Posts tagged as: based

Demolition of 24 Prayer Houses On Monday Fails to Take Place

By By Hellen Nachilongo

Muslims of Al-Masijid Kirumbi Islamic Centre, Kimara, have said they will not demolish or remove any property from their mosque because it is against Islamic faith.

Tanzania Roads Agency (Tanroads) expected to start demolishing 24 prayer houses on Monday October 16, but it didn’t take place.

However, The Citizen witnessed some church members at St Mary’s Church, Kimara Parish, removing from the church properties like benches, files, computers, boxes and the lectern.

The Citizen saw church members busy removing church property and, when they were asked for comment they declined to do so, saying they were not the spokesperson of the church. “If you want to cover news, please, contact the parish priest.”

An imam, Mr Ramadhan Juma, said they would not remove any property or demolish the mosque unless Tanraoads did it because their faith did not allow them to do so.

“Although the new law on road reserve shows that we are in the road reserve, we will not demolish or remove any asset from the mosque. This is our stand,” he stressed.

Tanraods senior official Johson Rutechula told The citizen that the demotion did not take off as planned because they received a phone call from one of the Islamic leaders begging them to give them more time.

He said they had only given them a few days to demolish the mosque on their own and because it was a lawful operation, demolition would continue as planned.

Tanzania

Gender-Based Violence ‘On the Decline’

The rate of gender-based violence has decreased compared to a few years ago, it has been said. Read more »

Nigeria: Over $60bn Invested in ICT Since 2001 – Minister

By Prince Okafor

THE Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, had said that more than $60 billion has been invested in Information Communication Technology, ICT in Nigeria since 2001.

Shittu stated this at the sixth European Union-Nigeria Business Forum in Lagos, with the theme: “Youth as Engine of Broad-Based Economic Transformation”.

The minister said: “The government of Nigeria has been conscious of the role ICT can play in national development and has, therefore, been committed over the last 15 years to ensuring that ICT facilities and services are expanded rapidly. So far, over $60 billion US dollars has been invested in the ICT sector since year 2001 when digital mobile services were launched.

Highest potential

“Since the democratic governance that was bathed in May 1999, the attention of the world returned to Nigeria as the country with the highest potential for investment on the continent.”

Shittu noted that the government is addressing the issues of investment in ICT infrastructure and ICT education and regulation in order to build on the successes of this digital revolution.

“We are very mindful of the fact that the youth play a key role in developing the ICT sector, and we are putting in place the right business environment and regulatory framework to allow our young people to unlock all the potential of digital economy. Globally ICT has changed the way people communicate, learn and conduct businesses. A World Bank econometric study carried out in 2009 showed that every 10 percent increase in ICT investment generates a 1.38 percent in GDP,” he said.

Shittu reiterated government’s commitment to mainstreaming innovations and ICT to enable growth and development for the country. He stated: “Our national strategic ICT roadmap, eGovernment master plan and national broadband plan outline our desired path to a knowledge-based economy where ICTs underpin service delivery, and provide the bedrock of activities in critical sectors of the economy.

Nigeria is in a digital revolution, we are moving towards interventions such as Smart Cities, ICT University, ICT Development Bank, ICT Park and Exhibition hubs, amongst others. These interventions cannot be done alone by the government; we need partnership and collaborative support of the organised private sector. Government would encourage EU to pool managerial and technical resources together for this establishment.”

Nigeria

Coca-Cola to Launch ‘Safe Birth Initiative’ for Ivory Coast and Nigeria

In line with its long-standing commitment to Women and the Well Being of Communities, Coca-Cola will support the… Read more »

Lesotho: HIV/Aids Progress Commendable

LESOTHO has made progress in its efforts towards ending the AIDS epidemic as reflected in the preliminary results of the Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment (PHIA). The results announced by the Deputy Prime Minister, Monyane Moleleki on Tuesday, show that Lesotho is currently on track to achieving the 90-90-90 targets by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) by 2020. Launched in Australia in 2014, the targets mirror a fundamental shift in the world’s approach to HIV treatment, moving it away from a focus on the number of people accessing antiretroviral therapy and towards the importance of maximizing viral suppression among people living with HIV.

This shift was driven by greater understanding of the benefits of viral suppression showing that, not only does treatment protect people living with HIV from AIDS-related illness, but it also greatly lowers the risk of transmitting the virus to others.

The 90-90-90 targets encourages countries to initiate a responsive transformation and to strengthen commitment towards ensuring that 90 percent of people living with HIV know their status, 90 percent of people who know their status are accessing treatment and 90 percent of people on treatment are virally supressed.

