MOROCCO – The 8th edition of the Africities Summit will take place from November 20-24, 2018 in Marrakesh, Morocco, under the theme: The transition towards sustainable cities and territories: The role of Local and Sub- national governments of Africa according to a release by UCLG Africa
SWITZERLAND – The APO Group has launched a new version of their media monitoring service for press releases. The new version goes far beyond what is available in the press release distribution industry today. Reports now offer deeper insights to Africa Wire® and MENA Wire® customers, helping them better understand the media impact of their press releases and offering even greater visibility on the R.O.I. of their campaigns.
A Ryanair pilot and three other industry veterans hope to raise at least $100 million (CHF96.9 million) in Switzerland this week to launch a low-cost, long-haul airline that defies the economic forces which have grounded some small European carriers in recent months.
Kenya – During his visit to the United States of America, the Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta signed deals totaling $238 million with two companies for investments in the energy and agroindustry sectors.
NIGERIA – Clickatell (www.Clickatell.com/products/transact), an authorized WhatsApp Business Solution provider, is proud to announce that United Bank for Africa (UBA) will be going live with their Chat Banking solution – Leo on WhatsApp.
Swiss start-up Coorpacademy is just one of the tech companies trying to break into the global corporate education sector with online business training apps, which are increasingly attractive to large firms.
Hon Irene Muloni, Uganda’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Development will lead a delegation of private and public-sector players from Uganda’s oil and gas sector to the Africa Oil Week 2018 which will be held in Cape Town, South Africa from 5 – 9 November 2018.
Dubbed the African Trends Market, this year’s Afrodysee was a colourful marriage of fashion and culture. An integral part of this one-day event in May was Le Grande Marché which had a rich selection of clothes for children and adults, as well as fashion accessories such as bags, shoes, hand-printed scarves and jewellery for sale.
The US and UK are the top destinations for international students looking to study abroad. Can relatively low tuition fees help Switzerland give them a run for their money?
We are devastated to hear of the passing of former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan. On behalf of the chairman of our Board of Trustees, the Board, our chief executive and the staff of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, we send our deepest condolences to his wife, Nane, and their children, Ama, Kojo and Nina.
Switzerland’s relations with the European Union have been at the centre of the annual Congress of the Swiss Abroad. Two keynote speeches gave some indications of the delicate situation for both sides in crucial talks about the future of the bilateral accords.
The number of countries switching to national currencies to settle bilateral trade deals is growing in the face of the US weaponization of the dollar.
The African Development Institute of the African Development Bank has announced the implementation of the Next African Global IT Leaders Program under the aegis of the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) Knowledge Sharing Program (KSP).
Events are being held around Switzerland on Saturday to mark the 30th anniversary of the 'Read and Write association, whose courses have helped 25,000 adults. September 8 is also International Literacy Day.
DR Congo’s lead production increased by 7.9% on a year-to-year basis to stand at 597,249 tons during H1, 2018, the country’s central bank revealed on 30, August 2018. According to figures reported by Reuters, cobalt and gold production has also risen by 37.6% to 52,941 tons and 15.8% to 17,948 KG respectively during the period under review.
Sectorial experts from Member States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have called for the development of national policies for the popularization of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) which will increase the access to modern energy such as electric services and modern cooking fuels in the region.
The Directorate of Studies and Financial Forcasts in the Ministry of Economy and Finance, represented by its Director, Mr. Mounssif Aderkaoui, took part in the 10th plenary session of the OECD initiative on global value chains, held in Paris from June 26 to 27 2018.
Further to its announcement of 27 April 2018 in respect of freezing orders filed against Mutanda Mining Sarl (“Mutanda”) and Kamoto Copper Company SA (“KCC”), subsidiaries of Glencore plc, by Ventora Development Sasu (“Ventora”), a company affiliated with Mr. Dan Gertler, Glencore has carefully considered its legal and commercial options in connection with its dispute with Ventora and Africa Horizons Investments Limited (“AHIL”), also a company affiliated with Mr Dan Gertler, and its obligations to its various stakeholders, including its shareholders, customers and the communities in which it operates in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (“DRC”).
Seedstars World 2018 Africa tour is now in Accra, Ghana, where ten of Ghana’s best seed-stage startups will compete on 13 July to represent the country at the annual Seedstars Summit holding in Switzerland where winner can win up to US$ 1 million in equity investments and other prizes.
Kinshasa – The Government of Japan has given US$1m. to the IOM to expand the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) national Ebola response to other provinces – Kinshasa, Mai Ndombe, Tshopo and South Ubangi – and scale up the response in Equator province according to IOM release.
Over 100,000 people living with HIV are reportedly defaulting on treatment due to a critical shortage of Anti-Retroviral (ARV) drugs which has hit Zimbabwean hospitals.
The crisis was revealed at a press briefing in Harare Wednesday which was called by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), Zimbabwe National Network of People Living with HIV (ZNNP+) and Diocese of Mutare Community Care Programme (DMCCP).
Some DMCCP members said they had gone for two weeks without treatment.
"When we visit a hospital where we collect our medication we are told that there is no medication. And when it is there, we are given a two days' supply as opposed to the normal three months' supply," said a DMCCP member living with HIV.
"The situation was worse last week on the 16th of September when we failed to get even a single pill. We went back the following week and were given two ARV tablets per person.
"The other issue which is worrying us is that they are using waste collecting vehicles to deliver ARVs and other medication from Mutare central to rural clinics."
Another patient said corruption was rampant at rural clinics where they get their medication.
"What is also disappointing us is that hospital staff are given their three-months supply of the ARVs but they then sell the drugs to us the less privileged.
"We are now not sure if we are able to see our young children grow if the situation remains like this," said another patient.
Sabastian Chinhaire, the chairperson of ZNNP+ said the situation was now uncontrollable.
"Over the past two months, we have noted with concern that thousands of people living with HIV have been caught up in the ongoing shortages of the life-saving second line ARV drug.
"We are equally concerned that the country will not be able to cope if the clients on second line have to be moved to third line due to treatment failure and an increase in defaulters due to unavailability of treatment in public health institutions," said Chinhaire.
National AIDS Council official, Trust Govere, recently told journalists that ARV shortages were being caused by the dwindling AIDS levy revenue collection which constitutes 24% of AIDS treatment procurement.
Govere said AIDS levy revenue collection has been going down since the end of the inclusive government in 2013.
Some 1.3 million people are living with HIV in the country with 981,000 are on treatment.
Out of the 981,000 on treatment 135,000 of them are on second line ARV therapy - a treatment given to those who would have developed some resistance to the initial drug treatment.
LESOTHO has made progress in its efforts towards ending the AIDS epidemic as reflected in the preliminary results of the Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment (PHIA). The results announced by the Deputy Prime Minister, Monyane Moleleki on Tuesday, show that Lesotho is currently on track to achieving the 90-90-90 targets by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) by 2020. Launched in Australia in 2014, the targets mirror a fundamental shift in the world's approach to HIV treatment, moving it away from a focus on the number of people accessing antiretroviral therapy and towards the importance of maximizing viral suppression among people living with HIV.
This shift was driven by greater understanding of the benefits of viral suppression showing that, not only does treatment protect people living with HIV from AIDS-related illness, but it also greatly lowers the risk of transmitting the virus to others.
The 90-90-90 targets encourages countries to initiate a responsive transformation and to strengthen commitment towards ensuring that 90 percent of people living with HIV know their status, 90 percent of people who know their status are accessing treatment and 90 percent of people on treatment are virally supressed.
However, the PHIA preliminary results were released amid a 25 percent HIV prevalence rate that is characterised by a high rate of new HIV infections in Lesotho, 52 new cases each day while 26 people also die of AIDS-Related ailments on a daily basis. This challenge demands well-coordinated efforts to successfully close the gaps allowing an increase in new HIV infection. It is a demanding task, complicated by the fact that some pregnancy-related deaths are related to HIV. Lesotho has a high maternal mortality rate of 1,143 deaths per 100,000 live births.
On the other hand, it would also be folly to overlook the need for the health sector to cooperate with other sectors in addressing the underlying factors causing new HIV infections. Dealing with factors including teenage pregnancies, cultural practices still empowering some men to make HIV prone decisions, poverty and unemployment can go a long way to ensure that the fight remains on-track.
Despite challenges, we are encouraged by the direction that the fight is taking. The PHIA results that show a key marker indicating that the body is successfully suppressing the virus has reached 68 percent among adults living with HIV (15-59 years) in Lesotho. This development can tell us that people living with HIV, and with their viral loads suppressed, can live longer, have fewer complications due to their HIV status and are less likely to transmit the virus.
Thanks to organisations such as the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the International Centre for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP), for their continued support.
Hopefully with the positive progress made so far, support will continue for enhanced programmes. Over the years, Lesotho has developed several national plans and strategies, including a Behaviour Change Communication Strategy, but it appears implementation of some of these strategies was partial and not effectively coordinated particularly following the closure of the National AIDS Council (NAC) in 2011.
It is our hope that the reopening and reorganising of NAC will help to improve coordination of decentralised activities and promote increased investment in scaled-up community-based strategies. With adequate implementation management support, community-based organisations can help increase well targeted programme coverage, in addition to ensuring the efficient use of resources.
We support UNAIDS' approach that highlights the importance of ensuring that treatment programmes work to establish community-centred strategies and systems that can support patient adherence to treatment and reduce the number of patients lost to follow-up.
We also encourage stakeholders working in the HIV and AIDS sector to implement practical and cost-effective strategies that use peers and trained community health workers to achieve retention rates and treatment outcomes that are comparable to those reported by mainstream health facilities. In addition, innovations such as the use of peer support groups, well-trained and supportive health workers, and short message service reminders and reduced waiting times at clinics have also proven successful for increasing retention among adolescents and young people living with HIV.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday said dangerous methods were used in nearly half of the 55.7 million abortions carried out each year globally.
A WHO study shows that anti-abortion laws raise health risks for women.
According to research by WHO and the Guttmacher Institute, a U.S. reproductive health think tank, almost all of the 25.5 million unsafe abortions are happening in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
It noted that "the problem is especially acute in 62 countries where women are forbidden to end their pregnancies early, or where they can only do so if their health is at risk."
According to the research, a quarter of abortions in such countries are conducted with dangerous methods.
It added that in countries where the procedure was legal, the rate was only 10 per cent, based on 2010 to 2014 statistics.
Bela Ganatra, a WHO expert who is the lead author of the study, said when women and girls cannot access effective contraception and safe abortion services, there are serious consequences on their health and that of their families.
"Too many women continue to suffer and die," she said.
The report distinguished between 17 million abortions each year that are "less safe", performed by professionals with outdated methods or by laypeople with recommended methods.
It says that in addition, there are eight million "least safe" abortions by untrained people using herbs or non-medical tools.
"Countries must make abortion legal to make them safe," the WHO said and called for
policies that would improve sex education, access to contraception and family planning.
Ntcheu — A recent voluntary male medical circumcision (VMMC) campaign conducted in Ntcheu has revealed that men still shun the service despite deliberate efforts to reach them.
Briefing stakeholders at the Boma Wednesday, VMMC Acting Coordinator for Ntcheu District hospital Duncan Lipenga, said even though the hospital managed to reach 85 percent of its target during the campaign, the majority of the patrons were children from the age of 10 to 14 years.
"Our target was to circumcise 1,100 clients in three weeks of the campaign but we managed to reach 931 clients representing 85 percent. We cannot say that we did not do well considering the challenges that were there," said Lipenga.
According to Lipenga, the turn up of clients was marred with misconceptions that people in the communities have regarding the service.
"Most men still think circumcision is meant for yaos and not everyone. We still have a long way to go if we are to change this trend," he said.
He also said some men do not feel comfortable to be assisted by female providers as a result shun away.
"Sometimes we meet men that are not comfortable with female providers. We have trained female providers who also perform the procedures. The best thing we can do is not to engage them, but to make the clients understand that the females are equally trained to carry out the procedures and that their privacy is always a priority," he said.
Lipenga also lamented the use of mobile vans for dissemination of information on VMMC as another challenge affecting the delivery of the service.
"There are some areas where a mobile van cannot reach due to geographical positions. It becomes difficult for us to reach people from those areas with messages. We still need to find other means of reaching out to them with information so that they make informed decisions," said Lipenga.
The coordinator told Mana that the hospital would intensify sensitization meetings with the people in the district so that they get the right information.
"The good thing is that we know the challenges and what we can do is to intensify sensitization campaigns so that we end those misconceptions that people have. And I am sure with the assistance of community leaders, we can achieve our goals," he said.
Ntcheu District Health officer (DHO) with assistance from National Aids Commission (NAC) conducted a three week VMMC campaign from 28 August, 2017 at Biriwiri, the district health office and Nsiyaludzu in the district.
Lilongwe — UNICEF Specialist on Maternal and Newborn Health, Dr Atnafu Asfaw has said the country needs to build on the gains they have made in reducing the child mortality rate by establishing newborn care units to significantly reduce the deaths of newborns in the country.
He was speaking in an interview on the sidelines of project dissemination meeting on improving the quality of critical neonatal care in referral facilities which was organized by the Pediatric and Child Health Association (PACHA) in Lilongwe.
"We need to have the care units which are dedicated handling newborns which are sick with skilled health providers that could provide quality care and with the needed equipment in full supply at all district hospital levels," Dr Asfaw explained.
Malawi is one of those countries that have successfully expanded health services to women and children including those in rural communities as a result of which the country was among the few that achieved the millennium development goal targets in reducing maternal deaths.
He said Malawi as a country needs to improve its capacity in terms of facilities and the readiness to take care of newborns to further consolidating its impressing strides it has made in the area.
"Malawi does share the challenges and problems that are present in other many parts of the continent but we could say that in terms of child survival in this country is one of the best.
"The interventions that we are currently discussing today that are being implemented by PACHA together with the government are proving to be high impact interventions that are serving the lives of newborns," the UNICEF Specialist observed.
President for PACHA, Dr Macpherson Mallewa said his organization is focusing on implementing interventions that could improve the care of newborns like creating new born units and training of health personnel.
"We need an integrated approach which would not only have one group of health service provider tasked with improving the survival of newborns. We want to improvise ways how we can sustain the results we have made from our efforts over the years as a country," he said.
Chief of Health Services in the Ministry of Health, Dr Charles Mwasambo said although the country has managed to achieve the MDG4 by reducing the number of newborn deaths by two-thirds ahead of schedule but it could not afford to sit on its laurels still.
"I need to thank a number of stakeholders like PACHA who are working with government in make sure the proportion reduction of newborn deaths if further signified," he acknowledged.
PACHA followed up the dissemination meeting by holding its first ever two day Annual Conference under the theme Using Multidisciplinary Approach to Improve Child Health Outcomes Throughout Malawi.
When a person hears about rabies, it's often not thought of as an immediate personal threat. But rabies kills about 60,000 people every year - the majority of deaths are in Africa and Asia.
Rabies is a viral disease transmitted to humans through bites from rabid animals. The virus infects the central nervous system ending in the brain, at which point death is inevitable.
Several major international organisations have, for the second year in a row, endorsed the global goal of elimination of human deaths from dog rabies by 2030. It also marks three years since Kenya launched a strategic plan that would progressively reduce human deaths due to dog rabies to make the country rabies free by 2030.
For Kenya, the focus on rabies was informed by results of an exercise that mapped diseases in the country. It placed rabies as one of top five animal diseases that affect people in the country. Rabies is estimated to kill 2,000 people every year in Kenya.
I was involved in drafting Kenya's strategy for the elimination of dog-mediated human rabies. I have also been actively involved in its implementation in pilot areas. The strategy is quite straight forward: vaccinate 70% of dogs annually (the level needed to break the dog-dog transmission cycle), provide prompt post-exposure vaccines to people bitten by suspected rabid dogs, and execute a public education and awareness campaign.
Effective vaccines against dog rabies are available in Kenya. But there are several challenges associated with vaccinating dogs.
The first important metric is determining the size of the dog population in the country. Data doesn't exist. The country did a livestock census as part of a population census in 2009, dogs were left out. The country now has the opportunity to capture the data during the 2019 population census.
We use cross-sectional household surveys to determine the human:dog ratio which allows us in turn to estimate the dog population. On average, across most of Africa the human:dog ratio estimate is 8:1 in rural areas and higher in urban areas. Kenya, which has a population of 48 million people, is estimated to have a dog population of 6 million. To meet the 70% target, this means that 4.2 million dogs needed to be vaccinated consistently to achieve rabies elimination.
Our experience in the pilot areas shows that there are two critical elements to success: the first is that people need to buy into the effort, and secondly that local government needs to provide resources to vaccinate the dogs and provide post-exposure treatment.
Makueni County, where elimination activities started, has put in its own resources and organised vaccination campaigns that reaches 60% of its dog population.
What we have learnt is that dog owners will bring in their adult animals, but likely to leave puppies behind. We also learnt that successful campaigns require innovations such as mapping vaccination points as well as rapid analysis of data to avoid leaving geographical pockets of unvaccinated dogs because if they are large enough they allow the virus to continue circulating.
Recent reports suggesting that rabies vaccines remains viable after exposure to elevated temperature, presents opportunities to lower the cost of delivery and reach dogs in remote areas, where maintaining the cold chain is challenging.
Bite victims from rabid dogs are protected from infection if they get post-exposure vaccines promptly. For a disease that poorly competes with other health priorities such as malar, the availability of rabies vaccines as well as their high cost increases the risk of rabies deaths.
In Kenya, we find that in the absence of surveillance data that reports the number of people bitten, the number of rabies positive dogs, or confirmed human deaths due to rabies, the health care system will rarely prioritise provision of these life-saving vaccines.
By providing data we have found that health system administrators are able to predict demand for human rabies vaccines. It also means that they are able to make a stronger case to their local governments to spend money on rabies vaccines.
Nevertheless, the cost of the vaccines is high. International players could help by reducing the cost of purchase and delivery of human vaccines. At a local level, broader health solutions, including universal health coverage, would play a part in ending human rabies deaths.
Public awareness and education on rabies
But awareness and knowledge about rabies at a local level is key. This can help prevent bites and encourage people to get post exposure treatment.
