Posts tagged as: agriculture

Ex-Street Boy Wins Jubilee Ticket for Bulla Pesa Ward

By Vivian Jebet

Residents of Bulla Pesa ward in Isiolo town have nominated a former street urchin to contest for the seat in the concluded Jubilee primaries.

Despite all odds, Abdi Kasanya, 26 emerged winner after battling out with his three opponents.

Mr Kasanya is optimistic that he will unseat the incumbent Moses Kithinji who is seeking to retain his seat on a PNU ticket in August 8 polls.

He holds a diploma in Social work and has been on the forefront in championing for establishment of a mentorship and rehabilitation centre in the county to help the street families who have turned into drug addicts.

He polled 1,794 votes against Hajj Hajjira Abdi’s 1,161 and Leloon Ismael Lekisho who garnered 781 votes.

He will face off with Mr Kithinji (PNU), Mohammed Ahmed (ANC), Lenah Nkatha (Narc-Kenya), Robert Mugambi (Maendeleo Chap Chap), Mr Idi Kimathi (Independent) and Mr Witherford Mwirigi (Independent) during the general elections.

Mr Kasanya said he will prioritize youth empowerment, talent creation, roads construction and reduction of street families in town if elected in August elections.

Residents led by Mrs Sadia Mohammed said Mr Kasanya who is known to pulling carts at Isiolo market for a leaving is a man of integrity, hard work and principled.

Mr Kasanya thanked locals for nominating him pledging to offer a fresh leadership.

The youthful aspirants said funds allocated to special groups including the street urchins by the national and county governments were benefiting some cartels.

“I will ensure that funds meant for the vulnerable groups will reach to owners if elected,” he added.

Kenya

Thank You! President Kenyatta Says for Active Participation in Jubilee Primaries

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday met and thanked Governors Ken Lusaka, Salim Mvurya, Samuel Kuntai Ole Tunai and… Read more »

Liberia: Liberia to Send Blood Samples Abroad in Latest Disease Outbreak

Photo: Liberian Observer

Liberian Health Minister Bernice Dahn

By Lennart Dodoo

Monrovia — Liberia does not have the capacity to diagnose the latest disease outbreak which has already killed at least 11 persons in Sinoe County.

Nine infected persons are undergoing treatment. There are fears that the number may rise.

The country’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Francis Kateh told reporters Friday that the Health Ministry is considering sending blood samples broad for further testing.

According to Dr. Kateh, initial tests conducted to determine Ebola proved negative. However, the current laboratory is not equipped to determine food poison, which many suspect to be the cause of the sudden outbreak.

Those infected with the “strange” disease showed symptoms of severe stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and headaches

Doctors suspect that the disease can be spread through body contacts.

Residents of the county, according to reports, have begun taking precautionary measures introduced during the Ebola outbreak.

Sinoe County is one of few counties which were not affected by the Ebola Virus Disease that struck the country in 2014.

More on This

Liberia to Send Blood Samples Abroad in ‘Mysterious Deaths’ Case


Mysterious Deaths ‘Not From Ebola’Strange Disease Outbreak in Sinoe County – Nine Persons Already DeadSeven Die From ‘Strange’ Sickness in Sinoe

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it had sent rapid response teams to the area to assist Liberian health officials with technical and logistical support.The teams were investigating reports linking the disease to attendance at the funeral of a religious leader in Sinoe County.”The investigation teams will try to find if this could be in relation to the consumption of same food and drinks and if there is an environmental exposure to some chemicals or bacteria,” the WHO said in a statement.According to reports, seven of the deaths were linked to the death of an 11-year-old who died on Sunday, April 23, 2017.She died after showing symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting and mental confusion.She was immediately taken to F.J. Grante Hospital where she reportedly died within one hour after she was admitted into the emergency room.She reportedly attended the funeral ceremony of a religious leader on Saturday, April 23, in Greenville.The religious leader is said to have died at John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital. He was diagnosed of high blood pressure.On Monday, April 24, another patient from Down Town Community who also attended the funeral of the religious leader presented symptoms of head ache, skin itching and body pain. He was admitted the same night at the F.J. Grant Hospital died by 2:00 A.M. Monday morning.Another lady from Red Hill community who also attended the same funeral presented symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. She died upon arrival at the Grant Hospital.A local journalist in the county described the situation as “tragic” and said it has instilled fears in many of the inhabitants of the county.Rep. Jefferson Kanmoh (APD- District #3 Sinoe County) also described the outbreak as “very disturbing and a source for serious concern”.”There is panic in the county right now for many reasons.””Many recall our recent past where Ebola killed a good number of our citizens and with the latest where there are many deaths in succession shows serious reason for panic and concern.”We want to encourage authorities at the Health Ministry to work fast to give answers to our people, while we appeal to our people to keep calm and await results of the test.”All that we are hearing right now are speculations; so we ask people to maintain their peace,” he said.

