HIV status, citizenship, where they live, or any other characteristic of their identity.

Violence against women and girls is not inevitable. There are many ways to prevent violence in the first place and to stop cycles of violence repeating.

As a society, we can support the passing and implementation of laws to protect girls and women from child marriage, FGM, domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, and we can agitate for their impact to be properly monitored and evaluated.

The provision of essential services for survivors of violence must be comprehensive, multi-sectoral, non-judgmental, of good quality and accessible to everyone, with no exceptions. These services are the frontline of response to those whose lives have just been ruptured; they must have the survivor's dignity and safety as central concerns.

Prevention of violence must begin early. The education system and teachers themselves are at the forefront of children and young people learning to carry forward the principles of equality, respect and non-violence for future generations. This takes appropriate curricula and role model behaviour.

What #MeToo has shown clearly is that everyone has a part to play in changing our society for the better. We must speak out against harassment and violence in our homes, workplaces, in our institutions, social settings and through our media. #MeToo has also shown us that no one is immune. All institutions need to be aware of the potential for violence to occur among their staff. With that knowledge, we must take steps to prevent it, and at the same time be well prepared to respond appropriately.

In this broad effort to end violence against women and girls, we see men as playing a vital role in bringing change. Challenging sexism, male dominance and male privilege as society's norm starts with modeling positive masculinities. Parents can instill principles of equality, rights and respect as they raise their sons; and men can call out their peers for the behaviours that are now being understood as the unacceptable tip of the harassment iceberg.

At the heart of today's theme of 'leaving no one behind', is leaving no one out. This means bringing women and girls as equals into everything that concerns them, and planning solutions to end violence with those who have been previously dismissed, sidelined or excluded.

As a global community, we can act now to end violence against women and girls, to change institutions and work together to end discrimination, restore human rights and dignity, and leave no one behind.

Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

opinion

A vaginal ring could one day protect women from HIV infection and unwanted pregnancies but only if there's money to make it.

By the time you go to bed tonight, more 1 000 women aged 10 to 24 will have contracted HIV, according to 2015 statistics from UNAids.

And just as with contraception, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to protecting young women - or the thousands of men who have sex with men and sex workers - who are at a high risk of HIV infection. In South Africa, as many as one in three gay men may be living with HIV, shows 2011 research published the journal Aids and Behavior. Among women sex workers, four out of five may be HIV positive, reveals a 2014 study by the South African national health department and US Centers for Disease Control.

Whether it's preventing an unwanted pregnancy or HIV infection, people need options that work for them. They also need methods that can grow with them as, for example, their risk of contracting HIV changes.

The good news is that the world recently expanded our HIV prevention menu to include the HIV prevention pill, also known as the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

To listen to this podcast please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video

Ben Brown tells Mia Malan about his experience of using a pill that reduces his chances of HIV infection.

The bad news is the United States government could be on the verge of stopping some of our most promising options from ever making it on to this menu and into people's lives.

Microbicides are gels, rings, films or other substances that often contain antiretrovirals (ARVs) - the same type of drugs used in the HIV prevention pill - and are applied to the vagina or rectum before sex to prevent HIV infection. In a world where women and men who have sex with men may not always be able to negotiate condom use, microbicides could help people take control of their HIV infection risk.

Much of the important microbicide research has happened in South Africa, including three major clinical trials among women and the first African trial of a rectal microbicide designed for men who have sex with men. This led to the creation of an ARV-containing vaginal ring for women that can be inserted monthly. The ring was found to reduce a woman's chances of contracting HIV by up to 37%, revealed research presented at the 2016 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.

As of July, this ring was being evaluated for use in Africa by the World Health Organisation European, and similar moves had been expected in South Africa by the end of this year.

And today, about a dozen new types of microbicides are in the research pipeline, including some that could protect women against not only HIV infection but also other sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies.

But this progress is in peril.

The US government has been the major funder for HIV prevention research, including that into microbicides, primarily through the US National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Division of Aids. This department supports networks of people such as scientists, health workers and statisticians working on microbicide clinical trials globally and in South Africa.

The US is reviewing its funding to these networks and the NIH's Aids division as indicated that it may shift its focus away from microbicide research to invest more in long-acting HIV prevention products such as injectable ARVs and HIV prevention vaccines.

In the coming months, the NIH's Aids division will make its final decision whether to continue the kind of focus its had on microbicides research.

But the division is calling for public input before it decides the fate of much of the world's microbicides research. Time is short to make our views heard. South Africa, where so much of the research takes place and where the need is great, must raise its voice now.

If funding for microbicides research and development goes, so too does one of our best chances of putting the power of HIV prevention back in the hands of those who need it most.

Yvette Raphael is the programme manager for the Advocacy for Prevention of HIV and Aids organisation. Manju Chatani is the director of partnerships and capacity strengthening at the Aids prevention lobby group AVAC. Submit comments to the NIH via its website to or sign onto to the campaign to protect microbicides funding.

Have something to say? Tweet or Facebook us on @Bhekisisa_MG

analysis By Babatunde Fagbayibo, University of South Africa

The Pan-African Parliament was established by the African Union in 2004. Since then it has not passed a single law. That's because it's based on a Protocol that gives it only an advisory role. The parliament can gather information and discuss it, but can't make binding regulations to change anything.

Its limited "consultative and advisory powers" hamper the African Union's ability to achieve a prosperous and peaceful Africa as envisioned in its Agenda 2063.

Is there any point, then, in having this parliament?

The 2001 Protocol envisaged that a conference would be organised to "review the operation and effectiveness" of the protocol five years after the establishment of the Parliament, which was 2009. This provision gave rise to the view that such a conference would explore the possibility of granting the Parliament meaningful legislative powers. But no such review has been carried out so far.

Instead, the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government replaced the old Protocol with the new 2014 PAP Protocol. Nothing much changed. The new Protocol gave the Pan African Parliament powers to submit "draft model laws to the Assembly ... for its consideration and approval".

This still falls way short of meaningful lawmaking powers. By letting things remain as they were, African leaders are showing that the Parliament will remain a nominal platform. It is unlikely to become an effective organ with the mandate to pass the kind of laws that will advance African integration and development.

Denying the continental Parliament reasonable legislative powers undermines its legitimacy and raises concerns about its relevance.

New thinking needed

Yet there is important work that it could be doing. The Pan African Parliament could be advancing Agenda 2063 programmes. The agenda outlines seven goals, to be achieved over the next 50 years, that are central to achieving political and economic development in Africa. These include promoting peace and security, good governance, youth development and gender equity.

A Pan African Parliament with real legislative powers could lead the harmonisation of standards and policies across the continent. It could oversee African Union organs such as the Commission, and national parliaments.

This would require a new way of thinking. Some member states or regional parliaments may want to work directly with the Pan African Parliament to draft continental legislation. Indeed, the 2014 Protocol recognises this kind of arrangement. The challenge would be to make it work in practice.

First of all, the political will would be required to make the Pan African Parliament a true legislative assembly. The AU member states are unlikely to transfer power to it all at the same time.

The vast majority of member states have a lukewarm disposition towards African integration and are not likely to support a stronger continental parliament. These include Egypt, Angola and Botswana. Even among the more democratic member states, such as Botswana, South Africa and Ghana, national interests may come first.

Taking action

Practically speaking, the AU will need to explore the possibility of a flexible or differentiated approach to transferring powers to the Pan African Parliament. This rests on the willingness of member states to deepen African integration at a quicker pace. Others may choose to join later. This would be a pragmatic way to strengthen the Parliament's powers.

The AU will have to identify member states and regional parliaments that are prepared to work directly with the Pan African Parliament and then map out the areas in which legislative powers could be shared.

The Parliament would then develop model bills to guide willing national or regional parliaments so that every bill proposed would align with continental objectives. In the EU, on which the African Union is modelled, for example, national parliaments have the powers to review proposed legislation and comment on policies to be adopted by the European Parliament.

The final step would be to encourage direct elections to the Pan African Parliament. These could be carried out at the same time as general elections in the member states. In the EU, members of the European Parliament are directly elected. Similarly in South America, the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) regional body allows for direct election of parliamentary representatives.

Similar to the situation in Mercosur, the AU could at the initial phase allow countries to synchronise the election of Pan-African Parliament members with national or local elections and later provide a uniform timetable for all participating member states.

Participating states would need to provide the AU with electoral schedules, and then allow it to work with their respective electoral management bodies to facilitate the regional poll. Direct elections organised in this manner would enhance awareness of the Pan African Parliament and its activities.

The way forward

The rhetoric on the need to have a stronger continental Parliament has to be matched with actions. While some member states may be willing and ready to transfer legislative powers to the continental body, others may not.

Its legitimacy ultimately depends on its ability to make laws. The AU will have to invest more time and resources in bringing willing member states to the table. Otherwise the union might as well disband the Parliament and spend its budget elsewhere.

Photo: Deepika Nath/UN Women

Young school girls organize themselves before the March to End Gender-Based Violence in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. One sign reads: "Refrain from using abusive language for Women and Children".

opinion By António Guterres

United Nations — Every woman and every girl has the right to a life free of violence. Yet this rupture of human rights occurs in a variety of ways in every community. It particularly affects those who are most marginalized and most vulnerable.

As it was just said, around the world, more than 1 in 3 women face violence throughout their lifetime; 750 million women were married before age 18, and more than 250 million have undergone Female Genital Mutilation.

Women's rights activists are being targeted at alarming levels. And violence against women politicians impedes progress on women's civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights.

Women who run for office are more likely to encounter violence than men; women human rights defenders are at greater risk; and horrifying sexual violence in conflict shows no sign of abating.

There is increasing recognition that violence against women is a major barrier to the fulfilment of human rights, and a direct challenge to women's inclusion and participation in sustainable development and sustaining peace.

There is also increasing evidence that violence against women and girls is linked to other attacks, including violent extremism and even terrorism.

This violence, the most visible sign of pervasive patriarchy and chauvinism, directly impacts women's physical and psychological health. It affects whole families, communities and societies. While it continues, we will not achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The recent emergence of reports detailing sexual harassment in the workplace from many organizations and institutions worldwide shows how pervasive this form of sexual violence is.

I have stressed a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment at the United Nations. The Under-Secretary-General for Management, Jan Beagle, will follow up by chairing an Interagency Task Force that will examine our policies and look at strengthening our capacities to investigate reports and to support victims.

Attacks on women are common to developed and developing countries. Despite attempts to cover them up, they are a daily reality for many women and girls around the world.

As Prime Minister of Portugal, one of my most difficult battles was to win recognition that family violence and especially against women was a serious issue, and that we as a government should take measures to reduce and prevent it. I had to fight against a conspiracy of silence to push through urgently-needed reforms to the police and the judiciary.

It is time to further our collective action to end violence against women and girls -- for good. That takes all of us working together in our own countries, regions and communities, at the same time, towards the same goal.

The United Nations is committed to addressing violence against women in all its forms.

First, the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against women has been funding civil society organizations for twenty years. It has successfully awarded $129 million to 463 initiatives across 139 countries and territories.

Second, we recently launched the 'Spotlight Initiative', a large-scale effort by the UN and the European Union to eliminate all forms of violence against women. By connecting our efforts with those of national governments and civil society, this initiative aims to strengthen action on laws and policies, prevention, and services for survivors.

Third, the UN Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces Global Initiative is leading to a comprehensive programme to end sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence in public spaces.