The Philippines has included rabies education in school curricula of rabies, reaching children who are at the highest risk of rabies.
Kenya is taking steps to increase public awareness through a website, on Facebook and Twitter as well as media adverts and talks on rabies prevention and control. This year, for the first time, the 2017 World Rabies Day will be celebrated with a 10km run for rabies in the city of Kisumu accompanied by dog vaccination campaigns in the county. These activities provide opportunities to engage with the public and pass rabies prevention messages.
Ultimately rabies elimination will be achieved through mass community action and a concerted effort by government to provide dog and human vaccines. Every death from rabies is vaccine preventable and failure to prevent it, is a public health failure. The 2030 goal is a commitment to end human suffering from a disease that can be stopped and eliminated.
Thumbi Mwangi receives funding from the Wellcome Trust Foundation and the World Health Organization for research on rabies.
Pastor Charles Charamba and his wife Olivia, backed by The Fishers of Men are billed to stage a family show at Aquatic Complex on Saturday. The musician said this will be their concert to take their recently-launched albums "Abba Father" and "Voice of Miriam" to the people.
"We will take this opportunity to perform most of our new songs and unveil them to our fans," he said Pastor Charamba said they have a bigger task of compiling a playlists that features both new and old songs to meet their fans' demands.
"One of the biggest tasks ever since we started live performances has been the drafting the playlist. It is always difficult to pick some songs and leave some out. Our fans usually demand varied titles and we have to depend on prayer so that the Spirit guides us," he said. The Charambas are set to tour the country as they continue taking their music to the people.
"It has been a while since we had a concert at Aquatic Complex. We have an obligation of worshiping together with our fans country-wide and this shall be the first, followed by many others in different towns and cities," he said.
The "Nyika Zimbabwe" singer promised fans a great show that will combine music and prayer as the festive season approaches. "We are not going to do our ordinary shows but an intercessory show. As we approach the festive season, we all have our resolutions and this is the best time to pray about it," said Pastor Charamba.
The Charambas have become known as "The First Family of Gospel Music", and are possibly the best-selling gospel artistes to emerge from Zimbabwe. Their music appeals to a wide audience with their sing-along tunes. The couple has released popular albums like "Johanne 3:16", "Vhuserere", "Amen", "Daily Bread", "Exodus", "Sunday Service" and "Verses and Chapters".
They are both pastors with theological training, which enhances their understanding of the Scripture. They have toured the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia and have shared the stage with the likes of Solly Mahlangu, Sipho Makhabane, and Ron Kenolly, among others.
KHUBETSOANA Area Chief Hlathe Majara has rubbished South African Gospel star Sechaba Pali's claim that he was attacked by his men with sticks and knobkerries last Friday.
Instead, Chief Majara says he unsuccessfully tried to restrain a belligerent Mr Pali who attacked his men until they retaliated.
The muso had told South African publication Sowetan that he was beaten up by Chief Majara and his men who came to the residence of his wife, Maletsatsi Makapalla, in Khubetsoana.
Mr Pali had claimed that he had told the men to talk to him and not his wife resulting in them attacking him with sticks and knobkerries. He sustained injuries on his body and face.
Mr Pali also told the publication that he failed to access medical assistance at a local hospital because the person who was supposed to provide a medical form from the Lesotho police was not at work at the time.
However, Chief Majara told the Lesotho Times yesterday that they were called to intervene by a neighbour of Mr Pali's wife who complained that the South African was insulting her.
He said Mr Pali had visited the area on numerous occasions without incident.
"I understand that Sechaba has been visiting this village for four months and he was not harmed by anyone during his previous visits," Chief Majara said.
"However, this was not the first time a complaint had been made against Sechaba. Firstly it was the lady's family which had asked for intervention saying he was waving a gun in their faces and insulting them. I did not intervene that time but referred the matter to the police."
He continued: "This time around, I went to the house with members of the community without any weapons. When we arrived, I called the lady outside the house as the lawful tenant but then Sechaba stood in her way in the open door stopping her. She somehow managed to escape and ran to me, but he quickly pulled her back into the house.
"Two of the men tried to stop him but he pushed him to the ground. Sechaba pushed the other one into a car which was parked nearby. As he attacked those men, Sechaba was uttering insults that I cannot repeat."
Chief Majara said the men became angry and briefly retaliated. He said Mr Pali managed to wiggle away and ran into the house before locking himself inside.
"I then asked the lady to take Sechaba out of the village fearing that the men may attack him again considering how angry they were. I then went to the Mabote Police Station the following day to report the matter where I learned that Sechaba had already made a report."
The chief also indicated that he had later learnt that other people had been insulted by Mr Pali on several previous occasions.
"Sechaba is still welcome in my village and will not be harmed should he behave himself. We live with many foreigners in the village and have never harmed anyone," he said.
Attempts to get Sechaba's side were fruitless.
For his part, police spokesperson, Inspector Mpiti Mopeli confirmed Mr Pali and Chief Majara's reports to Mabote police on separate occasions.
"The chief did give his account of the incident, but as for Sechaba, he was given a medical form to take to the hospital which he was supposed to bring back for his statement. However, he has not yet returned and we, therefore, cannot take the case any further."
ULTIMATE FM has called on companies and the media to support the Ultimate Music Awards, saying they are meant to benefit the local music fraternity and not the government-owned radio station.
Ultimate FM Station Director, 'Mabatho Lithebe, this week told a press conference that although the awards were their brainchild, they were ultimately a national project which could boost the country's economy by promoting artistes to enable them to earn a living out of their music.
The awards ceremony will be held on 18 November at 'Manthabiseng Convention Centre in Maseru and the finalists were unveiled at a press conference this week in the categories of Hip Hop (10), Kwaito (eight), Famo (10), Gospel (eight), Urban Contemporary (six), Afro Pop (eight), Music Video (eight), Collaboration by Duo or Group (eight) and Dance (eight).
There are also special categories of Best Newcomer (eight finalists), best Male (eight), Best Female (six), Best Producer (eight), International Breakthrough (eight) and Song of the Year (15).
Each nominee was also announced together with a voting code which involves an SMS to either 31019 for one vote (M2) and 31012 for 15 votes (M30).
Afro Jazz sensation Selimo Thabane leads with five nominations, followed by Afro Jazz and Gospel star Mongali Nthako as well as House music producer Sir Schaba with four nominations apiece.
The confirmed list of sponsors include Standard Lesotho Bank, Metropolitan, Alliance Insurance, M&N Security, Victoria Hotel and Bashoeshoe Pele as well as the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture and the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology.
Speaking at the press conference, Lithebe said that most countries had invested in arts to boost their economies and Lesotho should do the same.
"Music, like other sectors of arts, is one of the key factors that can create jobs while boosting the country's economy as well as tourism if promoted well," Lithebe said.
"The aim of the awards is to promote quality music so that with the implementation of royalties' policy which is currently underway, we as the radio stations will not hesitate to buy local music.
"Although the project was started by Ultimate FM four years ago, it is not up to the station but the entire media fraternity to ensure that we promote our artistes so that the rest of the world can know about them through us. We know of American and South African musicians because their media promotes their work."
Taele Lebona, from the station's sales and marketing department, urged companies to sponsor the awards in order to give back to the community.
"It has never been easy to get sponsors as companies expect something in return, failing to understand that this is not for Ultimate FM but uplifting our fellow musicians.
"We plead for support in this journey so that the rest of the world will know about our artistes," Lebona said.
Ultimate FM Programmes Manager, Tello 'Dallas T' Leballo, said they had brought in external judges to promote transparency.
He also revealed that the awards ceremony would be broadcast live on national television. There will be an after party at Victoria Hotel poolside featuring performances by the winners and some of the nominees.
Kenyan Music band Elani joined the rest of the world in celebrating the World Heart Day by releasing a new song which used actual heartbeats from cardiologists to create the beats for the song.
The song titled "My Heart Beats For You" starts off with a smooth intro followed by heartbeats before the powerful melodies of the three take over.
They performed the song outside the Kenya National archives where Phillips Africa and the Kenya Red Cross had gathered to sensitize Kenyans and create awareness on various heart related conditions in the country.
"We are very passionate about our hearts. Our hearts are our lives without them you cannot live, and that why we used heartbeats from cardiologists around the country to produce the beats for this song," the band said.
They not only regaled those gathered with some of their songs but also joined them in cycling towards the cause.
Phillips provided 14 bikes, training and portable equipment that can restart the heart once it fails known as an Automated External Defibrialltor (AED).
"We have to take care of our hearts and our lifestyles, so it is very important to exercise and keep our hearts healthy," they added.
September is usually the world Heart Month and the day is celebrated on September 29.
In Kenya today, non communicable diseases contribute to 30 percent of all diseases affecting the population and of these 12 percent are heart related.
Kenyan Music band Elani joined the rest of the world in celebrating the World Heart Day by releasing a new song which used actual heartbeats from cardiologists to create the beats for the song.
The song named 'My Heart Beats For You' starts off with a smooth intro followed by heartbeats before the powerful melodies of the three take over.
They performed the song outside the Kenya National archives where Phillips Africa and the Kenya Red Cross had gathered to sensitize Kenyans and create awareness on various heart related conditions in the country.
"We are very passionate about our hearts. Our hearts are our lives without them you cannot live, and that why we used heartbeats from cardiologists around the country to produce the beats for this song," the band said.
They not only regaled those gathered with some of their songs but also joined them in cycling towards the cause.
Phillips provided 14 bikes, training and portable equipment that can restart the heart once it fails known as an Automated External Defibrialltor (AED).
"We have to take care of our hearts and our lifestyles, so it is very important to exercise and keep our hearts healthy," they added.
September is usually the world Heart Month and the day is celebrated on September 29.
In Kenya today, non communicable diseases contribute to 30 percent of all diseases affecting the population and of these 12 percent are heart related.
THE family of the late Afro Jazz pioneer, Frank Leepa, have expressed their joy over the Lesotho Tourism Festival's (LETOFE) decision to hold its 12th edition in his honour.
The world-famous LETOFE will be held on 23 December in Thaba Bosiu and a South African contingent including the likes of Hugh Masekela, Sipho 'Hotstix' Mabuse, Ringo, Vusi Nova and The Soil are all expected to grace the event.
They will be sharing the stage with locals such as Selimo Thabane, Kommanda Obbs, JC Crew, Mystic Margin as well as Sankomota- the band that gave Leepa fame in the 1980s and 1990s.
Leepa's sister, Mpho, this week told the Weekender of the family's gratitude to the LETOFE organisers for recognising her brother's contribution to the music industry.
"We felt humbled when the LETOFE organisers approached the family asking to celebrate Frank through this year's festival," Mpho said.
"We regard Frank as a national treasure who worked very hard to put Lesotho's music on the map during times when it was difficult to earn a living through music although his efforts were never recognised.
"When he passed away in November 2003, politicians promised to build recording studios in his honour but that never materialised, making this festival the first to celebrate his talent."
She said that Frank was born a musician and when he was a baby, they kept him from crying by placing him next to a radio playing music.
"When he was nine years old at a time when other children played family games, Frank played a musician. He made himself a guitar from an old oil tin, a plank and strings which he played to other kids, imitating songs he had heard on radio.
"While at primary school in Mapoteng (Berea district) there were acoustic guitars at the school and Frank asked for lessons from his brother Charles who was already a student playing an acoustic guitar.
"I cannot remember the exact years, but he then joined the school band while in Form A at Christ the King High School in Roma. He put less effort in his school work and he was expelled after failing. Our father then took him to 'Mabathoana High School in Maseru but he continued to focus on music and he would always get a beating from our father for poor performance in his studies but that never changed his love for music."
She said he dropped out of school while in Form B after their father passed on as there was no longer anyone forcing him to go to school. Frank told the family that he would now focus on earn a living out of music.
He started Anti Antiques band in the early 1970s but it only started to achieve fame in 1975 when it was re-named Uhuru. He was the guitarist, vocalist, arranger and composer while other members were Moss Nkofu (drummer), Black Jesus (percussion), Moruti Selate, Tšepo Tšola (lead vocalist, composer) and Pitso Sera (guitar).
They first released their debut self-titled album in 1983 followed by Writing on the Wall in 1989. In 1991 they released two albums, Exploration - A New Phase and Dreams Do Come True. They followed this up with After the Storm in 1993 and Frankly Speaking was the last release in 2001 as Frank died two years later.
The Best of Sankomota 1981 to 1991: Greatest Hits and the Best of Tšepo Tšola & Sankomota soon followed and they have kept the spirit of Sankomota alive.
"The Anti Antiques used to practise at Qoaling playing Mbaqanga as well as cover versions of American R&B/Soul singer Percy Sledge and their buzz was felt across the country.
Tšepo Tšola initially played for another band the Blue Diamonds before joining the Anti Antiques.
"They then migrated to South Africa to grow their brand, renaming the band Uhuru (Freedom), but they never stood the test of time as they were soon banned as Uhuru was understood by the Apartheid government to mean liberation of the blacks.
"Frank never gave up and renamed the band Sankomota and managed to record their debut album in the early 80s which was their career break. They suffered a car accident in 1995, killing four members while travelling from Johannesburg to Cape Town where they had a gig. That was a huge set back which affected Frank," Mpho said.
Although Frank re-established the band in the late 1990s he relied mostly on session musicians. He died on 27 November 2003 while preparing for a festival which was held the following month on 20 December in Maseru.
When I started lecturing full-time a little over five years ago, I knew what everybody does: that we all learn better by doing. I knew that "active learning" - literally doing anything apart from just talking through a PowerPoint presentation - is the way to go.
I'd also been introduced to the "flipped classroom" concept, an idea that has taken North America and Western Europe by storm. The flipped classroom means turning traditional teaching upside down. Instead of introducing concepts in class, then sending students off to do homework, you make them do some online work first (introducing themselves to the basic concepts) and use class time to tackle complex questions, working in small groups.
Despite this knowledge, I started off lecturing the way I was taught. I was the traditional "sage on the stage" presenting PowerPoint lectures to students silently taking notes.
Neither I nor my third-year students in a Marine and Freshwater Ecology course speak English as a first language. This added a layer of difficulty to understanding complex scientific concepts. And, top it off, I was teaching this course in a rural South African area called Qwaqwa - quite a distance from the nearest ocean.
After a year of teaching, I put my trepidation aside and tried a partially flipped classroom, hoping to boost my students' learning and experiences. The results, documented in an article for the Journal for New Generation Sciences, have been extremely encouraging.
Taking a different approach
The "flipped classroom" approach is less common in Africa; my research turned up almost nothing.
There are probably several reasons for the slow uptake. Academics on this continent don't often have access to the technology to create videos for students. Our students are not technologically savvy and nor are many of their lecturers. Students have come largely from poor educational backgrounds and are used to a particular way of learning. Adapting may be tough.
Using technology in science, technology and engineering and maths (STEM) education is a popular and effective way of boosting learning. But the vital aspect of a flipped classroom is combining technology with collaboration. Yes, students use technology to become familiar with complex concepts. True understanding, though, comes through interaction with each other and with the lecturer in the classroom. This is what gives them the real engagement with theories and ideas that can't be shown in a laboratory or static textbook.
I decided not to flip my entire course. Instead, I kept using PowerPoints for much of the 6-month long semester but picked a few key concepts I've seen students struggle to understand. These concepts became the focus of my flip.
I either found or created videos that students had to watch before class, making sure they did this by posting easy quizzes on Blackboard; an online platform on which course material, videos, quizzes, and so forth can be placed). In class, about 30 minutes of lecturing time were given over to worksheets that required a collaborative "think-pair-share" approach.
A question was posed that each student had to think about individually, and answer. They paired up to discuss their answers. Then they were asked a second question - closely related to the first - which they had to consider alone again. This ensures that students can mentally "translate" the recent discussion into their own words, in the same way they would have to answer questions during an exam.
Marrying technology and collaboration
Students loved the partial flip. They talked more and asked more questions in class; they requested more videos and more Blackboard quizzes. Their marks suggested that the videos helped: those that did watch the videos beforehand had significantly higher marks in the initial question during think-pair-share exercises.
The sharing - talking with a friend, in one's mother tongue - made an even more profound difference. On this rural campus, with faulty internet and often disinterested students, I found that students really engaged with complex ecological material. Even more remarkable is that they could understand concepts like the Coriolis effect and rocky shore zonation patterns without having seen the ocean.
One student, giving anonymous feedback at the end of the semester, wrote:
I think much better than before ...
Since that initial experiment, I've started using partial flips in all my courses. I honestly don't think I ever want to do a fully-fledged flipped classroom, as just a week of Internet issues or power cuts - sadly common in rural areas in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent - could potentially ruin an entire module.
But a partial flip is possible. It's easy to find video material on key challenging concepts related to any scientific discipline, so academics don't have to record all their lectures exhaustively. I highly recommend it, and challenge other academics to try this approach, too.
Aliza le Roux receives funding from the National Research Foundation and the Afromontane Research Unit. She is part of the South African Young Academy of Science and the Africa Science Leadership Program. Both of these professional groups aim to improve the connection between science and the society it serves.
The recent reports of bullying both in the Western Cape and across the country are very disturbing.
Bullying and school safety in general are issues of great concern to me, and about which I exercise my mind regularly as to how best to address them. Respect for human dignity is one of the values enshrined in our constitution, and bullying is a denial of this.
Bullying behaviour is typically when a child or group of children misuse their power to hurt other children or exclude them.
There are the "traditional" types of bullying, namely physical abuse, verbal or written abuse and social abuse, such as when learners gossip about each other, exclude each other from a group or reveal personal information about a learner with the goal of humiliating them.
But bullying tactics have now also developed with modern technology, and now also include cyber-bullying. Cyber-bullying is the wilful, deliberate and repeated harm inflicted by using computers, cellphones, and other electronic devices.
More recently, the internet and the increased use of mobile devices has provided an arena for this type of bullying which includes name-calling and using social media platforms to send threatening messages, emails and viruses, hacking and posting one's picture or video on the internet without permission.
As recent news reports have shown, cases of cyber-bullying can spread fast and become viral in a matter of hours.
Any form of bullying can have dire consequences, and as schools, parents and educators, we have to respond accordingly and in a timeous manner.
