Art Basel's renowned talks series, will once again bring together leading artists, gallerists, collectors, art historians, curators, museum directors and critics from across the world. Programmed for the fourth year by Mari Spirito, Founding Director of Protocinema, Conversations provides a platform for dialogues and discussions on current topics, offering diverse perspectives on collecting and exhibiting art and the wider artworld ecosystem.

The 3rd edition of the LAFF Festival (Lausanne Afro Fusions Festival), the first Afro-positive festival in Switzerland, will take place from 19 to 22 July 2018. We expect between 10,000 and 20,000 people. With the beautiful Place de l'Europe in Lausanne, in the district of Flon, this edition will be dedicated to local and international discoveries.

UK – Gisa Fuatai Purcell, a national of Samoa has been appointed as Director of ICT Development Department of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO). The Director of ICT Development, who reports to the Secretary-General is responsible for overall strategic direction of the operational divisions of Capacity Development, Events and Technical Support and Consultancy.

Pressident Xi Jinping of China (You Tube)

Africa Link Reports

Last month, ahead of his ill-fated African tour, then US secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, warned African governments about the amount of debt they were loading up from China. In reaction, there was collective eye-rolling around the world, and especially in Africa, as China’s largest debtor seemed to be lecturing African countries, without irony, about the perils of taking on too much Chinese debt.

A two-day Forum is being slated for 26-27April 2018 in Nairobi on The role of private sector in providing innovative solutions to the water sector in Kenya and Eastern African Region.

Ghana - The Ghanaian capital Accra will host for two days, the 5th edition of the African Summit of Palm Oil and Rubber. The event, entitled “moving forward with sustainable oil palm in Africa and improving smallholder’s productivity; continued resilience of natural rubber in the face of challenges” will be held next 25-16 April.

(Ecofin Agency) - Gwladys Johnson Akinocho

Africa Link Reports

The Burkinabe government plans to increase its electrification rate to 45% from the current 20%, by 2020. This was announced by Paul Kaba Thiéba (photo), the Prime Minister during a parliamentary audience.

Siemens has provided automation equipment and industrial networks to assist Anglo’s Engineering Skills Training Centre (ESTC). One of the pillars of Digitalization is industrial networks and security and it is crucial that these engineers understand the role of this technology in the future of mining.


Grid List

By Sola Ogundipe and Chioma Obinna

As Nigeria is aiming to excel in the ongoing 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia, the country is already in the race to win the undesirable Obesity World Cup.

According to a World Cup Scorecard on Obesity conducted among the 32 countries participating in the World Cup finals, Nigeria ranks among countries with lower obesity prevalence but has the highest rates of growth in overweight and obese adults.

Although the Scorecard shows that obesity is increasing among children in these countries, it showed that in 2016, the proportion of children aged 5-9 with excess bodyweight (BMI >+1sd) in 2016 was 9 per cent while 29 per cent of Nigeran adults were obese or overweight. Nigeria also ranked 150 out of 195 globally in 2016.

The Scorecard, entitled: Keeping The Score - The Global Obesity & The World Cup, shows that the obesity world cup is a world cup no country wants to win even as it is observed that Nigeria is having a 6 per cent steady growth over the last 10 years.

The Scorecard, conducted with data from the World Health Organisation, WHO, however, showed how the 32 finalists are facing an even bigger challenge than the top title in football - the obesity crisis.

Further, the Scorecard showed that although Nigeria is ranked towards the bottom, obesity is recognised as the next epidemiological burden that the country is bound to face, in the face of prevailing infectious diseases like malaria, HIV, and TB.

Data from the 2016 Nigerian Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth shows rising obesity and overweight prevalence among Nigerian children. It shows 12 per cent of Nigerian children are obese and overweight.

Also, the number of obese children and adolescents aged five to 19 years worldwide rose 10-fold in the past four decades, a UN-backed study revealed recently.

The World Health Organisation, WHO said in the study that if current trends continued, there would be more obese children and adolescents than those moderately or severely underweight by 2022. The study led by Imperial College London and WHO was published in The Lancet.

According to the Scorecard, obesity is now a global epidemic, with rates rising across the world, including every one of the 32 World Cup finalists.

In the Scorecard, Saudi Arabia secured the unwanted title of being the country in the tournament with the highest rate of overweight and obesity.

According to latest data from the WHO, 70 per cent of adults in Saudi Arabia are overweight or obese, more than double that of the lowest ranking World Cup country, Japan.

England has the highest obesity score of the European countries and comes in fourth overall with a staggering 63 per cent of adults registering as overweight or obese. Australia (third) and Mexico (second) highlight that obesity has run rampant across the world and urgently needs action.

The Scorecard, however, noted that governments have the tools to tackle obesity which is recognised as the gateway disease to cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Obesity describes someone who is very overweight with a high degree of body fat. Being a little overweight may not cause many noticeable problems, but once you are carrying a few extra kilograms, you may develop symptoms that affect your daily life.

Recommending the way out of the current situation, the experts noted that fiscal interventions such as the soda tax, investment in physical activity, and prioritisation of childhood obesity are all proven to be successful.

Reacting to the Scorecard, Chief Executive of the World Obesity Federation, Johanna Ralston said: "These figures are a wake-up call to all the World Cup finalists. Just because you have qualified for the World Cup doesn't mean your population as a whole are healthy.

"Now is the time for bold action on obesity, including the introduction of sugar taxes, which have proven to be effective in a number of countries, including the UK."

Also speaking, Co-Chair of the WHO Independent High-level Commission on NCDs, Dr. Sania Nishtar, stated: "The obesity epidemic is a leading cause of ill-health in countries across the world, and governments in every one of these World Cup countries must act urgently to stop the crisis.

"It's important to ensure that all children are able to play sport, enjoy a balanced nutritious diet and not be targeted by health harming advertisements."

Findings shows that a growing number of countries are adopting measures to tackle obesity, it is a sign that governments are waking up to the economic and social damage of this epidemic.

Although the report of the WHO High level Commission on NCDs fell short of recommending soda taxes, it is nonetheless a measure that is increasingly being used by countries around the world as one of a range of measures to tackle the obesity epidemic.

Corroborating their views, Chair of NCD Child, Mychelle Farmer, said: "Tackling obesity doesn't have to be complicated, and countries which have recognised the scale of the problem and taken measures to fight it have already begun to see positive results. We owe it to the next generation, whether or not they grow up to be football players, to prioritise this global disease."

By David Mwere

The controversial acquisition of the Sh8 billion CT scan machines has come back to haunt the government after a parliamentary committee summoned Health Principal Secretary Peter Tum to explain why the cost of the machines was inflated.

Mr Tum will Monday appear before the National Assembly's Public Accounts Committee, which is chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi.

The contract for acquiring of the machines was signed between the Treasury on behalf of Kenyan government and China through the China Development Bank, on August 21, 2017.

The agreement saw the Chinese government commit to fund 80 per cent of the cost of the 37 CT scanners, with Kenya paying the balance, which is about Sh1.7 billion.


The supplier is required to supply, install and maintain the scanners in hospitals identified by the Ministry of Health for five years.

However, the controversy arose when the Treasury released the Sh1.7 billion in advance without the approval of the National Assembly, as required by the Public Finance Management Act.

Although one machine was supposed to cost Sh75 million, it has emerged that it was varied to Sh235 million, in what could be blatant misuse of public funds as the country continues to be treated to mega scandals in the public service.

This emerged even as the Treasury clarified that the amount includes the cost of the scanners, accessories, training of staff-radiographers and related infrastructure.

Mr Tum has twice failed to appear before the committee but yesterday, Mr Wandayi said that the committee expects him to respond to the "weighty issues" on the use of public funds.


"What is coming out within the public service is that there is every desire to circumvent the law and occasion huge expenditures without following the law as well as inflating the cost without paying due regard to the limited resources we have as a country," Mr Wandayi said.

In addition to the CT-scanners, the PS will also have a session with the watchdog committee on the Sh14 billion expenditure at the ministry, which Auditor- General Edward Ouko, has also questioned in a special audit of the ministry's accounts for the 2015/16 financial year.

The committee will also be seeking to know whether the Jubilee administration's policy on leasing of equipment in the spirit of public- private partnership, as happened in the Sh9 billion leasing of medical equipment to county governments this year, among other key sectors, has changed.


The CT Scan project was to enable the public access to specialised services based on advanced technology at affordable cost.

This is due to the technology's ability to make fast and accurate diagnosis in emergencies. According to the Ministry of Health, there is a serious shortage of CT scanners in public hospitals.

The country has about 2.2 scanners per one million people (90 CT Scanners in the country), of which only 18 low-capacity machines are in public hospitals, and available in only 16 of 47 counties. Of the 18 machines, six are not functional hence the need to procure the 37 machines.

Constraints in funding delayed the project that was initially supposed to be rolled out in 2014 alongside the medical equipment supplies (MES).


Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung'wah, who chairs the Budget and Appropriations Committee in the National Assembly, has in the past, faulted Treasury for unilaterally approving the Sh1.7 billion payment before rushing to have the MPs' nod through supplementary budget.

According to Mr Ichung'wah, the purchase of the machines is not an emergency issue as contemplated under article 233 of the constitution, which allows the Treasury to spend public funds without necessarily getting the nod of the MPs in case of emergency.


The budget committee has been planning to tour the health facilities across the country to establish whether the purchase happened and if so, whether the machines are of the right quality.

On June 11, Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki launched the initial batch of 10 CT Scans at Thika level five hospital, which is among the first 10 hospitals in the country to receive the machines.

The others are Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), Iten, Kakamega, Kerugoya, Olkalou, Narok, Kericho and Voi.

The installation of the scanners takes about 6 weeks. On May 25, about 11 radiologists/ radiographers and 10 biomedical engineers left the country for a- two week training in China.

By Tausi Ally

Dar es Salaam — Chadema national chairman Freeman Mbowe has been admitted to Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) after fainting on Monday morning, June 18, 2018.

Mr Mbowe was supposed to attend the hearing of his case at the Kisutu Resident Magistrates' Court.

His lawyer Jeremiah Mtobesya and surety Grayson Celestine told the Kisutu Principal Resident Magistrate, Mr Wilbard Mashauri, that leader of the official opposition camp had suddenly fallen sick.

"Mr Mbowe is admitted to MNH," said Mr Mtobesya.

MNH communications and public relations director Aminiel Aligaesha confirmed that Mr Mbowe was admitted on the morning. "He was brought today by his family."

According to Mr Mtobesya, Mr Mbowe, who doubles as Hai MP, has also lost his brother Henry Mbowe who died yesterday night at Tumaini Hospital.

Mr Mbowe is charged at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court together with other top leaders with staging an unlawful demonstration in the city during the run-up to the February parliamentary by-election in Kinondoni, prompting police to fire live bullets to disperse demonstrators.

Others in the case are the party's secretary general, Dr Vincent Mashinji; the deputy secretary general (Mainland), Mr John Mnyika; the deputy secretary general (Zanzibar), Mr Salum Mwalimu, and Women Wing's national chairperson, Ms Halima Mdee.

Others are Tarime MP John Heche, Iringa Urban legislator Peter Msigwa and Bunda Urban lawmaker Esther Bulaya.

Photo: Chevron

A child receiving care at JFK Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia.

By J. Burgess Carter

An Act to establish a fund to finance the provision of free health services and medical care for the aged and disabled Liberian citizens has been submitted to the Senate for enactment into law.

According to those who crafted the Act titled, "Law on Free Health Services and Medical Care for the Aged, and Disabled," Senators Varney Sherman and Armah Zolu Jallah, a beneficiary of the law, "is a Liberian citizen who is above the age of 65 years, and has no employment or other sources of income to pay for his/her needed health services."

The disabled under the proposed Act, is a Liberian citizen who has physical disability that makes it impossible for him/her to earn an income, and who does not have any source of income to cater for his/her needed medical care.

A disabled referenced in the Act, is a Liberian whose physical or medical impairment is such that he/she is not movable by himself/herself, and therefore, is not employable and does not have any source of income to pay for... needed health services.

If passed into law, the Free Health Services and Medical Care shall be financed by the imposition of US$0.10 cents on each gallon of petroleum products (diesel or gasoline ) imported into the country, for which the importer shall collect from consumers of petroleum products and remit to an account at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), which carries the title, "Free Health Services and Medical Care Fund."

The Liberia Petroleum Refining Corporation (LPRC), under this law, "shall as agency for licensing importers of petroleum products, ensure and cause to be ensured that all importers. ..shall collect and cause to be collected and deposited into the special account at the CBL for the Free Health Services and Medical Care Fund the US$0.10 cents surcharge on each gallon of gasoline and diesel imported into the country."

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The National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP), according to the proposed Act, "shall be the instrument of the government, which shall be responsible for the execution and implementation of this law and shall supervise the performance of the not-for-profit, philanthropic corporation or foundation, which shall be appointed by the President for the management and administration of the Free Health Services and Medical Care Fund."

In order to benefit from the Free Health Services and Medical Fund, "an aged and the disabled person must register with NASSCORP, obtain an identification card, which, when presented at/to any health/medical care delivery service owner/provider shall obligate such owner/provider to serve the required and needed health service and needed medical care to the presenter of the identification card."

The Free Health Services and Medical Care Fund shall be audited bi-annually (twice a year) by the General Auditing Commission, "and each audit report shall be submitted within 30 days after its completion to the Legislature for its necessary action.

One of those crafted the Act, former Senate Protempore, now chair of Senate Committee on Public Works, Armah Jallah, in an interview with our Legislative reporter, said that NASCORP Law only benefit Liberians employed or formerly employed in the mainstream of the country's economy, but no such social welfare is provided by the government or any of its institutions and agencies to the aged and the disabled Liberian citizens.


J. Burgess Carter

press release

The Department of Health has released new data on reduction in TB mortality cases from drug resistant Tuberculosis (DR - TB) in South Africa through use of the latest medicine, called Bedaquiline.

South Africa has a large number of people with drug resistant tuberculosis, many of whom were diagnosed since the expanded use of the latest diagnostic technology - GeneXpert in 2011. Treating patients with drug resistant tuberculosis has been difficult with old medicines used which had many negative side effects and over long periods - often up to 24 months.

However, a new medicine for the treatment of drug resistant tuberculosis, Bedaquiline, became available in 2013 and the National Department of Health was granted permission by the Medicine Control Council(MCC) to provide Bedaquiline to drug resistant TB patients who had limited treatment options, through the Bedaquiline Clinical Access Program (BCAP).

Two hundred patients who were either pre-XDR TB or had XDR TB, received the medicine under controlled conditions. Of the 200 patients between March 2013 and March 2015, three quarters (146/200) had a favourable outcome (cure and treatment completion). Twenty five patients (12.5%) died, which was much lower than the 50% for patients not receiving Bedaquiline. It was also found that patients on a Bedaquiline regimen also reported far fewer adverse events.

According to the Department, following registration of Bedaquiline by the Medicine Control Council (MCC) now called South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), the National TB Programme (NTP) made the medication available more widely. About 15,000 Rifampicin Resistant Tuberculosis (RR-TB) patients have either received or are currently receiving Bedaquiline under programmatic conditions, which is approximately two-thirds of the global uptake of Bedaquiline. Rifampicin Resistant Tuberculosis is a severe form of TB where the patients have germs that are resistant to Rifampicin, which is the strongest TB medicine.

A retrospective cohort analysis of records of all Rifampicin Resistant Tuberculosis patients receiving treatment regimens inclusive of Bedaquiline were associated with a 41% increase in treatment success and a 3-fold reduction in mortality compared with those that did not get the medication. The Department has taken a decision to now make Bedaquiline available to all eligible Rifampicin Resistant Tuberculosis patients, that is, not only the extensively drug resistant TB patients or those with limited treatment options as done previously.

This means that for the first time, an injection free regimen will be recommended for all patients with Rifampicin Resistant Tuberculosis patients in South Africa. Additionally, patients with MDR-TB will now also receive Bedaquiline as part of more patient friendly short regimen which is expected to improve adherence and ensure success.

Issued by: Department of Health

By Emmanuel Ainebyoona

Kampala — About 46,000 Ugandans contracted HIV last year, according to new Uganda Aids Commission (UAC) study findings released yesterday.

These infections are, however, a drop from the 52,000 recorded the year before, according to UAC Director General, Dr Nelson Musoba.

"The number of new infections stood at 46,000 in 2017," he said.

The release of the report launched by Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, marked the first anniversary of the Presidential Fast Track Initiative (PFTI) to end Aids in Uganda by 2030.

A total 8.8m individuals tested, some multiple times, and 250, 000 overall were found to carry the deadly virus.

This statistical mismatch, UAC noted, was due to repeat tests as well as cumulative enrolment and does not necessarily mean new infections.

This would mean up to 200,000 of the recorded cases were repeat tests if only 46,000 were new infections.

The good news in the report is that, unlike in the past, more men are willingly testing for HIV, particularly those aged 15 and above.

Six in every 10 persons who tested positive last year were put on antiretroviral treatment, according to the report, bringing the total number of people receiving medication to 1m. Aids-related deaths, meanwhile, have reduced from 100,000 per year in 2004 to about 20,000 last year.

More significant progress was reported in the elimination of mother-to-child transmission campaign, with the report showing that Uganda is closer to achieving the global target of 95 per cent antiretroviral treatment coverage for HIV-positive pregnant and or breast-feeding women.

"In 2017, 91 per cent HIV-positive mothers identified were enrolled on antiretroviral treatment in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programme," notes the researchers.

Explaining the impact of behavioural changes as a result of the various prevention messages, Dr Musoba said the HIV prevalence had reduced by 1.3 percentage point in five years to 2016.

Dr Eddie Sefuluya, the new UAC board chairman, said older men buy sex from and infect youth.

Highlighting the achievements of the presidential initiative, Dr Sefuluya said some 5,000 leaders in 93 districts are mobilising the population for behaviour change based on the message in the PFTI handbook.

However, persistent stock-out of Aids drugs, scarcity of HIV testing supplies, limited follow-up of HIV-positive children and delayed operationalisation of the Aids Trust Fund remain a setback, according to the report.

HIV in numbers

52,000. These infections are, however, a drop from the 52,000 recorded the year before.

1m. Six in every 10 persons who tested positive last year were put on antiretroviral treatment, according to the report, bringing the total number of people receiving medication to 1m.

20,000. Aids-related deaths, meanwhile, have reduced from 100,000 per year in 2004 to about 20,000 last year.

95. More significant progress was reported in the elimination of mother-to-child transmission campaign, with the report showing that Uganda is closer to achieving the global target of 95 per cent antiretroviral treatment coverage for HIV-positive pregnant and or breast-feeding women.

Live DVD recordings of various gospel musicians have inspired Christians in many parts of the world and the trend continues to grow.

Many live recordings that feature groups of inspirational singers have made a mark in the praise and worship sector.

One group that has come up with inspirational live recordings is Spirit Praise that has done many recordings that are set to change the face of praise and worship in the gospel arena.

The outfit last year hosted the One Voice concert that featured a number of groups from various churches. The event was well attended and recorded live by a number of professional videographers. It is an annual event and its third edition is expected to take part later this year.

Organisers allowed groups to do their various recordings and Spirit Praise also did a recording of their performance at the event.

Their "Once Voice" DVD is now ready and it will be launched on July 7 at 99 Park Lane in Harare. The event will run from 5pm to 8pm.

The DVD also comes with an audio version and features songs like "Anodaira Munamato", "Zodzo Renyu", "Makandiregerera" and "Mandiratidza Rudo Rwenyu".

It will be a double launch as it will also see the unveiling of "Worship Moments 2" DVD that was shot by Spirit Praise at their traditional venue at 99 Park Lane early this year.

"Worship Moments" is another annual recording from Spirit Praise. This year's edition was done in February and it has songs that include "Ndizadzei", "Mandivhenekera", "Trust in God "," Anodaira Munamato" and "Tawana Zororo".

Spirit Praise leader Learnmore Tavengwa said their plans for the July 7 double launch have been going on well and they expect many top musicians to be part of the event.

"We are happy to launch our two DVDs. It will give people that did not manage to attend the recordings a taste of what was happening at the events. We are engaging many top musicians to be part of the event," said Tavengwa.

"We hold the two events every year and our mission is to spread the word of God through music. We are only doing what we can afford with our tight budget. If we get sponsorship, we will be able to come up with bigger projects that speak to people's souls in a bigger way. We have seen other countries doing it in mega ways and we know Zimbabwe has a bigger potential."

He said they have also started preparing for this year's one voice concert and they are planning to host about 50 gospel groups on a date to be announced in due course.

By Chris Loka

Lilongwe based electric stage performer, Maxwell Olloto says all is set for his long awaited 'Muyeseni Yesu' double album launch scheduled to take place on 1 July at the confluence of all gospel music lovers in Lilongwe, Sheafer ICA Marquee.

Speaking in an interview with Nyasa Times, Olloto said he has done all the necessary preparations for his great day where he is expected to take another step in his music career.

"All those that have a taste of good music will experience fireworks. We're currently immersed in massive preparations," he said

According to Olloto, he wants to make the launch to be one of its kinds, and said people should be looking forward to the best.

"It will be a serious thing, people should expect beyond what they heard from my CD and DVD, because on live performances we do according to how the Holy Spirit is moving us" he said.

He added "My fans must expect good work beyond what I have given them because God is promising powerful messages in Music and performances will be changing every time".

The album, recorded at One Heart Studio by Lloyd Phiri has 10 songs including Sindili ndekha, Matamando Kwa inu, zonse ali nazo, anadutsamo yesu and Manyazi anga atha which is enjoying massive airplay on a number of radio stations.

Some of the artists on the menu to perform during the day include Great Angels choir, Maggie Mangani, Allan Chirwa, Andy Seko, Shammah Vocals, Soul Saver Praise Team, Favoured Martha, Norman Phiri among others.

In a separate interview Allan Chirwa said he is also prepared to dish out the best performance ever.

Olloto's music careers spans as way back as 2012 when he released his debut album titled 'Mundikumbukire'

By Robin Dopoe

Back in the early 1960s, Liberian Broadcasting Corporation and top hangout spots like the Ducor Hotel ballroom primarily kept their fans entertained with foreign music, creating a situation that made Liberian music unfamiliar and unpopular.

This forced bands like 'Melody 8 Dance Band' of J. Richard Snetter's to focus on performing foreign hit songs back then. However, this limited their ability to record their own songs. But things changed when Morris Dorley came to the limelight with the song "Grand Gedeh Oh! Oh!"

The song became an instant hit, virtually a national anthem, and was performed during the 1969 birthday celebration of President Tubman. Producing his own song, Dorley became the first Liberian artist to have performed at a presidential event.


A native of Bomi County and a Gola by tribe, Dorley fought against all odds and became the first Liberian musician to break away from the influence of American songs and record 'Afro-Liberian' music.

Veteran music producer Charles Snetter, who was a longtime close friend of Morris Dorley, described him as the "forgotten father of Liberia's music industry." Both friends started to know each other in Caldwell, a township in the outskirt of Monrovia.

Charles Snetter added that if it were not because of Morris Dorley's bravery to break away from foreign music, there could have been no huge demand for Liberian music like it is done nowadays.

"Although Dorley may have been forgotten, he led the movement that made Liberia music loved by its own people. He laid the foundation for others to follow. Indeed Dorley inspired a lot of musicians who came after him, whether female or male. His music was soulful and touching. Lyrics on point. And he was a musical genius and good performer who always thrilled his audience. He was a regular person who lived a simple life," Mr. Snetter said.

Zack Robert of the defunct 1980 hit group Zack and Geebah, said: "Dorley was the precursor for many of us and even today's generational Liberian artists.

"He laid the foundation of which we came and benefit from. He was more than a talented guy. He was a musical genius. He was a person who knew good music and what is soulful to the ear," Zack said.

Born in 1946, according to oral history, Morris Dorley discovered his musical talent when he started to learn how to play a traditional guitar. After moving to Caldwell, he began pursuing his musical career. The talented singer released a little over six LP compilations, which include the hit singles "Who Are You Baby", "Osia" and "Voinjama,"--two bangers that rock every corner of the country and cemented his status as a godfather of Liberian music.

However, this was not Dorley stopping point. The legendary singer when on to gain international recognition in the West Africa sub-region when he performed the song "Who Are You Baby," at FESTAC 77 and won an award for it.

According to music pundits, the sub-region got to start liking Liberian music after Dorley performed his Who Are You Baby song. Pundits added it opened the ears of citizens of the sub-region to new songs and a style of music that was hard to resist.

"Upon introduction, he could immediately form a coherent mental image from which he would spontaneously compose a song to accurately describe that person. This instantaneous song composition was his unique talent," veteran radio personality George Kiadii Kiadii said of Morris Dorley.

