Posts tagged as: burundi

An Open Letter to the Kenyan Politician

By Scheaffer Okore

I know this letter will find you well in your heavily guarded mansion with beautiful lawns that haven’t missed watering even during this drought and water-rationing season.

I cannot even begin to imagine how busy you are drafting fresh deceitful promises for this election year so I wont take much of your time.

Brevity will be my modus operandi just like your memory is when it comes to your deliverables.

As I write this I’m drawing relation from the words of Tracy Chapman’s ‘Subcity’ to the current Kenyan situation with astounding similarity.

Chapman sings of an underground city that no one would like to admit exists: a dejected society where everyday people live off the decay and waste of their fellow men. You need to know and be certain that this underground dwelling people are not going to gentrify their language or actions when it comes to the true nature of things.

HOOLIGANISM

We can’t possibly watch the unlawful way in which the party primaries have been conducted and say nothing. How is it that despite the destruction, bloody fist fights and burning of stuff no political party has taken any tangible action against their members? Have we actually forgotten the unforgettable path our country took in 2007? We cannot and will not be led down this path again we just won’t.

Kenyans need the institutions tasked with ensuring law and order during this primaries to demonstrate that they’re able to enforce these laws. It’s clear that the main political parties engaging in the primaries don’t have the political will to practise the democracy they preach the evidence is all there. Favouritism, hooliganism and sabotage is smeared all over the method in which they choose to conduct themselves and to the underground dwelling Kenyans, it’s alarming. This cannot be a reflection of what we should expect in August we must do better.

RESPECT LAW

It makes you wonder what exactly the cost of winning is and that if someone must win at all cost do they actually deserve to lead. Kenyans don’t need neither do they have to be led by people who have no respect for the law or institutions they represent.

Mr Politician this is why the electorate talks about Fagia Wote not as a trending topic but as a simple strategy acting as a genesis towards a clean house.

Not a single one of you can comprehend the struggles Kenyans endure because of your poor choices, lack of leadership and insatiable hunger for ill-gotten wealth. We are working our hardest not only because it’s a civic requirement but majorly because you Mr. Politician are working thrice as hard to steal from us. Please I beg of you to desist from commenting on burdens you’ve intentionally and continually pilled on our backs.

HIGH COST OF LIVING

Do you at any point wonder how essentials needs like sugar, milk, bread and maize flour have become luxuries in Kenyan households? 1Kg of tomatoes has risen from Sh50 to Ksh80, 1Kg of peas is now Sh200 from Sh60, 1Kg of onions is now Sh80 from Sh40, 1Kg of beans shot to Sh100 from Sh80 and the price of 1Kg rice is now Sh180 from Sh130 all in the span of a month. Almost every single thing in Kenya right now is tremendously expensive some food products have even reduced in quantity whilst their prices continue to rise. We are hungry Mr. Politician while our families are making due, your own families dwell in surplus. This is why we need new leaders of integrity who have the people’s needs in mind. New people who will put the people in power not the individuals they’re aligned to. Our institutions must deliver and they must do it right, there’s so much at stake to repeat past mistakes.

UNEMPLOYMENT

We are jarred that a section of you are seeking a second term based on development projects that only exist virtually not physically while the rest of you are seeking an opportunity to be gently recycled back into office. Honestly if this was a comedy scene, I’d pause and have a good laugh but it’s a real life scenario where the joke is on us. Sometimes I wish your own children who are foreign educated would be degraded to the levels in which the Kenyan graduate is: standing by sidewalks holding placards begging for work. Maybe then you’d begin to address unemployment as a fundamental issue and not just another regrettable vice that Kenya leads in like corruption.

KENYAN PEOPLE

There’s such an open disrespect and disregard towards the citizenry demonstrated by how you misuse our taxes, control and share our opportunities amongst your fellows. Sadly none of you fighting each during the primaries is honestly fighting to serve us or sort out our issues. Most of you are busy securing positions for self-preservation that’s why we find those of you who lie so openly and boldly that it’s the Kenyan people who’ve coaxed you to pursue politics highly insolent.