In March this year we issued guidelines to all schools on social media and social networking in public schools and I would encourage all officials, principals, educators and SGB's to study these.
The guidelines are designed to create an awareness about some of the opportunities presented by social media for learners, educators, parents and schools within the learning environment, and address the potential benefits and risks associated with these tools, provides guidance on the use of social media between learners, learners and educators, as well as between a parent of a learner and an educator at a public school, and most importantly it assists public schools to develop their own policies in order to regulate the use of social media and social networking at these schools.
The guidelines can be found on the WCED website https:/wcedonline.westerncape.gov.za under "Circulars".
The WCED's also has a Safe Schools hotline that is available to schools, teachers, parents and learners to report all school crime and abuse, and aims to contribute to a safe and crime-free school environment. Learners, parents and teachers may phone our Safe Schools Call Centre for counselling and advice on 0800 45 46 47.
Children can also call Childline SA on 0800 055 555.
Parents are key to identifying behavioural changes in their children which could be as a result of being bullied. I therefore appeal to parents to keep an eye on their child's behaviour. If your child seems withdrawn or angry, investigate the reason for these changes and speak to the class teacher immediately if the matter is school related. Parents can contact the nearest District Office if they are not happy with the response of the school.
I also urge parents to be vigilant, keep the channels of communication with their children open and monitor their internet usage. Often a parent could be completely unaware that their child is a bully or is being bullied. There is help for both.
The WCED provides guidelines on the WCED website on how to deal with bullying. The guidelines cover types of bullying, the consequences of bullying, how to prevent bullying, support for victim and how to change the behaviour of bullies.
These guidelines can be found on the WCED website - https://www.westerncape.gov.za/general-publication/bullying-school
It is important to remember that the bully often comes from a background where there is insecurity, little parental involvement, and inconsistency in actions of parents. These learners are often subjected to physical punishment and emotional outbursts. Before formal counselling is necessary, the bully must come to the realisation that their behaviour is always going to have negative consequences until it changes.
It is crucial that the rights of learners are respected and protected and that learning environments are created where learners can, free from abuse, make full use of their learning opportunities.
Issued by: Western Cape Education
UNAM is blocking students who have not paid up tuition fees from accessing examinations and other relevant information on the institution's website.
The blocking of access to information also affects students who are funded by the Namibia Student Financial Assistant Fund (NSFAF).
The exercise started last week, despite NSFAF's assurance last month that the fees would be paid by the end of September.
This means the affected students cannot access lecture notes, continuous assessment marks and examination notifications among other things.
Unam's spokesperson, Simon Namesho, confirmed the move yesterday, saying that indebted students would be restricted from accessing the website.
Namesho also said Unam might even bar students from writing examinations or withhold qualifications if fees are not paid by the end of the year.
The move, he said, was done to encourage the students to settle their accounts before examinations start next month.
Although Namesho said those funded by NSFAF were not affected, The Namibian understands some students with study loans from the fund are affected.
Namesho says Unam had been reminding the students to pay up through SMSes, and financial statements but most of them ignored the reminders.
He added that Unam had given students the opportunity to pay their accounts through monthly instalments ahead of the June fees deadline.
NSFAF chief executive officer Hilya Nghiwete said they were aware of the situation at Unam and other institutions but pleaded with the institutions to allow the students to write examinations while they were settling the outstanding fees.
Nghiwete said although Unam has decided to deny indebted students access to information, NSFAF beneficiaries retain all such services.
Last month, the fund promised to resolve issues with the students' tuition fees and awarding of loans to those who have not yet received approval from NSFAF by the end of this month.
Nghiwete said this, however, did not work out because some students have not provided them with all the required documents.
NSFAF extended the period during which students can submit outstanding documents to mid-October.
The Teacher Service Commission (TSC) has interdicted four teachers in Siaya County for molesting learners.
The TSC also sent home 30 others for engaging in activities forbidden by the law.
Mr Samuel Marigat, the Siaya County School in Bondo, Nyakongo Kokang' Primary School in Alego Usonga and Nyagondo Secondary School in Gem pending investigations into their conduct.
He said most of the cases are still under investigation and the involved teachers will be struck off the TSC register and payroll if found guilty.
Mr Marigat, who spoke to the Nation in his office said the others cases involve six teachers involved in desertion, four others are accuse of neglecting duty and another 20are being investigated for unlawful acts.
He said out of the 34 cases, 14 have been concluded.
He said the commission is in the process of instituting court cases against teachers found to have molested pupils and students.
Mr Marigat assured stakeholders that TSC will continue to be vigilant to ensure safety of learners.
Nairobi — The Government has released Sh8.6 billion for the free public primary and secondary schools.
Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said on Monday of the total funds released, Sh6.6 billion will cover the free day Secondary education programmes for 2.5 million students in 8,526 public secondary schools in the country.
Some Sh2 billion will be spent on capitation funds for 8.9 million learners in 22,262 primary schools under the Free Primary Education programme.
A further Sh226 million has been disbursed to primary schools under the Special Primary Schools and Units grants, Dr Kipsang added.
Kipsang noted the funds will cater for children with Special Education Needs (SNE) in special and integrated primary schools.
The PS said the government had fully paid for the free primary and free day secondary education for second and third terms.
Some Sh200 million has also been sent to low coast boarding schools in Arid and Semi-Arid (ASAL) regions in the country.
Nkhotakota — Learners and teachers at Dwangwa Primary School in Nkhotakota are at risk of being exposed to waterborne diseases as the institution has stayed over a year without water and all toilets were vandalized.
A visit by this reporter at the school established that boys had no toilet to use because the only two pit latrines allocated to them had their doors completely vandalized.
On the other hand, there was no hygiene and privacy at the girls' toilets because all locks were tampered with exposing the latrines to every passerby at any time. Worse still, the toilets had no hand washing facilities.
Head teacher for the centre, Benedict Meramera confirmed the school has had no water since 2016 because they failed to pay about MK60, 000 water bill accumulated through construction of classroom block.
He explained that initially, the water bill used be less than MK25, 000 because they controlled learners careless water usage. He added that the school failed to pay the extra bill because it caught them unaware.
"Our Member of Parliament (MP) instructed the contractor who was building a classroom block at this school to use tap water and never settled the bill," said the head teacher.
According to Meramera, the toilets are vandalized by people who drink local beer from nearby communities, which he claims have no toilets. He laments, the children are at a risk of being infected because there is no substitute for safe water at the school.
"The drunkards from surrounding communities use the same toilets to relieve themselves. They become violent whenever we lock the doors. Worse still, they do not use the toilets properly.
"Alternatively, we constructed a urinal for boys but it is not working because community members are still using the facility. The urinal has also proved it cannot work effectively without water," said
Meramera while emphasizing they encourage every child to carry drinking water from their homes.
When contacted through phone, MP for Nkhotakota North, Frank Mphande expressed ignorance of such developments at the school. But he confirmed the contractor for the classroom block he is championing with Constituency Development Funds (CDF) was using the tap water.
"Of course I am aware that the contractor was using tap water for the project but it is news to me that the water was disconnected. Again, I do not know that the toilets had their doors vandalized," said the MP.
He asked community members to own already existing projects at the school. He advised the community members to take part in implementing small developmental issues they can afford.
He promised to rectify the existing water problem at the school by paying the bill as soon as possible.
"Some of the projects cannot be done at once. Let us accept that the school is growing and as we build more classroom blocks, new toilets will need to be constructed as well. Let me contact the councilor for the area so that we have the water bill settled," he said.
Dwangwa primary school was opened in 1997 as a junior primary school and was turned into a full primary school two years ago. Last year alone, it had an enrolment of 2,930 learners.
Luanda — The Association of Hotels and Resorts of Angola (AHRA) last Wednesday announced that it will find a balanced point between the prices in the hotels sector and the purchase power of the citizens.
On a communiqué released in the ambit of the World Tourism Day, marked last Wednesday, AHRA informs that it is hoping to see a business environment that meets the needs of entrepreneurs.
According to that organisation, the idea is to find policies that are attractive for the tourism sector, such as in sectors like macro-economy, electricity infrastructures, water and sanitation, with a view to reducing the high expenses of hotel owners.
On the other hand, the institution also defends a continuous work of implementing tourism centres at short term.
The institution stresses that only with the autonomy of regional tourism development programmes it will be possible to massively integrate the citizens in the tourism manpower, thus fighting poverty and asymmetries.
The Association of Hotels and Resorts of Angola (AHRA) is comprised of hotels, resorts, lodges, hostels, motels and guesthouses.
TOURIST arrivals in Lesotho increased by 10.5 percent to 1 196 214 visitors in 2016, up from 1 082 403 in 2015.
This was announced by the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) LTDC Head Strategic Marketing Officer, Tebello Thoola, during this week's 2017 Tourism Statistics Dissemination workshop in Maseru.
He also revealed that hospitality establishments recorded a marginal increase in revenue of M844 million which was a 2, 7 percent increase from M822 million generated in 2015.
The workshop was aimed at providing information on the performance of the tourism sector.
Mr Thoola said that tourism created jobs for Basotho and contributed to overall economic growth.
"The Lesotho Tourism Statistics Dissemination is a true reflection of the results of much effort and hard work that is aimed at providing accurate, useful and directional tourism information to users who seek information about Lesotho," Mr Thoola said.
The two reports that were disseminated at the seminar were the Arrival & Accommodation Statistics Report and Visitors' Exit Survey Report.
Mr Thoola indicated that the reports were aimed at giving the reflection of tourists they attract in the country, their characteristics and preferences.
"This information will enable us as the tourism authority to plan accordingly in order to help the private sector to know about the services they should provide to the visitors and to make the general public know about the trends and behaviour of Lesotho's tourism sector," Mr Thoola said.
Mombasa — Hotels in Mombasa and the wider coast region are reaping from the Madaraka Express SGR train service, registering a marked improvement of domestic tourists in the last four months.
Hotels such as Diani Reef Beach Resort are now offering local tourists up to 30 percent discount on packages that include the train ride from Nairobi to Mombasa.
According to the Managing Director of Diani Reef, Bobby Kamani, the SGR infrastructure has provided an additional impetus to the tourism sector in the region.
"We believe that the 30 percent discounted rate will enable many of the domestic tourists take advantage of the tourism opportunities within the South Coast and more so to our facility," says Kamani.
Mr.Kamani said that the SGR will boost transport accessibility by complimenting the almost accomplished Dongo-Kundu bypass that will open up tourism in South Coast:
"We believe this will go a long way in boosting tourism in South Coast. We know that the Dongo-Kundu bypass will be completed in first quarter of 2018 and this will reduce the transport mayhem that has been experienced for many years by tourists having difficulty accessing South Coast via the ferry terminal."
Madaraka Express transported about 75,000 passengers in the first month of operation with Kenya Railways adding Voi and Mtito Andei as stopovers in August.
Bijrawiya — The Minister of Tourism, Antiquities and Wildlife Mohamed Mustafa Abu Zaid has described tourism as a beauty-making activity and economic velocity-driving in various fields.
Addressing the country's celebrations of the International Day of Tourism Wednesday in the Nile River State in Bijrawiya, the minister said that tourism creates job opportunities in the economic, social and cultural fields. He called for concentration on beauty making in our tourist sites if we want to make tourism as a tool for sustainable development and maximization of the added value to the economy as Sudan enjoys tremendous tourism resources.
The minister said that the establishment of tourist infrastructure was considered as a priority for the enhancement of tourism sector in the country, pointing to the importance of promoting the elements and attractions of Sudanese tourism outside the country, referring to the contribution of tourism revenues to the availability of foreign exchange.
On the occasion of the World Tourism Day, celebrated yearly on 27 September, Burundian artists complain about the lack of tourists to visit attractive sites and buy their works.
Sculptors and artists doing their activities at the Burundi national museum (Musée Vivant) complain about the lack of customers. "We increase artistic productions but few customers come to buy them. The number of tourists has significantly reduced", says Wenceslas Mashingano, a sculptor.
He says the number of tourists reduced following the crisis that erupted in 2015 when Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would run for a third term in office.
He also says the Burundi national museum is not known by many tourists. "There is a need to advertise the museum to attract more tourists. On the contrary, sellers of our products in Bujumbura city center have more customers than us", he says. Jean Bosco, another sculptor says he could easily earn BIF 100 thousand before the 2015 crisis but can now spend a whole day without any customer.
"We have no choice but to continue producing our works. We believe that the current politico-security situation may change at any moment what can increase the number of tourists", says Hitimana. He also says sculptors and other artists prefer to export their products to the neighboring countries these days. "Our products are very much appreciated in the region. We, therefore, take advantage of the exhibition organized to get fare", he says.
Venant Igirukwishaka, Head of Burundi National Museum, says there is a need to advertise the latter in order to promote its species and attract more tourists as it is one of the most Burundi attractive sites. "We receive few tourists since 2015. The best way to make it widely known is to advertise it", he says. The museum contains crocodiles, snakes, a leopard, chimpanzees, some birds, natural and traditional trees, a royal palace where traditional tools used by Burundians were kept.
Marie Inès Mpundu, Chairperson of Hotels and Tourism sector in Burundi (HTB), says there are 126 touristic sites in the country among which 20 sites are the most visited. "Tourism sector is not developed in Burundi like in other countries of the region even if it generates revenues. Hotels and restaurants are not well managed. Attractive sites are far from the headquarters of provinces and tourists hardly get there", she says, adding that the tourism sector mainly needs support and advertisement.
Sadiki Elie, an archeologist believes that the attractive sites should be rehabilitated through the employment of young people. "The youth may contribute to the promotion of tourist sites by collecting other traditional tools and some animals that would attract more tourists", he says.
The World Tourism Day has been nationally celebrated in Karusi central province on the theme: "Sustainable tourism: A tool to serve people"
Arusha — TANZANIA is set to garner its own unique global record in coming up with what could turn up the 'world's largest human history museum' built right on the archaeological discovery sites.
Constructed under the auspices of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), the Olduvai Gorge Museum houses all the archaeological findings, artefacts as well as replicas from various sites in Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa, among other places.
"Here people will get an opportunity to see the remains of 'Lucy' the so-called grandmother of humanity," explained Dr Agnes Gidna, a conservator from the National Museum headquarters in Dar es Salaam.
Dr Gidna revealed that Lucy was the most complete skeleton of an early human ancestor ever discovered. The 'lady' who lived some 3.2 million years ago, is a member of the Australopithecus afarensis - whose fossils were discovered in Ethiopia.
Beating that, however, is Tanzania's own set of hominid footprints dating back to four million years and which were traced at the adjacent Laetoli site.
As for the museum facility, the Conservator said Olduvai Gorge is undisputed the largest in Africa structural wise, but can also be the world's largest 'on-site,'museum; "Because this one stands right on the ground where discoveries were made," she clarified.
"This is the most ambitious project in the country's tourism industry and even before official launch the museum is attracting hundreds of foreign visitors, this will also serve as referral research centre for scholars from around the world," explained Ms Joyce Mgaya, the Acting Public Relations Manager at NCAA.
Olduvai Gorge, the Archaeological and Excavation site where Dr Mary Leakey together with her husband Louis once worked, is in the process of converting the former scientist's residential and working building into Museum.
Earlier on, Engineer Joshua Mwankunde, the Manager in-charge of the Cultural Heritage Department at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area stated that the government was negotiating with Nairobi over the possibilities for Kenya to bring into Tanzania, all artefacts, souvenirs, tools and personal belongings of the legendary scientist, Dr Mary Leakey, so that they may also be displayed at the Olduvai Museum.
The new and rather large museum facility at the Olduvai Ravine Site have given new lease of life to the archaeological site which has been the source of human remains discoveries since 1930s.
Dr Mary Leakey, who died 21 years ago, on December 9, 1996 had been working in the area for decades before retiring in 1984, when she left the country and moved to Nairobi, Kenya.
She was born in 1913 and was a British paleoanthropologist who discovered the first fossilised Proconsul skull, an extinct ape now believed to be among the human ancestors.
Dr Leakey also discovered the robust Zinjanthropus skull at Olduvai Gorge and for much of her career, spanning more than 50 years in Tanzania; she worked alongside her husband, Dr Louis Leakey, at the archaeological site located within the Olbalbal Ward in Ngorongoro Division, where they uncovered the tools and fossils of ancient hominines.
She developed a system for classifying the stone tools found at Olduvai. And was the one who discovered the Laetoli footprints. It was at the other Laetoli site, where she again discovered Hominin fossils that were more than 3.75 million years old.
During her 50 years' career in Northern Tanzania, Dr Leakey discovered fifteen new species of other animals and one new genus.
In 1972, after the death of her husband, Leakey became director of excavation at the Olduvai, the site was then under the antique department of the Ministry for Tourism.
She helped to establish a Leakey family tradition of palaeoanthropology by field training her son. The Leakeys started work in Tanzania in 1931.
That was after Dr Louis Leakey came across some Olduvai fossils in Berlin Germany and decided that Olduvai Gorge must be holding crucial information on human origins.
He travelled to Ngorongoro via Nairobi in a seven-hour journey and once there he started excavation work. Later Louis and Mary Leakey became the archaeologists responsible for most of the excavations and discoveries of the hominid fossils in Olduvai Gorge.
Their finds, when added to the prior work of Raymond Dart and Robert Broom, were to convince majority of aleoanthropologists worldwide that humans originally evolved in Africa and the first man must have lived in Tanzania.
Luanda — The Angolan economist José Cerqueira released last Wednesday, in Luanda, his book entitled "Nova economia angolana" (Angola?s new economy), in which one finds macroeconomic policies that can help the country overcome the financial crisis.
The 358-page book touches on matters relating to the economic policies that were adopted in Angola following the steep fall of the crude-oil price in the international market and points out solutions for the country to move out of the economic recession.
The author also touches on the country's macroeconomic sector, fiscal and exchange policies, public investments and public debt, among other aspects.
In the conclusion part of the book, José Cerqueira points out some solutions that the government can adopt to recover the Angolan economy, without depending on the price of the crude-oil price in the international market.
During the launching ceremony of the book, the author said that this publication is essentially for teachers, students and government officials, stressing that it brings measures that can be used to leverage the national economy.
