Posts tagged as: economic

Tanzania: MP Wants Mining Company to Pay District U.S.$190 Million

Photo: Daily Monitor

Member of Parliament for Msalala, Ezekiel Maige

By By Mnaku Mbani

Member of Parliament for Msalala, Ezekiel Maige (CCM) wants the Bulyanhulu Gold Mine to pay Msalala District Council a total of Sh425 billion in unpaid service levy.

Speaking to the Citizen in a telephone interview on Tueday, September 19, Mr Maige said the amount is in accordance with the estimates made by the Presidential Committee on minerals, headed by Prof Nehemiah Osoro.

“The company started to pay the service levy in 2015 using an old formula of $200,000 flat rate per year instead of 0.3 per cent of the gross revenue of the company,” he said.

He said the recent report which indicates that Acacia paid $11 million to Msalala District Council was not true. He said he was not aware when the amount was paid.

The former minister for Tourism said since the company started its operation in 1998, the economic dividends gained from mining activities were not equivalent of what was harvested.

“My people are among of the victims of bad investment policies that have been implemented in Tanzania over the last two decades,” he said.

Mr Maige is in the view that the existence of the gold mine at the district has not benefited the people as many of them were evicted from their areas without proper compensation.

It is estimated that about 200,000 people were removed from the current Bulyanhulu Mine site in 1998 without compensation.

He said seven in ten people in Msalala District were happy by the decision of the government to revisit gold business transactions in Tanzania and only three out of ten are unhappy with the decision.

He said even employment at the mining areas did not consider local residents and all of their goods and services needs were outsourced outside the district.

Tanzania

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Africa: SA Banks Can Still Thrive in Africa – Analyst

South African banks managed to yield steady earnings in a challenging economic environment. While some banks took a knock from the mixed-performance of their African operations, others managed to weather the storms in these markets. Overall there is still a business case for SA banks to continue their operations in Africa, said an analyst.

Analysis on interim results of the big four banks, by EY, shows that earnings were barely positive, up 0.3% in real terms. Earnings growth slowed to 5.7% for the first half of the year compared to 6.6% reported in the same period last year.

Low revenue growth is behind the low growth in profit. Banks have held back on extending credit, particularly in African markets with weak economic activity, said Andy Bates EY’s financial services leader for Africa.

Nigeria, a commodity-led economy, was in recession and Kenya introduced restrictions on lending, explained Bates. Other economies like Mozambique also struggled, which weighed down on profits. “Returns are not as high as banks would like.”

Nedbank’s profits were negatively impacted by the performance of its West African partner Ecobank Transnational, of which it has a 20% stake. The bulk of earnings are made from Nigeria, Bloomberg reported. The bank reported a 3.7% decline in half-year profit, driven by the loss from Ecobank. Nedbank maintained that the outlook for Ecobank is improving.

Standard Bank’s results were mainly impacted by currency movements, which reduced group headline earnings 7% compared to the previous period. But the group reported an 11% rise in profits.

African regions increased their contribution to headline earnings to 29%, contributing positively to Return on Equity (ROE) and Headline Earnings Per Share (HEPS) growth, the group said in its interim report. “The top five contributors to Africa Regions’ headline earnings were Angola, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria and Uganda.”

Standard Bank operates across 19 African countries, excluding South Africa, with diverse dynamics across these regions. Prospects are improving in oil-dominated economies like Nigeria and Angola, while East Africa suffered the effects of a drought.

The group experienced a slowdown in credit growth in Kenya, given the effects of the drought and regulatory caps and floors introduced for loans, and pre-election anxiety, the report indicated. Mozambique’s currency also stabilised in the first half of the year.

“The combination of higher rates, higher cash balances on the back of foreign currency liquidity constraints, flight to quality and improved macros provided support for the Africa Regions’ performance,” the report read.

FNB’s performance was mainly driven by domestic activity, as rest of Africa profit before tax declined 32%. FNB South Africa accounts for 95% or R17.9bn of total FNB profits before tax. FNB grew profits by 5%.

FNB Africa’s operations are across Namibia and Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania and Ghana, according to the report. These markets faced economic headwinds and emerging regulatory challenges, and delivered a mixed performance, the report read.