"Frankly speaking, Dorley was truly talented and gifted, with that enchanting music voice that was pleasant to the earth. At FESTAC 77, he overshadowed all the big African artists who attended the event with his performance. That clearly showed how talented he was," Mr. Snetter said. "It was through him that Liberian music became exported to the sub-region and the rest of the world."

Career misses

Unfortunately, despite the fame and international recognition, Dorley was not able to capitalize on it to have a successful monetized music career. Although he made some money from his work, Dorley suffered a lot from serious financial circumstances since he was usually exploited.

Mr. Snetter explained that Dorley's financial struggles came about as a result of not willing to have a management team or manager to negotiate fair and favorable contracts on his behalf.

"His financial woes led him to become an alcoholic and later on a street singer. He never trusted anybody to manage him but rather drop in the boxes, which has to do with pocket change. Worst of all, he sold his intellectual property rights just for anything, so he found it difficult after retiring from music to make money. Since he was not educated and never wanted a manager, producers exploited him a lot by paying him to make music for them.

According to a post from blogger Mulubah quoting acclaimed music producer Toniah Williams, she explained that Dorley never trusted or accepted management.

"He was not formally educated, so he did not understand the proper role of a manager, which is to negotiate a better contract for the artist and for promotional purposes. Instead, counter-intuitively, Dorley would demand payment before appearing on a radio station for a live interview, even when the free publicity would have undoubtedly been beneficial to his career.

"Understandably, many radio personalities refused to acquiesce to these demands, to the ultimate detriment of Dorley's career. For purely personal reasons, Dorley chose not to retain a manager," blogger Berenice Mulubah quotes Mr. William in a social media.

Despite Dorley's numerous mistake, on some occasions, his musical colleagues and friends would step in to make sure he received his fair share. The legendary Dorley died of alcoholism.

"The sad thing is Dorley died poor. Not just poor but as an alcoholic," Mr. Snetter said.

Although Morris Dorley died poor, there is hope:his family can still claim the intellectual property of his music; thus helping them to make money from his work.

By Thomas Matiko

Kenyan songstress Vivian Wambui, better known as Vivian, has hit the studio with the 13-year-old Githurai girl who warmed hearts with a melodious rendition of Alicia Keys' hit song Girl on Fire.

The young girl, identified as Gracious Amani, left the internet in awe after the video of her brief act went viral.

Among the many people who were dazzled by her melodious voice was the Chum Chum singer Vivian who together with her manager and fiancé Sam West went looking for the young talent.

Singer Vivian ties the knot in beautiful traditional wedding - VIDEO

Vivian and Sam managed to trace Gracious and they have since been spending time in the studio recording a new song.

According to Sam, the Vivian plans to mentor the young girl who has shown interest in getting into music.

"They are recording a song together then they will shoot a video for the same. The girl has shown interest in music and Vivian is more than willing to mentor her through her musical career," said Sam who added that he's also in talks with the girl's father to manage her musically.

By Thomas Matiko

One-time bongo flava superstar Ray C, has asked the Tanzanian media not to play her songs when she dies. The songbird, who is currently living in Kenya, made the wish just days after fellow bongo artiste Sam wa Ukweli was laid to rest.

The Moto Moto hit maker also bashed the Tanzanian media for giving Sam wa Ukweli songs too much airplay after his death, wondering why they couldn't do the same while he was still alive.

"Sometimes I wonder what's with the bongo media. You have to die for your songs to receive massive airplay including the ones that have not been officially released. What's the purpose of supporting us when we are dead? When I die they shouldn't even bother giving me a promo," Ray C said.

Ray C, whose promising musical career hit a snug after she got into drug abuse, has been trying so hard to make a music comeback since she got better.

Photo: Premium Times

The late Moses Ochei aka Mozzyx on his hospital bed.

By Jayne Augoye

Moses Ochie, the one half of veteran Nigerian pop duo, Fellyx n' Mozzyx, is dead. He died on Saturday night.

He was 49 years old.

The ace singer, who died in his Lagos home, battled a chronic kidney ailment for seven years.

He was reportedly diagnosed with the ailment on Christmas day in 2011. He was preparing for a kidney transplant and hip bone replacement surgery before his death.

His death was confirmed by the board and management of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) who described him as a very talented and committed member of the society.

Coson's Head, Corporate Affairs, Chibueze Okereke, said the society took active steps to generate resources to support his treatment, but he passed on before the treatment could commence.

His ex-band mate and partner, Felix Eiremiokhae, also took to Facebook to pay his last respects.

He wrote, "So sad but with thankfulness to God for the life he gave to our brother, Moses. It was a seven year battle with kidney issues and for seven years he fought both here in Nigeria and in India where he successfully did a transplant which later failed with complications and he fought to the last day . In 1991, he sang "I wanna be free", wanting to be free and today, he is free from all the troubles of this sinful world. RIP Moses (FELLYX & MOZZYX) the late 80's/90's pop musical group. I believe the angels are smiling welcoming you home with open arms."

In a 2011 interview, he detailed how he was diagnosed with the ailment.

"My body started to swell up initially and I thought I was getting fat, but later discovered that it was not normal. Then, when I pressed my body, it was like a loaf of bread soaked in water.

"About two years ago. I was first admitted to a Lagos hospital from where I was transferred to another to get life support. So, while that was going on, I knew that I would need a kidney transplant. Moses Ochei of Fellyx & Mozzyx," he told PM News.

In the interview, he also revealed that despite their fame, they (Fellyx n' Mozzyx) were not rich.

He also revealed that he quit his job as a marketer in an outfit called ESP Nigeria due to personal reasons.

The late singer tried making a comeback into the music industry as a gospel artiste. He was to release his new single 'Trust in Jehovah' - a spinoff of Michael Jackson's 'Wanna be starting something', but it is unclear if he ever did.

The late singer and his life-long friend performing as the duo, Fellyx n' Mozzyx, recorded three albums, 'Iziegbe', 'Free' and 'Ruff n Naked' which titillated music fans in Lagos and beyond in the 90s and thereafter. The albums were released by the then Polygram and now Premier Music label.

Those familiar with Lagos night clubs especially the popular Niteshift Coliseum, will not forget the group that held music lovers spell bound, event after event in a hurry.

Late Moses Ochie

One of the country's first generation hip-hop music groups, some of their classic hits include I Wanna Be Free, Money Come Woman Come, Money Go woman Go among others.

His death comes a week after Reggae musician, Ras Kimono, passed on.

By Winnie Atieno

Principals will now be held accountable for the safety of learners in schools, Teachers Service Commission says.

Teacher Management Director Mary Rotich ordered the principals to protect students especially girls learning in both boarding and day schools.

Speaking during the annual Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association conference at the Wild Waters Centre in Mombasa, Ms Rotich said TSC is committed to ensuring safety and security of all learners.

Ms Rotich who was coordinating the teacher's recognition presentations where 21 principals showcased their professional work however denied journalist an interview regarding learners' safety in the wave of sex abuse storm.


Some weeks ago, a Form Two student at Moi Girls Nairobi was raped by an unknown man.

Police are still investigating the circumstances under which the incident happened.Recently, Maasai Girls School in Narok was closed indefinitely after students protested an alleged case of sexual harassment by a male teacher. Some 700 girls at the school walked out in protest.

The 8,000 principals are discussing education, security and their welfare.The school managers want the government to fund the installation of surveillance cameras in schools and employ former military officers to boost security and curb sexual violence.


The school managers said male students were also prone to abuse by female teachers, but they usually keep mum.

This year's theme 'Redirecting the education sector in Kenya' seeks to address policies and challenges affecting the profession while executing their mandate.

"You are personally responsible to ensure students safety. Don't tell us it is the board. On Saturday a board member texted me informing me about a principal and deputy who had not attended a meeting," Ms Rotich said.

She directed the school managers to appoint somebody to be in charge whenever they are away.

"We will hold you accountable because you are the mother and father of your institutions.

But in response, the principals said it is not logical that they should be held responsible solely.

SUPPORT"Because there are certain things that you have to institute with the support of the board. If the board cannot approve certain things as a principal, you may not execute them. But if you go against the board, something happens and people have to ask questions, you have to get the board's approval. Maybe it was a slip of the tongue from Ms Rotich," Kessha chairman Indimuli Kahi responded.Mr Kahi insisted that principals cannot institute anything that is capital in a learning institution without approval of the board of management.

He said board of management as an institution involves both principal and the managers and that the principal is just a secretary to the board.

"We have security challenges in our schools but most pertinent is the recent sexual violence. We strongly condemn the sexual violence in schools but it is not a whole teaching profession problem, we should deal with individual teachers or principals," Mr Kahi said.

By Winnie Atieno

Officials of the secondary school principals' association have blamed chaos that marred election of new leaders on the mass transfer of head teachers.

Kenya Secondary School Head Teachers Association (Kessha) chairman Indimuli Kahi said the transfers, effected through the delocalisation policy, affected the elections.

"Normally Kessha elections are held through consensus. We had already negotiated and, as a chairman, I was finishing my predecessor John Awiti's term who retired prematurely. Since I was his deputy, I took over as dictated by our constitution," Mr Kahi explained.

Mr Kahi said Central region, who led the protests, were given the national secretary position previously held by Ms Grace Wanjiru who was initially a principal in the region but was later transferred to Rift Valley.

"Central region delegates insisted the position should be theirs and they demanded it but Ms Wanjiru also wanted to defend her seat. That's where the dispute arose and no one wanted to step down," he added.

Following the stalemate, Central delegates surged towards the dais as they demanded stoppage of elections, causing a 20-minute ruckus at the Wild Waters in Mombasa where the high school principals are attending their annual conference.

They accused the election officials, including Mr Kahi, of discriminating against them and seeking to lock out their preferred candidate.

"We know there is a scheme to lock out a candidate from Central and replace him with someone from Rift Valley. We will not allow this discriminative act to continue," said Mr Kamau Kamatu, who is the principal of Thigio Boys High School.

The election was stopped for about 10 minutes for election officials and representatives from Central region to settle the issue.

After an agreement was reached, the Central delegation returned carrying shoulder-high their preferred candidate Mr Willy Kuria was elected unopposed. Mr Kuria is the principal of Murang'a High School.

The other seats were shared according to regions.

Mr Kahi, who was defending his chairmanship post, said that he was supported by delegates from Eastern where he was recently transferred to head Machakos Boys School. He was transferred from Chavakali Boys High School in Western Kenya.


Mr Amos Cherono was elected as national treasurer to be deputised by Mr Benjamin Ngau.

Mr Ezekiel Ayieko is the new vice organising secretary while Mr Boniface Karisa was elected the vice chairman.

Mr Ibrahim Fara is the vice secretary.

Mr Kahi has promised to ensure there is harmony in Kessha and build capacity for principals to cope with new policies.

Nairobi — 50 Zambian students will join Kenya Utalii College as part of enhancing bilateral ties between Kenya and Zambia.

The training is scheduled to start as soon as feasible, said a statement from State House.

The agreement was reached between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Zambian counterpart Edgar Lungu this past weekend in Nairobi.

President Lungu, who has been in Kenya on a private visit, visited the Ronald Ngala Utalii College in Kilifi to appraise himself with the development of the tourism sector in Kenya.

The talks between the two leaders also focused on how to enhance bilateral ties and increase cooperation in sectors including tourism, transport, trade, investment, air-link and regional security.

Kenya and Zambia have for many years enjoyed warm relations where they co-operate in areas such as agriculture, tourism, education and information communication and technology (ICT).

The two countries have an existing MOU on science, technology and innovation.

President Kenyatta visited Zambia in 2014 during the burial of former President, the late Michael Sata before, returning to the country on a State visit in July 2015 on the invitation of President Lungu.

President Kenyatta visited Zambia again in 2016 to attend the African Development Bank (AfDB) meeting.

Kenya exports edible oils, margarines, iron sheets, steel pipes and products, detergents, baking powder, kitchen and table wares, spices, blankets, beauty products, toiletries, irrigation pumps, tyres, and textiles and crafts to Zambia.

Photo: Daily Trust

JAMB - Joint Admissions Matriculation Board

By Azeezat Adedigba

Admissions into law in Nigerian universities between 2011 and 2015 were led by Imo, Anambra and Delta states, according to JAMB figures.

The three states were the most consistent of all top performers for the five years.

They also dominated medicine and were amongst leading performers in engineering admissions -- the three courses being amongst the most competitive in Nigerian universities.

Earlier analyses by PREMIUM TIMES, using data from the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, showed that medicine and engineering were dominated by mostly South-east, South-west and South-south states. North-central states of Kwara and Kogi also made a good showing.

But for law, there is a new member of the pack: Benue state, which delivered a positive but brief performance in 2011 by coming fourth behind Imo, Anambra and Delta.

That year, the four states were followed by Ogun, Rivers, Abia, Edo, Osun and Enugu.

Ogun appeared thrice in the top cadre in the five years, coming fourth in 2011, third in 2014 and second position in 2015.

Benue made it to the top three in 2011 before it dropped below the top 10, while Rivers made it to the top four in 2012, top three in 2013 before it dropped to eighth position in 2011 and 2014. It made the top seven in 2015.

The data are for students admitted through test-based examinations conducted by JAMB. JAMB's admission process is guided by merit, university catchment area and gives advantage to educationally-less developed states.

For law, while Imo had 739 students admitted into various universities in 2011, Anambra followed with 679 and Enugu was third with 593. Benue came fourth with 558 and Ogun was fifth with 488 students.

In 2012, some of the states again made the top five. Imo emerged first with 551 students, Delta followed with 476 and Anambra came third with 469, Rivers came fourth with 447.

That year, Abia placed fifth with 355 students admitted into Law.

In 2013, positions changed significantly, with Delta taking the first position with 683 students.

Imo dropped to second with 630, while Rivers came third with 569. Anambra was fourth with 490 and Edo , with 463, took fifth.

Anambra jumped to first position 2014 with 452, Delta dropped to second position with 430, Ogun jumped to third position with 418. Osun was fourth with 381 and Edo took fifth with 373.

In 2015, Delta again took the first position with 456 students.

Ogun dropped to second with 419 while Imo dropped to third position with 415. Enugu was fourth with 363 and Osun took fifth.

For the first time in five years, Anambra slumped to sixth position.

Generally, the number of admitted law candidates fell compared to engineering and medicine.

Hassan Soweto, who coordinates a civil rights group, Education Rights Campaign, suggested one reason why admission into law faculties in Nigerian Universities has been falling is cost.

According to him, in most federal and state universities, students studying law are asked to pay tuition fees larger than what is charged for arts and social sciences.

Mr Soweto said law education is gradually being "commodified and commercialised".

"When the cost of law school is also taken into consideration, law education is rapidly becoming the preserve of the few rich. This ugly phenomenon will continue to be the case until public education is properly funded such that regardless of whatever course students apply for, access is opened to anyone whether they come from poor or affluent backgrounds," he said.

The states with the least number of students admitted into law were FCT, Yobe, Zamfara and Jigawa.

FCT had the smallest number for four years with only 29 students admitted into Law in 2011.

It had 14 students in 2012, 27 students in 2013, 20 students in 2014 and 19 students in 2015.

In 2011, Yobe had 25 students, followed by Zamfara with 39 students. Katsina had 50 while Gombe had 51 students.

In 2014, Zamfara had 19 students, Sokoto had 32 students, Jigawa had 39, and Katsina had 41.

In 2015, Zamfara had 28 students, Jigawa had 33 students, Kebbi had 45 and Bayelsa had 47 students.

Ola Adeosun, a lawyer, said it is essential for the federal government and civil societies to sensitise people from the northern states on the need for quality education.

"You will recall that there was a time that people from the South Eastern part of the country did not go to school, they believed so much in learning a trade under a principal and getting settled but the advent of Nnamdi Azikwe's Eastern region education revolution changed the story.

"Although it was not successful at first, but they were able to sensitise the young minds on the importance of education," Mr Adeosun said.

He blamed the political leadership in the north.

"The thinking of the elite is that there won't be competition between their children and the children of the poor. Unfortunately, there has been a setback in the education sector especially with the incessant kidnapping of girls from that part of the country," he said.

By Sipho Mzakwe

"The school sold my lounge suite, microwave and fridge... it's now threatening to sell my house too". The household items of the parent who phoned the Equal Education Law Centre earlier this year had just been confiscated by debt collectors seeking to settle a R25,000 outstanding payment for school fees.

When her child was admitted to the school, the parent ran a spaza shop and was making enough money to afford the payment of school fees. Her financial situation changed drastically after her store caught fire and she lost everything. From then on, as a single parent, she had no income other than the child support grant. For two years she could not afford to pay fees.

During this period, she received phone calls from the school demanding payment and threatening to attach her property. She was never told that she had the right to apply for a fee exemption, to which she would have been entitled.

Fearing that the child would be excluded, the parent did not inform the school about her changed financial situation. Towards the end of the year, the school made good its threats, attached some of her household items and sold them to settle her debt.

The legal framework

Schools do have a right to enforce school fees. Parents also have a right to apply for a fee exemption. For this reason, the South African School Act sets out the procedure which schools are obliged to follow before exercising their right to enforce payment of fees against defaulting parents.

Before taking action against a defaulting parent, a school must find out whether the parent qualifies for fee exemption. If so, the school must exempt the parent. Further, in order to take action against a defaulting parent, the school must have written proof that the parent was notified of his/her right to apply for a fee exemption and failed to do so. These provisions seek to harmonise and balance the competing rights of the school to enforce payment and of a parent to be exempted from payment of fees if he or she qualifies.

Lack of accountability

In the case of our client, due to lack of knowledge and the school's failure to provide the relevant information, she had not applied for a fee exemption and was faced with having to hand over her home in order to ensure that her child had access to education.

This is not the only case of this sort which has been brought to the Equal Education Law Centre. Schools disregard the procedures set out in the Schools Act. In some cases, schools unlawfully threaten to withhold learner reports if parents do not sign an acknowledgement of debt for fees, even when they may be entitled to a fee exemption.

The schools' continuous disregard of the procedures set out in law may be attributed to a lack of accountability. As it stands, the law does not require schools to account to provincial departments of Education about the enforcement of fees against defaulting parents. And the departments are not required to monitor the enforcement of fees against defaulting parents. Although provincial departments issue circulars from time to time to schools on fee exemptions, it is unclear whether follow ups are made by the departments to ascertain and ensure compliance with the procedure.

Unless parents can get legal assistance, it is unlikely that schools will be called to account for their failure to comply with legislation. As with our client, this problem disproportionately affects poor and uneducated parents who are sometimes not even aware of their right to fee exemption.

It may be necessary to introduce mechanisms requiring schools to report on their compliance or to consider penalties for non-compliance. Debt collectors also have a responsibility to ensure that the law is not disregarded.

Certain information in this article has been deliberately omitted for purposes of confidentiality.

Sipho Mzakwe is a first year Candidate Attorney at Equal Education Law Centre.

Views expressed are not necessarily those of GroundUp.

By George Muron

Kumi — Residents of Tisai Island in Ongino Sub-county, Kumi District are excited after the establishment of the long-awaited primary school in the area.

Tisai Island Primary School, is the first and only school at the island with a population of 5,000 people.

The school brings to an end years of suffering where pupils had to sail to the mainland to access education.

It has been a common sight for inhabitants of Tisai Island crossing with their children on dugout boats every morning to Ongino and back in the evening.

Tisai Island Primary school is a brain child of Church of Uganda, a Kumi Diocese project in partnership with Mustard Seed Project Uganda, a non-governmental organisation. It is a three classroom block.

Rev Charles Okunya, the Kumi diocesan education officer, on Sunday said the project is timely since the inhabitants had suffered enough. "A lot needs to be done to enable residents have access to clean and safe water and a better health system," he said.

Rev Okunya said the school, which started this year, has an enrolment of 342 pupils who are under the care of seven volunteering teachers from the community

"This is a step towards the right direction. The school should have been established some time back but the cost of transporting materials across the marshy waters was too expensive. Every single trip costs Shs900,000," he explained.

He said each classroom block cost about Shs60m.

Rev Okunya said many children living in Tisai have lost an opportunity to learn how to read and write and in most cases have been married off to illiterates.

He revealed that the plan is to make the school both elementary and a skills impacting centre, where pupils are also taught how to cultivate vegetables, which they can replicate in their families.

Ms Irene Akion, a mother of five, said they no longer worry about transporting their children through the marshes infested with crocodiles.

"I had lost hope, all I had in mind was if my three girls turned 18, I would marry them off to any willing man, but now they can soldier on with their education," she said.

Ms Akion said initially the children were travelling 4kms to access education and clean water.

"With this school, there is reason to celebrate. What is left is a health centre, which Church of Uganda under Kumi Diocese has promised to construct," she said.The nearest schools after crossing from Tisai are Atorom Primary School and Oserai Primary School which are eight and 10 kilometres away respectively.

Mr Francis Osujo, another parent, said Tisai Island Primary School will help deal with cases of dropouts as it is very accessible.

He, however, called upon government to intervene by constructing a fully equipped health centre to save lives.

"They only come here to deliver ballot boxes during elections. When it comes to delivering services, they claim the place can't be accessed," he said.

The LC II chairperson of Tisai parish, Mr Patrick Ocen, said parents are now able to save money on transporting their children using boats.

"While I appreciate the donor and Church of Uganda, for the efforts, I thank the media for highlighting our plight. Without media efforts, no person would have known about our suffering," he said.

By Henry Lyimo

TANZANIA's current account deficit continued to narrow last year as earnings from tourism increased and imports declined. Presenting the state of the economy in Parliament yesterday, the Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Phillip Mpango, said the current account deficit narrowed by 43.8 per cent in 2017 on increase in earnings from tourism and a decline in imports.

He said the current account recorded a deficit of 1,210.5 million US dollars, down from a deficit of 2,154.6 million US dollars in 2016. The balance of payment recorded a surplus of 1,649 million US dollars last year, compared to a surplus of 305.5 million US dollars in 2016.

A balance of payments surplus means the country exports more than it imports, while a balance of payments deficit means the country imports more goods, services and capital than it exports and must therefore borrow from other countries to pay for its imports.

Foreign account reserves reached 5,906.2 million US dollars compared to 4,325.6 million US dollars in 2016. The amount was sufficient to cover 5.4 months of imports, exceeding the threshold set for East African integration of at least 4.5 months.

The increase was a result of measures taken by the Central Bank through purchase of US dollars in the market, disbursement of external non-concessional loans as well as decrease in imports of goods and services.

The Ministry of Tourism has launched a campaign to promote Egypt as a tourist destination in line with the start of the soccer World Cup in Russia.

The slogan (Experience Egypt) was displayed on stadium billboards during the Pharaohs' World Cup opener against Uruguay on Friday in addition to yesterday's match between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

In press statements, Minister of Tourism Rania al Mashat said the campaign, dubbed Egypt - Experience & Invest, helps promote tourism to Egypt via stadium billboards in the World Cup's 64 matches.

The campaign comes within the framework of the tourism ministry's persistent efforts to lure more tourists to the country, she added.

Meanwhile, Mashat wished success for the Pharaohs in their coming matches in the tournament after their stunning performance in today's match against Uruguay.

With its dreamy ancient capital, the Stone Town, and a dazzling coastline of sandy beaches and colourful coral reefs, Zanzibar is a must visit for tourists from all over the world.

The tourists add visibly to the isles population of 1.5 million, especially in Stone Town and along the hotel and resort lined coast. The past 10 years have seen tourist numbers more than double from 150,000 to 376,000.

Tourists come for many reasons. Some just come to lose themselves in this tropical island where life is relaxed, the air is soft and temperatures rarely dip below 25 degrees.

Stone Town has been a Unesco World Heritage site since 2000 and wandering around the maze-like streets it's not hard to see why the romance of this destination lures visitors from across the world.

Others visit Zanzibar for what the coast offers; broad stretches of white sandy beaches, a warm turquoise blue ocean and coral reefs that teem with life. Zanzibar is a tourist paradise.

Largest sector

And visitors are welcome here. Tourism is Zanzibar's largest economic sector and essential for the island's socio-economic stability.

It accounts for 27 per cent of GDP, 80 per cent of foreign revenue and provides the highest private sector employment with 72.000 jobs, according to government statistics.

Zanzibar's government makes no secret of seeing the tourism sector as a mechanism for the island's economic growth and employment.

Almost 10 per cent of the island's youth are unemployed and even though there have been improvements, a third of the population still lives under very poor conditions especially in rural areas.

In the strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty 2015-20 it is clearly stated that tourism not only ought to contribute to the growth of the economy but also to poverty reduction.

It must enrich financially other industries including transport, communication, fisheries, farming, building, technology and trading to the benefit of the population.

Pressure on resources

But while tourism offers much needed opportunities for economic growth and development, the extra pressure that increasing visitor numbers put on resources, facilities and the environment mean that it is also a significant threat to the island's future.

If handled correctly, tourism can be a true blessing for Zanzibar, but if it is not, it can also be a curse and ruin it all, says Mohammed Sheikh, Director of Life Science at Tanzania Commission of Science and Technology and professor at State University of Zanzibar.