And fourth, earlier this year I launched a new, victim-centred approach to sexual exploitation and abuse committed by those serving under the UN. I am determined to prevent and end these crimes, which cause such lasting damage to the people and to the institution itself.

These initiatives should help us deliver transformative change. But much more needs to be done. We need strong political will, increased resources and coordinated action.

Violence against women is fundamentally about power. It will only end when gender equality and the full empowerment of women will be a reality.

My policy on gender parity in the United Nations is one step towards achieving this goal so that we can access and capitalize on the full potential of all staff.

More broadly, I hope we are now seeing unprecedented momentum towards empowering women and achieving gender equality across the board and across the globe.

It is time for united action from all of us, so that women and girls around the world can live free from all forms of violence.

Photo: Pixabay

Lady Justice, an iconic image of the legal system.

By Katherine Gypson

Six weeks after arriving in the United States, Hassan Abduraheem takes a seat in the back pew of Tar Wallet Baptist Church. Tucked into the woods along a country road in rural Virginia, the church holds about 50 worshippers.

On this cold November Sunday, Abduraheem and his family of eight noticeably increase the congregation's size. They do their best to follow the unfamiliar English of the old Baptist hymns, which are very familiar to their new neighbors. And they share the hymns from their former home — Sudan.

Standing in a single line in front of the altar, the family fills the church with Arabic song.

"Unbelievable," Abduraheem says repeatedly, as he describes his journey from a crowded prison cell in Sudan to a fixed-up house on the farm of his new pastor. "Unbelievable" seems like the only word that could describe the turn his life took, thanks to a Facebook post and a U.S. congressman.

Abduraheem's work as a former pastor is not outlawed in his native Sudan, but Christians are a minority in a diverse country that has suffered through multiple civil wars. According to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, there has been "an escalation in the Sudanese government's persecution of Christians," since the 2011 secession of South Sudan.

Abduraheem says his work was spreading the gospel; the Sudanese government accused him of espionage, and he was detained along with two other pastors in December 2015.

"The first day when they took us to the prison, they beat us," he says softly.

Abduraheem was shifted from prison to prison. For five months, he wore the same clothes he was wearing when he was arrested. His eyes became damaged from the harsh prison light. Yet, despite constant interrogations, just two meals of beans a day and a tiny cell with barely enough room to sleep, he says the worst part of prison was not knowing.

"It was a very hard time for me, thinking of my family, because I [didn't] know anything about them," he told VOA in his first media interview in the United States.

But even after numerous delays to his trial and an eventual 12-year prison sentence, he couldn't shake a sense of faith.

"No one told me, but I had the peace that something [was] going [on] outside," Abduraheem says.

An enormous effort

Far away from Sudan, a Facebook post telling Abduraheem's story reached just the right person.

"I didn't know any better, so I got in my car and drove to the Sudanese Embassy and asked to speak with the ambassador," Representative Tom Garrett, a Republican in Virginia's 5th Congressional District, told VOA. Garrett first saw the story on the Facebook page for Voice of the Martyrs, a Christian organization whose African regional director was imprisoned with Abduraheem.

It was the first time a member of Congress had spoken to the Sudanese government in 10 years, according to Garrett's office.

After thousands of messages, hundreds of work hours and a trip to Sudan, Garrett collaborated with nongovernmental organizations to free Abduraheem in May 2017. The congressman also worked to secure humanitarian parole status to bring the pastor and his family to the United States.

"I commend the Sudanese government to the extent they were willing to acknowledge that mistakes have been made in the past, and there's a need to reassess how religious minorities are treated. That's progress," says Garrett, a member of the House Foreign Relations Committee.

It's also an opportunity to advance the relationship between the United States and Sudan, he adds.

"As a result of sanctions dating back to the nineties, Sudan is eager to distance itself from a dark past," he said in a statement.

Building a new life

Abduraheem and his family visited the congressman in Washington, D.C., last month to see where their life in the U.S. became possible. While it was their first time in the American city, it also was a new experience for their congressman.

"You can love a bill, you can believe in a bill, you can advocate on behalf of a bill, but you can't say a prayer with a bill, have dinner with a bill, shake hands with a bill. It was sort of surreal," Garrett says of meeting Abduraheem at the airport.

Five churches in Garrett's district banded together to fix up a home for the family, launching a GoFundMe page to pay for food, clothing and other expenses while the family waits for work authorizations. In the meantime, family members have been adjusting to the incredible change of leaving Sudan to build a life in America.

For them, everything is new — from discovering constant running hot water to buying winter coats for the snow they will soon see for the first time. But those immense changes are grounded by Abduraheem's certainty.

"Even though it is hard for us to leave our country, I think it is also better," Abduraheem says of his family. "I don't want them to grow there and go through a lot of difficulties like I went through it. Here, I know they can have a chance."

By Bernard Lugongo

THE ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM)'s National Chairman, President John Magufuli, yesterday warned members of the party's National Executive Committee (NEC), against endorsing unqualified candidates for leadership positions at regional level and national wings basing on favouritism.

The party's high-level organ started its meeting in Dar es Salaam, yesterday, during which it screened 3,004 names from the regions to contest for 261 posts. "Don't come here with names of your favourite candidates in your pockets ... I have a file for each name.

I may read information about each of them for you," Dr Magufuli stressed when he opened the meeting. He told the 115 members that they were entrusted to approve the right candidates who fit in the current party's values.

President Magufuli explained that recently, the party went through a renewal process through revisiting attitudes of its members in implementing its vision.

"We began such a revolution last year, aiming at bringing the party back to its principles; the changes have been a thorn in the flesh for those who were used to live lavishly," Dr Magufuli explained, adding that those remaining are those with genuine love with the party, not personal interests.

Highlighting on the fight against corruption among party leaders, Dr Magufuli said: "We want those who hate vice and are accepted by people in their areas." Earlier, CCM's Secretary-General Abdulrahman Kinana gave an overview of the meeting, saying it was well-attended.

Yesterday, 115 members of the NEC attended the meeting out of 119 members of the organ. He said the gathering was going to vet and endorse contestants for different leadership posts at regional level as well as for party's national wings.

President Magufuli presided over the meeting while others who were in attendance were the party's vice-chairpersons for Zanzibar and Mainland, President Ali Mohamed Shein and Philip Mangula, respectively.

Other distinguished members of the committee were Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa. Meanwhile, Lydia Shekighenda reports that later in the evening the party's Secretary for Publicity and Ideology, Humphrey Polepole, held a press conference at CCM sub-office along Lumumba Street and said the candidates who will be endorsed by the committee will be discussed and given the green light during the party's general conference to start on the 27th of this month.

Mr Polepole elaborated that at regional level, the selected candidates are going to vie for the party's chairmanship, political secretaryship and NEC membership. At national level, some of the contesters will seek votes to head party's wings for parents, youth and women.

Their names will be forwarded to the general conference to be held from November 27, for electing the leaders. NEC yesterday unveiled a list of candidates for national level party wings leadership posts.

For Women's Wing national chairperson the contestants are Ms Gaudensia Kabaka, Dr Juliana Manyerere, Sophia Mpumilwa and Ngolo Malenya. Dr Edmund Mndolwa, Eng Burton Kihaka, Mr Simon Lububu and Mr Fadhili Maganya will vie for Parents Wing's national chairmanship.

Photo: Xinhua

Emmerson Mnangagwa and Robert Mugabe (file photo).

Zimbabwe's state-run broadcaster says Emmerson Mnangagwa will be sworn in as the country's new president on Friday, taking over following the resignation of longtime leader Robert Mugabe.

The announcement Wednesday came as Mnangagwa was due to return to Zimbabwe. The former vice president abruptly fled the country November 6 after Mugabe fired him.

Car horns blared as people danced, cheered and waved in the capital, Harare, to celebrate the news of Mugabe's departure, which he announced Tuesday in a letter read out by the speaker of parliament.

One man told VOA's Zimbabwe service: "This is a breakthrough...We are super excited as Zimbabweans and we want to thank God. Our prayers have been answered. We have suffered a lot for 37 years."
Speaker Jacob Mudenda read out the resignation letter soon after lawmakers began proceedings to impeach Mugabe, who had been in power for 37 years.

The letter said in part, "I, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, in terms of Section 96 of the constitution of Zimbabwe, hereby formally tender my resignation...with immediate effect."

There has been no confirmation of the letter from the president or his office -- but no denial, either. The 93-year-old Mugabe had ruled Zimbabwe since the country won independence from Britain in 1980.

History of rights violations

The president was often criticized for human rights abuses that included the beatings, torture and killings of his political opponents. Western countries imposed sanctions on Mugabe and his allies after his supporters began seizing white-owned farmland in 2000. Zimbabwe's farm output and economy plummeted when the land was given to blacks with little experience in large-scale farming.

Criticism intensified in 2008, after inflation reached 231 million percent and Zimbabwe was forced to abandon its currency, the Zimbabwean dollar. The country experienced new economic problems in recent years, as corruption and Mugabe's heavy-handed economic policies scared away investors.

The U.S. embassy in Zimbabwe called Tuesday a historic moment for Zimbabwe and said the country must move toward free elections in which Zimbabweans choose their own leaders.

The U.S. State Department echoed the sentiment. "The resignation of Robert Mugabe is a historic opportunity, and historic moment for the people of Zimbabwe. The people of Zimbabwe have firmly voiced their desire for a new era to bring an end to Zimbabwe's isolation and allow the country to rejoin the international community," State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May released a statement that said Mugabe's resignation gives Zimbabwe the opportunity to pursue a path free of oppression.

Rights group Amnesty International said the next generation of leaders in Zimbabwe must abide by the constitution and treat the population with respect.

Mugabe had faced growing pressure to resign since last week, when the military took over state institutions and put him and his wife Grace under house arrest.

The military took action after the president fired the vice president, Mnangagwa, a hero of Zimbabwe's liberation war, and hinted he would replace Mnangagwa with Grace Mugabe. The first lady and former vice president were locked in a political battle over who would succeed the aging president, and led competing factions in the ruling party.

Until Tuesday, Mugabe showed no sign of stepping aside. He even called a Cabinet meeting for Tuesday morning. According to the Reuters news agency, only a handful of the 17 ministers showed up.

Mugabe was planning to run for another term as president in next year's elections, when he would have been 94.

Photo: Le Pays

President Muhammadu Buhari.

By Kemi Busari

The Senate was on Wednesday thrown into a rowdy session when a lawmaker, Biodun Olujimi, accused President Muhammadu Buhari of losing authority on his administration.

Mrs. Olujimi, PDP-Ekiti, was responding to a motion on the face-off between Nigeria's security agencies raised by Dino Melaye, Kogi-APC.

Officials of the State Security Services, SSS, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, were involved in a showdown on Tuesday when EFCC operatives attempted to arrest the immediate past Director-General of the SSS, Ekpenyong Ita.

A similar scenario also played out when SSS operatives prevented the anti-graft agency from arresting the former Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke.

Presenting the motion, Mr. Melaye called on the Senate to take an urgent action on the incidents he described as "recipe for national disaster".

"Mr. President, the media and the social media, print and electronics have been awash with a disaster that took place yesterday. The EFCC went to the residence of the former Director General of the SSS, Ita Ekpeyong, to effect an arrest and the Directorate of State Security stopped the EFCC from arresting him. That created environmental brouhaha. The whole environment and neighbours were stopped from lawfully gaining entrance into their homes because of this confusion.