The ceremony was attended by Cardinal Alexandre do Nascimento, as well as government officials, diplomats, writers, teachers and students.
Broadcaster Redi Tlhabi's new book 'Khwezi' - an account of the life of President Jacob Zuma's rape accuser Fezekile Kuzwayo - is a sobering read from any number of perspectives. Snippets published in the media thus far risk reducing the book to a few further accounts of Zuma's predatory behaviour towards women, or the behaviour of his allies in attempting to manage his actions. This is effectively the opposite of what Tlhabi's book sets out to do - which is to reclaim the power, and the narrative, of a young woman at risk of being erased by politics and history. By REBECCA DAVIS.
"I wanted her to know that I was writing, unapologetically, as a feminist who believed her", Redi Tlhabi records at the beginning of her new book Khwezi: The remarkable story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo.
Tlhabi is referring to the event which would hurtle Kuzwayo into the South African spotlight - albeit under an assumed name - in the most brutal way possible: the rape Kuzwayo alleged she had suffered at the hands of Jacob Zuma.
But those hoping that Tlhabi's book will give further salacious details about what really happened at Zuma's Forest Hill home on the...
"Poetry is not always pretty but sometimes it brings us close to beauty."
Renowned South African poet and academic, Gabeba Baderoon, is currently working on her fourth poetry collection, Axis and Revolution whilst in residence at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study. She read poems to a packed audience at Stellenbosch University which encompassed very personal depictions of love and betrayal, her family and home, and the power of photographic images.
"Poetry does something unusual. It makes time collapse. I can't tell you how often poetry has helped to close the distance across thousands of kilometres and several time zones," said Baderoon. Her latest work is drawn from her experience over the past decade and especially over the past six months where she has "been listening to poems in isiZulu, Sesotho and isiXhosa, pouring over translations, talking to poets. The breath of so many writers is in my ears. From them has come the inspiration for new poems," she said.
She read some of her new poems including 'I forgot to look', which is a poem about how her mother entered the medical profession, and 'Old photographs', which looks at the power of images to remind us of those we love who have had a profound impact on our lives. "Poetry allows you to say what you cannot utter," she said.
The prize-winning poet lives between South Africa and the USA, where she is an Associate Professor of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies and African Studies at Pennsylvania State University. She started writing poetry 18 years ago and said she always feels like 'a terrified beginner' but is adamant that 'poetry happens all over'.
"One of the most poetic lines I've ever read was scratched into the back of the plastic seat of a Golden Arrow bus that I read in the 1980s when I was attending university," she said.
Baderoon's work has taken her all over the world but her heart remains on the African continent. She was born in Port Elizabeth in 1969 and grew up in apartheid South Africa, a brutal and violent time where segregated schools, hospitals, busses were the norm. She spent her formative years in Athlone, a suburb of Cape Town, where her experiences shaped her as a writer and literary scholar.
"My family arrived in Athlone as a result of the forced removals in South Africa. So the 28 years in which I had grown the deepest, most solid roots in a place coincided with the time that my mother's sense of home was abruptly cut off... History is one of the ways in which we remember the past but history is full of erasures. It's the novelists, playwrights, singers and poets who have drawn attention to these absences," she said.
Baderoon's writing is precise, evocative, visual and often very, very personal. It provides a way for readers to explore complex ideas of identity and belonging in the contemporary world. She started writing poetry almost 20 years ago after attending an evening class.
"I started to write poetry when I was taken away from everything familiar. I took an evening class in 1999 a month after leaving South Africa on a fellowship. A few days before I left, my father died. That sense of disjuncture and tearing away was the birth of poetry for me. I was writing to all of those absences," she said.
During this time, as her journey into poetry began she was not writing 'so that other people could read it', which she said was freeing. "Being set free from a sense of obligation to an audience has been good for me. Although in the broader sense I care very deeply about representing South Africa, addressing questions of race and injustice and politics - all of those things are part of what I think of as necessary for thinking and being in the world," she said.
Her writing is influenced by her experience as a black South African under apartheid, as well as the fight and strength that came with liberation, however, she embraces a global audience.
"I don't think of myself as writing specifically to a South African audience," she said. "I think of myself as writing about a situation that is intricate and complex, and sometimes difficult. Whoever reads it has to do the work of receiving that difficulty and intricacy. It is possible to read difficult things and be enchanted. That enchantment should be what people bring to reading African poetry as well."
She added though that poetry is not about pretty words. "As a literary scholar it took me a long time to understand that. Part of my mind had to learn what it meant to write poetry. Only eventually - through my teachers - I learnt that poetry is not about making words attractive. It's about remembering when words do something you cannot forget... Poetry is not always pretty but sometimes it brings us close to beauty."
Her work is deeply important in capturing both the past and addressing issues facing the modern world.
"Imaginative work asks us to reflect on why we are looking here and not there. It allows us a powerful, evocative way to look at the grounds for understanding what truth is. I think poetry has a very important role to play but there is also risk - poets are not soothsayers - anybody unquestioned is in a dangerous situation. But poetry and other creative arts should be alongside truth-telling areas like science and journalism and all the other ways in which we reflect on the complexities of the world."
Michelle Galloway is a freelance writer, editor, proofreader and media and communications consultant with over 20 years of experience in the science, health and academic editing field. Highlights in her career include working as Communication Manager for the South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative, as Managing Editor of the AIDS Bulletin (which she co-founded) for the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and as Communications Manager and M&E Officer for Strategic Evaluation Advisory and Development (SEAD) Consulting.
Since 2014 she has been freelancing and her current part-time contracts include Media Officer for the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (STIAS) and Communications Officer for Cochrane South Africa. In this period she has also been involved in editing and writing projects for the Human Sciences Research Council, the National Research Foundation, the Academy of Science of South Africa, the SAMRC's Burden of Disease Unit and for Pearson South Africa.
Khartoum — Literary critic, story writer, Nabeel Ghali is one of Sudan's most outstanding Christian writers and journalists in the Sudan, having spent about half a century in the world of letters. Ghali had published a collection of short stories he named "Eittika'a Tahta Eyoun Habeebaty" (A Repose Below my Sweetheart's Eyes), in addition to two bibliographies: one about novelist Ibrahim Ishaq and the other about the Sudanese novel. Ghali had enriched literary magazines and newspapers with lots of controversial articles .In addition, Ghali is the writer of unique cultural articles. He had also published the cultural magazine al-Zarqa'a (The Blue) as the first regional publication. He had served in a lot of periodicals and newspapers and has now settled down as managing editor of the al-Yawm al-Tali Arabic daily newspaper.
Ghali had spoken to Sudanow Magazine on his experiment as a writer, the country's current cultural situation and the contributions of his fellow Sudanese Christian Copts in the country's cultural and literary life.
Sudanow: You are an efficient story writer. Why did you stop? Is it because of age or out of a personal perspective?
Ghali: I am honored by your testimony that my texts are efficient, though I do not like the word "stop" because it gives me the feeling that I am a retired office employee. Nonetheless, there is no writer who stops from writing because of old age. We have seen many aging writers who kept up writing until their last days in life. Yes I have stopped writing short stories, but the short story is ingrained there in my soul- in a state of hibernation if you like. May be the short story had taken other shapes. I am not a writer who runs after material gains, and there are lots of such writers now... They assume easy ways of writing and the end product is "emptiness". They are writers of "quantity" and not "quality". The desire of some young writers to write and publish every week, every fortnight or every month, has its justifications: They want to say: we are here. At their age we were persistent about writing as they are now. But at this late age we are in no need to procure a story writer's birth certificate! Republish some of the texts I published thirty years ago and you will find that they carry the same "blood sample" of texts from the early years of the Third Centennial. That means I am, literarily speaking, a contemporary of these young writers... without any exaggeration. It is no doubt that there are some outstanding examples in the history of human literature that continue to be present on the literary scene. That is because those names have been faithful to the criterion of creativity...That is why their works had become immortal. That is to say that not everything written now represents this age. The time frame in which the writer writes is not a criterion.
Sudanow: We are now hearing an assertion that the short story is defunct?
Ghali: Talk about the death of the short story is an immature and fragile expression. It has no legs to stand on from the perspective of literary criticism. The notion that this is the age of the novel is baseless. It has been propagated by amateur writers. It is just a trend which will one day eclipse. If we take, for example, the Sudanese novel, we would find a big sum of novels which were published in the last two decades. But if we subject these works to real novel test, not many of these works will get the pass mark. The rest is just foam. Now, based on this, can we say that we in Sudan are living in the novel age?!
Talk about the death of the short story is not new. It was said about half a century ago. It was aired in Europe when the short story was widely present on the literary scene in Asia, Africa, in the Arab World and Latin America.
The short story is still alive. Even at the level of our country, it is present in the press cultural supplements and in the collections of short stories being printed. Even some short stories published in the 1960s-1970s of the last century are finding their ways to the readers in second prints. Moreover, the literary awards set by some institutions for novels and novel writing, have been supplemented with awards for short stories. If the short story is dead, why should organizers of novel awards subsume them in their contests?
The short story is closest to the characteristics of the age we live in, not the novel! But if we speak about the death of the best model of the short story, that could contain some truth. Until very recently when one of the symbols of short story writing published a new text, it was met with euphoria on the part of critics and readers alike because he had deviated from the "model". But now where are those ideal story texts?
Sudanow: Do you think your bibliographical project is more important than your creative project, as there are many other researchers who can undertake bibliography whereas creative writing needs certain abilities?
Ghali: I don't just believe, rather, I have an answering conviction that the bibliographical project I am undertaking is more worthwhile than my creative project. In my bibliographical project I dig with my nails in a solid rock of documentation. While in my creative project I play my forefingers on the flowers of creativity. The difference is so wide between the two. You cannot imagine the sum of exhaustion and patience needed in a project for documentation, in particular when the one doing this documentation is a single individual and not an institution or a research center. I was preceded in such an endeavor by our pioneering master, Professor Gasim Osman Noor who really captured my attention and at whom I stopped as a young man, especially when I read his book" A Directory of the Sudanese Story" that covered the period 1930-1973. Two prints of this directory were made so far (1975 and 2004). It was at this point that the seed for documentation had started to grow in me. Ever since, i.e. since the 1970s, I was keen not to miss any cultural supplement or a Sudanese magazine or journal that contained writing about stories, poetry or literary studies. I was keen to sort out the works of each creative writer and put them together. I became a semblance of a mini house of archives in this domain which I loved. Moreover, I helped whoever was looking for a work he published and lost. This had also helped me to keep in store whatever Sudanese novels or stories that I could put hand on. I kept that treasure out of the eyes and hands of my guests and would-be borrowers. But as years passed on, and in the absence of suitable containers, some of those publications have rotted or were lost as I moved from one house to another, in particular when I finally moved from Sinnar and settled down in Khartoum. I have decided to complete what was begun by Prof. Gasim Osman Noor. Here I worked on two literary genres: the short story and the novel. I first took care of the Sudanese novel. That took me long years until I published the bibliography in 2016. But that effort did not deter me from compiling a bibliometric documentary about our novelist Ibrahim Ishaq, which was published in 2015. For now I am working on a documentary on the Sudanese short story from 1953 to2016. The books published about the Sudanese novel and Ibrahim Ishaq have become references for every interested researcher. There are many likes of novelist Nabeel Ghali, but there are not too many of Nabeel Ghali the documenter of the novel and the short story, particularly in the absence of documentary centers for these two literary genres. Every literary creator should renovate his project. That is for granted. My special renovation is "documentation". I am striving to achieve a great deal in documentation, despite my old age and the difficult circumstances I work within.
Ghali: How would you view the relationship between journalism and literary writing and do you perceive journalism as a hindrance to the literary writer?
Sudanow: I became a professional journalist in 1986 when I joined the daily newspaper 'Assiyasa' and from there on I went on as a journalist. I have gained too much from journalism: My writing became simple, without any wordiness or obscurities. Journalism has sown in me a spirit to follow-up all what is new and contemporary in the different domains. It has endowed me with an intimacy with my readers. Journalism enhances imagination and turns it (imagination) into an exciting reality. But one of the liabilities of journalism is that it sucks out your time. It eats your time as does erosion to the river banks. That is why exercising any hobby beside journalism is a far cry, especially for those who made journalism a true profession and not just a stepping stone for personal gains: a profession, not just deception. For myself, I cannot say how I could marry journalism with my project for documentation. It is a miracle the Almighty had bestowed on me in these harsh times.
Sudanow: Your experiment as a literary critic reflects an aggressive temperament. Why?
Ghali: Aggressiveness is a nature and not something you acquire. Let us say it is seriousness, because I don't appreciate the art of courtesy, in particular in literary criticism. You can call it "'stern criticism ". How can't I become aggressive in a scene that swarms with fakeness: fake writers and fake critics who have dominated the scene for decades? How can't I be aggressive while the dark clouds of favoritism cover up the entire cultural space? How can't I be aggressive when criticism has become a happy hunting ground for everyone? How can't I be aggressive when guests of this country come to our cultural events and sell us what they call 'research papers' in clear deception? How can't I become aggressive while every group assigned to a cultural event strives to isolate others, and when it invites them it gives them no more than the leftovers? How can't I become aggressive while our creative writers do not tolerate criticism-that is a virus we contracted ever since the 1960s? Regardless, I have no bad feeling towards those I disagree with. I harbor for them every love and appreciation. I am not that bellicose. But I have to ask the question: Is it too much for me to obey my literary conscience?
Sudanow: What are your observations about the present state of affairs with respect to culture and literary criticism?
Ghali: Our present cultural situation is just empty noise. Tens of poetry collections, novels and story collections are published per annum. And then what? Who is the poet, novelist or story writer whom we can call a true creative writer ever since the beginning of the Third Millennium. There is no creative current. Do our 'valiant' critics monitor the Sudanese novels, poetry and short story collections that are being published? We still yearn for the memory of our late creative writers. Why don't we make of their anniversaries real festivals? The cultural supplements of our papers vary in the degree of their seriousness. Where are our cultural magazines? What is the criterion for selecting our representatives in external cultural events? What did we do to take care of our creative writers? Where is the theatre? Where is the cinema? Where is the T.V drama? Where are the fine arts? Where is the children literature? Where are the original songs? What we have is a cultural scene that swarms with everything that is immature and superficial, save some glimpses here and there. Our current cultural situation is a mirage.
Sudanow: What do say about the unspeakable in our literary writing?
Ghali: If you want to become a writing star, then aim at the unspeakable. And if you want to produce a film that pays in our Arab world, then take aim at the unspeakable. If you want to become a singing star, look for taboo topics in poetry. If you want to criticize your government, then look for the unspeakable. This is the time of the unspeakable.
The unspeakable is represented in the triad: religion, politics and sex. Because religion is sacred it should be kept away. Politics has become an open book where there are no red lines, thanks to the new media. The third of the trio is sex: Sex has become the subject matter. The human body is a periphery of a closed world, even if it is nude. The unspeakable in the Arab literature may need a research paper, or even a book to account for it. Sudanese and Arab writers do not deem it inappropriate to tap sex to present the components of their creative world, regardless of the shame associated with the word sex. There are Arab novels that are daring to the level of debauchery. We have continued to see this in the writings of fame seeking Arab female writers. This is a sort of a shockingly sensual literature. As I see it, this sort of writing does not belong to the novel, but, rather to the borneo literature, that seeks bestselling. I have noticed that there are some Sudanese novels (or the so called novels) whose sewers are flooded with sex, just in search for investing in official bans that could create a media hype and that open doors for distribution. There are writers who target whatever could prompt an official ban in order to sell what they write. The celebration of 'the body' in some Sudanese novels needs a pause, more contemplation. Regardless, we have to read the books where sex is the fabric: we must read them out of literary logic and not out of moral logic.
Sudanow: Would you please shed some light on the contributions of the Sudanese Christian Coptic community in the cultural domain?
Ghali: Copts have an undeniably conspicuous political, economic, medical, social, artistic, literary, educational and athletic presence. In that connection we could see a number of articles of journalist Hussein Khojali in which he tried to urge me to write about the Coptic men of letters in Sudan. Though this was a noble invitation, I never had a desire to write about this topic. That is because the Coptic literary writers are not too many in this country. Second there is a feeling that these writers have become part of the fabric of the Sudanese literary community. In addition, I have no inclination towards the ideological classification of writers: to say this writer is Moslem and this one is Christian. This is because from the perspective of literary criticism all these are literary writers, no more. However, I can mention some shining names on the Sudanese literary scene.
Let us begin with Poet Aziz al-Toam Mansour. I first had heard him and received part of his biography from the late poet Ibrahim Omar al-Amin when he was with us in Sinnar in the 1970s. Aziz had graduated from the Gordon Memorial College. He had served in the Ministry of Culture and, bored from his this job, he migrated to Abu Dhabi and worked there to the rest of his life. I have come to learn that the late Aziz has a poetry collection published in Beirut, but I could not find it. The name of Poet Aziz was included in the Babtain bibliography of Arab poets. A book about him under the title "Sudanese Poet Aziz al-Toam" was written by Prof. Abdelhameed Mohammad Ahmad.
Another Aziz was Poet Aziz Andrews who shone in the 1940s-1950s . He was a prolific poet with seven published poetry collections, a number of unpublished poetry collections, a novel he entitled "talida" and a book on literary criticism.
We must also mention the poet who wrote under the pen-name "Zuhair". That was Shafeeq Fahmi al-Dongolawi. He used the name Zuhair because he was fond of the Arab Poet al-Baha'a Zuhair. Shafeeq died in 1970 and his name was included in the Babtain bibliography.
Then we must remember Poet Salih Butrus, a member of the 1924 Revolution. Literary historian Mahjoub Omar Bashary had written that "the study we made about Butrus was not enough to accommodate his creation."
Then we have the late barrister Henry Riadh, the story writer and literary critic who supplied the Sudanese library with a number of books, some of which were translations of foreign works. Henry, who was dismissed from his job in the judiciary for political reasons, deserves to be honored by barristers, his fellow writers in the Sudanese Writers Union, and local cultural centers.
One of my contemporary writers was Jamal Abdelmalik (Ibn Khaldoon), a literary critic, story writer and translator.