FNB CEO Jacques Celliers said that the bank was still committed to expansion in Africa. In an interview with Fin24 he said that the challenge in these markets is that banks are often not known when they enter the market. “We know our reputation is made in tough times… We must prove our commitment in tough times,” he said.

Celliers explained that an effort must be made to build relationships, and invest in banking infrastructure in these regions. FNB did this in South Africa and now has a 180 year history because of the long-term relationships it built.

He said that although the economic environment in Zambia and Mozambique was “vicious”, the bank will keep its spirits up and continue to invest through the cycle. He added that there are opportunities in the east, in Kenya and Tanzania and the west, in Nigeria and Ghana.

“It is a very difficult climate and we have to be conscious about it. We need to position the strategy to weather the storms. But we are also excited about the opportunities.”

Barclays Africa’s mid-year profits rose 7% and headline earnings growth was driven by African operations which were up 19%. “Economic performance in the group’s presence markets in the rest of Africa was mixed,” the report read. The group experienced improving outcomes in Ghana, Mozambique and Uganda, while endured weaker trends in Kenya, Zambia and Botswana, according to the report.

UK-based Barclays had sold its stake in Barclays Africa earlier this year and chief executive Maria Ramos shared on the prospects of building a Pan-African business. “This is a defining moment for Barclays Africa, a significant opportunity to determine our own destiny and make our own decisions on what is right for a standalone African business,” she said previously. “It gives us an opportunity to look differently at our business and it is exciting for us to do that in this continent.”

Ramos also said that the opportunities in the continent outweighed the challenges and the bank was well poised to take advantage of the opportunities.

Business case for Africa

But Bates explained that there is still a business case for banks to continue operations in Africa. It depends on banks to individually consider making long-term decisions which may impact shareholder returns in the short term.

The big four banks have a “decent” footprint in Africa. “What we see is a desire to continue to invest, but not as quick as the banks would like,” he said. There is also the pressure of costs associated with the investment.

But given the average age of the population across Africa, which is quite young and the amount of unbanked people there is a great opportunity for them to join the formal banking sector, explained Bates. There is not just a demand for banking products, but also for wealth and asset management, insurance and pension products. “This is a massive opportunity not one South African bank can afford to ignore,” said Bates.

Source: Fin24

Uganda Overcome Madagascar, Date South Africa

By Swaib Raul Kanyike

Rugby — Uganda Lady Cranes will face defending champions South Africa in the semi-finals after beating Madagascar 12-05 in the quarterfinals.

Uganda entered the Stade Jemmel in Monastir with an aim of burying Saturday’s ghosts that saw the ladies in red lose 15-10 and 24-00 to Tunisia and South Africa, respectively.

Against Madagascar, Helen Koyokoyo Buteme’s team took off early through Emilly Lekuru, who took a long run from deep.

She touched down between the sticks, making it a bit easier for Charlotte Mudoola to add the extras.

The Malagasy put up some resistance but in the end Juliet Nandawula caught them on the break. She dummied past her marker and released Grace Auma on the left, who sped past her opponent for her first try of the campaign.

Madagascar got their consolation through the speedy Rihar Raharimalala.

The semi-final line-up has Uganda up against favourites South Africa, who dispatched Senegal off with a sleek 43-00.

Kenya, 47-00 winners over Morocco will face hosts Tunisia, who beat Zimbabwe 24-07.

Uganda line-up against Madagascar

Charlotte Mudoola, Juliet Nandawula, Aisha Nakityo Nabulime, Flavia Agenerwot (Peace Wokorach), Grace Auma, Emilly Lekuru (Peace Lekuru), Samiya Ayikoru.

Rugby Afrique 7s

Quarter finals

Uganda 12-05 Madagascar

South Africa 43-00 Senegal

Kenya 47-00 Morocco

Tunisia 24-07 Zimbabwe

Uganda

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Nigeria: With N5bn Intervention Fund, FG Seeks to Boost Solid Minerals Sector

Olaseni Durojaiye examines the impact of a N5 billion funding support for artisanal and small scale miners in the continuing effort of the federal government to diversify the revenue base of the economy

Efforts to grow and develop the country’s mining sector to make it contribute more effectively to government revenues got a boost with the launch of a N5 billion fund for artisanal and small scale miners recently. Besides providing loans for the miners, the fund is seen as a means of bringing the hitherto unwieldy sector under a structured regime.