When and where did you and I talk about your re-election? I find it demeaning that a politician will use the collective that is the Kenyan person in pursuit of their selfishness. Do you realise the title Kenyan people was fought and paid for by blood? The struggle for us to be called Kenyan people was a difficult horrific experience yet you throw this title around like it’s something we picked up on our leisure walk to independence can you get serious? Leave us out of your rhetoric you’re not for us and never will you be let the electorate continue to clean house.

The writer is a Programme Officer Civic Engagement at Siasa Place

Twitter: @scheafferoo

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

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Africa: Orange Sees Relationship With Start-Ups As Part of Africa’s Broader Digital Transformation

interview

London — Orange is one of a handful of mobile operators on the continent that has taken its relationship with Africa’s emerging start-up ecosystem seriously. It has launched its own incubators, supported pitch competitions and begun to open up its APIs. It sees these relationships as part of a broader digital transformation of Africa.

Sylvain Béletre talked to Roger-Edgar KRA, in charge of Business Development API (Innovation Tech Hub, Open Web Services, Middle East and Africa, Innovation Marketing Technology) in the MEA zone at Orange’s Technocentre.

Q. From your experience in the field, how is the digital transformation of the African continent happening?

A. Local businesses that want to take advantage of new mobile uses, or international companies that see Africa as a growth hub, are designing new products and services using the new digital tools: e-commerce platforms, e-health services, job search platforms, MOOCs, mobile advertising, video and music streaming platforms, money transfer, online insurance, smart metering, etc.

Q. Are these digital solutions meeting the major challenges faced by companies in the region?

A. Digital tools answer some of the major challenges faced by companies in the region: How to better monetize your solutions? How to make your business more attractive, visible and expand internationally, especially at the pan-African level? How to remove intermediaries? How to reduce distribution costs? How to improve customer experience?

These challenges concern all industry sectors: entertainment, agriculture, health, education, transport, energy, retail, etc.

However, creating a digital service in Africa is a real challenge: IT projects dedicated to the integration of technical platforms require investment and time. In a context where smartphones and the use of data are still emerging, and where the majority of customers do not have a credit card, the context is quite different from other regions in the World. Designing a website or an Android application for smartphones and tablets is only a small part of the answer, you must also know how to monetize them, but also design a version for low cost mobile phone/feature phones, via SMS, Vocal or even USSD.

In order to deploy on a large scale, partnering with local telecom operators can boost your footprint. Finally, your media must include the most common payment services. Orange has taken action accordingly.

Q. How does Orange respond to these challenges?

A. Orange has for years set up large infrastructure projects within its African subsidiaries in order to simplify and accelerate access to its resources. With these platforms deployed, Orange is now very active in partnering with local players (entrepreneurs, developers, digital agencies, media, etc.), and creating an open innovation ecosystem, bringing together startups and large corporates.

In order to support developers and save them time and money, Orange offers a suite of new business solutions based on three blocks: communication, distribution and payment.

On payment, the ‘Pay With Orange’ offer allows an Orange mobile customer to be charged for a digital service, by debiting his Orange telephone credit, either once or several times. Orange Money Web Payment allows you to charge an Orange Money customer for a physical or digital service by debiting its Orange Money account.

On improving their communications, Orange’s SMS offer allows companies to send customized and automated SMS, for example an appointment reminder, an order confirmation, or a forgotten password.

To support their distribution, our Offer # 303 # My Store is a pan-African “appstore” in USSD, which allows companies to reference a service in a given category, and to charge for subscription through Pay With Orange and soon via Orange Money.

These offers have been deployed on the continent since 2014, with already strong coverage (12 countries for SMS API, 6 for Orange Money Web Payment).

Q. How many partnerships have you established?

A. To date, more than 700 African startups have subscribed to Orange’s SMS notification service. And 40 services are ‘live’ on portal # 203 # in Cameroon. Dozens of services use our means of payment, monetize video streaming platforms, information portals, video games…

Q. Do you have examples of success stories in Africa?

A. In Senegal, the MLouma startup has created a virtual agricultural platform that publishes real-time information on the price, location and availability of farm products. At its launch, the platform was only available on the Web – making it difficult to access and costly for rural users. Integrating # 303 # My Store has given a very strong impulse to the service: now accessible from any phone, MLouma has gone from 1,000 to 75,000 users in 6 months! In addition, MLouma will be able to federate new users in all the other countries where the platform # 303 # My Store is available without requiring further development. MLouma also integrated the SMS API to alert users of the availability of new products, as well as the MEA DCB service to bill USSD requests.

