Posts tagged as: action

Angola:Economy Diversification Demands Major Investment in Agriculture

Luanda — The country’s economic diversification process necessarily demands major investment in agriculture, be it in technical and technological resources or in the area of infrastructures, as well as in terms of human resources, this being a conclusion reached by the Ministry of Social Action, Family and Promotion of Women.

As regards this issue, the said sector thinks it important to continually invest in rural women, guaranteeing their access to land, training, credit and the small technologies of production and transformation of crops, with a view to combining those moves with the agribusiness sector.

This conclusion comes on a press note that reached ANGOP last Sunday, in the ambit of the commemorations of the International Day of Rural Women, marked on October 15.

The note states that the commemorative events in the ambit of this date will happen throughout the month of October in the whole country and also reflect on the results of the national consultation forum on rural women held in the year 2014.

The document reminds that the opening ceremony of the 2017/2018 Agricultural Campaign, which was chaired by the Head of State, João Lourenço, unequivocally showed that agriculture represents a priority on the agenda of the Angolan Executive, also with a view to contributing to the improvement of rural women’s living conditions.

The International Day of Rural Women is being celebrated under the motto “Promoting Rural Women to boost local development and fight against poverty”.

Angola

Crashed Aircraft Wreckage Found Without Survivors

The wreckage of the aircraft that crashed in the province of Lunda Norte on Thursday, were found Saturday in the town of… Read more »

Mr President, You Need to First Clean Your House

opinionBy Yosam Manafa

Mr President, I read your recent rant about the uninformed and arrogant way in which MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine and his group behaved at the Mandela Memorial day at Makerere.

In the same missive, you bragged about the NRM’s ability to demolish views of its opponents when written down, because of its solid force, as far as “ideology” and “action” are concerned.

Contrary to that, you went ahead to note: “even when we under-perform, it is not for lack of knowledge, but for lack of means, or lack of devotion by our cadres.”

This left me confused. If one has the knowledge and ability to address everything, wouldn’t they know how and where to find the resources they lack? And with the knowledge that some of your cadres are not devoted, wouldn’t you find and employ others that are devoted?

Isn’t it a weak prognosis of underperforming if you claim all knowledge and ability?

Mr President, by you stating, “only in the last 31 years, especially after 2007 when we finally defeated the ADF in the Semliki valley, that Uganda has had peace for the first time in the last 500 years”, one would imagine, and maybe even expect, that relative peace, and security would translate into inclusive economic development, which is not the case for Uganda.

Uganda has had an average annual growth of 4.5 per cent between 2010 and 2016, compared to seven per cent in the 1990s and early 2000s, a time when Uganda still had some pockets of insurgencies as you clearly note.

It is also worth mentioning that calculations of GDP are based on monetary aspects. By leaving out the non- monetary aspects of development and well-being, we create an illusion of growth when actually the lives of the ordinary citizens are not enhanced.

Mr President, if you took time to study the demographics of our country, you would notice that many people today do not actually appreciate or comprehend your narrative on restoring peace. They are trying to navigate and thrive, but the social economic environment is not conducive.

They are experiencing a consistent growth in both petty and fatal crimes, with the number of robberies, kidnappings and murders rising every day, creating anxiety.

So, while you and your team responded to what you considered political and civil insecurity of your time, the current generation is suffocating in unsolved crimes. Security organs are unresponsive to the people’s call for help but are swift to deal with social and political opposition and demonstrations.

Mr President, while you agree with the fact that there are high levels of unemployment, you seem to fall back on solutions that you came up with during your heydays, but failed to implement, and are adamant to restructure, given the dynamic nature of the current local and global ecosystems.

According to recent surveys, 64 per cent of the working population is engaged in some form of subsistence agriculture.

In commercializing agriculture, you seem to still be working within the IMF and World Bank’s structural adjustment program framework that required you to dissolve all public institutions.

Although you know that these structural adjustments proved detrimental, your NRM government has not restructured to encourage cooperatives.

Mr President, when everyone is moving towards mechanization to improve productivity, your government policy was distribution of rudimentary tools (hoes) to the population. Where the world is investing in mechanized irrigation systems, you are promoting drip irrigation!

Mr President, your policy on industrialization has also let us down. While it’s important to encourage foreign direct investment, you need to ensure that locals stand to benefit from this process.

However, when we look at our foreign direct investment policy in regard to linkages, technology transfer, profit remittances, and employment, locals have hardly benefited.