Ghana: Kumasi Hive Wants to Create Maker Start-Ups That Will Generate New Manufacturing Jobs – " Ghana’s Got to Start to Add Value"

One of Ghana’s active maker spaces is the recently created Kumasi Hive in country’s second city. Russell Southwood spoke to co-founder Anna Lowe about its start-ups, the problem of finding angel investors and her desire to create new manufacturing jobs.

Kumasi Hive’s co-founder Anna Lowe came out of manufacturing and the supply chain sector:”I was getting medicines across borders in Africa and there were plenty of challenges. I was aware of the Maker Movement and digital manufacturing and got interested in producing things locally.”

Kumasi Hive’s other co-founder and CEO of the organization George Appiah ran a group of hackers and makers in Ghana’s second city, Kumasi that he had started in 2010. As Lowe tells it:”A lot of education in Ghana is very theoretical. There’s a need for people to get involved in hands-on projects. I came to Ghana for another social project and was interested in (George’s) maker space. I set up a whole lot of meetings and George was one of them.”

At that stage, it was a student network of practical projects but they had no real equipment to use. As a result, it was hard to do prototyping:”They had great ideas but no way of turning them into businesses.” They were sharing parts and each time something was created it was taken apart and cannibalized to provide the next idea.

So they joined forces to create Kumasi Hive and one of the first things it ran was an incubator programme, which was a general training in both technical and business skills.

The space itself is a large house that has been repurposed to create a maker space and rooms that are used as co-working spaces:”There are now 12 start-ups in our incubator programme and well over 100 people have come for the incubator training programmes.”

The start-ups combine maker skills with an entrepreneurial eye for possible opportunities. Dext makes science kits for High School students:”It’s addressing a practical education problem and allowing young people to do experiments.” Klack 3D is making 3D printers and Pasgid Robotics is making low-cost robotics sets for education institutions.

Although Kumasi Hive has only been going for a year, it has attracted new students to its work. It runs a Saturday Club and 3D design courses for local students:”We do programmes aimed at different sectors, particularly agriculture and run an agriculture hardware hackathon in the north of the country sponsored by a local agricultural company. We’ve been looking at the rice supply chain and our focus has been to find innovators.”

So why set up in Kumasi rather than in Ghana’s capital Accra?:”There were a number of reasons. Creativity Group which was founded by George was in Kumasi and it had 6 chapters in different communities. There’s also quite an artisan culture in Kumasi. There were already several hubs in Accra and nothing in Kumasi at the time.”

Kumasi Hive have expansion plans:”With our existing site, we want to grow our programmes and encourage more successful businesses and also to do more work with young kids in schools. We also hope to open Hives in other places in Ghana. We’re looking at Tamale, where we ran the agriculture hackathon and we might also open in Accra in partnership with an existing hub.”

So what has been the hardest thing in doing all of this?:”The hardest thing is funding and it’s not just for our activities but helping fund the businesses we find. The first proof of concept might cost US$500-2,000. Then the next tranche up takes you into angel territory, somewhere between US$50,000-100,000. There are fewer people who understand hardware in this context. Software just needs a laptop. Hardware needs materials.”

So far it’s been possible to cover programmes with grant funding but harder to find investment for the start-ups:”There’s potential to raise money locally but we’ve not seen much yet. There’s an Angel Investor Club in Accra but not one in Kumasi.”

Lowe is passionate about the potential for makers to create manufacturing jobs:”For me, it’s one of the main reasons to do this. Hardware innovation will leads to manufacturing locally, which will create jobs. Ghana basically exports raw materials and imports goods. It’s got to start to add value. A start-up like Dext is the beginning of that journey. The start-ups might create anything from hundreds to the low thousands of jobs but it’s really only in the early stages. Lots more needs to be done.”