Mr Sheikh warns that the extended use of the island's water supply by the many tourists can be an issue if it is not probably handled.

Tourists often consume far more water than they do at home - and far more water than locals do. The average tourist uses 10-15 times more water than a Zanzibarian, Professor Sheikh says.

He adds that this amount does not include water used for watering the green and lush hotel and resort gardens.

With so much of the island's future tied to tourism, the island's waste water management system is another concern for the long term sustainable development of Zanzibar.

Waste disposal

Every day the island's sewage pipes dump 2,200 cubic metres of untreated liquid waste and sewage directly into the ocean and the surrounding marine environment of mangroves, sea grasses according to Mr Sheikh.

Some hotels have their own water treatment systems, but most of the smaller hotels and restaurants use the main system and the waste goes straight into the ocean.

Apart from making it a mixed pleasure to swim in the ocean in some places, the liquid waste is also blamed for increasing the deterioration of the coral reefs, mangrove forests and seagrasses.

Tourists also generate far more solid waste than the locals do. Hotels, restaurants, shops, diving and adventure trip organisers all use large amounts of products that come in personal single use plastic packaging.

The ubiquitous small plastic shampoo and shower gel bottles in hotel rooms. Or the individual size breakfast marmalade, honey and butter. Or the plastic lunch boxes the more adventurous visitors take along on day trips to the reefs or smaller islands.

It all adds up, explains Justin Madho, chief executive of Zanrec, a waste disposal social enterprise that helps some of the smaller resorts and hotels recycle and responsibly dispose their garbage.

If you multiply the waste one tourist generates by the number of hotel beds and overnight stays on an annual basis, it gives you the rough picture of the magnitude of Zanzibar's problem, says Justin Madho.

He thinks that the tourists might be on a journey of destruction, ruining the pristine idyll they came to experience on Zanzibar. His staff are trained to spot the waste that is not bio-degradable but can be recycled; things like plastic containers, glass and paper.

He says that these items mainly come from the resorts and hotels while most of the waste from the villages is organic waste.

Zanzibar's Research Agenda 2015-20 gives credence to this assumption. Eighty per cent of all waste on Zanzibar is generated at hotels and restaurants, but only 20 per cent of this waste is currently collected for proper disposal; the rest is dumped untreated at unauthorised landfills and dumpsites.

Waste management

Apart from Zanrec, no private company has so far taken up the challenge of helping the hotels and resorts get rid of the solid waste in an environmentally sustainable manner.

"Unfortunately, we do not have any competitors so far, but we welcome them. All efforts are needed to keep Zanzibar clean," says Justin Madho.

To prevent the negative effects of tourism, Zanzibar's government made sustainable tourism a priority in its 2020 Vision.

As early as 2012, the administration banned the use of plastic bags. Visitors to Stone Town will notice how clean and neat it is: Hardly a piece of paper is to be found in its streets as rubbish is collected three times a day.

But in other areas, the government's capacity to handle the situation is limited. It relies on cross-sector co-operation and public private partnerships and calls for investors to follow Zanzibar's development agendas when they embark on any business venture in tourism.

Education and research

One of the organisations to take up this call is The Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors, Zati. It has a membership of 100 small and large hotels and resorts, tour operators, airlines, diving companies and restaurants, and a huge stake in keeping the isles environmentally balanced and clean.

Another area where the call is out for input and collaboration to keep Zanzibar clean is the education and research area.

As per Zanzibar's Research Agenda 2015-2020, there is incomplete understanding of how hotels affects natural and human environments in Zanzibar and how the effects can be mitigated.

Various research and educational initiatives under way focus on transforming tourism into a sustainable industry that considers Zanzibar's pristine nature and unique ecosystems.

"There is limited knowledge about how to handle environmental degradation due to lack of waste management. As a university and research institution, we can assist by providing relevant knowledge and data to inform policy formulation and management practices," says Dr Haji Mwevura, Deputy Vice Chancellor, State University of Zanzibar.

To this end, the university is working with Aarhus University and University of Copenhagen under a project dubbed "Building Stronger Universities."


According to Dr Mwevura, the project began as a university capacity building programme in 2008. It is now focusing on research and training in environmental health and marine ecosystems.

The aim is to create and spread research based knowledge on how to secure the long-term sustainable development of Zanzibar as a tourist destination.

One of the outcomes of the Building Stronger Universities projects is a degree programme in environmental health.

Biubwa Fally Ally, who is an assistant lecturer of the Environmental Health programme, has recently seen her first batch of students graduating. She feels it is everyone's responsibility to keep Zanzibar clean. She tries to infuse the same sense of responsibility to her students.

"When I teach my students waste management I will take them to a relevant site, for example, a waste disposal or collection point and ask them to develop a solution to the problems they see based on their experience and knowledge," saysMs Ally.

Developing Zanzibar and its tourist industry while at the same time keeping it clean and ecologically well-balanced is a delicate balance. However, it must be done in such a way that Zanzibar does not become the victim of its own popularity.

By Chinedu Eze

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Thursday said domestic and international airlines operating in Nigeria sold tickets worth N505.2 billion in 2017.

The regulatory body said it arrived at the figures after reconciliation with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).

This is a record rise in sales to N82.7 billion (14.2 per cent), compared to 2016 when the value of tickets sold was N411,564,564,692.80.

The Director-General of NCAA, Captain Muhtar Usman, made the disclosure at the quarterly business breakfast meeting of the Aviation Round Table (ART) in Lagos.

Usman, who was represented by the Director, Consumer Protection Directorate, NCAA, Adamu Abdullahi, said eight domestic airlines sold N93.6 billion worth of tickets, while the 32 airlines on the international routes sold tickets worth N411.6 billion, during the period under review.

According to NCAA records, in 2016, domestic airlines realised N79,482,958,601.60 from ticket sales, while international airlines realised N342,923,645,298.71 from ticket sales.

He said there were 90 sanctions or penalties on airlines, including 15 pilots, five cabin crew, engineers, a private security firm, four Aircraft Maintenance Organisations (AMO) and five airlines.

He noted, however, that sanctioning was not an achievement but a deterrent made to ensure that violators do not repeat violations.

Speaking on some of the NCAA's Key Performance Indexes (KPI), Usman stated that the NCAA in the past four years has had steady improvements in certain areas, especially as regards professional advancement.

He stated that for the third year running, the country's aviation industry has recorded zero accidents and this was due to airlines' adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs), which are brought about by well-trained safety instructors.

The key performance index also showed advancement in licensing, which indicated that from January to December 2017 licensed pilots increased by 130 from 2016, as the number rose to 2,356 from 2,226.

The NCAA boss further stated that under the period of evaluation, passenger traffic for 21 airports in the country stood at a total of 25,528 as average daily departure was 12,761, while departure stood at 12,767 with 305 aircraft movement.

He said the amount realised from the sale of tickets would have been higher if not for the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, for six weeks to enable the government rehabilitate its runway.

"A stable forex regime, effective implementation of the Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business as well as the resumption of flight activities to the Maiduguri Airport, earlier closed due to insecurity, contributed to the increase," he said.

Also, the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Saleh Dunoma, said the NCAA, in accordance with the regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), had certified Lagos and Abuja airports worthy for maximum flight operations.

Dunoma, who was represented by the General Manager, Safety Services, FAAN, Mr. Elifue Agbi, said the agency was collaborating with Airport Council International (ACI) to certify the Kano and Port Harcourt airports.

"We have started the process of certifying these airports, following the successes we recorded in Lagos and Abuja. Enugu and Kaduna airports will follow subsequently," he said.

Earlier, the President of ART, Mr. Gbenga Olowo, said there was need for aviation agencies to set up KPI to measure their achievements from time to time.

Olowo said the group would continue to ensure the advancement of the industry by consistently promoting safety and professionalism through effective working relationship with government and other stakeholders.

By Jimmy Lwangili

TANZANIA Tourist Board (TTB) yesterday handed over items promoting tourist attractions to the Tanzanians who went to watch World Cup matches in Russia.

The TTB Principle Public Relations Officer, Geoffrey Tengeneza mentioned the promotional items as Tshirts, scarfs, flash discs and magazines marking tourist attractions available in the country.

The event occurred on yesterday afternoon in Dar es Salaam, whereTengeneza handed over the items to the journalist Shaffih Dauda, on behalf of a team of 24 reporters from Clouds Media who are already in Russia.

"The World Cup finals undergoing in Russia attracted many people from separate areas worldwide. We as TTB, we see this as an opportunity to use the Tanzanians who have gone there to promote our local tourist attractions," he said.

On his side Dauda, said the team of 23 reporters is in Russia to report the events that occur out of the pitch during the World Cup finals. "I advise the Tanzanians who are there to use the platform for promoting our local tourist attractions.

The sector will help to increase national income if would be promoted well," said Dauda.

By Roseline Okere

The United States' Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that Brent crude oil prices will average $71 per barrel in 2018 and $68 a barrel in 2019. Meanwhile, Nigeria's Bonny Light crude oil has maintain an international price of $73.44 per barrel, higher than the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) basket price of $73.35 per barrel.

The price of Nigeria's Bonny Light is higher than the Nigeria's $51 per barrel benchmark for 2018 budget.EIA in its Monthly Oil Market report for May, expects oil prices to decline in the coming months because global oil inventories are expected to rise slightly during the second half of 2018 and in 2019.The updated 2019 forecast price is $2 a barrel is higher than in the May forecast, which sold for an average price of $77 a barrel, an increase of $5 per barrel from April and the highest monthly average price since November 2014.

Even though the 2019 oil price forecast is higher than it was in the May monthly report, EIA expects oil prices to decline in the coming months because global oil inventories are expected to rise slightly during the second half of 2018 and in 2019.According to EIA, expected inventory growth results from forecast oil supply growth outpacing forecast oil demand growth in 2019.

EIA currently forecasts global petroleum and other liquids inventories will increase by 210,000 barrels per day (b/d) next year, a factor that, all else being equal, typically puts downward pressure on oil prices.Most of the growth in global oil production in the coming months is expected to come from the United States.

EIA projects that U.S. crude oil production will average 10.8 million barrels per day for full-year 2018, up from 9.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2017, and will average 11.8 million bpd in 2019.

The agency noted that if the 2018 and 2019 forecast annual averages materialize, they would be the highest levels of production on record, surpassing the previous record set in 1970.EIA expects that OPEC crude oil production will average 32.0 million b/d in 2018, a decrease of about 0.4 million bpd from the 2017 level.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, expressed optimism that the price of crude oil would rise to a level that is neither too high nor too low.The Minister said though crude oil appears to have fallen into bad times because of prevailing low price and the campaign against the use of fossil fuels for environmental reasons, the product would soon rise up to take its place as the prime global energy source.

Waxing poetic message on the current crude oil prices recently, Kachikwu stated: "My name is oil, those who are kind to me call me black gold. Those who hate me call me crude."I worry for my future; everyone now talks down on me. Even farmers who trembled at the sight of my name are now strategizing against me."And all my beneficiaries, me have they abandoned, all because producers have lost their tracks. But I will rise again, and when I do, I will take no prisoners.

"I will new technologies control; I will my supremacy confirm; I will my respect regain."And my pricing, not too low, not too high; but I will not allow prices to humiliate me. All of you in OPEC, APPA, GCEF and all such bodies who have shown me no respect recently, soon, you'll eat your words."

In a bid to promote academic standards in rural communities in the country, Vivo Energy Ghana, sole distributor and marketer of Shell branded products and lubricants, has resourced the New Takoradi Community Library with about 1000 books.

The books which included a collection of storybooks and literature materials was to boost academic standards within the fishing community and its environs under the company's "Energy for Education Project."

The Corporate Communications Manager of the Company, Mrs. Shirley Tony Kum reading a speech on behalf of the Managing Director expressed worry over the non-availability of children's books in the sector given the important role education played in the development of the country.

"In our part of the world, children's books are not always available and this can sometimes rob children of an enriching education during their childhood especially when most libraries are not filled with good story books which will stimulate and develop their imagination," she stated.

Mrs. Kum charged the community to ensure the books were well-maintained for the benefit of future generations urging school children to "continue to read and study for higher academic success."

The Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolitan Director of Education, Mrs. Elizabeth Akuako described education as "the light that illuminates the world and without it, people would be living in darkness."

She expressed gratitude to Vivo Energy Ghana for resourcing the library which had been left unstocked after its construction.

The Director pleaded with patrons of the facility to take good care of the books and read wide to broaden their knowledge.

The Chief of New Takoradi, Nana Abaka I, entreated parents to desist from the practice of burdening their children with domestic activities at the expense of their education.

He urged them to devote time to allow their children patronize the library to enhance their education.

By Tanaka Chidora

I grew up in the village with my parents and my siblings (Sue, Josy, Anne and, later towards the 2000s, Tawa). My parents, God bless them, trusted my work ethic so much that they practically left the choice of what to read, and when to read, to me.

I don't remember them tyrannically dictating the homework first and TV later rule to me that I see many young boys and girls enduring today. Of course, you might want to say TVs were not a common phenomenon in the village in those days. So find anything to use instead of TV. Mahwani Touch if you want.

Our parents practised a laissez-faire approach to education: I had to decide what I loved, and they had to provide the means (sometimes laboriously). Lots of times, I had to join them, either as father's dhakaboy (a colloquial term for someone who mixes mortar for the builder), or as mother's runner at the township market. During the cropping season, after helping in the fields, I had to look after our small herd of cattle. With such a busy schedule, novels still managed to find me.

By the time I completed my seventh grade at Mutya Primary School, I had already breezed my way through every popular Shona novel one could think of. My reading of these novels was necessitated by two things. First, Josy loved to unceremoniously insert long paragraphs of any Shona novel she would be reading at any given time into an everyday conversation. Imagine, you are having a conversation about invading Mbuya VaRusekeni's mango orchard, and Josy rattles up something from "Kutonhodzwa KwaChauruka" for effect.

Only a perfect WhatsApp emoji can capture the confusion on our faces. So I took to reading every Shona novel that came my way. Some came as complete packages; others came with a couple of missing limbs, but the good thing about Shona novels of that time was that like Nigerian movies, getting into the story 25 pages later was no serious setback. The second reason was my late cousin, Innocent (may his soul rest in peace).

This naughty fellow had a bookphobia of unimaginable proportions. So he would bring his Shona set books home and during bedtime, instruct me to read for him, a chapter per night. Of course, a couple of paragraphs later, he would be snoring loudly so that anyone who dared to listen from the outside would think that I was performing some incantations to the demonic approval of some dark force.

After sensing an invasion of her turf, Josy later migrated to English novels. However, I suspect that her affair with English novels was not a deep one because instead of citing whole paragraphs like what she used to do with the Shona novels, this time she confined herself to sudden citations of novel titles and their authors. For instance, during a game of bakery (I think that's the spelling; no one bothered to spell the names of games because games were meant to be played), she, from nowhere, announced, "Silent Journey from the East". So I migrated as well, but unlike Josy, I actually wanted to read the contents of these novels.

Form 1 of course started with the usual: "Mpho's Search" or "Oliver Twist". Then came Holly Meyers from the United States. She practically upgraded our Rukovo Secondary School library and introduced a reading culture by making sure that every Form 1 pupil had a reading card.

In the library, I stumbled upon the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series and loved them. I think I read 66 Hardy Boys novels and around 54 Nancy Drews. I usually worked at a rate of two novels per day. Even my English compositions became action-packed, reflecting the influence of America on a young village boy of my calibre.

Then my uncle, Uncle Tich, came to the village from boarding school. Uncle Tich represented what the village was not. He listened to foreign musicians, and usually whistled "From the Distance" when absent-minded. There was something foreign and fresh about him that made me want to be his friend.

He also brought Dambudzo Marechera (in books and in appearance), Mario Puzo, Robert Ludlum, Wilbur Smith, Jack Higgins, Frederick Forsythe, Eric van Lustbader, Sidney Sheldon, Ken Folliet, Louis L'Amour, James Hadley Chase and many other popular writers.

But the one who really invaded Uncle Tich's life was Marechera. Besides the unlimited collection of expletives that Uncle Tich used when angry or happy, he also began to exhibit behavioural traits that Marechera was famed for. For me, that was what set Uncle Tich apart. It drew me close to him and I became his disciple, reading his books and imitating his English.

By the time I reached Form 4, I had read "The House of Hunger", "Scrapiron Blues" and "Cemetery of Mind" and many other trend-setting Zimbabwean works. I had also read "The Great Gatsby" and many other literary works including "War and Peace".

I was the first, and I am sure the last, to borrow it from the school library. I still remember how I walked up and down the corridors with the book pressed to my chest. "War and Peace" is a voluminous affair and a Form 2 pupil must really be Marecherean to walk around with it.

Uncle Tich had a typewriter. He wrote his stories using that typewriter. I borrowed it from him to write my first story, "The Mountain". I do not remember how I lost it, but I am sure it was when I came to Harare. Uncle Tich has lost his stories too. He has also lost the Marecherean disposition that made him a rebel of sorts. Now he is all reserved and "normal" but the linguistic dexterity is still there.

A couple of weeks ago, I sent him a poem titled "Time": "She led me to the house at the end of the street, and left her caresses on my face." He added two lines about "dark voyeurs" peeping at us from the thick but perforated blanket of darkness, and I knew I still had my favourite uncle around.

Now I teach literature at the university. I have all these books in my head, but every time I rattle off some titles like Josy, I am met by blank faces. I don't know if the generation of learners we have now is different from ours, but the truth is that they no longer read these books like we used to.

By Daud Olatunji

Abeokuta — THE Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo has lamented the decline in the reading culture among the youths in the country.

Oba Gbadebo stated this while hosting a young author, Ikimot Azeez, in his palace after the launch of her two books.

The monarch, who attributed the decline in reading culture of the country as one major factor affecting the standard of education, urged youths to take reading culture seriously.

The author spoke shortly after launching her two books in Abeokuta.

Azeez, a lecturer at Tai Solarin University of Education, TASUED, said there is decay in book reading, adding that Students are becoming lazy in reading and assimilating.

She said "Honestly, the decline in the reading culture of the country is affecting the standard of education and it is not good at all for us. Most students don't read again."

By David Onsiong

The Prix de Poésie Edouard Maunick is back for its 2018-2019 and second edition. This year's theme is 'Cyclone'.

At a press conference on Thursday 7 June, Rama Poonoosamy, director of Immedia which is organising this poetry competition, revealed that "it's during a lunch with Edouard Maunick in France that we chose this theme. The word 'cyclone' is vast and can be linked to meteorology, as well as social and political situations". Marie Maunick, sister of Edouard Maunick, remarked that her brother "has always been a 'cyclonic' poet; he's never been afraid of voicing his opinions".

The competition is open to Mauritians of all ages living in Mauritius or abroad. Participants are welcome to enter as many poems - in English, French or Mauritian Creole - as they wish, provided they are all original. Poems should be signed using a pseudonym; the author's actual name, contact details and pseudonym ought to be included in a separate envelope accompanying each entry. Entries should reach Immedia at Poonoosamy Building, St. Georges Street, Port Louis in sealed envelopes with the mention "Prix de Poésie Edouard Maunick" by 14 December 2018.

The jury will consist of Shenaz Patel and Kavinien Karupudayyan, with writer Ananda Devi acting as chair. The laureate will be announced at a ceremony in mid-2019. The best poet will be awarded a Rs60,000 cash prize.

For its 2016-2017 edition, the Prix de Poésie Edouard Maunick jointly rewarded Gillian Geneviève, for his Port Louis, ce qui demeure, and Helena Lutchman, for her Englishlanguage Louise Baby. Threehundred-and-twenty-nine poems were submitted for the first edition. Plans are in the pipeline to publish, after the third edition, a poem book featuring awarded poems and those having received a distinction of the jury.

By Henry Munene

US-based Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong'o's latest book is about to roll off the press, East African Educational Publishers, his Nairobi publisher, has said.

The book, Kenda Muiyuru: Rugano rwa Gikuyu na Mumbi, will be published in the original Gikuyu, in keeping with Ngugi's decision to write all his fiction in his mother tongue.

Since he wrote Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature (1986) and Moving the Centre (1993), Ngugi has said that writing in foreign languages is a sign of colonial servitude.

In an exclusive online interview with this writer last Friday, Ngugi said his new book is a rallying call for Africans to celebrate their cultural heritage.

"I'm excited about the possible release of my Gikuyu language epic, Kenda Muiyuru. I would like to encourage Kenyan writers to create epics based on the stories of their communal origins, like Homer did for the Greeks and Virgil for the Romans," Ngugi said from California.

According to East African Educational Publishers CEO Kiarie Kamau, Ngugi's new book will not be immediately translated into English as was the case with the author's latest published novel, Murogi wa Kagoogo, which was written in Gikuyu and the English edition, Wizard of the Crow, released almost immediately after.

"Initially, it will be published by EAEP only, with the option to sell rights to other publishers that we collaborate with in the US, UK, Australia and other parts of the world," said Mr Kamau.

Pressed to give the exact publication date, he said: "Certainly in the next 90 days.

"I do not want to reveal too much, but all I can say is that it's perhaps one of the most experimental creative works that Ngugi has written," Mr Kamau added.

Kenda Muiyuru (a full nine) is often mentioned in reference to the daughters of Gikuyu and Mumbi, the mythical first family that is believed to have given rise to the Gikuyu community.

Ngugi was for the third time tipped by bookmakers to win this year's Nobel Prize for Literature, but the prize was suspended after sex scandal allegations rocked the Swedish academy.

Kundai Marunya — Renowned mbira teacher Trust Mutekwa popularly known as Ticha Muzavazi has published a Shona novel after 20 years of disappointment and readjustments.

Titled "Yokwira Mutarara", the book, a tale of ritual killings as a way of establishing riches and promoting businesses, took Mutekwa over 20 years until it finally got published.

Mutekwa said he initially finished writing the novel in 1996 and entered it in a competition that same year.

"I finished writing 'Yokwira Mutarara' on 29 June 1996 and sent it to the Literature Bureau for a competition that closed the next day. I waited expectantly for it to appear in Scribe Scroll which used to be published in The Herald every Tuesday," he said.

"When I was now at Morganster Teacher's College in 1999 I got a notification that the Ministry of Education Sport, Arts and Culture was going to close down the Literature Bureau as part of its restructuring programme. The notification called on writers to collect their work," he said.

It took him another year to finally come to Harare and collect his novel.

Mutekwa had to put in a lot of work to make sure his novel stays relevant hoping one day he would find a publisher interested in it.

At some point he shifted his focus from the novel to poetry writing and performance. Mutekwa's abstract poetry was published in four Shona anthologies namely, "Ngoma Yekwedu" (1998), "Jakwara reNhetembo" (2008), "Mudengu Munei" (2010) and "Shoko Harivhikwi" (2012).

"All this time I also penned a number of Shona novels but I had a feeling that I should publish 'Yokwira Mutarara' before them," he said.

"I respect the book, having walked on it exactly half of the life I have lived so far. Publishing it this year paves way for six more novels I have written but, I am not going to have them published at same time because I appreciate the maturity I develop everyday as I read, write and experience changes in the social environment."

"Yokwira Mutarara" was published with Shageo Printers and Publishers. It will be celebrated with a launch in August.

This is not the first book Mutekwa has published having availed a Nyunga Nyunga Mbira Handbook last year.

By Sola Ogundipe

A MOTHER, Mrs. Esther Akinola and her baby are currently stranded at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, over inability to settle a N306,200 bill.

Esther, 31, a fashion designer, who gave birth through Cesarean Section, told Vanguard that her baby was premature and had to be placed in an incubator for two months after birth.

"This is my first child and I'm happy I am okay. The baby is also doing fine. I was discharged on 22nd March 2018, and my baby was discharged on 22nd April, 2018, but we are still here because we have no money to settle the bill.

"We were given two bills. My baby's bill of about N150,000 was settled by a Good Samaritan. Mine is pending. Actually I have not paid anything out of it."

According to Esther who is currently in Ward C2 of the Labour Unit, she was referred from Igando General Hospital to LUTH on 12th March, 2018.

"I was taken into the theatre and safely delivered through CS on 13th of March 2018. We did not pay any deposit before the surgery, but paid for tests and other expenses incurred."

Esther said she and her husband decided to seek public assistance to raise money to offset the bill because family members have abandoned them and they are on their own.

"Besides our Pastor and some close friends, few kind hearted people have been chipping in something.

Abiodun, Esther's husband confirmed they were presented a total bill of N306,200 after his wife's discharge.

Giving a breakdown, he observed that the bill is made up of admission fee of N20,000; operation fee - N65,000; bed bill - N142,000; pharmacy (drugs), N61,000 and blood bank - N18,200.

"We are not contesting the bill, in fact they tried for us, but because we are currently broke we cannot pay. It has been quite a difficult period for us."