Many of these FDIs buy their supplies from their home countries, give very little training to the local labor force, repatriate most of the profits and bring labor (both technical and semi-skilled) from their home countries.

Mr President, you are quick to blame the opposition for spearheading/participating in opposing your efforts and work (new industries, and even the amendment of the land bill), but you forget that some of your so-called cadres are the prime reason why the public has such growing distrust in your government and its processes.

Names of your close cadres have been mentioned in official reports on land, and other project-related corruption scandals; but instead of reprimanding them, you have ‘rewarded’ them.

Mr President, times have changed. While pan-Africanism was viewed and comprehended as an integral ideology, in the context of your generation, it’s socially and culturally viewed differently. The world today is virtually borderless.

Ideas, information, products, services and markets are getting more accessible irrespective of physical boarders. While the idea of creating trading blocs is good and commendable, it is not the basis for development. Please look at what’s happening in the West.

Countries are primarily doing everything possible to attract capital, and capital is looking for countries with a conducive economic environment.

East Africa, for example, is attracting capital, but that capital is flowing towards Kenya and Rwanda, with little coming towards Uganda. Is this because Uhuru Kenyatta and Paul Kagame are more passionate about pan- Africanism?

Certainly not.

@YManafa

The author is a concerned Ugandan

Babu Owino – I Fought Back As Attackers Wanted to Kill Me

By Collins Omulo

Embakasi East MP Paul Ongili – popularly known as Babu Owino – has said he does not regret fighting with his Starehe counterpart Charles Njagua alias Jaguar.

The two lawmakers fought at Parliament Buildings on Tuesday following an argument over the legitimacy of the presidency and respect for President Uhuru Kenyatta.

SELF-DEFENCE

Addressing the media at Okoa Kenya offices on Tuesday, Mr Ongili said he was only acting in self-defence “after a malicious attack” and he has no reason to be remorseful.

“I cannot regret because I was defending myself. It was an act of self-defence in the face of a malicious attack. If I did not defend myself, right now, it would be a different story. Embakasi East residents would be missing their MP and Kenyan citizens would now be mourning,” he said.

Mr Ongili claimed his action was necessary as his life was in danger and he had to act swiftly to save his life, further alleging that the attack might have been planned.

NO SUIT

“If I did not defend myself I would be dead by now because the way those people came to me was so strange and weird. Seemingly, they also had a group of people that had planned earlier to come and attack me,” he said.

When pressed if he would seek legal redress, the first-term legislator said he would not pursue the matter further.

“I will forgive them as the Bible says and I will follow the Bible. It is my choice not to report them. As Babu Owino, I am so innocent and I will not follow the law but just forgive them,” said the former University of Nairobi student leader.

He, however, condemned the melee, saying that it was a bad example for young people, especially as it was a fight between youthful MPs.

SUSPENSION

“I would like to condemn the act done by Jaguar and his colleague Benjamin Gathiru of Embakasi Central with the contempt it deserves because that is unbecoming conduct from a Member of Parliament,” Mr Ongili said.

An investigation into the matter has already been instituted by Parliament’s security officers.

The legislators risk being kicked out of Parliament for a maximum 28 days as dictated by the Standing Orders when an MP is involved in gross misconduct.

Kenya

Duale to Seek MPs Approval of Sh11.5 Billion for Poll

Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale says he will be requesting MPs to approve the release of Sh11.5… Read more »

Africa: Health and Research Initiative Joins Campaign for Immunization

press release

African organizations in over ten countries kick off ’33 days to Power Up Immunization’.

Abuja, Nigeria, 11 October 2017.

Community Health and Research Initiative (CHR) through its Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dr Aminu Magashi Garba, call on the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole to ensure that girls in hard to reach areas are not left behind and that all girls have access to important vaccines such as the Tetanus, Rubella and the Human Papiloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine, which offers protection against 70% of incidences of Cervical Cancer, which claims the lives of an estimated 266,000 women and girls a year.

As the world celebrates the International Day of the Girl Child, CHR is joining other organizations in over ten countries in Africa in launching the 33 Days to Power Up Immunization Campaign. The campaign seeks to hold governments accountable for the multiple promises they have made to support Immunization. In 2016, the continent marked significant achievements of interrupting the near elimination of Meningococcal Meningitis A epidemic and the significant reduction in disease burden and child mortality due to Measles.