The launch was almost overshadowed by the euphoria of celebration bordering on the country’s exit from recession. But economic watchers believed the moment called for deep introspection to find ways to consolidate the efforts to diversify the country’s foreign exchange revenue base beyond oil. Developing the solid minerals sector is seen as a veritable step in this regard.

Exit from Recession

Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics penultimate Tuesday indicated that Nigeria’s economy was finally out of recession, as it recorded 0.55 per cent growth. Many celebrated this as an indication of success in the federal government’s efforts to revamp the economy.

However, analysts at SBM Intelligence said, “A growth of 0.55 per cent does not only compensate for the lost ground, it is also below expectations considering the low base the growth is starting from.” They noted on the company website that the positive growth had been predicted by many analysts.

“It was expected, given how the negative growth had already caused the economy to contract, providing a low base for growth to start from,” SBM Intelligence analysts stated. They explained, “Coming out of a recession is not the same as the economy making a recovery. Nigeria is very far from recovering from the loss of the last 18 months. It will be more beneficial if the government and its agents shelve the unnecessary celebration and backslapping.”

They added, “We have wasted a crisis. We will do well not to waste the aftermath of the crisis. It is time to get to serious work.”

Solid Minerals to the Rescue

Economic analysts believe the mining sector is a good area to channel resources in the attempt to achieve economic diversification. They say optimal utilisation of the resources and opportunities that abound in the sector requires the concerted efforts of the different tiers of government.

According to the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, there are over 30 different kinds of solid minerals and precious metals, including Sapphire, Aquamarine, and Topaz, buried in Nigerian soil waiting to be exploited.

While Nigeria’s rich reserve of zinc found in several states is left untapped or left to illegal miners to exploit, the item has gained over 90 per cent in price in the global zinc market since January 2016. Zinc has fetched countries like China, Peru, United States, and Australia huge revenues, according to Investment News, an international journal published in Vancouver, Canada.

The roadmap for the growth and development of the solid minerals sector was first announced in August 2016 after a federal executive council meeting. Announcing the roadmap, Minister of Solid Minerals and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, had stated, “What distinguishes this roadmap, which builds on the old roadmap that was approved in 2012, is its determination to set up an independent regulatory agency, which investors have been insisting on that the ministry which has been serving as facilitator should not be the one that regulates them.”

Intervention Fund

The launch of the N5 billion fund for the benefit of small and medium scale miners, THISDAY gathered, was in furtherance of the solid minerals development roadmap. The initiative, a collaboration between the Ministry of Solid Minerals and Steel Development and the Bank of Industry, will see both parties contributing N2.5 billion each to a N5 billion pool that will be made available to small scale miners in the country. Qualified artisanal miners would be allowed to access between N100, 000 and N10 million, while small-scale miners could get between N10 million and N100 million.

Before the latest initiative, the ministry had embarked on a systematic approach to confronting the challenges facing the sector. THISDAY findings revealed that the ministry recently organised capacity building exercises for miners during which they were trained on various stages of mining and educated to impact on the environment positively in the process of mining.

Other efforts by the ministry to address the challenge of insufficient funding and lack of access to capital include the N20 billion from the mining sector component of the Natural Resources Development Fund and the $150 million from the World Bank to the Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification (MinDiver) programme.

Speaking at the launch, Fayemi noted that small scale miners accounted for the bulk of activities in the sector, adding that the launch of the fund was to address the challenge of insufficient funding and poor access to capital, a major factor militating against artisanal and small-scale miners. The minister said the BoI would serve as the custodian and manager of the fund, to be given to the artisanal and small scale miners at five per cent interest rate. He said with the appointment of BoI as the custodian and manager of the fund, it would facilitate financing of artisanal and small scale mining projects involving industrial minerals, precious stones, precious metal (gold), dimension stone and such other strategic minerals in Nigeria as would be approved by the ministry and BoI from time to time. Fayemi also stated that proper funding would help to integrate the artisanal and small scale miners into the formal sector, enhance their growth and development in a structured manner, and spur productivity and job creation in the mining sector.