Abiodun said he had earlier expended over N200,000 on tests and other expenses at Igando and LUTH.

"We contacted the hospital's social society service but they said we should try to pay half of the sum before they can do something. "

He lamented that the nationwide health workers'strike added to their woes because it paralysed services at LUTH and they were unable to reach out to the authorities for further negotiation.

"I am appealing to kind hearted Nigerians to help offset this bill so that we can go back home."

Reacting to the development, Public Relations Officer, LUTH, Mr Kelechi Otuneme said although the hospital management was initially unaware of their plight, it has, however, stepped in.

"They are yet to officially approach or notify the management about the issue but they have been advised to source for funds to settle the pharmacy fees and also settle the blood bank charges and then approach the mangement for negotiation over the balance.

"We have collected all the unused drugs they purchased and given discount so that they are only paying for what they have used.

"They do not have to pay for the blood if they can get someone to donate to replace what was used, however they need to exhaust all avenues available for patients that are owing the hospital."

If you are moved and wish to assist. kindly call 08188541868 for more information.

Photo: Masixole Feni/GroundUp

Many girls routinely skip up to a week of school every month because they don't have sanitary pads.

By Gadiosa Lamtey

Dar es Salaam — Tanzanian women are expected to save a minimum of Sh7,000 per year following the scrapping of Value Added Tax (VAT) on sanitary pads, which is slightly more than 15 per cent.

The Citizen calculation shows that one women spends at least Sh36,000 inclusive of VAT per year on buying the sanitary pads, but following the government's decision, they will now be spending Sh29,232 only. The calculation was based on average 144 sanitary pads pieces used by one woman per year or three pieces per day at a retail price of Sh2,000 per pack.

The Msichana Initiative founder and executive director, Ms Rebeca Gyumi, commended the government's decision saying VAT was forcing the prices of the sanitary pads to go up.

"Prices were high because manufacturers had to pay VAT when importing materials. However, the sanitary pads prices will certainly go down now. We are also planning to meet various manufacturers and discuss issues pertaining to the product," said Ms Gyumi

She said a discount of 18 per cent per pack will make the sanitary pads affordable for poor women and girls. According to her, discussions are needed between women rights advocacy groups and manufacturers to determine how cheaper they can sold.

Ms Gyumi added: "There is, however, still a challenge for manufacturers because we doubt that they may start producing substandard products to maximise profits that's why we want to meet them."

The plan to scrap VAT on the sanitary pads was announced by the minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Phillip Mpango, when tabling the proposed budget for the 2018/19 financial year last week. Special Seats MP (Chadema) Upendo Peneza told The Citizen that the effort made by government to scrap VAT was commendable, but more efforts should be made to ensure that the low income women also benefit.

By Muhammed S. Bah

The new Mayoress of Banjul Rohey Malick Lowe, said she will give back part of her monthly salary towards the Education of girls in Banjul.

Madam Lowe made this remark during her address at the 'Feed The Kids', an annual festive event held at the Arch, at the entrance of Banjul, on Koriteh Day. Hundreds of children came together, some with their parents, to celebrate the occasion.

"Girls tell your parents to register you through your various Councillors in your Wards, so that I can help you with your education," she told Children at the event.

Speaking in Wollof, Mayoress Lowe said this was part of her campaign promise that her Salary will be ploughed back to help the people of Banjul if she wins. "Now I'm making it clear to everyone that I am going to invest on girl's Education, which is geared towards women Empowerment," she told the gathering.

After her address she was seen sharing biscuits and sweets given to her by the organisers of the event, and children could also be seen elated in receiving the biscuits from her.

The program was organised by a youth group called 'Revelation Group', and they organized this annual festive event that is held during the three days of every Muslim feast of Koriteh and Tobaski.

Essaha Sowe, a member of the group who doubles as the New Banjul Youth Committee Chairman, said the aim of the program is to bring Banjul children together during such festivities.

"We have children going as far as the Kombos during such festivities in previous years and most of them will dangerously lose their way back home. This is what we want to put to a stop to and most parents appreciate this," he told this reporter.

Sowe used the opportunity to thank their sponsors, BayBa Financial Services, for putting resources in such a good initiative; that during the festive event, they served children with biscuits and sweets, and played music for them to enjoy themselves before going home.

The police allegedly assaulted a 22-year-old pregnant woman, locked her in cells and later sent her to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), claiming she wanted to commit suicide.

Ama Agyemang, the victim, was said to have had a disagreement with her mother over the sale of her (victim) mobile handset.

Following the disagreement, two community police personnel went to Abrepo, in Kumasi, and arrested the victim and handed her over to the Sofoline Police Station, where she was locked up, amid beatings, leaving her with marks on her body.

Efforts by the Ghanaian Times to contact Head of the Ashanti Regional Police Public Affairs Unit, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Juliana Obeng, failed as there was no response to her phone calls.

The Ghanaian Times gathered that the incident took place on the evening of Friday, when the victim had the argument with her mother.

The two community police personnel were said to have arrested her and later released her.

But, the victim was said to have confronted a woman, she accused of causing her arrest, and the woman and her siblings, who are community police personnel and two other policemen beat her, took her to the police cells, and handcuffed one of her hands to the cells door.

Realising that she was weak, the police took her to the accident and emergency unit of the KATH claiming that she had wanted to commit suicide.

Checks by the Ghanaian Times at the KATH, indicated that medical checks revealed no signs of suicide, apart from marks of severe beatings, but the police source maintained that she wanted to commit suicide hence the decision to send her to the KATH.

By Locadia Mavhudzi

Women in Gweru, under the umbrella organisation of the Women's Coalition, have petitioned the MDC-T- led Gweru City Council over various service delivery concerns.

The petition which was signed by over 5 000 women led to the city council engaging the leadership of the women's group in a meeting recently.

Chairperson of the Women's Coalition (Gweru Chapter), Mrs Violet Magodo, said women are the burden bearers hence when services are poor it is the women and children who suffer most.

"We have taken it upon ourselves to engage council on critical issues such as the water supply situation and refuse collection as these are putting our health at risk," she said

Reads part of the petition: "On erratic water provision, most taps are dry during the day and water only comes around midnight every day. The quality is also deplorable as the water is rusty in colour and has foreign objects. To address this challenge, some households have dug up unprotected wells which pose serious health challenges as the water is not treated and the wells are also breeding ground for mosquitoes. There have been reported cases of young children losing their lives when they fall into those unprotected wells.

"On erratic refuse collection, it was also noted that council has been failing to collect refuse as often as it should. This has led to a sprouting of undesignated dumpsites in areas of Mkoba, Ascot, Mambo, Mutapa and Senga. These dumpsites -- besides being eyesores -- are also potential sources of outbreaks of diseases such as malaria, and water and airborne diseases as they as breeding ground for mosquitoes and houseflies. The undesignated dumpsites also contribute to the blockage of drainage systems within the city."

press release

The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) wishes to extend its sincere appreciation to the fathers of our society as they celebrate Fathers' Day on Sunday. The Commission wishes to salute the contribution fathers and father figures make to the lives of the children. This day celebrates fatherhood and male parenting. Fathers' Day has an important celebratory significance, as it reminds us of the role that fatherhood plays in the upbringing of children. Fathers and father figures alike should be to be proud of their roles and status in their households.

CGE also pays homage and respect to all responsible fathers who assist their spouses and partners in household chores, assisting with homework and assignments, including caring for their children. "Responsible fatherhood also affords children to play and stay at school in order to pursue future endeavours... It also goes a long way in addressing the alleviation of burden of unpaid care work on women. It allows women to be free to pursue productive work", says Lulama Nare, Chairperson of the Commission for Gender Equality.

We are also calling upon absent fathers to think about the role that they would have been playing instead of letting their kids without proper role modelling that might have a bearing in years to come.

On this year's occasion of Fathers' Day, the Commission for Gender Equality pays tribute to all fathers in the country.

Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality

Photo: SABC Screenshot

Ferjani Sassi successfully took the penalty for Tunisia.

Blog By Juanita Williams

Cape Town — Tunisia is up, carrying the hopes of Africa on their shoulders. Let's not talk about that EU membership application right now, okay?

Anyway, two minutes into the game and Tunisia are forced to defend vigorously with a shot to goal from the British players.

England's Dele Alli at the centre of the action the first, and then the second attempt minutes later.

So much action that the Carthage Eagles goalkeeper is seen receiving some attention for his arm after a long slide clearing the goal, and holds his arm in pain.

Substitute goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha is now warming up to take over.

Harry Kane – captain - scores for England after 11 minutes – feels like finally after three attempts in the early part of the match.

It's rather unkind of the commentator to say that everything that could go wrong for the Tunisians has already... I mean they haven't scored an own goal!

Ben Mustapha replaces a weeping Mouez Hassen after 17min and is immediately put to work.

England goes on a series of attacks.

Two clear attacks and two corners from Tunisia in the space of a few minutes – cleared with no problem though. Nice work from the fresh goalie.

Kyle Walker pulls Fakhereddine Ben Youssef down.

Penalty! Ooh Tunisia, better not mess it up. I don't care if Messi did.

First African goal of World Cup 2018! Ferjani Sassi beats England's Jordan Pickford.

More after half-time...

Yhoo, these breaks are over quickly! Didn't even finish my snack. How fit are these players?

Is England's Alli still on? He was limping earlier. Ah, there he is... not serious then I guess. Or England's hoping his fire from the first few minutes of the match will return.

I'm clearly not invested enough - the game's a bit boring when there's no attack.

Wait, a free kick for England. But first they're going take Raheem Sterling off and replace him with Marcus Rashford. According to the commentator, who's just annoying now, Rashford can win a game if "he's let off the leash". Tunisia's wall is looking good though, so no go for England. Also because Kieran Trippier went too wide.

Although I find these commentators annoying - they do come with gems like England have never lost to a team from the continent before...

Another free kick from England - Ashley Young this time. Some tempers there. Fight, fight! No, sorry.

Over the posts for Young. Nicely done on that distraction fight bit there Tunisia. Heh.

Someone has a horn. It's no vuvuzela, but it breaks the droning monotony of the fans. Ten minutes to go, and another free kick for England ending in nothing.

Rashford showing his worth there by winning England a corner. What will they do? Goalie's punch hits one of the British players - Mustapha gets the wind kicked out of him. Bad luck for the Carthage Eagles goalkeepers tonight. But Tunisia decide to replace their captain Wahbi Khazri with another striker, Saber Khalifa. What lovely names.

Find myself saying "Nice!" when Tunisia steals the ball from England, and shouting "No! Denied!" when England's shot at goal is saved by Mustapha. I guess I'm into soccer now. The World Cup will apparently do that to you.

From a Young corner, to Kane who scores again, with a header.

"Stolen at the death!" This commentator hey. "A pile of English joy!" as the England players celebrate with throwing themselves on the field and hugging.

"The Kane Way!" Ugh. England beat Tunisia 2-1.

Disclaimer: Juanita Williams, allAfrica's managing editor, is not a soccer/football expert, or even a fan. She last watched a full match when South Africa hosted the World Cup in 2010.

Photo: Africa Top Sport

Nigeria vs Croatie

opinion By Dennis Erezi

The Super Eagles' performance against Croatia happened in contrast to the expectations of many, after a 2-0 loss disappointing in their opener of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Iceland is next how will they fare against a team that held Argentina?

Before that day, here are five focal reasons we Nigeria lost against Croatia.

Shaky back four and setpiece conundrum

In the build-up to the World Cup, Nigeria played three games against Dr Congo; one goal conceded, two against England and one against the Czech Republic, all from setpieces. And in their World Cup opener, two goals were conceded from a setpiece, which makes it a total of six goals conceded from setpieces.

This goes to show that the back-line of William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Sheu Abdullahi and Brian Idowu is yet to learn from past mistakes. They continue conceding goals in the same old manner. Though they looked quite composed in open play, the act of making every setpiece by opponents a potential attempt on goal must stop.

Poor transitional play

Another undoing of the team is the "poor transitional play". The midfield couldn't connect play from the middle of the park to the attack, instead, they pass to the back four that often passes to the goalie; Francis Uzhoho to kick it out for opposition to start play. At no time during the game did the personnel in the midfield threaded ten complete passes together, no talk of feeding the attack with the required balls to threaten the Croatian team in defence. Instead, the ball is kicked to no one in particular. Mikel and his cohort should be doing better.

Wrong player positioning

By now, Coach Gernot Rohr should know the most suitable positions each player can fit into according to adopted tactics. An example is playing the captain; John Obi Mikel who naturally shields the back four playing in the "No 10" position. Oghenekaro Etebo, a central midfielder playing the deep role alongside Wilfred Ndidi, while Alex Iwobi who thrives in the creative midfield position was pushed to the flanks.

One would think of the speed and pressure a 31-year-old Mikel would put on the opposition and what he creates for the team would be taken into consideration.

Of course, Mikel is not one of the crafty players anyone would call on to penetrate a defence. He has the passes to do on occasions. But how many times did he do that against Croatia? In the same way, you cannot be playing Etebo in defensive midfield position and expect to see him in his best.

Unresultful setpiece

The Super Eagles had 13 setpieces, including corner kicks taken in the opposition's half, whereas the Croatian team only managed ten in the Eagle's half. With fewer setpiece actions, they made the most of it. Victor Moses who's performance is one to forget in a hurry kept taking unresultful setpiece as he also struggled to deliver a tallying cross all through the game. It is a known fact that the trusted setpiece taken in the team is John Obi Mikel, so why experiment Moses for a role he has not mastered before now at the World Cup?

Delayed substitutions

At the beginning of the game, both teams were cautious and wary of each other. But the Croats changed gear. Unfortunately, Nigeria Gernot Rohr did not realize it until the end of the game. Had Rohr been sensitive to the pace of the game, Mikel would have long been substituted before the 84th minute when Simmy Nwankwo was introduced. Also, Ndidi and Leon Balogun seem not to have recuperated well which should have made him to introduce a like-for-like Ogenyi Onazi and Kenneth Omeruo to match.

With Croatia out of the way, Iceland comes next after they got a point off Argentina in their 1-1 draw. Certainly, they are no pushovers, hence the Gernot Rohr led Super Eagles should be prepared for a cracker.

Photo: SABC Screenshot

Ferjani Sassi successfully took the penalty for Tunisia.

By Simiso Shabangu

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia has been nothing short of exciting. We have enjoyed bitter losses, heroic efforts, controversial decisions by the match officials among other dramatic moments that can be expected in such a prestigious tournament. The latter is still yet to catch up with the African teams as 3 of 5 teams have already played their first matches and have already tasted defeat.

First up, it was Egypt. A justifiable reason for their loss was the injured Mohamed Salah, who failed to make it onto to the pitch and wow the fans with his dazzling sprints and his calm and collected goal-scoring ability. The Pharaohs fell to a narrow 1-0 loss at the hands of fellow Group A members Uruguay on matchday 2. This saddened not only the helpless Salah, who was watching from the bench but also the whole continent of Africa who has high expectations on all of the teams participating in this year's competition.

Morocco's case was no different. They succumbed to a 1-0 defeat thanks to the well-organized defending of the Iranian team. This might come as a surprise to someone who knows what Benatia's teammates are capable of. Morocco really had it all in one basket from kick-off. They came to play, and play they did. They dominated the match and barely gave Iran any chance until late on. What broke the hearts of the hundreds of millions of fans watching the game was the way in which the match slipped out of their hands. An own goal by Bouhaddouz in the 95th minute sealed the victory for a very fortunate Iranian side. At this kind of tournament, you cannot afford to lift your foot off the gas. They were made to pay for their lapse in concentration, and the result will paint a bad picture in the minds and hearts of the fans. That is a lesson learned for them.

Nigeria came in on the third try. They took on Luka Modric's Croatian side, but their fate was sealed in less than five mins into the match. Playing an opening match can be nerve-wracking, as was the case for Nigeria who looked nothing like the team that put up a fight against England in the friendlies not so long ago. Nigeria looked uncomfortable, unprepared and it was just a matter of time before the Croatians would humble them. Like Morocco, Nigeria conceded an own goal on the 32nd minute before Luka Modric scored a penalty to make it 2-0 to Croatia. Why is it that they lost, you may ask. Because of three main reasons, i.e. nerves, the tactical approach to the match, and a poor performance from the leaders of the team. The coach failed to prepare the team for the game and made some questionable substitutions throughout the 90 minutes. A lot more could be offered by the likes of Mikel, Iwobi, Moses, and Ndidi. Surely, this humbling experience should work as a learning curve for Nigeria and the other two African nations that are still yet to play.

Things are not looking good for Africa thus far at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. Not all hope is lost though, with Tunisia and Senegal still yet to play. It piles more pressure on them to do better than the teams mentioned above. Tunisia and Senegal have seen it all by this stage and should be prepared to battle with their lives like Morocco did but cannot afford to drop their concentration levels. Managers have to do their part and select their best players and make sure that they set up in a formation that allows them to contribute to the best of their abilities. Star players have to lead by example and influence the games into their favor.

Defenders cannot afford to make costly errors like own-goals in the remaining matches. A big question mark is on how Tunisia will fare without their best player, Msakni, who is missing from the game due to injury. Will they respond to this loss the same way Egypt did without Salah or will they take ownership of the performance and make sure that they will be leading by the time the referee blows the whistle at the end of 90 minutes?

analysis By Martin Plaut

Ethiopia has broken the stalemate, but several practical and political challenges remain.

In response to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's decision to accept the Algiers Agreement, signed at the end of the tragic 1998-2000 border war, many Eritreans will be thinking: "about time too". And they are right.

The Boundary Commission, established in accordance with the treaty, ruled on where the disputed border between the two countries lay. But Ethiopia - discovering that the border town of Badme, which had ignited the war, had been awarded to Eritrea - began insisting on further talks. Eritrea refused, saying that there was nothing more to discuss.

The Boundary Commission faced enormous obstacles as both countries (but mostly Ethiopia) raised objections to the demarcation process. Finally, it threw up its hands in despair and was disbanded in 2007.

This is how matters stood until Prime Minister Abiy's decision to break the stalemate earlier this month. This is a first step, but achieving peace is not just a matter of issuing statements. Here are some of the key issues.peace

Four key border issues to be resolved

1) Both countries - in their wisdom - insisted at Algiers that the Boundary Commission would have no wriggle room in deciding where the border should be. Theirs would be a purely legal judgement based on "pertinent colonial treaties (1900, 1902 and 1908) and applicable international law" rather than on fairness or justice. In the legal jargon, it was stated: "The Commission shall not have the power to make decisions ex aequo et bono."

That was what both Ethiopia and Eritrea demanded and what they got. As a result, the border cuts communities in half, deprives farmers of access to their fields and pastures, and divides villages. It would be perfectly possible for both sides make sensible adjustments here and there, but that would require co-operation and goodwill: something that has been absent since the war erupted in 1998.

2) Both sides will also have to agree on the date on which the border ruling will be implemented. Without this coordination, there could be a complete absence of governmental authority along the one-thousand kilometre border as one country pulls out without the other arriving.

3) The Algiers Agreement established a Temporary Security Zone that keeps both sides 25 kilometres apart - i.e. out of artillery range of each other. But this Zone was set up on the Eritrean side of the unofficial border, since Eritrea lost the war. This is shown in the United Nations map below, which was never officially published.

This means that Ethiopian forces will have to pull out of Eritrea and be re-deployed along the official border. Because the Commission awarded some areas of land to Ethiopia as well as Eritrea, however, Ethiopian troops will have to advance in some places as they retreat in others. Eritrean soldiers will have to do the same. This requires careful co-ordination if it is to be achieved peacefully.

4) Where will new border and customs posts be established? These need to be aligned, otherwise they will not work. Again, discussions and co-operation are required.

Internal politics

Even this brief overview of the issues shows how vital it is that Ethiopia and Eritrea talk to each other. There is much to discuss, even if the border is drawn precisely to meet the Boundary Commission's ruling.

Who should assist in this? Again, the Algiers treaty is helpful. It required that the Boundary Commission ruling be sent to the Secretary-Generals of the UN and Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union). Article 4 paragraph 16 states: "Recognizing that the results of the delimitation and demarcation process are not yet known, the parties request the United Nations to facilitate resolution of problems which may arise due to the transfer of territorial control, including the consequences for individuals residing in previously disputed territory."

Surely this is an invitation for the UN Secretary General to use his good offices to overcome the issues raised above. The Algiers Agreement was witnessed by the United States and European Union who should, in good conscience, also play their part.

Having said this, no-one should underestimate the political problems the Abiy peace initiative has raised for both countries. The Tigray People's Liberation Front - formerly the most powerful party within Ethiopia's governing EPRDF alliance is furious the Prime Minister is apparently turning his back on the path trodden by his predecessor Meles Zenawi. Demonstrations have been organised in Tigray and there could be a showdown within the EPRDF.

In Eritrea there has, officially, been stony silence. This is in line with President Isaias Afwerki's long-held belief that he can outlast any international problem by just sitting tight. In the end, he believes, the other side will fold. He has generally been right, although this has come at the cost of impoverishing his nation and resulted in an indefinite confrontation with Ethiopia, leaving an entire generation trapped in conscription. Unofficially, government controlled media has poured scorn on Abiy's offer.

Clearly the road to a final resolution of the border could be long and rocky. Without the immediate support and involvement of the UN and the rest of the international community, it is unlikely to succeed.

Photo: Rod Waddington

A member of the Dassanech Tribe on the border of Ethiopia and Kenya. Nomadic pastoral groups regularly defy borders leading to conflicts with farmers and a growing security concern over the ability of some African states to govern these territories.