"Same yesterday, the EFCC wanted to arrest the former DG NIA, Mr. Oke. Also, the officers of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency stopped that arrest. We are not here to say who is at blame. We have been embarrassed before the international community. That two sister agencies will engage in fisticuffs, arrest and stoppage of arrests. Mr. President, this is a recipe for national disaster."

Commenting on Mr. Melaye's motion, Mrs. Olujimi said President Buhari had lost his authority as 'nobody' was in charge of the current administration.

"Right now, we have a situation whereby nobody is in charge of anything and we cannot honestly blame anyone for what is happening. The truth is that you cannot go to the house of a security agent, a man who had kept the secrets of Nigeria for so long, and just try to arrest him like chicken.

"Mr. President, there has to be someone that we can hold responsible when two brothers are fighting. The person that is supposed to be held responsible has not done anything, is not doing his work.

"This is the first time we'll see gross irresponsibility in government whereby there is no arbiter. No one to come in between two agencies that belong to only one person. The two agencies report to one person, the presidency and now we find them fighting on the pages of the newspapers, it's a shame. We are calling on the President, he has to sit up, he should be up and doing. Call these people to order."

She questioned the president on why a new nominee for the position of Chairman of EFCC has not been sent to the Senate.

"Mr. President, you will remember that we rejected Mr. Magu as Chairman of EFCC and up till today nothing has been said about it. The Senate is divided. Nobody has come out to say we need to resolve the issue.

"After all, there are 170 million Nigerians, all of a sudden, we are saying only one person can do this job. Mr. President, something has to be done, the presidency has to be called to order. Nobody is in charge of this government. Nobody is in charge and somebody needs to be in charge."

Mrs. Olujinmi's statement threw the house into a rowdy session as senators on both the ruling and opposition raised their voices to defend their own.

Leader of the Senate, in response cautioned Mrs. Olujimi against making such statements, noting that President Buhari is in "full control of the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.'

"Even when Mr. President was away to attend to his health, the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, was in full control.

"The statement by our colleague is unacceptable. It's not right, it is wrong," he said amidst a roar of 'Yes' from senators who raised their voices in support.

"My opinion about what happened is that, could it be that EFCC did not get the right kind of document to arrest those people?

"If they did, then the security agencies are wrong. Only the investigation would reveal this."

The senate resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the clashes involving the SSS, EFCC, and NIA over the arrest of Messrs. Oke and Ekpeyong and to report its findings in two weeks.

By Kemi Busari

The Senate has resolved to review the security infrastructure of Nigeria, with a view to coming up with new ways to address insecurity in the country.

The resolution followed a lengthy debate on the strength and drawbacks of establishing state police in Nigeria.

The lawmakers made the resolution on Wednesday after expressing alarm that insecurity had lately led to many deaths in various parts of the country.

They also proposed the overhaul of the security system and a security roundtable that would discuss how to curb the menace of insecurity in through an exhaustive deliberation.

This followed a motion sponsored by Tijjani Kaura Zamfara-APC, on the recent killings and arson by armed bandits in four villages of Shinkafi Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

Broadened into the general situation of insecurity in the country, the senators took turns to explain general and peculiar situations in their constituencies, which they said require urgent solution.

The lawmakers debated whether the country should resort to state police in confronting the security challenges.

Giving instances of excessive use of power of vigilantes in his state, Dino Melaye, Kogi-APC, however, warned the Senate against moving for the establishment of state police.

"We must restore what I call information gathering," Mr. Melaye said.

"There is loss of confidence between the citizens and the people. Nigerian citizens no longer have confidence in security agencies to the extent that they hoard information. The police and other security agencies must work towards gaining the confidence of the people.

"Today, I will stand vehemently against the creation of state police because it will be abused by the governors."

Mao Ohuabunwa, Abia-PDP, however, differed in his comment. He argued that states should be involved in issues of their security.

"The primary assignment of any government is the protection of lives and properties of its citizens," he said.

"Mr. President, we should leave politics and look for ways to curb this. We need to devolve powers. We might not call it a state police but we should let the states be involved in their own security."

Similarly, Godswill Akpabio, Akwa Ibom-PDP, wants state police be recognised, saying it is already in operation in many parts of the country.

"We cannot do same thing over and over again and expect different result. Even if we say we don't want state police, we already have it. Every state has one form of vigilante or the other and they all carry guns around," he said.

"We should have a serious-minded committee that will look into the issue of security. I am not against state police but we should regulate their activities so that they will not be used by politicians."

In his comment, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, bemoaned the state of illegal possession and mobility of firearms in the country.

"People now illegally carry arms all over the place. In the past, many committees have been set up to look at the reform of the police and as of today, no action has been taken.

"The good point, as somebody said, is for us to redesign the structure, based on that decide the solution and not solution before the design."

On the killings in Zamfara, the Senate resolved to urge the federal government to evaluate the Nigerian Army's Operation Harbin Kunama and come up with a clear policy on the protection of citizens, especially those in rural areas.

It also resolved to call on the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to immediately send relief materials to the affected villages, and to send a delegation of the Senate to condole with the government and people of Zamfara State on the incident.

The lawmakers also resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to study and review the current security infrastructure in Nigeria, in consultation with the security agencies and come up with recommendations on way forward.

By Josiah Oluwole

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has said that the party is yet to endorse President Muhammadu Buhari as its sole candidate for the 2019 presidential election.

He also said the party would follow the "normal democratic processes" in choosing its candidate for the election.

Mr. Tinubu spoke with journalists on Wednesday in Akure, the Ondo State capital, after a meeting with the leadership of Afenifere at the Akure home of its leader, Reuben Fasoranti.

His statement is coming on the heels of a recent endorsement by state governors of the party for the president to run in 2019.

The meeting with Afenifere was held behind closed doors with the Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu; his deputy, Agboola Ajayi; the National Vice Chairman (South-west), Pius Akinyelure; and Olu Falae in attendance.

Others present at the meeting were the APC chieftain, Bisi Akande; and the secretary of Afenifere, Seinde Arogbofa.

According to Mr. Tinubu, Mr. Buhari, "stands for normal democratic process and the rule of law."

"No governors can appropriate the power of endorsement to themselves. Buhari is a believer in due process", Mr. Tinubu asserted.

"The Buhari I know believes in the rule of law. We wanted him even before the last convention and primary of the party and Akeredolu is here standing with me, he was not the governor then. He was one of the leading delegates that voted properly and Buhari was a clear winner.

"We followed all the constitutional provision and an individual or group's opinion does not really matter at this stage, Buhari will want a normal process. Buhari that I know, who says he will lose at any convention? But if the national body, the NEC (National Executive Committee) and all of us as members endorsed him as our single candidate, we will not be violating INEC regulations, we will not be violating our party constitution.

"What you are hearing is just a campaign by other people who might like to do so. Buhari has not excluded anybody, and he has not infringed on anybody's ambition if there is. We cannot be sycophantic about it."

Speaking on his visit, Mr. Tinubu said he came to pay homage and to acknowledge the leadership of Mr. Fasoranti as one of the leaders of the Yoruba nation and the leader of the Afenifere group.

"I am in Akure to acknowledge the leadership of Pa Fasoranti in our own race, as a great leader of the Omoluabi. In his evening, we want him to be happy, he has been a great leader in his youth", Tinubu said.

"His intellectual (capacity) is still very intact. We are here to seek his advice, seek his understandings and prayers; that is why I am here."

Mr. Tinubu parted ways with the leadership of the Afenifere shortly before the 2003 elections over his opposition to an alliance with the former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The alliance eventually led to the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the South-west states, except Lagos State where Mr. Tinubu was then governor.

Asked why it took so long for him to visit the Afenifere leader, the former Lagos State governor said it was his decision to come at the time he came.

"What is my decision is my decision and as an 'ordinary reporter', you cannot be asking me that", Mr. Tinubu said tersely.

"I decide on my time based on the charter of United Nations on Human Rights. I am a democrat and I believe in constitutional democracy."

Meanwhile, Mr. Fasoranti described the visit of Mr. Tinubu as a sign of good things to come to the Yoruba race, stating that the meeting would further foster great understanding among the Yoruba people and states.

"It is an indication of great things to come, the coming together of Yoruba leaders, there will be an understanding on major issues affecting Yoruba race. We will consult and move ahead. As it is now, there will be a great understanding among the leaders as Tinubu is a leader in his own right," Mr. Fasoranti said.

Photo: The Herald

President Edgar Lungu with former president Robert Mugabe (file photo).

By Andre Musonda

President Edgar Lungu has revealed that he had offered to shelter former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in the days preceding his final fall.

Mugabe resigned on Tuesday afternoon with an impeachment motion in parliament underway to wind up his 37 year reign.

President Lungu who arrived from Angola at a crisis meeting under SADC Defence and Security Committee said that he had offered the fallen Mugabe that he could be harboured in Zambia but the Zimbabwean leader declined.

"I had talked to him that if the chips are down you can come here but he refused saying that his home was Zimbabwe and he will remain there," he said.

President Lungu said that with the Mugabe resigning the soldiers should now return to the barracks.

"Now the people of Zimbabwe should follow their constitution since President Mugabe has resigned. It is time for the soldiers to return to the barracks," President Lungu said.

President Mugabe had been resisting stepping down but finally headed out with pressure mounting on him to step down.

His fall is largely to his long stay in power spurning 37 years although overtures to install his wife Grace as his successor proved the final straw in hold on power.

By Maston Kaiya

Lilongwe — The World Bank Group on Wednesday launched three major reports on Malawi's economy at the Bingu International Convention Center (BICC) in Lilongwe.

Speaking during the launching ceremony, the Governor for the Reserve Bank of Malawi Dalitso Kabambe commended the World Bank's role in the development of Malawi.

He said the launching of the three reports could not have come at a better time in the wake of inflation, cash gate, weather variability followed by drought coupled with a significant decline in donor grants in response to unsustainable policies and other shocks that have affected Malawi in the past few years.

Kabambe hailed the World Bank for supporting Malawi through soft loans, budgetary support since independence.

The Governor further said the Kwacha has been fairly stable in the last 12 to 15 months and disclosed that inflation rate has dropped to 8.3 percent in October from 20 percent.

"As Malawi, we are very grateful. With the support from the Bank, the country has moved from cash to digital payment of salaries thereby reducing transactional costs.

It has supported various economic sectors and currently supporting the energy sector in extending electricity across the country," said the Governor.

The reports that were launched include; Malawi Economic Monitor 6th edition- Land for Inclusive Development which provides an analysis of economic and structural development issues in Malawi.

Commenting on this report, World Bank's Country Manager for Malawi Greg Toulmin highlighted that the Malawi Economic Monitor (MEM) identifies land reforms including defining land rights, as crucial to private sector investment in agriculture and related productivity.

"As an agricultural country, assured land tenure security and effective land institutions in Malawi can stimulate both smallholder and large estate investments in agriculture and help consolidate the growth path achieved in 2017," said Toulmin.

According MEM, government currently has an opportunity to focus on key structural issues including land reforms critical to sustained economic growth, building on the macroeconomic foundations laid down over the last year.

The importance of structural reforms in helping to achieve sustained inclusive growth is further emphasized in the second report titled, Country Economic Memorandum - From Falling Behind to Catching Up.

The overview of this report is to dissect the problems and propose practical ways for Malawi to move beyond business as usual and achieve stable and sustained growth and poverty reduction.

The third report was the Investment Climate Assessment-a review of challenges faced by the private sector also referred as a standard for measurement of investment climate in Malawi based on World Bank Enterprise Survey.