We also have to mention Poet George Benyoti and story writer Jirjis Aziz Zaki who reminds me of the genus Sami Yousif Gobrial who died too young. Zaki had left behind his collection "growth under the droplets of blood" and two novel manuscripts which, unfortunately, were lost.
Can we forget the role of Poet Sa'ad Michael and his book "poets of the Sudan" in which he documented 37 Sudanese poets.
Finally we should not forget the Rev. Prof. Filothawus Faraj and his book "Copts of the Sudan", which is an encyclopedic documentation of the history of Sudan. In this respect we have to mention the book "Copts of the Sudan, Past and Present", by Professor Sa'ad Mohammad Ahmad, an important book which can help researchers and academics interested in the history of Sudanese Copts.
Sudanow: Would you please tell us about your encounter with Egyptian-International writer Yousif Idris?
Ghali: It was during the Second Cultural Festival in Khartoum in 1957. As a young man, the then Minister of Culture and Information Ismael al-Haj Musa picked up a group of young writers to escort the prominent Festival guests. My humble person was named to escort the big writer Yousif Idris. It was a difficult job for a 'regional' youth like me to be in the company of such a renowned writer. I consider myself lucky to have lived in the age of Yousif Idris. I seized the opportunity to conduct the longest interview Idris had ever given. Idris is one of the World's pyramids of short story. His writings were like a hurricane. Equally, he was a prominent playwright, in particular his play 'al-Farafeer'. Some of Idris's novels are landmarks in the Arab novel. And regardless of the multitudes of M.A and Doctorate theses written about his works, I consider Idris a virgin field for research. Idris is one of overcoats of the short story!
Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe has launched a new book titled "A Beautiful Strength, A journal of 80 Years of Women's Rights Movements and Activism in Zimbabwe since 1936" to document women's struggles and achievements recorded in their quest to have their rights recognized in society.
According to Professor Rudo Gaidzanwa, one of the co-editors the book documents the history of women movements in Zimbabwe highlighting their achievements and is a significant departure from existing literature on gender relations and equality of sexes.
"Aim of the book was to document the history of the Zimbabwean Women's Movement and highlight the achievements and activities," said Gaidzanwa.
She noted that the history of Zimbabwe is silent on the contribution of women to liberation of the country despite the fact that their narrative is important.
Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe Coordinator, Sally Ncube stressed the importance of women's contribution to the liberation of Zimbabwe adding that they should be included in any literature to do with the struggle for independence.
"History of Zimbabwe is silent about the contribution of women to the liberation struggle,
"Histories of women are also part of the narrative and should be included in the literature," said Ncube.
Women have worked hard to be where they are today and pushed WCOZ to launch a journal, stating every step that was taken.
Ronika Mumbire, Vice President of the Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe said positive steps have been recorded with women now recognized in the new constitution while they also participated in the drafting of the new charter.
"A lot has changed in the constitution and women's legislation is now recognized, women also took part in drafting of the constitution and this is a positive step," said Vice President of WCOZ, Ronika Mumbire.
She added that WCOZ faced a few challenges in publishing the journal saying there was little recorded and documented files to use in the writing of the journal calling for the digitization of the book to allow it to be accessed by people from every corner of the country and the rest of the world.
"Getting people to write and reflect on what they have gone through was a bit of a challenge,
"Another negative factor was people did not have recorded and documented files therefore lots of persuading was done,
Public Procurement & Property Disposal Service (PPPDS) procured science reference books worth 94 million Br for 11 new universities. The 44,330 books obtained by the service will be used as references for Physics, Chemistry, Biology and natural science subjects.
Research Book Center, Empire International, John Smith & Sons Group Ltd and Star Education Books Distributor are the companies that won the bid to supply the books. Among the four companies, Research Book Centre takes the highest share, providing 33,660 with a total cost of 80.8 million Br. Star Education Books will supply the smallest amount, distributing 110 books at the price of 69,363 Br.
The books will be used for the coming academic year in the libraries of the newly opened universities including Raya, Selale and Werabe Universities.
Johannesburg — THE De Beers Group is to invest US$3 million into empowering women in its producer countries. Targeted beneficiaries include women micro-entrepreneurs in Southern Africa and Canadian scholars studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Katie Fergusson, De Beers Head of Social Impact, said the company had already implemented a number of initiatives over the last 12 months as it worked towards these goals. These include reviewing talent attraction and development processes, rolling out unconscious bias training, establishing a senior management-led reciprocal mentoring programme and reviewing key policies and recruitment guidelines. Last week, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of United Nations Women, announced the launch of our three-year partnership with UN Women in New York. De Beers has worked with UN Women on the development of community programmes in Canada and Southern Africa. These will be launched in the coming months. "I am proud of how far we have already come and of the foundations that we have established to build real change upon," Fergusson said. She said with more than 90 percent of their consumers being women, De Beers has to make changes to stay relevant. Only 24 percent of its workforce and 17 percent of its leaders are women. De Beers operates in 28 countries. Mining takes place in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa.
FROM LEFT: Radio and television host Adelle Onyago, TV presenter and radio news anchor Anita Nderu and Naomi Mwaura, a lead organiser of the anti-harassment protest #MyDressMyChoice.
Three Kenyans have made the list for the world's 100 inspirational women which was released on Wednesday by BBC as part of its 100 women campaign.
Radio and television host Adelle Onyago, TV presenter and radio news anchor at Capital FM Anita Nderu and Naomi Mwaura, a lead organiser of the anti-harassment protest #MyDressMyChoice are the Kenyan women in the list.
The list also included four other African women including Ellen Johnson the 24th and current President of Liberia since 2006 and the first elected female head of state in Africa.
Also in the list is Marieme Jamme (Senegal), who taught herself to read and write at the age of 16 and is now a self-made businesswoman, Talent Jumo (Zimbabwe), who supports victims of revenge porn, giving them counselling and legal advice and fighting for sexual and reproductive health rights for women and Singer, song writer and philanthropist from Nigeria Tiwa Savage.
This year, the women on the list will be part of the 100 Women Challenge, tackling some of the biggest problems facing women around the world.
Coming together in four teams, the women will share their experiences and create innovative ways to tackle The glass ceiling (#Teamlead), Female illiteracy (#Teamread), Street harassment (#Teamgo) and Sexism in sport (#Teamplay)
Starting in October, the challenge will draw on the world's wealth of female talent across all spheres of modern life – from engineering to the creative industries, from sport to business – as four teams tackle everyday problems currently affecting women's lives around the world.
With help and inspiration from women who face these challenges daily, as well as star ambassadors and the BBC's global audience, they will have a week to invent, develop and deliver a prototype. This could be a tech solution, product or campaign that tackles the issue.
The 100 Women Challenge will begin in San Francisco on 2 October, with the first team looking at breaking through the glass ceiling. The next team will be based in Delhi, tackling female illiteracy.
The project then brings together women from two cities, as a team based in London take inspiration from women in Nairobi working to combat sexual harassment and improve safety on public transport. The final week will see a team in Rio de Janeiro take on sexism in sport.
This year's 100 Women List includes a new twist – while 60 women have already been identified, the remaining 40 places will be filled by those who have supported, inspired and helped the teams on the ground over the course of the weeks.
100 Women was established in 2013 as an annual series focused on a list of 100 inspirational women.
The list was supported by news, features, investigations and interviews highlighting the work of these women, targeting female audiences.
Joseline is a single mother employed in a restaurant in Kimironko. The mother of two wakes up at 4am to prepare her children for school. This includes preparing breakfast, bathing and dressing them up. By 6.30am she leaves home with the children and walks them to the bus stop before she proceeds to her workplace where she works till 5pm. This is her daily routine as she struggles to raise her children into responsible adults.
Like Joseline many women find themselves in this dilemma of juggling unpaid care work and paid work to make ends meet.
However, women activists have warned that this life style is a stumbling block in women empowerment efforts. This concern was also highlighted in a recent survey conducted by ActionAid Rwanda in partnership with Institute of Development Studies in Huye and Musanze districts. The survey indicated that women still bear the burden of unpaid care work, a factor that has continued to create a gap in women empowerment.
Unpaid care work includes endeavours that nurture others, for instance cooking meals, taking care of children, collecting firewood and water, and cleaning the house, among others.
Results from the research showed that rural women spend most of their time on unpaid care work compared to men. According to the findings women spend an average of seven hours daily on unpaid care work while men spend an average of only an hour.
Whereas for paid work, a woman spends an hour and a man spends three.
Why do women still bear the burden?
Evelyn Shema, a gender activist, says this all stems from African culture which sets women to be the ones to solely do that kind of work.
She says society tends to view it as normal for women to spend hours on unpaid care work regardless of whether one is employed or not.
Shema, however, believes that with a number of innovations, such stereotypes will finally be overcome and women will achieve the empowerment they deserve.
"The time will come when we will be able to create various projects that can help ease this burden on women. Access to modern equipment like bio gas can be availed to ease work when it comes to cooking instead of using firewood," she says.
Shema is also of the view that there must be dialogue in the family about unpaid care work, where it is required to measure the value of those activities for the benefit of the family as an entity.
Annette Mukiga, a gender equality activist, shares a similar perspective, saying that women continue to bear the brunt of unpaid care work and that this in some way affects the potential of women both economically and socially.
She points out the issue of the mindset, which is the failure to recognise this kind of work as productive, and men's reluctance to get involved, as some of the factors that contribute to this burden for women.
"If we were to put on a scale what both a man and woman do in a day you will find that the line of women is very long. Men have time to rest which isn't the case for women," Mukiga says.
Mukiga believes that this has a lot to do with how we have been brought up, but times are changing and this ought to change too.
She says that though unpaid care work is necessary, there is the overwhelming need for it to be recognised and for a certain mindset change because it's a burden, yet most men are not involved in the care work.
"I understand we have been brought up with such mentalities, we need to engage men and help them understand, this way, they will be able to contribute to alleviating this burden that women carry," she suggests.
"A change in mentality is the way to go. This kind of work needs to be valued and recognised because it actually contributes a lot to the households," Mukiga says.
Regarding government intervention, Mukiga believes that there is need to put policies that recognise this contribution made by unpaid care since it greatly contributes to society.
She also brings out the 'Gross Domestic Product' factor saying that a lot would be contributed to it if only unpaid care work was given monetary value.
Mukiga continues to call on women to be the change they want to see.
"You know change starts with you and me. It starts at home, in the way we bring up our children.The change at individual and societal levels will help us ease the burden women face in terms of unpaid care work," Mukiga says.
Are stakeholders doing their part?
Francoise Uwumukiza, the president of National Women Council, says that there are policies in place, for instance, encouraging a man to understand what it means to work as a couple. There is also the introduction of Early Childhood Development Centres that help women have care givers for their children as they take on their daily work.
She says that overcoming this burden will ensure eliminating certain challenges, such as women lagging behind in economic empowerment.
Just like Shema and Mukiga, Uwumukiza puts the large scope of the blame on patriarchal societies where domestic care work is reserved for women.
"Immersing their lives in unpaid care work entirely reduces their chance of fully participating in paid employment. Some actually find it hard to look for employment opportunities," she says.
Uwumukiza believes that it is such factors that greatly contribute to wrangles in a home because if one side is treated unfairly, there are bound to be disputes.
"Domestic work that is not shared brings lasting effects that ripple through the home leading to vices like gender-based violence," she says.
Uwumukiza adds, "There is need for replacement of unpaid care work, with this; women will be freed to explore all their potentials."
She applauds the effort of the government that is trying to lessen this burden.
"There are initiatives to extend water near households and install biogas facilities, as all this reduces on the tasks of women in the household," she says.
Uwumukiza also believes that re-distributing chores amongst the household members, including men, is another sure way of lessening the burden.
Jean Bosco Murangira, the director of women economic empowerment at the Ministry of Gender and Family promotion, says there is advocacy for all institutions to have mandatory gender-based services, this allows involvement of women in public works.
He also points out different activities that are carried out at the village level and that these help with sensitisation.
"Evening Parents Forum/Umugorobaw'Ababyeyi creates room for family members to discuss issues affecting them and on top of this, it also serves as a way of tackling socio-cultural norms," he says.
Murangira reiterates Uwumukiza's view on the approach of 'engaging men' explaining that it sensitises men to share the workload, hence reducing women's effort.
"The National Employment Programme-kora Wigire under its three core pillars of: skills development, business and entrepreneurship development and labour market interventions where it's clear that women and girls should benefit by at least 40 per cent in all the programme interventions, also acts as support for women in terms of their development," Murangira says.
How can the burden of unpaid care work on women be reduced?
Gender equality has always been a priority in our country; however, women still face some constraints. This issue of unpaid care work should mostly be handled at the household level since it is where the problem is actually. Wives should be in position to enjoy equal rights with their husbands.
Adella Mukampazimaka, Housewife
Sensitisation on the role of unpaid care work should be encouraged to help overcome stereotypes that hinder women's development. It is hard for a woman to do all that kind of work and still find time to engage herself in income generating activities.
Beatha Mukarurangwa, Shop attendant
Men should be team players; I think this is where the biggest problem is. If they do agree to help their spouses I am sure the burden of unpaid care work will be solved once and for all.
Eunice Mukarwego, Farmer
Men should understand that women are counterparts. What women and men do complement each other; hence the need to share responsibilities, so women shouldn't be left alone to carry this burden.
Elvis Izabayo, TV Presenter
People should be educated on the impact that unpaid care work has on society. Its impact is invaluable, hence, there is need to recognise this more so by family members.
Kismat Uwamwiza, Student
Different forums held at the village level should be used as a platform to engage both men and women on this issue. I believe this cannot change overnight but with continuous effort, it will finally be eliminated.
On the occasion of the World Contraception Day, the National Health and Reproduction Program (PNSR) says Burundians now understand the importance of using contraceptive methods. The users' number has increased from 2, 7 % in 2007 to 42, 5 % in 2016.
PNSR says the number of Burundians who use birth control methods is gradually increasing. "An average of 2% to 3% is observed each year. We moved from 2, 7% in 2007 to 42, 5 % in 2016" says Anani Ndacayisaba, National Health and Reproduction Program (PNSR) deputy director.
He says the role of the program is to promote family planning and ensure access to preferred contraceptive methods for women and couples. "We have different contraceptive methods that we suggest to them namely the use of condoms, pills or injection, implant or intra uterine device or vasectomy and tubal ligation."
However, some Burundian women say those methods present a number of negative impacts "Those medicines are very dangerous to our health. They present a number of impacts" says Josiane, a woman met in Bujumbura town.
For those people who say that contraceptive methods have negative impacts on the health of the users, Ndayisaba says it is not true: "Those are just rumours. Like other medicines, those contraceptive methods may have side effects depending on the user but the latter can be easily treated".
The PNSR deputy director reminds the importance of contraception for families in particular and the whole country in general: "The use of contraceptive methods allows birth control and this contributes to the development of communities."
He says it is also good for the well-being and autonomy of women "It is essential for the well-being of women and it helps to put families and country on a more prosperous and sustainable path. Contraception has shown its advantages in a number of countries" says Anani Ndacayisaba
The PNSR says that among the contraceptive methods available in Burundi, the most used are injection and intrauterine device (IUD).
Zimbabwe's Assistant Inspector of Police Annah Chota was recently awarded the International Female Police Peacekeeper Award for her service and achievements in the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). Today we take great pride in celebrating the achievements of the remarkable African woman. Keep soaring, the continent celebrates with you.
Zimbabwe's Assistant Inspector of Police Annah Chota received the International Female Police Peacekeeper Award for her service and achievements in the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).
Chota is the head of the Gender and Children Affairs unit in the police component of UNISFA. The award recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of female police officers serving the United Nations and is bestowed annually since 2011.
In a press statement by the United Nations (UN), it says Chota contributed to a shift in how communities deal with rape, domestic violence, child marriages and forced marriages, by recognising rape of a wife by a husband as an offence.
Chota is the first police officer from Zimbabwe to receive the award. She helped establish a women's network and organized training workshops and campaigns in Abyei. The workshops and campaigns led to more women reporting gender-based violence.
United Nations Police Adviser, Police Commissioner Stefan Feller said, "Assistant Inspector of Police Annah Chota made a key contribution towards restoring trust of the public in the police and encouraging children, women and men in Abyei to become partners in preventing and detecting crime."
The award was given at the International Women and Law Enforcement Conference in Cairns, Australia. The UN aims to reach and attract more police women to join the 1,098 female police officers from 69 countries, serving as United Nations police officers in UN Peacekeeping Missions. The United Nations Global Effort initiative, together with Member States, seeks to reach 20 percent women in UN police by 2020. For UN delegation members, the conference is followed by a training workshop on how to strengthen the host State police capacity to prevent sexual and gender-based violence.
Zimbabwe provides 85 police officers to UN operations in South Sudan (UNMISS), Sudan (UNAMID), and Abyei (UNISFA) and Guinea Bissau (UNIOGBIS), 31 percent of which are women.
Abortion. The proverbial hot potato. The elephant in the room. The ancient-old practice. The issue some choose to hate. The word others tremble to mention. The secret killer of women and girls.
It does not matter how we describe abortions but the reality is that they are taking place on daily basis. As someone who works in the rural area in Dowa in central Malawi, where many girls and women suffer from the consequences of unsafe abortions, I believe it is important to openly and honestly discuss the issue so that we can be proactive in addressing this public health menace.
I am inspired that the silence on abortion is broken. A fortnight ago, I read with keen interest the passionate call made by Inkosi Ya Makosi Gomani on the need to review abortion law. His call came after the Maseko Ngoni king learnt about the deaths of two girls in Ntcheu due to unsafe abortions.
As a matter of fact, he is not the only traditional leader to make that call. Senior Chief Chikumbu of Mulanje, Senior Chief Lukwa of Kasungu and Inkosi Mabulabo of Mzimba have already made similar calls in the past at various forums. The chorus of these traditional leaders is the same - liberalise abortion law in order to save women's lives.
Statistics on abortion in Malawi are startling. While in 2009 up to 70,000 women in this country terminated their unintended pregnancies, the figures shot up to 141,000 in 2015. The bad news is that the majority of induced abortion procedures in Malawi are performed under clandestine and unsafe conditions with complications accounting for between 6 and 18 percent of maternal deaths.