Background Briefing – Africa’s Makers and Maker Spaces

BloLab sets up an African digital fabrication laboratory to promote technological democratization, innovation and manufacturing

http://www.smartmonkeytv.com/channel/newsletters/blolab_sets_up_an_african_digital_fabrication_laboratory_to_promote_technol

Jumanne Mtambalike, Buni Hub on making a 3D printer and drone from e-waste-mass production next?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXVe3DNCLms

South Africa: Tobias Overbeck on building a glove-controlled drone and flying in drone competitions

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7sDnHvvf7A

Rick Treweek on African Robot’s 3D printing training and his passion brand Trobok Toys

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJqcjXPa7vk

Robyn Farah, Kat-O on her maker space in Cape Town and what it does

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwF0QSktKBs

Nigeria: Malaria Burden Adds Up to Adewole’s Meningitis Burden

opinionBy Adeola Akinremi

In November 2009, I sat near Isaac Adewole, in Dare-Salaam, Tanzania. I could tell of his brilliance and dedication to a cause he believed in based on how up-close I saw and interacted with him. He was elected the Chairman of African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) at that meeting unopposed to confirm his leadership prowess. We all roared in jubilation to approve that election.

At that time, he was a professor at the University of Ibadan and awaiting Vice Chancellor. He made it to become the Vice Chancellor of the premier university just about one year after. His academic brain and soundness have not been mixed with Nigeria’s perplexing politics.

But in November 2015, five years later, Adewole, became Nigeria’s Health Minister and his progress took a turn. He became a reactive man, and not proactive anymore. He must really be frustrated and hiding it.

Really, serving in Nigerian government can turn a smart man into a sluggish man. Government work around here can make a man full of vision to lose his sight.

Adewole must have had a torrid time as a sitting Health Minister whose tenure has had running battle with outbreak of diseases. With scores of people dying from diseases that are preventable and government using fire brigade approach for a rescue plan, I am fully convinced that Adewole is in a cage too difficult to exit from.

“I should start with global health security, as we might be aware, we have been dealing with series of outbreaks over the last one year. We started with Lassa, we moved on to cholera, there were pockets of measles and now we are dealing with meningitis,” he said without putting figures to the number of health-related deaths under him as a minister. But those deaths are now over a million in less than two years that he became a minister.

Honestly, I feel lethargic these days about Nigerian situation that I am hesitant to write. The bad shape that our country is will require not only a smart panel-beater to beat it into shape, but a man of hammer to hit the hell out of Nigeria.

This week, after reading the headline, ‘Nigeria begs U.S. to help fight Malaria’, my heart pumped. Sadly, the news story was attributed to the Health Minister, who equally acknowledged that the United States through its USAID/Presidential Malaria Initiative covering 11 states and the National Malaria Programme has invested substantial amount of about 490 million dollars in Nigeria.

The United Kingdom through its Department for International Development (DFID), the World Bank, the Global Fund, all separately put millions of dollars into malaria fight in Nigeria.

But despite the huge money invested in Nigeria already by the United States, including what the country itself continues to include in its annual budget, no less than 300,000 lives are lost to malaria annually. If you have been a victim of malaria, you will have no reason to dispute the figure. I think it could be more than that after seeing two close family members killed by malaria.

So my question is why is malaria-related death continues in Nigeria year after year despite the fact that it is preventable and with the huge amount of money invested in Nigeria by donor countries and nonprofits? The continuous mismanagement and embezzlement of fund by those entrusted with its administration is a big issue in malaria fight in Nigeria.

Interestingly, Nigerian administrators are so unkind to the poor. They continue to embezzle such money meant for rescue efforts like security fund, national emergency management fund, Presidential Initiative for the North East fund, malaria control fund and many others.

On its National Malaria Control Programme website (www.nmcp.gov.ng), you can get the picture that Nigeria is not interested in eradicating malaria the way the United States did in the 50s. At best, Nigeria wants to roll malaria back so that it can continue to roll forward. The content on the website is outdated and that shows the concern the Ministry of Health has for malaria eradication.

When in November 2016, the United States launched a whistle-blowing campaign on Nigeria for theft of its donated anti-malaria fund I was sad, knowing that I have lost people to malaria.