By James Emejo

Abuja — The House of Representatives Thursday passed a resolution urging an investigation into Etisalat Nigeria, now 9mobile's indebtedness to 13 Nigerian banks.

The resolution was sequel to a motion by Hon. Saheed Akinade -Fijabi (APC, Oyo).

The lawmakers expressed concern over the circumstances that led to the problems of the telecommunications firm, which commenced business in Nigeria in 2009 and the eventual exit of its Abu Dhabi-based investors due its inability to repay a $1.2 billion syndicated loan from the banks.

According to Akinade- Fijabi, "Etisalat Nigeria obtained a loan of $1.2 billion (N377.4 billion) in 2013 from 13 Nigerian banks which involved a foreign- backed guaranteed bond to finance a major network rehabilitation, upgrade and expansion of its operational base in Nigeria.

"Etisalat Nigeria has so far paid about half of the initial loan amounting to about N504 billion with a total outstanding sum of about $574 million but had reneged on its debt servicing obligations after the intervention of the Nigerian Communications Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria to restructure the loan and new repayment deadline."

He said: "The failure of Etisalat to meet its debt service obligations with the banks since 2016 resulted in its foreign major stakeholders pulling out."

He rebuked the banks for their action, describing it and the renaming of the company as 9Mobile as a violation of Section 38 (1) of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003, which forbids sub-licensing or transfer of licence to another party.

House Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yussuff Lasun, who presided over plenary therefore, mandated the House Committee on Telecommunications to conduct the investigation and report back in eight weeks for further legislative action.

The House similarly resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate what it described as low concessionary tariffs granted by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in 2013 to some companies for importation of sugar.

Considering a motion by Hon. Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma (PDP, Edo), members said it was inappropriate for the government to review the tariffs downwards against the five per cent duty and 70 per cent levy contained in the National Sugar Policy.

Agbonayinma said the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) "had revealed that some companies had flouted the terms and conditions for obtaining a three -year low tariff running into hundreds of billions of Naira for sugar importation into the country."

He said: "The high tariff for importation of refined sugar was deliberately designed to discourage importation and encourage local production of sugar, but the concession became necessary in order not to hike the local price of the commodity since the country has not yet achieved self-sufficiency in sugar production."

By Lilian Murugi

Many African countries have made significant progress towards creating a vibrant Internet sector, with broad reforms that focus on increasing broadband availability.

There have been further successes within countries in developing online platforms, fostering growth of local companies and increasing the incentive to go online- says a new report launched today by the Internet Society, a global non-profit dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution and use of the Internet.

"Promoting the African Internet Economy" highlights how greater use of the Internet and digitization of the traditional economy will spur economic growth in Africa.

The report further examines Internet adoption and use by companies and governments throughout the region, identifying barriers that must be overcome in order to create an Internet economy that delivers innovative services, job opportunities and income growth across the continent.

Both businesses and citizens can benefit from an Internet economy. Businesses across all sectors gain access to a global marketplace of billions of people, and citizens in both rural and urban areas benefit from enhanced educational and training opportunities and access to new job possibilities.

The report also outlines what needs to be done for Africa to take full advantage of the digital opportunity offered by the Internet. It highlights local successes as well as broader challenges, offering recommendations for policymakers in Africa to adopt.

"The Internet economy presents a major opportunity for Africa. However, Africa needs a secure and reliable Internet infrastructure that users trust in order to bringing large and small businesses online, along with governments and other social services," explains Dawit Bekele, Africa Region Bureau Director for the Internet Society.

"The Internet economy presents a major opportunity for Africa. However, Africa needs a secure and reliable Internet infrastructure that users trust in order to bringing large and small businesses online, along with governments and other social services." Dawit Bekele, Director, Africa Region Bureau for Internet Society.

The Internet Society in collaboration with the African Union recently introduced Internet Infrastructure Security Guidelines for Africa to help AU member states strengthen the security of their local Internet infrastructure through actions at a regional, national, ISP/operator and organizational level.

In Kenya, the Internet economy already represents 3.6% of the country's GDP and in other developing countries 1.3% of GDP comes from the Internet economy. The McKinsey Global Institute predicts that in addition to contributions to GDP, the Internet will deliver productivity gains across Africa. These productivity gains across six key sectors: financial services, education, health, retail, agriculture and government are projected to be valued at between US$148 billion and $318 billion by 2025.

However, a thriving Internet economy in Africa could be put at risk by the increasing number of Internet shutdowns in the region. In 2016 alone, there were at least 56 shutdowns of the Internet around the world. These shutdowns affect individuals and organizations that depend on the Internet for their daily lives and have negative effects on the economy.

on to the economic costs, Internet shutdowns also affect trust. If people don't know whether they will have connectivity, they can no longer rely on that connectivity to build Internet-based businesses. This will affect entrepreneurs in greatest need of digital-led innovation for their own future, and the future of the Internet economy in Africa," added Bekele.

press release

National Minimum Wage applies to all employees, Department of Labour tells unions and other stakeholders

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) applies to all workers and no employer can pay workers below that level, the Director: Employment Standard, Stephen Rathai told unions and other stakeholders on Thursday at uMhlathuze Municipality in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal.

"The National minimum Wage will be the floor level below which no worker should be paid and cannot be varied by contract, collective agreement or law", Rathai said.

Rathai was addressing unions and other stakeholders on the upcoming National Minimum Wage which becomes active in May 2018 as well as amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) and the Labour Relations Act (LRA).

"The National Minimum Wage constitutes a term of a worker's contract except to the extent that the contract provides for a favourable wage and the employer cannot unilaterally alter the hours of work or other conditions of employment in implementing the National Minimum Wage", he said.

Rathai said, of the R20 per hour minimum wage level, Farm/Forestry workers will be paid R18; Domestic workers R15, whereas Extended Public Works Programme workers will get R11 from May 1 2018.

Rathai said that amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act deal with the monitoring and enforcement of the NMW including dispute resolutions thereof.

The amendments include the scope of the Department's inspectorate in terms of monitoring the implementation of the NMW including securing undertakings, enforcement of NMW in sectors with collective agreements including bargaining councils and the referral of noncompliance to the CCMA.

Meanwhile, Ian Macun, the Chief Director: Employment Standards told the gathering that the amendments to the Labour Relations Act deal with the state of labour relations environment with respect to violent and protracted strikes.

Macun said that one of the amendments to the LRA is that a picket will be prohibited unless picketing rules are in place.

The next workshop is scheduled to take place tomorrow, Friday, from 10:00 till 13:00 at Tropicana Hotel, 85 OR Tambo Street in Durban.-ENDS-

Issued by: Department of Labour

Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank (AfDB), says the bank would invest 12 billion dollars in the power sector in Africa in four years with the goal of

leveraging on the aviation sector.

He said this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

Adesina said the aviation sector was very important to the continent but that it could not operate in the dark.

He said the sector was very important to Africa because it accounted for about 73 billion dollars in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and created about 7 million jobs across the continent.

"Without electricity, you really cannot operate any effective and efficient airline industry and so this is one of the top priorities of the bank.

"We are investing in the power sector 12 billion dollars in the next four years with the goal of leveraging between 45 to 50 million dollars in this sector because I firmly believe that Africa cannot develop in the dark.

"So we must fast track that and when we have electricity, everything functions, even for the aviation industry and the tourism industry is actually quite linked to the avaiation industry as well."

He said the bank had invested over 20 billion dollars on infrastructure in Africa in the last 10 years, specifically one billion dollars in the aviation sector.

Adesina said the bank's investment in the sector covered building new airports in Ghana, Senegal, Casablanca and building of new infrastructure in Morocco.

As for Nigeria, he said the government was developing a new aviation sector investment plan, adding that the government was interested in a number of areas.

"First is we are looking at how to support more investment in airport infrastructure; they are also looking at how to create aircraft maintenance, repair and also overhaul facility.

"But one of the biggest problems in Africa is we do not have any aircraft leasing facilities and that is one of the things that the government is looking at.

"We are looking at upgrading some of the navigational infrastructure.

"So as a bank, we are very strong supporters of the government.

"Once the government comes up with its plan and what that really means in terms of the need, then we can play the role that they are asking us to play but we do not make decisions for the government."

AfDB is a multilateral development finance institution aimed at fighting poverty and improving the living conditions on the African continent.

It does this by promoting the investment of public and private capital in projects and programmes that are likely to contribute to the economic and social development of the region.

Photo: Radio Dabanga

Protest against the removal of fuel subsidy at Omdurman Alshuhada

El Jireif East — In repeated protests against the demolition of brick factories in El Jireif East in Khartoum city, a man was arrested and two demonstrators sustained injuries.

On Thursday morning, residents of the city district gathered in front of the factories to prevent trucks and bulldozers from demolishing the buildings. Badreldin El Haj, one of the notables of El Jereif East, told Radio Dabanga that a joint force of police and the security service was at the scene to disperse the crowd.

"At 9am, 40 trucks and dozens of other vehicles surrounded the district in preparation for demolishing the brick factories. The police used tear gas and beat demonstrators with crutches to disperse them, but they failed in doing so."

El Haj reported the arrest of a shop owner named Saad, and the wounding of Ezzo Bakri and Huyam Hassan. The police seized a vehicle of one of the residents in El Jereif East.

"Residents then closed the main road linking the district to the bridge after the withdrawal of police," El Haj said.

The old brick factories, considered to be historical, are planned to be replaced by a residential area. Sudanese authorities have sold the plots to investors, to the discontent of residents.

On 12 October, El Jireif's residents forced police forces to withdraw from the area and prevented the demolition of brick factories that was ordered by the state. A woman died when police used tear gas and others were shot by live ammunition used to disperse similar protests in May last year.

The Springboks are expecting a very difficult contest when they meet Italy at the Stadio Euganeo in Padova on Saturday, according to their captain, Eben Etzebeth .

The Springbok lock has shrugged off a lower leg injury and will lead South Africa for the 10th time this season. Etzebeth said that he is happy with the teams' preparations the past week in Padova.

"It was good to start the week knowing we arrived from Paris with a win," said Etzebeth.

"However, as soon as we started with our preparations for Italy, we very quickly put the French game behind us.

"We are looking forward to playing Italy on their home ground. We will not go into the match looking for revenge or anything like that. We have a process and an approach for each match and we will stick to that.

"For the players based at overseas clubs, it will be their last match of the tour and we are all excited to play tomorrow and hopefully deliver a good performance."

Etzebeth also said he was happy to have Pieter-Steph du Toit back in the side and is excited to see hooker Bongi Mbonambi getting his first start for the Boks.

"Pieter-Steph gives us another lineout option, he is a good ball carrier a very good rugby player," said Etzebeth.

"We will obviously miss Siya Kolisi, who went home for the birth of his second child, but in Pieter-Steph we have someone who brings something different.

"When I first heard Bongi was getting a start I went up to him and said well done. He deserves it, he has been playing well all season at the Stormers and I am excited for him. He is a good lineout thrower and I know he's looking forward to start the match," said Etzebeth.

Source: Sport24

Nairobi — Kenya Harlequin loose forward Herman Humwa has been handed his debut call up as head coach Innocent 'Namcos' Simiyu included the former Kenya U19 international in the Shujaa squad to the HSBC Sevens World Series season opening Dubai 7s set for December 1-2.

Commenting on Humwa's selection, Simiyu said, "Herman is a big boy... quite good on the high ball and brings physicality and pace to our game.