According to the Multi Indicator Coverage Survey/National Immunization Coverage Survey (MICS/NICS) report 2016 conducted in Nigeria, only 23% of children (aged 12 – 23 months) are fully vaccinated with another 37% partially vaccinated. Some of the states in Northern Nigeria were reporting below 20% immunization coverage.

We recognize the efforts that have gone into reaching the current levels by the Nigerian government, however, much more needs to be done if we are to reach the 2020 goals that our government has set in the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) of reaching 90% immunization coverage nationally and 80% in every state by 2020.

We call on the Nigerian government to prioritize increase in the national and states budget to finance immunization and ensure timely and efficient releases of immunization funds.

In January 2017, African Heads of States endorsed the Addis Declaration on Immunization, through which they acknowledged that despite their endorsement of the Global Vaccine Action Plan, they are largely off track. The ADI reinforces their commitment at the highest level of political engagement.

Signed by:

CHR Management

For more information please contact:

Asma’u Ahmad Rufa’i (Knowledge Management and Communications Coordinator)

Phone: 08067139393 Email asmau.ahmad@chrnigeria.info

Africa

International Day of the Girl: Empower Girls in Emergencies

Every 10 minutes a girl dies as a result of violence, UNICEF said today, on the International Day of the Girl.… Read more »

Ordinary Citizens Have No Access to Justice, Says Justice Expert

By Lorraine Josiane Manishatse

The Observatory for Government Action (OAG) alongside the Association of Catholic Jurists of Burundi (AJCB) calls on Burundi Government to increase the budget allocated to the Ministry of Justice to ensure that total population has access to justice.

A large number of the Burundian population does not have access to justice, reveals a study conducted by OAG and AJCB. The Burundian judiciary lacks financial means. Low income litigants face a lot of problems when defending their rights in courts while the Burundian constitution provides for all the citizens the right to fair justice, said justice expert Michel Masabo on 10 October.

He said the Burundian Justice system is not accessible to all litigants. Prof. Masabo calls on the Government to mobilize more resources for the Ministry of Justice in order to help individuals to have access to justice especially by allocating a budget to the translation of legal texts into the national language ‘Kirundi’ and providing training for justice actors,’ said Masabo. “Otherwise there is a risk of settlement of account and popular justice, “he added.

For this justice expert, regardless of the low economic growth prevailing in Burundi the, funds would be available if the Government made the Justice Ministry its priority.

Boaz Nimpe, Public finance expert, said the ministry is facing the challenge of access to justice by litigants. “Infrastructures are not enough, prisoners are living in difficult conditions due to the lack of subsidies,” said the expert in public finance.

For him, every citizen who pays taxes should benefit from public services. He also said the litigants had sometimes to pay fuel for judges to have their judgment passed.

Nimpe said the Burundian government should include the Ministry of Justice in its priorities. “It is rare that the budget allocated to the Ministry of Justice reaches 2% of the total expenditure of the State budget. The annual budget for the financial year 2016 was BIF 1326 billion.

The Director General of the Ministry of Justice, Ntakimazi Venant, said the service in charge of assisting indigent persons receives a budget of BIF 4, 600,000 per year. “This year we assisted 30 indigent people,” he said adding that 5,000 indigent others already enrolled will be assisted by the Ministry with the support of its partners by 2018.

Burundi

Burundi Government Urges EU to Remove Sanctions

During the 47th Parliamentary Assembly of African, Caribbean and Pacific States and the European Community held in… Read more »

Burundi Government Urges EU to Remove Sanctions

By Diane Uwimana

During the 47th Parliamentary Assembly of African, Caribbean and Pacific States and the European Community held in Belgium this 9 October, Spès Caritas Njebarikanuye, first- vice speaker of Burundi Senate, said Burundi will not have the courage to ratify the Economic Partnership Agreement in the context of economic sanctions imposed against it.

She exhorted the group of ACP partner states and all member countries including the EAC countries to ask the EU to lift sanctions imposed against Burundi in order to create favorable conditions for the conclusion of a regional economic partnership. “The EU unilaterally suspended its direct cooperation with the government of Burundi and put the country under a regime of sanctions”, she said.

The first vice speaker of the Senate said, in such circumstances, the interests of Burundi are not taken into account in the post-Cotonou negotiations. “In contract negotiation, criteria must be the same for all the parties, which is not the case for Burundi”, she said.

In March 2016, the European Union, the main long-standing donor to Burundi, suspended its financial direct aid to the government including budget support, but has maintained its humanitarian aid and full financial support for the population. The EU aid was suspended due to the non-respect of the Cotonou Agreement, especially its article 96.