According to the Deputy Inspector General in charge of the American supported Malarial Control Programme in Africa in USAID, Jonathan Schofield, antimalarial products including treated bed nets and medicines carrying the USAID brand meant to be distributed free of charge, as part of the contribution of the American government to eradicate malaria in Nigeria were being diverted or faked by syndicates.

I remember that the U.S. government promised to give monetary reward for any useful information that would lead to the arrest of syndicates who hoard or fake the USAID funded malaria products in Nigeria. It was that bad. Why are we the enemies of our own progress?

It may surprise many why the United States continues to support Nigeria despite its frustrating experience. Here is the truth. The U.S. understands that America is not completely a safe haven with regards to malaria, though malaria ended in the U.S. in the 50s.

Americans are explorers and they go everywhere, and because they visit such malaria endemic countries as Nigeria there’s the probability of being infected.

Of course, with more immigrants and tourists arriving in the U.S. everyday, they will likely carry the fever with them and place the burden on America’s healthcare system.

For instance, in a report published on April 24, the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene claimed that between 2000 and 2014, about 22,000 people were admitted to U.S. hospitals with complications of malaria.

As the U.S. Consul General in Lagos, Francis John Bray, recently wrote that, “ridding the world of this burden will have a long-term transformative impact across the globe, saving millions of lives and generating trillions in additional economic output,” the burden is on Prof. Adewole to follow the money to save lives.

South Africa: Court Ruling On Zuma’s Nuclear Deal Is a Marker of South Africa’s Political Health

analysisBy David Fig, University of Cape Town

The South African government’s plan to bulldoze through a nuclear energy deal has been dealt what might be a fatal blow by the Cape Town High court which has declared the plan invalid. It found that the government had not followed due process in making the decision to pursue a nuclear power option, as well as in other critical areas.

The court’s decision has put paid to President Jacob Zuma’s hopes of clinching the nuclear build programme before leaving office in 2019 if he completes his term.

The case was brought to court by Earthlife Africa and the Southern Africa Faith-Communities’ Environmental Institute. The two NGOs were challenging the way in which the state determined the country’s nuclear power needs. The plan would have seen South Africa purchasing 9,600 megawatts of extra nuclear power.

The judge, Lee Bozalek, ruled the government’s action unconstitutional and found that five decisions it had taken were illegal. These included the government’s decision to go ahead with the nuclear build and the fact that it had handed over the procurement process to the state utility Eskom. The court also ruled that Eskom’s request for information from nuclear vendors, a step taken to prepare the procurement, which ended on 28 April 2017 was invalid.

If it still wants to pursue the nuclear deal the government will have to start all over again. To do so legally it would have to open up the process to detailed public scrutiny. The country’s electricity regulator would have to have a series of public hearings before endorsing what would be its highest ever spend on infrastructure. And any international agreements would have to be scrutinised by parliament.

All this will take time – something Zuma doesn’t have. And it’s unlikely that his successors will be as eager to champion a new deal as he has been. Meanwhile the facts about the deal will become public. This will undoubtedly demonstrate two of the biggest criticisms of the deal to be true: that the country can’t afford it, and that it’s energy needs have shrunk, making the vast investment redundant.

The court’s ruling has turned the nuclear procurement issue into one of the key markers of South Africa’s political health. It’s not yet clear whether the South African government will appeal the Western Cape High Court’s decision, or comply with the judgement. A third option is that Zuma simply ignores the courts and continues to pursue the deal.

Demand and affordability

South Africa currently has more than enough electricity to meet its needs. This wasn’t the case about five years ago when widespread outages hit the country. Since then new electricity generation capacity has been added, through the the rapid roll out of renewables, and the opening up of two new giant coal burning plants. Consumption, particularly by industry, has steadily declined due to faltering economic growth and higher electricity prices. Demand has dropped so much that Eskom plans to close five coal burning power stations.

The argument that the country needs another 9,600 megawatts was identified in documents that produced in 2011. These are now widely acknowledged as being badly out of date. Recent studies by the University of Cape Town’s Energy Research Centre have shown that the country doesn’t need to consider nuclear for another 20 years.

A number of studies have also shot holes in the government’s argument that the country can afford the proposed nuclear build. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research has developed models showing that new nuclear is likely to be much more expensive than coal or renewables. The price ticket for nuclear – which some estimates put at more than R1 trillion – doesn’t take into account the costs of operation, fuel, insurance, emergency planning or the regulation or decontamination at the end of the life of the reactors.