In Cameroon, the pan-African media group ‘Jeune Afrique’ has produced a USSD version of its news service, referenced on # 203 # in Cameroon; Just like RFI, TV channel ‘France 24’, thus allowing 100% of the Orange customer base to access this service, updated in real time. The pan-African deployment of these services is in progress, on short code # 303 #.

For developers ready to use the Orange APIs, the portal is here:

You can discover other Orange programs related to startups and digital entrepreneurs across Africa, here:

And do not forget, if you are a young startup, you can currently apply for the Orange Social Entrepreneur Prize.

Nigeria: 19 Ships Discharging Petroleum Products, Other Commodities in Lagos

Nineteen ships are discharging petroleum products and other commodities at Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports in Lagos, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said on Friday.

NPA explained that the ships were discharging buck wheat, petrol, empty containers, general cargo, yellow maize, containers, aviation fuel, gypsum, soya beans and frozen fish.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 33 other ships laden with petroleum products, food items and other goods are also expected to arrive in Lagos ports between April 28 and May 19.

NPA said that the expected ships would bring base oil, general cargo, containers, bulk gas, frozen fish, bulk gypsum, bulk sugar, bulk corn and petrol.

NAN reports that 33 ships were expected on April 24; 37 on April 25; 35 on April 26 and 34 ships on April 27.

Eight ships had earlier arrived at the ports with bulk fertiliser, aviation fuel, ethanol and petrol.

Nigeria

There’s No Boko Haram Resurgence, Nigerian Military Assures

Director, Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, briefing Newsmen during a Monthly News Conference on Defence and… Read more »

Africa: Ghana Drops VAT On Domestic Flights As 10 Investors Seek License

The Ghana Ministry of Aviation has received proposals from 10 foreign and local investors to operate in the country’s domestic airline industry.

The country’s Minister of Aviation, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, made this known at the opening of this year’s International Air Transport Association (IATA) Day in Accra, according to an online publication, graphic.com.gh.

It is being organised by IATA, which is the trade association for the world’s airlines.

Participants include key stakeholders in the air travel industry from Africa.

The conference has the theme: ‘Aviation: catalyst for socio-economic development in Ghana’ and will discuss the impact of aviation on the economy, infrastructure development and safety in the industry.

Although Dapaah did not give details of the proposals received, she said the ministry was studying them and would announce the final decision in due course.

She stated that the government considered the development of the aviation sector a priority, for which reason a lot of investment had been made in infrastructural development at the various airports, aerodromes and airstrips across the country.

She added that all facilities at the airports were being modernised to meet international standards and to improve safety and the comfort of travelers.

To promote domestic air transport, Dapaah said the government had abolished the 17.5 per cent VAT on domestic airfares to encourage more patronage by the travelling public and also reduce the cost of operation of airlines.

Dapaah said as part of plans to establish a national airline, which would fly initially in the West African region, a transactional advisor had been working on finding a strategic investor to partner the government.

To improve the regulation and provision of air navigation services, she said a new entity was being established to take care of air navigation, while the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority concentrated on its core mandate of regulating the sector.

“This is intended to improve safety standards and also properly regulate the operations of the various actors in the industry,” she explained.

An IATA Regional Head in charge of membership and external relations in Africa and Middle East, Ms Adefunke Ademeyi, commended Ghana for transforming its aviation industry in recent years.

She named Ghana and Rwanda as one of the countries in Africa which were using aviation to promote their socio-economic transformation.

“The transformations in the airports in Ghana are visible and positive,” she stressed.

She urged African governments to open up their aviation markets in order to promote connectivity and facilitate easy travel on the continent.

For his part, the President of IATA, Mr. Raphael Kuuchi, said globally, the aviation industry contributed $2.7 trillion, which represents 3.5 per cent of the world’s GDP, and directly employed 9.9 million people.

Demand for air connectivity in the next 20 years, Mr Kuuchi said, was projected to double and that would take a tremendous amount of planning and coordination between airlines and other stakeholders in the aviation industry to achieve.

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.