“The Solid Minerals Development Fund is now spearheading the assembly of a $600 million investment fund for the sector, working with entities as the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and others,” the minister said, “In addition to the funding support from multilateral agencies, partnerships on technical cooperation.”

He added that several agreements had also been brokered or re-activated with foreign governments, including existing technical partnerships with the governments of South Africa, China, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and United States of America in line with the framework of Africa Mining Vision.

Analysts

Economic policy analysts have hailed the latest funding initiative. They say it is key to unlocking the huge potentials in the solid minerals sector to make it attractive to foreign investors. But many also say there is need for appropriate legal framework, like is the case in the oil and gas industry.

An economist and research analyst with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Rotimi Oyelere, said, “The mining sector is critical to diversifying Nigeria’s revenue base or sources of foreign exchange away from oil and hydrocarbon.

“The sector holds great potential for foreign exchange for the country; but we must make the sector attractive to foreign investors as was the case with the oil and gas sector and the only way to do that is to put in place a proper regulatory framework in place. The National Assembly should ensure that mining is taken off the exclusive list and placed in concurrent list.”

The governor of Taraba State, Darius Ishaku, spoke in a similar vein in an interview with THISDAY recently. Ishaku reiterated the need for proper legal framework that would remove mining licensing and administration from the exclusive list so that the states could be involved in mining administration in the country.

The governor said, “There are a lot of taxes which for now we are not getting. After agriculture, the second revenue endowment in the state is mining, and up till now we only have illegal miners, no thanks to lack of enabling law or laws that are not implementable.

“We have more than 30 different kinds of solid mineral resources in Taraba State, the seven rarest minerals are found here. Somebody like me has no business in Abuja going to look for subventions to pay workers’ salary if things were made to work properly.”

Nigeria: Cholera – Borno Death Toll Hits 44

Photo: Aminu Abubakar/IRIN

Cholera patients in northern Nigeria (file photo).

By Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri

Death toll as a result of cholera outbreak in Borno State has risen to 44, the State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Haruna Mshelia revealed on Friday.

The outbreak which has become a yearly occurrence in the troubled state, hit hard at internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps, where many of the death and affected victims were recorded.

Mshelia, who addressed a press conference, said to combat the disease and prevent future outbreak, vaccination would immediately commence in four local governments that have been identified as flashpoint.

He said the vaccination was to ensure the disease did not spread to other areas in the state after recording almost 2,000 cholera cases within two weeks.

Mshelia said: “We are embarking on vaccination as from Monday to ensure will stop Cholera from spreading.

“The vaccination has 80 per cent protection and anybody above one year can take. A total of 1926 cholera cases were recorded after the outbreak at Muna IDPs camp which later spread to Dikwa and Monguno.”

He disclosed that the vaccination exercise would be carried out in Maiduguri, Dikwa, Jere and Monguno worse hit by the outbreak. He attributed poor hygiene and sanitation among IDPs to the cause of the outbreak.

He said the state government with other partner organisations established Cholera treatment centres (CTC) as soon as the outbreak was confirmed.

Mshelia said in order to combat the spread of the disease, disinfection of toilets/latrines and sensitization on personal hygiene were carried out.

He commiserated with the families of those that died in the cholera outbreak. He also commended the international partners for their support in tackling the outbreak.

Nigeria

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Herders Blamed for Tasking Children With Grazing Cattle

By Juma Mtanda Thecitizentz

Morogoro — Pastoralists have been blamed for delegating their responsibility to their children by telling them to graze large herds of cattle, which they fail to manage.

As a result, the cattle end up invading farmers’ fields in villages in Mvomero District, Morogoro Region. This has been aggravating conflicts between farmers and pastoralists.

This is what came out during a debate that brought together farmers and pastoralists at Dakawa Village.

It was argued that the children’s inability to handle huge herds of cattle aggravated land conflicts that led to frequent clashes.

The debate aimed at maintaining peace and finding solutions to land disputes.

It was organised by Tanzania Initiate for Social Economic Relief (Tiser) through a project on good land management by involving stakeholders in good policy formulation.

A farmer, Ms Fahamia Ally, said children aged between five and 10 were the ones looking after the herds of cattle. She added that, it was impossible for the them to manage the cattle on their own, particularly in areas close to farms.