It would also impose a financial burden on the country’s fiscus which it can ill afford particularly now that the economy has been rated at junk status.

Ulterior motives

So why is Zuma still pushing for the deal to go ahead? One source of pressure might be the Russians. South Africa’s former energy minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, had been instructed to signed a deal with the Russian utility, Rosatom to build the reactors. South Africa has also already signed nuclear power cooperation agreements with other countries like the US and South Korea, which the court has declared void.

A more likely reason for Zuma’s zeal is the involvement of the Gupta family with whom he has close ties. The family’s web of interests around the nuclear deal are complex.

What is known is that the Gupta family controls South Africa’s only dedicated uranium mine. The family has developed close relationships with key individuals at Eskom. In November last year the country’s then Public Protector pointed to overlapping directorships between Gupta-owned companies and Eskom.

The report also suggested that Brian Molefe, Eskom’s CEO, had a close relationship with the family. These revelations led to his resignation shortly after the report was published.

Another strand in the complex web is the fact that Zuma’s son Duduzane is a business partner of the Guptas while other relatives are directly employed by them.

Despite his determination, Zuma has become increasingly isolated in his quest for nuclear procurement. The African National Congress is clearly divided on the issue. This is evident from the fact that Zuma has resorted to reshuffling his cabinet to make way for more compliant ministers without reference to party officials as would be the norm.

The private sector has also come out against the idea while the list of civil society organisations opposed to nuclear expansion goes well beyond the environmental lobby and includes a broad spectrum of foundations, faith communities, human rights campaigners and defenders of the country’s constitution.

High stakes

The nuclear judgement in Cape Town indicates that South Africa’s legal system has not yet been “captured” by private interests.

The key question is whether Zuma and Eskom will accede to the verdict, or whether they challenge it while continuing to ignore the rule of law. Not only would this subvert the country’s constitution and its democratic form of government, it would also deny the constitutional right to popular participation in energy democracy.

The stakes are high – for the country as well as for the president. Will he continue to treat the country’s energy future with impunity? Or will this judgement symbolise the rollback of the democratic dispensation envisaged by the authors of the country’s constitution?

Disclosure statement

David Fig has had a long association with Earthlife Africa, and serves on the steering committee of the African Uranium Alliance.

Media Freedom in Africa ‘Not Great’

interviewBy Chrispin Mwakideu

Media watchdogs are voicing concern about curbs on press freedom. DW looks at the media in Africa where restrictions range from subtle forms of censorship to imprisonment for journalists just doing their jobs.

Global press freedom has hit a 13-year low, the US rights organization Freedom House said on Friday. Earlier this week, Reporters Without Borders warned that press freedom was facing serious threats in 72 countries. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) maintains that governments are using increasingly sophisticated tactics to control information and limit critiicsm. DW has been talking to CPJ’s advocacy manager, Kerry Paterson.

DW: How would you describe the state of media freedom in Africa?

Kerry Paterson: Not great is the honest answer. Over the past couple of years there are many countries which have frequently been poor performers when it comes to protecting press freedom, but within the last year or two we’ve really seen some slipping in the countries that have traditionally been quite good on press freedom on the continent, countries like Ghana, Kenya, or South Africa. We’ve seen a real slip backwards from countries that used to be continental leaders.

Is there any reason as to why things are getting worse?

Obviously, each of these different countries has very different political situations, but I think local politics has a huge hand in it. We’ve seen a lot of crackdowns on the press from leaders trying to hang on to power – certainly that was true for what happened in Burundi, in Kenya, with this being an election year, you see an increased effort to clamp down and keep the media toeing a government line, so I think that politics ultimately has a pretty large role in it.

Talking about Kenya, the opposition has just appointed its presidential flagbearer. Looking ahead to the August 8 elections in that country does the current political situation favor freedom of the press?