U.S. Hunt for Kony Over, Justice for Victims Remains

By Christina Okello

Six years after the US sent troops to Central Africa to help hunt down notorious warlord Joseph Kony, the US Africa command (AFRICOM) announced this week that its mission was over. Critics warn the Lord Resistance Amry (LRA) still poses a risk and that the withdrawal could create a security vaccum in the region.

The US decision to pull out of the Central African Republic this week came as no surprise.

It was announced earlier this year when new US president Donald Trump took over the White House, and began to review his country’s commitment in Africa.

The hunt for Joseph Kony has already cost the Department of Defense nearly 800 million euros in six years. An enormous amount for a rebel group perceived as little threat, according to some sources in AFRICOM.

Even so, analyst Joseph Ochieno says he’s baffled as to why the Americans are leaving empty-handed.

“The original objective was very specific: the mission was to catch and kill Joseph Kony and that hasn’t happened,” he told RFI on Friday, hours after American special forces began withdrawing from Central Africa.

The head of AFRICOM, General Thomas Waldhauser, told reporters that the Lord Resistance Army was living in “survival mode,” but pledged to continue training African troops to avoid leaving a void in the region.

“We are told that there are about 100 of his [Kony] men, and 100 can be a big number, considering what we know about terrorism these days,” adds Ochieno.

Simply put, the “mission is far from accomplished,” he says.

Hidden agenda

US special forces were deployed in 2011 by the former Obama administration to neutralize the LRA, one of Africa’s longest surviving rebel groups.

But Ochieno reckons there may have been more to it than that.

“Cynics have suggested very strongly that the US’ real interests were not about Joseph Kony, but about entrenching its hegemonic programme within East and Central Africa,” he says, suggesting that Kony was merely a way of getting America’s foot in a region, long controlled “by the French”.

In a way, the French will be the ones lumbered with the problem of tracking Kony down, reckons for his part Paul Jackson, a professor of African politics at the University of Birmingham.

“If he resurfaces again within the Central African Republic and starts recruiting again, then that becomes the problem of CAR and by proxy, the French, because of their historical ties and previous intervention; so it’s kind of passing the buck onto the French really,” he told RFI.

Kony the High Priest

Uganda has also pulled out its troops from Central Africa, saying “Kony no longer poses a threat”.

Jackson isn’t so sure: “Kony is the sort of individual that you need to be extremely careful with. Of all the sorts of African insurgency movements, this is the most mystical of all of them, and in a way he is the sort of high priest.”

The Africanist is convinced that as long as Kony remains at large, the LRA could relaunch fresh attacks.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to hear news of kidnappings from schools and all the rest of it, which is how they started to build up the LRA in the first place.”

Since it was founded by Kony in 1987, the LRA has slaughtered more than 100,000 people and abducted 60,000 children who were forced to become sex slaves and child soldiers, according to the UN.

No justice

“The war was devastating on this population,” Oryem Nyeko, the head of advocacy at the Justice and Reconciliation in Gulu, told RFI.

“Millions of people were displaced from their homes, countless numbers are missing,” he says.

Gulu, then the entry point for most of the vigilantes and seekers who became obsessed with Joseph Kony, is today safe.

“I think in the Ugandan context, people aren’t really afraid of the LRA, I think it’s kind of far removed from their lives,” adds Nyeko.

But the hunt for justice isn’t forgotten.

“I think that the question of justice for past crimes that were committed by the LRA is still very much on people’s minds here,” he says, highlighting that most have been surprised to hear about the US’ withdrawal.

The task of finding one of the world’s most notorious and elusive of warlords will now be up to the Central African Republic, if indeed that’s where Kony is.

Difficult hunt

“One of the difficulties about Kony is that he doesn’t just stick to one country,” explains Jackson of Birmingham University.

Although the warlord is most associated with Uganda, he hasn’t lived there for decades, having been reported in South Sudan, the northern DRC, and then in the Central African Republic.

“Finding any one individual or even a group of 100 people in an extremely difficult terrain is like finding a needle in a haystack,” says Jackson.

“The Ugandan military is by far the most capable, and yet they failed,” before adding, “so did the Americans.”

Liberia: President Sirleaf Breaks Ground for Construction of Ministerial Complex

Monrovia — President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has broken grounds for the construction of China-Aided Ministerial Complex and Capitol Building Annexes.