Simiyu has also included Willy Ambaka who will make his first appearance since returning from New Zealand's Manawatu where he played in the Mitre Cup. Ambaka was last in action at the Canada Sevens in Vancouver.

Kenya's all time top points scorer Collins Injera also makes the trip to Dubai. Injera, who sits second on the World Series all time try scorers chart with 244 tries was last in action at the Hong Kong Sevens.

Jeff Oluoch is also back for the first time since the 2015/16 season. Speaking about Oluoch's selection, Simiyu said, " Jeff is coming off a great sevens season with Homeboyz and we believe in picking players when their tails are up and hope he delivers while playing for Shujaa.

Oscar Ayodi will captain the squad for the season, deputized by Oscar Ouma. Commenting on his selection as captain, Ayodi said, " It is a challenge I will take in my stride. We are going into the season confident and hopefully the results will show. Heading into the season, we are confident we shall deliver."

The team leaves the country on Monday 27 November. Shujaa are in Pool A with reigning series and tournament champions South Africa, Canada and neighbors Uganda.

They will start their campaign against Canada at 9.30am East African Time on Friday 1 December before playing South Africa at 1.36pm. They will complete their day one assignments against Uganda at 6.31pm.

Squad

1.Willy Ambaka 2.Dan Sikuta 3.Herman Humwa 4.Jeff Oluoch 5. Frank Wanyama 6.Collins Injera 7.Brian Tanga 8.Eden Agero 9.Sammy Oliech 10.Oscar Ayodi 11.Nelson Oyoo 12.Dennis Ombachi

AUTHOR: Capital Sport

The South Africa under-19s have gathered at the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Centre of Excellence for a four-day camp in preparation for their seven-match, Youth One-Day International (ODI) triangular series against England and Namibia in Potchefstroom.

The series, taking place from 30 November to 10 December will include three day/night matches and will go a long way in helping to plot the way towards the 2018 ICC U19 World Cup which will be held in New Zealand in January.

Coach, Lawrence Mahatlane is pleased with the progress and preparation of the members of the team, especially considering that they have all been writing year-end exams at school and university.

"With a lot of the guys being either at school or at varsity writing exams, I've been very happy to see the energy they have brought in on day one of the camp. They are fit and ready for what will be an intense series and are excited to get started," he said.

"As a team whose first game is just seven days away, I thought it was important that those guys that had finished writing early should get together and build a bit of team spirit, understand what our roles are and get back into team mode."

The coach is eager to see what his players will produce during the series and believes that the road to 2018 continues to move in a positive direction. He also cautioned against complacency, reminding players that final World Cup spots have not yet been secured.

"It's exciting times," he continued. "There's still a few players that are not here that are still in the mix so it's important for the guys here to take the opportunities given and to go out there and play the roles that we have identified for them."

Source: Sport24

Nairobi — Competitors arrived at Ol Tukai Lodge bruised and battered on Thursday recounting a tough start to the 2017 Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally.

Overnight leader Stig Blomqvist of Sweden talked of a very tricky first day especially in the first section where most of crews got stuck in one of the mud holes.

"Overall am happy to be back here to defend the title I won last time," Stig said.

Despite the conditions, oldie Dinesh Sachania of Kenya also returned to the Lodge in Amboseli enthusiast of his run.

He said: "The second stage was good and the long section was tough with a lot of corrugation. We are not thinking a lot about tomorrow (Day Two) just taking it a day at a time."

Nick Mason of GB had a great run and managed to get through everywhere. "For us it was a good day. However it was very disappointing in the length of time that we were left out baking in the sunshine, waiting for decision to be made. Thank God for the second stage, it was absolutely fantastic which brightened up everyone for the day."

Kabras Sugar Racing ace Tejveer Rai of Kenya had probably more downs than ups. "We got stuck in both the stages. Apart from that we lost a lot of time. The waiting didn't affect us too much but you feel the concentration going off a bit, but that's the part of the challenge.

His teammate Baldev Chager of Kenya had a very challenging and extremely tricky day despite wrapping up his first day in third.

"I think we were very lucky not to get stuck in stage 1 that's why we had a good stage time. Looked forward to stage two but we had an issue with the fan belt. It snapped 5km and we had to be very careful which lost us a bit of time."

Eight more days to go, it's a rally that can catch you out and can be good to you or be very cruel. Of course we have to do our best as a Kenyan entry but we have stiff competition from the likes of Stig, but it should be good fun."

Carl "Flash" Tundo had an electrical fire before even the first stage and we had to rewire the car losing about a minute and a half.

"The times we set were all top 10, and we are in the same minute with Stig. The good thing is that the officials made good decisions with the times and I commend them. We have done a lot of work on the Triumphs and I think the fire was caused by putting the tracking unit the wrong way but it's all sorted now."

Onkar got stuck behind a lot of cars in the mud holes but besides that he had a good day. "However we lost gears and we didn't have 4thgear but we still got good times. Would have been better. As for the whole Kabra's team, we are talking together and we just have to make sure we get to the end.

Italy's Steffano Rocca talked of a very nice race and nice first day. "Unfortunately in the morning we had to wait. In the first stage I got stuck in a mud hole and got stuck there for almost an hour and a half.

The second section was great I had two cars that slowed me down a bit but ended up wel. The car is more than fantastic and better than the last classic rally, my team has done a fantastic job on the car."

Tim Mammen and his teammate Keith Henrie were going on very well and got through the mud holes at least in the beginning.

"At some point I got an overtake request. Unfortunately I pulled up to far on the left side and ended up stuck permanently in the mud. So we spent half an hour stuck. Rocca tried to pull us backwards, didn't work, but we later got help but we baked in the sun for 3 hours. The 2nd stage was great and we had fun in it."

Cementers Kenyan driver Ramesh Vishram talked of a good day, "but such a pity that the first stage had an issue but all in all its been a good start, besides the wet conditions but I thank God that we managed to go through. Second stage was rough with a lot of wash outs and had to be extremely cautious. The car has minor issues which they will sort out tonight before the second day."

By Thato Mosinyi

Gaborone — The battle lines are surely drawn and eight teams will fight beyond their historic best in their quest to fly even higher with the single aim to add some Mascom Top 8 silverware in their trophy cabinet.

The anticipation and adrenaline rush is building as the football fraternity prepares for a clash of heavy weights in the battle for supremacy as eight top teams in the Botswana Premier League 2016/17 season square up this weekend.

Dubbed 'No Retreat, No Surrender', this season's Mascom Top 8 challenge promises to be a gloves-off combat and no team needs any outside motivation with a mouthwatering P1.3 million prize money at stake.

With this season's prize money seeing an increase from P1.2 million to P1.3 million, it is without doubt that Mascom had raised the bar a little higher and the pressure is mounting on the participating teams to deliver category 'A' performances that match the prize money.

Since its launch in 2011, Mascom Top 8 had provided a close to perfect platform for debutant teams in the Top 8 category to shine with Jwaneng Galaxy winning the tournament in its first calling in the 2016/2017 season, and Orapa United defying the odds by beating Township Rollers in the 2015/2016 final to accomplish what most deemed impossible.

Pressure might be mounting for this season's rookies, Security Systems to repeat Galaxy's and Orapa United's legacy and carry on the giant killing heroics that Mascom Top 8 newcomers are renowned for.

Even though the tournament officially kicks off on Friday evening (November 24) with Mochudi Centre Chiefs playing host to defending champions Galaxy, all roads will however lead to the National Stadium on Saturday (November 25) for a clash of titans affair between current league pacesetter Township Rollers and resilient BDF XI.

Having won the league honour seven times and the Mascom Top 8 once in the 2013/2014 season, the once supreme BDF XI will seek former glories to outlast the high riding Rollers.

The fixture is a replay of the 2013/14 final, where BDF XI aka Matebele as they are affectionately known, overpowered Popa after a penalty shootout and if history is anything to go by, one might fancy BDF XI to come out victorious, but come Saturday, a mammoth task lies ahead as BDF XI will be hoping to derail the blue Rollers train.

There is currently clear blue water at the summit of the BTC Premiership table and a clear eight-points gap between Rollers and Galaxy in second position, something which clearly illustrates the no-mercy mood that characterises Rollers performance by far.

Though they survived a major scare in their last league game against Orapa United having to come from behind to level matters, Popa are arguably the team to beat this year and it remains to be seen if they will be able to transform their league form into cup competitions.

The Sunday (November 26) encounter will however see new comers Security Systems ushering in 2015/2016 Mascom Top 8 champions, Orapa United at Lobatse Sports Complex at 4pm.

Systems have had a superb run in the league by far winning four games of their first nine games.

However, against an unpredictable Orapa United, it is difficult to tell, which side the pendulum will swing as United have had a rough seasons to-date highlighted by the recent sucking of their Mascom Top 8 winning head coach Madinda Ndlovu.

Gaborone United and Extension Gunners will wrap up the first round of the quarter finals on Monday (November 27) at the National Stadium at 7pm.

Source: BOPA

Knights coach Nicky Boje is searching for some momentum for his side in the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge as they prepare to host the Warriors at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Friday.

The match is one of two for both teams this weekend, with the home side striving for some sort of impetus to try and get their competition going.

The Knights beat the Warriors in East London in the opening game, but then lost to the Titans and had a match against the Dolphins washed out, meaning there has been little time to get into any sort of groove.

It is exactly what Boje wants for his side.

"We haven't played a lot so far, so there hasn't been a significant number of games for us to have built momentum," he said.

"But this is a weekend where we do play two games and I think it's important for us to start gaining some momentum."

In the first-round meeting, Theunis de Bruyn and David Miller won the game for the hosts with a superb partnership.

The Warriors have not had many significant partnerships so far and neither have they been able to find any rhythm with their latest match also washed out in Durban on Wednesday.

But Boje is wary of the threat they will pose.

"Like all the teams, the Warriors too have got some quality players... guys who can take a game from you," the Knights coach adds. "But we've got plans for their dangerous players. In saying that, I think we need to focus on doing our basic stuff well and the rest will take care of itself."

Warriors boss Malibongwe Maketa was left frustrated by their trip up the east coast where all they did was watch the rain.

"It's a bit frustrating particularly because of the start we've hard," he said. "We wanted to try and get out there and get that win, but it didn't happen.

"Now without a win, it's getting to that critical stage for us after three matches without getting on the board."

Maketa believes it was now critical for them to get a result in the Free State.

"We need to make sure we get that positive result in Bloemfontein so we can get going," he adds. "You don't want to be too far behind and playing catch-up cricket.

"We know it will be tough against a strong Knights team who beat us a few weeks back, but we're confident and look forward to it."

The two sides will also be involved in a double-header Sunday at Newlands, where the Knights are scheduled to face the Cape Cobras and the Warriors the Highveld Lions.

Source: Sport24

By Yamikani Yapuwa

Blantyre — The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has said it will from November 22 hold the 2017 National Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum at Sun and Sand Holiday Resort in Mangochi.

In a press statement issued on Tuesday, signed by Secretary for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Grey Nyandule Phiri, the forum which will run from Wednesday to Friday will provide an opportunity for exchange of experiences and challenges among the participants.

Some of the participants to the forum include researchers, fish famers, fishermen, non - state actors and policy makers against the background of the rolling out of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy of 2016.

"The forum will also provide updates on the finalised, ongoing and planned fisheries and aquaculture programmes as well as sharing research findings on fisheries and aquaculture with specific issues on climate change, biodiversity conservation, governance, fish trade and genetic improvement," he said.