However, the PHIA preliminary results were released amid a 25 percent HIV prevalence rate that is characterised by a high rate of new HIV infections in Lesotho, 52 new cases each day while 26 people also die of AIDS-Related ailments on a daily basis. This challenge demands well-coordinated efforts to successfully close the gaps allowing an increase in new HIV infection. It is a demanding task, complicated by the fact that some pregnancy-related deaths are related to HIV. Lesotho has a high maternal mortality rate of 1,143 deaths per 100,000 live births.

On the other hand, it would also be folly to overlook the need for the health sector to cooperate with other sectors in addressing the underlying factors causing new HIV infections. Dealing with factors including teenage pregnancies, cultural practices still empowering some men to make HIV prone decisions, poverty and unemployment can go a long way to ensure that the fight remains on-track.

Despite challenges, we are encouraged by the direction that the fight is taking. The PHIA results that show a key marker indicating that the body is successfully suppressing the virus has reached 68 percent among adults living with HIV (15-59 years) in Lesotho. This development can tell us that people living with HIV, and with their viral loads suppressed, can live longer, have fewer complications due to their HIV status and are less likely to transmit the virus.

Thanks to organisations such as the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the International Centre for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP), for their continued support.

Hopefully with the positive progress made so far, support will continue for enhanced programmes. Over the years, Lesotho has developed several national plans and strategies, including a Behaviour Change Communication Strategy, but it appears implementation of some of these strategies was partial and not effectively coordinated particularly following the closure of the National AIDS Council (NAC) in 2011.

It is our hope that the reopening and reorganising of NAC will help to improve coordination of decentralised activities and promote increased investment in scaled-up community-based strategies. With adequate implementation management support, community-based organisations can help increase well targeted programme coverage, in addition to ensuring the efficient use of resources.

We support UNAIDS’ approach that highlights the importance of ensuring that treatment programmes work to establish community-centred strategies and systems that can support patient adherence to treatment and reduce the number of patients lost to follow-up.

We also encourage stakeholders working in the HIV and AIDS sector to implement practical and cost-effective strategies that use peers and trained community health workers to achieve retention rates and treatment outcomes that are comparable to those reported by mainstream health facilities. In addition, innovations such as the use of peer support groups, well-trained and supportive health workers, and short message service reminders and reduced waiting times at clinics have also proven successful for increasing retention among adolescents and young people living with HIV.

Adolescent Fertility Rate Higher Than Global Rates

Photo: Thomson Reuters Foundation News

Family planning

By Salome Gregory

Dar es Salaam — As the world marked Contraception Day yesterday, data shows that Tanzania’s adolescent fertility rate (135 births per 1,000 girls) is more than double the global birth rate among 15 to 19 year olds (49 births per 1,000 girls).

According to the press release issued yesterday by the Comprehensive Community-Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT), despite CCBRT efforts, there appears to be a gap in tackling the specific reproductive health needs of adolescents.

CCBRT offers family planning services ranging from short-acting (like use of condoms, birth pills) to long-acting contraception methods (like sterilisation), as well as wider sexual and reproductive health services such as pregnancy tests, cervical cancer screenings, emergency contraception, advice on natural family planning and fertile days.

The press statement quoted Technical Advisor Nursing Bola Abbas saying, “Only about 8 per cent of current family planning clients are between the ages of 15 to 19 years. And this is not a challenge unique to CCBRT, on a national scale, demand for family planning among adolescent girls is still very low, at 21 per cent. Two-thirds of adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 years are not using contraception.”

Ms Abbas said, CCBRT started a Dar es Salaam facility at Tim’s Corner in 2013 to address the unmet needs and create demand for family planning services in Dar es Salaam, particularly in Kinondoni District and focused on making Tim’s Corner more accessible to adolescent clients.

In future, family planning services will be integrated into the comprehensive and specialized care of the Maternity & Newborn Hospital, catered to high-risk patient groups such as mothers with disabilities, histories of fistula and adolescents, reads part of the press statement.

Since its inception in 2013, Tim’s Corner has provided services to more than 1,600 clients. It has a diverse client base, including patients from the Disability Hospital and their caretakers (48 per cent), CCBRT staff (9 per cent), as well inhabitants of the neighbouring Kinondoni district and beyond (43 per cent). These services are available to all and offered for free.

Family planning has been widely recognised as a key strategy to improve health and overall well-being of women and families around the world. Investment in family planning is a best buy for development.