“The time has come for pastoralists to change. They are supposed to take their children to school, instead of grazing cattle, which is supposed to be the responsibility of adults,” said Ms Fahamia.

For his part, Dakawa Village Executive Officer Andrew Mohamed, said the big challenge facing village leaders was lack of a programme on good land management.

Tiser has been collecting public views with a view to maintaining peace and resolving land conflicts between the farmers and pastoralists in Mvomero District through the project.

Tanzania

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Why Govt Did Not Renew Isimba Consultant Engineer’s Contract

opinionBy Eng Dr Badru M. Kiggundu

In the last fortnight or so, there have been a number of press reports specifically on the Isimba hydropower project.

I will quote just three of these from the mainstream print media.

On Wednesday September 6, 2017, the Daily Monitor published ‘Govt sacks Isimba dam consultant’; the next day, the New Vision published ‘UEGCL takes over Isimba supervision’ and on September 11, 2017, the New Vision published ‘Isimba supervisor seeks Shs 3.2b before handover’.

In all the above press reports and others not quoted, what sticks out as true is that Energy Infratech PVT Limited (EIPL), the firm hired by the government of Uganda as its supervising consultant/owner’s engineer for the Isimba hydropower project, ceased to hold that position and perform the ascribed duties on September 7, 2017.

Let it be on record that EIPL was/has not been fired. Government did not renew its contract, which expired on September 7, 2017, after a 40 months’ run from May 7, 2014.

Indeed, on September 7, I led a team of the Project Steering Committee to officiate at the handover from EIPL to Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited as an interim measure before a new supervising consultant can be procured.

The team comprised representatives from the ministries of Finance, Planning and Economic Development; Energy and Mineral Development as well as the attorney general’s chambers. As you may have read or watched from subsequent press reports, EIPL requested for an extra week to fully organize themselves for the handover and it was granted.

In this whole situation, one question sticks out: “Why did government consider not renewing EIPL’s contract?” This question gains more traction by the fact that the actual Isimba project timeline is now at month 29, with more 11 months to go.

And so it remains plausible for one to ask why the supervising consultants’ contract is not pegged to that of project’s completion. This is a question the ministry of Energy are better placed to answer as signatories to the contract on behalf of government.

I will attempt to give reason why this EIPL contract is not getting a renewal only to the extent to which the confidentiality clause permits.

CONTRACT MANDATE

Under the contract, EIPL was mandated with providing professional services, personnel and technical resources appropriate for the supervision of the engineering, procurement and construction works done by the EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contactor China International Water and Electric Corporation (CWE) as per the EPC contract, specifications and international standards.

This involved review and approval of designs, review and approval of construction method statements, review and approval of construction drawings, supervision of construction works and approval of completed structures.

The supervision contract also included witnessing testing of manufacturing equipment such as gates, turbines, generators, transformers, draft tubes, governors, exciter, cooling systems and a whole lot of other associated electromechanical equipment.

Whereas EIPL gave it its best shot, various aspects related to provision of professional services and personnel for the Isimba HPP did not meet the owner’s requirements as desired.

I will give a few examples. EIPL, for a long period of their contract tenure, did not mobilize experienced key supervision personnel including quality control specialists, electromechanical specialists and an experienced geotechnical engineer to fully lead in supervision of construction of the embankment dams, in spite of repeated recommendation and calls to fill the agreed project supervision structure.

This compromised the construction control aspects and, in some instance, led to non-conformances related to material placement and dam monitoring instrumentation for both the left and right embankment dams.

Installation of dam monitoring equipment and construction for embankment dams is critical for dam safety on projects of this nature. The associated risks for dam failure can lead to catastrophic effects on the downstream of the hydropower plant if they materialize.

The biggest undoing was also regarding the change of materials for electro mechanical and hydro mechanical equipment.

Whereas the EPC contract and employer requirements clearly specified the material properties for equipment like gates, draft tubes, stop logs, cooling system, etc, these were changed to materials of lower or inferior grade compared to what was specified in the contract, under the watch of EIPL.

Whereas the contract is open to change in technical specifications, it also clearly defines the procedures and rationale for changing or altering material/equipment specifications.

These procedures include the EPC contractor making a formal and documented request to the client/owner – the ministry of Energy represented by UEGCL, the implementing agency.