These figures speak for themselves. Abortion is not going away. No amount of denial or condemnation on moral or religious grounds will ever end this public health problem.
The fact that just in 2015, over 141,000 Malawian women terminated unintended pregnancies means that the abortion law the colonials wrote has become toothless. It is failing to stop women from inducing abortions. In essence, what the restrictive law has succeeded in doing is to deter women from accessing safe abortions in hospitals by forcing them to seek unsafe abortions from quacks. As a consequence, many women end up with injuries as they seek the services from herbalists or untrained health personnel.
Why should the law change?
The law needs to change so that women and girls who are desperate to terminate their unintended pregnancies can do so in hospitals where the risk of complications is non-existent.
While Malawi is dilly-dallying in loosening abortion restrictions, this flies in the face of considerable evidence that legalising abortion saves lives and reduces high maternal mortality rates. A good example is South Africa, where - just six years after the country liberalized its abortion laws - the number of women dying from unsafe abortion dropped by almost 50 percent, and the number of women suffering serious complications fell dramatically.
A recent study by the World Health Organization found that overall abortion rates in the world are similar, regardless of whether abortion is illegal in a country or not. In other words, restrictive abortion laws are not associated with a low abortion rate. In fact, in countries where abortion is widely available there has typically been a decline in abortion rates over time, especially when contraception use rises.
There is one lesson for everyone to learn. Restrictive abortion laws are not very effective at achieving their purported goal of stopping women from obtaining abortions. The key difference is safety. So, if any country wants to reduce abortions, punitive laws are not the way to go because what is important is to focus on reducing the number of unintended pregnancies. Fewer unplanned pregnancies mean fewer unsafe abortions and hence fewer maternal deaths.
As Malawi joins the world in celebrating the International Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion tomorrow on September 28, let us seriously reflect as to why our beloved nation is still retaining colonial abortion laws that kill and injure women, violate their human rights and dignity.
This article, coordinated by Centre for Solutions Journalism, is written by Darlington Harawa, the executive director of Dowa-based organization, Passion for Women and Girls.
Nigeria did not designate marauding Fulani herdsmen as terrorists despite being responsible for hundreds of death and destruction of properties because their activities were criminal and not terror-related, the minister of information said on Wednesday.
Lai Mohammed told BBC's Focus on Africa that the criticism of Nigeria's designation of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation was flawed, noting that both the separatist group and the deadly herdsmen have different agendas.
Mohammed insisted that the herdsmen's "acts of criminality should not be confused with terrorism acts" even though they were named the fourth deadliest group in the world, according to the 2014 Global Terrorism Index.
But President General of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, John Nwodo, who was earlier interviewed on the programme, said that the labelling of IPOB as a terrorist group was "extremely unfair and lopsided."
Nwodo argued that Fulani herdsmen deserved the terrorist label, not IPOB.
"In Nigeria, we have Fulani herdsmen... and terrorism tracking organisations have ranked them as the third or fourth deadliest terrorist organisation, that kind of organisation which has ravaged farmlands in Nigeria, killed quite a number of people, has not been classified as a terrorist organisation," he said.
SB Morgen Intelligence in its report on security in the country in 2016 said pastoral conflicts were the deadliest threats Nigeria faced in 2016 - cattle rustlers and Fulani herdsmen accounted for 470 and 1,425 fatalities respectively. Cattle rustlers were responsible for 7 per cent of the attacks and Fulani herdsmen 29 per cent. However, an average of 39 victims were recorded in each cattle rustling attack while Fulani herdsmen attacks have an average of 30.
The targets and victims of cattle rustlers and Fulani herdsmen were usually farmers and residents of attacked communities.
But unlike the herdsmen, IPOB is demanding an independence for the Igbo people in Nigeria's southeast. Its push for an independent Biafra became heightened since 2015, especially after the arrest and release of its leader Nnamdi Kanu by the government.
Kanu said his group was non-violent and would only use peaceful means to achieve its goal.
"We have chosen the track of peaceful agitation, non-violence, persuasion, logic, reason, argument," he told AFP in an interview in May.
"We are going to deploy all of that to make sure we get Biafra."
Mohammed, however, said IPOB's non-violent claims were just a facade to cover up its terrorist intentions.
"For instance, Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB leader was caught on tape, saying that they want Biafra and not peacefully, but by force.
"He declared that if they do not get Biafra, Somalia will be a paradise with the kind of mayhem they will unleash on Nigeria.
"The group openly embraced arms and ammunition and the leader set up Biafra National Guard, Biafra Secret Service and openly attacked army formations".
He said further: "When an organisation decides to not just attack the Army but set up its own parallel government; when an organisation openly solicits for arms all over the world; when an organisation starts issuing out its own passports and currency and does not recognise the democratically elected government, then it becomes a different thing."
Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, who was re-arrested moments after his release from custody on Wednesday, has been charged afresh.
Mr Owino, who was first arrested on Monday for allegedly hurling insults at President Kenyatta, was arraigned in a Kibera court on Thursday.
He was accused of attacking and causing grievous harm to Mr Joshua Otiende, a voter.
He faced a separate count of preventing the voter from casting his ballot contrary to Elections Act.
The offences were allegedly committed at Soweto Social Hall polling station on August 8, the day Kenya held it General Election.
Mr Owino denied both charges and applied to be freed on bail, a request the prosecution opposed.
The MP was presented in court in morning but the prosecutor asked the court to defer his plea to 11am.
She said she had instructions that her senior would come to prosecute the case.
Lawyers James Orengo, Otiende Amollo and Nelson Havi represented Mr Owino.
Police had beefed up security around the court premises after Mr Owino’s supporters staged demos denouncing his arrest and prosecution.
They chanted “tunataka Babu, hatuogopi tear gas (we want Babu, we don’t fear tear gas)” as police watched.
Nairobi Women Representative Esther Passaris engaged the anti-riot police, pleading with them not to teargas the protesters.
Riots in Bamenda (file photo).
Improving decentralisation countrywide would appeal to Anglophone protesters, but without seeming to give them special treatment.
On 22 September, massive protests across Cameroon's Anglophone regions brought an estimated 30-80,000 people onto the streets. These were far larger than those which sparked the crisis at the end of 2016. In clashes with security forces, three to six protesters reportedly died - the first deaths in the crisis since January.
The demonstration came in the context of an already-deteriorating situation marked by the use of homemade bombs by militants, the failure to open schools for a second year due to ongoing strikes, and mounting incidents of arson.
The violence followed incidents in Western capitals throughout the previous month. On 1 August, a meeting in Washington between a senior delegation from the Cameroonian government and the US-based diaspora descended into farce, interrupted by angry exchanges. In Belgium, the delegation's meeting was interrupted by violent scuffles. In South Africa, activists who had been denied access broke into the meeting, which was then cut short. The same happened in Canada, where the flag of Ambazonia, the putative homeland of Anglophone secessionists, was raised inside the High Commission. And in the UK, the invite list was reduced to a select and vetted group.
The resurgence of violence demonstrates that the roots of this crisis run deep, as detailed in the recent report from International Crisis Group, and that the measures taken by the government so far have failed to address grievances. By jailing the legitimate representatives of the Anglophone movement back in January, the government may have even played into the hands of the more radical elements.
As 1 October approaches, the anniversary of reunification of Anglophone and Francophone Cameroon, some militants are preparing to declare independence. If serious measures are not taken and a willingness to start genuine dialogue not forthcoming, protests are sure to erupt again, and could be worse this time.
Cameroon's Anglophones make up 20% of the population. Most live in former British territories in the North-West and South-West regions. Their anger was sparked off in 2016 by the government's refusal to respond to Anglophone lawyers who were aggrieved at the nomination of magistrates who neither spoke English well enough nor were trained in British common law.
After demonstrations were met with sometimes brutal force, teachers and students joined the growing movement, adding similar concerns about a way of life being progressively taken over by Francophone practices. At least nine people have now died in subsequent violence, and militants have frequently used sabotage and arson.
After negotiations broke down in January of this year, the government imprisoned the most prominent Anglophone activists alongside many others caught up in protests. They also cut off the internet in Anglophone areas for three months, causing huge damage to the economy.
Anglophones feel marginalised and often humiliated in their own country. Many look back to the independence era. In February 1961, Anglophone Cameroonians, then under British rule, voted in a controversial UN-organised referendum to re-join francophone Cameroon. For the previous 40 years, they had been ruled by the British following the defeat of Germany, the first colonial power of all of Cameroon, in the First World War.
The constitutional conference which followed in July 1961 was hopelessly one-sided. A weak Anglophone negotiating team sparred with a Francophone side which had already gained independence and had strong support from its former colonial power, France. The result was a series of vague promises that Cameroon would be an "equal federation" in which the English language and customs derived from British rule would carry equal weight at the federal level.
The reality was anything but. First, in October 1961, only weeks after Anglophone Cameroon joined the federation, President Ahmadou Ahidjo (a Francophone who enjoyed very close ties to France) reorganised the country from two federal states to six regions. With the regions' powers unclear, this move deliberately introduced confusion into local governance that has remained to this day.
Ahidjo then named federal inspectors in each region, who enjoyed more power than locally elected politicians. In 1965, he banned opposition parties, forcing all political aspirants, including Anglophones, into his orbit. At the same time, he chipped away at customs and institutions the Anglophones had inherited: their currency was discarded; membership of the British Commonwealth was not considered; imperial weights and measures were dispensed with. In 1971, through a national referendum, Ahidjo abolished federalism altogether, crushing the now fading Anglophone hope that they could enjoy a partnership of equals.
For three decades, Anglophones, like many of their Francophone compatriots, cowed by the brutal civil war that had raged in Francophone Cameroon in the 1960s, more or less accepted their lot. But in the 1990s, political freedoms blossomed again, and Anglophones were encouraged by the fact that the most important opposition party to emerge at the time, the Social Democratic Front, had one foot, if not two, firmly planted in the Anglophone region.
But as President Paul Biya, in power since 1984, slowly crushed hopes of pluralism and freedom, Anglophone frustrations grew again. Movements calling for a return to federalism, and even outright secession, proliferated. For many years these groups were largely based in the diaspora, hence the anger seen in Western capitals. But the movement of 2016 and 2017 has more domestic roots, based on widespread anger on the ground.
Decentralisation as the start of a sustainable solution
After repressing the movement at the start of the year, the government has made some concessions, most notably restoring the internet in April and allowing the release of some (but not all) detained activists in August. But Yaoundé continues to treat the Anglophone movement as subversive and illegitimate. Militants were imprisoned in January for publicly discussing federalism, a discussion which should be perfectly allowable. The government refuses to acknowledge widespread feelings of marginalisation and humiliation.
To reach a sustainable solution, especially important with national elections looming next autumn, the government must start by acknowledging the well-founded grievances of Cameroon's Anglophone regions. For trust to be re-built and maintained, concrete actions need to be taken.
Decentralisation is the most promising and is set out in the new constitution of 1996 and in laws of 2004. Since then, mayors and local councils have been elected, and the law stipulates that they should have their own budget and be responsible for local public services. But even these vague legal texts - for example the percentage of locally raised taxes to be devolved to local government is not specified - are not respected in practice.
Regional councils, led by elected regional presidents, are foreseen in the constitution, but have not been created 21 years on. Shortly after creating local councils, the government created its own delegates nominated by the president and accountable only to him. In day to day matters, the delegate has far more power than their elected counterparts, even those from the ruling party.
The problem of partial decentralisation is a frustration in all parts of the country. Improving it countrywide would have the distinct advantage of appealing to the Anglophones without seeming to give them special treatment. Regional councils should be created, or else a national debate started on whether they are needed. Local councils should have the powers over public services foreseen in the law and autonomy over their budgets.
Improved decentralisation would, if handled properly, reassure Anglophones that they have control over their own legal and educational system, rather than feeling that any gain they make is subject to the whims of central government.
Of course administrators in Yaoundé, and President Biya himself, who has created one of the world's most centralised decision-making machineries, would lose some of their discretion. But the up side would be significant: a reinvigorated sense of national purpose and cohesiveness and less risk of renewed violence in Anglophone areas.
Under the Trump administration, the US has significantly amped up military engagement in Somalia. Special forces are fighting alongside Somali soldiers to defeat terror organization al-Shabab. Sandra Petersmann reports.
Foreign soldiers, gunshots, explosions, air strikes - when refugees from Bariire talk about what they've experienced, they are unable to name exact dates. Days and events blur together as emotions run high.
They are afraid - of both sides, they say. Marian is now a widow and mother to seven children who have lost their father. When fighting in Bariire stopped, Marian found her husband's body - bloody and riddled with bullets - dumped on a field. She can't say who shot him or when he was killed.
Marian and others who fled the fighting are now sitting on the dusty streets of a refugee camp in Somalia's capital Mogadishu. The farmers fled their homes in Bariire, a town in the embattled region of Lower Shabelle in Somalia's south, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Mogadishu.
Not long ago, Bariire was considered a stronghold of the Islamist al-Shabab militia that's joined al-Qaeda in the fight for a caliphate.
But on August 20, African Union (AU) troops and Somali soldiers managed to retake Bariire's city center. The AU has deployed some 22,000 soldiers in Somalia to fight against al-Shabab. Unconfirmed eyewitness reports say US soldiers also helped recapture the city.
What happened in Bariire?
A few days later, on August 25, there was another military operation - a raid on a farm in the early morning hours. Ten civilians lost their lives - among them were three boys aged eight to ten years.
The Somalian government initially denied civilians had been killed, but later corrected this statement. Relatives took the dead bodies all the way to Mogadishu in protest. Army chief General Ahmed Mohamed Jimale Irfid said they initially mistook the killed farmers for al-Shabab fighters due to it being dark in the early morning hours.
The US Africa Command based in Stuttgart, Germany, immediately issued a response on August 25.
"We are aware of the civilian casualty allegations near Bariire, Somalia. We take any allegations of civilian casualties seriously, and per standard, we are conducting an assessment into the situation to determine the facts on the ground," the statement read.
"We can confirm that the Somali National Army was conducting an operation in the area with US forces in a supporting role."
Since then, no other details have been shared with the public. According to Somalian media reports, the clan of the killed farmers has received compensation payments.
Rebuilding a failed state
Somalia has been riven by war since 1991. The state disintegrated, with the country's most powerful clans filling the void.
The country on the Horn of Africa now wants to build new federal structures with international help.
Since December of last year, there is a new parliament; since February of this year the country has a new president.
In both rounds of voting, the big Somalian clans were also vying for power - a lot of cash was handed out.
Still, the result can be considered a massive improvement, according to Michael Keating, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Somalia.
Marred by corruption and intimidation, but still legitimate
"It was an electoral process which was also marked by corrupt practices and intimidation. But the amazing thing is that the result was received as legitimate both by both the Somali population as well as the international community," Keating told DW.
Especially President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who holds both Somalian and US citizenship, enjoys people's trust. He is a refugee himself who returned to the country and now lobbies for additional military support, investment and direct financial aid for his government. Right off the Somalian coast are oil reserves waiting to be tapped.
"The peace and stability in Mogadishu and Somalia is the peace and stability for the whole world. Somalia is a test case where we can show to the world that you can defeat terrorism," Information Minister Abdirahman Omar Osman told DW. He moved back to Somalia from London.
These days, many people from the Somalian diaspora are daring to return to their home country.
This spirit of optimism is palpable in the Somalian capital - countless construction sites and new streets, cafés and shops attest to that. Foreign diplomats, advisers and volunteers are pouring into the country. New embassies are being built.
But most foreigners still barricade themselves behind high protective walls that have been put up around the airport. Car bombs, suicide attackers and abductions are still part of Somalian daily life.
"The challenge is: how do we work together to help the Somalis sort out their own problems on their own terms and not try and impose our own solutions because we are in a hurry, or because we need certain things done," said Keating. "You have to be very respectful of Somali culture and politics."
Lessons learnt from Bariire?
But the unresolved case of the ten civilians who were killed in Bariire shows just how complicated the process of building a nation truly is. The region of Lower Shabelle isn't just a stronghold of al-Shabab, but also home to rival clans with access to weapons. The drought at the Horn of Africa has exacerbated conflicts over water and land. It's hard to distinguish between civilians and extremists.
Who was the source of information that led to military operations in the early morning hours in Bariire on August 25? Who checked the information? The US has only "a few dozen soldiers" in the country, according to their own account - that means they rely on Somalian sources for military reconnaissance.
Security sources say it's possible that one clan accused the other of fighting for al-Shabab. Chances are US forces, alongside Somali soldiers, have been dragged into a local conflict in Bariire.
Al-Shabab exploits fears
In March, US President Donald Trump gave the US military more power to carry out anti-terror operations in Somalia. Since then, there have been at least 13 missions with US participation - three ground strikes and 10 airstrikes.
According to Keating, military pressure needs to be exerted. But "global experience suggests you can't defeat an insurgency purely by military means," he said, adding that justice and creating opportunities were just as important. Somalia, he said, was full of unresolved conflicts.
A former al-Shabab member from Lower Shabelle, who has since left the group, told DW the extremists were exploiting local conflicts to attack the state. "The people here don't trust the government," he said. "In the areas controlled by al-Shabab, people fear the military will loot and rape - and al-Shabab has become skilled at tapping into those fears."
Military operations such as the one in Bariire could help drive new recruits into the arms of al-Shabab.
Togo has been ruled by a father-son duo for 50 years. Gnassingbé Eyadema (b. 1935) seized power in a military coup in 1967. He remained president until his death in 2005, after which the army proclaimed his son successor. Faure Gnassingbé has been head of state ever since.
In the past month, Togolese have demonstrated against Faure's rule, which has a poor record in development and human rights. They are demanding constitutional reform, limits on presidential terms, and voting rights for nationals who live outside the country.
The government has responded by periodically blocking the internet to slow down communication between opposition groups. Though the protests have been largely peaceful, official sources have reported nine civilian deaths. The opposition alleges that the gendarmerie (military forces with policing powers) have taken to beating and torturing protesters.