Tanzania

MP Shooting – Govt Rules Out Hiring External Investigators

Home Affairs minister Mwigulu Nchemba has ruled out the possibility of the government to hire foreign security organs to… Read more »

Foreign Affairs Ministry Committed to Eradicating SGBV

By Bella Lucia Nininahazwe

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has conducted an outreach session on a special law on gender based violence this September 20th in Mukaza commune.

Jean de Dieu Ndikumana, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says the number of victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) is still high in Burundi and the entire region. He appeals to all the participants in the session to conduct sensitization campaigns at their workplaces and in their living places. “We have to apply the knowledge we gained by raising the awareness of SGBV and its eradication in our country”.

The Great Lakes Region member countries adopted the Kampala SGBV Declaration in 2011. Later, a specific law No. 1/13 of 22nd September 2016 on prevention, protection of victims and repression of gender based violence was adopted in Burundi.

Mr Ndikumana says there has been gender based violence in the Great Lakes Region after civil wars where women and children were mostly targeted. “This specific law is a result of an agreement between Heads of State in the Great Lakes Region on SGBV consequences in their meeting in 2011,” he says.

Aloys Ndikuriyo, Advisor to the professional training center in the Ministry of Justice in charge of the production of modules says severe punishment against gender-based violence offenders in the specific law will help in SGBV prevention: “Offenses and penalties are imprescriptible, inexcusable, and cannot be reduced”. He says they hope to see a considerable decrease in the number of SGBV victims thanks to those sanctions.

The specific law on prevention, protection of victims and repression of SGBV is in its awareness phase.

Burundi

President, UK’s Boris Johnson Discuss Somalia, South Sudan, Burundi

President Museveni has held candid talks with the United Kingdoms Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on the situation in… Read more »

Women Robbed, Roughed Up in Kisumu in the Name of Protecting Votes

Kisumu — An interfaith meeting for women in Kisumu to take stock of Gender Based Violence witnessed in the recent political skirmishes turned chaotic after word went round on social media that IDs were being bought from the women.

A group of youths stormed Jumia Hotel, the venue of the meeting.

They proceeded to the training room, roughed up women, tossed about chairs and stole phones and laptops.

Police had to come in to rescue the women and were forced to lob teargas and shoot into the air to scare away the rowdy youths.

Two of the participants thereafter had to be rushed to hospital.

Jacklin Atieno, who was attending the meeting says they were shocked when they saw a group of youth storm their meeting place.

Atieno says there meeting had nothing to do with ID buying.

There were 150 participants at the meeting that brought together women from Nyanza.

The youths brought down the perimeter wall of the hotel, shattering window panes.

Businesses next to the hotel were hurriedly closed as the youth engaged the police in running battles.

Over the weekend National Super Alliance’s Johnson Muthama claimed that the government, in a ploy to remain in power, was buying votes and urged their supporters to exercise vigilance and stop any such schemes in their tracks.

He was later arrested for statements he made at the same rally in Kajiado.

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 »

Rwanda, Korea Join Efforts to Promote Music in Schools

By Eddie Nsabimana

Rwanda Education Board (REB), in partnership with Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), last week organised the first ever Music Education Conference aimed at strengthening music education at all levels.

The conference in Kigali brought together different stakeholders in the education sector and was held under the auspices of KOICA’s ‘Piano-Based Music Education’ (PBM) programme.

REB Director-General Janvier Gasana said the programme will be instrumental in helping students grow their talents in music and inculcate an open-minded attitude in the children to adapt to all Competence-based Curriculum subjects.

“We look forward to continued collaboration, hoping that the musical instruments will not only contribute to Rwanda’s music promotion among the young generation but also help students acquire basic playing skills that will help refresh their mind,” he said.

Music was included in the national competence-based curriculum for primary schools in 2015 but it requires training of qualified instructors to teach the young generation basic skills in playing musical instruments such as piano.

In October 2015, Korean firm, Booyoung Co. Ltd, donated 2,000 digital pianos to the Government of Rwanda, that would be used to improve the quality of education and promote the musical education of the primary school students in Rwanda. All public primary schools have already received at least two digital pianos in each school throughout the country.

However, most of the instruments have remain idle because of lack of instructors.

To close such basic skills gap among primary music teachers REB in partnership with KOICA introduced a programme dubbed ‘Piano-Based Music Education’, through which Korean music experts support Rwandan teachers particularly in improving music instructional practices in the competence-based approach.

Hyeong Lae CHO, the KOICA country director, said there is hope that Rwandan music will soon be at its best as long as the young generation is trained to exercise the digital pianos to build a successful world of musical creativity.