"Additionally, it will also facilitate greater research collaboration across disciplines, sub -sector initiatives and research partners and develop synergy between science and policy in fisheries and aquaculture," Phiri added in the statement.

Meanwhile, the Ministry indicated that Malawi's fish production from capture fisheries has risen from 50,382 metric tonnes in 2004 to 116,315 metric tonnes in 2015.

"The most dominant catches are Usipa (Engraulicypris sardella) and Utaka (Copadichromis species). Similarly, aquaculture production has also increased from 800 metric tonnes in 2004 to 7,000 metric tonnes in 2016," said the statement.

The ministry has, however, bemoaned open access to fish resources that contribute to overfishing, weak capacity to enforce fishing laws and high post - harvest losses as some of the negative factors hindering growth of the fisheries sector.

"Further to that, stress of fresh water ecosystems due to growing population and climatic changes, low quality feed, uncertified fingerling producers and limited hatcheries for aquaculture as well as low private sector participation continue to affect the sector," Nyandule Phiri noted.

In an effort to ensure clean environment, income and sustainability, Green Cities Incorporated, a youth base social enterprise operating in the solid waste sector of Liberia has launched the urban recycling project in Monrovia.

The urban recycling project is bringing together ten slum communities in Monrovia, training community residents on waste collection, management and how to make the environment clean, safe and at same time ensure income generation.

Giving an overview of the project, the Executive Director of Green Cities Inc, James Mulbah said the project is geared toward achieving a clean environment, job creation and empowerment for the young people.

The three months project launched in Buzzi quarter on the UN Drive in Monrovia which kicked off with a training is targeting 100 youth from ten communities between the ages 18-35 years. With this, each community will send ten potential young people who will be selected based vigorous vetting, gender sensitivity and fundamental human rights.

According to Mulbah, the community leaderships will take ownership of the project along with the direct beneficiaries and the indirect beneficiaries.

He said the ten communities will be trained in waste collection, management and how they can generate income from the wastes they collect from their communities.

"We are not here to give you cash. But we will empower you with all of the needed materials to make you effective in generating your own money. We want to add values to the wastes and empower our young people," he said.

For his part, United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) Director of Mission Support, David Peklins said clean environment is a best place to live.

Peklins urged the participants and beneficiaries to attach importance to the waste collection and management because it generates income and better livelihood.

"This can grow to even be bigger, this can create a better livelihood and environment. Take this project to your heart because this is profitable and sustainable," Peklins said.

At the same time, an official of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ben Karmoe said the acceptance by the communities demonstrates their willingness to participate.

"Waste is not a mere waste. This can generate income and ensure clean environment. We will provide the technical guidance to Green Cities Inc. we need to engage into urban planning if we are to move forward, every Liberian must be given a space," he added.

The chairman of Buzzi quarter, Yarkpazuo Goloi expressed the willingness of the community for the waste collection and vowed to remain committed to the project by Green cities.

The three months project is supported by the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and implemented by Green Cities Incorporated, a local organization.

opinion By António Guterres

Bonn — It is fitting that this year's conference of parties (on climate change, COP 23) is led by Fiji, a nation on the frontlines.

Last month I visited other small islands facing the impacts of a warming world: Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica. The hurricane damage was beyond belief. The catastrophic effects of climate change are upon us. Floods, fires, extreme storms and drought are growing in intensity and frequency.

Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide are higher than they have been for 800,000 years. Climate change is the defining threat of our time. Our duty -- to each other and to future generations - is to raise ambition.

We need to do more on five ambition action areas: emissions, adaptation, finance, partnerships and leadership.

First, reducing emissions.

The latest UN Environment Programme Emissions Gap Report shows that current pledges will only deliver a third of what is needed to stay in the safety zones of the Paris Agreement.

The Global Carbon Project reported earlier this week that 2017 will see the first increase in CO2 emissions in three years.

The window of opportunity to meet the 2-degree target may close in 20 years or less. And we may have only five years to bend the emissions curve towards 1.5 degrees.

We need at least a further 25 per cent cut in emissions by 2020. Yet there are also encouraging signs of progress.

For years, many insisted that lowering emissions would stifle growth, and that high emissions were the unavoidable cost of progress. Today that dogma is dead. We are beginning to de-couple emissions from economic growth.

Massive economies such as China and India are on track to surpass their Paris pledges. Carbon markets are growing and merging. The Green Bond market is expanding.

It is crucial for all countries to follow through on their Paris commitments. The agreement itself calls for raising ambition -- and so I urge you to use the 2020 revision of the Nationally Determined Contributions to close the 2030 emissions gap.

The second area for greater ambition is: Adaptation.

Mitigation is essential, but climate change is already upon us, and will only worsen in the short-term. It is essential that we adapt and that we strengthen resilience.

The Green Climate Fund can play a catalytic role on this, and I appeal to its members, especially donor nations, to bring this mechanism fully to life. I have also asked the UN system to promote adaptation and resilience efforts at the country level.

I commend the 2015 pledge by G7 nations to provide insurance against extreme weather events for 400 million more vulnerable people by 2020. And I welcome the announcement here in Bonn, led by the Government of Germany, to fast forward this ambition.

The insurance industry itself has long sounded the alarm about climate change. The industry is keen to promote coverage for people at risk - and it is pressing business and governments alike to figure climate shocks into their planning, policies and operations. I will facilitate these efforts.

Third, finance.

Greater ambition on emissions, adaptation and resilience is inextricably linked to funding. We need to mobilize the agreed 100-billion-dollars annually for developing countries.

Upholding this promise is essential for building confidence and trust. It is crucial for enabling all countries, but especially the most vulnerable, to face inevitable climate impacts and grow their economies cleanly.

In addition, markets can and must play a central role in financing a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. Yet markets need to be re-oriented away from the counter-productive and the short-term.

In 2016, an estimated 825 billion dollars were invested in fossil fuels and high-emissions sectors. We must stop making bets on an unsustainable future that will place savings and societies at risk.

Earlier this year, a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) showed that bringing together the growth and climate agendas could add 1 per cent to average economic output in the G20 countries by 2021.

If we add the economic benefits of avoiding the devastation of climate change impacts, gross domestic product in 2050 would soar by 5 per cent. Infrastructure investment will be crucial.

The world should adopt a simple rule: If big infrastructure projects aren't green, they shouldn't be given the green light. Otherwise we will be locked into bad choices for decades to come.

Investing in climate-friendly development is where the smart money is headed. I welcome the initiative of President Macron to convene the "One Planet summit" next month to focus on financing.

I will be working to scale up international financing in renewable and energy efficiency projects to reduce at least 1 gigaton or more of carbon emissions by 2020. The formation of a clean energy investment coalition, as proposed by Denmark, is an idea worth pursuing.

We should also work with greater determination towards carbon pricing. This is a key instrument for driving down greenhouse gas emissions.

More than half of the nationally determined contributions to the Paris Agreement cite the need for carbon pricing. Last year, carbon pricing initiatives generated 22 billion dollars.

Growing carbon markets in Europe and North America, and China's expected announcement of one of the world's largest emissions trading systems, are a good sign.

But to meet the Paris goals we need at least 50 per cent global coverage and a higher price on carbon to drive large-scale climate action. I urge G20 countries to set a strong example.

The fourth ambition action area is partnerships.

The dramatic steps we need require action coalitions across all key sectors and by all actors. Partnership -with the private sector, local and regional governments and civil society - will make or break efforts to implement the Paris Agreement.

In particular, the only way to keep below 2 degrees and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees is to mobilize the private sector to move on an energy transformation. With government incentives, such as clean energy and transport policies, business can move the markets to promote the green economy we need.

We need to engage global technology giants, the oil and gas sector and the automotive industry so their business plans are consistent with the Paris goals. And we need to engage the agricultural and forestry sectors to ensure climate friendly land use.

But we must engage all actors - national, regional and local governments, philanthropists and investors and consumers - in the transformation to a low-emission economy. Next year, the Governor of California and my special envoy Michael Bloomberg, together with Anand Mahindra, will bring together cities, states, businesses and citizens' groups to encourage further commitments from these vital actors.

One can see action everywhere, at all scales, at all levels, involving an ever-wider landscape of actors and institutions. Let us build on this momentum.

Fifth, we need heights of political leadership.

Solutions to climate change will enable us to meet many of the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. I encourage you to be bold in your deliberations and decisions here in Bonn - and at home.

By embracing low-carbon climate-resilient policy making you can set the world on the right path. And where you lead, business and civil society will follow.

In September 2019, I will convene a Climate Summit to mobilize political and economic energy at the highest levels. More immediately - in this 20th anniversary year of the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol and the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Climate Change Convention - I call on all nations that have not yet done so to ratify the Doha Amendment.

I also call on world leaders to ratify and implement the Kigali Amendment to phase down the use of hydrofluorocarbons, which destroy the ozone layer and contribute significantly to temperature rise.

I can think of no greater way to show your people that you care for the well-being of your citizens than to claim the mantle of climate leadership. Show courage in combatting entrenched interests.

Show wisdom in investing in the opportunities of the future. Show compassion in caring what kind of world we build for our children.

As a former politician myself, I have no doubt that in today's world, this is the path to progress today and a meaningful legacy for tomorrow.

Ultimately, there is only one ambition that matters - to build a secure world of peace, prosperity, dignity and opportunity for all people on a healthy planet.

The world counts on your wisdom and foresight.

By Victor Karega

The growing demand for sea cucumbers has prompted traders in Zanzibar to call for regulation of exports of the marine species.

They say trade in the sea cucumber is unregulated on the island, with poachers smuggling it to Asian markets.

In China and Hong Kong, a kilogramme of processed sea cucumbers can go for as much as $300, depending on the species. In Zanzibar, the price ranges between Tsh20,000 ($9) and Tsh100,000 ($44.5), depending on the type and size.

Fishermen told The EastAfrican that the sea cucumbers are processed and exported either by sea or air to China, Hong Kong and Dubai, where the demand is high.

"The sea cucumber is our bread and butter and we depend on it for our livelihood," said Amour Ali, a Zanzibar trader, who wants permits to be issued to dealers who must also operate only in season.

Mr Ali said exporting sea cucumbers to Asia via Ethiopian Airlines costs $1.20 per kilogramme.

To process the sea cucumbers, farmers boil them in hot water sprinkled with salt, then dry them on the shore. After thorough drying, one kilo of sea cucumbers shrinks to about 200g. The dried product is considered a luxury food item in Asian seafood markets.

The delicacy not only generates revenue, but also contributes to food security among fishing communities. It is believed to be of high nutritional and medicinal value. It is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat health problems such as fatigue, impotence and joint pains.

Sea cucumber species in Zanzibar include Myeupe, Tairi, Spinyo baba, Barangu, Nanasi, Kijini, Dole, Barangu mwamba, Sankude, Tambi and Mbura.

The harvest period lasts between six and eight months. There are more than 1,000 species worldwide, according to National Geographic.

The major challenges the fishermen and traders face are resources management, health and safety.

The potential financial rewards in overseas markets are also causing domestic fishermen to take more risks as sea cucumber stocks deplete, and diving farther from shore.

By Megan Rowling

Barcelona — The Adaptation Fund secured its future under the Paris Agreement and exceeded its 2017 fundraising target in Bonn

From protecting coastal slum dwellers on Pacific islands against floods to helping poor farmers keep up harvests battered by drought in Africa, a global fund to help developing countries adapt to climate change received a vote of confidence at the latest round of U.N. climate talks.