Togo is a small country of a little under eight million people. Over half its citizens (55.1%) live in poverty. It's in theory a multiparty democracy, but opposition parties feel they have no real power. They have used tactics like boycotts to try to get the ruling party to negotiate but have been largely unsuccessful.
Genesis of current conflict
Togo gained independence from France in 1960 with Sylvanus Olympio as its first president. Olympio resisted Togo's integration into Francafrique, the political framework that bonded former French colonies to France. He wanted out of the French West African franc but agreed to pay an annual debt tax to France.
Olympio came from the Ewe-speaking region in Togo's south. Investment and developments became concentrated in the south. This was mainly because the south was part of the urbanised West Africa corridor.
People from the Kabye-dominated north felt excluded from government. The seeds of a long-lasting north-south political divide were planted.
Olympio was assassinated in 1963 in a military coup engineered by former French foreign legion veterans Emmanuel Bodjollé and Gnassingbé Eyadema. They replaced him with his chief political rival, Nicolas Grunitzky, who was also lukewarm towards neo-colonial France. In 1967, backed by France, Grunitzky was overthrown by Eyadema in another military intervention.
Single-party rule falls
Over the years, with French support, Eyadema solidified his rule by dividing Togo. Key administrative positions went to his northern Kabye kinsmen.
Togo became a one-party state in 1969. Eyadema's Rassemblement du Peuple Togolais (Rally of the Togolese People) was the only legally permitted party. People who spoke out against this faced indefinite detention. Many fled into exile. Socio-economic development was low on the agenda.
In 1992 there were calls from civil society to return to multiparty democracy. This led to the Conference Nationale (National Conference), which included 11 opposition groups, the clergy, diaspora and lawmakers.
Eyadema ordered the army to dissolve the Conference Nationale while it was still in session. The Conference eventually drafted a new constitution which was approved by 99% of Togolese voters. The turnout for the referendum was 74%.
Togo's 1993 election was the first multiparty election in the country's history but major opposition parties boycotted it. Eyadema was up against two minor candidates and won 96% of the vote.
The reform agenda forced Eyadema to appoint opposition candidate Joseph Koffigoh as Prime Minister. But Eyadema curtailed Koffigoh's powers and he resigned in 1994.
Journey to the present
After clashes throughout 1992-93 between opposition sympathisers and government loyalists the European Union suspended aid to Togo.
In 2002 Eyadema unilaterally amended the constitution to remove presidential term limits and was re-elected in 2003. He also lowered the age of presidential hopefuls from 45 to 35 to favour his son. The African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) condemned this move.
Faure won 60% of the vote in 2005 in an election held immediately after his father's death. Violent clashes between the opposition and the gendarmerie followed. Some sources put the resulting death toll at 500. This was despite ECOWAS pronouncing the election "free and fair".
Since then Faure's strategy for staying in power has been two-pronged: disqualifying serious opposition candidates from contesting elections, and incorporating them into "national unity governments".
After the 2010 elections Gilchrist Olympio - son of Sylvanus Olympio - of Union des Forces de Changement (Union of Forces for Change), was integrated into a national government. He had been barred from challenging Faure for the presidency on a technicality. His party then split and the breakaway wing formed the Alliance Nationale pour Changement (National Alliance for Change).
Faure re-branded his party as the Union pour la Republique (Union for the Republic). Economic reforms brought annual growth of 5.5% based mainly on phosphate and clinker extraction. But by 2015, poverty had reduced by only 3% and external debt had reached 62% of GDP. Still, Faure won the election that year.
Limited concessions are periodically made to pacify the opposition. For example, in March this year, Union pour la Republique tabled a bill to debate presidential term limits. The bill was never debated in parliament.
In July, the government organised a ritual purification ceremony in the Bé area to appease the souls of those who were killed in 1991-93 and 2005. Voodoo practitioners and Christian and Muslim clergy were filmed praying in what was seen as the ultimate publicity stunt.
To respond to the demonstrations against Faure's rule, the speaker of parliament this month announced a referendum on presidential term limits. But the opposition claims that the term limits will give Faure a further two terms from the time the new law is passed.
Over the last two decades, Ghana, Benin, Nigeria and Senegal have conducted transparent elections, sometimes shifting countries from military regimes to civilian multiparty rule. But in Burkina Faso, the 2014 'Burkinabé Uprising' ended Blaise Compaoré's 27-year rule after his attempts to amend the constitution.
The same fate may await Togo. This time, opposition parties are united across ethnic lines: Jean-Paul Fabré of the Alliance Nationale pour Changement represents the southern Olympion tradition, while his closest ally, Tikpi Atchadam, of the Parti National Panafricain (Pan-African National Party), draws his support from the north.
But Togo will return to stability only if proposed reforms go far enough to get the major opposition parties to work together.
Meera Venkatachalam's primary affiliation is with the Observer Research Foundation Mumbai
The Tanzania Constitution Forum (TCF) Deus Kibamba with proposed constitution (file photo).
Dar es Salaam — Pressure on the government to revive the constitution review process mounted on Wednesday with at least 80 civil society organisations (CSOs) adding their voices to the chorus.
Representatives of the CSOs who met in Dar es Salaam yesterday pleaded with President John Magufuli to kick-start the process, which stalled in 2014.
They asked the government to consider the cost in terms of money, human resource and time that had gone into the process so far, adding that it was inconceivable that the matter should not be considered a priority by the current government.
Rulenge-Ngara Catholic Bishop Severin Niwe-Mugizi said President Magufuli had good intentions for the country and he believed that the Head of State would restart the constitution rewriting process sooner rather than later.
"I personally believe that President John Magufuli wishes this country well. His government's efforts to revamp the economy should go hand-in-hand with the review of the Constitution.
"I once spoke to Dr Magufuli and I advised him about the importance of having a new constitution and he was very positive about it. I think he understood and will give the green light before he leaves office," Bishop Niwe-Mugizi said.
He added that it would be unfortunate if the government would clamp down on stakeholders advocation the process' revival and accuse them of sedition.
"I'm ready to be among those who will be found guilty of advocating a new constitution. A progressive constitution is key if we hope to have sustainable development in this country," he said.
Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) national coordinator Onesmo Olengurumwa said more emphasis should be put on the need to revive the constitution making process.
He urged all stakeholders to step up pressure on the government and persuade it to revive the process and oversee it to its conclusion.
"We should not wait until 2019. Now is the time to put more pressure and ensure that the process is restarted and concluded.
"A new constitution is needed to improve efficiency, combat corruption, ensure that public servants are ethical and instil a sense of patriotism among citizens," Mr Olengurumwa said.
Ms Mercy Mrutu from the Ministry of Constitutional and Legal Affairs assured stakeholders that the government was aware of the need for a new constitution.
"Even President John Magufuli has said he is aware of the need to revive the process. So, when the right time comes, the process will be restarted," she said.
The 80 CSOs' appeal came just a day after the Tanzania Constitution Forum (TCF) demanded that the process be revived.
TCF programme manager Machereli Machumbana said the forum would organise countrywide peaceful demonstrations to pressure the government.
He spoke after TCF held its two-day annual general meeting, which was attended by 184 non-governmental organisations in Dodoma.
President Magufuli said during a meeting with editors last November that his government did not consider reviving the review process a priority.
He said he was concentrating on delivering on his election campaign promises, which did not include a new constitution.
"I covered 42,500 kilometres during my campaign across the country, but I didn't at any one time promise a new constitution."
However, Dr Magufuli said he was aware that the process had reached an advanced stage.
"The good thing is that the process has reached an advanced stage," he said of the shelved plan to call a referendum that would have enabled Tanzanians to have their say on the Proposed Constitution passed in 2014 by the now-disbanded Constituent Assembly (CA).
The CA passed the Proposed Constitution after members drawn from the Opposition boycotted proceedings, accusing the CCM-dominated body of watering down the Second Draft Constitution submitted by the Constitutional Review Commission.
In another development, Bishop Niwe-Mugizi yesterday strongly condemned ongoing human rights abuses in the country, and urged security agencies to speed up investigations, arrest and prosecute the perpetrators.
He said the assassination attempt on opposition lawmaker Tundu Lissu, string of killings in Coast region and abduction of children in Arusha were proof that insecurity was a major concern.
From left, Minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa and Reserve Bank Governor John Mangudya (file photo).
Zimbabwean police will arrest dealers trading foreign currency on the streets and seize whatever banknotes they have on them, President Robert Mugabe's government has announced.
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the authorities will freeze the accounts of those doing illicit forex transactions through the banks.
"We are taking measures to make sure police are empowered to arrest such people, to seize whatever currencies are involved in the transactions," Chinamasa said, in comments carried by state ZTV late on Wednesday.
"We are going to go further where we establish that the transactions were done through banking accounts the regulations will empower the freezing of those accounts," he added.
A black market trade in scarce foreign currency has resurfaced. Zimbabwean bond notes, released 10 months ago at a value equal to the US dollar, were said to be trading at 1.60 to the US early this week.
Desperate account holders have to queue for hours at banks to get as little as $20 in bond notes per day. But numerous images have circulated on social media recently showing large wads of notes apparently in the possession of street traders.
The foreign currency woes have prompted panic buying of fuel and basic commodities, amid fears the country could see a return to empty shops and dry fuel pumps last seen in 2007-2008.
Energy Minister Samuel Undenge has tried to reassure the public. He told state ZTV on Wednesday that the country has a month's supply of petrol and two months' supply of diesel in stock.
At least $40m is being spent per month to shore up supplies, he added.
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa says government will tighten control over use of social media, which authorities blame for fuelling shortages of basic commodities and bank notes in the country.
The southern African nation, which has been experiencing foreign currency shortages for the past 18 months, saw long winding queues -- reminiscent of the 2008 crisis -- resurfacing at the weekend as people stocked up on food stuffs and service stations across the country ran dry.
On Tuesday, manufacturers of cooking oil warned that they would no longer able to import raw materials as a result of the foreign currency shortages.
Government maintained that the economy is in a sound state and blamed 'faceless saboteurs causing panic on social media.'
In a joint address to the media late Wednesday, Chinamasa, along with Industry and Information ministers Mike Bimha and Chris Mushowe said 'the shortages came as a surprise.'
"It was a bombshell. What happened was not in sync with the prevailing situation in the economy across all sectors ... the developments in the economy are very positive, there is positive growth in the economy... all economic indicators are in the right direction. The trajectory is on a growth path... ," said Chinamasa.
"The cause was social media, which means that it is a security issue. There is a political agenda, a regime change agenda. We are going to seriously look at what happened with a view to take corrective measures in the security arena. We need to understand social media and the forces behind it... ... .they have given us a timely warning about their intentions and clearly we will take the necessary measures to counter those nefarious activities."
In an earlier press conference, Energy Minister Samuel Undenge accused the media of engaging in "unfounded negative publicity meant to discredit government."
"Motorists must not be influenced by negative publicity, mainly through social media, some of which is simply intended to tarnish the image of government," said Undenge.
Undege added that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has increased foreign
currency allocations towards fuel procurement from $5 million per week to $10 million in response to the current shortages.
He said the country was holding more than two months supply of petrol in bond.
Accounting and consulting firm, KPMG South Africa, is reeling after it was exposed to have played a part in the Gupta inspired state capture activity. The fallout has been remarkable. Some major firms have fired KPMG as an auditor and more Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed companies are expected to follow suit.
KPMG offers tax, advisory and auditing services and is one of the Big Four auditors, along with Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Despite their integration into the economy, all four of these audit firms have experienced significant lapses of judgement.
The KPMG case provides a potential example of how shareholders can attack the soft underbelly of the private sector state capture enablers. Globally, the number of shareholder challenges has increased dramatically from 520 episodes in 2013 to 758 in 2016. Around two thirds of these challenges were successful, double the rate of just a decade ago.
South Africa's shareholder activism is following international trends. This is partly function of the fact that that over 50% of the market capitalisation of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange is owned by foreigners.
Shareholder activists are using their powers as company owners to examine company financial reports, monitor executive remuneration, enforce good corporate governance, and push for increased sustainability and transparency.
KPMG has a client base of about 70 listed companies in South Africa. This means that pressure from shareholder activists is likely to pile up. Some companies have already cancelled their use of KPMG services and others have stated that they are reconsidering their relationship. But most of KPMG's clients have either remained silent. Others said they're waiting for the outcome of reviews by the country's regulator, the Board for Auditors, as well as KPMG International.
The directors of companies that have chosen not to take a stand fail to realise one critical thing. In a world of shareholder activism, they may soon face serious questions from their own shareholders about their inaction and ongoing association with KPMG.
A key driver of shareholder activism in South Africa has been the introduction of minorities' rights in the new Companies Act.
Minority shareholders with as little as 10% holdings can call an annual general meeting. This means that it's become easier for shareholders to take legal action against directors and officers, including having directors removed.
The King codes of corporate governance have also played a significant role. They emphasise ethical leadership, sustainability and good corporate citizenship.
The codes have entrenched the idea that boards of directors must act in the best interests of the company and that their responsibilities extend to shareholders and other stakeholders. Companies are expected to establish sound governance structures, create "an ethical culture" and ensure that they're "seen to be a responsible corporate citizen".
A key factor underpinning these governance principles is the creation of more transparency. By putting more information in the hands of shareholders and the public, these measures create greater potential to hold boards to account for behaviour that fails to meet minimum standards.
Alongside other names such as consultants McKinsey, the IT giant SAP, heavy machinery manufacturer Liebherr, and Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries, KPMG has been implicated in alleged large-scale corruption involving the Gupta family. The firm stands accused of:
allegedly overlooking numerous conflicts of interest while auditing 36 Gupta-linked companies until dumping the Guptas in 2016 bywithdrawing their auditing services. A local auditing firm, SizweNtsalubaGobodo, replaced KPMG but seems to have also felt the pressure and has withdrawn its services.
allegedly providing tax advice to ensure that the public funds extracted from the South African fiscus were placed in Dubai to avoid tax payments. KPMG may have thus also become a possible enabler of illicit capital flows in the process.
compiling a report for South African Revenue Services about an alleged rogue spy unit within the tax authority. The report was used as part of a campaign against former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, and other senior government officials. By its own admission, KPMG appears to have ignored both sector-wide best practice as well as its own standards of due diligence.
On a wider scale, KPMG seems to have given little consideration to the risks and damage that its activities would do to South Africa's institutional integrity and governance frameworks.
Pressure has been gathering. Eight senior executives of the South African office, including the CEO, Trevor Hoole, have resigned. The firm has withdrawn all of its findings' recommendations and conclusions contained in the notorious "rogue unit" report. It has also instituted an international review of all work done for the Gupta family.
It's unlikely that these actions will be enough to forestall litigation and possible collapse of KPMG South Africa.
Shareholder activism in South Africa has historically mostly been between institutional investors or individual activists and investee companies. But this may well begin to change. Mounting frustration at the slow pace of investigations into allegations of state capture by state institutions such as the Hawks and National Prosecuting Authority is forcing investors to become more active. Shareholders could start directing their attention to fighting corruption through the private sector.
But are South African shareholders prepared to step up to ensure good governance in the face of governance failures elsewhere in the system? There's a great deal to lose if they don't.
If shareholders don't take a proactive role, South Africa is in far more danger than simply losing its top spot on the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report for auditing and reporting standards.
Once trust is lost in both the public and private sectors' ability to root out or prevent corruption, the country could see further capital flight, greater tax avoidance, and a more pervasive sense that the rule of law is negotiable.
As revelations of systemic failures in governance pile up, the economy may very well depend on shareholders taking up the burden of providing the necessary levels of accountability. KPMG may be teaching South Africa an important lesson. Shareholders can also be anti-corruption activists. Anyone who is connected to the South African economy, must dearly hope that shareholders are up to the task.
Sean Gossel receives funding from the University of Cape Town.
Timothy London works for the Allan Gray Centre for Values Based Leadership which receives funding from the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. The Centre is a part of the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town.
Today South Africa celebrates World Maritime Day, with the theme of 'connecting ships, ports and people'. Maritime trade is Africa's lifeblood, and for this day to have meaning for the continent, its people and industry must benefit from the ever-increasing global maritime connectivity and growth.
African Union (AU) policies recognise the need to overcome historical marginalisation and better connect the expected growth of African ships, ports and people. These include the 2050 Africa's Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIM Strategy) and the AU's Agenda 2063. Countries such as South Africa are also introducing a Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy, and road maps to become well-connected maritime nations.
Present connections have left Africa largely marginalised and dependent, so the continent is missing out on controlling its vital maritime trade. African populations and economies will grow - creating new markets and greater demand for resources, services and development. Better connections are needed as there will be increased numbers of African-built, -crewed, -owned, -flagged and -operated ships, carrying both intra-African and international trade into and out of African ports. These must have positive economic impacts on the port states and surrounding communities.
People are arguably the most important part of the maritime connection
The current picture of African-owned or -operated ships at sea can seem discouraging. The 2050 AIM Strategy says African-owned shipping accounts for only about 1.2% of world shipping and about 0.9% by gross tonnage.
Few African countries operate large shipping registries. So ships carrying trade are often owned elsewhere and African countries, even when their flags are being used, cannot effectively control how they operate. Increasing the number of ships flying your flag is seen as one way of being more in control, but the risk is that some countries operate 'flags of convenience' or open registries. By lowering the regulatory costs associated with flying that flag, these countries offer, for a fee, the use of their flag to shipowners worldwide, providing them with affordable and easy shipping options.
While this means goods and services can be supplied cheaply as there might be fewer costly regulations, ships are often unregulated in environmentally harmful ways or without good regard to crew welfare.
Whatever the flag or nationalities of owners and crew, more ships will struggle to be accommodated in most African ports. Yet African ports are currently handling only 6% of worldwide water-borne cargo traffic and about 3% of global container traffic.
Present maritime connections have left Africa largely marginalised and dependent
Many of Africa's biggest ports were founded or developed by colonial powers, as sites to export slaves and/or natural resources to the rest of the world - they were never intended to support present-day priorities. Many of these ports can't get much bigger as surrounding communities and cities have limited the space to expand, and several have morphed into megacities.