Episode Eight: "The African State"
In this episode: Alagaw Ababu Kifle, Pamela Mbabazi, Sagal Abshir

SCOTT MALCOMSON:  Welcome to Diffusion, a podcast of Carnegie Corporation of New York.  I'm Scott Malcomson.
AARON STANLEY:  And I'm Aaron Stanley.  In Episode 8, we are discussing the role of the contemporary African state.
PAMELA MBABAZI:  The contemporary state is very problematic.  It's in a state of remission, due to a lot of influences: within itself, because of ethnicity, tribalism; but also the influences from without, the structural adjustment, the globalization, and all this that’s affecting the state in Africa.  So we need to really dissect it and see what was the pre-colonial arrangement of this, how did colonialism affect it, and then through currently, globalization, how that is affecting a particular state.
MALCOMSON:  You just heard Pamela Mbabazi, the head of research and policy analysis at The Institute for Peace and Security Studies in Addis Ababa.  She joined us in Addis with Alagaw Ababu Kifle, a research associate at The African Leadership Centre.
ALAGAW ABABU KIFLE:  When you look at the Western tradition, power was consolidated internally.  You know, there has not been a powerful actor outside that can shape the trajectories of statehood there.
MBABAZI:  The things inside, yes.
KIFLE:  But you know, the unique circumstance where African states come into existence and their embeddedness in an international political economy where there are very powerful states that are able to advance their interests at the expense of other states.  So that significantly shaped the policy these states will adopt, the directions they will take.  But also the force they want to rely on if they want to stay in power. It is not the local people that they want to rely on!
KIFLE:  Because the finance is not in the local people.  They get their finance from donors.  And if that's the case, then your dependence will be more on those from whom you acquire your resources. That, I think, shaped the nature of the African state itself.
MBABAZI:  That is so true.  And I think in line with that, when you try to understand the different states, or the different nation-states in Africa, you would need to analyze their relationship with the international community to decide the nature and character of a state.  'Cause if you look at a country like Ethiopia, the way it's been able to relate to the international community in a very unique way, to mobilize capital and be able to be the way it is, and then you look at one like Chad for instance, and its relation to the international community — so I think it's a very, very important factor in the whole geopolitics of Africa really.  The position of the international community and how it relates … in some cases, it's been very problematic.  In some, it's very detrimental.  It has been an engine of growth.  So I guess the onus is on African states and on our leaders per se, in the kind of way in which they relate to the international community.  Because the international community has its own interests, of course.
STANLEY:  Right.
MBABAZI:  And again, I put the blame on our leaders, because I think they have the ability and right to say no.  But in some cases, they just agree to relate in a manner that is really problematic.  So the international community has its own interests, the African countries have their interests, and they're not homogenous, so each country is still operating in its way.
MBABAZI:  But their relationship with the international community defines their national character.
MALCOMSON:  But the international community itself is becoming more diverse as we speak
MBABAZI:  You can't say "the international community".
MALCOMSON:  It doesn't seem like it.  I mean it's, I mean China being the main instance, but not the only one.  So what happens when the international community becomes diverse enough that it can't really be considered, from an African state perspective, as a unitary actor?
MBABAZI:  Uh-huh.
KIFLE:  I think it creates room for maneuver of African states because if you get farther from one country, then you shift to the other.  Also you might have resources that will be useful for one party to the other.  So it's a good thing for African states, the diversification of powerful actors, because it increases reserve their room for maneuver.
MBABAZI:  To me, the other aspect of it is not the international community, but international institutions.
MBABAZI:  I think one other aspect has been the fact that many African countries lack policy ownership, because international community, I mean international institutions, define, determine the kind of policies.  If you look at the IMF, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, they are dependent on that.  So the African countries don't have policy ownership.  And that has affected how they operate in a big way, because if you look at Uganda, which I know very well, all our policies have had to be in line of, in line with, especially during the structural adjustment, privatization.
STANLEY:  Structural adjustment was a program prescribed in the 1980s by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund for countries with faltering economies who wanted to continue to obtain new loans from these organizations.  Conditionality is focused on privatization and cutting government spending, notably on civil service.
MBABAZI:  The state in itself is not really African, if I might put it that way.  Because if you have to, for instance, privatization, the way in which Uganda was pushed to privatize, all the national companies had to be divested, the sugar corporation, the tea corporation.  And this ultimately turned out not to be the right thing, because the IMF had its own way of thinking.  Or even reduction in government expenditure, restructuring of the civil service — and now we are coming to see that the biggest challenge in most African countries is lack of capacity.  And yet there was a whole restructuring of the civil service at the time.
STANLEY:  I wonder about NGOs as well, from the other side of it.
MBABAZI:  The role, the role of NGOs.
STANLEY:  So rather than implementing policy, but, the international community as NGOs where they're going in and doing education at the local, and in many ways, in these kind of rural areas outside of what would be normally considered in…
MBABAZI:  They've stepped in.
STANLEY:  Hardcore state control.  And are they kind of giving governments, central governments an out? A way of not having to provide some of these services in these areas so that the actual role of the state doesn't reach these farther-out areas?
MBABAZI:  For the Ugandan case, because of the structural adjustment…
MBABAZI:  The state was rolled back.
STANLEY:  Anyway.
MBABAZI:  It was rolled back, and there was a gap.  And that's where you see a proliferation of international communities now coming in to fill these gaps.  And that was a time we had the war in northern Uganda.  And yet unfortunately because of corruption, much of the international community came in through, there was a whole reconstruction of northern Uganda, NGO arrangement in the prime minister's office which turned out to be corrupted, and ultimately the impact wasn't that much.
    But in answer to your question, it was because of the rollback in the state because of the international policies that gaps were created where then the international community came in.  So yes, they have helped, in cases where they haven't been fraught with corruption, and they have made a huge difference in education and health, in education, mainly education, health, sanitation as well, water and sanitation.  So they have filled the gaps where the state has not been.  And in a way, it's not that the state has not been, it was weakened by the kind of policies introduced.
Inclusiveness, and that touches across, if you see what Boko Haram is all about.  I mean the north has been disenfranchised, if you may, compared to the rest of Nigeria.  But certainly, I think, Zimbabwe — look at South Africa now, it's a time bomb there.  I think it's about inclusion.  So how our leaders, our societies, craft mechanisms to ensure that all ethnicities are, have equal access, or if not equal access at least have access to power…
MBABAZI:  Is the challenge.  That is the big challenge, to make sure — and the fact that our societies are so ethnically divided, I think another important factor to always consider in African politics is ethnicity.  That is a major factor, because if one ethnic tribe assumes power, and it does not allow access to the other ethnicities, that's a recipe, everything goes, because it affects all the facets of society.  So ethnicity to me is a very central factor in understanding Africa's broader politic.
MALCOMSON:  In the case of Kenya…
MALCOMSON:  Kenya had a political crisis.
MALCOMSON:  It came up with a new constitution.  One of the main themes of it was to devolve power.  And so power was devolved to 40-plus different administrative units.  At least one effect of this might be to exacerbate local conflict.  Kenya might have come up with some means to devolve power in such a way that it's weakening its own state.  Now that might be a good thing; I don't know.  But just the pattern of it is interesting.  It's sort of the upside down of the pan-Africa stuff that we've been talking about.
MBABAZI:  I think to me, it's really, again, trying to see what system works better.  Because the state as it's been, has not been addressing the local issues.  It's been so distant, not addressing the needs and desires of the local population.  So in an attempt to devolve, decentralize, it's really about giving people access to social services, addressing people's needs and being …  of course, it's an issue of balance, I think.  We need to find, I think, a way of balancing.  But ultimately, if you compare having a centralized system of government and a decentralized, though it has its own challenges, like the ones you pointed out, I think ultimately having a system of governance that responds to your felt needs is certainly much more, much better than having a centralized one, and to me, actually, I think we have to find unique systems of governance that can address the fact that we are ethnically diverse.
And one way to do that is to decentralize and actually devolve, give these unique ethnicities that ability to respond to their needs rather than having … because our societies are so unique, they are totally different from that Westphalian model that sees a society that can respond. So I feel that if in fact Kenya has shown us the way, and we need to challenge our thinking as African scholars to find ways to make it work, and find solutions to the challenges that I imagine right now in Kenya, use it as an example to see how it can relate.  'Cause to me I think decentralization really in itself is a good thing, if we can get it right, but contextualize it.  Because it can't be a one-size-fit-all situation.  But we need, I think structures, institutions that can respond to the felt needs of the ethnically diverse society.  Because really, the state system of governance seems not to be working at all!  We have to find ways to make it work.
I think we haven't challenged our thinking enough as African scholars to find what would work best for our unique, because really the Western state model has been superimposed, and it's really, I think to me the African state is not a state because it's not African.  So we need to look back to the way our societies were organized, find best ways to integrate with what, I'm not saying wash away the state, but we have to find unique models.  We need to challenge our thinking, but we haven't done enough research.  Like now already you'll find a lot of literature about dismissing devolution in Kenya.  I think we need to have a more positivist way, find what will work.  What has worked, what can work, and find solutions.
KIFLE:  I think, I mean the origin of the idea of decentralization itself is in response to failures in centralized policy.  If you take for example Kenya, the policy in the post-independence period where, especially in the development arena, it says that economic development has to be targeted in areas that are highly productive.
KIFLE:  That's generated inequality and you know, all this ethnic discontent.  So in that sense, it's a reaction to the failure of the previous policy.
MBABAZI:  I agree.
KIFLE:  The same with Ethiopia you know, you have a centralized state, and in the name of unity an assimilation policy was pursued where a single language was enforced for everyone.  But the result was counterproductive.  You have this big civil war and all these things.  So the decentralization in essence is a reaction to the period of centralized policy.
MBABAZI:  I agree.
KIFLE:  Whether that reduced the importance of the state or the idea of the state:  It may, but what did you really want?  Do we want people so that they have a near government that serves them, or do we want the state to remain intact?  Why, after all, should we care about the state if people are going to serve their interests by having a local authority near to them?  I think that has to be pointed out.  As [does] every system,  decentralization has also its own drawback.
KIFLE:  Especially in the immediate…
KIFLE:  Once you introduce it, what we see in Kenya now is, it intensified competition at the local level.  And exactly as I think the circuit of decentralization, by dispersing the power…
KIFLE:  You disperse conflict.
KIFLE:  So they don't accumulate to become, you know, a large scale war.
MBABAZI:  True, true.
KIFLE:  In that sense, you know, what decentralization did is simply to disperse the sources of violence.
MBABAZI:  And corruption as well.
KIFLE:  It all depends on what do you mean by inclusive.  Does inclusiveness mean reflecting the wish of the people?  Does that mean just bringing their representatives to the state?  What is it you are talking about when you are talking about inclusiveness? Of course we all know that political institutions will not survive if those who are powerful are not served by these institutions.
MBABAZI:  Yeah, they have to.
KIFLE:  Since they have power, they will overthrow the system. Well, you have many ways into power, to some extent.  But what can you do if that is counterproductive of global social transformation?  I think that is the challenge.  If the way those who are powerful actors, if their interests are not served by bringing change and development, they will be comfortable doing things the way they have been doing.  And in the long run, that is not sustainable.
MBABAZI:  I think that's the biggest challenge on the continent, how to ensure that all this inclusiveness of the different facets of society in each of the countries, and you find everywhere, where there are many, well South Sudan is more in a resource conflict really.  It's largely the oil, although they have their own issues, similar.  But I think in many other societies where there are tensions, even in Uganda which I talked about, it's a question of inclusiveness and trying to…
KIFLE:  Yeah.  I think inclusiveness becomes even more serious when you look at in terms of a situation where you have armed conflict.  The tendency in Africa now is fractionalization of armed groups.
KIFLE:  And the process of making peace, what are you going to do with all these armed factions? Bring them, and that would be giving incentives so that others follow suit.
KIFLE: And fracturing. What you see in Sudan and South Sudan, Sudan - -.
MBABAZI:  - - South Sudan.
KIFLE:  Yeah, even in Mali. In all these you have a situation where armed groups are fractionalizing, and what does inclusiveness mean in that context, especially in context of making the peace?  Does that mean bringing them to the negotiation table?  Does that mean just addressing their grievances?  How to make peace if they are not going to be included?
MBABAZI:  That is so true.
MBABAZI: It certainly moved like you said, pre-colonial, colonial, and into the time that we had a lot of engagement with international financial institutions, determining the policy.
MALCOMSON:  Let's call it neocolonial, I think.
MBABAZI:  Neocolonial.
MALCOMSON:  The term was used once or twice at the time.
MBABAZI:  And then now, where we seem to be going back to the roots, really.
MALCOMSON:  Yeah, yeah.
MBABAZI:  Trying to understand the African, where are we, pan-Africanism.  Where are we, who are we as Africans?  What are their--
MALCOMSON:  [Interposing] So it's the "Wakanda Forever" moment basically.
MBABAZI:  So it's…
MALCOMSON:  That movie is perfectly timed for this historical moment.
MBABAZI:  Yeah, true, true.  That's true.  So really, the African state in what we've discussed so far has been in a process of, it's still moving, still transforming.  So it's not static.  You can't say this is the African state.  No, it's real information.
KIFLE:  Inclusiveness become, and the notion become, very problematic in contemporary Africa when you look at it in terms of ideologically inspired actors.
KIFLE:  [Interposing] Like Al Shabab, or Al Qaeda in the Maghreb, Ansar whatever-you-call-them. Does that notion even accommodate those who have different notion of statehood?  There are even those who don’t subscribe to the idea of the state itself.
MBABAZI:  Boko Haram.
KIFLE:  Yeah, yeah, because they are now getting very powerful.  The armed insurgents landscape is dominated by these kinds of actors.  And that is a very significant challenge for our idea of statehood--
MBABAZI:  [Interposing] That's true.
KIFLE:  --and our idea of inclusiveness as well.
STANLEY: There’s something to say about rebel governance here, I think.
KIFLE:  They perform way better than many African states, especially when they emerge in power, they have been making a huge difference. They make a huge difference, but the problem is they don't subscribe to this idea of the state.  They don't restrict themselves within Somalia itself, or these other discourses or whatever. They declared jihad on Libya for example. And they have been using it as a base for international jihadist actors. That brings to the fore whether inclusiveness in that context means simply capitalizing on, I mean, addressing the grievances of a group which these radical groups capitalize on, or does it also mean ideological shift so that, for example, make Sharia state religion in such country?  I mean does that mean … be taken as a model of inclusiveness?
MALCOMSON:  We turn to Sagal Abshir, independent researcher, consultant, and former Somali government advisor, whom we spoke with in Nairobi.
SAGAL ABSHIR:  I think it's important to first acknowledge that there is a robust and lively Somali public space.  And there are active debates happening about these very big questions of what do we want in a country?  What do we want our state to be and to do?  How do we improve our security?  What do we do about Al-Shabaab?  What have we done for our young people?  What are we offering them?  And it's not happening just within Somalia.  It's happening across the Somali global diaspora.  What does it mean to be Somali?
So that’s a very live thing, and I don't think that's something that necessarily is visible to the outside world.  It happens online.  There is very active online debates and conversations, but we also have a very live media as well, websites, radio stations, and we've got a very, very open communications space, let's say, which is quite rare I think in many African countries.
The other thing I would say is important to keep in mind when thinking about Somalia is one UNDP report estimates that 73% of our population is under 30.  That's a significant number, and that number, 30 years is also significant.  That's how long we've been without a government.  So if you imagine, you've got three-quarters of the country not even understanding what you mean by, sort of, some of that historical, some of the standards of let's restore A, B, C.  Like it doesn't resonate.  And so that's two-sided, right.  You've got a high number of people who can be disappointed, right, who are looking for opportunities, who are either ending up recruited in some of these groups or are taking to the deserts and the seas, right, to try to get to Europe.
But on the flipside, you also have this tremendous resource and population.  And I think it's about how do we harness their imagination into making something new.  I think sometimes when we do this state building and this peace building, there's a lot of like, there's a lot of copy-pasting.  There's a lot of like well then there's a parliament, and then you must do this, and you must do that.  Well why?  We could come up with something completely different and new.  I mean nobody expected our telecom systems that work the way they do, and we've got telephone systems and Internet systems that far out-pass other countries.  How do we harness some of this energy of these young people to create a country?  'Cause it's for them, essentially, right.  I mean they're 73% of the population.
STANLEY:  In our next and final episode, we will hear perspectives on the phrase "African solutions to African problems".
MALCOMSON: Peacebuilders is produced by Matt Fidler for Carnegie Corporation of New York.

On Diffusion, a podcast of Carnegie Corporation of New York

By Kylie Kiunguyu

Brian Gitta, a 24-year-old Ugandan software engineer and the 2018 winner of the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, proved that solutions can come from personal experience and our day-to-day struggles. After missing university lectures due to chronic malaria, Gitta developed Matibabu, a device that tests for malaria without a blood test.

Brian Gitta, the first Ugandan and youngest winner of the prestigious Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, landed the award by developing an innovation that addresses crucial problems in his community in a new and appropriate way - exactly what the competition encourages.

With a team to back him, Gitta developed Matibabu, a device that tests for malaria without drawing blood. Matibabu, which means 'treatment' in Swahili, is a low-cost, reusable device that requires no expertise to use and gives results in minutes. The device clips onto a patient's finger and shines a red beam through the user's finger, detecting changes in the shape, colour and concentration of red blood cells, all of which are used to detect malaria.

According to a press statement, Matibabu is currently undergoing testing in partnership with a national hospital in Uganda and is sourcing suppliers for the sensitive magnetic and laser components required to scale up production. Once this phase has been completed, the device will be marketed to individuals, health centres and diagnostic suppliers.

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation team shortlisted 16 entrants from seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa, who received six months' training and mentoring. In this time they learned to develop business plans and market their innovations. Out of the 16, four finalists presented their projects at the awards ceremony held in Nairobi on 13 June 2018. These presentations were then judged by the Africa Prize judges and a live audience.

This year's judges were Mr Malcolm Brinded (president of the Energy Institute, chair of Engineering UK and trustee of the Shell Foundation), Rebecca Enonchong (founder and CEO of AppsTech and I/O Spaces), Mariéme Jamme (co-founder of Africa Gathering and founder of iamtheCODE and SpotOne Global Solutions) and Dr John Lazar (Angel investor and technology start-up mentor).

Securing first prize with his medical solution, Gitta won £25 000 (124 million Ugandan shillings). Close behind were the three runners-up, who each won £10,000. They were:

- Collins Saguru (Zimbabwe) for 'AltMet', a low-cost, environmentally friendly method for recovering precious metals from car parts

- Ifediora Ugochukwu (Nigeria) for 'iMeter', an intelligent metering system that gives Nigerian users transparency and control over their electricity supply

- Michael Asante-Afrifa (Ghana) for 'Science Set', a mini science lab that contains specially developed materials for experiment

Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation 2018 Winner Brian Gitta Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation 2018 Finalist Collins Saguru (Zimbabwe) Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation 2018 Finalist Ifediora Ugochukwu (Nigeria) Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation 2018 Finalist Michael Asante-Afrifa (Ghana)

After his win, Gitta said in a press statement: "We are incredibly honoured to win the Africa Prize - it's such a big achievement for us, because it means that we can better manage production in order to scale clinical trials and prove ourselves to regulators. The recognition will help us open up partnership opportunities - which is what we need most at the moment."

Gitta and the three runners-up beat some amazing projects, including the following:

- Brian Mwiti Mwenda (Kenya) for the 'Sixth Sense', a handheld echolocation device with ultrasonic sensors that alert visually impaired users to objects nearby

- Lawrence Okettayot (Uganda) for the 'Sparky Dryer', a low-tech dehydrator that dries fruit and vegetables to extend their shelf life and reduce food wastage

- Shalton Mphodisa Mothwa (South Africa) for the 'AEON Power Bag', which allows users to charge their phones on the go by converting radio waves and solar energy into power.

By Justus Ochieng' By Vivere Nandiemo

Migori Senator Ben Oluoch Okello has died in Nairobi.

Mr Okello, a former Ramogi and KBC radio presenter, passed on at a Nairobi hospital after long battle with cancer.

"He passed on at MP Shah Hospital shortly past midnight after battle with throat cancer," his nephew and family spokesman Mark Okundi told the Nation on Tuesday.

The Migori Senate Office also confirmed Mr Okello's death.

"We are very sad to inform the public that Senator Ben Oluoch Okello is no more," Mr Oguda Walter, the communications director, said.

"Join us in praying for his family during this most trying moment. Other updates will follow after consultative meetings."

Mr Okello, popularly known as BOO among his radio fans back then, has been in and out of hospital.

He was recently treated and discharged from an Indian hospital.

"He had been in India for two months and was treated. He went back for review and his doctors discovered a tumour that had not healed," the late senator's brother Dennis Ojwang' said.

"He was treated again and brought back to the country. He has been recuperating at MP Shah hospital. Unfortunately we lost him at 12.30 this morning."

The lawmaker's body has since been moved to Lee Funeral Home in Nairobi

Mr Okello was elected Migori senator on an Orange Democratic Movement ticket in the August 8, 2017 elections.

He replaced Dr Wilfred Machage, who decided not to defend his seat and instead chose to vie for the Kuria West parliamentary on Democratic Party ticket.


President Emmerson Mnangagwa orders a meal at a fast food outlet in Chegutu.

By Heather Charema

President Mnangagwa yesterday took Chegutu food lovers by surprise when he unexpectedly joined the queue in a fast-food outlet, bought his lunch and even tipped a cashier. The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces is now famous for his accessibility.

For instance, he has done away with the habit of hiring a marquee for official engagements, opting instead for modest tents just to shed VVIPS.

He also uses his escort vehicles to accommodate photojournalists and walks about to greet the crowd during rallies.

Yesterday afternoon he brought Chegutu to a standstill after he commandeered his full motorcade to Chicken Inn in the city centre.

Hundreds jostled to capture the rare moment on their smartphones and they recorded the scene free of any interference from Presidential security details.

President Mnangagwa, who is widely tipped to win the July 30 elections by a wide margin, has left many convinced that Zimbabwe is now witnessing a different political game to that of former president Mr Mugabe, who maintained a buffer zone between himself and the people.

Isabel Mtongerwa, the Chicken Inn cashier who served the President could not believe that she met him face-to-face.

"I could not believe that I was serving the President," she said.

"It has never happened in my life and somehow he proved to be worthy of my vote.

"He ordered a two-piecer and a minute maid, paid $3,75 with US$20 and told me to keep the change. He is very welcoming and makes you feel comfortable in his presence."

Management at Chegutu Chicken Inn could not believe a rare visit by the number one citizen.

The food outlet's manager Mr Peter Mutate said as an organisation, they felt honoured to serve the President.

"We can describe him as an amazing man, very friendly and free to interact with," he said.

"In other words, he is a people's person. Some of our staff members felt free to greet him. At the end of the visit, many people were left convinced that indeed the country is now witnessing a different political game."

One food lover at Chicken Inn, Mr Lovejoy Ngondo, said: "We have seen for the first time that this is a real President who is human like us. He eats Chicken Inn like us. At least he lives the same way we do. We can trust him with our lives."

Many who spoke to The Herald said after walking side by side with the President on his way to and from the food outlet it was now clear that Zimbabwe was witnessing a new political dispensation where leaders are closer to the people.

As King Mswati III, the absolute monarch of Swaziland, wears a watch worth US$1.6 million and a suit beaded with gold weighing 6 kg, the World Food Program has said it cannot raise the US$1.1 million it needs to feed starving children in the kingdom.

King Mswati turned 50 in April 2018 and wore the watch and suit at his birthday party. Days earlier he took delivery of his second private jet, a A340 Airbus, that after VIP upgrades reportedly cost US$30 million. He received E15 million (US$1.2 million) in cheques, a gold dining room suite and a gold lounge suite among his birthday gifts.

In a report published at the end of May 2018, the World Food Program said it needed US$1.13 million for the six months to November. It reported that due to lack of funds it had to halt indefinitely the Food by Prescription programme that assists people living with HIV and TB. The programme offers nutrition assessments, counselling and support services to 24,000 malnourished people receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART), treatment for TB, prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) services, as well as support to their families through a monthly household ration.

The report said despite its status as a lower middle-income country, 63 percent of Swazis lived below the national poverty line. Chronic malnutrition is a main concern and stunting of growth affects 26 percent of children under the age of five. The HIV rate in Swaziland is 26 percent of the population between the ages of 15-49. Life expectancy is 49 years, and 45 percent of children are orphaned or vulnerable.

By Takunda Maodza

The United Kingdom embassy in Zimbabwe yesterday exposed lies by the MDC Alliance that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is refusing to avail the voters' roll for the July 30 harmonised elections, with its Ambassador Catriona Laing saying they easily got their copy at the electoral body's office in Harare.

In fact, the MDC Alliance intends to stage a demonstration at its head office in Harare for the release of the voters' roll and was as of yesterday evening mobilising through social media.

Ambassador Laing confirmed through her Twitter handle that the UK embassy had accessed the voters' roll, posting: "As we have explained, we did what many others have done today which is go to ZEC, queue up, pay the fee and receive a CD copy of the roll.

"@CSU was there as was EU observer mission. As for talking to others I met @nelsonchamisa last week."

Added the UK embassy on its official Twitter handle: "Today we managed to access a copy of the voters' roll from @ZECZim offices. Our official went there early this morning, queued, paid 20 US and came back with a copy."

Advocate Fadzayi Mahere, who is contesting as an independent candidate in Mt Pleasant, also confirmed having received the voters' roll, contrary to assertions by MDC Alliance which claimed accessing the voters' roll was a nightmare.

"After requesting a copy of the voters' roll on Friday, we finally have a digital copy," she said. "Huge thanks to our team's head of election systems for his patience and hustle. My team is gold."

A Non Governmental Organisation, Election Resource Centre, which had sued ZEC over the voters' roll, also accessed it yesterday.

The NGO posted on Twitter: "ERC has successfully purchased a copy of the final voters' roll. You can access soft copies for a fee: 1. Ward Voters' Roll $2,2. Constituency Voters' Roll $10,3. National Voters' Roll is $20 PS: All candidates can access the Voters' Roll for free."

This exposed MDC Alliance activists and politicians that included Mr David Coltart and Mr Alex Magaisa.

Mr Magaisa, a former advisor to Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, had earlier implied that ZEC gave the UK embassy the voters' roll ahead of anyone else.

By Lawson Mabhena

Zimbabwe's new Constitution, Government and Electoral Commission have put the country on the right path towards the most "reasonable" elections since 1964, former MDC-T policy advisor and Bulawayo legislator Mr Eddie Cross has observed.

Mr Cross, who took up his first job in 1957, was probably using the referendum in which white residents of Southern Rhodesia voted overwhelmingly for independence from Britain on November 5, 1964, as the first election in his 54-year timeline.

In an article posted on his website last Friday, Mr Cross said while 38-year-old Zimbabwe was not a perfect democracy, it took older states like Britain 600 years to get where they are today.

"My concern about the real freedom of the voter to exercise their democratic rights in secrecy in a polling station and not face retribution afterwards, remain and whatever happens, will be an unseen factor. Still, this is Africa and we must allow for a gradual assumption of such rights -- after all it took Britain 600 years to get there and we could argue that many older States are still not there in all respects. The one thing that is true, is that we are in a much better place to hold a reasonable election than at any time since 1964," Mr Cross wrote.

"The great difference this time is that international observers and the media are now welcome guests and not 'enemies of the State'. We do not have to smuggle them in as 'golfers' or to smuggle their footage out once it is captured. The interaction with ZEC, as opposed to that secretive old man at the Registrar General's Office, Mudede, is completely different -- they listen, may not do anything, but at least we have access and get a hearing."

The observations by Mr Cross -- an MDC founder member -- come as egg in the face of MDC Alliance presidential candidate Mr Nelson Chamisa, who has been saying "it's either a free and fair election or no election", while demanding so-called electoral reforms.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has since responded to a petition by Mr Chamisa and his Alliance partners saying some of the demands are misdirected as they cannot be legally dealt with by the commission.