At the end of the two-week meeting in Bonn, which ran over into Saturday morning, governments agreed the Adaptation Fund will become one of the formal tools to meet the goals of the Paris climate accord - a decision needed to ensure the fund's continuing existence.

Victor Viñas, vice-chair of the fund's board from the Dominican Republic, said the move would "benefit many more vulnerable communities" in the developing nations it serves.

The Adaptation Fund began operating a decade ago under the Kyoto Protocol, the world's earlier treaty to tackle global warming, which is intended to run until 2020.

A levy on a Kyoto Protocol carbon trading mechanism generated almost $200 million for the fund, but that income declined as carbon prices fell, and government donors have stepped up with contributions in recent years.

They did so again in Bonn, with Germany, Sweden, Belgium's Wallonia region, Italy and Ireland helping the Adaptation Fund raise more than $93 million this year, exceeding its annual goal of $80 million, which will rise to $100 million next year.

"This financial institution provides critical support to help developing countries manage climate impacts," said Paula Caballero, head of the World Resources Institute climate programme, noting those impacts will intensify as the planet warms.

Adaptation experts say the fund has proven its worth to climate-hit communities over its 10-year existence - albeit with modest resources.

"The Adaptation Fund has developed some very interesting and innovative practices," said Saleemul Huq, director of the Dhaka-based International Centre for Climate Change and Development.

It has allocated $462 million for projects and related activities in 73 developing countries, which are now benefiting nearly 5.5 million people directly.

Nearly all of its projects cost less than $10 million, with some receiving as little as $10,000 to $30,000.

But that has allowed it to pioneer ways of managing scarce water supplies or growing food in forests at the local level where it matters most, say its supporters.

And it has done so partly by channelling money to approved government agencies and environmental organisations in developing countries, enabling them to take the reins and boosting their ability to handle larger amounts of climate finance.

Michael Kracht, an official with Germany's environment ministry who chairs the Adaptation Fund Board, said the fund's projects had "performed pretty well" and it was learning how to improve as climate adaptation needs on the ground evolve.

A key challenge now is to find more stable sources of income, so the fund no longer needs to go "begging" to donors each year, he added.

MONEY "MISMATCH"

This year alone, the Adaptation Fund said it received a record 54 project proposals valued at $350 million, "reflecting the rising seas, increasing floods, droughts and intense storms occurring throughout the world".

It decided to back more than $104 million in new proposals. But even with its annual fundraising target more than met, it cannot finance everything in its pipeline.

"There is a big demand, which the Adaptation Fund could respond to as long as there is enough money," Kracht told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The details of how the fund will operate under the Paris Agreement are due to be worked out at U.N. climate talks in a year's time. Meanwhile it remains unclear whether, or how, the linkage will bring a more secure stream of cash.

One option is for the fund to tap the much larger pot of its younger sister, the Green Climate Fund (GCF). That fund has secured pledges of more than $10 billion, although there are doubts over whether the United States will deliver $2 billion of that.

Adaptation expert Huq argues that connecting the two funds would make sense, not least because the GCF has been slow to get money "out of the door" to vulnerable nations.

"The GCF has money it can't spend. The Adaptation Fund has projects ready to go, but it doesn't have money. So that is a mismatch," he said on the sidelines of the talks in Bonn.

Potential legal issues could be ironed out if there were political will to bring the two funds together, he added.

- Reporting by Megan Rowling @meganrowling; editing by Laurie Goering

The Thomson Reuters Foundation is reporting on resilience as part of its work on zilient.org, an online platform building a global network of people interested in resilience, in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation.

By Saleemul Huq | International Centre for Climate Change and Development

With the Paris Agreement now in place, the focus should be on those putting it into practice

After the historic Paris Agreement was achieved at the U.N. climate talks in December 2015, when all the countries of the world agreed to take action to tackle the problem of global climate change, I had proposed that future meetings - known as the Conference of the Parties, or COPs - should become "inside out" COPs.

By that, I meant that observers (who include the environmental groups, business and researchers now implementing the Paris Agreement) should be put centre-stage, and the official government negotiators left on the sidelines, as there's no longer any major deal to be negotiated, just the details of how to collectively implement what was already agreed in Paris in 2015.

The crucial difference between negotiating and implementing is that the former requires consensus among all 195 governments to arrive at any decisions, while actions can be taken by coalitions of the willing, which can include governments as well as many others.

At COP22 in Marrakech last year, the process began with the launching of a raft of initiatives, particularly a pledge by the Climate Vulnerable Forum, consisting of nearly 50 of the poorest and most vulnerable developing countries to unilaterally declare their intention to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. They took the moral leadership and urged other countries to follow their lead.

This month at COP23 in Bonn, under the leadership of Fiji, I feel we may in fact be on the way to achieving the "inside out COP". The most vivid illustration of this shift in emphasis between negotiators and observers was the physical location and ambiance of the two venues.

The negotiators' venue (called the Bula zone) was a newly built fancy conference centre, which was mostly underground with very little natural light. Most of the negotiations took place behind closed doors, so the observers who were there had to wait outside with little to do until the negotiators emerged.

Typically for COPs, despite negotiating for two weeks, they couldn't finish on time on Friday and went on all night to emerge in the early hours of Saturday with their final decisions. The arcane language of the negotiations is such that it is unlikely any of them could coherently explain what they were arguing about through the night!

In great contrast, the observers were housed in a large temporary tent city in a park, called the "Bonn zone", which was some distance away. This area was full of cafes, pavilions, meeting rooms, booths with information and even a "Talanoa Dialogue" zone set up by Fiji for civil society to have their say on what needs to be done.

This zone was constantly buzzing with action, discussions, singing and even dancing on occasion. The energy level was orders of magnitude higher than in the dull and boring negotiators' space.

WE ARE STILL IN

Another apt illustration of the contrast between the two zones, which felt like two different worlds, was the presence of the United States at COP23. In the negotiators' zone the U.S. government was represented by officials from the State Department who participated in the talks, as their country cannot leave the Paris Agreement until 2020 despite President Trump submitting notice it will withdraw.

In the second week, during the high-level part of the meeting, they were joined by White House officials who held an event to promote "clean coal". This was disrupted by a group of young Americans and indigenous people singing anti-fossil fuel songs.

Outside the negotiating building, a number of American NGOs and companies set up a Climate Action Pavilion where every day there were presentations from different groups of U.S. citizens. They insisted "we are still in" in the Paris Agreement, despite their president's decision to leave.

These included governors of states like California, cities like New York, and heads of companies like Walmart, as well as NGOs, youth groups, universities and many others. The result of all this action on the ground is that the United States is actually on track to fulfill the emissions reduction pledges made by President Obama in Paris in 2015, despite Trump's attempts to undermine them.

This illustrates well the fundamental change the Paris Agreement represents - namely that each and every group, and indeed individual citizen of the world, now has the ability to implement what was agreed. We no longer need governments to take the lead and subject everything to endless adversarial negotiations over words and even commas.

This new spirit is now embodied in the outcome of COP23 to allow Fiji with Poland, as the host for COP24 next year, to initiate a "Talanoa Dialogue" over the coming year to bring in views and perspectives from all parts of the world and all sectors of society so that the outcomes of COP24 in Katowice are informed by those putting the Paris Agreement into practice.

I have attended every COP so far, and as it becomes more and more difficult to get badges for observers to attend the negotiations, I will from now on spend my time not with government officials chewing over dry text, but in the zone where the real action is happening.

Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

By Baraka Jefwa

Globalstar, Inc. announced that the Botswana Communications Regulator Authority (BOCRA) has granted terrestrial authority to Globalstar's Botswana subsidiary to provide terrestrial mobile broadband services over 16.5 MHz of S-band spectrum at 2483.5 to 2500 MHz.

Globalstar filed its application for terrestrial authority in Botswana in early 2017 and appreciates BOCRA's accelerated review. With this approval, Botswana becomes the first country outside of the US to approve Globalstar's terrestrial S-band authority and the first country to approve the authority over 16.5 MHz across Globalstar's licensed 2.4 GHz holdings.

"We would like to thank the team at BOCRA for their prompt review and approval of our application. BOCRA is a leader in spectrum policy for the continent of Africa and this approval provides Botswana with significant expanded spectrum for terrestrial mobile broadband. We believe other regulators across Africa and the world will agree that BOCRA's approval represents sound spectrum policy for consumers and we look forward to additional approvals," said Jay Monroe, Chief Executive Officer of Globalstar.

In 2014, in partnership with Broadband Botswana Internet (BBi), Globalstar announced the commencement of construction of its commercial gateway located in Gaborone, Botswana. This project brought commercial SPOT and Simplex service to southern Africa in 2015.

teway, Globalstar provides coverage to Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Madagascar, Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi, Angola, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Burundi and Zambia, in addition to surrounding ocean areas for the commercial shipping markets.

The app designed for easy two-way communication between government and the public has been given the nod by two great continental bodies - the EU and AU.

The app, GovChat, is a platform that is the collective brainchild of the South African Local Government Association (Salga), Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) and Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). It allows government to send messages to the public at no cost and receive service delivery related messaging in return.

The chat platform has been recognised by the European Union (EU) and African Union (AU), which have invited the GovChat team to the sixth EU-Africa Business Forum on Monday, 27 November, in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.

The forum will engage in a roundtable discussion on the digital economy, which will be headed by EU Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip and AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy Amani Abou-Zeid.

South Africa's Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu on Wednesday said the acknowledgement of GovChat by multilateral partners confirms the enormous opportunities that exist in the ICT sector.

"We congratulate the GovChat team for their tremendous success, which demonstrates the high levels of social entrepreneurship that exist in our country. GovChat is a good example of the potential within our country's technology industry, especially amongst our youth," said Minister Zulu.

Together with all its partners, GovChat has developed a pilot platform, which enhanced the levels of engagement between citizens and councillors. All interactions on the platform are stored in a database, which is then used to create a real time visual dashboard.

GCIS and GovChat have been successfully working together since 20 April 2016, when a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed.

Six months after the soft launch, GCIS received the State IT Agency (SITA) Award for Local Government Innovation at the annual GovTech awards. Salga included GovChat into its Ward Councillor Induction Program and provided 10 000 councillor information data to integrate into the GovChat Platform so that citizens can immediately find their councillor and related content.

To date, Cogta's Public Participation National Committee has requested for the platform to be implemented in all provinces. Recent requests have come from the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Free State provinces.

During October 2016, GovChat was invited by the African Union Commission to represent South Africa and Government Communications at the AU ICT Week in Abidjan, showcasing how the GovChat platform enables real time engagement between government and communities.

"We believe in open government partnerships and working with all partners to improve communities and look forward to the launch of the GovChat Android and iOS Apps in the first quarter of 2018," said Minister Zulu.

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

Uganda is the second largest producer of bananas after India with about 9 million tonnes produced annually. All this production creates tonnes of waste in form of stems and stocks. These are returned back to gardens to be used as fertilisers or mulching materials.

But the stems and stocks can be turned into fiber and used to produce different products which you can export and earn a living.

The banana fiber is a widely used product in making coarse woven fabrics for example sacks, ropes, twigs, sand bags, tents, webbings, canvas and screens, kit bags, tool bags, luggage, gunny bags and covers. Banana fiber can also be blended with wool and cotton to make blankets and carpets.

Here is how you can mint money from adding value to the banana stems and stocks into fiber.