Challenges facing ports are being met mostly through efforts to enhance their management and efficiency. But other more spectacular solutions are also being sought. Megaports can handle the envisioned volumes of trade needed to uplift African populations, but some are being built far from existing transport infrastructure. So the end project may be more oriented towards the efficient export of resources rather than national development plans.
The Port of Lamu in Kenya is an example of such a megaport. Kenya is developing this area to be the centre for the trade of goods from landlocked Horn of Africa countries, especially oil from South Sudan. It also wants to construct a transport corridor that goes through the country to the South Sudan-Ethiopia border. This has had a number of setbacks, such as the deterioration of security in the region, the ongoing conflict in South Sudan and historically low international oil prices affecting potential revenue and benefits.
Ports are needed to increase shipping, but not at the expense of ensuring good inland infrastructure, such as roads and railways that end at port facilities. Better inland and regional connectivity can prevent future ports from being merely nodes for exporting resources in ways that don't benefit surrounding communities.
Maritime policies must prioritise the training and education of more African seafarers
And while ships may increase in number, and port facilities expand, the same isn't happening for African seafarers and maritime professionals such as shipowners and entrepreneurs. People are the third, but arguably most important, part of the maritime connection.
It is ironic that maritime labour shortages are seen as driving the development of remotely piloted, crewless and autonomous ships - especially considering that few people have been enabled to pursue maritime as a livelihood.
Maritime policies must prioritise the training and education of more African seafarers. One way of enabling this is to increase the number of available training berths for cadets. This can occur if a state has more ships flying its flag, but ensuring that these training opportunities are created must be a policy priority.
Gender equality must also be considered, as women make up only a small percentage of seafarer numbers. This needs to change as building good capacity relies on recruiting from the entire population - not half of it.
World Maritime Day is more than a celebration of the maritime networks and connections that we rely on and that bind us together. It represents an opportunity to reflect on how to make these connections better and fairer for Africa.
And as that is the clear destination, it is time to set course and weigh anchor.
Timothy Walker, Researcher, Peace Operations and Peacebuilding Programme, ISS Pretoria
Television personality Ms Justine Nameere has accused Kyaddondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine of reckless driving and "showbizzing" following Tuesday's events at Parliament.
Using her Facebook page, Ms Justine Nameere said: "You (Bobi Wine) were driving your Tundra at break neck speed, the boda men who were leading you and following you kept recklessly and rudely hitting people's cars... many people where affected... "
She further claimed that one of the boda bodas (in Bobi Wine's convoy) knocked a boda boda carrying a pregnant woman. Ms Nameere emphasized that she has nothing against the MP and was only condemning the act as unnecessary and dangerous to other road users.
In the post, she reminded Bobi Wine of other MPs who have fought for Uganda and won elections with landslide victories like Gerald Karuhanga, Abdu Katuntu, Kasiano Wadri, Miria Matembe, Winnie Byanyima and Erias Lukwago, who never drove around showing off, but rather kept the fight intellectual.
She also warned him to forget "yes men and fanatics who will always say what you want" saying there is a 'silent majority' who note what he does and can love or hate him without making noise.
Bobi Wine has so far not written anything on his social media pages in response to the accusation. However, it has sparked a line of mostly angry and abusive comments from people on Facebook, who have called Ms Nameere a hater and a coward. Silas Cyrus asked: "What would you expect from her stupid mouth?" while Nancy Proccie commented that Ms Nameere is "another Abiriga".
Liane Shee asked Ms Nameere if she was interested in other things in the country of national interest. "How about the Entebbe murders, have you made a report yet? The reckless and rude arrest of Erias Lukwago (Kampala Lord Mayor), I guess you are writing about it as well... don't get us off truck instead, look for a red ribbon, or else sit down and be humble."
Although most of the comments were insulting Ms Nameere, a few people came out to support her. Ms Hope Murungi for example, commented: "Whoever was in that truck... that's not the way of driving on public roads!!!" while Naija Praiz said Ms Nameere is "such an intelligent lady. Have loved the politeness in passing your message dear Justine."
Truck transporting ore at the Williamson open pit mine in Tanzania.
Dar es Salaam — Petra Diamonds Limited says it has received authorisation from the government to resume diamond exports and sales from the Williamson mine.
The ban had been placed after a consignment of diamonds was impounded at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) on August 31 on allegations of undervaluation.
"The exact timing and process for the next diamond parcel export to Petra's marketing office in Antwerp and subsequent sale will now be finalised between Petra and the Tanzanian government," a statement released by Petra on Wednesday said.
The government initially said it had confiscated the impounded consignment but later said the ministry of Energy and Minerals said further investigations were taking place to determine the circumstances of the undervaluation.
Criminal proceedings were launched and two government officials have already been charged in court for occasioning a Sh3 billion loss to the government.
A resolution has not yet been reached with regards to the parcel of 71,654.45 carats from Williamson that was blocked for export. The Company will provide an update on this as soon as practicable," Petra's statement reads in part.
Springbok backline coach Franco Smith believes it's an incorrect perception that the side's back three struggles both defensively and in dealing with the high ball.
It's been well-documented that right wing Raymond Rhule - since dropped from the side - slipped nine tackles in the 57-0 loss to the All Blacks in Albany two weekends ago.
But there has been concern over the ability of Courtnall Skosan in the air, too, and with Australia expected to kick on the Springbok back three in Bloemfontein this weekend, Smith was asked on Tuesday to respond to the criticism that the Bok back three is an area of defensive weakness.
"That's a perception. If you look at the detail, and we work with it every day, then that's a perception that is actually wrong," Smith said.
"If you see how much the ball has been dropped by other teams and our predecessors, you will see that it's not much different to what we've been doing.
"In fact, I think we've been working really hard at it and generally there is a big improvement.
"You can't judge a guy if he drops one ball and points come off it. The other three that he handled well must also be noticed as well."
The Bok back three has been unchanged up until now in 2017 with wings Rhule and Skosan, and fullback Andries Coetzee all making their debuts in the first Test against France back in June.
"What must also be noted is that we still sit with one of the most inexperienced back threes in rugby at this stage on the international scene and we've just got to work through this period," Smith added.
"It's seven games we've been together.
"Coach Allister (Coetzee) decided that for us to be competitive there are certain things that must happen. We were spoilt for selection back then."
Smith was referring to the decision from Coetzee and SA Rugby to back more local players, with the rule that no player who is overseas-based and capped less than 30 times at international level can be selected for the Boks.
"We need more players in every role with enough experience and then we need to have the best guy out there," Smith offered, adding that he wanted the Wallabies to test the Boks aerially.
"We know that if we get that ball in the air, we're going to play rugby. We hope they give us a lot of high balls so we can play off it."
Rhule will almost certainly be replaced by Dillyn Leyds on Saturday, and the hope is that the 25-year-old's experience will see him dominate the aerial battle.
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:00.
Follow Sport24's @LloydBurnard for live updates from Bloemfontein...
The team that wins the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019 will have to be clinical when attacking from open play, says Springbok backline coach Franco Smith .
In the past, defence has been seen as critical in winning a World Cup and the scores in the majority of the tournament finals over the years confirm that.
But with the game continuing to evolve, sides are looking to launch attacks from anywhere and everywhere and Smith believes that perfecting the art of attack from open play will be hugely important in 2019.
"I think the team that gels the best at the World Cup in general attack is going to score the tries ... not the best drives or the best lineout," he said from Bloemfontein, where the Boks are preparing for Saturday's Rugby Championship clash against the Wallabies.
"It's going to be who keeps the ball and who gets over the line. To me that is what makes a good team ... when teams start to understand who is going to carry and who is going to pass, how deep we must stand ... there are a lot of factors.
"I believe winning the World Cup in 2019 will be about the team whose general attack is best developed. Because 90 percent of the game consists of general attack from anywhere."
It is a philosophy that the Boks have been looking to implement since the beginning of the year, Smith says.
The emphasis remains ball-in-hand rugby, but Smith knows that it will not happen overnight.
"We will really need to develop as a group in that," he said.
"I know it takes a bit of time, and obviously at Test level we don't have that time, or that luxury. So every moment's training, or even in the games ahead we need to gel together as a team and get our shape as quickly as possible."
Defence, though, would still be key for the Boks in Japan.
"If you look at the scoreboards lately across the world, it looks like scoring tries has become the main emphasis. The rules of the game at this stage lean slightly towards that," Smith said.
"I still believe that the team with the best defence will give himself the chance to win the game, but they will not score tries."
Two weekends ago, the Boks were kept scoreless against the All Blacks in Albany in a performance that did little to suggest they were on the right track attack-wise.
On Saturday against the Wallabies, only tries will do.
Follow Sport24's @LloydBurnard for live updates from Bloemfontein...
Passionate about the game, newly appointed Nelson Mandela Bay Stars chief executive Sean Morris will be aiming to add his own brand of expertise as the franchise strive to make an impact on the inaugural T20 Global League.
Initiated this year in South Africa as an answer to the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Australia's Big Bash, the T20 Global League is poised to change the face of the game in the country.
With high quality international representation and leading South African players among the eight franchises, cricket authorities are confident the new competition will capture the fans' imagination.
And Morris, with a rich cricketing background, will be doing his utmost to ensure Nelson Mandela Bay fans are provided with an experience that will transform them into permanent members of the greater Eastern Cape franchise family.
Born in England, the 49-year-old Morris played professionally for Hampshire in domestic cricket, scoring 101 not out when the county played Kepler Wessels' touring South Africans in 1994.
After his retirement from the game in 1997, he became involved in sports marketing, working for the Dunlop-Slazenger cricket brand. He later became chief executive of the Professional Cricket Association in England, followed by a two-year stint as CEO of the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.
Although he has only visited Port Elizabeth once previously, Morris has a strong connection with South Africa, having played league cricket in Cape Town for five years in the 1990s, soon after the country was invited back into the international fold.
He is now looking forward to ensuring the Nelson Mandela Bay Stars are placed firmly on the map, with a growing excitement about working alongside legends such as ex-Proteas wicketkeeper-batsman Mark Boucher and Zimbabwe fast bowler Heath Streak.
"The thing that particularly attracted me was the appointment as coach of Mark Boucher, whom I know through a number of very close friends," said Morris.
"Working with Mark will be very interesting for me, while Heath Streak is a former team-mate of mine and we worked together only 18 months ago.
"So when you look at the cricket management team, I immediately knew that's grade A - sorted."
Morris said his vision for the franchise was that it was all built around the fan.
"The model is built on the media and sponsorship, but you are only as valuable as your fan base. So, as an investor, your top priority is to grow your fan-base."
He added that the T20 Global League franchise was a huge opportunity for the Nelson Mandela Bay region to promote itself to a massive world audience.
"There is fantastic potential here," said Morris, who jetted into the city over the weekend.
"I guess it's just about the level of confidence. There is a feeling here that we could do something amazing, but are we going to do it?
"It's more than just rocking up for seven games of cricket," he said. "If we get this right, we can get into a position where we can help youngsters, help EP cricket and get the community behind the team.
"We have the potential to do that and we have to find a way of delivering that."
Having romped to an impressive K2 title in 2015, Andy Birkett and Greg Louw will return to Cradock for the 2017 Fish River Canoe Marathon eyeing another shot at taking home the title from October 6-7.
The laid back pair of KwaZulu-Natal's Birkett and Cradock's own Louw formed a strong partnership during the 2015 season that saw them race the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships together and then race at the Fish where they beat the strong K2 duo of Hank McGregor and Jasper Mocké for the title.
Birkett has been in fine form this year winning the Drak Challenge in January, the Dusi Canoe Marathon in February and then grabbing a silver and a bronze at the recent World Marathon Championships in his home town of Pietermaritzburg.
For Louw, who isn't a full-time professional, getting in the training can be difficult however he knows that stretch of river so well that he just makes sure that he is fit enough to compete.
"I am a financial planner these days so I definitely don't have as much time to train as I used to but I try and get in at least one paddle a day," he said.
"Although I don't paddle as much as I would like I still get in some good weekend training sessions which sort of makes up for the lost time.
"Andy (Birkett) is probably one of the fittest people that I know so there is never a doubt that he is going to be in tip-top shape when we get on the water."
The 2015 champions have a strong bond as a combination and their friendship off the water is something that enhances their relationship on the water.
"We have done so much paddling together that we don't really need to do too much preparation.
"It would obviously be better if we could train in the build-up but we live so far away from each other that we will just have to make sure the boat is set up correctly and that not too much has changed in two years!" Louw added.
Having hosted the recent ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships, South Africa has become the preferred post-Worlds holiday destination for a number of the international paddlers, meaning the international entry might be slightly higher.
Louw has seen a number of internationals at the Fish in the past but he believes that this year might be a bit different.
"The international guys in the past have come short quite badly on the Fish due to the big water.
"There are a number of international guys entered for this year's race but the difference is that a number of them have entered with experienced South African paddlers.
"They always posed a threat but I think this year they are going to be a real threat to us!
"With these strong pairs we can normally narrow it down to about ten boats that can dominate the race," a circumspect Louw mentioned.
Despite the fast nature of the race and the pressure on maintaining concentration throughout, Louw does see the importance of making sure you don't empty the tank too early on both days.
"The race at the front is always so quick and close so you have to make sure that you don't make any mistakes because one small mistake can cost you the race.
"With that said, it is equally important that you make sure you conserve yourself because those last ten kilometres can really dish out the hurt if you have gone too hard, too early!" he added.
The 2017 Fish River Canoe Marathon takes place from Grassridge Dam to Cradock Sports Complex on Friday, 6 and Saturday, October 7.
A first Test start for Dillyn Leyds and Francois Louw 's inclusion in the back row are two of the four changes to the Springbok squad to face the Wallabies in Saturday's important Rugby Championship match in Bloemfontein.
The experienced flanker is set to earn his 53rd Test cap for the Springboks, while Leyds will make his fourth appearance and first start on the wing, in place of Raymond Rhule.
Scrumhalf Ross Cronje is over his illness that forced him to withdraw from the New Zealand Test in Albany, while hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle has been included in the match 23 for the first time since the home Test against Italy in June 2013. The experienced Sharks hooker got the nod over Bongi Mbonambi, who played off the bench in the previous seven Test this year.
According to Coetzee, the inclusion of the seasoned Louw will be valuable to the team.
"Francois showed this week that he is in a great condition and he brings a lot of experience to the team," said Coetzee.
"I believe his strength is playing towards the ball, and he is renowned for making good decisions at the defensive breakdown. As a result Jean-Luc moves back to the bench, from where he can make a telling impact."
On Leyds' inclusion, Coetzee said: "It's now the right time to give Dillyn a starting opportunity as I know what I have in Raymond.
"Dillyn has played consistently well in the Currie Cup and deserves a chance. Raymond stays part of our plan and will join up with the squad next week in Cape Town again."
Cronje takes over the scrumhalf duties from Francois Hougaard, who started against New Zealand, while Rudy Paige will provide No 9 cover off the bench.
"It is great to resume the continuity between Ross and Elton Jantjies as a halfback combination. All three of our scrumhalves looked sharp during training this week," said Coetzee.
The Springbok coach said he is expecting his team to deliver a vastly improved performance against Australia this weekend.
"Our preparations have gone well this week and the players are excited and eager to improve on our previous performance," said Coetzee.
"The Wallabies are a good side with many dangerous and classy players across the board. And they would have gained a lot of confidence from their previous outings."
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6, Francois Louw, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende
15 Israel Folau, 14 Marika Koroibete, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes (from): 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Lukhan Tui, 21 Ned Hanigan, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Samu Kerevi, 24 Henry Speight
The South African Sevens team contesting the Oktoberfest 7s in Munich, Germany this weekend is keen to start the season on a positive note and set the tone for the remainder of the world calendar.
The SA squad's coach at the tournament, Paul Delport , said they have settled in well since arrival in Germany on Monday and are eager to express themselves and compete against some of the best teams in the world.
"It is early for us, as we have not played for a while and our squad has not had booted up in any tournaments leading up to the Oktoberfest 7s," said Delport, a former Blitzboks captain.
"We had some solid build-up work in Stellenbosch though, travelled well and are well looked after here. We now need to go and do the work on the field.
"Things are going well and the guys are all on the same page. All the players are comfortable and confident with their role in that system and what they need to do to make the system work."
Included in the South African team are seven players that represented the Springbok Sevens team in the 2016/17 World Rugby Sevens Series, while the remaining five formed part of the SA Rugby Sevens Academy team that played and won the Howard Hinton Sevens in Tours, France in June, their last competitive outing.
They will face a number of familiar foes in Pool A in the Munich's Olympic Stadium, with France, Spain and Portugal all naming teams with plenty of World Series experience.
"We have a tough pool in playing those European teams, but the guys are all looking forward to playing them," said Delport.
"We have done our analysis and we know how we want to play against each of them. The guys are really keen to get out there on the pitch and do what they do best. The weather is great, the sun is out and the guys are enjoying the beauty of Munich. Now we just want to go and play."
World Series regulars, Dylan Sage and Siviwe Soyizwapi, highlight the SA team's experience, with Sage providing the leadership as captain on this trip. Soyizwapi will be looking to provide the main thrust on attack. He scored 29 tries in last year's World Series, second only behind Seabelo Senatla (34).
Delport is keen to see some of the newer recruits in the team express themselves and push for a place in the Blitzboks squad that will play in the World Series, Commonwealth Games and Rugby World Cup Sevens in the calendar year.
"We have some talented individuals that have a great chance to make a name for themselves. I am pretty keen to see them in action," Delport admitted.
On Friday, South Africa will play Portugal at 15h01, Spain at 17h53 and France at 20h45.
Pools: Pool A: South Africa , France, Spain, Portugal
Pool B: England, Argentina, Germany, Uganda
Pool C: Fiji, Australia, Chile, Ireland
The South African squad (with number of World Series tournaments): Marco Labuschagne (1), Sako Makata (0), Selvyn Davids (1), Siviwe Soyizwapi (12), Ryan Oosthuizen (4), Zain Davids (6), Dewald Human (2), Dylan Sage (captain, 17), Tythan Adams (0), Mosolwa Mafuma (0), Impi Visser (0), Mfundo Ndhlovo (0).
Management: Paul Delport (coach), Ashley Evert (manager), Hugh Everson (physiotherapist).