The commission also said it could not accede to the Alliance's demands to delay the elections as that was the duty of the courts. The electronic copy of the voters' roll, the Alliance was demanding, is now available, while State media has been covering all political parties.

Mr Cross, a trained economist, also spoke of change in the conduct of the police and how for the first time he managed to inspect a "reasonably clean" voters' roll.

"Then there is the politics -- yesterday was nomination day for tens of thousands of aspiring candidates for the 2 500 odd seats up for grabs in the elections now due on the 30th July. There are now 23 candidates for the Presidency and on average there will be any number for individual seats. The MDC called for a march the other day and a near record crowd turned out.

Zanu-PF Youth announced a rival march, but the Police banned it and said they could hold it the following day. On the day there was no interference although the riot Police were in evidence.

"Is this real democracy? I inspected the voters' roll in my District and found my face on a page with all the details correct. It's brand new and contains 5,5 million voters and should be reasonably clean. Previous rolls were maintained in secret under military control at a barracks in Harare and were constantly manipulated. There were millions of dead voters on it and it was used to ensure victory after victory for the ruling Party. Having a Constitutional right to inspect the roll or buy an electronic version meant nothing," wrote Mr Cross.

"There are still problems -- no access to the ZEC servers and we all know what that can mean. The Opposition had to go to the Courts to get electronic access to the roll, but that may now happen and will be a first since Independence. But many essential reforms to ensure a free and fair election are still not implemented. However, despite that, my friends in Zanu-PF tell me with a big smile -- this election will be better that those in Kenya! They also say that it may not be free and fair in the classical sense, but it will be 'smart'."

A United States-based woman, Princess Oyenike Oyedele Roberts, has declared her intention to run for presidency on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 presidential election.

Nike Roberts, as she is called, while addressing supporters in New York, also dissociated herself from corruption, vowing never to accept any donation from corrupt Nigerians to fund her campaign.

She said her aspiration was built on five-cardinal plans: Uninterrupted power supply, quality healthcare for all, creation of one million jobs annually, quality affordable education and security of lives and property.

The PDP presidential aspirant, whose campaign slogan is 'Hope 2019', is the Vice Chair of Nigerian-American Public Affairs Committee and the President, Association of African Media Practitioners in the U.S.

She blamed the problems of Nigeria on what she termed the current faulty structure, saying the Nigerian president in the next political dispensation must have the will to restructure the country to realise its potential.

Notwithstanding the allegation of corruption levelled against PDP when it was in power, she urged Nigerians to trust her integrity as she had not been tainted by any act of corruption having not held political positions.

Roberts said PDP is poised for a major shift ahead of 2019, claiming it was the party to beat and a viable platform because it had national appeal and spread.

"Our political system is driven by money and that's why we have the kind of leadership. The system should be driven by meritocracy - what you know to do, how to do it and the will to do it.

"That is what should drive people; it's not how much money you have or how much money you can invest in a person that you can control at the end of the day.

"That's what gave rise to the God-fatherism notion that it is who you know that gets you to the top. That system has continued for so long.

"But I'm seeing a new breed of leaders coming; a change that's going to cause a shift in how we do politics in Nigeria. We don't allow meritocracy to rule; we allow money to rule," she said.

She called for more determination in the fight against corruption so as to secure notable convictions with commensurate consequences through the executive, legislative and Judicial commitments.

The Osun-born presidential aspirant, in her 50s, said at the centre of her heart is the security of lives and property, saying: "We must secure the borders to prevent illegal infiltration and activities".

"As a matter of urgency, the National Identity system must be concluded in order to account for every individual in the national database.

"This will put face to crime and assist law enforcement agencies to deliver efficient services. I will also move for the professionalism of law enforcement agencies through inter-agency cooperation and improve their welfare."

She said apart from creating at least one million jobs annually, there would be an urgent review of the minimum wage to living wage to match current trends as well as a relief package for the extremely poor.

The politician said she would advocate for an expansion of the health insurance scheme to include all citizens while there would be incentives to encourage regular health checks.

Roberts promised to allocate minimum of 15 per cent of the annual budget to education as well as the total overhaul of the system to allow for early instruction in science, mathematics, engineering and technology.

She said: "There must be continuous training and certification for teachers and instructors at all levels. The public school infrastructure must be upgraded as a matter of urgency".

The politician pledged to overhaul the power infrastructure and tackle the ineffective model of operations to increase power generation to at least 20,000 megawatts using renewable sources to support the fossil sources.

Roberts said she had support base in all the 774 Local Government Areas and expressed confidence in the ability of the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct credible poll in 2019.

Nike Roberts attended Reagan Memorial Baptist Girls' Secondary School, Lagos(1975-81) before leaving for the United Kingdom to study hotel management in Oxford. According to her website,, Nike returned to Nigeria to work in the hospitality industry by developing her own brand of lunch delivery services to corporate clients, and event catering.

She later left for the US where she attended Gwinnett Technical College in Georgia.

She then started the first multi-cultural television station in Atlanta area, which showcases the experience of Africans in Diaspora. She also produced and hosted her own talk show.

Nike has degrees in Office Administration & Technology, Information Security, and Technical communications.(NAN)

By Eugène Kwibuka

Rwanda's economy grew 10.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2018, figures released by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning yesterday indicated.

The positive performance indicates that the economy has fully bounced back from a low economic growth of 1.7 per cent recorded in the first quarter of 2017.

In the first quarter of 2018, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at current market prices was estimated at Rwf1,985billion, up from Rwf1,816 billion in the same period the previous year.

According to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, the 10.6 per cent is a continuation of growth from the last quarter of 2017 when the country posted a 10.5 per cent growth.

"It means that recovery has been maintained," said Amina Rwakunda, a chief economist at the finance ministry.

The growth in the first quarter of 2018 was mostly driven by expansion in three main sectors of the economy; agriculture, industry, and services.

Agriculture grew by 8 percent while industry and services grew by 7 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.

The growth in agriculture was mainly boosted by a good harvest of food crops in season A (September to December last year), which grew 6 per cent, as well as export crops that grew by 46 per cent, mainly due to tea and coffee production.

Growth in the industry sector is mainly due to an increase of 8 per cent in construction as the sector is recovering following a very low growth in 2017.

The industry sector has also benefited from food processing which increased by 9 per cent. The processing of cereals, tea, and sugar are the largest contributors to the growth.

Locally made products such as textile, clothes and leather products increased by 24 per cent, which is mainly a result of the government's efforts to boost local production and consumption under the Made-in-Rwanda campaign.

Chemicals, rubber and plastics grew by 8 per cent, mostly boosted by the production of paints and soaps but beverages and tobacco decreased by 2 per cent.

As for the services sector, overall activities performed well with an increase of 12 percent as wholesale and retail trade increased by 26 per cent due to increase in tradable agricultural and manufactured products.

Transport activities also increased by 28 per cent, mostly boosted by air transport that increased by 32 per cent.

Under the services sector, information and communication increased by 24 per cent as people increasingly used their phones among other means to conduct business.

Financial services increased by 12 per cent while public administration increased by 15 per cent and human health and social work activities such as hospital services increased by 7 percent.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana, said that the economic growth posted in the first quarter of 2018 is a good measure that raises excitement and hope about the results in the next quarters.

"It's a very good result and we hope that subsequent quarters will also be good," he said.

The country's economy is projected to grow 7.2 percent this year, up from the 6.1 per cent posted last year.

Photo: The Guardian

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja

No fewer than 1.02 million passengers traveled through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja during the first quarter of this year, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), says.

FAAN's First Quarter Report obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja showed a 38.9 per cent growth from 623,727 recorded during the same quarter in 2017.

The growth recorded could not be unconnected to the closure of the airport between March 8 and April 19, 2017 for the rehabilitation of its runway.

The report indicated that 822,059 passengers travelled within the country (domestic passengers), while 199,925 passengers traveled out of and into Nigeria (international passengers) during the period.

It also said that 481,997 passengers were recorded at arrivals while 539,987 passengers were recorded at the departures during the period.

The monthly breakdown showed that 339,452 passengers comprising 263,625 domestic and 75,827 international passengers were recorded in January.

In February, 303,571 passengers comprising 248,863 domestic and 54,698 international passengers were recorded while 378,881 passengers comprising 309,571 domestic and 69,310 international passengers were recorded in March.

The report further revealed that there were 16,254 aircraft movements during the period as against the 9,956 aircraft movements recorded during the first quarter of 2017, showing a growth of about 42 per cent.

The report showed that 10,406 aircraft movements were recorded on domestic routes and 2,144 on international route.

In January, there were 5,278 aircraft movements, 5,422 in February and 5,702 in March.

The report further disclosed that 866,664 tons of cargo was recorded on international flights comprising 801,144 tons on arrivals and 65,520 tons on departures during the period.

It also showed a 65.9 per cent growth from the 522,145 tons recorded in the first quarter of 2017.

Photo: Supplied

Nthabeleng Likotsi (file photo).

By Kylie Kiunguyu

Nthabeleng Likotsi is on course to establish the first black women-owned bank in South Africa. Her aim is for the bank to empower black female entrepreneurs with the financial support they lack. "I asked myself what it meant to be a young black woman in South Africa. Truth is that not much is happening for black women."

At the age of 33, Nthabeleng Likotsi is the executive chairperson of the Young Women in Business Network (YWBN), which she and nine other board members started in 2009. The company, managed by women from different professions and industries, is connected by one goal: to provide economic empowerment for all female professionals and entrepreneurs.

On the formation of YWBN, Likotsi said, "I asked myself what it meant to be a black young woman in South Africa. And the truth of the matter was that not much is happening for black women," she said.

She did research and found that stokvels (community-based informal saving groups) contributed billions to the economy yet had no way of harnessing this financial power. Likotsi saw that these groups could be elevated into the investment space, if they were given the opportunity and support, and so could become a much-needed resource for many households across the country.

This gives an insight into Likotsi's overarching goal: to create black wealth. She realised that this could only be achieved through a bank that understood and was dedicated to a black entrepreneurial clientele. This led to the formation of a YWBN cooperative financial institution, which currently has 420 shareholders from age 16 to 75 and has collectively generated R4,2 million in investment.

In the past year, and as the chairperson of the YWBN Co-operative Bank, Likotsi has furthered the cause by working to meet South African Reserve Bank requirements in order to propel YWBN from being a cooperative to a mutual bank. On Friday, 15 June 2018, she and veterans of the 1956 Women's March trooped from the Union Buildings to the South African Reserve Bank to submit their application.

On the march, Likotsi told Huffington Post that they were taking a public stance against the lack of access for black women in the financial sector.

"There is a lot of preparation that goes into getting a licence to run a mutual bank. The requirement is that you should have between R10 million to R15 million, just for the application - excluding the capital expenditure and operational costs, among others," she said.

"Our theme is built around the women of 1956, who fought for political freedom. We can't expect them to still fight for us. They are handing over the baton to us, the younger generation."

She also stated that she is confident that the YWBN Mutual Bank will be fully operational in 2019. "There is no space for negativity. We will not fail."

The economic might of stokvel saving groups

To understand why Likotsi sees potential where many others have not, it is important to understand the market she seeks to tap into and represent.

Stokvels are about "the power of a collective". This collective comes together to pool money for a common aim, thus mobilising like-minded individuals towards achieving financial and social goals. Historically these short-term to medium-term goals included debt repayment (43%), emergency savings (44%), education (25%), groceries (31%), clothing (18%) and other (16%), according to the 2017 Old Mutual Savings and Investment Monitor.

Read: Lt. Col Phetogo Molawa, South Africa's first African woman Officer Commanding SA Air Force Station

However, stokvels have evolved: According to National Treasury Economist Olano Makhubela, 60% of stokvels are investment-driven, while 18% are investment clubs. Furthermore, stokvels are popular even with high income earners: 42% of households with incomes of R40 000 and above belong to one or more stokvels, according to the same Old Mutual survey.

With these investment groups going into areas such as property and equity, the financial sector cannot underestimate this growing informal sector but would have to find avenues to service it differently from traditional formal investments.

Who is Nthabeleng Likotsi?

Born in Botshabelo, Free State province into a family of businesspeople, Likotsi gained her leadership and community service capabilities from her parents and siblings. This spirit is what bolstered her as she shunned a career in accounting to venture into business and change the country's economic outlook. She has a Master's Degree in Entrepreneurship from Wits Business School, a post-graduate Certificate in Accounting from the University of Johannesburg, and a Certificate in Entrepreneurship from the Centre of Entrepreneurship at Wits Business School.

Likotsi is recognised in the international business community and she was awarded the 2013/2014 Women Leadership Award at the third Africa-India Partnership Summit in 2013. She is also an independent non-executive director of various companies, such as Apex Valves and Ubuntu Plastics, among others.

By Pa Nderry B'mai

A long-standing dispute over sand mining spawned violent clashes Monday in Gambia, with two people killed and others — including police officers — critically injured.

The Julakay engineering and construction company is at the center of the dispute amid allegations of environmental exploitation in Faraba Banta village, about 50 kilometers from the capital, Banjul.

Villagers want the mining site relocated. In addition to the casualties, officials said vehicles at the site were vandalized, and the scene remained tense and chaotic after the clashes.

Sand mining is a growing business worldwide, filling a critical need for concrete in construction projects ranging from roads to high-rises. But it also is blamed for a wide range of environmental issues, such as coastal erosion and degradation of river systems.

Interior Minister Ebrima Mballow points out that Julakay has a government license to engage in sand mining at Faraba. He urged villagers to mount a legal challenge if there are problems.

"My message is let people not take the law into their own hands," Mballow said. "Let them have dialogue with the government. If they have grievances, there is court. There is rule of law."

The minister said he has dispatched security forces to the village to keep the peace.

Lamin Conteh, a native of Faraba who teaches accounting in the United States, told VOA that villagers are particularly concerned because mining in a neighboring village caused salt contamination in its rice fields.

"This mining, to us, is an environmental disaster," he said.

By Felex Share

Government yesterday handed over $5 million for the revitalisation of the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Trust as President Mnangagwa's administration fleshes out empowerment projects to ensure ordinary people benefit from diamond proceeds.

In 2012, diamond mining companies operating in Chiadzwa, Manicaland, pledged $50 million towards the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Trust, but released only $500 000.

Some of the firms, under the supervision of the then Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Mr Saviour Kasukuwere presented dummy cheques to former President Robert Mugabe, while others feigned ignorance of the scheme.

President Mnangagwa yesterday moved in to partly honour the pledge, availing a $5 million cheque to the community empowerment fund through the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), a firm wholly-owned by the Government.

The cheque was presented to the Marange-Zumunya CSOT board of trustees, led by Chiefs Zimunya and Marange.

Present during the ceremony were Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Mines and Mining Development Acting Minister July Moyo, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa, Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda and ZCDC board members and management.

President Mnangagwa said the fund previously suffered setbacks, but the new impetus would ensure sustainable economic development in Marange and Zimunya.

"This noble initiative by the State mining company will complement Government's efforts to build developed and progressive communities as we continue with our quest for inclusive growth and broad-based empowerment under the present national development agenda," he said.

"As highlighted in Vision 2030, my Government remains committed to broad-based empowerment through multi-faceted strategies, including community share ownership trusts.

"To this end, I urge all companies to intensify community development programmes so that communities benefit from the natural resource endowments in their environment.

"This will spur rural development and undoubtedly contribute to the development of strong rural and provincial economies, further resulting in the widespread improvement of the standard of living of our people throughout the country."

Companies, President Mnangagwa said, should have "harmonious and mutually" beneficial working relationship with communities in their areas of operation.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step," he said.

"Government is pleased with the revitalisation of the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust as the company has committed to pay reasonable dividend into the trust annually. It is our fervent hope that through this vehicle, some of the developmental needs of these communities will be addressed, further impacting on Manicaland as a whole."

He said Government was finalising a diamond policy to ensure the mining sub-sector harnessed its full potential and benefit the masses.

Said President Mnangagwa: "The objective of the policy is to facilitate optimisation of the diamond sub-sector through implementation of appropriate strategies throughout the entire value chain from exploration, mining, beneficiation, value addition and marketing as well as to guarantee security and accountability in the sub-sector. The policy seeks, among other things, to create a viable operating environment that attracts foreign and local investment in the diamond industry in line with the country's vision of achieving increased investment by 2030."

He said the mining sector contributed more than 60 percent of the nation's exports and employed thousands of people.

As such, he said, ZCDC should increase its business capacity to impact positively on the economy.

President Mnangagwa said diamonds were a national resource whose proceeds must benefit everyone.

Two years after commencing operations, ZCDC has undertaken several social investment projects in Manicaland.

The firm has upgraded clinics, rehabilitated roads, constructed bridges, drilled boreholes, renovated primary schools and provided bursaries to orphans and disabled children, among other initiatives.

VP Chiwenga said the $5 million gesture was evidence that President Mnangagwa and his team meant business.

"On his inauguration he told us that he was committed to building this country and that Zimbabwe will never be the same again," he said.

"He has made these promises and sticks to them. He makes sure a problem is solved once he is told of it. Today, he has remembered the problem besetting the people of Manicaland. To him, it is economics first and we talk about politics after there is food on the table."

Minister Mutsvangwa said there was a lot of discontent in the local community over diamonds.

"The Chiadzwa diamonds generated a lot of international headlines, created excitement across the globe and made far-away businesspeople, greed and corrupt people rich while locals wallowed in poverty," she said.

"You (President Mnangagwa) have moved to correct this injustice, much to the delight of Manicaland province. In a short period of time, you have swiftly moved in to deliver on the promises made to the Trust and we shall manage this fund and improve our infrastructure in Manicaland."

On behalf of the Trust, Chief Zimunya said: "We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for facilitating that we receive the money. You have done a good job within the few months that you have been in office. We want to assure you that as a Trust we shall ensure the money is used to implement development projects to benefit the entire community. You have led the country with wisdom; we now have peace and development. As such we will support you all the way."

An estimated eight tonnes of gold deals worth close to $300 million are conducted in the informal market with the precious mineral being smuggled to mainly neighbouring South Africa, a senior Government official has said.

Addressing business executives at the CEO Africa Roundtable meeting held at a local hotel in Bulawayo last Friday Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Terrence Mukupe, said gold was being smuggled because Government was not giving full value of the yellow metal delivered by small-scale miners to the country's sole gold buyer, Fidelity Printers and Refiners.

"The price of gold is hovering around $44 000 and $45 000 per kilogramme and its clear we have got a lot of makorokozas (artisanal miners) and I can bet you my last dollar that none of those makorokozas have got bank accounts," he said.

"And it appears that there is about eight tonnes of gold that's traded in the informal market and that's close to $300 million worth of gold. And why do we have that situation? The reason why we have that situation is the way things are structured in our country.

"If you were to bring your gold to us as Government, we are not giving you full value, we are not giving you 100 percent dollars."

Deputy Minister Mukupe said artisanal miners were being paid a certain percentage of the delivered gold through bank transfer and this was creating an opportunity for people with bond notes to buy the yellow metal directly from the artisanal miners before trading it to South Africa for hard currency.

He said when the illegal gold buyers return from South Africa with hard currency they trade it for RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlements) dollars to buy the bond notes.

"And again they go back to the field to mop up the gold creating a vicious cycle.

"If you look at that, it probably points to a situation where despite whatever policy measures or interventions the Government will come up with, if we don't close that loophole in terms of on the forex side when you are not given full value for a commodity that someone has produced, it will create these middlemen and traders that are running around with hordes of cash and also creating a grey market," said Deputy Minister Mukupe.

"And it then makes sense as to why we are not seeing the bond notes circulating in the economy."

He said Zimbabwe needs to do away with the bond notes and re-introduce its own currency to address a host of challenges in the financial markets.

"We have to adopt a national currency to address our current problems and there has to be a cap on the maximum release of how much of the new currency you are going to introduce," he said.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) introduced the bond notes on November 28 in 2016 as an export incentive meant to boost foreign currency generation.

The Afreximbank has a $200 million facility backing bond notes in circulation, while bond coins were backed by a $50 million facility, again from the financial institution. Last year RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya announced that Afreximbank would extend another $300 million facility to back bond notes of the same value.

The Central Bank has reiterated that the surrogate currency was pegged at 1:1 with the United States dollar.

However, some unscrupulous businesses and individuals have introduced a three-tier pricing model taking advantage of the prevailing economic morass.

Deputy Minister Mukupe said the multi-currency regime that Zimbabwe introduced in February 2009 was a short-term stabilisation measure adopted to tackle broader macro-economic challenges triggered by the hyperinflation environment the country experienced in 2008.

"Dollarisation for us was a short-term stabilisation measure and it's not a long-term economic solution. There is no country that has ever dollarised successfully for a long period of time has continued to do well unless and until you have got a special relationship with the US banking system," he said, adding that for Zimbabwe, dollarisation has led to foreign currency shortage.

In the past few years, the country has been experiencing foreign currency shortage, a situation that has seen local industries failing to import critical raw materials that were not locally available as their Nostro account balances depleted.

As a result, this has rendered the local manufacturing sector uncompetitive as it was failing to raise its capacity utilisation to competitive levels.

According to the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector last year declined to 45,1 percent from 47,4 percent.

By Eddie Chikamhi

Egyptian giants Zamalek have officially tabled an offer for Zimbabwe international Khama Billiat and indicated they are prepared to part with a salary bill of $450 000 per year in a big money move.

The Mufakose-born star could become one of the highest-paid players on the continent.

Billiat, who has been linked with a move to North Africa since last year when it became clear he was not extending his contract with Mamelodi Sundowns, is still locked in negotiations with the five-time African champions.

The 27-year-old Warriors midfielder is set to move as a free agent following the expiry of his deal with Sundowns at the end of this month.

The move is almost certain and yesterday reported that the club was trying to negotiate with the player to lower his annual salary from $700 000 to $450 000.

"Zamalek were trying to downgrade Zimbabwean internationals Khama Billiat where Zamalek are pushing for an annual salary cut from $700 000 to $450 000.

"The player will move to Zamalek for free transfer without payment to his current club (Sundowns) after the player's contract expires with his South African club.

"Zamalek is negotiating with more than one player, in the current period, most notably Hamid Ahad, Khama Billiat and Ivorian Giza, in addition to players from Latin America," reported

In an earlier interview with The Herald, Billiat indicated he leaves the Tshwane giants a happy man following a successful spell which catapulted him to continental stardom.

Billiat won the ABSA Premiership trophy for the third time in his career in the just-ended season to add to the other silverware that include the Nedbank Cup, Telkom Knock-out, CAF Champions League and CAF Super Cup winner's medals.

He has also won the ABSA Premiership Footballer of the Year award in 2016.

The Mufakose-born star has said he is not in a rush to make a decision as he is entertaining a number of offers.

He has also been linked with some foreign clubs that include Qarabag of Azerbaijan and FC Steaua Bucarest of Romania who have reportedly offered him an annual salary of 400 000 euro.

Sundowns are also reported to have offered to match whatever the foreign teams have offered but Billiat has made up his mind he wants fresh challenges.

His contract runs out at the end of the month and the Zimbabwe international feels he needs a new environment after winning virtually everything in the ABSA Premiership.

"I have got a couple of offers and we will see what's best for Khama Billiat and where the future is going to be," he told local reporters recently.

"I don't want to lie to myself, I have been happy (at Sundowns). It's just me trying to challenge myself and see how far I can go. They have been good to me.

"I just pray to God and hope the decision that we are going to make at the end is going to be the right decision that makes everyone who believes in me and everyone who has been supporting me and the whole nation happy.

"That's why I never rush anything, I have time in my hands and I don't have any pressure. I can always make a decision even at the last minute but I hope it's going to be a great decision at the end," said Billiat.

Photo: SABC Screenshot

Ferjani Sassi successfully took the penalty for Tunisia.

By Jide Alaka

The eighth penalty call at Russia 2018 almost gave Tunisia a share of the points against England at the Volgograd Arena on Monday; but Harry Kane scored in the last minute of the encounter to give England a great beginning to their World Cup campaign.

Harry Kane had given the Three Lions the lead when he got on the end of a rebound while the Tunisians were awarded a penalty after a Kyle Walker infraction.

Jesse Lingard saw his effort saved in the third minute and then he teed up Raheem Sterling but the Manchester City man got his leg tangled.

England started like a house on fire as they pinned the Tunisians to their half with slick passing from the back. The first talking point came on nine minutes when Ashley Young caught Wahbi Khazri with an elbow. The referee gave the England wing back a talking to and that was it.

In the 12th minute, a corner was swung in by Ashley Young and met powerfully by John Stones. Tunisia goalkeeper, Mouez Hassen, clawed out a save but Harry Kane was on hand to gobble up the rebound.

Hassen was then forced off with a shoulder injury on 14 minutes. Jordan Henderson tested the substitute goalkeeper, Ben Mustapha, with a long-range effort on 18 minutes but it was comfortable.