She termed execution of the two projects as a great relief for various ministries and agencies of the Government of Liberia, still operating from outdated buildings that do not meet current day reality.

According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the statement on Thursday, April 27, 2017 at the construction sites of the former demolished Defense Ministry Building in Congo Town, outside Monrovia.

The Liberian Chief Executive noted the contributions of former Chinese Ambassadors – Lin Songtian, Zhou Yuxiao and now Zhang Yue and acknowledged President Xi Jinping for working towards bringing to fulfillment the Ministerial Complex and Annexes at the National Legislature.

Speaking earlier, Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, Zhang Yue, welcomed President Sirleaf and delegation for gracing the ground breaking ceremony.

Ambassador Zhang Yue noted that the executions of these landmark projects represent another milestone of China-Liberia relations.

He described the projects as a result of mutual understanding between our two peoples and the outcome has further strengthened our friendship and cooperation.

Ambassador Zhang Yue alluded to Chinese Proverb: “It takes long to give good things; So, good things end up are around the corner after several years of hard work and patience on both sides.”

He said the Complex includes offices, meeting rooms, auditorium, multi-purpose halls, archives, canteen, and also auxiliary facilities such as water pump house, power distribution and generator room; sits on a total of 24,000 square meters and is designed to accommodate at least 1,300 people.

He noted that constructions of the Ministerial Complex and Annexes of the Capitol Building will improve working conditions of the Liberian Government and including the Legislature in order to better serve the Liberian people.

Also making remarks, Public Works Minister, William Moore said the construction of the Ministerial Complex and Annexes to the Capitol Building was not strange to him.

He said he became involved with the projects when he worked in the President Delivery Unit (PDU).

He said he was delighted at this time that the projects are being formally executed. He extended gratitude to former Public Works Minister, Samuel Kofi Woods and Antoinette Weeks who laid all the technical details for the projects prior to his appointment, as Minister.

Minister Moore then commended the Government of the Peoples’ republic of China for providing the Ministerial Complex and Annexes to the Capitol Building as China-Aided for Liberia.

In a related development, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf also received His Excellency, Mr. Adama Barrow President of the Republic of The Gambia who arrived in the country on a two- day official visit to Republic of Liberia.

Mr. Barrow, known as ECOWAS success story came to power in The Gambia on December 7, 2016, after defeating his predecessor – Yaya Jammeh who initially refused to step down.

He was pursued through diplomatic means and relinquished power on Thursday, January 19, 2017, paving the way for his inauguration.

Gambia: Motirie – Entry Into Road Transport Industry Is Free

By Awa Gassama

The of Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment has stated that entry into the road transport industry is free and any individual owing a roadworthy vehicle with all necessary licenses and permits can operate transport services for goods and passengers along any routes.

Below is the full text of the Press Release:

This Ministry has been informed that recently there have been interruptions of vehicles transporting goods by some members of transport unions. As a result, this Ministry wishes to inform the general public that entry into the road transport industry is free and any individual owning a roadworthy vehicle with all necessary licenses and permits can operate transport services for goods and passengers along any routes.

The Government of the Gambia is in the process of drafting a legal framework for the smooth operation of the transport sector. In the interim, the Ministry of trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Ministry of Interior, Office of the Inspector General of Police, Banjul City Council and the Gambia Ports Authority have come up with the following measures which must be adhered to until further notice;

l Investment in the transport sector should be opened to all irrespective of nationality and that there should not be any discrimination;

l All trucks involved in the commercial transport of goods within the Gambia should join the queue;

l Foreign Vehicles should not be involved in the commercial transport of good within The Gambia and as such they would not be subjected to the queuing system established.

l A retailer with private trucks for the purpose of transporting his or her own goods should be allowed to leave the queue at any time for only one pick up. All the rest of the vehicles should join the queue.

l All vehicles engaged in the commercial transportation of goods from the Greater Banjul Area should be parked at Bond Road/Abuko being the designated parking areas when they are not due to loading, to reduce congestion in Banjul and to ensure transparency in the implementation of the queuing system.

We urge all stakeholders to comply failing which the due process of the law will be applied.

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 »

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.

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