“I hope Rwanda’s young generation’s knowledge about music is going to improve as long as they will be taught by a well- trained team of teachers who have practical skills at their disposal. We are committed to building a strong education system in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda,” he said, tasking the government to make the most of the instruments.

Rwanda

U.S.’s Decision to Deny Genocidaire Appeal Bid Welcomed

The Government has welcomed the US judiciary decision for denying an appeal bid by Beatrice Munyenyezi, a woman serving… Read more »

South Africa: Does Marikana Really Have 60,000 People?

Photo: Ashraf Hendricks/GroundUp

Marikana informal settlement in Philippi East.

By Groundup Staff

On Wednesday, the Western Cape High Court ordered the City of Cape Town to purchase the land on which the Marikana informal settlement is located. In GroundUp reports of this case we usually wrote that 60,000 people live in Marikana. That number is from the court papers. But a sceptical reader has questioned it, so we tried to do our own estimate.

Marikana is the name given to the land in Philippi East by the thousands of people who have moved onto it since 2012. The land is split between at least three private owners, but only one of them, Iris Fischer, lives on it. If the court order isn’t challenged, the state will have to buy her home at a price that assumes there is no informal settlement (the existence of the settlement reduces the value of her home, so this is an important nuance).

The 60,000 figure is given in the residents’ court papers and they in turn got it from the City as well as estimates by the owners of the land. In court, this was the number that was bandied about.

There is no census of Marikana. The settlement only started after the last census in 2011. It has grown rapidly. Here is a Google satellite image of it:

To estimate the number of people living in Marikana, we would like to count the number of shacks in the photo and multiply by the average number of people living in a shack. But counting shacks is more easily said than done; we simply don’t have the time to do it. And we can only guess the average number of people per shack.

So to estimate the number of shacks we counted the number in a small section, and then using the Google Maps measurement tool and basic arithmetic we worked out the total number of shacks.

But there’s a problem with this methodology if you look at the map carefully. The density of the shacks changes dramatically. It’s hard to know if our selected area is representative. Therefore we selected a low-density area and a high-density area, and estimated lower and upper bounds for the number of shacks. Using this methodology we found that there are between 7,700 and 11,000 shacks in the settlement.

What is the average number of people per shack? There are various estimates for this for informal settlements. Based on the average household size at low income levels given in a Bizcommunity article, a lower bound for the average is a bit more than three and a higher bound is just under five. But the number of people per shack in Marikana is likely lower than other informal settlements, because many younger people moved there from cramped backyard shacks so that they could get more space. We therefore used three as the lower bound on the average and four as the upper bound.

Using these figures we estimate that the number of people living in Marikana is between 23,000 and 44,000. This is a wide estimate, but considerably lower than 60,000.

The Housing Development Agency estimated that 144,000 people lived in informal settlements in Cape Town in 2011. This is an organisation with the professional expertise and mandate to make such estimates, but as their report makes clear making these calculations is difficult, even when based on census data, as their report is. We’re not experts and we did our analysis in a couple of hours, so treat our estimates with caution.

South Africa

Are the Hawks Diverting Attention Away From #GuptaLeaks?

If the Hawks are diverting attention away from the #GuptaLeaks and other bigger issues regarding state capture… Read more »

Sharks Loss a Motivator for Promotion, Say Eldoret

By Kennedy Motari

Nairobi — Eldoret Youth head coach Peter Milombe believes the lessons picked from the humiliating 5-0 defeat suffered at the hands of Kenyan Premier League side Kariobangi Sharks in the GOtv Shield quarter-final last weekend will spur them to fight for promotion.

The Division One side resumed their league duties with a 1-0 win over Bondo United over the weekend, clearly washing away the hangovers from the unproductive trip to the city.

“The loss was devastating but the team learned a lot from the game. We started the second leg on the right foot. I think the boys have moved on and with such a mentality we can play in the National Super League next season,” Milombe told Capital Sport.

Eldoret Youth are three points below leaders Transfoc in the Division One standings and they will be travelling to Baringo this Friday to face bottom side Poror Mote.

Malombe has urged his players to replicate the same performance away in Baringo with their hosts having won only one game this season.

The Uasin Gishu County side has managed to pick a healthy 23 points from 11 matches to sit second, but Malombe is not yet comfortable especially with stiff competition expected from leaders Transfoc and 4th placed Shabana who were boosted with sponsorship last week.

“We have to sustain the pressure especially from Shabana who I know are more motivated by the sponsorship they secured. It’s obvious they will try very hard to close the gap. For us we need to focus on our goal which is promotion,” the tactician affirmed.