Tunisia got a way back into the match when Walker put his arm across Ben Youssef, an infringement that saw the award of a penalty. Sassi drove it to Jordan Pickford's right; and though the England goalkeeper got a glove on it, he could not prevent the goal. The Tunisian goal was the first by an African side at the 2018 World Cup.

It was all England in the second half as the Tunisians defended well and launched sporadic attacks. But it was to be England's day as, in the first minute of added time, again from a set piece, another African team was found out.

Kieran Trippier swung in the corner from the right flank, Harry Maguire flicked it on and Kane, unmarked at the back post, guided the ball into the net for his second goal of the game and the winner. Heartbreak for Tunisia and Africa.

OPPOSITION leader, Tendai Biti says the mess that football giant, Dynamos, finds itself in is because of the unnecessary interference of Zanu PF in running the affairs of the club.

Addressing MDC Alliance supporters in Tafara, Harare last weekend, Biti said Dynamos has sunk to low levels because of Zanu PF.

"The interference of Zanu PF in running the affairs of Dynamos has led to the demise of the club. The low performance of the club has also been that of incapability of the father-in-law who has since resigned," Biti said referring to Ken Mubaiwa, the club president.

Mubaiwa, who resigned last month, is the father-in-law to Vice President Constatine Chiwenga.

Dynamos, whose patron is Zanu PF senior politician, Webster Shamu, has been playing below expectations from its millions of loyal fans since the start of the 2018 season.

Some of the supporters have since called for a boycott of the clubs' matches.

Biti said it was ironic that Zimbabwe was overjoyed after winning the COSAFA Cup while other teams were playing in the World Cup currently underway in Russia.

"I was also shocked that after the COSAFA Cup, the national soccer team was forced to travel by bus from South Africa. That is shameful. We are currently watching the World Cup and I have been impressed by the talent that is being exhibited by the players. I thought they were angels playing. That is where we want to take the country under the leadership of Nelson Chamisa," said Biti.

Photo: Africa Top Sport

Nigeria vs Croatie

Arthur Ebunam, ex-Rangers International has blamed the Super Eagles' 0-2 loss to Croatia in their World Cup opener on wrong positioning of players and formation not amenable to scoring goals.

Ebunam said this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Sunday.

He said the 4-2-3-1 formation adopted by Gernot Rohr was inimical to attacking football, adding that the players were also unable to interpret it to yield the required results.

According to him, the head coach must adopt the natural 4-4-2 formation to mount maximum pressure on Iceland on June 22.

"The coach must change his attacking formation to be enable the country to secure impressive results in their next match against Iceland on June 22," he said.

Ebunam also said the stage was now set for Rohr to showcase his technical knowledge, adding that he must be on his toes during matches to read the games well.

He further said the incoherent pattern of play by the team could also be blamed on the coach's deployment of the players, adding that Captain Mike Obi was wrongly used in the first game.

"Mike was successful as a forwarder about 13 years ago; he is now a defensive midfielder setting behind number four to absolve the heat and to make long passes to the forwarders.

"The formation that the coach played was ridiculous, the 4-4-2 formation would ensure deployment of Alex Iwobi on the left midfield and Victor Moses on the right.

"His substitutions were also late and faulty. Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa did not make any impact because of the coach's strange formation.

"I would rather see Odion Ighalo and Sylvester Nwankwo on the attack, while Mike Obi and Onyinye Ndidi hold on to the midfield in the next game," he said.

The veteran footballer who also played for Mighty Jets of Jos and El-kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri said the success and failure of the team was in the hands of the coach, adding, however, that the team had the capacity to turn the adversity around if properly tutored.

Photo: Africa Top Sport

Nigeria vs Croatie

Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr stated that Croatian fans greatly out-numbered Nigerian supporters and it this put the Eagles under pressure at the Kaliningrad Stadium. Nigeria lost 2-0 to Croatia in their opening Group D game of the World Cup.

"It was a match like in Croatia," Rohr told reporters when asked if the number of Croatian fans put pressure on Nigeria.

"But what I like is the quality of our supporters who are coming from so far away. And you know that it is not the number of the supporters that is important, it is the quality of the supporters."

Nigeria will face Iceland on Friday in Volgograd, and will finish their group campaign against Argentina on June 26.

Three more points in their World Cup Group D match against Argentina, should help Croatia to progress to the round of 16, team's head coach Zlatko Dalic.

"It's going to be a different and a difficult match. We are a bit ahead, we have to be well-prepared. Of course, three more points would help us to progress and Argentina could be on their way home. But we have to be focused on ourselves," Dalic told journalists at the post-match press conference. Croatia will play their final group stage match against Iceland on June 26.

By Andre van Wyk

Cape Town — Lawyers for Caster Semenya have confirmed that the Olympic 800m champion will challenge a female classification rule imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations, BBC reports.

According to law firm Norton Rose Fulbright said in a statement that Semenya will take her fight to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and file a challenge on Monday.

Semenya's reason for challenging the ruling, which would require her to take medication to reduce her levels of naturally-produced testosterone, is set on the basis that it violates the IAAF's own constitution, as well as the Olympic charter and athletes' human rights, Eyewitness News says.

"It is not fair. I just want to run naturally, the way I was born," said the two-time Olympic champion. "I am Mokgadi Caster Semenya. I am a woman and I am fast."

"These advantages (which translate, in athletics, to an average 10-12 per cent performance difference across all disciplines) make competition between men and women as meaningless and unfair as an adult competing against a child," said the IAAF said in a statement.

By Lin Taylor

London — Years of conflict and climate disasters have pushed millions of children into work, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

In 2017, there were 152 million children under the age of 18 working around the world, the International Labour Organization said in a report marking World Day Against Child Labour.

The vast majority work in farming, and their numbers are rising, according to a statement from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

"After years of steady decline, child labour in agriculture has started to rise again in recent years, driven in part by an increase in conflicts and climate-induced disasters," it said.

"This worrisome trend not only threatens the wellbeing of millions of children, but also undermines efforts to end global hunger and poverty."

The U.N. aims to end all forms of child labour by 2025.

Here are some more facts about child labour:

- Almost half of all child labour happens in Africa, where about 72 million children work.

- The prevalence of child labour is 77 percent higher in countries where there is conflict.

- Almost half of all working labourers work in dangerous industries such as construction, agriculture, mining and brick and stone manufacturing.

- The number of children working in agriculture increased from 98 million in 2012 to 108 million in 2017.

- Children working in farms, fields, mines, homes and factories can be exposed to toxic pesticides, forced to carry heavy loads, and made to work long hours.

Source: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, International Labour Organization

 - Reporting by Lin Taylor @linnytayls, Editing by Claire Cozens

By Zelalem Girma

In some remote areas where finding water at all is difficult, the issue of quality is unthinkable. What people ask for first is water regardless of the quality. "People in remote areas will never question about quality, all they need is water... water... ; says Moti Mossisa, a researcher at Ethiopian Water Technology Institute (EWTI). "The issue of water type and quality is a luxury for them" he added quoting pastoralists he interviewed for a study.

Globally, an estimated 663 million people, the majority in developing countries, have no access to improved sources of drinking water in 2015. Region wise, the Sub Saharan Africa remains the area of greatest concern, where 300 million people have no access to safe water supplies. Due to such severe problems of water, the least developed countries did not meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target on sanitation, and only 27 percent. According to UNICEF and WHO MDG Assessment Report on Sanitation and Drinking Water in 2015, the world has missed the sanitation target by almost 700 million people, with 2.4 billion still lacking improved sanitation facilities and 946 million practicing open defecation. Of which, the rural and pastoral community take the majority.

Ethiopia has obviously untapped water resources. Studies show that the country has abundant ground and underground water resources. But the country is not able to reap the anticipated benefit from the sector, because of lack of access to technology, financial capacity, and skilled manpower. Taking this situation in to account, the government is making relentless efforts to achieve the target plans. Of these, the human resource development and capacity building researches conducted by the Ethiopian Water Technology Institute (EWTI) are exemplified.

Moti says water scarcity is a perennial challenge in Ethiopia's pastoral regions. The water supply and sanitation facilities are highly determined by the synergy and cooperation among multiple actors in the sector, he stated. _

According to Moti, the pastoralists in Ethiopia covered 61 per cent of the total land area and 12-15 per cent of the total population of the nation. They also raise 40 per cent of the cattle, 75 per cent of the goats, 25 per cent of the sheep, 20 per cent of the equines, and 100 per cent of the camel population in the country. In fact, pastoralists have been playing perceptible and significant roles in the development of the national as well as the regional economy.

Regarding the quality of water used by pastoralists in Borena Zone, Moti said that the quality of the water is not even a concern for most of the households in Borena zone. According to his research output, the surrounding Yabello and Moyale towns have a relative access to the so called improved water due to their proximity to the towns. Whereas, in remote areas the quality issue is unthinkable and it is not a big concern of the people. Quoting one of his interviewee, Moti said the people in the area will never question about quality, all they need is water... water... ; the issue of water type and quality is a luxury for them.

On the other hand, sanitation is one of the key issues that are decisive for active and healthy life in Borena. It is possible to significantly reduce rural morbidity and mortality through proper sanitation education and the construction of hygiene facilities.

Regarding access to Latrine, literatures indicated that latrine is a precondition for sanitation, and reduces contamination and water pollution through creating a healthy environment in general. Proper latrines usage could protect diarrhea by 36 per cent, cholera by 66 percent, and worm infestations 12 - 86 per cent, according to the Ministry of Health 2006 report.

Similarly, the 2017 Zonal report confirmed that 68 per cent of Borena pastoralists own private. But with this achievement, the coverage various from one woreda to the other ranging from 97 percent (Dubluk) and 27 per cent (Wachile).

According to him, most latrines constructed in the area are unimproved latrines without slab and house, and traditional pit latrines, which are mostly with walls but without roof, some with closed wall and roof but without door.

Despite the increasing latrine coverage, the design of latrines constructed in the area was below the minimum requirement. This was confirmed by UNICEF (2012) as latrines in Ethiopia in terms of accessibility for children and the elderly, and the conformability for disabled are far below the standards. In addition, the latrines don't address concerns about smell, rising gas, structural collapse, fear of falling in, flies and privacy, he stated.

With regard to hand washing habit, Moti said hand washing is key sanitation indicator. People need to wash their hands after defecation, after babies cleaning, before food preparation, before eating and feeding children. In developing countries, only 11 per cent of people washed their hands after defecation. Moreover, the number of people who use water and soap to wash their hands is smaller in Borena area, he concluded.

Quoting the Water & Sanitation Program 2012-2016, Moti explained that each person who practices open defecation spend almost 25 days a year finding a private location to defecate, whereas women will be obliged to find a private location for urination as well.

In an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald, Zenebe Garedewu, Director General of the Ethiopian Water Technology Institute, said that as the Institute was established in Council of Ministers Regulation No. 293/2005 as state-owned enterprise, its main duty is to build the implementation capacity in the sector. Since then, efforts are underway to improve the use of water and other related issues using higher technology, investing skilled human power and conducting applicable researches. Its major focus areas can be categorized in four main sections.

The first is education and training programme which offers short and long term training for professionals. In the same fiscal year, about 1033 trainees have been trained from state and non-state actors on water development as well as water and sanitation issues. The training is supported by 13 types of training courses.

Secondly, the Institute mainly emphasized on research and technology transfer. In this regard, the institute conducts problem-solving research works undertaking extensive projects to transfer the technologies to the user. The policy documents for this purpose have been also developed and put into operation.

According to Zenebe, this year alone, there are three research works being conducted at the institute. In addition, training has been given to trainers in the areas of vocational and technical courses in water sector. In this regard, the institute has made its mandate in ensuring the knowledge and skills provided by various training institutions to be uniform.

As the other focus area of the institute is providing water research laboratory service, it is now preparing 12 internationally-acclaimed documents to be translated into action. In order to serve this purpose, the institute is constructing a building, to be completed after a year and a half, which will be used as a center for the inculcation of water technologies.

It will also be a center for water and soil testing, as well as for construction and related works. Obviously, there is no specialized water laboratory in the country so far. Thus, the Institute identified some specialized laboratories to be operated soon in the water sector. Therefore, such laboratories will standardize research works and provide a certificate of authentication. In addition, these water laboratories will serve as a center for the development of professionals in the sector.

As mentioned above, the institution has outstanding role to acknowledge surveys and research papers conducted on water sector. The Director also said the institute aims at ensuring whether the research activities undertaken by members or other bodies are effectively investigated or addressed the problems faced by the country in relation to water and the water sector as a whole. They would also be used as an input for the national policy formation. Once the studies have been re-developed, stakeholders will utilize them to tackle their problems.

According to the Director, the research and research findings of the institute are not the result of academic research as other academic institutions. They will not take a pew on the shelves without help; they can directly be referred to the relevant bodies for use. Most of the research papers focused on the demand and supply of water as well as the need for water for sanitation purposes in some selected areas.

According to Zenebe, the researches are repetitively conducted by other institutions and the findings are sent directly for implementation in the target areas. On the other hand, as the researches are conducted in collaboration with other pertinent stakeholders, there will be no likelihood of repetition.

Working with enterprises, non-state actors, and regional and zonal stakeholders engaged in water resources development, the study has been checked whether or not it has been initially put into operation.

Asked how he can explain the achievement of the institute, Zenebe said that when the Ethiopian Water Technology Institute is established as a project by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) some fifteen years ago, it has received a mandate to work in collaboration with various stakeholders in the field of research. It is still supported by JICA with technical and financial funding.

However, the JICA project was completed three years ago, the government recognized its importance for the development of the sector, and transformed it to national institution level. In 15 years, the institute has trained more than 15,000 trainees. In addition, the institute has trained 3,000 professionals in the last three years. This shows that the institution is building its capacity from time to time. In total, it has currently 200 staff, even though its employment capacity is over 330.

Since the institute has started its project at the project level, JICA has been instrumental in providing human capital training, technical support and experience sharing, which is believed to strengthen the socio-economic cooperation between Ethiopia and Japan.

analysis By This Is Africa

Today we celebrate the Day of the African Child with our selection of 10 young adults and children doing remarkable work across the continent.

The Day of the African Child (DAC) is commemorated every year on the 16th of June in memory of the 16th June 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa, during which students who marched in protest against the poor quality of education were massacred by the then apartheid regime in place in South Africa.

This year the day is being commemorated under the theme "Leave No Child Behind for Africa's Development." The theme is centred on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Children account for half of Africa's population, so it is essential that they must be prioritised, empowered and given opportunities to participate in social and economic development, politics, sports amongst other activities.

As we celebrate the Day of the African Child, here is our selection of 10 young adults and children doing remarkable work across the continent.

1. Saidy Brown: A 22 year-old South African HIV positive activist using social media to publicize her HIV positive status to change perceptions on HIV. Internet users around the world are applauding her bold step to fight HIV stigma in a country with a HIV prevalence rate.

Saidy Brown was born with the virus, which claimed her parents, and left her an orphan. In her early teenage years she learnt that she was born with the virus.

"My life has changed in a way that now a lot of people are very familiar with who I am and about my story. I call myself an HIVictor because I am not a victim, I have defeated HIV, and I live to help other people feel the same way about themselves," she says.

"I like sparking conversations about HIV" said Saidy Brown on sharing her HIV story on twitter. caption photo: @saidyBrown/twitter

2. Marylove Edwards (13) is Nigeria's young tennis champion focused on emulating the great Serena Williams. Although many have started referring to her as the "Nigerian Serena", the 13 year-old who is currently at the prestigious IMG Academy, in the U.S. says "I love Serena, I love her style, I love the way she plays. But I'd love to be myself, just Marylove Edwards."

3. Isaac Dogboe (23), Ghana's youngest boxer to win a WBO title. Dogboe has become a source of pride for Ghanaian boxing. The 23 year old is the current World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight champion.

4. Stacey Fru (11), is Africa's youngest award winning author. At seven years old, Stacey was South Africa's youngest author. She had written a book Smelly Cats which was launched at the University of Witwatersrand. Stacey is a presenter at the Children Television South Africa (CTVSA) a station that educates and entertains children. The young wordsmith was named by the Mail & Guardian as part of the top 200 influential young South Africans in 2017.

Stacey Fru signing her book for some of her readers. The 11 year old South African is an author of two books and a presenter for Children Television South Africa (CTVSA) a station that educates and entertains children. Photo: Facebook/Stacey Fru

5. Tanya Muzinda, Zimbabwe's 12-year-old female motocross rider. Tanyaradzwa started racing at the age of five and is the first female to have won a motocross championship in Zimbabwe since it was started in 1957. She finished second in the 2012 championship season. She is the reigning local Junior Sportswoman of the Year, and last year she won two bronze medals at two major motocross events in England in May and September.

"Most people think that you can't do it because it is only a sport for boys and I am a girl, but I want to show them that you can do anything," she says.

6. Michelle Nkamankeng is a 10 year-old South African author, from Johannesburg, who has made history by becoming the youngest author in South Africa and also by being in the top 10 of the world's youngest authors.

Her first book titled Waiting for the Waves published by LANSM Publishing Ltd, is the first part of a four book series.

"My dream is to inspire young children to believe in themselves," she says.

Michelle Nkamankeng named in global top 10 list of youngest writers. Photo: Michelle Nkamankeng/Facebook

7. Leroy Mwasaru is just 20, but the young Kenyan innovator has already made great achievements, recently named on the Forbes Africa 30 under 30 list in the Business category. Leroy founded Greenpact just after completing high school, and now looks forward to playing a huge role in the renewable energy sector in Kenya.

Commenting on being named on the Forbes Africa list, Mwasaru wrote on Twitter, "Humbled and honored to grace this year's class of #ForbesAfricaunder30 in the Business category for the work we do with parent company, @Greenpactke. Also as the youngest honoree at 20. The journey continues".

20 years old, Leroy Mwasaru is the youngest recipient of the recently released Forbes Africa 30 under 30 in the Business category. He founded Greenpact in 2016. Photo: Facebook/ForbesAfrica

8. Bogolo J Kenewendo 30 year-old recently appointed Botswana's new Investment, Trade and Industry Minister. Kenewendo first joined parliament in 2016 as an MP becoming the country's youngest MP. Kenewendo is a trained trade and economic diplomacy professional.

"My path has kept changing as my life changes and as I see new opportunities, but the consistent undertone is my desire to impact development through policy in one office or the other. I am passionate about youth and women empowerment. There is so much more we can accomplish by ensuring that we invest in these resources. There is also a need for economic development, especially through private sector growth," she says.

9. Mohamed Mbougar Sarr (28) is a young Senegalese writer who is making huge strides in the francophone literary world. Earlier this year he was awarded the French Voices Awards for his debut novel Terre Ceinte (Earth Girdle).

Mbougar is the youngest winner of the 2018 World Literature Prize. The Senegalese writer was awarded the prize for his book Silence of the Heart which was published by Présence Africaine.

10. Naomi Ruele (21) Botswana's First Olympic Swimmer. At 19 she was named the Junior Female Sportsperson of the Year by the Botswana National Sports Council, a remarkable achievement. Ruele has competed in a number of junior competitions, winning numerous medals along the way.

Seychelles is receiving help from two experts from the neighbouring island of Reunion to educate beekeepers and relevant local authorities about the threat of varroa mites - a parasite that attacks bees.

The external parasitic mite can bring down a bee colony, reducing the population of bees available to pollinate flowers and produce honey.

The two experts started with a series of workshops on Mahe and Praslin and site visits to beekeepers on the three main islands, including La Digue. They will assist with the planning for the prevention of varroa in Seychelles, as well as conduct training sessions.

"Seychelles is one of the rare places in the world where varroa doesn't exist. Varroa has been colonising the world since the 1970s, arriving in Europe in 1982 and to Reunion in 2017," said Francois Payet, one of the experts.

Payet is also the president of the union of beekeepers of Reunion - a French-administered department in the Indian Ocean. He said that it is important to protect the islands to prevent contamination.

"Seychelles is a group of small islands and if ever varroa, unfortunately, gets here, bees will disappear from the islands. The islands are so small that if the bees disappear, you will have major trouble when it comes to agriculture," said Payet.

He said that it will not only affect the production of fruits and vegetables but also the plant biodiversity of the islands, putting under threat endemic species such as the coco de mer. Should varroa be introduced in Seychelles, it will be impossible to eliminate the parasite completely.

"We will need to use pesticides to treat our bees and once we start using pesticides, the quality of our honey will go down and so will the value," said Gerard Monthy, a research officer at the Seychelles Agricultural Agency.

Though Seychelles is one of two countries in the Indian Ocean - along with Comoros - to be varroa mite free, local authorities and beekeepers are on high alert.

The workshops and visits are part of an action plan that a committee - comprising of representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the National Biosecurity Agriculture, Seychelles Agricultural Agency and beekeepers - is putting together.

"The aim of the workshop is to sensitise people about varroa and the importance of not importing bees into the country. Not only the bees but also the hives which contains the larva because should varroa get into the country, we are done for," said Arthur Toule-Thilathier, a local beekeeper.

The chief plant biosecurity officer at the National Biosecurity Agency, Keven Nancy, told SNA that legal action will be taken against people who do not follow biosecurity measures in place. He added that under 'The Animal and Biosecurity Act 2014', the agency has the power to enter a farm and destroy hives that are contaminated.

The experts will also show beekeepers and relevant authorities how to detect varroa and manage a varroa surveillance network and possible eradication in case of incursion.

"Beekeepers and the authority need to work hand in hand to protect the island. From what we have seen from our site visits, you are not ready. In Reunion, we thought that we were ready. We had worked for 10 years and spread the word among beekeepers and yet, varroa entered the country," said Payet.

Varroa was discovered in Reunion last year and despite drastic measures, the spread was inevitable.

By George Harris

One of Enisul Fisheries processing machines

Robertsport City, the capital of Grand Cape Mount County, Liberia's eighth populous county, is one of the country's most known fishery cities. Most of the city's residents, catch fish from the Atlantic Ocean and the famous Lake Piso, also known as the Fishermen Lake.

But the city has had its share of fish post-harvest issue, affecting Liberia's 144 artisanal fishing communities that employ approximately 33,000 fisher folks. The sellers and fishermen in the city, smoke and dry their fish to reduce excess fish spoilage.

Moreover, fish sellers from nearby counties who traveled to Robertsport to buy fish, said they have been adjusting their buying schedules to avoid the sale of rotten fish which affects their profits.

However, major change that is now impacting the rest of the city's artisanal fishery communities, came two years ago when the Enisul Fisheries Company was established.

The young company is the first, but also the only Liberian-owned fish processing and packaging company in Robertsport that supplies bulk of its packaged fish to the sellers, hotels and restaurants across the country. They process about six tons of fish daily.

Despite its popularity among the local fishery communities, the company is also redefining trade concept among the local fishery communities. It supplies local fishermen with fishing gears, a strategy that has resulted to improvement in catch among local fishermen.

Fabolia Kamara, CEO of Enisul Fisheries, told the Daily Observer that he made the decision to supply fishing materials to fishermen after he undertook a feasibility study of the fishing landscape.

"The issue of fishing materials is one of the problems confronting our local fishermen. Fishermen get everything from outside the country. Businesses that bring these materials triple the prices," said Kamara.

"What is even worse, is that most of these fishermen in Robertsport cannot afford the price of materials. What I do is that, I purchase some fishing nets, canoe motors and produced ice that I gave to them to take on sea. They paid for some of the items by installment, but it does not stop me from buying the catch," Kamar said.

Martin Noni, a fisherman in Kru Town, Robertsport termed the operation of Enisul Fisheries as a timely intervention, adding that fellow fishermen were experiencing lots of challenges.

"The presence of this company means a lot. It is helping everyone that is involved with fishery in this community. Before, we had nowhere to store our fish and we lost lots of money, because women were not willing to buy the rotten fish. If they are willing to buy, then we have to reduce our price. But now, things are a bit different to the extent that at least, we have a place that we can go to get fishing materials and also sell our [catch] a price little bit better," said Noni.

Local fishmongers from near counties preparing for their fish for the market

Also, Princess Konnah, a resident of Bomi County, who traveled to Robertsport to buy fish for the past years, told our reporter that the presence of a Enisul Fisheries has improved her earnings.

"This is the nearest fishery community to my county. If you are not here early, you will not have fish to sell or you will get fish that are already rotten," said Konnah.


George Harris


SAIIA Policy Insights No 59, June 2018

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Governance of Africa's Resources Programme

While plastic is a revolutionary material, plastic waste is difficult to manage and has significant adverse effects if it escapes into the environment, especially the ocean. Many policy responses have been developed in an attempt to address this issue, yet the amount of plastic waste in the ocean continues to increase annually. This policy insight reviews the causes and consequences of marine plastic waste and assesses the international policy responses to the problem. Particular focus is given to the African continent, which is headed towards becoming the world's most polluted continent.