Gabriel Rufyiri, Chairman of the corruption watchdog-OLUCUME says that even if Burundi refutes to sign the agreement, other countries will do so as it happened for the EAC visa with the EAC integration. “Each partner state signs it when it is ready especially by taking into account the interests the country and its citizens”, he says.

OLUCOME chairman also says the majority of the ACP-EU partner states take into account the rate of the import-export to sign such an agreement. “Even if Burundi government exports few products, it should ratify the agreement by considering its advantages for the good of Burundians”, he says.

Rufyiri says the negotiators of the agreement sometimes do not take into consideration the added values of an agreement for the benefit of the populations. He, however, says Burundi government is still dragging behind other countries due to the economic sanctions imposed by the EU.

Burundi

Ordinary Citizens Have No Access to Justice, Says Justice Expert

The Observatory for Government Action (OAG) alongside the Association of Catholic Jurists of Burundi (AJCB) calls on… Read more »

Namibia: 20 Families to Benefit From Low-Cost Housing Units

By Luqman Cloete

The days of living in shacks for 20 residents of the Berseba village will soon be over.

They are set to benefit from the low-cost housing units being built at a cost of N$32 000 each under the auspices of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN).

Henrich Amushila, the co-director of the Namibia Housing Action Group (NHAG), which supports the activities and processes of the SDFN, said the construction of the one-bedroom houses with a lounge, kitchen and bathroom at the village would be funded through Standard Bank’s Buy-a-Brick initiative.

This year, the flagship Buy-a-Brick initiative, which is aimed at mobilising the private sector to assist in alleviating housing shortages through the symbolic sale of token bricks in the form of erasers, has donated N$1,8 million for the construction of low-cost housing under the banner of the SDFN.

Amushila told The Namibian that the first phase of the project during which the construction of eight houses was completed at Berseba begun in August last year.

The NHAG co-director said he was impressed with the spirit that the SDFN members at Berseba, who would soon be owners of proper houses, have shown through hard work and eagerness to improve their living conditions.

Besides the construction of houses at the village, he added that 17 houses funded by Standard Bank’s Buy-a-Brick project are also being built in Windhoek and 16 others at Otjinene.

The NHAG has also been tasked by the emergency management directorate in the Office of the Prime Minister to facilitate the construction of 13 more houses destroyed by a rainstorm that hit the Berseba village almost seven months ago.

Although it may look “small”, Amushila said they are financially empowering locals to render services such as brick-making, building, plumbing and electrical fittings, and creating awareness amongst the beneficiaries to own the construction process themselves.

He thus thanked the Office of the Prime Minister for entrusting the NHAG with facilitating the construction of houses for disaster-affected Namibians.

Namibia

Ruling Party’s Iivula-Ithana Savages Geingob

Former Swapo secretary general Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana yesterday said she was ready to sacrifice even her life to… Read more »

Police Probe Three NGOs Over Funding

By Andrew Bagala

Kampala — The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (CID) has written to the Non-Government Organisation Bureau about the three civil society organisations it is investigating.

The CID is investigating ActionAid Uganda, the Uhuru Institute for Social Development and Great Lakes Institute of Strategic Studies (GLISS) for allegedly funding Opposition projects that the government believe are intended to cause unrest in the country.

Investigators have demanded from Non-Government Organisation Bureau work plans and budgets of the three organisations.

The spokesman of CID, Mr Vicent Ssekate, said the detectives want to understand whether the three organisations are following the law.

“After the search of the offices of these organisations, our investigators found evidence that we suspect doesn’t tally with their mandate they stipulated while registering with the NGO Bureau. The purpose of our letter to the bureau is to obtain officially what they committed themselves to do in Uganda,” Mr Ssekate said yesterday.

The NGO Bureau was established under the NGO Act of 2016 to register, regulate, and oversee all NGO operations in the country.

Two weeks ago, detectives raided ActionAid Uganda and GLISS on the same allegations. The offices of the two CSOs were searched and financial documents and mobile phones of the workers seized by detectives.

Another CSO, Solidarity Uganda in Lira District, was raided and its workers arrested on September 21. All affected organisations deny allegations that they are funding projects to destabilise the country.

Since the raids, police have not got back to the NGO managers on the offences they committed. The affected NGOs are still open, but their operations have been constrained since their financial departments were disrupted by the detectives.