Kenya is certainly one to watch and we will be watching very closely. CPJ put out a special report on Kenya in 2015 looking at the ways in which the government had paid lip service to press freedom but has actually failed to protect journalists or freedom of the press in a meaningful way. Then, in July of this past year, Alan Rusbridger, the former editor of The Guardian and board member for CPJ, did a mission to Kenya where he interviewed many of the same people who were interviewed in our 2015 report and what we found was that by and large, you still see very much the same government pressure to toe the line. You see moves that appear to be quite obviously political but are harder to prove [as such] and when governments threaten to pull out things like financial support or advertizing revenue from newspapers, then those newspapers are often forced or compelled to fall in line. I think the media is seeing itself under a lot of pressure in Kenya, which is troubling in part because Kenya has been a leader in East Africa when it comes to protecting the press. They have a vibrant media there but it’s going to be tough and we’ll be watching closely to make sure journalists are able to cover the elections in a way that is free and fair and responsible and without intimidation or reprisal.

In Cameroon, we’ve seen an RFI journalist Ahmed Abba sentenced to 10 years in prison on terrorism charges. What message does his sentence send to other journalists working in Cameroon?

A pretty terrible one. Cameroon has really deteriorated quite quickly in the last several months. We’ve been tracking other cases since he was arrested. The ten years is obviously a completely ridiculous sentence. What was his crime? It was an act of journalism. So it is absolutely absurd that he has been sentenced at all. But he also faced the death penalty. The idea that this was the lesser of two punishments he was facing is really the staggering part. Cameroon went from having no journalists in jail to arresting Abba – I think Abba is now one of eight journalists currently behind bars in the country. We’ve seen an increase in other forms of pressure on press freedom, internet shutdowns or censorship or threats and intimidation. Denis Nkwebo, who was the head of the journalist syndicate there, had his car blown up outside of his house a couple of years ago. Journalists are really being sent a message that they are being watched and they need to watch what they say, which is, of course, in direct violation of the press freedom promises that these governments make.

To be fair to African countries, though, we’ve been seeing how US President Donald Trump is waging a war on the mainstream media there. Knowing how much influence the US has on the rest of the world, presumably this is not very good for press freedom?

Absolutely. It’s troubling. By no means are our concerns on press freedom limited to Africa. We see issues of surveillance and attacks on the press in Britain, in France, in America, in Canada. We’re seeing a real clampdown on freedoms that shouldn’t be taken for granted, but has been taken for granted in those countries. As far as Donald Trump is concerned, it is really troubling because it sends a message that it is OK to behave this way, that it’s OK to imprison journalists, that it is OK to dismiss news you don’t like as being fake. You see that he is leading less. You see that echoed by other leaders, you see that with Erdogan in Turkey, you see that with President Xi in China. These are countries that embrace censorship and are silencing dissenting and critical voices. Donald Trump is certainly not doing things at that level yet, but the rhetoric he uses and the way he engages with press certainly suggests a similar animosity towards them which is really troubling, not just for journalists operating in America, but for the message it sends to leaders around the world.

Kerry Paterson is the advocacy manager for the Committee To Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Gambia: Standard Chartered CEO Adenowo Meets President Barrow

The President of the Republic of The Gambia, His Excellency Adama Barrow on Monday 24th April 2017 received Mr. Olukorede Adenowo, the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Standard Chartered Bank, The Gambia.

His Excellency President Barrow welcomed Mr. Adenowo to The Gambia and thanked him for paying a courtesy call to the Office of The President within the first week of taking office. “Standard Chartered is a household name in The Gambia and has been around for over a century. The Bank should continue playing the important role of encouraging good banking practices in order to rebuild the new Gambia”, President Barrow said. He assured the Bank to prioritise the security of The Gambia to foster investment.

The incoming CEO, Mr. Adenowo congratulated the President on his recent elections and pledged the bank’s support in complementing the Government’s efforts in the development of the country. He thanked the President for creating a conducive environment for investment in The Gambia and thanked him for granting him an audience for the courtesy call. Mr. Adenowo said that “Standard Chartered’s is here for good and will continue being a responsible investor in the country assisting in advisory, access to capital and support in the infrastructure investment plan. Standard Chartered Bank has more than 123 years experience in The Gambia and will help facilitate trade opportunities between Gambia and its trade partners because of its unshakeable belief in The Gambia’s future”.

He reaffirmed Standard Chartered’s support to ensure that the bank’s core business of banking supports sustainable growth. He committed to ensuring fair outcomes for our stakeholders and the bank’s unwavering support to the Government of The Gambia. The bank enables individuals to grow and protect their wealth. Help businesses to trade, transact, invest, and expand in addition to helping a variety of financial institutions with their banking needs.