ADDIS ABABA - Innovation is a prerequisite for Africa's transformation and all stakeholders must engage to facilitate greater collaboration, the Africa Innovation Summit (AIS) said.

The overwhelming view of the Summit which was conducted from June 6 to 8 aimed at nurturing, empowering and propelling African innovators and their solutions forward.

A multi-sectorial and multi-stakeholder approach must be taken to ensure policies, investments and enabling ecosystems are put in place to support African innovation without hesitation.

Obiageli Ezekwesili, former Vice President for Africa at the World Bank, shared her view: "If Africa accepted that people have to be at the center, then we would be confronted with the fact that Africa's people problem is a productivity problem. And this productivity problem is an innovation issue. We need an upheaval and people in government who can overturn the old way of doing things."

"It is not a question of knowing what is right but doing what is right. We need to be tough with our leaders. It is a pre-condition for change." United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) former Executive Secretary Carlos Lopes said.

"We have a wave of transformation in Africa. There is political will to translate Africa's dreams into practical tools. We need to harness our negative energy and change it into dynamism."

From 600 applications of the 44 countries, a selected group of 50 innovators had a unique opportunity to engage stakeholders in discussing potential solutions to some of the blockages that are preventing solutions from going to scale.

In his final call to action, Dr. Olugbenga Adesida, co-Director of AIS, called for a bolder imagination about the future by Africans and a sense of urgency around Africa's transformation.

He noted that innovation is a prerequisite for Africa's transformation and that all stakeholders must engage to facilitate greater collaboration.

Africa must ensure greater self-reliance by mobilizing domestic funding to promote innovation and support our innovators. "We must build robust ecosystems for innovation in our respective countries on the continent. Africans cannot simply be consumers, nor can they outsource its development. We all must engage with a new sense of urgency to facilitate change."

AIS is an Africa-wide and home grown initiative aimed at harnessing the innovation potential of the continent.

The African State

The African nation-state is in a period of profound transformation, according to African experts interviewed for episode… Read more »

One of Europe's largest VC funds Partech Venture has launched an Africa Fund. Russell Southwood spoke to General Partners Cyril Collon and Tidjane Deme about what excites them and what they're looking for.

Cyril Collon, and Tidjane Deme got into VC investment out a desire to do something more meaningful than the long corporate slog. As Deme put it:"I was wasting away at Google and we said to each other, let's step out of the corporate comfort zone and do something meaningful. The question was then whether to launch a start-up business ourselves or build a proper network to get top tier partners in venture capital to think about Africa differently. In the end, we said let's raise a fund to invest in African start-ups. We both saw a lot of potential on the continent for start-ups to tackle fundamental problems". Collon had already lived (as a child) and worked on the continent for a large part of his life and was thus very familiar with both the problems and potential to be found on the continent.

The Partech Africa Fund was launched with commitments of around US$70 million and is continuing to raise funds. The objective is to close with €100 million ($122 million) by the end of the summer. The investors are a mix of institutional investors, DFIs, corporates and family offices. One third of the funds comes from family offices, High Net Worth individuals and entrepreneurs.

The corporates include Orange, Edenred (employer benefits), Gisse & Co (urban services like advertising spaces, shared bicycles and smart city services) and JCDecaux. The Africa Fund forms part of Partech Ventures overall portfolio of over US$1 billion in the last 18 months.

The thing that Collon and Deme hope will mark them out as different from other Africa investors is their ability to match the corporate need for innovation with start-ups that can bring about the changes they need to make:"The corporates will have a team on their side to absorb the information and we will invest and get things to proof of concept and contract quickly. This will be one of the main angles we'll develop and will be key in our strategy to being successful on the continent".

So how does the African start-up landscape look to them? Deme notes:"Despite the bad things said about African tech hubs, nearly everywhere has one and they are attempting to create start-ups. At the next level what has changed is in terms of the maturity of start-ups. We're seeing more and more start-ups ready for series A".

"Most funds are focused on Lagos, Cape Town and Nairobi which is where three-quarters of the investment has been made but it is not three-quarters of what's actually happening. There are places like Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Tanzania and Egypt that are not receiving attention from investors".

Although it has a clear idea of where it would like to invest, attitudinally it's looking for things that will set their pulses racing. Collon observes:"We're generalist and opportunist. It's what excites use. There's a lot of activity in fintech and we're excited by what enables downstream activities: financial inclusion, data and off-grid, the outcomes of fintech".

Their investment strategy has three pillars: fintech, mobile internet consumer services (entertainment, e-health), B2B enterprise segments and a cross-cutting theme, the informal economy. Under fintech it's looking for new ways to provide financial services through mobile, off-grid and things like insurance:"You're building in a different context in Africa."

It sees lots happening in the B2B segment and it's where it has made its first investment:"There's lots happening and it represented 10% of investment last year but only 3% the year before." It sees SMEs and informal businesses as a huge potential market. It wants to help the informal economy by using tech to solve problems people in it face.

Its first investment is in Nigerian start-up Trade Depot in which it has invested US$3 million. Collon lays out the why:"There are three levels of problem for FMCG distribution in Africa. There are big brands and importers, formal entities operating across Africa. For example, Coca Cola has 150 distributors. 2,000 informal wholesalers and 600,000 informal retailers. It's not able to see completely the distribution network below the first layer".

"It can't push promotions because intermediaries will eat it up before it gets to the customer. Wholesalers do the rounds (to see if an outlet needs more) and come back with only a half empty truck. It makes for expensive logistics. Retailers often need to close their shop to go off and get new orders. There's a need for a single platform for retailers and wholesalers using USSD. You then get paid by the brands and distributors".

"That's the FMCG space in Africa but it's also a description of most of the retail space in Africa. Trade Depot have come up with a very lean model. It's getting great response from FMCG brands it's talked to. It's got a great partnership with Coca Cola. It's spent at least two years meeting all the major brands at executive level and can bring this app to a Unilever or a Proctor and Gamble".

"We love the informal market because the impact (of start-ups like Trade Depot) is huge. We see e-commerce as a major trend. We believe it will go from about US$2 billion now to US$375 billion by 2025. The challenge is to provide tools that will help bring about that change".

It is in the closing stages of making other investments:"They are about addressing the digitization of the informal sector from the transaction side".

So what kind of start-ups is it looking for?:"There are many who are big only in say, Nigeria. We're not really going to be helpful to them. They need to have cracked one market and scaling and growth are the next step". It invests in Series A and B rounds with between 1-5 million euros and has the capability to make follow-on investment of between 10-15 million euros.

Collon and Deme feel that some of the current valuations of African start-ups are on the high side, something that they find frustrating:"When engaging with start-ups, some entrepreneurs in some sectors have been exposed to foreign investors. That's easy money and not really thought out. So you have first rounds with very high valuations. That's not our space so we sometimes have difficult conversations where valuations have been too high. We don't want to be the guy pushing for down rounds or flat rounds so we've had a few frustrating conversations".

The Africa Fund will work out of three offices on the continent: Dakar, Lagos and Nairobi:"When were thinking about the Africa team, we knew we had to sit in Africa. There is no (single) good place that works. Sadly the best place to put a team would be London or Paris but we like to be on the ground to get the context, We spend a week a month in Paris and the rest of our time in Africa".

"If you look at the entrepreneur in Lagos, he's often a "repat" (someone back from the diaspora) who knows Nigeria and Europe or the USA well but doesn't have contacts outside of these areas. African people (in a particular country) know their country and sometimes Europe. We should be able to open doors for them. For this reason, our team is larger than is typical in Europe".

So which start-up segments do they see as "over-traded'?:"It's not exactly over-traded but the off-grid energy model will require a lot of capital and it's not entirely proven. It's still in an early stage where a Series A is US$40 million out of a VC. Companies in the sector have begun to separate finance of commodity debt and the services through equity. Debt has doubled and trebled. We have looked at tools for platforms across the sector".

"On fintech, where rounds are very large, they are overtraded on some aspects. If you break it down, there are tons of start-ups doing payments but Fintech is not just that. The rounds and valuations are way too high".

By Bitange Ndemo

This past week, I participated as a panellist at the Kenya Institute for Policy Research and Analysis' (KIPPRA) annual conference on Building Resilience to Mitigate the Impact of Droughts and Floods.

The gathering follows increasing concern over frequent incidences of extreme weather conditions in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

KIPPRA data shows a declining cycle for droughts in Kenya. Until 1983/84, when the region experienced the most devastating drought - with Ethiopia being hit the hardest - the problem was not frequent.

There was a lull of six years in the period leading up to another drought in 1991/92 after which the frequency of droughts increased, with more droughts being experienced in 1995/96, 1999/2000, 2004, 2005/2006, 2009, 2011 and the latest 2016/17.

In between the droughts, the region saw devastating floods as recorded in 1982, 1985, 1997/98, 2002, 2006 and 2017.

Almost every year, sub-Saharan Africa experiences either severe drought or floods. Planning should be the core pillar towards achieving zero casualties from these disasters.


With high unemployment, there should be no reason drainage systems in cities should be clogged to the extent that people drown in flooded streets. Yet these cities are collecting taxes from residents.

The advent of big data analytics has necessitated the metrological departments across the region to provide precise predictions of impeding disasters. That knowledge has, however, not been translated to effective preparedness.

Even with announcements that severe weather is expected, ordinary folks seem to be caught unaware by many of the disasters that have hit the region. This is largely due to lack of public education.

Planning, in my view, must be long range. From various data sources, the region will experience drought in the next two years and as such planning for drought should have started by now through gathering hay and converting it into silage and burying it in drought-prone areas within the arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL).

Unfortunately, this will not happen but when disaster strikes, entire systems switch to reactive mode.

In Kenya, the government spent in excess of $300 million in trying to respond to the drought disaster of 2016/17.


As they say in medicine, prevention is better than cure. Much is needed to stay away from reactive responses to disasters to anticipating disasters and providing cheaper but sustainable solutions.

It is possible, for example, to develop water pans and harvesting hay throughout the ASAL regions during the rainy season and using them to mitigate drought.

There will be a need to train livestock farmers from these regions to adopt feeding methods that are more productive than the current random search for pasture that not only wears down the livestock but is of no significant monetary value.

The value from livestock farming comes from the weight the animals gain and this will never come from cattle that are permanently running a marathon.

The cost of converting pastoralists from the current cultural practices of animal husbandry to commercial production is by far cheaper than leaving the pastoralists to encroach on private property and causing damage or death to innocent human beings as was the case in Kenya's Laikipia County last year.

One of the problems is failure to develop an effective disaster risk management framework that brings together all the agencies responsible for disaster management.

The emerging technologies that will define the fourth industrial revolution have begun to show what the future will look like.


Just two weeks ago in Paris, at the Viva Technology Conference, IBM and partners launched the Call for Code Global Initiative, the largest and most ambitious effort to bring start-ups, academics and enterprise developers together to solve one of the most pressing societal issues of our time: preventing, responding to and recovering from natural disasters.

To raise awareness and interest in the Call for Code, IBM is coordinating interactive educational events, hackathons and community support for developers around the world in more than 50 cities across the world. Here is how to join the call for code:

Developers can register today at

Projects can be submitted by individuals - or teams of up to five people - between June 18, 2018 and August 31, 2018.

Thirty semi-finalists will be selected in September. A prominent jury, including some of the most iconic technologists in the world, will choose the winning solution from three finalists.

The winner will be announced in October 2018 during a live-streamed concert and award event coordinated by David Clark Cause.

Additional details, a full schedule of in-person and virtual events, and training and enablement for Call for Code are available here.


During a keynote address, IBM chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty called on the technology industry "to help build a better future, committing IBM technology and $30 million over five years in the annual Call for Code Global Initiative. Its goal is to unite the world's developers and tap into data and artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud and Internet of Things technologies to address social challenges."

These technologies will rule the future in virtually everything, including management of natural disasters that have become a common feature in our part of the world.

Blockchain, for example, can bring together disparate systems that are currently supposed to manage disaster but which remain a hindrance to effective management due to their silo mentality.

The problem Africa will face in the coming years is how to develop the capacity to meet the future needs that are largely technology-driven.

An IBM press release in Paris says that the company's $30 million investment over five years will fund access to developer tools, technologies, free code and training with experts.

The winning team will receive a financial prize. Perhaps more rewarding, however, is that they will have access to long-term support to help move their idea from prototype to real-world application.

This includes ongoing developer support through IBM's partnership with the Linux Foundation.


While technology will help humans achieve the impossible, there are many other tasks that must be done to effectively respond to climate extremes.

The landslides and deep gulleys that are being witnessed cannot be addressed with technology.

These are caused by our sins, destroying forests and creating flash floods. We must restock our tree cover.

This, I know, is difficult owing to our cultural practices of land subdivisions that are pushing people to build on steep slopes and loosening the soils, leading to landslides.

There must be a collaborative effort to develop culture 2.0 that holds the environment above their own selfish interests and begin a massive exercise of urbanising much of the overcrowded rural population.

There are no economic gains from excessive land subdivision and destroying the environment.

Sense dictates that we manage land resources collectively by encouraging large-scale farming that comes with economies of scale and building a sustainable future.

In the meantime, I call upon African developers to take advantage of the IBM offer simply because Africa has the advantage of great social challenges that can be turned into enormous opportunity.

The writer is an associate professor at the University of Nairobi's School of Business. Twitter: @bantigito

By Addisalem Mulat

Today's guest is Wassihun Teffera. He is an inventor. He was born and raised in Goljota village, Arsi Negele, West Arsi, Oromia State. At this point in time, he is a second year Electro Mechanical Engineering student at Addis Ababa Science and Technology University (AASTU) found around Akaky Kaliti, Kilinto area. He is a member and founder of the Koket Group. He pursued primary and secondary education at his place of birth and Arsi Negele in that order.

Likewise, he is winning the hearts and minds of most people through his ground-breaking innovative works. When the innovator's works come into effect, they will undoubtedly take the country to a new chapter of success in no time at all. Nobody had expected the innovator would reach where he is in the present day. Most people were in the habit of pouring cold water on his efforts. They were constantly giving him the cold shoulder including his parents.

Considering Wassihun's great achievements in his world-shattering innovative works, he had been showered with a range of gold medals for three consecutive years from the Ministry of Science and Technology. Hence, he grew to be the talk of most people and high government officials within the shortest time possible. Time and again, he comes up with a range of innovative works which make the lives of the general public simpler and smarter. Just to mention a few, control smart home devices, smart lamp switch, digital stove, multipurpose oven, modern plastic road, different software applications and what not.

The Ethiopian Herald had a short stay with Wassihun Teffera with a view to acquainting readers with his world-shattering innovative works. Excerpts:

How did you get yourself involved in invention works?

As a child, I was dreaming of becoming a different person. I was dreaming of becoming an inventor. Over and over again, the idea was coming in and out of my mind. At that specific point, whenever I informed my friends a kind of apparatus I would like to invent down the road, they did not easily understand me.

Therefore, all my efforts went for nothing. Some time ago, as there was no electricity in our area, most radios were battery operated. As a child, whenever we talked about radio, my friends informed me the fact that there were people in the radio speaker. I was always eager to see the people.

At some point, before a cock crows, my dad left the house. In a little while, I embarked on unscrewing the radio. The radio was infested with cockroaches. But I could not find a single person in the left, right and center of the radio except loud speaker, transistors, tuning capacitor, long wave-medium wave switch, audio transformers, volume control, battery compartment and what have you. Nobody was around.

In due course, I failed to assemble the radio. I did not know what I had to do. I felt as if the whole sky was falling apart on me. I felt like a fish out of water. At first, I thought I could do everything standing on my head.

However, no matter how hard I made an effort, my dream could not come true. We were living a hand to mouth life. At the end of the day, when I directly applied electricity to the radio devoid of the knowledge of power basic management, it all of a sudden stopped working. In fact, I did not have an inkling of idea about the dos and don'ts of the radio. Thus, all my efforts went astray.

Flipping back to the gist, when I was a ninth grader, I set in motion actively engaging myself in invention works. As I have tried to mention so far, there was no electricity in our vicinity. Just then, I was using my own light bulb. It was my invention. I had my own power source, power supply, among others. For me, it was not a big deal. As invention was my hobby, I did not place much emphasis on my work values.

Tell us about chapter and verse of your first invention works.

As I was excellent at invention works, I was harvesting the fruit of success from time to time. As chance would have it, I put on show my first work in Arsi Negele concerning the celebration of the Anniversary of May 28.

At that specific juncture, I came up with thirteen models or so. It was held at Technical and Vocational Education and Training center. There was Innovative Center Members in the workshop. When I asked the teacher responsible for the center to allow me to join the center, he was not in the position to lend me his ears. He simply turned a deaf ear. Though I boldly told him the fact that I could do anything he wanted, he gave me the cold shoulder. He considered me as a good-for-nothing person.

Someday, I designed a free power system in a piece of paper and showed the teacher. This time, the teacher mockingly and sarcastically said, "You are a wonderful student. Nobody can keep abreast of you."

He made me a laughing stock. Nobody was on my side. He really made me feel small in this regard. I was not desperate for invention works no matter what the cost may be. I was constantly badgering the teacher. I did not easily give up hope.

At a loss what to do, the teacher ordered me to make a mini saw. I almost immediately made the saw because making the saw for me was bordering on a walk in the park.

Though the teacher could not believe his eyes, he was not willing to forward his appreciation. As a devoted student, I kept on spending my time in the library. As luck would have it, through hard work and determination, I made a stove.

How did the idea of making stove spring to your mind?

At some point, when I came within reach of a stove, it was very warm. After a long fight with my thoughts, I reached into a conclusion to make stove bringing into play a cartoon box. The stove was able to make a cake in 23 minutes time.

Moreover, it was possible to boil water on the stove in a short time. I grew to be the talk of all and sundry. All our teachers were taken by surprise.

Sooner or later, I joined the innovative Center Members with the purpose of making my dream become a reality. Except accepting the reality on the ground willy-nilly, the teacher could not utter a word. Everyone had full confidence in me.

Slowly but surely, I set in motion winning the hearts and minds of most people. I am not a money-oriented person. Everybody was fully interested in my presentation. To be quite honest, there is nothing which makes me happier than coming up with inventive works. My second work was known as control smart home devices.

What is all about control smart home devices?

As I bend over backwards time and again, I came up with smart home devices. When I was a high school student, I came up with inventive works. In plain language, if somebody in one's absence comes home, the device can easily sends information about the person using one's cell phone in the blink of an eye.

The only thing that we do is, we plant a certain small device somewhere in one's residential house. The device has got its own box comprising a range of things.

Be that as it may, I discovered a wireless power transmission. That means, electrical energy can be conducted from a power source to an electrical load devoid of interconnecting wires. Without exaggeration, it plays a major role in the place where linking wires are problematic, perilous and the like.

Do people encourage you to succeed?

Every so often, most Ethiopian high government officials encourage me. Everybody is happy at the moment. They believe in my innovative ability. When I was a high school student, Shiferaw Shigute, the former Ministry of Education came to see my work. After he saw the whole thing he forwarded his respect and appreciation. As well, he told me the fact that I would be a great man within the shortest time possible if I keep on working at that pace.

When, why and how did you establish Koket group?

I am founder and managing member of Koket group. By the way, in Afaan Oromoo language, Ko means mine and Ket means yours. Koket is officially established in 2018. The intended target of the association is to manufacture a range of machines in the country.

Moreover, it produces and puts up for sale a range of software applications. At the moment, we can design different machines with no trouble. We can do anything which could be done abroad. We can also design soft wares with no trouble.

At this point in time, all my efforts are bearing fruit. In the same way, we manufacture oven with a fair and reasonable price. Everything is at our doorstep.

While we are on the subject, I would like to compete with Samsung and LG Companies. I am fully confident in myself. I can do anything under the sun with no trouble. I have passed through many ups and downs to reach where I am today.

In fact, we design the stove for low-income-communities. We would like to make the lives of the general public simpler and smarter. Similarly, we can manufacture smart lamp switch.

For instance, if we go somewhere leaving switch light bulbs, televisions, stoves and other related aspects off, we can turn them off wherever we are without a distance barrier.

In this invention, we can win the hearts and minds of anyone in a jiffy. As we are living in the modern world, we can control everything as we wish. Everything is at our doorstep.

What other benefits do we secure out of the inventions?

We secure a lot of advantages out of the inventions. To elaborate, the country does not have an adequate amount of electric power.

In reality, electricity has been used in various government organizations. More often than not, most of them are not seen turning light bulbs off. Wastages are being witnessed in this regard.

However, if we apply smart lamp switch technologies in every nook and cranny of the country, we can minimize wastage. The invention is reliable and durable. In this fashion, we can achieve the intended target at the drop of a hat.

What about the plastic road?

We make asphalt roads out of plastics. We do a great job out of used plastics. If we take as an example, plastics have been spoiling the environment we live in from time to time.

By its very nature, we do not import asphalted road from aboard. But bringing into play used plastics, we can build attention-grabbing asphalt roads. For asphalt roads construction, we grind used plastics. This time, they turn out to be very tiny. Then, we melt small ingredients as they can carry a heavy load when they all come together.

As a matter of fact, there are techniques in which we do asphalt road. Nothing can affect plastic roads seeing that they are better than the normal asphalted roads in many ways. For example, if the roads are chipped, we can replace them with original ones.

After we get everything ready, we simply put down the readymade asphalted road on the road intended for this purpose. To be honest, the plastic road can easily melt anybody's heart. It is very strong.

If the asphalted road is chipped after twenty or so years, one can simply replace them with new ones. To be honest, asphalted roads do not retain water. But cobblestone can retain water without difficulty.

Here, the good thing is, the new technology can have power over everything. That means, the water can easily flow to any direction apart from smoothening the progress of the water system. The whole lot concerning the plastic road is over.

What we do need is only a sponsor at this point. We are hunting for sponsors. If prosperous people work with us, they can easily harvest the fruit of success.

By David Onsiong

The finals of the third edition of the model glider competition, organised jointly by the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre (RGSC) and the Aeronautical Society of Mauritius (AeSM), was held at the Maryse Justin Stadium, Réduit, on Wednesday 6 June.

Contestants had to design, construct and fly a model glider. The aim of the competition is to give students, working in teams, the opportunity to learn some of the physics of aerodynamics in an out of-classroom environment. The model glider competition thus seeks to be an example of learning by doing - and therefore understanding.

The 2018 edition started in February when some 400 grade 10 and grade 12 students from 67 schools took part in workshops dispensed by the RGSC and the AeSM. The rules of the competition and the science of flight were explained and illustrated by a variety of model gliders; tips on design and construction were also given. The organisers subsequently received 166 team entries. In May, models were presented for a quality assessment of design and construction features like balance, finish and originality. The 38 best models from grade 10 and grade 12 were then selected to battle it off at the fly-off finals last Wednesday. Each model was expected to cover the longest distance possible - 30 to 50 metres were expected - from a series of hand-launches.

In grade 10, Sookdeo Bissoondoyal State College topped the pile thanks to their design and build score, with New Eton College acting as runners-up. In grade 12 on the other hand, Floréal State Secondary School (SSS) won it hands down with a remarkable flight of 49.8 metres; Phoenix SSS finished second. The University of Southampton sponsored the prizes, presented by the university's regional director, Melissa Gibson. The winners received a trophy and Rs8,000 as cash prize, while the runners-up were awarded a trophy and Rs4,000.

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By Nkechi Oyedika-Ugoeze and Sodiq Omolaoye

Abuja — A non-governemental Organization, Solar Sister Nigeria, has called on women to be at the forefront of driving clean and sustainable energy access in Nigeria.

Solar Sister is an organization that seeks to eradicate energy poverty by empowering women with economic opportunity.

Speaking during an interactive session involving development partners and media practitioners in Abuja, the Country Manager, Olasimbo Sojinrin, also advocated for gender equality in Nigeria's energy access and implementation policies.

She noted that most of women in the rural areas are living in poverty because they lack access to power, saying that the only possible way to eradicate poverty is to provide women with clean and modern energy.

Sojinrin observed that the organization is working to provide communities with modern energy like solar lamp and clean cookstoves, adding that at same time, it will empower rural women by making them solar entrepreneurs.

"Solar lamp provides an opportunity for our population to have clean modern access to technology.

The solar light might not replace the grid but it is the alternative right now for community that has no electricity.

Only women can lead us to clean energy," she said.

She explained that since the launching of Solar Sister in Nigeria, 1000 women entrepreneurs have been trained in 23 states and the beneficiaries have been able to impact their immediate communities.

Sojinrin said: "What we have in Nigeria is that a lot of people are not actually connected to the national grid and so are in perpetual darkness.

What we do is to give them access to modern clean energy, which they can use to light their home as well as stoves.

"We have women who are distributing solar lamps and clean cookstoves in all the communities across Nigeria.

So the beneficiaries of this organization have been able to impact the community in which they stay, even to the extent of improving security in the areas thereby people don't have to be in darkness anymore."

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