Human Rights Defender under the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders Uganda has since condemned the police action, which they described as a ploy to muzzle civil society.

Mr Ssekate said by Wednesday they will have a clear picture of the offences against the managers of the organisations.

Uganda

What If Steve Biko Lived Here Today?

One of the people whose brilliance, boldness, resolve, and charisma I really admire is the South African legendary… Read more »

AK ‘Probing’ Claims of Girl Molestation in Nakuru Camp

Athletics Kenya is investigating a camp in Keringet, Nakuru County, over allegations of molesting of junior girls.

According to the association, investigations are at an advanced stage following complains emanating from the said camp in Nakuru.

AK noted that it was committed to ensuring that young girls’ training is protected.

“We are not leaving any stone unturned as we seek to get to the bottom of the matter and ensure our girls are training in a safe environment,” a press statement from AK sent to newsrooms on Thursday read.

NAIVETY

The athletics organisation further revealed that it will ensure that those found culpable are prosecuted to serve as an example to other amorous coaches.

“We are in athletics to nurture the young athletes and not take advantage of their naivety to destroy their careers and future. Our investigation team is on the ground and we will soon announce our next cause of action,” it continued.

“We are not just going to stop there. Those found guilty will have to face the full force of the law and be banned from all our activities for life,” the release further said.

In 2015, former AK President, the late Isaiah Kiplagat, ordered the closure of the Nakuru-based Keringet Camp for what he termed as “manipulating of athletes.”

Renowned coach Charles Ng’eno, who ran the camp, was subsequently banned for life by AK.

Besides Keringet, AK revealed that it would also extend its investigations to other suspicious camps in the country.

AK said it will be releasing tough guidelines for the setting of camps in the country to prevent such cases.

“Camps will have to put up proper structures if they are to meet our threshold. We also want to urge the public to report to AK if they notice any suspicious behaviours’ in any of the camps,” the statement added.

Kenya

Duale to Seek MPs Approval of Sh11.5 Billion for Poll

Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale says he will be requesting MPs to approve the release of Sh11.5… Read more »

Government Plans to Recruit 10,000 New Teachers

By David Mwere

A total of 10,000 teachers are set to be recruited in anticipation of an increased number of students as the government prepares to roll out free secondary education in January.

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said negotiations with the Teachers Service Commission on hiring were ongoing.

Dr Matiang’i also defended the Sh23.6 billion supplementary budget, saying the amount was critical in actualising Jubilee’s campaign pledges. Dr Matiang’i appeared before a special committee of the National Assembly that is scrutinising the budget.

The amount is part of the Sh46 billion approved by the Cabinet to fund the project and does not include the hiring of the extra teachers.

Dr Matiang’i said the approval of the funding will drastically reduce the fees paid by students in boarding secondary school as the ministry intended to increase the capitation per student from the current Sh12,870 to Sh22,241.

BOARDING SCHOOLS

“The new capitation measures mean that even boarding schools, no matter their status, will be extremely affordable for all. We will expect that their fees will immediately drop,” Dr Matiang’i told the committee chaired by Kipkelion East MP Joseph Limo.

He also resisted attempts by the MPs to cede Sh1.4 billion meant for secondary school infrastructure to be administered through the National Constituency Development Fund as conditional grants, saying such a move would only be sanctioned after consultation with the Treasury.

If the budget is approved by MPs when they resume next week to consider the supplementary estimates that also include Sh10 billion for the fresh presidential election, parents will only be required to meet minimum costs for children in boarding schools. Meals and boarding fees will be the only stand-out costs.

He said the ministry was currently working on capped limits that schools should charge parents ahead of January, but said they expected public institutions to charge minimal fees following the boost in capitation.

INFRASTRUCTURE

The CS also noted that the ministry was working on the required infrastructure for extra-county secondary schools as it targets a 100 per cent transition from primary schools.

The ministry already has a Sh7 billion budget for this work reallocated from last year’s financial plan. At least 903,200 learners are expected to join public secondary schools, with 100,322 joining private institutions.

Dr Matiang’i said Sh600 million for sanitary towels and Sh100 million for emergency cases such as natural disasters was required.

The sanitary towels programme will be channelled through the National Government Affirmative Action Fund currently supervised by women representatives.

Kenya

Duale to Seek MPs Approval of Sh11.5 Billion for Poll

Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale says he will be requesting MPs to approve the release of Sh11.5… Read more »

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