The change order procedure further includes brief descriptions of the proposed changes to equipment specifications, effect on time completion, estimated cost of the change, effect on functional guarantees and facilities.

All this was not done, to the detriment of the project as well as the realization of the project’s cardinal objective which is the production of reliable and affordable electricity.

UEGCL now stands a risk of incurring high operation and maintenance costs related to equipment of inferior grade compared to what was specified in the contract.

The mentioned alterations on the technical specifications happened by either omission or commission of the supervising consultant/owner’s engineer.

For emphasis’ sake, the EPC contract empowers the supervising consultant/owner’s engineer to review and approve the contractor’s works for compliance to technical specifications.

This right was not duly exercised by EIPL, thus the dissatisfaction with their performance as owner’s engineer. In the circumstances, government was left with no choice but to make use of its discretionary powers not to extend their contract.

TOUGH DECISION

There is a genuine worry that change of a supervising consultant/owner’s engineer may have perilous consequences on the project delivery from timelines, budget and technical specifications. This is not a risk we have taken blindly.

Government’s decision is buoyed by the confidence in other stakeholders to perform their role as well as the unwavering commitment to deliver the project as envisaged from inception.

History will judge us harshly if we, as the project steering committee or as the ministry of Energy or UEGCL and others, looked on while specifications were altered at a whim, works went shoddy with reckless abandon, and timelines negated without restraint. It holds true that to have an omelet, some eggs have to break.

I will conclude by giving a global overview of the progress at Isimba. Construction at the 183MW project commenced on April 30, 2015 and is expected to last for 40 calendar months. The project is at 70 per cent overall progress.

Physical progress of works such as civil, hydro-mechanical and electromechanical is estimated at 75 per cent, 67 per cent and 67 per cent respectively at end of August 2017. General concreting works are at approximately 98 per cent. Construction of the transmission line has reached 64 per cent.

The author is the chairperson of the Project Steering Committee for Karuma and Isimba hydropower projects.

Justice Sector in Fresh Quest to Improve Service Delivery

By Eddie Nsabimana

The justice sector is working on a five-year strategic plan that looks at putting at the centre efficient service delivery to help promote human rights.

Isabelle Karihangabo, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Justice, called on all institutions in the sector to join hands to strengthen justice delivery in the country by bridging the gaps wherever they might be.

She said fighting corruption will only be strengthened by striving for efficiency in service delivery, explaining that many resort to corrupt means to acquire a service they would otherwise have acquired for free.

“I am happy with the progress the country has made in access to justice and I have no doubt that we will achieve our targets if we work together. It is all down to us to improve service to the communities from the grassroots to national level,” Karihangabo said.

She was speaking on Wednesday during a stakeholders’ meeting that discussed the 2018-2023 strategic plan for the sector.

The current five-year justice sector strategic plan’s targets have been achieved at 63 per cent, which Karihangabo said is not satisfactory, given that they have only one year left to its conclusion.

“The numbers are not quite good. We still have a long way to go, but we hope to improve and accelerate the rate at which we shall implement the next strategic plan to make sure people are better served,” she said.

The PS said, in formulating the roadmap for the next five years, emphasis must be put on pursuit of emerging crimes like gender-based violence, human trafficking, drug abuse and corruption.

Other areas of focus, she added, will be improved unity and reconciliation, universal access to quality justice, peace and security, transparency, accountability and adherence to human rights.

Victor Mugabe, the executive secretary of Rwanda Bar Association, suggested that the new strategic plan should be designed around strengthening a people-centred judiciary.

“We need to deliver services beyond citizens’ expectations,” he said.

To better achieve the targets, Mugabe recommended sensitisation drives in communities on their rights to justice and teaching them about different laws that protect them.

“Obviously, some people do not know which laws are there to protect them. There is need for more awareness and streamlining legal aid policies to further build ethical standards of justice,” he said.

According to the 2016 Rwanda Governance Scorecard, the justice sector improved in the area of fighting corruption, transparency and accountability from 77.1 per cent in 2012 up to 86.56per cent in 2016.

However, access to justice reduced from 80.25 per cent in 2014 to 76.8 per cent in 2016.