He says the club’s officials have as well intensified their search for sponsors to aid in their promotion campaign and he notes there has been some progress.

“Based on our performance, I am glad the management has started reaching out to potential sponsors from various business communities around and the county government as well. It would give us some good motivation,” he added.

Kenya

Samboja Says Former Taita Taveta Regime Left Sh600 Million Debt

Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja has said that his county government has inherited more than Sh600 million debt… Read more »

No Jobs for Museveni Envoys Kezaala, Ochula

By Sadab Kitatta Kaaya

With no openings at diplomatic missions abroad, the two appointees remain stranded in Kampala eight months after President Museveni appointed them, reports SADAB KITATTA KAAYA.

Eight months after their appointment as deputy ambassadors, former opposition gurus Mohammed Baswali Kezaala (DP) and Michael Ochula (FDC) are yet to get the much-needed government nod to join any of Uganda’s foreign missions.

In January, President Museveni announced new ambassadorial appointments, dropping some of the old envoys and replacing them with new faces picked from some losers in the 2016 general elections.

While some new appointees reported for work at their new missions at the end of July, Kezaala and Ochula are still stranded in Kampala, awaiting their posting letters.

A source in Foreign Service told The Observer on Friday that the two former opposition leaders were told in July 2017, at the end of the envoys’ induction course at the Jinja-based Civil Service College that they may have to wait until the next financial year to get posted.

The reason, according to the source, was budget constraints. The source said the ministry of Finance hadn’t released enough funds to cater for deputy ambassadors.

“The earliest they may get posted is in the next quarter but for now, they are still in Kampala,” the source said on August 25.

This financial year, the ministry of Foreign Affairs made a budget request of Shs 145bn but got Shs 31bn. Interviewed on Saturday, Kezaala said his posting is being worked on but declined to discuss the matter further.

“I am no longer in politics. I am now very reserved with my words; those are the diplomatic norms,” Kezaala said before he hung up.

The head of Communications and Diplomacy at the ministry of Foreign Affairs, Margaret Kafeero, said in an interview on Saturday that the opposition appointees may have to wait a little longer.

“At the moment, we don’t have any vacancies at the missions; maybe that is the reason they have not been deployed,” Kafeero said.

Previously, deputy ambassadors were deployed by the ministry but, according to Kafeero, the norm has since changed.

“Based on the last three occasions, it is the president who posts the deputy ambassadors. If he has decided that it is Foreign Affairs to make the postings, then he will communicate to us,” Kafeero said.

RESTRUCTURING

In its new structure, the ministry of Foreign Affairs has created the position of deputy ambassador, which didn’t exist at all foreign missions.

The new structure was approved by cabinet during the 2015/16 financial year but its implementation was delayed due to lack of corresponding financial support.

Under the new arrangement, government wants Uganda’s envoys to also engage in commercial and economic diplomacy. This means that embassies, which have in the past had just an ambassador and two foreign service officers, will get more staff, including a deputy ambassador.

The changes could have also been influenced by the tensions between career diplomats and former politicians at the foreign missions. The increasing number of political appointees in Foreign Service has become a hot-button issue.

The parliamentary Foreign Affairs committee has warned several times that ignoring career diplomats breeds dissatisfaction and dissent.

According to some in Foreign Service, by creating more slots at embassies, Museveni could be creating jobs for those he cannot find positions for locally. This is how Kezaala and Ochula could have been absorbed into the system.

But when charge d’affaires remained in charge of foreign missions from April to July when all ambassadors were recalled to Kampala for the two-week induction course in Jinja, many of them took on the role of deputy ambassadors.

According to the source, many of these charge d’affaires are going to be retained as deputy ambassadors and only those who will have reached their retirement age will be replaced.

MONTHLY SALARIES

The two former opposition politicians, however, continue to draw the standard senior civil service monthly salary of Shs 2.6 million, though without any allowances.

On top of the salary, an ambassador in a high-cost centre like Kinshasa, London, Geneva, Washington, among others, gets a foreign service allowance of $4,000 (Shs 14.4m), $500 more than their colleagues in low-cost centres who get $3500 (Shs 12.6m).

This is in addition to an annual $2500 (Shs 9m) to cater for the school needs of four of their children.

“That money is too little because international schools are very expensive. They take about $16,000 (Shs 57.6m) per semester. That is why most ambassadors choose not to go with their families,” the chairperson of the Foreign Affairs committee at Parliament, Rose Mutonyi Masaba (Bubulo West), herself a former envoy, said.

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