Ideally, the fiber is extracted from the pseudo-stem of banana-establishing a banana fiber making plant to utilise the products of the variety of banana plantations in Uganda.

Start

Ms Victoria Byoma is Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa's leather expert with vast knowledge in making products out of banana fiber which she sells locally and regionally.

It is a business you can do from the confines of your home with ease and you will be surprised at how it can sustain family needs for years.

Ms Byoma makes ladies' hand bags out of banana fiber, centre pieces, ornaments, decoration items, table mats, mats, and purses among other products.

"This is the kind of business you can do in your free time. The beauty is the raw materials (banana fibers) are easily accessible-in our backyards, villages and markets," she shares.

Investment capital

Ideally, this is a low-cost business to start. Many people would worry about starting capital but Ms Byoma says with Shs50, 000 you can start in this kind of business.

"All you need is a pair of cutters, wood glue, straw bond and varnish and you will be good to go," she shares.

But if you want to do it on a large scale according to Uganda Investment Authority's investment ideas report, this project can cost you $4,325 (Shs15.7 million) to mainly purchase the machine that will help you process the fiber.

This plant which can be imported from either India or China can also be fabricated in Katwe.

Producing massively means one would be processing 46,800 kilograms of fiber per year. In this case, one will be assured of revenue estimates worth $93,600 (Shs341 million), annually indicating a net profit margin of 72 per cent.

Production process

After getting the fiber from the machinery, it should be beaten in the stone beds, squeezed and be combed without pith content. It should be 100 per cent dried and packed by air tight polyethene bags.

Then production process starts with the extraction of the fiber from banana pseudo-stem. This process involves splitting the banana pseudo-stem into strips, injection in open vats followed by washing and drying.

By using traditional techniques, the fiber can be converted into various utility items. Production capacity is projected at 150kgs per day.

Production costs assume 312 days per year with daily capacity of 150 Kilogrammes. Depreciation (fixed asset write off) assumes a 4-year life of assets written off at 25 per cent per year for all assets.

Direct costs include: materials, supplies and all other costs incurred to produce the product. A production month is 26 work days.

Incentive

Industrialists' Associations are allowed in the formulation of government policies on taxes and industries, through Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) representation in budget making.

Market

A wide range of products can be produced which enjoy good market in both rural and urban areas and these include weave bags, mats, wall hangings and sanitary towels.

Ideally, the dried fiber is used to make handbags and purses, sold at between Shs1,500 and Shs5,000 depending on the size, wall hangings at Shs5,000, a set of table mats selling at between Shs3,000 and Shs10,000, large sized floor mats costing Shs20,000 and bed side mats for Shs10,000.

By Ann Godwin

Shell Companies in Nigeria (SCiN), have emerged the 2017 Best Nigerian companies in Sustainability Innovation in Africa, beating two other finalists at the 11th edition of the Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAs), for Corporate Social Responsibility held in Lagos at the weekend.

SCiN also defeated three other contestants to win the Best Company in Affordable and Clean Energy, and got the second runner-up prize for the Most Socially Responsible Nigerian Company for the year.

The Managing Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), and Country Chair, SCiN, Osagie Okunbor, said: "We're delighted at the continued recognition of our modest support to Nigeria and Nigerians to make life better and to create opportunities to individuals and institutions, particularly in our host communities.

"We are challenged by these laurels to do even more as CSR remains part of the DNA of the Shell business, and we are striving to improve our partnership with NGOs, government and communities to ensure our people participate more in the execution of programmes and own them for greater sustainability."

Leveraging its support for entrepreneurs for bright energy ideas through the globally acclaimed Shell LiveWIRE programme, SPDC showcased its numerous social intervention programmes including the training and empowerment of hundreds of youths particularly in its host communities to clinch the prize as the best company in affordable and clean energy.

The sustainability innovation award resulted from the renewable energy solution as an alternative for powering the Shell-supported Obio cottage hospital, Port Harcourt, which led to significant cost savings in energy consumed and enabled the hospital to focus its resources on its core aspiration of providing quality healthcare for the people. Due to its success, the solution has been replicated in seven other Shell-supported health facilities in the Niger Delta.

The SERA-CSR Awards is an annual event to celebrate organisations investing resources in the improvement of lives of stakeholders and contributing to the development of Africa through their social performance and investment programmes.

A total of 26 awards were won by corporate organisations and individuals in recognition of their sustainable development and social investment efforts in Africa.

Apart from their three winning entries, Shell companies also got nominated in four other categories: Best Company in Poverty Eradication; Best Company in Provision of Clean Water and Sanitation; Best Company in Partnership for Development; and Best Company in Support of SMEs.

By Prince Okafor

Shell Companies in Nigeria (SCiN) have emerged the 2017 Best Nigerian companies in Sustainability Innovation in Africa, beating two other finalists at the 11th edition of the Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAs) for Corporate Social Responsibility held in Lagos on Friday.

Shell companies also defeated three other contestants to win as the Best Company in Affordable and Clean Energy, and got the second runner-up prize for the Most Socially Responsible Nigerian Company for the year.

"We're delighted at the continued recognition of our modest support to Nigeria and Nigerians to make life better and to create opportunities to individuals and institutions, particularly in our host communities," said the Managing Director, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and country Chair, SCiN, Mr. Osagie Okunbor.

"We are challenged by these laurels to do even more as CSR remains part of the DNA of the Shell business, and we are striving to improve our partnership with NGOs, government and communities to ensure our people participate more in the execution of programmes and own them for greater sustainability," he added.

Leveraging its support for entrepreneurs for bright energy ideas through the globally acclaimed Shell LiveWIRE programme, SPDC showcased its numerous social intervention programmes including the training and empowerment of hundreds of youths particularly in its host communities to clinch the prize as the best company in affordable and clean energy.

The sustainability innovation award resulted from the renewable energy solution as an alternative for powering the Shell-supported Obio cottage hospital, Port Harcourt which led to significant cost savings in energy consumed and enabled the hospital to focus its resources on its core aspiration of providing quality healthcare for the people.

Due to its success, the solution has been replicated in seven other Shell-supported health facilities in the Niger Delta.

The SERA-CSR Awards is an annual event to celebrate organisations investing resources in the improvement of lives of stakeholders and contributing to the development of Africa through their social performance and investment programmes.

A total of twenty-six awards were won by corporate organisations and individuals in recognition of their sustainable development and social investment efforts in Africa.

Apart from their three winning entries, Shell companies also got nominated in four other categories: Best Company in Poverty Eradication; Best Company in Provision of Clean Water and Sanitation; Best Company in Partnership for Development; and Best Company in Support of SMEs.

Shell Companies in Nigeria - SPDC, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), and Shell Nigeria Gas (SNG) work with government, communities and civil society to implement programmes that have a lasting impact on lives in the Niger Delta and Nigeria as whole.

Social investment activities focus on community and enterprise development, education, health, access-to-energy and since 2016, road safety.

This, however, excludes community-driven development programmes and initiatives delivered through the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) which focuses on various themes as determined by benefiting communities.

In 2016 alone, Shell Companies in Nigeria spent $29.8million on social investment projects and awarded 94 percent of their contracts valued at over $0.74billion to Nigeria companies while $1.4 billion was paid to the Nigerian government in royalties and corporate taxes, and another $106.8million contribution made to the NDDC as required by law.

Since 2003, SPDC and SNEPCo have trained over 6,550 Niger Delta youths in enterprise development and have awarded scholarship grants to over 7,652 secondary school students and 4,435 university students in the last six years.

By Angela Kyerematen-Jimoh

How fast is Ghana adopting modern technology concepts and practices? How well are Ghanaian companies and citizens able to shift their lives and operations from manual, paper-based processes and practices into the realm of computing and digital platforms? Several months ago, Nii Quaynor, chairman of Ghana Dot Com (GDC) and a Ghanaian technology legend who is often described as the "father of the internet in Africa" said, "digital currency and transaction frameworks for the internet are the next step" for the continent.

Last year, GDC launched what it claims is Africa's first bitcoin mining facility. Blockchain is the cornerstone of bitcoin innovation.

Designed to inject the trust element in technology-enabled transactions, blockchains are built on shared ledgers where participants write transactions in near real-time to an unbreakable chain that becomes a permanent record of an asset or transaction. This is viewable by all parties in the transaction. Blockchain thus allows businesses to work together in a new way resulting in lower cost, faster transactions and less risk.

In this way, blockchains can be used by individuals who want to complete transactions involving multiple parties. Large organizations may also want to use blockchain to collaborate across organizational silos. Entire industrial complexes and multinational firms could tap blockchain to handle complex transactions across different jurisdictions. Governments could also be able to use blockchain in the service of citizens. The use of blockchain technology to manage nonfinancial applications around things like land registries and voting exercises could prove to be truly transformative for governments.

Blockchain thus has the potential for profound impact, bringing wholesale change to organizations and local and national economies. Technology industry experts have recently opined that blockchain technology will do for transactions what the internet did for information -- and in the relatively near future.

Two recent studies released by IBM's Institute for Business Value (IBV) has found that banking and financial markets are adopting commercial blockchain solutions much faster than initially expected. 15% of banks and 14% of financial market institutions globally interviewed by IBM plan to adopt full-scale, commercial blockchain solutions in 2017. And within the next three years, 65% of banks expect to have blockchain solutions in production.

To highlight a specific example, the Japan Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange Group are two leading bourses collaborating with IBM to explore blockchain to manage risk and bring additional transparency to global financial markets.

Bringing the matter closer home, the assumption that there is a relative paucity of technology or fintech capital in Africa as against other emerging and matured economies will be debunked, as industry players begin to showcase the improved business performance benefits of blockchain. And in Ghana, blockchain technology looks set to be a viable option for national, regional and municipal institutions and agencies currently revamping their public procurement policies and processes.

Blockchains are thus set to accelerate the flow of capital and the creation of wealth, in our economies and interactions -- both domestically and across geographic boundaries. Very likely, new business models and services built and delivered on blockchain networks will accelerate access and liberate those that were once locked out of efficient value creation to fully participate in an "all-in" global economy.

While blockchains can powerfully improve businesses' efficiency, trust and value, chief executive officers and chief technology officers especially must carefully evaluate where blockchains can be used to gain improved efficiency and support new business models. Their blockchain journey must begin with a lot of soul searching and critical self-review of their operational goals and objectives. I recommend that they consider the following three questions:

How fast should we move? Early movers in the blockchain adoption race may have an advantage as they are setting business standards and creating new models that will be used by future adopters of blockchain. We're also finding that these early adopters are better able to anticipate disruption, fighting off new competitors along the way.

How can we scale across business networks? Once blockchain technology has scaled across multiple participants, they can anticipate achieving the kind of network effects that can drastically reduce the frictions that curb growth.

How can we innovate with new revenue models? As new entrants and business models emerge, banks may be forced to defend current revenue streams or move to where the money will flow next. New revenue models must anticipate the potential for disruption in areas core to the business today and in the future. As the market evolves, blockchain technology may add at least one new revenue stream; and so, the potential to monetize reference data looms large.

In diverse industries and sectors, blockchain technology will change the way chief executives, chief technology officers, chief risk officers and chief marketing officers do their work.

In the emerging blockchain economy, the role of third-party intermediaries to broker trust and/or to reconcile will increasingly be called into question as we reinvent new processes that eliminate the need for such reconciliation and intermediation.

Is Ghana ready for this looming reality of the global economy? Angela Kyerematen-Jimoh is the Country General Manager, IBM Ghana.

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