About Olukorede Adenowo

Mr. K.O. Adenowo with 30 years post university experience joined Standard Chartered Bank in 1999, and was part of the founding team that helped start the Nigerian business. He has worked in various roles including Regional Head of Global Corporate Africa, Deputy Head of Origination and Client Coverage Nigeria, Head of Origination and Client Coverage, West Africa 4 and more lately Regional Head of Financial Institutions and Public Sector for West Africa.

In his most recent role as Regional Head of Financial Institutions and Public Sector for West and Central Africa, he provided strong leadership in building and managing key strategic FI relationships across West Africa for business success and growth in an increasingly stringent regulatory environment.

K.O. Adenowo is a Non-Executive Director of the Board of Standard Chartered Bank Sierra Leone and serves on the Board of a number of charities. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, has an MBA from the Lagos Business School (IESE) and graduated from the University of Ife, Ile-Ife Nigeria.

Gambia

Gambia’s Barrow Meets Sirleaf

Liberia’s President and Chair of regional bloc ECOWAS Mrs. Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf has received the Gambia’s President… Read more »

Liberia: LTA, Partners End Int’l Internet Workshop

The Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) and partners have ended a two-day international workshop on ICANN (the Internet Cooperation for Assigned Names and Numbers) Ecosystem and top level Domain Names management in Monrovia.

According to a press release, the mission of the ICANN is to, among others, coordinate the allocation and assignment of the three sets of unique identifiers for the internet, which include Domain Names, Internet Protocol addresses and autonomous system numbers as well as Protocol Port and Parameter Numbers.

The ICANN also seeks to coordinate the operation and evolution of the Domain Names (DNS) root name server system and coordinate policy development reasonably and appropriately related to the above mentioned technical functions.

The workshop, which was attended by dozens of representatives from the telecommunications and internet sectors of West African nations as well as the leaderships of the ICANN and the West Africa Telecommunications Regulatory Assembly, was aimed at building the capacity of participants about the ICANN and teaching them about the ICANN Ecosystem and many other issues that are relevant mainly to Liberia.

At the climax of the workshop Tuesday, several key issues in the telecommunications industry were put forward during various presentations by visiting experts of the sub-region.

Topics highlighted include the need to support the Domain Names (DNS) industry in Africa, ICANN’s contribution to internet security, and Domain Names dispute resolution.

Liberia

Gambia’s Barrow Meets Sirleaf

Liberia’s President and Chair of regional bloc ECOWAS Mrs. Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf has received the Gambia’s President… Read more »

Mali: Ms. Soukeyna Kane New Country Director

Ms. Soukeyna Kane,World Bank’s Country Director for Mali, Guinea, Niger and Chad.

press release

BAMAKO, April 26, 2017 —Ms. Soukeyna Kane, a Senegalese national, is the new Country Director for Mali, Guinea, Niger and Chad. She will be based in Bamako, Mali.

Ms. Kane, joined the Bank in March 2003 as a Senior Financial Management Specialist and has held several positions in the Africa Region, Operations Policy and Country Services (OPCS) and Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Prior to joining the World Bank, she was the Principal Internal Auditor at the African Development Bank. Her extensive experience in the private sector includes the position of Administrative and Financial Director in Assurances Generales Senegalaises (AGS), as well as manager and senior auditor with ERA Audit et Expertise, AEG Paris and Ernst & Young. Ms. Kane is a Certified Public Accountant and has a Master in Accounting and Finance. She graduated from Institut Commercial Supérieur in Paris.

Ms. Kane was most recently the Practice Manager, Governance – Europe and Central Asia (ECA) for the Bank.

In her new position, Soukeyna Kane’s top priorities will be to provide strategic leadership for formulating programs that support the World Bank’s twin goals: eradicate extreme poverty and improve shared prosperity in Mali, Guinea, Niger and Chad and the Sahel region more broadly; and maintain portfolio quality by working with internal and external partners for better results.

Ms. Kane’s appointment is effective May 1, 2017. She will be visiting Mali 1-5 May 2017 and meet with the national authorities.

Contacts:

In Bamako: Habibatou Gologo, +223 92 14 31 37, hgologo@worldbank.org

For more information on World Bank activities in Mali, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/mali

For more information about the World Bank’s programs in Africa visit: www.worldbank.org/africa

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Gambia: FAO and Partners Commit to Improve Gambia’s Nutritional Status

FAO and partners commit to harness the potentials of Sustainable Food Fortification to improve the nutritional status of The Gambian populace.