After the draft is elaborated, the strategic plan’s final draft will be submitted to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning for evaluation comments, before it is, by November, presented to the parliament for approval.

Nigeria: Govt Moves to Combat Cholera Outbreak in Borno

Photo: Nancy Palus/IRIN

A man washes his hands during cholera prevention session

By Michael Olugbode

Maiduguri — The federal government thursday moved needed machineries to Borno State to combat cholera which has affected 2,000 persons in the state and led to the death of 20 persons.

Among those killed were internally displaced persons at a camp in the troubled North-east state.

Addressing journalists after holding a strategic meeting with stakeholders in the health sector in the state and humanitarian organisations, the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, lamented that cholera is a “notorious difficult disease” that kills; “if the rights measures and treatment are not taken to save people’s lives.”

Ihekweazu said so far, the disease has killed 20 persons with 2,000 treated in the ongoing epidemic.

He lamented that the water borne disease has also spread to resettlement camps in Dikwa, Jere and Monguno Local Government Areas of the state.

Ihekweazu, however, said the response to cholera has been vigorous with the setting up of treatment centres in the three affected council areas and Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC).

He said: “The critical message we have just received, is that the Borno State government has responded vigorously to cholera outbreaks and containments.

“Cholera is a notorious difficult disease; it appears simple, but it can kill if you don’t do the right thing. Yes, we have an outbreak, but together we partner the federal and state governments; and the response has been vigorous.

“I am confident that we will get on top of this water borne disease that has already claimed the lives of many people.”

On prevention, Ihekweazu said: “The key thing with cholera; is that nobody wants to die. The important thing is to prevent cases, as the prevention methods are fairly easy.”

He added that: “It is clean water. If you have clean water and if you use boiled water and good water to drink; you will not get cholera. We understand that this is a very difficult thing to do in some of the IDPs camps.”

Nigeria

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Sudan: Cholera Back in Khartoum North – Two Cases

Khartoum North — Two cases of cholera appeared in Khartoum North, after the capital of Sudan witnessed a relatively low infection rate for several weeks. The isolation centre in the Nierteti Hospital recorded six new cases in the past two days.

The cholera victims came from Teibat El Ahamda district this weekend and have been taken to the local emergency room, a volunteer reported to Radio Dabanga.

“The emergence of new cases may be a result of the accumulation of rainwater and dirt, and the environmental degradation in the district because of poor drainage.”

The volunteer added that the district has seen 21 deaths by cholera and more than 300 cases of infection during the past months. “Officials and representatives of the constituency in the National Assembly and the Legislative Council should not neglect the district and visit us to find out how the conditions are deteriorating.”

Cholera in Khartoum state has re-spread after seeing a significant decrease during the past month. An increase in these rates followed recent rains that caused harm to the streets and environment because of poor drainage, a source in the health sector informed Radio Dabanga. “Bashair hospital in southern Khartoum received 16 new cases of cholera,” the source said three weeks ago. “The average number of daily visits ranged from 25 to 30 cases of cholera in the past week.”

Efforts against cholera

The First Vice-President of Sudan, Bakri Hassan Saleh, instructed the efforts of the federal Ministry of Health in the fight against cholera, termed ‘acute watery diarrhoea’ by the government, to continue. The Minister of Health Bahar Idris Abugarda briefed the Saleh on the results of his visit to South Darfur last week.

Abugarda’s visit included El Malam, Lebei and Deribat in East Jebel Marra. “Health conditions here are under control and the ministry has sent medicines and medical aids to these areas to help them fight the watery diarrhoea.”

After his visit to the Lebei isolation ward Abugarda said that the number cases of cholera has decreased to less than five reported cases a day.

Central Darfur

The cholera isolation centre in the Nierteti Hospital in Central Darfur has recorded six new cases on Monday and Tuesday. Yesterday a medical source told Radio Dabanga from Nierteti that the centre received three cases from the camps for displaced people on Monday, and received three cases from districts in Nierteti town on Tuesday.

The number of hospitalised cases in the isolation centre reached 15 until yesterday, according to the medical source. On Tuesday the director-general of the Ministry of Health of Central Darfur visited the isolation centre and brought 500 intravenous solutions.

The director-general said that a special isolation centre for women and another for children will be established, so that not all patients have to be placed in a single ward.

Sudan

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