24th April, 2017, Banjul – The Gambian Government has joined forces with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in a bid to sustainably reduce the menace of malnutrition, and in particular micronutrient deficiencies which remain both a major public health and development problem for the country. Through funding from The European Union, FAO in close partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DoA), the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA), the Food Safety and Quality Authority of The Gambia (FSQA), the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI), Private Sector Food Industries as well as Importers, the Consumer Protection Group and other stakeholders is set to develop and implement the sustainable integrated food fortification initiative. The initiative – “Improve Food Security and Nutrition in The Gambia through Food Fortification” aims particularly to improve micronutrient nutrition and health outcomes of vulnerable women and children in The Gambia.

This is a public private partnership initiative that will work with food industries and farmers involved in the production of staple foods to embark on industrial scale fortification, as well as the cultivation of bio-fortified food crops to increase access to essential micronutrients by the population in The Gambia, especially women and children. . Vulnerable children 6-59 months and pregnant and lactating women in food insecure households in the North Bank and Central River North Regions will have increased access to and consume more micronutrient-rich foods through both industrially fortified food staples and bio-fortified food commodities.

The initiative has integrated nutrition education as a key strategy to strengthen nutrition outcomes. It is also designed to strengthen public and private sector capacities, build public private partnership and advance the reinforcement of regulatory systems on food fortification in The Gambia. The intervention will ensure at least 65% of the Gambian population have increased awareness and access to fortified staple foods high in essential micronutrients such as vitamin A, iron, zinc, folic acid and other Vitamin B nutrients.

Dr. Sablah Mawuli, FAO Lead Technical Officer for the project from the FAO Regional Office for Africa in Accra, Ghana concluded a week-long Technical Assistance mission to Banjul on 22nd April 2017 focusing on capacity needs assessment. He also engaged with the various stakeholders to clarify the technical roles of different public and private sector stakeholders, and guide in the development of the detailed project implementation plan.

The FAO Country Representative to The Gambia, Dr. Perpetua Katepa-Kalala, has praised the initiative noting that Food fortification presents an attractive potential area of investment to address micronutrient deficiencies in vulnerable girls, women and children, based on its potential to provide a relatively low-cost, affordable, scalable and immediate tool in response to the challenge of eliminating hidden hunger from The Gambia. She expressed gratitude to the EU and the different stakeholders on their commitment to improving nutrition outcomes in The Gambia. She is enthused about this initiative which will establish the enabling environment through mandatory legislation with standards on food fortification, production and distribution of fortified foods, social marketing with nutrition education under effective public private partnership Gambia Alliance on Food Fortification. Dr. Kalala explained that various capacity building and awareness raising campaigns would be organized on fortification and bio-fortification with mixed farming systems that promote dietary diversification, nutrition education and sustainable strategies for ensuring high coverage of fortified foods to address vitamin and mineral deficiencies in populations in The Gambia.

Potentials for food fortification

Deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals are widespread in The Gambia with substantial adverse effects on maternal and child health and development. The Gambia Demographic and Health Survey (DHS 2013) reported that 24.5% of children under five were stunted, 16% were underweight and 11.5% were wasted while 4.2% were severely wasted. Similarly, micronutrient deficiencies continue to be a public health challenge to The Gambia with Vitamin A deficiency in preschool children estimated at 54%, iron deficiency related anemia hovering around 72% in this age group and 60% in women of reproductive age.

Mr. Modou Cheyassin Phall, Executive Director, National Nutrition Agency NaNA explained that industrial scale food fortification and bio-fortification including bio-fortified orange flesh sweet potato, cassava and beans will play a critical role in sustainably combating micronutrient malnutrition in a manner easily accessible to food insecure communities. He noted that The Gambia Milling Corporation covering over 98% of the market with wheat flour has initiated voluntary fortification using industry standards which would now be aligned with harmonized Gambian standards to be developed on the broader ECOWAS Standard Harmonization Model (ECOSHAM). Mr. Phall also explained that the rice would also be fortified with essential micronutrient under the programme.

The Director General of the Food Safety and Quality Authority of The Gambia Ms. Zainab Jallow has also praised the intervention as timely noting that it will strengthen efforts aimed at enforcing standards and quality requirements on food fortification in The Gambia.

Source: FAO

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